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the study of anatomy and physiology

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“Shouto!” was the first greeting Todoroki received upon walking into his class on the first day that semester. He didn’t have to look to see who it was, but he did anyway, because it was a little hard to ignore an Izuku that was waving eagerly and bouncing up and down on his heels next to an otherwise-empty lab station.

“Hey,” he said, and joined Izuku at the station. The room was almost full already, with students finding various stations to join. People were getting acquainted all over the room. Shouto hated getting acquainted. It was good that Izuku was here, so he wouldn’t have to talk to anyone but him.

Izuku pouted and leaned up on his toes to give Shouto a kiss on the cheek. “Aren’t you excited to see me here?”

Shouto blinked slowly at him. “We both signed up for the same lab on purpose. I would not be here at eight in the morning if you hadn’t convinced me to take this class with you.”

“Well,” Izuku said reasonably, “you’re the one that wanted to take it to annoy your dad. I have to take it for my degree.”

Shouto considered that. It was true. He sat down in a swivel chair at the lab station, the one facing the door and away from the rest of the class. He was glad Izuku had chosen this station, so he didn’t have to look at anyone else.

Izuku seated himself with a bounce. “I brought my laptop so I can take better notes,” he said, “and I have my colour-coded notebooks too - wait, let me pull them out in case the professor says something important - oh, Shouto, did you bring the pencils?”

Shouto had not, in fact, brought the pencils. He had left the entirety of his studying materials in their shared apartment. To be fair, Shouto despised mornings with a passion, and Izuku knew this, but Izuku was the one who chosen to leave at five so he could go to the gym before class and had not been there to wake Shouto up with a kiss and three consecutive mugs of coffee. Not that Shouto was complaining; he would never complain about the results of Izuku’s workout habits, as they personally benefited him, but this is why Izuku was to blame for Shouto’s lack of coloured pencils.

“I forgot,” he said flatly.

“Oh! That’s okay, I brought extra.” Izuku began digging in his backpack again, producing a giant 72-pack of coloured pencils. Shouto had no idea why he’d even asked him to bring coloured pencils if he had that fucking beast in his bag.

“All right, class,” came a bored voice from the head of the room. “Everyone shut up. We’re starting.”

Shouto looked at the clock. It was four minutes past eight. This professor was going to be late, then. Shouto liked him already.

“My name is Aizawa and I’m going to be your teacher this semester. For whatever reason you wanted to take lab before lecture, this is Anatomy and Physiology 2 lab. The lecture will be after this, starting at ten in the room across the hall. If you’re not supposed to be here, get out.”

Someone hastily gathered their things and rushed from the room. Clearly they had come to the wrong classroom. Shouto had done the same things many times, but it had been on purpose.

“Right.” Aizawa squinted around the room, picking up a pile of papers from his desk. “I need a volunteer.”

Izuku’s hand shot up along with a few others, but Aizawa pointed to a guy on the other side of the room. “You. Come here.” He slapped the papers into the student’s hands. “Pass these around. Everyone read them and ask me if you have any questions. You have fifteen minutes.” He scowled down a girl who raised her hand. “Ask me questions after the fifteen minutes.”

The door flew open, bouncing off the opposite wall. It was loud enough that Shouto looked up, despite his reluctance to notice anything that wasn’t within three feet of him. Two men entered, one with spiked red hair that rivalled the colour of a stop sign, the other with a scowl and hair like a dandelion on crack.

“Sorry we’re late, sensei,” said the scowling one, and jabbed the redhead with his elbow. “This fucker lost his keys.”

“Sorry!” the walking stop sign repeated, grinning sheepishly.

“Whatever. Don’t do it again,” said Aizawa, despite the fact that he himself had been four minutes late starting. He waved dismissively. “Find a station.”

Izuku had started bouncing next to Shouto. “Kacchan!” he whispered loudly. “Kirishima!”

Shouto forgot sometimes that Izuku talked to literally every student on campus. He knew everyone.

“Midoriya!” the redhead exclaimed. He received another elbow to the guts for it, but he didn’t seem to notice, bounding toward the lab station. “Hey man, are these two seats taken?” He gestured to the two empty seats across from Shouto and Izuku.

“No, sit down!” Izuku was clearly delighted. Shouto sighed. He had hoped that his scowl would have been enough to scare away the two, but they didn’t seem to care. There went his plans of having only Izuku as his lab partner all semester.

“Fucking Deku,” the blond grumbled, throwing himself into the seat across from Shouto. Although he had clearly been talking to Izuku, his gaze met Shouto’s, glaring cunningly like he knew that his presence annoyed Shouto.

“Shouto, this is Kirishima!” Izuku said. “He’s my gym partner. I didn’t know you knew Kacchan?”

“Yeah, dude!” said the redhead. “We’ve been hanging out for like a year now. Best bros.” He offered a punch to the other guy’s shoulder.

“Who is he,” said Shouto, pointing to the annoying blond one.

Izuku frowned. “Shouto, you’ve met Kacchan before. He was at my birthday party. And my mom’s birthday party. And Christmas. And - ”

“He knows who I am,” Bakugou interrupted. “He’s being a shithead.” He squinted at Shouto. “I see your hair is as ugly as ever.”

“I see your attitude is as ugly as ever,” Shouto replied.

Bakugou reached for Izuku’s pencils, but Kirishima caught his hand, grinning. “No throwing things at other people, we’ve talked about this,” he chided cheerfully. Bakugou slumped back into his seat, glaring furiously as if that would make up for his lack of projectiles.

“Well,” said Izuku. “I’m glad we’re all getting along!”

Shouto looked at him and blinked again. He wondered if Izuku knew Morse code. If so, perhaps he could communicate with his eyelids that he wanted to use the sink on their lab station to waterboard Bakugou. He blinked a few more times just in case, but Izuku just beamed up at him uncomprehendingly. Oh well.

“Here are your papers!” came a loud voice right behind Shouto. He blinked in surprise. Damn, there went his counting for the secret code. He’d have to start all over again.

“Iida!” said Izuku.

Izuku really did know everyone on campus.

“Midoriya!” boomed the loud voice. A hand thrust past Shouto’s shoulder and handed Izuku the papers. “It is good to see you! I must continue, I have more papers to hand out!”

“Good to see you, too!” Izuku said, but he was already moving away. Izuku began dividing the papers and passing them around. Kirishima ignored his own papers and tried to read over Bakugou’s shoulder, which earned him yet another elbow to his stomach. He must have abs of rock to withstand that.

Thinking about abs made Shouto start thinking about Izuku’s abs. Those were some fine abs, indeed. Maybe he could convince Izuku to go by the grocery store later and pick up some syrup that Shouto could lick off of them.

Shouto began folding origami from the papers Izuku gave him. It was the syllabus and lab instructions, probably. Shouto could make out “- safety in lab - ” before he twisted that part into a panda’s head.

Bakugou apparently finished reading his paper since he pulled out a binder that was organised eerily similarly to Izuku’s and tucked them inside it. He then folded his hands on the station in front of him and grinned at Shouto. It was quite a disturbing grin. Shouto was almost impressed.

“You know,” said Bakugou, “waterboarding isn’t a very effective way to kill someone. It’s more of a torture technique. There are a lot of chemicals in this room that would be better.”

“What?” said Kirishima.

Shouto began blinking again. He got as far as Y-O-U-R F-A-C-E L-O-O- before Bakugou reached out and stole his origami pandas, shoving them deep into his backpack. He glared at Shouto as if that should have somehow mortally offended him.

Shouto just began folding his papers again. He gave the next panda to a delighted Kirishima, who had given up reading and was using one of Izuku’s coloured pencils to draw red stick figures on the back of one of his papers.

Izuku had been writing notes all over his syllabus, but he finally straightened. He smiled around the station at the other three. “This class is going to be so much fun,” he decided.

Shouto had serious doubts about that. He didn’t argue, though; that would be useless against Izuku’s perfect smile. He handed Izuku his last panda, instead.

 

“I think this is a bad idea,” Izuku said dubiously two weeks later. His hands were being held above two plastic boxes on their lab station, one filled with ice cubes and water and the other with water so hot that it was steaming furiously.

Bakugou grinned at him, sharklike. “Now why would you say that?” he said, and then plunged Izuku’s hands into the water. Izuku yelped.

Shouto turned away from them and picked up the small metal instrument lying on the surface of the lab station. Bakugou had told him its name but he had immediately forgotten. “Hold out your hands,” he told Kirishima, who complied cheerfully. Shouto began poking him carefully with it. “Can you feel that?”

“Nope,” said Kirishima brightly. “Nope! No, not there either.”

Shouto put down the instrument and frowned at Kirishima. “I think your skin is broken.”

“Shouto!” Izuku scolded.

Bakugou let go of Izuku’s arms and grabbed the metal instrument. “You’re doing it wrong,” he sneered, and stalked around the station to join them. “Go help your idiot boyfriend.”

Shouto didn’t see how he was supposed to help Izuku when Izuku was just holding his hands underwater, but he went over there anyway.

“I just have really tough skin,” Kirishima called over as Bakugou began applying pressure with the instrument. “Not your fault, sorry!”

“Stop moving, dumbass,” Bakugou grumbled. Kirishima smiled down at Bakugou’s head ducked over his work, a soft, gentle look that would have made anyone look away.

Shouto stared at them until Izuku lifted his hands from the water. “Oh my gosh, that’s cold,” he breathed, shaking out his hands and grabbing for the pile of paper towels that were next to the boxes. “Here, Shouto, you want to do it? So we can get a range of results?”

“Sure.” Shouto waited until Izuku had scribbled down his reactions to the different water temperatures in his lab book, and then with a nod from Izuku, he promptly plunked his hands into the water.

Well. Shouto had no idea what the fuss was all about. One of the boxes had comfortingly warm water, while the other felt slightly cool. He relayed this information to Izuku, who looked concerned.

“Shouto, the hot water is just this side of boiling and the cold is freezing. It has ice cubes in it! Are you sure?” At Shouto’s nod, Izuku dissolved into mumbling as he wrote down the results. “I suppose your free nerve endings could be further down your epidermis, maybe even in your dermis or hypodermis - no, that wouldn’t make sense, that’s all subcutaneous tissue…”

Kirishima, apparently finished with his and Bakugou’s experiment, leaned over Izuku’s shoulder to read what he was scribbling. His and Izuku’s hair side-by-side looked like Christmas. Shouto liked it. “That’s cool, man,” he said. “Does that mean I have less whatever endings too, if it’s harder for me to feel the pointy thing?”

“Actually,” Izuku said, brightening as he straightened, “that’s what’s cool about these tests! They’re testing different types of receptors. So the free nerve endings are temperature receptors, while the tactile corpuscles - the ones that detect the poking sensation by the callipers - are mechanoreceptors, which means that you both have skin that’s less sensitive but to different things. You might feel the hot and cold water as well as I do but not the calliper poking you, while Shouto - ”

“Or,” Bakugou interrupted, glancing down at Shouto’s hands still submerged in the water, then grinning up at Shouto, “it means that your skin is broken.”

Shouto thought about that. “Yes, probably,” he agreed.

Bakugou scowled. “God, why can’t you take an insult? You’re so annoying.”

“Katsuki!” “Kacchan!” Izuku and Kirishima chorused. Bakugou didn’t look apologetic, but Kirishima poked him reprimandingly.

Shouto narrowed his eyes at Kirishima, considering. He had a very nice smile and very broad shoulders, and he was kind but could rein in Bakugou. Shouto decided that he liked him. Izuku would be proud when Shouto told him later. Shouto did not like very many people.

In the meantime, Shouto had pressing matters to attend to, such as Bakugou, who was turning away to collect the other testing instruments they’d used during this class. Lifting his hands from the water, he scooped up an ice cube from the cold side and reached over to drop it down the back of Bakugou’s shirt.

The resulting shriek was more than worth Shouto getting pummeled with as many ice cubes as Bakugou could reach before Kirishima hauled him away from the water buckets. Maybe this class would be fun, Shouto determined.

 

Shouto was texting when he walked into the lab, which, along with his decision to pull an all-nighter because he apparently hated himself, was probably the reason why he tripped over nothing as he walked through the door.

As he fell, his life did not flash before his eyes; rather, he saw Izuku’s stern face as he would very likely visit him in the hospital and scold him for four hours solid about texting while walking. Izuku had done that for one hour once, but Shouto supposed taking a nosedive to the floor was about four times worse than Izuku just seeing him texting and walking at the same time.

He never got the chance to find out, though. Someone caught him as he fell, arms gripping him tightly to keep him from toppling over and bringing Izuku’s future wrath down upon him. They were very strong arms, he realised, and toned, and he discovered once he had been set back upon his feet that they were, in fact, attached to one Bakugou Katsuki.

“Idiot,” said one Bakugou Katsuki. “You have a death wish or something?”

Shouto looked at Bakugou’s arms and then down at his own torso, where he could swear he still felt the arms embracing him. Bodies were very odd. “No,” he said. “I just tripped.”

Bakugou rolled his eyes and turned back toward their lab station. Shouto followed him. “Whatever. I’m not catching you next time.”

“So you did it on purpose this time?”

Bakugou spluttered. “No!” He threw himself into his seat, which squeaked pitifully at the abuse. Shouto wouldn’t be surprised if it was broken by the end of the semester. “Shut up.”

Shouto took his own seat, casting a quick glance at Izuku’s empty one. Maybe he’d stopped to get coffee for Shouto. One could only hope. “Thanks, anyway,” he told Bakugou, who looked like his top was about to blow because of the gratitude. What an odd little man. “Your arms are very nice,” he added.

Kirishima looked up from the lab book he’d been drawing in. “They are, aren’t they?” he agreed.

“Izuku’s arms are nicer, though,” Shouto said after a moment of consideration.

Bakugou looked even more furious. Shouto wasn’t sure if it was because he’d complimented him or that he’d spoken more highly of Izuku. Izuku’s arms were very nice, though. He was an excellent cuddler. He could also pick up heavy objects that made his muscles flex beautifully. Shouto was not very heavy, but Izuku could pick him up as well. For long periods of time. Against a wall. While moving other parts of his body.

“They are, aren’t they?” Kirishima agreed once again. Shouto nodded, pleased. He was glad Kirishima could see from his point of view. Bakugou stole Kirishima’s lab book in retaliation for the betrayal. Kirishima frowned and took it back with little effort, despite Bakugou gripping it with all his strength.

Shouto pulled out his phone again and opened his conversation with Izuku.

Shouto: get me a coffee and I will get you a blowjob

Izuku: I’m sorry babe I’m already almost there

Shouto: no sex for a year.

His phone pinged with another message. Unfortunately, it was not a message from Izuku begging his forgiveness and declaring that he would go back down the road to get a coffee for Shouto. Even more unfortunately, it was a message from his father.

#1 Dick bag: Shouto we need to talk

#1 Dick bag: You can’t keep ignoring me forever

#1 Dick bag: Are you going to reply?

Shouto: no.

“Hey man, you okay?” Kirishima asked.

Shouto looked up at him after sending the poop emoji to his father. “What?”

“Sorry, I don’t mean to be nosy. You just…look upset. How are you?”

Shouto wondered why Kirishima would think that. No one could tell when he was upset except Izuku. No one could read his poker face.

Now Shouto wanted to listen to Lady Gaga. His phone buzzed again, so he glanced down at it.

#1 Dick bag: Very mature, Shouto. What days are you free to meet?

Shouto sent another poop emoji. He explained to Kirishima, “I am texting my dad. He is a fucknugget with no brain or heart. He is very ugly as well.”

Kirishima blinked very slowly. Shouto couldn’t tell if he was trying to communicate via Morse code or not. Just in case, he swiped at his phone and showed the screen to Kirishima. Unlike the reaction he’d been expecting, which was a nod and confirmation that Shouto’s father was indeed an ugly fucknugget missing his brain and heart, Kirishima flushed bright red.

“Uh,” he said, waving a hand. “Sorry, I think that’s - ”

Shouto turned the phone around and squinted at it. He’d accidentally opened his conversation with Izuku. “Oh.” He went back to the messages with his father and showed it to Kirishima again.

“He seems very…insistent,” said Kirishima after a moment.

Bakugou, who had been ignoring them both in favour of digging out his own lab book and laptop, leaned over without invitation to read the screen as well. “He seems like an asshole,” he said.

Yes,” said Shouto. Finally, someone got it. He exchanged a squinted stare with Bakugou. Well. Guess Shouto liked Bakugou too, now.

Just as he had decided that, Izuku bounded into the room, followed by their sleepy-looking professor.

“Stop being so energetic, problem child,” Aizawa told Izuku as he made his meandering way to his desk at the front of the room. Shouto wasn’t sure whether to feel gratified, because Shouto was also very sleepy sometimes when Izuku was very energetic, or to be offended because that was his Izuku.

Shouto frowned at Izuku as he dropped into his seat and began digging out his collection of various pencils, notebooks, binders, and battered laptop. “Izuku. Where is my coffee.”

Izuku didn’t even look at him as he frantically flipped open one of his notebooks and powered up his laptop. Shouto didn’t know why he was rushing. Knowing Aizawa, he wouldn’t even start for another five minutes. Maybe he was racing with Bakugou, who was watching him cunningly as he also booted up his own laptop. “Sorry, Shouto,” Izuku said. “I told you, you messaged me too late. I was already pulling into student parking.”

Izuku had not brought him any coffee. Shouto considered dumping him for this travesty. Well, maybe that was a bit harsh. Shouto could reconsider after he’d had some coffee. Shouto was much nicer after he’d had his coffee. Then again, it would be four hours before lab and then their subsequent lecture let out. That was a long time to consider dumping Izuku.

Shouto turned and raised his hand. Aizawa didn’t respond, but Shouto spoke up anyway. “Sensei, I have to leave.”

Aizawa frowned at him. His eyes were bloodshot. Maybe he needed coffee, too. “Why?”

“I need coffee.”

Aizawa seemed to puzzle over this. He finally nodded. “A rational reason to leave. Go ahead.”

Pleased, Shouto stood. He decided to bring back some coffee for Aizawa as well. Izuku sighed very heavily, as if it wasn’t his fault that Shouto had to leave to go get coffee. If Izuku liked their relationship, then he should understand that Shouto needed coffee.

“Wait,” said Bakugou as Shouto started past him. He held out a hand. “Let me see your phone again.”

Shouto met his unflinching gaze for a very long moment. Finally, he pulled his phone from his pocket and handed it over. Bakugou didn’t smile, but the corners of his lips twitched as he swiped at the screen. He held it up and displayed his middle finger, then hit a button on the phone, handed it back to Shouto, and waved dismissively.

Shouto looked down at the screen. Just below the last poop emoji he’d sent to his father, Bakugou had sent a selfie of himself flipping off the camera. Shouto smiled despite himself. “Good,” he said. Bakugou smirked and went back to his laptop.

Shouto left to get his coffee. Yes, he would like Bakugou. He was an asshole, but he was a good asshole.

Now Shouto was thinking about assholes. Oh well. Maybe he could drag Izuku back to their apartment after class.

 

“Why?” said Aizawa when Shouto handed him the cardboard cup of coffee.

Shouto looked at the coffee and then at the deep bags beneath Aizawa’s eyes. He considered exercising tact, which Izuku had assured him existed. “You look like you need it,” he said.

Aizawa pursed his lips and nodded, then sipped at his coffee. “I’m not bumping your grades,” he warned.

Shouto shrugged. “I don’t even know what my grade is.” He gulped at his own coffee. Sweet bean juice. With every sip, his desire to chuck Izuku into the nearest ravine for not getting him some coffee earlier faded. He went back to his lab station, where his partners were apparently fighting over who got to run the lab computer that had been set up at their station.

Shouto sat down and watched them argue. It was good entertainment. Shouto hadn’t had a television for his entire life until he had moved in with Izuku, so he could even say that it was better than any of his favourite childhood shows.

“I’m much better at taking notes!” Izuku was insisting as he struggled to plug in the cords to the clunky square machine next to the computer. “I should run the program.”

Bakugou scoffed. He probably would have shouldered Izuku aside if they weren’t on opposite sides of the station. Instead, he grabbed some of the cords from Izuku and shoved them into their plugs in a swift motion. “Like hell! The program has prompts to go from one sequence to the next. You don’t write any notes!”

“There’s a note function,” Izuku argued.

Neither of them had noticed that Kirishima was already booting up the computer and opening the program, his arms propped securely on the surface of the lab station as he hunched over the laptop.

“Alright, listen up!” Aizawa called, and the various conversations around the room died down. Shouto could see some purple-haired guy yank a chattering blond down into his seat, which effectively shut him up. Shouto then realised he’d broken his rule of ignoring anything beyond three feet of his person, so he tuned back out.

“We’re going to be calculating hyper and hypoventilation, along with hyper and hypocapnia,” Aizawa said. “The program is going to measure your tidal volume, your inspiratory reserve volume, your expiratory reserve volume, and your…”

Shouto tuned him out too. Kirishima appeared to be doing the same as he clacked away on the computer he’d stolen from beneath Izuku’s and Bakugou’s noses. They didn’t need to listen, anyway. That’s what they had Bakugou and Izuku here to do.

“You don’t like mornings, huh?” Kirishima asked, glancing up briefly. His eyes were very pretty. If Shouto could draw, he would steal one of Izuku’s red pencils and sketch them. He couldn’t, though, so he just stared at Kirishima’s eyes instead. Maybe he could etch them into his memory.

Izuku might scold Shouto for being creepy. Shouto would argue that Kirishima’s eyes were worthy of being creepy over.

“No,” he said, and drank some of his coffee. The barista had looked like she wanted to banish him from the cafe when he asked for five shots of espresso, but Shouto had no sympathy. She was right next to a college, so she should be used to requests like that by now.

“Neither does Bakugou,” Kirishima confided, grinning like it was a secret. “Even though he goes to sleep earlier than any normal college student, he still gripes about mornings like he didn’t get any sleep at all.”

Bakugou slapped Izuku’s hand away from the machinery block and plugged in another cord. Shouto reconsidered his idea that they were both listening to Aizawa. “I can hear you, shitty hair,” he said.

Kirishima ignored him. “He’s more of a tea person, though. You like coffee?”

Shouto would probably kill someone for coffee. He had even considered breaking up with Izuku over it less than an hour ago. If coffee was a person, he probably would break up with Izuku for it. “Yes. It is very good.”

“How do you take it? Black, like your soul?” Kirishima laughed.

Shouto frowned at his coffee cup, imagining that. “No. That’s disgusting. It’s five shots of espresso with a splash of milk.”

Kirishima looked concerned. He seemed like he was going to ask if Shouto was okay, for the second time that day, but Bakugou interrupted him. “Shut up and give me the fucking computer, Eijirou.”

Kirishima’s eyebrows furrowed. “Bakugou, no. What have we said about talking like that?”

Bakugou sighed deeply. “Sorry. Give me the fucking computer, please.”

“No.” Kirishima continued typing. “I’m the computer science major here, I’ll operate it.”

Shouto was very impressed by Kirishima’s stolid composure, despite the glare Bakugou was burning into the side of his head.

“Pick your test subjects and get started!” Aizawa called, then slumped back into his seat and cupped his coffee cup, nursing it. Shouto wanted to do the same, but when he lifted it to his mouth, he was disappointed to find that it was almost empty. He should have gotten ten shots like he’d originally wanted. The last time he’d gotten ten shots though, Izuku had had to physically sit on top of him to keep him from running laps around their apartment. Despite the entertainment that might offer, Shouto had no desire to sprint around their lab, so he had refrained, but now he regretted it.

“You’re a computer science major?” he asked Kirishima.

“Yeah! Computers just click with me.” Kirishima glanced up, but his fingers were still flying over the keyboard. Shouto wasn’t sure why exactly he was typing so much. Didn’t he only have to open a single program? What required so much typing?

Regardless, Shouto was impressed yet again. He considered himself to be rather hard to impress, excluding Izuku’s general Izuku-ness, which made Shouto feel every emotion he had never felt before, but here Kirishima was, just…impressing everywhere. Shouto thought very briefly of Kirishima impressing him into a mattress and decided that was too dangerous.

“He’s not just a musclehead,” Bakugou said dangerously. “Surprised?”

Shouto drained the rest of his coffee and stared mournfully into the small hole on the lid. At least now he would be able to survive the rest of the class. “No. You just,” he gestured to Kirishima’s hands, “have very large fingers. How do you type so fast?”

A smirk crawled across Kirishima’s lips. It was very similar to Bakugou’s familiar grin; Bakugou was, perhaps, a bad influence, Shouto was coming to realise. “Yeah.” He waggled said fingers. “Lots of practice.”

Bakugou squinted at Shouto. Shouto wondered if Bakugou was thinking that Shouto was thirsting after Kirishima and those fingers. Shouto was not thirsting after Kirishima and those fingers. Shouto was thirsting after Kirishima’s fingers and Bakugou’s arms. He tried to take another casual sip from his coffee cup and then remembered that it was empty. Damn it.

“Who wants to be the test subject?” Izuku rejoined them, straightening up from his hunch over his notebook. He had been muttering under his breath this entire time, but Shouto had learned to tune it out at this point.

“No,” Shouto said simply. He, Izuku, and Kirishima looked to Bakugou.

No,” said Bakugou, much more firmly than Shouto.

Bakugou ended up being the test subject. Shouto didn’t want to know what Kirishima had whispered into Bakugou’s ear to convince him. Or…maybe he did.

 

“Shouto,” said Izuku one evening while they were studying together, “I have a question.

Shouto took a sip of his tea and frowned down at his cup. It was too bitter. Maybe he was just picky because he liked coffee better, but Izuku had banned him from coffee after his fifth cup today. It was entirely unfair. “Yes,” he said.

“Do you mind if I ask out Kirishima? We’ve been gym partners for a little while and now lab partners and he’s really sweet and I like him a lot but only if you’re okay with it - ”

Maybe he should add more sugar to the tea. Shouto took another sip just to make sure. It was still gross. “I don’t mind. As long as his boyfriend doesn’t care.”

“His. His what?” Izuku stared at him.

Shouto stared back. “Izuku. I am not the people person. I do not like knowing things about your friends that you don’t already know.”

“What - who’s he dating?” Izuku pressed. For once, he didn’t bring up his insistence that all of his friends were Shouto’s friends.

Shouto stood up. He’d use honey. They were almost out of sugar, anyway. “Bakugou.”

Izuku spluttered. “He is?”

“Yes. Anyway, if you ask Kirishima out and they don’t care, I will ask out Bakugou.”

Izuku, who had just begun to take a thoughtful drink from his own cup of tea, promptly choked on it. “You what?

Shouto stirred the honey into his tea. “Yes, he would be very fun to hate-fuck into the mattress.”

Izuku was quite possibly dying, but Shouto had faith that he would recover. It was just tea he was gasping on, after all. Shouto took a sip from his own tea. Yes, perfect.