Inasa doesn’t know when he first noticed it. The alpha cannot really make out when he first had a hunch, but if he were asked when this hunch came up, it would be when they were in the middle of a remedial lesson. He remembers looking into Shouto’s lovely two-colored eyes because…well, he likes them.
He’s not one to beat around the bush or deny the obvious. He can be oblivious at times, but he usually snaps out of it because when he falls, he falls hard, and the realization will hit him like a two-ton truck.
He fell hard for Shouto shortly after getting to befriend him. Getting lost in his eyes was a common, every-day occurrence during the remedial lessons. It’s so much so to the point where he can get lost in those eyes, (he always does, no point in denying it) but that particular day…Shouto’s eyes looked…empty.
There was no emotion there, no sign of life, it felt like he was staring into the eyes of a wearied dead man and he had no way out. This ‘no way out’ was not a positive thing, mind you, it was negative. He never felt more on edge than what he did in that moment he stared a bit too long into those lovely eyes dimmed with lifelessness.
The eyes of a corpse are ones no person can ever forget, or so he’s heard. Either way, the look in his eyes haunts him that day. He approaches the small omega (well, okay Shouto is small to him) after the lessons were done for the day, asking him, “Hey Todoroki, how are you doing?”
He’s trying to act normal so Shouto won’t get suspicious or skittish around him, but it’s easier said than done. He softened his tone, he softened his eyes, and he softened his usually over the top scent all to make Shouto feel safe.
The response he received was not at all satisfactory, “I’m doing good.”
Inasa has a hunch he is not. His movements were sloppy during the lessons and his eyes had the same corpse-like glow the whole while. He doesn’t know what happened, but whatever it is, he wants to at least have an idea so he can help him.
“Anything new happen with you?”
He’s known Shouto long enough to know that pressing for answers after getting a dissatisfactory one is not the way to go. The omega will tense up and close himself off instantly, answers will become an impossible thing to obtain then.
“No, nothing new really.”
Inasa bites his lip and takes a bold step for the situation at hand, “Oh, okay. Do you want to do something together this weekend? I was thinking we could go to this party Camie’s cousin is throwing and—”
Shouto’s answer was quick and hard, “No. I don’t like parties.”
Inasa raises a brow to this, finding it strange he would be so vehement on this, “It’s just a birthday party, Todoroki. It’s not anything bad or crazy. There will be only fifteen people there max, and that’s counting us if we go.”
Shouto is firm on his decision as well as his previous declaration, “No, I am not going. I hate parties.”
“Okay, well…can we do something together another time? Like, going out for dinner and a movie or to a pastry shop?” Inasa would cautiously ask the skittish omega in front of him.
“I’d like that, just…nothing to do with parties.”
“Sure, I get it. I’ll be sure to remember that from now on.”
Truthfully, this only makes Inasa’s worry meter rise. Shouto never mentioned hating parties before, so why is he hating them now?
That had been two months ago. During this time period, the look in his eyes remained the same as that day except things have gotten worse.
Shouto is quieter and more withdrawn than usual, which is saying a lot considering he is an introvert by nature. He only speaks when spoken to, he never questions any alpha or beta’s authority or boorish actions, and he’s stopped really giving it his all. In fact, Inasa can tell the omega is phoning it in with the way he acts like such a shell of his former strong, confident self.
He doesn’t like what is happening to the omega, but he knows if he pushes too hard, pries just a bit too much, Shouto will ice him out the way he has done to Bakugou and Midoriya.
Yes, the omega has iced out his best friend and his mate. Bakugou is the one who had told him of this a while back, maybe only a month ago to be exact. Regardless of exactly when it was said, all Inasa knows is when he heard it, he was shocked because Shouto always spoke about Midoriya and how much he admired the beta.
After remedial lessons were done for the day, Inasa had been approached by the shorter, ash blonde alpha with the anger issues… Bakugou? He thinks that’s his name. Either way, he’s never really paid much attention to him before now when he’s stomping over to him, a growl on his breath the whole while he does so.
“Hey, Shiketsu baldy! Why the fuck is half-n-half icing out my mate?”
This caught him off-guard completely, so much so to the point where he didn’t believe it at first, “What? Todoroki wouldn’t do that! Midoriya is his best friend, he talks about him all the time whenever we spend time together. He wouldn’t ice him out like that. I would have known if he did.”
Inasa and Shouto have been spending every other Saturday together whenever they can, no matter how little the time may be for them to do so. Inasa adores the little omega despite his increasing worry over him and he does have the intention to court him in the hopes of mating.
During these hangout times, he speaks about Midoriya nonstop to the point where Inasa feels as though he knows Midoriya without actually ever having met him. Inasa knows Shouto is only doing this to distract him from asking questions about himself, but he doesn’t care. So long as he is spending any amount of time with Shouto away from remedial lessons, he doesn’t care what the omega wants to talk about because he will listen intently no matter what.
“Um, yeah he fucking is! Deku is upset, crying, and acting all emo and shit because of that fucker! You are close to him, why the fuck is he icing out my mate?”
Inasa doesn’t know what to say, so he asks once more, “Are you sure Todoroki is really doing that? All he ever does is speak highly of your mate whenever he’s by me. I have no clue why he would be doing it. Did your mate do something to upset him?”
There are explosions going off in Katsuki’s hands and he’s getting ready to attack if his flared scent means anything, “What? No, my mate did not do anything to that bitch! All he did was ask him if he was okay or not because he’s been super ass worried about him lately and then the bitch got all weird and now he’s icing him out!”
Inasa thinks this information over for a moment before coming to a realization, “Oh…I think he may have pried too hard. Todoroki doesn’t like heavy, intense questioning on his personal life. I did that once before and he iced me out for a week before apologizing about it. He told me questioning like that makes him feel uncomfortable, nervous even, so I do my best to avoid that. Give it a week and he’ll talk to your mate again.”
Katsuki scoffs to this openly, his frustration and exasperation seeping through at the situation at hand, “It’s been over a fucking week, dipshit! He’s still icing him out!”
“Is your mate keeping up with the prying, though? Because that just makes him feel ganged up on and anxious. Trust me, I learned all of this the hard way.”
“You know oh-so-fucking much about him, why don’t you just fucking mate him already!”
There’s silence and a blush on Inasa’s cheeks. Katsuki knows then why the taller alpha has gone out of his way to get so close to the dual quirk user.
“You want to mate him, huh?” Katsuki states more than asks, “Why haven’t you done it yet?”
Inasa’s reply is shocking simple, even by his own standards, “Because Todoroki has a low opinion of alphas I am trying to improve. I want to properly court him and show him not all alphas are pigs who only want him for his body. I want to be his mate, so I will do everything as proper as I can to be sure I can get him to be mine.”
Katsuki doesn’t say anything to this, but he does sigh deeply. He then lowers his hands as the explosions stop going off, his crimson red eyes now on Inasa’s dark ones, “Listen, I don’t know what the fuck is going on with IcyHot, but it’s starting to scare my mate and our other classmates. Even our lives in a sleeping bag homeroom teacher is scared for him because of how weird he’s been acting lately. Figure out what is wrong with him and fix it.”
“How can I do that if I don’t know how he acts at school? I know there is something wrong with Todoroki, but how can I help if I don’t know the full picture?”
Inasa doesn’t mean to sound annoyed when asking this, but it’s fact: he cannot help Shouto if he doesn’t know what is going on at UA as well. He needs the whole story, not just bits and pieces if he wants to be the one to save Shouto from whatever it is he is doing to himself.
“He hasn’t been eating for a long time now. At first it was just lunch, but then it became all meals in general. I’ve only ever seen him consume protein shakes lately, but I’ve heard others say he only drinks water. Every night he wakes up screaming so loud it wakes up everyone on his floor, but he insists there is nothing wrong with him and he apologizes afterwards. He loses control of his quirks during hero courses, which either results in him hurting himself from pushing his body too far or his quirks being so intense to the point where Aizawa has to cancel them out. He doesn’t talk, he doesn’t do anything with us, and all he does is lay in his room all day whenever he has time off. The only time he gets out is when he is seeing you, other than that, he never leaves it.”
Katsuki and Inasa are silent then, but for different reasons. Inasa is trying to take all of this information in whereas Katsuki had finally vented out his worries to the one person who can make it stop. If Inasa cannot fix whatever is wrong with Shouto, then Katsuki is convinced no one can.
Shockingly enough, all Inasa has to say to this information is, “Okay.”
Katsuki raises a brow, his next words being snarled out through gritted teeth, “Okay? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“It means, ‘okay, I know what I am working with now and I will do whatever it takes to fix it’.”
Katsuki leaves with a small ‘tch, whatever baldy’ which Inasa knows means ‘you better do it or else’. Upon Katsuki’s departure, Inasa goes to find Shouto before he leaves for the day.
He finds him changing out of his costume and what he sees has him reeling.
Shouto is so…skinny now. He can count all the vertebrae in his spine as he is bent over while slipping on the pants to his school uniform. When he stands up straight after doing so, his ribs are still a bit too prominent for Inasa’s liking and though the shirt hides it well, it’s not enough to dissuade his increasing concern over the omega.
Shouto turns around, costume in his backpack when he does so, and he sees the alpha standing there, his shock still showing on his face.
He has a hunch of what happened, and yet he doesn’t comment on it, “Hello Yoarashi, how are you?”
“I’m good…” he then pauses and takes in Shouto’s face, his dark circles prominent with his cheek bones soon to follow after, making Inasa suppress a shiver as he takes a wary step forward, “Are you good too?”
He won’t push or pry anything out of him, however, he will ask what is needed to help get his point across.
Shouto’s answer is slow spoken, his eyes barely meeting Inasa’s at this point, making the air in the room feel heavier than it should be, “I am.”
“You don’t look like you’ve slept in a while. You wanna spend the night at my place this weekend? I think you will enjoy it.”
Shouto thinks it over but ultimately shakes his head, “No, I’m fine.”
Inasa decides in that moment to play a card he hasn’t yet, one which he hopes will get Shouto to open up to him. It’s a move of pure desperation, but he’s only pulling it because he wants to save Shouto from himself, but he doesn’t know how. Shouto needs to talk to him if he is to help him and if this doesn’t help get the ball rolling, then he doesn’t know what else will.
He closes the distance between them and hugs Shouto in a gentle embrace. Shouto is taken aback by it at first, yet this all too quickly becomes question, “What are you doing?”
“I’m hugging you.”
“Because I want you to know you can always come to me no matter what. No matter what problems you are facing, no matter what issues you may have, I just want you to know I am always here, and I am always ready to listen to you. So please, talk to me, Todoroki. Tell me what is going on and I can help you.”
He is desperate, pulling at straws here, hoping against all odds that Shouto will finally, finally tell him what is wrong!
Instead, what he gets after three minutes of silence is a calm exhale and a little nuzzle into his chest, Shouto’s words to him small yet to the point all at once, “I am fine, Yoarashi. I’m tired, really, really tired. All I need is some sleep and I’ll be fine. Please don’t worry over me, I’m only tired. Once I go home and get some rest, I’ll be fine.”
Inasa doesn’t believe this. He knows he’s more than ‘tired’ and whatever is wrong will take more than ‘some rest’ or ‘some sleep’. He’s doing all that he can to make Shouto feel comfortable telling him, to let him know he will always be here for him no matter what, and yet…it feels like this was all for nothing.
He’s not giving up, though. He will help his omega out no matter how lost, confused, and frustrated he feels with the situation at hand.
“Alright, go get your rest, Todoroki. I’ll be here for you no matter what happens next.”
The small release of his scent was a way of showing gratitude and Inasa enjoyed it while it lasted before the omega would leave his side again.
At the moment, Inasa is waiting outside the Height’s Alliance dorms to see Shouto again for a small date he has in mind. Well, okay, more like one-sided date since he didn’t tell Shouto it was going to be a date and he used the words ‘hang out’ instead of ‘date’ when he asked him to come. Okay, so it’s not a date at all, but he can dream!
The omega exits the dorms, approaching Inasa with a small smile, which only serves to make the alpha’s heart beat faster as he comes closer.
He greets him with a small wave and a generally laid back, “Hi, Yoarashi—”
Then his eyes suddenly roll back into his head and he passes out on the spot.
Had Inasa’s world not stopped moving in that exact moment, Shouto would have hit the pavement instead of being carried over to Inasa’s side by the wind.
Inasa holds Shouto close, shaking him gently, “Todoroki…Todoroki, hey wake up. This is not a place to nap. Please…wake up.”
Except...Shouto doesn't wake up and Inasa is left to freak out, "Help! I need help, my omega just fainted!"