Now normally when you heard screaming and shouting from any direction that was mainly Katsuki’s direction, you got the fuck out of the way of that racing train because you could not do damage control on something that massively powerful and so dangerously unhinged. And Izuku kind of lived by that philosophy—good philosophy there, actually avoiding the most explosive person in his life for his personal wellbeing. He thought about that, passing by Katsuki’s room, really he did. Izuku was gonna take his teacher’s advice and not meddle in stuff that wasn’t his business. He would be a meddle-free hero in training.
Izuku was a tender person at heart, and within that tender heart was a housing unit for Katsuki Bakugou that he never got around to uninstalling. So he knocked, braced for the ‘fuck off, Deku’, but there was more sheets rustling, more muffled shouts; and it wasn’t like Katsuki to let Izuku go freely without yelling at him. Katsuki thrived for the opportunity. It was so ingrained in their odd relationship Izuku’s days were quite complete without a ‘shut up, Deku’.
Izuku grabbed the knob. “Kacchan? Listen, I’m coming in to check on you, that’s all. Please don’t get mad.”
He opened the door, preened in, and saw the moonlight highlight the body under the sheets and the blonde tuft of Katsuki’s hair.
“Don’t,” he growled. “Fuck off—All Might, they’re…”
Izuku switched off his bedside lamp, and tucked one leg on the bed. His hands hovered, instinct driving the unthought-of action automatically—time and time again to protect Katsuki, to be there for Katsuki; Izuku steeled himself; this moment wouldn’t be any different.
“Kacchan,” he whispered, soothing his thumbs as if Katsuki were glass and he was the bull. “Hey, you’re talking in your sleep.”
Katsuki turned on his back, still trapped in his mind. “Don’t—don’t come.”
“Deku,” Katsuki shouted. “They’re—ah, fuck.”
Izuku grabbed him firmly, shook him with desperation. “Kacchan, wake up. C’mon, you’re dreaming. It’s just a—“
Katsuki woke with a shout and a wild thrashing of his limbs, body and mind the battle, and reflexively distanced himself from Izuku until the hazy coat of dreams and sleep faded from his eyes. Then he was glaring, the gesture half of what Izuku was used to. A sort of last-ditch effort he bundled up at the last second and threw up to save face. “The fuck—Deku? The fuck you doing in my room you creep?”
“You were talking in your sleep.”
“So? Is that a fucking invitation to go into my room while I’m sleeping?”
Izuku pouted. “No. I—“
“Then that’s your fucking answer.”
He sighed, pulling his arm back, and rubbed the skin of his ankle “Sorry, you just sounded…bad.”
“Well I’m fine.”
Izuku scrunched his mouth from side to side. “Is it—were you dreaming that you were still with the villains—“
Katsuki penny hot glare canceled out that question for him. “No. Now get the fuck out.”
It happened every other night and to the point that a lot of the other students were noticing it in the middle of the night. Eijirou tried the same approach with Katsuki and earned a boot right out his room too.
Eijirou clicked his fingers over the controller. “I tried suggesting he talk to someone, you know, Aizawa or All Might but he’s denying there’s an issue.”
Izuku tried to focus on their avatars battling on the TV, but he couldn’t rid himself of the distressed sounds Katsuki made—he hadn’t sounded like that since the Sludge villain attack and it rocked him hard to see Katsuki become that person in spite of all his strength and growth as a hero. People got scared; it was natural and Katsuki had to get like that sometimes. It just sucked seeing it. He looked at him the near same way as he did All Might, infallible, free of common humanities like that.
“I would talk to him but he was really sore with me for a few days. I didn’t want to push.”
Eijirou shrugged. “He was probably ticked you saw him like that. He’s got all that pride.”
“Yea,” he moped openly.
“Hey, don’t get down, man. Maybe this is how Katsuki’s gotta go with it, you know? It’s been like a month since then, we can just let him process it his own way for now.”
“I really think Aizawa should know but he’ll know it was us if we do.”
Eijirou nudged Izuku. “Look, it was scary for us both, man. But Katsuki’s one tough mother.”
“Like remember that super duper awesome explosion he made? Like dude, Katsuki’s a beast. He can kick anything’s butt. He’ll kick this too, we just gotta be patient and keep an eye on him.”
“Okay.” Izuku tried a smile, half feeling it.
Eijirou was right about it and it was the best course of action but it didn’t mean it settled with Izuku well. There was an ease of access to Katsuki for Eijirou, something Izuku had for a while until all he got was Katsuki’s rage and now the door had propped a smidge and Izuku wanted to charge right through, to reconquer the lost friendship. Being a hero seemed a farfetched future but now he was All Might’s successor, a student at the prestigious U.A. school, and one of the top-ranked students earning rivals out of Shouto and Katsuki, two unapologetically powerhouses of heroes.
“Motherfuc—fucking get away from me,” Izuku heard outside Katsuki’s door. “Assholes—“
Izuku opened the door, and shook Katsuki from his nightmare. “Deku, the fuck is with you showing up here?”
“I, uh, I want someone to spot me while I train,” Izuku lied.
“I want you—“
Katsuki rubbed his eyes, “I fucking heard you, idiot,” he looked under his pillow for his phone and Izuku watched shamelessly the softness that came to Katsuki late at night—the volcanic black texture of his voice, the thin layer of sweat on his skin, his baggy clothes unfairly making him delicate and undeniably male.
Wow…Izuku went from concerned friend to a predator in 0.001 flat.
“It’s fucking one a.m.,” Katsuki reminded him.
“I know but I didn’t get a chance to squeeze in some lower body strength training. And I guess after Tenya, you have the thickest thighs.”
He said that aloud.
He called Katsuki ‘thicc’ to his face.
You could start the funeral procession; he was as good as deceased.
“Fucking, fine,” Katsuki crawled off the bed to Izuku’s mounting distress, that thigh comment was not made in just, Katsuki was gifted all over. Jesus took his time with Katsuki. So seeing him crawl off, and then seeing him strip his shirt and pants off did awful things to his heart and great terrible things to his dick.
Izuku’s head unknowingly cocked to the side.
Those boxers briefs were form fitting.
“Hey, you better fucking change,” Katsuki said, “Unless you always work out with fuzzy pants.”
“Oh crap. I’ll—I’ll,” he tried to think of what to do first.
Katsuki turned, stepping into a pair of shorts, muscles flexing with lazy strength; Izuku wanted to put a pillow over his lap right now “Go change. I’ll be in the weight room. Just for an hour, alright, asshole? I like getting some sleep, I dunno about you.”
Was asking Katsuki to help spot him a great idea for his mental health; probably not. Was asking Katsuki to spot him while he did deadlifts a great idea for Izuku’s mental health; most certainly not, because spotting turned into hands-on correction.
Katsuki clicked his tongue. “Fucking, look. Set it down.”
Izuku lowered the bar loaded with 300 pounds.
Katsuki stood directly behind him, and grabbed his hips. “You’re tensing the wrong areas, nerd.” He worked his hands up to Izuku’s waist. “You’re working this. Which is fine but you want bigger quads and shit, so you gotta work from the hips to the bottom. Bend over.”
Izuku whipped his head around. “What?”
“Bend over. Go on.” When Izuku gaped speechlessly, Katsuki growled, took possession of his hips with one hand and the other pressed hard on his spine and folded Izuku over until he saw his shoes. The blood stampeding up to his head wasn’t purely on the change of orbit. “There.”
‘There’, as though folding Izuku up like a portable chair was normal and shouldn’t be giving Izuku an awkward boner.
….This was a terrible, terrible idea.
“Now act like you’re lifting. Okay, see how you’re working these,” Katsuki tapped the outside of his thigh. “That’s the right form of a deadlift.”
“Oh,” Izuku said, airily, woozy by the sensation of Katsuki pressed behind him. “Oh I see,” he said, not seeing anything, but feeling everything.
Katsuki moved away. “Now, try again.”
Izuku woke Katsuki up again.
Katsuki ripped the sheets over his head, but still spoke to him, “What fucking now?”
“You don’t need someone to spot for that,” said Katsuki from under the mound of black sheets.
Izuku didn’t realize until he had already started doing it, but he rubbed the back of his knuckles like a ghost where Katsuki’s spine formed in the sheets. “I’ll…I’ll ask Shouto if you’re not up to it.”
Katsuki flung back the sheets. “Bitch, you woke my ass up and then you gonna go to him. Nah.”
“But you’re tired.”
“Fuck you, I ain’t sleepy,” he shouted, taking his clothes off again.
Izuku waited ever so patiently on the bed, watching in the dark while Katsuki was in the light.
This was for his benefit, he promised. Scout’s honor. Katsuki wouldn’t outwardly seek help even if he truly needed so he had to be tricked into. He couldn’t have night terrors if he was awake—Katsuki bent, in black boxer briefs; Izuku’s mouth dried the hell up.
For Katsuki’s benefit; yup.
Yes, sir, that was the God’s honest truth.
“Kacchan,” Izuku whispered, dragging his hand up Katsuki’s arm as he wore an expression of pain.
Izuku saw a droplet of sweat running, running, running, and put his hand to alter its course—that was his excuse for thumbing gingerly at Katsuki’s sharp jawline. For some reason the one touch opened the floodgates to the part of Izuku habitually reaching for Katsuki all his life as the thumb on his jaw turned to the finger carding a strand of hair over his ear to the downward slide of his cheek—they’re soft even though Katsuki’s features suggested all of him was made of broken glass. The only thing that kept him from touching him more was the fact he sneaked them in, the touches. He wanted them given and approved, not taken while he slept.
Izuku shook his shoulder. “Kacchan, wake up.”
“Stay—don’t, don’t,” he panted, tangled in the webs of the kidnapping like it emerged each night a Kraken from the watery depths of his mind and just like the fables surrounding it, it wrangled him every time.
Izuku squeezed his bicep.
Katsuki’s breath spiked , then relaxed as he peeled his eyes open. “God,” he said with a sleep coarse voice, “Fucking weird ass nerd.”
“I wanna run. Come with me?”
“Fucking getting tired of this shit,” Katsuki complained, but still whipped the sheets back, and threw his legs down with a yawn opening his mouth.
They completed five full circuits around the dorm building before Izuku was wobbling over to the bark of the flowering tree to and catching his breath against it.
“This is bullshit,” Katsuki said, walked off the path and on the grass. “You’re fucking pushing yourself. Fucking why, Deku?” The question ran with less of an accusatory tone and more with genuine curiosity.
Izuku lifted his head, tipped it on the bark, and left it there as he inhaled and exhaled out his mouth. “I just wanna get stronger, you know, we got so much coming so I wanna be—“
He cut him off, “Do you think I’m stupid?”
Izuku’s half smile crumpled. “What?”
“That I’m a fuckin idiot?”
“No,” he answered right away.
“Then tell the god damn truth. Why the fuck are you doing this?”
“Deku,” he hissed, pacing away then back as he ran his hands through his hair, taming back his temper so he didn’t lash out. “Don’t bullshit me,” he said. “You’re suddenly showing up in my room every other night after the whole…thing.”
Guess it would’ve been a matter of time before Katsuki figured everything out. He brought his knees close to his chest and looked at the scars and bruises on them, preferring to say everything out in the open without Katsuki’s unapologetic scowl. “I just—you won’t go to anyone, and I’m not saying you have to. That’s your choice, but I thought maybe…”
“Maybe stick your fuckin nose in my shit, again, huh? Like you always do?”
He hung his head. “Guilty.”
He pushed back his wet hair out of his eyes, looked where Katsuki had moonlight on his skin. “I just explained it.”
“No, why, Deku?”
‘Why?’, asked Kacchan, childhood friend to Izuku, an idol to Izuku cause Katsuki was one of those people who never needed to find themselves at the start he just knew who he was and that he would get there—serving as much as a motivator as a reason for jealousy to Izuku, who had dreams too but severely lacked the power to follow them; a rival to Izuku because they’re both dreamers with the same dream and while he cared about everyone succeeding Izuku wanted this dream so bad, so deeply, so urgently for years that he couldn’t hold back for others to keep up, wouldn’t stay at the back cause he had everything he needed to get his dream ,and when you spent the majority of your life wishing to be a late bloomer but woke up every day disappointed to find your dream running away and reality coming in to stay, you didn’t remind idle. You especially didn’t slow down for Katsuki Bakugou.
And this might be the most terrifying moment in his life if he were going to be very melodramatic like a teenager. Villains scared him, wasn’t any shame in being able to admit a humanity like that, but Katsuki scared him too. Katsuki hearing everything Izuku had to say about him, them, and then having it rejected scared him. Some weaknesses and fears you outgrew like being petrified of the dark hallways, of monsters living under your bed, but other ones grew with you, their shadow always larger than your confidence, than your willpower, your own personal villains tailored and precisely designed to unravel the threads you sew into your heart.
Katsuki’s waiting silence though told Izuku he was shit out of luck to avoid it.
“Kacchan, I know—well I know for me,” Now Izuku was back to that dang fumbling, mumbling, and stuttering mess of a kid from school. He graduated out of there, just not out of Katsuki’s earth-shattering effect.
“I don’t know for you, you’re still my friend. That hasn’t changed for me,” he met Katsuki’s dull penny eyes. “I think I never got past that. Past you, honestly. Which I guess isn’t so smart of me. You moved on, but I just stayed stuck there. So maybe I’m the gum under your shoe, you’re still Kacchan to me. You’re still the guy who came over my house, who ate my lunch even though you had your own, who watched every All Might video with me, who collected action figures, and pretended playing heroes with me. So that’s why I came. I would still go for a classmate but I was willing more than anything to give my life for you…”
He paused for breath when his throat felt too tight for the words to wiggle through. The hot pressure behind his eyes already tipped him off that if he kept talking at that unsteady pace then he would cry, again.
”So, there, if you wanna give me crap I’ll stop going to your room, then. I just wanted to try at least.” A few hot tears escaped, rolling down his cheeks to drip off his jaw.
He braced for the hailstorm of insults; for the claims that they weren’t and never would be friends; that Katsuki hadn’t ever needed his help and Izuku should get with the program already because it was getting annoying how many times he had to tell him.
“Jesus, Christ, stop fucking crying and get your ass up,” snarled Katsuki. “Your break is over.”
“Aren’t you going to tell me to go away—“
“I fucking said we’re running. Get up.”
Izuku used the stability of the tree to get himself to his feet because several parts of his body were trembling in hope. “Are you sure?”
Katsuki whacked the back of his head lightly. “Clean your ears out, Deku. And clean your face in the water fountain, you look gross as fuck.”
“And drink some damn water, idiot. You can’t get stronger if you’re not taking care of your body. I shouldn’t have to tell you of all people that.”
Izuku ran his hands under his eyes, crying feverishly now. “Okay,” his voice wobbled. “I’ll be more careful.”
“Kacchan?” Izuku inched the cover to Katsuki’s chin; another round of night terrors had left him racing for air and with sweat riding a gold luminesce shimmer on his cheeks.
He winced from the light, burrowing back in the covers. The blanket mumbled to him, “Deku, I’m actually fucking tired.”
Probably true; they’ve been maintaining this routine for over a month now and even Izuku had a hard time getting up to the late night alarm he set up to go every night at midnight. On top of school work, interning, rigorous training and spar matches and the simple burden of day to day life, this was bound to happen.
“Okay,” he said, “I’ll let you rest.” Not ideal but he wouldn’t lie he was exhausted as well and maybe that factor would keep Katsuki from remembering any more bad memories.
The mattress creaked as he got up and padded to the nightstand. “I thought you wanted to help.”
Izuku drummed his fingers on the stand. “I do, but you said you’re tired.”
Okay, midnight was not the hour to be asking Izuku dang riddles with subtext. He’d lucky if he could fold a paper in half with how brain-dead he felt right now. “I don’t get it.”
“Jesus,” Katsuki shot a hand out and tugged Izuku forcibly under the bed sheets, arranging Izuku with that easy strength until he stopped squawking like a bird. “There. Stay there, and shut the hell up while I sleep.”
Izuku kept all his limbs to himself, stiff. “Uh.”
“Unless you wanna dip, Deku, then dip.”
“No. I’ll, uh, stay…here.” With you in your bed with your body right next to me, he thought, panicking.
He was in bed with Katsuki, with him wearing shorts that went to his knee and a loose fitting tank top.
Katsuki fluffed up his pillow and laid on his side facing Izuku, then shut his eyes. “Go to sleep, dumbass. Staring like a creep.”
Izuku rolled on his side, faced away. “Sorry.”
Katsuki flung the blankets so they sheltered Izuku in their warm heat too, and it was thickly coated in Katsuki’s scent—cigarette ash; open flames; and sticky diesel gas.
He stayed until Katsuki’s harsh breathing fell into an easy one, till his face turned soft and delicate again with sleep, until he could say Katsuki’s name and not get a response.; until he was certain the dark memories wouldn’t make a return. Then he slipped out as quietly as possible, fearing one sound would break the peaceful slumber Katsuki finally got. He shut the door behind him and sagged on it, feeling his heart race and race like a stallion.
This could get dangerous, he realized, for me.
He could not be a neutral party member of the having semi-adult sleepovers. There was a whole, and he meant a whole whopper, of complicated feelings he had for Katsuki. The first; he freaking liked Katsuki in the ‘like, like’ way. Then all this backstage access had done nothing but given Izuku’s wet dreams a fresh supply of all the ways Katsuki would bend and twist him on the bed, the dresser, the wall with those insanely defined muscles.
“Bet you think this is fucking stupid,” Katsuki grumbled.
They’re in his bed with the light off and the sheets warm with his body heat and the blinds obscuring half the window so the full force of the white moon didn’t white out the room but cast enough illumination for them to find each other in the dark. Izuku’s hand latched on to Katsuki’s bicep; had his little head pillowed on his hard shoulder. It was uncomfortable, laying on bone and dense muscle but it chased dark memories and Izuku fell asleep at some point between protecting Katsuki and battling his exhaustion.
He peeled his eyelids back, finding Katsuki’s serious profile stare into the ceiling of his dorm. Malformed shadows undulated up there, from the breeze silently batting the blinds against the window. Izuku opened his dry mouth, asked. “What?”
“What the fuck do you mean ‘what’? You know what.”
The nightmares; the fact it took Izuku crawling into his bed to scare them all away so Katsuki could manage a meager amount of sleep to function through the day. “I don’t think it’s dumb,” he said.
“Lair,” Katsuki said; deep in his stubbornness, deep in his thinking real heroes shared no weaknesses, deep into believing he couldn’t have any if he wanted to be as great and formidable as All Might—a man so had become so iconic, so interwoven with heroism it would take a force greater and brighter than his to eclipse it.
Izuku took his damp hand down the length of Katsuki’s arm where his own balled hard and unrelenting with his inadequacy, brought that intensity down by slotting their fingers together; Katsuki seemed to breathe for the first time, seemed to remember Izuku as he turned his face. “I promise I don’t.”
“Like I believe that,” he denied.
Izuku compromised. “How about I pinky promise I don’t think that?”
“Fine, but if I find out you lied then I get to beat your ass.”
Izuku laughed. “Sure.”
“For real. Curb stomp you,” he persisted with the thin threats; old Izuku would’ve taken his word for it, be shaken by it for the whole day and wait for the strike; now Izuku giggled into the pillow. “I don’t care if All Might gives me detention.”
“As long as you promise to visit me right after.”
“Yea, to laugh at you.”
“You’re so mature.”
“Who’s the one always crying, huh?”
Izuku frowned, and shifted to his back.
“No,” he said, acting like a total kid, a complete child, and in spite of the comment Izuku was grinning hard because the sheets rustled and Katsuki was poking him.
“Deku,” Katsuki growled like a dog wanting of attention being purposely neglected.
“Hey, asshole, you wake me up then you start ignoring me. Fuck no.”
“Nope, nope, nope,” sang Izuku.
“Bitch,” Katsuki said, grabbing Izuku and bringing him flat to the bed. “There,” Katsuki positioned his body halfway on top of Izuku. “Now you got no fucking choice but to deal with me, dick.”
This 100% turned into a sexual thing.
And Izuku was 100% ill-prepared to deal with it.
“Hey,” Katsuki said.
Izuku nuzzled the pillow they were sharing. “Hmm?”
He asked. “What happened?”
“What ya mean, Kacchan?” He smacked his lips apart sleepily.
“You found me, and your arms were all fucked up and shit.”
Izuku moved to his back, rubbing under his eye. “Oh. Well I went to find Kouta and a villain showed up. Think he was called Muscular. We fought and he was pretty dang strong,” he laughed; it had been one of those moments he thought he would die and maybe by all rights he should’ve but he did the impossible–he protected a small boy with his life against the odds, against a stronger opposition. “It took all of my power just to hurt him, and even then he was still too strong for me.”
“Yea,” he said, looking at the scars on his arm. “I mean the doctors did warn me after everything how bad the damage was and that if I kept it up I could lose my arms.”
Katsuki shot up; naked concern on his face. “The fuck.”
Izuku smiled for his benefit and flexed his fingers to show Katsuki that all of him still operated at 100% “Yea, pretty scary right? I didn’t tell anyone cause I didn’t want anyone to freak out but it scared me so I’ve been trying way harder to fight without hurting myself.”
Katsuki slumped back. “I think it says a lot that you’re the strongest person in the class and you fucking break your shit all the time. Such a Deku.”
“…Did you call me ‘strong’?”
Katsuki snorted. “Bitch, you wish.”
Izuku scooted closer, poking Katsuki in the cheek. “You did. You totally called me ‘strong’, Kacchan. Today is the best day ever.”
“I’m going to kick you out of my bed, asshole.”
“But it’s so comfy and toasty.”
“Then shut up and I won’t kick you out.”
He shut his eyes and pretended to be asleep. “Zip it.”
“You little nerd,” Katsuki moved his leg and pressed his foot on Izuku’s stomach, and edged him toward the ledge.
“No,” Izuku laughed, clawing his fingers into the sheets. “Kacchan. Please let me live.”
“Bye, asshole,” he snickered.
Izuku went over the ledge faster than Katsuki expected probably because as soon as Izuku’s body thundered on the ground, Katsuki peered over the ledge. “Oh shit, you fucking okay down there?”
He rubbed his head. “Ow.”
“I didn’t think you would fucking fall on purpose, you dumb shit.”
“You’re supposed to say sorry.”
“Okay, I’m sorry you’re stupid.”
“Kacchan,” he laughed. “I can’t get up.”
“Then sleep on the floor.”
“How the fuck are you in the top rankings if you can’t get your little ass up from a fall?”
Izuku wiggled his fingers with expectation, squirming with delight as Katsuki climbed off the bed to get him. “I dunno. But you have to help me, think of me like a civilian. You need practice with that. Save me, Kacchan.”
“This is so fucking gay,” he complained, then bent to scoop Izuku up. “There.”
Izuku gushed, putting a feminine falsetto to his voice. “My gosh, Mr. Hero, you’re so strong. You beat that villain like he was nothing!”
“I’m dropping you.”
Izuku latched off determinedly, fingers hooked in his clothes a kitten scaling up a curtain. Katsuki’s heart pounded steadily where his hand rested on his chest. “No, I’m sorry. I’ll be good. Don’t drop me.”
“Dude,” Eijirou stared coming down from the communal bathrooms to catch Izuku stepping out of Katsuki’s dorm. “I knew it!”
“Sshh,” Izuku hushed, then paused to hear if they woke Katsuki. He sighed, “He’s sleeping.”
“I bet,” he smirked, hitching his brows. “No wonder he’s all tired. Boy been getting some.”
Wait—he thought, him and Katsuki, being physical. Izuku felt red to the roots of his hair. “What—no, no, no, no, no, we–us—Kacchan, no, no, no, no.”
Eijirou chuckled. “Yea, Imma be legit with you and tell you that was not convincing at all. I’m not mad. I’m glad you guys finally made up. I believed in you two from the start.”
“I’m just helping him,” he explained. Helping; no ulterior motives…so Izuku got real happy in more places than just his heart and head. It wasn’t his intentions, honest, like who gave Katsuki the right to be so sexy—he didn’t say that; he didn’t think that. Please erase that from your mind; Izuku was a good person.
“Oh, so a friend with benefits thing?” Eijirou guessed, pouting out his bottom lip in thought “Damn, alright, alright. But advice from a bro to a bro, you gotta tell him your feelings. It’s unmanly to have casual sex when you’re in love with the other person.”
“Please stop saying we’re having sex. We’re not having sex. There’s no sex,” Izuku said. “I don’t even know how to have sex so I can’t have sex if I don’t know how to have sex.”
“Oh, blowjobs, then? That’s cool.”
“No,” he whined.
“No kissing either,” he said. “Oh my gosh. Just, I’m, we’re just hanging out.”
“In his room, at night, in the dark.”
Izuku wanted to argue it wasn’t that odd for two guys to have sleepovers but he knew that was a flat-out lie. “Yes.”
“I mean, you could but a lot of people don’t do that. A lot of people get, you know. Get freaky.”
Izuku wrung his fingers. “I’m just napping with him. We just talk and nap.”
“Yea, so there’s no sex. No one is having sex,” he stressed.
Yea, like sex with Kacchan, haha, right, right?
Please say right.
Not that he hadn’t thought about it. Vividly. With too much detail and time given to the ludicrous fantasy of Katsuki losing control of himself because of how intensely he yearned for Izuku—see back to said fantasy being outlandishly impossible and laughably out of Katsuki’s character—and told Izuku he had always wanted him, had been in love but couldn’t see it until now, and that he would die if he didn’t have Izuku right against the wall in their school uniforms while a class went on in the room next to them…Yeah…it was a heavily revisited fantasy if the set-up failed to tip you off about that.
So that was it was—a fantasy, him and Katsuki.
They’re were beginning friends and while the new level of closeness confused the heck out of his boner and made Izuku hot under the collar, he was happy to have that and only that.
“I did not fucking cry,” Katsuki denied; their legs touched occasionally under the sheets, reminded Izuku of One for All the crackle of power and fire throughout his entire body, spreading equally and evenly ; so electric. Thought it was funny how he could experience the same rush without ever activating his quirk and wondered if it was unique to Katsuki or were all crushes this strong.
“You did, I can’t believe you would lie to me,” he teased, getting bolder and bolder, “your childhood friend. The betrayal.”
“Fuck you,” Katsuki snorted. “You lost your damn shit so I had to give you mine so you would shut up.”
Izuku sat up, crossing his legs. “No, no. I gave you mine and then my mom bought me a new one for my birthday and you would bring it over every day so I could visit my toy.”
He issued out the challenge. “Then I demand you bring it to school and then we’ll see who’s telling the truth. I wrote my name on the bottom of his feet.”
Katsuki massaged the space between his eyebrow and his eye. “Shit I’ll do it to prove your dumbass wrong.”
“So when I win, because I know I’m right, what do I get?”
He tapped his chin. “The pride of gloating like a jerk?”
Katsuki gave him the bird with the company of a smirk. “I do that anyway.”
“What do you want? I can buy you a fruit smoothie; it’s the right season for it,” he said, considering it now, not that he was wrong but it could be something to do during the hot afternoons. “I’ll have them sprinkle some hot chili for you too.”
The hem of his tank top rode up as he stretched his hands over his head. “I can get that myself.”
“Ugh, you’re impossible.”
“No, you’re just dumb.”
“Then tell me whaddya want, Kacchan.”
Katsuki moved off his back, sat cross-legged parallel to Izuku, and pressed the warm soles of his feet to Izuku’s shin. “Think about it.”
“I mean besides an All Might onesie, which you have—“
“I fucking don’t.”
“I can’t think of anything else. That I can afford.”
“You can afford it,” he insisted and scooted closer; Izuku worried if he shifted back that he would off of the bed again so he endured the wall of heat. His hair stuck up in all directions like a messy porcupine, some of it from his own hands and the rest from Izuku’s manipulation; it was one of those things you could catch Izuku doing whenever they hung out at his house in front of the TV, Izuku’s thoughtless fingers going through Katsuki’s blonde hair.
Izuku leaned forward, gathered what he could manage of Katsuki’s hair, and speared the malleable tips upwards.
“Hey, asshole, stop that,” said Katsuki, without much heart in it. Izuku figured his sleep deprivation was catching up on him.
Izuku messed with his hair again, thinking up of the ridiculous hairstyles he could condition it in. He parted it down the middle and laughed harder than he should’ve.
“You’re a dumbass,” Katsuki rumbled; voice so dark and heavy like cinder blocks that tugged on every nerve available to receive it.
Izuku dropped his hands to his lap, kind of possessed by his feelings once again; kind of seeing Katsuki in rose lenses; kind of thinking about how he kissed and if his tongue tasted like the after smell firecrackers polluted on the fourth of July.
Katsuki’s toe wiggled against his shin, and apparently that did Izuku in better than Katsuki half-naked, sweaty, and chiseled; cause now he had motioned. Forward motion.
Didn’t know what really was going on but that he was surging forward; caught up—and so was Katsuki?—and he was getting his first kiss; tasted mint toothpaste; felt firecrackers go ‘pop!’, ‘pop!’. Felt kind of dizzy too on the bed as hands clawed vehemently on his shoulders, pulling…wait; pushing?
Izuku reeled back, hand clapped over his mouth, red from the kiss.
Katsuki breathed, hard, and mean? “Deku,” he growled. “You fucker—“
He threw the sheets over Katsuki’s head, which covered him completely, and spilled a million apologies as he tripped out of bed and whacked his nose on the carpet and bolted out the room.
He was trash. Irrefutable trash. A scum to the earth. He had taken the open door Katsuki had inched reluctantly and jammed his stupid mouth on him. Had taken their blooming friendship and nosedived it straight into the ocean where it would now gather water and descend to the black depths, another ghost to join the other boats lost to the water.
He ruined everything. There was no way Katsuki would even acknowledge him after that kiss.
You just had to kiss him, Izuku scolded his foolish heart, you big dummy.
He just wanted to be close to him, you know; god, he never really hated anyone but he would easily admit that it made him insanely jealous and insecure as Eijirou and Katsuki became closer friends each day; that Katsuki had an equal viewpoint of Eijirou; that when Eijirou called out, put his arm out, Katsuki catapulted to him, smacked his steaming hand into Eijirou’s rock hard one—that Izuku couldn’t be that guy despite the fact he was sobbing for hours after he woke up in the hospital, that he pushed himself near death to save Katsuki and he couldn’t earn the dang right to—that—that he had Katsuki’s childhood but not his future. At least not to the degree he wanted. Nowhere he could be so easy with him like Eijirou and just put his arm around him and laugh back at his angry insults made mostly in reflex and not in legitimate hatred.
He was stupid.
This was stupid.
He closed his eyes and tried to forget what it sounded like when Katsuki talked in the middle of the night all rasp and exposure; what he smelled like; hot, hot, Mr. Inferno. Mr. Volcano Ash, Mr. Bic Lighter; what his skin looked like shiny with sweat from his pores; how toasty he made the bed; how much fun he could be when he wasn’t trying to prove anything to anyone; how great it really felt to have a conversation with him, to relearn Katsuki, the hero, and not Katsuki, the bully.
I can cry this one time.
No one has to know.
No one has to hear his itty bitty heart break.
It’s just a crush.
It’s not like he’s in love with Katsuki.
Okay, he was in love with Katsuki and it was the worst thing ever and he was doomed to spend his few years here between classes, exams, training, internships, and pinning. Because that was what he did now, between Aizawa’s glare and the slide of the presentation, Izuku stared forlornly at the back of Katsuki’s head from the back of the classroom.
Yea, he kind of jacked Denki’s seat and pleaded with him to let him stay there for the rest of the year.
He looked. Remembered how his hair felt going under his calloused fingers, kind of smooth, kind of greasy ,humanizing; spiky in appearance, soft in reality kind of like Katsuki.
“Izuku,” Aizawa droned, “Izuku!”
Izuku hummed, “His hair is so soft…just like his lips.”
All heads turned.
Denki laughed. “Dude, what?”
“Did he say ‘he’?” Minoru asked. “Or ‘she’; are you shacking up with one of my ladies?”
Kyouka said, “We’re not your damn ladies.”
Minoru’s smile was slimy. “Hey, if you in on my harem all you gotta do is just ask. Flat chicks are hot too. Not as hot as thick chicks but I love pus—“
“Alright, that’s enough, “ sighed Aizawa. “Don’t make me write you up again for sexual harassment.”
Kyouka glared. “You’re so freaking dead. I’m going to put a paternal block on Pornhub.”
Denki said, “Hey, now. Easy there.”
Mina laughed. “You’re so gross.”
“What, I’m a guy. I can’t help it that I have sexual needs…Sexual needs that any of you fine, scrumptious ladies could fulfill at any time. Really, like right now or after class or in my bedroom.”
Aizawa said, “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”
Eijirou made a cover. “Thanks, Izuku. I know my glorious hair is bewitching as are my lips. That’s the power of chap stick, baby. Moisture”
Hanta rolled his eyes. ”Dude, no, you know I can’t stand that word.”
Eijirou’s shark teeth peeked between his lips. “Moist.”
“Moist, moist, moist,” chanted Denki, adding to Hanta’ agony.
Minoru said aloud, “Moist is a hot word. It makes me think of puss—“
Aizawa snapped the ruler across Katsuki’s desk where he glared with so much venom he could outdo the king cobra and the black mamba for the title of most lethal.
Izuku propped his textbook up, pretending to read it. “Um. Four. The answer is four, Aizawa.”
“We’re doing literature.”
Izuku tried not to spontaneously combust by sheer mortification, his grip turned into iron on the edges of the textbook. “Oh.”
“Yes, sir,” he answered with misery.
Aizawa clicked his tongue, “You too, Katsuki.”
“I didn’t do jack shit! Why do I gotta get blamed for—“
“Anyway,” Aizawa talked over Katsuki, and continued with their lecture on the short reading issued yesterday. “Anyone care to answer or did you all forget to do the reading?”
“Oh, real fucking nice, man,” Katsuki sneered as Aizawa lazily picked on Tenya’s waving hand as he whispered ‘oh Aizawa, I know, I know, pick me, pick me’.
Izuku scrambled off his mattress in a rush, the knocking at his door growing louder and more insistent with each second it was not answered. It was way past ten and everyone on his floor already called it in for the night so he didn’t have a clue who could be this desperate to talk to him now.
He swung the door back, prepared to lecture the person on having manners when there was Katsuki on the other side, slumped on the doorframe, hand in the air, eyelids low. “Kacchan,” Izuku smelled alcohol on him. “You’re…drunk? Wait, are you seriously–“
“Let me in fucker or Imma fucking—Imma fucking…” he didn’t say anything so Katsuki could finish, “Just wait until I think of something because you’re so fucking dead.”
“How did you get drunk?”
“Okay,” Izuku said gently to bring Katsuki down. “Please don’t yell if you do everyone will hear and Aizawa will come and you’ll get in trouble for being up late and being drunk.”
“Let me in!”
Izuku winced, then motioned. “Oh my god, get in, get in.”
“About time! Dickwad.”
He shut the door after Katsuki and slumped against it. “…I can’t believe you’re intoxicated. That’s so irresponsible.”
“Yea, yea, yea! Fuck you and your stupid ass hair.”
“C’mon you really gotta not yell anymore, please.”
Izuku led him by the arm to his bed, pressing insistently on his shoulders for him to sit instead of fumbling around his dorm with his maddog temper making chaotic rounds. “Sit down.”
He complained, but fell down easy, smacking belatedly at Izuku’s hand after he went down. “Don’t tell me whadda do.”
Okay, now that he didn’t have to worry about Katsuki blowing his stuff up or tripping over air, Izuku could finally panic in peace. So… “Oh god,” he panicked, in a whisper to be considerate of his dorm neighbors. “I can’t believe this is happening. Who gave you alcohol?”
Katsuki’s body jumped as he hiccupped, furrowing his face as he thought through the slosh of alcohol. “Denki. And, uh, that little shit.”
He nodded, head moving like a bobblehead after you flicked it. “Yea. That asshole.”
Okay, he would have very stern words for both of them tomorrow. It was one thing to be kind of rebellious and wild and get a little liquored up, he wouldn’t personally but he understood it was something that did happen, but to give some to Katsuki whose quirk was explosion was careless. Insane. You didn’t add flammable liquids to an open, raging flame. “What did you have?”
Katsuki bounced again, cheeks a rosy airbrush pink. Like his mouth, his soft, enticing….Sorry; Katsuki was mumbling something around consecutive burps. “Vodka.”
He scratched his head. “Uh.”
“That’s not what I wanted to hear. Okay, stay here and I’ll get you some water that should help, right?” Some breathing distance would give Izuku the serenity he definitely needed as half of his thoughts derailed into ‘oh my god, he’s so cute, he’s so hot, he’s so pretty; god I get so turned on when he does that crooked smirk of his; man he’s sweaty too’ territory with a fury.
Katsuki put himself in front of the door. “No.”
Izuku shoved him with his body. “Kacchan,” he struggled, socks sliding on his carpet as Katsuki refused to budge, putting all that dense, compact muscle to good use and making him immovable.
“You can’t fucking leave.”
He exhaled with exertion, his complexion turned pink then red to the point you lost sight of his brown freckles. “I just—“
“No,” Katsuki said, resolute.
To be fair, Izuku could remove Katsuki if he really wanted to, All for One made carrying people twice his weight effortless but he didn’t want to go that far. Plus if he used his quirk then Katsuki, with his inebriated mind, might take it as a challenge and use his quirk.
Izuku resigned, breathing hard with his hands on his hips. “Fine…I didn’t even know you drank, Kacchan.”
“Well I wouldn’t if you weren’t an asshole.”
Gosh; had the kiss upset him so much? Well he had attacked Katsuki when he was in such a vulnerable state, lethargic with sleep, after he trusted Izuku enough to let him sleep in his bed. And he supposed his flustered apology as he ran out of his room like a criminal was hardly adequate.
Izuku sat on the bed. “Kacchan I’m sorry that I—did that. I don’t know how many times I can say I’m sorry.”
Katsuki walked to the bed like the floor was shifting between him the entire time. “I drank because,” Katsuki leaned away to burp, “Because,” he said with a foul stench on his tongue. “Cause you did that shit, then you left, then you stopped, and I didn’t, didn’t want….didn’t want that.”
“So? Fuck you.”
He stood up and pushed softly on Katsuki’s shoulder. “Lay down, Kacchan.”
Katsuki collapsed into his sheets like a bag of rocks thrown into the ocean, his legs hung off the bed with his boots on. Izuku started with unlacing his shoes, he didn’t look fit to do any walking around in his current state and while it made Izuku kind of uncomfortable to be stuck with Katsuki in his room it was better than the alternative of dragging Katsuki to his dorm.
I’ll just sleep on the floor, he thought, or if Kacchan sobers up I can take him back to his room.
Katsuki picked himself up on his elbows. “Izuku, Izuku.”
“This is so bizarre, please call me ‘Deku’.”
He motioned, the arm cutting the air showed the dulling effects of alcohol. “C’mon here. Gotta say some shit.”
Izuku rolled his eyes. Maybe he had a crush as big as a planet but he was reaching his breaking point with Katsuki; he released his foot and got on the bed before Katsuki could start yelling again.
“Okay,” he frowned. “What—“ Katsuki got a hand on the back of his neck, steaming, and Izuku had a second to process the draft of vodka wrinkling his nose before Katsuki’s sloppy mouth landed in the general area of his mouth; understood he mucked it cause he went for a second attempt but Izuku pushed him back. “Kacchan! You tried to kiss me.”
Katsuki waved. “Get back here.”
Izuku shuffled off the bed; noggin full of questions—was he having a fever dream; did drunk kisses count; why did the universe have it out for him. “No, your breath stinks. Why would you kiss me?”
He articulated. “Cause!”
“You’re drunk. I think your brain is a little confused.”
“Then why the fuck do I think about you all the fucking time, huh? My brain can’t be confused all day.”
Izuku asked. “What?”
He closed his eyes as he laid down, sounding as those he was on first class to dreamland. “Yea, stupid.”
“Kacchan are you–do you…Kacchan?” He called when Katsuki failed to respond. “Kacchan?”
Izuku braved the mattress, sure to keep a healthy distance between him and Katsuki cause if another kiss like that happened then Izuku might not have the ability to reject Katsuki twice, ratchet breath or not, Izuku would kiss him with garbage in his mouth. He craned his neck, peeked, then poked Katsuki in the cheek.
“You fell asleep,” he said. “You gotta make this easier on me, you know, I can’t stop liking you if you keep bugging me.”
Izuku opened the door to Eijirou, and relaxed instantly because another second of being entrenched in the softness common to Katsuki as he slept and he would be on the bed, cuddling his heart out, making Katsuki feel hot and protected, playing with his silky hair. Which he couldn’t—shouldn’t—as he was not a trusty cuddle buddy anymore, no longer impartial on his platonic turned romantic turned sexual feelings for Katsuki.
“Thanks for coming,” he said, and let him inside.
Eijirou strolled in with his hands in the pockets of his joggers. “It’s not a big thing. He’s my best bro. Wow, he’s out.”
In his drunken sleep Katsuki face planted himself like a starfish on his bed and ate up all the space. Did you understand the inhuman amount of willpower he demonstrated for the last thirty minutes; who could dare to resist smuggling with that adorable cactus?
Izuku scratched his elbow. “Yea. Guess Denki and Minoru smuggled in liquor tonight.”
“And no one thought to call me—kidding,” he assured with a sharp smile when Izuku’s gaze seared into the side of his face like a white-hot brand of parental disapproval. “I get wasted on life.”
“So I smoked a joint,” he said.
He considered Katsuki, who startled them with a burp. “So you ain’t gonna cuddle with him or anything?”
Izuku chewed his lip. “We kinda don’t do that anymore.”
“Oh, damn. That makes a lot sense though, he’s been like ten times moodier.”
“I guess that’s why fault. I kissed him and he was awful sore.”
“…Yea, Maybe rethink that, Izuku.”
Eijirou hefted Katsuki by the arm, grunting as Katsuki’s deadweight crushed down on him. “C’mon, buddy,” he arranged him so his arm slinked over his shoulder. “You gotta go back to your lair, Mr. Troll.”
Aizawa waited outside a building as the student disembarked off the school bus with Thirteen, Nemuri, and Yagi. “We’re doing non-quirk based team training exercise. You’ll be put in teams of four, your objective is to be the final group standing, you get three hits before you are out. Once you’re hit three times, the light on this device will go black and a teacher will come to get you but you are to get out of the way immediately and not interfere with the match. We did a lot of individual training but in light of events, we’re going over teamwork and developing your strengths outside of Quirk use.”
Denki lifted the plastic gun; the entire class was fitted with a lightweight vest with Velcro on the straps and a flat panel centered on their sternum and a cheaply made plastic gun that made a retro sound effect like a classic space shooter arcade game whenever you fired off the trigger. “Dude, this is laser tag.”
“Non-quirk based team training, “Aizawa corrected, level with attitude.
“You want detention?” He asked.
“Alright,” Nemuri said, scanning the list over Aziawa’s shoulder. “The teams are random. So team one; Katsuki, Eijirou, Denki, and Izuku.”
Denki howled, forcing the guys to chest bump him; Eijirou was the only one to meet with a warm welcome. “Beast team!”
“That’s not fair,” Minoru complained. “Why do they get Izuku and Katsuki? That’s so op. Each team should get one top student.”
Izuku raised his arm.
Aizawa looked up from the list. “If it’s about being switched over the answer is no.”
Izuku lowered his arm.
Katsuki pursed his mouth, probably imaging Izuku burning at the stake like a witch; or being bludgeoned with a cactus; or mauled by sharks; or any variation that involved great suffering to befall him.
Well, this should go swimmingly.
Aizawa read off, “Next team, Ochako, Mina, Kyouka, and Momo.”
“Girl squad,” Mina cheered. “You guys are so going down!”
Eijirou stared at Mina’s fetching frame in the U.A. issued tracksuit; the curves endless, the skin smooth, the hair bouncy and soft. “I want to get my ass kicked so hard by her,” he sighed.
“Dude, don’t fuck this for us,” Denki begged, fisting Eijirou’s collar as the guy went off to La-La land where him and Mina got it on after a few dates, flowers, meeting her parents then his, taking Mina to Seaworld then Disneyland, putting a ring on it, having the wedding, and engaging in sweet, sweet love on their honeymoon. “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment. My mom told me for years that all that time I spent playing Call of Duty would be wasted but today I prove her wrong. Today is the day I become a legend in U.A. From this day forth, all the babes will want me.”
“I think you need to relax.”
“We are lions,” Denki boosted. “We will strike fear into the hearts of men. Right, Izuku?”
Izuku tried everything short of activating One for All and launching into the sky to not be a part of the group. “Uh. I think we should just do our best.”
Katsuki mocked lamely. “I think we should just do our best.”
Izuku asked, politely. Very polite, mind you; his mother would be so proud of his manners and courtesies, especially in the face of such a bullheaded threat. “Can you not do that?”
Katsuki did it again. “Can you not do that?”
Thirteen said, “Team three. Yuga, Asui, Mezo, and Mashirao.”
Yagi coughed into his fist, “The fourth team is Shouto, Turo, Fumikage, Rikido.”
“The final group is Tenya, Hanta, Koji, and Minoru,” Aizawa finished.
Hanta groaned, head lifted to the sky. “Fucking always getting this scumlord.”
Minoru sneered. “And to think of all the porn links I send you. This is what you think of me. Me, a stand-up guy who pirated ‘Slutty Heroes Gone Sexual Part Three’ for you.”
“You gotta be right on my ass, Deku,” Katsuki shouldered him
Izuku shouldered back; it felt like the million steps he had taken forward with Katsuki were retraced backward, and now they’re snapping at each other during the training exercise because of the massive elephant in the room. Izuku kissed him; then Katsuki got hammered, tried kissing Izuku for some insane reason, and knocked out thoroughly on his bed and forcing Izuku to call in Eijirou.
So they’re both pretty ticked and bad with communication so all that unreleased energy, that mounting emotion in their guts came out now. “We’re doing a team exercise so that requires being a team, like being next to you,” Izuku reminded. As if, ugh; to be pressed up against Katsuki’s sweaty, hot, strong body…Izuku had serious issues; nobody was denying that.
“Yea, cause other than that you wouldn’t be close to me.”
Denki crab-walked to where they had their backs pressed to the wall, the battle between the five groups of 1-A going on around the corner. The dark atmosphere of the training area added a level of difficulty to the training; if you wanted to make it long then you favored stealth and patience rather than an aggressive approach. They lost Eijirou that way.
“Focus you two,” Denki coached, assuming the role of captain no one but himself took seriously. “I lost one team member. I’m not losing you two.”
Katsuki seemed to be summoning all his willpower not to clock Denki. “He’s fucking outside, shut the fuck up. Acting like we’re in war.”
“I had no idea you wanted to lose.”
“You fucking baiting me?” Katsuki challenged.
“Sounds like bait to me.”
“What, man, like I swear on all my Yu-Gi-Oh cards I wasn’t baiting you.”
“Fuck your virgin cards.”
“In ten years, those babies are gonna be worth a fortune and when I’m living in my mansion over there in Cali I want you to say that same thing to me,” said Denki.
“I will because I’ll be living in Cali in my bigger, better, cooler mansion because my ass is gonna be number one.”
This was the worst team in the world…“Guys, c’mon, let’s work as a team.”
“Now he talks,” Katsuki commented.
“I feel like there’s a lot of tea going on right now,” Denki said. “Tea is being sipped.”
Izuku sighed. “I think we should go after Ochako’s team. They’re taking a ton of people out so they might expect the other teams to pick off one another first since everyone’s missing one or two people. They’ll be going for the strongest team most likely.”
Denki made the cross over his heart. “R.I.P. Eijirou. You’re my boy, Red. Have a cold one for me up in heaven.”
“Who’s the strongest team?”
“God, Deku,” Katsuki sneered.
“Hey I’m trying!” He argued, halfway tempted to shoot Katsuki’s vest in retaliation.
“Are you, really, cause you’ve been flaking on shit!”
“Guys I think I hear someone—“
Ochako rounded the corner, pumping her gun as her team filed in line at her back, menacing in the near black lighting, their faces glowing from the neon-coated walls . “Ladies, seems we got ourselves some boys to hunt!”
Denki screamed. “They found us!”
Izuku pushed Katsuki forward, and yanked Denki by the back of his shirt. “Move!”
He could hear the shots meant for one of them, he looked back, fire in his eyes. “Ochako.”
“Deku. Love ya but we’re gonna beat all ya butts today. No hard feelings.”
“Attack,” Hanta cried advancing with Minoru and Tenya.
“You have left yourself vulnerable, Ochako,” Tenya said, emerging behind his team, his shadows elongated before him; all Ochako could see of him aside from his barrel wide silhouette was the neon gleam off his lenses. “You’ve become too cocky. Power has clouded your judgment.”
Kyouka shoved Ochako out of the line of fire and her lit vest blackened as one of Hanta’s rounds hit her dead center.
Ochako clasped her hand after skidding under rain of lasers. “Why—“
Kyouka rolled her wrist that she landed on awkwardly after pushing Ochako out of the way. “You must carry us to victory, I’m so fucking tired of these assholes winning at everything.”
“I will. I promise.”
Mina supplied them cover, clicking her trigger off at the two teams advancing on their position. “Guys,” she ducked her head where a row of laser zapped above her; Tenya’s boisterous laughter chilled the chaos of the room “We gotta fall back.”
Momo peeked out of cover, had two hands on the plastic gun, shot out, then snapped back into cover. “I’m afraid I have to agree. It’s too dangerous for us.”
Ochako nodded. “I will see you on the other side.”
“Likewise,” Kyouka smiled.
“We got Shouto pinned,” Denki gloated as they tracked Shouto through the black twisting hallways.
Izuku panted. “I would be careful. Shouto’s still a threat—“
Denki’s vest went black. “Ah, fuck,” he said, walking back the way they entered with visible misery in his posture. “Can’t believe this shit…” His voice grew fainter and fainter in volume.
Katsuki tackled Izuku to the ground as a round fired off from somewhere in the shadows. The room provided plenty of options for Shouto to take cover and pick them off at a distance. He lost his whole team but still managed all three of his hits while Katsuki and Izuku had one to their vest.
Izuku stared at Katsuki, who was above him on his hands and knees and huffing out his mouth. Sweat traveled down his forehead. He spent so long avoiding Katsuki that being slapped with it again stunted him momentarily where he could only gape uselessly like a fish on dry land.
“Think I got an idea where he is,” Katsuki whispered, scanning the dark spaces.
“Oh,” Izuku blurted, drowning in Katsuki’s jawline.
Oh mercy, mercy; you could grind a sword on that thing.
He looked down, realized how it looked to have Izuku on his back and in between his legs. “What the fuck you staring at?”
His cheeks felt hot; his hands greedy for something warm and Katsuki’s shaped. With the courage of a hormone-driven teenager, he said. “You.”
“Me? Since when did you give a flying fuck about me?”
“Since forever,” Izuku admitted, the truth spilling out so easily and it might be the privacy of the darkness, the small traces of illumination given, or the abrupt nearness this training exercise put them through but the truth wiggled out. He was incredibly bold right now and it seemed the smartest thing to his heart to purge it all out.
“You’ve been bailing on me,” he said. “That says a lot of different shit.”
“Because I was scared you would be mad that I kissed you when I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
Katsuki gave him a puzzled look. “What the fuck you talking about? I kissed you!”
“What? No I kissed you,” he protested. “You got it backward. Why would you do something silly like that?”
“Are you fucking shitting me?”
“No. I am really asking.”
“Why do people kiss, dumbass?”
“Cause they like each other,” Izuku answered.
Katsuki gestured heatedly. “There’s your stupid answer.”
Izuku scratched his head with the plastic gun. “Well that can’t be right,” he mumbled to himself. ‘Maybe you thought that on accident since we were cuddling and maybe that like tricked your brain into thinking I’m okay but I’m not okay. I’m like so bland for you.”
“I wasn’t fucking tricked!”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m going to kick your fucking ass, Deku.”
“You two should really be paying attention to the training exercise,” Shouto said, gun pointed as he loomed above their hiding position.
Izuku pulled Katsuki down on top of him with one arm lassoed around his back, and lifted his gun with the other, firing at the same moment as Shouto.
Shouto jerked out the line of fire when one hit connected with the light up plate; the light went out for a second to signal a loss of one of his lives.
Katsuki looked back. “You get him?”
“We gotta go, c’mon,” Katsuki brought him to his feet by taking Izuku’s hand, and led Izuku behind of neon green glowing pillar. “Shit, that was close,” he whispered.
“Yea.” Izuku peeked cautiously around the pillar, but saw nothing. “I can’t see him,” he reported.
“He ain’t gone,” he said. “Knowing that fuckhead, he’s gonna hunt us both personally.”
Izuku’s hand felt damp. “Kacchan, you’re holding my hand,” he reminded; personally he didn’t want to break it but hated to steal any more romantic gestures from Katsuki.
Neon green washed half of Katsuki’s face. “Then let go,” he said; voice pitched for secrecy.
Izuku stared down; it was the hand he didn’t get to reach out that night; the hand he wanted to squeezed tight with his own fingers as they soared over the buildings, the hand that instead wrapped around Eijirou’s stomach. This might be a far cry from the real dangers on that night, the real dangers of hero work, the real monsters, but letting go felt like failing to rescue Katsuki again. “You let go.”
Katsuki’s breath rushed through his lips as he closed the space. “What if I don’t fucking wanna?”
Izuku could see the fast ride of irritation in Katsuki as he scoffed. “How are you this dumb?”
“You don’t wanna hold my hand, Kacchan.”
“Fuck you, I do.”
“I am this close to murdering you for real.”
A beam of pink light landed on Katsuki’s vest plate and sent it sputtering on and off with light. “What the fuck.”
Ochako strolled out from the darkness. “That’s for the sports festival.”
Katsuki and Izuku separated as she squeezed the trigger; Izuku crawled on his elbows and knees to take cover behind a neon-painted drum barrel, the hollow tin humming when his back bang into it, all while Ochako crackled villainously and Katsuki cursed in the neon dark room. “Ochako, I think you’re a little too into this.”
She thrust her fist into the air. “Kneel before Zod!”
“Oh my gosh,” Izuku said. “Kacchan, are you okay?”
“No,” his voice traveled from somewhere in the room; he might be behind that neon blue crate but Izuku couldn’t bet on anything when Shouto and Ochako prowled the ground, hungry for their blood. “I’m fucking mad. I got one life left.”
Dang; whatever the outcome it would be neck to neck. Three teams, four people. They had the advantage of three lives to Shouto’s two and Ochako’s one.
Izuku crouched into the dark, keeping himself obscured by moving alongside a line of boxes stacked together. His shoes were loud, in the tension.
Regroup with Katsuki, he thought, regroup then take everyone down.
A line of pink lasers landed on his forehead; Izuku lifted his head, faced down Ochako. “Got you.”
“I’ll remember this.”
“Deku,” Katsuki called, vaulting over a barrel, and pumping a lifesaving blast into Ochako’s vest.
Ochako pouted as the light dulled. “Dang it.”
“Kacchan,” Izuku gasped, getting to his feet as another laser pinned down on Katsuki’s vest.
Shouto looked down the crosshairs. “Looks like I’ll be taking this win, guys.”
“So predictably, Shouto won….How embarrassing for all of you,” Aizawa said, allowing himself a small bit of joy at the failed teams whines. “Just to let you know this will probably be the one time we’ll take an easy on you. It’s brutal from this point on. We’ll be leaving in ten minutes so use the restroom if you need them.”
Denki punched a wall dramatically. “Years at the academy wasted.”
Eijirou covered his face. “I’ll talk him out of his spiel.”
“Just think of your Yu-Gi-Oh cards,” Katsuki prodded.
“Are you laughing at me, mother?” Denki asked the wall.
Eijirou rubbed his back. “Okay, man, like…easy does it.”
“I can’t ever go back to Call of Duty. They’ll know, they’ll laugh. Some kid from Singapore will call me a loser and tell me that he fucked my mom.”
“I think you let a lot of stuff build up inside you,” Eijirou consoled, “How about we go get McDonald's, huh?” He suggested. “Would you like a sundae?”
“That’s my champ, right there.” Eijirou embraced Denki and pillowed his head on his chest while he massaged his back. “My big boy. My handsome boy.”
Katsuki said, “So fucking gay.”
“See I don’t get Katsuki ice cream because he’s bad,” Eijirou explained, then to shame him, he wagged his finger in Katsuki’s direction. “Bad Katsuki.”
“You better get my ass ice cream too. Don’t fucking come back to the dorms if you don’t got my damn ice cream.”
“Izuku, would you want ice cream?”
Katsuki’s eyes drilled into the side of his face. “Don’t fucking say yes.”
They didn’t sit on the bus together, on opposite ends actually, but Izuku thought about him enough to feel like Katsuki’s energy carried with him. Thought about Katsuki’s hand and how he didn’t let go.
Maybe some risks were worth the downfall, the misery, the pain of rejection.
So that was what he took with him, like body armor the voice who cheered him on, and he once again ended up on the other side of Katsuki’s door. A metaphor for their whole relationship—Izuku knocking on it in hopes Katsuki might privy him in. For so many years, the door never opened. It did tonight, at midnight, with sleep moving to the backseat for hope, for dread, for excitement.
Katsuki stood there, a wreck, not that Izuku could pass any judgment when he was a perpetual wreck his whole life with no breaks.
“Hi. Sorry. Uh. Well, I’m sorry if you were sleeping but I’m sorry for kissing you when I thought you didn’t like me and I’m sorry for not getting that you like me back. And I’m sorry that I didn’t see you were kissing me. I’m sorry that I stopped coming by, I didn’t want to, but I didn’t want to cuddle you when I like you too much. So, if you like me too, then maybe we can cuddle again.”
Katsuki had Izuku in his room, making hard contact with the door, then with his hot body in one second flat. “Just a heads up, airhead, there’s a kiss coming.”
Thump; there went his neck, arching; an offering. “Oh.”
Katsuki seized it, dragging his fingers over the shape of his Adam’s Apple. “For you.”
Izuku could feel the meltdown of his body. “Oh my.”
Traced his jawbone with an artist’s touch. “Gonna be like, hot, with some tongue; do you like tongue?”
“I dunno. But I wanna try a lot with you so you can…you can give me tongue.”
“Why you acting shy? Fucking checked my ass out all the time.”
Izuku jerked out of his sex haze, cringing at the flooding memories that he thought he covertly checked Katsuki’s firm butt. God; there was so many, and Katsuki knew the entire time. “You knew? Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I am a terrible person.”
Katsuki’s lips parted a centimeter, exposed his teeth. “Oh yea,” he rasped, and forest fires were kinder than his voice. Napalm burned less than his hands. The boiling point for precious metals was room temperature cool compared to his eyes. “Terrible. Fucking awful. Fucking bad.”
…God, that should not make him so horny and fluffy inside.
“Kacchan, I think you’re thinking of something else.”
“Yea,” he laughed; the sound deep where only sea creatures in the deep blue could feel its vibrations. “Oh yea, man, am I. Nice and terrible things. They happen to you. You usually like them.”
“Can you show me them?” He asked; quivering hard with how much he needed Katsuki to kiss him.
Katsuki lowered his head on top his chest, and inhaled for patience. “You’re seriously giving me massive wood and I’m trying to do things right. Eijirou said to be Ryan Gosling and give you novel kisses.”
“I don’t mind whatever kiss you give me,” he said.
“Okay. This is my Ryan Gosling kiss,” Katsuki announced, then slid his mouth over his so light, like a ghost, with the smallest of pressure. He pulled back. “This is my kiss,” he said, returning with whiskey hot intensity.
Izuku moaned into it.
Those were better—Katsuki’s kisses.
Katsuki drew back so they could breathe.
“You like me,” Izuku giggled, elated beyond his wildest dreams. “You like me back,” he repeated like the words tethered the moment to the earth the more he said it.
It was one of the few times a smile spread on Katsuki’s face without the undertone of mirth and anarchy. “Yea.”
Izuku skimmed his fingers down Katsuki’s arm hair. “Why are we so dumb when it comes to these things?”
“I’m sorry ‘we’? This wasn’t a fucking group effort. You’re dumb.”
“You’re a little dumb,” he said. “Admit it.”
“Tell me when have I ever been dumb. Go on, I’ll wait.”
Izuku suggested. “Should I start chronically or alphabetically?”
Katsuki made his hands hostages in his own and set them flat to the door, let Izuku feel like prey. It was a wonderful feeling, since those hands knew the blueprint to destruction and yet cherished Izuku with the same tenderness given to porcelain vases. “You think you’re fucking cute huh?”
“No. But I hope you think I’m cute cause I think you’re cute.”
“I guess if it was between you and hot garbage, then I would say the hot garbage was sexy.”
Izuku smiled, coyly. “Kacchan.”
“What if I said the hot garbage is you?”
He burst into laughter. “Then that’s okay.”
Katsuki teased him, bringing his mouth close to sigh on Izuku then retreated back. “You can kiss me, hot garbage boy.”
“You are not calling me that,” he hummed, pushing his neck out to catch Katsuki on the rebound. “Think of something sweet.”
Katsuki chanced. “Sexy garbage boy?”
“But you’re sexy garbage boy.”
“No, I get ‘Kacchan’,” he said.
Izuku disconnected their spit swapping to point in triumph. “I freaking knew you liked it! Ugh, you let me think you didn’t.”
He found interest in the floor. “It’s okay.”
“Can we do more kissing, on the bed?”
“Do you still get them?” Izuku asked one night, cozy at Katsuki’s side. Izuku skipped the routine of going to his own bedroom and went straight to Katsuki’s after he showered and changed. It was humiliating how little of a reaction that garnered from everyone; they saw Izuku go over in his shorts and All Might T-shirt where the collar slipped on his shoulder and accepted it.
“Sometimes,” Katsuki confessed; it shocked Izuku how the answer didn’t remind him of pulling teeth. “It sucks.”
“Did I help, though, maybe a little?”
Katsuki turned his head. “Maybe a little.”