When Kirishima and Bakugou had started dating, Bakugou insisted they kept the relationship a secret.
And when Kirishima has questioned him on how long they would have to do that, the blonde boy responded with a simple “until we’ve broken up or are both dead.”
At the time, Kirishima was so wrapped up in the idea of being able to be Bakugou’s that he had agreed without so much of a thought.
Now, it was certainly coming to bite him in the ass.
At first, he had been fine with keeping it a secret. Sneaking kisses in the locked janitor’s closet, or making out in one of their dorm rooms when they really should be studying. Lately though, Kirishima was starting to feel like something was missing. Or maybe something needed to be added.
Sometimes he stared too long at Bakugou’s lips when they sat next to each other. Other times he almost reached out to touch him while he was in costume.
And there were times like these, sitting at the lunch table with the Bakusquad, when he wanted nothing more than to take Bakugou’s hand is his and just enjoy the moment with him.
Bakugou sat with his head in his hand, the other one resting between them, and he watched Mina and Sero test the theory of whether or not Kaminari’s nose would work as a plug-in. He had a rare calm look on his face, his mouth barely, barely, tugged upwards.
Kirishima wanted to kiss him, to pull that almost nonexistent smile into the content grin he’d seen only a handful of times before.
He told himself, however, that Bakugou would definitely not be okay with that. Kirishima frowned, his lovely daydream slowly fading into the harsh reality the Bakugou may never let him do that.
To be honest, Kirishima wasn’t quite sure he could handle that. He was a clingy person, he knew that much. He almost always had an arm slung over one of his friends shoulders, or a fist bump or high five to hand out. Kirishima had grown up that way. His moms were never one to shy away from affection. They always gave him goodnight kisses, or hugs when he felt down. Most of his early life consisted of cuddles and Crimson Riot tapes. Even in his emo phase, his mama would send him off to school with a kind kiss on the cheek. A simple and small gesture.
The thought crossed Kirishima’s mind that if he started small maybe he could begin to chip away at the huge wall Bakugou had placed between himself and outward affection.
Kirishima pondered the idea for a moment, the multitude of different outcomes racing through his head, all of which seemed to end badly. He tapped the table, before coming to the ultimate conclusion that it couldn’t hurt to try.
At least mentally.
So, he did what he thought was as close to nothing as possible, carefully placing his pinky finger on Bakugou’s.
The whole vibe of the table fell off-kilter as Bakugou seized up, his eyes screaming alert signals only he himself could understand. He shot his vicious gaze over to Kirishima, who quickly removed his hand.
“Sorry,” he whispered, his voice barely audible, “I didn’t mean to-“
Bakugou looked mad, annoyed, and…
Was he scared? Kirishima shook the thought from mind. There was no way in hell that Katsuki “I’m gonna slaughter you” Bakugou was afraid of holding hands.
Before Kirishima could think on it further, Bakugou stood up, pushing the whole table into the other’s booth, and stomped away, practically fuming.
Mina gently pushed the table back into place, and scoffed, “Geez, what’s his problem?”
Sero simply shrugged before returning to the task at hand, and Mina followed soon after.
None of them saw Kirishima sink lower into his seat.
Kirishima sat on the common room couch. It was a school night, and it was pretty late, so he was alone.
Even though the room was huge he seemed to be suffocating, the pessimistic thoughts circling in his head like some sick whirlpool.
He tried to come up with reasons why Bakugou wouldn’t want anyone to know about them. About him.
Was he ashamed..?
Kirishima tried to push the thought away. Bakugou wouldn’t give a shit if people knew he was gay. But, maybe he’d been ashamed of who people saw him with.
Especially if they made him look weak.
He did that, didn’t he? He wasn’t nearly as strong as Bakugou, or as cool. He was boring to look at. His quirk wasn’t flashy or that helpful. He was lackluster at best.
Bakugou was everything. He was rough, smug, and manly. He had spun the wheel and had ended up with not only an almost unbeatable quirk, but a flashy and noticeable one as well. Bakugou was hot too. He was so great.
And Kirishima was so bad.
“Kiri!” Mina’s chipper voice snapped him out of his thoughts, but the sick feeling in his stomach persisted.
She plopped herself down next to him on the couch, eyes full of concern. “Are you ok..?”
He opened his mouth to reassure her, but tears flooded his eyes before he got a chance, and the words seemed to escape him.
Mina wrapped her hand around his arm and used the other to brush away tears. “Kirishima, hon. What’s the matter?”
He shook his head, throwing his hands up to wipe at his eyes. He didn’t wanna talk, because he’d spill secrets he had to keep.
“Is it about Bakugou?” Mina’s quiet question sent a wave of panic through him.
He looked at her wide-eyed. “How do you know about that..?”
God, he couldn’t even keep a secret correctly.
She let it a small laugh. “I’m stupid Kirishima, not blind.”
Kirishima gave her a small chuckle in response. “You’re not stupid.”
Mina slapped his arm playfully. “Stop that! I’m comforting you right now!” She smiled kindly, and placed a hand in his hair. “I see the way you guys stare at each other, and run off when you think we aren’t looking. If Sero and Kami weren’t so damn oblivious they would have noticed too.” Kirishima slowly sank into her lap, his eyes cast up to the ceiling. Mina lovingly ran her fingers through his hair. “I just don’t know what you two could be fighting about…”
Kirishima sniffled, and shut his eyes. “I think… I think Bakugou is ashamed of me.”
There was a pause, then two hands grabbed his face. His eyes opened in surprise.
“Kirishima Eijirou, I’m gonna kick your ass if you ever say something like that again.” Mina looked serious, which was rare. “You’re an absolute catch, and if Bakugou doesn’t see that then goddamnit I’ll marry you myself.”
Kirishima laughed slightly, but Mina remained in her state of passive anger. “He doesn’t want anyone to know about us. I mean anyone. Not my moms, or you guys.” He said, sitting up. “And he never tells me why.”
Mina pondered it for a moment. “I mean, have you asked..?”
Kirishima opened his mouth, but promptly shut it. He hadn’t. He had never once asked Bakugou why.
“I’m such an idiot.”
Mina stood up. “Well it's almost curfew Red, so I’m gonna head out.” She looked at her phone screen. “You still have an hour.”
Kirishima nodded, understanding what she meant.
“And Kirishima.” Mina said, looking back. “Stop selling yourself short. Bakugou wouldn’t just date anyone.”
He believed her, he really did.
And yet the doubt ate at him.
Now it was thirty minutes until curfew, and Kirishima was pacing back and forth in front of Bakugou’s door.
We have to talk.
Do we though?
Of course! We can’t avoid it forever.
Does he even wanna talk to you?
Kirishima silently groaned to himself, the tiny voice in his head becoming louder by the minute.
He finally grabbed the doorknob, and pushed it open unceremoniously.
He saw Bakugou, apparently unbothered by his entrance, lying on his bed and reading a Hero’s Weekly magazine.
“Hey,” Kirishima said, a cautious edge in his voice. He took a seat next to the bed, and slowly leaned into Bakugou’s space. “Uh, what are you reading?”
Bakugou simply scoffed. “An article on how to get your boyfriend to shut the hell up.”
Okay, ow. That stung little. “Geez, who shit in your cereal this morning.” Kirishima said, trying to keep the anger out of his voice.
“The hell kinda stunt were you trying to pull today?” Bakugou asked, sitting up to face his boyfriend.
Kirishima frowned, and cast his eyes downwards. “I was- I mean... I just wanted to hold your hand.” He offered, his voice quiet. It was the truth after all.
Bakugou let out a huff, presumably of exasperation. “And what was the one rule we agreed upon from the beginning?”
Kirishima’s face twisted suddenly, his eyebrows furrowing. “What if I don’t wanna follow that rule anymore?” He spit back, his tone changing from scared to accusatory. “Huh? What if I wanna hold your hand, and compliment you, and kiss you. What if I wanna show people that your mine, and no one else’s?”
Bakugou was as stubborn as always. “And why the hell would you want that all the sudden? You’ve been fine with it until now!”
Kirishima stood up, trying to place himself on Bakugou’s level. “Maybe I want people to…” He faded, his voice faltering.
Bakugou leaned in close to him and scowled. “What? Think we’re in love or some bullshit?”
The room was grabbed by a sudden silence, and it seemed so loud that Kirishima could start to hear a faint ringing.
It crawled through his stomach and up to his lungs, devouring any hope he had. His throat closed, and he began to panic.
He took a few steps back, his eyes filling with unshed tears as a sickeningly familiar pain spread across his chest. Heartbreak.
For having an unbreakable body, his heart was fragile as hell.
“What if I am?” It was quiet. So quiet that Bakugou looked as though he hadn’t heard him.
“Huh..?” Bakugou’s stunned response was the only reason Kirishima was sure he had been heard.
He took in a shaky breath, and his silent whisper turned into a loud shout. “What if I am in love with you?! What if I want people to know that I’m so fucking madly in love with my boyfriend that sometimes I want to scream it?! So what?!”
He couldn’t breathe. The walls started to close on him. His heartbeat was the only thing he could hear. “So what?” His voice went back to a whisper as backed himself out of the room.
Kirishima sat on the roof, his eyes red and filled with tears, as he stared up at the stars.
He’s such a failure.
He tried his damnedest to rid himself of the haunting picture of Bakugou’s eyes staring back at him. It had been hours since their confrontation, and yet every new wound and old scar ached so much that Kirishima felt like collapsing in on himself.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
God, he wanted to scream.
Why did he have to ruin everything? He was sitting on the roof like some sad sack, and it was hours past curfew now. He shouldn’t have even gotten his hopes up. Of course Bakugou wouldn’t be in love with him. He was Bakugou. He would never settle for some weak as shit, heartbroken, dumb, idi-
Bakugou’s sudden presence was both horrifying and relieving. He seemed cautious, his red eyes finding Kirishima’s. There wasn’t a smile on his face, but he wasn’t frowning either.
Kirishima sometimes thought he had Bakugou figured out, and for the most part, he did. But there were so many times he’d throw Kirishima for such a loop.
Maybe he really knew nothing.
Kirishima took in a breath, trying his hardest to study himself.
”Are you ashamed of me?” He asked, defeat thick in his voice.
He felt Bakugou’s harsh gaze land on him, but he didn’t care. He had to know.
“I know I’m not strong, or cool. I’m not something to be proud of. So if that’s why I get it. I do.” He was crying. Fuck, he was such an emotional wreck. “Just… Can you break up with me now, please? I can’t keep getting my hopes up for things that aren’t gonna h-“
A hand covered his mouth. Then it moved to caress his cheek. Bakugou wiped the tears away with his thumb. “Shut up. Don’t…” His face twisted into one of anger and fear.
Why did Bakugou keep getting scared around him?
“Don’t talk about yourself like that. You’re not weak, or uncool, or-” Bakugou paused, and sucked in a deep breath. “I’m not ashamed of you. I’m scared of you.”
Kirishima’s eyes widened, and they screamed emotions even Kirishima didn’t understand.
“No, fuck. That’s not what I meant. I just…” Bakugou pulled his hand away from Kirishima to bury his face in. “How do you do this so easily?” He took in another deep breath, and then another. He grabbed Kirishima’s hands with him and stared at him intensely. “I’m afraid of the way you make me feel. Y’know, all that mushy bullshit you see in those fake as romcoms or whatever.” His eyes cast downwards as if searching for something in the cement. “You’re…”
“You're my weakness.”
Bakugou looked up at Kirishima, who had seemed to have lost all ability to function. “You’re my weak spot. Something to exploit. I've never had something to lose before. Something that I love.”
He grabbed Kirishima’s face again, forcing them closer together. “Dammit Shitty Hair, I love you too, alright!”
Kirishima didn’t need to speak, he’d gotten the memo just by looking at Bakugou’s terrified expression.
So, he kissed him. He kissed him hard, trying to pour the words he didn’t say into Bakugou’s heart directly. His lips were chapped, but Bakugou didn’t seem to mind too much.
“Such an idiot Shitty Hair,” Bakugou mumbled against his lips. “Don't sell yourself so damn short.”
Kirishima would have to thank Mina in the morning.
If the next morning in class Bakugou entered the classroom and kissed Kirishima good morning, it was no one’s damn business.