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Eijirou stands in the mirror, glaring at his reflection as he throws yet another shirt onto the rapidly growing pile on his bed. This isn’t working. He has a meeting with a new client in less than an hour, and he still has to drive all the way downtown to get there, but he can’t seem to find anything to wear.

The brightly colored handprint shaped bruises on his throat and arms leaves anything even remotely comfortable out of the question. But with the current summer heatwave, wearing long sleeves or a high collar is gonna make him stand out. He can’t have that. That would make people question, and then Hisashi would get mad.

The rest of the bruises…he doesn’t have to worry too much about anyone seeing those. He’s done a good job convincing everyone that he’s just clumsy, and bruises easily when he inevitably knocks into something. He even plays it up when he’s around friends, or at work to make the stories he tells more believable.

And with how sweet and gentle Hisashi is out in public, well, they’d never even think that he could be capable of hurting Eijirou. Not when he’d taken the poor, pregnant, heartbroken omega in after he’d been abandoned by his previous alpha, Bakugou. Not with how much he doted on, and kissed, and cuddled Eijirou out in public. Not with how he loved the little blond child Eijirou birthed as if she were Hisashi’s own.

They’d never even imagine the horrors Hisashi was capable of committing when the sun went down. The beatings…the threats…the times Eijirou’s sure that Hisashi is gonna kill him in one of his rages. It’s times like those he misses his quirk the most. Times like those he wishes he wasn’t an omega, so he could just harden his skin and make the pain stop.

But that’s not an option. Not anymore. Omegas lose their quirks as soon as they present. It would be wasted on them. No need for quirks if they can’t be heroes anyway. So Eijirou just bites his tongue and takes it. Tries to be a good little omega and piss Hasashi off as little as possible.

Afterall, Hisashi took him in when he needed him most. And he always tries not to mark Eijirou’s face if it can be avoided. He likes to keep him pretty, he says, and doesn’t want to spend weeks staring at a disfigurement while he waits for the bruises to heal.

Eijirou has always been thankful for that, but as he stares at himself now, he sighs, noticing the last faded yellow of the bruise on his temple from where Hisashi kicked him last week. It was entirely his fault, he knows that. He knew it as soon as he woke up and realized he was still at his office. That he’d stayed there all night, instead of going home like he should have.

He hadn’t meant to do it, of course. He’d only intended to stay a little later than usual to finish up a design project he had to present the next morning. But he was just so tired that he ended up falling asleep. When he arrived home, Hisashi was already there by the door waiting for him. He accused Eijirou of cheating and beat him so badly that they’d had to fabricate a story of how Eijirou had been mugged leaving work the night before just to explain it all.

And the next day…oh, Hisashi had been so kind to him. Brought him breakfast in bed so he wouldn’t have to get up, and gave him painkillers, and cuddles, and praised him for how manly he was about taking a beating like that and coming up with such a perfect lie to cover it.

It’s times like those that remind Eijirou of why he loves Hisashi. His life surely isn’t perfect – far from it – but Hisashi loves him, and he loves little Kiko too. He could have killed her before she was even born – most alphas would have if their newly claimed omega was carrying another alpha’s pup – but he didn’t. He let Eijirou keep her, and now keeps them both protected, and fed, and a roof over their heads.

So, Eijirou repays him by keeping his secrets. Let’s Hisashi use him as his own personal punching bag when he’s pissed, and then covers it all up afterwards. Nobody ever questions, and Eijirou makes sure they never have a reason to.

Glancing up at the clock on the wall and realizing how much time has passed, he quickly throws on the next thing he can find – a nice pair of pants, a short sleeve button down left open over a bright red t-shirt that matches his hair, and a simple scarf. It’ll be hot, but not too hot, and just covering enough to keep the questions at bay.

Finally satisfied, he tosses on his boots, grabs his work bag by the door, and dashes out to go meet his new client.


When he finally arrives at his destination almost half an hour later, Eijirou ends up sprinting up the stairs of the parking garage to the main lobby. Fuck…if he doesn’t make this fast, he’s gonna be late, and that’s certainly not the impression he likes to make at a first meeting.

Especially not in a place like this. It’s a high-end building, filled with equally high-end clients. It’s not the first time he’s done work here – he just did updates on some lady’s apartment last month – which is why he assumes he’s been called back again. Word of mouth travels fast when you’re one of the best.

He steps up to the reception desk, taking a moment to catch his breath before trying to speak. “Hi, I’m here to see a Mr. Ito?”

The omega woman behind the desk stares at him a moment, seeming confused. Did he get the name wrong? He’s about to dig into his pocket to find the little slip of paper he wrote the apartment number and name of the client he’s supposed to be meeting to make sure, when the recognition finally hits her.

“Oh…oh yes, Mr. Ito. May I see your ID please?”

He relaxes again, handing it over and trying not to seem too impatient as he waits for her to check him in.

When she’s finally finished, she hands back his ID along with a freshly printed key card that’ll give him access to the elevators. He bids her a quick thank you, grabs the cards, and then he’s off again; running for the elevators, and just managing to slip inside one someone’s just exited before the doors shut.

With a sigh, he takes a moment to wipe the sweat off his brow and run his fingers through his hair, trying to make the fact that he ran here as unnoticeable as possible. He’s not sure how well it works – there isn’t a mirror anywhere for him to check his appearance in – but it makes him feel better anyway.

After that, he pulls the little paper out of his pocket with Mr. Ito’s address on it – it’s apartment 1504 - and steps off the elevator as the doors finally open again.

He doesn’t have much to do here today. Just meet the guy, take some pictures of the space, and find out roughly what he’s looking for. It shouldn’t take more than an hour, and then Eijirou will go back to his office and put something together for him to look at the next time they meet.

Across from the elevator, there’s a little gold directory plaque on the wall. He leans in to read the little numbers and finds the apartment he’s looking for is on the right side of the building. And since there’re only two, that doesn’t leave much guesswork as to which is his client’s.

Standing outside the door, he takes out his phone to check the time, as he raises his free hand to knock. 10:00 AM on the dot. Not perfect, but not late either, so he’ll take it.

He hears the handle click and the door swing open. He lifts his head, pushing the phone back into his pocket as he plasters on his big, bright, signature smile, and then…everything stops.

Because standing there in the doorway where he should find a Mr. Ito, is none other, than Bakugou Katsuki.

His brain short circuits. He can’t move. Can’t speak. Can’t do anything but just stare.

Bakugou offers a little smile, but it’s…wrong. It’s sad and Eijirou instantly hates it.

He takes a step back. “No.” he says, shaking his head. There has to be some kind of mistake. That’s the only explanation. He was given the wrong address, or…or maybe this is Mr. Ito’s quirk.

Yeah, a quirk that lets him look like other people, that must be it. It’s the only plausible explanation. Certainly, more believable than the alternative. The alternative of Bakugou having left America and his number one hero ranking to move back to Japan. Certainly, more believable than Bakugou calling him up out of the blue and using a fake name to lure him to his apartment after seven years of nothing.

But still…no. Even if it is just a quirk, he can’t do this. He can’t stay here. He can’t bear to look at this man’s face another moment longer, because even on suppressants, and blockers, and gods only knows what else to keep the omega part of him subdued, he can still feel it.

It’s like he’s nineteen again. Nineteen and sitting in the passenger’s seat of Bakugou’s car outside his mom’s house, being told that they were done. That Bakugou didn’t want him anymore. That he was moving to America and leaving Eijirou behind.

He can feel the deep, hollow, hole of loss and grief and pain opening back up in his chest as if it were brand new. He can feel the abandoned part of him waking up after years of hibernation and screaming out to be nearer to this Bakugou-face-wearing-fake. To fling himself into his arms and be held the way only Bakugou could ever hold him, and never let go.

Even if he isn’t real. Even if he’s only an illusion. Even if he tore the still beating heart out of Eijirou’s chest all those years ago and squashed it on the ground.

But no…no, he can’t do that. He can’t. So, he just takes another step back; tears welling in his eyes as he stares into the fake face of the only man in the world who’s even hurt him worse than Hisashi’s fists ever could and shakes his head.

“I…I’m sorry, but I have to go.” He says, turning on his heels with the intention of fleeing. It’s not manly, he knows that, but in this moment it’s the only thing he can possibly think of doing that seems right.