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By his third year in high school, Todoroki Shouto already has multiple (more than two, less than five) instances of saving the world (or at least Japan) under his belt. If there weren’t rules forbidding students from being included in hero rankings, Shouto is confident he’d be in the top twenty, maybe even the top ten. He has his face on posters and on internet message boards alike. He is a hero.

“You forgot the extra pickle!”

And he should not have to deal with this.

“I’m sorry, ma’am.” He says flatly. “I’ll get that pickle for you right away.”

“And have it touch my hands?” The woman on the other side of the counter looks at him like he’s just suggested she eat her hamburger off the bathroom floor. “I need an entirely new burger, young man.”

Breathe, breathe...don’t light anything on fire…

“Of course.” He says in the same flat tone. “If you’ll just give me a moment.”

“I already waited once! Why do I have to wait again?”

“Ma’am, please…”

“That’s it! I want to see your manager.”

Shouto can think of times that he’s broken actual limbs that have been less painful than this encounter.

“I’ll go get him, ma’am.”

Before she can protest, Shouto turns on his heel and flees to fetch his manager. Years of hero-ing have taught him that there are times you need to go and get backup. 

“Sir…” Shouto knocks on the door to his manager’s office. “Sir, there’s a customer saying she needs to speak with you.”

Unfortunately, the only person here who hates him more than the customers is his manager. The door opens and there is his manager, glowering at him as usual. “Totomaki…” He says, looking Shouto up and down. 

“It’s Todoroki, sir.”

“Totomaki!” He says, even louder .”What did I say to you about the customers?”

Shouto is mostly convinced that his manager, a portly man in his late thirties named Hiroki, is actually a super villain in disguise. There’s no other excuse for his behavior that makes sense. Shouto breathes deep, counts to five. “Which time sir?”

“Oho, so we’ve got a smartass on our hands, eh?” Hiroki rubs his hands together. “Someone is volunteering for bathroom duty, I see!” He laughs, mouth open so wide Shouto can see every one of his teeth. He is so distracted that he forgets to answer. Luckily, Hiroki is the sort who likes to talk more than listen.

“What I always say, Totomaki, is that the customer should never have to see a manager. If they do, then you, the employee, has done something seriously wrong.” He leans forward and glowers. “What did you do wrong, Totomaki?”

Shouto tries to remember the time last year when Midoriya and Bakugou had faced off in the sports festival and Midoriya had thoroughly kicked Bakugou’s ass. That was a good time for everyone. Pretty much the opposite of the time that he is having now.

“I guess I forgot to tell the burger guy she wanted an extra pickle, sir.” He keeps his voice as flat as possible. He knows that he told the burger guy she wanted an extra pickle. He remember doing it. But Shouto isn’t one to let his teammates down even if they are temporary burger-flipping teammates who all pretty much hate him.

Hiroki tsks at him. “I’ll have to write you up for this, Totomaki.”

“It’s Todoroki, sir.”

Five minutes later, Shouto finds himself booted out of the manager’s office with a citation for “rude behavior and unprofessional conduct” made out to one Totomaki Suna.

Well. That could have gone better.

He sighs heavily and notes with a halfhearted glare towards the clock that his little meeting with Hiroki managed to eat up the first half of his lunch break.

This is the worst thing ever.

~~~~

When Aizawa-sensei announces their third and final time doing work-experience week, Shouto finds that he’s actually kind of excited. They’ve had two years of work-experience weeks at this point. He shoots a glance at Midoriya that garners him a wobbly grin and a thumbs up in return.

The sports festival this year attracted the usual attention from the pro hero community and Shouto is pretty sure that he’s managed to gather more than a few recommendations for work. He’s been with his father for the last two years, but he’s thinking for the last year he might try to branch out...maybe even work with another classmate if he’s able.

“Quiet, quiet!” Aizawa shouts over their chatter with an annoyed wave of his hand. “I wasn’t done talking!”

“Oh, right!” Ashido sits up her her chair, perky and excited. “We haven’t even seen the nominations yet! I want to see who got the most!”

“Psh, that’s obvious.” Bakugou snorts.

Shouto fights the urge to roll his eyes too. He thinks that the winner is obvious as well. He turns to glance at Midoriya again. The winner is very obvious and very obviously not Bakugou.

Because they’ve all helped to save the world (or at least Japan) a few times during their time at U.A., but Midoriya...well. He’s the reason that any of them are still standing.

“I didn’t say anything about nominations!” Aizawa breaks up their chatter with a glare that leaves Shouto feeling both hot and cold at the same time. Ugh. He hates it when his quirk is shut off like that.

“Huh?” Ashido pouts. “You mean we don’t get to see them?”

“No!” Aizawa grins. “You’re not seeing them because their aren’t any!

“Hah?” The whole class pretty much says it together.

“That’s right!” His grins grows, if possible, even wider. “It’s a tradition at U.A. that for work experience their third year, all students in the hero course must work in normal, civilian, customer service jobs!”

The whole class is staring at him in mute horror.

“I know!” He says, delighted. “And we’ve upped the time on it this year too! For two weeks, you get to work in a randomly assigned job. After all, you all have lots of experience dealing with villains. But dealing with civilians...that’s a skill that you haven’t had much of a chance to perfect.”

~~~~


Shouto makes his way to the food courts, keeping his hands aggressively stuffed in his pockets. Whispers follow him, they always do thanks to his distinctive hair and even more distinctive scar, but most of the whispers seem disbelieving this time around.

“That can’t be Shouto...not in the uniform for a burger place!”

“It looks so much like him! Quick, get a picture!”

“Wow, he looks so handsome...he’s so brooding and mysterious!”

Shouto kind of wants to stop that last girl and tell her, no, he’s not brooding and mysterious, he’s tired and pissed off because he’s been working for five hours already and he smells like fry oil and failure.

“Todoroki! Todoroki, over here!”

Shouto turns away from the whispering throng to see the only bright spot in his otherwise dark day. Sitting at a grimy table just a little bit away is Midoriya Izuku, the only other U.A. student unfortunate enough to be assigned to working at the local mall.

Most of the other students are spread throughout the city. Iida is shadowing an mailperson. Uraraka is lucky enough to have parents who deal in construction and is out working with them. Even Bakugou gets to work at a convenience store instead of this fluorescent-lit hellscape.

“You’re late.” Midoriya says as soon as Shouto sits down. “Is everything okay?”

Shouto leans down to rest his forehead on the suspiciously sticky table and figures that’s a good enough answer for now.

Midoriya pats him awkwardly on the head.

He stays there for a minute, wondering if they’ll actually fail him if he refuses to come back to work tomorrow. He looks sidelong at Midoriya even though all he can see from his angle is his torso. If anything, Midoriya has it even worse than he does. He’s dealing with customer complaints at a huge clothing store.

Shouto has no idea who thought it was a good idea to put Midoriya Izuku in a job that is pretty much just getting yelled at. He huffs an annoyed sigh and sits up. If Midoriya can do this stupid assignment, then so can he. Midoriya lets out a little cheer. It makes Shouto smile, even though he doesn’t want to.

“So, what happened?” Midoriya asks, sliding Shouto the extra bento that his mom apparently ‘insisted’ on packing when she heard that Shouto was planning on surviving two weeks on just burgers.

Shouto takes the bento with a word of thanks and considers carefully how to explain his situation to Midoriya. He takes a bite, still thinking. Midoriya just waits patiently because Midoriya is considerate like that. “Well,” He decides at last, swallowing the food in his mouth. “People are all terrible and I don’t like them.”

Midoriya lets out a snorting laugh that he quickly covers with a hand. “Ah-hahaha, Todoroki…” He swallows. “You’re not thinking of becoming a villain, right?”

Shouto gives him a look with makes Midoriya laugh some more. Shouto doesn’t get Midoriya sometimes. That look makes most people balk. Midoriya, who is scared of everything from passing black cats to (during one very memorable test of courage at a training camp) his own shadow, just laughs.

“How was your day?” Shouto looks back at his food. Midoriya laughing always makes him feel...kind of...weird. It’s sort of like the uncomfortable hot-cold feeling he gets when Aizawa-sensei shuts off his quirk suddenly.

Midoriya hums softly, poking at his own bento. “Er…I don’t think I’m really cut out for customer service.”

“Oh good.” Shouto says. “I was worried you might quit heroics to become the world’s greatest customer service rep."

This makes Midoriya laugh again. “And you could be the first fry cook to also be a pro hero.”

“I do the register, mostly.” Shouto corrects.

“Whaaat?” Midoriya looks up. “I thought they were all excited because you didn’t have to wear a glove or anything cause of your quirk?”

“Yeah, well.” Shouto shrugs. “It...didn’t work out.” He elects not to tell Midoriya about how he accidentally froze a whole batch of fries solid without meaning too. Hot, crowded environments (like the kitchen of a burger place) make it hard for him to focus his cooler side.

“Mmmhmmm.” Midoriya just hums, looking at Shouto knowingly. Shouto takes a few more bites of his bento, ignoring Midoriya’s tiny smile.

“Thank your mom for me.” He says after a few silent minutes. “This bento was excellent.” Midoriya just nods in response and they go back to silence.

He’s never felt uncomfortable during silences with Midoriya, even when they were awkwardly figuring out how to be friends in their first year. Midoriya is a weirdly soothing presence and always has been.

Lately, though, it’s gotten a bit strange. When he laughs or when he smiles or when he compliments Shouto’s hero-ing skills, Shouto feels awkward like he did towards the beginning with the added bonus of feeling cold-hot, almost like his quirk is out of control.

He doesn’t know why it’s happening and that bothers him. Maybe he’s nervous about their upcoming graduation? He’s been fighting side-by-side with Midoriya for close to three years now. They’ve saved the world together more than once. Perhaps all these nerves are tied to not wanting to fight without Midoriya watching his back.

It’s the best explanation he’s managed to come up with.

“I have to go back soon.” Midoriya sighs, pulling out his phone and looking at the time. “My manager is a real stickler for punctuality!”

“Mmmm.” Shouto finishes his bento off and slides the empty box back to Midoriya. “Mine thinks my name is Totomaki.”

Midoriya hides a snicker behind a hand. Shouto feigns annoyance, but can't really help smiling. There's just something about Midoriya when he laughs... Shouto shakes his head, clearing it, and watches as Midoriya gets to his feet and starts back towards his job. 

“Have fun at work, Totomaki!” Midoriya says, glancing over his shoulder and wearing grin that makes Shouto feel like he’s simultaneous freezing and on fire...but not in a normal way.

“Hey, wait…” Shouto says lamely a few seconds later, but Midoriya is already lost among the crush of people. “Ugh.” He sets his head back on the table.

~~~~

Hero Watch! @Official_Hero_Watch

ROUGH DAY? Hero-in-training TODOROKI SHOUTO was spotted taking a nap in a mall foodcourt! Click the link for more #herospotted #UAsfinest

Shouto should probably respond to the allegation that he is napping in random mall food courts, but frankly he can’t be bothered. He has another shift in the morning and he wants no human interaction and at least ten hours of sleep before that happens.

And besides, his classmates, he can see from a bit of scrolling, are already responding on his behalf. Kind of.

Bakugou Katsuki @kingofexplodokills
@Official_Hero_Watch @todorokishouto HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA #hahaha #ha

Well, that’s about what he expected from Bakugou.

@IngeniumReborn has provided a lengthy essay explaining why this couldn’t possibly be Shouto, that any U.A. student would never be caught so unaware, that Hero Watch should check its sources before posting pictures…

Shouto appreciates the effort Iida is putting up on his behalf, but he can’t really argue with Hero Watch. This is indeed a picture of him attempting to nap in a random mall food court while wearing a hideous red and yellow polyester uniform.

He scrolls down a little more, mostly out of morbid curiosity at this point.

Uraraka Ochako @uravity
@todorokishouto be strong, todoroki-kun! only ten more days!

Kirshimia @redredriot
@todorokishouto lol, u okay bro?

Ashido Mina @heroofridley
@todorokishouto No fair, I wish my boss let me sleep on the job! #sleepyshouto #UAsFinest

Shouto sets his phone aside. Nothing from Midoriya...huh. That’s strange. He picks up his phone again, checks his line messages. Nothing there either.

It’s fine, it’s not like they said they’d message each other or anything...but Midoriya usually responds to tweets about any of his hero classmates, Shouto included. Shouto isn’t upset or anything, he’s just...surprised. That he didn’t this time.

He pushes his phone a little bit further away, flipping it so it’s face down.

He needs sleep and this isn’t helping.

Just breathe, just breathe, only ten more days...just breathe.

~~~~

“Welcome, how can I help you today?”

Shouto is working the lunch rush today which means he’s said those exact words approximately a hundred thousand times. It’s gotten to the point where they don’t even sound like they mean anything anymore.

He repeats them in his head, emphasizing different parts.

Welcome, how can I help you today?

Welcome, how can I help you today?

How can I help you...

“Uh, Todoroki…”

Shouto looks up, startled, and sees that his latest customer has freckles, messy hair and a wobbly smile.

“Midoriya.” He lets himself relax a bit. He’s pretty sure that he could give Midoriya an old sneaker on a bun and he still wouldn’t ask to see Shouto’s manager. Because Midoriya is considerate like that. “What are you doing here?”

“One of my coworkers swapped lunch breaks with me!” He says. “I wanted to come see you in action.”

“You’ve seen me in action.” Shouto huffs. “This,” He gestures behind him. “Is not action.”

“I don’t know.” Midoriya peers around him at the deep fryer. “It looks pretty dangerous to me.”

“Yeah, well, yesterday…” Shouto starts to tell him about how a coworker managed to deep fry a cell phone, but the line behind him is getting restless.

“You’re holding up the line!” A man calls irritably. Shouto closes his eyes and prays for strength.

“O-oh, sorry!” Midoriya turns scarlet. “I’ll just take a burger and fries!” He shoves some money at Shouto and hurries off to the side to wait for his food. Shouto is distracted for the next couple of minutes, glancing over at Midoriya ever couple of seconds. 

When he turns to go, Shouto takes a step back from the register heedless of the ever-growing line waiting there. 

“Hey, Midoriya!” Shouto calls. Midoriya turns to look at him with wide eyes. “I’ll see you after this shift.”

He doesn’t know why he says it. They’re both clear on the fact that they’re walking to the train station together. They have for the last couple days. But for some reason Shouto wants to confirm it, wants to be sure that Midoriya knows.

“Yep!” Midoriya calls back and waves. “Enjoy the rest of your shift!”

His parting smile remains stuck in Shouto's head for the rest of the day.  

~~~~

On his sixth day, his coworkers seem to finally decide that he's worth talking to. 

“So you’re aiming to be a hero, eh?”

“Ah?”

“You. Totomaki. You’re trying to be a pro hero.”

Shouto has given up trying to correct his coworkers about his name. So far as they know, he’s Totomaki Suna. Whatever. It’s easier to deal with that than people asking him for his father’s autograph.

“I will be a hero.” Shouto says succinctly, glancing up from where he’s restocking the napkins. He’s honestly surprised they don’t recognize him as one already. His face, along with the faces of his classmates, have been plastered all over the TV and the internet for the last two years.

Then again, the terrible uniform that he’s wearing would probably do a pretty good job disguising even All Might. Multiple layers of polyester can do the opposite of wonders for a person.

The woman questioning him is one of the fry cooks named Sugihara. She sighs fondly at the mention of heroes. “I remember when I thought that I would be a pro.” She dumps another batch of fries in the fryer. “Those were the days.”

“Did you do a hero studies course?” Shouto asks, leaning on the counter beside the napkin dispenser.

Sugihara nods. “Not the one at U.A., of course, but I did my best.” She punches the air. “I was gonna be the strong hero, Lady Beatdown!”

“You’ve got super strength?” Shouto asks curiously. Enhancement quirks like that are pretty common. Strong ones like Midoriya’s, though, are rare.

Sugihara nods and turns back to the fries. “But there are just too many pro heroes out there these days...you’ve really gotta be something special if you want to make it!”

“Hmm.” Shouto has never really thought about the sheer number of people who try to become pro heroes. He’s not really worried about his own prospects, not with his already impressive record, but it would be terrible to do all the work of a hero studies course and not even be able to make it as a sidekick.

They’re quiet for a couple minutes aside from the chatter of people passing by and the hiss of the fryer. Then, Sugihara speaks again.

“So that boyfriend of yours...he at U.A. too?”

Shouto drops all of the napkins of the floor.

“Boyfriend?” His voice goes flat the same way it does when he talks to customers and his father. “What are you talking about?”

“You know,” Sugihara waves a hand. “The plain-looking kid who came to visit you the other day.”

Midoriya? You think he’s my boyfriend?”

“Is he not?” Sugihara glances over her shoulder, a surprised expression on her face. Shouto shakes his head. “Oh, sorry.”

“No...but...why would you think that he’s my boyfriend?” Shouto kneels down to pick up the napkins. He’s not sure if he should throw them away or stuff them back in the dispenser. Either way, the manager is probably going to yell at him. “Like, what made you think...that.”

Sugihara laughs. “This is the first time I’ve seen you lose your cool, kid.” She looks back at him and winks. “It’s kind of refreshing.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“Put those napkins back in the dispenser, Totomaki! Lunch rush will be here any minute!”

~~~~


Shouto goes on his lunch break feeling distinctly wrongfooted.

Midoriya...his boyfriend? How could anyone think that?

Yeah, they spend a lot of time together and yeah, Shouto is willing to admit that he likes Midoriya a ton more than he likes most people. But that’s to be expected. There aren’t many people that Shouto likes. And nobody can really dislike Midoriya. Except for villains, of course. And Bakugou. Because Bakugou is an asshole.

Midoriya is his friend, maybe even his best friend, but that’s it. That's what Midoriya wants too, he's sure. Right? He shakes his head. Of course. Midoriya wouldn't want...no. Midoriya wants to be his friend, no more and no less.

He’s nodding to himself, satisfied with the conclusion he’s come to, as he settles down at their usual sticky table. He slips out his phone, idly checking twitter as he waits for Midoriya.

“Sorry!” Midoriya jogs up, he cheeks flushed. “This morning was insane!”

Shouto finds himself very distracted by Midoriya’s pink cheeks for no good reason. “It’s, ah, it’s fine.” He manages to get out. “I wasn’t waiting long.” What is wrong with him? Why is his stupid heart beating so hard?

“Oh, good!” Midoriya slides him his usual bento. “So, how was your morning? Any weird customers?”

Shouto swallows and accepts his bento, trying to act normal. No, he is normal. This is not weird, his stupid coworker isn’t going to ruin the only good half-hour of his day. “No more than usual.” He says, opening the bento and picking at it. “And you?”

Midoriya launches into a story about a woman who tried to return a suitcase with a live cat inside and Shouto lets himself smile and relax.

He determinedly ignores the way his breath catches when Midoriya meets his eyes.

They’re friends. Just friends.

Things are normal, dammit.

~~~~

On Shouto's second to last day working at the mall, three thugs armed with quirks and a crowbars shoulder their way past mall security and hold up the jewelry store diagonal from Shouto's burger place.

People are screaming and hiding under tables. The men shout about how it's a robbery and how if everyone stays down then no one will get hurt. 

“Are you kidding me…” Shouto sighs. He could wait and hope that the police or some pro heros get here soon, or he could also take out his frustration from this whole ordeal on these would-be thieves.

And...yeah. That is the infinitely more appealing prospect.

He vaults over the counters shouting back to Sugihara, “Tell the manager I’m taking my break!” She salutes him and proceeds to duck and hide behind the counter.

He pulls out his phone and presses Midoriya’s name. He answers on the third ring. “Todoroki? I’m not really suppose to talk on the phone during work…”

“Burglary.” He says shortly. “Over at the jewelry store across from the food court. Hurry up and get over here.”

Midoriya lets out a noise of affirmation and Shouto slides his phone back in his pocket. Before he even reaches the jewelry store, Midoriya comes tearing around the corner wearing a wide grin. He appears to share Shouto’s feelings on his civilian job and the need for stress relief.

“Shouto!” Midoriya shouts.

“Here, Deku!” Shouto calls back, quickly slipping into their hero names. Midoriya bounds into step beside him.

“Did you see how many?”

“Three, I think.” They’re almost there at the store. Two of the thieves are grabbing whatever they can from the shattered cases. The third is standing guard outside brandishing a crowbar.

Shouto and Midoriya exchange a grin.

They’ve fought some of the nastiest, most evil, most powerful people the world has to offer. These three thugs are no match.

“You take the two inside.” Shouto says. “I’ve got the dumbass with the crowbar.”

“Got it!” Midoriya says.

“Ready?” Shouto asks.

“When you are!” Midoriya gives him a thumbs up.

“Okay, go!” Midoriya is off like a shot, surely taking down both guys with no trouble. Shouto, not one to be outdone, forms a sheet of ice beneath crowbar guy’s feet. He falls right on his ass and Shouto bites back a laugh. He watches as the man gets back to his feet and comes closer, eyes wide and manic. He's swinging the crowbar like a baseball bat, breaking the window of a nearby hat store.

Shouto lets out an aggrieved sigh. Is this really the best that this guy can do?

He doesn’t even bother moving, just lights up his fire side and the guy stumbles back with a shout. Shouto grabs him by the collar with the hand that isn’t on fire. “Now then,” He says, “Are you gonna come with us quietly or are things going to get,” He lets his flames dance a little higher. “Hot?”

The man whimpers and lifts his hands in a surrender, crowbar clattering to the floor.

“Oh, you’re already done?” Midoriya pops his head out of the shattered storefront, two men slung over one shoulder. “I heard that line. Nice. Real golden-age superhero stuff right there.”

Shouto smiles, letting his flames sputter out, and takes out his phone to call the police to come and round up their would-be robbers. “I try.”

By the time he gets back to the burger place, most of his uniform is destroyed. Midoriya is peering at the remains with curiosity. “I don’t think polyester even burns, Todoroki.” He informs. “I think this just melted.”

Hiroki, his ill-tempered manager, is waiting outside, his arms crossed. He looks Shouto up and down, distinctly unimpressed.

“Don’t think this gets you out of bathroom duty.”

Midoriya reaches over and helpfully pats out the bit of Shouto’s shirt that is still on fire.

~~~~

“That was a nice break from being civilians, wasn’t it?” Midoriya is practically bouncing on their walk home. Shouto can’t blame him. Getting to let loose after two weeks of being stuck behind a counter was the best stress relief he’s ever had. “That one guy with the crowbar...I’m pretty sure he had an enhancement type quirk...maybe just garden variety super strength? I didn’t see anything particularly special about him...anyway! All you had to do was light up and-boom!-he was down. Had to feel pretty cool, right?”

Shouto huffs. “I can’t believe I wasted one of my best lines on a guy like that.”

Midoriya laughs. “It’s okay if you wanna reuse it. I won’t tell anyone.”

Shouto smiles. “I appreciate the thought.”

Midoriya just keeps laughing and Shouto is once again grateful that Midoriya seems to get his often inscrutable sense of humor.

He likes most things about Midoriya, actually. His laugh, his smile, his freckles, the way he never gives up, not on anything or anyone. The idea that soon he won’t have all of that, the idea that he won’t have Midoriya walking beside him, is one that is far scarier than the villains they regularly face.

“Hey.” He breaks the silence.

“Yeah?” Midoriya is backlit, the sunset behind him catching the tips of his hair and the edges of his tattered uniform.

“I...don’t…” Shouto swallows. He doesn’t like speaking thoughtlessly. He probably should have thought of what he wanted to say before starting. “I...just, I like fighting with you, Deku.”

Midoriya smiles crookedly at the use of his hero name. “Thanks! I like fighting with you too, Shouto.”

Shouto suddenly regrets using his own name as his hero moniker. In this moment, he feels entirely too exposed. “I like fighting with you.” He repeats. Midoriya looks confused, but Shouto presses on regardless. “I don’t want that to change. I don’t want to stop having you...with me.”

“The year isn’t even half over, Todoroki.” Midoriya blinks at him in confusion. “And even after..I’m not going anywhere.”

“That isn’t...that’s not what I’m saying.” He doesn’t just want to fight with Midoriya at his side. He wants Midoriya at his side all the time. And finally, finally Shouto understands what his hot-cold feel around Midoriya actually means.

Oh no. This is turning into him confessing, isn’t it?

“So what are you saying?”

“I want to keep fighting with you.” Shouto knows he’s blushing. His face feels like it’s on fire. Who knows, half of it might actually be on fire. “And hanging out with you and having lunch with you.” He starts staring very determinedly at his feet. His left sneaker is melted. “And maybe...like...doing other stuff.” He wishes his quirk was one that let him rewind time or maybe just disappear from existence entirely. That would be very helpful right about now. “I just…” He swallows and waves a hand like maybe that will help to illustrate his point. “I fucking want to date you or something, okay?”

Silence. For a long moment, that’s all there is. And not the comfortable warm kind of silence he’s used to with Midoriya. It’s the awful, crushing kind that makes it hard for Shouto to even breathe.

This was the worst most horrible idea that Shouto has ever had. This is the worst idea anyone in the entire world has ever had. He’s a bigger idiot than Stain, than all of the Villain Alliance...

“Todoroki.”

Shouto looks up reflexively, finally tearing his gaze away from his mostly-melted shoe.

Midoriya is bright red, eyes impossibly wide. “D-do you...do you really mean all that?” Shouto just nods, worried that if he talks any more he’ll spew even more feelings everywhere. “Y-y-you want to date me?” Again, Shouto nods.

“O-okay!”

What?” Shouto splutters.

“Um,” Midoriya looks wrongfooted. “Your, um, your confession...I’m saying yes, Todoroki…”

“Seriously?” Shouto shakes his head. “But that was literally the worst confession ever. And you really…” He breathes, steels himself. “Like me?”

“Ah, hahaha…” Midoriya blinks. “You’re kidding, right?” Shouto shakes his head. “Um, yeah, Since, like, second year? I thought everybody knew?”

Shouto shakes his head. “Except for me, apparently.”

Midoriya laughs, rubbing a hand over his eyes. “You know, Todoroki…” He lowers a hand and meets Shouto’s eyes. “I think we both might be idiots.”

Shouto just kind of nods at that because, yeah. He’s probably right.

“I think we should probably just date anyway.”

Shouto breaks into a smile and reaches forward to pull Midoriya into a tight hug. He’s strong and solid and just a little bit shorter than Shouto and he feels absolutely perfect.

Midoriya breaks away, coughing. “Sorry!” He wheezes. “Your uniform..gah...I think it’s still smoldering…”

Shouto kind of forgot he was dressed in half-of-a-sort-of-on-fire-burger-place-uniform. He looks down and sees, lo and behold, it is still smoking.

“You probably shouldn’t inhale that…” Midoriya cautions.

Shouto shakes his head.

“Wow.” He says in quiet wonder. “This really is the worst confession ever.”

Midoriya laughs and grabs Shouto’s hand. Midoriya’s hand is knobbled and scarred in Shouto’s. Shouto holds on tighter, trying to memorize the scars and callouses.

They’re almost to the train station when Shouto realizes he doesn’t have to worry about memorizing so much. This isn’t just for today. He gets to hold Midoriya’s hand tomorrow and the day after and the day after that too. Midoriya will keep walking beside him.

“You know.” Shouto says as they stand together to wait for their separate trains. “It turns out that I did learn something useful out of my time in customer service.”

“Oh yeah?” Midoriya smiles at him. “And what’s that?”

“That I should never wear polyester.”

Midoriya is still laughing when the train pulls into the station.

~~~~

Hero Watch! @Official_Hero_Watch
SPOTTED! UA students TODOROKI SHOUTO and MIDORIYA IZUKU were seen together this week holding hands. Is it love? #heroromace #UAsfinest

Iida Tenya @IngeniumReborn
@Official_Hero_Watch Once again you must check your sources, Hero Watch! Surely, if two of class 1-A’s students were in a relationship the class president would know…

Iida Tenya @IngeniumReborn
@Official_Hero_Watch...it is my sacred responsibility to know all I can about my fellow classmates and their relationships! I would know if my classmates were in a relationship before you!

Iida Tenya @IngeniumReborn
@Official_Hero_Watch…#CheckYourFacts #ReliableReporting #UAsFinest #HeroWatch

Midoriya Izuku @allmightiest
@IguiemReborn um Iida...Todoroki and I really are dating…

Iida Tenya @IngeniumReborn
@allmightiest WHAT

Uraraka Ochako @uravity
@allmightiest @todorokishouto finally! congratulations you two!!!!!

Ashido Mina @heroofridley
@allmightiest @todorokishouto OMG! I’m so happy 4 u 2!!! #herosinlove #heroromance #!!!!!!

Todoroki Shouto @todorokishouto
@uravity what do you mean finally

Midoriya Izuku @allmightiest
@urvaity Uraraka! Shush!

Uraraka Ochako @uravity
@allmightiest oops! hehe!

Hero Watch! @Official_Hero_Watch
You heard it here first! The newest superpower couple is TODOROKI SHOUTO and MIDORIYA IZUKU! Let’s wish them luck! #heroromance #UAsfinest