Bakugou hated birthdays. He knew it made him strange when compared to his peers, but he didn’t really care. He didn’t like how everything felt so fucking forced, he didn’t like having to eat dinner with people he barely saw, who could barely tolerate him because he had been born however many years ago. He didn’t like sweets, he didn’t like getting half-assed presents because no one knew what he liked; the only thing that appealed to him was the fact that he was the center of attention, but even then he had standards. He could only listen to people who didn’t know him act like they did for so long. So he hated birthdays, and a part of him had been relieved when he had been too busy to celebrate his sixteenth.
But, like he said, he knew he was in the minority here.
“Shitty Hair,” Bakugou barked, and Kirishima faithfully glanced up at him. He had a habit of looking at Bakugou like he expected something, something more than just a question or a statement; he held his expression open a little wider and gave Bakugou his full attention, anticipation shining in his eyes, and he’d press his lips together like he was fighting back an excited grin. It, without fail, always left Bakugou feeling off-kilter, like the whole world had shifted below his feet.
“We’re going on a field trip,” Bakugou said, and he had to glance away from the dazzling smile that spread across Kirishima’s face. Bakugou was weak to very few things: Cold weather, overuse of his quirk, and Kirishima’s bright smiles. It was fucking stupid, really; someone with teeth that fucking ridiculous shouldn’t be able to make his heart race just by smiling the way he did.
What was more ridiculous, though, was that when it first started happening, Bakugou tried to convince himself it was some sort of fight or flight response. In fanged creatures, bared teeth tended to be a threat, right? So it had to just be an adrenaline response to his shiny sharp teeth, right? And not in anyway because Kirishima smiled with his entire face, or that his grins went from cheek to cheek, or the way his eyes shined when he was happy, right?
Bakugou was good at many things; denial was one of those things.
Not that he could have kept up that denial for too long; Kirishima also had this habit of trying to constantly worm his way by Bakugou’s side, not matter how inhospitable he made that place be for Kirishima. When he had stopped being annoyed but it, Bakugou couldn’t help but find his persistence and determination endearing. Then, he found it a little more than endearing, and before he could really stop himself, he found it disappointing whenever Kirishima wasn’t by his side. Bakugou and Kirishima just fucking fit, and sure, Kirishima fit in with a lot of people, but Bakugou didn’t, and it felt wrong when anyone else tried to take Kirishima’s place.
He pushed those thoughts away for now because he had a goal today. He didn’t have time for the bullshit sentimental thoughts that had been digging their claws into his brain lately. He shifted his backpack on his shoulders, adjusting the weight while Kirishima said his goodbyes to his friends. He was thankful that Kirishima also had the habit of just going along with what Bakugou wanted, because there was a very good chance that if he had started asking questions Bakugou would have panicked and all of his careful planning would be flushed down the toilet.
“So, where are we going, Blasty?” Kirishima asked, bounding up to him. He still looked expectant, but it had softened, a look brimming with as much fondness as it did with expectancy. The sun was just starting to set, shining directly into the common rooms and making everything look gilded. Kirishima looked like how sunshine felt; his tan was tinted golden in the sunset, his hair a bolder, warmer color, and his smile - well. It Bakugou was ever asked to pick one image that embodied happiness, it would Kirishima’s smile.
He turned on his heel instead of answering, and Kirishima laughed in delight, as if he could hear the sentimental train of thought blowing through Bakugou’s cerebral cortex. His face felt hot, and he hoped that if his skin looked like it was tinged with pink that Kirishima would just blame it on the setting sun. They walked in silence, which Bakugou had always preferred but it was a little unusual for Kirishima.
The redhead was usually the kind that could ramble about any-fucking-thing at any point at time, but lately he had been quieter, more serious. He was still enthusiastic about everything he did, the kind of enthusiastic that vicariously pumped everybody up by the sheer quantity of his own, but he didn’t mess around as much. Which should have been fine, Bakugou hated people who didn’t take things seriously, but Kirishima wore solemn wrong, like a shirt that was too tight in the shoulders but baggy around the waist. Everybody needed a little time to just relax, and if it took Bakugou, the fucking King of Never Chill to point it out, then it meant that you were far too gone, and Kirishima was much too far gone.
They trekked up to a secluded hill, one that was far enough away from any trafficked areas to not alarm anyone with what they were about to do, but also not that far away from the school. It was dark by the time they got there, but that was okay.
The hill was surrounded by trees, but the crest of it was barren; short, soft grass cushioned the ground below them and they had an unobstructed view of the ocean and night sky. It was a clear night, the kind where you thought you could see every star in the sky shine brilliantly and the moon made everything glow with its silvery light. It was cold, and the air smelt like salt, but it was beautiful and Bakugou truly felt like they were alone here.
Kirishima had his head tilted up towards the sky, expression one of naked wonder. He bathed in the moonlight, cast in silver and Bakugou’s breath caught in his throat. He was ethereal and sometimes it fucking killed Bakugou on the inside how beautiful he was. His thick eyelashes brushed against his high cheekbones when he blinked, and his mouth was slack in an awed expression and Bakugou wished he could photograph this.
“It’s gorgeous here,” Kirishima said on a breath, like he too was scared of breaking the fragile beauty for the moment.
“It is,” Bakugou agreed just as quiet, and Kirishima turned to look at him. A soft smile spread across his lips when they made eye contact, and Bakugou had to force himself to look away. His chest was tight, and he couldn’t quite breathe correctly. He pulled his backpack off of his shoulders, pulling out the contents. Kirishima walked over to him, curious and standing much too closely.
“Fireworks?” He asked, and Bakugou nodded. He didn’t really trust himself to talk, so he focused on the fireworks instead. There was a chance that he had spent way too fucking much money on them, but he knew that Kirishima liked fireworks, and it was way too easy to convince himself to do things like spend ridiculous amounts of money on Kirishima.
Bakugou had spent a lot of time with fireworks. He felt akin to them, almost. He too exploded, and it was hard not to be fond of shit as cool as fireworks. He tended to like the firecrackers, the ones that were more about the boom than the flash, but Kirishima was a visual person; he liked colors, and a lot of them, so Bakugou had used all of his experience with fireworks to setup the best show that he could.
It would take a second though, so he pulled a bento box out of the bottom of his bag and shoved it at Kirishima, who stared at it like it was a bar of gold.
“What is this?” Kirishima asked, gingerly taking the chopsticks that Bakugou held out in his hand. Bakugou rolled his eyes and started setting up the display.
“What the fuck do you think it is?” He asked, annoyed. When Kirishima didn’t respond, he looked up to see the other boy staring at him, a grin splitting his face. He looked so fucking flattered; it was just a bento.
“You cooked for me?”
“I cook for you all the time, fuckstick,” Bakugou barked out, flushing. Kirishima shook his head and sat down to eat.
“Never just for me,” He said, and popped the first bit of food into his mouth. Kirishima had a bad habit of exaggerating his reactions to food; his eyes fluttered closed and he groaned, and Bakugou thought for a moment that his face might literally melt off. Sparks flew off of his hands and he quickly pulled them away from the capsules full of gunpowder before he ended up exploding himself. While Kirishima continued to eat and make appreciative noises, Bakugou tried to control his breathing.
What Kirishima did to him was fucking stupid, but the worst part was that he kinda liked it. There was something nice about it, something warm and soft and those weren’t words that could often be applied to anything Bakugou did. He glanced up at the redhead, and his chest constricted but it was in a good way, a real way, one that reminded him that he was a person and he was alive. It was easy to forget, sometimes, when you were as one-track minded as Bakugou, that there was more to life and happiness than accomplishments. He wasn’t about to throw his life’s work for anyone, but it didn’t hurt to enjoy other people for once. Besides, it made Kirishima happy.
And he liked making Kirishima happy, as sappy as that bullshit was.
He turned back to the fireworks, unthreading their wicks and tying them back together and around each other in certain patterns and designs. He spread the fireworks out around the hilltop, so him and Kirishima could stand in the center, then he kneeled by the beginning of the train and turned to look at Kirishima.
“You ready?” He asked, and the redhead grinned.
“Always,” He said, and Bakugou smirked. He held the wick in his hands and let little explosions dance across his palms until it lit, then he backed away to stand by Kirishima. The first firework whistled as it shot in the air, then it exploded in a burst of red and gold. Kirishima’s grin stretched wider, and the Bakugou watched the way the bright bursts of colors played over his features as more fireworks shot into the air. He was enthralled; by the way his eyes lit up which each addition from a different firework, by the way he gaped once they were surrounded in a shower of sparks and colors, by the way he practically radiated joy, and Bakugou was in love, was so fucking desperately in love, but it was okay because he got moments like this were Kirishima was just being, where he wasn’t worried about anything, and he radiated happiness, and it was like standing too close to a fire. It was too warm, too dangerous, but the night outside was cold and Bakugou rather be too warm than ever go back to that coldness.
“Happy Birthday, Eijirou,” Bakugou said, and Kirishima turned towards him, and the adoration he had stared at the fireworks with hadn’t disappeared. Having that expression turned full force onto Bakugou was too much; it made his lungs scream for air and his chest seemed to be trying to cave in on itself, but Bakugou couldn’t look away, couldn’t get enough.
“Thank you,” he said, his voice soft, almost reverent. “I can’t believe you did this for me.”
Bakugou tore his eyes away and glanced around the hill, at the way the colors of the fireworks were reflected on the inky dark ocean, at the aerial repeaters covering the ground around them, their wicks carefully tied together, at the empty bento on the ground, then he turned back towards Kirishima and the happiness on his face.
“There isn’t any other fucker I’d do this for,” he said.
Kirishima was painted in green and red and gold, and his smile wavered, turning softer and smaller. A shower of sparks fell all around them, brilliant and bright, but they were put to shame by the look on Kirishima’s face. Bakugou’s heart started to race in his chest, and Kirishima just kept smiling. Then he was stepping towards Bakugou, and Bakugou felt like he was staring a car down as it barreled towards him, but he couldn’t move away, wasn’t sure if he wanted to.
The fabric of Kirishima’s gloves were soft against his cheeks when he reached up, and so were his lips when he pressed them against Bakugou’s.
Bakugou was kissing back before he even realized what was going on. He pulled Kirishima closer, not questioning it; his lips sliding against the ones that belonged to the most important person in the world to him, and his heart didn’t know what to do anymore, didn’t know how to beat in a steady pattern. Maybe he’d die here, maybe he already was dead, surrounded by gold and red and Kirishima and he couldn’t find himself to really care if he was or not.
Kirishima was smiling against his lips, and one hand was holding Bakugou’s face and the other on was wrapped around his neck, and then he was pulling away. His face was flushed, and his smile was a little sheepish, a little uncertain.
“Sorry, I just -” He laughed, and the sound was so happy and filled Bakugou with such an intense warmth he thought that Kirishima could probably admit to having killed his entire family and he would have just accepted it. “I just really wanted to kiss you.”
“Fucking finally,” Bakugou muttered, his voice rough and caught in his throat. They were missing the fireworks, the expensive, expensive fireworks that Bakugou had worked so hard on, but honestly he didn’t know if they could be more beautiful than they were now, watching them as little splotches of color on Kirishima’s face and little bursts of sparks in his eyes. Kirishima laughed again, and then he wrapped his arms around Bakugou and laid his head on the older boy’s shoulder. Bakugou held him tight, and he wondered if Kirishima could hear his heart hammering against his chest.
“Thank you, Bakugou,” Kirishima said, his chest vibrating against his own. “This is the best birthday I’ve ever had.”