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After A Good Rain

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"I think you would be in much better spirits if you would just be honest with Uraraka."

Izuku's head snapped up at the soft, musical voice of his study partner. "H-honest? Honest about what? I'm always honest with Uraraka."

He turned back to his notebook and continued to scribble furiously in it, ignoring the heat that bubbled beneath his skin. He heard the clank of porcelain as Yaoyorozu lifted an ornate white cup to her lips and took a drink of her fragrant green tea. The hot chocolate she'd made for him sat lukewarm in his own cup, having been distracted for a lot of their study session.

"Midoriya-san, you aren't very adept at lying. You have too many tells. You exclusively watched nothing but her the whole time she was down here when it's very unlike you to shirk your studies. I think the sooner you get whatever it is off your chest, the more at ease you'll be for this exam."

Yaoyorazu was his usual go-to study buddy besides Iida, Todoroki and Uraraka. Izuku admired her and enjoyed that he'd grown closer to her as a result of Shouto spending more time with her after their team exercise against Aizawa and their Provisionals.

Her quirk required her to be in constant study and she consistently scored the highest marks in their class. Studying with her had helped him immensely and watching her quirk in action was something to behold. His notebook now boasted a laundry list of ramblings about her creation power now that he had the kind of relationship with her where he could ask questions about it.

But Yaoyorozu was right; he was distracted. Since their provisionals, Uraraka had been oddly distant. He wondered if he'd done something wrong. She had been part of their study group and he'd found it easier to concentrate on going over Aizawa's material while she had been nearby, even though he and Yaoyorozu had been the predominant voices in the study session. Uraraka eventually broke away, sitting down on the couch in the common room before taking her things and announcing that she was going to bed.

"I've seen Todoroki looking at you the exact same way when he thinks you aren't paying attention." Izuku whispered to his reserved friend.

Yaoyorozu's dark, bedrock colored eyes flashed. "T-that's not—we're not… He looks at everyone like that. He's very extrospective. He and I have no issue we need to discuss."

Izuku looked at her, unconvinced. "O-okay, then it's the same with Uraraka and me."

Yaoyorozu looked at him with a withered look, faint color painting her cheeks. It wasn't often Izuku saw her composure crack even a little. The bearer of One For All pursed his lips—if she was waiting for Todoroki to be the first to broach whatever was between he and Yaoyorozu on his end, Izuku was sure she would be waiting a while. He knew that emotion he saw flash across Todoroki's face when he watched Yaoyorozu; at least part of it, anyway. It was intrigue tinged with anxiety, yearning…

Yearning? Was that the right word? All he knew was that when he looked at Uraraka, he felt happiness from deep in his gut. Other times, he just felt heavy laden with feelings he couldn't describe, like he had tonight. Especially when she stopped studying with them to sit alone. Todoroki had wandered downstairs and the two began to talk.

Izuku recalled the tight ball of tension that coiled in his chest watching them. Regardless of how he felt, Uraraka was focused on her goals and her friendships—whatever it was that he was feeling, it was doomed to go nowhere, to stay in the shadows of his heart. His notebook entry on Uravity was his most thorough out of all his classmates—proof that she was progressing and didn't need his stupid fantasies getting in her way or complicating her life. She'd already given so much to him—changed the cruel nickname Kacchan had given him into something warm and strong that he could be proud of. A real hero's name. She was his biggest supporter and encourager; maybe she could tell his feelings were getting away from him and that's why she'd been more reserved around him. It probably made her uncomfortable that he'd become so comfortable and familiar.

So no, he couldn't expect anything more from her. Izuku had resigned himself to being happy having her in his life in any capacity, grateful he could see her smile, her permanently pink cheeks glowing as she encouraged and supported him despite the fact that he really was still the Deku that Kacchan knew him to be deep down.

He really didn't want the same for Todoroki. Even if Momo only saw him as a friend, maybe that could change if his feelings were made known. That certainly would have been Izuku's fervent hope, if there was a chance that someone as great as Uraraka could return the affection for her he nursed deep inside.

"I guess we both have things we need to sort through with others." he heard Yaoyorozu speak quietly. He looked up to see her with a faraway look in her eyes.

Izuku smiled sadly at her, deciding it was best to change the subject. "So about the notes we took on Wednesday about emergency situation protocols…"


 

Todoroki blinked at her. "Come again?"

Uraraka took a steadying breath. "You're the most collected person I know. I've been feeling so out of sorts lately… I need someone who can give me advice on how to keep my emotions in check so it stops affecting my hero studies."

The half-and-half hero frowned. "You've been making great improvements, Uraraka. I don't see where anything has been getting in the way of your progress. Besides, I failed the provisional licensing exam the first time, so I don't think I'm the best pick. Wouldn't you be better off getting advice from Iida or Midoriya? The three of you are practically inseparable."

There were a plethora of reasons why she couldn't ask either of them, especially Deku. For one, she knew very well that he was the reason she was feeling so paper thin. Secondly, Ochako didn't think the boy could put up a façade if he tried—his emotions were something he wore proudly. She loved that about him, but she had feelings she was trying to bury, not bring to light.

As for Iida, the three of them were so close that she didn't want to make him a party to her drama, even if he was unaware how she felt about their mutual best friend.

And while she now enjoyed a healthy friendship with Todoroki, he was famed for being reserved and calm under pressure. He was the only good option she could think of.

"Don't sell yourself, short, Todoroki-kun." she told him. "You and Bakugou worked hard and redeemed yourselves. You have made such amazing progress since our first semester… Besides, you have great control over your emotions. Izuku and Iida are kind of the opposite."

Todoroki pursed his lips. "What about Yaoyorozu? She's exceptionally focused and even-keeled."

Uraraka sighed. "Yes, I know. But I wanted to ask you. You can just say no if you it's too much trouble. I'll understand, promise."

Truthfully, Yaomomo would have been a great option, but her relationship with Deku was one of the big reasons that she felt so out of sorts. Their closeness had summoned the jealousy from first year back in full swing, and she wasn't sure if spending more time with Yaoyorozu would make it better or worse. Plus, Mina was relentless with her teasing about who Uraraka was sweet on, and if she went to the creation quirk-user with this, Mina and the others would surely be nearby. At least with Todoroki she would have some space to really clear her head.

"No, I'd be happy to help you, Uraraka." Todoroki said hastily, finally. "I just wanted to make sure you were sure. This seems important to you and I'm afraid I'll disappoint you somehow."

Uraraka shook her head. "No chance of that. I'm really grateful you're helping me. I promise I won't be any trouble. I think shadowing you during villain attacks and just being around you like usual will be enough."

Todoroki's lips spread into the smallest of smiles, an unusual but welcome sight. She sat down across from him at the dining table near the dormitory kitchen with her schoolbag and unpacked her books, happy to study alongside the newest and most surprising friend she'd made at U.A.


 

Momo took a walk around campus. It was a nice day and she couldn't bring herself to begrudge a walk in the fresh air. She spied Midoriya poised in a taut ball of tension as he full cowled around the training yard, kicking and leaping into the air. She had always admired his tenacity when it came to his training, but his energy seemed a little different than usual. She felt a solid block of nervous energy wafting through the air.

Concerned for her friend, she stopped a little ways away from him and shrugged off her uniform jacket to expose her arm. She focused the on the molecular structure that she had memorized at this point and a soft cotton towel emerged from her bare skin after a moment.

Midoriya eventually paused once both his feet were planted on the ground again and his lips curved into one of his sunny smiles. He jogged toward her to meet her halfway.

"Yaoyorozu! Just taking a walk?" he panted as he attempted to regulate his breathing after expending all that energy. Sweat clung to green brows and Momo held out the white terrycloth towel she created.

Midoriya simply blinked at her to begin with, until he realized she's offering it to him for his perspiration. He accepted the cloth and wiped at his neck and face, pushing back his untamed green curls from his eyes.

"Thanks, Yaoyorozu. I didn't even think to bring anything like that."

Momo's gaze shifted around the training courtyard, looking for someone she wasn't seeing. "Wasn't Uraraka with you earlier?"

The adam's apple in his throat bobbed and his jaw worked before he answered. "She uh… left. Said she had plans with Todoroki."

Momo's chest churned in an unfamiliar way at the mention of her two friends spending time alone together. She'd been so adamant to Midoriya that things were comfortably platonic between herself and Todoroki, and even more adamant that it was the same when it came to Todoroki and Uraraka, but these outings with just the other two were becoming more frequent.

Yaoyorozu's assurances to Midoriya were crumbling from their foundations and she was slowly beginning to think there was something between Uravity and Shouto as well.

"I see." she finally intoned, betraying nothing of the whirlwind kicking up inside of her. "It is a beautiful day. Seems like as good a time as any for a stroll around Musutafu with a friend."

She made sure to emphasize the last word and Midoriya brushed his knuckles across his damp forehead. "Yeah. I guess so."

Something peculiar settled inside of the creation quirk user. A mixture of empathy for Midoriya and…

Something bitter, something ugly. She was unconsciously superimposing herself over Uraraka, imagining herself out with her half-hot, half-cold seatmate. When had it happened? When had friendship been infected with envy and longing? She was trying to put Midoriya at ease but she couldn't even get a foothold on her own feelings.

"It looks a lot easier on paper, doesn't it? Getting over it, putting things aside." he told her softly, and this time she doesn't confirm the implication they're both feeling the same thing, doesn't deny it, either.

"Reason usually sidesteps for the heart." Momo read that somewhere. It's her way of letting him know something she's too hesitant to give life to.

Midoriya smiles sadly. "C'mon. How about a late lunch? I'll share some leftovers from dinner with my mom last night."


 

Todoroki watched Uraraka thumb through the stationary section of the convenience store. She'd asked him to go pen shopping with her the day before. He didn't mind spending time with her at all, in fact, he looked forward to it, but when she'd accosted him in the common area and insisted that they go right away, he was taken aback a bit.

Then when she'd informed him she cut her training session with Midoriya short for that purpose, he was downright concerned.

"I would have been fine waiting a bit longer. You didn't have to rush off on Midoriya."

The brunette stopped her perusing. "We'd been training for a while. I'm sure he's fine with it."

The rest of their shopping experience was spent in comfortable silence, Shoto regarding the back of Uraraka's head, trying to figure out exactly what was with her and Midoriya lately. They used to be inseparable, now it seemed like they were avoiding each other. He found it unsetting.

Holding his sack of notebooks and packages of instant yakisoba, he emerged into the afternoon sunlight with Uraraka. Sirens suddenly screeched through the air and several police cruisers sped past them, obviously breaking the speed limit to get where they needed to be.

Shouto narrowed his eyes. That meant trouble was nearby. He flashed a look to Uraraka nodded at him. The pair sped off, trying their best to follow the sounds of the sirens to offer what assistance they could.


 

When they appeared at the scene Mt. Lady was already speaking to a gaggle of reporters and what looked like a restrained villain was being led off. The support crews were tending to the civilians that had been caught in the crossfire. Shoto noticed there was a group of people pinned behind twisted metal that appeared to be a car totally engulfed in flames.

Support hovered around them, and someone who's quirk was being able to conjure water doused the flames to put them out. Once that was taken care of, a few of them went about the task of trying to move the heavy steel frame, but not of them seemed willing to touch it.

"That metal is way to hot to touch." Todoroki intoned. "I think I have an idea, but it'll take both of us."

Uraraka nodded, face grave and pained. "I'll follow your lead."

The pair ran over to the scene and Shouto immediately used his right side to form a sheen of thick ice over what used to be the hood of the large pick up.

"Now, Uraraka."

Uraraka touched it with all five fingers of her left hand and the large, smoldering hunk began to float. She and the other support crew standing nearby pushed it out of the way, and the three civilians poured out from behind it, thanking everyone involved profusely.

Todoroki crossed his arms as he observed Uravity at work. "You sure you need help with your focus? You ran in and got the job done. Whatever distress you're under, it doesn't seem like it's affecting you out in the field."

Uraraka snapped to him, her chocolate eyes shifting. She almost looked… nervous?

"Eh? W-well, thank you…"

"Guess we'll just worry more about your headspace at school, then." Todoroki suggested. He did feel like she had been out of sorts lately around the dorms. Sometimes she walked around as if in a fog, already pink cheeks pinker than usual, almost feverish. That paired with her new touch-and-go relationship with Midoriya concerned him. Maybe that and her focus change were somehow correlated? Had something happened between the two of them that had shaken Uraraka's usually iron will?

The girl in question only smiled the smallest of smiles in reply. "You're actually really good at this encouragement thing, Todoroki-kun. I can see what Yaomomo means."

Shouto's left side flared just a bit, warming his skin at the mention of her. Yaoyorozu had told him herself that she attributed her confidence boost during their team exercises to him, but Todoroki insisted that he'd done nothing special. Her loss at the sports festival had shaken her, and he hated seeing a perfectly capable hero in training doubt herself. Her praise to him for simply speaking the truth… flustered him.

It wasn't an altogether different look than Uraraka sported around U.A sometimes. Was it the same feeling? It was a foreign mix of apprehension and warmth, anxiousness and gravity. Not necessarily unpleasant, but definitely uncharted to the half-and-half hero.

He noisily cleared his throat. "It looks like they have the rest of this under control, Uraraka. Let's head home."

His companion nodded and the pair retrieved their purchases from the curb where they'd dropped them and started their walk back to the dorms.


 

It had been a week since the day Uraraka had cut her training short with Midoriya and Momo had ran into him on campus, licking his wounds just a little bit. Since then, the brunette had been nearly inseparable with Todoroki.

Momo had seen a week's worth of awkward interactions between Uraraka and Midoriya. The two were skirting around each other. Where the two of them usually sought out the other's company, both were avoiding the other.

Momo didn't like it. Todoroki was as much of an impenetrable wall as usual, silently there for Uraraka to whisk away whenever Midoriya entered the room. The sensitive green-haired boy would have clear pain written across his face every time the pair raced off together before he could greet his zero-gravity friend.

And as for Momo herself? Well, that was also a complex situation. She would never begrudge her seatmate for spending time with friends, especially when his choice of company was someone who she was also friends with. Uraraka was a wonderful person, but watching her erratic behavior wear on Midoriya combined with the fact that she was connected with Todoroki at the hip…

Momo couldn't place the feeling that welled inside of her chest, making it tight. She'd been making efforts to get closer to Todoroki herself, especially now that he was opening up more, but she wasn't exactly the most outgoing person herself. When it came to the leadership and people skills necessary to lead their class beneath Iida—no problem.

But talking to the stoic boy she'd spent over a year in admiration of? Much more tricky.

"Oh, Yaoyorozu. Mind if I study with you?"

Momo looked up from her books to see bright blue and slate grey eyes peering down at her.

"O-oh, yes. That would be fine, Todoroki-san."

The smallest ghost of a smirk teased his thin lips, and Momo decided a smiling Todoroki was something U.A needed more of.

"I'm surprised to not see Midoriya here." he commented as he sat down, placing two cold bottles of water on the table along with his schoolbag. He set down another sack and started to unpack his books.

Midoriya was in his dorm, she knew. He'd had an incident with Uraraka earlier. The girl had bounded into class with her usual vigor:

"Good morning, Uraraka!" Midoriya had chirped happily from his desk, trying, really trying to change the situation. Uraraka had given him the smallest of waves in return and scampered off to stand near Momo's desk to chat with Todoroki about the rain showers that were forecasted for later.

"We'll probably have to reschedule that trip downtown." Uraraka had commented, and Momo felt that tight pressure just above her chest flare up. Todoroki had merely nodded and hummed in agreement.

Back in the present, Momo collected herself. "He's in his dorm… I think he wasn't…" wanting to run into your new best friend who has been treating him quite harshly, an uncharacteristically bitter thought rushed through her. "… feeling well."

Todoroki pursed his lips, but nudged the second water bottle and sack towards her. "Want to share? I think these are some of your preferences."

Momo opened the bag. Inside were assortments of candies and various other sweets-- ones that she had eaten during exercises many times to replenish the nutrients in her body that allowed her to use her quirk for long periods of time.

He looked very boyish and almost… bashful? Momo allowed herself to appreciate the childlike look in his eyes. The gesture warmed her, until the past week reminded her that two of her good friends were avoiding each other and somehow she and her seatmate were in the middle of the whole ordeal. Another petty thought crossed her mind, but his time she failed to keep it inside.

"Not studying with Uraraka?" she probed.

"She's not feeling well, either, I suppose."

Momo was thankful he'd taken the quip in stride. What was it about this situation that turned her into something she wasn't?

Dark eyes met bi-colored ones for the briefest of moments, and Momo felt a shared sentiment spark between the two of them: nothing was as it should be.

Then Todoroki reached into the bag of candy he'd brought and selected a piece of milk chocolate wrapped in foil and handed it out to her. She took it gratefully, and it felt like an olive branch. She carefully unwrapped the candy and popped it into her mouth as the two of them started studying in earnest.

A couple of hours later as the two were cleaning up, she noticed several pieces of the discarded chocolate foil had been folded into tiny, intricate hearts. Origami, almost. Before Todoroki could swipe them all into a trash bin, Momo salvaged one and slipped it into her notebook.

Why? They were cute, and part of her wanted her own quiet memento of Shouto Todoroki participating in frivolity around her. It helped her entertain the idea that perhaps he was comfortable enough around her to disarm his razor focus.

Perhaps.


 

Ochako was nibbling on mochi beneath her favorite thinking oak tree when her phone dinged. She took it from her pocket and flipped it open.

From: Todoroki [18:32PM]

You're hurting him, you know. Yaoyorozu won't outright say it, but I can tell she's concerned. He's holed up in his room. Have you ever considered that maybe your distraction isn't because of lack of mental discipline? I don't think you need my help at all: I think you may just have some overdue things you need to discuss with a certain third party. You won't be able to move forward until you do. I know from experience.

Ochako felt like the words had emerged from the LED screen and pierced her. She'd never meant to hurt anyone, least of all him. She just thought that if she stayed away, she'd be able to let go, to forget about those heart stirrings every time he smiled in her direction.

She guessed it was foolish. Who could forget about something like that? Forget about him? She tried waiting it out, expecting it to fade into the background like crushes were supposed to—but it hadn't. In fact, the opposite was happening, and it scared her. Scared her enough to use Todoroki as a distraction, a crutch, and she hadn't even realized that's what she'd been doing until just now.

Ochako wanted to be a hero, but it seemed that lately she'd only been good at being a coward. It had to stop. Instead of avoiding her problem, she'd be better off facing it head-on and learning to adapt.

Before she was mourning losing Deku as a friend, which would be much worse than dealing with the ache in her pining heart.


 

Izuku wasn't sulking. He was just resting. While gripping the fluffiest pillow he owned. Muttering into the plush fabric. But restfully.

Okay. He was brokenhearted. Maybe just a little.

He cursed himself for being so awkward around Ochako. Maybe if he hadn't been so obviously flustered and smitten, nothing would have changed between them.

If he thought Uraraka had been dodgy with him before, he was convinced she was downright running from him now. It seemed that every time their paths were going to cross within the halls or just walking around campus, she'd divert her path by grabbing Tsu, Todoroki, or whoever else was within arm's reach and running off. Sometimes when alone she'd just blatantly darted in the other direction.

Did he really reek that strongly of unrequited-feelings-itis?

Izuku groaned into his pillow. Honestly, he just missed her. Missed eating lunch together, studying together, the comfortable conversation between them that was as natural as breathing. He'd never experienced that with a girl before, and it was really wonderful. Until she got close to him or Izuku remembered just how cute he thought she was and the anxiety flared up and he wanted to hide from her.

He was just about to sink into another bout of despair when a timid knock hit his door.

Izuku froze. No one ever came to his room, not in the evenings. Sometimes they watched movies or ate dinner as a group, but those were always planned in advance. No one had messaged him about anything arranged tonight.

Another knock. "D-Deku? It's Uraraka. Can I… um, come in?"

Izuku's heart throbbed, elated and terrified at the same time. Elated because he was so happy to hear her voice after a week of near radio silence, terrified because if they were both alone in his room, there was no way he was going to be able to keep his cool.

He flung the pillow across the room and rolled off his bed. He took a steadying breath of air and wrested the door open.

Uraraka snatched her fist away, having been poised to knock a third time. She offered him a wobbly smile.

"H-hey, Deku."

Her cheeks were puffed out and rosy. His heart clenched. She was so pretty, and he was thoroughly distracted already.

"Hey, Uraraka. Did you want to come in?"

His friend nodded as he stepped aside and she walked through the door.

This was nowhere the first time she'd been in his room. Of course, Iida or someone else was usually with them. But this was different. It was only the two of them right now. Uraraka crossed the room and sat down on the edge of his bed. Izuku followed suit.

"Um, is everything okay?" he asked her.

He knew full well nothing was okay between them, but the silence was making him uneasy. Seemed like the best way to break the ice so they could get to the heart of her visit.

Uraraka worried her bottom lip. Cute. God, why did she have to be so cute all the time?

"Actually, it's not. That's why I'm here."

Izuku cast his gaze to the floor. So she had noticed his weird behavior and that's why she was keeping her distance. He rubs the back of his neck.

"I know. I'm sorry, Uraraka. I really wasn't trying to make things weird, I swear. You know how bad I am at hiding how I'm feeling, but I promise—"

Ochako's narrowed brows and confused expression made him pause.

"You? I was coming to apologize for being so flaky this past week and making you uncomfortable."

Izuku's mouth fell slack. "H-huh?" he said intelligently.

"I also wanted to tell you that I'm happy for you and Yaomomo. I really am. She's wonderful; beautiful, smart. You couldn't have picked a better girlfriend. I was trying to stay away and give you guys space so I could get through some… other things, but I realize now that wasn't very mature."

Izuku looked at her with wide eyes. She thought he and Yaoyorozu were dating? "Me and Yaoyorozu?! W-we're just friends, Uraraka. We've been studying together, that's all! I wasn't forcing my presence on you because I was trying to let you be with Todoroki in peace."

"Me and Todoroki?!"

He winced at how excited and flustered Uraraka was at that. She was flailing her arms in front of herself, face red like a candy apple.

"We're just friends!" she squeaked. "I was asking for his help with my focus. It's been out of sorts lately, so I thought maybe being around someone so calm and collected would be a good learning experience."

Deku swallowed hard, fisting the worn denim on the knees of his jeans. So, he'd had it wrong this whole time? They both had? They had both thought the other was getting cozy with a mutual friend, which wasn't true… not in the way they'd thought, anyway. He'd been just a smidgen jealous of Uraraka's relationship with Todoroki, and that's why he'd been more meek and flighty than usual these past few days, but that didn't explain why Uraraka didn't think she could come to him if she was feeling out of sorts.

"Uraraka," he began slowly, "you know you're my closest friend, right? You didn't have to keep the fact that you were feeling down from me. I would've helped you, I would've…"

He couldn't finish the thought. What would he have done? Mumbled every time she got close? Blush and hide because she'd entrusted him with something as personal as struggling?

"You're really special to me too, Deku." Uraraka insisted, voice sounding almost desperate. "It wasn't because I don't trust you that I decided on Todoroki. It was because I—"

Her mouth snapped shut, full lips pressed into a line. Izuku wrung his hands out in his lap. He could tell that whatever it was she had been going to say, she wasn't ready. He had to say something, anything, or this heart-to-heart between them wasn't going to go anywhere. His constitution couldn't take another week like this past one, one without Uraraka.

"No, it's my fault." he murmured. "We could have talked things out days ago if I had just asked you about Todoroki instead of getting… Well, instead of getting jealous."

Uraraka blinked at him. "Oh, is that what it was? I'm sure Todoroki would have been happy to study and spar with you if—"

Izuku shook his head with a sigh. She was giving him an out without knowing it. It was extremely tempting, but he'd come this far. He figured he might as well tell the whole truth.

"I wasn't jealous of you." he cut in. "I was jealous of him, for getting to spend all that time with you."

"But Deku, that's…"

Izuku took a deep breath and turned to face her on his bed. "—Not fair. I know. You can spend your time with whoever you want and I have no right to get jealous, but I did. I'd felt like I was losing you because I was being too obvious, too awkward about how much I like you. I could see you pulling away from me, and then you started spending so much time with Todoroki. It didn't bring out the best in me, and I'm sorry."

Uraraka's warm, brown eyes were wide and wet, her lips slightly parted in surprise. Izuku felt guilt lance through him. He was just about to backpedal on everything he'd said when she pulled him gently forward by the collar of his shirt and placed a lingering kiss on his right cheek.

Izuku's face went aflame and he gaped at the girl before him, who began to worry her lip again when they both returned to their own spaces.

"Was that… okay?" she asked timidly, and he knew right then that she was going to be the death of him.

His cheek tingled still, the sensation the very shape of her lips. He'd dreamed about having such a moment with Uraraka, but even his most hidden fancy didn't compare to the absolutely gooey, ethereal feeling he got from her very real lips on his cheek.

"That was… amazing." he blurted, fingers brushing the fated place.

Uraraka smiled, though her dark blush told him she wasn't faring any better than him. But even so, Izuku had to know in no uncertain terms what was going through her head, what this meant for the both of them.

"Just so I don't have the wrong idea," he began. "I was wondering… umm, does this make us…?"

Uraraka rested her forehead against his, their noses touching. "It makes us whatever we want to be, Deku. But I really, really care about you. And maybe I was just a bit jealous of Yaomomo too, so I think we're even."

Izuku felt warmed from the inside out. Her words were honest and tender, and it made him very happy to know that he apparently hadn't been entirely alone in his jealousy.

"I wanna spend more time with you, Uraraka." he whispered. "And I think I want to kiss you again."

Uraraka giggled, and Izuku decided that there wasn't a sweeter noise in the world.

"I think all that can be arranged. C'mon. Let's take a walk around campus. It always smells good outside after a good rain."

The pair stood, but before Izuku opened his door, he mustered up the courage to kiss Uraraka on the lips. It was calm, unhurried, and he hummed at the feel of her soft, full lips against his. She pressed back into him ever so gently, and that told Izuku everything he needed to know.

When he pulled away, Uraraka looked at peace. He became more convinced than ever that there was nothing stopping this thing betweeen them from becoming something really beautiful. He'd do whatever it took to keep that content look on her face; he knew that already

When they both exited the room, still smiling, they were met with Bakugo shuffling and grumbling past them.

"Tch. I swear something's going around this entire school. First Icy Hot and Ponytail are downstairs making googly eyes at each other, then you stumble out of your room with Round Face looking like a couple of tomatoes."

"K-Kacchan! It's not… I mean, you've got—"

But Bakugo wasn't paying attention, he was already halfway down the corridor. Uraraka nudged his shoulder.

"He really doesn't have the wrong idea, does he? I mean, I was hoping the kiss made it pretty clear how I felt." Uraraka took his hand, knitting their fingers together, careful to keep one pad up.

Izuku's heart fluttered to hear her say that. It seemed unreal that twenty minutes ago he was sulking into his pillow about how she was probably seeing Todoroki, but now they'd kissed and she was currently holding his hand in full view of anyone that could come walking down the dormitory hallway. There was no going back anymore, and he was fine with that.

"No, he's not wrong, but Kacchan doesn't have to know everything just yet. I'm looking forward to this being only about us for right now. Spending more time together, going wherever this takes us."

Uraraka nodded, the grip of her hand firm and encouraging in his. "Me too."

But Izuku was fairly certain that they both already knew exactly where this was going.