Disclaimer: I do not own My Hero Academia.

Note: Covers manga up to chapter 98

Afterparty Lights


Ochaco was never one for formal events. She had other things in mind, and no time to deal with such activities. All of her comrades were training and working their limbs off. She had to do the same. She had to keep up, get stronger. While most girls her age were out shopping and dating and going to the movies and partying, she was on her knees, heaving her guts out because her body just couldn't get used to going past the weight limit. Floating boulders heavier than what she usually worked with took her strength away. She briefly heard her teacher telling her 'you've had enough for today,' before someone came to help her.

"Uraraka!" Izuku rubbed her back gently.

While his presence was comforting, she shouldn't be distracting him from his own training. She wanted to assure him she was okay, but couldn't as she keeled over again to dry heave. He grabbed her shoulder so she wouldn't fall into her own mess.

"Is it okay if I take her back?" Izuku asked the teacher. After getting permission, he helped her to her feet and hung her arm over and around his neck to keep her supported. The walk back was a slow one, with her leaning on to him. She felt the heat of his body rub against her through her skin-tight suit. His hair was slightly drooping down because of the sweat.

"You worked really hard today, Uraraka," he tried to cheer her up. He knew she was upset for not lasting longer than she had wanted. "You gave it your all, you were amazing."

"Thanks, Deku," she whispered tiredly. Her stomach was still sore and her whole body felt heavy and ready to collapse.

"Do you need me to carry you?"

"No, it's okay. I can make it."

He got her to the changing rooms but was forced to wait outside for her as she entered the women's section. Exhausted, she plopped down on a bench and bent over to remove her marshmallow boots.

Her mind had been a jumbled mess since the announcement. It had been Aizawa who first brought it up, then an email from the school was sent to everyone, informing them what to expect. A dance at UA. It was a hero academy, so why hold such a party? She knew it had something to do with an opening anniversary, but the news was so sudden and the topic was so unfamiliar to her. She didn't know anything about dancing. She didn't even own a dress.

She sighed and peeled off her custom. Why was she making a big deal out of this? The school had sent them a list of available dance teachers, and the date of the event wasn't close, so she had time to prepare. She opened her locker and saw herself in the mirror. Without the costume, dressed in only a bra and panties, she looked nothing like a hero-in-training. She might as well be with a group of girl friends hanging out and flirting over cute boys and going to parties. She wanted to be a hero – needed to be a hero. She couldn't waste time with parties…

But she had a party coming up, and she was baffled her own school was arranging it. She wasn't prepared for this. It was just too sudden.

She stepped out and saw that Izuku had managed to quickly change out of his costume as well. He smiled brightly at her and offered to walk her to the dorms. He was a helpful guy; of course he'd go out of his way to make sure she was okay. Her knees burned and the curve of her back ached. Her stomach cramps bit down into her midsection and she was ready to sink to the ground from it.

"Are you sure you don't want me to carry you?" he asked in concern.

"I can make it, really," she insisted, but her legs gave out right then and she almost dropped to the ground. Strong hands caught her below her armpits and held her up.

"A – Are you alright?" he asked her, worry reflecting in his eyes.

She grabbed his shoulders to heave herself up again. "Sorry, sorry," she tried to laugh it off, but it came out way too fake.

"Let me carry you, come on."

"Really, I'm okay!"

"You're tired. You pushed yourself really far today," he walked in front of her and kneeled a little. "Come on," he urged her gently.

She sighed and accepted his help. "Thanks, Deku. Sorry I'm making you do this." She climbed onto his back and wrapped her arms around his neck, feeling a blush heating her face. She felt him hold on to the underside of her legs to secure her. "You can put me down if you're tired."

"I'm fine," he assured her kindly and started walking with her on his back. "Let's just get you back so you can rest. You were really amazing."

He kept praising her. He was a nice guy; gold-hearted and kind. But he was also a boy, a young man, and that fact made the blush on her cheeks brighter than ever. He was a cute boy and she couldn't ignore that. His male scent drove her crazy. Her nose was touching his neck – he smelled so good and this was bad – very bad! Her friend wasn't supposed to smell sexually attractive. It was confusing, mind numbing. She sighed, which worsened the situation because she ended up breathing more of him. She almost missed what he said.

"I can't believe the party is in a few weeks." He sighed, "I don't think my heart's ready for this…"

So she hadn't been the only one thinking about it. "Yeah, it surprised me, too."

"I never packed a suit. And I still need to decide on a dance teacher," he complained, bowing his head in misery. "I'm so lost. I have no idea what I'm doing…"

She giggled lightly at that. "You and I both, then."

"Are you going to pick a teacher, too?"

"Yeah, I… still haven't decided yet," she admitted, resting her cheek on his shoulder. "I'll ask the girls if they could help me find a dress. I'm sure they won't mind."

The rest of the walk was quiet. Once they made it, he stopped in front of her bedroom door. A girl's bedroom, this was a boundary he would not cross. She slid off his back carefully.

"Thanks, Deku," she said in appreciation.

"It's fine. Get some rest, okay?"

"I will. Thanks."

With that, she closed the door and threw herself onto her bed. It thumped against the wall. Her nausea had subsided a bit, but her body still felt drained and her headache was still jolting her head. She sort of missed the warmth of his back. It had been so comforting. She never felt alone with him around. He always had that calming presences. She was kind of glad he was also nervous about the event. It put them both on the same boat.

She could still somewhat smell him. He wasn't here, and she wasn't sure if his musk was still present on her clothes or if her mind was trying to remember the smell, but it helped ease her nerves. She closed her eyes for a nap.

When asking for where in the world could she find an affordable dress, her answer had arrived before she even had to look. Best Jeanist offered a few designs, and assured them they would be ready and set before the event. They were simple, but colorful. She'd chosen a reddish pink dress that resembled an upside-down rose with a bow at the back; nothing extravagant, and it reached just below her knees, so the length wouldn't hinder her movements.

They were helped with the clothes, but as for accessories, they were on their own. She settled with whatever she had. However, the girls thought she seemed underdressed. Momo decided to make a few things for her, and Mina offered her one of her beaded necklaces. Even after she refuse their presents, they demanded she'd have them. Mina declared 'no girl gets left behind!' and they all agreed.

Uwabami, who had volunteered as a dance teacher, was incredibly nice and gentle when it came to instructions. She clapped her hands to get everyone's attention. "Alright, now just find a partner you're comfortable with, or I'll pair you up with someone. Don't be shy, this is just basic practice, and we won't be doing anything difficult, so take your time."

Ochaco learned to ignore the three snakes on the woman's head. That wasn't surprising. What did astonish her was finding some of her classmates in the same dance group. It wasn't a large group, and most of the classes had scattered, but she managed to recognize Todoroki, Yaoyorozu, Jiro, Kaminari, and –


He turned his head in surprise. His confusion was replaced with a wide-mouthed smile when he saw her. "Uraraka! You're here, too?"

She nodded happily. "I'm so happy you're here! Everything's always better with friends."

"I'm so glad," he said in relief. "I thought I was going to be by myself." That confused her at first. He had either not noticed his other classmates, or he meant he did not have a partner, which reminded her…

"Deku, let's pair up!" she said boldly, her hands tightening into encouraging fists.

Oh how that move changed everything.

A blush line appeared across Izuku's face and he stuttered, "O – O – Okay, Yeah, s – sure."

She hadn't thought this through when deciding on a partner. Then the hamster in her brain found the wheel again and she remembered what they were about to do. Dance partner… with Deku… Her excitement turned into a gelatinous mess of worries. Stupid, stupid, stupid – she should've thought more carefully instead of blurting out what she wanted. Then again… she already knew Deku, and she didn't feel comfortable dancing with anyone else. Maybe it wouldn't be that bad?

"Alright, now just hold hands with your partner."

Scratch that – bad idea, really bad idea! She wanted to take cover under a million blankets and hide until the end of the world. She heard a strangled squeak next to her. Izuku was blushing furiously and she could see him fidgeting. His eyes wandered away, anything to not stare at her.

"Is… are – are you okay, you know…. with this? I mean…" He tried but couldn't find the right words.

She looked down at his hand, the one he'd punched that giant robot with. She nervously twined two of her fingers around his, her other hand fisting her shirt.

"It's o – okay. We… we can do this." She sounded as uncomfortable as she felt inside.

She felt him slide his hand in and gently grasp her fingers in a feather-light hold. "If… If you're okay with this." He was still looking away, overcome by his own shyness. Ochaco briefly heard Jiro scolding Kaminari in the back.

"Your hands are sweaty!"

"I can't help it. This is so weird…"

Things didn't get any better when it turned out Uwabami had requested Midnight to be her assistant for the lesson. Some of the students had trouble focusing as the two women went ahead to demonstrate a simple waltz, both of their bodies close, their breasts touching. It was also awkward to watch because they knew they would need to copy their teachers soon.

"Alright, now let's just start with a simple hold. Don't worry, you'll be learning in short, small sessions, so take your time. We'll be checking on each of you soon," the snake-haired woman explained. She and Midnight demonstrated how to properly hold one another, moving their fingers in slow-motion so that everyone got to see the little details in every movement.

When it came to mimicking their teachers, it was an awkward mess. Each student had their own set of problems, with some struggling to look at the other in the eyes and most were holding their partners with stiff shoulders.

Ochaco and Izuku faced each other, both looking at their hands instead of what was in front of them. Even after the teachers showed them how it was done, they felt so lost, moving their hands in such a robotic manner she was sure they would put Iida's usual hand movements to shame. She heard Izuku swallow loudly as he carefully placed his hand just behind her shoulder. She had to swallow a lump as well when putting her hand over his shoulder. They had to hold hands – actually hold hands. She held her palm out, the pink pads on her fingers showing, and he held it gently.

She could feel him shaking through his hand. Or was that her? She couldn't think straight. She couldn't think at all. Midnight stopped right next to them to observe. She then clicked her tongue before placing her hand on Deku's back and giving him a push forward.

"A little closer – there you go."

He yelped. The sudden movement snapped him out of his confusion and he was now looking straight into her eyes. She felt her heart in her throat. This was too much.

The lesson kept going, and they eventually started to move around after knowing the steps. She and Izuku kept looking down at their feet the whole time because they wanted to avoid stepping on each others toes. Staring down, they occasionally touched foreheads. They both threw apologies the first two times it happened, then ignored it as it just kept happening.

At some point, Ochaco forgot about how nervous she had been. She was starting to have fun, and so was Izuku. When they accidentally stepped the wrong why, they just giggled and laughed it off before starting again. It sort of felt like a game. Turned out dancing needed a lot of brain work as well; she had to remember the steps and get the timing just right. They had no idea if they were doing it correctly, but by the end, they were both smiling.

"Great work everyone!" Uwabami praised and clapped her hands to congratulate them. "You've all done very well. I'll see you all again next time."

Ashido plopped down on the sofa and fumbled with the carton of juice in her hands. "Gahhhhh! So tired…" she sighed loudly.

"It was kinda fun!" Hagakure said next to her on the sofa, her shoes swinging back and forth in happiness.

"Wish I could say the same," Jiro said miserably. "The idiot kept stepping on my foot."

"At least you're not dancing with Bakugo. I'm kinda surprised Kirishima went along with him," Mina commented, recalling the memory of the two of them trying to dance earlier.

"I didn't think it was anything special, but I've had lessons before so I already knew the basics," Yaoyorozu said as she finished off her drink.

"Wait–" Ashido turned to her. "You knew how to dance and you still took the class?"

"Yes. I still want to be prepared," Yaoyorozu informed. "And… it's been a while since I last practiced. I thought it might be best to practice a little more."

"What about you, Ochaco?" the invisible girl asked excitedly.

"I had a lot of fun," she admitted with a smile.

"Come to think of it," Momo said as she thought about the earlier events. "It looked like you were doing very well with Midoriya."

Ochaco giggled shyly. "Honestly, we were just having fun. I kinda forgot what we were supposed to be doing back there."

Yaoyorozu smiled lightly. "I'm glad you had fun." She grabbed her empty drink and got up. "Well, I'm heading back to bed."

Mina stretched her arms out. "Yeeeaaahhh, I should hit the hay, too." She grabbed her juice and got up. "Night, girls!"

"See ya, then." Jiro did a lazy wave.

"Goodnight!" the other girls said in unison.

As soon as the two girls left, Ochaco went over to the window and peeked out, expecting him to be out there like usual. And he was. Izuku was sitting down on the grass, one leg stretched out and one bent, indicating he'd just finished training. It was dark outside and she saw a few stars blinking in the sky. She went over to the fridge and picked out a cool water bottle, slipping on her shoes before heading out.

The smell of grass filled the air, and it was comforting in a way. The quietness of the night gave of a peaceful atmosphere. She saw his back as he stared up at the sky. He was in short sleeves, revealing his well-built arms and powerful legs. She almost couldn't believe how the school uniform hid all of this too well. She liked seeing him in natural clothes. It felt… right.

Her footsteps alerted him and he quickly twisted his head to see who was there. She smiled and waved at him, and he physically relaxed. She stopped right next to him and extended the bottle to him. "Here!"

"Oh, thanks." He took it graciously. As he unscrewed the top, she plopped down next to him and hugged her knees to her chest.

"What are you still doing out here, silly?" she asked with a tilt of her head.

He gulped mouthfuls of cool water and she couldn't help but admire how the muscles on his sweaty neck shifted and how his Adam's apple bobbed. A tiny trail of water slipped from the corner of his lips and ran down his chin and neck. Finished, he sighed in relief then used the back of his hand and arm to wipe at his mouth.

"Just wanted to relax a bit. It's really quiet out here," he said, screwing the cap back on and leaving the bottle on the grass by his side. "That and… I guess I wanted to see the sky a little longer."

"The sky?" Ochaco looked up, seeing the stars twinkling far away.

"Yeah," he whispered. "I don't know why, but seeing the sky like this…" He reached a hand up. From his point of view, a star was right beneath his palm. "It reminds me anything is possible if you try hard enough," he said, closing his hand into a fist, imagining the little star in his hand.

He caught her staring at him with interest and he scratched the back of his neck bashfully. "I know, it kinda sounds childish, huh?"

She shook her head no. "That's really nice, Deku," she said. Looking down at her own hand, scar-free and soft, and wondered if her hard work would actually get her to her destination. Was she working hard enough? She didn't have the battle scars Izuku had, and she hadn't done anything to stand out from the other students. Where would that get her? No, she couldn't think like that. She would make it. Her hard work would lead the way.

She closed her hand into a strong fist. "Let's do our best, Deku!" she told him in a positive tone.

He looked at her in surprise, then grinned and held up his fist as well. "Yeah," he said. He punched the sky, and she did the same. "Let's go-"

"Plus Ultra!" they both yelled in unison before bursting into a fit of laughter.

The remaining girls who had stayed in the common room watched from the window with soft smiles.

Along with their regular school schedule, those who preferred to not look like idiots for the event attended the short dance classes as well. It only took a change in music to get some of the students motivated. After the slow music that caused most to step awkwardly, the teacher decided they knew the basics and switched the music. Something more upbeat played and she gave them free range to dance however they wished. They knew how to hold their partners now, and that had been the task Uwabami wanted them to ace, because if they were confident enough to hold their friend's hand, then they were confident enough to dance.

The happier music was sometimes accompanied by laughter and jokes, because it was all fun and games. The lesson wasn't mandatory, and they had nothing to lose, so they continued. Some students, like Todoroki and Yaoyorozu, seemed to prefer slower music, while some liked to go wild. Ochaco didn't mind either. She got to laugh and spin with Izuku, but she also got to have the slower, quieter moments with him. They'd gotten used to holding each other. Heck, he even got brave enough to pick her up at some point. They'd giggled like maniacs, their voices lost in the noisy room.

Later on, they went to try on their clothes. The boys and girls split to enter the changing rooms. The shoulderless dress fit her snuggly, (though she needed Asui's help with the zipper on the back). She wore her fingerles pink gloves to add a little extra color to her hands. Finally, she added a pink flower hair clip in her hair.

Giving it the all OK, she handed it over and was told it would be sent to her with her student number attached. In two days, her dress arrived neatly, and an email was sent to everyone, reminding them of the upcoming event. They still had a week left, but it was clear their nervousness had turned into excitement. They didn't need the dance classes anymore, but Ochaco and Izuku still went there. It wasn't that they needed it, it was just… something they got used to.

It was the last few days for the class, and because the lessons were optional, and most kids already got the basics down, no one went there anymore. Uwabami would just sit in the next room and drink tea. She gave them full permission to use the music player, because, well, there wasn't anyone else there, so they used it gratefully. It was more about having fun together than practicing. There wasn't any other way to be this close to him. There wasn't any other way for her to hold him and touch him like this and get away with it.

When gliding her hand across his shoulder, down his arms and over his hand, she knew where each scar was. He wasn't as shy around her anymore. He would place his hand on her lower back and push her closer to him. He wasn't afraid to touch her. Skin-to-skin contact became a natural thing. They even started holding hands in public without realizing what it must've looked like to others.

He still liked to train his Quirk outside. She always waited for him, because the moment he took a break, she'd go over to him with a bottle of water and sit down next to him.

"Don't you ever take one with you?" she asked in amusement.

"Sorry, sorry," he chuckled, taking another sip. She was kind of glad, because that way, she had an excuse to see him. It also felt nice to know she was being helpful in a way.

She looked up at the sky, dark and decorated with star lights. "It's so pretty."

He looked up as well. "Yeah. I don't think I'll get tired of this."

"Do you do this every night?" she asked him.

He sat the bottle aside and leaned his head back, his legs crossed and arms behind him to support his weight. "Nah, after I started training like this, I guess I kinda liked just being out here."

"Yeah," she agreed with him, hugging her knees closer to her chest. "I like it here, too."

He always worked himself to the limit. What was she still doing? She looked down at her hand and felt a sort of emptiness. He had marks that showcased his hard work; she only had the pink pads on her fingers to show. Was she really trying hard enough?


Well, she must've looked like an idiot, inspecting her hand like that. She laughed nervously to throw him off. "It's nothing. I was just thinking… how hard you always work. You never give up."

His cheeks pinked, still not used to taking complements. "It's… It's nothing – I just… need to get used to using my Quirk better, that's all…" he said, staring at the scars on his hand. She gently grabbed his hand and pulled it toward her, running her thumb over the bumps and uneven skin. He blushed a bit, but didn't pull away.

"Does it ever hurt?" she asked quietly.

"Just some stiffness; nothing I can't handle – don't worry," he told her. The hand she was holding curled, trapping hers in a gentle hold. "You've been working hard, too. A few weeks ago, when I walked you back, you were so tired because you overworked yourself." He brought her hand closer to him. "I know you want to become stronger. You're working really hard, Uraraka, and… sometimes… I… I get worried you might collapse."


"Please, I just… I… I know you. I know when you're upset and tired and you try to hide it… just, can you take it easy a little? Just a little break," he begged her. "I want you to get stronger, but I don't want to see you get hurt."

"Deku," she felt her heart flutter in her chest. He was gripping her hand tightly now. He knew it was a difficult request.

"Please!" he begged one more time for hope's sake.

She knew she'd collapsed multiple times during training. She'd gone over the weight limit and held it for so long, too long. Her body tried to tell her to stop, that it couldn't take more. She'd usually ignore the warning signs because how else was she supposed to get used to this? She needed to go beyond.

"Deku, I… I can't just stop. Not now."

"Oh, you don't need to stop," he told her quickly. "You just… have to take it slow. My hands… they're like this because I approached things too fast. My body couldn't take it. Now, instead of going a hundred present and breaking myself, I use five and keep my arms and legs in one piece." He uncrossed his legs and let them stretch out in front of him. "I know five percent isn't much, but I'll start there and work my way up. You can do that, too! I'll help you make a plan."

She blinked in surprise. "Wait – what?"

"Yeah, we can make a plan and see what works. You could train in short, easy sessions so your body can get used to it. We can make a schedule and maybe changing your diet a little might help, too."

"My diet?"

"Yeah! I changed up my diet when I began training more, and I made sure not to overwork myself. "

She knew she must've missed something. She had only been focusing on her Quirk, completely ignoring her physical needs. Her body couldn't stand the tension she was forcing it to endure. She'd been doing it all wrong.

She sucked in a breath and bravely asked, "Can… Can you show me how, Deku?"

He saw the determination in her eyes and he nodded firmly. "Yeah, let's get stronger together!"

She suddenly threw her arms around his neck and squeezed him. "Thank you, thank you, thank you so much, Deku!" She rubbed her cheek against his reddening one. Their sudden cuddle toppled them over and Izuku fell back, bringing her with him. They were chest to chest, and he felt her weight on top of him. She looked down at him, her face only inches away. He felt and heard her every inhale and exhale.

The stars blinked behind her. She was staring at him intensely. Something in her gaze softened and, almost in a dreamlike state, she leaned down slowly. He saw her coming and opened his mouth to say something–

She kissed him right then. Too shocked to react, he stayed frozen in place with grass prickling his back and her breasts pressed to his chest. He shifted his lips against hers experimentally. They were soft, warm, wet, moving, and perfect. He couldn't think anymore. Instinctively, he closed his eyes and pushed his lips up against her, hearing a tiny smooch sound.

Cool wind blew at their hair and clothes, and the sound of brushing grass and buzzing insects did nothing to distract them. She slowly pulled back, her eyes half-lidded and glossy. Realizing what she had done, a gasp slipped past her lips.

"I'm... I'm sorry – I'm so sorry, I don't know why I – hmm!"

He had cupped the back of her neck and pulled her in again. Her worries washed away immediately and she melted into him, grabbing both sides of his face. They would twist their heads every now and then to test out different angles, checking what worked best. She pulled away and they gasped for air.


"Uraraka, I–"

They both spoke in unison and stopped to give the other a chance to speak.


"You first–"

And again, they spoke over each other. They stayed silent for a while…


"Deku, I–"

Silence, then they both cracked smiles, then began giggling. She hid her face in his chest and he laughed into her hair. Words did not need to be said. The message was loud and clear.

I love you.

They lost track of time, but that didn't matter anymore. She looked back up and kissed him again, and again. Tears of pure happiness rolled down her face and landed on his cheek. He brushed his hand against her wet face and pulled her for another kiss. Every smooch was interrupted by one or both of them giggling.

At some point, she rolled off to the side, staring at the sky with him, her hand in his, their fingers intertwined. He lifted his hand – along with hers – up to the stars, and they both closed their hands into fists, his hand covering over hers. She imagined a little star caught in her hold and felt the warmth of his palm as he held hers up. A promise from him. A promise to hold her up. A promise he'd help her reach her goal.

After a few Pro Heroes ended their speech, the party ensued. Happy music played and people laughed. Perfumes and the smell of high-class meals mixed together. Everyone was off to the side, near the food tables, to give room for those dancing in the middle of the room. Although it seemed like a high-class event, no one took it as such. They were all teenagers just wanting to have fun, so there were plenty of brotherly fist-bumps and sudden barks of laughter and a few friends being rowdy.

At some point, Ochaco spotted All Might. He was fully dressed in a yellow suit as he greeted the students personally, wishing them a fun night.

Ashido took Hagakure to the dance floor. Mina's blue and red dress swished as she held on to disembodied gloved. The flouting dress spun and Toru giggled. Ochaco watched with content as her friends enjoyed themselves. When Jiro and Kaminari, Ashido switched with Ojiro, giving him a chance to dance with Hagakure.

If felt unusual, watching her friends play around like that. There wasn't a competition for them to fight over. They didn't need to try their hardest at something. There was no test. The opportunity to be silly was presented, and they took full advantage of it. She heard Bakugo somewhere in the crowd, screaming at Kirishima to 'Fucking do it right, hair-for-brains!' followed by a chuckle from the red haired boy.

The smile on their faces sent a wave of joy through her chest. From afar, she saw him. All Might gave him a pat on the shoulder before moving away, revealing Izuku in a dark green suit and bright red bowtie. He wore a red, fingerless glove on the right hand to hide the worst of his scars and he had those red shoes he always wore.

"Deku!" she called for him in excitement and ran over to him.

"Uraraka," he greeted, a tiny blush brushing his cheeks. "You look great," he complemented.

"You do, too," she said right back at him, because yes, he did indeed look handsome in that. She grabbed his gloved hand and dragged him with her. "Come on, dance with me!'

She didn't give him a chance to speak and he ended up chocking on his words as she pulled him along. With a great smile, Ochaco pushed herself to his chest and held him like she usually did during dance practice; with one hand grabbing his and the other on his shoulder. At first, she was the one leading, but as he gained courage, he matched her movements. He always needed that little push to get him going.

They spun and laughed and it was oh so perfect. They'd occasionally rub cheeks, as if to say 'remember that night when you kissed me?' because they were not in their school uniforms anymore, so screw everyone else and lets just be happy.

She spun around and he hugged her from behind. She leaned her head back to be even closer. She saw Mina by the food stand, grinning wildly and giving her two thumbs-ups from afar. Ochaco only turned around and hugged him back, beaming with happiness when he laughed in delight. Time swam by and the night quieted down a bit. Slower music began to play gentle notes of a piano and the smooth voices of violins.

They stopped spinning and, instead, leaned on each other, swaying lightly, her chin on his shoulder as he leaned his head to the side against hers. He kept his arms around her lower back, keeping her close. They forgot about the party. They forgot how others, like Shoto and Momo, were doing the same. They forgot that the room was full of people.

For a while, they weren't at a party; they were outside, beneath the stars. Each star was someone's dream – someone's goal. Hers was up there, somewhere, and she'd get to it eventually. They both would.

The celebration was supposed to end after a final song and a few last words, but Izuku and Ochaco weren't there. They had walked out the back, hand in hand. Out here, the greenery and neatly shaped rocks in the koi pond represented the beauty of a Japanese garden. The water reflected the glittering stars, making it seem as though the calico fish were swimming in space.

"Deku," she whispered. "Let's do our best."

He gave her a firm nod. A promise.

She lifted her hand to the star-filled sky. It just seemed like a normal thing to do now. She felt a tickling sensation against her palm. Confused, she lowered her hand and turned it over to have a look. A tiny beetle-like bug was sitting on her hand. Izuku peeked at it, and its lower half glowed. The firefly snapped its wings open and flew off her hand and over the pond, its glow reflecting in the water, making it seem as though it were a shooting star passing through the sky.

While party lights were cheerful and bright, they could never compare with… this. She had the most intimate moments with Deku, and the night sky was their witness. And while she had fun dancing around her friends, she'd rather be out here, with him.

Note: I did not come up with their clothes. Those were all inspired by the art featured in the manga for the one year anniversary of My Hero Academia manga.
I was sort of focusing more on the environment here, and I added some symbolism here and there (see if you could find those, lol). I was a little worried about the pacing because I had to keep cutting from one place to another, and I also had to somehow fit a few more characters in there without disturbing the flow.