Happenstance by Merrywetherweather
AU: Royalty, Omegaverse
Main relationship: Bakugou Katsuki x Midoriya Izuku
Status: Ongoing, 13 chapters currently
When Katsuki was just a child, his mother, the King of Lucia, took him to enact diplomacy with the Midoriya’s, the royal family of the neighboring country of Tayloria. After that day, his fate was sealed, his marriage arranged to the Midoriya’s elusive omegan child.
At the age of twenty, he leaves for Tayloria again, this time, to finally wed his fiance and cement the allyship of the two kingdoms indefinitely. Only, his fiance turns out to be the child he had met on his very first visit, a naive, idealistic young prince who wants nothing to do with marrying the prince of Lucia.
Good thing he just assumed Katsuki was only part of his fiance’s entourage.
An arranged marriage between two princes aob au where Katsuki tries to abide by Izuku’s desire for a natural romance to develop without letting Izuku know his true identity.
A review of this story is LONG overdue. (Halfway through writing my original thoughts I decided to scrap it. I didn’t like the way it was flowing so let’s try this again.) Happenstance is a take on the classic prince disguises his identity to get his partner to see him for him. Izuku is a hopeless romantic who hates arranged marriages and Katsuki just wants to fulfill his duty as a proper heir.
In the beginning, we meet a young Katsuki who wants nothing to do with some LONG trip that his mother, the King of Lucia, has brought him on. He’s precocious as expected and doesn’t understand why the kingdom of Tayloria is so different than his. I love this telling of Hisashi as a gentle spoken man who doesn’t talk down to kids. He leaves a big impression on Katsuki but sadly this is the only time we hear of his character while he’s alive. Katsuki gets to leave the pomp and circumstance of the diplomacy meeting, all of the monarchs discussing the arranged marriage, and explores the grounds. It was so cute to see how fascinated Katsuki was with the greenhouse and his struggle to get to it. And his description of little Izuku was so adorable comparing his face to twinkling stars and constellations.
Years pass and we’re introduced to a 20-year-old Katsuki returning to Tayloria ahead of his wedding. He’s still jaded and wants to get the whole situation done with. We meet his best friend and right-hand man Eijirou, a hopeless romantic who thinks this may work out favorably for Katsuki. Eijirou hoped that Katsuki would fall in love with his betrothed but yeah we’ll see about that. He tries to use Katsuki’s parents an example of an arranged marriage that turned to love and I cackled when Katsuki described them as “two chucklefucks.” It’s been a while since I’ve heard that word. Enter an adult Izuku who is NOT going to take this arrangement lying down. Evidently, he has a history of literally RUNNING from suitors and everyone in the kingdom. I laughed so hard when Izuku came barreling down the hill running from the guards. Like a rabbit being chased at a greyhound race. But in this case the guards were more like slow dachshunds. LOL “That’s right. The prince is escaping again.” AGAIN?! GUFFAW! Oh yeah, at this point Katsuki realizes that the little boy he met years ago was the prince AND his fiancé. He had no idea that he was engaged to a man and not a woman. Well, that’s an interesting revelation. HA! After Katsuki tracked him down I enjoyed the canon reference of him threatening to burn Izuku’s notebook.
Not knowing who he is, Izuku confesses to Katsuki that he doesn’t want to be forced to marry. He wants it to be left to fate that he falls in love with someone. Katsuki thinks he’s ridiculous but decides to keep his identity a secret after Izuku pretty much talks trash about him to his face. He pretends to be “Kacchan the aide.” Izuku was being bratty and that wasn’t really necessary but hiding? Eijirou tried to warn him that it was a bad idea but Katsuki knows all, right? Yeah, ok.
Throughout the story Izuku bad mouths Katsuki based on the rumors he’s heard and assumptions not realizing that he’s badmouthing him to his face. Katsuki is not the type of prince Izuku expects and Izuku DOES make a lot of assumptions. That’s definitely a trait of an over thinker. *raises hand* I like how Katsuki slowly uses his position as fiancé to ease some of the restrictions the Queen has placed. Izuku had really never been out of the castle gates until he was 14 and then not again afterward because a mishap. This really stunted Izuku’s worldview and makes him feel like he’s a captive in his own home. Poor thing runs to feel some sort of control.
Izuku is a ball of foolishness from pretending to be a heavy drinker and causing the kitchen staff to lose “their collective shit” at the lie to falling from his second floor room during one of his escapades. Katsuki is injured in a fight against road bandits (League of Villains sighting) so when they visited the healer Chiyo she assumed that Izuku was the one injured. And the guards even had a bet on who would get injured first, Izuku or Katsuki?! BWAAAAAAA “You make it sound like I’m some harbinger of misfortune!” *snort*
At this point in the story Izuku has no idea that he met his betrothed when he was younger and that he left a lingering impression on him. The trick of rolling up his sleeves to hide his dirty sleeves and putting the word “fate” into his vocabulary.
The brotherly pack love between Katsuki and Eijirou runs parallel in the story. Eijirou constantly teases him telling him that he is sweet on Izuku. And he scented Katsuki after his injuries were treated. So brotherly, so manly.
Speaking of family, it’s is a big thing for Izuku. I found it interesting that both Izuku and his father smelled like lilacs. I wonder in what other ways is he like his father. After his father’s death he avoids his mother in fear that his scent will remind her. Depriving both of them of the connection that they need. The description of the castle’s third floor seems so familial. I could see Izuku spending a lot of time there hiding away from kingdom duties.
Slowly, Izuku comes to form a friendship and a sense of trust with “Kacchan the aide.” They go into town together and Katsuki helps him through a panic attack. Katsuki escorts him to see his swordmaster Toshinori and spars with him to help him with his sword work.
A repercussion of Izuku being cooped up is that he knows very little about his secondary gender. He doesn’t realize that is his inner Omega is falling for “Kacchan’s” inner Alpha. In the aftermath of Katuki’s injury, Izuku didn’t understand that his Omegan urges were telling him that he wanted to comfort Katsuki. And he wasn’t okay until they scented each other. He had no idea that he was going into heat while sparring with Katsuki or that Katsuki had triggered a nesting response after giving him a book. It was adorable when Izuku took over Katsuki’s bed and buried himself in his comforter because his scent was soothing.
The two of them start to have feelings for each other and EVERYONE can see it. Flirting during dancing lessons, Katsuki finishing a borrowed book to prove to Izuku that he cares, scenting Izuku and kissing his knuckles, and the seduction and ALMOST kiss in the greenhouse scene was beautifully done. As much trash as Katsuki talked about Izuku, Katsuki was really bored out of his mind while they were both on house arrest. Toshinori even noticed that Katsuki was a bit sweet on Izuku. The old gardener, who is my new best friend, poked fun at Katsuki about love at first sight. I wondered if he had been around years ago and witnessed when Katsuki and Izuku first saw each other. Eijirou was on the money when he said “I think you and your fiance really are well suited. Like two batshit crazy peas in a pod.” *snort* I loved that the two of them snuck out into town to go dancing. Izuku had an opportunity to just be FREE and in love.
The happy times could only last so long. In courting the flighty prince, it became obvious that Izuku was becoming endeared to “Kacchan.” And therein lies the problem because Katsuki let it go on for too long. He let many chances to tell Izuku the truth slip and when Izuku found out of course he’s absolutely heartbroken and felt betrayed.
We’re a week away from the wedding and left at a cliffhanger. How will Katsuki fix what he broke? I’m excited to read how the story continues.