Katsuki signed the bottom of the paper, grumbling and stretching as he was finally finished with paperwork for the day. Gathering his coat and umbrella, he took the elevator to the bottom floor. Almost everyone else had already gone home for the day, greeted with sweet kisses and warm meals. Katsuki knew his apartment was going to be cold and empty, but at least he’d be out of the terrible weather signalling winter was coming. Stepping outside the agency, the wind and rain immediately blew in his face. Trying his best to maintain body heat, he quickly walked the 3 blocks it took to get to his apartment. When he finally closed the door, his body ached and head pounded. It’d been a long day of fighting villains and filling out documents. He didn’t have the energy to eat anything, let alone make it. He was about to walk to his bedroom when he remembered he hadn’t locked up. Fumbling with the keys for a second the Alpha walked to the front door only to stop short. Red eyes narrowed as the setting sun cast the outline of someone standing outside his apartment window. Cursing under his breath, he yanked the door open. Frowning in confusion, he stuck his head out and looked both ways when he saw no one outside. The faintest scent of lavender and rose hung in the air, but it was so subtle Katsuki didn’t pay attention to it. Cursing to himself, he closed and locked the door before making his way inside for the night. As the sun fully submerged past the horizon and the stars came out, Katsuki found himself tossing and turning in bed. There was an uneasy feeling in the air around him, one he couldn’t seem to place. Finally, he fell into an uncomfortable slumber, heart pumping and mind racing.
Groaning, Katsuki blew up his alarm, the third one that week. He really needed to stop doing that. Unlocking his phone, he quickly glanced at the time. 5:00 am . He didn’t even need to go into work today, but habit meant he forgot to turn his alarm off last night. It’s not like he’d be able to go back to sleep, not today. Swinging his legs over the side of the bed, he made his way to the kitchen, pouring himself a cup of coffee. The hot liquid ran down his throat, pooling in his stomach and warming him up. Leaning on his balcony’s railing, he took in the view as the city began to wake. Street lights blinked off as the rising sun shone down, lighting up its path. Cars moved on the streets, people coming in from night shifts, others leaving to their day jobs. Heroes were usually the first ones up, 24/7 protection needed to keep the city safe. Slipping a cigarette out the pack, Katsuki lit it, taking a deep breath. He knew smoking was bad for him, but it calmed his nerves on days like this. Days where it all overwhelmed him and seemed too much. He was the Number One Hero, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have his problems. The smoke spiralled around him before disappearing into the air.
Finishing it up, he walked back inside, silent save for his heavy footsteps. He dumped his mug into the sink before making his way back into his room. Standing in front of his wardrobe mirror, his reflection stared back at him. Cursing, he threw the door open and took out his suit. Black, for the occasion. Slipping the shirt on he did all the buttons up before knotting his tie. He hated it as much as he did back in high school, but he wanted to show respect today. He needed to, for Eijiro. Pants were next, followed by socks and then his jacket. Smoothing his hair as best he could, he sprayed on scent blockers and brushed his teeth before making his way out of his apartment. Checking his phone, he noticed it was only 6:07 am. He still had plenty of time before he needed to get on the train. He liked it like that though. It meant he could take it slow, enjoy the barely warm sun on his face and the waking of the people around him. His face was stoic, not showing any of the emotions raging inside him. Grief. Anger. Guilt. The Alpha was the reason he was gone, the reason his mate was left alone. Despite how much Eijiro had tried to convince him otherwise, it was Katsuki’s fault that body was in the ground.
This was the least he could do. The least he had to do. Walking out of the apartment, he took a deep breath to calm his nerves. He hadn’t had a panic attack since first year at UA, and he certainly wasn’t going to start now. He felt particularly on edge today, every sound had his nerves jumping, readying him to fight. He walked across the street and down the road, trying his best to clear his head. He was about to turn the last corner when he smelled something strange, something familiar. Taking a deep breath, he faintly recognised the scent from last night. A small sound echoed down the alleyway, and Katsuki was running. He sucked in his breath at the sight that greeted him. Curled up in the corner of the alleyway was the smallest Omega he’d ever seen. Wide, green eyes turned to stare at him in surprise. Matching wild curls that were still dampened from yesterday’s rain framed his hollow, pale face. His scent, lavender and rose, soured with distress, washed over Katsuki.
“Oi, you okay?”
Katsuki stepped forward, trying to get a better look at the small Omega only for the other to hiss, baring his small fangs. He quickly stood up, backing himself as far against the wall as he could.
“Alright! Calm down, I ain’t gonna hurt you.”
Dull eyes narrowed, filled with deception and mistrust.
“You’re gonna get sick if you stay out here. Lemme take you somewhere warm and safe.”
As the Omega took a small, shaky step forward Katsuki caught a whiff of something metallic. Was that blood? His Alpha instincts spiked, screaming at him to get this Omega somewhere safe and protect him.
“There you are.”
Whipping around Katsuki came face to face with a broad, tall man who stunk of Alpha. Dark hair and bright green eyes shone at Katsuki while a small smile played on his lips.
“Thanks for finding my Omega, I was worried he’d wandered off and someone had grabbed him.”
“ Your Omega?”
“Yeah, you got a problem with that?”
Katsuki squinted at the man trying to suss him out. Katsuki was a Pro Hero, he knew the kinds of things that happened in this world. Standing with his back to the Omega, he growled, letting out aggressive, dominant pheromones.
“And why should I let him go with you?”
“You’re Ground Zero aren’t you? Number One Pro Hero?”
The guy was obviously trying to change the subject, and Katsuki wasn’t taking the bait. The Alpha ground his teeth, his patience wearing thin.
“Fuck yeah I am. And I’m taking this Omega back with me.”
“Why would you do that?”
Feigning innocence wasn’t going to work on Katsuki.
“Because I can obviously see you haven’t been taking care of him in the slightest. What the fuck is he doing out here alone, in the cold, soaking wet with blood on him?”
“He probably just got lost, the poor little thing. I’ll take him off your hands now.”
A sinking feeling made Katsuki take a step in front of the Omega, fangs bared as he let out a warning growl.
“Take another step forward and I’ll arrest your ass. You want him so bad? Come by and pick him up tomorrow. Until then, I suggest you run along.”
Conflict passed over the man’s eyes, but eventually he scowled and walked away.
“I’ll do just that.”
Katsuki only let himself relax once the man was out of sight. Turning around, he tried his best to let out calm, comforting pheromones to coax the Omega into coming closer.
“Hey, sorry about that. Come with me, I’ll take you to my agency where they’ll patch you up and give you a warm bed for the night.”
The Omega looked hesitant, but eventually stepped close enough and clung tightly onto Katuki’s arm. A little painful, but the Alpha kept his mouth shut. Thankfully, their destination was just down the street and the morning hadn’t yet fully come so it wasn’t too busy. As he looked at the boy sideways, he noticed a hand clutching his swollen stomach, and if the Alpha concentrated hard enough, he could detect an underlying honey and milk scent buried beneath the overpowering distress. Fuck, he's pregnant. They walked in silence, save for a few whimpers and sniffs from the boy by his side. Once or twice Katsuki thought he might say something, but the building came into view before he changed his mind. One step after another the Omega was finally inside, and Katsuki closed the door behind him. The small boy obviously didn’t like that, immediately cowering and whining.
“‘M not locking you in here, you can leave if you want. Just don’t want anyone else comin’ in.”
The Omega’s shoulders relaxed slightly, and Katsuki tried his best to give him a small smile.
“C’mmon. I’ll show you where the office is.”
Leading the way, he waited until the boy was scuttling behind him. Katsuki contemplated bringing the Omega to his own apartment, but thought it was probably better to bring him to the agency. There were professionals there who could take care of him. Knocking twice on his boss’ door, he waited for a response before walking inside.
“Ah, Ground Zero. Aren’t you supposed to have today off?”
“Yes, Sir, but there’s something important I was hoping you could deal with.”
“What seems to be the problem?”
“Got a case 112.”
Katsuki grunted in response, stepping to the side slightly to show off the small boy behind him.
“I’ll take care of it. You go back now, Red Riot will need you.”
Worry swelled in his gut as he walked out the door. Ignoring his instincts, he quickly ran to the train station, leaving the Omega behind.
“Hello. I’m Shinso Hitoshi, the agency's doctor. What’s your name?”
The voice was barely above a whisper, Izuku wasn’t even sure he’d said anything at all.
“Hi, Deku. Can I have a look at you?”
The man claiming to be ‘Shinso’ set his bag down quietly, crouching low to come level with Izuku.
Izuku’s hands cradled his stomach, scent glands pulsing out anxious pheromones.
“I’m not going to hurt you, I’m a doctor. I just want to have a good look and make sure you’re doing okay. I heard you have a litter. I want to make sure the pups are okay, Deku. Can I do that?”
Izuku’s eyes tore from Shinso’s scanning the room for something, someone. He didn’t trust this man, something was off about him. The Beta held a hand out, obviously trying his best to comfort Izuku as he couldn’t produce his own pheromones.
“I’m just going to make sure you’re okay, Deku. I promise I won’t do anything you don’t want me to. Can I come closer?”
Izuku gave a small nod, silently telling him to come forward. Baring his neck in surrender, Shinso crouched down in front of Izuku, and began conducting routine health checks. He stuck a thermometer in his mouth, took a swab from his scent glands and poked and prodded around Izuku.
“This is the last one, I promise. I just need you to lie flat, okay?”
Izuku nodded, slipping down until his back was on the cold ground. He made himself relax, taking deep, calming breaths. Hitoshi reached out to place a hand on his stomach, and Izuku instantly reacted. Hissing, he lunged, narrowly missing Hitoshi’s arm as his fangs sharpened. Suddenly someone burst through the doors running to the Omega’s side.
“Oi! Calm down, it’s okay!”
Quickly throwing himself forward, Katsuki buried him into his chest, holding him close and signalling for Hitoshi to stand back.
“It’s okay, he’s not going to hurt you or your pups.”
The Alpha could feel warm tears soak through to his skin. Small hands gripped his shirt tight as though he was afraid if he let go he’d disappear. Stroking through the wild, green locks he let a rumble flow out his chest, trying his best to comfort the Omega. It’d been so long since he’d had to do something like this, he almost forgot how. He crooned, letting his scent wash over the smaller boy, waiting until the heaving racks turned into sniffs.
“Can he look at you? I promise he isn’t going to do anything. I’ll be right here the whole time, okay?”
He nodded as best he could so close to Katsuki’s chest, but the Alpha could feel it. Setting the boy back down on the bed, he motioned for Hitoshi to come closer.
“I’ll be done before you know it,” Hitoshi reassured.
The Omega winced as hands were placed on his stomach but settled soon enough.
“I’m just going to put some cream on your stomach. It’ll be a little it cold, but it’s going to help me see your pups, okay?”
Katsuki watched with fascination as Hitoshi smeared some sort of lubricant over the Omega’s stomach before pressing something against it. When the Alpha looked up at the screen, he could see something start to take shape, although Hitoshi pulled away before he could really form a picture. Katsuki released a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding once Hitoshi finally sat back.
“All right, you look good, Deku. I just have to ask you a few questions.”
Once Hitoshi was satisfied, Katsuki pulled him out the room, softly closing the door to leave the Omega to himself for a bit.
“So, is there anything wrong?”
“The reason for the manic episodes is PTSD. He’s also severely underweight. From what I’ve gathered he’s around 4 months pregnant, but he’s way too small for what can be considered normal considering he’s carrying a litter, not just one. I want to put him on a carb diet, at least 4 meals a day and make sure he’s getting tons of liquids. He doesn’t seem to be hurt too badly, most are just bruises that’ll heal with time. I’m mostly worried about his mental health. I’d send over some medicine but I don’t know how his body would react to it with its condition.”
“Shit. What the fuck happened to him?”
“I’m assuming a case of neglect and abuse. It’s becoming more and more common around the area.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be with Eijiro?”
“Yeah, yeah I’m going. Just...had a bad feeling and had to come check.”
“Right, okay. Well I’ll transfer him to the beds for the rest of the day, but since he doesn’t belong to the agency, I don’t know how long I can keep him there for.”
“‘S fine. I’ll talk to the Boss, see what I can do.”
“You seem to be taking particular interest in this case.”
“The fuck’re talking about?”
“Nothing, Katsuki ,” the name dripped like honey, sarcasm heavy as he spoke, “I need to get going.”
The Alpha watched as he left, grinding his teeth to keep his temper in check. He needed to get going as well, Eijiro would be wondering where he was. Glancing through the small window once more, he left the building with his instinct screaming at him to get back inside, to sit by the Omega’s side.
Stupid. You don’t even know him. Eijiro needs you right now, so get your head out of the fucking clouds.
A few train stops later and Katsuki was standing at the entrance to the cemetery. This never got easier, no matter how many years had passed. It was always the same shit. The same feelings . Wiping his face of any emotion, he opened the gates, wincing slightly as they creaked awfully loud in the otherwise silent air. It felt like he was suffocating as he walked up the path. It felt like everything was pressing in on him and he couldn’t escape it. The guilt, the pain. The sleepless nights. The tears. The years spent trying to fix something he could never undo. When he turned the corner, he could see Eijiro already knelt to the ground, hands covering his face as tears fell into the mud. He hesitated calling out to him, wondering if it was better to give him a few moments peace before the redhead turned and caught his eye. Instantly, he plastered a wobbly smile on his face, trying his best to look alright.
“You’re fooling no one, Shitty Hair.”
“Worth a try.”
Katsuki walked the last few steps, holding his hand out for his best friend to take.
“You know you don’t have to do that shit when it’s just us.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Katsuki expected something else, some explanation, excuse, but there was nothing. Not that there ever was.
“So, what’d you bring him?”
Katsuki dug in his pockets, pulling out a small cardboard box in answer to the question. Handing it to Eijiro, he looked away shyly while the other Alpha opened it up. When he heard a gasp, followed by a sob, he sighed inwardly, turning to pull the redhead into his chest.
Why can’t I be fucking better at this?! Why is it so goddamn hard?
“It’s not okay! I’m the one who should be lying in the ground, not him. He was too good for that! He had so much to live for. There’s no reason for me to be here! I should just be dead already. It’s all my fault.”
“I never want to hear you ever say that again. And I know he wouldn’t either. It’s not your fault, and you fucking know it.”
Katsuki’s heart panged as he felt Eijiro’s tears soak into the shoulder of his shirt.
“He was my everything, Katsuki. Even now, I just don’t know how to live on without him.”
Katsuki wanted to say more, but he was lost for words. It just wasn’t fair.
“Thanks for coming with me every time. I know it’s a pain in the ass.”
“‘S fine. I...like coming. He was my best friend too ya know.”
“Yeah, he sure was.”
Katsuki stood on the side as he watched Eijiro crouch down to place the cardboard box along with a fresh set of flowers on the grave. The redhead pressed a kiss to his hand before holding it up against the no doubt biting cold stone.
“Wanna get a drink?” Katsuki offered.
“Yeah. Think I need one.”
“You can stay at mine tonight. I’ll make up a space for you, if you want.”
“Thanks, man. I might take you up on that.”
"There's just somewhere I have to stop over first."
Routine. That’s what this was. Katsuki waited for Eijiro to say his final goodbyes before walking side by side back out the cemetery. Casting a single glance back over his shoulder, Katsuki gazed over the writing one final time.
Friend, hero, lover.
We’ll miss you.
Izuku clutched his legs so hard his knees dug into his chest. He couldn’t fall asleep even though it felt like his muscles were slowly being sucked into the mattress. His heart was hammering in his chest, adrenaline pumping through his veins. He was ready to leap and run. It was just a matter of when. His mind was racing a mile a minute as he tried to recall the events leading up to this moment.
He’d run away. He’d actually done it. He knew they’d be looking for him, scouring the city, and when they found him, it wasn’t going to be pretty. He’d run into that hero. He’d taken him to see a doctor. Now he was lying here, shivering as the thin blanket barely did anything against the cold. Tears pricked his eyes but he refused to let them fall. He had to be strong. For him, and his pups.
He braced himself, muscles ready when he heard footsteps in the hallway. It had happened at least three times already, each just someone passing by, never lingering. This time was different. The person slowed to a stop, halting outside the door of his room. The Omega waited with bated breath to figure out his next move. When the door slid open he was already sitting up. By the time the person had taken two steps, his claws were out, fangs bared.
“Hey, you still awake?”
That voice. Deep, rough, comforting.
“I just stopped by to see if you were alright.”
Another step closer and he was within reach. One leg over the edge and Izuku pounced, claws making purchase against soft skin. As soon as the other was on the floor, the Omega bolted. He skidded down the hallway, hand protectively sheltering his stomach. His breath came out hard and sharp and he spun around looking for an exit of any kind. Double doors met his vision, and before he could think any further he was pushing against them, exposing himself to the cold, winter’s night air. Stars twinkled in the sky and Izuku’s torn clothes swayed in the light breeze. Neon lights flashed at him from across the street advertising something he didn’t catch as he was already sprinting down the road. He heard shouts behind him, but didn’t look back, choosing to power on. He didn’t know where he was going. It just had to be away from here.