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*

Hizashi hadn't thought it would be possible to love Shota any more than he already does, but it turns out nothing is impossible. He adores Shota more than he ever thought a person could love someone, and never more than when he’s blowing Shota at the foot of the bed while their inaugural third party, Suki, sits against the headboard with one of the vibrators from Hizashi’s toybox watching them go at it. After Shota’s come, spoiled first and foremost because Hizashi’s so excited and grateful to him for being here, willing to do this, he’s apparently content to sit back and watch Hizashi move right along and do Suki next. Hizashi's oral skills are unmatched across the board, and he loves being able to show that off.

It’s probably an extension, in some way, of the ease with which Shota casually stuck his head into the bedroom when Hizashi was fucking someone in the past to erase his voice before the windows shattered. That on a deep level there is nothing within Shota that goes against him seeing Hizashi with other people, and all their relationship has done is increased Shota’s interest level in actually paying attention.

Hizashi asks him, afterwards, once they’ve said their bizarre goodbyes and parted ways with Suki, who smiles and nods and seems like she might still be in a sex coma, why it doesn’t bother him at all. Why Shota’s idea of being possessive doesn’t intersect with jealousy the way it does for most people.

“Why would I be jealous?” Shota tells him simply, sprawled out on the sofa like they didn’t just have a spur of the moment three-way. “It’s completely different.”

“What is?” Hizashi thinks he knows, but it’s never clearer than coming from Shota’s own mouth.

“What you and I have,” he says so easily, with a certainty that erases doubts the same way his gaze erases quirks. “Sex is just a physical act, what makes it meaningful are the feelings for who it’s with. You don’t have those feelings for someone else, so why would I be jealous of something physical that you do with me too?”

And Hizashi sure did do it with him too. While he was fucking Suki, Shota just hung out on the bed next to them spectating, as if he found it interesting being able to see Hizashi that way without the distraction of being the one he’s having sex with. It almost broke Hizashi’s desire to keep going with Suki at all when Shota idly picked up one of his preferred butt plugs to start messing around with, halfway paying attention to Hizashi and the rest just straight-up masturbating, having his own fun while patiently waiting his turn because he knew he’d get one sooner or later. Fucking tease.

By the time Suki had enough to be totally fucked out, Hizashi wasn’t even close to done, so it was a mad, horny scramble to rip the condom off and sink right back into Shota, fucking him hard and frantically, remembering the merits of their respective stamina and just how familiar their bodies are with each other. The best of both worlds. A feeling that seemed mutual, since Shota came again, then kept going because he’s good like that, before Hizashi finally finished, Shota erasing Hizashi’s quirk exactly when he needed to.

Shota was right, like he usually is. Trust anyone as obstinately demisexual as him to point out that the physical act and the emotional baggage are different. That Hizashi doesn’t love anyone even close to the way he loves Shota, so there’s nothing he’d have to be jealous of and there never has been. Shota gets everything and more that Hizashi has to give, and what other people get from Hizashi doesn’t detract from it in the slightest.

So it’s a success, to say the least. Definitely something to try again whenever the opportunity arises, though to tell the truth it also seems to cement just how amazing it is having sex with just Shota. How no one else knows Hizashi’s ins and outs so well, and how to leverage them to devastating advantage. Quite literal ins and outs, sometimes, since no one else can fuck Hizashi quite like Shota does either, with enough practice to whittle it down into an artform.

Hizashi mostly tops, especially with other people, as it’s more predictable that way. Less dependent on them knowing what they’re doing and more in Hizashi’s control to go the way he wants it to. But no one brings out the submissive streak in him like Shota does. Something kept in one of Shota’s many tactical pockets, and pulled out only when he feels like it.

Like when Hizashi’s having a moment one day, after Shota has been working for longer than usual, and away much longer than Hizashi likes him to be away. They’re still texting, which is something, but Hizashi’s in enough of a mood to bring into question if they’re even dating, at least when Shota’s not around.

He doesn’t know why he says it, really, since he knows it’s not true, but it’s how he feels in the moment. Like if he can have sex with anyone, and just happens to have a lot of it with Shota when he deigns to be available, what actually makes it a relationship and not just an extremely integrated level of best-friends-with-benefits? That’s how he puts it in any case, mostly looking for a reaction, an affirmation from Shota that’s not always forthcoming in his understated nature.

But Shota’s reply is just, is that so?  

Yeah, if we didn’t fuck I’d barely know the difference from when we were just friends, Hizashi sends back, knowing it’s petty, knowing it’s not completely true, but it’s also not completely false either. His relationship with Shota is so different to any other he’s had, sometimes Hizashi just wants a little reminder that it is a relationship – something that’s hard to do when Shota’s been gone five days and counting.

Hizashi doesn’t hear back for hours, thinking he’d succeeded in pissing Shota off by pushing it too far, and they’ll have an argument to look forward to when he’s finally done with his shit. Whenever that is.

But the next message Hizashi gets from Shota after that long stretch of loaded silence is no more than, Back by nine. Be ready.

It’s a total surprise, and sends a tingle of anticipation down Hizashi’s spine, wondering if he might’ve poked the bear in a different way than he’d realised. He quickly cancels all his evening plans.

Nine is still several hours away, which is good in the ‘Shota giving him more notice’ department, but absolutely shit-awful in the ‘having to wait’ department. This means that Hizashi is cleaner than a soap bubble, three boredom drinks in, and dying of suspense when the door unlocks and Shota lets himself in at 9.05 p.m. exactly.

“That was fast, you’re practically on time,” Hizashi calls over sarcastically from the arm of the sofa where he’s perched, not sure what side of Shota’s he’s about to get. 

“Moved some things around and handed over to the police,” Shota announces neutrally, the thump of his boots down the hallway like a heartbeat. "Seemed like we had a situation here."

"Do we?" Hizashi returns with a flash of teeth closer to a snarl than a grin, sitting up and watching Shota come in and stop at the end of the sofa closest to the door, opposite end from Hizashi like weights on either side of a furniture-shaped scale. 

"Yeah,” Shota confirms, reaching up to pull the spools of his capture weapon off his neck and dump them on the floor, keeping an unbroken stare centred dead on Hizashi. “Apparently you’re under the impression that we’re not in a relationship.”

Hizashi has two ways to go with this, and he picks the dumb one.

“Sorry,” he says with a peverse grin, “Who are you again? And who gave you keys to my apartment?” Shota hasn’t really been gone for that long, in the bigger picture, but Hizashi was fed up of him not being here, and is voicing that discontent in a less-than-mature way.

Hizashi’s finally managed to reconcile the difference between the desire to go out and fool around because it’s fun, and the desire to go out and fool around when it’s not fun because he’s missing Shota. He was getting closer to the second, and may have translated some of that frustration into unreasonably provocative statements about their relationship status.

“Hm,” Shota huffs, pulling his goggles from on top of his head down to sit around his neck. “Come over here and find out, then.”

Hizashi’s throat tightens a little, but he doesn’t budge yet. “Find out what?”

There is a twitch, just a twitch, in the corner of Shota’s mouth, and this is what makes him so great to be around, so able to match Hizashi in a way no one else has managed. They’ve been giving each other shit for ten years now, and their supposed ‘relationship’ doesn’t change that one bit.

“How much of a relationship we’re in,” Shota replies coolly, standing right where he is and not moving a goddamn inch. He’s not going to, Hizashi knows already. He’s so fresh from work, cutting himself off early, even, that this is Eraserhead mode Shota who doesn’t need to grab for control when it sits automatically in his two very dexterous hands. He’s going to make Hizashi come to him, just to prove that Hizashi will.

Hizashi is static for as long as he can stand, which rolls in at a solid three seconds, and then lunges across the sofa, propping his hands on the other arm as he rises up like a performing seal and tilts his face up towards Shota’s.

“Go on and prove it, then.”

Shota doesn’t move fast, but with great purpose. One of his hands lifts to Hizashi’s outstretched throat, tracing across the stave he got tattooed across it last year – hurt like a bitch, but so cool – and settles under his chin. Thumbs along Hizashi’s jaw, looking down at him with delicious forboding in those dark brown eyes.

The truth is that sometimes Hizashi pushes Shota just so he’ll get pushed back, because their shove-me-shove-you game isn’t as much fun if only one of them’s doing the shoving.

“You demand a lot of attention, you know,” Shota remarks in a low tone, almost as if he’s complaining, only without sounding in the least bit opposed to such a fact.

“Correction: I deserve a lot of attention.” Hizashi’s still holding his performing seal pose, his face resting in one of Shota’s hands like holding up a hand mirror. They are reflections of each other in a lot of ways, it just takes a clever eye to see it.

“Hm.” Shota rearranged his evening for this too, and that’s the commitment Hizashi wanted all along. To feel important enough to pull Shota out of his world and into their shared one occasionally.

Shota dips in for a kiss, but it’s too light, and he rises back up after a second to leave Hizashi straining after him. His voice is like old, polished wood, full of texture and grain, but still smooth somehow. “You can always just say you miss me.”

“And you’d ignore it,” Hizashi returns, and they’re both a little bit right. Shota wouldn’t completely ignore it, but he wouldn’t drop everything to be here now, so from where Hizashi’s sitting he only did what had to be done.

“Up,” Shota commands, because the secret is that he gives over authority to Hizashi all the time, but he’s the one giving it up voluntarily, and there’s an awful lot of power lying dormant in him, like a volcano just waiting for the right moment to blow. Not many people get away with bossing Hizashi around, but Shota’s definitely one of them.

Hizashi hops over the sofa arm to stand in front of Shota, keen and obedient, because he knows what he wants, knows Shota knows it too, and hopes he’s going to get it if he does as he’s told.

Except what Hizashi wants is a proper kiss, and what he’s told is, “Turn around.”

Hizashi’s only wearing a pair of loose pyjama bottoms, which aren’t doing much to disguise his ‘interest’ as he poutily turns his back to Shota without getting any sort of kiss. His hair is hanging loose, brushed out and silky down his back, which Shota draws away from his skin like pulling back a curtain.

Only then does Shota’s mouth return to Hizashi’s skin, gracing the top of his neck with another light kiss, ghosting his lips out along one shoulder. Hizashi loves to rush, but Shota takes his sweet fucking time. Holds Hizashi by the hips to tilt him forward, folding him over the sofa arm. Shota’s mouth makes the trip inch by tattooed inch, descending the full mural of Hizashi’s back until he’s bent over the armrest with his hands on the sofa cushion and Shota’s down on the floor on his knees.

“Let’s see,” Shota murmurs as he smoothly pulls Hizashi’s pyjamas down, no underwear underneath because what’s the point of that? “Hm,” he hums with his lips approximately zero milimetres away from the skin of Hizashi’s asscheek, the one with all the signatures inked on it that Hizashi likes to refer to as the ‘autograph pad’.

“What?” Hizashi bites, trying not to fidget in the firm grip Shota has of him by the tops of his thighs. It sounds as if there’s something amiss, though truly, any situation in which Hizashi’s bent over something with Shota behind him can’t be too far off from an ideal scenario.

“I can’t find my name on here,” Shota explains throatily, sounding like he stops to lick his lips before carefully brushing his mouth across the wild squiggles of some of Hizashi’s most egotistical tattoos. “So I must not be one of your conquests.” He could be, of course, but that’s not the point he’s insinuating.

“You’re not,” Hizashi blurts, desperate for more contact, except pushing back only forces him against Shota’s ironlike, immovable grip.

“Oh,” Shota plays dumb, sounding surprised, “then what am I?”

Hizashi could behave himself, but then, it’s not like Shota is. So flippantly he remarks, “Dunno, some guy who shows up here occasionally and– ahh,” then breaks off when Shota’s teeth dig into the fullest part of his ass, just a playful nip to get them started.

“Wrong answer,” Shota states quietly, pressing in with his thumbs to spread Hizashi’s stance a little wider. They both know what’s poised to happen, and Hizashi hates waiting – so does Shota, for that matter, but it’s no understatement to say he’s also a little bit of a masochist. So they wait.

When Shota grabs Hizashi directly by the ass to tug apart and just breathes out, the warm air alone caressing some of Hizashi’s more intimate skin, Hizashi buckles.

“You’re my boyfriend,” Hizashi confesses, as if he’s the one who needed to reaffirm it instead of Shota. Maybe he was.

“Oh I am, am I?” Shota’s infuriating, so smug if he was about to do anything apart from what he’s about to do then Hizashi would’ve told him to fuck off already. That’s probably exactly why Shota knows he can get away with it. “Then I guess I’d do something like this.”

It’s a little known secret that Shota eats ass like he’s skipped every other meal in anticipation, and Hizashi has often been delighted by this hidden talent.

“Isn’t this– ah, better than whatever stupid work you were– oh fuck, doing?” Hizashi staggers through while Shota digs in, jaw and tongue teaming up on him in the best way possible.

Shota doesn’t answer, of course, since his mouth is otherwise occupied. Soon Hizasih’s legs are twitching, to say nothing of grinding his cock mindlessly against the sofa arm. Just the sound of his own mindless sex-jabbering into the still appartment air, escalating pleas until he’s finally outright begging Shota to fuck him

And only once he’s begging does Shota finally concede any ground, standing up suddenly and using a hand to rub his bare cock against Hizashi’s ass. Apparently he found the time while he was eating Hizashi out to unzip himself and already get started with the lube, because there’s definitely a tolerable amount of slippage when he pushes right between Hizashi’s cheeks.

“Fucking hell please Shota I didn’t mean it, alright?” Hizashi unloads desperately, quite certain that if he doesn’t get dicked soon he’s absolutely going to die. 

“Didn’t mean what?” Shota’s enjoying this, clearly. Not just the physical aspects, but the process of reducing Hizashi to a forlorn, babbling mess. 

Hizashi supposes it’s the same way he feels about seeing this side of Shota too, when he methodically takes Shota to pieces because it’s what he needs more than he can express in any words. Shota’s literally cried during that kind of sex, and Hizashi freaked out big time when it first happened, not sure how Shota expected Hizashi to keep going while he literally started sobbing: the first time Hizashi had ever seen him cry, no less. When the answer to the question of if the sex is why he’s crying is a tearful ‘yeah’ Hizashi can’t intrinsically know that’s exactly the point, and Shota really does want him to keep going. Maybe Shota didn’t know that either, at the time.

Turns out the case Shota had just finished took a lot more out of him than even he realised, and though the sex is why he’s crying, it’s in a good way rather than a bad one. They managed to talk it out in the end, somehow, and now Hizashi knows how to anticipate those times better, what to say and do to let Shota break the right way. Hizashi doesn’t cry like that, probably doesn’t need to, not the way Shota does when everything he’s bottled up finally gets decanted.

But Hizashi does tell truths that can’t be worked out of him any other way than when he’s like this, confessing desperately, “What I said about us, that we’re not dating.”

“Oh?” Shota murmurs indifferently, one hand on Hizashi’s hip and the other on his own cock, sounding far more interested in rubbing against Hizashi’s ass than anything coming out of his mouth. 

“Yeah, I just said it okay?” Hizashi blurts. “I was lonely and wanted to provoke you into coming over.”

As casually as anyone can be while grinding their cock on someone’s ass, Shota remarks, “I know,” and then pushes teasingly against Hizashi’s hole as a warmup to the main event, before going back to sliding the full length across his cheeks.

“You– fuck– do?” Hizashi gasps, finding words harder and harder to focus on as Shota penetrates him little by little.

“You’re not as subtle as you think you are,” Shota says smugly, backing up all of a sudden. Hizashi whines, but catches the sound in his own throat when Shota’s slick fingers return in lieu. “You think I can’t tell when you just wanna get fucked?”

“By you,” Hizashi finishes as Shota’s fingers vanish again, hopefully to be replaced by something much better. “Just by you, Shota. Please, I'm begging you, please– ahh~” 

And then Shota finally gives Hizashi what he’s asking for, exactly the way he wants it.

*

They go for a smoke after, and in respect to the people in the building opposite put on some clothes to do this. Namely, Shota wears Hizashi’s pyjama bottoms, and Hizashi takes a well-placed and by now lightly soiled sofa cushion to hold over his junk.

There’s only one small chair out on the narrow balcony of the apartment that Hizashi’s starting to feel like he’s outgrowing, even though it’s served him well for these years, from long before he and Shota were dating. What Hizashi would really like is a place he doesn’t need to wear clothes in at all – and neither would Shota, since in this fantasy dream apartment of Hizashi’s he's obviously there as well. Though perhaps they should try officially living together at all first before taking any huge leaps like that.

As it is, Shota takes the chair and Hizashi sits on his lap, the pillow over his crotch to preserve a minor amount of decency for the long-suffering neighbours. 

“I have to go back to work in a bit,” Shota warns, one arm slung around Hizashi’s waist and the other to smoke with.

“Really? I thought you finished early.”

“I said I moved things around,” Shota specifies as he lights up. “The police are covering ‘cause I told them I needed a couple of hours to take care of some personal matters.” Hizashi has mixed feelings about Shota showing up just to fuck him and leave again, but it is a booty call he demanded, after all. If Shota really does need to get back to work it must be important enough that it means something he got away for this long at all. Or so Hizashi tells himself.

“Fine,” Hizashi sighs, taking a pouty drag on his cigarette.

“Don’t make that face at me,” Shota remarks lightly enough to be considered playful rather than a jab.

“I’m not, I’m making it at the situation,” Hizashi counters, sighing again when Shota squeezes him soothingly.

“I’ll be done soon, if things go well.”

“You always say that,” Hizashi adds with another huffy puff on his cigarette. “And when do things ever go well for you?”

But if Shota holds all the cards for Hizashi’s heart, he knows exactly when to play his hand, offering a mellow, “Worked out just fine with you, didn’t it?”

Hizashi smiles before he can do anything else, and wiggles contently in Shota’s lap. Shota did say he had to go soon, not now.

“Alright, you can stop trying to be charming.” It’s always unexpected coming from Shota, even though he’s as capable of being complimentary as anyone, he just chooses his moments very carefully.

“I’m just stating the facts,” Shota insists, and then, because fucking Hizashi’s brain out over the sofa is all well and good, just a clean bit of raunchy fun, but what they have is so, so much more than that, he continues as naturally as turning a corner, “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Hizashi inhales sharply, holding smoke in his lungs while his heart seems like it could pound out of his chest and go bouncing down the street.

What’s he supposed to say to that? I know? Thanks? I got you off constantly doing drugs, so duh!?

Slowly Hizashi lets the breath out, pouring smoke over them both as he twists to face Shota directly, and tells the truth. “Me too. I mean– I feel the same way.” Hizashi wouldn’t be who he is without Shota, and in all honesty, he’d be a far worse person without the anchor of their friendship to keep him vaguely down to earth. 

“Oh,” Shota says, a wry cut to his tone that tells of good-mood banter, “You think you’re the best thing that ever happened to me too?”

“No, jackass!” Hizashi slaps his arm. “I mean, yeah, obviously I am, but you’re the best thing that happened to me too.”

Shota smiles at him so genuinely Hizashi dives in to snatch a kiss, just a peck on the lips, pulling back to add, “You said you only had to go soon, right? So we have enough time for another round?”

Shota smirks and takes a drag on his cigarette, bouncing Hizashi on his knees pleasingly. Hizashi doesn’t feel bad about throwing a fit to get Shota to come over, because when he does he clearly enjoys it too. A breath of fresh air in his world of smog.

“I sure hope so.”

*

Shota doesn’t move in all at once so much as piece by piece, without the two of them ever really talking about it beyond an abstract inevitability. Until one day Hizashi mentions something to sort out for ‘once he’s moved in’ and Shota just stares at him blankly before announcing that his lease expired already and he’s been moved in for months.

"But where's all your stuff?" Hizashi asks bemusedly.

"What stuff?" Shota replies equally confused, gesturing to his current pile in the corner. “It’s already here.”

“That’s everything you own?” Hizashi yelps. “Don’t you want like, a drawer or space in the closet?”

Shota raises his eyebrows. “Like you have room for that.”

“Okay fair, but I kind of expected to know, you know?” Hizashi doesn’t know why he’s arguing, but that’s never stopped him before. “I thought we’d like, talk about it or something.”

“What would we need to talk about? We’ve lived together before,” Shota points out sensibly. “You’re just making it into another dating thing.”

“It is a dating thing!” Hizashi contradicts shrilly. “You’re making it into not a dating thing!”

“I just figured you’d have noticed,” Shota says a little smugly, shrugging on the sofa over his case file one quiet early evening.

“But you’re still only here half the time, how am I supposed to tell the difference?” Hizashi knew Shota’s apartment was barely more than a single room with a place to sleep in, but he still expected some more worldly possessions than a single heaped pile of mostly work-related stuff.

Shota keeps his eyes on the file in his hands, perhaps paying a solid 40% attention to this conversation despite Hizashi’s apparent indignation. “Then there isn’t really a difference. I never made out like you should expect me to be here every night.”

That’s never going to happen, Hizashi knows, though he’s managed to impose some aspects of almost-normality on Shota, like eating solid food instead of living on endless packs of apple sauce, coffee and cigarettes. Hizashi started keeping track of it with a sticker chart on the fridge: one square meal a day entitling Shota to a blowjob, fucking him for two, and if he can prove he had a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner in the same day, Hizashi will eat his ass. Hizashi does all those things anyway, but it seems to work regardless.

“No, I know, just… I thought it’d be more of a deal, somehow,” Hizashi admits. He’s literally never lived with anyone he’s going out with before, and now he already is?

“Thought or wanted?” Shota asks cleverly, looking up and over from his faded police file. He’s had a thing for old, unsolved cases recently, which is more research and less life-and-death risks, so Hizashi can’t complain too much.

“Wanted,” Hizashi admits. “It’s usually a big step for couples, isn’t it?”

“We aren’t like most couples,” Shota points out, but he’s not completely stiff, finally setting the file down onto his lap to give Hizashi all of his attention. “So what, do you want to throw a moving-back-in party?”

“That’s an amazing idea!” Hizashi gushes, shocked he hadn’t thought of it. Less than five years after Shota ‘got out of Hizashi’s hair’ by no longer being a recovering junkie crashing on this very couch, he’s back again. But this time he’s not planning on going anywhere.

Instantly Hizashi feels like the lack of acknowledgement between them for something that should usually be a milestone isn’t a problem at all, and gets excited instead. Starts calling around, inviting friends, ordering a few crates of beer, and then at one point scrolling down his long, long name of names in his phonebook claps on one in particular.

“Hey Shota,” Hizashi says at such a particular pitch, in such a specific way, that Shota looks over at him within seconds. Like a dog whistle trained for his ears only. “Why don’t I invite Suki? We haven’t seen her in a while.”

A flicker of a smile crosses Shota’s face before his eyes drop back down. “Sure.”

They’ve fooled around with a whole host of people as and when the situation arises – or more often, is heavily engineered by Hizashi – but maybe it was because she was the first, or just by merit of being the one Shota’s known the longest, Suki has been someone they come back to. She even has the honour of being the first female to perform certain acts on Shota, endearing herself enough to him that when she asked one time – with Hizashi railing her from behind – if she could try sucking his cock, Shota actually said yes.

Hizashi was fascinated to see something he never thought Shota would do happening right in front of him, perfectly positioned to watch the look on Shota’s face when little Suki with the big appetite fully deep-throated him.

“You alright?” Hizash had asked as Shota’s cheeks were flooded bright red.

“Y-yeah, it’s just–” Shota had choked out, “piercing.”

Hizashi had laughed, because of course the main difference for Shota getting head from – not really a girl, or probably not the way Shota’s thinking of it – Suki is her tongue stud. It’s cool, though. How Shota’s slowly getting more interested in being involved in group sex activities rather than just fixated on Hizashi, if not quite dabbling in heterostexuality, which is still not really a thing for him.

Shota is a predictable creature in a lot of ways, so while he wasn’t really inclined to begin with, as his comfort level and experience of having other people join them grew, so has his willingness to try new things. Hizashi’s even started to get an eye for the type of people who pique his interest, able to latch onto anyone cultivating the closest thing for Shota to what most people would call a crush. They’re always loads of fun to bring in and watch Shota actually wanting to experiment sexually with someone new; a fun, perhaps slightly weird study Hizashi likes to run, as he’s probably more interested in Shota’s sexuality than Shota’s ever been.

Speaking of experimenting sexually, once Kayama clocks Suki going nowhere at the end of Shota’s moving-in party, she rips the pair of them for a new one the next day for not telling her they’d been fucking other people, especially women.

Shota says matter-of-factly that it was none of her business, so Kayama points out that everything fucky is her business, and how could they be such bad friends as not to tell her about them having kinky threeways.

“They’re not that kinky,” Shota replies bluntly, which is all the opening Kayama needed.

“Not when you don’t ask me for tips, fuckwits.”

With a combination of drunken berating and outright flirting, it isn’t long before Kayama has given them more ‘tips’ than they’ll ever be able to use. Never satisfied, of course, she inevitably talks them one night into letting her do the dominatrix thing, just to ‘show them how it’s fucking done’ in her own words.

Hizashi’s up to try anything once, and Shota naturally goes along with anything Hizashi’s up for trying, but the first time Midnight – as she likes to be called while she’s in boss bitch mode – trusses Shota up like a parcel of highly submissive ass, Hizashi can see from a mile off just how much it clicks for him.

It’s not like things with Suki, where Shota gets agreeable to pushing beyond his comfort zone because he’s feeling secure enough to venture outside his normal boundaries: this is his comfort zone. Hizashi’s seen fewer sights more arousing than Shota tied up and smacked around by Midnight until he’s completely blissed out. He’s the one who says he wants to do it again afterwards, even before Hizashi does.

What Hizashi loves most about Shota, or about their relationship, really, is the way they can discover things together. How it grows, and isn’t always perfect, but it’s not trying to be. Because perfection implies a fixed state, and what they have isn’t fixed. It changes with them. Hizashi’s starting to realise he’ll never get bored, because they’re still their own people, they’re just going through their lives together, and that alone is exciting.

*

Kayama talks them into lots of things over time, but the most vanilla by far is teaching.

“They let you be around children?” Shota said when she first told them she was going to start teaching at UA in the next semester.

“Of course! Who do you think understands horny teenagers better than me?!” she’d replied, and wasn’t wrong, of course. She talks Hizashi into it first, into just agreeing to have a meeting with Nezu initially, thinking that it’d get her off his back, and that he’s got plenty going on without needing an extra job.

Then he sees what Nezu is prepared to pay him.

“I uh… I think I’m gonna take Nezu’s offer,” Hizashi tells Shota on the phone the next day, having spent the time since wracking his brains for every reason not to against all the extremely good reasons the Principal gave him for saying yes.

“You don’t need the money,” Shota tells him, his voice quiet from whatever all-day-and-night stakeout he’s being kept away with now.

“It’s not about the money.”

“Liar.”

“Okay, it’s a little about the money.” Hizashi has been cruising dream apartments in his free time on the nights when Shota’s away, not that he’s explicitly talked to Shota about it yet, and Nezu’s offer would be the difference between the moon and the stars in terms of where he can aim. “He makes a lot of really good points, you know?”

“Like what?”

“Well, that we aren’t gonna be able to do this forever, and the next generation of heroes will have to take our place sooner or later. Teaching is a way of passing on what we’ve learned.” 

Shota’s quiet, which could mean he’s not listening because something happened on his end, or because he doesn’t know what to say. 

“You still there?” Hizashi checks.

“Yeah,” Shota says softly, and Hizashi loves being able to talk to him on the phone. So much better than texting. “It’s a good point.”

“It is?” Hizashi’s not expecting Shota to agree so strongly, was almost counting on him to talk Hizashi out of it, not further into it. Kayama’s been saying Shota should join up too, get a real fucking job with an actual salary for once in his hobo-ass life, and if you’d asked Hizashi of the chances of Shota supporting the idea of getting a steady job any less than ten seconds ago, he’d have confidently said that pigs would fly first. “So you think I should do it?”

“I won’t tell you what to do,” Shota says steadily, never one to exert control over Hizashi’s choices according to his own strict philosophy. “But I’d understand if you decided to.”

That’s about the biggest endorsement Hizashi could ever get from Shota, so the truth is he already knows what he’s gonna tell Nezu.

“Will you join too?” Hizashi adds hopefully. “We’d see a lot more of each other if we were both working there.” Hizashi would also be a lot less worried about Shota if he knew they were both going to be stuck in a classroom half the day, reducing the amount of time Shota has to make reckless life endangerment decisions.

There’s a long pause from Shota on the phone, perhaps as he’s distracted by his stakeout for a second, but Hizashi can’t really know just from the sound of his silence.

But then with a sigh that admits more than anyone except Hizashi would be able to tell, Shota says, “I’ll think about it.”

*

Hizashi finds his dream apartment. Penthouse, two bedrooms technically, but what would usually be the master bedroom would be a perfect space for a home studio, and the second room has tonnes of space considering all Shota and Hizashi are going to do is fuck in it.

He swears he mentions it to Shota, really, he does, but when Hizashi’s in the final stages of agreeing to the lease and corners Shota one day to sign some of the papers he needs to be on, Shota just says, “Oh, are we moving?” as if it’s brand new information to him.

Turns out, it is. That or Hizashi only talked to him about it when he was asleep, both scenarios entirely possible within the realms of their ‘functionally dysfunctional’ relationship, as Kayama once put it.

Shota doesn’t mind that Hizashi hasn’t said anything about getting an apartment together until he was literally signing the paperwork, but what surprises Hizashi the most is that Shota insists he should pay for half the rent.

“Really, it’s fine,” Hizashi tells him, “I know you can’t afford it.”

“I can with what Nezu’s gonna give me,” Shota replies bluntly, which is how Hizashi finds out he’s decided to take the UA job.

“No no, you shouldn’t take a job just so you can pay what feels like your fair share,” Hizashi insists, and he’s been bankrolling Shota pretty much their entire lives together so he’s not about to start caring about it now.

“What? No, I already told him,” Shota clarifies.

“And I found out second?!” Hizashi squawks irately, and Shota just raises an eyebrow at him as if to say, ‘really?’

“I was gonna tell you,” he explains much the same way Hizashi was gonna tell him about their new apartment. “I don’t really need the money anyway, might as well use it for rent.” 

Of course Shota takes a job not because earning a living appeals to him, but for the fucking principle of the thing. Hizashi’s half-surprised Nezu agreed to pay him at all.

“Okay, but this place isn’t exactly cheap,” Hizashi highlights. He can afford it because what Nezu’s prepared to give him – which is probably way more than Shota was offered, since Nezu isn’t a mastermind for nothing – is just one of Hizashi’s income streams. “You don’t need to plug all of the first salary you've ever had into something way above your means.” Shota literally doesn't know the meaning of the words steady income, and there’s usually some steps for people between that and a long-term lease on a high-end apartment with their boyfriend.

Shota snorts and responds, “What else would I do with the money? Just end up spending it on drugs.”

“Oh. That’s true. You probably would,” Hizashi admits. “Alright fine. But I’m buying all the furniture.”

Shota winces at him in confusion across the living room, and they’re going to have a lot more room in the next apartment, so much brand new space to be together in. Hizashi’s excitement is palpable. “You already have furniture.”

“Not to match this place I don’t!” Hizasih retorts “Honestly, Shota, you’re so clueless about these things. Leave the interior design to me.”

Scathing, Shota echoes, "Interior what?" 

"Exactly,” Hizashi shoots back merrily, grinning as he chucks the forms at him across the coffee table. “Just sign the fucking papers, baby."

Shota shrugs, and then fumbles around in his pockets for a pen.

*

There are upsides and downsides to becoming a teacher at UA alongside his best friend and boyfriend, Hizashi discovers when they start their first semester together as UA faculty.

Pro: he knows where Shota is half of every day, most days of the week.

Con: Shota starts working basically every night, often all night, and the super king size bed Hizashi picks out for their new apartment is terribly lonely without him.

Pro: they have an outrageous amount of sex at school to make up for it, and there is something equal parts fucked up and fucking great about banging his best friend from high school in their old classroom after lessons have ended for the day.

Con: other members of the UA faculty seem to think they can just wander around like they own the place and complain that it’s ‘inappropriate’ to walk in on two members of staff going at it over their old desks.

Pro: Kayama points out in the ensuing staff meeting that if they’re going to start having rules about 'decency' then she wouldn’t have taken the job in the first place, and Nezu is forced into letting them get away with it. 

Con: Hizashi has to give up one of his good bottles of whisky at the end of the year for the member of staff who’s walked in on Hizashi and Shota the most times.

Pro: teaching is fun and the kids are inspiring.

Con: teaching is terrible and the kids are a bunch of little bastards.

Pro: despite his best efforts, Hizashi’s actually settling down.

Con: despite his best efforts, Hizashi’s actually settling down.

*

Telling their families, especially Hizashi’s, is kinda… odd. Of all the people to be least or most surprised by Hizashi and Shota’s inevitable ending up together, their parents are somewhere between ‘already figured it out’ and surprised they actually managed to make it work.

It’s not like their families are the last to know, or anything, since Hizashi definitely told his folks after he and Shota had been dating a few months – to which the reaction was an underwhelming, “Oh really? Alright then,” – and Hizashi assumed Shota had done the same. It definitely would’ve made his kissing Shota goodbye if he has to leave early when they’re with Shota’s parents a little weird to explain otherwise. They see Shota’s parents a couple of times a month maybe, but it’s a whole lot more than Hizashi’s.

With Hizashi’s family, it’s not the telling that’s actually the trouble, moreso the believing. Or maybe just the remembering. The Yamada clan have a spectacular ability to be scattered to the four winds at any given time. Between vacations dressed up as work trips, globe-trotting retirements, and at least one of Hizashi’s siblings being off ‘travelling’ at some point or another, getting all of them in the same place is a reason to celebrate in itself. Compared to the rest of his family, even Hizashi seems stable.

Hizashi’s on the phone to his dad debating the arrangements of one such get-together, long after he and Shota have moved into their new place and are a year's worth of terms down at UA. Hizashi thinks the fact that he decided to become a teacher is the most shocking thing he’s ever told his parents, and it was only once he explained that it was for UA’s hero course and in addition to all his other work that they seemed to accept it wasn’t a practical joke.

“So how many rooms do you need?” Hizashi’s dad asks from a beach hotel in Vietnam, where he and Hizashi’s mum have been resort-hopping for the past few months ‘working’, or so they claim of the multitude of services they offer to hotels in exchange for an endless supply of comped rooms.

“What?” Hizashi replies, an elbow propped up at his desk in the teacher’s room during a free period. He’s the only one in there at the moment, explaining why he was bored and decided to call his dad in the first place.

“You said you’re bringing Aizawa,” his dad states. “Does he want his own room?”

“Uh, no Dad,” Hizashi says incredulously. “We’re together.”

“Yeah yeah, okay– HE SAYS THEY ONLY WANT ONE ROOM!” Hizash’s dad yells presumably at his mum, who’s on the other side of the pool, going by his volume.

“IS HE SURE?!” Hizashi’s mum screeches in the background on the phone.

“She says are you sure?” his dad repeats.

“Yes! We’ve talked about this, Dad,” Hizashi insists, at a loss for how this can be a conversation that’s actually happening. “He and I are dating.”

It’s a credit to several things, none of them good, that Hizashi’s dad just replies, “Still?” like it’s a surprise, and okay, normally it would be.

Hizashi usually never had the same girl or boyfriend between conversations with his parents, but it’s been literally years that he and Shota have been together and it’s like his parents just forget about it. Reverting to the norm of Shota being Hizashi’s best friend who Hizashi used to bring to these family occasions when he didn’t have anyone else to tag along. Even then, when they were only friends, he and Shota used to share a room anyway, since Shota’s never worth reserving his own room when the chances of him actually sleeping in it are slim to none.

“Yes, still!” Hizashi barks, and he’d argued with Shota about not being allowed to turn up to the dress-to-impress occasion of a Yamada family reunion in the normal crap he wears and probably covered in blood, but now he’s tempted to take it all back. Hizashi will rub the dirt into him personally. “We got an apartment together, it’s a serious relationship!”

“Uhuh, uhuh,” Hizashi’s dad yammers, while in the background Hizashi hears his mum piping up, “DO THEY WANT A TWIN OR DOUBLE?!” and doesn’t even hesitate in starting to repeat, “Do you want a tw–”

“A double, Dad!” Hizashi snaps. “You shouldn’t have to ask!”

“Oh kaaaaaaay,” Hizashi’s dad retorts, “no need to get tetchy, kiddo. We’re very happy for you.” There’s barely a breath’s pause before he starts yelling across the pool, “THEY’RE STILL DATING!”

“SO?!” his mum belts. “DOUBLE OR TWIN?!”

“See you there, Dad.” Pinching the top of his nose under his glasses, Hizashi takes a deep breath and hangs up before he can hear the rest.

*