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The knock at Hitoshi’s door startles him from his state of half-sleep, jolting him wide awake.

Blinking a few times, his eyes skim across his desk in front of him; the open textbook, the mess of sticky notes, the flash cards.

He didn’t realize he’d been dozing off. He’s been at his homework for hours, yet he’s nowhere close to catching up on his work for the hero course. In any other circumstance, he’d grumble about the heavy workload, but since they’d let him into the hero course mid-semester, he can hardly complain.

If he has to glue himself to his desk every evening for the rest of the year to catch up with the others, he’ll do it. It’s not like he has much of a social life he’s missing out on, anyway; he never had close friends in General Studies, and he cares even less about socializing with Class-1A.

Just as he’s had that thought, there’s another knock at his door. It startles him just as much as the first.

He shoots a glare towards the offending sound. Who in their right mind is bothering him past dinner time? Don’t these people know any manners?

Another knock.

Hitoshi elects to ignore it. Even if that’s impolite, it can’t be worse than showing up unannounced to someone’s room at this hour.

He turns back to his homework. Whoever it is and whatever they want can wait until morning. He should review his vocab one last time, then head to bed before he falls asleep in his seat again.

A fourth knock sounds on the door, and Hitoshi’s patience snaps. He nearly pushes over his chair as he storms over to his door. He roughly yanks it open.

“Do you have any idea what time it is?”

He’s greeted by a flushed, freckled face and apologetic green eyes.

“I-I’m sorry!” Midoriya stutters, taking a step back from the doorway and raising his hands in defense. “I saw your light was still on, so I figured you were awake!”

Hitoshi nearly rolls his eyes. Of course it’s Midoriya. He’s been a constant nuisance since Hitoshi joined the hero course last week. It really doesn’t help that their rooms are right next to each other; when Hitoshi moved in, Midoriya had taken it upon himself to “help” while simultaneously talking Shinsou’s ear off about how excited he was to have him in the hero course. It had only gotten worse from there.

He doesn’t hate Midoriya, but Hitoshi certainly finds him aggravating. He’s friendly to a fault. Chatty. Gullible. All wild green hair, bright eyes, and big smiles.

Hitoshi can’t stand it.

“What do you want, Midoriya?”

Midoriya doesn’t hesitate before responding to Hitoshi’s question, clearly unafraid of his brainwashing quirk. Hitoshi isn’t sure if he finds that infuriating or reassuring.

“Ah, sorry, I was wondering if you could do a favor for me?” Midoriya smiles nervously and scratches the back of his head.

Hitoshi narrows his eyes. Midoriya’s always a nervous creature, but he looks especially on edge right now.

Hitoshi is tempted to give a flat ‘No,’ but his curiosity is piqued.

“What favor?”

Midoriya glances down the hallway and bites his bottom lip. Hitoshi follows his gaze down the hall, but it’s empty.

“Um.” Midoriya shuffles on his feet. “Could… could I maybe come inside to talk?”

Hitoshi sighs, but he opens his door wider to let Midoriya in. He closes the door behind them, but doesn’t sit back down or get comfortable. He just crosses his arms and raises an eyebrow, waiting for Midoriya to explain himself.

Midoriya gives a quick look around his bedroom. “I see you finished unpacking! I, uh, I like how you’ve decorated.”

“Thanks,” Hitoshi replies, voice flat. It’s not like he really changed much when he moved in. Tacked a few posters to the walls. Put up some blacklight curtains. Added his stereo and CD rack. It’s nothing special. “So, what’s this favor you want?”

Midoriya gives a breathy chuckle. “Right! Um, goodness, this is probably going to sound super weird, but I, uh, I need your quirk for something—”

“Stop right there.” Hitoshi wrinkles his nose and puts his hand up. “Is this a kink thing? Because if it is, I’m flattered, but I’m not interested in hooking up—”

“K-kink!? Oh, my god! No!” Midoriya’s already pink face reddens even more. “Why would you even think that?”

“It’s eleven at night and you’re asking to use my quirk. Wouldn’t be the first time someone’s asked.”

“What?!”

“People tend to get nosy about my quirk’s, ah, bedroom applications.”

“That’s horrible! That’s—you wouldn’t use it like that, would you?”

Hitoshi shrugs. “Not without someone’s consent first, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t exactly get around. So, if it isn’t kink related, why do you need my quirk?”

“I can’t explain it.”

Hitoshi raises an eyebrow. “Ah, so it is kink related, but now you’re too embarrassed to tell me?”

“No, I swear it’s not!” Midoriya covers his face with his hands, and Hitoshi snorts, amused at how easily Midoriya flusters.

Midoriya drops his hands and shakes his head. “I-I really can’t tell you, at least not all the details. I just—I just need you to brainwash me for a bit!”

Hitoshi crosses his arms, “Uh-huh, and have you do what?”

“Nothing! I can just sit here, or you could even send me back to my room and then drop it after, like, an hour or something!” Midoriya smiles helpfully, but his face still looks anxious and strained.

Hitoshi thinks for a moment. He’s always been good at reading people, especially people's nerves, and he can tell that under the surface, Midoriya’s panicked about a lot more than a few kink jokes.

Usually, people are nervous around Hitoshi because they don’t want to be brainwashed, not because they’re actively looking to be brainwashed. What’s his deal, anyway? It’s not like there’s anything fun about being brainwashed. Hitoshi’s heard from victims of his quirk that it just feels like a mind-numbing haze, where barely a single thought can get through…

“Midoriya, you need therapy.”

“What?”

“I’m not going to offer to talk about it, because honestly I don’t care what you’re going through, but if you’re so anxious that you’re looking to be brainwashed for an hour just so you can deal, that’s not healthy. Seriously, you need professional help. Or a Xanax. I’ll bet you $20 you can get one from Sero, he seems like the type.”

With that, Hitoshi walks over and opens the door to his room, motioning for Midoriya to leave.

But Midoriya doesn’t budge. “No, it’s not that, either! I already take medication for my anxiety, this has nothing to do with that! Please? Just for a bit?”

“You’re being pushy. Until you tell me exactly why you want me to brainwash you, my answer is no.”

“I can’t tell you, but please, I’ll do anything!”

Hitoshi huffs. He was annoyed before, but now he’s growing extremely aggravated. In any other situation where his boundaries were being crossed, he’d use his quirk to get the other person to leave, but he can’t do that now since that’s exactly what Midoriya is asking for.

“Why can’t you tell me?” he asks.

“It—It’s about my quirk. You wouldn’t understand, I’m sorry—”

“Wouldn’t understand?” Hitoshi gives a short, bitter laugh. “Try me, Midoriya. I’m not an idiot. I aced the written exam to the hero course. Just because I was in General Studies doesn’t make you any smarter than me.”

“No, I don’t think that! You’re a strategic thinker, and—”

“Does it perhaps have something to do with how your quirk went berserk during training, and I was the only person who could stop it? Is something about your quirk acting up now?”

Midoriya’s face goes pale, and Hitoshi can tell he’s hit the nail on the head.

“Aha! So it is about that!” He closes his door, smug. “Since I’ve figured out this much, you should be able to tell me the rest.”

Midoriya furrows his brows, and Hitoshi can almost hear the cogs whirring in his head as he thinks. After a second, he takes a deep breath and says, “Promise not to tell anyone. I mean anyone. This does not leave this room.”

Now they’re getting somewhere! Hitoshi nods. “I’m good at keeping secrets. Tell me.”

“Okay, it’s, uh, hard to explain. But the few times I’ve been brainwashed by you, I’ve seen… visions.”

In all his years of brainwashing, with all the things people have told him about being under his quirk, Hitoshi’s never heard anything like that. If there’s something more to his quirk that he doesn’t know about…

Hitoshi doesn’t feel remotely tired anymore. He sits down on the edge of his bed. “Tell me more.”

Midoriya hesitantly takes a seat next to him. “It first happened at the sports festival. That’s actually how I was able to break free from your quirk. I saw… something. And because of what I saw, I was able to resist.”

That’s been a frustratingly unexplained mystery to Hitoshi ever since. It’s the only time anyone has ever pulled themselves out of his grasp without an outside force knocking into them. Hitoshi assumed it was some failing on his part, due to the crowd and his nerves, but this certainly makes… well, not more sense. But it explains why Hitoshi hadn’t been able to keep him under his control.

Midoriya continues. “As you can probably guess, it happened again during our joint training. But that was different, since my quirk was already acting up, and then you brainwashed me, and something about our quirks interacting like that was… Intense.”

“Intense,” Hitoshi repeats.

“The vision I saw was clearer. I… I can’t really say more than that.”

“And these visions, they only happen under my quirk?” Hitoshi asks.

“Well, no. I’ve had dreams similar to these visions. But the first time was at the sports festival, and I know for sure that your quirk triggers them, so it’s the only reliable way I can see more of them and get more information about my own quirk.”

“You want to see these visions?”

Midoriya shifts. “I’m not crazy or something, if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“Not at all.” Hitoshi’s been called a psychopath for his quirk all his life. If Midoriya’s quirk has strange visionary side effects when he gets brainwashed, who is Hitoshi to judge?

Besides, Hitoshi would never give someone else shit for the quirk they were born with.

“So… so now that I’ve explained. Could you, or would you, use your quirk on me? Please?”

Hitoshi glances at the clock. It’s late, but if he doesn’t have to control Midoriya to do anything, he can try to go over his vocab while Midoriya’s out. ‘Try’ being the operative word; brainwashing takes a pretty heavy mental toll, especially when he’s tired.

“Fine. I’ll give you fifteen minutes.”

Midoriya’s eyes light up, and he grabs Hitoshi’s arm. “Thank you, I really appreciate it!”

Hitoshi carefully pries Midoriya’s hand off. “Sure. Get comfortable, I guess.”

“Right.” Midoriya sits further back on the bed and plants his hands on his legs. “Um, you won’t make me do anything weird, right?”

Hitoshi grins. “Do you really think I’d do something like that?”

Midoriya laughs in relief. “Right, I trust—”

He cuts off as Hitoshi catches him in his brainwashing. A fraction of a second before Midoriya’s eyes gloss over, Hitoshi sees a subtle flash of surprise cross his face. 

Hitoshi snickers to himself. Even when he’s asking for it, Midoriya’s too easy.

Mentally compartmentalizing his hold on Midoriya as best he can, Hitoshi sets a 15-minute timer on his phone and returns to his desk to finish that vocab. It’s not the easiest, trying to keep Midoriya under while he shuffles through the cards, but Hitoshi manages. He needs to get better at mental multitasking, anyway. At the very least, Aizawa would consider this useful training.

He finishes reviewing the vocab before the timer’s up. He turns back in his seat, debating if maybe he should make Midoriya do something embarrassing, just for a laugh, but is startled out of that thought by the look on Midoriya’s face.

He looks… present. Awake. Hitoshi quickly checks his mental hold, wondering if maybe he’d accidentally let it slip while studying, but no. Midoriya’s still securely locked under his brainwash.

Hitoshi approaches him and leans down to look at his face. Instead of the usual zombie-stare his victims give off, Midoriya’s eyes look oddly focused. As if he’s looking at something.

Hitoshi glances over his shoulder. Nothing behind him but the wall and a poster for his favorite movie. He turns back, and yelps in surprise when he’s see’s Midoriya’s eyes move.

After he gets over the initial shock, Hitoshi leans in even closer. He places his hands on either side of Midoriya on the bed and stares intently, hardly daring to blink.

There, again! Midoriya’s green eyes shift to the left, as if following a moving object.

“What the hell…” Hitoshi mutters under his breath. He pokes Midoriya’s face, knowing it’s not strong enough to break him out of the brainwash, but still looking to see if there’s a reaction. Nope. Nothing. Midoriya is completely out of it.

Hitoshi believed him when Midoriya said he was having visions, but this damn well near proves it. Hitoshi’s never seen something like this with his own quirk before. It’s entirely fascinating.

A shrill sound cuts through the air as the timer goes off, ringing three times before shutting off, and with a startled jolt Hitoshi drops the brainwash.

Midoriya blinks and shakes his head as his eyes refocus on the room around him, then he flinches backward when he realizes Hitoshi is mere inches from his face.

Unbothered by Midoriya’s reaction, Hitoshi asks, “Well? What did you see?”

Midoriya’s eyes drop to his lap. “Nothing. At least, nothing I haven’t already seen before.”

Hitoshi gives an expectant look, waiting for Midoriya to continue.

“I just… I was hoping for something new.”

“Huh.” Hitoshi stands back up. He wants details, but Midoriya seems hesitant to share. “Well… sorry you didn’t see anything you wanted.”

“No, don’t blame yourself! It’s not like you have control over that, you just, you know, put me in the right environment!”

“Right. But… What did you see? What’s the vision of?”

“Oh, um…” Midoriya laughs nervously. “Would you hate me if I said I couldn’t tell you?”

“No, but if you ever want me to do this again, you’d better give me some details. This is relevant to my quirk, too.”

“It’s a vision of…” Midoriya trails off and thinks, then resumes. “A vision of relatives, I guess? Relatives who’ve had my same quirk.”

“You recognize them?”

“Um... no.”

Hitoshi scans Midoriya’s face. Something about his expression, about the way Midoriya won’t quite meet his eyes… He’s hiding something.

Hitoshi decides not to push it. Clearly, this whole thing has more to do with Midoriya’s quirk than his own, but it’s still intriguing. Hitoshi never would have guessed that the liminal headspace his quirk gives people would be useful for anything on the receiver’s end.

“Thank you, though,” Midoriya says. “I mean it.”

“You know, you should have just explained yourself from the beginning. That would have made this a lot easier.”

Midoriya winces. “I know, but…”

“But whatever.” Hitoshi gives a glance at the time. “It’s late, and I want to get to bed now.”

“Right!” Midoriya scrambles off Hitoshi’s bed and heads towards the door.

As he’s halfway out the door he turns back and asks, “Um, if I ever want to do this again, would… would that be alright?”

Hitoshi rolls his eyes. “Sure. Maybe. Try to ask before ten, next time.”

“S-sorry about that again, I didn’t think it—”

Goodnight, Midoriya.”

“Oh! Night!”

As soon as Midoriya’s gone, Hitoshi lays back on his bed, still fully dressed. He puts his hands behind his head and stares up at the ceiling, his mind churning as he thinks about what just happened.

That’s the first time he’s ever seen a positive side effect to his quirk, weird and inexplicable side effect that it is. And Hitoshi can’t help but feel… happy about that.

See? he defends to himself. It’s not all villainous...

 

 

Midoriya shows up to Hitoshi’s room again a week later, (much earlier in the evening, thank god) asking for the same favor.

Hitoshi doesn’t hesitate to let Midoriya in this time, opening the door wide and letting him cross the threshold.

“Thanks for letting me do this again.” Midoriya smiles. “I really appreciate it.”

“Sure. Feel free to make yourself comfortable.”

Midoriya nods and takes a seat on Hitoshi’s bed.

“Um, do you mind if I lay down?”

“Go ahead.” It doesn’t really matter; it’s not like Midoriya will be aware of his surroundings much once he’s under.

Midoriya settles back against Hitoshi’s bed.

“How long do you want?” Hitoshi asks as he stands above Midoriya.

“As long as you’re willing to give me, I guess?”

“Hm.” The longer Hitoshi keeps him brainwashed, the more likely he’ll get a headache later from the mental strain. But that’s also something he needs to work on, isn’t it? “How about half an hour?”

“Half an hour sounds awesome!” Midoriya nods.

“Cool. You ready?”

Midoriya nods again, and Hitoshi gives him a flat look.

“Dude, really?”

“Oh, geez, sorry—”

This time, Hitoshi’s quirk can latch onto Midoriya’s response, and within moments, his face and body are sliding into relaxation.

Like before, Hitoshi sets a timer and turns back to his own activities, but it’s hard to focus on the book he’d been reading. He’s too intrigued by what might be happening in Midoriya’s head right now.

He abandons his book after about three lines. Instead, he moves to sit on the bed next to Midoriya, scanning his face with rapt interest.

Again, Midoriya’s face lacks the tell-tale slack his brainwashing usually gives someone. His eyes are open, focused straight ahead of him.

Hitoshi scans the rest of Midoriya’s body as well, to see if there’s anything else different than his usual brainwashing effects. Curiously, he notices that Midoriya’s fist is clenched.

He can’t remember if Midoriya had his hand in a fist before he went under, but even if he had, it would have relaxed by now.

Hitoshi crouches on the floor by the bed, getting eye level with Midoriya’s hand.

“Relax,” he commands, and Midoriya’s clenched fist does so.

A few moments after his hand fully relaxes, the command complete, Hitoshi watches with surprise as Midoriya’s hand slowly curls into a fist again, tension tight in his fingers.

He abruptly stands up and snaps his fingers in front of Midoriya’s face, but of course, there’s no reaction. Hitoshi still has him securely in a mental lock. But still… he shouldn’t be able to move his hands, not even that small amount, without Hitoshi telling him to.

Returning to a seat on the edge of the bed, he keeps his eyes locked on Midoriya’s fist, to see if there’s any more movement, any twitches or flexes or anything.

Midoriya’s hand doesn’t move again, but as Hitoshi stares at it, his eyebrows furrow.

Midoriya’s hand is fucked up. Seriously scarred. Hitoshi’s never noticed it before, which is surprising, since the scars look pretty old. How the hell did he get those?

It dawns on him that they’re probably from the sports festival, when Midoriya fought Todoroki and broke his own fingers to create blasts of power.

Hitoshi had been terrified watching that fight. He’d always known going up against the students in the hero course was going to be a hard battle, but he’s almost grateful he dropped out of the first round and avoided breaking anything important.

Almost grateful. He’d rather have been shattered to pieces by Midoriya, burnt to a crisp by Todoroki, or blown apart by Bakugou if it meant he got some goddamn recognition. Recovery Girl would have put him together again. Probably.

Shinsou starts scanning Midoriya for other scars. His eye catches on the compression band Midoriya always wears around his arm.

He hesitates for less than a second, then folds the top of the band over and begins rolling it down his arm, morbid curiosity outweighing any conflicting instinct telling him to leave it alone.

Christ. He thought the scars on Midoriya’s fingers were already brutal, but this is… this is kind of gross.

The scar spans most of Midoriya’s arm, from his shoulder down to his elbow. It’s an ugly, mottled red. A burn scar? From an explosion?

Hitoshi leans in to take a closer look. He traces his fingers down Midoriya’s bicep, feeling the odd, ridged edges of his skin. Hitoshi’s no expert, but it doesn’t look like an external injury. It looks like…

It looks like the scars on his fingers, just much, much bigger. A blast of power, like the blasts from his fingers, that ripped from the inside out and escaped through his arm.

Hitoshi’s eyes widen. Did Midoriya shatter his arm from overusing his quirk? Is that how he got this? Holy fuck...

Hitoshi’s never going to complain about his brainwashing giving him headaches ever again. Headaches can be solved by popping a few pills, and even when they can’t be and Hitoshi’s plagued by splitting migraines that make him want to bash his skull in, at least he knows they all eventually end. There’s no actual scarring, not like there is from a physical quirk like Midoriya’s.

For possibly the first time in his life, Hitoshi feels grateful he doesn’t have a quirk that manifests through his body. Midoriya, and some of the others in his class… will they even make it to the Pro Hero world before they tear their own bodies apart?

Hitoshi rolls the compression band back up, his lips pursed together. He knows he shouldn’t, but… he wants to see if Midoriya has any other scars. It’s invasive, but Midoriya’s securely brainwashed and won’t even know it’s happening.

“Close your eyes,” Hitoshi orders. “Focus… focus on your vision.” Hopefully, that’ll stop any remaining shred of Midoriya’s consciousness from noticing what Hitoshi’s about to do.

With deft hands, Hitoshi unbuttons Midoriya’s shirt and pulls it open. His gaze drags down the other’s chest, but he doesn’t notice any more significant scarring.

What he does notice is that Midoriya looks a hell of a lot more ripped up close like this. Sure, he’s seen Midoriya change in the locker room, but it’s not like he watches his classmates as they change.

At a glance, from the messy hair, the freckles, and the happy, dopey grin that constantly tugs at his lips, Midoriya looks like the kind of guy who’d be a total pushover. He sort of is, at least for Hitoshi, who has easily brainwashed him both in conversation and in training, but in a fight, Midoriya’s… kind of insane. Lethal.

“Turn over.”

With his eyes still closed, brain still washed, Midoriya rolls onto his stomach. Hitoshi pushes up the back of Midoriya’s shirt, scanning his back for more scars and running his hands up Midoriya’s spine, to feel if maybe his spinal cord is secretly fucked up or something.

Nope. No scars. Just more tight, toned muscles.

Hitoshi tries not to be jealous. After all, Midoriya’s got months, if not years, of training on him. Hitoshi will catch up. He just needs to work harder than anyone else to get there.

He glances at Midoriya’s legs, but the small moral, rational part of his brain firmly says that no, that’s too far, even for his disregard of others’ boundaries. He wants to look, especially since Midoriya is keen on fighting with his legs and uses them for the bulk of his power, but no. Not now.

Maybe Hitoshi will check him out next time they’re in the locker room. There’s bound to be more fucked up scars on his legs, and Hitoshi can’t help but want to find them all.

“Keep your attention on your vision but lay on your back again.”

Midoriya does as he’s told, and Hitoshi rebuttons his shirt. He pats Midoriya on the chest twice, mostly satisfied with his findings.

When the timer goes off and Hitoshi releases the brainwashing, an instant look of disappointment and frustration crosses Midoriya’s face.

He pushes himself up to a seat and crosses his legs, eyebrows pulled in concentration as he thinks over what he must have just seen.

“So?” Hitoshi prompts, and Midoriya starts, as if he’d forgotten Hitoshi was there. “What did you see?”

“Nothing… nothing new. Just the same things, in a bit more clarity, I guess. I shouldn’t be disappointed, it’s crazy that I even figured out how to trigger them at all but... I just have so many questions I want answered. I guess I’ll just have to compare what I saw this time to what I saw before and see if there’s maybe any clues or irregularities or something, and then I can ask All Might—” Midoriya snaps his jaw shut, as if he’s said too much.

“All Might helps you out a lot, doesn’t he? I’ve seen you do personal training with him before.”

A look of guilt crosses Midoriya’s face, and he mumbles, “He helps everyone, not just me.”

“Don’t feel bad about it. I still get personal training from Aizawa. Some people just need more help than others.” Hitoshi tries not to sound bitter as he thinks about that. It’d taken a long time to accept that help, to realize that no, sheer determination isn’t the key to every problem.

“When did you start training with Aizawa?” Midoriya asks.

“A few weeks after the sports festival.”

“Oh, did he ask you if you wanted to train? You got really far for a student in General Studies!”

Hitoshi sighs. “No. I asked him to help me. Begged him, in fact.” Now he really can’t help the bitterness from creeping into his voice.

“What do you mean?”

“He wouldn’t help me at first. Told me I was overconfident and that if I really wanted to become a hero, I’d have to change my attitude and stop relying on my quirk so much. It was…” Hitoshi trails off. He’s not sure why he’s saying all this, but something about the earnest, interested expression on Midoriya’s face is compelling him to talk. “It was humiliating. The entire sports festival. It made me realize I was weak.”

“I don’t see it that way at all.”

“How else can you see it? I embarrassed myself on national T.V.”

“But you didn’t! You made it all the way to the final round! Nobody else from General Studies did that, and you beat out most of the students in Hero Studies! You put up a really good fight. Honestly, I’m lucky that I was able to break out of your brainwashing. I was even warned beforehand but still fell for it.”

“Yeah, I’m good at pissing people off.”

Midoriya flinches. “I-I wouldn’t say that!”

“You don’t have to be nice about it, I do it on purpose. Helpful for my quirk to know how to rile people up and get a response. Not a great look in the public eye, though.”

“But that’s not the only thing people saw at the sports festival! They saw how dedicated and determined you were, even though you didn’t have as much experience. Honestly, it was really inspiring to me.”

“Inspiring?” Hitoshi raises an unconvinced eyebrow. There’s nothing inspiring about being body slammed into the ground without even putting up a fight. Especially compared to all the crazy, high intensity fights that came after.

“It was! You reminded me of myself. We’re kind of the same, in a lot of ways. We both really want to be a hero, but neither of us were born with quirks for it, and to see how hard you were fighting and trying was a reminder of how much harder I needed to be working, too.”

“What about your quirk isn’t suited for hero work?”

Midoriya’s face turns pink, and he stutters, “I just—I mean that it’s hard for me to—to control, and, um, the physical backlash, you know?”

Hitoshi nods. He’d just personally examined all the damage Midoriya’s quirk has done to his body. It makes sense that a quirk so self-destructive might not work out for hero work in the long run. “Your quirk seems pretty dangerous. It seems like it doesn’t really agree with your body. My quirk just doesn’t agree with society.”

Midoriya laughs and smiles weakly. “Yeah, I think yours is a worse problem than mine. You’re going to have a rough time with the public.”

Hitoshi shrugs, but again there’s a hint of bitterness on his tongue when he replies, “I’ve accepted my fate as an underground hero. It’s better the general public doesn’t know how my quirk works, anyway. I realize now that I probably shouldn’t be in the spotlight, even if I want to be. It sucks to not be noticed and sucks even more to intentionally not be noticed but… here we are.”

“You think people don’t notice you?”

“I know people don’t. I have to work twice as hard for even a shred of attention at this school. I had to beg for attention from Aizawa, even if he was just testing my resolve or whatever.” Hitoshi rolls his eyes.

“I notice you,” Midoriya says. “All the time.”

“Of course you do, because my quirk works in your favor, not against it like most people. You’re just interested in seeing your weird visions again.”

Midoriya earnestly shakes his head. “It’s not just that! I mean I notice you as in, like, you’re tall, and you’re an interesting looking person, you’re attractive. I think it helps that you act so aloof and standoffish, it makes people want to get to know you more.”

“Attractive? Aloof?” Hitoshi snorts. “You say these things as if you don’t just mean asshole.”

“I don’t mean asshole, though you can be a bit mean sometimes. I get that it’s useful for your quirk, but it might not hurt to be nicer to our classmates. I know they all really like you. I think some of them really, really like you if you get what I mean.”

Hitoshi gives Midoriya an odd look. “Are you talking about yourself?”

“N-no!” Midoriya waves his hands in front of himself. “No, but I won’t say who it is in case they don’t want you to know.”

Hitoshi hums to himself. He has no idea who Midoriya could be talking about, since he’s barely met anyone in the class. And most of the people who want to get close to him only want to be his friend because they’re scared of his brainwashing, or they want something from him. He’s used to it, so it doesn’t bother him as much anymore, but it’s not likely anyone in the class is genuinely into him. They’d have to be a total fucking dunce to have a crush on Hitoshi.

“But really,” Midoriya adds, “I think if you gave the class a shot, you’d realize that most of us here want to be your friend.”

“Yeah, sure.” Hitoshi’s done with the conversation, now. He looks over at the time. “It’s getting late, Midoriya.”

“Ah, right.” Midoriya hops off the bed and makes to leave the room. “Thanks again for doing this for me. And… even if you don’t think so, I am your friend, Shinsou. I’m not just using you for your quirk or anything.”

“But the quirk helps, right?” Hitoshi says, hoping to avoid any more sappy, uncomfortable declarations of friendship. Hitoshi already knows that Midoriya’s his friend. He’d forced his friendship on Hitoshi from day one.

“Even without the quirk, I think you’re cool. Really.”

“Goodnight, Midoriya.”

“Right. Goodnight, Shinsou.”

 

 

Midoriya asks to get brainwashed again a few days later. And then a few days after that. And then again. And again, until he’s showing up at Hitoshi’s room nearly every night, and Hitoshi’s come to expect the gentle knocking after dinner.

It might bug Hitoshi more if he weren’t so desperately intrigued by the whole thing. He does briefly wonder if Midoriya had been lying to him, and he is using this as some form of fucked up therapy for his anxiety, but then Hitoshi sees the weird way Midoriya acts when he’s brainwashed, and hears the way Midoriya talks about it, and Hitoshi knows he isn’t lying. He’s good at reading people, and Midoriya’s bad at hiding things.

Hitoshi does wish Midoriya would tell him more about the visions themselves, but he’s painfully reserved over the details. Once, after a particularly long session, he tells Hitoshi that towards the end, the vision was clearer than he’d ever seen, and he could see a few faces with such clarity that he’d be able to recognize them in a photograph.

Hitoshi suggests he ask his parents for any photos of his relatives they might have, to see if he can figure out who they are, but Midoriya oddly drops the subject after that.

In general, they spend a lot more time talking during these weird brainwashing sessions. Midoriya is as chatty and nosy as ever, asking Hitoshi about his day, discussing training and tests and all the things weighing heavy on a high school hero student’s mind.

Begrudgingly, Hitoshi finds himself enjoying these chats with Midoriya. He’s an expert at combat analysis, and he’s eager to help Hitoshi catch up to the rest of the class. It’s nice to have Midoriya’s input and occasional assistance on homework.

Hitoshi’s not sure he’s ever had a friend like Midoriya before. He never hesitates to respond to his questions and shows no fear of Hitoshi’s brainwashing. He listens to Hitoshi and hypes him up when he needs it, without ever being asked.

Midoriya is obviously comfortable around him. Hitoshi’s never really had that before from someone his own age. He’s loath to admit that he’s starting to really, really like it.

There are even a few times that Midoriya shows up and doesn’t even ask to be brainwashed. He just brings his backpack over, unloads his stuff on Hitoshi’s desk, and amicably gabs away as they work on homework together.

They talk in class, of course, too, but not that much. Hitoshi tends to avoid Midoriya’s friend group, because he can’t stand Iida and Todoroki, and he’s not a fan of Midoriya and Uraraka’s awkward flirting.

But he does take Midoriya’s advice to try and be less wary of Class A’s friendship. Surprisingly, it works. Somehow, he finds himself friends with Tokoyami, Jirou, and Ojiro. They group up with him during training and sit with him at lunch. Hitoshi likes their casual company. Tokoyami doesn’t talk a lot, which Hitoshi likes, Jirou’s just as much of an asshole as he is, which Hitoshi can respect, and Ojiro’s finally forgiven him for the sports festival, which Hitoshi doesn’t understand but tries not to question.

He’s starting to finally feel comfortable in Class A, like he actually has a place in the hero world. He has Midoriya to thank for most of it, really. As much as he initially disliked it, he’s grateful Midoriya was so forthright (and forceful) with his friendship. He likes having Midoriya around.

Hitoshi has to admit, though, that he prefers Midoriya when they hang out and study in his room. Without others around to distract him or take away his attention. Hitoshi likes when they’re alone together. He can have his walls down around Midoriya. He feels trusted. He feels understood.

Midoriya gets him. In a way that no one else ever has.

 

 

The knock on Hitoshi’s door is more than expected. With the routine they’ve crafted over the past few months, Hitoshi’s not surprised Midoriya’s coming over, even as late as it is.

But when Hitoshi opens the door, he instantly knows something is off. Midoriya smiles at him and gives him a quick “Hey,” but his expression is strained.

As soon as he’s let in, Midoriya slouches into Hitoshi’s chair. Hitoshi returns to his seat on his bed and pulls the homework he’d been working on back onto his lap.

Midoriya’s clearly upset, but Hitoshi doesn’t press for details. If Midoriya wants to open up and share, he’ll listen, but he doesn’t want to pry.

Midoriya pulls out his phone and aimlessly scrolls through as Hitoshi finishes his work. He’s used to this type of comfortable silence, and when he’s done with his work, he opens his book to read without saying anything.

He’s halfway through another chapter when Midoriya sighs and drops his phone on the desk. Hitoshi glances over the top of the book, waiting for Midoriya to speak.

But when Midoriya doesn’t say anything, just glares absently at the wall in front of him, Hitoshi can’t help but say something. It’s too out of character for Midoriya to not just spill when something is bothering him.

“You good, man?”

Midoriya’s brow furrows. “Yeah, I’m okay, I just…” He laughs softly to himself. “For once, I don’t actually feel like talking about it.”

Hitoshi nods. He can certainly respect that, and now he feels a little foolish for having asked at all.

“I just need…” Midoriya trails off, and he looks up as if somehow what he needs will be written on the ceiling. “I just need some comfort, I guess.”

Hitoshi’s never been very good at that. “Feel free to… make yourself comfortable.” He gestures vaguely.

“Do you mind if I sit with you?”

Hitoshi raises his eyebrows. That wasn’t a request he’d been expecting. “Uh, sure. Go ahead.”

Midoriya hops off the chair and joins Hitoshi on the bed. He leans back against the headboard and sticks his legs out in front of him, then without warning, leans heavily against Hitoshi’s shoulder.

If it had been anyone else, Hitoshi would have immediately shoved them off. Or brainwashed them to leave him alone. But since it’s Midoriya, Hitoshi doesn't mind. He’s always been open with his emotions, something Hitoshi struggles with, and it’s almost admirable that he has no shame snuggling up like this.

Midoriya takes a deep breath, and on the exhale, he turns slightly in to face Hitoshi, his head now completely tucked into the crook of his neck.

Knowing that Midoriya doesn’t want to talk about it, Hitoshi does his best to let him be. He continues to read his book, but it’s distracting having someone on his arm. Not because Midoriya is heavy, or that the position is uncomfortable in any way, but Hitoshi’s never really cuddled with anyone before. He’s not really cuddling back, since both his hands are still on his book, but Midoriya is certainly closer than he gets with his other friends.

He tries to act nonchalant, like it’s no big deal that someone he only started hanging out with mere months ago is nuzzled into the side of his neck. He tries to ignore the warm breath puffing across his skin, tries to ignore the soft hair brushing against his face.

Midoriya sniffs and… oh, shit. Is he crying?

That’s not something out of character for Midoriya, either, but… Hitoshi’s never had to deal with it directly. He doesn’t know how to deal with someone who’s crying. He’s not good at comfort. Sure, in training they’ve gone over de-escalation tactics and the proper way to comfort injured and scared civilians in times of crisis, but this is different. This is personal. Hitoshi can’t use some rote line on Midoriya; he probably knows it himself.

But Hitoshi has to try. He can’t just let his friend—his best friend? Closest friend?—cry on his shoulder without offering some semblance of reassurance.

He carefully closes his book and sets it aside, then shifts to bring his arm around Midoriya’s shoulder.

“Come here,” he says softly, and Midoriya complies. He falls right into Hitoshi’s chest and wraps an arm around the front of his waist, clinging to him as silent tears streak down his face.

Hitoshi wraps him in a half-hug, hoping that at least with this, Midoriya knows Hitoshi is attentive to his feelings even if they don’t talk about it.

Hitoshi tries to recall how his parents comforted him, when he was still young enough to willingly accept their comfort without embarrassment.

His mother would always kiss the spot that was hurting, whether he’d scraped his knees or cut a finger, and tell him that healing is growth, and all things grow with care, attention, and time. She’d say the same when he was emotionally hurt, too, and softly kiss his forehead and press a hand over his heart.

A good memory, and even better sentiment, but he can’t imagine kissing Midoriya on the forehead and offering those words of wisdom.

Well, technically he can imagine it. He can imagine it very well, in fact. He might not be able to reach Midoriya’s forehead, but he could easily lean down and press a light kiss on the top of his head, into his wild green hair, and mumble the mantra his mother always spoke.

But he’s not going to do that. That would definitely be weird, and since he doesn’t know why Midoriya is crying, he’s not going to try to offer advice that might not be helpful. Hitoshi certainly hates it when people offer up their unprompted input as if they know everything.

Midoriya makes a small, choked noise and grips Hitoshi’s shirt. Hitoshi involuntarily gives him a reassuring squeeze, hoping the message is conveyed. Because what else can he do?

Another memory of his mother springs to mind. When Hitoshi couldn’t sleep at night, she’d hold him much like he’s holding Midoriya now and rub soothing circles on his back while she hummed aimless, wandering tunes. It was never anything recognizable, no familiar lullabies or even pop songs she might’ve heard on the radio, but random strings of notes that she’d twist into her own, comforting melodies.

Hitoshi doesn’t have an ounce of musical talent in his body, and if he started humming that would be even weirder than giving Midoriya a kiss, but he can do the other part.

Cautiously, he begins rubbing his thumb in circles where he holds Midoriya’s back. He starts small, in case it comes off as patronizing instead of comforting. If Midoriya reacts poorly, he can always stop.

But Midoriya doesn’t really react at all, so Hitoshi continues to rub what he hopes are soothing circles against Midoriya’s back.

As he looks down at Midoriya, contemplating the best way he can offer his reassurance, he’s struck by how oddly small Midoriya looks. He might be shorter than most of the boys in their class, but “small” has never crossed Hitoshi’s mind when looking at him. Maybe “lithe” or “toned,” but the word “buff” is usually what pops into Hitoshi’s head first. He remembers what he’d seen when he scrutinized Midoriya’s body for scars. Midoriya is anything but small or weak, but right now, Hitoshi feels oddly… satisfied by how small Midoriya looks in his arms.

He can’t quite put a finger on why it’s so satisfying. Maybe it’s that he likes feeling like the stronger, bigger person for once? Sure, he might feel like that, but he knows Midoriya could kick his ass. He has before, many times in training. But it’s just so nice to hold Midoriya like this.

Feeling a little more confident, Hitoshi begins moving his entire hand, softly rubbing Midoriya’s back. Midoriya makes a soft noise that sounds like encouragement. That’s good. At least Hitoshi isn’t making him uncomfortable.

But then, Midoriya shifts in his arms so that he can look up at him, and Hitoshi’s stomach twists in a sick, unfamiliar way.

Midoriya’s face is streaked with tears, and his eyes are shining from the wetness. His chin is trembling, but he has the barest trace of a smile on his face.

“Thanks, Shinsou,” he says, voice choked and broken, and Hitoshi’s stomach twists tighter.

“Of course,” Hitoshi replies, trying to sound casual, but it’s difficult to keep his voice even when Midoriya is looking at him like that.

Hitoshi has always thought Midoriya was fairly decent looking, if a bit unique for his freckles and wild hair, but he’s never given it more thought than that. But right now, with his green eyes sparkling with tears and looking so, so small and helpless, he looks…

Fuck. Midoriya is really attractive.

Oh, fuck.

Does Hitoshi think it’s hot that Midoriya is crying?

Before he can even process what that says about himself—probably nothing good—Midoriya turns his face away so he can snuggle back up to his chest. Hitoshi continues to absently rub his back.

He has two things he needs to confront. Or, two things he should confront, and only one that he’s going to.

Hitoshi thinks Midoriya is attractive. Not generally attractive, but attractive to him.

What is he supposed to do about that?

Hitoshi’s only had a few crushes in his life, but they were all short-lived and from a distance. The sort of minor fixation one has on a cute barista at their favorite coffee shop, or a girl in another class that they’ve never spoken to. He’s never found one of his own friends attractive before, so he has truly no idea what to do with this revelation.

‘Nothing’ seems like the smart answer.

So, Hitoshi does just that.

Midoriya stays for a while longer, then realizes that it’s growing late and they should probably both head to bed. He’s no longer crying when he leaves, and he offers Hitoshi his gratitude and a warm smile.

“Thank you,” he says. “I think I just needed a friend.”

And then he’s gone, and Hitoshi forces it out of his mind so he can go to sleep.

It’s a long time before he finally drifts off.

 

 

It ends up becoming a regular part of their nighttime routine, too. Cuddling, that is. Midoriya doesn’t cry again.

Each time he comes over, Midoriya joins Hitoshi on the bed as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. He sidles up next to Hitoshi with his homework on his lap, and they sit in their familiar comfortable silence, only much, much closer than before. And then, when he’s done with work, Midoriya gives a satisfactory sigh and leans his head on Hitoshi’s shoulder while they talk.

Sometimes it’s just that. Sometimes, Hitoshi wraps his arms around Midoriya’s shoulder as they chat. Sometimes they don’t talk at all, and Midoriya presses his face into Hitoshi’s chest again and they cuddle in silence, enjoying each other’s company without needing to exchange a word.

And all the while, Hitoshi does absolutely nothing about his newfound attraction to his friend. Which, he’s starting to find out, is easier said than done.

Hitoshi is a “doer.” He considers himself to be a proactive person, and he knows that if he wants to achieve his goals in life he has to work hard. Harder than most people, since his lot in life has left him with a quirk that struggles to fit within the boundaries of the heroic world. He likes plans, action, forward motion, quantifiable steps that can be checked off a list.

Doing nothing is not easy. Doing nothing means a lot more thinking, and thinking without doing is practically torture.

It’s constantly at the back of Hitoshi’s mind when he’s not with Midoriya, and glaringly at the front when he is. Hitoshi keeps noticing things, like how Midoriya’s smile is slightly wider on the left, or how Midoriya bites the edge of his lip when he’s deep in thought, or how there’s a small freckle right at the corner of his eye that’s darker than the rest.

But since Hitoshi can’t do anything with these newfound observations, he’s growing increasingly frustrated. How does one deal with something like this? Hitoshi’s not the type to leave something to grow stagnant and disappear on its own, but it’s not like he can squash these feelings and put a definite end to his crush. This isn’t something he can check off a list, since every time he sees Midoriya, the feelings return tenfold.

He has to do something about it.

He just needs to figure out what.

 

 

It’s another one of those nights. Midoriya came over after dinner to discuss the day’s rescue training drills. He has his head resting on Hitoshi’s shoulder, staring off into the room as he rambles off his analysis into the open air.

Usually Hitoshi’s a good listener, and even though he doesn’t always respond (he likes to let Midoriya talk uninterrupted), he still pays attention.

He can’t quite pay attention today.

He can feel his crush burning him alive from the inside. Midoriya’s head on his shoulder weighs heavier than it should. He needs to tell Midoriya about it—today. He can’t keep waiting, or he’s going to burn up and there’ll be nothing left but dry, blackened ashes.

He’s thought a lot about what he wants to say, but now that Midoriya is here, it seems too daunting of a task to actually speak.

Hitoshi feels antsy. Nervous. Hitoshi doesn’t get ‘nervous.’

“Shinsou?”

He nearly jumps out of his skin.

Midoriya gives an apologetic smile. “Sorry, I was kinda rambling there. I hope I wasn’t boring you.”

“No, not at all,” Hitoshi assures. He gives Midoriya a small squeeze. “Just distracted, sorry.”

“Hm, what’s on your mind?”

Nerves flare in Hitoshi’s chest. This is it. If Hitoshi can’t get it out tonight, he’ll probably never find the courage to tell Midoriya again.

He pulls his arm from around Midoriya’s back and pulls away so they can face each other.

“Midoriya, I… I have to tell you something.”

“Okay, sure!” Midoriya gives an expectant, encouraging smile.

“I wanted to… to thank you. For being my friend.” Shit. This is already derailing from Hitoshi’s predetermined script. Okay, time to improvise. “I struggle to find genuine friends because of my quirk and… You’ve never had any negative assumptions about me because of it, or treated me any differently. Even from the start, after our fight at the sports festival, you just talked to me with no fear or hesitation. And you talk to me without any hesitation now.”

“Of course,” Midoriya cuts in. “I’ve never once worried about your quirk. You want to be a hero, right? I know that you’d never abuse your quirk, so I’ve never had any reason to hesitate. You don’t have to thank me for that.”

Hitoshi nods and swallows thickly. His chest feels heavy and puffy, like he’s simultaneously weighted and elated at the same time. He hasn’t quite said all that he needs to.

“Midoriya, I… I feel strongly for you. In a way I can’t really explain.”

Midoriya’s eyebrows raise in faint surprise, and Hitoshi can’t keep looking at him. He turns his face away, and waits a count of one, two, and when Midoriya hasn’t said anything by three, he adds, “I trust you. It’s nice to have you as a friend.”

“As... a friend,” Midoriya repeats.

Hitoshi winces, and the puffy feeling in his chest instantly dissipates. Of course Midoriya would want to reiterate that. He likes Uraraka. Hitoshi knows that. Everyone knows that.

“Yes,” Hitoshi says, trying to keep his voice from breaking. He really should have seen this coming. “You’ve been a good friend to me. I really appreciate that.”

“I’ve never had a friendship like this before, Shinsou.”

Usually, Midoriya is an open book to Hitoshi, and he can read between the other’s words and tone of voice enough to decipher exactly what he’s feeling. But right now, Hitoshi has no idea what to make of the careful tone of Midoriya’s voice.

“What do you mean?”

Midoriya scoots closer and leans on his hand. Hitoshi stares at the ridges of his scarred knuckles.

“I mean that… I have lots of close friends. I have Iida, and Uraraka, and Todoroki and Tsu but… but I can’t tell them everything, like I can with you. I love them, but I feel like I always have to be strong around them, because I don’t want them to worry about me. But with you I don’t feel like I’m a burden. I can be… I can be weak around you. I don’t have to justify myself. Because you get it. You know what it’s like to be told that you can’t be the one thing you’ve always wanted to be. You just… get me. Or at least, I hope you do.”

Hitoshi nods, still staring at the pink, scarred skin on his knuckles. “I think I do. I try to, at least.”

“I can just… be with you.”

Suddenly, the hand Hitoshi’s been staring at is moving. Up. Towards Hitoshi’s face.

Midoriya hesitantly places his hand on Hitoshi’s cheek. “I really like you, Shinsou. In a way I can’t explain.”

Hardly daring to hope, Hitoshi finally looks up at Midoriya’s face again.

Soft. All of Midoriya’s features are soft. Soft eyes, soft smile, his soft, fluffy hair dancing around the edges of his face.

His lips look soft, too, and very suddenly—urgently—Hitoshi wants to kiss them.

Without thinking, his own hand reaches up to grab Midoriya’s face. Based on Midoriya’s expression, it seems like the right move.

Hitoshi leans forward, leaving only a few inches of air between them.

He runs his thumb across Midoriya’s bottom lip. He can hear his own heart beating in his chest, the rushing of blood in his ears. Everything about this moment is so loud, and when Midoriya’s lips part, Hitoshi can hear the way his heart stutters in his chest.

He can feel himself being magnetically pulled, body urging him to close the distance, but he strains against the pull. He doesn’t want to cross any lines, and wants verbal confirmation before he does anything.

“Midoriya, can I—”

“OI! Deku!”

The door to Hitoshi’s room bursts open and slams against the wall. Bakugou struts in, face locked into his perma-scowl, and grunts, “Do you ever fucking check your texts?”

Midoriya pulls away from Hitoshi so quickly that Hitoshi’s hand is left hanging in the open air. His fingers curl around nothing, and he drops his hand into his lap as Midoriya jumps off the bed.

“Sorry, Kacchan! I left my phone in my—”

“All Might’s been waiting.”

“Right! I’m so sorry, I forgot that we were gonna—”

“Save your apologies for him,” Bakugou scoffs. “Let’s just fucking go.”

As Midoriya scrambles to gather his things, Bakugou glares in Hitoshi’s direction, as if he intentionally made Midoriya forget about his prior commitments.

Hitoshi’s fought against the title of “villain” his entire life, but in that moment, he’s suddenly very compelled to commit an act of murder.

Frustration simmering below the surface, Hitoshi just stares back at Bakugou, face flat. Bakugou acts all tough, but Hitoshi knows he’ll crumble after a few seconds of eye contact.

As expected, Bakugou scoffs and turns away, crossing his arms in (obviously feigned) disinterest. “Hurry up, Deku.”

Midoriya shoves his things into his bag, and he and Bakugou leave so quickly that Hitoshi doesn’t even have a chance to say goodbye. Midoriya doesn’t even give him an apologetic look, or any look, for that matter, as he hurries out the door and down the hall.

They leave his door open. Hitoshi waits until he hears them enter the stairwell before he slowly stands and crosses his room to shut his door.

He sighs and lets his forehead thunk against the solid wood.

Weeks of building up his courage, weeks of hoping that Midoriya would feel some similar way about him, only to get so close and have it ripped away and dragged down the hall to meet up with All Might.

Hitoshi hates blonds.



When Midoriya comes over to study a few days later, Hitoshi pretends like nothing happened between them.

They haven’t talked about it. Or, talked at all, really. They don’t interact much during class and training, and since Hitoshi’s been busy training with Aizawa, and Midoriya is off with All Might, it’s been three days with almost no contact.

Hitoshi lets Midoriya into his room, and they seamlessly resume their usual routine. Hitoshi huddles into the corner of his bed with a book. Midoriya sits cross-legged next to him and chews on the end of his pen as he leans over a worksheet. Business as usual.

But there’s clearly… something. Some amount of unresolved tension. Hitoshi isn’t sure if Midoriya feels it, but he certainly does. He can’t stop shooting quick glances in Midoriya’s direction, or shuffling on the bed.

“Music?” Midoriya asks after a few minutes of tense, stale silence. Hitoshi responds by sliding off the end of his bed and pulling a CD from his shelf. He knows exactly the type of thing Midoriya will want to listen to; few words, steady beat, mellow. Loud music never bothers Hitoshi when he’s studying, but he knows that for Midoriya, there’s a fine line between motivation and distraction.

When he settles back against the headboard of his bed, Midoriya absently leans against his arm.

Hitoshi tries to react casually, automatically, moving his arm so that Midoriya can fully lean against his chest.

Another few minutes of silence, as Midoriya continues to work on his homework. Hitoshi holds his book in front of his face, but none of the words register. His eyes instead are caught on Midoriya's hands, now twirling his pen. He really likes Midoriya’s hands. They’re probably really nice to hold.

He can’t do this. He can’t sit here and pretend like nothing happened between them. They were going to kiss. They definitely were going to kiss, and Midoriya is snuggled up against his chest yet hasn’t said a word about it.

Hitoshi takes a deep breath. If he took initiative once, he can do it again. He’d rather hear a verbal rejection than keep wondering how Midoriya feels about what happened.

“Hey, Midoriya—”

“Um, Shinsou, I—”

They speak at the same time, then both cut off.

“Oh, sorry,” Midoriya says. “You first.”

“No, that’s okay. Mine can wait.”

“Oh, sure. Um…” Midoriya laughs nervously. “I just wanted to apologize about what happened the other day when—when Bakugou came over. I’m really sorry about that. All Might and I were planning to meet up and I totally forgot, and—Jeez, I feel so bad that I just left without really saying anything. I’m really… really sorry.”

“It’s fine,” is Hitoshi’s automated reply.

“No, really I—I didn’t want to go.”

There’s a small tug in Hitoshi’s chest. “It’s okay. You can’t blow off All Might, I get it.”

“Right, yeah, I just…” Midoriya chuckles again, and rubs his neck. “Anyway, uh. What was your thing?”

“Ah, I just wanted to—” Hitoshi stops. He’s really not sure what he wants, besides another opportunity to kiss Midoriya again. What should he even say? “About last time, before you left, I…” He trails off, then turns his face away. Why does he have to be bad with words now?

“You wanted to… what?” Midoriya prompts, and the invitation in his voice is clear. When Hitoshi glances over again, Midoriya has an expectant, almost hopeful expression on his face, and Hitoshi knows that no words will be able to explain what he wants.

Action. Forward motion. Less talking, more doing.

Hitoshi grabs Midoriya’s face and pulls him into a kiss.

All of the tension that had been building between them—the months of tension, of cuddling, spending hours together, talking, crying, laughing, being together—snaps in an instant. There’s a crack of energy that sparks sharp between them; a swelling, satisfying pop that shatters any remaining boundaries keeping them at bay.

Midoriya twists his hands into the front of Hitoshi’s shirt and pulls Hitoshi in so hard that he has to reach down and brace one hand against Midoriya’s hip and the other against his headboard so they both don’t topple to the floor.

Their lips part only briefly. Hitoshi has barely taken a single, shaky breath when he’s pulled into another kiss, Midoriya’s soft lips recapturing his own with urgent insistence. Hitoshi’s never kissed anyone before, but there’s only a momentary flash of insecurity; how can he hesitate when the lips against his own are so warm and inviting?

Midoriya makes a soft noise from his throat that Hitoshi desperately devours. He pushes Midoriya flat against the headboard and kisses him harder, moving his lips in what he hopes is the right way.

But he’s a bit too eager, and their teeth scrape together. Hitoshi pulls back, face flushing, and mutters a quick, “Sorry.”

“No, it’s—it’s fine,” Midoriya breathes. His own face is red, too, flushed so deeply that his freckles are disappearing into the rosy glow. But Hitoshi doesn’t get time to appreciate it, as soon their lips are connected again and all Hitoshi can think is warm, soft, delicious.

Hitoshi slips his hand into Midoriya’s hair, tangling his fingers into the curls. Midoriya’s own hands move from the front of Hitoshi’s shirt to scrabble at his back, pulling Hitoshi in so they’re pressed chest to chest.

It’s shameless, the way they kiss. As if they’ve done it a million times before.

But, it’s slightly uncomfortable to sit like this, so Hitoshi throws a leg over Midoriya’s lap so he can hover over him, and lean down to kiss him. He can barely believe what’s happening; he spent so long pining over Midoriya that he’d almost convinced himself it was nigh impossible for reciprocation. Midoriya feels unreal in his hold, and Hitoshi worries that if lets go for even a second, Midoriya will vanish.

“Sh-Shinsou,” Midoriya stutters between kisses. “We—We should—”

Hitoshi pulls back, and waits for Midoriya to say the words, “We should stop,” but it doesn’t come.

Instead, Midoriya mutters, “We should lock the door.”

Hitoshi gives a short laugh, then scrambles off the bed to quickly do just that.

“Don’t wanna get walked in on again,” Midoriya says as Hitoshi returns.

“Yeah, fuck that.” Hitoshi wastes no time climbing back on top of Midoriya and smothering him against the bed to kiss him once again.

Hands start tugging on clothes, palms running across bare chests and backs, legs slotting together as they touch, grab, pull, hold each other. Hitoshi finds his shirt halfway off, then he helps Midoriya tug it all the way off and toss it to the floor. Midoriya’s shirt follows soon after, and then both of their pants, and suddenly it’s skin on skin, every point of contact sparking hot.

Hitoshi wonders if maybe they should slow down, talk about boundaries and what not, but then Midoriya is scratching a line down his back with his nails and any inclination to stop wipes from Hitoshi’s mind. He arches his back and moans, and involuntarily grinds down hard.

He doesn’t have a chance to be embarrassed; Midoriya grabs Hitoshi’s hips and grinds back, drawing another moan from his lips.

Midoriya’s hard. He can feel it through the thin layers of their boxers, and Hitoshi’s not sure why it surprises him, since he’s hard, too, but it catches him off guard and sends a thrum of pleasure coursing down his body. He’s the reason Midoriya’s turned on; Midoriya finds him attractive. Likes kissing him. Likes feeling his body against his own. And even more, he trusts Hitoshi enough to feel him like this, see him like this, touch and grasp and grab at his own body without restraint.

He trusts Hitoshi. Sure, Hitoshi knew that through his words, but experiencing it like this makes it feel so much more real. It makes Hitoshi’s heart swell in his chest, and he grips Midoriya tight, hoping that he can convey that same trust back through his touch. He runs his fingers through Midoriya’s hair with intent, grinds his hips with intent, kisses with intent. It’s more than physical attraction; Hitoshi didn’t even realize Midoriya was hot until a few weeks ago. It’s attraction in the purest form, a magnetic pull towards each other that whispers, You get me, you get me, you get me.

The sweet sound of breathy gasps and stuttered moans fills the air. Hitoshi finds his own hand intertwining with Midoriya’s, pressed against the mattress as they continue to grind against each other.

But it’s not enough—Hitoshi wants more than some desperate, messy humping.

He tugs at the waistband of Midoriya’s boxers. “Can–Can I—”

“Yes, yes,” Midoriya says, already pulling them off himself. Hitoshi grins, encouraged by the eager attitude.

There’s no fanfare. Hitoshi’s never seen a dick besides his own before, but he barely registers that, “Yeah, that’s a dick,” before he’s taking it into his hands and stroking it much like how he would his own. Feels slightly shorter and thicker in his hand.

What captures his attention is the way Midoriya groans low under his breath. Hitoshi likes hearing that.

“Here, let me—” Midoriya fumbles with Hitoshi’s boxers, barely pulling them down his thighs. Then he wraps his fingers around Hitoshi’s awaiting cock and oh, fuck, that’s nothing like having his own hand on his dick.

They fumble with each others’ dicks for a moment, clumsily jerking each other off with the stuttered sloppiness of horny, repressed teenagers. But it feels so good. Hitoshi drinks it in, savoring the intoxicating taste of euphoria on his tongue.

Midoriya grabs Hitoshi’s wrist and pulls it away from his dick, but before Hitoshi can question it, he’s dragging Hitoshi’s hand down between his legs. “Touch me—touch me here,” he says.

The flare of heat that rushes through Hitoshi’s gut nearly makes him cum right then. He doesn’t allow himself to feel self-conscious. Even though he’s never done this before (at least, not to someone else), he knows that Midoriya won’t mind if he stumbles a bit.

Hitoshi traces his finger around Midoriya’s asshole, but he feels too impatient to spend much time teasing, so he then pushes a single finger inside.

It’s tight. Really tight. And Hitoshi immediately realizes that they’re going to need lube, and it’s a very good thing, virgin that he is, that he’s bought some to use for himself before.

“Hold on,” Hitoshi says, then quickly fumbles through the drawers in his bedside table. “Shit, I’m trying to find some lube.”

Midoriya just gives a breathy laugh, and Hitoshi’s relieved when his fingers finally close around the small bottle. He uncaps it, pours some onto his fingers, but then hesitates. “Um, is this still…”

“Yes, yeah, do it.” Midoriya nods.

It’s much easier with the lube. Hitoshi’s finger slips into Midoriya’s hole without resistance, and oh, it’s so tight, and Midoriya moans so loud. Hitoshi spears his finger slowly in and out, until he feels confident that he can add a second.

“Ohhhhh, fuck,” Midoriya whines. “Yes, that feels—Just like that, Shinsou.”

Hitoshi’s gut twists in pleasure hearing his own name moaned like that. He continues slowly fucking Midoriya open with his fingers, reveling in the small gasps and moans he’s pulling from the other.

He’s so focused on Midoriya, making sure he feels good, that when Midoriya grabs for Hitoshi’s dick again, it takes him by surprise.

But Midoriya only strokes it a few times, before he’s adjusting on the bed below Hitoshi and lining himself up with Hitoshi’s dick.

Hitoshi gets the message, and only has a brief thought of, “Maybe we should talk about this first?” before he brushes it aside and sinks his cock into Midoriya’s ass.

The noise he makes is absolutely disgusting; a choked, gurgle groan that would be embarrassing if Midoriya hadn’t moaned just as loud.

Hitoshi bottoms out, then stops, panting as he takes in this new, foreign sensation on his cock—and tries desperately not to cum.

“You can m-move,” Midoriya stutters, and Hitoshi clenches his eyes shut and shakes his head.

“Give me a sec, fuck, this feels…” Wonderful. Amazing. Sinful. Tight.

“So good,” Midoriya finishes. “You feel so good.”

Hitoshi can’t say anymore. All he can do is nod, then slowly, carefully, drag his hips back out, almost pulling all the way out, before he slowly sinks back in again.

Hhnng—fuck…” Hitoshi moans. He rocks his hips back and forth, gradually picking up the pace as he becomes accustomed to the feeling. It’s… indescribable. Everything is hot, and tight, and slick with lube as he fucks into Midoriya’s ass.

“S-Shin—nng, so good, fuck me,” Midoriya whines. He grabs Hitoshi’s shoulders. “Harder, please, harder!”

Hitoshi does as he’s told, thrusting hard and fast, grunting from the effort.

“Harder, harder!”

Hitoshi whines, the sound of Midoriya’s voice sending waves of pleasure coursing down his spine. He needs it too; needs to fuck harder, faster, needs more than he can get at this angle.

When Hitoshi pulls out, Midoriya begins to sit up. “You good?”

“Fuck yes,” Hitoshi replies. He climbs off the bed so he can stand, then pulls Midoriya around so he can spread his legs wide and push back into him again. Standing over him like this, he’s able to fuck harder like he desperately needs to. Midoriya cries out in renewed pleasure, hands scrabbling to find purchase against Hitoshi’s bedsheets.

Hitoshi takes in Midoriya beneath him, eyes roving over Midoriya’s face and body as he attempts to memorize the sight. Flushed pink skin. Spread, shaking legs. Wild, mussed hair. Half-lidded, unfocused eyes, and…

Oh no. Tears are starting to streak down Midoriya’s face, and that’s doing some wonderful, terrible, things to Hitoshi’s dick.

“M-Midoriya,” Hitoshi moans. “You’re so… so fucking hot.”

That causes Midoriya’s face to flush even more, and Hitoshi can’t keep looking anymore. He’s going to cum just from the sight of Midoriya’s flustered, fucked out face alone, but he wants to keep this going as long as he possibly can. Which probably isn’t much longer.

He looks at the ceiling instead as he continues to snap his hips back and forth, but his pace is faltering. He wants to hold out and wait for Midoriya to cum first, but he’s barely holding on… He slows considerably, until he’s only able to give shallow, stuttered thrusts.

“More, please, h-harder!” Midoriya urges.

Hitoshi shakes his head and whines, breathless, “I—I’m trying, I can’t, I—”

Something wraps around Hitoshi’s waist, something… foreign. He looks down, and gives a choked gasp.

Hitoshi’s only seen Midoriya’s blackwhip a few times before; when it first appeared and went berserk, and a couple times in training. Midoriya doesn’t use it often, and when he does, it’s only for a few seconds at a time. But right now, the thick, black tendrils are wrapped tight around Hitoshi’s waist, the ends held tight in Midoriya’s hands.

And then Midoriya pulls, and Hitoshi stumbles and falls over him, his hands landing on either side of Midoriya’s head on the bed. Midoriya pulls on the blackwhip and urges Hitoshi to move, to continue thrusting, all while he bucks up his own hips, fucking himself deeper on Hitoshi’s cock.

“I—I can’t, Midoriya—”

“P-please, I’m so close!” Midoriya gasps. “Please, oh my god, Shinsou!”

Hitoshi’s hanging on by a thread, but he curls his fingers into the sheets and sets his jaw, determined to hold out for as long as Midoriya needs, but, shit… Midoriya needs to cum soon, or Hitoshi’s going to lose his mind.

A fresh spark of determination flashes across Hitoshi’s skin, and he picks up the pace again. He gives a few deep, intentional thrusts, and then—

Midoriya cries out, his cock twitching as he cums across his own chest. His eyes roll back into his head, and the blackwhip tied around Hitoshi’s waist tightens and pulls him in deeper, forcing him to come to a standstill, balls deep in Midoriya’s ass.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, Midoriya, let go, I’m gonna—”

But it’s too late. Hitoshi can’t stop the wave of pleasure from finally cresting and crashing across his skin. He whimpers as he cums, and since he’s unable to pull out and can’t stroke his dick and ease himself through his orgasm, it hits him all at once. His entire body shakes, and his vision goes white as burning hot pleasure violently snaps through him.

It’s the strongest—and shortest—orgasm he’s ever had, a single pinpoint of sharp, concentrated pleasure.

He collapses on top of Midoriya, and for a moment they just lie there, panting in tandem. Midoriya’s warm breath splashes against Hitohshi’s back.

“So,” Hitoshi gasps after he’s caught his breath. “It’s your quirk that’s a kink thing.”

Midoriya makes a small, embarrassed noise. “I didn’t—I didn’t mean to do that! It just kinda came out…”

Hitoshi gives a shaky laugh. “Guess we’ll just have to try my quirk next time.”

“Yes,” Midoriya says without hesitation. “Next time.”

“We should… we should clean up.”

They do just that, then both pull on their boxers and t-shirts. Hitoshi feels giggly, which is insane, but when he and Midoriya both collapse back onto his bed, tangling into each other’s arms, it just feels so right. It’s not awkward, like Hitoshi figured his first time after sex would be.

He pulls Midoriya close, and gives a sheepish grin. “You don’t know how long I’ve been wanting to do that.”

“You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for you to do that.”

Baffled, Hitoshi asks, “Since when?”

“I guess… I guess since you first mentioned that people think of your quirk as a kink thing. That, you know, obviously got me thinking about it, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized that… that I really liked you.”

Hitoshi’s mouth drops open. “You’re kidding. I’ve been pining for months, and this whole time you liked me back?”

“Months? Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I didn’t want you to think that I was—that I was using you, or something! Because I know you worry about that, so I didn’t want to push you away, because I didn’t want to mess up what we already had and—”

Hitoshi cuts him off with a kiss. Unlike their prior kisses, this one isn’t frantic and rushed. He takes his time, tasting the sweetness of Midoriya’s lips and giving a satisfied hum before pulling away.

“You couldn’t push me away if you tried,” Hitoshi murmurs.

Midoriya smiles, green eyes sparkling as Hitoshi runs his thumb across his cheek. They hold each other for a few moments, a heavy, satisfied silence spreading across them like a warm blanket.

“But… I have to ask,” Hitoshi says, breaking the silence. “Why… me?”

Midoriya presses his forehead against Hitoshi’s and closes his eyes. His voice is low when he responds, a vulnerable murmur that Hitoshi feels privileged to be able to hear.

“Because you get it.”

“Yeah,” Hitoshi responds. He presses a soft kiss on Midoriya’s nose. “I think I do.”