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Superstar

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*

It’s a return to reality, to normal, when they get back to their apartment after a hedonistic weekend with Hizashi’s family on the coast. Shota disappears immediately off on a case for the last part of the summer break, though he drops in a few times along the way, so Hizashi never really gets to missing him between recording, his own hero work, and getting his radio show on the road after schmoozing a station executive in the hotel bar on the last day of the Yamada family reunion.

Put Your Hands Up Radio with DJ Present Mic debuts the first Friday after school starts again, broadcast from Hizashi’s very own home studio, and it’s almost as much fun as DJing in a club is. Pros include that Hizashi doesn’t have to pay for drinks from the bar he’s lovingly stocked at home – well, he doesn’t have to pay for them at the point of making drinks – and he can crawl straight into bed with Shota after, usually crawling in himself around the same time. Hizashi got his own start from a late-night DJ spinning one of his records ten years ago now – which is fucking bizarre, to put it lightly – so it feels good to give that back in some small way.

There’s a lot more normal in their lives in general, not all of it brought around by the fact that they’re teachers now, and it imposes a certain routine and predictability on their days that Hizashi and Shota never had before. A lot of it is from that, sure, and Hizashi only has to teach on horrible hangovers a few times to conclude that it’s a really terrible idea and he should only do it maximum twice a month.

As they get ever closer to being thirty and further away from the dumb, reckless twenty-year olds who didn’t know a good thing until it was shoved in their faces, Hizashi starts to embrace how ‘settled’ he is, even enjoys it. Because being settled is less about how tame or wild they are, which is still pretty wild when things do go off, but that intimate familiarity of themselves, and each other, that only grows stronger the longer they’ve been together.

With it comes knowing each other better than they know themselves sometimes. Whether it’s Hizashi knowing just when to insist Shota come home during ‘case fever’ because he needs it even when he swears he doesn’t, or Shota knowing when Hizashi just needs to blow off steam and lets him kick off over some tiny insignificant thing, venting that frantic energy and knowing the real issue, if any, will emerge from the smoking remains once a tantrum about not drinking coffee out of Hizashi’s good whiskey glasses has passed. 

Overall, it’s good, and it’s them, and Hizashi wouldn’t change it for the world.

*

They wrangle a Saturday morning off from teaching to help Shota’s parents move out to the countryside when the weekend of their official retirement rolls around, which happens so fast Hizashi could swear he’s only blinked a few times since the summer when it was months away. 

It starts at fuck ‘o clock in the morning, when Hizashi picks up the van and drives over to their – or not their anymore – shop, which has been cleared out a lot already and is down to just personal belongings. There’s a few big bits of furniture from the two-bedroom apartment upstairs, though a lot of that seems to have been sold off or given away as well. It’s still enough to fill the modest van, and it’s a hell of a task between Hizashi and Shota loading it all up at the asscrack of dawn when Shota’s less than fully and dazzlingly awake.

On the plus side, Hizashi comes across more than a few photo frames with adorably tiny baby Shotas in them, and makes Shota’s mum promise to find some copies for Hizashi to have. Baby pictures will be an incredible addition to his collection of embarrassing images of Shota, which he keeps in an album and is tempted to make into a full glossy coffee table book one day, because it’s just really funny how halfway annoyed it makes Shota – like he cares, but only just enough to be amusingly irritated, and that’s inherently hilarious.

Shota also took the, quite frankly stupid, executive decision that it would be easier for him to stay up until six in the morning than to wake up that early. So he only got home about four last night, spent an hour in the tub trying to wash some kind of quirk-based adhesive off him, then made and drank an entire pot of coffee, leaving none for Hizashi, and had the audacity to fall asleep on the drive over. Hizashi almost made him ride in the back of the truck as punishment, but it wouldn’t have made much difference, since Shota sleeps the entire drive out too, leaving Hizashi with his parents in the front seat of the van and their son passed out in-between.

Hizashi doesn’t mind one bit, though, and natters away to Shota’s parents the whole way. Much like their son, they seem content just to let Hizashi do his thing, and probably learn far more about their son’s life from Hizashi than they ever get from Shota, so it must suit them both in that respect.

“But listen to me going on,” Hizashi confesses at one point on the long uneventful stretch of road they’re coasting down. Shota’s soft, rhythmic breathing in the background like waves. “What about you two? Are you excited for retirement?”

“Oh, well… I don’t know, really,” Shota’s mum answers thoughtfully. “We haven’t started it yet.”

“Hah, I suppose so,” Hizashi replies, thinking about how that streak of defiant rationality runs strong in their family. “It must be strange to leave the shop after all this time, though. How long had you been there?”

“Since before Shota was born,” Shota’s dad replies, which means it’s almost thirty years. That’s insane to think about, and Hizashi’s just a spectator, rather than it being his own life. Maybe that’s why he asks the question he does next.

“What made you decide to go?”

“Pardon?” Shota’s mum says politely, speaking to Hizashi almost exactly the way she always has since the first time he went round to their shop, when they were all younger and he had the rare privilege of meeting Shota at home outside of school. So few people were ever invited over there it turned into a joke in their class that Shota had been raised by wolves, and Hizashi and Shirakumo were the only ones who’d ever known it wasn’t true. Now it’s just Hizashi.

“To sell up and move out here,” Hizashi explains a little better. “What brought it on?”

“Oh, well, I…” Shota’s mum stalls, turning to look at her husband. “We always talked about it, didn’t we?” Her husband just nods, a man of action before words, with his mid-length old hippie hair that's still raven black and only streaked with shocks of silver. “We always said when Shota left home we’d think about going, then he did, but I don’t think we were… quite ready, I suppose.”

Hizashi wonders. He wonders if the fact that when Shota ‘left home’ he didn’t exactly go to a home of his own. Not a decent one, or one that lasted more than a couple of years before the streets were his home. Hizashi wonders.

Turns out, he doesn’t really have to wonder.

“But now he’s all grown up,” Shota’s dad takes over, and his voice is always soft, never loud and absolutely never deafening the way Hizashi and his family get where they all have to yell over each other just to have a normal conversation – and no one yells louder than Hizashi. “The two of you have your teaching jobs, he’s taking much better care of himself, so it just… seemed like the right time.”

Hizashi could quip that he’s taking better care of Shota, rather than Shota showing himself a higher level of self-care, but it’s not entirely true either. Shota is better, by comparison, than he used to be. Right now he’s still fast asleep in-between his parents and Hizashi in the truck, alternating between leaning on his mum’s shoulder and Hizashi depending on which way they turned last. But he eats more, sleeps more, and does far less drugs as a substitute for the first two things than he used to even a few years ago. Hizashi has to wonder how much of that was Shota himself, and how much of it was because of them together; that effect they have of evening out the scales on each other’s greatest extremes.

“It’s going to be weird, you two not being so close by,” Hizashi confesses, matching the hushed tone in the driver’s cab. He’s literally never known Shota’s parents anywhere else than in that little shop, which is now going to belong to someone else and that’s weird for Hizashi to think about, much less them. Not stopping by to pick up some odd or end as a paper thin premise to see them, being talked into coming upstairs for a cup of tea and some snacks.

Hizashi once swore Shota hid or threw things away just to have something to get from his parents as an excuse to visit. Or, since they got the new apartment, for them to bring it over when they visited – and the look of awe on their faces when they saw how nice and ‘fancy’ Hizashi and Shota’s new place was. Mostly that’s Hizashi’s taste in outlandish furniture and pop art, but it’s probably more extravagant accommodation than any member of their family has lived in before. Hizashi tries to be sensitive to that in his own way, playing down the disparity of how his and Shota’s very different approaches to doing the same thing turn out.

And while Hizashi’s parents are a spectacle that only happen once or twice a year, Shota’s just seemed to always be there. But even they’re moving on, turning a new corner in their lives together. It’s a million things Hizashi can’t express except with weird, stupid-sounding questions.

“So you’re not scared?”

“Scared?” Shota’s mum echoes curiously. “Of what?”

“I don’t know.” Hizashi glances over at them once or twice, but keeps his eyes otherwise trained on the road. There’s a bizarre irony in there somewhere about him being the moving man for their lives while Shota lies passed out in the seat between them. “It’s a big change, isn’t it?”

“It’ll be different,” Shota’s mum agrees tentatively, and when Hizashi glances over next, sees that her hand has snuck out to clasp her husband’s between their respective laps. 

“True, but that’s what life is,” Shota’s dad says pensively, head and shoulders above his little wife. “Nothing ever really stays the same.”

It strikes Hizashi like a knock on the funny bone, remembering Shota say something so similar to him when they were on holiday with Hizashi’s parents. How much it had impacted Hizashi at the time, torn over a sudden realisation that the antics of their younger years didn’t fit them in quite the same way anymore; Hizashi’s anxiety over the fact that despite his best efforts, he’s getting older every day.

What this means now is Hizashi chuckles softly, and Shota’s mother, without an ounce of hesitation in her tone, asks, “What’s funny, dear?”

There’s another irony in there too, how Hizashi’s parents have only just started to realise what a permanent fixture Shota is in Hizashi’s life – his love life, at least – while Shota’s parents already seem to consider him a son-in-law. They have less kids, Hizashi supposes, so while his folks already have their hands full without additions, Shota is all his parents have got, and that makes Hizashi more significant to them in a way.

“Nothing,” Hizashi says warmly, “Shota’s just told me the same thing before.”

“Hm,” his mum sighs fondly, turning to look at Shota slumped over against Hizashi, on this occasion. Pausing before she speaks, as if carefully thinking something through, Hizashi waits with the sense that it’s important to her. None of Shota’s family, himself included, spend much energy on words they don’t mean.

Yet it catches Hizashi totally off-guard that this thing she’s working herself up to say comes out as, “I’m just glad he’s so happy.” Then, after, a small pause, enough time for a ripple to spread across still water from the first gentle touch, adds, “I think we owe a lot to you for that, Hizashi.”

Hizashi doesn’t remember when they went from calling him Mic to Hizashi, since he’ll answer to just about anything, but somewhere along the shift of Shota doing it they must have started too.

“Oh, me?” Hizashi shrugs off like it’s nothing, not because he doesn’t think so – he knows the difference he’s made to Shota’s life over the years, and Shota has told him before. But it’s not that. It’s because taking all the credit makes it seem like Hizashi did it for that reason, and not the unintended consequences of being progressively more in love with Shota for going on fifteen years. “Don’t mention it. It’s… he makes me happy too.”

"That's wonderful to hear," Shota’s mum says, and it truly is.

Hizashi’s heart could burst figuratively speaking, but it becomes a serious risk in the literal when Shota’s dad continues where his wife left off. He’s a smoker too, chesty in the voice as he talks like he’s chatting the shit with a delivery guy, "Thank you for staying by his side for so long. I know it's been a big comfort to us that he has you to rely on."

"You two! You're gonna make me tear up at this rate," Hizashi blurts like he's joking, though he isn't in the least. So he drops a volume level and speaks more sincerely for the next part, glancing at the sleeping beauty on his shoulder. "Your son is really amazing, I'm glad he's stuck with me for so long too."

Because Shota didn't have to, and there's been points when they could have so easily drifted apart, let all those differences carry them away from each other, but here they are.

It's been a long and not always smooth journey, but Hizashi’s thankful they’re on it.

*

Shota must be tired, because when Hizashi shoves him off his shoulder to get out of the van at a service station, instead of waking up he just faceplants on the empty seat. So Hizashi gets even less subtle.

“Wake the fuck up, sleepyhead,” Hizashi says too loud as he leans down over the heap of his boyfriend sprawled across the truck seat, making full use of the space since Shota’s parents have gotten out to stretch their legs already.

Hizashi would normally let Shota sleep, if he hadn’t been so fucking annoying this morning. Well, that and they’re also only stopping once on the way, so if Shota does wake up, and wants to piss after shotgunning an entire pot of coffee before napping for three hours, he is not doing it into a bottle in front of his parents while Hizashi’s driving. He likes Shota’s folks and all, but they’re not even nearly that close yet.

More lyrically, starting to sing the words with his lips right next to the unbrushed hairball he presumes to be over Shota’s ear, Hizashi continues, “Wake the fuck up, babyyyy, wake the fuck upppp.”

Shota puts his palm flat over Hizashi’s face and shoves him back, Hizashi laughing and falling back as Shota drags himself into consciousness. 

“We’re making a pit stop.”

Shota narrows his eyes at Hizashi across the seat in accusation, hanging one hand on the van steering wheel and the other on his knee, twisted to face Shota. “Why’d you wake me?”

“Because we’re not stopping again if you need to go pee, so go do that and grab me a coffee while I fill the van up,” Hizashi replies boisterously, because as much fun as it would be to act like teenagers and playfully neck in the truck seat as a means of resolving tension while Shota’s parents are away, Hizashi would rather Shota get him that coffee instead.

Shota gives him a thoughtful look that holds for a few seconds, in which Hizashi contemplates exactly how his parents’ features have translated into his own: cheekbones and eyes from his mum, nose and jaw from his dad. They gave him good genes, that’s all Hizashi’s saying.

“Fine,” Shota sighs, and Hizashi almost rethinks the necking option, but if he doesn’t get a giant coffee with at least a quarter cup of pure syrup in it before carrying on this drive, he’s really going to be cranky.

Hizashi lurches over to give Shota a quick peck on the mouth before wriggling back behind the drivers seat, turning the engine on to head over to the truck refuelling area.

“Thanks babe love ya!” but said fast enough that it’s almost one word – thanksbabeloveya! Practically a catchphrase at this point. Hizashi knows he probably says it a lot, more than most people would express their love for their partner by the usual standards, but so what? People say they love each other in English all the time, why shouldn’t he?

Shota gives a sigh as he pushes the door open and gets out, facing away from Hizashi for his soft-spoken reply, “Love you too.”

*

Shota does get Hizashi his ‘abomination’ of a coffee, in his own words. So Hizashi finishes the drive more wired than a chipmunk on speed, excess energy that helps get him and Shota through the inevitable unloading process to undo their reloading from the start of the day.

Shota’s parents help too, but with lighter things, being retirement age and all. Though Shota’s dad has to lend a hand with some particularly unwieldy pieces of furniture that don’t want to come out of the van the same way they went in, mostly providing guidance while Shota and Hizashi hold the sofa or some such up in the air and resist the urge to curse at each other in frustration. Hizashi would swear some of the pieces rearranged themselves back there along the way, or they were still too asleep in the morning not to think about how shit was supposed to come back out after they’d haphazardly shoved it in – which sounds like them in more ways than one, unfortunately.

The house Shota’s parents have bought is an old building in the countryside a stone’s throw from the coast. Not so close you can hear the waves, but can smell it in the air that sweeps clean and fresh across the expansive garden surrounding the traditional one-story building. It’s absolutely beautiful, stunning, and Hizashi knows they got it for a steal because it’s been abandoned for years, too remote for anyone except a Mr. and Mrs. Aizawa to want.

“This place is amazing,” Hizashi says as they’re piling up boxes in one of the biggest rooms, all woodwork and beautiful panelling. “You’re gonna have so much space.”

“Yes, I almost don’t know what we’ll do with it,” Shota’s mum replies, unpacking a carefully prepared box of kitchen supplies so she can clean the room and then be set up to make tea and coffee while the boys do all the heavy lifting. Mostly Shota, honestly, when it comes to the proper lifting. It’s what he’s good at, though, and Hizashi can’t deny appreciating what all this exercise does for his chest and arms in a t-shirt Hizashi purposely bought on the small side for him. Shota would wear only sacks with arm and leg holes cut out if he could, but when Hizashi gets things for him, he tends to wear them sooner or later. If there’s a cat anywhere on it then he definitely wears them, such as this t-shirt with a set of cheeky ears poking out of the stitched-on front pocket that Hizashi absolutely couldn’t resist when he clapped eyes on it a couple of weeks ago.

They get everything out of the van at least, although most of it ends up piled up in various rooms than actually put away or in the right place, but that’s tomorrow’s problem. They get out some futons for the bedrooms first, one for Shota’s parents and another for him and Hizashi. It doesn’t miss Hizashi that Shota’s parents never need to question how many rooms, or whether he and Shota will share a futon, and the difference it makes is huge. Hizashi not feeling like there’s anything to prove, and how much calmer and easy-going it makes him around both of them.

Dusk falls across the tranquil surroundings, and sitting outside on an old bench surrounded by intense overgrowth, Hizashi and Shota are smoking with Shota’s dad. Another difference: that where Hizashi hides his smoking habit from his parents, Shota’s dad is a smoker too, used to sell Hizashi cigarettes back when he had a shop to sell them in.

It’s in the easy silence, so natural to any Aizawa, that Shota remarks to his father after a puff, “So this is it, huh?”

“What?” Shota’s dad responds evenly.

“Where you’ll be now.” Shota’s more awake now than he’s been all day, after spending hours of physical exertion that have Hizashi absolutely knackered on top of the drive. He’s looking straight forward, almost prophetic in his far-off gaze and thoughtful pose, though Hizashi knows he often looks like that, it’s just the setting that makes it seem so poignant. 

“Yeah.” Shota’s dad has never hurried a thought in his life, Hizashi thinks, because he takes a long and leisurely drag on his cigarette, with his long face pulled downward by age and no need to go any faster than at his own damn pace. “It’s a new chapter.”

Hizashi shuts up for once and listens, not least because he’s tired, but also because hearing Shota talk to his parents is interesting. The meaningful intensity of everything they say, crystal clear and at its purest.

Shota’s sharp right now, but not in an unnatural way, like he’s running on adrenaline or other less organic stimulants. Just… clear, like he’s focused on something beyond Hizashi’s comprehension, sitting in the van questioning Shota’s parents over whether they’re scared and what a massive change it’s going to be.

“You’ll enjoy it,” Shota declares as he’s bringing his cigarette back up to his lips, eyes narrowing a little as he inhales. His hair’s pulled into a loose ponytail, which he did himself to get it out of the way, and is therefore much messier than if Hizashi had done it to prove a point.

“Yes, I think we will,” Shota’s dad responds, tipping off ash and looking around the slightly delipidated house, all wild and overgrown. Shota’s parents are practical people, fixers of things and buying nothing they can’t do for themselves. So this house is solid in the bones, as typical of their family, but the outside needs a little work. “It’s a big change, but it’s good to try new things.”

Maybe Hizashi’s talk with Shota’s parents did prompt something after all, he wonders peacefully as he sits next to Shota with his feet propped up on the stool Shota’s dad set out here to sit on, but has stood the whole time instead, insisting that it’s good for his bones after sitting down in the van for so long. Used to being on his feet behind a counter almost every day, little habits that will fade slowly as they settle into a new way of life.

This is all very comforting to Hizashi, in a weird way. As if he always thought his life would be over past a certain point, but that the older he gets, and the more he starts seeing his own and Shota’s parents lives, he’s realising that oh, it actually goes on all the way. It’s not just partying all the way to thirty and then giving up forever.

Speaking of not exactly partying, but something that brings Hizashi right back to the wild days, which are still scattered intermittently throughout his and Shota’s life, they’re just not everyday like they used to be, Shota announces, “I’ve got some weed,” as if they’re back in Hizashi’s old apartment with friends, and not the middle of goddamn nowhere with Shota’s actual father.

At exactly the same time, but Hizashi a lot louder, Hizashi and Shota’s dad say, “What?” and look directly at Shota.

“Marijuana,” Shota specifies like that was at all the fucking question – not Hizashi’s, anyway. 

Before Shota’s dad can react, Hizashi does with a shrill, “When did you get weed?!” Shota’s been awake for about five hours today, and unsupervised for almost none of them.

“At the service station,” Shota answers indifferently.

“Okay, only you would pick up at a roadside service station,” Hizashi points out scathingly.

“I was having a smoke and some guy offered,” Shota remarks with a shrug, taking a drag on his cigarette. He does have the look about him, so almost anywhere dealers of any kind recognise him as a guy who’d probably be interested in getting a little fucked up. “I checked and it’s good stuff, I’m not a total idiot.”

“I never said you were, just, uh… impressed or something,” Hizashi half-fumbles, stopping somewhere between talking to Shota naturally the way they’ve always chatted about drugs, and trying to factor in the fact that Shota’s dad is standing literally right there still calmly smoking his cigarette.

Shota looks over to his father and says, “Whaddya think, Dad? It’s a new thing.”

Shota’s dad laughs softly, smiling, and with smoky breath says, “Only as far as you know, son.”

“Oh?” Shota’s got a mischievous grin, the kind he’d probably only wear around his parents. “Am I wrong?”

“I’ll see what your mother says,” Shota’s dad says thoughtfully, leaning over to actually raise his voice to call down one of the long corridors bordering different rooms of the house. “Honey?”

“Yes?” she replies faintly, and Hizashi couldn’t believe this is real, if it wasn’t happening right now. 

“Shota bought some marijuana, do you want to have any?”

Hizashi draws in a sharp breath, stifling a noise of reaction or laugh as he’s caught out by thinking Shota’s dad was going to ask for permission, not if she wanted to partake. 

“Oh, why not? I’ll just make some tea,” Shota’s mum calls back, and oh shit, this is really happening, isn’t it?

Shota begins methodically emptying pockets of the dark green camo trousers Hizashi also got for him years ago, when he would only agree to wearing ‘practical’ things, which for him just means a shit ton of pockets. Then he pulls apart a cigarette to empty into a rolling paper he just so happened to also have on him. Probably stashed in one of the pockets since the last time he wore them, most likely. It’s still rare for any of Shota’s clothing not to contain at least a lighter and some rolling papers, as it’s always better to have them and not want them than want them and not have them, so he says.

Of all the things Hizashi ever imagined doing to celebrate Shota’s parents’ retirement with them, smoking a joint was not even an entry onto the list, much less high on it. Shota rolls two technically, one for his parents and one for him and Hizashi, since one of Shota’s normal joints would fucking ruin his parents and Hizashi’s sure none of them are here for that.

Hizashi will say this much: it’s a nice way to relax after a longass fucking day.

There are few stranger sights than Shota’s easygoing little mum carefully puffing on a baby joint rolled for her by her son, before passing it back to her husband who takes a much more ambitious one. It might’ve been a few years, maybe, but he insinuated he wasn’t entirely new to it, which makes sense with an old hippie-type like that. Shota’s mother coughs the most, which is adorable, though Hizashi can still hardly believe this is even happening.

Once they’re all thoroughly stoned, and it’s getting dark enough outside to need to go back in, they all relocate to what will be Shota’s parents’ living room, once everything is unpacked properly and laid out. As it is they perch on the couch between all the boxes, looking around and letting the weirdness all sink in. Shota couldn’t have said it better: so this is it.

It’s not much now, of course, because Shota’s parents only just got here and have the rest of their lives to get it into shape. But it feels right, even in silence that Hizashi would usually find unbearable.

“Oh, I know! I brought some bread and we can unpack the toaster,” Shota’s mum declares apropos of nothing, but she bounces off and scuttles off to make it happen. She seems almost exactly the same as she always does, even when high, just more likely to spontaneously decide to make toast. The smell of it wafting through the room before long makes Hizashi desperate for some too, all of them crunching away on slices slathered in honey without plates, as they’re in a box no one can remember where they put just now.

The time slips away as it usually does when stoned, until Shota’s parents are ready for bed and honestly, Hizashi is too. Not that he and Shota don’t slip out for one last cheeky joint before retiring, standing in the pitch black garden just outside the house, keeping track of each other just by the end of the joint and each other’s voices.

“I can’t believe we got high with your parents,” Hizashi volunteers first, hearing the quiet scoff from Shota in response.

“Me either.” He puffs on the joint, the end glowing brighter, just enough to see his features by for a second, then passes it to Hizashi.

“It was your idea.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t expect them to say yes,” Shota remarks, and it’s so dark here, not like in the city, where the light pollution means it’s never totally pitch black like it is right now – just the stars up over their head to be stared into by tiny high humans on the ground.

“Pretty funny, though.” Hizashi could compare it to his own parents, but they just wouldn’t be like that. Not around Hizashi anyway.

“Yeah.” Only hearing Shota in the dark makes Hizashi long for him, reaching out to find his arm with a free hand, the other putting the joint to his lips. Shota doesn’t say anything, but he makes a soft quizzical sound when Hizashi touches him, settling when it’s clear that all Hizashi wants is to touch. Just to be close to Shota, to know he’s there when they can’t see each other.

Shota lets Hizashi wind an arm slowly around his waist, pulling closer together as Hizashi takes a long, deep breath on the joint and holds it in his chest before putting his lips to Shota’s. Blowbacks are a silly, trivial, unnecessary thing, but that doesn’t stop Shota inhaling when Hizashi blows into his mouth. A toke’s a toke, even second-hand, and he’s too much of a scrounger to let it go to waste.

When Shota breathes out though, the third-hand smoke rolling over Hizashi, there’s no pause at all before he puts his lips right back onto Hizashi’s. Shota kisses him lazily, Hizashi letting the hand holding the joint fall down pinched between his fingers, distracted by the stroke of Shota’s tongue over his, and the tightening arm that’s crept around his own waist in return.

They finish the joint somehow, and stumble back into the guest bedroom with their – well, Hizashi’s – bags and a futon and nothing else in it, but that’s all they need. All they’ve ever needed.

There’s a dated lampshade hanging from the ceiling that throws a muted light over the sparse collection of items on the floor, soon to be added to with Shota’s t-shirt, which Hizashi pulls up over his head in a schoolboyish frenzy – if they’d ever fucked when they were still students. A lot more time they’d have had together like this if they did, but they’d be different people to who they were after going separate ways until they did get together. Hizashi likes it better this way, where they both got a chance to become themselves before figuring out how to be with each other, to get the recipe just right.

Shota’s lovely in the lamplight, glowing underneath a tasseled shade that would put any self-respecting grandma to shame. Shirtless and soft, stoned eyes that smile more sweetly than his mouth ever does, lips tugged into that maniacal grin right before he and Hizashi collide again.

It’s a long way down to the floor, but they make it somehow, Shota going down first and Hizashi slotting between his legs. Slow gropes and dry humping that only makes sense when you’re too stoney baloney to remember that trousers are something that can come off.

Shota’s always held his drugs better than Hizashi, probably explaining how he manages to roll over and flip them somewhere along the line of the dumb, wonderful makeoutfest that’s Hizashi being high with his favourite person in the world. 

“Oh Shota,” Hizashi moans when Shota sits up and properly grinds down over Hizashi’s crotch. Shota leans all the way back down, his hair a curtain against the light.

“Shh, my parents will hear,” he says hoarsely in Hizashi’s ear, and Hizashi almost says oh, now he gives a shit about parents overhearing them getting fucky. But that would lead to less sex than Hizashi wants right now, so he just bites his lip and nods, gasping again when Shota’s hips roll down on him again.

Shota figures out how to take trousers off first, but Hizashi’s the one who remembers where he packed the lube in their overnight bag, though Shota’s the one to actually go and find it. Slicks up Hizashi with one hand and himself with the other, few things in this world better than the sight of Shota buttass naked, fingering himself while he jerks Hizashi off. 

It’s down to Shota’s quirk to silence Hizashi when it comes to Shota straddling him and sinking down inevitably on Hizashi’s cock, a muted moan as he presses inside that runs between them like reverberations of a tuning fork. Hizashi puts a lot of the work in a lot of the time, which he’s more than happy to do because he’s got all that energy to burn in the first place, but it makes the occasions when he doesn’t have to do anything but lie there a real treat, especially when he’s way too stoned to do the job properly himself. Leave it to Shota, who knows what he wants and can just take Hizashi along for the delirious ride.

Shota can only hold his fire eyes stare for so long, and he’s more occupied by moving on Hizashi’s cock anyway, sitting back up and angling it just right for himself as Hizashi pants, “Shota, baby, yeah,” and the like.

“I know,” Shota tells him softly in return, his cock bouncing weighty and full over Hizashi’s stomach. But Hizashi doesn’t really lose it until he hears the words, “I know, baby,” leaving Shota’s lips like rare night birds leaving the nest.

With a helpless moan Hizashi grips Shota by the hips, steadying him to thrust up into. He’s always been a sucker for the times when Shota uses rare endearments, and the mood couldn’t be more perfect. Meaning Hizashi’s already inside him, so there’s nothing else either of them could want.

Shota silences Hizashi with a kiss this time, leaning back down as he matches Hizashi’s rhythm to make the deepest point of each rise and fall that little bit better.

“I love you so much,” Hizashi blurts when Shota moves back again, just enough to rest on his arms either side of Hizashi’s head.

“I love you too,” Shota returns in full, his face contorting pleasurably as the wave builds. “Fuck, Hizashi.”

“Oh, you ready to come?” Hizashi coos as he reaches for Shota’s cock, finally starting to pump him good and fast, no time to spare when Hizashi’s well on his way too. When they know each other’s bodies this well it takes no time at all, not even stoned, for Shota to clench his hands into fists of the futon and bury his face in Hizashi’s shoulder to muffle his moan as he comes, hot and heavy over Hizashi’s t-shirt he forgot to take off somehow. Guess they have a designated clean-up cloth now.

Shota takes a short breather, but he doesn’t actually stop, since that would be uncharacteristic of him at this point, doubly so when he’s high and they’re kinda on another holiday of sorts. The only kind Shota’s family are likely to have, probably.

Now Shota’s focus shifts, less about himself and more on Hizashi, meaning that it’s not long before Shota’s riding him as hard and fast as Hizashi had jerked Shota off for his own climax. If anyone’s got the thighs to ride Hizashi straight into oblivion, it’s always been Shota.

“Fuck baby, yeah,” Hizashi remixes over and over as he gets there despite the weed and his own exhaustion. Before his babbling can get any louder, Shota shushes with his quirk, hair lifting all around him, backlit by the grandma lampshade and glowing from the eyes.

It took getting used to, but Hizashi’s associated his voice being erased with orgasm for so long now he’s not sure which triggers which anymore. What he does know is how sweet Shota’s soft raspy sounds are in the forced silence of his quirk on Hizashi, only the slap of skin each time Shota descends on him. Purring like a beat-up alleycat that’s learned how to live the good life indoors, “Good, Hizashi, you gonna come for me?”

Hizashi would howl in the affirmative if he could, but he can’t, so he just feels like he does and slams his hips up to lock into place as he comes desperately into Shota, breath shuddering when he finally relaxes back down.

Shota drapes over him like a blanket, lips touching Hizashi’s drowsily, still seated together. Hizashi lets the gentle throbs and slowly going soft ease the moment where he’s going to have to pull out sooner or later. 

Breathing quietly, just the sound of nature blanketing the house, Shota offers the dazzling insight, “I liked that.”

Hizashi laughs, “I could tell,” then clenches his teeth when Shota lifts off, flopping down onto the futon next to him contently. Hizashi wriggles out of his soiled t-shirt, offering it to Shota for a low-effort cleanup before falling asleep wrapped up with each other. Perfect, just as they are.

*

Hizashi wakes up to birdsong and nothing else, except a distant whooshing that might just be the sea. The quiet here is different to the city, to anywhere surrounded by more people than the only other occupants of this little house in the middle of nowhere.

Shota’s fast asleep, but his parents are up when Hizashi gets up himself to go exploring. Much easier to be ready for breakfast when he’s slept like a log and isn’t hungover – doesn’t even think they have a drop of booze in the place, just the dwindling supply of weed Shota picked up on the way.

“Oh, good morning, dear,” Shota’s mum says when Hizashi appears in the kitchen door in pyjama bottoms he didn’t sleep in and a vest top. “Do you want a coffee?”

“That’d be amazing, thanks,” Hizashi answers with a smile, reflecting on how easy it is for him to be around Shota’s parents without Shota there, and how the reverse isn’t really true for Shota with Hizashi’s parents. “If you make one for Shota too I can get him up.”

“Not to worry, let him sleep,” Shota’s dad says brightly, seeming more lively in the morning, sipping a mug of something dressed in what Hizashi can only describe as ‘dad trousers’ and a checkered shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Hizashi thought he was an early bird, but Shota’s parents seem to have been at it for a while, as the kitchen is absolutely spotless and most of the boxes in there are more unpacked than packed by this point.

There’s a toolbox open on the little kitchen table that seemed right at home in the tiny apartment they had before, but now appears absolutely miniature in the generous country kitchen. Hard at work already.

“How are you both?” Hizashi asks comfortably, leaning against one of the counters watching Shota’s mum spoon coffee into an old fashioned percolator. “Settling in nicely?”

“Yes, I think it’ll start feeling like home in no time,” Shota’s mother says as if she’s convincing Hizashi not to worry about them after all his nervous questioning from the drive over.

“Sure, I can’t wait to see what you do with the place,” Hizashi replies warmly, trying to signal that he gets it and isn’t going to pester them with anymore questions about what a scary, life-changing decision it is. It’s amazing, and an incredible opportunity they’re going to love, just like Shota said they would.

“I was going to get started on the garden, if you’d be willing to lend a hand,” Shota’s dad pops in casually. In the way that Hizashi’s parents never work unless they have to, Shota’s parents are always looking for something to be getting on with. Such practical, hands-on people, providing that counterbalance the way Shota does to Hizashi.

“Of course! I’m at your disposal– oh, three sugars please,” he declares to Shota’s mum, who makes such a face at him.

“Three?”

“You sound like Shota,” Hizashi teases, grinning from ear to ear. “Yes, three.”

Shota’s mum spoons them in, though not without giving Hizashi a look like he’s going to rot his teeth – they better not, with what he paid for them – and hands it over. It’s a lovely sunny autumn day outside, so after drinking his breakfast coffee on the delipidated bench, Hizashi gets started after Shota’s dad, who’s already begun clearing the garden by hacking away at long-left overgrowth with a big curved blade.

Shota appears of his own volition around the time Hizashi’s starting to think that ‘gardening’ sounds a lot less strenuous than it is. After being given a cup of coffee from his mother so strong Hizashi can smell it from several metres away, Shota takes over from Hizashi in the gardening department. Shota’s dad just straight-up hands his son an axe, which Shota nods at wordlessly, then takes to some unruly tree branches, soon climbing up like a monkey to prune them from above ground.

As could be expected for Shota and his father, they say almost nothing to each other, except simple directions about what they’re doing next, and Hizashi takes on the much easier chore of helping Shota’s mum with more unpacking just in sight of father and son’s hard labour outdoors.

“They’re really similar, huh?” Hizashi remarks fondly at one point, enjoying the smile he gets from Shota’s mum in return.

“Yes, they can be,” she says with a lovely sort of sigh, looking over at her husband staring up at her son, who’s still up in the tree, legs spread either side of a large branch. “Oh, before you leave, dear,” she adds, meaning Hizashi, since that might be his name to her now, “do you think you could drive me to buy some food?”

“Absolutely, whenever you– that’s right, you don’t have a car, do you?” Hizashi interrupts himself to announce exactly as it’s occurring to him. “You do drive, don’t you?”

“Oh yes, just not for a while,” Shota’s mum tells him all soothingly again. “We’ll get something sorted out second-hand soon, I’ve got some friends who might be selling their old car.”

Hizashi is a wilful, impulsive man with more money than sense sometimes, but what’s it for, if not over the top gestures?

“Or I could buy you one,” he remarks like it’s an extra box of eggs.

“What?”

“A car.” If there’s anything Hizashi loves almost as much as Shota, it’s shopping. “We can go get one today if you want.” If they’ll let Hizashi, he really means.

Shota’s mum looks at Hizashi like he’s gone completely insane.

“No no, we couldn’t let you do that.”

“Sure you could! There must be a dealership somewhere around here, we can go over in the van and pick something out right now, it’ll be fun!” The blank stare as if Hizashi’s insane doesn't get any lesser, so Hizashi calls in the calvary. “SHOTAAAA!?!”

“Yeah?!” comes the returning call from the nearby tree.

With all the subtlety he lacks, and no neighbours to worry about for miles, Hizashi bellows, “I WANNA BUY YOUR PARENTS A CAR!”

After a short pause, the tree responds, “That’s actually a good idea.”

“See? Call it a moving-in present,” Hizashi insists, and Shota’s mum, and then dad, try to resist him, really they do. But Aizawas are weak to Yamada willpower, and Shota’s backing him up to boot, so by the afternoon Hizashi’s walking around the nearest Toyota garage with Shota’s mum picking something out to drive off the lot – leaving Shota and his dad to the garden like the wild things they are.

“I really can’t thank you enough,” Shota’s mum keeps saying to Hizashi while he’s rushing through all the paperwork and payment once she's finally settled on something, but the extremely modest economy model she picked out costs less than bottles of whiskey Hizashi has seriously thought about buying before, and this is definitely a better use of his money than that.

“Don’t you worry a pretty hair on your head about it,” Hizashi reassures her just as many times in return. “We couldn’t leave you here without a way to get around.”

“You don’t have to keep saying we, Hizashi,” Shota’s mum cuts in so clearly it’s like a whistle, blowing straight through the Aizawa way.

“Alright, me then,” Hizashi admits just as easily. “Between teaching and royalties and my radio show it’s really not a problem, honestly, I won’t have you thinking that you owe me anything.”

Shota’s mum says he’s too kind, but Hizashi won’t hear a word of it. As far as he's concerned it’s completely worth it just to watch Shota’s little mum carefully take her iddy biddy little car out for a tentative first drive, and how pleased she looks to park it up outside her house when they get back home with fresh bags of shopping in the passenger seat.

Shota and his dad have made serious headway on the garden by then, though Shota is predictably filthy, mud and grass stains everywhere. There's enough green matter in his hair that Hizashi refuses to get close to him for fear of all the insects that could be lurking in there. Only after Shota’s agreed to an extremely hot shower and brushing his hair, himself, since Hizashi will scream if he pulls any awful creepy crawlies out of Shota’s unruly mop, will Hizashi tolerate getting close to him again.

Shota’s dad is inside with his wife, helping her unpack the shopping and get a start on dinner, while Hizashi sits on the bench with his legs resting across Shota’s lap, looking out at the transformed garden as sunlight tickles through the trees and thinking, if this was him and Shota, a lot of years from now, he would be completely at peace with that.

“Hey,” Hizashi says softly, since no thought lives in his head long enough to get comfortable before it pops out of his mouth.

“Hm?” Shota’s got a hand resting comfortably on Hizashi’s calf, damp hair drying in the clean outdoor air, just a hint of salt on the breeze from the sea. Hizashi could say there’s never been a moment more perfect between them than this one, but it’s not true because the perfect moments come with such constancy that to pick any one above the others would be a discredit to the rest.

“Let’s grow old together,” Hizashi announces quite ordinarily, but with great intention.

Shota’s mouth lifts at the corners. “Thought that’s what we were already doing.”

“No, like this I mean,” Hizashi says more meaningfully, looking around at the picturesque retirement Shota’s parents chose for themselves, just like Hizashi’s chose the perfect one for themselves too. Shota and Hizashi, he imagines, will end up falling somewhere in between. He’d like to find out. “Let’s grow really old together, like grandpas.”

A gentle not-quite laugh of fondness stirs Shota’s chest, and he looks at Hizashi more directly. His hand roams a little higher along Hizashi’s leg and squeezes. “Alright,” he answers loyally, still Hizashi’s best friend after all these years, and all the ones still to come. “We’ll grow old together.”

*