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The Room: Or, That Time Shinso Accidentally Egged On The Room Competition

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 "Well, I'm turning in for the night." Bakugo grumbled as more people entered the common room. He got up from his spot beside Kirishima, stretching as he scooped up their textbooks and notepads under his arm.


 "Really?" Kirishima asked.


 Hitoshi Shinso straightened up against the corner of the sofa as he lazily stroked his boyfriend's hair. Said boyfriend, Shoto, was using his lap as a pillow. "It's because you're the only one worthy of his grace," Shinso said without missing a beat.


 "Damn right he is!" His sour expression seemed to relax when he glanced at his boyfriend. He handed Kirishima his notes and book back. "But also it's getting late."


 "It's barely..." Shoto began.


 "Want me to join you?" Kirishima offered, beginning to stand up.


 "Nah. Stay up with the others, no point matching your sleep schedule to mine for no reason. I just wanna get some shlock done and sleep, okay? Night..." Bakugo said, turning his back and waving dismissively to the others before he began his exit.


 "Aw, he waved at us..." Sero teased.


 "Our little boy is all grown up!" Kaminari added.


 "Shut it!" Bakugo shouted.


 "Please do. We have to live with him now, remember?" Shinso said loudly. He turned to Kirishima. "He flipping me off as he walks away?"




 "Good," Shinso said, flipping Bakugo off in return, taking care not to use his Shoto hand.


 In the moment of calm that followed, the girls arrived.


 " Hey, boys ..."


  That tone. Shinso could already sense that he would regret whatever his friend Mina was about to suggest.


 "We thought it'd be fun to check out everyone's rooms. We’ve been working so hard and busting our butts after all!” Mina said.


 “Yeah! And I mean, we’re all gonna be living together, it’ll be all group bond-y or whatever.” Uraraka added.


 Shinso wasn’t sure about this idea. Personally, he didn’t feel strongly towards seeing the rooms. Nor was he against it. However, he did currently have his half-drowsy boyfriend in his lap, and Shinso was prepared to stay still through the apocalypse if it meant Shoto would be comfortable.


 However, his decision was apparently made for him with six little words:


 “We’re going to Deku’s room first!”


 As the girls ran towards the boys’ dorms, Midoriya let out a screech and bounded after them, the rest of the boys following suit. Shoto sighed in frustration. “Well, I guess we’re going, too,” he said flatly.


 Shoto got up and followed everyone. Shinso sighed and stood, the moment ruined. “I guess so.”



 Deku’s room was exactly what Shinso expected of him. It was covered in All Might merch, and was someone with a fear of eyes or being stared at’s worst nightmare. Also, garishly colored.


  How can anyone sleep in here? Shinso wondered as Midoriya hung his head in embarrassment and nerd shame.


 Still, there were some quality pieces of All Might merch in there. Vintage All Might posters, some collector figures Shinso could only dream of having as a kid, and...was that an All Might bento box? Shinso actually had one of those as a kid! It took all his strength not to run over to it, but he did manage to casually check it out. Oh shiitake he has the Silver Age one! Does mom still have my Bronze Age one at home? Maybe I should...


 Shinso snapped out of it. No. He couldn’t go full nerd in front of everyone. He had a life.


 “Hey, Midoriya. Why is this picture frame empty?” Shoto asked.


 “Oh, I just got that in today! I was going to use that for a selfie with All Might, but when I asked if we could take one, he just stammered and said he was busy today...”

 “Weird. Aizawa was also busy when I went by to ask him for capture weapon pointers today...” Shinso noted to get his mind off the forbidden fruit that was All Might merch. 


 There was a pause between the two boys.


 “Probably a coincidence.”




 And so everyone moved on, with Shinso stealing one last forlorn look at the All Might merch.


 Maaaaaaybe Midoriya'll let you nerd out with him over it when no one else is here.



 Tokoyami's room was definitely vaguely better for sleep. At least from a lighting and color scheme perspective. The sheer amount of edgy goth stuff, however, didn't seem conducive to resting. And dug up memories of his thirteen year old self Shinso desperately wished to suppress. He also could’ve sworn that he heard Shoji softly ask "why?" to himself as he gazed at the clutter.


 And Aoyama's room?


 It was a flashing nightmare.


 "Too...shiny..." Shinso grunted, squinting his eyes.


 " Twinkling... " Aoyama corrected.


 Shinso desperately searched for something in the room to soothe his eyes. He groaned when he found it: a modest, framed 18×24 oil painting of Aoyama's boyfriend (and 1-A's biggest, non-murderous source of pain in the ass), Monoma.


 "That painting's actually pretty nice," Shinso noted.


 Aoyama puffed out his chest and posed dramatically. "I painted it myself! And the best part?" He clapped his hands.


 The frame lit up brightly. Shinso was caught off guard and fell to the floor, dazed.


 Aoyama frantically clapped again. "Oops. Sorry, Shinso..."


 Shinso covered his eyes with his arm. "No, I should've guessed."


 "Yeah," Mina said. "Let's wait for Shinso to recover from this lethal tackiness before we get to his room."


 " TACKY!? " Aoyama exclaimed.


 Shinso groaned.



 “You're not going to find anything weird in here...” Shinso said with a shrug. The girls may have kicked the rest of his floormates in the pride, but they would get no such pleasure from him. Oh no. He stepped aside for the girls to open the door, confident in his decorating skills.




 Shinso shrugged. “It's not too big a deal...besides, if I said no...” A dark shadow was cast across his face. (He would later thank Tokoyami for using his Quirk to shadow his face and help with the drama) “Mina has ways of getting what she wants...” He switched back to his regular demeanor. “And your girlfriend scares me a little. Anyway, come in...”


 “U-Uraraka’s not-!”


 Shinso smirked as he entered the room. “I never said your girlfriend was Uraraka...”


 Midoriya's face turned strawberry red.


Obviously, the first thing that caught people’s attention was Peppermint Cat. “GAH! IT’S SO UNEXPECTEDLY CUTE!” Mina and Uraraka squeed.


 “Ladies and gentlemen, the lovechild of me and Shoto...” Shinso said. While he didn't really care about this room thing, he'd be damned if he wasn't going to win it. Somehow. It wasn't a competition. (Yet.) He quickly glanced at his bed and saw something that could hurt his chance of ‘victory’ (or at least any thought he was cool) and quickly stowed it under his pillow.


 Uraraka stepped back and saw the two posters that Shinso had hanging on the wall. He felt a chill as she lifted a finger to point. “Oh, hey! You have posters of Mt. Lady and Iida’s brother back when he was an active hero!”


 “Uh, y-yeah. I've been meaning to swap those out for a while to something less...embarrassing...”


 “Why? What's embarrassing about having posters of people you look up to?” Iida asked.


 “That’s...not why I got them...” Shinso said, looking down to hide how red his face was becoming.


 There was an awkward silence before Mina spoke up. “...HOLY SALT ! So that's the kind of woman you're into!”


 “I-I swear it's only because I enjoy her interviews!” Shinso said.




 ("Wait, what?" Iida said.)


 “Because the universe hates me,” Shinso said.


 Shoto said nothing for a long time. He just stared at the former Ingenium’s poster. Finally, he spoke, his demeanor and tone dark: “I see. So Tensei Iida is my rival...”


 Shinso immediately pulled Shoto to his desk for damage control. “No no no! Over him. You're the reason I need to change the posters. I don't have cute pictures of me and either of them with me, do I?” he said, motioning to the framed pictures of him and Shoto together that accompanied the ones with Sero, Mina, and his parents. He chuckled nervously. “I love you so much...”


 “Speaking of photos, check out the stalker-y framed newspaper clippings he has of Mr. Aizawa,” Jirou said. Shinso didn't know if he was grateful for the subject change or offended by the stalker comment.


 “He doesn't have any merch! I had to use rare newspaper clippings instead!” Shinso said defensively. And crayon drawings I made as a kid... he thought.


 “Aw, he's a nerd, too!” Uraraka said.


 Mina pointed to another article. “Hey, he also has an article about Taakodana--”


 “The first time I really felt like a hero...” Shinso explained.


 “And that thing about the Todorokis fighting...” Midoriya added.


 “What? Not only did I try to contribute, but my boyfriend was amazing...” Shinso said, throwing his arm around Shoto. Shoto smiled at him and rested his head on his shoulder.


 Shinso got a bit distracted by this, because soon Hagakure was pulling out what he'd hidden under the pillow. “HE HAS A STUFFED CAT!”


 Shinso let out a horrified, soul-exiting-the-body noise as he fell to his hands and knees. Please. Kill me now.


 Jirou snorted as the other girls present squeed over it. “He really does have a soft side...”


 Shinso collapsed to the floor. Goodbye, any street cred I had...


 “...Why?” Shoto asked simply, not even looking at him, but instead at the cat, transfixed.


 “MymomboughtitformeandsnuckitinmystuffsinceIwasgoingtobeawayfrommycat...” Shinso mumbled, face against the rug on his floor.




 Shinso turned his head and spoke up: “My mom bought it for me and snuck it in my stuff since I was going to be away from my cat!”




 Shinso curled up on the floor. Why me?


 “Does it have a name?” Jirou asked, clearly still teasing him.


 “Soba.” Shinso said, accepting his fate.


 Jirou glanced from Shinso to Shoto. “ bi mess...”


 “I never claimed not to be.”


 “Well, if that's all to see here...” Mina said, holding Soba the stuffed cat in her arms, “We’re onto the next floor!”



 In Iida's room, Mina and Uraraka tried on his glasses.


 Shinso, not getting the hype, tried on a pair. He frowned. "I can't see crap and my head hurts..."


 After removing the glasses, he noticed Shoto was staring at him. "What?"


 "...They looked good on you."


 Shinso reached back for the glasses to try and pop out the lenses.


 It took the combined efforts of Iida, Kirishima, Midoriya, and somehow Kaminari to stop him from thinking with the wrong brain.



 By this point several of the boys were nursing their wounded prides. Shinso could sympathize, having had his plan to play it cool be derailed by his old hero crushes and the fact that darn it he loved his mother being put on display against his will. But he didn't intend for the results of what he said next:


 “Well, what are you going to do? Subject the girls to this, too?”


 Kaminari and Aoyama exchanged a look. Then they grinned. “THAT'S A GREAT IDEA!” Kaminari exclaimed.


 Aoyama nodded. “ Oui, oui! The girls have to show off their rooms, too!”


 “...Guys, that wasn't a serious suggestion...”


 “Well, too bad! It's happening!” Kaminari said.


  ...What have I done?



 Mina Ashido watched Tsu slink back into her room after Uraraka checked on her. She bit her lip and snuck off to follow her while everyone else checked out Yao-momo's fancy room.


 As much as she wanted to have fun, Mina wanted to be able to have fun with Tsu, too!


 "Tsu?" she said, knocking on the door. "It's Mina. Can I come in?"


 Tsu opened the door slowly, sniffling. She was shaking slightly and her eyes were red, which hurt Mina's heart. Mina stepped in.


 Tsu's room was very cute. Lots of green colored furniture, a CD player, and her bed had a mosquito net. A little frog plushie sat on the bed, guarding the pillow, accompanied by a froglike alien plush. There was also one of those small desk fountain things. ("It was on sale," she'd explain to Mina a little later on in the evening.)


 "I like your room. It's cute!" Mina said.


 "Thanks," Tsu said, avoiding all eye contact as she sat on the bed.


 "Hey," Mina said, sitting beside her. "Are you okay, Tsu? Is this about the hospital?"


 Tsu initially didn't respond, instead wringing her hands as she looked at the floor. Then she nodded. "I said such an awful thing...I can't just go have fun with everyone and pretend I didn't. I don't deserve to..." She looked over at Mina through welling up eyes. "You should go have fun with the others..."


 Mina shook her head. "No way! How can I when one of my favorite people in the world is sad?" she asked, taking her hand and making Tsu blush. "Uraraka can handle the room king competition herself. I'll even text her my vote. I just don't want you to be alone like this." Mina squeezed her hand.


 Tsu squeezed back. "You don't have to..."


 Mina looked determined. "Tsu, as your future official girlfriend it's my duty to make sure my future official girlfriend is gonna be okay," Mina said, throwing in some Iida-like hand chopping specifically to try and make her giggle.


 Tsu smiled softly. Good enough!


 "Hey, Tsu? Why don't you just tell me everything about how you feel?" She handed Shinso's stuffed cat over to Tsu. "And here! Extra emotional support!"


 Tsu squeezed the stuffed cat and nodded, but not before kissing Mina on the cheek. Mina immediately dramatically fell to the floor, clutching her heart.


 Tsu actually laughed a bit.


 Mina smiled. She may not have been a hero yet, but that night she was going to try her darnedest to save Tsu's broken heart.



 After the other rooms were presented, the voting began. I could be a loyal boyfriend and vote for my man’s room and all the work that went into it... He thought back to checking in on Shoto during move-in, and seeing how intensely he was working to completely overhaul his room...


 Then he remembered that he was supposed to be breathing, and smacked his face to quit the blushing. FOCUS! Don't let how attractive the contestant looked putting his room together sway your decision!


 In the end, he voted for Sero. He liked the vibe in his room and the guy needed a win.


 He ended up not getting said win because Sato made cake and...well that was enough to sway the girls, but hey, he had good intentions.


 “Oh, here’s Soba back!” Mina said suddenly from behind Shinso, making him jump. She extracted the stuffed cat from her hair and deposited it onto his head. 


 “Thanks...” Shinso said. "Where have you been?"


 "That's...actually why I'm here..."


 Uraraka escorted Tsu over. "Hey, Deku, Iida, Yaoyorozu, Todoroki, and Kirishima? Can you guys come outside with me, Tsu, and Mina for a moment? It's important..."


 The classmates in question left, Yao-momo and Shoto saying a brief goodbye to their significant others.


 "Huh. Must be about the thing at the hospital..." Sero said.


 "What thing at the hospital?" Shinso asked.


 "Oh, right. You stormed out after you and Todoroki–never mind. Thing is, after you left, we talked more about the guys' plan to save Bakugo, and Tsu might've been a bit...blunt in her opinion."


 "Oh," Shinso said. He didn't like to remember that day. A lot of things were said that probably shouldn't have been, and it was just a bad time all around.


 Quite frankly, Shinso wanted to move forward.


 And also nap, apparently. He hadn't realized that he’d nodded off until, as if on cue, he felt someone scoop him up out of his chair. Shinso opened his eyes with a yawn and, sure enough, it was Shoto carrying him.


 “Wanna sleep over? In my room?” Shoto asked, setting him down and taking his hand.


 Shinso drozily rubbed his eyes. "Uh, didn't Aizawa threaten to give us a talk about-?”


 “Just sleeping,” Shoto confirmed. “Nobody can complain about us just sleeping over, can he?”


 Shinso shrugged. ”Guess not. And yeah, I kinda do...”


 Shoto smiled and pulled him along.


 “Remember to brush your teeth!” Iida said.


 “Yes, mother dear,” Shinso replied.



 After changing into their pajamas, Shoto held Shinso close as they brushed their teeth together. He was giving the porcelain of the sink an intense stare.


  Shoto’s become a bit territorial tonight...


 Shinso tried to think about what could’ve changed his behavior tonight. He did remember Shoto pointedly insisting they slept in his room. he still bothered by the posters?


 “Hey, Shoto?” Shinso asked after he spat out his toothpaste.


 “Hmm?” Shoto said, toothbrush still in his mouth.


 “...When I get the new posters, you're allowed to burn the old ones...” Shinso said. “I really was gonna get rid of them, anyway, but if they upset you...”


 Shinso knew Shoto had been making an effort to be more conscientious of his feelings ever since their first real fight. And Shinso appreciated it, especially when it came to not coddling him in exercises. But he also knew he had to put in some work in that department, too. Shoto had his own ways of showing his affection, after all, like Shinso had his. And at the end of the day, he wanted to make Shoto happy, just like Shoto wanted to do for him.


 (Plus, who was Shinso to get mad about this, when he just got over being mad that Kaminari had a thing for Shoto in the past?)


 Shoto spat out his toothpaste. “Thank you...”


 “I love you, Shoto.”


 “And I love you, Hitoshi...”


 After rinsing their toothbrushes, they turned out the lights. Shoto lit his finger and navigated them to his bed. He could've used his phone, but Shinso appreciated the showmanship. Once the finger was doused, they curled up together in bed.


 Shoto wrapped his arms around Shinso’s torso and rested his head on his chest. The left side, evidenced by the warmth spreading from him. Shinso rubbed Shoto’s back and looked up at the ceiling. With the room competition and everything, it was starting to settle in: this was home, now.


 Shinso looked down at Shoto, who had fallen asleep pretty quickly and was now drooling on his shirt. He kissed his head, making Shoto smile in his sleep. Shinso let himself drift off as he continued to watch Shoto peacefully sleep.


  Yeah...this is my home...