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A Bouquet of Marigolds

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The apple juice tasted sweet on his tongue—tangy. With a deep sigh, Izuku buried his face into his hands, his eyebrows furrowing together. The League’s bar was completely empty and dead silent. All Izuku could hear was his own breathing, his own grumbling. 

Izuku was…was…

He was tired. 

All he could think about was Shigaraki. How his boss would smirk at him casually, his red gaze bright. Every time the two of them were alone, they would laugh and bicker with one another, their voices high-pitched and eager. 

Recently, Shigaraki would invite him to play video games with him, and every time Izuku sat by his side, their knees would touch and…and…

Groaning loudly, Izuku buried his face into his hands, his ears flushed red. He needed to stop thinking about the older man. Izuku needed to…to…

He needed to drink his apple juice. 

Morosely, Izuku stared down at his glass of apple juice and picked it up. The golden liquid was gleaming up at him, fresh and cool, and Izuku’s eyes were narrowing as he threw the glass back like it was a shot. 

Even though Izuku was the League’s hacker, their technician, Kurogiri refused to give him any alcohol. He said that he wasn’t old enough, and instead, only offered him apple juice. It was stupid! Izuku was practically a villain! He was a criminal! A criminal that wasn’t allowed to drink liquor at the bar. 

Grumbling softly, Izuku poured himself another glass of apple juice. At least the fruity juice was sweet. Silently, Izuku stared at Kurogiri’s liquor cabinets. He could see bottles of whiskey and rosé wine, and a small smile was spreading across his face. 

Maybe he could—

“—What are you doing, Izuku-kun?”

A loud surprised squeak then tore its way past Izuku’s lips, and he was jumping up in his seat, his eyes wide. Turning around, Izuku stared at his interrupter, completely frazzled. 

“What’s the matter, Izuku-kun?” Toga purred, her eyes half-lidded. “You’re not thinking of anything villainous, are you?” Sighing softly, Izuku shook his head at the blonde girl, his form relaxing. “I’m fine, Toga. Nothing is wrong. You just…you just spooked me.”

“Oh?” Toga smiled. Then, before Izuku could blink, the blonde girl was bouncing into the seat beside him, joining him at the bar. “You were looking at Kurogiri’s liquor cabinet quite…lovingly, Izuku-kun! What are you planning?” A smirk then stretched across Toga’s face. “I’ll join you.”

No, no, no!” Izuku awkwardly laughed as he waved his hands back and forth. “I’m not planning anything! I was just…I was just looking at Kurogiri’s alcohol. I wasn’t going to actually do anything.” 

Toga, however, just continued to smile at Izuku teasingly, her eyes bright and carefree. Giggling quietly, Toga pressed her index finger to her lips. “It’s alright, Izuku-kun. Your secret is safe with me! I won’t tell on you.”

Smiling fondly, Izuku shook his head at the blonde girl and went back to staring at his apple juice. Slowly, his smile fell away until he was frowning. With a tired sigh, Izuku picked up his glass and swirled the liquid inside back and forth. The movement was calming. 

He could feel Toga’s eyes on him, her gaze curious, and Izuku was throwing the apple juice back once more, drinking it like a shot of rum. Toga’s lips then pursed together as Izuku drank, and she was reaching forward, grabbing his hand. “What’s really the matter, Izuku-kun? You look upset. I don’t like it when my friends are upset.”

“I-It’s nothing!” Izuku stammered as he stared down at Toga’s hand. The girl was stroking his flesh reassuringly, her eyes surprisingly kind. “It’s okay, Izuku-kun! I wouldn’t mind listening to you. We could have a slumber party, and we could do one another’s hair, and I could listen to your problems!”

Izuku then couldn’t help but grimace. “Yeah, I’m not doing that, Toga. I don’t want to have a slumber party. In fact, I need to start doing research for the League’s next mission. I need to gather information on Kamui Woods and—”

“—Boo, Izuku-kun, boo! Don’t talk about work!” Toga pouted. “I want to listen to you and your problems! I want to help you!” Leaning forward, Toga entered Izuku’s personal space and began to talk into his face. “You can open up to me, Izuku-kun. I promise I’m a good listener.” 

With a defeated sigh, Izuku shook his head at the blonde girl. “I swear, Toga, it’s really nothing. I’m just…I’m just thinking about our boss.”

“About Tomura-kun?”

“Y-Yeah….”

However, as soon as Izuku admitted that Shigaraki was on his mind, a wicked grin bloomed on Toga’s face. “I think I know what’s troubling you, Izuku-kun!~”

Immediately, Izuku froze. “W-What are you talking about, Toga?”

“You know, Izuku-kun,” Toga smirked, “you’re really bad at hiding your feelings.”

Izuku’s heart then stopped. 

“Every time you’re with our boss, you stutter more than usual! You’re always so close to him! It’s really cute!~” Toga sighed dreamily, her eyelashes fluttering. Gulping audibly, Izuku shook his head at Toga. “Y-You’re wrong. Besides, even if I did l-like him, it wouldn’t matter. Shigaraki doesn’t…he doesn’t like me like that.” 

“Well, have you flirted with him?”

“F-Flirted with him?!”

“Yeah, flirting is essential in getting someone to like you, Izuku-kun!” Toga then giggled softly and scooted closer to him. “You need to flirt with Tomura-kun to get him to like you, silly.”

“I-I don’t need him to like me! I mean, I don’t…I don’t…” Izuku trailed off awkwardly, his cheeks pink “Our boss is always going to be out of my reach. He’s just so…so cool. I’ll always be grateful to him. He took me in, after all. But I can’t…I can’t be anything more to him. I’m just the League’s hacker.”

“I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit, Izuku-kun! I mean,” Toga smiled slyly, “you're adorable! You just need to put in a little bit of elbow grease!” 

“You know what,” Toga grinned as Izuku paled, “I’ll help you out! As your friend, Izuku-kun, I want you to be happy! I’ll help you with Tomura-kun!”

“Y-You really don't have to do that, Toga, I’m fine—”

“—Shh, it’s alright! I don’t mind helping you out! This is going to be a lot of fun, after all!”

Nervously, Izuku stared down at his twitching hands, his gaze conflicted. Maybe if he listened to Toga and her advice, Shigaraki really would…like him. A pink flush then spread across Izuku’s cheeks, and he was blinking rapidly. He could just picture Shigaraki’s smile in his mind, his confident grin. His boss was…he really was the coolest. 

Without him, Izuku would still be miserable. He wouldn’t be with the League; he’d be all alone. Quirkless and useless. 

Maybe he could…be with him…

Shigaraki’s face then flashed through Izuku’s mind, and his blush was intensifying. With his heart practically vibrating in his chest, Izuku gulped. He…he wanted Shigaraki. Izuku wanted to stay by the older man’s side. He wanted to keep playing video games with him, to support him. 

Even if he couldn’t do much, Izuku wanted…wanted…

Stiffly, Izuku glanced up at Toga and nodded. “A-Alright, Toga. I’ll listen to you. L-Let’s get started.”

“Yes! This is going to be amazing, Izuku-kun! You won’t regret this!”

With that, Izuku and Toga’s plotting began. 




“Are you sure that this is a good idea?” Izuku asked as he stared down at a cooking book. He was reading a recipe for a strawberry shortcake, and he was starting to feel anxious. Izuku thought that he was pretty good at cooking and baking, but he knew that he wasn’t a Pro. He was decent. Just decent. 

“Yes, this is a good idea!” Toga giggled as she dumped multiple cups of flour into a bowl. “Everyone loves cake! And I’m pretty sure that Shigaraki has a sweet tooth! All he consumes is sugar and junk food!”

“Besides,” Toga murmured, her volume dropping, “this way you can make him something personal. Something straight from the heart.”

Something…personal…

Izuku could then feel his ears turning red, and he was coughing into his right hand. “Y-Yeah, that makes sense.” With his heart beating wildly in his chest, Izuku glanced down at the recipe book again. It looked like he needed to add some baking powder and some salt into the flour. They would also need to make some homemade whipped cream for when the cake was done. 

With a small smile on his face, Izuku turned around and walked off to the kitchen cabinets. Izuku and Toga were baking in the kitchen behind Kurogiri’s bar, and they were all alone. No one else was interested in their activities. Unsurprisingly, villains didn’t find baking that riveting. 

Standing up on his tip-e-toes, Izuku grabbed a small glass container labeled ‘salt’. Efficiently, Izuku poured himself the needed teaspoons and mixed the white substance into the main bowl. He could see Toga pouring out cups of milk, and he was walking back to the small wooden cabinet. With his eyes flickering back and forth, Izuku looked for the needed ingredient. 

There! 

There it was.

The baking soda. 

An excited grin then formed on Izuku’s face, and he was reaching up and grabbing the small orange cardboard box. Carefully, Izuku mixed two teaspoons of baking soda into the bowl with the flour and salt. He couldn’t wait to give the cake to Shigaraki! Hopefully, his boss would enjoy the sugary treat. 

Izuku wanted Shigaraki to be happy; he wanted to please the older man. If Izuku could show Shigaraki the depth of his feelings, he would be happy. He wanted Shigaraki to know that he had a positive impact on him. Shigaraki was the reason he was alive and well. Without the villain, Izuku would still be…be…

He would still be useless to everyone around him. 

Reaching up, Izuku slapped his cheeks gently, smudging them with flour. He had to focus on baking! Izuku needed to make the perfect cake! Determinedly, Izuku mixed all of the needed ingredients together and poured the cake mixture into a silver pan. With the oven turned on and hot, Izuku inserted the pan inside. 

“There we go,” Izuku smiled, his cheeks still white with flour, “the cake should be done in a few minutes.”

Giggling softly, Toga shuffled closer to Izuku, her yellow eyes sparking. Then, with another loud giggle, Toga latched onto his left arm. “Way to go, Izuku-kun! You’re going to win Shigaraki over for sure!”

“Y-You really think so?”

“I know so.” Toga hummed. “He’s going to love this cake.”

“Y-Yeah, I hope so! Every time he orders bubble tea, he always gets strawberry. S-So I think making a strawberry shortcake is a good move! I think he’ll like the flavouring! A-And if not, I can always bake him another cake!”

“That’s the spirit!” Toga grinned, her white teeth flashing in the low light. “Don’t worry, Izuku-kun, he’s going to love the cake! And if he doesn’t appreciate your hard work, I’ll cut him up for you!”

“You don’t have to do that, Toga!”

“I know, Izuku-kun!~”

Yet, as Toga and Izuku continue to bicker back and forth, a loud ding pierces through the air, and Izuku is turning towards the oven. “It looks like the cake is done, Toga!”

Cheerfully, Izuku swayed closer to the oven and pulled on a pair of oven mitts. He could smell the sweet scent of cake in the air, and he was opening up the oven. Immediately, a wave of scorching heat rolled over him, and he was cringing into himself. Shit, the oven was hot!

Awkwardly, Izuku reached into the oven and pulled out the silver pan containing the cake. However, as Izuku pulled out the sweet-smelling treat, he couldn’t help but notice how…flat…the cake was. 

With his eyebrows furrowed together, Izuku placed the cake on top of the oven. “Toga, is the cake supposed to look like…this?” 

The cake looked surprisingly flat and hard. It was as if the cake didn’t rise, but that couldn’t be possible. Izuku was sure that the two of them followed the recipe correctly!

“I don’t know, Izuku-kun.” Toga mumbled. “I know that I followed the directions correctly, and I’m sure that you did as well! I mean, it looks okay! It just looks a little…flat.”

Huffing quietly under his breath, Izuku shook his head back and forth. “Okay, okay. I-I’m sure that the cake is fine. Let’s just decorate it!” 

With a nod of agreement, Toga grabbed the bowl of whip cream and a butter knife. Yet, as she held the butter knife, her gaze slowly gained a strange sparkle. 

Her yellow eyes were glowing as she held the knife, and carefully, Toga ran her fingers over its silvery surface. Smiling softly, Toga arched the butter knife into the air and slammed it down into the bowl of whip cream. Then, giggling maniacally, Toga stirred the whip cream with her knife, her eyes gleaming and bright. 

A stilted breath then left Izuku’s lips. Stiffly, Izuku grabbed another butter knife and began to decorate the cake with whip cream as well. Sometimes, Izuku forgot that Toga was a villain—that she loved bloodshed. She was the same age as him, after all. It was easy to forget that they were—well—criminals. 

Awkwardly, Izuku coated the cake with whip cream. Yet, no matter how hard Izuku tried to make the layers even, he kept putting either too much whip cream on or too little. By the end, the cake was tilted over onto its right side, heavy with whip cream. 

Toga’s skill with the knife was graceful and smooth, unlike Izuku. He couldn’t spread whip cream on the cake to save his life! Toga, on the other hand, had the skill of a professional baker. 

“Don’t worry, Izuku-kun,” Toga grinned, “one day, you’ll be as good as me!”

Staring down at the finished cake, Izuku grimaced. “Yeah, I don’t think baking is for me. I made a mess.”

Toga’s lips then smacked together as she dipped her finger into the whip cream and licked it clean. “A delicious mess!” 

Sighing loudly in defeat, Izuku grabbed the strawberries and began to place them on the cake. “I just hope that Shigaraki likes the cake. The whip cream is messy, but hopefully, it’ll taste good.”

“Well, the whip cream is already great!”

“You’re the one that made the whip cream, Toga. Not me.”

“Yeah, I know, Izuku-kun.”

With his body tense and stiff, Izuku picked up the cake and walked out of the kitchen. He could feel Toga’s eyes on his form as he left, her gaze curious, and he was gulping audibly. Please, let everything go well. Please, let Shigaraki like the cake. He wanted to make the older man happy!

Quickly, Izuku arrived in front of Shigaraki’s bedroom. Breathing nervously, Izuku reached forward and knocked on the white door. For a brief moment, all there was was silence. Tense silence. 

Then, before Izuku could compose himself, the front door was flying open, and Shigaraki was staring down at him. His face was cold and closed off, and Shigaraki’s eyes were narrowing. “Izuku, what are you doing here? I’m in the middle of a game of World of Warcraft—a dungeon. Is this about our next mission?”

“N-No, not exactly…” Izuku murmured, his voice cracking. A wave of anxiety then crashed over him, and he was fidgeting in place, his hands heavy. Oh god, he didn’t know what to say! Izuku didn’t think this far ahead! What was he supposed to do?! Should he just hand the cake to Shigaraki? Should he do something else—

“—If you’re not here to talk about our next mission, can it wait? I’m in the middle of something big. I’m about to level up my Rogue to level ninety-five.” 

Izuku then froze. 

With an awkward laugh, Izuku stared down at his feet. “A-Actually, I was hoping to give you something.” 

Shigaraki’s gaze then trailed up and down between Izuku and the cake in his hands. His face, however, looked unimpressed, and Izuku could feel his insides shriveling up. “Are you just here to offer me a slice of cake? I’m not hungry right now, you can put my piece in the fridge.”

“T-The whole cake is for you!” Izuku blurted out, his voice high-pitched and squeaky. Immediately, Izuku’s heart rate skyrocketed and blood was rushing into his cheeks, painting him red. 

“The whole cake?” Shigaraki asked, his right eyebrow rising up. Quickly, Izuku nodded. “Y-Yeah! The whole cake is yours!”

“Huh.”

Then, much like a graceful gazelle, Shigaraki grabbed the cake from Izuku’s hands and walked back into his bedroom. Casually, Izuku peeked inside the older man’s room. All of the lights in the bedroom were turned off. The only light source in Shigaraki’s room was his computer monitor, his monitor that was currently displaying World of Warcraft. 

Shigaraki then placed the strawberry shortcake down on his desk and glanced back at his computer screen. “Shit, it looks like the Tank moved on without me. I need to catch up.” Leaning forward, Shigaraki sat in his gaming computer chair and ran his fingers across his keyboard. 

Silently, Izuku watched Shigaraki’s avatar in the game, his Rogue. After a few minutes of silence, Izuku awkwardly coughed, his voice weak. “Are you—uhh—going to try to the cake?”

“Yeah, I will. Just after this battle.” Shigaraki grunted. The villain’s eyes were trained on his computer screen, unblinking, and Izuku was squirming anxiously. Quickly, Izuku glanced around the dark bedroom. Shigaraki’s walls were covered in anime posters, and he could see a couple of figurines on his bookshelves. 

Shuffling backwards, Izuku plopped down on Shigaraki’s bed and stared forward. After about twenty minutes, Shigaraki’s game finished up, and the villain was stretching in his chair, humming. Eagerly, Izuku stared at the older man. “Are you going to try it now?”

“Huh?” Shigaraki blinked, his face confused. “Oh, yeah, right. Yeah, I’ll try a bit.” Reaching forward, Shigaraki grabbed the fork that was dangling precariously on the cake tin and stabbed the utensil into the whipped cream. Gracefully, Shigaraki shoved a mouthful of the strawberry shortcake into his mouth, his cheeks puffed up like a chipmunk. 

Shigaraki’s movements then stilled, however, as he chewed. “What…gngh…is this? Shit, Izuku.”

Wait, what?

Reluctantly, Shigaraki swallowed the cake in his mouth and immediately began spluttering and coughing. “Shit, Izuku, it’s so salty and hard! What did you do ?” 

Izuku then froze. All he could hear was Shigaraki’s coughing, his gagging. 

Gulping audibly, Izuku twitched. “W-What do you mean? I-I followed the recipe!”

“Are you sure?” Shigaraki grumbled, his eyes swimming with distaste. “There is something not right with that cake. What ingredients did you use?”

Floundering silently, Izuku shook his head. “I-I don’t…” Izuku gulped again, “I don’t know. I don't remember the ingredients.” 

Humming in acknowledgement, Shigaraki reached up and wiped at his mouth. “Well, whatever you did, don’t do it again. Here, you can have the cake.”

Something cold and distinct then entered Izuku’s veins, and he was staring down at his failed creation. The strawberry shortcake’s whipped cream was spilling over, sliding onto its right side, and Izuku’s bottom lip was trembling. “R-Right.”

Staggering forward, Izuku reached out and grabbed the cake, his hands cold. Quietly, Izuku stared at his failure, his eyes growing dim. 

This was..was…

Humiliating.

Everything about this situation was humiliating. 

Blinking rapidly, Izuku nodded at Shigaraki stiffly and turned around. “H-Have fun with your game.” Without a second thought, Shigaraki nodded at Izuku and returned his attention to his computer screen. 

Just like that, the connection between them was broken, and Shigaraki was playing World of Warcraft once more. With defeat weighing heavily on his shoulders, Izuku exited out of the cramped bedroom, his heart weak. 

Hobbling out into the hallway, Izuku stared forward blankly, his eyes unseeing. He failed. He indescribably failed. All of his work…amounted to nothing. His cake was nothing. He was nothing. 

Izuku could feel his hands trembling, twitching. With a quiet sigh, Izuku let go. He let go, and the cake tumbled down to the ground. His body was cold. All of his nerves were numb, silent, and Izuku could feel nothing. 

With a slow blink, Izuku glanced down at his feet sluggishly. His cake was on the floor, completely ruined. He would…would…

He would have to clean it up. It wasn’t fair to leave a mess outside of Shigaraki’s door. It wasn’t fair at all. Blinking once more, Izuku moved into action. He would clean the cake up and move on. Izuku was…was…

He was good at moving on—at trying again. He could do this…he just…

He couldn't give up. 

Izuku had to keep going.

He had to. 

 

“Well, how do I look?” Izuku asked as he smiled at Toga. He was wearing a brand new green sweater and a pair of tight black jeans. The jeans stuck to his legs like a second skin, and Izuku was grimacing as he shifted back and forth. 

“You look incredible!” Toga gushed, her eyes practically sparkling. “Giving you a makeover was the best idea ever! You look so cute, I could just cut you!~”

“Please, don’t.” Izuku awkwardly laughed. “I don’t think I’ll look my best if I’m covered in stab wounds.”

“No, you’d look incredible!~” A dreamy look then came over Toga’s face, and she was blinking slowly, her cheeks pink. Before Izuku could become truly worried for his safety, however, Toga’s gaze shifted back into awareness. “You look amazing, Izuku-kun, but you should smell amazing too!”

Smell?

“Here, I bought you some cologne that you can spray on! It’s my absolute favourite !” Toga then winked at him. “Just like you!~” Excitedly, the blonde girl skipped over to her bedside table and pulled out a small glass bottle. 

The bottle was labeled ‘Mahogany Darkness’, and Izuku was staring up at Toga incredulously. “Seriously? This is what you want me to spray on? Mahogany Darkness?”

“Oh, shush.” Toga waved dismissively. “It smells really good! I always smell this cologne when I’m at the store! I want my future partner to have it!”

Eagerly, Toga sashayed closer to Izuku, her eyes half-lidded. “Here, try it.” Then, before Izuku could complain, Toga was spraying the cologne into his face. Instantly, Izuku spluttered as the strong scent of wood hit his nose unforgivingly. “Boundaries, Toga! Hngh, boundaries!”

“Well,” Toga implored, “how does it smell?” Sneezing loudly, Izuku fought back tears as he tried to adjust to the smell swimming around him. With another ungraceful sneeze, Izuku nodded at Toga. “It’s alright, really. But you sprayed too much on me!”

“Eh,” Toga shrugged, “I think I sprayed just the right amount on. You don't want to be too subtle, after all. Your cologne needs to be noticeable.”

Sniffling noisily, Izuku shook his head at Toga, his eyes rimmed red with unshed tears. “Yeah, no. You sprayed too much on.” 

“Whatever you say, Izuku-kun.”

A pleased smirk then stretched across Toga’s face, and the girl was pushing Izuku out of her bedroom. “Now, let’s get you out there! You need to show Shigaraki your new look! Go get him!”

“Wait, what? I’m not ready, Toga—”

Desperately, Izuku grabbed onto Toga’s sleeves, only to be fully pushed out of her bedroom and away from her. Giggling maniacally, Toga slammed her bedroom door shut, and Izuku was all alone. He was standing in the hallway, cologne pooling around him. 

Izuku then stayed still. 

Slowly, his muscles untensed, and he was deeply sighing. “Oh god, Toga. I’m not ready.” Reaching up, Izuku toyed with one of his green curls, his eyelashes fluttering. He…he…

He could do this. Izuku had a new look, and he looked good . If Toga thought he smelled good then he smelled good. He just had to trust her instincts. Toga wouldn’t lead him astray. She cared too much about fashion and cosmetics to do him dirty. 

Steeling his nerves, Izuku clenched his fists together and moved forward. His footsteps were echoing as he marched down the hallway, searching for Shigaraki. He would find his Boss, and he would show him his new fashion choices. Hopefully, Shigaraki would have a positive reaction. Maybe he would even…even blush. 

With blood rushing into his cheeks, Izuku picked up the pace and walked into the League’s bar. Immediately, Izuku was greeted to the sight of Kurogiri, Shigaraki, and Spinner. Kurogiri was serving Shigaraki whiskey from behind the bar, and Spinner was sitting at one of the booth seats, reading a newspaper. 

Everyone’s attention then shifted towards him, and Izuku was gulping. He…he could do this. Determinedly, Izuku moved forward, towards Shigaraki. Yet, just as Izuku entered Shigaraki’s personal space, just as he was about to sit beside him at the bar, Shigaraki’s nose wrinkled in distaste, and Izuku froze. 

Shigaraki’s face then contorted into a sneer. “Why do you smell like that? You smell weird.”

Silently, Izuku stared at Shigaraki, his mouth opening and closing as he struggled to find his voice. Izuku, however, didn’t have a clever response. He had nothing to say. With his hands trembling, Izuku stepped away from Shigaraki. 

“It’s just…” Shigaraki murmured under his breath, so quiet Izuku almost couldn’t hear him, “weird. I don’t like it.”

Izuku’s face then paled, and he was backing away, his heart beating rapidly. Quickly, Izuku turned tail and ran. He ran out of the bar, back down the hallway. However, as Izuku raced away, he couldn’t help but notice the sympathetic look on Spinner’s face. The pity the gecko had for him. 

No, no, no!

He…he…

Tears then sprang up in Izuku’s eyes, and he was throwing his hand over his mouth, muffling his distressed breathing. Shigaraki thought he smelled weird, gross. He didn’t like the cologne; he didn’t like him!

With panic coursing through his veins, Izuku crashed into Toga’s bedroom door and slammed his hand on the wood. Izuku then continued to bang his fist on the blonde girl’s door, knocking loudly. Almost immediately, Toga opened up her door, her face confused. 

However, as soon as she took in his distraught face, her own expression fell as well. “Oh, Izuku-kun, I’m sorry.” 

Finally, Izuku broke down. Fat tears dripped down his cheeks, and he was lunging into Toga’s arms, seeking out the girl’s warmth. 

Gently, Toga ushered Izuku into her bedroom, her arms wrapped around him. He could hear Toga’s heartbeat in his ear, and he was sniffling, his face red with shame. Shigaraki just…just…

With another distraught groan, Izuku collapsed into Toga’s arms, his face blotchy and wet with tears and snot. Toga, however, just continued to comfort him, her touch gentle. 

The two of them then stayed like that until Izuku calmed down, until he could breathe. 

They stayed like that till morning.




“Are you sure that this is a good idea, Izuku-kun?” Toga asked, her gaze concerned. Confidently, Izuku nodded at the blonde girl. “Yeah, Toga, I need to give Shigaraki something personal—something that’s mine. As of now, I’ve only given him cliche gifts. I need to give him something special. I shouldn’t give Shigaraki something that anyone can give him; it has to be specific to us—to our relationship.”

Reaching down, Izuku picked up one of his old All Might figurines, the only one he had left. “I need to give him something that defines our relationship—something that represents me as a person.” Carefully, Izuku ran his fingers over the figurine’s old painted form. “This is something that defines me. This is who I am. Without All Might, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.”

Glancing up, Izuku grinned at Toga. Toga, however, was still staring at him warily, her gaze unsure. Silently, Izuku shuffled closer to Toga until their knees were touching. “Even though I don’t worship All Might anymore, he’s still important to me. I wouldn’t be with the League if it wasn’t for his influence. He shaped me as a person. His heroic smile inspired me as a child to keep moving forward. And despite everything I’ve been through, I could never hate him. I could never truly hate my first hero; I’ll always have a soft spot for All Might.”

“Izuku-kun,” Toga murmured, “Shigaraki…he…he hates All Might. I don’t think he’ll receive this gift well. I don’t think he’ll understand your intentions. I get that you want to give him this gift because it represents you or something, but it’s not going to work. Shigaraki isn’t a symbolism kind of guy. He won’t appreciate poetry.”

Izuku, however, just shook his head at the blonde girl. “I-I need to do this, Toga. I want to give him something that has value to me. I don’t want to bake him cupcakes or buy him a video game.” Izuku’s grip around the figurine then tightened. “I want my gift to have a genuine impact on him. I need to show him who I am.”

A deep sigh then fell past Toga’s lips, and the girl was shaking her head. “I don’t think your gift is going to work, Izuku-kun, but if this is what you want…I’ll support you.”

“Thank you,” Izuku mumbled, “you’re amazing, Toga. Thank you for—well—everything. You’re a good friend.” Shyly, Izuku smiled up at Toga. The villain’s face was flushed a light shade of pink, and Toga’s eyes had a wet sheen to them. With a wet laugh, Toga pulled Izuku into a tight hug. “If Shigaraki is mean to you, I’ll stab him for you.”

“You don’t have to do that!” Izuku replied, his voice muffled as his face got pressed into Toga’s shoulder. “I’m just glad you’re here with me.”

Toga’s grip around Izuku then tightened, and the two of them were quiet. All they could hear was their own heavy breathing, their sniffling. After a few minutes of silence, Izuku pulled away. “I’m going to find Shigaraki now.”

Reaching up, Toga cupped Izuku’s cheek. “Good luck, Izuku-kun.”

“Thank you, Toga.”

With that, Izuku left the blonde girl’s bedroom, his body alight with adrenaline. His All Might figurine was in his right fist, and he was marching forward, towards Shigaraki’s bedroom. If Shigaraki rejected him here, Izuku would…would…

He didn’t know what he would do. This gift…it represented him. It represented his relationship to the League. If Shigaraki rejected his gift, then he was rejecting Izuku as a person. Blinking rapidly, Izuku suppressed a weak cry. He had to be strong. He couldn't fall apart just yet. 

Eventually, Izuku reached the older man’s room. With an audible gulp, Izuku moved forward and knocked on the wooden door. He could hear Shigaraki grumbling through the wood, shuffling around, and Izuku’s nerves burst into flames. His entire body felt hot! Sweat was dripping down his back, glossing him in a wet sheen, and his face was flushed an unflattering shade of red. His fingers were twitching, and his heart was beating at the speed of light!

Breathing fast, Izuku dragged his palms across his pants. He had to be calm! This…this was going to go well! Shigaraki would understand his gift; he would accept him! Everything was going to be—

Shigaraki’s bedroom door then creaked open softly, and Izuku was freezing in place, his eyes wide. “What is it this time, Izuku?” Shigaraki grumbled, his hair mussed up. 

Shigaraki looked…looked…

The older man looked sleepy. Shigaraki was wearing his signature black hoodie and a pair of sweatpants. His hair was disheveled, and his face was relaxed. Blinking slowly, Shigaraki yawned. 

“I…umm…I wanted to give you something!” Izuku choked, his body trembling. Izuku could feel a wave of heat rushing into his face, painting him red. His ears were as hot as molten lava, and Izuku was biting down on his bottom lip. “I wanted to give you a gift.”

“What?” Shigaraki whispered, his eyebrows furrowing together in confusion. “Why?”

“I just…I just really l-like you, Shigaraki. And I want to give you a gift—a gift that represents m-me. A gift that represents us!” Nervously, Izuku dragged his index finger across the figurine, his nail scratching at the paint. 

“H-Here! This is for you!” With his face as red as a tomato, Izuku shoved the All Might figurine into Shigaraki’s hands. “I hope you like and a-appreciate the gift! I thought it would be…n-nice.”

Slowly, Shigaraki’s sleepy expression faded away into an expression of distaste. The villain then stared down at Izuku’s gift, his lip curled up in disgust. “All Might…” Shigaraki glared, “you’re gifting me this? You’re giving me a fake hero as a present? He’s the reason this society is weak and blind! Because of him, people are able to live their lives cheerfully without fear. He upholds the current system of indifference!”

A loud snarl then tore its way past Shigaraki’s lips, and he was sneering at Izuku, his face livid. “I hate All Might! I want to destroy him—to turn him into nothing but dust! This society…these heroes…are the worst!”

“S-Shigaraki! I just…I just wanted to…” Izuku stammered, his voice failing him. Yet, before Izuku could explain his reasoning, Shigaraki placed his pinky down on the figurine, his fifth finger. Just like that, Izuku’s gift disintegrated. Izuku’s only figurine of All Might vanished into dust. His last one. 

Time around Izuku then seemed to slow. He couldn’t see or hear anything. Izuku was stuck in a void, his body numb. His last figurine of All Might was gone. Shigaraki didn’t just reject his gift, he destroyed it. He could have given it back to him, and yet…yet…

Awareness then rushed back into Izuku’s mind, and he was blinking as his vision returned to him. He could see Shigaraki’s contorted features, his angry glare, and he felt numb. This…this is what total rejection felt like. He thought he knew the feeling well, what with his classmates and Kacchan, but this…this was new. 

Stiffly, Izuku nodded his head, his gaze devoid of emotion. “Alright, boss. I’ll…I’m sorry about the gift.” Turning around, Izuku walked away, his feet heavy. Shigaraki didn’t call out to him as he left, and Izuku found that that hurt him even more. 

His boss really didn’t care about him. All of those times they laughed in the bar, all of those times they played video games with one another, when Shigaraki smiled at him softly as if telling him a secret, it all meant nothing. 

Izuku…he…he…

He had to move on. 

 

The laptop in front of him was casting his features in a ghoulish shade of blue, and Izuku was reaching up and rubbing his forehead, a deep sigh tumbling out of his mouth. Izuku was assessing the heroes they were going to confront on their next mission, analyzing them. He was gathering information and hacking hero-run databases. 

Murmuring quietly under his breath, Izuku pulled up Mt. Lady’s profile. An encounter with Mt. Lady on their next mission was highly probable, and so, Izuku needed to—

“—What are you doing, Midoriya?” Izuku’s thoughts then tumbled to a halt as a mellow voice spoke up. Casually, Izuku turned his head to his right side and made eye contact with Spinner. The gecko was staring at his laptop curiously, his form relaxed. “Is that Mt. Lady?”

“Y-Yeah, it is! I’ve been researching her for our next mission! Since we’re going to be attacking the downtown Musutafu area, it’s highly likely that she’ll appear with her hero partner, Kamui Woods. I’ve already researched Kamui Woods quite thoroughly, but my research on Mt. Lady has been lacking as of late, and so, I wanted to analyze her more and—” Izuku then cut himself off. 

An awkward laugh then left Izuku’s lips, and he was reaching up and rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. “S-Sorry about that! I have a tendency to ramble. I know that my mumbling can be a bit…annoying.”

“Nah, you’re fine!” Spinner grunted as he slid into the bar booth that Izuku was in. “You’re passionate about what you do, and it’s refreshing to see it.” A grin then formed on Spinner’s face, and the gecko was glancing at Izuku. “I hope that when we confront Mt. Lady, I’m able to get one decent hit in. She’s on Stain’s kill list! All she cares about is vanity and fame! Genuine hero work means nothing to her.”

Excitedly, Izuku turned back towards his laptop. “Yeah! I have noticed that she underpays her sidekicks and that she focuses a lot of her resources on commercialism! She creates more ads than most seasoned heroes!”

“It’s revolting! A person shouldn’t become a hero for the money!” Reaching up, Spinner ran his fingers through his hair. “Heroes shouldn’t be paid a salary; they should save others for the sake of saving others. Heroism will always be flawed as long as money is involved in its structure. That’s why there are so many fake heroes nowadays!”

Izuku then leaned in closer to Spinner, his face open and curious. “What do you think of All Might then? Do you think he’s flawed as well, or an exception in the system?”

“Well, Stain approves of him, so I guess I do as well.” A determined glint then entered Spinner’s eyes, and the mutant was smirking down at Izuku. “I trust my idol’s judgement. Without Stain, I never would’ve realized my true potential. I never would’ve broken away from my hometown.” 

“I feel the same way!” Izuku gushed. His body was practically vibrating with excitement as he scooted closer to Spinner. With his heart racing, Izuku grinned at the gecko happily. “Without all Might, I would’ve developed completely different morals! He shaped me as a person, and I’ll always look to him for inspiration.” 

“Yeah, it’s the same with me when it comes to Stain! He’s just so…so…” Spinner trailed off.

“He’s important.” Izuku finished. “He’s important to you in an integral way.”

“Yeah,” Spinner smiled, his voice breathless, “he is. You get it.” 

Calmly, Izuku smiled at Spinner, his gaze bright. The mutant, however, just smiled right on back at him. Quietly, the two of them basked in one another’s glow. It was…it was nice to meet another fanboy. It was nice to meet someone that understood Izuku’s identity—the way he came to be. 

“You know,” Spinner started, “if you’re interested, I could show you my Stain collection. I own all of the official merchandise, and I’ve bought unofficial merchandise from Twitter and Tumblr as well. I’ve even made my own merchandise!”

“Really?!” Izuku gasped, stars shining in his eyes. “That’s so cool! When I was younger, I used to have an intense All Might collection, and I also made my own merchandise too!” However, as Izuku continued to mutter about All Might, his expression slowly fell. “I actually…I actually lost a lot of my All Might merchandise due to…to life stuff. I don’t really have any figurines left. Well, I had one, but it…it disintegrated.” 

Staring down at his lap, Izuku fought back the tears stinging his eyes. He couldn’t cry, not over All Might merchandise! It was stupid and—

“—Well, if you lost all of your merchandise, then we’ll just have to recreate your collection!” Izuku’s head then shot up. “I’m sure that the two of us can rebuild your collection! Hell, I’ll even help you get some Stain merchandise for your room!”

Staring forward blankly, Izuku slowly blinked. “You…you want to help me with my collection?”

“Yeah, I do.” Spinner grinned. “I think it will be fun.” Instantly, a wave of tears flooded into Izuku’s eyes, and he was babbling incoherently. Waving his hands back and forth, Izuku continued to murmur nonsense as Spinner panicked. 

The gecko was rubbing his right shoulder reassuringly, his gaze panicked. Izuku, however, just accepted the confused concern and cried on Spinner’s shoulder. 

It looked like Izuku wasn’t the only nerd in the League. 

“Wow…” Izuku sighed, his voice breathless, “how did you get Stain in your game, Spinner? This video game came out way before Stain’s debut as a vigilante!”

Chuckling softly, Spinner flashed Izuku a grin. “I modded my game a few months ago, so I could play as Stain. It was a lengthy process, but it was worth it!”

“No kidding! Your Stain looks just as well animated as the actual official game models! It’s so cool! How did you get the pixels to work like that, and how were you able to come up with so many character moves for Stain?!”

“Well, I studied all of the Stain footage that was available to the public, and I replicated what I could see of his fighting style into the game. I wanted my game model to be as close to the real Stain as possible.” Spinner then beamed down at Izuku, his face excited. “I also want to replicate Stain in real life as well! It’s why I own the same swords as him! I want to recreate his persona as well as I possibly can!”

A quiet laugh then left Izuku’s lips, and he was staring down at his hands, his gaze nostalgic. “You know, when I was a little kid, I used to dress up as All Might’s sidekick. I called myself Small Might. I used to pretend to be this great hero, and I would rescue my mom from danger.”

Slowly, Izuku curled in on himself, his insides cold. He could still picture his mother’s face, her warm and caring smile. Glancing up, Izuku stared at his laptop. Spinner and Izuku were sitting side by side in a booth at the League’s bar, and they were playing Heroes’ Unite, a video game where heroes could fight one another in combat. Izuku’s laptop was right beside Spinner’s, and their characters were staring at one another, waiting to battle. Spinner was playing as Stain, and Izuku, of course, was playing as All Might. 

Yet, as Izuku stared at the blinding form of All Might. he found that his desire to play was fading. He just…just couldn’t focus. His fingertips felt numb, his mouth dry. What would his mother think if she could see him now? Would she be disappointed in him? Would she hate him—

“—Midoriya? Are you alright?” Spinner’s voice then broke through the haze surrounding Izuku’s mind, dragging him back to reality. 

“Y-Yeah, I’m alright. I’m just…just thinking.” Izuku then smiled at Spinner reassuringly, his bottom lip twitching. Spinner, however, didn’t look convinced by his words and just frowned at him. 

Carefully, Spinner reached out and grabbed Izuku’s shoulder, grounding him, comforting him. “Well, whatever is bothering you, Midoriya, I’m here for you—”

“—What’s going on here?” With a surprised jolt, Izuku shot away from Spinner and stared up at the intruding voice. Shigaraki was staring down at the two of them, his eyebrows furrowed together. The older man’s red gaze then seemed to jump back and forth between them. Almost as if he was unsure of what he was seeing. 

Finally, however, the villain’s eyes seemed to darken, and Shigaraki was reaching up and scratching at his neck. “What are you two doing? Shouldn’t you be working?”

“We were just playing Heroes’ Unite, Boss.” Spinner spoke up. “I was showing Izuku my modded game and battling with him. We were just taking a break.”

“Yeah, is that right?” Shigaraki growled, his scratching intensifying. “The two of you shouldn't be playing together! Izuku needs to focus on his work! You can’t be…you can’t be distracting him!”

Drops of blood then formed on Shigaraki’s neck as the man continued to scratch himself. Red lines were blooming in his wake, and Izuku’s eyes were narrowing. His scratching was…it looked more painful than usual, more frantic. Shigaraki was dragging his nails across his flesh quickly, and Izuku was flinching as the older man’s skin peeled away. 

Nervously, Izuku reached up and lightly touched Shigaraki’s right hand. “Shigaraki, are you okay? You…you’re hurting yourself.”

Shigaraki then froze. It was as if all of the villain’s neurons shut down, and the man was staring forward blankly, expressionless. With worry blossoming in his chest, Izuku tugged the villain’s hand closer to his body. “What’s the matter, Shigaraki? What happened?”

However, just as Izuku began to stroke the back of Shigaraki’s hand cautiously, the villain violently trembled and blinked. Shigaraki then came back to life. The older man’s cheeks flushed a bright pink, and a shaky breath left his lips. Stumbling backwards, Shigaraki yanked his hand out of Izuku’s grip and glared down at the younger man. “I’m fine! I don’t need your concern! Just…just get back to work!”

Huffing loudly, Shigaraki stormed away. The villain’s hands were twitching as if he wanted to disintegrate something, and Izuku’s worry rose. What could possibly be bothering the older man? Was he just really worried about their next mission, or was it something else—

“Hey, Midoriya, I’ll talk to you later, alright?” Spinner spoke up, his voice halting Izuku’s thoughts. “I’ll let you work on your Mt. Lady stuff for a while. Then, we’ll play more Heroes’ Unite!”

Smiling softly, Izuku nodded at Spinner, his chest fluttering with warmth. “Yeah, alright, that works for me. I’ll see you later then!” With one last grin, the gecko winked at Izuku and grabbed his laptop as he left the booth. 

Izuku was then left alone with his thoughts. 

 

Shigaraki was acting odd. Casually, Izuku leaned down and wrapped his lips around his bright red straw. Currently, Izuku was drinking a strawberry milkshake that Kurogiri had prepared for him. He was enjoying the sweet drink, his gaze latched onto Shigaraki’s form. 

The older villain was pacing back and forth, clawing at his neck and drawing blood. Ever since Izuku started ignoring the villain, he had been acting more…more mean. Izuku, however, knew when he wasn’t wanted. He didn't want to bother Shigaraki with his gift-giving and his attention anymore. Izuku didn’t want to piss the older villain off. 

Yet, as Shigaraki continued to growl under his breath, his nails wet with blood, Izuku’s stomach lurched in sympathy, in worry. He wanted to comfort the older man, to ask him what’s wrong. If Izuku approached the villain, however, he knew he would just make everything worse. 

Izuku was a nuisance. 

He annoyed Shigaraki. 

The two of them just didn’t…they just didn’t…

Shaking his head, Izuku bit down on his straw. He needed to focus on something that wasn’t Shigaraki! He needed to redirect his attention to his work, to his analyses. Izuku needed to dedicate his time to the League members that enjoyed his company—to Toga and Spinner!

Licking his lips, Izuku continued to enjoy his strawberry milkshake, the drink’s whip cream melting on his tongue. However, as Izuku licked the sweet pink liquid, he couldn’t help but notice how Shigaraki was glaring at him. The older man was ripping his nails into his neck, mutilating himself, while making eye contact with him. 

Awkwardly, Izuku raised his hand up and waved at the older man. Instantly, Shigaraki drew back, a sneer on his face. With a loud snarl, Shigaraki ripped out his phone and stormed out of the bar. It looked like the older villain was going out again. Nowadays, it felt like Shigaraki was going out every night. The man said it was for their mission, that he was collecting data, but it just felt…felt…

Strange. 

All of Shigaraki’s actions felt strange. 

Leaning down, Izuku took a large slurp of his milkshake, devouring the drink. He wanted to…to…

He wanted to follow Shigaraki. He wanted to know what his Boss was getting up to. As a member of the League, he had a right to know what was going on with his teammate. If Shigaraki was gathering data, he needed to know it as the League’s technician. And if something was genuinely wrong with the older man, if his tantrums had a reason, Izuku wanted to help him. 

He wanted to be there for Shigaraki, even if the man didn’t want him. Yet, it was also…also…

Izuku didn’t want to upset Shigaraki; he didn’t want to be a bother. Sighing loudly, Izuku reached up and yanked on his green curls. Why did everything have to be so complicated? He wanted to be close to Shigaraki, but he also wanted to stay away from him, to give him space. 

With his hands in his hair, Izuku turned towards the bar’s exit. He needed to follow Shigaraki. Izuku wanted…he wanted to see what his Boss was getting up to. He wanted to understand him—just once. Cautiously, Izuku hopped out of his barstool, abandoning his empty milkshake glass. 

Then, with a quietness that came from being bullied and chased all his life, Izuku stalked towards the League’s exit, leaving the building. Immediately, Izuku’s nose was bombarded with the smell of trash and old cigarette smoke. The alleyway outside of the League’s base, the area where their exit led to, was a dump. 

With a small cough, Izuku reached up and covered his mouth, his nose wrinkled in disgust. God, he hated the alleyway. Moving forward, Izuku travelled down the back street, subtly searching for Shigaraki. Yet, as Izuku continued to look for the older man, he found no traces of the villain. All Izuku could see were old newspapers and rat droppings.

Silently, Izuku peaked around an alleyway corner, his muscles pulled taut as he stalked after the older villain. Izuku, however, was once again disappointed as he was greeted with nothing. It looked like Shigaraki really wasn’t in the area. The older man was gone. 

Sighing softly, Izuku shook his head back and forth. It looked like he went out for nothing. Izuku would just have to—

“—I need your…can you…hurry…” Izuku then perked up as a quiet voice carried across the wind, Shigaraki’s voice. He could hear the villain’s voice off in the distance, echoing, and he was creeping forward. 

“If you can’t give me what I want, I’ll find someone else.” Shigaraki growled as Izuku moved towards the alleyway’s next corner. 

“Baby, I’m irreplaceable.” A sultry sweet voice then hit Izuku’s ears, and he was halting in his tracks, his eyes wide. He didn’t recognize the woman’s voice, but she sounded older. “You need me more than I need you. I can give you what you want.” The woman trailed off breathlessly. 

Reaching up, Izuku pressed his hand over his mouth as blood flooded into his cheeks. He could feel his ears turning red as the woman continued to whisper. Her voice was warm and mellow, and there was this quality to it that was just…just…

Izuku’s blush then darkened. 

She sounded pretty. 

With his body trembling, Izuku peaked around the back street’s corner only to be greeted to a heartstopping sight. Shigaraki was sitting down on top of a dumpster, his face unimpressed as an older woman sauntered closer to him. The woman looked like she was in her late thirties, and she had beautiful black hair. Black hair that glistened like the night sky. Black hair that looked like the ocean and all of its depths. 

Casually, the woman placed her hand down on Shigaraki’s thigh. “If you want me, you’re going to have to ask for me. I’m not going to let you use me freely, Shigaraki.”

Oh, god.

Izuku stumbled backwards. 

Shigaraki had a girlfriend

The reason the older man had been sneaking out, had been flaking out on all of them, was because he had a girlfriend! Shigaraki was…he was seeing someone. He liked someone!

Izuku felt like he was underwater. Everything around him was blurry, out of focus, and he…he couldn’t feel anything. His body was numb, cold and out of touch. Sluggishly, Izuku turned around. He didn’t want to see anything more; he didn’t want to hear them. 

Shigaraki had a girlfriend. Shigaraki liked someone, someone that wasn’t him. A painful crack then split through his heart, fracturing him. His heart was beating slowly as if he was dying, and his blood felt like slush, ice in his veins. 

Trembling violently, Izuku hobbled away, tears leaking past his eyes. 

No wonder Shigaraki rejected him; he liked someone else. Shigaraki had a beautiful girlfriend, and Izuku was just….

He was just ordinary. 

Izuku was just a Deku. 

Stumbling into the League’s base, Izuku walked forward blindly, his vision misty as he cried. With every step he took, Izuku could feel his heart breaking, shattering into smaller pieces. Clutching at his chest, Izuku sobbed loudly as he collapsed against a wooden door. The door felt cool against his back, and Izuku was banging his fist weakly on the wood, knocking. 

With a small click, the bedroom door opened up. “Midoriya, is that you? What’re you…what happened?” Choking audibly, Izuku turned his head towards Spinner, his cheeks wet as he cried. “S-Shigaraki…he…he…” A stilted gasp then left Izuku’s lips, and he was curling in on himself, gripping his hips. 

“Oh god, Midoriya, you look awful.” Spinner whispered as he crouched down to Izuku’s level. Gently, the gecko reached forward as if to touch Izuku’s cheek. However, just as Spinner was about to cup his face, the gecko pulled back, his gaze unsure. “Here, let's get you inside.”

Carefully, Spinner wrapped his arm around Izuku’s waist and helped him up to his feet, leading him into his bedroom. The gecko then sat Izuku down on his bed. Quietly, the villain grabbed a large fleece blanket. “Here,” Spinner smiled as he handed the blanket to Izuku, “this should keep you warm. Whenever I feel…bad…I wrap myself up in this.”

Sniffling loudly, Izuku ran his fingers over the soft material, feeling it's texture. The blanket was…it was nice. With another loud sniffle, Izuku wrapped the blanket around himself, his eyes falling shut. He could feel Spinner touching his shoulder, rubbing his flesh, and slowly, a small smile grew on his face. 

The gecko was…he was really nice. 

Spinner was incredible. He was considerate. The other man was cool, and he liked the same things as Izuku. With how he acted, he was almost heroic. Spinner had good morals; he had a goal. He didn’t just want baseless destruction; he wanted to hold heroes accountable for their actions. Spinner wanted a broken system to be fixed. He admired others in the same way that Izuku did. They both had their idols.

Most of all, Spinner was reliable. He was here. He was here with Izuku when no one else was. With his eyelashes dark and heavy with tears, Izuku opened up his eyes. He opened up his eyes to see Spinner gazing at him, his face concerned. “Are you alright, Midoriya?”

The gecko was so close to Izuku that his breath wafted over him, and Izuku was blinking, his lips parting open. Slowly, colour crept past Izuku’s neck and into his face, lighting him on fire. With his cheeks burning a hot red, Izuku stiffly nodded. “Y-Yeah! I’m fine. Just fine! T-Thank you, Spinner.” Bashfully, Izuku glanced down at his lap. “Thank you for everything.”

“It was nothing, Midoriya. I’m just glad that I was able to help you in some capacity.” The mutant murmured, a thoughtful look on his face. Izuku’s blush then darkened, and he was twiddling his thumbs. “Y-Yeah! Yeah…”

The two of them then sat in silence with one another, enjoying the other’s company. 

A blush then slowly crept into Spinner’s cheeks as well.

 

His heart was beating quickly with excitement, his nerves on fire. Then, with a wide grin on his face, Izuku waved at Spinner as he raced towards the gecko, his face as bright as the sun. “Hey, Spinner! Are you ready to go out?”

Immediately, Spinner’s head whipped around, and the mutant was beaming at Izuku, his sienna brown eyes lit up. Eagerly, Spinner moved towards Izuku, meeting him in the middle. “Yeah, I’m ready to go whenever you are! What flavour of bubble tea do you think you’ll get?”

“I’ll probably get taro!” Izuku admitted. Shyly, Izuku smiled at the gecko, his cheeks a light shade of pink. “I just like the basic flavours. I also like vanilla. What about you?”

Chuckling softly, Spinner grinned down at Izuku. “I think I’ll probably order a mocha flavoured bubble tea, or maybe mango! I’ve always enjoyed—”

“—What are you two talking about?” A stern voice then cut into their conversation, and Spinner and Izuku were leaping away from one another, their eyes wide and baffled. Instantly, a dark blush exploded across Izuku’s cheeks, and he was running his hands over his clothes, patting himself down. “H-Hey, Shigaraki! We were just…umm…talking!”

The older villain then shot Izuku an unimpressed look. Deadpan, Shigaraki spoke up. “I know that the two of you were talking. What were you talking about?”

“Midoriya and I were going to get bubble tea, sir.” Spinner spoke up. Izuku then couldn’t help but notice how Spinner’s usually green face was flushed a bright shade of red. The complimentary colours made the gecko look like a Christmas ornament, and Izuku’s own blush was darkening. Spinner looked—

“—Who said you two could go out and get bubble tea?” Shigaraki growled, his fingers twitching. “You two need to be working. Villains can’t go out and mingle with the public! They can’t get bubble tea casually!”

“But sir,” Izuku whispered, his voice lilted with confusion, “you and I got bubble tea together less than a month ago. You ordered strawberry!” Immediately, Shigaraki’s face flooded with colour, and the older man was stammering awkwardly, as if he was caught off guard. “T-That was different! That was a month ago! Things have…things have changed since then! You can’t go out!”

Grumbling loudly, Shigaraki reached up and scratched at his neck. “You have to stay here and work. Spinner you can go back to your room, and Izuku, you can complete your analyses in my bedro—”

“—We’ve been working so hard though, Shigaraki!” Izuku spoke up, his voice high-pitched with desperation. “We just wanted to go out and have a treat together! I promise, we’ll be careful! We won’t get into any trouble! We just…we just want to have a good time together.” With his cheeks red, Izuku glanced up at Shigaraki, his lips parting open. “I just want to have a break. I’ve been working a lot, and I just…I just want to get something sweet.”

A breathless curse then fell past Shigaraki’s lips, and the man was biting down on his bottom lip, working the piece of flesh. Shigaraki’s neck was wet with blood, and the older man’s nails were scratching away tirelessly, endlessly. The villain looked like he had swallowed a lemon. 

Then, with a shaky breath, Shigaraki grimaced. “F-Fine! You can…you can go out with Spinner. Just get back here soon, a-and get me a bubble tea! You got that?”

“Yes, of course! Thank you so much!” Izuku beamed. “Thank you, sir! We’ll be back right away!” A giddy grin then wormed its way up Izuku’s face, and he was moving forward and touching Shigaraki’s bicep. “Honestly, thank you.”

The already present blush on Shigaraki’s cheeks then darkened, and the man's scratching was intensifying. With his eyes narrowing, Shigaraki grunted. “Yeah, whatever. Just…just get out of here.”

Nodding, Izuku backed away from Shigaraki and turned towards Spinner, a smile still on his face. “Alright, Spinner, let’s go!” Spinner, however, wasn’t paying attention to Izuku. Instead, the gecko was staring at Shigaraki, his gaze narrowed, cloudy. The two men were just staring at one another almost analytically. 

Awkwardly, Izuku twiddled his thumbs. “S-Spinner? Are you ready to go?” Izuku’s voice then broke Spinner out of the trance he seemed to be in, and the gecko was blinking, turning towards Izuku. “Yeah, of course, Midoriya. Let’s go and get some bubble tea.”

Excitedly, Izuku reached out towards Spinner and grabbed the gecko’s forearm, tugging him along. Spinner then shot Shigaraki one last blank look before following Izuku. 

Together the two of them left, jubilant as they went outside. 

In the end, they had a great time together and became closer. 

Closer.

 

“Are you sure that we’re doing this right?” Izuku asked Spinner. His hands were covered with cocoa powder, and Izuku was bringing his fingers up to his mouth. Curiously, Izuku stuck his tongue out and licked the dark cocoa powder, only to rear back in disgust as the strong flavour hit his tongue. 

Gagging loudly, Izuku flailed around helplessly, distraught. The two of them were cooking a batch of brownies in the League’s kitchen together. Spinner wanted Izuku to try his family’s secret brownie recipe, to get the younger man’s feedback. 

With his nose wrinkled in distaste, Izuku wiped his hands down on his pants. “Don’t try the cocoa powder, Spinner. It’s not like brown sugar!” Spinner, however, just chuckled at him fondly in response, his eyes almost twinkling. “I already know that, Izuku. Cocoa powder isn’t sweet. In fact, most baking supplies aren’t sweet.”

The gecko then sprinkled a bit of salt into their mixing bowl. “You don’t want to eat the ingredients dry. It’s what comes after that’s good!” With intrigue building in his chest, Izuku scuttled closer to Spinner and glanced over the gecko’s shoulder. The villain was mixing the dry ingredients together, sifting them. 

The air smelled like flour and salt, and Izuku’s nose was twitching. “What temperature should we set the oven to, Spinner?”

“Well, in the recipe, it says we’ll have to—”

“—What are you two getting up to now?” A wide grin then stretched across Izuku’s face, and he was turning towards the familiar voice. “Shigaraki! What are you doing in here?” The older villain was standing off to the side, wearing his signature black hoodie. 

Izuku’s heart then gave a strange flutter as Shigaraki stared at him, his face as stern as ever. “I just wanted to make myself some instant ramen. I was hungry. What are you doing, though? I asked first, Izuku.”

Instantly, a sheepish smile appeared on Izuku’s face as Shigaraki addressed him by his first name. Fiddling with his sleeves, Izuku mumbled incoherently, his face red as a blush rushed into his cheeks. “W-Well, we’re making a batch of brownies! It’s Spinner’s family recipe. Y-You’re more than welcome to join us, though!”

A strange look then entered Shigaraki’s eyes, and the villain was staring at Izuku carefully. Slowly, Shigaraki’s gaze traveled over to Spinner. The villain then smirked. “Yeah, alright, Izuku. I wouldn’t mind joining you two. I would much rather eat a batch of Spinner’s brownies than some instant ramen, after all.”

Laughing breathlessly, Izuku wiggled up and down on his toes. “Yes! This is going to be so much fun!” Izuku then shot Spinner an enthusiastic grin, only to pause. The gecko’s fists were clenched together tightly, and Spinner looked…mad. The villain was staring at Shigaraki heatedly while Shigaraki smirked, his face amused. 

With a sharp intake of breath, Spinner’s gaze narrowed, and Izuku was taking a step back. The gecko looked like he wanted to—

“Well,” Shigaraki smiled darkly, “let’s get cooking.” The older man then strolled up to Izuku’s side and loomed over him. “Do you know what you need to do, Izuku?” 

Quickly, Izuku nodded. “Y-Yes, sir! I know the brownie recipe!”

“That’s good.” Shigaraki murmured, his voice all but breathless. A rush of heat then poured into Izuku’s cheeks as Shigaraki’s whispering words hit his brain, and his heart was thumping. 

Shigaraki sounded...sounded...   

Nope! No, no, no! No way!   

Shigaraki wasn't...the villain wasn't...   

Blushing madly, Izuku slapped his hands together causing the residue of cocoa powder still on his fingers to cloud into the air. “L-Let’s get baking! All three of us! Let’s go!” However, as Izuku rambled endlessly, his voice stuttering, his nose began to twitch as the cocoa powder dust reached his face. 

“A-Ach,” Izuku shuddered, “achoo!” Izuku then sneezed loudly and stumbled backwards. He could feel the two men staring at him, and his already present blush was darkening with shame. Sheepishly, Izuku chuckled weakly. “C-Can we please just get started?”

“Yes, Midoriya, let’s start .” Spinner hissed under his breath. The gecko, however, wasn’t hissing at him. Instead, Spinner’s thunderous glare was fixated on Shigaraki. The older villain, however, wasn't paying Spinner any attention. 

Shigaraki’s gaze was set on Izuku, unblinking and still. Then, with a breathless laugh, Shigaraki smiled at Izuku. “Yeah, we can start.”

“Also,” Shigaraki mumbled, moving closer to Izuku, “you have a bit of cocoa powder on your cheeks.” With that, Shigaraki leaned into Izuku’s space. He leaned into Izuku’s space and touched his left cheek with his thumb. “You’ve barely even started baking, Izuku, and you’re already a mess.” Then, with another quiet laugh, Shigaraki swiped his thumb over Izuku’s cheek, cleaning it. 

Izuku, the entire time, had the same complexion as a tomato, his eyes wide. He could feel Shigaraki stroking his cheek, touching it, and his heart was soaring. The man then placed his index finger under Izuku’s chin, and his mind was stumbling to a halt. All he could focus on was Shigaraki’s touch, his gaze. 

“Are you ready, Izuku?”

“Yes,” Izuku breathed, “I’m ready.”

“Then, let's bake.”

A loud snap then shot through the air, and Izuku was turning towards the sudden sound. Spinner was clutching a wooden spoon, a broken spoon, while his entire body shook. 

“Spinner?” Izuku whispered, his voice tinted with confusion. “Did you break that spoon—”

“—Let’s just get baking.” Spinner grumbled out, his eyes cloudy. “I just want to start baking.”

“A-Alright!” Izuku agreed. Worriedly, Izuku continued to stare at the gecko. He…he didn’t understand why Spinner was upset all of the sudden. It didn’t make sense—

“—Well,” Shigaraki smirked, “let’s hope that this batch of brownies turns out better than your cake, Izuku. Right?” 

Immediately, Izuku paled. Izuku paled and trembled, his mouth falling open. He…he…

“R-Right.” Izuku laughed, his body stiff.” Let’s hope that…that…” Izuku then trailed off, his eyes suddenly wet. He could feel Shigaraki staring at him, and with all of his strength, Izuku lifted his gaze up and returned the villain’s attention. 

Shigaraki, however, wasn’t staring at him mockingly. Instead, the older man seemed confused. It was as if he didn’t understand Izuku’s reaction; as if he didn’t laugh at a clever inside joke. 

Reaching up, Shigaraki itched at his neck. “Anyway, let’s just…let’s just go.” 

With that, the three of them began to bake, the atmosphere around them stilted, heavy, and awkward. In the end, the entire affair was tense, unenjoyable. The brownies, however, did turn out fantastic. 

 

The hallway was dark and silent, and Izuku was moving quickly, agile as he was fast. The entire building was dead quiet, and Izuku was making his way over to Spinner’s bedroom. The gecko had invited him over for some late-night Heroes’ Unite. The two of them were going to level up their avatars fighting one another, battling. 

Izuku couldn’t wait!

He felt like he was making a true friend in the League! Someone who could understand him; someone who could listen to him. Spinner was…he was a nice guy. He was supportive and kind! A blush then rose into Izuku’s cheeks, and he was smiling dumbly to himself. He couldn't wait to hang out with Spinner. 

With a dopey grin on his face, Izuku moved forward. He moved forward and face-planted into something warm, something concrete. Instantly, Izuku froze, his heart dropping. His face was nuzzled into something hard, something breathing, and Izuku’s breath was stuttering. However, just as Izuku was about to fling himself away, a pair of warm arms wrapped around him, trapping him. 

“Izuku, what are you doing?”

Oh.

A breathless gasp then left his lips, and Izuku was lifting his face upwards, his thighs shaking. “S-Shigaraki?”

“Izuku.”

Another violent tremble then shook through Izuku’s body as Shigaraki said his name. Shyly, Izuku bit down on his bottom lip, unsure of himself. “W-What are you doing? I was just…I was just heading over to Spinner’s room.”

Shigaraki’s grip then tightened. 

What?” Shigaraki growled. “What are you talking about? It’s late. Why are you going over to his room now? It’s late!”

“I-I know!” Izuku stammered, his gaze wide and confused as Shigaraki squeezed him. “We were just going to play Heroes Unite together! We were going to level up our characters!” A loud snort then tore its way past Shigaraki’s lips, and the older man was rolling his eyes. “I can’t believe you’re sneaking out at night to play that! The game mechanics are awful!”

“They’re not!” Izuku shot back, his gaze narrowing. “I’ve played the game for years! It’s a good game!”

“You just think that because the game is focused on heroes. If the game wasn’t filled to the brim with modern-day heroes and pop culture references, you wouldn’t like it.”

Huffing loudly, Izuku tore his way out of Shigaraki’s grip and stepped back. “You just don’t get it! Heroes Unite is about more than the heroes in it! It’s about something deeper, something more—”

“—Commercial. The video game is the definition of commercialism, Izuku. It promotes heroes’ merchandise, and that’s it. That’s why you like it.”

“If your argument was actually true, Shigaraki, then Spinner wouldn’t like the game! He hates fake heroes! He hates the commercial industry that surrounds them—”

“—Don’t talk about Spinner!” Shigaraki growled, rage building in his eyes. “I don’t want to hear about him. Not from you.”

“Whatever, sir.” Izuku mumbled, a frown marring his face. “I don’t care about what you have to say. I like Heroes Unite. I like the video game, and I like playing with Spinner.” With his eyes narrowed into a glare, Izuku moved past Shigaraki. “I’m going to level up my character with him tonight. Alright?”

However, as Izuku walked past Shigaraki, something tight wrapped around his wrist, and he was halting in his tracks, pausing. Shigaraki was holding his wrist, his grip firm. The villain was touching him with four fingers, and Izuku was turning around, miffed. Yet, as Izuku took in Shigaraki’s features, his anger slowly evaporated. 

Shigaraki’s face was as pale as snow, and the older man was trembling, just slightly. His body was tense, and Izuku could see the man grinding his teeth together, working his jaw. Shigaraki’s grip around his wrist then clenched and unclenched, and the villain was breathing in shakily. “Izuku, I…I don’t care about the video game. I don’t care about Heroes’ Unite.”

Wait, what?

Blinking slowly, Izuku dragged his gaze up and down Shigaraki’s face, completely astonished. “You…you. What? I don’t understand….”

A flash of anger then passed through Shigaraki’s eyes, and the villain was tugging him closer. Desperately, Shigaraki squeezed Izuku’s wrist, his gaze imploring him to understand. Izuku, however, didn’t understand. 

With a choked laugh, Shigaraki shook his head. “I don’t…I don’t want you to hang out with Spinner. Don’t go to his bedroom. Don’t do it.” Stiffly, Shigaraki nodded. “Alright? Do you get it?”

“No?” Izuku said back, his features twisted with confusion. “No, I don’t understand! I thought you liked Spinner! I mean, he plays video games like you—”

“—I don’t want you and him to be…you know!” Shigaraki cut in, his voice cracking. With an enraged snarl, Shigaraki lifted his hand up and picked at his neck, drawing blood. The villain’s movements were quick and aggressive, and Izuku was reaching up and grabbing Shigaraki’s hand, halting him. “Don’t do that,” Izuku murmured, “don’t hurt yourself.”

A small gasp then left Shigaraki’s lips, his gaze glimmering with some emotion Izuku couldn’t name. The two of them then stared at one another softly. 

“Fuck,” Shigaraki breathed, “I don’t know what to do with you. I just…I just don’t want you to be with Spinner.” A flicker of understanding then ignited within Izuku. 

Everything was quiet as he stared at the older man. All he could hear was his own thundering heart, thumping relentlessly. With a strained cough, Izuku twiddled his fingers. “Why did you hate my cologne? I want to know.” Heatedly, Izuku glared up at the older villain, his anxiety leaving him. “I can understand why you wouldn’t want the cake I baked you, but why did you act like that?”

Stupefied, Shigaraki blinked at Izuku. “I mean, the cake didn’t taste good? That was all there was to it. What did you want my reaction to be?” 

Colour then flooded into Izuku’s cheeks. “I wanted it to be n-not that! I wanted you to like it, to appreciate it!” Surging forward, Izuku pointed at Shigaraki accusingly. “You hated my cologne too! You sneered at me when I sprayed it on, a-and I’m pretty sure you hated my outfit as well!”

“Yeah,” Shigaraki replied, his face still confused, “I hated your new cologne.” Izuku’s heart then dropped. “It didn’t smell like you. I prefer your natural scent, the shampoo you use. The cologne was…” Shigaraki sneered, “not good. It smelled like something Toga would buy.”

The room was then quiet once more. Izuku was staring at Shigaraki, his eyes wide, flabbergasted. “Toga did buy it. The cologne was her suggestion. She said it’d smell good on me.”

“I mean,” Shigaraki coughed, his nose tinted pink, “the cologne wasn’t awful. You just…you smell better without it. I like your scent of grass—it’s refreshing. I like,” Shigaraki then waved his hands, gesturing towards Izuku, “you know?”

His heart was stuttering and stopping. Izuku could feel his blood boiling in his veins, exploding, and he was stepping forward. A glimmer of hope then entered Izuku’s gaze, and with a nervousness Izuku didn’t know he was capable of, grabbed Shigaraki’s wrist. 

Cautiously, Izuku dragged his fingertips across the back of Shigaraki’s hand, comforting him. “What about your girlfriend, Shigaraki? What about her? Why are you…doing this?”

Instantly, Shigaraki reared back, his face contorted with a mixture of disgust and confusion. “What? What the hell are you talking about? I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“Wait, what?” Izuku blinked. “No, you…I saw you! I saw you meeting up with an older woman! She was…she was beautiful, a-and you flirted with her!”

Shigaraki’s nose then wrinkled in distaste. “Do you mean Venus? I’m working with her! I don’t like her!”

“B-But,” Izuku squeaked, “she said that you needed her! She touched you! You were…you were both flirting with one another! Her voice was…it was suggestive.”

“Suggestive?” Shigaraki smirked, his lips tilting up. “Is that what you think, Izuku?” Awkwardly, Izuku nodded, his eyes wide. “Y-Yeah, she was flirting with you. I’m sure of it.”

“Well, while I will admit that Venus is flirtatious, she is not interested in me. Being overly touchy and gross is her thing, her persona. She’s not actually interested in me, and I’m sure as hell not interested in her.”

“Then why,” Izuku gulped, “were you talking to her?” Shyly, Izuku looked down at his feet, his face bashful as he thought over his words. “If she isn’t your girlfriend, then why did you allow her to act like it?”

A low growl then permeated through the air, and Shigaraki was reaching up and clawing at his neck. His nails were drawing blood, peeling back skin, and Izuku was grimacing. Every time Shigaraki scratched his neck, it looked exceedingly painful. The man’s skin had to be tender and sore. It had to be! The constant attention had to hurt him. 

“I was talking to her because…because I need her quirk.” Shigaraki finished. “Venus is a villain that specializes in espionage and escort missions. She has what many would call a…a love quirk.”

A love quirk?

Immediately, Izuku’s eyes lit up. The term “love quirk” could mean a lot of things, after all! It could mean that Venus could control people’s emotions, could make them fall in love, or maybe she could only use her quirk to understand people’s feelings. She could use her quirk to feel who is in love and who is not. Then again, maybe it could be a physical quirk that could present itself as ooze or dust—

“—Her quirk isn’t physical, it’s mental.” Shigaraki interrupted, a smile on his face. Carefully, Shigaraki placed his hand down on top of Izuku’s head, petting his curls. “With her quirk, she can see who is in love with who, and who people care about in general. She can’t, however, control people's feelings; she can only see them.”

Izuku then leaned into Shigaraki’s touch. Breathing quietly, Izuku closed his eyes. He could feel Shigaraki yanking on his green strands of hair, decurling his locks, and a feeling of warmth was emerging in his chest, basking him in heat. 

“So,” Izuku whispered, “why do you need her?” Almost instantly, Shigaraki froze. The older man’s movements paused, and Izuku’s eyes were peeking open. 

“I need her to…to…” Shigaraki choked, “to understand my feelings. I can’t…hngh…understand why I…” With an annoyed hiss, Shigaraki dragged his nails across his flesh swiftly. Bruises were forming on Shigaraki’s neck from his rough treatment, from his clawing and scraping. 

Shigaraki was…was…

“You were going to use her to understand your feelings, but why? What do you need to understand?” Izuku asked, hope entering his voice. Eagerly, Izuku shuffled closer to Shigaraki, seeking out his warmth. “Please, just tell me.”

“Izuku,” Shigaraki groaned raspily, his face contorted with discomfort, “you’re…you’re different. You’re different from everyone else! You're strong and determined, and yet, soft and kind. You could kill a man or save him, and it’s just…so interesting. You’re interesting.” 

“Yeah?” Izuku mumbled, his eyes flickering across Shigaraki’s face, taking him in. “I think you’re interesting too. You…you’re cool.” Izuku’s gaze then travelled down to Shigaraki’s lips. “You’re really cool.”

“Yeah,” Shigaraki laughed, his voice breathless as he swayed closer to him, “I am. I am cool.” Lazily, Shigaraki moved closer to Izuku until their noses were touching, bumping together. A quiet laugh then left Izuku’s lips, and Shigaraki was smirking. With their noses sliding together, Shigaraki breathed over Izuku’s mouth, and…and…

And the two of them were kissing. 

The kiss was slow and awkward. Shigaraki’s lips felt chapped against Izuku’s own, and yet, Izuku’s stomach was stirring with heat, fluttering. He couldn’t believe that…that…

Shigaraki was touching him, kissing him. The older villain’s tongue was swiping over his bottom lip, and Izuku was internally swooning. This was it. He was in heaven! Izuku was actually kissing Shigaraki! He wasn’t dreaming!

With a soft murmur, Shigaraki pulled away from Izuku’s lips. The villain’s gaze was amused as he stared at him, and slowly, Shigaraki smirked. Teasingly, Shigaraki brushed his lips over Izuku’s right cheek, mumbling against his flesh. “Yeah? Is that right? Do you dream of me often?”

Oh.

Did he…he…

“You even mumble under your breath when you’re kissing someone, Izuku.” Shigaraki whispered, his lips trailing down Izuku’s cheek. “Fuck,” Shigaraki breathed, “you’re cute.” A bright pink flush then crept up past Izuku’s neck, invading his face, and Izuku was subconsciously shuffling closer to Shigaraki.”S-Sorry, I can’t help my muttering. I know that it can be off-putting, and well, a little bit annoyin—”

“—It’s not off-putting or annoying, Izuku.” Shigaraki cut in. “It’s cute. It’s cute that you’ll still mumble when getting kissed.” A strange glint then entered Shigaraki’s eyes, however, and the man was smirking down at Izuku. “I wonder what I’ll have to do to stop your mumbling. What will it take?”

Before Izuku could answer, however, Shigaraki was leaning down and capturing his lips once more. Enthusiastically, Izuku kissed Shigaraki back.

His stomach was tightening into a knot as Shigaraki started to nibble on his bottom lip. With every touch, Izuku’s nerves were being doused in fire. He felt like he was being electrocuted! 

Moaning softly, Izuku wrapped his legs around Shigaraki’s left thigh. Immediately, the man began rocking his leg back and forth. “How’s that, Izuku? Do you feel good?” Shuddering, Izuku nodded his head. 

The pressure between his legs felt nice, and the friction was…it was…

Mhmn!” Izuku squirmed. “F-Feels nice!” Shigaraki’s movements then grew faster. “Yeah, angh, nice! G-Good! So good!”

“Yeah,” Shigaraki whispered breathlessly, “it feels good?” The older villain then slid his thigh up and pressed his knee to Izuku’s crotch, and Izuku was gasping audibly, arching into the air. 

With a small chuckle, Shigaraki leaned in closer. He leaned in closer until his nose was touching Izuku’s once more. “Can you speak up, Izuku? Tell me. Tell me what you want. Do you like this?” Silently, Shigaraki pushed his knee into Izuku’s crotch again. “Is this alright?”

Panting heavily, Izuku’s lips fell open. His lips fell open and parted, and yet, Izuku found he couldn’t speak. His vocal cords were dead, dried up, and all he could focus on was Shigaraki’s simmering touch, his smirk. Trembling softly, Izuku arched up on his tip-e-toes and pressed a chaste kiss to the corner of Shigaraki’s lips. 

Shigaraki’s smirk then widened. “What’s the matter, Izuku? Can you speak up? I want to hear your voice.” Leaning in, Shigaraki mumbled into Izuku’s lips, into his mouth. “Cat got your tongue?”

Izuku could feel the villain’s tongue sliding over his lips, teasing him, and Izuku’s breathing was growing heavier. Everything was so…so hot! His insides felt steamy! 

Snickering softly, Shigaraki pushed his tongue into Izuku’s mouth, and a shudder was running up Izuku’s spine. The villain’s tongue was moving against his own. Drool spilling past their lips, dripping down their chins. A heat then grew in Izuku’s chest, flourishing. 

With a weak, breathless whine, Izuku rocked his hips forward. Immediately, fire burst through Izuku’s veins, and he was burning. Eagerly, Izuku dragged his hands across Shigaraki’s back, tugging the older man closer. The pressure between his legs was constant, relentless, and Izuku was moving faster. 

Soon enough, he was humping Shigaraki’s thigh as the villain kissed him. The older man was sucking his tongue into his mouth noisily, and Izuku was leaning into everything. He wanted…wanted…

“S-Sir,” Izuku spoke up, his lips wet, “feels so good! Haah, nice! I feel nice! Mhmn, fuck!” Whining desperately, Izuku bounced up and down on Shigaraki’s thigh. “Wanna…wanna fuck! Need…hngh…more! S-Shig ahh!”

The villain’s nails then dragged down Izuku’s sides until, eventually, they were gripping his hips. “Yeah, baby,” Shigaraki panted, “I’ll give you everything. I’ll fuck you, Izuku. I’ll spread you open.”

With his hands on his hips, Shigaraki urged Izuku forward. He forced Izuku to pick up the pace, to ride him faster. Moaning loudly, Izuku mumbled incoherently as he humped Shigaraki’s thigh. Sparks were igniting underneath his skin, burning him, and his gaze was turning glassy and incoherent. All he could focus on was the pleasure building in his navel, the heat

“Keep going, baby.” Shigaraki groaned, his voice hoarse. “I want you to cum on my thigh. Keep going.” Without a moment of hesitation, Izuku nodded his head in agreement and bounced up and down faster. Shigaraki’s thigh was firm in-between his legs, rubbing him just right, and Izuku’s tongue was lolling out of his mouth. 

“F-Fuck!” Izuku moaned, his voice barely a whisper. “Gonna…gonna cum! Gonna…mhmn…fuck! Haah, hot! So hot! S-Shigarari! Shigaah ! Shigaraki!” A wave of pleasure then rolled over Izuku, and he was coming as he rode Shigaraki’s thigh. With his breathing still fast, Izuku tucked his head into Shigaraki’s chest and caught his breath. His hips were still rocking forward, seeking out pleasure, and his nerves were tingling. 

Sleepily, Izuku glanced up at Shigaraki. The older man, however, didn’t look much better than Izuku. His usually pale face was flushed a deep shade of red, and the villain was panting. Nervously, Izuku pressed his thighs together, only to notice how wet his underwear was. 

Izuku could cum dribbling down the side of his cock, staining the fabric of his underwear, and a blush was coming to his cheeks. Everything about this felt…felt…

He felt good. Izuku felt good as he nuzzled closer to Shigaraki. 

A weak groan then pushed past Shigaraki’s lips, however, and the villain was leaning down, talking into his ear. “Hey, let’s go back to my bedroom, alright?” Shigaraki’s voice was quiet and mellow. Pleasing. 

Blushing profusely, Izuku nodded. “Y-Yes, I wanna…wanna…yes.” Reaching up, Izuku wrapped his arms around Shigaraki’s neck. “I want to go with you.”

“Of course,” Shigaraki mumbled. The man’s gaze was misty as he stared down at Izuku, calm and serene. “Let’s go and have some fun.” Izuku’s blush then darkened, but he was nodding his head. He wanted to...to…

“Hey,” Shigaraki grinned, his voice soaked with amusement, “when we’re done, maybe you can play some Heroes’ Unite with me, huh?”

Izuku then groaned. 

Of course, they would go back to video games. 

Of course. 




The room around him was dark and silent. All Izuku could hear was his own breathing. Sighing softly, Izuku cuddled in closer to the warmth of his pillow, to the warmth surrounding him. His body was tingling with heat, prickling pleasantly, and Izuku was smiling to himself. 

Yawning silently, Izuku rubbed his thighs together like a cricket. Already, Izuku could feel himself drifting off to sleep once more. He was being rocked to sleep, nudged into darkness. However, just as Izuku’s consciousness began to slip away, a throaty groan resonated through the air. 

Blearily, Izuku opened up his eyes. He opened up his eyes and peered up, making eye contact with Shigaraki. “Good morning, Izuku.” Shigaraki spoke up, his voice hoarse with sleep. “How did you sleep?”

Oh.

He was in bed with Shigaraki. Izuku was sleeping by Shigaraki’s side, and he wasn’t wearing any clothes. Shigaraki wasn’t wearing any clothes. The two of them were naked. Izuku was in the older man’s bed, and he was—

“—You’re mumbling, Izuku.” Shigaraki smiled. “You’re also repeating yourself.” Slowly, the villain reached out and patted Izuku on the top of his head. “I hope you slept well, though. I know I did.”

A cherry red blush then moved across Izuku’s cheeks. “Y-Yeah,” Izuku stuttered, his lips tilted up in a smile, “I did. I slept well.” For a brief second, everything was quiet. Everything was silent between the two of them, and then, Shigaraki chuckled. The older man chuckled at Izuku fondly and scooted closer to him. “I’m glad that you slept well, Izuku.”

A wicked smirk then twisted across Shigaraki’s face. “And I’m glad that you’re all mine now.” Smugly, Shigaraki leaned in and kissed Izuku’s forehead. “The League’s favourite hacker belongs to me now! I’ve won!”

With humour flashing in his gaze, Izuku rolled his eyes. “Yes, sir , I’m all yours now. Your partner in crime.” 

“Yeah, that’s right.” Shigaraki purred as his arms wrapped around Izuku. “You're my partner in crime, and I’m not going to let anyone have you but me!” A loud snort then tore its way past Izuku’s lips, and quickly, Shigaraki’s face was crumbling down in amusement as well. The two of them were then laughing as they held one another. 

Their laughter was loud and contagious in the silent room, and every time it looked like their snickering was dying down, they would glance at one another and laugh anew. Soon enough, their faces were painted pink as they laughed non-stop. 

However, as Izuku continued to laugh, a sense of dread blossomed in his stomach, and Izuku was pausing. His lips then parted open, and Izuku was gasping, his face pale. Jolting forward, Izuku slapped his hand over his mouth. “I forgot about Spinner! I didn’t text him or anything! I didn’t show up to our hang-out. I just…I just left him.”

Shigaraki’s laughter then died down as well, and the villain was shooting him a considerate look. “Spinner is probably fine, Izuku. I don’t think he’ll be too upset with you.”

“S-Still!” Izuku retaliated, his fists clenching together. “I need to talk to him! We need to talk about…this.” Izuku then gestured to Shigaraki and him. “He deserves to know.” Shigaraki then stared at Izuku. He stared at him before sighing softly, before moving closer. “Alright, Izuku. Go and talk to him. I’m sure that everything will be fine, though.”

Teasingly, Shigaraki leaned in and brushed his lips over Izuku’s nose. “Go and talk to him, and then, come back to me. Come back and we can bond some more.” Playfully, Shigaraki kissed the tip of Izuku’s nose. “Maybe we can even play some Heroes’ Unite.”

Blushing profusely, Izuku nodded. “Y-Yeah! I’ll talk to him, and then, I’ll…I’ll come back.”

“Don’t take too long.”

Getting up, Izuku walked around the dark bedroom, looking for his clothes. When he finally talked to Spinner, he would have to explain everything carefully. Even though nothing technically happened between him and Spinner, he still felt…a bit guilty. Then again, maybe there was nothing between him and Spinner, and it was all in his mind. 

He wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case as well. 

Tugging on his sweatshirt, Izuku stood up taller and stared into Shigaraki’s cracked mirror. It was time. Izuku was fully dressed, and he had to…had to go. 

He could do this.

He could.



“It’s alright, Midoriya.” Spinner smiled, his face calm. “I kind of had a feeling this would happen.”

“R-Really?” Izuku choked, guilt lining his voice. “Was I really that obvious? With…with everything?”

An awkward laugh then shot past Spinner’s lips, and the gecko’s head was tilting over to one side. “Yeah, you were. Every time Shigaraki was around, you would get this hopeful look in your eyes. It was cute, but it wasn’t…it wasn't for me. I think I always knew that you would choose Shigaraki over me. Sooner or later, it would’ve happened.”

Grinning toothily, Spinner beamed up at Izuku, his movements awkward and shy. “I’m just happy that I got to spend some time with you, Midoriya! I had a lot of fun.”

“Yeah,” Izuku smiled back, tears springing up in his eyes, “I had a lot of fun too. I really did.” Reaching forward, Izuku grabbed Spinner’s hand, squeezing it tight. “Can we still be friends, Spinner? I would like that a lot.”

The gecko then blinked slowly before smiling, before laughing. “Yeah, of course! I would…I would like that a lot. I mean,” Spinner grinned, “I still have to help you with your All Might collection!”

With those few words, Izuku’s entire face lit up. He smiled, his features as bright as the sun, and tugged Spinner closer, pulling the gecko into a hug. “Yeah! I can’t wait to rebuild my collection with you!” With that, Izuku continued to laugh alongside Spinner, his heart light in his chest. 

He couldn’t wait to dedicate his life to the League, to his friends, to his family. 

Everything was going to be perfect.