Actions

Work Header

Dedicated Listener

Work Text:

Aizawa Shouta always thought there was too much hype around soulmates. It wasn’t that he hated the idea, but he just didn’t exactly think that the soulmate system deserved to be followed as unquestioningly as it was.

His mom didn’t have a soulmate. That wasn’t quite right. Shouta was pretty sure she had a soulmate out there somewhere, and that she had some sort of connection, but whatever the situation was, she never told Shouta about it. As long as he could remember, it had just been the two of them. Whenever he asked about his father or his mom’s soulmate, she would change the subject instead of giving any sort of answer.

But none of that mattered to him in the end. His mom was amazing and gave him everything he ever wanted. She raised him by herself and proved to him everyday that you didn’t have to have a soulmate to be happy. So it wasn’t that he disliked the idea of soulmates, he just thought that society made a much bigger deal about them and put far more stock in them than strictly necessary.

When he reached 10 years old and hadn’t developed any sort of soul connection yet, he wasn’t as disappointed as most kids his age would have been. He could tell everyone thought he should be more upset. He saw other parent’s pitying glances and his classmates felt no shame in asking him questions about not having a soulmate and how he felt about the fact that he would be “super sad and alone his whole life”. But he wasn’t overly concerned. His mom didn’t have a soulmate and she was happy, so he would be happy to. With or without a soulmate.

-X-X-X-

Yamada Hizashi grew up believing whole heartedly in the soulmate system. His parents were soulmates and seeing how happy and in love they were was more than enough to convince Hizashi that soulmates were a great thing. He couldn’t wait for the day that he would finally meet his.

The only problem he had was that he didn’t know what his connection was. Basically everyone around him had a physical connection they could see or feel; words or pain or something. He knew that some connections didn’t develop until later in life, or even until the moment people met their soulmates, but after seeing all his classmates comparing their connections, Hizashi couldn’t help but think that maybe he was part of the small percentage of the population that didn’t have a soulmate. However, he never let that truly stop him from holding out hope and looking forward to the day that he would finally meet them. He was confident that it would happen one day, and he would be ready for that day.

-X-X-X-

Shouta woke up on his 12th birthday to the sound of an unfamiliar voice. He glanced around his room to find the source of the voice, however it was empty. But the voice sounded off somehow. Almost like it was coming from inside his mind rather than something he was actually hearing.

“I can’t believe I’m only 12 and I’m already hearing voices.”

“I really don’t wan- HOLY CRAP WAIT A MINUTE WHAT WAS THAT?” Shouta winced at the sudden, loud shouting.

“Oh good. I’m loud. Yay.”

“NO BUT SERIOUSLY WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK IS GOING ON?” He rolled over and pressed the heel of his hands into his eyes. He’d been awake for less than a minute and could already feel a migraine coming on.

“So I’m just not allowed to have a good birthday I guess. That’s fine.”

“Listen buddy, I AM NOT YOU!”

“What?”

“I’M MY OWN PERSON NOT SOME VOICE IN YOUR HEAD!”

“WHAT?”

“So one, you’re not insane, two, please try to be a little helpful in figuring what is going on, and three, you seemed to accept being insane at 12 pretty easily, are you ok?”

“What is going on?”

“THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT!”

“STOP YELLING!”

“I’M NOT YELLING!!!!”

“I BEG TO DIFFER!” There was a pause before the voice returned, thankfully much quieter this time.

“Okay. My name is Yamada Hizashi.”

“That’s not my name.”

“Well thank god, because that would make this all the more complicated, wouldn’t it? What is your name?”

“I… don’t trust you.”

“This isn’t some sketchy internet deal, we are legitimately hearing each other’s thoughts right now. I think that waRRANTS SOME BASIC DETAILS!”

“STOP! YELLING! MY HEAD HURTS!”

“TELL ME YOUR NAME AND MAYBE I WILL!”

“It’s Aizawa Shouta. Now please. Shut up.” There was a long pause and Shouta basked in the momentary silence, but didn’t dare get his hopes up that it would stay that way.

“Nice to meet you, Shouta.” And there it went.

“Who said you could call me by my first name?”

“I think the complete insanity of the situation said I could.”

“No.”

“Fine. Nice to meet you Aizawa.”

“Yeah, this whole thing has been a real pleasure for me too, Yamada.”

“Okay well I didn’t exactly sign up for this either. Now can we please at least try and figure out what this is?” Shouta heaved a heavy sigh and rolled out of bed.

“Fine. But I need some friggin’ Advil if this is going to continue.”

-X-X-X-

Hizashi collapsed into his desk chair. He had been minding his own business, cleaning his room, when all the sudden he heard someone else’s voice amid his own thoughts. The situation was confusing enough on its own, but, of course, the other person had to be extremely grumpy and unhelpful.

“Hi yes, still hearing your thoughts, jerk.”

“You are grumpy though.” There was a beat of silence.

“Whatever. So what is this? How do we make it go away?”

“So eager to get rid of me.”

“Yep.” The other boy said… thought… with zero hesitation.

“Ouch. Okay, let’s see… Did you get hit by someone’s quirk this morning?”

“I haven’t left my room, so I doubt it. You?”

“Same here, haven’t left the house. What about anything in the past few days? Maybe it’s a delayed thing.”

“Not that I know of.”

“Me neither.”

“This is going well.” Hizashi groaned in frustration into his empty room.

“I don’t hear you coming up with anything!”

“Whatever.” Hizashi opened up his laptop to start doing some research. Maybe the internet could be of some help.

“Nice comeback. Well what else happened today? Anything special?”

“It’s my 12th birthday, but that’s about it.”

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!”

“YELLING!”

“Sorry! I’m still learning volume control.”

“Well hurry it up, will you.”

“You’re so young, what has made you so bitt- OH MY GOD NO WAY!” Hizashi stared at his computer screen in shock.

“We literally just discussed this.”

“NO WAY NO WAY NO WAY.”

“Will you please tell me what is going on?”

“Hey, Aizawa?” Hizashi wondered if Aizawa could hear how shaky he felt through his thoughts.

“What?”

“Do you have a soulmate connection?”

“Excuse me?”

“Have you ever shown a soulmate connection before? Words or emotions or anything?”

“And this is important how?”

“Just answer the question!”

“No. I don’t get why you feel you can just start asking me invasive questi-”

“I THINK THIS IS OUR SOULMATE CONNECTION AND YOU’RE MY SOULMATE!”

“WHAT?” Hizashi couldn’t blame the surprised shout. He didn’t wake up this morning expecting to suddenly be able to hear his soulmate’s thoughts, either. He didn’t wake up expecting to find his soulmate, period.

“That’s what the internet says.”

“And you trust everything on the internet?”

“I’m inclined to believe this, yeah.” Aizawa went silent for a minute, but somehow Hizashi could feel that he was still there.

“What did it say?” He eventually heard the other mumble through their thoughts.

“Okay, well according to the internet there’s a pretty rare connection that allows soulmates to hear each other’s thoughts-”

“I’ve never heard of anything like that.” Hizashi rolled his eyes.

“Hence the ‘pretty rare’ part.”

“Yeah but sti-”

“ANYWAY! It says soulmates can hear each other’s thoughts, but basically all the ones I’m seeing say that it only works within a certain distance of one another. Any chance you moved within a few houses of me overnight?”

“Why do I have to be the one that moved?”

“Okay, missing the point.”

“No. I haven’t moved.”

“Where do you live?” Hizashi couldn’t say he was particularly surprised when his question was met with silence. “Okay Mr. ‘is-this-a-sketchy-craigslist-ad?’, if I tell you where I’m at will you feel comfortable telling me if that’s close or far away from you?” Another beat of silence.

“…Fine.”

“Okay well I live up north in-”

“No.”

“You can’t even let me finish a sentence?”

“Well I already know that I’m nowhere near there, so no.” Hizashi let out a long sigh of frustration.

“Has anyone ever told you that you’re kind of impossible?”

“Has anyone ever told you that you’re loud?”

“More times than you can imagine.”

“Oh. Well then.” Hizashi learned at that moment that despite the fact that they were only hearing each other’s thoughts and not really having this conversation, it was still possible to have awkward silences all the same. He could tell that Aizawa was trying his hardest to keep his mind clear of any thoughts. After a few minutes of strange, forced mental silence, Hizashi felt like he had to say something.

“My quirk is a voice quirk.”

“Which means?”

“I can yell. Really loud.”

“Has anyone told you that you can think really loud too?” Hizashi dropped his head onto his desk with a loud bang.

“Name me one situation in which someone would have told me that.”

-X-X-X-

Shouta was ready to slam his head against a wall (“That’s not healthy!” “You’re not helping.”). There was absolutely no way he was ever going to be used to this. Hearing someone else’s thoughts in his own mind all the time? And they could hear him too? It sounded a little too crazy to be real.

Besides being loud, Yamada didn’t seem particularly bad. Excitable? Yes. Overly energetic? Yes. Verging ever so slightly on obnoxious? Yes. But like a seriously bad person? No.

“Look at that, you’re already falling for me.”

Crap, Yamada wasn’t supposed to have heard that. Screw this connection. It was already proving to be one big headache, literally and figuratively. How was he supposed to live an average life with someone else shouting over him all the time? How was he supposed to focus in class and graduate? How was he supposed to sleep? How-

“Okay, first of all you need to take like three deep breaths and then you need to chill a little bit. We’re in the same boat, so we’re gonna figure this out together.”

Right. He wasn’t alone in this. There was literally another person going through the exact same thing as him. Granted, Yamada didn’t know anything more about the whole thing than he himself did, but it was comforting to know that they were in this together.

“So you ARE glad you’re stuck with me.”

“’Stuck’ being the critical word in that sentence.”

-X-X-X-

Hizashi was excited to have finally found his soulmate connection, he just kind of wished it was something a little less… invasive. He didn’t actually mind hearing Aizawa all the time too much. Sure, it felt a little too crazy to begin with, but he was sure that with time they would get used to it. They didn’t have any other choice, really.

More than anything, Hizashi was just relieved to have actually found his soulmate. Despite his optimism on the subject, he was beginning to think that he would never find them. And maybe Aizawa didn’t exactly seem super onboard with the whole soulmate thing, and maybe they hadn’t really met yet and he didn’t know if they ever would, but knowing that there was someone out there, someone he could talk to, was the best feeling in the world to him.

“How are you so well adjusted already? It’s been like three days.”

“Maybe it’s because I’m a flexible person with a come what may attitude in life rather than a grumpy old man afraid of change.”

“Maybe because I’m quiet and unimposing while I have to adjust to your volume and your thoughts.”

“I think my flexible, come what may attitude sounds a lot better.”

-X-X-X-

Shouta was having a pretty normal day, which felt like something that didn’t happen very often anymore. His headaches were pretty under control and class had passed without incident. His soulmate hadn’t been overly loud or excited about anything so he had been able to stay focused most of the day as well. He was at home working on his homework when he heard his soulmates thoughts get a little bit louder and more insistent.

“Hey Aizawa! I have a question for you!”

“Unless it’s about science, I can’t help you so no thanks.”

“No it’s about quirks.”

“No thank you.”

“Just indulge me this once and then I’ll let you get back to your work.” Shouta rubbed his eyes and accepted that there was no way he was going to get out of answering Yamada’s question.

“Fine, what’s up?”

“So you know how you always say I think loud?

“Vividly.”

“And you know how my quirk allows me to get loud?”

“I already don’t like where this is going.”

“Just bear with me! Like I don’t think that it’ll work in my thoughts because I feel like it has something to do with my actual vocal cords, but I really want to try it.”

“If I say no, is that going to stop you from trying?”

“Not really.”

“But you don’t think it will work?”

“No, but I’m really curious!” Shouta paused, trying to decide if it was worth risking whatever was about to happen. He didn’t know all the ins and outs of the other boy’s quirk, just that it allowed him to yell loud apparently, but he had never learned just how loud “loud” meant. But Yamada seemed pretty smart, so if he didn’t think it would work, it seemed like there was a good chance that it wouldn’t.

“Fine. Try whatever you like.”

“Thank you Aizawa! Okay, I guess it would just feel like channeling my quirk, only not out loud? Let’s see, how would that.. maybe like… okay… 1… 2… 3… HEEEEEEEEEY AIZAWA!!!

Shouta startled and fell out of his chair to crumple on the ground near his desk. He squeezed his head with his hands in a feeble attempt to relieve some of the pounding, or at least relieve enough that he could grab some painkillers. And an icepack. And maybe a bat to put himself out his misery.

“What in god’s name was that?”

“Did it work? AWESOME!”

“STOP! STOP! You need to stop. Thinking. Right now.” There was a blessed moment of silence in which his sudden headache started to subside ever so slightly. When Yamada started to think again, he could tell the other boy was trying his hardest to keep his volume to a minimum.

“I’m so sorry Aizawa! I didn’t think it would work and didn’t really think about how it would affect you if it did end up working. I’m sorry!” It was clear from his tone that the other boy felt legitimately bad about the situation, and Shouta was learning very quickly that he had a hard time holding anything against Yamada for very long.

“It’s fine, calm down. But I will do just about anything to ensure that you never do that again. And if I ever meet you in person and you do it, I will punch you in the face. No hesitation,” he thought as he dragged himself to his bathroom to choke down some aspirin.

“Honestly, that sounds fair.”

-X-X-X-

There was one thing about their connection that Hizashi couldn’t keep thinking about. If they could always hear each other’s thoughts, it would be impossible to keep secrets. Which wasn’t a huge deal as long as they were just strangers, but if they truly were soulmates, that meant that eventually there would probably be birthdays and Christmases, which translated to gifts and secrets. Which they wouldn’t get to have if they could hear each other all the time.

And while it may have seemed like Hizashi was just stressing about nothing, especially considering the prickly personality of his supposed soulmate (“I’m not prickly” “Like a cactus.”). But He couldn’t stop himself from imagining a future like that with his soulmate. Which is why he was worried about the lack of secrecy between them.

After a lot of thought, and a lot of listening to Aizawa telling him he was being ridiculous and getting way ahead of himself, he developed the perfect plan that would allow him to keep his secrets: learning English.

He already had English courses at school and he enjoyed the language, so he wasn’t worried about his ability to actually learn the language. And if he could think in English without Aizawa understanding him, then it basically would be like if Aizawa couldn’t hear his thoughts at all! The only wrinkle in the plan was if, through their connection, Aizawa learned right along with him.

Hizashi should have realized that just because they’re sharing thoughts, doesn’t mean they shared a brain.

“So since all I hear anymore is you working on your English, is it safe to assume that you’ll help me on my English tests from now on?”

“Are you suggesting I help you cheat? And if you’re hearing it all the time, how have you not internalized any of it?”

“Listen, language has never been my strong suit and whenever you’re working on it, I kind of just tune it out and do my own thing.”

“That… makes a lot of sense. I don’t know why I assumed that we would just automatically learn everything the other learned since we could hear them processing it.”

“That has literally never happened, why would you- wait. Have you actually been learning everything I have?”

“…No.”

“What the shit Yamada?”

“I thought we were both doing that?!”

“I don’t even understand my own god damn homework, you just assumed that I was mentally doing mine and yours?”

“Like I said, I thought we were both just doing that!” Hizashi could hear the frustration in Aizawa’s tone, but couldn’t help but laugh at the situation.

“Are you secretly some sort of genius, wunderkind kind of thing?” Hizashi’s laughter only grew louder in his empty room.

“No but I like that you think that. Would that make you like me more if I were?”

“I mean it’s pretty attractive.

“Oh my god… you do! You’re into me being smart!”

“Wait no fuck!! NO!” Hizashi was absolutely dying by that point, almost falling out of his chair as he doubled over. “No! You did not hear that Yamada! You will forget this ever happened!”

“Well we just established that you like the fact that I don’t forget things easily, so I’m gonna have to say no to that.”

“YAMADA NO!”

-X-X-X-

It wasn’t that Hizashi couldn’t control his quirk, it was just that sometimes, if he got particularly emotional, the whole volume control thing slipped his mind. Which happened more often than he was willing to admit.

“Wait no! Crap I’m gonna be in so much trouble.”

“What happened this time?”

“This time? It’s not like I get in trouble all the time!” He was met with silence and knew that at that very moment, somewhere in the world, a boy named Aizawa Shouta was rolling his eyes and shaking his head in disbelief. He could feel it in his soul. “Anyway, I got a little excited in class and I may or may not have shouted and I may or may not have made a few of my classmates’ ears bleed.” Hizashi paused for a second. “Again,” he added with a wince.

“I feel sorry for them.”

“Hey, aren’t you supposed to be my soulmate or something like that? You’re supposed to support me and all that cheesy stuff? You don’t even know me and yet you’re so mean.”

“I don’t even know you? Yamada, I hear every single thought that passes through your mind. At this point I arguably know you better than literally anyone else in the world.”

“Well… I mean you’re right but that doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk. You could know me and still be supportive. Arguably, that’s the point here.”

“Yeah, and it’s working out great so far.”

-X-X-X-

“Hey Aizawa, I have a question about our connection.”

“Last time you said that, you used your quirk and I had a headache for 6 days straight.”

“I said I’m sorry! And I promise it’s not like that this time.”

“Fine. What is it?” Shouta had realized he had a hard time telling the other boy no pretty early on and had given up really fighting him on anything.

“I want to know if you can hear when I listen to music through it.”

“Fine, but don’t put on anything too shitty.”

“I will have you know that my music taste is great.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.” Shouta leaned back in his chair, waiting for music to start playing in his mind. However, nothing came. “Are you gonna put something on or are you just trying to find the perfect thing?”

“No I already started the music. Can you not hear it?”

“Nope, nothing on this end,” he thought with a strange mix of relief and disappointment. While he wasn’t sure he wanted to have Yamada blasting music through their connection 24/7, there was something in the back of his mind that wanted to know what kind of music he listened to, that wanted to learn more about him.

“I guess that means I can listen to music without bothering you! Sweet!” Shouta felt his lips quirk into a small smile as he leaned back over his desk and resumed his work. They worked in relative silence for a while, with only the faint sound of the two of them working through problems on their own. After a few minutes though, the murmur from the other side of the connection started to grow a little louder, and Shouta realized that it wasn’t just Yamada working through something, but was rather more rhythmic. It grew a even louder and he finally realized that the other boy was singing.

There was no music or background, just Yamada mentally singing along with the song. The words weren’t all fully formed and there were parts where he just kind of mumbled vague sounds instead of actually saying anything, but there was still something oddly charming about it and Aizawa’s mind got ahead of him.

“Cute.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing. Crap. I was just saying that I can hear you singing along with the song.” Aizawa could feel his face heating up ever so slightly.

“And does someone like my singing voice?”

“About as much as I like nails on a chalkboard.” Aizawa buried his face in his arms for a minute, refusing to think about just how much he actually did like his singing.

-X-X-X-

“Hey Aizawa, are you disappointed that I’m not a girl?” Yamada was lying in bed, unable to fall asleep due to the question that had been bothering him for a few days now.

“What?”

“Are you disappointed that I’m your soulmate and that I’m a dude?”

“I’d never really thought about it before, to be honest.”

“Oh, okay.” The answer wasn’t what he had feared, but wasn’t exactly as reassuring as he had expected it to be either.

“I just mean that I never really thought about what gender I thought my soulmate would be. I actually didn’t put a whole lot of thought into the whole soulmate thing at all.”

“Oh,” Hizashi felt a little better, but now he had a whole different set of insecurities. “Are you disappointed that you have a soulmate?” There was a beat of silence and Hizashi’s anxiety grew exponentially as the seconds ticked by.

“No.” Came the definitive reply. “I’m not disappointed that I have a soulmate. I grew up with a single parent, so I grew up not really caring about the whole soulmate thing, I guess. But I’m not disappointed that I have one. Especially not since it’s you.” The last part was so quiet he almost missed it, but he was sure he had heard it correctly. He pulled the covers up further over his face, hiding his blush from no one in particular. “Yamada? Are you disappointed that I’m…”

“No.” His smile grew and he was sure that Aizawa could hear it in his thoughts. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

-X-X-X-

It was late one night, Shouta was lying in bed unable to fall asleep, listening to Yamada mentally sing along to his music. Despite the hellish beginnings of their connection, he, surprisingly enough, felt like he was finally getting used to having Yamada in his head all the time. Suddenly the singing stopped and there was a rare moment of silence through their connection.

“Hey, Aizawa?” Shouta eventually heard Yamada’s quiet voice, none of the excitement and bravado it usually held.

“What?”

“What do you want to do with your life?” Shouta paused for a second before finally responding.

“I think I want to be a hero.” Another long pause, and he began to wonder if the other had fallen asleep or something.

“Me too. Hey, maybe we’ll meet someday when we’re both pros!” He could hear Yamada’s voice regain some of its usual energy.

“Maybe.” Shouta finally felt himself succumb to sleep and realized that he wasn’t exactly opposed to the idea.

-X-X-X-

Hizashi was in class when they started talking about high school. He realized suddenly that even though they’d been hearing each other everyday for about a year, he hadn’t heard Aizawa ever mention high school.

“Hey, hey Aizawa.”

“-don’t understand any of this crap.”

“Heeeeeey Aizawa!”

“Like honestly what does that even mean what the-“

AIZAWA

“YAMADA! OW! What the fuck? We talked about this.”

“Do you know where you want to go to high school?”

“You… You shouted at me… for that? In the middle of class? For this?”

“Yep!” Hizashi smiled to himself while his teacher continued to drone on in front of the class. Being able to talk to Aizawa during class without anyone knowing and without getting in trouble was one of the highlights of their connection in his opinion.

“Have you ever heard of priorities?”

“Nope!” He was sure that Aizawa let out a small sigh or groan wherever he was at, but Hizashi knew that the other boy would eventually give in to his pestering.

“I’m not sure. But I think I’d like to go to U.A.”

“U.A.? ME TOO!”

“Ngh-”

“Right, sorry!” Hizashi physically cringed in apology, despite the fact that Aizawa had no way of seeing it.

“It’s okay.”

“But you want to go to U.A., too? That’s awesome! You have to get in! That way we can finally meet.”

“I guess we’ll see.” He couldn’t be sure, but Hizashi was pretty confident he could almost hear a smile in those words.

-X-X-X-

A few months had passed since their conversation about the future, and before they knew it, it was time for U.A.’s entrance exam. Everyone was crowded in the auditorium, and Hizashi was almost vibrating in his seat he was so excited. It wasn’t just the fact that he would finally be taking the exam for his dream school, but also because somewhere, in that same room, was his soulmate. The man he’d been talking to and hearing the thoughts of for more than a year was somewhere in the same room. Today could be the day that he finally met Aizawa.

“Are you here? Where are you? I want to find you!”

“I’m already sitting down and I’m not getting up and come find you.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. But you should know me by now and you should know that I am not against getting up and finding you.”

“Yamada, no. The professors are about to start explaining the test, there isn’t time.”

“There would be plenty of time if you would just tell me where you are!” Hizashi’s attention was pulled away from their conversation as one of the teachers started talking on stage. “God damn it, we missed our chance!”

“Oh noooo.” Hizashi snorted at his soulmate’s deadpan tone, earning a confused glance from the girl sitting next to him. “I can’t believe that this was our only chance to meet and now we’ll never be able to and will be destined to hear one another’s thoughts without ever truly knowing each other for all of eternity. Tragedy.”

Hizashi’s shoulders were shaking with barely repressed laughter as Aizawa continued to go on about the star-crossed lovers that missed their one chance of meeting without a trace of real emotion in his voice. The boy sitting to his left nudged him with his elbow to get his attention. He had a serious look on his face and Hizashi mentally prepared himself for a scolding.

“You’re making me laugh and getting me in trouble with the people around me!”

“You deserved it.” He couldn’t stop laughing under his breath and turned to apologize to his neighbor. However, the boy instead looked at him with a smile.

“Wanna share the joke? I could use a distraction from how god damn nervous I am,” the kid said with a small laugh. At the same time, the girl on Hizashi’s other side grabbed his knee, and his attention, and leaned over into their conversation.

“Oh yes, sharing time. What’s so funny? Whatever it is, it has to be better than listening to that old guy,” she gestured towards the stage where the teacher was still droning on about the prestige and history of the academy.

“I’m sorry guys, I didn’t mean to disturb you!”

“No it’s fine, seriously. I could just really use a distraction. I’m Iida Tensei, by the way.”

“Yamada Hizashi. Nice to meet you!”

“And I’m Nemuri Kayama,” the girl said with a wave and a wink. “So Yamada, tell us what’s on your mind.”

Hizashi couldn’t help but laugh at how strangely perfect her turn of phrase was.

“It’s kind of a long story…” he started telling them about him and Aizawa, their connection, and the highs and lows of the situation. His seat neighbors listened attentively throughout the whole thing, all three of them ignoring the teacher up front.

“Seriously?! That’s so wild! Have you tried stalking him on social media or anything to see what he looks like?” Nemuri was on the edge of her seat, leaning into his personal space by the end of the story, eyes bright with excitement and intrigue.

“I was going to, but he’s not on anything. He says he likes to keep a low profile or something like that.”

“That’s lame.”

“My new friends agree that it’s weird that you don’t have any social media.”

“I’m heartbroken by the prospect of these strangers not approving of my life choices. Tell them I’m so incredibly sorry.”

“He says that now that more people are on my side, he’s seen the error of his ways and is going to get it together.”

“Wait, so you can basically talk to him right now?” Iida said, eyes full of shock and disbelief.

“Yeah, that goes with the whole ‘hearing each other 24/7’ thing.”

“I guess I just assumed you were exaggerating.”

“These people have known me for five minutes and assume that everything I say is a lie.”

“They seem like smart people, I’d like to meet them.”

“Betrayal!” “Nope, I meant it. Every thought, all the time.” Both students seemed a little surprised to hear that despite him having just explained it to them.

“Wait so I have a question,” Nemuri started. “If it’s everything, all the time, what happens when one of you gets a little… you know… frustrated?” Both Iida and Hizashi blushed at the implication, but Hizashi started laughing a little bit as he remembered the one time that did actually occur.

“No, Yamada, we don’t need to revisit that, why are you thinking about that now, of all times?”

“It only happened once. And the moment my thoughts started going that way, Aizawa started screaming and wouldn’t stop until my mood was effectively ruined.”

“So he’s just been cockblocking you since your connection developed? Rude,” Nemuri huffed, looking strangely disappointed at the situation.

“Are you guys just going to talk the whole time and fail the test, or are you going to start listening to the test instructions?”

“Oh shit, thanks.” “Hey I think they’re explaining the rules and shit now, we should probably pay attention or something.”

“Or something, I guess.”

“Fuck, I’m nervous.”

-X-X-X-

The entrance exam passed without any major injury, and soon enough Hizashi and Aizawa received news of their acceptance into U.A. He knew that Aizawa was disappointed that he was put in general education rather than in the heroics course like he had originally wanted, and he had to admit that he was a little upset by the development. Not only because they wouldn’t be in class together, but also because he knew just how much Aizawa had wanted to become a hero. He knew that being put in gen ed had to have hurt him.

Which is why he was so worried when he realized that Aizawa seemed even more subdued than normal and just a little bit off somehow. Classes had started a few months ago, and as the time passed by, Aizawa seemed to get worse and worse.

“Are you feeling okay lately Aizawa?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Why?”

“I can’t really say what it is, but something seems a little off. Like you’re somehow even quieter than you usually and just… fuzzy maybe? Like I can hear what you’re thinking but it all seems kind of jumbled and quieter. That sounds weird but that’s the only way I can describe it. Are you, like, tired or something?” There was a long pause from the other boy and Hizashi started to wonder if maybe he had actually fallen asleep while he had been talking. “You fall asleep over there bud?”

“Do you ever wonder if what you’re doing is the right thing?”

“Like… Morally? Ethically?” Was his soulmate a criminal?

“I didn’t do anything bad and, tax fraud? Seriously? That’s the crime your mind went to when you thought I might be a criminal? Anyway, that’s not the point. I don’t mean it like that. I mean… you want to be a hero, right?”

“Yeah, and so do you I thought.”

“I don’t know. Like you want to be a hero and that’s good but what if that’s not what’s right for you? What if just wanting to do something isn’t enough of a reason to actually do it? What if you’re just not cut out for what you really want to do?”

Hizashi was at a loss for words for a minute. Was Aizawa really thinking about giving up on his goal?

“Don’t put it that way, that just makes me feel worse.”

“Sorry, I’m just a little surprised. You don’t want to be a hero anymore?”

“No that’s not it. I do want to. But I don’t think I’m cut out for it. I didn’t make it into the hero course, and as much as I want to blame that on the entrance exam being unfair to those without offensive quirks, part of me has to wonder if they made the right decision and I really shouldn’t go into heroics, no matter how badly I want to.”

“I mean, I feel like if it’s something you really, truly wanted, you would find a way to get it. Like you’d put in the time or effort or whatever to make sure you got it. And if you’re not willing to work for it, then you know it’s not as important to you as you thought it was. If it matters, you’ll find a way.” Aizawa didn’t respond for a while, but Hizashi could hear him turning what he had said over in his mind.

“You’re right.” Hizashi couldn’t help but smile at the renewed determination he heard in his soulmate’s tone. “I just have to go for it. This is what I want and I’ll get it somehow.”

“Exactly!”

“Plus ultra, and all that jazz.”

“Yeah! PLUS ULTRA!!”

“FUCKING FUCK!”

“No wait shit!”

-X-X-X-

“It’s you!”

“I’m a little busy right now. Couldn’t you think something helpful instead of just repeating that over and over again?” Shouta turned his attention back to the battle at hand, trying to push his soulmate’s incessant repetition of “it’s you, look it’s you!” every time he did anything to the back of his mind.

It was the semifinals of the one on one matches of U.A.’s annual sports festival, and Shouta was giving it his all in the hopes that he would get transferred into the heroics course. This was his chance, and he wasn’t going to let it pass him by.

“That’s the spirit! You’re going to be a hero someday, right along with me.” As much as he was trying to focus on the current situation, he couldn’t help but smile a little at the thought of becoming a hero alongside Yamada. While he had been adamant about not meeting up during the festival unless they just happened to run into each other, this had been the first time they had really seen one another. And he had to admit that Yamada looked… nice. His hair looked really soft.

“Oh, Mr. “I’m a little busy right now” doesn’t have time for anything I have to say, but has time to think about my hair?”

“It’s not my fault that you’re distracting.” Shouta really was trying to push Yamada out of his mind and focus. He had cancelled out his opponent’s quirk and was holding his own against them in hand to hand combat, but his eyes were starting to hurt and he could feel his body getting tired.

“Hang in there! You’ve got him on the ropes!” Shouta felt a burst of energy and gave one last push, putting in every last bit of effort he had. It wasn’t enough though. In a split second, he blinked, his opponent regained their quirk, and he felt himself being thrown out of bounds.

“No. I’m so close. NO!” He tumbled to the ground just outside the boundary. He rolled onto his back to stare up at the bright sky, slamming his hand down on the ground in frustration. “This close. I was this fucking close.”

“Hey no you did great out there! You’re the only gen ed student in the finals and you made it to the semifinals. You could still get third depending on how the other match goes. You did amazing. There’s still got to be some sort of chance that they’ll transfer you.” Shouta ran his arm across his face, wiping away dirt, sweat, and the tiniest trace of tears.

“Yeah,” he thought with a smile as he pushed himself up. “There’s still hope.” As he left the arena, he looked up at the U.A. student section where the heroics classes were seated.

“You’ll be up here with me next year.”

“If I have any say in it, you’ll be down here facing me in the finals next year.”

“It sounds almost romantic when you say it like that. Romantic battle, as it were.”

“Romantic… battle?”

“Hey, you’re the one who proposed it, not me.”

-X-X-X-

Hizashi was basically bouncing in his seat with excitement. Today was the day. Today, he would meet his soulmate. Today, after the sports festival and weeks of waiting and deliberation, Aizawa Shouta was transferring into their class.

“I wish I had been able to keep that a secret from you somehow.”

“Maybe you shou-”

“Don’t you dare suggest I learn another language, you freak. And with your track record, you’d learn it right along with me and I would have wasted all that time and energy.”

“But you would walk away with valuable experience and skills.”

“Fuck that shit.”

“You seem extra chipper today, Yamada. Good news or you just finally give into peer pressure and start doing drugs?”

“Aizawa is transferring into our class today!” Kayama’s eyes lit up with realization and excitement.

“That’s so amazing! That’ll make you guys the only soulmate pair in the class. That’s adorable.”

“Wait a second,” Iida said as he sat down at his desk to Hizashi’s left, “won’t this be the first time you guys have actually, like, met?” Kayama slammed her hands down on the desk as her eyes grew impossibly wider.

“That’s true! I can’t believe it! We’re going to be here for your romantic first meeting!” Hizashi chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment. As excited as he was to finally, truly meet Aizawa and stand face to face with him, he really wished that it could happen just about anywhere besides in class.

“I mean if you’d rather not meet me at all, then I can just tell them I changed my mind and don’t want to be doing heroics?”

“NO!”

“Okay, good. Because it’s about to be too damn late.” As he heard those words, the door to the classroom slid open and Hizashi was instantly on his feet staring intently, waiting for someone to walk through it. His two friends, putting two and two together quickly, turned to watch the door as well, excited for their friend to have his long-awaited meeting.

A skinny, tired looking boy entered, trailing behind their homeroom teacher who was speaking to him in a quiet voice. He pointed to the back of the classroom, probably to show him where the one empty desk in the room was. He turned to his new desk and Hizashi finally made eye contact with his soulmate. Aizawa’s bored, tired expression gave way to the smallest hint of a smile when their eyes met and he started making his was towards them.

“Oh my god you’re here. And you’re even cuter up close.”

“What was that?”

“Wait, fuck! You heard that, shit.” By then, they were standing barely a few feet away from each other. Hizashi uttered one last panicked “fuck” under his breath, which just made Aizawa let out a small huff of laughter.

“It’s nice to know that you’re just as cool and collected in person as you are in your thoughts.”

After months upon months of hearing the other’s every thought and hearing his voice in his mind almost constantly, actually hearing him speak out loud was somehow jarring. His voice broke Hizashi out of his frozen state.

“You-” “You’re here. You’re actually here. I can see you. That’s you. I can-” before his brain could talk him out of it, Hizashi lunged forward and threw his arms around his soulmate’s neck, pulling the other boy tight against him. He half expected Aizawa to stiffen or back away from the sudden contact, but was presently surprised when he brought his arms up to wrap around Hizashi’s waist and return the hug. “I can’t believe that I’m finally getting to meet you.”

“It would have happened eventually, stop being so dramatic.” “This is nice. I’m happy too.” Hizashi just held him impossibly tighter.

“Can’t fool me with that cool on the outside demeanor, Aizawa. I know how you really feel.” “I will admit that really hearing your voice is something else though.”

“I agree. It’s…” “Nice.” Hizashi felt like he could stay in that moment, holding his soulmate for the first time, forever; however, the sound of someone exaggeratedly clearing their throat behind them pulled him back to reality and pulled the two of them apart.

He looked just as Iida smacked their friend on the arm with a quiet reprimand of “Kayama!”. Hizashi smiled and turned to face his friend fully and took a deep breath to collect himself and try to calm his smile down at least a little bit.

“Aizawa, let me introduce you to my friends, and your new classmates, Nemuri Kayama and Iida Tensei. Guys, this is Aizawa Shouta, my soulmate.”

Iida gave a wave and a friendly smile from where he was sitting. Nemuri, on the other hand, immediately leapt out of her seat and ran up to stand in Aizawa’s personal space to introduce herself. Hizashi felt the other boy stiffen next to him.

“Wow, okay, so she’s just really going to get that close?” Hizashi muffled a laugh behind his free hand, the other still thrown around Aizawa’s shoulders.

“She just kind of does that, yeah.”

“I’ve changed my mind. I’m not cut out for this hero thing after all. Good bye.” Even though he Aizawa made no real motion to leave, Hizashi couldn’t resist tightening his arm around him and pulling him just a little bit closer again.

“Nemuri, no! My soulmate is going to leave because of you, you gotta chill!” Yamada half-shouted, voice full of laughter.

“Oh ho, so now that you’ve seen the both of us, you’re realizing how much better I am?” The girl said, stepping even closer.

“Oh my god, you gave her the wrong idea. I hate you.”

“I am… so sorry.”

-X-X-X-

Despite wanting to be a hero for quite a while, Shouta had never put any thought into what he wanted his hero name to be. Going off the excited, and far too loud, “WHOOP!” his soulmate let out when the class agenda was announced, he assumed that Yamada had been thinking about this for quite a while.

“Of course I have!”

“What are you going to choose then?”

“Present Mic!” Shouta was surprised to hear that the name wasn’t half as flashy and obnoxious as he was expecting from the other boy.

“Rude! What name are you going to choose?”

“I don’t know.” “This kind of thing isn’t really my forte.”

“Then you should let me choose your name!”

“Yeah, sure whatever I guess.”

“Sweet!” “Okay, so it has to relate to your quirk somehow but still be cool but not too long or anything. What about something like” “Eraser Head!” Yamada was watching him expectantly after pitching the name, clearly proud of the suggestion.

“Yeah, I guess that’ll work.” “Holy shit I actually really like that name.” Next to him, Yamada beamed.

“Yes! Eraser Head it is! I’m honored that you’d let me choose your name, Aizawa!”

“I have a name suggestion.”

“But I thought you liked Eraser Head?!”

“I do. Different kind of name suggestion. You should start calling me Shouta instead of Aizawa.” He chanced a look at the other boy and found him staring back at him with wide eyes full of awe and excitement.

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. I mean, we are soulmates and everything, after all. It seems fitting.” Shouta concentrated on his desk, trying to hide the blush he could feel rising on his cheeks.

“Well it’s only fair if you call me Hizashi!” They looked at each other, both of them smiling and lightly flushed.

“Sounds like a deal,” “Hizashi.”

“Thank you,” “Shouta.”

-X-X-X-

It had been a long, grueling day of training and Shouta was exhausted. The day’s exercise consisted of being paired up for two on two battles. He had been paired up with Hizashi, which rarely happened since the teachers seemed to think that they would either have an unfair advantage or would be too distracted to actually fight.

Shouta himself wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but it turned out better than he had originally expected. They had fought against Nemuri and Iida, which made Shouta question the teachers health considering they made a battle consisting of the four closest friends, and one soulmate pair, in the class. Either way, the battle had been hard, and all four of them ended up exhausted with Nemuri and Iida just barely squeaking out a win at the last second.

“I’m so freaking tired!” Hizashi complained as the two of them slouched down against a wall, shoulder to shoulder, to recover from the match.

“Suck it up, you big baby,” Shouta thought, panting too hard to get the actual words out.

“Oh like you’re one to talk.” Hizashi leaned over a bit more and nudged his shoulder, giving Shouta a bright smile when he looked over. “Fighting with you sure was fun though.” Shouta looked away to hide his blush and nudged him back.

“Yeah… it felt good.” Shouta took a deep breath to steel his nerves and turned to fully face the other boy. “Hey” “Hizashi.”

“What’s up Sh-oh.” ¬Before he could finish the thought, Shouta leaned forward and pressed his lips to Hizashi’s.

It was a little stiff to begin with, Shouta being unsure of himself and Hizashi having been taken completely off guard, but once Hizashi’s brain caught up with the situation, he threw himself forward with a little too much force, knocking Shouta back onto his back and falling ungracefully on top of him, careful to make sure that the kiss didn’t break during their small tumble.

Shouta was surprised by the turn of events, but couldn’t bring himself to say that he didn’t like it. He brought his arms up to wrap around his soulmate’s neck while Hizashi braced himself over the other boy, using his last bit of strength to keep his arms from giving out. After a moment, they both relaxed into the kiss fully and started to get into it even more.

“Well, well, well, look what we have here! We leave you alone for two minutes and you can’t keep your hands off each other.”

“Shit!” Shouta almost physically threw Hizashi off of him at the sound of Nemuris voice. The two boys looked back to see her and Iida coming around the corner of the building where they had been sitting.

“That was a whole lot more than sitting.”

“Do you two lovebirds want to come back and change like the rest of us, or are you going to hide out back and bang? Because we are fully prepared to cover for you if that’s what you want to do.” Hizashi recovered first and stood up, brushing himself off, before turning to offer a hand to help Shouta stand up as well.

“As much as I would much rather do that,” “I think we’re better off continuing this later.”

“So that was okay?” Shouta knew that his insecurity was written all over his face. Hizashi threw an arm over his shoulders and pulled him in close to press his lips to Shouta’s temple as they walked.

“Better than you can imagine.”