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Chitchat and Pencil Pushers

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“I promise you, it’s not that bad.” Kaminari said as he moved back and forth from his heel to his toes.

Kirishima rolled his eyes and straightened his tie for the hundredth time that morning. “All you’ve done for the past eight months is complain about how much you hate your job.”

“Eh, that’s just what you do. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t complain about their job.”

“I never-” He started just as the elevator dinged and the doors slid open. A man entered, gave a compulsory nod hello to them both, and turned around. Kirishima shifted closer to Kaminari and dropped his voice to a mutter. “I never complained about my old job.”

Kaminari grinned at him. “And yet, you still got fired.”

Laid off.” He clarified with a frown.

Kaminari waved him off. “It’s the same thing.”

“Not really.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Kaminari threw an arm over his shoulder and tugged him close. “Now you’re here and you get to spend even more time with me.”

The elevator dinged again and opened to the seventh floor. Kaminari pulled him along by the neck as he barreled past the other man began stomping down the hall.

“Ready for hell?” He quipped as he threw the door open and held it.

Kirishima stepped through the door and scanned the large room filled with clumps of desks all surrounded by chest high walls. There was a constant sound of keys clacking and a few phones ringing. “You just said this job isn’t that bad.”

“It’s not.” Kaminari took him by the elbow and led him past all the desks to the back wall.

Closed offices lined the back, each with a wooden door and large glass windows in the front. The first two were dark- whoever occupied them must had not come in yet.

The last one, in the far corner of the floor was the largest of the three. The blinds were shut to the windows, but he could tell the light was on.

“It’s your first day.” Kaminari gave a light push to his back then and tried to smile believably. “I wasn’t lying when I said it wasn’t that bad. But, well, you know what I’ve had to say about him. You’ve gotta go talk to him, meet him, get your first day shit.”

Kirishima didn’t have to ask who he was referring to. Him meant Kaminari’s boss- his boss now too. In the past few months, Kirishima had heard plenty about the man that apparently made Kaminari’s work life hell. Kirishima was sure his friend didn’t do too much to help himself, but he couldn’t be the only reason.

He’d been told about the constant overbearing work load and venom filled criticism when he didn’t finish it all. The man had a horrible personality and a sharp tongue to match. He was the only reason Kirishima thought twice before applying. But Kirishima needed the money more than he valued his self-esteem. He had rent to pay and a stomach to fill. He couldn’t risk passing up on a job just because he might be verbally abused every now and then.

He was tough. He could handle it.

He was strong.

He was not practically shaking while standing in front of the door that felt a lot more like the entrance to a dungeon than an office.

The first soft knock he laid on the door when unanswered. He glanced over his shoulder to find Kaminari a good bit away now. He was peeping at Kirishima over the top of one of the walls before disappearing behind it where his desk was.

Kirishima turned back with a deep breath, knocking harder on the door a few times.

When there was still nothing, he lifted his fist to keep going until the door was whisked away from his hand just before it made contact.

“Were you gonna knock till your fucking hand bled like a moron or did you just want to make me come open it for you like your servant?” growled the man responsible for jerking the door open hard enough that it caused a draft to blow through his- god, that’s probably soft- hair.

Kirishima did not believe in love at first sight.

Absolutely not. It was a ridiculous notion.

He did, however, believe in holy shit, he’s hot at first sight. And if anything, attractive was one of the more prominent thoughts in his mind at the moment. He should be focusing on making a good first impression, on introducing himself and getting on the good side of the man in charge. He should not be focusing on brilliant eyes, and strong, handsome features, and sun-kissed skin.

“I didn’t hear you say to come in.” He finally managed to speak, voice tiny and shaky compared to the booming, aggressive greeting he’d gotten.

“Probably because I didn’t.” The other gruffed, although it was quieter this time. Hands in the pockets of his pants after waving Kirishima in, he walked back to his desk. “Doesn’t mean I should have to waste my time and stop my work just to open the damn door.” He sat in the large desk chair on the other side, flipped through a few papers he’d already had prepared. “I knew you’d be coming in this morning. Figured you would have assumed as much as well.”

His eyes flicked up to Kirishima standing uncomfortably in the middle of the office. He motioned to one of the chairs in front of his desk which prompted Kirishima to scurrying around and take a seat in it. “Doesn’t seem like you have that much experience.”

Kirishima’s face felt hot- when had that started? It was true. But he’d already been hired, hadn’t he? So why did it matter? “No I don’t, but I’m prepared to learn everything I need to. I heard about this job from someone else who works here. I’m sure you saw I’ve recently been laid off- the company was going through a bit of a rough time, so I guess they’re scaling down; but I can assure you, I didn’t do anything to warrant being fired. My last boss said he would write me a very good reference letter. Someone here probably read that. I may not be entirely prepared, but I believe I’m a capable, quick learner, and-”

“Name.” He said curtly, interrupting Kirishima’s current slew of information.

“Kirishima Eijirou.”

He was leaning across the desk then, one hand bracing his weight and the other hand extended. “Bakugou Katsuki.”

Kirishima knew he should be shaking the hand in front of him, but for some reason he was frozen. He couldn’t decide if it was because of the shocking disconnect between the man who’d barked at him mere minutes ago and the one currently going through routine pleasantries or because he was still slightly caught up in the way the white button up was pulling tightly across his chest and arms. He could only assume there was muscle behind that. It was hard not to when it was so poorly concealed.

Alright, maybe it was a little of the first and a lot of the second.

It left him staring dumbly at the hand until another loud bark jolted him into moving.

“You got a fucking germ problem or something?”

“No, sorry. Of course not.” He grabbed Bakugou’s hand firmly, shaking it just like his father had taught him when he was a teenager.

Before Kirishima had time to admire the callous palm, Bakugou was jerking his hand away to replace it with a stack of papers shoved into Kirishima’s grasp.

“Read these. They will tell you pretty much everything you should to know to get started. If you have any questions, feel free to ask around.” A hand went to his forehead and began rubbing. “Idiots here cost me money by talking more than they work, so I don’t think anyone would say no if you needed help.”

“Thank you.” Kirishima replied softly, glancing down to the packet in his hands.

“Don’t thank people for doing their job.”

Kirishima started talking before thinking about it. “It’s important to show your appreciation, isn’t it?” When he looked up and caught sight of a scowl, he thought maybe that wasn’t the best decision or the right choice of words.

“Don’t thank people for doing their job and don’t try to brown-nose me with flowery expressions of some half-assed gratitude.” His voice was low but steady. Kirishima couldn’t understand how he was so frightening while hardly trying.

Kirishima was stunned for a moment, but he was hastily trying to undo his inadvertent mistake. “I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant. I was just-”

“Yeah. I know what you were doing.” Bakugou turned to the side and began clicking away at his keyboard.

Not having those eyes on him offered Kirishima some relief, but he still felt like something had just gone horribly wrong.

“No, really-”

Bakugou lifted a hand to stop him and flicked it once Kirishima shut his mouth. “You can go.”

It was a command if he’d ever heard one.

Kirishima didn’t try to clarify his intentions any further. Didn’t try to smooth things over. It seemed any added talking would just make whatever had happened much worse.

He collected himself and stood. He gave the slightest bow of his head, hoping that would soothe the situation just slightly. He didn’t receive any reaction, not even a glance, so he turned and walked to the door. He shut it behind him and sucked in a deep breath, trying to get his chest to feel less tight and his nerves to calm down.

That wasn’t exactly how he hoped his first exchange with his new boss would go. It seemed like the guy already hated him- but it also seemed like he perhaps hated everyone here.

He wandered away from the door and over to where he’d seen Kaminari watching him. Kaminari had been excited he would be sitting next to him, but something about it left him nervous. He’d hoped his friend would be calmer in a professional work environment, but he also knew that was a farfetched dream.

Kaminari was already brightening up at his return. “He lives!”

Kirishima sank into the chair at the desk next to him. He clicked at the mouse on the desk which started up the computer monitor in front of him. “Out of all the times I’ve heard you complain about him, you’ve never-” He stopped there, bit his tongue. Flipping through the papers he’d been handed, he found a password to log on to the computer and typed it in.

“What?”

Kirishima shook his head and continued to flip through the packet. “Nothing.”

“What?” Kaminari cooed, poking a finger into Kirishima’s cheek.

“It’s just-” With a sigh, he dropped the papers. Lifting up out of his seat a bit, he peaked over the wall in front of them. Seeing no one, he sat back down. “He’s…”

“Horrible? Mean?” He leaned closer to Kirishima, too excited for comfort. “Offensive? Rude? Dickish?”

“Hot.” Kirishima said quietly. Quiet enough that he almost hoped it would go unheard. He was regretting ever starting this.

Kaminari stopped, backed up, stared at him.

He shouldn’t have said anything. This was going to go horribly. He’d given Kaminari sensitive information and now he was going to have to deal with the consequences every day.

 “What?” Kaminari’s face screwed up until he pinched his lips to stifle a laugh.

Yeah, he was really regretting this.

“Hold please-” He whispered fast, gripped the edge of his desk, and pushed himself backwards. His chair went rolling until it collided with the desk behind them.

The man there hunched before sighing. “Fuck are you doing man? It’s too early for you to already be bullshitting the time away.”

Kaminari tipped his chair back, elbows going to the desk. “Hey Sero, I got a question for you.”

This guy, Sero Kirishima catalogued in his brain, sat up in his chair and stretched his arms over his head. “Because your questions are always worth my time.”

Kaminari’s excited expression fell into a frown. “Be happy I’m breaking the monotony.”

“I’ll be fine until you get me chewed out for not doing enough work.” He sounded annoyed, but still had the hint of a smile on his face. They were friends probably. Maybe Kirishima had heard about him before. He tried to remember hearing the name, but he often tuned out Kaminari’s endless storytelling these days. They usually led nowhere interesting or important. Kirishima assumed he just wanted to hear himself talk.

“That’s what I’m asking you about.” Kaminari stated, grinning now.

Sero only looked more perturbed as things went. Pretty normal for a conversation with Kaminari. Kirishima could probably at least find common ground with this guy by discussing how erratic their mutual friend is.

“You’re asking me about getting yelled at?”

“No, I’m asking you about who’s doing the yelling.”

This was making no sense. Everyone but Kaminari seemed to notice. Again, a pretty common aspect of his inconsistent way of talking.

“What are you-”

“Do you think Bossman’s hot?” Kaminari interjected, face suddenly faking a serious look.

Sero fell silent for a moment, eyes narrow and confused. “Is this how you’ve decided to finally come out to me? I mean, I can’t say I’m surprised, but I think there’s probably better, safer ways than to-“

Kaminari’s hands went flying about. “No, no. That is not what this is about. For the last time, I’m not gay. I told you I went on a date with a girl from the tenth floor like a month ago.”

Cheek propped against his hand, Sero was smirking back at him. “I never got any proof of that.”

“I’m not gay, but-” He used his feet to drag his chair back across to his desk and slung an arm around Kirishima’s shoulders. “My buddy Kirishima is, and I think our foul-mouthed leader has caught his eye.”

Kirishima had been sitting, staring blankly with his head pivoting between the two as they squabbled. With that comment though, he shrunk down a bit into his seat and away from Kaminari who was pressed to his side.

Sero regarded him briefly before shaking his head slowly. “You’ve got a fucking death wish then.”

It was a relief that he didn’t say Kirishima was gross or weird, but that remark wasn’t comforting in the slightest. He’d already assumed as much from the short, barely even ten minute interaction he’d had with Bakugou, but it was none too reassuring to have other people telling him the same. Especially when it was accompanied by such a pitying look.

“Can you not bring this up to more people?” Kirishima whispered harshly to Kaminari while he tried shrugging him off.

Kaminari’s arm only tightened around his shoulders. “Look, I’m just trying to get more opinions on this.”

“I didn’t even ask for your opinion.” Kirishima decided to physically lift the arm off of him and shove it away. Feet planted, the chair barely even carried Kaminari a few inches. “It was just a thought and I regret ever saying anything.”

“Yeah, your first mistake was ever saying anything to shit for brains here.” Sero replied, motioning to the frowning blob slumped against his desk.

Kirishima chuckled with a nod. “I’ve known him for years, you’d think I’d know better by now.”

“Years? Damn,” Sero let out a low whistle. “It’s only been a few months and I’ve already debated throwing him through the window at least ten times.”

“Maybe if you did, people would actually get some goddamn work done and I wouldn’t have come out here and babysit you fuckheads.”

Three sets of eyes lifted towards the voice to find a set of red daggers glaring back at them over the cubicle wall.

“I came over because I forgot to give new guy here one of his papers-” Bakugou lifted his hand and dropped a piece that fluttered down to Kirishima’s desk. “But it seems I’ve found something much more pressing to attend to. You two have been here for what?” He glanced to his watch. “Not even thirty minutes and you’re already this fucking bored? Morning’s gone to shit- might as well not even do any work right? Fuck, why don’t we just call it a day then boys?”

Kaminari sat up and tried to match his stern demeanor. “Didn’t your boss tell you to watch your language after that girl you made cry complained?”

Bakugou’s fingers gripped the top of the wall tightly as he leaned further over it. “Didn’t your boss tell you he could dock your pay if you didn’t stop being a smartass?”

“I might’ve heard that somewhere.” Kaminari muttered, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Then you’d be wise to think twice before doing it again.” His eyes cut behind them. There was a smile on his face then, one that was almost terrifying. “Don’t you agree, Sero?”

“Yes sir.” Sero was quick to reply.

Kirishima half thought there would be more following that. However, once he glanced over his shoulder, he found Sero had turned around and began typing away. It was behavior he’d assumed Kaminari would have had as well after his description of this man in charge and Kirishima’s own conversation with him. Needless to say the flippant manner in which he spoke to the man was surprising. At least Sero seemed smarter than that.

“And you-” The firm voice snapped Kirishima out of his thoughts and brought his eyes back up. Bakugou’s menacing smile had fallen to leave a blank expression behind. Somehow the tense lines of his forehead still left Kirishima with an uneasy feeling. “I’ll give you some advice since you’re new and don’t know any better.”

Ah, advice.

He should probably listen to that.

It’d be easier if he could think about anything other than the fact that his eyes were so much prettier up close.

Shit. You’re so gay.

“Oi, are you fucking listening to me?”

The growl in his tone made Kirishima swallow hard. He stared back, wide-eyed and- fuck, he hoped he wasn’t blushing.

Kaminari’s elbow in his side had him sitting up stiffly and nodding. Bakugou paused, seeming entirely unconvinced.

Keep up the wonderful first impressions Eijirou

“I’m not going to put up with another slacker idiot, so you should think long and hard about associating with these two. Either that, or you’ll be the first one with my foot kicking your ass out the door. Understand?”

“Yes sir.” He answered. He was purely mimicking the phrase that seemed to placate this man earlier, but the last word felt foreign and fuzzy in his mouth.

The fuzziness spread to his throat and down into his lungs when he caught sight of the corners of Bakugou’s mouth twitch upwards before he was pushing away from the wall and skulking back into his office.

Kaminari and Sero sighed in unison at the sound of Bakugou’s office door slamming shut.

Kirishima felt frightened, thrilled, and altogether exhausted. He let his head fall forward, propping his elbows on this desk and digging the heels of his hands into his eyes.

“Regretting taking this job yet?” Kaminari leaned down to try and get a peek at his face.

Kirishima turned his head enough to look over at him with a hopeless frown. “I’m so gay.”

Chapter Text

Kirishima officially met Kaminari during their second year of university. He wound up in the city for school not really knowing anyone. He was from a smaller town a few hours away but decided he would have better chances at finding a job if he went to a better school. The thought was a little ironic now considering he couldn’t even hold onto his first job after graduation for more than a year.

He’d shared a few classes with Kaminari before they ever spoke. He’d almost kind of admired the guy’s tenacity even before he knew him. Kaminari had always been the one to shout out answers even if he knew they likely weren’t right. It probably came off as overconfidence to some, but Kirishima saw it as no fear of failure. He found out later both were somewhat true.

From the amount of questions Kaminari got wrong, Kirishima ashamedly was beginning to think he was stupid. However once they started hanging out and studying for exams together, he realized Kaminari actually was pretty smart if he cared about what they were learning.

Kirishima then decided he just wasn’t worried about being wrong because he’d figure out the right answer along the way. While Kirishima knew he lacked that kind of confidence in a classroom setting, he certainly acknowledged and respected the quality in others.

Knowing Kaminari came with social perks as well. Before university, Kaminari lived just outside the city and therefore already knew where a lot of things were and knew plenty of people who had come to the schools nearby.

Because of that, with Kaminari came his loud-mouthed, conniving, excitable, terrifying, suggestive bestfriend who quickly adopted Kirishima as another one of her idiots.

More often than not, Mina both scared and amused him with her quick wit and scrutinizing eye. He hadn’t known her too long, but she’d already figured him out more than most of his family had. She usually provided a trustful contrast of semi-problematic practicality to Kaminari’s enthusiastic search for adventure and trouble.

That was until she found something that interested her. Then, there was no stopping the havoc she’d cause until she got the desired results. She took victims in those quests. Kirishima was often the one to suffer. She’d bullied him into more uncomfortable situations than he was willing to remember. But she also was supportive and entertaining and probably wouldn’t leave him alone even if he asked.

It turned out that befriending Kaminari proved to be one of his better decisions. After getting laid off, not fired, he’d spent the past few months constantly filling out applications and trying to stretch the little savings he had to cover his rent, food, transportation, and the occasional night out. He was all but ecstatic when Kaminari mentioned his office was looking for a few more associates. At the time Kirishima hadn’t paid much attention to what Kaminari did for work, even now hired, he still wasn’t entirely sure, but he knew it was better than trying to live off raw vegetables and bland noodles.

Maybe he would’ve considering passing over the interview if he knew how conflicted he’d feel after taking the job. He’d survived eight days of working, and now, two problems were evident to Kirishima.

  1. His new boss was a difficult, pompous ass that would no doubt be a new thorn in his side.
  2. His weakness for defined arms and emotive eyes was certainly going to be his undoing.

He wasn’t quite sure how he was going to keep his sanity when more effort went into not staring at said thorn in his side than went into actually doing his work. He couldn’t understand it. It wasn’t like they’d had an amazing first conversation that left him feeling happy and confident. If anything, he’d only left his first day nervous and confused. They hadn’t spoken since then, but that was probably for the best considering Kirishima lost the ability to form words whenever they happened to have even just a passing second of eye-contact. Sure, the guy was attractive, but Kirishima saw attractive guys all the time.

There was just something there.

Something that he couldn’t quite figure out yet

At least he had easy work to do.

Kaminari was right, the job wasn’t bad and his responsibilities weren’t taxing; but after four days, he’d run out of reasons to walk by the large glass windows, cut his eyes over at the grumpy man’s desk and his permanent glare before shuffling into the copy room. And that was frustrating.

Not as frustrating as how easily Kaminari had figured him out.

Five hours into a rainy Wednesday, Kaminari slipped down into his chair. Not a word was spoken as he slid a piece of paper across his desk and into Kirishima’s keyboard where he had been trying to type.

Turning his hands over, Kirishima brought the paper up and glanced from it over to Kaminari who was still watching him. “Thank you?”

“I was told I needed a hundred copies of that.”

Kirishima looked back down to it- just a normal form. “Sounds like fun.” He said, extending it out to him.

“Wanna do it for me?” His mouthed curled up, eyebrows lifting and falling repeatedly.

“I’m busy.” He shook the paper, but Kaminari didn’t move.

“Too busy to pass up a chance to stare dejectedly at someone you can barely talk to?” Kirishima’s mouth opened, but Kaminari shook a finger between them. “Before you try and deny that, maybe consider saving your breath and accepting that, as your best friend, I know everything about you.”

Kirishima still felt indignant at the suggestion despite how blatantly true it was. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He didn’t stick around to see the smug look spread across Kaminari’s face as he stood. “I’ll do it for you just this once. Remember that I’m a really good friend.”

His walk around the edge of the office slowed once he reached the back corner. If he turned, he’d probably find Kaminari watching him over the wall, but he refused to let him know just how right he was. That didn’t stop him from peering into Bakugou’s office once he reached it. His pace slowed even further, face forward but tilted just enough that he could gaze to the side and observe.

Of the embarrassing number of times he’d done this in the past week, he had never once seen himself be caught.

A few more seconds of staring led to a required correction to his previous thought.

Of the embarrassing number of times he’d done this in the past week, he had never once seen himself be caught- until now.

He was almost past the last window, the one where he had to turn his head just slightly in order to still see the object of his affection. A few more steps and he would have been in the clear. With the slightest turn of his head for a last glance, he caught sight of eyes staring right back at him over the top of a monitor.

It stopped him, trapped him in a frozen half-step like a deer. The subtle, curious lift of Bakugou’s brow was enough to make him continue. Eyes went forward immediately, his pace sped in a scurry, his shoes clacked loudly against the tile as he rushed into the small room with a few computers and a large copier.

He sucked in deep breath- a single look shouldn’t panic him that much. He slipped the paper into the copier and brushed his sweaty palms down his thighs before pushing a few buttons. After the first of the whirring sounds began and copies started shooting out, he removed the original and observed it idly. He really didn’t care what it said, but he wanted to occupy his mind with something other than the fact that he totally just got caught staring.

The universe had other plans.

“I hope you realize red is a fucking horribly unprofessional hair color for this environment.”

Kirishima’s hands clenched at the sound of his voice, fingers crumpling the paper he was holding. He tried to smooth it out against his chest before turning around.

Leaning against the door frame, Bakugou took a long sip from his coffee mug when their eyes met.

“Is this your way of telling me I need to change it?” Kirishima asked tentatively. He still had no idea how he was supposed to speak to this man.

With the mug gone, Kirishima got an eyeful of the near constant scowl set on his face. “Is that what I said?”

Kirishima couldn’t stop his lips from pursing- at least it was better than looking angry or upset. “It didn’t exactly sound like a compliment.”

“Wasn’t exactly an insult either.”

“Then what-”

“Your copies are done.” Bakugou’s mug was waved in the direction of the machine before he turned on his heels and walked away just as abruptly as he’d appeared.

Kirishima remained bewildered, staring at his back as he went until a shrill beep from the machine made him flinch.

Forty seconds.

That conversation couldn’t have lasted longer than forty seconds.

Why then did it feel like he’d just run a marathon?

He could hear the loud thump of his pulse in his ears right beside the next beep of the copier. He grabbed the stack of papers and tried his best to shove away any thought about what had just happened.

As he left the room, he did not allow himself to look anywhere but straight ahead.

 


 

After they graduated, he and Kaminari had chosen to live close to each other. They debated briefly whether or not they should live together, but the ultimate decision was no, they were adults. They could be responsible and independent. They could live alone.

That didn’t stop them from choosing apartments just a few doors down from one another. And it certainly didn’t stop them from spending most nights together which included the Friday night week-recap adjoined by Mina and at least a six pack of beer. At least a six pack which often turned into two or three when they’d all had an exceptionally shitty week. Or five the Friday after Kirishima had gotten laid off.

While this hadn’t necessarily been a bad week and a half, it certainly had been different. And it called for more than just a beer or two.

Kirishima was already three beers in, seated at Kaminari’s dining table, when Mina slithered down into the chair next to him. “Kami hasn’t gotten you fired yet?”

He knew they’d have to talk about work eventually- knew Kaminari would no doubt bring up what he especially did not want to talk about.

Kaminari was throwing whatever he could find from his fridge into a pan to make his classic what-the-fuck-is-this dish. A beer was thrust into Kirishima’s hand just as an offended gasp rang out from the kitchen at Mina’s question.

“Hey, this is the longest I’ve had a job and I’m proud of it. And now I’ve got my best bud there? Why would I risk him leaving?”

Mina barked a laugh, pointed the neck of her bottle at him. “Because you’re an idiot that can’t keep his mouth shut. You never mean harm, it just- finds you.”

“I’m a wonderful friend and employee.”

“You got me threatened on my first day.” Kirishima grumbled before taking a sip.

“That actually wasn’t as bad as it usually is.” Kaminari shook the pan and turned up the heat. “Normally he’d have yelled at you.”

“Maybe he used up all his yelling on you.” Mina mocked.

Kaminari’s snort said otherwise. “I don’t think he has a limit to how much he can yell.” He looked over his shoulder at Kirishima then, interest mixing with a slight bit of concern. “He hasn’t yelled at you yet, right?”

“No.” Kaminari’s eyes widened a little, probably in surprise, but he turned back around without another word. Kirishima chewed at his cheek, wondering whether or not he should say anymore, but these were his people- his confidants. He knew it’d come out at some point, and the fourth beer was making his tongue loose and his intuition slippery. “The worse I’ve gotten is- well, I’m pretty sure he insulted my hair yesterday.”

Mina’s grin was full and bright now. “Are you surprised? I’ve been telling you how ridiculous it looks since I met you.”

Kaminari abandoned the sizzling pan to come rushing over and lean across the table towards him. “What’d he say?”

“I guess it wasn’t necessarily an insult- he said it wasn’t, but he told me it’s unprofessional.” Kirishima touched at his hair, finger tips already going a little numb.

“That’s not technically anything bad, right?” Mina offered, petting at different section of gelled spikes.

Kirishima’s mouth curled down. “It was the way he said it.”

Kaminari was the last to join in. He went for the top, crushing down a clump of his hair. “Yeah, but he could tell you to have a wonderful day and it’d sound more like go to hell.”

Kirishima swatted at their hands before they messed it up too much.

Mina pushed to continue for a moment before giving up and landing back into her chair. “Does he want you to do it differently then?”

Kaminari wandered back into the kitchen as Kirishima shook his head. “I don’t think so. I said the same thing.”

She leaned forward a little. “And?”

He shrugged. “Didn’t really get an answer.”

Mina hummed then gave him one of her classic, you’re not gonna like this smiles. “Maybe he’s flirting with you.”

Kirishima hardly managed to fake a laugh. “I’ve never heard something so untrue.”

“You don’t know.” She poked at his forehead then pinched a strand of his hair between her fingers and tugged. “Maybe he’s just super immature and he thinks picking on you like some grade school kid is the only way to get your attention.”

“If that’s true, he’s come on to the entire office.” Kaminari jeered loudly, shoving the vegetables around in the pan.

Mina let go of his hair, leaning back with a shrug. “Maybe he has.”

“Maybe he just really doesn’t like me.” Kirishima slumped further against the table. He folded his arms and pushed his cheek against them. “I haven’t left the best impressions.”

“Unlikely!” Mina got close and gave him a shake by grabbing hold of his arm. “You’re great at dealing with people. I can’t think of someone who doesn’t like you.”

Kaminari returned with plates and slid them across the table. “Yeah, you’re great when you can actually say more than five words to someone.”

“Huh?” It was the first time Mina’s expression looked more worried than teasing. “Are you that scared of him?”

Kirishima pushed himself up and dragged the plate over. “I’m not scared.”

“He’s in love.” Kaminari said around a mouthful of food.

He nearly choked on his rice. “I’m not in love.”

Mina slammed her beer against the table. “You’re in love?”

“No!”

A disbelieving sound came out of Kaminari. “Eh, you did say he’s hot.”

“He’s hot?” Mina’s fist joined in banging against the table along with her bottle. “Kami, why didn’t you ever say anything?”

Kaminari shrugged with a soft pft. “I never thought about it.”

“It’s been months and you’ve never said a word. Seems hard to believe.”

Kirishima sighed, fiddling with one of the mushrooms on his plate. “He’s hot. I’m promise.”

“Kiri, baby,” She started in that same way she always did when she was preparing to either disagree with him or backhandedly say something to him or both. “You’d say anyone was hot if you think it’d make them feel good about themselves. You’re too nice. I can’t really trust you anymore.”

Chin in hand, he turned his frown up to Kaminari, hoping the wide, shining eyes act would work in his favor. “Back me up bro.”

“Well,” Kaminari drawled out, looking upwards in thought. “I mean you guys know I’m not about the whole-” He waved his hand about. “Fucking dudes thing, but I mean, I guess objectively speaking- he’s not bad looking. You know, if you can get past his horrendous personality and altogether off-putting- well, everything.”

Mina’s eyes narrowed. “Is this, guy I hit on at the bar because I’m bored not bad looking or guy I hit on at the grocery store because I was him to stack my melons too not bad looking?”

“Oh, you’d definitely want him fondling your melons.” Kaminari replied with a nod.

“He can fondle my melons any day.” Kirishima mumbled into his palm.

Kaminari sighed dramatically. “Are you planning on being this mopey at work? Because if so, I might have to switch desks.”

“I need to meet him.” Mina announced as she stood.

With one jerk to her shirt, Kirishima pulled her back down. “You don’t. It’s not a big deal.”

“I’m coming to your office.”

“You are not.” Kirishima was already shaking his head before she started whining. “You’ll be the one to get us fired.”

She frowned, trying her best to pout. “At least get me a pic of this ‘hot guy’.”

“No.”

“On it!” Kaminari shot his hand across the table which Mina quickly grabbed hold of and shook firmly.

Kirishima’s groan was loud and defeated. “Please don’t.”

Kaminari popped a slice of carrot in his mouth. “Too late.”

Mina nodded, lifting her beer above the table. “Your fate is sealed.”

“Cheers to that.” The neck of Kaminari’s bottle clanked against hers.

They held them together in the air and stared expectantly at Kirishima. He was reluctant to budge, but a kick under the table from one of them forced him to huff.

“I hate you both.” Kirishima grumbled but lifted his drink and smacked it into theirs all the same.

Chapter Text

Kaminari spent an embarrassing amount of time over the next two weeks to get that picture for Mina. It was a lot of futile effort when Kirishima absolutely would not let it happen. It wasn’t as if Mina could really do anything with access to a photo. The most she could manage was maybe to find him on some sort of social media, but that alone was enough to make Kirishima relentless in keeping any such information out of her hands.

Despite being venomously called out in a meeting on three separate occasions for having his phone out, Kaminari was unyielding. Kirishima swore he got himself in trouble just to have a reason to be brought into Bakugou’s office so he could try and slyly snap a picture. Thankfully, each time it came out blurry and indiscernible.

After those two weeks, Mina seemed to have lost interest in that current task and turned to a different, equally as galling plan.

It wasn’t rare that the three would venture out into the city during the weekend. However, it was slightly concerning at how adamant Mina was that they go to a bar instead of spending the night nursing a few beers on Kirishima’s couch. And when she had announced her decision in the doorway of his apartment, she had a grin that was anything but comforting. Apprehension continued to bubble in his stomach when she hurried him back into his bedroom and started rummaging through his drawers and closet. Those shorts aren’t doing your ass any favors she told him while pelting him with a pair of jeans, a new, button-up shirt, and some of his nicer shoes.

He’d only managed to briefly refuse before she was slamming the door to his room while he changed and running off to subject Kaminari to the same fate.

Forty-five minutes later Mina was bouncing in front of them in line to get through the door. Surrounded by people generally around their age- correction- surrounded by guys generally around their age, Kirishima was instantly muttering into her ear about how this was totally a gay bar- why did you bring us to a gay bar-

“Don’t you think I know that?” She was yelling back, causing a few heads to turn their way. “We’re here for you, not me.”

No-” Was his immediate hiss of a response. He looked to Kaminari then who was smiling back sympathetically. “Mina, why are we-”

A loud shout from the man at the door had Mina shuffling away before he could finish. Once inside he tried again, louder this time over the music coming from the back where the dancefloor was.

“Seriously, we don’t have to be here.”

She gave him a pointed stare, crossing her arms. “Shush. I’m getting us some much needed and deserved drinks.” With a shove to their shoulders, she was already backing away towards the bar. “Find us somewhere to sit.”

Kirishima didn’t want to move. He didn’t really want to be there at all. He tried to convey as much through his telepathic, eyes-only conversation with Kaminari, but he was ultimately overruled. The hand around his wrist and Kaminari’s guiding tug told him as much.

Across the room from the bar, they slid into either side of a round booth. Kirishima instantly regretted setting his hands down once he felt the stickiness of the table cling to his palms. “Why do you guys even want to spend your night here?” His eyes took a sweep of the room before coming back to the table. “Not likely you’re going to find many girls here that’d be interested in you.”

Kaminari shrugged. “I don’t mind getting hit on by dudes. It’s good kindling for my ego.”

“Your ego does not need any help.” Mina placed three glasses on the table before sliding in and shoving Kaminari in between them. “But this is all part of operation Get Kiri Laid So He Forgets about His Hot, Unattainable Boss.”

Kirishima’s exasperated sigh didn’t seem to faze her. “That title is too long.”

She pushed a finger against her chin and paused before nodding. “Get Kiri a Boyfriend so He’s not so Alone Anymore?”

“That’s just as long.”

Kaminari looked up from where he’d been counting on his fingers. “Uh, maybe we should use an acronym?”

Kirishima grabbed one of the drinks and took a large gulp. “Maybe, I don’t know, forget about it altogether?”

“Never! I’ve already made up my mind.” Mina reached across the table and tried to grab Kirishima’s hand, but he jerked it away before she could. “Hey now, come on. It’d be good to go on some dates and maybe get a boyfriend for once, right?”

“I’ve had boyfriends.” Kirishima griped.

Her face fell flat and drained. “Sucking dick in their car after two dates is not a boyfriend.”

“Rude.” He snapped in return then mumbled into his drink. “It’s usually at least four dates.”

“Usually.” She repeated, squinting at him. “But more recently it’s been less than that. And then where do they go?”

“Well,” Kaminari butted in, gripping Kirishima’s shoulder and give him a light, reassuring shake. “It’s not his fault they’re all assholes that don’t stick around after getting him in the sack.”

A quiet groan from Kirishima’s mouth went unheard by them. “You guys aren’t making me feel better.”

Mina frowned and rolled her shoulders back. “And I’m not trying to make him ashamed of being easy-”

“I’m not easy.”

“Yeah, I’m sorry. You’re right. You’re just lonely and starving for affection.” She corrected.

Kirishima’s nose wrinkled as his face scrunched up. “While I can’t deny it, I don’t like it. Sounds a little pathetic.”

Kaminari’s hand on his shoulder squeezed before letting go. “Which you aren’t.”

Mina waved in between them to bring their attention back across the table. “Like I was saying! I’m not trying to shame you. Sleep around with whoever you want, but what I am trying to say is maybe stop fooling around with such shit guys? At least find one that’ll offer to feed you in the morning.”

Kirishima snorted and shot her an unimpressed glance. “Yeah, I’ll just ask every guy who shows interest in me whether or not they’ll make me eggs the next day.”

“It’ll be section B of the operation.”

“Uh, what’s section A?” He questioned apprehensively.

Kaminari chimed in with a finger in the air. “Make sure he’s hot.”

“Wha-” Kirishima’s eyes went wide before he settled into an irritated hunch over the table. “Have you guys talked about this before?”

Mina simpered, snickering. “Nah, we’re just always on the same page.”

“So you think you’re gonna find some attractive but also upstanding gentleman in a bar on a Friday night?”

“Seems like the best place to start.” She winked at him and turned to examine the people they could see from within the booth. “Help me out boys. What are we looking for? Tall? Short? Older? Younger? Tan? Long hair? You know, I tried to figure out your type from the guys I’ve seen you with, but honestly there doesn’t seem to be much similarity between them. Just keeping your options open, hmm? Well, I understand that. I mean, why limit yourself when you could-”

She was abruptly cut off by a loud gag when Kaminari began choking on his drink. She turned to scowl at him for interrupting her while Kirishima’s brows shot up in concern.

“Dude, are you okay?” The only answer Kirishima got was another round of muffled coughs and the subtle shake of his head. “Then what-”

One hand pressed against his mouth, the other lifted a few inches off the table to subtly point across the room.

Kirishima turned his head to follow the finger, squinted at all the people in between their table and the bar on the other wall.

“I don’t-” Kirishima began, but stopped once Kaminari’s hand on the side of his head moved his gaze further to the left. He skimmed over the people in front of him, tried to pick out anything unusual until-

“Oh shit!” Kirishima eeked, whipping back around. He leaned over the table and stared wide-eyed at the glass next to his face.

“What is it?” Mina had her hands on the table to push herself up and look but Kirishima’s hand shot out to grab her collar and tug her back down.

Kaminari hunched down with them and whispered, “Don’t look.”

“Well this isn’t conspicuous at all.” She hissed in return, jerking out of Kirishima’s grasp to sit up. When the boys didn’t move, she sighed and kicked their legs under the table. “Come on now, whatever it is can’t be that bad.”

Kirishima heard Kaminari shuffle back to sitting straight, but he kept his forehead pressed to the table. “He’s here.” He said, but knew it had been muffled entirely by the sticky wood.

Mina grabbed a handful of his hair and tugged his face up. She was peering down at him, looking entirely exhausted. “Care to repeat that?”

He’s here.” He repeated through clenched teeth, eyes flicking to the side but head staying put.

She dropped him immediately, going to as much of a stand as she could with her legs still under the table. “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me!” She sounded entirely too excited. “Which one?”

“Like I’m gonna tell you.” Kirishima bit back at the same time Kaminari was already running his mouth.

“The blonde who looks like he wants nothing more than to die or spontaneously combust just to escape this place.”

Ah.” She remarked innocently but he knew all too well her intentions were far from it.

Kirishima sighed, but pushed himself back up into the booth. “Please don’t do anything rash.”

Her fake gasp was none too convincing. “I’m offended you think so little of me sweetie.”

Kaminari prodded an elbow in his arm. “Welp, there’s a silver lining to this.”

Kirishima turned his head to find Kaminari grinning wildly as he chewed on his straw. “Being?”

“At least you can take He’s a guy off the list of reasons you can’t bang him.”

Ah, that.

Kirishima’s list titled Reasons You Cannot Flirt with Your Boss included the following:

  1. He’s your boss
  2. He doesn’t like you
  3. He’s your boss
  4. Probably not into guys
  5. He’s terrifying

And most importantly:

  1. He’s your boss

Kirishima shook his head. This wasn’t significant. This wasn’t any reason to stupidly get his hopes up. Even if, on the rare chance, this meant anything, it wasn’t like Kirishima was going to do anything about it.

“Just because he’s here does not mean-” Mina’s hand smacking against his mouth shut him up.

“Kiri, hush. This is a good thing because you know what this means, yeah?” She didn’t remove her hand so Kirishima just shook his head. Even though she did remove the fingers from against his mouth, they quickly went to his cheeks and squished. “You have a chance dummy.”

He pushed her hand away. “A chance? Not really. It’s minuscule at best.”

“Gentlemen, this calls for an amendment to the mission’s name” She clapped her hands together, ignoring him with the loud declaration. “Henceforth the plan shall be known as Get Kiri Laid by His Hot, Unattainable Boss.”

Kirishima bent forward, his head falling into his hand. “That’s still too long.”

“Step one of the plan.” Her head cocked to the side and she flicked her eyes over. “You need to go talk to him.”

Rearing back up, his expression was wild both in alarm and confusion. “I couldn’t possibly-”

Mina rolled her eyes, giving a dramatically offended, “Why not?”

“What am I supposed to say? I can hardly talk to him at work when I actually have things I need to tell him. And you expect me to be able to form, what? Idle conversation?”

With no answer given, she lifted his glass up to his lips and started tilting. “Time for liquid courage baby.” Kirishima spluttered at first but started drinking after a second. “Kami, hold this while I go get him another. Seems like we’re going to need as much help as we can get.”

Kaminari’s fingers wound around the glass and kept pushing it up as Mina rolled out of the booth. Kirishima watched her bound away before he focused on not choking from the alcohol continuously flooding into his mouth. Only once the glass was empty did Kaminari let up and set it back against the table.

Kirishima wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, breathing heavily and giving a small cough.

“You’re supposed to be on my side.” Kirishima huffed through his next deep breath.

“I am on your side.” The smile he shot at Kirishima was bright and genuine. “I want you to be happy. When else are you going to have a chance to talk to him outside of work?”

“I’ll make a fool of myself.”

“You won’t. You’re charming.”

Kirishima gave a disapproving noise, turning to watch Mina hurry back over with a beer in one hand and another mixed drink in the other.

She set the drink down and handed the beer to him across the table. “Chug this first.”

“I’m not going to chug it.”

“Oh yes you are.” She was already forcing the bottle up towards his mouth and tipping the bottom up. “You’re gonna drink this right now and then go flirt like I know you can.”

Kirishima tried to push back against the booth and move his face away. “I’m not flirting with my boss.”

“Just drink it.”

He pursed his lips but took hold of the beer and started drinking it in earnest. After a countless number of drinking contests with Kaminari, he had become surprisingly good at being able to down a beer in only a handful of seconds.

When the bottle landed back on the table, he licked his lips. “I don’t think I wanna do this.”

As soon as his mouth was free, the straw of the other drink was pushed between his lips.

“Stop doubting yourself.” She scolded but smiled lightly once he started sucking. “You’re a lot better than you think you are. And you say he doesn’t like you- which Kami and I both think isn’t true- but even if he doesn’t, now’s the time to prove him wrong. So, you’re going and it’ll be great.” Mina shoved his half-empty drink into his hand and Kaminari pushed at his back until he was practically falling out of the booth. “If it isn’t, I’ll buy you a whole cake as an apology.”

Kirishima stood albeit ungracefully, bringing his drink with him.

“Just say hi.”

Kaminari nodded along with her. “If he threatens to kick your ass or fire you just come running back to us. Can’t hurt to say hello.”

Kirishima started grumbling to himself once he turned away from the table. “It can hurt a lot. What can it hurt? Oh, I don’t know, maybe my confidence, my career, and any possible professional relationship we may have- not to mention my personal sanity.”

He stopped his muttering as he approached the bar, but stood still a few feet away. Staring down Bakugou’s back, he could see the ever-present tension in his hunched shoulders. Kirishima didn’t need to see his face to know he was most likely glaring at his drink.

His gaze fell to the empty stool next to Bakugou and he sucked in a deep breath. Moving forward, he set his drink down on the bar first. He hoped maybe he’d get a glance at its sudden presence. When Bakugou didn’t move his eyes from the finger rubbing against the condensation on his glass, Kirishima climbed up onto the stool next to him.

No reaction.

He rubbed his thumbs against one another with clasped hands, took a sip of his drink, scratched at his neck.

Still nothing.

He started to speak at least eleven times in his head, but none of the words seemed to come out.

Bakugou moved, simply brought his glass up to his mouth, but the act made Kirishima flinch.

This is stupid.

Just speak, idiot.

“Hello.” He tried to say it loud, but it barely came out over the music. His hands curled against his thighs as he inhaled sharply. “Hey.” It was firmer this time. Enough so, that he could manage turning himself to the side.

Bakugou’s glass landed back against the bar top without even the slightest turn of his head. Kirishima thought he’d gone either unheard or ignored until he got a quiet, “Can’t even get a moment of peace on the weekends without one of you bothering me.”

“Peace?” Kirishima retorted, trying to hold in his scoff. “Here?”

Bakugou’s face soured. Kirishima realized he’d probably spoken a little too freely. His mouth was open to apologize at how critical that sounded, but Bakugou beat him to it.

“What? I can’t enjoy a drink after work? I’ve got a fucking life too.”

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found getting a drink at a bar by myself a peaceful time.” Kirishima leaned in a little, dropping his voice so few around them would hear. “Especially not a bar where these sleazy men are bound to hit on anything that breathes.”

A noise that was eerily close to a chuckle escaped from Bakugou’s mouth but was quickly replaced with a forced cough. “Yeah? You think you’re any better off?”

Kirishima tried not to let that tiny sound go to his head. He shifted away again and pointed off to the side. “I have friends here. They’ll save me.”

Bakugou glanced over his shoulder and Kirishima was regretting the comment once he saw Kaminari trying his best not to laugh and Mina waving excitedly.

With a grimace, Bakugou turned back around. “That fucker’s an idiot- I wasn’t joking when I said you shouldn’t hang around him.”

“He’s an idiot alright-” Kirishima gave them the slightest shake of his head before spinning back to the bar. “But he’s a good friend.”

Bakugou clicked his tongue after another long sip of his dark liquor. “He’ll be good till he causes you problems.”

“You think he’s gonna get me in trouble at work?” Bakugou gave a grunt along with a slight shrug. Kirishima got tired of fighting the pull at his lips and let a smile break out. “That’s all up to you though, isn’t it?”

The look he got in return was wildly surprised at first. Unfortunately, it only lasted a few seconds before Bakugou was rapidly reining it back in to his indifferent mask.

“Are you even old enough to be here?”

Kirishima knew deflection when he heard it, but he didn’t feel like it was his place to call Bakugou out for it. Instead, he caught his straw between his teeth, talking around it. “I’m twenty-four.”

“Fuckin’ baby face.” Bakugou mumbled as he scanned the wall in front of them instead of looking at Kirishima’s grin.

“Should I start glaring all the time? Will that make me look older?”

Bakugou’s mouth curled bitterly around the lip of his glass as he spoke. “You sayin’ I look old?”

Kirishima gave a soft laugh, not missing the way Bakugou’s eyes cut over at the sound. “Honestly, I’m just glad you realize how angry your face is all the time.”

Shoulders going back and chin tilting up, Kirishima assumed Bakugou was trying to look down on him. “It’s gotta be when all you fucks constantly test my patience.”

“What patience?” Kirishima quipped back.

“Who the fuck-” He stopped himself, frowned but somehow didn’t seem as annoyed as he usually did. “You think you’re so damn perceptive, don’tcha?”

“Mm, no.” Kirishima brought his elbow up to the bar, cheek falling to press against his fist. He was suddenly a little thankful for the amount of alcohol Mina had funneled into his throat. It was settling in his stomach with a warmth spreading all the way up into his neck. It had let him speak with less worry and cooled the nerves that usually kept him tense and at a loss for words. “I just don’t see you as a very patient person.”

Pft” Bakugou’s eyes narrowed, barely trailed lower than Kirishima’s face before he was turning and resuming his guarded position over the bar. “I haven’t told you t’scram yet, have I? Seems like a lot of fucking patience to me.”

Kirishima bit at his cheek to keep from grinning again. He only half wished drinking didn’t always make him a smiling idiot. “Yeah, I guess you haven’t.” He turned back to his own drink, sucking down the rest of it and scooting the glass forward.

He let the silence linger. He was pleased by the very fact he hadn’t been yelled at or told to leave yet. He’d pushed his luck more than he ever thought possible in one conversation. The small, not fully drunk part of his brain was trying to pick it all apart, but the tingly, warm, and fuzzy majority of tipsy thoughts was making contemplation difficult.

Bakugou shifted and turned his head just enough to look back over at him. Kirishima matched his posture, hiking up a brow for good measure.

“So, sleazy men are gonna hit on me you say?” Bakugou pondered with little detectable inflection.

“It’s pretty much unavoidable in this shithole.”

Bakugou hummed and- what a lovely sound. “You shouldn’t curse in front of your boss.”

Kirishima stared back, couldn’t stop from curling his lips into a grin. “Says the guy with the foulest fucking mouth I’ve ever heard.”

Kirishima almost couldn’t believe the soft laugh he got in return. He was equally as surprised given that was the comment that finally pulled it out. His cheeks ached but he couldn’t stop beaming.

But he blinked, and the air shifted. The bottom of Bakugou’s glass hit the bar before he was shoving his stool away and standing. The slight smile Kirishima swore he saw was gone in turn for the scowl he was all too familiar with.

“You better not be hungover on Monday.” He gruffed as he slapped a few bills on the bar. “I won’t tolerate your work slacking because you can’t handle your liquor.”

This conversational whiplash seemed to be becoming a common part of their interactions. Kirishima always thought things would be going just fine until he would inadvertently say something that would trigger a switch into hostile territory.

Kirishima’s mouth opened for a reply, an apology, a goodbye, but Bakugou was gone before he could manage to form any words.

He watched him go straight to the front door and leave without a single glance back.

Grabbing hold of his drink, he slunk back over to the booth and melted down into it. Mina and Kaminari were giving him a couple of sympathetic smiles and soft pats to his arms.

“Welp,” Mina started, popping the p loudly. “That was a short conversation.”

Kirishima shook his head and looked up at her. “Longest one we’ve had yet.”

“Did it go alright?” Kaminari asked cautiously.

Kirishima moved his eyes to Kaminari, staring back for a moment. Despite the foul turn of Bakugou’s attitude and the abrupt departure, Kirishima felt his smile coming back slowly. Soon enough, it was wide on his face and he felt the warmth returning to his cheeks. “I have no idea.”

Chapter Text

Neither he nor Bakugou spoke about what happened.

Not even so much as a passing comment.

It was like it had never happened.

Kirishima practically begged Kaminari not to tell anyone in fear that any repercussions would be put on both of them. Fearing for his own life and career, Kaminari agreed without much of a fight.

So business continued as usual.

Kirishima would only engage his boss when needed, and kept the conversation minimal.

It was like it had never happened.

Except, maybe it wasn't.

Kirishima came to the realization a few days after that weekend that talking to him was beginning to feel easier every time. Even if it was just mindless small talk or simple questions followed by a rushed thank you sir, Kirishima didn’t feel as terrified or out of breath following any interaction they had. It was slow going, but any progress was a good thing, right?

In the week that followed their ethereal meeting by mere happenstance, it seemed he was being glared at less which was a feat in and of itself. It could just be coincidental, and Kirishima didn’t allow himself to get his hopes up, but he took what he could get. And if what he got was blank stares instead of murderous eyes, he’d consider himself lucky.

 

The next small blip in his nonexistent progress came in the form of a blushing smile belonging to a petite, albeit curvy threat to Kirishima’s happiness.

Bakugou’s office door was cracked open and he could hear some chatter from within, but not enough to know who exactly was in there.

A few successive knocks to his door were answered with a loud, “Yeah, yeah, come on in.”

Kirishima pushed the door open to find Bakugou sitting at his desk and a woman leaning up against the other side. She didn’t look familiar, he certainly hadn’t seen her in the office or the elevator before- and she wasn’t exactly dressed for the office what with her casual dress and sandaled feet.

“I’m sorry,” Kirishima began, not quite being able to pull his curious gaze off the rosy smile of this stranger. Her cheeks were plump, eyes big and round. She’s very pretty he thought, tried desperately for it not to sound bitter even in his own mind. “I didn’t know you were busy.”

“He’s always busy though, isn’t he?” The woman tipped her head to one side, letting her short brown hair fall into her eyes and smiling brightly at Kirishima. “I had to come here just to speak to him. Not very polite is it?”

“You’re right. Interrupting my work isn’t polite.” Bakugou’s grating tone finally drug Kirishima’s eyes off the irritatingly charming smile being shot his way. “And yet here you are.”

“I wasn’t talking about me!” She barked back, smacked a hand against Bakugou’s desk. The informality she used and the loose way in which she spoke to him was surprising and admittedly made Kirishima a little jealous. She’s everything you’re not. “You’re the impolite one. You haven’t even introduced us yet.”

Bakugou shifted toward his computer and began clacking away at the keyboard. “Pleasantries are not part of my job description.”

“How you’ve gotten promoted this much baffles me.” She muttered more so to herself before she pushed off the desk. Her dress swayed and flowed as she quickly crossed the distance between them. Her hand was extended once she reached him, brining that smile back. “I’m Uraraka.”

He looked down at her hand briefly. It was small and soft looking- so unlike his own. To spite the negativity streaming into his brain, he did his best to mentally shake himself out of the discomfort that started upon seeing her here. He didn’t know her, he didn’t know their relationship, and he never allowed himself to judge people before getting to know them. Or, he at least tried not to.

He slapped a smile on, knowing neither of them would be able to tell it wasn’t as sincere as it should be, and grabbed her hand. “Kirishima.” He replied with a light shake of her hand which squeezed back a little tighter than standard hand-shake etiquette would call for.

“O-oh.” She started but her mouth paused in that shape, something indiscernible coming over her expression. Bakugou cleared his throat rather loudly from his desk and suddenly she was laughing. “It’s nice to meet you Kirishima.” Her eyes trailed down until they landed on the papers in his other hand. “Ah, sorry. You probably came in here for a reason.”

“Well, I just-” He glanced down to the papers before looking back to her then over her shoulder at Bakugou’s hunched form. “You said you wanted to go over these before I sent them out, but I can come back later.”

“No, no!” Uraraka waved him off and stepped to the side. “Don’t mind me being here. Go ahead, do your work.”

“So him you won’t disturb?” Bakugou remarked as he turned himself back to the empty desk.

“I like him better than you.”

Bakugou beckoned him over with a hand before gesturing down to one of the empty chairs. “He’s been here for five minutes.”

“And yet, he already seems nicer than you’ve ever been to me.”

Kirishima spared her one last curious look before walking over to the chair and sitting himself down. The papers were instantly swiped from his hands and sprawled across the desk.

“You’re free to leave any time.” Bakugou announced loudly.

“I know.” She called happily. The door opened, but then she stopped. “Oh, hey, are you coming over for dinner? I think Izuku’s making that recipe you showed him last week.”

“Can’t.” His response was short as he flipped over the page in his hand.

“You’re not going to be here all night, right?” She sounded skeptical and tired, like this wasn’t the first time this conversation had happened. “Right?” She said again, sharper this time.

The following silence fell heavy on Kirishima. He felt like he shouldn’t be there. There was tension brewing and he didn’t want to fall witness to its collapse.

Uraraka was the first to break once a loud sigh fell from her mouth. “Seriously Katsuki,”

It was a whisper, more of an inward thought that escaped. But it tickled its way into Kirishima’s ear. The ease with which she could call him that with no fear of being yelled at or threatened punched at Kirishima’s will not to frown.

He wanted to know who she was. Who she was to him. He wanted to know how she got to this point. How long did it take her? Did she use bribery? How much did she know about him? How did she learn it? Did she ask? Did he willingly share things with her?

Would she tell Kirishima everything if he asked nicely?

 She spoke louder, commanding and motherly. “Make sure you actually eat something this time. I know how you get when you’re working.”

His eyes rose for the first time from his desk, but they didn’t even glance at Kirishima in their ascent. “Don’t nag me.”

“Eat.” She tsked. “And don’t fall asleep here either.”

He glared, but it wasn’t anything like the angry or disappointed ones Kirishima had seen before. It was more comfortable and somehow- warm? How could a glare seem affectionate? How could Kirishima get one of those looks?

“You can fucking go now.” He repeated and turned his attention back down to Kirishima’s work.

“I hope to see you soon.” She lilted just before shutting the door behind her.

Bakugou said nothing of her presence as Kirishima sat, rubbing his hands together idly and running through every possible scenario of what she likely meant to him.

Girlfriend was the most glaringly obvious choice, but Bakugou had been a bar that was in no way trying to hide the fact that it was almost exclusively for men. Just as Kirishima thought when he saw him there, and even afterwards despite Mina and Kaminari’s disagreement, Bakugou could still be straight. He knew some girls went to gay bars so they didn’t feel threatened or didn’t constantly get hit on. Other guys were bound to know that too. That’s why every now and then they’d find some dude there looking for a girl to pick up. But surely Bakugou wasn’t that kind of guy?

He could also be bi, which would make it reasonable to be there and also have a girlfriend. But why would someone be alone at a bar when they had a girlfriend?

Maybe she was just a close friend? She had mentioned someone else- the name eluded Kirishima- but he seemed to be someone just as familiar as she was. They probably hung out a lot. Maybe that guy was her boyfriend. Damn, did he really hope that was the case.

Not like any of it mattered.

Despite what his ego felt, Kirishima had no claim to Bakugou- they weren’t even friends.

He was just an annoying employee, an expendable means to get work done.

So what if Bakugou had a girlfriend or a boyfriend or no one. It wouldn’t change their lack of a relationship.

But at least having a single, unobtainable boss fed his hopeless romantic heart. It gave him something to dream about it. Gave his mind something silly to entertain when he zoned out during meetings instead of actually listening to anyone talk.

“These look fine.” Bakugou said brusquely, handing them back over and successfully bringing Kirishima out of his spiraling thoughts. “Unlike most of the work I’ve seen recently.”

The last bit was mumbled, and Kirishima was leaning forward before he took the time to process the words. “Sorry?”

“Nothing.” Bakugou replied with a dismissive wave of his hand. “You’ll find out soon enough.”

 

Soon enough was two hours later when Bakugou burst out of his office and demanded everyone go into the conference room. It was hard to tell the mood of the meeting when he sounded so irate every time he called one, but Kirishima had learned to prepare for the worst.

It was definitely a day for the worst.

They all filed in, around fifteen of them or so. Kaminari and Sero pressed Kirishima between them like a buffer. They seemed to think he could somehow save them if need be.

It was a normal meeting, filled with normal insults and normal topics all said with an overly irritated tone. However, Bakugou was making more pointed eye-contact with each of them than usual, like everyone deserved to be rattled to their core. His tone fell further south near the end of a long winded explanation of a new filing system that would be implemented in the following week.

“Alright, last thing.” Bakugou announced and a few scooted up from their slouched positions. He glanced down to the tablet resting in his arm, swiping around a bit. “It’s become apparent that most of you don’t know how to do your work properly.” His fingers tapped away before a spreadsheet of sorts appeared on the screen behind him full of jarring colors that never meant anything good. “I’ve got a fuck ton of forms that have been filled out half-wrong and another shit load of data that, surprise surprise, wasn’t input correctly. So either you people are idiots that refuse to ask for help when you need it, or you’re just careless and don’t give a shit about anything other than getting your undeserved paychecks.” One hand went to his hip, glare making its way around the room. “Now, I could easily make all of you stay late to fix this shitshow, but honestly if you can’t do it right the first time, why the hell should I expect you to do it right the second time? Therefore, I’m going to need just a few of you to stay late tonight so I can hang over your shoulders and yell at you until you do it right.” He was back to tapping on the tablet, an even deeper look of distaste taking over. “I know some of you are doing an exceptionally piss-poor job and deserve to have your evenings ruined- so, I’ll make this easy for all of you and-“

Kirishima’s hand was in the air before he realized it, his voice leaping out from his throat. “I’ll stay late.”

He’d cut Bakugou off, which usually led to another round of chastising. The lack of retribution came as a surprise to him and probably Kaminari as well considering how he’d winced and leaned away from Kirishima at the outburst.

Bakugou’s hypercritical gaze was on him in an instant. It softened unexplainably after a moment and panned away. “If you wish.” His voice rose back to booming immediately. “Anyone else care to be helpful for once?”

 A cough.

A sniffle.

No response.

Seeing no way out and no other way to end the reluctant silence, Kirishima offered a soft laugh. “It’s fine. I don’t mind doing it myself if no one else wants to. I don’t have anything else to do.”

With a sigh, Bakugou smacked the tablet against his leg. “You’re all useless.” He spat, turning without another word and barging out of the room.

The silence continued after he left. A few people shifted in their seats, but no one seemed comfortable enough to get up.

Sero bent forward and looked at them. “So... Do you think that means we can leave?”

Kaminari whispered back to him. “I think everyone’s too afraid to move.”

“Well I’m not going to be the first one to go anywhere. And more importantly-” Sero shifted his attention to Kirishima. “What the hell are you thinking?”

“He’s not thinking.” Kaminari answered for him while patting the back of his head. “Or, he’s thinking with something other than his brain.”

Sero made a gross expression before standing after a few others around them had already begun leaving. “You’re not going to get on his good side just because you agree to make up for other peoples’ mistakes. He’s not that easy to appease- trust me. I’ve tried.”

Kirishima knew that.

He wasn’t a brown noser.

But Kaminari was right. He hadn’t thought at all before saying anything.

“It’s worth a shot.” Kirishima finally replied with a half-hearted shrug.

Kaminari smacked a hand against his back while he stood. “Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is.”

Chapter Text

At 5 o’clock sharp, Kaminari stood so quickly that the back of his knees hit his chair and sent it flying backwards into Sero’s desk.

“Yo, how many times have I told you not to do that?” Sero griped, shoving the chair back over.

Kirishima joined Sero in at glaring up at Kaminari once the chair hit the back of his own. “Clearly not enough and now I’m a victim.”

Hands on his hips, Kaminari glared back at them. “Sorry that I’m excited to go home ‘cause unlike some people-” He leaned more towards Kirishima. “I’m not a lunatic that’s willingly staying till who knows when redoing other people’s work.”

Kirishima swiveled back to his keyboard and mumbled down towards it, “Yeah, I’m redoing your shitty work.”

Kaminari kicked at the leg of his chair. “What was that?”

Sero had his hand cupped around his mouth in an instant, voice loud and echoing. “He said he’s redoing your shitty work.”

Kaminari huffed loudly while gathering his bag. “He’s the one who volunteered to do this.”

Sero stood with him and pushed his chair under his desk. “It’s being done in the name of love.”

Kirishima’s fingers clenched over his keys. “Say that louder. Please.” He hissed.

“Ah, we better go before we make him mad.” Kaminari had dropped his voice to a whisper as if Kirishima wouldn’t hear him but picked it back up when he put a hand on Kirishima’s shoulder. “Good work and good luck.”

Sero’s hand landed on his other shoulder. “May the gods be with you and guide you.”

 

By 5:30, almost everyone was gone. People rarely stayed long than they had to- many of them, including his idiot friends, rushed out as soon as they could. Kirishima usually joined them, enjoying the company on the commute home. It took around forty minutes to walk from the office to the train station, then from the station to his apartment- Kaminari would probably be getting home soon.

Time didn’t pass all too quickly during working hours, but it didn’t necessarily drag on either. Now, however- now that he was aware that he could be on his way home, the minutes seemed to be sluggish. Each person who stood from their desk with a stretch and exited deepened his frown a bit more.

Why had he offered to do this? It wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t heard any complaints about his work in a few weeks. Why hadn’t he just left this to someone who actually deserved the consequences?

He knew why, of course. But he didn’t want to accept that he was so easily swayed by the tiny bit of hope he was still harboring.

When the last of his coworkers left closer to 6:00, Kirishima barely noticed the click of the door shutting. It wasn’t until the silence set in did he begin to feel out of place. When he wasn’t typing, the only sounds around him where the whirr of his computer and the faint buzz of the air conditioning. He’d never been one to truly enjoy the quiet. Even at home, he’d have the tv running or music playing softly just to fill the silence. At night, he kept a fan running on his dresser. He’d tend to overthink even the smallest things when there wasn’t any sounds around him. The only thing comparable to his dislike of silence was his hatred of feeling alone. While he lived by himself, having Kaminari just a few doors down and Mina coming over to get away from her roommate, he was never left in solitude for more than a few hours. It hadn’t even been an hour, but the hollow feeling was already beginning to take root in the empty office swallowing him up.

A little after 7:00 his stomach began to growl. By 7:30, his hunger was distracting and making it hard to focus on the screen in front of him. He finished up the spreadsheet he was working on and saved it as he stood. Grabbing his wallet from his bag, he tugged out the bills he had stuffed inside and began his walk towards the front door. There were a number of places across the street he could run over to and grab something to bring back.

Halfway to the entrance, he stopped and glanced over to the cracked door of Bakugou’s office. Kirishima hadn’t seen him since the meeting, and he was entirely sure that he hadn’t left the office in at least four hours. He took a quick check of his cash and shoved it in his pocket on his way out.

 

On his way up the elevator, the takeout bag was heavy in his hand. He could feel a bit of steam rising out and ghosting against his knuckles while it swayed as he walked. Instead of taking it straight back to his desk, he rounded the corner of the room until he stopped in front of the barely open door of Bakugou’s office.

It was darker than before, exceptionally dark compared to the bright lights in the rest of the office. If he didn’t know Bakugou was in there, he probably would have assumed it was empty.

Kirishima popped his head in between the door and the frame. The overhead lights were turned off but there was a tall lamp in the corner behind Bakugou’s desk and smaller one next to his computer that were providing enough light for him to work. The blinds drawn all the way up revealed the dark sky with only the lights from other buildings shining back at him. The view to the rest of the city was impressive during the day, but at night it seemed peacefully beautiful and inviting. Much more inviting than the tense frustration strewn all over Bakugou’s entire presence as he flipped through the binder open on his desk.

“Excuse me.” Kirishima called softly.

Bakugou’s head lifted, scowl already present. “Finally fucked something up?”

Kirishima ignored the affront, pushing the door open a bit more with his shoulder. “Do you like curry?”

Bakugou sighed but sat back in his chair. “Why does it matter?”

“Do you like it?” Kirishima said again, forcing his voice not to waver. He was still regarded shortly until Bakugou nodded.

“Great.” Kirishima nudged the door open with his foot and walked in with the bag smacking against his leg as he went. “I bought you some.”

Bakugou eyed the bag doubtfully. “I don’t need your handouts.”

“I know.” He sat the bag on top of Bakugou’s desk and reached in to pull the warm container out. “But then I got to thinking. I was a witness to Uraraka scolding you about eating, and something tells me if you don’t, you won’t be the only one she comes after.” He placed the container next to Bakugou’s current work before diving back into the bag for one of the bottles of water. “She kind of reminds me of my friend, and knowing that much- well, I just don’t think I want to be on her bad side, so,” He sat the bottle down in front of him and slapped on a forcefully friendly grin. “I figured I’d go ahead and save my own ass.”

Bakugou was staring back at him, eyes likes slits and skeptical. “It better be spicy.” He grumbled, taking hold on the container and ripping it open.

Kirishima managed to suppress his chuckle with pinched lips. Picking the bag up, he stepped back from the desk but stopped when those sharp eyes shot up to him.

“Going somewhere?” Bakugou asked him around a mouthful of rice.

Kirishima blinked dumbly, pointed back to the door. “I was going to go eat mine now- did you need something?”

“Sit down.” Bakugou grunted. Kirishima turned to look down at the chair behind him but didn’t move to sit. “I’m not saying it again.”

Kirishima’s ass was in the chair faster than was necessary. He gave a small, nervous chuckle to break his silence then pulled out his own food and sat it on the desk.

The lid was off and steam was billowing into the air, but Kirishima was still too stunned to move. His hands were in his lap, fingers fiddling with one another as he watched the other in a slight daze.

Bakugou looking tired wasn’t an unfamiliar sight, but the lack of light in the room and the dark sky out the window seemed to drape everything in a drowsy mood. The beginning of bags forming under his eyes seemed oddly more prominent in the shadows from the lights behind him. Kirishima wondered how often he stayed here. It was apparently enough that his friends, partner, whatever he had waiting for him, began to worry.

At least Kirishima had gotten him to eat. As someone who was greatly controlled by the will of his stomach, it was hard for him to imagine forgetting or outright ignoring the need to eat. Without food, he’d get cranky and frustrated easily- but on second thought, that was entirely in character for his broody boss. Maybe Kirishima should do this more often. Especially if that meant being allowed to stay in his presence for longer than a few minutes. He would take anything he could get- even if that meant watching Bakugou shovel food into his mouth, because it let his mind wander to things he’d normally never have the chance to see.

One of those things including the fact that Bakugou’s tie was now off and slung over the back of the empty chair next to Kirishima. He had the first two buttons of his shirt popped open and- well that’s not distracting at all.

Kirishima tried not to let his eyes linger there. He was trying not to stare at all, but it had become somewhat of an unconscious habit that usually occurred during meetings or when he needed something looked over and wasn’t actually required to be paying attention. But now, in a room where it was only the two of them and there was nothing to distract Bakugou from catching him in the act, he should really be more careful. He really shouldn’t be imagining the sight of a few more of those buttons being undone- maybe all of them- maybe just get rid of the shirt all together- maybe-

“You gonna fucking eat or just sit there and let it get cold?”

Kirishima’s eyes snapped back up and he blinked away the compromising images his mind was so determined to conjure up.

He didn’t reply, couldn’t seem to form any words in fear that something inappropriate or embarrassing would slip out. He grabbed his food instead, pulling it close to his chest, and beginning to eat with a newfound fervor.

Halfway through his bowl, he glanced back up to find Bakugou pushing around a few carrots with a look that was so close to a childish pout Kirishima was having a hard time not smiling.

He swallowed another mouthful and took a deep, satisfied breath. “Was it okay?”

Bakugou shrugged and let his spoon fall down into the bowl.

“Not spicy enough?” Another shrug. So childish. “I’ll remember that for next time.” He offered, hoping it didn’t sound too eager or presumptuous.

Bakugou shoved the bowl towards him without a single rebuttal. He turned to his other desk where his computer was and began typing away. Kirishima continued eating until there was a pause in the clacking and a quiet, “I prefer pork.”

The sound of the keys picked back up while Kirishima smiled around his spoon. He left it at that, knowing by now that acknowledging the comment would only make him regret saying anything.

Once he finished, he gathered up both the bowls and the bag and walked them over to the trashcan by the door. It all dropped down with a thud and a rustle of plastic. He turned on his heels, smoothing down the wrinkled fabric of his shirt.

“Well then, I’ll be-”

“You can bring your work in here if you’d like.” Kirishima’s mouth snapped shut, fingers gripping his shirt and crumpling it again. Bakugou didn’t even glance up from his computer. “It gets cold out on the floor. Not to mention how fucking annoying those flickering, harsh lights are. I’d be damn sick of it if I’d been out there as long as you have for one day.”

“Oh- okay.” Kirishima uttered, but stayed stuck like the words hadn’t fully made their way to his brain. He turned back to the doorway, probably had a stupid expression on his face as he scrambled to his desk and back. He tried to calm himself after crossing through the door. He hoped his demeanor was far less panicked than he felt on the inside. He’d already been around Bakugou for longer than he could recall having been before. To be allowed to stay- to actually, possibly, maybe be wanted to stay- he could barely comprehend it.

“You’re not going to get on his good side just because you agree to make up for other peoples’ mistakes.”

He’d have to rub this in Sero’s face later because getting on his good side is definitely what this seemed like. What it felt like was an all too familiar pulse in his chest and a layer of clammy sweat forming on his palms, but it was just business.

That’s what he had to keep telling himself. It was just professional.

Lowering himself into the chair gingerly, he set his small stack of binders and paperwork on a now-empty section of Bakugou’s desk. His return wasn’t acknowledged with more than a momentary flick of Bakugou’s eyes to side.

After a while, Bakugou moved his chair back over to the same desk as Kirishima. He grabbed a handful of the papers Kirishima had finished up and stacked in a pile. Kirishima held a breath in, watching him only by cutting his eyes up but keeping his head down towards his work. Bakugou merely gave them a brief glance before setting them back down. The breath flew back out in relief until he heard Bakugou sigh.

“You shouldn’t be here you know.” Kirishima glanced up, but Bakugou merely continued scribbling away. “You’ve only been here for a month, but you’re one of the few people who actually seems to have a fucking clue what they’re doing.”

This was the first time Kirishima had been told in any sort of way that he was doing a good job. The praise, as little as it was, made him feel light. He wanted more, wanted it to be clearer and more directed. But he knew that was a long shot.

During his stunned silence, Bakugou lifted his gaze enough to catch sight of the grin suddenly rising to Kirishima’s parted mouth.

“At least you know you can trust me to get it right this time.”

Bakugou’s eyes took a scan over his face before he went back to his paper work with an affirmative grunt. “Even so, I hope you don’t think this is going to get you brownie points or anything.”

“That wasn’t my intention.” Kirishima was quick to reply, probably a little too quick. “They’re things that needed to be done, and I honestly don’t mind busy work.” Bakugou’s quiet hum and his own nervous energy kept the words streaming from his mouth. “And it’s not like I have a family or anything waiting for me at home, so these are the years I should be spending my time at work.” He lifted his pen, tapped it against his chin. “Well- I suppose I do have a cat waiting for me, but she’s pretty much self-sufficient and I think she hates me most of the time, so I’m not too worried about her- Do you have a pet?” He found himself asking before really considering he probably wouldn’t get an answer.

Bakugou made a foul face. “Pets are a waste of time, money, and effort.”

“So you’ve never had one then.” Kirishima stated with a knowing bob of his head.

“You sure are making a lot of baseless statements tonight.”

“I don’t believe you’d feel that way if you did.” He explained, shutting his binder and grabbing a different one. “Especially now. I think it’s a nice thing to have considering it can be lonely living alone.”

“Who said I live alone?”

His harsh tone was something Kirishima was growing used to. He didn’t outwardly flinch anymore, he merely shrugged and tried to lighten things with a laugh. “I was just assuming again. Pardon me if I’m wrong.”

“I do.” He gave up the answer almost reluctantly, grumbling like it pained him to speak “Live alone. But I’m not fucking lonely or anything. I don’t need some needy furball to entertain me.”

“Right. Sorry.” Kirishima’s smile may have appeared warm and genuine, but it was not without a sudden, brazen hint of condescension. “I didn’t mean to imply that you were capable of affection for another living thing. I think you’ve made good work here of ensuring no one would believe that.”

Bakugou held his pen tightly in his fist until it dropped and clattered to the desk. “You got a problem with my management style?”

“Not if your goal is to make everyone either fear you or hate you.” Kirishima looked back down to what he had been reading. His eyes scanned over the words without reading them, but it was something to do other than let regret bubble up from the frustrated face staring him down. 

“So which one is it?” Bakugou asked, his tone calmer than was expected.

Kirishima flipped a page, not a single word read. “Hmm?”

“Do you fear me or hate me?”

Kirishima chuckled to hide his nerves. “Care about my opinion now?”

“Not in the slightest.”

He flipped another page. “Then why ask?”

“Gotta know what to keep doing to ensure it stays that way.” There was amusement creeping into his voice now. Just one surprise after the other.

“Neither.” Lifting his head, Kirishima’s smile grew wider. He tilted his head for good measure, pulled out all the stops to appear confident.

That unfamiliar, breathy laugh, came out and greeted Kirishima warmly. “Well shit, guess I need to step up my game.”

Kirishima could feel himself grinning too much, but he couldn’t stop that let alone keep himself from talking. “Yeah, if not, you might actually make your first friend.”

He caught a short glimpse of Bakugou rolling his eyes before dutifully getting back to work. “Unfortunately, I do have friends.”

Right. That girl- she was a friend? Something more? Hopefully not.

Now’s your chance.

He needed it to seem casual, not accusatory. “Uraraka seems nice” Good. That seemed casual, right? Probably not. If he knew anything, it was that Bakugou was a private person- especially when it came to things about himself or his personal life. And whatever she meant to him was certainly something that existed in his time outside of work.

But he wasn’t brushed off, ignored, or scolded. Surprisingly, he was engaged for once. “You got nice from that? She’s an aggravating shrew.”

Oh,” Kirishima mused, feeling the same insincere annoyance in Bakugou’s voice that he himself often used. “So she’s a good friend then.”

“Regrettably so.” Bakugou replied flatly. He sighed, and much to Kirishima’s amazement, continued on. “Met her back in college. She ended up hovering around me a lot- always wanted to come over to my place. Thought she was trying to date me or some shit. Told her it was pointless. Turns out she was just trying to get to my roommate. Eight years later, they’re married and I’ll never get away from her.”

Being one of the first bits of information Bakugou had ever willingly revealed to him in such depth, he’d be damned if he didn’t try to remember every word of it.

He cataloged a few things and labeled them Very Important, mainly being: she was indeed just a friend, he said her romantic advances were pointless- possible point towards him not liking woman, and it had been eight years since they met which put his age most likely late twenties. Not that Kirishima hadn’t assumed as much considering he didn’t appear that much older, but having the confirmation gave him even more hope to foolishly depend on.

“She sounds like she cares about you.” Kirishima said, more genuinely than he would have before when he didn’t know her standing.

Bakugou snorted derisively. “She nags me constantly.”

“Exactly.” Kirishima considered his own friends, smiled fondly knowing he was often the one doing the nagging. “She means well by it.”

“Guess you would know.” His petulant grumbling was back. “Bringing me food and shit like I’m not capable of taking care of myself.”

Kirishima stopped writing to look up at a harsh frown. “Hey... I’m sorry, I was just-“

A quick shake of Bakugou’s head and his sharp tongue made Kirishima’s voice stop working. “Yeah, I know. You were just. And so was she.” He leaned back in his chair, shoved a hand through his hair that flicked back into place once the hand smacked against his desk. “I swear, I finally have a place that I can kick them out of and now I got another annoying fucker trying to tell me what to do. I made it to this goddamn city and into this chair without a lick of help. I don’t need pity from any of you, and I’ll tell ya again, I don’t need handouts.”

Annoying fucker shot Kirishima right through the lungs. He sunk into his chair, chin tucking down against his chest. He didn’t want to seem bothered by a comment Bakugou would say about anyone, but it was hard not to when his stomach was inching up into his throat and making him nauseous.

Bakugou sighed at the sight of him. When he spoke next, his voice was softer and his shoulders had fallen. “Look, you’re not bothering me all that much. I wouldn’t have let you stay in here otherwise. I just don’t- I don’t like people doin’ shit for me, or owing people anything-”

“You don’t owe me!” Kirishima was butting in with a squeak once he found his voice. “I was trying to be nice. I didn’t mean to offend in any way.”

He hoped that would help, but Bakugou’s face only soured further. “I certainly don’t need you being nice to me.”

For the first time that night, Kirishima flinched away. The offense in his words felt like an insult. “Why not?”

“I’m not-” Bakugou started, but caught himself immediately and clenched his mouth shut. An audible breath left through his nose. He straightened himself up, took hold of his pen, and lowered his voice. “We should get back to work. I don’t want to be here all night.”

Kirishima wished he’d stop doing that. Stop closing himself off as soon as there was a hint at something deeper than the surface.

Kirishima wanted to speak up for himself. Tell him that he was never the type to be a suck-up. He wasn’t making an attempt to get ahead or find out things to use against him. He just wanted to be closer. But he knew he couldn’t tell Bakugou that. And he knew he had no right to hear what would have followed. He wasn’t even a friend- just a coworker trying and failing to be anything more than.

So his teeth took hold of his cheek and bit down to keep from saying anything else. He grabbed a binder, smacked it open with arguably too much force and started to actually read.

Sometime later, a rough sigh and the opening of a drawer caught Kirishima’s attention. Head up, he watched Bakugou pull a case out and slide on a pair of thin rimmed glasses.

“I didn’t know you wore glasses.” He deliberately left out the word cute despite having thought it at least ten times over at the sight.

“Don’t really. They’re pretty weak.” Bakugou replied absently, continuing to scribble something on the paper. He stopped only to click the pen against the side of his frames. “M’eyes get tired after long days.”

“You shouldn’t keep your office so dark then. My mom always yelled at me when I was little because I would read at night with just a lamp on.”

Kirishima realized then that giving up information like that had always felt so easy for him. He never questioned sharing with people- if anything he’d been told he overshared on more than one occasion. He often forgot that not everyone was like that, but the extent to which Bakugou withheld anything about himself left Kirishima with an uneasy feeling.

“I’m guessing you never listened.” Bakugou retorted with something close to levity.

With a guilty shrug, Kirishima laughed at the remark. “I’m guessing you won’t either.”

“Look at that. You’re learning.”

Kirishima’s laugh stopped short when he laid eyes on an actual smile. It was small and gone quickly, but it cooled over what ever discomfort was left from their earlier conversation. By now, Kirishima assumed he’d be used to the erratic nature in which Bakugou conveyed his thoughts, but it was beginning to seem that with each day Kirishima was only left more questions and no new answers.

But, like always, he took what he could get.

He returned that comment with a grin and another stack of papers handed over.

 

Once he reached the end of that current mound of files and charts, he took a glance at his watch. A weak sigh left him, seeing it was already past 10. If he was to get any sleep, he needed to leave in the next hour or two.

He’d made a decent dent in the amount of work Bakugou had listed off to him after the meeting. Hopefully he wouldn’t be too angry if Kirishima pushed the last of it off till the morning.

“There’s a few more forms that need fixing, but I’ll do them first thing tomorrow and have them on your desk no later than eight.” Gathering up his things in his arms, he stood. “I have a few things to finish up on my computer before I leave.” Bakugou gave him only a grunt and Kirishima shifted his weight to one foot. “So I’ll be going then.”

“Do what you want.”

Kirishima breathed out a laugh. “If that was the case, I wouldn’t have stayed this late in the first place.”

Bakugou grunted again, brows hiking up in mock surprise. “Didn’t know my company was that bad.”

“What? Oh-” He gripped his binders harder with one arm so he could wave his hand about. “That’s not at all what I meant. I just- no one wants to work all day and night. I wasn’t talking about you, and-”

Bakugou’s pen smacked loudly against the desk and Kirishima’s jaw shut so quickly he was surprised he didn’t bite down on his tongue. He was ready for a dismissal, a curt order to get out. He was entirely unprepared for the smirk that crawled across Bakugou’s face as he brought his head up. Kirishima felt his mouth go dry at the sight.

“Damn, hassling you is just too easy.” At Kirishima’s open stare, that smirk faded to merely a subtle upturn of his lips as he looked down again. “Go on. Finish your work. At least one of us should get outta here before midnight.”

Kirishima nodded stiffly, willed his feet to carry him away from the desk and to the door. About half-way over, he turned his head just enough to force out a few words. “Thank you the company, sir.”

“No need for the formality.” Bakugou countered, loud and overly firm as if his tone was forced. “Bakugou is fine from now on.”

Kirishima faltered, but managed to nod again. He hurried out the door before he started audibly heaving in breaths or let his burning grin be seen by anyone but the walls of his cubicle.

With a jitter running through his nerves, he felt himself typing faster than usual. His leg was bouncing under the desk just to rid himself of some of the energy pent up from such a confusing, thrilling evening.

He still had about thirty minutes of work that quickly stretched to forty-five as a result of his mind wandering back and forth between what had happened and what he was supposed to be doing.

By the time he was done, yawns were streaming from his mouth every few seconds. His eyes drooped, even as he stood and shut off his computer. As it was powering down, he slowly made his way back over to Bakugou’s office with one hand covering another yawn and the other stretched over his head.

Gripping the frame of the door, he swung forward and plastered on a smile that belied how exhausted he was feeling. “Alright, I think I’ve finished up, so…” Kirishima trailed off once he caught sight of Bakugou slumped over his desk. He stepped into the office cautiously, peering a bit closer. “I’m just going to head out.” He finished in a whisper but still took another step closer.

Bakugou had his cheek pressed against his arms folded on top of his desk. The sight drew Kirishima nearer, close enough that he could just barely hear the light, steady breaths puffing against his arms. Eyes closed and face relaxed, this was the most calm and undisturbed he’d seen Bakugou look since their first meeting.

Kirishima considered waking him up. Knowing full well from personal experience of sleeping on his desk, Bakugou’s back was no doubt going to hurt when he woke up. That thought was pushed away by the fear of being yelled at for coming in his office and being that close even after realizing he was asleep. Kirishima was more afraid of undoing the possible progress he’d made at not just being an annoying employee than he was of Bakugou being in a bad mood tomorrow from a night of mediocre sleep.

Yet he couldn’t seem to go anywhere, couldn’t just leave him alone.

He was glad the office was carpeted so his shoes didn’t make any noise as he inched over. He bent forward a bit once he reached the desk.

He’d never seen someone so rough and abrasive look that soft and-

This is creepy.

You need to leave.

Kirishima frowned at himself. Then the frown shifted down to the glasses pressing no doubt uncomfortably into his face. Another thing that made him wonder how often this happened. Had he ever accidentally broken a pair in his sleep? How often did he wake up with harsh, aching lines in his face?

It was risky, but Kirishima gave into an urge for once. He sucked in a deep breath, held it in tightly, and pinched the frames between his fingers. Inch by inch, he pulled them forward. Only once the temples slid off Bakugou’s face and Kirishima could stand back up straight did he let his breath out. He spared a moment to glance down at the glasses cradled in his hands before folding them and setting them gently on the desk.

There was plenty he wanted to do. Stand there and observe a little longer, brush a hand through his hair to finally find out how soft it was, whisper a goodnight- but most of his ideas were thrown out for being definitely too creepy for an employee and he considered what he’d just done as enough self-indulgence for the next month.

Hands in his pockets, he etched the last bits of the moment into his memory and turned away. Just as softly as he approached, he snuck back out the door. He pushed a hand into his hair once outside. The gel was beginning to fail after such a long day and strands of hair were beginning to fall down against his face. He clenched his hand lightly, tugging at a few crunchy locks as he sighed.

He passed back over to his desk to gather the strap of his bag and his thermos in one hand. On his way over to the main entrance off the elevator, he could still feel his nerves tingling and his breath being a little uneven.

“Calm down, won’tcha.” He whispered harshly, softly punching at his chest above the notable thump of his heart.

After flicking the main lights off and shutting the door behind him, he made his way through the dimly lit hall to the elevator. Down button pressed, he glanced down to his watch. By the time he got home, he’d only have six hours till he needed to leave his apartment and come back. If there was one thing Kirishima loved more than anything, it was sleep. The prospect of only getting four or five hours of rest would usually throw him straight into a foul mood.

However in that moment, after everything that had happened, he couldn’t really seem to mind.

Chapter Text

“So who are we bitching about tonight?” Mina asked as she grabbed the last slice of pizza from the box on her way to the couch.

Kirishima frowned while watching her flop down and almost hit the cushion with the end of the slice. “Mina please don’t eat on my couch.”

“You let him eat here.” She slung her hand beside her towards Sero who flinched at the possibility of sauce flying at him.

“I trust him not to get food all over my couch.”

Sero nodded proudly. “I am both tidy and trustworthy.”

Mina rolled her eyes and swallowed. “I don’t agree with that.”

“How would you know?” Kaminari sneered. “You just met him two hours ago.”

“My judge of character is astute. And I say I am a much better fit to sit here and eat this than any of you.”

“Okay!” Kaminari reached over from his place on the other end of the couch and tipped his beer bottle toward Kirishima seated in the chair next to him. “How’s about this?” He glanced back over to Mina. “You can stay there if you can tell us his name.”

Kirishima clinked the neck of his bottle against Kaminari’s. “I’ll allow it.”

“Easy. It’s Sero.” She responded confidently. “You guys have only mentioned him dozens of times.” With that haughty attitude, she took a large bite of the slice.

“Full name.” Kaminari fired back.

She was pouting then, stopping mid chew. “That was never specified in the original rules.”

“I’m making an amendment.”

Kirishima tapped their bottles together again. “Amendment approved.”

“Uh…” She glanced to Sero over her shoulder before turning back with a meek smile. “Ha- Hama?”

Kaminari let out a wheeze of a laugh. “If you’re just guessing, why would you go with such a feminine name?”

Her eyes cut over to Sero again, trailing down and then back up. “He could pull off a name like that.”

Sero stared at her before putting a hand to the side of his mouth and whispered, “Should I be offended?”

Kirishima and Kaminari both nodded.

“It’s your safest bet.” Kirishima said in spite of Mina’s dramatic gasp.

“Let me ask again.” Mina said loudly, wiggling against the couch to make it clear she wasn’t moving. “Who are we bitching about tonight?”

“So wait,” Sero interrupted. “I thought Kaminari was exaggerating. You guys really just sit around on Friday nights and shit talk?”

“Pretty much.” Mina swallowed the last bite of the pizza and shot him a grin. “Welcome to the club.”

Kaminari smacked his empty bottle against the coffee table. “Okay, here, I got someone. How ‘bout that mean lady who sits behind us?”

“She’s not mean.” Kirishima defended.

“She’s always glaring at me.”

Sero sighed. “That’s because you thought she was a secretary for, what was it? Three months? And even after she told you she wasn’t, you kept forgetting and still asked her to make you copies of things.”

“If she wanted me not to ask, she should’ve stopped making my copies.”

Mina shook her head and waved a hand about. “I’m not accepting her as a reasonable victim. Someone else.” With no response but a shrug from Kaminari, she leaned forward with her elbows on her knees. “What about you, Kiri?” He merely stared back at her, shrugging as well. “Nothing? Not even a little mad about anyone? Nobody shoved you on the train? No barista made your coffee wrong? Nobody pushed their work onto you?” He shook his head. “Really? Nothing?”

“He hasn’t complained about his forlorn love in a while. Why don’t we pester him about that?” Sero said with an arm draped over his eyes.

Kirishima frowned, sinking back into the chair. “Please don’t.”

“You’re right!” Kaminari piped up. “It’s been like a week since he’s said a word about it.” He turned to Kirishima, giving him a look both of mild concern and meddlesome interest. “What’s up man? You’ve been eerily quiet about things since your dinner date. After everything, you’re jus’ giving up?”

“Dinner date.” He repeated, unimpressed. “Couldn’t be farther from the truth. And maybe I’m just tired of complaining?”

Kaminari tutted in response. “Seems unlikely.”

Mina finished off her beer and sat the bottle next to Kaminari’s. “Did he finally tell you to fuck off and now you’re depressed?”

“No.” Kirishima muttered and brought his legs up into the chair. Arm wrapped around them, he leaned forward against his knees. “We haven’t really spoken much since then. And if we did it was only about work stuff.”

Oh. So you’re sad.” Kaminari deduced.

Yes.

“I’m not sad.”

Kaminari continued to nod, disregarding him entirely. “He’s blowing you off and you’re sad.”

Kirishima huffed but pulled his legs in a little tighter. “He’s not- there’s nothing to blow off.”

“There’s definitely something to blow off.” Mina mumbled to herself, going unacknowledged except for the quiet chuckle escaping Sero.

“You’ve just got to think of something to talk about! Walk in, be your-” Kaminari started gesturing vaguely towards him. “bubbly, happy, friendly self and he probably won’t be mean to you. Almost no one can resist your affable-to-a-fault charm”

Kirishima’s head rolled back against the top of the chair with a groan. “I guess we’ve found our outlier.”

The admission had another long oh streaming from Kaminari’s mouth. “So he is making you sad.”

It wasn’t entirely true or false.

Nothing in particular had been said or done between him and Bakugou to make Kirishima any more disheartened than usual. He’d left that night last week feeling as though things were going to turn around. Like maybe he would finally be at least more than a simple acquaintance or a colleague- at least possibly the beginning of a friend. But when he’d come back the next day and the next and every day since then, things were hardly any different. It was frustrating to begin with, seemed like all his effort to present himself as a nonthreat went unnoticed. Frustration gave way to a realization that no matter how hard he was trying to be friendly and open, it wasn’t and probably would never get him anywhere.

His fingers dug into his knees, teeth grinding like they always did when he thought about something troubling for too long.

“Kami lookit- you’re making him sad!” Mina scolded as she sprung to her feet with a clap.

Kirishima lifted his head back up to try and pout at her.

“None of that!” She pointed at him with the holler. “With sadness comes more alcohol until you’re happy. Who wants another beer?” She asked as she walked backwards towards the kitchen. “Even if someone doesn’t say yes, I’m getting you one anyway because it’s the weekend and the weekend is for drinking.” With three hands raised back at her, she shot them all a thumbs up. “Three more coming right-” A loud knocking against the door made her spin around. “up…”

She stared at the door, turning back around to find the three of them doing the very same. They looked between each other, Kaminari pointing to them then to himself.

“Who else do you know?” He asked, giving a very confused expression.

“I don’t- uhm,” Kirishima shrugged. “My neighbor maybe?”

“Surely we’re not being that loud.” Sero said and turned back to Mina.

She clapped her hands again and nodded. “I’m already up, I’ll get it.” Skipping over to the door, she opened it just enough to poke her head through as if what was going on inside was a secret.

The three of them leaned forward to try and hear what she was saying, but the door was clicked shut before they could hear anything.

“Was it an old lady?” Kaminari called to her, probably referring to the woman who lived in one of the apartments between his and Kirishima’s. She lived alone and occasionally came to either of them if she needed assistance with something- but late in the evening was hardly a time she’d be asking around for help.

Mina shook her head and clasped her hands behind her back on the way over to the couch. There was a look near to mild surprise on her face, something Kirishima never thought he’d see from someone so hard to rattle. “So, uh.” She rolled forward onto her toes while a wicked grin rose out of the previous disbelief. “Guess who.”

“Is it my other neighbor? Tall, dark-haired man.” When Mina shook her head, Kirishima sighed and rose to his feet. “C’mon Mina, you know I don’t like this game.”

“Fine.” She spun, practically throwing herself onto the couch. “I just thought you’d rather figure it out now before you walk over there and make a fool of yourself by being a stammering, flustered mess.”

He’d already taken a few steps towards the door, but stopped and turned halfway around. “What?”

She curled her hands around her mouth and whispered back to him. “It’s Mr. Bossman.”

What?” He repeated, this time more strained and unsteady. He immediately felt his face heat up and his lungs struggle to do their job properly.

Kaminari and Sero sat up straight, eyes wide as they watched her.

“I see it now.” She continued without any care for his inevitable implosion. With one leg crossed casually over the other, she gave him a wink. “He’s a lot better looking up close.”

Sero craned his head up at him. “What did you fuck up?”

“Nothing!” Kirishima yelped but deflated immediately. “Or at least… I don’t think anything.”

“How is he here?” Kaminari chimed in with another glance to the door. “Why is he here?”

Kirishima’s hands flew into the air before flopping back to his sides. “I don’t know!”

“Boys.” Mina called, waving her hand around. “You all do realize that while you’ve been having this little episode, he’s just been standing out there.”

Shit.” Kirishima hissed as he scrambled over to the door. His hand hovered over the knob, but he stopped and took a deep breath. “Hi.” He uttered just after tugging the door open.

Sure enough, Bakugou was standing there, staring at the floor until the door whipped open. He picked his head up, rolled his shoulders back, and pinched his lips together.

Kirishima couldn’t find words at first. It had taken most of his energy just to say hello. He knew his mouth was hanging open, but he still took a few breaths before blinking away his shock. “Did you, uh, need something?”

Bakugou opened his mouth, but it just as quickly snapped shut as he cleared his throat. “Like I said,” His eyes shot down to his side while his hand lifted a small bag. “I don’t like owing people shit.”

Kirishima glanced down to the bag then back up and shook his head. “You didn’t have to- You don’t owe me anything.”

When Bakugou lifted his head, he was frowning. The bag was thrust forward enough that it smacked against Kirishima’s stomach. “Well it’s a bit too late for that. So just take the damn thing, won’t you?”

The second Kirishima’s fingers touched the bottom of the bag, Bakugou was letting it go. He cradled the warmth against his chest, breathing in the apparent spice of whatever was inside.

“Would you-” He looked up from the bag, finding Bakugou glaring at the ground again with his arms crossed. “like to come in?”

“I didn’t buy it for me.” Bakugou snapped, the aggression in his tone seeming entirely unnecessary. He gazed up, eyes flicking over Kirishima’s shoulder no doubt to the stunned onlookers inside. “I’m not here to hang out. I’m here to give you this then go home and hopefully never have to do you another favor.”

“I’ve already eaten.” Kirishima commented reflexively.

Bakugou huffed, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Well that’s not my fucking problem. Stick it in the fridge then, idiot.”

Kirishima gave his head a small shake. “I never say no to food. I could eat again.” He shifted the bag in his hands and forced a smile. “Just not this much. “Want to split it with me? Since, y’know, you did pay for it and all.”

“I already said I’m not here to-”

Kirishima spoke over him, already turning to walk towards his kitchen. “Shut the door behind you, thanks.”

Kirishima stepped quickly from the door into the kitchen, ignoring the eyes that were on him across the small apartment. He sighed only once he heard the front door shut and heavy footsteps pass towards the others. Bag on the counter, he rushed back out into the open. The three had stayed on the couch while Bakugou stood in front of them, hands still shoved deep into his pockets. Kirishima would have been beyond uncomfortable in his position, but the way Bakugou carried himself even now was without a hint of fear. He just looked annoyed if anything.

Kaminari tilted his head back, eyed him with a curious sort of apprehension. “How’s it hangin’ bossy britches?”

Bakugou’s shoulders hunched as he bent over and glowered back. “Have you forgotten I’ve asked you at least five times not to call me that? Or are you really just that fucking stupid, peabrain?”

The insult did not have its intended effect. Kaminari merely grinned and relaxed into the cushion. “Smart enough that you hired me, walnutbrain.”

“A decision I regret every single time I see your dopey face.”

To stop any possible conflict right there, Kirishima hurried his steps closer and whipped a hand out. “This is Ashido.”

“Mina is fine.” She rebutted instantly, lifting her hand.

When Bakugou made no move to take it, it dropped back into her lap.

Kirishima paused, flashed her somewhat of a frown, and turned back. “Right, well, this is Bakugou.”

With squinted eyes and pursed lips, Mina scanned over him. “I’ve heard you’re a real hard-ass.”

Kirishima’s whine of defeat was thankfully overpowered by a bark of laughter erupting from Kaminari. He immediately sunk down and snapped his mouth shut once there were crimson eyes on him.

“Oh yeah?” That brought out the glare that slowly moved between Kaminari and Sero. “Is that so fellas? You been talking about me?”

“Y’know. Somehow you seem less threatening now that we’re not in the office.” Despite saying it, Kaminari’s tone was unsteady and small.

“Maybe it’s the jeans.” Sero added, looking as if he was pressing into the couch and trying to escape by being swallowed whole.

“I can still fire you.” From the amount of instances Kirishima had heard him threaten that, it was beginning to seem more and more hollow each time.

“This is supposed to be my happy place.” Kaminari whined as he draped his arms along the back of the couch. He tilted his head to the side, frowning against his shoulder. “Kiri how could you let him ruin our happy place?”

“You have your own happy place down the hall.” Kirishima grumbled in return.

Something dejected but also mischievous passed over Kaminari’s face. “Oh, so you’d rather have him here than me?”

Kirishima’s mouth opened, but he wasn’t entirely sure what was going to come out. Whether it was a lie or the truth, he was certain he didn’t want Bakugou to hear either. Thankfully, Mina began stomping her feet excitedly against the carpet to gather the attention on herself.

“Well then!” She exclaimed loudly, feet stilling. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”

Kirishima gave her a small, grateful smile. “No big reason. I had bought dinner one night when we were working late, and he was simply returning the favor.”

They all already knew this, he’d told them all about it as soon as he’d seen them the next day, but they were good friends who knew when to play along. He’d have to buy Mina at least two drinks the next time they went out for not making him seem like an embarrassing, pining idiot.

Even though that’s exactly what he felt like.

Her hands smacked against her knees. “We should let you get to that then, right? Before it gets cold.”

“I didn’t mean to intrude.” Bakugou said in a way that was almost polite. Almost. “I came to drop that off, and I have-” One hand finally left his pocket to scratch at the back of his head. There was an unknown feeling from Bakugou that was creeping in on Kirishima. Something so akin to nervousness he almost didn’t believe it. “I shouldn’t have come in at all. So I’ll just-”

“Hey guys, I have cake in my apartment.” Kaminari blurted abruptly. He hopped up, turning around with a smile. “Why don’t we leave- for no other reason- and go eat that?”

Mina glanced up at him but was quickly on her feet. “I’d love some cake.”

“Cake sounds wonderful.” Sero joined their hurried steps away.

Kaminari smacked Kirishima on the back as he passed. “See you later Kiri!”

Sero turned to wave with one hand while the other was on the doorknob. “See you Monday Boss!”

The three shuffling out left them in a heavy silence. The click of his front door gave way to a long stretch without speaking and only the puff of sharp breaths through his nose.

He watched Bakugou glance around the living room briefly, wondered how much nicer his apartment was than the shithole he and Kaminari had found cheap enough and still less than an hour from downtown. Bakugou probably got paid more than them- definitely did. His clothes seemed nice- always freshly pressed and wrinkleless, he bought coffee almost every morning, he had a few watches that caught Kirishima’s envious eye every time he flung his hand out for something to be placed in it.

Kirishima wasn’t usually the one the be concerned with material things or impressing others with what he could buy; but having someone that he so desperately wanted to please possibly scrutinizing his home made him ashamedly self-conscious.

“The food.” He sputtered, shuffling back towards the kitchen and away from his thoughts. “I’ll...” He glanced around the kitchen, suddenly losing place of everything despite having lived there for almost two years. “I’ll be right back, I’m just going to put this in some bowls. You can sit anywhere you’d like.”

Anywhere being either the small, round table he had set up on the other side of the wall, the couch he and Kaminari had drug up from the side of the road, or a chair his mother hadn’t wanted in her house any longer.

He turned around, tried to forget about just who exactly was standing in his apartment, and set to dumping the steaming ramen into two bowls. With everything divided except for the egg he kept for himself, he carried the bowls out of the kitchen and set them on the table. By the time he went back into the kitchen to grab the utensils from the bag, Bakugou had sat himself in one of the chairs.

Kirishima sat in the other chair across from him and tugged a bowl closer.

Bakugou did the same, speaking quietly. “I didn’t know what you liked, so I thought this was a safe bet. Let’s hope it doesn’t taste like shit.” He grabbed hold of a spoon and began stirring his bowl around. “And there was a place just down the road so I didn’t have to go out of my way.”

“How thoughtful.” Kirishima commented only somewhat sarcastically. “And it shouldn’t be. Bad that is. I’ve been before and it’s always pretty tasty-” He sat up abruptly then, hand squeezing tight around his chopsticks. “Wait- How do you know that place?”

“Looked on the map, genius.” He replied with a shrug.

“No, I meant-” Kirishima huffed, trying not to sound accusatory or as creeped out as he probably should be. “How do you know where I live?”

Bakugou choked in the middle of swallowing his mouthful of noodles. He coughed, the back of his hand over his mouth, and let his gaze wander around his bowl but never any further up. “It’s on all the forms you filled out to be hired.” Unlike his uneasy posture and unusual lack of eye-contact, he managed to keep his voice from sounding tense or embarrassed.

“You went through my file just to bring me dinner?” Kirishima finally sounded bothered. He wasn’t- probably should be. Probably good that he sounded that way. “I didn’t do that the other night so you would feel obligated to do something in return.” Now he sounded offended. Only slightly was. “Do you really think I’m that kind of person?”

“No.” Bakugou responded hurriedly.

The speed of his response was a shock but it did little to stop Kirishima’s pout. “You’ve thought I was just sucking up from the beginning, right?”

“I did.” Kirishima’s hand curled into a fist against the table. “But I don’t now.” The admission was followed by a shrug to play everything off like showing up at your employee’s home uninvited and unannounced wasn’t a borderline unethical thing to do and to pretend like he hadn’t just sounded more panicked than Kirishima had ever heard. “I just don’t leave favors unreturned. Don’t care what you think about that.”

Kirishima stirred his noodles around, brought a piece of egg up and popped it into his mouth to distract himself. “You could have just bought lunch one day.”

“Don’t you think I fucking know that?” This snap of a response was clipped and far too loud for it to be just the two of them.

Kirishima disregarded it by sucking a few more noodles into his mouth. “Then why go through all this trouble?”

A spoon clattering against the table is what drew Kirishima’s attention back up. He was met with an expression he was fortunate to not have seen yet. While Bakugou having his brows crumpled together and his mouth curved down into a frown was not an unfamiliar sight, the meaning behind them was something different. Something he couldn’t quite figure out but still made him feel warmly nervous. Something that made him swallow roughly and turn down to his bowl.

“Thank you for the food.” Kirishima said softly, fought the unexplainable urge to smile as he picked up his bowl and brought it to his mouth.

Silence enveloped them again, but it wasn’t as uncomfortable this time around. It was much more like the silence they’d allowed the last time they were alone together. It was a lack of necessity for words. In turn, they ate with swallowing and slurping filling the space between them.

“By the way,” Kirishima began offhandedly after wiping broth from his chin. “I don’t mind spicy food.”

Kirishima thought he heard a laugh, but when he looked up, he was only met with the subtle remnant of a smirk.

“I can assure you my spicy and your spicy are two very different things.”

“You think?”

Bakugou nodded and sat back with his arms crossed over his chest. “You couldn’t handle it.”

“Hmm,” Smiling down into his bowl, Kirishima pushed around the small pieces of noodles leftover. “Then you’ll have to prove that sometime.”

He knew he wouldn’t get a response. Moreover, even if he had, he probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it good or bad. To rid the possibility of any such thing, he stood and pulled his bowl up with him.

“You done?” He asked while extending his hand out. With a nod, Bakugou placed the bowl in his hand. “I’ll just give these a quick wash- be right back.”

Bowls washed and hands dried off, he shot a glance to the now empty table before stopping just outside the doorway.

Bakugou had moved to the couch, sitting on the edge of the cushion so he could bend over and reach the ground. Sitting calmly at his feet was a grey puff also known as Kirishima’s moody, reclusive cat.

Kirishima had gotten her as a housewarming present from his parents. Knowing how much he disliked the solitude of living alone, they brought the kitten with them on their way to help him move. Now two years later, she’d made her place as the guardian of his bedroom and usually only came out to eat or scowl out of the window in the living room. After the first time Kaminari and Mina had bust in through his front door to christen the new apartment, she rarely graced anyone but Kirishima with her ill-tempered presence.

But now, without any coaxing or bribery, she had her head pushed up against Bakugou’s leg, purring softly until she was appeased by fingers scratching under her chin.

Kirishima allowed himself to smile briefly at the sight before ridding himself of it and stepping closer.

“I’m surprised she’s come out of her cave.” Cave being the darkness of under his bed. “She usually doesn’t like how loud company is.”

At the sound of his voice, Bakugou sat up. Straightaway, his hands went to his lap as if he’d been caught.

“S’it got a name?” He asked, sounding entirely uninterested even though he was doing nothing to stop her from winding between his legs and the couch.

“No, I decided to leave her nameless.” Kirishima replied flatly as he made his way to sit in the chair near the other end of the couch. “Sometimes I just shout hey you! to get her attention.”

“Fuck off, won’t ya?” Bakugou bit back only to draw out a laugh and an apologetic smile from Kirishima.

“It’s Ao.” He conceded as he leaned forward and reached out so she could wander over and nuzzle against his knuckles.

“Fuckin’ stupid name.” Bakugou glanced down to her and clicked his tongue. “What kind of uncreative idiot past the age of five names their cat after a color?”

“Not my fault.” At the comment, Bakugou shot him a confused and somewhat annoyed looked. “My mom named her. Something to do with her fur or eyes- you know what, I don’t really remember.”

“Your mom’s boringly uncreative.”

Brows furrowed, Kirishima gave him his best disappointedly cross glare- which was weak in comparison to the ones Bakugou could manage- but he tried his best. “Don’t speak badly about my mom or I’ll have to get angry.”

Bakugou responded with a harsh tch, sinking back into the couch. “Momma’s boy.”

“Oh yeah? So you aren’t?”

There came one of his masterful glares. “I ain’t nobody’s boy.”

“Momma’s man then?” Kirishima’s mouth wobbled, verging on a smile as his tone grew spirited.

Bakugou went stiff against the couch. “Hah? How’s that any different?”

“If I’m a boy, then you’re a man.” Kirishima pushed his luck, finally curling his mouth into a grin. “An old man at that.”

Not an old man.” He relaxed slightly but crossed his arms defensively. “M’only five years older than you.”

Twenty-nine Kirishima’s mind supplied and memorized immediately.

“How sweet, you remembered how old I am.” Bakugou’s face hardened into a frustration of sorts at Kirishima’s musing. When Kirishima leaned forward further, Bakugou’s shoulders twitched up as he pushed into the couch. “Or did you just read that off my files while you were snooping around for my address?” Sharp eyes were off of Kirishima’s face in an instant. “You know, I could report you for that.”

“You wouldn’t.”

With a shrug, Kirishima sat up straight. “I might.”

Bakugou’s eyes were back, fiery now with unexplainable emotion. “Fucking do it then.”

“I wouldn’t.” Kirishima admitted, softening his smile.

Bakugou was quiet for a moment until his expression leveled and grew rather blank. “I take it back. You are annoying.”

Even just that morning, a comment like that would have cut deeply into Kirishima’s self-esteem and happiness. But something about the way Bakugou had said it, the slight discomfort evident in his form even though he was clearly trying to hide it, something made the insult rather harmless.

“You don’t mean that.” He said in return, smile never wavering.

Bakugou ground his jaw, jutted his chin out. “I sure as hell do.”

“Don’t.”

“Do.”

“Say it again then.” Kirishima challenged. “Try and be convincing this time.”

Bakugou appeared as though he was rolling a multitude of possibilities around in his mouth. He never seemed to settle on one. His face grew more frustrated until falling into nothing.

He rose to his feet, mouth open and hands on his waist like he was prepared to make a point. After another handful of seconds passed, his mouth was shut and he was turning away. With the third step he took towards the door, Kirishima was springing to his feet and blurting out the first thought without being able to keep himself in check.

“Why do you always do this?” It was too late. The words were out. There was no getting them back. The momentary relief of getting Bakugou to stop in his tracks was gone once Kirishima watched him grow stiff.

But he was tired of constantly watching what he said, how he acted. Tired of skirting around something that had to at least be a little noticeable by now.

Considering the damage had already been done, he sucked in a breath, landed another blow. “Why do you run away?”

Bakugou turned around to face him but said nothing. He took in a heavy breath, nostrils flaring.

The silence dragged on longer than it should. They were staring at each other, white-knuckled fists at their sides, tension stretching and begging to be snapped in half.

“You know why.” Bakugou gritted out eventually. His eyes trailed down before coming back up. A deep sigh left him just before he turned. “I’ll see you Monday.”

A brief glance was given over his shoulder as he opened the door, one filled with something on the edge of gloom until it was gone and he was shutting the door behind him.

Kirishima stared at the door, feeling trapped in place until there was a nudging at his shin. His head fell, meeting shiny, emerald eyes and a quiet mrrp.

He’d have to call and thank his mother for such a gift again soon.

Squatting down, there was a fuzzy head pushing back against his hand as soon as he reached out towards her.

“Yeah, yeah,” He hummed as he scratched lightly behind her ear. “I don’t understand him either.”

Chapter Text

The elevator doors slid open just as a yawn was stretching Kirishima’s mouth open wide.

8:27 a.m.

He was late. Forgot to set his alarm, woke up late, missed his usual train, even rushed on his way in, but now, he was late. Thirty minutes late.

He decided as he passed through the office doors he would blame it on the fact that it was Monday if anyone asked.

His steps were sluggish as he dragged his feet towards his desk. He usually gave himself a good amount of time to wake up in the mornings. Enough to get ready, eat breakfast, maybe go on a quick run if he got up early enough. Without that much time, he found himself feeling heavy-limbed and fuzzy-headed.

His absence had not gone unnoticed. As soon as he was rounding the corner of the short wall where his desk was, Kaminari’s eyes were on him with a quick announcement of, “Look who finally showed up.”

“I’m not that late.” He griped and flopped down into his chair. His bag slid off his shoulder and down to the floor while his attention was entirely centered on the coffee sitting in front of his keyboard. With a sigh, he slid it to the left and pulled his keyboard forward. “C’mon Kaminari, how many times have I asked you to keep your stuff in your own space?”

The cup was promptly slid back over. “Like fifty, but this time it’s not my fault. That was here when I sat down. Thought you left it here Friday.”

Had he?

Kirishima picked the cup up to look at it closer, the leftover warmth spreading to his hand. It definitely wasn’t three days old. “Hey Sero, did you-” He stopped short once he twisted his hand and caught sight of the small, scribbled Baby face near the lid.

He heard Sero swivel his chair. “Hmm?”

“Nothing.” He mumbled, smiling dumbly at the cup. “Never mind.” He brought it up and took a large drink, not even caring that it was less sweet than he would normally care for- or rather lukewarm for that matter.

Kaminari made a disturbed sound, grimacing at him. “Dude, it could easily be poisoned.”

He took another drink, sighing after swallowing. “It’s not poisoned, idiot.”

“Poisoned with love maybe.”

“What?” Kaminari glanced over his shoulder to Sero before looking back and most likely catching sight of Kirishima’s stupidly fond expression. “Oh. Gross.”

His expression was quickly wiped away once there was a sharp tug to the hair at the back of his head.

“Yo, what’s up with this?” Another pull at a large clump of hair accompanied Sero’s question.

Right, he’d never seen it like this.

Kirishima laughed it off. He set the cup down and turned around to smile at him. “I’m already thirty minutes late- when I woke up, I knew I couldn’t waste any time doing my hair.”

“It’s so long.” Sero was scooting back towards his desk, scanning over the hair falling limping to around his face. “How much earlier do you wake up to have time to do that?”

Kirishima shrugged. “Not that much.”

“Way too much.” Kaminari argued. “And he’s been doing it for years. Just think of all the extra sleep you could’ve had by now if you didn’t do this every day. Not to mention the money you’d save if you didn’t shove all that goop into it.”

“Hey, I’ve seen your shower and you use way more products than I do. Who even needs three different shampoos?”

Kaminari started patting his head, fingers carding through bright, shiny blonde locks. “What can I say? She’s temperamental and needs special treatment.”

“And that’s somehow different?”

“Definitely.” Kaminari replied with a sharp nod.

Kirishima was frowning at him, but Sero’s foot tapping against his shin knocked him out of it.

“I think yours looks fine like this.”

“Thanks.” He replied, but was outdone by Kaminari’s loud tease.

“Easy amigo, he’s taken.”

His boisterous statement was interrupted at the end by a rough punch to the shoulder.

“Am not.”

“I dunno man,” Kaminari’s eyes cut down to cup on the desk. “He’s already buyin’ ya shit. Coffee, dinner, going creepy stalker mode and showing up at your front door. Seems pretty official to me.”

Kirishima landed a few more, purposefully harder punches to his shoulder. “Could you quiet down?”

Kaminari was meeting his fist with an open palm after the first swing. “Chill. He never emerges from his lair this early in the day, and it’s not like anyone but us knows who we’re talking about. But more importantly, why are you not over the frickin’ moon right now?”

Kirishima probably would have been if he wasn’t so confused. Ever since Friday he had been so utterly lost. Just when he thought things were finally breaking past friendly small talk, it all came halting to a stop. He was trying to keep his spirits up, constantly working towards not letting it bother him. But it was hard. Hard when he was consistently dismissed or run from at the first sign of something not so friendly but instead more familiar.

He’d never considered the possibility of Bakugou showing up at his apartment. Maybe had once or twice in a hazy dream that he would force himself to disregard once he woke up. But actually believe there to be chance it would happen? Never. If he had actually contemplated it, it probably would have made him happy. It would have been a fond daydream that would fill him with a giddy energy.

But even when it did happen, he could hardly comprehend it. And he certainly hadn’t felt anything close to elated. He was confused, bewildered, dazed even, but not delighted. Sure, there was a part of him that basked in the fact that Bakugou had gone out of his way to come over, but it was a small part that was much quieter than the frustration he felt toward their undoubtedly charged conversation and then the abrupt departure.

There had been a bit of fear as well after Bakugou left. Fear that maybe Kirishima had overstepped. There wasn’t question about whether or not they both knew what he had meant with those questions. Despite having no prior intention of ever suggesting there was something more between them, he’d done it and he was immediately afraid it would undo every tiny bit of progress he’d achieved to that point.

But Bakugou hadn’t completely rejected him. Or at least he didn’t think he had. Surely he understood what Kirishima had been implying. The evidence of that was written all over his posture. And he hadn’t denied anything. Hadn’t even refuted the claim that he was in fact running away- and had done so more than once.

And now, there Kirishima was with a cup of coffee sitting on his desk that was bought specifically for him and no one else.

The gesture made him feel warm and hopeful but also vastly more perturbed. It conflicted with almost every conversation they’d had.

He’d drug himself to Kaminari’s apartment after Bakugou left that night, immediately chugged two beers, and spewed everything that had happened to their waiting ears. Frowning and draped along the couch, they had crouched around him and assured him it meant something. But Bakugou’s actions and his words were constantly at odds and Kirishima had a hard time believing them.

Even now, Kaminari and Sero’s implications were doing little to convince him. He sat, eyes boring into the cup with a frown that was making his face ache.

“I don’t understand at all.” He whispered.

It was mostly a thought that escaped through his mouth but also wasn’t anything he hadn’t said to them before.

“Look man,” Kaminari’s hand soothed down his shoulder blade. “I know you didn’t like it when I said this last time, but maybe you need to be more direct.” He scooted his chair over, dropping his voice lower. “He obviously doesn’t hate you. It’s not like I know him or anything- this doesn’t make any more sense to me than it does to you, but I promise you, this’s gotta mean something.” The noise that left Kirishima’s throat was unsure and reluctant. “Yeah, I know, but look- just forget about it for now. Let’s get to work, and later go say thanks and see where it goes.”

Picking at the loose rubber of his mouse pad, Kirishima let out a sullen mumble. “Do it for me.”

“No thanks!” Loud Kaminari was back- tender moment over. “Unlike you, he’ll kill me, and I don’t have a death wish today.”

Kaminari was scooting away so Kirishima sat up and tilted his head back. “Hey Sero-”

“Hard pass.” Sero quipped, drawing out Kirishima’s loud, disappointed groan.

 

No other mention of the situation occurred until fifteen minutes after the three normally left for the day.

“Hey buddy.” Kaminari poked at his shoulder which went purposefully unacknowledged. “You can’t just ignore me and keep working. I’m not leaving and I’m not letting you leave before you say something.”

“I’m not saying anything.”

Standing, Kaminari shot his hands over the screen of Kirishima’s computer. “You are. This little dance you two are doing is tiring me out and I’m not even involved, so I’m taking action.”

Kirishima’s hands stilled but didn’t move. He kept his eyes locked on what little bit of the screen he could see. “We need to stop hanging out with Mina. You’re becoming too much like her.”

“I’m telling her you said that.” One hand still against the screen, the other left to push Kirishima’s hands away from the keyboard. “Right after you go thank your difficult prince for being kind of creepy again and leaving you such a nice gift.”

Kirishima turned his head up, eyes wide and mouth in a deep frown.

“Nuh-uh. No puppy dog face. That doesn’t work on me.” With Kirishima’s attention finally away from his work, Kaminari stood up straight and crossed his arms. “You know if you don’t acknowledge this with at least a thank you nothing is going to change. Do you want things to change or stay the same?” Kirishima didn’t reply outright, but his sigh said enough. “Exactly. Now go. I’m hungry and we want to leave- right Sero?”

“Please don’t drag me into this.” Sero retorted, standing up and clicking his monitor off.

Kirishima held Kaminari’s resolute stare until inevitably giving in and pushing himself up from his desk. “Will you save and close out all my work?”

“Certainly!” Kaminari declared with a solute and a stomp of his foot.

Shooting him one last unimpressed look, Kirishima lugged himself across the office. At least he’d given himself enough time that most people had already begun to filter out.

Surprisingly, upon reaching the office, the door was entirely open. It was rarely left more than slightly ajar, and he usually shut it altogether once people were making noise as they left for the day.

Kirishima was actually thankful that he usually had the chance to knock before walking in. He always found it hard to speak up in a quiet room, and his voice often cracked when he tried to get anyone’s attention.

In preparation, he cleared his throat just before stepping in. His presence went unnoticed by the hunched figure typing away despite the hour.

Kirishima shifted his weight to lean against the doorframe. He thought about beginning with his standard excuse me, but stopped at the last second and tried something, forced something more informal. “Hey, Bakugou.”

Whether it was the sound of his name or the voice that said it, his fingers twitched over the keys then curled into loose fists. “Can I help you?”

“I’m leaving.”

His lips pursed, eyes narrowed at his screen. “Would you like a certificate for today’s work, or is bothering me enough of a reward for you?”

It’s more than enough.

“Thank you.” Kirishima said instead. He gave a quick glance over his shoulder to assure no one was nearby. “For the coffee.”

Bakugou grunted softly. He still refused to turn his head away from the computer.

But Kirishima was determined and pushing himself to be strong willed, to figure out what the other wanted to hear. “It was horribly bitter and I didn’t really appreciate the name, but I’m polite and have good manners- so thank you.”

Apparently that was better than overwhelming friendliness because it gained him a slight smirk but still no turn of the head. Later on, he’d have to revisit the thought that maybe being his bright-eyed, sociable self wasn’t the right choice. Maybe he needed to approach things from the other, more caustic side of his personality.

Bakugou huffed out a sound that could almost, just nearly, be called a laugh. “Good manners, huh?”

“The best.” He assured, tilting his head against the frame with a grin.

“Is entering a room without knocking and interrupting someone working included in those good manners?”

“The door was already open.” Kirishima spouted back with teeth emerging to widen his grin. “Almost as if you were waiting for someone.”

Finally, he got Bakugou to acknowledge his presence with a glance. “Now you’re accusing me of things? You’re right, you really do have the best manners.”

The eyes made Kirishima’s confidence falter instantly but he still did his best to persevere. “Accept my thank you.”

“And now you’re making demands of a superior.” He turned his chair then, crossing one leg over the other and lacing his fingers over his knee. With Bakugou’s head tipping back, Kirishima could almost feel the gaze engulfing every bit of him.

The posture shouldn’t have affected him at all. A mere shift in the way Bakugou was sitting shouldn’t make the skin under his collar itch. But something about it seemed powerful, and haughty, and Kirishima loved it.

His grin was gone. He swallowed which made him very aware of how tacky his mouth suddenly felt.

He attempted to appear causally unbothered. His hands went into his pockets, a shrug lifting his shoulders. “Normal people would say you’re welcome and be done with it.” His posture was fine but his voice was another story. The words came out strained and wobbly. He bit down on his tongue after hearing them.

Bakugou hummed, a low rumbly sound that had Kirishima’s breathing stuttering on its way out his nose. “Does that imply I’m not normal? Sounds like a damn insult. It’s as if you don’t know what manners are at all.”

Teach me then his mind urged him to whisper.

A thought which had his face heating up and his hands fisting the material inside his pockets.

“Maybe I don’t.”

That response wasn’t much better. Wasn’t far off from something that could easily get him in trouble. Especially when his resolve was breaking by the second and left his voice a bit too breathy to be unnoticeable.

He saw little of a response past the slight tensing of Bakugou’s clasped hands. After that, his eyes were off Kirishima’s face. He couldn’t tell exactly where they were, but it at least gave him a second to breathe.

“Your hair’s down.” Bakugou finally commented with little detectable opinion behind it.

Kirishima suddenly wanted to thank him again. Thank him for diverting that conversation away from the foreseeable, messy disaster it would have quickly become.

But the change in pace brought up a new issue.

“I woke up late.” Kirishima’s fast response was simple but held all the fear he had towards the possibility that it was unappealing.

Bakugou paused, thumb tapping slowly against his knee before, “S’not- abhorrent.”

Any other time, Kirishima would be beaming. But now, the only thing he could muster was a tiny, relieved sigh. “Be careful. That was almost a compliment.”

The air that rushed from Bakugou’s mouth was so near to a laugh but still not quite there. “I’ll try harder next time.”

“To insult me or to complement me?” Bakugou gave a one-shouldered shrug which came off much more coy than indifferent. “Although,” Kirishima began, still not being able to find the resolve to smile. “coming from you, I’m finding those to be almost the same.”

It was always startling to see anything resembling a smile coming from Bakugou. This time was no different. Something about it felt dangerous. It made Kirishima want to say things he knew he really, really shouldn’t.

“You’re catching on.” Bakugou replied, showing just a bit more teeth than usual when he spoke.

“I should go.” Kirishima breathed back suddenly, the only movement being his toes curling in his shoes.

This was bad.

He didn’t know how much longer he could keep the risky comments from coming out.

Bakugou uncrossed his legs but never unclasped his hands as he slid his forearms and elbows onto the desk. There was a significant amount of space between them, but the shift forward still made Kirishima feel like he was far too close. It was all too tempting not to rush over and take up the rest of the desk; splay himself out like he’d imagined an embarrassing number of times in his not-so-office-friendly dreams.

He couldn’t even if he wanted to. Couldn’t move forward. Couldn’t leave. He was pinned in place by Bakugou’s sharp gaze and the curl of his mouth.

“Who’s running now, Kirishima?”

Both a blessing and a curse came in the form of a shrill shout from behind him.

“Jeez Kiri, are you ready yet? I wanna go home.” Kaminari drew out the last word, long and annoyingly loud.

“I guess I am.” A fitting answer to both questions. Kirishima picked himself up from the doorframe and took one step back on shaky legs before turning on his heel. He couldn’t bear to be there any longer, especially not under those eyes that could easily devour him whole.

“Fuckin’ finally.” Kaminari called as Kirishima made his way back. He already had Kirishima’s bag in his hand and was slinging it around to make him go faster.

Once he was far enough away to not be heard, his feet picked up their pace until he was clearly rushing.

Sero had his hands on his hips, giving him an unwelcome, sympathetic smile. “Looks like doofus started whining at the right time. Your face is mad red right now.”

“Shut up.” Kirishima muttered, still feeling the warmth in his cheeks and ears. He took hold of the bag’s strap and tugged it onto his shoulder, pushing the back of his hand against one of his cheeks to push the blush away. “I already know that.”

Chapter Text

Such a familiar scene.

Bakugou sitting leisurely at his desk, leg crossed, fingers laced over his knee.

The wicked smile was new but hardly seemed out of place.

“It’s as if you don’t know what manners are at all.” The words echoed heavily in Kirishima’s ears.

They were repeated with the same tone, the same teasing taunt, but were met with a different reply.

“Teach me then.”

Smile growing, one hand rose from his knee and two fingers flicked to beckon Kirishima over.

The sound of the door clicking shut was vague. The room was hazily unclear as Kirishima passed through it. Standing in front of the desk with the back of his legs grazing against the chair behind him, he removed his hands from his pockets and clasped them together.

“You know I don’t enjoy people bothering me while I’m working.”

Kirishima swallowed roughly and nodded. “I just wanted to thank you before I left.”

Bakugou’s eyes narrowed just before he pushed himself up. His steps were muted against the carpet of his office, but they sounded like gunshots in Kirishima’s ears. Bakugou slipped himself between Kirishima and the desk and rested his weight back against it. His head fell, shook slowly with a dismissive tsk.

“You see, I thought I made this clear before,”

Maybe if it hadn’t been so surprising, the hand on Kirishima’s chest wouldn’t have been able to shove him into the chair behind him. The breath was knocked out of him when he landed against the cold leather. He scrambled to sit up, but a harsh kick to his ankle had his legs instinctively opening for the man to step between.

“I don’t do things to hear half-hearted thank yous.” Bakugou finished, expression disappointed but still somewhat amused.

“It wasn’t half-“

A firm, tugging grip on his tie jerked Kirishima forward and shut him up.

“I also don’t appreciate people interrupting me. You know better than that.”

The hold on his tie loosened, but Bakugou’s other hand rose to his chin and tilted his face up.

“You’re not going to talk back, right?” Expectant eyes were on him as Bakugou waited for a response that he wouldn’t dare give. Hearing nothing more, that conniving smile came back. A thumb swiped across Kirishima’s cheek. “Good boy.”

Kirishima could have missed the tight hold on his jaw once it was gone if there weren’t fingers undoing his tie in its place. Buttons were being fiddled with as soon as the silky fabric was slipped over his head and tossed aside. Just three undone gave enough room for a hand to push inside his shirt and skim across his collar bone before sliding up to his neck. Chills ran down his arms while his eyes threatened to flutter close. He kept them open. Forced them to watch.

“Teach you, huh?” Bakugou loomed forward over him, tipped so close that Kirishima could feel the words being spoken. “Let’s see how well you listen.”

Kirishima couldn’t help the sharp inhale that occurred right before their lips met.

He also couldn’t stop the second one.

Or the one after that.

Heaving breaths came in a fury out of his mouth as he jolted, suddenly surrounded by warmth and the dull, blue light of morning.

He blinked rapidly, the blurry sight of his bedroom ceiling coming more and more into focus as he tried to catch his breath.

One of the last gasps left in a sigh as he pushed himself up from the mattress. One hand behind him to support his weight, the other came up to rub at his face before pushing into slightly sweat-damp hair.

He glanced over to his nightstand. No charging phone in sight. He took to groping the sheets to try and find it. It had gotten shoved up under his pillow, but he quickly pulled it out and unlocked it. He squinted at the brightness before focusing on the time and tossing it back to the sheets with another sigh.

He was running late.

Again.

He must’ve fallen asleep without setting his alarm.

Again.

He wasn’t as late as last time, but he still had to cut something out of his routine. Shower or breakfast. Shower? Or breakfast?

A shift to stand up promptly made the decision for him.

Right, shower.

And a cold one at that.

He groaned as he stood and dragged himself into his bathroom.

He was a stupid idiot. A stupid idiot who had stupid dreams. Stupid dreams that left him feeling frustrated, and tired, and honestly- fed up.

It wasn’t the first time this had happened. Definitely not the first time. But maybe that’s what the problem was. It happened once, he felt embarrassed. It happened again, he felt sad. It happened again, and again, and again. In the past month, it’d been happening too often for him to be comfortable admitting. It was becoming more annoying than anything else. Annoying that he couldn’t seem to make them stop.

So annoying that he was fucking sick of it.

He deserved a good night’s sleep.

He did not deserve the shame and fatigue that went with the endless, compromising situations his subconscious decidedly forced him to endure.

Normally, a quick shower and food shoved in his mouth would set him in a better mood. But that morning, he could feel the festering irritation begin to be too much. Even freshly showered and hunched over a bowl of his favorite cereal, he chomped instead of chewed, harsh jerking movements making milk spill over onto the table.

He should be calmer by now- not roughly shoving his limbs into his clothes and grinding his jaw as undexterous fingers scrabbled with the buttons of his shirt.

This wasn’t the first time his dreams had veered in that direction.

This one certainly didn’t go far enough to be the most inappropriate of them.

So why couldn’t he relax?

What about that morning was any different?

The harsh light of the hall outside his apartment made him frown, the loud click of his shoes against the stairs only made it deepen.

“Finally!” He heard Kaminari shout as he stepped out from the stairwell. Kaminari shot a hand in the air, waving him over before pointing to his watch. “I was about five minutes from leaving without you again.”

Kirishima ducked his head in a meek greeting until he caught sight of Mina tugging on a light jacket over her blouse.

“Why’re you here?” It almost sounded accusatory, and his lack of usual pleasantness did not go unnoticed by her.

“Good morning to you too.” She said, frown going from bothered to concerned. “I’m meeting someone downtown and Kami promised to buy me breakfast on the way.”

“How nice.” He replied through a weary sigh as they exited the building.

“Would’ve been if we hadn’t been sitting here waiting for you for the past twenty-five minutes. Now guess who owes me a breakfast.”

“It couldn’t possibly be me.” Kirishima muttered.

She wrapped an arm around his waist and tugged him close enough that they swayed a bit as they walked. “Oh, but it most certainly could be sweetie.”

“Fine. Remind me another day.”

The silence that followed was telling of their curiosity, especially as they leaned back and exchanged a glance behind him.

“Dude, are you good?” Kaminari asked as he swung forward. “You’re in, like, an exceptionally grumpy mood this morning. Which is super rare.”

Mina was peering up at him from the other side but let her arm fall away from his back. “And on top of that, you’re the biggest morning person I know. So much so that it’s pretty irritating when I’m still half-asleep and you’re already shouting and bouncing around.”

He could feel their eyes trying to stare at him long enough to figure it all out, but he could hardly understand it himself let alone explain it to them. “I’m just tired,” Is what he quietly settled on.

“Tired?” Kaminari repeated incredulously. “How can you be tired when you slept this late?” The look Kirishima shot him must’ve been clear enough, because Kaminari was flinching away and bringing his hands up in surrender. “Okay, okay, sorry.”

Mina leaned forward as she walked, glancing up at him. “Maybe he means tired in a different way.” Her head tilted, smile soft and comforting. “Right Kiri?” He only shrugged, but she didn’t push anything more from him. “I think that’s it.”

“I-” His annoyed eyes went to sidewalk, foot scuffing and kicking away a small rock. “I had another dream.”

His voice had been quiet, the exact opposite of Mina’s loud shriek. “Oh, a sexy dream! Then yeah, you must be tired.”

“No.” Kirishima bit back before slumping into a hunched posture. “Not exactly.”

“Not yet.” She corrected.

She’d pried the information out of him before. They’d been in a restaurant which was arguably one of the last places he would have preferred to discuss such a thing. He didn’t really have any intention of telling them at all, knowing he’d never hear the end of it, but no one had quite been able to pick up on things as well as Mina. And when she caught a hint of something, she took it as far as she could without causing someone to get upset or storm off. When she’d uncovered such a sensitive topic of Kirishima’s great personal shame, she’d taunted him shortly then asked for every little, none-of-her-business piece of information. By now, she knew full well what ‘not exactly’ meant and took full advantage of it.

Like every other time, he ignored her but also didn’t fight back. “I’m sick of it.”

“You shouldn’t feel bad.” Mina’s soft words were accompanied by a hand on his shoulder that landed lightly, with a subtle squeeze.

Meanwhile, Kaminari’s hand came more like a slap and a pinch. “Yeah man, it happens to pretty much everyone. I mean, maybe not with someone so off-limits and, dare I say, unpleasant, but he makes your heart wanna vomit tinier hearts and confetti- so it’s only normal.”

“I don’t feel bad.” Kirishima shrugged off their hands with a sigh followed by the readjustment of his bag. “Alright, I do a bit, but that’s not really the problem. I’m just- I don’t know.”

He could catch a glimpse of Mina’s frown from the corner of his eyes before she straightened back up. “Well it’s gotta be something. You’re not this down very often. So let’s do this- mission title, Kirishima’s Self-Discovery.” She glanced at her phone then slid it into her back pocket. “You’ve got about thirty minutes before you get to work, so you better figure it out by then or you know you’re not going to be able to focus at all today.”

Kaminari laughed loudly. “Can you even have a self-discovery in thirty minutes?”

“Not when there’s someone distracting you. Therefore Kami, you’re not allowed to speak to him until we get there.”

“Hey wait-” Mina was already shaking her head before Kaminari finished his whine.

“No. Our boy has some thinking to do, and clearly I’m the only one who’s going to make that happen. I leave you people alone for five days and look what happened.” Her finger shot up dangerously close to Kirishima’s frown. “You’ve somehow allowed a literal fairy to become depressed.”

Kirishima wanted to argue with her. He was not necessarily depressed. But at the same time, the thought of fighting back seemed more exhausting than helpful so he kept his mouth shut. Kaminari continued to grumble under his breath, but followed her request for quiet without even a single slip up.

The three commuted together whenever the occasion arose, but not once had it ever been done in silence. It was weird, and as much as Kirishima didn’t want to admit it, it wasn’t all that helpful. He hadn’t known what was wrong with him since he woke up, and a busy route to work clearly wasn’t going to allow him any time for introspection despite Mina’s wishes.

He refused to tell her that though. He gave it his best effort, tried multiple times as he stood, jostled around on the train, to figure out what was going on. But it all seemed to be for nothing. Even once they were out of the train and it was whirring away again, he was stuck both in his head and against the cold tile of the platform.

Mina took a few steps in front of them before spinning on her heels and stopping. “Alright gentleman. Here’s the crossroads where I leave you. What’re you gonna do Kiri?”

He fiddled with the strap of his bag, trying not to meet her eyes until she bent over and forced eye-contact anyway.

“What’re you gonna do?”

She wasn’t giving him any real options besides one. He knew that and she certainly knew what she was doing. But he couldn’t possibly be upset- this is what he relied on her for. Forceful determination even when all he wanted to do was forget about it all and pretend like everything was fine.

His teeth scraped against his bottom lip before he sucked in a deep breath and took a guess at what she wanted to hear. “I’m gonna say something.”

Her eyes narrowed, not entirely convinced. “And what’re you gonna say?”

“I don’t know yet.” He replied with what he thought was honesty. He was right with the fact that she wanted him to say something, but just what exactly was entirely lost to him.

Kirishima.” She stepped closer, finger jabbing into his chest. “It’s about time you make your intentions clear.”

“My intentions-” He repeated in a small voice, brows knitting while he searched her face for some hint of an answer.

“You’re cute and nice, but you’re not all that mysterious or subtle.” She continued, a little backhanded but still smiling. “My guess is, and considering what you’ve told me, he’s not an idiot, so I’m sure he already knows what’s going on but for some reason is as equally reluctant- if not more- than your thick-headed ass. So yeah, your intentions.” Her finger left only to come back down harder against his chest. “You are a grown-ass man with opinions and feelings. Make him see you for what you’re worth because you know I don’t fuck with this pitiful act you’ve got going on this morning.”

“Mina,” Kaminari warned, crouching down and giving her a wounded look.

She shook her head, judging eyes never leaving Kirishima’s face. “If you’re not gonna give ‘im some tough love, I am. Now, what are you gonna say?”

Somewhere along the way, her words made the disconnected thoughts in his head click together. Suddenly, there was a new sense of clarity for at least one fact.

He’d been going about this all wrong.

He was a grown man dammit and he’d been acting like some love-struck teenager this whole time.

That’s what was so exhausting. He was tired of tiptoeing around his own feelings. Why should he? You can’t get fired for having a crush on your boss. It was embarrassing, sure. Maybe dangerous considering the kind of person he had as a boss, but definitely wasn’t a fireable offense. Moreover, he hadn’t really acted on it. Anything he’d done could easily be argued as just being friendly. So what was he being so cautious for? He’d always managed to be upfront with the people he had even the slightest feelings for. Even when he was a teenager, he’d approach them all smiles and high-fives and tell them flat out- I like you.

Why was this so different?

What the hell had he been doing for the past month?

“Kiri?” Mina called softly, determined look exchanged for one of worry.

He must’ve been staring.

“I’ve just gotta tell him.” He replied, vision focusing once again on her face.

She perked up, smiling gingerly. “You sure? I don’t wanna force you.”

“What happened to tough love?” Kaminari mumbled.

Kirishima gave her a firm nod. “I don’t know what’s been wrong with me. I don’t need wait around for other people to make things happen- and that includes what happens in my love life.”

Kaminari let out a quiet gross along with a hacking sound at the words ‘love life’ but Mina was fervently waving a hand at him. “Hush, he’s having a breakthrough.”

“It’s not a breakthrough.” It was. “I’m just done.”

“With him?” Kaminari asked quietly, almost fearfully.

Kirishima’s face screwed up in a confusion. “What? No. With pretending like nothing is going on.”

Kaminari’s usual mischievous grin was back instantly. “So you do admit to pretending like nothing has been going on?”

Before he could answer, Mina was smacking the back of Kaminari’s head with each word. “I told you. Not. Right. Now. He’s busy, let him work through this.”

Determined, Kirishima’s brows furrowed and he grabbed Kaminari by the wrist. “Come on. We need to go.”

“Text me later!” Mina shouted after them with a wave as Kirishima began rushing them away from the station.

It took a bit of effort, but Kaminari eventually caught up to his pace and jerked his hand free.

“So I’m confused.” He started in between breaths as they rushed down the street. “You’re just gonna march in there and then what? Confess? Ask him out? Pronounce your unadulterated and undying love?”

“It’s not that dramatic.” Kirishima dismissed with a sneer. “And honestly, I don’t know yet.”

“You don’t know?” Judging from his loud tone, Kaminari’s face was probably wild with surprise. “Then why are we practically running?”

“We’re late!”

“Yeah, well, we’re already late so what’s ten extra minutes of being late gonna harm?”

“We’re late, and I don’t want to lose my nerve.”

Kaminari’s hand landed on his back and began pushing them even faster down the sidewalk. “Okay, see that I can believe.”

 

Kaminari didn’t start up again until they were at their desks. He allowed Kirishima about thirty seconds of staring into space before he was bumping him gently with an elbow. “Okay- do you know what you’re going to say yet?” Kirishima’s stare at his keyboard turned into more of a pout. “Thought so. Alright then, listen up.”

Sighing, Kirishima dropped his bag at his desk. “What?”

“What are you?” His question went along with a familiar glint in his eyes that was stern but supportive.

“A man.” He answered as if it was a reflex.

It wasn’t the first time they’d had this exchange, but usually Kaminari only asked that to get him to do things like jump off of a too high to be safe ledge or once when he dared Kirishima to eat a concoction of every condiment he had in his fridge.

“That’s right.” Kaminari nodded with a snap of his fingers. “And what do men do?”

“Uh,” His head tilted, mouth slanting down with it. “Be manly?”

“Well clearly.” Kaminari sounded exhausted as he gripped Kirishima by the shoulders. “But no, idiot-”

“Should you really be the one calling me an idiot?”

His shoulders were shaken in retaliation. “Anyway! No. Men get shit done.”

He pushed Kaminari’s hands away to stop the shaking and began readjusting his shirt. “How was I ever supposed to guess that?”

He merely gained a loud whine in return. “Kirishima, please just say it back to me.”

Clothes situated the way he wanted, he looked back up. “Men get shit done.”

Kaminari grinned and crossed his arms triumphantly. “Again!”

“Men get shit done.” He repeated, squaring his shoulders a bit and donning a resolute stare.

“Good! Now go do just that.”

Sero wandered between the desks, a cup of coffee from the break room in one hand while the other rose to block a yawn. “What’s he doing?”

Kirishima’s hard-set gaze landed on him only to make Sero’s brows jump up in confusion. “I’m getting shit done.”

Just as Kirishima turned to begin stomping away he heard Sero sit down and mutter out a response. “Yeah, okay. ‘Cause I know what that means.”

Kirishima made his way to the office quickly before he had the chance to talk himself out of it. He didn’t bother knocking- simply opened the door and pushed it back shut without even a greeting. He saw a flash of Bakugou’s eyes but they were back to his desk just as fast. Bakugou probably hadn’t even glanced up long enough to catch sight of the abnormal glower set on Kirishima’s face.

“Late again I see.” Bakugou droned inattentively while searching through a small stack of papers.

While the mere sound of his voice threatened to stop Kirishima in his place, he did his best to fight through it. Fists curled at his sides as he walked over, steps hard and grounding.

“You know, we could have a real issue if you keep neglecting to acknowledge the accepted business hours of this office.”

Bakugou had just finished talking by the time Kirishima reached his desk and smacked his hands down against it. “Shut up.” He said, short and loud. He leaned over the desk, tie falling and dangling down from his neck.

Wild eyes stared back at him in disbelief. They ran over him as a whole before coming back up and looking him square in the face. “What the fuck do you think you’re-”

“Shut up.” He demanded again, fingers clenching against the wood.

Bakugou’s mouth parted but shut again after a moment and grit to the side.

Kirishima sucked in a breath, gathered all the confidence he could, and pushed out the only words he could think of quickly and airy on the exhale. “Have you been flirting with me or not?”

There was a brief second where Bakugou was genuinely surprised and showed it all over his face. His eyes went a little wider, mouth opening just a bit more, tension draining away from his brow and jaw as a result of sheer shock.

Just like that, it was gone again. Kirishima’s moment of successfully stunning this frustratingly incomprehensible man had been fleeting and hardly worth the possible consequence of ruining every possibility he had at a normal professional relationship.

But it was too late. He said it and there was no taking it back or playing it off like a joke.

So Kirishima powered through the silence and kept his face emotionless and strong. He did what he knew best in these situations. He talked until someone stopped him or got so annoyed they left. “I’m tired of running circles around my brain trying to figure it out. It seems like maybe you are, but I’m also pretty shit and detecting those things. And I don’t know if this is just some weird power trip for you or something, but I need to know what’s going on so I can figure out how to feel about it all.”

Some internal thought along the way must have snapped Bakugou out of his stupor, because he was shifting in his chair then grabbing a binder and opening it.

Not at all the reaction Kirishima had expected.

He had really said it, hadn’t he?

A moment later, Bakugou glanced back up with one brow hiked expectantly. “Do you wanna get dinner?”

Blinking dumbly, Kirishima rose off the desk with his hands falling limply against his sides. “What?”

“Dinner.” Bakugou glanced to his watch before grabbing a pen and continuing his work. “Not today. Tomorrow maybe. How ‘bout it?”

“Wha- I-” Kirishima shook his head trying to jostle his brain into working again. “You didn’t answer my question.”

There was a flick of his signature before the paper was tossed aside in place of another. “You didn’t answer mine either.”

“I asked first.”

“Hell of an astute observation.” Bakugou lifted his head, face as confusingly blank as always when he didn’t look angry. “So, dinner?”

“Will you answer me then?”

A brief puzzled look came over Bakugou before his face was neutral once more and falling down to his desk. “The offer wasn’t a bribe. But sure. Let’s do that. I’ll answer you then.”

“Where?”

Bakugou’s scribbling stopped until he was pulling an index card from a drawer and holding it up along with a pen.

Kirishima stared back at him, clearly unsure, while Bakugou grew impatient and began shaking the objects in the air.

“Phone number bonehead.” Bakugou was back to his familiar glare as Kirishima shakily took hold of the pen and paper. “I’ll figure it out and tell you where when I’m not busy actually getting some work done.”

“Okay.” Kirishima replied despite being entirely in a daze. He could barely see the card as he wrote down his number and handed it back.

Bakugou shifted up in his chair to slide the card into his back pocket. Settled back down and after grabbing his pen, he looked up again. “Was that little outburst all you needed to say?”

Kirishima thought he managed a nod but he also wasn’t quite too sure.

That wasn’t all how he expected things to go.

“Alright.” Bakugou’s head was ducked back down without a second more of a glance. “I’d advise you get to work then, Kirishima.”

Kirishima inhaled sharply, trembling hands somehow finding one another and coming together behind him. “Whatever you want, Bakugou.”

The left over part of his brain that wasn’t currently panicking or doing its best to implode was centered on making his feet work properly as he left the office. The bright fluorescent lights and the sound of the door shutting set him into autopilot towards his desk.

He felt heavy all over as he toppled down into his chair. Even glossy eyed and staring at his dark computer screen, he could feel himself being watched.

Kaminari was peering closely at him as soon as he stopped moving. “Okay, I want to give you space, but I also can’t tell what emotion you’re experiencing right now or whether I should be prepared to buy a sad Kiri care package or not.”

Kirishima didn’t know Sero had scooted closer until his voice was right behind him. “Care package?”

Kaminari lifted his hand to begin counting things off. “Hot Cheetos, some sort of grilled meat, alcohol- usually whiskey, and something to throw out the window- often a melon- anything that’ll explode really.”

“I don’t need it.” Kirishima slurred.

“Not sad?” Kaminari asked as he perked up.

“Not sad.” Blinking a few times, he turned his head. “We’re getting dinner.”

 

At nine o’clock that night, Kirishima was freshly showered, ready for sleep, and much more relaxed than after the first one he’d taken that day. With one towel wrapped around his waist and another laying over his head, he wandered into his bedroom and grabbed his phone off his bed. As soon as it lit up, a wall of texts greeted him from the lock screen each under the title Disaster Squad.

The first thing he felt was shock that there were only seven unread messages waiting for him. Usually when he wasn’t paying attention and their group chat started going off, it would take him at least ten minutes to catch up on everything. However, shock easily gave way to flustered irritation once he started reading.

 

Sero (8:32 p.m.)

so

Sero (8:32 p.m.)

is no one going to tell mom that Kirishima has a date

mom (8:33 p.m.)

WHAT

Sparky (8:44 p.m.)

okay so i gave him 10 minutes to defend himself but hes not here yet SO

Sparky (8:45 p.m.)

...

Sparky (8:46 p.m.)

he 100% does

mom (8:48 p.m.)

I told him to text me and this is what I get!! Unbelievable Kiri!

 

With a sigh and a frown, he pulled the towel from his head before tapping out a quick reply.

It might not be a date!

Please don’t make this a big deal!

 

Sparky (9:03 p.m.)

lol o k

Sero (9:03 p.m.)

Have fun on your date

mom (9:03 p.m.)

I’m buying you new clothes!!!!

Chapter Text

“This really isn’t necessary.” Kirishima grumbled from where he stood, arms heavy with clothes.

“Isn’t necessary?” Mina quipped while tossing another shirt onto his pile. “Kirishima Eijirou, you have the casual wardrobe of a nine year old boy and you should be lucky Bakugou met you at work because that’s the only time you look even a bit presentable. I love you, and I know I’ve only seen him twice, but he is another level of fine and if it was any other place that didn’t force you to wear a nice shirt and pants every day, he probably would’ve turned his pretty little nose up at you.”

His pout increased as she kept going, morphing into being annoyed and slightly offended by the end of it. “Just so you know, you can’t say ‘I love you’ and expect it to undo everything that follows it.”

She laughed and turned back to rummaging through a stack of jeans. “I love you, but you desperately needed my help. I’ve been wanting to do this since I met you.”

“What does it matter?”

She help up a pair, black, tighter than any he would ever choose himself, and grinned. “I want you to look nice for your man. Is that such a crime?”

She stuck the jeans out to him which he begrudgingly took hold of. “He’s not my man.”

“All the more reason to look nice.” She started walking away but waved to him after a few steps. “Gotta lock that shit down.”

 

Mina had bought him the pair of black jeans that clung tightly to his legs in a way that he wasn’t quite used too and a thin, grey turtleneck that was definitely going to take some time before he didn’t want to claw it off his neck. She’d only praised him once she realized he’d had a pair of boots sitting in his closet that “weren’t absolutely horrible”. She’d commended him that his footwear was usually the only thing that didn’t make her gag. That was, of course, apart from hot days outside during the summer when he chose to traipse around in a pair of bright red crocs that she had threatened to burn at least five times.

She’d shoved the bag into his arms and pushed him towards his room once they got back from the mall and before he even had time to change, he could hear the front door opening and shutting with a loud greeting from Kaminari.

Even once he was dressed, he hesitated in his room. Walking out there would mean this was all real and it was happening and it wasn’t just a dream anymore. His hand was on the doorknob, but he couldn’t seem to turn it and saunter over to them.

“Please come out Kiri!” Mina eventually called loudly.

“This is stupid!” He shouted back through the door, forehead pushed against the cold wood.

“It’s too late! I already paid for all of it, so you better wear it and be appreciative. You don’t want to make me sad do you?”

He sighed and pulled the door open just as Kaminari gave her a quiet, “That’s not playing fair Mina.”

“What’s the point of knowing your weaknesses if I can’t exploit them?” Kirishima came sulking down the hall as they sat bickering on the couch. “Yours is boobs, Kiri’s is being too considerate for his own good. Why do you think I say I’ll flash you every time I want something?”

Even as Kirishima came out into the living room they were still too wrapped up in their squabble to notice. Mina was grinning wildly as Kaminari glared back at her. “Hey… that makes me sound shallow.”

“Well-”

“Guys.” Kirishima said, waving his hands in front of them until they looked up.

He was ready to be mocked, teased, taunted- not stared at with wide eyes that eventually gave way to grins.

“You actually look good-” Kaminari remarked without trying to hide his blatant surprise. “Really good- and that’s coming from someone who, y’know, would never actively think that about his bro.”

Mina groaned loudly, punching Kaminari’s knee and causing him to flinch away. “Kami, we get it, you’re aggressively straight. You don’t have to remind us every time you compliment a guy.”

“I know!” He squeaked, pulling his leg away from her. “I just didn’t want him to think I might actually be returning his unrequited love for me.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. Kirishima is far too good for you. Actually-”

Guys.” Kirishima said again tiredly, lifting his leg up as far as it could go- which, unfortunately, wasn’t much at all. “I can barely even squat in these.”

Kaminari laughed but scrunched his face up. “Why would you need to be squatting?”

Mina was laughing with him until she stopped and her brows lifted. “Well-”

“No.” Kirishima stopped that inappropriate divergence in the conversation before it could even begin.

“Seriously, I’ve done some magic.” Mina stood, pushing Kirishima’s shoulders until he turned around. “Since when do you have a better ass than me?”

“Wha-” He started until the sound ended in a squeak as a sharp slap landed against his ass. He twisted away from her, glaring all the while.

“I’ve done a wonderful thing for you.” She announced while trying to smack him again only to be blocked by a hand on her wrist.

“I need to go.” Kirishima said instead of acknowledging any of that. He only took a few steps away before he was turning around and smiling through the beginnings of fear settling in his stomach. “Thank you again. For doing this.”

“Hush,” She waved him off, with a roll of her eyes. “You don’t know how much pleasure I got from this. I just hope you let me do it more often.”

Kaminari hopped up from the couch to wrap an arm around her shoulders. “Hey, if this goes well, maybe you can get him and entirely new wardrobe.”

Her eyes lit up at the comment, hands clapping excitedly. “Yes! Oh please let me do that.”

“I’m leaving!” Kirishima announced once again to avoid her enthusiasm. This time, he followed through on his way to the door. “Make sure you lock the door before you leave.” He spared them one last look once in the hall, matching their waves with a small one of his own.

“Good luck!” Mina sang, bouncing slightly under Kaminari’s arm.

Door shut, he pulled his phone out and sent out a few texts that had his phone buzzing in a reply before he could even return it to his pocket.

i’m leaving now

i’ll be there in an hour !


Bakugou (6:35 p.m.)

I’ll meet you at the station.

 

Some relief came with the reply. Bakugou had told him to meet at a restaurant he’d never been to, and with that, came the anxiety of trying to find his way there without getting lost or going to the wrong place. He smiled, fingers moving quickly as he barreled down the stairs.


oh !

okay

you don’t have to

but if that’s what you want!

Bakugou (6:39 p.m.)

It’s fine. I just left the office.

Even with the reassurance, there was still a lingering worry of being a burden. That was a feeling he had more often than not, and despite all his work on being less self-conscious about such things, he hadn’t quite overcome it yet.

okay then!

see you there!

Bakugou (6:40 p.m.)

Yeah.

 

His steps were hurried and clumsy as he walked. He’d been surprised at how calm he felt all day, but as soon as he had left his apartment, it all set in. Whatever this was- a date, a not date, just hanging out- it didn’t matter because all the possibilities were something. This wasn’t going to be an evening with his boss, this was an evening with a friend? Potential boyfriend? –don’t get ahead of yourself.

The split-second thought had him spiraling further into tense hustle down the street.

It wasn’t like he was a super chill person, but this level of apprehension was unusual.

Even if it was a date, it seemed unnecessary to be so anxious.

It hadn’t been that long since he’d gone on a date. It was just before he started the new job- so only a little over a month. He always felt somewhat nervous, but never leg-bouncing, palm-sweating, cheek-chewing nervous.

Even if it was a date, why had he let himself get so worked up?

Because you like him.

The rudely pointed out fact made him frown at his reflection in the window of the train while it wove its way out of his neighborhood. While he hadn’t always been enthusiastic about the other people he’d gone on dates with, he’d always liked them to an extent. He wouldn’t have said yes or asked them out if he didn’t.

Maybe it was the uncertainty, or the unpredictability of just who he was meeting, or the risk to his career, income, and ability to feed himself that made him feel so on edge. The rational part of him knew Bakugou wouldn’t fire him even if this was the worst date-not-date that ever happened, but blaming his nerves on that possibility was a lot easier than confronting the other option. The option that maybe, just maybe, this was all because he knew this was somehow different than any date he’d had in years. That maybe he liked this person a lot more than he was comfortable letting himself admit. And maybe he was nervous because if this went poorly, he wasn’t sure how he was going to recover. Those possibilities made him feel foolish and naive and certainly left too much room for getting hurt if it all went south. So he blamed it all on the threat to his job and not the risk of being heartbroken.

He didn’t think it was possible to feel both a sudden wave of relief and an entirely new rise of anxiety at the same time. But apparently it was and the two forces were currently waging war in his stomach as he walked down through the station towards the very person causing him to simultaneously feel like he was the luckiest person alive and like he was going to vomit the entire contents of his stomach in the middle of a crowd of people.

Shit, Bakugou looked nice.

Did he always look that nice?

Had he put more thought in than usual?

He probably always looked that nice.

There definitely wasn’t anything Kirishima could think of that he wouldn’t look nice in.

This was the first time he’d seen him in anything other than a button down and slacks. He was, in no way, complaining about that fact because professional attire definitely fell into the category of What Bakugou Looks Good In, but Kirishima would be lying to himself if he tried to argue he’d never thought about what he’d wear for a regular, everyday occasion.

This wasn’t technically an everyday occasion, but it counted and maybe provided the opportunity for slightly nicer than usual clothes that he, again, would never complain about.

He was thankful he’d gone along with Mina’s wishes. He knew he would be all along, but was instantly reminded upon seeing this picture perfect man leaning against the wall.

Kirishima’s own wardrobe could never compare to whatever pricey store Bakugou had most likely snatched his pants and sweater out of. And the shoes? Kirishima didn’t even know what kind they were but they were shiny and pretty and how could a shoe make someone look so nice? How could simple clothes fit that well? At least listening to Mina left Kirishima feeling far less self-conscious than he probably would have otherwise- but there was still some inferiority there that made him slow his walk as he approached.

He stopped a foot away, finding his pockets with clammy hands and swaying back and forth from his heels to his toes.

“Hey.” He offered, loud enough to be heard over the bustle but not too loud that it would possibly be startling.

At the sound, Bakugou’s eyes left his phone to land on Kirishima’s boots first before sliding all the way up and eventually reaching the smile that he had thrown on just before his conflicted expression could be noticed.

“You really don’t know how to be on time do you?”

Kirishima couldn’t help but laugh quietly in return. There wasn’t any bite to the question, and it seemed to unravel some of the doubt twisting in his gut. “You can’t possibly be blaming the train schedule on me. I don’t tell them when to run.”

Bakugou slid his phone into his pocket with a sigh. “Maybe you shouldn’t live so fucking far away then.”

Kirishima’s smile became more genuine as he hiked his shoulders up in a shrug. “Maybe you should pay me more then.”

Eyes narrowed and mouth pulled together tightly, Bakugou turned and started walking. Kirishima had decided early on that those small gestures meant he’d won that verbal battle. He felt his confidence swell at the fact as he hurried in step with him towards the exit.

Emerging through the doors, it had become noticeably darker since he last saw the sky. He’d seen the beginning of the sun set through the window, but now the sky had grown as deep blue as it could with all the light of the city. That was the bad part about the fall, the sunset being so early in the day. Seven o’clock and there was already no hint of the sun left. He always found himself to be in a far better mood and to be more productive during the day. With night coming so early, it always left him feeling fatigued and lazy. To compensate, he often got up earlier, but that helped very little towards keeping him awake past nine or ten.

He would have normally eaten either on his way or as soon as he got home, but he wasn’t about to argue with the time Bakugou had set. He was already beginning to feel tired, and the darkness around and the silence between them were doing nothing to wake him up.

It didn’t help that any assurance he’d felt dwindled rapidly as the silence hung heavy on him. It was going to be a long night if it continued the same way. He rarely had a hard time making conversation. If anything, he usually had a hard time shutting up even with people he hardly knew. But it had always been like this with them. He may have found the one person that made it hard to talk. Or at least start talking. Once a conversation got going, he found it as easy as always. It was hard to find what to begin with, but once he did, he could effortlessly spout off whatever he was thinking as if they were regular friends.

Were they friends though?

He cut his eyes over for probably the tenth time since they’d started walking to find the same thing as he had the last nine times. Bakugou was walking blank faced and seemingly unbothered by the lack of conversation that was dragging on longer than most would be comfortable with.

He knew he needed to just ask. Figure out what this was. Get it out there. Clear everything up so he knew what exactly he could allow himself to say and feel. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d get rejected and it probably wouldn’t be the last. It was better to get it over with than to continue doubting and tiptoeing around his own feelings. He knew himself well, and if he didn’t say something now, he would just be worrying about in the back of his head for the rest of the night.

He spared one final look to Bakugou’s profile before locking his eyes on the sidewalk sliding under his feet.

“Is this a date?” Kirishima asked abruptly, keeping his voice quiet.

Bakugou remained silent, but Kirishima refused to glance over at him. “If that’s what you want.” Was his eventual reply.

That answer certainly wasn’t something he wanted. He frowned, hands clenching in his pockets. “Is that what you meant by this? When you asked me to come with you.”

“Not really.” He said simply, like an obvious fact.

Oh, he’d gotten it wrong.

Kirishima was laughing out of instinct like it was a meaningless gaffe. “Ah, okay. That’s fine. I’m sorry for thinking that-”

“Hey, no.” Bakugou interrupted him in a rush.

A firm hand on Kirishima’s bicep had his steps halting and his head lifting quickly to an irritated looking scowl. His previous embarrassment and growing distress was replaced by a buzz under his skin. His arm tensed, eyes widened at the realization that this was the first time they’d touched outside his imagination past a few, formal handshakes or the brushing of fingers when handing something off.

He wanted more.

Bakugou probably misinterpreted his expression, because he was immediately pulling his hand back and looking away. “Look, that’s not what I was saying.” His eyes fell from the sky to the ground in a big swoop. “I just, don’t do this often- or really ever so-” Oh. “I didn’t mean it like that, but- if that’s what you want then-” He huffed, glaring off to the side.

So that’s it.

Some warm understanding washed over Kirishima and pushed away all the worry that had been gripping him since he stepped off the train that afternoon. He should have realized it sooner. He wasn’t the only one. They were both nervous, unsure what exactly was happening. It calmed him.

“It’s a date.” Kirishima said softly, and turned to continue walking without another look.

It only took a few steps until Bakugou was back at his side, head tucked down. “Alright.”

“If that’s okay with you.” He soon clarified, turning his head to grin but was stopped short when an elbow collided with his side.

“Shut up already.” Bakugou glanced over at him, but with the first realization he was being stared at, his eyes went back to the sidewalk. “Would I be here if it wasn’t okay?” He continued with a haughty tone like his mere presence was a gift.

Honestly, it was.

Kirishima proved himself right. As soon as that was out of the way, he felt entirely more comfortable falling into idle conversation about his day, his week, whatever else came to mind. Bakugou didn’t say much past a few comments here and there- Kirishima didn’t really expect much more. It was going to take some getting used to, but the guy just didn’t seem like someone who said all that much no matter who he was talking to. It was a bit odd, considering Kirishima usually surrounded himself with people that were just as talkative and enthusiastic as himself. More than once, he had gotten into a shouting match with Mina and Kaminari about who was going to tell their story first, and while it was fun, it was also exhausting. Having someone willing to let him ramble on and on without interjecting or talking over him was nice.

The only thing that actually got him to shut up for more than a few seconds to breath was a piece of fried pork roughly shoved into his mouth. The restaurant Bakugou had chosen was nice, dimly lit, quiet but not empty in the slightest. It appeared popular despite Kirishima never having been there or even hearing about it. He wondered if Bakugou came here often, brought people often, how he found out about, how long he’d lived here- that meant he knew a lot of places- maybe he looked it up specifically for this occasion- maybe he’d been here once and thought it’d be a good place for a date- wow this is a date- He smiled as he chewed. It’d been at least seven hours since he had eaten lunch and he was damn hungry by the time their food came. He was quick to eat most of it, but stopped himself once he realized he probably looked ravenous. A big gulp of water went down before he took a few breaths and sat back.

“Sorry, I’ve been talking a lot, haven’t I?”

His voice had Bakugou lifting his gaze from his plate but only for a moment before it was back down. “It’s nothing new.”

“I know.” Kirishima chuckled, got the blessing of having those eyes on him again in an instant. It seemed to happen every time he let out even the quietest of laughs. “People tell me I talk too much all the time.”

“Didn’t say that.” Bakugou said, almost indifferent sounding, and took another bite.

“I guess not, but-” He didn’t really know how to phrase it. He pushed a piece of pork around on his plate. He didn’t want to ask for too much, didn’t want to make Bakugou uncomfortable, but there was so much he wanted to hear. “I guess I feel like I don’t know anything about you. I mean we’ve worked together for over a month, but- well, I don’t know.”

Bakugou made a sound, close to something like a grunt. “It’s almost as if that was my intention the whole time.”

“Why?”

He thought he heard another soft grunt in response, but he couldn’t be sure over the noise in the room. Still, Bakugou just shifted and stayed staring down into his food. Normally, he probably would’ve just accepted that as his answer. He would’ve been more worried about overstepping than getting what he wanted. But this was a date- that had been established. And that meant this was something more- it wasn’t just him grasping at nothing. So he sucked in a breath and held it in his chest before putting on the sternest look he could.

“I’m not just some coworker anymore.” At least that got Bakugou to lift his head enough to look at him. “I talk. A lot as you’ve noticed. So if we’re going to do this.” He waved a hand between them until it fell back to the table. “Then you’re gonna have to talk too.”

Bakugou stared at him, and for a brief moment Kirishima was worried he’d been too stern; but then there was that elusive twitch of his lips that Kirishima was always eagerly awaiting to see. “Do you lecture everyone you go on a date with?”

“No.” Bakugou’s mouth slanted into something close to a frown but that didn’t change Kirishima’s neutral expression. “But no one I’ve dated has been as disagreeable as you.”

Bakugou clicked his tongue, “If I’m so disagreeable why’re you here?”

That was a question that he could go on about for at least an hour.

Instead, he shook his head and tapped a finger against the table. “Look here. Don’t try and distract me from my question. I know you probably just want to listen to my beautiful voice, but now it’s your turn.”

“Your voice is far from beautiful. More like a screeching bird.”

Kirishima didn’t even flinch at the lie. Not when it was said without any hint of derision. “You’re really good at deflecting.”

Bakugou leaned back with a sigh and crossed his arms. “Had a lotta practice.”

Kirishima matched his posture, watching the irritated twitch of Bakugou’s brows. “Alright, I can do the painful task of asking you questions until you finally decide to answer one-”

“I’d rather you fucking not.”

“Or you can play along and answer them as they come.”

“Why should I?” Bakugou asked, bringing his scowl back full force.

With that, Kirishima smiled brightly in the way he knew was always hard to say no to. “It’ll make me happy.”

Bakugou stared back at him with the same emotionless gaze that often accompanied irritation or exhaustion. Kirishima was ready to let it go with a sigh- hide how much it would actually, probably, bother him if Bakugou didn’t want to open up to him even now. That was until Bakugou’s arms tensed and he barked at him from across the table.

“Well, are you gonna fucking ask me something or not?”

Kirishima paused, ran through the vast number of things he wanted to know. His favorite color, his favorite movie, where he was born, did he have any siblings, was he allergic to anything- so many possible questions that he desperately wanted to find out. But when it came to actually deciding on something, one question left unanswered begged to be known more than any of the others.

“I think there’s already a question you never actually answered.” He replied vaguely, fingers fiddling with his napkin.

“Alright, here’s something about me.” Bakugou started and- okay, that’s not a pleasant tone.  “I don’t like stupid little guessing games.”

Kirishima shrunk in a little, but powered through. “Have you been flirting with me or not?” He asked, just as point blank as the day before.

This time around, he got no look of surprise- just the slight jerk of an arm as Bakugou lifted his glass to take a drink.

“What’s it matter?”

“What’s it matter?” Kirishima repeated loudly as all the concern left him abruptly. He leaned over the table hands gripping the edge. “Uh, it matters a whole lot.” Bakugou lifted a brow, staring him down over the rim of his glass. “First of all, you’re my boss-” After swallowing, Bakugou set his glass down with a tch. “Second of all, we’re on a date.” Bakugou had stopped looking at him, finding something across the room far more interesting. “You don’t think it matters whether or not you’ve been flirting with me when we’re on a literal date?”

“Shouldn’t that be your answer then?” Bakugou snapped, glaring fiercely at whatever he was looking at.

“What?” Kirishima asked, grip on the table going loose.

“Would I have asked you on a damn date-” He spat out the word like it was poison. “if I hadn’t been flirting back for a fucking month?”

“Back-” Kirishima echoed softly. “So the whole time-”

“You’re not subtle y’know.” Bakugou kept going, almost like a growl as he finally turned his eyes away from the wall. Kirishima was only let down when that glare went to the table instead of him. “Always starin’ at me ‘n shit. Talkin’ to me like we’re fucking pals. I’m supposed to be in charge- do you know how hard that’s been when you go all doe-eyed and smiley every goddamn time I try to tell you to do something? It’s fucking infuriating.”

Kirishima’s face grew hot as he sunk back into his chair. “You knew. The whole time.”

Bakugou settled down, voice dropping to a grumble. “’Course I fucking knew. I’m not an idiot.”

There was a lull filled with only the sound around them before Kirishima eventually shifted and looked back up. “Would you have ever-” flirted, asked me out, thought of me like that- he couldn’t say any of them.  “If I hadn’t-” He tried again but fell just as short.

“Probably not.”

He gave a laugh, reflexive, not entirely believable. “I should be thankful for my own lack of subtly then, right?”

“Yeah, we’ll see about that.” Bakugou murmured before taking in a bite of food.

“Why?”

He was stared at with an incredulous look before Bakugou sighed and swallowed. “Don’t patronize me- I know I’m not the easiest or most pleasant person to talk to. S’not like this is gonna be some fucking walk in the park for you.”

“Not sure what you mean.” Kirishima replied without a beat of silence. He was sure- he knew exactly what Bakugou meant- but he also entirely disagreed. “I’m having a wonderful time.”

Bakugou’s expression remained bland. Eventually, he stopped watching Kirishima to instead return to eating. “You’re weird.” He said after a few bites.

Kirishima smiled brightly. “Thank you.”

The look he got then was one of possibly annoyed disinterest. “Did that sound like a compliment?”

“Nothing you say sounds like a compliment.” He remarked with a shrug. “Doesn’t mean I can’t tell when one comes out every now and then.”

“You got any other questions in that hollow head of yours?” Another clear diversion from any hint that Kirishima had him figured out more than he was aware of.

“I’ve got tons.” Kirishima replied honestly and pushed his plate forward so he could rest his arms on the table.

“Well you better pick a damn good one. I don’t know how long I’m going to be generous enough to answer them.”

He took a moment to consider the next one, watched quietly while Bakugou finished the food on his plate and pushed it to join his own in the center of the table. “You said you don’t go on dates often.”

Bakugou was quick to interject regardless of his bored expression. “That’s not a question.”

“Let me finish, jeez.” Kirishima sighed and propped his elbow on the table to lean his cheek against his palm. “Why don’t you?”

“I’m fucking busy.” Bakugou answered immediately and with a lot less reluctance than Kirishima was prepared for. “Y’think I have time to be meandering around with some lucky fuck when I have a bunch of half-brained idiots to manage?”

“Then what makes me so deserving of your oh so precious time?”

Bakugou’s face was twisting up again as he searched the table for a way to avoid answering that question. With no route of distraction in sight, he turned to his other method of avoidance. Making everything sound like an insult. “You’re exasperatingly persistent.”

Kirishima smiled, cheek squishing against his palm. “No one else annoyed you until you gave in?”

The slight upturn of Bakugou’s mouth was formed around a soft exhale. “So that was your plan all along?”

“Not really.” Kirishima’s hand smacked against the table as he sat up. “My original plan was for you to never find out. But look how well that went.”

“You sure did a piss poor job of that.”

“Hey, I tried my best.” The doubtful look Bakugou gave him had Kirishima laughing softly and waving his hands. “Alright, maybe not, but I did try a little bit. It’s just really hard.” One hand went to the back of his head, playing with a few loose strands of hair while his eyes roamed about the room. “Being in the office every day and telling myself not to think about it, but I mean- I couldn’t just avoid you. So, I never really managed to actually distract myself. And then I’d try to talk to you and-” His laugh this time around was more embarrassed than amused, eyes fixed on a small stain on the ceiling. “It’s really hard to talk normally to someone you like, so I feel like I was always just kind of fucking up.” With the silence that came after, he brought his gaze back down only to flinch a little when he found Bakugou staring at him with some unreadable emotion. So he was laughing again and scratching at the back of his neck. “I’m a real mess, aren’t I?”

“Sure as hell are.” Bakugou retorted quietly. He blinked a few times and snapped himself out of whatever daze Kirishima’s ramble had thrown him into. “I guess-” He sighed, fingers tapping anxiously on the table. “Well I guess I’m no better.” Kirishima’s face must’ve lit up a bit because Bakugou was immediately dismissing him with a sharp tone. “Look, I already told you it’s hard to boss you around when you give me all those dopey looks- I ain’t saying it again.”

“You can boss me around anytime.” Kirishima countered, the words slipping out before he thought about the consequences. Affirmation of all his feelings proved to be a real threat to his personal restraint.

The reaction was immediate. Tension rising in Bakugou’s brow and mouth gave way to a deep exhale that had his nostrils flaring. “See- it’s shit like that I really fucking despise. You can’t just-” He puffed out his cheeks, slumping back against his chair in frustration.

Before, such a response would have had Kirishima withdrawing into himself in mortification. But now, knowing it was probably wanted, he could hardly find himself regretting it. “Despise seems like a poorly worded lie.”

“Oi, fuck off alright?”

If the lighting was better, maybe he could catch a small rosy tint to Bakugou’s face- but even then it would probably just be his imagination.

Both to Kirishima’s dismay and probably for the best, the current digression of their conversation into clumsy flirtation was interrupted by a small, leather bound folder being slid onto the table by their smiley waitress.

Kirishima offered her a quiet thank you but by the time he’d looked back down, the bill had been swiped off the table.

Kirishima frowned, extending his hand and grabbing at the air. “Let me see. I should pay my half.”

That small break in their banter seemed to be enough for Bakugou to reset and return to his stern, if not slightly standoffish demeanor. He didn’t take his eyes off the paper but he did bring it closer to his chest when Kirishima’s finger grazed the back of the leather. “Don’t get your fuckin’ panties in a wad and chill out. This is a date, yeah? Whoever heard of splitting a check?”

Despite his displeased sigh, Kirishima sat back and crossed his arms. “Then why shouldn’t I pay?” The grunt he got in return only made his frown deepen. “Oh, right. Because you make so much more money than I do.”

“I asked y’here, didn’t I?” Bakugou huffed as he slid his card into the bill. “Only makes sense that I’d be the one to pay.”

“Sure.” Kirishima lifted his glass and pushed his straw against his bottom lip. “We’ll go with that.”

“You want to pay so bad?” Bakugou flicked his eyes up and Kirishima bit down on the straw in his mouth. “You better be the one askin’ next time.”

Kirishima sucked down a large mouthful of water before collecting himself and setting the glass down. “Bold of you to assume I want there to be a next time. Maybe I never want to see you again.” Of course you do.

His voice was far from as poised as we wished it had sounded, but it didn’t matter all that much once he saw Bakugou smirking back at him. “Sure. We’ll go with that.”

Kirishima only allowed himself a few seconds of gawking before the waitress was returning to pick up the bill and he forced his eyes down to the table.

 

He expected Bakugou to leave him the moment they were out of the restaurant. He was wrong. He expected Bakugou to leave him once they were at least ten blocks away. He was still wrong. There wasn’t much by the station that he left from to get home. Especially nothing open at the hour it was. He realized then he was being escorted back. He wanted to say something to point it out, but at the risk of offending Bakugou’s uncaring facade and making him turn around, Kirishima stayed quiet.

He only spoke up once they reached the platform again, and the only thing left to do was wait for his train to come. He thought maybe Bakugou would mutter a goodbye and keep walking, but when Kirishima stopped, there was still someone standing just a bit behind him.

“You didn’t have to walk me all the way here.” He said, turning around to acknowledge the fact Bakugou was still there.

“Bullshit.” Bakugou replied loudly, head reared back in that uppity way. The way that meant he was trying to hide something. “I’m a good date.”

Kirishima let out a soft chuckle and shook his head. “That wasn’t really in question.”

“Yeah, well.” The comment seemed to make him deflate slightly. He hunched over into his usual slouch and quieted down. “It includes walking you places. And it’s not like I’m about to go all the way to whatever hell hole you crawl out of every morning so it’s not a big deal.”

‘I’m doing this because I want to’ is what Kirishima heard, but he just smiled along and nodded. “I appreciate it.”

“You sure are easy to impress.”

His head tilted a little, grin splitting wide enough that his eyes went narrow. “Makes your job easy though, doesn’t it?”

A big shock came in the form of Bakugou’s hand on his face, four fingers on one cheek, a thumb on the other that squeezed and squished his mouth.

“Stop giving me that look. It’s fuckin’ annoying.”

“I’ve been tol’ s’cute.” He said almost unintelligibly through his pinched lips.

Bakugou’s glare deepened as his hand squeezed a little harder then released Kirishima’s face. “Didn’t hear me say that, didya?”

Kirishima moved his jaw around, smacked his mouth, and wet his lips. “I think it was implied.”

“Wasn’t.”

He grinned in just the same way as soon as he could, fingers rubbing against his jeans as his hands swung at his sides. “Mm, okay. It wasn’t.”

Bakugou looked frustrated with his brows drawn together and his jaw moving around like he didn’t know what to do with it. “I never should’ve asked you out.” He decided on finally, casting his gaze to the side. “You’ve gotten too cocky.”

Kirishima’s mouth opened to quip back, but his train screeched to a halt behind him and made his mouth shut. He waited briefly to see if Bakugou would say anything else, but when he was only met with silence, he began to turn around. That was until an arm wrapped around his back and tugged him forward. They were about the same height- he maybe had an inch on Bakugou-  but he couldn’t help feel small as he was pulled close to his chest. When had he gotten so close? His chin bumped against Bakugou’s shoulder, eyes wide with surprise.

Before he had any chance to react or savor the fact that he was actually being hugged, he was pushed back. He considered complaining about the brevity of their first hug, but when his vision became blurry with deadly eyes drawing close and his slightly parted mouth was met with a questionably too firm press of lips, he could hardly find it in himself to think about anything else.

Arms limp at his sides, he couldn’t seem to move even after the realization set in of Oh shit, he’s totally kissing you. There’s a mouth on your mouth.  You should probably do something.

By the time he managed to lift his arms and let his fingers twitch in the air, the warmth was gone and there was air rushing into his face as Bakugou quickly stepped back.

“Text me when you get home.” Bakugou said casually, like nothing monumental and earth-shattering and life-changing had just happened.

“So thoughtful.” Kirishima commented with none of the snarky inflection that he intended.

“Go.” Bakugou flicked his chin up with the word. “You’ll miss your train idiot.”

“I don’t think I can move.” He replied honestly, still staring at him, completely stunned.

There it was. The breathy sound that Kirishima had come to recognize as a laugh. One of these days he’d get a real sound of out him, a loud bark of a laugh- he just needed to figure out what would do it. But this time, there was a smile along with it. An actual smile that curled up and revealed pretty, white teeth. It stayed there as Bakugou spoke, stayed longer than Kirishima ever thought he’d see. He never wanted to look at anything else.

“You must be pretty weak if that’s all it takes to immobilize you.”

Finally, Kirishima gathered his bearings enough to pull out a grin. “I’m a man of simple pleasures.”

“Go home Kirishima.”

“I need help.” He still couldn’t trust his legs to move without crumbling. “Give me a push.”

Even as Bakugou moved towards him, that smile was still there and suddenly Kirishima felt like maybe he shouldn’t have seen it at all. How was he going to get anything else done ever again when Bakugou smiling at him- smiling because of him- was the only thing he was going to be able to think about for the foreseeable future?

The only thing that broke his eyes away from it was a hand on his shoulder that turned him and forced him towards the open doors of the train.

“See ya tomorrow, loser.” Bakugou snorted with a final shove.

Kirishima’s feet stumbled a bit, but he quickly figured out how to walk again and lumbered away with a shout. “See ya boss!”

He managed to grab hold of the overhead rail just before the train lurched into motion and left him staring at his reflection in the window. Unlike earlier, there was now a bright smile on his face that he hadn’t even realized was pushing his cheeks up until it was right there staring back at him. With a touch to his face, he felt a warmth and a tingle under his skin that he was sure would be lingering there the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

“Why are you in here?”

Kirishima looked up from his currently sprawled out position on top of one of the chairs in Bakugou’s office. His back was pressed uncomfortably against one of the arm rests, arm dangling behind him, legs hooked over the other armrest, and feet kicking softly in the air.

“I’m bored.” He responded simply.

Bakugou exhaled lightly- a breathy, amused sort of sigh. “We’ve been through this idiot.” His pen dropped against the desk as he looked up, and from the twitch of his cheeks, Kirishima could tell he was trying his hardest not to smile. “You can’t just wander in here every time you’re bored.”

“Hmm,” Kirishima leaned back, head tipping towards the ceiling until he had a nice, upside-down view out the window. “Tell me again why not.”

“Firstly, I know you’ve got work to do. And if you don’t, well you bet your ass I can find some for you. Secondly, you’re the one that’s so fucking worried about people finding out about this-” This. He always refused to say they were dating. Even after a month. Always calling it this or just vaguely motioning between them.  “-and treating you differently. And fucking thirdly and most importantly, I’m busy.”

Kirishima hummed in acknowledgment, heel tapping against the side of the chair. “So my handsome face is distracting you?”

“I’m distracted trying not to vomit at how ugly you are.”

“So romantic.” He droned flatly.

Bakugou sighed loudly- and it wasn’t amused any longer. It was grating and strained and probably meant he was close to snapping. “I think those reasons should be enough to get you the hell outta here and back to doing some damn work.”

Kirishima pursed his lips, curiously watching his distorted perspective of a plane flying through the air. “What if they’re not enough?”

Kirishima.”

That was not his teasing tone, or his I’m annoyed but I’m still charmed by you tone. No, that was a warning. A gravelly threat that he would instantly be angry if Kirishima didn’t pick his next words wisely.

Knowing this, Kirishima lurched back up into a sitting position and sighed. “Okay, okay, shit.” He frowned over at him. The frown only getting worse when he saw Bakugou wasn’t even paying attention to him. “You don’t have to use your boss voice on me. I feel like I’m getting scolded.”

He didn’t even get as much as a lift of a brow. Bakugou simply continued typing away and ignoring his blatant pouting from across the desk.

It wasn’t fair. Not uncommon. But certainly not fair.

Although, Kirishima would probably do the same if he had someone interrupting his work on a pretty frequent basis with no important questions or meaningful conversation.

But he couldn’t help himself anymore.

One month.

They’d been dating for a month now.

Well, four weeks and five days to be exact- but really, who was counting?

Kirishima was.

Because it had been the best four weeks and five days of his twenty-four years on the planet.

Within those four weeks and five days, they’d gone on a total of seven dates. Bakugou didn’t consider most of them dates. He would much rather claim they just happened to be getting lunch at the same time and the same place and sit together and talk quietly and steal each other’s food and- dammit they were dates and Kirishima was one day going to convince him of that. Deep down, he knew Bakugou thought the same but was probably just trying to be difficult or act like he didn’t care.

But Bakugou did care. And that much was clear from the fact that he could be found waiting around for Kirishima to finish his work and then tagging along behind him when he went to clock out and leave the office. He would pretend to just-so-happen be going in the same direction until, and like it was accident, they would walk into the same place to eat. He put in a lot of effort to seem indifferent. That was up till Kirishima tried to pay for things and then suddenly his hands were being smacked away from his pockets and Bakugou was angrily shoving money at whatever poor individual was unlucky enough to be behind the register.

Yeah, it was all just a coincidence.

Kirishima knew better than to believe it. And Bakugou knew that he didn’t. But they both kept quiet and pretended like no one knew anything. It kept things casual and fun, and Kirishima could be content with that for the time being.

However, while Bakugou refused to acknowledge those couple of outings as dates, he did not do the same for the three times they’d gotten dinner after work. Even when Kirishima outwardly referred to them as such, Bakugou did nothing to correct him or argue against it. After the second dinner, Kirishima had even been bold enough to ask when their next date was going to be. He expected a dismissal, a refute that that’s not what they were. Instead, he got a simple shrug and an “I’m free Monday” that had him beaming the rest of the day.

Also within those four weeks and five days, he’d successfully obtained an innumerable amount of heart-wrenching, breath-stopping, head-swimming kisses- and a few instances on his couch that could not be classified as anything other than disgusting, enjoyable, sloppy makeouts that made him feel like a love-struck teenager all over again.

Kissing Bakugou Katsuki was not unlike talking to him.

Everything had an impatient undertone and somehow felt like a challenge. He carried himself confidently but almost angry, all knitted brows and fiery eyes.

And as talking to him usually ended in light-hearted arguments, locking lips usually ended with a piqued force that felt like an argument Bakugou usually won. Bakugou thought he won too if his smirks that followed were anything to go by.

However, unlike their verbal arguments, Kirishima was always happy to let him win when it meant he was left breathless, dazed, and red in the face.

Kissing Bakugou Katsuki, Kirishima found, was something he very much enjoyed.

So how was he not supposed to sit around at his desk and daydream while mindlessly typing away? Daydream about surprisingly soft lips and opposingly rough hands and quiet sighs that so often fell into his mouth like the life was being breathed directly back into his lungs.

How could he pay any real attention to his computer when he knew just a room away was someone who would willingly, and had on multiple occasions, shove him against the nearest surface- a wall, a door, a couch, a desk, a copier- and not even give him the chance to protest before occupying his mouth.

Alright, maybe making a move on his boss wasn’t the smartest decision for his productivity.

So sure, it wasn’t fair that Bakugou was ignoring him. But how could he not come in and be distracting when even a simple exchange of hellos would leave him feeling light and happy for hours.

Kirishima let out a theatrically loud sigh which thankfully got Bakugou’s typing to stop. “I’ll go, but,” He was grinning the second he caught sight of Bakugou’s eyes looking over at him the best he could without turning his head. “You gotta tell me when you’re free this weekend.”

The silence that followed made his grin falter. He waited for the inevitable admission that this just wasn’t working out anymore. The little nagging pull of doubt that was always deep in his chest suddenly became larger. It was fueled by Bakugou’s hands curling into fists atop his keyboard and the vein in his neck rising which was always a clear sign he was clenching his jaw.

“About that-” Bakugou didn’t sound happy and Kirishima was sinking down into the chair nervously. Bakugou rose from his chair and walked around the desk. His eyes were trained on the ground even once he stopped in front of Kirishima and leaned back against the desk. “I know Friday nights are reserved for your weekly pity parties and shit talking me, but Ochako-” Who? He shook his head. “Uraraka-” Ah. “She’s been… hounding me.” One hand went to his pocket while the other brushed at the back of his neck. “To, you know, bring you around or whatever. Nosy fucks can’t even keep themselves outta a single, tiny part of my life-” He was frowning, but it wasn’t angry. More like embarrassed.

Oh. Kirishima was suddenly trying not to smile at how cute it was.

“My- friends,” His lips curled up in disgust at the word like it felt uncomfortable in his mouth. “They’re fucking annoying, but they’re- well-” He sighed roughly but finally his eyes came off the floor. They were shining with hesitancy as if there was any way Kirishima was going to say no to the inevitable question that was to follow. “Alright, do you wanna meet them or not?”

Kirishima stared back blankly for a moment. He knew the question was coming, but hearing it- knowing he was wanted- realizing Bakugou had talked about him- it stunned him all the same. It took a few seconds for his brain to catch up, but once it did, he was nodding earnestly.

Again he stopped a smile when Bakugou visibly relaxed against the desk. It was laughable that he thought there was any chance Kirishima wouldn’t want to meet his friends. He’d only asked about them a dozen times only to be met with a distracting comment, a noncommittal reply, or a mouth pressed against his that quickly stopped him from thinking about anything else.

“Okay, then you’re coming to my place tomorrow.”

Despite living far closer than Kirishima did to the office, he had never once been to Bakugou’s apartment. The other hadn’t even so much as mentioned anything about his home. Kirishima had thought about it in length. Where it was. What it looked like. Whether it was clean and tidy or- okay Bakugou wasn’t fooling anyone- of course his apartment would be tidy. If his extremely organized desk was anything to go by, his home probably wouldn’t be any different.

So Kirishima had thought about it. And again, he’d asked about that too. And again, Bakugou had deflected and refused to say anything about it past ‘it’s just an apartment- it ain’t that special’.

And because of that, Kirishima was blinking in disbelief and finding a coherent sentence escaping him.

“Your… place-”

Bakugou wasn’t having any of it. He huffed, went so far as to roll his eyes. “Yeah, I gotta fuckin’ live somewhere, don’t I?”

Kirishima snapped himself out of his daze, waving his hands around and laughing. “No- of course. That’s not what I meant. I just- yeah, okay. I’ll come over.” Good. He’d gotten some words out. Now that he was back in the present, his thoughts became more collected, and he even managed a bit of snark. “So will you text me your address, or should I go to human resources and find your address somewhere in your file and just show up?”

“Oi, watch it.” Bakugou looked aggravated again, but that was so much more familiar than embarrassed. “I get it. That was fucked up. We’ve covered it. Let’s move on. Thanks.”

Kirishima threw himself to the side, feet landing against the carpet with a thud. Now standing in front of Bakugou’s unamused frown, he merely grinned. “We haven’t covered it though.”

At the first sight of his toothy smile, Bakugou’s eyes were off him again. Kirishima knew how weak he was to it- and definitely used it as ammunition as often as he could.

“There’s nothing more to say.”

Kirishima’s grin slid away only so he could try and appear as if he was serious. If being coy didn’t work, he’d try something else. “Uh, see I think there is. Because it was, in fact, a super creepy thing to do.”

“You saying I shouldn’t have done it?”

Tone bitter, hands griping the edge of the desk hard, shoulders hiking up a little- oh, that was a defensive outlash. Much more emotive than he probably intended. Maybe Kirishima shouldn’t have pushed him about this. But then again, the flush of his face suggested maybe Kirishima should do just enough damage control so that he could push just a little bit more.

“No, I would never say that, but I just hope you acknowledge how, again, super creepy it was.” He stepped closer, ducked his head down a little to look up at him with bright, round eyes. “I think I need to hear you say it.” Bakugou turned up his nose in a prideful little manner, but he wasn’t daring to look down, so Kirishima knew there wasn’t much resolve left.

“Come on,” Kirishima drawled out sweetly and lifted his hand to land against the side of Bakugou’s throat. He could feel the way Bakugou clenched his jaw and swallowed at the contact. “Say it.”

In return, Bakugou let out a quiet, strained, “No.”

“That wasn’t an option.” Free hand smoothing down the middle of Bakugou’s tie, he knocked their shoes together and began fiddling with the hair at his nape. It was a dirty move that always got him a soft sigh and really, anything he wanted.

“It was creepy.” Bakugou gave in, probably didn’t mean for it to come out almost as a whisper or with his eyes drooping as Kirishima’s thumb rubbed against his jaw.

Kirishima grinned and pulled Bakugou closer by the hold on his tie. He could see the small frown Bakugou gained at the admission, but he hoped pushing his lips against it would get it to go away.

It did.

Happily the frown left in exchange for a quiet, little gasp while Kirishima managed to get in two, maybe three kisses, where he felt in control before there were hands grabbing at his waist that made his knees threaten to buckle.

“You’re fucking irritating.”

The insult was blustered against his lips in a way that was no more menacing than it was sincere. But he didn’t even get the chance to refute it, to defend himself. It’s not that he really minded when he was much busier with other things. Like holding Bakugou by the cheeks- warm, blotchy cheeks- and doing his best to kiss the ever living daylights out of him.

“Aye loverboys.”

The loud voice made them both jolt. Bakugou jerked his hands away and tossed his head to the side while Kirishima jumped back, turning towards the sound. Thankfully and unfortunately, he was met with Kaminari’s smug smile as he leaned against the doorframe.

“Might I suggest you two be a little more aware of your surroundings when you’re here? I’ve been standing here long enough that I almost felt like I was watching the beginning to a bad porno.” He walked in, waving a few papers in his hand around as he spoke. “Now you know I’m fine with this little- situation, but I’m sure most of the people here wouldn’t hesitate before claiming special treatment if they found out.”

Bakugou grunted as he stuck a hand out. When Kaminari put the papers in it, he tugged them away, barely gave them a glance before tossing them to the desk behind him. “Great. You can go now.” He said while reaching back out for Kirishima’s waist. Kirishima was happy to step back into place, heavy palms landing on his hips as soon as he did so.

There was a dramatic scoff as Kaminari crossed his arms. “Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be? Not even going to look at them?”

“Jus’ did, didn’t I? Shitty and half-assed as always.”

Kirishima returned Bakugou’s self-pleasing smirk with a grin as he reached up and laced his fingers behind Bakugou’s neck. “Could you shut the door on your way out?”

“Kiri really?” Kaminari groaned and slouched in defeat. “You too?”

“Maybe I wasn’t clear enough.” Bakugou started up loudly, only glaring once his eyes were off to the side. “Get the fuck outta my office Kaminari.”

Kirishima could see Kaminari still glowering at them from the corner of his eye, but Kaminari eventually gave up and stood straight with a sigh. “Yeah, yeah, I’m going. I’ve got shit to do- and this homoerotic tension is a bit too much for me to handle anyway.”

“Bye, see you later.” Kirishima replied with all the sincerity he usually had in his tone but with none of the attention.

Bakugou’s glare followed Kaminari until he was out. As soon as Kirishima heard the door click shut, the irritation in Bakugou’s face was draining away and only left a few hints of fatigue.

Kirishima brought one hand away from toying with Bakugou’s hair to instead swipe a thumb under his eye. “Are you sleeping?”

“Don’t badger me.” Bakugou grumbled but didn’t pull away from the touch.

“M’just asking.”

Bakugou sighed, just barely started to roll his eyes again before he caught himself and stopped. “Yes, mom, I’m sleeping.”

“That sure does seem like a lie.” Kirishima pushed his thumb a little deeper under his eyes and tsked. “These dark circles say otherwise.”

“That’s enough.” Bakugou was pushing at his hand, trying to move away.

Kirishima begrudgingly let him walk back around his desk and flop into the chair. His hands went to his hips as he frowned. “I’m just looking out for you.”

“I’m fine.”

“I can worry about you now.” Kirishima stated to which Bakugou grumbled something under his breath- probably some insincere rebuttal. “I have the right to.”

Bakugou sighed heavily, scratching at his head in frustration before slapping his hand against the desk. “If you’re so worried about it, just stay tomorrow night and I’ll fucking show you how much I’m sleeping.”

The choking sound in Kirishima’s throat was loud and clear in the silence that followed. He allowed himself a single deep breath before he was grinning shyly. “That-”

One look at him and Bakugou was hunching over, a horrible mess of a frustrated blush high on his cheeks. “Fuck, wait that isn’t-”

But it was too late. Kirishima was failing to hold in his laugh despite his hands pushed against his stomach and his mouth.

“Leave.” Bakugou said loudly for a poor attempt at gaining control again. But Kirishima was already backing up towards the door, laughing all the while. “For fucks sake, get to work Kirishima.”

“I’ll look forward to tomorrow.” Kirishima mused as he gripped the doorframe and swung out just after hearing a sigh and a grumble of “fuck off.”

 

“So are we going out tomorrow night or staying in?” Mina asked as she reached across the table to grab a fry from Kirishima’s plate. “We haven’t gone anywhere in a while.”

 “We’re out right now aren’t we?” Kaminari replied around his mouthful of pizza.

“This doesn’t count. We’re only ten minutes from your apartment.” She popped another one of Kirishima’s fries in her mouth. He waved softly to get her to go away, but didn’t have the heart to tell her to stop. Especially not when he was dreading telling them that he couldn’t go out- or do anything at all. “And I meant like a bar, or a club-oh!” Her hands smacked against the table as she bounced a few times in her seat. “Can we please go to a club? We haven’t been dancing in so long.”

Kaminari shrugged and wiped the back of his hand across his mouth. “Sounds good to me, but I don’t know if Sero’s one for dancing. He probably thinks he’s too mellow for that sort of thing.”

Mina had a slight frown that quickly reemerged as a grin. She sat back, crossing her arms. “Well if we all go, he doesn’t really have a choice, does he?”

Nodding along, Kaminari took the chance to steal one of Kirishima’s fries as well. “I don’t think he’d oppose either way. He’s like that y’know- pretty easy to convince.”

“Alright then, it’s settled. We’ll go out tomorrow.”

“Wait,” Kaminari was elbowing him, but Kirishima kept his eyes on the table. “Shouldn’t you be the one deciding this? I mean, it is your birthday.”

“Ah, yeah about that-”

“You’ve got something to say.” It only took four words and Mina had him figured out. He went still and silent at the comment. Her eyes narrowed, taking in his tense posture and avoidance of eye-contact. “I see it in your face.”

Kaminari was close to his face then, closing in next to him and humming in agreement. “He looks guilty, doesn’t he?”

Kirishima leaned away from him but kept his mouth shut tightly and stared down at the table.

With a loud gasp, Mina was gripping the edge of the table and leaning forward. “You’re bailing on us aren’t you?”

Kirishima tried to sink further into the chair but Kaminari’s arm around his shoulders stopped him.

“What? No. He wouldn’t-” With a sharp look from Mina, Kaminari was suddenly gasping along with her and pulling away from him. “Unless you totally are bailing on us. Bro, how could you?”

“We’ve been doing this every Friday for over a year.” Mina shook the table slightly before releasing it. “How could you be doing something else on your birthday of all days?”

“My birthday is Saturday.” He corrected through a mumble despite knowing it wouldn’t make things any better.

“It’s tradition!” Kaminari shouted over him.

Kirishima finally opened his mouth but spoke quietly and with apprehension. “Traditions don’t need to happen every single week.”

Another round of gasps proceeded them leaning far away from him with offended stares.

Mina tapped her finger against the table before pointing it at him. “Don’t you dare talk badly about our traditions.”

“Do you not love us anymore?” Kaminari asked, and Kirishima knew he was kidding, but it still made him want to curl inward and flake out on his plans with Bakugou.

But no. Something else was there along with the regret. Something that made him want to talk back and tell them off for making him feel bad. He needed to think about himself for once. They’re not actually mad. They’d get over it.

In the end, he didn’t do either. Simply settled for something in between.

“I have a date.” He said determinedly but still in a small voice.

Oh, so he’s more important.” It was just a joke. Mina had made it plenty of times in the last month. They knew Kirishima wasn’t like that. They knew he valued them all equally, but she liked to pick fun at him. And he shouldn’t let it bother him, but it still pulled out a frown. She huffed dramatically- it was just theatrics. They all knew it. “He knows about our Friday nights though, yeah?”

“Yeah, he knows-” He started but broke off once Kaminari scoffed.

“But he doesn’t care?”

“No- I mean, yes? I think he does. I’ve told him before, and he seemed bothered by asking- especially considering what night it was, but-” He scratched at his cheek nervously but faked a laugh anyway. “Well, he wants me to come over and meet his friends and I guess tomorrow is the only night their free and I thought about saying no because I didn’t want you guys to think I’d rather spend time with them but then I also really do want to meet them but I still kind of feel bad and-”

“Kiri,” A hand on his arm, squeezing tightly, knocked him out of his slew of words and brought his eyes up from manicured nails to Mina’s soft smile. “We’re not actually mad at you.”

Then there was an arm thrown around his shoulders again and tugging him into Kaminari’s chest. “Jeez, you know we just like givin’ ya shit. You’re the only one dating right now, what else are we supposed to do- besides, since when have you been so soft?”

“Since always. If you paid any attention.” Mina answered, thumb rubbing comfortingly along his arm. “But that’s why we love him so much. Seriously though-” Then her hand was slapping against his arm before she sat up. “You could’ve just told us. It’s not a big deal.”

“We can have fun without you.” Kaminari interjected as his arm released Kirishima.

“And this is gonna be good for you!” She was grinning, somewhere halfway between mischievous and reassuring. “Meeting his people means he must really like you.”

“I mean, it’s hard to imagine he even has friends.” Kaminari’s face soured and he shook his head. “Damn, I hope they’re not as awful as he is. But then again, you like him for some reason, so maybe I hope they are like him?” The distaste in his expression morphed into confusion. “Alright, honestly I have no fucking clue what to hope for.”

“Just hope that he has a good time.” Mina hummed softly.

“It’ll be fine.” Kirishima assured them, tried to assure himself. Still, his voice wasn’t as strong as he hoped it would’ve been. He really wasn’t sure what to expect.

“Wait,” Mina’s hand was on his arm again, clutching and shaking it slightly. “Does he even know it’s your birthday?” The nervous smile and forced laugh that came from Kirishima must’ve been enough because she was immediately pitching her voice up to a shrill yelp. “Kirishima! How could you not tell him?”

Kaminari seemed entirely unsurprised as he rested back in his chair with a sigh. “Are you forgetting he thinks everyone’s birthday is important except his own? I had to call his mom just to find out when it was.”

“You know if you don’t tell him, I will.” She threatened which had him hunching his shoulders and nodding.

“I’ll tell him.”

“Tomorrow night.” She said sternly and pulled forth another nod. Her voice softened then, lilted into more of a teasing tone. “I’m sure he can think of a present for you even on such late notice.”

“Mina please,” Kaminari whined along with a fake choking sound. “I don’t need any gross visuals.”

She snickered back, grinning wildly. “Oh Kami, calm down- by present I simply meant his-”

“Mina!” Kaminari cut her off with another loud shout and a kick under the table as Kirishima sighed in complete and utter defeat.

Chapter Text

At 7 o’clock on the dot, Kirishima was doing his best to talk his nerves down as he made his way from the elevator to Bakugou’s door. The niceness of the building was not unsurprising but still made him feel a little inadequate.

He hadn’t felt anxious again until he’d left work that day and realized he only had two hours left until he needed to be there. He found Mina standing outside his door when he got home holding a brightly colored bag with paper coming out and a bow attached to the corner. She’d bought him another new sweater, claiming this time it was an early birthday present and all but forced him to put it on before she left. The fabric made his arms itch a little, but he tried to ignore it as he stood in front of the large door with a six pack of his favorite beer under his arm.

He sucked in a deep breath as he knocked, let it out just as fast when the door opened and Uraraka smiled at him from inside.

“Kirishima!” She piped, waving him in and then wrapping an arm around him once he stepped through the doorway. “It’s so nice to see you again.”

“Ah- you too.” He replied through his surprised daze but didn’t have the chance to return her hug before she was stepping back.

“Come in, come in.” She was shutting the door and pulling him by the hand before he could protest.

From the entrance, they were hurrying down a hallway before it opened up into a living room with a tall ceiling and large windows that looked out into the city. While his attention was casting over the walls and out into the night, Uraraka was chattering away beside him.

“Katsuki’s in the kitchen making dinner. I told him he should have just ordered takeout so he could be spending time talking to us instead of cooking, but he was very adamant. If I had to guess, I think he just wants to show off, but I’m not complaining because his cooking is quite good.” She dropped his hand and turned back to him with an abrupt question that had him drawing his eyes from the skyline. “Has he ever made you anything before?” Kirishima shook his head and clarity came over her again. “Oh! Right. This is your first time here, isn’t it?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “I should give you a tour.”

“That’s not necessary.” He replied, finally managing a smile and a small wave of his hand while the other still clutched the now lukewarm beer under his arm.

“Oh, here-” She must’ve noticed him shift the weight. “Let me take that from you. Aren’t you sweet?” He tried not to let his smile grow meek at the comment. “I bet it’s been heavy carrying it all the way here.”

“It wasn’t that bad.”

She merely hummed and turned to carry it off towards what he assumed was the hall to the kitchen. It left him alone which was a bit uncomfortable considering he had no idea where to deposit himself, but it also gave him a chance to look around.

The place wasn’t as big or lavish as Kirishima’s imagination had convinced him it would be, but it definitely wasn’t unimpressive. It was better than his own, both in quality and location. He assumed from his walk they were only about fifteen minutes away from work and the proximity made him a little jealous. So did the view out the window that battled the beauty of the one from his office. It wasn’t as bright here, but Kirishima could tell from the heavy drawn back curtains that if they were shut, none of the light would be coming in. The furniture was minimal and sleek and- Kirishima had guessed correctly- very tidy. Just two couches, a chair, a tv, and a large table with chairs filled the room which left plenty of room to stand or walk around. Kirishima wondered with this amount of space if Bakugou entertained often, but the more he thought about it, the less he seemed like someone who would enjoy having many people in his space.

“Kirishima!” Uraraka’s voice had him turning back to the hall where she was pushing someone eagerly with hands on his shoulders.

“Hey- I really was helping.” The man griped at her with a frown.

“He’ll be fine. Plus, we have to play host until he’s done.” She rebuked before grinning at Kirishima again. “This is my husband Midoriya. He’s been friends with Katsuki for ages.”

“Ah, yeah, Kacchan and I have lived near each other ever since we were kids- also, Izuku is fine.” He extended his hand out, expression growing much friendlier once it left Uraraka.

“Oh, oh! Then please, call me Ochako.”

Kacchan. What an informal nickname. It was hard to believe Bakugou let anyone refer to him with something so juvenile, but Kirishima slapped on his smile again and accepted the outstretched hand with a shake. “It’s nice to meet you.”

Uraraka was almost bouncing beside him as she put a hand over theirs and brought them up and down. “So about that tour?”

“Ochako,” Midoriya began quietly as he finally took his hand away. “I don’t think Kacchan would appreciate that.”

Kirishima was waving his hands at her again. “Really, it’s fine. Although, this place really is nice.”

“And expensive too.”

Ochako-”

“Like that isn’t obvious.” She sneered back at him.

Midoriya disregarded her to give Kirishima another smile. “Kacchan is just- very frugal.”

“Frugal?” She laughed loudly. “More like cheap.”

“Call it what you will.” Midoriya complied easily enough. “All he really spends money on is clothes and rent.”

“And coffee.” She added quickly.

Midoriya nodded along. “Horrible, disgusting, bitter coffee.”

“Speaking of him-” Kirishima started walking before he was even done, tried to keep his pace slow and calm. “I should go say hi to Bakugou-”

As if on command, Uraraka was turning and enthusiastically pointing to the hall. “It’s just down that way. You’ll probably be able to hear him cursing out the stove before you get there.”

Kirishima offered her a reserved chuckle before he nodded and made his way towards the hall. It was dimly lit, but there was light pouring from the kitchen at the end. He heard sizzling before anything else. Entering through the doorless opening, he had to hold back his smile and laugh at the sight of his apron-clad boyfriend tossing a few things into a pot and stirring them. It was only a little surprising how less nervous he felt just from there mere sight.

He was quiet as he moved until he was right behind him. Sliding his arms around his waist, he was almost afraid he was going to get hit with the way Bakugou tensed up. However, with Bakugou’s first glance over his shoulder, he was relaxing again and sighing.

“Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to surprise someone in a kitchen?”

Chin propped on his shoulder, Kirishima looked down into the pot. “I survived. What’re we having?”

“Sukiyaki.” Bakugou replied as he dropped a few mushrooms into the dark liquid.

“Looks delicious.”

“What do you want?” Bakugou asked, tone and expression unchanging.

“Wanted to come say hi.”

Bakugou hummed- it sounded unconvinced. His skepticism was only clearer when he lifted a brow. “Just be yourself tonight, shithead.”

Kirishima stepped away from him so he wouldn’t feel how stiff he went at the comment. He gave a shaky laugh that was definitely unbelievable as he pushed his back up against the counter. “What? I am- I- you weren’t even in there.”

The quiet tch let Kirishima know he had failed entirely. “And now you aren’t either. Since when do you run away from strangers?”

“I wasn’t-”

“How unmanly.” Bakugou droned loud enough to shut him up and extended his arm to the side. “Pass me that plate.” Plate in hand, he placed a few pieces of meat down into the pot. There was an actual emotion on his face now. What it was- Kirishima couldn’t really tell. Whatever it was, wasn’t good. “You didn’t come in all fucking stupid teeth either.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He began to ask before thinking about it. Then once it came to him, his smile was sheepish as he leaned into the counter. He really had been obvious the whole time. “Ah- I thought my grins annoy you. Isn’t that what you’re always saying?”

Bakugou pursed his lips but didn’t answer the question. It was little pout that always meant the answer wasn’t one he wanted to give. And in this case, revealing that he did not, in fact, find Kirishima’s big, toothy smiles annoying was definitely not something he wanted to say out loud.

“They’re nervous too.” He said instead, drawing the focus of conversation away from himself.

Kirishima let him divert things, didn’t even so much as complain. “Why would they be?”

“S’not every day they meet someone as great as me.”

“Oh!” Kirishima’s loud outburst caused Bakugou to jerk and smack the spoon against the side of the pot. Some of the sauce sloshed out and a hissed curse from Bakugou came with it. Kirishima scurried to find a few paper towels and hand them over. “Sorry, but that was an outright compliment. I got excited.”

“I already regret it.” Bakugou grumbled as he cleaned up the mess and tossed the towels into the trash. Putting the lid on the pot, he sighed. “You’re okay I guess-”

“Less of a compliment, but I’ll still take it.”

“So, chill out.” He finished a little more curtly than he’d started. He turned, giving Kirishima a stern look that was trying to be supportive more so than anything else. “They’re just a couple of idiots.”

“Then I’ll fit right in.” Kirishima couldn’t help but grin brightly, readying himself immediately for another insult about how dumb it made his face look.

What came instead was an airy voice that immediately twisted Bakugou’s face in ire.

“Oh ho ho, Ka-tsu-ki-” Kirishima turned to find Uraraka’s head popped in the door, hands gripping the frame. “Is that a smile I see?”

“Get out of my kitchen bitch. I ain’t doin’ shit and I don’t need you setting anything on fire.”

Her crafty snicker reminded Kirishima so much of Mina it was almost unnerving. “Didn’t mean to interrupt- I just came to see if dinner’s done yet. I’m starving in there.”

Bakugou turned back around to stiffly stir at the pot “It’ll be done when it’s done- go away.”

“Almost there?”

Almost there?” He repeated in a mocking tone before whispering a curse down to the stove. “Leave me alone before I mess something up.”

There was a little worry bubbling up in Kirishima’s stomach from the interaction, but they’d been friends this long there must be a reason behind it. Half of Bakugou’s anger wasn’t sincere anyway. But still, Kirishima felt the needed to ease the tension. He smiled between them, pushing off the counter and moving towards the doorway. “Hey, why don’t you give me that tour now Ochako?”

Kirishima couldn’t decide whether she was lighting up at him finally accepting the offer or because of the name he used, but she was beaming at him instantly and waving. “Okay great, come on!”

“Yeah, please leave-” Bakugou muttered but then stood up straight and turned his head around quickly. “Hold on- A tour?”

Uraraka already had her hand around Kirishima’s wrist before he could regret his decision. “I’ll make sure to show him everything. Shout when dinner’s ready, thanks!”

Uraraka grabbed Midoriya on the way and led them through the apartment with waving arms and excited pointing. She described things like it was her own home, seemed as gleeful as someone who owned everything and didn’t just admire it. She took him through every room until Bakugou was threatening them from the main room about how they better not let the food go cold.

The food was good.

Of course it was good.

Uraraka had only assured him at least five times since he’d gotten there that Bakugou was an impressive cook. She and Midoriya had stared at him expectantly when he first began eating so he grinned at them after the first few swallows before directing it and the side-eyed, purposefully and yet unconvincingly apathetic look Bakugou was giving him. Still, he only got the slide of those eyes away from him after explaining how good it tasted. His praise didn’t need to be acknowledged for him to feel like Bakugou accepted it- especially not when Uraraka was immediately pulling him into another conversation with a loud exclamation.

If he was being honest, the longer dinner continued, the less he understood how these two were Bakugou’s best friends. While the other may have refused to call them such, they obviously knew a lot about him, and there’s no way he would’ve let them hang around for years if he didn’t enjoy their company. Kirishima had caught glances as to why Uraraka was capable of proving her worth. She was no nonsense. Kind, but forthright. Even painfully blunt occasionally. Along with that came a sharp wit that was able to keep up and not be offended by Bakugou’s harsh comments and baiting insults.

Midoriya however- Kirishima was a little more unsure how he fit into Bakugou’s life. Sure, they’d told him over dinner all about how they’d grown up together and despite a few years of misdirected aggression, eventually came out better friends than ever. Kirishima had known before that they roomed together during their university years, but even that was baffling. The short man seemed so warm and friendly. He laughed at almost everything with a bright sort of bubbly smile and an easily flushed face. He looked innocent and soft and caring. Was he merely a foil for these two?  Kirishima couldn’t decide.

That was until dinner was cleaned up, dishes were washed, and the three of them piled onto one of the couches with a few beers each while Uraraka sat in a nearby chair with a glass of white wine perched on her knee.

It was only then, after Midoriya and Bakugou had raced to drink two beers while simultaneously trying to beat each other in Mario Kart that Kirishima understood their friendship a little better. The almost silly competitiveness was entertaining to say the least. It was more amusing when they started spewing curses at each other and coming up with threats far more creative than Kirishima would ever be able to produce.

Midoriya brought a leg up on the couch so he could half-sit, half-stand, and sway around like it would somehow help him maneuver his way through the race track. All the while, Bakugou was trying to elbow him and make him fall which honestly was unsportsmanlike and probably shouldn’t be allowed. Kirishima was too busy chuckling at the scene that he hardly noticed Uraraka standing and coming to his side. With a hand laid softly on his shoulder, his laugh was cut short and he looked up at her.

“Hey, there’s actually somewhere I forgot to show you earlier.” She pulled her hand away, curling them both around her stemless wineglass. “Funny, it’s actually one of my favorite places. Wanna see?”

Kirishima glanced back to the two boys engrossed in their game before nodding and following after her. She turned down the hall that lead towards the bathroom, the office, and a closed door he vaguely remembered her mentioning in passing as the master bedroom. Kirishima hadn’t really thought anything more of it than the fact he was in awe that Bakugou paid enough for a two bedroom apartment. The shock must’ve been evident on his face because Uraraka was quick to explain how his mother came to the city often and much rather preferred to stay in the- free- company of her son than book a hotel room.

This time, he had more to think about as she opened the door, making an odd face like she was surprised it wasn’t locked, and pushing inside the dark room.

Kirishima couldn’t see a thing in the bedroom- he didn’t know if that was good or bad- but he still felt like neither of them should be there. “Ochako-”

The unsureness in his voice was clear, but she was shushing him immediately. “Calm down, we’re going outside.”

“Outside…”

His concern was answered by the pull of another door than let in a gust of cool air.

“Come on, come on.” She urged with a hand on his back.

She brushed past him once they were out the door and onto the small balcony. Her elbows landed on the railing as she leaned forward and looked to the street below then to the building scattered in front of them with various states of illumination then to the sky. There weren’t many stars given the brightness of the city even at such an hour, but just enough were poking out to surely make it a beautiful sight to be seen.

Kirishima looked with her, resting his weight on the bar and smiling. “I can see why this is your favorite place.”

“Beautiful, huh?” She sighed, almost longingly. “Katsuki’s really lucky to be able to afford this. Don’t get me wrong, he sure has worked his ass off for it, but I’m a little jealous.” With Kirishima’s agreeing hum, she turned her attention over to him. “You live in the suburbs right?” He nodded along which was enough to get her to look back down to the street. “Yeah, Izuku and I have thought about moving out somewhere else. We don’t live in the best parts around here, and you never know, we’ve been thinking about our future I guess. My mom’s been pestering me about when I’m going to give her a grandchild-” She laughed loudly. It seemed a little off but still somehow warm. “Can you believe that? I’m only twenty-seven and she’s already worried I’ll go barren before having a kid.” With a sigh, she relaxed again and took a sip from her glass. “Jeez, I dunno. Maybe we should move. It’d be a better place to raise kids, and it’d certainly be cheaper.”

“The commute isn’t that bad.” Kirishima finally offered, feeling a bit unsure of his place in the conversation. As friendly as she was, he still knew so little about her and her life and how she fit into Bakugou’s.

“Ah, it’s settled then, isn’t it?” It was joking, and Kirishima chuckled softly with her. “I’ll have to tell ‘zuku immediately.”

“You can come be my neighbor.”

She smiled, blushing happily and nodding. “I’d love to have a neighbor as sweet as you.”

Another nervous laugh bubbled up from the compliment. “Oh, I don’t know about that…”

She didn’t say anything after that for a while and he couldn’t tell if that conversation had really meant anything or if she was simply avoiding what she’d brought him out here for. He hoped it was nothing bad. But you don’t just ask to speak to someone privately for any old reason. He didn’t realize he was bracing himself for something until she spoke and his fingers pressed even harder against the glass of his bottle.

“He talked about you.” She said without any warning or preamble. Her face was suddenly hard to read. Kirishima was a little too stunned to reply fast enough so she continued without pausing. “Not a lot. I mean, you know he doesn’t really talk much in general, but- just every now and then.”

Kirishima directed a wonky sort of smile to his beer, rolling it between his palms. “Is that so?”

“Mm,” Her face softened a little, became easier to see the friendly warmth in it. “Always said you were annoying, bothering him, wasting his time-”

“He says that about everyone.”

“But not with a smile when he thought I’d stopped paying attention.”

Kirishima chuckled at the thought, understanding perfectly what she meant. “Yeah, I was pretty naive to think I could flirt with him so much and not get found out.”

“I can’t believe someone as nice as you has actually taken interest in him. He’s so disagreeable.”

“I’ve told him that exact thing.”

“What is it then? I mean, I had Izuku to vouch for him. As much as I disliked him in the beginning, Izuku was always defending him and promising me he was more than an angry grump. But you? No one at the office seems to really care for him. He certainly doesn’t make it an easier on himself to make friends what with his even less tolerable boss persona.”

Kirishima was silent for a bit, mulling over his thoughts. “I’m not sure exactly. I was never- scared or intimidated or offended by him. More just like a dog that wants to be pet but doesn’t really want you to know that so they bare their teeth and bark a bunch. But you just have to keep pushing until they finally let you. It’s silly but-”

“Word of advice, never let him hear that you compared him to a touch-starved puppy.”

“Oh god, never.”

She was hummed then, nodding sincerely. “No, but you’re right. He’s taciturn and rather temperamental, but once you get to him,” She paused and Kirishima glanced over to find her smiling softly down at her glass. “Well, he’ll hold on pretty tight. And he’s not really the one to tell people how much he appreciates them- hell, I thought he hated me for the first year I was dating Izuku, but it’s all a rouse, you know?”

“Yeah, he’s very- bristly.” He laughed as soon as it came from his mouth and hunched his shoulders. “Oof, that sounds bad like that, doesn’t’ it?” He ran his fingers over the condensation on his bottle as a distraction. “I’m sure you know what I mean- you’ve known him a lot longer than I have, and I can’t-”

“Well,” Uraraka began in order to stop him. “I just wanted to get you out here and talk to you because whether or not it may seem like it sometimes- I think he really likes you.”

“I’m shocked.” Kirishima laughed again, only half joking.

Uraraka’s elbow hit his arm as she laughed with him. “Come on, you said it yourself. He’s bristly. And not a lot of people can tell when he actually doesn’t like someone so I thought I should tell you.”

Kirishima shrugged. “It’s not that hard. I know we’ve only known each other for a few months, but I’d like to think I can understand him enough by now.”

“Again I say, not a lot of people can.” She took a deep breath, pushing back and straightening her arms against the rails. “So it’d be nice to have another one of us around. He’s an awfully exhausting person most of the time- especially when he’s stressed. Although, he’s seemed more relaxed lately than I’ve noticed in a while. I can’t help but want to thank you for that.”

“I haven’t really done anything. I’m not all that special.”

“We’ve known each other for a while, and I’ve never met someone he’s dated.” She said as if to refute that statement. “That’s not to say he hasn’t dated anyone- I know for a fact he has, but never anyone he actually made endure the unfortunate situation of meeting me or Izuku. I’ve begged and pleaded, but you know he’s not going to do something he doesn’t want to. So we’ve never met anyone on purpose. I’ve run into a few on accident, or come here and barged in without calling first and found some random guy sitting on his couch, but actually been introduced to someone? Never.”

“I didn’t realize.” He kept his eyes on the lip of his bottle. “But I don’t really think I’ve done anything to merit me being the one to meet you. So really- don’t make me sound more exceptional than I am.”

“Fine. You’re not special. At least not to me. From what I can see, you’re rather plain.” It wasn’t said like an insult- more just a blunt fact. He understood a little more why Bakugou liked her. She didn’t bullshit around anything. Straight and direct statements. Intentions clear but not rude. “But he must see something else in you that I probably won’t ever be able to. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. If he didn’t like you, there’s no way in hell he would’ve let us come over. And I’m damn sure he wouldn’t have busted his ass to cook for you.”

He couldn’t help but smile at the reassurance. “I’m starting to have a feeling you didn’t forget to show me this place at all.”

“Ah,” A hand went to her cheek, pushing at it and dispersing some of the flush that was there. “I’m pretty obvious, aren’t I?”

Kirishima laughed softly, relaxing against the railing. “You could’ve just asked me. I would’ve come either way.”

“Asked you? Hey, can you come here so we can talk in private?” She barked a laugh. “You seriously think if I had said that, Katsuki wouldn’t have been on my ass the very next second? He’s a very private person- he wouldn’t allow it.” She simmered down a little, wiping an imaginary tear from her eye. “Once he realizes how long we’ve been out here, he’ll come barging through the doors and whisk you away.” Her expression grew into a glare as she pitched her voice comically deep and puffed out her chest. “Better not be talkin’ shit about me you harpy.” When she deflated, it came with a pull of laughter that had Kirishima chuckling along with her. “He’s awful, isn’t he?”

“I’m dating a monster.”

“Oi,” Bakugou’s sudden voice startled Kirishima a little and he stiffened while Uraraka didn’t seem surprised in the slightest.  “I hope you haven’t been listening. She’s prolly filling your head with lies.”

With a hand cupped against her mouth, Uraraka leaned over and whispered to him. “Okay, so maybe he didn’t barge in, but I was right, wasn’t I?”

“What was that?” Bakugou asked stridently, however far less intimidating than he wanted to appear. The two of them just laughed in response which made Bakugou grind his teeth and stomp his foot. “You better not be mockin’ me.”

Kirishima was the first to set his bottle on the rail and turn around. Uraraka followed him shortly and moved closer to the door. The hand not holding her glass reached out but was pushed away just before it made contact with Bakugou’s face. She merely frowned and gave a shrug. “You’re so testy. It must be exhausting.”

His eyes narrowed, brow creasing a bit more. “What were you talking about?”

“You.” She offered up easily without a single change to her tone or expression. “Does hearing it make you feel any better?”

“You don’t deserve my cooking anymore.”

For some reason, that’s what got her eyes to go wide and her mouth to fumble with her words. “Wha- no- you can’t take that away from me!” She tucked her glass into the crook of her arm so she could bring her hands together. “Please, don’t say that. I’m sorry.”

Bakugou’s face softened only a little before he jerked his head back towards the dark room. “Go entertain idiot number two. He had three beers, so you know he’s probably already asleep.”

“Shit, you’re right.” Uraraka gave a knowing groan and pushed past him through the door. “Why did I marry such a grandpa?”

Bakugou watched her leave until turning back and regarding Kirishima with a rather blank face.

Kirishima gave a smile even though he knew it wouldn’t be returned. “Not mad, right?”

The residual tension left Bakugou’s resigned features at the words. He hunched forward slightly with a sigh. “’course not.” He straightened up a little when Kirishima stepped forward, but it was probably only because hated being shorter- even by an inch. “Just don’t like people talking ‘bout me behind my back.”

“That’s hardly what it was.” Arm lifting, Kirishima repeated Uraraka’s gesture but instead of his wrist meeting the back of hand shoving it away, his fingers landed softly against Bakugou’s cheek. “She didn’t say anything bad.”

“That’s doubtful.”

“It’s nothing I didn’t already know.” Fingers sliding along his cheek made Bakugou’s eyes droop slightly but they shot back open at his comment, brows dipping down.

“Hah?” He instantly looked angry, but he wasn’t pushing Kirishima away yet so there wasn’t much of a threat to it. “What’d that bitch tell you?”

Kirishima pinched at his cheek, shook Bakugou’s face back and forth. “Be nice. She’s your best friend.” Bakugou tugged his face away and reached up to rub at his cheek. “I’m serious. She wasn’t- shit talking you or anything like that.”

“What’d she tell you?” He asked again, voice a little more stern this time around.

Kirishima gave a cross huff, hands going to his hips. “You really wanna know?”

“Would I be fucking asking if I didn’t?”

“She said that you’ve never let them meet anyone you’ve dated so you must really like me.” Eyes were instantaneously off his face as soon as he spoke. Other than that, there was no change in Bakugou’s demeanor. Not like Kirishima needed anything else to assure that it was true. “And that I shouldn’t give up even if you’re a grump all the time.”

Bakugou was scowling then- he looked almost frustrated at the slight admiration in what she’d said. “Took her fifteen minutes to say that?”

“That only took a minute.” Kirishima responded flatly. “The rest of the time we stood here and talked about how disgusting dinner was.”

Kirishima prepared himself for the harsh glare to be on his face immediately. He wanted to pat himself on the back we he didn’t so much as flinch.

“Bullshit.”

“Absolutely horrid.” Kirishima continued, trying his damn hardest not to break into a smile. “Inedible.”

“You ate two bowls.”

“Out of amiability.” Before Bakugou could catch anymore of his bluff, Kirishima started up again. “She also said despite how mean you are, you’re a really good friend.”

“So she was talking bad about me.”

He nodded in agreement, “She definitely hates you. Izuku too.”

Eyes rolling, Bakugou crossed his arms. “Only known ‘em a few hours and they’ve already got you referring to them so informally.”

“Seems like informality is a common theme here, Kacchan.”

Something about that seemed to strike Bakugou the wrong way. Kirishima didn’t know if it was the way he said it or the fact that he said it at all; but he did know Bakugou stiffened with the last word, arms flexing a bit because of it. “Don’t get me fucking started with that shit. And that’s different. We’ve-” He bit down on his tongue to stop that route of an explanation and start over with something much less revealing. “I’ve known him my whole life.”

Of course. They’d spent years together. Even Uraraka had known him longer than Kirishima had known even Kaminari. That thought alone was enough to make him shrink into himself a little bit. They wanted him to be friendly with them so they offered up a level of casualness, but if anything it was only the appearance of familiarity. Bakugou was right, he’d only known them for a single evening. He hadn’t even known Bakugou for more than two months. Who was he to be speaking so freely with them? Did he even deserve to hear what Uraraka had told him? Who was she to deem him worthy of any recognition?

“Right.” Kirishima’s voice was quiet, an involuntary timidity emerging from it. “I’m speaking out of turn, aren’t I? Although, they’re the ones that told me to call them that. I thought it was a little odd considering I don’t really know them, but I guess I just-”

“Shit, no.” Bakugou sighed, ruffling his hair then scratching at it. “M’sorry. They’re just trying to make you feel welcome.” He looked off to the side again, squinting at the building beside them. “She wasn’t lying. I haven’t really ever given in and introduced them to anyone-” Kirishima’s mouth opened to ask the inevitable, but a sudden glares shut him up. “And don’t you go askin’ me why when you sure as hell know the answer. I’m sure she spewed something about how you’re special or some shit.”

Kirishima’s mouth snapped shut, head fell forward as he waited for the foreseeable shut down of no, you’re not special so don’t let it go to your head- but it never came. Instead, there was a finger under his chin tilting his head back up.

“Don’t give me that pitiful look. ‘course you are. You think I’m gonna date some average fucker?” The second Kirishima lit back up, Bakugou was pushing his face away and scoffing. “Don’t think I’m gonna go and praise you a bunch. You should know your worth by now. And therefore I ain’t about to tell you all the reasons why you’re here.”

Kirishima blinked back at him. Sure, he already knew all of that, but the verbal reassurance was always something that comforted him more than his own thoughts. “Thank you?”

“Not a compliment.”

He tried again, head tipping to the side. “I like you too?”

Bakugou was already starting to glare but it was an embarrassed sort of frustration. “Shut up.”

“Hmm, you’re not going to deny that she was right?”

“Why would I?” His frustration grew, confusion coming along with it. “You want me t’lie to you?”

Kirishima finally felt light enough to grin. “Tell me then.”

“What’re you on about now?”

“Tell me you like me.”

“You’re really needy.”

His grin split wider. “That doesn’t sound quite right-”

“Of course I like you.” Kirishima was beginning to be proud of himself for being able to decipher the difference between an actually angry tone and whatever this vehement emotion was. “Fucking idiot. We’ve been dating for a month.”

“Yeah, but you never said it out loud.”

“Why should I have to?”

“Bakugou,” He began in a chiding tone. “I can’t read your mind.”

“Whatever. Yeah, I like you. It’s nothing new. Now let’s go.” At least this time Bakugou gave an answer before trying to distract him. “I don’t want Ochako snooping through my stuff.”

Bakugou was pivoting around to force them to stop talking about this, but with a quick and clipped hey- Kirishima got him to stop. Bakugou didn’t turn back entirely, but did so enough that he could hike a brow up and wait expectantly.

“I’d like to stay here- tonight.” A single, quiet laugh left him as he tried to make light of the comment. “That is- If the offer still stands.”

Kirishima received no visible reaction other than Bakugou turning back and continuing his way out of the room. “Let’s get rid of the vermin then, yeah? I’m fucking tired.”

Following after him, Kirishima shut the door and hurried to catch up with his steps. “Past your bed time?”

It was teasing, but Bakugou merely lifted his head high and spoke loudly. “Damn right it is.”

Hands in his pockets, Bakugou busted back into the living room with a shout. “Alright, party time’s over. You two can piss off now.”

“Oh?” Uraraka cooed from her spot pushed up against Midoriya on the couch. She twisted herself to look over the back and grin at them. “Eiji you minx, you must’ve really sweet talked him if he’s already kicking us out.”

“Already?” Bakugou barked back. “It’s almost midnight. I’m fucking tired.”

Midoriya was already standing with a sigh hand, pushing at Uraraka’s head as he went. “Calm down ‘chako. Let Kacchan indulge in his budding romance. It’s about damn time.”

Bakugou let out another boisterous call. “Oh yeah? What’s that supposed to mean?”

Midoriya whipped around, buzzed blush covering his face. “It means you’re an ass and I’m surprised but also very grateful that you’ve found someone to tolerate you.”

Uraraka giggled as she stood and wrapped her arms around Midoriya’s shoulders. “Izu if you’re going to start with an insult, you have to follow through. You can’t switch to being friendly halfway through. It’s less effective that way.”

Midoriya’s stern expression dissolved into a grin and laugh while Bakugou only glared more intensely.

“Would you please get his drunk ass away from me?”

“What’re you gonna do big boy? Hit me?”

“I’ll knock your ass to the floor and you know it.”

“Boys, boys.” Uraraka was already dragging Midoriya to the door as she reproached them. “Can’t we have one evening together that doesn’t end in a brawl? You’re both equally as strong, stubborn, and idiotic. So just give it up already.”

“He started it.” Midoriya mumbled into her shoulder but was a bit too loud.

“Did fucking not!” Bakugou shouted at them but the end of it was clipped into a choking sound once Kirishima’s hand met his shoulder.

“Just chill out dude.”

The look Bakugou gave him was wild and disbelieving but he hunched over nonetheless.

“Don’t ever call me dude again. I’m not one of your shitty airhead friends.”

“Alright.” Kirishima resigned with a sigh. “Just chill out baby.”

“That’s not any better!” The tone the shout took this time was high pitched and did little to distract from the immediate flush of his face. The only thing that kept the threats forming on his tongue from being spewed at Kirishima was a pair of titters from the open door. Bakugou was rearing back to yell at them again but still hadn’t corrected his voice from being cracked and distressed. “Shut up! I thought I told you to leave!”

The moment the door clicked shut and muffled their continued laughter, a hand on Kirishima’s back was turning him around and pushing him down the hall. He felt like he’d just been blindly shoved around all night, but even as his feet were shuffling back towards the dark room, he was doing nothing but smiling.

“What’re you doing?” He asked which got an annoyed sigh in return.

“I’m doing what I damn well please.”

Kirishima wasn’t surprised when a light wasn’t turned on. As Bakugou shuffled around, his eyes adjusted just enough to make out the furniture of the room. Like the rest of the apartment, it was simple and uncluttered. A bed, couple of nightstands, a dresser, a bookshelf. He scanned over them and would’ve passed his gaze to the glass door of the balcony if it hadn’t been for the return of the hand on his back, lower now.

With a glance to his phone, he was surprised no one had tried to call him yet. Usually he got at least a few early birthday messages.

He locked it back, turning his head to tease Bakugou quietly as he stepped towards the bed and tossed his phone forward. “Eager?”

“Annoyed.” Bakugou answered with a light push.

Kirishima took the hint easily enough. He turned with the push, letting himself fall to the mattress. He made quick work of kicking his slippers to the floor and scooting back towards the pillows.

“You know getting angry just encourages them, right?”

“‘Course I do.” Bakugou’s knees hit the sheets shortly after, hands following them so he could crawl after him. “But I’d rather be mad then just stand there and take shit from ‘em.”

“They’re joking. You get riled up too easy.”

Bakugou’s face loomed over his as soon as the words were out, assurance being washed away by the nerves suddenly tickling his skin.

“Yeah?” With one hand holding him up, Bakugou planted the other on Kirishima’s hip. The action made Kirishima suck a little breath in. It was so obvious and he hated it. “You think they are the ones that riled me up?” His hand held tighter, pushed into the soft knitted fabric. “You’d be wrong.” Kirishima wanted to laugh but his lungs never seemed to work quite right whenever Bakugou got this close and started putting his hands on him. They certainly didn’t work when he leaned forward and got close enough that Kirishima could probably count each of his stupidly beautiful eyelashes.

“You see,” Bakugou’s eyes broke contact and dipped lower on his face. “I’ve been patiently waiting all night-” A single touch of a fingertip to the skin of his waist had another breath stuttering in through Kirishima’s parted mouth. “And all I wanted was to get you alone.”

“You’re a tool.” Kirishima muttered indignantly. “Do you schmooze all your other boys like this?”

“What other boys? Ain’t really been one like you.”

The sound that left Kirishima was somewhere between a scoff and a laugh. “What a cheesy line.” Kirishima wanted so badly to sound cooly indifferent. But the fingers trailing against the hem of his sweater, just barely skimming his skin, made his voice small and tight.

“Seems like it worked though.”

“Hardly.”

It was so blatantly not the truth that he couldn’t even blame Bakugou for grinning like he did. “You’re a shit liar.”

“Maybe I should use my mouth for better things then?”

A puffy, breathy laugh landed against Kirishima’s mouth as he tried not to combust in embarrassment.

“Who’s the one spewing cheesy lines now?”

Kirishima was ready to fight back, to keep going and defend himself, but they had talked enough. Their bantering could only go so far before they reached the inevitable end of shoving their mouths together and finally shutting each other up.

Bakugou’s irritation bled into his kissing. He was pushing down with teeth immediately making an appearance against Kirishima’s lip. Kirishima considered himself a fool to think that just because they had plenty of time, that just because they were finally spending a night together, things would be a little softer, calmer. It wasn’t as though he minded the hasty way of there already being a tongue in his mouth even if it left him playing catch up the whole time.

The first sound of his phone vibrating against the sheets went purposefully disregarded. Just a few little staccatos to alert him of a text only brought forth the thought that he probably should have turned it on silent before this all started. Bakugou either didn’t notice or didn’t care because despite another small buzz, there was hand on one side of Kirishima’s neck and lips attached to the other.

Kirishima tried to drown it out, tried to ignore another rumble somewhere off to the left when the spot under his jaw that always had him melting was being sucked at. He felt a whine start to crawl up from his chest when the kiss there turned into a graze of teeth, but it was cut short by another few rounds of vibrations that were becoming almost too annoying to ignore.

Going by his rough sigh and his fingers digging a little painfully into Kirishima’s neck, Bakugou clearly felt the same.

“Answer your damn phone.” Bakugou grumbled, already beginning to sit up.

Something panicky replaced all the warmth Kirishima had been feeling and it left him reaching up quickly and scrabbling to pull Bakugou back down with a hand on the back of his head. “No- it’s fine.”

Kirishima knew exactly what it was.

He knew the second he looked at his phone he’d be met with a wall of happy birthdays and emojis and while he enjoyed the stupidity of his friends, he had more important things to do at the moment.

Bakugou shook his head abruptly and knocked Kirishima’s hand back to the bed. “Clearly it’s not fucking fine.” He was on his knees, glaring frustrated down at him before shifting away completely.

Kirishima couldn’t do anything but sigh and roll to the side. He started groping at the sheets in search of his phone. Upon finding it, he sat up, crossed his legs, and hunched over the bright screen.

Just as he suspected, he found a couple simple birthday messages from his few, more calm friends- being Jirou, Ojiro- before the bombardment of all caps messages and gifs and memes from his stupid, idiot, annoying best friends.

 

Sparky (11:59 p.m.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BESTBRO

mom (11:59 p.m.)

HEY YOU’RE EARLY THAT’S NOT FAIR. YOU NEED TO SIT HERE AND WAIT LIKE THE REST OF US.

Sparky (12:00 a.m.)

i wanted to be first

i love him the most

mom (12:00 a.m.)

You suck and that’s not true

Sero (12:00 a.m.)

Happy bday dude

Sparky (12:00 a.m.)

damn even Sero beat you pinky

guess we know who’s the bad friend

mom (12:01 a.m.)

FUCK YOU GUYS

KIRI DON’T LISTEN TO THEM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY I LOVE U BABY

Sero (12:01 a.m.)

Yikes- you were a whole minute late

Sparky (12:01 a.m.)

oh shit

time to revoke your friend card

mom (12:02 a.m.)

You two can fuck all the way off

 

Any irritation he’d originally held seemed to flood out of him once he was actually reading through the texts. Even though his teeth had a tight hold on his bottom lip, he was probably grinning stupidly- he could feel it in his cheeks. A dumb grin that was gone in an instant when an arm was draped over his shoulders and Bakugou’s chest pushed against his back. Kirishima hadn’t even realized Bakugou had shifted back over towards him.

“So fucker,” The voice right in Kirishima’s ear wasn’t necessarily angry sounding, but it certainly held a menacing, raspy rumble as Bakugou’s breath tickled his temple. “It’s your birthday, huh?”

Chapter Text

“Oh, by the way,” Kirishima tried to sound casual, even managed a believable albeit anxious laugh along with it. “It’s my birthday.”

Bakugou was moving away and Kirishima half-expected him to be angry about it. Instead, his voice was just as calm as it had been. “Were you going to tell me?”

“Clearly no.”

There wasn’t any point in lying. He’d been caught with no way to pretend it was a joke or a misunderstanding.

“You’re gonna make me feel bad.” Bakugou deadpanned without sounding even slightly sincere or worried. “I don’t even have a gift for you.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Kirishima shrugged as he typed back a few messages on his phone. His grin was gone, but he tried to keep up with the enthusiasm of his friends’ texts. “I never expected you to give me anything.”

“Really?”

The moment there was warm palm under his sweater that pushed against his back, Kirishima’s thumbs stuttered. He quickly erased the misspellings he’d created and tried again in spite of the hand sliding up his spine and rucking his sweater along with it.

“Nothing?”

“Nothing.” Kirishima confirmed.

Expected? Of course not. Hoped for? Thought about? Dreamt about? Well, that was a different thing entirely.

“Aren’t you the one who asked to stay the night?”

There was a tug to the collar of his sweater, but he refused to move his arms as he continued typing. “Aren’t you the one that purposed it in the first place?” His fingers stalled as he looked over his shoulder. “If anything, wouldn’t have telling you it’s my birthday made it seem more presumptuous of me?”

But Bakugou wasn’t looking at him. Instead, he was more interested in the skin of his back. That much was clear as he ignored the question in turn for pushing his finger into one of the dimples just above the waistline of Kirishima’s jeans.

While he was successful at swallowing the squeak the came with the gesture, Kirishima was not able to keep himself from straightening up in surprise.

Only then were there eyes on his face again, much less irritated than the last time he saw them.

“Sorry- you were saying something.”

“I was defending myself.”

“Sounds boring.”

Turning back around, he tried to finish up his last text with a huff. “And poking me in the back is entertaining?”

“Well, I tried to get your shirt off- but for some reason, that didn’t happen, so I made do.”

Phone dropped in his lap, he crossed his arms so he could grab the hem of his sweater and yank it over his head. It was tossed to the floor before he picked his phone back up and continued. “Happy now?”

“You have no idea.”

He should be beaming, maybe even a little embarrassed considering this was the first time in months he’d been shirtless in front of someone other than his friends. But if anything, he felt underwhelmingly the same.

“Oi,” This time, the poke to his back didn’t even phase him. “Those annoying fuckers more pressing than me?”

“If I don’t answer them, they’ll just start calling.”

“Ignore it.”

“I don’t think you understand how persistent they are.”

“Turn it on silent.”

“It’s just better to deal with it now.”

Kirishima’s phone flew from his hands and tumbled to the floor with a clatter when he was roughly yanked backwards. His initial worry about the screen being cracked was wiped clear once Bakugou was on top of him again. Knees bracketed his waist, hands flat against the sheets by his face.

“Did either of those sound like questions to you?” Despite his surprise, Kirishima managed a small shake of his head. “Yeah, and they weren’t exactly suggestions either.”

Kirishima’s voice was quiet, but a small bit of defiance was still there. “So you think you can boss me around outside of work now?”

Bakugou grinned, beautiful and terrifying. “If I remember correctly, you’ve already given me the all clear to do just that.”

“Ah-” Kirishima laughed, scratching at his head with nervous habit. “Well-”

“Well nothing.” The grin was gone instantly, eyes raked down him and- alright there were the nerves Kirishima was supposed to be feeling. “Just shut your mouth and let me give you your present.”

“Another embarrassing line.” Kirishima replied, a little less embarrassed this time and more fatigued. “Do you ever think about how corny the things that come out of your mouth are?”

Bakugou didn’t answer. Instead he huffed and took a rough tone. “What’ll it take to shut you up?”

“A couple sleeping pills could do it, but I doubt you have any considering how tired you always look. Been a little dark under the eyes lately.”

He reached up to brush across Bakugou’s cheek, but his hand was promptly pushed away. “Here’s some advice. Talking about my eyebags ain’t sexy.”

Donning a look of slight innocence, Kirishima cut his eyes over to the curtained windows. “Oh my bad- am I supposed to be talking a certain way right now? I didn’t get the memo.”

“Not supposed to- I just don’t see how you think pointing out my flaws is gonna get me to help you.”

“Help me?” Kirishima looked back up with actual confusion rising to his face. “Help me with what?”

The end of his words hiccupped into a gasp when there was a firm hand palming against the front of his jeans. “You think I’m blind?”

Of course Kirishima had noticed it- but he thought, wished, that maybe since he’d kept himself still he could’ve gone a little longer without being found out.

“Or maybe you think I haven’t felt this jabbing into my thigh for the past ten minutes.”

It was a little embarrassing being that worked up already- they hadn’t even really done anything. But he did his best to hide that small bit of shame behind a confident voice. “Can you blame me?”

“Not at all.” He pushed his palm down a little harder, curled his fingers as much as he could into the denim, grinned at the hiss Kirishima gave him from the pleasant pressure. “I’m right there with ya.”

“Oh.” Was all he could manage. And it alone sounded just as dumb as he thought it would.

“Yeah. Oh.” Bakugou replied with a stupid, smug little smirk.

Kirishima didn’t know why, but it made him a little angry. Feeling like the only nervous one made him become far more irritated than it did embarrassed.

“So if we could stop chatting, that’d be really fucking great.” Bakugou pulled his hand away which was almost as annoying as his self-satisfied expression. Kirishima wanted that hand back- wanted a lot less clothing in between- wanted that expression to go away.

“Well then make yourself useful.” Kirishima surprised himself with the lack of wobble in his voice- the steadiness of it. He only hoped his face matched. “You said something about a present didn’t you?”

Bakugou stared down at him, a single moment of surprise passing over him before his lips were curling up again. “Thought you didn’t want it?”

“Maybe I was just being polite.”

“You don’t gotta do that with me.” Bakugou was sitting up suddenly. He rested back on his knees, giving Kirishima this odd sort of frown that looked wholly wrong on his pretty face. “I’m here to give you want you want- and I’m not just talking about right here, not just this kind of stuff. I mean anything.”

“While that was surprisingly sincere-” Kirishima smiled, and although it held an almost condescending hint, he hoped it would get rid of the frown above him. “I don’t think this is entirely about what I want. Don’t you want this just as much- hmm, maybe even more than I do?”

Bakugou’s gaze left him and went to the sheets- preparation for the lie that was about to tumble out of his mouth. “I’m just being generous.”

“Generosity? Is that what this is?” Whether it was the fact that there weren’t watchful eyes on his face any longer or that for the first time that night he felt that just maybe he had the upper hand, a sudden curl of confidence worked its way into his nerves. He begged his fingers not to shake as they worked at the button of his jeans. The sound of his zipper had Bakugou immediately meeting his gaze again before scanning down. “Seems to me like you just really want to get me outta my pants.”

“If you knew that all along, why’re you bein’ so difficult?” The flush of Bakugou’s face belied the harshness of his tone but both of them were only more encouraging for Kirishima to continue.

Kirishima removed his hands from his open pants only to go as far as the thighs on either side of him. He pushed his hands up them, reveling in the way the muscle tensed underneath his palms and the drag of Bakugou’s eyes followed. “Guess I wanted you to show a little effort.”

Something in that slight challenging phrase must’ve distracted from the awe and set Bakugou off again. “Effort?” He repeated with as much of a breathy laugh as he could and gripped the band of Kirishima’s pants. “I’ll fucking show you some effort.”

Kirishima was mostly prepared for his jeans to be yanked down, he was not however prepared for his boxers to go with them. His stark-nakedness hit him like a slap to the cheek. The cold air was a shock and as Bakugou moved backwards to pull everything off his legs, he drew his knees up. Bakugou probably thought it was a helping gesture, but if anything, all the anxiety was flooding back in and making him wish to curl up into a tight ball.

He pushed his cheek against his shoulder, eyes staring distractedly towards the wall. Kirishima heard all the fabric hit the floor just before there were hands on his knees, thumbs rubbing in slow circles.

“Hey idiot, you alright?” Bakugou asked, sincerity surprising but clear.

Of course he’d be considerate above all else.

Kirishima turned his head back, smiled even though he knew it’d look timid.

“Nervous?”

“Shut up.” Kirishima muttered back at him, refusing to pout.

“So am I.” The honesty of it was unexpected. It caught Kirishima so much off guard that he didn’t even have enough sense to keep Bakugou from pushing his legs open again and kneeling between them. “Now chill the fuck out.”

He couldn’t look- there was no way he could watch this and last more than a handful of seconds. His head tipped back into a grey pillow, eyes shutting tightly with the painful anticipation.

The first brush of fingertips against the side of his dick was enough to have his teeth digging into his bottom lip and his breathing picking up its pace. Rustling against the sheets fell on deaf ears while Kirishima tried to steady himself. All his effort proved futile when a slow drag of Bakugou’s tongue up the underside had his heart jumping into his throat and pounding away.

He was tense- too tense. And he knew it. It was almost weird. It’s not like he’d never had a mouth on his dick before- quite the opposite, but something about this time, this person, made it seem impossible to be calm. He knew it was obvious, and it didn’t surprise him when Bakugou took notice.

Kirishima’s hand that wasn’t currently holding on tightly to the sheets was lifted and guided to the back of Bakugou’s head. His knuckles were rubbed softly until his hand was left alone to brush absently at Bakugou’s hair. It was oddly grounding- a simple point of contact that started the unwinding of the stiffness throughout his body.

“Relax won’t ya?”

Bakugou’s low, rumbly voice probably would’ve been comforting if Kirishima hadn’t been able to feel the breath of the words puff against his cock. Relax. It was a ridiculous request. He tried to laugh, but the sound that came out was far too choked to be anything close to one. He cleared his throat, eyes peaking open to the high ceiling.

“Sorry, but I think relaxing is the last thing I can do right now.”

“S’not a big deal.”

But it was a big deal!

This whole situation was most certainly a big deal!

The biggest deal he’d experienced in a while!

Mouth open, he tried to convey that very fact, but the only thing that came out was an embarrassing whine when there was an unannounced mouth suddenly surrounding his length, sliding down before he even had a second to become accustomed to it.

Yeah, he most certainly could not relax.

His fingers tightened reflexively, curling and weaving into blond locks. He expected a displeased grunt, maybe for Bakugou to rethink his decision and pull Kirishima’s hand off him. He didn’t expect a deep groan from Bakugou’s chest that left wonderful vibrations all around him. He couldn’t stop from doing it again, pulling a little tighter.

Bakugou sucked harder- it almost seemed enthusiastic which was far more than Kirishima could dissect in that moment. From the feel of it, his cheeks probably hollowed, and Kirishima thought it couldn’t get better until there were nails scratching down his thighs. It was a wonderful, stinging pressure that had him groaning before he had the chance to slap a hand over his mouth. Not like he had the option to cover any sound when one hand refused to let go of the sheets and the other was still twisting into Bakugou’s hair and holding on for dear life. Effortless slides of his mouth from hilt to tip made Kirishima want to both writhe against the mattress and complain from how frustratingly good he was at it- like there wasn’t a single thing he couldn’t excel at.

Nails stopped their tracks from skirting across his skin only so Bakugou’s hands could slide underneath and hold on to the twitching muscles of his thighs.

The faint realization of oh shit, I’m close was one that was proving very difficult to focus on amongst the haze of everything else happening. But that thought grew more and more desperate to be noticed until it was really the only thing he could think about.

Kirishima wanted to warn him- that was the courteous thing to do. But when he opened his mouth to do so, the only sound that managed to claw its way out was a gargled mess of a moan. His muscles clenched, thighs jerked to snap together only to meet the sides of Bakugou’s head when everything became fuzzy and warm and far too much.

Bakugou tried to pull his knees open, but he could feel Bakugou’s throat working as he swallowed which was enough to make Kirishima’s harsh tugs to his hair melt into soft, affectionate petting but not enough to let his muscles relax. Only once the buzzing left his ears and his heart began to settle into a steady rhythm did he have enough sense to drop his legs down. His eyes drooped closed, head falling to the side and air puffing out of his open mouth.

Bakugou pulled off with a sharp inhale. He sat up, took a few deep breaths before sighing and pinching at one of Kirishima’s thighs. “Damn, were you trying t’fuckin’ suffocate me?”

“Death by sucking dick-” Kirishima slurred, aching knuckles finally letting go of the sheet to rub idly at his stomach. “Sounds like a fucking wonderful way to go.”

There was that little breathy sound that, by then, Kirishima could pick up as a laugh. However, the bubble of noises that came after where unknown. He peeked an eye open when a low hum turned into louder, more distinct huffs. It took a bit, but once there was an actual chuckle that met his ears, Kirishima was forcing his arms to hold his weight as he got to his elbows.

Bakugou had moved completely to sit, legs crossed, eyes crinkled shut, and one fist over his mouth while he leaned his weight onto the other behind him. Despite being mostly covered, Kirishima could see the corners of Bakugou’s grin- toothy and bright even in the dim room. He stared back in awe, eyes wide and mouth parted.

Laughs- actual, shoulder quaking laughs tumbled out. Kirishima had no idea what to do. He hadn’t been blessed enough to witness this before then. He didn’t think anything would ever be more enrapturing than Bakugou’s genuine smile, but after hearing such a clean, hearty sound, he was proven wrong.

Bakugou settled down quickly once he realized Kirishima was openly gaping at him. All of the sudden, he was scowling. “What?”

“You’re beautiful.” Kirishima breathed without taking a second to catch himself.

He only slightly regretted the remark when Bakugou’s face lit up in anger and something a little tenderer. “Fuck off.”

“I’m sorry- Ah, I just.” Kirishima chuckled out of habit and sat up. “I’ve never heard you laugh like that.”

Fury dissipated into a soft pout, Bakugou’s rigid posture crumpling with it. “Well excuse me but what you said was really fucking dumb.”

“Hmm, maybe I should say dumb shit more often then.”

“Don’t.” Bakugou shoved a hand into Kirishima’s hair and ruffled against the weakened gel to knock a few more strands loose. “You only have a few brain cells left. You need to protect them.”

When he pulled his arm back, Kirishima couldn’t help but take note of the fact that while he was sitting in nothing but his socks, Bakugou was in front of him still entirely covered.

“I can’t believe you kept all your clothes on.” Is what he said. Why am I the only one fucking nude- is what his mind echoed.

“Don’t need to be naked to get a dick in my mouth.”

Kirishima forced a laugh, eyes trailing away. “Yeah, well- I think it would’ve made me feel less y’know... self-conscious if you had been.”

“It’s not like you have a reason to feel that in the first place, but-” With a sigh, Bakugou was pulling the sweater over his head and flinging it to the side. “Better?”

Kirishima looked back- skimmed his gaze down to broad shoulders, the deep dip of his collar bones, toned biceps that he knew were going to be there because fuck had he spent far too much time staring at them covered by thin dress shirts. He stopped his eyes there, didn’t risk moving on to rest of his torso which was probably- definitely- just as impressive, and unfair, and dammit why is he so hot, and-

“Okay, I lied.” He whipped his head away, frowned at the ceiling. “You should’ve kept your shirt on. Please never take it off again.”

“Oh no.” His hands were already on his pants, undoing the button and pushing them an inch down. “What kind of boyfriend would I be if I made you feel self-conscious?”

“This is having the opposite effect.”

It was too late.

The heavy thump of his jeans joining the rest of the pile on the floor was too tempting.

Kirishima glanced over, cheeks heating and eyes going hurriedly to Bakugou’s face as soon as they had landed on the tent of his boxers.

“Aha- right...” He started to lift his finger in a point, but brought his hand back down quickly after realizing how stupid that’d be. “Should I?”

Bakugou went right back to sitting, arms folded over his chest as he leaned forward. “Should you?”

“You know.”

“Know what?”

Kirishima waved his hand lowly in a small circle but refused to let his eyes go back down. “That.”

“Yeah, I do know.” Bakugou grinned- oh, he was teasing. “But it’s fun to watch you fumble around like that.”

“So-”

“Don’t have to.” The shrug he gave was genuinely indifferent. “It’s your birthday. Don’t feel like you have to return anything this time.”

Kirishima calmed himself a little, smile coming back. “This time?”

“I’m givin’ ya a free pass to go the fuck to sleep right now while I jerk it in the bathroom. Romantic, I know. And it might not happen again, so you should take advantage of the opportunity.”

Kirishima fought not to roll his eyes. “It’s not like returning the favor is a chore. Maybe I want to. It is my birthday after all.” The look he got was disbelieving and a little cross. Kirishima simply shook his head and waved him closer. “Here- turn around.”

“What?”

Kirishima sighed, spinning his finger. “Turn around and sit down.”

Bakugou regarded him for a few moments longer before giving in. He shifted up to his knees, turning himself around and plopping back down with a mumble of something Kirishima couldn’t quite catch.

“What’re you planning?” Bakugou complained louder.

“Hush.” He scooted forward until Bakugou was between his legs and Kirishima could drape himself over his back.

Skin to skin definitely was a different feeling than brushing against one another through shirts. Kirishima tried his hardest not to breathe in too sharply when he leaned forward and wrapped an arm around him.

“I can’t believe you’re hugging me right now.” Bakugou’s grumble lacked its usual bite and it was certainly less effective as he pushed back into Kirishima’s chest.

“You got a problem with it tough guy?” He mused in response, chin tucking over Bakugou’s shoulder.

“I got a problem with you talkin’ big game then not following through. So all I’m sayin’ is you better have a plan or I’m about to take care of things myself.” Bakugou scoffed to begin with and his tone was arrogant but there was still bright color in his face that suggested otherwise.

Kirishima tilted his head to the side and pushed his cheek against the warmth of his shoulder. “What’ll it take to shut you up?” Kirishima threw his words back him and tried to do so with half the confidence.

“Your hand on my dick will probably do the trick.”

 “Yeah?” He unwound his arm so he could brush his hand back and forth over Bakugou’s stomach. “That what you want?”

“Clearly since I just fucking said it.”

Part of him, a large part, wanted to keep teasing; but the sputtered breath that left Bakugou after the first dip of a few fingers below his waistband convinced Kirishima otherwise.

He didn’t bother to make Bakugou move so he could get the pair of black boxers off. Didn’t want to risk ruining the air of the moment. He simple pushed his hand under the band and blindly wrapped a loose hold around his dick. If his ear hadn’t been inches away from Bakugou’s mouth, he probably wouldn’t have heard the tiny sound that came out at the contact.

“Think this’ll work?” He grinned around his words when the slightest slide of his hand up to the tip was enough to pull out a gasp.

“Shut your mouth.”

Oh, his voice was so beautifully strained. Kirishima couldn’t believe he’d waited a whole month to do this. When he curled his fingers a little tighter, began stroking faster, he regretted choosing a position where he couldn’t see much of Bakugou’s face other than his flushed profile. So instead, he watched the occasional twitch of Bakugou’s stomach and the curl of his toes into the sheets and the white coming to his knuckles as he clenched his fists. Admittedly, he got a little sloppy towards the end, but he focused on speed and enthusiasm rather than technique in order to keep pace with the upward rocking of Bakugou’s hips.

It was odd. For some reason, probably because of how much Bakugou despised talking, Kirishima assumed he’d be relatively quiet in bed. Because of that, he hadn't prepared himself for breathy moans and little, drawn out sounds that were so close to whimpers it was almost unbelievable. Because of that, he could barely keep from beaming when Bakugou’s head lulled back, landing with a thud onto his shoulder while an unexpected groan left his open mouth.

Kirishima knew he was grinning, and he also knew if Bakugou caught sight of that, it’d all be over. So he buried his face against the exposed stretch of Bakugou’s neck and set to occupying his mouth with a flurry of sucking and nipping.

“C’mon baby.” Kirishima muttered into the blotchy skin of his collar, completely unready for the wheeze he got in return. His grin went wider, making his cheeks ache as he sped up his movements, only stopping occasionally to thumb at the head. “Ah, I knew you liked that earlier.”

Die.” Bakugou hissed at him but still reached back and pushed his hand against Kirishima’s nape to hold him firmly in place.

“Oh? You want me to stop?” Kirishima just barely loosened his hold and a growl he could feel against his chest was enough to make him get right back to it.

“You fucking ass, I swear-” But that threat only managed to be partially formed in time with a sharp twist of Kirishima’s stroke. The rest was cut off with a relieved exhale of a moan when he went rigid just before collapsing heavily into Kirishima’s chest as a sticky warmth flooded around Kirishima’s fist. Bakugou’s hand slid to the sheets while Kirishima continued flowering kisses along his neck and shoulder even as he withdrew his hand.

“Better?” He asked between kisses only to gain a low hum as a response.

Kirishima refused to be the first one to move- he wouldn’t dare break the quietness of just sitting and listening to each other’s breathing. However, he didn’t resist when Bakugou pulled his head off his shoulder and hunched over.

“M’fucking gross.” He grumbled, head hanging and shifting uncomfortably.

“Shower?”

“Hell no. I told you earlier. I’m fucking tired.” Instead of moving away, Bakugou simply lifted himself up enough to pull his boxers off and hold them to the side. “Here shithead, wipe your hand off and throw them- uck anywhere. I don’t care.”

Kirishima did as he was told but not without a slight grimace when he took hold of the damp fabric.

Bakugou scooted off the side of the bed only to stand and start tugging at the blankets. “Hurry up and get off so I can lay down. It’s fucking freezing.”

“Ah- okay-”

Once Kirishima was on his feet, the covers were pulled up and Bakugou slipped inside. He continued to hold them high, looking entirely irritated as he scowled up towards Kirishima.

“Well? Get in- I’m not gonna wait forever for your slow ass.”

The light blankets fluttered around him as he laid down. He rolled onto his side, looking to the arm Bakugou had extended above his head. He must’ve been staring at it for too long, because Bakugou sighed and started waving his hand.

“I’m not givin’ ya a formal invitation if that’s what you’re waiting for.”

“I’m sorry, I- Oh-” His eyes went a little wide before he was scooting over and fitting himself against Bakugou’s side.

Only then did his arm fall and rest a hand against the sheets over Kirishima’s hip.

Silence fell between them for a while, and with a glance up, Kirishima found Bakugou had shut his eyes at some point. He would have thought the other was asleep if it wasn’t for the fingers that found their way into his hair. Despite how firm of a hold the gel he used had on his hair, it’d been through a lot that day- definitely a lot that night. As a result, chunks of his hair had fallen out and were laying in odd clumps around his face. He probably looked like a mess, but he tried his hardest not to think about it. It gave Bakugou the option of carding his hand through it, so he couldn’t really mind all that much.

“Hey,” Kirishima started up quietly after a while. With his cheek resting on top of Bakugou’s chest, he could both hear and feel the grunt that he got in return. “Tell me something about yourself.”

The fingers twirling a piece of his hair paused briefly before pulling a little and continuing. “Like what?”

“Anything.” He drew a few different squiggly shapes into Bakugou’s shoulder with his fingertip, giving his best attempt at a shrug. “We still don’t really know that much about each other, do we?”

“You’re always complaining about that.” Bakugou sighed and shifted to fold his other arm behind his head. “Ask me something then. I’m not just gonna start spewing shit.”

“Just anything will do.” Kirishima replied calmly.

“Look- I don’t fucking know where to start, so if you want to hear things about me, you better start asking.”

Kirishima hummed, tapping his finger a few times before tilting his head to look up at him. “What’s your mom like?”

Bakugou wasn’t smiling, but then again, there wasn’t much emotion to be found on what Kirishima could see of his face. He thought just maybe that was a bad question to ask. “Right to the deep shit, eh?”

“Only has to be deep if you make it.”

“My mom…” Kirishima figured he’d deflect quickly, but his lips pursed as if he was actually thinking of something. “She’s-” He started again, but stopped and frowned like he wasn’t entirely sure how to say any of it. “Most people say we’re a lot alike.” His frown deepened at the comment. “Even though I don’t want to be compared to that hag- I see it I guess. Unfortunately, the older I get, the more I understand her which kind of makes me mad.”

Kirishima nodded along, before bringing his head back down. He knew better than to try and look at him while asking any even slightly personal questions. “How are you alike?”

“I look like her, talk like her-” Bakugou made another grunting sound that was caught somewhere between humor and distaste. “She’s always been a little harsh. Quick to yell. I can recognize that I’m the same way.”

“Why does understanding that make you mad then?”

That pulled out a heavy sigh. “When I was a kid, I didn’t wanna be like her. Mainly because I didn’t want to be boring and just work all the time.” Kirishima snorted and opened his mouth, but Bakugou was immediately pinching his cheek. “Shut it. I’m completely fucking aware of the irony.” He took a deep breath, returning the offending hand to Kirishima’s hair like it belonged there.

“It’s just- she would always drag me to work with her. The train rides were boring and then I’d just be standing around all day and her coworkers and clients had no fucking sense of personal space so they would all come over and touch me and hug me and I fucking hated it.” His hand tightened in Kirishima’s hair inadvertently but went lax once Kirishima began rubbing a thumb against his neck.

“I mean what kid wants to stand around all day and do nothing? And she wouldn’t even be there to talk to me. She’d just- wander off somewhere and leave my grade-school ass alone to entertain myself. I hated it. Didn’t see how anyone could ever give their life up like that- So I told myself I wouldn’t be like her.” He exhaled sharply, going a little stiff. “And sometimes I get so frustrated because that’s exactly what fucking happened. But it’s worse ‘cause I don’t have some snot-nosed brat to yell at me to go home. So I don’t. And then I end up spending hours upon fucking hours in that stuffy, depressing office and the days blur together and I feel like no matter how much I work, nothing ever gets done.”

Kirishima wasn’t entirely sure what to do with all of that. He couldn’t exactly relate so sympathizing was out of the question, but he did know he could flash a grin. “I’ll yell at you to go home from now on if you want.” Bakugou didn’t look down at him, but he did huff out a laugh and crack a smile. “I can set you an alarm with my voice and it’ll go off whenever it’s time to stop working.”

“You’re an idiot.” Bakugou teased as he ruffled Kirishima’s hair.

“I’m serious. You think I won’t do it-”

“No. I know you will.” The soft touch on his head turned into a flick. “And that’s why you’re an idiot.”

“Mm,” Kirishima settled back down, grin smooshed into his chest. “Alright, and what about your dad?”

The sigh that came this time, wasn’t as big- it certainly held somewhat of a different emotion. “He’s smart, but a fuckin’ pushover. Kind of a docile, soft-spoken, pussyfooted old man.”

“Oh, so absolutely nothing like you?”

With the click of his tongue, Bakugou was lightly flicking him again. “I said he’s smart, didn’t I?”

“I don’t see your point.” Kirishima answered blankly only to get a fist pushing into his cheek and mushing his face. He laughed as he pushed Bakugou’s hand away. “Okay, fine. I change my mind. You are like him.”

“Fucking thank you.”

“But not because you’re smart.” He was laughing again through Bakugou’s offended sound. “’Cause you’re a big softie.”

“Excuse you I am not-”

“You are.” He nuzzled back into Bakugou’s hand with a bright smile. “For the past fifteen minutes you’ve been letting me lay on you while you play with my hair and talk about how much you just wanted to spend time with your mom as a kid.”

He only got a grunt at first, then a resigned sigh. “Don’t tell anyone. It’ll ruin my reputation.”

“Don’t tell anyone, or don’t tell Kaminari?”

Bakugou made a disgusted sort of noise and pulled at his hair. “New rule. Don’t ever say that idiot’s name in my bedroom.”

“That’s unfortunate, because I was fantasizing about him this whole time.”

“You really got a death wish tonight, don’tcha?” Bakugou’s voice had grown loud, but it was lacking any hint of aggression.

“Alright, alright.” Just in case, Kirishima laid a few pats to his shoulder.  “Calm down. Here’s the last one.”

“Thank fuck.”

“Tell me about Midoriya.”

There was another pause while he felt Bakugou’s chest rise with a deep breath before sinking back down. “I was just kidding earlier. You can call him Izuku if you want.” He shifted a little then. “We’ve been friends for too fucking long, lived together for a bit, and now he’s the reason that meddlesome bitch thinks her opinion matters. What else do you wanna know?”

“Have you ever had feelings for him?”

Maybe the question seemed a little out of nowhere, maybe it seemed perfectly logical- but Kirishima would have been lying to himself if he said the thought hadn’t passed through his mind a few times that night. Starting with the first time he heard Kacchan all the way up until Midoriya’s blushy little smile left the apartment. He didn’t want to seem jealous or presumptuous or overly protective, but he knew it would bother him from then up until- well probably always, unless he knew the answer. So he said it, with no way to pretend it didn’t happen, and waited while fiddling with a loose string of the sheet over his shoulders.

“Deku’s one of the straightest guys I know.”

Kirishima breathed out a laugh but refrained from shifting away to look up at him. “In true Bakugou fashion, that was not at all an answer to the question I asked.”

Bakugou sighed, somehow different than any other he’d heard that night. It was softer, weaker. “Alright fine ya ball buster- yeah, so what? I may have had a thing for him. But it was short lived and like ten years ago, so I don’t see the point in bringing it up now.”

“While that sounded rather defensive,” Kirishima lilted, only half-teasing. “I guess it’s only natural.”

He tried to keep his tone light, but Bakugou had gone a little stiff beneath him and he wondered how sensitive the topic really was. “You know I don’t… get close to people easily.” There was a pause so Kirishima nodded. “Yeah, and most people give up trying. He was one of the first, besides, well, my parents, not to. Even when I was a shit teenager, he stuck around- So I guess I mistook that for somethin’ else. Like I said. It was a long time ago, and it definitely wasn’t anything more than a stupid little kiddy crush. I grew up, realized what it actually meant to feel those things for someone, and we moved on from it.”

Kirishima hummed along, smiled when his head was held a little tighter against Bakugou’s chest. “So he knows?”

“Of course he does. Little shit probably knew it before I did. When I told him, he just gave me that dopey, patronizing smile and said thank you and apologized like it was his fault I had so many misplaced emotions.”

“Ouch.”

“Ouch- more like how ‘bout fuck off- shitty Deku. He said he tried to let me down easy, like my world was gonna end- shit, it wasn’t even real love, and s’not like I was some fragile kid or anything.”

“No. Never.” Kirishima pinched his bicep, grinning. “You were just as tough back then I bet.”

“Damn right.” He moved down into the covers a little more and let out a long exhale. “Now enough of this sappy shit.”

Kirishima let his eyes close as fingers started working through his hair again. “No, keep talking.”

“Why should I?”

“I like hearing it.” Bakugou scoffed, but Kirishima simply dropped his voice quieter and huddled as close as he could get. “Tell me where you grew up.”

“Thought that was the last question?”

Kirishima turned his chin up and smiled without even worrying if he’d see it. “Humor me, baby.”

“Stop callin’ me that.”

“Get to talking then.”

Most of the story that followed ended up being lost on him. The quiet words and comforting touches were enough to make sleep more enticing than hearing anything and everything Bakugou had to say.

The faint sound of buzzing was the only thing that eventually reached his ears. It grew louder until Kirishima’s sleep ridden mind cleared enough to recognize it as his phone. He blinked a few time, eyes foggy until they focused on the profile of his sleeping boyfriend. The room was lighter, sunlight peaked out from the corners of the curtains.

He hadn’t moved much since the last of what he could remember- he must’ve accidentally fallen asleep in the middle of Bakugou talking to him. He wondered how mad the other would be about that fact. He pestered him to open up so often and once he finally did, Kirishima had gone and fallen asleep on him. Literally on him.

But then again, he guessed Bakugou hadn’t minded too much considering he let Kirishima sleep and never tried to shove him off. If anything, the arm around Kirishima’s back, draped over his side, was an indication of the very opposite.

Huh.

He never took Bakugou for a cuddler.

Not that he’d ever voice that and risk getting punched square in the jaw.

The sound of his phone stopped and Kirishima was ready to let his eyes slip back closed with a deep breath until the buzzing started right back up again.

“Fuckface,” Bakugou grumbled, voice thick and crackly. “Get your fucking phone before I smash it into a thousand pieces.”

“But-”

Kirishima.

With a defeated sigh, Kirishima rolled away from the comfortable warmth to glance down at the floor by the bed. His phone was a few feet off, moving along the hardwood in a small circle as it vibrated. He could see a bright blur of pink across the screen- Mina’s contact picture.

That brought out another heavy sigh because he knew for a fact she wouldn’t stop calling until he answered.

He picked the sheets up, cursed under his breath when the cold air hit his body- fuck, right, still naked. It was an awkward, stiff-limbed fumble to grab his phone and hurry back into the warmth of the blankets. Kirishima immediately regained his position of pushing against Bakugou despite the man’s complaint of how cold he was. Head tucked against Bakugou’s neck, he swiped the call open and placed the phone atop his cheek.

Kiri!” Mina’s bright and chipper voice was almost grating to his tired ears. “Are you okay?

“Yeah?” He cleared his throat after that one, scratchy word. “Are you?”

No.” She heaved in a breath, sounded frustrated. “I know you’re not, like, the lightest sleeper or anything- but I’ve been banging on your door for ten minutes and your neighbor’s already yelled at me so can you please come and open the damn door. It’s time for birthday festivities.

Kirishima tilted his head back a little, looked up at Bakugou who was staring at him with an expectant brow quirked up. “I’m- uh, not home.”

She was quiet for a few seconds before a menacing, teasing hum started up. “It’s nine in the morning on a Saturday of all days and Kirishima Eijirou isn’t home? My, my, looks like someone got some-

Kirishima coughed loudly, rolling away from Bakugou and landing on his back. “Okay! What do you need Mina?” Kirishima was almost sure Bakugou couldn’t hear her on the other end, but he’d rather her stop than risk Bakugou getting mad at how much his friends tended to overshare with one another.

Happy Birthday big boy-

“Mina please.” He begged, hand curling tightly around the phone.

She finally let up, and dropped her voice into its normal tone. “I want to take you to brunch- well actually we all do. For your birthday. Since, y’know, you bailed on us last night.” His mouth was already open to give an apology, but she was clicking her tongue before he could start. “No, no. I understand. Trust me. You gotta do what you gotta do for the dick.

Dammit- Mina-” He whined, but she was speaking over him again. He could practically hear the grin in her words.

So? Brunch?

Kirishima sighed, eyes slipping shut. “Yeah, I can do that.”

Wonderful sweetie. I found this place downtown last time I was there- I’ll text you where it is. Think you can be there in an hour?

Kirishima nodded to himself. “Yeah.”

Great! Make sure you bring Bakugou along. I can’t wait to actually meet him this time. Love ya!

“Ah- I’ll-”

But she was gone.

Hung up.

His phone beeped and the screen lit up against his cheek with the call ended screen. He dropped his phone to the pillow beside his head and flung his arm down.

“Do your friends always call you this early?”

Kirishima turned his head, stared over at Bakugou before inhaling fully. “Wanna go to brunch?”

“The whole shitsquad gonna be there?”

Kirishima nodded and waited for the rejection. He wouldn’t blame Bakugou. He knew his friends were obnoxious and he doubted Bakugou wanted to see them more than he had to at the office. It would sting a little, naturally, but he could handle having separate times for his friends and his relationship. It might be a pain, but he could get used to it. He could do it. He could-

“Sure.”

Kirishima’s eyes went a little wide as Bakugou flung the covers back pulled himself up. Arms stretched over his head, he sighed and bent over to curve his back.

“But I need a shower- so do you. We fucking stink.”

Kirishima didn’t even have the chance to admire the beautiful, bare man in front of him. He was too surprised at how easily Bakugou had agreed.

Bakugou narrowed his eyes, arms crossing over his chest. “What’re you fuckin’ gawking at?”

“You want to go?” He found himself asking with all the bare astonishment he wished he could hide.

Bakugou looked just as stunned as he was for a second before his scowl was back and he was skulking off towards his bathroom. “Why wouldn’t I? You put up with my shitty friends. Now it’s my turn.”

Kirishima sat up, followed Bakugou with his eyes as he walked across the room. “But I enjoyed spending time with your friends. They’re nice.”

“And yours are fucking weird.” Bakugou stepped in the bathroom but gripped the frame and shot a glance over his shoulder. “But they’re your friends. And that means they can’t be all that bad.”

“You want to go.” It wasn’t a question this time, but it was still equally as awe filled.

“Fucking- yes okay?” Bakugou groused in frustration as he switched the light on. “Now come get in the fucking shower before I drag your ass in here myself.”

Kirishima wasn’t any less shocked by the answer, but he still managed to pull himself free from the blankets and stumble after Bakugou through the door.

He wanted to go.

Chapter Text

Bakugou, as Kirishima had learned over the course of the past month, was an extremely punctual person. That is, if you can count being at least ten minutes early everywhere as punctual. While Kirishima wasn’t necessarily a late person, his friends most certainly were. He always made sure to tell them to be somewhere fifteen minutes before he would be there to ensure just maybe they would all get there at the same time. Thankfully, Sero seemed to be consistently on time, so at least Kirishima usually had one person to talk to before the other two slowpokes arrived. Kaminari tended to rush places like he could never quite figure out how to plan his time. Still, he was never more than twenty minutes late. Mina- well- Mina was a lost cause most of the time. He and Kaminari had stopped waiting for her early on. No matter whether it was coming over to one of their apartments or meeting somewhere for dinner, they would always start without her.

It took some squabbling, but Kirishima eventually convinced Bakugou they could take their time getting there. It was like it physically pained him to be late somewhere. It only got worse once he and Kirishima showed up to the restaurant fifteen minutes later than Mina had told him to meet and the other three were already there. It shocked Kirishima a bit, but he was too busy trying to quell Bakugou’s angry muttering to think through his own surprise.

Approaching the small round table, the pair was met with three sets of critical eyes and matching grins. Mina waved him over quickly to the empty seat beside her. Bakugou followed half a step behind him and sat between him and Kaminari.

As soon as Kirishima was seated, Mina had an arm around his shoulders and pulled him against her. “Kiri dear, I didn’t expect you to love my present so much that you’d wear it two days in a row.” She ran her hand along the knitted fabric over his chest and hummed. “Or maybe you had no other option, hmm?”

Mina-” Kirishima started to whine but Bakugou was speaking louder than him almost instantly.

“I offered t’give him one of mine, but he refused.”

Kirishima turned his head quickly to Bakugou as Mina pushed him back upright and leaned forward “Oh?”

Bakugou-” Kirishima’s whine started all over again but only gained a shrug in return.

“S’not like they don’t already know.”

“Even though we would like to forget it immediately.” Kaminari muttered from his side.

Mina patted Kirishima’s shoulder apologetically. “Plus, even if you had taken something of his, we would’ve known. It would probably look far too nice to ever have belonged to you.”

“Can you go one day without insulting my wardrobe?”

“That was more a compliment for his wardrobe,” Mina retorted but then grinned. “But no, probably not. Because I hate everything you own that I haven’t bought you.”

“I’ve told you before, buy me as many clothes as you want.”

“Please do.”

Kirishima gave a dramatic gasp and turned his head back to Bakugou abruptly. “Not you too.”

Bakugou shrugged bringing out a trio of titters around the table.

Mina pushed Kirishima back so she could narrow her eyes and give Bakugou as slow onceover. “Alright, why don’t you buy him some clothes then Mr. Big Bucks? I know for a fact you make a hell of a lot more than me.”

“Yeah,” Kirishima cooed after her and chose to then grin brightly at Bakugou. “Why don’t you spoil me with fancy new outfits?”

Sero and Kaminari both sucked in a breath before huddling close and whispering together, “Sugar Daddy.

“That is not what I meant!” Kirishima piped at them while hunching over only to cautiously glance back to Bakugou.

He merely sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Unfortunately for you fuckers, I’m not fucking rich.” Bakugou bit back in both frustration and disappointment. “Believe it or not, managing you shitheads doesn’t pay as much as it should considering the constant migraine I have. And fuck off- I’m not old enough to be anyone’s daddy.”

“So the issue is he doesn’t have the money?” Sero muttered, continuing to whisper as if it would go unheard.

Kaminari nodded along, pulling a hand in front of his mouth but still speaking at the same volume. “Which means he’d totally do it if he was rich.”

“Do you guys think we can’t hear you?” Mina whisper-shouted while leaning over towards them.

Gripping the edge of the table, Bakugou bent forward over it and hissed at them in his own attempt at a whisper. “If you’re trying to be quiet, you’re doing a pisspoor job at it. And just because you’re so interested, of fucking course I’d spoil the shit outta him if I was rich. And neither of you would get a single penny of it.”

The two stared at him in disbelief and probably a little fear. Mina seemed a tad bit surprised as well while she looked between them. But as the silence lingered around them, Kirishima couldn’t help but break into a laugh. The four looked at him with a mixture of feelings, but he merely continued to laugh until Kaminari’s glare shut him down.

“Kami, I think he’s laughing at you.” Mina hummed, wicked smile taking over.

“So you think me getting scolded is funny, huh?” Kaminari remarked, suddenly snapping out of his frightful daze. “Well then, why don’t we share some hilarious stories to keep the laughter coming?”

“No, I wasn’t-” Kirishima started, but Mina smacked him on the back.

“Oh no. You want to laugh. So let’s laugh.”

“Alright,” Kaminari cracked his knuckles and wiggled around to get settled in his seat. “Let’s go all the way back to beginning, yeah? ‘Cause Kiri in university was a riot.”

“And a fucking mess.” Mina added with another sharp slap to his back.

Kirishima could only sigh and rub a hand over his face in preparation for the worst.

By the time they had ordered, gotten their food, and Kirishima had eaten half his omelet, he was about ready to blow his brains out- or just hide under the table from the amount of shit talking that was happening at his expense.

“So then-” Kaminari began around a mouthful of rice. “We don’t see Kiri again until our class the next morning. And he is just- fucking plastered-” He swallowed his food with a laugh, wiping at his mouth. “Like, I have never seen someone so drunk five hours later. So we’re sitting there trying not to pass out from how hungover we are, then out of nowhere he leans over to me and mutters ‘yo, I’m about to puke- I just know it-‘ and I’m like ‘well shit dude go to the bathroom’. But see, we had this really shitty professor at the time who would make a scene and yell at you and shit if you ever tried to leave the room or anything- so Kiri being the good boy his is, just sat there until I hear this weird sound- and I look over and there he is, poor idiot, just fucking wailing into his backpack-“

“Please stop-” Kirishima groaned into his hand. “This isn’t even a good story. It’s just embarrassing.”

“It’s disgusting is what it is.” Sero chides, frowning down at his bowl and dropping his spoon.

“That’s not even the worst part.” Kaminari continued without a second thought. “Because later when were in the library, he forgot that it had happened and went to stick his hand in and grab his notebook. Well you can imagine how much grosser it got once he pulled his hand back out.”

“I regret ever agreeing to come here.” Kirishima kept his face pushed against his palm until he heard the lightest snicker that drew his attention to the side. “Why are you laughing-” He whined before laying a punch to Bakugou’s shoulder. “This isn’t funny.”

To his surprise, Bakugou’s face didn’t immediately crumple into a scowl- instead it just curled a little bit more into a smirk as he pushed Kirishima’s fist away. “You’re just such a fucking idiot.”

Kirishima didn’t know whether to complain more or melt from the rare chance of getting to see Bakugou so amused. Even if it was to tease him.

He settled somewhere in between with a huff and directed his exasperation at his friends instead. “Okay, I think that’s enough.”

Mina leaned against him, head rolling onto his shoulder. “But we have so many more.”

He pushed her off immediately. “Not necessary.”

“I think it’s entirely necessary.” Bakugou remarked.

Kirishima shot him a mopey frown. “This isn’t fair. Your friends didn’t talk all this shit about you to me.”

“That’s ‘cause you didn’t ask them. They would’ve gladly done it if you had just said the word.” Bakugou shrugged passively and sat back in his chair. “Not my fault your friends are fucking mean.”

“We’re not mean-” Mina said, trialing off and looking to Kaminari.

“We’re just...” Kaminari continued for her.

“Informative.” Sero finished.

The other two nodded along and Mina grinned. “Yeah, we’re just giving you a heads up that our boy here isn’t as smart as he seems.”

“Seems pretty mean to me.” Kirishima murmured before speaking up louder. “Why don’t I start shit talking all of you then?” He scowled at three relatively calm expressions. “Hmm? How’s that sound?”

Mina seemed to ignore him completely as she waved him off. “I dunno about that, but the whole vomit hand situation still wasn’t as sad as the time he got drunk and tried to makeout with Kami-”

Kirishima was grumbling all over again and sinking into his seat. “We really don’t need to talk about that.”

“No, we definitely do.” Mina replied and brought her grin back.

Kaminari hummed along with her. “It was one of your lowest points.”

Kirishima pinned him with a glare. “You were into it for a second.”

“I was not!”

“You totally leaned in.” Mina agreed.

“I thought he was trying to tell me something!”

Sero snorted, head shaking. “That sounds totally fake.”

Trying and failing to hide her laughter behind her hand, Mina gave Kaminari a quick wink. “Admit it Kami, you’re gay for your bestfriend.”

Kaminari was quick to squeak back at them. “Am not!”

Seeing this as the only diversion from talking more about his past mistakes, Kirishima sat up quickly. “Does anyone see a girlfriend?”

“I’ve had girlfriends.”

“Not that I’ve ever met.” She turned her head. “Kiri, have you ever met any of his girlfriends?”

“Not one.”

Kaminari huffed. “That doesn’t mean anything.”

“Where are they then?” Mina asked while searching around the room.

Kaminari stuttered through a few words before huffing and pounding a fist on the table. “Alright, well what about Sero, huh? He never has a girlfriend either.”

“Yeah, but he’s also not gay for me.” Kirishima pointed out before popping a piece of orange into his mouth.

“Oh yeah, sorry dude. I’m really not.” Sero’s smile had grown sympathetic but he quickly turned on Kaminari with a displeased expression. “I’m also a little offended. I could have a girlfriend.”

“And so could I.” Kaminari argued only to gain another round of mocking laughs.

“No, but like, I actually could have one.”

Kirishima nodded, eyes closed in thought. “I can see it.”

“The fuck are you people on about?” Bakugou’s sudden, gruff addition had them all looking over at him. He looked angrily baffled as he glanced between them. “Is this a joke?”

“Say Sero,” Mina clapped her hands, speaking loudly and abruptly. “Do you think your hypothetical girlfriend would be as wonderful as me? Or have I ruined all other women for you?”

Kaminari barked a laugh, head tilting up. “Ruin other women my ass- Bro, if you can’t do better than this slimy witch, then you’ve got worse problems than me.”

“I’m amazing.” Mina refuted.

Sero jabbed him with his elbow an unreadable look passing over him. “You’d be lucky to find a girl like her.”

“I’m fucking lost. Aren’t you-” Bakugou jerked then, bent forward over the table as if something had hit him in the gut.

“It’s such a shame neither of you know the pleasure of dating me. I’m a catch.”

Mina’s voice was light but her eyes were a little sharp towards Bakugou in way that Kirishima couldn’t entirely understand. There was a split second when he was worried he’d missed something. That these two were suddenly going to be at each other’s throats and the pleasant morning would come to an end.

Kaminari didn’t seem to notice as he clicked his tongue along with the shake of his head. “Oh, I’m sure I’d catch something from you.”

Mina rounded on him instantly, throwing her hand toward him and jabbing at the air with her finger. “I’ll have you know I am clean and pristine all over. The only thing you’re gonna catch is feelings for me from how bomb this pussy is.”

While Kirishima had become rather immune to the shock of how quickly their banter dissolved into poorly formed insults and rather suggestive insinuations- or outright vulgarity-, the choking sound to his right was proof that Bakugou seemed rather unprepared.

Kirishima sighed and flipped over a clump of eggs while his mouth curled into something unpleasant. “Okay guys, I know nothing says good topics of discussion while I’m trying to eat like Mina’s genitals, but can we please change the subject.”

Genitals-” Kaminari sputtered back at him. Apparently no, they could not change the subject. “Kiri just ‘cause you don’t like ‘em doesn’t mean you can’t say the word vagina.”

“Maybe he’s afraid of saying it.” Sero supplied quietly, but not quiet enough for Kirishima not to sigh heavily again.

Kirishima’s flat palms hit the table and made them all hunch down in laughter. “How did this conversation get so much worse this fast?”

“You know getting angry just encourages them, right?” Bakugou said calmly from beside him.

Kirishima gaped. Bakugou was throwing his own words right back at him and it didn’t feel good in the slightest.

“I’m not angry.”

Bakugou shrugged, sucking at his water through a straw. “Works the same though, don’t it?”

“What are they-” Kaminari started, but Mina was waving at him in an instant.

“Hush- they’re quarreling.” She whispered it but was grinning at the same time.

“We’re not quarreling.” Kirishima sounded exhausted and honestly, he didn’t feel too far off from that.

Bakugou set his glass down before folding his arms over his chest. “You guys are assholes. But I’ve got a few asshole friends of my own. And someone’s being a little hypocritical.”

“You’re supposed to be on my side.” Kirishima lamented as he slumped back into his chair.

“Hypocritical?” Mina chimed in that mischievous lilt of hers. “We’ve got plenty of those stories too.”

Kirishima groaned, hands returning to his face. “I thought it was over.”

Sero reached around Mina to land a hand on Kirishima’s shoulder and pat it. “It’s never over buddy.”

Sero was right. It was far from over. They stayed there for another hour recounting countless times they’d embarrassed each other and done some, admittedly, stupid shit. Kirishima tried his best not to be embarrassed by it, but he couldn’t say he wasn’t relieved when they decided it was probably time to leave. At least once the three left him and Bakugou to head towards the station, he wouldn’t have to worry about being publically outed as the clumsy, reckless goof he was- not that Bakugou didn’t already know that.

The rest of the day had been spent with Kirishima dragging the two of them around the city doing ‘whatever the hell he wanted’ as Bakugou had put it. That included going to a small outdoor market a few blocks away. He’d wanted to go there all summer, but Mina and Kaminari usually refused to try and get to the city that early in the day. After that, they ended up wandering around in an area of shops he’d never been to. They were a little nicer, a little more expensive than where he’d usually spend his time. Abruptly after rounding a corner, he was tugged inside somewhere and had a number of pricey watches shoved in his face until he decided which one he liked best.

“It’s your birthday, ain’t it?” Bakugou had barked at him while buying the watch he picked out and then promptly forcing the small box into his hands. “I’d be a shit boyfriend if I didn’t get you an actual gift.

Kirishima wanted to say something about how he didn’t need a present, but he had been too busy beaming with the flutters he got every time Bakugou used the word boyfriend like they hadn’t been dating for weeks. Something about it still gave his stomach the best twisting feeling.

He’d wiggled his watch-clad arm under Bakugou’s to hook them together as soon as they were out of the store. It earned him a quiet grumble, but Bakugou did nothing to pull away from his side so Kirishima considered it a win.

It wasn’t until some hours later when Kirishima’s stomach began to growl loud enough to be annoying that he convinced Bakugou maybe they should find somewhere to eat. He’d suggested a number of restaurants in the city he liked, but each time, Bakugou turned his nose up just a little more.

Through little words and a few forceful shoves, Kirishima found himself in the grocery store by his apartment aimlessly following Bakugou around as he rooted through the shelves. The forty minute train ride and being surrounded by food did little to help his aching stomach. Kirishima would have been happy with anything at that point.

He did eventually manage to sneak away for a few minutes and buy himself a granola bar. He opened it on their walk back to his apartment, only to get scolded by Bakugou that he better not spoil his appetite. Kirishima was pretty sure that couldn’t happen- he’d eat on a full stomach if the food was anywhere close to as good as last time.

“If I had known it was your birthday, I would’ve made you something better than that shit last night.” Bakugou had growled at him as they climbed the stairwell.

Kirishima assured him it was good- it was probably the best thing he’d eaten in a long time. Bakugou seemed disbelieving, but he didn’t choose to verbally argue about it.

Kirishima had thought it was amazing- but that was until he ate whatever Bakugou made him that night. He didn’t even know what it was- didn’t ask. But it was meaty and strong and warm and it was certainly the best damn thing he’d eaten in a hell of a long time. And he’d gushed about it until Bakugou told him to shut up despite having a smile that went along with it.

He’d convinced Bakugou to stay longer and watch a movie with him. Bakugou had only said no once before immediately giving in a dragging him towards the couch.

However, it only took ten minutes before Bakugou was asking questions that he would find the answers to if he just listened and watched.

It took twenty minutes before he was complaining loudly about how shitty the plot was and how unnatural the dialogue sounded.

By thirty minutes, Kirishima gave up trying to enjoy it, threw his leg to the side, and planted himself on Bakugou’s lap to finally shut him up. It seemed to do the trick, and by the look of Bakugou’s self-satisfied smile, maybe it had been the plan all along. Kirishima could hardly be annoyed when he got the gift of hands running up and down his back and hot breath fanning over his neck with every kiss.

 “Y’know,” Kirishima spoke softly after a while, head tilted back and eyes wandering around the ceiling. The room was lit dimly by a floor lamp in the corner and the flashing lights of the disregarded movie still playing on the tv. “It’s a shame we didn’t get more chances for this this morning. Having to rush out to meet them and all.” He gained a quiet hum against the hollow of his throat which he could only take to be an agreement. “I guess this makes up for it, but it still would’ve been nice to have more time on my birthday and all.”

“We’ve been together all day.” Bakugou muttered while moving his mouth back up towards Kirishima’s jaw. “My fucking bad for not constantly touching you like those gross idiots earlier.”

Kirishima squinted at a cobweb in the corner of the ceiling. “What? Who?”

“You seriously-” Bakugou pushed him back firmly. Kirishima’s ass hit his knees so Bakugou could watch him clearly. “You weren’t just joking earlier?”

Kirishima returned his confusion by tilting his head. “When?”

“When-” Whatever was going to follow that was gone once Bakugou sighed and let his head roll to the back of the couch. He smiled a little, but something about it made Kirishima feel like it was mocking him. “You idiot.”

Definitely mocking.

But why?

Kirishima frowned, kept his wrinkled expression even when he was tugged forward and there were lips on his neck again followed by cold fingers skirting under his sweater.

Joking earlier…

Sure, he’d joked a lot that morning- they all had.

Gross people touching?

He hadn’t really seen any of that. Bakugou hadn’t pointed anything like that out.

Really, he’d been mostly quiet at brunch. Not like Kirishima could blame him. His friends had the tendency of overwhelming anyone who came along with them. There’d been a few snappy outburst which Kirishima also expected. Those in addition to a few surprising laughs had made for an altogether pleasant outing. It had been a great relief considering his head often thought of those worst possibilities. He guessed someone would have left the day feeling upset or angry, so it was tremendously lovely when everyone seemed to still have high spirits by the end.

The only time he’d actually been even slightly concerned was when Mina seemed to get a little more distractive than he’d seen in a while. And Kirishima was just as confused then as he had been in the restaurant.

What had they been talking about?

The plausibility of Sero having a girlfriend- for some reason that set Bakugou off- Mina being egotistical as always- Kaminari picking on her as always- Sero being oddly outspoken about it- once again setting Bakugou’s short patience off- Mina undoubtedly kicking him under the table-

What was he missing?

You’d be lucky to find a girl like her

Those words.

That face.

Was there an arm around her back?

Kirishima was reeling.

He jerked away abruptly causing teeth to scrape his throat. He gripped tight onto Bakugou’s shoulders to keep himself from falling backwards. “Oh fuck.

“What-”

The look of concern Bakugou was giving him went unnoticed as Kirishima’s brows crumpled in thought. “Oh fuck- They’re totally dating.”

“Huh?”

“Mina and Sero-” He fumbled his way off Bakugou’s lap to scoot toward the arm of the couch and push his hair back. “They’re dating.”

As soon as Kirishima was gone, a flash of grey and a swishing tail hopped onto the couch and immediately landed itself on top of Bakugou’s legs.

Bakugou’s worry had dissipated instantly as he clicked his tongue at Kirishima and lightly scratched at the bottom of the cat’s chin. “Yeah?”

“What do you mean yeah?” Then Kirishima’s eyes went a little wider as he leaned forward. “You knew?”

“You didn’t?” Bakugou asked disbelievingly. He sighed after that, leaned back into the couch as Ao nuzzled her head into his stomach. “We went on a fucking double date last week genius.”

“No we didn’t.”

“We did.” Letting his head fall to the side, Bakugou hiked an exhausted brow up at him. “We went to dinner. Just us four- no Kaminari in sight. You thinkin’ that was just a coincidence?”

“That wasn’t- ” He choked on the rest of his sentence once the realization hit him. “Holy shit.”

Bakugou leaned to the side so he could poke his finger into Kirishima’s forehead and let out another sigh. “Is there any brain in there or is it all just hair?”

Kirishima batted at his hand, foot joining in to kick at his thigh. Ao let out a disgruntled growl of sorts as she was jostled in Bakugou’s lap, even going so far as to swat at his foot.

“This is not my fault.” Kirishima defended as he jerked his leg back. “They haven’t said a word.”

Much to Kirishima’s dismay, Bakugou’s hand on the cat’s head immediately dispelled any anger in turn for quiet purring. Every time Bakugou came over, he felt more and more like he was being replaced as his cat’s favorite person. He was always rather conflicted at the sight. He was both enamored with the sheer charm of the two of them getting along but also subtly upset with the tinge of envy he felt. Envy that he was not only lacking attention from his own pet but there was then the following jealously when he was, on multiple occasions, pushed away from Bakugou by the butting of a head and claws gently kneading into his side.

“You’re her best friend, aren’t you?” Bakugou’s voice brought him back. “Shouldn’t you have been able to tell she was dating someone?”

Kirishima sunk down into the arm of the couch with a sigh. “Sero’s with us all the time anyway. And they haven’t been acting any different.”

“You’re fucking blind and stupid then.” Kirishima chose to scowl at him, but Bakugou was too busy fiddling with that cat’s ears to even pay attention to him. Bakugou continued in spite of Kirishima’s huff and cross expression. “They’re always smiling at each other and fucking whispering under their breath. That shit wasn’t happening before. You and idiot number two are just too oblivious to notice.” He looked up then, pinned Kirishima with this odd mix of irritation and discomfiture. “But then again, you didn’t even notice when you were doing the same shit to me so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”

Kirishima smiled timidly. “Maybe you’re just overly observant.”

“Maybe you’re just stupid.”

“You shouldn’t insult me so much.” He joked, grin turning more assured. “I’ll begin to think you don’t like me anymore.”

“You’re just changing the subject so you won’t have to admit you’re a shitty friend for not noticing two of your friends are fucking.”

“They’re just dating,” Kirishima muttered, grimacing a little at the thought. “You don’t know if they’re doing that.”

Bakugou snorted and rolled his eyes back down to the furred head pushing against his palm in search of scratching fingers. “Yeah, sure. I’ll let you believe that a little longer.”

Kirishima sat up again, elbows landing on crossed knees and chin going to rest on his fists. “How could you possibly be able to tell that?”

“She could tell about you.”

“Only because I didn’t take the time to change clothes.”

“It wasn’t just that and you know it.”

“Mina’s always thinking lewd shit though.” That got him an exhausted stare from Bakugou as the wheels in his head turned slowly until finally clicking together. Kirishima scrunched his nose as he made a small gagging sound. “Oh jeez, they are fucking.”

Bakugou sighed, hands going under Ao’s front legs to pull her up to his eye-level. She stretched long, extended paws flexing in the air. “Aye girl, can you tell me why I like your shitty dad? He’s really fucking dumb, isn’t he?” Moving his arms up and down, her head bobbed as she gave a quiet trill. “You’re so right. I agree.”

“Stop poisoning her opinion of me.” Kirishima whined and reached out the pet at her back.

“Not my fault she’s smarter than you.”

“She’s a needy bitch.” Kirishima mumbled as he watched her settle back down into Bakugou’s lap

“Like father like daughter.” Kirishima frowned when she chirped, huffing dramatically until Bakugou looked back up to him. “What?”

“She’s always taking my spot.”

Bakugou looked down into shiny green eyes with a scoff. “You’re not seriously jealous of a cat, are you, needy bitch?”

Kirishima made a show of pushing his bottom lip out and letting his shoulders sag.

Bakugou gave in easily, lifted his arm up, and waved him over. “Come on then.”

Kirishima was quick to scoot over the cushion and wedge himself under Bakugou’s arm. He sighed contently when the heavy weight fell around his shoulders and hung down on his chest.

Bakugou turned his head, burying his nose into limp red hair before letting out a deep breath. “You’re ridiculous.”

I love you his mind echoed gently.

Although it was far from the first time the feeling had crossed Kirishima’s thoughts, it never failed to startle him.

It’d only been a month.

He considered himself crazy for even thinking about it.

He wouldn’t say it- couldn’t possibly say that yet.

So he pushed his cheek a little harder against Bakugou’s shoulder and hoped at least some of his feelings were clear.

Chapter Text

For the last four years, the weekend before Christmas always involved a party and it almost always ended with someone throwing up.

Needless to say, it was both an enjoyable time, and usually, a fucking mess.

This Christmas probably wouldn’t be any different- but it’d also be a mess for an entirely different reason than drinking far too much.

This year, Kirishima would have Bakugou there. And whenever he came anywhere with Kirishima’s friends, there was always a good bit of yelling and screaming. It was normally all in good fun, but that didn’t mean Kirishima wasn’t stressed the whole time.

Things had gotten better in the past two and a half months since his birthday. The five of them had spent more time together and Bakugou seemed to be less uncomfortable with their incessant teasing. Now, he merely entertained it with bickering and sharp retorts in return. So, Kirishima didn’t necessarily feel nervous about having them all together, but he felt nervous more so about having him around so many people he’d never met. Mina tended to invite everyone she knew to cram into her tiny apartment, and if Kirishima knew one thing, it was that Bakugou didn’t like crowds- especially not ones that he had to interact with. So a room filled to the brim with strangers probably wasn’t the best place to invite him.

The more Kirishima thought about it, the less he believed Bakugou would actually show up. Any other time, he would have went and picked Bakugou up himself, but he’d promised Mina months ago that he’d help her set up this year. So instead of taking the time to go all the way into the city, he was stuck fretting while lugging bags of soda and beer up the stairwell of Mina’s shitty apartment complex.

Even though it was only a ten minute drive away from his own apartment, the neighborhood seemed to become noticeably worse with each change of the street. By the time they got to her place, it was almost hard to walk around without feeling scared. She didn’t seem to mind at all. The rent was considerably cheaper for a single bedroom apartment, and while she probably had enough money to live in the same building as the other two, she chose to spend her money elsewhere.

They had far more than enough beer for all the people that could fit in her apartment. She’d also convinced Sero to buy whatever liquor he wanted. When he showed up thirty minutes later with five different bottles all far stronger than was necessary for a Christmas party, it was clear the night was already beginning to look like the disaster Kirishima knew it was going to be.

His lingering anxiety only rose when people started streaming in and yet there was no sight of his extremely punctual and not even bothered enough to send him a text boyfriend. The latter was clear. Despite his routine, every five minute, check of his phone, there were no calls and no texts apart from Kaminari’s message to the group saying he was bringing a surprise with him.

Kaminari’s surprises were never that exciting. He tried to be suspenseful, and it wasn’t rare that he’d make it out to seem like he had this amazing thing waiting for them to find. Back in university it usually meant, free food, a new video game, or weed. Now, it was more likely he bought an expensive pair shoes and wanted to brag about them or he had leftover coupons he found in his wallet that he wanted to get rid of.

Still, when Mina opened the door with nothing more than a bland hello, Kaminari’s grin fell into an annoyed pucker.

“I told you guys to get ready for the surprise. Be excited.”

Mina sighed and leaned against the door frame. “Last time you told us you had a surprise it was because you stepped in dog shit on the way over and then found a sucker on the ground.”

“It was a pretty eventful Tuesday night for me.”

“You ate a piece of candy you found on the sidewalk.”

“The wrapper was still on it!”

Despite Kirishima having heard and chosen to ignore the conversation, Mina waved him over anyway. He took to the other side of the open door, giving Kaminari a once over but found nothing out of the ordinary. “Is this better or worse than street garbage and dog shit?”

“Far better. Are you ready to-”

“Just fucking come in already.” Mina had a hand fisted in his shirt to tug him inside, but he was quickly brushing her off.

“Hold on. I’m actually not alone.”

With one arm slung over Mina’s shoulder and the other over Kirishima’s, Sero wedged his head between them. “Everyone you know is here.”

“Wrong!” Kaminari glanced down the hall before stepping to the side and grinning. “It’s finally time for all of you to fucking suck it-”

Gay.” Mina and Sero whispered together.

“-and meet my girlfriend.” Kaminari looked back to them then, far more pleased with himself than he should be. “That’s right. I said girlfriend.”

He probably expected something other than what he got. Which was Mina sighing and shaking her head. “Don’t tell me you bribed some poor girl.”

“No!” He squeaked, waving towards the sound of thick soled boots coming down the hall. “She is here of her own free will. Because we’re dating and this isn’t a lie or a joke so please don’t be assholes.”

“Mm, that’s inevitable.” Kirishima remarked with a grin that was wiped clean as soon as he caught sight of purple hair and a familiar leather jacket.

“Hey guys.” Jirou called just before she stopped beside Kaminari. “Sorry- I forgot the beer in the car and had to run back down to get it.” She held up two six packs after that, smiling towards a wall of disbelief.

It took a while, but eventually Mina managed to speak up. “I’m sorry. But- what the fuck?”

Despite the harshness of Mina’s tone, Jirou laughed and gave a shrug. “Yeah, yeah. Look I know that-”

“She’s my girlfriend.” Kaminari interjected excitedly, waving his finger between them. “And you guys know her so you know I’m not lying or paying her so guess what?” His waving finger stopped to change to flipping them off. “This is a big ole fuck you.”

“Stop being a dick.” Jirou sent an elbow into his ribs which immediately had him buckling forward. Her smile went a little apologetic as she looked back to Mina. “I should’ve said something to you, but he’s been talking about telling you guys off for- uh, like a week. He was really excited.”

“And I’m a little disappointed.” Kaminari muttered while rubbing his side. “I wanted you guys to freak out.”

“Why would we?” Kirishima asked with a chuckle. “We already know her.”

“Yeah, but- she’s my girlfriend.”

Mina snorted. “Kami, we’ve all been friends for two years. Honestly, I’m just commending her will to withstand your obvious advances that long.”

Jirou sighed, but it was amused. “He finally wore me down. Thought this couldn’t possibly be as bad as listening to him complain about not dating me.”

Sero was then completely draped over Mina’s back, arms wrapped loosely around her neck. “What’s the verdict?”

“Definitely less annoying.” She replied.

Kaminari slumped down a little. “I feel like I should be offended, but I don’t think I am.”

“So,” Kirishima squinted at them. “Your surprise was that you brought Jirou with you? Wasn’t she already invited?”

“She was.” Mina confirmed.

“Yeah, but I didn’t just bring her along- she’s here as my-”

“Girlfriend.” Mina interrupted. “We know.” She was already turning and dragging Sero along with her as she retreated into her apartment. “It’s not that big a deal Kami- you’ve tried hitting on her since I introduced you.”

Kaminari wandered after her with another complaint on his tongue while Jirou went off into the kitchen. Kirishima shut the door behind them while pulling his phone from his pocket and watching it light up to a blank lock screen. Before he could unlock it and check for a message that obviously wasn’t there, Mina was beside him again.

“Are you gonna chill with that?” She peered down at his phone before smacking her hand over the screen. “What are you waiting for?”

He didn’t reply with any words, but the look on his face must’ve been telling enough because she was changing to smack at his chest instead.

“Are you kidding me?” She grabbed his shoulders, giving them a good shake. “It’s not like he’s just not gonna show up. Has he ever once blown you off without telling you?”

“No, but-”

“You’re being pitiful.” She slapped his cheek- it wasn’t hard but the sting did its job of jerking his attention off his phone. “Quit it. Drink a beer and have fun with your friends while you wait.”

“I don’t really-”

“Okay,” She spun him around and gave a good shove to his back toward the group standing in her living room. “You go have fun and I’ll get the beers.”

Mina never came back.

He was kind of hoping she would- a bit of alcohol surely would’ve done something for his nerves. Jirou’s story went unheard by him, and he felt bad about it in the moment. He answered with a few yeahs and oh reallys to make it at least slightly believable that he was listening, but he couldn’t remember in the slightest what she had said.

He decided after a bit that Mina must have gotten distracted somewhere along the way, because he didn’t even hear from her again until five- ten- then twenty minutes later when she was shouting from the front door.

“Oh, oh!” Mina turned, giving a big wave over. “Angry boy is finally here!”

While it drew many heads over from the sheer volume of her outburst, Kirishima was the only one who moved. With a small sigh of both relief and a new wave of anxiety, he pulled himself up from the couch. “I’m pretty sure that’s for me.”

Sure enough, upon reaching the open door, he found a scowl already heavyset on Bakugou’s face. Behind him, Midoriya was glancing at his phone and Uraraka was eagerly shifting from one foot to the other trying to peer inside.

“Hey-” As soon as Kirishima made his way to Mina’s side, Bakugou’s face seemed to lighten just a little, but it still didn’t do much for his tone.

“This is a really shitty neighborhood.” He glanced over Kirishima’s shoulder, nose scrunching at the sight of the apartment. “You’re gonna get fucking murdered livin’ out here.”

The comment did little to effect Mina, she’d heard far worse from the rest of them. “Aw, you’re worried about me?” She leaned against the open door, hand splaying on her chest. “I think I can take care of myself, but you can always give me a little seed money from that fat wallet if you think I should move.”

“How many times do I have to tell you- I’m not fuckin’ rich.”

Uraraka pushed a finger up to her chin in thought. “You don’t not have a lot of money though.”

Mina was immediately making grabby hands. “They’ll be an entry fee now. Twenty bucks a pop to get into my party.”

“Shove it.” Bakugou grumbled, knocking her hands with his arm as he stepped between them. “I’m not even here for you.”

It hadn’t even been five minutes are he was already going to sulk off somewhere.

Kirishima caught him by the collar, tugging him back a few steps and frowning. “You should introduce your friends. Also- a hello would be nice.”

“He’s been extra grumpy all day.” Uraraka muttered into his ear, suddenly close behind him. “Haven’t really been able to figure out why.”

“Can it, bitch.” Bakugou barked immediately but backed up nonetheless.

Phone in his pocket now, Midoriya was sighing and scratching his head. “We all know parties aren’t really his thing ‘chako.”

“Oh-” Mina’s menacing cooing was instantaneous. “Are you nervous Baku?”

“Mina please.” Kirishima chided before Bakugou had a chance to snap at her. He had a hand on Bakugou’s back, rubbing slightly to try and get some of the tension to leave. “Anyway-”

“I’m Ochako.” Her hand was already extended towards Mina while she smiled brightly. Once Mina took hold of it in a shake, her other hand landed atop Midoriya’s head. “This is my husband Izuku, and we’re Bakugou’s best friends. Now, Mina, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard a large number of curse laden complaints about you.”

Kirishima expected Bakugou to rebut that claim and yell that shitty people like them were definitely not any type of friend. Instead, there was a soft kiss to Kirishima’s cheek and a sigh that pulled him away from Mina’s cackle and emphatic reply.

Sorry-” It was a quiet whisper right before Bakugou leaned back. “Hey.”

“Hey.” Kirishima returned with a smile and a deep breath. “Want a drink?”

Relief seemed to flood in as he nodded. “Fuck- please.”

Kirishima took him by the hand and gave Mina a pat to the back as they went. “You should introduce them to everyone else- I’m heading to the kitchen.”

Mina nodded while listening to whatever enthusiastic thing Uraraka was shouting about, giving him a reassuring smile as he went.

Stepping into the small, rarely used kitchen, Kirishima was glad it was empty at least for the moment. He went straight for the fridge, grabbing two beers and popping the caps off. Holding one of them out, he drew his hand away when Bakugou swiped it out of his grasp with arguably too much force. It went quick enough that a slosh of beer flew from the neck of the bottle and splattered onto the tile.

“Hey…” Kirishima started, trialing off as Bakugou took a large gulp of the beer like he hadn’t had anything to drink in days. “-are you okay?”

“I hate parties.” Another large mouthful was swallowed before the bottle was pointing at him. “I told you I fuckin’ hate parties.”

Kirishima sighed, leaning back against the counter. “And I told you that you didn’t have to come.”

“Like shit I’m not gonna be here.” It only took a few seconds for the rest of the beer to be gone and the bottle sliding across the counter. “You like these things, and I know you want me here. So fuck it, here I am.”

Kirishima finally took a much smaller sip of his own. “I don’t know if I want you here if you’re going to be this uncomfortable.”

“I’ll be fine. I’m not a baby, just-” He waved his hand around, glaring towards the fridge. “Give me another and like five minutes and I’ll be ready to face this shitshow.”

As soon as Kirishima opened and handed another one over, half of it was swallowed while he watched. “Why’d you bring the other two then? If anything, they only enjoy making you more annoyed.”

His hand wiped at his mouth as he finally slowed down his guzzling. “Ochako’s been bitching at me for weeks to see you again. I was an idiot and said I was busy tonight, and it was either tell her what was happening or listen to her whine for hours. So I did and they showed up at my door announcing they were coming with me.” He clicked his tongue, arms crossing as he brought the bottle back up to his mouth. “Fuckers never leave me alone. Made me late too. ‘chako couldn’t be on time anywhere even if shitty Deku’s life depended on it.”

With a heavy sigh, Kirishima set his beer down and crossed the few feet between them. Bakugou straightened his stance against the counter, shoulders drawing up and tightening once Kirishima wrapped his arms around them.

“Fuck are you doing?”

“Figured you could use a hug.” He squeezed tighter, swaying slowly until some of the tension left him. “Thank you for coming.”

Bakugou gave as much of a shrug as he could. “Guess it won’t be entirely insufferable.”

“Not if we get drunk enough not to care.” Kirishima was thankful for the soft laugh in his ear that instantly had him grinning. “Kami said he’d give me a ride home.” He turned his head, pressing a kiss to his jaw. “I’m sure if you’re nice, I can convince him to let you come with us.”

“I don’t have to ask him for shit.” His voice was gruff but nowhere near serious.

“Alright,” Kirishima mused and dropped his tone into something coyly sweet. “You can go home alone then, baby. See if I care.”

Kirishima was already moving away, but a hand against the small of his back held him in place- even went further and pushed him forward again. He let his weight rest against Bakugou’s chest while fingers moved to tug at the elastic band holding the hair out of his face.

“Your hair’s down.” Bakugou noted flatly.

“You’re distracting me.” He tucked his chin over Bakugou’s shoulder, arms winding around him again. “But yeah, I dunno- just felt like leaving it down.”

“S’nice.” The band snapped into place, warm hand settling on the back of his neck instead. “I mean, I like it how it usually is too, but y’know.”

Kirishima hummed in agreement, head tilting to nuzzle against his neck.

After a minute, Kirishima began to wonder how far they could push standing there like that until someone came in and ruined it. But they hadn’t seen each other outside of work in over a week and he’d be damned if he was the one to end it.

Even though Bakugou eventually spoke up again, he did little to change their position past shifting to mutter against Kirishima’s forehead. “So, you’re taking me home tonight?”

Kirishima chuckled softly and rolled his head to the side so he could look up at him. “Only if you behave and don’t yell at any of my friends.”

“Can I yell at my friends?”

“Of course.” He grinned at Bakugou’s smirk. “No yelling at all would be an unreasonable request for you.”

“I told you this would happen.” Mina’s failed attempt at a whisper filtered in through the doorway of the kitchen.

Bakugou was already becoming tense again and it only worsened when Uraraka muttered back to her. “No you didn’t. You said they’d be kissing.”

“This is close enough.”

“Uh, not really.”

“It would’ve happened.”

“You can’t possibly know that.”

Kirishima picked his head up from Bakugou’s shoulder, whispering in his ear before stepping away. “You made a horrible mistake bringing her here.”

“I’m already filled with regret.” He groused, finishing off his beer and setting the bottle down next to the first.

“Katsuki,” Uraraka scolded as she stepped fully into the kitchen. “I’m not the one you should be worried about and you know it.” She pushed her fingers together then, smiling timidly. “I may have let it slip that Izuku’s known you since you were a baby.”

“Kami’s already grabbed him and is asking a ton of incriminating questions.” Mina swung the fridge door open, grabbing a bottle of wine and unscrewing the cap.

“Fuck me.” Bakugou grumbled as the bottle was snagged from her hand in a flash.

She began a whine that turned more into an offended shriek as Bakugou put the bottle to his mouth and tipped it back.

With a sharp punch to his stomach, she gained a harsh gag and cough from him as well as the bottle back in her possession. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” She wiped the lip of the bottle with her shirt before taking two glasses out of the cabinet and pouring them both full. “This is mine. And I’m gonna share it with who I choose- which doesn’t include you Mr. Greedy.”

He ignored her to bite at Uraraka instead. Maybe Kirishima’s tease of not yelling would actually work. “He better not be talkin’ shit about me.”

Uraraka shrugged before taking hold of one of the wine glasses. “I have no control over what information he chooses to disclose. You should’ve been prepared for this when you brought us here.”

“I didn’t bring you!”

“You willingly got in our car.”

“Because you showed up at my door and wouldn’t fucking leave.”

With a laugh, Uraraka waved him off. “The means by which we ended up here don’t really matter. What matters is-” She turned then, smiled brightly. “How are you Kirishima?”

“Ah-” Kirishima pushed off from where he’d been hunched against the counter to try his best in returning her smile wholeheartedly. “I’m good thank you.”

“I’m glad we came. I mean, I hear about you a lot, but it’s good to actually see you again.”

Mina slid up to his side, arm winding around his neck and tugging him down so she could push their cheeks together. “Aw Kiri, y’hear that?” Her voice fell into a mocking lilt, more so to get at Bakugou than actually say anything to him. “Your boyfriend talks about you.”

“Better than keeping my relationship a secret from my bestfriend for a month.” Bakugou’s remark was sharp and Kirishima could feel its effect as Mina unknowingly dug her nails into his shoulder.

Kirishima knew it would bother her. They’d had a long discussion one night about how she could have kept something like that from him when he obviously wasn’t aware of it. He felt bad for not knowing, she felt bad for not saying anything. A lot had been said that night, but a lot had also been cleared up.

Unfortunately in this moment, Bakugou also knew all about it and wouldn’t think twice about using it to his advantage. So while that comment wasn’t necessarily yelling, it definitely wasn’t nice.

Still, her voice was surprisingly steady when she responded. “That doesn’t even really have anything to do with you.”

“Neither does what I tell my friends.”

Mina released Kirishima to cross her arms and grin. “She’s my friend now too.”

Bakugou leaned forward, mouth curling into a sneer. “And that’s just fucking wonderful.”

“Hey, hey.” Kirishima stuck his arms between them and tried to laugh it all off. “Let’s chill out.”

Like usual, he went ignored.

“Why don’t we settle this like men?” Mina handed off the wine bottle to Ochako and took a hold of Bakugou’s shirt.

“Where are you going?” Kirishima asked only a little fearful.

“Kami set up a beer pong table.”

Bakugou smacked at her until she let go and he could take a step back. “I’m almost thirty, I’m not playing fucking beer pong with a bunch of children.”

Mina’s hand went to her hips, challenging grin still present on her face. “Because you don’t think you’ll win? Probably been a while since you played, huh, old man?”

“Don’t give in to that Katsuki.” Uraraka said quietly from behind him, but if anything, that was only going to make it worse.

“Don’t tell me what to do.” He spat- yeah, just made it worse. “I’m gonna fucking win if I want to.”

“Follow me then!” Mina shouted and they were gone before Kirishima even had a chance to stop it.

He sighed, slumping against the counter and finishing his beer. Immediately, Uraraka placed another in his hand.

“You drink that,” She lifted the wine bottle. “I’ll drink this. And we’re gonna have a good time.” She took a step towards the door but stopped after Kirishima didn’t follow. “You coming?”

He shook his head a little and popped off the cap to his beer. “I’m gonna hang here for a minute. I’ll catch up with you later.”

She smiled but thankfully didn’t push him to leave.

Once she was gone, he’d relaxed into the counter and took a few minutes to breathe. He figured he should probably go find Mina and make sure she wasn’t making his boyfriend have a heart attack out of anger, but before he could get out, Kaminari and Jirou came rushing in with some weird and hard to follow story for him.

So he’d stayed in there and listened to them and then got caught up talking to Jirou about her job and how the hell she’d actually agreed to start dating such a doofus. As soon as he finally made it out of the kitchen, Sero caught a hold of him and started asking him a bunch of questions about people he didn’t know. By the time he was done with that, Kirishima had no idea how long he’d been talking to people and no idea how another cold bottle of beer found its way into his hand.

He glanced around the busy room, dark except for the twinkle lights lining the ceiling, the light coming from the tv against the wall, and a few floor lamps in the corners of the room. He tried to find either Mina or Bakugou, but neither seemed to be around. He wandered further into the swarm of people, standing up on his toes occasionally to try and see over peoples’ heads.

“Kirishima!”

At the sound of his name, he turned and found Uraraka on the couch waving at him with big sweeps of her arm through the air. He tilted his head until her waves turned into a beckoning motion that had him walking over towards her.

“Sit, sit. Let’s talk.” She was patting the cushion with one hand and Midoriya’s knee with the other.

Midoriya turned away from his conversation, shifting himself fully when Kirishima sat down.

Uraraka laid her palm against Kirishima’s cheek with a whine. “It’s been so long!”

“Ochako stop touching people.” Midoriya pulled her hand back quickly.

She pouted at him but ultimately just curled into his chest with a huff.

His smile was fond as he pushed her hair back and behind her ear. “A little early to be this drunk don’t you think, dear?”

“It’s fine- I don’t mind the touching.” Kirishima chuckled with his smile in return. “And I’m surprised more people aren’t embarrassingly wasted already.” He glanced to the crowd chatting and dancing around the apartment before turning back. “Usually at least a couple people have thrown up by now.”

“So you guys always do this?”

Kirishima nodded, relaxing into the couch and taking a swig of his beer. “We have for a few years. It was at my place last time, but I didn’t like cleaning up after everyone. Mina doesn’t really care about the mess, so-” He motioned out into the apartment which had Midoriya nodding along.

“Ah, yeah, I know we weren’t really invited, but it’s been a lot of fun- so-”

Kirishima cut him off with a laugh. “You know, I don’t know like half these people. Most everyone brings people with them, so don’t feel- out of place or anything.” He went a little quieter after that. “And besides, if you didn’t just show up, I don’t know when I’d see you two again. Bakugou’s so...” His eyes trailed to his beer, smile fading just enough that it was probably noticeable. “Particular about you guys. He’s around my friends all the time, but-“

“Don’t take it personal.” Uraraka spoke up from her lounging against her husband. Her face was hidden behind her hair, but she blindly reached behind herself to pat his thigh. “Please don’t. It’s not that he doesn’t want you to know us. He doesn’t mean it that way. He won’t tell us when you’re around either.”

“Kacchan is-” Midoriya sighed and kept brushing his fingers through her hair. “A very difficult person. He’s guarded a lot of the time- I’m sure you know that. And I think keeping his people separate just goes along with that.”

Uraraka turned around so she could press her back into Midoriya’s lap and look up. “He doesn’t want us to tell you anything bad that’ll make you not like him.”

“That’s unreasonable.” Kirishima replied but managed a small, disbelieving laugh along with it.

“You are dating him right?” Uraraka sneered. “Most everything about him is unreasonable. And it’s pretty obvious to anyone that can get close to him, despite his humongous fucking ego, there’s still a lot of things about himself that he doesn’t like.”

Kirishima knew that, he wasn’t blind and he’d gotten through Bakugou’s rough exterior months ago. They talked a lot at night; either in person or even just on the phone after long days in the office feeling tired and drained and fed up. He’d learned early on that while Bakugou wasn’t faking any of his assuredness, there was clearly more to him than his no bullshit, self-confident image.

Uraraka was right. There was a lot he didn’t like- his short temper, difficulty understanding others, how shitty he was as a kid, showing any hint of vulnerability or ignorance. They’d talked about them all in length, and Kirishima was sure Midoriya and Uraraka knew a lot more about these things than he did.

In the end, what they were saying was right and Kirishima was just putting the blame on himself again. He’d have to talk to Bakugou about it all later- much later when there was no chance either of them were drunk.

“Look at us,” Uraraka laughed and smacked her hand against his leg. “We’re at a party and we’re talking about such serious shit. Give me something better to gab about.”

Kirishima rolled the bottle between his hands momentarily before realizing this was the chance he’d been waiting months for.

“Tell me something embarrassing about Bakugou. Something that he hates remembering.”

Uraraka laughed instantly. “Somehow this sounds like revenge.”

“Something like that.”

“Mm, Izu which of the countless shameful stories do you think we should tell?”

“Well…” Midoriya settled a little further into the couch and wrapped his arms around her stomach with a sigh. “There was the time he got so drunk while trying to do math that he ended up vomiting in my bed.”

“Why-” Kirishima started, but all it took was Uraraka telling him ‘to win’ for him to know all he needed.

“Back in college,” Midoriya started after taking a deep breath. “We always kind of depended on Kacchan to help us with studying. He’s just kind of naturally smart, and even though he’ll yell at you the whole time, he’s not a completely awful tutor.” Uraraka snuggled closer, closing her eyes as if this was a bedtime story. “One night, I had my friend Shouto come over to my dorm room- he and Kacchan never really got along all that well, so it was already a bad time from the start. But then we were trying to do some stupid calculus homework and I was having a lot of trouble with one of the problems so I was asking him for help. Like always, he told me how to do it and was showing me why and all, but then Shouto was saying that he’d actually done it wrong too.”

“And it doesn’t take the most observant person to know how much Kacchan hates being wrong and even worse being told why he’s wrong. So this little situation just made everything worse and Kacchan started yelling at- well no one really. None of us cared all that much it was just homework. But he was adamant that the question was wrong and he would’ve been right if, you know, the professor who’d dedicated their life to the subject, had written the question correctly. Because that was apparently more likely than him being wrong for once. So in order to somehow prove himself, he started challenging us all to a math competition. Now I didn’t really care that much-”

“I certainly didn’t care that much.” Uraraka added quietly.

“But Shouto being the horrible asshole he is, decided he’d play along. But just doing math wasn’t good enough, so they grabbed my totally acceptable and not at all against the rules bottle of vodka from under my bed and vowed to do a shot for every problem they got wrong.” Midoriya wiped a hand over his face, grimacing at the memory. “Fast forward an hour; Shouto is tipsy while Kacchan is just an angry, slurring mess trying so hard to solve these stupid math equations while his handwriting is so fucked that you couldn’t even read it if it was right. Needless to say, he lost and was absolutely furious about it. Started yelling at us even more and cursing the subject of math as a whole- and I guess he worked himself up so much but also had only a stomach full of straight vodka, so it all came back up mid-yell.”

“All over the bed.” Uraraka added, frowning in disgust. “And he passed out in the floor before he could help clean it up.”

Midoriya shook his head slowly. “It’s definitely one of the stories he hates the most.”

Kirishima stared back in shock before cracking into a laugh and mumbling to himself, “And to think all I did was throw up in my backpack…”

“What?” Uraraka asked, but he merely smiled in return.

“Oh nothing- I just- one time-”

A large shadow coming over him stole Kirishima’s attention away and made him look up to find Bakugou staring back at him.

Without even a hello, Bakugou bent over to grab his wrist and tug at his arm as he stood again. “C’mere.”

Kirishima didn’t budge despite his arm hanging in the air- he even went so far as to lean further into the couch. “What?”

Bakugou frowned without a second thought of hiding it. Kirishima had seen that frown plenty of times, but only when they were alone. He’d never seen such a pout when there were people around to take note of it. But even in the dim light of the room, Kirishima could see the flush of his cheeks.

How long had he been with Mina?

How many drinks had she convinced- most likely challenged- him to drink?

Kirishima gave a small yank back of his arm and Bakugou swayed with it before trying to wrench his arm again.

Bakugou huffed, brows knitting together in frustration. “Stop. I wanna talk to you- c’mon.”

“Where?”

“Does it fucking matter?”

“Oh no-” Uraraka’s high pitched lilt interrupted their staring match. Kirishima turned to her, arm still taught in the air. “Izu look-” She reached behind her, hand finding Midoriya’s cheek and tapping lightly. “Katsu’s drunk.”

Bakugou’s hold on his wrist tightened enough to hurt a little while he snapped at her. “Shut it. I’m not.”

She was kicking at his thigh faster than he could step away and it sent him into another uncoordinated stagger. He stepped to the side and caught himself while using Kirishima’s arm to help balance himself.

“Drunk.” She said again, grinning wide and breaking into a laugh.

Bakugou’s hold had nails digging into Kirishima’s skin and if he’d been any less numbingly buzzed, it probably would’ve made him jerk his arm away. “If anyone’s drunk, it’s you, fuckin’ lightweight.”

“Takes one to know one honey.” She sang back before Midoriya’s hands squished her cheeks and made her sputter to a stop.

“Leave him alone.” Midoriya sighed, giving the others an apologetic smile. “After all, he’s rarely drunk so let’s let him enjoy this- ‘kay?”

Uraraka hummed pleasantly in agreement but it was quickly overpowered by Bakugou’s loud rebuttal.

“I’m not drunk. Don’t act like you can read me.”

The smile was gone from Midoriya’s mouth in an instant. “I’ve known you for twenty-five years Kacchan. I think I can tell when you’re drunk.”

Bakugou’s face scrunched into reluctant acceptance, expression always more telling than his words. “Shut the hell up nerd. You don’t know shit.” Before Midoriya could say anything in return, the pulling on Kirishima’s arm became constant and rather annoying. “Get me away from them.”

That request certainly had a different feel than come with me.

“I’m sick of being around all these idiots.”

That real reason was far more compelling than a command.

Kirishima didn’t argue anymore. He set his half-empty beer on the coffee table and gave in to the pulling. Bakugou brought him to his feet and hurriedly lead him through the mass of people.

“Careful Kiri,” Uraraka called after him through another giggle. “He always gets a little handsy.”

Kirishima knew this apartment as well as his own, and while it wasn’t a large place, it was a little surprising when Bakugou managed to find the hall that led to her bedroom seemingly without any trouble. A moment of worry passed through him at the prospect of going towards her room- knowing from past experiences what horrifying things were probably happening in there- but he didn’t have to fret any longer once they stopped in the middle of the dark hall. It was only a little quieter there, given that there wasn’t that much space between the door to her room and the opening of the hall into the living room; but it provided enough that they wouldn’t have to yell to talk to each other or more importantly anyone else.

Bakugou still hadn’t let go of his wrist even once they were stopped. Yet, his grip was looser and Kirishima could slide his arm up enough to grab Bakugou’s hand and squeeze.

“You good?” He asked cautiously but got the exact response he was expecting.

“‘Course I am. M’just sick of havin’ all these annoying people around.”

Kirishima nodded with his sigh and turned to lean against the wall. “Do you regret coming?”

“What? No-” The response was too quick. His tongue was loose and if Kirishima was a worse person, he probably could’ve taken advantage of it. “I just-” Bakugou scratched at his neck before smacking his hand down to his side. “This is exhausting.”

Without seeing any reply that would make him feel better without making him think Kirishima was pitying him, he stayed quiet. In replace of words, Kirishima held his arms open and waited.

Bakugou stared at him- resentment bled into indignation before fading all together to something much softer. He flicked his gaze over to the opening of the hall before stepping between Kirishima’s arms and letting himself huddle closer.

He relaxed with a sigh once Kirishima hugged him close. And yet- what Kirishima had meant as only a comforting embrace quickly morphed into Bakugou kissing behind his ear and squeezing hands on his waist.

“Hey, just wondering-” Kirishima shifted against the wall but was only held harder to it. He brought in a quick breath, grabbing small bunches of Bakugou’s shirt as his eyes cut down the hall. “Are you always this brazenly touchy when you’re drunk?”

“M’not drunk. Just had a few beers.”

The claim was slurred against his neck and Kirishima was caught in the middle of laughing and letting out a pleased sigh. “More like a lot of beers. And wine. And do you think I don’t smell the tequila on your breath? I can easily assume that it’s not from just one shot. By the way, here’s some advice- don’t try to keep up with Mina. You’ll never win.”

Teeth met the underside of his jaw, both a sensual gesture and a warning.

“Sorry- You? Losing? Unheard of, I know- but trust me. I tried to drink as much as her one night and I blacked out, woke up the next day at three in the afternoon still drunk, and then I vomited into my cereal. Like right in the bowl. It was disgusting. And it got all over the table. And then when I tried to clean it, I stood up too fast, and remember how I was still drunk? Yeah, so I fell over and slammed my head against the table- oh, and then-”

There was a rough sound against his throat and fingers digging painfully into his side that made his mouth snap shut.

Fucking- I am, okay?”

Craning his head back, he suddenly got as much of an eyeful of his rosy cheeked boyfriend as he could in the dim hallway.

“Wha-”

“Touchy.”  His hold went a little looser, cheek falling to Kirishima’s shoulder and squishing into a pout. Oh, how cute. “When I’m drunk.” Then all embarrassment was gone in exchange for an irritated glare as he picked his head up. “Now that I’ve answered your damn question, will you shut the hell up?”

Kirishima gave a wry grin along with the tilt of his head. “I thought you weren’t drunk?”

“Alright fine. I’ll shut you up myself.”

Kirishima wanted to make fun of him. Tell him that was such a cliché thing to say and that he should definitely never say it again no matter the level of intoxication, but if Bakugou was anything, he was a man of his word. So shut him up he did with hands on Kirishima’s cheeks and a tongue in his mouth.

It was always so easy to lose track of time when that happened. At this point, Kirishima was sure he’d spent hours of his life pinned to the couch, the kitchen counter, a bed, completely oblivious to his surroundings for embarrassing amounts of time all because of warm lips and rough hands.

This was no different. He let himself sink against the wall, becoming pliant and willing for as long as the universe would allow them to be there.

How long was it? He had no clue. Was it eventually ruined? Of course.

His lip was caught between teeth before being lightly sucked, but it still wasn’t distracting enough that he didn’t hear such a familiar voice traveling down towards them.

“This is just weird right?” Kaminari’s remark wasn’t quiet. As if he thought the ten feet of space between them was enough to cover his voice. “Like, why I do feel like I’m watching my brother makeout with someone?”

His questions were followed by Sero’s recognizable wheeze of a laugh. “Do you think if we took pictures we could use them as blackmail to not get fired?”

That’s what ended up pulling Bakugou away from him. He turned his head but didn’t move an inch from where he had Kirishima pressed to the wall. “If you two don’t get the fuck away from me in the next ten seconds I’ll have you drowning in paperwork for a month.”

They both stood there, stuck between laughing and staring frighteningly wide-eyed. Eventually the latter won out and they went scurrying away with only a quiet bit of snickering.

A hand on the back of Bakugou’s head scratched lightly while another on his cheek brought his eyes back to Kirishima’s face. “Was the tone necessary?”

Bakugou smiled, rosy cheeks going high to make his eyes squint. “It got them to leave didn’t it?”

“You’re not half as terrifying as you think you are.”

He leaned forward, scrunching his nose up then. “Grr.” He rumbled through bared teeth just inches away.

“You’re so drunk.” Kirishima whispered with a smile before pulling Bakugou the rest of the way towards him and thankfully meeting lips with his own instead of teeth.

Bakugou hummed into his mouth until he broke away again. “So, did that ruin my chances, or have I behaved well enough tonight?”

“I dunno.” Kirishima played with the hair just above his neck and looked off to the side. “You’ve gotten pretty sloppy, and I think you might’ve scared them a little bit there.”

“Haven’t yelled though.”

Kirishima’s fingers stopped twirling a blonde lock to tap against his skin instead. “That’s true…”

“That was the stipulation. And I adhered to it.” Bakugou caught Kirishima’s chin, leading his gaze straight ahead. It was much harder for Kirishima to toy with him when he had to stare into deep, determined eyes. It was even harder when Bakugou swiped a thumb across his lip before pushing it in his mouth just enough to run over the tip of his tongue. He pulled it out quickly, hand completely gone and leaving Kirishima’s face all too cold. “So why don’t you get me the fuck outta here then?”

“I’ve gotta find Kami.” He replied in a rush, far more breathless than he wanted to sound.

Bakugou immediately took a step back and started down the hall. Kirishima didn’t follow immediately which left Bakugou shouting at him over his shoulder. “Pick up the pace. I’m fuckin’ tired of being here.”

Kirishima pushed off the wall, scuttling after him. “Yeah sure, that’s the reason we’re leaving.”

“Oh, I’m sorry-” Bakugou stopped abruptly, making Kirishima bump into his back and nearly elbow whoever was beside them. Bakugou turned, leaning into his space again with a terrifying grin. “Would you rather I announce the real reason?”

The shake of Kirishima’s head was quick and subtle.

“Alright,” Bakugou stood back up straight but didn’t move. “Lead the way then.”

Kirishima ducked his head as he wound his way through the endless sea of people and only hoped Bakugou would be trailing after him. His eyes scanned around until he spotted a glimpse of Kaminari’s hair. He hurried over to him, finding him lazily chatting with Sero as Jirou appeared to be asleep against his shoulder.

The current situation was abandoned once he reached them.

“How are you guys ignoring that?” Kirishima asked, pointing towards Mina’s back as she was straddling Sero’s lap and seemingly had her mouth attached to his neck.

The two boys stopped their talk to look up at him. Sero managed a one-shouldered shrug while smiling. “Honestly, I think m’too drunk to even feel it.”

Kaminari sighed and gave a slight grimace. “Being completely sober, it is very distracting and disturbing, but she told me to “get over it or fuck off”, so here I am. Getting over it.”

Kirishima did his best not to look at the mess happening beside Kaminari any longer, going so far as to hold his hand up and close one eye. “Would you rather fuck off instead?”

Kaminari tipped his head back. “Huh?”

Arms slung over Kirishima’s shoulders and dangled against his chest as Bakugou pressed up against his back. “Take us home fucker.”

“Oh no-” Kaminari scowled up at them, shaking his head slowly. “I never agreed to take him anywhere.”

“Please Kami.” Kirishima’s plea was much less effective when Bakugou was flipping him off and sticking his tongue out.

Instead of getting angry, Kaminari laughed and returned the gesture. “Dude, seriously how drunk is he?”

“Not so drunk that I couldn’t beat your ass.”

“That’s harassment and I’ll sue, but keep talking. It’s just lowering your chances of me letting you in my car.”

“C’mon,” Kirishima whined, trying his hardest to pout. “I’ll owe you one.”

Sero pushed Kirishima’s hand down to get his attention before glancing at his phone. “Why’re you guys leaving? It’s not even one yet.”

“Is the old man tired?” Kaminari mocked, grinning even as Bakugou landed a kick to his shin.

Mina lifted her mouth from Sero’s shoulder long enough to turn her head and speak up. “Idiots- they wanna fuck.”

“Barf.” Kaminari shook his head much faster this time. “I’m definitely not leaving then.”

She scoffed, giving him a dissatisfied look. “Well, at least one of us should be getting some or I’ve failed as party queen.”

“No, guys, that’s not-” Kirishima started to stammer, raising his hands in defense.

Bakugou interrupted him loudly, hugging him closer and craning his head further over his shoulder. “You gonna take us home or what shortstack?”

“Short-” Kaminari glared. “You’re only like three inches taller than me.”

“Still taller.” Bakugou retorted with a surprising laugh. “So c’mon shorty, get me outta here.”

Sero bumped him with his elbow and laughed. “I think that was the nicest command he’s ever given you.”

Kaminari nodded, still looking displeased. “It was weird.”

Bakugou slumped down with a groan and made Kirishima lean forward with the near dead weight. “I’m not gonna fuckin’ beg.” It wasn’t polite, but it was still far from Bakugou’s usual grating tone.

With a smack of her lips, Mina finally fully detached herself and collapsed onto the couch beside Sero. Red faced and hazy eyed, she grinned at them. “I bet Kiri could make you beg.”

“Probably.” Bakugou replied easily which was met with stunned silence save for Kirishima’s defeated sigh and Mina’s eventual bark of laughter.

Kirishima made a quick note to never have Bakugou drunk around his friends ever again.

Kaminari stuck his tongue out with a gag and shifted enough that Jirou stirred beside him. She sat up, blinking sleepily and glancing around.

“We going?” She asked hand searching for Kaminari as he stood.

Kaminari pulled her to her feet and kept an arm around her as he stepped away from the couch. “If it’ll put an end to this weird, disgusting, drunken void you’ve all entered, yeah. We’re going.”

“Fucking finally.” Bakugou mumbled, not even taking the time to remove himself from Kirishima’s back. He simply just pushed him forward and stayed hanging around his shoulders.

Kirishima gave Mina one last almost fearful look as she smiled back and waved.

 

Getting out the door and down the stairwell was hard enough with a grown man hunched over him. Being outside in the dark, cold night with hot breath and a wet mouth on his neck wasn’t making it any easier.

“I’m trying to walk and you’re not helping.” Kirishima scolded, tilting his head away which only backfired by giving Bakugou more room to nip at.

“You two better not start dicking around in my car.” Kaminari stopped and shot Kirishima a glare over his shoulder. “Literally dicking around. Don’t do it.”

“I’m not Mina.” Kirishima said back but still came to a halt and stared warily.

“I wasn’t really talking to you.” He unlocked the passenger’s door of his car and let a half-asleep Jirou slip inside before walking around to the driver’s side. “It was more directed at the stranger on your neck.”

Kirishima managed to shove Bakugou off and open one of the back doors, but it only freed his mouth to bark at Kaminari. “Mind your own damn business.”

Kaminari leaned against the roof of the car and shouted back. “It’s my car!”

By a fistful of his shirt, Kirishima was dragging Bakugou into the back seat after him.

Kaminari slammed his door once he was inside, turning around immediately and staring the two of them down. “You better know I’ll leave you on the side of the road if I see or hear any funny business.”

Bakugou pushed Kaminari’s face back into the front seat before crossing his arms and slouching down into the upholstery. “Just chill the fuck out and get us home.”

Chapter Text

It was a fifteen minute drive- at most- to his apartment, but when there was a firm hand kneading his leg, squeezing at his knee, dipping a little too far down on the inside of his thigh, it felt like a fucking hour.

Kirishima refused to look down at the offending hand- would absolutely not give in for any reason and glance over at the ass who knew exactly how distracting and unfair he was being. It wouldn’t matter. He could see just by barely cutting his eyes over that Bakugou wasn’t even paying any attention.

Elbow against the door, he had his chin in his hand and was idly looking out the window like he wasn’t on the very edge of either feeling Kirishima up or getting his hand broken out of frustration.

To keep the latter from happening, Kirishima kept his hands balled into fists between his legs and stared straight at the back of Jirou’s headrest.

He was grateful once the car pulled to a stop and Bakugou pulled his hand away to undo his seat belt.

Kaminari turned around after unlocking the doors. “I’m taking Jirou home, so I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

“Oh-” Kirishima’s seat belt zipped across his chest and up into the car. “Alright, yeah.” He opened the door and got out but turned back, bending into the cart. “Have a good night.”

“You too buddy.” Kaminari answered, but Kirishima was standing up before he even had the chance to see the look he was getting.

“Don’t start.” He tried his hardest to sound bothered, but ended up laughing any way and shutting the door.

As soon as the car peeled away, he shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket and began stalking towards the front door of his building. Only once they were in the elevator did he spare Bakugou a glance and a few short words.

“I’m not bringing you to drink with my friends again if it’s gonna be like this every time.”

Arms crossed and leaning against the back wall as the doors shut, Bakugou could only smirk. “Why’s that?”

“Well, I don’t appreciate being groped in front of other people- especially not my asshole friends. You’re not the one who’s gonna get mocked for the next year about this.” He gave his shoulders a stiff roll. “I never really expected that to be an issue considering you usually keep your hands to yourself around anyone else. Apparently not when you’re drunk though.”

“I’m not drunk. You’re greatly underestimating how much liquor I can handle. It’s damn insulting.” Bakugou huffed and scuffed his foot along the carpet. “And I wasn’t groping you for fucks sake.”

“Oh no?” He let his eyes roll merely from the fact that he didn’t think Bakugou could see them. “I’d like to know what you think groping is then.”

Kirishima shouldn’t have chosen those words. They were far too close to a challenge and Bakugou was acting on it immediately. He pushed away from the wall to wrap one arm around Kirishima’s chest while he ran a hand up his thigh before cupping him through his jeans. Kirishima sucked in a breath, torn between not pushing forward into the hand and not leaning back into him.

“This is clearly a little different, ain’t it?” Bakugou’s breath was warm on his neck, but it was gone in an instant when the elevator doors slid open with a loud ding. Following a rough shove to his back, Kirishima stumbled through them and out onto his floor.

“But I got it.” Bakugou continued haughtily. “Hands off policy around your friends.”

“That’s not what I meant.” Kirishima started down the hall, hand searching his back pocket for his keys. “Not completely.”

“I know what you mean idiot.” Before Kirishima could manage to get the key in the lock, his hands were squished between his stomach and his door as he was pushed against it. “M’sorry, alright? You’re just looking like somethin’ else tonight.” There were hands on his ass then, but they only stayed there briefly before sliding to his hips. “Mina did a damn good job.”

Kirishima gripped the keys tightly, enough that the metal began to dig painfully into his palms. He let his forehead thump against the wood when lips met his nape. “You sure you’re not drunk?”

Nah.” Bakugou stepped back and his hands returned to his pockets while Kirishima tried to recover enough to unlock the door. “Just like you a lot.

That’s not convincing.” The door opened rather quickly despite his shaky hands. “And just so you’re aware, I can manage to dress myself.”

“So you’re saying she didn’t pick those clothes out for you.”

Kirishima stopped for a moment before tossing his keys to the table and peeling his jacket off. “That’s not what I said.”

Bakugou pulled the jacket from his hands, taking it along with his own back to the hook by the door. “It was implied.”

“Was it? That’s my mistake.”

“Whatever loser,” As he passed, Bakugou grabbed the front of his sweater and tugged him along. “C’mon.”

“Not playing around tonight, are we?” Kirishima joked as he stumbled after him. “I’m not complaining, but one of these days I think we’re going to need to find a better stress relief for you than making us go home so we can bang.”

Bakugou released him with a slight shove once inside his room. He perched himself on the end of Kirishima’s bed and began working on the laces of his boots. “Who said I’m stressed?”

“Oh right. You definitely didn’t look horribly tense all night Mr. I Hate Parties.” One boot was flung at him which Kirishima smacked down. “Not to mention you were extremely easy to bait. I mean, Kami told me you actually shotgunned a beer– how old are you again?” The other boot hit him in knee but he only laughed and set to taking his own off.

“I initiated nothing.” Bakugou grumbled as he stood from the bed. “Not my fault your friends are juvenile.”

“Of course. I bet they had to twist your arm to get you to join in.” Bakugou refused to meet his eyes as he crowded close and shoved his hands under Kirishima’s sweater, probably trying to get him to shut up. They were cold on his ribs and Kirishima couldn’t help but wiggle a little. “Your friends were cheering you on, y’know? Ochako said you put up a good fight. So really, was it juvenile or just having fun?”

“Wasn’t fun.” Bakugou managed to get Kirishima’s sweater off and had his mouth on a shoulder in a matter of seconds, definitely trying to distract him.

“You had no fun tonight?” Kirishima refused to move his hands from his sides and let the other win. “Absolutely none at all?”

“I’d be having fun right now if you were quiet.”

“And here I thought you didn’t like it when I’m quiet.”

Pinches to Kirishima’s sides made him flinch and swallow an embarrassing squeak.

“It was a little fun.” Bakugou conceded quietly.

In spite of the admission, Kirishima only laughed. “You think agreeing with me is gonna get me into bed?”

Bakugou shrugged the best he could while winding his arms around Kirishima’s back. “Usually works.”

“Maybe not tonight.”

“Mm, what’ll it take?”

“How ‘bout some begging?”

Bakugou scoffed into his neck. “Fuck off.”

The chuckle he gave earned him a harsh scratch against his side. “What? You said I could make it happen, didn’t you?”

The skin of Kirishima’s throat was pinched between teeth in an irritated nip. “Never fuckin’ happened.”

“I definitely remember you saying that. Or was it all just a front?”

A noncommittal sound left Bakugou before, “I’m not beggin’. Not when I have other options.”

He didn’t give Kirishima a chance to ask any questions before he tightened the hold on his back and leaned back until his feet left the ground.

“H-hey!” His feet dangled below him, waving a bit as he tried to keep their balance.

Although unsteady, Bakugou turned and lugged him through the room. He could have easily broken free, wiggled his way out of his hold. Instead, he held on with arms around his neck until he was clumsily dropped on to the bed. At the impact, the bed scooted and his cat flew out from under it straight out his bedroom door.

Kirishima huffed as the sheets ruffled around him. “That definitely wasn’t fair.”

“I don’t hear any complaints.” Bakugou replied, standing at the edge of the mattress and pulling his sweater off. “You got one to give?”

Shifting up onto his elbows, Kirishima tried not to let his eyes fall any lower than Bakugou’s face. “Not a complaint. More of a suggestion.”

“And what’s that?” He asked casually, like sliding his jeans down far slower than necessary wasn’t making Kirishima give up on his efforts to not blatantly ogle him.

“I, uh-”

You, uh- what?”

Kirishima’s expression crumpled into a frustrated scowl once he finally managed to pull his gaze away from toned thighs. “I forgot.”

Bakugou smiled, hands and a knee hitting the bed. “That’s pretty damn convenient.”

“Shut up. You’re distracting.”

“Oh yeah?” Bakugou moved up between his legs with that smug twitch of his lips that always made Kirishima sigh.

Then he frowned following the sigh. “Don’t give me that look like you’ve won.”

That only made his expression worse. Teeth peeked out from behind his curled mouth as he leaned down. “Won? Were we competing?”

Kirishima denied the possibility of the incoming kiss by turning his head away. Bringing his knee up to Bakugou’s hip, he pushed to the side and roughly rolled them over. Successfully pinning him in a straddle, he grinned down at Bakugou’s single moment of surprise before the forced indifference washed back over.

“Aren’t we always?” Kirishima asked in return while looming closer.

“Now who looks like they’ve won?”

“Beating you?” He place a short, tempting kiss to the corner of Bakugou’s cheek just shy of his mouth.  “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

It brought a tiny exhale of a laugh rushed out through Bakugou’s nose. Kirishima half thought he’d get some goading quip in return, but instead Bakugou pushed up and turned his head just enough to make their mouths meet.

A sweet sigh passed between them when Kirishima pulled away the first time like the past hour since they last kissed was the largest inconvenience Bakugou had ever endured.

He considered cracking a joke in response, but kept the words in his head to preserve the pleased smile left behind on Bakugou’s face. The content little quirk of his mouth that had Kirishima all but melting back down and settling into a grounding, sinking sort of kiss. A slow but eager rhythm of passing lips and roaming hands and grinding hips.

Eventually- mindlessly- Kirishima slipped down, leaving a warm trail with his lips until he had his forehead pressed into Bakugou’s collarbone and tongue flattened against a peaked nipple.

That was until Bakugou was squirming beneath him- which was not uncommon- but the incoherent, frustrated grumble was.

Hold up-Came out clearer, but Kirishima didn’t really pay much attention to it. When Kirishima didn’t stop quick enough, there was a hand pushing at his shoulder.Fuckin’ wait.

As he pulled back, he didn’t quire expect to see the glare on Bakugou’s face directed somewhere off to the side. What happened to being impatient?

“I can’t do this when she’s staring at me.”

“Huh?”

Bakugou grabbed his chin and turned his head until he met the steady, green gaze. Ao stared back from his door way, tail flicking in a way that almost bordered on annoyed.

Kirishima let out a soft chuckle and looked back up. “You’re unnerved by a cat?”

“She’s watching me.” Bakugou was still frowning at her.

“So you’re fine doing this when she’s under the bed but not across the room?”

“She’s watching me.” He repeated, eyes narrowing and fingers pinching into his skin.

“You’re a baby.” Kirishima sighed as he rolled off the bed and walked over to the door.

“You try fucking with those beady eyes judging you.”

“I have before.” He replied flippantly. He shut the door slowly and pushed her out of the way with it despite the angry chirps she was giving him. “Tried and succeeded.”

“I don’t need to know.” Bakugou muttered as he scooted up.

“Oh,” His voice rose into a teasing lilt as he passed over to the bed and crawled right back into his spot between Bakugou’s open legs. “Are you jealous?”

“You wish.” Bakugou still had a steady glare on the closed door, and he refused to look back even when hands ran up his chest.

“Don’t wanna think about the parade of gorgeous guys I’ve had through here?”

“Probably all ugly.”

“Mm, I think you are a little jealous.”

Bakugou scoffed, but the tight pinch of his brow was a little more telling. “Am not.”

Kirishima poked a finger into his cheek, twisting it and waiting for it to be snapped at. “Then why are you blushing, Katsuki?”

The moment the words left him, they both stilled. His hand fell away, leaving the burning pink of Bakugou’s cheek to steady himself on the mattress.

He hadn’t really meant to call him that. Didn’t really intend for the bedroom to be the first time he brought up the idea. Wasn’t really sure why it had happened at all.

Maybe it was because he’d heard Uraraka saying it all night.

Maybe it was because he had thought about trying it out a few times- alright, more than a few times- before then.

Maybe because his tongue still felt a little loose.

But in all honestly, it just fell from his mouth so easily.

Bakugou shifted, slowly brought his eyes back over, and hiked a brow up at him. “So what? You think you can call me that now just ‘cause you get to fuck me this time?”

“No, it sort of slipped out. I wasn’t even thinking about it but- wait- what?” He stopped his sputtering to take a deep breath before trying again- failing again when the words reached his ears. “I’m- me?”

“You not good with that change?” Bakugou eyed him, clearly trying to make it seem critical and lofty and not anxious.  “Or are you just not up for the challenge?”

“I am beyond good with that.” Kirishima didn’t exactly care for how breathy he sounded or for how Bakugou only glared a little harder, coming across more impatient than anything else. “Just surprising.”

“Yeah? You assuming things about me again?” Bakugou jabbed a finger into his shoulder and Kirishima looked down to it just to avoid his annoyed stare. “I may be a lot of things, but I ain’t selfish.”

“No- it’s, ah.” He chuckled, but shrunk down when the poking turned into Bakugou’s fist hitting him roughly.

“No bullshit. Stop with that fake ass laugh.”

“Sorry.” Kirishima rubbed at his neck while his other hand curled into the sheets. “We just- haven’t- and it’s not what usually happened in my other relationships. They’d never seem okay if I- shit, I guess I’ve gotten a little used to the other way around.”

“You don’t sound too happy about that.” His tone was quieter, less offended or accusing, just a statement.

“I’m not unhappy- I never minded all that much. It’s- mm,” Kirishima was caught between wanting to move away, to forget everything, to go to sleep and trying to laugh it off again. “No one’s ever really been concerned with what I want.”

“That’s shitty.” Bakugou muttered mostly to himself. “What do you want then?” He asked louder, overconfident.

“I-” He stared down at Bakugou’s chest, couldn’t look up much less try not to start frowning. “I don’t-”

“Hey,” Hands on Kirishima’s cheeks finally pulled his face up until he had no other option than to stare back at Bakugou’s furrowed brow. “Eijirou, what do you want?”

His answer left him almost effortlessly. The words were out of his mouth before he even had the chance to decide whether they were any good or not.

“I think I just want to make you happy.”

Apparently they were, because Bakugou’s face was softening as he breathed out a laugh.

“Well, thanks- but I don’t really know what the hell that means because I don’t want to do only whatever I want.”

Kirishima thought he’d laugh along, but nothing seemed to come out- he didn’t even feel his face change from its stunned emptiness. “I think that’s the first time I’ve heard you say anything like that.”

Bakugou’s touch fell away from his cheeks as he brought back his feigned annoyance. “And it’ll probably be the last so you should take advantage of the situation.”

“Are you sure you’re not-”

Bakugou made a rough sound and shot up to grab tightly at the back of Kirishima’s head. “For the last time shit for brains- I’m not drunk. Need me to walk a fuckin’ line? Say my alphabet backwards?”

He brought their faces close together, close enough that everything went a little blurry, close enough to feel the warmth of Bakugou’s breath as he spoke. “Eiji- I’ve wanted you from the moment I saw you. Just ‘cause I had a few drinks fucking hours ago doesn’t change that fact.” His hands let go of Kirishima’s hair to slide down his neck, thumbs rubbing at his jaw. “I still want all of you.”

Kirishima stared back at him, trying to reign in his surprise but probably looking entirely baffled. “So we’re already to the point of nicknames, huh Katsu?”

“Fucker-” One of Bakugou’s hands around his neck went a little too tight- just enough to be threateningly painful. He pushed Kirishima’s face away enough to glare up at him. “That’s what you took from that?” He sounded exasperated, understandably so. It wasn’t often that he let out anything close to sappy.

Kirishima threw on a grin, the one that always seemed to mellow Bakugou out. “Just making sure.”

It worked like a charm.

“Whatever.” Bakugou started scooting around, bringing his knees up enough that Kirishima sat back out of the way. “Just fucking get naked. I’m sick of you stalling.”

“Yes sir.” Kirishima muttered under his breath, not exactly enthusiastic but certainly not disgruntled either.

Bakugou paused, boxers halfway down one thigh. “What was that?”

“I said yes-” He glanced up after flinging his pants and his own boxers towards his hamper. “sir…” Bakugou was openly staring at him with a frustrated sort of glare. Laughing that awkward little chuckle of his when he didn’t know what else to do, Kirishima rubbed at the back of his neck. “Been a while since I called you that- hasn’t it?” His face fell a little but only in thought. “Actually- you didn’t seem to like it even in the beginning.”

At first, he’d only done it because the environment called for it. That, and because most everyone else referred to Bakugou with the same level of formality. Kirishima had noticed a little smile in return the first time he’d said it- and seemingly every other time after that.

But he’d always assumed it was because of how much Bakugou liked people confirming his authority. It wasn’t until he really thought back did he realize what followed all those subtle smirks. A pass of conflicted unease before Bakugou inevitably barked at him about something.

Given what they’d become since then, it suddenly all made sense.

Oh-” Kirishima was grinning again, moving closer, making Bakugou push back against the wall like he’d been caught.

“Don’t ‘oh’ me.” Just one word and he already sounded defensive.

“It wasn’t that you didn’t like it,” Kirishima took hold of the last bit of clothing between them and yanked it the rest of the way down Bakugou’s legs. “It was that you liked it too much. Wasn’t it, boss?”

“Drop it.”

Despite the very real threat of being kicked, he tried to pull Bakugou closer with a light grip on his calves. “Maybe I’ll start calling you that again.”

Bakugou’s severe look worsened but he slid down into the pillows nonetheless. “You better fuckin’ not.”

“Hmm, don’t wanna pop a boner at work, sir?”

Kirishima.

“What?” His hands stopped their slide up Bakugou’s thighs as he smiled innocently. “Your door locks. It’d be fine.”

His smile did little to lighten the radiating stare of annoyance beneath him. “I haven’t let you be inappropriate in the office yet, I’m sure as hell not gonna start now.”

Kirishima pinched a thigh, grinned wider at the jolt of surprise he got. “Buy looser fitting dress shirts, and maybe I could contain myself.”

Bakugou shoved at his hand with a sigh. “Grow up idiot.”

Kirishima refused to let his hand go too far. He settled it back on Bakugou’s knee and rubbed back and forth. “Eh, what did you say though? You’ve wanted me since the moment you saw me?”

If the way his eyes shot away said anything, Bakugou probably hated himself for confessing something like that. Kirishima tried to be reassuring, even if it was only with a squeeze of his hands.

“Hey- I’m sure you’re aware that was a shared feeling.” He gave a little chuckle to ease the uncomfortable tension growing in Bakugou’s muscles. “Funny that it took- ah, like two months before either of us figured it out.”

“Before you figured it out.” Bakugou clarified roughly despite the clear fact that he’d relaxed into the sheets.

“Right, right. I’m an idiot, I know.” His grin was still bright but maybe not as entirely genuine as it once was. “But can you blame me for not thinking someone as amazing as you could feel that way about me of all people?”

“Don’t get sappy.” Finally, the long awaited kick collided in his side. It was still much lighter than Kirishima had anticipated and wasn’t for the reason he thought it would come from. He figured it’d be because he was mocking- not because he was insinuating anything negative about himself. “Don’t talk shit about yourself either.”

He’d been seen right through. And that was about as close as he’d probably get to a compliment in the moment, so he nodded and pushed forward a more sincere smile. “Aye, aye, captain.”

Captain.” Bakugou repeated none too pleasantly.

Kirishima offered a shrug like the reason was obvious. “Since sir seems to be off the table, I went with the next best option.”

“Just call me my fucking name smartass.” Bakugou reared his leg back to ready for another kick, but Kirishima held it firmly to his side and tugged just enough to startle him.

“Okay,” He leaned forward over him, muttered a quick and quiet “Katsuki,” before pressing a kiss against his frown.

“You’re intolerable,” was the grumble of a response, but he was still pushing up to follow Kirishima as he pulled away.

The look Bakugou gave him when Kirishima pushed fingers to his mouth was all but murderous.

“Be good and maybe I’ll kiss you again.”

Head jerked to the side, Bakugou shoved his cheek into the pillow. “I don’t need your permission.”

“You do when you’re under me.” He replied sweetly while twisting over to his nightstand and pulling the drawer open.

“I think you’re looking to get killed tonight.”

“Yeah, yeah,” When he came back, he dropped a condom onto Bakugou’s stomach with a light smack and popped open the bottle in his other hand. “Big talk from a big strong man.” He grinned as Bakugou turned his head to stare down at his stomach. “Or maybe just hollow threats from an embarrassed boy who won’t admit he wants to be fucked until he can’t think.”

Bakugou’s eyes flicked a little wide before narrowing at the foil shining against his skin. “Where the hell is this arrogance coming from?”

“I gotta be confident, right?” Rubbing his fingers together, he warmed the lube coating them. “After all, this is a first impression of sorts.”

Watchful eyes were on his hand with the click shut of the cap. “Think you can handle that then?”

The fixed gaze on his hand followed it as it went down and Kirishima loomed over him again. “You know,” Kirishima began calmly but grinned as he heard the slight hitch of a breath when he just barely pushed a finger in. “while it may have been a while since I’ve done this someone else, that doesn’t mean it’s been that long since I’ve done it to myself.”

Bakugou sighed into the drag of Kirishima’s finger but tried his best to keep his tone unaffected. “Am I not fuckin’ satisfying you?”

“It’s only healthy for someone as young as me.” Bakugou scoffed, eyes rolling until slipping shut as Kirishima slid a second finger beside the first.  “I know an old man like you wouldn’t understand.”

The sound Bakugou gave him was caught somewhere between offended and distracted.

“Oh yeah?” Kirishima continued, knowing the intent behind the gruff. “What about you then tough guy? How long’s it been?” Bakugou cut a glare at him, lip curling into a sneer. He wasn’t hiding anything. “That recent, huh?”

There was a passing quiet where Kirishima thought he’d deny it until he turned his nose up. “Guess I’m not as old as you think I am.”

“Hard to imagine what with your busy schedule of overworking yourself and yelling at my friends.”

“I find time in between.”

Kirishima put on a frown hand stilling between them. “Hey, where am I?”

“Not around.” With a huff most likely both at the question and the stillness, Bakugou set to rolling his hips down. “That’s kinda the point.”

Kirishima considered stopping him, either by pushing him down into the bed or removing his fingers altogether, but the unsteady breathing and eagerness were enough to convince him otherwise.

“Invite me over next time.”

Bakugou had the audacity to crack a laugh. “You’d like that.”

“I would.” His answer was genuine, void of teasing or embarrassment. It seemed to strike Bakugou oddly so he ignored it and changed the subject.

“Why don’t you fuckin’ focus on this time instead of runnin’ your mouth about next time then, yeah?”

“Sorry, am I not giving you enough attention?” It was a bit rough, Kirishima would admit that, but the jolt of surprise he got when he forced in a third finger and started moving them again was all but stunning. “My fingers in your ass not enough for you?”

“Not even close.” Bakugou’s words were one thing. His flushed face and hands digging into his sheets were another thing entirely. “Weren’t you a nervous wreck just a few minutes ago?”

“I wasn’t nervous.” He answered honestly, a surprised little expression coming before he grinned again. “Maybe I was just surprised you’d let anyone else have even just a little bit of control over you.”

Bakugou tilted his head back to bark a derisive laugh at the ceiling. “We’ll see how much control you have when I let you put your dick in me.”

Maybe in the beginning a comment like that would have made him fumble and stutter, but now, it only made him more enthusiastic. “Let me? You’re all but asking for it.”

“And I could just as easily tell you to fuck off.”

“We both know that’s not gonna happen.” He scooted nearer on his knees, hand working in a leisurely pace. “And I know how much you like a challenge. Somebody who listens to every word you say, every command you give, wouldn’t get to see you like this.”

Bakugou stared back at him with his lips tight, refusing to speak in spite and reluctance.

Kirishima leaned closer, knew that the lack of words was as much of an answer as anything. “Your silence is very telling, Katsuki.” There was a subtle clench around his fingers at his name that made Kirishima beam down at him.

“I have plenty of regrets already.” Bakugou’s voice was tense and he cleared his throat to try and cover it.  “The tiniest bit of power and you’re acting like a brat.”

“I’m the brat? You’ve been nothing but disagreeable since we started.”

Bakugou clicked his tongue dismissively. “I think my intentions have been clear since before we left that shithole of an apartment- and you sure are happy to take your damn time.” He shifted himself down roughly onto Kirishima’s fingers as if to emphasize his point. “So excuse me for being a little fucking impatient.”

A little out of compliance but a lot out of pettiness, Kirishima pulled his fingers out in a rush. Because of it, he learned Bakugou was able to glare even harder than he already was. Too bad looks like that hardly bothered him anymore.

“Don’t mind me.” Kirishima mused with a smile, plucking the condom off his stomach. “I’m just hurrying along like you want.”

While his voice stayed steady, his hands were a true representation of how he was faring. They fumbled with the wrapper, almost dropped it one, two times before finally ripping it open. The quiet snort of a laugh he heard stifled behind Bakugou’s pinched lips only fueled him to move quicker, roll the condom on in a rush, and get his heavy-handed hold back on sweaty thighs.

“Don’t laugh at me.” He muttered crossly and pushed Bakugou’s legs open wider.

“Don’t look so funny then.”

“You don’t see me laughing.”

With a pointed stare, all humor left Bakugou’s face. “You sayin’ I’m funny lookin’?”

“Something like that.” Kirishima replied absently, far more focused on gripping his cock and sinking into him.

Maybe he should have given a little warning. But then again- maybe he shouldn’t have considering Bakugou’s little gasp of surprise was so wonderful. The comfortable sigh when Kirishima bottomed out was even better.

Eyes shut, mouth open, puffy breaths leaving, brows drawn up, cheeks red, mouth red, neck, chest- all of it a blotchy red mess-

He was so pretty.

And Kirishima was caught.

Caught up in staring at all of it, unable to think past scanning his gaze up and down and up and down and caught. Caught once fire bled from beneath Bakugou’s sandy lashes and pinned him further in place.

Bakugou scowled- still so pretty- shoved Kirishima’s face away with a clammy palm. “Quit gawkin’ at me.”

“Sorry-” Kirishima couldn’t even manage his usual laugh. “You’re just-”

Then that hand was tight over his mouth, pushing as Bakugou’s scowl turned more distressed. He knew what would’ve come next. “Don’t fuckin’ say another word.”

Beautiful.

Kirishima didn’t try to say it, but he also didn’t really have a choice when his mouth was still being covered. He scrunched his brows together, mouth opening and tongue pushing back against the hand. He won immediately- Bakugou jerked back and began wiping at the sheets.

“Oi- fuck off. That’s disgusting.”

Finally, Kirishima laughed through a short little billowy breath. “That’s disgusting? My dick is literally in you.”

“I still don’t want your slobber all over my hand.” Bakugou looked annoyed, but that didn’t stop him from lifting his hips, trying for friction, managing to haul a groan out from Kirishima’s chest. “Stop talking and move goddammit.”

Voice tight and restraint thinning, Kirishima still didn’t want to give in. “Ask me nicely. Still vying for that kiss aren’t ya?” Running his bottom lip through his teeth then wetting it with his tongue, he felt the small thrill of success when Bakugou looked down at his mouth to watch it. “Throw in a please for good measure.”

Bakugou huffed, eyes rolling. “Nevermind. Get outta me.”

“Come on, humor me.” He brushed his knuckles against Bakugou’s cheek, only slightly worried about the possibility of getting bit out of spite. “Won’t you just give in and beg- even just a tiny bit.”

“I’d rather die.”

Kirishima’s hand dropped from his cheek only to grab him by the chin and tilt his head back. “One of these days I’m gonna break that pride of yours.”

His lip curled, defiant but still unconvincingly so. “Doubtful.”

The smile and tone he had was most definitely condescending. “Sorry, was that asking?”

Bakugou’s expression was frustrated, almost becoming an agitated pout. A quick rush of air left through his nose in replace of any complaint forming on his tongue. The thought of snapping at him was abandoned for cupping the back of Kirishima’s neck and pulling down to meet him halfway in a forceful kiss. One rougher, a little more painful than any other they’d shared that night. Kirishima was ripped back just as forcefully, fingers curling into his hair enough to string.

“Move.” Teeth tore at Kirishima’s lip after Bakugou’s demand. Kirishima could hardly focus on his eyes, but damn did he want to see them shine. “Please.” He followed quickly with little sincerity but enough haste to make up for it. A heel pushed into Kirishima’s back. He wasn’t sure when Bakugou’s leg had wrapped around his side, but it dug in urgently and with intent. “I’m not asking.”

“Yeah- okay.” Kirishima tried to get his limbs to listen immediately. It took a few seconds of deep breaths and hazy thoughts for everything to catch up.

“Yeah.” He breathed again, probably sounded dumb. But he couldn’t spare enough of his brain to care about it because he was being swallowed up by hot breaths on his face when he pushed their foreheads together and wet sounds in his ears when he finally started thrusting forward and little pin pricks on his back when Bakugou dug his nails in. He felt like he could get lost in it all at any moment until a mocking laugh broke through to him.

“And you said you’d have control.” Lips brushed Kirishima’s cheek, the smirk of them evident without him even seeing it.

“I got you to say please, didn’t I?”

“Nah.” Scratches raked down his back and almost made Kirishima lose sight of the stubbornness he so badly want to defeat. “Must’ve been someone else.”

Gathering as much restraint as he could, Kirishima slowed then stilled altogether before leaning away. He ground his jaw, breathed through his nose, and tried his damn near hardest to get a scowl on his face.

“Hey shithead-” Bakugou’s voice caught in his throat at the unfamiliar sight of Kirishima so stern, so determined. He opened his mouth to try again but it immediately closed, teeth digging into his lip when a hand closed around his cock.

It definitely wasn’t what Bakugou was expecting. His gut clenched, shoulders rolled in, heel jabbed against Kirishima’s spine. Somehow through it all, he still managed his irate look with nostrils flared and brows pinched together so close it had to hurt.

Kirishima kept his movements slow, a taunting slide up and down as he struggled not to smile. Not to grin at just how easy it seemed to be to break such a haughty man apart. If only he’d give up just a little more.

“You know what to say, Katsuki.”

“Are you serious?” The only response Kirishima gave was the disinterested lift of his brow. “Bite me.” Bakugou spat back through bared teeth.

“That’s not quite it, baby.” The twitch in his hand is what finally got Kirishima contently smiling down at him.

One look and Bakugou was staring in pure annoyance. “Do you get off on being a dick?”

“You asking me or yourself?”

Bakugou’s undeniably angry answer was swallowed up by a groan and a rushed, “motherfucker-” because of a well-timed upstroke to his cock, Kirishima’s grip twisting in just the way he knew he loved.

“This could all be over so easily.” His hand went loose, barely moving, barely providing anything at all. “You don’t even have to recite me a whole pleading speech. It’s just one little word honestly. All you have to do is actually mean it this time.”

“Fuck you, I meant it last ti-”

He really should let him finish a thought. If he were less determined to finally shatter Bakugou’s seemingly endless hubris, maybe he would’ve been a little sweeter.

“That’s not it either.” Kirishima squeezed, just light enough to give a vicious reminder that his hand was still there, but not enough to hurt and certainly not enough to be of any relief. “And no you didn’t mean it. Don’t lie to me or it’ll take a lot more than a please to get this over with.”

“I didn’t-”

Kirishima suddenly leaning over him seemed to startle Bakugou into silence.

He could hear Bakugou swallow as he pushed lips to his ear and dropped his voice into breathy whisper. “Baby, please.” The stuttering breath rushing past his ear had Kirishima grinning and rearing back up. “See? It’s easy.”

“I-” There was half a second where Kirishima thought he’d finally won, but it was ruined when Bakugou shook his head and shut his eyes tightly. “Ei, stop it.” He said instead. It was halfhearted. A lazy attempt to get Kirishima to give in. A barely-there plead peppered with his name in some hope that it would be more persuasive than teasing him any further. ”Stop.” He tried again, still without making a single move to actually end it.

Kirishima’s grin was gone so he could settle his face into a bored stare as he started moving his hand quicker again. “If you can say that much, you can give me what I want.”

Bakugou’s mouth opened, chin quivering as if he was fighting not to shout. Kirishima was ready for a denial, an insult, anything other than the compliance he got instead. “Fuck- fine-” He tugged at the sheets in frustration, embarrassment, tension, hips trying to buck up into the loose grip. “Shit, please.” That time around it was certainly different. It was a strung out whine that shot down Kirishima’s spine and snapped his resolve into pieces. “C’mon, fuck me, please.”

Kirishima gave a soft laugh under his breath without even being conscious of it. His cheeks burned, head swimming with relief flooding in once he was finally able to move again. He had just as much been torturing himself as he had Bakugou. All his teasing had led to Bakugou constantly clenching around him- whether it was intentional or not, he still didn’t know.

But it meant the first pull of his cock out was enough to punch gasps out of both of them. Pushing back in got Bakugou shoving his head into the pillow and sputtering curses towards the ceiling.  Kirishima kept his hand working over Bakugou’s dick in time with each thrust, eyes open wide and trying to force every bit of it to be burned into his memory.

He was a little ashamed to say it didn’t last long. As much as Kirishima wanted to appear in control, wanted to drag things out even longer, at that point they were both too keyed up.

It couldn’t have been more than a minute or two before Bakugou was spilling over Kirishima’s fingers with a surprisingly quiet whimper. The sight of it was enough to have Kirishima doubling over and smashing their lips together as he came.

His ears rang, muscles all loosening into jelly and consciousness quickly becoming something very unimportant.

Bakugou was still heaving breaths in and out beneath him. They warmed his face, only making the idea of immediately falling asleep more enticing.

Kirishima expected to hear something muttered, some reluctant soft confession.

All he got was a quiet grunt and Bakugou clearing his throat before, “I gotta piss.”

Kirishima pulled back an inch to look down, unimpressed. “You’re supposed to tell me how good a fuck that was. That wasn’t romantic at all.”

“Neither is having a bladder full of beer.” Bakugou put a hand to his shoulder, pushing him back. “And you’re kind of pressing on it. So unless you want me to fucking bust all over your bed, I’d recommended letting me up.”

“At least tell me I did a good job.” Kirishima whined as he begrudgingly pulled out and rolled onto his back.

“Fuckin’ stellar.” Bakugou shot back in rush as he stumbled through the dark towards the bathroom.

“That didn’t sound sincere!” Kirishima shouted after him as he wrangled to get under the covers.

Kirishima didn’t expect a reply, especially considering Bakugou had yelled at him at least five times not to talk to him through the bathroom door.

He should have went and opened his bedroom door back. If he didn’t, he could only imagine the irritated wrath his little feline gremlin would terrorize him with in the morning. She hated not being able to get under his bed more than anything, but the thought of getting up was surprisingly worse than the possibility of getting scratched. So he waited in patient silence and listened to the faint sound of the sink running across the room.

When the light from the bathroom flooded in, he squinted and turned to face away towards the wall. Only once the darkness took over again and there were soft thuds of steps against his floor did he peek his eyes open.

“You know, they call it an afterglow for a reason. You’re kind of supposed to enjoy it.” Kirishima’s grumble into the pillow was received with a grunt as Bakugou slid into bed behind him.

“I’ll give you a golden shower next time and we’ll see how much you like that afterglow, yeah?”

Kirishima twisted his face up. “Sorry, no piss kink to be found here.”

“Thankfully.” There was warmth settling against Kirishima’s back then, an arm curling over his side, soft kisses landing on his shoulder. “That’s where I’d draw the line.”

“Oh that’s your limit?” Kirishima pushed back into the embrace, shoved his cheek into the pillow to hide his charmed grin the best he could. “Then there’s so much room for other things.”

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.”

That wasn’t a no. But it was a dismissal. There’d always be time later on to have such a conversation. But at that moment, there were far more important things. Like sleep overtaking their hushed, slurred voices and lazy touches.

It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes, but with Bakugou’s’ forehead to Kirishima’s shoulder, and his arm around him loosened to a comfortable hold, Kirishima had assumed he’d fallen asleep. That was until a deep breath tickled his skin.

“Hey,” Fingers started to brush along Kirishima’s arm while the murmur fell between his shoulder blades. “What’re you doing for New Year’s?”

“Hmm, I don’t know really.” Despite it being a week away, he really hadn’t given it much thought at all. “I usually stay here- my parents don’t really make a big fuss about it.”

“What about the other shitheads?”

“I think Sero’s taking Mina home with him. Kami will stay here since his parents live close by, but I don’t know if he’ll be doing something with Jirou or not.” Kirishima rolled over to look at him. “What are you doing?”

“Going home.” Bakugou answered quickly then turned his head to stare up at the ceiling. “And I didn’t know if you’d be free, but-” He frowned in that childish little way that always failed to hide the anxiousness behind it. “I was gonna ask if you would- since you’re not busy or anything. Thought maybe you’d want to come with me.”

“Come home with you?”

It was more of a stunned clarification, but to Bakugou it probably sounded skeptical. He was glowering instantly, rolling his shoulders uncomfortably.

“Look, you don’t fuckin’ have to. If you don’t wanna drive that far or if you don’t want to at all- I didn’t know if you’d be alone, but if Kaminari’s saying here, well-“

“Hey.” With a hand on his cheek, he turned Bakugou’s face back towards him. “I’d love to.” The worried expression left him slowly at first but then all together. It softened even more when Kirishima ran his touch up into his hair. “I was just surprised.”

Bakugou’s eyes closed, head just barely pushing back into his hand. “You’re gonna regret it.”

Kirishima gave a single, quiet laugh. “Then why’d you ask?”

“’Cause I want you to come.”

With a flick to his temple, Bakugou’s eyes opened and went straight into a glare.

“You should’ve led with that. Not like I would say no.”

“That’s ‘cause you haven’t met my mother.” Bakugou replied with the click of his tongue.

“From what I’ve heard, I don’t think I’ll have any issue.” He resumed his petting and with it Bakugou’s eyes slipped shut again. “I like her shitty son after all.”

“Watch it.” It was a mutter with no hint of malice to be found. Any usual bite was replaced with a drowsy languor.

Twisting a clump of blonde around one finger, Kirishima smiled and wiggled closer. “Go to sleep.”

An agreeing hum rumbled back as Bakugou tucked his head down into Kirishima’s shoulder.

I love you, he thought for the hundredth time, but his tongue stayed unendingly still.

Chapter Text

The day before New Year’s Eve, Bakugou drug him from bed far earlier than he would have liked and ushered him into car with a bag packed.

Just where they were going remained vague and barely explained past a grumbled home.

Home turned out to be a small town about two hours from the city.

Visually unexciting past the charm of a melancholic childhood setting. Simple houses, small clusters of apartments and shops gave way to larger homes, actual yards surrounding them. There was a clear division that apparently had been crossed somewhere in the past few minutes. While it wasn’t anywhere near the brilliance of some places nestled downtown, for suburban life, it was more than comfortable.

When they pulled up to a house and stopped, Kirishima had his eyes glued to the window. The home wasn’t all that impressive necessarily, but the entire road was noticeably different than the majority of what he’d seen so far. Definitely different than the two bedroom apartment he’d grown up in as a child. At the sight, a bit more kindling was added to the burn of anxiety in his stomach.

Despite Bakugou’s consistent complaining, Kirishima had been nervous for over a week. Really, it started the moment the possibility of being here was brought up. It may have just been the fact that his parents were two of the most important people in the survival of this relationship. Even though he tried several times to pry information about them out of Bakugou, he usually got little more than a dismissive shrug. Still, he knew Bakugou’s relationship with them wasn’t bad in the slightest. Which means if they disliked him, well that would be it wouldn’t it?

It wasn’t as if he actually believed they wouldn’t like him. He prided himself on being nice, friendly, possibly even overly comfortable with strangers. But that didn’t keep him from feeling anxious nonetheless.

Bakugou’s knock on the front door sent his nerves into overdrive. He gripped the strap of his bag tightly, started rolling from his heels to his toes until an arm smacked across his chest. He landed flatfooted, slightly hunched over the arm.

“How many times do I have to tell you this?” Bakugou let his arm fall back to his side. “Fuckin’ chill out.”

“Impossible.”

Bakugou sighed but leaned into Kirishima, pushing them together from shoulder to elbow. The intention of the gesture was comfort even as subtle as it may have been. Muffled warmth pushing away the bite of the cold air, a solid, grounding push followed by a cover-up of faked frustration.  “You’re being irritating.”

“If they don’t like me-” Kirishima began a groan.

“Shut up.” Bakugou shifted his weight away, shrugging his bag up on his shoulder. His voice dropped to a mutter, “Everyone likes you.”

Kirishima opened his mouth to start again but what if- but the door swung open with a rush of warm air out.

The elated expression of the woman behind the door fell instantly into a confusion of sorts.

Bakugou was right- they looked so much alike it was almost startling. If anything, there was just a bit more readable emotion in her eyes, a type of warmth instead of deliberate indifference.

“Hello,” She started, eyes moving between them before deciding to settle on Kirishima.

He should be used to stark, unyielding carmine staring him down, but he still couldn’t help but want to shrink away.

“Who-” She began again but Bakugou cleared his throat roughly.

“This is Kirishima.”

“Eijirou is fine.” He heard himself saying and her eyes flicked between them again.

“My boyfriend-” Her brows rose and Bakugou snapped immediately. “Don’t make anything of it.”

“Oo,” She cooed and it was enough to set him off again.

“Don’t fuckin’ oo me. It’s whatever.” He told Kirishima to chill, but he was just as bad. Stiffly set shoulders, voice tight, Kirishima knew by now just how anxious he was. “Now let us in- it’s freezing out here.”

“Of course.” Still, she didn’t’ move. “Given such a pleasant greeting after months of not seeing me, how could I ever say no to letting you in my home?”

There were far too many seconds where all they did was stare at one another before Bakugou pushed a deep breath out his nose.

“Hi mom.” He kept his voice low and unenthusiastic. “Good enough?”

She looked unimpressed, almost angry. But it split quickly into a crazy grin. She moved, swinging an arm around Bakugou’s neck and jerking him into a headlock. “You should learn how to act happy to see me. It’s not like you’re ever gonna get another mother.”

“Unfortunately.” Bakugou spat, pushing at her arms. “Cut the shit and move outta the way.”

The struggling only got worse when she started ruffling his hair and hugging him closer. “Oh honey, are you embarrassed?” Her eyes shot back up to Kirishima, shining brilliantly with such familiar mischief. “What do you think Eiji dear? Am I being too mean?”

Kirishima’s knuckles were probably white from how hard he was holding onto his bag. He managed a small nod and mustered up enough of his usual confidence to smile. “I think he deserves it.”

“Both of you can piss off.” Bakugou finally managed to slide out of her grasp and shove her arm away as he stood.

“No need to be such a grump.” She chided but turned back into the house. “It’s a holiday, you should be in a good mood.” There was already the start of an angry rebuttal coming out of Bakugou’s mouth, but she spoke over him. “I don’t wanna hear it! Now come in the house for fuck’s sake, why do you insist on standing out in the cold?”

Whatever slew of heated remarks Bakugou was conjuring up went unheard by her. Instead she shut the door after them then brushed by with another shout. “Masaru, dear, please come out! We have a surprising special guest!”

It was honestly a little embarrassing that it took Kirishima the entire exchange to figure out what had happened. Left with a moment to think while Bakugou continued cursing under his breath, all the surprise clicked into place, the meaning behind her curiosity becoming clear in rush of guilt.

Kirishima rounded on Bakugou in a second, stopping them both in place just beyond the doorway.

“You didn’t tell them I was coming.”

The slight bit of shock on Bakugou’s face fell just as quick as it had come. “It didn’t come up.”

“Probably because they didn’t even know I existed, right?” His hiss sounded almost offended, more bothered than anything.

Bakugou shrugged but he shifted his gaze somewhere behind Kirishima. “They know now.”

Kirishima mouth opened a few times to start saying something, but everything that almost came out didn’t seem right. It all eventually ended in a frustrated sigh as he dropped down into a whisper. “Look, I know you don’t really take many peoples’ opinions into consideration when you’re making decisions, but this- This isn’t something that should happen.”

Bakugou frowned, hiking his bag up further onto his shoulder with a huff. “You’re overreacting.”

“For once, I’m not.”

Bakugou looked confused, genuinely unsure of what to do. While he wasn’t the most socially competent person Kirishima knew, surely he was aware enough to know this wasn’t how things were supposed to go.

“You’re mad.” Bakugou tried again. It was posed as a statement, but there was a hint of a question behind it. Like this somehow wasn’t the response that would be expected of someone.

“No. Not mad. I’m a little annoyed, but-” Suddenly, Kirishima felt a little regretful for snapping so quickly. He let out a sigh, rubbing at his neck. “Well I guess it’s not like I can do anything to change it now.”

Quietly enough to startle him into jumping, Mitsuki was behind him, voice close to his ear. “Something wrong?”

“No.” He turned quickly and gave a nervous laugh. “I just didn’t know he hadn’t told you I was coming, so-”

She waved her hand about before coming close again and taking him by the shoulders. “Don’t you worry about that.”

“See. It’s fine.” Bakugou added gruffly.

Kirishima’s smile fell into an unamused scowl once he turned his head toward Bakugou. “Intruding is not fine.”

“Who said anything about intruding? We’re more than happy to have you here.” She lifted a hand to his face, soft palm against his cheek and bringing his attention back to her. As much as the two of them were alike, it was clear Bakugou’s usual aversion towards physical contact hadn’t come from her. “Especially considering I’ve never met anyone who’s come close to being called a boyfriend.”

“Don’t start-” Bakugou spoke up vehement and indignant, but she cut him off with another loud coo.

“Oh, and I love this.” Mitsuki mused thoughtfully as she ran her other hand over Kirishima’s shoulder. Her eyes scanned his chest before moving to his arms and pinching the thick knit of the sweater between her fingers. “Wonderful fabric.”

“Ah- Thank you-” Kirishima followed her critical gaze and stared down at the deep green of the wool.  “Katsuki gave it to me.”

Katsuki-” She repeated back to him like the word seemed intriguingly out of place. “Hmm,” But then she was grinning, something about it still intimidating. “He did? How nice. He has a great eye, doesn’t he? Of course, he gets it from his momma.”

“It could’ve come from me, no?” Masaru called as he came into the room. “Now stop touching the poor boy, Mitsuki. He looks terrified.”

“Really?” She leaned in close, teeth glinting like she could take a bite out of him at any moment. “He tolerates our son and by comparison, I’m an angel.”

“More like a she-devil.” Bakugou grumbled from behind him.

“And what does that make you?” She was snapping over Kirishima’s shoulder, hands smoothing up and down his arms. “Devil spawn?”

“I guess so.” He’d come nearer, shouting right at the back of Kirishima’s head.

The two stared at each other for a moment, trapping Kirishima between the heavy weights of their fiery presence.

When Mitsuki leaned back, she was still smiling. “It’s good to have you back.” Finally she let go of Kirishima’s arms and took a step away. “And you too. Please treat this like your own home.”

While the initial meeting had gone smoother than he thought it would, there was still some anxiousness left in him. He still felt a little bothersome considering no one had even known he was coming, or even known they were dating for that matter. He’d really have to scold Bakugou for that later. He’d told his mother at least a month prior that he had a boyfriend- told her most everything about him. He was sure Bakugou didn’t mean anything by not telling them. He was a rather private person after all. But Kirishima had expected more from him considering he’d invited him to come stay in their home.

Nonetheless, he let it bet for the moment and carried on with their morning like nothing was bothering him. They got settled in, Bakugou taking his things to his old room before leading Kirishima into the guest room at the other end of the hall. Both rooms looked relatively untouched and he almost felt bad for cluttering it up.

 

The afternoon consisted of Kirishima demanding a tour of where Bakugou grew up and whining enough until he finally gave in. They drove through some of the town, walked other parts, all the while Kirishima was soaking it up like he’d be quizzed on it later. It didn’t really explain much about Bakugou like a hometown should. Kirishima had only ever known him as someone who spent far too much time at work before returning to an arguably lavish apartment for only one person to be living in. None of it fit the comforting, homey vibe of the streets they wandered. Small schools, the calm bustle of people who all seemed to know one another, only a few places to stop and buy the necessities.

Bakugou ended up dragging him into of those places in search of dinner. He announced without question that they would be doing the cooking for the evening. Kirishima tried to point out that we meant he because there was no way Kirishima was going to disgust Bakugou’s parents with his awful cooking. He was promptly told that he could either listen and follow directions or not eat at all, so- cooking it was.

There was an old woman behind the counter that lit up upon the sight of them lugging their seemingly endless amount of groceries up to the register. She rang out a loud ‘Katsuki, honey’ which, much to Kirishima’s surprise, was returned by a soft smile instead of a snap or glare. She took him by the cheeks, tugged his face over the counter and planted a kiss in the middle of his forehead.

It wasn’t until they were out the front door and back into the cold that it was explained to him that she had worked there all Bakugou’s life and always seemed to get a thrill out of seeing him come through. He and his father had done most of the shopping when he was young, and she was one of the people that probably knew him best in the town.

Kirishima considered it was probably hard on her to see him leave and not come back very often- that is if how excited she got was anything to go by. She had asked Bakugou more questions than he could answer in the short time it took to check out. After a little berating for him to call her once he got back to the city, she let them go with a hug and warm grin.

As soon as they got back, Bakugou put him to work. He still hadn’t explained what they were making, but he assigned Kirishima to prep duty because that was ‘something not even an idiot could mess up’.

Kirishima always did love to prove him wrong.

“Stop doing it like that.”

Kirishima had been cutting away, but at the bark, his hand stilled. He lifted his head to find Bakugou staring displeased at the board.

“Like what?”

Bakugou waved his spoon around in a vague sort of gesture. “That.”

“I don’t know what that means.” Kirishima huffed and matched the annoyed expression staring back at him.

Silence stretched between them, gazes boring into one another until Bakugou tucked his chin down with a rough shake of his head.

“I’m not showing you.”

A short whine preceded any feigned annoyance dropping into a frown. “Why not?”

“I refuse.”

“Come on,” Kirishima drawled, slumping down a little but grinning. “You don’t wanna hold my hands from behind and guide me?”

“No.”

“It’s romantic.”

“It’s stupid. Just learn how to chop.”

Kirishima kept staring, eyes going round and shiny. As soon as Bakugou looked up, he added in a lip quiver for good measure. It only took about five seconds of dramatic pouting before Bakugou gave in with a sigh.

“Fine.” His spoon clattered to the counter after being abruptly dropped. He rounded the counter and moved behind Kirishima with nothing more than a grumble. “This is ridiculous.”

On the other hand, Kirishima was practically beaming with the feeling of a chest pushed up against his back. “Show me the secrets of the cooking gods.”

“It’s no secret. This shouldn’t be difficult, but why am I surprised an idiot can’t figure it out.”

“Such a mean teacher calling me an idiot all the time. Do you insult all your students?”

“Just the idiots.” Bakugou hooked his chin over Kirishima’s shoulder and snaked his arms around from behind. So different from how irritated he wanted to appear. Kirishima didn’t mention it, didn’t want it to end so soon.

“Aye teach’, if I do poorly are you gonna punish me?”

The arms around him tightened a little, squeezing in a harmless warning. “I’ll stab you without a second thought.”

“Oh, knife play. I didn’t know you were so kinky, ‘suki.”

The squeeze quickly turned into pinching. “You really want me to leave, huh?”

“No-” Another pinch to his stomach had him squirming, almost dropping the knife. “Sorry, sorry. Please continue the lesson.”

“Just cut them evenly. No one wants giant ass pieces.” One of Bakugou’s hands came over his to pick the knife back up while the over moved his hand almost into a fist over the carrot. “Curl your fingers so you don’t chop one off. Worst case, the blade should just graze your knuckle.” Despite how cumbersome it was, he did his best to start chopping while Bakugou held his hands in place. It would have been easier without his wobbly smile or the nervousness mixing with giddiness at how silly they must look.

After a few slow chops, Bakugou removed his hands but stayed. Even with more freedom to move, Kirishima couldn’t seem to do much better than he already had. “How do you do this so fast?”

Bakugou tsked like it was the stupidest question Kirishima had ever asked him. “I’m not stupid.”

Kirishima smacked the knife against the cutting board harder than necessary, slamming right through the carrot and hitting the plastic with a loud thump. “Keep being fucking rude and you just might be the one to lose a finger.”

“Jeez,” Bakugou droned, turning his head and pushing in close to Kirishima’s neck. Kirishima scraped the knife roughly against the board in a jolt of surprise, but tried to play it off with a cough. “You’re starting to sound like me.”

“You’re a terr- ah,” Kirishima jumped a little, voice breaking off when lips skimmed under his jaw. “Terrible influence.” He finished, hoped it sounded smoother than the beginning.

Bakugou merely hummed, continuing to lay pecks against his throat until a hand smacked against the doorframe and Mitsuki’s low, terrifying rattle of a voice came flitting in.

“Better not be getting frisky around my dinner, eh punk?”

He had figured Bakugou would jump back from him, the same strike of embarrassment running through him after being caught. Instead, he slowly slid sway, trailing a hand against Kirishima’s back as he made his way around to the other side of the counter. All of it made Kirishima’s cheeks burn, knife shaking in his hand.

Bakugou let out a loud sigh, rearing his head back at her. “Hope you enjoyed being nosy.”

She creeped closer, peering down at the growing mountain of vegetables with a grin. “Haven’t I always? But it’s not like you were ever doing anything interesting until now.” She picked up a piece of carrot and set to munching away at it. “You see Eijirou, he wasn’t the most entertaining child. Always so serious and brooding. It was as if I’d given birth to an old man.”

Kirishima nearly choked at the comment until it broke into a soft laugh despite the glare Bakugou was trailing back and forth between the two of them. “Somehow, I think I know what you mean.”

She didn’t seem to notice the murderous gaze her son was giving them- or maybe she’d just gotten used to- but either way, she continued on like nothing was wrong. “I mean, it’s not as though he was always like that. He used to love comic books, baseball- although I think that was more about beating the other team than actually playing the sport- I swear he always aimed at the poor kids. Liked to cook too. Still does I guess.”

She moved closer to Bakugou and threw her arms around his shoulders. “I’d always end up working late and his dad would tell me all the time how concerned he’d be about dinner being ready why I got home.” She reached up and pinched his cheek which only let to a more irritated stare boring holes into Kirishima while he was simply trying not to smile. “He was so sweet, I don’t know what happened.”

There was a quick look that could only mean, don’t you dare, as Kirishima bit down on his lip to keep the grin at bay. She still had her arms around him, he was restrained, probably wouldn’t lash out too hard if Kirishima joined in.

“He’s still pretty sweet.” There was the beginning of an angry grunt from Bakugou so he turned his eyes back down to the counter. “And he cooks for me all the time. I’m very thankful for him having such a good teacher.”

Mitsuki hummed happily. “I’ll have to tell Masaru that- he’d love to hear someone compliment his parenting.”

“Don’t give him a big head.” Bakugou objected as he hunkered down and started back on his preparations.

“Actually, I think I’ll go share the news right now. Who knew you paid so much attention as a kid?”

“Sounds peachy.” He groused, finally managing to shrug her off. “Get outta here.”

“Behave yourself. I do expect dinner at some point.” She popped him on the back before strolling contently back towards the door.

 

Dinner was an experience all to itself. While Kirishima never really minded talking about himself, it was a bit different when people were listening so intently to whatever he was saying. He was used to talking without anyone paying much attention- really just filling the gaps between conversations- but now, he had eyes watching him with every word. Most of the questions were to be expected; where he was from, what his family was like, why he’d moved to the city, how he ended up meeting Bakugou.

“I started working at his office during the summer.” He answered after swallowing a mouthful of whatever they’d made- he still wasn’t sure- but it was warm and meaty and delicious.

Mitsuki laughed while leaning back in her chair. “I’m surprised you wanted anything to do with him once you saw him at his worst.”

“He’s really not that bad.” Kirishima could feel Bakugou’s stare on him, but he kept his attention on his plate. “I know it must be tough managing all of us.”

“That’s not what I’ve heard.” She replied with a shrug.

Bakugou stopped his eating to narrow his eyes at her. “And how would you know?”

She waved her hand at him and looked away innocently. “Uraraka has told me things.”

“Why are you talking to my friend?”

“Friend?” Kirishima rolled a piece of beef around his plate while he hummed. “I’ll have to tell her you said that.”

Bakugou hissed at him immediately. A quick and quiet, “Don’t.”

The look Kirishima gave him was flat but exasperated. “Oh no, your friend is going to know you don’t hate her. How awful.”

Mitsuki all but snickered, cupping her hand over her mouth like that would somehow keep Bakugou from hearing. “Not very good at lying, is he?”

Kirishima mirrored her and it was entertaining how rigid Bakugou grew from the simple movement. “Not at all.”

Bakugou’s chopsticks were jabbing near his face in a matter of seconds. “Like you’re one to talk. You can’t go five seconds passed a lie before admitting the truth.”

Kirishima leaned away, thought twice about rolling his eyes. “I’m an honest person, I don’t enjoy being deceitful.”

Mitsuki nodded along. “And to think you spend your time with someone so obnoxious.”

“Don’t let him fool you.” Bakugou spared him a glance before looking back to his mother and shaking his head. “He’s always one word away from driving me crazy.”

She lit up at the comment- more than she should. A grin spread even wider across her face as she bent to the side. “Ah, hear that Masaru? He’s finally crazy for someone.”

“That is not what I said, woman!”

Masaru was having none of it. He continued eating calmly, not sparing either of them more than a small glance. “Mitsuki, you’re riling him up.”

She batted a hand against her husband’s shoulder who merely sighed in response. “Let me have my fun. I’ve missed having him around to annoy.”

“And you wonder why I don’t come back more.” Bakugou huffed, slouching over his plate and shoveling in another mouthful of food.

He seemed so endearingly adolescent like this. Bickering with his mother like he probably had all his life. It felt as though Kirishima was seeing a glimpse into the past he’d only heard little bits about before.

 

After dinner, they all fell into the living room to be, in Bakugou’s not at all bitter words, “subjected to whatever horror of a tv show” Mitsuki wanted.

It turned out to be a sitcom, and by horrible tv standards, it wasn’t all that bad. That still didn’t stop Bakugou from complaining loudly the entire time.

Somewhere along the way, he had muttered something about going to the bathroom. But now that Kirishima was thinking about it- it was some time ago. He had gotten kind of wrapped up in the show, especially when Mitsuki did her best to explain everything so it’d make sense to him. He’d been enthralled enough in it that his half-hearted response to Bakugou was returned with a huff as he pushed himself off the couch.

When exactly had that been?

Twenty minutes? Thirty?

He really couldn’t remember.

He glanced around, back towards the kitchen, then turned around to look up the stairs. Still nothing in sight. When he slid down into the couch, he looked to Masaru first who was nestled in the corner of the other couch flipping through a small book and then to Mitsuki who was still staring wide-eyed at the tv.

“Where’d Katsu go?”

Mitsuki looked over to him, grin curling at her lips. “Mm, where did Katsu go?”

“Mitsuki.” Masaru scolded, accompanied by a quick pat to her knee with the spine of his book. “He’s probably up in his room.”

She settled down into his side, sighing heavily. “We managed to keep him off his computer for almost twelve hours- that’s probably a new record.”

“You know how he is about his work.” His calm attention went back to his book. “You were the same way.”

Her grin fell to a stern expression but her tone still lacked any seriousness. “Don’t let him hear you say that.” She rolled her eyes then looked to Kirishima as the thought dawned on her. “He doesn’t talk too badly about me right?”

While Bakugou never said much about his mother, a lot of it certainly had been rather critical. No matter good or bad, Kirishima didn’t feel like he was in any sort of position to repeat it to her.

Instead of answering, he let out a soft laugh and got to his feet. “I’ll go do my best to drag him away.”

“Maybe you’ll have better luck than I ever do!” Mitsuki called back to him as he made his way up the stairs.

He’d been given a slight tour shortly after they got there, so the walk towards Bakugou’s bedroom was familiar but slightly unsure. The door at the end of the hall had been shut before, but now it was barely ajar with low light seeping out.

He pushed it open slowly, peering inside to find Bakugou hunched over his desk and clacking away at his laptop. It was a common enough sight that Kirishima didn’t feel like he was entirely intruding as he made his way into the room.

He took a brief chance to look around, and although it was simple- not too decorated but certainly still comfortable- it was his guess that the room hadn’t been changed much since Bakugou moved out however long ago. It was obvious from Bakugou’s apartment he wasn’t one for too much clutter or distraction even though he had the means to be as elaborate as he wanted. The same was probably true when he was a kid. The thought of him not changing was oddly amusing. Kirishima could hardly think of anything other than a grumpy little kid with the same deep set frown and heavy eyes and puffy hair just smaller, more adorable.

There was a short lamp on the nightstand lighting the room, casting shadows across the wall as he made his way towards the desk.

Arms draped atop Bakugou’s shoulders and down his chest, Kirishima bent over and nestled his chin into pokey blond.

“Your mom’s concerned about you.”

The typing didn’t stop for even a second. “She didn’t say that.”

“No, but I can tell that’s what she meant.”

“Not even a full day and you already think you’ve got her understood.”

With a quiet snort, he turned his head and nuzzled his cheek against the top of Bakugou’s hair. “Maybe it’s just because I’m thinking the same thing.”

“And what’s that?” Bakugou droned as if he didn’t already know and expect the answer.

“You work too much.” He ignored Bakugou’s irritated groan but still frowned at the wall. “Shouldn’t you be taking a break on your holiday?”

“Wouldn’t have to if-” A quick thwap to the front of his chest shut him up.

“Yeah, yeah, if everyone weren’t such idiots. But it’s not like this work isn’t going to still be there when we get back.”

“Better now than later. I’ll have other shit to do when we get back.”

“Mm,” Kirishima picked his head up, finding Bakugou’s reflection in the dimmed screen of his laptop. Bakugou looked as annoyed as ever while the laptop’s display flickered bright off the lenses of his glasses.

There was no end to that conversation that they hadn’t already reached and repeated ten times over, so Kirishima diverted his attention elsewhere. “Hey baby.”

“What.” It wasn’t so much a question as it was an acknowledgement to get the conversation over with.

“Have I ever told you how much I love your glasses?”

The expression Bakugou pulled was disbelieving and a little contemptuous. “Glad you find my shit eyesight alluring”

“Your dad wears glasses all the time, yeah?”

“Ei, this is taking a dark and gross turn that I don’t think I’m going to enjoy.”

“No-” Embarrassed heat flooded Kirishima’s cheeks as he took another swat at Bakugou’s chest. “Stop it. It’s nothing like that. I mean, at least not with him. You on the other hand-”

“Don’t.” Bakugou’s eyes met his in the reflection for a brief second before he looked down again. “Get back to the point.”

“I’m just thinking- that means you’re probably gonna need permanent glasses when you’re older too.”

“Maybe. What of it?”

“Apart from the fact that it means your eyes are basically dying- I don’t think it’d be that bad.”

Bakugou scowled at his computer. “You’re not the one growing blind.”

“True.” Kirishima couldn’t stop his amused smile. “But that means I’ll get to look at them all the time.”

Bakugou stilled, fingers stopping mid-sentence and not moving. The quiet was brutal, the constant lurking uncertainty crawling out and making Kirishima regret the words he chose. His grin fell away- maybe the insinuation was a bit more than he should’ve said.

“Hey, I-”

“You really plan on sticking around that long, huh?”

“Ah,” Kirishima chuckled with an awkward rub to the back of his neck. “I mean, if you think you’re gonna get rid of me, I have some choice words for you.”

A breath left fast through Bakugou’s nose- it was as much of a laugh as he Kirishima knew he’d get. “Guess I have no other option then.”

That went smoother than he thought it would after the words left his mouth. They never really mentioned anything about long-term plans. It hadn’t even been five months since this all started. But now, the possibility didn’t seem so crazy. He certainly wasn’t giving up on this anytime soon.

He stood up, watching email after email being sent off, each word becoming more boring than the last. Along the way, his hands left their place on Bakugou’s chest to his shoulders instead. They went even further and with fingers on the arms of the glasses behind his ears, Kirishima fiddled with them up and down until Bakugou grunted and shrugged.

“Kirishima, stop it.”

“Oh, back to Kirishima, huh?” He pulled his hands away from them but leaned in to get close to Bakugou’s ear. “Does that mean I’m annoying you?”

Bakugou only tilted his head to the side a tiny bit, probably tickled by the breath. “You’re always annoying me.”

Finally, Kirishima managed to get the typing to stop for good by pushing his hands into Bakugou’s hair and scratching slowly. It was always the thing that got him the attention he wanted, and because of that he usually saved it for when nothing else was working.

“You won’t stay up all night, right?”

There was a moment where Bakugou didn’t answer, but Kirishima waited patiently. He knew Bakugou wouldn’t lie as long as his nails were distractingly running across his scalp.

“No.”

He complied easily enough. His reward came in the form of Kirishima dotting a few kisses just under his ear. “I guess I’ll have to trust your word since I’ve been exiled to the guest room.”

“I have a single bed, idiot.” Bakugou leaned back in the chair, head pushing into Kirishima’s hands to chase the scratches. “S’not like we can both fit.”

“I dunno. It’d be kinda fun. Like we’re teenagers again.”

“Maybe I wanna go one night without your clingy ass snoring all over me.”

Kirishima blew a short, annoying breath into Bakugou’s ear before standing up straight. “And here I was thinking I was indulging you.”

Indulging me?” Bakugou remarked incredulously after wrenching his head to the side. “How exactly?”

“Is my insinuating that you enjoy my clingy ass threatening to you?”

“I don’t enjoy one bit of it.”

Kirishima barked a laugh and shoved Bakugou’s head forward. “You’re such a liar.” He took a few steps away before he could be swatted at. “And you’re not convincing at all. But if you want me to believe you so bad, fine.”

“What?” Bakugou spun in his chair to watch Kirishima continue backing up towards the door.

“Nothing.” He replied flippantly with a shrug. “I’m just taking my clingy ass elsewhere since it’s apparently so annoying.”

It was times like this he found Bakugou being conflicted so entertaining. The stubborn man was constantly caught between wanting to prove his poorly constructed lies and threats and actually giving in to the self-proclaimed stupid things he enjoyed. It just so happened that the stupid thing in this moment was Kirishima’s presence.

Kirishima was very self-aware of how attached both emotionally and physically he got to people. Some were probably uncomfortable with how touchy and adoring he could be. Yet, he knew full well that Bakugou was in no way one of those people. So he’d let Bakugou suffer through this one alone. He’d let him fight with himself for as long as he could before eventually giving up and trailing back to Kirishima like nothing had happened.

In the meantime, Kirishima would go about his business like he always did. He considered going back downstairs, but the thought of watching more tv was tiring and he’d probably end up falling asleep on the couch. The early time he woke up, the traveling, the errands- it was all setting in deep now and bringing more than just a slight drowsy feeling. While it wasn’t as late as he usually headed to bed, the thought of crawling into warm blankets was too enticing to ignore.

Still, he pulled together enough energy to take a shower before changing clothes and settling himself into the neatly made guest bed.

It couldn’t have been thirty minutes after he’d shut the lamp off that a sliver of dim light cut through the room.

The sound of the door creaking open probably should have been more alarming than it was. Even more so when it was followed by soft steps against the hardwood and the bed dipping behind him.

But it wasn’t alarming.

Wasn’t even a surprise.

Because he’d won. Bakugou had given in to himself.

“What are you doing?” Despite the fact that it was likely no one else could hear him, Kirishima kept his voice hushed and drowsily slow.

There was a heavy weight pressed up against his back in a matter of seconds. “It’s my goddamn house.” Came the mutter to his shoulder, breath making the fabric warm.  “I can sleep wherever I want to.”

“Who’s clingy now?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Still, an arm snaked over his side and rested warmly against his stomach. “M’just here ‘cause the bed’s bigger.”

Giving a chuckle, Kirishima peaked an eye open only to stare blindly into the darkness. “Oh yeah, okay. That makes sense considering you’re taking advantage of all the space in the bed and are definitely not as close as you can get to me.”

He ignored that- no surprise there- and moved on to the next excuse. “This room has always been warmer than mine.”

“You don’t need a reason to be here.” Kirishima brought one hand up to rest against the arm slung over him. “Your pride might say otherwise, but I don’t care.”

Bakugou scoffed but at least didn’t deny anything. “Yeah, you never have given a shit about what my pride thinks.”

“I’m not scared of it or you- Your mom though?” He let out a louder laugh, face pushing into the comforting softness of the pillow. “That’s different.”

“You’re scared of her but not me?” He could practically see the derisive look strewn across Bakugou’s face. “What a joke.”

“Maybe not of her, just-”

“Oi,” The hand against his stomach pinched and made Kirishima jerk. “She likes you. They both do. I promise.”

“Is that so? Well…” There was a more nervous laugh that time as his shoulders hunched. “Of course I like them too.”

“There’s no of course. She’s a difficult person to like.” Bakugou groused, almost mumbling it behind him. “So just don’t tell the old hag that. She’ll never let you forget it.”

“Why wouldn’t I want that? You know, most people like hearing that others enjoy their company.”

Gross.” It was loud and short in his ear but right after that, he was pulled tighter against Bakugou’s chest and a leg was forcibly hooked between his own.

Bakugou wasn’t fooling anyone but all Kirishima could do was grin to himself.

“Hey, just wondering- you never told me what we’re doing tomorrow.”

Bakugou grunted something into the back of his shirt. It probably wasn’t words- even less likely that is was much of an answer at all.

Kirishima shifted to turn over, but the arm around him tightened to hold him in place.

“So difficult.” He lamented with a sigh into the pillow. Still, he turned his head just enough to see out the corner of his eye Bakugou’s forehead mashed against his shoulder blade. “I guess I’ll just have to wait and find out then.”

A quiet mm rumbled against his back.

“But you know, if you did want to tell me-” He skimmed his hand up and down Bakugou’s arm, idly running over the soft hair. “I’d be okay with that too.”

With no response, he tried rolling over again until there were fingers digging into his side.

“Eijirou,” Bakugou bit, tilting his head back to jab his chin in between Kirishima’s shoulders. “Shut up.”

Even though Bakugou couldn’t see it, Kirishima pinched his lips together to stop his pleased smile out of habit. “Sorry, were you trying to sleep?”

Another grunt came before the press of a cold nose to the nape of his neck.

“Goodnight dear.” Kirishima lilted, only slightly mocking, while he wiggled down into the firm hold around him.

A gravelly and slow, “I’ll kill you” was the only thing he got in return before rhythmic, slumbering breaths were whispering behind him.

Chapter Text

Despite incessant questioning, exactly zero information was given about what would be happening that night.

Before they came, Bakugou had warned him that his parents usually didn’t even bother staying up to ring in the new year. Still, that could mean they were either going to stay home and celebrate without them, or maybe go out. But the town hadn’t really looked like the place that was too busy at night. Maybe they’d just grab some dinner and come back before midnight. It didn’t really matter in the end- he was just glad to be there at all.

Even if being there meant watching the three of them bicker with each other all morning until Masaru left for work and Bakugou marched himself back up into his room. Naturally, Kirishima had followed after him and made enough stupid jokes that the irritated glare finally left Bakugou’s face long enough to convince him to calm down.

They ended up dragging out an old console from when they were kids and he found that Bakugou was actually far better at video games than Kirishima ever would have imagined. Bakugou always griped when Kaminari came over and talked Kirishima into playing anything, so Kirishima just assumed he was bad at them and didn’t want to lose. But now he knew that Bakugou would never be allowed to play anything in his apartment because Kaminari would surely never let him live losing down- despite being even worse than Kirishima was.

After lunch, Bakugou decided to seclude himself in his room again, promising to just be doing a little work before the night came. Kirishima wanted to complain, but the apologetic smile and the kiss to his cheek placated him enough that he made his way into the living room and found Mitsuki eagerly awaiting his company. She waved him over, pointing to the couch until he sat himself down.

It didn’t seem like she had anything specific in mind to discuss, but she knew Bakugou would want the quiet and it was almost as if she knew Kirishima needed the distraction. So she entertained him with idle conversation, asked him extensively for his opinion on remodeling the kitchen regardless of his continuous explanation that he knew nothing of the topic.

And that’s how he found himself scrolling endlessly on his phone while Mitsuki chattered away about whatever was in the magazine she had cradled in her lap.

The frustration returned once evening crawled in and Bakugou came barreling down the stairs in a much thicker turtleneck than he’d been wearing earlier. He didn’t even spare a glance to them on his way to the door.

“You’re leaving.” Kirishima stated instead of asking. No point in making it a question when Bakugou was pulling his coat on and grabbing his scarf off the hook by the door.

“Yeah.” Bakugou answered anyway, wrapping the scarf tightly around his neck. “You’ll see me later.”

“What are you doing?” Kirishima pushed himself up from the couch, but Bakugou was waving at him once he moved to stand.

“I got something I gotta take care of. It won’t be too long.” He gave him a rather critical once over before scrunching his nose up. “Mom, make sure he changes.”

“On it, sweetie.” She called from her place in the chair.

Kirishima glanced down to his completely normal, not at all abhorrent clothing and frowned. “Change? Where are we going?”

“Out.” Bakugou stomped his foot to get his second boot on then bent over to tie up the thick laces. “M’not about to sit here all night with the damn old people who will no doubt be asleep before nine.”

That got Mitsuki to turn around and point accusingly at him. “Oi good for nothin’- May I remind you you’re not that young.”

Kirishima scowled back at him with her. “And it’s not like you don’t go to bed at eight-thirty on a regular basis.”

Bakugou’s glare doubled when it switched from his mother to Kirishima. “Hey, whose side are you on?”

“The one who isn’t leaving me here.”

Mitsuki scoffed, none too amused but also seemingly unsurprised by the situation. “You could at least ask him to go, shithead.”

Bakugou sneered at them and pulled the door open. “You’re both fuckin’ rude.”

“That’s pretty funny coming from you.”

They both seemed to ignore her comment. Pushing himself up a bit more, Kirishima held his tight grip on the back of the couch. “Where are you going?”

“Just- somewhere.” With a scratch to the back of his head, Bakugou muttered as he pushed his face more into the scarf. “I’m not saying ‘cause then you’ll want to come along.”

“And I can’t?”

“No.” It was quick, definitive, made Kirishima want to puff his cheeks out in a displeased pout. One look at him and Bakugou was slouching with a sigh.

“Don’t worry.” He added, softer, his expression more remorseful. It was short-lived and he was back to being loud and demanding in a second. “Didn’t I already say you’ll see me later? Just stay put for a bit.”

He didn’t give Kirishima a chance to rebut again. He was out the door and yanking it shut behind him before the words could leave his mouth.

Kirishima stared at the door for at least a minute, almost expecting it to slam back open to reveal Bakugou there barking at him to follow. When it didn’t he turned and slid back down the cushion. It was quiet for a bit, leaving him staring at his hands in frustrated confusion until Mitsuki sighed and shifted.

“Before you get too worried, he does this every year.” Kirishima looked up, but Mitsuki was simply flipping through the magazine perched on her knee. “He’ll rush off somewhere, refuses to tell us where- we’re usually asleep before he gets back. I used to be concerned, but he’s always here in the morning, so it can’t be somewhere dangerous.” Her smile was soft but somewhat faltering. “I am surprised he didn’t take you with him though.”

The magazine shut abruptly with a smack before she tossed it to the coffee table. She glanced over at him then but shook her head and reached for the remote. “You’d think at some point he’d stop being so difficult. I hope you don’t let it get to you.”

“I’ve gotten used to it.” It was half-true. It’s not he didn’t expect these things from Bakugou, but it was still a little unsettling when they happened.

“Of course, but just- don’t get too comfortable about it.” Cutting his eyes over, he caught her frown before it was quickly pushed away. “He wouldn’t, but, being too accepting can set you up for getting walked all over. Make sure you push back.”

Settling into the couch, he focused more on the tv to avoid seeing any other expression that would only make the nerves worse. “I do.”

“I believe it.” At least she didn’t sound as serious now. Her voice had risen louder while she flicked through the channels. “He wouldn’t tolerate anything else, much less prefer. Which means despite him being a brat, I’m not all that worried about you.”

“No reason to be worried.”

“I know, I know- but I am still a mother. It’s in our blood to worry despite how much it may be clear we don’t need to. You’re doing just fine.”

She tapped the remote against her knee, the pause was enough to make him glance over and find her grinning at the tv. “You know, funny thing happened this morning.” She went back to flicking through the channels, but her grin only worsened. “I went to Katsuki’s room to wake him up and make him help me with breakfast but mysteriously, he wasn’t there.”

Kirishima suddenly felt small as he tried to sink into the back of the couch. “You didn’t-“

“No, no. Don’t worry. I certainly didn’t see the self-proclaimed enemy of physical contact wrapped up in a boy’s arms. Definitely didn’t see that. Especially not after the fuss he made to keep you two separated. That wasn’t my idea at all, I hope you know that. You’ve been together for months- I’m not naive, but I’m also not going to pry.”

Face hot, shoulders hunched, he sunk down into the cushion as much as he could. “I wouldn’t tell him anything. For both of our sakes.”

“Of course I won’t.” She laughed loudly. Far more openly than Bakugou ever would unless something really got to him. “I’ll keep it in the back of my head for blackmail.”

Blackmail.” Kirishima muttered back to himself, wondering how exactly anyone could use snuggling as a means for blackmail- but then again, if anyone could do it, it would certainly be Bakugou’s mother.

He sat himself up a little, fingers fiddling together as he kept his eyes on them. “He’s never- brought anyone else here, has he?”

“No.” She answered easily, like it meant nothing.

“I see.”

She sighed followed his soft reply. “But he doesn’t tell us anything. At least not until the decision has already been made. I didn’t know where he was going to school until after he’d already been accepted, didn’t know where he was working until after he’d been there for a month, I find out most of my information about him through Izuku’s mother these days. She’ll tell me, oh it’s so nice that Katsuki got promoted- and it’s like well shit, yeah, I guess it is nice.”

She waved the remote about before it smacked back against her thigh. “It’d be nicer if the little shit told me things- I mean, hell, we didn’t even know he was gay until college. He brought Ochako here one Christmas- I’m guessing because poor Izu’ was too nervous- and we had our suspicions of course. But he just shut them down immediately. We didn’t get anything more than a piss off she’s not my girlfriend, I’m fucking gay.” She laughed, but there was still something exasperated about it. “And that was that. It’s how he’s always been. I know he doesn’t like people assuming things about him. Which is why he probably didn’t tell us about you. Didn’t want us sitting around and imagining our own version of what you may be like. He didn’t tell us until you were here, ready to show us who exactly you are.”

He knew he was staring openly at her now, but that was a lot of information he hadn’t quite been prepared for. Surprise quickly turned back into nervousness as he pushed out a laugh and a grin. “Well, am I doing a good job of showing you?”

“Of course.” He should’ve been ready for sharp eyes and a curling smile, but he wasn’t. Despite the friendliness behind it, there was always something daunting about having her full attention on him. “You put up with my bratty kid beautifully- how could you not be perfect?”

At least his chuckle that time was a little more genuine. “I’m far from perfect.”

“And knowing that makes you all the better. So don’t get yourself down about being left out of his stupid little traditions. We’ll just fill the time till he graces us with his presence again.” Her channel flipping stopped momentarily for a somewhat familiar movie to start playing. “Does he still say he hates comedies?”

Kirishima cracked a laugh and nodded despite her gaze squinting at the screen. “He claims he hates every movie.”

“And it’s pretty clear that isn’t true.” She hauled herself up from the chair to move over next to him. The couch was big enough for at least three people, but she sat right next to him, pushing up close to his side and settling in. “Here,” She put the remote in his lap before crossing her arms. “You pick something. I promise not to complain no matter what.”

He ended up not changing the channel. He’d only seen half the movie before Bakugou had gotten bored of it and inevitably distracted Kirishima with a tongue in his mouth and a hand down his pants. Mitsuki asked him if he’d watched it before, and he answered honestly- at least, he answered with the first part of the truth and promptly left out the last bit.

She kept her word. She didn’t say a single negative thing about the movie for the next hour. Sure, there was the occasional contemptuous snort, but not much past that. It felt oddly natural sitting there with her. He’d never imagined feeling so comfortable around her-especially not after knowing her for only a day. Still, he was glad. It gave him the comfort he needed while Bakugou fucked off to do whatever it is was so important. He’d really have to tear into him later about how frustrating things like this were.

Somewhere between focusing on the movie and trying to distract himself from being upset, there was a loud knock at the door. Three quick successions that left them both looking up to it over the back of the couch.

“I think that’s for you.” Mitsuki said after a moment.

“Me?”

She merely hummed and scooted further into the cushion.

Getting no other information, and seeing that she wasn’t making any attempt to get up, Kirishima made his way to the door. Upon opening it, he found Uraraka standing there and staring up at the light over the door before she looked down.

“Ah!” A wide smile spread over her face as her hands came unclasped from behind her. “You ready, Eiji?”

“Ready?” He glanced behind her, then behind himself to Mitsuki who was no longer paying attention, then back to Uraraka. “For what?”

Her face fell flat instantly, posture slumping with a disappointed sigh. “Serious? Kacchan didn’t tell you-” She smacked her hand against her forehead. “What a big, rude idiot. Well,” Her hand fell back to her side. “If you still want to see him even though he left you here like an ass, come with me.”

“I didn’t even know you were here.”

“Oh, yeah, I usually come home with Izuku and spend time with his mom. We always go out tonight- he really should’ve told you this.”

“There’s been a lot he should’ve told me this weekend.”

“Guess we can’t expect him to change overnight.” She smiled, head tilting, hair swaying. “He’s trying though, I promise. Now, we’re going to go get something to eat so you should come if you want.”

“Of course I do- just let me-”

Mitsuki was behind him with a hand on his shoulder in an instant. “I’ve got this. Let’s go dear. Ochako honey, as always, please make yourself at home.”

Fifteen minutes of scrutiny later, Kirishima was being escorted back downstairs. He honestly didn’t think any of Bakugou’s clothes would fit him, but he was proven wrong when Mitsuki forced him into a pair of his dark jeans before wandering away. She came back with a heavy, burgundy sweater folded nicely in her arms.

“This is Masaru’s. He doesn’t wear it much anymore, so I promise you he won’t mind.”

It was a little odd to agree to it, but he also hadn’t really brought anything slightly nicer with him, so he accepted it nonetheless.

Uraraka seemed to like it when he came back down. She greeted him again with a grin and a nod. After both of their approval, Mitsuki wished them a good night and sent them on their way.

It was just after dark as they walked, but most of the main street was lit up and filled with other people bustling about.

She tucked up to his side at some point. Linked their arms together and pulled him close while they walked. She made idle conversation, pointing out various aspects of the center of town, street-front windows filled with sale signs and decorations, giving him little bits of information she’d learned about the place over the years she’d known Izuku.

He still had no idea where they were going other than dinner, but she didn’t seem all too concerned to explain.

Turning down a different street that continued the theme of big street lights and some smaller lights swooping across from one sidewalk to the other, she let go of his arm to link her hands behind her. “So what do you think of this place?”

“It’s nice.” He answered, continuing to gaze around. “I guess I didn’t expect such a small town.”

“Ah, yeah. It’s cute isn’t it?” She went a few steps ahead of him so she could turn around and smile at him. “I grew up pretty close to here so I’d visited a few times before I even knew the boys. And our university isn’t too far away- we came back pretty often on weekends and holidays.” She twirled then, hair swishing before settling back around her face. “Kinda hard to believe how small considering how well Katsuki fits in where he is now, but he had an aversion to the city for the longest time.” Once she was back at his side, she quieted down in thought. “Maybe ‘cause of how much time he spent there as a child- but… who knows really. Not like he’d ever really explain himself.”

“What?” Kirishima barked sarcastically. “Katsuki not giving all the information about something? I don’t know what you mean.”

She laughed softly but still shook her head. “Look, I didn’t really want to spoil his secret for him, really I thought he’d tell you. It’s not even a big deal so I don’t know why he wouldn’t.” She groaned, taking his hand with her mitten and rubbing softly. “It’s stupid really. As long as I’ve known him and ‘zuku- and I think as long as they’ve known each other- they have this childish tradition every New Years.”

She stopped suddenly, glancing around high in the air before puffing her cheeks out and continuing to walk. “Well, you can’t see it from here, but there’s a place up on one of the hillsides where you can look over the whole town. The two idiots always go up there and do who the hell knows what. Once they could, I know they started taking beer or liquor up there with them ‘cause they’ll always show up to dinner piss drunk and tripping all over themselves.”

She sounded annoyed, but she was smiling too fondly for it to be real. “They may act like they don’t get along and that they aggravate the shit out of each other- don’t get me wrong, they do- but I know they also really care for each other. It’s nice to have a friend like that right?”

She looked up to Kirishima, grinning so warmly that he couldn’t do anything other than nod back. She turned her head back down, holding his hand tighter.

“I’ve never been invited either you know. And it’s been years. They wouldn’t even tell me about where they were going in the beginning. I finally prodded at Izuku enough that he felt too guilty to keep it from me any longer. It bothered me at first, but then I thought about it enough and I realized this is just their thing, y’know? Sometimes they don’t see each other for weeks or a couple of months. So this is their time to catch up just the two of them. Nobody else- just them looking at their hometown and being with their bestfriend. It’s really sappy too- pretty ridiculous.” She laughed louder, pushing her other mitten against her cheek. “Shows you how soft they both are.”

Kirishima was quiet for a minute before letting out a low whine and smacking a hand to his forehead. “Ah, dammit-” She looked concerned until he broke into a meek smile. “I can’t be mad at him for that.”

She mirrored his expression, face crinkling. “Unfortunately, probably not.”

He reared his head back, sighing loud and watching the vapor from his breath flitter out. “I just wish he’d tell me shit like that. It’d make things so much easier.”

“He’s a man of action not words. Which is entirely frustrating, but he’s working on it. I promise.”

“I know.” He agreed easily but pulled her closer to his side nonetheless.

Head resting against his shoulder, she led him towards a small restaurant and stopped just outside. “I’m really glad you’re here. I think you’ve been a great change in his life.” He tried to pull away, but she kept a firm hold on his hand and nuzzled her cheek against the sweater. “He would’ve been fine on his own, and he’ll be fine if you two ever decide to break it off, but for now… I think it’s been good for the both of you. He’s been happy. Noticeably more so than I’ve seen in a while. I almost feel like I should thank you.”

“Please don’t.” Kirishima breathed in a hurry while also trying to tack on a laugh. “You’re sounding like a mother.”

“Half of the time I feel like a mother with those two.” She stepped away suddenly, clapping her cheeks and taking a deep breath. “But you’re right. I shouldn’t thank you, I can just buy you a drink. How ‘bout that? I can assure you we’re going to be behind once the boys arrive.”

“Really,” He rubbed at his arm, “I haven’t done anything special.”

“I know, I know.” She was waving at him, pushing through the door of the restaurant and ushering him along. “I was just starting to worry that no one would ever care enough to break past Kacchan’s ‘I hate everyone, leave me alone’ façade and see how actually sweet he is.”

“It wasn’t that hard.” Kirishima mumbled, but the looks she gave him after asking for a table was flat and unconvinced.

“And yet, you’re the only person who’s ever fully succeeding at doing it.”

They were led to a booth along the wall and slid in on either side.

“I can’t understand why.” He was still quiet, but she pushed a menu into his hands, finger tapping on the list of various holiday specials. “He’s amazing.”

“You’re starting to sound like shitty Deku.” She said in a deep, mocking impression. It was followed by a chuckle and a shrug. “I guess he just has that effect on the right people.”

A couple minutes after they ordered their drinks, four beers were set on the table. They didn’t even have the chance to start drinking before two huddled masses made their way towards the table. Coats were shrugged off, thrown over the back of the booth, hats and gloves joining them.

Scarf yanked away from his face, Bakugou flopped into the booth next to Kirishima. “I forgot how fuckin’ cold it gets here.”

His cheeks and nose were red, either from the cold or alcohol- maybe both. A frigid arm snaked around Kirishima’s side and pulled him close. Kirishima jerked upright, startled and surprised with a gasp.

“What?” Bakugou barked immediately, glare deepening with Kirishima’s shrug.

“Nothing.”

“Shut up.” His arm tightened, the cold from his hand seeping through Kirishima’s sweater. “S’not like I never hug you.”

“Not with witnesses.”

“You sayin’ I’m not affection enough?” His grumble was almost petulant sounding.

It was only more comical once he pushed his face into Kirishima’s neck and squeezed him closer. Kirishima was sent into a round of laughter while he tried to squirm away from the cold nose under his ear.

“You guys are drunk.” Uraraka remarked loudly, wicked grin and bright eyes.

“No.” Bakugou snapped at her before finally sliding away. He slumped against the table at the end of the booth, finishing the rest with pursed lips. “Well, not really.”

Izuku cupped his mouth, whispered but it was still all too loud. “It’s not good to lie to them. Kacchan.”

“Yeah,” Uraraka added in, reaching across the table to poke at him. “You two only do this every year. I’m just glad I’m not the only sober one this time.”

Instead of being annoyed or mad, Kirishima just laughed and grabbed one of the beers he’d ordered. There was no reason to be anything other than amused. It was a holiday after all- and he had come out with the intention of getting at least a little tipsy.

He pushed the other beer in Uraraka’s direction and pointed at it repeatedly as he took a large gulp from his own.

“Wasn’t this for him?” She asked but picked it up nonetheless.

“It was.” Kirishima muttered around the bottle. “But that was before we needed to play catch up. So,” He tilted his bottle towards her and grinned. “Bottoms up.”

She clanked the necks together before joining him in sucking the first bottle down in under a minute.

Empty bottles smacked against the table, they both let out a loud exhale. Kirishima turned to grin at Bakugou but stopped once he found a glare.

Bakugou’s nose scrunched as he leaned further away and stared down at Kirishima’s chest. “Is that my dad’s?”

“Ah, yeah, your mom gave it to me.” He laughed, holding the sweater out by the hem before letting it settle back against him. “She gave me some of your pants- I hope you don’t mind- but most of your other stuff was too small for me.”

“It’s cause of these babies.” Uraraka chimed in, reaching across the table to pinch at his bicep. “Don’t you agree Kacchan?”

“Whatever.” Bakugou grumbled, taking a bit too long to watch Uraraka’s hand.

“You’re telling me you don’t appreciate the hard work your boyfriend puts in like I do?” She pulled away from Kirishima only to latch herself onto Midoriya’s arm.

Cheek pushed into his hand, Bakugou’s scowl followed her across the table. “He’s not your boyfriend, you’re fucking married.”

“All the more reason to ogle them.” She set to squeezing his bicep and nuzzling against his shoulder. “It’s not just his arms though- got a pretty good ass too.”

There was a quick gagging sound before Bakugou was scoffing. “And you’re telling me I’m drunk? Just listen to you.”

Midoriya seemed unaffected as he flipped through the menu. “Ah, you know she’s always like this.”

“Yeah, much to my fucking chagrin. I still hate your guts for forcing her into my life.”

Midoriya glanced up, expression fully unamused before it went right back down. “You met her first. You let her into our apartment, not me.”

“Cause she followed me there asking about you. I thought maybe if I finally introduced her to you she’d leave me the fuck alone.”

“And then we became best friends along the way.” Uraraka sighed dreamily, batting her eyes at him.

“That’s a joke.” Bakugou had his haughty tone going now. It was easy to see through, but he still tried his best. “I merely tolerate you for his sake.”

“Is that why you texted me in a panic earlier?”

“Drop it.” He snapped quickly but she was already smiling brightly at Kirishima and continuing.

“He was so worried he’d made you sad. I was helping Izuku’s mom around the house since her son decided to abandon her-

“I did not abandon her.” Midoriya protested but she just put her hand up to his face.

“-and I told him it’d be at least an hour before I could come get you. That wasn’t good enough apparently, you should see the stream of insults I got.” She was back to shooting a glare at Bakugou who only returned it twice as hard. “Guess you shouldn’t have left him alone then. I think it’s about time you two include us in your shitty tradition.”

“It’s fine.” Kirishima finally found it in him to speak up in between their squabbling. It didn’t help that all of them immediately looked at him, but he just did his best to smile. “Really.”

“Ei, it’s not-” Bakugou suddenly sounded nervous and he hated it.

Kirishima turned to him quickly, maybe taking the seriousness too far as he reached out to lay a hand on his thigh. “No, I’m good. Ochako told me all about it, and-”

Glare back, he barked at her. “Eh, how do you know?”

“Ah, that’s my fault.” Midoriya had a meek smile to go with his tiny wave. Under Bakugou’s irate stare, he shrunk down and fell into an uneasy sputter. “She pried it out of me!”

“You’re weak.” Bakugou’s snap was covered by a loud groan from Uraraka.

“And you’re such a hypocrite. It’s not like you weren’t just a few seconds away from telling your sad-eyed boyfriend all about it.”

There was a pause where he just stared at her, teeth grinding before he turned completely sideways in the booth as if that would make her entire existence invalid.

Hand fisting in the front of Kirishima’s sweater, Bakugou pulled him closer and cut his eyes up. It was so close to a pout that Kirishima had to fight himself not to smile. It didn’t help when Bakugou muttered a barely audible “Sorry” before pushing him away.

“I already said it’s fine- but thank you.” If anything, he sent his fist flying into Bakugou’s shoulder to lighten the mood and to get a more familiar expression on his face in the form of a scowl.

Hands smacked against the table, they all turned their attention to Uraraka. “Okay, enough of that- let’s just keep drinking, yeah?” She grabbed one of the beers while poking at Midoriya with her elbow.

He jolted upright, nodding and sliding from the booth. “Oh- right, right. I’ll go get some.”

The exact amount they all drank that night would never be known. Kirishima could have probably counted the number of empty bottles and glasses piled on the table by the time they were done; but then again, with how sloshy his thoughts were, he wouldn’t have been able to get through half of them without losing count and having to start over.

It wasn’t too much, they weren’t necessarily sloppy in the next few hours, just warm enough to stay crammed in the small booth and yell stories back and forth across greasy snacks and clinking glasses. Hours were filled quickly as he listened and absorbed as much as he could about the three’s past together.

He shared plenty about his own childhood all the way up until a few embarrassing stories from college. He never should have introduced them to his friends, because once they knew those idiots, they knew he wasn’t the brightest either. They mocked him, sure, but if anything there was only a lingering excitement to get them all together again.

The time passed quicker than he thought it would. Midnight on New Year’s Eve always seemed to drag its feet whenever he tried to celebrate with people. But this time, he was barely paying attention to the time. It wasn’t until just a few minutes were left that any of them realized it.

Card in hand, Uraraka hurried to the bar to close out the tab. Promising they could all just pay her later, she began begging them all to go outside. Bakugou and Midoriya opposed her even though it was clear this also happened year after year. In the end, of course she got her way. With an arm linked with each other them, she began pulling them towards the door and calling for Kirishima to hurry up.

By the time they made it outside, the street was already filled with people. What had been such a quiet town by day, and what was probably silent on any other night, was suddenly just like the busy city he’d come to love. A mass of people all bundled up, plenty of them just as drunk as they were, standing along the sidewalk and pouring off into the street itself as the time passed.

Kirishima was stuck in awe at the sheer amount of people that had apparently flooded out from the buildings for this very moment. He stared, eyes scanning over them until an elbow nudged his side.

“You look terrified.”

He turned, found Bakugou at his side with an all too amused expression. “I didn’t even know this many people lived here.”

“I didn’t grow up in wasteland. It’s not that tiny.”

“Still, nothing like this happens where I’m from. Everyone just kind of does their own thing.”

“Well that’s no fun!” Uraraka was hanging off his arm in an instant.

“I guess so, but I-”

“It’s starting soon.” He was stopped by her high-pitched squeak as she dislodged herself from him and turned to grab onto Midoriya instead.

He turned back to Bakugou with a rather questioning look but only got out, “It’s?” before the crowd erupted in a loud chant.

Kirishima had lived through twenty-five New Year’s countdowns. And although he couldn’t remember all of them, he was certain this was the first one he’d spent being stared at so closely. He’d celebrated with plenty of people, family, friends, even a few boyfriends, but never under such a severely intense gaze. If he didn’t know Bakugou better, he’d assumed he was going to get punched once they reached midnight.

But honestly, he wasn’t all that wrong.

As soon as a resounding one was echoed through the crowd, his sense of personal space was destroyed by strong hands on his face and a solid body pushed up against him. It may not have been a punch with a fist, but when he really meant it, when he was really trying to get a point across, kisses from Bakugou Katsuki felt like nothing more than a punch anyone would be grateful to receive.

It was over just as quickly as a fist would be pulled away after decking someone. He didn’t go far, just a step away. One hand fell from Kirishima’s cheek to drop down, find his fingers, and wrap around them. Much unlike the force he’d used to smash their lips together, he was smiling gently, ruddy cheeks and entirely stunning as he let out a surprisingly soft, “Happy New Year.”

Kirishima opened his mouth with the intent of returning the sentiment, but the words that came out did so before he had any idea of even saying them. “I love you.”

It was rushed and quiet but it must’ve somehow reached Bakugou’s ears despite the cheers of everyone around them because his expression was wiped clean.

Kirishima thought he’d gone and fucked up big time until Bakugou’s smile returned in a matter of seconds, curling wider than it had been in the first place and pushing his cheeks high in a way that was rarely ever seen. Kirishima had expected annoyance, maybe even a bit of bashfulness- but certainly not a rich laugh pouring out from a toothy grin.

“Oi, dumbfuck.” There wasn’t even a hint of aggravation, merely pleased adoration as he leaned forward and let their foreheads connect with a dull thud. “That’s not what you’re supposed to say.”

“Ah, right. Sorry.” Kirishima answered dumbly before pulling a stupid smile of his own. He sucked in a deep breath and blew it out, not even caring how close they were. He gripped Bakugou’s hand tighter, finally pushing out what he’d meant to say all along. “Happy New Year.”

He barely got all the words out before Bakugou was forcing another kiss on him. It was harder this time, hand curled around the back of his neck and holding him there until the customary amount of time for a close-mouthed kiss was far behind them. Only once he huffed a laugh through his nose did Bakugou pull back and give him another beautiful view of his shiny grin.

“Love you too, idiot.”

The bubble that had formed around them was brutally popped once Uraraka slid herself in between them with a loud coo. “How cute! Turns out the monster does have feelings.”

Midoriya had an arm around her waist, pulling her back in an instant. “Hate filled feelings for you given that murderous glare. How cute, more like how scary.”

“M’sorry Kacchan.” She whined, reaching out only to be held back by the grip around her. “You’re just so adorable. ‘Zuku they’re in love.

“I know.” Midoriya agreed over her shoulder if only to get her to settle down.

“Like we’re in love.”

“Mhm.”

“Fucking hell Deku,” Kirishima looked back to Bakugou, ready to find him still trying to kill her with his eyes, but it was almost as if he was more trying to keep in a laugh. “Take her home. She’s plastered.”

“Your fault.” She puffed back at him, grabby hands turning into a point. “You all drink too much.”

“Yeah, ‘cause we can actually handle it.” He reached forward to flick her forehead and pulled back before she could grab his hand. “Unlike you.”

“So mean.” Came the harsh whine as she rubbed at her head and frowned. “Let me at him.”

“I don’t think so.” Midoriya was already pulling her further back, taking her hand and tugging. “Let’s go home.”

“We should head back too.”

It wasn’t like Kirishima had a chance to say no when Bakugou already had an arm slung over his shoulder. “Tired?”

He tucked Kirishima closer, just shy of a headlock as he drug them into walking. “If you make an old man joke right now, I’ll punch that smile clean off your face.”

“She’s right.” Kirishima muttered, sticking a lip out for good measure. “So mean.”

“So mean!” Uraraka shouted again from a couple feet in front of them.

“Mind your business!” Bakugou barked back but she merely turned and stuck her tongue out childishly.

From the way she was tripping every now and then, Kirishima swore Uraraka almost fell asleep three times on the walk back. He knew they lived close, but he hadn’t really expected Midoriya to be just a street over. It was a smaller home, but it made sense just being two of them for so long. They dropped them off with a quick goodnight and a happy new year before making their way the rest of the way back to Bakugou’s.

The claim that his parents never stayed awake really was true. It didn’t even look as if they tried. Entering their home, it was silent and dark. No trace of holiday festivities in sight past the washed dishes drying on the kitchen counter. It was a bit of a struggle to get their shoes off in the dim light. That along with the fact that he was still reasonably drunk, Kirishima nearly toppled over while unlacing his second boot.

“Would you try to be fucking quiet?” Bakugou hissed at him but held him up anyway as he worked the boot off his foot.

“I am trying.” He whispered back, or at least he tried to. Apparently it wasn’t quiet enough because Bakugou was immediately shushing him.

Kirishima frowned, arms crossing over his chest. “You’re the one being loud with all the shh sounds.

“Fuckin’ shut up.” He snapped, rounding on him and pushing at his back until he was stumbling towards the stairs.

And the stairs were an issue all to themselves. They both tripped a couple of times, both over their own feet and each other’s. It was a miracle they made it to the guest room without a twisted ankle or a bloody nose.

As soon as the door was shut, Bakugou’s sweater went flying by him to the floor. He turned around and caught just the end of Bakugou’s pants being shucked off and tossed away as well.

“You too.” Bakugou muttered with a smack to his back as he passed by him and flopped onto the bed.

“What happened to being tired?” Kirishima joked while turning to follow him.

“That doesn’t sound like stripping.”

It was a little spiteful, but after his pants were off Kirishima threw them in a wad right at his head.

He thought they’d be thrown back, but Bakugou just pitched them off the bed. “I’m going to choose to not get mad about that.”

“How generous.” Kirishima grumbled but made his way over anyway.

Tumbling onto the bed and turning on his side, he came face to face with a frown that seemed both out of place and unexplainable considering how wonderful the night had been.

“Something wrong?” He asked, only to be met with a huff.

“Tell me again.”

“What?” Kirishima stared back at his annoyed expression that only scrunched more with the question.

Even in just the low light coming through the nearly sheer curtains, his face still looked flushed. Maybe it was from the alcohol, maybe he just hadn’t warmed up yet.

“Say it again.” He mumbled, and something about it along with the wobbly nature of his face made it all come together.

Kirishima knew grinning was a mistake, but he couldn’t stop himself from pulling his mouth up and wiggling closer. “I love you, Katsuki.”

He was rolled over onto his back by a hand on his shoulder and knees around his hips. Bakugou was so tense, hunched over him with a harsh glare that was just on the edge of embarrassed. “Again.”

Even his tone was rough, but in spite of it only being a handful of months since they’d, Kirishima could see right through to the fear beneath. “I love you.”

He couldn’t count how many times he repeated those words in just one night- only taking breaks when his mouth was occupied. It didn’t even matter that half the time he didn’t get a verbal response. How tightly he was held onto was really the only confirmation he needed. So he said it as many times as he would be received by greedy hands and an even more eager mouth. He said it until there was no way either of them would forget it. He said it until he couldn’t bear to keep his eyes open any longer.

 

Kirishima woke up with one of Bakugou’s arms hooked over his side and the other draped across his face. It was humorous if not uncomfortable.

“’suki.” He grumbled, voice thick as his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth.

Grabbing hold of the hand dangling by his face, he shook it until the body pressed up against his bare back began to stir with a groan.

“I know you were kept up way past your bedtime, but I can’t let you sleep all day. We’ve gotta go back home.”

“Home, huh?” There was a quick nip to his shoulder blade just before a kiss followed in its place- he’d have to file that away as one of the more pleasant ways to be greeted in the morning. “And where’s that? Your place or mine?”

“Oh- I didn’t-” Both distracted by the attention being given to the warm skin of his back and the laugh that followed his stuttering response, Kirishima couldn’t really manage any way to answer that seemingly loaded question.

Thankfully following his next rumble of a chuckle, Bakugou freed him of any responsibility to reply. “Don’t short-circuit on me before I even have time to wake up.”

“You know what I meant.”

“Yeah, but it’s just too much fun to make you squirm like that. Almost as fun as my favorite method.”

Don’t.” Kirishima pleaded quickly but it was far too late to stop the pinching and dancing fingers against his ribs. He jerked, whining through an unwelcome laugh as the tickling assault made him kick back until colliding with Bakugou’s shin.

Bakugou stopped quickly enough, before thing got too violent, but kept his hand flat against the skin just in case. “You’re too easy.”

“Okay sure, I’m the easy one.”

“Huh?” There was a sudden little squeeze to this side, not enough to tickle but more of a threat than anything. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You realize you broke your rule, right?”

There was a sigh before Bakugou pulled his face away from Kirishima’s back and hooked his chin up over his shoulder. “What?”

“Before we came here, I distinctly remember you telling me, rather firmly in fact, that there would be absolutely no fucking in your parent’s house. And look at that- you’re the one who dragged me in here.” A grunt. “And told me to take my clothes off.” A scoff. “And kept asking me to-

An overly loud and forced cough cut him off. “Yeah, yeah. I was drunk.”

Kirishima laughed until he got another warning pinch to his side. “Okay- but it’s not because I told you I love you?”

Bakugou’s scoff was too loud for being so close. “Absolutely not. I’m not that soft.”

“I beg to differ.”

“I beg that you shut up before I knock your teeth out.”

“And you say I can’t ever make you beg.”

There was a little pause before a kiss met his shoulder and a whisper reached his ear. “We both know that’s a lie.”

“Most of what you claim is a lie.” Kirishima rolled over until he could get an eyeful of wild hair and a sleepy scowl. “Softie.”

“Quiet down.”

He only wiggled over more, far closer than he ever needed to be. It would only take the slightest tilt of his head to push their foreheads together. Still, neither of them moved away. They simply stayed, staring longer than necessary, taking each other in like they hadn’t woken up like this dozens of time.

“I love you.” Kirishima couldn’t help it. He’d kept it in for so long, it only felt right saying it as many times as he could.

“Mm, whatever.”

Kirishima pouted, cheeks puffy and lips pursed. “Say it back, you wuss.”

“I love you.” Bakugou admitted easily but it didn’t come without retribution. His hands popped out from beneath the blanket to take hold of Kirishima’s cheeks and pinch. “Dumbass.”

“You just had to go and ruin it.” He griped but still did nothing to stop the pulling and squishing of his face. “Asshole.”

“Fuckhead.”

“Shitstain.”

The pinching only stopped when Bakugou slid his whole palms to hold Kirishima’s cheeks. “Bitchface.”

Bakugou’s thumbs were rubbing back and forth and he had this unguarded, enamored smile that made it impossible for Kirishima to stop himself from pressing a kiss to it. He was welcomed by a soft sigh and even a light chuckle once it was over. Pulling back just enough that their noses could still brush, Kirishima matched his grin.

“Katsuki.”

“Eijirou.”

His lips curled up even further and he knew his eyes crinkled with how much he was beaming. “Baby.”

Bakugou rolled his eyes but managed a quiet, “Don’t push your luck” just before tugging Kirishima’s face back and kissing him with a wild, jarring force that was all his own.

In that moment, tangled up and pressed together from ankles to lips with such a stubborn, frustrating, kind, loving man, there wasn’t any other way Kirishima would have rather started the new year.