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Blood Moon

Chapter Text

In the six months since they’d been fucking, they had never kissed.

The locker room had long emptied, cleared of their third-year classmates, with only the musky air of dank and dirty laundry rising to the ceiling.

Huffs of sticky, humid breath passed from one parted mouth to the other, their lips brushing errantly as they sucked in each other’s rampant desire. The sweat-slick slap of Katsuki’s quickening hips, punctuated each time with Izuku’s cries and gasps echoed the tiled walls. The back of Izuku’s head impacted against the fragile mirror again and again, crack crack crack. His thighs quivered from sitting on the sink, Katsuki’s arms hooked beneath each damp knee, hiking Izuku’s legs up and apart as he fiercely pounded into him like the building was about to collapse upon them any moment.

They wouldn’t have noticed if it had.

Izuku’s nails had long sunk into Katsuki’s shoulder blades, bloody crescents trickling blood down his back, much in the same way the excess lube seeped from his aching ass and onto the porcelain sink. The force of each thrust slammed the small of his back against the faucet, his shoulders and head against the mirror, shrieks of pain tearing through his limbs, even as tidal waves of pleasure drowned out the discomfort.

Swollen, leaking dick untouched and bobbing against his stomach, Izuku could only pull Katsuki in closer, his voice parched and needy.

Kacchan, I’m gonna –“

Katsuki’s growl silenced Izuku with a shock, just as he leaned in to clamp his teeth onto Izuku's lower lip and tug. Copper flooded Izuku’s mouth, and then Katsuki’s cock was pummeling him with a force that burned, and filled, and fit him like nothing and no one else could.

Izuku didn’t know who shot off first, but they came near in synch, a mess of shouts, hands grappling for each other, cum slick between their bodies. Katsuki released Izuku’s mouth in the midst of their shudders, his lips tilting in, searching –

Izuku turned his head.

Katsuki’s brow dropped to Izuku’s shoulder, Izuku’s face forced into the hot, damp crook of his neck. Inhaling deep, Izuku smelled only Katsuki. Fire and blood and sex.

Izuku remembered when he didn’t smell that way. But that was a long time ago.

“We’re gonna be late,” Izuku said, scrunching his legs between their bodies so he could close his knees. Now that the endorphins had run out, his back hurt like hell, but that wasn’t something necessary to share with Katsuki. “And I need a shower. You too.”

“Yeah,” Katsuki said, pulling away, his eyes roaming everywhere but near Izuku, probably searching out where his clothes had been flung. “You’re fuckin’ rank. Take care of that.”

“You’re not so fresh yourself,” Izuku said, wincing as he cautiously slid off of the sink. Sure, he’d had worse, but they’d literally just come out of a training session where Aizawa himself had used him as the test example for the class’ challenge – and, thus, had promptly destroyed him. So, maybe today hadn’t been his best day to be fucked on an unforgiving piece of metal and porcelain.

Without sparing each other another a second glance, they both made their way to individual shower stalls and did their thing. Hissing a little as the hot water and soap stung his open cuts and sores, Izuku frowned up into the spray with his eyes shut.

They were maybe getting more reckless than in the beginning of third year. If anything, the wild, almost violent desire they enacted on each other should have been dwindling by now – not increasing exponentially.

Though, who was to say? None of this had been planned.

After a particularly horrific run-in with a villain while on internship patrol, both Katsuki and Izuku had been left bed-ridden and barely alive. It had been one of those nights, when they’d both healed enough to be mobile, that Katsuki, of all people in this world, had climbed into Izuku’s hospital bed.

The Thank-Fuck-We-Aren’t-Dead Sex had started then, and had never really stopped.

Izuku had later analyzed it as a logical release for two teens, growing towards adulthood, with such a sheer amount of mental and physical trauma, that there had to be a safe way to release their stress. A safe way to affirm that they were still alive, still human, and not just Heroes who hurt and saved, hurt and saved.

Ugh,” Izuku said to himself as he stepped from the shower and began to towel off with movements made sluggish by his no doubt bruised back.

Yeah, he could certainly confirm that he was alive right now.

“You fuckin’ complainin’ over there?” came a brash holler from the locker portion of the building. “Swear to fuckin’ God, if anyone ever knew what a damn cry baby you are –“

“Everyone knows that,” Izuku said blandly, tying his towel around his waist and rounding the rows of lockers.

This year, it had become easier to go verbally head-to-head with Katsuki. They’d been through so much together, spilled their guts on so many occasions – to each other verbally, and for each other physically, that the fear Katsuki had once instilled in Izuku was simply something to be flicked aside when it snuck past Izuku’s defenses.

Katsuki’s sharp tongue had mostly become something Izuku could handle. On a good day, anyway.

“Wow,” Izuku said, visibly impressed as he approached his and Katsuki’s lockers. “You got ready fast.”

Katsuki raised his pale eyebrows, glancing up as he buttoned the length of his wrinkled dress shirt with thick, scarred fingers. The depth of his gaze always reminded Izuku of the Blood Moon, shaded from deep crimson to bright amber, and sunset blood red.

Izuku had once read that the Blood Moon symbolized the upheaval and disarray of human consciousness.

That was Katsuki all over. Heck, Izuku too.

“Yeah, well,” Katsuki said, his sneer immediate and toothy, “Not everyone here daydreams their way through life. I could hear your creepy mumbling in the shower from over here, you fuckin’ freak.”

Izuku could feel his face heat up at that, but he simply turned away and opened his locker to dig through for clean boxers. Underwear in one hand, he rummaged with the other for deodorant.

He had a split second of his senses alerting him to an approach, but Katsuki was faster, pinning him against the lockers with his hot, hard body. Large hands slammed on either side of Izuku’s ears, and the force of Katsuki pressing into him pushed Izuku’s face right into the darkness of his own open locker.

Katsuki’s nose brushed the nape of Izuku’s neck, sending goosebumps flying across his skin. Even his dick twitched in interest.

Mmm,” Katsuki murmured into Izuku’s skin. Izuku wondered if he was even conscious of the noise. “’Magine I messed you all up for class now? You’d have no time to shower again. You’d just have to walk around all day, feeling my cum drip down your legs, knowing this –“ Katsuki’s hand crept under the towel, his palm squeezing the generous curve of Izuku’s ass, “Is all mine.”

Izuku swallowed hard, thankful that his face couldn’t be seen. That the hunger, the acceptance, the love could not be seen. The words froze him in place.

I already am yours.

Katsuki just couldn’t know it. Not when their ‘relationship’ was constructed on casual sex, thrown insults, and unrestrained rivalry. This was what had been desired of Izuku on that night in the hospital – and this is what he would give.

He wouldn’t embarrass himself in front of Katsuki anymore. Not when he was the one person Izuku needed to surpass in this life.

Hey!” Katsuki’s voice rang out hostile and coarse, his free hand bunching into a fist and punching the locker – through the locker door – and bringing out a yelp and a jump from Izuku. “Are you fucking ignoring me, stupid little Deku?”

“N-no,” Izuku said, his face burning in the relative darkness of his locker. He couldn’t turn around. Not when Katsuki would see –

A large hand snuck around, grabbing Izuku by the jaw, and turning him so he had to look over his shoulder.

Whaddaya –“

Katsuki paused, the sharp slant of his eyebrows softening, his gaze narrowing as he met Izuku’s pleading, honest eyes.

“Don’t you fuckin’ look at me like that,” Katsuki said, sounding deep and choked.

The fingers that held Katsuki’s jaw tightened, held him firm. Katsuki’s sandy lashes dropped low, his attention fixed on Izuku’s mouth.

Hearting thrashing in his chest, Izuku swallowed hard, unable to look anywhere but at Katsuki. There was only Katsuki – only ever had been. His stomach jumped and dropped as he watched that intense expression lean in, lips slightly parted.

No!” Izuku said, squeezing his eyes shut tight enough to see stars. “Don’t.”

Katsuki stopped, utterly still and quiet. The silence was more deafening than any of his battle cries.

“What did you just say to me?” he said, his voice just a rumble of thunder on the horizon, threatening a storm.

Izuku opened his eyes, his mouth thin and tight, his eyebrows low.

“Don’t do that. Kissing me.”

There was a beat of silence, and Katsuki’s expression flicked to something Izuku couldn’t recognize, and then –

Harsh laughter as Katsuki pulled away, using his hold on Izuku to shove his face back none too gently.

Kiss you? You? Jeezus fuck, dude, you are delirious if you think –“ Katsuki turned and roughly tugged on his shoulders while coughing sharp laughs to himself. “Like I would. I’m already gettin’ what I want. Why the fuck would – I mean, fuck, Deku, you got some shit to work on.”

Katsuki never showed his face as he collected his things and evacuated the room in long strides. The door slammed behind him enough to make the building quake.

Mostly naked, and utterly cold, Izuku turned, pressed his back to the lockers, and slid to the ground. Painfully fisted hands rested on the ground as he looked to the ceiling with watery eyes.

He would be the first to admit that he most definitely had some shit to work on.

If they kissed, Katsuki would know. He wasn’t dumb – not even a little. He would know.

He would know because Izuku would have it written across his face.

He wouldn’t be able to hide that he loved Katsuki.

In the six months since they’d been fucking, they had never kissed.

Chapter Text

The soft knock at the door around one in the morning did nothing to wake Katsuki up because he was already fucking awake with the dull pain that radiated from his arms, both bandaged from elbows to hands. If he ever ran into that fucking villain with the avalanche Quirk again, he would literally rip the bastard’s balls off and shove them in each eye socket. Sure, the fractures were healed, but it would be a couple of days before his constitution had him back at one-hundred percent.

Since he couldn’t use his hands, every fucker in the dorm was trying to help him out with daily activities. As if he fucking needed them! What a goddamn laugh.

Katsuki would eat his meals, face down in his plate like a dog before he let a single one of those ingrates feed him. He’d bite their hand off at the wrist if they even tried.

THE FUCK?” Katsuki bellowed from where he was sat up in bed, barely watching the action film on television. He refused to open the door to yet another burdensome classmate. “I will literally burn the hair off your scalp if you don’t back the fuck up off my door within ten damn seconds!”

There was a long moment of silence. Katsuki nestled back against the pile of pillows up his back and behind his neck, his face twisted in a scowl as he glared at the movie once more.

When the doorknob began to turn, Katsuki shot up straight, teeth bared in a snarl and –

Deku peeked around the edge of the door, his scarred hand holding the edge. His eyes flicked around the room once, taking in his surroundings as they ever did, then settled on Katsuki.

“It’s just me,” he said, voice muffled, still hidden behind the door.

“My arms don’t work, not my fuckin’ eyes, dipshit,” Katsuki said, his eyes narrowed even as his blood began a gentle, anticipatory simmer beneath his skin. Deku only came to his room for one reason. “The fuck you want? Gonna stand in the doorway all night? Camp out? Pitch a tent? Build a fuckin’ fire?”

Deku sent him an unamused look where there once would have been an anxiety and entered the room, locking the door behind him and leaning against the wood paneling for a moment, his hands behind his back. He chewed on his full bottom lip in a way that was infuriatingly distracting, his wide gaze unwavering from Katsuki’s. No one could stare him down like Deku could. Annoying little shit.

“You scared me back there,” Deku said, his voice hushed, as if frightened he’d wake the floor, when it was obviously Katsuki’s roaring which would accomplish that, if anything. “When I saw you disappear under those rocks.”

Katsuki’s chest tightened, the corner of his mouth curling instinctively against the discomfort in his ribcage.

Jeezus, don’t be such a pussy about it. You’re a hero, dumbass. Act like one.”

Katsuki’s gaze fell to where Deku now picked at the frayed hem of his t-shirt. His attention dropped a little lower as he wondered if Deku was wearing any underwear beneath those loose, flannel pajama pants.

“Heroes are supposed to worry about their teammates,” Deku said, the iron backbone to his voice still giving Katsuki pause and rising irritation. “Are you really okay?”

Katsuki’s eyebrows twitched involuntarily, his lips pulling back from his teeth, even as the constriction in his chest clamped around his lungs.

“I’m fine,” he said, his jaw taut with the effort not to scream it.

Deku’s sober expression remained fixed upon Katsuki from across the room, his large eyes searching for fuck knew what. Katsuki could never read that little asshole.

Then, as if he saw what he needed to see, Deku released a shaky breath and approached. Katsuki frowned, his brow furrowed when recognized that look of determination on Deku’s face. Then the look was gone, because Deku was pulling his shirt over his head and dropping it to the ground as he reached the bed.

Katsuki swallowed, his face growing hot as his attention raked over that scarred, muscled chest.

“Idiot, what the fuck’re you –“

The room plunged into darkness when Deku reached out and flicked off the bedside lamp. The distant blue glow of the television cast bruised shadows across Deku’s intent profile, the muscled width of his shoulders lined in stark black relief.

Katsuki sucked in a sharp breath as Deku climbed into bed and promptly straddled his thighs with his own thick, stocky legs.

Dude,” Katsuki said, biting off each word and thankful there was no waver to his voice. “You still got a brain after that boulder hit you in the face? I can’t use my fuckin’ hands.”

And the fury was fucking rising with that knowledge. He wanted to touch. Needed that reprieve, that moment toward the end, where he could watch Deku completely relent to him, belong to him.

It was the only time Katsuki ever really won against him.

“S’okay,” Deku said, his voice already hoarse, and shocking through Katsuki’s system. Calloused hands snuck beneath Katsuki’s t-shirt, sliding and urging the shirt up beneath his armpits. Deku’s head bowed to Katsuki, thick curls tickling his chin as a hot, wet strip was licked along the ridge of his collarbone. Deku’s breath was soft and searing against his throat. “I got myself ready for you.”

Katsuki’s heart stopped. There was no way he was still alive. Maybe he’d died in that avalanche. Was this heaven or hell?

“You…” Katsuki’s brain fried, his skin simmering beneath Deku’s hard, compact body, ready for immediate detonation. And when the fuck had his cock shot to attention so quickly? It angrily pressed against Deku’s hip, aching for attention already. “What?”

“I –“ Deku swallowed hard, his mouth coming up to brush the shell of Katsuki’s ear. Every hair on his body stood on end, electrified. “I opened myself for you. In my room. I’m ready.”

“Oh, fuck,” Katsuki bit off, his breath rushing from his lungs with a fiery burn. Nothing – this was like nothing he’d ever experienced. And Deku’s lips were tracing the veins in his neck like he’d set them each alight. This was already too fucking much, more than anything he could have anticipated except in his own depraved dreams. “Let me – can you – I need – need –”

Yes,” Deku said, his mouth pressing against Katsuki’s ear. “Yeah – yeah, I know.”

Before Katsuki could scramble for a reply, Deku was sliding down the length of his body, blunt nails scraping down his torso, fingertips hooking into the waistband of Katsuki’s loose boxers.

Swallowing hard, Katsuki watched the blue shadow of Deku wedge himself between Katsuki’s legs as he slid his boxers down. The swollen head of Katsuki’s dick caught on the waistband, but Deku’s hand was there, wrapping around it, setting it free, sending sparks flying through Katsuki’s body to glow and smolder as they pleased.

An explosion from the television rattled in Katsuki’s ears as Deku flung away his underwear and settled between his bent knees. Deku looked up, cock still in hand, his face masked in complete shadow.

Katsuki’s hand battled against its bindings, instinctively trying to move to touch Deku’s face, fist in that lush forest of hair.

Something pushed on Katsuki’s tongue, something he wanted to say. Fuck if he knew what.

What?” Katsuki said sharply, only further incensed by the throaty rasp to his voice. “You gonna suck my cock like a good little slut?”

There was a beat of silence between them, Deku’s expression utterly masked with the ethereal light of the television behind him glowing like a halo. He bowed his head to Katsuki’s cock and pressed a wet, lingering kiss to the crown.

Katsuki’s breath caught in his throat, his entire body sizzling with the single action.

“What the fuck are you,” Katsuki said, his words rigid on a tightrope.

With that, Deku parted his lips and took Katsuki down into that sweltering, wet depth. Katsuki’s defenses were razed to the ground, his body set ablaze, the desire to ravage Deku until he was weak as a ragdoll incinerating every other thought in his mind. He instinctively thrust into Deku’s mouth, only growing painfully hard with each gag and choke and cough that rose into the air. Deku’s sloppy, wet noises and struggle to take his entire length down his throat only fueled the fire that threatened to destroy Katsuki’s very sanity.

“Get – ah –” Katsuki tilted his head back against the pillows that propped him up, gritting his teeth against the pleasure. “Get on my cock. Fuck. Now.”

Deku’s mouth slid off of Katsuki’s erection with a sloppy pop, a sound that only tightened Katsuki’s balls while he watched Deku clumsily rid himself of his pants. Fuck, how long could he possibly last like this? The very thought set his teeth on edge. He’d go as long as Deku could and no fucking less. He wouldn’t lose no matter how –

Katsuki’s thoughts scattered as Deku went to his knees, legs on either side of Katsuki’s hips, and reached between his legs to line up Katsuki’s cock. He could only imagine what Deku had looked like, opening himself up in bed, slicking his hole with plenty of lube, thinking about Katsuki just like this.

God, he was so fucking perfect. Katsuki couldn’t stand it.

That first whimper from the back of Deku’s throat as he seated himself down, the head of Katsuki’s cock working in, was a lit match thrown onto gasoline. A single snarl erupted from Katsuki’s throat and he thrust up in one clean motion, his hips holding up, nearly taking Deku’s knees from the mattress with his core strength.

Deku cried out, his hands flinging forward to clamp onto Katsuki’s shoulders tightly. Those stubby nails dug into his skin, same as ever, and Katsuki would never change it, never cover them with bandages. He wanted to see them when he looked in the mirror every morning.

There was no slow burn here – only wildfire. Katsuki brought his hips down and rolled them right back up, a thrill blasting through him as Deku tossed his head back with a low moan. Deku’s hands flew up, bunching into his own wild curls, his throat exposed and unreachable, face shadowed in black – and he started riding.

With the power of his thighs alone, he bobbed on Katsuki’s cock like something beyond a pro. Like every dream Katsuki had ever head. The only thing that would make this better would be grabbing him by the throat, bringing him close, and plunging his tongue into Deku’s swollen, tempting mouth.

Kacchan.”

Deku’s voice was breathless, shaking each time he impaled himself down upon Katsuki’s cock. Deku’s own dick was throbbing hot, bouncing between them with every drop of Deku’s hips in a way that made Katsuki’s mouth water. He’d never sucked a dick in his life, but fuck if he wouldn’t do Deku’s in this very moment.

Deku,” Katsuki said, no longer giving a single fuck that his voice was ravage and broken. “Deku. Fuck, I wanna –“

“Lemme cum on you,” Deku said, looming over him, his words breathless and decadent, his dick in one hand, his other hand coming around to firmly cup the nape of Katsuki’s neck. Deku’s hips slapped irregularly now, his control slipping, as did the strength of his voice. “I wanna.”

Katsuki’s brain short circuited. Blistering heat worked from his body. He thought he smelled scorched bandages.

Whatever,” Katsuki said, desperate to touch, furious he couldn’t, delirious with Deku’s voice, his body. “Just – fuck – I need – closer –”

“Yeah,” was all Deku said, leaning in until their foreheads found each other’s. His free hand worked his cock, the other gripping Katsuki’s hair for dear life as Katsuki fucked up into him with straight, searing malice.  Deku’s gasps, his high-pitched cries fed right into Katsuki’s open mouth as he gasped for air.

The red was flaming over his vision, his hips a flurry of motion, his senses filled with Deku.

There had never been anyone else.

Deku came in a hot flash that spilled over onto Katsuki’s stomach, branding him in a way he’d done to Deku a dozen times but had never been reciprocated. Katsuki detonated within seconds, his lungs shrieking with the haze and smoke of desire and Deku’s scent.

In that moment, Deku’s arms came around him, their foreheads smashing against each other, unable to achieve that closeness Katsuki ached for in his gut. Their noses brushed, Deku’s long, thick eyelashes tickling Katsuki’s cheek as they both shuddered through their aftershocks.

His chest yearning for release from its shackles, Katsuki leaned in, their lips brushing and –

Deku buried his face against the crest of Katsuki’s shoulder, his wet mouth smearing across Katsuki’s jaw as he went.

Katsuki’s heart dropped to his stomach, a rollercoaster that left him nauseous and angry.

Deku was the first to collect himself and pull away. He always was.

With eyes averted, his face screwed in a wince as he disconnected from Katsuki, Deku flopped onto his back beside Katsuki, eyes wide in the dark as he stared at the ceiling. The credits rolled in black and white on the television.

“You waiting for some shit?” Katsuki said, his voice upsettingly still hoarse.

Deku was silent for a second. He always did that crap when there was something he’d wanted to say in reply, but held it back. Pissed Katsuki the fuck off.

“Let me help you shower.”

Lemme cum on you.

Katsuki barked a laugh without humor.

“You’re a fuckin’ saint, ain’tcha, Deku? My hero.”

Deku rolled on his side, leaning on his elbow and pillowing his cheek on his palm. Even in the semi-darkness, Deku’s eyes shone with intelligence and tenacity. People said Katsuki was stubborn. He figured they didn’t know Deku.

“Or,” Deku said, his voice patient, “You can go to bed gross and dirty, then go to class tomorrow smelling like sex because you wouldn’t let me wash your damn back.”

“You gonna wash my back like a good little wife, Deku?” Katsuki said with a wide, razor grin.

“Um.” Katsuki could straight up hear the blush in Deku’s voice and reveled in it. “I just want to help.”

Katsuki bristled at that damn word.

“Shut the fuck up with that. You can fuckin’ leave if you keep thinkin’ of me like some charity case.”

Deku sat up quickly, scooting closer so his face was too near to Katsuki’s.

“Hey, it’s okay if I help. No one would ever know.”

I would know, stupid Deku,” Katsuki said, his gaze storming over. He could still feel Deku’s cum drying on his torso. That would be a bitch to scrub out of his stomach hair alone. “I’m so fuckin’ over this conversation. Get out before I decide to take a shower in your blood.”

“Kacchan –“

Out!”

Deku flinched, but leaned in, that iron voice returning full force.

“Kacchan. Let me make you feel good.”

Katsuki choked on his words, his tongue going hot and heavy in his mouth as he eyed Deku in the darkness. Somewhere deep down, his heart was slowly crawling from his gut back to its rightful home.

Looking away, his face burning, Katsuki could only say one thing.

“Whatever.”

Deku smiled.

Chapter Text

How could he have done that?

Izuku huffed a breath from his nose, a great plume of white puffing into the brisk, winter air. White lights shimmered, festive music drifted in the distance, drowned out by the big city din of chatter and cars. It was late evening, and the sidewalks were crusted with snow, but the streets were still packed with holiday shoppers.

Izuku was here too, after all. Night was the only available time he had to pick out gifts for his friends and family. His days were filled with school, every other afternoon with internship duties, and nights with his studies. Getting to relax like this felt almost like a vacation.

Wandering stores as he pleased, grabbing a hot chocolate and sitting on cold bench, watching families pass with laughter and joy. It had also felt good to be able to afford presents for everyone with the wage he made during his internship.

He’d even bought Kacchan a present, knowing full well it would undoubtedly be scoffed at.

Which led back to his unrelenting line of thought.

Why had he done that?

Izuku tucked his cold nose into the thick folds of the scarf Koji had knitted for him. He’d made a scarf for everyone last Christmas – and, although Izuku would never tell his mother, it was better than anything she had ever made for him.

He could feel his face flame up with a hot blush as he held tight to his shopping bags and weaved through pedestrian traffic.

It had been months. Months. More than three since the last time they’d touched each other. Since the time Izuku had snuck into Kacchan’s room, horny and high on the idea that he could seduce his rival.

Izuku shouldn’t have been surprised that it had turned around on him. No matter how in control he thought he could be with Kacchan, he always wanted, needed, too much of Kacchan. Even when it had looked as if Izuku had been in control, that had only been mindless lust and desire for Kacchan consuming him. There was no thinking clearly when Kacchan’s voice was in his ear.

However, he had to applaud himself for washing Kacchan in the shower afterwards with a straight face. He was sure his cheeks had been red the entire time, but Kacchan had remained silent, but for barking orders to scrub harder, softer, here, there, and fuck there’s fucking shampoo in my eyes, you bastard.

They’d never met each other’s gaze, and Kacchan had scowled the entire way through, but he’d let Izuku help. Properly help, for the first time in as long as Izuku could remember.

And yes, the night did end with Kacchan physically planting his foot flat on Izuku’s ass and pushing him out of his door, but – well, Izuku was happy.

Happy and embarrassed.

Pausing in front of a school supply store, Izuku peered into the large windows before popping inside. Ochako’s birthday was just two days after Christmas, and he’d wanted to buy her a little something extra. Her backpack had seen better days, and since her family was struggling, Izuku thought he could find her a really cute one.

A wave of hot hair overwhelmed Izuku as he stepped into the shop, and he was immediately uncomfortable in his layers. He pushed his fluffy, faux fur hood back and unraveled his scarf, shoving it into one of his shopping bags as he skirted between people and aisles. Spotting the brightly colored wall of backpacks, Izuku made his way over and –

Found himself staring at the unmistakably hunched figure of Kacchan at the end of the aisle.

Izuku broke out into a smile and called out Kacchan’s name as he approached, remaining steady and unflinching when Kacchan saw him and made a sour face.

“The fuck’re you doin’ here?” Kacchan said, shoving the notebook he’d been holding back onto the shelf and aiming a 5% Power Glare Izuku’s way. Izuku was still pretty delighted that he’d managed to move from a 100% Power Glare in their first year to 5%-25% power in their third.

“A birthday gift for Ochako,” Izuku said, gripping tight his shopping bags to keep from nervously fidgeting. “A cute backpack.”

“Oh?” Kacchan frowned and scratched his jaw, crimson gaze narrowed on Izuku. “Split it with me.”

“What, really?” Izuku said, his smile wavering with surprise.

“The fuck kind of reaction is that?” Kacchan said, a roar building in his voice as he slapped a hand on the shelving unit beside Deku’s head and swerved on his heel until Izuku’s back was trapped against the notebooks. Kacchan’s face came in close, the red in his eyes aglow with banked rage. “You think I’m a fuckin’ asshole, eh? Eh? Just because I don’t go around singing peoples’ fuckin’ praises like the pussy you are don’t mean they’re not my friends, stupid Deku.”

“Uhhh –” Izuku swallowed, his gaze flicking between Kacchan’s eyes and his sneering mouth. “Nope. That’s, uh, no. I was thinking it was nice. That you’re a, uh, good friend. Ochako really likes you.”

Kacchan’s heavy breathing immediately slowed, his expressive eyebrows dropping as he stared Izuku down. Briefly, Kacchan’s attention lowered, and Izuku thought his eyes traveled across his freckles before Kacchan pushed off the shelf and turned, sending notebooks scattering to the floor in his wake.

“Whatever. Let’s go pick the thing.”

“Wait!” Izuku scrambled to collect all the notebooks, haphazardly shoving them onto the wall. Kacchan, of course, did not wait.

By the time he’d caught up, Kacchan was already holding two backpacks in his hands and looking between them like he was holding poisonous snakes ready to strike.

Actually, Kacchan would never be afraid of poisonous snakes.

He looked at the backpacks like communication and affection.

“This one has weird cute animal things,” Kacchan said, holding both up in each hand with a completely Dead Inside expression. “This one has food with cute faces.”

Izuku looked at him. In tandem they said:

“Food with cute faces.”

As they were ringing up their purchase, Izuku made a little gasp and looked to Kacchan.

“I forgot! You were already shopping. Were you planning to get something?”

“That’s none of your fuckin’ business, now is it,” Kacchan said between gritted teeth. He ripped the bag the teenage cashier held out and completely missed the way her face had paled to deathly white upon viewing his expression.

Izuku aimed an apologetic smile her way and hurried to catch up with Kacchan, who had already disappeared outside. He was a little delighted to find him waiting. Leaning against the display window, puffy winter jacket zipped up to his chin, hands shoved in the pockets, Kacchan slid a look Izuku’s way upon his approach.

“Let’s get food,” Kacchan said gruffly.

“Oh, I’m sure someone saved us dinner back at –“

“I didn’t fuckin’ ask, did I?” Kacchan said, shooting bloody daggers with his eyes.

Izuku felt a chill that had nothing to do with the weather.

“Um.” His lips curved as he met Kacchan’s intent gaze and nodded. “Lead the way.”

Kacchan made a noise under his breath, but promptly turned away and began to walk. Izuku caught up, pleased to be beside him.

It wasn’t all that strange for them to eat together, these days. They were both interning at the same Office, and as they patrolled together, they also caught lunch together. They ended up eating together three times a week. Just the two of them.

It should be strange.

It should feel odd to have this rare but still reoccurring relationship in the shadows, and still carry on as relatively normal through the days and months. But it didn’t feel that way, mostly. Kacchan was so single minded in his everyday life, and Izuku had been accustomed to following Kacchan’s lead since childhood. If Kacchan wasn’t going to bring it up, Izuku certainly wasn’t. He wouldn’t ruin the tenuous friendship he’d been working to redevelop for three years.

Being by Kacchan’s side – that was the greatest pleasure in his life aside from saving people.

“Here’s fine,” Kacchan said, jerking his thumb at a tiny ramen shop.

“Good idea,” Izuku said, following Kacchan into the establishment of one long counter and six stools. “I don’t think my body will ever be warm again.”

Kacchan slid a look his way, eyes narrowed, the spot between his eyebrows dreadfully crunched up. Izuku cocked his head in curiosity, his lips slightly curved, eyebrows raised in silent question. Kacchan just rolled his eyes, yanked off his jacket in sharp motions, and threw it on the stool to sit on. Confused by the exchange, but staying quiet because he knew better, Izuku followed suit with his own jacket and sat.

Their shoulders brushed companionably, and Kacchan’s knee bumped Izuku’s because the guy had a seriously bad habit of taking up mass amounts of space with his cocky spread legs. They made their orders – both asking for extra pork, since their bodies needed all the protein they could get.

“You don’t have any bags,” Izuku said, propping his elbow on the counter and pillowing his cheek on his hand as he angled toward Kacchan. “Did you finish all of your shopping before?”

“Who the fuck do I need to shop for?” Kacchan said, by way of answer, one eyebrow quirked as he eyed Izuku. “You, nerd?”

Izuku could feel his cheeks heat.

“I guess you don’t have to shop for anybody, but I know a lot of the class got you presents. Same as they did for everyone else.”

“I am not getting something for everyone,” Kacchan said, clearly affronted by the very idea. “It’s not like I hang out with them or braid their fucking hair. I’d be the same off getting a fuckin’ hobo on the street a present.”

With his jaw clenching to remain shut, Izuku stared down Kacchan as his brain flipped desperately through notebook pages on how to convince this jerk to do anything ever that he didn’t want to do. Two years ago – hell, only last year Izuku would have let himself get drawn into an outright bickering war, complete with death threats on Kacchan’s side. The works. That wasn’t to say that didn’t argue literally every day, but Izuku was learning how to handle himself as he went along.

“Alright,” Izuku said with a shrug. “If you say so.”

With that, Izuku turned to where his ramen was being set before him, looking up to offer a bright, cheerful smile to the server.

As he cracked his chopsticks and started to stir his ramen around, he could feel the unadulterated fire of Kacchan’s stare against his cheek. Despite their food having been served, Izuku could tell from his periphery that Kacchan hadn’t moved a muscle.

“What the fuck?” He suddenly shrieked, slamming a fist down on the table, sending both bowls of ramen sloshing over the edge. “The fuck is that supposed to mean? You think you’re better than me for buying some ugly goddamn trinkets for a bunch of hero wannabes who are only your friends because you’re in the same class?”

Izuku made a show of not looking at Kacchan and loudly slurping a long, endless noodle. He glanced over, is eyes wide and guileless.

Hm?” he said, mouth full as he chewed.

“Fine!” Kacchan said, snapping at the bait like a vicious carnivore. “You think you’re so good? My presents will blow your crap outta the fuckin’ water! You won’t even wanna give your shit to ‘em. You’ll be mortified and I’ll laugh in your stupid freckly face.”

“Kacchan,” Izuku said, growing a little distressed with the rising decibel of noise his rant had taken on. He looked around the small shop quickly, concerned about getting kicked out. “Please.”

What? What, I’ll fuckin –“

Izuku did the first thing he could think of. He slapped his hand over Kacchan’s mouth.

Kacchan’s face went immediately red, his eyebrows arching into sharp, straight daggers of fury as he went nearly cross-eyed trying to look down at Izuku’s hand.

“Get a hold of yourself before our food gets taken away and we go home with nothing!” Izuku said in a rush, his face close to Kacchan’s, their mouths separated only by Izuku’s palm. “Buy the presents or don’t, but let’s try to have a nice, normal meal between friends, okay?”

Kacchan bit down on Izuku’s hand like it was dinner, a rabid growl rising up from his throat.

“Ow!” Izuku’s hand recoiled, smarting with the fiery imprint already marking the edge of his hand below his pinky. Rubbing it vigorously, Izuku shot out a glare. “You’re an asshole, you know that? I feel like I don’t tell you enough.”

I’m only an asshole because you’re passive-aggressive doormat,” Kacchan said, returning the glower with one of his own before properly digging into his food for the first time.

“That’s literally one reason in a list of hundreds.”

They ate in mostly comfortable silence, only snapping at each other when Kacchan tried to steal the egg from Izuku’s ramen. For that, Kacchan got a stab in the hand from a chopstick. Izuku didn’t even apologize for it, even though less than five minutes later he kind of wanted to, anyway.

When they had finished and wrapped themselves up in their winterwear, the sky was pitch black and the streets going quiet.

“It’s later than I thought,” Izuku said, dipping his bare hands in his pockets and wishing for gloves. “Everyone’s gone home. I hope we don’t get into trouble at the gates.”

“Oh my god, Deku, they’re not your fuckin’ mom. Get a grip. We can just jump the fence.”

Izuku considered arguing since, yeah, that was the worst idea.

He shrugged and met Kacchan’s eyes with a slow smile.

“’Kay. First one to reach over to the other side is the winner.”

Kacchan’s grin was quick and handsome and devastatingly rare.

“You’re on.”

Some twenty minutes later, and Izuku had eaten his words as they stepped inside the unlit, sleeping dorm.

“Can’t believe I lost,” Izuku said, his face screwed up in a pout. “You gotta show me that backflip thing you do.”

“Like fuck I will. Teach yourself,” Kacchan said, kicking off his shoes and throwing his coat onto the ground.

With a displeased expression towards Kacchan’s back, Izuku collected the coat from the floor and paired it with his own as he hung them in the closet.

He shivered a little, still cold as he brought his hands to his mouth and puffed hot hair between them.

“Gonna be a white Christmas, huh?” Izuku said into his cupped palms, peering over his fingers at Kacchan with a smile in his eyes. “Can’t remember the last time we had that.”

“Who cares? It’s just cold water. I hate winter,” Kacchan said, taking steps to break the distance between them. Before Izuku could react, Kacchan snatched Izuku’s hands and curved his own around the contours of Izuku’s.

Blushing from head to toe, Izuku looked up, finding Kacchan’s gaze averted and down, concentrating.

“What’s going – oh!” Utterly delighted, Izuku felt little fireworks go off around his icy hands. They were such gentle, warm little things, every couple of seconds emitting a golden glow from the sliver of a gap between their hands.“That’s – wow.”

Charmed and sparkling with it from the inside out, Izuku lit up with a smile, tilting his head to find Kacchan finally looking at him. His customary frown still tugged at his lips, but his gaze was a little wide, a little dazed in a way Izuku wasn’t used to seeing.

“You’re warm,” Izuku said, his cheeks flaring up again as he laughed lightly out of nerves. He was glad his hands weren’t shaking. “No surprise, I guess. You always feel so hot when we – er –“

It only occurred to him then how strange it was that the two of them could do all the things they’ve done to each other – touched each other in the most physically intimate ways – and yet this, this was something Izuku would never forget in all his life.

Kacchan’s secret kindness. His warmth, and sharing it with another person.

“Come up to my room,” Kacchan said, his voice low, deeper, intimate. His attention never wavered from Izuku’s face.

Izuku’s heart slammed once, hard, against his ribcage, then quickened to a running pace.

That was a new type of invitation, too. A terrifying one. Why was he asking now, of all times? If he was looking for a warm body to stave off the winter cold, Izuku was the last person for that. He was practically reptilian.

“I –“ Izuku couldn’t help the way his eyes widened as he attempted to read Kacchan’s intense expression. “I can’t.”

Kacchan’s hands disappeared from Izuku’s, leaving them frigid and barren.

“Why? You got better things to do?” Kacchan said, his eyes flaring up now, his mouth twisting in a sneering smile.

“I can’t, I –”

I can’t myself be this vulnerable with you.

If Kacchan found out, everything would be lost. This was not a person who desired a close relationship with people on a friendship level, let alone some kind of boyfriend. This was not a person who ran joyfully into the arms of love and affection.

He was, however, the type of person who could be a fiercely loyal friend. And fun, intelligent, adventurous – even a role model for tenacity and drive.

Izuku could live with that slice of Kacchan. He would not go without this person in his world, ever again.

“I just need to sleep,” Izuku said with a wobbly smile.

Kacchan gave no reaction. He raised his eyebrows, shrugged a shoulder, and turned.

“Your loss.”

With his back retreating towards the elevators, Kacchan raised a hand to wave, and flicked him off instead.

Izuku could only stand and stare at his hands.

Chapter Text

“I guess he’s knocked out, huh?” Ochako’s fond voice said from behind him.

Katsuki startled, hated himself for it, and was already glaring by the time he looked over his shoulder.

“He deserves it,” he said, stubbornly folding his arms over his chest and turning back to take in the view again. “He’s the loser who let himself get kidnapped.”

The majestic Christmas tree filled the room with a soft, creamy glitter glow. Torn wrapping paper and sparkling bows lay strewn across the floor in a sea of silver and gold, green and red. A testament to the mayhem of twenty teenagers unwrapping twenty presents each, all at the same time.

Except for him and Deku. Villains didn’t fucking rest on Christmas Eve.

The back of Katsuki’s brain was still branded with the image of that tentacle Quirk wrapped around Deku’s throat, squeezing tighter until the veins in Deku’s eyes began to pop, blooding spread across the whites of them, his face fading pale as new snow. Katsuki had seen the consciousness melt from his expression, his face go slack. And he hadn’t even been the one to fucking save him.

Katsuki's fists clenched hard enough to ache his joints as he took in the sight of Deku, laid out on the couch upon his stomach, one arm bent and pillowed beneath his cheek, the other flopped off the side of the couch, lax fingers brushing the floor. The white tree lights pooled their mellow light around him, his freckles a stark contrast from his pallid cheeks.

They’d gone to get him healed, obviously. But the rest was up to Deku’s body.

“Pisses me off,” Katsuki said under his breath, his chest heavy with the tangled weight of one too many emotions.

“He’s lucky you were there,” Ochako said, standing beside him.

“Like hell I saved that asshole,” Katsuki said.

That fucking Mirio bastard had jumped in before Katsuki could snap out of his uncharacteristic frozen horror. Katsuki hated that guy. He really needed to die.

Very gently, probably with hesitance, Ochako lightly bumped her shoulder against Katsuki.

“He’s lucky you’re at his side, anyway.”

Anybody is fuckin’ lucky to have me on their team,” Katsuki said, raising his eyebrows as he looked down at her with a ‘duh’ face.

“Yup,” Ochako said, looking up with a gentle curved of lips. “I think Deku probably knows that better than anybody. I think –“ Ochako stopped and laughed softly, waving her hand around in disregard. “I’m sorry, I’m just being nosy. It doesn’t matter what I think.”

“What the fuck’s that supposed to mean?” Katsuki said, frowning deeply, but keeping his voice down. He didn’t want to deal with a useless, exhausted, zombie Deku on Christmas morning. “Whaddayou have to be nosy about?”

“I just don’t want to say something that might end up upsetting Deku,” Ochako said, her cheeks flushing pink. “He’s, um. He’s so serious about you. I think he’d do just about anything not to lose your friendship again.”

“For fuck’s sake,” Katsuki said, his decibels rising as he shot a glare toward Deku’s angelically reposed expression. “That was my fault. Before – when we were kids. I did that. What the fuck is he so worried about?”

“Now that, he’s never told me,” Ochako said with a resigned smile and a small shrug. “Maybe you could find out though.”

Katsuki looked back to Deku, his face set in dissatisfaction.

Why would he ever learn to understand that fucking nerd? Why did he want to so badly?

Katsuki turned to say something else and blinked when he realized Ochako had gone. Just as with some weeks ago, the lights were off across the bottom floor, but this time the tree bathed the living area in its calming radiance. Even Katsuki wasn’t entirely immune.

Slowly he made his approach, hands fisted lightly at his sides, mouth and eyes sober as Deku filled his view. He dropped to his knees beside the couch, sitting back on his heels as he frowned at Deku’s sleeping face. Katsuki had never noticed before – never had an opportunity to notice – but Deku’s freckles sprinkled across his eyelids, too.

 Whenever Katsuki got too close, he always ended up distracted by those freckles. He used to hate them for that reason. As a young kid, they’d been something of interest – something unique that constantly caught Katsuki’s attention when they were nose to nose in an altercation. But as they grew older, it had become something more than fascination. And he’d fucking hated that weakness within himself.

Without thought, Katsuki reached out, fingertips brushing across a freckled cheekbone.

Why was it always him?

Snatching his hand back, Katsuki gritted his teeth, fists clenching on his thighs as he face burst into flame.

Why did it have to be Deku? Katsuki was a smart guy – even held the number two spot in class this year. He knew his fucking mind, knew how to succeed and get what he wanted. 

The fact that what – who – he wanted was stupid Deku, of all things and people, was a fucking insult to his own self. Mainly, because he seemed to have zero control over it. The desire was just there, that fucking name scorched into his chest like a brand, never to fade.

Fuck that. Instead of fading, Deku's name was like a housefire in the safe haven of his heart. Burning bigger and brighter, more rooms catching alight as time went on. There was no putting it out.

Katsuki started fires. He didn’t know how to put them out. Didn’t know if he wanted to know.

Frowning, Katsuki brushed the thick, soft hair from the side of Deku’s neck. His stomach dropped like a stone to see those deep purple and black smears around that pale throat. Nausea roiled in his stomach, hot, sticky tar. Logically, he knew the damaged inflicted on Deku’s trachea had been inwardly healed – the skin only needed to follow suit. Illogically, Katsuki wanted to rip off that villain’s limbs and strangle the fucker while he bled out, screaming.

Katsuki blinked away the red rage hazing over the edges of his vision, annoyed to find his fingers filtering through and gripping Deku’s lush curls. He had the softest fucking hair, the bastard.

Deku’s lashes fluttered and he murmured in his sleep, the corner of his mouth curving briefly before his lips settled, softly parted.

Katsuki released a long, shaky breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. His gaze lingered on that mouth.

Despite Deku’s apparent purity with those big, guileless and alluring blushes and easy smile, there was nothing innocent about his mouth, and what it could do. Katsuki had come on it, in it, smeared his dick on it, fucked it.

What Katsuki hadn’t done with it was something that distracted him day and out. He didn’t know how long he’d wanted it – from the first time he’d crawled into Deku’s hospital bed that night? – but now it was all he craved.

Well, not all. Katsuki wanted everything. He wanted all of Deku. And fuck it if he didn’t want Deku to feel the same.

This entire fucked up situation was driving Katsuki to murder. Lord knew he was close enough to committing it today.

Biting back a curse and manning up, Katuski proceeded to get to his feet, sneaked his arms beneath the knees and shoulders of a heavily sleeping Deku, and scooped him up into his hold.

Mmm?” was Deku’s only reply, unhelpfully limp in Katsuki’s arms.

“You’re a heavy motherfucker,” Katsuki said under his breath. But he already knew how heavy Deku was. He’d dragged him out of battle more than once – fucked him up against a wall more than once, too. The guy was pure, compact muscle.

Rolling his eyes, Katsuki stepped into the elevator and aggressively smashed the floor button with his foot. He ended up crunching every number down, but fuck it, they were going to the second level anyway.

Katsuki’s brows lowered, his expression considering as he cocked his head and stared at the faint metallic reflection of them in the closed doors. Weird. It was fucking weird, wasn’t it? It was. All of this.

The doors dinged open, and Katsuki stepped into the darkened hallway, making a beeline for Deku’s room.  Pausing, Katsuki stared balefully at the closed door. How in the hell was he meant to open this piece of shit?

With a deep sigh, Katsuki thanked himself – because his body was fucking bomb-ass strong and that was down to his own work – as he squatted, his thighs shaking just a little. Eventually, the hand that held fast to Deku’s shoulder was in line with the knob, and he could just barely use his fingers to turn it.

Expression grim, Katsuki straight up used Deku’s body to bump the door open. He deserved it for being this heavy. He kicked the door shut with the back of his foot and didn’t bother turning on the lights. Only the silver glow from a outside lamppost illuminated the contours and plains of the space.

With a grunt, Katsuki placed Deku on the bed as gently as he could, but in the end his arms gave out and Deku dropped a few inches to the bedspread. Deku merely mumbled in his sleep, eyelids shifting in dreams, and flung his arms above his head. Katsuki had never known him to sleep this deeply. Deku had been seriously KO’ed from his injuries.

Katsuki’s gaze clung to the expanse of pale, freckled stomach revealed to him. Travelled up to Deku’s face.

“I really do hate you,” Katsuki said, his corner of his mouth quirking for just a second. “Stupid Deku.”

Katsuki took a step towards the door. Paused. Looked over his shoulder.

Pressing his lips together tightly, his mind reeling, Katsuki spun back around and approached the edge of the mattress.

Before he could convince himself otherwise, he leaned down and pressed a kiss to the corner of Deku’s lips.

Deku hummed, a drowsy smile forming beneath Katsuki’s mouth on contact.

“Kacchan,” Deku murmured, his voice thick and groggy. His arms came up and loosely encircled Katsuki’s neck. “Stay.”

Katsuki’s entire body went up like match struck ablaze. He froze in place, only pulling back enough to gawk at Deku with huge eyes.

Blinking up sleepily with a heavy-lidded gaze, Deku buried his hand into Katsuki’s hair, urging him close again.

“Sleep,” he said, his voice a hush.

What – whaddaya –“ Katsuki stumbled for words, for his footing, for his strength and his quick tongue. But he could only scramble for a slippery hold on his sanity.

Even as Katsuki stuttered, Deku was clumsily scooting closer to the wall beside his little twin bed, and Katsuki was simply following and falling in line.

“C’mere,” Deku murmured.

Katsuki went totally stiff, his entire body on blaring, siren alert as Deku rolled to his side to face him. Strong arms pulled Katsuki in, embracing him close, his face pressed against Deku’s chest. Katsuki immediately bristled at being outright cuddled like he was some fucking chick and –

“Can hear you thinkin’,” Deku said, his words a little slurred with the blurred edge of slumber, his nose and mouth buried in the fluffy crown of Katsuki’s hair. He inhaled deeply. “Jus’ pretend this’s okay, ‘kay?”

“I –“ Katuski swallowed, his whole body unbearably hot – and that had nothing to do with the fact that they were both fully clothed. “This is –“

Katsuki stopped again, his hand coming around to rest on Deku’s hip. He’d grabbed these hips and fucked right into him like there was tomorrow. Why was this so much harder? Why couldn’t he just be fucking cool right now?

“This is fine,” Katsuki choked out.

He was going to cut out his own tongue tomorrow. He’d never say another embarrassing thing in front of this asshole ever again.

Mmm.” Deku reached out, grabbed the back of Katsuki’s knee, and hefted Katsuki’s thigh over his own, their legs tangling. “Jus’ lemme have this.”

“You can,” Katsuki said, his heart constricting.

There was no reply.

Deku,” Katsuki said, teeth clenched, tilting his chin to try and look up, but failing as Deku was using his head as a pillow.

Faintly, snoring.

Fucking snoring?

“You’re dead tomorrow,” Katsuki muttered darkly against Deku’s strong, warm chest. He smelled like spring, and that should be impossible. “So fuckin’ dead.”

Chapter Text

Warmth caressed Izuku’s torso in slow, soft sweeps.  A familiar scent roused his senses, a soothing spicy musk and the crackling, comforting smoke of a fireplace. Izuku snuggled back into it, heat pooling low in his belly as that tender touch lazily travelled from ribcage, to stomach, to the low waist of his pants, back up, and down.

Murmuring his pleasure, Izuku rolled onto his back, his hands reaching above his head in a long, languid stretch. Sleepily blinking into the morning light, Izuku aimed a wide, dazed smile up at Kacchan.

Kacchan?” Izuku nearly shrieked, shooting up in bed and smashed his forehead into Kacchan’s.

“Motherfucker!” Kacchan toppled back onto his ass – why the hell was he looming over Izuku in the first place? – and sat crossed-legged on the rumpled bed, clutching his head with on hand and glowering. Izuku could practically see the flames light in his eyes. “What the hell is wrong with you, stupid Deku?”

“M-me?” Izuku said incredulously, checking his hand for blood and thankful to find none. They’d both have bruises, though. “Why are you in my bed?”

You invited me into your shitty bed, idiot! Fuck.” Kacchan checked his own head for blood, and coming up with nothing, fisted his hands in the blanket as he eyed Izuku. “You don’t remember?”

“What’re you –“ Izuku paused, a pout forming on his lips, gaze lowering to the plaid patterned blanket as he waded through the thick haze of the previous night. He ran a hand through his disheveled fluff of curls, his fingers getting caught in knots, his hand stuck until he yanked it ruthlessly out and looked up with wide eyes and parted lips. “Oh no. Oh dear. I thought that – I didn’t realize – it wasn’t a dream?”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Kacchan said, shooting daggers across the bed, his cheeks going pink. “When the hell would I ever get into this tiny, crappy bed unless you asked me to?”

Izuku blinked, his entire face flaming up.

“That’s – well, uh. Thanks for respecting my privacy?”

“Oh my god, just stab me in the fuckin’ brain already,” Kacchan said, raking his hand down his face. “I’m going.”

“Wait – wait!” Izuku followed instinct and lunged across the bed, inadvertently knocking Kacchan back and straddling his thighs.

Kacchan’s face went about as red as his eyes.

What? Get the fuck off m-“

Izuku placed his hands on Kacchan’s hot cheeks, his eyes wide and intent as he studied Kacchan’s myriad of expressions. He was usually so predictable in his reactions, and always had been.

Embarrassed, then attack. Sad, then attack. Angry, then attack. Uncomfortable, then attack. And on, and on.

But Izuku could barely read what was going on before him, because he recognized the embarrassment and the discomfort, but no assault was being flung his way. Kacchan lay still, letting Izuku embrace him in his palms. His eyebrows still drew together aggravation, his lips in a tight line – but he didn’t attack and he didn’t run.

He hadn’t done it the night before either, when Izuku had blatantly took him into his bed for pure affection and no thoughts of sex.

A glimmering thread of hope tangled around Izuku’s heart.

“You stayed? All night?” Izuku said, his voice a little winded, because he was having trouble with the whole breathing thing.

“No,” Kacchan said flatly. “Yes. Obviously. Did you lose brain cells in last night’s battle?”

“You cuddled me,” Izuku said, disbelief clear in his tone.

An angry vein popped above Kacchan’s eyebrow as he shook his head violently to release Izuku’s hold on him.

You cuddled me – you did that, you fuckin’ nerd! You’re the one who wanted me!”

“Yeah,” Izuku said, leaning on his elbows at either side of Kacchan's head. “I did.”

Kacchan stilled, his eyes a little wide, his jaw muscles flexing from where he was obviously gritting his teeth.

“Is there a goddamn point to all this, or what?” he said tightly. “You’re fuckin’ annoying.”

“Why did you stay?” Izuku said quietly, bringing his face close. “You didn’t have to.”

Maybe it was because of the nearest death experience Izuku had ever experienced last night. Maybe it was because he’d seen the stone cold fear in Kacchan’s eyes for the first time in that battle, just before Izuku had blacked out. Maybe it was because he was scared he’d die young before he felt and said the things he wanted to say and feel.

Or maybe it was all because Kacchan had stayed, and that had meant everything.

Kacchan hadn’t answered, only paced the plains of Izuku’s face with eyes gone deep, dark blood.

“It’s not a big deal,” Kacchan said finally, his gaze flitting to the side, away, his voice low. “Why’re you being so fuckin’ weird about this?”

“Why are you?” Izuku said, his face the picture of obstinacy.

Kacchan replied with a stubborn look of his own.

“You first.”

“No, you.”

You!”

“Y-“

Kacchan’s calloused hands gripped Izuku’s head on either side and yanked him in. Searing lips locked onto Izuku’s with a force that took his breath away and pushed his soul from his mouth into Kacchan’s open one. Izuku gasped as Kacchan’s tongue lanced between his lips, curling and slicking over his own as if he could devour Izuku in a series of hot, wet bites.

Perfect, he was perfect, this was perfect, swirled through Izuku’s head like a wind storm, beating at him, stripping him down to simple bone and burning desire. Izuku’s moan was swallowed up by Kacchan’s ravenous mouth, with Kacchan’s arms wrapping tightly around Izuku’s waist, urging their bodies to crash together, their legs tangling, hips grinding in avid need.

And then Izuku was yelping against Kacchan’s lips as they rolled, positions flipped, Kacchan’s thigh a hard, insistent weight between his legs, Kacchan’s hands buried in Izuku’s mess of hair. Held in place, Izuku could only meet the barrage of mouth and tongue and teeth, Kacchan’s gruff groans of abandoned shooting fire through his limbs and gathering taut and unrelenting around his cock.

Izuku’s eyes popped open in shock when kisses began to rain down over his face, Kacchan’s lips breaking from his to erratically kiss his jaw, cheeks, temple, eyebrow, back down to plunge his face in the crook of his throat with a sudden, sharp sinking in of teeth.

“Ka –“ Izuku arched up against Kacchan’s leg, unable to speak but for the whimper curled at the back of his throat. Grabbing the nape of Kacchan’s neck, Izuku roughly brought those lips back to him for a greedy, thirsty kiss, his nails digging in to ensure Kacchan never stopped.

“Clothes,” Kacchan said between sloppy, almost brutal meetings of bruised mouths, “Off.”

Yes,” Izuku said, literally already gripping the hem of Kacchan’s shirt and grappling with it. “Yes, fuck, yes yes.”

The shirt went flying, Izuku already looking down to grab at his own shirt. Both of Kacchan’s hands were suddenly at his throat, yanking at Izuku’s collar.

Izuku only had time to look up at Kacchan with wide eyes filled with wonder before Kacchan, face flushed and fierce and ungodly devastating, ripped Izuku’s shirt down the middle, right in half.

Oh.” Izuku said, his mouth agape, his entire body literally quivering with the sudden arousal that enflamed his body. “Oh my god. You’re – I – don’t stop.”

And there was a flash of the cocky smile that shot Izuku through like a bullet.

Izuku reared up and they crashed together, hands grappling at clothes, working pants down hips and legs, shucking socks and underwear aside in the eager race of hands to meet skin. Both sitting up on their knees, the contours of their bodies growing slippery with the slide of sweat, Kacchan wrapped his arms tightly around Izuku in what could only be described as an embrace, and held him tight, his teeth and mouth sucking bright red moons along the line Izuku’s shoulder.

At an utter loss, his mind ablaze and empty of everything but the smoke of lust, Izuku could only tilt his jaw to allow further access, and reach between them to grab both their cocks in his unsteady grip. Kacchan hissed against Izuku’s ear, thrusting shallowly into his hold. Izuku keened softly at the blessed friction of Kacchan against him, but it wasn’t enough, and he needed – he just needed.

“Need you,” Izuku mumbled in Kacchan’s ear. Kacchan turned his head so quickly to nuzzle his mouth against Izuku’s throat that Izuku physically startled.

“Yeah,” Kacchan said against Izuku’s skin with damp lips. “Need you.”

Izuku’s entire body lit up. He grabbed Kacchan by the chin with his free hand, jerked that mouth over, and took it like a prize. Kacchan’s growl rumbled from his chest as his teeth snapped at Izuku’s lips, using a bite to drag Izuku’s face closer, then encompassing his mouth in a swift, hard kiss.

A red blur fogged over Izuku like he’d never known, leaving only need and want and fucking touch me now. He didn’t know when their hands switched and it was Kacchan’s longer fingers enveloping their dicks, but his thumb circled the slick, wet crown of Izuku’s cock, and he was desperately worked into thrusting into Kacchan’s hand, against that throbbing, hot erection that only further coated Kacchan’s palm in cum.

Izuku had his arms flung around Kacchan’s neck, their mouths locked as if never to be parted. Kacchan moaned into Izuku’s mouth louder than he’d ever heard, and when Izuku came, it was like a fucking demolition of his entire being.

Izuku’s cries of abandon filled Kacchan’s mouth, and there was a gritted out, fuck you’re perfect, against Izuku’s parted lips before Kacchan’s free hand dug into the flesh of Izuku’s ass and pushed them together close, Kacchan shuddering hard.

They both collapsed instantly, Kacchan landing hard on top of Izuku, sinking him into the mattress.

Eyes wide and glossed over, Izuku gaped at the ceiling, stared at nothing as he sucked in deep, heaving breaths of recovery. Kacchan’s body quivered intermittently, his face tucked against Izuku’s throat, and Izuku brought one boneless, weak hand up to pillow in the spiked disarray of Kacchan’s hair. He stroked Kacchan’s hair down absently, a shiver racking through his limbs as his body rode out the storm.

That was – this was like nothing before.

In fact, disregard the sex.

Kacchan had kissed him. And kissed him. Again and again.

Fuck, you’re perfect.

He’d said that, hadn’t he? Izuku wouldn’t have imagined that.

Izuku’s chest suddenly ached with enough pain that his face winced with it. His heart felt so full it slammed urgently against the prison of his ribs, looking for the person whose hands it could free fall into.

“Are you fuckin’ petting me?” Kacchan said, his voice slurred and muffled against Izuku’s neck.

“You just noticed?” Izuku said, unable to keep the smile from his voice.

“I think I passed out.”

Izuku pressed his lips together tightly to keep from snorting a laugh.

“That –” Izuku’s shoulders vibrated with repressed giggles. “Yeah, that can happen.”

“You laughin’ at me, nerd?” Kacchan said, totally immobile. He weighed an absolute ton.

“I wouldn’t dare,” Izuku said.

Kacchan whipped his head up just enough to aim a glare at Izuku, their noises just inches away. He got a full view of Izuku biting down on his bottom lip, his smile wide.

“I’ll fuckin’ kill you.”

“I think you can already add that to your list of accomplishments,” Izuku said, unable to wipe the gleeful grin from his face as he raised his eyebrows with the insinuation.

The most miraculous thing happened.

Kacchan’s face went from severe, to utterly wide-eyed and pink with a blush that went to his chest.

“Shut up,” he said, looking away as he rose from Izuku and sat on the edge of the bed. He leaned down to shift through the discarded clothes and picked up his boxers. “You’re obnoxious when you’re happy. Makes me wanna punch your stupid smiling face.”

“Yeah?” Izuku said, sitting up and throwing himself across Kacchan’s back, arms loose around Kacchan’s shoulders, his fingertips brushing in the light layer of fuzz across his chest. Going with instinct, he fondly pressed his lips to Kacchan’s cheek.

Kacchan froze, and for a second a chill of anxiety ran through Izuku that he’d got the wrong message.

Suddenly, Kacchan was angling his body, turning his head and looking over his shoulder as one hand gripped Izuku’s neck and brought him in for a slow, searching kiss. Izuku hummed against the tender swipe of tongue, the gradual search and conquer of Izuku’s mouth. Kacchan pulled back, achingly slow, their lips lingering together until Izuku finally broke the connection.

Kacchan’s hand had somehow moved to Izuku’s cheek, and wasn’t parting from it. Izuku’s gaze scoured Kacchan’s grave stare, unsure of what he could even be searching for now.

“Some –“ Izuku licked his lips, saw the way Kacchan’s gaze dropped down to them. “Some punch.”

“Yeah, well,” Kacchan said, releasing his hold on Izuku and turning away to stand and pull on his boxers.

“This is gross,” Kacchan grumbled. “Puttin’ my goddamn clothes on over drying ji – ugh, I need a shower.”

Izuku sat on the bed, sheets bunched upon his lap, his head cocked as he watched Kacchan dress. His hair looked more like a lightning storm than it ever did and he had red nail marks carved into the back of his neck.

Dressed, Kacchan finally turned to Izuku, his entire face crunched up in dismay.

“The fuck is wrong with you? Your lazy ass gonna stay in bed all day when all of your stupid friends are downstairs probably baking shitty pre-made Christmas cookies and waiting to give you their useless presents?”

“Uh.” Izuku’s brain hiccupped. He brightened then, a new smile lighting up his features. “Oh! It’s Christmas Day, isn’t it?”

Damn,” Kacchan said, shaking his head as he made his way to the door. “You need a fuckin’ brain scan.”

His hand was on the doorknob when Izuku called out.

“Hey! Uh –“

Kacchan waited at the door, unmoving, one eyebrow raised, his mouth twisted in an annoyed frown.

“Merry Christmas,” Izuku said, grinning from the bed, pooled in flannel sheets and sunlight.

Kacchan blinked. His face went red, his expression practically dumb.

“You’re a shithead,” Kacchan said flatly, yanking open the door and walking out. “Merry Christmas,” he said, just as the door slammed behind him.

Izuku let out the long sigh and flopped back onto his bed.

He touched a hand to his lips.

Well, it had only taken them about nine months.

Chapter Text

Idiots loved to fawn over that damn nerd.

A scowl firmly embedded across his sharp features for the last several hours, Katsuki watched as their classmates put their grubby hands all over Deku. Making sure he was okay after the previews night’s ordeal, showering him in presents that all suited him obnoxiously well, and feeding him a pile of chocolate chip pancakes that Rikido had made for everyone.

Katsuki didn’t like that sweet garbage, so he’d literally hunched over an entire piled plate of bacon and lashed out at anyone who came in for a piece.

He’d also opened his presents alongside Deku. Begrudgingly.

Katsuki didn’t like receiving shit for no reason. People always felt like you owed them after they did anything good for you. That wasn’t hero shit, if anyone asked Katsuki. But he’d been kind of surprised how many people had gotten him things that would actually be useful to him. Silly things were of zero interest  – make it practical or fuck off with it.

No one asked where Deku and Katsuki’s presents were for each other. They probably figured the two of them wouldn’t do that kind of bullshit.

And they wouldn’t.

They really wouldn’t.

Normally.

Katsuki ground his teeth together, hearing the scrape of enamel in his ears as he watched Half and Half come up behind Deku and drop his chin upon his shoulder to read a book with which Deku had been gifted. Deku turned his head, smiling widely as he said something to Todoroki that fell deaf on the growing white noise in Katsuki’s head. They were sitting at the farthest opposite ends of the long dining room table, so Katsuki probably wouldn’t have been able to hear, anyway.

He watched as Todoroki pointed at something in the book, his arm coming around to press against Deku’s.

Katsuki brain flashed with Deku laid out beneath him, his shirt torn and frayed down the center. Constellations of freckles scattered across his chest and pink cheeks, eyes wide and deep, dark forest green, hair a wild array of lush curls, his mouth gaping in shock and lust, lips swollen and bruised.

You’re – I – don’t stop.

Katsuki’s vision began to dim to red.

“Bakugou! Um –“ Kirishima’s voice crashed through Katsuki’s Murder Thoughts hard enough to send Katsuki whirling in his seat with a snarl.

“WHAT? What?”

“You burnt a hole in the table.”

“Like fuck I –“

Katsuki looked down to where his hand had been gripping the edge of the table. The wood was blackened, smoking, and definitely had a chunk burned out of it.

“Aizawa is gonna beat your ass, dude,” Kaminari said from beside Kirishima, grinning like a fucking numskull. “What the hell were you thinking?”

“Mind your fuckin’ business, shit for brains,” Katsuki said, his chair screeching back as he stood. He was too distracted in this room. Too pissed off with the way Deku had sneaked beneath his skin while Katsuki had been –

Weak.

He’d been so fucking weak for that obnoxious face just inches from his. It had been too easy for Deku to push him into a corner, shove his hand down Katsuki’s throat and yank his heart out for them both to see.

Katsuki swept past Deku, ignoring the sound of his name on those sinful fucking lips, and stomped into the living room.

He was embarrassed. That made him angry.

He’d been exposed. That made him furious.

The things he’d said in the heat of the moment – the way he’d acted. Katsuki was seriously considering cutting off his tongue this time. It would save him from a world of living beneath Deku’s tenacious, unrelenting scrutiny.

The way Deku pulled things out of him. That didn’t upset him – it made him want to take cover. And that was a new one. Never had anyone made Katsuki want to wave a white flag. But standing before Deku, who demanded Katsuki wear his heart on his sleeve? How could Katsuki emerge triumphant in that scenario?

Flopping onto the couch with his arms already crossed over his chest, Katsuki glared at the television, where a pack of the class lounged on the floor and furniture to watch Die Hard.

Feeling eyes on him, Katsuki whipped his head around to glare at –

“Oh, it’s just you,” Katsuki said to Koji, his posture immediately relaxing to a slouch.

Koji was just about the only person Katsuki could say that he liked out of the class. He kept his mouth shut, he was a trustworthy teammate, and he didn’t give Katsuki any shit. The class had always said he was the best at keeping secrets, too. This didn’t surprise Katsuki at all.

Something pinged in Katsuki’s jumbled thoughts.

He eyed Koji critically, his lips pulled in a frown. Koji looked back with his usual expression of concern.

“I’m fine,” Katsuki snapped on instinct, his fingers digging into his thigh.

Koji jumped in his seat a little and nodded quickly in agreement.

Katsuki stared even harder at him. With a gruff, lengthy sigh, he dragged a hand through his hair and lowered his gaze to his lap. His voice came out low and uneven.

“Do you… Nevermind.”

Katsuki flopped his head back against the couch, staring dismally at the television, eyes unseeing.

All he saw was the look on Deku’s face in their final kiss.

Katsuki had turned to stone when he’d felt those strong, muscular arms loosely wrap around his shoulders. Deku’s hard, warm chest had pressed against his back in what could only be considered as the first hug they’d ever shared. Deku probably hadn’t even noticed, or else he’d have ended up a blubbering, stuttering mess, like always.

There’d been no hope for Katsuki’s thin control. He’d twisted around just enough to take that pliant, generous mouth with his own and – the heat had settled. Simmered. Instead of overflowing and overwhelming, Katsuki had given himself over to that reassuring, hero aura Deku seemed to exude without effort.

“You ever –“

Liked someone? Like-liked?

Katsuki dragged a hand over his face with a groan. What the fuck was he doing, looking for advice from the mute kid?

Twitching at the feeling of a foreign hand on his shoulder, Katsuki shot a warning look at Koji and shrugged off his heavy palm.

What?” Katsuki snapped. “You got somethin’ to say, then fuckin’ out with it.”

Koji pressed his lips together tightly, his eyebrows bowing inward with a pathetic expression.

“I like someone, okay?” Katuski hissed between his clenched teeth, leaning in close while his eyes darted around the room, looking for any signs of attention. “So, how the fuck do you do the thing?”

Koji’s emotive eyes widened a little, his gaze scanning the students, too.

Before Katsuki had room to react with increasing anxiety, Koji quickly leaned in and spoke into Katsuki’s ear, his voice raspy and pleasant from disuse.

“What would All Might have done if he were in love?”

A hot, searing blush swept up Katsuki from toes to nose in seconds. With a roar, Katsuki jumped to his feet on the couch, looming over Koji with palms spraying haphazard sparks.

Who the fuck is in lo–“

“Kacchan!”

A hand yanked on the back of his shirt collar and sent him toppling back onto the couch.

“There’s ash marks on the couch, Kacchan!” Deku said, jerking his hand back as Kacchan swerved around to snap and bite at the fingers touching his nape. “What on earth are you doing to Koji?”

Me?” Katsuki gawked, his face hot. “It was –“ He flung out a finger to point at Koji and ended up accidentally smacking his nose.  “Sorry – it was him! He –“

“Come on,” Deku said with an eye roll as he grabbed Katsuki’s wrist and tugged him from his seat. “I have a present for you.”

“I don’t want anything from you!” Katsuki said behind gritted teeth as he attempted to yank from Deku’s hold. Unfortunately, with all of those hand strengthening exercises Deku obsessively did, his grip was iron. “I’ll kill y-“

“Stop talking,” Kyouka yelled from her place near the television. “Some people are trying to enjoy their Sunday over here.”

“Come on,” Deku said, his brows drawn together in determination. He steadied his stance with his feet planted wide as he wrapped a second hand around Katsuki’s forearm and pulled.

No.” Katsuki crouched, leaning back with his entire weight in an effort to wrench Deku forward.

Their gazes clashed, obstinate expressions from both sides, in the tug of war with Katsuki’s arm.

“Um, guys?” Kirishima said from somewhere behind Deku. “I feel like something or someone is going to get broken.”

On cue, Deku’s eyes narrowed on Katsuki. He quickly released his hold –

And Katsuki stumbled back into the Christmas tree.

The entire room fell in stunned silence as Katsuki jumped to his feet, looked over his shoulder, and watched the entire tree careen into the wall in a ramshackle disarray of flying pine needles, shattering ornaments, and shorted-out lights.

A dozen students exchanged silent looks between each other, Katsuki breathing hard as he incinerated Deku’s wide-eyed, gawking expression with a blazing glare.

“I – I’m –“ Kirishima said, his eyes lighting up. “This is the first time I’ve ever been right about anything.”

“I’ll fuckin’ kill you, too!” Katsuki lunged for Kirishima, and the entire room went up in screaming, shouting mayhem.

Students were leaping and climbing over the tree to come at Katsuki, Deku was standing in the center, plaintively calling for peace, Iida remained on the outskirts quoting conduct, and –

Sero’s bandages were ensnaring Katsuki to an almost mummified level, from shoulder to waist, Katsuki’s hands caught behind his back.

Riding on rage, Katsuki bellowed his fury, his palms blasting up in flame, bursting him to the ceiling and –

Black.

Katsuki groaned and rolled over in his bed.

Immediately, he winced and brought his hand to the top of his head. The lightest contact sent a rampant sting shooting through him. Hissing, Katsuki snatched his fingers away and stared up at the ceiling.

Soft, blended watercolors of sunset painted the space above him in peach, tangerine, and gold. Narrowing his eyes, Katsuki wondered how long he’d been out. And what had happened.

Gingerly, he sat up, his equilibrium wavering a little as he found his balance. He’d had worse.

Katsuki shifted to leave the bed and startled, his heart revved into overdrive as he realized a familiar figure sat beside the bed, his head pillowed on his arms upon the mattress. Deku was out cold, his soft, rounded cheek smushed against his forearm.

Eyes narrowed, Katsuki took Deku’s cheek between thumb and forefinger, squeezing and squishing and stretching the freckled flesh until Deku’s thick eyelashes began to flutter.

“Oiy,” Katsuki said softly.

Deku gasped and snapped up in his chair, his eyes wide and bewildered.

“You’ve gotta stop waking up like that,” Katsuki said, his top lip curled in annoyance. “I don’t want a fuckin’ concussion.”

Deku blinked, his expression clearing and zeroing on Katsuki. His lips went tight, his eyebrows low with obvious disapproval.

You’re one to talk, Kacchan. You almost gave yourself one today.”

“Eh –“

“You busted your head through the ceiling!” Deku said, distress and frustration rising in his voice. “There’s a literal hole in the ceiling. What the hell got into you?”

“Who the hell d’you think?” Katsuki said, fast as whiplash and already regretting the word vomit that Deku inevitably managed to pull from him. Katsuki snatched Deku’s stubborn chin in his hand, clenching his fingers tight as he brought Deku’s face in close. “That fuckin’ Half and Half all over you like a goddamn second skin? Your dumbass, oblivious smile like you loved –“

“Are you serious?” Deku said, not breaking from Katsuki’s hold, but glowering from his prone position, all the same. “You destroyed the entire living room because you were jealous?”

Katsuki’s eyes went huge, his entire being going stock still with Deku’s words.

What?” he said, enunciated carefully, quietly, his heart a violent tattoo against his ribcage.

“Jealous,” Deku said. His fingers gently encircled Katsuki’s wrist, his thumb brushing the sensitive skin at his pulse point.

Katsuki released Deku’s face like he’d grabbed dry ice, pulling away as he coughed a harsh laugh.

“Right, okay. Like I’d be jealous of that guy. I could beat him any time, any day. Could beat him on my goddamn death bed if I wanted to.”

“I meant, you’re jealous that he and I are friends,” Deku said slowly, keeping hold of Katsuki’s wrist. His brows drew together as he climbed onto the bed and sat across from Katsuki with his legs crossed.

Katsuki snapped his mouth shut, his jaw and throat going taut with gritted teeth.

Deku cocked his head a little, his eyes aggravatingly kind. That fucker. Acting like he knew Katsuki better than he knew himself.

“Todoroki and I have been best friends for three years now. If either of us had wanted for something to happen – well –“ Deku stopped himself, his cheeks growing pink as his gaze flitted away, his shoulders sloping down. When he spoke again, his voice wavered. “There’s only ever been one person.”

What?” Katsuki snapped, his teeth bared. “Who the –“

“You!” Deku said, already laughing. Katsuki caught a flash of the most obnoxiously bright smile, before Deku was leaning in and propping his forehead upon Katsuki’s shoulder. His shoulders still shook with muted chuckles. “You, stupid. You, since we were four.”

Katsuki’s throat felt tight. Maybe he was coming down with something. He did get colds in the winter. His forehead felt hot.

“Stop fuckin’ with me, nerd. You realize how dumb you sound?”

Deku’s body stopped its amused vibration. To Katsuki’s surprise, Deku turned his head, his lips nuzzling the delicate shell of his ear. Katsuki shivered.

“What did this morning mean, Kacchan?”

Every hair on Katsuki’s body stood on end, his skin electrified.

“W-what?”

“This is –“ Deku swallowed and licked his lips, the tip of his tongue just brushing Katsuki’s ear. “This is probably the sca- I mean, this is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Right now. But I need to know. What did it mean?”

“What kind of question is that,” Katsuki said tightly. His hands were fisted on his thighs, nails digging sharp currents of pain into his palms. Anything to keep from throwing Deku to the bed and ruthlessly plundering every inch of his body.

As if Deku could feel the desire, he slipped onto Katsuki’s lap, his legs loosely wrapping around Katsuki’s waist. Katsuki could stand right now, his hands on Deku’s ass, and slammed his tight, hard frame against the nearest wall.

What,” Deku said, his long lashes lowering as he closed in to swipe his tongue along Katuski’s bottom lip. “Did it mean?”

You know,” Katsuki said with a sudden growl, bursting into movement as buried his hands in Deku’s curls and hauled him in.

He captured Deku’s lips with his own, piercing his tongue into that warm, welcoming mouth like a dying man searching for his final feast. There was nothing like this. Nothing like Deku mindlessly arching his body into Katsuki’s racing, possessive hands, or the sweet, edible little noises that tumbled from his tongue. There was no greater success than feeling Deku go pliant and giving in his arms, pure generosity and distracting mouth.

Conversation found a dead end there, and Katsuki couldn’t have cared less.

A rush of fervor to rip at clothes, Deku’s mouth murmuring unintelligible mantras against Katsuki’s sweat-damp throat, the slick and slide of lube and long fingers as Katsuki found that all consuming heat. The heady, intoxicating musk of Deku’s skin when Katsuki hiked him up in his arms and slammed him against the ice cold, winter window overlooking the setting sun. Deku’s choked sobs as he bounced on Katsuki’s cock like a lifeline, tight legs around Katsuki’s waist, arms around his neck, breathy gasps against his temple beaded with perspiration.

The familiarity of their embrace was addictive. Katsuki sucked in desperate, humid breaths through the haze, his hands digging deep into the strong, supple flesh of Deku’s ass as he fucked up into it with mindless, savage desire. Deku wailed in his ear, at his limit as he simply held on for dear life, Katsuki’s painfully swelling cock impaling his perfect, yielding body without reservation or thought for anything but ownership.

“Don’t you know?” Katsuki rasped in Deku’s ear, turning his head to swallow Deku’s soft, needy gasp. He licked into Deku’s mouth, drinking in every wild, mad noise from Deku’s throat, his own growl a low, dangerous rumble in his chest. Katsuki’s thrusts became erratic, viciously fast. The world narrowed in on them, closed and kept them in this one frame of time. There was no messy past or uncertain future between them.

Izuku,” Katsuki said, a rasp of breath against Deku’s damp, parted lips.

Katsuki’s hips snapped forward sharply, burying to the hilt as his climax hit like a bomb. Only faintly could he hear Deku chanting his name as he spilled hot and thick between them, his ass clenching around Katsuki so that he forgot how to breathe.

There was no grace in the way they dropped to their knees and slid to the floor in a heap. Katsuki splayed out on his back, arms out wide, Deku with his head pillowed on Katsuki’s trembling thigh.

“I –“ Deku’s voice was a fucked-out, roughened warble. “I still haven’t given you your Christmas present.”

“I literally don’t give a fuck,” Katsuki said, his throat sore and gritty. He couldn’t feel his fucking legs. How did Deku always recover so fast? Katsuki would have to work on that. Fuck him up real good.

“I mean, technically you did just literally give a fuck.”

“Smartass. Hate that about you.”

Mmm.”  Deku rolled on his side and pressed a wet, warm kiss on Katsuki’s thigh.

Katsuki shuddered instantly.

“Hey,” Deku said softly, sounding far away.

Hm?” Katsuki said, his thoughts floating on the deep scent of Deku’s arousal in the room. He’d never sleep tonight with it smelling like him in here.

“You’re can't get rid of me, y’know?”

Katsuki was glad Deku couldn’t see the way his lips twitched in a smile.

“Nothing new there.”

“Yeah,” Deku said with a soft, weak huff of a laugh through his nose. “Only this time I kinda think you don’t wanna get rid of me, either.”

Katsuki felt his heart flip.

“Guess you’re not so stupid, after all. Nerd.”

Chapter Text

The next day didn't start as expected, because Aizawa, Present Mic, and Recovery Girl strolled into the dorm at five in the morning, knocking on every door with the announcement of: SURPRISE WINTER TRAINING.

With only thirty minutes warning to get ready and pack, Izuku paused, holding the flat, hand-sized, wrapped box. He didn’t let himself consider too long. Turning to unearth his winter jacket, Izuku crammed the box in his back pocket and finished up in his room.

Puzzling over Kacchan’s words last night, Izuku shut his door behind him and took the stairwell down. What had he meant, that Izuku already knew? Izuku knew a lot of things, but how their relationship functioned and what Kacchan felt about it was not on that list.

Kacchan…

Cared. Of that much, Izuku was confident. Kacchan never did a thing he didn’t want to do, nor did he pursue something in which he held no interest.

What Kacchan felt and thought about Izuku aside from desire and, dare he say friendship, Izuku didn’t know. But if there was one thing that Izuku had, it was tenacity and stubborn concentration. He would keep pushing. Nothing could dissuade him of that.

“-did your tree go?” Izuku caught Aizawa saying as he entered the room with a giant camping bag on his back. Freezing at the outskirts of the majority of students, Izuku scanned the room for Kacchan and found him nowhere to be seen.

“Oh,” Iida said, his voice stiff, his smile robotic with half of his face twitching in a fib. “We just – it’s rather u-uncouth to keep a Christmas tree up after Christmas... Isn’t it?”

Aizawa’s face remained deadpan.

“Sure, kid. What’s that, though?”

He looked up slowly.

The entire class hushed their intermingling conversations and begrudgingly dragged their attention to the hole in the ceiling, its crackling drywall and paint still drifting dust down from time to time.

“That’s –“ Iida said, his face going white as he began to short circuit from dishonesty. “Th-that’s – that’s –“

“Don’t hurt yourself,” Aizawa said blandly, already walking away. “I really don’t care as long as no one’s dead. Even then, it’s not at the top of my list. Everyone, get your shit on the bus, take a piss, and find a seat. It’s a couple hour drive.”

Izuku approached Iida with a pat on the back and an encouraging smile.

“You handled that well.”

Iida mechanically looked down at Izuku. Sweat beaded is brow.

“That was terrifying.”

“Sorry,” Izuku said apologetically, his small frown pursing his lips. “It’s my fault for getting into it with Kacchan.”

“You’re not the one who blasted off. No one is blaming you.”

Uncomfortable with that, Izuku shrugged his backpack around, his hands gripping the straps, worrying them with the tightening of fingers. He looked down.

“No, they should. Him and I have some things to work out. We both play our part in riling each other up.”

“Midoriya,” Iida said, his expression relaxing, his pallor returning to normal as he rested a hand on Izuku’s shoulder. “If there’s one thing I have seen time and again, it’s that the only one who can touch or hear Bakugou’s feelings, is you.”

“Hands off, Glasses,” Kacchan said, barging right between them, swiping Iida’s touch away with a wave of his arm. In the same motion, he wrapped his fingers around Izuku’s wrist and hauled him away.

Izuku plaintively mouthed I’m Sorry to Iida as he was led out the door and into the cold.

“Shit, it’s cold,” Kacchan said, bringing his hands up to his mouth as they waited in line to pack their bags in the bus compartment and find seats. “And dark. This better be fucking worth it.”

“You never wear gloves,” Izuku said, already long having planned out this conversation. He’d taken notes.

“They aren’t worth buying,” Kacchan said with a shrug, his expression distracted and aggravated as he stuck his head out of the slow-moving line. “PUT YOUR FUCKING BAG UNDER THE BUS, WALK INTO THE BUS. THIS IS PRESCHOOL SHIT, YOU FUCKERS.  MOVE YOUR GODDAMN BODY OR I’LL DO IT FOR YOU.”

“Why aren’t they worth buying?” Izuku said, long-ago unaffected by Kacchan’s screams, especially if they weren’t directed at him.

“They always get burnt up if I end up using my Quirk. Especially the cheap gloves. They’ve melted and stuck to my hands before. And the fuckin’ cold sucks cock just as much, because my hands barely produce any sweat like this. Less sweat, smaller boom.”

“I know,” Izuku said with a smile.

“Eh?” Kacchan said, glancing at him with a curled top lip, half a snarl.

“I know. About all that. So, here. Merry belated Christmas.” Izuku pulled the box from his back pocket and held it out. “It’s a little crushed now because it was – oh”

Kacchan snatched it out Izuku’s hands, his eyes narrowed in blatant suspicion as he ripped the paper off and let it flutter to the dirty, stamped-down snow.  Frowning, his brow furrowed, Kacchan tossed the box top over his shoulder – the corner of the lid jabbing into Mineta’s eye with a following shriek.

“What are these?” Kacchan said, throwing the box over his shoulder, the corner of it launching at Mineta again.

“Here,” Izuku said, taking the black leather, fingerless biker gloves and holding one out for Kacchan’s hand.  Still frowning, Kacchan slipped his fingers into the glove, allowing Izuku to slide on the second one, too. They were fitted tightly, but would loosen and acclimate to Kacchan’s hand shape. “I brought Hatsume Mei all of my notes on your Quirk and we designed this together. The material looks and feels like leather, but it’s some special construction of Mei’s. It’s fire retardant. And look at the palms.”

Revved up now, Izuku turned Kacchan’s hands, holding them in his own.

“The entire palm of the glove is removed so your Quirk won’t be hindered by the material, nor will it burn the glove away. Plus, the inner lining works similarly to wool. It wicks away you your sweat, keeps your warm in winter, but keeps your skin cool in the summer. And the way it stores the sweat, you don’t have to worry so much if you suddenly have to use your Quirk in weather like this.”

Kacchan spread his fingers in the gloves, his expression unreadable as he flexed his hands, fisted them, opened them again. Sparks crackled and sprayed in the bruised winter dark, illuminating the private space between them. The light went out.

Anxiety niggled in Izuku’s stomach. He swayed from one foot to the other, chewing the inside of his cheek.

“Kacchan? Do you –“

“I love them,” Kacchan said quietly, peering down at his unharmed gloves.

Izuku sucked in a sharp breath at the unfamiliar, tender tone, his rioting pulse ransacking his composure.

“Oh, I-I’m – that’s gr-“

“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, YOU TURDS?” Kacchan bellowed, sticking his head out of the dwindling line. “I’M FREEZING MY NUTS OFF AND AOYAMA’S PACKING AWAY TWENTY FUCKING SUITCASES UP THERE? WE GET IT, YOU’RE FUCKING GAY. I’M GONNA STRANGLE YOU WITH YOUR HAIRDRYER CORD.”

“Kacchan,” Izuku said with a sigh, patting Kacchan’s clenched fist. “It’s fine.”

Eventually, they did make it onto the bus with the rest of the class. Izuku passed by Aizawa and Present Mic in the front seat. Cheek smashed against the window and zipped into his sleeping bag, Aizawa stared despondently into the distance with red-rimmed eyes. Present Mic chattered incessantly.

“Midoriya,” Todoroki said from the middle of the bus, his hand waving.

“Nice, thanks!” Izuku said, heading for the empty seat beside him. Dropping into his spot with a smile, Izuku struggled to shrug from his thick coat, his arms caught behind his back.

An elbow knocked him upside the head. Kacchan glowered down at him, his eyes practically glowing with menace as he clashed glares with Todoroki.

“You’re huge head is taking up the aisle, nerd,” Kacchan said, his hand gripping the top of Izuku’s headrest as he used it for balance to swing into the seat directly behind him.

Izuku rolled his eyes, meeting Todoroki’s contemplative expression.

“What?” Izuku said, peeling from his coat and dropping it at his feet.

“Are you guys becoming friends or something?” Todoroki said, his voice staying low beneath the raucous of the settling students.

What?” Izuku said, his voice an octave too high. He looked to his lap, fumbling with the zipper of his hoodie. “We’ve always been friends.”

“That’s a stretch of optimism, even for you. A year ago, he would have point-blank kicked you square in the face for being in the way.”

“That’s – that’s not… Exactly. Uh.”

Todoroki loomed nearer, the weight of his stare enough to make a lesser man crumple.

“And another thing. I’m not saying that Sir Explodes A Lot doesn’t already hate me, but now he really. Hates. Me.”

“Don’t be silly,” Izuku said, his voice wavering. “I’m sure it’s just a phase. He’s probably invented another imaginary vendetta against you because he needs them in order to challenge himself.”

“Or something’s going on,” Todoroki said, pointedly staring.

Izuku swallowed the lump in his throat, lowering is voice further as many of the students seemed to collectively decide to settle back to sleep for the ride.

“Okay,” he said, leaning in, nearly at a whisper. “He might be a little jeal-“

“The fuck you ladies talking about,” Kacchan said, one ominously crimson eye peeking from the slim gap between the two seats.

“Ka-“

“No,” Todoroki said, placing his entire hand firmly on Izuku’s face and keeping him at bay from the conversation crack. “No more of you. But as for you,” he said, bringing his ice blue eye up to the gap. “I don’t know what your deal is right now, but if you want to start something with me, keep Midoriya out of it.”

“You sonofa-“

“And while you’re at it, why don’t you take a few pointers from your best buddy Kirishima and figure out what it means to act like a real man. Because this shit? Whatever Midoriya is covering your ass for? It’s pathetic.”

Izuku’s heart stopped. Dread crept over him like thunderous, black storm cloud. The aura expanding from behind his seat might as well have been the abyss coming to swallow him whole.

“Oh no,” he whispered.

“I’ll rip your fucking tongue out!”

Kacchan went flying over the seat, lofting over the headrest, his ignited palm aimed straight for Todoroki’s face.

“STOP!”

Izuku’s 5% Detroit Smash launched Kacchan to the back of the bus. Breathing hard, Izuku felt the Full Cowl sap from his body as Aizawa appeared beside him. Roaring, Kacchan stampeded down the aisle. Aizawa promptly spun on his heel and maneuvered him into a brutal-looking headlock. Kacchan choked, his eyes wide, fingertips digging into Aizawa’s forearms.

“You three,” Aizawa said drolly, a struggling Kacchan wheezing in his hold, “Are not to sit next to each other. At all. Under any circumstances, for the entire length of the next two days.”

“But it wasn’t Todor-“

“The three of you,” Aizawa said, releasing Kacchan, but keeping a steadying hand on his shoulder. “You and Todoroki find new seats. Bakugou, you’re my new buddy for the rest of this ride. Hell if you won’t be better than Yamada.”

“YOOO, I can hear you, y’know?”

“That’s for the best,” Aizawa said, eyeing Present Mic with obvious dread.

And so, the majority of the ride remained uneventful.

Izuku sat near the front of the bus, beside Kaminari, who, for some reason, just wanted to show him this blog about dogs for the next hour and a half. Not that Izuku didn’t like dogs, but he was distracted by the red-eyed demon throwing looks around the edge of his seat and down the aisle.

What? Izuku finally mouthed, after the tenth time. He definitely didn’t regret the bruise Kacchan was going to have in the center of his chest.

Kacchan mouthed something that left Izuku sure he was hallucinating.

What? Izuku mouthed again.

Sorry!

Izuku gawked.

Kacchan frowned, his gaze sliding to the side like plenty of the guilty dogs Kaminari had just been showing him.

Heaving a sigh, Izuku leaned his temple against the seat in front of him, his lips curving faintly as their eyes met.

Idiot, Izuku mouthed clearly.

Kacchan’s cheeks went pink before he disappeared back into his seat.

What the hell was Izuku going to do with him?

Chapter Text

After five grueling hours, the students collapsed into the entryway of a mountainside inn. No one had been remotely prepared for the five mile hike through the thickly-forested landscape, or the jagged, icy slopes with snow climbing toward their knees. The promise of a warm meal and hot springs in the distance had been the only thing keeping them going.

Allowance had been given for Quirks, so Katsuki hadn’t stuck around with the losers. Rocketing himself through the thick, prickly canopy of pines, he grabbed hold of upper limbs for occasional balance as he propelled himself through the air. A few of his other classmates joined him up there, but none of them were Deku.

Katsuki hadn’t thought anything of it. He’d just been happy to be winning. And win, he had – by a long shot. He’d spent a good forty-five minutes lounging in the hot spring by his blessed self, before his classmates started piling in with abysmal excuses for their failures and shitty performance.

Deku did not show up. Nor did Todoroki.

And hour passed. Everyone else had long been back. Katsuki's every limb had been screaming to move, get going, find him.

Before anyone finished gathering a search party, Todoroki arrived, carrying an unconscious Deku, blood streaming down his face from a head wound.

“Avalanche,” Todoroki said, wheezing. “I dug him out.”

Everyone had swarmed.

Katsuki had remained in place. Back of the room, gawking.

Of course, the teachers had fucking shooed everyone away, and Recovery Girl had taken Deku aside.  And, after a lunch where everyone ate less than they would have normally, training commenced as usual.

The day was a blur. None of it mattered.

What mattered was that night had fallen, everyone was asleep, and Deku was finally shifting in his sleep for the first time since Katsuki had sat at his bedside, hours ago.

“You did that to get out of training today, didn’t you, asshole,” Katsuki said, his tone a low hum in the dark, hushed room.

“My head,” Deku said, his words wavering, eyes moving behind his closed lids.

Katuski intercepted the hand that lifted to touch Deku’s bandage, his fingers gently cuffing Deku’s wrist and placing it back upon his chest.

Deku swallowed, wincing as he did so. Katsuku took a cup of ice water from the bedside table and brought the straw to Deku’s lips. Sitting up just enough to prop back against his elbows, Deku drank, his gaze forward and distant, probably trying to piece through his memory, if Katsuki had to guess.

“Avalanche, dumbass,” Katsuki said, setting the water aside as Deku collapsed back to the bed with a huff.

“Ava – oh. Yeah.”

Katsuki bit back on any number of violent admonishments, his jaw grinding as the impact of Deku’s dazed, pale visage sunk in like a punch to the gut.

“You’ll be fine,” Katsuki said, jamming his elbow upon his knee, his chin resting on his palm as he angled his face away to watch the drifting, evening snow fall behind the window. Looked like those corny Christmas cards his grandma would send him. The old hag would always write shit inside like: Do your best! (Don’t fuck it up.)

“I’ve had worse,” Deku said with a short, weak laugh. “Just dizzy.”

“Nearly concussed, more like.”

Deku’s reply was an grunt, his eyes falling closed again.

Katsuki swept his gaze back to the window. Encased in soft, midnight blue shadows, the full moon pouring over the floating snowflakes like sparks of falling light, Katsuki felt they might be inside a snow globe.

He snorted a laugh at his own thoughts. He didn’t even have a goddamn concussion. What was his excuse for being this fucking gay right now?

“You’re quiet,” Deku said, startling Katsuki into whipping his head back to eye Deku. He’d assumed Deku had passed out again. “I’d expected a tirade.”

“Yeah, well, shut up,” Katsuki said gruffly. “For once, it wasn’t your fault for fucking yourself up.”

“I could have been more careful.”

“As if you ever fucking would be.”

Deku’s pallid lips curved, easing some kind of pressure weighing heavy and claustrophobic upon Katsuki’s chest. Blindly, Deku reached a hand out, fingertips finding and grazing the back of Katsuki’s hand. Bristling at the contact, Katsuki shifted his attention and stared hard out the window, even as he allowed their fingers to lace together.

What the fuck was wrong with him these days? When had admiration and affection overwhelmed annoyance and anger? When was the last time he’d ever really convinced himself he’d hated Deku? Their first year of UA?

He still wanted to bully that annoying little nerd plenty. Every time he got to muttering, or overanalyzing, or assuming what Katsuki was thinking or feeling. He still wanted to slap Deku upside the head. He still got pissed off at him for being reckless or stupid. Still wanted to bite that smartass mouth.

But at the same time – not. At the same time, it was different. There was something different behind it.

Something that Katsuki would rather ignore in favor of glaring out the window.

“This kinda reminds me of the first time,” Deku said quietly.

Katsuki didn’t look at him. He didn’t need to ask what he meant.

“Nah,” Katsuki said. “We were both a lot more fucked up.”

“Emotionally or physically?” Deku said, amusement lilting in his words.

Katsuki slid his gaze over, one eyebrow raised as he noted Deku smiling up at him with heavy, hooded eyes.

“You, both. Me, physically.”

Deku’s shoulders vibrated with laughter, his lips clamped together as he held it down.

“You got shit to say?” Katsuki said, his own grin sharp and sudden as he loomed over Deku, their fingers still entwined. “Say it, nerd. I fuckin’ dare you.”

Deku looked up at him, his smile shining with humor, color blooming in his cheeks anew.

“I would never.”

“Like fuck you wouldn’t,” Katsuki said, unwittingly returning the smile. “Obnoxious asshole.”

“Are you talking about me or you?”

“Think you’re a fuckin’ comedian, eh?” Katsuki snuck his hand beneath the blanket at pinched Deku’s thigh, smirking victoriously at Deku’s yelp. “I’ll murder you, short stack.”

Deku laughed as Katsuki absently smoothed his hand over Deku’s lightly furred thigh. His hand froze, a deep frown marring his features.

“You’re still cold.”

“A little,” Deku said sheepishly. “I think it’s just carry over from –“

“From being buried under snow? Yeah, I didn’t fucking forget.”

The chair screeched back across the floor as Katsuki got to his feet, glowering down over Deku.

“How fuckin’ stupid are you? If you’re cold, say you’re cold. Jeezus, you’re a numskull.”

He stomped from the room, ignoring Deku’s distressed calls in the distance.

When he returned, it was to the sight of Deku sat up in bed, fidgeting with the stray fibers of the thin blanket. Looking up with shock written across his face, Deku caught the rather large, squishy Christmas present as Katsuki chucked it across the room.

“What is this? I thought you’d left.”

“Shut up and open the thing,” Katsuki said gruffly, dropping to the bedside chair. He slouched down, his knees splayed wide, his arms folded across his chest.

Deku only stared at the present like he didn’t know what it was.

“It doesn’t fucking bite,” Katsuki snapped, heat rising high upon his cheekbones.

Deku ripped into the gift without looking up. He pulled out soft, lush layers of a pine green, heated electric blanket, his lips parted in mute wonder.

Katsuki chewed on his thumbnail.

“You’re always fucking cold. It’s annoying.”

Bringing the plush, fleecy fabric to his cheek, Deku closed his eyes and rubbed his face against it, lips curved.

“This is the best present I’ve ever had. Thank you, Kacchan.”

“You just –“ Katsuki swallowed, attention trained on Deku’s expression. “You just plug it in and stuff. I’ll – I’ll do it.”

Standing, Katsuki searched out the cord that emerged from the blanket end and plugged it in. He turned, inwardly startled when confronted with Deku wrapped in a burrito of blanket fabric, just his face peaking out with a smile.

“You look stupid,” Katsuki said, deadpan.

You bought for me!”

“Well I didn’t think you’d –“

“Come in with me,” Deku said, unveiling his arm like a wing.

Katsuki visibly balked in horror.

“Like hell! I’m goin’ to bed, now. I’ve been up longer than any asshole in this fuckin’ shithole.”

“Come on,” Deku said, grinning. “Chicken?”

“Fuck you,” Katsuki said, his fists clenching at his side, his chest congested with hot, humid nerves. Watching Deku all bundled up, big eyes, wild curls, the bandage on his brow - it unnerved him, pissed him off. Or something.

“Okay,” Deku said with a sigh. “I can’t force you if you’re nervo-“

Clenching his jaw, Katsuki ripped the blanket from Deku, ignoring the yelp of surprise. He brought the blanket around his own shoulders, sat down on the bed with his back leaning against the wall. Smoldering, Katsku glowered at Deku and opened both of his arms.

“Get in already,” he snapped.

For a split second, Deku gaped before he obviously collected himself and nestled in between Katsuki’s legs, his shoulders resting against Katsuki’s chest, his head leaning back against Katsuki’s shoulder. With a heavy sigh that was more of a growl, Katsuki swaddled the blanket around them both, his arms loosely encircling Deku. Both of their legs stuck out from the blanket from the knees onward, but the warmth radiating from the fabric was already toasty, and Deku’s skin no longer felt chilled.

“You’re a fucking embarrassment,” Katsuki said, mouth muffled in Deku’s hair.

“That’s like the majority of my life. I can deal with it.”

“We can’t all be me.”

“I should hope not,” Deku said, his shoulders shaking with a muted chuckle.

“You’re mouthy as fuck for someone who just had his ass beat by Frosty the Snow Pile.”

“I’m just happy,” Deku said, wiggling and scooting his body further against Katsuki, his hands resting comfortably upon Katsuki’s thighs.

Sucking in a breath at the contact from all angles – where the fuck did Deku think he was putting his ass and hands anyway – Katsuki’s face fired up furiously, straight down to his toes. He bit his tongue and remained silent and still.

“Hey,” Deku said quietly, lolling his head to the side, so he could still lean on Katsuki’s shoulder, but lift his face to inspect him curiously.

What,” Katsuki bit off, tense. He glared straight ahead, refusing to meet Deku’s eyes. That asshole had a way of looking at him that just –

“You were a real idiot today, Kacchan.”

Katsuki snapped his gaze to Deku so fast that he could feel Deku jolt in his arms, his fingertips nipping into Katsuki’s skin with surprise.

“Who’s fuckin’ fault is that?”

“Um.” Deku blinked. “Is this a riddle? Obviously it was your fault.”

Katsuki’s teeth bared in a full snarl, his hands fisting in the blanket.

“You heard what that asshole said to-“

“Did you hear it?” Deku’s palm came up and cupped Katsuki’s twitching jaw. “Like, really hear it, Kacchan?”

Breathing hard and hot through his nostrils like a bull, Katsuki squeezed his eyes shut and zeroed in on the callous, comforting hand on his face. He exhaled.

“I heard it,” Katsuki said with excruciating difficulty. He wanted to peel out of his skin. “That’s why I fucking said I'm sorry, didn’t I?”

“That’s why?” Deku said, even in the blue dark, Katsuki could see the corners of his eyes crinkling with amusement.

“I’m more a fucking man than that asshole or Kirishima,” Katsuki mumbled, angling his face until his lips met the warmth of Deku’s palm. Distracted from his actions, his mind spun around Todoroki’s words, as they had during his time on the bus.

“You’re a hero,” Deku said simply, fingertips guiding Katsuki’s chin so Deku could meet his eyes. “It’s your job to be the best version of yourself. We’re all working on that.”

Deku’s gaze fell to Kacchan’s mouth then, his breathing going shallow as he tipped his mouth up. Katsuki met him half way. Their lips lingered, igniting the sparks that remained lit whenever Deku was around.

Humming into the kiss, Deku’s hand slid from Katsuki’s chin to grip the back of his neck, holding him in place as he licked into Katsuki’s mouth, lips parted wet and welcoming.

Katsuki groaned and fell into him. Lost himself in the summer grass scent of his hair, the insistent grind of Deku’s ass against his growing arousal, the quiver of his stomach beneath Katsuki’s impatient caress, and – fuck – the fierce and sudden hardening of Deku’s cock when Katsuki’s fingers delved past the waistband of his boxers.

Back arching sharply, Deku’s lengthy moan was greedily swallowed, Katsuki plunging his tongue in to lap up every delicious sound.

“Quiet,” Katsuki whispered into Deku’s mouth, licking the corner, scraping his teeth across that succulent bottom lip as he gripped Deku’s dick firmly, the roughened pad of his thumb circling the crown, dipping into the growing wetness to slick in slow circles. When Deku cried out again, Katsuki used his free hand to shove his first and middle finger between those swollen lips, murmuring a shhh against Deku’s temple.

Deku’s answering whimper was agreement enough as he swirled his tongue around Katsuki’s fingers and sucked them in deep. Katsuki hissed softly, his palm working Deku’s cock with increased urgency. When Deku spread legs obscenely wide, hooking his knees over Katsuki’s thighs so that if Katsuki spread his legs, Deku’s legs would open even further, Katsuki fucking lost it.

Deku gagged on Katsuki’s fingers, only rumbling a deep murmur of approval when he found his breath and lashed his tongue and teeth over Katsuki’s knuckles. Katsuki spread his legs, his cock electrified with the not-enough-friction of Deku’s back reclining and sliding against him. But Deku was spread before him, at his will, and Katsuki could only think of making him cum hard enough that Katsuki would have to clamp a hand over his mouth until Deku rode it out.

Unable to think past that, Katsuki hooked his fingers in Deku’s cheek, his nerves frying when Deku sunk his teeth in to keep from another moan. Desperate, Katsuki brought his free hand up to his mouth and licked his palm, finding Deku’s cock again to pump his wet fist around it tighter, faster.

“Yeah,” Katsuki said into Deku’s hair, his voice rough and staccato with each thrust. “Fuck, Deku. Shhh, gotta be – fuck.”

“Ka –“ Deku’s breath hitched, his thighs trembling as Katsuki worked him over with his own shaking hands. “Can’t – oh, god – what if I – fuck – can’tmakeamess,” he said quickly, his voice wound tight, near snapping.

Unthinking, Katsuki snarled against Deku’s hair, his teeth grazing Deku’s ear. Alarm bells blared their warning in Katsuki’s ears, but there was only crimson in his vision and the blaze in his belly as he pushed Deku back onto the bed and slid down between his legs.

Riding high on instinct and impulse, Katsuki tugged Deku’s boxers to his thighs, gripped his dick at the base and swallowed him down as he best he could. Deku’s hips jumped up as he cried out and jammed the hem of his t-shirt into his mouth. Katsuki choked, felt the hot tears weep down his cheeks to mix with his sloppy, wet mouth as he slid his stretched lips along Deku’s dick in shallower, short thrusts. This was fucking bliss, Deku ramming mindlessly into Katsuki's mouth, wrecked and keening like an animal from it.

Keeping hold of Deku’s cock, his hand slicking along the length in erratic, untrained motions, Katsuki’s eyes widened as he heard Deku practically sob into his shirt. Deku’s entire body stiffened for a split second, Katsuki an unstoppable force of fucking himself on Deku’s cock, before his mouth was filling hot, thick, overwhelming. Fuck, there was so much. Katsuki squeezed his eyes shut, swallowing hard, overflowing nonetheless, dripping down his chin.

Popping his lips off and sucking in a deep breath, Katsuki rolled and splayed out on the small bed. One arm flung across Deku’s heaving stomach, his free hand using his shirt to wipe his face as he gawked, wide-eyed at the ceiling.

Holy shit.

That was so fucking gay.

You are so fucking, cock-sucking, irreversibly gay for him.

“Holy shit,” Deku said, at some point, Katsuki didn’t know when because he was too busy realizing he was fucking stuck like this forever. “That was – I’m dead. Just leave me here.”

“I plan on leaving you here, idiot,” Katsuki said, the breathlessness in his own voice surprising and annoying him. He sat up, mouth fixed in a grimace as he glanced over his shoulder.

Deku looked fucking edible.

Katsuki pinched the bridge of his nose, his eyes screwed shut.

“Get your shit together and go to bed, nerd. They aren’t gonna let you out of training tomorrow.”

I wouldn’t let myself out of training tomorrow.”

“Whatever,” Katsuki said, turning away – he could not look anymore – and waving him off with a hand. “I’m going to bed.”

He was up and off the bed before Deku could touch him. That would not be a good idea.

“Kacchan!”

“Shut up,” Katsuki said, pausing in the door way to glare at shadowed outline of Deku sitting up in bed. “What?”

“Good night.”

Katsuki could hear the smile in Deku’s voice, even if he couldn’t see it. Grunting in reply, Katsuki evacuated the scene of his crime without looking back.

He was seriously fucked.

Chapter Text

“As you all found out yesterday,” Aizawa said, bland voice carrying across the snowy clearing at the base of a looming mountain, “Both your ability to travel, as well as the effectiveness of your Quirks, can be compromised by the weather with differing degrees of severity.”

Izuku startled, his smile wobbly as Aizawa zeroed in on him through the crowd.

“Some of us more than others need to learn the delicacy of our abilities.”

Knowing it to be true, Izuku clenched his fists in determination and took in the steep mountainside which disappeared into the thick, grey clouds.

“Anyway, I’m tired. Mic, you go.”

Alriiight, young listeners!” Mic’s voice trembled the base of the mountain. A tiny clump of snow rolled down.

Izuku’s skin prickled, nerves sharp icicles in his belly. Yesterday, he’d been reckless. The teachers always berated Kacchan for his rash, rage-influenced choices, but Izuku had always known he was just as bad. Where Kacchan was brazen with emotion and rarely cared who he cast aside in his race to victory, Izuku was negligent of his own body and actions – he cared little for the damages he took on in order to attain his goal.

Whether the end-game was saving a victim in a real life villain battle, or emerging first in a challenge, Izuku inevitably ended up the most injured of everyone. He’d learned to minimize the destruction over the years, but the fact still stood. When Izuku was on a mission, he didn’t think about himself for one second. His greatest asset and downfall were one and the same.

The avalanche had been his fault alone. The snow was loose, layered below by ice. Charging through the trees and mountains, Full Cowl coursing through his feet and shooting through the ground, he’d been cracking the earth straight through with every step. If he climbed in the same way as he had the day before, there was no outcome but loss.

Oiy.” Kacchan elbow Izuku’s side. “You listen to a word he said, braindead?”

Izuku jumped in place, turning his head to stare owlishly at the aggravated clench of Kacchan’s teeth.

“Sorry. I was thinking.”

“You were muttering through Mic’s entire fuckin’s speech. You need –“

“I’ll fill him in,” Todoroki said, hooking his arm with Izuku’s and guiding him away.

“You’re dead!”

“Dead inside, sure,” Todoroki said over his shoulder. Arm in arm, they walked with the students, who were lining up, shoulder to shoulder, at the base of the high, white-carpeted peak. “Listen. Twenty of us down here, ten flags at the top. The first ten to capture a flag and make it down with one don’t have to take the spring battle midterm. The losing ten do. Simple stuff for us.”

“Is battle between us allowed?” Izuku said, pulling the ski goggles atop his head, down over his eyes. They hadn’t been allowed to pack their uniforms, but whatever they’d brought on the trip had been allowed.

Briefly, Izuku considered Kacchan’s gloves. They’d be a huge asset. Without them he might not even have been able to make explosions for the entirety of the challenge.

“Yeah,” Todoroki said, removing his own gloves, which would no doubt hinder him rather than aid. “You can take it from someone.”

A plan was already grinding the gears in Izuku’s head, his expression stern with determination as he stared straight ahead. There was no way he could count on his Quirk in his weather. If anything, he might accidentally cover all of his friends in several feet of snow, and there was no way he’d allow that to happen.

“You gonna be okay?” Todoroki said, pulling a warm, breathable mask over his nose and mouth. “Your head, I mean.”

“Don’t worry about me,” Izuku said, his voice firm. “Good luck, Todoroki.”

“I’ve done fine without it so far,” Todoroki said, and Izuku could hear the smile in his voice. He’d hate to learn that he and Kacchan had a few things in common.

“GOOOO!” Mic’s voice sent birds flying from the distant trees.

Snow erupted in a vicious spray from the mountain base, the force of every student launching themselves forward.

Izuku just stood there, watching his classmates climb.

Sero’s tape circled and clung to every errant jut of rock and thick ice, yanking and tossing him up with seeming ease. Kacchan’s heels kicked back snow into peoples’ faces, his palms spraying sparks in his wakes as he ate up ground with vast, propelled jumps. Todoroki was ahead of the pack, standing on a solid head of ice that slicked up the side of the mountain like a snake, leaving a slippery road that no one could walk on or follow.

Iida cut a zig-zagged trail up the mountain, zipping around people, but also cutting out a path that they could use, rather than the uncertain, imbalanced snowy terrain. Izuku stared in awe as an giant eagle swept in, gripped Koji’s shoulders in its talons and began to carry him up the mountain.

“You’re losing,” Aizawa drawled, his arms folded, standing beside Izuku.

“I can’t use Full Cowl here,” Izuku said, scrutinizing each of his friends as some of them struggled up the steep side, others banding their Quirks together to help each other out. “That’s how the avalanche happened yesterday. The shocks from my feet cracked straight through the ice.”

“Now, that is a problem,” Aizawa said with a sigh. “So, you’re just going to –“

“Wait,” Izuku said, glancing at Aizawa with a gaze flared up with determination. “I’m waiting.”

“For?” Aizawa said, his eyebrows rising.

“I’m going to get into position,” Izuku said by way of answer as he walked away to address the mountain.

He couldn’t hurt his friends. And he shouldn’t hurt himself. So what did a hero do when both were at stake? When they couldn’t just blast into the battle and come out victorious?

Izuku trudged up the mountain, feet sinking in snow to his thigh. He sent 1% of his Full Cowl through his hands, gritting his teeth as he used the most minor current of his Quirk to grip the rocks and haul himself up.  He had to find a hiding spot as soon as he could. He trusted that the person he was waiting for would come screaming down the mountain faster than Izuku could logically anticipate.

A quarter mile up, Izuku lofted himself over a wide lip of rock and found himself facing a small, shallow cave. Perfect. Crouching inside, body tensed and poised for action, Izuku did exactly as he said he would. He waited.

Shivering in the thin ski suit he wore, Izuku missed warmth. He couldn’t wait to sink into the hot spring or curl up on the couch in the cocoon of his heated blanket. Kacchan’s face came to mind, the blanket around his shoulders, his arms spread out, his words gruff with embarrassment. The kindness in his voice and hands when Izuku had woken in the night. His mouth.

Lost in thought, time went fuzzy as Izuku dreamed over the night before. Something had been different. Kacchan had been different.

“SUCK MY DICK, LOSER,” came a familiar booming voice in the distance, followed by a thundering, hysterical laugh quivering stone and snow.

Snorting with amusement, Izuku crept towards the mouth of his hiding place. Straining to zero-in on the sound of Kacchan’s palm blasts and footfalls, Izuku could tell that Kacchan’s detonations were weaker, shorter. Considerably.

Izuku’s legs trembled, holding in the Full Cowl snapping and sizzling through his limbs.

Delicacy. Purpose. Caution.

Izuku sucked in a breath.

Kacchan sailed down the mountain, roaring with victory. He could undoubtedly see the finish line.

Exhale.

Izuku shot out, rocketing across the steep environment so fast that Kacchan could only turn to gape for half a second before Izuku threw an arm out, close-lined him at the throat and plowed him straight into the snow, onto his back. In the split second of Kacchan’s free fall, Izuku ripped the flag from around his neck.

With an uncoordinated, mad dash to the base of the mountain, Izuku screeched to a halt at the bottom, his lungs screaming for air. Looking over his shoulder –

Kacchan impacted with a battle scream.

They went flying through the air, their bodies entwined, Kacchan ripping at Izuku’s hair. Izuku landed in the snow on his back like a sled, both of them shooting through the thick mounds with the force of Kacchan’s onslaught.

“You sneaky little piece of shit!” Kacchan snarled, sitting on Izuku’s chest, thighs clamping Izuku’s arms to his sides with sheer muscular force. “I’ll –“

“YOOO, tiny heroes!” Present Mic said from behind, laughing as he hooked one arm under Kacchan’s armpit and Aizawa mimicked the other side. “Who doesn’t love a good battle of brains versus brawn, right Aizawa?”

“Don’t bring me into this,” Aizawa said lowly as they dragged Kacchan away in tandem, his thick boots kicking up snow like a whirlwind as he struggled in vain.

“I’m smarter than that dumbfuck!” Kacchan said, ragged tone at screeching point.

Sitting in the snow and rubbing his head, Izuku balefully watched his teachers pull Kacchan a safe distance away. Looking down, Izuku opened his hand. His lips curved at the crumpled red flag in his palm.

“Traitor!” Kacchan screamed in the distance, his expression livid, even from there. “Sleep with one eye open, nerd, ‘cause I’m comin’ for you!”

“You’re saying this all in front of a teacher,” Aizawa said, deadpan.

Hefting himself to his feet with a groan, Izuku dusted the snow from his clothes. His curls weighed down with melting ice and he blew them out of his face as he tentatively approached.

“Um –“

“Don’t say a fuckin’ word,” Kacchan said, swiping Aizawa and Mic’s hands off of him distastefully. “I’m not gonna kill him, alright? Not now, anyway. Don’t touch me.”

“What the hell is going on here?” Todoroki said, his ice sliding him right to their gathering.

“He cheated,” Kacchan said with a hiss, eyeing Izuku with narrowed eyes.

“Brawn sounds just like a young Aizawa, doesn’t he?” Mic said, his toothy grin white as the snow as he leaned his head on Aizawa’s shoulder. “When I beat you.”

“You didn’t beat me,” Aizawa said mildly, staring up to the sky despondently. “You actually did cheat. Unlike Midoriya, here.”

What?” Todoroki looked between Izuku’s sheepish blush and Kacchan’s red face giving off visible steam.

“I knew –“

“SHUT UP.”

“I knew I wouldn’t win if I made the climb,” Izuku said, dragging his goggles off his eyes and adjusting them as a headband to push all of his hair back from his face. “My Quirk isn’t suitable for unstable ground. I'd accidentally break it. It would have been a danger not just to all of you, but for me too.”

Izuku met Kacchan’s bloody gaze.

“I’m trying to be more careful with my body. I want to make it long enough to be the number one hero, after all.”

Kacchan’s lips clamped shut and went tight, his eyes narrowed.

“In reality,” Aizawa said. “Midoriya aced this test. He considered his abilities, the environment, and the cost of his actions. He chose his best path.”

“Whatever,” Kacchan said, folding his arms across his chest. “I don’t care about some fucking midterm. That’s no challenge.”

“Apparently this was, though,” Todorki said, his lips quirking as he eyed Kacchan.

“You got something to say?” Kacchan said, his teeth bared in a threatening smile.

“Plenty.”

“Get me alone and I –“

“O-okay,” Izuku said with a wobbly smile as he stepped between them, one hand on each chest. “That’s – that’s definitely a conversation for another day.”

“Or now,” Todoroki said, mimicking Kacchan’s crossed arms, his face set in stubborn stone.

“Hormones are just screaming right now, folks!” Mic said, braying with laughter.

“Or, not right now,” Izuku said, aiming a pointed look at his friend.

“What?” Todoroki said with a scoff. “You don’t need to protect him, Midoriya. That’s not your job and he’s not delicate. I mean. Physically. Emotionally, that masculinity’s so fragile I think the next avalanche might just –“

“You’re both my friends,” Izuku said, raising his voice, his attention flicking towards the mountain where several classmates were arriving and approaching in curiosity. “Let’s keep it civil for now, okay?”

“I’m civil,” Todoroki said, jerking his shoulder casually. “It’s that one who needs a cage.”

“I will rip your –“

“Kacchan!” Izuku spun, both hands on Kacchan’s shoulders. He leaned in, his voice hushed in hopes no one else would listen in. “I know you’re not angry at him. Just direct your anger at me like you wanted. It doesn’t bother me like everyone else.”

“I’m not mad at you,” Kacchan said with a sharp, hurried whisper. Fierce eyes locked on his, the red fury in his cheeks draining. “Anymore, anyway. You were fuckin’ smart. Smarter than me, this one time. I’ll beat the shit outta you next time. It’s that guy,” Kacchan said, raising his voice and peeked over Izuku’s shoulder with a glare, “That needs a fuckin’ lesson.”

Izuku couldn’t guess when face or action came from Todoroki behind him, but he deduced it wasn’t a good one by the growl that rolled its way up Kacchan’s throat as he took a menacing step forward. Gripping Kacchan’s thick forearm, Izuku squeezed none-too-gently.

“Kacchan,” he said quietly. “Come on.”

Kacchan paused, meeting Izuku’s plaintive expression.

“Whatever,” he said with a hefty sigh. “Are we done here? I’m hungry.”

The gathering group disbanded, and the tension seemed to release from the air. Izuku could breathe again. He patted Kacchan’s arm once, weathered the glare he received in return, and moved on to meet Todoroki in the crowd.

“Why are you starting fights with Kacchan?” Izuku said, shivering now that his adrenaline was dropping.

“I don’t like the way he talks to you.”

“He might talk to me that way, but he treats me differently than that.”

Todoroki paused, his stare distant as he obviously took the words into consideration.

“Maybe,” he said slowly, as if it pained him to realize.

“He’s not how he was before.”

“Who knows,” Todoroki said with a short laugh.

“He’s just shy about it.”

“I don’t believe that for a second.”

“We’ve been sleeping together for almost a year.”

“Yeah, oka-“

Todoroki sucked in a breath so sharply that he doubled over in a coughing fit, hands on his knees as he gasped for breath.

“Uh –“ Izuku chuckled nervously as curious eyes turned on them. He absently patted Todoroki’s back and yelped when Todoroki shot up, his face red from choking on spit and air, tears streaming down his cheeks from his coughing fit.

What,” he rasped. “What?”

“Um. We just – y’know –“

“The amount that I do not know right now is fucking staggering right now,” Todoriki said, his expression stunned into a severe lack of expression.

“I’m –“ Izuku looked around, noticing how many people were watching. Iida and Ochako were approaching. “We can talk about this later.”

“Oh, we will be talking. He – that assh-“ Todoroki sputtered, eyes raking over Izuku’s blushing, wide-eyed visage. “I don’t even know where to start.”

“That’s – that’s, yeah, understandable. I mean.” Izuku waved weakly to his friends. “Hi, guys. You get your flags?”

“Of course,” Iida said with a sparkling, victorious smile. “And you? I didn’t see you on the mountain. Did you injure yourself?”

Izuku inwardly winced at the question. With all of his classmates, it was the first thing on their mind when it came to Izuku. It wasn’t necessarily the hero reputation he craved.

“No, I came in first.”

“What?” Ochako squealed with delight and took his hands in hers. “That’s wonderful, Deku! I didn’t even see you up there.”

“It didn’t necessarily happen like that,” Izuku said, sliding his gaze away with a niggle of guilt.

“Alright, winners and losers,” Aizawa said, sliding a morose look toward Mic, who was hollering and waving his arms around for every student’s attention. “Let’s head in for lunch and get ourselves packed for the trip home. You’ll have time to use the hot springs or sleep. I will be doing the latter, so if anything important happens – don’t come looking for me.”

Heading back in clusters of friends, Izuku frowned at Kacchan’s slouched back and his usual thuggish gait as he walked beside Aizawa. He could tell by the backs of their heads and their gestures that they were conversing. He couldn’t imagine what about, though.

Lunch was a loud and hearty affair. Izuku spent a good amount of time wedged between Kaminari and Kirishima, comforting them in their losses. Everyone gorged themselves and eventually drifted to different areas of the inn.

Izuku just wanted to be warm. With only that in mind, he slipped into one of the thin, cotton inn robes and headed to the outdoor hot spring. Blessedly, he found the area emptying out, with a large group of his classmates leaving as he entered.

Izuku’s soul sighed with peace as he entered the spring. Thick plumes of fog and steam rose from the water, into the chilled, arid air. Dropping his robe to the stones at his feet, Izuku wasted no time sliding in.

His loud, unfettered moan echoed as he sunk up to his chin. Hanging onto a deep breath, Izuku dunked his head under and simply floated. He came up, hands sliding over his face, slicking back his drenched hair until it streaked surprisingly long down between his shoulder blades.

With a hum of pleasure, Izuku leaned his head back against the edge of the spring and lazily opened his eyes.

Kacchan stared back at him from the middle of the spring, eyes wide, cheeks pink. His broad, exceptionally muscular shoulders sparkled with beaded water.

Izuku’s heart stopped, and not from fright.

“Where did you come from?” Izuku said, his voice thin and breathless.

“I was here first,” Kacchan said, unmoving. He jerked a thumb. “On the other side. In the steam, uh –“

“You were hiding from people,” Izuku said, his lips quirking.

“Yeah, and I was finally alone until you came along.”

“Sorry,” Izuku said quietly, sinking into the water up to his nose. He blew bubbles, his eyes on Kacchan.

Kacchan looked away with a hefty sigh.

“Just shut up, will ya?” Before Izuku could reply, Kacchan was sidling up next to him.

Wordlessly, Kacchan stretched his arms out along the rim of the bath, one of them behind Izuku, the sensitive bare flesh of Izuku’s hip pressed against Kacchan’s.

“You’re not as mad as I thought you’d be,” Izuku said lowly, angling a slow, tentative look to the side.

Kacchan’s face was tilted to the sky, where the sun wasn’t yet setting, but the harsh light cast dramatic and sharp shadows across Kacchan’s cheekbones and firm mouth.

“Hell yeah I was fucking mad, stupid Deku. I’d rather die than lose to the likes of you. But –“

Kacchan snapped his mouth shut, his jaw flexing.

“But?” Izuku said, sitting up straighter now, his back pressed back against the cooling skin of Kacchan’s arm.

“I don’t know,” Kacchan said, biting off each word with obvious disgust.

“You don’t know what?” Izuku said, analyzing Kacchan’s profile. Strength – every feature exuded strength and confidence. But deep down, at least right now, there was something less than confident trying to make itself known.

“Don’t push me.”

“What’re you so worried about, Kacchan? I’m right here. I –“

Love you.

Izuku swallowed.

That wouldn’t go over well. Not when Kacchan could barely admit whatever it was he was choking back.

“What do you not know?” Izuku said, scooting in close, hooking a leg over one of Kacchan’s spread knees. Bringing his arm around Kacchan’s shoulders, Izuku pressed his mouth to Kacchan’s ear. “You can talk to me. Whatever you say, I’d never repeat it – not even to you. I can just listen. I won’t make a big deal. I just want to hear you, Kacchan. Maybe you want to hear what’s in me too.”

Kacchan’s breath stilled, his shoulders stiff. For a moment, Izuku could feel the urge to run radiating from him.

“I don’t –“ Kacchan’s chest deflated, his tone deep, mumbled, troubled as he stared down into the water. The sun sparked gold on his lashes. “Know. Why I feel – how I feel.”

Izuku’s heart swelled up and clattered, booming in his ears with impatience. He bit the inside of his cheek and remained quiet. His uncharacteristic silence was reward by Kacchan’s slow, dragged out words.

“Why I feel not – not bad – that you won. How you can calm me down when I wanna rip Icy Hot’s fuckin’ tongue out. Why I want to –“ Kacchan’s face went red. “Ah. Do things. With you. I don’t know why. Any of those things.”

Izuku wanted to hug him tight enough to crush. He wanted to rain kisses down on his face. He wanted to curl up in his lap and never leave.

Those were also things that would make Kacchan jump off the nearest mountainside, head first, to his death.

“Well,” Izuku said, taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly. His heart wouldn't stop racing. “I can wait until you figure it out. I’m not going anywhere.”

Kacchan looked to him then, his gaze vulnerable and searching. He must have liked what he found, because his arms were encircling Izuku’s waist and pulling him over to straddle his lap.

Breath catching in his throat from the shift of bare skin against skin below the water, Izuku murmured with approval, his eyes hooded as he propped his arms up on Kacchan’s shoulders and leaned in to meet his mouth. A slow, easy caress of tongue. A hum from Kacchan’s throat as he sampled, tenderly tasted Izuku’s hot, wet lips. Rough palms grazed the length of Izuku’s hips, waist, ribcage. Fingertips drifting over the scattered, erratic heartbeat in Izuku’s chest, up to cup Izuku’s jaw and keep him close.

Who in this world would ever have thought Katsuki Bakugou could be most thorough, affectionate kisser?

Mmm.” Izuku sucked lightly on Kacchan’s bottom lip, grinning with his teeth clamped down on it when he heard a telltale rumble of desire. He released Kachan’s mouth with a playful lick, his nose brushing Kacchan’s as they bumped foreheads and met eyes.

“Y’know,” Izuku said quietly. “Todoroki knows about us.”

“WHAT?”

Izuku went flying back into the spring, head under water as he came up sputtering. Kacchan was already slipping and sliding out of the bath, butt-naked, muttering lord knew what under his breath.

“-gonna kill ‘im-“

“Wait, Kacchan! Wait, who are you killing?” Izuku said from the middle of the spring, wiping water from his eyes and splashing awkwardly to stand.

“ALL OF YOU,” Kacchan said, turning on Izuku as he walked backwards toward the exit. His looked absolutely manic, his eyes bloodshot and crazed. “Oh my god. He knows I’m gay for you. How did he find out? Did you tell him? Don’t tell me. I’m drowning the both of you. No, that’s too easy. I’m –“

Kacchan literally backed up into the exit, the door swinging shut in his own face. Izuku could hear his continued tirade fade as he disappeared toward the dressing room.

Izuku frowned, standing naked in the center of the spring with his hands on his hips. He nodded a little to himself.

“I think he took that fairly well.”

Chapter Text

“What the fuck were you thinking, stupid Deku?” Katsuki trudged beside Deku, snow up to their booted ankles, Katsuki’s special gloves squeaking as he clenched his fists around his backpack straps. “Are you actually braindead? Who the hell needs to know about that crap but us?”

Deku scrunched his face up in that insolent look he always got around Katsuki.

“Todoroki is one of my best friends,” Deku said, the whiny bastard. “And forgive me if I’m a little happy right now and want to share it with someone.”

Katsuki bristled against warm little thump in his chest.

“Don’t make me puke.”

“What’s wrong with it? He’ll acclimate, once he gets his head around the idea.”

“It’s not something for him to know,” Katsuki said between clenched teeth as a sharp spray of wind and snow cut at their faces.

Noting the main portion of the students and teachers had traveled further and further away from them, Katsuki let his guard down a fraction. Their group was barely in sight now. No one would be able to hear them now.

“Or anyone,” Katsuki said, throwing a blazing look of accusation toward a stubbornly silent Deku. “There’s nothing to tell, for fuck’s sake!”

“Nothing to tell about the past nine months?” Deku said, glancing over with a superior look Katsuki would love to blast right off of his face.

“You can’t just go around spouting bullshit whenever your pansy ass fuckin’ feels like it.”

Deku stopped dead and turned to face Katsuki, his shoulders and feet squared, eyes an unwavering, deep forest of emotions Katsuki just didn't get.

“You might have been the leader for half of my life, Kacchan, but that doesn’t fly anymore. I can talk to who I want.”

“I don’t care who you fuckin’ talk to, you numskull!” Kacchan screeched in frustration, whirling around, his hands flying as he raved. “I don’t care! Why would I care? What I care about is that this ain’t your business, you dumbfuck. It’s our business, and my business, and you don’t just get to go opening your gigantic, cock-suckin’ mouth whenever you catch a fuckin’ feel!”

Deku gaped. Recovering quickly, he gritted his teeth in his own snarl that only seemed reserved for villains and Kacchan over the years.

“My friends are my friends and I’ll confide to them when I please, Kacchan. If you’ve got a problem with that, you can suck my di-“

“What do you have to confide?” Kacchan said with a harsh laugh, dragging his feet through the thick, wet snow, stopping only to shove his nose in Deku’s face and jam a finger hard against his chest. “We’re fucking. Big whoop. Half the class is probably boning each other, but you don’t hear about it, do you? Because some of them actually have brains. You? I don’t know what you’re problem is. Mister Feelings over here has to share with the entire class, like my dick is your show and tell toy!”

“I only told one person!”

“My business isn’t yours to tell!” Katsuki said with a roar, pushing Deku with both hands and knocking him back into the snow, the backpack leaving Deku rolling like an awkward turtle.

With a grunt, Katsuki yanked Deku up by the collar, their gazes clashing like a wildfire coming up against a sturdy, defiant cliffside.

“It’s just nice for someone to know we’re together,” Deku said quietly, his voice shaking despite his obstinate expression.

Katsuki blinked, startled. He released Deku, but didn’t move, the white plumes of their heaving breath rising between them like smoke from a flame.

“What?” Katsuki said with a disbelieving laugh. His heart jack-hammered painfully against his ribs. If he could break his hand through his chest, rip it out, and leave it stranded in the snow, he would. Thinking that far in the future? Katsuki took a lot of risks – but none of them would revolve around something that… Unbelievable. Incomprehensible. It would never happen. Heroes didn't get to end up with other heroes. That's how they ended up with a weak spot. That's how they ended up dead. “We’re not together, Deku.”

For a split second, Katsuki’s cutting grin faltered as he watched Deku’s entire face fall.

“Wait –“ Katsuki said. He reached out a hand and –

The weight of a car flung Katsuki forward like a ragdoll, his body crashing into Deku’s with the force took the breath from his screaming lungs. Their heads cracked together as they sailed through the air, Deku’s back impacting with a thick pine, Katsuki collapsing on top of him in the snow.

Katsuki shot up, gaze searching Deku’s face. Covered in blood. Unconscious.

He whirled, throwing his backpack to the side, hands already aflame, his bellowing war cry shaking the snow from the branches above.

“WHO THE F-“

“Sorry to interrupt your little tiff,” said the man standing a good distance away, in the main path from where Katsuki and Deku had been launched. He was unnaturally tall and skeletal, flimsy like a scarecrow, with hair long, stringy, the color of grey slush, and a smile like a shark. The thin, black ski suit he wore only reached just past his bulbous, swollen knees and elbows. He reminded Katsuki of a praying mantis, like he’d blow away in the wind.

But for the hands.

Hunched over, the villain’s knobby spine was rounded and curved from the weight of his hands. His palms were three times the size of dinner plates, thick and meaty. The fingers long and fat, coated in thick layers of pale scarring.

Katsuki’s smile was slow, deadly. His stance widened, palms sparking.

“Come and try me, buddy. I’ve had a real fuckin’ bad day so far. You’re about to make it better.”

“You’re the one top of your class, yeah?” The man said conversationally, his smile unflinching as he took steps closer. His hands dragged thick trenches in his wake. “Explodey boy. And the one behind you? He’s third. Lucky me.”

“You’re boring the shit outta me,” Katsuki said, conscious of needing to shift the fight away from Deku’s prone form. From that collision with the tree, he could have easily broken some part of his back. There was no way to know until Katsuki finished this. “Let’s go.”

Katsuki rocketed up, ricocheted off a tree top, flipped, and dove down, blazing palms first, the light expanding, blinding as he aimed right for the head.

A deafening clap resounded through the forest, the resulting boom trembling the earth.

Pain.

Katsuki choked, eyes wide, bloodshot, a searing burn shrieking up his arms. Agony overwhelmed every sense, surging from his hands in nauseous waves as Katsuki blinked up in horror. He hung from the villain’s slapped-shut hands, by his own hands, dangling midair by bones he knew were flattened, shattered between those monstrous palms.

His lungs wouldn’t release, shocked into stillness. Katsuki could feel the torment his body took claiming his conscious.

“Let him go!”

Katsuki coughed, sucking in a burning breath and whipped his head around, just as he toppled into the snow. He looked down at the limp flesh on his lap, mute, blank, unable to process the lumpy masses he didn’t recognize.

“Oh?” the villain said, amusement in his voice as dropped his hands to the snow with a resounding thud. His eyes were small, black, and beady on Deku. “Look at you. Getting up so fast. Cute.”

Katsuki gritted his teeth, his heart clawing up his throat.

“You fucking idiot, run!” Katsuki screamed, his voice hoarse. "Get the others!”

Deku wouldn’t even look at him. He was glancing between the villain and the towering mountain they’d climbed earlier in the distance.

“What the fuck’re you doing?”

Deku locked in on Kacchan’s furious, enflamed gaze, the harsh, icy winds ripping at his hair, blood streaking down his reopened head wound.

“Saving you,” he said softly.

Deku ran.

Katsuki could only gape as he watched Deku disappear in a streak of flying snow, clearly surging with his Quirk.

“Playing tag?” said the villain, giggling, licking his top teeth and smacking his thin, worm lips. “He’s much more fun than you were. I’ll be back.”

With that, he swung his spindly arms in front of him, pounded his hands to the ground, and raised his legs to swing them forward. Like some great, emaciated gorilla, he used his knuckles in the snow to loft himself along, eating up a vast distance of ground with each swing of legs and arms.

Burning with humiliation, Katsuki turned his head and wiped his running nose on his shoulder, blinking away the damp in his eyes that was no doubt caused from the slivers of snow and ice beating at his face than anything else. Gritting his teeth, Katsuki got to his feet, wavering as he stood.

In the distance he could make out the mountain – or, a third of it, the other two thirds plunging into the thick curtain of clouds. The distinct, bass booms of the villain's travel grew more muffled, the ground quaking less as he made chase.

Why would Deku lead him there? Further away from help?

Hissing with effort, Katsuki bit back any utterance of pain, refusing to further his shame, even alone. He wouldn’t give that fucker the benefit. His hands might have been fucked beyond repair, but he had his feet, and he wasn’t going to stand around here waiting for Deku to do all the work himself.

Hands hanging loose at his sides, Katsuki inhaled deep and broke into a sprint, his eyes sharp on the goal.

Geysers of snow and ice fired into the air, far away explosions that only left Katsuki guessing as he dashed through the snow ditch Deku’s Quirked-out feet had left behind. As the base of the mountain became clearer through the screaming wind, Katsuki’s eyes widened, his stride tripping up as he saw a small figure erratically shooting up the steep side of the mountain.

Why?

The last place Deku would perform well was up there. His Quirk wasn’t –

My Quirk isn’t suitable for unstable ground. I'd accidentally break it. It would have been a danger not just to all of you, but for me too.

Katsuki screeched to halt, still a good half-mile from the base of the mountain. He gawked as Deku’s figure disappeared into the clouds, great rolls of hard snow tumbling in his wake. Slowly, but surely, the villain followed, his own fists shaking the jagged terrain.

Something gripped Katsuki’s throat like a noose, his tongue thick in his mouth, his limbs frozen, mind stumbling, scattering. His heart went still, shriveling with an emotion Katsuki couldn’t recall but for the first time he'd been captured in the alleyway, when no hero would approach him.

Fear.

Deku had jumped in then. The cocky little shit. And here he was, doing it again.

For him.

Deku planned to bury that fucking villain under an entire mountain, and take himself along with it, if he had to.

Fuck,” Katsuki said, breaking into a run. “Stop saving me, you stupid fuck. Don’t you d–“

A sonic boom rippled down the mountain, deafening, popping Katsuki’s ears before the force of the erupting ground threw him off his feet and sucked him into a chasm of ice and dirt. Tree trunks splintered and collapsed upon each other, and entire forest crumpling in on itself. Boulders launched from the clouds, sailing through the sky, landing around Katsuki in a storm of rocks and debris.

Using the leverage of his elbows, Katsuki pulled himself out of the split earth and stumbled to his feet, his knees set apart to keep from toppling with the literal earthquake shuddering the vicinity.

“Bakugou!”

Aizawa’s voice.

“Bakugou, your hands.” Todoroki. “You need to get to the back of the group. Recovery Girl will –“

“Deku’s up there,” Katsuki said hollowly, unblinking.

He couldn’t look away as he watched entire house-sized chunks of mountain began to crumble to the ground, an avalanche of snow making right for them.

Deku?” Aizawa said, swearing under his breath. “Get back now. With me, Mic, Todoroki, Ochako –“

“I gotta get him.”

Katsuki ran towards the rubble and destruction, the wall of impending snow thundering toward him. Deku was still up there. Deku had done this. He’d done this to save him, to save everyone. The least Katsuki could do was –

Bakugou, no!”

A wall of ice a quarter mile high cut to the heavens, the dull thud of the avalanche halting, the only sound Katsuki could register. He whirled on Todoroki and, unable to use his shattered hands, lifted a foot and kicked him, full strength, square in the gut. Todorki landed in snow, blood on his lips. Katsuki jumped, stamped a foot down on Todoroki’s prone chest, and leaned his weight down as he snarled in Todoroki’s clenched features.

“What the fuck’re you doing? He’s back there – he’s on the other side! I gotta get to him, you stupid piece of shit! If he dies you’ll be fucking buried next to him! I swear to everything, I will fuckin’ –“

Recovery Girl was at his side in a split second, jamming something in his arm.

The world went black from there, but Katsuki did not sleep soundly. He crawled only through night terrors.

Chapter Text

“Is Kacchan okay?”

It was the first question Izuku had asked when he’d had enough consciousness to do so. The first several days had been a blur of the ceiling of a hospital he didn’t recognize, fluorescent lights that hurt his eyes, and the deep, dull ache of physical pain, pulsing beneath the hazy veneer of whatever was pumping through his IV.

Now, Izuku was finally partially sitting up in bed. Both of his broken legs were propped up on pillows, and he was glad they weren’t lofted up in the air by the weird pulley system like in the beginning. His fractured collar bone had been set, his arm in a sling. His eyebrow was stitched shut, as well as the reopened wound at his hairline.

Recovery Girl had later told him the eyebrow would scar, a vicious slash down through the corner, near his temple. Izuku didn’t see why that was necessary to say. He’d been covered in scars for years. One on his face made no difference to him.

There was only one thing that mattered right now.

“Is he?” Izuku said, looking between Ochako, Iida, and Todoroki with panic rising in his voice. “What’s the matter?”

“He’s fine,” Todoroki said, his voice even, calming. He sat in a chair on one side of the bed, hands folded on his lap. He considered Izuku carefully, as if choosing his words. “Mostly. His hands – I’m guessing you saw what happened, since you were the one to lead Crusher away.”

“Crusher?”

“The villain. We apprehended him shortly after saving you. He was harder to find. He was buried at the base of the mountain. You were near… the top of the pile.”

Izuku’s lips tightened and paled as he recalled. He’d never had to use 100% force through his feet. He’d reached the top and rocketed himself to the heavens, the energy from his jump jolting through the mountain and cracking it to the core, just as he’d planned.

But he hadn’t seen the outcome. Being at that altitude, and driving himself even further into the thin air, Izuku had lost consciousness half way up. He hadn’t even felt the fall. He didn’t think it was necessary to tell anyone about all that, though. What was done was done. He held no regrets.

“How are his hands?” Izuku said, shaking himself from his somewhat drug-induced, wandering thoughts.

“Recovery Girl had said there was barely enough solid, uncrushed pieces of bone to reform his hands, even with her advanced abilities,” Todoroki said, hushed, as if this was something they didn’t dare speak of. Kacchan being weak. “I guess she placed in some pins. She doesn’t know how it’ll affect his ability to use his Quirk in the future, but at least he has hands.”

“He’s a fast healer,” Izuku said with a weak curve of lips. “He’ll be okay.”

“He’s actually –“ Todoroki looked at Iida and Ochako across the bed, searching for something Izuku didn’t understand.

“He’s around here,” Ochako said with a soft smile, her hand resting over Izuku’s upon the sheets. “Getting the casts off of his hands. Recovery Girl has some compression gloves for him to wear for a couple of weeks that will aid in the healing process.”

“He’s here?” Izuku’s heart suddenly sped up, the monitor beside his bed fluttering and beeping to life. Swallowing hard, his cheeks heating as he looked between his friends, he forced himself to relax. “Did he – did he visit me?”

“No.” Todoroki glanced at Izuku, then back to Iida and Ochako. “Bakugou, he –“

“He was extremely passionate about your rescue,” Iida said, his expression grave. “I admit I’ve never seen such an admirable side to him before. He was kept on sedation for the first day and night. Not simply for the pain, but –“

“He kept trying to get to you,” Todoroki said, his mouth quirking as he shook his head with a look of disbelief. “I’ve never seen anything like it. He was fighting through the sedation. They had to give him four times the amount. Recovery Girl said it was enough for a three-hundred pound man.”

Izuku’s heart monitor beeped anew.

“Kacchan,” Izuku said quietly, looking down at his crushed legs, his mouth a sober line.

We’re not together, Deku.

Izuku’s chest clenched.

“When we arrived at the scene,” Todoroki continued, low and even, staring off into his recollection, “he was like a wild animal. Not the big dumb oaf who spouts threats and fire like usual. His hands were these crumpled, hanging things at his sides, his eyes were crazed, and he was just running. Running right into the avalanche. He didn’t care.”

Todoroki met Izuku’s damp eyes, then. His own held some kind of peace, and acceptance.

“He didn’t care about anything but getting to you. That’s all he said. He needed to get to you. He would have buried himself for you, just then. I saw that.”

“We did, too,” Ochako said. She rubbed her lips together, her small hand squeezing Izuku’s large one. “Listen, Deku. After that kind of scene, I think it was pretty obvious to everyone there that there’s… Something there. Going on between you.”

Izuku’s eyes went wide, his nervous glance tracking Todoroki’s features. Todoroki shrugged.

“I didn’t say a word. It was kind of obvious. In three years, no one has seen Bakugou go crazy about anyone.”

“Just you,” Ochako said, with humor warming her voice as she rolled her eyes. “Over and over, just you. But now, especially.”

“You guys,” Izuku said, his voice crumpling, thick tears rolling down his cheeks in hot trails. “I love you guys.”

Ochako huffed with amusement, her eyes wet.

“Us, too. We’re just glad you’re safe.”

“You gave us quite the scare,” Iida said, his own eyes a little red. “Once I find the heart, I’ll give you a proper reprimanding.”

Izuku burst out a wet laugh, his chest aching, both the broken bone and his heart beneath.

“You assholes making him cry already?” came a low drawl from the doorway.

Izuku startled in the bed, wincing and squeezing Ochako’s hand with the pain. Ochako held on firmly.

His and Kacchan’s gaze locked from across the room and Izuku’s heart stirred to see the fatigue around his eyes, the dark circles that were likely of no note to anyone else.

“Hi,” Izuku said quietly. “How are your hands?”

Kacchan scoffed with a cocky grin and leaned a shoulder against the doorframe, his arms folded loosely.

“Fuck that. I’m not the one who ain’t standin’ yet.”

Izuku bit the inside of his cheek, studying Kacchan’s expression carefully. People commonly mistook Kacchan for simple. He was, in fact, the opposite much of the time. And there was no way the story Izuku’s friends had just shared lined up with the carefree way Kacchan was addressing him. They were both smarter than to believe that.

But there were people here, and Kacchan obviously wasn’t budging from the doorway.

“Could you guys give us a couple of minutes?” Izuku asked with a brief smile.

“Of course,” Ochako said, shooting Todoroki a stern look as Izuku caught him opening his mouth. “We’ll visit again around dinner time.”

“Thanks.” Izuku squeezed Ochako’s hand one last time and released. “Really.”

They said their goodbyes and slipped from the room, Kacchan not moving from the doorway, only flattening himself against it a little to allow them to pass. Todoroki paused before Kacchan for only a split second more, their stares holding before Todoroki continued forth.

“So,” Izuku said, not sure where to look, so he stared at the ‘get well’ cards at his bed side table. “How are you really?”

“How the fuck do you think?” Kacchan said, shutting the door behind him. He trudged into the room and slumped down into Todoroki’s old seat, plucked a card at random and read it with narrowed eyes. With surprising delicacy, he set it back to where it had stood.

 “I really – I don’t know,” Izuku said, still trying to read Kacchan’s face. Something about the energy in this room was all wrong. He’d expecting yelling, or affection, or mostly a combination of the two.

We’re not together, Deku.

He’d known that. He really had. Between the two of them, there had barely been a word spoken of moving towards something more, whatever that might have meant for them. Izuku had spoken out of frustration and emotion and, more than anything, hope. It wouldn’t be the first or last time Katsuki Bakugou would shoot him down about something he desired.

But there was also what Todoroki and Ochako had relayed to him. Where was that height of emotion now? What had banked such desperation? How was Kacchan keeping so cool right now?

“I heard what happened,” Izuku said, for lack of anything better.

“You heard?” Kacchan said, meeting Izuku’s gaze with damp, red-rimmed eyes which had come on so suddenly Izuku sucked in a sharp breath. “You were there, stupid fuckin’ Deku. You’re the one who put your life on the line for my ass when I didn’t fuck need it. Whaddaya mean you heard?”

“I-I mean, I heard that you were… Upset.”

Kacchan’s eyes went large before he quickly looked away and coughed a harsh, raspy laugh. Sniffled and wiped his nose on the back of his arm.

Izuku locked in on the black gloves he wore – not his gift, but the compression gloves. They looked extremely tight. In fact, Kacchan wasn’t bending any of his fingers at all. When he’d picked up the card, it had been between two straight fingers, as if holding a cigarette.

“Listen,” Kacchan said, leaning back in the chair and crossing on ankle upon his knee. His hands laid uselessly at his lap, his gaze direct and hard as solid lava, revealing none of the molten turmoil inside. “I’m not here to sit around and reminisce over our romantic fucking get-away where you tried to kill yourself.”

“I would never try to –“

“We’re not gonna do this shit anymore.”

Izuku’s mouth remained open from being interrupted. It didn’t shut.

His heart stuttered in his chest and dropped into his nauseous, roiling gut.

What,” he said, barely above a whisper. He couldn’t tear his eyes from Kacchan’s face.

“The fuck buddies thing was great and all but –“ Kacchan’s voice cracked on the last word and he cleared his throat, looking at a distant spot beside Izuku’s shoulder rather than at him. “But you know there’s a reason why heroes never – well.”

“No.”

Kacchan rolled his eyes and uttered a gruff mix between a sigh and a frustrated growl. He dropped both feet to the floor, his elbows leaning upon his knees as he loomed in towards Izuku in the bed. This close, Izuku could see the how bloodshot his eyes were from – what, crying? When?

“Okay, dumbass. Riddle me this. You and me are dat– going out or whatever. It’s public. A villain strolls the fuck up, knowing this about us. Who you think he’s gonna go for first to compromise the battle? This is a simple fuckin’ exam question here.”

Numb, Izuku stared blankly at Kacchan, his voice void of inflection.

“You,” Izuku said. “Me. They’d – they’d go for either of us.”

“Izuku,” Kacchan said, his voice deep and warm, his face close, and more serious than Izuku had ever seen it.

Izuku’s eyes widened, latched on Kacchan’s. His heart raced to hear his name on lips he’d kissed dozens of times. A thrill shocked through his system. He could burst.

“Kacchan?”

“I ain’t gonna be the reason you die.”

Agony, worse than any physical injury, splintered to his core. Left him ripped ragged in two, screaming inside. Frozen in pain, his vision blurring, tears dripping from his chin to his clenched fist, Izuku sat there in silence as Kacchan stood.

Hands cupped his cheeks, but they were cold and smooth, not Kacchan’s hands, not hot and urgent and calloused. Cool, distant.

Warm lips pressed firmly to the top of his head and lingered. Izuku could only squeeze his eyes shut and gulp in a thick, sticky breath of panic, his cheeks soaked.

Then he was left alone, barren, cold, as he heard slow footsteps head for the exit.

Eyes screwed shut, his voice reedy with the tenuous grip he had on the sob building in his throat, Izuku spoke.

“You can’t get rid of me, y’know? And I still don’t think you wanna get rid of me.”

There was a pause. A soft breath and a hard swallow across the room.

Izuku let himself fall apart when the door finally clicked shut.

Chapter Text

New Year’s Day passed and classes began anew.

No one sat in the desk behind Katsuki. He couldn’t even clench his still relatively useless fist with the anger that boiled up, knowing how much school Deku was missing just laying in a shitty bed. How the fuck was Deku meaning to surpass him as the number one hero when he was flat-out in a hospital? That wasn’t a fair way to win their life-long competition.

And it wasn’t fair to keep Katsuki on edge, every single day, wondering how Deku’s healing progressed.

Of-fucking-course, he heard about Deku all the goddamn time from his classmates. Every day, someone who had visited him within the UA compound hospital reported on his current state. Katsuki wondered how the fuck Deku could stand all of the visitors. From what he could tell, people hung out with him at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Literally. He was never alone.

At least he was surrounded with his stupid friends and was probably smiling his dumb, distracting smile every day.

Still, he needed to come back. Not for Katsuki, obviously. Because what use was Deku to himself or anyone else stuck over there? He needed to come back.

Not that it meant anything to Katsuki. The further they were from each other, the better. Katsuki had made that decision when Deku would have been too stubborn and stupid. It had been the right thing. It had been what a good hero would have done. Protected the people they cared about from danger.

So why did it hurt so fucking bad?

January passed and Valentine’s Day came.

Katsuki opened his locker, and chocolates dumped out onto his feet.

Gritting his teeth, he stared down at the mess of gross girl emotions mauling him first thing in the morning. Deku would never do something like this if they were going out. He knew he’d get drop-kicked over the fucking moon.

Katsuki’s hands froze in the process of scooping up the offensive gifts, his eyes wide as he stared his feet.

Why the fuck was that nerd popping up at a time like this? Had he gotten a concussion in yesterday’s scrimmage? Shitting hell.

With a rabid animal scream, Katsuki shoved the Valentines into the nearest garbage can, whirling around at the gawking populace.

What?” Katsuki said, a sneering smile twisting up his features, a vein above his eyebrow pulsing. “The hell you bastards lookin’ at? You want chocolate? Dig in the fuckin’ garbage!”

“Bro,” Ashido said from behind, still bundled in her plaid, neon green puffer jacket. “What’s going on with you? Chill out.”

She put a hand on Katsuki’s shoulder and gave a hard push, directing him back to their lockers. A growl rumbled deep in Katsuki’s chest, but he allowed her to lead him away.

“I hate Valentine’s Day,” he said, low and menacing, snapping a look over his shoulder as if some chick with a confession letter would peek around the corner at any minute.

“I don’t even know how you have the fanclub you do,” Ashido said, pulling off her penguin-faced earmuffs and fluffing up her new pink faux hawk. “You’re probably the least attractive dude I’ve ever met, personality-wise. And that’s saying something. Remember when I dated Monoma for that  one week in second year? What the fuck was I thinking?”

Katsuki sighed as he put on his indoor shoes and slammed the locker door.

“You said he had a dick like a wand because it had to be magic. I remember this because you fuckin’ scarred me for life and I haven’t been able to look him in the face since.”

“Oh yeah,” Ashido said, walking beside Katsuki as she frowned into the distance. “I forgot about that. Maybe I need to give him a call. Anyway, I won’t tell Midoriya about your admirers, promise. Although I can’t imagine he’s the type to get jealous.”

Katsuki stopped dead in the hallway, his head turning mechanically, his face frozen.

“What?”

“I said –“

“WE’RE NOT FUCKIN’ GOING OUT.”  A hysterical laugh leapt from Katsuki’s mouth as he stared incredulously at Ashido. “Him? That nerd? And me? Have you met me?”

“I’m pretty sure we just established that I’ve met you and you’re basically officially the worst,” Ashido said, eyeing him dubiously. “Dude. You’re gonna hyperventilate if you breath that fast. Why so pissed?”

Katsuki sucked in a breath through his clenched teeth, a hiss in and out as he listened to Ashido ramble with increasing wrath.

“We all kinda assumed you two were a thing after the winter training. Like, if you guys are just good friends now, my bad. Todoroki was actually in your corner. I shoulda known from that alone, since he’s so close with Deku, anyway. We thought you just hadn’t mentioned you two because you were embarrassed.”

Wide-eyed and ready to screech loud enough to shatter windows, Katsuki fisted swooped his face in to drill a stare into her.

“Are you fuckin’ nuts? Who – when – how the fuck does everyone think we’re –“

“I mean,” Ashido said, aiming a narrow look of black and gold at him, unblinkingly meeting his gaze, “You’ve been obsessed with him for three years, so we just... assumed? Finally?”

Finally?” With wild eyes, Katsuki barked another frantic laugh, “Obsessed? Dumbass, how could I be –“

“Y’know what?” Ashido said, grinning cockily in the face of Katsuki’s increasingly crazed, public display. “You look like you’re having boy trouble. I get it, man, it happens to the best of us. I’ve got something for you.”

“What the fuck is boy trouble?” Katsuki said, baring his teeth in a sneer as he shoved his hands in his pockets. “Who the fuck has it? Bitch, say it again and die.”

Ashido dug for something in her book bag and eventually, with a victorious whoop, unearthed a slightly crumpled, hot pink magazine. Smiling brightly, she mashed it against Katsuki’s chest, her hand pressing firm until Katsuki slapped a hand up and took it.

“What the fuck is –“ Katsuki’s eyes bugged out. He slapped the magazine cover onto his chest again, his face going up in flame as he glowered and snapped. “YOU THINK I NEED THIS BULLSHIT? I’LL SHOVE THIS TRASH SO FAR UP YOUR ASS THAT – Hey. Hey!“

Ashido was already walking away, holding a hand up in a wave.

“You can be late for class,” Ashido called out, “but I won’t be just because of your boy feelings crisis in the hallway. Bye, bro.”

“Fuck.” Shooting a glare over his shoulder at the emptying highway, Katsuki looked down at the magazine again, keeping it close to his body. Headlines sprayed in all directions, in white and black with some creepy looking girl in a weird, unnatural pose on the cover. Inevitably, his eyes lingered over one single headline.

10 Ways To Know You’re In Love

Fuck!” Grinding his teeth down, Katsuki rolled the stupid fucking magazine and shoved it into his back pocket, no doubt sticking out obscenely in pink. Stalking towards class, Katsuki could only grit out under his breath, “I’ll fuckin’ murder.”

“Ah, Bakugou,” Aizawa said as Katsuki entered the room. “Good to see you’ve managed to grace us with your disruptive presence.”

Who’s disruptive,” Katsuki said darkly, slouching into his seat. He glowered at the tight, black gloves that still kept him from fisting his hands.

“You’ll be in the hospital getting your gloves off today, won’t you?” Aizawa said, his eyes sharp enough on Katsuki to have him reply with a glare.

“So?”

“So, that means you’re tasked with the luck of delivering Midoriya’s weekend assignments after school.”

That hysterical bubble started to tickle at Katsuki’s throat again, threatening to pop. Katsuki snorted.

“Like hell I am.”

“Like hell you are or you can clean up the class room every day after school for a week.”

Good.” Katsuki said with a grin as he slumped back against his chair and folded his arms. “Sounds great, I’ll do that.”

“Or I’ll just expel you for not minding your teacher,” Aizawa said with a long sigh as he shuffled some papers at the podium. “Too bad. Talent wasted. Probably for the best, though. You’d be an awful hero.”

“Alright, alright! Shit.”

Magazine burning a hole in his back pocket, Katsuki could tell this Valentine’s Day would prove to be hell on earth.

Hours later, standing in front of a closed hospital room door, folder of assignments under his arm, Katsuki knew that this was, in fact, his own personal hell. And it had been his own doing which had led him to this.

Some unfamiliar twisting, tight coil in his stomach kept him jittering and fidgety under the skin. He didn’t understand this fucking emotion or what the hell his body was doing, but it pissed him off.

Since when did the idea of talking to Deku elicit nerves over rage? That little fucker. It had only been a month and a half since they’d seen each other. Big fucking deal.

Against every instinct screaming in his body, Katsuki rapped loudly and too long on the door.

“Come in, already!” came Deku’s voice, already laughing, obviously assuming it was someone else.

Face screwed in distaste, Katsuki rushed through the doorway, ready to get this over with.

“S’just me, nerd,” he said, rushing in without looking at Deku’s face and dropping the folder on his lap. “School shit.”

Already turning on his heel to evacuate the room, Katsuki winced at the sound of Deku’s voice.

“How’re your hands?”

“What, they’re fine,” Katsuki said, making it to the door and gripping the knob.

“When did you get your gloves off?”

“Today,” Katsuki said without turning. Seeing Deku’s face would make him angry.

Not angry at Deku, though.

“Bye,” Katsuki said, yanking the door open with too much force.

“You don’t have to feel bad, y’know.”

“I don’t feel bad about shit!” Katsuki whipped around, eyes blazing, tension and temper boiling over, scalding. “The fuck do I have to feel bad about, stupid fuckin’ Deku? You made your own damn choices that put you here, and now you’ve royally fucked yourself over, missing out on class and battle and –“

“I know.”

Katsuki paused, his hands shaking, breath shuddering in shallow, uneven huffs as he blinked past the red haze and really looked.

Deku’s eyebrow stitches had come out. A thick, fresh pink scar cut down the outer corner of his left eyebrow. He looked older for it, despite his forever youthful disposition. Over the last three years, his cheeks had gotten a little sharper, a little more hollowed out, his jaw tougher, his eyebrows more serious. Even his eyes had lost a little of their gleam – or maybe that was more recent.

But he was still Deku. The one who’d draped himself over Katsuki’s back in a hug and kissed his cheek. The one who always met his gaze evenly, even brazenly, daring Katsuki to try and bring him down. Still the Deku he’d kissed and imagined he could kiss forever without taking another breath.

And he was still the Deku who could die any fucking day of the year. That’s what heroes did too. They lived. They died.

“The fuck do you know?” Katsuki said, his face heating as he realized he’d been caught staring.

“I know that I’ve had a good six weeks in here to sit and think,” Deku said, inclining his chin in that stubborn way he had of daring Katsuki to punch him. His eyes were a hard, unwavering, and honest. “I know that I made mistakes in putting myself in that level of danger, when the first thing I should have done was run to our friends, not automatically protect them when they’re perfectly capable heroes. Self-sacrifice shouldn’t be the first and only option I give myself.”

“No shit,” Katsuki said, somehow unable to tear his gaze from the scar that taunted him from Deku’s face. “Jeezus, you think that’s some clever crap? That’s normal as fuck logic right there.”

“Don’t act like you’ve never run into a fight, guns blazing.”

Kacchan snorted a laugh, his grin slicing sharp across his face as he crossed his arms and cocked a hip at the foot of Deku’s bed.

“That’s ‘cause my guns fuckin’ win. And they don’t kill me in the process – unlike yours.”

Deku’s gaze flickered to scarred hand. He opened his palm, looking down at it without any apparent anger contorting his face. Not like Kacchan’s features.

“Maybe,” Deku said lowly. He looked up, locking eyes with Katsuki in a way that imprisoned him with their honesty. “I’m sorry that I hurt you. And scared you.”

A chill shrieked down Katsuki’s spine, his skin prickling with the sheer shock of it as he gawked.

This guy. This fucking guy was apologizing to him? After Katsuki was the one who’d failed like a complete loser to save him? None of this would have happened if Katsuki had been stronger. Had sacrificed more. Shit. Katsuki was standing in front of a Grade-A Idiot, and all he wanted to do was bury his face in Deku’s lap and apologize until he could find a way forgive himself. Fuck.

“Your apology can fuck off and die,” Katsuki said, his words shaking with tremulous, manic laughter barely held at bay. “Like hell I'd accept something like that. What’s wrong with you?”

Katsuki backed up towards the door, one hand grappling behind him for the knob. He burst into a short, high laugh as he boggled at Deku’s wilting expression.

“LIKE HELL.”

The door slamming behind Katsuki’s retreating back felt like a bullet to his chest. And he’d been the one to pull the trigger. Gritting his teeth against the pain, Katsuki stalked away.

March stormed in with thunder and lightning, and washed Deku back into class with it.

A cheer rose over the distant roll of thunder as Deku loped in on crutches, his smile wide, his expression dazzled with the ‘welcome back’ banner hung across the chalkboard and the balloons tied to his seat.

Katsuki wanted to barf. The nausea only grew when class settled in and Deku took the desk behind him without a glance his way.

Throughout the entire day, Deku never cast him a single second of attention. He was all smiles and jokes, intently listening to gossip he’d yet to catch up on, getting eveloped in sudden group huddles from the girls mooning over his new scar, even greeting people Katsuki didn’t recognize in the hallway who congratulated him on his return.

The two of them didn’t speak a word to each other.

A month of hell dragged on in much the same way. Deku’s crutches disappeared, his scar became paler and starker, and though his gait was a little lopsided and crooked, he was up and running almost as if nothing had happened.

On the few occasions their gazes crossed by chance, Katsuki had to question himself as to what had happened all those months ago. Deku’s expression was so fucking blank, so infuriatingly polite and impersonal that Katsuki wanted to launch the goddamn desks across the room to clear his path, grab Deku by the hair, and force him to say Katsuki’s name again.

Katsuki had done this. He’d made his choice, for the both of them. Deku would be safer this way, apart from him.

He wanted to scream.

The internal screaming still rang in his head when Katsuki opened his eyes in April and remembered it was his stupid fucking birthday. People would probably surround him with gross touching and affection and useless gifts he never wanted or needed. The only attention he ever wanted was hero-related attention. Birthday attention was for snot-nosed five year olds.

A groan of dread rumbling in his chest, Katsuki stepped out of bed –

Slipped on a magazine that slid from beneath his foot and toppled to the floor.

“MOTHER FUCKIN’ MORNINGS CAN SUCK MY CO-“

Absently rubbing his ass as he stood, Katsuki took the hot pink magazine up with him. Frowning, he sat bedside and stared at the crinkled cover.

10 Ways To Know You’re In Love

“Fuck my life,” Katsuki said under his breath as he frantically flipped through the pages, some of them ripping with the force of his urgency. His heart tripped up as he swallowed and scanned the pages full of bold numbering.

They’re the best part of your day.

Katsuki chewed the inside of his cheek as he thought of Deku’s smile every morning. Of growling a greeting as Deku would take a seat beside him. Beating the shit out of each other in battle until neither of them could move or finish the fight. Arguing over the dinner table until the kicking fight beneath it ended up overturning the entire thing.

They’re the first person you think about.

Katsuki pinched the bridge of his nose and scrunched his eyes shut. A headache was starting to pulse behind his eyes.

You prioritize them over your own needs.

Katsuki had never known what it was to not get what he wanted. He’d never known what it was like to think of someone before himself. And then he’d run head fucking first into an avalanche for another person. Fuck.

You’d do anything for them.

Katsuki couldn’t breathe.

You’re never afraid to express your feelings for them in public.

Katsuki’s heart lurched. All of the affection Deku had given so freely and all of those motions Katsuki had never returned. Afraid? Was that what this fucking was? He didn’t have a clue anymore. What he did know was that he missed the way Deku looked at him, touched him, soothed him.

You love the imperfections.

Stubbornness. Self-sacrifice. Unabashed wonder for the world and total gullibility. Quick to assume he was right, and even quicker to argue his point when it mattered to him. Determined to a fault.

Katsuki knew this was what made Deku a hero. How could he ask him to change?

You imagine your future with them in it.

Katsuki frowned, his brow furrowed as he hunched over the magazine like it was something sapping the life out of him. A future without Deku around? Did that – how did that work? There’d never been a fucking week without Deku in his life, from birth onward.

Until recently. Until Katsuki had made the choice. He had to protect Deku. There wasn’t another choice. Was there?

You’re a better person around them.

Katsuki snorted a laugh. Was he better or worse around him? Could he be both?

Deku’s large hand resting upon his shoulder, his back, his chest. Constantly keeping him at bay, calming him, banking the fires that threatened to detonate day in and out.

Your feelings are unconditional.

Panic built up in Katsuki’s throat like a noose. He sucked in a breath, but forgot to release. He read the words, his mouth going dry. One more number left.

Your love is your best friend.

Katsuki’s vision blurred. His heart threw itself against his ribcage, howling for freedom, ripping at his gut, firing up his burning veins. Katsuki’s face lit aflame.

“Shit.”

Katsuki dropped the magazine to the floor.

Fuck.”

He stood.

“No.”

His hands buried in his hair. He stared at the floor. The magazine laid open, accusatory in hot pink.

No,” Katsuki said walking away, rubbing his hands roughly over his face, his hip knocking into the corner of his desk, the sharp pain going unnoticed. “FUCK.”

A tentative knock sounded at the door.

“I WILL FUCKIN’ RIP YOUR HAND OFF AND FIST YOUR OWN ASSHOLE WITH IT IF YOU DON’T BACK THE FUCK OFF INTO THE GODDAMN LANDFILL WHERE YOU BELONG.”

There was a long pause. Katsuki ripped off his t-shirt and paced the floor, distracted from his intent to get his shower materials and go wash off the stench of desperation and – and what? Lovesickness?

Shit, he was seriously gonna puke.

“Kacchan?”

Deku’s voice was soft and tentative from behind the door, but still Kacchan whirled around in shock, backed up into his chair, launched literal head over heels, and landed on his head and shoulders with a string of curse words that would horrify even his mother.

Jumping up, Kacchan lunged at the door and whipped it open.

Deku stood there, peering up at him with guarded eyes like deep, secret forests, his brows as straight and serious as his mouth. He still wore a shirt rumpled from sleep and plaid boxers, like he’d come over without with a plan. His cheeks were pink and his hair rumpled in a way that immediately shot to Kacchan’s core with the memory of fucking Deku straight into the mattress.

“Kacchan, could I –“

Katsuki hauled Deku in by the collar. The door slammed, and Deku’s back against it. Fingertips digging into Deku’s hips with the desire and regret of months, Katsuki pressed their bodies flush together, his forehead propping against Deku’s, their erratic breath mingling between too-close lips.

“Lemme have you,” Katsuki ground out, his voice dragged through a desert. “Deku.”

Deku’s eyes flashed. His hand snapped up, held Katsuki firmly by the throat.

“Fuck.You. Asshole.”

When their mouths collided and attacked, Katsuki already knew he’d be the one to lose this round.

Chapter Text

Confusion slammed into Izuku as surely as his back collided with the door. Kacchan’s fist pushed up against Izuku’s chest, tangled in his collar. A feverish forehead bumped and rested against Izuku’s brow, their legs slotting between each other’s thighs, Kacchan’s bare stomach contoured flat and hard against Izuku’s thin shirt.

Draped in Kacchan’s familiar body again, his erratic breath against Izuku’s lips, felt like curling beside the welcoming fireplace after being caught in an unforgiving storm.

From the desperation sweating from Kacchan’s pores, Izuku’s heart lifted with the realization that he might want to talk now. Finally.

“Lemme have you,” Kacchan said, his voice tearing into Izuku, ripping open his chest, exposing his thundering heart anew. “Deku.”

Twin bolts of fury and frustration shocked through Izuku.

Kacchan knew. Even if he didn’t really know that he knew – he knew that Izuku didn’t have it in him to say no. That Izuku was weak to Kacchan and everything he did, and was, asked and said.

Right now, deep down, Izuku wanted him to pay for it.

Unthinking, Izuku’s hand shot up, clasped around Kacchan’s throat and squeezed.

Those deep crimson eyes widened a little, fists loosening at Izuku’s collar and dropping.

Izuku’s own snarl was one to give Kacchan’s a run for his money.

“Fuck. You. Asshole.”

Kacchan’s surprise was registered the split second before Izuku yanked Kacchan by the hair and took his mouth with an immediate, hungry moan. He tore at Kacchan’s lips and tongue, merciless in nips and scrapes of teeth and plunging, plundering attacks that kept Kacchan tripping back one step after another until his calves bumped the edge of the bed.

“This is what you wanted, right?” Izuku bit out, grazing his teeth along the sharp slope of Kacchan’s shoulder. He bit down hard, a flash of lust lighting him up at Kacchan’s yelp and hiss of breath. Izuku lapped at the bruising outline of a full moon, his lips wet against Kacchan’s skin. “This is it, right? Never wanted anything else from me, did you?”

If Kacchan wanted to go back the start, then – well, this would be the last time. There was no return.

Kacchan’s lips stilled on Izuku’s, the hands which had his shirt pulled up to Izuku’s armpits stilled.

“Whaddaya m-“

Izuku yanked his shirt off the rest of the way, mouth a hard line as he flashed an electric look Kacchan’s way and pushed.

Kacchan fell back on the bed, knees bent at the edge, feet on the floor. Izuku lofted over his hips, planted himself solidly upon his lap. Draped himself over the length of Kacchan’s body and laved his tongue over one hardening nipple, then the other.

Izuku’s lips buzzed with the deep noise that rolled like thunder from Kacchan’s chest. Sinking his teeth into the spot above Kacchan’s heart, Izuku growled in return and scratched his nails down Kacchan’s side, raking welts into the ridges of his ribcage.

If this was the end, Izuku would make sure Kacchan regretted every word he held back, every apology he never gave, every night Izuku spent awake, wondering how he could fix them.

If this was all Kacchan wanted, this would be all Izuku gave.

Kacchan’s hands roughly gripped Izuku’s waist, fingertips bruising as he gasped from the unforgiving scrape of Izuku’s blunt nails. A humorless smile smeared into Kacchan’s skin as Izuku plucked both hands from his sides and slammed them down over Kacchan’s head, Izuku cuffing Kacchan’s wrists with one hand.

“Don’t you dare touch me until I say,” Izuku rasped against Kacchan’s ear, smiling in earnest at the shiver he felt run through Kacchan’s body.

“Like fuck –“

“You fucking touch me and I walk.” Izuku nipped at Kacchan’s earlobe, quickly licking the offending spot when Kacchan jumped with the surprise pain. “You want me, right?”

Izuku’s mouth was damp against Kacchan’s jaw and he could feel that heartbeat racing to keep up. He shifted his hips back a little, registered the engorged, insistent bulge pulsing at his ass. Izuku’s slick lips ran down Kacchan’s throat, bit playfully at his chin. Propping up his elbow, cheek on his free palm, his other still pinning Kacchan prostrate, Izuku surveyed the destruction he’d already done.

Kacchan’s lips were swollen, his eyes blood-red rings in the wide, black eclipse of pupils. Those high, proud cheekbones were flushed, his expression a little dazed, a little awed as he stared up at Izuku.

“Say it,” Izuku said simply, hot, molten steel in his voice. His fingers squeezed tighter around Kacchan’s wrists, undoubtedly uncomfortable. “Tell me how much you want me.”

“I do,” Kacchan said immediately, swallowing hard, his chest heaving, his gaze unwavering. “Want you. More than – more than anything.”

Izuku’s heart flipped. He smacked it down under his fist and kept it there, flattened, bleeding out.

“That’s something,” Izuku said lowly, releasing Kacchan’s wrists and sliding back, back until his fingers hooked in the waist of Kacchan’s sweatpants and took them along as Izuku dropped to his knees on the floor.

Kacchan sat up enough to lean back on his elbows, his stare wide, lips parted in a sharp gasp as Izuku situated himself between Kacchan’s thighs and clasped a hand loosely around his already straining erection.

“Deku, I –“

“Don’t you want me to be your slut?” Izuku said, drilling Kacchan with an unflinching look as he licked a hot, damp stripe from balls to tip, his lips closing around the crown of Kacchan’s dick and coming off with a wet pop. “That’s how you’ve always wanted me.”

Fuck.”  Kacchan’s blush went down to his chest, his hands fisting in the sheets. He watched silently, breathing shallow and humid, as Izuku swallowed him down, up, licked the head, and took him back down. “Fuck, Deku, you’re –“

“You never wanna talk,” Izuku murmured, his lips brushing against the head of Kacchan’s cock with each word. “Don’t start now.”

His gaze bore into Kacchan’s, brimming with the desire to fuck him up until he forgot how to walk. Yeah, Kacchan wouldn’t forget their final time.

Stroking his hands up Kacchan’s meaty thighs, relishing in their quiver, Izuku gripped Kacchan’s hips and lost himself in fucking his mouth on Kacchan’s dick. Tears ran unbidden as he choked himself time and again, looking up and across the plains of Kacchan’s flushed body, watching that devastating face go feral and mindless in concentration, intent on Izuku’s mouth stretching wider, his lips plumping up around Kacchan’s pulsing, swelling arousal.

Jaw aching, Izuku slurped off of Kacchan’s dick, leaving his lips sloppy-wet as he stood and stripped his boxers. Rock hard, he straddled Kacchan once more, Kacchan’s damp cock slotting between Izuku’s ass cheeks as he covered Kacchan’s body with his own. Gripping Kacchan’s sharp chin in between his firm fingers, Izuku dove in and kissed Kacchan with a mouth still slick and musky with precum and cock.

Leaving Kacchan’s lips as messy as his own, Izuku pulled up, reached between them and gave Kacchan’s cock a lazy jerk and squeeze. A long, animalistic keen eked from the back of Kacchan’s throat, his features lax and flushed with wonder as he peered up to Izuku.

Desire, heat, desperation flowered through Izuku with the expression he’d never seen before. Kacchan almost… loving.

Izuku swallowed hard and swirled his thumb over the slippery head of Kacchan’s cock, pulling forth another helpless noise.

“Stay,” Izuku said. “If you move, I’ll leave you like this.”

“Fuck you,” Kacchan said, but his arms were thrown over his head, fingers twitching, stomach quivering was Izuku trailed his lone fingertips up the hard muscles.

“Good,” Izuku said, swiping his tongue along the contour of Kacchan’s jawline before rolling away and stumbling a little to the bedside table. Knees weak, his chest thick with the need to keep that destroyed look on Kacchan’s face, Izuku stuck his hand to the back of the drawer and unearthed the small bottle of lube.

His heart flared up at the sight of Kacchan. Unmoved on the bed, knees still over the side, thighs spread, his swollen, dripping cock bobbing back against his stomach with obvious, blatant lust. Kacchan had only shifted his head to watch Izuku’s every move with a dark, fiery stare.

“You’re fuckin’ slow,” he said, his voice raw. “Commere.”

“You want it fast?” Izuku said, mouth quirking as he took his place between Kacchan’s legs. “We could do fast.”

He squeezed the bottle liberally into his hand and took both their cocks in his hold, coating and slicking them up, sliding his palm along them both, thrusting faintly against Kacchan until Kacchan’s own hips began to move in desperation. The slight, choked-off noises squeaking from Kacchan’s throat were new. The sound of his voice all twisted up pooled a lazy heat low in Izuku’s gut.

Without warning, Izuku hooked his arm beneath Kacchan’s sweat damp knee and shoved him up the bed, until his own knees could rest on the mattress. Removing his sticky hand from Kacchan’s cock, Izuku hummed a little, his thumb sliding down to slick a circular caress around Kacchan’s hole.

The resulting yelp as Kacchan’s head shot up, eyes wild, would have made Izuku laugh under any other circumstance.

“The fuck you think –“

“Shut up,” Izuku said, low, commanding as he popped his thumb right past that tight ring and slowly worked it in and out with minute, easy thrusts. “Take it. You want this, don’t you?”

“Fuck n-oooh.”

Izuku’s thumb slid out easily, though Kacchan still rested back against his elbows to gawk. Izuku met his eyes in a dare, sneaking in a first long, slick finger. Kacchan’s teeth snapped together, his breath sucking in harsh through his nose.

“Don’t you wanna feel me, Kacchan?” Izuku crooned, his voice breaking up as lust punched holes in his crumbling sanity. “Feel me so you’ll never forget what it was like?”

Izuku waited for Kacchan’s snarling mouth to open before he slipped in the second finger.

“What’re you – fuck.” Kacchan swallowed hard, his cock pulsing and dripping back onto his stomach. His fingertips grappled with the sheets, as if searching for some hold, some grounding.

“Don’t get too comfortable,” Izuku murmured, his speech slurring in distraction as he worked to scissor his fingers a little wider. His teeth flashed in an unconscious smile of victory as Kacchan actually whimpered and widened his legs, the knee not held by Izuku tipping and falling to the side.

“That’s good,” Izuku said, his face going up in flame, his mouth salivating as he took in the sight of Kacchan spread out before him, still propped on his elbows, glowering at Izuku even as he clenched his teeth against another bit-back, throaty groan.

“If you’ve got energy to make a face like that,” Izuku said, leaning in and looming over Kacchan as he added a third finger to that stubborn, tightening heat. “I’m not doing it right.”

Fuck, Deku.” Kacchan’s tone hiked up a notch, his eyes a little wild, almost panicked as his blacked-out gaze raked Izuku’s face. “What’re you – whyjeezus, how –“

Izuku thrust his fingers into Kacchan with a new level of force, sliding out just a little, and shoving back in, the wet, sloppy sound of his fingers lighting up every nerve in Izuku’s body, electrifying him more than any Quirk, fueling him with a power he’d never felt.

Kacchan’s head fell back to the bed, mouth gaping without a sound, hands grappling in his own hair, not a noise in the room but for Izuku’s heavy breaths and slick, slapping fingers.

A sharp, lengthy whine broke from Izuku’s throat, and it was all too fucking much. Shit.

Overwhelmed and blind with it, Izuku pulled his fingers back, biting back a feral noise of desperation at Kacchan’s quiet, hiccup of no as he was left empty.

“Need you,” Izuku said, hands shaking and fumbling with the slippery lube bottle as he poured an obscene amount onto his engorged cock. “Fuck, Kacchan, gonna make you feel so good.”

“Shut up and fuck me,” Kacchan snapped, words rushed, jumped, tripping over each other.

Quaking with anticipation, Izuku yanked Kacchan by the ankles until his ass angled up upon Izuku's thighs, hiked his arms beneath both of Kacchan’s knees and pressed the blunt, swollen head of his dick against Kacchan’s slick heat.

Izuku pushed. The crown of his cock burst past that taut ring. Kacchan’s eyes shot open, his ragged inhale burning through Izuku’s restraint.

No,” Kacchan choked out, his nails finding Izuku’s forearms and digging in. He gaped, sightless at the ceiling, as Izuku rocked lightly into him, inching in with infinite care. “No no, fuck, it’s – no, too much, fuck no, I can’t I –“

“I’m in,” Izuku said, voice tight, every muscle screaming to pummel into him, punish him, make Kacchan hurt as badly as the mess in his fucking chest. At the same time, the creamy pastel morning light filtered through the window above Kacchan’s bed, pouring over him, highlighting his hair with shots of gold, gilding the burnished tan of his skin, pooling over that heaving, muscled chest.

Izuku’s heart stung.

Fuck.” Izuku bit down on his bottom lip, pulled his hips back and buried himself in deep.

And again.

Kacchan thighs trembled. The backs of his knees sweat, left Izuku’s arms sweltering.

“Good?” Izuku wasn’t sure he spoke, couldn’t be sure of anything except the bliss of the increasing speed at which he fucked into Kacchan’s delirious heat. “You good?”

“The fuck – hng –“ Kacchan winced, his brow sparkling with sweat, his eyes scrunched shut, nails immobile from Izuku’s forearms.  Whether on purpose or not, Kacchan rolled his ass back against Izuku’s hips, taking his cock. “Fuck you think?”

Distantly, Izuku heard the chains binding him snap and fall.

Teeth bared, Izuku wrenched Kacchan back, impaling his ass on his dick. His hands gripped Kacchan’s ankles with bruising strength, straightening Kacchan’s legs and propping his ankles upon Izuku’s shoulders, at either side of his neck. Izuku’s heart leapt into his throat and choked him out when Kacchan looked up at him with drugged, hooded eyes and began to stroke his own cock.

A growl resounded. Izuku didn’t realize it was his own.

He gripped Kacchan’s ass, arms shaking as he kept Kacchan's hips held up at the angle to pound him to him clean, hard, and fast.

Kacchan never closed his eyes again, even as he whimpered and whined, writhed against the incessant impact of Izuku’s cock. One hand worked his own heavily leaking erection, his free hand finding Izuku’s, rough fingers wrapping tightly around Izuku’s wrist.

Izuku removed his hand, wrapped his arms around Kacchan’s vertical legs for balance as his thrusts became harsher, more erratic, his release gathering like a bolt of lightning sizzling every fucking nerve in his body.

“Cum for me,” Izuku said, voice hoarse. He rose up on knees and slowly crouched to his feet, taking Kacchan’s legs with him, urging those knees toward Kacchan’s shoulders as he pounded him into the squeaking mattress.  “Wanna see your face.”

His heart thrashed against the cage of his chest, snarling predatory desire as Izuku watched tears stream from the corners of Kacchan’s wide eyes, that damp, swollen mouth struggling for air as Izuku fucked him in earnest, the slap-slick-slap of their hips a deafening white noise in Izuku’s ears.

“Izuku, I –“

Kacchan cried out, loud, as his hands found Izuku’s hair, fisted there and yanked him in for a mindless, open-mouthed, uncoordinated kiss. Izuku saw the fucking rainbow as Kacchan’s entire body flexed and shuddered around him, pulling his dick in deep, milking him until Izuku overflowed with a wrecked sob, the noise lapped up by Kacchan’s greedy tongue.

Izuku collapsed. Kacchan went pliant and limp beneath him.

The unsteady drum of Kacchan’s heart beneath Izuku’s ear broke a dam he’d been desperately built all those months ago in the hospital. He shut his eyes tight against the welling of emotion flooding his throat and behind his lids.

Kacchan’s hand found Izuku’s shoulder and squeezed. Slid a lazy, soothing path down Izuku’s back, fingertips trailing over the curve of his ass, then back up, back down.

If that wasn’t enough, Kacchan hummed a throaty sound of approval and – happiness? – as he lifted his head just enough to place his lips atop Izuku’s mess of hair.

That was… new.

Affection.

What the heck?

“Kacchan?” Izuku said softly, staring at the wall. An All Might poster. Cute.

Muh?”

“Do you – is this all you want from us?”

Kacchan’s hand stilled at the small of Izuku’s back and curled into a fist, slipped away to land on the mattress.

“The hell’s that supposed to mean?”

Izuku folded arms upon Kacchan’s chest and propped his chin up them, peering down with sober mouth and eyes.

Kacchan looked distracting. A mess.

Izuku pushed aside the unrelenting attraction.

“We have to talk.”

Kacchan’s face scrunched up.

“Now?”

“If not now, when?”

Ugh.” Kacchan rolled onto his side, sending Izuku toppling off of him and nearly off the bed. Kacchan sat up and scooted to the other edge of the bed, looking around the room with a scowl. “What’s with all this talking? Can’t we just –“

Izuku’s tears fell before he had a chance against them.  He launched from his spot on the bed and slapped Kacchan upside the back of the head hard enough that Kacchan wavered in place before he whipped around, his face red.

“What the fuck is wrong with you, you fuckin’ psycho?”

“What’s wrong is that I’m done with you,” Izuku said, scooting off the bed and finding his boxers. He clumsily stepped into them, nearly tripping and clocking his face into a tall floor lamp.

“I came here to talk to you and you did what you always do. Well, guess what, Bakugou,” Izuku said, whirling to face Kacchan as he struggled to pull his t-shirt over his head – it ended up on backwards. He popped out of the shirt with drenched cheeks and rage snapping in his eyes. “If you don’t open your mouth like a grown fucking man and tell me what you want, I’m gonna go ahead and assume what you don’t want is me.”

Izuku caught a flash of Kacchan’s slack-jawed expression, hands fisted at his side as he stood there butt-naked, before Izuku evacuated the room and slammed the door so hard he heard the drywall crack.

Two steps out of the door and a bruising hand was crushing his wrist, spinning him around so fast, Izuku’s didn’t know what he hit when he thrashed out.

It turned out to be Kacchan’s nose.

“A man?” Kacchan bellowed, his eyes manic, his nose blatantly crooked and broken, blood gushing down his mouth, chin, and bare chest. At least he’d pulled on some sweats. He stalked forward, trailing blood across the floor. “Who the fuck’s not a man?”

“You have the communications skills of a fucking toddler,” Izuku said, turning on his heel and heading for the stairwell. “Actually,” he called over his shoulder, “Worse. You’re worse. You’re still a proud little five year-old, cocky and full of himself on his Quirk. You can’t go your entire life expecting people to adore you, Bakugou, because eventually they’ll realize you’re nobody’s hero. Not the way you are now.”

“And you are?” Kacchan said, directly behind him, riding his heels. A harsh laugh roughed over Izuku’s skin like sand in his wounds. “You’ve arguably got the strongest fucking Quirk in this entire school and you, what?”

Izuku turned, glaring past the angry tears that fell, his teeth clenched as he watched Kacchan grin in his face.

“You walk into every – fucking – fight. With the idea that you’ll let yourself die if your nerdy little plans don’t go the way you’d expected. Like?” Kacchan snorted a laugh, wiped the back of his hand across his nose and streaked blood across his jaw and ear. “You are, incomparably, the worst so-called hero I’ve ever met, and y’know why? You throw not just your precious fucking Quirk away, but you throw its legacy away. You throw yourself away. You don’t give a flying fuck who you leave behind. Your friends, your mom, me. So why don’t you just go outside now, dig your own fucking grave, lay down, and I’ll stuff your know-it-all, smart-ass mouth with dirt?”

Izuku gawked.

Brooo,” Ashido’s sleep-roughened voice came from her cracked open door. “You dickwads know it’s not even six thir-  Oh, what the shit? Why’s there blood all over the floor?”

Ashido whipped her door open, just as Izuku caught Kirishima jogging down the hallway in basketball shorts and nothing else. Ochako was peering out of her door at the far end of the hall, her eyes huge.

“Hey guys!” Kirishima’s voice wavered with uncertainty as he slowly his approach, his unsteady grin barely holding its place as he looked between Izuku’s tear-stained face and Kacchan’s blood-soaked chest and pants. “Everything, uh, good?”

Kacchan and Izuku answered in tandem.

“FUCK OFF.”

“It’s fine.”

Kacchan turned back to Izuku, the blood painting his face only highlighting the murderous red of his eyes.

“Everything ain’t fine, though, is it, Deku? You always gotta find a fuckin’ problem, something to have to talk about, something –“

“DO YOU WANNA BE WITH ME OR NOT?”

Izuku’s voice rang across the hall like a gunshot, the corridor falling in a hush, crushed beneath the naked, bleak emotion ripping from Izuku’s throat.

Kacchan stopped dead, his bloodied lips parted, his gaze frantically scattering over Izuku’s features.

Then Kacchan shut his mouth, his jaw working taut as he considered Izuku for a moment before grabbing his hand and pulling him toward the stairwell. Izuku couldn’t breathe. He could only stare at the back of Kacchan’s head and wonder how many times he’d have to watch this man walk away from him.

Kaminari and Sero toppled from the opened stairwell door, falling at Kacchan’s feet with guilty smiles. They were still in their pajamas.

Behind them stood Todoroki, his arms crossed in disapproval as he coolly eyed them both, Iida, who just blushed and cleared his throat, staring off into the distance, and Tsuyu, who just shrugged with a croak.

“Die, all of you,” Kacchan said under his breath as he turned on his heel and dragged Izuku along.

Punching impatiently at the elevator door button, Kacchan snarled over his shoulder.

“Anyone fucking bother me and no one will ever find your fuckin’ body.”

A merry ding from the elevator, and Izuku was trailing behind him, only to be promptly shoved back against the wall. The doors closed and, with a deep growl, Kacchan stabbed at a button to halt the elevator’s movement. He whirled on Izuku.

“Lemme tell you something about heroes.”

“I’m sure this’ll be enlightening,” Izuku said, crossing his arms as he leaned back. His chest constricted painfully, panic screaming from every frayed nerve.

“You’ve said it yourself before in your stupid hero delirium. Heroes are symbols. Of victory, hope, goodness, whatever the fuck you feel like harpin’ on about. But y’know what else?”

Kacchan slapped a palm on the wall beside Izuku’s head and closed in on him, his expression fierce.

“If they’re gonna keep innocent people alive, they gotta stay alive.”

Izuku opened his mouth to sass back, but thought better of it. These were Kacchan’s real feelings, too, weren’t they?

“And you?” Kacchan said, his voice cracking as he brought his face in close, catching and holding Izuku’s gaze. “You do a really shitty job of that, Deku. Really shitty. And I ain’t gonna be with any hero who can’t keep himself alive. Not even you.”

Izuku felt his cheeks burn. His heart, as well. His nails cut into his palms where his hands fisted for so long.

“Yeah, well, part of being a hero is being able to bring kindness, goodness, and care to those in need. All of those things in which you fail spectacularly. I can’t be with a person who can’t express a single loving sentiment, even with a gun to his head.”

Kacchan paused, his expression momentarily blank before narrowed his eyes and huffed a soft laugh.

“So what’s the fuckin’ point of this conversation?”

We are the point, you idiot!” Izuku yelled, pushing at Kacchan’s chest, stumbling him back a step. “We are!  We could be the greatest team. Don’t you think? Don’t you have any idea what I could – what we could be for each other if you just told me what the fuck you want?”

“I want you to stay alive, for fuck’s sake!” Kacchan gritted his teeth together and mimed strangling Izuku with his hands, giving his interlaced fingers a shake. “Shit, dude! If you don’t change, don’t you realize you’re going to die?”

“If you don’t change, don’t you realize no one is ever gonna get the chance to love you?”

Kacchan sucked in heaving breaths, his fists smoking, his eyes ablaze.

“How can I love you if you’re dead?”

Izuku froze.

Time slowed. Static snowed in his ears. His mouth went dry, his knees weak. He stared, swaying in place.

“Do you... Kacchan, do you love me?”

Chapter Text

“Do you… Kacchan, do you love me?”

Katsuki sniffled, sucking in blood and swallowing it down thick. His face radiated with a distracting level of discomfort.

“What?” Katsuki said, blinking a little, his head swirling.

“I –“ Deku huffed and folded his arms, his expression sour as he eyed Katsuki from his corner of the elevator. “You heard me. Are you?”

“I’m –” The obscenely pink magazine flashed to mind. Deku’s face as he fucked into him, all deep, dark forest eyes and possessive hands. Every time Deku smiled or laughed at Katsuki’s outbursts rather than rising to them or getting offended like everyone else.

“I mean.” Katsuki shrugged, snorting back blood again as he slid a slow, uneasy glance Deku’s way. “I guess – yeah?”

Silence prevailed and Katsuki found himself staring at Deku’s freckles, and how they stood a little too stark against his paling cheeks.

“You guess?” Deku said, his hands dropping loosely to his sides, his eyes large and unblinking. “You guess or yeah? Do you know what you’re saying to me right now?”

“Of course I fuckin’ know!” Katsuki snarled, stalking forward and slamming his fist into the elevator wall beside Deku’s ear. Deku flinched and the wall cracked, caving in slightly beneath the weight of Katsuki’s unmoving fist. “I said I love you, didn’t I? Shit, dude. When’s it ever gonna be eno-“

Deku’s warm, scarred hand cupped the nape of Katsuki’s neck as he tilted his chin and caught Katsuki’s coppery mouth with his own pliant, generous one. Soft, sweet lips soothing, an almost innocent kiss.

Katsuki’s head spun. He wondered if his nose should be hurting from this kiss, rather than his face going slowly numb from the center outwards.

More importantly, what the hell reaction was this? Weren’t they just fighting? Why weren’t they still fighting?

But Deku’s lips were so fucking addictive that it pissed him off how much he wanted – needed – more.

Deku pulled away just enough to look up at Katsuki with those hooded, unabashedly bedroom eyes.

Katsuki swallowed a throat-full of blood that continued to drip down from his disjointed nose. He was pretty sure he couldn’t feel his mouth anymore.

Deku frowned up at him, a distracting pout of lips.

“Kacchan, are you –”

“Pretty eyes,” Katsuki slurred, his vision going grey as he tipped to the side.

He heard the thump more than felt it.

The crisp slide of pages turning in a book. A cool spring breeze whispering through the crack of a window. The familiar, comforting scent of warm sunshine skin and fresh grass.

“Deku.”

“Awake?”

Katsuki cracked his eyes open and bit back a hiss of pain as his own facial expression exuded pain from his nose outward. He blearily eyed Deku, who sat on Katsuki’s desk chair, pulled up to the bedside.

He looked obnoxiously fresh and shining, washed hair all lush and thick with disarrayed curls that Katuski was fairly certain he’d never seen Deku brush a day in his life, though he had to at some point. He was wearing the school uniform, sans dumb tie and jacket, his sleeves rolled up to the elbows. That scar was getting paler, cutting an almost striking profile now.

Deku swallowed, his eyes going a uncertain and squirrely as he flicked a glance to the side, then back to Katsuki. Nah, sexy scar or not, he was still an awkward nerd.

“What – what’re you looking at? Is there something on my face?”

“I can’t believe you dared to fuckin’ break my nose, you goddamn nerd,” Katsuki ground out, sitting up and dragging a hand through his hair as he struggled to find a sense of time.

“I can’t believe you let yourself get KO’ed by a punch to the nose, to be honest.”

“The fuck you say?” Katsuki said, lunging across the bed at an already laughing Deku who was holding his hands up in surrender. “Die, you little shit.”

Their palms met as Deku fended off Katsuki’s advances, their fingers interlocking at the game of push and shove. Katsuki misjudged how far Deku could lean back on two legs of the chair and they both toppled with a muffled crash.

Deku groaned, still sitting on the chair, but horizontally, Katsuki rolling onto his back beside him, breathing hard.

“I reset your nose,” Deku said, amusement in his voice and bright eyes as he rolled his head to the side, his attention focused on Katsuki’s nose. “Ochako bandaged you up. She’s gotten pretty good at it from helping me over the years.”

“I can’t believe you broke my fucking nose,” Katsuki said again, scowling, but unmoving as he took in Deku’s face.

Why didn’t he look angry? Shouldn’t he still be angry from before?

Hell, Katsuki was still pretty fucking pissed over the shit Deku had spewed at him. But something somewhere had clicked, even if it had been the after-effect of having his nose cracked.

“That was an accident,” Deku said, the scrunch of his pixie nose stubborn and obnoxiously cute. “And I’m not sorry.”

“You only say that if you feel sorry about it,” Katsuki said with an eye roll, gazing at the drab ceiling to keep himself from staring at Deku’s distracting face.

“Shut up.”

You shut up.”

“You first.”

“I’ll kill –“

“Do you remember what you said to me?”

Katsuki tipped his head to the side, his expression marred in a deep frown, his eyebrows screwed together. His heart jumped at the stern determination in Deku’s firm features and straight, sober mouth. He looked like he was facing down a villain.

“Yeah, so?”

Deku’s eyes narrowed a little, scrutinizing him in the same way he read his textbooks.

“So, I love you too.”

Katsku’s chest swelled, filled him with a blooming warmth that flowered through his limbs like the sunlight had streamed down from between the clouds to revive him.

Eyes wide with wonder, his mind mumbling and mystified, Katsuki’s tongue struggled to find a reply.

“Well, that’s your problem.”

Deku blinked. Blinked again, dead silent.

Then he laughed, dragging a hand down his face, his smiling offensively blinding.

“Yeah,” Deku said, his palm resting on his forehead, his cheeks rosy. “That’s one way of putting it.”

Uncomfortable with being the spotlight of this kind of talk, Katsuki grunted in reply and sat up, giving the side of Deku’s arm a smack.

“Why the fuck’re we on the floor anyway? You look stupid in the chair. Get up.”

Shoulders still vibrating with fading mirth, Deku got to his feet, brushing off his uniform as he did so.

“Hey,” Katsuki said gruffly, inwardly startling when Deku snapped his attention to him, his face so damn open, yet at the same time Katsuki had no idea what Deku wanted from him. “Why’re you in uniform? Is class over? I can’t have been out that long.”

“I think you passed out and then went to sleep, lazy,” Deku said, turning away to stand up the chair and set it by the desk.

“You motherfucker, I’ll –“

“I let Aizawa know what happened – well, kinda – and he told me to bring you back to class once you woke up.”

“Fuck that,” Katsuki said, heading for his dresser and yanking open a drawer. He pulled out a faded UA shirt that had fit him back in first year and was way too small, and a pair of black basketball shorts with a drawstring waist.

“What do you me-“

Katsuki threw the clothes across the room, grinning as Deku caught them clumsily, his eyes flitting about the room in bewilderment.

“Put those on. I’m hungry.”

“W-what?” Deku watched, his neck flushing red up to his cheeks as he watched Katsuki slink from his sweats and pull on a pair of baggy jeans.

“You fuckin’ deaf all of a sudden?” Katsuki said, looking down as he clasped his belt tightly, low at his hips. “I’m hungry, let’s eat.”

“But. Class?”

Dude, we are graduating at the top of our class in like, two months.” Katsuki picked a skull shirt at random from his drawer and tossed a look over his shoulder. “Plus, it’s my birthday. I’ll do whatever the fuck I want.”

The jumped the wall together.

The streets and town were relatively quiet on a mid-morning, school and work weekday. An itch nagged between Katsuki’s shoulder blades, unreachable, that it was fucking bizarre for the two of them to be walking side by side during a time that wasn’t interning patrol or school-related.

Walking beside each other because they wanted to. Or something.

“I feel weird,” Deku said, their arms brushing.

Hah?” Katsuki glowered down at Deku, who was tugging on the hem of the t-shirt. “The fuck’re you talking about?”

Deku looked up, his eyes distressed enough that Katsuki wanted to mess him up just a little more.

“Wearing your clothes. Um.”

Katsuki stared for a second, taking in the overly long shorts and rather fitted shirt. He felt his face start to heat and looked away, concentrated on the pavement ahead and not running into a lamp post.

“Don’t be stupid. Your embarrassed to wear my clothes but not to say the shit that comes outta your mouth in my bed?”

Deku stopped so suddenly that Katsuki was several steps ahead before he realized and turned around. He smirked at Deku’s cherry face.

“K-Kacchan, what?” Deku looked around, his fingers fidgeting at his wrists. “You can’t just talk about that like –“

“You’re the one who did it,” Katsuki said, swallowing back his own embarrassment for the sake of having one up on Deku. “Take responsibility for yourself.”

He reached out, grabbed Deku’s wrist and pulled him along. The words in the horrible pink magazine were etched into his memory, clear as a photo.

You’re never afraid to express your feelings for them in public.

Fuck, that was so goddamn gay, though.

Katsuki took a deep, bracing breath, and did not let go of Deku’s wrist. He stared straight ahead and marched forward, Deku at his side.

He wouldn’t dwell on why he’d said what he did to Deku in that elevator, or if he was supposed to act differently now because of it. Katsuki didn’t let shit drag him down.

But Deku’s words did stick with him.

Katsuki thought of his father, and how obnoxiously doting he was on his mom. How he bought her flowers, or kissed her cheek every day he came home from work for the last eighteen years of Katsuki’s life. How he planned vacations for them with his mom’s interests in mind, or patted his lap when she sat on the couch so she could prop her feet up and get a massage. How, even when they argued and his mom was losing her shit, his dad would hold her by the shoulders and kiss her head.

Katsuki flashed to all the times he’d been in a rage and Deku had been there for him, whether there had been people around them to see or not.

Fuck. Yeah. Those were the real men.

Gritting his teeth, Katsuki kept on walking, glancing over at Deku.

Deku looked anxious, concerned. Knowing him, he was probably absorbing twenty fucking worries per second.

Covertly considering him from the corner of his eye, his fingers flexing around Deku’s wrist, Katsuki thought about his dad. What would he do?

With a great sigh that edged into a growl, Katsuki released Deku, only to throw his arm over Deku’s shoulder and lug him closer, their bodies pressed warmly as they strolled along in the fresh spring sunshine.

Deku’s shoulders stiffened and relaxed, his expression clearing from Katsuki’s quick check.

They got crepes, and argued about sweet versus savory. Deku ordered sweet and Katsuki obviously took savory, and told Deku that if he got jealous there was no fucking way he could have a bite.

Sitting on the swings at an empty park nearby the school, they ate, their feet lazily dragging through the plumes of gravel and dust. An April chill still kissed the air, prickling at Katsuki’s skin as he chewed and thought of nearby graduation. No teachers to answer to, no more classes, no rules or dorms. No Deku, rumpled with sleep and standing in front of the toaster with his eyes closed, wavering as he fell half-asleep.

“What you said before,” Deku said suddenly, breaking the comfortable silence. “About me not… caring who I leave behind.”

So?” Katsuki said, glaring as he ripped an aggressive bite from his crepe and chewed angrily.

Deku frowned at his food, swinging a little with the light push of his red hightops.

“It’s something I need to work on. And not just say I’m going to do.”

“Sure, whatever,” Katsuki said, ignoring his leaping heart by taking another savage bite. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“But you’re wrong about one thing,” Deku said, tilting his head to match Katsuki’s obstinate expression. “Pushing me away because you’re scared I’ll die –“

“I’m not scared you’ll –“

“You’re scared.”

“Like fuck I am!”

“Pushing me away because you’re scared I’ll die is wrong,” Deku said, talking over him like he always fucking did. His eyes gleamed with unshed tears and tenacity. “We’re better together. Better than any pair could be together. If you’d just let us.”

Something in the confidence of Deku’s words niggled under Katsuki’s skin, tickled at his heart. He inwardly squirmed at the intrusion of hope.

“Sure,” Katsuki said, holding Deku’s stare. “I’ll believe that when I see it, too.”

“Fine,” Deku said, intense.

Fine.”

They finished their food in silence, standing to chuck their trash in the nearest garbage can.

“Nerd,” Katsuki said, his hands pockets, posture slouched as they walked down a street of quaint homes, much like their own.

“What?” Deku said, pausing at a corner to look up.

“Keep walking, dumbass,” Katsuki said, dropping his palm on the back of Deku’s neck and leading them along. “The fuck were you doing at my door before six in the morning anyway?’

“Oh. Uh. I just. I woke up too early and the first thing I thought of was you. And your birthday. And I just – I dunno. I wanted to see your face.”

Katsuki snorted a laugh.

“That’s it? You see my face every day.”

“We haven’t talked in months, Kacchan,” Deku said softly, watching the ground as they walked. “Not ‘til today. And that didn’t go well.”

Katsuki peered quizzically at Deku’s profile, frowning. His thumb brushed the nape of Deku’s neck.

This mood of Deku’s was because of Katsuki’s past decisions. What he’d thought was right. Now? Now, he didn’t fucking know.

“Are you fucking with me?” Katsuki said, his lips quirking as Deku to him with curious eyes. “When you got shit to say, you should say. You finally fuckin' said it instead of wimping out.”

Deku’s lips parted, his feet tripping up until he stumbled to a halt beneath a vast tree whose weighted branches angled over the wall of someone’s front yard and shaded the street.

“Kacchan…”

Katsuki sucked in a sharp breath and leaned in, intent on the shifting forest green of Deku’s eyes.

Then Deku laughed right in his face, doubling over enough to prop his head on Katsuki’s chest as he clutched his stomach in hysterics.

“What? What?” Flustered, Katsuki yanked Deku by the back of his collar to pull him off, boggling at the tears that ran down Deku’s cheeks as he sucked in desperate breathes to sooth his guffaws. “You laughing at me, you sonofabitch? Fuck off and die!”

Shaking with bit-back chuckles, Deku clutched Katsuki by both shoulders and looked up at him, his gaze shining with joy. Katsuku stumbled back a step, struck dumb.

“Kacchan, you – I’m sorry.” Deku snorted and snuck a hand around to Katsuki’s ass, slipping his palm in to nip out his phone. “I can’t – I mean. I can’t kiss you when you look like a raccoon. I’m sorry I didn't say anything sooner. Look at yourself.”

What? How do I –“

Deku flicked to Katsuki’s camera selfie, squished in beside him and held out the phone.

For the first time, Katsuki realized that his broken noise had bruised deep, black and purple welts beneath his eyes.

Click.

Katsuki gawked.

Click.

“Are you taking pictures of my goddamn black eyes, shortstack?”

Deku was laughing again.

“For posterity of your eighteenth birthday!”

Katsuki lunged.

Click.

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you gave him two black eyes before I could.”

Izuku slid a wavering, uncertain smile toward Todoroki and prayed for the both of them that Kacchan didn’t hear from the lunch table behind their backs. Only yesterday, Izuku hand been helping his classmates clean up Kacchan’s blood from the hallway, apologizing profusely and ignoring eye contact.

Iida choked on his food and swallowed quickly, his eyes a little manic.

“Todoroki, you shouldn’t wish harm on your fellow classmate and hero! Teamwork, a good attitude, and –“

“You could have picked worse, though,” Todoroki said quietly, almost lost to the clatter of the cafeteria. He poked at his udon with his chopsticks and flicked a glance to Izuku’s blank expression. “Probably.”

“You –“ Izuku blinked, then lit up, delighted. That was as good an acceptance as he’d ever get from Todoroki. In fact, that was almost praise, considering their previous active dislike for each other. “Thanks.”

“So, you two are a thing now?” Ochako said, drinking from a juice box. “Like, dating? What did he say to you in that elevator? Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine hearing Bakugou say something romant-“

“He was bleeding all over himself and yelled at me the majority of the time,” Deku said with a half laugh, poking at the remainder of his meal. He didn’t want to divulge too much now that he understood and realized he needed to respect Kacchan’s need for privacy. He didn’t want people seeing his own bedroom, let alone his heart. “I just – I mean. I heard what I needed to hear.”

Oh my gosh,” Ochako said, scrunching up her hands and face as she squeaked. “I can’t believe you two – so cute!”

“Uhhh.” Deku flicked a look away and ruffled the back of his hair anxiously.

Cute was literally the last way he would describe he and Kacchan.

Dysfunctional? Struggling? A rollercoaster where every person on board was also on fire?

And… maybe a little cute. Kacchan had moments. Sometimes.

Iida cleared his throat, pushing his glasses up as he went serious.

“I must admit that I would have been surprised to hear myself say this two years ago, but I am fully confident that Bakugou now has your best interests in his heart.”

Izuku frowned and studied his friend.

“What do you mean?”

“I couldn’t help overhearing in the hallway –“

“You had your ear pressed up against the stairwell door the same as all of us,” Todoroki said, deadpan.

“I couldn’t help overhearing in the hallway what Bakugou said to you in the heat of the moment, and I find myself in deep agreement that you would benefit from depending on us more.”

“Oh,” Izuku said, his face heating up in embarrassment as he dropped his gaze to his food. “Yeah.”

“Not just as friends,” Ochako said kindly, reaching across the table to fluff his hair. “But as heroes, you know?”

“You taught me that,” Iida said, smiling. “Years ago. I still keep that with me.”

“Me too,” Todoroki said. “We’re a team. Even that asshole.”

Izuku sputtered a laugh, relief flooding through him as he shifted to grin at Todoroki.

“He grows on you.”

“Oh my god, I fucking hope not.”

“Speaking of heroes,” Ochako said, her eyes lighting up as she propped her elbows on the table and her chin upon her fists. “Who’s been hired before official graduation? Have you heard?”

“I’ll be at my father’s Office,” Todorki said with a shrug, then vaguely gestured behind him with his chopsticks. “Tsuyu is joining whomever she interned with, I don’t recall.”

“Kirishima is back with Fat Gum,” Izuku said, nodding a little, frowning in thought.

“I’ll be taking my brother’s place,” Iida said, no longer looking as shadowed around the eyes now that his brother was healed up, though unable to work as a hero. “I haven’t heard from others. Maybe I should make a list.”

“You do that,” Todoroki said, not unkindly as his mouth quirked a little. Those imbalanced eyes locked on Izuku, pinning him down. “What about you – and him? I’m third in the class and I’ve got a spot. Surely you’ve had offers.”

“I – yes,” Izuku said, resisting the urge to yank at his collar. He glanced at everyone’s expectant faces. “I guess I could just stay with Sir Nighteye. Bakugou, too, because he honestly needs Nighteye keeping him in line, but –“ Izuku gave a stilted laugh and jerked his shoulder in a shrug.

“I just. Don’t know if it feels like the right track. And without All Might… here… anymore. I-I don’t really know who to talk to. If he’d had his own hero Office, I’d have gone there, but –“

Oiy, nerd,” came Kacchan’s voice right beside Izuku’s ear, his breath hot on Izuku’s cheek.

With a yelp, Izuku jumped in his seat and whipped his head to the side, eyes wide as he met Kacchan’s narrowed stare.

“H-Hi, Kacchan. What’s up?”

“You sounded sad and whiny and it was fuckin’ annoying,” Kacchan said gruffly, jerking around to clash with Todoroki. “The hell are you sayin’ to him?”

“Which Office are you being hired into, Bakugou?” Todoroki said, raising a brow. “I can’t imagine the brave hero who would want to carry the brunt of the inevitable lawsuits you’ll leave in your career’s wake.”

“You wanna start something, two-face?” Kacchan snarled, teeth bared in rabid, mindless attack. His hand gripped Izuku’s shoulder tightly, as Kacchan wedged himself between Izuku and Todoroki to loom over the latter. “I’ll –“

“My suggestion,” Todoroki said, unblinkingly staring up at Kacchan’s deranged expression, “Would be to go wherever Midoriya goes. You’re better around him.”

Todoroki flicked a look at Izuku, who was peering around Kacchan’s ass in mute horror.

“Aside from literally right now,” Todoroki said with a sigh.

Kacchan’s hand remained on Izuku’s shoulder, a gripping claw. Izuku couldn’t tell if it was in protection, or to keep Kacchan grounded, but Kacchan had gone silent and Izuku couldn’t see his face. The hand holding on loosened.

“The fuck’re you talking about?” Kacchan muttered quietly, suddenly hooking his hand in Izuku’s armpit and yanking him up to stand. Izuku gawked at Kacchan, only to find his face gone red as he frowned down at Todoroki. “He’s better with me.”

Todoroki’s eyebrows shot up as he peered between the two of them.

“That too.”

 The beat of quiet between them as they sized each other up unnerved the hell out of Izuku.

“Uh, Kacchan?”

“Come on,” Kacchan said suddenly, turning on his heel and stalking away. He threw a look over his shoulder when Izuku remained frozen in place, switching nervous glances between a shrugging Todoroki and a retreating Kacchan.

What the hell had just happened between them? A truce?

“Deku,” Kacchan said, jerking his head in the direction of the exit.

“I think he wants to makeout,” Todoroki said with a sigh as he turned back to his food.

“What – no!”

“Just kidding,” Todoroki said, utterly droll. “Go follow him. Look, he’s even waiting like a normal person, no screaming or anything.”

Eyes wide with that realization, Izuku spun and followed, quick at Katsuki’s now retreating heels.

Falling into step with Kacchan, Izuku immediately frowned and stared at the floor as he followed Kacchan’s lead. What could he want? Was he going to take back everything that had happened on his birthday yesterday?

No, that couldn’t be right. Kacchan didn’t go back on anything he said or did. He lived and reacted in the moment, owned it, and moved on. Regret was not necessarily a word in Kacchan’s dictionary.

All the same, in retrospect, nothing about the day before felt real. Izuku had loved Kacchan for so long, since before he’d really known what that meant aside from wanting to hold his hand as they walked in the woods.

He’d endured so much with this person, more than a heart should. Had he been too patient, too empathetic? No, he wouldn’t regret being who he was, either. Had he ever expected his actions to bring on a true change in their relationship? Not like this. Not ever in the ways of which he’d always secretly dreamed.

Could this be too good to be true? Probably.

Was he a fool for hoping? Undoubtedly.

Was Kacchan growing as a man, right before his eyes?

Yes.

With that knowledge, Izuku felt his heart open.

Yelping as he was tugged by the arm, Izuku felt his face go up in flame as he thumped lightly against Kacchan’s chest and heard the door of the darkened classroom shut behind them.

“What the – where –“

Izuku looked around in a panic, realizing they were in the one of the unused, storage classrooms filled with furniture and desks. The dreary, spring light filtered dim and dusky through dirty windows at the far end of the class room, at Kacchan’s back.

“What’s –“

Kacchan’s strong arms wrapped tightly around Izuku’s waist and held him close as he captured Izuku’s mouth with heat and urgency, his rough hands sliding down to grip Izuku’s ass and push their hips together.

The lightning storm shocked to life in an instant. Izuku responded with a murmur and a moan, lips parting wide and desperate for more tongue, his hands frantically yanking Kacchan’s shirt from his waist and shoving his palms up to rake the shifting sinew of his back. But Kacchan was fiercer, using his grip to loft Izuku up into his hold, Izuku’s legs instinctively wrapping around Kacchan’s waist, his arms linked loose at his shoulders. Izuku’s back slammed against the door, their teeth knocking, unbidden, as they tore at each other’s mouths with the ragged edge of desperation.

Reeling from Kacchan’s urgency, Izuku could only cling and struggle to keep up as he was devoured. Hot huffs of breath plumed between them when Kacchan finally pulled back with a lingering kiss. With their damp, swollen lips parted and still brushing, Kacchan’s encompassed Izuku with a hooded stare, his heart a rampant rhythm even through their clothes, against Izuku’s chest.

“What –“ Izuku sucked in a shaky breath, his fingertips trailing down Kacchan’s nape. He felt goosebumps prickle his fingers. “What was that for?”

“What, you don’t fuckin’ want it?” Kacchan said, forehead resting against Izuku’s. “’Cause I can stop anytime.”

Izuku knew a defensive, knee-jerk reaction when he saw one nowadays.

“You’re the one who pulled me in here,” Izuku said, lips quirked. “You’re also still holding me up.”

“I’ll drop the fuck outta you,” Kacchan said gruffly, even as he let Izuku to his feet with surprising grace.

Izuku straightened his uniform in silence, covertly watching Kacchan tuck his shirt it. It was strange to watch him do something so mundane, with such ease in Izuku’s company. What was going on in that head? Was he really just… okay… with the entire class essentially knowing that they had a thing now?

“How’s your nose?” Izuku said, ducking his head to peek at Kacchan’s lowered face as he finished with his shirt.

Kacchan’s glare shot up like a match to flame.

“I’ll kill you.”

“I was just asking!”

“I’ll throw you in the dumpster.”

“Wh-“

“Or better yet, give you a matching one to mine.”

With a short squeak, Izuku pressed his back against the door, hands up in defeat, smile cautious as if coming up against a rabid dog.

“L-let’s not do anything we’d regret.”

Kacchan rolled his eyes and waved for Izuku to move out of the way.

“Hey,” Izuku said, catching Kacchan by the forearm. Inwardly, Izuku jittered at his own action, already berating himself for the words tumbling from his mouth because heck if he wasn’t causing another mess. “What do you really think of me, Kacchan? I don’t – I don’t really get it.”

Hah?” Kacchan boggled at him like he was crazy. “Are you – what the fuck? Are you braindead? Did we not just –“

“Yeah, but I mean, we’ve done, uh –“ Izuku wrapped his arms around himself, hands cupping his elbows as he glanced off toward the windows to distract from Kacchan’s scalding stare. “We’ve done a lot of stuff up ‘til now. And you said what you said, but I dunno, I feel like…”

What? Fuck, spit it out, nerd, ‘cause I’m forever lost whenever you open your goddamn mouth.”

I feel like you couldn’t have meant what you said because we’re talking about me here.

Izuku kept his attention sidelong, past Kacchan’s shoulder.

“I mean, does this count as being together? Everyone knows about it and all, but with you, I don’t know anything.”

Silence prevailed as Izuku bore the brunt of Kacchan’s stare. He met Kacchan’s bruised eyes and saw the same expression of severe concentration he made when he was writing a complicated equation on the chalk board.

Everything inside him screamed to talk over himself, apologize and walk away from this. Izuku bit his tongue and waited, forcing his arms back to his sides, his chin jut out in silent dare.

“The hell’re you talkin’ about?” Kacchan said, mumbling his words as he yanked the door open, the back of it knocking Deku to the side a little. Even as Izuku’s heart deflated at the retreat, Kacchan, hand still on the knob, popped his head from around the door with a scowl.

“Does this look like together to you? You’re standing right next to me, aren’t you?”

“Well, I’m behind the door and you’re on the other si-“

Kacchan reached around the door, squished Deku’s cheek between his fingers, and brought him around, ignoring Deku’s weird warbling noises of distress. Face to face, Kacchan dropped his hand, his hefty sigh frustrated.

“There, you’re next to me. Together. You want a sonnet or some shit?”

“You’re serious, right?” Izuku said, plaintive eyes meeting Kacchan’s. “You really – about me?”

“Oh for the love of – let’s go,” Kacchan said, taking him by the arm and guiding him back to the main corridor.

They didn’t exchange words on the way back to class, and half way there, Kacchan detoured off to his group, and Izuku to his. Kirishima had the sheer steel balls to whistle lewdly as the two of them approached, and Kacchan was already physically launching himself across the hallway before Izuku had a chance to say goodbye.

Students filtered into the classroom with idle chatter, and Izuku approached Todoroki’s desk. With a sigh, he flopped into the seat in front of Todoroki’s for a moment. He rested his elbow on Todoroki’s tabletop, his cheek on his fist, and eyed his friend.

Todoroki raised his eyebrows slowly.

“Are you okay?”

“I think he loves me,” Izuku said, frowning.

“You didn’t know that?”

Izuku’s frown deepened.

“I don’t know. But I think he does, and it freaks him out to think too hard about it.”

“Well,” Todoroki said, clearing his throat as flicked through a neatly written notebook to an empty page for class. “I’ll make sure to keep him on his toes about that.”

“What?” Izuku said with a half laugh. “How would you –“

Todoroki leaned in and whispered in his ear.

“I’m literally saying nothing of importance right now, but if you look – yup, there it is.”

Izuku’s gaze flashed over to his desk area, his eyes widening as he saw Kacchan fully turned in his seat, eyes blazing, the fingers clenching the back of his chair beginning to smoke.

“I don’t know you’ve been doing to him,” Todoroki said, still at his ear, “But looks like he’s stuck to you.”

“Do you really think –“

“YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT ME, ICY HOT?”

“Yeah,” Todoroki said, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms, his expression impassive. “Pull your pants up sometime. I can see your ass crack.”

Izuku had never seen Kacchan fling himself across a room so fast.

Well, it wouldn’t be Class 1-A without it.

With the events of the day heavy on his mind – Todoroki’s underhanded encouragement, and Kacchan’s gruff confirmation of their beginning relationship – Izuku had crawled into bed late, well past the time where his friends’ footsteps could be heard in the corridor, pausing at open doorways to chat before bed.

Staring at the way the lamp post light washed across the ceiling in gold, Izuku frowned and unconsciously rubbed the heel of his hand over his bare chest, atop his pinching heart.

He was exhausted.

So much pushing and pulling, stopping and starting, waiting and rushing forward – the guessing games. Kacchan might – did – love him. But wasn’t love supposed to bring some level of understanding and gentleness? Izuku was more than happy to admit to himself that he could see a few of Kacchan’s rough edges smoothing out , and they could talk for longer periods of time without sudden explosions, like yesterday. And Kacchan was certainly blasting through whatever issue he’d carried with regarding openly touching Izuku in general.

But there was still some level of confirmation that just felt absent.

Was he being too picky? Izuku didn’t know much about relationships - hadn't even seen his mother in one. So, what did he really know about how these things worked?

He really should have bought some romance novels to study. Those were reliable, right?

Up until now, Izuku’s life had consisted, Become A Hero, Save All The People. And until recently, Kacchan’s life had been, Become A Hero, Win All The Wins.

Where did that leave them in the way of any knowledge regarding the path they were meant to take? Sex was one thing. This, another.

With a sigh, Izuku flipped in bed and hoped to smother his face in the pillow.

He barely heard the single soft knock on his door.

Bubbles and butterflies immediately floated in Izuku’s belly and lifted his heart towards his throat.

He jumped from bed, clad in boxers alone, and rushed across the room to peek the door open and check through the crack.

Kacchan stared back, frowning, his brow knitted.

“You want me to stand in the hall all fucking night?”

“S-sorry,” Izuku said, pushing to door open and taking a few steps back. He licked his lips, rubbing them together nervously as he watched Kacchan’s wide, beautiful back in a thin t-shirt as he locked the door. When Kacchan turned, Izuku didn’t even know why he visibly startled a little. Kacchan has been in his room more times than he might be able to count over the last near-year.

Now, it felt different.

Their hearts had stopped the endless war. Maybe even Kacchan was tired of it.

When Kacchan pulled his shirt off and walked slowly towards Izuku, his eyes unreadable, the nausea of dread roiled in Izuku’s stomach. This was just like before, this was just him looking for sex and –

Kacchan reached out quick, his hand cupping the back of Izuku's head, fingers buried in his hair, and pulled him until their bodies collided, chest to chest, Izuku’s face pressed into the strong, steady warmth of Kacchan’s shoulder. Kacchan shifted, turned his head until his lips brushed at Izuku’s ear.

Izuku sucked in a sharp breath when he felt Kacchan’s heart thundering harder and faster than his own. A battle heartbeat, a survival mode heartbeat.

“Ka-“

“I’m only gonna say this once,” Kacchan rasped, his voice wrapping around Izuku’s heart like a fist. “I don’t get it. This thing. And I’m not gonna try to, because it just pisses me off. But – fuck.”

Kacchan’s fingers fisted tightly in Izuku’s curls, his hand jittering with – what, nerves, frustration, anger?

“But out of all the assholes in this world, you’re the one I end up next to every time.”

Izuku’s gaze was huge and sightless over the ledge of Kacchan’s shoulder, his nose pressed against Kacchan’s skin, taking in that familiar scent of night and woodsmoke. It wasn’t until his cheeks grew hot and wet did he realize the tears had started to fall.

“You cryin’?” Kacchan said gruffly. His shoulders sagged with a long-suffering sigh, his wide, calloused palm travelling from hair, caressing down his neck, and trailing down the shuddering length of his back.

“When you gonna grow out of this, stupid Deku?” he said, no heat in his voice whatsoever. “It’s always been too easy to make you cr-“

Izuku cupped Kacchan’s face in his hands and kissed him gently, a damp, salty slide and sweep of that soft, familiar mouth. Kacchan went still for a beat before his arms slipped around Izuku’s waist like a welcome. No push or pull – no guessing games. Just their silhouettes in the bruised blue dark and the misty gold lamplight.

When Izuku teased his tongue between Kacchan’s lips, spreading them to touch and taste and memorize for the millionth time, Kacchan’s embrace became tighter. When Izuku licked into Kacchan’s mouth and dove in deeper, Kacchan snapped.

A moan tumbled from Izuku’s tongue as he was spun and pushed face-down on the bed, his hands flat on the mattress, feet on the floor, ass in the air as Kacchan dropped to his knees and stripped Izuku of his only layer of clothing. Izuku nearly fainted on the spot when Kacchan’s frantic lips smeared messy kisses up the backs of Izuku’s thighs.

When Kacchan sunk his fingers into Izuku’s asscheeks, spread them, and laved a hot, wet strip between them, the volume of Izuku’s cry shocked him. Burying his face into the blanket it hopes he didn’t wake up the entire floor, Izuku bucked into the mattress and whimpered when his cock didn’t get the full friction it needed. But Kacchan plunged his tongue right into him with a muffled moan and Izuku couldn’t bite back the high keen and hiccupped gasps as he tilted his hips back against Kacchan’s mouth.

One of Kacchan’s hands reached around to take Izuku’s cock in his hold, a light, infuriating grip as his thumb teased at the slit, slicking around the crown. Loosely, he jacked Izuku's dick, his tongue swirling in and catching the edge of Izuku's hole. Izuku’s breathing echoed loud and ragged in the still, humid room.

Kacchan,” Izuku choked out, desperate for him. He rocked back on Kacchan’s thrusting tongue, fucking himself right onto Kacchan’s mouth with a fervor that burned beneath his skin. “Kacchan, please. Need you.”

Kacchan pulled back, only to take a thick bite of Izuku’s ass and moan around the mouthful with such a rumbling depth that Izuku shuddered around the pain. Licking the offended spot, Kacchan rose up, draped his body over Izuku’s back and murmured in his ear, bed.

Izuku didn’t have to be told twice. He climbed onto the bed and rolled onto his back, his chest heaving, hands sliding down his sensitized body as he watched Katsuki’s now naked, sculpted body shift with taut muscle as he found the lube at Izuku’s bedside and got to his knees on the mattress. His eyes were ablaze in the night, and seared straight through Izuku’s core.

Before Izuku could ask, Katsuki dragged him by the ankles, until his thighs were on either side of Kacchan’s. Izuku took in every inch of the man before him, doused in gold light and fire eyes, body in stark, sculpted contours, his cock a thick, impatient flush of red. Desire simmered beneath Izuku’s skin, a spreading wildfire, threatening to consume.

Let it fucking take him.

Fuck me,” Izuku said, his voice not like his own, scraped out and torn up.

Their gazes clashed and Kacchan grinned like he was going to blast Izuku through a wall.

The following frenzy was a tangle of limbs, slick with sweat and spit, fingers that dripped and filled and spread, mouths tracing ridges and curves, hands scrambling for purchase on sweat-damp skin. When Kacchan lined the pulsing head of his cock up with Izuku’s aching hole and pushed in with a solid, steady, unrelenting rock of hips, Izuku clenched his jaw with impatience, wrapped his legs around Kacchan’s waist and fucked himself forward.

Fuck,” Kacchan said on a sharp exhale, hissing in through gritted teeth as his hands took Izuku’s waist in his bruising grip. Kacchan's attention raked over Izuku's body like there was nothing else in this world.

They began to move. First too slow, then faster, the light slap of Kacchan’s cock filling Izuku a rising pressure, but not enough. Whimpering, Izuku opened eyes he hadn’t known he’d shut and gawked, heart a pounding mania as he watched Kacchan staring down between them, watching his cock drive into Izuku time and again, Kacchan’s bottom lip caught between his teeth.

“You like that?” Izuku said, his voice shaking with each smacking thrust. His skin was lit up light fireworks just watching the self-indulgent pleasure play across Kacchan’s intense expression.

Kacchan whipped his head up, a dark heat flashing eyes.

You,” he snapped, as if he’d torn the words from his throat, blood and all. “Just you.”

The rhythm rose in time with their quick, shallow gasps of breath. He fucked into Izuku in earnest, destructive in the way he held Izuku’s hips still and impaled him through with increasing madness. They never looked away from each other, never said another word. Izuku felt raw and stretched open, ripped in half, his cries loud and unfettered, mingled with Kacchan’s husky, deep moans and grunts of effort . Faster, more, closer, deeper, now now now.

Izuku didn’t know how he came so fast, or what Kacchan did with the sudden twist of his fist around Izuku’s cock in a few quick motions as he fucked him ragged, but Izuku felt molten, explosive gold erupt through him like some magnificent death. Izuku’s name fell from Kacchan’s lips like a kiss as he dropped atop Izuku’s body and buried his face in the crook of Izuku’s neck, hips stuttering and holding in deep. His heavy weight was welcome, although Izuku couldn’t find the energy to wrap him in his arms. 

Shivering with aftershocks, Izuku’s eyes fell shut as he drifted, his lips curved.

Kacchan slurred something sex-drunk and unintelligible against Izuku’s throat, unmoving. He shifted his hips, however, and Izuku winced as he felt himself spill out over his bed. They really need to deal with that.

The idea of Kacchan going anywhere and buying condoms had Izuku biting back a laugh, even as his shoulders shook.

“-fuck?” was all that emerged from Izuku’s shoulder.

Delighted, because no one got to see Kacchan as dazed or amenable as his after-sex lethargy, Izuku wrapped his arms around Kacchan and hugged him tightly, humming in his throat with happiness.

“Gay.”

“What?” Izuku said, sputtering a laugh into Kacchan’s shoulder.

“I said you’re gay. The fuck’re you doing with me?”

“It’s called hugging and it’s a thing you’ll have to get used to.”

“Gross, hell no.”

“If you think that’s gross, I’m not even going to remind you what you just did to my ass.”

Izuku could practically hear the blush in the deafening silence. Kacchan didn’t even attempt to scream about that one.

“Y’know,” Izuku said, grinning wildly and on a roll, “Ochako said you were cute today and I disagreed.”

“Good. I’d have to kill you.”

“But now I’m kind of thinking –“

“That’s it, you’re a dead man.”

Izuku was already laughing when Kacchan rolled and flung them both off the bed and to the ground. The bruises were worth what followed.

Chapter Text

“I’m tellin’ you, bro,” Kirishima said, arm slung over Katsuki’s shoulder as the oppressive mid-summer sun beat down on them, “You’d love Fat Gum. He’s, like, the best boss ever. You wouldn’t regret it.”

Katsuki slid a simmering look Kirishima’s way and drank deep from the punch in his cup.

“Like I’d wanna spend every fuckin’ day of my life with you two chuckleheads.”

“Well, you gotta work for someone strong,” Kirishima said. “I can’t believe you of all people haven’t decided.”

Katsuki couldn’t believe it either.

The indecision which had taken hold of him the past two months was driving him up the wall. His parents’ house was inundated with mailed offers, country-wide, and even some out of country. He was, as he had ever been in his life, wanted and appreciated everywhere. He’d fucking expected that, hadn’t he? He was first in his class, wasn’t he? He could do whatever the hell he wanted, couldn’t he?

So why did he feel stuck in stone, like those nightmares where you’re running in a panic but moving inches at a time?

He’d gone so far as to consider working within Endeavor’s Office. It was strong, maybe the strongest. But then there was Todoroki. And as much as they no longer wanted each other’s heads stuffed and mounted on the wall above their fireplace, Katsuki would rather be dead and buried than be paired up with him long term. Without Deku to act as a buffer between – and, hell, just to translate between them – there was no chance.

Without Deku…

Katsuki snarled and shrugged off his friend’s arm.

“Lay the fuck off, shark mouth, I’ll decide what’s the best of the best.” He finished his punch and frowned down into the cup. “I just can’t choose ‘cause I’m obviously the one who everyone wants on their team.”

“I feel like that’s probably inaccurate,” Todoroki said, wandering up to them and taking a sip from a water bottle. “You’re a terror with teamwork.”

“I’m better than some people,” Katsuki said, deciding not to rise to the bait, considering he was attending his own graduation party in his parents’ back yard. His mom would tear him a new asshole.

He glanced briefly at Deku, who huddled at the end of the yard, deep in conversation with Aizawa. Deku’s hands flew as he articulated. Deku had one of those rubberband headband things on, his hair having grown a bit longer and more unkempt in the past year. Katsuki sometimes wondered if Deku realized he was growing out his hair to emulate All Might’s style, or if it was on purpose. Either way, he looked dumb. And distracting.

Todoroki flicked a look over his shoulder, his mouth quirked as he levelly met Katsuki’s gaze.

“Nevermind. You’re not as bad. He’s a good leader, but as a follower he –“

“Sucks,” Katsuki said. “He sucks ass.”

“Does he now?” Todoroki said, his eyebrows raising.

Katsuki paused, felt his face go up in flame. He lunged, snatching Todoroki’s collar in his fist.

“WHAT THE FUCK’S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN, YOU PERVERTED FUCK? I’LL –“

Aand we’re getting something to drink,” Kirishima said, laughing as he hooked his thick arm around Katsuki’s neck and physically dragged him to the food table and ice coolers.

Breathing hard and shallow, suppressing his rage with every ounce of three years' acquired willpower, Katsukui ladled more punch into his cup, guzzled the entire thing in one go, and poured another.

Kirishima patted his back, chuckling.

“Man, you really let him get to you.”

“You know what the fuck he was talking about.”

“So? You two are happy together, right?”

Katsuki turned from the table slowly, his cup to his lips as he peered over the edge and took in Deku from afar.

Classmates filtered in and out of Katsuki’s line of vision, laughing and joking, their parents grouped together at the outskirts to chat. At the end of them all stood Deku.

His straight, dark eyebrows were low in concentration, his mouth running a mile a minute as he leaned in and rambled to Aizawa. The merciless summer sun had exploded Deku’s face, arms – body – with sprays of amber freckles. His plain white tank top displayed his paled scars – the striking one on his eyebrow, too. Black compression bands around each elbow, probably unbearably hot and sweaty underneath. He was taller than he’d been just two months ago. A little. He still had to tilt his face to kiss Katsuki, though, and Katsuki relished that one-up on him.

Since Katsuki’s birthday, things between them had been –

Something.

Nice. Or whatever.

Deku was still stubborn, outrageously and needlessly anxious about every little thing, as well as weird as fuck at his deepest core, but he was –

“Earth to Bakugou,” Kirishima said, elbowing his ribs. “The staring is getting weird now.”

“You’re mom is getting weird now.”

Kirishima scratched his head and found his mother in the crowd, who let out a bawdy, raucous laugh at something Katsuki’s mom said.

“She’s always like that.”

“Shut up,” Katsuki said, tearing his gaze from Deku – just what the fuck were those two talking about? – and brought his cup to his lips. He frowned and turned it upside down, finding it empty.

What the hell? How long had he been staring?

Disgusted with himself for being a weak-ass bitch, Katsuki turned back to the table on suddenly wobbly legs and poured himself another drink.

“Stupid fuckin’ Deku,” he said under his breath, his head and heart spinning and he drank deep, glaring into the distance.

“Katsuki!” Mom yanked him by the back of his shirt and nipped the cup from his hands. “How many of those have you had?”

Haaah?” Katsuki whirled on her, wavering a little on his feet, and glowered. “What’s it to you, old hag?”

“That shit was about eighty percent booze, you dumbshit!” His mom smacked him upside the head with a tsch. “Look at yourself, you’re about to fall from one little smack. That’s no son of mine.”

“I fuckin’ hope I’m not!” Katsuki snapped. “And why the fuck would you just leave this shit out? Like, out? It’s so fucking hot, I’ve been guzzling this crap all afternoon – I’ve had like seven!”

Mom eyed him with venom and downed the entire remaining drink in one go. She flung the plastic cup at Katsuki and hit him straight between the eyes.

Katsuki saw red.

“IF YOU THINK –“

“Hi, Kacchan!” Deku said, rolling right up and linking his arm with Katsuki’s. His smile was tight, his eyes large and anxious as he looked between Katsuki, his mom, and the gathering crowd of their classmates and families. “This looks like fun and all, but let’s just, uh –“

“I will slaughter –“

“He’s wasted,” Mom said, fist on one cocked hip, face set in blatant stink-eye disappointment. “What a lightweight. That’s not my kid.”

“I’M EIGHTEEN, YOU DON’T EVEN –“

Darling,” his mom turned to Deku and, grinning a Bakugou grin, she linked her arm with Deku’s free one and began to lead the three of them around the side of the house. “Sweet Izuku. Can you take care of this embarrassing wreck for me before he destroys his own party?”

“IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT IF I –“

“N-no problem,” Deku said, nodded quickly. “I’ll have him lay down a little and drink some water.”

“Whatever’s the least trouble,” Mom said, cuddling up to Deku and giving his arm a squeeze-hug. “You were always the best of Katsuki’s friends. It’s a shame he’s an utter shithead.”

“THE FUCK YOU THINK I GOT THAT F-“

“Not at all!” Deku said, stuttering a nervous laugh. “Kacchan’s the reason I’m the hero I am today.”

“That’s sweet.” His mom shot a glare over Deku’s head. “It’s too bad he doesn’t deserve that. Okay, well!” Voice going saccharine again, Mom released her hold and with a little wave, she headed back to the party.

“Come on,” Deku said with a hefty sigh as he tugged Bakugou along. “Let’s cool you down.”

“I don’t need no fuckin’ cooling,” Katsuki said, his jelly legs following Deku’s guidance, anyway.

They entered Deku’s house, and it still smelled the same as Katsuki’s childhood. Everything looked nearly the same, except for the photos of a growing and grown-up Deku on the walls of the corridor. Also, a weird framed selfie photo of Auntie Inko and All Might. Okay, whatever.

“Here,” Deku said, opening the bathroom door. “Toilet for possible throwing up and a cold floor for laying on.”

“I ain’t layin’ on your fuckin’ floor like some dog.”

But Katsuki did sit on it, wavering and tipping to the side as he attempted stillness.

“Uh huh,” Deku said from the door. “I’m gonna get you a water.”

By the time he came back, Katsuki was face down on the ground.

“Okay,” Deku said with humor warm in his voice. “I’ll just set this water on the sink.”

“The floor is nice,” Katsuki said, cheek squished to the blessed cool. “Summer can suck my dick.”

“You complain about summer and winter,” Deku said, sitting in the bathtub with his scarred, freckled legs hooked over the side. He tilted his head back against the wall and looked to the ceiling, a sheen of sweat clinging to the column of his throat.

Katsuki blinked, his wavering, unsteady gaze following a droplet of sweat sliding from jaw, to the muscled curve of his chest, to soak into the thin top Deku wore. When had he gotten so brown? How could he be both tanned and freckled?

Why was this motherfucker so consistently distracting?

It was the alcohol. Obviously. Just - just weakening his will.

The room spun as Katsuki sat up, thought better of it, and laid on the cold tile again, star-fished.

“Remember when we were four and our parents took us to the sea?” Bakugou mumbled with a month that was buzzing and heavy with drink.

“What?” Deku said, his light, melodic laugh echoing off the walls like a chorus. “No. You do?”

“You learned how'ta swim before me,” Katsuki said, gazing at the ceiling, too. It was almost as familiar as his own. His eyes were full of sea shells they'd collected and how he'd helped wash sand from Deku’s eyes by aiming a hose point-blank at his face.

“I was so fuckin’ mad your pansy-ass did it first.”

“Everything makes you mad,” Deku said mildly, almost soothing. Asshole.

“Mostly your obnoxious ass,” Katsuki said, lolling his head to the side, unable to see anything but Deku's muscular legs and flip-flops from this angle.

Deku hummed low in agreement, amusement clearly reverberating from his chest.

“You laughin’ at me, nerd? I'll drown you.”

“Not in this state you won't,” Deku said with an outright chuckle that boiled Katsuki’s drunken blood.

“Lil’ shit!”

Katsuki heaved himself upright and shifted until he could fold his arms upon the lip of the tub and prop his chin there for sufficient glaring. His head swam and sloshed with sea-sickness.

Deku's smile was pure sunshine, his delighted eyes like deep, secret shaded trees. Katsuki wondered if anyone ever noticed he had a shy, faint dimple in his right cheek. He hoped no one did or he'd have to fucking end them.

“No rant?” Deku said, still grinning a little as he slipped off his headband and worked to readjust it back in place. His hands were scarred and rough, capable and trustworthy. More scarred than Katsuki's own.

“Love you.”

Deku whipped his head up from its point of concentration so fast he smacked it on the back wall and hissed a breath. Cupping the back of his head and gaping at Katsuki, he flicked his gaze around the room like a rampant ping-pong ball. His entire face went sunburn red as he looked everywhere but Katsuki.

“I'm sorry, did you - um.”

Katsuki’s lids grew heavy, his eyes falling closed as he listened to Deku mumble all over himself. But when he closed his eyes, the entire floor went vertical and he shocked himself awake, blinking hard as the earth beneath him realigned.

“I, uh –“ Deku was still talking, apparently. “You too. Also, me.”

What?” Katsuki snapped, incredulous. “What’re you talkin’ about? You short-circuiting on me? Get your shit together, short stack.”

“S-sure,” Deku said, slumping further down into the tub, his face meek and watchful.

Katsuki eyed him suspiciously from the pillow of his folded arms.

“I saw all those job offers you had on your desk before you packed them away - y’know, asshole?”

Deku’s stared for a moment, his mouth a curious pout as he cocked his head a little.

“Yeah? You got all the same ones I did, didn’t you? More than I did.”

“So, why haven’t you fuckin’ said where you’re goin’ already? S’it some secret? You goin’ outta country or some shit? What the fuck, nerd.”

Deku’s eyebrows slowly rose as Katsuki’s interrogation increased in speed.

“I should be asking you the same thing,” Deku said, head still at a thoughtful angle. “Every time I’ve asked in the last two months you’ve practically ripped my head off and set it on fire.”

“Tha’s ‘cause I don’t want you copyin’ me,” Katsuki said, his tongue unnecessarily loose and heavy in his mouth. Why couldn’t he make words so good anymore? That old hag could go to hell for secretly poisoning his self control like this. And around Deku. Fuck.

“I’m long past that,” Deku said, biting back a smile.

What the hell was so funny? Was he fucking funny right now?

“Kinda,” Deku said, reminding Katsuki that he’d been speaking aloud. “I like this Kacchan. This kind of honest Kacchan is the one I remember from being four and five.”

“The fuck’s that supposed t’mean?” Katsuki said, pushing himself up with his hands and fumbling until he fell back into the tub beside Deku. His longer legs hooked over the edge, their knees and shoulders pressed warmly against each other.

Katsuki scrunched his brow as he inspected Deku’s faintly amused expression. This close up, he could marvel at how purely green his eyes were. No brown, no blue.

“I’m the same,” Katsuki said. “You’re the one that fuckin’ changed. Tryin’ to be better than me ‘n shit. Big fail on that, by the way.”

“I never wanted to be you, dummy,” Deku said, jostling Katsuki’s shoulder and making his head slosh and swirl. “I just wanted to be next to you.”

“Well, that’s pretty fuckin’ gay.”

“You’re gay.”

“Like fuck I am,” Katsuki snarled right into Deku’s ear, ignoring the wince. “It’s just you, stupid.”

Deku went still, only his eyes shifting in a sidelong glance.

“You’ve said that to me before.”

“When? I’d fuckin’ remember that shit.”

The corner of Deku’s mouth quirked.

“Okay,” was all he said.

“So, where, smartass?” Katsuki said, clumsily scuffling in the bath until he’d straddled Deku’s lap and pinched both his cheeks between his fingers, stretching them as he spoke. “Where you workin’? Why’s it a secret? Don’t think I can’t tell when you’re hiding something, because you’re shit, you’ve got the ugliest fuckin’ face for lyin’.”

“Nowhere!” Deku said, his eyebrows screwing up in frustration as he slapped at Katsuki’s hands, then gripped Katsuki’s wrists tightly. “I said nowhereow – I’m not working for anyone!”

Katsuki stilled, mid-scowl, entirely blank as he puzzled over Deku’s words.

“I must be more fuckin’ drunk than I thought, because I thought you just said you’re not workin’ for anyone.”

“Let go of my face,” Deku said, his eyes going obstinate and hard until Katsuki dropped his hands upon his lap between them. “You heard me right. I have – um. I’ve been thinking about some things.”

Things?”

“Options.”

Something jittery and spiked lodged itself in Katsuki’s chest.

“What the fuck does that mean? Shithead, I’ll strangle you. If you think you’re gonna upstage my goddamn hero debut, you’ve got another thing co-“

Deku clamped a hand over Katsuki’s mouth, who screamed behind it with muffled fury and bulging eyes.

Kacchan,” Deku said firmly, his eyes level and stern as he met Katsuki’s manic ones, glazed over with intoxication and rage. “Stop. Breathe. Don’t worry about me. When everything makes sense, you’ll be the first person to know.”

What the fuck? Deku didn’t just… not tell him things. What Katsuki wanted from him, he got. Booze wasn’t the only thing wobbling his foundations.

Katsuki glowered and sunk his teeth into Deku’s hand.

“Ow!” Deku snatched it back, mirroring Katsuki’s heated stare.

“The fuck’re you tryin’ to sneak past me?"

Nothing,” Deku said, his brows straight and serious as ever. His gaze never shifted from Katsuki's. “I just need to make some plans.”

“What does –“

“Stop talking and use that mouth in more constructive ways,” Deku said, slouching forward to sling his arms around Katsuki’s shoulders and capture his mouth with Deku’s already open, hungry one. Katsuki’s muffled sass was pierced through by Deku’s searching tongue, coaxing Katsuki’s out with urgent, wet licks, dripping with an intent Katsuki could feel growing right beneath his seat upon Deku’s lap.

Head swimming, his self-control slippery at best, Katsuki moaned into Deku’s mouth and ground his hips down instinctively, desperate to feel that hardening desire prove just how much Deku needed him. With fingertips a little numb, a little tingly, he fumbled with the buttons of his shorts.

Who the hell made pants with a button fly?

Fuck,” Katsuki hissed into Deku’s mouth as Deku finished the job and freed his cock, one scarred hand firmly working him up to full, fierce hardness, the other palm buried in the sweaty mess of hair at the nape of Katsuki’s neck. Yanking him in, tongue laving from inside Katsuki’s mouth, to his jawline, in a hot, damp trail to his ear.

“Wanna eat you up,” Deku rasped, a secret whisper no one believe if they ever heard. “You’re so –“ Deku squeezed Katsuki’s cock and chuckled breathlessly against the shell of his ear when Katsuki whimpered into the fray of Deku’s hair. “So easy like this.”

“Fuck –“ Katsuki bit down on the curve of Deku’s neck and shoulder, reveling in the way Deku’s hand stuttered on his dick. “You.”

Katsuki rode his ass against the now iron thickness beneath him, easy to slot that pulsing heat right where it belonged through the thin material of both their shorts. He could feel Deku’s dick just fighting for freedom, but Katsuki could only slide along its length as Deku jacked him tight and unrelenting. Fuck if Katsuki didn’t want that cock in his -

“Not today, handsome,” Deku said, his smile scorching against Katsuki’s neck before he pulled back enough to tilt his face up to Katsuki’s. His pupils were so fucking blown he might as well have been in the dark. Deku licked his flushed lips, his stare brazen and unblinking as he plunged Katsuki’s aching cock in the tight tunnel of his hand with a quick and steady rhythm.

Shit,” Katsuki eked out, his throat closing on him, his balls tightening up as he grew increasingly unable to tear his gaze from Deku’s intense, hypnotic expression. Had they ever locked eyes this long? No fucking way.

“So wet for me,” Deku said with a barely curved mouth.

His voice uttered so soft and low and soothing that Katsuki only knew he’d spoken from the way those bruised lips subtly shifted. Deku slicked his palm over the crown of Katsuki’s cock, swirling the swelling, milky beads of precum down his length. Deku’s hard, calloused thumb traced the sensitive ridge of the head and dipping into the increasingly messy slit.

The humid air suffocating Katsuki sucked straight from the room, leaving his gaze wide and shocked on Deku’s hooded, cloudy one. The hand which had clamped at the back of Katsuki’s neck, caressed around and down to Katsuki’s heaving chest, felt his heartbeat, and shoved. Katsuki knocked back with a huff of breath, his shoulders flush against Deku’s knees still slung over the tub.

“The f-“

“Come on, handsome,” Deku said, looking flushed and drunk as anyone as his sticky hand pumped obscenely wet suction noises along the engorged hardness of Katsuki’s dick. Deku chewed on his red bottom lip, his gaze flickering between his quickening hand and Katsuki’s speechless gawk. “Ride me like this. Think you can make me cum just like that? Bet you can’t.”

A fire roared to life, licking at Katsuki's skin. A growl rumbled deep behind Katsuki’s clenched teeth, a snarl ripping from his throat as he arched his hips out of time from Deku’s hand, only intent on the feeling of that rock hard cock fitted tightly along the ridge of his ass.

Deku’s lips parted, sloppy and torn up from his own perfect teeth as he bucked up to meet the urgent grind of Katsuki’s body. Still, Deku didn’t look away, didn’t close his eyes, though they threatened to from beneath the thick veil of his lashes.

“So easy,” Deku said, his words shuddering and uneven as he thrust up against Katsuki’s ass, his dick radiating heat through their clothes, his hand growing erratic on Katsuki’s cock. “Look at you.”

Katsuki couldn’t fucking breathe. He had nothing on which to cling. Gasping, his flung his arms to either side, hands a white-knuckled grip on the edges of the tub. He could barely control the rate at which they humped against and into each other like animals, busy hand and busier hips.

“Like that,” Deku said, his voice tight as Katsuki’s cock felt. Deku’s black gaze bore into him like two burning brands, his hand equally fervid, racing, impatient now. Katsuki’s thighs quivered with effort as he dragged and thrust against Deku’s cock. “Shit. Okay. Like that. Kaccha-”

Deku’s mouth dropped open, mute, his eyes wide on Katsuki as his abs visibly clenched and jolted, his dick pulsing in obvious hot bursts beneath Katsuki’s ass. Damp eyes clouded over like a small death, and Katsuki failed to bite back his cry as the blaze enveloped him and he striped hot and white across Deku’s shuddering chest.

Staggered and spinning, Katsuki groaned as he slid bonelessly down, further atop Deku’s lap until he lounged his head against Deku’s knees. Body humming from head to toe and his brain drifting to fuck knew where, Katsuki surveyed the destruction between them. 

Panting lightly, his eyes heavy and his wild hair splayed across the tile behind his head, Deku met Katsuki’s gaze. Katsuki’s attention inched down. Deku’s chest glistened with sweat and dripping cum and it was enough to have Katsuki’s cock twitching again. How the hell had he shot that far?

But he knew. It was those eyes.

“Don’ you fuckin’ look at me like that again,” Katsuki drawled, his mouth even more lax now that his body was sated and sedated.

Deku apparently had enough energy to grin, lazy and lopsided, bedroom eyes stirring Katsuki low in his belly once more.

“Dunno about that,” he said, voice husky with exhaustion.

“Die.”

Deku’s eyebrows rose slowly. Katsuki didn’t yet have the coordination in his drunken limbs to react when Deku parted his knees and allowed Katsuki’s head to smack back against the bathtub.

“Motherfucker!” Katsuki was scrabbling to his feet while simultaneously trying to put his fucking dick away, and Deku was already laughing hysterically and dashing out of the room. “You think I’m gonna put up with this shit, dumbass?  I’ll rip your dick off and –“

Katsuki sprinted out of the room and into Deku’s, stuttering to a halt and slapping a hand on the wall for balance.

“WHY ARE YOU GETTING NAKED?” Katsuki screeched, his nerves standing on end with the unexpected nudity. He didn’t care normally. They saw each other in the locker rooms for three years, and obviously the last year had been a thing. But just walking in, mentally unprepared to see Deku shirtless, his thumbs hooked in his boxers as he slid them down over the tight, obvious curve of his ass as he peered over his shoulder smiling was just –

“I mean,” Deku said with amusement shining in his bright eyes as he approached Katsuki, butt-naked, and helped slipped the black tank top over his head, “you want us to go out how we are? Pretty sure our parents would finally suspect something.”

“Fuck, I guess,” Katsuki said, bringing his arms down from where he’d obediently – distractedly – risen them for Deku. He dropped his pants and watched as Deku rummaged through his drawers for clothes.

He’d always been strangely comfortable naked. Katsuki knew that little nerd had no clue what he really looked like.

“Eh?” Deku said, turning around and tossing a shirt, shorts that would undoubtedly be too short on him, and boxer briefs Katsuki’s way. “What do you mean I don’t know what I look like?”

“WHY AM I TALKING OUT LOUD SO MUCH? FUCK ME.”

“Uh.” Deku grinned again, returning to get clothes for himself. “Talking is usually. Y’know – out loud.”

Thinking, asshole, thinking out loud,” Katsuki gritted through his taut jaw and teeth as he yanked the boxers up and pulled on a faded, vintage All Might shirt with ripped-off sleeves.

“I think we both know why,” Deku said with amusement as he finished dressing, his head popping from his tank top with frizzy curls abound. "You feeling a little better now?"

"Water."

They wordlessly went to the kitchen, both of them guzzling an entire water bottle each and eyeing each other up. For the record, Katsuki drank his faster and finished first. With Deku, even now, Katsuki always felt like they were on the verge of some kind of challenge. Maybe it was because their thing together was, inherently, a challenge. They were always driving each other to go father, reach higher, be better. 

What would happen when Deku wasn't at his side every day to do that?

Walking past Katsuki, Deku casually took his hand and threaded their fingers as he led them down the short hall and to the front door.

“I’m gonna find out what you’re hiding from me y’know,” Katsuki said gravely.

“For once,” Deku said with a laugh as they headed out into the thick wall of sticky heat. “You’re thinking too much.”

Katsuki aimed a narrow look at the back of Deku’s head as he trailed behind. He glanced down at their linked fingers and released his hold.

When they returned to the party, the first thing his mother asked was why they’d changed their clothes.

“Kacchan puked on me,” Deku said, face deadpan and plain. "I think he feels better now."

“I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!”

Chapter Text

Being crushed in a car between two generations of Bakugou men was not the worst way to spend his day.

The moving van rumbled down the road, almost an hour’s drive from the homes he and Kacchan had grown up in, towards the apartment building in the dead center of the bustling city. Neither Izuku nor Kacchan were unfamiliar with their streets – they’d had their share of scuffles in every other alleyway – but was a strange sensation to think that, starting now, they would be living there. Alone. No dorm atmosphere, no group of friends to lounge with on the weekends. No needing to sneak around.

The only thing that hadn’t changed was Kacchan living right down the hall. Actually, they’d be living closer together now, than when they’d been on the second and fourth floor of the dorm. This particular building was affiliated with UA itself, and gave discounted living arrangements for newly graduated heroes. However, the building was so widely sought after, that a raffle was drawn throughout the graduating year students. This included the Hero, Support, and General Departments. Izuku knew he and Kacchan had gotten lucky.

Mr. Bakugou navigated the now congested city streets with a placid expression, the radio playing softly. He was unlike Kacchan in every way except, well, the shoulders. The arms. The body.  Izuku only needed to look between the two men to see how big the other would eventually grow.

Izuku unconsciously swallowed hard and stared out the window with large eyes, suddenly hyper aware of how tiny his middle seat was, and how both Mr. Bakugou and Kacchan’s hips were pressed against his own.

Okay, Izuku may have had a little crush on Kacchan’s dad in middle school. And now was wildly, uncontrollably attracted to his son.

So, there was that.

Despite the enraged honking of horns and rumbling of engines that told the story of their congested city, Mr. Bakugou was relaxed as ever.

“Almost there, boys.”

“It doesn’t feel real,” Izuku said quietly, casting a surreptitious glance Kacchan’s way.

Kacchan didn’t reply. With his temple pressed against the window, he gazed out at the busy shopping district with an inscrutable, bored look.

He took up so much space in the cabin of the truck, Izuku realized. How could Izuku compare the physical growth Kacchan was making towards resembling his father when, it dawned on him, they were almost the exact same size these days.

Kacchan’s shoulders were wider, more powerful than a year ago, his back a thick mountain range of muscle and sinew. His legs were longer, his hands bigger, even his jaw wider with age. His profile, subdued and blank on this rare occasion, was that of a man.

When had that happened? When had Kacchan bounded so quickly ahead of Izuku once more? This wasn’t something with which Izuku could catch up. When Izuku looked in the mirror, it was just himself. Freckles and all. Did he look the part of a hero yet? He wondered what Kacchan saw – in both himself and in Izuku.

Startling with a short jump as a large, hot hand gripped Izuku’s wrist lightly, Izuku looked down and only then realized he’d been ripping off crescents of his fingernails – and, probably muttering under his breath. Izuku braved a look Kacchan’s way again, only to see him still staring blandly out the window. Izuku’s nerves stilled, as did his fingers, and he watched Kacchan’s grip slip back to his own lap.

“Have you decided where you’ll be working, Izuku?” Mr. Bakugou said.

Oh.” A flush rode up Izuku’s neck as he breathed an uneasy laugh and drummed his fingertips upon his thigh. “Um. Not just yet. Nothing feels right, if that makes any sense.”

“Sure does,” Mr. Bakugou said easily, unflinching as someone held down their car horn right behind them as he’d sharply cut them off. Okay, maybe the Bakugou men had something similar in common. “Katsuki seems to be in the same camp. You two are a pair as ever.”

The tsch from Kacchan went ignored.

“You two have been hand in hand from babies, you know,” Mr. Bakugou said, swerving through traffic. Izuku’s fingers clenched his knee as he realized Kacchan’s dad was going a little faster than he’d initially realized. His face was entirely at ease, but he was beginning to drive like he was going running an obstacle course. “Have you two considered working together? What am I saying – I’m sure you’ve discussed it before. It seems only natural.”

Heh – yeah, uh.” Izuku’s eyes widened as Mr. Bakugou ran a red light. “We haven’t exactly – uh – watch that bicyclist! We haven’t exactly talked about that.”

“Well, no matter what you boys choose, it’s a relief to see you two reunited. Life is better with a childhood friend.”

Izuku slid a look Kacchan’s way in time to catch his withering, humorless stare. He looked about as much of a fan of this conversation while sitting next to his boyfriend as Izuku felt about this conversation while sitting next to his boyfriend… And his boyfriend’s dad.

Weren’t they there yet?

“I remember when your Quirk had finally appeared,” Mr. Bakugou said, chuckling warmly as he screeched to a stop, mere centimeters from slamming into the car ahead. “Katsuki came home ranting and raving, watching home videos of you two to find hints of your Quirk, convinced you – the most honest boy I’ve ever met – were hiding –“

“SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND DRIVE LIKE YOU AIN’T GONNA KILL US, CRAZY OLD MAN.”

“Ah, youth,” Mr. Bakugou said with a sigh and a smile as he pulled into a side street and parking dead in the middle without care of the one-street's traffic flow. “We’re here.”

“Thank fuck,” Kacchan said under his breath, already throwing himself out of the door like he’d been in a chamber with no air.

Izuku apartment was one door away from Bakugou, almost neighbors, same as ever. With a strange sense of his life coming full circle while still beginning a new chapter, Izuku lugged furniture and boxes with Kacchan and his dad for the next couple of hours. The work was relatively fast, considering they needed to take four floors of stairs for the furniture.

By the time they saw Mr. Bakugou off in the alleyway, Izuku was drenched with summer sweat. The back of his tank top was soaked through and stuck to his skin, and he was thankful for his headband because his hairline dotted with beads of sweat. Kacchan wasn't fairing much better. His bronzed skin glistened. Izuku’s eyes may have lingered a little too long.

“Food?” Izuku said.

Kacchan scrunched his face and took the hem of his own black tank to wipe his face, his contoured torso making Izuku’s mouth water despite his effort at self-control.

“Shower,” Kacchan said, voice muffled by his shirt.

“Um.” Izuku blinked once at Kacchan’s abs once more before shaking his head. “Sure, yeah. Okay. L-let’s. Yup, do that.”

“The fuck is wrong with you?” Kacchan said under his breath as he swept past Izuku and towards the entrance. “Get a hold of yourself.”

“Good advice,” Izuku said to himself, and scrambled to catch up.

They rode the elevator silently, monotonous music chiming. Izuku chanced a look at Kacchan, who’d been oddly subdued today. Izuku found that when Mr. Bakugou was around, Kacchan seemed to make some semblance of effort in his demeanor. Izuku realized then that he didn’t know what kind of influence Kacchan’s father had on him. Did he inspire Kacchan to be a better man? 

“The last time we were alone in an elevator you –“

“I’ll smash your skull between the elevator doors.”

Ding.

Kacchan slouched into the corridor and Izuku followed at his heels.

When they reached Kacchan’s door first, Izuku strode past him to his own. He heard the clink of Kacchan’s keys clattering to the ground, and before he could turn, calloused fingers clung to his forearm and spun him.

“Where you think you’re goin’, nerd?”

“What do you – oh. Oh.”

The look in Kacchan’s eyes said everything.

The undressed each other with unhurried hands, palms and fingertips idly mapping slopes and ridges, bodies committed to memory. Clothes pooling to the cool tile at their feet as Izuku allowed himself to be taken in a sort of kiss that made him think that perhaps today Kacchan was also conscious of the full circle of things.

Starting their lives as neighbors and friends, the next chapter in UA as brutal rivals, and now the new chapter as young adults, neighbors once more, friends once more. There had been many times in Izuku’s life in which he’d simply assumed the misery they caused each other was all they had to give anymore. Luckily, they’d both been more than that. They’d both risen above.

The shower was hot, too hot, and Izuku didn’t care as Kacchan cornered him up against the wall, face blurred by the plumes of steam and humid fog. Encompassing each other in their arms as water beat down and dripped between their colliding, sloppy opened mouths and shifting hips. Time passed like an hourglass smashed and spilling over.

The clock stopped and Izuku’s heart halted as Kacchan slid to his knees and took Izuku’s cock in mouth. Sandy hair slicked back in dark streaks, Kacchan looked up, eyelashes in wet spikes, gaze blown black and crimson, his lips stretched and pink as he slid his mouth off with a pop. Izuku couldn’t look away. Could barely keep his footing as Kacchan's large, rough hands glided up his thighs and snuck around to grip his ass at either side. Couldn’t remember when he’d come to fist his hands in Kacchan’s soaked hair, or when he began to steadily fuck into Kacchan’s wide, generous mouth.

The grunts and muffled moans from Kacchan’s throat and tongue vibrating across Izuku’s dick only shattered the dam that held his sanity. He swore he heard his restraint gush to the tile and down the drain. Izuku jerked his hips forward, nails cutting at the crown of Kacchan’s head, a lightning storm striking Izuku through the heart every time Kacchan choked, coughed, kept going, gagged, slurped at his cock, jacked and twisted his palm around the base.

The shower sluiced over Kacchan’s face in rivers as he tipped his head back, tongue presented flat and brave as he pumped Izuku through his ending and took the hot, sticky streaks while on his knees like nothing Izuku had ever seen in his life. Katsuki dripped from Izuku’s tongue like honey as he slid, boneless, to the ground. Wracked with tremors, Izuku didn’t have the strength to startle when Kacchan invaded the space between his lax, parted legs and kissed him hard, no grace, all swollen lips and knocking teeth.

“No you fuckin’ don’t,” Kacchan gritted out in a voice as rough as a rock slide.

Izuku didn’t have the energy or the need to fight the way Kacchan handled him to his feet and flipped him, Izuku’s chest flush with the warm tile wall. He gulped for air in the humidity, fingers grappling for purchase along the slippery tile as Kacchan slotted his cock between Izuku’s wet ass cheeks. Strong, thick arms hooked under his armpits, hands gripping Izuku’s shoulders as Kacchan used him as an anchor to fuck up against.

His thrusts were quick and brutal and fuck did it leave Izuku aching to be filled and taken and owned. Izuku’s yelp echoed and cut through the thick, misty haze as Kacchan sunk his teeth into his shoulder. And again, another bite beside it. A burn seared in the path of Kacchan’s ravenous mouth as he carved countless tattoos into Izuku’s flesh with a bottomless gluttony.

Kacchan’s musk filled Izuku’s senses, the frantic bucks of hip and muscled thighs behind him beginning to stutter. Kacchan hissed in Izuku’s ear and bit down on the lobe as he rode out the quakes that suddenly rocked them both. The only way they stayed standing was the weight of Kacchan’s heaving body sandwiching Izuku against the wall.

When Kacchan pressed his damp lips to the nape of Izuku’s neck, Izuku was glad for the shower. It masked the water running down his cheeks.

“Food,” Kacchan grunted into the same spot he’d just kissed.

With a wet, choked-off laugh, Izuku shook his head.

“You’re a beast.”

“Even more reason to feed me,” Kacchan said, hands grazing down the densely muscled lines of Izuku’s waist. “The fuck’re you waiting for? Feed me.”

God, Izuku loved him.

They ate. Convenience store noodles on a new futon Izuku had chosen in green. He hadn’t figured out the air conditioner yet, so they plugged in the oversized box fan and sat in front of it in underwear alone, laughing about the way Ashido had already been scouted by the entertainment industry to appear on game shows, and that Fat Gum had accidentally tripped and fallen on Kiri – and Tetsutetsu had captured a photo of it.

The familiar bustle of the city filtered through the open balcony door, a metallic, industrial melody. A city waiting for a new number one hero. The walls of the apartment – his apartment – were bare, also waiting for him. Kacchan was stretched out along the length of the futon, expression neutral, minus the shift of his eyes as he scanned something on his phone. He, too, was waiting.

Izuku folded his legs up against his chest, arms around his knees, chin rested atop as he watched the midday light stream across the barren wall. Moats of summer dust floated and danced in its rays. Aimless.

“Everything is changing,” Izuku mumbled into his legs.

“No shit,” Kacchan said, not looking up from his phone.

“Are you scared?”

“Why would I be?”

Kacchan finally looked up, lips downturned. Izuku pillowed his cheek upon his knees and met his eyes.

“I don’t know. I feel like we were kids a second ago. And now we’re just – not.”

“Listen,” Kacchan said, dropping his phone to his lap and slouching further down the couch until the bottoms of his feet pressed against Izuku’s hip. “Ain’t gonna do shit for you to think that way. I know that’s your thing and whatever, but you really gonna be the number one hero who cries over regrets like some goddamn Russian novel they forced us to read in Lit Class? You gonna be the weepy chick who throws herself in front of the train or you gonna save her, for fuck’s sake? You don’t get t'be both.”

Izuku’s heart felt too big, ached too much to fall into Kacchan’s hands in this very moment.

He did the next best thing.

Izuku tackled him, already laughing while Kacchan wheezed as his stomach took the brunt of a heavy, compact hero.

Deku!” Kacchan managed through coughs as Izuku wrapped his arms around Kacchan’s neck in an unyielding hug. “Don’t have to worry about being a fuckin’ adult anymore because your life ends now.”

Mmm,” was all Izuku said, smiling against Kacchan’s neck. “’Kay.”

“’Kay? The fuck? Dammit, nerd, you – ugh.”

With a hefty sigh, Kacchan lightly linked his arms around Izuku’s waist.

“From here on out, if you ever tell me you’re scared,” Kacchan said gruffly, his breath warm against Izuku’s shoulder, “I’ll never talk to you again. Wimp.”

Izuku huffed a short laugh and felt Kacchan’s hold tighten, just a little.

“Yeah, okay. Deal.”

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe Denki is good at something,” Ashido said, frowning as she watched Denki scrape bills and coins across the low table with a glint in his eye and a grin.

“It’s his face,” Sero said, sliding a suspicious look beside him. “It gives away nothing because there’s never anything going on in there.”

“You say that,” Denki said, cackling with drunken revelry as he spilled the money onto his lap in flagrant disregard for the fact that half of it would eventually end up beneath Katsuki’s couch by the end of the night. “But you’re all just bitter I just pounded your asses.”

No one would let you near their ass,” Sero said, scrunching his face as he collected the cards and shuffled them with quick, practiced hands.

Ashido swigged from her beer and cracked it on the table, her lips and tongue smacking in distaste like she’d downed a particularly strong shot.

Fuck. Why would you go there, Sero? My brain eyes!”

“That’s call your imagination, dumbass,” Katsuki said dully, finishing off his - ninth? - beer of the night. He had a good buzz going, his limbs heavy and loose, his nerves at bay and ease.

“I like brain eyes,” Kirishima said from beside Katsuki with a bright grin.

“You would,” Katsuki said with an eye roll.

“Speaking of ass pounding, though,” Ashido said with glee and glimmering black gaze. She folded her arms upon the table and rested her ample chest upon them, her tits nearly hitting her in the chin.

Katsuki wondered if people found that attractive or whatever. They had to get in the way during sex, like all over the pl-

“How’re things with you and Midoriya? You guys switch yet?”

Haaah?” Katsuki whirled on Ashido, his face already red. “The fuck does that mean? No, tell me and I’ll kill you. What the hell is wrong with you?”

Ashido snorted, sliding a grin toward Denki’s snicker as she leaned back on her hands, delighting in the round of muffled chuckles encircling the table.

“You don’t deserve all those fangirls, y’know,” Sero said with a hefty sigh as he got to his feet and wandered toward the kitchen. “At first we all just thought you were just obsessed with battle and didn’t have time for dating. Boy, were we off the mark.”

"Literally, boys," Kirishima said from Katsuki's shoulder.

“The fuck’s that supposed to mean?” Katsuki snarled, folding his arms and swaying in place as the beers threatened to topple him to the side. “That’s their fault. High school girls are terrifying.”

“That’s probably the only thing you’re scared of,” Ashido said, her smile delighted.

“Who isn’t?” Katsuki said with a tsch.

“Me!” Denki said, raising his hand with such force that the idiot keeled right over. This was why Katsuki was staying still.

“You’re not fearless,” Ashido said blandly. “You’re just clueless.”

“You love me, though.”

“Only me,” Ashido said. “Literally. You only have me.”

“She’s not wrong,” Katsuki said with a shrug, looking up when Sero pressed another cold one to his ear. He accepted the open bottle with a nod and took a swig.

“I still love you, Denki,” Kirishima said, laughing as Denki’s face fell.

“Yeah, but you don’t have boobs.”

“Kiri has the biggest tits of anyone in this room,” Ashido said, giggling as Kirishima performed his notable trick of making his pecs dance up and down. “See!”

Katsuki snorted into the mouth of his beer and glanced away, a laugh bubbling in his chest.

“How’d I end up with you assholes?”

“I think the question is – thanks,” Ashido said, taking a new drink from Sero, waiting for him to sit on the floor once more. “I think the question is, how did Midoriya end up with this asshole?”

Ashido pointedly waved her beer at Katsuki, who gawked in dismay at his group of solemnly nodding friends.

“Wha – the fuck’re you dickbags nodding for, eh?” Katsuki gesticulated wildly with his own bottle. “I’ll smash your empty heads together!”

“Like,” Ashido continued, utterly ignoring Katsuki’s outburst and shallow, enraged huffs of breath, “I get the childhood friends thing. And Midoriya is so –“

Ashido smiled dreamily at the ceiling.

“Perfect,” Kirishima said, propped his elbow on the table and pillowing his cheek on his fist. Katsuki wanted to punch the look on his face right off. “He’s the perfect boyfriend.”

HAH?” Katsuki’s chest jittered with nerves as he looked around the table. “What is happening at this table? Why are we talking about that fuckin’ nerd like he’s –“

“Kind,” Ashido said, still drifting into the distance.

“Manly,” Kirishima said, with a sigh.

“Smart,” Denki said, clumsily counting the money scattered in his lap.

“Too good for you,” Sero said flatly.

Ah,” the entire room said in unison, nodding.

“FUCKERS.” Katsuki jumped to his feet, swaying dangerously, his beer flying from the rim and splashing all over the nearby couch. “YOU COME INTO MY HOUSE AND –“

“He’s quoting Godfather, isn’t he?” Sero said, frowning as Katsuki screeched and stepped on the center of the table to launch himself.

The table broke in two, everyone’s beers went flying, bottles smashed and littered the floor, Katsuki had his hands around Sero’s neck, Sero had his tape around Katsuki’s neck, Ashido was rolling in glass while in hysterics, Denki was taking photos on his phone as usual, and Kirishima threw himself onto Katsuki’s back to pry him off.

Kirishima landed on his back with a thud, taking Katsuki with him.

Struggling to stand, his head spinning and lightheaded from both the alcohol and the motherfucking tape his supposed friend wrapped around his throat, Katsuki rolled to his feet. Knees bent, his hands upon them, Katsuki remained slightly keeled forward as he sucked in gulps of air.

Ashido was weeping with laughter, her body gone limp and useless as she attempted to drag herself onto the couch.

Sero dusted his clothes off with a sigh and placed his hands on his hips, looking down at the table with a raised eyebrow, while Kirishima got up and patted Katsuki on the back.

Denki angled a selfie with everyone in the background.

“See,” Ashido said, sucking in a deep breath, her voice wavering with humor as she wiped the tears from her cheeks with her palms. “You don’t know how lucky you are, man. Pretty sure only Midoriya would have the patience to date a walking time bomb. You better be sucking that dick daily as thanks.”

Katsuki blinked down at the floor, hands still braced upon his knees. Ashido’s last sentence fell on deaf ears as his blood simmered down from boiling.

You don’t know how lucky you are, man.

The thought had never occurred to him. Not in so many words. Was he lucky? Katsuki had always assumed Deku was. But it wasn't like he sat around ruminating about that shit, or their relationship, or who was deserving. What a waste of time.

But here were his friends, practically drooling over that short stack. Were he not with Deku – who would Deku be with? Kirishima and Ashido already sounded like they’d given it thought at some time or other.

Fuck. Was Katsuki the lucky one here?

Was that possible?

“You guys…” Katsuki said, swallowing as he stood upright and raked a hand over his face. His palm lingered over his mouth as he scanned the utter destruction of his living room within a short week of living here. “Are dicks.”

You did this,” Denki said, laughing as stared down at his screen, no doubt channeling this disaster classroom-wide.

“You guys made me!”

“Baby,” Ashido said, idly kicking some glass with her toe and sending it skittering across the floor as she grinned. “You just got all hot and bothered from our teasing, is all.”

“I’ll throw you off the balcony,” Katsuki said with dead eyes.

“Well, whatever,” Ashido said, mischief written all over her face as she fluffed her curly faux hawk to life. “Just keep in mind that if you’re ever done with that boy – or, y’know, if he’s done with you – I’d be happy to pick up the pieces with him. Or Kiri, actually. That’s probably more Midoriya’s type, huh?”

“Mina!” Kirishima dropped to his knees and started to collected the glass with hardened-up hands. Even though he looked away, Katsuki caught the way Kirishima’s ear went red as his hair. “Don’t bring me into this. Look how happy Bakugou has been these days.”

“The fuck’re you talkin’ about,” Katsuki said, getting down on the floor to help pick up the larger pieces. “Who’s happy? Shut your shark mouth.”

“You love him?” Ashido said casually, her head cocked, mouth in a thoughtful pout.

Katsuki’s attention flicked up to hold her intent gaze, his blood like white noise in his ears.

Denki made a gagging noise.

“I’ll suffocate you on my strap-on if you don’t shut up,” Ashido said with a smile.

Katsuki stood, shattered glass cupped in his hands, and flicked a look towards Ashido. She’d been the one to give him that magazine all those months ago. She’d been the one to prod and poke at him, obnoxious as she was.

You love him?

Two nights ago, Katsuki had come home late from visiting his parents and grabbing his remaining stuff. The apartment had been stuffy and humid from the hot day, and he'd shoved the balcony door aside, stepping out to gulp for air.

“Kacchan?” Deku had said.

Katsuki had looked over to see Deku on a single, cheap folding chair, his bare feet propped up on the balcony bar, his ankles crossed. He’d worn a shirt Katsuki had grown out of, printed with ROT & DIE. Katsuki had wanted to kiss him, and he grown annoyed with himself when he’d realized that the urge itself no longer rubbed him the wrong way.

“Why’re you awake?” Katsuki had said, folding his arms on the bar that faced Deku’s distant balcony, leaning in.

“Thinking,” Deku had said with a sheepish smile.

“Big surprise.”

“Nothing bad, though.”

“Bigger surprise.”

“Says you. You’re the king of bad thoughts.”

“Like hell I am. I don’t dwell on shit. You’re the one with the diaries.”

“Journals. They’re journals.”

“Sure, nerd.”

Deku had laughed a little, his voice a clear melody in the still night.

“Actually, I was thinking that I’m happy,” Deku had said after some time.

“Finally,” Katsuki had said, ruffling the back of his hair and looking down the four floors to the pavement below. “You’re hard as fuck to please.”

“Kacchan!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Katsuki had said, rubbing his hand over his mouth to mask his grin.

A heartbeat of warm, comfortable silence had filled the gap between their balconies.

“Are you happy?” Deku had said, his voice a little too quiet.

“Can’t hear you, short stack.”

“Are you happy?”

Katsuki had frowned.

People didn’t just ask him shit like that. But Deku did. Had Katsuki ever asked Deku if he was happy? Of course not. It hadn’t even come to mind.

Shit.

Katsuki was the lucky one.

Lucky, because he’d been able to answer him, yes.

“Yeah, I do,” Katsuki said finally, turning to make his way toward the trash in the kitchen.

“You do what?” Ashido yelled after him.

“You ain’t that stupid,” Katsuki called back.

They cleaned up as a group, although it was a challenge and a half considering most of them were well on their way to wasted. No one dared mention Deku again, but it was in Ashido’s gleeful expression every time Katsuki happened to catch her gaze. Nosy perve.

Pleeease lemme sleep on your couch,” Denki said, hanging off of Katsuki’s arm while everyone evacuated the apartment for the night. “I’m so sleepy. I’ll pass out on the bus and end up in the country, standing in a cow field again.”

“Touch me and I rip your dick off,” Katsuki said with a snarl, waving his arm around in attempt to dislodge Denki as he dragged the guy through the doorway and into the hall.  “I –“

Katsuki caught a movement from down the hall and narrowed his eyes.

Deku was leaned up against the door, knee bent, foot flat on the wood. His eyes were bright and alert, his smile wide, his body language undeniably angled toward his point of attention. He was talking to a tall, pale guy – taller than Katsuki – who gazed down at him with tired, shadowed eyes and a curve of lips. His hair was a wild mane of lavender that made him look like a vampire who’d been sleeping upside down for too long and his hair just got stuck that way.

Katsuki would recognize that stupid fucking style anywhere.

Hitoshi Shinsou, the piece of shit. Got himself stuck in to 1-B from the General Department by second year and proceeded to run rampant through the ranks until he graduated in the fifth spot of the entire graduating year. That creepy, lanky hobo had been a thorn in Katsuki’s side for years. He was just so fucking – cocky.

To top it off, he was one of Deku’s friends. Though right now, that scenario looked a whole lot different in Katsuki’s red-rage eyes.

When Shinsou fucking laughed – something that had to be a fucking cryptid sighting in itself – and ruffled Deku’s hair, Katsuki’s twisting gut plummeted.

I think the question is, how did Midoriya end up with this asshole?

The weight of Ashido’s harmless tease punched through Katsuki’s ribcage with a force that sucked the air from his lungs. How had he never realized? Looking at Shinsou, it was clear. Looking back at Kirishima’s blush, Ashido’s dreamy reverie.

Deku… Deku was a person people wanted to not just be around, but be with. And he’d chosen Katsuki. Now Katsuki just had to manage to keep him.

“HITOSHI,” Ashido barreled out of the apartment, knocking Denki off of Katsuki and to the floor, whooping as she jumped and caught Shinsou around the neck in a tackled hug.

Shinsou’s grin reminded Katsuki of a murderer, but he seemed to hug Ashido gently and set her on her feet with some grace,

“Hey,” Denki said, getting to his feet. “Isn’t that –“

“Shut up and die,” Katsuki said, stalking down the hall as Ashido and Shinsou made useless chitchat.

“Kacchan, hi!” Deku said, his expression lighting up and going promptly ignored.

You,” Katsuki said, pushing between Ashido and Shinsou to get in his face. Fury scorched at his pride when he had to look up at that smug face to talk down to him. “The fuck’re you doin’ with my b- Deku?”

“Oh,” Shinsou said, his voice a low, unfettered drawl as he loomed over Katsuki without a hint of facial expression – except, maybe boredom. “It’s mister number-one-in-the-class. Hey.”

“The fuck you mean, hey?” Katsuki couldn’t grasp his footing with someone who didn’t appear to function on this plane of existence. “What were you saying to –“

Kacchan,” Deku said from beside Katsuki, his arms folded, his voice taut. “What’s wrong with you?”

“What was I saying to him?” Shinsou said, one corner of his lips quirking briefly as he seemed to give Katsuki and complete, thorough, up-and-down survey. “I was saying he should come to my place soon. You’re not invited though. Sorry. I don’t talk to strangers.”

Katsuki’s choked-off, high-pitched wheeze of indiscriminate, crazed confusion was one for the books.

Your place?” Katsuki stepped in toe to toe with Shinsou’s unconcerned face. “Your – place? Who the fuck you think you’re talkin’ to?”

“A has-been who hasn’t got a job yet, when everyone else has?” Shinsou said, his brows rising with a thoughtful frown as he considered Katsuki’s flushed face. “Oh. Sorry. Was that rude? I didn’t mean to. I thought a big tough guy like you could take it.”

The feral growl that ripped from Katsuki’s throat was cut off with a second, more hoarse, pained wheeze as Deku straight-up clotheslined his arm across Katsuki’s throat and dragged him several feet away from Shinsou’s thin, smug smile. Hell, the dickbag hadn’t even taken his hands out of his pockets!

Kacchan,” Deku snapped in Katsuki’s ear, his stern voice stilling Kacchan’s flailing limbs more than the arm still wedged beneath his jaw. “What the hell is wrong with you? You look like a crazy person.”

“You two were –“

“You’re kinda hot all red-faced like that, Kacchan,” Shinsou said with a smirk, his head cocked. “I see what you were talking about, Midoriya.”

“Lemme punch him,” Katsuki said from between gritted teeth, low enough for only Deku to hear. His entire body was vibrating, his hands now clenched around Deku’s forearm at his throat, fingertips digging in with minute self-control. “Just one good punch. I’ll cave in his smarmy face.”

Bakugou.” Deku’s voice was so grave and deep and pissed off that Katsuki went utterly still.

“Hitoshi,” Ashido said with a laugh as she jumped to his side and wrapped an arm around his waist, leaning in to look up at him with a grin. “Leave him alone. Bakugou’s a really good guy, he’s just grumpy. We’ve been drinking all night, y’know?”

Shinsou slung his arm around Ashido’s shoulder with a hefty sigh.

“Oh well. Hey, Midoriya, thanks for dinner. Maybe next time we just do it at yours, though. That way your man can keep tabs on you.”

“He doesn’t know everything I do,” Deku said quickly, releasing Katsuki without a glance his way. He approached Shinsou to say something up close that Katsuki couldn’t make out.

A siren went off in Katsuki’s skull.

“What does –“

“Bro,” Sero said, clapping Katsuki on one shoulder, Denki taking the other, and Kirishima in his periphery with a worried frown. “You need some water and to, I dunno, apologize to your boyfriend.”

HAH?” Katsuki scowled at Sero’s disparaging expression. “Apologize – for what? Fuck that.”

“Dude,” Denki said, tilting his head toward Katsuki as the four of them watched Deku hug Shinsou goodbye. “I’m not even gay and I can tell that guy’s crazy about you. Don’t fuck it up.”

“I think Midoriya's feelings are hurt,” Kirishima said quietly, concern seeping through his words.

“This isn’t my fault, it’s that clown who said –“

Apologize,” Sero and Denki said in tandem, pushing him towards the rest of the group.

“Well,” Shinsou said, aiming a jaunty salute over Deku’s head toward Bakugou, followed by a wink. “This is been a blast. I’ll see you around, neighbor.”

“Neighbor? Who’s your fucking neighbor?” Katsuki said with a battle smile of bared teeth.

He is,” Deku said, finally looking over his shoulder with a face like an executioner. “There.”

He pointed at the apartment door that separated their homes.

Katsuki’s brain went blank. He could only watch as Shinsou promised to walk Ashido home, Sero and Denki and Kirishima’s goodbyes echoing faintly like they were far, far away.

Deku gave Katsuki a dark look, turned on his heel, and fumbled with his keys at his door, his hands visibly shaking.

“Hey,” Katsuki said, brow furrowing as he cut their distance in long strides. “What the hell were you doing with that guy? He looked like –“

“It doesn’t matter what it looked like, you idiot!” Deku whirled on him, eyes a green fire, and wet with fury, his lips pressed tightly together. “What were you thinking? You’re not some dog marking your territory and I’m – not – yours.”

Katsuki’s eyes went wide, his heart tripping in his chest, his hands fisting at his sides as the words sunk in.

Deku’s damp gaze searched Katsuki’s expression.

“I’m mine,” Deku said softly, his voice wavering. “I’m mine first and I’m learning to embrace that. If I want to have dinner with a friend – someone who knows what it’s like for everyone, even their loved ones, to tell them that they’d never be a hero – if that friend who understands me in a way you would never be able to wants to have dinner with me and catch up, I’m going to do that. You didn’t text me or ask me where I was going, and I don’t have any duty to do so.”

Katsuki didn’t know what to say to that. It was a lot. How to even process?

With a single damp sniffle, Deku turned back to his door, unlocked it and stepped inside. He was already closing it between them when Katsuki jumped forward and grabbed the knob. Keeping the door at bay and sticking his face through the crack, he met Deku’s unreadable expression.

“Oiy,” Katsuki said, his voice low and taut as he kept his gaze fixed on Deku’s deep, dark green. “I’m lucky, y’know? That you… Put up with me. Or whatever.”

Deku’s eyes went large, then narrowed as he scrutinized Katsuki’s frown.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean - fuck.” Katsuki knocked his forehead against doorjamb, eyes falling shut, his voice coming out in quick and short. “Sorry.”

The silence that fell was enough to have Katsuki opening his eyes to inspect the damage. He fully expected crying.

Deku was just staring at him through the door like he’d never seen him before.

“I’m – did you – you’ve never said that to me before. Or, uh, anyone, probably. Are you okay?”

“Of course I’m okay,” Katsuki snapped, thumping his head against wood paneling in frustration. “Drive me crazy, y’know that, Deku? I don’t care what the fuck you said. You’re mine, I’m yours – that’s how it works.”

The door opened and Katsuki had been leaning on it so hard that he stumbled right through the entrance and into the dark apartment. Deku steadied him, gripping his biceps, Deku’s face illuminated by the white light of the hall. He peered up in wonder.

“You’re mine?” Deku said, hushed.

“You’re embarrassing,” Katsuki said, his face growing hot as he slid a look aside.

Hands firmly cupped Katsuki’s face as Deku took a step closer, forcing Katsuki to look. Deku’s brows were low and straight and serious, his distracting mouth sober.

“You’re mine?”

 Katsuki’s skin shimmered with waves of sparks, right down to his toes. His heart felt like bright summer fireworks, trapped.

“I’m – yeah,” Katsuki said, almost too quiet for his own ears. “I am.”

Deku’s pupils expanded right before Katsuki’s surprised gaze. The subtle shift of Deku’s expression could have been a play of shadow, but the Katsuki knew the hunger when he saw it.

“Prove it,” Deku said.

Katsuki’s knees went weak.

The door slammed shut behind them. Clothes were flung to the floor in the limb-tangled fray to reach the other room. Deku’s hands were insistent and rough on Katsuki’s shoulders and chest, a thumbnail dragging over a nipple, shooting heat low and hot in Katsuki’s gut.  Deku shoved Katsuki onto the bed, Katsuki’s growl breaking through the deep bedroom shadows.

Oiy, what –“

Deku wedged himself between Katsuki’s thighs, shirtless and always startlingly stocky and muscled. With this head bowed, his mass of hair hid his face further as Katsuki felt hands work at his shoes, socks, and then fumbled at the zip of his jeans. Katsuki got the idea fast. He sat up, yanked Deku onto the mattress with him, and they rolled in the darkness unless every barrier had been shed.

The fire that forever burned wild and unbidden within Katsuki’s core could only be tamed by Deku’s eager lips and hands racing over his body. They’d wrestled and rolled, but still Deku ended up looming above him, his lips a weapon of destruction on Katsuki’s own, Deku’s mouth leaving trails the color of flame sucked into his skin, down the broad expanse of his chest. Katsuki’s heart flared against his ribs, desperate for Deku to sink his teeth right in to it. Take it, take it.

When Deku lapped a long, damp line over the jutting ridge of Katsuki’s hip bone, hands stroking the length of both thighs, a wildfire caught and threatened to torch them both. Deku’s mouth was a tight, wet oasis around Katsuki's dick that had him choking off a moan, his fists grappling in lush curls like a lifeline. The power, the lightning that Deku carried within him – the passion that flowed from his lips, his limbs – was intoxicating, overwhelming. Katsuki couldn’t fucking breathe for what this person did to him.

A blur of intertwined bodies, Deku’s voice in his ear like some fire charmer, murmuring love and lust and suggestions Katsuki could never have fathomed he’d fall for.

“Can I fuck you?”

Katsuki’s dick ached with please and his mouth said nothing at all as he encompassed Deku in his arms and kissed him with the intent of swallowing him whole. Keep him, keep him.

When Deku filled him with slick fingers and patience, it wasn’t like the last time. Something in the air, in the way he could feel Deku’s stare embracing him in the black-blind night, holding him close even as Deku unraveled him thrust by thrust, then coiled him back like a tight, wound spring. Repeat until breaking point.

“On top of me,” Deku murmured against Katsuki’s sweat-prickled jaw, his body draped over Katsuki’s chest, the friction of their brushing cocks like white starbursts that lit up the dark.

Izuku,” was all Katsuki could manage as he blinked up to the ceiling, unseeing, rocking his hips up towards Deku’s, his breath slipping through in shallow shudders.

Deku guided Katsuki with hands deceptively coarse and rough-skinned, leaning back on the bed until Katsuki could straddle his hips. And then Katsuki was in control, but not. In check of how slow he seated himself, how he shifted his hips from side to side, hissing through clenched teeth as the stretch threatened to be too much, too good, too intimate. Buried inside him finally, finally, Katsuki pressed his hands to Deku’s hard stomach for balance, for a hold on something fucking real right now, because there was no way this was his reality.

“Turn yourself around for me, handsome,” Deku crooned, his words skipping a step, betraying the hitch in his breath.

“Wh-what?”

Katsuki could barely form the word from his taut jaw, so concentrated was he on keeping his eyes squeezed shut and his hips faintly rocking, just enough to relish the thick, slick friction of Deku’s cock rubbing him from the inside out.

“Turn around,” Deku said, stronger, gasping a little as Katsuki experimentally circled his ass in a slow, unsure writhe. Deku's fingertips buried in the flesh of Katsuki’s thighs. “Face the wall and ride me, Katsuki.”

“Yeah,” Katsuki said without a second thought. He swallowed hard, the palms spread on Deku's compact, brick-hard torso sliding away. “Fuck yeah.”

He didn't know what the hell was happening but when Deku used that voice, he knew it couldn't be bad.

No time was wasted slipping off of Deku's cock, though Katsuki did grunt with the zing of pleasure that shot through him when he did. He turned and straddled Deku's dense, sinewy thighs, and for a brief second was hesitant on how to keep his balance while bringing himself down on the pulsing erection hot against his skin.

“Reach behind,” Deku said into the dark, his voice choked off and breathless as he rattled off instruction and praise. “Take it, guide it. Holy shit, yeah, just like that. Oh my god.”

A fire of determination lit within Katsuki as he lined up Deku's cock and eased himself down with care. He wasn't slow because he was unsure - it just felt so fucking good, Katsuki didn't want it to end. He needed that burn, that brand of Deku seared within him, this mark of ownership.

Biting back an indecent moan that would've mortified him, Katsuki canted his chin, face tilted to the sky, throat long and vulnerable, and began to move.

“Holy -” Deku said, a short keen cutting through the syrupy, humid atmosphere. “I'm - you look so good like this,” stumbled out of Deku's mouth in a rush of words, his hips utterly still as Katsuki found a rhythm with the strength of his thighs and core to keep his ass working over Deku's increasingly swelling dick. Filling, stretching Katsuki too much, sparking something deep and hidden within him from each increasingly frantic plunge.

Then sizzling hands, buzzing with electric current gripped Katsuki's hips and hammered him down on Deku's cock. The choked cry that burst from Katsuki's month went unbidden as Deku held him still, fucking up into him like a man possessed. Deku's thighs quivered beneath Katsuki's own, each individual strike of his thrusts rushing straight through Katsuki's dripping dick, flushed dark and bobbing obscenely in the shadows. Katsuki fisted it in his palm for the first time and whimpered as shocks instantly wracked through him.

Fuck, Katsuki wanted to see Deku's face. Wanted to see that powerhouse body crackle with god-like energy as he pounded Katsuki straight to the heavens.

“You're mine,” Deku rasped out, his grip shifting, hands palming Katsuki's ass cheeks, spreading them as fucked into him with stuttering urgency.

Jaw taut, mouth clamped shut, Katsuki could still do nothing to hinder the long, high whimper that threaded through the heavy air. His hold on his dick tightened, worked over the raw, straining erection as his brain circuits fried and he mindlessly bounced on Deku's cock, a man crazed and stripped of shame.

Deku's resounding, wrecked groan was just as unabashed, lust rushing from the fractures in his voice like scalding steam. Katsuki's name fell from Deku's lips like a pained prayer, a worship that may have neared the ferocity with which Katsuki desired to lavish Deku's body in kisses, cum, and bruises.

But Katsuki could only do this - only destroy himself on Deku's cock, husky gasps punching from his throat with every slick slap of ass to hips. His head spun with Deku, drunk off the burn between their bodies, off the helpless animal noises scraping from Deku's worn throat, the way hard, calloused fingertips bruised lovemarks into his flesh.

Here,” Deku said, voice parched and cracking.

Katsuki didn’t have time to ask. Deku lurched up, knocking Katsuki forward. A strong hand splayed across the dip between his shoulder blades and shoved down, Katsuki’s cheek smashing against the mattress, his lips wet and parted and sucking in shaky breaths. Vulnerable, his ass up and his cock hanging heavy and pleading between his legs, Katsuki’s body wracked with shivers as he felt the hot, blunt crown of Deku’s cock press and fill him with meager resistance.

“Mine,” Deku said one final time, buried to the hilt.The open-palmed smack on Katsuki’s ass resounded through the room, Katsuki gaping, staring blindly at the wall as his he blushed from thighs to ears.

“You sonofa-“

Deku’s free hand fisted Katsuki by the back of his hair, keeping him face-down, and fucked into him with a ragged, erratic ride that rattled him to the goddamn bone. The bed frame lurched with the force of Deku’s thrusts, and Katsuki burned. Fingers frantically grappling for purchase in the sweat-damp sheets, Katsuki’s countless cries fell upon his own deaf ears. He felt the drum of his heart in every vein, his cock weeping for contact. Deku’s hands found Katsuki’s hips, kept them from dipping down, from giving his dick the blessed friction of the bed.

Touchme,” Katsuki managed through the frantic pounding that had him pushed closer and closer to the edge of the mattress.

The sound that raked from Deku’s throat couldn’t be considered fully human. He reached around, fucking in earnest, took Katsuki’s dick in hand and stroked lightning to life beneath his skin. A scant few seconds shot by before the jolt of Katsuki’s end cracked through him like a bolt, his hoarse, broken shout crashing against the walls.

Katsuki smelled ash and smoke, and then Deku’s heat was filling him, overflowing. Deku went statue-still behind him, free hand clamped down on Katsuki's hip with splintering force as he uttered the a short, cough of breath, as if he’d been punched straight to the gut. He didn’t full collapse atop Katsuki, but released his hold on him, allowing Katsuki to pancake onto the bed, Deku’s forehead resting on the center of his back. Deku’s cock slipped from Katsuki’s aching body, bringing an unpleasant sensation and a wince.

How the hell did Deku deal with this multiple times a week?

Flat out on the mattress, every inch of skin humming, Katsuki’s consciousness drifted far towards the ceiling. That asshole had fucked the soul right out of him. At some point, Deku rolled and flopped out on his back with a satisfied sigh at which Katsuki didn’t have the energy to bristle.

“Kacchan,” Deku said softly, his voice filling the cradle of the dark.

Mmm?”

“Why do I smell burning?”

“The fuck should I know?”

“You’re the one who burns things for a living.”

“You’re annoying as hell, y’know that? Lemme sleep.”

“Yes, but why does something in my room smell like you set it on fire?”

With a growl, Kacchan rolled across the mattress – steamrolling over Deku himself – and turned on the bedside light.

“You could have turned that on your fuckin’ self, by the way, shitsnack.”

Deku remained on his back, arms pillowed behind his head. His grin was wide and loose and relaxed, his heavy lids low with fuck-me bedroom eyes that made Katsuki short-out and go dim in the brain. The warm glow of the lamp pooled upon his skin in gold-edged angles and dips.

Katsuki’s swallowed, his mouth salivating.

He looked past Deku’s head and lingered on the bedspread.

“I’m not apologizing for that,” Katsuki said dully, tilting his head in the direction Deku should look. “That was your fault.”

Deku lolled his head, angling his chin toward the edge of the bed. Two large, blackened handprints melted straight through the fibers of Deku’s comforter. Deku whipped his head back, agape and already laughing with it.

“You!” Deku pinched Katsuki’s side, snickering. “I can’t believe you.”

Katsuki rolled onto his side, elbow bent, cheek propped against his palm as he took in the faint laugh lines at the corners of Deku’s eyes. His lips quirked at one corner, a crooked, close-mouthed smile.

“Bet your ass no one will go near your bed now, anyway.”

“Hey.” Deku’s face went sober, his fingers rising to card through Katsuki’s wild hair. His voice was warm, nurturing, equal parts infuriating and reassuring in its kindness. “I don’t know where your mind goes, but there’s only one person near my bed. And terrifying burn marks aren’t necessary.”

“Barf,” Katsuki said, his cheeks flushing as he batted Deku’s hand away and scowled at his freckles. “Can the speech, nerd. It’s wasted on me.”

“Is it?” Deku said, his expression smug and oh-so-punchable now.

“Die,” Katsuki said, leaning in to capture Deku’s mouth in a single, searing kiss.

When he pulled back, Deku looked pink and flustered, swallowing hard and flickering his gaze over Katsuki’s face.

“I didn’t mean that before, y’know,” Deku said. “Not entirely, anyway. I’m not not yours.”

Katsuki stared, expression still, watchful. The thundering of his heart did not show upon his face.

“What you are,” Katsuki said carefully, his voice low, “is awkward as hell.”

Deku blinked. His chest rumbled with a laugh, his lips pressed firmly together to mute the amusement.

“Actually, I think I know someone just as awkward. If not more.”

Katsuki stared blandly at Deku’s gleeful expression.

“Just let me go to sleep already. You’re unbearable like this.”

“Like what?” Deku said, smiling and scooting closer until he could wedge his knee between Katsuki’s thighs.

Katsuki’s eyes went wide, his entire body prickling with cold, unwelcome goosebumps.

Deku frowned.

“What?”

“Nevermind sleep,” Katsuki said tightly, already pushing Deku off of him and rising from the bed. His legs nearly gave out from beneath him. Another unpleasant surprise. “I need a shower.”

“Shower?” Deku said, rolling to sit up among the nest of blankets.

With robotic slowness, Katsuki glowered over his shoulder with a look that could boil flesh. He could feel his entire face and chest flush. He watched as Deku looked down – lower down – and linger at the dripping mess leaking down his thigh.

Eyes wide, Deku looked up, nerves clear in jittery gaze.

Uh.” Deku cleared his throat. “Next time I’ll use a condom.”

“There won’t be a next time,” Katsuki said darkly, marching from the room.

As he began to shut the bathroom door, he distantly could hear Deku’s plaintive cries.

“Kacchan? Kacchan you’re not serious, right? Right?”

Katsuki slammed the door.

He hated it when he lied.

Chapter Text

Izuku smiled brightly as soon as the door opened.

“I brought files. Files and binders. Files and binders and notes and –“

“Please don’t say more words,” Aizawa said dully, dragging a hand down his face and palming back a yawn. “Coffee first.”

Yessir,” Izuku said with a serious nod, though he rocked back on the heels of his feet as he waited to be invited in.

“Kids like you never cease to amaze me,” Aizawa said with a sigh as he backed into his apartment and held the door. “Get in, then.”

“Thanks!”

Izuku followed Aizawa, shutting the door behind him as he eyed the sparse apartment. There wasn’t much to speak of, but for a well-loved black couch, a couple of dead houseplants on the floor near the window, an orange cat sleeping on the coffee table, and other general necessities.

Toeing off his shoes and frowning at his surroundings, Izuku copied the path Aizawa had taken to another room.

The kitchen was warm with morning light through the windows, and dishes cluttered the sink. A coffee machine sat stark on the off-white counters, half-full. Aizawa was already slouched in a chair around a small, square table, mug in hand. Someone had scribbled on it in marker – you have a drinking problem, a coffee drinking problem.

Izuku sat at the only other chair in the room, careful not to overtly memorize his every surrounding for when his friends inevitably grilled him for what Aizawa’s place looked like. He shrugged his satchel from over his head and set it beside him on the floor, nerves burrowing into his bones like ants as he caught sight of Aizawa’s drab expression.

Black, bruised eyes met his from across the table. Izuku stared back, remaining silent as Aizawa brought his mug back to his mouth.

A wall clock clicked the seconds away.

This was weird, being here. Maybe Izuku shouldn’t have bothered Aizawa with this. Maybe he should have pursued this entirely on his own. Maybe he shouldn’t have considered this a viable option at all because he was essentially still just a child despite turning eighteen in a handful of days and being extremely intelligent, because, after all, what did he really know about the venture he was pursuing and who was anyone to trust him with it, especially with finances, and on top of that –

“Midoriya,” Aizawa said, setting his empty mug down with a quiet crack. “Your muttering is becoming ghoulish and unnerving.”

“Sorry,” Izuku said with a sheepish smile, eyes downcast to the scarred tabletop. “I’m just – I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.”

“Doubting yourself now?” Aizawa said, scratching his stubbled jaw as he lanced Izuku with a calculated look. “You harass me at a backyard barbecue when I could have been drinking myself into oblivion. You actually convince me to help you. You managed to get yourself into my house, which, for the record, has never happened in my existence as a teacher. And now you’re sitting here, in my kitchen, possibly wasting a Saturday morning where I could be sleeping, and you’re telling me you’re not even sure this is the route you want to take?”

Aizawa slouched back into seat, his speech having encased a single tone of bland distaste. But the intent was clear, and Izuku was speechless, his knees trembling.

Lurching to a slow stand, Aizawa silently took his mug and refilled it. He sat, eyeing Izuku’s hollow stare and pale complexion.

“If you did all of that just to sit here and tell me you’re unsure of your path, then you can see yourself out and I can go back to bed.”

Aizawa sipped his coffee, stare unwavering over the rim of the steaming cup.

Izuku tried to swallow, clear his throat, but he felt as though Aizawa’s attention had sapped not just his Quirk, but his ability to speak anything but clear truth.

“I’m – I’m not unsure that I’m doing the right thing,” Izuku said, peering down at his lap where his hands lightly fisted atop his thighs. “This is the only path that’s felt right. That fits me.”

“I assume you’ve spoken to people,” Aizawa said, supplementing the conversation for Izuku’s stuttering thoughts. “Show me your binders, already.”

“Finances?” Izuku said as he ducked his head below the table to dig through his satchel. “Bank leases, mor-“

“Heroes.”

“O-oh, yeah. Of course.”

Izuku pulled out a relatively thin, half-inch binder of plain white and slid it across the table. His skin crawled a little, his heart struggling to remain steady as he watched Aizawa sip coffee and open to the files. Sitting here in the silence, with stark facts and pages laid out before him made everything feel so much more real.

Izuku was giving rise to a new hero agency.

“She’s good,” Izuku said, pointing to a page where Itsuka Kendou’s reliable, friendly expression stared out. “Level-headed, predisposed to de-escalating tense situations, a team player. Quirk’s not bad either, but the Quirk is the last thing you should be considering when recruiting for an agency.”

“I was thinking the same,” Izuku said, his chest swelling with some confidence.

“I see Ochako is following, too,” Aizawa said, scanning briefly through the page. “She’s become unexpectedly powerful.”

“You don’t have to be so blunt,” Izuku muttered as Aizawa flipped to the next page.

Aizawa paused on the next photo, lingering a little longer.

“How did you get Suneater? He was already signed with another agency.”

“For a trial year,” Izuku said quickly, his posture loosening as his business mind cut through years of self-doubt. He was doing the right thing. “He took some convincing. I get the impression that changes of scenery make him –“

“How?” Aizawa said, looking up. “What did you offer him?”

“Turn the page.”

Aizawa did. He stared down, unblinking.

“I’m impressed now, Midoriya.”

Izuku felt his cheeks color as he shifted in his seat. With jittery fingers, his picked and ripped at his nails and cuticles.

“I mean, Mirio is – well, he was the one who gave me the idea in the first place.”

“Idea for?”

This,“ Izuku gestured to the binder, to the space between them blooming with possibilities, with futures. “We were patrolling together, about a half a year ago, during my internship. And he said – I couldn’t believe this, can’t believe it still – he said, Midoriya, wherever you go, I will follow. You’re a leader I’d follow into battle time and again.”

With a short laugh that carried little humor, Izuku folded his hands upon the table, surveying his scars and the stories that lived within each pale tiger stripe. 

“Which is, as you know, ridiculous. Mirio is the hero whom all heroes should look to. He’s a symbol of hope and perseverance. The things he’s been through –“

“And you?” Aizawa said. “You haven’t been through hell and back? Don’t shortchange yourself, kid. Lemillion isn’t a person who follows, he leads. But he wants to follow you.”

Izuku looked up, meeting Aizawa’s steady stare.

“I don’t think I want to lead. I want everyone standing with me, side by side.”

“And that makes you a hero above most.”

Izuku released a shuddering breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding and slumped back in his seat with a worn out laugh.

“Jeez. I’m so scared I’ll fuck up all of this. I barely know what I’m doing.”

“Bakugou is rubbing off on you.”

Izuku felt his face heat as he rubbed the back of his neck and aimed a sidelong look towards the wall, anywhere else but Aizawa.

“Not really. I’m just that level of terrified,” Izuku said with a feeble laugh.

“Speaking of the devil,” Aizawa said, bringing his mug to his lips once more. “I don’t see his thug face in here.”

“I’m, uh –“ Izuku sighed, dragging a hand down his face, his fingers pinched at the bridge of his nose, warding off an impending headache. “I haven’t told him.”

“Ah.”

“He’s going to be furious.”

“Is that so.”

“I mean,” Izuku dropped his hands, only to raise them again as he gesticulated wildly with his speech. “You know what he’s like. I know what he’s like. He’s going to be angry I’ve been working this for months without telling him. He’s going to be hurt on some level that I wasn’t completely honest with him, even though he’s the walking epitome of that – that Indiana Jones movie where you try to reach the treasure and you’ve got poison arrows flying at your head, and the spike floor falling from beneath you, and skeletons, and the ball is rolling and you’re going to die and –“

Midoriya.”

Izuku sucked in a breath, his heart racing in his chest, eyes crazed as Aizawa raised his eyebrows slowly. Once more, Izuku deflated, breathing shallowly as he despondently traced the scratches of the table with a finger.

“The worst part is that I know what he’s going to think. He’s going to think I’m running ahead of him, or above him, when really I just want him in this with me. Together.”

“That’s his insecurity and not yours. You don’t exist to coddle him, and so far you’ve done a good job at refraining from doing so. You’ve always pushed each other toward greatness. This is how you two function. Maybe you should remind him of that.”

“Maybe.”

“Have you considering buildings, offices?”

“Yeah,” Izuku said, suddenly bone tired. He unearthed a manila folder of options and slid it across the table. “I don’t necessarily know what I’m looking for in that respect. A plain old office building is – well, I just don’t think it’ll suit what I’m looking to create.”

“Sounds like you have a vision of sorts.”

“I do.” Izuku’s eyes lit up as he looked at his teacher. It didn’t matter how long Izuku would be a professional hero. Aizawa would always be his teacher, his advisor, he most trusted elder. “I do have a vision. And I don’t want to settle.”

Aizawa’s lips quirked as he considered Izuku for a quiet moment.

“Then don’t. Show me your finances. I want to help.”

“Oh, no!” Izuku stuttered as he pulled out his savings information and the drafts of possible mortgage costs, building licenses, possible construction work plans. “You know everything I inherited from All Might is going into this. This is all for him – for us, him and me. I wouldn’t use his money on anything else in the world. All Might Agency will come from everything he worked for and saved and passed down to me.”

“All Might Agency, huh?” Aizawa said, opening the offered file and scanning it as he spoke. “Not Deku?”

“I’m wouldn’t be Deku the hero without All Might,” Izuku said quietly.

“You wouldn’t be Deku without Bakugou, either.”

“Is that a hint?” Izuku said dryly, his mouth curving mildly.

“A reminder.”

“Thank you, Aizawa,” Izuku said soberly, meeting Aizawa’s eyes. “For this, and everything.”

“I’m a teacher. I get paid to help your ass.”

Izuku just laughed and shook his head.

“Not enough, probably.”

Aizawa huffed a soft breath through his nose, his attention returning to the financial reports.

“I do have one concern,” he said.

“What’s that?”

“How confident are you that, aside from patrolling and intercepting crime as it occurs, you’ll be able to find clients who would hire an up and coming agency, rather than a well established one? People are aware of your existence through the many conflicts that have unfolded in this city and it’s outreaching towns, but –“ Aizawa dropped the file onto the table. “Where will you find the work?”

Izuku grinned at that.

“Don’t worry. People will notice us.”

“Of course,” Aizawa said blandly. “What was I thinking.”

About an hour later, Izuku headed down the crowded sidewalk, mobile phone in his face.

where  are you

Gym.

when are you done

What you want?

nothing no big deal just let me know when youre home

What’s wrong with you?

nothing! have a nice day

I’m leaving in five minutes.

what why no! i told you its nothing!

hello?

youre unbelievable

With a hefty sigh, Izuku dragged his feet the rest of the way his apartment building, knowing full well that by the time it took him to arrive, Kacchan would already be home. How the heck had Kacchan known something was going on? Izuku’s screeching anxiety revved into overdrive.

By the time Izuku stepped off the elevator and into their hallway, he was a bundle of raw, nauseated nerves.

Deciding to stop at his place first to drop off the incriminating satchel, Izuku tiptoed past Kacchan’s door.

It whipped open, Kacchan standing there, bare-chested and dripping from a shower, a black towel still slung low around his waist and his hair in damp spikes. With a narrowed look, he eyed Izuku’s wide-eyed, undoubtedly guilty expression.

“The fuck’re you doin’?”

“Um.” Izuku’s smile wobbled precariously as he approached Kacchan, standing on the other side of the entryway. “You’re dripping on your floor.”

Kacchan’s gaze burned into Izuku’s timid one.

“You fall on your head or some shit?” Kacchan said, his lip curling in a scowl as he leaned a starkly muscled shoulder against the door frame. With his arms folded across his wide chest, his biceps bulged, and Izuku’s brain fizzled out.

“Uh,” Izuku said, staring at Kacchan’s arms rather than his face. Not only the safest option, but extremely satisfying. “Can I come in?”

A hand smacked Izuku upside the head, and Kacchan turned and made for the kitchen.

“Whaddaya think, stupid Deku?”

Izuku rushed in, shutting the door behind him and kicking off his shoes, experiencing a sense of déjà vu from this morning as he trailed after Kacchan.

Kacchan’s broad back rippled and shifted beneath gold, scarred skin as he pulled a water bottom from the fridge and took a long drink. He released a refreshed breath and glanced over his shoulder. He held up the water in offering.

“Want?”

“N-no,” Izuku said, shifting his bag from one shoulder to another. “Thanks.”

“S’That, then?” Kacchan said, his sharp gaze dropping low.

“My future,” Izuku said, the words stumbling out, quick and clumsily as he clenched the single strap with both hands, his fingers clenching. “Or, well, our future. If you want it to be.”

Kacchan cocked his head, his face scrunched in confusion.

Hah? The fuck’re you rambling about, Deku?”

“I’m talking about – well.”

Kacchan gritted out a frustrated growl from beneath his clamped teeth as he snapped the water bottle to the counter top.

“Oh, for the love of – out with it, you little shitsnack!”

“I’m using my inheritance from All Might to open my own hero agency and I want you to join,” Izuku said in one breath, his words in a rampant rush to the finish line. His breath trembled upon his lips as he met Kacchan’s eyes.

Kacchan didn’t look like much at all.

He blinked, crimson gaze still on Izuku’s flushed face.

“K-Kacchan?” Izuku said, after an inordinate amount of time.

“Bullshit,” Kacchan said.

“Bullshit?”

“You’re fuckin’ with me,” Kacchan said, but the shadow of impending doom that clouded over his expression was dark with a distinct sense of understanding. “You woulda told me.”

“Well, I didn’t. I needed to make sure –“

“You wouldn’t do that. I literally know every fuckin’ thing about you,” Kacchan said, his voice raising an octave, his eyes a little manic. “You don’t know shit about running an agency. And who would follow you? No one I know.”

 “I – first of all,” Izuku said, this brow knitted, his eyes sparking with lightning. “First of all, I’m learning how to run one. I’ve been doing my research. Asking around, gathering articles and – and buying books. And Aizawa wants to support me, so he wouldn’t let me –“

“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Kacchan said, grinning that feral battle grin as placed a hand on a bare, cocked hip. “Who do you think you are? You think this’ll finally make you better than me – put you ahead of the game? Because once I choose where I wanna work –“

“Pull your head out of your ass for five minutes of your life,” Izuku said, hands now fisted around the strap over his shoulder, “and try to process the actual words I’m saying to you rather than through the filter of competition.”

Kacchan didn’t skip a beat before he was cutting the space between them, his face in Izuku’s like a charging bull.

“What is this, if not a competition? Forty students just graduated as heroes from UA and you’re the only one here who had to go and open a fuckin’ hero agency. The fuck’re you tryin’ to prove, Deku? You’re better? Smarter? Special? No, you got a Quirk handed to you, and this cash on top of it.”

“You think so little of me?” Izuku said, his eyes hot and wet with fury and hurt. “I’m not doing this for me, alone. It was for you, too – for us. I was thinking about us, as a team, as partners.”

“If we were a team I’d have already heard about this, now wouldn’t I, Deku?” Kacchan all but spat.

“How could I tell you until the foundations were in place?” Izuku said, gesturing with hands out, physically pleading. “I knew you’d be like this. I knew you’d make it about you in all the wrong ways. You’ve never changed. You might think you know everything about me, but the same goes for you, Kacchan. I wish you’d disappointed me, because this was just expected.”

Something in Kacchan’s face cracked, the mask of rage splintering before Izuku’s eyes in a way he’d only seen on that day in front of UA when Kacchan had screamed at him, with tears welling in his eyes.

“You spout a fucking fountain of shit for someone always preaches honesty like you’re on some pedestal,” Kacchan snarled, his voice cracking. This close, the damp glaze of his eyes shone in raw accusation. “And yet here you are, dropping this on me, using words like ‘us’ and ‘we’, when I didn’t have a say in one – single – thing. So, fuck you very much, but I don’t want anything to do with whatever’s goin’ on here.”

The realization hit Izuku like a blast from one of Kacchan’s gauntlets. This was the cause of Kacchan’s rage – not so much the competition, which Kacchan normally relished. The fact that he’d been left in the dark.

Grinding his back teeth as he chewed over to reply, Izuku stared down Kacchan’s angry hurt and took a steadying breath.

“Look, I was scared to tell you. Can you blame me? I thought you’d shoot me down out of, uh, well, jealousy and –“

“Fuck you.”

“And,” Izuku said pointedly, pinning him with a look. “And that’s the opposite of what I was trying for. I wanted to have something solid to present to you. So you could see the reality of it right in front of you. Is that so wrong?”

“You’re an idiot,” Kacchan said flatly, the fire in his voice barely banked. “Y’know, I might be too blunt for some people –“

“Oh, just for some people, okay.”

“But you think you’re so fuckin’ smart that all of your conversations with me happen in your head first. You know who and what and how I’m gonna be without me even being there.” Kacchan wasn’t yelling anymore. This was something altogether different. A cold fire, and altogether new and frightening to Izuku.

Gaze narrowed, Kacchan seared Izuku with his stubborn stare, his hands fisted.

“No wonder you can run ahead of me in everything. The me who’s standing right of front of you doesn’t have a chance against the me you made in your head.”

“Kacchan,” Izuku said, stunned to stillness, his heart curling in on itself in shame. “It’s not like th-“

“You’re annoying me,” Kacchan said, raising his eyebrows expectantly. “Go.”

A chill shocked down Izuku’s spine. His tongue went dry and heavy. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happened.

“H-hold on a second, I’m sorry, I just –“

“You just thought you knew best,” Kacchan said with a short, hard laugh and flash of teeth as he took Izuku by the shoulders and physically turned him, giving him a shove towards the door. “If you know so much, then you’ll expect this.”

Kacchan yanked open his door and thrust Izuku into the hallway. His shoes followed like missiles, smacking on the opposite wall.

Incensed, Izuku whirled, his eyes damp as he glowered at Kacchan’s permanent, smug smirk.

“Maybe it’s time you start shoving your pride out the door instead of me, before it ruins not just your relationships, but you career.”

With another hollow laugh, Kacchan shut the door in his face.

Izuku stared at the apartment number, dazed, his limbs shaking, his heart aching.

Why did he feel like he’d just made a huge mistake?

Chapter Text

Three days.

Katsuki wailed on the punching bag in his living room, heedless of the heat that wafted through the open balcony door in thick, oppressive layers. He wanted the burn, and the rain of sweat that dripped to the floorboards at his bare feet.

Fuck air conditioning. He was building some goddamn character, unlike some people.

Three days and nothing.

Katsuki snarled and spun, throwing a roundhouse kick that slammed the bag against the wall behind it.

What the hell had Deku been thinking?

No, Katsuki was past the point of misunderstanding. He knew where Deku stood – knew enough to gather Deku was still treating him like the guy he’d been before – before what?

Before Deku.  Before all this, and them, and the ‘us’ and ‘we’.

And wasn’t Deku the one constantly harping on about opening up and honesty, transparency and whatever-the-hell he probably read on the internet, written by angsty fourteen year-olds who’d never been in a relationship minus the one with their cellphones?

What did anyone know about his and Deku’s relationship, minus the two of them?

And where did Deku get off on shoving these ideals down Katsuki’s goddamn throat when he wasn’t even at the same table with him?

The fucking nerve.

Katsuki snarled, fist streaking past the bag and impacting with the wall.

Breathing hard, arm immobile and buried in the crumbling crater of drywall, Katsuki curled his lip at the destruction, instantly bogged down with disappointment in himself for letting Deku get under his skin.

Shit.”

Katsuki yanked his hand from the wall and frowned a little as he spread his fingers wide, eyeing the scraped and bleeding knuckles.

“Shit,” he said again, softer, resigned, as he blew on his stinging hand and wandered from the destruction, toward the kitchen.

A rapid knock jolted Katsuki from his thoughts, his heart rapping harder than the fist on the door.

He didn’t need to guess who was on the other side.

Grabbing a t-shirt draped over kitchen chair and using it to wipe his brow and chest, he yanked open the door with narrowed eyes.

“I’m going to pretend you’re not distractingly half-naked and sweaty,” Shinsou said, his usual smug smile replaced with an ominous, thin line of mouth, “and proceed to ask you just what you’re doing at seven in the morning throwing dead bodies against the wall.”

“Dead – hah?” Off-guard from the unexpected visitor and frankly pissed about it, Katsuki stepped into Shinsou’s space, glowering up at him with his shoulders squared and jaw jutted forward. “Oiy, if you wanna be one of them bodies, keep talkin’.”

Deep, sunken eyes of shadows stared blithely down.

“Please take whatever internalized frustrations you’ve been carrying for the past eighteen years and aim them somewhere other than our shared wall. It’s bad enough I have to listen to you destroy poor Midoriya like it’s the apocalypse on a Tuesday at three in the afternoon. Which is, in case you didn’t know, is prime sleeping time.”

“You still talkin’?”

“Pretty much what I do for a living.”

“Well,” Katsuki said, cocking a hip and aiming a murderous grin up at Shinsou. “I hurt people for a living. So maybe –“

“Kacchan?”

Katsuki physically startled and whipped his head to stare down the hall, eyes wide on Deku standing down the length. In a plain white tank top, camouflage cargo shorts that Katsuki had grown out of, and his red sneakers, he looked – he looked like a breath of fresh air. Like waking up to a spring morning.

Fuck.

“Start a PornHub account together, already,” Shinsou muttered and stepped back and away. “You’ll make millions. I’m sleeping somewhere else.”

Katsuki didn’t know when Shinsou left – only that he and Deku were alone in the corridor, and Deku hadn’t moved from his spot in front of his own apartment door.

“Can I, uh –“ Deku picked at his cuticles with bitten nails, his eyes too big, his mouth too serious. “I wanted to say –“

“You gonna say it from over there, dumbass?” Katsuki said with a scowl as he yanked his t-shirt over his sweat-damp body.

He knew he should be angrier than he was, right now. He’d ridden that wave of indignation for three days. A year ago, he could easily have fed off that fury for months.

People changed.

Hell, if Katsuki could change, he knew Deku could, too.

Didn’t mean Katsuki wasn’t waiting for a goddamn explanation, though.

Deku hesitated before he rushed down the hall, squealing to a halt mere feet from Katsuki. He peered up, then flicked his wavering gaze to the ground as he rummaged through his back pocket for something.

“I, uh, I wrote notecards because I had a lot to say and –“

“Lemme see those,” Katsuki said, yanking them from Deku’s hands, ignoring his stuttering protests. It felt like middle school for a moment, Deku grappling for his things while Katsuki held them up and out of his reach with a grin.

“Lay off, short stack,” Katsuki said, snorting a laugh as he dropped a hand on Deku’s head and kept him still.

Deku huffed and folded his arms, a glare rising up as he stood in the hall and watched Katsuki frown as he flicked through the cards, scanning.

With a sigh, Katsuki glanced from the scribbled handwriting to Deku’s pink face. Making eye contact, Katsuki promptly set the cards alight and dropped the curling, blackened remains to the floor.

Deku gawked.

“You’re a complete asshole, you know that? I had an important –“

“Speech,” Katsuki said blandly. “You had an entire speech written. It was like being in school with you all over again. You always went seven fuckin’ minutes over the max time and that’s why I always got a better grade than you.”

Deku’s mouth worked open and closed, but no words came.

Katsuki rolled his eyes.

“Come in already and talk. You got two minutes.”

“But I’d allotted time for a five mi-“

“Two minutes before I physically throw you out of my apartment.”

Before Deku could argue, Katsuki turned on his heel and stomped inside. He heard the shuffle of Deku’s feet follow, the door close, shoes shucked off.

“So?” Katsuki said, heading to the living room and expecting Deku to tow the line. “Whaddaya want?”

He flopped back onto the couch and watched as Deku made a beeline for the wall.

Deku frowned, fingertips brushing the shattered gap.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you what I was thinking earlier,” he said quietly, still touching the punch-mark. “Or what I’d been planning, creating – whatever. All of that. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I just –“

“You’re not the same from a year ago,” Katsuki said, his voice a rasp, his mouth bowed in a frown. “And neither am I, y’know.  Doesn’t take a fuckin’ genius to notice. But apparently you couldn’t.”

Deku’s jaw clenched – Katsuki could see the muscles of his profile working as he bit something back.

“Look,” Deku said, turning to meet Katsuki’s fiery gaze, hands placed on his hips. “I’m – it’s going to take me some time to get unstuck from the way things were. You’re –“

Katsuki’s eyebrows shot up as he waited for this one. He knew an incoming blow when he saw one.

Deku pressed his lips together tightly, releasing a short sigh through his nose.

“You’re wonderful.”

Katsuki’s eyes bugged out. His face went up in flame from the neck up.

“I think what we’re doing here is amazing,” Deku said, gesturing between them. He coughed a short, disbelieving laugh. “How we’ve managed this far, I don’t – I mean. I can barely trace the path of how we got here. And it took the both of us. Not just me. I have to stop thinking it’s been just me.”

Deku wrapped his arms around himself, mouth soft and sober as he wandered toward the open balcony door. A hot breeze played at hair.

“Hey,” Katsuki said, low and intent, fingertips clenching on the arm of the couch. “You’re why we’re here now. Probably.”

“You kissed me first,” Deku said, lips faintly curved, his expression distant.

“You were up in my business first.”

“You’ve been putting in all the effort,” Deku said, abruptly turning, stilling hugging himself, still determined in the stubborn set of his jaw. “And I was too scared to reach back and meet you half way. I’ve been pulling you towards me all this time, and I think – I know – that it was easy for me to think I could treat you the same as I always had because it was easy and comfortable and –“

Deku’s voice cracked and Katsuki stood up, alert, breaking the space between them to grip his shoulders and scowl down at him.

“Stop this pity shit, stupid Deku. This isn’t even about – “ Katsuki sighed gruffly and lightly knocked Deku upside the head. “What the fuck were you thinking not telling me about this agency shit? I would have – I dunno – I would have helped. Or something.”

“I was scared to come to you with some pipe dream,” Deku said, looking up at him, eyes wide and honest and glistening with unshed emotion. “I wanted to – I wanted to impress you, I guess. Make you see what I could really do. That I’m not – I’m not useless.”

Katsuki blinked, his chest clenched tightly, unrelenting as he wrapped his head around the words.

“Listen,” Katsuki said, hands tight on Deku’s arms. “I couldn’t be with anyone but the best. And since I can’t be with me, well –“

Deku’s cheeks bloomed pink, his eyes flitting over Katsuki’s sudden grin, Deku’s lips a small ‘o’ of wonder.

“I’m gonna cry,” Deku said, his wavering words already wet. “You’re obnoxious.”

“Like I wanna see you cry for the millionth time,” Katsuki said with a hefty sigh as he buried his palm in the back of Deku’s thick hair and thrust him forward, encouraging Deku’s damp face against his shoulder. “You’re obnoxious.”

Expression quiet, Katsuki stared at the small cactus sitting on his balcony that Deku had given him as a housewarming present. Which one of them did it really suit most? Probably not the one quietly weeping with relief against his chest. Cacti did carry a lot of water, though – so did this guy.

Katsuki wasn’t sure how long he held Deku like that, or when Deku’s arms had come to squeeze tightly around his middle. But eventually Deku was sniffling and rubbing his nose against Katsuki’s shirt.

Oiy, don’t be disgusting,” Katsuki said, with no heat.

Deku’s voice was muffled against Katsuki’s body.

“Will you come look at agency buildings with me? Pick something with me? Make plans with me?”

Katsuki fell silent, thoughtful.

Who would follow Deku into battle?

A lot of people he knew.

“I guess. If you’re gonna be all weepy about it and shit.”

Deku’s laughter was the best thing Katsuki had heard in three days.

It was a good hour before they finally left the house. And, of course, Deku had to get his notes or some shit about buildings he’d scouted. Katsuki didn’t mind that, honestly. The detail work was not his thing anyway. Big pictures and action were. Maybe it had been good that Deku had fixed the finer points of this thing beforehand.

Although, standing here in the dead of summer, travelling back and forth across the city in this heat, Katsuki was beginning to question agreeing to Deku’s demands.

“The hell is this?” Katsuki said with a deep frown as he surveyed the derelict building. Old didn’t quite cover it. Judging by the design, the place was easily fifty years old, probably in business while his parents were kids. The faded, rusty sign claimed it was once some kind of public pool and community center.

This was the fourth place they’d viewed, and the most bizarre and dilapidated by far. How would they garner any respect or notoriety in a dump like this?

“Looks like shit,” Katsuki said, clipped as he turned on his heel. “Let’s go.”

“Wait wait,” Deku said, wrapping both his arms around Katsuki’s, holding him back with pleading eyes. “You’re not seeing it the way I am.”

Katsuki blandly stared down at Deku.

“Rose-tinted glasses just make a pile of crap a different color.”

“That’s – ugh.” Deku swerved Katsuki back in the direction of the building and forced him to face it. “Just look, okay? Think of the possibilities. This isn’t a normal place for an agency, is it?”

“Obviously. I need a shower just looking at it.”

“But imagine this,” Deku said, still hugging Katsuki’s arm, his grip tightening as his excitement grew. “There aren’t just offices in here, Kacchan. Locker rooms, training rooms, probably an empty gym, an old pool. We could be more than a hero agency. We could –“

“What, you wanna build a fuckin’ community center?” Katsuki said with a short laugh.
“Why not?” Deku said.

Katsuki looked at him then, registering the glint in his eyes, his expression stubborn and sturdy.

Hah?” Katsuki said, frowning now, the wheels turning. “You want to – what – wait. What good would that do?”

“Imagine all the people who live in this area,” Deku said quickly, building steam.

“Destitute,” Katsuki said, looking around. The south side of the city had seen too many villains, taken too many hits over the years, and had suffered for it.

“The people here need help,” Deku said, brows crunched together tightly as passion brewed in his voice. “We’re in a prime villain location here, but no agency actually wants to seat itself in the heart. What if we did? We’d be the only ones. We – I don’t know, we’d refurbish the place, open the pool up for kids who have nothing to do. Keep them out of trouble –“

“Easy to keep them out of trouble, but what happens when they get in trouble anyway? Oh yay, you learned how to fuckin’ swim. Nobody cares.” Katsuki’s gaze flitted to the building, lingered. “Kids these days need self-defense classes, not a basketball court.”

“That!” Deku snapped his fingers and pointed at Katsuki, his face lighting up. “That’s – that’s great. Self-defense classes, free. Heck, you could teach them yourself. Or Mirio wouldn’t mi-“

“I’d teach the shit outta those classes,” Katsuki snarled.

Pausing as Deku rolled his eyes, Katsuki looked at the community center again.

Think of the possibilities.

Maybe he did see it. What it could be. A community center, again. But not just that – a hero agency, All Might Agency. A place where people here could feel safe – where, as heroes, they weren’t just locking up villains and crashing holes into apartment buildings. This place could be a symbol of hope in itself.

“We could do, like, a soup kitchen thing on the weekends,” Katsuki said, faintly.

“God, I love you.”

Heart throbbing, Katsuki shifted, hot gaze encompassing Deku’s wide, awed one.

He hadn’t heard that in – what, months? Since the first time? Not that he looked to hear it. The words were almost foreign from Deku’s mouth, from his voice. Would that kind of thing ever feel normal?

“Uh,” was all Katsuki said.

Deku’s smile was wide and warm and welcoming as he linked his arms around Katsuki’s neck and leaned in. Instinctively, Katsuki glanced above Deku’s head to check no one was looking. A few people littered the streets, but nothing more.

Safe, Katsuki’s hands found Deku’s hips, held him firm as he pressed his lips to Deku’s hair, stilling for a brief moment, taking in that sunshine springtime scent before he pulled back.

“It’s gonna take a lot of work,” Katsuki said, slouching and shoving his hands into his pockets as he eyed up the old building one more time. The bones looked steady, the foundations solid. If it had survived the south side this long, it held promise.

“We’re used to a lot of work,” Deku said, humor lilting his words.

“Fuck if we ain’t,” Katsuki said, flicking his attention back to Deku with a quick grin.

A piercing scream cut through the din of traffic.

Every hair on Katsuki’s body stood on end before he bulleted off into a frantic dash. He didn’t need to look behind him to know Deku was following.

Screeching around a corner, Katsuki pushed off into a final sprint down the sidewalk as he spotted a woman on her knees, her body blanketing another’s, shoulders wracked with sobs.

“What did you do?” she screeched into the – the man, it was a man’s chest. When her face rose, it was smeared in blood. “Oh god, what did you make me do?”

Katsuki assessed the situation quickly.

The man had already bled out, his throat torn by – fuck. The woman’s mouth was caked in black blood, dripping down her pale pink dress. Beside them stood a tall man with a large backpack over his shoulder, lanky and grinning down at them like he were enjoying a street performer’s show.

Katsuki’s eyes bulged as he took in the figure. He looked just like –

Shinsou?” Deku said, voice raised over the woman’s ragged wailing. Katsuki gaped between Deku’s horrified expression and the smirking man.

The man looked up, the cut of his smile too wide and thin and sharp. He ran a slim-fingered hand through his sky-high mane of lavender hair and stepped over the dead body like it was a crack in the pavement.

“I see you’ve heard of me,” he said with a low chuckle. He gave a dramatic sigh, one hand flippantly moving with his words like broken bird wings. “I can’t blame you. I’m hardly forgettable.”

“I have no idea who you are,” Deku said, disgust dripping in his voice. But he wasn’t looking at the stranger – his eyes were all for the distraught woman, and the crowd beginning to gather. “But you look too much like our friend to be anyone else.”

The man blinked once, something dark flashing in his deep violet eyes.

My son – make friends? I did tell him UA would hold him back.” He shrugged, heaving a theatrical sigh. “Can’t win them all, I suppose. I’m sure he’ll come around once he fails miserably. Poor darling isn’t cut out for that kind of work.”

“Just what the hell is happening here?” Deku said, voice rising in decibels, audibly cracking under a level of stress Katsuki wished he’d learn to fucking hide already. He might as well have been a walking target.

“Why, I needed a little spending money is all,” Shinsou’s father said, head cocked with a pout. He hefted the heavy, overfilled backpack from one shoulder to the other. He didn’t seem rushed, despite the undeniable fact that the bank he stood in front of would have called the police by now.

“They got in the way. I suppose that sad little man had thought himself to be a hero. But, well, that’s the usual end for heroes, now isn’t it? He should be thankful.”

Deku eked out a strangled noise and took a single step forward. Katsuki’s periphery caught the flash and snap of electricity running through his arms and legs.

“Who are you?”

Purple eyebrows raised slowly, that familiar smirk twisting a pallid mouth.

“Why, I’m Mesmer, of course.”

“Enough talk,” Katsuki said with a snarl, holding his arm out to press against Deku’s chest. A heartbeat slammed beneath his touch in a desperate escape. “We’re taking you the hell in. Whatever Quirk you used on that lady –“

“It’s a little of this, a little of that,” Mesmer said, pressing a long hand to his plain, grey shirt and smoothing out the invisible wrinkles as he walked towards them.

Katsuki gritted his teeth and took on a fighting stance, regretting the lack of uniform or battle gear. Not that he needed it. He just didn’t want to accidentally demolish the entire street if he didn’t have to. The gauntlets centered his aim.

As Mesmer’s strolling gait cut the space between them, an errant onlooker with some type of stretch Quirk drew her arms several yards out, into the scene, and wrapped around the woman. Her embittered screech jolted a flinch through Katsuki’s body, and the shuddering breath of relief that huffed from Deku’s nose was the same solace in Katsuki as they both understood they could now fight in relative safety.

“Are you two really Hitoshi’s friends?” Mesmer said, his eyes hooded and unreadable as they shifted between the two of them, back and forth, pausing his advance just five feet away.

Deku vehemently said, Yes, just as Katsuki said, No.

They shared a look, frustration simmering in Katsuki’s blood and heating his eyes. What the fuck was Deku thinking – engaging like this? Every goddamn time.

A chill snaked around Katsuki’s spine as he watched Mesmer’s smile fade, his expression impassive as it locked on Deku. Predatory.

Shit. They’d answered a question, hadn’t they? Did Mesmer share a Quirk with Shinsou, or were they different? Even as Katsuki had seen Shinsou’s abilities strengthen over the years, he could never do something so complicated as make – as make someone bite out another person’s throat.

Katsuki’s palms flared up in tandem as he took a half-step in front of Deku, his teeth bared, feral and fucking pissed.

“I don’t give a flying fuck who you are,” Katsuki said, lips curled back in a blood-thirsty smile. “You’re gonna burn.”

“Oh?” Mesmer said, mimicking his menacing expression. “I don’t have anywhere to be. Let’s play.”

Before Katsuki could run at him, Mesmer – still facing Katsuki – looked to Deku with pale, darting eyes. Katsuki’s stomach splattered to his feet as he saw Mesmer’s expression shift to something dark, ominous.

“This boy needs to die.”

Katsuki coughed a sharp laugh, his fingers curling towards his palms where sparks and fire scattered, barely contained.

“Touch him and you won’t have a tongue left to spew shit with.”

“Oh no,” Mesmer said, features shifting to pity, his thin eyebrows bowed, his wide mouth weighted in a frown. “I wasn’t talking about him.”

Mesmer looked at Deku one last time before turning on his heel and waving a hand.

“Do as you wish,” was all he said.

“The fuck you think –“

Katsuki went flying. Sailed across the street, pummeled through the encircled crowd, and slammed into brick. The back of his head snapped against the building, a crack that sang through his skull and spilled hot down the slope of his nape.

He landed on his feet, vision swarming as he blinked hard, his blurred vision wavering on a single figure stomping towards him with intent in his eyes. Gaping, Katsuki took a step forward.

“De-“

Katsuki dodged a fist of snapping light and electric current, his lungs rent of air as he wrapped an arm around Deku’s and tossed him. Deku, too, landed on his feet.

Katsuki couldn’t turn fast enough. His spine shrieked with impact, streaking him through the air.

What the fuck was going on?

Twin flames of fury and fear ablaze in his tight chest, Katsuki’s palms flared like rockets, upending him until he landed in the middle of the street with a roll to a stand. Racing footsteps already in his ears, Katsuki whirled.

Get in a hit. That’s how Shinsou’s Quirk works.

Katsuki’s Stun Grenade erupted in Deku’s impassive expression. A sphere of blinding light blazed around them in a quaking boom. Distant screams of surprise from civilians.

Katsuki didn’t need to see to know Deku would be back-flipping in quick retreat. With or without sight, Deku would create distance on instinct. Katsuki had seen it all before.

But how could Deku be moving and acting like his normal self, while under some kind of Shinsou family Quirk? The Shinsou they knew could only work in hollow, robotic movements. This Deku was -

Katsuki surged forward, palms spitting fire behind him, and roared. He kicked out, and when his feet met Deku’s back, pounded him into the fucking pavement.

A wheezing, wet gasp from beneath him. Bright spots in Katsuki’s vision as he straddled the small of Deku’s back and tangled Deku’s arms into a tight, unrelenting hold. He registered the crimson stains across the tarmac, and the blood on Deku’s snarling lips.

“I’ll kill you!”

Panic chilled Katsuki’s veins as he loomed over Deku, his mouth near Deku’s ear.

“Snap out of it, Deku!” Katsuki heard a sickening pop as he wrenched at Deku’s struggling arms. Deku screamed as his shoulder sprung from its socket. The sound embedded itself into Katsuki’s memory.

Katsuki draped his weight over Deku’s body. Distantly he heard laughter, ignored it. Deku wasn’t crying, but hissing with each breath.

Listen, you asshole,” Katsuki said, giving Deku’s arms a solid final yank until he heard a cry. “You’re not yourself. You’re not you, okay? You’re Izuku. Not whatever this asshole is telling you in your head. And I’m – “

Katsuki ground his teeth, his jaw aching. A warm blood-slick continued to seep down between his shoulder blades from his head.

“I’m Kacchan.”

“I know who I am.”

Katsuki’s gaze widened on Deku’s profile, where the side of his face was smeared into the pavement. One green, blood-shot eye looked to its periphery and locked on Katsuki The recognition there – the desolation and emptiness there – raised bile in Katsuki’s throat.

“I know who you are, too,” Deku said, spitting copper. His teeth flashed, stained red. “And I know you need to die.”

This boy needs to die.

Shit, he’d done it then. Right in front of Katsuki’s face. A suggestion - an order? An idea planted right into Deku’s mind. True brainwashing.

“Let’s finish this,” Deku said.

The brief flick of a single finger and thumb against Katsuki’s stomach set off alarm bells too late. The breath knocked from his lungs as he shot towards the sky. The wind whistled past his ears, and Deku’s distant visage was one of singular determination. Katsuki fired up his palms and dropped into a nosedive.

Deku bounded into the air, leaving a crater of earth in his wake.

They impacted with ready fists and snarls, grappling and spinning as they dead-fell like stones, bodies intertwined.

Stomach hurled up to his throat, the black pavement rearing up to meet them, Katsuki kicked off Deku’s torso and landed on a roof. He made out Deku across the street, on an opposite building.

Deku’s face was blackened and singed, his plain white tank top obliterated by Katsuki’s attacks to a bare, heaving chest. One arm was hanging loosely at his side, ripped from its socket.

Fuck, Deku was strong. It had been a long time still Deku’s power had been aimed at him. Never with this level of menace.

Deku was treating him like – like Katsuki was a villain. Like he hated him. In the truest, most basic sense which, through a lifetime of fuck ups and fights, Katsuki had never really believed.

Now that determination to destroy was aimed at him with the most beautiful, generous green eyes gone sour and wilted.

Mesmer.

Fuck,” Katsuki bit off, keeping his gaze locked with Deku’s. He raised his voice above the approaching sirens, above the frantic chatter of civilians. “You want this, stupid Deku? You really want this?”

“You talk too much,” Deku called across the distance, his voice cracked and ragged. “I know you don’t want to hurt me, Bakugou. And that’s okay. You don’t have to.”

“Honestly, I wanna cave your fuckin’ face in at this point,” Katsuki said with a laugh, his fists clenching, unclenching. His body hummed, poised for the next move, his crazed, crooked smile a mask for the sickened panic that raked at his ribs.

Even from the distance, he could see Deku’s bloodied lips twitch.

Deku ran. Lofted himself over the street, body aglow with lightning and god-power. His fist pulled back.

Detroit Smash!”

This was it.

Fight or flight instinct screamed through Katsuki’s limbs, raged a fire in him like one to raze a country to ashes with everyone in it.

Fight always won.

Outstretched hand, ring of flames. In the split second it took for him to construct the beam of concrete-shattering firepower through its dead center, Deku was close enough for Katsuki to register his startled expression.

Twin screams. Both his own and Deku’s, as the fire beam pierced through Deku, and the unparalleled force of One For All cracked Katsuki’s bones.

Pain blacked out his vision. Distantly, Katsuki felt another building crater in the wake of his body, but that was nothing in comparison to the jagged burn of his broken ribs piercing at his lungs.

Shit, he couldn’t breathe.

Inhale. Slick, wet suction noises and a flood of blood gurgling up his throat. Coughing, spitting up onto his own face.

Everything hurt. Were his eyes open? They were open, he just couldn’t fucking see.

Had he lost?

There was no way. Deku had been too close to the blast.

Deku.

Was he okay?

Katsuki had to move. Had to know. Had to see if Deku was – if he was –

Slow, stumbling footsteps crunched over gravel and glass. Katsuki blinked, but still, there was nothing.

Soft huffs of breath, closer.

Katsuki’s heart clenched and released.

He knew, he knew even through the sound of breathing, that Deku was alive.

Katsuki released a sob, the way it burst from his mouth wracking his broken body with a crushing wave of physical anguish.

“Hey,” Deku said, a soft snort of a laugh through his nose. He dropped to his knees beside Katsuki. “Hey. I found you.”

“I thought –“ Katsuki choked on copper, spat it up once more. His lungs stuttered for air, and now he was sure one of them had collapsed. He felt underwater, a slow, torturous drowning. “I thought I’d gone ‘n fuckin’ killed ya.”

“No,” Deku said, laying a warm hand on Katsuki’s cheek.

When had Katsuki grown so cold?

“No,” Deku said, then sighed. “It’s me who’ll kill you.”

Katsuki didn’t think twice.

He flung up a hand, clamped his palm over Deku’s face, nails digging into his scalp –

And fired.

The last sound before the darkness claimed him was the thud of Deku’s body meeting the ground beside him.

Chapter Text

Waking up in a hospital was nothing new.

Waking up in a hospital with the media practically knocking down Izuku’s door was an altogether different experience.

Three days had apparently passed before he’d properly come to, mostly healed, rolled from ICU.

Claustrophobia narrowed in around him like crawling through a black tunnel that only clenched tighter and smaller.

“I can’t see,” Izuku had said, shooting up in bed, clutching at the thick bandages around his head, around his eyes. His breath hitched in panic, decibels climbing high. “I can’t see. I can’t see!”

Then, immediately, before anyone could reply – if there was even anyone in his room to reply:

“Where the hell am I? Where’s Ka – where’s Bakugou? Bakugou Katsuki? That’s the last thing I re-”

“Oh, he’s doing well enough,” had come Recovery Girl’s sweet, maternal warbling. “Fighting every second he’s stuck to that bed, but that’s just the way of heroes, isn’t it, my dear?”

“He’s okay.” A maelstrom of sickly, swirling emotion sapped out of Izuku in one long-winded sigh as he collapsed back against an uncomfortable hospital pillow. “He’s okay?”

“Let’s talk about you, instead,” had come Aizawa’s even voice.

Instinctively, blindly, Izuku’s hand had shot out, fingers wide, searching. Aizawa’s own warm hand had enfolded it, and the shuffle of him settling in beside Izuku’s bed had been a balm to the hot hysteria radiating from his heart.

Explanations had come then, a seemingly endless barrage against Izuku’s empty memory.

Mesmer. He remembered Mesmer. He remembered the moment those pale eyes had locked on his, and something like a pit of snakes had slithered and squirmed in the crevices of his brain, burrowing holes into his memory, writhing within his self-control, his free will.

Shit. Was Shinsou okay? He had to know by now.

“Shinsou was the one to apprehend him,” Aizawa had said, perhaps noting the way Izuku’s fingers had clenched into a crushing grip upon the subject of Mesmer.

“What – really? Why was he there?”

“The same reason I suppose any hero would have been there,” Aizaway had said, no humor in his voice. “The majority of your short battle had been broadcast live across the news. Everyone saw.”

“Saw – what exactly did they –“

“You versus Bakugou. Looked like you were about to emerge victorious, too,” Aizawa had said, his words tightening just enough for Izuku to gauge the level of emotion tamped down behind the casual explanation. “You could look it up online. I wouldn’t recommend it, but I don’t think you’ve ever listened to any of my recommendations, minus those on books.”

“I can’t look up anything like this,” Izuku had said, his free hand gingerly pressing over one eye. It didn’t hurt. Nor did the rest of his body, minus lingering aches in his back and his shoulder. “What happened here?”

“Ground Zero happened,” Aizawa had said. “He basically blew your face off, kid.”

“I was able to catch the burns before the damage was irreversible,” Recovery Girl had cut in. “You’re still as cute as ever. But your eyes were heavily damaged in the blast. I had a surgical team at my aid, and we worked for three hours on your sight alone. You’ll be able to see fine, but you’ll require contacts and glasses for the remainder of your life.”

Oh.” Izuku had released a shaky breath. “That’s – that’s fine. That’s good. Thank you for all of your hard work, Recovery Girl.”

“You’re shaving years off of my life, deary.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You’ll be able to take off the bandages tomorrow. You just needed a good rest.”

“And Kacchan?”

There had been a beat of silence.

“You did a number on him,” was all Aizawa had said.

“He’s healing,” Recovery Girl had side, though her voice had been less cheerful than when she’d reviewed Izuku’s relatively casual injuries. “He received several serious injuries. Several compression fractures down his spine –“

“I broke his back?” Izuku had whispered, the air rent from his lungs with a painful fist. His chest collapsed in on itself and he sucked in a panicked breath, then another, another. “I –I – I –“

Midoriya,” Aizawa had said, standing to grip him by the shoulders firmly. “Midoriya, stop. Breathe. Bakugou’s fine. That’s all over. You can’t do this anymore. You’re a Pro Hero. You have to roll with the punches and keep on fighting. Panic isn’t a part of you anymore.”

Izuku sucked in a sharp breath through his nose, held it. Released.

“Compression fractures,” he had said quietly. “And?”

“Punctured lung, three broken ribs,” Recovery Girl had said, her words clipped but not without compassion. “Concussion. He’s doing well, all things considered. We’re in the best hospital the city has to offer. Plus, I’m here, aren’t I? Have a little confidence in me, dear. Bakugou will be walking in two weeks. Stiffly to start, undoubtedly, but he will be good to go.”

“Okay.” Struggling to keep himself centered, Izuku took a soothing breath and imagined them two weeks from now. Free of this. Moving on.

Izuku sobbed a wet laugh.

He’d nearly killed the person he loved most in this world. And he didn’t even remember it.

There was no moving on from this.

Had Bakugou been right? Were they better off apart? Had they not been together, they never would have been there together and Mesmer would have never pitted them against each other and –

“Well,” Recovery Girl had said with a tsch. “Now your crying has gone and soaked the bandages. I suppose it can’t be helped under such circumstances. I’ll go get new ones, shall I?”

The door opened and closed with a click.

Izuku’s breath shuddered out with a hiccup.

“Hey,” Aizawa had said, seated again and squeezing his hand. “Don’t get any rash ideas, alright?”

“We’re together, you know,” Izuku had said quietly, his voice thick and damp. It was so strange to say it out loud. Everyone in their class had assumed it, and Izuku had simply said, Yes, when his friends had asked them, Is it true? “I love him.”

Aizawa hadn’t said anything for a long time. They’d just sat there, listening to the bustle and chat of nurses and doctors outside the door. City traffic and clatter outside his window, floors and floors down. His heartbeat somehow louder and more demanding in his ears now that he couldn’t see.

“That’s all the more reason not to act rashly,” Aizawa had said, finally. “If there’s one thing that keeps you from falling apart as a hero, it’s the people you love, and those who love you in return. Don’t fuck that up, kid.”

Izuku hadn’t replied, but he’d understood it to be true.

If Aizawa said it, then it was true.

And Izuku had really needed to hear it.

The next day, Izuku’s bandages came off and he was painfully alone. His mother visited with tears and flowers that he didn’t want. The latter, not the former. He reciprocated the tears.

She also brought with her a new and utterly foreign pair of glasses for Izuku. They were plain and black rimmed, rectangular, and felt strange on Izuku’s face. But they would do around the house. Izuku would wear the contacts more than anything, anyway.

When his mother left, he pulled out his phone. After forty minutes, he wished he had taken Aizawa’s advice.

Izuku replayed them more than necessary. Watched the shock on Kacchan’s face. The horror, and the grim acceptance as he went at Izuku, full throttle. Watched as they clashed, Izuku’s own face a resolute mask of pure determination, of feral mouth and electric-sparking skin and bloodied hands. Saw the moment Kacchan’s back must have broken, and the way he dropped to the roof like a slab of meat. The blood that bubbled and boiled from his mouth, splashed across his face.

And himself, again, in a slow, dragging walk. One arm, sickeningly limp and swaying with each struggled step towards Kacchan’s crumpled form.

This was the part where Izuku couldn’t look away. Couldn’t stop rewinding, pressing play. Rewind, play.

The relief on Kacchan’s face, his mouth moving with no audible sound. Tears rolled down the corners of his eyes, though he stared straight up at the sky. Izuku’s lips shifting in faint reply, all the while his good arm revving up, crackling bright and hot with a current designed to kill. The widening of Kacchan’s blind gaze, the grit of his teeth, and the way the tears flowed through the blood and grime as he rocketed forth one hand, grabbed Izuku’s shocked face, and blasted.

Izuku collapsing beside him, face down. Blood.

Rewind, play.

A knock on the door had Izuku startling and shoving the phone beneath his blankets.

“Ah, uh – come in!”

Todoroki burst through the door, his mouth tight as he shot across the room, one knee on the bed as he enveloped Izuku in an unrelenting hug.

Izuku’s shoulder ached with the pressure of Todoroki’s hold, but he wouldn’t have changed this moment for anything. Heart filling with something other than dread, he tentatively brought his arms around Todoroki’s waist and let himself inhale, exhale.

“You’re so damn lucky,” Todoroki said into the crook of Izuku’s neck, his arms still wholly encompassing his frame. “So damn lucky Bakugou kicked your ass before I had a chance to. You scared the shit out of me.”

“Yeah,” Izuku said, refusing to let his tears shed. “Guess you could say he beat you to the punch.”

Now you make jokes?” Shinsou’s voice came from the doorway. “You’re a sick, sick man.”

Izuku looked over Todoroki’s shoulder, his grip loosening and dropping as he took in the sleepless eyes and the unnaturally gaunt measure of his cheekbones.

“Hey,” Izuku said, low and careful. “Are you okay?”

Shinsou blinked, still in the doorway, his arms folded across his body.

“What?”

“I mean, with what happened,” Izuku said, aiming a distracted half smile at Todoroki, who dragged two chairs up to the side of the bed. Immediately, his concern aimed back to Shinsou. “With your dad and everything. I’m sorry. I heard that you beat him.”

“I broke his jaw,” Shinsou said, jerking one shoulder smoothly as his attention flitted around the room, lingering on flowers, the window, Todoroki. “Hand-to-hand with him is like knocking a toddler over. He never expects anyone to get close to him and he’s spoiled with that Quirk of his. I just got lucky.”

“Far from lucky,” Todoroki said.

Shinsou’s gaze lingered on Todoroki, humming.

“Yeah, well,” Shinsou looked to Izuku and gestured with a hand to his state. “Why’re you asking me if I’m okay? I wasn’t the one in ICU. How are you?”

“Fine,” Izuku said. At Todoroki’s scoff, Izuku’s lips curved as he looked down at his hands, picked at his cuticles. “A mess.”

“I’m sorry,” Shinsou said, the words low, wavering. He cleared his throat when Izuku looked up curiously. “I’m sorry that you  - I mean, I’m sorry for everything. On behalf of that asshole that made me, and –“

“You don’t have anything to be sorry about,” Izuku said vehemently, his brows bunched. “Don’t do that. No one here is their father.”

Silence prevailed between the three of them for a moment, sinking in.

“When are you going to sit?” Todoroki said.

Shinsou sighed and loped into the room, slumping into a chair with his lanky legs splayed out.

“I’m sorry, anyway,” Shinsou said, looking at his knees. “I’ve spent my entire life going in the opposite direction of him but –“ Shinsou grinned without humor and shook his head. “That guy never gives up. Maybe I get that from him, too.”

“We’ve all inherited things we wish we hadn’t,” Todoroki said evenly. “Don’t worry about that. The best thing I ever did was let it go.”

“Yeah, well your dad is just a raging trashfire, he’s not walking around trying to murder your friend.”

“Technically, he was trying to murder Bakugou, but –“

“Guys,” Izuku said, holding up two hands. “It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t matter.”

Izuku looked to Shinsou, whose cheeks were pallid, his face drawn and shaded with exhaustion.

“You saved us, Shinsou. Thank you. And you put him away, didn’t you?”

“Yeah,” Shinsou said, finally lifting his gaze to meet Izuku’s eyes. He took a deep breath, blew it out. “He came to visit me three days ago.”

“What?” Todoroki said, his hand reaching across the bed to rest atop Izuku’s ankle through the sheets. “Why?”

“It was my eighteenth birthday,” Shinsou said. “Guess he was lookin’ to party or something.”

“Shinsou,” Izuku said with a warning tone.

With a sigh, Shinsou waved him off and looked between Izuku and Todoroki as he spoke.

“Yeah, yeah, okay. Listen, he – I lived with my dad until I was thirteen. Just him and me, all that time. Just him, working on me, trying to cut away the parts of me that were meant to be a hero so he could replace them with something – something worse.”

“But here you are, anyway,” Izuku said, earning a squeeze of Todoroki’s hand on his leg.

“Yeah, well.” Shinsou’s smile was crooked, his eyes shadowed as he flicked a look to Todoroki. “It wasn’t as easy as all that. Anyway, shit happened – I got strong enough to handle my Quirk, but I also got strong enough to use my fists and my smarts. When I started fighting back in earnest, so did he.”

Shinsou huffed a soft breath through his nose and crossed his arms over his chest tightly. One shoulder shifted in a faint shrug.

“Neighbors started to hear things. Police were called. Social workers. They swept me away and landed me with family after family – all of them who were scared out of their wits of me. I caught one of my foster moms praying over me while I slept one night. Talk about scarred for life. That was not her best angle. You know like accidentally opening the selfie –“

Shinsou,” Izuku and Todoroki said in tandem.

“Anyway. That was kind of that. I figured he’d brainwashed the authorities into letting him go and slunk off into the night to do whatever it is he does with himself these days. He couldn’t get to me, though. I was relocated here from a city four or five hours away. And here was UA, right around the corner. I got to prove myself. To him, to everyone who looked at me and saw a villain.”

“So, what about three days ago?” Todoroki said, frowning. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Are you two friends now?” Izuku said, analyzing the chemistry between the two. They seemed comfortable and familiar with each other, certainly more than their days at school. But neither of them had referenced the other in past conversations.

Yes,” the both said, then looked back to each other.

“That would have been a great conversation starter,” Shinsou said with a short laugh. “Hey man, how’s it going? Oh, same old, same old. My shitty, murderous dad hunted me down in the middle of the night while I was on duty and tried to convert me to being a villain again. No biggie. You?”

“That’s beside the point,” Todoroki said. “You should have –“

“None of you could have done anything,” Shinsou said, his voice suddenly sharp and cutting. “In fact, Midoriya, you and your boner buddy are prime examples of just how ineffectual most people are against that guy.”

“You beat him though,” Izuku said quietly, his voice underlying steel and support. “You did it.”

“Like I said.” Shinsou met Izuku’s eyes. “I got lucky.”

“If you saw him three nights ago, why didn’t he just brainwash you into coming along with?”

“I’ve been actively working on how to block him out for nine years,” Shinsou said, gaze unwavering and still on Izuku. “He doesn’t have a key to this lock anymore.”

“You’re amazing,” Izuku said, half smiling. “I always knew you were from that first battle, but I don’t think you see how incredible you are. After watching those videos of how he managed to control me so completely, how he turned me against Bakugou without so much as a fight from me.”

“There’s footage of Shinsou, too,” Todoroki said. “Of their fight. The press is all over it. His success story, and how he rose up over his father to become a hero.”

Wait,” Shinsou said, eyes lancing through Todoroki. “What’re you talking about?”

“You’re the hero of this battle,” Todoroki said, his voice forever calm, sturdy, reliable. “You didn’t notice? It certainly wasn’t Deku or Ground Zero. They nullified each other while the villain was still at large. It was Mister Sandman who took Mesmer down.”

Shinsou blinked. Looked between Todoroki, to Izuku, and back.

“I – oh. I didn’t – I didn’t know. That people were saying that.”

“Well, you basically live in a cave you call an apartment, so –“

“Speaking of Ground Zero,” Izuku said hesitantly, leaning in from his place on the bed, as if he would get in trouble for asking. “Do you – do you know where he is?”

“What’re you talking about?” Shinsou said with a laugh. “He’s literally three doors down from you."

“Seriously?” Izuku said, staring owlishly at the door, envisioning himself booking it into the hallway at full speed, open-backed hospital gown, bare-butt and all. “I haven’t heard any explosions or screaming in the last two days I’ve been here.”

“Pretty sure he’s in no shape to do so either,” Shinsou said.

“I broke his back,” Izuku said, the tears welling up instantly as he looked to Todoroki. “I broke him.”

“I’m sorry,” Shinsou said, voice hushed and torn.

Stop that,” Izuku snapped, sniffling as he kept the tide of his emotions at bay. “This has nothing to do with you.”

“Hey,” Todoroki said, squeezing Izuku’s foot through the thin blanket. His gaze was steady. “He’s going to be fine. We dropped in on our way here and he had the strength to flick us off and tell us to go to hell and let him sleep.”

“That’s nice,” Izuku said, smiling softly with genuine relief. That sounded like his Kacchan.

“So, what’s with the glasses?” Shinsou said. “You’re becoming more and more like my middle school math teacher every time I see you. I can’t wait ‘til you learn about sweater-vests.”

“Oh.” Izuku scooted them up his nose with a knuckle, his cheeks going warm. “I guess there was some irreversible damage to them, so this is me now. I’m glad I can see at all.”

“Bakugou didn’t pull his punches,” Todoroki said soberly.

“Neither would I, in his position,” Izuku said, equally serious.

“Well,” Shinsou said with a sigh as he stood. He aimed fingerguns at Izuku, clicking his tongue as he shot at him, though his eyes still looked stressed and sad. “The specs are hot. I’m sure you’ll get to watch Bakugou’s blood pressure rising on the monitor.”

“We should let you rest,” Todoroki said, his attention lingering on Shinsou’s haggard countenance before swinging to land earnestly on Izuku. “Sleep, rest. Get strong. Don’t talk to the press, or anyone you meet in the halls. They’re wandering around, waiting for prey.”

“If I can handle Mesmer, I can handle the press.”

“Well, you couldn’t handle him, so don’t even think about the press,” Shinsou said, his smile wide and crooked as he winked. “They’re even worse.”

Izuku rolled his eyes, but his lips twitched.

“I got it, I got it. Thanks, guys. For visiting me.”

“It’s the least we could do,” Shinsou said, back toward the door, his hands shoved in his pockets.

“Be good,” Todoroki said, standing and straightening his shirt before he nodded once at Izuku and made for the exit. “We’ll be back tomorrow.”

“Oh, you don’t have to –“

“We’ll be back tomorrow,” Todoroki said. He aimed a pointed look at Izuku and shut the door.

Izuku’s smile evaporated the moment he was alone.

Digging out the phone from the sheets, he searched for news of Shinsou. It was a bad angle, a shot by helicopter because it seemed no one wanted to go near Mesmer, unsure of the scope of his ability. But there was Shinsou, face to face.

They were talking, exchanging heated words. They were so similar, and yet entirely dissimilar in every way. Mesmer’s long, thin body and equally thin lips. He’s dramatic widows peak and the sharp ridges of his cheekbones. Mesmer smiled.

Shinsou’s fist popped forward, cracking Mesmer on the nose in a short burst, followed by an upper cut with one hand, and a left cross with the second. Mesmer’s entire body went rigid, stiff, unconscious as he toppled back to the pavement.

“Wow,” Izuku said to himself. For once, Kacchan’s plan of Punch Now, Ask Questions Later might have worked.

Kacchan.

Izuku checked the time. It was barely lunch. If he was going to visit Kacchan, it would be under the cover of night. For press and privacy reasons. And Izuku just wanted to see Kacchan without interruption. He missed him.

No one else came to visit. Izuku wasn’t upset by it, but it did hit him, sitting alone in that room, rewatching his and Kacchan’s fight too many times, that being a Pro Hero meant that his friends were also Pro Heroes. Busy ones.

This wasn’t UA anymore, where the hospital was on campus, along with two dozen friends who would fill his hospital hours with laughs and stories and delivered homework. They were working, living their new, individual lives. And Izuku was here. As his friends would also likely be, at some point or other.

But it was lonely. Lonelier than Izuku would have imagined.

No, this wasn’t UA. This was the real world.

Izuku ate lunch while scrolling through mails from just about everyone in his world. Well wishes, love, concern, times in which they’d visit tomorrow. Memes. The memes were mostly Shinsou, Ashido, and Kaminari. A link for yoga positions to loosen up his post-battle body from Kirishima.

Nothing from Kacchan. Izuku stared at the last texts they’d exchanged, his thumb hovering over, I’m leaving in five minutes.

Maybe he should text Kacchan first. Maybe not. Maybe Kacchan was resting, sleeping. He was probably in a lot of pain. He probably wasn’t on his phone at all.

Izuku chewed on a pinky nail, his glasses slipping down his short nose. The empty text entry box waited.

hey, i hope youre okay

Backspace.

im thinking of you

Backspace.

i love you and i think i just realized how much

Backspace.

i miss you

Send.

With a sigh, Izuku tossed his phone aside and sunk back into the hospital bed. He didn’t know how long he stared at the ceiling, but the next time he opened his eyes, thick night shadows painted the walls of the room, his white blankets draped in deep blue.

The tiled floor was cold beneath Izuku’s bare feet as he stood. Opening his door a crack and taking a peek, he found the hallway desolate, the lighting turned down to a dim, sallow grey. With a breath of relief, Izuku strode into the hall and wandered down.

He flicked a look to the name on the third door, his heart skipping and hurling into a flip.

Opening it a crack, Izuku found it nearly as dark as his own room, a pale yellow light illuminating the bedside. Laid out in the bed, feet propped up on pillows, the crumpled blue hospital gown riding up his thighs, hair a riot against the pillow, was Kacchan, asleep. Safe and asleep.

Izuku felt his face wilt beneath relief, his demeanor crumpling as he rushed into the room, tears already in a silent fall. He took a seat, pulling the chair as close as possible to the bedside, until his knees were cramped against the unforgiving plastic and metal foundations. Careful not to touch or wake him, Izuku propped his elbow on the bedside, leaning his cheek against his palm as he soaked in Kacchan’s presence, and allowed his speeding heart to slow.

He was beautiful when he wasn’t twisting his face up like a feral dog. Heck, he was still magnetic beyond belief in that state - but like this, he was something else. People didn’t get to see Kacchan like this, or curled at the end of a couch flipping through a magazine, or solemnly checking the next step in an open cookbook on the counter while he had three pans going on the stove. This soft profile pieced together of strong lines, cut jaw, tilted eyes, pale lashes was something for Izuku alone.

Every day, he was learning to treasure that more.

Wiping the damp away from his cheeks with the back of his hand and sniffling once, Izuku reached out and cupped Kacchan’s warm face, fingertips brushing at his hairline. A scrape of stubble rasped against Izuku’s palm. Kacchan’s eyelashes fluttered.

Kacchan had never been one to wake up slowly. The occurrence was rare. So when he opened his eyes, the fog in them cleared instantly as he met Izuku’s wet gaze. Unmoving, expression quiet and sober in the beside lamp glow.

“You should be resting,” he said, voice deep and cracked with sleep.

“I’m tired of resting,” Izuku said, his lips faintly curved.

Ha,” Kacchan said blandly, his eyes already narrowing as he zoomed in on Izuku’s glasses. He reached up with a slow care that reminded Izuku how damaged his insides really were, and nipped the frames right off of his face. “What’s with this shit, nerd?”

“Oh, uh.” Izuku quickly snatched them back and shoved them on his cheeks heating. “I guess I need them from now on. I mean, I’ll use contacts most of the time, but –“

“I did that.”

Izuku stilled, trying to read Kacchan’s unusually reticent expression.

“Well, I did all that,” Izuku said, gesturing to the entire bed.

Instantly, Izuku’s chest swelled and filled with oceans of sorrow, threatening to break the dam and spill out. He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth and bit down hard, barely registering the large hot hand and enfolded Izuku’s own cold one.

“I did that,” he said, a single tear spilling over as his lips quivered.

Never. Never had he thought it would come to a situation like this. How could he? What would they face in the future together that could be worse than nearly killing your most loved one in this life?

“You’re not that stupid,” Kacchan said lowly, his hold on Izuku’s hand tight. “You did it, but you didn’t. Not really. Could have been anyone.”

“But it wasn’t,” Izuku said in a fierce whisper as he clashed with Kacchan’s gaze. “It wasn’t anyone. It was me.”

“I’m more pissed off that you beat me on national television, Deku,” Kacchan mumbled, staring up at the ceiling. “Everyone’s gonna think I’m second to your loser ass.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Izuku said with a wet laugh.  His surveyed the reserved lines of Kacchan’s face, of his eyes. Almost guarded. Izuku’s brows lowered. “Hey.”

Kacchan didn’t reply, which Izuku took as allowance.

“You don’t have any casts. For your back, I mean.”

“None needed for this kind of thing. Fractures. The broken ribs. Bed rest for two weeks, plus two visits a week with Recovery Girl to keep working on the healing process. I’ll be fine afterwards. Better than your four-eyes, anyway.”

“I’m sorry,” Izuku said, his heart a heavy stone, guilt like an oppressive hero’s cape around his shoulders.

When Kacchan didn’t answer for a second time, only stared blankly forward, Izuku shifted in his seat against and cleared his throat.

“Are you – this is a stupid thing to ask. Are you okay? You seem. Off.”

“I’m fine,” Kacchan said, still not looking at him. He seemed far away, somewhere else – seeing something else. “You should sleep.”

The shock was probably still wearing off. Or the pain was nagging at him, or the medicine was making him groggy and strange.

Izuku’s skin still crawled with the way Kacchan turned his head to look at him with unblinking eyes.

No, he wasn’t okay.

But now wasn’t the time to push it.

“You too,” Izuku said, rising to his feet.

Leaning over Kacchan’s bed, Izuku pressed a careful kiss to his brow, lips lingering as he caught the familiar scent of Kacchan’s hair. His heart clenched.

As he pulled back, Kacchan caught his face in both hands. Izuku stilled, eyes large.

“Ka –“

“Don’t do that again,” Kacchan said, his eyes aflame, more familiar.

“Kiss you or –“

No. Don’t –“ Kacchan’s brow furrowed and he dropped his hold. “Nevermind. I don’t know. I’m tired.”

“Kacchan, I –“

“I’ll see you later, Deku.”

Kacchan had already stopped looking at him.

More anxious than he’d been before he got to see Kacchan, Izuku threw a final lingering stare over his shoulder and, when he got no recognition, exited the room.

They would get through this, Izuku told himself as he made the lonely walk down an empty grey hallway.

Together.

Chapter Text

Katsuki had been released one day early for this shitshow?

Deku’s mom had obviously been the decorator of Deku’s eighteenth birthday party. Green and purple streamers intertwined and linked across the ceiling, with balloons of the same colors floating up in dozens upon dozens. Someone had brought their speakers and blasted their unbearably upbeat music as the sun had begun to set.

Auntie Inko had stuck around to bring out food for everyone, to flutter over Katsuki’s healed injuries, and saw herself out after she grabbed an extra two full plates for Katsuki’s parents next door. Then she disappeared and left these maniacs to inevitably trash her tiny apartment.

Naivety ran in the Midoriya family.

Speaking of, Katsuki had lost track of that little shit. Not that it mattered in this tiny space. He had to be in the kitchen, where Ashido’s laughter boomed. Cramming twenty former classmates, plus extras from other classes and walks of life, in one tiny apartment, equaled Katsuki’s idea of hell.

With a scowl, Katsuki slouched against the old, familiar couch of his and Deku’s youth, unfortunately sandwiched between Ochako and Iida. Arms folded, his third drink clutched for dear life in one hand, Katsuki cast a despondent glance at Ochako.

“Are you in pain?” she asked, frowning, her cheeks as bright and big as apples with the hard ciders she’d been practically chugging.

“Only emotionally,” Katsuki said blandly. “I –“

“Ground Zero!” Mirio barrelled through the crowd with his shit-eating grin. “There you are! I hear we’re going to be part-“

Who would be your partner?” Katsuki snarled, lurching to his feet – briefly thankful his back didn’t give out anymore and he was in good, steady health – and stomped from the room.

Safety, reprieve.

Katsuki yanked open Deku’s bedroom door and slammed it shut behind him. Eyes already shut, he leaned against the paneling and released a shaky breath. His fists trembled faintly.

Since when had this all become too much?

Since two weeks ago. Since endless, sleepless nights in the hospital had driven him mad. Since he’d stopped looking Deku in the eye because every time he did, he saw the person who hadn’t recognized him and hadn’t cared if he died quickly or in pain.

Don’t do that again.

For the first time in a long time, Katsuki had instantly hated himself. Even as the words had spat from him like old blood, he’d begun to choke on their taste.

He hadn’t meant, Don’t scare me like that again. He hadn’t meant, Don’t hurt yourself like that again.

Katsuku had meant, Don’t hurt me like that again.

Selfish.

When had he last been that terrified? He couldn’t say.

But Katsuki knew he’d never felt that broken before.

On the inside, not the out.

Skin crawling, chest compressing without release, Katsuki pushed off the door and paced the short floor, pausing to stare at Deku’s desk. The cork-board above it was littered with pinned photos from their years at school.

Mostly Deku’s close friends. Ones very slowly becoming Katsuki’s. Even Todoroki and Shinsou had taken to visiting him every couple of days in the hospital. They’d bickered the majority of the time, but it had been a break from the monotony.

He still didn’t know how Shinsou had gotten his phone number, though. The cat memes were fucking relentless.

Without having to admit it out loud, Katsuki could quietly relent to the fact that Deku had brought a lot of good things into his world. His life felt more whole for it, full. Not that starved feeling in the pit of his stomach when he trained endlessly, pushing his body to its limits for lack of anything else to do.

Katsuki’s fingers skimmed a framed photo, faded with time and sunlight. They could only have been six or seven. Katsuki was missing his two front teeth, and Deku was holding up a small net with a harassed frog staring at the camera. Deku’s smile took up his entire petite face. His hair practically took up the rest of the photo.

Skinned knees and scraped cheeks. Sunburns on their noses, Deku’s face a mess of freckles. Katsuki’s arm around Deku’s thin shoulders.

They still had skinned knees and scraped cheeks.

Only this time they’d given them to each other.

In the grand scheme of their lives, that was nothing new.

In the singular moment in which it had happened, it had been everything.

Katsuki wasn’t stupid, though. He knew who was really at fault, and whose fault it wasn’t. Who was innocent, and who didn’t deserve to bear the brunt of what Katsuki was carrying.

So why the hell did he keep carrying it? What was he waiting to hear or know or find out that would throw this weight from his shoulders and leave it behind?

A short knock on the door, followed by it cracking open already had Katsuki throwing a glare over his shoulder at who would undoubtedly be Deku.

Deku startled a little at the expression, already chewing on his bottom lip, eyes uncertain in a way Katsuki had started to see again for the first time in four months. He knew that skittish look was because of him – so were the hesitant smiles, and the way Deku would reach out mid-conversation and pull back as if he hadn’t meant to do it all along.

It pissed Katsuki off.

What?” Katsuki said, half-sitting, half-leaning against the edge of the desk, his arms folded. “I can’t get any peace in here?”

“Of course you can,” Deku said, creeping in and shutting the door quietly behind him. The thunder of the music from the living room muffled once more. “I just wanted to see how you are.”

Everyone wants to see how I am,” Katsuki said from between clenched teeth. “Have you seen me? I’m fine. I’m fine. Are you all blind?”

Katsuki saw Deku’s flinch, registered the reason as quickly as the words had rocketed from his mouth. Deku might not have been blind, but he sure as hell was wearing contacts in this very moment.

Katsuki raked a hand over his face and released as shaky breath.

“What’s going on with you?” Deku said quietly, subtle steel lining the question. From across the room, his gaze grew darker as the sun cloaked itself in summer night at Katsuki’s back.

Katsuki scoffed and made for the door.

“Nothing.”

He grabbed at the knob. A strong hand shot out and gripped Katsuki’s wrist.

Katsuki flicked a look over, regretting it instantly as he found himself lost in those endless forest eyes.

“Let – go,” Katsuki said, teeth clenched enough to ache his jaw. He couldn’t look away. “I’m not gonna stand here while you try to treat me like some kind of therapy patient. They already sent that asshole for a week.”

“You’re not leaving this room,” Deku said evenly, his gaze unwavering, mouth sober. “Until you talk to me. You’ve barely looked at me for two weeks, Kacchan. Haven’t kissed me unless I’ve kissed you first. Heck, you’ve barely touched my hand in ten days.”

“That’s doesn’t have anything to do with –“

“If you hate me –“ Deku’s eyes flooded like a dam shattered, spilling hot over his cheeks. “If you hate me now, we don’t need to talk about why. I know and I can accept –“

What?” A chorus of wailing sirens tensed Katsuki’s body, tight and painful as he gaped at Deku’s huge, damp eyes. “No! What? What’re you – what do you – I don’t want, I mean I wouldn’t –“

“Don’t treat me like I’m stupid,” Deku cut in, snapping off his words like broken bones, his voice brittle. The tears continued to fall and catch on his lips, his eyes fierce. “I’m not stupid. I can see how you look at me. Just like I was keeping a version of you in my mind, you have a new one of me in yours. And the me you have inside of you is a villain.”

Katsuki’s eyes widened. He felt something warm and wet drip down his cheek.

“Bullshit,” he said, voice wavering.

Deku had yet to release his wrist. His hold tightened as he sniffed back tears and wiped the back of his hand across his eyes.

“I won’t blame you,” Deku said, meeting Katsuki’s panicked expression with his own crumpled sorrow. “I hate myself, too.”

He sucked in a sharp breath, a hiccup as a short sob wracked his body. Still, he wouldn’t look away.

Never, in their entire relationship, from childhood to this moment, had Deku ever looked away from Katsuki. Ever walked away. Ever turned his back on him.

“I don’t –” Katsuki pressed his lips together, as if his mouth refused to let the words out, a barrier against perceived weakness. He inhaled through his nose, ignoring the damp trails down his face as he watched the shift of sadness sap the light from Deku’s eyes.

“Izuku, I don’t –” Katsuki swallowed hard. “I don’t know how to get it out of my head. You don’t remember – you don’t remember it like I do. When you looked at me, it wasn’t like you were gone. Ugh.”

Deku released Katsuki, who brought the heels of both palms up to push against his burning eyes.

“It wasn’t like you’d disappeared,” Katsuki said, his voice gone to gravel. “You were yourself. Everything about you was – was the same. The only difference was what you thought of me.”

“But I don’t think any of that about –“

“You don’t think I fuckin’ know that?” Katsuki snapped, dropping his hands, his eyes swollen as he glared. “I know all of that! Doesn’t change the fact that when I look at you, I-I-I think, I think about what it could have been like if we’d turned out differently, or if you and I had never –“

“Hey.” Deku reached up with his own scowl, his brow furrowing when Katsuki slapped his hand away in defense, then again, three times. “Hey,” Deku said, stronger, catching both of Katsuki’s hands. “Stop. Stop.”

“Fuck off,” Katsuki said weakly, drained, his face wet, his cheeks warm with embarrassment. He didn’t fight as Deku linked the fingers of both their hands with slow purpose. “Fuck off, Deku.”

“Look at me. Katsuki, look at me.”

Katsuki’s jaw worked and bunched with all the effort it took not to break down at the determination and generosity in Deku’s gaze. After all of this, after everything. What a stupid guy.

“Do you love me?” Deku said, his hands squeezing Katsuki’s.

“What kind of question is that?” Katsuki said, sniffling and staring incredulously. “ Of c-“

“Say it right,” Deku said. His lips and cheeks and eyelids were pink from crying, but his face was dry now. “Look at my face and say it so you could never forget it.”

“This is ridiculous, I can’t –“

“Hey, Kacchan.”

“What?”

Deku’s mouth quirked as he looked up at him. He brought one of Katsuki’s hands between them, opened the palm and placed a kiss on his life line. With his lips lingering against Katsuki’s hand, Deku’s eyes locked on Katsuki’s, he spoke.

“I love you. I love that you of all people, remind me to think of how I affect those I care about. I love that you make me feel alive. I love that you get angry when I don’t take care for myself, and you’re secretly happy when I lean on and depend on you for things.”

Katsuki was sure his entire body set alight as Deku cupped the back of Katsuki’s hand with his own and tilted his head, resting the curve of his cheek against Katsuki’s palm.

“Most of all, I love that I got my best friend back.”

Eyes wide, body still, Katsuki stared. The breath had long been rent from his lungs, his heart searing, each word branded into his chest.

Katsuki licked his chapped lips, unsure he could find words. Sentences. How did Deku always do this?

“I – I can’t say all that shit.”

Deku’s smile bloomed wide, a welcome breath of air.

“I know that. But maybe when you look at me, you can start to think of this instead of that.”

The realization hit Katsuki square in the gut.

The things Deku did for him.

“I love you,” Katsuki said breathlessly, wildly searching Deku’s face, memorizing every freckle, every spark in his eyes. He held Deku’s face in his hands, fingertips buried in his hair, pulling him close, “I love you,” on his lips and into Deku’s mouth as he captured him in a frantic, harried kiss.

Too long, it had been too long, ran circles around Katsuki’s mind, tangling him up as he gripped the nape of Deku’s neck and yanked him in, searching that clever mouth deeper, faster, his free arm wrapping tightly around Deku’s thick, hard waist. Nothing was close enough, nothing could be enough when Katsuki wanted to be in Deku on every level, a part of him, a part of that goodness he could never quite reach in all his life.

Deku’s gasp as Katsuki ground their hips together, crushing Deku against the door as Katsuki devoured that generous, wide mouth, sent a simmer through his blood. He hadn’t felt that fire in too long, hadn’t appreciated what was in front of him for too damn long.

Ripping his lips from Deku’s with a snarl, Katsuki dragged his teeth across Deku’s jaw, nudging that stubborn chin up until he could feed on that succulent column of freckled throat. His hands dove beneath Deku’s shirt, mapping the muscles that jolted beneath his touch, scraping his thumbnail across a stiff nipple, nudging it with his fingertip, and licking a wet strip along his neck, from where the broken moan rose.

Double fists bunched in Katsuki’s hair, a welcome sting, the faint pain sparking to his cock in a growing fire.

“Need you,” Katsuki gritted out, mouth dragging to Deku’s ear, biting down, relishing the yelp, then soothing the spot with the flat of his tongue. “Don’t go.”

Never,” Deku said, his voice husky, his breathing erratic as his lips smeared across Katsuki’s cheek. “How could I ever? Katsuki. Fuck me.”

Instantly hard and high with it, Katsuki attacked Deku's mouth in a searing kiss, the distant knock of Deku's head against the door barely registering. Grappling at each other's aching bodies, leaning into each other's touch like it was the first time in years, Katsuki lost himself in that mouth, in that compact body of smooth skin ridged with scar tissue, battle-worn and still fighting.

Off,” Deku said, hushed and hurried, his eyes crazed and his hands hungry as he ripped at Katsuki's clothes. Threw Katsuki’s shirt aside, still murmuring, off off now c’mon, like a mantra to live by.

In this moment, Katsuki would do anything for him. Still connected at the lips, messy kisses unable to part, Katsuki struggled from his shorts, his socks, down to his boxers. Deku laughed into his mouth, sparklers fizzing and popping brightly in Katsuki’s stomach at the sound.

“Fuck, you’re perfect.”

Katsuki couldn’t stop the words from stumbling off his tongue and onto Deku’s as he licked at that smile, nipped and pulled on that tempting bottom lip. Deku started to say something, but it went muffled as Katsuki shucked Deku’s shirt over his head and tossed it. Deku emerged from the tanktop in a wild fluff of hair and hazy eyes. Katsuki needed to have every inch of him.

With fingers curled around Deku’s waist, their eyes locked for a split second before Katsuki dropped to his knees. Nuzzling his nose against the dark, coarse trail of hair that disappeared in Deku’s forever-distracting shorts, Katsuki inhaled the maddening scent of Deku’s natural musk, his excitement, his need. Katsuki’s mouth watered as he fumbled with the button and zip of Deku’s fly. Taking no time to drop Deku’s clothes, he went straight for the opening of Deku’s boxers and freed his thick, blood-flushed cock.

“O-oh god, okay,” Deku said, his voice choked off from above, his breathing already shallow and uneven. Strong hands wove through his hair, held fast. A hard swallow, and the sound of Katsuki’s heart thundering in his hears as he lean licked a wide, wet line up the length of Deku’s straining erection. “Katsuki.”

Katsuki’s face went up in flame, his blood boiling with the heat of Deku’s voice, his tongue eagerly swirling the head of Deku’s cock and taking it down between his lips. Familiar taste, intoxicating scent, want, need. Groaning with a mouthful of dick, Katsuki kept a firm grip around the pulsing thrum at the base, cheeks hollowing and tightening around Deku’s cock in a way he knew drove him crazy.

The following unabashed moan, the sound of Deku knocking his head back against the door once, twice, three times, had Katsuki humming around his dick. His own straining arousal pressed against his tight black boxers, desperate for release, for touch, for Deku. Katsuki squirmed, palming his bulge, and took Deku deeper, far enough to gag, just a little. Fingers tightened in his hair as Deku bucked against Katsuki’s mouth, accidentally shoving in too far again. Starving for more, Katsuki took it and choked again, tears breaking past his vision to flow as he bobbed his head with a frantic desire to hear Deku fall apart before he fucked him blind.

“So good,” Deku murmured, his face tilted to the ceiling from Katsuki’s wavering, wet vision. “You’re so good, so – yes, ho-oly shhhi – Ka –“

Katsuki popped his mouth from Deku’s cock, the head stiff and bobbing towards him in primal need. Flashing a heated look towards Deku’s pink face and red, swollen lips, Katsuki worked the leaking dick slow and tight, his thumb skimming the slick that beaded up.

“Everyone’s gonna hear,” Katsuki said, his voice shattered through and crumbling as much as he was inside.

Deku’s tongue swiped his bottom lip, lazy and languid.

“Let them hear.”

Shit.”

Katsuki ripped the remainder of Deku’s clothes off and jumped to his feet in seconds. Arms fastened like steel around Deku’s waist, Katsuki took his mouth in a sloppy kiss that tasted of Deku’s cum, Deku’s tongue, Deku, Deku. Licking up every hum and moan, Katsuki rushed Deku away from the door, their knees knocking, toes stepping on each other’s until the small of Deku’s back smacked against the ledge of his desk.

Deku didn’t have to be told. He hopped onto the desk, bare but for freckles and flushed skin. Papers and pictures went flying, but Katsuki was floating too far to pay it mind. Thick, muscular legs enclosed his hips, keeping him grounded, Deku’s arms linking at Katsuki’s neck, fingers tangled in his hair. Deku’s chest swelled and fell fast, dizzying Katsuki just looking at it. He’d done that, too.

“Kacchan.”

Katsuki looked up. Deku’s eyes were heavy-lidded and verging toward black, hair sticking to his brow with sweat. Katsuki’s lashes fluttered as he peered down, tracing the cupids bow of Deku’s mouth with the softest brush of his mouth. Deku sucked in a breath, released a slow, shuddering one.

“Kacchan?”

“I love you.”

Deku’s eyes went wide, pupils blown, lips parted as he searched Katsuki’s face. Slowly, his hold around Katsuki’s neck tightened, drawing him closer, until their naked chests pressed ribcage to ribcage, hearts finding each other through the meager bone and sinew and skin. Deku’s mouth tickled Katsuki’s ear and his voice was sweet and deep as sin.

“Take me now. I still wanna feel you in the morning.”

The choked-off keen that ripped from Katsuki’s throat as he sunk his teeth into Deku’s shoulder was nothing short of feral. Katsuki’s boiling blood spilled over and painted his vision red. He bit until his tongue flooded with copper and Deku was hiccupping yelps in short bursts, his legs tensing around Katuski’s, fingernails digging into his scalp.

Lapping his tongue over the crimson pearls welling up in the divots of his teeth marks, Katsuki snuck a hand between them, palm working over the sticky head of Deku’s cock. Deku’s cries turned weak, whimpers of desperation as he arched his hips against Katsuki’s stomach, attempting to fit into the hold of his fist.

With a growl rumbling up from the depths of his desire, Katsuki ripped himself away from Deku, his teeth bared in a snarl, eyes aflame. Deku took one dazed look at him, his feet dropping to the floor, before he was sliding from the desk on legs that faintly wobbled. He turned, peering over his shoulder with thick lashes and a fuck-me gaze no one would believe, even if they saw it. Facing the wall, he slowly bent, his palms flat on the desk, sliding up, up, to grip the far edge, his forehead laid upon the wood grain.

The small of his back in a dramatic dip, his ass high, Deku spread his legs and waited.

Katsuki pressed an instinctive hand against his cock through his boxers, hard.

“Oh, f-fuck.”

The blur and the rush followed. Katsuki speeding off to the bedside table, rummaging through the drawer, and emerging victorious with the small bottle. Dashing back, eyes huge and intent on Deku’s shameless position as he rid himself of his stupid fucking underwear and finally, finally, got to slot his cock along the cleft of Deku’s ass.

Their twin moans of simple skin on skin, Katsuki’s dick thrusting slow and hot along Deku’s smooth, tempting backside, did nothing to calm the need. Katsuki could only burn.

Gorgeous, he was gorgeous. Katsuki bit down on his bottom lip, unable to keep the low grunts and groans of pleasure from the back of his throat as he raked his nails down both curves of Deku’s ass, slow and with the purpose of leaving them there for the next day. Bright, angry welts rose up from Deku’s skin likes maps, like conquered boundary lines Katsuki had found and battled for and won.

Teeth flashing, lips stretching in a wide, sharp predator’s grin, Katsuki spread Deku’s enflamed ass cheeks, giving room for his cock to thrust and shift between them as Deku faintly swayed his ass in a needy display.

“Wanna feel it tomorrow, hm?” Katsuki said, his low laugh quickly followed by a shiver that wracked through the length of Deku’s compact body. “Good.”

Katsuki didn’t take his time opening Deku, spreading him full and ready. Neither of them wanted it. He could tell Deku needed to feel the flame as much as he did.

With dripping fingers, Katsuki slipped in two to start and let his eyes fall shut for the moment Deku clenched around him and murmured Katsuki’s name into the freckled hill of his bicep. No time wasted, Deku tipped his hips back against Katsuki’s hand, already mindlessly fucking himself like an animal in heat. Biting down a ravenous snarl, Katsuki added another, his free hand braced on the damp small of Deku’s back. Deku reacted like a livewire, his ass snapping against him, his moan too loud for the room, for the apartment, despite the music on the other side.

Quiet,” Katsuki snapped, slapped his hand forward, fingers plunging in sharp and harsh.

“I need –“ Deku thumped his forehead up on the desk once, twice, took a quaking breath. “I need you.”

One second more was too long. Katsuki slipped out from Deku, his dick twitching against the edge of the desk when Deku moaned low and long at the sudden emptiness.

With his cock slick and heavy in his hand, Katsuki lined up, salivating at the view of his crown disappearing into the pink, spread hole, and the chorus of sound that ripped from Deku’s throat. Biting back a curse, Katsuki eased in with an aching slowness that had his thighs quivering from the effort. All he wanted was to –

“Go go,” Deku chanted, face still buried against his arm, knuckles white around the ridge of the desk.

Katsuki broke. Both hands curled over Deku’s shoulders, holding him in place, using him as an anchor as he slammed in. Deku cried out, his mouth wrenching free of his arm, his voice filling the room.

Grunting with each thrust, Katsuki fingers digging deep enough to bruise those strong shoulders, Katsuki fucked up into him with a single-minded force to destroy, break apart, leave Deku a babbling mess. Deku’s ass pushed back, greedy, his voice a crescendo with each frantic slap and smack. He felt amazing, electric, shocking around Katsuki’s dick, the pace they set together wild and hard and unrelenting. Each of Deku's gasps only spurred him on further, faster.

Katsuki pulled all the way out, rolled his hips in, pulled fully out again, and slammed back harder, driving the pace quicker as Deku’s filthy noises only grew. Teeth clenched at the rush of blood swirling low in his gut, Katsuki draped his body over the hard lines of Deku’s, and released one of his shoulders, only to reach around and shove all four fingers into Deku’s gaping, wet mouth.

Shut up,” Katsuki managed, his breath hiccupping with each thrust. “We can’t – you’re gonna –“

Deku moaned around Katsuki’s fingers, sucking them in messily, eager.  Katsuki’s chest swelled, the thick coil of heat tightening within him as his hips snapped shorter, sharper, a harsh angle that had Deku right up on his tip toes. Katsuki fucked him like that until he could see Deku's thighs quivering with the effort, until Deku was a whimpering, sloppy mess around Katsuki's fingers.

Katsuki’s sight blurred and closed in on Deku’s cheek flat on the desk, swollen lips stretched around his fingers. On the slick smack of their hips and the way Deku’s eyes shot open wide, his nails curling into fists upon the wood, his body stilling utterly beneath him. Then his body was clenching around Katsuki’s like a pulsing fist, cumming utterly untouched, hips stuttering toward Katsuki’s thrusts as his name fell from Deku’s lips like a strangled prayer.

Deku clamped so hard around Katsuki’s dick that the orgasm ripped from his body, almost painful, lancing through him until he bit down on Deku’s back and spilled into him, hot and deep and shuddering. Legs suddenly weak, his cock still pulsing faintly as he came down, Katsuki collapsed atop Deku, his cheek resting on the muscled span between his shoulder blades.  His hands dropped heavy and useless on either side of Deku’s body, utterly limp as he gulped one calming breath after another.

Errantly shivering beneath him in fits and starts, Deku hummed a contented little noise that had begun to act as some kind of mental award of success for Katsuki. He’d never tell Deku, but that simple sound of calm and pleasure made Katsuki’s heart feel like a hearth.

“Alive?” Deku murmured, his speech a little sleepy. He reached a clumsy hand back and patted whatever he could reach, Katsuki’s shoulder and half of his face.

Katsuki grunted in reply, eyes shut, drifting.

“Oh, no you don’t,” Deku said, a little slurred still. “I know that sound. Don’t you dare fall asleep on me.”

Deku was warm and he smelled like home, like his apartment and his stupid plaid sheets and the body wash that smelled like rain and grass.

Kacchan. My birthday party is going on out there and you’re falling asleep on me!”

“Oh yeah,” Katsuki said with a jaw-cracking yawn as he unstuck their damp bodies, flinching a little as he slipped from Deku and took a step back. “That. Your party’s lame.”

Ugh.”

Deku straightened, still facing the wall as he brought his arms up in a stretch that audibly crackled the length of his spine. Katsuki admired his figure, head cocked just a little. He wanted to touch it all over again.

“Hey,” Katsuki said, waiting for Deku to turn with a frown. On his shoulder was a deep blood moon of teeth marks, of ownership, of what they’d surpassed together to get to this point. Katsuki stared at it for too long before he finally tore his gaze away to lock on Deku’s. “Uh. Happy birthday.”

Deku’s eyebrows shot up, his lips quirked as he glanced at the length of Katsuki’s naked body and then his own. He grinned, cheeks pink.

“You’re not cool at all, you know.”

What?” Katsuki said, teeth bared in an instant scowl. “The hell you talking about? I’m cooler than any dipshit in this entire fuckin’ building.”

“Oh yeah?” Deku said, then yelped and ducked as Katsuki came at him. Giggling, he backed himself against the bed until his calves bumped the mattress. “Could have fooled me!”

“You little –“

Katsuki tackled him onto the bed, his thigh wedged between Deku’s own. He stilled, watching Deku laugh, the dimple in his right cheek winking for him alone.

“You’re a pain in the ass,” Katsuki said flatly.

Deku’s smile widened, and Katsuki’s heart skipped a beat.

“Uh, I think that’s the other way around right now.”

“Like I said,” Katsuki said, unable to restrain his toothy grin. “Happy birthday.”

 

Chapter Text

 

“Who invited Ashido?” Izuku hissed in Kacchan’s ear, his arm linked with Kacchan’s, Izuku’s chin knocking against Kacchan’s broad shoulder as they strode down the sidewalk. “What did you do?”

Izuku stared at Ashido, whose arm was slung around Ochako’s neck as they led the way. Ashido threw her head back in a bawdy laugh.

Hah?” Kacchan said, in an equally conspiratorial whisper, glancing over his shoulder to where Shinsou strolled beside Todoroki, both of them with their hands in their pockets, Shinsou drawling low and slow with a half-grin. “Who the fuck invited troll hair?”

“Shinsou is fine,” Izuku said, his eyes flashing stubbornly. “Even if he did invite himself. We probably owe him dinner for all the time’s he’s heard us having s-“

“I don’t owe him shit,” Kacchan said, equally stubborn. “Anyway, I didn’t invite Ashido. Kirishima did in place of himself. He’s got work or something.”

“By the end of the night, we’re probably going to end up at a weird BDSM club because of her,” Izuku said, with all the love in his heart for that woman. The truth still remained.

“Who would let her go near them with a strap-on, anyway,” Kacchan muttered, earning a harsh shush from Izuku.

“Well,” Izuku said, his tone cheering up as it ever did. “I’m sure it’ll all end well. It’ll be nice to have dinner and catch up. Two weeks of slogging through certifications and mortgages and building codes is two weeks too much for me.”

“I can’t feel my eyes anymore from all those fucking documents,” Kacchan said, scowling as they rounded the corner toward the group’s new favorite local barbeque place.

“Did you get a hold of that one construction company to –“

“Whaddaya think I am, useless? I did everything I -”

“Okay, okay,” Izuku said, chuckling as he slid a fond look toward Kacchan’s gruff profile.

Surprisingly for everyone involved in the restoration and construction of All Might Agency, Izuku and Kacchan worked well as actual business partners. On the field – well, that would remain a work in progress. They had time.

“Hey,” Izuku said as he leaned into Kacchan, grinning when Kacchan aimed a begrudging look to the side. “No business talk tonight, yeah? Let’s give ourselves a break.”

“I don’t care either way. Who needs a break? I’m great.”

Izuku snorted a laugh as they idled up to the restaurant.

“You sure are.”

Many – many – beers in, and a lot of meat, too, Izuku was groaning as he followed Ashido exactly where he didn’t want to go.

Some weird mystery spot.

“I feel like I know where we’re going,” Shinsou said, walking with a lanky swagger between Ashido and Todoroki. “But if it is, I don’t wanna ruin the surprise.”

“There’s no way you know where I’m going,” Ashido said, already laughing with her own personal glee.

“Excuse me,” Shinsou drawled lazily, throwing an arm over her shoulders. “If there’s one thing I know, its seedy shit. And in the direction we’re going, there’s only –“

Tssschh!” Ashido dragged her hand sloppily over Shinsou’s mouth, multiple beers having loosened her movements long ago.

“Should I be worried?” Todoroki said, frowning.

“Nah,” Shinsou said with a crooked grin. “You’re with me, after all.”

“So, I should be worried,” Todoroki said, nodding quietly to himself as they kept on their journey.

“This feels somehow,” Ochako paused in thought, walking between Izuku and Kacchan. “Ominous. Right?”

Yes,” Izuku and Kacchan said in tandem.

“It’s nice to see Todoroki making more friends, though,” Ochako said, cheeks rosy with her smile.

“Who would wanna be friends with that guy?” Kacchan said.

“You say that because the only person with less friends than him is you,” Ochako said, her same friendly expression firmly in place. Only now she was the one with an ominous element.

“I have enough friends,” Kacchan mumbled.

Izuku looked between Todoroki and Shinsou. They appeared comfortable with each other. Even if Todoroki kept his straight face, he didn’t seem hesitant to talk to Shinsou, or to even speak his mind when he didn’t agree. Shinsou was good natured enough to let most things about most people roll off of him, anyway.

“It’s nice,” Izuku said. “For both of them.”

“Yup!” Ochako said, dropping her head on Izuku’s shoulder. “Where do you think we’re going, anyway?”

“We’re here!” Ashido said with a whoop.

“No shit,” Shinsou said, tossing a grin over his shoulder as the Izuku, Ochako, and Kacchan looked on in mild horror. “This place is my favorite.”

“Are you kidding?” Ashido said, squealing and punching Shinsou’s arm, bursting with excitement. “Me too! I can’t believe this never came up in conversation.”

Izuku was the first to recover as he absorbed the red neon sign of what was clearly a sex shop.

“This is your fault,” he said blandly, knowing Kacchan would hear.

“I DIDN’T INVITE HER!”

“Maybe it’ll be fun,” Ochako said lightly.

Kacchan gawked at her.

“Who are you?”

“You don’t know my life,” Ochako said with a shrug, moving ahead toward Ashido.

“I’m not going in there,” Todoroki said.

“Oh, come on,” Shinsou said, low and mellow as he smiled at Todoroki, ignoring Ashido bouncing beside him. “Wouldn’t your dad be like, physically on fire if he knew you were here? Live your life.”

Todoroki didn’t say anything, just stared at him with an expression Izuku had never seen and didn’t know how to read.

Taking a breath, Izuku laced his fingers with Kacchan’s hot ones. He snuck a look over, blushing as he met Kacchan’s own red face.

“Maybe it will be fun,” Izuku said softly.

Kacchan’s eyes widened, his gaze flickering to the loud, ignorant group and back.

“Yeah,” he said, his voice a decibel deeper, sending a shiver down Izuku’s back, despite the warm summer night.

He hoped they were both thinking the same thing.

They filed through the entryway, Izuku noticing how the glass door was completely blacked out. His heart beat faster, his hand tightening in Kacchan’s. Not out of nerves. Out of excitement.

He’d never done anything like this – never had a reason to, unlike Ashido and Shinsou, apparently. There had only ever been Kacchan, and although they’d been having sex for a total of about a year and a half, their actual relationship was only a solid four months old.

And there was so much Izuku wanted to do and try with him. He barely knew what, but he’d been doing some research, he’d been daydreaming, and they were at the point where their trust was strong enough to do and say just about anything together.

Everyone scattered like ants, Ashido and Ochako’s muffled giggles sounding from what appeared to be a floor to ceiling wall of dildos and vibrators.

“Wow,” Izuku murmured, in awe.

“That’s a lot of dicks,” Kacchan said.

“Let’s go look.”

“I’ve seen enough dicks in that hellhole of a UA locker room to last a lifetime,” Kacchan muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets and lurking down the aisles, turning into one, seemingly at random. “Oh my god, no.”

Izuku rushed over and rounded the corner, slapping his hand over his mouth to stop the sudden sputter of laughter.

“What?” Shinsou said, holding up some kind of intricate lingerie of pastel purple straps and… more straps. “You don’t think I’d look nice in this?”

Todoroki’s back was pressed flat against the shelving unit, his arms folded tightly across his chest, his expression clearly wishing for death as he stared at the garment on the hanger.

“Put that shit away before I burn it.”

“I’ll take that as a yes, I would look great in it,” Shinsou said, grinning as he put it back.

“Why am I friends with you?” Todoroki said with a sigh.

“Why am I friends with any of you?” Kacchan said, in horror, from the end of the aisle.

Shinsou and Todoroki turned their heads in unnerving tandem to stare.

“I don’t recall,” Todoroki said flatly. “Are we friends?

“I heard that rumor somewhere,” Shinsou said lazily, propping his elbow up on Todoroki’s shoulder despite the latter being nearly his same height.

Die,” Kacchan said, scowling as he turned on his heel and made for the next aisle.

Biting back a smile, Izuku followed. It seemed like those two weeks in the hospital with Todoroki and Shinsou as visitors had done some good for their relationship.

He followed slowly, trying to take in every shelf, every product that he could with insatiable curiosity. What would Kacchan like? What would he himself like?

With Kacchan at the far end of aisle, his back to Izuku as he cocked his head at a wall of whips and crops and ropes, Izuku  glanced around quickly, zeroing on two very simple, very possibly fun beginner items that would suit them both.

Nipping them off the shelf, Izuku walked away quickly, headed for the cashier’s desk. The sooner he made the purchase, the less likely others were to crowd around him and see. If there was one thing he’d learned about Kacchan over the past year, it was how much he valued his privacy.

He made his purchase with a wobbly smile, wondering how anyone could work in a place like this and not get secondhand embarrassment. Oh god, he hoped he didn’t get recognized in lieu of the Mesmer fight a month ago.

Riddled with anxiety and determined to ignore it, Izuku put on his best face and went to find the girls.

When they both turned around and Ochako was holding a contraption that suspiciously looked like a strap-on, Izuku could only manage a big, Nope, as he headed back to where he’d come from.

“Whatcha get?” Shinsou said from behind, flopping his arms over Izuku’s shoulders, his chin resting atop Izuku’s head. “For you or him - both? Are you two kinky? You’re a secret freak, aren’t you?”

“You shouldn’t have had that energy drink at the restaurant.”

“I still don’t know where you pulled that from,” Todoroki said, sidling up beside Izuku. “It was just suddenly on the table. Also, mind your own business.”

“Th-thank you, Todoroki,” Izuku said weakly, clutching the black plastic bag to his chest.

Oiy,” Kacchan’s rough voice sounded from the end of the aisle. He jerked a thumb, his eyes trained bright and red on Shinsou. “You. Off.”

“How can someone with such a good face have such a rotten personality?” Shinsou said with a sigh, sliding away from Izuku.

“Ask yourself that,” Todoroki said, but his lips were quirked for the first time Izuku had seen tonight.

“Excuse you, but I am a charming young man.”

“You’re all obnoxious as fuck is what you are,” Kacchan said as he stalked forward, threw his arm around Izuku’s shoulders and tugged him against his side. “Where are the girls?”

“You don’t want to know,” Izuku said. “Trust me.”

“What’s in the bag?” Kacchan said, frowning down at Izuku’s purchase.

“You don’t want them to know,” Izuku said, his face going hot. “Trust me.”

Kacchan went silent. His hold around Izuku’s shoulders tightened.

“Well,” Todoroki said, dragging a hand down his face. “I’ve had enough of my own existence for the day. Can we go?”

“I didn’t even get to show you the dragon dildos.”

“Can you please stop bringing that up?”

“You’re the one who couldn’t recognize a dragon dildo when you saw one.”

“And you’re the one who suctioned it to your own refrigerator,” Todoroki said, steam coming off of his cheek and hand as he as he narrowed his eyes at Shinsou’s mellow smirk. “Why would anyone do that? And in what world do you think I would know what one looks like?”

“What the actual fuck is wrong with you two?” Kacchan said, his nose scrunched.

Excuse me?” Todoroki said, eyes flashing with ice at Kacchan. “I’m the only normal one here!”

With that, he marched away, probably to search out Ochako and Ashido.

Izuku had a feeling Todoroki wouldn’t fare well in his search for sanity when he found them, either.

“You two should visit us when you’re hanging out at your place, Shinsou,” Izuku said, excited with the idea of the four of them hanging out. Both for Todoroki’s sake, as well as Kacchan’s.

“I would, but he pretty much only comes over to check that I haven’t died in my sleep.”

“That’s, uh, morbid,” Izuku said, eyebrows bowing with concern.

“It’s fine, it’s fine. He just worries when I don’t send a cat meme in over twenty-four hours.”

Speaking of,” Kacchan said, jamming a finger against Shinsou’s chest and getting in his face as much as he could when he was several inches shorter than him. “Stop sending me those! They’re fucking stupid and I don’t even like you.”

“You love them,” Shinsou said easily, unmoving in the face of Kacchan’s wrath. “You even replied that one time.”

“I replied with a photo of me flicking you off, you goddamn numbskull!”

“I saved that. I use it as a reaction image now.”

“For the love of –“

“We’re ready!” Ashido’s voice sounded from behind them. Everyone turned and she grinned, holding up a bag just as Ochako looked at her with a blush, a bag of her own in hand. “Wasn’t this fun?”

“It was,” Izuku said, before Kacchan could shove not only his foot in his mouth, but his entire leg. “Thank you for bringing us here, Ashido. I know I’ll be sure to come back.”

See,” Ashido said, sticking her tongue out at Kacchan. “Your boyfriend is perfect. Can I have him for a night?”

“Touch him and lose a hand,” Kacchan said casually, placing his palm flat atop Izuku’s head.

“Romance isn’t dead,” Shinsou said, brushing past them. “It’s just been set on fire.”

“Let’s head home,” Izuku said, tilting his chin until Kacchan’s hand fell away. Meeting Kacchan’s gaze, Izuku let his eyes go heavy and hooded, his voice a low hum. “If you want to find out what I bought for us, I mean.”

Kacchan sucked in a sharp breath, his pupils blowing wide, his eyes narrowed.

“Fuck. We’re leaving.”

Forty-five minutes later, Izuku was finally unlocking his door with a relaxed sigh.

“Well that was a fuckin’ night,” Kacchan said, following Izuku through the entryway and shutting it behind him. “Why are we even friends with those assholes?”

Izuku’s lips curved as he shucked his shoes and stepped into the blessed, air conditioned cool of his place. After last two months of mayhem, of pain, laughs, and love, Izuku was finally beginning to walk into this room and see it as his. His home. Every person to pass through these doors had helped make it his home.

“Because they’re the only people who will put up with us,” Izuku said, sending a smile over his shoulder before he wandered into the bedroom and dropped his bag of goodies on the neat bedspread. When Kacchan brushed by him to reach for the bag, Izuku laughed and wrapped his arms around Kacchan’s waist, lifting him up with ease and spinning him back around to face the bedroom door. “Oh no you don’t!”

“What the – you little fucker!” Kacchan spun in his loosened hold, face red, though not with anger. “I’ll impale you on my dick for that.”

Ohhh.” Grinning, Izuku went to his toes and linked his arms around Kacchan’s neck. “Promise?”

“You’re obnoxious as hell,” Kacchan murmured, eyes already going heavy as his hands delved past the waistband of Izuku’s khaki shorts to take firm, kneading hold of Izuku’s ass. His arms were like steel around Izuku’s body, wide palms pushing him close, Kacchan’s already half-hard interest pressing hot and heavy against Izuku’s stomach.

Their lips met with twin, needy moans, their desire feeding each other’s further rather than sating. When Kacchan’s hands slipped up Izuku’s sides to hike up his shirt, Izuku pulled back breathlessly, his hands on Kacchan’s face to keep him from diving in for more.

“Wait wait,” Izuku said, hushed, sucking in a sharp, centering breath.

What what?” Kacchan bared his teeth, a growl rising up as he turned his head to bite down on Izuku’s thumb, his eyes flashing feral.

Izuku swallowed, knees buckling under a look he still hadn’t grown used to.

“I – you go shower and I’ll join you in a second. I just want to, uh, clean. The stuff. That I just bought so it’s, um, ready.”

Kacchan, whose teeth had slowly been sinking into the flesh of Izuku’s hand with greater intensity, paused, his eyes widening for moment before they narrowed with something dark and deep. His tongue swiped over the jagged imprint of his canine tooth in Izuku’s skin, his hold loosening on Izuku’s waist.

“Don’t take forever.”

Izuku shook his head with a little too much passion, his body already humming in tune with Kacchan’s heart beat, keeping in time with the pumping of their blood. God, he wanted to touch. To taste.

Taking a wobbly step back, Izuku offered a timid smile, biting down on his bottom lip as he did so.

“’Kay. I’m just gonna –“

“I’m gonna fuck you stupid if you don’t get moving.”

“You get moving first!”

“Fine!”

With a huff, Kacchan evacuated the room like a fire was on his heels and slammed the bathroom door shut behind him.

Izuku allowed himself a long, calming breath before he turned to his purchases and made for the kitchen. He ran the water steaming hot as he unboxed the butt plug, the cock ring. They looked so innocuous, he thought as he scrubbed and rinsed them, his hands turning pink from the heat.

The plugs had come in a set of three, but Izuku knew well enough to start with the smallest and not get ahead of himself. They were clear, weighted glass, and claimed to do well heated up or cooled down for extra stimulation. Izuku wondered if the heat from this washing would sink in long enough to be used.

The cock ring itself had made Izuku blush from the start, as his mind had instantly turned to Kacchan. Stylistically, it was made for him. An adjustable ring of black leather and bright red stitching, along with silver studs, though there were no sharp points to the studs, only smooth, rounded metal.

Izuku squirmed at the sink and instantly dropped the toys on the drying rack, dashing off to the shower.

He needed to get that man naked in his bed, now.

“Hi,” Izuku said, opening the foggy glass door to grin breathlessly up at Kacchan. “I made it.”

“Wow, congrats. Get in.”

Izuku had never stripped so fast.

They soaped each other up, Kacchan turning Izuku to face away so he could shampoo Izuku’s mass of hair with vigorous scrubs of his fingertips. Izuku didn’t know if the massage was intentional or not, but Kacchan’s touch sent fissures down his neck, sent his nipples tingling, the heat in his belly sparking, searching for a flame. The moan that slipped from his lips was entirely unintentional.

“Tell me what you bought,” Kacchan said, quieter than most people knew he could even speak. Meant only for Izuku, for moments like this. Kacchan’s slick, sudsy hands trailed down the ridges of Izuku’s abs, fingertips tracing the stiff lines of Izuku’s thickening cock in a slow, repetitive, barely-there touch.

“Touch me,” Izuku said on a quivering exhale, hips arching forward with no reprieve or friction.

“Tell me.”

Izuku swallowed hard, his jaw taut, a whimper squeaking out as Kacchan’s hand travelled lower, warm water and forever-bruised knuckles brushing at his tightening balls.

Shit,” was all Izuku could manage.

“Tell me,” Kacchan said, lips kissing along the width of Izuku’s shoulder.

Izuku released a shaky, laugh, his lungs stuttering as he tilted his head back to lean against Kacchan’s chest.

“Take me to bed and find out.”

Izuku could feel the resounding growl straight to his toes.

Rinse,” Kacchan bit off before he left the shower in favor of hurriedly drying himself off.

For once, Izuku did as he was told without argument. When he stepped out into the steam, Kacchan was there with a waiting dry towel, throwing it at his face and stomping from the room, more than half-hard already.

Water dripping into his eyes from his hair, Izuku cocked his head and watched Kacchan go. His breath hitched a little just watching Kacchan walk away naked.

Drying off ineffectually, Izuku dropped his towel in a heap on the tiles, uncaring that his hair still trickled water down his spine as he made a beeline for the kitchen. He grabbed what he needed and kept it behind his back as he made for the bedroom and leaned in the doorway.

Izuku’s lips curved as his gaze lazily followed the strong contours and dips of Kacchan’s body laid out on the bed, ankles crossed, arms folded behind his head upon two pillows. His fine hair was damp, but already beginning to spike out recklessly. They locked eyes and Kacchan’s attention dropped to where Izuku’s hand was behind his back.

“You make me wait any longer and I’m finishing without you.”

“You’d never,” Izuku said with a laugh, taking the invitation to get on the bed. He straddled Kacchan’s thighs and held out his purchases with a grin. “Here. Look.”

Kacchan took the glass plug, mouth in a thoughtful frown as he tested its weight, his half-hard cock twitching against his stomach as he stroked his thumb along the clear length, up the increasing width.

“I like this,” he said, his words gone husky, cheeks heating up as he flicked a look over to the soft leather, studded ring. “What the hell is that?”

Izuku smiled, his head cocked.

“You really don’t research anything about our relationship, do you?”

Kacchan’s face flushed down to his chest as he pinched Izuku’s thigh, bringing forth a yelp.

Haah? The fuck do I have to research? When would I ever? I’m literally just here because of your dumb ass.”

“What’s that mean?” Izuku said, unable to wipe the smile from his face as he leaned in, their cocks rubbing against each other, encouraging the blood to pool low in their bellies as Izuku flattened his tongue over one of Kacchan’s nipples.

Kacchan hissed, the noise ending in an almost flabbergasted, perplexed laugh.

“Waddayou mean?  Last time I checked I was only gay for you, so what –“ Kacchan’s breath hiccupped as Izuku swirled his tongue around the second nipple, grazing his teeth over the peak. “S-so what do I need to look up? There’s – fuck, what’re you – there’s only ever been you.”

A shock zipped down Izuku’s spine, casting sparks in its wake, lighting Izuku up from the inside out as he peered up with wonder at Kacchan’s clouded, distracted expression. An extremely interested dick was pulsing hard against Izuku’s hip and he had a feeling Kacchan was barely conscious of what he was saying.

“Katsuki,” Izuku whispered, bringing his mouth to Kacchan’s ear.

Mmm,” was Kacchan’s only reply as he rutted with slow rolls of hips against Izuku.

Katsuki,” Izuku said again, his voice dropping. He curled one hand around Kacchan’s shoulder for balance as he brought the leather ring up to Kacchan’s face. “This helps to keep you from cumming. I’m going to put this around your dick and ride you until you can’t take it anymore.”

Katsuki’s hips stuttered, a high, strangled noise riding the back of his throat.

“Oh shit.”

“Oh yes,” Izuku said, tracing the shell of Kacchan’s ear with the tip of his tongue. His hand came between them, fingers overlapping Kacchan’s, the ones gripped around the plug. “But first, let’s make this comfortable.”

Kacchan cut himself off mid-moan and went still. He turned his head, but Izuku was busy sucking bruises to life along his throat.

“Wait. If you’re riding me, then where does this g- Oh, like hell you’re using this on me.”

Izuku rasped a laugh against Katsuki’s jaw, kissing along the sharp ridge as he made his way to Kacchan’s scowling mouth.

“I wanna make you feel good as you do me.” Izuku nuzzled his nose against Kacchan’s, feeling the weight of tension dispel from his hard, muscular frame as Izuku nipped and licked playfully at Kacchan’s lips. “Come on, handsome.”

Kacchan melted beneath him with a groan. His hands came up to encircle Izuku, his chin tilting to claim Izuku’s mouth in a messy, enthusiastic kiss as he returned to rolling their hips in desperation. Falling into the kiss, Izuku sighed against that fierce tongue, matching Kacchan want for want, need for need. His chest could have burst from the life Kacchan breathed into it.

Izuku wanted to take his time down Kacchan’s body but found himself racing, hands impatient, mouth moreso. When his lips slid down over Kacchan’s dick, Izuku’s name filled the room, and the fire set ablaze. He laved thick lines up the underside of Kacchan’s stiff length, again and again, reveling in its heaviness against his tongue. Lapped up the cum that strained at the crown, sucked on just the head until it was sloppy wet and dripping.

Without warning, Izuku gripped Kacchan’s thighs and hiked them upon his shoulders. Kacchan’s growl could have been from indignation or desire, Izuku didn’t care which.

“’M gonna make you feel so good,” Izuku murmured, vision hazy as he looked up landscape of Kacchan’s body, his shivering stomach, his heaving chest, rosy cheeks and hooded eyelids. “Love you like this.”

Kacchan’s eyes widened for a split second before he released a shaky breath, letting his head drop back to the pillows, his hands fisted on his thighs.

“So good,” Izuku said again, voice rough with emotion as he dipped his head down and pushed Kacchan’s legs further up. The first flick of his tongue over Kacchan’s hole had a yelp filling the room, and Izuku could only pant heavy breaths as he worked that gorgeous ass open with his tongue.

He’d never heard Kacchan’s voice like this, never heard him sound like he would simply fall apart at the simple touch and plunge and thrust of Izuku’s tongue claiming his hole. Izuku reeled, dizzy, heady with power. This was only for him. Only him.

There’s only ever been you. That's what Kacchan had said.

When Kacchan was a panting mess, hips loose, legs wide and flat out on either side, Izuku pressed a kiss to his inner thigh and crawled up the bed to dig into his side table. A shiver thrilled down his spine when Kacchan took Izuku’s cock in hand and loosely, slowly thrust over his aching hardness. Lube in his grasp, Izuku’s eyes fell shut as he swayed in place, a low, long hum sounding from his throat as liquid heat curled and pulled through his body in waves.

“You’re –“ Izuku wet his lips, swallowed. “You’re gonna distract me.”

“Don’t care,” Kacchan grated out, speaking for the first time in a long time, and his voice was an utter wreck.

Mmm.”

Drowsy with lust, Izuku willed his eyes open and, with fumbling fingers and rushing hands, coated the shimmering glass plug with a generous slick of lube. He dripped it over his fingers as well, and whimpered when he had to scoot away from Kacchan’s touch to position back between his legs.

The first finger went in so easily, and Kacchan made a sound that Izuku wanted to lick from his lips and save for nights alone. Crooning nothings and mindless praises, Izuku slipped in the second, taking his time to curl his fingers against the sweet spot that had Kacchan gasping, his eyes shooting open, blindly gaping at the ceiling. When the third worked its way in, spreading, stretching, Kacchan went silent, teeth clenched, his chest stuttering until he finally released a keen and a breath.

“Just relax,” Izuku said, soothing and low as he gently slipped his fingers away. His lips curved, his own cock weeping between his legs when Kacchan’s hips rose to follow Izuku’s hand. “Relax, handsome. You’re gorgeous like this.”

“You’re – oh fuck –“ Kacchan’s fingers dug into the sheets, curling and flexing, knuckles white as Izuku began the slow slide of the plug inside. “You’re fuckin’ embarrassing.”

“That’s okay,” Izuku said, the pressure in his chest increasing, eyes dilating, mouth watering as he watched the plug ease its further into Kacchan’s wet hole, his body taking it so beautifully. “If it gets us here, I don’t care.”

Kacchan cried out as the plug slotted firmly in place, his voice cracked and broken as he mindlessly spread his legs further, his cock dripping onto his tanned stomach.

“Izuku, Izuku –“ Kacchan mumbled, slurred, high off whatever he was feeling, his chin jutted back, head tilted as he squirmed, probably looking for a thrust, some friction to ease the constant pressure.

Shhh, it’s alright,” Izuku said, stroking a wide, slick hand down Kacchan’s chest, easing over his abs to find Kacchan’s dick in a firm hold. Kacchan’s skin was on fire, his cock, dark from the blood pounding through it, already crying out for release. “One more thing.”

Please.” Kacchan barely spoke the word, a ravage whisper.

Everything in Izuku screamed to place himself over that jutting cock and ride himself in oblivion, but he was determined. Biting down hard on his lip, his face flushed, thighs quivering with anticipating, he grappled for the leather cock ring, lost in the folds of bedspread, and unclipped it. Carefully, so carefully, he didn’t just wrap it around Kacchan’s dick, but tucked the ring back further, encompassing Kacchan’s tight balls in the taut circle.

Holy ffff-“ Kacchan trailed off into a babbling mess, his hips coming off the bed once the ring was secure, his cock harder than Izuku had ever seen it, standing straight and huge and needy.

Hold on, hold on,” Izuku said quickly, more to himself than Kacchan. The need for this, to break himself in half over Kacchan’s dick was too great, left Izuku’s skin blazing, a pink flush rising up his thighs, his stomach, his chest, his neck, as he lubed up his fingers, spilling it everywhere in his haste.

“Here here here,” Kacchan chanted, gesturing impatiently with his hands until Izuku was straddling his chest.

Damp, swollen lips parted in shock, Izuku watched as Kacchan slicked up his own fingers from Izuku’s and reached around to plunge in. Fissures shocked through Izuku’s body, his back arcing, fingertips digging into Kacchan’s shoulders on which he clung to for stability. The prep was rushed and fierce and Izuku was rocking back on Kacchan’s three fingers like an animal in blind heat before he yanked on that final string of sanity and pulled off of him with a high cry.

Now now now, was all Izuku could think as he steadied Kacchan’s dick in his hand and slowly seated himself down. Their moans entwined in an fiery embrace, the intoxicating musk of their lust filling Izuku’s senses, sticky and humid as he struggled to breathe through the process of taking every rock hard inch.

His lungs seized up as Izuku braced his hands on Kacchan’s stomach and took Kacchan completely down. Kacchan was so big like this, too big, too much, Izuku was going to shatter, there was no way he wouldn’t.

Slowly, Izuku swayed his hips, side to side, testing, biting back a whimper as Kacchan’s palms slid over his thighs like they were something to be worshipped. Their eyes met, but Izuku could tell Kacchan barely registered a thing, because soon he was bucking his hips up in short, sharp thrusts, holding Izuku’s legs to keep him still as he fucked up into him.

Words were lost to Izuku, thoughts mere wisps that only helped thicken the air as they dissipated. Unable to hold back his breathy sighs, his hiccupped cries, Izuku followed Kacchan’s rhythm, riding him fast from the start, yelping each time he slapped his ass down on Kacchan’s impatient cock. It took the breath out of him. Every time the wet smack of their hips meeting clapped in Izuku’s ears, his lungs gave out, gave up in favor of increasing the pace, coming back down harder, faster.

Kacchan’s stomach was slick with sweat, with Izuku’s dripping dick, his hands grappling for purchase on Izuku’s hips. Ragged groans rattled from Kacchan’s lips and when their gaze locked once more, Izuku noted the desperation in Kacchan’s damp, shining eyes.

Please.”

“Yes yes.” Izuku lifted up onto his knees, felt between them, and flicked open the snap of the ring. When he dropped back down on Kacchan’s engorged length, the hips that bucked up into him and stuttered in place, the heat that shot out and filled him, was instant.

With a loud, long cry, the strength of Kacchan’s orgasm lifted his ass right off the bed, Izuku going with it as he worked his own dick in fast, hurried strokes. By the time Kacchan’s body landed back to the mattress, Izuku was clenching around him, spilling over, his frame wracked with jolts and jitters that shook him to the core.

They collapsed.

Izuku rolled off of him to starfish out, and Kacchan reached between his own legs to dislodge what Izuku had entirely forgotten about. His sleepy smile stuck to his face as he shut his eyes and worked to catch his breath. Side by side, swallowing with parched throats, their toes curling with the aftershocks, they laid there like dead men.

“Can’t talk,” Izuku said, slurred.

Mmm,” was Kacchan’s only reply.

“Can’t walk.”

Mmhmmm.”

“Shower?”

At the sound of Kacchan’s snores, Izuku could only laugh.

What a night, indeed.

Chapter Text

Every window of All Might Agency was opened wide.

The acrid smell of newly dried paint exhaled out to the sidewalk, and inhaled the sweet, cool September air, damp with threatening rain. A distant radio down the hallway threaded cheerful tunes on the wind that gusted through the white painted window frames.  The chatter of familiar voices echoed all across the building, some laughing and joking, others grunting with the effort of moving furniture to their destined rooms.

“Guess who?”

Calloused hands covered Katsuki’s eyes as he stood in the final, completely painted room, ripped-knee jeans and ragged black band t-shirt spattered in soft, butter yellow for what would act as a kind of daycare for in-need parents and relatives who couldn’t afford childcare, but needed to work.

Katsuki grinned before he could help himself and reached back with both hands, fingers firmly digging into Deku’s sides to vigorously wiggle and tickle.

“A five year-old, apparently.”

Deku snorted a stupid, nerdy laugh that Katsuki could help but be fond of and struggled to free himself even as Katsuki turned and pulled him in with a victorious grin.

“Looks good,” Deku said, beaming up at him with cheeks flushed from giddiness, his arms loosely linked around Katsuki’s neck.

“Yeah, you got pretty fuckin’ lucky, shortstack.”

“Not you.”

Deku rolled his eyes, lips still curved as he lightly pushed Katsuki’s chest and took a step back. He tucked his hands in the pockets of his own paint-smeared jean cutoffs and considered the sizable, floor to ceiling sliding glass doors and windows they’d installed on one wall. Doors that opened up to a high-gated playground, the remainder of the back area surrounded with maples that had grown up over the decades into wide, shade-bearing trees.

“I mean this place,” Deku said, his sunlit profile somehow looking older, more adult to Katsuki than it ever had before. “It looks good. We did good.”

“Who’s we?” Katsuki said with a grin as a dropped an arm over Deku’s shoulder and used him as a leaning post. “I painted this room.”

“Oh yeah?” Deku said with equal humor in his voice. “Did you install those doors?”

“I coulda.”

“You’re so full of shit,” Deku said, his laugh swallowed up when Katsuki pulled him in the by arm and pressed his mouth to that tempting, curved one. A sweet sigh slipped from Deku as his lips parted for Katsuki’s searching tongue, Katsuki’s hands encircling Deku’s wrists, thumbs smoothing over the thin skin, tracing a hummingbird heartbeat.

Katsuki’s grip tightened as he deepened the kiss.

Mine. Ours.

Deku leaned in to him, hands that smelled of sawdust and furniture polish on Katsuki’s jaw, mouth opening wider, taking him in further. They –

“Hello!”

Katsuki spun around with his teeth bared as goddamn shitty Mirio shoved his head through the wall with a shit-eating smile.

“Is this room ready for furniture?”

“It’s ready for your ass to get pounded, is what!”

“Oh dear,” Mirio said, dark eyes sparkling. “That’s some mouth you’ve got.”

“And it’s gonna rip your throat out in two seconds if you don’t find somewhere else to be.”

“Fine, fine,” Mirio said, waving a hand that fell through the wall in an unconcerned gesture. “We’ll get the foyer finished and then hit lunch. Wait for the rest to dry.”

“Good, great, go,” Katsuki said, reigning in his temper as best he could. Nosy bastards.

“Thank you, Mirio,” Deku said from Katsuki’s side, his voice gentle and patient. “You’ve already been invaluable in putting this place together.”

“I never did think my Quirk would be useful for something like moving large, awkward furniture between rooms. It’s nice to be useful for new things!”

“You’re amazing,” Deku said with sincerity. He was such a damn softie. No wonder anyone would follow him to the end and back.

Katsuki knew it for himself.

“Is Iida still in the office getting the security systems up and running?” Deku said before Mirio could disappear.

“From the distant crying I heard coming from behind the closed door – yes.”

“Thanks,” Deku said with a chuckle. “Well, you and Amajiki head out for lunch, then. We’ll see you around three?”

“Sounds good, Boss!”

Katsuki flicked a glance over just in time to watch Deku’s face blush from head to neck.

“That’s – you don’t have to call me – I –“

“Oiy, come on,” Katsuki said, knocking Deku’s upside the head with his palm. “Let’s go check if the girls are ready for break.”

“I – yes. Good idea,” Deku said, checking to make sure Mirio was gone before he released a shaky exhale and made for the door to the corridor. “I don’t – how can I be Lemillion’s boss? I can’t deal with that. We shouldn’t be anyone’s boss.”

“Stop obsessing over shit that means nothing,” Katsuki said as he walked beside Deku. “They’ll say whatever they say and we’ll think what we think. End of story.”

“Yeah,” Deku said softly as they approached the end of the hall, where a special, armored door had been placed. A keypad of glowing numbers had been installed beside it. Beyond the door held private pro-hero living quarters, consisting of its own bathroom with shower, kitchen with long, island-counter and high stools for dining, a dorm-like living space of couches and television, and a bedroom big enough to fit two sets of bunk beds and not much else. A wall between two small rooms had been demolished in favor of one large, long room with space for everyone’s costumes, gear, extras, and weapons.

Oh, and a washer and dryer. Both Kendou and Ochako had been obnoxiously adamant on getting something powerful enough to wash the blood out of their clothes innumerable times in the future.

“You think the mega-nerd got the door up and running?” Katsuki said.

“Let’s find out.” Deku yanked on the door. It unlatched with ease. He smiled sheepishly up at Katsuki. “Guess he needs a little more time.”

“Ah well,” Katsuki said with a sigh as they entered the space in which they’d practically be living in for – well, for as long as AMA would exist. Now that was a thought. “Not like there’s any important shit in here, yet, anyway.”

They ambled down the short hallway, turning to where the living area opened, only to find Kendou, with hands the size of refrigerators, effortlessly holding a couch above her head while Ochako spread out a rug beneath her.

“And here we were thinking you’d need some help,” Deku said, grinning with his hands on his hips. He was practically radiating happiness. His countenance made Katsuki want to bully him even more.

“Midoriya,” Kendou said with a placid smile, as if she weren’t lofting furniture over her head. “We’re perfectly fine on our own. As always.”

Deku twitched beside Katsuki and laughed nervously, ruffling his hair as he mumbled some bullshit apology.

Katsuki liked Kendou. She was always relaxed, never obnoxious, and she pulled her weight – literally and figuratively. He hadn’t known shit about her in their years at UA, but he was glad Deku had brought her in to the fold. She was solid.

Not that Kendou needed to hear it from him. Katsuki was sure she knew it already. She didn’t seem like some wilting flower.

“Okay!” Ochako said, popping up like a spring from the floor. She put her hands to the underside of the couch, and Kendou’s arms seemed to bulge with less muscle, a weight relieved. “Let’s put it in place.”

Arms folded, Katsuki broke away from the living area to sneak a look into the sleeping area. Pillows, sheets, and blankets were neatly folded at the foot of all four beds. Some unnecessary white curtains with delicate purple flowers sewn in donned the single window on the far wall.

Well, it couldn’t be helped. Some people went for the whole decorating thing. This wasn’t just Katsuki’s home away from home, or Deku’s – it was everyone’s.

Katsuki started to wander back, but paused to lean against a wall a distance from where his three teammates were seated on the long couch.

“I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing,” Deku said with that half-laugh he did when he was trying to brush off his fears. “While I know Kacchan and I basically built this place from the ground up, paperwork and finances and permits and all – it’s just. It’s not the same as actually going out there and, you know - beating the bad guys.”

“Midoriya!” Ochako said, sounding miffed, her cheeks puffed out with a pout. “What are you saying? You’ve taken down more villains before graduation than any other student I know.”

“We’re here, aren’t we?” Kendou said, her voice steady and assured. “We all chose to be at your side, haven’t we? Working for an upstart agency in itself is inherently risky. There are so many unknown factors. But with you – with Bakugou and Mirio, Amajiki and Uraraka – we have the beginnings of something we can all believe in.”

“Oiy, oiy,” Katsuki said, walking up behind the couch and folding his arms atop of Deku’s head to lean on him. “What’s all this talk? You gonna keep up this sleepover shit? Paint each other’s nails and write love letters to your crush? Aren’t you hungry? I’m starving.”

“You’re heartless,” Ochako muttered as she stood up with the rest of them.

“Fuck off, I’m hungry!”

“Someone needs to paint your nails and help you write a letter to your crush,” Ochako said with a long-suffering sigh as they headed down the hallway. “It would do you some good.”

HAAAH? Why? Stop spouting shit, hamster cheeks!”

“For the record,” Deku said as they passed through the door into the main building, “I don’t need a letter from Kacchan. I feel like that would be –“

Creepy,” Katsuki and Deku said at the same time, with mutual shivers of disgust.

“At least you two share the same lack of romance,” Ochako said with a resigned smile.

“Works for me,” Deku said simply, his fingertips brushing Katsuki’s as they walked.

“I think you two seem romantic enough,” Kendou said with a small shrug. “You support each other, and believe in each other. That’s romance to me. Not flowers.”

“What a waste of money,” Katsuki said with a scoff. “Anyway, he wouldn’t know what to do with flowers.”

“I have a cactus.”

“You’re both hopeless,” Ochako said. “But at least you’re past the bloody hallway fights.”

Kendou stopped in her tracks.

“Bloody ha-“

A nearby wail alerted the group to Iida’s dark, ominous presence lingering in the head office.

With a sigh, Deku squeezed Katsuki’s arm and moved on to take care of whatever the hell Iida was crying about in there. How damn hard was it to install a security system? Katsuki could probably do it in his sleep.

If he knew anything about computers.

“Go to lunch,” Katsuki said, waving off Kendou and Ochako as he made to follow Deku. “See you at three.”

“What about –“

“Actually, wait.” Katsuki stomped into the office, where Deku was leaning over Iida’s shoulder, both of them frowning at a set of three wide monitors. “You, come here.”

“Oh, Bakugou!” Iida said, looking up with a wavering smile and an eye twitch that had seemed to form over the last two hours he’d been here. “Perhaps you could have a look at – whoops, okay!”

Katsuki hefted him up by the collar and roughly clapped his back in a buddy-like gesture, all the while easing the fumbling Iida towards the door.

“I haven’t finished the –“

“That’s fine.”

“I mean, it’s quite a bit more complicated than I’d initially –“

“You should eat now.”

“But I’d rather –“

“Go with the girls for lunch or I’ll feed my fist down your throat, glasses.”

“Yes!”

Hands on his hips, Katsuki watched with a dark expression as Iida stumbled from the doorway, practically saluting him as he bumped into the girls in the hallway. Katsuki almost felt bad for him. Iida didn’t even work here and he was helping out. Oh well, that was Iida's problem.

“You’re awful,” Deku said from behind him, but Katsuki could already hear the repressed humor in his voice.

Katsuki glanced over his shoulder, unconcerned. Deku had his lips pressed tightly together, tamping down a smile as he stood behind the desk.

“I’m at my limit with people,” Katsuki said, slowly rounding the desk, his gaze going crimson, predatory, his smile toothy, flashing his canines.

“Those people are your friends,” Deku said, quirking an eyebrow as he seemed to turn and sit upon the desk on instinct. Waiting for Katsuki’s approach.

“I’m at my limit with friends, too,” Katsuki said, his voice dropping as wedged himself between Deku’s spreading legs, his hungry hands sliding up to clench and knead at Deku’s thick, meaty thighs.

Smile delighted, Deku leaned back against his hands, his strong legs in a loose grip around Katsuki’s waist, keeping him close.

“What’s gotten into you?” Deku said, eyes laughing as Katsuki palmed his way beneath Deku’s shirt to map the plains of Deku’s stomach and chest.

“Who cares?” Katsuki murmured against the freckled column of Deku’s throat, his teeth scraping over the fluttering heartbeat.

How could he say it? How could he say that standing in this building that they’d put their everything into for the past months made their future together feel even more real? How could he say that he'd never imagined in a hundred years that their lives would become more intertwined than they’d been as children? How could he say that this was a better future than he’d even envisioned for himself, even a full year ago?

Deku gripped at Katsuki’s hair, soft utterances turning in his throat as he bared it for Katsuki’s perusal. Katsuki took his time, fingertips sinking into the flesh of Deku’s sides, thumbs skimming muscle and ribs, his mouth trailing kisses across Deku’s smooth jaw, over his lips, his cheeks. Dizzy on Deku’s intoxicating flavor, Katsuki groaned into Deku’s temple, where curls damp from the day’s exertions clung to his skin with a familiar, comforting musky scent.

Katsuki nuzzled Deku’s hair, instinctive now, welcomed there now.

“Deku, I –“

A crashing cacophony at the entrance had them jumping apart, on instant alert.

Was the entire fucking world intent on interrupting them today?

Teeth clenched, Katsuki began to stomp around the desk, only to have Deku catch him by the arm and roughly jerk him back.

“The f-“

Deku pushed a finger against Katsuki’s lips, as he gestured with a jerk of his head to the monitors on the desk. Eyes narrowed, Katsuki glanced over Deku’s shoulder, his hands spitting with sparks as he noted the intruder stomping its way through their newly painted foyer.

Some kind of scorpion humanoid had passed through the open doors of the agency, grinning with sharp teeth as he flipped his six-foot tail around, stabbing the dangerously curved end into the walls and ceiling at random.

“Looks like an open house!” he said, loud enough for his rough voice to carry down the corridor. “Guess I’ll have me some fun ‘til someone gets back.”

The hairs on Katsuki’s arms stood on end, and he looked to Deku, whose eyes were already crackling with electricity. The guy was a human conductor when he got like this, and Katsuki even found his hair frizzing out when too close to him under these circumstances.

And Katsuki knew that look.

Glass shattered somewhere in the hallway, and Katsuki could only hope it wasn’t the viewing windows that looked toward the pool, because he seriously didn’t want to clean reinforced glass out of the bottom of a pool any time soon.

Mouth firm, Deku shoved past Katsuki, the air crackling around him like a storm ready to come down hard.

Katsuki bit off a curse and yanked at the nape of Deku’s collar, dragging him back. Deku rounded on him, batting his hands away none too gently. Hissing, Katsuki grasped Deku’s wrists and leaned in, their noses nearly touching.

Listen to me,” Katsuki whispered. “We can’t let him fuck up this place more than he already is. We can’t fight in here.”

“We can’t just let him keep doing this!” Deku said, his jaw twitching with the effort to modulate his voice. Everything about his body language screamed: This is my baby. This is my home. I will lose my shit if it gets hurt. “I can take him down easy.”

“What heroes don’t lock their front doors?” The mutant scorpion said with a sardonic cackle, nearer to their room. “Maybe we don’t gotta worry ‘bout ‘em after all!”

“Just listen,” Katsuki said, shaking Deku a little by the wrists. “Let me flush him out the front door. Get to the roof and wait. When he comes out, you come down on him. Hard.”

“But I need to –“

“Izuku, you fucking idiot,” Katsuki snarled, his voice hoarse and scraped up with the force of keeping quiet. “Work with me!”

Deku blinked, the currents snapping in his eyes subsiding for a moment. Their gazes locked and held. He nodded.

Go,” Deku he said, and promptly turn to slide open the window.

Katsuki didn’t watch to see him leave. He’d make it to the roof. Katsuki was past second-guessing Deku’s skill in battle.

Briefly, Katsuki remembered falling through the air, grappling, bleeding, the force of everything Deku was, aimed solely at him.

Yeah. Katsuki no longer carried a single doubt for Deku’s abilities.

Grinning manically, Katsuki swaggered from the room and into the hall, his eyes lightning up as he caught the attention of the creature at the other end of the corridor.

“Ready to die?” Katsuki said, bloodthirsty words dripping with intent.

“You’re cute,” the scorpion said, whipping his tail over his shoulder, a thick green liquid, likely venom, spattered across the tiled floor. “What’re you, twelve? I came with a message. Might be better if my message was attached to a corpse, though. More – what’s the word – impact?”

The tail lashed out, razor sharp and slick with poison, straight for Katsuki’s chest.

Katsuki was already laughing as he back-flipped from the attack. He landed on his feet, blasting away from the spot instantly, knowing there’d be an incoming double attack.

Katsuki was faster. Always.

But they were travelling deeper into the building, and that was the opposite of what Katsuki needed.

“Dumbass!” Katsuki said dodged a half-assed shot and fired back, singeing black along the length of the villain’s tail. “You gonna give me a message and kill me? Are you fucking braindead? If you kill me, how would you get the message across?”

The dickhead blinked at him for a second, before his face twisted up with the confused level of fury into which only the stupid could contort. His tail whipped and crashed behind him in agitation.

“Shut up! The fuck you and your kind lookin’ to set up camp here? This place is a dump, an’ it’s our dump. We run the south side. You ain’t got a chance in hell, kid.”

“You’re mistaken,” Katsuki said, his grin splitting ear to ear. His palms neared his own face, utterly aflame, sparks landing on his own skin, unbidden. “I bring hell to you.”

Katsuki launched. The villain lanced his tail forth. Katsuki took it as a bridge, ran up the thick, outstretched, black exoskeleton. Dropped two explosive palms onto the scorpion’s shoulders and flipped back, landing behind him.

Careful not to damage the walls or hall any further, Katsuki aimed a tight, quick shot of flame to the small of the scorpions back, and, for the sake of the agency and not his pride, turned and ran.

He’d nearly reached the door when a tail, stinking of burnt flesh, swiped his feet from beneath him. Katsuki dropped to a roll and stood, turning, when the tail cracked him upside the face, his jaw wrenching out of its socket and singing with pain. A crash, his back crying out, a table broken beneath the force of his fall.

Roaring, Katsuki blasted from the ground, palms alight. Blindly he kicked out, instinct telling him the villain would be on him. He was, and Katsuki fired right into his chest, sailing the scorpion against the front doors.

The villain gaped, mouth working with no sound.

Chest heaving, Katsuki took slow steps forward, a gaze out for blood ensnaring the scorpion’s wide eyes. Cocking his head, Katsuki brought his fist up and punched himself square in the jaw. The sickening pop of it realigning rung throughout the foyer.

“If you think I’m scary,” Katsuki said, his thin smirk wide as his palms erupted in searing flames, edging on white. “Wait until you meet my boyfriend.”

The blast blew the doors off the entrance and catapulted a flame-engulfed scorpion onto the sidewalk.

Katsuki did not step from the building.

Nor did he stop himself from grinning as Deku jumped from the ceiling with a battle cry, his legs snapping with the full glory of his power, just before he pounced the villain straight into a vast crater of destroyed concrete.

Rubble and dust plumed in clouds, the only sound coming from the impact being the footsteps of Deku, climbing from the destruction. He cleared through the wreckage like the sun breaking through the grey skies above them, coughing with the debris and gratefully accepting Katsuki’s hand to pull him entirely from the crater.

Katsuki didn’t think twice. He kept Deku’s hand in his hold, and yanked him in, catching his mouth with the fury and adrenaline of the fight. Their tongues lashed and warred, sloppy and rushed, Deku’s hands fisting in the collar of Katsuki’s shirt, tugging him closer, closer. High off the battle, drunk off each other, they devoured with messy open mouths, fingers bruising, claiming, streaking through each other’s hair until Katsuki finally fisted Deku’s curls to pull him back enough for them to breathe.

Gasping against each other’s barely parted lips, their gazes entwined and tangled, unwavering, they stared at each other, both in awe.

“We –“ Deku swallowed, licked his lips. “That was teamwork, right? Together?”

“Something like that,” Katsuki said, still dazed, more shook by Deku’s frantic kiss than a villain setting out to kill him. “I – yeah.”

“Wow,” Deku said, beaming, wrapped tightly in Katsuki’s arms. “Wow. That felt –“

Yeah.”

Deku went to his toes and peered over Katsuki’s shoulder, his brows knitting.

“You broke the doors off the building, Kacchan.”

“Hey, I can’t win ‘em all.”

“You’re unbelievable.”

Chapter Text

“Um.” Izuku stared out at the sea of expectant faces, all in rapt attention. The sun was too bright in his eyes, the cloudless noonday sky bright blue above the rustling green maples that shifted and whispered in the breeze. Black, round eyes of camera crews spied from all angles, taking in not just him, but the entire agency crew standing on either side of him. A group of what might the most publicized upstart hero agencies in history. They stood with him, his women and men. People he would trust with his life, and vice versa.

“I’m standing here today because of a lot of people,” Izuku said, swallowing as he forced his hands into the pockets of fitted navy khakis he had no hand in picking or purchasing. He looked on, skimming the dozens of civilians and heroes before him. He saw Todoroki and Shinsou, shoulder to shoulder, the latter grinning like a loon. Classmates, his mother, Kacchan's parents, their teachers over the years - all waiting, watching.

Izuku took a breath.

“Some of them challenged me, encouraged me,” he paused with a short laugh as he noted Aizawa in the crowd, wearing sunglasses, and received a nod in return for his attention. “Some of them terrified me, too.”

He felt Kacchan at his side, chest puffed out from the periphery, full of pride.

“But there’s one thing they’ve all had in common,” Izuku said, his fists clenching within his pockets from the passion that bloomed within his heart. “They’ve all saved me. At some point in my life. Whether it was fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, or onward. Emotionally, mentally, or physically. These are the people who have made me who I am today, and the majority of them, you’re seeing right here. Within the crowd, by my side, and all of them reflected within my words, living on. My mother, who stands in the crowd today. A woman who gave her all for me to be this person. Who instilled in me the heart of a hero like no pro or teacher ever could. The one who was my hero before I even knew what a hero was.”

Izuku caught his mother’s damp eyes, his chest filling with a lifetime of memories, hugs, smiles, scraped knees being kissed, nights spent sleeping in his mother’s bed when he’d had a nightmare. The moments exchanged between them under the fresh autumn sky, immortalized in both of them, carried on by Izuku.

“And to my father,” Izuku said softly, looking into the camera. He felt Kacchan stiffen beside them. This was a subject that never arose, not once since they were young – very young. Izuku had simply said, I don’t know him, and that had been the end of that. “I have my father to thank, too. My mentor, the man who made the hero you see today. The man after whom this agency is named after.”

Reporters erupted into a frenzy of questions, scrambling toward the front of the group.

“Stupid Deku!” Kacchan hissed in his ear, his mouth close. “Your wording sucks ass.”

“N-n-not my actual father!” Izuku said, holding up his hands and waving them around, his smile wobbling and his brave hero face cracking. “My father figure. Figure! All Might!”

The hysteria of Izuku’s comment failed to rest, and ripples of chatter and curiosity fanned out to the edges of the gathered crowd.

“Oiy, oiy!” Kacchan’s words shot through the excitable mania like a machine gun as he glowered out at the crowd, one elbow propped upon Izuku’s shoulder to slump against as he snarled. “Deku’s shit at this –“

“Like you’re any better,” Izuku mumbled with a sidelong glance.

“So you figure it out. We don’t need the long-ass speeches when I know you’re just here for the street party and the free barbecue.”

“Kacchan, that’s not –“

“This guy,” Kacchan said, knocking his fist lightly atop Izuku’s head, his gravel voice mellowing, his profile stern, “Has seen some shit. Has been through some shit.”

“This is not an eloquent speech, Kacchan,” Izuku said through a clenched, anxiety-riddled smile.

“And through all of that, he keeps coming back stronger. Maybe stronger than anyone you see standing over here, in front of a building that this guy had everything to do pulling out of the trash and turning it into what you’re looking at. It’s creation was ours, but the vision has always been his – before I even knew about it.”

Eyes wide, heart full, Izuku peered over slowly, like if he moved too quickly he’d scared Kacchan off, and take his words along with him. Kacchan stood tall, addressing everyone with his usual ease, like he didn’t have a care in the world for what anyone thought of him. But in this case, it was clear he cared – but it wasn’t about himself.

“Any of you out there could only wish you had in you what Deku has in him,” Kacchan said, his hand falling to Izuku’s shoulder and squeezing. “You’ll see.”

“And how do you feel about working side by side, Ground Zero?” Asked a reporter from the front lines. “No one has forgotten the highly publicized fight between you two only four months ago in July. Regardless of Mesmer’s hand in the battle, Deku essentially –“

“Listen, asshole,” Kacchan said, his fingertips digging into Izuku’s shoulder as he leaned in, causing a line of bystanders to take an instinctive, full step back. “I only work with the best. That’s why it took me so long to choose, unlike the others in my graduating year. I was waiting for the best, and turns out the best is my partner.”

Deku’s face flamed up as fought the urge to fidget. Kacchan was being so vocal and – and kind.

“And when I say my partner,” Kacchan said, throwing his arm firmly around Izuku’s shoulders. “I mean my partner.”

A gasp shot into the air as Izuku’s world tilted from beneath him, Kacchan dipping him backwards, Izuku’s leg popping up to accommodate the shifting balance. Izuku’s arms instinctively circled Kacchan’s neck, even if Kacchan’s strong embrace had him safe as firm, insistent lips captured Izuku’s own mouth, parted in shock.

A tremor of delight rocked through Izuku’s frame as Kacchan plunged his tongue in like they weren’t surrounded by a dull roar of cheers. Distantly, Izuku heard Auntie Mitsuki yell, I fucking knew it, Inko, I told you, while Mina’s distinct, bawdy laughter carried over the sound of fangirls squealing with glee.

Just as quickly as it happened, Kacchan thrust Izuku back to his feet, though his arm remained chained around Izuku’s waist, keeping him tight to his side.

Dazed and blinking owlishly into the crowd, he saw Shinsou, laughing, collapsed against an eye-rolling Todoroki. Aizawa stood beside Present Mic, pinching the bridge of his nose with his eyes closed as he shook his head. His fretful mother, at the front of the crowd with Kacchan’s parents, mouthed at him, You should have told me.

Ignoring the screams and renewed delirium of excitement, Kacchan stepped up to the nearest news camera, his face far too close to be flattering as he pointed a finger right into the black eye like a man ready to throw punches. His lips pulled back a bloodthirsty grin.

“Anyone got a problem with that? Come to my front fucking door and say it to my face. And if you’re a villain and you hurt him? I’ll kill you.”

“I think it’s time we get those grills fired up!” Mirio said, promptly scooting in front of both Izuku and Kacchan with his megawatt smile and distracting physical presence. “What do you guys think? The agency will be open until sunset, welcoming all families, childcarers, children, and those in need who are interested in inquiring about our various aid programs. We will all be available for questions –“

Mirio’s voice carried with friendly authority as Izuku hid behind his wide back and gazed up at Kacchan’s grumpy expression.

“What the hell was that?” Izuku said, boggling. He didn’t know whether to be thrilled or horrified by the altogether too dramatic opening of their business.

“Like I know,” Kacchan said, hunching so he was hidden behind the cast shadow of Mirio’s shoulder. “It just happened. Nosey bastards piss me off and I just – they should fuckin’ know.”

Izuku gaped.

“Know what?”

“That we’re a team,” Kacchan snapped, getting in Izuku’s face, eyes glowing with intensity.

Izuku’s expression softened, a fond sigh filling his chest as he brought a hand to Kacchan’s cheek.

“In the future,” he said softly, sure not to speak over Mirio as he answered a few final questions. “I’d prefer if we showed we were in a team in ways that don’t involve you shoving your tongue down my throat. Nice as that is.”

“I was pissed off!”

“That’s an interesting way of showing it,” Izuku said, patting Kacchan’s cheek in a way he knew would infuriate him. “And I appreciate the show of, uh, solidarity, anyway.”

Kacchan whipped his head to the side to bite at Izuku’s hand, but his rebuttal was cut off with a thunder of applause as the introduction found conclusion. As people began to clear the area and round the building to the side entrance, Mirio turned around and slung both of his arms around Izuku and Kacchan’s shoulders. His smile was blinding as he leaned in to speak with them.

“Now that’s what I call publicity. Good job, guys!”

“We didn’t plan fo-“

“Go schmooze,” Kacchan said to Mirio, shrugging his shoulder off. “That’s what you’re good for.”

“Happy to help,” Mirio said with a laugh, wandering off with the rest of the crowd.

“Izuku!”

Mom slammed into him like a heavyweight, crushing him in the tightest hug as she sobbed into Izuku’s chest.

“Mom!” Izuku said, his voice cracking into a yelp. “Mom, calm down! I – what –“

“That’s one way to come out to an entire country,” Shinsou said as he meandered up to the stragglers in front of the building, his lips curved.

“Bakugou is stupid,” Todoroki said flatly.

Oiy!” Kacchan began to stomp over. “Come and say that to my f-“

Speaking of saying shit to someone’s face,” Auntie Mitsuki said, clotheslining Kacchan with a toned arm wrapped around his neck to drag him back into place. She grated her knuckles over his scalp in a rapid, undoubtedly uncomfortable noogie. “The fuck you doing telling us about your boyfriend like this? We could have had a nice dinner, dumbass.”

“Who would wanna have dinner with you, old hag?” Kacchan gritted out, yanking his head from her hold.

“Izuku!” Mom wailed again, clinging to him as she looked up at him. “I’m so happy you found someone! And this place, it’s so beautiful, even from the outside.”

“Oh.” Izuku laughed a little, unsure of his footing. “I mean, I didn’t do the outside gardening and repairs, that was all Amajiki and –“

“But you could have at least invited Katsuki over for dinner!” Mom said, her expression growing concerned despite her round, reddened face and large, damp eyes. “For goodness sake, Izuku, I thought I’d raised you better.”

“Yes, Mom,” Izuku said timidly, meeting Kacchan’s eyes over the top of her head.

“Am I invited to this dinner?” Shinsou said. “Because I would gladly attend.”

“STOP INVITING YOURSELF TO THINGS," Kacchan hollered.

“I was merely inquring,” Shinsou said with a hefty sigh. He looked at Todoroki mournfully. “No one invites me to anything.”

“That’s because you invite yourself before anyone can ask,” Todoroki said flatly. “Let’s go inside and get some food.”

“Oh, let’s. Can we also judge people?” Shinsou said, as they strolled past toward the side entrance, their conversation fading.

“That’s your specialty, not mine,” Todoroki said.

“We can’t all be this perfect, I guess.”

“No comment.”

“Well,” Auntie Mitsuki said as ruffled Izuku’s hair and offered a cheerful, toothy grin that might’ve been the mirror of Kacchan’s if he wasn’t so busy scowling all the time. “Welcome to the family, anyway. Not that you haven’t always been a part of it, somehow. I know you’ll be good for my son. I just hope he can live up to the man you’ve become, Izuku.”

“Oh, no,” Izuku said, shaking his head with a frown, his brows dropping low and concentrated. “It’s never been like that. I’ve looked up to Kacchan since as long as I can remember.”

“Shut up, Deku,” Kacchan muttered, the color riding high on his cheekbones.

“And in the last two years that we’ve really, well, gotten to know each other again, he’s – well, he’s driven me to become a better person. To work harder, to treat myself better, and to expect more from what I can do as a hero. He’s just –“ Izuku flicked a look to Kacchan’s shuttered, undoubtedly embarrassed expression, his lips quirking as he considered the man he loved for a moment. “He is good for me. It took us both some time to realize that.”

“Well, shit,” Mistuki said with a sigh. “Aren’t you two the cutest things I’ve ever seen?”

“Aren’t they!” Inko said, absolutely beaming.

“Alright, alright,” Kacchan said, sounding exhausted as he waved them off with a loose hand. “We got shit to do, ladies.”

“Sorry,” Izuku said, offering an apologetic smile. “We really do need to get inside and help out.”

“Don’t let us stop you,” Mom said, going to her toes to kiss both Izuku and a blushing Kacchan on the cheek. “We’ll catch up.”

Izuku walked shoulder to shoulder with Kacchan, their hands brushing.

“You surprised me,” Izuku said quietly, flitting a quick look to Kacchan’s pensive profile. “With all that.”

“Yeah, well,” Kacchan said with a jerky shrug, his attention straight ahead of them. “Don’t expect that shit again. Ever again.”

“I wouldn’t dare,” Izuku said, smiling at him now.

“Stop mooning over me like you’re braindead,” Kacchan said gruffly, not bothering to glance aside.

“I’m just happy.”

“Yeah, yeah, okay, good.”

That was as much affirmation as he’d ever get. And that was good, too.

Izuku walked through the entryway of All Might Agency with a smile that could have rivaled the sun. He was ready to take on the world.

After night had long fallen, and the last civilian had left, the final paper plates and napkins trashed, Izuku found himself on the roof.

A mismatch of lawn chairs, camping chairs, and beach chairs littered the area, all circled around a few ice chests filled with beer. The cool autumn evening was a deep blue blanket above their heads, the city glow casting faint gold contours over the circle of friends.

Izuku stretched and slumped in his chair, felt his back crackle and pop as he relaxed into his third lulling beer. Idly, his gaze travelled the circle, where everyone sat comfortably, some bundled in sweaters or throw blankets, some with legs splayed out, a couple dead asleep.

Kacchan to his right, Todoroki to his left, followed by Shinsou and his low, story-telling drawl, Ashido rapt on him and grinning, Kaminari – asleep with his chin to his chest. Sero, his lanky limbs too much for the chair, Kirishima grilling Iida about gym techniques, along with Tsuyu, Ochako, and Kendou in some deep conversation of which Izuku had long lost track. Beside them, between Kendou and Bakugou, Mirio and Amajiki were fast asleep, their chairs pushed close together, their heads propped against each other’s in a precarious but balanced repose.

“Did you ever think we’d be here?” Izuku said softly, angling toward Kacchan.

“No,” he said instantly, simply.

“Yeah,” Izuku said, his lips curving softly when Kacchan shifted to lean his head back against his chair and meet Izuku’s gaze. “Me neither. I don’t know what to do with all of this happiness.”

“What a sap,” Kacchan said, but his voice was soothing and a little slurred with both sleep and beer. His eyelids looked heavy. The hour had to be nearing three or four.

“It feels like it’s been years since we all sat in a classroom together.”

“Five months or something.”

Izuku looked on at his friends, people who had been through innumerable battles with him before they’d even graduated. People whom he respected with every cell in his body. People he trusted with his safety. With the city’s safety.

At the same time, they were still just graduates, with so much to learn.

“I don’t feel like an adult,” Izuku said, watching the idle rise and fall of Kacchan’s chest, and the gold glint in his warm, welcoming firelight eyes from the streetlamps.

“You would if you spent a day with a First Year,” Kacchan said. “You haven’t noticed? Heroes grow up fucking fast, Izuku. That’s what war does. Battles, blood, death, pain.”

“I guess you’re right.”

Kacchan yawned, long and loud, and Izuku looked to the starless sky, sheeted in the fuzzy haze of the city. When a warm hand dropped to Izuku’s thigh, he smiled to himself and placed his palm atop, lacing their fingers.

“You worry too much,” Kacchan said, healing words curling and licked at Izuku’s soul like the comfort of a hearth in the cold. “That’s what I’m here for, y’know?”

“Oh yeah?” Izuku said, casting a smile Kacchan’s way.

Kacchan paused, simply staring, attention trailing the lines of Izuku’s face before he sucked in a shaky breath. He met Izuku’s eyes, his mouth soft and sober.

“Yeah. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Me neither,” Izuku said, the breath rent from his lungs, his heart straining against his ribs. “I’m here, too.”

Kacchan’s smile was the only crescent moon out that night.

“Yeah. I know.”

Chapter Text

Sipping iced green tea from a frosty, sweating glass, Katsuki faintly rocked from side to side in the kitchen, facing the wall with a furrowed brow. Brash X’s scratched out box after box, slashing out time passed, dragging as stubborn and slow as this sticky summer heat. Every window in the house, upstairs and down, had been flung open, the sweet breeze ruffling at Katsuki’s pinned back bangs and fluttering the corners of the calendar page.

Fourteen days. Two weeks.

Sure, they’d been apart longer. The job had pulled them to opposite ends of the country on more than one occasion. The tsunami across the southern coast wasn’t their first, either. Only this time, All Might Agency was understaffed with Ochako going off the play fucking astronaut at the beckoning call of Japan’s space program. Apparently, a Quirk like hers would do wonders in space, on moons and planets. No one could throw out a guess for how long she’d out of commission as an earth-bound Pro Hero.

Shinsou, less than a year into contract with All Might Agency, was on leave with a pretty nasty head injury caused by a villain who understood a little too well how Mr Sandman’s Quirk functioned.

Which, in short, left Katsuki mooning over a fucking calendar, and the four-dozen sneakily snapped photographs saved on his phone.

Deku, half his freckled face buried in a pillow, his lips parted soft in sleep, his recently cut hair, shaved down neatly at the sides, with trimmed curls spilling over his brow in the blue morning light. Deku, frowning deep, his dark, straight brows crunched close, chewing on his thumbnail as he pored over documents, scribbling out police statements and so forth. Deku, visiting the children’s center within AMA, grubby kids flocking to him, clinging to his legs, swinging from his strong arms as he smiled bright as a five year old. Deku’s profile while watching television. Deku cooking in a pair of low slung, baggy pants, the small of his back freckled and bronze from sun. Deku grinning, toothy and wide as he reached up for Katsuki’s phone, the dimple in Deku’s right cheek more captivating than the glory of his naked body sprawled out in their sun-soaked bed.

Scowling, Katsuki guzzled the remainder of his tea with a vengeance and turned from the wall to wash his glass. Without having to admit it to anyone but himself, living alone after a year of cohabiting in an actual house which they’d picked and purchased together felt alien as fuck. Past times in which Deku had been away on missions and they’d still lived in their separate apartments had been different. They’d still had their own spaces in which they were used to existing by themselves.

In this house – well, it wasn’t Katsuki’s house. The house was theirs, together. And not only was one half missing and leaving the rooms echoing and empty, but Deku had also missed out on his twentieth birthday just five days ago.

Asshole. Mucking through buried homes and saving puppies and kids like the number one shitty hero he was. No wonder everybody loved him.

There were some things Katsuki didn’t miss, of course.

The way Deku fell face-down onto the bed or couch, still caked in dirt and blood because he’d pushed himself too far and no longer had the energy to bathe, so instead he got the furniture all gross. Katsuki would mutter curses, have to stop whatever he was doing and run a bath to ease Deku in. Wash his back, his hair, while Deku struggled and failed to stay entirely conscious during the ordeal.

The way Deku seemed to crave light to the point of leaving on every lamp in the house, even when he wasn’t in the room. The way he lingered in front of the open fridge because he could never decide what to eat. The way he kicked and flailed in his sleep, taking his work home with him to fight even as he dreamt.

Fuck. Katsuki missed all that shit too.

When the hell had Deku gotten under his skin to the point where Katsuki couldn’t go a day without him lingering on the outskirts of everything he did?

With the intention of putting on more clothes than the sweaty boxers he’d been working out in, Katsuki absently flicked on the radio and padded into the foyer. Sweeping a glance along the wall of climbing photos from their years together, Katsuki paused halfway up the staircase and frowned.

Their first selfie, with Deku holding out the camera. The deep green shade of the blooming April trees had done nothing to shadow the deep black eyes Katsuki had sported on his eighteenth birthday. Deku’s gaze gleamed with unshed tears of laughter, and Katsuki glowered at the camera, looking a hot mess.

A lot had happened that day. Blood had been shed – Katsuki’s. Words had been spat from both sides. And minutes before this photo had been taken, they’d been sitting on swings in a nearby playground, kicking up dust and talking with their mouths full.

On Katsuki’s eighteenth birthday, he remembered thinking maybe Deku was the next symbol of hope, for how he’d given some of that to him with his words and determination.

Pushing me away because you’re scared I’ll die is wrong. We’re better together. Better than any pair could be together. If you’d just let us.

Katsuki grinned at the photo. His own reply had been, I’ll believe that when I see it, too.

He wasn’t just seeing it now. He was living it.

Katsuki supposed that sometimes Deku’s rose-tinted glasses and fanciful dreams made their way into the real world.

Fuck, he missed Deku.

A quick rap at the front door rent a gruff sigh from Katsuki as reversed down the stairs. Arms askance from his body, he glanced down, remembering he was in his underwear and nothing else. He groaned, looking around.

Another knock.

“UNLESS YOU’RE DYING ON THE FUCKING DOORSTEP, YOU CAN HOLD THE HELL UP.”

Katsuki strode into the living room and shrugged into a pair of baggy sports shorts, a scowl screwing up his face as he slouched toward the front door and whipped it open.

“I hope you know this is my one goddamn day off this –“ Katsuki’s eyes shot wide, his lips moving without words. His body set alight, grenades malfunctioning in his gut. “Week. Deku.”

Freckled from head to toe, sweat-damp curls splaying from beneath a ratty black baseball cap printed in Ground Zero’s trademark orange X, Deku smiled from ear to ear, blinding, eyes shining.

“Sorry,” Deku said, and his voice was like the summer sun with none of the burn and all of the comforting warmth. “Did I interrupt your day off? I could come back another time.”

Breath ripped from his lungs, his face set firm and fierce and fighting tears, Katsuki leapt forward, arms belting Deku’s waist to lift him from the porch and swing him in a crushing embrace. Deku’s yelp turned to boisterous laughter, his arms linking around Katsuki’s neck, and the hat toppling to the porch.

“Stop!” Deku said, his smile nuzzled into the crook of Katsuki’s bare shoulder, still spinning. “I’m dizzy!”

Dizzy for entirely different reasons and unable to find the words for it, Katsuki eased Deku to his feet, unable to relent his hold.

“Ka –“ Deku tried to pull away but was denied the movement. His shoulders sagged, one calloused hand stroking the nape of Katsuki’s neck, smoothing up to cradle the back of his head. “I’m home.”

“Welcome home,” Katsuki mumbled against Deku’s ear, pressing a kiss to where the tips of them had burned in the sun. He still smelled like the sea.

Entwined on the porch, Katsuki kissed a line down Deku’s jaw, taking his time, savoring. Deku hummed low in his chest, tilting his head for better access. But it wasn’t what Katsuki craved, what he searched out with his needy mouth and hands sliding from Deku’s waist to grip slim hips.

Shifting, Katsuki butted Deku’s nose with his own, a gestured played out a thousand and one times, with the same response. Deku curved lips found Katsuki’s, hands still in his hair, the gap in their heights easing as Deku went to his toes.

Their lips met slow at first, sampling with closed mouths, then tempting flicks of tongue. The universe pinpointed in on them, the place where Deku parted for him like it was the first time, like the goosebumps skimming Katsuki’s arms were the first, like the way they inhaled and exhaled in tandem was the first in their lifetime rather than a lifetime of firsts, over and over, exciting and riveting every single instance.

Then slow wasn’t enough.

Hungry mouths angled for a deeper taste, to sup and sate their starvation with kiss after kiss, thick swipes of tongue and succulent bites of bottom and top lip. Wrapped in each other now, hands devouring bare skin, Katsuki’s hands diving beneath Deku’s thin shirt to map muscles, dips and curves.

Blood simmering, a hum in the air like a livewire snapping and sparking, Katsuki plundered Deku’s impatient mouth, gripped the outrageous thickness of Deku’s ass and hefted him up.

Deku came easily, powerful thighs banding around Katsuki’s bare waist, greedy little body riding up against Katsuki’s, avid mouth mumbling encouragements onto Katsuki’s tongue. Backing up, feet tripping up at the entrance of the open door, Katsuki stumbled into the living room. Deku flailed out an arm without parting from a feral, tongue-sucking kiss, hand wildly reaching and smacking the door shut with a resounding boom.

Without words, they parted enough to struggle with Deku’s shirt, the steel strength of their torsos rock hard enough that Deku held himself sitting up straight with simply his legs around Katsuki for leverage as they stripped him. Deku laughed, husky with heavy-lidded eyes as Katsuki spun and slammed him against the wall. A photo of Katsuki’s mother shattered to the floor and that was just as well. She didn’t need to see what was about to happen.

“Missed you,” Katsuki murmured, his voice broken, shattered as the glass beneath his bare feet. Ducking his head, he tongued a thick, hot stripe from Deku’s collarbone, along his freckled throat, and nipped hard at the point of his chin. Their lips smeared against each other, not a kiss, just desperation for touch, for hot, urgent proximity. “Fuck, Deku, missed you.”

Mmm,” was Deku’s reply as he licked into Katsuki’s mouth, and that was enough for him.

Flat against the wall, Deku arched his back, hips rolling to creation friction against Katsuki’s abs, Deku’s cock thick and stirring in his shorts. Foreheads knocking together none too gently, they gazed at each other, huffing for breath, glazed eyes taking quick stock.

Katsuki cupped Deku’s face, held him still as if he might disappear. Deku smiled at him in a daze, tanned cheeks flushed, and leaned in to press the sweetest, small kiss to Katsuki’s lips.

The chains snapped.

A snarl ripped from Katsuki’s bared teeth as he clung Deku in his hold, spun and stomped toward the kitchen. Deku’s chuckle was only evident in the way his naked chest  vibrated and hummed against Katsuki's. That busy mouth suctioned to his throat, just beneath his ear, and sucked hard, tongue flicking at Katsuki’s hypersensitive skin, teeth grazing away from the bruising spot to suck anew, just below.

Crackling nergy buzzed beneath Katsuki’s skin like its own Quirk, but it was just Deku. It was always Deku. Katsuki’s chest clenched and bloomed.

Swallowing hard against the broken moan that threatened, Katsuki sat Deku upon the a counter and frantically opened a cupboard behind Deku’s head. Deku’s legs dropped from Katsuki’s waist and he lowered his attention to lap adoringly at one nipple, then the other, his thumbs hooking at Katsuki’s waistband.

Meanwhile, dry goods and food went flying to the floor as Katsuki chucked them from the cabinet, his eyes threatening to cross as a curious, calloused hand dropped his shorts and boxers to caress and play with his full, pulsing dick.

“Where the fuck did we – Deku. Holy –“

Deku squeezed Katsuki’s cock hard, once, quick and playful, his lips painting across Katsuki’s heaving chest as he spoke.

“Cookie jar at the back,” he murmured, husky and soft.

Katsuki rummaged to the back, unconsciously angling his hips into the slow-then-quick-then-slow torture of Deku’s hand around his swollen length.

“Some – someday someone’s gonna go lookin’ for – for real cookies,” he said with a shuddering, uneven breath.  He snatched the thin tube of lube up but barely moved, his forehead dropping to Deku’s shoulder as he rolled his hips into Deku’s touch.

Deku played wet, open-mouthed kisses along the ridge of Katsuki’s shoulder in reply.

“That’s why we keep the real cookie jar on the counter.”

Deku gasped, bubbling with breathless giggles as Katsuki suddenly swept him back into his arms, turned, and laid him on the small, round kitchen table. Deku’s blush had swept from Deku’s face to color his neck and chest beautifully. He’d always turned sinfully pink like it was his fucking job to drive Katsuki to distraction.

For a moment, Katsuki only stared, reveling in this man who was inexplicably his. After all this time, still his.

Then he was clumsily unbuttoning Deku’s cut-offs and yanking them down to reveal absolutely no underwear.

“Deku.” Katsuki’s tongue pooled with salivation and he swallowed hard, palms and fingertips worshipping the faint curves of ribs, the muscled hills of Deku’s stomach, the fierce jut of hip and flushed, freckled thighs. Katsuki met Deku’s eyes sternly. “Where the fuck is your underwear?”

Deku laughed again, covering his face with his hands. His wide, white smile peeked out from behind.

“I threw away all my clothes from the rescue before I left. They were too grubby by the end of two weeks, anyway.”

Katsuki was barely listening. Covering Deku’s body with his own, Katsuki ravaged that smiling mouth, biting away the remnants of humor, drowning in that welcoming heat and familiar taste. The scent of arousal was so heavy and strong between them, heady and violent with need.

Kissing and suckling a quick path down Deku’s quivering body, Katsuki swallowed Deku’s cock down without patience or fanfare. He took him quick and deep, the flat of his tongue rubbing along the underside of the heavy weight filling his mouth.

Writhing like an animal in heat, Deku cried out, whimpering as he fisted his hands in his own hair and arched his hips futilely, unable to hold the position with knees hanging over the edge of the table. Katsuki released Deku’s dick with a wet pop, dropping to his knees and hooking his arms around Deku’s thighs to pull him further off the wobbling table, plunging his tongue into Deku’s waiting hole before Deku could question what was happening.

A long, high keen rung in the air, unending as Deku spread his legs further, presenting his ass beautifully, shifting to fuck his hole right down onto Katsuki’s stiffening tongue. Katsuki’s own guttural, hungry groan mingled with Deku’s whimpering cries, their aria rising in urgency when Katsuki trailed his hand over to crook one finger into Deku’s welcome heat, joining his tongue.

It had been so long since Katsuki had heard Deku this wrecked – too long. He wanted to savor, to break Deku apart until he forgot his own name, but his own desires were greedy and impatient, rabid to tear Deku to shreds until there was nothing left but Katsuki’s own name.

Pulling away, lips curling sharp and pleased when Deku sucked in a quick, damp sob of desperation with Katsuki’s departure, Katsuki reached for the discarded tube on the table and popped the top. Hooking one of Deku’s knees over Katsuki’s inner elbow to open him open further, Katsuki eased two slicked, dripping fingers into Deku’s wet, twitching hole.

“Ka –” Deku’s eyes shot open, locked onto Katsuki’s, but barely saw him for how glazed-over they appeared. His chin inclined, gaze to the ceiling, his other knee coming up to hang over Katsuki’s shoulder, urging Katsuki in closer to loom over Deku as he fucked into him with scissoring, curling fingers. The table knocked back and forth on its wooden legs, the entire structure wobbling with the increasing force of Katsuki’s hand slapping between Deku’s legs.

“Katsuki,” Deku said on a gasp, his words hiccupped with each thrust. “I – fuck me – holy – please – fuck me.”

“You want it,” Katsuki said, not a question, enraptured with the way Deku’s face twisted in pleasure, his eyes scrunched shut, his teeth baring as he hissed through the rapid thrusts.

“Yeah – yeah – want it – you.”

Still keeping Deku’s leg over his arm, Katsuki slipped from Deku with a trailing cry that filled the area with Deku’s displeasure at the emptiness. With his only free hand, Katsuki snatched the lube, flipped off the cap with his thumbnail and turned it over to impatiently squeeze the remainder and coat his weeping cock in an obscene, thick slick. He worked his dick over in his palm with a few quick strokes and lined himself up.

Deku’s foot pressed to Katsuki’s shoulder and Deku reached down, his hands slipping beneath himself, palms cupping his own ass cheeks, fingers digging into the pink flesh to grip and spread himself for Katsuki’s cock.

“You’re gonna kill me,” Katsuki mumbled, voice reedy and breathless.

Transfixed, he thrust once, Deku’s cry like a siren song as he watched the head of his cock disappear in the tight, hot heat of Deku’s body. Unable to look away, Deku’s unruly moans spellbinding him, Katsuki’s eyes lingered at Deku’s pink, blushing hole stretch and welcome his lube-shining cock in one long, slow slide. Deku still held his ass open, fingertips bruising into his flesh, nails leaving angry red welts.

Seated deep, Katsuki turned his head and lightly bit at Deku’s knee over his shoulder. Deku hummed in reply, faintly shifting his hips, inadvertently shocking lighting down Katsuki’s spine.

Gritting his teeth, Katsuki retreated just enough to snap his hips back, quick and sharp and electric through them both. Deku yelped, lashes fluttering but eyes seemingly unable to open as he threw his arms above his head, found the edge of the table with grappling fingertips and held on tight.

Trembling, Katsuki fucked into Deku slow, increasing his speed as his own white-knuckled hold on control further slipped from his reach.

The snap of their hips meeting rung out, slick slap as they slammed into each other, the table beneath emitting a creaking barely registered. Deku’s leg slipped from Katsuki’s sweat damp shoulder, sliding to the crook of his elbow, both knees propped upon Katsuki’s forearms as he used the leverage to claw fingertips into Deku’s hips, angle them higher, and fuck into him anew.

He must’ve skimmed the right spot because Deku’s cry cracked into dry gasps, nearly soundless ekes as his eyes shot open. With Deku’s fingers gone pale around the ridge of the table, Katsuki quick fire pummeled Deku into the table, shoving him further up and up the surface.

A resounding crack split the air open like a lightning strike. Their eyes met in half a heartbeat, Deku curling forward, his core shivering with the effort when he reached out and linked his hands behind Katsuki’s neck. A table leg snapped and brought the structure to its knees in the moment Katsuki stood to full height, Deku impaled upon his cock, knees still lofted over Katsuki’s forearms, Deku clinging to him tightly, his chest heaving.

Don’t stop,” Deku whispered hoarsely in Katsuki’s ear, and the world engulfed in flame.

Mouths colliding, mashing messy and unbidden, Katsuki’s arms screamed and shivered with the effort to drop Deku down on his cock, over and over in unrelenting, sharp succession, fucking up into him with a violence that erupted from somewhere he hadn’t touched in a long time.

“Love you,” Katsuki rasped, teeth grazing Deku’s jaw, frantically pounding Deku’s ass, his grip on Deku’s legs like steel. “God, I love you.”

“ -you,” Deku mumbled around gasps, mouth to Katsuki’s ear, arms around Katsuki’s neck, holding on for dear life as his whole body jolted with the force of Katsuki’s cock. “Love you – everything – mine – my everything –“

Katsuki didn’t know who came first. The volcanic heat overflowed with devastation, buried him in waves, searing as he surrendered to it, shuddered through, his knees melting as he smashed Deku up against a wall for support. Deku clenched around him, unending, quivering from fingers to toes as he threw his head back, knocking it with a painful-sounding smack to the wall, nails like burning crescents in Katsuki’s back.

Down they slid.

Well, Katsuki slid, and Deku had no choice but to go along for the ride, his sweaty back sticking to the wall during the tenuous, trembling journey down.

Finally to his knees, Katsuki’s body sagged, his arms dropping to his sides, Deku’s legs following with a groan of discomfort attached. Forehead pressed to the wall, Katsuki allowed his eyes to fall closed, aftershocks wracking through him as Deku wriggled enough to dislodge himself from Katsuki with a hiss and half a laugh.

Ugh,” was all Katsuki could manage.

He promptly fell back to the blessedly cool hardwood floor, aching arms spread out wide, eyes shut. Deku followed, by choice, this time. His head pillowed upon Katsuki’s shoulder, heavy arm splayed across Katsuki’s glistening chest.

“So,” Deku said, his voice croaking out. He swallowed and wet his lips, this throat a little clearer the second time around. “I guess you missed me a lot.”

“Nobody fuckin’ said that,” Katsuki muttered, eyes still closed. Dying would be good right now.

You said that!” Deku said, laughing incredulously as lightly pinched Katsuki’s side.

“Ow,” Katsuki said blandly, ignoring Deku’s comment.

Ow, says the guy who walked over glass for me.”

“I avoided it. I think.”

“Well, if you didn’t, I think you’d know by now.”

Katsuki’s grunt was the only reply. They laid there in silence for a while, catching their breath, relishing the feel of each other’s nearness for the first time in fourteen days.

“Happy Birthday, by the way, asshole,” Katsuki said.

Deku clicked his tongue in disappointment, but nuzzled his face up against the side of Katsuki’s.

“You already said that over the phone on the day.”

“Phones suck.”

“Agreed. Phones do suck.” Deku rolled onto his back and yawned. Katsuki cracked an eye open and watched the play of midday summer sun over freckles and tan lines.

“The house is boring without you annoyin’ my ass for somethin’ every twenty minutes.”

“I missed you too,” Deku said, smile in his voice. “You know, on my birthday, I got to thinking about – I don’t know, everything. Birthdays, holidays and stuff. Remember our first kiss?”

Katsuki frowned. They’d never talked about it before. Ever.

“Yeah. Why?”

“Nothing,” Deku said, sounding sleepy and content. “Just thinking how nice it was. On Christmas Day and all. Made it romantic. Which I’d think you’d agree is near impossible for the two of us.”

Katsuki sat up abruptly, leaning on one palm as he shifted to stare down at Deku, schooling the lines of his face into deceptive calm.

“What’re you talking about?” Katsuki said carefully.

Deku opened his eyes and pouted up at Katsuki in thought.

“What are you talking about? You don’t remember our first kiss? Because if you don’t, I’ll –“

“That wasn’t our first kiss,” Katsuki said hollowly, disbelief numbing him.

So much just slotted into place.

“What?” Deku smiled up at him, his eyebrows bowed in confusion. “Yes it was. I’d know. I spent over six months avoiding it.”

“It wasn’t,” Katsuki said firmly.

“It was.”

“No, it fuckin’ wasn’t,” Katsuki said, heat rising up his neck to stain his cheeks. “Remember, I kissed you in the hospital!”

A brief beat of silence, their gazes warring stubbornly with each other.

“That,” Deku said carefully, but his eyes were starting to jitter around Katsuki’s face, searching. “Empirically did not happen.”

Katsuki snorted derisively as he got to his feet.

“Well, empirically, you were on a shit ton of morphine at the time, so what do you actually remember?”

“Wait!” Deku stood, wincing as he looked over his shoulder and made a grossed out face as an unsightly amount of cum dripped down his leg to the floor. He turned around, expression a little frantic. “Wait, I mean. I remember – bodies? Moving? We had sex, right? That’s what happened. I couldn’t forget our first time!”

Katsuki gawked.

“For the love of fuck, Deku, you are the stupidest little shit I have ever met, you know that?” He turned and stomped toward the stairs. “First of all, in what world would I fuck you when you were drugged up and prone in bed? I kissed you that night, and – okay,” he said, heading upstairs, determinately not looking at Deku scrambling after him. “There was some uh. Y’know. Stuff. But not that much stuff, you fuckin’ perve!”

“I – hold on, get back h-“

Katsuki whirled on him at the landing, naked and ominous.

“And ‘cause of – of this, whatever delusion you had over it, I spent the next half year thinking I was such a bad kisser that you wouldn't let me do it again!”

Deku gawked, his mouth moving with no sound, his hands flapping around futilely in a classic attempt to backtrack.

“I didn’t know!”

Rolling his eyes, Katsuki turned and stormed into the bathroom. He turned on the shower, then whirled, unsurprised to find Deku staring at him from the doorway like he’d been shot through the heart.

“You… kissed me. Way back then. Like – before we had sex or did anything? You kiss me like a normal person kisses another person? And I missed it?”

“Yeah, buddy. And on top of that, you jumped me out of fucking nowhere like a week later and started acting like it was your mission in life to fuck the brains outta me. I thought you hated my ass!”

“I did hate your ass!” Deku said, hands on his hips. “I mean, no. I didn’t. But I did. You were the king of asshats. You probably kissed me and called me stupid!”

“I – me?” Katsuki loomed in, baring his teeth, ready to –

He paused, eyes narrowed on Deku’s infuriatingly stubborn expression, cheeks puffed out and pink and adorable.

“Okay, maybe I did. But I didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew I’d thought you were going to die and then the second chance presented itself and –“

Gentle hands on Katsuki’s cheeks shut him down. Katsuki frowned down at kind, wide eyes.

“What?” Katsuki snapped, sliding his gaze away.

“You were rough with me all the time because you thought I’d rejected you right off the bat?” Deku said quietly, his voice soothing as the room filled up with sticky steam and fog.

Katsuki felt his face burn and blamed it on the hot shower.

“Well, you’re here now, so it’s whatever. Who cares?”

Deku opened his mouth and snapped it shut, the way he did when he rethought an argument. He grinned.

“Yeah. I’m here, aren’t I?”

They looked at each other for a long time, caught in each other, caught in the memories.

“Me too,” Katsuki said.

“I know,” Deku said, smiling with awe in his eyes. “Now get into the shower and remind me, handsome.”

Chapter Text

“Stay back, Kacchan!”

Katsuki had reached out his hand regardless, two parallel scenes racing like freight trains through his mind in the span of seconds before the building collapsed beneath Deku’s broken, hunched form and swallowed him whole.

There hadn’t been time to loft the thin alleyway between them, scoop Deku up, and jump back. They’d looked into each other’s eyes and both known.

Didn’t mean Katsuki hadn’t taken a running jump anyway.

With one hand propelling volcanic flame in a jet behind him, the other straining forward, fingers spread like flightless birds, Katsuki had gritted his teeth and fucking hoped.

Deku’s eyes had pleaded, his busted lip torn further as he opened his mouth wide to ward off Katsuki’s approach.

“Stay back, Kacchan!”

And in the last second, Katsuki had done something which he knew would plague him for life.

He had listened to Deku and flipped midair, up and away from the crumbling building.

He’d had a full view of Deku’s tiny body below him, plummeting into the concrete belly of the beast.

Images, fleeting and sharp, splintered and stuck beneath Katsuki’s skin.

Deku offering his hand in the creek. Katsuki placing a band-aid on Deku’s tiny thumb, mumbling about a stupid fall off the swings. Deku writing his number on Katsuki’s palm when they’d finally been allowed to use the phone, Deku’s grin all gap-toothed and delighted. Katsuki’s knuckles digging a noogie into Deku’s curls as he cackled with glee, Deku struggling and giggling despite himself. Deku grabbing Katsuki’s wrist in excitement, yanking him toward some gruesome, unfamiliar bug. Their fingertips brushing as they walked, middle of the road toward the setting sun, toward home.

Katsuki’s fist bunched in Deku’s uniform, searing, burning, smoking. Deku reaching for him as Katsuki slipped into a portal’s black abyss, Deku’s eyes bloodshot in dawning horror. Grappling at Ground Beta, Katsuki’s palm flat on Deku’s grimacing face, Deku clawing at Katsuki’s collar, his free hand clenching around Katsuki’s forearm as they took out every unspoken childhood frustration on each other. The ache in Katsuki’s empty hands when Deku had emerged victorious from the Overhaul battle, walking through the dorm looking defeated all the same.

A search team had spent hours wading through rubble for Deku’s body. Katsuki’s palms had long been roughed up and bloodied from the frantic search, his knuckles split open and bleeding through the gray ash and grime that coated every last person in the vicinity.

When Mirio had emerged from the carnage, face purple from the length of time his lungs had held their air, a limp figure draped loosely in his arms.

“Alive?” Katsuki had yelled over the sound of the crowd and emergency service vehicles. His voice felt red raw and his mouth scented of sharp copper. His bones felt as though they might crumple in on themselves at any moment. But he had to stay standing. Stay until he fucking knew.

Face heavy and grim, Mirio simply nodded and turned, taking weak strides to the nearest ambulance.

Katsuki collapsed, shock and relief numbing his legs as he watched the concrete rise up to meet him.

He’d woken to the obnoxiously familiar sight of Deku in the hospital bed beside him. A hot mess, minus the hot, Deku had slept with a crease across his forehead, a wrinkle hooked between his serious brows. One arm lay tucked against his chest, a thick cast up to the shoulder, even his hand encased. A prickled line of stark stitches crept across Deku’s hairline, puckering the skin, shining with the gloss of liquid bandage. The sore, bruised headwound stretched along his temple, cutting unevenly along his scalp, where some of the curls had been shaved clean away.

Katsuki had rolled his eyes and shifted to glance out the window when grating snap of pain shocked through his core. With a hiss, Katsuki had collapsed back against his pillow, hand timidly clutched at this side.

Broken ribs. He’d had enough of them to know.

The first day, Deku slept and Katsuki bore the brunt of visitations by parents and teachers only. Deku’s mom was a hot mess – no surprises there, it ran in the family. Katsuki had lucked out in avoiding having to comfort her, because his parents happened to visit in the same instance, and were able to blather on all the textbook reassurances.

 His parents and Auntie Inko had always been vastly different. Katsuki’s own mom and dad had known what he’d become from the age of four. Had encouraged it, paid for the special summer hero training camps, the Quirk handling lessons. They’d known what waited for him in the future.

Some broken bones, a shitload of blood, and even more glory.

Auntie Inko had never been like that. She cared so much about her little brat that it hurt her. Katsuki couldn’t imagine loving anyone so much it hurt.

The second day, Deku woke in fits and starts, pale and groggy and babbling Katsuki’s name in the night.

Katsuki had rolled his eyes and kept his distance. Would that guy ever give up on them? Couldn’t he just let it go? They had a working relationship at this point. Deku handled himself well enough that Katsuki didn’t have to criticize everything he did anymore, and that was something, at the very least.

Still, Deku called his name in the night, in an unconscious haze.

Katsuki let himself wonder if Deku was like Autie Inko. If he cared so much about people that it hurt him – and, if so, who were the people he gave such a shit about?

On the third day, Deku was coherent enough to receive his own guests. The tiny hospital room flooded with friends in parkas and knitted hats, sloshing wet snow and slush in their path that had Katsuki curling his lip in distaste. These assholes didn’t have to live in this fucking space.

And then the friends never left. For goddamn hours. Katsuki probably needed a fucking optometrist after rolling his eyes enough times to see into the back of his skull.

“I’m so sorry we weren’t there for you,” Ochako said, still teary-eyed after like three hours of being here. Someone needed to drink a gallon of water to replenish that fucking fountain. “If only I’d been able to float you or –“

Deku’s good hand shot out and gripped Ochako’s.

“There’s no way –“

“We all had our parts to play,” Todoroki said coolly, casting a lingering glance across the room to meet Katsuki’s eyes with a frozen stare. “It wasn’t your responsibility, Uraraka. Midoriya’s injury falls on other shoulders.”

Katsuki flicked off Todoroki with both hands.

“My own,” Deku said quickly, frowning in clear confusion as he followed Todoroki’s attention, cocking his head to openly stare at Katsuki. “Kacchan, what –“

“Get your shitty friends outta my room, already,” Katsuki snapped, cracking and popping sparks in one threatening fist. “Some people gotta fuckin’ sleep. You’re injured too, y’know? Unless you want your career to end before it starts, because that would be a fuckin’ benefit and a half for me.”

“Don’t listen to him, Midoriya!” Iida chimed in at a volume reserved for the outdoors, his eyes wide and alarmed. “And injury such as this has no chance of ending your career! Your rate of healing is exponentially stronger than –“

“You’re loud!” Katsuki yelled, louder. “You got one minute to evacuate before I make everyone real fuckin’ toasty for the weather outside.”

Katsuki gritted his teeth as everyone said their goodbyes, staunchly staring out the sunset window scene. Todoroki’s stare prickled the side of his face, colder than frost clinging to the glass.

Well, he didn’t fucking care. Katsuki had done everything. Everything.

Right?

“Do something useful and get the nurse while you’re out there,” Katsuki snapped as they layered into their outdoor clothes. “Can’t you super duper sunshine rainbow friends see this weakling is barely stayin’ upright for your asses?”

Kacchan,” Deku hissed, his smile wobbling as he very obviously attempted to surruptiously rearrange himself in the bed to further scoot down and pillow his head back. “I’m fine. Really.”

Shoo,” Katsuki said, motioning for the trio to leave. “Shoo, fuckers.”

They weren’t alone for thirty seconds before Deku was sighing and slumping in full, eyes falling shut.

“You could have talked with us, you know,” Deku said, his words slurred with exhaustion, his brows scrunched in discomfort. “You didn’t have to keep your mouth shut for all those hours.”

“Like I have anything to say to the nerd patrol.”

“Who’s top of the class right now?” Deku said, pale lips faintly curved, eyes still closed.

I’m a natural talent. You’re all just losers.”

Ah. Noted.”

The nurse bustled in, all plastic smiles and perfect uniform. Katsuki hated this place. Hated being in this room, stuck with Deku when he preferred to spend his time keeping his distance. The less he was around Deku, the less he thought of him.

Probably.

“How’s the pain, Mr Midoriya?” asked the nurse in a soft tone, glancing at his chart.

“Oh, well,” Deku said, verbally fumbling and dropping the ball as ever. “I just – you know, it’s been worse. I don’t really –“

“Scale of one to ten, ten being the worst.”

“I – I mean.” Deku’s smile was thin, his eyes bruised and tired. “I don’t know, I – um. Eight? Seven? It’s not my arm or anything, it’s my, you know, my head.”

“Dumbass,” Katsuki said under his breath, huffing hot breath on the window and drawing an angry face in the fog.

“I’ll check in with the doctor and top you up shortly,” the nurse informed them before heading out.

“So if you’re tellin’ them an eight then it’s actually a nine, right?” Katsuki drawled, seemingly unconcerned as he drew sharp geometric shapes into more breathy fog.

“Of course not,” Deku said, too quietly.

“Shitty liar. Shittier hero,” Katsuki said, glancing toward the bed beside his, finding Deku’s gaze already waiting.

“Better than you,” Deku said, jutting his stubborn chin.

“Now that’s adorable,” Katsuki said, his grin sharp and cutting. He wanted to bite down on that chin, leave a mark with the jagged points of his canines. “You’re the martyr hero, following in all the wrong footsteps of All Might. You –“

“I’m not a martyr,” Deku said, his pale skin only highlighting the electricity in his bright eyes. “I didn’t fall on purpose.”

Katsuki held his tongue, his expression overcast.

No, Deku hadn’t fallen on purpose. Katsuki simply hadn’t caught him. Hadn’t done his duty, either.

The instinctive competitive edge building between them eroded from the atmosphere.

The re-entering nurse broke the tension, and soon she was injecting something strong into IV taped atop Deku’s only free hand.

“Oh,” Deku said, his twisted features smoothing as he sunk back into the bed. “Oh, wow, okay.”

“How’s the pain now?” asked the nurse with muted amusement.

“Like, zero,” Deku said, lashes fluttering as he grinned wide and silly. “Negative pains. Wow. I feel so funny.”

“You look fuckin’ funny,” Katsuki said before he could help himself. He watched the nurse shut the door behind her and let his attention linger on Deku’s prone form. “Must be the good shit they givin’ you.”

Mmm,” Deku said, emphatic as he smacked his pale, dry lips together. His color had improved over the last two days, but his freckles were still stark, his cheeks wan. “Mmm, yeah. Good shit.”

Katsuki couldn’t help but snort a laugh.

“Just how high are you already?”

“I miss your laugh,” Deku said, heaving a sigh as he rolled his head to the side to pout at Katsuki. “Makes me think of when you liked me.”

So fuckin’ high,” Katsuki muttered, his face burning as he pointedly looked away and gazed out at the frozen UA grounds. “Pass out already and gimme my peace.”

“Snow!” Deku said instead, his glazed eyes lighting up like Christmas trees as he beamed toward the window. “I wanna go out!”

Katsuki pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers and clenched his teeth through his words.

“Sure, go ahead. Give it a try, dumbass.”

“Remember when you knocked over my snowman?”

What? No,” Katsuki snapped. He wanted quiet.

He wanted no more memories plaguing him like lesions over his brain, no more strange itch demanding a scratch when he looked at Deku’s mouth. No longer confined to this room where he couldn’t open his eyes without the reminder that he’d nearly lost someone he hadn’t realized was stupidly important to him.

“So thirsty,” Deku whined. Boy had the drugs loosened the little shit’s tongue. “Kacchan could you –“

Fine, fine,” Katsuki said, bringing his socked feet to the chilled tile. He stood, checked the pain in his side and found it negligible as he made the few meager steps to Deku’s bed and took the cup and straw in hand. “Here.”

“My mom holds the cup for me.” Deku gazed up, wide and innocent, toward Katsuki.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Katsuki said, his cheeks enflamed. “You’ve got one good hand, for fuck’s sake! I’m not your maid!”

Deku surveyed Katsuki from top to bottom.

“What the hell’re you thinkin’ right now,” Katsuki said in monotone. “Die.”

“You won’t let me.” Deku’s smile could melt snow. Before Katsuki could react, he leaned forward, lips parted, then pursing plump around the waiting straw.

Katsuki helplessly held Deku’s gaze, his thoughts static.

“Yeah, well,” Katsuki said, pulling the cup away sharply and cracking it on the end table between their beds. “You do a pretty shitty job of staying alive yourself. Some fuckin’ hero.”

Wait,” Deku said quickly, calloused fingers clinging to Katsuki’s wrist. “Don’t go. Please.”

Katsuki paused, glancing over his shoulder and down the length of his arm to where Deku pleaded with eyes alone.

“The hell’re you askin’ me?” Katsuki said, his throat tight. “Lemme go, stupid Deku. You’re all fucked up and makin’ even more of an idiot out of yourself than usual.”

“We used to lie in the same bed all the time when we were kids,” Deku said, his grip tightening.

Katsuki flicked a brow.

“We ain’t kids. We’re barely friends.”

Deku merely kept his gaze and his hold locked on Katsuki, wordless and waiting.

Katsuki slid a look toward his own bed, then Deku’s, his chest uncomfortably constricted – and it wasn’t from the taut bandages around his ribcage.

“I… This is stupid,” Katsuki said, his jaw painfully tight as he wrenched his hand from Deku’s and climbed onto the hospital bed. “Move the fuck over if we’re doin’ this. I ain’t sittin’ in your goddamn lap, am I? Fuck, why’m I –“

Deku sighed and rolled to his side, hissing a little with the movement. With a surprising level of strength for his condition, he headbutted Katsuki’s shoulder once, twice.

“Wh – for fuck’s sake – whaddaya want from –“ Katsuki struggled on his side of the bed, his snarl prominent as Deku mashed his head against Katsuki’s shoulder, wedging himself under Katsuki’s arm until his cheek could rest on Katsuki’s hammering chest. “Broken arm or not, I’m punting you across the room in five seconds flat if you don’t get the hell off me.”

“This is nice,” Deku said, a smile radiating warmth in his voice.

“Did your brain get damaged in the fall?” Katsuki said, unbearably still and stiff, his arm like a lead weight around Deku’s shoulders, his hand a claw that refused to rest upon Deku’s hospital gown. “I hate this. I hate you. If you hadn’t nearly –“ died. “The fuck’re you so obnoxiously needy for? This ain’t your first rodeo.”

“Dunno,” Deku said, his voice heavy and just a little slurred with the substantial medication. “Guess ‘m just so happy I made it out that I don’t wanna care about everything behind us. I got another day when I didn’t think I’d get one – another day with my family, my friends – you.”

Katsuki scoffed.

“Me? Shut your mouth, creep.”

You,” Deku said, a renewed vehemence in his voice as he shifted to tilt his chin, look up with impassioned eyes. They were close, too close, the indignant huffs of Deku’s breath soft against Katsuki’s chin. “I’m alive, Kacchan. Don’t you feel how good that is? Can’t you feel it too? The years to come, together?”

Katsuki’s lungs caught and held, his heart stuttering with the hard truths jolting him in the chest, one strike after another. The honesty in Deku’s voice, his expression.

“Stupid,” Katsuki said softly, his face angling lower. “Stupid Deku.”

“You can be mean to me,” Deku whispered, dark lashes framing eyes like truth. “I don’t care. I know you feel bad. I know you would have caught me if you cou-“

Katsuki swallowed Deku’s final words with a clumsy mash of mouths, one palm cupping Deku’s warm jaw, leaning into him with every cell in his body hyper aware how delicate this person was in this bed. In his life.

Deku gasped, still for a breath. Then he was melting, lips parting with a tentative dab of tongue tip, his head cocking to rest in Katsuki’s hot hand. Pliable and generous in an instant, Deku gave, thrust into Katsuki’s mouth with a searching tongue and a subtle sigh. His lips were chapped but so fucking soft, unbelievable that a guy could feel like this, taste like this.

Head swimming with the familiar summer scent of Deku, Katsuki drowned. Didn’t question the how or the why of them, didn’t marvel at the speed with which Deku dove in so damn quickly. Fingertips buried in those thick, soft curls, hand just shy of the stitches at Deku’s temple, Katsuki sunk in further, capturing Deku’s mouth and plunging in deep.

Holy shit. Holy shit.

They had to stop, right? At some point. Now? When did a person stop a kiss? Fuck.

“Want you.” Deku’s lips smeared against Katsuki’s, voice a hushed mess. “Want you, ‘kay? That’s okay, right? I’m just gonna –“

“What’re you – holy shit, Deku, you can’t –“ Katsuki choked, eyes nearly crossing as Deku cupped and squeezed the growing interest in his boxers, just beneath the flimsy hospital gowns they both wore. “Oh my g– no no no.”

Flustered and totally unsure how the hell to deal with a drugged up, horny, and hurt guy feeling him up, Katsuki pushed Deku’s hand away as delicately as he could. The asshat had an IV taped to it, for fuck’s sake!

“Don’t you like me?” Deku said, pausing with swollen, pouted lips to peer up at him, his wrist caught in Katsuki’s loosening hold. “You kissed me, right? You kissed me. Am I dreaming?”

Katsuki’s gaze narrowed.

“You dream about this shit?”

Deku’s answering blush was the first proper color in his face in days.

Katsuki gritted his teeth.

Fuck,” he bit off before he bowed his head once more, devouring that mouth for a second round.

Katsuki had found a particularly sweet spot just below Deku’s ear to savor when that sneaky, strong hand snuck between them once more and grasped at his undeniably hard cock.

With a hiss, Katsuki moved to shift away, an involuntary yelp hiccupping from his throat as Deku yanked down the waistband of his underwear and freed his cock to the nippy outside air. The moan that escaped Katsuki’s mouth would surely be a thing of shame under any other situation as he dropped his brow to Deku’s good shoulder and bore the brunt of Deku’s curious, exploratory fingers.

“This isn’t –“ Katsuki gulped for air as a calloused thumb scraped over the head of his erection, smearing seeping precum. “Someone could walk –“

“This is nice,” Deku murmured his ear, voice hoarse, his grip strengthening around Katsuki’s dick.

“You got a – fuck.” Katsuki’s hips rolled unconsciously, hiking toward Deku’s idly stroking palm. “You got a fucked up definition of nice.”

Deku’s exhale was shaky, his voice slurred.

“Kacchan, can I – I mean, I wanna…”

Deku’s nuzzled his face into the crook of Katsuki’s neck, his breathing a heavy exhale.

“Deku, I –“ Katsuki swallowed hard, stilling when Deku’s hand fell away from his aching hardness. “Deku, are you – you little shit, are you asleep?”

A faint, wheezy snore was reply enough.

For a long minute, Katsuki sat there, this stupid little shit draped over him as if he were a piece of furniture.

Deku had been the one to reaffirm it. This wasn’t a dream – that was for damn sure.

So, just what was this?

Fuck.”

A string of curses his inner monologue, Katsuki scowled through the process of gently reclining Deku back on the bed. Gingerly getting to his feet, Katsuki paused, frowning down at the lax features of Deku in deeply drugged sleep.

“You better remember this tomorrow, nerd.” Despite being relatively alone, Katsuki still felt his face burn. “Ain’t gonna be a repeat performance otherwise. Shit.”

Katsuki turned, facing his bed, the window to the winter night. He rubbed his hands over his face.

Shit, Deku. You better remember this.”