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Love Me Harder

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The last thing Izuku Midoriya saw before everything went black was a table full of frightened faces, followed by the front end of a semi truck.

Upon waking up, his vision was filled with blonde, a puff of blurry, spiky blonde hair that was framed by flickering light as though it was on fire. It took a moment for Izuku to piece together that it wasn’t the hair that was on fire, but rather, the scenery behind it that had caught aflame, filling the wrecked establishment with low-hanging smoke.

“Oi, Deku.” As Izuku’s sight began to clear up, he realized that it was Katsuki Bakugou who was hovering above him, tapping his cheek with his palm in a not-so-gentle attempt to get him to move. “You gotta get up. Now.

For a moment - a moment in which he no doubt wasted precious seconds - Izuku struggled to comprehend what in the everloving fuck was going on. And then it all came screaming back in vivid color. A table full of frightened faces. A semi crashing through the front of the tea shop where they’d been enjoying an early evening snack as a class. The harrowing realization that the driver of said semi was no longer in the vehicle.

Izuku was pulled back to the situation at hand as a sharp slap to his face jolted his senses. Emerald eyes flicked up to meet ruby reds, his own narrowing slightly as he reached up to rub his cheek in pain.

“I said get up.” Katsuki was no longer playing around, apparently, as his fingers wrapped around Izuku’s wrist, yanking him to his feet. The green-haired teen wobbled slightly as he struggled to find his footing, glancing around him to take in his frightening surroundings.

The entire tea shop was destroyed - surely not from the semi alone - and many limbs laid sticking out from under fallen pieces of ceiling or other piles of rubble. Izuku tried not to think about the fact that many of those could have belonged to his classmates. Smoke rose from small, budding fires in various locations, and the sky had changed from a late evening haze to a pitch black. How long had he been out?

“What happened…” Izuku mumbled, rubbing his head in pain as a sharp sensation throbbed its way through his skull. “Is everyone okay…?”

“They’re fine.” The blonde growled, not releasing his grip on Izuku’s arm. For an omega, he was rather intimidating, especially now that he was barking orders at the smaller boy. “The alphas have been holding off those… uh, those things...while we waited for you and Kaminari to wake up.”

Things? Raising an eyebrow to show his confusion, Izuku looked up at Katsuki in question, waiting for the blonde to explain. When he didn’t, the teen’s scent soured in apprehension, not liking the feeling of being kept in the dark. Katsuki seemed to notice this, because his nose wrinkled in distaste, but he still said nothing, giving Izuku’s wrist a sharp tug.

“Come on.” Katsuki mumbled, stepping over piles of rubble and causing the smaller boy to stumble along after him. He led Izuku over to where Ochako and Sero had gathered around an obviously fried Kaminari. The electric blonde was seated on the ground, being held up by Sero, while he repeatedly mumbled “yay” and gave everyone the thumbs up. How that had happened without the teen having to use his quirk, Izuku didn’t know, but as Katsuki’s blatant silence had told him, now wasn’t the time for questions.

“Oh, Izuku, thank goodness…” Ochako, who had been fanning at Kaminari’s face as though that would help, stood from her spot to rush over to Izuku, wrapping him up in her embrace. She rubbed her cheek lightly against his, and he breathed in the soft scent of strawberry cake, instantly feeling comforted by her presence where Katsuki had done nothing to soothe him. “When you didn’t wake up for a while, we’d assumed the worst…”

“I’m fine, ‘Chako…” The green-haired teen replied with a small smile, nuzzling her in return while Katsuki watched on in annoyance.

“Can we all catch up later?” The blonde growled, rolling his eyes. Izuku had been about to retort, but his words died in his throat as another group of students approached the omegas, their faces and clothes splattered with blood and what looked like… flesh? There were six in total, consisting of Yaoyorozu, Iida, Jirou, Shouji, Todoroki, and Mina, all of which were carrying makeshift weapons of some sort as though they’d just stepped out of an apocalypse. Is that what was happening? Izuku still wasn’t quite sure of what was going on.

“Izuku’s awake?” Jirou spoke up, casting her gaze on the omega as obvious relief flickered in her eyes. “Does that mean we can get the fuck out of here now?” She was resting a bloodied piece of pipe against her shoulder, tapping it there absentmindedly as though she was unaware of the bloodstains on her face.

“It would be wise to do so.” Iida, who was a few steps behind her, responded with formality. “This place isn’t safe. We should get the omegas out of here and somewhere safer.”

“But where?” Ochako spoke carefully, still hanging on to Izuku as her scent bittered with fear. “What’s happening?”

“Kirishima should be back soon.” Yaoyorozu’s voice sounded from over by the shattered window, and Izuku drew his gaze over to her as she stepped her way around the rubble. A rifle was strapped to her back, one that she’d no doubt created herself, and the green-haired hero vaguely wondered why on earth she would need a rifle.

Yaoyorozu bent down to Ochako’s level, forcing a calm smile onto her face as she moved to rest her hand against the girl’s cheek. The omega whimpered, nuzzling her face into Yaoyorozu’s hand and breathing in the alpha’s calming scent.

“Where is he?” Now Katsuki was agitated, barking his question at the alpha with intensity. “Where did he go?”

“He went out to find somewhere we can take you all.” Yaoyorozu answered, still lightly stroking Ochako’s cheek with her wrist. “Don’t worry, he’ll-”

As if on cue, the redheaded alpha suddenly burst through the front doors - which were hanging precariously off their hinges - a gun in hand and a look of hope in his eyes. Izuku startled, stumbling back a little and nearly tripping over the debris as Kirishima ran over to them.

“Guys! I found a place, but we have to move now. Is Izuku-” As the redhead’s eyes landed on the omega, a similar look of relief that had danced in Jirou’s eyes melted onto his face, and he let out an audible breath of air. “Ah, thank god. Someone get Denki, we gotta go.”

“On it.” Mina suddenly spoke up from where she’d been standing in the back of the group of alphas, chewing on a wad of bubblegum as though she hadn’t a care in the world. Izuku could tell that that was just an act to calm the frightened omegas, but he appreciated it all the same.

A sudden rush of pheromones seemed to waft over from Jirou’s direction, spicing her scent so much that Izuku felt his nose burn. She didn’t say anything, but Mina seemed to bristle, her own scent becoming much stronger. Bubblegum and the pungent scent of incense clashed in the air, but only for a moment, because Mina was already on her way to Kaminari’s side, and Jirou’s intimidating scent slowly faded away. Mina gently shooed Sero away from Kaminari, turning around and squatting down.

“Sero”, she peered over her shoulder at him, raising an eyebrow. “Could you help him get on my back? I’ll carry him from there.”

With a nod, Sero hooked his hands under Kaminari’s armpits, basically lifting him and placing him onto Mina’s back, as the electric blonde continued “whee”ing quietly.

“Can everyone else walk?” Kirishima questioned, and after receiving affirming nods from the rest of the group, he cocked his gun, turning towards the entrance. “Alright. Let’s get going, then, it’s not far from here. Shouji, can you take the rear? Make sure no one gets picked off from the back?”

“Absolutely.”

“Great. Come on.”

With that, the battered class 1-A began their trek, climbing through the shattered window of the tea shop and stepping out onto the street. It was then that Izuku truly realized the magnitude of what they were facing.

There was destruction as far as he could see, on a level that he’d only seen before in movies or video games. From inside the tea shop, he hadn’t been able to see much, his senses clouded with fear and the pungent scents of other frightened omegas. Now that they were outside, however, he found himself thrown into utter chaos.

People were running in every direction, and the sounds of screams and gunshots could be heard from all around him. Cars were parked haphazardly on the streets and up on the sidewalks, seemingly abandoned with the doors thrown wide open. Izuku couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

However, none of that was what managed to shock him the most. No, what really chilled the omega to his core was the grotesque, guttural sound of groaning that was coming from a parked car a few feet away. Slowly turning his gaze in that direction, Izuku crept forward, and nearly lost his lunch instantly at what he saw.

A woman was trapped under her vehicle, her fingers clawing and scraping at the asphalt as she tried to pull herself out from underneath. She was moving a little slowly, reaching out for Izuku and letting out another bone-chilling growl that sounded far from human. But, the most chilling thing about her was her eyes, the way they’d dulled so much that they’d completely lost all color, holding nothing but a vacant expression within them. When Izuku looked into those eyes, he saw absolutely nothing behind them.

What the fuck.

“Midoriya…”

A gentle, and slightly cold hand landed on Izuku’s shoulder, causing him to jump slightly. He was suddenly surrounded by the heavy smell of mint and, surprisingly, smoke, like a freshly blown out candle. He knew that scent.

Instantly relaxing, Izuku turned his head a little to see Todoroki standing there, a look of concern plastered on his face.

“We have to keep moving.” The two-toned hero said quietly, giving the omega a little nudge to his lower back. “There’s more of those, and they’re far more dangerous when they’re not trapped. Stay close to me, just look straight ahead. You’ll be okay.”

Yes, but what exactly are they? Izuku couldn’t help but wonder as he allowed the quiet alpha to nudge him along. He found himself instantly soothed by the boy’s gentle pheromones, and he closed his eyes for a moment, breathing deeply as he continued to shuffle along.

Todoroki seemed to sense this, because he was suddenly at Izuku’s side, leaning down to rub his neck lightly against the teen’s shoulder a few times. It was incredibly calming, and Izuku appreciated it, as his worries had been getting a little out of control. Grounded by Todoroki’s scent, he focused himself once again on the task at hand, following after the group of students with the taller teen right behind him.

The place that Kirishima had found was a little bit outside of the city, and Izuku wondered just how the redhead had managed to get all the way out here and back without getting hurt. He decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth, however, as if Kirishima hadn’t done what he’d done, they’d still be stuck in that tea shop that honestly looked like it was seconds from collapsing.

This new place was an old motel, surprisingly already abandoned. It didn’t seem to be very popular even before all of this happened, as there were no cars parked in the parking lot, and there didn’t seem to be any lingering scents in the area except for Kirishima’s. It was relatively quiet too, though the distant sounds of chaos could still be heard coming from the city.

The group huddled in the small lobby of the motel, taking a moment to rest and recover while the alphas peeled off to the side. Shouji switched on the lobby television, and the alphas grouped around it, concentrating on a newscast that appeared to be broadcasting the latest event.

They seemed to be discussing something, and something serious at that, judging by the powerful scents that were coming off of all of them. It was nearly suffocating, but Izuku didn’t dare go outside for fresh air, for fear of being all alone out there. He’d never been bothered by being alone before, but now… things were different.

“They need protection…”

Managing to catch the smallest snippet of conversation, Izuku raised an eyebrow, figuring that “they” was referring to the small group of omegas. He knew it was rude to eavesdrop, but considering the circumstances, he figured he couldn’t be blamed.

Kaminari, who had been set down on the ground, was starting to recover, shaking his head and blinking a few times. He glanced around at the other four omegas, obviously trying to figure out what was going on. He didn’t get much time to ponder however, for the alphas were coming back, solemn expressions on their faces.

“According to the news, this situation is worldwide.” Yaoyorozu spoke quietly, her brows knit together with worry. “These… these creatures, whatever they are… they’re not living. They’re people, but the only part of them that works is the part of their brain that focuses on survival. That being said…” Here, she paused, looking around at all the alphas as though she was afraid of what was about to be said next.

“That being said?” Katsuki prodded in annoyance, his arms crossing across his chest.

“That being said.” Yaoyorozu cleared her throat firmly, taking a deep breath and continuing on. “They especially go after omegas. Their desire to survive includes a desire to breed, even though they’re infertile. The infection can be spread through their… their fluids, so if they manage to get you, it could be fatal.”

“Quick question.” All eyes shifted to Katsuki as he spoke up again, and Izuku felt a swell of annoyance build up in his chest. Why couldn’t he just let people talk? “Why are you treating us all like we’re pups? Ever since this whole situation started, you’ve all been going off together and talking without us, making some sort of decisions like we’re nothing but livestock to be protected from wolves. What gives?”

At this, Yaoyorozu frowned, chewing on the inside of her mouth as though she’d just been reprimanded for bad behavior. In this moment, Izuku wanted to smack Katsuki upside the head.
“I’m sorry.” She said finally, casting her gaze towards the floor. “We were really just trying to decide something between all of us. We don’t believe you can’t take care of yourselves or that we’re stronger than you. It’s just… ever since that semi came crashing through the window, we’ve been in protective mode… and there’s only five of you. And seven of us.”

Oh.

As those words sunk in, Izuku looked around at his fellow classmates, knowing exactly what Yaoyorozu was implying. If these creatures were specifically after omegas, then they were all going to need an alpha around them at all times, whether they liked it or not. But since there were only five of them…

“So, what, you’re going to fight over us?” Katsuki sneered, voicing what Izuku had honestly been thinking as well. “Gonna draw names out of a hat and decide who gets who? Don’t we get a say in who our arranged mate is gonna be?”

“It’s not arranged mating.” Iida’s voice made Izuku’s skin crawl, as it had taken on a sharp tone that he rarely used. “We are simply splitting up our efforts. We cannot all watch all of you at once, that would be counterproductive. We’re simply splitting you up to keep watch over you individually. That is all.”

That shut Katsuki up, which created a rather tense silence for a moment. In all honesty, Izuku didn’t really care who was chosen to be his caretaker. What he wanted to know was how this outbreak started in the first place, and what these creatures really were, but no one seemed to have that information at the ready. It was a bit frustrating, really.

Hoping to ease the tension, Shouji disappeared into the receptionist’s office, returning with some continental pastries that he’d found stashed in the back. Discovering that they were all much hungrier than they thought, everyone dug in, and the suffocating silence was lifted for just a moment.

As Izuku chewed on a cheese danish, he was suddenly engulfed in that minty smokiness that he’d come to grow quite fond of. Turning to see Todoroki sitting next to him, munching on a bear claw, he let a soft smile melt onto his face. Todoroki had been one of his closest friends since the UA sports festival, and Izuku had found that nothing could calm him down quite like Todoroki could.

“Midoriya…”

There it was again, that soft, gentle uttering of his name. Nodding, Izuku widened his eyes in interest, licking a bit of frosting from the corner of his mouth.

“If it’s okay with you…” The two-toned hero said quietly, the lightest of blushes spreading over his cheeks. “I’d like to be your caretaker… I’ll keep you safe, I can promise you that.”

“I know you will.” Izuku smiled, swallowing his bite of pastry and blinking up at Todoroki. “I would love that. But only if you let me protect you too.”

Chuckling, Todoroki leaned down and rubbed his cheek against Izuku’s, causing the smaller male to close his eyes briefly. “Of course you can. We’ll protect each other.”

A sudden commotion disturbed the peaceful quiet, and both Izuku and Todoroki glanced up to see Mina and Jirou staring each other down in the middle of the lobby, their scents surging with anger. Kaminari was on the ground between them, glancing back and forth between the two women with wide, terrified eyes.

“Who says you get to be his protector?” Jirou hissed, her earphone jacks pointing threateningly at Mina. “You can’t just decide for yourself.”

“I’m his best friend!” Mina shot back, her strangely sweet bubblegum scent bittering in a way that Izuku had never smelled before. “If anyone should watch over him, it should be me!”

“Oh, please! You two are a disaster waiting to happen, any pups that come from the both of you would just put us all in danger.” Jirou spat, causing Mina’s eyes to narrow suspiciously.

“Who said anything about pups?” The pink-haired hero bit back, her top lip curling as she took a menacing step towards Jirou - causing Kaminari to scramble back on the floor. “I just want to keep him safe because I’m his friend. Your priorities are obviously skewed.”

“Don’t tell me you didn’t consider the same possibility, I know you think with your dick, Mina.”

Hey!” Kaminari suddenly snapped, and the room fell silent as he pushed himself to his feet, eyes flashing with anger. “There’s five of us, and there’s seven of you. That means four of you are going to have to double up. I’ll take both of you if you’ll just stop screaming at each other.”

Mina and Jirou glanced at each other, a bit of embarrassment staining their cheeks bright red. This seemed to be good enough for them, because both of their scents calmed down significantly, causing Kaminari to release a sigh of relief. Even Izuku felt himself relaxing, glad that the fight was over as soon as it had began. He really hadn’t wanted to watch alphas fight on day one of this disaster.

Izuku was vaguely curious if anyone else would want to watch over him, but no one else challenged Todoroki for his watch. After a brief intimidation staredown, Yaoyorozu and Kirishima had agreed to share Katsuki - much to his chagrin - leaving Iida for Ochako and Shouji for Sero.

After agreements were made on supply run shifts, as well as night watch shifts, the groups split up into separate rooms, Todoroki and Izuku taking the room closest to the lobby. The room was nicely sized, complete with one bed and a few spare pillows and blankets in the closet.

Izuku had just been considering where he might want to build his nest - because at the moment, he could really use some comfort - when Todoroki handed him the soft red flannel he’d been wearing. Pressing it to his nose, Izuku took a deep breath, the smoky mint warming his chest immediately.

“Take it.” Todoroki said with a shy smile, to which Izuku nodded, his eyes sparkling with gratitude.

“Thank you, Todoroki-kun…” He mumbled, which was met with a dismissive wave of Todoroki’s hand.

The two spent the rest of the night tenderly scenting each other, though it had started out as accidental. A brief brush of the wrist had quickly melted into intimate neck rubs, until they both fell asleep, noses full of the other’s smell. Izuku had never thought he could sleep so comfortably in the midst of an apocalypse.