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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.

Chapter Text

Contestant 1: Midoriya Izuku

                The camera focuses in on Midoriya sitting by himself against a dark background. He squints slightly under the stage lights, then, as his eyes adjust, he smiles nervously at the camera. The young hero is practically vibrating with nervous energy as, off screen, a crew member asks him questions that aren’t picked up by the microphone.

                “Uh, hi!” he says, accompanying the greeting with a small wave. “I’m, uh, Midoriya Izuku, um… most of you know me as Deku, I’m the, uh, number…four? Am I number four now? Me and Kacchan are always…” He pauses as someone apparently answers his question from behind camera. “Okay, yeah, I’m the number four hero.”

                He leans forward slightly, gaze directed away from the camera towards whoever is guiding him through his introduction. Tilting forward causes his microphone to brush against his shirt and make a loud crackling sound. He winces and adjusts it, apologizing profusely to the crew.

                “Oh gosh, I’m sorry, I’m not really used to-“ His attempts to fix his microphone only make the problem worse. It begins to emit a shrill ringing sound, and a member of the crew rushes out to fix it.


 

Contestant 2: Uraraka Ochaco

                Sitting in the same setting is Uraraka Ochaco, also known as the pro-hero Uravity. She immediately appears much more at ease than the previous contestant, beaming at the camera as soon as she’s given her cue to start.

                “Hi everyone! I’m Uraraka Ochaco, also known as Uravity, and I’m so psyched to be here today! I remember watching shows like this when I was working in America and thinking how much fun it would be to be able to do the same thing over here!” She perks up, looking away from the camera briefly. “What’s that? Oh! I’m 25 years old, single- obviously- and bisexual. That’s got help my odds here, huh? What do I look for in a partner?” Her already rosy cheeks turn pinker. “Well, I guess someone who’s passionate and driven. My work means everything to me, I’d like for my partner to care as much, too. And… I don’t know, someone who’s compassionate and really understands me, you know?”

                Off screen, a muffled, “That’s perfect, thanks,” can just faintly be heard in the video. Uraraka beams and slides off her seat.

                “Awesome, thanks guys!”


 

Contestant 3: Bakugou Katsuki

                “I’m Ground Zero, as you all know, and I’m not answering any of these dumbass questions.”

                “Can you at least tell us what you’re looking for here?”

                “Someone who doesn’t suck. Can I go now?”


 

Contestant 4: Iida Tenya

                “Iida Tenya, age 25, hero name Ingenium. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to improve the relationships and teamwork skills amongst my fellow heroes.” He sits ramrod straight in his seat, shoulders squared, expression neutral but confident. He looks as if he’s conducting any other interview about any random training program he’s endorsing for his peers, rather than introducing himself on a trashy reality TV show.

                “Uh, Iida?”

                “Yes?”

                “You know this is a dating show, right?”

                Iida’s posture doesn’t shift, nor does his expression, but the more observant viewer might notice the slight tinge of pink rising to his cheeks. He pushes his glasses further up his nose, the only other sign he gives of being flustered.

                “Yes, well, I suppose it is natural- well, what I mean to say is, people in similar fields, with similar passions are naturally more suited to… That is, this will be a wonderful opportunity to strengthen all varieties of relationships with my fellow Pro-Heroes.” He finishes his statement with a self-assured nod.

                There’s snickering off camera, and when the interviewer speaks again, her shit-eating grin is evident in her voice.

                “All varieties of relationships? Including sexual ones?”

                Iida’s face burned a brilliant scarlet.

                “Absolutely not!” he cried.


 

Following Iida’s interview, this introductory episode shows clips from several more composed interviewees. Yaoyorozu Momo gracefully explains her goals in a way that almost makes reality TV sound dignified. Jirou Kyouka seems to have little actual interest in the show- her answers are polite, but curt. Kaminari Denki and Sero Hanta each seem nervous to be interviewed in a non-professional setting, but survive their introductions well enough. Mina explains in the most appropriate way that she can manage, that her only goal is to be the… well, the group “bike.”


 

Contestants 10 and 11: Kirishima Eijirou and Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu

                “I’m Kirishima Eijirou-“

                “And I’m Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu-“

                “And we’re going to be the two best wingmen ever seen on live TV,” they finish in unison. It would seem to viewers almost like they practiced- which they did, for several hours, until Bakugou threatened to set the couch on fire to get them to leave.

                “You two know that you don’t have to do this interview together, right? We have plenty of time to do individual intros.”

                “Oh, we know, but it’s really nice of you to let us know that,” Kirishima says warmly.

                “It’s just really not manly to waste people’s time,” Tetsutetsu explains.

                “And we’re all about manliness, you know!” Kirishima adds. “We want to show the viewers at home how a real man should treat his lady.”

                “Or his man.”

                “Or his gender-nonconforming significant other.”

                “Right… So what are you two looking for on this show?”

                Kirishima’s expression goes dopey.

                “Love, obviously!”


 

Contestant 12: Todoroki Shouto

                “I’m Todoroki Shouto. My friends call me Todoroki. I’m the son of Todoroki Enji, also known as the number one hero Endeavor.”

                “So Shouto-“

                “Todoroki. Please call me Todoroki.” His expression is mostly calm, but there is an unmistakable glee in his eyes every time he repeats his name.

                “Of course. Todoroki, what are you looking for on this show?”

                Todoroki smiles serenely.

                “I look forward to getting to know my fellow heroes better. Maybe even finding love. But I just really hope that I make my father proud. Endeavor, I mean. Endeavor, who is my father. Whose genes I share. I know he’s very busy, but I do hope he’ll take the time to watch the show when he can.” His smile widens a little, and he waves to the camera. “Hi dad!”

Chapter Text

                As Izuku and Ochaco approach the house they’ll be living in for the foreseeable future, he’s reminded oddly of the UA entrance exams. For one, there’s a big gate in front blocking their entrance, and many of their former classmates are standing menacingly in front of it. Well, maybe not menacingly, but in this moment Izuku finds them more terrifying than he ever has before. Second, he’s standing at the precipice of the unknown- he knows nothing about the show, or what his long-time acquaintances will be bringing to the table, or even how he’ll handle a situation like this. But he survived UA more or less in one piece, and he’s been to hell and back as a hero, so really, how scary could a few weeks with people he knows pretty well be?

                As they get closer, someone notices them approaching and waves.

                “Hey guys look, Uraraka and Midoriya are gonna be on the show too!” Kirishima exclaims, beaming at them. The person he’s speaking to looks over his shoulder and glares. Oh God. Oh God, it’s Bakugou. Scratch everything Izuku just thought, living here for a few weeks with people he knows could be extremely scary.

                “Fucking Deku,” Bakugou says in a voice that’s almost a growl. Kirishima kicks him in the shin. Bakugou rolls his eyes. “They roped you into this too?” he asks, slightly less unpleasantly. Izuku scratches the back of his neck.

                “Well, uh, yeah,” he says. “Uraraka said it would be a good team building experience.” Bakugou scoffs.

                “You would be in it for something soft like that,” he says. “Well, don’t expect this to raise your popularity any more. I’m coming after your ass.” Kirishima grins and waggles his eyebrows.

                “Is that so?” he asks. “Bakubro, the show hasn’t even started and you’ve already decided who you’re after. That’s so manly.” Izuku feels his face flame up and he starts anxiously refuting the statement.

                “That’s not what I meant and you know it!” Bakugou barks. Kirishima continues to rib at him, and Izuku is saved from further embarrassment when Uraraka takes his arm and brings him over to a less… rowdy group. Closer to the gate, Todoroki, Momo, and Jirou have clustered up and started chatting.

                “Todoroki?” Izuku asks incredulously. “I wouldn’t expect you to go on a show like this.”

                “I said the same thing,” Jirou says, raising an eyebrow. Todoroki shrugs.

                “I don’t want to give any of you the wrong idea. I’m here to embarrass my dad,” he says simply. “I hope that isn’t a disappointment to anyone.”

                “Well there goes my reason for being here,” Jirou says with a smirk. Todoroki frowns.

                “My apologies,” he says.

                “She’s kidding,” Uraraka explains. “I don’t think any of us are too serious about finding love here. It’s just a fun experience, a good way to get our names out there, you know?” Izuku nods in agreement.

                “It is nice to have some of our old classmates together again,” Momo says. “I can’t remember the last time this many of us were together for something other than work.”

                “Is this everybody who’s coming?” Izuku asks. It doesn’t seem like a very large group, but to be fair he’s never watched this sort of show before. Maybe small groups were normal. Momo shakes her head.

                “I believe I overheard one of the producers saying there were twelve of us when I went in for my interview,” she says.

                “Kiri, Bakugou!” They hear Mina’s shrill cry before they see her- although she’s not exactly difficult to spot once they’re looking. She comes racing down the street toward them and launches herself at her friends. Kirishima gladly accepts the hug, but Bakugou sidesteps it and mutters something about how everyone in the house was going to catch an STD by the end of the week. She swats him for that. Kaminari and Sero mosey their way up to the group behind her, explaining that they carpooled.

                “Real heroes think about the environment on top of everything else you know,” Kaminari says smugly.

                “Pikachu, there’s no fucking cameras out here yet,” Bakugou says. Kaminari deflates.

                “Aw man,” he says. “Well if we’re being honest then, Sero’s car crapped out on us last week and we needed Mina to pick us up.”

                “Real heroes never leave their buddies stranded you know,” Mina says, sticking her tongue out at him.

                Tetsutetsu and Iida both arrive soon after, separately. Tetsutetsu and Kirishima promptly engage in what appears to be some sort of rock-people mating ritual, complete with lots of punching, head-butting, and compliments to each other’s manliness. Iida apologizes profusely for his tardiness- despite the fact that he’s still several minutes early- and, when confronted with the irony of the fact that the fastest person was the last to get there, explains that it would be irresponsible for him to use his quirk willy nilly to make up for his own timekeeping mistakes. The separate groups slowly merge as people begin to catch up, and then they’re quickly interrupted by an intern coming to fetch them.

                The intern leads them through the gates, across manicured lawns (which likely wouldn’t stay that way if Bakugou or Todoroki ever got into any alcohol), into a large, sprawling house that Uraraka practically drools over. Inside said house, they find the camera crews and producers they’d already met and… Present Mic?

                “Present Mic?” Izuku says, interrupting the older hero in his conversation with one of the producers. “What are you doing here? I thought you were retired?” Present Mic had taken an early retirement a few years before, citing their class’s bullshit, fraying auditory nerves, and a desire to settle down with Aizawa and a nice cat as his reasons. Aizawa has yet to agree to the settling down thing, or the relationship thing, but he has taken up the offer to move into Mic’s house and adopt a cat together, so progress is certainly being made.

                “Well if it isn’t Class A!” Mic exclaims pleasantly. “I am retired! You guys were exhausting! But cat food is expensive, so I agreed to work here as the host!”

                “How’s Aizawa these days?” Uraraka asks. Mic beams.

                “He’s great! He says I can call him my friend with benefits now, as long as I understand that the “benefit” is his friendship,” Mic says. “But me and the cat both know he’s full of shit.” Izuku and Uraraka nod understandingly; everyone they ever taught knew that Aizawa went full heart-eyes whenever he saw Mic. Well, as close to heart eyes as Aizawa could get. The producer he’d been speaking to claps loudly to get their attention.

                “Welcome everybody! Thank you so much for being here! My name’s Mike, I’m a producer from America, and I’m so excited to be working with you guys to start this series up here in Japan.” Mike pauses, waiting for some sort of reaction, but his stars are a little lackluster in the reaction department. Momo and Kirishima both clap politely, which seems to be enough for him. “As we have explained to each of you individually, this show is something of a combination of a lot of different game shows and dating shows. Before you came, each of you filled out a questionnaire about your values and dating preferences. Our professional matchmakers have used that information to put together six “perfect matches.” You have the entire season to figure out who your perfect match is. That being said, you can choose to end up with whoever you want! Each episode, there will be a variety of challenges, games, dates, and activities all set up for you to bond with each other and try to figure out who your ideal match is. Does that make sense to everybody?” They all nod.

                “Yes sir!” Iida says.

                “We’re not fucking morons,” Bakugou mutters. He side-eyes his friends. “Most of us anyway.”

                “Excellent!” Mike says. “Then I’ll have one of our interns show you around. Nanami?” An exhausted-looking, college-aged girl in a headset steps away from the camera crew and immediately beckons for them to follow her.

                “The layout of the house is pretty simple,” she says in a surprisingly commanding voice. “The first floor has your common areas- the living room, the kitchen, the dining room, a game room, and a pool.”

                “Awesome!” Kirishima and Tetsutetsu whisper in sync.

                “The basement is a fully equipped training area, so that you don’t need to leave the house in order to keep up with your training regimens. We’ve chosen our equipment based on your quirks and your own preferences, but if there’s anything you need let us know.” She waves them along down a hallway, toward a set of stairs. “There are two upper floors, all bedrooms. Your rooming assignments are as follows.

                Room 1: Bakugou Katsuki, Midoriya Izuku, and Todoroki Shouto.”

                “What the fuck?!” Bakugou yells. Nanami doesn’t so much as blink.

                “Do you have a question Bakugou?” she asks calmly.

                “Yeah, who the fuck made these room assignments?” he demands.

                “They’re randomized, sir.”

 


 

Confessional: Ishikawa Nanami, Intern

                “You want to know how the room assignments were really made?” she asks, barely hiding a smirk. “We contacted some of their coworkers and old classmates and asked everybody who they thought had the most sexual tension, or the most potential for drama. Surprisingly, there was a lot of crossover between those two categories.

Exit Confessional


 

                “Any other questions?” Nanami asks. Bakugou sulks, but doesn’t pipe up again. “Thank you.” She continues reading off the room assignments.

                “Room 2: Uraraka Ochaco and Iida Tenya.”

                “How come there’s only two of them?!” Bakugou demands.

                “I really don’t think it’s appropriate for me to share with a woman,” Iida says, looking flustered.

                “Randomized,” Nanami repeats. If she was being honest, she’d admit that there were no consistent answers for who Iida or Uraraka would clash with, or who they had the most tension with. It was a bit of a leftover room.

                “Room 3: Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu, Kirishima Eijirou, and Ashido Mina.

                “Room 4: Jirou Kyouka, Yaoyorozu Momo, Sero Hanta, and Kaminari Denki.

                “Any other questions about your room assignments?” Nanami asks as she concludes her lists.

                “If it’s two floors of bedrooms in this massive house, why are we condensed into four bedrooms?” Uraraka asks. “Not that I mind sharing, but what are all the other rooms for?”

                “Boom-boom rooms,” Nanami answers matter-of-factly. In response to their confused expressions, someone explains- just not the someone they’d expect.

                “Those are rooms the shows provide in case we wish to fornicate,” Todoroki responds calmly. “I’ve watched several seasons of the American series to prepare for this.” The stunned silence lasts for several seconds.

                “Well, I might as well just move my stuff into one of those,” Mina jokes.

                “Anyone who touches Pinky can count themselves out with me,” Bakugou says. “I wish I could say I don’t know where she’s been.” Mina smiles and pinches his cheek. He swats her hand away.

                “Bakugou, sweetie, we all know you’re just jealous I tapped Kiri’s sweet ass before you could,” she coos.

                “For the last time, I never wanted to fuck Shitty Hair!”

                “Damn it Mina, does everyone need to know my sexual history?”

                “As if,” Mina scoffs. “Everyone here totally knows. We all lived in the same dorms for almost three years.”

                “I should let you know that we have hidden cameras around the house to record you when the camera crews aren’t around,” Nanami interjects calmly. The three “lovers” in question react accordingly- with horror, with pride, with embarrassment. She allows them to calm down before speaking again. “They aren’t turned on yet. But they will be soon, and you should be aware. There aren’t any in the bathrooms of course, or in any of your bedrooms, but there will most likely be cameras placed outside the boom-boom rooms. Anyways, if there aren’t any more questions, I’ll let you wander on your own. We’ll begin filming at 4:00, so be sure you’re ready by then and meet us in the living room to get started.” Without another word, Nanami turns on her heels and strides back towards the rest of the crew, saying something into the headset she’s wearing. After some brief, awkward shuffling, someone suggests they go get settled into their rooms, and the group disperses.

Room 1:

                With tension between them as thick as your average pea soup, Todoroki, Bakugou, and Izuku enter their shared bedroom. The layout is simple. Along one wall are three dressers, each with its respective owners’ luggage already placed in front- the studio had asked them to send their things in a few days early to make move-in simple. There wiss one twin bed, one bunk bed, and three bean bag chairs, for some reason. Bakugou clears the space in two long strides and leaps onto the twin bed.

                “Dibs!” he announces. He’ss already kicking off his boots, filling the room with the unnervingly pleasant smell of his sweaty feet. Izuku looks at Todoroki and shrugs. If they have to share a room with him for the next few weeks, Izuku would prefer not to start off with an argument. Todoroki seems to agree.

                “I’ll take the bottom bunk, if you don’t mind,” Todoroki says. “I sleepwalk, and I don’t want to fall of the top bunk.”

                “Yeah, that works for- wait, since when?” Izuku asks. He had done his fair share of all-nighters in the dorm common rooms to study, and he’d never seen Todoroki wandering around at odd hours.

                “On and off for the last few months,” Todoroki replies, shrugging. “I got into a… an unfriendly disagreement with Shinso following your breakup, and he brainwashed me so that I sleepwalk every time I talk to you. And I imagine I will be talking to you everyday for the next few weeks.”

                That was… well that just opened several cans of worms now didn’t it? Before Izuku can ask any of the many questions that were coming to mind, Bakugou barks, “If you so much as come within a foot of my bed when you’re sleepwalking I’ll whoop your ass, Half-n-Half, you got that?”

                “It would certainly be interesting to see you try,” Todoroki says calmly. Bakugou rolls his eyes.

                “And that’s another thing while we’re at it, you two better not try to pull any pussy shit like falling in love with me, got it?” Bakugou demands. Izuku’s eyebrows practically shoot into his hairline. He’s always thought Kacchan is a good-looking guy, but the idea that he’d just up and fall in love with him after all these years seems a little silly.

                “Oh, but you make it so difficult,” Todoroki says dryly. Bakugou sits up straight.

                “Are you making fun of me Half-n-Half? Get over here, I’ll whoop your ass right now!”

Room 2:

                “Iida, don’t worry about it, I’m more than happy to take the bed by the window,” Uraraka says cheerily.

                “Oh no, I insist!” Iida says, politely picking up her bags for her and placing them by the bed closest to the door. “It’s going to be cold out soon, I’m more than happy to sleep by the window.”

                “But you’ve said before that you’re a light sleeper! I don’t want the sun waking you up in the morning!”

                “I assure you, it doesn’t bother me at all.”

                “Are you sure?”

Room 3:

                “So…” Mina says, sitting on the edge of her bed and swinging her feet. “We’re gonna have a threesome at some point right?”

                “Oh, most definitely,” Tetsutetsu replies.

                “It’d be an honor,” Kirishima agrees.

Room 4:

                Jirou lobs a pillow across the room and it smacks Kaminari in the face hard enough that he falls backward onto the bed behind him.

                “I am not sleeping on the bottom bunk, Sparky, and that is final!”

                “You can both have a top bunk, I am more than happy to sleep on the bottom,” Momo says, stepping between them and trying to break them up. Sero crosses his arms and shakes his head.

                “Kaminari is a useless bottom and useless bottoms sleep on the bottom,” he says decisively. Kaminari flounders for a response, and Jirou barks with laughter.

                “Bottom bunk for the bottom bitch!” she says.


 

                Downstairs, Nanami and a few of her fellow interns listened to the audio and smirked. She’d fibbed, just a little. It was true that there were no video cameras in the bedrooms, but their supervisor, a certain Ms. Hatsume, had insisted there was no harm in testing their new prototypes for microscopic recording devices on the heroes, as long as they didn’t air anything of course. Even if the audio was useless in practice, the interns were certainly getting one thing from it- they could be certain that this would be a hell of a season.

Chapter Text

No one really knows what to expect from the first episode. In Todoroki’s extensive studies, most dating shows began with a cocktail party, in which they were to mingle in fancy clothes and ask intrusive get-to-know-you questions about previous relationships and their dreams and fears. At least three of them would make out, and one person would be thrown out for bad behavior. If he had to place bets, Kirishima, Tetsutetsu, and Mina have been giving each other odd looks all night, so he’d put money on them for the makeouts. As for getting thrown out, it could only be Bakugou.

                Izuku fears something like his one experience with speed dating at a local bar. Uraraka had dragged him out after she returned from America, and they’d both had a horrible time. One man kept asking him prying questions about the scars on his hands, and somehow- though the questions themselves were innocent- Izuku left the conversation feeling rather violated. Another woman had asked him what size shoe he wore and left as soon as he answered. Uraraka, for her part, was reminded twice that her biological clock was ticking, and received one proposition from a potential sugar daddy.

                Bakugou’s worst fear is that he’ll be forced to spend time with his fellow heroes. He’s the only one whose fears are met.

                As it turns out, the producers plan for night one to be something like a slumber party. They’ll play some traditional sleepover games, do some icebreakers, drink some alcohol, and Twister is set up for whatever brave soul is willing to get tangled up on night one.

                Currently, they’re sitting in a circle on the floor around a deck of cards. Each card in the deck corresponds to a certain sleepover game, such as “Would you rather,” “most likely to,” or “truth or dare.” Izuku is relieved, because he knows from personal experience that any dares this group came up with on their own would be humiliating or oddly sexual.

                Mina plucks a card out of the deck and claps. “Oooh, this is a good one! Okay, okay.” She peers over the card at each of them in turn, then points across the circle at Bakugou, who is still brooding after being named the most likely to be banned from IHOP. “Bakugou, Truth or Dare?” Bakugou huffs. His arms are folded firmly over his chest, which really just serves to highlight how toned both said arms and said chest are. Unbeknownst to him, an intern in another room is adjusting the angle of one of the hidden cameras to focus in more on his physique. If they can’t win over audiences with quality television, then thirst traps will simply have to do.

                “The dares in this game have all been pussy shit,” he says.

                “Language!” Iida scolds.

                “Ask me a stupid truth question,” Bakugou says, ignoring Iida. Mina grins.

                “All right, Bakugou. What is the worst nightmare you’ve ever had?” She puts the card down and watches him expectantly. Bakugou scoffs.

                “As if. I don’t have nightmares,” he says. Kirishima raises an eyebrow.

                “Bakugou,” he says warningly. Bakugou glares at him.

                “Shitty hair,” he answers.

                “If you don’t tell them, I will,” Kirishima says. Bakugou narrows his eyes even more. Izuku wonders if he can still see.

                “You wouldn’t,” he says. Kirishima grins.

                “You know I would,” he replies. The two of them stare each other down for a few moments longer, and then Bakugou lets out something like a growl.

                “All right fine!” he says. “I used to have this recurring dream in high school, during our third year. Deku would come pounding on my door saying that it’s the old hag’s birthday and we have to make her a cake, and he’d drag me downstairs to the kitchen. Except we get down there and it’s the sports festival instead, but it’s in the kitchen. And then everyone starts laughing and pointing and I realize me and Deku are in these stupid All Might onesies our moms made us wear when we were kids.” The others are snickering loudly, but no one dares an outright laugh when Bakugou’s fuming like he is. Even Iida, with his good manners, can’t fight the shit-eating smirk on his face.

                “Kacchan, you picked that out!” Izuku exclaims, offended that Bakugou could be embarrassed by the pajamas they’d both loved so much. Bakugou levels him with a glare that would’ve sent him running for the hills in middle school.

                “So then we have to do the stupid sports festival in our stupid onesies and Deku kicks my ass, except he’s little Deku and not high school Deku. And that’s when I always woke up because I knew it had to be a dream for that little twerp to beat me,” he finished, glaring around at them all as if defying them to laugh.

                “Bakugou, you do realize that Midoriya beat you in multiple fights when we were in high school,” Iida reminds him.

                “Yeah, but I think he means it was, like, baby Midoriya,” Mina says.

                “I, personally, am in love with the idea of baby Deku kicking Bakugou’s ass while they wear matching onesies,” Uraraka says. “I honestly might commission a painting.”

                “It’d be the last thing you ever did, Angel face,” Bakugou says in a surprisingly icy voice. Uraraka grins, meeting his gaze evenly.

                “Then at least I’d die with no regrets, Kacchan,” she replies.

                “Guys, if you’re gonna flirt, Twister is literally right there,” Kaminari says, snickering. Bakugou gives Kirishima, who is sitting next to Kaminari, The Look (a sacred ritual of theirs dating back to high school). Kirishima nods solemnly, then punches Kaminari in the shoulder. “Oooww, what the hell Kiri?!” he exclaims, rubbing his shoulder tenderly.

                “Sorry man, sacred bro code between me and Bakubro,” Kirishima explains.

                “You do realize this is a dating show,” Jirou points out. “Audiences would probably love to watch Bakugou and Uraraka play Twister.”

                “Um, I think I’d love to watch Bakugou and Uraraka play Twister,” Mina says, propping her chin in her hands with a dreamy look on her face. She catches the odd stares being directed at her and pouts. “What? We were all thinking about it.”

                “Can we move on to the next turn please?” Uraraka asks, suddenly very flustered and red in the face. She draws a card out of the deck, and the blush deepens. “Okay… um… Deku.” At the sound of his name, Izuku perks up and looks at her with wide, naïve eyes. He would probably never look at her so trustingly again. “Fuck, Marry, Kill: Todoroki, Iida, and, um… I don’t know, Bakugou.”

                “Huh?!” Izuku gasps, feeling his own face slowly start to match the redness of hers.

                “I’m sorry!” she exclaims, holding the card to her chest and gnawing on her bottom lip. “The card said pick at random and they were the first three I saw.”

                “Oh jeez,” Izuku says, putting his face in his hands. There was a brief moment of silence, and then The Muttering began. To Uraraka, who knew her best friend a little too well, the muttering was quite clear. She sort of hoped the rest of them couldn’t translate quite as well as she could. “They’re all very attractive and they’re good people, objectively speaking, but subjectively I know that I hold them all in different regards. Iida is like my brother, but he’s also a really good friend and a great roommate so maybe I should marry him? I mean I know we can live together and he’s really good about doing his share of the chores, but also he’s really noisy in the morning and he snores in his sleep and also there was that time that he ate my leftovers without asking. Todoroki is probably the best looking and he’s nice so maybe I should marry him. Or should I fuck him? Oh, I don’t want to objectify him.”

                “We’re not getting any younger here, Deku,” Bakugou grumbled. “Are you hoping one of us will die of old age so you have one less choice to make?” Izuku looks up and shakes his head quickly.

                “No! No, I uh… I’ll marry Todoroki and, um…” he paused, then closed his eyes and said quickly, “I’ll sleep with Kacchan! I’m sorry Iida but you really should have asked before taking my leftovers!” Iida hangs his head solemnly.

                “I’m still incredibly sorry about the leftovers incident. I completely understand why this hurts our romantic prospects,” he says.

                “Damn it, Deku, I said no pussy shit!”

                “Midoriya’s gonna play Twister, too!” Mina says gleefully.

                “Midoriya, Bakugou, and Uraraka, playing Twister-“ Kaminari attempts to sing to the tune of that old ‘sitting in a tree’ song.

                “Well that just doesn’t fit the song at all!” Momo says, almost indignantly.

                “F-U-C-K-I-N-G!” Sero finishes.

                “Do you all realize how unprofessional this is! Our fans, including some young, impressionable children-“

                “Oh, stuff a cock in it, Iida,” Jirou says, taking a swig from the bottle of whiskey she, Kaminari, and Sero have been passing between themselves. “You know how many parental warnings they’re slapping on this before it airs? No parent in their right mind is gonna let any impressionable kids watch their favorite heroes acting like a bunch of reckless college students for weeks on end.”

                “Well, Iida does have a point,” Momo says. “Impressionable or not, I don’t know how much faith in us our fans will still have at the end of this if we keep making fools of ourselves.”

                “Then say cock,” Jirou says. “It’s in our contract. Any scenes with especially strong language can’t be aired, since they were worried no heroes would sign on at the risk of their reputation. If you’re embarrassed, say cock.”

                “Or cunt!” Mina chimes in. Jirou shakes her head.

                “No, don’t say that one,” she says.

                “Why, is it not censored?” Mina asks.

                “No, I just don’t like that word,” Jirou replies. Mina shrugs.

                “Fair enough.”

                “Can we say fuck?” Uraraka asks.

                “Am I the only one who read this contract?” Jirou asks, rolling her eyes. “Bakugou can say fuck. The rest of us will be bleeped out. If we say it a lot, they’ll probably cut the scene. But I think cock is our best bet for a safeword.”

                “Don’t call it that,” Kaminari says pleadingly.

                “Got a problem with our safeword?” Sero asks with a shit-eating grin.

                “Why is Bakugou the only one allowed to say fuck?” Tetsutetsu asks.

                “Because he says it like, every other word on TV anyways. Audiences are used to it,” Jirou explains.

                “I want to say fuck,” Tetsutetsu says firmly.

                “Then get bleeped, or take it up with the producers,” Jirou says.

                “I want to say fuck, too,” Izuku says.

                “You are explicitly forbidden from saying fuck,” Jirou says. “Period. That’s that.”

                “Why can’t Deku say fuck?” Uraraka asks. “I think he should be able to say fuck.”

                “Absolutely not!” Iida says. Jirou nods quickly.

                Sero and Kaminari begin pounding on the floor rhythmically and chanting, “Let Midoriya say fuck, let Midoriya say fuck.” Slowly, others take to their cause- Uraraka, Mina, Kirishima, Tetsutetsu. The sound becomes almost deafening, and continues unwaveringly until Bakugou screams at all of them to shut up.


 

                The night carries on in much the same manner. Profanities continue, Iida grows increasingly flustered, accusations of flirting are thrilled, and more ridiculous games are played. Every once in a while, the producers will pull one of them aside to film a confessional, or an intern will swap out someone’s drink with water. In the course of the evening, the only people who dare take on the game of Twister are Iida, Todoroki, Momo, and Deku, and they all seem so sincerely and innocently interested in the game that no one- not even Bakugou- has the heart to give them shit for it.

                “Okay everyone,” Iida says in a stern voice reminiscent to his ‘Class President’ voice. “Right hand red. Todoroki and Momo- both drunk- reach across one another and end up with their cheeks pressed together. Midoriya, who is even drunker, puts his hand on the same space as Todoroki. All three players blush feverishly.

                “Aww,” Kaminari coos from his place in the kitchen about ten feet away. He lays his head on Jirou’s shoulder, and she’s had enough to drink that she allows it. “Aren’t they sweet?”

                “I feel like I’m back in middle school,” Jirou says.

                “Just say it’s sweet,” Kaminari insists, turning his head so he could pout up at her. Jirou rolls her eyes.

                “Fine. It’s very sweet,” she says. Sero comes sidling up next to them and leans so far onto the counter that he’s practically laying on it.

                “Guuuuys, will you come play beer pong with me n’ Mina?” he whines. “Bakugou and-“ he hiccups- “Uraraka were playing but now they’re having a dick measuring contest.” Kaminari sits up lazily. His eyes are a little unfocused.

                “Uraraka has a dick?” he asks.

                “Where are Tetsutetsu and Kirishima?” Jirou asks. Sero hiccups again.

                “Confessional,” he says. “They do ‘em together. Nanami thinks it’s annoying.” Jirou raises an eyebrow.

                “Chattin’ up the interns, Sero? I think she’s a little young for you,” Jirou says. Sero shakes his head.

                “No, no, no. Nanami and me are like this!” He holds up his hand to show that his fingers are crossed. “Now come plaaaay.”

                “Ask Nanami to play, since she’s your best friend now,” Kaminari says, crossing his arms and resting his chin on Jirou’s shoulder. His breath is hot on her neck. It tickles a little bit, and it stinks. She lets him stay though.

                “We can’t be friends here, man, we’re all supposed to fall in love and shit!”

                “Oh yeah, we talked about that. Polly’s Armory or whatever,” Kaminari says.

                Back in the game room, next to the abandoned beer pong game, Bakugou and Uraraka are indeed engaging in a dick measuring contest of sorts.

                “Bet you can’t do a handstand and drink a beer at the same time!” Uraraka declares.

                “Fuckin’ watch me!” Bakugou says petulantly. He puts his arms out in front of him, then to his sides, checking to make sure his space is clear, then he goes into a headstand with surprising grace for someone who’s been trying to outdrink and outperform Uraraka for the last half hour. “Now gimme my drink, bitch!”

                “Ah ah ah, what did we say about calling me a bitch when you need my help?” Uraraka says. Because she had already been more sober than Bakugou when this contest began, she’s been very politely destroying him in their dick measuring contest. This means she can get away with bossing him around much more than anyone else usually could. Bakugou glares, but Uraraka doesn’t relent. She picks up his beer can and waves it tauntingly in his face.

                “Okay fine! Please hand me my beer, Uraraka,” he grumbles. Uraraka grins.

                “Wow, I didn’t even have to remind you to say please this time,” she says. She holds the can out to him. Bakugou tries to reach for it, and immediately topples over. Uraraka nearly falls over laughing. Bakugou sits up, a little red in the face- although he’d blame that on blood rush from being upside down.

                “Whatever,” he says, slowly getting back onto his feet. “Like you could do it, either.” Uraraka raises an eyebrow, then silently hands him her drink.

                “Watch me!” she says. After using her quirk to decrease gravity’s pull on her, standing on one hand is a simple task. Drinking the beer is a little less simple, but she had done a few kegstands while she was in America, during her younger, wilder years. She takes a few drinks, then hands it back to him and jumps out of the handstand, just to show off a little.

                “Cheating bitch!” Bakugou says. “You didn’t say we could use quirks!” Uraraka shrugs.

                “If you think exploding stuff will help you, you’re welcome to try again.” For a moment, it really looks like Bakugou will try it, but they’re interrupted by a member of the camera crew knocking on the door to the room and telling them that they’re needed in the kitchen. They follow him in and join the clump of drunken heroes huddled around the island.

                “All right heroes, the crew and I are packing it in for the day!” Mike announces. “I just have a few more announcements, and then we’ll get out of your hair.”

                “Although we recommend you go to sleep when we leave,” Nanami says. Izuku thinks that for an intern, she sure does get to be bossy. Why does Mike let her be bossy like that? If he’d been bossy with Gran Torino-

                “Deku, you’re muttering again,” Uraraka whispers gently.

                “Soooooorry!” he says, bowing excessively. Mike smiles. It looks strained.

                “It’s no problem, Mr. Midoriya,” he says. “As I was saying, you’ve all done a great job today. I appreciate how quickly you’ve adapted to acting at ease on camera, it makes our jobs a lot easier. The crew and I will be back throughout the week to get footage and give you guys some challenges and activities to do. We try to cover a week or so in every episode. Thanks again guys. You all get some rest, and we’ll see you tomorrow!”

                The crew is efficient about leaving, and the heroes are all just intoxicated enough not to notice the chuckles and whisperings of the group as they’re heading out the door. Iida is already in action. He didn’t drink.

                “You heard the man, let’s all go upstairs and get some rest, so we’ll be refreshed and ready for tomorrow!” he says, attempting to herd them toward the stairs.

                “Awww, but I wanna go swiiiiimming,” Izuku whines. He turns and starts ambling in the direction of the pool, but Bakugou  grabs him by the shoulder and drags him back to the group.

                “Like hell you are,” he says. “I’m not-“ he burps- “fishing your stupid body out of the pool in the morning.”

                Kaminari throws his arms around Jirou and nuzzles into her neck.

                “Jirou, can we cuddle?”

                “No.”

                “I’ll cuddle with you,” Sero offers. Kaminari crinkles his nose.

                “Nuh-uh. Last time we drunk cuddled you threw up on me.”

                “Will you keep an eye on Midoriya?” Iida asks Todoroki quietly, sidling up to him. He throws a nervous glance back at his friend, who is half-stumbling, half-being carried by an irritated Bakugou. Todoroki nods.

                “He’s in good hands here,” he says. “You don’t think they’ll air footage of him this drunk, do you?” Iida looks scandalized.

                “I should think not! If they do any damage to our reputations, they risk us backing out!” he says.

                “Yes, but these sorts of shows rely heavily on their stars doing embarrassing things while they’re drunk,” Todoroki says. Iida’s eyes widen.

                “Is that so? I didn’t take you for a fan of these sorts of things,” Iida says.

                “I was studying for the show,” Todoroki says.

                “Really?! What a great idea! You’ll have to tell me more of what you know!” Iida says excitedly, just as Todoroki trips on the top stair and goes sprawling out on the hardwood floor. Iida helps him up, grimacing. He hadn’t even realized Todoroki was intoxicated. “You can tell me in the morning.”

                Iida manages to shepherd all of the sloppy heroes into their respective bedrooms. Kaminari manages to talk his way into the top bunk with Jirou, insisting that Sero needs a bottom bunk so he can run to the bathroom when he needs to puke. Momo drops to sleep almost immediately, not even bothering to change out of her clothes. Mina finds Tetsutetsu and Kirishima already passed out, with all three of their twin beds pushed together for cuddling purposes. She joins them quite happily, and is sawing logs within minutes. Iida manages to unwind a little by discussing the day’s events with Uraraka, as she assures him that their former classmates really didn’t do anything that unprofessional, and she doubts they’ll be drinking all that often. In Room 1, things go… a little less smoothly.

                “Midoriya, you need to get up,” Todoroki says, poking his cheek. Izuku is laying face down at the foot of the ladder to his bunk. He attempted to climb into bed when they got in, but quickly decided that ladders are just too hard and he’d just have to sleep on the floor.

                “Think he’s dead?” Bakugou says when Izuku doesn’t answer. Todoroki scowls. Bakugou nudges Izuku in the side with his foot, and Izuku groans. “Guess today isn’t my lucky day.” Izuku rolls himself over sluggishly.

                “Tha’s mean, Kacchan,” he says.

                “Midoriya, you can’t sleep on the floor,” Todoroki says gently. “I’ll step on you when I’m sleepwalking.” Izuku sticks his arms straight up in the air.

                “Help me. Can’t do it,” he says. Todoroki sighs, slides his hands under Izuku’s back and legs, and attempts to pick him up. He barely gets him up a foot before he has to set him back down again. The stupid beefcake is too damn heavy. He looks up at Bakugou plaintively. Bakugou rolls his eyes.

                “Weak bitch,” Bakugou says. “You take his legs, I’ll get his arms.” They grab their respective ends and manage to pick him up. Then, in a display of athleticism he wishes Uraraka was there to witness, Bakugou climbs the ladder backwards, with no hands, and is able to tug Izuku into his bed. The unfortunate result of this, however, is that Bakugou is now trapped with Izuku lying in his lap, flopped over like a very heavy, very muscly dead fish. “Deku, get off me.” Izuku shakes his head, and the movement combined with where he’s lying on Bakugou makes for, well, a pleasant sensation. An upsettingly pleasant sensation that has Bakugou ready to kill. “Deku get off my fucking dick and I’ll kill you.”

                “I think you mean or you’ll kill him,” Todoroki says, although he’s not very sure that that is what Bakugou means. Izuku giggles.

                “Cho-miaddy,” he slurs. Unfortunately, despite the unclearness of his speech, both Bakugou and Todoroki get the gist of what he’s saying. Todoroki turns bright red, then gets into his own bed without another word, where he plans to pretend he has no idea or memory of what’s going on. Bakugou stomach twists dangerously.

                “The fuck did you just say to me you fucking nerd?” he asks, his voice low and threatening. Even in his current state, Izuku can apparently recognize that he fucked up.

                “Said night, Kacchan,” he says. He then wriggles out of Bakugou’s lap- which doesn’t help matters very much at all- and Bakugou is able to scramble out of the top bunk, run to turn out the light, and jump into his own bed. There, he employs Todoroki’s strategy of going to sleep and pretending nothing happened.

Chapter Text

“I’m sleeping in the fucking boom-boom room from now on and the producers can fucking deal with it!”

                Bakugou’s shout as he storms down the hall is loud enough that anyone who had been slowly waking up is suddenly wide awake. Uraraka sits up slowly, rubbing her eyes.

                “What crawled up his butt?” she mumbles. She glances over at Iida, who is still somehow sawing logs despite Bakugou’s Bakugou-ness and the sunlight streaming in through the blinds directly onto him. She and Iida had stayed up talking much later than he was used to, and he’d fallen asleep with his glasses still on. Now, they’re askew on his face, neither lens over an eye, practically in contact with his drool. A little gross, but mostly adorable, in a particularly Iida sort of way. Uraraka slides off the side of her bed and tiptoes across the hardwood to his bedside and very carefully takes them off of him before he can crush them. She’s especially careful not to wake him. If anyone needs to sleep in every once in a while, it’s probably Iida.

                She goes out to the whole, closing the door quietly, and is immediately met with the sight of Todoroki and Izuku emerging from their own room. Neither looks like they’ve slept especially well.

                “Morning guys,” she says. They murmur a response. Izuku looks a little greener than usual. They start walking together down to the kitchen to make breakfast. “What’s the deal with Bakugou?” Izuku turns red. A regular Christmas tree. He mutters something that sounds like ‘tell you later.’

                “He and Midoriya had a… tense conversation last night,” Todoroki says as they reach the bottom of the stairs. “And when I was sleepwalking last night, I believe I frightened him.” They near the kitchen, and Bakugou whirls on them. The frightening look on his face is balanced out by the apron he’s wearing and the skillet full of eggs he’s holding.

                “I woke up in the middle of the fucking night to Half n’ Half standing over my bed staring at me!” he yells.

                “I wasn’t staring,” Todoroki says calmly. “I was asleep.”

                “Your fucking eyes were open!”

                “I like my eggs sunny side up,” Todoroki replies, taking a seat at the island.

                “Scrambled, please!” Uraraka adds.

                “Fuck you, I’m not making you any fucking eggs,” Bakugou says, turning back to the stove.

                He does, in fact, make eggs for everyone in the house. But he would like the record to show that he bitched about it the whole time. And he doesn’t give anyone the eggs they asked for.

 

                “All right, ladies and gents!” Present Mic announces when the crew arrives and the cameras are set up. “Today, you’re going to be doing a little bit of bliiiiiiind dating!”

                “Blind dating? But we all know each other,” Sero says. Almost as if on cue, Mic brandishes a velvet bag.

                “Oh, but do you?” Mic asks. “In this game of ours, you are going to be matched up with each other completely randomly! And, to make sure you guys are really giving each other a chance, you’re all going to be blindfolded and wearing special headphones that warp the way you hear each other’s voices!”

                “That’s actually really cool tech!” Izuku says, nearly bouncing in his seat. “How did they manage to do that? Something like that’d be really useful for-“ Uraraka clamps her hand over his mouth.

                “We do not speak his name!” she hisses. She turns to Mic and nods. “Proceed.”

                The one that it would be really useful for, of course, was Shinsou, who’s power really only works as long as the villain doesn’t realize exactly which hero they’re talking to. Shinsou, Izuku’s ex. Who dumped him.

                “Riiiight,” Mic says. “Anyway, I’m gonna have you all go back to your rooms, and then an intern will come get each of you individually, consensually blindfold you, and take you to wear you’ll be having your little date! Now shoo, kiddos, shoo! And, uh, if you’re so inclined, maybe bring protection. You never know, and it’s best to be safe and-“

                “You weren’t our sex ed teacher, Mic, you remember that right?” Kirishima says.

                “Yeah, I’ll shut up now,” Mic says. “Now off with you all!”

Confessionals:

Question: What do you think of the blind date idea?

                Mina beams at the camera, tugging at the ends of her short pink curls to try to tame them.

                “I think it’s awesome!” she says, leaning forward almost to a tipping point on the stool. “We’ve all known each other for forever so it’s kinda weird trying to suddenly date, you know? It’s kinda like we’re getting a fresh start here!”

Question: Any nerves going into the blind date?

                “Are you kidding me?” Kaminari asks, a smug smile firmly in place. “I’m not nervous around any of these guys anymore. I know I can have fun with any of them, and I think I can definitely sweep someone off their feet today.” He folds his hands behind his head and leans back, forgetting that he’s sitting on a stool. He falls off his seat.

Question: Is there anyone you want to be on that date with? Or someone you’d rather not end up with?

                Bakugou looks almost too large on the small stool he’s slumped over on. He’s still in pajamas, or the equivalent- boxers and a tank top. That’s likely why the interns grabbed him first. He crosses his arms and looks away from the camera.

                “I don’t want to see any of these fucking nerds! And especially not either of those fuckers I’m sharing my room with!”

Question: So Deku, this “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” Well… are audiences right to assume it’s Shinsou Hitoshi?

                Izuku seems to fold in on himself, trying to make himself as small as possible. It’s a difficult task for a man his size. He looks rather like a professional basketball player trying to sit comfortably in a preschooler’s chair, or an especially large Goldilocks. This chair is too small!

                “Well, I, uh… I guess that’s no big secret, huh? We were dating for a while, and I guess I posted about it a little too much on social media. Sorry about that everybody. Anyway, Uraraka was just being silly, it’s really not that big a deal. I’m totally over it!” And he is. Mostly.

Exit Confessionals

 

                The first lucky couple is seated at a table together and informed that there is a puzzle in front of them that needs to be put together.

                “Well how are we supposed to do that if we can’t see?” Person 1 asks.

                “That’s where the bonding comes in,” Nanami answers. “I have other couples I need to pair up.”

                “Well, that’s no problem. We’ll figure it out by feeling!” Person 2 says jovially. “By the way… Well, I can’t see you, but I’m sure you look very nice.”

                “…Iida, is that you?”

                “How’d you know?”

                “Lucky guess. Anyway, do you want to know who I am or-“

                “Absolutely not!” Iida exclaims. Person 1 shrugs. The gesture is useless, of course, because Iida can’t see. But the camera can, so at least there’s that.

                “Fine with me,” Person 1 says. “Should we start by finding edge pieces?”

                “That’s an excellent strategy!”

Confessional:

                “So my date was Iida,” Todoroki says. He stares down the camera, an intense look in his eyes. “He was a perfect gentleman. I find that incredibly sexy. He is a man I would be proud to introduce to my father. I think I am falling in love.”

Exit Confessional

 

                The second couple is in deep discussion with their intern about how the hell their bonding activity is supposed to work.

                “It’s charades,” Momo says. It’s obvious from the way she says it that this is not her first time trying to explain her problem to the intern.

                “Yes,” the intern says. His name is Mizuki. His name doesn’t matter, but that is what it is.

                “But we can’t see each other,” Momo continues.

                “That is correct,” Mizuki the Intern says.

                “How can we play charades if we can’t see each other?” Momo asks, a slight amount of exasperation barely concealed in her voice.

                “Well, I’ve got an idea,” Jirou says. She gropes around on the table until she finds Momo’s hand and grabs it. Momo flinches and jerks her hand away. “Easy there, I’m not gonna do anything weird.” She takes Momo’s hand again and traces a finger along the inside of her forearm.

                “What are- Are you spelling something?” Momo asks.

                “Uh-huh. The category first.” Jirou traces the same word, and Momo screws her face up in concentration.

                “It’s an animal?”

                “Uh-huh.”

Confessional:

                “I have… I’ve since learned that my date was with Jirou,” Momo says, her cheeks tinted a pretty pink. She looks down at her hands. “We had a nice time.”

Exit Confessional

 

                “I’m not doing the activity they planned,” says one member of the third couple.

                “I think we should at least try it,” says the other.

                “I’m not making any macaroni art. I’m not in fucking kindergarten,” says the first.

                “Well I don’t want to just sit here and stare into space,” says the other.

                “We’re blindfolded, you’re not staring at anything,” quoth the first.

                “Well, what could we do instead of macaroni art?” respondeth the second.

                “You guys could play 20 questions!” interjects the camera man. The second jumps, having forgotten there was someone watching their date. The first scowls.

                “I’m not in fucking middle school, either,” says the first.

                “I think 20 questions might be fun,” says the second. “What’s your favorite color?”

                “Black,” says the first.

                “You’re not doing a very good job of hiding who you are.”

                “Wasn’t trying to.”

                “Fine. Ask me a question.”

                “Who are you?” asks the first. The second shakes their head.

                “That’s cheating. You have to figure out who I am. Try again,” they say.

                “All right, so you’re not anyone fun,” says the first.

                “Hey!”

                “Man or woman?”

                “Nope.”

                “Oh come on, give me something! I don’t wanna play these fucking games,” exclaims the first.

                “Ask better questions!” laughs the second.

                “Do you like spicy food?” asks the first.

                “Don’t hate it, don’t love it,” says the second. “Do you?”

                “Yeah, ‘cause I’m not a weak bitch,” says the first. “Have we ever fought each other?”

                “Yes,” says the second. “Top or bottom?”

                “Excuse me?”

                “Bunk. Do you prefer top or bottom bunk?” asks the second innocently. “Why, what did you think I meant?” The first scowls.

                “You fucking know exactly what I thought you meant,” says the first. “Neither. I don’t do bunk beds.”

                “But if you had to.”

                “Bottom,” says the first, recalling an unfortunate experience with top bunks.

                “That’s very telling.”

                “Fuck off.”

                “Your turn,” says the second.

                “Have we fucked?” says the first.

                “That’s bold,” says the second.

                “Yeah, but there’s only one person in this house who knows everyone I’ve slept with, and Kirishima wouldn’t play these stupid games,” says the first.

                Kirishima is, at this moment, playing a different stupid game and having a very lovely time with his own date. But that’s beside the point.

                “No, we’ve never slept together,” says the second.

                “That narrows it down.”

                “Oh? How many of us have you slept with?” asks the second.

                “Not many, but the fact that you didn’t say ‘fucked’ narrows it down. And that counts as a question, by the way,” says the first. “Actually, fuck your turn. Favorite color?”

                “Green.”

                “Favorite hero?”

                “All Might.”

                “Teacher you’re most scared of?”

                “Aizawa. Why is that even a question?”

                “Who do you think I am?” asks the first.

                “Kacchan,” replies the second, calmly.

                “Why are you pretending to be Deku?” the first asks damningly. He leans back in his chair, a smug grin on his face that is wasted on his blindfolded date.

                “Excuse me?”

                “You heard me,” he says. “Why are you pretending to be the nerd?”

                “Why do you think that I’m pretending?”

                “You didn’t answer all the questions right,” he says. “But he’s the only one dumb enough to use that stupid nickname.”

                “Fine. I kinda thought it’d be funny.”

                “Sounds like the kind of dumb shit you’d think was funny,” he says.

                “So you know who I am?”

                “Yeah, Round Face, you’re not a very good actor.”

                Uraraka tugs off her blindfold and headphones and Bakugou does the same. He’s still essentially just in his underwear, which she didn’t expect. She blushes in spite of herself. She’d actually taken the time to put on something nice for this stupid date, and she got stuck with this asshole as a partner.

                “Flattered to see you dressed up for our date,” Uraraka says.

                “Why put on a fucking monkey suit when I know this does the job just as well?” Bakugou asks smugly, squaring his shoulders and smirking. Uraraka rolls her eyes.

                “I’ve got another question for you, if we’re done skipping my turn,” she says. Bakugou rolls his eyes right back at her.

                “Fine. What is it?” he asks. She smiles sweetly.

                “What did he ask you last night?” she asks. Bakugou looks confused for a moment. He squints at her, as if trying to make out the meaning from the expression on her face, and then he goes deathly pale.

                “I have no clue what you’re talking about,” he says. Uraraka raises an eyebrow.

                “No?” she asks. She takes her phone out, pulls up a text message, and waves it in his face. She angles it in such a way that her screen won’t be shown to the camera. Bakugou turns his whole body away.

                “I said I don’t fucking know what you’re talking about!” he yells. The back of his neck is red. Uraraka grins, then very, very slowly leans forward, until she’s right at his ear. Bakugou appears frozen.

                She whispers quietly enough that she’s confident the microphones won’t pick it up. “How did you like being called daddy?”

                Bakugou bolts up, and a few sparks flare up at his fingertips.

                “I’m done with this fucking date! You are definitely not my perfect match!” he yells before stomping off. He doesn’t know why he said that last part. It sounds stupid. But taking it back would sound stupider, so he just has to stomp all the way back to his room.

Confessionals:

Bakugou

                “So…. How was your date?”

                Bakugou crosses his arms and growls as a furious blush spreads across his face.

                “It fucking sucked!

Uraraka

                “So…. How was your date?”

                Uraraka shrugs.

                “Well, I had fun,” she says.

                “Why did you pretend to be Midoriya? And keep pestering him after?”

                “Well, I kinda had this weird dream… well, anyways, I had this idea I needed to test out. Plus, he’s always mad but he doesn’t get flustered like that super often, so I had to, you know? He’s kinda cute when he’s embarrassed, don’t you think?” she asks.

Exit Confessional

 

                One of the cameras hidden in the hall leading to their bedrooms catches a conversation just after lunch. Izuku is speed-walking- practically fleeing- down the hall, with Uraraka hot on his trail.

                “You won’t think about it?” she asks pleadingly.

                “No!”

                “Oh come on, you’re my best friend! We’re supposed to do everything together!” she says. Izuku turns tomato red.

                “We’re not supposed to do that together!”

                “Are you telling me you’ve never thought about it?” she asks. Izuku finally reaches his room. He bolts inside and slams the door shut. Uraraka tries to open it, but finds it locked. Frustrated, she pounds on the door. “Deku, come on! Don’t make me do him alone!”

                Audiences at home now have this information, vague though it may be, and can do with it what they will.

Chapter Text

The following days pass much like those first two. In a way, this is sort of a vacation for the heroes. No patrol, no desk work, no meetings, no interviews. They train and spar and watch what they eat, just like usual, but they get to relax for once, too. For some, this means spending a little extra bonding time with their dates from the second day. Jirou could blow her nose these days and Momo would look at her like she’s reciting poetry. Kaminari and Kirishima have been practically attached at the lips, coming up occasionally for air, food, or booze. Tetsutetsu and Izuku hardly made a love connection on their date, but they have formed a wonderful brotherly bond over a shared love of an old hero who’s been forgotten almost entirely for decades. They fall into passionate discussion of her every time they’re in the same room. All in all, it’s a strange sort of peace that settles over the house in that first week. Even Bakugou seems relatively calm.

                A few days after the blind dates, when most of them are relaxing in or near the pool, Kaminari asks the fateful question that sets off a strange chain of events.

                “Hey Kiri,” he says. Kirishima, who is currently so relaxed into his inner tube that he almost looks like he’ll fall through, barely reacts.

                “Hm?” Kirishima says.

                “So like, hypothetical question. Imagine you’re married, and you have to pick one person in this house to fuck your spouse. Who do you choose?”

                “What?!” Kirishima exclaims. He wriggles around in an attempt to sit up, splashing quite a bit and making a horrible squeaking sound against the tube. “What kind of question is that?” Kaminari shrugs.

                “A hypothetical one. C’mon, babe, I’m just curious.” Kirishima sighs, then gives it some thought. It’s a long time before he answers.

                “I guess Mina?” he says eventually.

                “Aw, babe!” Mina calls from her spot in the hot tub, cuddled up at Sero’s side. “To what do I owe the honor?”

                “Well, I know you wouldn’t try to steal my honey, you know? You’d just have a good time together and part ways. You’re too good of a friend,” Kirishima explains. Mina clutches her heart.

                “That’s so sweet!” she says. “Sero, babe, I’m sleeping in me, Kiri, and Tetsu’s room tonight.”

                “Hey now!” Sero says, his laughter betraying his façade of anger.

                “Don’t worry, you can come too if you want,” she says, kissing him on the cheek. Sero turns bright red. Even if she’s joking, the idea of a foursome with… well, anyone, is a little much for himi.

                “Kami, who would you pick?” Jirou asks, floating past him on a large watermelon-shaped floatie.

                “Iida, I think,” he says. “No offense, bud, but you strike me as a missionary man. They’d come back to me after, I’d be pretty confident in that.”

                “Iida would treat your spouse extremely well,” Todoroki says coolly. He is currently playing poker with the man in question at a poolside table “I wouldn’t be so confident.” Iida has gone bright red in the face, but is doing his very best to ignore the conversation all together. He learned quickly that the more he scolded them the more they’d tease him, just to see him blush.

                “Yeah? Well, who would you pick, Todoroki?” Kaminari asks. He rolls off his floatie and swims over to the side to look up at Todoroki.

                “This really is such a crass conversation,” Iida says, his voice strained. He doesn’t quite feel comfortable with the way Kaminari winks at him when he says this.

                “Cock!” Sero, Kaminari, Mina, and Jirou yell in almost perfect unison. Momo tries to stifle a laugh.

                “Well, at least we know it won’t be on air,” she says with a shake of her head.

                “Bakugou,” Todoroki says. “I’d want them to sleep with Bakugou.”

                “Thank you, I’ve been waiting for someone to say it!” Jirou cheers.

                “Why Bakugou?!” Sero asks. “He’s crazy, but he’s insanely hot.”

                “Because,” Jirou says, slowly, like she’s explaining to a child, “he’s insanely hot, but he’s crazy. My spouse will go out and have some fun, he’ll treat them well enough for a night, but there’s no way they’d leave me for Bakugou. And I’d get to hear about it after.” She concludes her explanation with a wink towards Momo, which leaves the other woman blushing and sinking deeper into the coolness of the water.

                “Ouch,” Kirishima says, peering over his sunglasses at her. “Lucky he’s not here to hear you say that.”

                “Why would you pick Bakugou, Todoroki? I honestly thought you’d say Midoriya,” Mina says.

                “If they have the chance to leave me for Midoriya, they have my blessing to do so,” Todoroki says. “I’d leave me for Midoriya.” Jirou wolf-whistles.

                “Careful Iida, your best friend is gonna steal your man!” Kaminari laughs.

                “If Todoroki and Midoriya develop feelings for each other, I will be very happy for them,” Iida says. We have only been on one date after all. Todoroki, could you tell me what this hand is called?”

                “You’re not supposed to show me your cards,” Todoroki says.

                “Why don’t we ever have appropriate conversations?” Momo asks, finally bringing up the point she and Iida have both been keeping to themselves. “Does adulthood mean that all we care about is work and sex?”

                “We care about booze, too!” Kaminari says, waving his margarita in the air.

                “Sero!” Kirishima says. “Would you rather lick an arm pit or wash your hands in a public toilet?” Sero and Kaminari both howl with laughter at the question. Kaminari, who had only just managed to get back onto his floatie, falls back into the water.

                “That better, Momo?” Jirou asks teasingly. Momo sighs.

                “Well, I guess it isn’t work or sex,” she says.

                “Lick the arm pit, obviously,” Sero says when he recovers his voice. “I’ve put my mouth on much-“

                “No,” Todoroki says firmly. JIrou snickers.

                “Yeah, bad Sero!” she scolds.

                “Guys!” Tetsutetsu says, running out from the house. Uraraka is tight on his heels. “I’m taking a poll-“

                “I’m telling you, you’re wrong!” Uraraka interrupts.

                “Do you think MIdoriya and Bakugou have ever been involved?” Tetsutetsu finishes his question.

                “Involved?” Momo repeats.

                “Yeah, you know,” Tetsutetsu says, waggling his eyebrows. “Involved.”

                “No way,” Kaminari says dismissively.

                “I wish, but no,” Mina says.

                “Seems unlikely,” Momo agrees.

                “Ha!” Uraraka says, putting her hands on her hips and smirking at Tetsutetsu. “Told you.” Tetsutetsu pouts.

                “Seriously? You guys don’t think there’s ever been anything going on there?” he asks. “We all had bets in Class B on when something was gonna happen with them, and we didn’t ever spend more than a few hours with them.”

                “We never said there isn’t tension,” Mina says. “But think about it. Do you really think either of them has the balls to suck it up and do something about it?” Tetsutetsu frowns. Clearly, he hadn’t given much thought to the logistics of them actually getting together. “Didn’t think so.”

                “Well, they should,” Tetsutetsu grumbles, sitting down at the edge of the pool and putting his feet in the water.

                “Yeah man,” Kaminari says, a thoughtful expression crossing his face. Kirishima looks at him with concern. Kaminari is many things, many good things, but expressions like that never meant anything good on his face. “They should.”

                “What are you thinking, Sparky?” Jirou asks.

                “I’m thinking,” he says slowly, “that we are basically on an all expenses paid vacation where the only thing asked of us is that as many of us hook up as possible, and Midoriya and Bakugou have been desperately in need of a hate-fuck for, like, half their lives. Why shouldn’t they get it over with while we’re here?”

                “Kami,” Mina says, pressing a hand to her heart and pretending to be scandalized, “are you suggesting we meddle in our friends’ romantic lives?” Kaminari snorts.

                “Uh, yeah,” he says. “Someone clearly needs to step in.”

                “Absolutely not!” Iida says. He’s been saying that a lot this week. “Midoriya and Bakugou’s personal lives are none of our business. What they do or don’t do together is between them, and we should leave it alone.”

                “Laaaaame!” Kaminari says. “C’mon Iida, we’d just be giving them a little helpful push in the right direction.”

                “I’m going to have to agree with Iida on this one,” Momo says. “I don’t think it’s right for us to intervene, and we might just make things worse. Right now, at least they’re able to work well together.”

                Slowly but surely, the group falls into heated debate about the morality of stepping in to whatever it was that existed between Bakugou and Izuku. Some declared their loyalties almost immediately. Todoroki was equally firm in Iida and Momo’s belief that meddling into their affairs would be wrong, although he never actually provided his rationale for thinking so. Sero and Kaminari are always on the same wavelength, and this time Jirou found herself agreeing with them. Mina is simply a strong believer in the fact that two good-looking people with decent chemistry should always be given the chance to sleep together if they are so inclined. Then, there were the fence-sitters.

                “Bakugou isn’t gonna like it if he finds out you guys are trying to hook him up with Midoriya,” Kirishima says, chewing his lip. “And if he does have feelings for Midoriya, that’s his business. You guys know how he is about feelings.” Kaminari rolls his eyes and paddles his floatie over to Kirishima. He gently puts his hand on Kirishima’s face.

                “Kiri, baby,” he says gently. “Do you really want to spend the rest of your life pretending you don’t notice him staring at Midoriya’s ass while we’re on duty? Because I really fucking don’t.” It was a fair point.

                “Uraraka, you know Midoriya better than anyone,” Todoroki says. “You agree that he would hate this, don’t you?” Oh, she absolutely agrees that he would hate it. But she still really wants that three way.

                “He wouldn’t love it…” she says. “But they have a point. The two of them will never say or do anything about it on their own. Bakugou’s too proud, and Deku would be too worried about their working relationship.” If I want that three way, she thought to herself, I need them to acknowledge that they want to fuck. Because I really don’t want to go solo with either of them. I mean, maybe Bakugou, but that would be kind of weird for Deku if I got to Bakugou first. What really matters, though, is getting them together, right? I mean, Lord knows Deku needs a rebound. A good rebound. Someone a million times hotter than Shinsou, and that really just leaves Todoroki and Bakugou. Or Momo, but I don’t think she’d be into that.

                “You good, Uraraka?” Tetsutetsu asks, putting a hand on her shoulder. “You’ve been staring into a space a long time, and you look kinda constipated.”

                “Bro!” Kirishima exclaims. “It’s so not manly to tell a woman she looks constipated.”

                “Shit, you’re so right,” Tetsutetsu agrees, disappointed in himself. “Uraraka, I’m sorry. You look like you have very normal bowel movements, but also like you’re confused about something.” Kirishima nods approvingly. Mina, Momo, Jirou, and Uraraka all share that special look that women give each other when men say something stupid but clearly mean well.

                “I just can’t decide what to think right now,” Uraraka says. She’s about to say something else when the back door of the house opens and Bakugou and Izuku walk out, looking very determined. The entire group freezes, not entirely sure how to play off the fact that they were just talking about how this exact pair of people needed to hate-fuck the daylights out of each other. They didn’t even know if either of them had heard them talking before they came out. They waited with bated breath for Bakugou or Izuku to speak.

                “Kacchan and I have been talking,” Izuku says, with the same tone of voice he might use to start a meeting.

                “That’s a start at least,” Sero whispers to Mina. She smiles, but elbows him in the side and shushes him.

                “That’s new,” Kaminari says.

                “Shut up, Pikachu, we get shit done sometimes,” Bakugou says. “We figured none of you would be thinking ahead.”

                “That’s not exactly true-“ Izuku says, rubbing the back of his neck.

                “Thinking about what?” Uraraka asks.

                “The stupid matches,” Bakugou says.

                “Present Mic is coming tomorrow for the last day of filming for episode one, and we have to tell him our guesses for the perfect matches,” Izuku explains. “Since we’ve only had one set of dates so far, we don’t really have much to go off of, so we need to discuss it properly before we decide what we’re going to tell him.”

                “Oh yeah, I totally forgot about that,” Kirishima says.

                “I thought they said it doesn’t really matter if we get the matches right or not,” Jirou says.

                “You wanna look stupid on national TV?” Bakugou asks. “Because I fucking don’t. There’s only twelve of us, how hard can it be to figure out six stupid matches?”

                “We still aren’t really sure the best way of figuring it out. Some of us seemed to match up well romantically on our dates but not everybody did. Maybe we could do a bracket, or a voting system? Just to get the conversation started,” Izuku says. Bakugou nods once, quite firmly. Neither of them seems to be aware that they might be taking this just a bit too seriously. If they’re working together, they must both think that this is, in fact, extremely important.

                Uraraka makes her decision.

                “What if you guys make a form with everyone’s names on it and then each of us can fill one out with who we think the best matches are? That would be a good way to start voting,” Uraraka says. Izuku lights up. Poor naïve boy. Uraraka can play her best friend like a cheap kazoo.

                “That’s a great idea!” he turns to Bakugou. “What if we make two columns of names, and then everyone can draw a line matching up each person with who they think is their best match?” Bakugou shakes his head.

                “It’d take too long to tally up the votes,” he says. “We should do an individual vote for each person until all the matches are made. Then we only have to do six votes, instead of going through for all twelve of these assholes.”

                “Kacchan, you’re one of the twelve assholes,” Izuku says cautiously.

                “What’d you just call me?!”

                “You guys clearly have a vision for how you want to handle this,” Uraraka says. “Why don’t you guys get started on setting up your system while we dry off and change into real clothes? We can talk about it with lunch.” Izuku looks at Bakugou hesitantly, unsure if Bakugou will agree to doing more work with him than he’s already done. Bakugou just shrugs.

                “Fine, since it’s not like any of you losers could put it together right,” he says. “I’m not making lunch for any of you guys, though.” (He will, though. He ends up doing it everyday.) Bakugou and Midoriya head back into the house, already strategizing.

The second the door is shut, the groups assemble and battle lines are officially drawn. Two teams are formed: Team Leave Britney Alone, and Team Let’s Get Bakubro Texas-Smashed. Credit for the naming of ‘Team Leave Britney Alone’ belongs to the members of ‘Team Let’s get Bakubro Texas-Smashed,’ as members of the first team simply wanted to be Team 1. Which, obviously, wouldn’t suffice. After the beautiful display of teamwork by Bakugou and Izuku, Kirishima and Uraraka felt that it was their duty to join ‘Team Let’s Get Bakubro Texas-Smashed.’ Their beloved idiots needed an intervention.

                “So what do we wanna do?” Mina asks once the other members of her team have assembled in the hot tub. “Do we vote for them as one of the perfect matches?”

                “No!” Kirishima and Uraraka say in unison. Mina looks shocked, and a little offended.

                “It’ll just piss Bakugou off, and he’ll be extra mean to Midoriya to try to prove us wrong,” Kirishima explains.

                “And Deku would just get embarrassed and avoid him,” Uraraka adds. Kirishima nods in agreement.

                “Well, we can’t pair either of them up with anyone from Team Leave Britney Alone,” Sero says. “We need somebody who’s in on the plan if we don’t want them, like, falling in love with somebody else.”

                “But we also need it to be believable. They’re too smart to not catch on if we just pair them up at random with someone they have no connection with,” Jirou says.

                At the opposite end of the pool, Team Leave Britney Alone is having a much less productive conversation.

                “What’s our strategy here?” Momo asks. “It’s not like we can actively keep them apart, that’s meddling just as much as what they’re doing is.”

                “All we can do is try to stop their schemes,” Iida says. “If Bakugou and Midoriya come together on their own, that’s not our business. But we can’t let the others try to force them together.” Todoroki nods.

                “So, do we just vote like we would have if this whole issue hadn’t come up?” Momo asks. “We don’t really have the numbers to prevent them from doing whatever they’re planning.”

                “I don’t see what else we can do,” Todoroki says. “We’ll be able to do more at dates and events.” Momo lets out a sigh that sounds like it comes from the depths of her bones.

                “I don’t know how we let them turn this harmless show into something that’s going to be so exhausting to keep up with,” she says, pouting a little bit. All she wanted to do was relax and spend time with Jirou. Now, they’re not even on the same side of this stupid little game.

                The other team gets out of the hot tub, laughing about something, and head toward the door.

                “C’mon,” Uraraka says. “They’ll get suspicious if we’re out here too long. We said we were just gonna dry off and get dressed. 


 

                They reassemble for the lunch Bakugou made them- insisting, as he always does, that he accidentally made too much. The forms are passed out, filled out, returned. Izuku tallies them while Bakugou yells at him to count faster. It’s all beautifully domestic. Team Let’s Get Bakubro Texas-Smashed can’t possibly understand how Bakugou and Izuku aren’t aware of their chemistry.

                “All right!” Izuku says. “I’ve got the final results! I’ll just go in order off the list.

                “1. Jirou and Momo
                “2. Kirishima and Tetsutetsu.” Kaminari looks balefully at his beloved. He knew better than to think this wouldn’t sink their ship.
                “3. Sero and Kaminari
                “4. Mina and… Iida? Okay, that’s a little… well, we’ll still discuss the results later. Anyways.
                “5. Bakugou and Uraraka.” Uraraka winks at Uraraka, and he tries his best to look revolted.
                “6. Midoriya and Todoroki.”


 

Confessionals:

                “Midoriya and Todoroki?” Sero repeats. “I don’t know how we fucked up the plan that bad. Bakugou doesn’t stand a fucking chance.”

The image transitions to show Izuku making eye contact with Todoroki. Todoroki smiles quite handsomely at him, and Izuku immediately blushes. When the confessional booth is shown again, it is Mina sitting in the hot seat.

                “Iida is… super good-looking! And really smart! I could totally be his perfect match,” she says, forcing a brilliant smile. It slips quickly. “Oh, fuck, who am I kidding? Oh, but I do have a confession… I may have voted for Todoroki and Midoriya. Don’t tell my team. They’d just be so cute!”

Exit Confessionals


 

                “I thought I told you idiots to take this seriously,” Bakugou says, ripping the results sheet out of Izuku’s hands. “Mina and Iida? What the fuck?”

                “I’m sure I should consider myself very lucky,” Iida says, ever the diplomat. Mina waves it off.

                “Oh, hush you,” she says with a wink. Iida’s face goes blank.

                “We did take it seriously,” Momo says. She knew they couldn’t risk a re-vote, not when these results were so… well, acceptable. “It’s not just about who currently seems to be compatible on the surface. They didn’t decide our matches based on our current relationships, but on our personalities, values, and preferences. It’s more about how well those match than how we currently feel about each other.” Izuku frowns.

                “I think I’m with Kacchan on this one,” he says, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. “Iida and Mina are both great, but I don’t know how well their personalities or preferences match up with each other.”

                “Well, who did you put them with, Midoriya?” Kaminari asks pointedly. Kirishima flashes him a grin and a thumbs up. It’s a good strategy, spinning it back on Izuku, the one who’d be way to embarrassed to admit how he’d voted. Izuku twirls his thumbs and looks down at the table.

                “Well, um, I don’t really remember but uh-“

                “The nerd is right for once. These two don’t make sense,” Bakugou says. Team Let’s Get Bakubro Texas-Smashed (from here on out to be abbreviated as Team LGBTS, not affiliated with the LGBT+ community) shares a look. Bakugou is harder-headed than Izuku when it comes to silly things like this. Uraraka decides to take one for the team.

                “I’m flattered, Bakugou,” she pipes in. “I would’ve expected you to put up more of a fight. Does that mean we make sense?” She bats her eyelashes at him for good measure. Bakugou clenches his fists to the point that his knuckles turn white. She half-expects him to blow something up, like he would’ve in high school.

                “I didn’t fucking say that!” he barks. “None of this makes fucking sense, I couldn’t be matched up with any of you losers!”

                “Look, why don’t we just use these matches for now?” Jirou asks. “It’s not like we have to get them all right the first try. We have until the end of the show to get it right.” The group (mostly) agrees (with some grumbling from Bakugou).


 

                “Well done kiddos!” Present Mic exclaims. The group are all lined up before him and the camera in their pairs, all of them holding hands for an extra touch of cuteness. Uraraka had to threaten Bakugou with zero gravity to get him to do it, and she almost regrets it. No wonder he’s able to create such big explosions- the guy has the sweatiest palms she’s ever felt. “You got three right on your first try!”

                “Not bad!” Kaminari says, high-fiving Sero. “Which ones did we get?”

                “Ah ah ah!” Mic says, wagging his finger at them. “That part’s a secret.”

                “It’s fucking what?” Bakugou growls. “How are we supposed to figure it out if you won’t tell us which ones we got right?” Present Mic takes a big step away from Bakugou, then shrugs.

                “You’re all smart kids, aren’t you?” he says. “You’ll just have to figure it out the hard way!” Present Mic turns to the camera. “To our viewers at home! We’ve got a poll going on Twitter- who do you think are our six perfect matches? Do you think our dear heroes will ever be able to figure it out for themselves?”

                “Get fucked!” Bakugou says. Uraraka elbows him hard in the ribs. “I will kill you,” he whispers. Uraraka grins and wiggles her fingers at the camera.

                “Not on live TV you won’t,” she says sweetly.

                “Stick around for next week’s episode, when we’ll be sending them out on the ride of their life. Let’s see how fearless these heroes really are, ya hear? We’ll see you next week!” Present Mic wraps up. The camera man holds up a hand.

                “That’s a wrap!” he says. Mike emerges from behind him.

                “Awesome job, kids!” he exclaims. A few of them bristle at being called kids- it’s not the end of the world when Present Mic does it, since he was their teacher, but Mike has only known them as adults. “We’re just going to film a few more shots of Mic recapping parts of the sequences we’re using, and then we’ll be out of the house. You’re all free to go do whatever you want.”

                “Hang on,” Izuku says. “What do you mean when you say we’ll be taking the ride of our lives?” A few of the others murmur their agreement. No one’s mentioned yet what they’ll be expected to do for the next episode. Mike gives an exaggerated shrug.

                “It’s anyone’s guess!” he says. “The interns are taking care of all that. We’ll find out soon enough.”

                A week in, and the group was already exhausted. Between uncooperative executives and their own self-inflicted missions, this show might end up being a lot more exhausting than any of them had expected.

Chapter Text

Previously On Whatever the Fuck This Show is Called…

Confessionals:

As a pro-Hero, you’ve faced threats that most people could never imagine. What’s one thing that a civilian can do, that you’d be terrified to do?

                Mina wavers on her seat, looking as if she might topple over at any moment. Her gaze is unfocused, and she giggles at the question.

                “You know, hoes on Twitter can-“ she hiccups- “hoes on Twitter can say whatever thirsty ass things they want about any of the fuckin’ pros, and i’s fine, but I do it an’ i’s, i’s ‘workplace harassment,’ ya know? So I can’t tell Mr. Aizawa he can *beeeeeeeeep*.”

                The shot changes to show Todoroki. In most ways, it’s impossible to tell that he’s intoxicated at all, but his face is tinted pink and his normally neutral expression has been swapped out for an absent-minded smile.

                “That civilians can do?” he repeats. “Well, I’ve always wanted to see what I’d look like with just one hair color. But the two colors is part of my brand now. I don’t know how well it would be received.”

                Next is Izuku. He cocks his head to the side when the interviewer speaks to him, like a confused puppy dog.

                “D’you mean that I can’t do because I’m a hero? Or just that I’m scared to do?” he asks.

                “I think just something normal that you’re scared to do,” the interviewer answers. Izuku frowns, then shrugs.

                “Tell Shinsou the real reason he dumped me, I guess,” he says.

                “You mean the reason you dumped him?”

                “Nuh-uh!” he says, shaking his head so forcefully it causes his curls to bounce around visibly. “Why he dumped me!” He jabs his thumb into his chest so forcefully that it causes him to burp. He looks surprised by the sound. “Oh! ‘Scuse me!”

                It transitions next to Bakugou and Kirishima. Bakugou is scowling at the camera, just as pink in the face as Todoroki, and Kirishima seems to just be there to keep him on the stool. Although he is the less drunk of the two, Kirishima is still visibly drunk.

                “I’m not scared’a shit,” Bakugou says, crossing his arms over his chest. Kirishima pokes the bulge of his bicep. Bakugou doesn’t seem to notice.

                “Wha’ ‘bout that Sports Festival nightmare?” Kirishima asks.

                “’S different,” Bakugou says. Kirishima frowns and scrunches up his face in concentration. He knows Bakugou better than anyone else, and he seems certain that there must be something Bakugou is neglecting to mention here.

                “Would you tell Midoriya what you really think about him?”

                “No!”

                “Wha’ ‘bout Todoroki? Or Mina? Or me?” Kirishima asks.

                “Nah, fuck that!” Bakugou says. The redness in his face has increased.

                “What would you say to these people, Bakugou?” the interviewer interjects. At this, Bakugou’s face goes from light-sunburn to fire engine.

                “None of your business!” he barks.

                “Kirishima, would you be able to give us a list of people you don’t think Bakugou would be comfortable complimenting? Because I assume it’s compliments that he’s keeping to himself, he’s pretty open with his criticisms.”

                “Fuck off, you’re a bossy bitch and someone should tell you,” Bakugou grumbles.

                “I could make a list!” Kirishima says, grinning brightly. Bakugou looks at him and actually cringes.

Exit Confessionals/Flashback

                “Contestants!” Present Mic says as interns pass each of the heroes a piece of paper. “To start of this week’s shindig, we’re giving you all a little challenge!” As he speaks, the camera pans over each of their individual reactions. Some remain stoic, calm. They’re heroes, they’re on TV, they remember to keep a handle on it. Some go white. Izuku in particular turns so pale that the intern he’s speaking to actually brings him a glass of water and recommends he have a seat. Bakugou… looks like he’ll explode, but that’s hardly anything new. “During one of the opening events last week, you each confided to our dear Nanami in the confessional one thing that a civilian can do that you’d be afraid to do. Those fears are written down on the papers we’ve just handed to you!”

                “No way,” Jirou says. She crumples up the paper in her hand. “I’m not doing it. Fuck that.”

                “Me either,” Kaminari says, his voice shaking a bit. She glances over at his sheet of paper, then in a surge of affection grabs his hand. They both stare at each other as if they are seeing each other for the first time after decades apart. “Bro… do we?” She nods.

                “We match, Sparky. We match,” she says. The cameraman zooms in to show that Kaminari’s lower lip actually begins to tremble.

                “Well,” he says, struggling to regain his composure. “Me and Jirou will be backing out of this one together.” There’s a chorus of voices from the other heroes, all declaring their own refusal to participate.

                “Well, of course, there is an alternate activity for those who aren’t willing to participate,” Mic says slowly, a smirk slowly spreading across his face. “You were all kind enough to disclose the name of your least favorite pro-Hero. Weirdly enough, you all answered one of two specific heroes. Now, we won’t include the name or likeness of said heroes in this show to avoid a libel suit, but you have the option of spending one day each as a sidekick to one of these heroes.” Their faces all immediately sour. A day with Endeavor or fucking Mineta. These are not exciting prospects. “For those of you who do choose to participate, you have your instructions. You also need to choose a partner to get this done with, because facing your fears is totally sexy, and this is a dating show after all. You have until the end of the day to get it done. I’ll see you all then!” Mic excuses himself- at least, from the shot- and the mad scramble to partner up begins. Bakugou grabs Kirishima’s arm in a vice grip.

                “You got me into this, Shitty Hair, and you’re getting me fucking through it,” he says through gritted teeth. “If I kill someone, you take the fucking blame.” Kirishima grimaces.

                “I guess it is kinda my fault,” he says. “My bad man.” Tetsutetsu grips his shoulder and nods at him.

                “Trying to make it right. Admitting your mistakes. You get manlier by the day Kirishima,” he says. Kirishima’s eyes begin to water.

                “Bro, you mean it?” Kirishima says. He goes to hug Tetsutetsu, but Bakugou yanks him away.

                “Jerk off to each other’s manliness on your own time,” Bakugou says, pulling him toward the stairs that lead to their rooms. “We need to strategize.”

                Izuku had taken a similar strategy in latching onto Uraraka before she had the chance to even look at anybody else. When she sees his challenge, she doesn’t utter a word, just drags him up the stairs to her own room. Iida takes mental note not to try to go up their to strategize with his own partner- not that Todoroki needs to do much strategizing.

                “I think it would be best to get temporary red dye and use it on my white hair,” he says when Iida asks him what he plans to do. “What’s your fear, Iida?”

                “Goats,” Iida says. “There’s nothing profound about it, I’m afraid. I just think goats are terrifying.” Todoroki nods.

                “In Western culture, goats are a symbol of the devil,” he says. “I believe at certain points of history they even believed that Satan walked the earth as a goat.” Iida nods enthusiastically.

                “I can see why they thought that!” he exclaims. “It just isn’t natural for any living being to… well do anything that a goat does!” He looks back at his challenge sheet, frowns, then takes a deep breath. “So. To the beauty supply store, and then a petting zoo?”

                Across the room, Momo finds, to her great disappointment, that Jirou is unavailable to partner up with.

                “Sorry Momo,” Jirou says, taking her hand and giving it a squeeze. “Me and Kami have the same challenge, so it just makes sense for us to pair up.”

                “I understand,” Momo says, forcing a smile. “What will the two of you be doing?”

                “We gotta go meet up with Tsu at the docks, I guess,” Kaminari says, squinting at his sheet. “We’re both scared of being out on open water.”

                “It messes with how sound travels,” Jirou explains.

                “I saw Titanic and let me tell you,” Kaminari says, leaning in as if to whisper something confidential. “I’m not the type of guy people let onto their floating door. I drown in this situation every time.” Jirou elbows him.

                “That’s not true!” she says. “We could take turns.” Kaminari’s face lights up in a dazzling smile. Even Momo, who has never seen Kaminari’s appeal in the slightest, finds her heart rate picking up slightly. She feels a twist in the pit of her stomach. Suddenly, the idea of Jirou spending all day with Kaminari seems much scarier than her challenge.

                “’Eat an entire meal at McDonald’s. Finish everything that your partner orders for you,’” Mina reads. Momo jumps. She hadn’t noticed the other woman standing just behind her, peering over her shoulder. “I know you’re rich and all, but is cheap food seriously your worst fear?” Momo feels her face heat up.

                “It’s not that!” she insists. “When I was a little girl, I was on a trip with some family friends and we went there, and I got terrible food poisoning. I’ve been afraid to go back ever since. It was the first thing that popped into my head when they asked.” Mina shrugs.

                “Sounds fun to me, I love Micky D’s,” she says. “Partners?”


 

                Kirishima and Bakugou approach the door with trepidation. Bakugou clutches the script Kirishima helped him write in a white-knuckled fist, while his other hand keeps producing small sparks at increasingly fast intervals. Kirishima gives him an affirming nod.

                “You got this, bro,” he says. “Just like we practiced.” He raises his fist to the door and looks to Bakugou for approval. Bakugou nods stiffly. Kirishima knocks. Moments later, the door opens to reveal the long, gaunt figure of their former teacher.

                “Young Bakugou, young Kirishima!” All Might says. “This is a surprise! Inko and I were just catching up on your show.”

                “Really?!” Kirishima asks excitedly. “We haven’t gotten to actually see the episodes! How do you like it so far?” All Might looks off to the side and rubs the back of his neck.

                “Well, if I’m being honest, it’s a little odd to see my former students talking about each other in… in such, um… impolite terms. But I’m glad to see you’re all having fun!” he says, regaining some of his energy toward the end. “So to what do I owe the pleasure?” Kirishima grabs Bakugou’s shoulder and gives it a squeeze.

                “Bakugou here has something he’d like to say to you,” Kirishima says. He nods toward the script. Slowly, in a manner that makes it clear he’s barely restraining himself, Bakugou raises the script in front of his eyes.

                “All Might,” he says stiffly. Each word of the name sounds like it took an enormous amount of effort to produce. “I just wanted to say that I… admire you… and that, uh… being your student has made me-“ he mumbles the final words of his line. Kirishima shakes his shoulder gently.

                “C’mon man, that was great, just a couple more words,” he says. Instead, Bakugou blows the script to cinders.

                “All I mean to say is thanks for making me suck less. It’ll make it easier for me to replace you as the best hero of all time, bastard!” he declares. He throws the last of the ashes at All Might’s feet and stomps off. The cameraman cowering in the neighbor’s bushes wants to piss his pants just watching from a distance, but Kirishima and All Might both wipe away tears that are beginning to brim.

                “Oh young Bakugou,” sighs All Might. “He’s come so far.” Kirishima nods his agreement.

                “He’s gotten so manly,” Kirishima says. 


 

                “You know, this really isn’t so bad,” Kaminari says, trying to hide the trembling in his voice as he helps Tsu row their boat further out into the water. “Totally fine. I don’t know what I was so worried ab- oh my God there’s another boat passing!” A speed boat cruises past, tugging a couple people on a tube, and sends a series of waves in their direction that rock and tilt the boat. Tsu manages to use the oars to steady the boat, while JIrou grabs Kaminari’s hands and squeezes them in an attempt to comfort him. It’s totally not at all because she’s starting to freak out, too. Nope.

                “You two are perfectly safe with me,” Tsu says. “And we won’t stay out too long. The producers wanted me to keep you out here for an hour, but that just seems cruel.” Jirou and Kaminari both nod.

                “We got this, Sparky,” Jirou says. “Just half an hour out here with Tsu. We trust Tsu.”

                “Yeah, yeah,” he says, nodding enthusiastically. “We trust Tsu!”

                “Thanks guys,” Tsu says, trying to hold back a laugh at their over-the-top attempts to keep each other calm.

                “And you won’t Titanic me!” Kaminari adds.

                “Never!” Jirou assures him.

                “Titanic you?” Tsu repeats. Kaminari regards her with a surprisingly serious expression.

                “Jirou wouldn’t make me float in freezing water while she rides in style on a door, leaving me to slowly die of hypothermia like Leonardo DiCaprio in the classic American film Titanic,” he explains. Something about the stern look in his eyes, or the firm set of his jaw, as he tells her this makes Tsu almost question if she should have prepared more than just life jackets for an emergency situation that almost definitely would never occur.

                “But… we don’t have a door for either of you to float on,” Tsu says. “Just life jackets.”  Kaminari whips back around to face Jirou, the abject horror on his face perfectly captured on the GoPro the producers begged her to wear. It fails to capture the identical expression on Jirou’s face.

                “We gotta get back to shore,” Jirou says urgently.


 

                Kirishima quickly pours out a shot of whiskey from the flask he’s carrying with him and offers it to Bakugou, who then takes it down like it’s water. Bakugou grimaces, then holds out his hand for the list Kirishima has been holding onto for safe-keeping.

               “Next up is Aizawa,” he says, folding the paper and handing it back to Kirishima. “Let’s get this over with.”

 


 

               In her years as a hero, Momo has faced many worthy opponents- geniuses of strategy, powerhouses of strength, sickening combinations of the two- and yet she has never felt so close to defeat as she does when Mina sets down a tray in front of her with a Big Mac and an order of fries.

              “Here ya go, princess,” Mina says cheerfully. “This is what I always get. You’ll love it.”

              “If you say so,” Momo says, peeling away the wrapper off the Big Mac and examining it. It certainly doesn’t look more threatening than any other hamburger, but she still feels doubtful.

              “Girl, you’re never gonna get through this meal if you don’t get out of your head about it,” Momo says, sliding into the booth across from her. “Let’s distract you. How are things with you and Jirou?” Almost instantly, Momo’s blushing. Mina thinks she looks positively adorable that way.

              “They’re good. I’ve really liked hanging out with her,” Momo says. Mina raises an eyebrow.

              “I’m sensing a but. What’s up?” she asks. Momo lets out a sigh that sounds like it comes from the depths of her bones.

              “I’m worried, I guess. Maybe I shouldn’t be, maybe it’s all just in my head, but I’m worried it’s just temporary,” she says. “I don’t really date much. Do you think I’m being crazy?” Mina swipes a fry from Momo’s tray and chews it with a thoughtful look on her face.

              “Do you want the nice answer, or the honest answer?” she asks eventually.

              “The nice one,” Momo says.

              “Momo, you’re insanely hot. Jirou would have to be out of her mind to move on so quickly,” Mina says. Momo smiles, blushing slightly again.

              “And now the honest one?” she says. This time, Mina sighs.

              “I wish I could tell you there’s no reason to be worried, but I’d be lying,” she says. “You’ve only been on one date. It sounds like it was a great date, but it’s still just one. And Kami’s a really great guy, and he and Jirou get along insanely well, and they’re more or less on a date right now. Albeit with Tsu as a chaperone.” Momo drops her chin into her hand.

              “I was worried you’d say that,” she says. “So what do I do?” Mina shrugs.

              “Wait and see,” Mina replies. “We’re just guessing right now. Jirou and Kami have been friends for years, they might still just be friends when they get back.”

              “And if they’re not?” Momo asks, her voice almost pleading with Mina for a solution to this dreaded situation.

              “Then you respect that,” Mina says. “Don’t get me wrong, you can still win her back if she’s just getting a little cozier with Kami, but if she decides he’s what she wants, you gotta respect that. You said you haven’t dated much, right?” Momo nods. “Well, take it from someone who has. Getting rejected sucks, but letting it ruin a good experience for you sucks more. You’re here to romance and get romanced by some of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in the country- all amazing people. You could fall in love with any one of them.” Mina props her chin in her hand and gazes out the window. “It’s kinda exciting, hm? I mean, I didn’t come here to fall in love, but it sorta gives me butterflies to think that I could. You just never know, you know?” Momo finds herself dumbstruck. She hasn’t a clue how to respond to that speech. But she feels the same butterflies stirring in her own stomach to think about it the way that Mina does. Mina notices her staring and glances over. “Damn, you put that away in a real hurry. Did you even taste it?” Momo looks down at her tray and finds, to her complete shock, that she’s eaten every last crumb.

              “No, I guess I didn’t,” Momo murmurs. Mina grins and stands up.

              “Well! Now that that’s done, it’s my turn!” Mina grabs Momo’s hand and tugs her away from the table. “To Mr. Aizawa’s!”


 

              “Deku, you don’t have to do this,” Uraraka says, squeezing his hand gently as their cab pulls up in front of a familiar apartment complex. “You were able to put up with Mineta for three years, and I hear Endeavor’s really turned things around recently.” Izuku smiles absently at her and shakes his head, opening the car door.

              “It’s all right, Uraraka,” he says. “I really needed to do this anyway.” She nods and silently follows him in. The walk there is so familiar either of them could have done it with their eyes shut. A right at the front door, past the mailroom, up the stairs to the fourth floor, down to the left until they reach the fifth door. Izuku raises his hand, hesitates, then knocks.

              “Just a second!” A voice calls from inside. Izuku turns to Uraraka.

              “Could you wait out here while we talk? Well… if we talk?” he asks. She nods, just as the door opens to reveal Shinso. His eyebrows shoot up at the sight of them.

              “Uraraka… Izuku… I sure as hell wasn’t expecting to see you guys,” he says. Izuku forces a smile.

              “Can I come in? There’s… something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about,” he says. Shinso nods, and steps aside to let Izuku in.


 

              As fate would have it, Mina and Momo arrive at Mic and Aizawa’s house at the same time that Bakugou and Kirishima do. Bakugou is so focused on reading over his script that he nearly crashes into Momo and Mina- Kirishima has to grab him by the collar and yank him back.

              “What the hell, Shitty- oh,” he says, noticing the other two. “What are you two doing here?” Mina puffs out her chest.

              “I’m facing my fear!” she declares. Bakugou raises an eyebrow.

              “Your fear of our homeroom teacher?” he asks. She pouts.

              “Shut up, Bakugou,” she says. “Clearly one of you is here for the same reason.” Kirishima claps him on the shoulder, beaming.

              “That’s right!” he says proudly. “Our man Bakugou is telling everyone on this list how he really feels about them. And taking a lot of shots while he does it.” Momo blinks in surprise.

              “That’s… surprisingly brave of you, Bakugou,” she says. Bakugou scowls.

              “What do you mean surprisingly?” he demands.

              “Why don’t we all go up together?” Kirishima interrupts, smiling more forcefully and squeezing Bakugou’s shoulder. “Should make it easier for both of them, don’t you think Yaomomo?” Momo nods emphatically.

              “That’s a great idea, Kirishima!” she says, taking Mina’s arm and steering her toward the front door. Mina sticks her tongue out at Bakugou over her shoulder as Momo turns her. Bakugou growls, and Kirishima tugs him along toward the house. Momo knocks, and moments later, Aizawa answers, looking confused and just as disheveled as they remember.

             “What are you four-“

             Mina and Bakugou don’t waste a moment. They cry out in the exact same moment-

            “You were the only bitch at that god damn school I could respect!”

            “Mr. Aizawa, you are a DILF and a half and you can smash this puss whenever-“ Momo slaps her hand over Mina’s mouth, a look of abject horror on her own face. There’s a beat of silence. They stare at Aizawa. Aizawa stares at them. His face is expressionless.

            “Thank you Bakugou,” he says eventually. “And Ms. Ashido, there are some things you really need to learn to keep to yourself.” If Mina could turn any pinker, she would. Bakugou growls again and stomps away from the door.

            “Kirishima, get me a shot and the script for my next victim!” he shouts. Kirishima scrambles after him, struggling to pull his flask out of his jacket pocket.

            “I thought you just told All Might you respected him!” Kirishima says in confusion.

           “That’s different!”


 

            Shinso and Izuku sit in uncomfortable silence, a foot apart from each other on the even less comfortable couch they had purchased from IKEA together almost two years ago. Izuku always hated this couch. He hadn’t been sad to lose it when he moved out of their apartment. Now though, he hates it more than ever. Has it always been this uncomfortable? Why did they spend four hours trying to figure out how to put this piece of shit together? Why did Shinso even keep it?

            “So… what did you want to talk about?” Shinso asks, stopping Izuku’s brewing rage in its tracks. Oh God, what did he want to talk about? What didn’t he want to talk about?”

            “I didn’t cheat on you!” he blurts. Once the words start coming out of his mouth, he can’t seem to stop them. “I didn’t, I swear! I’d never! But you were right to break up with me, because I did think about it. Not on purpose! But I dreamt about it so much, and it was eating me up inside that I couldn’t stop dreaming about it and it was fair for you to be suspicious and-“

            “Izuku, I know,” Shinso says calmly.

            “I really never would have but even so I shouldn’t- wait, what?” Izuku says, going slightly slack-jawed. Shinso smiles a little.

            “I know you wouldn’t cheat on me, and I also know that you dreamt about it,” he explains. “You used to say someone else’s name in your sleep.” Izuku’s gut twists. He said someone else’s name in his sleep? He can’t imagine how he’d have felt if he’d heard Shinso do that.

            “I’m so sorry,” he says sheepishly.

            “It’s fine, Izuku,” Shinso says. “I forgave you for that a long time ago.” A long time ago? It was true that they’d been broken up for almost six months, but Izuku certainly hadn’t forgiven himself in that time. He could hardly even get out of the habit of thinking of Shinso as his boyfriend for two months after they broke up.

            “If you knew I didn’t cheat, then why did you break up with me?” Izuku asks, the question coming out before he can even think to stop himself. He’s horrified even as his mouth forms the words. Shinso doesn’t look troubled by it, though.

            “We were in love for a year and a half, and then after that I don’t think we were anymore. We were just two people who loved each other enough to stay, and that’s different, you know?” he says. “I think that’s why you dreamt about other people. Don’t get me wrong, that fucking sucked. But it made me think about a lot of stuff. I just didn’t figure all this out before I broke up with you. That’s why I said it was because I thought you cheated. I knew you didn’t, but I couldn’t think of a good enough reason otherwise.” Izuku is quiet for a long time, thinking out what Shinso’s said. It hurts to hear, but he thinks that’s because it’s true. They did love each other, but they hadn’t been in love, not at the end. When they’d broken up, it had hurt like losing a best friend. Still painful, horribly so, but in a very different way.

            “Shit, you’re right,” Izuku says eventually. Shinso barks with laughter suddenly.

            “It hit me like that, too,” he says, clapping Izuku on the shoulder. “Sorry I never explained it to you on my own. Didn’t feel right coming to you about it when I was the one who ended things.” Izuku nods.

            “No, no, I get it,” Izuku says. He looks over at Shinso, and is instantly warmed by the smile on his face. He smiles back. “I’ve really missed you, Hitoshi. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished we could hang out again. As friends, you know?” Shinso nods.

            “I’ve missed you, too,” he says. He nods his head toward the TV. “I’ve been watching your show.” Izuku brightens up dramatically.

            “You have? What do you think?” he asks. All his embarrassment over his participation has faded over the past two weeks, replaced by excitement to be bonding with his old friends again. Shinso doesn’t have the heart to tell him what an absolute train wreck it’s been so far.

            “It’s really something,” he says. “I take it you’re having fun?” Izuku nods.

            “I didn’t expect to,” Izuku says. “I forgot how much fun it is to just hang out with all of them outside of hero duties.”

            “Have you gotten to watch any of the episodes?” Shinso asks. Izuku shakes his head.

            “No,” he says. “We’re not supposed to. Even if we were, it’d feel kinda sneaky to see what everyone’s doing and saying when I’m not around, don’t you think?” Shinso shrugs.

            “I’d do it, but I guess I can understand why you wouldn’t,” he says. “Hey, how’s Bakugou?” Shinso gives him a knowing smile. Before Izuku got there, he’d actually just finished watching the second episode, and so he was completely up to date on the rest of the group’s schemes to get the two of them to hook up. If he’d ever doubted that he was over Izuku, those doubts would’ve been wiped away completely by the fact that he’d just about died laughing at that.

            “Kacchan’s fine,” Izuku says, confused. “Oh!” He pulls something off of his shirt, something that looks like a button. “I asked the producers not to send a cameraman with me, but they insisted I bring this to record the conversation. If you don’t want this to be in the show though, there’s ways to get around it.” Izuku was hesitant to say cock, especially after his friends had so adamantly forbidden it, but for the sake of Shinso’s privacy he’d do it without question. Shinso just smiles.

            “I don’t mind,” he says. “As long as it gets my good side.” Izuku gives him a dopey grin that used to make his stomach do flips.

            “They’re all good sides,” he says. Shinso rolls his eyes.

            “Save that charm for your suitors,” he says. “You should probably be getting back to them, right?” Izuku nods. They both rise from that horrible couch, and Shinso walks him to the door.

            “Oh!” Izuku says. “Before I go- do you remember whose name it was that I said?” Shinso frowns.

            “You don’t remember?” he asks. Izuku’s face reddens, and Shinso smirks. “That’s what I thought.” He tugs the door open and lets Izuku out. “See you around, Izuku." 


 

            Jirou, Kaminari, Sero, and Tetsutetsu are all sitting around the kitchen island chatting about their days when Kirishima crashes through the door and drags Bakugou’s drunken ass into the house.

           “A’right, Shitty, who’s next?” Bakugou says. He pushes Kirishima away and tries to stand on his own. He sways dangerously, but manages to stay upright. He holds the paper directly in front of his face and squints at it, then flips it upside down and tries to read it that way before finally shoving it back at Kirishima. “Can’t read it.” Kirishima looks pained. The other four come rushing toward the door.

          “What the hell happened to him?” Tetsutetsu asks. “What’s his fear, alcohol poisoning?”

          “Honesty,” Kirishima answers. Tetsutetsu grimaces.

          “So unmanly.”

          Bakugou staggers toward the four of them unevenly, then points directly at Jirou.

           “You’re badass, you know? Great voice, great hero, just- hic- great,” he declares. Next, he points to Kaminari. “Your quirk’s dope as shit, y’know? ‘d kill for it! An’ you-“ he addresses Sero- “You smell really really nice.” Sero straightens up.

           “Thanks Bakugou!” he says cheerfully. He’s the only one who isn’t completely dumbfounded by Bakugou’s first foray into honesty.

           “An’ Rocky Boy- er, no, Metal Boy. I forgo’ yer name until Kiri wrote it down for me. Sorry,” Bakugou says, patting Tetsutetsu on the head. Kirishima grabs Bakugou’s arm and slings it around his shoulders again.

           “Let’s get you to bed, okay buddy?” he says. Bakugou shoves him away.

           “Fuck you!” he says. “I got honesty ta finish. I’m notta quitter.” He cups his hands around his mouth. “Oi, Half ‘n’ Half! Todorooooooki! You’re hot! And cold. Heh. Get it? Cuz of his-“ he lurches forward, and Kaminari catches him. Bakugou is unfazed. “Cuz of his quirk, get it? But he’s hot, too.” Kaminari grins.

           “Ya think so, Bakubro?” he says. “You should tell him yourself.” Jirou kicks him in the ankle. “Hey! What?”

           “He’s drunk, don’t let him embarrass himself like that,” she says.

           “I already did tell him,” Bakugou says. Kirishima grimaces.

           “We called him on the way home,” he confirms. Jirou groans, and Kaminari and Sero burst out laughing.

           “Sparky! Ey, Sparky! I nee’ your help,” Bakugou says. He grabs Kaminari by the head and pulls him down to whisper in his ear. It takes Kaminari a second to make out what he’s saying, but when he does his face splits into a wide grin.

           “Oh, I’ve got what you need buddy,” he says. He shifts Bakugou’s weight onto one of his arms, and uses the other to pull his phone out of his pocket and start searching for something.

           “Shitty Hair!” Bakugou says. “Three- no four honesties! You owe me four shots!”

           “You’ve been giving him a shot every time he told the truth?!” Sero exclaims.

           “Even less manly!” Tetsutetsu says. “Kirishima, I expected better of you!”

           “I cut him off after we went to his parents,” Kirishima says quietly. “He’s been taking shots of water and hasn’t noticed yet.”

           “Why’d my phone buzz?” Bakugou grumbles.

           “I sent you what you asked for,” Kaminari says. Bakugou smirks and takes out his own phone. He taps it a few times, then practically cackles.

           “She’s gon’ love that,” he says. Kirishima glares at Kaminari.

            “What did you send him?” Kirishima asks. Kaminari hands him his phone, barely holding back laughter. On the screen is a gif of someone from an old American show saying Well mark me down as scared and horny! Kirishima grabs Bakugou and pulls him off of Kaminari.

            “Bakugou, who’d you send that to?” Kirishima asks. Bakugou grins.

            “Uraraka,” he says. Kirishima squeezes his eyes shut.

            “Oh Jesus,” he says. “That’s it. We’re getting you to bed, mister.” He drags Bakugou toward the stairs. Bakugou struggles against him, but it’s a losing battle when he’s this drunk.

            “Don’ wanna! I didn’t finish my honesties!” he complains. “Not a quitter!” Kirishima is practically carrying him up the stairs.

            “That’s right, you’re not a quitter,” Kirishima says gently. “You can finish in the morning when everybody else is home.” Bakugou considers this, then nods.

            “Good idea, Shitty Hair,” he says. He jabs a finger into Kirishima’s chest. “Tha’s why you’re the best friend I ever had.” Kirishima’s heart warms, and he smiles down at Bakugou.

            “You mean it?” he asks. Bakugou grins.

            “Five shots,” he says simply. Kirishima rolls his eyes and continues dragging him up the last few steps and toward his bedroom door. They open the door, and are greeted by the sight of Izuku in pajama pants and no shirt. Apparently, he was changing. Kirishima didn’t even realize he was home.

            “Shit, Midoriya, I’m sorry, he’s-“

           “Deku,” Bakugou growls, sounding almost like his sober self. He takes a few confident steps forward independent of Kirishima, then staggers slightly before practically falling into Izuku’s arms. Once there, rather than push away like he normally might, he latches on tightly.

            “-really drunk,” Kirishima finishes.

            “Kacchan?” Izuku says hesitantly. “You all right?” Bakugou tightens his hold on Izuku’s midsection.

            “It’s honesty hour- hic- motherfucker,” he says.

            “Huh?” Izuku says dumbly.

            “No more, Shitty Hair,” Bakugou says, trying to look at Kirishima over his shoulder. “Buzz off. This’s ‘tween me an’ Deku.”

            “I’m sorry, Midoriya, I’ll get him out of here,” Kirishima says, hurrying forward to grab Bakugou. Izuku shakes his head.

            “Don’t worry about it,” Izuku says. “He took care of me when I was a mess that first night. Guess it’s my turn. You go to bed, I’m guessing you had a long day.” Kirishima smiles gratefully.

            “Thanks man, I owe you one,” he says before heading out and closing the door behind him.

            “Kacchan,” Izuku says gently. “Can you let me go?” Bakugou shakes his head. “I can’t really get ready for bed if you’re hugging me.”

            “Not hugging you,” Bakugou says. “I’m strangling you really… really… softly.” Izuku sighs.

            “Right,” he says. “Well, can I help you get in bed?” Bakugou shoves him away.

            “Fuck off, shitty Deku,” he says. “I can do it myself.” He stumbles over to his bed and flops over on top of it, with both his head and his feet dangling over the sides. Izuku silently grabs his feet and shifts him so that he’s lying down properly. He tries to step back, but Bakugou reaches out suddenly, grabs his arm, and yanks him down onto the twin bed with surprising strength. Izuku lies there frozen, face to face with Bakugou and his terrible whiskey breath. They used to share a bed sometimes at sleepovers as kids, but they’re not kids anymore, and twin beds just don’t fit them like they used to. “Stay here, shitty Deku.” Izuku’s face is immediately enflamed.

            “Kacchan, I d-don’t think that’s-“ Bakugou cuts him off by shoving a pillow in his face. Izuku tries to move it, but he holds it there- not smothering him, just covering him.

            “No looking. Honesties,” Bakugou says firmly. Izuku lacks any and all context for this, but he does get the general idea that this must have something to do with Bakugou’s challenge, so he lies still and silent. Bakugou doesn’t say or do anything for a long time. Izukus starts to think maybe he’s fallen asleep, and maybe he’ll be able to sneak out and sleep in his own bed, when Bakugou suddenly curls up and lays his head on Izuku’s stomach. “Sometimes…” Bakugou says slowly, “you don’t suck.”

             From Bakugou, that’s almost affection. Affection that Izuku has craved in their mostly one-sided friendship for most of his life. So for a moment, Izuku lets himself appreciate it, bask in it even. He lets Bakugou wrap an arm around him and curl up more, lets his own breathing slow and his thoughts drift away from him, lets himself think it won’t be such a problem for them to fall asleep like they used to in preschool.

             “Also,” Bakugou says sleepily, interrupting Izuku’s inner peace, “you can-“ he interrupts himself with a yawn- “call me Daddy again anytime y’want.” And with that final thought, Bakugou’s sawing logs, and Izuku’s inner peace is shattered.

             “Thanks Kacchan,” Izuku whispers numbly.


 

             Downstairs, Kirishima, Kaminari, Jirou, Sero, and Tetsutetsu are greeted to the sight of Todoroki and Iida trying to sneak through the door unseen. Todoroki’s hair is completely red, and both have newspapers wrapped around their waists. Beneath the papers, their legs are bare.

             “Uh, guys?” Jirou says. Both freeze like they’ve been caught in a criminal act. “Where are your pants?” Todoroki and Iida look at each other.

             “Goats are… more formidable opponents than I expected,” Todoroki says. Iida’s eyes are wide and vacant, as if he is being haunted by visions of events that are no longer unfolding before his eyes.

             “They ate our pants. There was no stopping them, they just kept coming and…” he gulps, “chewing.” Todoroki nods solemnly, shifting his newspaper in an attempt to cover more.

             “They truly are evil incarnate.”

             With that, Iida and Todoroki shuffle their way up the stairs and part ways at their rooms. When Todoroki walks into his room, he is slapped in the face by the reek of whiskey and nearly steps back out. Then he sees them- Izuku lying starfish-style on Bakugou’s bed with Bakugou curled up half-beside him, half on top of him, snoring loudly. They’re cuddling. Bakugou and Izuku are actually cuddling. Whatever. He gets ready for bed quickly, maybe just so he can turn off the light sooner. Ignoring the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, he wonders if maybe he should have joined Team LGBTS just for the sake of being on the winning side.

Chapter Text

If Izuku doesn’t play his cards right, he knows he’s good as dead, stranded in hostile territory as he is. He slept longer than he meant to. The plan had been to just wait until Bakugou fell asleep and then go back to his own bed before Todoroki could get home and see what an embarrassing situation he’d gotten himself stuck in. But there’s sunlight streaming in through the blinds, and Todoroki’s bed is unmade and empty, so he knows he’s failed in all aspects of his plan. Worse yet, he and Bakugou had somehow become a tangle of limbs in their unconscious attempts to cram into a bed that barely fit one of them. Bakugou’s still snoring though, so as long as he’s careful, Izuku knows he’s still got a shot.

                First, he gently lifts Bakugou’s head off his chest and lays it back down on a pillow. Next, he peels Bakugou’s arm around his waist, then attempts to untangle his legs. Only one hurdle remains. His left arm is pinned under Bakugou- a really considerable weight- and he’s lost all feeling in it. One wrong move, and he’ll wake Bakugou up, and this whole mess will get even worse. With how drunk he was, he doubts Bakugou will even remember, and he really doesn’t want to have to explain why they’re in bed together after Bakugou was as drunk as he was. Carefully, carefully, he tries to slip his arm out from under Bakugou without waking him. Just when he thinks he’s got it, Bakugou’s eyes snap open. Izuku yelps, yanks his arm back, and tumbles backwards out of the bed, landing on the hardwood floor with a painful thud.

                “Deku,” Bakugou says in a low growl. Izuku sits up slowly, rubbing the back of his head. Bakugou is sitting up, a deadly look in his eye. “What were you doing in my fucking bed?” Izuku swallows hard and feels heat rising to his face.

                “You… uh… you asked me to. While you were drunk,” he says. “And you wouldn’t let me leave.” It could just be the bad lighting, but Izuku swears for a second it looks like Bakugou might be blushing a little, too. “We didn’t do anything! I swear! You just kinda… laid on me and said a bunch of stuff. You kept saying it was your honesties.” Izuku hears the telltale crackling sounds that mean sparks are going off in Bakugou’s clenched fists.

                “Stupid fucking- I’ll kill them!” he exclaims.

                “Kill who?” Izuku asks, his voice cracking.

                “Fucking interns, fucking producers, fucking Shitty Hair,” Bakugou says, leaping out of bed and looking like he really is ready to go on the warpath. “You tell anyone about this and I’ll kill you too!”

                Izuku doesn’t know what’s going through his head. Maybe it’s because he’s survived Bakugou’s threats this long, or maybe it’s because he’s currently ranked higher. Maybe it’s even because Bakugou came closer to complimenting him last night than he has in his entire life. All Izuku knows is that what he says next is stupid. Really stupid.

                “Kacchan, I don’t think you could kill me,” he says. And then a chilling silence falls over the room. Maybe even the entire house. The seconds drag on endlessly. Slowly, Bakugou turns to face him.

                “The fuck did you just say?” Bakugou asks. Izuku feels his min d go blank. Why’d he say that? Why the hell did he just say that? The empty expanse of the room suddenly feels cramped and crowded. He and Bakugou are too close, close in a way that they hadn’t been when he was drunk or asleep. Izuku was exposed and unarmed. And he’d said something fucking stupid.

                “I said nothing!” he exclaims. “You said you’d kill me, and I believed you, and I said nothing.” God he’d said it so fondly, and he was fond of Bakugou- always had been- but it was an unspoken thing in their tentative friendship and God forbid Bakugou think more of it than he has to, not with a history as complicated and tangled as theirs. Bakugou’s expression hardens.

                “You and me, backyard, let’s go,” he says, turning and swinging his feet over the other side of the bed. “Fuck!” Izuku jumps to his feet, alarmed, all embarrassment and horror forgotten.

                “Kacchan, are you okay, what’s wrong?”

                ‘Nothing!” Bakugou yells. The back of his neck is scarlet. “I’ll meet you down there, just get out of here before I blow your ass sky high!” Izuku doesn’t need more prompting than that. They’re gonna fight. Of course they’re gonna fight. That’s how they’ve always worked out their problems. Fighting, fighting he can handle. At least they don’t have to talk about the stupid fucking thing he said.


 

                “Now I know what you’re all wondering,” Kaminari says to the motley crew of barely-awake LGBTS team members. Contrary to what many would expect, Kaminari is an early riser, a very early riser. Think of him as a child eager to get up and play, and his friends as the tired parents that want him to shut up and sleep until 9 in the fucking morning for once. However, Kirishima is similar in his waking patterns, and to say no to both of them when they’re so eager is a feat that can only be achieved by the truly heartless. Or Bakugou. So they listen to them rant. “’Kaminari,’ you ask, ‘why are we having this meeting in the laundry room?’”

                “Maybe you should just start by saying why we’re having this meeting at all,” Jirou grumbles over the edge of her coffee mug. Kaminari and Kirishima both frown at each other.

                “Isn’t it obvious?” Kirishima asks. “We’re gonna talk about Bakugou and Midoriya. We need a battle plan.” Kaminari nods, pouting his lower lip slightly.

                “Can I say why we’re down here? I felt really smart,” he asks Kirishima pleadingly. Kirishima shrugs. Already, the effects of their honeymoon phase has waned. KiriKami has more or less come to a close. Jirou, on the other hand, reaches out and ruffles Kaminari’s hair.

                “Sure, Sparky, tell us all about it,” she says. He beams at her. Sero and Mina make knowing eye contact. Both are fully aware that bets will be exchanged as soon as they leave the meeting.

                “We’re meeting in the laundry because,” he says, pausing and puffing out his chest a little, “it’s the last place in the house we’d have to worry about running into Bakubro or Midoriya.”

                “And, ya lost me,” Tetsutetsu says. “Is this, like, a Class 1-A joke?” Sero shakes his head; the rationale is lost on him, too. Uraraka, who is barely keeping from falling asleep on a pile of towels, perks up just a little bit.

                “Oooh, I get it,” she says. “Bakugou is intensely organized, so he only does his laundry on certain days and times. I remember that from the dorms. And Deku always forgets about his laundry for weeks, then panics and does like three loads in a night.”

                “Exactly!” Kaminari says.

                “Plus, we’re betting Bakugou’s got a crazy hangover,” Kirishima adds with a shrug.

                “Isn’t it genius?” Kaminari asks.

                “Sure kid, you did great,” Sero says. “Now can we get to the strategizing?”

                “Right!” Kirishima says, clapping his hands. “First things first. I spent a long time trying to decide whether or not to say anything about this. Spilling your bro’s personal feelings without his permission is seriously uncool. But Kami was kind enough to remind me that everything Bakugou said yesterday is going to be on live TV, so I feel less bad.”

                “Ooh, we’re getting the dirt on more of Bakugou’s ‘honesties’?” Mina asks, a devilish look on her face. Kirishima nods solemnly.

                “It took a lot of coaxing to get Bakugou to be honest about anybody, even just for his scripts,” Kirishima says.

                “Coaxing, big word, I like it,” Kaminari murmurs.

                “But it was even harder to get him to open up about Midoriya,” Kirishima continues, throwing a silencing glance at Kaminari. “His feelings about Midoriya are super personal to him. More so than I think he even realizes. But, I did eventually manage to get him to cough up a few things he wanted to be honest about with Midoriya.” Kirishima draws the list out of his pocket, makes a big show of unfolding it, clears his throat, and begins to read. “First, he respects him as a fellow hero, although he’s, and I quote, ‘still got the self-preservation skills of a deer on a highway.’”

                “How heartfelt,” Jirou snorts.

                “Second, he wanted to say that he was sorry,” Kirishima says. He glances up and shrugs. “He wouldn’t tell me for what. Just that he’s sorry.”

                “Sorry for what? Being a dick? He’s a dick to everyone,” Tetsutetsu says.

                “Well,” Uraraka says, chewing her bottom lip, “they’ve both admitted that Bakugou used to pick on him when they were kids. But that was years ago, and everyone knows Deku forgave him for that.” Mina shrugs.

                “Just because Deku forgave him doesn’t mean Bakugou forgave himself,” she says. Kaminari raises an eyebrow.

                “That’s deep man. You think Bakugou thinks deep stuff like that?” he asks. Kirishima gapes.

                “Hey, he’s smart!” he exclaims, ever the loyal best friend. “Whatever, this is all just speculation. The third thing is the most interesting. You wanna know why?” Kirishima waits for them all to nod. “Because… he wouldn’t tell me.”

                “Huh?” Sero says.

                “He wouldn’t tell me,” Kirishima repeats. “Wouldn’t even write it down. He said he wanted to save Midoriya for last, once he’d had plenty to drink, and that he didn’t want me to stick around when he was being honest with him.”

                “Well shit,” Mina says. “He tells you everything. This had to be crazy personal if he didn’t want Kiri there.” Uraraka lays her head back on the towels and groans.

                “God, how do those Leave Britney Alone bastards not see it?” she whines. “They need to fuck. It. Out.”

                “Girl,” Mina says, putting a hand on their shoulder. “You sound like Bakugou when you’re tired. Or me. Or if me and Bakugou had a kid. Ew.”

                “If you could never say any of those words in that order again, I think we’d all really appreciate it,” Sero says.

                “Focus people, battle strategy!” Kaminari says. “So, I think the glaring issue here is that Bakugou has personal shit he wants to say to Midoriya, but he’s gotta be drunk to be honest with him. That’s fucked. We gotta get him more comfortable with talking to Midoriya.”

                “They’re already sharing a room, how much more alone time do they need?” Tetsutetsu says.

                “They’re sharing with Todoroki though,” Mina says. “He’s, like, president of Team Leave Britney Alone.”

                “If you ask me,” Uraraka says, yawning. “He wants to hook up with one of them and just won’t admit it to himself.” Mina rolls her eyes.

                “Well that’s obvious,” she says. “I could see that sexual suppression from a mile away, blind-folded.”

                “Focus!” Kaminari says, sounding almost like a petulant child at this point. His glamorous laundry-room war meeting was not going how he expected.

                “So we need Bakugou and Midoriya to bond, but we don’t want it to be obvious that we’re setting it up to happen,” Jirou says. “Easy. Movie night, we line ourselves up so they’re sitting together and away from Todoroki and Uraraka.”

                “High school style, I like it,” Kaminari says. They fist bump.

                “Why can’t I sit with them?” Uraraka asks, pouting.

                “Anyone with eyes knows you and Bakugou want to bone,” Mina says. “I don’t know why you don’t just get it over with now while you still can.”

                “Well, cuz,” Uraraka says, blushing. “Oh well it’s just that I don’t like Bakugou, you know? Like, yeah, he’s a good guy and I’m glad we’re friends, but I’m just attracted to him, I don’t want to date him, and-“

                “Midoriya probably does,” Mina concludes. “And you’re his best friend.” Uraraka relaxes back into her pile of towels.

                “Exactly,” she says, curling up again. “’Sides, I know Deku’s into three ways.”

                “What?!” the others cry out in almost perfect unison.

                “Cock!” Jirou says. “Cock cock, cockity-cock, cock sucker, cock and ball torture, so on, whatever. Okay, we’re clear. Tell us everything.” 


 

                Twenty minutes later, just as team Leave Britney Alone is slowly coming to the realization that Bakugou probably won’t be making them breakfast, the members of team LGBTS emerge from the laundry room in jovial spirits. Iida and Todoroki both roll their eyes when they see them. It’s so obvious what they’re up to, it’s a wonder Izuku and Bakugou haven’t caught on yet. Momo pauses just as she’s sipping her tea, looks up just in time to see Kaminari slinging his arm around Jirou’s shoulder and tossing his head back, laughing. And Jirou looks at him exactly how he deserves to be looked at when he’s laughing like that, pure delight and fondness, and Momo feels her heart plunge. Mina sees her frozen, looks at the two of them, and in two seconds flat she’s at Momo’s side.

                “Momo, I need your advice on some lingerie I just ordered,” she says, a touch louder than she needs to. Everyone hears it, of course, and for Mina it’s not anything weird to say, but Jirou looks a little stunned. Mina smirks a little at Momo and hopes she gets what they’re doing. Momo still looks startled, so Mina sighs and takes matters into her own hands. And by matters, she means Momo’s hand. She tugs her out of her seat and starts dragging her upstairs. “So I got this real classy lacy number, but then there’s one that’s like a French maid thing- I don’t know how to describe it, you’ll just have to see it on.”

                “What?!” they hear Momo exclaim as the two of them disappear out of sight.

                “Relax,” Mina whispers, slinging an arm around Momo’s shoulder and giggling. “If that doesn’t make Jirou realize she’s been neglecting you, I don’t know what will.” Momo gapes for a second, then smiles brilliantly.

                “Mina, you’re a genius!” she says, throwing her arms around the other woman. “Thank you!”

                Downstairs, Kaminari slowly withdraws his arm from Jirou’s shoulder, watching as she fumbles around for a response to what just happened. She doesn’t look jealous, or angry, just… confused. Have Momo and Mina always been friends? She doesn’t remember them being close at UA, but things could’ve changed since then. She guesses they haven’t been doing much catching up when they’ve hung out. Before she can process this, their morning is further disrupted by a rare and alarming sound. There’s a splash outside, and more shockingly, it’s followed by cursing. Midoriya cursing. They all run outside and find Bakugou hunched over the pool, puking his guts out, while Izuku kneels at his side, rubbing his back and alternating between swearing and desperate apologies.

                “What on earth is going on out here?” Iida demands.

                “Bakugou wanted to fight,” Izuku says. “He said he wasn’t feeling hungover, but I threw one punch and he started puking.” Iida sighs deeply. Todoroki pats his back awkwardly. Jirou and Kaminari both gag, and Sero runs in before he starts puking himself.

                “Shit, Bakugou, I didn’t mean to get you that fucked up yesterday, I’m sorry man,” Kirishima says. He turns to the rest of the group. “I’ll clean this up. I’m the one who got him all drunk.”

                “He should be cleaning up his own mess,” Iida says. “He was the one who was foolish enough to ignore his own limits.” Uraraka elbows him.

                “He feels like trash, Iida, that’ll just make it worse,” she says. Bakugou finishes retching and rolls over onto his side, panting.

                “I don’t need anyone’s fucking pity,” Bakugou says. “I’ll clean up my own shit.”

                “You shit, too?” Kaminari asks, snickering. Jirou thumps him on the back of the head.

                “You wanna make yourself useful?” Jirou says. “Fine. You and Midoriya are on snack duty since you were the idiots who decided to fight. We’re having a movie night tonight, and you gotta go out and get some good shit for all of us, got it?” Bakugou looks like he’s going to protest, but as soon as he opens his mouth he has to cover it with his hand. His whole body shakes violently as he gags, but he doesn’t puke again.

                “Yeah, yeah, we can do that, right Kacchan?” Izuku says quickly. Bakugou nods weakly. Izuku helps him to his feet, and Bakugou really must be feeling like shit because he lets him. As soon as they’re back in the house, Jirou turns to her teammates and smirks.

                “Double victory,” she says. “They’re spending alone time together, and Nurse Midoriya is going to be glued to his side all night.” She, Kirishima, Tetsutetsu, and Kaminari all high five each other. Meanwhile, Todoroki looks decidedly grim. Iida pretends he doesn’t notice.


 

                Because Bakugou is too sick to drive, they end up taking Izuku’s car. The only other time Bakugou’s been in his car, he spent the whole time mocking it for how messy it was, but now he has no complaints about the abundance of plastic bags littering the floor that he can use if he needs to throw up. In fact, he has nothing to say at all. The drive to the convenience store is, in a word, awkward.

                “Um, Kacchan, about this morning-“

                “It’s fine, Deku,” Bakugou interrupts him. The response catches Izuku so off guard that he almost runs a red light. He slams the break at the last second, and Bakugou goes completely green. He thrusts his face into a plastic bag and heaves for a few seconds, but nothing comes up. “Jesus, Deku,” he groans. “Look where you’re fucking going!”

                “Sorry, sorry!” Izuku says quickly. The light turns green, and he accelerates very gently. The silence falls again.

                “Hey, Deku,” Bakugou says after a few blocks. “What… what exactly did I say last night?”

                “Huh?” Izuku says dumbly, feeling his heart rate pick up.

                “My ‘honesties’ or whatever the fuck you called it?” Bakugou says. The poor guy sounds exhausted, like every word is taking a mountainous effort to produce without vomit.

                “Oh, um, well,” Izuku says, trying to relax and fight against the redness he feels appearing on his neck and his cheeks “You made me hug you, except you said you were strangling me slowly-“ Bakugou snorts at that- “and then you said that sometimes I don’t suck.” Bakugou doesn’t respond right away, and when he does it’s vague.

                “Huh.”

                “Was that your challenge? Being honest?” Izuku asks. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Bakugou nod. “And was that what you meant to say to me?” Bakugou laughs humorlessly.

                “Well, it’s close enough,” he says. “Just about fucking sums it up, anyway. And the challenge is fucking over with, thank fuck.”

                “Right!” Izuku says too quickly. “Sorry for bringing it up, I just-“

                “Would you stop doing that?” Bakugou interrupts.

                “Stop doing what?” Izuku asks.

                “Apologizing so much for the randomest shit,” he says. “I thought you stopped doing shit like that in high school.” Izuku is quiet for a moment. He had stopped that in high school, or he thought he had. He never did this at work, or when he was dating Shinsou. When did he start doing this again?

                “I thought I did, too,” he says softly. “I think I started again when I broke up with- sorry, you don’t-“

                “Deku,” Bakugou growls.

                “Right!” Izuku says firmly, sitting up straighter. “No more apologizing, sorr- I mean, I’ll stop that.” Bakugou doesn’t answer, but when Izuku dares a glance over at him he’s smirking. Izuku smiles a little bit to himself, too. High school Kacchan wouldn’t have bothered to say something like that, even if he was a little harsh about it. Progress is progress, isn’t it? He pulls into the convenience store parking lot and turns off the car. Before he can get out, Bakugou speaks again.

                “That hypnosis guy,” he says quietly. “If he’s the reason you’re all anxious and apologetic and shit again, I’ll kick his ass, you know?” For what feels like forever, Izuku is too shocked for words. Is Bakugou… mad at Shinsou? On Izuku’s behalf? “Don’t look at me like that, nerd. I just think it’s bullshit to treat someone you’re supposed to love and shit like that.”

                “We broke up because of mistakes I made, not the other way around,” Izuku says, looking at Bakugou dead on even as Bakugou avoids eye contact. “But thank you Kacchan. I really appreciate it.” Bakugou opens the car door and gets out, grumbling.

                “Whatever, Shitty Deku, don’t go thinking I’ve gone soft or anything, all right?”

                “Of course not! You’ve never been anything but hard around me! Oh no…wait…”

                “Shut up or I’ll kill you.”

                And this time, Izuku has the wits about him to pretend that he believes it.

                For the actual shopping, they divide and conquer. Izuku knows what sort of snacks his close friends want, and whether he admits to it or not, Bakugou pays enough attention to his own friends to know what they like. When they meet up after they’ve paid, Bakugou is confused to find Izuku holding out a bottle of Gatorade and a sleeve of crackers.

                “The hangover cure of champions,” he explains. “All Might took me out drinking on my birthday when I was old enough, and he brought me this the next day for the hangover. I’ve stuck with it since. It’s like magic.” Bakugou rolls his eyes, but he takes the Gatorade and the crackers without complaint. He doesn’t say thank you, but he doesn’t have to for Izuku to get it.


 

                The remainder of the afternoon passes in an impressively boring manner for a house full of heroes. Bakugou spends a few hours sleeping off his hangover. The others spend the day either training, sparring, or reviewing new postings and updates on the Hero Network. All in all, the producers must be extremely disappointed in all of them.

                When night falls, things get more exciting, at least for them. They all pile up on the sectional or on the floor in the living room. Being the elite strategists they genuinely are, team LGBTS creates the ideal seating arrangement without ever giving any indication that they’re even planning anything. Bakugou and Midoriya sit together without prompting- it’s a horror movie marathon that they’re having, and the two of them always need to bicker about survival strategies and the quality of the villain and protagonist’s respective plans. Mina plants herself next to them, because she knows she’s the least interested in their strategy talks and the least distracting to either of them. Uraraka dutifully places herself as far from them as she can, on the floor with her head in Iida’s lap. When she sees Todoroki contemplating a spot on the floor near Izuku’s feet, she nips that idea in the bud.

                “Todoroki, if you don’t come cuddle with my buddy Iida here I just might steal him from you!” she calls, giving him a cheeky grin. Todoroki obediently comes when called and sits down on Iida’s other side. They don’t cuddle- neither of them are really the cuddling type- but Iida smiles fondly at him and Todoroki returns the gesture. At the very least, he won’t have to listen to Bakugou and Izuku’s debates through the whole movie. Iida hates talking during movies.

                As the movie starts, Mina takes the opportunity to look around at all of her distracted friends. Iida has started more or less petting Uraraka’s hair, and the gesture is so absent-minded that she’s sure he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it. Jirou is sandwiched between Momo and Kaminari. Momo is leaning on her shoulder, and Jirou’s arm is around her, but Kami is the first one Jirou turns to with a snarky comment when something stupid happens on screen, and he reaches for her hand rather than Kirishima’s whenever something makes him jump. Next to her, Bakugou and Izuku are in their own little world of horror, completely unaware of the wistful glances Todoroki throws their way every time one of them laughs a little too loudly. As it all unfolds, Mina finds herself wishing the couch would just swallow her. There’s trouble brewing for these heroes, and she really doesn’t want to have to be the emotionally mature one about it.

Chapter Text

“Jirou. Jiroooooouuuu!” Jirou wakes up to her own name being whispered, and the dark shape of a person standing at her bedside, peering over the bars of the top bunk at her. She bolts upright, ready to fight. “Shit, no, it’s me!” She puzzles over the familiarity of the voice and squints through the darkness, earphones still in attack position just in case.

                “Kaminari?” she whispers eventually. “What the fuck?” He reaches through the bars and grips her arm.

                “I’m freaking out dude,” he says. “I think there’s a ghost.” Jirou stares at him blankly. Through the darkness, she can see the earnest fear on his face. If she was less tired, she’d probably be gentle with him.

                “Kami, you had a nightmare,” she says. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. Good night.” She tries to roll over and go back to sleep, but Kaminari won’t release her wrist.

                “Jirou, I’m serious,” he says pleadingly. “I keep hearing weird sounds out in the hall. Just listen.” She sighs, but extends one of her earphones and jams it into the wall to hear better. For a long time, she hears nothing.

                “I really think you were just-“ Just as she’s about to accuse him of dreaming again, she hears something. A door open, then close quietly. Shuffling along the halls. A bump like something crashing against the wall. Something dropping on the floor. The stairs creaking. She withdraws her earphone and rolls her eyes. “It’s probably just somebody going down to the kitchen for water or something.” Kaminari shakes his head.

                “I’ve been hearing the same sounds for like twenty minutes. No one would go back and forth to the kitchen that many times,” he says insistently. “It’s a ghost.” Jirou huffs, throws off her blankets, and begins to climb down from her bunk. “What are you doing?”

                “C’mon,” she says, yawning and stretching as she reaches the bottom of the ladder. If Kaminari blushes when he realizes she’s been sleeping in a giant t-shirt and underwear… well, that’s his business. “We’re gonna go check out this ‘ghost.’”

                “What?!” he practically squeals. She shushes him.

                “You wanna wake up Sero and Momo, idiot?” she says. She grabs his hand and tugs him toward the door. “I guarantee you it’s something completely boring. You can even hold my hand if you’re scared.” He pouts and tugs his hand out of hers, crossing his arms over his chest.

                “Shut up,” he says, reluctantly following her out into the hall. As they tip-toe toward the stairs, they make a shocking discovery. Jirou bends to pick up something that’s been dropped outside of Room 1’s door. She squints at it.

                “Is that-?”

                “Calvin Klein,” Kaminari says, smiling crookedly. “Nice.” Jirou crinkles her nose and drops the offending briefs.

                “Gross,” she says, starting down the stairs. “This ghost of yours better not be naked, Sparky.”

                “Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” he says, shrugging. “A ghostly three-way could be kind of- ouch!” He rubs his stomach tenderly where she elbowed him.

                “Absolutely not,” she says, glowering at him as she ignored a strange twisting feeling in her stomach. They follow a trail of abandoned socks into the kitchen, where Kirishima and Tetsutetsu are sitting, each with a glass of water, gazes transfixed out the window to the backyard. Jirou and Kaminari follow their gaze to-

                “Is that Todoroki?” Kaminari asks. And so it was. It appeared that the current number six hero was standing at the edge of the pool, the reflection of the moonlight off the water creating strange shapes on his face. In his arms was a mound of clothing.

                “What’s he doing?” Jirou asks, just as he releases his hold and allows the clothes to fall into the water.

                “He’s sleepwalking,” Tetsutetsu says. “We asked though. He thinks he’s doing laundry.”

                “Everyone’s laundry,” Kirishima says. “We woke up when he came into our room and grabbed a bunch of our clothes. We were gonna stop him, but we’ve just been sitting here watching him for like ten minutes now.”

                “It’s kind of hypnotizing,” Tetsutetsu says. Jirou and Kaminari look at each other, shrug, then take a seat at the island and join the viewing party. Todoroki begins to stir his laundry with a pool noodle.

                The hypnotizing nature of Todoroki’s behavior is not to be underestimated. All four viewers end up falling asleep in their seats, only to awake most horribly the next morning to the sound of their housemates discovering what happened to their clothes.

                “What the fuck did you morons do?!”  


 

                Jirou, Kaminari, Tetsutetsu, and Kirishima are still very much in the doghouse with the rest of the group when the crew arrives to give them their next challenge- or, date. Challenge-date. It doesn’t matter how many times they try to explain that it was Todoroki. No one cares to hear it when they were caught practically red-handed, and Todoroki was sleeping peacefully in his bed that morning. They stand apart from the group and present a united front against their traitorous friends. Otherwise, the assembly of heroes looks exactly as you’d expect: everyone stands with their usual companions and wears looks of clear apprehension on their faces as the cameras begin to roll.

                “All right,” Iida says, opening an envelope that he ‘found’ waiting for them on the kitchen table. “It’s a note from the producers. Heroes are known not only for their strength, but for their intelligence and intuition. You’ve been putting your brains to the test in your efforts to figure out who your perfect matches are. The time has come to test what you’ve come up with. Today, you will all be going on your first group dates.”

                “Our what now?” Momo says, taking the note from Iida and reading over it again. “Group dates? Jeez, it really is like we’re in high school again.” Iida takes out a few cards that were also enclosed in the envelope.

                “They’ve provided us with a list of destinations and our assigned groups and partners,” he says. “The first group… Ah, I see, so they’ve paired us with who we guessed were our perfect matches.”

                “Fucking Christ,” Bakugou mutters. Uraraka waggles her eyebrows at him. Iida hands a card to Momo.

                “You and Jirou will be playing mini-golf with Kaminari and Sero,” he says. Jirou and Kaminari high-five, and Momo pales. Sero just rolls his eyes.

                “Anyone know which members of the crew are coming with us?” Sero asks, wandering off camera to talk to the small group of interns he’s slowly befriended.

                “Mina and I will be joining Kirishima and Tetsutetsu for paintball- oh that’ll be an excellent way for us to hone our-“

                “Iida, it’s a date, not training,” Mina says. He nods quickly, sending a quick, flustered glance Todoroki’s way.

                “Of course, of course,” Iida says. He fumbles for the last date card, nearly dropping his own in the process. “And the final group will be Bakugou and Uraraka with Midoriya and Todoroki. The four of you will be spending the afternoon at an amusement park.” Iida hands the date card to Midoriya, then gives everyone a smile that looks only slightly forced. “Well, I’m sure we’ll all have a lovely time.”

                “Speak for your fucking self,” Bakugou says, crossing his arms and looking away from his group. “How’d I get stuck with all three of you nerds?” Uraraka bumps him with her hip and nearly knocks him over.

                “C’mon babe, I’m sure it’ll be loads of fun!” she says, grinning when she hears a few small explosions popping off in his hands when she calls him babe. If she hadn’t decided not to tap that, God, the fun she’d have teasing him.

                “Um, Iida?” Midoriya says quietly, breaking off from his group to follow Iida out of the kitchen. “You’re all right with this, right? I know you like Todoroki.” Iida nods.

                “Of course, Midoriya,” he says with surprising warmth. “You’re my best friend. I hope you two have a wonderful time together.” Touched, Midoriya doesn’t know what else to do besides grab Iida’s hand and shake it enthusiastically- he’s learned over the years that this form of affection is much better received by his dear friend than hugs.

                “You’re my best friend, too, Iida,” he says, barely keeping the emotion out of his voice. “I want you to know that I only see Todoroki as a good friend. I wouldn’t do anything to get in the way of your happiness with him.” Iida’s lip trembles slightly, and he claps his other hand over their joined hands.

                “I’m lucky to have such a considerate friend. Thank you,” he says.

                “No, thank you for trusting me,” Midoriya says. He’s tearing up a little now.

                “Of course, I-“

                “Are you two fucking crying right now?” Bakugou interrupts. At some point, he has emerged from the kitchen and attempted to go upstairs to his room, only to be stopped by their emotional moment in the stairwell. They drop their joined hands, and Izuku wipes away a stray tear.

                “N-no, of course not!” Izuku says. Iida nods in agreement. Bakugou rolls his eyes.

                “If you two are gonna started bunking up, take Half-n-Half with you and put me out of my misery,” he says before brushing past them. Once he’s gone, Izuku and Iida look at each other in embarrassment.

                “Well, I’ll just, uh-“ Izuku says, pointing over his shoulder down the stairs. Iida nods.

                “Yes!” he says, turning on his heels and heading up stairs. Izuku quickly heads in the opposite direction. Within the hour, the entire group has dressed, eaten, and split up to go on their respective dates.


 

                The energy amongst the mini-golf group is difficult to put into words. There is a palpable tension amongst all four members, yet only two of them are even remotely aware of it. Jirou and Kaminari are in their element, joking around with each other and with their dates as if they don’t have a care in the world, each oblivious to Momo’s forlorn gaze and Sero’s mounting frustration with all three of them. When Sero periodically parts from them to joke around with the interns and camera crew, they think nothing of it; he’s never loved being on camera, and the interns have quickly become the fastest growing group of Cellophane superfans the nation has ever seen. Momo and Kaminari have never spent a considerable amount of time together, and as far as he knows, Momo has always been a bit on the more reserved and polite side. It’s really only Jirou who has no excuse for her own density.

                Momo is first to putt at each hole. She sets up her pale pink golf ball at the start of the green and looks somewhat despairingly at the course. This hole has a windmill, a sandpit, and a water trap in the center. She knows she can get around the obstacles, but it won’t be easy, and she’ll probably be far above par. Jirou sees her puzzling and decides to help.

                “I think it might be good to try aiming this way,” she says, coming up behind Momo, putting her arms around her and her hands over Momo’s on the club. Momo emits a sound that can best be described as eep and swings erratically, sending the golf ball bouncing off the windmill and then- plunk!- into the water. She drops her club and puts her burning red face in her hands.

                “Oh God,” she says. “That was so bad!” Her group members all erupt into laughter.

                “That’s some BDE, Jirou,” Sero says, elbowing her. Momo rushes over to the water trap to search for her ball, but she can’t see the bottom. She sticks her club in to try to fish it out, but it doesn’t even reach the bottom. She slumps over, defeated.

                “I can’t believe I did that,” she says. Of course the moment Jirou tries to flirt with her, she messes it up so terribly.

                “Can’t reach?” Kaminari asks, squatting down next to her and putting his arm into the water. “Shit that’s deep.” He leans over so that his arm is in the water up to his shoulder.

                “That’s really all right,” Momo says, “I can just watch you guys play.” Kaminari frowns.

                “Hey Sero, can I use your tape?” he asks. Sero raises an eyebrow, but comes over and gives him the end of his tape.

“What are you doing now, Sparky?” Jirou asks.

“You really don’t need to do anything, it’s all right,” Momo assures him. Kaminari wraps the end of the tape around his waist and grins.

                “Don’t lose that tape, Sero,” he says, shortly before hopping in the water. Sero cheers.

                “What the hell?!” Jirou exclaims, running over to the edge of the water trap. He’s disappeared completely in the water. “Why the hell is this water trap so deep?”

                “You can still feel him, right?” Momo asks Sero anxiously. He nods. Almost as if on cue, the pond lights up gold with electricity.

                “What is this idiot thinking?!” Jirou shrieks as Momo tugs her away from the edge. The lightning vanishes, and there’s a tug on the tape. Sero pulls him up quickly. Kaminari pulls himself up over the edge of the water trap, looking a little dopey but pleased with himself. When he’s standing, he brandishes Momo’s golf ball.

                “Your ball, m’lady,” he says, handing it to her. She thanks him profusely. Jirou smacks him upside the head. “Hey!”

                “You idiot!” she exclaims. “She could’ve just gone down and gotten a new ball. What were you thinking setting off an electric shock in the water?” Kaminari rubs the back of his head gingerly.

                “I couldn’t see down there, I needed some light,” he says, pouting at her. “You didn’t have to hit me.”

                “You scared her, you dumb asshole,” Sero says, laughing a little and swinging an arm around Kaminari’s shoulder. “You’re one crazy bastard, you know that?” Kaminari shrugs, the grin returning to his face. He shakes his head like a dog, letting water fly from his hair out at all of them. Even as Jirou scowls at him, Momo can see it in her eyes, the relief that he’s fine. She’s relieved that he’s fine, of course she is, but to see it on Jirou’s face…

                “Are you guys gonna golf or what?” complains a man from the group behind them, sending their melodrama to a screeching halt. They all apologize energetically and get back to their game as quickly as possible, Kaminari’s questionable sanity and Jirou’s questionable feelings (mostly) forgotten.


 

                At the paintball arena, Kirishima, Tetsutetsu, Mina, and Iida are having a very different experience.

                “Iida, do you copy?” Mina whispers into one of the walkie-talkies Kirishima insisted they get before coming.

                “This is Iida, I copy,” he says, as if anyone else could answer. The walkie-talkies came in pairs, so they could only communicate with each other.

                “I have eyes on the Hardy Boys, my 10 o’clock,” she says.

                “Where are you?” he asks.

                “Behind a hay bale on the northwest edge of the course,” she replies. “They’re maybe 50 yards out. I can’t get a clear shot at either of them without making myself open. Where are you?”

                “Headed your way,” Iida replies. Mina peers out over the hay bale and sees, to her horror, that Tetsutetsu and Kirishima are headed her way.

                “Iida, abort, they’ve spotted me,” she says. “We can still win this if you wait until they’ve taken me out and strike while they’re distracted.”

                “Absolutely not!” he declares.

                “Iida, I repeat, do not come, do not engage!” she whispers more aggressively as she reloads her gun in preparation for the coming fight. “Iida, do you copy?” She waits for a response, but hears only static. “Shit!” Gun loaded, she looks over the hay bale and prepares to take aim. The “Hardy boys” set off a barrage of paintballs in her direction. They whir just over her head, dangerously close to taking her out. A headshot would be the worst way to go, undoubtedly. Just as she’s about to squeeze the trigger and hopefully take out Tetsutetsu, she sees a blur rising over the hill and coming toward them. “Iida?” Before she can comprehend what’s happening, he’s scooped her up and they’re running. “Iida, what the hell are you doing?”

                “A hero never lets his colleagues suffer if he can avoid it,” he says. “I’m going to circle them at full speed. I want you to shoot toward the center of the circle. If we keep them trapped, they won’t be able to dodge everything.” She gapes at him for a moment, then nods and points her gun into what she assumes is the center. Kirishima and Tetsutetsu are nothing but a red and silver blur. Still, she shoots. Again, again, and again until finally they cry out.

                “Damn it, you got me!” Tetsutetsu yells.

                “Me too,” says Kirishima. Iida slows to a stop, then gently sets Mina down again. She wobbles when her feet touch down- she’s lost her land legs in those few short minutes. Iida grabs her shoulders and steadies her.

                “Iida, you’re crazy,” she says, beaming at him. “We gotta work together more often, bro.” 


 

                “You think I can’t climb a stupid ladder? Fuck you, bitch,” Bakugou says, already rifling through his pockets for cash. Uraraka smirks at him. This is playing out exactly as she planned.

                The four of them had hardly been in the park for five minutes when she and Izuku spotted it- one of those carnival games, where there’s a rope ladder you have to climb diagonally to get to a buzzer. The prize? The biggest All-Might plushie any of them have ever seen. Izuku’s practically salivating. Todoroki, who has never actually been on a date except the one with Iida, but has studied well nevertheless, immediately offers to win it for him. Izuku thanks him profusely, his eyes wide with delight. It’s a decisive blow against Team LGBTS, and Uraraka knows it. So she does what any good team member would do- she baits Bakugou by saying he wouldn’t be as good as Todorokoi in a challenge like this.

                Todoroki waits impatiently for Bakugou to pay the worker so that they can go at the same time. He raises an eyebrow at Bakugou when he finally reaches the start of his own ladder.

                “Not a word, Half-n-Half. I’ll destroy you,” Bakugou says. Todoroki shrugs and turns to face the ladder.

                “Well, you can certainly try,” Todoroki says.

                “Ready, set,” Uraraka says slowly, basking in the determination on Bakugou’s face, “Go!” Their reaction time is impressive, even for heroes. The word is hardly out of her mouth, and they’re both fumbling their way across. Within seconds, Bakugou has taken the lead, with Todoroki struggling to stay balanced as his ladder threatens to spin him upside down.

                “Eat shit, Half-n-Half!” he gloats as he nears the finish. Todoroki is unmoved.

                “You’re trying awfully hard to win a prize for someone else’s date, aren’t you?” he says.

                “Huh?!” Bakugou exclaims. The thought throws him off his rhythm, and off his balance. The ladder twists dangerously. He leans the other way to try to correct it, but overcompensates and gets spun upside down. He clings to the rungs and attempts to swing himself upright, but Todoroki soon takes the lead, and then the victory. Bakugou lets himself drop onto the inflatable beneath them, cursing as he goes.

                “It was a good effort,” Todoroki says when he joins them, just as the worker is handing Izuku the plushie.  Bakugou scowls, making a point not to look at Izuku’s joyful expression as he thanks Todoroki.

                “Get fucked, Icy Hot.” Bakugou also refuses to look at Uraraka, who is definitely smirking at him, mentally gloating about how she played right into his hands- he isn’t completely oblivious to her scheming, even if he doesn’t know the aim or the extent. He wasn’t doing it for Izuku.

                …

                Seriously, he wasn’t!


 

                Kirishima and Tetsutetsu head back to the house to watch a movie pretty soon after the end of the date. To celebrate their beautiful victory in paintball, Momo decides to treat Iida to ice cream. He doesn’t know he’s being treated when he agrees to go, and as she expected, he protests the entire time she’s paying, but once the transaction is over he thanks her graciously and is very well-behaved.

                “Well Iida, I still don’t think we’re a perfect match, but we made one hell of a team,” she says between bites of her fudgy bar. “You were nuts out there, totally cool!” He practically glows under the praise.

                “Thank you! You were amazing as well!” he says. She smiles. He has strawberry ice cream on his nose, but she’s not about to tell him. When he’s calm, she decides Iida’s pretty adorable. Not her type, but she absolutely gets the appeal. “Thank you for going along with my plan. I know it was a little sudden and poorly thought out.”

                “Not at all!” she says. “You’re quick on your feet. Literally. It’s not a bad thing.” His smile gets even wider. She’s tempted to pinch his cheeks. “Todoroki’s a lucky guy.” Just like that, his smile drops and he’s blushing.

                “What- I don’t- we’ve barely-“

                “Relax, Iida, everyone knows you’re smitten,” she says, laughing and finally offering him a napkin to wipe his face. “It’s sweet. You’re both such good guys, I think you go well together.” He clears his throat and tries to keep a neutral face, though it’s clear that he’s pleased.

                “Yes, well, we’ve only been on one date, and the show has only been going on for two weeks,” he says diplomatically. “I haven’t put any real expectations on it.” Mina shrugs.

                “Suit yourself,” she says. “It can be fun to just let loose and be a little stupid about love sometimes, though.” Immediately, he’s flustered again.

                “Love?!” he repeats. He’s blushing so hard that his glasses fog up. Mina just about dies laughing. Just as she’s starting to tease him about it, the bells above the shop door chime and in walks the mini-golf group, still carrying that strange, strange tension. Kaminari lights up like a Christmas tree when he sees them.

                “MinIida!” he yells, running over and throwing his arms around her neck and placing his chin on top of her head. “Aren’t you guys just the cutest couple?” Mina peels his arms away.

                “I think not,” she says.

                “MinIida?” Iida repeats, a blank expression on his face. Kaminari grins and nods.

                “Yeah! It’s your ship name,” he says. “You know. Like relationship.” The others pull up chairs at the table.

                “He’s been thinking of them the whole way here,” Sero says. He doesn’t roll his eyes, but it’s evident just from the tone of his voice that he wants to.

                “Me and Sero are KamiSero-“

                “Hey, I thought we agreed on Electric Tape-“

                “-and Momo and Jirou are-“

                “MomoJirou,” Jirou says sardonically, draping an arm over Momo’s shoulder. “Real creative.” Kaminari remains standing between Jirou and Mina and begins listing off all of the names he’s thought of.

                “You and Kiri are KiriMina, and me and him are KamiKiri, and Kiri and Tetsu are-“

                “Let me guess,” Mina says, smirking at the others, “KiriTetsu?” Kaminari glares.

                “No,” he says. Sero raises an eyebrow.

                “Yeah? Then what are they?” he asks. Kaminari crosses his arms.

                “They’re…” he says. “Oh, fuck off, you guys never let me have any fun!” Mina reaches up and pinches his cheek affectionately.

                “You can steal me and Iida’s name for them,” she offers. “We codenamed them the Hardy Boys.” Kaminari lights up.

                “That’s brilliant!” he exclaims.

                “Don’t encourage him,” Jirou says, smiling even as she tries to sound annoyed. Momo is suspiciously quiet- or at least, it seems that way to Mina. She tries to get her attention, but she’s pretty spaced out.

                “Speaking of ships,” Sero says, looking very deliberately at his fellow LGBTS teammates, “how do you think the big Kacchako vs. Bakudeku vs. Tododeku showdown is going?” Jirou immediately elbows him and mouths not now.

                “The what?” Mina says.

                “I can’t quite keep up, either,” Iida says, looking utterly lost.

                “He means how Uraraka, Bakugou, Midoriya, and Todoroki are doing on their trip to the amusement park,” Kaminari says, carefully avoiding the word date. Sero finally remembers Iida is there, and is appropriately horrified that he brought it up.

                “I’m sure Uraraka is keeping all of Bakugou’s attention on Midoriya,” Jirou says. She, Kaminari, Mina, and Sero keep looking at each other in a way that perfectly expresses their mental chant of fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. They talked at the last meeting about Todoroki’s possible attraction to Midoriya and Bakugou, but it was all just suspicion, and they sure as shit shouldn’t be bringing it up here. They may not be close with Iida, but hurting his feelings is something they intend to avoid at all costs.

                “Oh please,” Momo says, in an uncharacteristically cold voice. “It’s obvious Bakugou likes Uraraka. You guys are just seeing whatever you want.” She doesn’t say that that means Todoroki and Midoriya must be solely focused on each other, but she doesn’t need to. Iida catches the implication, and while he doesn’t look worried, he certainly doesn’t look happy either. He’s frowning now, deep in thought about something.

                “Well,” Mina says in a pointedly chipper voice. “Are you guys gonna go order ice cream or what?” Momo pushes her chair away from the table.

                “I’m not in the mood for ice cream, I think I’ll just head back,” she says. Mina jumps to her feet.

                “I’ll head back too,” she says. “Do you mind if I leave early Iida?” He shakes his head.

                “Not at all!” he says. “I think I’ll stay a while longer, if you don’t mind.” She shakes her head, smiling.

                “You have fun,” she says. They say their goodbyes, and then she and Momo walk out.

                “Everything all right?” Mina asks as soon as they’re out the door. Momo bites her lip and shakes her head. Mina pulls her into a hug.

                “Oh, sweetie,” she says. Momo squeezes her so tightly it’s uncomfortable, but Momo lets it happen.

                “Why did it have to be someone so good?” she asks. “Jirou still flirts with me and says she likes me but it’s so obvious she’s starting to like Kaminari and… and I feel like she should like him. He’s just so nice.”

                “You are, too,” Mina says, rubbing her back. Momo pulls away, shaking her head and forcing a small smile.

                “Not the same way he is,” she says. Mina sighs.

                “He’s such a puppy, that piece of shit,” she says. Momo laughs awkwardly, like she didn’t expect to.

                “He is, isn’t he?” Momo says. Mina gives her a sad smile and grabs her hand.

                “C’mon,” she says. “I know you, you’ve gotta be hungry. Let’s get some chocolate, watch some movies, and forget all about stupid pretty girls and their stupid pretty guy friends.” Momo nods.

                “Yeah,” she says, squeezing Mina’s hand. “That sounds nice.”


 

                Bakugou, Uraraka, Izuku, and Todoroki have been in line for this rollercoaster for over an hour, and if they don’t get to ride it soon Izuku really fears that Bakugou might just kill someone to shorten the line.

                When they first got in line, they were spirited, optimistic, naïve. They had hope for the joys to come. Now, they know better. They know suffering, boredom, starvation. They know that Uraraka’s dad jokes get old very quickly, especially when you have to explain half of them to Todoroki. Mostly, Bakugou and Izuku know that their dates are two lovely, but intensely irritating people to be stuck in an hour long line with.

                The line begins to move, and Uraraka is bouncing on the balls of her feet. The other three have no clue how she’s maintained the same level of excitement for the entire hour.

                “I think we’re going to be on the next run, guys!” she says. They reach the front of the line, and it becomes apparent that she’s right- they’ll be the next to ride when this group comes back in. Izuku feels a weight off his shoulders. Their suffering will be over soon. Just as he’s starting to feel some of his excitement return, a worker approaches them.

                “Excuse me, sir,” she says, tapping Izuku on the shoulder. “Could you come over here? We need to check your height before we let you on.”

                “His height?” Uraraka repeats.

                “He’s been able to ride everything else,” Todoroki says, frowning.

                “It’s okay guys, it’ll just take a minute,” Izuku says quickly. He’s used to having his height checked at places like this, especially when he’s with much taller friends. He follows the girl to the measuring stick they have attached to the wall, complimenting her on her Ground Zero bracelet as they walk. “Thank you,” she says, tucking her hair behind her ear and glancing over her shoulder at Bakugou. “I’m not crazy, right? That’s him?” Izuku nods, smiling. She can’t be much older than sixteen, the perfect age to have a little school girl crush on a famous hero.

                “I can introduce you when we go back, if you want,” he says, not troubled that she didn’t seem to know who the rest of them were. Lots of civilians get tunnel vision when it comes to their favorite heroes, and it’s not like he’s recognized all that often anyways.

                “Oh, no no no!” she says, blushing. “I know he doesn’t like to be bothered on his days off.” Izuku laughs a little.

                “Trust me, I’m bothering him a lot more than you would be,” he says. She shakes her head again.

                “Could you stand with your back to the measuring stick please?” she asks. He does as he’s told, and she peers at the line behind his head. When she steps back, she’s biting her lip.

                “Um, Mr. Deku…” she says. He’s so surprised that she does know who he is that he doesn’t immediately get what she’s about to say. “I’m sorry, but… you’re not tall enough.” His eyebrows shoot up. He gets measured all the time, but he hasn’t been stopped from going on a ride in years. “Oh God, this is so awkward.”

                “It’s fine, it’s fine!” he insists. “I can just wait here for my friends, it’s no trouble.”

                “Are you sure?” she asks anxiously, fiddling with her bracelet. He nods.

                “Really, it’s okay, it’s not your fault,” he says. He turns and goes back to the group to break the news.

                “Seriously?” Uraraka asks. “They’re really not going to let you ride? You’re a pro-Hero for Pete’s sake, you’ve done way more dangerous stuff than this.”

                “They should really make you measure yourself before you wait in line,” Todoroki says, regretting the fact that they would have had a perfect excuse to skip the ride and split off from Bakugou and Uraraka.

                “I swear it’s fine, I really don’t- Kacchan?” Izuku stops to watch, puzzled, as Bakugou walks away. “Kacchan, what are you- Oh God, he’s not going to go yell at her is he?” He begins to follow anxiously, but pauses when he sees the starstruck expression on the girl’s face. God, he hopes Bakugou wouldn’t crush her like that over a stupid ride. He makes up his mind to interrupt, when the girl’s face lights up and she laughs nervously. Even weirder, Bakugou raises an arm, flexes, and pats his bicep. He says something else that Izuku doesn’t hear. She laughs again, then nods. Finally, Bakugou turns and comes back.

                “C’mon nerd, let’s get back in line,” he says as he passes. “They’re gonna let you ride.”

                “For real? What’d you say?” Uraraka asks, glancing over his shoulder at the girl who is now squealing about the interaction to her coworkers. Far off to the side, an intern starts frantically whispering to a camera man to ask if he actually caught that priceless moment.

                “I said that he’s a pro-Hero, so he can take a beating if he needs to, and if the stupid harnesses can’t keep his shrimpy ass in the seat then I sure as shit can,” Bakugou says, shifting in a way that just barely conveys embarrassment. “So you gotta sit next to me, but they’ll let you on.” Izuku’s eyes widen just as Todoroki’s narrow.

                “Kacchan… did you use that girl’s crush on you to get what you wanted?” Izuku asks, slightly in awe. “That’s really nice… and kind of fucked up.”

                “I did not! I don’t know about any stupid crush,” Bakugou says, turning away to face the track. The redness on the back of his neck tells a different story. “Fucking idiot… a thank you would be fucking nice.”

                “Thanks, Kacchan!” Izuku says earnestly. He and Uraraka are both bouncing around excitedly. Bakugou glances at them, then looks away swiftly. It’s not cute. He definitely doesn’t think either of them are being cute.

                “Whatever,” he grumbles.

                When the ride comes in and they get on, Uraraka is quick to claim one of the two middle seats in a row of four, knowing that makes it impossible for both Bakugou and Todoroki to sit by Izuku. Todoroki sighs and takes the end seat next to her. He knows when to admit defeat. Team LGBTS certainly has some formidable people on their side. As Bakugou tries to push Izuku’s harness down as far as he can, yelling something about how if he didn’t eat like an idiot he’d have grown like a normal person, Uraraka takes Todoroki’s hand. The action catches him by surprise, and he actually finds himself blushing until she speaks.

                “You’re one of my closest friends Todoroki,” she says in a low voice. “But if you’re leading Iida on, I’ll fucking end you.” He blinks in surprise. The thought hadn’t even occurred to him. He wasn’t really on this show to date. Everyone knew that. Iida knew that… right?

                “You’ve been spending too much time around Bakugou,” Todoroki says eventually. She gives his hand a squeeze and then drops it.

                “But unlike him, I don’t make empty threats.” Todoroki stares at her for a moment, some weird feeling, or mix of feelings, in the pit of his stomach. It had seemed like a foolproof plan, but suddenly the idea to come onto a dating show just to embarrass his father is starting to seem like a very dangerous game.

Chapter Text

“Come oooooooon,” Kaminari whines. He stretches desperately upwards for the marker, but Bakugou holds it easily out of his reach. “I really think I’ve got it this time!”

                “For the last time,” Kirishima says, taking Kaminari by the shoulders and gently steering him away from the whiteboard, “we’re gonna do this democratically, man.”

                “Like hell, we are,” Bakugou says, snorting. “Let the people with brains handle this, Shitty Hair.” Ignoring the groans and complaints of all of his peers, Bakugou uncaps the marker and starts scribbling almost illegibly on the board. As he works, the rest reluctantly gather in closer to squint at his messy writing.

                “Oh for shit’s sake, Iida and I are not a perfect match!” Mina says. Bakugou shushes her, but rubs her name out with the side of his fist and replaces it with Deku. Mina sighs. “Well, that’s closer at least.”

                “This is a mess, dude,” Tetsutetsu says. “You spelled my name wrong, somehow, and also I really don’t think there’s anything like that between me and Uraraka.”

                “Kacchan, you didn’t even write your own name, or Todoroki’s.”

                “Because Icy Hot doesn’t deserve love,” Bakugou says, capping the marker and chucking it at the ground. “And none of you are my perfect match, fuck that.” Mina snatches the marker off the ground and shoos Bakugou away.

                “Shut up, Bakugou, we all know you’re a big softie deep down,” she says, erasing the mess of a list he’s made. “I’ve got an idea. All of you are shit at relationships- shush you know it’s true- so I’m gonna take the lead here. I’ll write down everyone individually, and under your names I’m going to put the people that I think you go best with. Then everyone can put a tally mark under the one that they think fits. Fair enough?” The group gives a somewhat contented murmur of agreement. “Okay, now shoo. The genius needs to work.”

                “It’s time for Bakugou to make us breakfast anyways,” Kaminari says as they amble out to the kitchen. “I’m starving.”

                “Fuck you, I’m not your fucking mom!”

                Mina makes quick work of her arrangements. After all, she’s picked up on a lot, especially watching the Momo/Jirou/Kaminari and Iida/Todoroki/Midoriya/Bakugou/Uraraka drama unfold in real time. She just wonders how certain people will respond to the list she puts up. She takes a step back to review her work, and hopes Momo won’t be too mad.

  1. Bakugou Katsuki
    1. Uraraka Ochaco
    2. Midoriya Izuku
    3. Kirishima Eijirou
  2. Yaoyorozu Momo
    1. Jirou Kyouka
    2. Kaminari Denki (Mina spent a long time debating this option; Momo was really jealous of Kami, but she admired him just a touch too much for someone who should reasonably hate his guts right now)
  3. Iida Tenya
    1. Todoroki Shouto
    2. Midoriya Izuku
    3. Uraraka Ochaco
  4. Todoroki Shouto
    1. Iida Tenya
    2. Midoriya Izuku
    3. Bakugou Katsuki (this was mostly in here for laughs, and because she genuinely thought the two of them could use a little hate-fucking themselves)
  5. Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu
    1. Kirishima Eijirou
    2. ?? (she didn’t know who else to put here, honestly)
  6. Kaminari Denki
    1. Sero Hanta
    2. YaoMomo
    3. Jirou Kyouka
  7. Kirishima Eijirou
    1. Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu
    2. ??
  8. Sero Hanta
    1. Kaminari Denki
    2. Ashido Mina
  9. Ashido Mina
    1. Sero Hanta
    2. ??
  10. Jirou Kyouka
    1. YaoMomo
    2. Kaminari Denki
  11. Uraraka Ochaco
    1. Iida Tenya
    2. Bakugou Katsuki
    3. Midoriya Izuku
  12. Midoriya Izuku
    1. Iida Tenya
    2. Uraraka Ochaco
    3. Todoroki Shouto
    4. Bakugou Katsuki

Once she’s fairly satisfied with her list, Mina sends everybody in one-by-one to cast their votes. It isn’t a perfect solution, but there are few complaints, and even fewer better ideas.

                “Midoriya!” Kaminari says as he saunters back into the kitchen. “You dirty dog.” He winks at him, and poor Izuku is immediately flustered. His popularity in the match-ups quickly becomes something of a joke, and at some point someone adds his name to everybody’s list. When Izuku himself returns from voting, he sets his head down in his arms on the kitchen counter and refuses to look at anybody, especially the dear friends who made it on to his own list.

                “You idiots are taking this seriously, right?” Bakugou says, glancing briefly at the blushing mess that was once called Midoriya Izuku. “I don’t wanna have to fucking deal with this once the vote is over with.” He sounds pissed, as usual, but he’s far less intimidating when he’s wearing a Kiss the Cook apron and flipping chocolate chip pancakes.

                When the last person casts their vote, Mina goes back into the room to tally the votes. A few minutes later, she emerges quite solemnly with a list in her hand.

                “Is everyone ready for the results?” she asks.

                “Don’t act like it’s a funeral, Mina, it’s just shipping,” Kaminari says. Mina sticks her tongue out at him.

                “The final tally is as follows- and please no comments from the peanut gallery until I’m finished.

“1. Sero Hanta and Kaminari Denki-“ Sero and Kaminari immediately high-five each other.

“2. Kirishima Eijirou and Ashido Mina

“3. Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu and Midoriya Izuku

“4. Jirou Kyouka and Yaomomo

“5. Iida Tenya and Uraraka Ochaco, and

“6. Bakugou Katsuki and Todoroki Shouto.” This is followed by such severe silence that for a moment, Mina swears she can hear the sound of this show’s ratings going up.

                “I said take it seriously assholes!”

Confessional:

                Kaminari and Sero grin at the camera like they’re letting the home audience in on a dirty secret.

                “So while Mina was writing up her little list, the LGBTS group chat was popping,” Kaminari says. Sero nods in agreement, and holds up his phone as if to demonstrate.

                “Kami was the first one to vote. He took a picture of the board and sent it out, then we decided who to vote for as a group,” Sero explains. “We figure, there’s no way Bakugou lets us leave him with Todoroki, right? He’d take anyone else. From there, it’s gonna be easier to negotiate our way down to Midoriya.”

                The camera transitions to Bakugou in the confessional, who looks as though steam will come pouring out of his ears at any moment.

                “I tell those idiots to take it seriously, and what do they do? They match me up with fuckin’ Half ‘n Half. As fuckin’ if. And we know we got three matches right last week but we only kept one of the pair-ups. It’s fucking stupid is what it is,” he fumes.

Exit Confessional

                “All right everyone, let’s try something else,” Iida says, stepping in front of the group. “Will everyone please line up beside the person they were paired with by our last official vote?” Grumbling, everyone finds the partner they’d been presented with in the last episode. Iida frowns when he sees Todoroki and Midoriya together, but doesn’t comment on it. “All right, in order, we are going to assess these couples to determine who we think were the three we got correct. From there, we will decide how to pair up the remaining six individuals. Does that sound fair?” There’s a general murmur of agreement, and Iida gestures to the first couple. “All in favor of keeping Jirou and Momo?” Almost every hand goes up, and Momo grabs Jirou’s hand excitedly.

                “Hell yeah!” Mina says, flashing a thumbs up at Momo when Jirou is looking away.

                “Kirishima and Tetsutetsu?”

                “Keep ‘em!”

                “Sero and Kaminari?” Iida asks, moving to the third couple. This time, the reviews are mixed. Most of the group raises their hands in favor, but there are a few noticeable dissenters, such as Jirou. “All right, we’ll leave them as a maybe for now and discuss if we need to. What do we think of Mina and myself?”

                “Absolutely not, my dude,” Kaminari says. The group nods almost perfectly in sync. Iida turns and shakes Mina’s hand.

                “Well, it was a pleasure,” he says. She just laughs and gives him the peace sign before stepping away. “Next, Bakugou and Uraraka?”

                “Nah,” Jirou says, and most of the group voices their agreement, with the notable exception of Todoroki and (disappointingly) Midoriya. Even Iida and Momo- vocal opponents to the goals of the LGBTS- are a little disappointed to see this. While they don’t exactly approve of the other team, even they can recognize what Todoroki can’t: that Bakugou and Midoriya wouldn’t be a terrible match, and that if Uraraka really wanted him she wouldn’t be such an active member of the LGBTS.

                “Seriously, Midoriya?” Tetsutetsu asks. “I mean, I’m not surprised at Todoroki, but you know the two of them well enough to know that just… doesn’t fit.” Izuku blushes and rubs the back of his neck.

                “I don’t know,” he says. “They’re both such strong, passionate people. I think that if they wanted to, they could make it work. I’d be happy for both of them.” Uraraka reaches over and pinches his cheek.

                “This is why I love you, Deku,” she coos. “But they’re totally right. Me and Bakugou? We’d kill each other in a week.”

                “You think you could kill me?” Bakugou scoffs.

                “I don’t think, babe, I know,” Uraraka says. Fortunately for Bakugou, she’s called him babe enough in the past week that the shock value has worn off, so he doesn’t completely embarrass himself by floundering in response. He’s still not totally collected, but he does manage to flip her off.

                “Well, I suppose that leaves us with one more pair. Do we want to keep Midoriya and Todoroki?” Iida asks, pursing his lips anxiously. Seeing the look on his face pulls the heartstrings of almost everyone present- there is a huge outcry against the potential couple. Iida looks surprised, and pleased, although he tries to hide both expressions from his face. Todoroki says nothing, but the only people who notice the pensive look on his face are Mina and Uraraka. Uraraka catches his eye and gives him a pointed glare, reminding him instantly of her threat from the day before.

                “So that leaves Bakugou, Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki, Midoriya, and me as free agents,” Mina says. “I’m guessing we’re all in favor of team Iidoroki?”

                “Duh,” Kaminari says, flashing a thumbs up at Iida. Everyone gives some sign of another of their agreement, except Bakugou, who refuses to show interest in Todoroki’s love life.

                “So that leaves me, Bakugou, Uraraka, and Midoriya,” Mina says. Izuku smiles shyly at Uraraka, who he assumes is his most likely option. Uraraka tries to hide her amusement. Oh, what she would’ve given for that shy smile seven years ago. Poor baby has no clue what’s about to hit him, though.

                “Well, considering how vocally anti-Mina Bakugou’s been…” Sero says, trying not to laugh, “I think the only way we can pair them up is Uraraka with Mina and Midoriya with Bakugou.”

                “Huh?!” Bakugou and Izuku exclaim in near-perfect unison as Mina and Uraraka quietly fist-bump each other behind their backs. Iida rolls his eyes, and Momo sighs, but neither does anything to thwart the impressive results of LGBTS’s schemes.

                “Are we sure about that?” Todoroki says, like the traitorous snake he is. He can feel Uraraka’s glare boring holes into the back of his head, but he won’t let himself be swayed. He is only speaking as one of Midoriya’s closest friends. Obviously. “They’ve never really gotten along, for as long as we’ve known them at least.” Mina’s eyes narrow. It’s clever. She can see the wheels turning in Midoriya’s head, and if he convinces himself there’s no possible way for them to be a perfect match, it’ll be much harder for them to get anywhere.

                “I don’t know about that,” she says. “They make a great team in the field, so the chemistry’s there in the workplace at least. And their families are awfully close.”

                Danger! Danger! Alarms are blaring in all of their heads as they notice the rising irritation on Bakugou’s face. He looks like he may explode at any moment. This tactic may work on Midoriya, but it won’t get them anywhere with Bakugou. The team all glances around frantically at each other, desperate for someone to make a play to diffuse his temper.

                “Oh come on guys,” Kaminari scoffs. “I know everyone loves a rivals-to-friends-to-lovers dynamic, but let’s be honest with ourselves. Bakugou would be a shit boyfriend, I think Midoriya deserves better than that.” All eyes dart back to Bakugou, and they see that the fuse has finally lit. They wince and await the explosion.

                “Fuck you, Pikachu!” Bakugou yells, swinging his arm around Midoriya and pulling him into what looks more like a headlock than a hug. “I’d be the best god damn boyfriend this nerd’s ever fuckin’ had! I’ll show you!” And then he stomps off, grumbling to himself something that sounds like, “blow his fuckin’ nerdy mind, he’ll never fuckin’ be able to date again, fuckin…” He stops and turns back, looking at Midoriya impatiently. “Deku, are you coming or what?!” Midoriya turns beet red in an instant. His mouth dangles open, like he’s mentally groping for a response but can’t find one.

                “Huh?” he says eventually. What a catch. “Am- Am I coming where, Kacchan?” Bakugou rolls his eyes, marches back over, grabs Izuku by the hand, and begins yanking him toward the door.

                “I’m buying you coffee, dumbass, let’s go!” Bakugou leads him all the way to the door before he wheels back around and glares at the entire shell-shocked group. “And when we get back we’ll see who’d be a shitty fucking boyfriend!” And with that, he shoves Midoriya out the door and slams it shut behind them.

                Silence falls over the house, the echo of Bakugou’s voice the only sound to be heard. As it dissipates, the members of the two opposing teams come to grips with what they’ve just witnessed.

                “Did we… did we just…?” Mina says. Kirishima nods. “And it only took two weeks?” Another nod. “Damn Kami!” Kaminari preens, and even starts to take a bow before Jirou elbows him.

                “Let’s not get too excited,” she says. “The goal is for them to bone. Unless they put something special in that coffee, we’ve still got work to do.” Kaminari boops her on the nose.

                “Okay, Debbie Downer,” he says, smiling at her. He doesn’t see Momo scowling at him. “Everyone knows that coffee is an important first step in the mating rituals of idiot heroes.” Jirou smirks.

                “You learn that from personal experience, Sparky?” she asks. He sticks his tongue out at her.

                “Shut uuuup,” he whines.

                “Mina, can you help me with a… thing? Please?” Momo asks abruptly before rushing out of the kitchen toward the stairs. Kaminari freezes with his hand midway to yanking on Jirou’s earphones, and Jirou turns to Mina with her eyes wide. Most of the others are quick to excuse themselves, while Todoroki watches on like this is all a mildly amusing TV show.

                Which. It is.

                Mina has the decency to look embarrassed as she points over her shoulder toward the stairs.

                “I’m just gonna go… help… with the thing,” she says before promptly following Momo out. Jirou turns back to Kaminari.

                “Has that… is it me or is that happening a lot?” she asks a little helplessly. Kaminari glances toward the stairs, then back at Jirou.

                “Coffee?” he asks. She frowns and creases her eyebrows, then snorts and slugs him in the shoulder.

                “Don’t be such a perv, Sparky,” she laughs.

 


 

                Upstairs, there were two different crises unfolding. In Room 3, Mina was trying desperately to assure Momo that Jirou wasn’t flirting with Kaminari, even if Kaminari was probably flirting with her. But we’ve seen enough of that for now.

                Uraraka has decided that she and Iida need to bond through the sacred ritual of face masks and Netflix. Unbeknownst to most of the others, Iida and Izuku have been participating in this traditionally female ritual for months, ever since Izuku and Shinsou broke up. If she plays her cards right, Uraraka can even convince Iida to cuddle with her. Today is one of those days, and so the two of them are curled up nice and cozy in Iida’s bed watching Instant Hotel while Iida criticizes everyone’s interior decorating choices.

                “Do you think Bakugou and Deku will get together?” Uraraka asks, laying her head on Iida’s shoulder.

                “If they do, I don’t think it will be because of any of your schemes,” he replies. She flicks him on the ear.

                “Yeah but do you?” she asks. He rolls his eyes.

                “Well, if I’m being- oh, well they’re just saying that to have a better chance at winning, that’s unsportsmanlike!”

                “Iida.” Uraraka pokes him in the gut, just where he’s ticklish, and he seizes up.

                “Heeeey, now!” he says, wriggling away from her.

                “Come back, you need to cuddle with me!” Uraraka says, snaking her arms around him. “And answer the question.” She squishes her face into his arm and looks up at him. Seeing her all wide-eyed and squishy-faced warms Iida enough that he allows her to cuddle up again, and even considers her question more seriously.

                “Well, they have grown up a lot since high school,” he says. “If they can manage to get along and be honest with each other about their feelings, I don’t see why they couldn’t. We know how much Midoriya cares about Bakugou, and even if he won’t admit it we know that Bakugou cares about Midoriya. If they were to start dating, I would support them.” Uraraka giggles and grins up at him.

                “How diplomatic of you, Class Prez,” she says. He rolls his eyes.

                “Can we watch the show now, or are we still gossiping?” he asks. She reaches up and takes his glasses off, then puts them on her own face.

                “Hi, I’m Iida and I still don’t know how to do girls’ night even after-“ He interrupts by snatching his glasses back. “Hey!”

                “It’s not girls’ night if you’re the only girl, Uraraka,” he says. She pokes him in the stomach again. “Can we watch or not?”

                “Nope,” she says, popping the ‘p.’ “You think Momo and Mina are hooking up?”

                “Wha- That- Uraraka, that is none of our business!” Iida splutters. She laughs.

                “How about you and Todoroki then?” she asks, waggling her eyebrows. He reddens and pushes up his glasses.

                “That’s- well, that’s none of your business,” he says. She pinches his cheek.

                “That means no,” she coos. He grabs one of his pillows and stuffs it in her face. She squeals and pushes him away, and ends up pushing herself off the edge of the bed. “Ah!”

                “Shit!” he exclaims. He scrambles off the bed and scoops her up. “Are you okay? God, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” She tosses her head back laughing, and slaps his face lightly.

                “I’m fine, Iida!” Uraraka says. “I love it when you scoop me up like this, though. I feel like a princess.” She kisses him quickly on the cheek. “A token of my appreciation, my dear knight.” She pats his chest. “Now let me down.” He sets her back down on the bed and takes her previous spot on the edge.

                “It’s still none of your business,” he says. “Unless…” She raises an eyebrow.

                “Unless?” she repeats.

                “Unless you care to tell me if anything happened between you and Bakugou,” Iida says, a mischievous glint in his eyes. She smacks him lightly.

                “You know it didn’t!” Uraraka says. “But if he and Deku ever wanted to mix things up, well…” Iida begins to splutter again, and she breaks into laughter again. “What, you’d never have a three way?”

                “Well, I… Well I wouldn’t say…” Iida stammers. Uraraka’s jaw drops and she jabs him repeatedly in his ticklish spot.

                “Iida, you dirty dog!” she exclaims. “You and two girls? Two guys? One guy one girl? Or would you mix it up?”

                “This is not-“ he broke off before he could say ‘appropriate.’ Uraraka was giving him that look he gave her from time to time, with pure glee in her eyes over something silly he’d said, and he could hardly deny her a thing when she looked at him like that. “Oh, all right. Don’t look at me when I say it.” She squeezes her eyes shut, but he can see her peeking under her eyelashes. “No peeking!”

                “I’m not peeking!” she says. He puts a hand over her eyes. “Dork.”

                “One guy one girl. Never repeat this if you care about my feelings or reputation,” he says quickly. Uraraka squeals.

                “I love it!” she says, clapping. She squeezes his arm. “Thank you for telling me.” He looks pointedly away.

                “What about you?” he asks quietly. “Who would you… you know.”

                “Two guys,” she replies, resting her head on his shoulder again. “My ego couldn’t take it if there was another girl there. I’d just be comparing myself to her the whole time. If it’s one-on-one, that’s one thing, but if there’s someone else there I’d be worried about being, y’know, the dumpy one.” Iida manages to look at her as she rambles, and when she makes eye contact again he’s looking at her very seriously.

                “You’re a very beautiful woman, Uraraka,” he says, even managing to remain calm as he says it. “I hope you never feel like you have to compare yourself to anyone else.” Uraraka just stares at him for a moment, unsure of what to say, feeling blood rising to her face, before smiling brilliantly and giving him a tight hug.

                “You’re too nice for anybody, Iida. I love you,” she says, nuzzling her face into his neck. He returns the hug much more gently.

                “I love you, too, Uraraka,” he replies.

 


 

                Of the three people left to comfort their confused friends over the issues in their budding relationships, Kaminari is the least prepared. This is partly due to the fact that he is, very slowly, realizing that he is most likely the problem in Jirou’s relationship. After all, Momo only seems to rush off with Mina when he comes to hang out with Jirou. So unless he smells extremely bad, he can only assume that Momo is jealous- which is ridiculous. Probably. So instead of assuaging her fears, like Mina, or distracting her, like Uraraka, he does what he does best. He brings her up to their room, breaks out some weed, and gets them both high as balls.

                “Hey, heh, Jirou,” he says at one point, when they’ve stopped smoking and are raiding the kitchen for chips. It’s a futile search- Bakugou regularly purges the household of any junk food that’s been smuggled in.

                “Hm?” she says absently as she examines a bag of ‘health-friendly trail mix’ that Iida made. Health-friendly is a term which here means ‘lacking in everything that makes trail mix worth eating.’

                “You know what woulda been a better show than this?” Kaminari asks.

                “Hm?”

                “The Bro-chelor,” he says, giggling. She sets down the trail mix and looks at him.

                “The Bro-chelor?” she repeats. He nods.

                “Yeah, like… like the Bachelor, but you pick your best bro. And everyone competes to be your best bro. Y’know?” he says. She thinks about it for a second, then nods.

                “That’d be better,” she agrees. “If I was the, the, uh, Bro-chelorette, would you be on my season?” He shakes his head quickly, his floppy hair swishing every which way. “What? Why not?!”  

                “Cuz bro,” he says. “I’d be way to bummed if you sent me home. Couldn’t take the rejection.” She grins crookedly and rubs her knuckles into his head.

                “You know you’d win, you doof!” she says. His face lights up, and Jirou gets a feeling in her stomach that she can’t describe as anything but ‘the tinglies’ in her current state. Before she can dwell on her tinglies too much longer, the door bursts open and Bakugou comes storming in, Midoriya close behind.

                “Kacchan, can’t we talk about it?!” Midoriya exclaims, following tightly on his heels as Bakugou tries to escape up the stairs.

                “Fuck that!” Bakugou says. “Fucking drop it or don’t, I don’t give a fuck what you do!” They disappear up the stairs, taking their argument with them. Kaminari and Jirou turn to each other, both slightly slack-jawed.

                “Did we… did our plan make it worse?” Kaminari asks. Jirou nods.

                “Yeah. Yeah I think it did.”

                Upstairs, Bakugou locks the door to their room before Midoriya can follow him in. Instead, he knocks on the neighboring door, feeling guilty when he hears Uraraka laughing before she comes to the door. When it opens to his teary face, the smile vanishes from her face.

                “What’d that asshole do?” Uraraka demands.

                “Can I just come in and hang out with you guys for a bit? Please?” Izuku asks. Iida nods and ushers him in, giving a stern look to Uraraka over his head before shutting the door, effectively locking the cameras and microphones out from the whole affair.

 

Confessional:

You guys ran off this morning before we could give you body cams, so the audience has no clue what the two of you fought about. Care to share?

                Midoriya has the posture of a man who wishes he could be infinitely smaller. Shoulders hunched, knees up, hands in his lap, head down.

                “I really would prefer to keep it between me and Kacchan,” he says meekly. “At least until we’ve worked things out.”

                The camera transitions to Bakugou looking much as he usually does- or at the very least, similar to how he usually does. Something about his scowl lacks the typical fire.

                “It’s old fucking news,” Bakugou says. “A dumb fight Deku never fucking forgot about, I guess.”

Exit Confessional

 

                When the scene transitions, it transitions to show the most awkward set of couples Japanese television has ever seen. Each pair is still holding hands, just as the week before, but only Mina and Uraraka, and Kirishima and Tetsutetsu seem remotely happy about it. Jirou and Momo made polite conversation when they walked in, but it lacked their usual warmth. Kaminari is deep in thought, while Sero looks like he dearly regrets his decision to participate in this shitshow. Todoroki is pensive, and Iida can’t seem to keep his attention for long. And although Bakugou and Midoriya are holding hands, they’re standing so far apart from each other you’d think that any contact at all was painful. Mic lost most of his characteristic energy as soon as he laid eyes on them.

                “Well done kids!” he exclaims. The mood shifts slightly, just a tad bit brighter. “You’ve managed to get almost every single one wrong!” The couples- with the exception of KiriTetsu- all separate as if they’ve been burnt.

                “What the hell, Mic?!” Kaminari asks. Mic shrugs.

                “Sorry, kiddos. You only got two couples right this week. Tough break.” The group slowly drifts off into strange groupings. They’re almost unrecognizable from the week before. Mic turns away, making a mental note never to host this nonsense again, and smiles for the camera. “Folks at home, we’ve got a special treat for you coming up! After the commercial break, we’ve got a little poll for you. Tweet your answers to our official account, and you can have a little control over our dear hero’s lives next week!”

                “Oh for fuck’s sake,” Bakugou groans.

Chapter Text

Confessional:

How do you feel about the recent falling out between Bakugou and Midoriya?

                “I feel… I dunno, guilty?” Mina says, shrugging her shoulders. “I guess we pushed them into something they weren’t ready for. I really thought Bakugou had grown up more than this.”

                Next it shows Uraraka, flanked by Todoroki and Iida. Both men are holding one of her arms, and it looks as though they are the only thing keeping her from leaping out of the seat and hunting down Bakugou. The expression on her face was one that civilians had only seen her wear in especially bad villain fights.

                “If he so much as looks at Deku the wrong way I’m going to rip his-“ She’s interrupted by Iida quickly slapping a hand over her mouth.

                “What Uraraka means to say is that we are very unhappy with how Bakugou has treated our friend,” Iida says. Todoroki nods solemnly.

                “Yes,” he agrees. “Because Uraraka would never admit to what we’ll do to Bakugou on television.”

                “Todoroki!” Iida cries, letting go of Uraraka’s arm. She uses her newfound freedom to high five Todoroki.

                It finally shows Kirishima, looking uncomfortable and embarrassed. It’s unusual to see him in a confessional by himself, let alone looking so down.

                “I kind of feel responsible,” he says. “I won’t… you know, say, cuz that’s super unmanly… but I kind of… know what the fight was that they’re fighting about now. I should’ve known this could be an issue, you know? But I still just pushed it.” He gets up suddenly and takes off his microphone. When he speaks again it’s harder to understand him. “I’m sorry, I really need to go try to talk to Bakugou again.”

Exit Confessional


 

                Uraraka knocks tentatively on the door to Room 1.

                “Deku?” she says. “Deku, it’s me, can we talk?” Considering it was just a bad first date with a guy known to be explosive and rude, Izuku is taking this incredibly hard. Then again, it was the first real date he’s been on since he and Shinsou broke up, and it was with arguably one of the most important people in his life. But still. Rough. No answer comes, but Uraraka is persistent. “Seriously, Deku, we don’t even have to talk about it, but you shouldn’t be-“ The door swings open suddenly, and to Uraraka’s shock it’s not Izuku standing in the doorway, but Bakugou. A very, very angry Bakugou, who’s looking at her right now like he just caught her kicking his dog, or beating a child, or something else very detestable.

                “Golden boy’s not here, Angel Face,” he says. “And before you fuckin ask, I’m not making anyone’s fucking breakfast today.” Uraraka hasn’t been scared of Bakugou in years, but she still finds herself shrinking up and backing away.

                “Right,” she says. “I’ll just-“ She starts to turn away, but Bakugou grabs her arm.

                “Hold up,” he says. His voice is strained, like he’s putting in a conscious effort to keep himself from blowing up in her face. “Am I ever gonna get a fucking apology from any of you?”

                “Huh?” she asks stupidly. He leans against the doorway.

                “You think I’m that dumb?” he asks. “I know you’ve all been trying to pawn me off on Deku, trying to trick us into ‘hate-fucking’ or whatever dumbass shit you called it, like I’m some idiot and won’t notice you guys pushing us together all the fucking time. And it’s fucking irritating that any of you are interfering like that, but especially you.

                “Me?” she repeats. “Why me? Why do you care what I do?” He snorts.

                “Oh, like you didn’t spend the first week and a half flirting with me before you decided it’d be more worth your time to cash in on a fucking three way,” Bakugou says. “Were you ever actually into me or did you just think that’d be the easiest way to get into Deku’s pants? Because if you’re that hard up I bet you’d have better luck going through Half ‘n’-“ Uraraka clamps a hand over his mouth, shoves him back into the room, and shoves the door shut behind them.

                “Do not say a fucking word, Bakugou Katsuki,” she says in a low voice. “If Iida hears you-“

                “Oh that’s another thing!” Bakugou exclaims. “Fuckin’ sadistic of you to keep encouraging that engine nerd when we all know Icy Hot’s been blasting rope to Deku since we were fifteen.” Uraraka scowls and cocks an eyebrow.

                “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you sounded jealous Bakugou,” she says. Wrong thing to say. Bakugou slams his fist into the wall just over her head. And for just a second, with him looming over her, she is a really uncomfortable mixture of afraid and turned on.

                “Answer the fucking question, Uraraka,” he says. “Answer a few fucking questions, actually. Did you ever like me? Did you really think me and Deku were such a great fucking match? Or was it just more fucking convenient for you?” And Uraraka has to admit to herself- although she knows he’s misunderstood her intentions here- that those are three very good questions. And she would take the time to answer them, if the door didn’t open again to reveal the man of the hour himself, Midoriya Izuku.

                They look at Izuku. Izuku looks at them. They look at each other. They realize how bad this has to look to him.

                “Deku, I wasn’t-“

                Bakugou interrupts by leaning close to her ear and whispering, “You want to get railed by Deku? Ask him yourself, cuz you’re sure as shit not gonna get there through me.” Uraraka is frozen, wide-eyed, as Bakugou steps away. That momentary lack of composure is just enough time for Izuku to run out without another word. “Hm. Guess you lost your chance.” And there’s something in Bakugou’s voice that’s just a touch off, but Uraraka knows that she’s no longer in any position to ask about it.

                Instead, she runs downstairs to the living room, where most of the others are clustered around whispering about Midoriya and Bakugou because of-fucking-course they are. They all look up at her when she arrives, and are stunned to find that she’s completely out of breath and looking almost deliriously frazzled.

                “Someone needs to make out with me. Someone that isn’t one of the fucking assholes I’ve already wasted my time on,” she says breathlessly. “Don’t care who. I’ll be in the boom boom room, the one with the, uh, the balcony. Yeah. That one. So.” She waves, and then sort of drifts out of the room again, presumably to wait in the boom boom room.

                It’s as if a bomb has dropped, and no one has any clue what to do in the aftermath. Midoriya’s a mess, Bakugou is most likely a mess, and now Uraraka is somehow caught up in the middle of it and is demanding an ill-advised hook up. The group looks around at each other, each desperately hoping that someone else will speak up first.

                “No one’s… no one’s going to make out with her when she’s like that, right?” Kaminari eventually says. There’s a general murmur of dissent, and then Iida rises, giving an apologetic glance to Todoroki.

                “I should go make sure she’s okay,” he says. Todoroki nods and stands up as well.

                “I’ll come with,” he says. The two of them hurry off, whispering to each other urgently. Kaminari frowns and looks at Kirishima (the current pinnacle of emotional maturity) in concern.

                “You don’t think they’ll make out with her, do you?” he asks in somewhat of a panic. The others laugh, but the laughter is unsure.


 

                Bakugou remains in his room, despite the likelihood that he’ll run into Izuku or Todoroki there, because where else can he go? Kirishima’s room? Where he will demand that they have a conversation about the past incident, and the current incident, and how Bakugou really needs to grow up and have an adult conversation with Izuku? Absolutely not. So he lays in bed and hopes that the other two will have enough common sense not to come by until they need to sleep. He’s not moping.

                …

                He’s not!

                Whether he’s moping or not matters very little, however, because Midoriya Izuku possesses many good qualities, none of which are common sense. Only a few minutes after Uraraka ran off, the door creaks open and he slips in quietly.

                “Kacchan?” he says softly. “Can we talk? Not about… y’know.” Bakugou sighs and sits up slightly to lean against the headboard of his bed.

                “Make it quick nerd,” he says. “What do you want? I’m not boning your girlfriend if that’s what you’re wondering.” Izuku laughs a little, and it’s a wet sound. He clearly cried at some point in the last five minutes.

                “No,” Izuku says. “I just wanted to say… we don’t have to talk about that if you don’t want to. I just hope that we can forget it happened and go back to getting along- or, well, we never really got along, did we? I just hope we can go back to how it was before.” Bakugou doesn’t say anything, or even really look up at him, so Izuku starts to ramble. “I mean, not that I wouldn’t want to talk about it, or try to get along better, but if that’s what it takes for us to still be able to work together and not make everyone uncomfortable then I’m perfectly happy to-“

                “Shut up, nerd,” Bakugou says. “We can forget it happened. Happy?” He doesn’t answer, so Bakugou looks up to make sure he heard and- Jesus fuck, he’s crying again. “Jesus, Deku, is it really that fucking bad to move on like a couple of regular fuck ups?” Izuku shakes his head quickly and wipes snot from his nose.

                “No, no!” he says insistently. “I just really thought it’d be… like last time, you know? And you wouldn’t talk to me and everything would be awful, so I’m really glad we can be sort of friends again, you know?” Bakugou rolls his eyes. Izuku’s a horrible liar, and Bakugou especially isn’t fooled by him. He thinks this fucking sucks, and Bakugou privately agrees. Izuku sniffles and rambles a little longer before finally asking weakly, “Can I hug you, Kacchan?” Bakugou sighs.

                “You really think this is the best fucking timing?” he asks. He leaves one arm across his chest, but holds the other one out. “One arm only, make it quick.” Izuku immediately claims his prize, abiding respectfully by the rules. It was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sort of hug, but it’s enough that Bakugou’s sure there’s snot on his shirt. As soon as he lets go, Izuku scrambles up the ladder into his bunk bed.

                “Do you mind if I hang out in here? Everyone out there keeps asking me questions,” Izuku says.

                “Do whatever the fuck you want,” Bakugou grumbles. They manage to sit in awkward silence for all of fifteen seconds before Bakugou breaks it with, “You know fucking Round Face is trying to have a three way with us, right?” There’s a beat of silence, and then Izuku’s laughing- really laughing. The clutching his sides, tears in his eyes, every corner of his mouth showing kind of laughter. Suddenly, Bakugou regrets his decision to speak, because that sort of laughter has never led to anything good in his life. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to worry about it too long, because the door to their room bursts open and Kaminari crashes into their room. “Jesus, can’t anyone leave me the fuck alone?”

                “I’m ordering an all-day bonding sesh with copious alcohol, downstairs, now,” Kaminari says sternly. “Attendance is mandatory or Kirishima will cry and it’ll be your fault you monsters!” And then he’s out in a flash, before either of them can try to argue with him.

                Any other day, month, year, lifetime, Bakugou absolutely would not have dragged his ass out of bed for a stupid ‘bonding sesh,’ Kirishima tears or not. But with the month he’s having, he just sighs, swings his feet over the side of the bed, and grumbles, “This oughtta be good.”

 


 

Confessional:

                “Why have a party when everyone’s so bummed?” Kaminari repeats, looking at the interviewer like this is a confusingly stupid question. “Because everyone’s so bummed out. We all need to have fun together again, and besides. It’s not like things could get worse.”

Exit Confessional

 


 

                Everything goes surprisingly well. Kaminari spends most of his time bopping around to make sure everyone’s playing nice, which means Momo and Jirou can have a lovely time together. Todoroki and Iida are so busy making sure that Uraraka is happy and kept far, far away from the BakuDeku dumpster fire that neither of them can spare a thought to anybody else, even the elephant in the room of Todoroki’s increasingly obvious crush on Midoriya. It’s all going so well, and they’re all so drunk, that by 8 pm they actually decide to play a game that Kaminari suggested.

                The first sign that things are about to get weird is that Momo flees the room to throw up before Kaminari can even start explaining the directions. She returns moments later, explains that she’s had too much to drink and that she’ll be going to bed. No, she doesn’t want Jirou to come up with her. Yes, she’ll be fine on her own. Yes, she’ll sleep on her side, with a bucket next to her to puke in. And while Momo throwing up at a party is definitely a new phenomenon, they’re all drunk enough to move on.

                The second sign is the game itself.

                “Okay, so ‘eeeere’s how it goes,” Kaminari says, waterfalling the last drops of whiskey into his mouth before setting the bottle down on the floor. He then draws a coin out of his pocket. “So firs’, we spin the bottle.”

                “Aren’ we too fuckin old for spin the bottle?” Tetsutetsu asks. Kaminari shushes him.

                “I’s different,” he says. “Now listen. We spin the bottle, then we flip a coin. Heads, you jus’ kiss. Tails, seven minutes in heaven. Got it?”

                “Does it gotta be a hookup thing?” Uraraka whines, laying her head heavily on Iida’s shoulder.

                “It’s a dating show, remember?” Todoroki says, patting her on the head. She shrugs, and doesn’t say anything else about it. That’s when the real fun begins.

                “I’ll go first,” Kaminari announces. He gives the bottle a spin, and it points to Sero. Kaminari immediately gives his friend a startlingly sultry look, and half the group is surprised to find themselves blushing as he flips the coin. “Heads. Come ‘ere baby, le’s see what you got.” Sero makes it halfway across the circle to Kaminari before the smaller man pounces on him. It’s just a kiss, but the scene that follows is enough to make a whore blush.

                “Strong start,” Mina says weakly, fanning herself. The scene has a more profound effect on her than many of the others, given that she’s been on the receiving end of Kaminari’s sultry looks and actions on more than one occasion. Mina tries not to play favorites, but Kami was certainly a go-to for her for many years.

                Kaminari climbs off of a considerably rumpled Sero and wipes his mouth, then crawls back to his spot with a satisfied smirk.

                “Who’s next?” he asks. To everyone’s surprise, it’s Jirou that reaches for the bottle. To no one’s surprise, given how events tend to unfold for them recently, it lands on Kami. He grins at her. “A two-fer, lucky me.” The coin lands on heads, and the two of them disappear into the nearest closet together.

                “That can’t be a good idea,” Kirishima says, burping at the end of his sentence. No one seems to be listening. Mina reaches for the bottle, and Tetsutetsu sets a timer on his phone for Kaminari and Jirou. The game moves on.

                Soon, it’s a free-for-all. People continue to make out well past the expected time, and only break apart when it’s their turn to spin again. Kirishima and Mina are in a closet together for almost fifteen minutes before Tetsutetsu goes to break them up, and they end up just pulling him in with them. When Uraraka finally convinces her boys to let her spin the bottle, it lands on Todoroki. He looks wide-eyed at Iida, then at her, a blush slowly crawling across his face. Uraraka just smiles and snakes her arms around his neck.

                “Lay one on me, pretty boy,” she purrs. Iida looks away, taking a sharp breath and trying to calm his suddenly erratic heart rate. Bakugou rolls his eyes and looks away. It looked to him like she was taking his advice.

                “Your turn, isn’t it explodey boy?” Sero asks, nudging him with his elbow.

                “Not playing,” Bakugou grumbles. Sero raises an eyebrow and snorts.

                “Fuckin’ pussy,” he says.

                “Cock!” Izuku yells. Jirou kicks him. Bakugou rolls his eyes, then takes a long, long drink from his glass.

                “Hand me the stupid bottle,” he says. Kaminari manages to kick it over to him without ever opening his eyes or taking his head off Jirou’s shoulder. Bakugou spins it, and lo and behold, plot convenience causes it to land on Izuku. The chatter dies down almost as if on cue. “Fucking Christ,” Bakugou mumbles. He flips the coin. Heads. “You meetin’ me in the middle, or are you too sloshed to walk?” Izuku just looks from the bottle, to him, back to the bottle, like he can’t quite put together what’s happening. Bakugou rolls his eyes, walks over to Izuku, then kneels in front of him. Something about the way they’re looking at each other reminds Sero of a really bad gay porn he watched right after he hit puberty. “We doin’ this nerd?” Izuku gulps.

                “Dunno if that’s a good idea, Kacchan,” he says. His wide eyes betray him by darting down to Bakugou’s lips. Bakugou really must be drunk, because the way he’s letting himself look at Izuku is sinful.

                “’m full o’ those, aren’ I?” Bakugou asks, his voice quiet and growly. He starts to lean in, and Izuku closes his eyes. The others- even Todoroki- watch with bated breath. It’s happening, they think. It’s actually happening!

                And then Izuku throws up. On Bakugou.

                “Fuckin’ Christ Deku!” Bakugou practically shrieks before storming off. Izuku climbs to his feet unsteadily and follows after him.

                “Shi’, Kacchan, I’m real sorry!” he says. “I’ll clean it!”

                “Fuck off!” Bakugou yells. Izuku follows him out anyway. Sero rolls his eyes and stands.

                “Shit guys, I’m goin’ to bed before anything else crazy happens,” he says. “G’night!” He walks out just as Mina, Tetsutetsu, and Kirishima come running in, mostly clothed.

                “Wha’s all the yelling? What I miss?” Mina asks, looking around in confusion. Kaminari sits up slightly, his eyes droopy and his head looking like it’ll roll over back onto Jirou at any moment.

                “Well,” he says. “Bakugou gave me a boner, ‘n ‘dorya killed it.” He burps, looking a little green, then reaches for his drink. Jirou snatches it out of his reach.

                “You’ve had enough,” she says. She stands up unsurely, then as soon as she’s gained her balance she pulls him up. “Off ta bed, mister.” She lugs him up the stairs, and the others are quick to follow.

                Getting Kaminari into bed is no easy task for Jirou, especially considering she’s nearly as drunk as he is. He insists on changing into his pajamas, but he gets stuck in his shirt and nearly trips getting out of his pants, so she has to do most of the undressing for him. Once that’s handled, she tells him to just sleep in his boxers because she’s had enough. He smiles blearily at her.

                “Tha’s okay,” he says, taking her hand and holding it to his pec- er, his heart. “I know you jus’ wanna see me naked.” She rips her hand away.

                “Do not!” she whispers harshly, looking over her shoulder to make sure Momo is still passed out in the next bed. The room was pitch black when she came in, but as far as she can tell both Momo and Sero are already asleep. Kaminari giggles.

                “’m kidding. ‘m cute, though, right?” he asks, looking up at her with wide eyes and a pout. She can just make out the features of his face in the dark, and she’s thankful it’s so hard to see. His eyes are too golden for her to just look straight into when she’s this drunk, especially considering what a good kisser she now knows he is. She’s going to hate herself in the morning for making out with him in the closet… and for the hickeys… God she hopes he doesn’t go swimming tomorrow.

                “Adorable,” she croaks. He smiles serenely, and it’s another stab in her chest.

                “Yer so nice, Jirou,” he says, tapping her on the nose. “Momo’s lucky.” And then, completely unaware of the 1-2 punch he’s just hit her with, Kaminari flops down on his bed and falls asleep almost instantaneously. Numbly, Jirou climbs up into her own bunk and stares up at the ceiling, processing the last hour of her life.

                “I think I want to fuck Kaminari,” she whispers to herself. There’s a sound like someone rolling over in bed, and she knows she’s done for before he even speaks.

                “Is that so?” Sero asks.


 

                The next day, the interns slowly herd the extremely hungover group of heroes into the living room so that Present Mic can explain their mysterious new challenge to them. It’s immediately apparent to him that the group has undergone another overwhelming change.

                Izuku is half-asleep and completely relying on Bakugou for balance. Bakugou reluctantly allows him to keep his head on his shoulder and grabs his arm to straighten him out whenever it looks like Izuku will tip over. Every time Izuku tries to speak, though, Bakugou snaps at him, so it’s clear they’re not fully on good terms again, even if they’re not fully on bad terms, either. Uraraka and Todoroki are in similarly rough shape, and Iida immediately parked them both on the couch when they came down. Both of them are in suspiciously large shirts that no one can remember them ever wearing before. Mina is floating off by herself between Jirou and Kaminari, and she keeps giving Momo funny, upset looks. Finally, there’s Jirou, Kaminari, and Sero. Kaminari and Sero are very obviously sexting each other, even though they aren’t saying anything, and when Kaminari isn’t looking Sero holds up his phone to Jirou and mouths, ‘wanna see?’

                Kirishima and Tetsutetsu are perfect angels, as usual, and Present Mic is so glad to have them in the midst of all this garbage television that he shakes their hands before he starts his explanation.

                “Look alive, kids, we’ve got a show to make!” he says loudly, causing a few of the more hungover heroes to grumble and cover their ears. “Today, we’ve got something special in store for all of you! We’re taking you to a local theatre, where you’ll be the entertainment! You’re going to be playing our extra special version of the newlywed game!”

                “Greeeeaaat,” Kaminari says with an obviously forced smile. The others lack the energy to respond in any way.

                “However, there’s a catch! This time around, your partners have nothing to do with your choices or votes! This week, the couples were all hand-picked by your adoring fans!” Mic says, winking at the camera. Bakugou rolls his eyes.

                “Fucking phenomenal,” he mutters. Izuku makes a whining sound and shushes him. Bakugou makes a face, but shuts up. This shocking display of compliance catches everyone so off guard that an intern has to remind Mic to continue narrating.

                “Er, right, let’s see,” he says. Mic fishes in his pocket and finds a cue card. “Right! So, I’ll read them off in order of popularity!

                “First, by an overwhelming margin, our audience wants to see Todoroki Shouto and Iida Tenya! Congrats, fellas!” Uraraka smiles up at Iida, who’s standing behind them, and gives Todoroki’s hand a squeeze. The response from the two in question is… underwhelming.

                “Our second place couple has been a trending hashtag since the first episode! The audience wants Bakugou Katsuki and Midoriya Izuku!” Izuku shushes Bakugou before he can even think about reacting.

                “In third, to no one’s surprise, we have Kirishima Eijirou and Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu!

                “Our fourth couple is an upset! We have Momo Yaoyorozu and… drumroll please… Ashido Mina!”

                “Huh?!” Mina and Momo say almost in sync. Momo looks at Mina somewhat helplessly, but Mina just shrugs and winks at her.

                “Couple number five is the other half of the upset! We’ve got Jirou Kyouka and Kaminari Denki!” This sets alarms off for just about everybody. Momo looks like she wants to tear her hair out, Sero laughs so hard he falls over, Jirou is so red it can only be assumed that all of the blood in her body has rushed to her face, and Kaminari? Kaminari is completely unaffected. He shoots Jirou a grin.

                “We’re gonna kick ass at this game, dude, gimme five!” he says, holding out his hand for the weakest high five in television history.

                “Aaaand, in last we have the default couple: Sero Hanta and Uraraka Ochaco,” Present Mic finishes.  The filming wraps up, and before anyone can really discuss what just happened- or what’s about to happen- they’re all gathered into a few vans and shuttled off to the theatre for the game.

                For a game like the newlywed game, it’s best if the two partners know each other extremely well. Unfortunately, most of the contestants are either too shell-shocked or too hungover for strategizing to really be possible on the way there. Even Izuku, one of the most competitive people present, falls asleep for most of the drive. Only once does anyone speak on their way to the theatre.

                “Bakugou,” Uraraka says, giving his feet a funny look. “Aren’t those Deku’s shoes?” Bakugou looks down as if he’s confused, then rolls his eyes and slumps back in his seat.

                “Right,” he says. “I only brought one pair to this stupid show and your stupid sleep-walking boyfriend shoved ‘em down the toilet last night. Deku leant me these.” Todoroki doesn’t look ashamed. In fact, he smiles a little bit.

                It’s a quick drive. Once they get out of the car, they’re once again herded to where they need to be. It’s explained to them that they’re going to be playing three teams at a time, and the questions will be coming (pre-approved) from members of the audience. The round one couples (Iida and Todoroki, Kirishima and Tetsutetsu, and Bakugou and Izuku) are led to their places on stage, while the others take their seats in the front row, where they will be sweating about their imminent drama for most of the show.

                “Listen, ya little shit,” Bakugou whispers, leaning away from the microphone in front of him. Izuku barely looks up from the espresso Nanami shoved into his hands. “I don’t lose. You’ve known me too damn long to get any of this shit wrong, so don’t be fucking stupid. Got it?” Izuku nods, just as the first audience member approaches the microphone with a slip of paper in her hand.

                “Um…” she says quietly, as interns rush to adjust the microphone’s height. She looks young, maybe fourteen, and incredibly nervous to be there. Kirishima gives her an encouraging smile and nods at her to keep going. “Um, my question for you guys… is who was your partner’s first kiss?” Mic then steps up and explains that for this question, Iida, Kirishima, and Bakugou will be the ones guessing, while their partners write the correct answer on a whiteboard.

                Uraraka may still be a little mad at Bakugou, but watching him clench his fist and drop his head onto the table, she does feel a little bad for him. Izuku is incredibly private about things like this- even she doesn’t know for sure who his first kiss was. Iida and Kirishima both look reasonably confident, which makes things worse. Present Mic gives them thirty seconds to think of their answers, then calls time. Iida answers first.

                “Yaoyorozu Momo,” he says calmly. Todoroki flips his whiteboard to reveal that he’s written ‘Yaomomo.’ That one’s easy; half of them were there when it happened during spin the bottle at the end of their first year at U.A. Next is Kirishima, who also has a relatively easy time of it.

                “Kendo Itsuka,” Kirishima says. “They dated for most of high school, duh.” Tetsutetsu flips the board to reveal that Kirishima is correct, and they high five. All eyes turn on Bakugou, who looks like he wants to punch something. He looks at Izuku for a second, who is staring quite pointedly at his whiteboard. If anyone were to look at Kirishima right now, they’d see that even he looks a little nervous for them. There’s a pause, then Bakugou huffs and leans into the microphone.

                “Me.”

Chapter Text

Previously on This Bullshit

All eyes turn on Bakugou, who looks like he wants to punch something. He looks at Izuku for a second, who is staring quite pointedly at his whiteboard. If anyone were to look at Kirishima right now, they’d see that even he looks a little nervous for them. There’s a pause, then Bakugou huffs and leans into the microphone.

                “Me.”

 

                Gasps and excited whispers ripple through the crowd, but all excitement is tampered down as they look towards Izuku, who has yet to reveal his whiteboard. In the front row, Uraraka has Sero’s arm in a vice grip.

                “There’s no way,” she says, running through her entire mental inventory of major periods in Bakugou and Izuku’s relationship. There was no time she could remember where it even would’ve made sense, unless Bakugou was counting some stupid time they’d kissed as little kids! Judging by the look on their faces, she sincerely doubted it. “There’s no fucking way.” Sero delicately peels her hand away from his arm.

                “I kinda need that, Uraraka,” he says. She doesn’t seem to hear him. Izuku looks like he’s been backed into a corner.

                “Um, Deku?” Present Mic says uncomfortably, eyeing the increasingly agitated crowd. “Can we see your answer?” Izuku gives a shaky nod, takes a deep breath, and flips the board.

                Bakugou Katsuki

                It’s an instant recipe for chaos. Fangirls shriek. Friends exchange money over bets made years in the past. One teenager shouts, “I fucking knew it!” Countless phones go off as they begin to post this shocking revelation to the internet. Uraraka is on her feet.

                “Deku, you kissed Bakugou and never told me?!” she shouts. Izuku looks at her apologetically and mouths, ‘sorry.’  Mina and Sero each grab an arm and yank her back into her seat, reminding her gently that she’s still on TV.

                “Did you know?” Iida asks Todoroki quietly. Todoroki shakes his head. He looks slightly ill. “I didn’t either.” He offers Todoroki a small smile. “There’ll be no living with the LGBTS after this.” Todoroki doesn’t react.

                “You totally knew,” Tetsutetsu says, a hurt look on his face. “You let me think I was crazy for believing they hooked up!” Kirishima puts his face in his hands.

                “Yeah, I knew, I’m sorry,” he says. “Bakugou didn’t want anyone to know.” Tetsutetsu scowls and rises from his seat.

                “Hey, asshole, you ashamed of my buddy Deku or something?” Tetsutetsu demands. Bakugou shoots him a dangerous look.

                “Not fucking now, dickhead,” he says. Beside him, Izuku has gone a ghostly white. Bakugou claps him on the back none too gently and says under his breath, “It’s cool, nerd. We’re fine. It’s ancient fucking history by now anyways.” Izuku nods numbly, and some (though very little) of the color returns to his face.

                Back in the audience, Kaminari is holding Jirou’s hand and shaking it like they’ve both just won some fabulous prize.

                “Do you see that? Do you freaking see that?!” he asks, smiling that brilliant smile he won’t stop giving her. “He’s freaking comforting him! Fuck getting Texas-Smashed, we need to get Bakugou Texas-loved-until-death-do-us-part…ed. Right?! Like damn, man, put a ring on it if you’re gonna look at him like that!” Jirou feels like she’s just been pulled in a million directions. Not only is her head spinning with the news of Bakugou and Midoriya’s apparent history, but Kaminari is holding her freaking hand and he won’t freaking let go! God, Momo doesn’t see, does she?

                “He’s not looking at him like anything,” Jirou says somewhat numbly. “All he did was smack him on the back and mutter something.”

                Impressively, it only takes the crew about fifteen minutes to calm the near-rioting crowd. However, it does take a bit longer than that to move away from the topic completely. While it’s true that the fans can’t conduct an actual interview (read: interrogation) of the two heroes, there are many who are creative enough to find a way around it.

                “How old was your partner when he had his first kiss?” The answers for Iida, Kirishima, and Bakugou, in order: 19, 15, and 18.

                “Did your partner enjoy his first kiss?” The answers for Todoroki, Tetsutetsu, and Midoriya: it was fine, yes, and obviously I blew his fucking mind! (Midoriya answered with a more cryptic “yes, at the time,” and the team was still awarded their points)

                “Was there tongue?” All three teams refused to answer, and while no one joined Bakugou in yelling at the guy who asked, no one was exactly in a rush to quiet him down, either. It was at this point that the crew decided that the selected fans must ask Nanami their question, and then Nanami would ask the heroes herself. This did away with the incessant prying quite efficiently (although it did make for much less riveting television).

                “Who would your partner consider to be their best friend?” Nanami asks on behalf of a ten or eleven-year-old standing bashfully behind her. Iida, Kirishima, and Bakugou all write down their answers almost immediately, and their partners don’t especially nervous.

                “Midoriya Izuku,” Todoroki says calmly. He’s so confident that he’s correct that he doesn’t even look at Iida’s bored until he hears the crowd’s confused reaction. Then he quickly turns and sees that there’s three names written on the board.

                “Midoriya has always been a wonderful friend to me, and I’m lucky to call him my best friend,” Iida explains, looking almost as bashful as the boy who asked, “but Uraraka and Todoroki have been just as loyal and kind to me over the years, and they’re all equally dear to me. I couldn’t pick one over the others.” The crowd awws, and both Uraraka and Izuku start to tear up.

                “We love you, Iida!” Uraraka shouts.

                “Yeah, Iida, we’re really lucky to have you,” Izuku says, leaning away from the microphone so that only those on stage can hear.

                In a startling display of affection, Todoroki hugs Iida tightly, and doesn’t let go for five entire seconds. The crowd loses its collective shit. Present Mic is quick to cut the excitement short this time.

                “Team 2?” he says, looking urgently over to Kirishima and Tetsutetsu. The two of them each have an arm around the other and are wiping away tears.

                “Being open with your love for your bros like that,” Kirishima says. “That’s really inspirational, man.” Tetsutetsu nods enthusiastically.

                “Team 2! Your answers please,” Present Mic tries again, his voice cracking slightly. He decides in that moment that being a TV host is very different- and far more stressful- than being a radio host. He’s never doing this bullshit again. Kirishima and Tetsutetsu break out of their moment so easily, it’s almost like it never happened.

                “Oh right,” Tetsutetsu says. “Me and Kirishima are tight, but I know the honor of being his best friend goes to Bakugou.” Kirishima flips his board to reveal that Tetsutetsu is right, just as he has been every other time. Izuku promptly gives his own answer- “Kirishima, of course”- and is just as successful.

                “I love you, Bakubro!” Kirishima says, making a heart with his hands. Bakugou just nods in acknowledgment, but that gesture is enough to drive Kirishima to tears again.

                A few other such innocent questions follow, which is all well and good if your goal is to keep the heroes happy and the fans moderately amused. But Ishikawa Nanami has grander goals than that. She didn’t get such a coveted position as being an intern to Hatsume Mei with such lukewarm goals. She got that position because she always wanted to create the best, most marketable product she could, and she had the cutthroat attitude she needed to get it done. She while she was asking the questions and playing the well-behaved intern, she had another intern, Mizuki, fish around the line of fans for a juicy final question for Round 1. With just a minute to spare until the scheduled commercial break, Mizuki delivers that juicy question. He presents her with a young woman in her early twenties, who eagerly whispers her question to Nanami. With just the barest hint of a smirk on her face, Nanami turns to the microphone and asks, “When did your partner lose his virginity?”

                Iida blushes a brilliant scarlet, and Bakugou rolls his eyes, but no major complaint is raised to the question. They’ve been told that this is the final question, and they all just seem eager to get it over with at this point. The only reason it takes them a while to answer is it seems that none of them have had to do a significant amount of math since finishing high school. After about thirty seconds, the teams are ready to present their answers and get the whole thing over with.

                “I would like to start by saying that this is incredibly personal information, and it is quite inappropriate to ask us this,” Iida says. “That being said, I recall that Todoroki had his first long-term relationship at the age of nineteen, so I would guess that he… that it was six years ago.” Todoroki flips his board, confirming that he lost his virginity six years ago. Kirishima answers with significantly less fanfare.

                “I’m going to guess that it was eight years ago,” he says. Tetsutetsu also reveals that his partner is correct. Bakugou then rolls his eyes and leans in toward the microphone.

                “Seven years ago,” he says boredly. With a face almost as red as Iida’s, Izuku turns his board around: seven years ago. With that, Present Mic announces the commercial break, and the crew lines up the next set of teams and prepares to bring them on stage. As they line up, Sero notices that Kaminari is counting on his fingers with a constipated look on his face.

                “You all good man?” Sero asks. Kaminari nods unsurely.

                “Yeah, I just… I have to have my math wrong,” he says. Sero frowns.

                “What do you-?” he cuts himself off midsentence. “Holy shit.”


 

Confessional:

                Sero is wide-eyed, and looks halfway caught between shock, and unmitigated glee.

                “We’re 25,” he says, as if this is incredibly shocking information. “We’re twenty-****ing-five.

Exit Confessional


 

                Uraraka seems to have come to the same realization as her partner. She passes Izuku while she’s ascending the stage stairs and he’s coming down, and she pauses to grip his arm tightly.

                “When we get back to the house, I get the feeling there’s a lot you need to tell me,” she says. He nods nervously and rushes off as quick as he can.

                “Lay off, Angel Face,” Bakugou says as he passes. Uraraka shakes her head.

                “Don’t ‘Angel Face’ me. I can’t even look at you right now,” she says. He rolls his eyes and follows Izuku to their seats.

                The three teams barely have time to get settled in their seats before the next set of fans starts lining up with their questions. From her spot at Table 3, Uraraka can suddenly understand why Izuku was so flustered the whole time- that’s a lot of people to be telling your personal information to.

                It takes all of two questions for the divide between the three couples to become very, very apparent. While Kaminari and Jirou can answer for each other so easily it almost appears to be telepathic, the other two teams do not have such an easy time of things. Mina does a respectable job of answering questions about Momo, but the same can not be said for her partner. Momo grows increasingly flustered with each question she can’t answer- how could it be that she’s known Mina for so long, and spent so much time with her recently, but she can’t answer one stupid fan question about her? Uraraka and Sero, for obvious reasons, have even less of a clue of how to answer, but they both have the good sense to ham it up to make up for that.

                “What is your partner’s favorite flower?” an elderly fan asks.

                “Jirou likes roses specifically three days after they’ve been cut, because they’re still pretty but in a wilty kind of way,” Kaminari says easily. Jirou has written the same thing almost word-for-word on her board.

                “Um, well, I think… posies would suit Mina really nicely? So posies,” Momo says quietly. Mina reveals that her preference, in fact, is for lilies.

                “Sero likes baking flour,” Uraraka says confidently. Sero flips his board. It reads ‘weed…s.’

                At present, the score sits at 60 points for team KamiJirou, 20 for team MomoMina, and -10 for Seroraka. Points were deducted for not taking things seriously enough.

                “Who is your partner’s favorite person?”

                “It switches between me and Sero. Sero flaked the last time they were supposed to play video games together, so right now it’s me,” Jirou says. She is correct, of course.

                “Well, if I’m remembering right, Momo’s really close with her little sister?” Mina says, sounding more like she’s asking a question than answering one. Momo’s eyebrows practically shoot up into her hairline, and she reveals that she had answered ‘my little sister.’

                “How did you remember that?” she asks Mina, leaning away from the microphone. Mina shrugs.

                “You’re my friend, I try to remember when you tell me stuff like that,” she replies.

                “Uraraka’s favorite person is Mr. Aizawa,” Sero says with the conviction of a man who has been told this information on multiple occasions.

                “So close!” Uraraka says. She flips her board. It reads ‘Mrs. Midoriya, but Aizawa-sensei’s a close second.’

                “I thought we were making stuff up?” Sero asks, looking a little confused. “You love Mrs. Midoriya.” Uraraka nods solemnly.

                “Yeah, and unlike some people,” she looks pointedly at Bakugou and Izuku in the front row, “I don’t lie about who I love.” The crowd ‘oooohs’ appropriately. Kaminari raises his hand awkwardly.

                “I would just like to point out that if kissing means you’re in love, then I have to introduce a lot of you guys to my parents when this is over,” he says. The crowd laughs a bit more than he deserves, and Uraraka sticks her tongue out at him. “Hey, I’m just saying. It’s a kiss, not a marriage.”

                “What type of girl does your partner like?” a sixteen-year-old girl asks, blushing violently. Jirou gives Kaminari a stern look before he answers, but he just winks at her, then turns to his microphone with a smirk.

                “Yaomomo,” he says smugly. There’s hooting and wolf-whistling from the audience. Jirou smacks him with her whiteboard, while Momo hides her face in her hands. Mina makes pointed eye contact with Kaminari, then Sero, and then nudges Momo with her elbow.

                “Your turn, hot stuff,” she whispers, which only serves to make Momo’s blush worse. Still, Momo perseveres and attempts her answer.

                “Um… I would have to guess that Mina likes girls who are really confident, with a good sense of humor?” Momo says. Mina turns to her and mouths, ‘sorry.’ “Huh?” With a wink, Mina turns back toward the crowd and flips her board, which reads ‘Yaomomo.’ Also included is a smiley face and a little heart.

                “Hm…” Uraraka says, as if she’s deciding between a few very realistic options. “Well, it’s either Kaminari in drag…” Kaminari blows Sero a kiss, and Sero pretends to catch it, “or it’s also Yaomomo.” Sure enough, Sero has written ‘also Yaomomo.’ He also drew a little picture of Kaminari in drag. He and Uraraka are growing increasingly in sync.

                All in all, it is developing to be the far less dramatic round of the game, but Nanami knows better than to push her luck with the producers. The heroes are keeping the crowd lively and entertained, and that’ll have to do for now. Another fan steps up.

                “What does your partner think is the most attractive thing about you?” he asks. The jovial energy on stage slips slightly, and the three teams all look amongst each other with all the nerves and shyness of kids at their first high school dance getting ready for a slow song.

                “Um, well…” Jirou starts uncomfortably, pushing down thoughts of the night before, “He’s said I have nice hair?” Kaminari frowns at her, then flips his board. He’s written ‘Jirou’s kindness and loyalty.’ She feels her heart in her throat. “What the fuck? That’s so sweet.” The crowd cheers and awws. Mic calls on Mina- they’re starting to run short on time.

                “Uh, she’s seen me in a bra before, and my boobs are pretty nice, so let’s go with that,” she says with a shrug. Momo looks shyer than ever; she spent longer than the others deliberating on her answer. She turns her board to the audience. ‘Mina’s confidence and how much she loves helping other people.’ Cue another set of awws from the aw-dience. Mina smiles almost as brilliantly as Kaminari’s million watt grin. “You really mean it?” she asks. Momo nods, shifting uncomfortably in her seat and twiddling her thumbs. Mina pulls her into a quick hug. “Just for that, you can get up close and personal with my real most attractive features.” Momo shoves her away, scolding her for being so inappropriate in front of an audience. It is not lost on anyone, especially Jirou, that Momo is blushing a whole lot more after the hug.

                Finally, it is left to Sero and Uraraka to wrap up the syrupy sweetness of their opponents.

                “Sero thinks the most attractive thing about me is my nice ass,” Uraraka says simply. Sero nods and flips his board. ‘Her nice ass.’

                “It’s a really good ass,” he says. They high five.

                With that, the game is wrapped up, and all six teams are escorted away from the fans and back into the vans, four of these teams feeling a tad different than when they walked in. Momo spends the entire trip back apologize profusely for not retaining more information about Mina, while Mina spends her whole trip trying to assure Momo that she’s not offended. But it does bother Momo, quite a bit. Mina’s been such a good friend to her, after all. She decides she’s going to put a lot more effort into getting to know Mina from here on out.

                Todoroki has felt quite… off since Iida talked about his feelings for his friends. He’s never been someone’s best friend before, even if he has to share the spot with two other people. To think Iida cares so much, to think he could be counted amongst people as amazing and kind and loving as Uraraka and Midoriya… He feels off.

                Jirou just finds herself struck by how easy things are with Kaminari. How perfectly they seem to understand each other. It shocks her that she’s never noticed before.

                With the various heroes all so caught up in their own reflections after the event, it’s no surprise that no one notices Uraraka pulling Izuku aside as they step off the van- well, almost no one.

                “We’re going to the boom boom room, and we’re going to talk about this,” Uraraka says quietly. “You don’t have to tell me what happened, but if there’s a reason… something I did that made you not trust me enough to tell me, I want to know so I can do better.” Izuku shakes his head rapidly and grips her hands tightly.

                “It’s not that, Uraraka,” he says. “I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t know how, and then too much time passed… but I’m going to tell you now.”

                “Like shit you are,” Bakugou interrupts, coming around the corner of the van and leaning on the side of it. “If you’re gonna tell Round Face everything, I get to tell my own fucking side of the story.” Uraraka scowls at him, but Izuku nods.

                “That’s fair, Kacchan,” he says. “Let’s all go talk.”

Chapter Text

When Uraraka had once imagined herself in a boom boom room with Bakugou and Izuku, it was a lot more fun than this. There was a lot less talking, and a lot more sweating, and they were all just in much higher spirits overall. When they assemble themselves in the nice one with the balcony she likes, it is a much more uncomfortable affair. They’re sitting on a king-sized bed, but other than that- with Bakugou and Izuku sitting somberly in front of her, fumbling over their words- it feels a lot like her parents are telling her they’re getting a divorce, and that it’s not her fault.

                “Uraraka, I’m really sorry if you thought that I was keeping secrets from you,” Izuku rushes to say. “I mean, I was keeping secrets from you, but I was keeping it from everyone! It wasn’t like you specifically did something or I didn’t trust you, because I do! It’s just-“

                “Deku, she gets it,” Bakugou interrupts, rolling his eyes. “Can we get this over with? The brats are gonna want their dinner, and when they notice I’m gone, and you guys are gone, they’re gonna think we’re having that three-way.”

                “Right!” Izuku says, nodding quickly. He isn’t making eye contact with either of them. “Oh gosh, where do we even start?” Bakugou huffs.

                “How about we start with you being a fucking idiot? As usual.”


 

~Funky Fresh Flashback~

                If their fight after the provisional license exam marked the moment that they became proper rivals, then the day they got hired as interns at the same hero company their third year marked the moment that Bakugou and Izuku finally became proper friends. It wasn’t a normal friendship, of course. They didn’t hang out outside of work, and they still competed over everything, but there was a friendliness between them, a fondness behind Bakugou’s taunting, that had never existed. At least, not since they were kids.

                It certainly helped that they made one hell of a team. Any threat, any villain that they encountered, they took out with the ease and professionalism of far more seasoned heroes. They’d always been subjects of talk- their performances in previous internships, their involvement in fights against the League of Villains, and their flashy fights in the Sports Festivals were bound to garner attention- but the media hype around them began to match that of an actual pro’s. Fans, bloggers, and newscasters alike discussed their prospects, excitedly anticipated their real debuts. And with how often their boss had them working patrols and minor cases as a pair, one hot topic of discussion was always whether or not they’d stick as a team when they went pro (not that the two of them ever actually considered it). They were so desperately close to that close friendship Izuku had always wanted to have with Bakugou, and then he went and fucked it up.

~Exit Funky Fresh Flashback~


 

                “That last fight against the League of Villains,” Uraraka interrupts suddenly, realization dawning on her face. She’d almost forgotten entirely how close they’d been for that semester, considering how quickly they rocketed back to square one after that fight. Izuku and Bakugou could hardly look at each other until graduation. “Where you… you…” She hated thinking about it if she didn’t have to.

                “Where he almost got himself fucking killed?” Bakugou asks humorlessly, glaring at Izuku so intensely she half expects him to spontaneously combust. “Yeah. That one.”

                “How many times do you want me to apologize for that?” Izuku asks, exasperated. Bakugou raises an eyebrow.

                “I think one fucking time might be nice,” he says. Izuku frowns, thinking, then steels his expression.

                “Well, I’m not sorry, Kacchan!” he exclaims. “I did what I had to do to keep everyone safe. That’s what a hero does.”

                “Uh, guys? Maybe don’t fight about this now?” Uraraka asks as the scent of nitroglycerine grows more and more intense. If Bakugou’s about to blow up this bed, she really doesn’t want to be in it. They scowl at each other, then turn back to her.


 

~Return to Funky Fresh Flashback~

                They were going to lose at this rate. They were going to lose and Izuku knew it. Even with half the league contained, Shigaraki had gained too much control over his power. No one could even get close to him, and last he’d heard Eraserhead was in rough shape after being forced to take Dabi head on. There was only one thing he could think of that might give them a chance at holding him off- to go above and beyond, the way All Might had in Kamino almost two years before. Even that wasn’t a sure bet, but people were dying.

                “Deku?” Bakugou said breathlessly. They’d been fighting for hours, and even Bakugou was starting to wear down. Izuku stared at him, just taking him in. One good look at the person who had influenced him more than anyone else, who had inspired him and pushed him until he came to this point. Maybe the last look at him he’d ever get. “Oi, Deku, why the fuck are you looking at me like that? We’ve got people to save.” Izuku took a shaky breath.

                “Focus on evacuation. Get everyone as far from here as you can, tell the other heroes to do the same,” he said. Bakugou gave him a weary look.

                “What the fuck are you thinking?” he asked. Despite knowing how much Bakugou hated being hugged, Izuku threw his arms around him and squeezed him tightly.

                “You better fucking do it, all right?” he said softly before letting him go. He gave an awkward wave. He was surprised he wasn’t crying. “Goodbye Kacchan.” And just like that, he was gone.

                The next time Bakugou saw him, he was being carried off into an ambulance, and the EMTs looked grim.

                Izuku lived, of course. He lived, and he recovered, and when he came home from the hospital, his class threw the biggest party U.A. had ever seen. Hero course, the support course, the business course, general studies- everyone in their third year crammed into the 3-A dorms to welcome him home, and to get totally blasted. The teachers definitely knew about it, but nobody tried to break this one up. Even though Izuku was in no condition to have more than a couple of drinks, it was probably the happiest he’d been in years. The League of Villains was done, his friends were all here, and God, he’d freaking survived! He didn’t see Bakugou anywhere, but parties like this weren’t really his scene anyways. He’d see him tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and he could properly apologize for scaring the shit out of him, as he was sure he’d done.

                Izuku just wanted to step out on the roof for some fresh air and a little bit of alone time. Instead he found Bakugou, and he was in a mood. He half wanted to slip back in the door before Bakugou noticed him- he was facing away, out toward the school. But Bakugou was better than to miss a whole person walking out onto the roof.

                “You livin’ it up with those assholes?” Bakugou grumbled, glancing over his shoulder. Izuku let the door fall shut behind him.

                “It’s fun,” Izuku said, a little uncomfortably. It’d been a long time since Bakugou had been genuinely mad at him, but he didn’t forget the feeling. He could tell Bakugou was pissed, even if he wasn’t necessarily acting like it. “You should come in and hang out for a while.” Bakugou snorted.

                “I’ll fuckin’ pass,” he said. Izuku rolled his eyes and grabbed his shoulder.

                “C’mon, it’ll be fun,” he said. “And you never visited me in the hospital, so you owe me one.” He tried not to let the hurt come through in his voice, but he must have failed, because Bakugou tensed up. He turned his head to face him more, a strange look on his face. “Please?” Izuku tried again. Bakugou frowned.

                “Have you been fuckin’ drinking? With all the meds and shit you’ve been on?” he said, raising his voice. Izuku blinked and pulled away slightly.

                “I just had-“

                “Of course you have,” Bakugou said, jerking away from him. “You’ve fucking shown you don’t give a shit about taking care of yourself.” It hit Izuku like a punch might’ve.

                “Is that what this is about?” he asked softly. “That’s why you didn’t come see me in the hospital, why you’ve been avoiding me since I got back? Because I got myself hurt?” Bakugou raised an eyebrow.

                “Hurt? Deku you almost fuckin’ died!” Bakugou exclaimed. “You almost died doing the same moronic bullshit you’ve been pulling since we were fourteen years old! You ran in there, no plan, no fucking backup, put it all on yourself to take down a guy who could decay shit without even fucking touching it. Fucking Christ, did you just want to be a martyr?” Izuku took a step forward.

                “That’s not fair, Kacchan,” he said hotly. “It was a one-in-a-million shot, but it was all we had! I couldn’t risk bringing anyone in there and getting themselves killed, it was better for everyone else to evacuate as many civilians as they could. I took him on because I had to Kacchan, because that’s what-“ Izuku stopped himself abruptly. He could feel the chill of the night air for the first time. Bakugou almost smiled a little, but it wasn’t a kind smile.

                “No, go ahead, finish that sentence,” he said. Izuku remained silent. “That’s what All Might would do. That’s what you were going to say, isn’t it?” Izuku didn’t answer. “Well look how phenomenal that worked out for him.”

                “Kacchan, don’t.”

                “He’s got five times the combat experience you’ve got, and he barely got out with his life. He’s living on fucking borrowed time as it is. Is that what you want?” Bakugou demanded. “Some fucking hero you’ll make when your whole body craps out on you, if you’re even lucky to survive fighting the way you do.”

                “You know what? Screw you, Kacchan!” Izuku yelled, turning back toward the door.

                “Yeah, go fuck off to all your adoring fans,” Bakugou said. Izuku wheeled on him.

                “At least they care!” Izuku shouted. “I was in the hospital, and they came to see me, they cared enough to welcome me back and make sure I’m okay! But you weren’t there! You know, I thought we were finally friends again, but clearly you only keep me around so you can yell at me from your stupid high horse, Bakugou.” Bakugou froze, looking halfway between pissed and torn open.

                “What did you just say?” he asked so quietly it was almost a whisper. Izuku shook his head.

                “Forget it,” he said. “It’s my mistake for thinking you actually cared about me for once.” He planned to turn around and go back to the party, go back to the people that didn’t make him feel so stupid, but that isn’t what happened. Bakugou was on him in a second, kissing him in a way that was rough and clumsy and so completely Bakugou that it made his head spin.

“Don’t ever,” Bakugou panted when they came up for air, “say that I don’t fucking care.” And because of who they were, and how they were, Izuku only saw one option. He kissed back harder.

~Exit Funky Fresh Flashback~


 

                By the time they finish explaining- both of them interrupting each other and bickering about the minutia the whole way through- both men are red in the face and avoiding looking at each other or Uraraka like the shame-faced school boys they’re both acting like. Uraraka lets out a low whistle.

                “You guys are so fucking extra,” she says. Both snap their attention back to her, looking slightly insulted. “Seriously, that was the most dramatic first kiss I’ve ever heard of. Couldn’t you guys just make out in the laundry room like everyone else did?”

                “Fuck off, Round Face,” Bakugou says.

                “It’s not that- wait, people used to make out in the laundry room?” Izuku asks, looking between her and Bakugou for answers. Uraraka puts a hand on his knee.

                “Oh honey,” she says sympathetically. “Did you just think that all the couples just really liked doing chores together?” Izuku has a look on his face like he’s slowly piecing together a puzzle he never realized he hadn’t finished.

                “Oh my God, was everyone really that horny in high school?” he whispers.

                “You were, too, Deku,” she says matter-of-factly. “You just left all your sexual tension unresolved.” She glares at them. “Or, apparently you didn’t. There’s one other thing I need answered.” Bakugou closes his eyes and exhales deeply. Izuku pales. “You lost your virginity when you were 18. You had your first kiss when you were 18. Boys, I think you can guess what I’m asking.”

                “Um, well… you see, Uraraka, I-“

                “We fucked on the roof,” Bakugou says. “We fucked on the roof twice.”

                “Twice?!” Uraraka squeals. “How long were you up there? How did no one notice you were gone?” Bakugou rolls his eyes.

                “You were all plastered, that’s how,” he says. “Besides, someone did notice. That’s the only reason Shitty Hair already knew about all this.”


 

                Downstairs, all the key players who first didn’t notice Izuku leaving that fateful party, and then didn’t notice Izuku, Uraraka, and Bakugou sneaking up to the boom boom rooms, finally start to practice their observational skills.

                “Hey guys?” Mina asks. The entire group looks up hopefully. They’ve all been sitting together in awkward silence since they returned, most of them puzzling over their increasingly complicated romantic lives. “Has anyone seen Bakugou, Uraraka, or Midoriya since we got back?” They all frown and try to remember.

                “Come to think of it,” Sero says slowly, “I saw Uraraka grab Midoriya when we were getting out of the vans, and then Bakugou followed them.” Momo nods.

                “I saw that, too,” she says. “I think… I think I saw them all go upstairs?” There’s a beat of silence, and then Sero, Kaminari, Tetsutetsu, and Mina all bolt upright in perfect sync.

                “You don’t think-“ Kaminari says, a wild grin spreading across his face.

                “The threeway?” Sero says, raising an eyebrow. Mina looks at all of them, smirking dangerously.

                “One way to find out,” she says, just as she takes off toward the stairs. The rest of the group follows in hot pursuit.

                “That is none of our-“ Iida begins, before realizing that they’re never going to listen to him when there’s potential gossip this juicy. “Oh, hell.” He follows, too.

                When Iida gets upstairs, he finds the other eight contestants all crowded around the door to one of the boom boom rooms, silently fighting for a coveted spot where they could put their ear to the door. Mina was flush against the door, and it was clear no one was going to budge her.

                “What’re they saying?” Kaminari whispers. She holds a finger to her lips to tell him to hush.

                “You fucked on the roof twice,” she hears Uraraka’s muffled voice through the door. “Like, two in a row, or-“

                “In a row,” Izuku says. He almost sounds apologetic. “We both… we, uh…”

                “Couldn’t decide who should pitch and who should catch, so we did both,” Bakugou says casually.

                “But how?” Uraraka asks. “I mean, neither of you could’ve been… prepared.”

                “Well, Kacchan said he knew where we could get stuff,” Izuku says slowly. “And it was so crowded-“

                “And you were all gone-“

                “No one really noticed us coming or going with the… with the, uh, stuff.”

                “What’re they sayiiiiing,” Kaminari whines, pouting at Mina. She has a shell-shocked look on her face, but it slowly twists into anger.

                “Those motherfuckers.” She shoves the door open and bursts into the room, sidestepping the other heroes as they go toppling onto the floor. The three culprits stare at her wide-eyed. Bakugou is very red in the face for someone who was speaking so nonchalantly. Mina points at him and glares. “You’re the one who stole my favorite lube senior year!”

                “What?!” Kaminari squawks on behalf of all the equally shocked would-be eavesdroppers.

                “How long were you assholes listening?!” Bakugou demands.

                “Long enough!” Mina says, putting her hands on her hips. “That was nice lube! You owe me $20, plus shipping and handling, plus interest!” Bakugou jumps off the bed, stomps up to her, and gets right in her face.

                “How much do you know?!” he yells. She shoves him away.

                “I know you fucked on the roof of the dorms!” she says. She then turns to the other heroes, who are slowly rising up off the floor. “Twice.”

                “Twice?!” At least three of them cry.

                “Midoriya, that is extremely inappropriate!” Iida scolds. “I expected better of you!”

                “So you kissed, and you fucked at least two times,” Jirou says. “Jesus, how long were you guys even a thing?” They both have the decency to look embarrassed.

                “One night,” Bakugou mumbles, while Izuku hides his face in his hands.

                “You went from first kiss to fucking in one night?!” Jirou exclaims.

                “Fucking twice!” Kaminari points out.

                “Yes, thank you! To fucking twice in one night?” she corrects.

                “How did none of us know?” Momo asks. “I mean, everyone always went on alert when you were both missing at the same time because we assumed you were fighting again.”

                “It’s ‘cuz they did it at Deku’s welcome home party senior year,” Uraraka says.

                “Oh thanks, Angel Face, we didn’t tell you that in private or anything,” Bakugou says sardonically.

                “What, like you weren’t going to tell them now that they already know?” she asks. Bakugou flips her off.

                “If it was good enough that you fucked twice… why was it just a one-night thing?” Kaminari asks. Bakugou, Midoriya, Uraraka, and Kirishima all look at him in a way that makes him fear for his life. He puts his hands in front of himself for protection. “What? We were all thinking it!” And slowly, all eyes land on Bakugou and Izuku, pleading for the answer. Izuku’s face twists into an uncharacteristic scowl, and he nods at Bakugou.

                “Ask him,” Izuku says. There’s a long pause, as each of them turns through the implications of that statement in their minds. They all love Bakugou, but they also knew him in high school.

                “Fuck,” Mina says, before turning and starting to herd them all out. “All right kids, I think we need to leave Mom and Dad to have a little conversation. Come on, out we go, that’s good!” The second everyone’s out the door, she slams the door shut, leaving them to their seven-year-old spat. They’re silent for almost a full minute. Bakugou can hear the bed springs squeaking as Izuku shifts his weight.

                “Well, Kacchan?” Izuku says. “Are we ever gonna talk about this?” Bakugou sighs, then falls back to sit on the bed.

                “Fuck it, as long as we’re being honest,” he says, putting his hands over his eyes. “You starting this, or me?”

                “You know how I feel,” Izuku says gently. “I loved you, Kacchan. And you broke my heart, and you wouldn’t even tell me why. You wouldn’t talk to me at all. And- and I had nobody to turn to! No one knew, and I was embarrassed I let myself be used like that, and then it came out that Dabi was Todoroki’s brother and I had to suck it up and be a good friend because he didn’t deserve to be ditched just because you ditched me. And it fucking sucked.” Bakugou can tell by the sound of Izuku’s voice that he’s crying, but he can’t bring himself to take his hands off of his eyes. “It still sucks.”

                “I know,” Bakugou says, his voice somewhat hoarse.

                “You know?” Izuku repeats incredulously. “That’s all you have to say? You know?”

                “I know!”

                “Kacchan, when I decided to go into that battle, all I wanted to do was stand there and stare at you and memorize your face. And- and I felt so guilty for what I was doing to you. That was the only thing I could think of the whole time, that I had to live and see you again and not make you go through the guilt of losing me.”

                “The guilt?” Bakugou repeats, finally looking up at him. “Fuck guilt. If you’d died in that battle, I’d have rushed in there like a dumbass and gotten myself killed, too. I didn’t feel responsible for you, Deku, I lo-“ He stops short, his expression going wide-eyed and almost scared.

                “Finish that sentence, Kacchan,” Izuku says, gently, almost hopefully. Bakugou squeezes his eyes shut.

                “I loved you, too. Happy? I loved you,” he says. “Drove me fucking nuts, how much I loved you.”

                “Then why push me away, Kacchan?” Izuku asks. Bakugou snorts.

                “You remember what I was like in high school?” he says. “I wasn’t ready to love anybody. Didn’t even want to. Loving you was an accident, after all those years of dodging people with crushes, all just so I could focus on becoming the best. Just to fall for the actual fucking best. I couldn’t do it, okay?”

                “But I don’t understand,” Izuku says. “Why not? You loved me, I loved you, why wasn’t that enough?”

                “Because I was fucking scared, okay?” Bakugou says, putting his head in his hands. “Scared of fucking everything. Scared of turning back into the asshole I was when we were younger. Scared that if I dated you, I’d never make it on my own merits. I’d just be your boyfriend, Deku’s boyfriend, ‘savior of the fucking world’s’ fucking arm candy. Don’t look at me like that, some people already treated us like Deku and Deku’s explosive crime-solving buddy. And then you… you were you. You’d almost died so many times. I couldn’t take having you and then losing you. So I figured the best way out was just to brush you off.” Izuku is quiet for a long time, and then he envelops Bakugou in a hug.

                “That’s really fucking shitty, Kacchan,” he says.

                “I know.”

                “You know?”

                “I’m sorry.” They just sit there hugging for a long time- longer than Bakugou will ever admit to. Finally, Izuku is the one to pull away. His eyes are red and puffy from crying.

                “So what now?” Izuku asks

                “Hah?”

                “I mean…” Izuku says, looking down and blushing a little. “Well, how do you feel now?” Bakugou leans back.

                “I- that’s- how do you feel?” he deflects. Izuku laughs a little.

                “Kacchan, my boyfriend of two years dumped me because we worked together one time and I couldn’t stop having sex dreams about you afterwards,” he says.

                “He what? You what?” Bakugou asks, flustered. “Was I-“ he stops short, and Izuku laughs again.

                “You were fantastic,” Izuku says. “Kinda kinky.” Bakugou’s flustered expression is replaced with a confident smirk, not unlike the expression he usually wears into a fight. He’s really lucky that Izuku’s into that. “So? How do you feel Kacchan?” Bakugou doesn’t think ‘fucking horny’ will quite do the trick. Instead, he grabs the collar of Izuku’s shirt, pulls him in, presses their foreheads together, and smirks at him.

                “Feel like Daddy needs to teach you a lesson for putting me on blast in front of everyone like that.”

                And so, someone finally, finally, finally, christens one of the boom boom rooms. 

Chapter Text

                The producers and directors aren’t… well, thrilled to be left out of the dramatic conclusion to the Bakugou/Midoriya saga, but they’re hardly the types to cry over spilt milk. Fans at home can still delight over seeing the two of them cozied up to each other, Midoriya in Bakugou’s oversized shirts more often than not. There are still multiple couples remaining to focus in on, most of them on the verge of imploding, and the director would be damned if they miss any of it. But Mike also knows that if they want to do this right, it’s going to take precision. And they certainly can’t let the heroes know how closely their specific impending meltdowns are being tracked. So he calls together a team of the best and brightest.

                “I take it you both know why I’ve called this meeting,” Mike says solemnly to Present Mic and Nanami when they meet him in the laundry room.

                “Uh, yeaaaah,” Mic says. “Sorry, but I have no clue why you called us down to laundry room. Don’t the kids, like… need this?” Mike waves it off.

                “The only one with her life together is Momo, and she gets her clothes dry cleaned,” he says. “Now, look you two. We really missed the boat on the big BakuDeku blowout.”

                “The what now?” Present Mic asks.

                “The big climactic event between Bakugou Katsuki and Midoriya Izuku,” Nanami explains coolly. Present Mic nods in understanding.

                “That could’ve been the television event of the year, and we missed most of it. Instead, we have footage of an empty house, and a bunch of heroes eavesdropping like little kids. We can’t drop the ball like that again,” Mike says. He directs their attention to the whiteboard that Team LGBTS has abandoned down there ever since their triumph. He picks up a hanger and uses it to point to each name in a list he’s written on it. “As you know, we now have two stable couples. KiriTetsu, and BakuDeku.”

                “Shouldn’t Iida and Todoroki be on there?” Present Mic asks. Nanami rolls her eyes.

                “Amateur,” she mutters under her breath. Mike shakes his head, and points to a second list.

                “Our unstable couples,” he continues. “MomoJirou, and Iidoroki. We’ve all been following events with Momo and Jirou. Jirou seems like she’ll jump ship for Kaminari any day now, and Momo isn’t going to take it well.”

                “Actually, sir, the other interns have been speculating that she may jump ship for Mina,” Nanami says. “The two have been growing increasingly close in the past few weeks, and ever since the Newlywed game they’ve been inseparable.” Mike nods.

                “Which is why their situation has garnered a lot of attention from the audience. Whatever happens with them, we cannot miss it like we missed what happened between Bakugou and Midoriya. If anything, we might want to get things started ourselves,” Mike says.

                “Wait, but I still don’t get why Iida and Todoroki are an unstable couple,” Present Mic says.

                “Todoroki,” Mike says. “Todoroki is why they’re an unstable couple.” Present Mic scratches his head.

                “Yeah, I’m still not catching your drift. What’s Todoroki’s deal?” he asks.

                “Isn’t it obvious?” Nanami asks. “Todoroki’s in love with Midoriya, and everyone in the house knows it by now.” Present Mic’s forehead creases as he tries to connect the dots. All the time that he’s spent with all these kids, shouldn’t he have noticed by now if Todoroki was that in love with Midoriya? “Think about it. Midoriya is one of Todoroki’s best friends, but they haven’t hung out a single time since Midoriya and Bakugou got together. Todoroki has been making a point of avoiding him. We also need to consider that Midoriya and Bakugou moved their things permanently into one of the boom boom rooms after they got together, and yet Todoroki hasn’t invited Iida into his room a single time, even though they’d be guaranteed privacy.”

                “Maybe he likes to take things slow?” Present Mic offers, but he knows it’s a token effort. The more she says, the more he realizes she’s right. Todoroki has been acting weird about Midoriya ever since the show started, maybe even before.

                “And then we add Uraraka into the situation,” Mike says, writing her name on the board next to Iidoroki and circling it.

                “Uraraka? What about her?” Present Mic says. Just when he started to feel like he’d caught up, they lose him again.

                “It’s subtle, and not everyone agrees that it’s there, but there’s been growing interest in the perceived chemistry between Uraraka and Iida,” Nanami says.

                “They spend an awful lot of time alone in their room together,” Mike says in a sing-songy voice.

                “The two of them are particularly close,” Nanami agrees. “And while Iida hasn’t shown much interest in physical affection, even with Todoroki, he and Uraraka spend almost as much screen time in physical contact as Momo and Jirou. Then we also need to factor in the relationship between Uraraka and Todoroki.”

                “Wait, now you’ve lost me,” Mike says. “Isn’t this just between her and Iida?” Nanami shakes her head.

                “As you know, Mike, I do have recording devices in certain unauthorized areas of the house. Nowhere inappropriate, of course, and none of it is used in the show, but it is important for gathering data. I’ve found that alone time between Uraraka and Todoroki has increased by 26% since the second week, more than any other supposedly “platonic” couple besides Momo and Mina. Additionally, we know that the two of them kissed during their spin the bottle game a few nights ago, and our footage of the event shows a surprising amount of enthusiasm from both parties. Iida, for the record, also didn’t seem too opposed to it. If you, ‘catch my drift,’” she concludes, nodding at Present Mic.

                “What exactly are you implying, Nanami?” Mike asks, setting down his expo marker and hanger. Nanami sighs deeply, looking quite exasperated that she’s being forced to say this out loud.

                “Well… it’s no secret that Uraraka has an interest in three-ways,” she says, raising her eyebrows meaningfully. Present Mic pales. Not his students, not his students, he does NOT want to hear this about his students! Mike looks stunned, and then slowly the expression morphs into glee.

                “Nanami, in your opinion, which fallout do you think will have more payoff, in terms of audience excitement?” he asks. “The MomoJirou love square, or the potential, uh, Todoiidaraka implosion?”

                “Well,” she says, pursing her lips and pausing to think. “Knowing the players involved, the MomoJirou situation, at worst, will have a bittersweet ending. At best, it could be rather heartwarming. Either way, it would make a lukewarm conclusion for the show. If we’re considering directorial interference…” she says delicately, “then I would consider figuring out how to make Todoroki blow up.”

                “You’re evil,” Present Mic says, his voice full of awe. Nanami shrugs. Mike high-fives her.

                “And that’s why you’re my head intern!” he exclaims. “All right, so this is where you come in Mic. You know the kids best. How do we get the ball rolling?” Present Mic looks between Mike and Nanami nervously. The two of them are varying degrees of ruthless- they’re going to get a good show, at whatever cost necessary. He pauses to think about his former students. After years of pining after Aizawa, he can relate to how Todoroki must be feeling. And to have to sort it out on national television must be unimaginably miserable. But at the same time, he knows his students. Todoroki won’t change the status quo if it’s easier to leave things as they are, even if he is unhappy. Like it or not, Present Mic can’t help but think that maybe forcing his hand would be the most merciful thing to do.

                “For the Momo and Jirou thing,” he says slowly, closing his eyes to ignore the look of excitement on his colleagues’ faces, “the best thing to do with those four is just get ‘em alone. They’re not shy of conflict, they’ll figure things out on their own if they’re stuck together. As for Iida and Todoroki… you got one thing wrong, Nanami.” He opens his eyes and looks at her solemnly. “If you want a blowout, you gotta go for Iida.”


 

                “I’m sorry, what?” Mina asks incredulously when Kaminari approaches her, Momo, and Jirou in the kitchen. The three of them had just been enjoying one of the most uncomfortable lunches anyone’s ever had when Kaminari came to inform them that they had to leave for a double date in half an hour. Momo looks like she might cry, or punch something. She looks to Mina for comfort, but Mina is just staring at Kami in confusion. Jirou just looks like a deer caught in the headlights.

                “Mic just told me,” Kami says, rubbing the back of his neck uncomfortably. “The four of us are scheduled for a date. They’re driving us out to a hiking trail and dumping us out there. No offense, you guys, but I can’t imagine a weirder group to go hiking with.”

                “Ditto,” Jirou says, a little breathlessly, as she tries to hide the fact that she is most definitely panicking. It’s been four days since she realized she was developing feelings for Kaminari, and she had yet to do jack shit about it. So there was Kaminari, who she might be halfway in love with, and Momo, who she feels like she’s stringing along, and Mina, who… well, honestly, Jirou’s not sure of Mina’s whole place in their drama. Momo has been spending an awful lot of time with Mina recently, attempting to get to know her better. Even as recently as a week ago, that probably would’ve made Jirou jealous. She’s disrupted from her thoughts by someone snapping in her face.

                “The other three left to get ready, like, a full minute ago,” Sero says, leaning in front of her and smirking. “If you hurry, you might get to see Kami topless.” She shoves his face away and stomps off, muttering under her breath about having traitorous assholes for friends.


Confessional:

                “I’m sorry, did you just ask me if I’m jealous?” Sero asks incredulously, barely containing laughter at the interviewer’s question.

Well, you and Uraraka are the only ones left who haven’t seemed to form a romantic connection so far,” the interviewer persists.

“Do you see what a shitshow all my buddies have been? I’m happy just to watch and not participate. I don’t need that kind of stress. As far as I’m concerned, this is a paid vacation with live entertainment, and I’m more than okay with that.”

Exit Confessional


 

                Momo had gone to change in one of the vacant boom boom rooms, so Jirou did, in fact, have the distinct privilege of seeing Kaminari shirtless. The word ‘privilege,’ here, is a loosely used term, given the fact that Kaminari will take his shirt off for the viewing pleasure of anyone he thinks might enjoy it. So Jirou has certainly seen it before, and is certainly not flustered at all. That is certainly not the reason she’s red in the face still when they go to meet Momo and Mina at the door.

                It’s hot in the house. Todoroki’s in a mood. It happens.

                “We ready to go ladies?” Kaminari asks brightly, completely oblivious to his friend’s turmoil. For once, Momo seems oblivious to Jirou as well. She nods, and leads the way out to the door to the car that’s waiting to drive them to their hike. The camera guys are waiting there to attach microphones and miniature cameras to their clothes, but from that point forward they’re left more or less alone, and Jirou’s trials begin.

                The back of the car is cramped, meant for three people rather than four, and she’s sandwiched between Kaminari and Momo. This might not have been so bad for four women, but despite being smaller than many of their colleagues, Kaminari is still just larger than they are, particularly in the shoulders. In an attempt to be more comfortable, he stretches an arm across the back of the seat, forcing Jirou to snuggle in more to his chest than she would’ve preferred given her present crisis. God, he smells good. Why does he smell good? When did he stop dousing himself in cheap cologne like he always did in high school? And has he always loomed over her like this? She swears he isn’t tall, but right now the top of her head just meets his chin.

                “You can relax, Jirou,” he says. She can feel his voice rumbling in his chest, and it makes her heart quicken even more. “You’re not gonna squish me.” She nods, but she doesn’t get any less tense. She spares a nervous glance at Momo, who had always acted so strangely around Kaminari the past few weeks, but Momo is, for once, distracted. She and Mina had discovered this morning that they share the same favorite movie series, and they’ve been discussing it at length ever since. Jirou feels just the slightest tug on her heart watching Momo looking at Mina the way that she is, completely enthralled in everything the other woman has to say, but it’s hardly enough to pull her attention away from Kaminari for very long.

                The situation is just… ridiculous! It’s all she’s been able to think ever since that night she put his sloppy drunk ass to bed. They’ve been best friends for nearly eleven years. Eleven years! That’s almost half her life! What right does he have to come in and screw that all up by being hot and sweet and all good-smelling like this!

                “Jirou,” he says quietly, prodding her in the side. “You doze off? We’re here.” She realizes suddenly that the car has, in fact, stopped, and Momo and Mina are already outside, and the only thing keeping them there is that Jirou is still virtually on top of Kaminari. She scrambles out the open door. Once outside, she aggressively avoids eye contact with all three of her friends. God, what’s wrong with me?! she feels like screaming.

                The hike begins, and it’s clear early on that none of them could really be described as outdoorsmen. Jirou- as out of it as she is- keeps tripping over her own two feet. Mina whines about her feet hurting; she didn’t have the foresight to bring comfortable sneakers when she was packing for the show, and none of the other women are the same shoe size as her. Kaminari is fascinated by everything, in his oblivious way. He tries to pick a few plants to bring back to the house, and Momo has to yank him away by the collar.

                “That’s poison ivy, you’ll get a rash!” she exclaims. He pouts.

                “But it looks nice,” he says. Jirou smacks him upside the head.

                “Too bad, dumbass!” she scolds.

                “But I’m booooooored,” Kaminari whines. “All there is around here is dirt and hills. I hate hills. You know, I tried to train with Bakugou and Kirishima once, and you know what they wanted to do? They wanted to do a hill run. Like, this kind of hill, five miles of it, with freaking ankle weights! What’s wrong with them?”

                “Well, their quirks do depend more on strength and agility than yours does,” Mina points out. “I bet you could’ve benefited anyways, though. You’re not the best overall fighter, you rely on your quirk too much.”

                “Because it’s badass, thank you very much,” Kaminari says, sticking his tongue out at her. “Even Bakugou says so.”

                “When he’s drunk,” Jirou says, laughing.

                “Drunk words are sober thoughts,” Kaminari says with a shrug. Jirou pales. You’re so nice, Jirou. Momo’s lucky.

                “Let’s play a game,” Mina says suddenly. “Like, I spy or something.” Kaminari and Momo agree enthusiastically, and Jirou tries to match their energy.

                “Me first! Me first!” Kaminari says, squinting to peer further down the trail. “I spy with my little eye… something phallic.” Mina whistles.

                “Big word for you, pretty boy,” she teases. He hip checks her.

                “It’s that funky looking tree,” Jirou says, nodding her head at an oddly-shaped tree a few feet down the trail that’s lost most of its branches.

                “You got that fast,” Kaminari says. “You been looking at a lot of dicks recently Jirou?” She rolls her eyes.

                “I don’t know, have you?” she asks pointedly. Kaminari sighs dramatically.

                “Significantly fewer dicks than usual recently, thanks for asking,” he says. “I’ve already seen half the dicks in the house, and I think Bakugou would kill me if I tried to get my hands on Midoriya’s.”

                “What about Iida’s or Todoroki’s?” Mina asks casually, as if this is the most innocent question in the world. Momo’s blush deepens with every comment.

                “Seeing Iida naked would be like seeing my dad naked,” Kaminari says with a grimace. “And Todoroki’s gorgeous, but I don’t think even I could get in his pants.”

                “Don’t say that,” Mina says, putting a hand on his shoulder to comfort him. “You’re the sluttiest of us all. You’ve bagged more of our friends than I have. If you can sleep with Bakugou, you can get anybody.”

                “You’ve slept with Bakugou?!” Jirou exclaims. How did he never tell her that?!

                “Once, right after we graduated. Not the best, but he could do some wild shit with his-“ Mina slaps a hand over his mouth.

                “If you say whatever you’re about to say on television, you know they’ll never find your body,” she says.

                “Wait, if he and Midoriya hooked up towards the end of our third year…” Jirou breaks off into a laugh. “Dude, you were totally a rebound!” Kaminari doesn’t seem wounded. In fact, he straightens up, squares his shoulders, and beams.

                “Seriously? You think Bakugou picked me over Kiri as a rebound?” he asks brightly. “I’m flattered. Especially since Midoriya was, like, godly ripped back then. It’s really an honor that Bakugou thought he could use me to get over that.”

                “You were at peak himbo back then,” Mina says sagely. “A good himbo can get you through anything. Plus, by then it wasn’t a secret that you’re great in the sack.” She smacks him on the ass, snickering when he jumps. For a split second, Jirou and Momo make eye contact, inexplicable panic in both their eyes. They look away quickly, flushing. They’d both forgotten a very important element to the awkwardness of this grouping: Mina and Kami have slept together. A lot. “How was the dick, by the way? I’ve never been able to get with Bakugou.” She gives Jirou and Momo a sorrowful look. “The only member of our squad I’ve never been able to get. It honestly feels like a personal failing.” Jirou manages to force a laugh. The same cannot be said for Momo.

                “Like, form or function?” Kaminari asks. “Cuz I honestly thought he was a virgin. Quick learner, but clumsy, you know? The dick itself was great, though. Like, ideal length and girth.”

                “Cock!” Jirou squeaks, snapping Mina and Kaminari out of their revelry. They look at her in surprise. “You can’t just talk about the length and girth of Bakugou’s dick on TV! Even if it is ideal, that’s embarrassing as hell!”

                “I’ve never seen one!” Momo exclaims suddenly, turning cherry red and slapping a hand over her mouth as soon as she’s said it. Now she’s the focus of their shocked expressions. “A… you know… I’ve never seen one in person.”

                “Never?” Kaminari asks softly, almost reverently. “But you’ve dated guys, haven’t you?” Momo nods.

                “Yes, just never very seriously,” she says, regaining some composure. “And I wouldn’t fool around with a man unless it was serious. Too much risk, at this point in my career. Can’t spare the time for maternity leave.” This is met with thoughtful silence. In truth, Mina and Kaminari had never given the risk of pregnancy all that much thought, and while Jirou had slept with a man before, her general preference typically leaned toward women.

                “Makes sense,” Kaminari says eventually. “Well, if you’re ever curious, I wouldn’t suggest Bakugou. Not just cuz he’s with Midoriya. I just can’t imagine he’s a good first dick. Poor Midoriya. Kiri would probably be more your speed.”

                “Kami, you’re saying this like she could just take them out for a test drive if she ever feels like screwing a guy,” Jirou says. “I know you’re that much of a slut, but have a little respect.”

                “I’m not that much of a slut!” he says, pouting. “I just like to have fun.” Jirou and Kami fall into playful bickering about whether or not his ‘rent-a-dick’ sales pitch to Momo was appropriate, and without realizing it they end up walking on their own several feet ahead of Momo and Mina.

                “Can I tell you something?” Mina asks, lowering her voice. Momo frowns in confusion, but nods.

                “Of course, you can tell me anything,” Momo says seriously. Mina glances ahead to make sure they’re too far to hear, then continues speaking.

                “I think this is a set-up to get the four of us to have a four-way,” she says. She pauses to let the thought settle- and to be sure, it needs time to settle. Momo gapes, then smacks her on the arm.

                “Mina, be serious!” she exclaims, almost laughing. “I thought you had something important to say!”

                “I am serious!” Mina says with a grin. “You think Kami and Jirou are hot, I think you’re all hot, Kami thinks we’re hot, Jirou thinks we’re hot. I’ve connected the dots.”

                “You have not!”

                “Who do you think’ll bring it up? Not you or Jirou, obviously,” Mina muses. “I don’t think it’d be appropriate for me to do it. I’m not part of the love triangle, you know?” Oh, the irony. “So I guess it’s up to Kami.”

                “Shut up,” Momo says, rolling her eyes.

                “Seriously, though, Momo,” Mina says. “Can I say yes if he asks? I’ve never slept with your or Jirou before, I think it’d be a great bonding experience. But I know how you feel about Jirou, and I’d never want to screw things up for you.”

                “You’re ridiculous!”

                “Besides, in all honesty, Kami’s being modest,” Mina says, in a rational tone of voice. “He tried to pitch Kiri, which is sweet, but I honestly think Kami would be a perfect first dick for-“ She breaks off in a shriek as she crashes to the ground. Her foot had gotten caught under a root that was sticking out of the ground. Jirou and Kami come running back to them, and Momo drops to the ground to help Mina sit up.

                “Are you okay?” she asks urgently. “How’s your ankle?” She tries to touch it gingerly, and Mina gasps in pain.

                “What happened?” Jirou asks, wide-eyed.

                “My foot caught on a root, I think,” Mina groans. “I twisted my ankle pretty bad.” Kaminari and Momo both help her to stand back up, and Mina leans on Momo so she can keep her left foot off the ground.

                “Can you put any weight on it?” Momo asks. Carefully, Mina lowers her foot to the ground, then inhales sharply and lifts it up again, shaking her head.

                “We’re going to have to carry her back down,” Kaminari says, frowning.

                “Aw, no,” Mina says. “You guys were just starting to have fun. I can just sit here and wait, it’s not a big deal. It’s pretty over here.”

                “No way!” Jirou exclaims. “We’re not just going to leave you here by yourself, you’re hurt!”

                “I can carry her myself,” Momo says, looking over at Jirou and Kaminari. “She’s right, you guys were starting to have fun. You should enjoy yourselves.”

                “Momo, you don’t have to do that,” Jirou says.

                “Seriously, Momo,” Mina says, looking at her in concern. Momo can tell what she’s thinking. She’s worried how Momo will feel when she’s left Jirou alone with Kaminari. Momo smiles softly and lifts Mina into a bridal carry without a word. She holds her as easily as some people might hold a baby. Even Mina, the dedicated philanderer she is, has to blush.

                “I don’t mind at all,” Momo says, flashing a bright smile at Jirou and Kaminari. “I’ll take Mina down and someone can drive us to a doctor. You two have fun!” Leaving no time for them to argue, Momo turns right around and starts back down the trail.

                “What was that about?” Mina whispers as they get further away, craning her neck to get a look at Jirou and Kaminari watching, dumbfounded, as the two of them walk away. “Aren’t you nervous leaving them to hang out without you?” Momo sighs and shakes her head.

                “I realized something the last few days,” Momo says. “Jirou was my friend long before we started dating. What matters to me most is that she’s happy. And if Kaminari makes her happy, then I’m happy to see them together.” Momo’s smile turns a little shy. “Besides, I’ve had more fun getting to know you the last few days than I ever did when I was sulking and wasting my time being jealous of Kaminari.”

                Jirou and Kaminari watch them for a while as they make their way down the hill. Kami is the first to look away, turning instead to Jirou with concern clearly spelled across his face. He didn’t like seeing her upset, and he couldn’t quite make out what she felt by the look on her face as they walked away. He did know Mina, though, and whether she knew it at this point or not, he was sure she was crushing on Momo.

                “That’s a new development,” he says eventually, with an awkward sort of laugh. Jirou is broken out of her daze.

                “Yeah,” she agrees, raising her eyebrows. “They’ve gotten pretty close.” She turns and starts walking again, and Kaminari rushes to follow.

                “How do you feel about that?” he asks, catching her by the elbow. He knows she’ll just speed off and ignore the question if he doesn’t hold on to her. “I know you’ve been into Momo since we got here.” Jirou shrugs him off.

                “I’m fine,” she says shortly. She picks up her pace, ignoring how her muscles protest against power walking up this incline.

                “You don’t seem fine,” Kaminari says, jogging to catch up. “It’s okay if you’re jealous. It’s normal.” Jirou gives a short, humorless laugh.

                “Trust me, I’m not jealous,” she replies.

                “Seriously, it’s okay, Jirou,” he says. “We’re best friends. You can tell me anything.” She makes a funny sort of face at that, one that he can’t quite interpret. On anyone else, it would’ve looked like the sort of face you make when you’re about to stomp your feet and throw a tantrum. But that’s not like Jirou.

                Best friends. Best friends. She’d just barely worked out how she felt and she was getting friend-zoned. Don’t get her wrong, she loved being friends with Kami! But his timing with that comment was absolute shit.

                She doesn’t end up responding, and for once Kaminari has the good sense to keep his mouth shut. Their hike continues much more awkwardly than it began, with Jirou mourning over her stupid feelings, and Kaminari trying to figure out what she could be in such a funk about other than Mina and Momo. He wishes they could go back to joking around like they had been earlier. Instead, the air between them is charged and heavy, and he doesn’t even know why.

                The trail, at least, is gorgeous, and the weather was mild. Despite how hard it was to hike uphill at the speed Jirou’s pushing, they’re hardly breaking a sweat. Kaminari likes to think that under different circumstances, this would be a spectacular place for a date. Which, technically, they re oan a date. Oh jeez. He’s never been on a date with Jirou before. He’s hooked up with all his close friends, all except Jirou. And now they’re on a date. And he’s blowing it. Oh jeez.

                He spots a clearing maybe ten feet off the trail to their right. It’s pretty, with sunlight streaming through the treetops and stray flowers in the grass, and a big stump at the edge perfect for sitting on. Downside is, he thinks there might be poison ivy between here and there, and Jirou is in such a mood he can’t think how he’ll convince her just to have a seat and enjoy his company. But that’s what he wants, and Kaminari can be a real brat about getting what he wants. So he does the only logical thing- he picks her up without a word, slings her over his shoulder, and decides to carry her over to the clearing.

                “What the- Kami, what the fuck are you doing?!” Jirou exclaims too loudly, too close to his ear. He winces, but continues on with the plan. She starts pounding on his back. “Put me down you weirdo! Where are you going, the trail is-“ He shushes her and picks his way through the weeds and bramble to the clearing, where he sets her down on the stump with surprising gentleness.

                “Tada!” he exclaims, spreading his arms out to gesture to the clearing. “Isn’t it pretty?” he asks. She stares, slightly confused, slightly smitten by the delighted look on his face. “I thought it was pretty. I thought you’d like it here.” He plops down on the stump beside her, bumping his shoulder against hers. “What do you think?” She rolls her eyes.

                “It’s gorgeous, Sparky,” she says. “But you could’ve just asked me to walk over.” He shakes his head, a petulant grin on his face.

                “You were being too much of a grouch. You never would’ve come if I’d asked,” he replied. She elbows him.

                “Would too!” she exclaims.

                “Would not!” he says. She slings an arm around his neck and pulls him into a headlock. “Ow, ow, Jirou, quit it!”

                “Say I’m not a grouch!”

                “You’re not a grouch!” he says, pulling at her arms to try to tug them away.

                “Say you’re a doofus.”

                “I’m a doofus, I’m a doofus!” he exclaims. She laughs and lets him go.

                “So you finally admit it,” she says. He glares at her.

                “Meanie,” he grumbles. She laughs again, louder, and he smiles a bit in spite of himself. It’s good to see her act like herself again. “So, you ready to tell me what all the grumpiness is about?” The smile slips right off her face, and her entire demeanor changes. She slouches over and avoids his gaze.

                “You promise not to laugh?” she asks quietly. He holds up his pinkie.

                “Pinkie swear,” he replies. She rolls her eyes, but links her pinkie with his. “Can’t go back on a pinkie swear.” There’s a long pause before she speaks again.

                “Would it be totally stupid,” she says slowly, still looking away, “if I told you I think that I love you?” She surprises even herself by saying love, but she doesn’t take it back. It occurs to her, only now, that this wasn’t a change of just a few days. She’s been in love with Kami, and she just never realized until something forced her to.

                “Damn,” Kaminari says simply. She puts her head in her hands.

                “I know,” she says.

                “How’d I pull that off?” he asks, more to himself than her. She sits up suddenly, squinting at him.

                “What?” she asks. He shrugs.

                “I mean, how’d I pull that off?” he says again. “You’re like, the best person I know. I’m a slutty himbo that saves lives sometimes.”

                “You’re kidding me,” she says. “Kami, you’re not just a slutty himbo. You’re the coolest, funniest, most caring slutty himbo in the world. And you do save lives sometimes. Like, four days out of the week.” She lowers her gaze again. “So you really don’t mind?”

                “Don’t mind?” Kaminari says, almost laughing. “Jirou, I’ve been into you since we were fifteen. I just figured you’d never be interested, and your friendship meant too much to me for me to screw it up.”

                “Huh?” Jirou says helplessly. He smiles and grabs both her hands.

                “Jirou, I love you, too,” he says. Her eyes widen.

                “Holy shit,” she whispers. Kaminari lets go of one of her hands, gently grabs her chin, and kisses her. Unlike everyone else on this show, Kaminari actually has a sense of romance, and that’s conveyed in how gently, almost reverently, he kisses Jirou. When they stop, Jirou looks like she’s going to explode. “Holy shit!” Kaminari tosses his head back and laughs, and Jirou blushes even more. “You love me?”

                “I love you,” he confirms.

                “Okay,” she says, nodding. “Okay.” She’ll have to tell Momo. She’ll have to end things as soon as she can, spare her feelings as much as she can. But Kaminari loves her. He actually loves her. She looks up at him, and he’s giving her a goofy smile.

                “Hey Jirou,” he says. “Does this mean you wanna see my funky looking tree?” He waggles his eyebrows at her, and she shoves him off the stump.

                “Don’t be gross, Kami!” she exclaims.

                “Hey!” he says, putting a hand over his heart but staying on the ground. “Jirou, when a man and a woman love each other very much-“

                “Oh hush,” she says, crossing her arms. “If you ask me to see your funky looking tree again, you’re not getting any.” She stands up and walks back toward the path.

                “Oh come on!” he whines, getting up and following her. “It’s funny! Jirou? Baby?”

Chapter Text

                Todoroki Shouto knows- in a way that he hopes his friends will never, ever know- that love is not simple. It isn’t always beautiful, and it certainly isn’t always gentle. More often than not, love is just another way that life likes to twist the knife in the worst of times. He loves his mom, and she loves him, but she hurt him, and they’ll both be forced to remember it every time they look at his face. He loves Touya, his loving brother turned the monster that his friends still have nightmares about, rotting away in Tartarus for the remainder of his life. And despite everything that’s happened, despite his mistakes, despite how his friends will never understand it, he loves his father.

                Even before the worst of it, even before Touya, life had mocked him with its shameless parody of love. So at risk of sounding like an edgy teen, Todoroki was never afraid to say that he didn’t need any more love in his life.

                Midoriya Izuku was a special, once in a lifetime kind of asshole that came in and ruined it. He hadn’t even meant to do it. He hadn’t even tried. He was plain- talented, sure, but they all were. The sight of him bruised and broken half the time was hideous, but it hardly stirred more than an apathetic sympathy in Todoroki’s heart. He was an annoyance, an obstacle. Until the stupid fucking sports festival.

                “It’s yours!” he’d cried, so frantic, so desperate to be heard through the pain and the tears and the roar of the crowd. “Your quirk, not his!”

                Midoriya had clearly wanted to win. It would take a more oblivious person than Todoroki to not see the incredible amount of pain that he was enduring- enduring for Todoroki, of all people. Someone he barely knew. Someone he ought to see as a rival. No one, not his siblings, not even his mother, had ever been willing to go that far for him before. To love and care for a near stranger that completely, that selflessly… it wasn’t something Todoroki had even known a person could do. And he was half-gone for the stupid son of a bitch before he even had his fight with Bakugou.

                Love wasn’t simple, but Todoroki’s was. He was simple, straightforward, steadfast in it. It was a love without ambition. If Midoriya’s love for a stranger was so painful for him, Todoroki wouldn’t inflict worse. It was enough to just be there, to have a place in his life. He gained more out of it- wisdom, insight, the first real friends he’d ever had- but at the end of the day, it all came down to that simple wish: just to be there.

                Midoriya never dated anybody in high school, but he never needed to for life to twist the knife in deeper. All that was needed for that was Bakugou.

                Bakugou fucking Katsuki. The antithesis to everything that Todoroki was. Arrogant, loud-mouthed, impulsive, aggressive. He still drew people to him in a way that Todoroki, even with all of his good looks and politeness, never could. Todoroki hadn’t hated him for that. Hell, he’d admired him. He’d never meant it as a joke when he’d told reporters he thought of Bakugou as a friend. And if anything, that made it worse. While Todoroki felt like he had to claw and scrape just to deserve a seat at the metaphorical table, Bakugou had a permanently reserved seat at Midoriya’s right hand, one that he had the nerve to turn his nose up at. And Midoriya would just laugh it off and leave it empty, in case next time Bakugou changed his mind. And Todoroki watched, and hated it, and hated himself for hating it because he could understand why Midoriya wanted him there. Them and their history. Them and their secrets.

                He really did only want a seat at the table. Was it so bad to be upset that Bakugou hadn’t seemed to want his?

 

                Over half the house is blissfully in the honeymoon phase, so it really says something that Todoroki’s behavior is bringing down the good vibes. In all the years they’d known him, Todoroki had never slept in, but these days he doesn’t emerge from the room he now has to himself until closer to noon. Iida greets him, makes a third portion of whatever he was already cooking for himself and Uraraka for lunch. Uraraka will smile at him fondly, sometimes ruffle his hair, sometimes give him a kiss on the cheek. Todoroki mumbles a passable good morning, and more or less ignores them in favor of the newspaper.

                He doesn’t turn their affection away, but he doesn’t accept it quite as willingly as he had been only a few days before. There’s a stiffness to his actions that they hadn’t seen since high school, when his resistance to affection was caused only by inexperience with it. If Iida and Uraraka are worried, or hurt, they haven’t said anything. But they, too, have been turning inwards, spending more and more time with each other in their room, while Todoroki sulks in his. The wall between Room #1 and Room #2 formed a sacred border that they do not cross. Todoroki never goes to their room, and they never stop by his.

                About three days into what they’ve titled The Great Sulk, the lesser known Team IDLT (Iidas Deserve Love Too) congregates in the laundry room to discuss the grim business at hand.

                “All right guys,” Kaminari says somberly. “Raise your hand if you think Iidoroki’s got less than a week left until it crashes and burns.” The vote is unanimous. The members of Team IDLT (comprised of Kaminari, Jirou, Kirishima, Tetsutetsu, Momo, Mina, and Sero) have no delusions about the situation. Todoroki seems to have figured out where his heart lies, and Iida deserves better than that.

                “This sucks, fam,” Kirishima says, laying his head on Tetsutetsu’s shoulder. “I really thought they had a good chance.” Tetsutetsu nods mournfully.

                “They really were sweet together,” Momo agrees. “But if Todoroki isn’t over Midoriya, then it isn’t right.”

                “Seems to me like he’s just been leading the poor guy on,” Jirou says with a scowl. When she’d been torn between Kaminari and Momo, at least she had the decency to feel guilty about it, and handle it as quickly as she could. But all she can make out from Todoroki’s behavior is that he feels bad for himself. Boohoo.

                “There’s always Iidaraka,” Sero says. It’s a bolstering thought.

                “They are pretty cute,” Mina agrees. She pulls her phone out of her back pocket and starts swiping through her gallery. “I got the cutest picture of them asleep on the couch last night after dinner. Check it out!” She shows them all. It is, in fact, the cutest picture. Uraraka’s head is tilted back, and they can practically hear her snoring just from the look on her face. Iida’s curled up on the couch, his head in her lap, and her fingers are woven into his hair from where she’d been petting it before. From the looks of it, she even took his glasses off before falling asleep.

                “It still sucks,” Kaminari says with a pout. “Imagine how good all three of them would be together.” It’s a very, very valid point, and they all acknowledge it. “Man, why can’t everyone just figure out their shit and be happy?”

                “Says the guy who couldn’t make a move on Jirou for ten years,” Sero snorts. Kami flips him off.

                “I was busy!” he exclaims. “You’re welcome, all of you, for my sacrifice by the way.”

                “Sacrifice?” Mina asks, smirking. “Kami, you’re just our little baby slut.”

                “Diss all you want, you’ll never get your virginities back,” Kaminari says, folding his arms and smirking right back.

                “You either,” Mina says, quirking an eyebrow. Kaminari pinches her cheek.

                “It’s adorable that you think you got to me first,” he replies.

                “Wait wait wait,” Tetsutetsu says, holding up his hands to indicate they need to pause. “How many of you have slept with Kaminari?” With the exception of Momo and Tetsutetsu, they all raise their hands. “Okay, first of all, well done, I think.” He nods to Kaminari, who beams proudly. “Which one was first, though?” Kaminari rubs the back of his neck, looking slightly bashful.

                “Let’s just say… maybe me and Midoriya have had more than one partner in common,” he says slowly.

                “Shinsou?!” Mina exclaims. “You slept with Shinsou? You slept with Shinsou before me?!”

                “He’s a daddy and a half!” Kaminari says defensively. “Midoriya has good taste!”

                “As much as I would love to continue examining Kaminari’s sexual history, I think we’re getting a little off topic,” Momo says. “Also, cock. Because I’m sure Shinsou doesn’t want that on national television.”

                “Right, right,” Mina says. “Iida and Todoroki. And Uraraka. What’re we going to do about it?” Kirishima chews his lip.

                “I don’t know if there’s anything we can do,” he says eventually. “Or should do.” Tetsutetsu agrees.

                “This is different from Bakugou and Midoriya,” Tetsutetsu says. “It’s one thing to play matchmaker, but this is heading towards a fight, maybe even a breakup. Interfering would be super unmanly.”

                “So we just have to sit by and watch?” Kaminari asks, his eyes wide and sad.

                “Think so,” Jirou agrees, taking his hand and squeezing it.

 

                There were always people into Midoriya, whether he realized it or not. Some people were more subtle than others, but it’s not the sort of thing that you miss when you love someone. Half the class thought he was cute, at the very least. Todoroki didn’t miss how Uraraka became flustered under Midoriya’s attention, how furiously she blushed whenever they were in physical contact. Aoyama flirted, once or twice, but Todoroki could brush that off. It seemed to him that that was just how Aoyama acted with friends. When Shinsou Hitoshi transferred into their class, Todoroki was tempted to hate him for his whispered comments to Midoriya during class that always made him laugh, and sometimes made him blush.

                The worst was when it was Bakugou, of course. He hated when they were sparring and Midoriya seemed happier, more carefree than he ever did the rest of the time; hated that he was happy for him, hated that he was jealous. He hated when their eyes lingered on each other just a touch longer than necessary. It almost seemed silly, but what he hated most was Bakugou’s costume. Todoroki had eyes for Midoriya alone, but even he had to recognize that Bakugou looked sinfully good in his costume. How was Todoroki, in his much more modest, work-appropriate gear ever supposed to compare with that- that- honestly, the word whore came to mind to frequently and he always felt terrible about it. This was his friend. Bakugou was his friend.

                Midoriya and Bakugou grew closer in their third year, and Todoroki pretended not to be miserable. He knew he never wanted anything more than friendship from Midoriya, and he could hardly expect Midoriya to be alone forever.

                He hated Bakugou only once, in all that time. Todoroki was at the hospital every day after that fight that almost killed Midoriya. One day, he overheard Midoriya asking All Might if he’d talked to Bakugou, if he was mad at him. He hadn’t come to visit in the entire time that Midoriya was recovering. Todoroki let himself hate Bakugou for that.

                To keep things even, he hated himself more during that time, too. He hated that he was glad Bakugou hadn’t come, that he got Midoriya more to himself. He hated that part of him was almost grateful that Touya was arrested, because for once in his life he didn’t feel like he was fighting anyone for Midoriya’s attention.

                A year later, Midoriya had his first relationship, a hero in her early twenties who worked at the same agency. So Todoroki dated Inasa, because he was the first person who asked. It lasted four months, and Inasa was a better than average boyfriend. It didn’t change the fact that Todoroki panicked the one and only time they slept together and dumped him on the spot. He hadn’t fully appreciated the intimacy of what he was getting himself into until he was already in it. Midoriya was there for him after the break up, of course. It felt hollower.

                From that point onward, he convinced himself he was going to stop loving Midoriya. It was much easier not to love anybody, if it led him to do stupid things like this.

               

                “Oh Iiiiiiida!” Kaminari sings, coming running into the kitchen with an envelope in his hands. Iida looks up from the jigsaw puzzle he and Uraraka have been working on for two days now. Normally, it would be a dangerous move putting anything like that on the island, but Bakugou has hardly left the boom boom room in three days- which is concerning in and of itself. Without Bakugou around cooking, however, no one really cares how counter space is being used. “The producers left something for you.” Kaminari tosses it to him and he catches it.

                “Ooh, wonder what they’re gonna make you do,” Uraraka says, propping her head on his shoulder while he opens the envelope and reads the card inside. “’Bachelor for a day.’”

                “I get to take anyone I want on a date,” Iida says. “No assigned partner or anything.” Uraraka squeals and pinches his cheek, while Kaminari does his best to pretend he’s just as excited for him.

                “Let’s get you all dolled up then!” Uraraka says, grabbing his hand and tugging him towards the stairs. “You’ve got the number 6 hero to impress, after all.” Kaminari watches them go, his smile slipping once they’re out of view. He doesn’t know how they can’t see what everyone else does. He knows that Uraraka knows. Letting it go on like this… just feels cruel. Abruptly, he turns to the freezer and rummages around for ice cream.

                “Jirou!” he whines. His girlfriend comes running in from the next room to find him already shoving a spoon straight into the carton. He sniffles. “I need a hug.” And of course, how could she do anything but comply?

 

                Iida isn’t a fool. He has never had any misgivings about his own worth. He’s a good hero, smart and strategic, dedicated to doing his job to the best of his abilities. He’s a good friend, too, and has just enough… overzealous fans to feel fairly confident in his looks. But he’s also known all along that he wasn’t who any of his friends were hoping to end up with when they agreed to come on the show. He’s the least experienced by a wide margin, both romantically and sexually. He’s their geeky but lovable former class president, someone who’s easy to laugh at and joke with, but who doesn’t have much to offer as a partner. He knows this, and he isn’t too hurt by it. But he came here to do a job, to try to bond with his colleagues and maybe even fall in love, and Iida Tenya never fails to give his best at any job.

                Todoroki had been a surprise. A pleasant one. They’ve been friends for nearly half their lives by now, but Iida likely never would have considered a relationship with him for that very reason. There’s also the matter of him being Todoroki Shouto. Iida has never known anyone else so handsome, and he watched most of the names on “Japan’s Sexiest Heroes” ranking grow into adulthood. He was kind, powerful, passionate. Exactly the kind of person who Iida was sure could have anyone if he just took the time to ask. And he’d shown an interest in Iida.

                Iida isn’t a fool. He knows Todoroki doesn’t have eyes for only him. But he knows love isn’t always simple, and it doesn’t always unfold how you want it to. He also knows, however, that love is patient, and love is absolutely something he’s willing to be optimistic for, if only Todoroki gives him a reason.

 

                Iida is fumbling with his collar with shaking hands in the mirror. He really shouldn’t be so nervous, he knows; it’s Todoroki, who he’s spent countless hours with since they were fifteen. But he is nervous, and Uraraka notices. She’s been a godsend, picking out what he should wear and helping him think of what to do. Now, she stands up and turns him away from the mirror so she can adjust him herself. Smoothes his shirt, straightens his collar, smoothes back his hair, pinches his pale cheeks to give them collar. She puts a hand on his chest and beams up at him, tapping him on the nose.

                “Handsome as always,” she says. “You’re going to knock ‘im dead.” Iida blushes and pushes up his glasses.

                “I’m not trying to kill him,” he mumbles, sitting down on his own bed. She plops down beside him.

                “Just a figure of speech,” she says. “Although, you really could give him a heart attack dressed like this. Your arms look fantastic in that shirt.” He looks down at his arms in alarm.

                “Is it too much? Should I change?” He starts to stand up, but Uraraka grabs his arm and yanks him back down.

                “Absolutely not!” she cries in a brilliant impression of him. He scowls, and she giggles. “Relax! You’re going to have fun!”

                “Well, I hope we do,” he says unsurely. “He hasn’t been himself the past few days.” Uraraka frowns. Deep down, she does know why- how could she not? But things have been so… different the past few weeks, hanging out with Iida and Todoroki. So good. Todoroki has to see that, right?

                “If he can’t see how amazing you are, they’ll never find his body,” she says sternly. Iida looks down unsurely, then takes her hand in his.

                “Uraraka…” he says slowly. “I don’t mean to be… forward, I suppose, but there’s been something I’ve been meaning to ask you.” She furrows her eyebrows, but nods for him to go on. “These past few weeks, we’ve… that is, the three of us, we’ve-“ He’s interrupted by a knock on the door, and the two of them leap apart as if they’ve been caught doing something they shouldn’t. Uraraka smiles, trying to ignore the racing of her heartbeat, and nods toward the door.

                “Prince Charming’s here for you,” she says. “Have fun! Tell me everything when you get back, and do not skip the juicy parts.” Iida bites back the urge to scold her as he opens the door. Todoroki is there, looking cool and handsome as ever. He has fake flowers.

                “I found these in the basement,” Todoroki says, holding the flowers out awkwardly. “I know you don’t like real flowers because you feel guilty when they die.” Iida accepts them with a broad smile and thanks him enthusiastically. Maybe things won’t go so badly as he’s been worrying. He sets them down on his dresser, smiling a little more when Uraraka flashes him a thumbs up, and then the two of them are off.

                Iida’s choice of partner may have been up to him, but the outing itself is still in the hands of the producers. Their driver drops them off first at a traveling art show, with famous works from Western artists. Iida finds himself blushing pure scarlet for most of the exhibit, whereas Todoroki peers at the details with pure fascination.

                “Iida, look at this statue,” Todoroki says, leaning forward over the barrier to get a better look at the hulking work of marble in front of him. “You can see the indents under his fingers on her skin, like it’s an actual person grabbing somebody. How do they do that? It’s- Iida.” Todoroki straightens up again, looking at his date curiously. Iida’s glasses are fogged up, and he’s looking very deliberately away from the statue. “What’s the matter? Don’t you like it?”

                “No!” Iida exclaims, almost as if he’s sure the long-dead artist might hear and be insulted. “It’s just that… they’re both naked.” He catches a glimpse of the statue out of the corner of his eye and immediately claps a hand over his eyes. Todoroki stares at him for a moment, then starts laughing. The sound of it surprises Iida enough for him to uncover his eyes partially. Todoroki looks beautiful when he laughs, maybe more so because the sight is so rare. “I don’t see what’s so funny,” Iida says, half-offended, half-hoping Todoroki might keep smiling at him like that.

                “They’re only bodies,” Todoroki says. “Imaginary ones. I’m sure you’ve seen more in person.” Iida’s blushing again, and now he’s deliberately avoiding Todoroki’s gaze. Todoroki’s smile slips slightly. “Haven’t you?”

                “Well,” Iida says, taking his glasses off to wipe them on his shirt. His voice starts strong, but quickly turns meek. “No. I can’t say I have.” Iida swallows hard, then forces himself to look at the statue, just to save face to some extent. He can see why Todoroki is so impressed with the detail, but it’s a different aspect that catches his attention. “She looks so afraid,” Iida says, sounding almost heartbroken for the marble woman. Todoroki frowns and peers up at the statue, but from where he stands her face is hidden by her outstretched hand.

                “Does she? I can’t see her face,” he says. Wordlessly, Iida steps back, gently grabs Todoroki’s waist, and pulls him to where he had been standing. Todoroki looks up at the woman’s face. She looks frantic, her mouth hung open as if she’s yelling something, her hand pushing him away. The sight of it stirs something old and unwanted in the pit of Todoroki’s stomach. His voice is so soft, he isn’t even sure Iida will hear. “Terrified.”

                Iida does hear, but he knows better than to say anything. Instead, he takes Todoroki’s hand and pulls him toward the next scantily-clad statue.

                “So you’re a virgin then?” Todoroki says abruptly, about ten minutes later. Iida blushes, glancing around nervously to be sure no one’s heard.

                “Yes, I am,” he says. Todoroki’s quiet. Iida looks over at him, searching for meaning in the thoughtful look on his face.

                “That’s…” Todoroki starts slowly.

                “Embarrassing? Childish?” Iida offers. It would be nothing he hasn’t heard before. Todoroki frowns at him, looking almost confused.

                “I was going to say enviable,” Todoroki replies. The answer is short, but the meaning in it is palpable. Once again, Iida knows better to ask for more information than what is willingly offered.

               They weave their way through the gallery in companionable silence. This has always been their way of things, at least when Uraraka isn’t there. When they do talk, their conversations are easy, enjoyable, but they’re more than content to just be together, saying nothing. Despite popular opinion, Iida isn’t a very chatty person by nature, and Todoroki is one of the only people who makes him feel comfortable enough to relax into his own instinctual quietness.

               By the time they’re leaving the gallery, however, Iida is beginning to stifle at the quietness. He should be talking, right? Trying to charm his date? Surely, Todoroki must be getting bored. They step outside, and Todoroki takes his hand out of Iida’s. Iida feels his heart plunge, interpreting this as a clear sign that Todoroki is getting bored of him. Todoroki steps behind him, then to his other side, and grabs his other hand.

               “It’s cold out tonight,” Todoroki explains. “I thought it would be more comfortable to hold my left hand.” Relief flushes through Iida, and he smiles warmly at Todoroki.

              “That’s very considerate,” Iida says. “Thank you.” He hopes the warmth comes through, even though he realizes the words are regrettably stiff. Todoroki offers him a small smile, and they begin to walk. “The driver won’t be coming to pick us up for another hour or so. We have time to have a quick dinner, if you want.” Todoroki nods. “Nanami recommended a place to me that’s a few blocks from here. It’s nothing fancy, but they have cold soba. That’s your favorite, isn’t it?” Todoroki nods, and his smile grows a little more comfortable.

               “Sounds perfect,” he says. They begin walking, with Iida leading the way. As recommended by Nanami, Iida takes a left when he knows it would have been faster to go straight, solely for the purpose of taking Todoroki through a park with nice gardens and a fountain in the middle. Romance doesn’t come naturally to Iida, but he trusts his friends’ advice implicitly.

               The advice that’s more difficult to follow is Uraraka’s.

             “I can’t say that to him!” Iida had exclaimed in their room when Uraraka had rattled off a line for him to use. She beamed up at him.

             “Sure you can!” she said. “Listen, it’s a call-back to a conversation you’ve had before. That’s, like, the best kind of line. And it’s still totally you. It’s perfect!”

             “It’s not ‘totally me!’ I’d never say that!”

            “ Fine,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “It would be totally you if you knew how to flirt. Come on, just repeat after me…”

             “Hey Todoroki,” Iida says, swallowing his pride. “You never told me more about what you found in your research about dating shows.” Todoroki looks surprised, his eyebrows rising towards his hairline. He shrugs.

             “I guess I haven’t,” he replies. “What do you want to know?”

            “Well, on a show like this,” Iida says, trying very hard to keep his rate of speech slow, his tone casual, “what does it take to be a couple that audiences care about?” Todoroki pauses to think about it.

            “Good chemistry, first and foremost,” he says. “They would need to get along well, have similar values, and be committed to each other. Audiences like to watch a couple like that succeed.” Iida slows his pace to a stop and turns to face Todoroki, who looks more confused than ever. Iida takes a deep breath and tries to seem more confident than he feels.

             “And… what about us?” Iida asks. Todoroki’s eyes widen.

             “Us?” he repeats. Iida nods.

             “What… what might make us a more popular couple?” Iida asks. Todoroki looks up at him curiously.

            “It might be easier to show you,” he says. Without another word, he gently places a hand along Iida’s jaw and guides him down, leaning up to meet him in the middle.

             Out of embarrassment and misplaced propriety, Iida never let himself imagine what it would be like to kiss Todoroki, so he doesn’t know what he would have expected. He does know that it surprises him, though. Todoroki is mostly a calm, peaceful person, but he pursues life with a deliberation and determination that hints at a hidden passion and enthusiasm. Iida might have expected him to kiss the way he fights, a not-so subtle show of dominance. But the dominance is absent- unless you consider that he’s certainly ‘leading’- and the energy is slow, considerate. It’s gentle, seeking to be nothing more than what it is: a chaste first kiss for someone who’s clearly in over his head. Iida’s glad that it’s Todoroki’s right hand on his face, otherwise he’s certain nothing could combat the growing heat in his cheeks. Todoroki lingers for just a moment, as if he’s not sure whether or not to kiss him again, then steps back.

             “I hope that was good for you,” Todoroki says awkwardly, feeling his own face starting to warm. I hope that was good for you? God, he felt like an idiot.

             “Yes!” Iida says, nodding quickly. “Yes, it was very… well-executed.” Well-executed? At the rate he’s going, Iida is sure no one is going to kiss him again for the rest of his life. Todoroki nods.

             “Thank you.”

             “No, thank you!” Shut up shut up shut up! Stop saying embarrassing things!

             “Should we head to dinner then?” Todoroki asks. Iida nods, wisely keeping his mouth shut this time. Todoroki takes his hand again and they continue walking. Iida hopes that Todoroki can’t feel his racing pulse in the palm of his hand.

             They’re nearly out of the park when they spot him- one of the cameramen from the show. It shouldn’t surprise them to see him here, even though they are wearing body cams as requested. What does surprise them, though, is that he’s not watching for them. He’s standing near a tree, just out of sight, camera focused on a couple that’s running loose in the playground. Todoroki freezes, and it takes a moment for Iida to understand why.

             “Deku, you little shit, get back here!” It’s hard to make out from where they’re standing in the dark, but it’s definitely Midoriya and Bakugou. They know their voices, know Midoriya’s laughter. Bakugou chases him most of the way around the playground before catching up, and when he does he picks him up easily and slings him over his shoulder.

              “Kacchan, let me go!” Midoriya laughs. “You jerk, that’s not how this-“ He’s interrupted by a sound which Iida can only assume is Bakugou slapping him on the ass. “Kacchan!” Midoriya yelps.

              Todoroki’s grip on Iida’s hand goes slack. Iida looks over at him. His date looks shell-shocked, almost. His eyes are blown wide, and there’s a lot of indecipherable emotion in them. The only thing Iida can tell for sure is that he’s upset.

              “Are you all right?” Iida asks, dreading the answer. Todoroki can’t quite manage to look away from them, playing in the park like a couple of overgrown children, or like a perfect couple from a silly romance.

              “I want to go home,” he says quietly. Iida nods and drops his hand, forcing himself to ignore the plunging of his own heart. Without another word to Todoroki, he calls their driver and asks if he can come pick them up early.

              The ride home is silent.

               Ignoring his own feelings, Iida still opens the car door and the door to the house for Todoroki. He was raised a gentleman, and he’ll be a gentleman. When they walk in, Iida can hear the sounds of laughter and chatter from outside. He can see through his small view of the kitchen window that their friends are outside by the pool, in spite of the cool weather. Todoroki begins to walk in that direction, but Iida takes hold of his wrist. Todoroki looks at him questioningly.

              “I need to talk to you,” Iida says, hating how his heart still races when Todoroki looks up at him all wide-eyed and trusting. He remembers the look on his face when they saw Midoriya and Bakugou. He knows he can’t let himself continue to develop feelings for someone who looks at his best friend that way. “You love him, don’t you?” Todoroki purses his lips and looks down.

             “I don’t know what you’re-“

             “Midoriya,” Iida says. He practically blurts it. “You’re in love with Midoriya, aren’t you?” There’s a long, long silence, and Iida begins to wonder if Todoroki is even going to bother to answer.

             “I don’t want to be,” Todoroki says so softly that Iida almost doesn’t hear it.

             “But you are,” Iida says. Todoroki nods. He still isn’t looking at Iida. “Todoroki, what do you want?”

              “I don’t want to love anybody,” Todoroki says. “I know it’s not worth the trouble, but still…”

               “Still, you love him,” Iida says, sighing deeply. The words hang in the air between them. They’re not far apart, but they might as well be in separate countries, separate decades. “You know I care for you. A lot.” Todoroki finally looks up at this. Iida is shocked to see that his eyes are glistening, like he’s near tears. He has to close his eyes and clench his fists to move forward with what he’s saying. “But we- I deserve better than to be someone’s second choice. I deserve for someone to choose me.” Todoroki nods. His chest feels tight, like every breath might cause his lungs to burst.

               “I understand,” he says weakly. Another long pause, neither ready to speak or leave. Then, slowly, Iida takes a step back, towards the stairs.

               “You deserve more than to love someone who doesn’t love you,” he says. His voice is tight, strained. “I hope you find something better, when you want it.”

               Todoroki’s vision blurs as he watches Iida turn and disappear up the stairs, certainly to go be comforted by Uraraka. He feels numb- numb in a way he hasn’t felt in years. He’s lost them all, hasn’t he? Midoriya, Iida, Uraraka? He’s failed them all. When the tears finally fall, Todoroki finds his feet carrying him into the kitchen. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for until he’s opened the fridge and it’s staring him in the face. When everything else falls apart, there’s always sake. He takes the bottle out of the fridge, takes off the cap, and takes a big swig of it, almost enjoying how it burns in his throat.

 

                By the time Uraraka gets Iida to talk, to stop crying, and finally to get himself into bed (a process of several hours), she’s as murderous as she is guilty. She knows she shares a part in his pain, and she’s almost grateful for how her heart breaks at the thought of losing Todoroki this way, because she deserves to be heartbroken, too. She knew how Todoroki felt, and she said nothing. But more importantly, Todoroki knew how he felt, and he let Iida believe there was something between them anyway.

                When the knock on the door comes, she’s tempted to grab something to beat him with. She wants to make him feel half the pain Iida’s feeling. She wants to take out her own anger, her own sorrow, on the person she’d been foolish enough to let herself and her dearest friend care about. But it’s not Todoroki that’s standing in the hall when she opens the door.

                “Momo?” Uraraka asks, surprised. Momo looks uncomfortable.

                “Uraraka, I’m sure this is a bad time,” she says quietly, glancing over Uraraka’s shoulder at Iida passed out on her bed. “But, it’s Todoroki.” Uraraka’s eyes narrow, and Momo starts speaking rapidly. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t think any of us even realized they were home, but me and Mina just found him downstairs. I think he’s had a lot to drink.” The anger is gone (mostly) in an instant, replaced by concern. Todoroki rarely drinks- never by himself- and it’s always impossible to tell he’s been drinking unless he is beyond gone.

                “Where is he?” she asks.

                “By the pool,” Momo says. “We couldn’t get him to come inside.” Uraraka nods and rushes out the door, thanking Momo as she passes.

                Sure enough, she finds Todoroki sitting alone at the edge of the pool, the reflection of the water shimmering on his face. He dips his right arm into the water, and slowly ice begins to creep across the surface.

               “Todoroki, what are you doing?” she asks softly, padding across the cool concrete and sitting down beside him. He shrugs. A breeze blows by, and Uraraka winces; he reeks of booze. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”

               “’s fine,” he mumbles. She takes his arm and pulls it out of the half-frozen slush of the pool.

               “No, it’s not,” she says. “If anyone’s gonna hurt you, it’s gonna be me. And I’m until you’re sober enough to feel it.” He shrugs again.

                “You can hurt me now,” he says. “I d’serve it.” Uraraka heaves an exasperated sigh. She almost wants to argue with him, but partly she agrees with him.

                “Can you come inside with me?” she asks, putting an arm around him. He shakes her off. Uraraka rolls her eyes. “Well, you’re freezing right now, and I don’t trust you with fire.”

                “Don’t care,” Todoroki says. Uraraka closes her eyes and takes a deep breath to try to retain her patience. Then she peels off her sweatshirt, leaving her in just her sports bra and flannel pajama pants. She drapes it over his shoulders. “How joo do i’?” She raises an eyebrow at him.

                “Huh?” she asks. He frowns.

                “How’d you do it?” he tries again. “You- hic- you loved ‘im, din’ you?”

                “Deku?” she asks softly, realizing that he’s asking how she got over her crush on him. He nods. “Oh, honey.” She rubs circles on his back. “I gave it my best shot. I told him I liked him, and he didn’t feel the same way. But being honest about it helped.” Todoroki shook his head.

                “Can’ tell ‘im,” he says.

                “Why not?” Uraraka asks. Midoriya had been super nice and understanding about it- which, in the moment, made it suck more. But they were able to stay friends, best friends.

                 “I jus’ wanna be there,” he says with a shrug.

                 “Where?” she asks. Another shrug.

                 “’round him,” Todoroki says. “Love-“ he pauses, looks like he might puke, but it comes out as a burp. He grimaces. “Love’s… no good.”

                  “Love is good,” Uraraka says, frowning. “It’s important. You deserve it and so does he.” Todoroki shakes his head.

                 “Mine’s no good,” he says. His tone is so certain, so final, that Uraraka can’t find words to dispute it. He makes another face, one of distaste. “Why Bak’go?” Uraraka almost wants to laugh. It’s the same question that plagued her when Deku turned her down. He hadn’t said he loved Bakugou, but somehow she’d known anyways.

                 “Because it’s always been Bakugou,” she says almost sadly. “From day one, for Deku it’s always been Bakugou. You, me, Shinsou… we never had a chance.” Todoroki hugs his legs to his chest and puts his face in his knees. For a long time, neither of them say anything. When he begins to shake, Uraraka thinks the cold is finally getting to him.

                  “’m sorry,” he whispers, his voice trembling. She leans in to look closer at him and sees tears glistening on his cheeks.

                  “Oh, honey,” she says again, at a loss for what else to say. He looks up at her. His face is red and soaked, his eyes so watery they’re even blurry to her.

                  “Why wasn’ I enough?” he asks, his voice thin and shaking. “Why can’ I be enough?” His voice, his eyes, his quivering shoulders, it all combines enough to shatter Uraraka’s heart completely. His eyes are so full, full of tears, full of pain, full of love and want and loneliness. She can tell he’s not just talking about Deku and Iida anymore. It’s Endeavor, it’s his mother, it’s Touya, it’s himself. His love has never been enough for any of them. Uraraka seizes him by the shoulders and pulls him into the tightest hug she can give. Her arms tremble from the effort of holding him so tightly, but she doesn’t let go. She lets him sob and shake, his breathing shallow and fast. She holds him until it slows, till the sniffling quiets, till his head starts to droop like he’ll fall asleep right there.

                   Carefully, she helps him to his feet and guides him upstairs to his room. She helps him into his pajamas, wipes the tears and snot from his still-red face, puts him in bed. She leaves a note for Iida, so he doesn’t wonder where she’s gone when he wakes up, and she spends the night in Bakugou’s old bed to keep an eye on him. She sees him through the night, but when Todoroki wakes in the morning with only foggy memories of her gentle care, she’s already gone.

 

                   The remaining days come and go rigidly. For everyone who knows the whole situation, it feels almost cruel to be happy in their new relationships. Kaminari and Jirou drop each other’s hands like they’re burnt when they see Iida or Todoroki. Mina stops her flirting when they’re around. Even Kirishima and Tetsutetsu cool it with their casual affection, out of an awkward respect. Both of them notice, but they say nothing. They don’t seem to avoid each other, exactly, but it seems to be an unspoken agreement that if there is something they can do to avoid hanging out, they should do it. Uraraka follows Iida’s lead, and maintains a careful distance from Todoroki at all times. Only Bakugou and Midoriya carry on as usual. They have no clue what went down between Iida and Todoroki, and no one is inclined to fill them in on the details. Midoriya would be crushed if he knew the part he played in breaking their hearts.  

                   When the finale comes, it catches them off guard. Between the drama and all their new relationships, they’d forgotten to do the math on any of the pairings.

                   “Well kids, that’s show biz,” Mic says with a shrug. Even his ever-present smile seems forced today. “Figure it out now, do the best you can!” They assemble quickly into the existing couples, giving up on strategy all together. Sero saves Todoroki the embarrassment of standing alone by rushing to his side and taking his hand as soon as the couples begin to divide up. Todoroki doesn’t say anything, but he gives Sero’s hand a small squeeze to express his gratitude. Mic claps his hands when they appear to have finished. “Let’s see, who have we got here? Bakudeku-“

                   “He’s using the ship names!” Kaminari cheers. Jirou shushes him. Mic raises an eyebrow, then rolls his eyes and continues.

                  “As I was saying, we have Bakudeku, Kiritetsu, KamiJirou, Iidaraka, Momina, and Seroroki,” he announces with a flourish. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a slip of paper, waving it around importantly. “Let’s see how you compare to our official rankings of best matches.” He makes a big show of perusing the list and glancing up at them to compare. Bakugou mutters something about it being a waste of time, and Midoriya elbows him. “Well kids, hate to break it to you, but you didn’t get a single one right this week. Time’s up, you loooooose.”

                   “What?!” Bakugou exclaims. “Bullshit. I’ll show you a perfect fucking match, Deku, c’mere!” He swoops in for a kiss, but Midoriya pushes his face away, blushing.

                   “Kacchan, don’t kiss me for ulterior motives!” he exclaims.

                   “Fuck you, it’s a romantic gesture!”

                    Sero glances over at Todoroki. He’s gone white.

                   “Uh, so are you gonna tell us what the real matches were?” Sero asks Mic, interrupting the lovers’ quarrel.

                   “Sure, if these two problem children ever quiet down,” Mic says, eyeing Bakugou and Midoriya. They stop their play-fighting immediately, and Midoriya mumbles an apology. “All right. When I call your names, please stand with your assigned match.

                   “1. Bakugou Katsuki and Kirishima Eijirou.”

                   “Are you fucking kidding me?” Bakugou says. “Fuck Shitty Hair, I’m staying with Deku!” Midoriya drops his hand and shoves him over to his best friend, snickering. Kirishima grins mischievously at him and grabs his hand.

                   “Guess it was meant to be, Bakubro,” he says.

                   “Literally, why didn’t any of us think of that?” Kaminari asks. He’s met with shrugs.

                   “This is a temporary deal, you got that?” Bakugou says, glaring suspiciously at Kirishima.

                   “Dude, we literally both have boyfriends. Calm down.”

                   “Couple number 2!” Mic yells over them. “Yaoyorozu Momo and Jirou Kyouka!” The two split from their respective partners and stand together bashfully. They’d ended things on good terms, but this was still just a bit too soon post-break up.

                   “Number 3! Kaminari Denki and Sero Hanta.

                  “Number 4! Iida Tenya and Uraraka Ochaco!” Uraraka beams at Iida, and he gives her hand a tentative squeeze.

                  “Number 5! Ashido Mina and Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu.” The pair freezes, and a chill goes through most of the contestants as they realize who makes up the only remaining couple.

                  “Oh no,” Kaminari whispers. Sero elbows him. But the group- minus the oblivious Bakugou and Midoriya- is in agreement on this. Oh no is right. Mina awkwardly shuffles over to Tetsutetsu and grabs his hand.

                  “And that leaves us with Number 6!” Mic announces. Even his voice cracks as he tries and fails to maintain neutral enthusiasm. He says their names more quietly than the others. “Midoriya Izuku and Todoroki Shouto.” Todoroki looks like he might be sick right then and there. Midoriya just smiles and grabs his hand.

                  “Kinda funny that they’d pair us up, huh?” Midoriya says. The others wince. Todoroki nods numbly.

                  Mic wraps up the episode, and just like that it’s over. The crew packs up and leaves, and the heroes are left to do the same. Todoroki is packed and out the door before anyone has time to find him and say goodbye.