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This Life

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To him, it was any other day. He didn’t care for parties, cake, or presents. He didn’t mind that people didn’t know or would forget. Even better if everyone just went on about their day like normal.

Alas, things never went the way he wanted them to. But that wasn’t always such a terrible thing.

At first Shota Aizawa had planned to just go to work and go back to his room and sleep. He would have patrolled after grading, he truly didn’t mind, but his shining light forbid him.

Camilla told him, “You never give yourself a break. At least on this holy day take a break from one of your jobs. You deserve it.”

Shota had sighed heavily. “It’s not a holy day, Cammy.”

“Well it is for me!”

Bless her heart though, she tried her best to stop Present Mic from making a big deal at the teacher’s lounge, but to no avail. Even with Shota using his Erasure to quiet his best friend down, Present Mic’s voice was still booming.

“Alright listeners! We goin’ to the bar after school for some drinks! I’m buyin’!” Present Mic had yelled.

Midnight and the other teachers agreed, eager to loosen up after the last strenuous couple of weeks.

Camilla had turned apologetically to Shota, but he gave her a miniscule nod to let her know it was okay, and she smiled gently.

Going out to drink wasn’t so bad, it was one of the few things that he enjoyed. He’s known Present Mic for many years now, so his best friend would’ve known if Shota really wasn’t in the mood to spend time with others. But since Shota let Present Mic be his always rambunctious self, the latter knew Shota would be up for hanging out if it was a simple activity.

However, to Shota it was still any other day, and thankfully his friends and co-workers kept it that way at the bar.

Ectoplasm was karaoking his heart out, Cementoss and Thirteen cheering him on. Snipe and Vlad King were off playing pool, betting against some rookie heroes and easily beating them.

All Might (his drinks were virgins), Midnight, Present Mic, Camilla, and Shota were drinking at a booth off to the side that gave them the view of the karaoke stage and pool tables.

Like all the times they’ve gone out to drink, Midnight was once again mixing what she could to create a toxic concoction.

Camilla scrunched her nose in disgust. “Gosh, Nemuri, if you like mixing shit so much maybe you should’ve become a scientist instead of being a hero.”

The 18+ hero cackled, a wicked gleam in her sharp blue eyes. “It’s much more fun doing both. Come on, you gotta be more adventurous!”

“I’m fine staying in my safe bubble.”

“Ugh, it’s why you and Aizawa are perfect for each other. You just wanna stay home and sleep. I love and hate it.”

“Then I suppose that’s why Mic is here. Give that to All Might and he’ll die.”

Present Mic’s face had already turned green. “Why is it always me?”

All Might shook, bright blue eyes shrinking even more into his face. “Please remind me to never accept anything Midnight offers.”

Taking a sip of beer, Shota raised a brow. “How is that adventurous?”

“It’s something new, something that you’ve never done before. Who knows what might happen, but you take the risk anyway.” Midnight replied.

“That sounds more illogical.”

Once Midnight was done adding a couple of drops of Camilla’s red wine into her “new” drink — she had added drops of everyone’s drink into an empty glass — she stirred it gently, sniffed it, and grinned as she handed the poison to Present Mic.

“Alright, Mic, bottoms up!”

“Again, WHY ME?”

“Hush Mic, just try it! There’s been a few times where it was actually good!”

Camilla leaned into Shota’s ear, adjusting her sun and moon pendant that Shota got her for her birthday. “You know, I kinda feel bad for never feeling bad for Mic. Is that bad?”

Shota brushed her curly light brown hair behind her ear. “No, I’m the same.”

She laughed and his lips slightly quirked up as they watched Mic finally give in to drinking Midnight’s creation. All Might watched horrified.

As expected, after one gulp Present Mic instantly covered his mouth and ran to the restroom.

Midnight followed, head thrown back in amusement. “Gotta make sure he doesn’t die.”

The poisonous drink sat at the table, and All Might decided to get rid of it before Midnight returned. He picked up the offensive drink, holding it away from his body as if it would bite him, and quickly ran off to dispose of it.

Shota’s arm wrapped around Camilla’s waist, his hand resting on her thigh. She leaned into his side, relaxing even more as his warmth enveloped her. She gave a small inhale, breathing him in. Cinnamon and the crisp morning air of winter.

She loved being surrounded by him.

Reaching down to the hand on her thigh, Camilla laced their fingers together. “You enjoying yourself?” She asked after taking a sip of her wine.

“I am.” Shota chugged the rest of his beer. For a moment he thought of an old friend, wondering what it’d be like with him here. If he’d be alongside Present Mic throwing up too, or holding his own. Maybe he’d be singing or playing billiards. But that’s all they were — what ifs.

For a moment there was a forlorn look in his eyes, and Camilla leaned up to place a chaste kiss on his jaw, bringing him back to her.

He shook away his thoughts, dark eyes glancing down at the beam of light beside him. Shota recollected his thoughts, remembering what else he was going to say. “Even though I’m actually enjoying myself, I’d much rather be back in our room.” He gave her hand a squeeze.

His comment made her laugh. Camilla looked at him and smirked. “What, is it our bedtime already?”

The corner of his mouth lifted. “No, but we could engage ourselves with something else before going to bed.”

An excited chill ran down her spine. “Then I suppose we better get going. Seeing as you’re an old man and need all the sleep you can get.” Camilla couldn’t help but tease.

With their hands still intertwined, Shota moved their hands higher up her thigh and firmly pressed down. “Just wait.”

It was only two words, yet the effect they had on her was insanely stupid. Because the problem now was that she couldn’t — didn’t want to wait. Her mind raced with all the things Shota could do to her. All the things he’s done to her.

And now Camilla couldn’t wait.

They were only at the bar for about two hours, but that was enough time spent in celebration. All Might returned back to the table but was glad to be the one to tell everyone it was time to leave. He felt some type of tension he wasn’t used to between Shota and Camilla and wasn’t sure how to behave. So when Camilla told him it was time to leave, he happily obliged.

Midnight helped Present Mic out of the bar. All Might made Vlad King and Snipe return the money they won in the bets before dragging them out. Ectoplasm continued singing as he, Cementoss, and Thirteen danced while exiting the bar.

They had to hail down three taxis to take them back to U.A.

It was a little after eight o’clock when they were dropped off before the school. Ectoplasm, Vlad King, Thirteen, Snipe, and Cementoss were the first to arrive and had started their way back to their respective rooms, waving to Shota and the others who were arriving after them. Once they entered school grounds they were stopped by Mina and Kaminari.

Both students feigned worry, fiddling with their fingers as they glanced at each other then at the teachers.

“You two should be in your dorms. What are you doing out here?” Shota asked as he narrowed his eyes.

He was back in his teacher mode.

“Aizawa-sensei, something happened back in the dorms. It’s… it’s... “ Kaminari started.

“Spit it out.”

Mina’s brows furrowed. “It’s Bakugo and Deku.”

All Might stepped in, eyes widened and brows creased with worry. “They got into a fight?”

Shota sighed. “I thought they were long past this.”

He didn’t wait for anyone to say anything and stormed straight to his class’s dorms.

Poor All Might truly believed his students fought. “Are they okay?”

Camilla wanted to laugh at how adorable All Might could be.

Mina giggled before whispering. “They’re fine, we just have a surprise for Aizawa-sensei. Come on!”

She and Kaminari ran back to their dorms with the rest of the teachers following.

Camilla laughed then. “Remind me to teach you the difference between good and bad acting.”

All Might sheepishly grinned.

Midnight asked Present Mic if he was okay or needed to lie down, but the latter claimed he felt better after puking at the bar and resting in the car ride back.

They jogged to catch up with Shota — Mina and Kaminrari had quickly entered the dormitory — and were right behind him after he entered, hands balled into fists and ready to yell.

However, a loud “SURPRISE!” stopped the Erasure hero in his tracks.

Standing in the middle of the living room were all of class 1-A, along with Shinsou, Mirio, and Eri.

Shota stayed rooted on the spot, eyes widening as he took everything in. There was a “Happy Birthday!” banner, a couple yellow streamers, and in the middle front of the group stood Eri holding the cake (Mirio was crouched down as he helped her hold it) which had a cute little cat toy.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY AIZAWA-SENSEI!”

Shota’s mouth opened but nothing came out so he closed it. After a couple seconds of just staring, he took a deep breath and a gentle, lazy smile graced his lips.

“Thank you.”

Camilla beamed at his tender expression. He was such a softy.

She noticed that Mina was recording on her phone and made a mental note to ask her to send her the video. And even though she had to wait now, it was worth it to see all the kids celebrating Shota’s birthday.

Class 1-A, Shinsou, and Mirio gave Shota two cat cafe loyalty cards. The first card had ten days stamped so he could use it to get a free hour session, and the second card had all thirty days stamped for an hour Special Time session.

It took a long time for the students to come up with what to gift him since they knew he wasn’t a materialistic person. Then when they decided on the loyalty card it was too late for one person to get all thirty days stamped so they each took turns with the card, and used it a couple times a day and decided to get another one for the ten days. It might be sneaky, but they saved a lot of time and now their teacher can get two free sessions.

Shota’s eyes lit up. He’s been so busy with making lesson plans, teaching, grading, and patrolling that he hasn’t had time to visit the cat cafe to accumulate stamps. But now his students did it for him and he could spend special time with the cats at the cafe, one of his favorite spots to visit.

Eri drew him a picture of a black cat in a grey scarf and yellow goggles, earning a soft chuckle and a pat on the head from Shota. The drawing would definitely be framed.

And the delicious cake was of course made by Sato. Before distributing a slice to everyone, Shota allowed for Camilla, the students, and his friends to sing him happy birthday and snap a quick group photo.

Shota was genuinely touched by what his students did for him. Even Bakugo, who prefers to be alone, let himself be pulled into the whole affair.

It was time for curfew and after cleaning up and thanking his students and Eri, Shota sent them all to bed. Eri stayed with the teachers in their dorms so Camilla carried her back since she was falling asleep.

Inside the teacher dormitory, they all bid each other goodnight after Shota thanked friends too. And once Eri was settled in her room, tucked into bed, Camilla and Shota went into their room next door.

After setting his gifts aside, Camilla dragged Shota towards their bed, easily falling onto the comforter. He brushed her hair aside, long pale fingers lightly caressing her soft olive toned skin. He ran a digit along her dark brows, down the bridge of her nose, over her lips. She kissed his finger gently.

“You’re so loved. You know that, right?” She murmured into the quiet room.

Shota stared into the vast universe of her light brown eyes. What she said, it wasn’t something he thought about. He knew Camilla loved him, and he loved her. They expressed it many times to each other with words, caresses, sighs.

But to think about that there are others — that there were others — out there who care about him and his happiness. It was a brand new thought. However, deep down, Shota knew what she said was true. He did know.

He leaned down to kiss her.

It was gentle, like the breeze that blows away the seeds on a dandelion.

Camilla kissed him once, twice, before breaking away to hold his face in her hands.

“I got something for you.”

“Cam, the only thing I want from you is you.”

She kissed him again.

“I know, but I saw it and thought it would be a nice gift.” She gently pushed him aside so she could get up and go to the drawer on her bedside. Camilla held the gift behind her back when she turned to look at Shota.

She appeared a bit hesitant, one hand removing from her back to play with her pendant. “I… I really hope I’m not out of line giving you this. I just thought… it’d be nice to have. They were an important person in your life.”

Shota was sitting on the edge of the bed, head slightly tilted in thought. Someone who was important?

Camilla handed him the wrapped present. When Shota grabbed it it was easy to deduce that it was a frame. He wondered what photo it contained.

He began to unwrap the paper and his heart started to beat rapidly for some reason. Deep down, Shota felt he knew who would be in the photo.

After a few seconds of fully unwrapping the frame, the picture that stared back at him was one he hadn’t seen in over a decade.

In the photo was a young Shota, Present Mic, Midnight, and him.

Shirakumo. His dear friend who lost his life when they were second years.

It’s been so long since he’s seen a photo of Shirakumo. His wide smile, bright eyes, upbeat personality. Even through this photograph he’s still shining.

Shirakumo, who always cheered for Shota, who helped him when he was having trouble adjusting to the hero course. Shirakumo, who was the one to suggest for Shota to wear goggles, who planned to open an agency together, who believed that Shota would be a great hero someday.

Shirakumo, who was a wound that hasn’t completely healed.

Warm, gentle hands were placed on his forearms.

He glanced up, seeing Camilla crouched before him, and gazed into her kind features. She gave him a small smile, and Shota felt himself returning the gesture.

“Happy birthday, mi amor.”

Shota touched his forehead to hers and closed his eyes. “Thank you.” He whispered.

Camilla wants Shota to fully heal from that decade old wound. To move on and stop feeling responsible for that tragedy. The thing is, a large part of him has accepted what happened wasn’t his fault, but there’s still that tiny seed that hasn’t left. She knows it haunts him some nights, that it’s been hard for him to let go. She believes that someday Shota can close that wound.

Their sweet kisses turn into passion; two parched human beings searching for the stream in each other's lips. She wrapped her limbs around him, traced his scars with her mouth, sighed his name, pressed into him as much as she could. His firm hands held her hips, spread her thighs, guided her mouth, intertwined their hands above their heads.

They were two supernovas colliding and collapsing into each other.

As they lay in bed, clean and dressed after their coitus, Shota rubbed lazy circles against Camilla’s back. Her head rested on his chest, the pleasant sound of his heartbeat lulling her to sleep.

Never would he have imagined that he’d be in this moment. In complete and ultimate bliss. It was only with her when he could feel so at peace.

Shota wondered what life would have been like if Shirakumo were still alive. He knew that his departed friend would have gotten well with Camilla. Shota was positive that he’d get teased even more than he already does with Present Mic and Midnight. They would all gang up to tease him and it would’ve been a nightmare.

The idea makes him smile nonetheless. There’s a small part of him that wishes for that life, for him to have everyone he cares about by his side. But that was irrational because his life was here, and he’s content with it.

He looked down at Camilla’s form, her radiant features in a calm sleep.

Even though there’s old scars that haven’t recovered, Shota would never trade this life. Camilla meant so much.

To him, she was anything and everything. The first ray of sunlight in the morning, the sound of rain, the bloom of a red camellia, the crash of waves, the reflection of the moon.

He hugged her, wrapping both arms around her as he rolled them onto their sides face to face. Camilla nestled closer, tucking her head under his chin and inhaling deeply. Shota buried his nose in her hair, the scent of lavender surrounding him and making his eyes heavy.

Before fully succumbing to sleep, his last thoughts were of Camilla and everyone. She was his present and future, a beacon of light to guide and stand beside him to move forward. And everyone that cared about him, all of them would move forward with him too. He wasn’t alone.

Today was indeed a great birthday.