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Stood up

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At least, the night was warm.

It was all Shouta could find as a comforting thought, as he was leaning against the restaurant’s storefront, waiting for his blind date that would most likely never arrive. It was warm and the soft breeze blowing in his hair was enjoyable. The sky was clear, as well, allowing him to look up at the stars as they were starting to appear, the sun setting behind the surrounding buildings.

A late date night had been risky, if Shouta had to admit it. Dates usually happened earlier than ten in the evening, right ? But Shouta had had many things to do, during the day and he hadn’t wanted to put his work aside. It probably was impolite, it probably was why the guy hadn’t showed up to begin with. Shouta could understand if the man had thought that Shouta would rather work than meet with him, but then again, Shouta had accepted said date partly because Nemuri had told him that the man he was to meet was in his forties. Which meant he was mature and wouldn’t act like a spoiled brat.

He had been wrong, hadn’t he ?

If Shouta had to be truthful about it, though, he’d say that he hadn’t exactly wanted the date to begin with. For, busy as he was as a teacher, he didn’t have the time to date, didn’t have the time to meet new people. It was a bother more than it was a pleasure to him and sure, it was lonely, sometimes, but it was why he had adopted cats, wasn’t it ? Lonely, yes but never really boring as they loved to wreak havoc around him and Shouta loved them too much to get the slightest angry at them.

It had been Nemuri, who had insisted. Telling him about that older guy she knew from work, that had come out as gay only recently. Shouta wasn’t sure anymore what his name was, Nemuri had told him and it probably was in a text but he couldn’t be bothered to pull his phone out at the moment just to check it. Said guy, used to be married and he had kids. Shouta didn’t care, he loved kids, he would have never become a teacher if he didn’t like them at least the slightest. Handsome, or so Nemuri had said, a big build, fierce eyes and some nice smile.

In the end, it was the guy’s age that had convinced Shouta to eventually say yes. And the fact that it’d make Nemuri stop trying to set him up with all the guys she knew were gay. Whether it’d be because that one date had worked and he’d try things out with the guy, or because it’d be a total disaster and she’d back off, knowing she’d be responsible of it.

The latter seemed to be what was going to happen, it seemed, Shouta thought as he softly hit the macadam with the tip of his boot, slipping his hands into his pockets and sighing for the thousandth time tonight.

It was a shame, in a way. Not because Shouta had been entirely excited with the date, if anything, he had kind of known it wouldn’t turn well, one way or another. But, somehow, he had tried. He had put some efforts in his appearance, had washed his hair more thoroughly than he usually did, pulled back half of it into a bun, he had shaved and he was wearing a nice button down with some slacks. Shouta had tried not to smile, when he had caught a glimpse of himself in his bathroom mirror, feeling quite attractive tonight, even if a little awkward. It wasn’t often he had the occasion to dress up like that.

He usually liked his tracksuits and his casual clothes way better. He always felt like the kids were more comfortable approaching him when they needed to, if he didn’t dress up to the nines to teach them. Even on subjects he actually didn’t teach. And Shouta always accepted their questions.

Stood up he had been, then, Shouta thought as he looked up again. He couldn’t care less, it wasn’t as if he had known the guy, it wasn’t as if it had been a second date and he had already liked his date. Still, he couldn’t help wondering if he was at fault, in a way. Was it because of how late it was ? Or had the guy seen him and decided not to go through with the date ? He’d ask Nemuri, maybe. She sure would make sure to provide him with an answer. She was going to be pissed at her work friend for not showing up.

Now was the time to go home. There was a reservation in the restaurant for him, and his absent date, Nemuri has planned it for him, because she knew the place and knew better than Shouta when it came to have a nice dinner date. He trusted her, when it came to this. Really, Shouta could just enter the restaurant, give his name, say he'd eat alone in the end and it'd be no trouble. But instead, he called the front desk, heaving a sigh as he watched, through the bay windows, a woman answer the phone, he cancelled the booking, making sure to apologize for their trouble, then hung up when she assured him that all was fine and they’d welcome him any other night.

Turning heels, to head back home, Shouta pushed his hands down his pockets again. He probably had something to eat at home, or he'd order take out. He was kind of hungry by now, having watched from the corner of his eye the clients enjoy their fancy dinner as he had been waiting. Not too much but still.

But Shouta was rudely interrupted. By a wall, that he walked into. Or so it was exactly how it felt.

It took two gigantic hands on his shoulders to keep him straight on his feet as the world spun around him and he was stunned with the abrupt stop. It was followed by a soft, awkward laugh and words that be couldn't make out. Someone was talking to him. Probably the owner of these big hands on his shoulders, the ones keeping him up and Shouta found himself leaning into the touch, even if slightly. Or maybe it was the shock that made him weak on his legs.

"I am so sorry !" The words didn't sound as muted anymore, after a second or two. "I hadn't seen you there! I didn't mean to hurt you ! Are you alright ? Sir ?"

Shouta looked up with a frown. And the first thing he saw was a halo of gold. Which soon turned out to be hair, some very soft looking blond hair around a big head that was looming over him. Just how tall could a man be ? Then he noticed blue eyes filled with panic scrutinizing him, teeth biting down on a lower lip.

"Do you want me to call an ambulance ?" The man continued after a short pause. "I can do that, absolutely no problem. And I'll wait with you and make sure they treat you well. Do you want to sit while we wait ?"

"I'm fine," Shouta interrupted the man's monologue. He blinked, once or twice, until his vision cleared a little, he rubbed his face and carefully touched his painful nose. What was this man even made of ?

"Are you certain ?"

Shouta stepped back, the man kept his hands up, just in case.

"I think so at least."

The stranger laughed awkwardly. Shouta glanced up at him again.

He knew that guy. Not personally. He didn't know his name, not anything about him. But he had seen him, earlier, when he had arrived at the restaurant and had started to wait for his date to arrive. Shouta remembered him easily, because the guy had looked so uncomfortable, sitting there on his own. Both emotionally and physically. Shouta could guess why, now. That guy was way too big to be comfortable on any piece of furniture the usual size.

Hell, Shouta wasn't even sure that guy would go through the doorways of his flat without bumping his head. He was tall as fuck and he had some big muscles. And wow did he stand out.

"Are you sure you don't need an ambulance ?"

Shouta almost rolled his eyes. Instead, he touched his nose again.

"Certain," Shouta stated, hoping to sound as resolute as he was feeling. "I wouldn't want to waste your time."

"Ah well, it's not like there's anywhere I should be," the man answered, waving a hand awkwardly. "I actually was stood up on, so I'm heading home. Unless you need assistance, then I'm accompanying you to the hospital."

Stood up, eh ? It seemed to be a night like that, then, Shouta thought as he gazed up again. That guy's insistence to help him, though ..

"I think my nose will survive, thank you," he said, not caring to hide the soft snark in his tone. For an instant, he thought the guy would be put off with it. Instead, it was answered with a big smile, one of these gigantic hands going to scratch the back of its owner's head.

"I'll be on my way, then," the blond said, and he bowed his head lightly. "Have a good evening."

Shouta watched him, as the man walked around him, took a few steps away.

That guy, was cute. He was ! Cute in a way Shouta didn't see often. Tall and big and yet, so freakishly adorable with his big smile and his antics and probably way more endearing than any guy Nemuri had wanted him to meet. Fuck, he probably was going to regret it but ..

"I was stood up on as well," he called after the guy, turning to him, waiting to see him react. Shouta kept his smile for himself, when he saw him come to a halt and stand there, waiting. "And you almost broke my nose. So maybe you could keep me company for a while. As compensation."

For a moment, Shouta thought the guy would just ignore him and leave. But he watched him turn around, both eyebrows up, surprise written all over his sweet face, he saw him stare.

"Who would dare stand a beautiful man like you up ?"

Shouta shrugged, averting his eyes at the indirect compliment.

"That one guy, I guess."

The man walked the few steps between them again. He extended his hand.

"I'm Yagi."

"Shouta. Pleased to meet you."

Yagi was an absolute sweetheart.

He was! His sweet smile wouldn’t leave his lips, as they were walking together toward their destination. Which wasn’t too far because, somehow, they both knew that one little grocery shop that closed late at night and were heading that way to grab some food and drinks to improvise a picnic in the nearby park. None of them had really thought that, maybe, they could go back to the restaurant and use one of their reservations instead. Well, Shouta had cancelled his but with how sweet the hostess had been on the phone, he knew she would have seated them easily. And Yagi had sat there too. But no.

The little bell above the door of the grocery store chimed lightly when Yagi pushed the door but stood back to allow Shouta to enter first. Shouta tried not to smile, at the attention but he couldn’t hold it back when he turned around to watch Yagi follow suite, when he saw him lean his head down, then let go of the door.

“Isn’t it annoying, on a daily basis ?”

Yagi’s awkward smile returned, he scratched the back of his head sheepishly.

“It is,” he admitted, “I spent a lot of time searching for the right place to live, somewhere I wouldn’t bump my head on a daily basis. I actually bought a house belonging to a former American wrestler, that had all the doors and windows custom made for the exact same reason.”

For a second, Shouta wondered if Yagi himself wasn’t a retired wrestler, with a build like his. It wouldn’t surprise him, not the slightest, but he refrained himself from the question. Yagi looked awkward with the subject and Shouta realized that the man probably received a lot of comments about his height. It probably was rude to push the subject. Instead, he focused on the aisles, led the way to the pre-made sandwiches section.

“So, what would you want to eat ? My treat.”

Yagi’s lips parted in surprise, as they hadn’t spoke of this but Shouta wouldn’t mind buying a sandwich for the man. Or two, seeing how tiny they even looked compared to Yagi’s hands. He had been the one who kind of invited him, hadn’t he ? So it was fair this way.

“I almost broke your nose, I should be the one paying for the meal,” Yagi stated, a slight blush returning to his cheeks. “Also, they have amazing bread over there, shouldn’t we make our own sandwiches ?”

“I guess ...”

Truth was, Shouta usually couldn’t be bothered to cook much. He might be too lazy for that, even if he usually said he didn’t have the time for it. Yagi seemed motivated, though, so Shouta followed him to the right aisle, watched him grab the bread. Then they headed to the fridges, to grab what they’d add in their bread, some drinks, then the cashier.

The park, at this hour of the evening, was calmer than during the day. Gone were the kids that usually played on the grass and with the water fountains specially set up for them during the hot summer they were going through. Gone were the families enjoying a breath of fresh air in the middle of the city, strolling along the paths among the trees and watching curiously the wild animals too used to people to fear them anymore. At this hour, the park was mostly visited by couples and teenagers hanging out together. It was a nice place that Shouta like to go through on his way back from the school, after a long day of work. It was relaxing.

Yagi, as he was leading the way, ignored all the empty benches. He ignored the curious people turning to stare at him, as well, almost effortlessly but Shouta could see the way his eyes darted left and right, the way he shifted on his feet to give them his back so he wouldn’t have to face their curiosity and he reached out, before he could think about twice, he touched the small of Yagi’s back in reassurance. That guy obviously was self conscious when it came to his appearance, and it made Shouta feel bad for the comment he had made earlier, at the grocery shop. But, feeling Yagi lean into his touch, he thought that maybe it wasn’t too bad, that maybe he was forgiven.

They found a nice spot, hidden behind a grove and some trees but with a clear view on the sky. The stars weren’t as visible as they could have been, they were in the middle of the city after all, but they could be seen still and Shouta sat down, pushing his back against a trunk, he glanced as Yagi as the man was carefully folding himself to sit as well, his long legs stretched, his side turned to him, the bag of groceries in his lap.

“What do you want ?”

Shouta hesitated a second. Then he smirked.

“Are you going to make me my sandwich ?”

Yagi sputtered, as if choking on his own spit. It was cute that he had talked without thinking about it. Shouta put him out of his misery quickly enough.

“Simple ham and cheese is fine by me,” he told the older man in a shrug. “And I’ll have a coke as a drink.”

Watching Yagi make the sandwiches was entertaining in a way. For Yagi was absolutely careful with everything he did, careful with the bread as he broke the baguette in half, with opening the plastic packages and removing slices of ham and cheese to fold them in the bread. He was precise, as if the task wasn’t easy for him but then again, Shouta couldn’t help but wonder if it were indeed difficult with these big hands of him. Not that Shouta was going to ask. It wasn’t polite.

Yagi, though, handed him the sandwich with that soft smile of his and Shouta noticed the soft wrinkles around his beautiful blue eyes and the gentleness in them. He accepted the meal with a thank you, made himself more comfortable where he sat.

“What was your date supposed to be like ?”

The question had Yagi’s smile falter for a second, but it widened again right away.

“It was a guy I met on an app,” Yagi admitted, red going up his cheeks again and looking down as he was making his own meal. “We chatted for a couple of weeks, sent each other pictures, all these things. But uh, I guess he got scared when he saw me through the bay windows ?”

Shouta frowned. “Why ?”

“It’s .. a common occurrence, so it wouldn’t be the first time,” Yagi stated in a shrug. “I didn’t understand at first but that one time, I met with a woman that literally said she wasn’t sure she could date me because of my build. She said that she felt too .. intimidated and wouldn’t like feeling that way on a regular basis. So then, I added my height and my weight on my bio. But I guess it wasn’t enough.”

Shouta stared, for a bit too long, probably, as Yagi shifted under his gaze and made sure not to meet his eyes. How stupid could people be ? Sure, Yagi was tall and big and Shouta did need some time to wrap his mind around his build, as it wasn’t exactly prevalent in the area but how could it ever become a problem ? He hadn’t seen much of the man, yet, of his personality but .. He already knew Yagi was an absolute sweetheart. The way he had insisted on wanting to help him earlier, when Shouta had walked into him, how he had carried their bag, how he was being so careful with the ingredients of their dinner, how he was trusting, sharing some intimate details with him were just proof of it.

“What about yours ?” Yagi was quick to shoot the question back, as the silence stretched. “What was your date supposed to be like ?”

Shouta pushed his lips together again, then he breathed out through the nose.

“No idea,” he admitted in a shrug. “It was a blind date, my friend set us up together. I was supposed to meet him tonight for the first time. He didn’t show up.”

“And he didn’t tell you he couldn’t make it ?”

Shouta snorted, before he could help it. “We don’t even have each other numbers. My friend organized it all. She’ll probably text me later to ask how it’s going.”

“What .. are you going to tell her then ?”

“The truth ? He didn’t come and I almost broke my nose against another guy and am now on a date with said guy.”

The word seemed to short circuit Yagi’s brain. He stared, his smile dropping as his mouth went slack, his hands frozen where they had been. Shouta tilted his head to the side.

“Unless you’d rather keep this friendly ?”

“I mean, aren’t you .. repelled by my looks ?” Yagi asked, in a tone that he tried to make sound casual but Shouta didn’t have the slightest trouble to catch the nervousness, the bitterness in it.

“Why would I be ?”

Yagi didn’t answer, lost in thoughts. Shouta looked away, shrugging.

“You’re attractive,” he told the man, truthful and direct. “You’re sweet and you’re attentive.”

“I almost broke your nose,” Yagi reminded him after a pause.

“Almost,” Shouta nodded along. “I almost can’t believe how hard you were, it really did feel like a wall that I walked into.”

“Do you walk into walls regularly, to know how it feels like ?”

“When I stare at hot guys sometimes,” Shouta joked and it made Yagi laughed softly. “It does make me wonder if you’re not hiding some armor underneath these clothes.”

“It’s all real, I fear,” Yagi answered on a solemn tone.

“Even better.”

They shared a glance. And Shouta saw, in the other man’s eyes, his thankfulness for the sweet words, even if he didn’t speak it. He saw that Yagi truly appreciated the compliments and Shouta hoped the man didn’t think he was just throwing them at him so he’d feel better. He was serious, when he said that Yagi was attractive. He was and Shouta was quite happy they were having a date together. Yagi hadn’t shot down the idea that this was a date, after all. So it probably meant that it was indeed one.

They ate in companionable silence. Yagi relaxed, with each passing minute, leaning on his hand to Shouta’s side, his hand close to his thigh and Shouta was looking up at the stars, feeling quite at peace with the moment. For this, was way more enjoyable than what he knew his actual date would have been like. Shouta wasn’t exactly fond of restaurant dates because of all the people around and how the waiter would interrupt it, how they would have to leave at some point, which always, always broke the mood. Sitting there with Yagi, enjoying homemade sandwiches and drinking soda from the bottle was way better and Yagi was of way better company anythings.

He couldn’t know, actually, as Shouta had never interacted with the guy Nemuri had set him up with. But he had that feeling anyways.

It was the ringing of his phone, that pulled them both out of their thoughts. Shouta glanced at Yagi, Yagi glanced at Shouta’s pocket, where his phone obviously was and Shouta pulled it out, leaning on his side as he did so, groaning in annoyance.

“She’ll harass me if I don’t answer,” he said, half in an apology. “Please don’t take it personally.”

Yagi waved his hand lightly, his smile soft.

Shouta, I’m so sorry,” the message started with. “I just received a message from your date, saying he had chickened out when he saw you because of how hot you were! I did tell him you were a bit messy most of the time so it means you actually followed my advice, didn’t you ? Did you shave !? Anyways, I assured him that he had nothing to be uncomfortable with, that you’re sweet and all and he’s willing to try again, if you are as well. Sorry he bailed on you like that !

Shouta read the message once, then a second time. Then he looked up at Yagi.

“Comfortable with sending her a picture so she doesn’t try setting me up with him again ?”

“Sure,” Yagi smiled and it was so sweet and Shouta felt his cheeks heat up.

Why was that guy so adorable ?

Shouta didn’t try to find an answer to that question, though. Instead, he moved closer to him, making sure Yagi was comfortable with the proximity, then turned his camera app on, held up his phone, took just one picture and sent it to Nemuri with a simple caption : “Literally bumped into that guy, now I’m on date with him.

Shouta then debated, wondering if he should stay where he was, near Yagi. The man didn’t seem to mind it and he still was leaning on his hand, that now happened to be behind his back. It almost felt as if Yagi was leaning against him and it was enjoyable but Shouta also was aware that some people weren’t comfortable with being close too quickly. So he looked up, and he was about to ask, when his phone went off again.

omfg Shouta is that All Might !!!????

Shouta frowned. He read the message several times, wondering what in hell Nemuri meant. He then looked up at Yagi and showed him the screen because he wasn’t sure how to voice it. Yagi’s reaction was quite the telltale.

His smile widened, in an embarrassed way, he looked away, his cheeks red with discomfort, his brows furrowed.

“I guess I was discovered, then.”

“I have no idea who All Might is,” Shouta admitted. He looked at his phone again, but didn’t answer Nemuri’s message. Instead, he activated the airplane mode, to make sure they wouldn’t be interrupted again and he moved away from Yagi. Only to give him space. Shouta liked to have his own space, when he wasn’t feeling comfortable.

“It is me,” Yagi admitted, his smile dropping and he glanced between Shouta and the spot he had been sitting on, when he was closer. “I am All Might. The wrestler.”

Shouta shrugged, shaking his head.

“Wait, you actually never heard of me ?” Yagi huffed in embarrassment.

“I’m not into wrestling. At all,” Shouta admitted in another shrug. “Nor sports.”

“Ah,” Yagi said, in a not so eloquent way. Then, he smiled again. “Well. Long story short, I’m a wrestling champion that used to go under the name All Might. I won several championships, a lot of belts during my golden age. I retired last year, though, and I’ve commentated some matches here and there. .”

“Alright,” Shouta simply answered. No wonder Nemuri had recognized the man, then. She liked wrestling a lot, had sometimes tried to interest him into watching a few competitions with her. She had tried using the fact that he’d be able to see a lot of hot guys in minimal clothings fight each other as an argumentation. It had failed, obviously. “So the house you bought ..”

“Was a friend’s,” Yagi said with a short nod. “He did have it custom made and he and I are of a similar build so we knew I’d feel comfortable there.”

“Alright,” Shouta said again.

He then looked up at Yagi again. In more details, he looked at his big hands, at his broad shoulders, at his overall big body. It did fit the character, didn’t it ? He could imagine that guy being a wrestler indeed. It made sense, at least when it came to his body.

“Are you going to feel intimidated now ?”

Shouta looked up again, at Yagi’s sweet blue eyes. He frowned.

“Is it why your previous dates were ? Because of who you are ?”

Yagi hesitated. Then he looked away, scratching the back of his head. “They probably thought the great All Might had tons of people at his feet ? I don’t know. Except what this lady said, I have no actual idea why people are so …” he trailed but didn’t finish his sentence.

“I guess you’re impressive,” Shouta admitted and it made Yagi grimace. “But I’m a teacher and deal with teenagers on a daily basis. I’m going to need a lot more than that.”

Yagi tried to hold back, but he did emit a soft laughter, hiding it behind his hand as he did, his cheeks turning a bit pink. Shouta smiled in answer, stretching his legs and crossing them near Yagi. At least, he hoped, this was settled and Yagi wouldn’t think he was interested for the wrong reasons. Because Shouta wasn’t. He was interested for the right reasons, the first one being how adorable Yagi was around him.

It took Yagi a couple more minutes to finish his own sandwich. He had made himself a bigger one, had filled it a bit more as well and he had been eating on it almost eagerly. Surely, a big guy like him ate a lot, Shouta thought and he wondered for a moment if he shouldn’t offer the man to maybe order a pizza ? Could they have a pizza delivered to them in the middle of a park ? Should have they bought more when at the store ?

“You look suddenly quite .. annoyed.”

Yagi’s whisper pulled Shouta out of his thoughts. He looked up, realizing how he had spaced out on such simple thoughts, he quickly relaxed his face again, aware his brow had furrowed.

“I was only wondering if a sandwich was going to be enough for you,” Shouta truthfully said, not bothered the slightest. “Surely, it is not enough to satiate you in any ways. So, shall we see if we can have pizza delivered here ?”

“I .. can’t have pizza.”

Shouta blinked. What ?

“Pizza is too greasy,” Yagi explained, his cheeks reddening again and he looked away. “Ah, I guess you wouldn’t know what happened ..”

“What happened ?” Shouta repeated, confused.

“I .. didn’t exactly want to retire from wrestling,” Yagi admitted, and his discomfort was showing but it didn’t stop him from talking. “My last match was against one of my friends. One I had fought against a lot and we were quite used giving ourselves at our best. I didn’t land properly, after a throw. Broke both my arms and shattered my hands under my weight. I’m on a restricted diet at the moment, for how long it’ll take my arms to fully heal.”

Shouta glanced at said arms, wondering if it was why Yagi had looked so careful while preparing the sandwiches earlier. Then he tilted his head to the side.

“Is there something we could have delivered that you’re allowed to have, then ?”

“No need for that,” Yagi waved a hand dismissively, chuckling. “I’m fine at the moment.”

Shouta wanted to insist a bit more. But he looked up at the man’s eyes again and decided against it. The subject sounded sensitive and it wasn’t his to try and force Yagi into something he didn’t want.

Instead, Shouta gave the man a short nod, to tell Yagi that he understood the situation and Yagi’s board shoulders relaxed and his smile widened again.

“I don’t hope to come back,” Yagi admitted, after a short pause. “I’ve been away from the scene for a year already and my arms might not recover if they break again. Also, it’s really time for newcomers to rise and take my place but .. I do miss it. I miss the atmosphere and the fights in themselves. The crowd, the places, the amazing people I met too. I plan on becoming a caster, an official one, at least, or maybe a judge but I’m not sure I’m up to these tasks.”

“Why not ?” Shouta frowned softly. “If you’re passionate about it, you can do exactly what you want. All you need is to set yourself a goal and do what it takes to attain it.”

“Haven’t I been there for too long, already, though ?” Yagi mused, looking up at the stars. “I just turned forty-nine, I’ve been doing this for thirty years. It really does feel like a long time, when I think about it ..”

Shouta shrugged. “What of it ?”

Yagi glanced at him but didn’t answer. Shouta didn’t push the subject.

It did sound like a sensitive one, after all. Like something Yagi cared for a lot, and it wouldn’t be surprising, considering how long Yagi had been a wrestler but. Sometimes, one little push in the wrong direction was all it took to crush a person and, surely, such a bad injury was quite the wrong push.

Instead of saying anything, Shouta moved. He shifted, slowly so he could read Yagi’s reactions as he did so, he moved until he was sitting next to him again and they did exchange a glance, until Yagi smiled and leaned on his hand again, placing it right behind his back, as they had been earlier. Because somehow, Shouta was thinking, if Yagi didn’t really want to talk about it, it didn’t mean he didn’t need the reassurance one could offer him. And, maybe, sitting closer would be enough for him ? It was a long shot but seeing how Yagi relaxed again, how he breathed out, even if a bit shakily, it was indeed what he had needed.

Shouta knew some kids in his main class that were like that. That needed reassurance but couldn’t handle words sometimes and would rather be nonverbal for the rest of the day. Shouta usually made sure to stand near their desk when he lectured the class. So they’d know they were supported, and didn’t need to actually talk it out. That he was there to help if they needed an adult somehow.

It wasn’t always much. But Shouta hoped it helped anyways.

The gentle touch at the small of his back was a surprise to Shouta. He hadn’t expected it, he hadn’t thought Yagi would be so bold as to touch him in such a moment. Shouta did touch him in a similar way, earlier, as a reassurance and surely, the feeling behind the contact wasn’t the same, it wasn’t Shouta that needed the reassurance or the comfort at the moment. But Shouta couldn’t help interpreting the gesture in a different way. Not as Yagi trying to comfort him, but as his way to thank him. For his words, for his presence, for moving closer, Shouta wasn’t sure. Maybe it was all of it at the same time, maybe something else. But Shouta accepted it with a hidden smile and he leaned a bit closer, until his shoulder brushed against Yagi’s and Yagi’s hand touching his back more firmly. And it was enough like that.

Breaking the silence, after that, felt difficult. Not when Yagi’s hand settled so nicely on his body, the tip of his fingers against his waist, not when Shouta found himself, after a while, leaning against Yagi’s arm. If he had to admit it, Shouta would easily say that he wasn’t one for unnecessary contacts, he wasn’t the touchy kind but here, with Yagi, it felt natural, almost. Maybe it was because their meeting had been physical indeed, with him bumping into the guy like he had, or maybe it came for something way different, like how Yagi had opened up, when he talked about his career and how he had been forced to put an end to it because of his injury. If anything, they had talked about Yagi more than they had talked about Shouta and Shouta couldn’t help wondering if he shouldn’t say a bit more about himself, if he should tell the man something about his past, to balance it out. A first date was that, after all, for people to get to know each other and see if they shared common interest. And, as Shouta had clearly stated it, he didn’t care the slightest for what seemed to be a big part of Yagi’s life. Not in a depreciative way, Shouta had nothing against wrestling. But he just couldn’t be bothered with it.

So he searched, and searched, something he could say about himself. Something relevant, something as important as what Yagi had said. But before he could formulate the slightest thought, Yagi was breathing out through the nose softly, a smile on the lips.

“Would it be too forward of me, to ask for your number ?”

Shouta looked up. He looked up and his head somehow found a nice, comfortable spot against Yagi’s shoulder and he leaned into it, careful if Yagi showed any sign of discomfort with it.

“Why would it be ?”

Yagi’s smile widened, in an embarrassed way.

“Well, I’ve stated my age and I’m aware you are quite younger than I am,” Yagi explained. “This tends to make some people uncomfortable or so I’ve come to realize.”

For an instant, Shouta thought about kissing him, just so Yagi would stop saying such idiotic things. But, then again, he wasn’t sure it was a good idea. Yagi seemed to be full of incertitudes and voicing them might help him understand that they didn’t need to be. That he could be himself around him, that Shouta wasn’t one to judge.

“Do I look uncomfortable ?”

Yagi glanced at him. “You don’t.”

“Are you uncomfortable that I am younger ?”

Yagi looked away again, but the smile on his lips was cute as he answered, “Not the slightest.”

“The guy I was supposed to meet tonight,” Shouta started and he did feel Yagi tense up a little but he made sure to keep himself relaxed so the man knew there wasn’t anything wrong going at the moment. “Used to be married. He’s got four kids and he’s more or less your age, I think. He came out just recently.”

“Did your friend say why he didn’t show up ?”

Shouta huffed. “She did, actually. Apparently, he saw me and panicked. She prepared him well to meet me, told him that I was .. unkempt, didn’t care much for my appearance but she probably hadn’t thought I’d make the effort tonight,” he shrugged, “I don’t care for your age or anything as unimportant as that. All I care for is for you and I to be comfortable, with whatever that happens.”

“So .. You’ll give me your number ?”

“Yes,” Shouta said in a soft breath, hiding a smile when he felt the tip of Yagi’s fingers tighten on his waist.

“And you’ll text back ?”

“I will.”

This, at least, seemed to help. For Yagi relaxed, his back hunching a little and Shouta tried not to shiver when he felt weight on his shoulders where Yagi leaned on him, even if slightly. It wasn’t much, it was just him letting go of some apprehension, of some bad feelings. He was insecure, obviously. Hearing things as they were sure helped.

They stayed where they were for a time. Enjoying the closeness, enjoying the warmth and Shouta could have fallen asleep, probably. Yagi was of good company, not caring to fill the silence with unnecessary chatter or noise. It was a nice change, compared with the last dates Shouta had gone to, with guys who had wanted to talk and talk even if to talk about the weather only. What they had talked about, tonight, had been more important than that. And sure, as before, Shouta couldn’t help but think he hadn’t said much about himself, but maybe it was fine that way. Maybe they could keep that for another night. For another date.

Shouta looked up, eventually. He looked up and watched, as Yagi was looking at the stars, his blue eyes dark in the night, but his comfort obvious. Shouta watched as the man was lost in his own thoughts, his arms still around his back and the contact unbroken and he stopped himself from smiling but just barely.

“Want to head home ?”

Yagi snapped out of his thoughts in a jump, blinking several times then looking down. He averted his eyes, when he noticed that Shouta was staring, and he cleared his throat.

“Yes, sorry, I wouldn’t want to …"

"Yagi," Shouta interrupted the other, keeping his voice as soft as he could. "Let me walk you home."

Truth was, Shouta didn't want to go home. Not really. He hadn't wanted to interrupt the moment either but he had classes to teach tomorrow and started early and he needed to sleep. His date had been supposed to arrive at ten, Shouta had waited around twenty minutes longer in front of the restaurant, thinking that, maybe, the guy was late because of the traffic or any other reason. He could have left earlier, especially with how he hadn't exactly hoped anything from said date but he had stayed anyways.

Honestly, it was the first time in his life Shouta had been stood up on because the guy had thought him too hot.

But he had met Yagi and they had walked to the grocery store, then to the park and had stayed there a moment. It wouldn't surprise him it was past midnight by now and his alarm went off at six thirty. It was going to be a short night. A very short one.

Pushing himself to his feet wasn't an easy feat. Mostly because Shouta didn't want to move away from the big arm that had held his back for that time, half feeling like Yagi wasn't going to dare touch him again afterwards. He did hold his hand out for Yagi to grab onto, when he faced the man, though and Yagi gave him an amused look.

"I'm probably twice your weight," Yagi commented but he did grab the offered hand anyways. Not that he needed it, obviously. Shouta was mostly being helpful. And also kind of wanted to see if Yagi's hand would cover his, were they to hold hands.

It did. And Yagi wasn't letting go, as he now was standing, his fingers carefully holding his hand, mindful not to hurt.

"Is that alright for you ?"

Shouta snorted. Then he looked up, offering the older man his most sardonic look, he rolled his eyes.

"I've been leaning against your side for what appears to be half an hour. You can hold my hand all you want."


Yagi didn't let go of his hand. Not when they walked around the grove, back to the main path, they followed it in a slow pace, Yagi leading the way, not even when they crossed path with other people. Shouta did feel the man’s fingers tighten, just a tiny bit, he did see Yagi glance at said people, as if waiting for them to lash out in any ways but they didn’t and, after a moment, he was able to relax again.

It was quite strange, when Shouta thought about it, to see such a man, with his height and his weight and his fame, apparently, a wrestler, nonetheless, look so self-conscious about everything he did. Surely, as All might, as it seemed to be his wrestler name, Yagi was confident and full of self-esteem. But here, as Yagi, as a man like any other, he was a completely different person. Well, Shouta couldn’t know for sure, he had never seen Yagi before, had never watched him as a wrestler or on stage. But it was something that wouldn’t leave his mind, as they walked together, out of the park and back in the streets of the city and Shouta wondered if there was a reason to that.

Tonight, though, wasn’t the right time to just go and ask. It probably wasn’t his place either, he didn’t want to pry and Yagi had opened up quite a bit already, when he talked of his insecurities and his love life and his injury. He had told a lot about himself already and Shouta thought he wouldn’t be fair, if he asked to know more. Instead, he’d just accept Yagi as he was tonight, shy and blushing and an absolute sweetheart and he was quite fine with it.

“Tonight was .. way better than what I had prepared myself for,” Yagi said, after a couple of meters, after they passed in front of the restaurant again. “I did have the feeling it’d be a disaster with the man I was supposed to meet because it felt almost too good to be true, but meeting you and spending time with you was great.”

Shouta didn’t answer right away. Half lost in thoughts, half too tired to process the words but he did feel Yagi tense by his side and that, at least, made him look up. He noticed the soft lines creasing the man’s beautiful face, he noticed the frantic glances he shot away and Shouta let go of Yagi’s hand just so he could place his own on his back, with enough pressure so Yagi knew it wasn’t casual.

“I enjoyed myself as well,” Shouta said, hoping he sounded as happy as he was feeling.

“Maybe, next time, you can come to my place and I’ll cook for you ?”

Shouta smiled, before he could stop himself but he didn’t have the time to answer.

“I’ve been told I’m a good cook,” Yagi was quick to add, as if Shouta needed reassurance. “Not restaurant good but good, you know ? I swear I’ll make something more refined than sandwiches too.”

“I’m sold,” Shouta whispered, moving his hand so now his arm was wrapped around Yagi’s small of the back. “Even for sandwiches.”

Yagi didn’t answer. But when Shouta glanced up, the man was sporting a blinding smile and his eyes were shining so hard it looked as if he was the sun, out in the middle of the night.

The moment didn’t last, though. Interrupted, even, as Yagi abruptly stopped his tracks and Shouta was forced to as well, because he had obviously seen something. And, before Shouta could understand what was happening, Yagi was carefully pulling away from his arm and motioning at someone to come, with a small wave of his hand.

Soon enough, a teenager was standing in front of Yagi. Eyes wide, as he was looking up, lips parted, shaking, almost and Shouta looked at them in turns, half amused with the encounter, half .. something else. He wasn’t sure what, because it was a mix of emotions that probably didn’t have a name in itself. For he was kind of annoyed they had been interrupted, in a way but almost curious to see Yagi interact with what appeared to be a fan, and intrigued as he watched Yagi straighten, when he watched him change from one attitude to the other, probably slipping in his All Might persona rather than just Yagi. And if his smile had been blinding before, it was now a lot more. Shouta had never seen a smile like this one before.

“A-All might,” the teenager was spluttering, blushing hard under his freckles and it looked as if he was going to faint. “I’m literally your biggest fan ..”

The kid’s friends were just a few meters away, giggling happily, obviously amused to see their friend meet his idol. Shouta tried not to snort at them.

“I’m here !” Yagi exclaimed, his voice booming and he paused, flexing a little. The kid’s eyes started to sparkle that exact moment. “Would you like to take a picture ? Or my autograph ?”

“Both .. Please ?”

Watching Yagi actually kneel to be able to fit in the picture with the kid was the cutest thing ever. He was being so careful, so attentive, making sure to go with what the kid wanted for his picture with his idol and offering him what seemed to be one of his signature smiles. Careful when he placed a hand on the teenager’s shoulder and talking soft words when his fan apologized because the picture was blurry because of his trembling hand and he was asking if they could do another. Then he stood again and the teenager searched his backpack for a marker.

“What would your name be ?” Yagi asked, obviously used to this.

“Izuku,” was the teenager’s answer but he was quick to add : “But make it Deku please ? I’ve started practicing to maybe do wrestling too, and that’s my nickname.”

“Got it !”

In the end, Yagi signed the kid’s cap, his backpack, and wrote him a small note on his notebook. Not hesitating the slightest as he did so, making sure to reassure the poor mess of a teenager Izuku had become, with each time Yagi told him he’d do what he asked, offering him comforting words and soft reassurances as they discussed for a minute or two.

It took until Shouta shifted from one of his foot to the other, as he was waiting on the side, for Izuku to notice him. He glanced, first, then he looked at Yagi again, then at the two of them in turns and his eyes widened so much it probably hurt.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry if I interrupted .. I-I ..”

“None of this,” Shouta said, in a shrug. “You take your time.”

“Thank you ..”

“Now, Deku, I’m going to give you a special code that you can use of my online merch shop,” Yagi offered Shouta a soft smile before he focused on the kid again. “But you have to promise me not to share it, right ? With it, you’ll be able to order the mystery bundle for free.”

“What ?” Izuku went white as sheet and he swallowed hard. “Is this for real ?”

“It is,” Yagi assured him and he leaned down, to whisper the code so only Izuku would hear it, he smiled. “You’ll remember it ? You can write it down if you like.”

“N-no, I’ll remember,” Izuku breathed out. “Thank you so much ..”

“I can’t wait to see you become a pro wrestler, Deku,” Yagi nodded at the kid, making him blush hard. “Who knows, maybe I’ll even comment one of your matches someday ..”

“That’d be .. That’d be my dream ..”

“Then, you know what you have to do, right ?”

“Plus ultra !”

“That’s right!”

With that, Yagi fist-bumped the kid, accepted one heartfelt hug and watched with a soft smile, as Izuku returned to his friends, skipping as he did, his lips pulled into the wildest grin ever.

There was a blank, then. As Shouta was staring at the other man and Yagi had kept his eyes focused on where Deku had last waved at him and then turned the corner of the street and disappeared. As if Yagi was waiting for him to say something, to maybe blame him for putting their date on pause so he could interact with his fan. As if Shouta was going to get mad for it and Shouta did want to sigh at it, because of how insensitive it felt but he didn’t. Instead, he grabbed Yagi’s hand again, pulled him into the direction they had been heading to, making sure to stay as close as he could and Yagi hiccuped in surprise but didn’t say a word. He did squeezed his fingers, as if thanking him. Shouta answered by placing his free hand on the man’s arm in reassurance and they went their way.

Yagi’s house was surprising, when they reached it. The skyscrapers had left way to the individual houses, after a street or two more, to a residential neighborhood but Shouta could see that the houses there weren’t exactly cheap. All of them were big, with a front and a backyard, with fancy fences and bushes to hide the view, they looked quite expensive too and Shouta looked around for a second, but then ignored their surroundings as Yagi stopped in front of a portal and pulled a set of keys from his pocket.

“So, here it is,” He said, as he led the way through the front yard, up to the main door. which was, as Yagi had said, customized to fit someone his size without having to crouch down. The windows were big as well and it seemed the ceiling was higher than in regular houses. “Please don’t share my address online ?”

That wasn’t exactly a serious demand, Shouta knew as he caught the amusement in Yagi’s tone. It made him chuckle lightly.

“I want you to know that .. it happens often,” Yagi said, his voice soft and he was facing him now and he shrugged. “That people recognize me. Sometimes it’s just one person and it’s fine like tonight but sometimes it’s more and it can take time and be frustrating. Also, some of these people aren’t always exactly good and will put demands and be offended when I remind them that I am not obligated to accept any of them. There is some yelling too, sometimes, and I usually have to call my lawyer when they are too insistent. It’s been better since I retired but ..”

Shouta didn’t let him finish. Because he could feel that Yagi was rambling out of nervosity, because he could feel that this was both important but also way too specific and Shouta could mostly guess how it could be, to be with someone who was known. So, instead of nodding and just saying he was fine with it, Shouta grabbed the back of Yagi’s head, he pulled him down and kissed him.

Yagi didn’t shy away. He didn’t blush, he didn’t look uncomfortable, when Shouta checked on him in a glance. Yagi answered to the kiss eagerly, placing both hands around his waist and humming against his lips as he did and Shouta relaxed against the door frame, he wrapped his fingers around Yagi’s hair.

This kiss was amazing, if Shouta had to be honest with himself. It was soft and delicate but it did hold some fire to it, some passion. A kiss strangers shouldn’t be sharing, probably, because it was what they were, wasn’t it ? Strangers that had met and had spent some time together and might start dating after tonight. But Shouta had felt like a kiss would be more effective than anything he’d ever say, to make Yagi understand that he couldn’t care less for what had happened between him and his fan, that he was accepting and understood what dating him would be like. And, surely, a wrestler wasn’t like a famous singer or actor, it wouldn’t be as crazy as if he were dating a huge star, right ? Shouta already knew the answer to that and he was fine with it.

Also, Yagi was too much of a sweetheart and Shouta couldn’t have left without at least giving him a peck on the lips, to make sure Yagi was aware of his attraction.

This, was more than a peck though. But eh, Yagi was obviously into it and Shouta was as well, his knees weak under himself with the intensity of it and it was the best kiss he had received in a very long time.

They parted, eventually, still. Yagi pulled back abruptly, in a wet noise and his hands went from Shouta’s waist to his cheeks and he panted as he remained where he was, leaning down so they could look at each other in the eyes. Shouta combed Yagi’s soft blond hair back with his fingers.

“I don’t care,” Shouta said, glancing at Yagi’s lips, then up again. “I don’t care if we’re interrupted, I don’t care if you have to take actions against these people. All I care for, at the moment, is to get to know you better and go on another date with you. If this is what you want as well, of course.”

The message seemed to be heard, as Yagi slowly nodded and straightened again, one of his hands moving to Shouta’s shoulder and he sighed, a soft smile on the lips and his eyes closed.

“Yes, I think I want that too.”

“Give me your phone.”

Yagi did and Shouta was quick to add his number to it. Then, he leaned up again, gave Yagi a sweet peck on the lips.

“Text me, yes ?” he breathed out against the other’s lips, looking at him in the eyes.

“I will.”

Shouta’s phone never rang when he was in class, because the few people who actually had his number knew better but to try reaching him while he was working. Not that they knew his schedule or anything but Shouta had made it clear to never sending a message or trying to call during school hours.

It rang, today, though. Shouta noticed a few heads perk up, in the ranks in front of him, some of his students watching him in surprise, distracted from their test. They watched, as he pulled his phone out and opened the text he had just received.

Good morning, Shouta, this is Yagi. I would like to cook for you tonight. I have noodles and chicken and can probably make something out of them. How does that sound to you ?

Shouta didn’t think much, when he allowed himself to answer. Yagi was proving, again, how sweet he was and Shouta was having a hard time fighting his heart as it was beating too hard in his chest.

Sounds like a date.”

Yagi answered him with some wholesome emojis, including one with a little heart. Shouta looked up, as he felt insistent gazes on him and his students went back to their test, snickering as they did.

It wasn’t often they saw him smile, after all.