"Um." You laugh in disbelief, and cast Natsuo a raised brow. He looks mildly alarmed and you don't like that one bit. "What?"
You watch him yank on the door handle again. The sweltering heat gathering in the turned off car suddenly feels much hotter than before.
"It." He pauses. Yanks on the handle again. Rubs his finger uselessly over the little hole where the lock tab disappeared down into the door when Touya had walked away from the vehicle. "The door won't open."
"What." You try your own door. Indeed, it's useless. You feel sweat accumulating on your spine, your heart accelerating with mild claustrophobia. "What the actual fuck?"
Natsuo groans, shoving against his door hard. The car rocks, but it doesn't budge. He sits back in his front seat with a huff, digging around in his back pocket for his phone. "I'll call him."
Moving the towel you pinched between the window and the top of the car to protect yourself from the sun, you glare at the small supermarket Touya insisted he needed to stop at on the way home from the beach. He'd also insisted on turning the car off and taking his keys.
"I don't have the kind of money to let this car idle," he'd scoffed. He'd been avoiding Endeavor’s money since he'd turned 16, so it's no surprise the used car he was finally able to buy in his mid-20s is from the 1990s.
"Why the fuck does he even have the child lock for the doors on?" You complain. You stare at the ceiling, feeling the heat sapping your energy but fueling your anger. It’s fucking exhausting.
Natsuo tsks from the front seat. "He's not answering." You watch him bend his head, tapping away at his phone as he sends probably insulting texts to his older brother. He pauses abruptly, staring at the screen and sitting a hair more upright. He casts you a furtive glance over his shoulder.
“What did he say?” You ask, sitting up. Your back peels away from the leather like wet velcro, and you grimace.
“Nothing.” Natsuo turns off the screen and tosses it down into the cup holders between the front seats.
Odd, but...whatever. You can barely focus with the waves of heat gathering hotter and hotter inside what's now basically an oven on wheels. You collapse back against the hot wet leather with a groan.
"This is it," you bemoan. "The hottest summer on record in Japan, and this is how we die. Or at least how I die, you’ll probably be fine, Cool Guy." Natuso laughs at your hero epithet for him, grey eyes meeting yours over his shoulder. You can see the sheen of sweat across his forehead and neck, glittering in the afternoon sunlight.
You smile despite the torturous heat. "Okay, but seriously. Do you think Touya's trying to murder us?"
Natsuo snickers as he unbuckles himself and clambers into the back next to you. You're already flushed from the heat, but when he squeezes his muscular body into the bitch seat between all the sandy beach supplies and you to wrap a blessedly cool arm around your shoulders, you feel a prickle across your chest and cheeks for an entirely different reason.
"I'll protect you from him, don't you worry," he breathes valiantly, hugging you close. He's sweating, too, but it's strangely clammy compared to your own, aligning with his physiology from his quirk. Normally that would probably be gross, but you’re so uncomfortably hot that you lean into the strong flex of his arm to pull you in.
"My hero," you joke, leaning your head back into his bicep to catch the full force of his handsome grin. It's absolutely unfair how he's inherited all the best qualities of his parents--the broad body and natural muscle, the cut jaw and gorgeous smile and thick head of white hair. Not to mention his goofy personality and sweet disposition.
His grey eyes lower, long lashes brushing his cheeks, and you tense up when he purses his lips and blows a cool breath of air across your neck and down into your shirt. You shiver immediately, pressing close and feeling absolutely embarrassed.
Natsuo's eyes glitter over pink cheeks as he watches you squirm. "Does that feel good?" His voice is barely above a whisper. You tilt your head back further with a little sigh and nod for him, lips parting.
He gulps, timidly tapping your thigh. "You wanna sit on my lap? It'll help you cool down."
"I don't want to heat you up more than necessary," you say, though being wrapped up in his body right now sounds heavenly. “I know you’re sensitive to it already.”
He shakes his head. "It's fine, you won't." There’s a second of a long stare down. He gives you big grey puppy dog eyes, broad cool hand resting on your thigh. “C’mon.”
It doesn’t take much convincing after that. Gripping the front seat, you hunch over it to shift your ass up so Natsuo can slip over a few inches.
“Sorry about the sweat,” you announce, wincing at the fact you brought it up at all. You hear a soft puff of amusement from behind you and suck in a slow breath when his hands slide around your hips, gently urging you back into his lap.
Honestly, he’s everything you need at this moment. Naturally cooler, Natsuo’s body temperature feels stark compared to yours, and your skin sings for his against yours. If you didn’t know better, you’d be concerned. You hadn’t even realized that your heart was racing until he started cooling you off, and it’s not just his quirk that helps you calm down, but his close presence at all. With a hum, you lean back into his chest and let him wrap his arms around you, cranking up his quirk and caging you into your own personal cryochamber.
The thought makes you giggle, and Natsuo squeezes you closer. “What?” You can hear the smile in his voice, heart thudding in your chest at the feel of his lips brushing your temple.
You shake your head--partly to rid yourself of your nervous haze, and to tell him the thought was nothing. “Thanks for keeping me from having a heat stroke, Natsu.”
His cool hands rub up and down your arms, like he’s trying to warm you up. Instead, his hands only grow colder and spread it further up your hot flesh, cooling you further. “No problem. When Touya comes back I’ll give him, like, the tiniest little bit of frostbite. Just to get back at him.”
You scoff, closing your eyes as you begin to relax. Your irritation with the oldest Todoroki sibling wanes with your discomfort. “Don’t do that.”
Natsuo sighs, like being nice to his brother is a chore, and it only makes you grin. He shifts around beneath you, tightening his hold when you try to rise. Like he’s read your mind, he assures you, “You’re not heavy at all.” You puff out your cheeks, staring forward and feeling called out.
If he notices, Natsuo doesn’t say anything. Instead, he says, “I mean...I guess I should, uh. Thank him.”
You quirk an eyebrow, and tilt your head back onto his shoulder. Natsuo glances down at you, then back up. His cheeks are pink and beneath you, his leg starts bouncing. “For locking us in a hot car? You fucking masochist.”
He snorts. “No. Uh.” You hear him gulp and take a deep, nervous breath. “I guess for giving me a chance to...um…”
You finagle your way around, sitting sideways in Natsuo’s lap to give him a concerned look. He tilts his head away, hands resting politely on your waist. You put yours on his shoulders and try to meet his eye. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, Natsuo.”
You’re incredibly curious, if not a little hopeful for maybe a confession, but you aren’t going to push him. He’s been pretty forward with you in other ways since summer started, giving you more than just this moment to think that there’s been something more growing between you two. You wonder if you should put your own feelings out there for him in this moment, to give him the confidence and opportunity to feel safe to open up to you in turn. If you’re even reading him right.
A little, earnest grin curls at his lips, and the wry glance he gives you is so handsomely unfair that you have to clamp your teeth down on your bottom lip to keep from reacting vocally. Your fingers curl into his shirt, his hands massaging at your back to encourage your slight lean into his body.
Those stunning grey eyes jump over your features, a vulnerable look coming over his. The oppressive heat around you is rapidly lessening, and you can see a little bit of frost climbing along the leather seat from his skin. If you didn’t know he was nervous before, that’s enough of a tell for you now.
He opens his mouth. “I just wanted to say thanks for coming out with us today. And last week, too.” His broad chest expands under your hands with a calming breath, and you pet over his impressive front. One of his cold hands comes to cover yours, the other still curled firmly around your hip to keep you pressed close. “You’re...I think you’re great, and gorgeous, and I wanted to ask you…”
There’s no mistaking what this is. You straighten up, try to ignore the way the sweaty skin of your legs slips against his, or the drop rolling down your back to be absorbed where his thumb presses your shirt into your spine.
With your heart thundering excited static across your skin that burns altogether in a different way than the summer heat cooking you together in Touya’s car, you cup his jaw and give him what you can only hope is a soft, encouraging look.
His cheeks, if possible, flush more red, and a hardened look of determination comes over him. “I wanted to ask you if would go--”
The locks disengage with a loud shutter, startling both of you. Behind you, the driver’s side door rips open, letting in a new wave of even worse heat than before. Following it is the redhead of Touya Todoroki, who peers past the front seat while slurping on a large purple slushie and looking entirely unbothered by the heat.
His eyes brighten when he takes in the sweaty scene of you sitting on his little brother’s lap. “Oh shit, bro. You actually asked her out?”
Natsuo bonks his head back against the headrest with an embarrassed groan, face almost as red as his brother’s hair. “Fuck, Touya, I--I was about to.” He awkwardly disentangles his hands from you, one covering his pinched features and the other resting on the pile of stuff trapping you together in the back seat.
Touya laughs. “Oops. My bad, dude.”
Your heart trips in your chest, like it's trying to escape to show your absolute joy at this news. You fucking knew Natsuo was going to ask you out, but to hear you were right is something else entirely. You sweep your gaze over Natsuo’s half hidden face while Touya leans in to turn on the car. The AC starts to blast, but it can barely be considered cool.
“I’ll uh, give you another minute?” Touya sounds absolutely amused and unashamed, and doesn’t wait for a reply beyond winking at your exasperated glance. The door slams shut, and you’re once more left alone with the abashed white haired young man.
Smiling, you gently reach up for his wrist, and he lets you pull it away from his face. His features are carefully blank as he turns to look at you, but they crack into something a little more hopeful.
He shrugs and sighs, petting your damp back restlessly and scratching at his nose. “Uh...well. You heard Touya.”
You squeeze his hand. “I want to hear it from you, though.”
It takes him a second to collect himself, clearly frustrated with his brother’s antics. The whole time he watches you, and you wait patiently with his hand in yours.
Natsuo takes a deep breath. He lifts his head off of the backrest and cups the back of your warm neck with a wonderfully chilled hand. His slick forehead meets yours, and whatever hot air from the front of the car is rolling over your skin is immediately battered away by a gentle drop in temperature around you to what feels like a comfortable, beautiful spring day.
His grey eyes hold a soul shattering amount of sincerity. “Will you let me take you out on a date? And many more after that. I’ve been dying for the chance since we met.”
You grin. “Better than dying of heat stroke.”
He scoffs at your cheesy reply, grappling you closer and blowing another cool breath down your front. You squeal, elbowing him in the gut on accident, and he grunts into masochistic laughter.
There’s a hard rap on the covered window, and from beyond the glass, you hear Touya gripe, “Hey, none of that shit in my car. If you wanna celebrate, do it somewhere else.”
The front door opens again, and he sends you a sour look as he finally climbs in, half of his slushie almost gone.
“If you don’t want us to celebrate in your car, don’t lock us inside of it to force us together,” Natsuo grouches back, kicking the back of his brother’s seat. Touya barely reacts, buckling up and waving at Natuso to move his head so he can back up unencumbered.
You grin at Natsuo as you curl up in his soothing hold for the rest of the ride home, and you pull him in close when he leans closer to give you a kiss.
Touya gives a quick but heavy tap on the brakes, sending you both colliding into the back of his seat and ruining the moment.