Hitoshi really could've been doing anything. He could've been finishing up homework, reading a book, even simply watching tv. Anything really to serve as an excuse that he's busy. But instead, the thing that he'd chose to do was stare blankly at the ceiling while laying in bed in the middle of the day. That's probably why his dad had asked him if he could take Eri to her swim lessons, seeing as he had nothing else better to do.
But really, he figures sitting on the side benches of the community center’s pool isn't that efficient in curing boredom as much as laying in bed and trying to nap.
“Toshi, Toshi! Look over here!” his sister shouts from the shallow end of the pool, ducking her head under the water, most likely doing twirls that Hitoshi can't see, and then springing back up a few moments later. “Wasn't that cool?” she asks excitedly.
Hitoshi gives a thumbs up from the shade of the bench he's on, trying not to appear bored to her.
“Very impressive,” he calls out from the short distance between him and the pool.
She seems to preen at the words. “Wanna see me jump and make a big splash?” she asks while starting to lift herself off of the edge, though she's stopped before that can even happen.
“No diving in the shallows,” booms a voice, and when Hitoshi looks over he can see a rather annoyed looking lifeguard atop the tower of a chair holding a megaphone.
Eri pouts, but otherwise doesn't complain while lowering herself back into the water.
Hitoshi wonders if they got here too early, it was supposed to be a swim lesson, after all, but no one seems to be teaching anything, with most of the kids Eri’s age sticking to the shallow end while the other section is roped off with buoys stringed together, signifying it's off limits.
There's the sound of the door to the locker room showers being opened rather hastily, along with a few panted breaths.
“I'm here, I'm here!”
Hitoshi looks over at the commotion, mouth nearly going dry at the sight of rippling muscles underneath the red material of a lifeguard jacket, and the way said muscles flex with each labored breath.
“Took you long enough,” grumbles the lifeguard on duty, climbing down from the tall seat, “I'm not covering for you if you're late again,” he says while handing over the megaphone to the (rather cute) green-haired boy.
“Sorry, Kacchan,” the other says bashfully while accepting the megaphone, “It won't happen again.”
The blond doesn't say anything else, just leaves through the locker room door, presumably done with his shift.
The curly-haired beauty doesn't waste time starting his own shift, which is coincidentally just the thing Hitoshi was wondering about a moment ago as the other pulls in the ropes separating the shallow end with the rest of the large pool and happily starts the swimming lessons for the eager kids there.
Hitoshi is grateful that the boy is too distracted by teaching the proper technique on dog paddling to notice Hitoshi ogling him for the entire lesson, so much so that the hours fly by much too fast for his taste.
As Eri is heading into the girls locker room to change back into her clothes, Hitoshi is already trying to figure out how to word his offer to his dads about him taking her to swim lessons everyday from now on.
Hitoshi can't complain that he's bored when he gets to spend a precious two hours out of the day enjoying the sight of literal perfection in human form.
He'd learned that the cute lifeguard’s name is Midoriya after seeing the name on one of the schedule boards in the entrance office when signing Eri up for another week of the classes (which she'd been very enthusiastic about), and he honestly hasn't been able to stop thinking about him.
It's pathetic, really, the way the crush forms so quickly when neither have even said a word to each other, but Hitoshi can't help the way his heart picks up when he looks at that bright smile. Not to mention the massive gay panic roaring through his entire being at the toned body of the other.
(Midoriya had to dive in to save a kid from the deep end one time, not even bothering removing his shirt.
Hitoshi nearly had a nosebleed at the sight of the wet, transparent fabric clinging to the other's abs.)
Not to mention that the boy is beyond sweet to the children he teaches, giving encouraging smiles to each of them when they tell him about something new.
Midoriya’s smile is brighter than the sun in the sky, but Hitoshi is sure it will burn him if he gets too close, something that itches underneath his skin whenever he imagines that smile being directed at him.
Maybe Hitoshi should man up and just talk to him instead of sitting off to the side and watching him like some stalker (the other probably notices and thinks Hitoshi is a creep anyway), but nerves get in the way every time Hitoshi even comes close to that thought.
Someone like that definitely isn't single. Hitoshi highly doubts he has a chance, and even if he miraculously happened to be Midoriya’s type, there's still a very high chance someone already has the other boy's heart.
That doesn't stop him from enjoying the view from his shaded perch though.
By the end of the week, Hitoshi as had enough gay thoughts that he's sure his brain is nothing but a mushy clump filled with the sound of sweet laughter and even sweeter biceps.
“Toshi, can you sign me up for another week?” Eri asks while coming out from the locker room after another day of swimming.
Hitoshi nods, giving an okay as they walk into the main entrance part of the building attached to the pool area, the rest of the kids and their parents already there to sign up for another week, leaving the two of them at the end of the line, which doesn't take long considering that Eri fills the wait with her amiably talking about how far she's come with her lessons.
“And I don't even have to pinch my nose anymore! Oh, oh, and I'll be able to use the diving board soon too!”
“Sounds like you're ahead of everyone else,” Hitoshi laughs while ruffling her hair.
Pretty soon it's their turn after the people ahead of them leave, except the girl at the front counter gets up when a door on the other side of the room is heard opening.
“Izuku, can you cover for me for one minute, please? I really gotta go to the restroom.”
“No problem, Ochako,” says the voice that makes Hitoshi’s heart flutter and pulse quicken unintentionally.
The sight of green situates itself into Hitoshi’s vision and woah, how did Hitoshi not notice that Midoriya had freaking freckles?! That, paired with a sweet smile and greeting have Hitoshi biting the inside of his mouth.
“Ah, Eri-chan, you're taking more lessons?” he asks with a grin as she nods her head, “That's great, Kirishima will be teaching everyone how to dive next week.”
“I thought you were gonna be teaching?” Eri points out, her smile fading a bit.
“Afraid not, I'm only life guarding the freestyle sessions next week,” Midoriya answers, “But after that I'll be back to giving lessons.”
“I'll wait till then!” Eri exclaims.
“Kirishima is a good instructor, you don't have to wait for me,” Midoriya chuckles lightly, the sound soft and beautiful like waves crashing over Hitoshi’s heart.
“You're the best though,” Eri says matter of factly, “Can you sign me up for the freestyle swim next week too?” she asks.
“Of course,” he says, writing on one of the clipboards, “You and…?” he starts, eyes moving over to Hitoshi and very effectively making his heart stop.
So, so green… Midoriya’s eyes are like shining emeralds that have Hitoshi totally encaptured, so much so that all he does is just stare like a fool while Eri pipes up.
“This is my big brother Hitoshi!” she says happily, smile wide as she speaks.
“Hitoshi,” Midoriya starts, smile still sweet on his lips, “Will you be taking part too? In the freestyle swim I mean, not the lessons. Unless you want the lessons of course—uh, that's not to say I don't think that you know how to swim, but well, I mean I do always see you sitting off to the side…”
It's fascinating to see the rosy cheeks on the other as he fumbles his words, the awkwardness somewhat attractive and leaving Hitoshi to just stare wide-eyed as Midoriya continues to ramble on.
“I, um,” Hitoshi tries for words when the other's rambles die down a bit, though he's honestly not sure on how to answer.
Eri seems to however.
“Sign us both up!” she cheers, then turns to Hitoshi, “Toshi, please, please, please! It'll be so fun!”
Between the eager face of his sister, the stare of the other boy awaiting an answer, and the blaring gay thoughts making his brain feel like it's being deep fried, Hitoshi has no other choice but to let out a “sure.”
At dinner that night, Eri seems to make it a mission to let their dads know that Hitoshi will be taking part in swimming with her, and it's not that he's upset with her for mentioning it, how can he be when she's clearly so excited? But it still doesn't help the weird stare he gets from his father.
“You never really seemed adamant about swimming before?” the tired voice of his father says, but otherwise doesn't appear to be suspicious about it.
“As long as he's having fun, that's all that matters. Right, Hitoshi?” his dad says happily, smiling as wide as Eri, then turns back to direct his attention on the other man again. “Shou, should we go with them and take pictures? It'll look cute in the album!”
The thought of his dads there taking pictures and being loud and embarrassing while Hitoshi is near his crush has him nearly cringing, so much so that it must show on his face cause his father quickly puts to rest the idea of the two of them going to the pool with him and Eri.
Small blessings, though Hitoshi isn't sure how his heart is gonna hold up during the upcoming week.
Hitoshi invests in a lot of sunblock, so much that one wouldn't think that it would necessarily be needed, but he's not taking any chances with the risk of his pale skin burning to a crisp. He also needed to go out and buy a pair of swim trunks, seeing as he hasn't been swimming in years.
His first mistake was agreeing to bring Eri along with him when shopping for the things he needed, because not only did it turn into her picking out wing-floats and matching snorkels that they surely wouldn't even end up using, she'd nearly had a fit talking him into buying a pair of Hello Kitty themed swim trunks.
She's lucky that he hates seeing her pout sadly, that's the only reason why he's still inside one of the stalls of the pool’s locker room, trying to tell himself that he doesn't look like the world's biggest fool.
Maybe he'll think it's funny? Hitoshi tries to reassure himself, though it only helps minisculely as he lets out a deep exhale while unlocking the stall door, grabbing his towel bag and stepping out of the locker room and out to the sounds of splashing and laughing, along with the overwhelming scent of chlorine and the SPF clinging to him.
It's very different from being on his shaded bench, and Hitoshi honestly feels exposed in nothing but his horrid swimwear with prints of Hello Kitty’s face all over it.
He really should start being more firm with his disagreements.
“Toshi, c’mon, you're so slow,” is said somewhere to his right while his eyes are still adjusting to the bright sun, and when he feels his hand being tugged he has no choice but for his feet to follow.
“You could've just gone in; you didn't have to wait for me,” Hitoshi says while taking a step into the cool water, the heat from the floor gone in a contrasting instant as he submerges half of his body into the pool.
There's not a lot of the kids from the swimming lessons here now, a few of them the same ones but a majority of the pool-goers look maybe Hitoshi’s age, all of them being rowdy and doing cannonballs with loud shouts.
There's the shrill chirp of a whistle, and when Hitoshi looks over at the lifeguard chair he can see Midoriya with said whistle in his mouth, attached to a lanyard around his neck.
“No rough-housing, please!” he shouts in response to the teens dunking each other's heads under the water, which earns only a couple glares from the interruption of their “fun,” but they otherwise follow the order.
Hitoshi wants to hold his own head under the water when green eyes shift over to where he and Eri are at, and he wishes nothing more that he was made of glass to blend right in with the clear water when Midoriya smiles brightly and waves over at the two of them.
This is gonna be a long week, and Hitoshi isn't sure whether that's the best or worst thing.
Three days into the week, Hitoshi contemplates whether or not he should say he's sick so he doesn't have to accompany Eri to the pool anymore. It's not that he's not enjoying himself (aside from getting splashed every second and having his hair droop over his eyes), but he can't seem to get his nerves to calm down whenever he's near Midoriya.
Hitoshi would honestly think that the other boy is purposely pulling at his helpless heartstrings by greeting him everyday and flashing that million watt smile directly into Hitoshi’s retinas.
No amount of sunblock could've prepared Hitoshi for the human-sunshine that is the other boy.
There's a total of nine times (and that's just in one day) that the thought of fake drowning is a good idea in Hitoshi’s book, the downside being him most likely getting odd stares by everyone there, but the upside being strong arms pulling him out of the water (and maybe performing mouth to mouth if Hitoshi even gets that far in his daydreams). He's still not sure if the pros outweigh the cons, especially not during the times where Hitoshi just zones out on the sight of Midoriya’s lips around the whistle as he chides rowdy pool-goers.
He really needs to get a grip, maybe jump off the high dive and flop onto his stomach so the sting will distract him. At least the embarrassment of coming here in obscene cartoon swim trunks had worn off the first few days, though that's only because Hitoshi had been spending a majority of the time either trying to block the splashes from his sister, or stealing glances at Midoriya when the boy wasn't looking.
Well, at least Hitoshi will be back to the comfort of his shaded spot next week when Eri continues her lessons. Though he'll admit that he's definitely gonna miss seeing the other up close when he goes back to watching from a distance.
Jeez, that's creepy, Hitoshi cringes, washing his hands after using the pool's restroom. He doesn't want to view Midoriya as just a pretty sight for his eyes to soak up, but it's not like he'll be able to work up enough nerve any time soon to actually talk to the other.
Hitoshi is hopeless.
The gritty concrete is warm under his feet when walking back out, the sun-dappled water sloshing around in the pool from all of the kids playing in it, and Hitoshi has to just stand there for a moment, blinking his eyes so they adjust faster to the brightness.
“Toshi!” he hears shouted somewhere to his right, and when he looks over he can see Eri outside of the pool and running toward him happily.
Before Hitoshi can even open his mouth to tell her to slow down there's two shrill chirps of the lifeguard’s whistle, and the beginning of the words “No running—” of Midoriya’s voice, but it's too late.
Eri ends up tripping over a pool noodle someone had left on the ground, her smile changing to an open mouth of surprise during the descent to the ground.
Midoriya is already hastily climbing down from the lifeguard chair as Hitoshi rushes over to her as well.
“Eri-chan, are you alright?” he asks while helping her sit upright.
Despite the ground being not smooth enough to be slippery, the textured flooring surely isn't a pleasant thing to fall onto, the evidence being the angry red scrapes on his sister’s knees.
Hitoshi can already tell what's about to happen from the way Eri’s eyes get big and glassy, bottom lip wobbling as she takes a big yet shuddering inhale. He hates seeing her cry, and the fact that she's hurt isn't helping.
Midoriya is trying to calm her and give reassurance, but his attempts, no matter how sweet, fail as the tears start spilling from red eyes.
Whenever something like this would happen, it would be either of his parents calming her down, and when it was just Hitoshi there to help… well, his method of calming wasn't exactly something that his dignity would like very much, especially not in front of his crush.
But the tears keep spilling from Eri’s eyes, along with her soft cries, and all hope for Hitoshi’s pride is thrown under the bus; he can't just let his sister cry, after all.
“Eri,” he starts, getting her attention (and unfortunately, Midoriya’s as well) while taking a steading breath for what he's about to do.
He takes a step back, clearing his throat, and then starts the beginning of a silly dance that he and Eri had made up together, along with the words of a certain cartoon song leaving his lips.
“Who loves flowers in the sun or a party just for one, it's kitty, kitty kitty,” he sings, trying his very best not to make eye contact with Midoriya as he continues, taking note of how Eri’s eyebrows aren't scrunched together anymore now that her attention is on him.
“There's the rainbows in the sky and the birds that fly so high, it's kitty, kitty kitty!”
Hitoshi notes that she's stopped crying, almost in awe that he's even doing this dumb song and dance here, in public.
“So if you wanna laugh and play, and do most things everyday, there's a kitty you should know and it's time to say hello!”
He raises his arms together in the air and then lowers them like an imitation rainbow as he does a quick spin.
“Say it clear now let's all cheer, say Hello Kitty!” he sings with finality, his arms open as he finishes the dreaded song and mismatched choreography.
Hitoshi’s burning embarrassment is cooled down by the sight of his sister’s mouth pulled into a smile, as well as a giggle storm erupting as she wipes the tears from her face, but his relief is short lived when he accidentally looks over at Midoriya and instantly feels dread singe every nerve in his body.
Despite being covered in sunblock, Hitoshi is sure that his skin is burning a bright red. He only wishes it was because of a sunburn and not the fact that his crush is staring at him with awe.
As if Hitoshi singing the freaking Hello Kitty theme song wasn't embarrassing enough (especially considering his swim trunks). Maybe he should just go sit at the bottom of the pool for a bit.
Midoriya must remember then that there's an injured person here, because he (thankfully) turns his attention away from Hitoshi’s mortified self and back onto Eri.
“Can you stand up alright?” he asks, and even though she nods he still holds her hand to help her stand up. “Ochako has a first aid kit in the office,” he says, only this time it's directed at Hitoshi.
Hitoshi lags, his brain going a mile a minute in panic before his vocal chords are able to form a noise of confirmation while he takes Eri’s hand and they head in the direction that Midoriya points to.
(He's sure that the other gave more instruction, but he wasn't entirely focused.)
“I can't believe you did that,” he hears Eri say as the two of them are walking to the door that presumably leads to the office part of the public pool.
“Me neither,” Hitoshi breathes out in response, and he's sure that there's a very low chance that he'll be forgetting it either.
While Eri is getting her knees patched up by the brunette who's usually behind the counter in the entrance hall, Hitoshi takes notice of the clock on the wall which indicates that the freestyle swim session is coming to an end. For that, he's thankful; he'd absolutely die if he had to face Midoriya again after all that.
So when Eri is instructed to take it easy and go change out of her swimsuit, Hitoshi does the same, eyes darting from the lifeguard chair and back while making his way to the boys locker room while Midoriya is busy watching over the pool-goers.
Hitoshi probably stays under the nozzle of the showers for longer than he intends to, the spray running down him as he stares at the water swirling down one of the drains while contemplating all of his life decisions.
He'll have to come up with some excuse to his dads about not being able to take Eri swimming anymore, maybe tell them he's too busy? No, they'll question him on that, and he won't be able to come up with anything. Maybe if he somehow finds out Midoriya’s schedule so he'll be able to avoid him. No, no, no, that's beyond creepy, and not to mention borderline stalking! Maybe if…
Hitoshi feels a tap on his shoulder, featherlight but enough to yank him from his thoughts and cause him to jolt.
“Ah, sorry!” a voice hurriedly rushes out, one that causes Hitoshi’s veins to freeze all of the blood in his body.
Slowly Hitoshi turns his head around, eyes catching sight of green.
“Hitoshi, right?” Midoriya asks with a head tilt from where he's right beside Hitoshi in the empty showers (how long had Hitoshi been standing here?), the sounds of kids in the locker room chatting and laughing just a short distance away.
Hitoshi gulps, not knowing which is worse for him, keeping eye contact with the other boy, or accidentally having his eyes trail to the other's shirtless chest.
Hitoshi decides to just go for a nod and a hum to save himself the embarrassment of a stutter.
“Is Eri doing alright now?” Midoriya asks, thankfully not taking note (at least Hitoshi hopes not) of Hitoshi’s flushed face that's sure to be all over his body.
He hopes he can blame it on a sunburn.
“Yeah,” Hitoshi answers, “she's feeling better now that she's gotten her scrapes cleaned and bandaged.”
Midoriya hums while turning on the water spout beside him, the shower head spraying him while he washes the chlorine from himself.
“That's good to hear,” he says, fingers running through his curls with the water, “That was a really cute dance by the way,” he adds, successfully causing Hitoshi to cringes at himself.
“Don't make fun of me,” Hitoshi says with a wince to his wounded pride, though he means for it to be playful.
“I'm not,” the other reassures quickly, as if not picking up that the statement wasn't meant to be rude, “I really did like it, you're not that bad of a singer either.”
“Er, thanks,” Hitoshi says, a hand going to the back of his neck reflexively.
“You're really good with kids, huh?” Midoriya asks while shutting off the water and pulling a towel from one of the hooks on the wall to dry his hair. “You should work here.”
“Huh?” Hitoshi nearly sputters at the statement.
“It's not as daunting as you might think,” the boy laughs, “Pulling kids out of the water is actually easy.”
Yeah, maybe for people who’re built like a greek god, Hitoshi’s mind supplies, the thought unintentionally sending a signal to his eyes to lower onto the sight of water dripping down the other's chest.
Hitoshi feels like he's gonna short-circuit.
“And all you really need to get the job is become CPR certified, which is super easy, we do classes during the weekends,” the other begins to drone on, unaware of Hitoshi having a full on gay panic right beside him, “And well, it would be nice to get to see you often…” he mumbles out the last part.
Hitoshi’s face must match his thoughts, which is just a blaring dial tone of confusion, along with the thought of Did I hear that right?
“I-I mean,” Midoriya stutters at the loud silence that's definitely radiating off of Hitoshi, “We already see each other often...no wait, what I meant was—” the boy tries to speak, but it's a snap from cool to frantic in a moment's notice.
If Hitoshi was completely fixated on the way that the other's face is tinged pink, he'd definitely keep quiet to keep on staring.
“To see me often…?” Hitoshi repeats the other with a mumble, as if not even sure what to make of...well everything.
Midoriya does a halfhearted wince, embarrassment flushing over his expression that really has no business being so cute.
“That seems so creepy right?” the freckled boy says with an awkward laugh, “We've barely even actually spoken to each other…”
Really? He thinks it's creepy? Hitoshi is the one who was just considering stalking him.
Does that mean...he actually wants to spend time with me? The thought is more daunting than accidentally inhaling a noseful of chlorinated pool water.
“It's not creepy,” Hitoshi finds himself saying, almost disappointed that the pink on the other's cheeks goes down a shade at the reassurance. “In fact I...wouldn't mind working here…”
Especially if I get to see you more often.
Geez, he really needs to get a handle on his brain.
Midoriya perks up at that, the corners of his mouth lifting into that trademark sunshine smile.
It's too bad that Hitoshi had already washed away all of the sunblock that was on him, cause now he's left to deal with that grin fullforce.
“Really? You mean it?” the shorter boy nearly bounces with excitement, and then actually does when Hitoshi gives the barest of nods. “It's a really fun job!” he adds, as if Hitoshi needs any more reason other than being near the other.
Well, Hitoshi honestly did not imagine this day going this route, from him absolutely destroying his dignity in order to get his sister to stop crying, to him actually having a full conversation with his crush, and then to him filling out the form at the front counter of the pool’s entrance hall to sign him up for classes and a lifeguard position while Midoriya and Eri happily watch him sign his name onto the paper.
“Toshi, you're gonna be a lifeguard too?!” Eri jabbers while smiling up at him, “That's gonna be so cool!”
“I haven't even passed the CPR class yet, dumb dumb,” he teases, messing up her hair while she sticks her tongue out at him.
“It'll be easy-peasy,” Midoriya pipes in, now behind the counter himself while resting his cheeks in his hands, the bridge of his nose getting the barest dusting of rose, “I really look forward to working with you.”
For once, Hitoshi doesn't answer with a nod, or a barely heard grunt, or even a stutter. He figures that it's because he has the same feeling.
“Yeah. Me too.”