Katsuki stood outside his house with his hands on his hips and wondered how exactly his life had led up to this point.
There was a fucking dragon in his garden. Not just any dragon, no, this one was big, its head about the length of Katsuki's torso, with long angular horns jutting back from its skull. It was red, and staring at him with golden eyes, and it had stepped on his courgettes. He knew this dragon, weirdly enough. Or maybe it would have been weirder if it was a strange dragon.
He had found it a few months ago on a hike, with a broken leg. He had patched it up as best he could - come on, who wouldn't, right? That was a fucking story to tell and he wasn't a heartless monster - and been on his way. It had visited him several times since, but only ever while he was out hiking in that same area. It had never found his home before. Katsuki was worried for a moment that it might want to stay.
"What the fuck, Red?" he asked the dragon. He dragon lifted one of its huge fucking paws and licked crushed courgette off of it. "Why are you here?"
Red considered him for a moment, and then it wheezed, and made a gross sort of hacking noise in the back of it's throat. What the absolute fucking hell-shit was going on? The dragon coughed, and something dark and damp landed at Katsuki's feet. He raised an eyebrow at the big stupid lizard.
"Fucking excuse me?" he asked again, but it was a dragon, and it had never talked back. "I saved your life, so you track me down to vomit on my fucking shoes?"
The dragon made a soft, annoyed sort of grunting sound and prodded at the.. thing with its nose. Katsuki squinted down at it with caution, wondering if Red had brought him like, the head of some animal or... A Knight? Something gross. Huh. It was a sack. A small one. Damp with dragon-spit but otherwise normal looking. Katsuki looked back up at the dragon. Its pupils were round with excitement. Fuck.
Katsuki picked up the sack, grimacing slightly at the slimy feel of the bag. It was heavy. Something clinked inside it. Katsuki felt his brows pull together in consternation. Wait just a fucking minute. Katsuki tipped the bag, and a chunky golden coin fell into his hand. Holy fucking shit.
"Fuck," Katsuki said, staring at the yellow metal disk in his hand. He meant to follow that up with some more words, but... "Fuck."
Red made a pleased noise and leapt out of Katsuki's garden.
"Hey, where the fuck do you think you're going?!" Katsuki called after it. Red stopped its sauntering off into the woods and turned its head around. If it could have raised an eyebrow it probably would have. "What the fuck? Is this dragon gold? Am I cursed now? I saved your leg and you cursed me? The fuck?"
The dragon just rumbled in a way that was probably a laugh, and trundled away. Fuck.
Katsuki opened the sack of gold. Holy shit. He was rich. He could move away from this shitty little backwater village, even more than he already had to his cramped little cottage. Or- maybe not. There were gonna be questions about the gold. The gold that might be cursed. Fuck, he couldn't spend this until... Fuck, he was going to have to get that damn Round-Face witch out here to poke around at it with magic. Katsuki wasn't going to take the gold with him and risk being robbed and be like, double-cursed. Not that anyone could hope to rob him, of course, he was way too fucking strong for that, and this damned little village wasn't even big enough to have any criminal activity, anyway.
Katsuki grumbled all the way back into his house, all the way while he wandered around trying to decide where to hide the gold, and all the way back out of his house and on the lane towards the village. Fuck.
When was the last time Katsuki had been into the village proper?
Too recently, his brain supplied, which was accurate but not really very fucking helpful. Two weeks? He wanted to say two weeks. He only really came in here if he felt a craving for bread. While he was self-sufficient with most of his food - he grew his own vegetables (but no more courgettes for a while, apparently), kept chickens for eggs and meat, and sometimes he hunted during his hikes out in the wilderness - he didn't exactly own the necessary wheat field, mill, or bakery to make his own bread.
Alas, today was not for bread (although now he was here he could probably pick some up on the way back). Today was for seeing if he had been fucking cursed by dragon gold.
Katsuki ignored the waves from other people as he passed. Fucking extras in the story of his life.
"Ooh, you haven't died yet, Bakugou?" said an irritating, blond-flavoured voice as another guy fell into step with him. Katsuki didn't spare Kaminari a glance. "You know, if anything happens to you out there, no one will find you for like, a month."
"You could always visit, Sparky" Katsuki said, flatly. "No one will find you for like, ever."
"Ouch! Always so harsh, you gotta learn to chill out," Kaminari chirped, and then he was heading off down a different street. "Alright, see you later man!"
"I hope not!" Katsuki called after him. Kaminari was probably one of his best friends. That thought was depressing.
Katsuki quickened his pace through the rest of the village, up to Round-Face's witch tower thing. He kicked open the door with a bang. "Round-Face!"
The witch didn't look up from where she was talking to some guy Katsuki didn't know with obnoxiously bright red hair. Wait, a guy Katsuki didn't know? He had looked up where Round-Face had not. Red eyes. Red scarf. Huh, lots of red going on there. It reminded Katsuki of Red the dragon, which drew Katsuki's attention back to the witch.
"Oi, Round-Face!" Katsuki hollered. Nothing. The redheaded guy looked a little concerned. His eyebrows were small and kinda cute. Ugh, not relevant to the situation at hand. "Cake-head! Moonface! Floaty!"
Ugh. Fine. "Uraraka!"
Uraraka turned with a bright and sunny smile. "Ah, Bakugou Katsuki, I didn't hear you come in."
"The fuck you didn't," Katsuki snapped. "I need you to look at something."
"Sure, sure, once I'm done with Kirishima," Uraraka said, and then she put a finger to her chin. "Oh, I don't think you've been down here since he moved in, why don't you two go introduce yourselves while I go check to see if I have the right ingredients?"
The damn witch whipped away into one of her back rooms before either of them had a chance to say anything.
"Huh," the redhead said, turning to Katsuki and offering his hand. He was about Katsuki's height, maybe an inch shorter, but way bulkier. His eyes were red, a shade or two off of Katsuki's own. "Hi, I'm Kirishima Eijirou. I moved here last week!"
"You shouldn't have," Katsuki grumbled, shaking Kirishima's hand despite himself. His skin was kind of dry but his hand was warm and big and Katsuki sort of didn't want to let go. Fuck. "It's boring as fuck here."
"You're Bakugou Katsuki?" Kirishima asked, pushing a hand through his weird spiky hair. It had to be magically coloured, there was no way that was real. The obnoxious hue was the only reason he was staring, definitely. "You live up on the outskirts near the woods, right?"
How did he know that? Bakugou narrowed his eyes. "You some kinda stalker, Spikes?"
"Oh, what? No!" Kirishima said, raising his hands in a placating gesture. "You've just got a little bit of a reputation."
Katsuki frowned. "A reputation."
"Yep," Kirishima said, flashing a grin and a set of sharp teeth at him. Whoa what the fuck. "I've been warned about you."
"Oh yeah?" Katsuki raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest. So what, he wasn't even allowed to make his own fucking first-impressions now? "What have people been saying about me, the fuckers?"
"Oh, this and that," Kirishima said, as if that clarified anything, and then he leaned forwards a little and Katsuki felt his palms sweating. From, fucking- Uh. Red meant danger, right? It was that. Must have been. "You know, up close you're kinda-"
"Alright, looks like I have everything for your lotion, Kirishima!" Uraraka burst out of the back room and beamed brightly. Katsuki took a step back from Kirishima on reflex, but tried to play it off as impatience to go already. Her face dropped into something like disdain as she looked at Katsuki. "You want me to look at something, right? Is it back at your cottage or did you bring it with you?"
"Didn't bring it," Katsuki muttered.
Uraraka sighed. "Right, well, in that case I'm going to mix this up first. I'll head up to yours when I'm done with- Oh! Wait, Kirishima have you had a tour of the village yet?"
"Uh, Kaminari showed me the library and-"
"Say no more," Uraraka held up her hand. "Bakugou, take Kirishima on a tour. I'll meet the two of you up at your cottage, look at this thing of yours, and walk Kirishima back to his place."
"Why the fuck would I-?" Katsuki asked, but Uraraka was already pushing both of them out of her front door. "Fuck."
Kirishima rubbed his hands together. "Cool, so, where to first?"
Katsuki groaned. "You don't even need a fucking tour, this place is so fucking tiny."
"Hey, it's got a whole library, that's something," Kirishima said, looking around.
"Tch, sure, if you can call ten fucking books in Sparky's living room a library," Katsuki shook his head and picked a direction to walk in. "Fucking Kaminari."
"Aw, but it's a pretty impressive little hoard for somewhere so out of the way like this place," Kirishima said, grinning more with his big sharp teeth. What was that about? Why did Katsuki want to run his tongue over them. Wait what? "And your own witch!"
"If you know this place is a backwater, why the fuck did you move here?" Katsuki muttered.
"Mm, I prefer the peace and quiet in a little village like this," Kirishima said. "And everyone's so friendly!"
"Peace and quiet? Here? Sure," Katsuki rolled his eyes. "Alright, so you know where fucking Uraraka lives, and Kaminari's stupid little library. Where's your place?"
"Near you, I think, but closer to the village," Kirishima said, peering around at the street they were on. "I guess we're neighbours! You didn't notice me moving in?"
Huh, that even smaller cottage a little down the lane? It was kinda run down. "I've been busy. Right, so, there's the blacksmith's at the end of this row."
Katsuki pointed towards a squat building. "Ponytail and Half-n-Half run that, and next to it back up this way is the tailor's, where Elbows lives."
"I don't think those are their real names," Kirishima hummed.
"I don't think I give a fuck," Katsuki said, pivoting. "Everything else down this way is houses, unless you go down the road a way and there's a fucking windmill. That's where fucking shitty Deku and his mother live, only Deku's off being a bigshot fucking knight or whatever the fuck in some big city, so, fuck that. Half-n-Half is fucking mopey about it, so don't bring that up with him."
"Ooh, town gossip," Kirishima chirped. Oh no, he was going to be like Kaminari and Ashido, Katsuki could just tell. One of those bright and shiny people. How fucking bothersome.
"If it's gossip you want, you're after Black-Eyes - Ashido," Katsuki said, snorting. "She works with Uraraka sometimes to get rare potion ingredients, she's a faerie or something."
"This Ashido have pink hair? Curly horns?" Kirishima asked, and what the fuck? Katsuki nodded, perplexed. "Ooh, she's an old childhood friend! Funny coincidence, I'll have to track her down."
"Do whatever, I don't care," Of course this guy with magically-coloured fucking hair and weird teeth and gorgeous eyes grew up knowing a faerie. He was probably a faerie of some sort himself. Wait, brain, what was that last thing about his eyes? Katsuki cleared his throat. "The butcher's is up that way, run by Ears and More Fucking Ears."
Kirishma blinked. "Ears?"
"You'll see, if you go in there. This village is full of crazy magic shit, so you'd better prepare yourself," Katsuki said, raising one of his hands and letting off a crackle of fire off. "Uraraka's the only witch, but she's not the only one with powers."
"Oh, dude, that's awesome," Kirishma grinned wider. "Totally hot."
Katsuki's ears began to burn. "Well it's fucking fire, ain't it?"
"Sure, that's what I meant," Kirishima said, sounding amused. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
"The baker's is next to the butcher's," Katsuki continued, in a louder voice. "Run by Satou."
Kirishima raised an eyebrow. "What, no nicknames?"
"He makes the bread," Katsuki said. "And he makes it well, and he doesn't ever fucking talk to me. I respect that."
Kirishima laughed, and Katsuki threatened the blush rising to his cheeks with extreme violence. Fuck, he was attracted to this new guy. Like, a lot.
"Is the next shop up a candlestick-maker?" Kirishima asked. Katsuki scoffed.
"Fuckin' hilarious, no," Katsuki said, jabbing at Kirishima with an elbow. "Carpenter's. Run by Blocky."
Katsuki hurried through the rest of the tour, pointing out important buildings and explaining how the market days worked. Then they were heading up the lane out of the village, and Katsuki sure hoped that Uraraka was waiting for them because otherwise he'd have to invite this new guy into his house and play host. Katsuki did not play host. Especially to weird sharp-toothed maybe-faeries with cute eyebrows and damn fine shoulders.
Oh gods, Katsuki hoped that the dragon hadn't come back.
Luckily (as much as one could say luckily when it came to having to see Uraraka), the witch was there already, peering into Katsuki's garden with unabashed curiosity. Sure, sure that was fine, it wasn't like he'd put a fence up for a fuckin' reason or anything.
"Bakugou, your courgettes!" Uraraka exclaimed when she saw him. "They've been obliterated! What happened?"
"Pest problem," Katsuki said. The dragon was definitely a pest, so he wasn't lying really. He was gonna have to tell Uraraka about Red, but he didn't really want it spread around town that he was in... contact? With a fucking dragon. Kirishima might be like Ashido and Kaminari in other ways, unable to shut up. It was too soon to tell. "C'mon, let's just get this out the fucking way."
Kirishima peered over the fence at the courgettes. "Oops. That is all of them smashed for sure."
Katsuki rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, wait here, Spikes."
Kirishima shot him a thumbs-up, but Uraraka scowled.
"You can't just, like, leave him outside," Uraraka said. Yes the fuck he could. "That's rude."
"Yes," Katsuki agreed. "It is."
"I don't mind," Kirishima said, grinning enough to make Katsuki's stomach flip. "It's nice out here."
Uraraka opened her mouth to argue, but Katsuki grabbed her wrist and pulled her into the house. "Okay, Round-Face, you wanna know what really happened to my courgettes?"
Uraraka folded her arms. "Sure?"
"I saved a dragon a few months ago," Katsuki said. "Now it keeps bothering me. I found it in my fucking vegetable patch this morning."
"A dragon?" Uraraka's eyes began to glimmer. "Interesting."
Katsuki rolled his eyes. "Yeah, so like, today it gave me a thing, and I need to know if it's like, cursed?"
"Oh, you mean like dragon gold?" Uraraka tilted her head. Katsuki nodded. "Oh! Actual real dragon gold?"
"Yes, the fuck," Katsuki said. "I don't know what the fuck to do with it."
Uraraka whistled. "Well I'm pretty sure you only get a curse if you steal dragon gold, so like, you should be safe? If it was freely given? If someone stole from you, they might be cursed, but you're safe."
"Right," Katsuki said. "So there's nothing you actually need to do."
"Nope! I will, however, require a consultancy fee," Uraraka said. Fucking leech. "Compensation for having to walk out here."
"You're not getting any of my fucking gold," Katsuki said, hand moving to a pouch at his waist where he kept his normal money. "I'm not even gonna show it to you now."
Uraraka pouted as Katsuki counted out the usual number of copper coins. "Aw, not even a glimpse?"
"Hey, remind me, what are the symptoms of being cursed by dragon gold again?" Katsuki asked.
Uraraka hummed. "Jaundice, insatiable hunger, blistering where the gold touched you, a metallic taste in the mouth, fatigue, comas, sometimes auto-Midas syndrome..."
Uraraka rattled off an unpleasant list, and Katsuki nodded as if he was listening. "Let me know if you develop any of those, I guess. You might need to track your dragon down and return it if you do."
"Oh, it's not for me," Katsuki said. "It's so I know how much you'll suffer if you go after my gold, Floaty. It's a fucking relief to hear that it's serious."
"Jerk," Uraraka said, sticking out her tongue and her hand for the coppers.
"Cheapskate," he retorted, dropping the coppers into her conniving little fingers.
She counted them as she put them into her own pouch. "Mm, but never a thief! Ooh, I still have Kirishima's lotion."
Uraraka turned, and Katsuki only followed her back outside so he could make sure she and the redhead actually left his property. It wasn't just for another glance at Kirishima's well-muscled form, nope. Not at all. They walked off, chatting airily about something or other, and Katsuki scowled to himself about this whole weird fucking situation.
Not that it was a situation. There was just a new (really cute) guy in the village. That was it.
Aside from cute guys to think about, Katsuki had a little bit of an enormous, dragon-shaped problem. Now that Red knew where Katsuki lived, it kept coming back. The dragon had managed to avoid stepping on any of Katsuki's other carefully-grown plants, but it had taken to stretching itself up to peer into Bakugou's window if he wasn't already outside. If the window was open, the big stupid reptile ended up flooding the room with smoky breath. Katsuki had gotten into the habit of locking it.
"What do you want, Red?" Katsuki stomped his way outside one morning, casting a glance down the lane towards where Kirishima's house lay. It was out of sight, of course, a good quarter-mile away down the twisting track, but... There was always the chance that he'd come up the lane, because he hadn't yet really understood the whole part of Katsuki which informed everyone else that he neither wanted nor needed their company. That part was Katsuki's mouth, and he delivered his points with clarity, precision, and as many obscenities as he could muster without seeming tacky.
Kirishima just never seemed to listen all that well, but he usually brought bread over, which was enough reason to tolerate him for the few minutes he needed to appreciate his appearance, garble some nonsense words, and snatch the bread away. Well... better have to deal with one guy than the whole village if Katsuki wanted some bread. Their conversations were usually short, something like:
Katsuki was tending to the few surviving courgette plants when a cough drew his attention up. Kirishima leant over the fence, grinning with those sharp fucking teeth and all that bright red hair sticking out like that, catching the sunlight. How the fuck could hair be that shiny? Katsuki wanted to touch it, wanted to run his fingers through the soft-looking locks, use it to tug the other guy's head back and-
"Hi, Bakugou!" Kirishima said, cheerful and sunny with more than just the light. Katsuki just grunted something out, unable to word in any coherent way while he waged internal war on the mental images his brain had decided to play. "How are you doing today, buddy?"
"Courgettes," Katsuki said. Well. That was one word.
Kirishima gave him a weird sort of sheepish look. "Ah, it's so manly that you grow your own food. Sorry about those."
"Not your fucking fault," Katsuki muttered, thinking of the dragon. "Why are you here?"
Kirishima held up a loaf of bread. "Hope rye is okay!"
"I guess," Katsuki said. "You're still not gonna let me fucking pay you for it, huh?"
"Nope! This is the yeast I can dough," Kirishima shook the bread at him. Katsuki caught the puns and felt his entire face flush. He didn't get what Kirishima's angle was, but hey, free bread. "Hey, wanna come with me to Uraraka's when I pick up my next batch of lotion?"
"Fuck no," Katsuki growled. Elect to speak with Round-Face? Not a chance. "What the fuck do you need that shit for, anyway?"
"I have a skin condition," Kirishima said. There was a note in his voice, like he was in on a joke and Katsuki ought to have been as well. "I get all like, red and scaly."
"Right," Katsuki said, definitely not imagining his fingers massaging the lotion into Kirishima's skin. All over. Fuck.
"Well, uh," Katsuki stood, abrupt, took a step across to the fence and grabbed the bread. "Loafly. I mean. Fuck. Bye."
Then he scurried back into his house like some sort of awkward, cowardly squirrel. At least if he was embarrassing himself, he was doing it spectacularly. With aplomb, if he said so himself.
Anyway, the point was not the fantastic fucking fool he was making of himself whenever Kirishima tried to initiate a conversation. No. The point was, he most certainly didn't want Kirishima to wander over while the dragon was hanging around. He wasn't sure if he didn't want to share his neighbour with the dragon or the other way around, but their personalities were as similar as a human(?) and a dragon could be. They would get along too well, and then Katsuki would be outnumbered by red idiots.
Red was oblivious to his struggles, it seemed, because all it had in response to his question was a draconic shrug and a lowering of its head into Katsuki's space. There was a scar above its right eye, Katsuki noted absently. A little like Kirishma, but of course the redhead's eyes weren't golden. Fuck, that guy wouldn't leave his fucking brain, would he?
"Listen," Katsuki said to the dragon. It tilted its head, and Katsuki remembered for a moment that dragons were sapient, self-aware beings that could often possess more knowledge and wisdom than any human. Probably not Red, though, he was clearly young and a dumbass. Like, well, pretty much everyone Katsuki knew (himself excepted, of course). "You need to stop coming here in the middle of the fucking day."
The dragon blinked at him with slow eyelids.
"People might see you if you're just fucking like, out here," Katsuki said. "You're bright fucking red, Red."
Red looked around, as if for all of these mysterious 'people' who might see it.
"Yeah, I know it's removed from the village, but I have a neighbour," Katsuki said, and the dragon focused back on him. "He's... around a lot."
The dragon let out a long breath.
"He'd probably be fine with a fucking dragon, now I come to think of it," Katsuki said. He frowned. "I don't think anything phases him at all. Would probably walk through the lands of the dead and come out grinning that big, stupid, cute, idiotic, adorable grin of his. Ugh."
Red made a weird choking-snorting sound.
"Hey, shut the fuck up," Katsuki said. "If you saw him you'd get it. Maybe. You're a dragon, so I guess you might not like, get human standards of beauty or some shit. But fuck is he pretty."
The dragon made the noise again, and then its head came down, its eyes wide and dark with interest. It tilted its head as if to say 'ooh, tell me more', and Katsuki realised that he was discussing his (lack of a) love life with a fucking dragon. Fuck, well, why not? Red couldn't exactly tell anyone. If Katsuki went to Kaminari about this, for example, he would tell Ashido, and then the whole village would know within an hour. It might be good to get some of this stuff off his chest.
"He's like, not totally human? I think?" Katsuki said. "His teeth are like... damn. Damn. Fuckdamn. And his shoulders, holy fuck. I think he could snap my spine and I'd say thanks. And that's fucking huge 'cause I don't thank anyone for anything."
Red made a sound of encouragement as Katsuki paused.
"Also like, he's so fucking nice? For no fucking reason? Like? What the fuck? He brings me free bread," Katsuki said. He waved his arms around. "Fuck, that makes me seem fucking shallow, right? Ugh. I don't just like him 'cause he's hotter than dragonfire and he gives me stuff, I just. Fuck. I like him. I want to like, get to know him more? But like, I can't fucking speak to him."
Katsuki sat down and reached out to pat Red's snout. "I need the words I say to be fucking perfect, but, shit, they never are."
The sound Red made then was something akin to a sigh. Katsuki shook his head. Who knew a dragon could be a fuckin' romantic? Then the thought of the word romantic sent Katsuki flushing again. He was a fucking mess and he hated it.
"Y'know, maybe I could just use the gold you gave me to move away," Katsuki said. "Then I wouldn't have to fuckin' deal with this whole weird feelings thing and-"
Red growled at him. Katsuki blinked.
"Alright, guessing that's a no," Katsuki said. "Ha, bet you'd fuckin' follow me though, Red. Weird lizard."
The dragon made a grumbly sort of sound that Katsuki took for disgruntled agreement.
"Seriously though, if you gotta come see me 'cause you're hung up on the leg thing then like, come at night or some shit," Katsuki said, giving the dragon's snout a light punch. "Fuck, I didn't do some weird magic shit to make you fuckin' like, imprint on me, did I?"
Red gave a draconic laugh and shuddered up to its feet. It shook its head. Alright then. Katsuki's eyes wandered to the dragon's wings and he wondered if the big beast flew much. Then he wondered if Red would let Katsuki sit on its back, but it wasn't a horse and that would probably be rude. Katsuki suddenly felt bad about thinking about Red as it. The dragon wasn't just an animal, so he really ought to use proper pronouns.
"Hey, Red, are you a boy, a girl, or something else?" Katsuki asked. Did dragons even have genders?
The dragon held up one claw.
"Boy?" Katsuki asked, and the dragon nodded. Huh. "Cool."
The dragon stretched, and he turned to walk away, letting out a farewell chirp as he did so.
"See ya, Red!" Katsuki called after him.
Fuck, Katsuki's life was weird.
Things fell into a sort of awkward routine after that. Kirishima would wander over nearly every day with fresh bread, catch Katsuki in his garden and exchange a few words until Katsuki inevitably blurted out something fucking weird and definitely didn't run back inside his house. Red listened to him rant about his neighbour in the evenings, and all the time in between was spent working out, not daydreaming about Kirishima's arms, complaining about life to his chickens, and sleeping. It wasn't a bad time, all things considered.
Then Kaminari had to go and ruin it.
Kirishima turned up one morning... without bread, but with a determined look on his face.
"Hey, Bakugou!" he trilled. "You're coming with me into the village today!"
Katsuki squinted at him. "No."
"Yep!" Kirishima said, leaning on the fence with his face propped up on his elbows. Gods above, how on earth did he manage to look that cute and hot at the same fucking time? "See, I've been talking to Kaminari-"
"So you've lost some brain matter? Great," Katsuki said, though there wasn't as much bite to his voice as he had intended. Damn it.
Kirishima snorted. "Dude, that's mean, Kaminari's smart when he actually knows what he's talking about."
"So never," Katsuki said. Kirishima huffed.
"Okay, okay, my point is, I was speaking to him yesterday and he brought you up," Kirishima said, pointing one finger at Katsuki from his cheek. "You haven't been to the village since you needed Uraraka to look at whatever that was. That's like, two months ago, man."
"I have everything I need out here," Katsuki grumbled. "I don't have to go in for anything."
"Other than bread, right?" Kirishima grinned. Ah. "I've been enabling your budding hermitcy! That ends today."
Katsuki scowled. Did that mean Kirishima wasn't going to come over any more? Sparky was dead meat.
"Now, I'm still happy to buy it for you," Kirishima said, pushing off the fence to stand up straight. "Buu~uut, you're gonna need to come with me to Satou's! Get out and about, go stretch your legs."
Oh, so that was the angle, huh? Get Katsuki used to nearly-daily bread and then whip it away to coerce him into spending time with the redhead? "I can stretch my legs just fine in the opposite direction."
"Bakugou Katsuki," Kirishima whined, and it took all of Katsuki's resolve to not just keel over right then and there, the fuck. "Please come with me!"
Then Kirishima had the audacity to bat his long beautiful eyelashes at him. Katsuki felt his resolve weakening, and a blush begin to crawl up his neck. His willpower was becoming the blush, in fact, seeping away into it, and Katsuki had to look away to gather himself again. Fuck, it was like when that damned dragon gave him that puppy-dog look. Were big, wide, shiny eyes one of Katsuki's weaknesses? Couldn't have been, or Uraraka would have wheedled some gold out of him already.
"Unngghghghgh fine," he spat. The way Kirishima's face lit up (how? The fuck? He was already so fucking bright) made the prospect of having to, ugh, interact with people worth it.
"Awesome! Can we go now, or are you still working on your plants?" Kirishima beamed at him as he spoke. Katsuki shrugged.
"I guess I can leave them now," Katsuki said. It wasn't like any of his fruits and vegetables needed to be tended every day, it was just something he had been doing so he wouldn't have Kirishima knocking on his door and coming into his house and stealing the last few pieces of his heart away when he left. Katsuki shook that thought away.
Kirishima kept beaming as Katsuki went to lock up his back door and vaulted over the fence (he might have maybe been potentially trying to show off, possibly).
"Great," Kirishima said, in a softer voice, and then they were walking down the lane in silence.
Katsuki kept shooting glances over at the other guy, trying to work out what the fuck he ought to be saying. Kirishima had a grin plastered onto his face, though, only a grin and no expectant looks or bubbling questions. Fuckin' weird. Katsuki ran through his own personal list of conversational topics. It was brief. He didn't like any of them.
"Why aren't you talking?" he finally asked, once his frustration had risen high enough.
Kirishima turned his head. "Huh? Oh, well, you prefer not talking, right?"
"I-" Katsuki worked his mouth. Oh, so, Kirishima was trying to make him more comfortable? Fuck? "Yeah. You like talking though."
"Sometimes," Kirishima said. "Sometimes it's nice to not say anything at all. You want to talk?"
To Kirishima? All fucking day, if he could only get through the blockade from his brain to his tongue. Katsuki settled for a shrug and Kirishima hummed.
"You have chickens, right?" Kirishima asked. He tilted his head in an adorable puppy-like way when Katsuki nodded. Ugh. "What are their names?"
Oh, well, that was something he could talk about without thinking. Great.
"I don't have names for all of them," Katsuki said. "I try not to get like, attached to them, 'cause I gotta eat 'em sometimes, but... my rooster is Lord Explodo-Kills, and my favourite hens are Murder Mountain, Death-Boom, and, uh..."
"And?" Kirishima leaned in, close enough to brush their shoulders together and send shivers down Katsuki's back.
"Eggsmerelda," Katsuki muttered.
Kirishima threw his head back in a laugh that made Katsuki's face turn red again. "I love that! Eggsmerelda!"
"If you tell anyone about her," Katsuki hissed. "I'll kill you."
Kirishima's smile shrank. Shit, shit, no, he hadn't meant for that to happen. "Man, why d'you wanna hide the best parts of you?"
"The- Excuse- What the fuck?" Katsuki spluttered.
"You have a cute sense of humour," Kirishima said, flooring Katsuki entirely. Cute? Him? What? Fuck? "Does anyone actually know that about you?"
"You do," Katsuki muttered. Kirishima's smile glowed again, and they carried on into town in silence. This time it felt comfortable.
Kirishima waved at people they passed as they made their way towards the bakery. Katsuki didn't, his mind elsewhere. Not that he would have waved anyway. Katsuki was trying to work out just what Kirishima thought he was getting out of this. He clearly wasn't afraid of the village, so it wasn't fucking like, emotional support. He didn't seem to need to talk all the damn time, so it wasn't necessarily a conversational partner.
So what? Neighbourly good will? He was just that nice that he was worried about Katsuki or some shit? Fuck.
There was the option of asking, but then there was the danger that Katsuki would learn that Kirishima's interest in him was just that. An interest. In him. Katsuki didn't know how he was supposed to react to that. He hated not knowing how to do something, so in general if there was something he couldn't do he just didn't do it. If he couldn't be the best, what was the fucking point? He didn't want to humiliate himself.
His brain reminded him that he had been doing exactly that with Kirishima almost every fucking day, and the redhead didn't seem to mind. Augh.
"Hi, Satou!" Kirishima said, pushing open the door into the bakery. Oh, they were here already? That was fast.
Katsuki picked out a loaf of bread, Kirishima added three more, what the fuck, and paid for all of them. What did he even need all of that for? Was he like some sort of fucking bread angel?
"What the fuck is with all that bread?" Katsuki asked, scowling, as they made their way out of the bakery and back up the lane. All that fuss that Katsuki had kicked up seemed pointless, really. He hadn't needed to talk to anyone but Kirishima after all.
Kirishima laughed, his arms around his three loaves. "Oh, well, I burn off a lot of energy! I need a lot to eat."
"Huh," Katsuki said.
"You weren't jealous, were you?" Kirishima asked, flashing Katsuki a grin and, what? "You didn't think I was getting bread for anyone else, huh?"
Katsuki scoffed. "'Course not."
His blush probably told another story, but Katsuki was going to ignore that.
Later, when Red showed up, Katsuki was sat outside his house staring down the lane. Red nudged him with a nose.
"Hey, Red, I went into the village today," Katsuki said, catching the dragon's snout between his hands. "Kirishima's got it in his beautiful idiot head that I need to socialise, can you fucking believe that?"
The dragon grunted as if he could, actually. Sass from a dragon that couldn't even fucking talk, great.
"I think he might be flirting with me, but I'm not sure," Katsuki hummed. He traced the scar on the dragon's eye and wondered how the beast had got it. "I don't fucking know how to flirt. Never felt the fucking need before. "
Red blinked at him.
"Well if I've never done it how am I supposed to tell when someone else is?" Katsuki snapped, pushing the dragon's head away. "Fuck. Look, I've been able to fucking ignore my... Fuck, crushes before now, but this- Fuck, I'm losing to it and I hate that. And I'm mad that I'm not even mad about it, except I am a little. Just not as much as I should be. Shit, does that even make any sense?"
Katsuki watched Red's langorous shrug. "Well you're a fuckin' dragon, so, fuck off I guess?"
Red laughed his draconic laugh.
"Do dragons have to think about flirting?" Katsuki asked, pursing his lips. "Guess for you it's all in the body language."
Red made a weird guttural crooning noise.
"I have no fucking clue what that means, Red," Katsuki grumbled. "The worst fuckin' part is that I'm gonna keep going into town whenever he asks 'cause I can't help myself. Ugh."
Katsuki flung himself down to lie on his back of the ground. He stared up at the dusky sky at the first few stars glimmering there. "You ever go flying at night, Red?"
The dragon shook his head.
"Eh, whatever," Katsuki scowled upwards. "God, feelings are so fuckin' weird."
Kirishima lured Katsuki into town several times after that. Katsuki tried to put up a token resistance, but Kirishima seemed to know that Katsuki would give in if he just fluttered his eyelashes and whined Katsuki's full name a couple of times. Then, a few days later, he showed up with his hair not in spikes. It fell down to his shoulders instead, and Katsuki had to fight to keep his jaw from dropping as he caught sight of it. Hhhwhat the holy fuck?
"Hair," Katsuki blurted. Kirishima flinched.
"Aha, yeah, uh, the stuff I use to spike it ran out..." Kirishima ran a hand through his hair in a self-conscious sort of way, and Katsuki realised with a spike (oh, fuck off, brain) of fury that Kirishima didn't like his hair like this. What the fuck. "I'm getting some more soon, but, um."
"It looks good," Katsuki said. His fingers twitched at his sides. Good gods did he want to get his hands on that hair. The redhead grimaced. "Kirishima, I mean it. I like your spikes, Spikes, but this is just. Uh. It's good."
"Bakugou!" Kirishima exclaimed. Holy shit was he crying? The fuck? "Thank you, dude that's- That's so manly for you to say!"
"It's just the fucking truth," Katsuki said, and then- Shit! Kirishima jumped the fence and scooped Katsuki into a bone-crushing hug. Holy fucking fuck he was strong. Holy fuck! Katsuki's arms came up to pat Kirishima on the back. That was what you were supposed to do in a hug, right?
"Hey, uh," Kirishima released him and Katsuki found himself breathing a little heavily. Just from the crushing on his lungs of course. "I'm sorry, I uh, don't really feel much like going into the village today. So... no bread. Sorry."
Katsuki squinted at the other guy, who was pulling the saddest fucking face and staring at the ground. Katsuki felt his chest squeeze. Ah, fuck. "D'you wanna meet my chickens?"
Kirishima's head whipped up. "Wh- Yes!"
Katsuki nodded, and led Kirishima out of the vegetable garden and towards his henhouse. Several of the birds were milling around outside, pecking at the grass. Katsuki felt a little self-conscious as he called them over with a chickeny noise, but Kirishima's widening eyes made him forget that pretty quickly.
"Oh my gods," Kirishima crooned, sitting down and allowing about five of the hens onto his lap. "I love them. Which ones are your favourites?"
"Oh, that'll be..." Katsuki plucked his rooster off the ground. "This is Lord Explodo-Kills."
He was a handsome specimen, with rich russet feathers and an iridescent tail. Katsuki held the rooster under his arm and looked around at the hens.
Katsuki pointed. "The black one on your knee is Death-Boom. Murder Mountain is the blue still pecking about over there."
Kirishima pet Death-Boom gently on the head. "And Eggsmerelda?"
"The white one next to Murder Mountain," Katsuki said. Kirishima beamed at him, trying to stroke as many of the hens as he could all at once. Katsuki sat and brought Lord Explodo-Kills into his own lap. The big rooster was pretty docile.
"They're great," Kirishima said. A small, dark red hen hopped onto Kirishima's shoulder and pecked lightly at his ear. "Aww, I like her! Can I name this one?"
Katsuki sighed. Well, he did kind of like the little red hen. She had an attitude. "Fine."
Kirishima scooped the bird off his shoulder and held her at arms' length. "Hm. Crimson."
"Crimson?" Katsuki repeated. Kirishima nodded, flashing his teeth in delight. "Yeah, okay."
Kirishima lay down, careful not to jostle the chickens that had claimed him as a perch. He set Crimson on his chest, spread his arms and shut his eyes with a sigh. His hair was splayed out around his head like a red halo. Katsuki couldn't help but stare. Fuck, he was pretty. Katsuki wanted to shoo all of the chickens away and lay down on Kirishima himself, press his face into the side of Kirishima's neck and breathe in his scent and feel the rise and fall of the redhead's ribs underneath him.
"Hey Bakugou," Kirishima said, his eyes still shut. "What do you do?"
Katsuki raised an eyebrow. "Hah?"
"Like, what's your job in the village?" Kirishima asked. Oh.
"If Uraraka's out of town, I step in as a doctor, I guess," Katsuki said. "I don't do any of the floaty magic stuff but I can deal with injuries and herbal shit. Other than that, I dunno. Odd jobs. If someone wants some game I go hunt it for them."
"Ooh, cool," Kirishima murmured. "I've been helping out Yaoyorozu and Todoroki at the blacksmith's. They said it helps to have someone actually working the bellows instead of relying on Todoroki's fire magic all the time."
The image of Kirishima, shirtless and sweaty from the heat of the furnace, muscles rippling as he worked the bellows, popped into Katsuki's brain. He stored it away for later.
"Don't burn yourself," Katsuki said. Fuck, why did he say that? He sounded concerned, and maybe he was, but he didn't need that expressed out loud!
"Ah, I'm pretty heat-resistant," Kirishima said. He stretched his arms up - fuck - and his eyes cracked open. Katsuki looked away. "I think when I go home I'll just sleep for the rest of the day."
"Fuckin' lazyass," Katsuki said, but there was a tease in his voice and Kirishima snorted.
"Sometimes you gotta have a lazy day every now and then, y'know?" Kirishima yawned and brought a hand up to pat Crimson. "Can I come see the chickens again another time?"
"I think Crimson would fuckin' riot if you didn't," Katsuki said. Fuckdamn he could hear his own voice and it was dripping with sappiness. Ah fuck it. "If you ever have another fuckin', hair down, feeling shit day just- Fuck, just come up here and hang out with the chickens if you want. Whenever. Whatever. You can bother me too, I guess, ain't got anything else I'm doing."
Kirishima sparkled at him. Good fucking grief. "Really?"
"Well you're gonna bother me either way, right?" Katsuki grumbled.
"Yeah," Kirishima agreed. He shut his eyes again. "Thanks, Bakugou. I think you're my best friend."
Red didn't turn up that evening, so Katsuki wasn't able to tell him how he'd just sat there and gaped in silence for several minutes before muttering out a soft 'yeah, me too'. He wasn't able to tell the dragon how he didn't even feel that bad about ousting Kaminari from that spot, because it was true. Kirishima had burrowed his way into Katsuki further than anyone had ever been before.
Katsuki supposed that dragons could be busy with whatever dragons did when they weren't fucking around and pestering humans.
He had to settle for telling the chickens, but, well, they were just chickens and they didn't understand shit.
The next day, and Kirishima was back in high spirits and spiked hair again. He grinned and invited Katsuki in on another trip into the village, and Katsuki didn't even complain. He just stood up from where he had been kneeling next to his carrots, locked up, and joined Kirishima along the lane. The redhead seemed to be in a chatty mood this morning, and wittered on and on about this that and the other. Katsuki just listened, found himself enjoying it, and imagined what it would be like to have Kirishima's words bouncing around his house instead of spiralling away into the air out here.
"I need to go grab more lotion from Uraraka today," Kirishima said. "So, we should probably pick that up before we get the bread."
Katsuki nodded and prepared his brain for Round-Face Interaction. He did not, however, prepare for Kaminari Interaction, which was unfortunate, as the golden-haired guy popped up and started walking along with them half-way across the village.
"Yoooo, Bakugou, Kirishima," Kaminari greeted them with way too much fucking enthusiasm. "Kiri here told me that you deigned to come out of your mile-wide personal bubble for him, but I wan't sure if I actually believed it!"
Katsuki scowled at him. Kirishima grinned. "The trick is bribery!"
"Ooh," Kaminari nodded as Katsuki rolled his eyes. "Makes sense, shoulda tried that years ago. It's the bread, right? Blasty-boy here's always had a taste for it."
"The bread helps," Kirishima said, with a slightly mysterious note in his voice. Then the two veered off into another topic until they reached Uraraka's tower. The witch herself was standing outside, sipping on a mug of something that probably wasn't completely tea, and Kirishima bounded over to talk to her. Katsuki hung back, unwilling to talk to her unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, Kaminari decided that he was hanging back to chat or something, and leaned in to ask a question.
Kaminari nodded towards Kirishima, who was chatting to Round-Face with big, exaggerated hand movements. Fuck, his hands were nice. "So, what do you really think about your new neighbour?"
Hm. Well, that- Huh. Oh. Fuck. Katsuki drew in a deep breath.
"I'm in love with him," He said. He stared enviously at the air around Kirishima, because it got to touch him and Katsuki hadn't quite worked up the nerve yet.
Kaminari snickered. "Ah, classic Bakugou dry wit."
Katsuki said nothing and kept staring.
Kaminari's snickering stopped abruptly. "What the fuck you're serious."
"I don't want him to be my neighbour, Kaminari," Katsuki said. "I want him in my house and giving stupid names to all my chickens."
"Dude," Kaminari said, with feeling. "Hey, so, not that I'm not thrilled, but... Why are you telling me this?"
"I have no fucking idea," Katsuki said. He'd just opened his mouth on impulse. Maybe the aura of dumbass from everyone else around him was finally clouding his mind. "The only other people I've discussed this with are Red and my chickens."
Kaminari raised an eyebrow. "Red? May I inquire as to whom you may be referring? How come this scoop hasn't reached Mina's ears yet?"
Katsuki watched as Kirishima's shoulders shook with a laugh at something Moonface said. "I don't think she can commune with birds. And Red's a dragon."
"A what?" Kaminari gaped at him. Fuck, Katsuki hadn't really meant to say that. Was he like, love-drunk or something? He was probably going to regret involving Kaminari, but fuck, he was tired of talking to someone who couldn't talk back. Fuck, he was in love with Kirishima and he was going to fucking do something about it.
"Sparky," Katsuki turned and laid a hand on Kaminari's shoulder. "I need you to know that the position of Best Man at our wedding is between you and a fucking dragon, so start psyching yourself up to fight for it."
"A what?" Kaminari repeated faintly. "Also awww dude, I love you too! So, uh, you've told him, right?"
Katsuki's insides squirmed. "I have not."
"Oh my gods you're like, a nervous wreck right now," Kaminari said, delight in his voice. "The great and fearsome Bakugou Katsuki, hopeless romantic."
"I changed my mind," Katsuki said. This had been a horrible mistake. "You're not invited to my wedding."
Kaminari snorted. "Kirishima will invite me. So like, do you have a plan?"
"You." Katsuki eyed the other blond. "Tell Ashido. Word will spread. Kirishima will hear, and then, fuck, that's as far as I've got."
"You're hoping he'll come sweeping in and start the conversation, right?" Kaminari shook his head. "That's weak, man."
"I know, fuck off," Katsuki said. "I don't even know if he likes me. Fuck, I sound like a teenage girl."
"Oh, he likes you," Kaminari said, snorting. "I'm pretty sure he was interested before he even met you, 'cause he got all like, sparkly when I described you. He brings you up all the time like 'oh, don't you think Bakugou is so manly?' and raves about your virtues. Plural. Which is like, plural more than anyone else has ever seen in you. Good sign, right?"
"I'm going to fucking feed you to my dragon," Katsuki said.
"Wait so like, that's not a joke?" Kaminari said, face growing pale. "You know a dragon? You want me to fight a dragon?"
"Nah, you'd last like three, maybe four seconds aainst him," Katsuki said. Kirishima gave a loud exclaimation at something Uraraka said and laughed again. Fffuck. "I'll have to find some sort of fucking like, activity for you to compete in so you can keep up. Like counting to three."
"I am in like, literal physical pain right now, man," Kaminari clutched at his heart. "You're so mean to me."
"Well, all I can say is good luck, Bakugou!" Kaminari exclaimed. "Something's bound to happen to spur you into action, right?"
Something in the distance went up in flames.
All four of the people outside Uraraka's tower paused in their conversations to watch the pillar of fire whirl into the sky. Then the spontaneously-manifested glacier that sprang up after it. Fuck.
"Not really the kind of action I meant," Kaminari murmured, and then all of them were rushing forwards.
Katsuki lost sight of the others as he used his explosive fire magic to launch himself up and over a row of houses. Whatever fucking Half-n-Half was doing, he must have a good reason. Sure enough, as Katsuki neared the edge of the village, he could see a large group of bandits on horseback fanning out on the road into the village. He landed in front of one with a wild shout and a pop of fire from his hands, startling the horse into rearing up and nearly throwing its rider. Horses in general didn't like loud, sudden noises.
Katsuki took advantage of the horse's alarm to leap up with a small explosion and grab the guy off the saddle. The horse, free of the weight on its back, kicked up its heels and charged off towards one of the other bandits. Katsuki took a moment to make sure the one he had tackled was knocked out, and started towards the next.
A great roar shook the air, causing everyone to freeze in place. Katsuki recovered within fractions of seconds, because he knew that roar, and his reflexes were just that good. Fuck yeah!
"Red!" Katsuki bellowed back. The dragon swooped out of the sky, low over the the bandits and knocking them off their horses with ease. The remaining bandits were all yelling (or screaming, haha) and at least two of them had kicked their steeds into a hasty retreat. The appearance of a dragon had thrown them, just a little. Katsuki launched himself up, Red banked and came up underneath him, and then he was astride the base of big dragon's neck, yelling down at the bandits and letting his explosive magic boom several times.
It didn't take long for the rest of the bandits to flee, and Red came to land on the road with a rumbly-grumbly noise in his throat.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" Katsuki asked the dragon, leaning forwards to slap the dragon's neck.
Red looked towards the distant forms of the horseback bandits and growled. Well, that sort of answered that. The people in the village who had come to help against the bandit raid were all gawking up at Red. Katsuki caught sight of Uraraka (who just looked resigned, but then she'd known about the dragon to begin with) and Kaminari (who looked like his eyes were gonna pop out of his head with sheer awe), but there was no sign of Kirishima with them. Katsuki looked around. No flashes of spiky red hair anywhere. Fuck.
"Fuck, Red, I can't see Kirishima," Katsuki hissed. The dragon turned his head to regard Katsuki with something approaching... annoyance? Exasperation? The fuck was that about? "We need to find him, Red, don't give me that look!"
The dragon spread his wings and the villagers backed away, and then Red was leaping into the sky. Holy shit! Katsuki almost lost his sense of urgency in the exhilaration of it. Almost.
"Do you know where he is?" Katsuki yelled over the wind. The dragon turned his head so that Katsuki could see him nod. Alright then.
Red set them down just outside Kirishima's house. Fuck, had the big stupid lizard misunderstood? Had Kirishima made it back here amidst all the chaos in the village after the bandit attack? Why wouldn't he have waited?
"Kirishima!" Katsuki called out to the house, sprinting for the door and rapping on it loudly. "Kirishima are you in there? Fuck!"
"Um," said a voice, Kirishima's voice, only it was from behind him and... that was weird. Katsuki spun around slowly. "Hey, so, don't freak out."
"You're naked," Katsuki said, blinking. Kirishima was standing there with not a single shred of clothing on. Red was... not present. Katsuki had heard no draconic footsteps clunking away. Odd. Very, very fucking odd.
"Yeah, it, uh, that happens," Kirishima said. He looked, well, stressed? Maybe? And still very fucking naked. Katsuki wasn't shy about ogling, but he could feel the heat rising up his neck. "I think I'm going to need new boots, which is uh, kind of a pain. I normally try to take stuff off before... Well... I should probably put something on, huh? Hahaha. Ha."
Kirishima's hair colour was a very distinctive shade of red, now that Katsuki came to think of it. Funny how both he and the dragon had a scar over their right eyes, huh? Funny. Real fucking funny. Well, fuck, Katsuki was an idiot. "You bastard."
"Hey, um, can we continue this discussion indoors?" Kirishima said. "I kinda wanna get dressed."
Katsuki stepped to the side to let Kirishima access the door. He was feeling a whole bunch of things right now and he wasn't sure which one to focus on. Kirishima led him into the little cottage, left Katsuki with a choice of chairs around an unlit fire, and rushed away to some other room where he presumably had other clothes. Why the fuck did Kirishima have so many chairs?
Katsuki stuck the fire on, using his hand to light it, and sat back in one of the chairs with a scowl. Okay, Katsuki, time to think. Top three things to address go!
1. Kirishima was Red.
2. Katsuki had no complaints about Kirishima without any clothes on.
3. Red was Kirishima.
Okay. Okay. One - it explained a few things, if Kirishima was a dragon-shifter. Like Kirishima's teeth, and his weird skin thing, and his apologies for the courgettes, and his bright fucking red magic spiky hair that wasn't always spiky.
Two. Ahhhh. Hm. Think about that later. Definitely think about it though, holy shit.
Three. Katsuki had been pouring his heart out about his crush on the guy next door, to the guy next door. For months. Did Kirishima think it was funny or something? Red hot rage began to pool in Katsuki's stomach. Had any of the... weird flirting or whatever actually been real then, or was it all some stupid joke?
Kirishima came back into the room, no spring in his step, eyes downcast. Hey what the fuck? The anger in Katsuki's gut churned up with concern. It wasn't a nice fucking mix.
"Why the fuck didn't you tell me you were Red," Katsuki said, arms crossed over his chest, cutting straight to the point.
Kirishima blinked at him. "Oh. I was just, uh. Awkward."
"Awkward? You? You? You were awkward? You awkward? Awkward?" Katsuki found his voice raising with every syllable and made no effort to reign it in. "Really, Kirishima? Awkward?"
"I mean, not compared to you, but-" Kirishima began. Katsuki let out a strangled, wordless yell, but Kirishima continued on in broken sentences. "I wanted to tell you! I'm just- I've been dropping hints like, the whole- You started talking about me when I was a dragon and I just wanted to listen 'cause you- You were saying some really nice stuff and I thought you might stop if you knew I was me!"
Katsuki stared at him.
"But like, you were also going on about like, you didn't seem ready to do anything about uhm," Kirishima pause to wave his hands around. "This thing. We like each other! I guess! And you said you didn't talk about this stuff with anyone else! I didn't want to take that away! I didn't want to push you into anything. I- Fuck."
So Kirishima did like him back. He was just a fucking moron. A wave of relief washed over Katsuki. He was still angry, of course, but he could feel the anger cooling and crumbling away.
Kirishima groaned and fell into one of the other chairs. "I thought you'd figure it out, or fuck, I don't know. I wasn't thinking."
"Fuck," Katsuki muttered, as a thought occurred to him. "Kaminari's gonna be the Best Man."
Kirishima blinked at him. "What?
"What?" Katsuki blurted. Shit, that was supposed to be internal.
"Um, I was sort of expecting more yelling," Kirishima said, biting at his lip. "You went sort of quiet. Are you okay?"
"I am mad as fuck right now," Katsuki growled. Kirishima's mouth pulled down, but he looked resigned to it. Katsuki sighed. "I think I'm gonna go home."
"Oh, uh, sure," Kirishima said. His voice sounded strange. Katsuki stood up. Fuck, no, he was being too brusque. He probably sounded like he was rejecting Kirishima, shit. H had a feeling that Kirishima would start crying as soon as he left, and that was- It was unacceptable. "Can I, um, walk you to the door?"
Katsuki nodded. The door really wasn't all that far away, and when they got there, Kirishima opened it for him. Katsuki stopped. His mind raced for the perfect parting words here. He didn't want Kirishima to think he'd ruined everything.
"Crimson's gonna be fucking disappointed when she hears what you did," Katsuki grumbled and stepped through the doorway. He turned back to squint at the redhead. Kirishima opened his mouth, closed it again. "You'll have to come over and apologise to her first thing tomorrow. She'll probably forgive you straight away, though, 'cause she's a dumbass like that and she likes you way too much to stay mad forever."
"Yeah?" Kirishima's expression lightened, and most of the tension seemed to drain away from his shoulders. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
"And one more thing, fucker," Katsuki said. Kirishima tilted his head, expecting words, but Katsuki reached out to grab the redhead's collar and pull him in for a very quick, light kiss.
"Oh," Kirishima said, stars in his eyes, and Katsuki turned on his heel and stomped away as fast as he could without breaking into a jog. He didn't want Kirishima to see the stupid sappy grin make its way across his face.
"Hi, Bakugou," Kirishima said the next morning, sounding almost shy. Katsuki looked up to see the redhead leaning on the fence. "I've, um, come to apologise to Crimson about the whole, uh, I'm a dragon situation."
Katsuki stood and brushed soil off of his clothes. The courgettes were flowering again, which was some sort of poetic bullshit that Katsuki wasn't in the mood for.
"Yeah?" Katsuki stomped over to the fence, right up into Kirishima's space. "Hope you've made it a good one, Red."
Kirishima bit his lip, and damn it, that wasn't the lip Katsuki wanted him to bite. Katsuki forced himself to move back, and jerked his head for Kirishima to follow him. Kirishima trailed behind, gingerly. Katsuki stopped in front of the henhouse and called the chickens over. He picked up Crimson and handed her to Kirishima.
Kirishima stared at the hen. "Okay, so, while I realise this is all some weird farce where I'm actually apologising to Bakugou, I'm gonna have to pretend it's for you, okay, Crimson?"
The little chicken said nothing. Katsuki turned his head away so he could swallow his grin.
"I," Kirishima said. "Was an idiot. I should have just come clean about being a dragon from the beginning. It was kind of creepy and I probably betrayed your trust. I'm very sorry for deceiving you, and I hope that you can forgive me and, uh, we can move on and um. Talk about some things?"
Kirishima met Katsuki's eyes. "How's that?"
Katsuki shrugged. "It sucked, but I think she's okay now."
Kirishima put Crimson down. "So."
"So," Katsuki mimicked. Kirishima let out a long breath.
"Okay. So, you kind of saved my life when you fixed my leg that one time," Kirishima said, twiddling his thumbs. His face was flushed. Goddamn adorable. "I kinda, I mean, that's when my crush on you started. I uh, wanted to meet you for real, so..."
Katsuki folded his arms. "Did you move here just to meet me?"
Kirishima gave him a sheepish grin. "Uh, maybe?"
"Creepy," Katsuki said, though he was feeling kind of pleased. "How the fuck does the whole dragon thing even work?"
"Oh! Well I'm technically a half-dragon," Kirishima said. "So I can switch between forms!"
Katsuki hummed. "I see."
Kirishima shuffled on his feet.
"Uh, hey, Bakugou, you kissed me yesterday," Kirishima said. He took a tiny step forwards.
Katsuki didn't back away. "Guess I did."
Kirishima took another, larger step. He batted his eyelashes, like he knew Katsuki was powerless when faced with them. Damn it, he did know, because Katsuki had fucking told him as much. "Is there any chance that that might be a repeat event?"
"I fuckin' hope so, Kirishima Eijirou," Katsuki growled. "'Cause I plan on courting you until you bleed."
Kirishima's face went red. "Oh."
Katsuki took the last step into the space between them.
"I really, really like you, Katsuki," Kirishima's breath bloomed over Katsuki's lips.
Ohhh, Kirishima using his given name turned his knees into traitorous cowards, so Katsuki looped his hands around the back of Kirishima's neck and pulled him in.
As expected of a dragon, Kirishima's kiss was fiery, intense as the colour of his hair, and greedy. That suited Katsuki just fine. Kirishima's hands were all over his chest, settling for brief moments and then trailing again. Katsuki broke the kiss, pulling away just enough to take in Kirishima's flushed face and wide, red eyes. Katsuki opened his mouth to say something about how damn beautiful Kirishima looked, but-
"Ooh," a voice chirruped from somewhere behind Katsuki. "So this is where you are, Kirishima! I just came to ask-"
"Sparky I fucking swear to all the gods above," Katsuki spun, scowling, one hand slipping from Kirishima's neck to aim it at the intruder. "I will blow you up."
Kaminari ignored him, looking at Kirishima (who had gone so red that he might have been preparing to shapeshift).
"That dragon was you, right, dude?" Kaminari asked, his expression turning triumphant when Kirishima forced out a nod. "Sweet! I get to reclaim my title of cutest human in the village. Oh! That also means my esteemed, Bakugou-appointed position will remain unchallenged! Unless you meant, like, a different dragon."
"Your what?" Kirishima asked, but Kaminari just gave him a few exaggerated winks.
"Fuck off, Kaminari!" Katsuki bellowed. "We're busy!"
"I saw," Sparky said in a smug tone. "That's going right into my congratulatory speech."
"His what?" Kirishima asked, though there was a laugh edging into his voice.
"Oh, you know," Kaminari waved a hand around. "For when I lead the toast at your wed-"
"Fuck, that's it!" Katsuki detached himself from Kirishima and charged at the other blond with hands raised and fire magic popping from his palms. Kirishima cheered him on until Kaminari surrendered, snickering, and promised to tell the whole village about the new couple.
Despite inviting death and destruction upon himself at regular intervals, in the end, Kaminari did make for a surprisingly good Best Man.