COMING TO GRIPS

a My Hero Academia story / © 2018

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Disclaimer! - This is a fan-fiction, based on characters and situations from the serialized Shonen Jump series "Boku no Hero Academia"; created by Kōhei Horikoshi. This has been written solely for other fans of the series to enjoy, not to gain profit for the author. All characters, with exception of any that I have I created for these stories, are TM and Copyrighted by Bones & Shonen Jump, and are used without their knowledge.

Please don't sue, since this was done as a tribute to the spirit of the original manga and animated show.

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Author's Note : This is a follow up to "A Knight in Shining Cardigan", my first BnHA fic. I know the show most likely will not follow through with this 'ship, but that's the fun of headcanon: it allows us to explore the "what if?" scenarios that could happen.

I'd like to give a thanks to Kōhei-san (if they ever read fan stories) for creating a fun universe to us, and to all my fellow BnNA fans who support me and other authors who slave over writing these stories. It's your encouragement that makes this worth while! - SRS

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~= Inside the Heights Alliance Dormitory, U.A. High School Grounds . . . . =~

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Hitting the stairs, Uraraka Ochaco's face pinched tight as she stared down at her cell phone. To the point, she was frowning at the short message she'd just received, while she'd been relaxing with some of the other girls from Class 1-A in the common area's lounge.

"Wonder what's going on?" She said, flicking her phone closed before ricking up the back of her sleeveless T-shirt and sticking it into the pocket of her long lounge pants. "It's not like her to just text from out of no where," she mused. Rounding the last corner on her way to the Fifth Floor, Uraraka exited out onto the Floor's landing; putting her at the farthest point down the hall from her destination.

Crossing down to the last door, she paused before rapping softly on Tsuyu's door twice.

No answer.

Sighing, Uraraka glanced down at the door handle and - because her friend's text said so - she tried the latch and opened the door. Peering inside, the slightly-warmer-than usual temperature hit her full in the face. "Whew!" Stepping inside, she pulled the door shut behind herself and asked, "Tsu-chan?" She spied her classmate seated on her lone bed. Tsuyu was turned away from the door; leaning against the sill of the room's sole window, with her arms folded in front of her. From what Uraraka could see, she had her hair gathered up in a neat array, while she appeared to be wearing just calf-length, cotton socks and her short-style pajama bottoms. Anything else was covered by a tan, heavy-knit sweater.

"Tsu, I'm here . . . like you asked.". When she didn't reply, Uraraka came over and perched herself at the end of the bed. "Tsu, is everything, well . . . are you all right?" Her brows pinched together with concern. "I mean, we haven't seen you down at meal time for a while, and . . . well," she added with a soft laugh, "the most time you seem to spend it when we're at classes or hero practice."

Again, Tsuyu didn't reply. If it wasn't for the fact she heaved a deep, soulful sigh, she would for anything else be just a statue.

Uraraka let out a sigh herself, before she turned so she could sit more on the bed; folding her legs to be more comfortable. "Tsu, I don't know what's troubling you. I mean, I don't have any right to ask . . . but, as your friend, if there's anything you need to talk about-?"

"Uraraka?"

The one-word query came out so gentle, it practically knocked the wind out of Uraraka's sails. "Oh! Um, I, ah . . . yes?"

"What's it like?"

That made Uraraka blink. "What . . . what is what, like?"

Tsuyu tipped her head a bit, nestling her chin deeper into the folds of one of the sweater's sleeves. "To love someone?". At that, she turned to look at the brown-haired girl; fixing her with eyes that were half-closed - like she was tired.

At that, Uraraka clasped her hands over her chest. "Tsu? Um, well . . . I honestly don't know if I'm the best person to ask that. I mean, are you saying you have, well, strong feelings for someone?"

Unfolding one arm to put a finger to her chin, Tsuyu asked, "Is that part of it? Strong feelings . . . ?" She turned her head back towards the window, softly croaking: "Kero . . .strong feelings, for someone who's not part of your family, or a friend."

It was the way Tsuyu said 'friend' that got Uraraka's attention. Slipping a bit closer to her friend, she gently placed a hand on her closest shoulder. "Tsu, are you falling in love? With one of our classmates?"

Tsuya's face pinched briefly, before she said, "I can't tell . . . not yet. But, I do know that he's been more than kind to me, Ochaco-san."

"He, ahh . . . I see. I think." Uraraka squeezed her friend's shoulder, before letting go. "Who is he?"

At that, Tsuyu turned back and said simply, "Izuku."

That made Uraraka gasp. "Deku?!" When Tsuyu nodded, she shook herself and asked, "N-not that I'd disapprove or anything, but . . . why him?"

"Why not?" Tsuyu shifted so she could look at Uraraka squarely. "He's been very . . . kind, to me and to others. Not only that, but he's protected me and several of our classmates, even though he never had full control of his Quirk." She touched her chin and asked, "Remember when the League of Villains attacked us at the UMJ?"

Uraraka shivered. "Boy, do I remember!"

"It was during that attack that Izuku stopped their leader from harming Mineta and myself," Tsuya said. "He was even very conscious of me during our rescue drills this past summer."

"Well," Uraraka said with a gesture, "isn't that just like Deku? He's always looking out for everyone."

Tsuya shook her head slowly. "That's true, but . . . recently, Izuku did something that, well, changed my feelings about him."

That got Uraraka's attention again. "What? What did he do?"

"You weren't there," Tsuyu said, looking away for a moment. "A bunch of us were training in Gym Gamma. Practicing new special moves, and refining our own techniques." She hugged herself as she went on, "I was trying to improve my mobility - jumping from place to place - while the rest were pulverizing the concrete obstacles that Mr. Cementoss created. It was during this that Bakugo did one of his overpowered explosions; he blew off a massive chunk of one of the concrete towers. I was in its path, but before I could get clear, I slipped between a crack and got my foot caught."

"Oh no!"

Tsuyu nodded. "I couldn't get free, and was about to get smashed under the falling rubble . . . and that's when it happened."

"What?!"

"Izuku. He used his super-strength to cross the gym floor in a flash!" Tsuyu's face lit up with the memory returning. "He got between me at the rubble, then used his legs to smash the falling block into dust!"

At that, Uraraka went white with alarm, then let out an expansive sigh when she realized what had happened. "Tsu, he totally saved you! But, wait . . . was he?"

"Hurt afterwards? No, that was one of the things that stuck out to me," Tsuyu said. "He's gotten a lot better in controlling his Quirk, because he wasn't injured at all. But what really was amazing was what he did next; he called out Bakugo for nearly putting me in danger."

"No! Deku stood up to Bakugo!? I wish I could have seen that!"

"You really would've been surprised, Ochaco-san," Tsuyu said, unable to keep the smile from her face as she recounted what she'd seen. "I mean, Izuku was so angry, it even took the instructors by surprise. I know that Bakugo has a history of being a bully to him, but the way he pull Bakugo in his place? You'd never have even guessed it. I mean, Izuku's usually very mild and kind, but . . . right then, when he stood up for me-?"

"I get it, Tsu. Deku really showed his intensity, and courage, huh?" Uraraka couldn't help but smile, too.

Tsuyu nodded, but then her smile slowly faded. "But now . . . I know what I'm feeling, but I honestly don't know what to do now. Kero." She hugged herself again, then looked up at Uraraka. "I mean . . . what should I do? Do I tell Izuku, or don't? It's a little confusing. Kerooo."

With a sad expression of her own, Uraraka slid across the bed to give Tsuyu a hug. "Don't worry, Tsu. You'll figure out your feelings . . . though, as far as Deku is concerned-." She broke off and got to her feet.

"Kero?" Tsuyu looked up at her classmate with some alarm.

"Well, he's always been a bit transparent with his own feelings," Uraraka said firmly, before giving her friend a smile. "I'll find out just what he's feeling, Tsu. Then, we'll get down to figuring out what to do about it. I promise you that!"

"Ochaco, don't do anything rash, please?!" Tsuyu was about to get to her feet, when Uraraka put a calming hand on her shoulder.

"I'm not going to stir up trouble for you, Tsu," she said, her tone soothing. "But, sometimes a friend has got to do something for their friends. Especially when it's something as serious as this. Just stay here, okay? I'm going to go look for Deku." With that, she turned and headed for the door . . . .

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~= Gym Gamma, U.A. High School Grounds . . . . =~

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"I said, THAT is ENOUGH!"

The sonorous outburst echoed across the length of Gym Gamma, literally making the few students from Class 1-A freeze in their tracks. Quirks were left to disengage, as every head turned to the front of the combat-practice space, where Mr. Aizowa was giving a "dressing-down" talk to a certain green-haired hero-in-training.

Unlike other times though, Izuku Midorya wasn't being apologetic, nor backing down in the face of his instructor's authority. "With respect, Sensei, I have to keep going. If I'm ever going to get better-!"

"Practice to the point of fanaticism is reckless and dangerous, Mister Midorya," Aizowa said firmly; his unblinking gaze focused clearly on Izuku as his Quirk was suppressing the young man's power to the nth-degree. "It's admirable that you want to improve," he said, "but not at the expense of your body and well being!"

Izuku clenched his fists, trying to will his inherited Quirk into being, but he quickly stopped. So long as Mr. Aizowa doesn't blink, I'm powerless!

"As well," Aizowa went on saying sternly, "You need to be aware of the image you are presenting to your classmates."

At that, Izuku peered around the gym; taking in the looks of concern and even fearful expressions on the faces of the other students standing nearby. In particular, Mineta was cowering behind Tenya - eyes wide and shaking from head to toe - while Denki, Momo and Kyoka were clearly showing expressions of concern.

At that moment, Izuku realized what he'd done, and he slowly, yet resolutely willed himself to calm down. "Yes, Sir. I . . . I, I'm sorry," Izuku said.

"Are we going to have any further problems, Mr. Midorya?" Aizowa asked.

"No. Not at all, Sir." With that, Izuku felt the sudden return of his Quirk - as the power flared briefly before he turned it back down - as he added, "I promise."

"Very well. I want you to leave the gym. Go back to the Dorms and try to calm your emotions, young man," Aizowa said firmly, if just a bit gently. "I don't want to see you back in here until classes resume tomorrow. Understood?"

"Yes, Sir. I understand." Izuku turned and started walking towards the main entrance. All the while, he could feel the eyes of the others on himself. Mister Aizowa's right. I've got to get control of myself! he told himself. He didn't even stop to use the gym's changing area; he just snagged his backpack and exited the building.

As he made his way back to the student dormitory, Izuku muttered to himself softly. "I don't blame Mr. Aizowa . . . but, I was so angry with Kacchan yesterday!" His emotional state vibrated as he clomped along the pathway between the practice grounds and the main campus. Truth to tell . . . that's the first time I've ever stood up to Kacchan . . . especially after losing my temper like that! He shivered a bit. I nearly attacked him when he got all angry himself; trying to put the blame on poor Tsu-chan. He raised one hand and made a fist with it. I should have hit him, even with a low powered Smash just to put him in his place . . . but, even though he deserved it, I'm glad the instructors stepped in before it got physical.

He turned the corner and continued walking towards Heights Alliance. He knew the tall, multi-story building would be empty for the most part - as classes were still in session - but, some of his classmates would clearly start coming around, seeking answers for his outburst in the gym.

"Best to keep to myself. I don't want anyone to get hurt or upset because of my mood," he muttered to himself. "Still so angry!" He smacked his fist into his other hand, as a brief flare of One-For-All surged through his body. He quickly smothered it. "Damn it! I can't lose control like that. I need to work through this before someone does get hurt." He sighed and paused on the pathway. "But, where to go? Can't stay in my room. Too many people would think to look there, first. The common area's out, as are the baths, too . . . so, where can I go?"

By then, he'd gone up the pathway and was almost at the steps, when the door opened up and Uraraka appeared; looking like she was about to leave, only to stop when she caught sight of him.

"Oh, Deku!" she said with a smile. "Are you done with classes today?"

Shaking his head, Izuku said, "Well, kinda . . . I mean, Mr. Aizowa told me I was done." He looked up at her and gave her a crooked smile. "Sorry, Uraraka. I'm not going to be good company right now."

"Oh, I see. Something happened during training?" she asked.

"More or less," Izuku muttered. "I just need to go somewhere quiet so I can . . . think things over, I guess."

Uraraka nodded, tipping her head back in a thoughtful posture. "Well, the dorm might not be the best place, but . . . I do know where you can go that's relatively private. If you want to?"

"Really? Where?" Glancing at his friend, Izuku saw her thumb moving over the touch pad of her cell phone - a message, it seemed - but she quickly hit the send-button and closed it before he could see what it was.

"It's not far," Uraraka said, slipping her phone into the pocket of her lounge pants. "Although," she made a piched expression, causing her face to wrinkle with disgust. "You might want to go clean up and change first."

Izuku looked down at himself, realizing he was still in his hero outfit, which was covered in dust, dirt, and gravel. "Oh, yeah. I guess I'd better. Can't you give me a few minutes?"

Nodding, Uraraka reached out to take his hand. "Come on! The quicker you finish, the quicker I can show you."

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~= Twenty Minutes Later . . . . =~

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Shortly after leaving his room - having taken a quick shower and changed into a clean t-shirt and his cotton sport-shorts - Izuku followed Uraraka out through an access door as they emerged out onto the roof of the Heights Alliance building.

"How did you get the means to get up here, Uraraka?" Izuku asked as she led him along a short path that wound around some A/C units.

"Well, it was Toru who found it first. She managed to work out how the electronic lock was keyed and . . . well, she got Denki to shock it." She grinned back at him. "Then, it was just a matter of letting the rest of us girls know about it." She came to a stop, directing Izuku to step around to show him their destination; a relatively clear space in the center of the rooftop. "Here you go, Deku!" she said with a wave of her hand. "There's always a good view, and whether or not the weather holds, you should be comfortable, and have relative peace and quiet."

Izuku nodded and looked around. "Well, it's certainly private." He paused as he spied something that looked like a low bench under a shaded spot against a lee-wall. "Oh, where did that come from?"

"Momo made it for us," Uraraka explained. "Her Quirk made it. It was easier than lugging some furniture up the stairs." She nudged him, nodding to the bench. "Go on, have a seat. Relax."

Izuku nodded, and stepped over to ease himself down onto the bench. He was surprised to find it was cushioned - clearly something the girls asked Momo to add - and thanks to the overhang, it was pleasantly cooler there, in spite of the sunshine overhead. He let out a deep breath, slouching down to stretch his legs out fully. Closing his eyes, he felt some of the tension and anger ebbing away.

"Mmm, this is better," he said. "Thanks, Uraraka. I mean that." Letting his hands drift to the sides, he didn't even realize Uraraka hadn't left him. Until he felt the one side of the bench shift as she sat down.

"Soooo, just what did happen?" Uraraka asked softly. "I mean, I've heard some things, but-."

Izuku sighed deeply. "It . . . well, it was . . . I lost, my, temper."

"You lost your temper?" Uraraka prodded him, but kept it gentle. "You never lose your temper, Deku."

He nodded, saying, "True, but not this time. It wasn't with any of the instructors." He looked at Uraraka and frowned, before stating the truth: "I was angry at Kacchan. Bakugo."

Uraraka's eyes widened in alarm. "Bakugo!? Whatever for?"

Looking away, Izuku said, "It was during our technique training, in Gym Gamma . . . ."

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Izuku whirled, just in time to smack the sole of his armored foot against the fair-sized rock Hanta had slung towards him. The slab of jagged concrete hit the floor of the gym, rolling away for several meters before coming to rest.

"Hey, great reaction time, Deku!" Hanta called out as he cut the long, tape-cords he used to fling the projectile with.

"Thanks!" Izuku turned, watching as Mashiraio made a spectacular three-point leap to slap down three of Ectoplasm's clones in one spinning attack. "Wow! Everyone's moving so quickly today! At this rate, we'll all have an arsenal of special and ultimate moves."

"Hey, Midorya!" Denki called out from Izuku's right side. "Keep up the good work! That Shoot-Style of yours is getting impressive!"

Izuku turned to reply, just as a movement in his peripheral vision made him pause; it was Tsuyu - Froppy - slipping down from where she'd bounded against one of the concrete towers, where she jerked to a stop. "Ow! My foot!" she said.

He faced her fully, about to call out to her to see if she needed help. That's when the extra-loud explosion snapped his gaze upwards. It was one of Bakugo's special explosive attacks - shattering another stone column - but, this time the massive chunk he'd blasted wasn't pulverized. It was whole . . . and falling directly towards Tsuyu!

There was no time to call a warning or alert the instructors. They would never react in time. Energizing One-For-All, Izuku burst across the space between him at his trapped classmate in a tick of time. Touching down against the base where Froppy crouched low, he got a short glimpse of her fear-filled eyes, before he shot up towards the falling chunk of concrete. Twisting his body, he cocked his right leg and pivoted along his axis; summoning the amount of his Quirk that he knew would shatter it as his foot arced around in a blazing contrail of green-blue light.

"One-For-All . . . Full Cowling! Saint-Louis SMASH!"

The sudden airburst of concussive power rocked the foundations of the roofed-in gymnasium, making nearly everyone else in the immediate area duck and seek cover. Overhead, the remnants of a massive block of concrete were shattering into smaller fragments and clouds of dust.

From amid the shower of bits and pieces littering the combat area, Izuku blazed down amid a lightning-like contrail, before touching down in a braced, two-legged stance next to Froppy. Breathing hard, he slowly rose up and stared up at the heights of the massive rock formations covering the whole of the combat area . . . his eyes locked angrily with Bakugo's for a moment. Then, he turned and crouched down, asking "Tsu, are you hurt?"

Meekly, Tsuyu replied, "N-no . . . just, caught my foot in a crack. Kero."

Nodding, Izuku reached over and pried his fingers into the fissure. Trying to be very careful, he exerted only a minute fraction of One-For-All to break the concrete apart so Tsuyu could free her foot. He offered a hand to help her stand. "Does it hurt? Should we get you to the Nurse's Office?"

Gingerly testing her foot, Tsuyu could stand and take a few steps. "I don't think it's broken or sprained. Kero."

"Hey, Deku!? She all right?" The shout from Bakugo as he called down set Izuku's teeth on edge. Turning away from the green-haired girl, he skewered his child-hood classmate with a glare so hot, it actually made the blonde kid blink and step back a pace.

"Kacchan, you nearly crushed her! How can you be so reckless?!"

A scowl formed on Bakugo's face. "Huh!? You callin' me careless, Deku?!"

"What else would you call it, Kacchan?! If I hadn't acted fast enough, Tsu would be seriously hurt!" Anger welled up from inside Izuku, as he and Bakugo harangued each other for nearly two minutes. At one point, Izuku's anger made his Quirk flare up like a bright searchlight; from which the awestruck expression on Bakugo's face clearly showed everyone witnessing it that this was something unexpected from the usually mild-spoken Midorya.

Baguko tried to bluster, but Izuku didn't back down, nor did he apologize to the instructors when they tried to intervene . . . .

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". . . and, the instructors kept things from going any further," Izuku said, coming to the end of his explanation. "Kacchan would have most likely wanted to fight, and, to be honest I was more than willing to give him one!" He held up both fists and clenched them tight. "When I think about what could have happened to Tsu-?!" Cutting himself off with a shake of his head, Izuku let out another explosive sigh before looking at Uraraka again. "I made a promise that I'd never let anyone get hurt, so long as I had the power to do so. But, I guess, where Tsu is concerned . . . ?"

"What do you mean?" Uraraka asked.

"It's just that . . . well, I-." Izuku shored himself up, and said, "It's just that, after all this time, since joining U.A. High, taking part in the Sports Festival, then later at the U.S.J., and during our extra credit courses during the summer . . . I've been seeing Asui, I mean, Tsu as more than just a classmate. She's been blunt, forward and uncompromising, but also supportive. Way more than a friend should be." He held up one hand, staring as it curled into a fist before adding, "I'd do anything to protect her."

Uraraka placed a hand on his arm. "Izuku, are you saying what I think you're saying?"

He flinched, slightly, but relaxed and looked at her. "What?" he asked, seeing the smile slowly spread across her face.

"You really like Tsu, Deku . . . I mean, you really have strong feelings for her," Uraraka said, beaming with undisguised glee.

"W-wait, of course I like her!" Izuku said, trying not to show his embarrassment, even though his face turned as red as a beet. "J-just what a-are you saying, Uraraka?"

Hoping up off the couch, Uraraka said, ""Don't you dare deny it! You just as much admitted it, right now!" She pointed at him, practically bouncing on her toes with excitement. "You care about Tsu. I'd even dare say, that you love her, too!" At that moment, she tried to calm herself when she saw Izuku go totally dark red in the face, while he lost all means to talk because of the shock he felt. "Wait, just take it easy, Deku. It's not the end of the world. After all . . . it's okay if you like her that much."

Finally getting his voice to work, Izuku sputtered and mumbled, "But Tsu doesn't even know! I mean, I don't think I'd even have the courage to tell her, but even so, would she even have the same feelings as me?" He started to fidget where he was seated. "I mean, it's not a bad thing, even though I honestly never had a . . . a girlfriend before! Oh, geez! How would I even begin to-!" His rambling was cut off by a firm touch on his shoulder, and he looked up at Uraraka, who stood there with enough sense to not aggravate his anxiety further.

"Deku, it's going to be okay," Uraraka said, hoping her tone soothed him. "I'm pretty sure Tsu hasn't had a boyfriend either. So, it's something that the two of you will be able to experience together, for the first time."

"Y-yeah, but still . . . I-I wouldn't even begin to know what to do!" Izuku admitted. "I mean . . . how could I even ask her-?" He fell silent when Uraraka held up one finger to make him be quiet.

"Well, I know one way to find out." She glanced over her shoulder, smiled and looked back at him, saying, "You can just ask her, right?" With that, she stepped back and to the side . . . revealing the presence of Tsuyu standing a few paces away from them.

"Asu-erk! I mean, Tsu?!" Nearly jumping out of his skin, Izuku retreated to the far end of the bench. "H-How did y-you-?"

"How did I find you?" Tsuyu said meekly. She held up her cell phone. "Don't be mad, but it was Ochaco-san." She slipped her phone into her pants pocket, before glancing at Uraraka. "Well, you said you'd find him for me." She put her hands behind her back, standing there in a very un-Tsuyu manner. "T-thank you, Kero."

"Told you I would." Uraraka said, coming over to stand next to Tsuyu to give her a reassuring squeeze. "Now, the rest is up to you and Deku." She glanced at him and said, "Just remember, be honest with yourselves and each other." She guided Tsuyu over to the opposite side of the bench, then told them, "I'll leave you two to work things out. After all, you don't need me here to be a third wheel."

"I think you mean a 'fifth wheel', Ochaco-san."

What's going on here? Izuku asked himself. His eyes flicked back and forth between the girls, his panic level rising when he saw Uraraka turn and start to walk back towards the rook exit. "Uraraka!?"

She stopped at where the path started, looking back with an encouraging smile. "Don't worry, Deku. This isn't as bad as you're thinking. Trust me. Listen to Tsu. Talk to her. I think you'll both find you have something really important to say to each other." She gave them a small wave and said, "See you later, you two." With that, she was gone.

Izuku let whatever protest he had die on a shallow, shaky breath as she disappeared, realizing he was now alone with Tsuyu. Alone . . . with a girl he'd admitted to being protective and concerned about. Well, deeply concerned! he admitted silently.

"Um, do you mind if I sit down with you?"

The question made him jerk with alarm; so much he nearly tumbled off the edge of his seat. "Oh! Ah, I-I mean . . . no, please. You can sit down, Tsu," Izuku said, trying with all of his might to control the nervousness in his voice.

"Thank you, Kero." Tsuyu made herself comfortable on the other side of the bench, sitting so she could rest her hands in her lap.

Sitting together on the bench, Izuku tried to contain his emotions, while thinking of what to say next. What should I say? It's not like I'm trying to be mean here . . . but, honestly I've never-. Stop it! He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. You're not doing Tsu or yourself any good by worrying it to death! Get a grip! He put his hands on his knees and straightened his back. You can do this. Uraraka said to talk to her. To listen. Just tell her what you're feeling. How hard can that be?

Before he could say one word, it was Tsuyu who spoke first. "Midorya?"

Nearly jumping off the couch in surprise, Izuku forced himself to relax. "Yes?"

"Do you remember . . . back when we were doing the extra curriculum class, last summer?" Tsuyu asked softly.

Izuku looked at her, bobbing his head twice. "Yeah. Our rescue training course. Why?"

Tsuyu unclasped her hands and touched the tips of her index fingers together. "I was excited to take part in those drills . . . but, when they made me play one of the victims, it was . . . embarrassing." She sighed. "I'd rather be in on the action, rather than pretend I'm just helpless."

Izuku said, "Yeah, I can see what you mean." He rubbed the back of his head and waited as she collected her thoughts and went on.

"I hoped it wouldn't be too difficult, but during the 'rescue', you were the one to catch me after Uraraka lifted me out of the ravine." She looked at him as she tipped her head slightly to the side. "I was worried you were going to make a big deal out of it, but, you were rather calm about it. Even gentle . . . until I asked you to put me down." She looked at him fully, a small smile spreading across her face. "You were really embarrassed by me saying that. Kero."

Izuku laughed shyly. "Well, I admit . . . that, ah, was the first time I really ever touched a girl, before." He looked away briefly, then turned to face her again. "I mean-?"

"Shh, it's okay, Izuku," Tsuyu said, reaching out to press one finger to his lips. "I know you were going to apologize, but you don't have to." She lowered her hand and said, "That's what I've noticed about you. You never want to appear forward, or perverted." She twisted her lips in a wry expression. "Unlike one of our classmates I could name."

"Yeah, you don't have to do that!" Izuku said, his tone mirroring hers.

"You're always helpful," Tsuyu went on. "Kind, and also very protective of others. Especially me. Kero." She put one hand over his, and squeezed it gently. "I never did get to thank you, for saving me in Gym Gamma yesterday."

"Oh, uh, well y-you don't have to th-thank me, Tsu. I'm just glad you weren't hurt," Izuku said, trying to laugh away the further embarrassment. He started to say more, when he noticed that Tsuyu had slid closer to him on the bench. His eyes widened as he felt her grip his hand tighter, and she stared up at him more intently.

"No, I should give you a more appropriate 'thank you'," she said, her smile turning her expression to one of open fondness. "Don't be scared, Kero?"

"Why would I b-be scared of y-?!" Izuku's reply was cut short, and he nearly went rigid with shock as Tsuyu lifted up and pressed her lips to his. Oh geeez! She . . . she's-! His mind raced like a whirlwind. Tsu is kissing ME? The surprise nearly left him unable to react, at first. But, then it felt like his body took over for his brain-lock. His own hand rose to touch Tsuyu's cheek, and his own lips softened against hers. The sensation was unfamiliar, but it felt . . . right to him.

It was only a few seconds, and Tsuyu was leaning back to look into Izuku's eyes. "You saved me, and I wanted you to know, that my feelings for you have changed. Kero." Her eyes dipped down, almost as if she were afraid of what he might be thinking. "You were always a friend, Izuku. But, now . . . I-." This time, it was her turn to look surprised, as Izuku took her chin in two fingers and tipped her head back to make her look at him.

"Tsu," Izuku spoke softly, but it was unlike his usual nervous-muttering-rushed tone. In this moment, his voice was steady, yet there was a surprising amount of emotion in it. "I always liked you. As a friend, a classmate and a fellow hero. I'd be lying if I said I didn't admire your blunt honesty and calm courage . . . but, lately, you've become more to me than just another hero. Another . . . just a friend." He smiled at the surprise in her eyes; as she was seeing a side to him no one else had seen before. "I guess, what I'm trying to say . . . is . . . I like you, as much as you like me," he said.

At that, Tsuyu made a tiny, froggy sound of glee in her throat. "You really mean that?"

Izuku nodded. "Honestly. After all, what sort of person would I be if I couldn't talk about how I feel?" He waited for her to reply, and got another shock when Tsuyu suddenly lunged forwards, knocking him flat back against the padded bench. "Ooof!" He moved to wrap his arms around her - thinking only to keep her from falling off the bench - only to realize that he was laying down, with her practically on top of him. "Tsu?!"

She had both of her hands braced against his chest, which raised her partially over his body. Staring down at him, Tsuyu said, "You're the best kind of person. Kero!" She smiled and closed her eyes before she lightly brushed her lips against his. "Who is just the person I'd want . . . for a boyfriend."

Izuku reflexively stiffened, but as the import of her words reached his already-overloaded brain, he blinked and asked with a touch of awe; "Wait . . . you want me, to be your boyfriend?"

"If you want to be, Kero?" Tsuyu moved one hand to softly touch his heated cheek, staring back at him with an expression that was partially happy, and afraid at the same time. "I mean, It's a big thing to ask of you . . . and, I'd understand if you didn't want to-?"

Izuku hugged Tsuyu and lifted his head to bridge the few inches between hers; his lips making hers go still with further surprise as he kissed her with his own volition.

For a span of heartbeats, the two did nothing more than relish the closeness, the warmth and the pure delight generated by that one simple act. The, Izuku pulled back, just enough to ask her, "Well, if I'm going to be your boyfriend, does that mean you're my girlfriend, too?" His green eyes sparkled with mirth, as he smiled somewhat lop-sided while waiting for her to speak.

"You want me to be your girlfriend?" Tsuyu's voice was whisper-soft, but with all the emotion behind it, she could have been shouting. She slid her arms up, encircling his neck as she hugged him in return. "Yes, Izuku!"

The sudden feeling in Izuku's chest was like fireworks, or One-for-All powering up; but it wasn't unpleasant. It was warm and glowing. Is this what love feels like? He hugged her back, and he buried his face in her hair. "Tsu-chan!" He blinked and jerked back, eyes wide with alarm. "I-I mean, Tsu!"

At that, Tsuyu made a rather froggy chuckle and lifted up to stare at him. "I know I told you to call me Tsu," she said with a grin. "But, I think I like it when you call me Tsu-chan." She put her hand against his cheek and, tipping her head to the side, she asked, "However, I get to call you Izu-kun from now on. Kero?"

Izuku looked at her, gob smacked. Then, he laughed and said, "I think I could get used to that!"

Leaning futher back, Tsuyu asked, "Oh, being called Izu-kun or being my boyfriend?"

Lifing up and positioning them so Tsuyu was sitting sideways in his lap, Izuku said simply, "Both." He reached for her hand, and cleared his throat as he looked very serious for a moment. "I mean, Tsuyu Asui, would you be my girlfriend?" He gave her another shy grin. "It's what my mother said I should do, if I ever found a girl I liked."

Bussing his cheek, Tsuyu replied, "Izuku Midorya, I would be happy to be yours, if you would be my boyfriend?"

With a deeper grin, Izuku said, "Absolutely." He wrapped both arms around her waist, hugging her as he kissed her cheek.

By then, the sun had passed overhead to a degree it cast a comforting glow down onto the rooftop; the lee-wall casting a shadow that shaded the newly-formed couple from the strong warmth of the sun's rays. Izuku wasn't keen for them to join the others inside, and from the way Tsuyu was holding him she clearly felt the same way.

"You are going to have to get used to this," he said. "I mean, if you don't mind us, well, doing this?"

"What, cuddling? Hugging?" Tsuyu gave his cheek and affectionate slap, before touching her forhead to his; her eyes closing in an expression of happiness. "You'd better not stop, Izu-kun."

With a chuckle, he nodded before nuzzling her affectionately. "Never, Tsu-chan."

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~= Fin (for now!) =~

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