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Courting for the Camera

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"Midoriya?" 

His own name echoes in the small waiting room, tearing him from his own internal deliberations. As Izuku breaks his stance he realizes just how much tension he's been holding and has to actively relax his jaw. What's another headache when he already has one?

With a breathy sigh, he stands and follows the secretary into the meeting room, not surprised to find LeMillion, but concerned by the presence of the other two. Both NightMight Agency's resident lawyer and their public relations manager sit at the table, giving Izuku their most polished, professional grins. 

"Deku!" LeMillion says waving and grinning as if this set-up doesn't make it seem like Izuku's in huge trouble. He's not sure what he's in for this time, but if the PR and Legal reps are here, it means something to do with his Hero Image as Deku. 

Maybe he'd said something wrong to a civilian he wasn't aware of? Or saved someone who didn't want to be saved? They hadn't briefed him on this meeting beforehand. Anxiety bubbles in his throat and he fights the urge to clasp a hand over his neck to check that his scent blockers are working. If he did that, he might as well stick his hands in his armpits and check those while he's at it, too. 

"Hi, is everything okay?" Izuku asked, trying his best to give off a warm smile. The room is brightened  with fluorescent and still, minus the hum of the air conditioning and the drum of rain outside the large window. 

"Peachy! Have a seat, Deku," he grins, gesturing to the empty chair across from the three of them. It most certainly doesn't feel peachy. And their smiles are starting to feel creepier rather than friendlier. He nods and takes the seat, folding his hands over the table and trying not to fidget. "So I take it you don't know why you're here?" 

"Not at all," he says, quietly. He clears his throat and gives the blond man across from him a fierce look of determination. "If something's wrong, I'll do everything I can to make it right, though, I promise!" 

"That's what I like to hear!" he exclaims, clapping his hands together. "Now, this is a bit of a doozy, so I'm just going to get on with it, okay? Have you read your recent approval ratings?" 

"N-no? I'm still in the Top 5, I know that," he says, his mind reeling as he tries to piece together what LeMillion could possibly be talking about. Maybe he could be going up more in the polls, but there aren't any significant hits he's aware of. 

"Right! And that's great, really, we're so proud to have you at our agency," he explains and Izuku's brow furrows into further confusion. If they're so proud then what are they here for? His eyes flicker towards the two less-familiar faces in the room. 

"So then . . . " 

"There's no easy way to point this out, but I'll just get to it: You're the only unmated Alpha in the Top 10 hero rankings," he says, and Izuku bites down hard on the inside of his cheek. He nods indicating that yes, he's well aware. But he had typically thought of it as something mainly omega and some beta fans cared about. They always wanted to know if he was courting someone or if they could be the ones whom he courted. It was always a little more than uncomfortable, but he would just smile through it. Even the occasional crazed ' Mark me, Deku!' that he tried to ignore. 

"While it really is endearing that you're so popular with your fans, it's starting to deter our mission here at NightMight," LeMillion continues, his perky tone faltering a bit. He looks slightly more serious than before, but it's hard to tell with him sometimes. Is he angry? Who knows! "We've even seen an uptick in false alarms lately." 

"False alarms?" Izuku echoes, heat rising to his cheeks. Talking about himself at length like this is kind of embarrassing, to be honest. After seven years of being on the pro hero scene, you'd think he'd be used to it by now. Especially as an alpha pro, no less. But no, he's pretty sure he's the most bashful alpha in existence. 

He attributes that to being a late presenter. By the time he entered high school, everyone around him had already presented. Everyone else just assumed he'd be omega by nature . . . possibly beta due to his quirk. He wasn't sure who was most surprised when he finally presented - himself, waking up restrained to a hospital bed with no recollection of what had happened, or his classmates, who had witnessed the carnage he'd inflicted in the shared kitchen during a rut-induced rage over a minor inconvenience. Something about an empty carton of milk being put back in the refrigerator. 

"Yes," LeMillion confirms. "Omegas calling the agency for non emergencies, or faking emergencies . . . just for the chance that their favorite celebrity alpha might be the one to save them." 

"Oh," he says, red blooming in his face once more. He purses his lips and stares down at the table, unsure of what to say. Sorry I'm so irresistible? Ah, no. "I'm sorry, should I come out with a statement or something to let people know that's not okay? I didn't know they were doing it, maybe I can post to -" 

"No, no, see, that's not where the problems end," he sighs, sounding slightly more agitated. "I mentioned the approval ratings earlier because, even though you have a great track record . . . your lack of a mate is drawing some concern for many citizens." 

"Why?" Izuku wants to know. It's not his fault he hasn't found someone worth dedicating his entire life to, yet! He's been so focused on his job and keeping people safe, he's barely had time to meet anyone in the first place. "That's so personal anyway." 

"Yes, we're aware, and I'm sorry it has to come to this but, there is growing concern about the fact that an unmated alpha as powerful as you may run into some issues the longer you go unmated. Unmated alphas typically are more susceptible to others' scents triggering ruts, or to act out more brash or violently, since they don't have a mate of their own to keep their instincts at bay." 

"But I would never -" 

"I know, goodness, I know you, Deku. You're very good about taking your meds and scent blocking and all that," he explains. An uneasy feeling bubbles in his stomach as he glances over at their guests again, still unable to figure out what that and they have in common. "But the public doesn't know that, and the more we tell them, the more they argue back. We have to show them." 

"Show them?" he repeats, warily. LeMillion clears his throat and gestures to Kato, the Public Relations manager. Izuku gives her his attention, though he still has his reservations. 

"Yes, see that's where we come in," she grins, her voice happy and chipper as if this whole conversation hadn't taken a weird turn towards his sex life. "My team has come up with a plan to get you back into a better standing with the public before the next hero ranking poll comes around. That way, you won't be in danger of losing position, and neither will the agency when it comes to agency rankings." 

Izuku nods.

"Courting," she says, simply, beginning her pitch. Izuku's eyes go impossibly wide, already not liking the direction this is headed in. "One of the things that people love to see in other public figures is when they begin to court their prospective mates. So, I've devised a plan to stage courting rituals with you and a potential mate, all of which will be either posted to your social media or accidentally captured by paparazzi." 

She says accidentally while gesturing air quotes, and Izuku resists the urge to roll his eyes. He never knew how much PR had to do with everything he saw in the media until he joined the workforce. Now, they're everywhere, controlling everything that everyone does.

"So . . . I just have to find a potential mate and . . . what, court them?" Izuku asks, scratching at the back of his head as he tries to keep up with the plan. Kato smiles suspiciously and turns to Sasaki, the lawyer. Sasaki is much more serious in her demeanor than Kato, but gives a stiff, professional smile nonetheless. 

"We have found a potential mate for you," she explains and Izuku's jaw drops, but he doesn't get the chance to say anything before she continues. "Another agency in the city has been having an issue arise with one of their own, except in this case, there's an omega that is in desperate need of a mate, or at least an alpha to provide scenting."

"Should we say desperate?" Kato points out, giving a small chuckle. 

"Oh, they're desperate," LeMillion confirms and Izuku is still speechless. 

"Who? Who is this . . . omega?" Izuku chokes out, miraculously finding his voice again. The least they can do is tell them who it is, right? His brain is swimming with possibilities as he tries to think of any unmated pro hero omegas that they could be pairing him up with. None come to mind that would even be conceivable. 

"Here's the thing, we're in a nondisclosure agreement with the aforementioned omega until you sign the paperwork," Sasaki explains, pulling a leather-bound folder from her briefcase. Izuku's heart is racing as she pulls out a frighteningly thick stack of papers. "Your signature confirms your agreement to the contract here, and then we will be able to reveal your omega." 

"My pretend omega, you mean?" he mutters, and she shrugs. 

"Sure, call it what you will," she says. "There's nothing in the agreement that says you can't ever form a true bond with the omega." 

"And . . . if I don't sign?" Izuku asks, turning back towards LeMillion. 

"Then I'm going to start actually sending you on those false alarm calls," LeMillion jokes, though Izuku doesn't laugh. That would be like being fed to the sharks. Terrifying. "That, and as public approval of you starts to get worse, we'll have to cut back your shifts and your pay rate . . . if it gets bad enough we'll have to drop you all together." 

Crap. The mere mention of being dropped from the agency has Izuku ready to vomit. He can't imagine not being a hero. He can't imagine the public hating him so much that it would be driven to that, either, but . . . he can't take a chance. And it's not like he has to actually do anything real, it's all for show! 

"Where do I sign, then?" he sighs, defeated. Sasaki grins and shows him everywhere he needs to sign and initial, which is quite laborious given the amount of paper. When he's finally through with the task, he hands the pen back to her and rests his elbows against the table. He waits, tracing his gaze around the plain beige walls behind them, eyes glazing over as he realizes how much of his life he's just had to sign over. Outside of a select group, he'd have to keep the fact that this . . . courting will be fake to most of the people in his life. In passing, he wonders if they'd let his mom sign an NDA so that she could be in on it. He's terrible at keeping secrets from her, and she would be immediately suspicious if it showed up in a magazine that he was spotted on a date with someone that his mother had never heard about before. 

"Alright, it's all ready," Sasaki says, slipping the documents back into the folder. "I'm going to take these back over and we'll all meet with his team tomorrow to go over everything." 

"Yeah, that's fine - Wait, did you say he?" he says, stopping mid-sentence when her words register. It's not that the pronoun throws him off that much - he doesn't care about that. What he does care about is the fact that by adding he to the search filter in his head along with omega and pro hero , there's only one result that comes to mind. 

"Yes, I did," she grins. "I guess now that you've signed everything and this contract is binding by the way - the omega you will be courting is pro hero Ground Zero." 

Izuku nearly chokes. 

"What! Are you - I haven't - We -" he sputters, trying to find the right words to describe how he's feeling. There aren't! How do you even begin to tell someone: Oh hey, that's my childhood rival that probably hates my guts, whom I also haven't had a conversation with since high school! "We're not compatible, trust me, if there's anyway -"

"Oh, trust me, Deku, you will be compatible," Kato interjects, with a wink that sends a chill down Izuku's spine. "Ground Zero was given an array of scents to choose from - all pro-hero alphas that are unmated. And we're glad he chose you, because, well, he needs an unmated alpha and you need to seem mated." 

"He chose me?" And that is possibly the most unbelievable point of the entire meeting.

 

********

 

"Fuck this and fuck you!" Katsuki roars, incinerating the stack of papers on the desk in front of him. If there's one thing he's sick of hearing from every damn person he meets it's that he needs to settle down and get mated like a good omega.

Fuck being a good omega! It shouldn't fucking matter what he does in his personal life as long as he's doing a damn good job at being a hero. And he is! He's in the Top 10, and the fuckers at Fat Gum's agency should be grateful for all he's done! 

"Buddy, Katsuki, just hear him out for a minute," Eijirou's voice seeps through the ash wisping through the air of the office. With it, the smell of rain rolls through briefly then quickly turns to rot and Katsuki could punch him right then and there. 

"Are you seriously trying to scent me right now? What the hell is wrong with you? You know that won't work." he demands, balling his hands up into fists. Eijirou sighs and places his hands on his hips with a tired look. He's been through all of Katsuki's shit before in the past ten years - the endless cycles of angrily refusing biology and then eventually defeatedly knocking on Eijirou's door so that he steal a shirt or something that smells like the only alpha he's brought himself to trust over the years. 

But it's different now. 

Eijirou recently mated and can't give Katsuki those things anymore. It's truly upending Katsuki's life and the only thing he knows how to do about it is to panic . They've tried. Eijirou's mate, Tamaki, is laid-back and understands that the two of them are merely close friends, and that scenting isn't exclusively romantic or sexual. It can be familial, too. But as soon as Eijriou and Tamaki bonded, his scent wasn't the same. It's not comforting anymore and brings Katsuki more stress than it soothes. And it's been causing problems for both Katsuki and everyone around him. The agency can't afford another stress-induced Ground Zero rampage, and he can't afford to lose his fucking job. 

And as much as he hates to admit it, Katsuki has become dependent on his best friend's scenting to get him through a lot of their jobs. He's fucking strong, he knows he is, but it's not his fucking fault that his instincts crave what they crave. Or that without the soothing scenting of an alpha, his stress hormones go haywire no matter how much big game he talks. The way he sees it, scenting is no more than a tool he uses to keep his head on straight. Like taking daily meds or something. Shouldn't be a big fucking deal. 

"Well, lucky for us, that was not the only copy," Fat Gum chuckles. "Do you want to know who they found or not?" 

"Fuck no, I don't care," Katsuki spits. 

Fat Gum had tried to show him the documents and on instinct he'd incinerated them. A week ago they had presented him with fabric samples, hoping one of the alpha scents would appease him. Only one really struck a chord with him, one that smells like black tea and spearmint, and he'd taken that one home with him, unwilling to surrender it. The scent was almost more comforting than Eijriou's, but he would never admit that. He had a hard enough time admitting how comforted he felt by his scent in the first place. But it had to be that one, he knew it . . . but hell if he's ready to find out who the asshole is that this scent belongs to. It would be better if they could just have the extra send him well-worn clothing every month. Not better as in more effective, but better as in he wouldn't have to actually feel dependent on yet another alpha. 

"Well you're going to find out this afternoon  anyway," Eijirou reminds him. "At this point, you're just delaying the inevitable." 

"I have the pdf of the agreement pulled up on my computer," Fat Gum says,  beckoning the two of them over to him. Katsuki scowls and stays rooted where he is, watching as Eijirou betrays him and goes to sneak a peek at the document. He leans over Fat Gum's shoulder, and his expression pales as soon as he reads. Not a good fucking sign. 

"Uh, dude I think you'll want to see who it is," he says, chuckling nervously. Katsuki rolls his eyes, shoving his hands into his pockets to discreetly clutch at the piece of fabric he carries with him that's been slowly losing its scent. When neither of the other two are looking, he takes the fabric from his pocket and tucks it into the collar of his hero costume. It's fading too fast for Katsuki's liking but he can still smell it. The end notes of sharp spearmint. 

"Just fucking tell me if its so damn important," he grunts, too stricken to move from where his feet are planted. His heart rate speeds up a bit and he licks his lips, hoping neither of them can tell how much of a toll this whole ordeal is really taking on him. 

If only he could find the entire person that the scent in his collar belongs to. He could just bury his face in their chest and breathe in calming scents and get his damn head back to equilibrium. 

"It's pro hero Deku," Fat Gum says, when Eijirou says nothing. 

"That's a fucked up joke if I've ever heard one," Katsuki mumbles, his entire body going rigid. There's no way that amazing scent could come from fucking shitty Deku. Fuck. They have to be fucking with him. He tries to wrack his brain to remember what the dumb alpha smells like, but nothing comes to mind. The fucker didn't even present until they were already at UA and everyone was required to keep everything at bay to prevent conflicts

"He's not joking, Katsuki," Eijirou says, gravely. 

"Then call off the whole damn thing, I don't want him!" He shouts, though his instincts are screaming at him to not fuck this up so he can get more of that warm, fuzzy scenting with his alpha. Fuck. Not his alpha. Disgusting. 

"Well you shoulda thought of that before you signed the paperwork," Fat Gum reminded him of the pile he'd mindlessly signed, not listening to what he had to do, only focused on one thing he wanted out of this deal. "NightMight is one of the biggest agencies in the country. If you try to breach the contract they will lawyer up and sue your ass." 

"Yeah?" 

"Katsuki, it doesn't have to be forever just until the next hero ranking poll six months from now," Eijirou chimes in, clearly having paid much more attention in the meeting than he had himself. "And it's not a real courting, it just has to seem like it. Everything will be explained in the next meeting." 

"Which is when?" He grunts. 

"Dude, this afternoon! Have you been listening to us at all?!" 

And that answer is no.

 

*******

 

Izuku tugs anxiously at his tie as he stands in the stuffy elevator with LeMillion (who's really just Mirio now that they're off duty and out of uniform), Sasaki and Kato. The building feels endlessly high and someone else has to either get off or get on at every floor it seems. He just wants to get this over with. 

He chose you.  

It sounded highly unlikely when he first heard it, and it's still not quite believable. But he replays it in his head like a mantra to keep himself from freaking out too much. He hasn't seen Kacchan in years aside from chance run-ins during missions where both of their agencies were called in for support. But those were strictly professional and not a word would be spoken outside of what was necessary. So Izuku doesn't really count that as staying in touch. 

After what feels like an entire year, the elevator opens up at the top floor of Fat Gum's agency building and they exit. It's not too much different from NightMight, but the atmosphere still feels different. Less intense? More intense? It's hard to put a finger on what it is exactly. Maybe it's the blackened scorch marks streaking across the wall. 

Izuku inhales sharply at the sight, wondering just what the hell he's agreed to. If he knows anything about Kacchan, it's that the omega can be quite temperamental, and from the looks of it, that hasn't changed in the past seven years. 

"This way," Mirio nods towards the conference room when he notices Izuku frozen by the burn marks. He gives the older man a wary look, which is returned by a cheery thumbs-up. "Come on, it won't be that bad." 

He opens the door to the conference room and gestures for Sasaki and Kato to go  inside. Izuku takes another deep breath and follows them, not sure what to even expect to find. 

However, all he finds in the room are Fat Gum along with another man whom he doesn't recognize. Probably their lawyer. Who knows. Either way, Kacchan is nowhere to be seen, which is a bit of a relief. He files in behind Mirio and the others and sits quietly, just waiting to get this whole thing over with. 

"Hey there! So glad you could make it in so quickly," Fat Gum says, his smile wide and friendly. "Sorry, Ground Zero is on his way, had to take a little breather before we got started. Sorry for the mess, it's been a little rough around here lately." 

"No worries! We're here to help each other," Mirio says, with a proud grin. Izuku pulls at his tie again as his heart hammers in his chest. They're both so loud and happy as if they don't even realize what's happening here. 

"Yes, this is going to be great," Kato says, grinning. "We're very excited to start -" 

 

Boom!  

 

The entire conference room looks up, startled at the sound of the explosion from down the hallway. It's followed by shouting that's dreadfully familiar and Izuku knows exactly who is causing the commotion. By the end of their time at UA, he and Kacchan were on speaking terms, as close to being friends as they ever had been. So, it's not like they're necessarily on bad terms . . . even still, Izuku was briefed a little more before this meeting. Not only is Kacchan, well, Kacchan, but he's also currently an omega in a high-stress job with no close alpha in his life. If anything, they should be more surprised he hasn't destroyed the entire building by now. 

Izuku jumps as the door swings open to reveal . . . Kirishima? 

"Come on, dude, you're embarrassing yourself," the red haired man says to whom he assumes is Kacchan right outside the door. "Let's just get it over with!" 

He turns to the room and gives a shark-toothed grin. 

"Hey, Midoriya, long time no see!" he says, waving to Izuku from across the room. Izuku swallows hard and manages a weak smile. He wonders how Kirishima manages to be the type of alpha who has no problem wrangling an omega like Kacchan, yet Izuku is ready to throw up because he's so nervous. He's the worst alpha, honestly. 

"I'm not fucking going in there, there's no fucking way -" he can distinctly hear Kacchan's voice, even though he's hidden out of sight. Kirishima sighs, rolls his eyes and turns back to the room, eyes scanning before they land on Izuku again. "It's not gonna be him." 

"Midoriya, dude, toss me your tie?" he asks, so casual. Izuku blinks up at him, not understanding the request. 

"M-my tie?" Izuku stammers, fingering the fabric around his neck. The back of it is damp from the way he's been sweating through his shirt. It's gross. 

"Yeah, man, if you don't mind?" he says, as everyone else looks at him expectantly. He clears his throat, happy to remove the wretched piece of fabric anyway. He balls it up neatly and slides it down the conference table until Kirishima catches it. "Sweet, thanks!" 

He then turns to Kacchan and tosses the necktie in his direction and . . . silence. 

 

********

 

Katsuki scowls, crossing his arms over his chest as Eijirou talks to all the assholes in the conference room. It's fucking humiliating is what it is, and he refuses to subject himself to that! He has already signed the stupid paperwork, can't they do all this other housekeeping crap without him? The last thing he needs is to be sitting around a table while everyone talks about the fucking crazed omega that needs an alpha to keep him calm. He doesn't need anyone. Fuck. He doesn't want to need anyone. 

"Sweet, thanks!" Eijirou says, before turning and tossing a piece of long satin fabric towards Katsuki. All at once, he's hit with tea and spearmint, and it shoots straight through his nostrils and swirls around his brain. He gasps and bunches the tie in his hands, holding it up to his face so he can breathe in more of that drug-like scent. "All good?" 

"Sure, hold on," he finally says. He's not quite being agreeable, but he's willing to go in now that he has confirmation that the source of the intoxicating scent is indeed in that conference room. While he's still not willing to accept that it belongs to Deku of all people, he's willing to at least check if it means he can get more of this. For the sake of being more discrete, he drapes the tie around his neck, then tucks it into his shirt so it can't be seen. 

Eijirou grins as Katsuki takes a step forward, finally entering the meeting. As he does so, everyone in the room looks up, greeting him with fake smiles and hesitation. LeMillion is there with two extras he'll probably forget the names of and . . . fuck. Deku really is here. 

The unmistakable mess of green is seated at the opposite end of the table, gaze averted downwards, dressed in a grey button-down shirt that's missing a tie. He clenches his fists and takes a deep breath in, allowing spearmint to bring him back down to Earth before he even leaves it. It works like a fucking charm and Katsuki hates it. 

"Ground Zero, there you are! We were waiting for you so we could get started!" Fat Gum says, cheerfully, gesturing toward the chair next to Deku. He grimaces at the suggestion and defiantly chooses the seat furthest from him. 

"Well, let's get started, shall we?" the man sitting next to Fat Gum says. Another fucking extra. Eijirou closes and locks the meeting room door behind him and goes to take his seat next to Kastuki. "Everyone in this room has signed an NDA to ensure that this project remains a secret that the general public cannot find out about. Please see the copies of the contracts for the details, you should have already been briefed on them." 

Katsuki grunts in agreement as everyone else murmurs their confirmations of understanding before one of the extras with Deku and LeMillion starts talking. 

"Alright, so deal here is this: Pro Hero Ground Zero is in need of an unmated alpha that can provide scenting and other forms of comfort as needed," she explains and Katsuki has to refrain from blowing something up at the mention of other forms of comfort . "Now, how you go about doing that is entirely up to the two of you, as I know that can get a bit personal . . . however, ProHero Deku has entered this agreement because, as his PR team, we have recognized that the public is uncomfortable with the idea of an unmated alpha in the Top 5." 

Katsuki steals a glance in Deku's direction to see that he's still looking at the table, face clearly red even in his efforts to hide it. He rolls his eyes at the notion that anyone could be uncomfortable with this sorry excuse for an alpha. His throat clenches at the thought, his omega brain clearly not happy with the idea of insulting his - the alpha. 

"So, we'll go through a series of courting rituals that will intentionally get noticed by the public, in order to ensure everyone that Deku is actively looking for a mate," she explains. "This project will extend until six months from now, when the next Pro Hero Rankings are released, and then at that time, both parties will reconvene so that we can go over whether or not we need to continue or end the project." 

"So it's all a win-win!" Fat Gum explains, flashing a smile towards Katsuki, who snarls silently in response. The pro just laughs it off. "Ground Zero is one of our best, we want to make sure we're doing everything we can to ensure his comfort." 

"Don't fucking need your comfort," Katsuki hisses. He does, kind of, but he doesn't like hearing it. Fuck that. "Just tell me what I gotta do so I can leave." 

"Well, we're going to start with something small," the PR extra says, pulling an item out of her bag and sliding it in Katsuki's direction. Katsuki stops it as it gets to him, picking up a small, shiny pin. It's not much, just the shape of a little crescent moon. "Next time you're out on patrol, have it pinned to your hero costume." 

"The fuck is it?" he grunts. 

"A-a courting gift, right?" His eyes snap up as Deku finally speaks, his head lifted from the table, but his face still several shades of red. His wide green eyes meet Katsuki's briefly before immediately darting away. "A courting alpha can give small gifts to please an omega, and they're usually wearable so that others can see the omega is being courted." 

"Exactly! So when people notice the pin on Ground Zero's costumes, they will undoubtedly start asking questions . . . it doesn't match his costume, nor does it have any functionality purposes, so people will likely conclude it as a courting gift and their next question will be who ?" she smiles wildly, like she's enjoying this way too damn much. "And once the internet is officially abuzz, we'll wait a bit and then stage a paparazzi sighting of Deku presenting Ground Zero with a courting gift. In street clothes, of course, so that it can be fully interpreted as a genuine, intimate moment." 

"Ugh," Katsuki grumbles, twisting the pin back and forth between his fingertips. If only it had actually come from Deku, then it might smell like him, too. He presses his lips together firmly and looks down the table once again. It's hard to smell him from where he's sitting, especially when the room is full of others and mixed in with scent blockers. 

"And, we'll go over the specifics for that when the time comes, you'll both be copied on emails that outline your roles that you need to fill each week, so that each event goes off without a hitch!" she explains, then goes into a few more details that Katsuki zones out and doesn't pay attention to. After what feels like for-fucking-ever, the meeting is finally adjourned and everyone begins to stand, shaking hands and all that crap. 

"I'll give you two a minute to catch up for a moment, if you'd like," LeMillion says to Deku, who's still sitting down at the other end of the table. Katsuki clenches his fists and turns to Eijirou, who's already standing. 

"Katsuki, I'll just be outside, okay? It's a good idea to talk to him given everything," he says, patting him roughly on the back. He glares up at the red haired man as he exits the room with the rest of the crowd. The door slams with a jarring sound, drawing an uncomfortable amount of attention to the silence left in the room. He blinks towards the door before finally looking over at the nerd. 

"Is this really your fucking scent?" Katsuki huffs, and Izuku looks up, utterly confused. 

"What do you mean?" he asks, softly. Katsuki rolls his eyes and slides off the tie as well as the fabric scrap that had been previously scented. Izuku stares hard at the items on the table, no doubt trying to calculate their purpose and his intentions and everything else in the goddamn universe. "That's my tie, obviously. . . Oh the scents Kato said you ah, chose mine?"

"Didn't fuckin know it was yours dumbass," he huffs, getting up from his seat and moving over towards the alpha. He takes a seat on the edge of the table near him, black tea and spearmint getting stronger as he nears. So fucking good. 

"You've never- we've known each other for years, Kacchan. You should know how I smell," he mumbles, twisting his mouth to the side. Katsuki looks down at him as he sighs and runs scarred hands through his mess of hair. He's anxious, Katsuki can tell by the way the spearmint in his scent grows sharper, spicier, and it chills his sinuses as he inhales it. 

"You were on scent blockers as soon as soon as you presented, idiot," he says, letting his legs swing over the edge of the table. "Listen, I don't want to fucking do this but . . . I need it. Stupid instincts or whatever."

"Yeah?" 

"Yeah, and I'm keeping this," he swallows, swiping the tie and the fabric from the table before Izuku can even think about taking them back. 

"D-do you need anything else?" Izuku asks, his voice tired as he looks up to Katsuki again. He looks exhausted, yet is still trying to provide for Katsuki. Like a good alpha. My alpha. 

Katsuki immediately jumps from the table and storms across the room, alarmed at his own thoughts. 

"I don't need anything from you, fucking shitty nerd!" He shouts. "Don’t you dare bother me unless it's absolutely necessary, you got that?!" 

And then he storms out, hoping his point has been made.