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Dancing On My Own

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“Five! Four! Three! Two! And… one!”

 

Shinsou clapped thrice, “Alright. Great job today, everyone!” He reached down to grab his water bottle. He took a swig of water before looking down at the faces of his students, “You guys can do your cool down exercises now.”

 

“Yes, sensei!” They all chorused before doing what they were told, stretching and doing some routines Shinsou has taught them at the beginning of the course. Watching these little kids learn a lot from him made him smile, even just a little bit.

 

As he watched the kids, a tired man entered the room. His hair was disheveled, and he looked like he never got a good night’s sleep in more than a week. He was slowly blinking. Shinsou walked over to greet him, “Aizawa-sensei, good morning. It’s almost lunch break. Do you want to join us?”

 

Aizawa Shouta shook his head, “There’s no need. I will be quick today. I didn’t intend to visit the studio this week, actually.”

 

Shinsou frowned,  “But, sensei, it’s almost the deadline for enrollment and the deadline of last installment payments is supposed to be tomorrow.”

 

“That’s fine. I asked Joke to handle all the accounting and financial concerns for a while.”

 

Shinsou nodded.

 

When Aizawa looked at Shinsou, he looked tired yet it was prominent that his own thoughts rarely include himself, if not at all. Aizawa took a small envelope from his pocket and handed it to Shinsou, who opened and took out the card that was inside.

 

It was not just a card, but an invitation.

 

“This is the national cup for solo contemporary dance,” Shinsou looked at Aizawa.

 

The older man nodded, “Yes. I think it’s about time, Hitoshi. You have been my student since you were in middle school. While I never your doubted your skills whenever you lead a partner, I believe it’s time for you to open the possibilities of dancing solo. This is a good opportunity, Hitoshi.”

 

Shinsou looked at the date of the competition, “I still have six months to prepare.”

 

“The registration of competitors closes seven days from now. I want you to give it some more serious thought.” Aizawa placed a hand on Shinsou’s shoulder, “It’s been three years, Hitoshi. I believe it is time.”

 

Shinsou knew what his teacher didn’t need to tell him. To move on, was what he wanted to say. It is time to move on.

 

“I will think about it, sensei. Seriously. I promise,” Shinsou replied.

 

Aizawa nodded, “That’s good. I don’t want you to end up being stuck here in this studio just because a heart was left unattended and untreated.”

 

Shinsou nodded again.

 

“Alright, then. I will be expecting a reply in one week. Good luck, Hitoshi.” Aizawa then turned around to disappear as he stepped out of the room.

 

Shinsou looked at his students, clapping twice. “Alright, guys. Good work with your cool down stretches. Have a safe way back home. I will see you guys tomorrow.”

 

“Yes, sensei. Thank you for today!” The children chorused before dispersing as they grabbed their bags and went outside. Some were fetched by guardians and parents, and some take the short work home. Shinsou stood by the doorway as he watched his students clear out the area.

 

He looked at the card still in his hands.

 


 

 

“‘Toshi? Hitoshi-kun?”

 

Shinsou blinked, his eyes focusing again. His gaze landed on worried expressions. He sighed, his fingers twirling the fork around the pasta he was in the middle of eating. “It’s nothing, guys. I’m fine.”

 

“Eh? Well, if you say so. But, are you sure, Hitoshi?” Uraraka Ochaco raised an eyebrow.

 

“Yeah. Hitoshi-kun, you really don’t look so good since we went out for lunch. Did your class not go well this morning?” Midoriya Izuku asked.

 

Bakugou Katsuki swallowed the pizza he was chewing, “Fuck off, the two of you. If he didn’t wanna talk about shit, then just leave the bastard alone. Geez.”

 

“Thanks, Kats.” Shinsou replied.

 

Bakugou rolled his eyes as he squirted more hot sauce on the remainder of the slice he was holding, “I didn’t fucking do shit for you, purple maggot.”

 

“But really, it’s fine. I just… have something I have to think about.”

 

“Ooh! Is this about that upcoming men’s solo contemporary dance cup? I saw some advertisements online,” Uraraka chirped. “Are you thinking of joining this year? I think that will be great.”

 

Shinsou looked at his friends and co-instructors at the studio. Bakugou and Midoriya were looking at him with interest and with something else he could not quite place. Maybe hopeful was the best bet, but Hitoshi begs to differ.

 

“I don’t know. Aizawa-sensei already gave me an invitation. I told him I will think about it,” Shinsou looked at Bakugou and Midoriya.

 

“I hope you go for it,” Midoriya replied. “I’m thinking to partner up with Uraraka-san for the men and women’s pair category this year. It’ll be fun.”

 

“Yeah, Deku and I were already thinking of our Latin dances. Since,” she jabbed Bakugou’s side with her elbow, “this guy refuses to enter the competition this year.”

 

“You’re not? Now, that’s brand new.” Shinsou looked at the blonde.

 

“Nah, I will totally kick your asses next year because I won’t fucking waste a second to build my techniques this year. I will show your sorry asses a fucking new Lord Explosion Murder! So, you fucking better up your game, you purple maggot!” Bakugou exclaimed before munching another slice of pizza full of hot sauce.

 

“Thanks, guys, really. But I still need to practice without a partner. Entering competitions, I have always done it as a leader,” Shinsou stabbed a mushroom with his fork, eating it.

 

“We can help you, of course!” Uraraka grinned.

 

“Yeah, Hitoshi-kun. There’s no problem with that, I hope?” Midoriya grinned at him as well.

 

Shinsou nodded. Maybe it’s time, indeed, to move on. “Then, I will be in your care from now on.”

 


 

 

Shinsou tried to catch his breath as he took the white towel draped over his shoulder to wipe his neck and forehead. He grabbed his half-empty water bottle from the floor. Once he can breathe somewhat normally, he took a swig of water before placing the bottle back down. He looked at Uraraka and Midoriya, “I think this is no use. My body is so used to dance holding someone.”

 

“Don’t say that yet! It’s been just… three days!” Uraraka waved her hands about herself. “I am sure you will get the hang of it!”

 

Midoriya nodded, “That’s true, Hitoshi-kun. It took me quite some time to get used to not dancing with a partner, too. My body was conditioned to dance while being held, and I wasn’t really in tune with my own body moving alone because of that. It’ll be fine.”

 

Shinsou looked at Bakugou who was sitting on the floor, back against the mirror. He shrugged, “Don’t fucking ask me. I’ll just shit an answer. Not everyone is like me who can dance both.”

 

Midoriya raised an eyebrow, “But I can still remember how you struggled in that one solo competition after coming back from the dancesport competitions, Kacchan.”

 

“Fuck off, Deku. But I pulled that shit off in the end, fucker. What I fucking said is valid as shit.”

 

Shinsou sighed, “I really can’t condition my body to move without having to be in contact with another person. Aizawa-sensei is expecting an answer soon.”

 

“Then, tell him yes!” Uraraka said. “We can work it out after the registration. Right, Deku?”

“Maybe we can ask Aizawa-sensei to help you back in your feet again, Hitoshi. I think we will be fine with mentoring you again, just like he did when we were kids. Kacchan and I asked help, too, when we expressed that we wanted to go back to solo contemporary.”

 

“Okay,” Shinsou nodded. “I will try talking to sensei again. Thank you, everyone. This means a lot to me, really. Especially after everything that happened.”

 

Midoriya laughed, “This is nothing, Hitoshi! We all have been dancing together in this studio for more than ten years. We celebrated our wins and pondered on our losses together, you know? Of course, we will be here for you all the way. Right, guys?”

 

“Yep!” Uraraka smiled.

 

“Fucking shit,” Bakugou said. “We’re the only ones fucking left here. I’ll be fucking damned if we will keep on making our shit just with ourselves. Shit people went and disappeared, and I believe they will fucking stay gone. If they come back, I won’t ever accept them again. We’re just the shit for each other. So, shut up and just move your body, you purple gremlin.”

 

“See?” Midoriya smiled as Uraraka nodded along.

 


 

 

Shinsou wrapped a scarf around his neck and buried his chin and nose as he walked down the street. The weather in the afternoons has become chilly in their little town of Musutafu. He looked around the district. He lived in this town for all his life, walked the same street for years, and yet every time felt like he was doing it the first time again. New stores kept on replacing the old ones. Renovations came and went more frequently than he thought.

 

Shinsou hummed under his breath, “I’ll just go for some instant ramen and a meat bun today, too, I guess.”

 

He took a step, taking a left turn to the convenience store he liked to visit when he gets too lazy to cook for himself back in his place, to grab some microwavable meals or to just get some food he can prepare and eat in a short period of time.

 

When the convenience store was in view, he still had to cross the narrow road. But before he did, the convenience store opened. Shinsou can already hear their loud bells attached to the glass doors. Two people stepped out of the store.

 

Shinsou’s blood ran so cold, he shivered.

 

The first person he chose to look at was the woman. She has short dark hair, slim built, and was wearing leggings, sneakers and a black shirt that says, ‘Rock the dancefloor, baby!’ A pretty person. Someone who looks small yet formidable when she’s to do something she’s passionate about. She looks like she can make a good dancing partner, and this made Shinsou’s lungs constrict on him.

 

And when he looked at the man beside the woman, Shinsou wanted the ground to open up to the core of the Earth can just melt him through his bones. He really has become a fine man. His hair was still the dirty blonde, a few shades darker than Bakugou’s, still sporting the black highlights that resembled a lightning bolt.

 

They looked good together, and that was maybe the worst feeling of all.

 

Shinsou watched as the woman said something that made him laugh, made him wrap an arm across her shoulders and pull her against his side. He watched the man lead the woman in the opposite direction. Their giggles ringing Shinsou’s ears as they walked away.

 

Shinsou’s gaze fell on the man’s hand. His fingers. He used to hold those.

 

He looked at the man’s back. He used to support him by holding that back. Used to hold him. Before competitions. During competitions. After competitions.

 

And then down at the man’s feet. As Shinsou’s own feet used to move with the man’s, so in sync, as if they were just one. And maybe, for a point in time, they were. Shinsou could not be sure any longer.

 

Perhaps, it’s because three years have already passed. And perhaps, just perhaps, it’s because Shinsou was looking at Kaminari Denki, his ex-dancing partner. The person Shinsou was sure was the love of his life.

Chapter Text

“Shouto, baby, please keep that hat on. You’ll feel hot once we step outside. The sun’s too bright today,” gently chided his mother as she kept on packing up snacks and water in one big bag.

 

“But, Mama! We don’t need that much food! I’m just going to orientation today,” replied Shouto as he pulled at his hat.

 

Shouto was still pouting when loud footsteps thundered down the stairs. Rei immediately called out, “Natsuo! Don’t run down the stairs, please.”

 

Once Natsuo was at the bottom of the staircase, he was grinning as he hugged a huge pillow shaped like a pencil. And then another pair of footsteps came down. It was Fuyumi, looking so pissed. She immediately yelled, “Mama! Natsuo stole Penny again!”

 

Rei zipped the bag shut, “Natsuo, give the pillow back to your sister. It’s hers. You have your own, remember? It was even shaped like the injections your nurses use to get your blood. You even said you wanted to be the one doing injections, remember?”

 

“But this one’s softer!” Natsuo exclaimed as Fuyumi tried to take back her pillow.

 

“Anyway, all of you start eating breakfast. All of you will have to go to school by yourselves, okay?” Rei continued as her children sat around their small dining table enough for six people, the pillow forgotten on the nearby sofa. They started to get food from the plates placed on middle of the table.

 

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll be fine, Mama. It’s Fuyumi who would not be able to find her way because she doesn’t know directions,” snickered Natsuo to her sister who was already pouring juice to her cup. Fuyumi placed the jug down the table with a small bang, “Of course, I know my way around! I am even older than you! Of course I know! You’re so annoying, Natsuo!”

 

Natsuo laughed as he stabbed his meatloaf with his fork.

 

“I will go with Shouto to the nearby dance studio today to enroll him and wait for him until his orientation is over. Please behave yourselves in school. Can you both do that for me?” Rei smiled at her children.

 

“Oh!” Natsuo grinned at Shouto who was still stubbornly wanting to take his hat off. “You’re gonna start dancing like Mama today, Shouto? That’s really nice! I hope you can also dance those pretty dances like Mama!”

 

Fuyumi grinned brightly at Shouto, “Ooh! Ooh! Let onee-san see how you dance soon, okay? When you learn something rom your lessons, alright? I miss seeing Mama dance and sometimes I miss watching Mama do some performances!”

 

“Alright, alright. Both of you, go eat.” Rei chided her children before looking up at the staircase. She prepared to stand and go up, but the small thuds of footsteps made her sit back down, “Touya, be quick. You’re going to be late. Isn’t it today? Your rehersals?”

 

A deep sigh. Touya stepped down the stairs slowly, yawning all the way. He already changed clothes but his bed hair was still terrible. He blinked at them sleepily. But when he spotted Shouto, his eyes sparkled and it was as if his lack of sleep faded away in that instant.

 

“Shou! You finally do some dancing?” Touya grimaced as he patted Shouto’s head, hat and all. “Cool hat, by the way. Promise me you’ll go do some good dancing, okay?”

 

Shouto looked up to his eldest brother and smiled for the first time ever since he woke up, “Yes! I promise!”

 

Touya patted Shouto’s head some more, “Alright. Good luck, little man!”

Rei looked at her children, “Touya, I expect you to accompany Natsuo and Fuyumi to school today.”

 

Touya shrugged as he chewed a toast, “Mmkay, the studio’s near to their campus anyway.”

 

“Okay. We’ll go now. Shou?”

 

Shouto nodded, waving at his siblings who waved back at him as they walked out their front door. Shouto no longer pulled at his hat.

 

When they reached the studio, they immediately headed to the office. After three knocks, the door was opened by a long haired blonde man with the biggest smile on his face. Shouto almost flinched when the man spoke, because his voice was loud for a small office.

 

“Hey, there, little Todoroki!” The blond man boomed as he looked at Shouto, “I am Yamada Hizashi, one of the owners of this place! Haha! You here to join us?”

 

Shouto felt like he had no choice but to nod. Hizashi laughed some more, looking at Rei. “Hey, R. Your littlest one seems so shy! But his posture is already so good. I’m excited as to how my own Shoucchan can help your own little Shoucchan!”

 

Rei smiled, “I hope Shouta has been doing well these days. You have been so busy lately, Hizashi.”

 

“Ah…” Hizashi grinned, “He’s really doing a good job managing our little Ai even if we just opened it six months ago. I’m really proud of him. We’ll be okay. I’m sure.”

 

“That’s really good to hear,” Rei replied.

 

“Okay! Little Shou! Let’s get you enrolled!” Hizashi went behind the desk in order to prepare for the paperworks.

 

Rei and Shouto sat on one of the sofas by the table. As Shouto watched Hizashi worked around, the door opened and a green-haired woman entered. Hizashi grinned at the newcomer, “Hey, Inko! Glad to see you today. Is there anything I can help you?”

 

“It’s about Izuku’s schedule. He has been too excited for his afternoon classes that he wakes up really, really early. I thought that maybe it would be better for him to take classes in the morning instead, so he can already enjoy his lessons without having to wait for the afternoon ones,” Inko smiled as she looked at Hizashi and then at Rei.

 

“Oh, that’s not gonna be a problem. Is Izuku here with you?”

 

“Yes! Aizawa-sensei has already taken him in for the morning class. He said that I still need to arrange the schedule with you here, for formality.”

 

“Sure! But I would have to ask you to wait. Since I believe little Shouto here also wants to be enrolled and start dancing already!”

 

Inko sat herself in front of them, “Oh, of course. I cannot possibly make it long for precious kids wanting to do what they like.” She spoke while looking at Rei, “My son, Izuku, has been wanting to learn how to dance ever since he saw that one dancer they call All Might on television. I’m thankful there’s this studio that’s near to our home. It’s really nice seeing our own babies grow up to follow what they want to do.”

 

Rei smiled at Inko, “Shouto likes him too, I believe. All Might. More than his own father.”

 

“Ah, Rei? Here’s the papers you just have to sign. Oh! And I know Enji would not have liked this, but he has forwarded us his financial details so he can pay for the lessons himself. But we can register your details instead, if you want.” Hizashi handed Rei the papers and a pen.

 

Rei smiled at Hizashi before looking at Inko, “Thank you, Hizashi. The annulment already happened a while back and the children’s custody already taken care of, but he’s still doing things like this. I just try to get by and ignore it at best.”

 

“That’s really strong of you. I believe going through an annulment and raising kids alone is just such a feat,” Inko replied.

 

Rei smiled again, filling up the papers. Once she was done, Shouto was advised to go with Hizashi to the dance classrooms. Shouto quietly waved at his mother who was already conversing with Inko. The two mothers waved back.

 

There were not a lot of children in he studio. Five looked already plenty. All of them were doing some stretches as they were holding a metal bar with one hand, and lifting their right foot up in the air. Four of the students were girls, and one was a small boy whose hair was so wild and so green that Shouto was sure that he was the Inko lady’s son.

 

“Hey, Shoucchan! Todoroki Shouto here,” Hizashi said to the other man. He has tired eyes and his long dark hair was tied up in a bun. He was clapping, serving as the count for the kids to change their positions.

 

Once the rest of the kids finished their stretches and were just standing idly, he spoke. “Alright. You guys have a new classmate from now on. This is Todoroki Shouto, and he was being taught dance at home before coming here. Please treat him well.”

 

The kids greeted Shouto with small smiles, but the green-haired boy was wearing a full grin. He almost bounced on his feet, eyes shining. Shouto thought that he’s somewhat like Touya when it comes to looking at him. Shouto walked towards the kids, removing his hat.

 

The green-haired boy took his hand and shook it, “I’m Midoriya Izuku, Todoroki-kun! It’s nice to meet you!”

 

Shouto looked down on their joint hands and back at the face of the grinning boy, “Please take care of me from now on.”

 

“Sure thing, Todoroki-kun! I will always take care of you!”

Chapter Text

“Katsuki! What the hell are you sleeping so late for! Wake up, you muttonhead! You would not be able to see sunlight with your ass under your blankets! Or else I will drag your sorry ass from your room, down the stairs, and to the dining table to feed you exactly how I did back when you still crap your pants!”

 

Bakugou sat up on his bed half-awake, his frown deep enough for it to sting on his forehead. He groaned at the loud racket his own mother was making from the kitchen downstairs. He hates the fact that he was no longer annoyed by the noise produced by his parents as he used to be. The only thing he hates more than that was the fact that he was even relieved that he can still wake up exactly like this whenever he visits home.

 

It made him feel relieved that there are still things that can stay the same, that there are things that aren’t that much susceptible to change, and that feeling of relief makes Bakugou angry. He shouldn’t be relieved. He shouldn’t even feel anything at all. Not anymore.

 

Grumbling under his breath, he slipped off his bed, stretching. He headed down quickly, prepared to ignore whatever he was about to get. His father smiled at him as he moved his newspaper down from his face momentarily, greeting him with an invitation to already eat breakfast.

 

His mother, on the other hand, started to yell. “Katsuki! You’re a full grown man and yet all you do is sleep whenever you go home! Are you a small child? Get your ass over here and eat breakfast! It’s not even time for breakfast anymore! I’m even about to clean up and start preparing lunch!”

 

Katsuki sat down by the dining table, frowning. He started to help himself with the leftovers from breakfast, which was just lukewarm now. Exactly how he would describe his life if someone, maybe Aizawa-sensei, would force him to put a word on what was currently happening to him. He started to chew angrily. Why would he care to even describe the shit in his life? He does his job perfectly and is the best dance instructor available in town, so why does he even need to do anything else at this point?

 

“Oh, Katsuki,” said his father suddenly. “I read about this announcement in the paper yesterday. Registration for the dance competition you kept on winning before. We thought maybe you want to join again?”

 

Katsuki scowled as he swallowed, “That shit’s boring now. I can easily beat all those chumps, even without a fucking partner. Partners are overrated anyway, it’s not like I won’t fucking live without one. Competitions are for losers now. I have enough trophies from it to choke anyone.”

 

His mother rolled her eyes as she grabbed the remote control and opened the television. She switched channels until she found the channel that never missed any news about competitive dancing. She looked at Katsuki, “Have you watched the latest national competitions? They just announced something.”

 

“Last year’s winners,” an announcer’s voice said. “of the National Dancesport Cup are to conduct a dance tour this month!”

 

“Ah! There!” His mother exclaimed. “It’s Eijirou and his partner! They won last year, but they won’t compete again this year again, I think. Maybe because of the dance tour they’re having.”

 

True enough, clip after clip of Kirishima Eijirou flashed on the screen, making Bakugou’s stomach drop. He could not look away, though, as he looked at Eijirou’s perfect posture as he led his dancing partner, Ashido Mina, across the dancefloor. They were doing Viennese Waltz, and they were perfect. The silhouette they made on the shiny floors was beautiful, and even Bakugou cannot deny that.

 

The schedule for the dance tour was then showed on screen, making Mitsuki yell. “Ah! They’re gonna perform in Musutafu! And it’s already next week! Masaru, we need to get tickets to support them!”

 

“Who’s them, honey?” Masaru asked without looking away from his newspaper.

 

“Katsuki’s old dancing partner, of course! Eijirou was such a sweet boy! I’d like to talk to him and see him in person! It’s been years, after all! How many has it been since he left, Katsuki? I think it was already five years since my loser of a son decided to just let go of a great boy!”

 

Masaru nodded and hummed, “That really good kid, then! We can get tickets, of course.”

 

Katsuki stood up and started to make his way back to his room.

 

“Oi, you grown man! What are you doing leaving? You being a loser again?”

 

“I’m gonna go back to my apartment. I’m needed at the studio. Ya’ll can eat that shitty hair’s shit for all I care,” Katsuki grumbled as he ascended the stairs.

 

“I don’t know how our son became such a little loser who stopped flexing on everyone and everything just to get to the top. Boy’s became a little shit who chucked all of his trophies up the attic. I wonder what shit went down,” complained Mitsuki just as she was almost out of earshot.

 

“I fucking wonder too,” Bakugou growled under his breath.

 


 

 

“Kacchan! Over here!” Midoriya waved at him as he stepped out of his changing room.

 

“Wow, Bakugou! You look so pretty!” Uraraka immediately appeared in his personal spaceto hold the chandelier earrings he was wearing. She gasped, “Are these real?”

 

Shinsou leaned to take a look, “They’re swarovski rubies, I think.”

 

“It really looks good on you. So, does the rest of your outfit, of course!” Uraraka grinned.

 

“What outfit, though? That’s just mostly his skin,” Shinsou commented, gesturing to the pieces of cloth Bakugou was wearing.

 

They were red, too, the leather belts that wrapped Bakugou’s torso and shoulders, just as catchy as his earrings. The belts were the only garments he was wearing for his top. His red leather spandex served as his bottoms, but they only covered not even halfway down his thighs. It was skimpy, and Bakugou felt as naked as he can be.

 

But that just made him feel bolder, wearing too little compared to all his performances prior to this one. And to think that he performs thrice a week in this underground gay nightclub. The pay is nice, and the tips even quadruple the amount the club’s management compensates him. What he gets monthly from being a dance instructor under Aizawa-sensei, he can get in the club in just one night. It was not a bad sideline at all.

 

“Where’s stupid Deku?” He looked around, his childhood friend was gone from where he was just standing there with the rest of them, in the backstage.

 

“Maybe he already went to our table outside to wait?” Uraraka offered.

 

“Fuck no, he always wait for me to get called before leaving,” frowned Bakugou.

 

“Maybe he went to the toilet,” shrugged Shinsou. “We’ll find him. Good luck, Kats.”

 

Bakugoi rolled his eyes, “Don’t fucking need it, purple.”

 

“Well, nothing bad for having a spare good luck, though. See ya on the other side. We’ll be on the front table, of couse.”

 

“Just behind the VIPs,” smirked Bakugou.

 

“Ya kno we can’t pay as much as your patrons do. They’re just too loaded it sends shivers up my spine,” Uraraka even fake shivered, smiling. The backstage personnel approached them, “Three minutes, Bakugou-san.”

 

“Right,” Uraraka said. “We’ll find Deku quick and sit on our not-VIP table, alright?”

 

“Don’t get fucking lost, you babies,” scowled Bakugou as they waved at him, stepping out of the backstage.

 

He rubbed his hands together. Three minutes was faster than he thought, and his mouth almost salivated at the prospect of dancing. He will give them a hell of a show no one can ever forget, one that will make them crawl back for more, begging at his feet. As he always have done.

 

Bakugou stepped onstage with his cue. It was all dark except for the bar where the bartenders were busy mixing up drinks for the patrons. He can’t even make out who makes up his audience, and the first sound he heard was the dry ice machine that whooshed a smoke-like effect onstage.

 

And all at the same time, the strobe lights were on, and the first beats of the song hit his chest like a drum. He bit his lip as his palms connected to the cold, hard pole in the middle. He gripped it as if he was holding his lover tight, hoisting hiimself up. He wrapped his legs around the pole, just as he would do someone he was making love to, and let himself get lost to the first lyrics of the song.

 

I want you to know, that I’m happy for you

I wish nothing but the best for you both

 

Bakugou licked his lips as he went higher. The beat got faster.

 

An older version of me, is she perverted like me?

Would she go down on you in a theater?

 

The strobe lights refused showed his dear audience yet, but it was only a matter of time, he knows this, for sure.

 

‘Cause the love that you gave that we made

Wasn’t able to make it enough for you to be open wide, no

 

And every time you speak her name

Does she know how you told me

You’d hold me until you died

Till you died

 

But you’re still alive

 

And the secrets were out. Bakugou’s hunger spiked, the moment he spotted the spikey shitty red hair he hated so much. The hair that he raked his fingers deep into, whenever it was down and wet and soft.

 

Bakugou knew that he would find himself here, somehow. Because life has a funny way of bringing tsunamis and earthquakes to his life.

 

And I’m here to remind you

Of the mess you made when you went away

 

Bakugou made it a point to look at him, the moment he flipped himself upside down on the pole, grinding his hips. His patrons started to throw bills at the stage as they tried to keep themselves calm.

 

It’s not fair to deny me

Of the cross I bear that you gave to me

 

Bakugou wanted to let him know. More and more. That he was wanted. By anyone, by everyone. That he was just one of many that desired his favor, his attention, his anything.

 

You, you, you

Oughta know

 

Though Bakugou had to be careful as he looped himself around the cold, hard pole. He needs to be careful to lose himself just right. He was smirking, he was performing, he was hot, he was beautiful. He knew all this. And what he knows more is that, he knew how to use it. Exactly. Perfectly.

 

And I’m not gonna fade as soon as you close your eyes, you know it

 

But in the end, as Bakugou spotted a mop of short curly pink hair and a perfect curvature and posture of a woman’s back beside Kirishima Eijirou, he was made aware yet again.

 

You, you, you

Oughta know

 

Bakugou was casted aside. He was wanted no more. He was no longer the one desired to be kept beside him, to be treasured. He was no longer the one he dances with, making Bakugou hold cold, hard poles, instead of warm shoulders and gentle hands.

 

Chapter Text

Yamada Hizashi yawned as he screwed the lid of his water jug before placing it back down on the floor. It was too early. They needed all the practice they can get before the divisional competitions, but it was still too early, even for him. Maybe it was because he spent until the middle of the night memorizing the steps to that one Dancing With the Stars finale night opening number.

 

It was completely unrelated to their routine, but he still wanted to do it just for the sake of dancing. Hizashi has been dancing for a while now, maybe since the last two years of middle school and then throughout high school. But it was just for school functions and small interhigh competitions. There wasn’t anything special about it, at least for him.

 

It was only now, during his second year in university, that he started to actually commit to a dance troupe supported by the school administration. They almost got the championship in collegiate competitions last year, but they were still short on people. The university student body seems to take not much interest in dancing, apparently. But of course, that doesn’t squash the hopes of the members of all he dance troupes, no matter the genre they dance.

 

But one group was almost giving up as they feared being dissolved. It was the ballroom dancers who severely lack members and could not recruit for a while since not much people show up during auditions. And whenever students sign up and even get accepted into the troupe, they usually back down and hand in their resignation notices almost immediately after training starts. Some even just drop off the face of the earth, never to be seen again inside the dance room.

 

It was always like that, observed Hizashi, since ballroom dancing can be considered as a sport that needed strict routines and self-discipline. It also has a rigorous training regimen that scares even himself.

 

But he never had taken passionate interest in ballroom dancing. He doesn’t quite believe that he can pull off that kind of restraint, that kind of posture, that kind of perseverance. He wasn’t also quite fond of dancing intimately with someone. That’s why he dances with street and hip hop with his troupe, and he likes it just fine.

 

He wasn’t limited to that genre, though. Sometimes, he participates in dancing folk and some traditional dances. He can also dance contemporary, with his uncanny flexibility and the way he can carry himself lightly to pull of a few stunts. Hizashi believes that he wasn’t commiting a grave sin for not sticking and really mastering one.

 

Yet the ballroom dance club is in danger, and if Hizashi can help, why the hell not? So, after the morning practice, he gets to his first class of the day, just before lunch. It was a general class that all university students must take.He entered the classroom, greeting his classmates with a loud smile. They enthusiastically greet him back, so he started to raise the opportunity.

 

“Hey, my great classmates! What do you say about auditioning for the university dance troupes this coming Friday, huh? Sounds cool, right? Dancing. Moving yourself in the rhythm of the beat! Makes you feel one with the music, with the art of movement itself! Let your bodies produce music! Let your body be a vessel for living and breathing art!” He announced as he quickly handed flyers to each of his classmates before they can say no or even give out a coherent reaction.

 

As Hizashi made his way to the front of the lecture room near the teacher’s table, he spotted the usual brooding man in the farthest corner of the first row. He looked like he hasn’t gone to sleep a full eight hours like he should, for a still growing young man, for maybe a week, give or take. But Hizashi thought that it would be a bit unfair if he hand everyone else a flyer and not him. He hated to exclude anyone.

 

So, he decided the fastest route to get his thing done. He walked and approached the kid.

 

“Hey there, classmate of mine! I know we have never really talked before, but I would like to kindly invite you to a grand dance club auditions this friday! I don’t think you can be interested, but it’s worth a shot, I believe!” He declared with a finishing grin, handing the flyer with both hands.

 

The young man, with his long dark hair all over his face, looked tiredly at the flyer, and up at Hizashi from where he sat. “On friday? This week?” He asked, in a low voice.

 

“Uh… yeah! Haha! It is friday this week!” Hizashi responded.

 

The young brooding master took the flyer from him gently, “As far as my schedule is concerned this moment, I don’t think I can attend. I appreciate the offer, though, maybe joining a dance club isn’t also right for me, since I already have a part time job.”

 

“Oh,” Hizashi laughed away the little disappointment at pinched at his chest. “Hahaha! I didn’t think so! But thank you for letting me speak, though! You sure are a good classmate,” he started patting his shoulder stiffly.

 

His classmate looked at his hand, and then at Hizashi, making the other man feel awkward. So, he was really grateful when the bell rang to signal the start of the period and the professor entered and walked to the podium. It saved him a lot of awkwardness and weird laughter.

 

To Hizashi’s mild confusion, the pinching sensation of his brooding classmate’s lukewarm response stayed with him the rest of the class.

 


 

 

The day of the auditions came as it inevitably have to, and Hizashi was a bit excited to meet potential members of their small dancing community in campus. All of the members of all the dance groups and clubs that are still active is present in the small auditorium they reserved just for the occasion.

 

Hizashi actually arrived in the middle of a performance from the first person they called. She was good, mediocre at best, but there was room for improvement if she would be willing to learn. She was auditioning by dancing a regional traditional dance. She was even in costume and all.

 

After her audition, a few people clapped, and the deciding committee made up of the current presidents of the respective clubs immediately accepted her. The girl bowed her thanks as the president of the folk dance company told her that he would be in touch with her soon.

 

The trend started like that, with them immediately accepting people that can carry even just a bit of a rhythm with their bodies. Some just couldn’t move well, but they were turned down gently. But as far as Hizashi was aware, they just rejected two people in total so far. He may have dozed off here and there. He was about to, again, when the one in charge of registration spoke again.

 

“The last person, please step up on the stage. Good luck.”

 

Hizashi had to blink to recognize who it was. Maybe it was because of the neat bun he has made of his dark inky hair. Maybe it was the relatively tight clothing he was wearing compared to the lose and layered ones he was usually seen wearing. Maybe it was the way he held himself. So different when he was the brooding kid sitting by the wall. But what astonished Hizashi the most was the fact that he actually showed up.

 

Maybe the lukewarm response was not so lukewarm if he was really able to make him go for an audition. Now, Hizashi was wide, wide awake. He couldn’t help himself, he even changed where he sat, choosing a seat nearer to the stage. And this made his presence known to the brooding guy. Hizashi gave him a small smile and a gentle wave.

 

He blinked, yet he gave the committee his full attention again as they began to ask him to introduce himself and say a bit about what he plans to do for his audition.

 

“My name is Aizawa Shouta. I’m a sophomore. I do ballet, and that’s what I am going to audition with. I won’t be using any music,” he simply said without much effort, almost dragging the words out.

 

“Alright, Aizawa-san, you can start anytime,” said one of the presidents.

 

Right then and there, the moment the brooding guy, Aizawa Shouta, Hizashi can absolutely swore he was able to see magic and hear all the sounds one might hear in heaven.

 

He stepped lightly, so lightly as if his feet became feathers. They were caressing the floor as if it was made of thin ice that was about to crack and give up on him at any moment. His posture knocked the air out of Hizashi’s lungs. The way he slightly curved his back and tilted his chin, the way he moves his hands, they were all graceful. Majestic.

 

For a moment, he looked like water and air and fire all at the same time. Aizawa was nothing but fluid heat, and Hizashi felt like melting.

Chapter Text

Midoriya never has come to regret having been updated on anything about everything before. Until this very moment, at least.

 

Like a bit of a dancing otaku, something that Bakugou have always described him as, Midoriya turned on notification from all the websites that issue news on dancing. May it is about the competitions, or the dancers’ lives and other important information, Midoriya gets a notification of it on his phone.

 

And, of course, he will immediately read it. Even watch if there are any YouTube clips attached to the sometimes clickbait articles. Midoriya never let a single article out of his grasp, even if it’s just about the same thing just paraphrased over and over again.

 

Midoriya sighed deeply as he tapped block again. That, and he also had deactivated his accounts where he usually tweets or posts things about his reactions and his long unwanted opinion on whatever has been happening to the dancing world. He also erased his search history, his favorites, his bookmarked sites, and pages. Everything should be gone by now.

 

He would totally admit that he had accomplished all of those in just half an hour, but he did it because of absolute passion, and that most likely influenced the fast pace in which he had done everything.

 

Three words triggered Midoriya to have done everything that he did the past half hour. Three words that are too near in proximity with each other for his liking. His heart sped up and never ceased with its pounding ever since. He acted out of impulse, that much he was sure, but he makes himself believe that this is actually better.

 

Because the moment he saw the words Todoroki Shouto, come back, Japan in one sentence, he totally went blocking and deactivating spree, as if he just went on and did a swing routine five times the speed. He pieced everything in a second, and it was not something he wanted to see anymore.

 

So, Midoriya did the thing he can do with things online that you don’t want to see or hear about. But reading articles on dancesport and everything that can rotate around was the thing he always does to fill the spare time, when he wasn’t dancing.

 

With a deep sigh, he let himself fall on his bed, wondering what to do with the rest of the weekend.

 

Hours later, after Midoriya found himself unearthing his old ballroom dancing instructional videos from the depths of the other dancesport things he has in his room, he busied himself with household chores. He went downstairs to put the CDs inside the player. He let it play, and the dance instructor’s voice teaching the viewers, presumably children who have just recently taken an interest in dancing, how to do the basic figures of a waltz.

 

“I’m home, Izuku!”

 

“Welcome back,” he responded to his mother as she entered their house.

 

She removed her shoes by the door with a small frown, “Izuku, what are you doing?”

 

“Err… chores?” Izuku smiled at his mother as he continued to sweep at the floor. “It’s the weekend, and I thought I would just go help? There’s nothing much I’m doing anyway, mom.”

 

“But you always read that news on your phone, right? You don’t have to take care of the chores, Izuku. I’m fine doing them. There isn’t much to do, to begin with, anyway.” She looked at what was playing on the television screen before walking towards the kitchen to put down the small plastic she got from the nearby supermarket.

 

She went over to her son and grabbed both of his arms, “Izuku, are you feeling okay?”

 

“Huh?” Midoriya jumped and looked at anywhere but his own mother, “What? Of course, I am okay! I am super okay! I really just don’t have anything to do nowadays! My students at the studio are doing really well so I don’t have to give supplementary classes for a while. Uraraka-san also decided that we rest for two weeks before we can start a new training regimen for the upcoming competitions. And the preliminaries would still be six months away! So, that’s why, mom! I really don’t have much on my plate! I promise!”

 

“Alright, then.” Inko squeezed him before letting him go, “Do you have any requests? I can cook something for you if you’d like.”

 

“Ah! I’m really okay, mom! I’ll just… watch… I guess? Don’t worry about me, I am really fine!”

 

If Midoriya decided to assess what he just said, that would be the biggest lie he had ever told his mother within the half of his life, probably. The first lie he had ever told his mother was when she asked him how much he liked the new member of their dance studio, many years ago. Had told her that he liked him an average amount. That his half-silver, half-red hair that wondrously parted in the middle was a bit different, but it was something Midoriya was fascinated about the boy as well.

 

Too bad that he just decided not to asses anything, especially his feelings.

 


 

 

 

The next day, he headed to the studio the moment he was able to get up and shower, running out their front door without even sparing a second for breakfast. He heard his mother holler after him as he was halfway out, and he only responded with affirmatives as he failed to process what his mother said.

 

Once he arrived at the studio, there weren’t anyone yet. Using the key Aizawa-gave to all of his trusted and only employees, Midoriya opened the studio and started to set up everything out of habit. It was just seven in the morning, and the AM classes won’t start for two hours still. Yawning, Midoriya plugged in his phone to the jack that are connected to the room’s speakers mounted on the walls. He slipped out of his shoes and everything else, leaving himself with his light black dancing tights and bare feet.

 

He chose a slow tune. Midoriya went to the middle of the mirrored room as the first notes of Claire de Lune started to play. He began his morning stretches and morning routine, letting himself go with the flow, depending on what his body had accustomed to. Midoriya decided that his warm-up is over when he started to sweat.

 

He walked over to where his phone was on the floor. He changed the music. Slow piano filled the room as he began to dance, watching himself in the mirror/

 

Stone cold, stone cold

You see me standing

But I’m dying on the floor

 

Stone cold, stone cold

Maybe if I don’t cry

I won’t feel anymore

 

Midoriya felt like he was floating as he leapt, and as he danced, his feet barely touched the floor. Even as he moved, he started to feel colder than the breeze each morning gave him.

 

Stone cold, baby

God knows I tried to feel happy for you

 

He became aware of his breathing, how his heart pumped blood into his veins. Still, Midoriya feels like everything around him was already frozen. Maybe they have, for a long time now.

 

Know that I am

Even if I can’t understand

I’ll take the pain

Give me the truth

Me and my heart

We’ll make it through

 

As the dance swallowed him up, Midoriya chose to drown.

 

If happy is her

I’m happy for you

 

After his body has been used, after all the movements and the waves of rhythm inside of him has finally calmed down, Midoriya stopped with his last figure. He looked at himself in the mirror. He was panting. He was all sweat, as if the rest of his body had cried for him to spare his eyes of the pain. Midoriya quickly packed his things and walked out of one of the dancing rooms to the studio’s pantry. But as he was about to round the corner, voices from inside made him stop in his tracks.

 

“Why the fuck are we still here? Morning classes start in thirty minutes,” growled Bakugou.

 

Thirty minutes? So more than an hour already passed? It only felt like moments for Midoriya as he danced himself out.

 

“Shh! Deku was dancing! Did you see him move? That was really beautiful, but sadly I couldn’t watch any longer. It felt like I was invading something so personal. But there weren’t any students yet when I arrived,” Uraraka replied.

 

“I saw a glimpse as well,” said Shinsou. “Izuku must have felt miserable to move in such sadness. But I firmly believe that I am not one to talk.”

 

“Right. Did you guys read the news?” Uraraka asked.

 

Bakugou scowled, “That half and half bastard. His fucking audacity to come back here. And for what? To fucking declare that he will fucking win the competition with that ponytail girl his dirtbag of a father chose for him as if it was a fucking arranged marriage?”

 

Shinsou hummed, “I don’t think it wasn’t any different. From it being an arranged marriage, I mean. Being dancing partners… is a commitment that can sometimes mean even more than a wedding. It’s a promise that you dedicate yourself to each other to the point that you bare everything to one another.”

 

“And that was a fucking lie,” snarled Bakugou. “Divorce fucking exists. If fucking marriages end, so does that shit of being partners or whatever. You purple shit must know, of all fucking people, how easy that promise can break into fucking nothing as if it never existed.”

 

Shinsou sighed, “Fuck you. I know. Like the back of my hand. You do, too, Blasty. But that’s really bad, Todoroki Shouto making a comeback. You and Izuku are preparing for the same competition, yeah?”

 

“Yup, even though we decided to take a break this week, we are already considering routines. So, having an international and multi-awarded pair to join the competition may have just weakened our current chance to win. But! I am sure we can pull through! Deku is an amazing lead, always have been!” Uraraka raised her voice for a bit as she finished her statement.

 

“You can fucking rest easy with that half and half bastard, round face. That little asshole isn’t worth anything much, you’ll see. He’s just a puppet of his fuckwad of a father,” Bakugou scowled.

 

Midoriya could not bear to listen anymore. With his heart thumping wildly and emotions running high through his veins as if he has lightning and thunder inside of him at the same time, he quickly went to Aizawa’s empty office where he kept the administration part of the studio.

 

He filled up his leave forms, signed it, and placed it under one of Aizawa’s paperweights that was shaped like a small radio. He walked out of the studio and didn’t dare look back until he was back, standing on the doorstep of his own house

 


 

 

The next days of Midoriya’s life were spent in seclusion.

 

He already finished the whole box set of Toshinori Yagi’s collection of his competitions over the years. Midoriya’s CDs of his idol was as complete as it can get, from the first time Yagi did a waltz with his mentor and eventual dance partner, Shimura Nana, as a professional, up until his last performance with a swing, Midoriya has a copy of it all.

 

Maybe that was why when he woke up with a heavy headache and moments of confusion and disorientation, the first object he was able to identify and register was one of Toshinori Yagi’s CD jackets. Apparently Midoriya finally fell asleep in the middle of finishing the latter volumes of the dances.

 

He frowned as he moved to a sitting position on the bed, feeling his body numb and aching. Maybe it was because of the lack of movement the past days. Midoriya checked the time and date thrice just so he can try to internalize that he should be in the studio in an hour.

He waited for panic to set in, but it wasn’t happening. The three days vacation leave he had filed the last time he was in the studio were all used up, and he should be moving if he wants to get back to his afternoon shift.

 

He grabbed his phone from the nightstand and opened up his inbox in hopes to get a message to Bakugou. And found out that the blonde already sent him a few messages. They arrived three hours ago.

The first one was, “Deku,” and the second one that quickly followed said, “Don’t come in today. Don’t ask. Purple gremlin and I will teach your brats today. Don’t fucking go here.”

 

Frowning, he typed up and sent his message. It was just a simple, “Kacchan! I’m sorry, I woke up just now!” He added a lot of worried and nervous emojis for good measure.

 

Midoriya was still staring at his screen as it went a bit dim when it rang. He jumped in surprise before accepting the call. He placed the device against his ear, “Kacchan! I’m really sorry, I…”

 

“Don’t go anywhere. Fuck, just go sleep some more,” growled the blonde from the other line.

 

“What? Kacchan, I don’t understand…”

 

“Fuck, right. Shoud’ve fucking known that you’d block everything. You fucking have no idea. Shit. Just… listen to me, fuckwad. Do not do outside your room.”

 

As Bakugou finished his sentence, Midoriya started to hear faint voices from downstairs. His curiosity winning, he stepped out of his room the first time for the last twenty-four hours.

 

Bakugou growled, “Fuck, Deku. Did you just fucking open the door? Get back inside, dimwit!”

 

But he was already taking two steps each down the stairs. He can hear Bakugou spat a string of quick curses as Midoriya came to face their front door, which was completely open.

 

His mother greeted him, “Oh, Izuku. I made cookies.”

 

“Hello, Izuku. It has been a while, hasn’t it?”

 

Midoriya’s chest tightened. Beside his mother, a silver-haired woman smiled at him exactly how she did when he was just a kid. It was Todoroki Rei.

 

Before Midoriya can do anything, though, even as much as opening his mouth to say anything, two people walked through their front door.

 

“Excuse us, please.” A woman with a tall build and a long black hair bound by a high ponytail smiled at the women on the couch, “We just parked the car properly. Thank you for welcoming us into your good home, Midoriya-san. Thank you for accompanying us too, Todoroki-san.”

 

And when she saw Midoriya just standing by the foot of the stairs, the woman smiled, “Oh, you’re Izuku, right? It’s so nice to meet you! I’m sorry we went unannounced. It’s my fault for asking Shouto to bring me around the town he grew up in. I really wanted to know Shouto’s roots.”

 

She stepped towards Midoriya, who felt frozen on the spot. She held a hand for Midoriya to shake, “I’m Yaoyorozu Momo, just call me Yaomomo, Izuku. I already heard so much about you.” She looked at the very silent person behind her, “I like him already! You were partners before, right, Shouto?”

 

“Deku… Fucking shit, Deku,” Bakugou’s cursing against his ear went all muffled. He looked at the briht perfect woman in front of her, to the person he thought he would never see in his own home for the rest of his life.

 

“Izuku,” Shouto called, his voice low and quiet. Too quiet.

Chapter Text

“Ei-chan! Ei-chan, did you see what I was able to do just now? I did a pirouette, Ei-chan! It felt amazing doing that!”

 

Eijirou smiled and clapped his hands, “You really did well, Mina.”

 

“What about you, Ei-chan?” Mina grinned, looking at him rather expectantly.

 

“Uhm, what about me?”

 

“Do a pirouette, too! Let me see! Let me see!”

 

“Well… I don’t know, Mina, but it sure does look like hard. I’m fine watching you from where I am. Your figure looked really good,” He gave her a thumbs up in further reassurance that indeed, he was satisfied and happy in the sidelines.

 

“No! I want you to dance with me, too, Ei-chan!” Mina turned to her mother who came back to their spacious living room with a stern look at her daughter. Mina excitedly smiled at her mother, “Mama, I showed Ei-chan my pirouette just now!”

 

“Oh? Let me see it too, then,” said her mother as she sat herself on the couch. “Just how I taught you.”

 

“Okay!”

 

Mina’s giddiness disappeared as she started to take her position. Her hands and feet were relaxed and yet ready to take on the movement. She raised her arms, poised herself, and did her twirl with her chin up, as if she was not a nine-year old anymore. It was as if she was already far older. Eijirou has always admired that of his friend and neighbor.

 

When she was done, she smiled at her mother, who only hummed. She then turned to Eijirou, “You, boy. I believed I have shown you the basics. How are you faring with them?”

 

Eijirou evaded two pairs of eyes as he looked away and rubbed at his nape, “Ah, well… You see, madame, I haven’t really decided to contine this…”

 

“Just a pirouette, please, Ei-chan! You’re already wearing practice clothes anyway. Please,” Mina batted her eyelashes at him.

 

Eijirou sighed. He really could not resist his friend. Even though he has a lot of friends, it was just his closest buddies that he really can’t say no to, and that just comprised of Ashido Mina who lived across his house ever since before they were even born.

 

So, he took a deep breath to grasp at his bearings as he stepped to the middle of the spacious living room as if the huge space that just had polished floor was really there to serve as a small dancefloor. He made himself fully aware of his weight, his limbs, the center of gravity that lives in him.

 

He took control of his balance, and let his body move.

 

After both of his feet landed on the floor once more, Mina’s mother nodded. “Did you see that, Mina? That’s the perfect figure. That’s the perfect way to execute a pirouette.”

 


 

 

Eijirou continued to be dragged along by Mina deeper into her attempting to go into the world of dancing.

 

Her mother was never a professional dancer, but she did train dancing for a lot of years. She has always told Eijirou whenever he was over the Ashido household waiting for Mina to finish getting ready that when she was young, she wanted to dance but she got pregnant with Mina just before her big break, just before she was able to enter any competition.

 

He would never tell his dear friend, but Mina’s mother never failed to be emotional in telling him that she lost her dancing figure after her pregnancy and was never made eligible to any opportunity in being a professional. And now, she always claims that the only mission she needs to do is to give Mina everything she knows. That Mina will be the one to continue what she could not do.

 

And it was something that Eijirou’s pink-haired friend swore upon ever since she was young. That she will make her dear mommy’s dreams come true.

 

That led to where Eijirou was being pulled into now, which is a ballroom. A competition. This is the first time Eijirou will be able to witness one. When they arrived inside, it was already starting and the first contestant was already headed to the stage.

 

It made Eijirou do a double take. He had to even rub his eyes.

 

A blonde boy his age was the one to take on the stage that seemed to be too big for him. He was frowning as if he was angry at the whole world. Eijioru wanted to chuckle, but the music blared from the speakers.

 

Eijirou unconsciously placed a hand on his chest and squeezed. All the air dissipated from his lungs the moment the blonde boy moved his lithe body across the stage.

 

He was leaping and twirling and he was everywhere. The stage that was too big for him? He now dominated every inch of it. The boy glided and moved as if he was not human, not a boy, but somewhat from one of the mythical creatures in the otherworldly tales Eijirou knew from his reading comprehension classes.

 

His blonde hair shone under the lights. He never made a sound. The music carried him as if the notes became air that carried him to be that weightless.

 

The boy was beautiful and Eijirou felt like he stopped breathing only to start breathing in a completely different way.

 


 

 

Eijirou was just a goner after that, as if he was finally lured to step into the realm of dancing and the blonde boy was the one who trapped him inside, with no way to turn back.

Of course, he knew of the boy’s name. As if he can forget the name that was called when they were announcing the winners of the competition.

 

Bakugou Katsuki.

 

After a month, he finally was able to convince his parents who were both working separately overseas, to let him enroll at a nearby dance studio in order to take dance lessons seriously. He had asked Mina about it, but she said her mother will only allow her own teaching. Eijirou didn’t want to depend on her friend, so he went on and had to ask their housekeeper who usually acted as his guardian because of his parent’s absence, to help him enroll to the dance studio.

 

The blonde person who fixed his paperwork that day told him that he can star the next weekend after this enrollment. Eijirou was too excited that he almost never slept that week. He couldn’t even focus on school, as he started to watch more and move videos of dances online.

 

His first day finally came and Eijirou was too excited when their hired driver dropped him off. He waved at their driver too happily and skipped inside the studio. He almost collided with a tall man, his long black hair in a high ponytail. He looked exhausted, but he doesn’t look terrifying when he looked at Eijirou.

 

“You’re Kirishima,” he said. “We’re just about to start classes. You’re on time. Now, go inside.”

 

He gave the tall man a salute and headed inside the room which walls weren’t walls, but mirrors. He saw these studios online, but now that he was inside one, he felt giddy. And then he caught sight of his new classmates. The first thing he took note of them was the color of their hair. One has green hair, one has purple, and one has red and white split in half on his head. There were two blondes, one light and one of a darker shade.

 

He blinked as he took in the frowning face of one of the blondes. He looked so graceful and big on stage but in front of Eijirou, he was just a kid like him.

 

He grinned at the boy, thrusting his hand at him. “My name is Kirishima Eijirou, Bakugou-san! I watched you win a competition last month! You looked really pretty on stage!”

 

“Ha?” The blonde boy angrily responded, “Pretty? Who are you calling pretty, ha? I will crush your skull!” He started to do these angry yet still graceful hand gestures. Eijirou now has to add cute to the list of things he can describe Bakugou Katsuki.

 

Eijirou gave his all to every dance lessons he attended so far. It has been a few months since then, and their teachers Aizawa and Yamada, decided that he knows and mastered enough of the basics that he can try to move on to what his other classmates were currently doing.

 

He learned that two boys can also dance with each other as a pair. Some of his classmates were practicing pair dances, such as Todoroki and Midoriya. Kaminari and Shinsou tried for a bit but they said they couldn’t do it because it was too awkward for them to stand so close to each other. Eijoru still thinks that they can dance well with each other.

 

But they have a visitor in the studio today. He was a small man who introduced himself as Nezu, a dancing coach who had the chance to supervise Aizawa and Yamada when they were just students as well.

 

So, right now, Eijirou, along with the others, have skipped their cooldown routine in favor of taking a peek at what was happening in the other room. It was Nezu’s request to watch Aizawa and Yamada dance again.

 

“They’re so amazing,” whispered Midoriya behind him as the boy hold back tears.

 

Todoroki handed him a towel, “As expected of them.”

 

Shinsou then leaned towards Kaminari, “I actually asked Yamada-sensei to teach me some of the moves they were doing in advance. I wanted to try it with you, Denki. Is that okay?”

 

“Of course!” Kaminari chirped. “I will dance with you!”

 

“I will even dance better than them!” Bakugou growled beside Eijirou.

 

Eijirou kept his eyes on the pair who glided around the floor, their feet tangling and untangling again, as if they were weaving or braiding something. They moved fast. Their bodies were pressed against each other in perfect places, and the way they held each other made Eijirou think of puzzle pieces fitting exactly how they were made to.

 

He could not help but gasp when they stopped moving, but not really stopped their dancing. Their faces were so close, their eyes only at each other, and slowly, Yamada guided Aizawa’s body down, down, until long black ponytail hit the floor. Eijirou was reminded of fragile ceramic couples in display cases.

 

But when Yamada hoisted Aizawa upright in one swift motion and they were pressed against each other as if they were embracing, Eijirou knew that there was nothing fragile about them, or about the strong movements they just did.

 

“That’s so cool,” murmured Eijirou to no one in particular. “That was that? It looked so awesome!”

 

Bakugou scowled, “It’s a tango swoop, you dimwit.”

 

“Tango swoop? Sounds so manly! I want to learn how to do that perfectly too! Bakugou, can I tango swoop you?” Eijirou grinned.

 

“Not in a million years. You’re such noob,” Bakugou rolled his eyes.

 

“No? Why not? Why can’t I?”

 

“I just said! You suck! You’re a noob! You haven’t even won anything yet!”

 

Eijirou’s smile widened, “But what if I win something, Bakugou? Do I get to tango swoop you?

 

“Shut up!”

 

“So, do I?”

 

Bakugou’s scowl turned into a challenging smirk, “Then, let’s see if you can beat me. Fine, you dimwit. If you enter competitions that I do and you win instead of me, which would be impossible, I will let you lead me. And for one dance, I will follow.”

 

Eijirou punched the air, “I will enter competitions! I will beat you and I will win! Just so you wait, Bakugou Katsuki! I will get to tango swoop you! That’s a promise!”

Chapter Text

Aizawa eyed Bakugou as he placed his jug beside him, on the floor, with a huff. The man was not looking at anywhere anymore, but his own feet, as he was sitting on the floor, his back against the mirror.

Shinsou, on the other hand, was standing at the opposite side of the room. His eyebags have gotten significantly worse these days, his hair sticking out more as if he was actually electrocuted. He was supposed to be some kind of spectator, but he was definitely zoning out.

He finally looked at the middle of the dancefloor, where Uraraka was being led through a standard routine by Midoriya. The green-haired dancer seemed to be in a good form by the first look. The way he held and led Uraraka was nothing but the right way. But knowing Midoriya, he was dancing from a script in his head. It was methodical. Objectively, they would win if they were graded, but the dance lacked the Midoriya spirit they all knew so well.

Sighing, Aizawa stepped inside the room completely, abandoning the place by the door where he has been standing. His students looked at him, except for Midoriya, but they looked away after a second. Aizawa didn’t want to sigh again, so he just stood there, watching as Uraraka and Midoriya finished their dance.

“Whew,” Uraraka breathed as they broke apart for the bow. She immediately started berating her partner, “That was stiff, Deku! Are you okay?”

Midoriya flinched, but he recovered swiftly. He laughed it off, “I am really fine, Uraraka-san! I promise! Is there anything you need me to adjust to? We still have a few months if there’s anything wrong with our current routine…”

“No, it’s not that! It’s creepy when you dance coldly like that! It’s like it’s not Deku I’m dancing with!” She frowned, looking at Bakugou. “Bakugou, don’t you think Deku’s too cold?”

The blonde looked at them with indifferent eyes, “Deku still sucks, what’s new.”

“Kacchan!” Midoriya exclaimed.

“Whatever, peabrain. I’m not even in this competition, so whatever you’re doing beats me.”

“Huh,” drawled out Shinsou from the other side of the room. “Seeing Blasty so lifeless is just the sign of the times. An apocalypse is happening.”

“Fuck off, twink Barney!” Bakugou yelled, “As if you’re doing any fucking better.”

Aizawa didn’t want to put himself, a grumpy lonely being, in the middle of a spat between other grumpy lonely beings, but someone has to. “Alright, alright. That’s enough. We’re all adults here.” Aizawa sighed, “I don’t want to say that, because I doubt it matters, and I am sure nobody in this room cares about our supposed emotional maturity, but here we are.”

“We apologize, sensei!” Midoriya immediately replied.

 

“None of that,” replied Aizawa. “But I believe something should be done. All of you have your keys. Use that from now on. Practice if you must whenever there are no ongoing classes, and the scheduling… talk about it. You all should know the drill.”

“How about yourself, Aizawa-sensei? You should stay, too.” Shinsou looked at him with the same tired eyes.

“No, I don’t think…”

Midoriya looked at Shinsou for a moment before turning to him, “But you’re not doing anything than manage the studio, right, sensei? You should really stay, too. We can use some of your critiques.”

Midoriya was wrong. He was busy. Busy making himself a lot more miserable than he already was. But that was true, there was nothing holding him than the responsibilities that should keep a whole dance studio running as normal as it can. What he gets even after giving out four people’s wages was even more than enough for a lonely old man to live. Plus, what should he even do with the money? He can maybe adopt another stray ca because feeding and looking after them was the only thing he spends on. But that wouldn’t even carve a lot.

He should get a new hobby.

“Please, Aizawa-sensei! Please teach us again?” Uraraka smiled at him.

“...Fine,” he breathed. “One condition. All of you will help me clean out the office.”

Groans filled the room.


 

Granted, they really did help him with the mess that has become of the little office they have. The small room has two other doors inside: one for the restroom and one for the even smaller room just for storage. Drawers of compiled papers sorted by year were there, and the system was actually neat for a few years, and then it was just chaos for the last eight years or so.

Midoriya was quick to recognize the ‘system’ of how all the papers were sorted out, something Aizawa never bothered to spend time on, even if how free he actually was. There was something about it that he resigned to not touch as if it did not belong to him. When in fact, Ai was half-his, legally. He should have the right to do as he please with the whole place, but he never found the energy to move anything.

He never had to, before, and he never expected that he would eventually have to.

Aizawa watched as Midoriya, Uraraka, and Bakugou scoured through all the files in the storage room. Shinsou was out, sweeping the floor by the big table Aizawa was rearranging. There was too much trash around as well, something he never bothered to do anything because he barely stayed inside the office ever since the place was left to just himself.

 

“Oh, look! Are these the old pictures of the past students in the studio?” Uraraka chirped as she found an old bound photo album. She started to wipe a cloth around it, carefully, removing the layer of dust away.

Aizawa flinched as he recognized the design of the cover. It was the one he strongly disapproved of when he was asked to choose, but the buyer seemed to take an extreme preference to the eccentric patterns that Aizawa had learned to take a liking to it.

Uraraka started to flip open the pages with enthusiasm, until she yelled. “Waa! It’s… it’s all of you! Bakugou, you were so cute! Oh, my! I know that Deku was cute, but the rest of you actually were! Shinsou looked so tired even as a small purple baby! Waa! So cute!”

She then frowned, “I knew you guys were young when you started taking lessons here but I didn’t know you were all this young! When was this, middle school? I joined you guys when we were around twelve… Oh! Who was this? I thought it was just Aizawa-sensei who taught back then! Who was this smiley blonde guy who looked so happy in the pictures?”

Aizawa felt Shinsou, Midoriya, and Bakugou’s eyes on him. It made the old chains around his heart squeeze a little bit tighter, the rusted chains clanking awake once again. Aizawa suppressed the urge to press some of his fingers against his head, “That would be the person who owns half of this place. You must know him. He goes by Present Mic.”

Uraraka’s eyes shined, “Present Mic! He’s Midnight’s partner, right? I didn’t know someone that famous in the industry used to own our little studio!”

“Not ‘used to’ because he still owns half of Ai,” replied Shinsou.

“Really?” Midoriya started to tap on his phone furiously, leaving the stack of papers on his lap. “But I thought… There was some news circling around… There!” He started to read off from his phone. Most likely one of the sites he frequents for gossip and rumors about the goings-on in the dance industry. “Dancing legends Midnight, Present Mic to build a co-owned studio,” Midoriya read. “This was posted last week, I think. Some even believe the studio’s going to rise here in Musutafu.”


 

Aizawa was able to clutter his mind with things about the studio’s accounting and financial concerns all the way home. It was an effective way to keep himself from thinking about other things.

But Ai was not in any danger, financially. The studio’s income has always been steady. It was even going good, if Aizawa will look at it objectively. Having his old students teach was probably one of the better ideas because they were able to produce good students themselves. Their reputation was, of course, irrefutable by now, so even kids from neighboring towns go to Musutafu for dance lessons.

It was more of, what should Aizawa do with the income? Should he expand? Upgrade equipment when he just did earlier this year? Should he get more employees and offer more classes?

 

While the thought of changing anything was a bit too much for Aizawa, it was not unwelcome. Maybe it was time that he should make a change, something that he refused to do for almost a decade now.

Trying to keep his eyes open, he grabbed the mail and padded inside his house, toeing off his shoes by the door. The quiet, cold house that got used to housing two people prematurely. He removed the scarf from his neck, checking the mail he has gotten.

Most of them were bills, but there was one big envelop from a person he frequently communicated before, but the recent years were a bit quiet. Aizawa thought there wouldn’t be anything anymore, but here we are.

He opened the mail, and there was just paperwork. The papers were a certification, that once Aizawa signs it, Ai would belong with him alone. There was also a written agreement that in gratitude of keeping the studio well over the years, a large sum of money that apparently correspond to a half of how much what the studio made for about a decade.

Aizawa just needed to sign. But there was a note that if Aizawa wanted to negotiate, he should send an email to an email address listed.

Basically, the studio was being given to him along with all the money that supposedly belongs to the co-owner of the place. Aizawa felt his chest expand in a bad way, and he knew he wouldn’t feel any better until after he sends an email to the address written.

And that was how he was scheduled for a meeting the next day, which was both too early and too late for Aizawa, if he was going to be asked about it. Not that anyone would actually ask.

And so, Aizawa found himself sitting in the quietest and secluded part of a cafe, in front of the man he never looked at directly for ten years.

“It has been a decade, Shouta,” Yamada Hizashi said, after all the explanation he had to give, all the words that were already implied when Aizawa had gone through all the documents that were sent over by the blonde man’s personal lawyer. He looked resigned as if he just pulled away from his hold to end a dance. “I know you wouldn’t forgive me, but right now, with all the years that were taken away from us both, I just… I just want you to have a choice. If you want to let Ai go, or if you want to do anything to it. I want you to have a choice to be totally free from everything that can potentially tie you to me, still.”

How the legendary Present Mic carried himself didn’t change, but Aizawa can already see so much. But he refused to peel off the layers in front of him, even though it could still be the easiest thing in the world. What he can see, though, was that Hizashi was sure. But Aizawa was sure too, the moment he saw him again.

“I have heard of your plans for another studio.”

He pushed the documents towards him, unsigned.

“But I won’t let you let go of Ai.”

Chapter Text

The lights were dim. That was the first thing Denki can describe the place his parents brought him. It was a hotel and everything he looked at the moment they stepped inside the lobby was shiny lights hanging from the ceiling. But once they were inside a smaller room in one of the floors of the building, it was dim, save for the big space in the center of the room that remained well-light upon the shiny floor.

 

It was a performance they were invited to watch, said his parents, who spent their spare time from their work to watch people dancing on stage. But it was the first time Denki saw a stage that was not in front of the crowd, but in the middle of it. There were people holding devices that were too small to be a phone around the rectangular space.

 

“They said it was a special performance from both Aizawa and Yamada,” said a woman wearing a bright yellow dress to the woman beside him who was wearing a gray three-piece suit.

 

The other woman sagely nodded, “That would be right. Their dances have gotten so rare nowadays, especially because Midnight had taken a liking to Mic herself, or so said the media. Even though Mic was already married to Eraserhead…”

 

“A scandal,” murmured the woman in the yellow dress. “What do you think, though?”

 

“I believe their dance,” was the immediate response of the woman wearing the gray suit. “And whenever I watch Aizawa and Yamada dance together, the sincerity of their feelings shines through. Hearts get exposed when dancing, anyway. Can’t help that. But I don’t think they will ever part ways because they no longer love each other.”

 

Before the woman can reply, a single spotlight shone down, right in the middle. Two men, hand in hand, walked under the bright light until they were enveloped, until there were the only ones Denki was able to see.

 

The music started slow. As the melody rose, they started to move. Denki could not help but gasp as their eyes never wavered as they looked deeply into each other. The floor was all but gone in Denki’s eyes. He was almost sure that they were floating. The spotlight stayed over them all throughout, making them glow.

 

Denki felt like he wanted to cry. He also felt like his heart has gotten misplaced somewhere else as his chest expanded across his still young chest.

 

But then it ended. It shouldn’t have, but the dance between the two men, ended. It was the most loving thing Denki has ever witnessed. Not even the words that he knew meant affection can compare to the look, the touch, the rhythm of their bodies gliding on the floor.

What Denki wanted after that was clear. He never wanted anything more, and the moment his parents asked him again what the would like to do, his answer was deafening. He was sure. So, after a few weeks of waiting for something he did not know would come, his parents told him that they enrolled him for a dance school starting that summer.

 

Denki was ecstatic. He wanted a partner of his own, too. Someone he can dance like that with. Someone who has eyes he can drown in. Someone he can trust his feet and hands and body with.

 

It was a shock to Denki, though, that it was not able to happen as he often dreamed it would after watching Eraserhead and Present Mic dance. Even though the dancers are now his instructors. There was no magic in this world, was what he learned after the first day of dance school.

 

He was eager then, smiling at all the boys in his class. He happily exclaimed, “My name is Kaminari Denki and I will be joining you all today! Please take care of me! Also, I want a partner too, so if anyone can be my partner...”

 

Denki looked at his new classmates’ face. A green-haired boy was smiling back. A boy whose hair was half-red and half-white was looking at him as neutral as possible. A purple haired boy was too sleepy to properly pay attention. And then the other blonde boy looked at him with a sour yet disinterested expression. Nonetheless, Denki swallowed the lump in his throat. “So, please! If anyone of you can dance with me, I will be really thankful!”

 

And that was it, no one rejected him. But no one said yes, either. He quickly knew why, though, as quickly as he knew their names. Midoriya and Todoroki already decided that they are partners. Bakugou has been joining solo competitions and has a lot of trophies to prove that he won’t be looking for a dance partner anytime soon. As for the purple haired boy named Shinsou, he never spoke to Denki beyond saying his name, so there’s that.

 

Maybe he was just shy, was what his parents say when he told them that maybe he would never find a partner who would want to dance with him. Who would, when he was such a beginner compared to them? He was even slow in picking up his lessons, too, and that subtracted so many points from his chances to get someone dancing with him.

 

Of course, that didn’t subtract anything from Denki’s confidence and stubbornness. Because he just walked towards Shinsou as they took a break. He offered a smile as he shook a bag in front of the other boy, “I brought cookies. I baked them myself. My mom stood by. Supervision, she said. Oh! Don’t worry, I made sure that they’re healthier, if you’re worried about your diet. Not that you should worry because you’re still young, you should enjoy sweet sometimes.”

 

Shinsou looked at the cookies skeptically.

Somehow, Denki understood. “No! This isn’t a bribe from me to make you my dance partner! It’s fine! I want to share them! I already know that you don’t want to be my partner anyway!”

 

Shinsou, took a cookie from the bag and ate it all with one bite. He looked a bit contemplative as he chewed. After swallowing, he looked at Denki. “Thank you. Your cookies are good. And I didn’t say that I don’t want to be your partner.”

 

Denki blinked, and blinked again. “Right. I know you didn’t.”

 

Shinsou nodded and went back to his own bag, trying to find something. Denki felt a bit awkward staying so he walked over to Midoriya and Todoroki, offering them cookies. They took a few with thanks. Bakugou joined them, taking a cookie. He frowned at it, “Too much salt.”

 

Denki looked back at Shinsou, who found his towel and was wiping his sweat. He sighed. Even though Shinsou didn’t say anything about rejecting Denki, he knew that he wouldn’t agree to it as well. And Denki knew it too, that he wouldn’t be able to dance as well as Shinsou, at least up until a level that the purple haired boy will recognize him as a viable partner.

 

Three sessions later, Aizawa-sensei and Yamada-sensei decided to teach Midoriya and Todoroki more lessons on pair dancing. Denki knew he would just look at them in awe as they try dancing like the Eraserhead and the Present Mic, the ones that had Denki wanting something like that for himself. But then, he should not keep himself in despair. What he can learn by listening and watching, maybe he can apply it once he found his own partner.

 

Denki found himself watching the session, sitting on the floor. His heart started beating wildly for an elementary school kid the moment Shinsou sat beside him. He grappled for the words, but then Shinsou was able to speak first.

 

“Do you like dancing with a partner that much?”

 

Denki could not help but perk up with the question, “Of course! That’s why I am here. I want to dance with someone, too. I want to dance with someone who will also just dance for me. Watching Aizawa-sensei and Yamada-sensei dance made me... want something like that, too. They were beautiful.”

 

“Do you want someone to lead you, then?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Leading and following. I’m sure you noticed that when they dance, it was Mic-sensei who leads, and Aizawa-sensei would always be there to follow him.”

 

“Oh! So, that what it was! Then, I want to be the one to follow. I’m sure that would make my partner upset because I think I wouldn’t be good, but...”

 

“I won’t be upset,” Shinsou said with a small shake of his head.

 

Denki felt his soul being tugged upwards. He looked at Shinsou, and then back at Midoriya and Todoroki as Yamada-sensei instructed them how to hold each other properly. The two boys already have pinkish cheeks and Denki knew that if his own cheeks would just be as pink if he was in their situation.

 

“We can try what they’re doing,” Shinsou spoke again.

 

The first thing Denki thought was how he was wrong when he thought that magic wasn’t real. Because obviously, with this boy beside him, it really was real.

 

So, he did what he needed to do. He yelled, “Sensei, can we join, too! Shinsou just agreed to be my dance partner!”

 

 

Chapter Text

By the time he was able to finish pulling off all the money bills stuck on his clothes and skin, the middle of Bakugou’s eyebrows was aching from him frowning too much.

 

He could not help the growl that escaped from his lips as he started to count the money. He was getting a lot through performances like this as it was also on top of the wage he’s getting from the club manager. All of it was just bonuses but usually, the amount can even be double of what the manager can even offer him.

 

Plus, he still works for Aizawa, so he should not even have any financial burden to solve. He started to do this after the manager knew about him being a dancer. It was a few years ago, just a little after a month after Kirishima decided that he would take another person, a woman, to be his dancing partner from then on. Bakugou decided to drink then, and information was weaseled out of him by the manager.

 

Somehow, he found himself coming back and taking up the offer. He thought that it could erase the annoying feelings in his chest for a little while. And maybe, this he would never tell anyone, maybe he did it so he can imagine that Kirishima was there, Picturing Kirishima watching him dance was what got him through the worst of nights.

 

Maybe it was something he shouldn’t do, but here he was. This time, after all this time, Kirishima was finally watching him.

 

But instead of having the emptiness in his chest is filled up, it was the opposite. He feels emptier than before, especially seeing someone else beside him.

 

The door of his backstage dressing room opened. He was about to flip off whoever it was, but it was Shinsou Hitoshi who entered. Hiding his relief, Bakugou settled with a well-placed scowl.

 

Shinsou looked at him, “Under normal circumstances, you would be out of your costume by now.”

 

“Yeah, and we should all have been trying to get you to treat us McBurgers from all your sweaty cash. It is a bit weird that you’re still covered in glitter,” added Shinsou.

 

“As if this shitty night is under fucking normal circumstances. Why the fuck is he here tonight?” Bakugou snarled as he stuffed the bills into his wallet before throwing it inside his knapsack.

 

“We’re not Google, Bakugou. Sorry,” Shinsou replied with a shrug.

 

Bakugou rolled his eyes before Shinsou spoke again, “But, hey, Izuku and Ochaco are outside, taking with him. Maybe to, you know, have him not go anywhere. Absolutely not to someone’s backstage dressing room.”

 

Shinsou took a monoblock and sat on it, “And I believe Izuku and Ochaco deserve burgers as well as I do. Fries on the side, too. You know, using your damp money.”

 

“And what made you fucking think you deserve anything?” Bakugou replied.

 

“I am here asking you if you’re fine. That should count,” Shinsou replied. “Out of the, uh, the goodness of my heart and soul.”

 

“Fuck off, your heart is as broken as mine.”

 

“That may be true, but still. Are you okay?”

 

“Fuck, no. How can you even ask that shit?”

 

“Huh,” remarked Shinsou. “That’s eerily honest of you. I’m listening, though, beyond what a trip to McDonald’s can get me.”

 

“Fuck you, purple brain. I just need to get out of these shitty clothes. The glitters gonna be such a bitch, though.” Bakugou said as he stood up and started to strip.

 

Shinsou immediately turned to face the door, “Ah, no. This, I did not sign up for. Not even for ten orders of fries.”

 

“Then, you can fucking go out. You won’t be invited back in. No McDonald’s for you, too,” Bakugou replied as he walked towards the clothes rack to get his shorts and hoodie. He tried to wipe his bare arms off of the glitter, but they were stuck in his skin. He scowled as it was going to be a pain to remove later on but he still quickly jumped into his shorts and shirt. Bakugou felt sticky and uncomfortable but the feeling of having Kirishima so near was far more damaging.

 

Shinsou was silent as he kept facing the door as Bakugou changed. He looked at his purple-haired friend who he knew was already experiencing something similar. He sighed, “How the fuck do you do this?”

 

“You can give me a bit more information to work with,” Shinsou replied. “Are you decent?”

 

“I changed. Decent, my ass. You have watched me technically fucking a pole with almost nothing on for a few years now. What fucking difference does that make?”

 

Shinsou turned around, “It’s called consent, Blasty. And please, work with me here. I want my fries.”

 

Bakugou looked away, “I meant this, seeing that person again. I know you saw Kaminari around town recently. How the fuck did you manage to stand upright afterward?”

 

Shinsou snorted, “Who said I was able to?”

 

“Ah, right. Forgot for a second that you’re a fucking loser,” replied Bakugou as he sat on his chair. “And shitty Deku had to have a panic attack seeing Todoroki inside his house. A loser, too, that one.”

 

“That doesn’t give you much advantage over us, you know. With you hiding in here and all that.”

 

“I was able to finish a fucking performance on stage, purple moron. That shit’s already got a thousand points over both of your asses.”

 

“If we’re banking on that, then Aizawa-sensei’s the champ. Not you,” smirked Shinsou. “The Dad even called in on Mic himself. He set the meeting and all. That’s a power move right there.”

 

“More like a power bottom move,” snorted Bakugou.

 

Shinsou nodded, seemingly sage. “Of course, my bad. Only a bottom can detect such things about a fellow bottom, I’m afraid.”

 

Bakugou took one of the throw pillows lying around and hurled it in Shinsou’s direction. As the purple-haired dancer caught it against his chest, there was a series of knocks on the door. It was in rapid succession as if the one knocking was even trying to create a tune.

 

Shinsou looked at Bakugou before quickly started typing on his phone. A few seconds later, he looked at Bakugou again just as the second series of knocking came through.

 

“Uh, okay. So, Izuku said they’re still talking with Kirishima…”

 

“The fuck? That can’t be the manager, right?”

 

“Well, if it is…”

 

“Fine. Open the gates of hell,” Bakugou muttered.

 

“Dramatic,” Shinsou replied as he got up from his monoblock to opened the door.

 

Bakugou prepared himself from Best Jeanist’s voice but then there was a very pink head of hair that poked in through the doorway. He growled, “And who the fuck are you?”

 

The pink girl laughed, “Yes, yes, I expected this much. My name’s Ashido Mina! You might have never heard anything about me, haha, but….”

 

“Yeah, you’re fucking right. I haven’t. So, fuck off.”

 

“Expected that, too! But I know you, Katsuki Bakugou! Ei-chan told me about you,” she chirped, still by the doorway.

 

Bakugou scowled. It was true that he had never known an Ashido Mina, but she was the reason why everything fell apart for Bakugou. She was that woman Kirishima decided to go with, in the end. She was the one wrapped around his arm the day after he left Bakugou alone in the dancing studio. She was the one he was dancing with, now. He never even knew her name from Kirishima. He had to know from a news network Midoriya kept on reading articles from, a few years back.

 

“So, can I go inside? I’d like to talk to you, Bakugou.”

 

She still stepped inside the room a second after. Shinsou wordlessly closed the door.

 

“Make it fucking quick. You have thirty seconds, Pinky.”

 

“Fine!” She presented a number of tickets towards Bakugou, “Here! Ei-chan and I want you guys to watch our performance next week! Especially you, Bakugou. Your dance tonight was really something! Spicy! And… well, I’d like to approach you, too, and tell you that Ei-chan would really love it if you’re there to watch him. He’s gonna dance in his hometown, after all.” She laughed, “But it’s all on me! I’m here because of just me, Ei-chan doesn’t know. I’d like to do something for him, you know, as his dear partner!”

 

Partner. Ei-chan.

 

Partner.

 

Ei-chan.

 

Bakugou felt himself leap on his feet. He paced towards the woman, “You fucking bitch. So, you’re fucking here for that, huh. You wanna fucking rub all of this shit in my face, huh. You really wanna fucking do this, you second-rate bitch?”

 

“Katsuki,” Shinsou stepped in between them. “Please, it’s not the time.”

 

“Not the time? Well, this little pink bitch decided that it fucking is, so you gotta fucking have to deal with it. She had the fucking nerve to go here and declare war against me. Against me? Fuck that!”

 

He then snarled towards Ashido, “You dare come here but you could not even dance.”

 

“Katsuki,” said Shinsou as he placed his phone against his ear.

 

“You need to steal someone else’s partner so that you can carry your career upward. Now, that’s fucking nice.”

 

The door opened again. Midoriya and Uraraka entered. Uraraka took Ashido by the shoulders gently, “Hey, Mina. We’ve met earlier, right?”

 

“Uh, yes! Uraraka-san,” answered Ashido.

 

“Oh, what are those? Tickets for your show?”

 

“Ah, really!” Midoriya chirped, “That’s really cool!”

 

“Yeah, I was asking Blasty here to go. I think Kirishima would love that surprise,” she answered them.

 

Bakugou was fuming just seeing them being so friendly with each other. He growled, “So, what the fuck is this? All of you are fucking friends now?”

 

Uraraka laughed as she steered Ashido away from Bakugou, “Ah, about the tickets! You have enough for all of us, right? That sounds really cool. We will make sure to come and watch! Kirishima was once our classmate, too. I’m sure he’d be glad to be visited by his old friends.”

 

“Okay! Sounds good!” Ashido said as Uraraka led the woman outside the dressing room, handing Midoriya the tickets.

 

“Yeah, haha. Kirishima-kun said he’s gonna wait outside,” Midoriya supplied as the women stepped out completely.

 

Once they were out of earshot, Shinsou shook his head.

 

Midoriya looked at Bakugou, “That wasn’t very nice, Kacchan.”

 

Bakugou glared at him, “Fuck your moral conscience, shitty Deku.”

 

“That’s what I’m here for,” the green-haired dancer answered his childhood friend.

 

Bakugou looked away. He was angry. But maybe it was placed shittily. Because, in the fucking end, he was angry at himself most of all. Because he was the one who lost, and was left behind.

Chapter Text

“Six! Five! Four!”

 

Denki tried to keep up but he was already beyond exhausted. He was a beat late and totally out of sync with the rest of the class.

 

“Three!”

 

They all did a spin. Denki is late, again.

 

“Two! One! Hold position!”

 

Denki watched as Aizawa-sensei moved around to check each and everyone’s posture. Denki did okay with the first three students but as Aizawa-sensei moved closer and closer to Denki, he was losing his posture fast. He started to tremble the moment Aizawa-sensei patted Midoriya’s back, making him stand up straighter.

 

His own posture was all in shambles by the time Aizawa-sensei stepped in front of him. The dark-haired dance instructor moved his hands into position as he also guided his lower back into properly supporting his upper body.

 

“The rest of you who have been in this studio for more than a year should know how to hold your posture by now,” Aizawa-sensei said before leaning down to his level. “Kaminari, I know you can improve and it’s fine if it takes a bit more time. You’ve been here for a few months and it’s okay if your body is still adjusting.” Then to everyone, he said, “Okay. Next!”

 

After the session, Denki’s heart was still sinking. Aizawa-sensei can be kind but he wanted to dance along with the others just as well already. He wanted to catch up with all of them quickly but his body just doesn’t cooperate. He was quietly zipping his bag when he saw Shinsou walking towards him in the studio’s mirrored walls.

 

“Kaminari,” he spoke, voice a bit low.

 

“Ah, Shinsou-kun! How are you? Haha, was I funny trying to catch up with you guys today?” He asked as he tried to be bright as usual.

 

“That, Kaminari. Is it okay if I ask you? No, I’m just going to tell you. I’m okay with it. If you’re going to ask me to teach you, even just for simple things. About dancing.”

 

Denki could not help but smile, “Shinsou-kun, so cool, but are we going to be allowed to stay here? You know, when it’s not our class time.”

 

“No, I don’t think so. But I can still do it. Not here, maybe… somewhere else?” Shinsou looked away.

 

This time, Denki was grinning. All of his worries have faded away. It was as if Shinsou picked up his sunken heart and handed it back to him, whole and new. He slung his backpack over one of his shoulders, “Then, how about my home? You can come over! My parents would love it! They would fix us snacks as many as you want, Shinsou-kun!”

 

 


 

 

And so it began. The arrangement was simple, especially during weekends. Every after their classes in elementary school, Shinsou would visit Denki in his home and they would practice for an hour and a half.

 

“Shinsou-kun!” Denki cried as Shinsou kept giving him drills again. “This is hard! Too hard! You’re more difficult than Aizawa-sensei!”

 

“But you said you’re fine with me teaching you,” replied Shinsou. “You would not be able to dance well if your body is not ready for it. We need to help your body get used to it. It’s going to be fine.”

 

“But it’s too hard!” Denki whined as he repeated the same exercise over and over again.

 

“If it’s hard, it means it’s working. I mean, that’s what Mic-sensei told me before. I think,” said Shinsou.

 

“You listen to them too much,” complained Denki as he finished another set.

 

Shinsou only looked at him with an unchanging expression. Denki groaned. Shinsou sighed, “Okay. We can take a little break after two sets.”

 

“Waa! Thanks, Shinsou-kun! You’re the best!” Denki happily finished two more sets of the exercise.

 

The months that followed after went on in a similar fashion, but for Denki, it was not boring at all. Even the changing of the seasons could not stop Denki from wanting to dance more and more. It was something Denki treasured most of all. One afternoon, Denki went back from school feeling more tired than usual.

 

He just got out of his uniform and was about to change into his practice clothes when his mother poked her head in his room, “Denki?”

 

“Mom? I’m almost done,” he answered as he suppressed another yawn.

 

His mother hummed, “Dear, are you sure you’re alright to practice today? You may sleep the rest of the afternoon, I can just call Hitoshi-kun’s dad about it and tell them you’re too tired today.”

 

With the lack of answer, his mother entered his room. She immediately wiped away the tears that were falling against Denki’s cheeks before he even noticed that he was already crying himself. She frowned at him, “Oh. Did mommy say something bad? I’m sorry, Denki.”

 

Denki shook his head, “Mama, I don’t want to skip practice today. I can do it. Denki needs to practice more. I need to make Shinsou-kun proud today, too, because he always does his best teaching me.”

 

He started wiping at his tears and trying not to yawn again. His eyes were failing him fast. He looked up at his mother, “Mama, I still want to dance.”

 

“It’s okay, Denki. Hitoshi-kun would be here in about half an hour. We can let you get a quick nap and mommy will make you something sweet that can help you stay awake by the time he arrives, okay?”

 

Denki nodded as he wore his practice outfit and climbing on his bed. He let his head hit the pillows, “Okay, mommy. Until Shinsou-kun comes here.”

 

But when he woke, his head was clear and he felt like he indulged too far. He looked around and blushed hard as he found Shinsou sitting by his bed, silently slipping pages of a book. He looked at Denki when the blonde boy got up into a sitting position.

 

“Ah, you’re awake.”

 

“Shinsou-kun! How… how long were you waiting?” Denki exclaimed.

 

“About an hour,” replied Shinsou. “Your mom made cookies. I dipped them into hot chocolate. They were good.”

 

“An hour! I told her to wake me!” Denki quickly slipped off his bed and took Shinsou’s hands. “We still need to rehearse!”

 

“It’s fine, Kaminari. You needed the rest. I told your mom to wait until you wake up. I didn’t mind waiting,” replied Shinsou.

 

Denki turned to hug him suddenly, “Shinsou! You’re such a good partner! Now, I believe that I would never find someone better ever! You’re the best! Please be my partner forever!”

 

Shinsou looked away as he patted Denki’s back. This was the scene Denki’s mother saw as she opened the door. She smiled, “I see Denki’s awake. Come now, both of you.”

 

After Denki was able to eat his snacks, he and Shinsou were finally ready to go. Denki turned to Shinsou as they asked Denki’s mother to set up their music for them. It was an old jive song called ‘I’m A Believer’ and it was something that Shinsou chose with Aizawa-sensei’s help. Denki was able to pry that information for a whole month.

 

The song was upbeat and it required Denki to really go beyond his boundaries in order to keep up with the dance’s fast pace. After the months of practice they put into, Denki was at least a bit complacent that he can complete the routine.

 

Shinsou held out his hand, “Kaminari. You ready to hold my hand?”

 

“As long as it’s yours, Shinsou-kun, then yes!” He smiled as he took Shinsou’s hand and they moved into position, in the middle of the living room.

 

His mother pressed play and they started to move as the first beats of the song filled them both. Denki was smiling as he moved around the living room, perfect and in sync with his partner. He could not help it. He was grinning at his point as he barely felt his footfalls. None of it matters now. He has a partner and that was the most important thing.

Shinsou was so close to him. They weren’t pressed against each other much but every time Shinsou holds his hand or leading him by placing a steady hand against his back. Denki knew himself that he was kicking and hopping beside Shinsou but what he felt was different.

 

He felt like he was flying.

 


 

 

Denki and Shinsou tried to catch their breath as they stopped at their last positions, with their hands both shoulder-level. They bowed, signaling that they finished their routine. Mic-sensei was the first to react by clapping loudly. This prompted a round of applause from the rest of their classmates.

 

Denki looked at Shinsou, who was smiling softly at him. He could not help it, he jumped and embraced his partner. It was simply because he can. He can hug his partner because he finally has one. And they just finished presenting their first routine ever.

 

Aizawa-sensei cleared his throat, making both boys look at their teacher. He looked at Mic who gave a huge grin and two thumbs up. He tiredly looked at the boys once more, “Okay, alright. Since I got Mic-sensei’s approval, then the two of you should be okay. Registrations are ongoing so make sure both of you pass the required paperwork.”

 

“Yay, congratulations, you two!” Mic-sensei yelled as the clapping resumed.

 

Denki was confused. Shinsou took his hand, “That means, we get to compete together.”

 

“You mean, dance together? And win… together?”

 

Shinsou nodded, “Yes, we will win together.”