It’s been like this all day.
The hard, tense set of Shouta’s shoulders, visible even under his baggy clothes. The space under his eyes even baggier, the dull bruise-like purple under bloodshot red from using his quirk on patrol last night...then his unruly students this morning...and then continuing to irritate his eyes with the light from a computer screen grading papers.
He needs a break.
“Babe, come over here,” Hizashi calls, patting the couch cushion next to him. He shifts on the couch, getting ready to lift the blanket around his shoulders and throw it over Shouta too.
He expects Shouta to argue. Maybe it’s a testament to just how tired he is that he doesn’t. He just heaves a deep sigh and pushes the chair back, standing up from his place at his desk. Hizashi grins in triumph as his husband pads over to the couch and drops heavily onto it.
Then Shouta pulls out a tablet.
“What’s that?” Hizashi asks, his voice dripping suspicion.
Hizashi narrows his eyes and purses his lips. Then, abruptly, he stands up, letting the blanket drop to the floor.
Shouta does look up then, at least. He frowns. “Where are you going?” He sounds slightly sad, which is at least kind of cute. Like even if he’s determined to work himself to death, he wants to do it next to Hizashi.
So Hizashi gives him a reassuring smile. “I’ll be right back! I just wanted to get something.”
“Okay.” Shouta looks back down at his tablet, his brow already furrowed.
True to his word, Hizashi is back after a quick trip to the closet. It takes a little longer than he wanted—at first he couldn’t find the item he knew was there, and which is an integral part of his nefarious plot.
He can’t help but break into a goofy grin when Shouta looks up as he plops back down on the couch and snorts. He reaches up to touch the cat-ear headband on top of Hizashi’s head. “Cute,” he comments.
Hizashi grins wider, raising one hand like a paw to brush over a fabric ear. “Aren’t I?”
Shouta looks equal parts amused and confused . “What are they for?”
Hizashi does his best innocent face, but acting never seems to work the same when he’s home. He can hide his true feelings and thoughts all day while he’s at any of his jobs, but then he comes back home to Shouta and he can’t muster the ability anymore. Doesn’t need to.
So it’s not very effective when he says, “What, I can’t just want to look cute?” He tilts his head and looks over his glasses, batting his lashes at his blurry husband.
That’s supposed to be it. Shouta is supposed to realize that there are more important things than work, and put his grading aside and take a break while he gives Hizashi attention and affection that Hizashi will return to him tenfold. Shouta needs a break, and Hizashi misses him.
Shouta just gives a faint, slightly vacant, perplexed smile—and looks back down at his tablet.
That won’t do.
Hizashi isn’t too upset. He might have been ten years ago, when he was less secure in himself and their relationship. But now he just sighs, exasperated but not taking it personally, and takes a second to regroup, adjusting the cat-ear headband and squaring his shoulders.
Then he begins his assault.
First, he has to get the tablet out of Shouta’s hands. This is not a trivial task, because Shouta is a pro hero, and possesses both great strength and incredible reflexes. So he can’t just reach out and grab it.
Thankfully, Hizashi is also a pro hero, and although this means he would have a fighting chance if he did try to take the tablet from Shouta by force, there’s too great a chance that the fragile device would get broken. His knowledge of tactics and cunning are more useful here.
“Babe. Honey. Love,” Hizashi wheedles, angling his body towards Shouta, bumping his shoulder against Shouta’s. “Shouta. Shoooouta. Shou-chan.” Hizashi lays his hand on Shouta’s knee, palm up and fingers wiggling.
Shouta doesn’t look up, but he does respond to the unspoken request, shifting the tablet to one hand so he can put his hand in Hizashi’s. He even squeezes back when Hizashi laces their fingers together and gives his hand a squeeze, thumb absentmindedly stroking against the back of Hizashi’s hand. Hizashi hums contentedly, but he’s still scheming.
Waiting is hard. Especially when Shouta is (mostly) ignoring him. But he has a goal here.
It only takes a few moments. Shouta can scroll through the paper he’s grading with one hand, but in order to make a mark—yes! He lays the tablet down on his lap, using one finger to draw a line under a sentence. No longer gripping the tablet.
Hizashi still doesn’t go for the tablet directly. Not without a distraction. Instead, he quickly leans in, pressing a kiss to Shouta’s cheek.
That gets Shouta to look over at him, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth and his tired eyes.
It turns into a frown when Hizashi seizes his chance—and the tablet. “I was using that,” he sighs as Hizashi tries to tamp down his triumphant grin.
“You need a break,” Hizashi says, gentle but firm. He leans back to put the tablet on the end table, where Shouta can’t reach it.
“I have to get these essays graded,” Shouta protests, but he doesn’t move towards the tablet or back to the computer. At this point, it sounds like resting is something he wants to be talked into.
“I can help! I’m caught up on grading for my classes, for once. I’ll do half of them—tomorrow. Tonight, you’re taking a break!”
Shouta still looks like he’s wavering, but Hizashi has one phase left of his assault. All in one motion, he stands and immediately plops himself back down, straddling Shouta’s lap.
Shouta huffs something that might be the hint of a laugh, his hands coming to rest on Hizashi’s hips. “I was getting a lot done before you interrupted me,” he says, but the dryness of the comment is belied by the lopsided smile on his face.
“Mmhmm, and now you’re cuddling with me, which is much more productive,” Hizashi says, leaning forward to drape his chin over Shouta’s shoulder, pressing their chests together.
“Is that so?” Shouta asks, sounding distinctly amused now. He sighs, a noise of both exhaustion but also contentedness, and resettles his arms to wrap around his husband. “It is nicer.”
“Exactly!” Hizashi chirps, but he doesn’t say anything else for a moment. He has to focus, to remember what he trained to do.
So it’s quiet for a while. Hizashi imagines that Shouta has allowed his tired eyes to close, but Hizashi can feel him tense in confusion as the noise starts.
It’s a deep, slow, even rumble in his chest, a vibration that fluctuates with his breathing. It took him months of practice to get the frequency just right— 25 Hz, just right to be maximally soothing and promote both emotional and physical healing.
“Are you...purring?” Shouta asks wonderingly, spreading a hand between Hizashi’s shoulder blades, where Hizashi can feel the sound the strongest.
“Mmhmm,” he hums, because he hasn’t figured out how to purr and talk at the same time.
Shouta laughs, and it’s a beautiful sound, something that suffuses warmth all through Hizashi’s body. Happy, carefree, and deeply affectionate. “You can purr,” he repeats.
Hizashi just snuggles closer. Shouta’s hands start to move, smoothing up and down the soft flannel of his shirt, and he can only purr harder to show his pleasure.
“Is that what the cat ears are for?” Shouta reaches up to touch them again, then runs his hand through Hizashi’s hair. He does it again and again, gently scratching from his scalp down the back of his neck, making him shiver.
“Mmhmm.” He feels boneless, and even better, Shouta feels just as relaxed as he is, being pressed into the soft couch.
S houta’s hands continue to pet him, stroking through his hair and down his back. “This is...” he trails off before breaking into a giant yawn, “...better.” His hands slow by increments.
“Mm.” Hizashi finally lets the sound taper off. It’s surprisingly easy to keep up once he’s started, and it doesn’t just benefit Shouta—it’s just as soothing to Hizashi himself, a relaxing vibration that hums at his core. He peels himself off Shouta’s shoulder, straightening up to face his husband. He cups Shouta’s face in his hands, giving him a smile and then a soft kiss. “Time for bed, I think.”
He smiles wider when Shouta presses in for another kiss. “Okay,” he says easily, no longer arguing, work behind him. And ahead of him, but they have the whole night first.
Hizashi is about to get up, but before he can, Shouta shifts his hands to grip underneath Hizashi’s butt and stands up still holding him. He’s done it before, but it’s still kind of exciting, and it makes Hizashi giggle as his heart flutters. “Love my big strong husband,” he coos.
Shouta chuckles, heading for the bedroom. “I knew all that training was good for something other than saving lives,” he jokes dryly.
He deposits Hizashi gently on his side of the bed, then climbs over him. Hizashi doesn’t waste any time cuddling up to him, and Shouta reaches out to pull him closer as he starts purring again.
“Is that hard?” Shouta plucks the headband from Hizashi’s head and puts it next to his phone, then brings his hand back to play with his hair again.
“Hm-mm.” Hizashi had meant to reciprocate the affection a little more, but he’s too comfortable to move.
“Mmhmm,” Hizashi hums quietly, his purrs coming slower as his breathing does.
Hizashi is already in his pajamas, and Shouta sleeps in the same clothes he wears throughout the day. The bedroom light is already off. There’s nothing to do but drift off to sleep—warm, comfortable, and loved.