As the dust clouds settled following the nitroglycerin-laced explosion, the sound of ragged coughs and loud pants filled Katsuki’s ears, the source being both himself and the boy pinned underneath him.
Their fated encounter (that Katsuki instigated) at Ground Beta left them both a little worse for wear, Katsuki observed, as he felt the dull ache in his palms from quirk overuse and saw the red scrapes and dried blood covering the other boy’s freckled cheeks. No doubt that his own face was in a similar state, if not worse, judging by the stream of blood he could feel dripping from his nose to his upper lip and the sharp sting of sweat seeping into multiple cuts.
Still feeling pretty damn winded from the fight, Katsuki moved his hand from Izuku’s squishy face to the solid earth to the side of his head, giving himself more stability to take in deeper gulps of air, the taste in his mouth shifting from blood to dirt. Fucking gross.
Unfortunately, this change in position gave Izuku the freedom to whip his head in Katsuki’s direction, pinning him with his emerald gaze.
Katsuki observed that, despite being completely restrained and practically hacking up a lung only a few seconds earlier, the nerd still refused to go down quietly, if his furrowed brow and the fierce glint in his eyes were anything to go by. If Katsuki were to be totally objective, he would have thought it made him look...admirable.
Too bad he was too pissed and annoyed to give a flying fuck.
Couldn’t the nerd just stay the fuck down? He’d obviously lost, time to get the fuck over it.
Oh, but wasn’t Katsuki one to talk? He’d literally dragged that curly-haired dumbass out here to tell him how he still held a grudge from losing their first fight, literally demanding a rematch in the same location for the sake of symbolism.
Wow, maybe his mom was right. He could be a dramatic bitch sometimes.
Katsuki mentally winced at his self-confession. Nope, still not good at recognizing weakness in himself at all.
Though, he had to admit that he did feel better for literally exploding his feelings out in the open. Ugh, it was just like the nerd to offer help where it wasn’t needed. How many times had this exact type of thing happened already?
Visions of the sludge villain and Kamino plagued his conscience. Fuck. Though he’d made excuses for both those incidents at the time, deep down Katsuki realised he was racking up quite a debt to Midoriya fucking Izuku, and Bakugou Katsuki always paid his debts (see: Kirishima’s night vision equipment).
Too bad there wasn’t a clear, obvious way (like cold, hard cash) to pay him back...
A tiny, infinitesimal part of him screamed to get a straw, suck it up, and apologize to Izuku, like he had done with All Might. But wasn’t that just a bit too little, too late?
The boy below him began to squirm, breaking Katsuki out of his thoughts.
Garnet red eyes re-focused on forest green ones, and suddenly, the nerd’s own earnest confession came back to hit Katsuki in full force.
To the same extent as all of your unpleasant traits, your sheer amazingness at everything you do was so brilliant to me, it was blinding! You, who had so many things that I never had...to me, you were an amazing, inspiring person...who was even closer to me than All Might!
The words swirled and tumbled through Katsuki’s head on a loop and brought forth within him an instinct, a burning urge that convinced him it was the most logical conclusion to all that had transpired, on this night, and in all the years of there being Katsuki and Izuku.
And if it was instinct, Katsuki always made sure to follow.
He closed the distance between them and kissed him.
When Katsuki pulled away, unconsciously wetting his lips, he made sure he got to have the last word.
“I win,” he rasped directly in Izuku’s ear.
Couldn’t let that damn nerd forget, now could he?
Speaking of the nerd, he eyed in fascination and a bit of smugness at the newly risen color on Izuku’s cheeks, just a shade lighter than the smear of dark blood on one side from Katsuki’s nose-bleed. (Okay, fuck, that was kinda nasty.)
Katsuki’s mood quickly turned sour, however, when Izuku dissolved into nearly silent muttering while his eyes darted from side to side, unseeing. Katsuki let out a low growl of frustration.
“Oi. I can’t understand a word you say when you mumble like that, shit nerd.”
Startled, Izuku’s whole body jumped as if defibrillated, yet remained secured in Katsuki’s hold. Though not without considerable effort, Katsuki grumbled to himself, having to counter the brief struggle with his entire body weight and then some. Damn nerd had put on a lot of muscle since middle school, and somehow had gained even more since their fight with All Might.
Fuckin’ hell, where did he find the time?
Izuku’s gaze reluctantly returned to Katsuki’s as he raised his voice to a little above a whisper.
“Um, well...I just...w-why did y-you k-k-kiss m-me?”
What the shit? Wasn’t it kinda obvious?
Katsuki tilted his head to the side. “Wasn’t that a confession just now?”
“Uh...N-not really?” Izuku replied faintly, eyes averted. “At all.”
Before he could fully process what had been said, All Might arrived at the scene, causing the boys to pull away from each other and to face their teacher, not to mention the consequences of their actions. If All Might had seen the kiss, he decided not to comment, fortunately for Katsuki, who, all through All Might’s speech, was still in a slight panic over it.
How the hell did he misinterpret the nerd’s words? And what the fuck was with his own reaction?
Katsuki strained to file those questions to the back of his mind for later, wanting to focus all his attention on All Might’s explanation of his quirk and the history behind it, which took infinitely more precedence over his own crap.
But really, what the actual fuck?
He really needed time to think over some shit.
Katsuki woke up in his dorm to the sound of his alarm blaring. Screaming curses into his blanket, he reached for his phone to shut off the annoying-ass sirens before his eardrums burst. As his eyes adjusted to the brightness, the numbers on the screen came into focus.
“Son of a fucking bitch-”
He ripped off his covers and leapt off the bed, giving himself intense vertigo in the process. He stumbled to his wardrobe, throwing on the first shirt and pants within reach, and went on a search for his house slippers, having kicked them off into some corner or other the night before in his haste, all the while mentally lamenting his lack of sleep.
When he finally located his slippers (one by the door, the other under his dresser), he grabbed his toothbrush and headed out of his dorm room towards the elevators, heavy eyes adjusting to the bright light of the hallway. Any other day he would’ve slept in to the last possible moment, but he forced himself to wake up early just so he wouldn’t have to deal with-
...But fuck him, right, Universe?
Katsuki simply didn’t have the energy to deal with his self-proclaimed “best bro” this early in the morning, therefore he ignored the giant puppy that was Kirishima in favor of continuing on with his routine.
Kirishima, being the ray of sunshine that he is, took it all in stride and followed him anyway.
“I never see you out and about this early, man! Something going on?”
Not dignifying that asinine question with a response, Katsuki walked straight past the elevators in silence. Instead, he went through the door to the Emergency Fire Exit stairwell and slammed it in his friend’s face behind him, proceeding groggily down the stairs.
Kirishima didn’t even seem to notice as he calmly reopened the door and continued his line of questioning.
“Seriously, you usually love your beauty sleep! There’s nothing wrong, is there?”
His words of concern echoed in the narrow, concrete space. Katsuki felt the vein in his forehead tick and his head snap back and up the steps toward the PJ-clad boy.
“Don’t call it fucking beauty sleep, dipshit! You’d get nine hours a night too, if you knew what was good for you. I got fucking six hours, if that, last night thanks to damn Deku and-”
Stopping himself just in time, Katsuki grimaced at his own lack of tact. No way was he going to let anyone even think that All Might was, in any way, shape or form, involved with their fight.
All the information about All Might and Izuku, about One for All and All for One had been entrusted to Katsuki. There’s no way he’d betray that trust.
Kirishima looked taken aback.
“Whoa, what? What happened to you and Midoriya last night?”
Turning back around, Katsuki made his way to the bottom of the stairwell and walked out without a word.
He had housecleaning to do, after all.
After brushing his teeth until his gums bled, all the while determinedly ignoring Kirishima until he finally gave his botched interrogation a rest, he found Izuku zoning out on one of the couches in front of the TV.
The nerd wore a white t-shirt (without the stupid-ass “ironic” writing on the front, thank fuck), basketball shorts, and his own house slippers, plus that black upper-arm band that he’d taken to wearing just before the Provisional License Exam.
Katsuki wasn’t completely clear on why he wore that thing. Maybe to cover up that massive scar he got after the Training Camp? Katsuki didn’t care for that logic, since there wasn’t any reason to be embarrassed by it. Objectively speaking, it made him look pretty badass.
Although, knowing the shit nerd, he probably could have avoided the injury in the first place if he had just a bit more of a handle on One for All at the time. His stomach roiled inexplicably at the thought.
Whatever. He’d get the details about it if it ever became important.
Izuku picked his head up, eyes swivelling from the floor to meet Katsuki’s.
Though Katsuki’s sights automatically zeroed in on the drooping eyelids and prominent dark circles, it didn’t pass him by that Izuku hadn’t jumped, hadn’t even flinched in reaction to his voice. For maybe the first time since...always.
His heart leapt in his chest at the realization, and Katsuki really wished it wouldn’t fucking do that. It was distracting, damn it!
“Oh, hey, Kacchan.”
...Okay, or maybe Izuku didn’t flinch because, by his tone, he sounded dead inside.
Katsuki could relate. It was too fucking early for this bullshit.
“We’ll start by vacuuming that dirty-ass carpet you’ve been staring at for God knows how long.”
With a deep sigh, Izuku heaved himself off the couch, bandages on his knees crinkling with the movement. His mouth opened in a yawn.
“Ye-ahhhh...whatever you say, Kacchan.”
Katsuki felt himself yawn back in a subconscious response.
Yeah, it was way too fucking early.
The fact that he was being forced to clean up after his peers (who could easily pick up after themselves, except for the fact that they’re assholes) rather than doing something actually productive was definitely starting to get on Katsuki's nerves.
Along with leaving the area around the TV a hot mess last night, as each class member trickled down to the first floor, they’d grab food from the mess hall and leave their trash wherever they’d decided to sit down for breakfast.
Tch. Fucking animals. Who taught them to live like this?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, somehow word had gotten around about their fight. Probably Izuku’s doing, since he didn’t keep shit from his friends (with one exception, obviously).
If Katsuki’s classmates didn’t get the fuck outta his face with shitty comments of how he was “idiotic” and “dumb” for getting into a fight real quick, he might just blast them out the fucking window, extra consequences be damned.
And of fucking course fucking Half-n-half had to bring up the fact that he would be missing the Provisional License Supplementary Lesson and falling behind even further, all with that sassy-ass tone and blank look on his face.
What a trick bitch.
Once the extras finally left for class, the whirring of the vacuums became the only sound in the building. Izuku looked less like a dead man walking, but he had exchanged his vacant manner for one full of tension. Katsuki figured the lack of other people as a buffer and the virtual silence were getting to him, meaning Katsuki would have to be the one to break the ice.
After sharing his constructive criticism on Izuku’s shoot style and the boy seemed to relax, Katsuki prayed for the conversation to be over. Not just this particular one. All of it. All the conversing.
He especially didn’t want to have that conversation. Hopefully Izuku had forgotten-
Aaand he spoke too soon. Probably jinxed it, fucking-
“I was wondering...y’know, maybe I shouldn’t, but also…”
The nerd turned his goddamn vacuum off. Ugh, he’s serious about having this discussion.
Katsuki continued to clean his area.
“The hell are you talking about?!”
“Do you hate me?”
The nerd practically shouted to be heard over the noise.
Katsuki stilled, turning off his own vacuum to properly think. Whatever he’d been expecting to come out of Izuku’s mouth, it hadn’t been that.
“B-because, I’ve been thinking, if you hated me, I wouldn’t want to force you into any sort of relationship you wouldn’t want any part of. I mean, I know you just helped me by giving me advice, and that was extremely kind of you and I appreciate it, but I wouldn’t want you to force yourself. I know we’re supposed to be rivals and everything, but that would require us to interact even more than we already do, and if that’s too much, I completely understand. After all, I’d hate me too if I thought I were being lied to this whole time-”
“I don’t hate you.”
Izuku’s rambling ceased. Katsuki couldn’t believe how calm he sounded with his heart going a mile a minute trying to contain an emotion he couldn’t quite place.
Katsuki paused, gathering his thoughts. Izuku’s eyes remained focused on him, but never felt forceful or pressuring. He looked ready to listen.
Normally, Katsuki preferred action over words. He’d even prefer fighting over...but no. He was trying to be different. To be better.
“I guess, in the beginning, you just...confused the shit outta me. I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand why you stuck around when all I did was push you away. And when I finally figured out what it was that made you so…”
Special. Heroic. You.
“...I realized I couldn’t measure up. I’d never had that stubborn strength you had. I always needed saving, most of the time by you. It made me so angry. I hated myself for being so weak-”
“You are not weak, Kacchan.”
Izuku’s eyes were flashing, like twin gemstones set ablaze by the sunlight. The words felt like an order, commanding to be believed in. And, for a moment, Katsuki did.
“At least trust in All Might’s words, if not mine-”
“I trust you, you idiot.”
Izuku blinked, lips slightly parted, and jeezus did that dumb look make him want to take those freckled and bandaged checks in his hands and squeeze.
“Why else would I go with your plan in Kamino? Yes, I knew it was your idea. None of those other dumb shits you dragged along would ever think up something half as good.”
Izuku perked up immediately, a wobbly grin fighting its way to his features.
“You thought my plan was good?”
Katsuki rolled his eyes.
“Do I ever fucking say anything I don’t mean?”
The nerd’s genuine, closed-eyed smile emerged like a snail’s eyes from its head. All kinds of gross, making Katsuki’s insides feel queasy, but sorta fascinating, too.
“Nope! That’s why I trust Kacchan, too!”
Katsuki felt his face go slack. Izuku’s smile lessened to something a bit more melancholy.
“You’ve grown so much since going to UA. I think we both have. Neither of us is the same person we were as kids, or in middle school-”
“Yeah, about that,” Katsuki interjected, “I...wanted to...I need to say…”
Katsuki took a deep breath to collect himself and looked hard into those endless pools of emerald.
When no other words formed, Katsuki felt his own consciousness cringe at him.
Oh, is that it, Katsuki? Is that all you have to say? Fucking pathetic.
He expected a punch, a kick, a rant listing all the reasons why Izuku could never accept such a sorry-ass apology.
Izuku just nodded.
...Just like that?
God, what did Katsuki or the shitty world ever do to deserve this kid? Why was he so goddamn good?
“...but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook, mister,” Izuku teased.
Coming back to the present, Katsuki took his time to process Izuku’s words and dipped his head in acceptance.
“Yeah, I really owe ya, huh?”
“Yup! You’ll be paying me back for the rest of your life!” Izuku cheerily announced.
As he felt Izuku’s laughter ringing through his chest, Katsuki mulled over that last statement.
Well, spending the rest of his life with the nerd didn’t sound so bad…
Katsuki awoke for the second time that day starfished out on the couch, his left arm and leg flung over the backside.
After Katsuki and Izuku ate lunch (Katsuki cooked, of course, since the nerd was a fucking disaster in the kitchen), Katsuki decided to take a nap. After all, he still felt dead tired from being kept up until fucking midnight by Aizawa’s lecture and then being forced to wake up early to clean, so fuck it, right?
The setting sun’s beams hit him directly in the eyes upon opening them, forcing Katsuki to scoot up a bit on the armrest, a column next to the window providing shade.
He peaked over the armrest to see that the nerd had followed his lead and curled up to sleep on the slightly smaller sofa to his right.
Izuku slept on his side, completely dead to the world. His mouth hung open, a trail of drool going down his cheek, and Katsuki could faintly hear his steady breathing.
A thought flitted through Katsuki’s head that this was a sight he wouldn’t mind seeing more of.
As quietly as possible, he padded his way to the mess hall to wash the dishes from lunch and breakfast that his classmates had carelessly left in the sink without even soaking them. (Seriously, how the fuck were they raised?!)
The clanking of ceramic and the woosh of running water must’ve woken the nerd up because he wordlessly slipped to Katsuki’s side, toweling the clean dishes dry and placing them on the drying rack.
They continued on in silent concentration until the grating sound of ceramic scraping on metal filled the space when Izuku unwittingly dropped a plate in the sink, causing both boys to jump in surprise.
“Jeezus, Deku! Focus on what you’re doing! The hell are you spazzing out for?”
“S-sorry! I just k-kinda remembered that um...uh…”
Katsuki sighed in exasperation.
“T-that you kissed me!”
And he really thought he’d gotten out of this conversation, too. God fucking damn it...
“A-anyway I didn’t know if I should bring it up or not, and I forgot about it this morning, but it popped into my head just now. M-maybe it was a bad idea to bring it up? The night it happened, I thought Kacchan might have done it out of h-hate or something, but this morning, we established that Kacchan doesn’t actually hate me like I thought he did! But then that begs the question, why did Kacchan do it? I-it must have been the adrenaline, o-or something. Oh no, what if Kacchan didn’t mean to do it and regrets it now? Damn it, then I really shouldn’t have brought it up-”
“Holy fuck, stop overanalyzing a damn kiss.”
Izuku stopped his babbling and turned his head to stare at Katsuki.
Katsuki’s whole face heated up at the attention. The topic at hand certainly didn’t help matters either. Izuku giggled at the sight.
“Of course, Kacchan.”
The nerd let out a sigh.
“I’m sorry, though...if you regret it.”
“That’s not it.”
Shit, what the fuck am I saying?!
Izuku’s eyes went wide.
Katsuki recognized that look. That meant Izuku was curious, wanted to ask Katsuki questions that he knew he didn’t have the answers to at the moment. So Katsuki did the only thing he could.
I am 100% projecting my sleep deprivation onto these kids.
Finished writing this early, so I’m posting it early, ‘cause why the fuck not?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Katsuki sprinted, bypassing the elevator for the second time that day in favor of the stairs, taking them two at a time all the way to the fourth floor.
He bounded down the hall to his doorway, quickly slipped inside, and made to lock himself in, never to leave again, when a fluffy house slipper that wasn’t his got caught in the doorjamb.
Oh, right. Izuku had All Might’s super speed now, fucking great...
“Kacchan, please!” Izuku protested, forcing his fingers through the slight opening as well, green lightning crackling across his skin. Katsuki could barely keep his grip on the metal handle, his palms already slightly sweaty in instinctual anticipation for a fight.
“Deku, turn your fucking quirk off before you actually tear my door down, you fuck!”
“Then let me in!”
Katsuki growled at the ceiling in pure frustration before letting go, the door swinging wide and fast with the released tension. Izuku stepped inside, shutting the door behind him. He sauntered to Katsuki’s bed and plopped himself atop the covers as if he belonged, pissing Katsuki off to no end. However, he didn’t take action to remove the green-haired teen, only turned to sit in the chair at his desk, refusing to look in the nerd’s direction.
“Kacchan, we need to talk.”
At that, Katsuki glared down at his desk.
“Tch. What the fuck for?”
“You kissed me!”
With a low growl, Katsuki swivelled around to face Izuku.
Izuku’s eyes went impossibly wide, which would have been funny to Katsuki if not for the subject at hand.
Katsuki shrugged nonchalantly.
Izuku’s expression immediately went from one of shock to determination and anger.
“What do you mean, ‘no?!’ I swear to All Might, Kacchan, if we have to punch the feelings out of each other again-”
“No, that’s not-”
“-you said things would be different, but that’s just more of the same-”
“THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT!”
Katsuki shut his eyes tight and raked his fingers through his hair. He shouldn’t have shouted; that was definitely more of the same. He lowered his voice to an acceptable volume.
“I meant we’re not gonna talk. Yet. I can’t talk right now. I got to bed after fucking midnight, Deku, meaning I got six hours of sleep max last night, maybe seven if you count the nap, which is fucking ridiculous.”
Katsuki’s eyes snapped open when he heard a giggle fall from Izuku’s mouth, just in time to see a small smile flashed his way.
“I know, Kacchan. You never stay up past 8:00.”
Feeling flustered for some reason, Katsuki combed his hair back a second time, though his spikes immediately popped back into place anyway.
“Right...so, I didn’t have the time to...think...about that and...why-”
Izuku must have picked up on Katsuki’s discomfort because he quickly waved both his hands at the stumbling blonde to interrupt.
“Kacchan, it’s okay! I understand. You need time. We don’t have to talk right now.”
He hopped off the bed as if to leave, but Katsuki would have the last word.
“We’ll talk later. Tonight. Just come back here.”
Izuku looked over his shoulder, sending him another smile, this one slightly bigger, more joyful. It occurred to Katsuki that he was receiving more of these genuine, “Izuku” smiles today than he had the past decade. He felt his heartbeat ramping up speed.
“I don’t know. I’ll text you.”
“Do you even have my number?”
Grumbling to himself, Katsuki fished his phone from his pocket and chucked it at the nerd’s face. Izuku caught it effortlessly, to Katsuki’s chagrin.
After inputting his contact information, Izuku gently tossed Katsuki’s phone back to him, smirk on his face.
Katsuki’s brain short-circuited.
Izuku actually smirked.
Since when? And why did the expression look good on him?!
“So, are you gonna help me finish those dishes or what?”
Always quick on the recovery, Katsuki snorted, stood up from his chair and brushed past the shorter boy to get to the doorway.
“Yeah, whatever, nerd.”
He held the door open behind him.
By the time they finished washing the dishes, the rest of Class 1-A had returned to the dorms, most of them deciding to remain in the common space to socialize.
Already ticked off from hearing from the extras how far behind he had fallen in class, getting picked on by Weird Elbows and Purple Ball-sack had just been icing on the fucking cake for Katsuki. He’d lashed out at Izuku without really meaning to, regretting it as soon as the words were spoken. Thankfully, Izuku didn’t seem too upset by it and continued on with his chores.
After the cleaning was finished, Katsuki quickly bathed, then immediately shut himself up in his room, collapsing on his bed to think. He replayed the Ground Beta fight over in his head, considering Izuku’s words and what he thought they had meant.
If I thought he confessed back then, that means I kissed him because…
Because he reciprocated.
His heart attempted to pound a hole in his chest and his stomach clenched painfully, but there was nothing about that statement that felt wrong.
Oh, fuck him the fuck up.
Katsuki unplugged his phone from its charging station, taking a calming breath (that didn’t do jack shit) before starting a new message.
Get your ass over here, nerd.
U realize it’s a half hour til curfew right
What the fuck ever. This won’t take long.
Kk b right there :)
When he spotted the smiley face tagged at the end, Katsuki did his best to pretend he wasn’t affected, even if there was no one around to watch him slowly lose his mind over it.
After hearing the knock at the door, Katsuki rolled out of bed and opened it, not even checking to see who it was before going to sit at his desk.
Only two people had the guts to approach his room this late at night, and he figured Kirishima knew him well enough to give him space after what happened that morning.
He observed passively as Izuku, dressed in a tri-colored varsity jacket and loose jeans, closed the door and sat in what Katsuki figured was now “his spot” on the bed. Fuck’s sake, he was so weak for this nerd, but he found he didn’t hate it. Maybe he was finally getting better at accepting himself. His mind reeled at the thought.
Feeling his nervousness creep up, Katsuki closed his eyes in hopes that Izuku would initiate the conversation. After a couple minutes of silence, he finally spoke.
“So...did you have time to think?”
Katsuki grunted his affirmation.
Katsuki looked up to meet Izuku’s gaze. The gaze that was always trained on him. Always judging him. Always looking down on- No, that was lie. Izuku doesn’t look down on him, never did. He’d told him the truth before, about how his power was borrowed, and at the time, deep down, Katsuki wanted to believe him, to avoid the betrayal and the hurt. Now, he knew, absolutely, that Izuku never lied, and now he only felt...how did he feel?
“I feel...like I might like you…or something.”
Izuku only nodded, cheeks turning a light pink.
Guess he must’ve been prepared for that one. Always thinking of every outcome.
“...And I’m guessing you don’t feel the same?”
Izuku swallowed, but maintained eye contact all the same.
“I- No...no, I don’t think so.”
Damn. Okay. That squeezing in his chest really stung, what the fuck.
“I-I mean the truth is that I don’t like anyone right now? My only focus is becoming a hero, the greatest hero, and romance doesn’t...fit...in my life right now. Plus, I’m not really sure if I like guys? Sometimes, I really think I could, but when I try to be introspective, I never come out with a clear answer-”
“Well, shit, Deku, it’s not like I had any spare time to ‘figure out my sexuality’ either. It’s not like I spent the entire ten years I’ve known you figuring out a way to eventually sweep you off your feet. I’ve been training to be Number One, day in and day out. This whole...feelings bullshit came out of fucking left field! I didn’t even know I could like anyone until this crap!”
That admission shocked Izuku into silence, then he whipped his body around to face the opposite wall, body shaking with mirth and hands over his mouth to hold in the sounds of delight.
Immediately, Katsuki lunged off his chair and onto the bed to pry Izuku’s hands away from his face.
“Oi, shit nerd! What’re you laughing at? Hah?!”
Izuku attempted to calm his breathing, even though a grin threatened to split his face.
“I’m sorry! It’s nothing bad, I swear!”
Katsuki gave a derisive snort, clearly unbelieving.
Izuku let his hands fall to the bed between them, Katsuki’s fingers still loosely wrapped around his wrists. Neither made a move to pull away.
“Kacchan, I’m just so excited and happy to be friends again.”
When Katsuki looked at Izuku, he saw that his grin had morphed into something softer, warmer, saw his eyes shining with unshed tears, and Katsuki believed him.
“Would that be okay?”
Yeah. I could be okay with that.
“...And I’ll let you know if anything changes.”
The nerd actually winked at him, the fucker!
At that point, Izuku had missed the curfew, so Katsuki offered to let him stay the night, in order to avoid getting in trouble for wandering the dorms after hours.
“That sounds so fun, Kacchan! It’ll be just like the sleepovers we had when we were kids!”
Well, not exactly like that, Katsuki mentally remedied, viciously reminded of his newfound feelings.
As he reached over Izuku to grab some spare pillows at the foot of his bed, Izuku jumped as Katsuki’s bandaged arms grazed his hands.
“Ew, Kacchan! Why are your bandages soaking wet?! Did you bathe in those?”
Kacchan gave him a puzzled look.
“Yeah, what of it?”
“Kacchan! That’s so unsanitary! Bacteria can grow where it’s damp and your wounds will get infected! You have to change them. Here, let me just-”
Izuku made to grab his arms, but Katsuki pulled them out of his reach.
“I don’t have to let you do shit. I don’t need your help!”
Izuku shot Katsuki an exasperated look and rolled his eyes.
“Jeez, I know that! But, it’ll be easier and faster, alright? Just please let me do this? As your friend?”
Fuck, there really wasn’t a reason to say no. Katsuki looked away from Izuku’s pouting face and shoved his arms in front of the curly-haired boy.
“Fine. Get it over with.”
Katsuki didn’t have to look to know there was a smile on Izuku’s face. In fact, he made it a point not to look, purely for medical reasons, like avoiding complete heart failure at the sight of it.
Instead, he observed the hands carefully un-bandaging his arms, one at a time. When both arms were bare, Katsuki directed Izuku to where he kept fresh bandages and ointment. As Izuku applied the ointment to the scrapes and bruises, he constantly felt the need to ask Katsuki questions like, “Does it hurt?” and “Does this feel okay?” to which Katsuki always replied “Feels fine.” Better than fine, actually, though Katsuki would never admit to thinking something as sappy as that aloud.
When he had finished wrapping Katsuki’s arms in clean, dry bandages, Izuku left the bed to return the materials to their proper drawer while Katsuki double-checked his work (even though he had watched the entire process and never complained once).
After he deemed the job satisfactory, Katsuki looked up and nearly choked as Izuku, jeans on the floor and only All Might-themed boxers covering his legs, unzipped his jacket and slid it off his shoulders, revealing nothing but smooth skin underneath. Katsuki let out an extremely unmanly squeak, and Izuku calmly turned his head to him, an eyebrow raised at the strange sound and jacket clutched to his bare stomach.
“W-w-wha-at are you- I mean- Why are-”
“Oh, I sleep in only boxers. I hope that’s okay.”
No, no. Not okay.
Katsuki’s face felt like it was getting sunburnt, even though he was indoors and it was nighttime.
“Y-yeah, ‘course. I...I just wasn’t expect-expecting-”
Izuku pressed his jacket to his mouth, but it hardly did anything to suppress the giggles, especially when his whole body vibrated with the effort.
In fluid motions, Katsuki leapt off the bed, ripped the jacket away, grabbed Izuku’s shoulders and shook them in an attempt to force the trembling boy to speak.
“Oi, got something to say, fuckface?!”
Izuku’s laughter only increased with the accusation, the sound not unlike a hyena’s, and Katsuki couldn’t understand how he found that observation so endearing.
“Want me to mess you up?”
All of a sudden, Izuku’s mirth ceased and his expression turned coy.
“Oh, won’t you, please?”
Katsuki dropped the boy’s arms as if they were hot iron, spun 180º, and shoved his no doubt cherry red face in his hands with a groan.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry! You’re just too easy!”
Izuku wrapped him up in a hug from behind, to which Katsuki’s immediate, instinctual response was to escape his grip and lightly wrestle him into a reclining position on the bed.
“Shut. Up. I don’t fucking care if you sleep half-naked, just go the fuck to bed already!”
The grin on Izuku’s face was so bright, Katsuki had to avoid looking at it directly, for fear of being blinded.
“Okay, okay! Whatever you say, Kacchan!”
Katsuki huffed and vaulted over the smaller boy so he lay between Izuku and the wall. Pulling the covers over them both, Katsuki closed his eyes and his mind immediately drifted off into darkness.
He wasn’t sure if Izuku whispering good night to him had been real or a dream.
But when he woke up sometime after midnight (sleep schedule supremely fucked from the last couple days) to the sight of Izuku’s dark curls and shadow-covered back as he shared Katsuki’s bed, a memory from his childhood that he never thought he’d relive again, Katsuki decided to wish him a good night in return anyway.
The next day, rumours spread in class of Izuku leaving Katsuki’s room early that morning, and Katsuki had no doubts as to who started them.
Fuck eternal friendship.
He was seriously going to kill Kirishima.
Thank you for reading.