Midoriya Izuku liked to believe that he’d matured a lot in the years since he finished high school, and that he was much better in the face of a crisis than he’d been as a teen. Less impulsive, more difficult to shake. He was, after all, one of the top heroes in Japan, and was even starting to gain fame internationally. He’d faced countless crises, bested dozens- if not hundreds- of villains. He was calm. He was cool. He was collected. He was… freaking out.
“Uraraka,” he said shakily when he called her, his eyes still glued to his laptop screen. They scanned unthinkingly over the words he’d read a hundred times in the last few minutes. “What the actual fuck is this email.”
“I have no clue what you’re talking about,” she said oh-so-innocently. Of course, it didn’t matter how innocent she sounded, or how well practiced she was in deception. Ten years of friendship meant that there was no way she could fool him.
“You know very well what email I’m talking about,” he said. “’ Mr. Midoriya, we are extremely happy to accept your application to be a part of the very first-‘ okay seriously, Uraraka, what the fuck?”
“Oooooh,” she said slowly. “You meant that email.”
“Yeah, that email.”
“I don’t know why you think I have anything to do with it,” she said sweetly.
“Because you knew exactly what I was talking about,” he said. “Now spill.” He closed the email. He couldn’t keep reading it over and over again. It didn’t make any sense, none at all!
“Okay, fine!” she huffed. “So you know how I worked in America for a little while after graduating?”
“Yes,” he said slowly, failing to understand the connection.
“Well… it was kind of a thing over there, to sort of promote heroes and make the public feel like they know them a bit more personally. It’s like a game show. It’s just for fun, really. And when one of my friends from the States told me they were bringing it over here, and they were having trouble filling up spaces, I just kind of… sent your name in, too.” The line was silent for a while, as Midoriya struggled to find words to respond with. “I’m going too, if that helps.”
“Why wouldn’t you just ask me?” he asked, running a hand through his messy hair and fidgeting with his phone. He ended up putting Uraraka on speaker phone so that he could start pacing across his messy bedroom. Uraraka snorted.
“Would you have said yes?” she asked.
“No!” he cried immediately. He wanted to tear his hair out. “This isn’t just a game show, it’s a-“ he chewed his lip, trying to remember if Iida was home. He ended up whispering, “dating show.”
“It’ll be fun, though!” she insisted. “And you haven’t put yourself out there even once since things ended with Shinsou.”
“I have, too!” Deku cried defensively. “I went out for breakfast with a guy just last week!”
“You got pancakes from McDonalds with Iida. That doesn’t count and you know it,” she said. “Come on Deku, I promise it’s not as bad as you think it is. In America they don’t even take it that seriously. The heroes just use it to hang out and get to know each other better, they say it’s been really good for their teamwork.” Deku chewed his lip and crossed his arms, fighting against his old muttering habit. She was making some good points- it could definitely be good for teamwork, for forming bonds between heroes who wouldn’t typically work together. It would also be good for his hero ranking- but he’d be lying if he didn’t think it was a little degrading. Plus, how embarrassing would it be if they were heroes he already knew? How could he face them at work again if he was expected to be flirting with them on some silly show? But then, it was just some silly show. And if he treated it like a work opportunity…
“You said you’re going on, too?” he asked quietly. Uraraka whooped.
“Hell yeah, Deku! It’s gonna be so much fun,” she said eagerly. “Plus I convinced a few more of our old classmates to go on-“ Deku groaned.
“I was afraid you’d say that.”
Several miles away, a similar conversation was going far less smoothly.
“Fuck you, I’m not doing it!” Bakugou yelled, storming into his room. His roommate and best friend, Kirishima Eijirou, was hardly fazed by the explosive hero’s rage. He followed Bakugou into his room, and ducked quite easily when Bakugou chucked a paper weight at his head.
“One, it’ll be fun,” Kirishima said. “And two, what the hell do you even have a paper weight for?”
“For throwing at your shitty head!” Bakugou said. “And it won’t be fun, it’ll be stupid. I have better shit to do with my time than some dumbass dating show and so do you.” Kirishima rolled his eyes and dropped down into Bakugou’s desk chair.
“It’s not like it’s going to get in the way of hero work,” he said. “It’s a show specifically for heroes. It’s planned around our scheduled patrols, and we’re all allowed to leave for emergencies at any time.”
“I don’t care,” Bakugou grumbled, leaning back against the wall and crossing his arms over his chest. “I’m not going to make an idiot of myself like the rest of you desperate losers.” Kirishima shook his head at him.
“Backing out of a promise,” he said, in his best ‘not mad, just disappointed’ voice. “So unmanly.”
“Get fucked. I didn’t promise shit, you sent that application in for me.”
“Fine,” Kirishima said, raising his hands in surrender. “I know a lost cause when I see one. I guess we’ll just have to let certainly highly ranked heroes use this excellent opportunity to rise higher than you in the rankings.” Bakugou’s eyes snapped to Kirishima with deadly focus.
“Which highly ranked heroes?” he demanded. Kirishima shrugged.
“Oh, I don’t know, Number 5,” he said casually. “There have been rumors that the number four and number six heroes are gonna be there, and everyone’s saying this is totally gonna shake up the current rankings.”
Bakugou clenched his fists to contain the mini-explosions occurring in the palms of his hand.
“When do we fucking start?”
Shouto Todoroki had always had a bit of a rebellious streak in him, and he’d always come out well in spite of that. But his sister still had to worry when he showed her the email for his latest little rebellion.
“A dating show.”
“Yes,” he said simply, not even looking up as he poured them both a cup of tea.
“You know dad will kill you for embarrassing him like this,” she said. Even though she meant it as a warning, the words came out casually. She’d issued similar warnings many times in her life, and over the years she’d come to realize they meant jack shit when he got his mind set on something.
Todoroki took a sip of steaming tea and smiled serenely.
“That’s the goal,” he replied.