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Of fathers, pillows and nail polish

Chapter Text

“Well, that test was a bust. What even are integrals?!” Kaminari moaned, banging his forehead against the cool surface of his desk. Kirishima laughed at his friend’s overdramatic antics, while Bakugou let out an annoyed huff.

“Stop whining! If you’re too fucking stupid to understand that shit on your own, you should’ve come to the study group!”

The electric blonde raised his head to stare at him, all wobbly lips and wide teary eyes. “Bakubrooooo, you’re so mean! Can you at least tutor me for the next one?”

“HELL NO YOU DUNCE, I’D LOSE BRAIN CELLS TRYING TO EXPLAIN ANYTHING TO YOU!”

Mob silently watched as Katsuki raged on in the corner. As rude and volatile as the explosive teen was, he did make a pretty good study partner. His rough and loud demeanor hid it well, but Bakugou truly was academically gifted; his grades often rivaled Yaorozoru’s, even if his own teaching methods were… more intense than the girl’s to say the least. Also, she provided pretty good tea, so there was that.

“Mob-kun!”

Shigeo jolted; Uraraka was waving at him, flanked as usual by Iida and Midoriya, who gave him a stern nod and a warm smile, respectively. The pink-cheeked girl invitingly pointed to the classroom door. “Wanna join us for lunch? I think Lunch-Rush-sensei made takoyaki today!”

Mob hummed, tilting his head; sounded nice. He opened his mouth to answer but stopped dead in his tracks, his gaze focusing just a bit to the left.

 

Aoyama sat alone at his desk, his unopened bento box in front of him. That wasn’t a particularly strange sight in itself, as the mixed-race student often preferred to eat on his own -even though some recent prodding from Midoriya and Mob had curbed that habit somewhat. But the blonde looked unusually tense and stiff, his usual loose and confident flair nowhere to be seen. His purple eyes were dull, his gaze forlorn, the sparkling aura that always seemed to follow him eerily absent.

Shigeo closed his mouth and politely smiled at his friends, coming to a decision. “Thank you, Uraraka-san, but I think I’ll stay here today. I brought my own food.”

That was true, partly; Ritsu always managed to sneak granola bars and juice in his backpack when he wasn’t looking, a habit he’d picked up after Mob forgot to have breakfast one day and passed out during morning training.

He felt his core warm up at the thought; he was lucky to have such a caring little brother.

“Alright, if you’re sure!” Ochako nodded. She stepped out of the classroom, her two closest friends following shortly after. Mob waved them goodbye be turned towards the lone student; he still hadn’t moved an inch. Mob pressed his lips together tightly, his blank features shifting and tensing slightly. Concern.

Aoyama was a tough person to figure out; always hiding behind an arrogant, bright and overdramatic persona. And Shigeo was notoriously bad at reading people’s intentions and emotions, for obvious reasons.

But he had seen that mask crack, once. He remembered it very clearly.

 

A trickle of blood blooming at the corner of a strained smile. Lavender eyes clouded by pain and grim determination. Beads of cold sweat rolling down his clammy skin as he giggled and lied , insisting he was alright, labored breathing growing shallower by the second.

 

Mob shook himself out of his reverie; ah, well hopefully Aoyama-kun wouldn’t push himself like that again. Not if he had anything to say about it.

Aoyama didn't look up when Mob walked up to him. He did, however, when the plain-looking boy pushed a nearby desk against his own and sat down. “Ah, Mob-kun…?”

“I thought I'd eat lunch with you today.” Shigeo said, making sure to emphasize the “with you” part. He absentmindedly rummaged through his bag, before pulling out several cereal bars and a carton of apple juice with a happy sound; it wasn’t the best-balanced meal -or even the most filling- but it would do. Mob straightened up, improvised lunch in hand, and was greeted by Aoyama’s deep violet irises peering straight at him.

He blinked, confused by his classmate’s sudden interest. “Do I have something on my face....?” he thought, lifting a hand to his cheek self-consciously. The blonde didn’t respond for a few seconds, his gaze piercing Shigeo through and through.

Mob was starting to break into a nervous sweat when Aoyama blinked and straightened up, breaking eye contact as he shook off whatever was in his mind. “Désolé, but I couldn’t help but notice… your hair is getting rather long, isn’t it.”

Mob peered at a strand floating lazily in front of his eyes. It did seem longer than what he was used to. “Mmh. Maybe I need a haircut.”

Aoyama rested his head on the back of his hand, letting out a dainty little laugh. The two of them truly made a strange pair; the twinkling dramatic blonde and the plain expressionless raven. Satisfied, he opened his bento, but only picked at his food, pushing it around instead of picking it up. He, of course, had brought his eternal plate of cheese, but his friends -mostly Iida and Mob- had been encouraging him to diversify his diet.

“Are you okay?”

 

The other boy looked up from his untouched meal; Mob was munching on one of his granola bars, his striking, reddish-brown eyes gazing calmly at him. Aoyama's smile widened - too wide Yuuga, too wide, Mob would notice - “Of course! The fabulous moi is always okay.”

Mob hummed, studying Aoyama’s tired eyes, clearly shaded with foundation. “Are you sure?”

A beat. Aoyama sighed. “...non. But I believe I will be alright, eventually.” Aoyama’s eyes glided over to the window without focus. It was bright outside, but not sunny. Good weather for sitting outside, as many students happened to be doing during lunch break.

They both sat in silence for a bit, Mob not returning to his food until he saw Aoyama put something in his mouth.

 

When lunch was almost over, the blonde seemed to gain the courage to speak, his eyes sliding hesitantly over to Mob but keeping his face towards the window. “It’s…” he paused. Breathed in. “It’s Father's Day.”

Mob blinked, then nodded. He knew that held some sort of significance. Of course it did, with what he knew about Aoyama -not enough, apparently. Still, he waited for him to continue. Which he did, after a hesitant hum. “And... I don't have a father. Anymore.”

His eyes widened slightly. Oh. Oh.

 

He tried to think of something comforting to say. Something other than empty platitudes that wouldn’t help -but that Aoyama would appreciate nonetheless, he knew that. He gulped down his awkwardness, hands hovering closer to the blonde’s. “Aoyama-kun, I-”

The loud clang of the classroom door being roughly opened cut him off, his attempt at coherent speech thwarted by the startled “eep” that escaped his throat instead.

“HEYYYY, Yuuga! Oh, hi Mob!” Mina cheered, happily prancing up to them. “Sooo, you still down for tonight? Kiri can’t make it, he wanted to spend time with his moms, but everyone else will be there!”

Mob tilted his head. “Tonight?” He turned back towards Aoyama, mouth opening on a question, but he stopped; Aoyama’s face had changed in a flash, all trace of his previous vulnerability gone, back under the guise of fancy hand movements and dazzling smiles. The raven-haired pursed his lips disapprovingly; in some ways, Aoyama reminded him of his master.

Speaking of Aoyama, he struck a peculiar pose, waving dismissively at the pink girl. “Bien sûr Mina ! I wouldn't miss it for anything!”

Huh. So the two were on a first-name basis? Then again, Aoyama tended to do that due to his european upbringing, and Mina was… Mina, meaning she didn’t care for traditional reserve and honorifics. The girl had turned to face him, her brow furrowing the same way it did whenever she looked at a math problem. After a few seconds her eyes widened, like she’d just figure out something particularly important. “Oh, Mob! You should totally come too!” she gasped, clapping her hands together enthusiastically.

The plain boy blinked. “Come… where?”

“Why, to our weekly sleepover of course!” Aoyama chimed in, setting his elbows on his pristine desk to rest his chin on his hands with a flourish. When did he put his bento away? He’d barely touched it...

“Um…” he murmured hesitantly, “Would that really be okay? I wouldn’t want to intrude…”

Mina scoffed. “You can’t intrude if you’re invited, silly! I mean, if you really don’t feel like it that’s totally okay, no pressure. But we’d really love to have you!” she insisted, a sunny smile lighting her face up. Mob’s cheeks heated up and he scratched the back of his head, looking over at Aoyama for… confirmation? Support? He wasn’t quite sure himself. His friend only smiled a bit wider and nodded reassuringly.

 

Shigeo felt his nervousness recede and offered Mina a small smile, to her utter delight; and from the faded yellow sleeping bag laid behind the teacher’s desk, Aizawa let out an amused huff.

He’d been wanting to have a talk with young Aoyama for a while about his troublesome self-destructive tendencies. But now, he found that his mixed-race student might do just fine without him. Watching the blonde talk with a blushing Kageyama and a giggling Ashido, the sleep-deprived teacher smirked. The boy was in good hands.

 

Which meant he could crawl back to sleep. Nice.

Chapter Text

Mob gulped down his apprehension as he stood outside Ashido-san’s room. He’d slipped into the soft, light blue cotton pajamas Ritsu had got him a while ago, the kind that he could actually wear without the itchy seams sending him into sensory hell. Thanks, Ritsu.
He shuffled his naked feet on the plush carpet and checked his phone; 8:55 pm. The pink-haired girl had told him to come at nine, would it be rude to knock before then? Should he wait until the time was right? Or would that be weird?

“Uuuh, Mob? What are you doing?”

Shigeo tensed up and turned around; Kirishima stood in the hallway, dressed in his city clothes and peering at him curiously. “Oh.” the teen breathed out, instantly relaxing at the sight of his workout partner and friend. “Good evening, Kirishima-kun.”
The redhead’s gaze darted back and forth from Mob to Ashido’s room door, before his face lighted up in a delighted expression. “Dude! Are you going to tonight’s sleepover?”
“Ah… yes.”
Kirishima’s shark-like smile widened. “Awesome! I wanted to ask the girls about including you, looks like someone beat me to it huh?” he laughed. “I can’t come tonight, but I can’t wait for the next one! We could get some manly braids together!”
Mob tilted his head. “Braids…?” he mused quietly, taking in his friend’s appearance; his jeans were ripped at knee-level, and an unfamiliar logo -probably from a band he didn’t know- adorned his slim-fitted white shirt under a black leather jacket. Mob’s eyes lingered on the other boy’s face and eyes, which seemed more profound and defined than usual. Was he wearing mascara?

“You look good, Kirishima-kun.” he found himself saying earnestly. “You’re going out to see your parents, right?”

The spiky-haired teen didn’t respond right away; his bright red eyes were wide, mouth opened in a little oh. He suddenly seemed… bothered? Startled? Awed? Mob wasn’t sure what that expression entailed. Kirishima straightened up and cleared his throat, nervously scratching his cheek and- ah, it matched his hair now. Odd.

Shigeo hoped his classmate wasn’t coming down with something. The weather had been chilly lately.

“A-Ah, well,” the redhair sputtered, “y-yeah, it’s Friday night and it’s been a while since my moms and I hung out... so we’re gonna have dinner and stuff.”
The raven-haired nodded. “That sounds nice. I hope you have a good time. Will you be back tomorrow for our morning run?”
“S-Sure! Wouldn’t dream of missing it. We can go up the hill in the forest this time, and uh…”
Kirishima trailed off, seemingly struggling with something, before taking a deep breath.
“M-Maybe we could stop at that new coffeeshop on the way? To uh, have some bubble tea or something? If that’s alright of course!”

Mob blinked, intrigued by his friend’s unusual nervousness, before a tiny smile bloomed on his blank features. “I’d be happy to, Kirishima-kun.”

The other teen’s pointy smile came back full force at that; he pumped his fist giddily. “Great! Same time and place tomorrow morning then! We-”
“Mob-kun!”

They both turned around at the interruption; Aoyama had appeared at the end of the hallway, a pastel blue handbag hanging from his shoulder. “You’re just in time! Magnifique !” he chimed, walking up to them at a leisurely pace. He stopped before Ashido’s door and smiled pleasantly at Kirishima. “Bonsoir, Eijirou-kun.”
“Wassup?” the teen grinned as Mob greeted the blonde back. “Are those new pj’s? Suits you!”
Aoyama beamed -it didn’t quite reach his eyes, Mob noticed-, showing off his dusty pink crop top and tracksuit pants, his shiny support belt exposed and loosely fastened around his thin waist. He’d slipped into ballerina-style flats matching his handbag. “Oui, merci ! You don’t look half bad yourself.”
“That’s a really nice compliment, coming from you!” Kirishima chuckled before turning back towards the shorter, black-haired male. “Whelp, I really oughta get going. Have fun!”

Mob waved goodbye to his spiky-haired companion as he walked off and disappeared down a corner. Aoyama glanced at him, flipping his golden hair with a burst of sparkles. “Shall we go, mon ami ?”

Shigo wondered if the boy put glitter in his hair to make it so twinkle-y. He nodded, watching the other reach out to knock on the wooden door; if anything could cheer up Aoyama, it had to be a nice, lighthearted sleepover, right?

 

He just hoped he wouldn’t mess anything up.

Chapter Text

Mina’s bedroom was filled with modern-looking red and black furniture, as well as numerous stuffed animals neatly stacked on the bed and on the desk. Some poppy music Mob wasn’t familiar with played out - courtesy of Jirou - just loud enough to set the mood without making conversations difficult. He was grateful for that, he often had trouble focusing on others’ words with noise in the background.

The plain boy looked around shyly; even though everyone had welcomed him and Aoyama with friendly waves and genuine smiles not a minute ago, even as Uraraka gently led him to a comfy purple beanbag, he still felt like he was intruding somehow.
Ah, well. He was probably just being nervous. It’s not like he was used to spending evenings with all the girls in his class… plus the sparkling blonde.

“Aoyama-kun has been partaking in our little gatherings for a while now,” Yaoyorozu explained from her spot on Ashido’s bed. “It was originally a girls-only event -for obvious reasons-, but some of our classmates like he and Kirishima-kun have proven to be trustworthy enough to join.”

Tsuyu croaked in approval. “Eiji-chan is intense and brash, but he’s surprisingly sensible. I wish he and my little brother could meet, Samidare could use a role model like him.”

“Kiri’s pretty great alright.” Jirou chimed in, seemingly browsing her phone in search for the perfect playlist. “One time he listened to me rant about some pretty not-fun stuff for hours. He can sing fine, too.”

Mob nodded earnestly, his lips unconsciously stretching in a soft smile; Kirishima-kun was pretty amazing, in every way he would think of. He really looked forward to their morning run tomorrow.

 

And if the girls saw that unusual look on his face, they said nothing of it. But some of them pinned a certain thought for later use.

 

“And Yuuga here,” Mina smirked, pointing at the blonde who sat in a fluffy, hot pink loveseat, “is pretty amazing at nail art. Seriously, he’s like a Da Vinci for your fingernails!”
Aoyama’s smile turned bashful, and he flicked his hair with a tiny chuckle. “Well, what kind of man would I be if I couldn’t turn you ladies’ hands into a masterpiece?”

The girls laughed at his flaunt, some rolling their eyes, but it held no mockery nor annoyance, that even Mob could tell. They sat on the plush carpet in a loose circle and the raven-haired felt a knot in his throat come undone as he watched them engage in lighthearted banter, Tsuyu and Hagakure beckoning him and Aoyama to come sit closer to them. This… this was okay. Nice, even.

Both boys slid down their seats and joined their classmates on the floor, the blonde immediately joining in on the chatter. Mob awkwardly hovered at the edge of the circle, attention jumping back and forth from one conversation to another. Salty snacks and biscuits had been placed in the center at some point; he helped himself an almond cookie and absentmindedly munched on it.

“Kageyama-kun? Is everything alright?”


Shigeo looked up at Yaoyorozu, who sat across from him and watched him with something akin to concern. Ever mindful of anyone’s discomfort even when she technically wasn’t even the host.

He didn’t know the tall girl very well, but he admired her calm and responsible demeanor. She was like a quieter, more temperate version of Iida-kun. He shrugged. “Yes, thank you Yaoyorozu-san. I am simply not sure what I am supposed to be doing.”
“Huh?” Mina furrowed her brow in confusion. “Well, what do you like to do at sleepovers?”
Mob hesitated. “I… don’t know. I’ve never been to one before.”

The chatter around him came to an abrupt stop. The girls stared at him in disbelief, while Aoyama looked positively aghast. Uraraka gasped. “No way! So It’s your first time?”

“That’s okay, it just means we gotta make this one extra special!” Hagakure cheered out, her pj’s hot pink sleeves decidedly rising into the air.

“Très bien!” Aoyama began, cross-legged on the floor, clapping his and together once. “First things first, hair and nails. Who brought the nail polish?”

“Ooh, I did! Lemme go get it!” Uraraka squealed happily, bouncing to her feet to walk to the corner of the room. Hagakure asked the blonde if she could braid his golden locks while he did the gravity girl’s nails - which he obliged immediately - and Yaoyorozu went to fetch her own supplies while the rest of the girls looked at Mob with curiosity.

The sleepover was off to a great start, judging by everyone's expressions. Mob felt somewhat out of place once again, everyone else moving with purpose. As if sensing his discomfort, Aoyama beckoned him over and patted the ground next to him. “If you want, me or Yaomomo could cut your hair for you.”

“Um…” Shigeo looked down, cheeks warming up in embarrassment. Also, Yaomomo...? “You don’t have to go through all this trouble for me…”
“Well, duh!” Mina laughed, scooting over to him to lightly bump her shoulder against his; her buttoned black pajamas matched his own hair. “But we want to! You always fuss over everyone when they get hurt, so let us fuss over you for once!”

“Well… if that’s really okay, then… that would be nice...” Mob trailed off, and Mina pumped her fist in victory.
“Momo-chan, Mob needs his hair cut!” Uraraka called out enthusiastically. Aoyama gave her a stern look at her sudden movement, but somehow didn't get any nail polish on the rest of her fingers.

Yaoyorozu grabbed a dark grey case and kneeled besides Mob, reaching out towards his hair before stopping, hesitant. “Are you okay with me touching you, Kageyama-kun?”
Oh, so she knows I don’t always like physical contact? he mused, eyes trailing over to Tsuyu. The frog girl let out a ribbit, soft and understanding. Ah… that’s right, Asui- I mean, Tsuyu-chan is the same way. Maybe she told them before I arrived.

“Yes, it’s fine.”

The creation girl nodded, grabbing a soft brush to carefully run it through Shigeo’s jet black hair. “So, what would you like? I can just shorten your bangs, unless you want to try something else.”
Jirou looked up from her phone. “I think he’d rock an undercut.”
“Oh, oh! That’s genius! He’d look so good!” Mina gasped, clapping her hands in excitement. Mob blinked, unfamiliar with the term. Jirou caught his unsure microexpression and typed out something on her phone before holding it out to him.

The screen displayed a picture of a boy, his hairstyle similar to his own, straight bowl-cut; except the lower back of his head, as well as the area above his ears, were cut very short, the bangs coming from above partially covering the areas.

Mob hummed, mulling it over; it definitely looked different, but not drastically so… he turned to look at Aoyama, who had stopped fawning over Uraraka’s nails to look back and forth between the photo and the plain boy before him - to the frustration of Hagakure, who wasn’t done with his french braids yet.
The blonde eventually gave an appreciative ah and nodded at Mob in approval. “Oui. I think you’d look fabulous if you let it grow out, but an undercut would suit you as well.”
“Mh. I want to try it.” Shigeo decided, turning back to his impromptu hair stylist. Said stylist smiled and positioned herself behind him. “Now, keep your head and back straight and try to move as little as possible.”
“Okay.”

Uraraka chuckled excitedly. “You’re going to look so cool, Mob-kun!”
“Ochako, s’il-te-plait,” Aoyama sighted, “stay still or the polish will get smudged. I am almost done.”
Mob blinked at the redhead, feeling Yaoyorozu’s nimble fingers starting on their craft against his skull. Cool, huh…? That wasn’t exactly the first word that came to his mind when it came to describing himself. His thoughts naturally turned to Kirishima: his bright and cheerful demeanor, his kindness and drive, his sharp and sunny smile, his defined muscles...
“Kirishima-kun is cool…” he murmured distractedly.
Oh my god.” Jirou’s voice rang out from somewhere behind him - just as Aoyama straightened up from above the gravity girl’s hands with a satisfied voilà. She sounded frustrated about something.

He considered turning around to investigate the source of her woes, but Yaoyorozu would probably scold him if he moved. Uraraka and Aoyama bounced over to him before he could think too much about it.
“Yaomomo, look!” the rosy-cheeked girl squealed in delight, wiggling her fingers in front of them. Her nails were now a soft, dusty pink, tiny black stars and white crescent moons scattered across the surface. Mob’s eyes widened slightly in amazement, looking up at the blonde teen as Yaoyorozu complimented his craft; how did he manage to draw something that small with only his bare hands?

Aoyama only winked, beaming in self-satisfaction. “Do you wish for me to do yours next?” he asked, settling down in front of the raven-haired while Uraraka fluttered to the others to show off her ornate fingertips, eliciting some awed exclamations - and ribbits.
Shigeo considered. For a few seconds, only the sounds of Jirou’s rock music and the snipping of Yaoyorozu’s scissors filled the room.
“You should go for it, Shige-chan.” Tsuyu croaked, prompting a collective hum of approval from everyone else.

The perspective of being fussed over so much filled Mob with nervousness. He fiddled with a tiny stuffed axolotl Mina had given him earlier, the novelty of it all tying a small knot in his stomach. Spending the night with all the girls in his class? Haircuts? Nail polish? Was all of that okay for him to do? What if he messed up somehow and ruined the sleepover?

But now, with all his classmates -friends, he corrected himself as warmth bloomed in his chest, those are my friends - waiting for him to respond with nothing but patience and kindness in their eyes? Mob found that he didn’t need to worry so much.
Being fussed over felt nice. He… liked this. A lot.

He smiled at Aoyama, his anxiety melting away. “Thank you.”
The blonde shared a confused look with Yaoyorozu, before glancing down at him again. “I am not certain what you’re thanking me for, but I will take it as a yes!” he chuckled. “Let’s see… quelque chose de doux, pas trop flashy… Ochako-chan, would you be a dear and get the rest of the bottles?”
“On it! I was thinking dark red, like his eyes, or maybe-”

While Aoyama, Uraraka, Hagakure and Mina engaged in a heated debate, Mob spotted Jirou coming up from the side, watching him like a hawk - granted a blue-haired, long-eared hawk, but still. She plopped down a few feet in front of him and, to Shigeo’s utter confusion, held her phone up in front of his face. “Jirou-san? Um, what are you-”
“You can drop the honorifics yanno?” the earjack girl interrupted, rolling her eyes. “We’re not in class. Everyone here’s on a first-name basis at this point.”

Mob’s face heated up as he devolved into undecipherable mumbling. He knew he was blunt, and usually didn’t bother with overly-polite speech, but this was a little much. And so suddenly too…

“Jirou-san!” Yaoyorozu chastized, her hands stilling in the middle of a cut. “You’re making Kageyama-kun uncomfortable.”
“And you’re being a stick in the mud.” the blue-haired girl smirked. “Would it kill you to just call me Kyouka like everyone else? You let me call you Yaomomo.”

The tall brunette blushed, eyes trailing to the floor. “That- that’s different.”
“No it’s not. Anyway,” Jirou exclaimed, “Mob, you’ve been working out for a while now, right?”
Mob blinked, startled by the sudden change in topic. “...Yes, Jirou- K-Kyouka...san. Kyouka-san.”
The girl snorted. “Heh, close enough. Don’t give yourself a stroke, Kageyama. So you’re liking it fine? Flaming Trash Boy’s not giving you a hard time, is he?”

Mob frowned. Flaming…? Is that what she calls Bakugou-kun ? “No, it’s fine. Bakugou-kun’s not as abrasive when Kirishima-kun’s around.”
Jirou narrowed her eyes, lifting up her phone a little more. “Kiri, huh…?”
“Yes.” the boy nodded. “He’s really mindful of everyone’s boundaries and limits. He always waits for me when we go for a run and I have trouble keeping up, even if it’s been happening less and less. He’s really kind.”
“Is that so? What else is great about him? ” the young woman prodded.

Mob smiled, his sienna eyes lighting up; in hindsight, he probably should’ve wondered why Kyouka was so eager to hear his opinion about their spiky-haired classmate, but he was too happy to get to talk about Kirishima to pick up on her suspicious behavior.

Jirou cackled internally; oh, this was gonna be glorious.