Today I accidentally said "they're so cute I want them to die" lmfaoooo
Today I accidentally said "they're so cute I want them to die" lmfaoooo
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Kirishima stays behind in the gym most evenings. This is not news to anyone, nor is it uncommon.
He usually outstays everyone actually. His stamina seems to be endless, and his quirk relies on his physical health and his ability to increase and extend his limits. So, Kirishima stays, and he trains, and he smiles the whole time. He pumps iron like a madman but makes sure to stay (barely) within his limits.
Tokoyami is aware of Kirishima’s gym habits, so he isn’t surprised when he backtracks one day to pick up a towel he’d left on one of the stands, only to find Kirishima in the room even though it’s late evening. It isn’t anything worth noting.
What is weird though is seeing him sitting cross-legged on the floor, right in front of the floor to ceiling mirrors, his face almost glued to his reflection. He’s leaning with his hands on his knees, and Tokoyami’s sure his forehead is touching the mirror.
The red head just stares at his reflection, and Tokoyami realizes that Kirishima is so absorbed in whatever it is that he’s doing that he doesn’t even realize the beaked hero is in the room. Tokoyami cocks his head to the side and decides to wait a minute before making his presence known.
Moments later, Kirishima hardens himself. More specifically, he hardens himself from the neck up, his arms and legs still soft and unchanged. It’s still nothing too out of the ordinary, except the face-plastered-to-the-mirror-while-on-the-floor bit.
7 seconds later, Kirishima takes a deep breath and grunts, hardening further. Layers and layers of hardening stack up like a deck of cards, and Tokoyami swallows back a chirp of amazement as he witnesses Kirishima go into Unbreakable form, his face and neck jagged and sharp. It’s mesmerizing almost, his diamond like appearance, the way it makes the vertebrae on the back of his neck jut out like a protective armor, the way even his hair hardens, though he’s left it in a pony right now.
And his eyes. Kirishima’s eyes look fierce, fiery, and so menacing. Tokoyami watches him in awe.
Kirishima continues to stay on the floor, staring at his reflection in Unbreakable. Reading his expressions might be difficult when his face is literally like a slab of well sculpted marble, not soft or malleable enough to form expressions and convey emotions, but Tokoyami can tell he’s furrowing his brow. He can see the frustration dancing in his brown-red eyes, and a few more seconds later Kirishima drops his quirk entirely. His vertebrae melt back into his neck, his cheeks are soft and fluffy, his hair puffy, and his eyes-
Sad. Thoughtful. Frustrated.
Tokoyami clears his throat. ‘Excuse me.’
Kirishima whips his head around with a surprised look on his face. He breaks into a grin when he sees Tokoyami.
‘What’s up man?’
Tokoyami points at the stands near Kirishima, slowly making his way towards it. ‘I seem to have left my towel here, I wish to pick it up so I may wash it before our next sessions.’
Kirishima looks at the stand and nods in understanding. ‘Gotcha! Please go ahead.’ He gives him a thumbs up.
Tokoyami picks up the familiar black towel with its deep purple border. The material is familiar and deceptively soft, and it smells like him. He hugs it to his chest and takes a step back before turning to look at Kirishima. The redhead catches his stare in the mirror and looks up, throwing him a quizzical smile.
‘Pardon the intrusion,’ Tokoyami starts softly, fidgeting with the towel. ‘I happened to walk in while you engaged your quirk, and I am unable to understand your intentions.’
Kirishima’s face pales instantly. ‘Oh shit, you saw that? I swear, I’m not using my quirk for anything weird, I know we aren’t supposed to use it outside of hero stuff yet but please don’t tell anyone, I really don-‘
‘Ah, you misunderstand,’ Tokoyami interrupts. ‘I do not believe you’re doing anything improper or unsafe. I merely wish to inquire about your intentions as I could not decipher them for myself. That is, of course, if you wish to speak about it. With me. If not, I understand completely and will gladly drop the subject.’
Kirishima immediately deflates with a relieved sigh. He looks away from Tokoyami and watches his own face in the mirror. Tokoyami moves his gaze to Kirishima’s face, and they look at each other through the reflective surface. Kirishima gives him a small smile, tentative and uncertain and very un-Kirishima like.
‘I don’t like talking about it cause it sounds super dumb but it’s not like I don’t want to talk about it. Um. Just. Don’t laugh? I guess?’
Tokoyami nods. ‘I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you. I am honored that you would trust me enough to open up about whatever it is that seems to plague your mind.’
Kirishima laughs softly. ‘I don’t think it’s anything quite so dramatic. It’s just, I’ve been doing some quirk training, I guess? Not the kind I can do during our Hero course though. This is more personal?’
Tokoyami nods in understanding, silently urging him to continue.
‘I’ve read so many things about my Unbreakable form. Most people love it. And I love it! I mean, it’s definitely a work in progress, and I know I can develop it more and get better and stronger and everything, but it’s a good move for sure. So, like, I know we all get our criticisms about our quirks, that’s normal and that’s ok.’
Kirishima clenches the fists in his lap, eyes dropping down to watch them. ‘I’ve read that my Unbreakable form is scary. Ugly. Menacing. Frightening.’ He purses his lips. ‘I don’t think those are bad things, not at all. And I don’t really mind what it looks like, it gets the job done!’
Kirishima looks back up, twisting to catch Tokoyami’s eyes with his own, omitting the mirror altogether. ‘But I wonder if my face is too scary for the kids, you know? And when I’m in the middle of a rescue in the future, I don’t want to add to their stress. I don’t want to scare them anymore than they already probably will be. But I can’t really drop Unbreakable all the time either.’
Tokoyami nods again, understanding Kirishima’s problems and feeling it ache in his core.
‘So, I wondered if there’s any way for me to make Unbreakable just a little more humane while preserving its functionality. I was thinking about softening just my eyes, so they’re not quite so jagged and scary.’
Kirishima’s eyes move back to the mirror, and he punches his thigh roughly, mouth twisting into a grimace. ‘Fine control over small portions of my body is hard though. I have a tough enough time maintaining Unbreakable on its own. To fine tune that even more seems impossible. And like, I’m not even sure it’ll work. I don’t know. I don’t have any idea what I’m doing Tokoyami. Not a damned clue.’
Tokoyami trills in thought, his hand moving up to support his chin.
‘While I do not wish to move the subject away from you, I would like to convey my empathy for I too face similar challenges.’ He gently prods Dark Shadow from within before continuing, ‘I do not have a conventional appearance. I do not look scary either, but Dark Shadow is, I have been told, a formidable presence.’
Dark Shadow peeks over Tokoyami’s shoulder and waves enthusiastically at Kirishima. The redhead breaks into a huge grin and returns the gesture with gusto, more than used to Dark Shadow’s appearance and antics. He really likes the guy.
‘I appreciate that our classmates have gotten used to us, and to him, but I also question how many civilians would like to be rescued by an individual with an ability like mine. I too would not like to add to their distress.’
Kirishima nods in understanding, the look in his eyes softening immeasurably.
‘I am unsure of how to help, but I would be happy to provide you with any moral support or even some simple company while you embark on this quest.’
Kirishima pats the spot next to him. ‘Sure thing Tokoyami, I really appreciate it man!’
Tokoyami nods and takes a seat on the floor. The two boys move to face each other, and Tokoyami spends the next half hour watching Kirishima engage his quirk, engage Unbreakable, and then struggle to soften his eyes.
He watches as Kirishima softens a cheek instead sometimes, watches as his forehead ripples uncertainly, watches his neck pulse with his quirk, and watches as his eyes sometimes go soft and warm. He encourages the best he can, celebrating the victories and pushing Kirishima to try once more when he fails. They burst into laughter more often than not, and it’s honestly a lot of fun.
Even Dark Shadow hangs around, somehow procuring pom-poms to celebrate and cheer.
When Kirishima finally calls it an evening, they get to their feet and start heading to the dorms.
‘If you require company, please do not hesitate to approach me. If I am able, it would be an honor to cheer you on and watch you succeed in this endeavor.’
Kirishima places a large, warm hand on his shoulder and squeezes. ‘I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this Tokoyami! I don’t practice it every day, but I’ll shoot you a text whenever I get the time to practice, and we can try to coordinate and make it work!’ He gives him his big sunshine smile. ‘Thank you for talking to me about it by the way, I really do feel a lot better.’
Tokoyami gives him another nod, and the boys walk back, enjoying the evening breeze and some light banter.
In the following weeks, Tokoyami and Kirishima swap messages and meet a lot more often. Tokoyami keeps tabs of his progress and gently pushes him to do better, and Kirishima laughs around with Dark Shadow when they take breaks. Sometimes they meet, decide they’re too lazy to quirk train and just watch old horror movies that leave Kirishima hiding behind Dark Shadow instead. Sometimes they listen to alt rock or do bicep curls. It’s a refreshing change of pace for both of them.
All their training does pay off though, sooner than they could’ve anticipated.
Aizawa brings Eri with him to hero training one day, and the young girl sits on a chair out of the way, watching with wide, amazed eyes. Aizawa stays close to her, watching over training with keen, knowing eyes. When he sees Kirishima doing some resistance training in Unbreakable form, he thinks of some pointers.
The redhead whips around to look at his teacher. Aizawa makes a come over here gesture with his hand, and Kirishima drops his quirk as he starts walking.
‘Come over here with your quirk engaged,’ Aizawa says. ‘You need to keep working on how long you can maintain your Unbreakable form, so don’t drop it right now.’
Immediately Kirishima engages his quirk and walks over to Aizawa, and every step is filled with the sharp sound of friction. Tokoyami watches as they talk, and he sees Eri looking at Red Riot with big wonderous eyes.
When they’re done chatting, Kirishima looks over at Eri. She flinches slightly, though no one can blame that on Kirishima’s appearance- Eri still flinches with most people.
Still, Tokoyami watches as Kirishima gets on his knees in front of her, still in Unbreakable form, and he sees Kirishima soften his eyes. They become liquid ruby, and he can feel the warmth almost from halfway across the gym.
He can’t hear what they say, but he sees Eri smile bright and even giggle, and he sees Aizawa appraising the situation with raised brows and an impressed sort of half smile.
Tokoyami gives Kirishima a pat on the back in his mind and bumps fists with Dark Shadow.
They all definitely have to celebrate later with some old horror movies and popcorn.
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