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100 Ways to Say

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Twenty-Four

“I’m home,” Katsuki calls, stretching and cracking his neck as he shoulders his way inside.

He’s barely in the door and shucking off his raincoat when Izuku is on him, insistent hands pulling him along after Katsuki kicks off his shoes and steps into the apartment. “Welcome back!” he cheers, and Katsuki blinks tiredly at his stupid, excited face. “How was your day?”

“Fine,” Katsuki says, a little bewildered by the enthusiasm, but bends easily when Izuku leans up for a kiss. “An intern blew up the training room, but I was on patrol so ponytail can’t blame me this time.”

“Yaomomo has had her hair cut for years now, Kacchan. You can’t keep calling her ponytail.”

“Her brain would fall out her ass if I called her anything different.”

Izuku snorts, tugging on Katsuki’s hand before he can make a detour to the kitchen. “That’s probably true. Do you want to take a bath before dinner? Or I could make you some tea!”

“Tea?” Katsuki’s brows hit his hairline. He can smell something in the oven in the kitchen, which Izuku very rarely uses, not strictly because he’s bad at it, but because Katsuki’s just better at cooking and baking. That and Izuku is prone to distraction.  “What the fuck are you up to?”

“Nothing!” Izuku whines, leading Katsuki to the kotatsu. “Sit down, sit down!”

And Katsuki sits, a little out of his depth because usually he’s already into making them dinner at this point and not lounging around while Izuku takes care of other chores. Pressing a kiss to his forehead, Izuku unceremoniously dumps Tatoru into Katsuki’s lap. She immediately curls up there, unbothered by her sudden relocation and purring when Katsuki automatically pets her head. Outside, it is cold and rainy, and Katsuki soaks up the combined warmth from the heated floors, the blanket, and the cat.

“Just stay there and relax, okay?” Izuku says brightly, already backing away toward the kitchen.

“Deku, if you set this apartment on fire, I’m leaving you.”

“Kacchan! It’s a surprise, so stop being grumpy!”

“I hate surprises.”

“And surprises hate you.”

“Asshole.”

Laughing, Izuku disappears around the corner, leaving Katsuki to lay his head down over the table and listen to the sound of the rain and wind, to the steady purr of the kitten in his lap, and Izuku’s movements in the kitchen. There’s the sound of food hitting a hot pan and the gurgle of the rice cooker, the quick thunk, thunk, thunk of the knife against the cutting board. Katsuki lazily strokes the fur along Tatoru’s back, scratching along the bumps of her spine and she arches into the touch. It’s nice and peaceful, exactly what Katsuki needed after two back-to-back ten-hour shifts.

“Fuck!”

Katsuki mock gasps, covering the kitten’s ears. “Watch your fucking language, Deku!” he calls through the apartment. “Fucking next symbol of peace ruining innocent ears. What would All Might think?” 

Izuku is quiet for a long moment, and Katsuki sits up a little straighter.

“Kaaachaaan.” Izuku’s voice is quiet and a little nervous. Katsuki jumps up and bounds to the kitchen. Tatoru skitters away at the sudden movement, hiding under the kotatsu.

“You fucking Deku, what did you do?!”

Izuku looks at him pitifully, holding his bloody hand over the sink as Katsuki looms over him. “I’m sorry!” he cries. There’s blood all over the cutting board and the half-cut peppers, and the knife is shimmering wet with red. Katsuki snatches a clean dish towel from the drawer and wraps it tightly around the cut. “It just slipped!”

“It just slipped,” Katsuki parrots back, words clipped. “You’re such a hero, acting like you didn’t try and take your damn hand off.”

“Please, please tell me I don’t have to get stitches,” Izuku whines.

Katsuki pulls the now blood soaked towel back, and winces in sympathy. The gash is long and deep across Izuku’s palm. “Sorry asshole, it’s a trip to the ER for you.”

“Nooo, can’t we just call Recovery Girl?” 

Glaring, Katsuki says, “She said only emergencies idiot. You’re a kitchen disaster, but not an urgent one.” He softens because there’s tears in the corners of Izuku’s eyes as he says it. Gently, he brushes his thumb along Izuku’s lashes, wiping them away. “You okay?”

“Oh, yeah,” Izuku says, giving Katsuki a wide smile even when he begins to sniffle. “Just stings a bit.” 

“Deku,” Katsuki sighs, cupping Izuku’s face in his hands and gently wiping at each tear as they begin to overflow. “You’re okay. It’s just a cut, right? I know you’ve gotten worse scrapes before. It’s fine.”

“It’s not though,” Izuku says, his voice cracking just a little. “I really wanted to make it for you.”

Katsuki, at a loss for what to say, looks over the mess of seasonings and vegetables and the still steaming pot on the stove. He reaches over to turn off the burner, and catches a whiff of spice and chicken, of fresh baked bread still in the oven. “Oh,” he says, a little dumbly and Izuku sniffs, wipes at his face with his good hand. 

“Sorry,” Izuku sighs and leans into Kastuski’s side. “It’s stupid, I just wanted to make you something since you’ve been working so hard lately.”

“It’s not stupid,” Katsuki says. He can’t repress the grin spreading across his face, because it is a little stupid, but it somehow means a lot more than Izuku probably realizes. “You were trying to make me masala?” 

Izuku huffs, wrinkling his nose. “I wasn’t trying, I was succeeding. Until, you know,” he lifts his bloody hand. “This.”

Laughing, Katsuki wraps the towel tighter around Izuku’s hand and kisses him, quick and dirty. “C’mon, I’ll drive you to the hospital,” he says gently, and kisses Izuku again. “We’ll grab something to eat on the way back.” Another kiss. “And this weekend we’ll make it together.”

Shoulders slumping, Izuku sighs, breath hot over Katsuki’s mouth. “That sounds good.” He gives Katsuki an embarrassed smile as he follows him out the door. “You’re the best, Kacchan.”

“Of course I am, have you met me?”

“And you’re an asshole.”

“Hey!”