It was definitely something he wasn’t expecting, but at the same time Shinsou did warn him when he first spoke to him all those years ago.
“I have no intentions of making friends.”
He just laughed it off not taking him seriously, but now it was going on, what.. three years now that Hitoshi just stopped talking to him, or anyone. He found himself thinking of his old friend often, especially whenever he saw anything cat or coffee related, or when Sero would pull out the Aizawa imitation that was second best to Shinsou’s. He knew that Hitoshi wasn’t much of a people person, but he really didn’t ever expect him to just ghost like he did. He always felt like he was one of the very few that Hitoshi was ever really comfortable around. Sure he talked to their classmates, but you could tell it was forced; with him he was more genuine, more relaxed, more like himself. They used to hang out all the time when they were in school. At first it was out of convenience, both being up at the same time, Shinsou because of his insomnia, Denki because he didn’t value sleep and always found himself chugging an energy drink to stay up late to play a new game. Eventually they started hanging out in normal human hours. They got really close. Or at least he thought they did.
Kirishima, the ever hopeful sunshine child, told him it was probably nothing he did and that he was probably just busy. Mina, being the realist, always thought and told him the opposite, thinking there was something deeper in the reason why he just completely stopped talking to him. Neither could ever think of anything that he could have done to cause him to just drop off the face of the Earth. It wasn’t like it was just him either, he stopped replying to all of them, so he tried not to take it too personally. He was used to Shinsou leaving him on read, or replying days or months later, because he was busy or he was taking an impromptu nap, but one day it just stopped completely not even leaving him on read. Eventually he gave up. Well, he gave up after contacting Aizawa, but after he got the ‘He’s fine, don’t use this number for personal reasons.’ reply from him he officially gave up. At least he was alive. But he still couldn’t help missing him.
“Remind me again, why do you work during sleeptimes? I don’t know if I can stay awake much longer.” Denki yawned proving his point, night work was not for him. Denki was not a morning person, and not a night person, he was an afternoon person. Always passed out before midnight. At least it had been that way for the past three years. He felt like he was dragging. Why did he agree to switch shifts with Sero? This was torture, all he wanted was to crawl into bed and sleep for at least fourteen hours.
“Denks, stop complaining, it’s one shift. Not like you haven’t stayed up till eight in the morning clubbing. If ya want I could smackwich you to wake you up." Mina offered, hands at the ready to deliver said smackwich. Her hands slowly crept closer to his face awaiting his answer. He bit his lip heavily considering it.
“I’mma pass, as effective as smackwiches are I don’t want your hand prints on my face for the rest of the night.” She almost looked disappointed as she dropped her arms. Mina’s smackwiches saved his ass so many times in highschool when he needed to study. It was enough of an adrenaline rush to wake him up, yet painful enough to make him not want to fall back asleep and suffer through another smackwich. “I’ll just get an energy drink or something, there's a store near here right?” He yawned again, it was only midnight, if the energy drink didn’t work he wasn’t going to make it six more hours. They walked into the nearest convenience store and he went directly to the fridges feeling a gravitational pull to the caffeine like it was calling out to him. He didn’t consider flavor or brand just grabbed the first one he saw and turned to face Mina. She looked confused.
“What?” She was looking past him watching something else, her eyes following something. He turned his head curious. “Whatcha looking at?”
“Not what, who.” She grabbed his chin and pointed his face the direction of her gaze. His eyes went wide and if Mina didn't have a death grip on his jaw it would be on the floor.
“Purple?” Was all he could manage to get out, god he really needed some sleep. He stood there stunned, blinking not really trusting that he was seeing this right. Shinsou Hitoshi, walking right by the store window that he happened to be in. It definitely looked like him. He hadn’t changed that much looks wise, the sides of his head were shaved and he had a few new piercings but not much else was different, he still looked extremely exhausted and done with the world, and Denki couldn’t really think of anyone else who looked like a purple version of Aizawa. It had to be him. He watched as Shinsou stopped to tie his shoe. He was wearing really worn out vans with cats on them. The ones that Denki special ordered one year for his birthday. It was definitely him. He quickly looked back at Mina. “Okay I’m really tired, please tell me I’m not dreaming this. He’s real right?” He looked back just as Shinsou stood back up.
“Nope, not dreaming Denks.” Hitoshi started to walk away, he had to think of something there’s no way he’d make it out of the store in time catch up to him. He was way too tired to run at this time of night. He needed a kick in the ass.
“Smackwich me.” He looked back at Mina. He was desperate and he was willing to risk having handprints on his face for a couple days.
“What?! No. Are you crazy? You feel like getting your ass kicked scaring the shit out of him? He’s got headphones in!” She knew exactly where his head was at, but she was right, Shinsou hated when pretty much anyone randomly touched him. You'd think Denki would have learned his lesson in highschool with how many times he ended up wrapped in his capture weapon over the years.
“What do I do then? I can’t just do nothing!” He was panicking, he had to do something. He was not losing his friend again. Shinsou was almost past the last panel of the window, nearly out of sight. Next thing he knew Mina snatched the energy drink out of his hand and threw it hitting the window with a very loud thud. Shinsou jumped back a little, looking at the window like it offended him.“Mina! What the fuck?” He felt her shrug next to him, neither of them taking their eyes off Shinsou, not sure if it worked or not. “Please look up Toshi.” He pleaded quietly to himself, then he did, looking directly at Denki. He looked confused. Denki just smiled and waved nervously. He just stood there, processing, before hesitantly waving back, a small smile on his face.