Izuku sighed, resting his forehead against his front door. It was four in the morning, two hours later than he was supposed to be home, and he was lucky that his roommate had been willing to babysit tonight. He really didn't have the money to worry about paying their neighbor for those extra two hours. Izuku felt bone tired; his arms were aching from having spent the past few hours prepping the bakery he worked at for the morning staff, and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to rest them anytime soon. Eri had to be at school by 7:30am, meaning they had to leave an hour before that to catch the two buses to her primary school. Then he had a 9am class at with mandatory attendance that went toward his grade. Not to mention the three classes after that—one which included his internship at the nearby pediatrician’s office.
Izuku lifted his head with a groan. His schedule was awful, but he wouldn’t change it for anything. It was absolutely necessary for him to make his dream of becoming a quirk specialist a reality, despite his own lack of a quirk. He wanted to do what he could to help the heroes out there, making sure they were in their best shape so that nobody had to suffer needlessly.
He struggled with unlocking the deadbolt on the door, missing it with his key twice before getting it to slide home so he could enter his apartment.
It was a tiny thing, with two bedrooms that were more like closets than anything, and it definitely had not been designed to house two adults and a child. Izuku and Eri shared the marginally larger one, a bunk bed shoved into one corner and a chest of drawers opposite the door which held both of their clothes. Denki Kaminari, the only other adult Izuku trusted in this world, lived in the other room.
Denki coming into Izuku’s life was a surprise. As a fellow omega—but one with a powerful quirk—Izuku was horrified to learn that Denki had been kicked out of his home when he brought home an omega to introduce to his parents. He had already been accepted to Yuuei when it happened, with dreams of becoming a Pro-Hero, but couldn’t afford the tuition on his own. None of his family members had stepped up to take him in, and because of that, he became a homeless omega teen who had to learn how to get what he needed to survive.
This led to Izuku meeting him when Denki had broken into the back of the restaurant Izuku had been working for. Izuku had been a dishwasher, low on the totem pole and working the graveyard shift, so it had been a shock to see a dirty blond come out of nowhere, holding a duffle bag and ready to rob the place. Izuku had threatened him with a kitchen knife, ordering him to leave. Then he saw Denki’s limp. Izuku was a sucker for anyone who was hurt, never able to ignore someone in need, so he ended up wrapping Denki’s ankle as the other boy told him his story.
And that was that. Izuku had a single room in his dorm, covered by his scholarships, and nobody looked twice at Denki’s constant comings and goings from the room. It was college; two omegas sharing a room was not the weirdest thing most people had seen on campus.
Of course, that had been before Eri came along. Izuku had been on his way home from a late shift when he stumbled upon the five year old girl sitting at a bus stop alone. There was nobody else in sight from what Izuku could tell, and he approached her curiously but with caution.
“Hello,” he said softly, crouching in front of her. “My name’s Izuku. Are you lost?”
The girl, who had been playing with a loose thread on her dress, looked up at him with a bright smile. She shook her head, pigtails bouncing back and forth. “No,” she answered with a sweet voice. “Daddy said he would be right back!”
Izuku frowned, taking another look around at the dark street. There weren’t any stores open at that time of night, especially in this neighborhood, so Izuku couldn't guess where he could be. “Do you know where he was going?”
Eri’s smile faltered a little before coming back even wider, looking as if it were painted on her face. “He said he had to go to the store, so Eri-chan had to wait right here for him to come back!”
Izuku took her tiny hands in his, wincing at the icy feeling of them. He rubbed at them to give them some warmth. “Do you know how long he has been gone?”
Eri shook her head again. “Not really,” she admitted slowly, “but the moon was over there—” She gestured toward the treeline to the east. “—when he left.”
Izuku could feel a fury build within him at her words, guessing that she had been out here alone in the cold night for at least a few hours now. He shrugged out of his threadbare parka—it barely doing anything for him—but still wrapping it around her, and sat next to her on the bench. The wind cut through him sharply, making him shiver, but he forced himself to not focus on it. The next bus was still about fifteen minutes out, and it was only luck that it had been a mild winter so far, allowing him to give her his jacket. Not that he wouldn’t have done it regardless, but at least it wasn’t worse outside.
When Izuku could see the bus a few stops away, he ducked his head to where Eri had listed into his side sleepily. “Eri, honey,” he said softly, getting her attention. “I don’t want to leave you here, baby. It’s too cold for you to stay outside by yourself.”
“But Daddy said he’d be back,” she murmured, cuddling closer to him.
Izuku was almost positive that he wasn’t but couldn’t tell that to a child who wouldn’t understand. He looked at the bus that was closer now, and made a snap decision that would either be one of the best choices he’s made or would blow up in his face. “How about this: you can come home with me, and in the morning, we’ll come back and wait for your Daddy.”
Eri looked up at him, and Izuku could have sworn that her eyes held understanding far beyond her age. He thought she might say something, but she only nodded and wrapped her arms around his neck, allowing him to lift her just as the bus was pulling up.
Izuku fumbled for his wallet in his jacket that Eri was still wearing, and flushed in embarrassment when he pulled his money out and realized he was a dollar short for both of their fares. The driver just waved them inside, eyes sympathetic, and Izuku thanked her before taking a seat near the front.
The next morning, a rare off-day for Izuku, he had woken Eri up early and offered to go back to the bus stop, but she refused. She told him she knew that her daddy wasn’t coming back for her as soon as he left her there, and Izuku’s heart broke all over again.
After that, Izuku couldn’t let her go. Denki had come home after working that day and suggested calling the local child protective services, and Izuku had almost snapped at him, feeling his instincts rise up and tell him to eliminate the threat to his pup. Denki had taken one look at his face and backtracked, sending soothing pheromones to bring Izuku back down from going feral.
By the time school started back up the next semester, Izuku and Denki had found an apartment for the three of them and moved in. The first few months were rough, all of them sharing an air mattress in the living room as they both started looking for better jobs. Izuku enrolled Eri in the best preschool he could find within his budget, and with Denki not going to school, he was willing to watch Eri while Izuku was at work.
That had been two years ago, yet both of them were still living in that tiny apartment, more money coming in but not enough to move. Denki had offered to look for jobs for Izuku to take that were better than what he was doing now, especially since Eri was growing out of things faster than Izuku could buy them. As he took off his shoes at the door, Izuku hoped that Denki had found something, because he didn’t know how much longer he would last doing this.
Luckily, Denki was still awake in the living room, munching on a bag of sour candy as he watched something on their old tv. The blond grinned at Izuku when he saw him in the doorway.
“Izuku!” He scrambled off of the couch, arms already outstretched for scenting, and Izuku fell into his embrace gratefully. It had really been a long night.
“I’m so tired,” Izuku whined.
Denki hustled him over to the small pile of blankets at the end of the couch, taking time to wrap him in them before flopping down on top of him and cuddling close.
“Izuku,” he said again, joy filling his voice. “I think I finally found the answer to all our problems.
It took a second to register, Izuku letting his mind drift a little as he was surrounded in their combined scents, but suddenly he was far more awake than he had been a few minutes ago. “You found me a job?” Izuku asked hopefully.
Denki nodded. “And it pays really well! Toshi was the one to actually recommend it to me, considering he knew a few people who are doing it.”
Shinsou Hitoshi, Denki’s contact to the less savory side of the world, was a sidekick working towards becoming a hero. He was a few years older than them, and Izuku still wasn’t sure how Denki met him, but he was a lifesaver when it came to keeping them afloat in harder times. An omega himself, and with a quirk that wasn’t stereotypically “heroic,” he was having a hard time breaking out on his own, but he still made enough money that if Denki needed something, Shinsou was there to provide it.
He had actually been the one to get the paperwork Izuku needed to be made Eri’s parent. It was a convoluted story, but what it boiled down to was Izuku having Eri as a teen, quietly and without going to a hospital, and her living with her alpha parent until they died suddenly. It made Izuku seem like an omega stereotype, but it wasn’t that important to him. What was important was that Izuku would never have Eri taken away from him, and she would never be forced to go back to her father who had abandoned her.
“Alright, show me what you signed me up for,” Izuku told him.
Denki grabbed the beaten up laptop from the low coffee table, opening it and giving it a small spark to power it on. It had been a gem they found at the pawn shop nearby, old and battered but still working. It didn’t come with a charger, but Denki was pretty good at controlling his quirk enough to make sure he didn’t accidentally overload, and they had gotten it for a low price. It was good, considering that Izuku had taken on a few classes online, his general classes that he still had to fill, and Denki was able to use it for work occasionally.
The two of them waited as the machine booted up, slowly going through all of it’s checks before Denki was finally able to open the internet browser and load up the site.
It was tasteful looking, with clean lines, and Izuku leaned forward to try and focus his mildly blurry eyes on some of the words. It was as Denki was logging in that Izuku finally realized what the site was.
“Denki!” He hissed, slapping at his arm to get him to stop typing. “What the fuck is this?”
Denki smiled smugly, smoothly navigating the home page to open up what looked like a profile for Izuku himself. “This,” he said with a gravitas that had no business being in his voice, “is a website for meeting people.”
“It’s a sugar baby website!”
“Okay, good, so you do know what this is,” Denki replied easily.
Izuku just stared at Denki, dumbfounded.
“Look, so I know this isn’t exactly what you meant when you said find you a job—”
“—but,” Denki stressed, “you’re a cute omega with an ass you can bounce a quarter off of, and these lovely rich patrons would love to be in the vicinity of it. Honestly, for a job, you could a lot worse.”
Izuku closed his eyes, breathing slowly through his nose so he didn’t give into the urge to kill his best friend. Denki wasn’t dumb, but he did dumb things like this all the time, and it had seemed to fall to Izuku to fix those mistakes before something worse came from them.
So it was with a tight voice that he said, “Denki, why would you think this is a good idea?”
“Is that a serious question?”
“Yes,” Izuku snapped. “I want to know where your head is at so I can pull it out!”
Denki turned, picking up Izuku’s hands as he did so. “Izuku, this is honestly the best idea I could come up with. Any other job that you could get to make the type of money you need would cut into your school hours, and this wouldn’t. Plus it’s easy money and a flexible schedule, so you wouldn’t have to miss out on anything with Eri anymore.”
Izuku looked down, hating how those words hit home. He hated the fact that he wasn’t there for Eri like he wanted to be. It was hard, balancing a child, a full-time job, and a full course load; it meant that a lot of the time, Izuku wasn’t there when Eri went to bed, or wanted to do something simple like going to the park. Some of Izuku’s best memories from his childhood were just doing things with his own mom, and he constantly felt like he wasn’t giving Eri that.
Rubbing his eyes frustratedly, he looked at the clock on the wall. “Okay. You have twenty minutes before Eri has to be up to convince me that this is a worthwhile idea, and if you don’t by then, I want you to delete the profile.”
Denki grinned. “I can convince you in ten.”
Katsuki was on his laptop at home, browsing through his news feed, when the email came in. It wasn’t anything overt; a simple message with an even simpler email address, but Katsuki’s interest immediately locked onto it. He opened it quickly, clicking the link to take him to the site.
Katsuki hadn’t always been on this site; no, before he had gotten into the top ten hero rankings, he had tried to meet people organically. But now, with his limited time and high standards, it wasn’t possible to find someone that way. Which is why Katsuki turned to the webpage, where people signed up with the intention of having something easy. And if he had to shell out some cash to do so, it wasn’t a problem—he was single, living alone, and his parents had money. He wasn’t doing anything with the amount he had anyway, so why shouldn’t he give it to someone that might need it more?
Of course, that would first require him to actually be able to find someone to give it to. For six months, he had been signed up, paying the fee to have a membership and see all the profiles of those who were willing to give their time for money, but hadn’t found anyone who was to his liking.
There were a few that looked like his type: short, a little muscle to make it feel like he wasn’t with a goddamn toothpick, and male. But each one of them had schedules that seemed to be tighter than his own, and some of them just aggravated him when they had a conversation. If he wanted a doormat, he would just hire an escort; he was looking for someone with a little bite back, someone who wouldn’t be afraid to say what’s on their mind.
Tonight seemed to be the same old profiles, with a couple that had been added, but nothing that caught his eye in the long run. Katsuki sighed, running his hand over his face. He moved the cursor to log out when a flash of green caught his eye.
Deku, he read, and snorted. “What the fuck kind of name is that?” He muttered to himself, but clicked on the profile anyway.
Deku, it seemed, was a 20 year old college student, studying to be a doctor. He had a list of hobbies in his sidebar, things like hiking and baking, but to be honest, Katsuki didn’t care about that. He was more interested in the pictures.
“Holy shit,” he said, blinking in surprise. Deku was hotter than expected.
The picture wasn’t anything risqué, not like others on the site, but it was perfect in its simplicity. It was a full body shot, face turned to the camera but body in profile, and Katsuki’s eyes locked onto the pair of legs that looked like they could crush a man’s skull, along with an ass that sat high and perky. His eyes trailed up, taking in decently built arms and a pair of broad shoulders, before they landed on that mop of curly hair and a pair of bright green eyes.
He would look better with a haircut, Katsuki thought to himself. Those eyes of his shouldn’t be hidden like that.
Flicking through the other pictures, Katsuki got a good sense of who Deku was, seeing an adult who was barely learning what it meant to be that, probably barely getting by in life, based on the clothes he wore. And Katsuki could feel something build in his gut, even as he critically went over everything about Deku in his head.
He wanted to take care of this stranger, someone he had only seen just now on the site. He seemed well spoken by his bio, if not a bit mouthy, and Katsuki couldn’t help but hope that Deku wouldn’t cause him to lose interest before anything even happened.
He clicked on the little checkmark next to Deku’s name. It would send an alert to Deku that Katsuki was interested in him, and then the ball was in Deku’s court. In order to start talking, it was up to the user who was looking to give their time to initiate the conversation.
Closing the computer, Katsuki stretched and decided to take a quick shower, hoping to get his mind quiet enough that he could sleep before his early shift. But it wasn’t working, the green-haired male stayed stuck in his head. What would he be like in person, Katsuki wondered. His profile was very tongue-in-cheek, witty in a way that most people weren’t when meeting face-to-face; but Katsuki couldn’t help but hope that Deku was like that even in-person. Even with a body like his, it wouldn’t be enough to keep Katsuki from ending any communication with him if he bored the fuck out of the blond.
Katsuki knew he was picky. He always had been, even as a child over something simple like the type of spice that went into his food. Katsuki liked what he liked, end of story. And he didn’t get where he was today by giving into anyone, so he wouldn’t start now.
The next morning was a little easier on Katsuki, his mind filled with his job rather than Deku, but once lunch came and he checked his emails, his mind went spiraling back to where it had been last night.
You have received a message from Deku!
Katsuki scrambled to open the site, navigating to that little message icon that was cheerily showing a small ‘1’ at the top to read what Deku had sent.
Katsuki chuckled a little at the back-to-back messages. Deku didn’t seem like the usual sugar babies who Katsuki talked to, freely admitting that he didn’t know what he was doing. Most tried to go for an air of mystery, enticing people to ask more about them, but Deku was like a breath of fresh air.
Katsuki didn’t worry about coming across rude. He was who he was, and it was better to be that from the start instead of letting Deku get a different idea about him.
Closing out of the site, Katsuki pocketed his phone and went back to work. He couldn’t wait to see what Deku sent back.
Izuku stumbled into his apartment once again in the early hours of the morning. Denki wasn’t up this time waiting for him, his bedroom door closed as he was most likely sleeping, and Izuku was grateful for that. He had developed a cough earlier that day, his lungs rattling with each explosive sound, and he knew that Denki would start to worry that Izuku was getting sick.
Izuku couldn’t get sick, not with his schedule. Other than Denki, there was nobody to take care of Eri, and Izuku had already used up all the available reprieve days given by his professors for when Eri had been sick herself. His hours at the bakery had also just been cut, and couldn’t afford to lose even more because his body wouldn’t cooperate. So he moved to the bathroom and took some cold medicine, hoping to stave off whatever he might have caught, before going into his room.
Eri was bundled up in her blankets on the bottom bunk when he walked in, silvery locks strewn across her pillow, and Izuku couldn’t help but smile at her. He took a careful seat on the end of her mattress, taking care to not wake her, and brushed a few pale locks out of her face.
He hadn’t been careful enough, however, as Eri stirred with a soft whine, eyes cracking open to see him.
“Hey, baby,” he murmured, voice soft in the dimly lit room. “Go back to sleep.”
She shook her head, struggling to get out of her blankets so she could raise her arms towards him. “Missed you,” she slurred out, sleep heavy in her voice, and Izuku had to blink back tears.
He gently pulled her into his arms, cradling her with all the care in the world, and said back, “I missed you too. Sorry I wasn’t here when you went to sleep.”
“It’s okay, Okaa-san,” she told him, sounding far beyond her years. “I know you were at work. Uncle Denki read me a story before bed.”
A tear slipped down his face, and he forced his voice to sound light as he replied, “Yeah? What was the story about tonight?”
She yawned, rubbing a fist against her eye. “A princess,” she mumbled, already half-asleep. “She had to fight her way past a wicked witch who tried to stop her from doing what she had to do to save her kingdom.”
“Sounds fun,” Izuku said, running his hand through her hair to lull her. “You’ll have to tell me about it in the morning.”
“Okay, Okaa-san.” Eri drifted off, still wrapped around Izuku, and he didn’t move from his spot. There was something comforting about having her in his arms, especially with how little he was able to do it. He shifted the two of them slowly, easing down onto the pillows behind them, and fished out his phone. He couldn’t fall asleep now or they wouldn’t get up in time to get ready, so he figured distracting himself would be the best bet to staying awake.
You have a message from Katsuki!
Izuku blinked at the notification. It was from hours ago, right after his shift had begun at work. Curious, Izuku logged into the site, bringing up the message thread.
Izuku flushed at the messages, not expecting such a blunt message in response to his own. Surprisingly, though, it was welcomed. Izuku had expected something other than what was said; what, he didn't know, but it was nice to see that not everybody on this site was a little creepy.
Izuku had messaged a few other people who had also liked his profile, but the responses he had gotten weren’t…exactly what he wanted. People asking for dates right off the bat, asking how much his “rates” were, asking for prices of his nudes, of all things. He hadn’t replied back to any of them, and had come away from the experience ready to murder Denki for getting him into this mess.
But he didn’t feel the same way after reading Katsuki’s messages. The man was blunt, no doubt; but he was also far more honest than the others had been, immediately picking up on Izuku’s nervousness and responding in a way that didn’t allow Izuku to freak out. That made him want to reply back.
So he did.
Izuku chewed on his lip, thinking about what else he could say. He didn’t know anything about how this was supposed to go, and he assumed that it wasn't meant to be a messaging service in the long run. Of course, as he was thinking, the little three dots at the bottom of the page popped up, showing that Katsuki was online.
Izuku smiled at the messages. Katsuki seemed to be in the same boat as him, not liking the relatively cold way this site can be.
Izuku waited for the reply, other hand rubbing at Eri’s back as she shuffled against him.
Izuku thought about not telling Katsuki about his late night, but figured it couldn’t hurt.
Izuku laughed, a sharp bark of laughter that made Eri shift. He shushed her quietly, rubbing a little more firmly at her back, and she eased back down.
The grin on Izuku’s face was so wide that he cheeks were starting to hurt a bit, but he couldn’t help it. Katsuki was funny, in an assholish kind of way, but Izuku was also a bit of an asshole at times too. The only difference was that Katsuki swore a lot more than he did, but considering that Izuku had Eri around, it wasn’t surprising.
Their conversation continued, Izuku learning more about Katsuki without him really saying anything about himself; but he supposed it went both ways. Izuku wasn’t shy about talking about his life, but he didn’t come out and say everything. The conversation flowed naturally, and Izuku hadn’t even realized an hour had passed until his alarm went off.
“Okaa-san?” Eri murmured, used to waking up to the sound of it. “Is it time for school?”
“Yeah, baby,” Izuku told her, brushing back her hair. “Go brush your teeth, and we’ll get ready.”
“Okaa-san! The toothpaste exploded!”
Chuckling to himself, Izuku went to help Eri with her problem.
It had been a few weeks since Katsuki had started talking to Deku, and honestly, it was one of the things he had come to look forward to most out of his day. Deku had a pretty consistent schedule, despite it being hellish, and Katsuki had subconsciously started to work around it. When he realized what he was doing, he shrugged to himself and rolled with it; it wasn’t like it had been a problem thus far.
And Deku was great to talk to. Katsuki found himself talking more about his life than he did usually, opening up to get Deku to open up as well; and from what he was getting while doing that, Katsuki might have actually found someone that he wanted to help. It wasn’t sexual (okay, that was a lie; Deku was stunning), but it fulfilled something in his life that he had been missing for a while: companionship. As Katsuki was already in his thirties, that was something he was finding that he wanted more and more.
Which is why, as the annual Hero Awards came up, Katsuki was seriously considering taking Izuku as his date.
But she had been right, in the end; he really did need the day off. He had finally cleaned out his fridge of whatever was in there that shouldn’t be and gotten the dusting of the living room done fairly easily. He wasn’t a dirty person, having learned how to clean as he went in order to prevent him from having to do any deep cleaning often, but he also wasn’t at his apartment often enough to prevent things from gathering dust. But now with all of that done, he was bored.
So he called Eijirou.
“Aren’t you supposed to be having a day off? That doesn’t include calling to see how the agency is running,” Eijirou said as soon as he answered.
Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Haha. You’re fucking hilarious.”
Eijirou’s tone was amused as he replied, “I know.”
Katsuki shook his head at the man who was, apparently, his self-proclaimed best friend. “That’s not why I was calling.”
“Oh? Are you actually using your phone for personal things instead of barking orders at poor interns?”
“This was a mistake,” Katsuki decided with finality. “I’m hanging up now.”
“No, no!” Eijirou was laughing on the other end of the phone, no malice in his tone. “I’m just messing with you, Bakubro. What do you need?”
Katsuki debated on telling Eijirou about not calling him that stupid name once again, but decided against it. If he was still using it after fifteen years of knowing each other, then it was a battle Katsuki wouldn’t win, despite how much that irked him. “I wanted to know that restaurant you took Raccoon Eyes to a few months ago.”
“...Akiko’s?” Eijirou sounded confused. “Why do you ask?”
Katsuki frowned at the question. While Eijirou did know about Katsuki’s profile on the site, he was under the assumption that Katsuki didn’t use it that often, not able to find anyone that he actually wanted to talk to. And now Katsuki would have to admit that he had found someone on the site, since he knew that Eijirou wouldn’t let him avoid answering the question.
“I may,” Katsuki started out casually, hoping to keep Eijirou from getting too exuberant over this, “have started talking to someone from the site, and am taking them out to meet them.”
“Ah, man, that’s great! Yeah, the restaurant is Akik—wait.” Eijirou’s tone went from casual to excited in a split second, and Katsuki sighed. “You met someone on the site?!”
“Keep it the fuck down, shitty hair, I don’t need the whole agency knowing my damn business!”
“Oops,” Eijirou laughed, and Katsuki could strangle him. “Sorry, man, forgot where I was for a moment. But that’s great! What’s their name?”
The line was silent for a moment. “Um...like useless?” Eijirou asked, confused. “That’s a sucky name.”
“I don’t know, maybe. But don’t say anything about this, shitty hair, especially to your wife,” Katsuki warned darkly. “I don’t need her sticking her nose in.”
“Aw, come on. You know how bad I am at keeping secrets from Mina!”
“Well, you better get good at it, because I’ll murder you otherwise! I don’t need her ass trying to take over here!”
“Oh.” There was surprise in Kirishima’s tone, as well as understanding. “You actually like them, don’t you?”
Katsuki chose to ignore that, embarrassment flooding him at the ease in which Kirishima could see right through him. “Just send me the number to the place,” he snapped, hanging up before the other man could reply.
Ten minutes later, Katsuki was calling the restaurant, throwing his name around to get a table earlier than the three month reservation wait they normally had. He had to pay a decent sum to get it to happen, but that Friday was when he would finally meet Deku. He opened his messages.