I've got a lot to work on, but I got sucked into this fandom and I love Nezu. I hope you enjoy it.
The thing was, neither rats nor dogs nor bears have evolved to be bipedal. Nezu was a person, and walking upright felt right, but some days, after too much time on his feet dealing with all the stresses that come with running the most prestigious school for heroes in the country, with pain lancing up his legs with every step, he wondered if his species was really meant to be like this.
That line of thought was a waste of energy, and most days it was an easy one to dismiss.
Other days, when antiseptic burned in his nose and white coats flickered at the edges of his vision, it was less straightforward, but he was the principal and weakness was unacceptable. The only things that mattered were his students and employees.
Even if he couldn't help but wish that his Quirk had developed his body as completely as it had his mind.
This was a bad day. Not the worst, but bad enough that Nezu had to take more than a moment to lock away the memories before he entered the school grounds. His legs burned as he made his way through the corridors, and it was an effort to keep his tail from dragging.
Nezu closed his eyes for a moment, before turning. "Aizawa. Did you have a productive night?"
Aizawa yawned. "Could have been worse," he drawled. His heavy-lidded eyes travelled over Nezu's form and his brow furrowed. Instead of asking questions though, the end of his capture weapon extended. "I need a cup of tea."
A tiny flicker of of warmth pierced the ice in Nezu's chest. "That sounds lovely."
It took more effort than usual to climb the scarf, but when he did slip Aizawa's elbow was in just the right position to catch him. Nezu let out a long breath as he finally settled on his friend's shoulder and the stabbing pain in his limbs started to ebb.
"The view is far nicer from up here, don't you think?"
"If you say so," said Aizawa, as he started back the way he had come. He yawned again, and Nezu shuffled closer to his neck as the capture weapon coiled up again.
"Is anyone else in yet?"
Aizawa shrugged very carefully. "Haven't heard Mic, so not him. Thirteen and Midnight normally get here early. There was a report of a cat stuck in a tree about half an hour ago, so we know where All Might is."
Nezu laughed. "That does sound like a reasonable assumption." The throbbing in his legs started to intensify, and he bit his lip. "Tell me about your patrol."
Aizawa cast him a quick sideways glance, but launched into a report of his latest assault on the drug cartels. Nezu closed his eyes, letting his mind filter out the relevant details while he ran through some of the relaxation exercises he had developed.
"It sounds like you should liaise with Detective Ishida," he said, when Aizawa paused to unlock his office. "He has been given the command of the new drug task force, and he might have information you can use."
Aizawa hummed. "I'll talk to him."
He knew better than to offer to help Nezu down, but he did let the end of the capture weapon fall to the sofa. Nezu carefully climbed down, sparing a moment to be grateful that Aizawa hadn't taken them to the staff room, and sank into the cushions with a sigh. It wasn't even eight in the morning and he was already exhausted. Aizawa retracted the weapon, and eyed him for a moment before wandering over to the kettle.
"Please," said Nezu, with a smile. He watched Aizawa set the water to boil in silence, for once lacking the energy to elaborate as he normally would. Judging from the way his colleague's eyes kept darting in his direction the difference had been noticed, and Nezu tried to pull himself together. Aizawa had to be focused on his students today, not him.
"Thank you," he said, as Aizawa placed a steaming cup in front of him. He took a sip, allowing the fragrant liquid to soothe his nerves, and smiled up at his friend. "Forgive me, Shōta, I know you have a great deal of work to be doing. Thank you for your company this morning."
Aizawa hummed an acknowledgement, but didn't move. Nezu raised an eyebrow, until finally Aizawa's shoulders sagged. "Any time," he muttered. He shoved his hands deep into his pockets, and started to turn away. "If you need a distraction, my class is having a free-for-all with 1-B later. Should be fun."
It would be loud and chaotic and would certainly take his mind off the past, and Nezu's smile widened. "I will bear that in mind."
Aizawa eyed him for a long moment, but finally left without another word. Nezu waited until the door closed behind him before allowing his head to rest back against the couch cushions. The combination of the tea and his friend's concern was a balm to his soul, but the memories were still sharp enough set his nerves on edge. He needed time and quiet to put the past where it belonged.
An explosion echoed in the distance, and Nezu suppressed a sigh. Both requirements were in short supply at his school. He would do what he could.
Nezu had barely had time to calm his breathing though before he was interrupted by a soft knock at the door. He glared at the door, but even as he drew in breath to demand his privacy his ears caught a familiar concerned voice.
"Nezu? It's me."
Nezu's growl died on his lips. For a moment he sat frozen, torn between a need for solitude and the possible benefits of a distraction, before common sense reasserted itself and he surrendered to the inevitable.
The door opened immediately, and All Might slipped inside. He closed the door, reverting to his true form as he did so, and turned to Nezu. "Good morning, sir."
Nezu summoned a small smile. "Good morning, Toshinori." The faint hope that this visit was a coincidence died at the concern in Yagi's eyes, and Nezu sighed. "Can I offer you some tea?"
Yagi's frown deepened, but he nodded. "Thank you."
He helped himself, then folded up his long limbs to sit next to Nezu. Nezu waited, but when Yagi remained quiet Nezu couldn't help filling the silence. "Shōta shouldn't worry so much."
"He cares," said Yagi softly. "That is no bad thing." He took a sip of tea, and set the cup down. "Is there anything I can do?"
Nezu opened his mouth, then hesitated. He looked at Yagi, the Number One Hero, and knew without a doubt that he had only to say the word and the scientists would shoot to the top of Yagi's priorities. From the way Yagi's jaw had clenched, Nezu didn't think he would need much persuasion.
The thought was enough to bring a faint, but genuine smile to his face.
"Don't you have to cover Snipe's first class?"
Yagi shook his head. "Cementoss took over. I did promise to observe Young Midoriya's session with 1-B, but that isn't until this afternoon." He gave Nezu a small smile. "I don't have anywhere to be until then."
Nezu's tail twitched, and not even the ensuing jolt of pain was enough to lower his mood. Yagi's eyes darkened in concern, but Nezu shook his head. "I'm afraid I won't be very good company."
"Good enough," said Yagi gently.
Nezu let himself sag back against the couch. Yagi was a solidly reassuring presence at his side, his school was secure, and he was safe. Nezu bit his lip, then forced aside the pain long enough to shuffle up against his friend. Whatever species he was still needed physical contact, and Yagi was one of the few Nezu trusted.
That was partly because Yagi knew better than to be the one to initiate said physical contact. Nezu slumped against him, and considered it a testament to All Might's nature that his bony hand resting on Nezu's back didn't elicit a flinch.
"Everything is fine," Yagi whispered. "I am here."
Nezu closed his eyes. After all this time it was impossible to doubt Yagi. He gritted his teeth against another throb from his feet, and glanced up at Yagi. "Will you stay? Please?"
Yagi gave him a small, sad smile. "Of course. I wouldn't be anywhere else."
Nezu could only nod. Yagi's fingers came up to scratch at the base of his ears, and a little more of the tension drained from Nezu's body.
"I am here," Yagi repeated. "Rest, old friend."
Rest had been impossible the previous night. It had seemed impossible half an hour ago. Now, with the scent of his favourite tea in the air and Yagi's steady presence at his side, the pain gave way to exhaustion so deep that Nezu couldn't even try to fight it. He didn't want to.
He woke two hours later to the familiar harsh rattle of Yagi's breathing. A blanket that smelled like Aizawa was draped over him, and Mic's most soothing playlist played softly in the background. The slightly minty odour of Recovery Girl's strongest pain medicine emanated from his desk, mingling with Midnight's current favourite perfume.
Yagi's hand still rested in his fur. Nezu curled up under the blanket and basked in the presence of his friends and slept without dreams.
Thanks for reading! Its my first fic for this fandom, so any feedback would be appreciated.
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