"Pandamonium!" Somehow recovering from near death did not stop Joke from talking. Loudly. "Like, what was with that guy? I mean, his quirk was just that he was a panda-man which is like, almost as bad as being a koala! But the dude knew kung-fu! Who teaches a panda kung-fu and then gives him a drug like Boost?"

Joke shut up for half a second and looked at him. The bandage that covered her eye was testament to how hard she fought and how serious she was during a fight. Against a mutation-type quirk like that panda, he was all but useless, and what's more, the panda had no problem laughing off Joke's quirk.

Inwardly he groaned at his own pun. Was it a pun? Play on words? Either way, it was pretty bad.

"Hey," Joke leaned over as far as she could with her leg being elevated. He could still hear that crunch. "Do you wanna get some chinese food? Just as revenge against Mr. panda-man?"

"I don't think they actually serve panda."

"I know that! Oh hey, we can totally go to the zoo as a date and then feed the pandas there. Oh better! We can kidnap one, as a date, take it back to my place, and have a blast teaching it to be my sidekick! Oh, and a clown. The clown part is first." She paused again and stared at him for a long moment. Somehow despite the fact that he wasn't looking at her, she could make eye contact. "Are pandas smart enough to—"

"Everything you just said was illegal."

"Not the date part!"

He let out a groan originated from his very soul. "Why am I in a recovery room with you?"

"Hospital policy." Joke waved her hand back and forth like it was no big deal. "You know they put patients with the same emergency contact in the same recovery room for family to visit and stuff."

Aizawa didn't even groan to that but he felt himself sink further into his mattress.

"Hey." She took on that serious voice she had that always made him look at her. Their eyes met, and she squinted at him with her one uncovered eye. "Why am I still your emergency contact?"

He shrugged, an action that made his bruised and broken limbs hate him. "Same reason as always: I trust you."

"Hmm." Joke paused for a moment to consider his answer. "I guess that makes sense, I have saved your life at least six times."

"Six?"

"Kyoto."

"Ahh."

Normally he quite enjoyed silence around Joke, but this was different. It was uneasy. And the damn news was as depressing as ever. He flopped his head to the side to look at her. Her straight seafoam-green hair was a greasy mess and half-covered by gauze from the blow she had taken. "What about you?"

"Hmm?"

"Why am I your emergency contact?"

"Why wouldn't you be?" She beamed at him, a great big toothy smile that she had given him so many times. It was that smile that actually made him trust her; that, and her actions speaking larger than her words. She may joke around a lot, but when it came down to it, there were surprisingly few people he'd rather have at his side. "You're my future husband, so there's no reason for me to change if I'm just going to change it back again. Besides, you always come, don't you?"

"Are you sure you just don't have any friends?"

That earned him a gasp of shock and delight from her. "Holy shit, should I be insulted or should I be throwing a party that you actually threw a joke? Even if it is insulting." She blinked at him. "And true."

"How is it true?" He gestured towards her with his good arm and glared at her. "You're…"

"Me?"

"Yeah." He nodded and continued to stare at her. This was the first heart-to-heart he had with Joke in years, really. Outside of work he didn't even know her. "You seem like the extroverted type."

"Pfft, it's never that simple, you know." She flailed her good arm at him. "Like, yeah, I have no problem with talking to people, and you know, expressing emotions and laughing, but lately nothing beats spending the day at home curled up in my pajamas and reading a book with my cat. Maybe I'll watch a comedy or something, but I don't go out as much as you think I do. At least, not as Emi."

Joke was one of those types that treated their hero life as a separate person than their civilian identity. It had certain benefits that Aizawa never bothered to learn.

"Besides, all of my friends are married at this point, and I'm like that hot double income lesbian aunt that spoils their kids. Only I'm not a lesbian, my income is alright, and… yeah." Joke placed a strand of her green hair in front of her face just so she could blow it away with a huff.

He glared at her for a few seconds. "I refuse to believe that you don't have friends."

"I just said I did."

"I meant friends that would go out and do stuff with you. Didn't you team up with Rumi last month?"

"That was like a year ago!" She flailed her arm in his general direction. "But I guess I should be happy you were at least aware of that. And no, you're the only friend from work I got. But you're special."

"Why do you joke about liking me so much? I mean, do you do this with every hero you meet?"

"Nope, you're the only one. Well, you and Moe, but that's because we kissed during a school play and said that we'd just marry each other if we were both still single when we're forty." Emi just shrugged. "But don't worry, she's not any real competition, she's currently trying to date her boss's daughter."

"Didn't you just say that all your friends are married?"

"I currently have head trauma and I'm on more drugs than I have fingers." She poked at the I.V. bag towards her side. "Stop trying to poke holes in my arguments."

"Sorry, sorry."

"By the way, what the hell did they give you? You're normally never this talkative."

"No idea." He mustered just enough effort to consider grabbing his chart, but instead nestled back into the slightly sweaty depression he had been forming in his hospital bed since Joke had woken him up a while ago. "And it's not like I have anything else to do."

"Well, if I'm your last resort, at least I'm on the list." She gave a great big smile and flashed a peace sign at him with her good arm.

"Hey," he glowered in her general direction. "You never answered my question."

"Yes, I'll marry you."

He groaned. "I mean why do you keep doing that?"

"What? Trying to marry you?"

"Yes!"

"Because I'm shit at flirting."

"What?"

"Guh." Joke let out a long groan that he felt a deep kinship with. "Alright, do you remember the first time that I asked you to marry me?"

"Uhh, no."

"Well you suck." She gave a huff and crossed her arm. "Alright, so the first time I was going to try and play it cool and just ask that we go out for drinks or something and instead I said, 'Yo, let's get married.' and you glared at me and I thought that was hot, and I decided to keep doing it."

"So…" he looked away from her and stared up at the ceiling for a moment. "You actually like me?"

"Why the hell would I joke about marrying someone unless I actually liked them?"

"You just said that—"

"Drugs!"

"So I can't hold you accountable for anything you say right now."

"No, but you can hold me if you want."

Aizawa let out a long sigh and closed his eyes. So, Joke was actually joking, but she wasn't actually joking. That meant a lot of things, but it also meant that she was more of a headache now than ever. Also, he was kind of dense, but he chalked that up to his abysmal social skills. Why was he a teacher then? Oh, right, so less kids would die because everyone else sucked at their job.

Joke seemed to be doing okay.

He kind of trusted Vlad.

Nezu, on the other hand, was number one on both the 'most innocent' list and 'wouldn't be surprised if they were controlling everything from the shadows and eventually take over the world in some ten-point plan that they make a powerpoint of and send it to every email in the world along with a ten-point program that showed how they all could have stopped him'. One of the reasons Nezu was on that second list was because Nezu had gloated about how he had improved the grades of U.A. and every school in Tokyo by nearly a whole letter grade.

Nezu was smart, and wanted people to know just how smart.

A moment later, he felt sleep tug on his brain, and he didn't bother to resist.

Though he should have, considering how he dreamed about Joke wearing a green playboy bunny suit that showed off her toned and admittedly curvaceous body, while she carried a giant red hammer that had 'Horny' written on it.

That dream, along with the fact that he actually enjoyed it, were secrets that he would take to his grave.

AN: I wanted to write some Ms. Joke content. And Eraser Joke always sits well with me. Hope you enjoy!