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I Don't Want an Alpha, But If It's You It's Okay

Chapter Text

“Hey man, don't forget it's your turn to host game night,” Eijirou called after Katsuki as he slung his bag over one shoulder and headed for the door.

His best friend paused in the doorway of the locker rooms at their hero agency, turning to give an apologetic look to Eijirou, who had caught up to him at this point.  “Ah fuck, I knew I forgot something.” He scrubbed a hand through his hair with a sigh, moving down the hallway, Eijirou falling into step beside him. “I took the week off. For, uh…”

Eijirou felt his face heat as realization struck him. “Oh shit, it's rut season, isn't it?” By law, hero agencies were required to offer one week of vacation time specifically to allow Pro Heroes to fulfill their biological imperatives. Most agencies scheduled these breaks during peak fertility season, since anyone without a bond-mate was required to fulfil their obligation to society or else fill out reams of paperwork explaining why they would not be siring a child. Many Pro Heroes opted for the paperwork, since being bond-mated was hard to manage in their line of work.

Even so, upon reaching the age of majority, it was considered a social obligation to mate . Of course, that social obligation only extended to mating when the pairings had the potential for offspring. That being the case, alpha-omega and beta-beta mating were the most highly encouraged combinations, though beta women could bear children as well as any omega, so mating an alpha with a childbearing beta, or a male beta with an omega was not an unheard-of practice.

Society did not look kindly upon mates who could not bear children. While alpha-alpha and omega-omega couples certainly existed, the stigma was very real and could ruin a Pro Hero’s career if such perverse desires were to be uncovered.

That's why Eijirou had never told Katsuki how he felt; besides, the man had never shown any interest in Eijirou, he was a proper alpha. Well, he was still Bakugou, but time as a Pro Hero had somewhat mellowed his abrasive personality. He always took his rut season break once a year, never came back with any bond marks that Eijirou could see, but he always smelled faintly of himself with an undertone of sweet omega arousal hovering at the edge of his scent. Eijirou didn't know if Katsuki had a favorite omega at a heat-house, or if he was secretly dating an omega and just refused to introduce them. It didn't really matter, it hurt to think about either way because it meant Bakugou wasn't like Eijirou. He wasn't holding himself back, filling out that damn paperwork year after year, pining for another alpha instead of getting with the program and visiting a heat-house.

Which wasn't to say Eijiroy hadn't tried to visit heat-houses, he just couldn't stand the cloying sweetness of multiple omegas trying to reel him in. He didn't want that, didn't want any of them. He probably could have tried a beta woman, but Eijirou was pretty positive he preferred Bakugou for a reason, and a childbearing beta woman wouldn't have all the necessary equipment to really get Eijirou’s motor running, so to speak.

“Which is it for you?” Eijirou heard himself asking, “paperwork or mating?”

Katsuki made a face. “When would I find the time to meet someone I could stand to have around me for a whole week?” he rolled his eyes. “Paperwork’s easier than dealing with human company. Plus I get a week all to myself.”

Kirishima nodded, humming sympathetically, shoving down his internal protest that Bakugou was obviously spending his rut with someone, whether he was willing to admit it or not. He had no right to demand answers from Bakugou, and there was no right way to explain that he knew Bakugou’s scent on such a visceral, obsessive level that he could smell the omega on him when he got back from his rut. “Tell me about it, I keep trying to visit heat-houses, but…” he grimaced. “I really don't understand the appeal of omegas,” he stated.

Katsuki shrugged, “Yeah, well, there’s always betas,” he said. “I just don't like to share my space with fucking strangers, you ever think about how fucking weird it is, just… taking some random-ass person home with you to try and make a baby?”

Eijirou nodded, “Yeah, that's why I’ve never been able to go through with it,” he said carefully. “Well, that and the, uh-”

“Yeah you and your fucking stupid omega hangup,” Katsuki said with fond exasperation. “You're the only alpha I've ever met who is genuinely disinterested in omegas.”

That’s because I’m too busy being wildly interested in an alpha I work alongside, Eijirou thought, forcing a weak laugh. “Yeah, one of these days I expect they're just going to lock me in a room with some omega and wait ‘til something happens.”

“Fuck, I’d rather have someone knock me out and just take what they wanted, at least then I wouldn't be stuck making small talk with someone who expected to be jumping my bones,” Bakugou declared.

Eijirou shrugged. “I guess it could be worse,” he said, “I heard that omegas can be forcibly placed in a heat-house for the duration of their season if they haven't mated for a number of years.”

Katsuki slowed his walk to a halt. “Yeah,” he said, a sharp edge to his tone that Eijirou couldn't quite place. “It’s fuckin’ bullshit.”

“All of it,” Eijirou agreed. “Man, I hate rut season.”

Day 1


Katsuki glared at the letter in his hand, like if he willed it to vanish hard enough maybe it would. No such luck, the official letterhead staring up at him accusingly. He’d gone too many rut seasons without finding a mate, and now he’d been given the official word. This rut season was to be spent at a fucking heat-house.

The government couldn't outright make him have sex, but damn if those wily bastards didn't think up all sorts of clever ways to make it the simplest solution for an unbonded omega looking for somewhere to go through heat. Bakugou glowered at the document in his hands, informing him that a room was waiting for him at The Gentle Embrace, a local heat-house that contracted with the city government to take in a certain quota of ‘mandatory residents’ in addition to the number of omegas who came willingly, with hopes of meeting their future bond-mate or some shit.

Katsuki was a realist, not a romantic. He knew the government could put him in a heat-house but they couldn't make him go home with an alpha. Just like Katsuki couldn't make Eijirou like omegas. It was just his fucking luck, the one alpha that Katsuki would genuinely consider taking home was the only alpha he’d ever met that showed no interest whatsoever in omegas. Eijirou didn't hate omegas, he just was very frank about the fact that omegas held no interest for him. He couldn't say it outright, but Bakugou had been his friend long enough to see the way Eijirou fixated on manliness and power and had long since puzzled out the subtext of his admiration. The man was into other alphas, and much as he was loath to admit it, Katsuki was not a fucking alpha.

He was a damn omega, an omega being forced to spend his heat around a bunch of other simpering omegas. He wondered if it would be against the rules to just hit his head against a wall until he passed out and couldn't fulfil his socializing duties at the heat-house. Then again, who was to say there wouldn't be some creepy-ass alpha lurking around who happened to get off on fucking unconscious omegas? It wasn't a viable option. Fortunately, there didn't seem to be a rule against alcohol, so Katsuki decided his best option might be a bottle of something hard enough to make him forget about how fucking pissed off he was over this whole damn ordeal.

Sighing, he shoved a few outfits into his duffel bag. He didn't bother to see if they were nice clothes, or if they even matched. He wasn't actually trying to get anyone’s attention, so he didn't give a fuck about his clothes. He just needed something to wear so he wasn't parading around the heat-house stark naked (though he’d heard that was apparently a viable strategy for some omegas? God, he hoped that had been exaggeration). He picked up his bottle of suppressants and contemplated it, a scowl crossing his features as he did so. Katsuki had a feeling they would confiscate these at the door. Legally, heat-houses couldn't deprive residents of suppressants, but practically speaking, suppressants often got “misplaced,” leading to unexpected omega heats, and by extension, more matings. Since heat-houses operated specifically to function as a neutral location for alphas to find omegas who wanted sex, it made sense that they would discourage the use of suppressants among the omega residents.

Unlike most omegas, though, Katsuki only had his heat once a year. It pissed off his doctor to no end, since it meant his heat was always a doozy. Katsuki would usually spend a good two-thirds of it with what was probably his entire fucking fist up his ass, begging for a knot he knew wasn't there, and generally making a mess of himself. It wasn't pretty, and there was no chance in hell that he was going to let that shit go down in a fucking heat-house. He’d just have to take his suppressants.

After some consideration, he broke the suppressants up into two-day doses, and packed a two week supply, instead of a one-week, just in case someone found one or two of the bundles of stashed pills. He sighed to himself as he tucked the pills into various pockets and pouches. He would just have to wait until next year to go into heat. His doctor was going to be pissed, but Katsuki would rather face the wrath of his primary care physician than a week in desperate, sloppy heat surrounded by unfamiliar alphas who just wanted to get their dicks wet.

That done, he took a quick look around his apartment, wondering if he’d forgotten anything. Once he checked into the heat-house, he wouldn't be able to leave unless he was accompanied by a visiting alpha, or his week was up. Food and board would be provided (Katsuki’s tax dollars at work. Wasn't government wonderful? ), and the brochure included with his letter had implied that there was a wide selection of movies, video games, board games, and an extensive library offered by The Gentle Embrace to entertain omegas waiting to be approached by horny-ass alphas. The brochure said nothing about a fully-stocked bar, though, so Katsuki resolved to drop by a liquor store on his way over. With the way this week was shaping up, he had a feeling he’d need at least one full bottle of the strong stuff to make it through.

Katsuki sighed, locking his door behind him as he headed out. Rut season really was the fucking worst.

Kirishima’s own rut break was scheduled to begin halfway through Bakugou’s week off, and he was dreading the time he would spend alone already. He’d been called out by two separate coworkers already today for moping, but he couldn't help it. He missed Katsuki, and he hated that every time he turned to make a smart remark and realized he wasn't there, he’d be suddenly reminded that his friend was probably knot-deep in some omega by now. It hurt more than he was willing to admit, which was made worse by the fact that he couldn't even explain to anyone why he was upset. There was nothing wrong with Bakugou mating an omega. Eijirou was the one with a weird hangup, not his friend.

He hoped Katsuki was at least having a better time than he was, though a part of him hoped that Katsuki missed him as much as he did. He sighed, staring down at his lunch box with dismay.

“Staring won't make it taste any better,” Denki commented, sinking into the seat across from Kirishima with a sympathetic glance.

“I know,” Kirishima sighed. “I just…”

“You miss your boyfriend,” Denki teased, and the words sent a little pang through Kirishima’s chest. If only that were true…

“Shut up,” Kirishima tried to grin, finally taking a bite of his lunch. “You miss him too.”

“Yeah, but I’m not the one staring at my lunch while sitting alone in the corner of the cafeteria,” Senki pointed out. “If this was high school Monoma would be all over you by now.”

Kirishima chuckled. “Oh-ho-ho, Class A doesn’t know how to cope with being separated from a friend? My myyy, how pathetic,” he mockingly improvised.

Denki sniggered. “What a jerk,” he remembered, before adding with a half-grimace, “I’m glad he’s not in the same agency as us, though. I get the feeling he's not the type to let go of old school rivalries.”

Kirishima laughed, “Neither are we, considering none of us can stand the guy, even seven years after graduating.”

Denki shrugged. “What can I say? He’s an asshole, and not even a lovable sort of jerk like Bakugou.”

“Yeah,” Eijirou agreed, his mind wandering back to Katsuki. Where was he right then? Probably at a heat-house romancing some omega. He frowned, quickly shoveling food into his mouth. He didn't want to think about it anymore.

“Welcome to The Gentle Embrace, sir. Are you here for a specific resident or looking to find a partner?” The receptionist looked Katsuki up and down appreciatively as she spoke. He could practically hear her thoughts buzzing around, wondering what such a good-looking alpha was doing at an admittedly mid-to-low-range heat-house instead of at some fancier establishment. Boy was she in for a surprise.

“I’m here for my week of mandatory residence,” Katsuki told her briskly, handing over his letter.

Her eyes widened and she stuttered a little. “O-oh, mandatory residence, of course,” she glanced at the letter, looked at Katsuki, stared at the letter again, then in a small voice asked, “May I see your I.D., please?”

Katsuki dug out his wallet and passed her his identification card without complaint. She compared it to the letter, frowned slightly, then handed both the card and letter back to Bakugou.

“We’ll have your room ready in just a few minutes,” she said. Katsuki noticed with detached interest that she was no longer calling him sir. Typical. “If you’d like to have a seat, I can get you something to drink. Would you like some tea or coffee?”

Katsuki considered the offer. “Coffee,” he decided, moving across the empty lobby and dropping bonelessly into an uncomfortable chair. He sighed heavily, watching her scurry away to bring him his steaming hot bean water. The caffeine probably wouldn't do much for his impending stress headache, but at least it was something to occupy himself with while he waited for his room to be readied. He scowled at the few magazines scattered about on low tables around the lobby, noting with detached interest that the magazine nearest him had his own face on it. Obscured by a mask, of course, but still his face. Fucking hell. Some days he wished he’d gone for a full-visor or helmet as part of his hero getup, just to ensure more anonymity. Expelling a puff of air through his lips in an exaggerated sigh, he turned the magazine over so his own face wasn't staring up at him accusingly.

He accepted the cup of coffee with a grunt when the receptionist handed it to him. She looked positively scandalized by the whole proceeding. Not only did he have the muscular build of an alpha, he had the brusque nature of one, too. Since he was always on suppressants, no one could really pick up a decent scent from him one way or the other, so people tended to assume… well, Bakugou didn't really care what people thought anyway, except. Fuck. Knowing he was an omega didn't usually bother him, but lately he'd found himself wondering what might be possible, if only Kirishima were remotely interested in omegas. A useless question, and Katsuki had pretty much resigned himself to a life of self-imposed celibacy by now. He scowled into his coffee cup, only glancing up when he heard someone else enter.

He was plain and almost painfully nondescript. Dark brown hair, dark eyes, and pale skin with a few dusky pink acne scars on his cheeks. He was average height and thin, but not quite wiry. He glanced around, his eyes landing on Katsuki for a moment. Their gazes locked, and the man blanched, quickly turning to the counter. “Uh, hi,” he greeted the receptionist hesitantly.

She looked up from her computer, a bland smile plastered across her face. “Welcome to The Gentle Embrace, sir. Are you here for a specific resident or looking to find a partner?”

“Uh, look- looking,” the man stuttered, darting a glance in Katsuki’s direction. It was painfully obvious that he was worried the residents might be out of his league if someone like Katsuki was his competition. Hah. Little did he know…

“If you could just fill out this form, you'll be all set,” the receptionist said, politely not commenting on the young man’s nervousness as she passed him a clipboard. “Feel free to take a seat while you fill it out.”

The young man nodded jerkily, then glanced around the lobby. His gaze landed on Katsuki once more and fuck, he walked over, plopping into the seat next to Katsuki. “Hey,” he greeted Katsuki, turning to face him with a weak smile.

Katsuki took a long-ass sip of coffee before he moved only his eyes to look at the guy seated beside him. He grunted in acknowledgement, and looked away again.

Despite his nerves, the guy seemed determined to start a conversation, writing two things on his paperwork form before trying again. “I’m Adachi Keita. Is this your first visit?”

Goddammit, Katsuki had hoped he could at least avoid socializing before checking into this fucking whorehouse, but no, apparently that wasn't in the cards for him. “Bakugou Katsuki. First, and hopefully last visit.”

The guy’s eyes widened a little. “Oh, you’re looking for a bond-mate? Wow.”

“No,” Katsuki clarified, “Just doing my civic duty and getting the hell outta dodge.”

The guy laughed nervously, scratching a few words on his document before looking up and saying, “I guess that's good news for me, anyway. Less competition.” He flashed a self-deprecating smile at Bakugou, but Katsuki was too busy wrinkling his nose at what boring-face had said to really notice.

“What the fuck? You scared of a little competition?” Katsuki could hardly imagine that sort of reaction. Being outclassed usually pissed him off, it didn't make Katsuki any less inclined to try. What a defeatist attitude! No wonder this sorry excuse for an alpha was stuck wandering through lowbrow heat-houses trying to meet someone. He was a fucking coward!

“I don't think I have much of a chance if I’m competing with guys like you,” Adachi pointed out.

“Yeah, well, lucky for you we definitely won’t be competing,” Katsuki replied, ignoring the surprised look Adachi shot his way at the comment. Just then, a young man with a pleasant, though not necessarily handsome face poked his head into the lobby.

“Mister Bakugou? Your room is ready for you.” He looked expectantly at Adachi, only to frown in confusion when Adachi stared right back at him. The young man’s eyebrows shot up his forehead when he saw Katsuki’s large form rising from his chair.

“Great,” Bakugou said in a tone that indicated a complete lack of sincerity. “Lead the way.”

He saw Adachi gape at him as he exited the room, and noted him hurriedly scuttling across the room to ask the receptionist about the well-built man who was just leaving.

“Bakugou’s a new resident,” Katsuki heard the receptionist answer. “He’ll be here for the next week.” Then the man who had called Katsuki out of the lobby shut the door behind them and Katsuki could no longer make out the words being exchanged. He glanced at the guy, a bleach-blonde with his roots beginning to show right at his hairline. The guy was staring back at him.

“You must get this a lot, but…” The young man swallowed hard. “You look a lot like Ground Zero.”

Bakugou rolled his eyes. “That's because I fucking am Ground Zero,” he informed the attendant, who stopped in the middle of the hallway and gaped at Katsuki.

His mouth was big, a little too big for comfort, in an uncanny valley sort of way. Maybe it had something to do with this guy’s quirk. Katsuki didn't really care to find out. “Oh my god,” the man whispered, then did a double-take. “But you're an omega - oh my god!” his voice rose to a shrill note that hurt Bakugou’s ears and did nothing for his building headache. “You're a Pro Hero and an omega - but why are you here? You could go anywhere!”

Bakugou shifted his duffel bag to his other shoulder. “I don’t want to go fucking anywhere. Mandatory residency, remember?”

The young man stiffened, as though suddenly remembering his professionalism. “Right. Terribly sorry, sir. This way, if you wouldn't mind…” he gestured down a hallway before beginning to walk, obviously expecting Katsuki to follow. With a sigh, Bakugou did just that.

Fucking. Rut season.

Chapter Text

Katsuki dropped his duffel bag to the floor and surveyed his room with a dismal resignation. His new home away from home, for the next week, anyway.  It wasn't much to look at: a moderately sized bed that was big enough for two people, but hardly extravagant. A small wardrobe, where he could store his clothes, a connected bathroom and shower that, at least at first glance, seemed nice, if not especially spacious. The carpet was a soft beige, the bedding was done in a cream and burgundy, and the curtains matched the bedspread. Not exactly classy, but it felt almost… homey.

He could probably endure a week in here, Katsuki decided, and proceeded to dump out the contents of his duffel bag. His first order of business would be stashing suppressants. He knew it would have to be creative, the cleaning staff was probably trained to find them in the room, but he figured that if he kept them in an inner pocket of a jacket or something, they might make it through inspection. He’d also keep a few on his person, just to be sure he had enough to last him if all the pills in his room went missing.

His phone buzzed in his pocket, and Katsuki fished it out, glancing down to see who was bothering him in the middle of the day. Smiling to himself, he opened the message from Kirishima.

ShittyHair: It’s so boring on patrol without you here to bother

Rolling his eyes at his friend’s antics, Katsuki composed a scathing response.

Me: And yet, you’ve still found a way to be a fucking nuisance

It took only a few moments for Kirishima to start typing a response.

ShittyHair: dont be like that

Before Katsuki had the chance to respond, another text came in.

ShittyHair: hows that paperwork going?

Rolling his eyes at the redhead’s penchant for double texting, he decided to ignore the first message and just reply to the second.

Me: Don’t remind me

Kirishima answered quickly, once more using two texts where one would suffice.

ShittyHair: Haha are you avoiding it already

ShittyHair: you need to submit it soon though don’t you

Smirking, Katsuki shot off another smart remark.

Me: Yes mom

With that, Katsuki shoved his phone back into his pocket, patted himself down to make sure he had all of his pills, and sighed. Glancing down at his laminated ‘schedule’, Katsuki saw that he was currently scheduled for ‘socialization’. Blondie had explained to him that the staff would be keeping track of his participation since he was a mandatory resident. If he didn’t fulfil his duties during this visit, he would be subjected to a second mandatory residence the following year, and every year after that, until he complied with the requirements set forth as part of the mandatory residency. So he was going to do his best to complete all the required activities on his schedule. Fortunately, the government couldn’t specifically require mating to complete his mandatory residency. However, he noted that he had a fucking ton of socialization in his schedule, as well as time blocked off for ‘reserved visitations’, whatever the hell that was.

Scowling, Katsuki kicked open his door, only to realize he had no idea where the fuck he was supposed to go for his socialization time. He glanced around, catching sight of a young woman with light brown hair cascading in waves down her back and about her shoulders. She was wearing a pastel pink sundress with little blue flowers along the hem and sleeves. “Hey, you!” Katsuki called, walking towards her.

She turned to look at him, and gave a sharp ‘eep’ before looking around like she was trying to spot an escape route. Her hesitation was her undoing, and Katsuki caught up to her easily.

“Hey,” he said by way of greeting, “Where the fuck do I go for socialization?”

The woman stared blankly at him, eyes wide. “You're… an omega?” she finally managed, a look of shock on her face.

“Fuck off with that, male omegas account for almost half of the omega population,” Katsuki snapped, though admittedly calling thirty-five percent “almost half” was a bit of a stretch.

“That's… not what I meant,” the girl explained weakly. “There are lots of male omegas around here, but you don't look like an omega,” she explained weakly. “You know, with the, uh… muscles? Not many alphas are into omegas who could snap them in two,” she added, almost rotely, as if she’d heard it most of her life. Which, considering she was here, too… she probably had heard that sort of shit most of her adult life.

“Fuck that bullshit,” Katsuki declared, “If an alpha is weak enough to be intimidated by some fucking muscles, they weren't much of an alpha to begin with.” He scowled. They were getting off track. “Now. Socialization?”

The young woman was giving Bakugou a strange look as she answered, “I was just heading that way, you can walk with me.”

Katsuki shrugged. “Great, so get moving.”

With an irritated look, she turned and glided down the hall, all lithe grace and allure. She might have been intentionally swaying her hips or it might be her natural gait. Either way, it did nothing for Bakugou. He wasn't surprised by this, since he wasn't into women any more than he was into most alphas. Still, he wondered if her swaying hips were natural or an affectation. Fuck, he hoped his own hips didn't sway like that when he walked.

He didn't let his musings distract him, determined to learn his way around. They passed a room with a few low tables, some comfortable seats and chaise lounges scattered around. There were a few scattered couples sitting close to each other, sipping drinks or just talking softly. Katsuki grabbed the girl’s arm, pointing. “What’s that room?”

“The parlor,” she answered, tugging her arm out of his grip. He let his fingers relax so she wouldn't hurt herself trying to pull away. “It’s where someone can have a more quiet, private visit with an individual resident. If an alpha puts in a request for a reserved visitation, you could go there instead of your own room if you're not… ready, uhm, for…” she shrugged uncomfortably.

“Not ready to fuck?” Katsuki supplied, enjoying the look on her face as he continued, “Unprepared for wild, unrestrained debauchery?” Her eyes continued to widen as he kept going, “Or just not interested in getting it on with that particular alpha? Is that like…” Katsuki’s mouth twisted with mirth and disgust, “...a literal friend zone? Like, ‘you're a nice alpha and all but I’d like you better if you stopped trying to get in my pants so let's go to a little room where I can let you down gently instead of destroying your overinflated ego in a public setting’? Is that what the parlor is for?”

She gaped at Katsuki for another moment, then shook her head slowly. “I guess so,” she admitted after a moment. “Though I wouldn't necessarily advertise that particular detail.”

Katsuki snorted in response, and followed her when she resumed their walk, presumably still heading for socialization. They passed what looked to be some sort of game room, and from what Bakugou could see they had some game consoles, flatscreen TVs, a few tables for board games, and a pool table. “That game room only for couples, too?” he asked the girl.

She nodded, “Basically anything fun in this place requires you to be accompanied by an alpha,” she told Katsuki. “I mean, I get it, but I didn't realize when I signed up for this that it would be all alphas, all the time, for a whole month.” She shook her head in frustration. “Even the dining halls - you can only access the cafeteria as a solo omega, if you want any of the good food that’s made-to-order…” she tossed a loaded glance over her shoulder at Katsuki.

“Fuck, this place sure doesn't mess around,” Katsuki decided, beginning to feel less confident. He needed a fucking babysitter to do anything besides fulfil his basic necessities! What a load of shit!

“No, It doesn't,” the girl said, then paused before a set of double doors. “Anyway, the socialization area is through these doors.”

Katsuki nodded and took a step forward, but she thrust herself in front of the door, spreading her arms and legs wide in a starfish pose. “Wait!” she exclaimed, “Please don't go in yet.”

Katsuki could feel his eye twitching. “Why not?”

She appeared to be considering her next words carefully. “Don't take offense, but… I did come here to find a mate, and you basically look like a Greek sculptor carved you out of pure marble.” she gestured at him demonstratively, as if to draw Katsuki’s attention to his own physique.

“So what? I don't see what this has to do with not going in just yet.” Katsuki folded his arms over his chest and glowered at her, waiting for a reply.

She was giving him an exasperated look in response. “If we walk in there together, I’ll be setting an impossible standard for any alpha who wants to talk to me, and they won't do it for fear of being rejected because they don't look like you.”

Katsuki sighed. “Remind me why the fuck we’re constantly on edge about damaging some damn alpha’s fragile ego?”

“Because I want a fucking mate to go through my heat with me, okay?!” she snapped, taking a step forward and pushing into his personal space with an audible growl. “So stop being an asshole and just wait here for like, a damn minute or two, and then you can walk in.” Her eyes bored into him as she demanded, “Will that work for you?”

Bakugou grinned wide at her. Fuck yeah, he wished she had talked like a badass from the start, he had a feeling she was actually pretty cool. And apparently she was also dead set on finding an alpha. Bakugou owed her for showing him the route here, so, “Yeah, I can live with that, uh...” he agreed, then frowned. “What’s your name?”

“Arakaki Airi,” she introduced herself. “And you are…?”

“Bakugou Katsuki,” he introduced himself. “Now go find yourself a nice alpha, I’ll be out here gagging at the idea of it, but to each their own.”

She gave him a confused look. “If you're not looking for an alpha then why are you here?” She demanded, more curious than anything.

“Mandatory residence,” Bakugou answered simply.

Airi’s face clouded slightly. “That sucks,” she decided, sounding a lot less exasperated than she had moments earlier.  “Well, see you in there.”With that, she pushed through the double doors, and Bakugou was alone with his thoughts once more.

His phone vibrated again, and Katsuki pulled it out with a quick glance. Fucking Deku had texted him this time. Katsuki considered deleting the text without opening it, but he decided that it probably wouldn't piss him off too much to read the message. He opened it, and sighed upon seeing the wall of text. Bakugou was once more tempted to delete the damn thing. Who the fuck sent a massive wall of text to someone and expected them to actually read that shit? Fucking Deku, that's who.

Deku: Hi Kacchan I just was wondering if you had plans for rut season a couple of our old classmates are in town and we’re making plans to hang out tonight, mostly betas and alphas of course except for the omegas who already did their rut season week off so it should be a pretty big group. I know you're not big on socializing but it could be fun. It will be at that little restaurant just down the street from our agency, the one with the really good yakitori and cheap drinks. Anyway if you want to come you're welcome to join in (so long as you're not in rut haha)

Katsuki took a moment to compose himself (and a reply), then sent off his response.

Me: I’ve got plans already so I’ll pass. Tell the gang “fuck all you assholes” for me

Deku was quick to respond, and as cheerful as ever.

Deku: Haha, will do. Anything in particular that I should be cussing them out for? Or is it more of a general statement of poorly worded fondness from everyone’s favorite jerk?

Katsuki wasn't sure he liked how comfortable Deku was with calling him names now, but he knew if anyone had the right to call him out it was Deku, so he let the comment go with only a small reaction.

Me: Fuck you. Also dealer’s choice on the cussing out classmates.

Deku: Got it! Sorry we’ll miss you, hope you can make it next time!

Katsuki was about to return his phone to his pocket when he got a text from Kirishima.

ShittyHair: Hey bro did you hear about the dinner tonight?

ShittyHair: Midoriya said he would text you the info

ShittyHair: I’m going, so are most of the people in our agency

ShittyHair: You should come if you can

Katsuki sighed, watching the texts roll in. He’d been expecting this, but Kirishima’s quadruple-texting was still annoying. Satisfied that his friend was done breaking up his thoughts into multiple messages, he replied.

Me: I already have plans so I won't make it.

Kirishima’s reply was almost instantaneous.

ShittyHair: Really? What plans? Can't you reschedule?

Seriously? Kirishima was dense enough that he couldn't put two and two together? No doubt Deku had seen “plans” and assumed that Katsuki had other things to deal with since it was his scheduled rut season. Some people only needed a day or two to take care of business, and normally Katsuki might have considered going, but this time he was locked up in a fucking heat-house. So, plans. With a scowl, Katsuki answered Kirishima’s dumb question.

Me: No, I can't fucking reschedule, it's my rut season.

ShittyHair: Oh yeah I guess those kinds of plans would be tough to reschedule

Katsuki rolled his eyes, tucking his phone back in his pocket. Kirishima was a bit slow on the uptake, but he’d figured it out eventually. He turned to look at the double doors and sighed. Well. Onto his “plans” for the evening…

He pushed open the double doors and entered the room, glancing around and taking in the atmosphere. There were couches and chairs scattered around the room, a table at one end appeared to be stocked with tea and coffee, and some little shortbreads to go with the drinks. It was a comfortable room, made slightly less comfortable by the overwhelming smell of alpha in the room. It wasn't any one person, but rather the smell of dozens of alphas all vying for attention. There was omega in the air too, but the scent was much milder - after all, the alphas were coming to them, so it wasn't necessary to try too hard to get their attention.

Katsuki grimaced and strode across the room, making a beeline for the coffee. He could use the caffeine. He noted several alphas watching him with what could only be described as hackles raised, they were obviously not looking forward to winning over an omega when he was competing for their attention. People always made assumptions about Bakugou based on his build and temperament. Hell, even most of his coworkers thought he was an alpha. His official paperwork said otherwise, of course, but very few people actually looked at that shit.

Bakugou did nothing to correct these assumptions, mostly because he saw the way people treated omega heroes - Round Face, for instance, was constantly fighting to prove she was tough, and still so many heroes would try and keep her away from the action “for her safety”. It was fucking stupid, Bakugou had faced her in school and post-graduation enough to know the girl was a force to be reckoned with, but old habits die hard and there was something about being an omega that made people assume you needed protecting, even as a pro hero. Bakugou had no patience for that shit, so he let people think what they wanted, and didn't bother correcting any misconceptions. That would hold true here, in socialization, too. He wasn't going to put much effort in, so if visitors assumed he was another alpha and ignored him, that was all the better.

He got his coffee, which was surprisingly decent, and glanced around, looking for a seat. He spotted a chair in the corner and moved in that direction, flopping into it after setting his cup down on the coffee table to the right. He stared balefully out at the room, just waiting for this painful day to end. He had to endure a whole week of this? Already he was practicing his deep breathing to try and keep his pissed off face from making an appearance - he had a feeling the staff might dock points if he looked too upset.

“Hey there,” came a voice from his left, “It was Katsuki, right?”

Who the fuck was being so friendly with him just like that? Even Kirishima didn't call him Katsuki to his face (though Katsuki couldn't say he would mind it much if the redhead did transition to a first-name basis). Looking over with a pointed glare, Katsuki found himself staring up at the nondescript alpha from the lobby. “What do you want , boring-face?” Katsuki demanded.

Blinking in surprise, the young man gestured vaguely. “Oh, you know, I was just talking to some people when I saw you sitting alone over here. I figured you might like some company.”

Katsuki narrowed his eyes. “I don't. Now fuck off.”

The young man laughed, a soft sound that somehow sent a shot of nerves through Katsuki’s abdomen. “Oh Katsuki,” he sighed, reaching down and laying a hand on his bicep, squeezing gently, “You're funny.”

Katsuki’s skin crawled where the man was touching him, and he tugged his arm away. “Don't,” he said, intending it to sound like a warning, but it came across as pleading.

Chuckling again, the man pulled up a chair, sitting down next to a Katsuki and settling a hand posessively on Katsuki's knee as he leaned forward. “Don't be like that,” he said, his voice lower than before, a rumbling timbre that made Katsuki’s stomach churn uncomfortably. “No one else in this room is giving you so much as a second glance.” His hand slid gently up Katsuki’s thigh as he leaned in closer to whisper in Katsuki’s ear, “I’m not like the rest of them. I’m more than happy to take you to bed right now.” The way he carried himself now was vastly different from his behavior in the lobby - this asshole was on a fucking power trip, thinking that being an alpha somehow made him better, or stronger, than Katsuki. Without warning, the man leaned in, licking a stripe up the side of Katsuki’s neck, nipping gently at his scent gland with a whine. “You’d smell a lot nicer without those suppressants,” he purred in Katsuki’s ear, and fuck this shit, he didn't care if he got in trouble at this point, he just needed to get away from this fucking alpha.

Rising swiftly, Katsuki nearly bowled over boring-face in his haste to get away. He glanced around the room frantically, even as boring-face seemed to recover from the shock, stepping up beside him and grabbing Katsuki’s ass.

“Playing hard to get, are we?” the small, bland-looking man rumbled, a light shining in his utterly uninteresting brown eyes.

Katsuki’s gaze landed on sundress girl - what was her name? Arakaki! He hurried across the room, not caring if it looked like he was running away from the handsy alpha because fuck it, that's exactly what he was doing. He practically skidded to a stop beside Arakaki, trying to fight down the sick feeling in his stomach. “Hey Arakaki,” he greeted her weakly, ignoring the furious glare she was sending his direction. Then he noticed the two alphas she’d been conversing with. Oh. “Hey,” he introduced himself quickly, “I’m Bakugou.” He glanced over his shoulder at boring-face, who was gliding across the floor towards them with an almost predatory look on his face. He turned back to sundress girl, urgently demanding, “What the fuck am I supposed to do if an alpha won't stop touching me?” Unconsciously, he lifted a hand to the side of his neck, where boring-face had put his fucking tongue on Bakugou.

She blinked hard, like she wasn't sure how to respond. “Tell him to go away?” she suggested weakly, glancing at the two alphas with her.

“Tried that,” Katsuki hissed, “no dice.” He turned and pointed at the two alphas with her. “Either of you fuckers feel alpha enough to chase away a horny asshole with no sense of propriety or personal boundaries?” He didn't doubt that if Kirishima had been here, he would have already told boring-face all the many ways he could fuck off, and ensured the matter was totally resolved. But Kirishima wasn't here, so Katsuki was taking matters into his own hands, trying to chase the guy off without looking bad enough to land himself back here again next year.

The taller of the two alphas, a distinguished looking fellow with black hair and glasses, spoke first. “Am I to take it that you are an omega?”

Katsuki sighed. “Yeah, Arakaki here was helping me get comfortable with the routines and shit,” he explained, before realizing he probably owed her something for this too. A compliment should do the trick. “She’s a good person, is probably an exceptional lover, and all that other wingman shit.” He scowled at the alpha. “Now are you going to fucking help or just stand here looking stupid?”

It was at this moment that boring-face arrived, slipping a possessive arm around Katsuki’s waist. Stiffening, Bakugou tried to tug away, but the alpha just wound his arm tighter around him. Bakugou lightly shoved the man’s shoulder, glancing around to make sure the staff weren't watching. He didn't see anyone, but… shit. How was he supposed to get out of this? With another pointed shove, he finally dislodged the clingy alpha, but it didn't seem to dissuade the man long, his eyes flashing as he gave off a sharp scent of frustration and exasperation. Beside him, Arakaki flinched at the harsh smell, and she whimpered a little. This, finally, spurred the tall, thin alpha with black hair to action. Katsuki mentally decided to call him ‘distinguished scarecrow’ because he had the glasses but he was also tall and skinny.

“What are you doing?” distinguished scarecrow demanded, taking a step forward. “Can't you see this omega is obviously disinterested?” He scowled, “And you're distressing Airi. Go away.”

Boring-face looked like he was about to push the issue, when Arakaki’s second alpha stepped forward. He was compact, with brown hair and broad shoulders. He had a large, wide nose and a squarish face. “Move along,” Big nose told boring-face.

With a sneer, boring-face finally walked away, and Katsuki let out a sigh of relief he hadn't realized he’d been holding. “Oh my god, this place sucks balls,” he told sundress girl, “How do you deal with this fucking bullshit for a whole month?” He blinked then, turning to the two alphas who’d stepped in. “No offense.”

“Nah, that guy was an asshole,” Arakaki agreed with a soft smile, before glancing at her two alphas. “Thank you for helping.” Katsuki saw both men stand a little taller, straightening up at the compliment. Huh. That was interesting. A few well-placed compliments could apparently condition alphas to do what you wanted. Katsuki tucked that information to the back of his mind for future consideration.

“I owe you one, Arakaki,” Katsuki told her, then turned to the two alphas. “You guys too. What are your names?”

Distinguished scarecrow spoke first. “Matsumoto Atsushi.”

“Yamanaka Kengo,” Big nose said.

“Do y'all have a favorite pro hero?” Katsuki asked, figuring he could probably get an autograph from most of the big names with relatively little hassle. Hell, he could probably have them delivered here within the day.

The trio exchanged confused glances at the apparent non-sequitur. Arakaki spoke first. “I’m a huge fan of Uravity,” she said weakly. “She’s so strong and brave.”

“And gorgeous,” added big nose, blushing as he realized he'd accidentally said that aloud. “Uh, she’s my favorite too,” he said quickly.

“I guess Shouto or Deku,” Distinguished scarecrow decided. “I haven't thought about it much. I’m not particularly interested in heroes.”

Well fuck you too, Katsuki thought irritably, already deciding that if distinguished scarecrow really didn't care about heroes he could always just resell the autograph online or some shit. “Got it,” Katsuki nodded. “You three have fun, now,” he said, turning to walk away.

“Wait,” Distinguished scarecrow called after him, “Who’s your favorite pro hero?”

Katsuki smirked, glancing back over his shoulder to answer. “Definitely Red Riot.” With that, he headed back across the room, trying not to think too hard about why he’d said Kirishima’s hero name instead of Ground Zero. 

Chapter Text

Seated on his bed in his tiny apartment, about to head to the shower, Kirishima stared down at his phone, trying not to feel sorry for himself. It had been hours since his friend had replied to his text, and he was trying to reassure himself that he was fine with that. Even if they usually texted each other a lot when they took a sick day, or had time off…

But Kirishima was expecting a lot, he knew. After all, his best friend was an adult and he could do whatever he wanted for his rut season, including blowing off a classmate get-together to probably knot some gorgeous omega.

Closing his eyes, Kirishima tried to force away thoughts of Bakugou, in rut, with an omega. Unfortunately, trying not to think about it seemed to only make things worse, and he could practically hear the rumble in Bakugou's throat as he buried his knot deep into the omega, he would groan, long and low like he did when Kirishima gave him a deep muscle massage. What would he taste like, his arousal smeared along Eijirou’s tongue?

Kirishima swallowed hard, imagining the thick weight of Bakugou’s length pressing into his mouth, he would have to be careful of his teeth, slooowly taking Bakugou down, inch by inch. Kirishima had three fingers in his mouth, and he didn't know when he’d put them there. He was hard, too, and he used his other hand to reach down into his boxers and roughly grasp his length, groaning as he did so. He wondered what Katsuki’s hands would feel like on him. He knew they were softer than his own, velvety fingertips and wide, supple palms. He’d felt them whenever Bakugou would knead Kirishima’s sore shoulders after a long day. In his mind, Eijirou was certain that Katsuki would grip his length a little bit tighter than necessary, his soft hands just a little too rough, dragging Eijirou closer to completion as his pace slowly but steadily increased.

Kirishima’s other hand pressed deeper into his mouth, and he choked a little, tears pricking at the corner of his eyes. He groaned around his fingers, stroking harder as he pictured Bakugou’s face, flushed with arousal, hearing the Bakugou of his imagination rasp, ‘you're so fuckin’ big, Eijirou’ .

Gasping, Eijirou kept stroking, pulling his hand out of his mouth to reach down and drag his boxers off the rest of the way so he could touch himself more freely. He reached up, tweaking his nipples, imagining Katsuki nipping them lightly, a glint of humor in his scarlet eyes. He was so close--! In his mind, he heard Katsuki cry out as his body shook with the force of pleasure clutching him, and Kirishima was spilling over his hand, gasping for breath. He fell back onto the bed, fingers dropping to his side as he panted, momentarily spent.

“Shit,” he whispered slowly, crossing his forearm over his face, covering his eyes. He could feel the saliva that coated his fingers beginning to cool. “Dammit.” He tried to push back the guilt, the knowledge that he’d just masturbated to a fantasy of his best friend, and instead found himself aching for everything he could never have. He lay like that for almost a minute before his phone began to ring, and Kirishima yelped when he glanced over at it and saw who was calling.

Leaping to his feet and grabbing a towel from the bathroom after rinsing off his hands, Kirishima hurriedly picked up the phone, gasping a breathless “Bakugou?” into the receiver, wondering what had led to this unexpected call. “What’s up?”

“Yeah, I was just wondering,” Bakugou said without preamble, “Is it possible for an omega to press charges against an alpha who harassed them if the harassment took place in a heat-house?

Kirishima swallowed hard. “Bakugou, tell me you didn't get kicked out of a heat-house for harassing one of the residents.”

“Of course not,” Bakugou sounded insulted by the very idea, “But say this omega was a mandatory resident, so they have to be on their best behavior. And they can't exactly make a scene. Is it possible for them to press charges, or at least get a restraining order?”

“This is a lot of detail for a hypothetical,” Eijirou pointed out nervously. “You're sure this isn't one of those I’m-asking-for-a-friend-and-that-friend-is-actually-me moments?”

“Dammit Kirishima, I just need to know what kinds of rights an omega has when they're a mandatory resident in a heat house!” He sighed gustily into the phone, “You know I’m not fucking anyone this rut season, so stop freaking out and just give me a straight answer!”

“I mean, I didn't even realize mandatory residence was a real thing,” Kirishima noted. “Oh shit, is someone we know in trouble? Is it Uraraka?”

“Pretty sure round face is capable of dealing with shit herself,” Bakugou snapped, “And if not she’d call Deku. Or Froggy.”

So it wasn't about a mutual friend, then. Kirishima froze. Could it be… the omega Katsuki always spent rut season with? But that didn't make sense, if Bakugou was mating them, then the omega… oh wait. Heat-houses. Bakugou’s omega friend might be someone staying in a heat-house. But that brought him right back to the mandatory resident question. Why would they be in mandatory residence if they were mating Bakugou each season? Kirishima didn't know much about heat-houses besides the fact that they liked it when wealthy, attractive alphas came to visit. Oh. Maybe Bakugou had been visiting his omega, and had noticed another alpha bothering someone who turned out to be a mandatory resident! Of course Bakugou couldn't protect the omega indefinitely, especially if he was there visiting his own omega, so he was reaching out to Kirishima for advice. That made sense. For all his rough exterior, Bakugou didn't like to see people take advantage of others, and sexual coercion probably rubbed him the wrong way, like it did Eijirou.

“Oi, shitty hair, you still there?”

Kirishima shook his head quickly. “Right, um, I’m real sorry bro, but I don't know.”

“Well ask the group tonight, then,” Bakugou snapped. “One of those idiots is bound to know something.”

Kirishima nodded. “I will,” he promised, “I’ll text you to let you know what I find out.”

“Good,” Bakugou said. “I’m counting on you.” It was probably the closest thing to a thank-you that he felt comfortable giving.

Kirishima smiled. “I’ve got your back, bro.”

“You fuckin’ better,” Bakugou growled. “Talk to you later.”

“Bye,” Kirishima replied before hanging up. He sighed, glancing at the ejaculate-crusted spot on his bedspread. He had some cleaning up to do before the night’s dinner.

The relief Bakugou felt when he realized boring-face must have left after the confrontation was palpable. He wandered back to his corner, only to realize his coffee was now lukewarm, edging towards cold. Gross. He went to find another cup of coffee, and managed to drink most of it blissfully unmolested. Seated comfortably in the corner chair, he contented himself with watching the different alphas and omegas chatting and flirting. He didn't much like watching, but it was phenomenally better than being flirted with himself, so he endured. Arakaki seemed to be getting along quite well with her two alphas, especially big nose - er, Yamanaka. Apparently they’d found a topic of common interest in the pro hero Uravity, and had been speaking animatedly about her for some time, with distinguished scarecrow chiming in now and again. Bakugou couldn’t help but notice how the man’s gaze kept returning to him, though, a look of half-confusion on his face. Bakugou didn’t know if it was because the man was interested, because he suspected something, or if he was just wondering how Katsuki had gotten so damn fit. It didn’t really matter to Katsuki, so long as distinguished scarecrow kept his fucking hands (and tongue) to himself.

Sure enough, about twenty minutes later, distinguished scarecrow excused himself, leaving big nose and sundress girl to continue chatting animatedly. He walked across the room to the drink table, poured himself a glass of iced tea, added a slice of lemon, and then made his way over to Katsuki. “Bakugou, was it?” he asked, seating himself on the chair that boring-face had dragged over earlier.

Fucking hell, he was never going to escape the small talk, was he? “That’s me,” Katsuki answered. “What do you want?”

“I suppose I’m curious,” the man explained. “Why are you here, when you’re so obviously miserable?”

Katsuki barked a laugh at that. Oh, to be an oblivious alpha. “I’m being held here against my will, that’s why.”

The man's eyes widened in shock, as he obviously hadn't been expecting that answer. “I’m sorry?” he gasped, “I must be misunderstanding, I thought you said-”

“It’s called mandatory residency, look it up,” Bakugou interrupted him. “If you've submitted ten consecutive years of deferred mating paperwork as an omega and you’re trying to submit them an eleventh time, the government has decided that something must be wrong with you. So they created an initiative to increase the birth rate.” Bakugou spread his arms wide, sneering as he said, “Behold, your tax dollars at work.”

To his credit, distinguished scarecrow appeared aghast at this revelation. “You mean they forced you to come here?”

Katsuki shrugged, “It's not the type of enforceable initiative where they can send someone out to drag you to a heat-house, but they can slap you with a fine or misdemeanor charge for avoiding it. In my line of work, any sort of illegal activity has lasting, monumental consequences on one’s professional reputation, so here I am, fucking miserable.”

The alpha considered Katsuki for a long moment. “I’m guessing that mating and childbearing must not be an option, either, or you presumably would have gone that route.”

“First of all, sexual coercion is shitty and I shouldn't have to get pregnant just to get the government off my back.” Katsuki sighed. “Beyond that, though, my profession would definitely frown on pregnancy. I’d be forced to take an extended leave of absence and there is no room for that in my career path.”

“What is your career path, if you don't mind my asking?” Distinguished scarecrow leaned forward, curious.

“Pro Hero,” Katsuki answered dismissively.

The man blinked in surprise, then leaned back suddenly. “I insulted your profession earlier,” he said, obviously working out his thoughts verbally. “That was incredibly rude of me.” He turned to Katsuki. “I’m terribly sorry.”

“Don't be, it was an honest statement,” Katsuki replied. “If you said you hated heroes, that’s another story. But ambivalence? I don't give a fuck if you don't care about my job.”

Distinguished scarecrow nodded slowly. “Would I… would I have heard of you?” he asked carefully.

“Well you know about fucking Deku and Shouto, so probably,” Bakugou replied, sipping his coffee as he stared straight back at the alpha.

Shifting uncomfortably, distinguished scarecrow appeared to be wracking his brain for names. “Could I get a hint?” he finally asked.

Bakugou raised an eyebrow. “I go boom.”

Still struggling, the man shoved his glasses up his nose, staring right into Bakugou’s eyes. “I’m sorry,” he finally said, “I just don't know many omega heroes, and the ones I do know of don't look anything like-”

“Fuck you!” Katsuki roared, jumping to his feet, “Forget about the goddamn omegas and fucking look at me, asshole!” he gestured at his body dramatically before dropping into a fighting stance, his voice a low rumble as he added, “I’ll fuckin’ kill you!”

Distinguished scarecrow’s mouth fell open. “Ground Zero?” he whispered, his face all but draining of color.

Katsuki dropped back into his chair. “Fucking finally,” he grumbled, grabbing his coffee cup and taking another sip. It was getting cold again, dammit.

Distinguished scarecrow continued his goldfish impression for a few more seconds, opening and closing his mouth several times without saying anything. “Ground Zero is an omega,” he muttered to himself, then shook his head. “Well. That certainly explains why even a small legal infraction could potentially destroy your career, as would a pregnancy.” He gave Katsuki a sympathetic look. “What a difficult situation for you.”

“It would be less difficult if I didn't have to be on my best behavior to avoid being sent back here again next year,” Katsuki noted. “I seriously wanted to explode that fucker’s dick right off his body.”

Distinguished scarecrow - Matsumoto - swallowed nervously. “I… I’m glad you resisted the urge,” he said weakly, “I’m fairly certain that would also give you a criminal record.”

“Yeah,” Katsuki agreed sullenly, “but a man can dream.” He drained the last of his coffee and stood suddenly. “Well, I need a refill, so-”

“Please, allow me,” Matsumoto insisted, plucking Katsuki’s cup right out of his hand and hurrying over to the beverage table, refilling the cup with steaming hot coffee before hurrying back. “Here,” he handed the cup to Katsuki, who was staring at him with a mixture of disbelief and irritation.

“I can get my own fucking coffee,” Katsuki told him slowly, as if he were speaking to an idiot.

To his complete dismay, Matsumoto fucking blushed. “I know that,” he said quickly, almost stumbling over his words. “I just wanted to help, you seem to be having a difficult time, so I thought…” he trailed off, pinching his lips together in a straight line. “You didn't like it,” he observed. “It was upsetting.”

Katsuki decided to settle for the easiest response: repeating himself, since this jerk had obviously missed it the first time. “I. Can get. My own. Fucking. Coffee.” He stared at Matsumoto a second longer, then set the cup down on the table, resolving not to touch it again until the man left. “I’m not helpless, and if I wanted you to get me a cup of coffee, I would've damn well told you to get me a cup of coffee.”

To Bakugou’s utter fury, the man just chuckled. “Well I guess now we know why you're a mandatory resident,” he said, and for a moment, a cruel sneer stole across his features. “Not exactly pleasant, are you?”

“No,” Katsuki answered, “I’m not. I’m a fucking powerhouse, a recognized close-combat expert, and my quirk could level entire city blocks in a matter of minutes. I’m a lot of things, Matsumoto. Pleasant is not one of them.”

Matsumoto was considering Katsuki now, a glint in his eye. “You know, I like you,” he said after a moment. “You're not like other omegas.”

Katsuki stared at him dispassionately for several seconds longer than a comfortable pause could be expected to last, watching the tall, dark-haired man squirm. “Does saying shit like that usually work for you in places like this?” he finally asked.

Matsumoto’s face crinkled with a small frown. “I thought we were having a nice conversation earlier,” he said, “but now you've become so hostile.”

Katsuki snorted. “That's because you jumped from ‘curious’ to ‘controlling’ in about three seconds flat. Fuck that shit.” He sneered. “Besides, I came here with the intent to reject every alpha I meet and so far you haven't given me a single reason to change my mind.”

Matsumoto looked like he was ready to object, then he sighed. “You're right,” he agreed, “I made assumptions about you and what you wanted rather than asking you yourself, and I shouldn't have done that.” He stood carefully, gazing down at Katsuki, a hint of fondness softening his features as he said, “It was nice to meet you, Bakugou. Thank you for the engaging conversation.”

Katsuki just grunted in response. “Next time don't be such an ass,” he told Matsumoto. He didn't care if the man interpreted it as ‘next time you approach an omega’ or ‘next time you approach me’, the sentiment held true for either interpretation.

Matsumoto nodded, saying nothing more as he took his leave, wandering back out into the room to mingle with a few omegas who were apparently into stick-skinny tall guys with glasses.

Katsuki sighed, eyeing the coffee. It was still steaming… He took a sip, glancing around the room. No one appeared to be watching him anymore. Excellent. Maybe now he could finally get some peace.

This illusion was shattered mere minutes later when a staff member approached him. “Excuse me, mister Bakugou?”

Katsuki scowled. “Yes?”

“You have a reserved visitation in ten minutes, will you be seeing the alpha in your room, or the parlor?” The staff member’s face didn't betray any emotion, just a bland expression as she waited for Bakugou to answer, but Katsuki was reeling.

“Who the fuck even is it?” he demanded.

Shrugging her narrow shoulders, the staff member responded, “I believe the name he gave us was Adachi. Now. I need to know where you’ll be receiving him.”

Fuck! “Parlor,” Katsuki spat quickly, “When? You said ten minutes?”

She nodded carefully.

“Fuck!” Katsuki cursed, fumbling in his pocket, “Do I have time to make a phone call?”

The girl shrugged, “So long as you’re in the parlor in ten minutes,” she answered.

Katsuki nodded, coffee forgotten in his rush to find a private place to call his best friend. “Fine. Ten minutes,” he agreed, hurrying from the room. He dialed quickly, waiting through a few rings before Kirishima picked up.

“Bakugou?” he said breathlessly into the phone, “What’s up?”

“Yeah, I was just wondering,” Bakugou glanced at his watch (nine minutes), “is it possible for an omega to press charges against an alpha who harassed them if the harassment took place in a heat-house?”

Chapter Text

“Cheers!” Midoriya crowed, lifting his glass high in the air. The gathered heroes chimed in with their own cheer, clinking various drinks together.

“Ah man,” Kaminari said, taking a sip of his beer and sighing, “It’s been so long since any of us got together like this.”

Kirishima nodded, grabbing a few french fries and munching on them before turning to Midoriya. “I tried to get Bakugou to come, too, but he wasn't having it.”

Midoriya shrugged, “It’s his rut season, everyone understands.”

“Plus it means he can't use rut season as an excuse to miss the next one!” Ashido declared, taking a swig of her highball and setting it down heavily.

“I didn't realize any excuse one might give for not attending was single-use,” Todoroki observed, sipping his oolong tea and frowning thoughtfully.

“It isn’t,” Yaoyorozu assured him, shooting Ashido a distressed look as she snorted at that.

“Not technically,” the pink girl explained, “But I’ll still give you a hard time about using the same one twice.” She smirked, taking another drink.

Speaking of giving someone a hard time, Kirishima was still trying to figure out why Bakugou was asking Kirishima to do the research on the rights of a harassed omega. Surely Bakugou would have found more information if he’d chosen to research it himself, the man was far better at that than Kirishima.

Yeah but he’s busy knotting his omega, and you're not busy with anyone because you can't stop thinking about him. Kirishima reminded himself, staring into his drink like it might hold answers for him.

“Are you all right?” Asui asked, eyeing Kirishima with concern.

“I got a weird question from Bakugou,” Kirishima admitted, pointedly not mentioning that Bakugou had specifically called him to ask about it, for some weird reason.

“What was the question?” Uraraka asked, leaning forward curiously.

“He asked if, uh, if an omega being harassed in a heat-house had any right to take legal action,” Kirishima explained, “especially if they're a mandatory resident.”

Making a face, Midoriya leaned back. “Well, at least we know he wasn't lying about the rut season,” he said glibly.

“Is Bakugou going around harassing omegas in heat-houses?” Uraraka asked no-one in particular, before snickering, “honestly, the way he postures, he’d probably have most omegas assuming he’s harassing them before he even got close.”

“That’s not fair,” Midoriya replied before Kirishima had the chance to stand up for his friend. “You’ve been around him enough to know that he’s not the type to harass omegas.”

“True,” Uraraka admitted, “but you’ve got to admit he would definitely intimidate them. I bet omegas in a heat-house probably wouldn’t enjoy that either.”

Jumping in quickly before people could badmouth Bakugou any further, Kirishima struggled to explain. “It sounded like maybe he was seeing an omega get mistreated by another alpha, but he didn’t want to get kicked out of the heat-house himself,” Kirishima pointed out, not sure he wanted to go into the whole because he probably has an omega lover at that heat-house too and wouldn’t want to get kicked out, but he can’t just ignore something like that.  

Todoroki raised a solitary eyebrow. “That does sound like a dilemma for someone like Bakugou. After all, there are serious consequences for attacking another alpha in a heat-house.”

Uraraka clapped her hands suddenly, a delighted laugh bubbling out as she predicted, “He’s probably trying to figure out if there’s a legal precedent for beating up the other alpha without getting permanently banned from every heat-house in the city.”

“But he didn’t ask about that!” Kirishima exclaimed, “he asked if the omega could retaliate!”

That quieted his friends as they lapsed into sudden consideration. “That doesn’t sound like Bakugou,” Iida noted, sounding almost confused. “Why would he-”

“Kacchan understands the value of fighting your own battles,” Midoriya interrupted. “I guess he could sense that the omega wanted to fight back, but was afraid of legal retribution?” he looked at Kirishima, who was blinking in surprise.

He hadn’t even considered that, but of course it made sense now. Bakugou cared about giving other people the chance to fight their own battles, it’s part of why he hated it when other people jumped in to help him, or save him. He thought of it as ‘looking down’ on him, and it made him angry. Of course his instinct would be not to help, but rather to empower the omega to fight their own battle! “That makes so much sense,” Kirishima exclaimed, “I was wondering all afternoon why on earth Bakugou would ask something like that, but of course he’d rather see an omega fight their own battle than trying to save them.”

Midoriya chuckled. “Kacchan’s first instinct will always be winning, not rescuing. I guess that’s just part of who he is.”

“I’m just glad he’s gotten better at recognizing that rescuing is part of winning, just as winning is part of rescuing,” Ashido pointed out. “Otherwise he’d be a pain to work with.”

“He still is a pain to work with,” Kaminari groaned, draining his glass and slamming it down on the table for emphasis. “But at least he’s trying.”

Kirishima chuckled. “Yeah, but we still haven’t answered his question, and he’s going to be pissed if I don’t figure out an answer for him.”

Uraraka frowned thoughtfully. “I think that the biggest problem to deal with is the mandatory residence issue.”

“What even is that?” Kaminari demanded, “I’ve never heard of it.”

Uraraka blushed a little. “Well, you know that heat-houses are for omegas looking for suitors, and if you don’t have a bond-mate, or anyone you’re interested in, it’s a good place to find a mate.”

Everyone at the table nodded, pointedly not looking too closely at anyone else at the table. They may have been dear friends and staunch allies, but talking about intimate matters was still awkward.

“So... what’s an omega to do if they don’t want a mate?” Uraraka prompted.

“You fill out paperwork…?” Iida didn’t sound as confident as usual, glancing cautiously in Uraraka’s direction.

“Yeah,” Uraraka agreed, “But if an omega submits deferred mating paperwork for more than ten consecutive years, the government mandates that the omega in question check in to a heat-house for their next rut season.”

“They can’t just make an omega mate!” Midoriya was leaning forward, sounding concerned, “That’s wrong!”

“No,” Uraraka said, a troubled look crossing her features, “They can’t make an omega mate, but they can make it very easy to mate. Send them to a heat-house. Make sure they participate in a lot of courting activities around the place for a week. Try to hinder access to suppressants. If the omega doesn’t cooperate with everything to the letter, then the administrator of the heat-house can submit paperwork requesting that the omega come back for another visit the next rut season.”  

Everyone else at the table was sitting back in their seats, staring at her.

“That’s… awful,” Kirishima finally whispered. “So that’s why Bakugou was asking - he needed to know if there was a way for an omega to even try fighting back without sabotaging themselves.”

“Even if the omega chased the offending alpha away once, they’d have to go back to the heat-house the next rut season, and every rut season after that, until the heat-house administration was satisfied,” Midoriya whispered. “They’d have to keep facing the alpha who harassed them. Again and again.”

“Their hands would be tied,” Uraraka verified. “It’s pretty terrible to think about.”

“You’re not going to - I mean, you’d tell us if you were slated for mandatory residence, right?” Midoriya asked Uraraka, turning to her with a look of concern.

“Yes, Deku,” she replied, shoving his shoulder fondly, “But you don’t need to worry about that for at least another ten years,” she added with a slow wink.

It took a moment for the message to sink in. When it did, Midoriya stiffened, his face turning bright red. “Oh! Oh no, I shouldn’t have presumed, I totally forgot the ten year thing!”

Uraraka rolled her eyes at Midoriya’s continued sputtering. “But we still haven’t answered the question being asked here,” she reminded the group, a small frown creasing her brow as she continued. “Is there anything an omega can do about harassment if they’re a mandatory resident?”

Katsuki stood outside the door to the parlor, cursing internally. He was this close to going in, exploding the whole place, and just leaving this whole damn mess behind him. But his career. His life. He couldn’t walk away from it, not that easily, and especially not because some fucking handsy alpha assumed that he could get away with whatever the hell he wanted to simply because Katsuki was an omega. The very idea of it made him want to spit. How dare he look down on Katsuki like that? It was mind-boggling. If he weren't in a fucking heat-house he would have snapped him like a twig! He didn't even need his quirk to do it, the man was pathetically small .

You know better than to underestimate someone based on appearance, he reminded himself. You're Ground Fucking Zero, don't let this asshole make you forget that his size is irrelevant in this situation. He’s still an opponent. Just… not the sort you’re used to.

With a sigh, Katsuki pushed the double doors open, entering the parlor. It wasn't totally private, though it was far less busy than the socialization room downstairs. A few couples sat together in scattered seats about the room. Some sat stiffly, discomfort radiating off of them, while others seemed… very interested in each other. Bakugou had barely made it two steps through the door when he felt a hand settle on his arm.

“So glad you could make it…” Adachi purred, his dark eyes glinting like polished obsidian in the dim mood-lighting of the parlor, “... Katsuki.” He added, the name rolling languidly from his tongue like he had savored the feel of it in his mouth before tossing it into the air between them.

Fucking presumptuous bastard. Katsuki wanted to incinerate him on the spot, but instead he gritted his teeth and tried to remain calm. Adachi began to put pressure on his elbow, trying to guide him across the room. As if Katsuki was going to let him pull shit like that. He turned away from where Adachi seemed to want to go, heading straight for two overstuffed chairs, throwing himself down into one, glaring balefully up at Adachi, who had a look if mild irritation marring his otherwise nondescript features. Quickly recovering from the indignity of an omega refusing to cooperate, Adachi settled down in Bakugou’s lap with a sneer, apparently preferring this to seating himself in the other chair like any normal person would. Katsuki growled, seconds away from shoving the pushy alpha off his lap and onto the floor when Adachi leaned in, once more inhaling deeply at the point where Katsuki’s neck met his shoulder. The sensation had Katsuki stiffening almost instinctively.

He better not lick me again, Katsuki thought, and felt the gentle scrape of teeth against his scent gland, a pressure that grew with each moment, threatening to break the skin. Suddenly licking was the last thing on Katsuki’s mind. He wouldn't dare mark me without my consent, Bakugou thought frantically. He wouldn't. Fucking hell, he didn't even care if it got him sent to prison at this point, he was going to murder this alpha, he was going to - !

“I don't like the smell of those pills in you,” Adachi almost pouted in his ear, one of his hands trailing across Katsuki’s chest, then clutched at his jacket suddenly, drawing out - Fuck. Shit. No, he couldn't have…

In his hand, he held one of Katsuki’s suppressant caches. “I haven't told the staff you're keeping them on you… yet, ” Adachi cooed, leaning his whole torso up against Bakugou’s with an exaggerated sigh of comfort. “But I could.”

He mimed crushing the pills in his hand, and Bakugou flinched instinctively, immediately cursing himself for betraying valuable information. Adachi had just verified that Katsuki needed those pills, that they were important to him and he didn't want them taken away or destroyed.

Adachi chuckled in his ear, tucking the pills back into Katsuki’s jacket and patting the inner pocket almost patronizingly. Slowly, grazing the tips of his fingers along the swath of Katsuki’s chest and up the side of his neck, Adachi’s touch sent a shudder curling involuntarily down Katsuki’s spine… fuck, he hadn't even known he was sensitive there, until this fucker had started pawing at him.

“Don't worry, Katsuki,” Adachi murmured, then dropped his voice even lower, his breath ghosting across Bakugou’s earlobe, “If you’ll be a good omega for me, I won't tell. I promise.” He leaned back, his boring face twisting with an expression of such pure spite, it sent a tendril of anxiety worming through Bakugou.

Adachi knows what he’s doing, Bakugou realized, the thought making him even more uncomfortable than the weight of the alpha sprawled all over him. He’s done this before. Probably countless times. A sudden fury took hold of him at that. Adachi had picked Katsuki because he knew Katsuki had suppressants, wanted to keep taking them for the duration of his visit, and couldn't count on the staff to supply him with more if he requested it. Oh, shit, Bakugou’s dismay ran through him in a shudder, not only has he done this before, he specifically targets mandatory residents.

...I’m fucked.

“So you all really expect me to tell Bakugou that an omega’s best option is to find another alpha who's willing to help?” Kirishima glanced around the table, disappointment causing his shoulders to slump. “He won't like it,” he added, a note of warning in his tone.

“Restraining orders are only used for acts of violence or death threats,” Iida reminded him for the third time in as many minutes. “Technically speaking, harassment isn't illegal.”

Midoriya spoke up after that, his voice heavy. “If it got really bad, you might catch the alpha with a forced indecency charge, but…” the usual cheerful gleam in the young man’s green eyes seemed to dim. “It’s hard enough to prosecute for rape, trying to get an alpha with an indecency charge would be even harder, especially somewhere like a heat-house.”

Kirishima stared down at his phone bleakly. I’m gonna have to tell Bakugou to choose between his omega, and another omega’s safety, he realized. That's not going to go over well. “I guess I’ll tell him it’s hopeless,” Kirishima said, not making a move to text his friend just yet.

“Isn't he at that heat-house for rut season, though?” Uraraka asked. “He could just stick close to the omega…” she frowned. “Except Bakugou’s not exactly a comforting presence…”

Understatement of the year, said the myriad glances cast around the table.

“Doesn't your rut season start tomorrow?” Kaminari asked Kirishima.

“Day after tomorrow,” Eijirou corrected him. “Why?”

“I believe Kaminari is recommending that you go and assist the omega in question,” Iida explained.

“You couldn't be any worse at it than Bakugou,” Todoroki added, though it was hard to tell if he was trying to encourage Eijirou or just shit on their explosive friend. Probably a little bit of both.

I really, really don't want to go to the place where Bakugou’s spending his rut with an omega, Kirishima thought desperately, then mentally slapped himself. This omega needs help! I’m supposed to be a hero. I can't let my emotions keep me from doing what’s right! “I guess I could text Bakugou and tell him our idea, but… Maybe he doesn't want me barging in on his rut season.”

Another flurry of exchanged glances darted between the gathered heroes before Midoriya finally ventured, “I think if anyone could crash Kacchan’s rut season without being verbally eviscerated, it would be you,” he shrugged sheepishly. “It can't hurt to offer, at least?”

Kirishima nodded, eyeing his phone warily. “He’s still going to hate hearing that the omega can't do anything on their own.”

“Yeah,” Ashido agreed, subdued. “But maybe he can try and help that omega in the meantime.” She looked to each of her friends seated around the table in turn, her expression brightening a little. “That has to count for something, right?”

Thirty minutes. Thirty fucking minutes of Adachi teasing him, playing with his hair, stroking his chest, nibbling on his earlobe, licking his neck… At least he hadn't tried to kiss Katsuki, though at this point Bakugou was still wondering what his limits were when the alternative was going into heat.

He couldn't give up his suppressants, no matter what boring face did to him. He hadn't gone into heat for a whole fucking year. Most omegas abstained for a maximum of six months, and his doctor was constantly warning him that putting off an essential biological function for such an extended period of time could cause his heat to be more… overwhelming. His doctor was not prone to exaggeration; Bakugou had experienced the sheer mindlessness to which an unsuppressed heat drove him.

If he went into heat here, he would end up mating any alpha, the first fucking alpha to walk in the room. The very idea was horrifying - if he wasn't in control of himself, how could he be sure that the alpha he ended up with wouldn't take advantage of him, of his heat, and knot him, or even impregnate him? What if the alpha marked him, bit him, or tried to bond with him? Those were all things he craved in the throes of passion, when his heat took him, things he would fucking regret as soon as he was back in his right mind. He didn't want a fucking alpha, he just wanted to be left alone.

Having been less than gracefully extricated from Adachi’s smothering attentions by an uncomfortable-looking staff member, Katsuki fled the parlor like his ass was on fire. He made it almost 20 steps before remembering the staff person had mentioned “dinner” and dug out his stupid laminated schedule. Sure enough, it was apparently mealtime for him. With a low growl, Katsuki stomped down the hall. He didn't fucking know where the cafeteria was, but he was certain he’d come across someone before long. Unfortunately, the man he found was one of the last people he wanted to see.

“Ah, Bakugou, was it?” distinguished scarecrow nudged at the glasses perched on his nose, gazing down at him with a flicker of interest in his gaze. “Arakaki and Yamanaka were hoping you would join us for dinner.”

Katsuki eyed him suspiciously. “Really?”

Matsumoto nodded his head carefully. “If you would rather accompany someone else -”

Oh shit, what if Adachi requests dinner with me too? “I don't have any dinner plans,” Katsuki interrupted him quickly. “Let’s go.”

Matsumoto dipped his head in a nod of acknowledgement and began walking back in the direction he’d come from. “I am sorry about earlier,” he said after a long stretch of nothing but the sound of two men striding down a hallway.

For a moment, Katsuki couldn't remember what he was talking about. Oh, right, the coffee. “It's whatever,” he told the alpha, “just… ask, before you do something like that.”

“I know that now, and I’m sorry about the coffee, too,” Matsumoto replied, “but I also took offense over a petty remark, when I should have been more conscious of your discomfort. That’s what I was apologizing for, my lack of attention to your desires.”

Katsuki scowled. He hated people who apologized constantly, it meant they were either thoughtless, or only considered their actions from an outside perspective. People like that lacked consistency, because they never cared about their own choices or decisions enough to stand up to people who might oppose their viewpoint. Katsuki preferred to do what he thought was best and not worry about what anyone else thought, so appeals to external morality or another’s whim really did nothing to move him. Strength of character wasn't exactly the right way to define it, but there was something to be said for always knowing where you stood with someone. Matsumoto apparently lacked this. Or else he was an impulsive creep - or, Katsuki paused to consider, a liar. None of these made Bakugou feel better about distinguished scarecrow, but at least he wasn't blackmailing Katsuki. (Yet.)

“You mean you've never seen someone get upset at you for taking something away from them without asking first?” Katsuki prompted, giving Matsumoto a look.

“I didn't -” Matsumoto blinked, obviously reconsidering Bakugou’s exact wording and realizing the analysis of the situation was technically correct. He stiffened a little, then continued in a defensive tone of voice. “But I gave it back, I was helping-”

“Have you ever had someone get mad at you for trying to help them when they didn't need it?” Katsuki pressed, still not letting this one go.

“I suppose so, but omegas like to be cared for-”

“Who the fuck told you that omegas aren't people?” Katsuki demanded hotly.

“Of course omegas are people!” Matsumoto protested, “you’re twisting my words -”

“No, you're being fucking disingenuous and intellectually dishonest,” Katsuki shot back.

Matsumoto drew up short. “How dare you!” he snapped, “I was trying to-”

“Shove a pithy, meaningless apology down my throat and expecting me to thank you?” Bakugou challenged, crossing muscular arms over his broad chest and leveling a stare that could melt through solid steel in his direction. “I already told you, I’m not nice. I don't accept apologies just to keep the peace or some shit. If you're going to come up to me and apologize, you either mean it, or you fucking shove it where the sun don't shine, because I don't want to fucking hear it. I. Don't. Care.”

Matsumoto took a shallow breath, eyes wide behind the wire rims of his corrective lenses. “I… that’s twice now I’ve misjudged you,” he said, his cheeks touched with a hint of redness. “You're not like most omegas, Bakugou. You're…”

“A mandatory fucking resident,” Bakugou told him sharply. “That’s all. Not special. Just tired of this shit.”

Matsumoto nodded, appearing thoughtful. “Understood. Will you still be joining us for dinner?”

Katsuki sighed. “Only if you promise not to apologize again.”

Matsumoto resumed walking down the hallway. “You have my word,” he said magnanimously.

For whatever that's worth, Bakugou thought skeptically, rolling his eyes as he followed the tall man down the long, empty hallway.

Chapter Text

Kirishima’s thumb hovered over the send button. He wasn't sure why he was so hesitant. At least, that was the lie he kept telling himself in hopes that it would become true. In actuality, he knew exactly why he was feeling hesitant. It was just a simple message, so why couldn’t he send it? Steeling himself, Kirishima pressed the icon, sending the text to Bakugou and ignoring the sinking feeling in his stomach. He didn't want to ruin his friend’s rut season with extra obligations… or did he? Was he doing this out of selfish motivation? Was he only telling Bakugou that this mandatory resident omega was in dire straits so that his friend would be forced to choose between mating his lover and helping the omega? Kirishima stared glumly down at the message. It was too late to second-guess himself; he’d sent it now, and he wasn't taking it back.

Me: Hey man so i asked everyone at dinner tonight about the mandatory resident thing and it looks like legally the omega doesn't have an option besides getting another alpha to help them. It's pretty shitty, so maybe if you could keep an eye on them…

Kirishima shook his head, debating whether or not to offer what Kaminari had suggested at dinner. He really didn't want to see Bakugou with an omega draped all over him, enjoying their attentions in a way he could never enjoy Eijirou’s. Sighing, he realized that he was being selfish. This omega was in a bad situation and his feelings weren't more important than their safety. That decided, he quickly sent off a second message.

Me: I’m on my rut season the day after tomorrow, and I’m not doing anything for that except filling out the usual deferred mating paperwork, so if you think it might help, I could come play bodyguard, too.

Kirishima held his breath for a moment, then released it in a whoosh. He didn't want to do this, but he also couldn't justify doing nothing. Part of him hoped that Bakugou would tell him not to come - it would be so much easier.

His phone buzzed as Bakugou’s response came in.

Baku-bro: Fuck, yes, come ASAP. This whole thing is so awkward. Alphas are fucking assholes I swear.

Kirishima chuckled to himself. “Takes one to know one,” he murmured, though wisely refrained from saying as much to Bakugou.

Me: You mean come as soon as my rut season starts, right?

Me: Because it would be weird for me to just skip a day of work to come to a heat-house when my rut started literally the next day, right?

Kirishima stared at his phone, waiting for Bakugou to answer. Surely Bakugou wasn’t so desperate to rut that he would ask Eijirou to skip a day of work… right? He chewed on his lip, hating how nervous he felt and knowing that it was a useless feeling. He couldn’t make Bakugou want him, so what did it matter how desperate Bakugou was to get it on with his omega mate? His phone buzzed.

Baku-bro: Just come when your rut season starts, its not the end of the fucking world, it’s just some harassment.

Kirishima exhaled a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding as he read the message. Bakugou didn’t seem frantic, so maybe he wasn’t that interested in his omega. He knew he was grasping at straws, but he didn’t care. He just wanted Bakugou to not…  What? Kirishima felt his stomach churning at the thought. Did he not want Bakugou to be happy? Was he really such a bad friend that he would wish Bakugou to be as miserable as he was, just because the two of them couldn’t be together?

Me: ok cool. where can I find this harassed omega?

Baku-bro: I’m at a place called The Gentle Embrace.

Kirishima laughed aloud.

Me: That’s an awful name for a heat-house.

Baku-bro: I didn’t fucking name it, it’s just where I’m staying. Lodge your complaint with the owner, if it’s that offensive to you.

Kirishima snorted. If anyone was likely to lodge a complaint over something as petty as the name of an establishment, it would be Bakugou.

Me: The Gentle Embrace heat-house. Got it. What time should I meet you there?

Baku-bro: As early as fucking possible.

Kirishima was already on his computer, pulling up the homepage for the heat-house in question.

Me: They open at eight AM! How does that sound?

Baku-bro: Fan-fucking-tastic.

Kirishima smiled, already looking forward to seeing Bakugou… even if it was at a heat-house where he would find himself surrounded by omegas hell-bent on draping themselves all over him (or at least, that's what he expected if The Gentle Embrace was anything like the last heat-house he visited). Still. If it was for Bakugou, he’d do pretty much anything.

“The food here looks pretty good, doesn’t it?” Arakaki commented, eyeing her plate with relish. She’d ordered a hamburger steak with a side of corn and fried potatoes. It looked pretty damn appetizing.

“It does,” Big nose - er - Yamanaka agreed. He seemed hungry, seeing as he’d ordered one of the largest platters on the menu. Sausages, chicken, hamburger steak, plus fried potatoes, corn, salad, and rice on the side. He frowned then, turning to Arakaki. “Have you not eaten here before? I thought you said you’d been here for a week.”

Ducking her head, sundress girl tried to hide a blush. “It’s the first time I’ve been invited to join an alpha for dinner,” she explained. “Usually I just eat in the cafeteria.”

Yamanaka’s forehead wrinkled a little as he considered that. “So you can’t have dinner here unless you’re accompanied? That doesn’t seem fair, don’t you pay for the services of this place too?”

Arakaki shrugged. “I pay a nominal fee, but most of the income is generated from visitors, not residents.”

Matsumoto considered his miso-marinated fish thoughtfully. “I hadn’t considered that,” he commented.

Bakugou was going to say something mulish in response, but restrained himself, choosing instead to take a bite of his katsu curry, extra spicy. Still not spicy enough, though. He scowled and grabbed the seven-spice chili powder sitting on the table and shook it over his curry for about ten seconds straight before realizing all further conversation at the table had ceased. He looked up to discover that all three of the table’s occupants were gaping at him. “What?” he demanded irritably, setting the chili powder down with an audible thunk.

“You ordered the extra-spicy curry, didn’t you?” Matsumoto finally asked, sounding like he was half-choking on the question.

“Yeah,” Katsuki answered, “Wasn’t fucking spicy enough, though.”

Yamanaka made a strangled noise. “I guess that would explain why you dumped half a bottle of shichimi togarashi on top of it.”

Katsuki eyed the small shaker in question. “I barely used a quarter of what was in there,” he said finally, turning to give big nose the stink eye. “Don’t exaggerate.”

Yamanaka nodded. “Right. Wow. Okay. So you like very spicy food, then?”

“Hell yes,” Katsuki agreed, “I should have brought my hot sauce with me, tabasco is for babies.”

“Oh my god, I can’t even use tabasco, what is he?” Yamanaka muttered, glancing to Arakaki for support.

For her part, the young woman simply grinned. “You must have an iron stomach.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve eaten spicy food most of my life,” Katsuki replied easily. “I got used to it.” He stirred the chili powder into his curry and took another bite. Passable. He continued eating.

The conversation continued from there, Matsumoto managing to affect a semblance of cordiality without trying to make another one of his asinine apologies, which Katsuki appreciated. Before long, Arakaki and Yamanaka started making goo-goo eyes at each other across the table, though they atoned for this sin by filling the air with enough conversation that Katsuki was able to avoid making the usual obligatory small talk.

After dinner, he was able to retire to his room for the evening. The first thing he did was look for his suppressants. To his dismay, it appeared that the cleaning staff had found two of the three packets stashed around the room - including one that had been hidden in the inner pocket of his hanging jacket! The fuckers had gone through his clothes. Furious and feeling violated, Bakugou took his night dose of suppressants from the packet he’d stashed in the jacket he’d been wearing - the one that the fucking creep had pulled out to threaten him. Had Adachi told the staff to search his room for pills, or was that standard protocol? He decided he would blame Adachi for it anyway because he was the fucking worst.

He was about to get in the shower when his phone buzzed at him. It was from Kirishima. He felt his blood begin to boil with impotent rage as he read the first message. Why the hell should his only option be to get another alpha to just hover around him? He didn’t want any alphas, he just wanted to be left the hell alone! Fucking bullshit, that’s what that was. Hell, even round-face hadn’t had a better idea? So much for trusting Pro Heroes to have any viable solutions. Assholes, the whole lot of them.

The second message came in just as he was really starting to get pissed off, and it stopped him cold, his guts feeling like they were shrivelling up inside him. Kirishima was willing to come himself? He knew he’d just said he didn’t want an alpha hovering around, but Kirishima didn’t hover, he just… Fuck. With his bright eyes, that tenacious grin, and an outstretched hand, he’d shown before that he could reach Katsuki in a way no other person could. It was the only bright point of the whole wretched kidnapping experience, hearing his friend’s voice ringing in his ears, calling him. Come! Bakugou hadn’t been able to refuse him then, nor could he refuse him now. Even when Bakugou had been at his lowest, Kirishima hadn’t seen what he’d done as saving Bakugou, but working together to do what they could to improve a terrible situation. So on the one hand, while Katsuki couldn’t stand the idea of some asshole alpha hovering over him, he knew Kirishima wouldn’t do that. He’d stand together with Katsuki. And much as he hated to admit it, Katsuki needed someone to stand beside him now.

Fuck, did he hate to admit it, though. There had to be a better solution, but honestly if he had to choose between dealing with Adachi or Kirishima for the rest of his stay, he knew exactly who he’d rather spend his days with. That decided, he replied to the texts from Kirishima, and the two of them arranged a reasonable time and day for Kirishima to come. Katsuki hated to admit how relieved he felt, just knowing that Kirishima was on his way. But he comforted himself with the knowledge that this was a sensible, reasonable reaction that had nothing to do with being weak or helpless. After all, even in the field, there were times when a Pro Hero realized they couldn’t handle shit on their own. There was no shame in calling for backup, and that’s all this was. Calling for backup.

At least, that’s what Katsuki kept telling himself. With a heavy sigh, he shed his clothes and climbed into the shower, turning the heat up to try and wash away some of the tension in his knotted muscles. He’d been so fucking stiff sitting under Adachi in the parlor, and they didn't even have a fitness facility here to help him work out the stiffness!

With a scowl, Bakugou promised himself he'd get up early to at least fit in a quick workout in his room, maybe go for a jog around the heat-house if he could. Alpha visits didn't start until eight, so if he got up at four-thirty, he could get a decent two plus hours of exercise with enough time to shower, eat, and then wander down to fucking socialization. As Bakugou washed his hair with the provided shampoo and conditioner, he scowled at the flowery scent that lingered in the air after using them. Gross. He should have thought to bring toiletries along from home, too. For a moment he considered asking Kirishima to bring him some from his apartment - would that be weird? Probably. He’d see how he felt after spending a whole day smelling like a bouquet of roses. If it really pissed him off, he’d just tell Kirishima to grab some of his stuff from his apartment and bring it with him when he came the day after next.

The thought sent a thrill through him. He still wasn't sure how to feel about that; on the one hand, “revealing” his status as an omega to Kirishima felt risky - but then again, the man respected and fought beside round-face without an issue. It might hurt his chances with the red-haired hero romantically to reveal the truth, but it probably wouldn't affect their friendship. At least, he hoped it wouldn't. He groaned, leaning his head back into the hot spray of the shower. Of course it wouldn't affect their friendship, Kirishima wasn't the type to get weird about things like who was alpha or omega.

Most Pro Heroes didn't give a fuck about shit like that anyway. They all used suppressants or blockers on the job, since it drastically reduced the likelihood of being affected by side effects of one’s nature. Omegas were nearly immune to alpha commands on suppressants, while alphas were able to resist posturing and territorial behaviors with their blockers. On top of that, all Pro Heroes - even betas - used scent neutralizers. They were all functionally scentless-betas in order to appear consistent and trustworthy to all members of the population. He’d all but forgotten how disgusting most “regular” alphas could be, and the blame could be placed squarely on the fact that he spent most of his time with Pro Heroes who were very careful to control their instincts.

Still, no matter how many times he repeated the phrase “backup” to himself, it still grated on him that he would be forced to rely on Kirishima just to get Adachi to leave him alone. It was more than wounded pride, though. Bakugou didn't want to rely on Kirishima for something as mundane as merely dealing with bullshit like some asshole, he wanted… more.

Katsuki tried to shake the thought away even as it entered his mind. None of that fucking mattered anyway. Kirishima was into alphas. But as the warm water continued running down his body, his mind wandered.

Kirishima’s eyes are wide, gazing at him with confusion glinting in their scarlet depths. “ What do you mean?” he asks, like an idiot. “It doesn't matter if you're an omega, you're strong and manly!”

Goddammit, even in his own fantasies Kirishima took too damn long to get to the point. The hot water wasn’t going to last long, best to skip to the good part, Katsuki decided, pressing the tip of his finger at his puckered entrance, imagining Kirishima’s gasp of “you're so tight,” before easing it in up to the first knuckle. It burned a little, because of course it did, he hadn't exactly lubed up and a relaxing shower only went so far. Still, with a little help from his imagination, the imagined sensation of Kirishima pressing against him, phantom rumbles of the other man’s warm baritone in his ear, Katsuki worked his finger deeper, adding a second and curling them deeper inside. It was an awkward angle, and part of him screamed that it wasn't enough, the part of himself that he’d been suppressing for a year now, the part of him that demanded a knot, an alpha, a bond-mate. But all Katsuki could offer was his own hand and empty fantasies, and it wasn’t enough .

He groaned, feeling Kirishima’s strong arms encircle him as he ran his own hand along his body, imagining the satisfied rumble in Kirishima’s chest as he felt Katsuki quiver beneath him. Teasing at his mating gland with his fingers, Katsuki’s breath caught in his throat as suddenly Adachi’s face swam into his mind, obscuring Kirishima and sending a shudder of disgust coursing through him. Katsuki pulled his fingers out of himself, panting and feeling filthy. Why the fuck had boring-face appeared in his mind? Was he really so touch-starved that even the unwanted advances of a manipulative alpha were enough to make a lasting impression on him? He hoped not, shit!

His dick was flaccid now, he hadn't come and couldn't bring himself to try again because what if he fucking came at the thought of Adachi? He shut off the water, which was now growing cold, and exited the shower, toweling off. He was frustrated, both sexually and emotionally. He didn't want to think about Adachi, especially when his omega nature reared its ugly head. But how could he keep something like that from happening again when he wasn't entirely sure what had caused it in the first place? Had it been the fucking touching? If that was all it took, maybe he could convince Kirishima to…

Fuck, and how the hell was he going to explain that? “Every time I try to get off I see this asshole’s face, so could you fucking cuddle me and lick me and touch me all over so I can imagine you instead?” As if. He would rather die first. Or never masturbate again. Whichever turned out to be easier.

With a scowl, Bakugou threw himself on the bed, crawling under the covers and setting his alarm for the morning. At least he could work off his frustration with a workout the next day. Small mercies.

Besides, he only had to last one more day until Kirishima would be here to tell Adachi to fuck the hell off. Hopefully his friend wouldn’t be too pissed at him for never correcting the common misconception that Ground Zero and Red Riot were both alphas. Katsuki was fairly certain that Kirishima wouldn’t be angry, though he knew with certainty that the guy was not romantically interested in omegas, so he was under no illusions that Kirishima would want to…

“Well, if all we need to do to get you out of here is have an alpha mate you, why don’t we just…?”

Fuck. Groaning, Katsuki pulled his blankets over his head and gritted his teeth. This place was the fucking worst, and his fantasies were getting more gross the longer he put off his heat. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to handle another whole year of this bullshit, but he couldn’t exactly request another rut season from the agency. That would raise all sorts of questions he didn’t want to fucking deal with, like the fact that he’d been forced into mandatory residency. At least he could trust Kirishima to keep his mouth shut about it.

He wanted more than mere silence from Kirishima, but he would never ask his friend for more than that. It wouldn’t be fair; Kirishima cared so much for people, for his friends, that he would think nothing of sacrificing his comfort to take care of Katsuki. But Katsuki didn’t want to be merely cared for, he wanted Kirishima fucking Eijirou. All of him. And he knew, he knew, that Kirishima couldn’t reciprocate those desires. It was better for Katsuki to just pretend he wanted nothing at all to do with alphas - that was infinitely easier than watching Kirishima try to love him... and ultimately fail. Kirishima couldn’t give Katsuki what he really needed, and it would be cruel to ask him to try. Eijirou deserved better than whatever the hell it was Katsuki had going for him.

With a heavy sigh, Katsuki rolled over and faced the door, scowling in the darkness of his small, modestly-furnished room. One more day until Kirishima came, and then five more days ‘til he could leave this godawful place. He couldn't fucking wait.

Chapter Text

When a knock startled him from his slumber, Bakugou’s first response was utter fury . Who the hell was pounding on his door at… (he squinted blearily at his alarm clock) one o'clock in the goddamn morning? Fumbling for his nightstand lamp, he nearly knocked it over before finding the light switch. It was like a fucking spotlight, searing his retinas and filling his vision with purple spots. He cursed, rolling himself out of bed and staggering to the door.

“This better be fucking good,” he snarled, yanking the door open furiously.

Blinking up at him was sundress girl - Arakaki - in pajamas, a strained look on her face. “I’m sorry for waking you,” she said, then added, “I need your help.”

Bakugou scowled. If it had been literally anyone else he could have turned them away, but dammit, he owed this girl for showing him around, and she was a tough cookie besides that. If something had her upset, it must be serious. “Come in,” Bakugou said as he pulled the door open, stomping back across the room and sitting cross-legged on his bed. Arakaki entered hesitantly, shutting the door behind herself and hovering awkwardly near the door for several seconds before finally crossing the room and taking a seat beside him, since the room was not furnished with any other places to sit.

“Sorry to wake you,” she apologized. “I was out late.” She blushed a little at this admission, and Katsuki fought to keep his eye rolls to a minimum. “I didn't realize until I got back, but… my suppressants are gone.”

Bakugou inhaled sharply. “But you're not even a mandatory resident, why the fuck would they search your room?”

The young woman shrugged, her face downcast. “I don't know,” she confessed, “I started them before coming here because it's easy to have your heat triggered early by another omega. To avoid that I went on suppressants. If I go off them, I’ll go into heat within the next twenty-four hours.” She glanced up at Katsuki in supplication. “I haven't had my evening dose, so I’ll probably be in heat by morning, unless…”

Fuck. Katsuki closed his eyes briefly, cursing his luck. He stood then, moving over to his wardrobe and withdrawing one of his two-day packets he’d stowed in a pants pocket. He moved back to the bed and handed it to Arakaki. “I take Enaphrin, twenty milligram tablets,” he told her, “That's not going to be a problem?”

“I take the generic version of that, but only ten mil,” she answered, straightening up a little, eyeing the packet. “I’ll break them in half.”

Great, so that meant she'd have a four-day supply, and Katsuki still had exactly seven days left of his own dosage. He frowned, turning to Arakaki. “Do you know anyone who could bring you a refill? I can't comfortably give you more than what you have there, but it should last until you get a new bottle.”

Arakaki winced a little. “Actually… I don’t know anyone. I’m new in town. Moved here with my fiancé a little over a month ago for his job.”

Katsuki raised an eyebrow. “So why the fuck are you here?” In a heat house, he didn't add, because he felt it was implied.

“It turned out that he was moving closer to more than just his job,” sundress girl spat, tangling her fingers in the hem of her pajama shirt. “When I found out he’d been cheating for almost a year now… It wasn't pretty. Anyway, we broke up last week. He said he couldn't stand the idea of spending even one more heat with me, so…” She put on a brave face, but it obviously still hurt her to talk about the breakup. “I signed up for a month here, and since I haven't even found a job in town yet, it wasn't hard to make the time. I just moved all my stuff from our apartment to here.” She chuckled bitterly, “Most of it wasn't even unpacked yet.” She bit her lip. “Frankly, I don't even know where I’m staying after this month. I’ll probably just go back to my parents’ house, at least for now.”

Katsuki stared at her for a long moment. He wanted to complain about not wanting her life story, but... he’d technically asked, so that was on him. Instead, he just scowled at how her situation complicated things. “So you don't know anyone around here? At all?” he knew he was repeating himself, but damn.

The woman shook her head dejectedly, before shooting a sneer his direction. “The only person I know besides my ex is you,” she said. “And Yamanaka,” she added a moment later, trying to aim her tone of voice for ‘casual’ and not really succeeding.

“Right,” Katsuki pulled out his phone, ignoring the fact that this girl was obviously insane to list him as someone she ‘knew’, “Do you at least know a place where you can get some more pills?”

She nodded. “I got my first bottle over-the-counter from the pharmacy just down the street. I didn't need the suppressants until coming to The Gentle Embrace , so…”

Katsuki nodded, pulling up a map application and searching for nearby pharmacies. “Is it Tomod’s?” he asked her, noting the nearest drugstore on the map.

She nodded. “Yes…?”

“Do you need the ten-day bottle or the thirty-day one?” he asked, closing the app and setting his phone back down.

“I’m not sure,” Arakaki admitted, frowning and counting on her fingers, muttering to herself, “Maybe twenty days? Will that be enough to finish out my month? I need to check my calendar.” A frown crossed her delicate features as another thought seemed to take hold. “… I’m sorry, how are you going to get the pills?” she was giving him a strange look. “If either of us leaves this place without an alpha it's a breach of contract, so-”

“A friend of mine is coming the day after- well, it's technically tomorrow, now,” he glowered at the clock, which read 1:18 before turning to face her completely. “I can have him pick them up on his way in.”

Arakaki frowned at him. “Why are you having a friend come here? They don't let betas -”

“He's an alpha, it's fine, you can trust him,” Bakugou cut her off.

Arakaki’s eyebrows jumped up her forehead in surprise. “High praise from a guy who seems to hate every alpha in the place.” She smirked a little, leaning in towards Bakugou. “Is he special to you?”

“Fuck off,” Katsuki snapped, but it lacked venom. “He’s coming to tell that fucking asshole who was getting too handsy to fuck off so I don’t get in trouble and end up here again next rut season.”

Arakaki frowned, nodding thoughtfully. “That’s… not every alpha would do that for a friend,” she noted, leaning even more into his personal space, having the audacity to fucking wiggle her eyebrows at him. “You’re sure there’s not-”

“He doesn’t even fucking know that I’m the one who’s being harrassed,” Katsuki snapped, feeling defensive for some reason. “He’s just a good guy, that’s all.”

Arakaki blinked in confusion. “He doesn’t know? Why else would he come, then?”

“Because I told him an omega was being harassed and he offered to help,” Katsuki growled, noting with irritation that what should have been a simple conversation had somehow turned into sleepover gossip.

“Where the hell did you find this guy?” Arakaki demanded, her eyes shining as she leaned back, obviously impressed. “He sounds awesome.”

Despite himself, Katsuki stiffened defensively. You can’t fucking have him! He thought, then fought back the emotion. It was a pointless reaction anyway, since Kirishima wasn’t even interested in omegas. “He is a great guy,” he agreed. “But he’s off-limits.”

Again, Arakaki quirked an eyebrow in his direction. “Because you’ve set your sights on him?” she asked, her voice taking on a teasing tone.

Katsuki casually flipped her the bird, grimacing pointedly in her direction. “Fuck no.” He could feel his traitorous face heating despite his words. With a sigh, he dropped his hand, balling it into a fist. “Even if I had, it wouldn't fucking matter anyway.”

“He’s taken?” Arakaki asked cautiously, her voice soft, sympathetic.

God, he hated to be pitied. He scowled at her. “Don’t,” he said warningly. “There’s a reason I’m a mandatory resident, remember? I don’t fucking want an alpha.”

Arakaki stared back at him with a serious look, her eyes seeming to see much deeper than the surface of that which was sitting before her. “Don’t want any alpha, or you only want the one you can’t have?”

Fuck, she was too perceptive and it was too late to be having a conversation with some fucking stranger about something he’d never talked about with anyone else before. “There’s nothing I can do about it, so who fucking cares?” He growled.

“You can’t just give up,” Arakaki insisted, leaning forward, adding conspiratorially, “I mean, if I think you’re vaguely likeable then there’s got to be some hope, I thought you were a total asshole when we first met,” she told him, her smirk morphing into an encouraging smile. “I’m sure if you said something , he might-”

“He’s into alphas,” Katsuki interrupted her. “Not omegas.”

She blinked, leaning back. “... oh,” she said, her voice so soft he almost didn’t hear her. She pinched her lips together, giving him another look of sympathy. “But… you said he didn’t know you were the omega in trouble, but he’s still coming to help,” she said carefully. “So he doesn’t hate omegas…”

“Yeah, he’s a good guy,” Katsuki growled. “Better than me, for sure.” He scowled at Arakaki. “And I already told you, stop with the sad looks, I’ve already accepted that he’s not into omegas.”

She frowned. “Then why didn’t you tell him you were the one being harassed?”

Katsuki closed his eyes momentarily. Fuck this shit. “He doesn’t know that I’m an omega.”

Arakaki leaned back a little. “How?” she asked. “I mean, sure, you’re on suppressants now, but-”

“I’m always on suppressants,” Katsuki replied. “And scent neutralizers. As is everyone else I work with.”

Arakaki frowned at that information. “What kind of job do you have that would require total suppression?” she demanded. “That’s only for intense jobs, like police, or emergency responders, or…” her eyes trailed along his body, noting his black tank top, black shorts, and her eyes snapped back up to his face. Katsuki could see the wheels turning as she envisioned him in a mask. She scooted backwards suddenly, her eyes wide. “No way!” she exclaimed, “is that why you asked about our favorite Pro Heroes? I just thought you were a power junkie obsessed with high-level quirks, I never expected…” She pointed a finger at him suddenly, her voice rising, “Ground Zero?!”

Katsuki sneered, lifting his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Guilty as charged.”

She blinked hard. “So when you say you have a trustworthy alpha friend who can bring me my replacement suppressants… he’s a Pro Hero too, isn’t he?”

Katsuki nodded. “Yeah.”

“A Pro Hero alpha who’s into other alphas. Damn. No wonder he’s off-limits,” Arakaki noted, “He can’t even experiment, they’d crucify his public image.”

Katsuki nodded. “And I can't tell him, or he’d try to fucking settle for me. I won't let him do that.”

Arakaki nodded. “Considering you’re smitten with him, that would be hard on you,” she agreed.

Katsuki was on his feet in an instant. “The fuck is that supposed to mean?” he snarled.

Arakaki just fixed a look on him. “Really? It’s obvious from the way you talk about him.”

Katsuki wanted to deny that, but… well, he’d basically extolled Kirishima’s virtues to her in excess, he couldn’t exactly deny that he was interested, and besides, it didn’t fucking matter anyway, because it could never happen. “Fine. Yes. I would mate him, if I could be sure it wouldn’t disgust him to do so.” Katsuki scowled, sitting back down on his bed.

Arakaki nodded slowly. “Sure,” she agreed. She looked about to say something else, and Katsuki just fixed a glare on her until she cleared her throat awkwardly. “Well,” she said weakly, “if you trust him, then I guess I can trust him too. I’ll figure out exactly how many dosage days I’ll need tonight, and give you the information tomorrow so he can pick up the suppressants for me.” She smiled sheepishly.

Katsuki nodded. “Works for me.”

Arakaki relaxed visibly. “Good,” she said, “I was… worried. I’m not ready to go into heat yet.” She smiled at Katsuki. “For all this ‘oh he's such a great guy’ shit you went on about… you're really not so terrible yourself.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “You’re just saying that to try and ingratiate yourself with me.”

Smirking, Arakaki stood and stretched her arms, yawning. “Is it working?” she asked, a cheeky grin peeking through.

“Not really,” Katsuki replied, but he smirked back. “Now let me get three hours of sleep before my alarm goes off.”

Arakaki frowned. “You’re getting up at four?

Bakugou pointed at the clock, which read 1:31, and raised an eyebrow as if to say, I’m not the one staying up until all hours.

“But,” she frowned. “That’s so early!”

“Gotta fit a workout in somewhere,” Bakugou shot back.

She blinked, considering this. “Fair,” she decided. “Well, I won’t take up any more of your precious sleep time, then.”

Katsuki nodded, moving to the door and opening it. “Get the information to me as soon as you can, and I’ll make sure your suppressants get here without too much of a hassle.”

She smiled. “Thank you, Bakugou.”

“Forget it,” Katsuki replied, “Actually, forget this entire conversation even happened.”

She laughed at that. “Whatever you say. Thanks for the help.”

“Yeah, well, I owed you,” Katsuki replied. “We’re even now.”

Arakaki grinned at that. “If you say so. Sleep well,” she said, then closed the door behind herself.

With a sigh, Katsuki flopped back down on his bed and flicked off the lamp. Unfortunately, sleep was a fickle creature, and it eluded him for another hour at least before he could finally chase the restless thoughts from his head and sink into a fitful slumber.

Day 2

When four-thirty came, Bakugou rose to meet it like an enraged bull. He didn’t enjoy sleep deprivation, and it was all he could do to keep himself from incinerating his alarm clock. Still, it had been his own choice to wake up at an ungodly hour in the morning, and he was going to make the most of it. He started with some stretching, trying to loosen up a bit, then shifted to some body-weight strength training exercises. He had been working out for about an hour, and was in the middle of a set of handstand push-ups when a light knock sounded at his door.

“Door’s open,” he grunted, and it swung wide to reveal Arakaki, a small piece of paper clutched in her hand.

“I figured out how many days I need,” she said, “I wrote it down for you to… pass it on…” she blinked hard, staring at Katsuki like she’d never seen a guy doing handstand push-ups before. “Oh my god, I keep forgetting you’re a real-life super hero,” she said weakly. “Are you even human?”

Katsuki sighed, finishing his set before standing up to face her. “What are you doing up so early?” he demanded, ignoring her obvious lack of experience in a gym. She had no idea what the human body was capable of, so obviously she would see his feat as impressive, when it was really a basic weight-and-balance exercise. He had to have strong bracing muscles in his arms to handle his quirk’s recoil. He may have been given support items to help with that shit, but internal support didn’t hurt either.

Arakaki had the decency to look embarrassed at being called out for being up so early after her objection mere hours previous at the news that he would be getting up at an ungodly hour. “I couldn’t sleep,” she confessed. “I know I took the meds and all, but I was still… I don’t know, paranoid? Every time I felt a little too warm under my blankets, my brain would be screaming you’re in heat! And then I… well, anyway, it was hard to get comfortable.” She shrugged weakly. “So I made sure to calculate exactly how many days I’d need… Four or five times.” She ducked her head sheepishly, but couldn't hide the strain in her voice. Bakugou didn't blame her, the idea of going into heat in a heat-house when there weren't any alphas there who you were sure you actually wanted was terrifying. That desperate fear of losing control was not lost on him.

Bakugou nodded. “If you have it decided, I’ll take it now.” He extended a hand, and Arakaki gave him the note she’d scribbled with the details - the generic drug name, dosage amount, and the number of doses. “I’ll be sure to get it to my friend so he knows what to pick up.”

Arakaki smiled. “Thanks. Now that I’ve handed it off, I feel like I can finally relax a little.” She grinned. “I think I’ll go to bed now.”

Bakugou rolled his eyes. “You do that.”

“Good luck with the rest of your workout, I guess,” Arakaki added with a small smile. Her eyes glinted a little. “Are you actually going to show off that adonis-like physique today, or will you be attempting to hide it under yet another baggy jacket?”

Katsuki leveled an unimpressed stare at her. “What part of mandatory resident isn’t getting through to you?”

Arakaki shrugged, and then leered at him. “Just because you don’t want to be here doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy getting a little attention.”

Katsuki blinked a few times. “In case you’ve forgotten, attention is precisely the reason why I have a friend coming.”

Her face blanched, and she bit her lip. “Right. I forgot. Sorry,” she apologized, her shoulders slumping a little. “I think I’ll be eating breakfast at seven-thirty in the cafeteria, if you want to join me,” she said after a moment, glancing up to look him in the eye, a small smirk tugging at the corners of her lips. “You do know where that is?”

Katsuki considered this. “I don't.” He frowned suddenly, another question coming to mind as he considered another detail. “Also, how the fuck did you even figure out where my room is?”

Arakaki shrugged. “I just asked the staff which room belonged to the mandatory resident. They didn’t see any reason to keep that sort of information private.” She scowled a little. “They usually don’t.” She indicated the lock on the door handle with a jerk of her head. “It’s a good idea to keep it locked if you’re ever in here alone during visiting hours.” She made a small face. “Especially if you’re still dealing with creepy alphas.”

Katsuki nodded his appreciation for the word of advice. “So where’s the cafeteria?”

“I can come get you at seven twenty,” Arakaki offered, “and we can go together.”

After considering this for a moment, Katsuki nodded. “Fine. Now get out so I can finish my workout.”

Arakaki just laughed, “Okay, fine. I’ll see you at seven twenty.”

Bakugou ignored her in favor of starting a set of tricep-dips on the side of his bed. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. Fuck off.”

Arakaki snorted in amusement, and shut the door behind herself. As soon as she’d walked off, Bakugou immediately stood and locked the door. Fuck. He scolded himself for not realizing last night that she shouldn’t have known where his room was, and how the hell had she found him? Of course the fucking staff didn’t even respect basic privacy rules here. Fuck. Now he had to be extra careful to make a habit of locking up behind himself. Even though it technically wasn’t visitation hours yet, some alphas had night-privileges, and he couldn’t guarantee that Adachi hadn’t somehow wormed his way into getting that as well. And now that he knew that anyone could just fucking ask the staff where his room was located, he wondered if maybe Adachi really had been the one to take the hidden suppressant stashes from his room.

Dammit, the day had barely started and he was already furious. No privacy. No access to suppressants. No gym. Why the hell would anyone pay to live in a shithole like this for any length of time? Unless, he supposed, they were someone like Arakaki who had no mate, no home, and didn’t know anyone. If he were in a similar situation… well, he still wouldn’t go to a fucking heat-house, but he could at least understand that it was a viable option for someone in a difficult situation. Still. Why did this place have to be so awful? It was almost unbelievable that a place this terrible could stay in business. Maybe that was why they had to accept mandatory residents. The government payouts probably helped cover the bills since they probably didn’t get many repeat omegas. Then again, the whole point of a heat-house was to not have any repeat residents, since they were supposed to find mates. Though maybe if they didn’t enjoy the first mate they found, they might come back for another heat in a few months’ time.

Fuck, now he’d lost count of how many reps he’d done. With a growl, Katsuki stood and stretched out his arms. They burned a little, but not much, since he was only using his body weight for the exercises. He did a few more bodyweight exercises that he could manage in his tiny room, and then sighed. It was more than likely that he’d get told that the hallways were not a jogging trail and that he could go for a jog when he was no longer held in mandatory residence, but he wasn’t going to give up without trying. Besides, there were several floors to the building and running up and down stairs made for some decent cardio. He made sure he had all of his packets of suppressants on his person, then headed out.

Chapter Text

“Oh my god, did you hear the guy stomping around at six o'clock this morning? I swear he was charging around, up and down the stairs, through the halls, for a whole hour!” Hara Kanade was in a state, her hair still in curlers as she walked beside Airi.

She’d been the one to show Airi around on her first day, and had seemed to taken something of a shine to her. Not that Airi was complaining, it was nice to have a friend, even if said friend did have a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of humor. She was also a terrible busybody.

“Who thought it was a good idea to just let some alpha charge around the place like a rampaging boar for a whole hour?”

Airi had a sneaking suspicion that whoever had been running around was not actually an alpha, but was more likely to be a certain mandatory resident. She didn't say that, though, choosing instead to point out, “Would you have wanted to be the one telling him to stop disturbing the people trying to sleep in?”

“Well no,” Hara admitted, though she seemed adamantly set against feeling sheepish about it. “But I’m not the one being paid to keep things running smoothly around here! What were the staff people thinking - wait, where are we going? This isn't the way to the cafeteria.”

Airi couldn't help but laugh. “You just now noticed? You've been walking with me for awhile.”

Hara wrinkled her nose at Airi, her brown eyes flashing. “You're avoiding the question, Arakaki. Where are we going?”

“I told a friend I’d show him where the cafeteria was, since he hasn't been there yet.” Airi explained.

“Oh? And why haven't I met this friend?” Hara demanded. “Have you been holding out on me?”

Airi laughed. “No, he just got here yesterday, but he had dinner with me and two alphas in the dining room last night, so he hasn't been to the cafeteria yet.”

Hara nodded thoughtfully. “I see.” She grinned. “I’ll come with you!”

Airi wasn't sure how well Hara would get along with someone like Bakugou; they both had pretty abrasive personalities. On the other hand, watching the two of them go at each other would be hilarious. She smiled. “Sounds good! His room is right this way.” She turned down the hall and headed for his door, knocking lightly on the wooden surface.

Bakugou yanked the door open, a deep scowl on his face as he scrubbed at damp blonde hair with a hand towel. “I smell like a fucking garden of roses, the toiletries for this place are the fucking worst. I should have just stayed sweaty.” His gaze crept to the side, spying Hara. “And who the hell are you?” He leaned over to get a better look at the short, stout woman with hair still caught up in curlers.

Hara appeared to be straining for a better look, too, though for a different reason than Bakugou. “Oh. My. God,” Hara said in an almost reverent tone. “Your biceps look like they were carved from marble.”

Katsuki blinked, his eyebrows twitching upwards in momentary surprise. He turned to Airi. “Seriously though. Who the fuck?” he pointed at Hara, who was doing absolutely nothing to disguise the way she was undressing the man with her eyes.

“Bakugou, this is Hara,” Airi explained, “She showed me around on my first day here. Hara, this is Bakugou. I asked him to join me for breakfast.”

“Nice to meet you,” Hara said faintly, her eyes locked on Bakugou's sculpted pecs.

“Yeah, whatever,” Bakugou groused. “Let's just go,” he grumbled, turning to hang up his hair towel before joining them in the hallway. He glanced at Airi expectantly.

Never one to disappoint, Airi pointed down the hall. “This way.” The three of them marched down the hallway, Airi in the lead, Bakugou striding at her left elbow, and Hara lagging behind a few steps. (Airi had a sneaking suspicion she was checking out the blonde man’s ass ets, but she wasn't going to say anything about it. Hopefully Bakugou was too focused on remembering the route to notice.)

Things only got more complicated when they reached the cafeteria, retrieving plastic trays and walking along the breakfast line, eyeing the meager offerings. “I’ll have some eggs, please,” she said, though admittedly they didn't look particularly appetizing. “And a piece of bacon,” she added. She scooted her tray along, and Bakugou set his tray down.

“I’ll have two scoops of eggs, three pieces of that salmon, and two servings of natto,” he told the person behind the counter.

The server sighed. “I’m sorry sir, we don't allow extra portions or multiple entrees.”

Bakugou stiffened, his tone dipping into a low, dangerous register. “What the fuck does that mean?” he demanded.

The young woman behind the counter swallowed nervously. “We can give you one scoop of eggs or one piece of salmon. Not both, and not more than one.”

Airi had moved along the line, requesting a scoop of salad, but her attention was still on the exchange going on behind her.

“How the hell am I supposed to subsist on a fucking snack?” Bakugou argued, “I usually need at least six hundred calories for breakfast after my morning workout, and half of that needs to be lean protein. I was willing to compromise because eggs and salmon are higher-calorie but nutrient-dense foods, and now you're telling me I can only have one measly serving?”

“I’m sorry sir,” the woman behind the counter said, and Bakugou growled (though to be fair she didn't sound sorry). “I don't make the rules-” she began protesting, only for Bakugou to interrupt her.

“Can I come back through the line a second or third time?”

The young woman scowled at him. “I’m sorry sir, but as a mandatory resident, you're limited to a single trip through the line.”

Bakugou looked like he just might explode his tray and storm off. Instead he just growled, “Fine. Gimme a piece of goddamn salmon. Can I still get at least one natto?”

“Yes, that's designated as part of the rice portion, so you'll need to take rice, not toast.”

“I didn't even fucking want that many carbs,” he grumbled.

They made it through the line without further incident, and sat down at a table. Bakugou was staring forlornly at his tray. “This is bullshit,” he declared.  “How the hell am I supposed to stay sharp when they have me on starvation rations?”

Hara was eyeing him with confusion. “It's a typical portion for most-”

“Yeah, but it's not what I usually eat. I ate crap last night on the assumption that I could resume my typical dietary habits for the rest of the week!” Bakugou picked apart a piece of salmon with his chopsticks like he wished he could be doing something much worse. Probably explosive things. “Fucking. Bullshit.” he repeated.

Airi contemplated the line of people waiting for food. “Hara, can we go back for seconds?”

Hara frowned at her in confusion. “Yes, but aren't you full?”

“I don't know, I’m suddenly feeling hungry for salmon, eggs, natto, and…” she glanced at Bakugou, whose scarlet eyes were fixed on her, eyebrows furrowed. “...was there anything else you wanted?”

“Vegetables,” Bakugou answered, and Hara made a small noise as she realized what Airi was implying.

“I think I’m hungry too,” she told Airi, shooting a glance in Bakugou’s direction as she added, with a knowing wink, “I want some eggs, salmon, natto, and vegetables, too.”

Nodding to each other, Hara and Airi trundled across the room to wait in line for more food. As they stood waiting, she heard someone behind them whisper, “Who the fuck let an alpha down here?” She shook her head. It was true, Bakugou looked and acted like an alpha. But he understood all too well the threats that came with being an omega. She patted her pocket absently, feeling the pills that he’d given her, carefully tucked inside. She owed Bakugou a hell of a lot more than breakfast, considering what he’d done for her, but helping him get enough to eat seemed like a decent place to start.

Kirishima was suiting up for patrol when his phone buzzed with an incoming message. He paused and glanced at it. It was a message from Bakugou, something about picking up some medicine for someone named Arakaki Airi, whose suppressants - his blood ran cold - had been taken by someone. She had enough for another day or two, but that was all. This had to be the omega Bakugou had been referring to! Harassment was bad enough, but now whoever was bothering her was trying to get her to go into heat so they could capitalize on her weakened state! What a deplorable, unmanly way of going about expressing interest in a person! If Kirishima had felt disgusted before, the knowledge that this harassing alpha had stolen vital medication from an omega who was incapable of fighting back made him even more furious. That sort of behavior was completely inexcusable, especially when it was the duty of an alpha to care for and protect their chosen mate. Harassment and manipulation spoke of an alpha with no character and a complete misunderstanding of what it was to be manly!

Of course he would get those suppressants and deliver them when he visited The Gentle Embrace. He’d do it again, if the drugs got taken a second time. It wasn't fair that only omegas got saddled with something like mandatory residence, and he keenly felt that it was his responsibility to do whatever he could to make it easier on them. Part of him wondered why Bakugou didn't go get the drugs himself, until he checked the website and realized that the drugstore’s hours perfectly coincided with the heat-house’s visiting hours. Bakugou would be forced to leave the poor omega unattended while he got the suppressants, and if this alpha was forceful enough to take an omega’s suppressants, what else might they do?

He refused to consider the alternative, that Bakugou just wanted as much time as possible with his own omega, that he had decided he could manage to keep an eye out for the harassed omega while also canoodling with his own mate. It made Kirishima uncomfortable to think that Bakugou was relegating him to errand boy because he couldn't bear to spare fifteen minutes apart from his own omega mate. Shaking off the dour thoughts, Kirishima tried to focus. He was going to be on patrol for the next nine hours, and then he’d be able to ready himself for an extended stay at a heat-house. He just needed to fill out the deferred mating paperwork before going. He wasn’t exactly looking forward to the visit - after all, most of his visits to heat-houses ended with him longing for someone he couldn’t have, and this time, the man he couldn’t have would be right there next to him.

Sighing, Kirishima shoved his phone away, shutting his locker with a bit more force than was necessary. He was a hero, dammit. He could take a little heartbreak for the sake of the greater good. He just wished…

Aw, hell. When had wishing done any good anyway? He knew he was acting like a coward, hiding his feelings from Bakugou for so long. Maybe this trip to the heat-house would provide him with the opportunity to finally tell Bakugou how he’d felt. He would be rejected, of course, but maybe then he could finally find the strength to move on. And wasn’t that manly, in a way? He wouldn’t be running away from his feelings any longer. He just hoped that Bakugou wouldn’t be disgusted by his attentions; it was unusual, for an alpha to want another alpha, but Eijirou had wanted Bakugou for so long it felt like a part of him, not a perversion of what “should be”.

Besides, he had a feeling that Bakugou knew, at least on some level, that Kirishima was interested. He had that knowing smirk  on his face whenever Eijirou would complain about being disinterested in omegas, like he knew what Eijirou really meant but he wasn’t going to say anything if Kirishima wasn’t man enough to say it himself. Maybe that was why Bakugou claimed to fill out paperwork every year? Was he trying to force Kirishima’s hand? Convince him to finally make a move? Kirishima frowned, pausing in the locker room doorway. This hadn’t even occurred to him - maybe Bakugou had been biding his time all along, waiting for Kirishima to say something.

But then, Bakugou wasn’t the type to sit back passively, either. Why hadn’t he said anything? Unless… he wasn’t actually interested in Kirishima. He nearly cursed aloud. Of course Bakugou wasn’t interested in Kirishima like that . So even if he suspected, he wouldn’t want to press the issue, not if he knew it would hurt Eijirou. So he’d kept silent because he assumed that Kirishima hadn’t wanted to be hurt by his rejection. Bakugou had been right, but that didn’t matter now - it was time for Kirishima to resolve his buried feelings, if for no other reason than that he needed to settle his own mind. Nodding sharply, Kirishima headed out, trying to push all other thoughts from his mind until after patrol. No sense going out with no focus, he was more liable to get people hurt that way. It would be enough to just consider it after work. With a heavy sigh, he cleared his mind and headed out. What could happen in an afternoon, anyway?

“Good morning, Katsuki,” Adachi purred, running a hand up Katsuki’s arm and smiling indulgently. His expression appeared warm, his gesture fond, but his eyes were cool and calculating. He leaned into Katsuki, burying his nose in the crook between Katsuki’s neck and shoulder and inhaling deeply. He leaned back, a pouting look on his face. “Still on the pill, eh? What a shame.”

I will fucking murder this alpha, Bakugou promised himself, standing stiffly beside the beverage table. He’d made the mistake of turning his back on the room to pour himself a cup of mediocre java, and the alpha had apparently chosen that moment to make his appearance.

Adachi ran his hand slowly up Katsuki’s chest, resting it on one of the packets of suppressants that Bakugou had stashed on his person. “I really don’t like them, Katsuki. I can’t smell you properly with those nasty chemicals running through you.”

Katsuki couldn’t care less about what Adachi wanted from him. His only concern was making sure the man didn’t manage to find any more of his stashes. “Are you the one who had the staff search my room?” he demanded, fighting to keep his voice neutral. He would not explode, he couldn’t afford a blow-up, not here. After.  Once his mandatory residence was over, he would hunt this bastard down and make him pay (He knew he wouldn’t, not really, not if he wanted to keep his job - hunting down an asshole alpha and thrashing him was some vigilante shit - but he could at least lie to himself to keep himself sane for the time being).

Adachi chuckled. “Why so combative? Did they find something?” He ran his hand higher, scraping his short-trimmed nails along the mating gland on the side of Katsuki’s neck he’d just scented. His smirk widened into something even more predatory as Katsuki’s breath caught in his throat.

Fuck, his body was responding to this shit, even on his goddamn suppressants. He was already at the highest dose one could get over-the-counter, and he didn’t know enough to be certain that he could up his dosage without endangering his health. Katsuki quickly set his coffee down so as not to betray the fact that his hands were shaking, and not with fucking fear but something much more terrifying - arousal. Shit. His body, held back for so long by suppressants and heats that were too few and far between, was making it known how desperate he was for a fuck.

Adachi’s smile stretched further as he eyed Katsuki appreciatively, his other hand sliding along Katsuki’s abs, dipping lower as he stepped in closer. “Admit it, omega,” he rumbled, “you want this.” His hand clutched lightly at Katsuki’s groin.

A spark of heat curled in Bakugou’s abdomen and he couldn’t stop the gasp from escaping his mouth, his head falling back at the flush of - heat? A sudden fear curled in his stomach, and he pushed away from Adachi, fumbling in his jacket pocket, pulling out the packet he’d opened last night.

“What’s the matter, Katsuki?” Adachi crooned, though he made no move to step closer. “Lower dose than you’re used to?”

Katsuki stared at the remaining pill, which was clearly marked 10mg. “Fuck!” he cursed, scrambling for his coffee cup. He’d taken the last dose maybe an hour ago, he could take this one to up the dosage back to his regular one. No wonder he’d been feeling so strange. “How the hell did you switch out - ?!” he spat, fumbling the packet open.

Adachi sneered. “You didn’t even notice when I took it the first time, right over there,” he indicated the corner chair where Katsuki had been seated the day before. “I gave it to the staff so they knew exactly which one to look for in your room, then I pretended to find them on you in the parlor.” He sighed, as though distraught. “Lowering the dose lets me smell you a little better, but it’s still not enough.”

Katsuki was about to toss the pill in his mouth, when Adachi coughed daintily. “Did you check the other pills in your room closely?” he asked with false innocence.

Katsuki froze, the pill still in his hand. His eyes widened. He wasn’t the only one taking those pills, he’d given two to Arakaki. “What did you do to them?” he snarled.

“Just swapped them out for the same pills you have there,” Adachi answered easily. “It’s up to you - you can take your usual dose, and run out in a few days, or you can take the lower dose, and have enough to last you the week.” He sneered, patting Katsuki’s arm patronizingly. “Think about it.”

Katsuki didn’t have time to worry about that. If he was on a lower dose, then that meant Arakaki was, too. He had to let her know - and then see if Kirishima could pick up a few extra doses of suppressants on his way in the next day. He tossed the suppressant into his mouth, grabbing his cup of coffee and washing the pill down decisively. “Fuck you,” he told Adachi, and pushed past him, scanning the room for Arakaki. Where the hell was sundress girl, anyway? He didn’t see her. His gaze landed on one of the staff people, and he figured they could probably tell him. He stomped towards the nearest one, “Hey! Where’s Arakaki?”

The staff person, a small woman with dark hair and the beginnings of crow’s feet at the corners of her eyes, sputtered anxiously for a moment. “Uh, she’s, well you see…”

“Where.” Katsuki growled. “Is. She.”

“The parlor!” the woman squeaked anxiously. “But you can’t go unless -”

“I’m with another alpha, I know,” Katsuki spat, glancing around the room again. Any alpha at all would do, except for Adachi, really. Matsumoto was nowhere to be found, unfortunately. He saw one alpha, a somewhat stocky young man with bleached blonde hair and a baby face. He looked like he was trying to figure out how to approach a tall omega man with black hair and an all-around fragile look to him. Perfect. He wasn’t talking yet, and he would probably take ages to work up the courage to actually do anything. He marched over, grabbing the alpha by his upper arm. “Hey,” he said. “You want to talk to that guy, yeah?”

The bleach-blond young man turned to look at Katsuki in confusion, his caramel brown eyes widening in shock as he took in Bakugou’s musculature. “Oh, why, were you thinking of talking to him?” he asked nervously, “I mean, I’m not sure if I’m really his type, but I still wanna try…”

“Fuck no,” Bakugou spat. “I’ll introduce you to him if you do something for me first.”

The young man frowned, looking confused. “What do you want?”

“I just need to find someone in the parlor, but I need an alpha to accompany me there,” Katsuki explained, tugging his arm lightly as he tried walking towards the doors. “Come on.”

Tugging his arm out of Katsuki’s grip, the stocky alpha gave Katsuki a disbelieving look. “Wait. You’re an omega?”

Fucking hell, how many times was he going to go through this song-and-dance? “Yes, now let’s fucking go,” Bakugou hissed, pointing to the door.

The young man glanced at the slender omega, who appeared engrossed with his phone. “Okay,” he agreed weakly.

Katsuki grabbed his arm again, dragging him out the door, tossing a salute to the older staff woman who was gaping obviously in his direction. It wasn’t technically against the rules, and hey, he was technically socializing with an alpha, how much could they really complain about? He dragged the stocky alpha with him up to the parlor, stomping in through the double doors and scanning the room.  He saw Yamanaka and Arakaki sitting together, speaking to each other. “This way,” he told the blond alpha, dragging him across the room.

“Oi, Arakaki,” he said sharply as they approached.

She stiffened, turning to look at him with a mixture of concern and exasperation. “What do you want, Bakugou?” she demanded, then frowned. “And who the hell is this guy?”

“I couldn’t get in without an alpha, so I volunteered him for the position. He’s okay with it,” Katsuki assured her, though she didn’t seem too pacified by his explanation.  “You still have those, erm, meds, that I lent you yesterday?”

Arakaki stiffened, nodding sharply. “I do, why?”

“I just got some information that they might be a different dosage amount than I was lead to believe. Could be why you had a hard time sleeping last night,” he said pointedly.

She figured it out pretty quickly, reaching into a pocket and withdrawing a small package. Her eyes widened. “Oh no,” she breathed, covering her mouth to muffle her words.

“Yeah,” Katsuki spat, “So anyway, I’ll be placing an order of my own, because I don’t have enough for the rest of my week now, either. It should still be fine, once my friend gets here, but until then…” he winced, digging into his pocket, withdrawing a second packet. “In case you need it,” he said, extending the pills.

“Um,” blonde alpha said quietly, “Are you making me complicit in an illicit drug deal?”

Katsuki snorted. “Only if suppressants are illicit drugs.” He pressed the packet into Arakaki’s open palm before turning around, grabbing his arm again. “My work here is done, let’s go talk to that guy you were too chicken to approach.” As they walked off, he could hear Yamanaka asking Arakaki something along the lines of ‘Is he always like that?’ He was too far away to make out her exact answer, but she definitely laughed before answering. Oh well. Katsuki didn’t really care what big-nose thought about him, anyway. At least Arakaki would have enough to keep herself suppressed up until Kirishima came tomorrow with more meds.

He patted blonde alpha on the shoulder with enough force to make him stumble a little. “All right, now let’s go talk to that beanpole you were eyeing earlier,” he said.

Blonde alpha gaped at him. “Who the hell are you?” he demanded, “The suppressant fairy? Why don’t people here have suppressants?”

Bakugou rolled his eyes. “Why do you think they don’t have suppressants?”

Blonde alpha considered this for a minute, scratching at the dark brown roots that showed at the edge of his hairline. “Did someone take them? Like… steal them?”

Bakugou patted his shoulder again, nearly sending the alpha sprawling. “Sure did. But we omegas watch out for each other.” Not that he usually cared about random people, but it was shitty to force someone into heat just because your business model apparently relied heavily on precisely that sort of dirty, underhanded tactic.

The blonde alpha nodded thoughtfully as they burst back into the socialization room. Katsuki scanned the room, quickly spotting the beanpole - he was still exactly where they’d left him, standing awkwardly along the wall, typing away at his cell phone. Grabbing the blonde alpha’s arm, he dragged him across the room. “Oi, string bean,” Katsuki called as they approached.

The young man lifted his eyes, which widened as he took in the sight of two blondes - one broad-shouldered and intimidating, the other much shorter and softer, approaching at a rapid pace. He shoved his phone in his pocket and glanced side-to-side frantically. “Oh god,” he whimpered as Katsuki drew close, “Hi, um, nice to meet you?”

Blonde alpha drew up short at this, turning on Katsuki. “I thought you said you would introduce me to him!” he snapped. “He doesn’t even know you!”

Katsuki grinned. “Hey. I’m Bakugou,” he introduced himself to beanpole.

“I- I, uh, I’m Hanashiro. Hanashiro Masato,” the tall, slender young man introduced himself, stammering and blushing.

“Oi, you, what’s your name?” Bakugou demanded, looking at blonde alpha expectantly.

“Oh! Um, I’m Shimizu Hirohisa,” blonde alpha said faintly.

“Right. Hanashiro, I’d like to introduce you to Shimizu. I’m sure the two of you have plenty to talk about,” Katsuki said, waving his hand in a go on gesture, stepping back. He elbowed blonde alpha, aka Shimizu, when the young man appeared speechless.

“Ow! Oh, yeah, hi. Nice to meet you,” he said weakly, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly, gazing up at the beanpole and blushing painfully.

That was Katsuki’s cue, and he quickly retreated, not particularly interested in watching the two work things out (or not, he wasn’t particularly invested either way). He looked around, half-expecting to see Adachi, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that he wasn’t around. Then again, the last time he’d been absent, he’d apparently been having the staff switch out his suppressants for a lower dosage, so he wasn’t sure he trusted this supposed respite. Scowling, he pulled out his cell phone. He had another batch of suppressants to add to Kirishima’s shopping list at the drugstore.

“Oh-ho? Who are you talking to?” a soft voice rumbled in his ear, and Katsuki stiffened.

Adachi’s hand rested on the small of his back, slowly drifting downwards. Pulling away before the handsy alpha could get even one finger on his ass, Katsuki glared at him. “None of your fucking business.” He scowled. “Fuck off.”

Adachi wrapped an arm around Katsuki’s neck, leaning up against him, resting his head in the crook of his neck. “You’re not carrying all of your suppressants on you now, are you?” he murmured into Katsuki’s ear. “You know I found them once before.” He lifted one hand, opening it to reveal one of the packets from Katsuki’s jacket. “I can keep finding them.” Adachi licked a stripe from Katsuki’s collarbone up to his mating gland, nipping gently at the side of his neck. “What will it take for me to convince you to just be a good omega and give me what I want?”

Fuck. Katsuki could tell that the second half of his usual suppressant dose hadn’t kicked in yet, because Adachi’s voice was doing things to him, his teasing touches seemed to send prickles of sensation spreading out from wherever their skin met. He bit his lip, resisting the urge to melt into the alpha’s possessive fondling. “You’ll never convince me of anything,” he bit out, only to gasp when Adachi’s hand found its way to his belt buckle, undoing it and then the button on his pants. He tried to pull back, but Adachi dug his teeth in a little more sharply, threatening his mating gland.

“Don’t make me do something we’ll both regret,” Adachi hissed in his ear. “Let’s find a seat and enjoy ourselves.”

Katsuki swallowed hard, feeling Adachi continue to fumble with his pants. He didn’t want this. Didn’t want any part of this. His gut clenched in disgust as Adachi’s other hand slid up his shirt, pushing him backwards, towards the same corner chair he’d been in before. He allowed the alpha to push him along, eventually falling back into the chair.

He was starting to truly understand that he couldn’t evade this alpha for much longer, not if he wanted the assurance of keeping his heat at bay. “Promise me,” he bit out, grabbing Adachi’s wrist, keeping the hand of the boring-faced alpha from dipping below the waistband of his underwear. “Let me keep the suppressants.”

Adachi leaned into his chest, humming softly in his ear as he considered the request. “Show me how good you can be, and I’ll consider it,” he rumbled, tugging his hand out of Katsuki’s grasp and wrapping his fingers around Katsuki’s length.

Bile rose in his throat, but Bakugou swallowed it back down, shutting his eyes and fighting desperately to pretend that he was anywhere but here, all while Adachi whispered false praises in his ear, nibbling and licking at his throat, his hands touching Katsuki in places he’d never allowed another person access.

When Kirishima got back from patrol, he was exhausted, but satisfied. There had only been one small skirmish, nothing too rough, but enough for him to work off any pent-up energy he might have had. As he put gel in his hair post-shower, he glanced down at his phone, noticing that Bakugou had sent him a message. The first was a request for another type of suppressant, with no accompanying explanation of who the pills were for, or why he hadn’t requested both at the same time. The second seemed to be a video message, and the thumbnail alone had Kirishima’s heart plummeting to somewhere around his bellybutton. It was Bakugou, head tipped back, a young man with a nondescript face smirking indulgently, gently nipping at the side of Bakugou’s throat. It looked like the omega, the one who was all over Bakugou, had been the one to send the video, as he was looking at the screen while Katsuki’s eyes were shut ( in ecstasy?) .

He closed the text messages almost convulsively. Shit. He hadn’t wanted to see that; why the hell had the omega sent that video? Was it possible that he knew that Kirishima was interested too? Was it a threat? A declaration of intent? He was already touching Bakugou in ways that Kirishima had only ever fantasized about, why would he consider Kirishima a threat, unless…

He couldn’t bear to think about that. What if he was wrong? It didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to the heat-house for Katsuki anway, he was going to help the omega who needed protected from a harasser, and apparently a second omega who also needed suppressants? What kind of bullshit establishment didn’t ensure that their omegas were able to keep their suppressants? It should be a given that omegas were able to choose when to have their heats, even in a heat-house.

Groaning, Kirishima pulled his jacket on over his street clothes and headed for home. He was not looking forward to tomorrow.

“Hungry, Bakugou?” Matsumoto asked, coming up behind Katsuki.

Bakugou shook his head. “No.”

“Something wrong?” the alpha asked, pulling up a chair to sit beside Katsuki. He leaned forward to eye Bakugou curiously, bracing his forearms on his knees.

Katsuki hadn’t moved from his spot in the corner chair since Adachi had tired of groping him. He hadn’t bothered to straighten up his rumpled clothes, hadn't gotten himself another cup of coffee, or even headed to the cafeteria for lunch. He knew it wasn’t healthy to shut down like this, but he didn’t give a single fuck in that moment.  All he wanted was to get the hell away from possessive alphas. Possibly burn down the whole damn heat-house. Definitely not think about the fact that what had happened to him probably qualified as sexual assault, at least on some level.  At least it hadn’t been penetrative (thank fuck, even though Katsuki was on suppressants, they didn’t seem to be working as well as they should have been lately, and if that fucking alpha had gotten him pregnant he would probably end up actually murdering him).

He didn't bother to look at the distinguished scarecrow, instead gritting his teeth and letting out a simple, “Fuck off, Matsumoto.”

The thin, dark-eyed man blinked behind his spectacles. He leaned forward a little more, and Katsuki hated himself for the way he cringed away from the alpha. Matsumoto’s eyes widened. “Bakugou,” he whispered, “did that alpha from yesterday come back?”

Katsuki shut his eyes tiredly. He didn’t want to fucking talk about this, especially not with fucking Matsumoto. “I already told you to fuck off.”

Distinguished scarecrow considered him for a long moment. “All right,” he said reasonably. “Do you mind if I just… sit here, then? No talking.”

Katsuki considered this for a few seconds before sighing, “Fine.” The two sat in silence for some time, Katsuki staring blankly at the wall while Matsumoto stared at him. He didn’t like the way the man’s eyes left a creeping feeling on his shoulders. Finally the intense scrutiny became too much for him, and Katsuki whirled around to glare at Matsumoto. “Stop fucking staring at me,” he hissed.

Matsumoto inhaled sharply, but he just grunted in agreement, pointedly turning his entire body to stare at the same wall as Katsuki. He didn’t say anything, just sitting there with Bakugou, staring at the wall. A minute later, Katsuki heard approaching footsteps as someone else crossed the room to join them.

“Bakugou?” Arakaki sounded confused. “Matsumoto? What’s going on here?”

“I’m not sure,” Matsumoto answered hesitantly, “He was like this when I found him.”

Arakaki dipped down into Katsuki’s vision. “Bakugou?”

Katsuki scowled. “Fuck off.”

Arakaki shook her head. “Like hell I will.” She reached out, tugging at his collar weakly, eyeing buttons that Adachi had undone, leaving his shirt hanging open all the way to his sternum. She buttoned his shirt up carefully. “I’m sorry,” she whispered fiercely, her face screwing up in anger. “This is fucked up,” she snapped, fingers trembling as she did up the last button. She froze then, as her eyes traveled downwards. “Oh no,” she said, breathless with horror. She looked Katsuki in the eyes, eyebrows furrowed in a serious expression. “May I?”

Katsuki shrugged. He didn’t fucking care what Arakaki did at this point - Adachi had already done whatever the fuck he wanted, what did it matter if one more person put their hands on him? He knew that wasn’t exactly fair, after all, Arakaki was trying to help. Not that he really wanted her help, but he wasn’t really in a position to refuse. Why was he never in a position to refuse in this fucking place?

Arakaki carefully zipped up his pants, buckling his belt and tugging his shirt down. “There we go,” she said softly. “I guess you’re not in the mood to go to dinner?” she asked, her voice barely above a whisper.

Katsuki just shook his head.

“I’ll stay with him,” Matsumoto offered.

“Is that all right?” Arakaki turned to Katsuki.

Katsuki considered this for a moment, then nodded.  He still had another hour of socialization, and then he could retreat to his room.

Matsumoto sat back in the chair, pointedly not staring at Katsuki.

“See you tomorrow…?” Arakaki said softly.

Katsuki didn’t bother responding.

Chapter Text

Katsuki refused to let the rage take him until he made it to his room. Then he turned and punched the wall so hard he put a hole in it. His knuckles smarted, but Katsuki didn't fucking care. He hit the walls again and again, feeling a wordless scream build up inside him until he finally let it out, roaring as he struck repeatedly, mindlessly beating at the structure until he realized with a mixture of horror and satisfaction that he was leaving crimson streaks on the wall. He stopped hitting it long enough to consider his knuckles. Several were bleeding freely, while others looked raw. The pain felt grounding, almost. Fuck if he didn't wish it had been Adachi’s face, and not the wall, that had gotten his knuckles all busted up like this.

With a growl, Katsuki ripped off his shirt, a comfortable burgundy button-down that he’d worn with charcoal gray jeans and a black jacket. He crumpled up the shirt and crammed it into the trash can. His jeans followed it, and a moment later, so did his underwear. He wanted to throw out the jacket too, but… it had been a gift. From Kirishima. His best friend had a matching jacket, and he’d bought them so they could “dress like best friends”. Bakugou had mocked him incessantly for that, but he’d also taken to wearing the jacket regularly on his days off, and couldn't bear to part with it. He could just pretend it hadn't been part of the fucking Adachi outfit. The rest of it was in the trash, though, and he was never wearing any of it again.

Bakugou made his way to the bathroom, turning the shower on and wincing as the spray hit his raw and bleeding knuckles when he checked the temperature. He wasn't sure how the hell he was going to explain the busted wall - surely they wouldn't bring him back for another mandatory residence because of a busted wall, right? He began shaking, fury sinking deep into his bones. They wouldn't fucking dare. Would they? Fuck, he didn't know.

The water was going to get cold if he waited much longer. With a snarl, Katsuki stepped into the spray, washing himself. He paid special attention to the places which Adachi had paid special attention. After scrubbing his body until the water ran cold and he was shivering, Katsuki finally clambered out of the shower. He still felt dirty, and he knew that feeling. He’d felt it before, though less intensely, the first time he’d masturbated to fantasies of Kirishima. This, though… this was a whole other level of guilt and shame, and the worst part was it wasn't even his fault! If he hadn't been a fucking mandatory resident, none of this would have ever happened!

With a growl, he pulled out the first aid kit he always carried around, carefully bandaging his busted knuckles. They throbbed dully, a reminder of the dull pain aching in his chest, too. As he crawled into bed after checking twice to make sure the door was locked, he couldn't shake the feeling that he was somehow tainted. He couldn't even lie still without feeling those phantom touches on his body and oh, he wanted more. And that, more than anything, was what truly disgusted him. At some point, as he lay pliant in Adachi’s hands, it had no longer been mere resignation that held him there. Bakugou Katsuki had been sexually assaulted, and some small part of him had fucking enjoyed it.

He could never forgive himself for that.

Day 3

Kirishima was up bright and early, ready to pick up the two types of suppressants and head over to The Gentle Embrace. The drugstore wasn't too busy at eight AM sharp, he ended up the third person in line at the counter. The only confusion he got was when he explained that yes, he needed the generic in ten milligrams and the brand name in twenty. Fortunately, the pharmacist was pretty easygoing, and didn't make much of a fuss about it, though he’d winked and called Kirishima a “lucky bastard,” which was confusing. Rather than decipher this odd behavior at such an early hour, Kirishima handed over the cash. He stashed the suppressants at the bottom of his shoulder-bag, which he'd mostly brought with him for the express purpose of smuggling suppressants into a heat-house. Once the drugs were well hidden beneath some random junk in his bag, he headed down the road for the heat-house in question, and noticed two young men entering ahead of him. Wow, some people were really eager to get in there!

Eijirou entered The Gentle Embrace with a wide grin on his face, immediately spotting the clerk at a desk.

“Welcome to The Gentle Embrace, sir,” she said, her surprised tone melting into a warm hum, her eyes trailing up and down his fit body appreciatively. Huh. Apparently they didn't get many alphas that looked like him or Bakugou in this joint, if that was the reaction a body like his got. He’d never been here before, mostly because it didn't have very good ratings from what he could tell when he’d looked it up the day before. He could see why, though, if omegas here were constantly losing their suppressants!

The woman at the desk managed to reign in her wandering gaze with some effort. “Are you here for a specific resident or looking to find a partner?”

“Uh,” Kirishima considered this, “both?”

The woman gave him a sharp look, just this side of disapproving. “You're looking for a specific omega and seeking additional partners?”

Oh damn, when she said it like that she made it sound an awful lot like he was trying to arrange an omega orgy. It was the farthest thing from the truth, but his face went bright red at the insinuation anyway. “No, I just was looking for someone, but she might be listed by someone else already, so…”

The woman was already nodding. “Competition, I see. I’ll put you down as available, then, but I can look up the name of the omega in question to see if anyone else has requested time with them.” She glanced back up at Eijirou. “Is this your first time with us?”

“Yeah,” he said, “Is that a problem?”

“Not at all, just fill out this membership form, visitation form, and read through our code of conduct policy. Once you've signed an agreement to follow the rules we've established here, you'll be good to go.”

“Thanks,” Eijirou accepted the clipboard gratefully.

“Would you like something to drink? We have coffee, tea, or water,” the woman offered.

“Coffee would be great, thanks,” Kirishima said, and took himself and his clipboard over to a chair to fill out the paperwork. His eyes wandered briefly, and he spotted a magazine with Ground Zero posing on the cover. He bit his lip to stifle a chuckle of amusement. He wondered how many people would end up discovering that there were officially two Pro Heroes on the premises. He turned back to the paperwork, reading carefully. He wouldn't sign if one of the rules said you couldn't bring in suppressants, because he wouldn't lie like that. He’d just tell Bakugou to look out a window and toss them up so he could catch them, or something. It wasn't technically breaking the rules that way. He knew Bakugou wouldn't mind bending the agreements, either, because was always saying things like “rules were made to be broken”, so he would probably feel even less conflicted about violating the spirit of the agreement he signed.

Fortunately, it didn't come to that, as the code of conduct did not forbid alphas from bringing in suppressants. With a sigh of relief, he turned in the paperwork to the woman at the desk and glanced at the clock. Eight twenty. It had taken him longer than he had expected. He frowned, hoping the harassed omega was doing okay.

“What was the name of the omega you would like to see?” the woman asked him as she processed his paperwork.

“Oh. Um, Arakaki. Arakaki Airi.” Kirishima answered quickly, remembering the name Bakugou had told him over text.

The woman at the desk made a sympathetic sound, glancing at Kirishima with mournful eyes. “She’s had several visitation requests from another alpha, but I can ask her to meet you somewhere private, if you’d like.”

“That would be great,” Kirishima said.

“Excellent. We’ll give you a ten-minute tour of the facility, and we can set up that appointment for eight forty-five in the Parlor,” the woman told him.

“Perfect,” Kirishima grinned, “Thanks.”

Airi knocked on Bakugou’s door for the third time that morning. “You need to eat before socialization,” she snapped, pressing her nose against the wooden door. “Come on, I’ll get extra fish and protein-y stuff for you!” she wheedled.

As before, there was no answer. She hadn't expected it, not really. Try as she might, she couldn't wipe the image of yesterday’s Bakugou from her mind. His shirt, rumpled and pulled open to bare his chest. Gentle scratch marks marring his pale skin, his pants, unbuttoned and lying open… and he’d just sat there, like a statue. Like a mandatory resident who didn't want to come back for another week, not even if this week broke him.

“Come on, how am I supposed to recognize your friend?” Airi pleaded, “We both need pills, right? Can you at least come out for that?”

The lock on the other side of the door clicked, and then Bakugou was there, standing in the doorway. A sheen of sweat coated his face and chiseled arms, and he was scowling at her. “The fuck is your deal?” he demanded.

Airi blinked. “...what?”

“I was in there for two minutes, sundress girl,” Bakugou sneered, pointing at her attire demonstratively. “I had to finish my set.”

“Your… set?” Airi repeated carefully.

Bakugou rolled his eyes. “Of push-ups. Workout routine, remember?”

Airi considered his statement. “Why didn't you let me in?” she demanded, “you did yesterday.”

“Yesterday the door was open,” Bakugou reminded her, making an irritated face. “Today it was locked.”

“So you're not… I mean, about yesterday,” Airi fished awkwardly for the right words to say, now feeling completely unsettled by his apparent lack of concern.

“I face a lot of bullshit on a regular basis. I've learned to deal with it when I have time, not before,” Bakugou informed her brusquely. He glanced over her shoulder, raising an eyebrow. “No Hara today?”

“She’s sleeping in,” Airi explained, feeling like she’d gotten emotional whiplash between the Bakugou of yesterday and Bakugou of today.

Bakugou shrugged. “I gotta get dressed, but no way in hell am I using that damn basket of roses shit again.” He sniffed his underarm, then glanced at Airi. “How bad do I smell?”

Airi sniffed delicately. “Not terrible, a little sweaty,” she decided.

“Good enough,” Bakugou declared, shutting the door in her face and locking it again. He reopened the door a minute later, wearing a red v-neck t-shirt and faded black jeans with his usual jacket. “Let's go.”

Airi followed him down the hall, not sure what to make of this. She’d expected him to be broody or sullen, not… normal? He seemed painfully normal after what had happened the day before. How? If it was her, she'd be lying in bed with her blankets over her head, bawling her eyes out. And he was just… walking around, like it didn't even matter!

As Bakugou moved to open the door to the stairs, though, something caught her attention. Bandages, all along his knuckles. They were small, and she hadn't even noticed them at first, but they were there. Suddenly, Airi looked at Bakugou with new eyes. Maybe he was acting normal because he wanted things to be normal. If that was the case, then Airi would do her best to not rock the boat. Besides, his friend was coming soon. Surely a Pro Hero would be able to chase off an awful alpha. Bakugou would be fine until then.

Bakugou had barely tucked into his breakfast when a member of the Staff wandered over. “Bakugou. We’ve been made aware of a request for a reserved visitation at eight o’clock. Would you like to meet in your quarters, or the parlor?”

Arakaki brightened at the news, grinning at Bakugou. “That’s gotta be your friend,” she told him. Then she frowned. “Did you tell him about… you know, your mandatory residence?”

“He doesn’t know,” Bakugou answered her question with a swift, pointed stare. “I want to tell him in person, not over a fucking text message.”

Arakaki nodded slowly. “Then who…?”

Bakugou had a pretty fucking good idea who would be requesting a reserved visitation first thing in the goddamn morning, and he didn’t like it. At least Kirishima was going to be here soon, and then Adachi would be out of luck. Unless Kirishima gets upset that you never told him, and he leaves, the traitorous thought crept through his mind, sowing seeds of doubt. Then you’d be at Adachi’s mercy again.

Sundress girl had quieted as she studied his face, her solemn eyes locked on him. “You think it’s that alpha again, don’t you?”

Bakugou shrugged. “Doesn’t matter, I can’t do anything about it anyway,” he said. Or at least, I can’t do anything that wouldn’t also get me sent back here for another mandatory residence, he thought bitterly. He turned to the staff person, who was still hovering uncomfortably. “I’ll see him in the parlor.”

“I’ll pass the word along,” the staff person said, waving a hand vaguely. “Enjoy your breakfast.”

Bakugou looked down at his salmon and sighed. “Yeah, that’s real fucking likely to happen now. Asshole.”

Arakaki poked at her own breakfast. “I’m sorry,” she said.

“Don’t be,” Bakugou snapped, looking up at her. He didn’t need anyone’s fucking pity. He could handle this, he’d been kidnapped before and managed just fine, he was a fucking Pro Hero, he knew how to deal with shitty situations. He didn’t want her sympathy, he wanted her to keep being kickass and snippy, because then he could just pretend everything was fucking normal and not terrible.

With a sigh, Arakaki nodded. “Right.” She frowned. “Wait. If you’re going to be indisposed from eight to nine, how am I going to recognize your friend and get my suppressants?” she demanded.

Bakugou wrinkled his nose a little. He hadn’t actually considered that. If Kirishima showed up while he was still doing his damn reserved visitation, it would be useful for Arakaki to at least know what he looked like. Tugging his phone out of his pocket, Bakugou opened his photos and scrolled. He didn’t have to look far, there was a picture of Kirishima waving a sparkler over his head from the fireworks festival they’d gone to a few months ago in August. He was wearing a yukata and grinning like a madman at Katsuki, who’d been the one taking the picture. He held his phone out to Arakaki. “Here.”

Arakaki took his phone and glanced at the picture. “Oh my god, he’s adorable,” she said, then gasped. “Oh my god, it’s Red Riot!” she looked up at him. “Your amazing alpha friend is Red Riot? Who the hell are you, oh my god, how do I get a friend like that? Damn!” she was teasing, but Katsuki wasn’t particularly in the mood at the moment.

“I’m Ground Fucking Zero,” he reminded her. “That’s how I get a friend like Red Riot.”

Arakaki scowled, “I knew I shouldn’t have gone into accounting,” she grumbled. “You never meet any hot, chivalrous alphas in accounting.”

Bakugou rolled his eyes. “You got that right. Guess you better find an interesting hobby to make up for it.”

Arakaki made a face at him, handing his phone back. “Well, at least I’ll know for sure what he looks like,” she said. “I can’t believe I’m getting a personal suppressant delivery from Red Riot.”

“Believe it,” Katsuki replied with a smirk. “It’s happening.” He accepted his phone back, glancing at the time before tucking it back into his pocket. “Damn. It’s almost eight. I should probably head for the parlor.”

Sighing heavily, Arakaki eyed her breakfast. “I should probably head out to socialization to keep an eye out for a handsome alpha with bright red hair. He’s gonna get swamped so damn fast.”

Katsuki flinched a little. “Right,” he muttered, “He always said that omegas in heat-houses would be real clingy with him.”

“Yeah, because unlike you, he doesn’t look like he eats rocks for breakfast and would break you into bite-sized pieces just for daring to speak to him,” Arakaki pointed out. “You’re something of a sourpuss, you know.”

Bakugou didn’t dignify that with a verbal response, choosing to let his middle fingers do the talking.

Arakaki just laughed at him. “You see?” she cackled, “That’s exactly what I’m talking about!”

With a growl, Bakugou stood, taking his tray with him. “Whatever. You seem okay with me.”

“Yeah, well, what can I say? You grew on me,” Arakaki told him, standing also. She nudged his arm with her elbow. “Like a fungus.

Bakugou would have used his middle fingers again, but he couldn’t quite get them out past the edge of his tray. “Fuck you,” he told her in a conversational tone.

Arakaki deposited her tray in the cleaning area, extending a hand and taking Bakugou’s too. “I’d rather fuck your friend,” she shot back with a wink.

“Yeah, me too,” Bakugou quipped. “Too bad that’s not gonna happen for either of us.”

Arakaki shrugged lightly. “Who knows? Miracles happen.”

“Not to me,” Bakugou told her, turning and moving across the cafeteria. “I just end up dealing with more bullshit.”

Arakaki nodded thoughtfully. “Well. I can still hope,” she said. “Stay… safe?” she struggled for adequate parting words. “Don’t accidentally murder the asshole alpha,” she said, settling for some sage wisdom that Bakugou could probably use in that moment.

“Yeah,” Bakugou replied, “I won’t. Not by accident, anyway. If I murder him, it’ll be really fucking premeditated.”

Arakaki swallowed hard, looking a bit more serious than she should have, considering Katsuki had been aiming for a teasing tone of voice. “I… don’t doubt that.”

He snorted at that, and left the cafeteria, heading for the parlor. He’d been joking, mostly. Still. If he was going to murder Adachi, he’d have to be certain it couldn’t be tied back to him. So it would, by necessity, be a very premeditated murder. Funny how the longer he spent in this damn heat-house, the more he could justify such an act to himself. He really needed to get out of this fucking place before it turned him into even more of a goddamn monster.

“...and in here is the parlor,” the young man with dark hair told Kirishima, indicating the room with low lighting and two or three couples already present. Wow, they really weren’t wasting any time, here, were they?

“This is where I’d be meeting for that reserved visit, right?” Kirishima clarified.

“Yes, unless the omega in question requests a room visit,” the staff person answered.

“Okay,” Kirishima nodded, “That makes sense.” His eyes scanned the room once, and he froze suddenly, realizing that he recognized someone in the parlor. It was the omega that had sent him a video from Bakugou’s phone, and he was… oh, damn. Kirishima felt his stomach shrivel as he realized that the alpha in the chair, head tilted back, eyes closed, was none other than his best friend, Bakugou. Kirishima forced himself to look way, hating the way his heart clenched in his chest. It was none of his business if Bakugou was enjoying the attentions of a slender, brown-haired young man. He was here to help a harrassed omega, not to disrupt Bakugou’s rut season. He could do this. He’d just meet with this Arakaki person on the complete opposite side of the parlor, surely that would work out fine. He could avert his eyes, like he was doing now, and just pretend nothing was happening, that his heart wasn’t slowly breaking.

“And this way is the socialization room,” the staff person was already moving off, and Kirishima was more than happy to follow.

“Is there any way I could have that reserved visitation take place in the socialization room, instead?” he asked the staff person.

The man frowned a little. “I’ve never been asked that before, usually a reserved visitation is to ensure privacy, we can’t ensure privacy in the socialization room.”

“That’s okay, I don’t really need a lot of privacy, I just wanted someone to introduce me to Arakaki, that’s all,” Kirishima explained.

“You… need an introduction…?” the staff member was looking at Kirishima with utter confusion. “How do you know her, then?”

“I don’t, a friend knows her and gave me her information,” Kirishima fumbled for some sort of explanation, but everything his mind jumped to sounded stupid. He was a terrible liar, he really shouldn’t have even gone down this avenue in the first place!

“Oh, a blind date? That’s sweet,” the man said, a small smile tugging at his lips. “We don’t get many of those here. I’d be happy to introduce the two of you.”

“Right, thanks!” Kirishima practically yelped, feeling a wave of gratitude towards the staff member. He wouldn’t have to go to the parlor after all, and he could still arrange a meeting with Arakaki without having to worry about suspicion. Everything was going smoothly. Except for the part where Bakugou was getting morning ministrations from a cute male omega… aaaand, there went his good mood, sinking down into the depths of despair. He tried to shake himself out of it - it wasn’t very manly to just give up right away, he’d told himself he would endure this, and besides, he still needed to confess to Bakugou, even if it was a meaningless gesture at this point.

“Since our tour ends here in the socialization area, I can go find Arakaki for you,” the staff member offered. “We have some beverages and snacks over on that side of the room, if you’re interested.”

“Thank you,” Kirishima said, “I think I’ll just stay here for now.” He glanced around anxiously, noting the number of eyes that had landed on him as they pushed through the double doors.

“I’ll be right back,” the young man told him before gliding off across the room.

Okay, so now Kirishima just had to avoid contact with every single omega in the room until that guy got back. Shouldn’t be too hard. Maybe he could try and look intimidating, that might make him seem less approachable. He tried to make a serious face, like he did when he faced down villains. It seemed to work, at least at first. Then a young woman wandered over.

“Hi there,” she greeted, tossing curls of glossy black hair over one shoulder, “I’m Emi.”

“I’m gay,” Kirishima answered frantically, willing his nerves to settle.

Emi blinked twice. “...oh. Okay. It was nice meeting you,” she tossed over her shoulder, flouncing back across the room.

Someone cleared their voice from behind him. “Hey, you Red Riot?”

He froze. No way. He couldn’t have been recognized that fast! Spinning around, he saw it was another girl. This one had long, brown hair and was wearing a floral dress. She had a glint of mischief in her eye that Kirishima might have appreciated another time, but usually in heat-houses, mischief meant that Eijirou was in for an awkward time. “I’m gay,” he said again, but that didn’t seem as effective this time around.

“Congratulations,” the young woman drawled, and extended a hand. “I’m Arakaki. Bakugou showed me a picture of you this morning.”

All of the tension in Kirishima released in a whoosh of breath he hadn't realized he’d been holding. “Oh, good,” he said, fumbling for his shoulder-bag. “I thought the staff guy was going to find you?”

“He’s the one that sent me over,” Arakaki explained, “but I was already headed your way. Because, you know, Bakugou.” She smirked a little. “Are you really gay?”

“Well, kind of,” Kirishima scrubbed at the back of his neck. “I mean, I’ve never really been into women…”

“Or omegas?” the young woman prodded, a serious look on her face.

Kirishima swallowed hard. “Um.”

Arakaki jerked her head in the direction of a small couch. “Let’s sit. We have a few things to discuss.”

Chapter Text

Bakugou’s man was gorgeous, he was kind, and damn, Airi really wished she’d known that there were alphas out there like him before she’d started dating her awful ex. He was also easily flustered, she realized, as the two of them found their way to a couch.

“So, you needed suppressants, right?” he dug into his bag, pulling out two bottles. He looked at her, his bright red eyes full of sincerity. “You needed ten mil? Or was it twenty mil? Bakugou asked me to bring twenty mil too, but he sent it later, and I wasn’t sure if they were both for you, or…”

“The ten mils are for me,” Airi told him. “The twenty mils are for…” oh. Hm. Was it really her place to tell this guy Bakugou’s secret? She wasn’t sure. “...someone else,” she finished her statement weakly.

“Is there someone else here being harassed too?” Bakugou’s alpha leaned forward, concern coloring his tone. “I want to help.” He shoved the twenty milligram bottle back into his shoulder bag. “But I can start with you, where’s the alpha who’s been harassing you?”

Airi blinked several times. “Oh. I think you’re confused,” she said, then her tongue froze again. Should she tell him? Wasn’t it Bakugou’s right to tell this guy the truth? But Bakugou was in the parlor… probably being harassed - if not straight-up assaulted - at this very second. It wasn’t exactly fair to hide the truth from a guy who so clearly wanted to help.

“How so?” the red-haired alpha frowned a little.

“I’m not the one being harassed,” Airi explained carefully.

“Oh, okay, well, I guess Bakugou didn’t actually tell me who it was, he just asked me to get suppressants for you.” The alpha reached up to scratch his head sheepishly, a thoughtful expression crossing his features. “Is the omega being harassed the one I got the second bottle of suppressants for?”

Oh! Airi could answer this one without endangering Bakugou’s secret. “Yes,” she agreed, “they’re probably for…” oh, damn. She couldn’t use his name, that would be as good as telling him. How the hell…? Wait. Wait, that’s it, she’d used this same method to find his room, it was a neutral enough identifier that it would give nothing important away. “They’re for the mandatory resident.”

Cocking his head, the red-haired man frowned a little. “There’s just the one?”

“Well, I’m not sure,” Airi admitted. “He’s kind of unique, though.”

Bakugou’s alpha considered that for a moment. “Unique?”

“Yeah, he’s like… super buff. And he works out every morning for like, two hours. Also he hates the shampoo and stuff here because he says it smells too flowery,” Airi described carefully. She didn’t want to get too specific, or the alpha might start to suspect that the man she was describing was actually Bakugou. Fortunately, it seemed that this guy was an idiot, because he didn’t look even remotely suspicious.

“Huh, weird,” he said, “I mean, I’ve met quite a few male omegas - because, well, you know, the gay thing -” he blushed a little, and rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly before continuing, “But most of them are pretty small, at least the ones in heat-houses. Maybe because most alphas who come to places like this have a type? I don’t know,” he said faintly, realizing he was babbling. “Sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Airi assured him, “I do think that there’s this widespread perception that any buff person must be an alpha. I think it’s genetically easier for them to do the bulking up, anyway, so there’s at least some biological reasoning behind it. But not everyone is like that. Especially not this omega, and people keep assuming he’s an alpha. It’s kind of hilarious.”

He still wasn’t getting it. It was almost funny, if it weren’t also sad. No wonder Bakugou had never said anything, this guy was painfully oblivious. “Oh, really? Huh. And a mandatory resident? Wait,” he frowned, “If he looks like an alpha, why is he the one getting harassed?”

Airi gave him a chilling look. “Harassment is all about the power trip. What’s better than getting one up on a guy who looks like a goddamn alpha but can’t lift a finger against you, or he’ll risk being sent back here for another mandatory residency?”

The red-haired alpha leaned back as if he’d been physically struck by this information. “That’s disgusting!” he said vehemently. He jumped to his feet, looking around the room. “Where is he?”

Airi was confused. “Who, the alpha or the mandatory resident?”

“Literally either one,” Bakugou’s alpha answered, then took a deep breath. “Wait. No. Confrontation can wait. He needs his pills, probably. I’ll get those delivered first.” He looked at Airi. “Do you know where he is? The mandatory resident, I mean.”

Airi nodded slowly. “He’s in the parlor.”

The red-haired man frowned. “But that’s for… reserved visitations…” his tone darkened as realization crossed his features. “The alpha that’s been harassing him is the one in there with him, isn’t he?”

Airi pinched her lips together. “Probably,” she nodded.

Red Riot drew himself up to full height. “Well then, I guess I’ll just have to go crash that party.” He turned to face the door, then paused. “Do they let alphas just go to the parlor alone?”

Airi considered this for a moment. “I don’t… think so?”

He turned to gaze at Airi consideringly. “Would you come with me?”

Airi grinned. “Absolutely.” She would have paid good money for the chance at a front-row seat to Bakugou’s shocking revelation. Walking this good-looking alpha to the parlor was as much to her benefit as it was to his.

Katsuki was doing his damndest to ignore the way his body was reacting to the man perched in his lap, grinding on him. He’d taken his full suppressant dose, but his body still seemed set on sex, and it apparently did not have the same discriminating taste as Katsuki’s mind. He’d shut his eyes as soon as Adachi had crawled into his lap, deciding that if he was going to end up reacting to this shit anyway, he could at least imagine it was Kirishima touching him, and not a fucking creep.

Adachi inhaled deeply, right at the base of his neck, by his mating gland. “You still smell like those damn pills,” he whined, then chuckled darkly. “You know that can't last for much longer, though. You've only got a day left, and then…” he leaned in, rumbling in Katsuki's ear, “you'll finally be mine.”

“Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen,” came a serious tone, thick with barely restrained anger. “Get the fuck away from my friend.”

Adachi froze in place. “Who the hell are you?” he hissed.

Katsuki kept his eyes closed for a completely different reason now; of all the ways he had imagined telling Kirishima the truth, this sure as hell wasn't fucking one of them. Shit, how had he even found Katsuki? He was supposed to be finding Arakaki, not disrupting private sessions in the parlor!

“I’m his friend, I’m an alpha, and I requested a visitation with him at nine. Check the clock. It’s nine o'clock now.”

Katsuki felt the weight of Adachi being lifted off his lap, and he fought a sudden urge to clasp his hands over his obviously interested junk. Fuck. Not exactly how he wanted Eijirou to see him - wanton and lusting over a guy who had been in the process of grinding on him mere seconds ago.

“Unhand me right now!” Adachi sounded spitting mad. “This is -”

Eijirou didn't seem to pay him any mind. “In section fourteen-B of the Code of Conduct it clearly states that an alpha may intervene with mild physical force if an omega appears to be in distress,” he informed Adachi in a dangerous tone. “I didn't even hurt you. You've got nothing on me, so fuck off.

Katsuki shuddered at the sound of Kirishima’s protective tone. It was like drops of water rolling down his spine, fucking hell, he was so goddamn turned on right now. He cracked an eye open. Eijirou wasn't even looking at him, he was glaring daggers at Adachi, his fists clenched, shoulders heaving with every breath. He looked good like this, though frankly that was probably the arousal talking. Katsuki knew this was simply more evidence of the fact that his fucking suppressants were failing him, but that didn't stop him from appreciating the view of Kirishima from behind, so much so that he opened his other eye. He immediately regretted this when Kirishima turned around.

“Bakugou! Are you all right?” He knelt beside Katsuki’s seat, concern plainly visible in his features.

“Been better,” Katsuki answered after a moment. He sighed internally; best to get this over with. “You bring my suppressants?”

“Oh!” Kirishima fumbled with his shoulder bag. “Yeah, here,” he dug the bottle out, showing it to Bakugou before tucking it away again. “Um…” his face reddened. “Do you need them now?”

Bakugou shook his head. “I got my regular dose this morning,” he answered.

“Oh good,” Kirishima’s shoulders slumped in relief. He eyed Bakugou carefully, then asked, “So you're the, uh, mandatory resident?”

Bakugou sat up slowly and nodded before gesturing to the seat across from him. “Sit down,” he told Kirishima, “And then ask me whatever.”

“Okay,” Kirishima sat, leaning forward and gazing earnestly at Katsuki. “Why didn't you tell me?”

Bakugou flinched. Of course this would be the first question, and he still wasn't sure how to answer. Should he tell the truth, or just give Kirishima an easier answer to swallow? “I didn't want to deal with the hassle of explaining,” he finally said, which had the benefit of being true and an easier answer to swallow.

Eijirou didn't seem to buy it, though, his face wrinkling into a confused frown. “What's the hassle?” he demanded. “All you had to say was ‘I'm an omega’.”

“Yeah, but everyone just assumed I was an alpha, it seemed easier than trying to explain repeatedly,” Bakugou replied, even though that really wasn't it. It was because of Eijirou. Eijirou, who wasn't interested in omegas.

“But,” Kirishima struggled for words, “You didn't even tell me!” He sounded hurt.

“No,” Katsuki answered, “I didn't.”

“Are you ashamed?” Kirishima asked, “Is that why?”

“No!” Katsuki growled, “There's nothing wrong with being an omega!”

“Then why did you-”

“Because you never showed any interest in omegas!” Bakugou snapped, leaping to his feet and glaring down at Kirishima. “It was always ‘omegas don't appeal to me’ or ‘they're nice enough, just not my cup of tea,’ or maybe ‘they're okay for some alphas’.” He grabbed the collar of Kirishima’s shirt, lifting him bodily from the chair and shaking him soundly. “Do you know how hard it was to hear that, knowing that no matter how much I wanted you, you could never want me back? Of course I didn't fucking tell you! Telling you would mean facing the truth that I could never have you!” He was breathing hard, his hands still fisted in Kirishima’s shirt collar. With a growl, he shoved Eijirou back into his seat, hard, and then pulled back, falling heavily into his own seat. Fuck. He hadn't meant to be that honest, but… well. It had happened. Too late to worry about that now.

Kirishima was staring at him with wide eyes. “You've been keeping it from me for all this time,” he said softly, “because of what I said?” He dropped his head into his hands then. “I’m an idiot,” he declared, then lifted his eyes to fix his gaze on Bakugou. “I’ve only ever wanted one person,” he said. “And I thought… well, you never told me otherwise, so I just assumed… I’ve held back for years, because I thought you were an alpha, only interested in omegas.” He smiled a little bit. “Turns out you were an omega all along, and I’m still a coward for not saying something sooner.”

Bakugou frowned suspiciously, sitting up to eye Kirishima warily. “That doesn’t make sense,” he said, because it truly didn't. His mind raced as he pieced together what Kirishima was saying. He hadn't confessed because he thought I liked omegas? What gave him that impression? “Bullshit,” he said sharply. “I know you're not into omegas-”

“I’m not into anyone,” Eijirou cried, leaning forward, “but you! It’s always been you, Bakugou. Everyone else pales in comparison, of course I wasn't interested in other omegas, I wanted you!”

Katsuki blinked. This wasn't how he’d expected the conversation to go at all. “What do you mean, you wanted me?” He pounded his chest for emphasis, “I wanted you!”

“So basically, you're both idiots,” drawled Arakaki from a few feet away, sounding amused. Katsuki hadn't even realized she was there, but she was standing there and smirking at the two of them. “Just kiss already,” she urged, making little kissing motions with her hands.

Katsuki looked at Kirishima. Kirishima looked back at him. “I’m game,” Eijirou said weakly.

That was all the encouragement Katsuki needed to make his move, crossing the space between them in an instant, fisting Eijirou’s collar tightly and pushing his face in so they were nearly nose-to-nose. “This better not be a fucking lie,” he snarled.

“It’s not,” Eijirou said softly, “I… I didn't say anything because I thought you had a secret omega lover.”

Katsuki blinked once, then again. He leaned back slightly. “What the fuck?”

Kirishima shrank back into his chair, eyes wide as he sputtered a frantic explanation. “You always came back from rut season smelling like an omega!”

Katsuki stared at him for a long moment, then released his collar and took a step back. “You're a fucking idiot,” he said faintly. “You smelled that, and rather than consider that I might be an omega, your go to assumption was that I was hiding a secret lover from you?!”

Kirishima shrank back into his seat, looking sheepish. “It sounds dumb when you say it like that,” he said softly.

“It is dumb,” Katsuki told him, dropping back into his seat and pinching the bridge of his nose. “Fucking stupid, even.” He sighed then, gazing across at his best friend. “I guess it's partially my fault for not telling you, though.”

“Yeah! I wouldn't have assumed that if I’d known you were an omega!” Kirishima yelped, leaning forward suddenly. “I trusted you to be honest with me, and you weren't!” His eyes flashed with frustration.

“Yeah, well, you weren't honest with me either,” Katsuki grumbled. “I thought you couldn't stand omegas.”

“Uraraka and I get along well!” Kirishima protested.

“But you're not attracted to her,” Katsuki shot back.

“Because I’m freaking gay, Bakugou!” Kirishima snarled, leaping to his feet and throwing his hands in the air. “I’m interested in men! Specifically you! You are the man I’m interested in!”

Katsuki was on his feet too. “Then fucking prove it!” he snarled, collaring Eijirou and tugging him in close.

“With pleasure,” Kirishima rumbled, reaching up behind Bakugou’s head with one hand and pulling him in for a harsh kiss.

It wasn't great, in a technical sense. Their teeth clicked together, and Kirishima's had sharp edges that caught too easily at Bakugou’s lips. Their noses mashed together for a moment, before Kirishima tilted his head, sighing softly into Bakugou’s mouth. His fingers kneaded into the back of Katsuki’s neck, and then curled around to the side, scraping his blunt nails gently along Katsuki’s mating gland.

It was like fireworks went off behind Katsuki’s eyelids and he groaned into the kiss, feeling his knees go weak at the sensation. He felt his grip on Kirishima’s collar weaken, and he adjusted quickly, wrapping an arm over Eijirou’s shoulder instead, trying to hold himself up even as his legs turned to jelly. He was pressed flush against the man he’d been dreaming of for ten fucking years, and he wanted him. Wanted his knot.

Ice flooded his veins and he pulled back, gasping for breath, falling heavily into his chair. He fought for air, unable to find the strength for anything else. “Fuck,” he finally managed, well aware of how ravaged he sounded, despite not having done anything but kiss the man.

Kirishima was panting too, pupils blown wide. “Holy shit,” he gasped, “What the hell was that?”

Bakugou groaned. “I don't know, but it could have something to do with the fact that someone fucked with my suppressants,” he managed. “I’ve been feeling off for awhile now.

“Damn,” Kirishima hissed, “Are you in heat?”

Bakugou shook his head. He knew what his heats were like, and this was nowhere near the level of wanton desperation that plagued him when he went off his suppressants completely. “No, just… off,” he said. “I think it’s because that fucking asshole was touching me and he lowered my dosage, so it's causing some fucked-up reaction. But the suppressants are still holding back my heat.”

Kirishima’s eyes glinted with fury, his countenance darkening. “He touched you?” he growled, his voice guttural in a way that tingled along Katsuki’s spine pleasantly.

Arching in his seat, Katsuki tried to muffle the whine that escaped his lips, throwing a hand over his mouth to lock it in. It didn't really work, since he was still physically responding to the sound of Kirishima's voice. “Shit!” he gasped, dropping his hand, and then, “Fuck,” because one expletive just hadn’t been enough to express his current state.

“Bakugou?” Kirishima was hovering over him now, hands fluttering anxiously, “Are you all right?”

“Not really,” Katsuki answered honestly. “I’m… kinda’ fucking desperate.” And he was; this wasn’t how he wanted to tell Kirishima that he was an omega, and Kirishima definitely wasn’t reacting the way he’d expected. But hell if he wasn’t wanting Kirishima, especially now that he knew Kirishima was interested, too. Or at least interested enough to kiss with a passion that made Katsuki’s knees go weak. Though technically that had been the mating gland teasing. Fuck Adachi for that, he’d never been sensitive there before.

Eijirou’s eyes widened in surprise, and he stooped low to hear Katsuki better. “What do you mean, desperate?” he asked, still surprisingly dense even after seeing Katsuki panting and half-hard in his black jeans. “Desperate for what?”

Fucking hell, was he going to need to be that specific? With a tremendous effort, Bakugou sat up, reaching out and grabbing Kirishima by the shoulder. “For you, asshole.”

Things were moving way too fast, and Eijirou had no idea what was going on anymore. They’d gone up to the parlor, and it was only when they were halfway there that he’d remembered he had been trying to avoid the parlor because Bakugou was in there. He’d ended up frozen, standing outside the parlor, and Arakaki had looked at him in confusion. “He’s in here,” she’d said.

“I know,” he’d replied awkwardly, “but… so is Bakugou, and I…” he’d felt his face turn red. “I don't want to see him with someone else.”

Arakaki had eyed him for a long moment, a thoughtful expression crossing her features. “Do you like him, big guy?”

Eijirou had choked on his inhale, sputtering frantically. “I don't know, I mean, he’s good looking, I guess, and-”

“Hey,” Arakaki had interrupted him in a sharp tone, “If you like him, who cares what guy is with him? Just go tell him how you feel. Don't be a baby about it, you're a grown-ass adult, start acting like it!”

Kirishima had protested, “But what about the mandatory resident?” and the omega girl had looked ready to throttle him.

“Just. Go. Talk. To. Him.” She'd snarled in a tone that had left no room for argument.

In the face of that intensity, Kirishima had chosen to simply bob his head nervously and head across the floor. What had looked like almost-innocent cuddling from across the room had begun to take on a different tone as he’d gotten closer. Bakugou’s face had been slack, and he hadn't seemed to be responding much, if at all, to the man perched on his lap. The man had been all over Bakugou, but he hadn't looked like he had been enjoying the proximity, at least not in a meaningful way . He’d had an almost predatory gleam in his eye, with a cruel twist to his lips. As Kirishima had drawn closer, he could finally hear what the man was crooning in Bakugou's ear, and it had sent a spike of fury through him.

“You still smell like those damn pills,” the man had said, and a mirthless chuckle had burst past his lips before he’d moved in to nibble at Bakugou’s throat again. “You know that can't last for much longer, though,” he’d said moments later, his lips practically brushing Bakugou’s earlobe, “ You've only got a day left, and then you’ll finally be mine.” Realization had come crashing down on Kirishima in that moment.  The mandatory resident he was looking for? The one who’d been harassed by an alpha, whose suppressants he was carrying? That mandatory resident was Bakugou.

He’d jumped in immediately, lying about having a reserved visitation to get the disgusting alpha away from his friend, glad he’d read the paperwork carefully upon entry, since he now knew exactly what he could do in this place without the risk of getting kicked out. Because there was no way in hell he was going to risk getting kicked out when he knew that Bakugou had no legal recourse in this place but to sit back and just take whatever an alpha felt like doing to him. Once he’d chased off the sicko, he’d knelt by Bakugou, and Bakugou had immediately confirmed his suspicions by asking about the suppressants. Despite all the evidence pointing to it, somehow Kirishima had still wanted to be wrong. He hadn’t wanted to know that Bakugou had been here, harassed, with no one to stand beside him while he’d endured staying in a place where he hadn’t wanted to be. Kirishima had felt as though his chest would split open, the pain he felt was so real . He kicked himself mentally, realizing that he had been in the parlor earlier, and his cowardice had kept him from stepping in when Bakugou had needed him!

And now, after a convoluted conversation, here they were. Bakugou was gripping his shoulder in a death grip, face flushed red with what was probably half-fury and half-shame, pupils blown wide. He was breathing heavily, a thin sheen of sweat beading on his forehead.  Eijirou glanced down at Bakugou’s hand and frowned, noticing his knuckles. They were bandaged, for some reason. Distractedly, he reached out and lifted Bakugou’s hand away from his shoulder, gently brushing his fingers over the bandages. “What happened?” he asked, knowing it couldn't be a training injury. Bakugou was always careful to tape up before he took to the punching bags, and he hadn't seen any sort of fitness facility here at all, much less one that was equipped for combat training.

“It’s nothing,” Bakugou snapped, trying to tug his hand from Kirishima’s grasp.

Eijirou didn't let go, frowning. “Why did this happen?” he asked, holding tight to Bakugou’s hand. “Who made you do this?”

“No one made me do anything,” Bakugou snarled. “I just fucking… punched the wall a few times. It’s nothing.”

“But why?” Eijirou pressed, looking away from the hand clutched in his grasp to meet Bakugou’s gaze. “Why would you do that? You know better.”

“I was fucking pissed, okay?” Bakugou snarled, finally ripping his hand out of Eijirou’s grip. “It's not a big deal.”

“Why were you upset?” Eijirou pressed, leaning forward.

With a snarl, Bakugou shoved his shoulders, pushing him back towards his chair. “None of your goddamn business,” he snarled, his face reddening, and just like that, Eijirou knew.

“It was that alpha, wasn't it?” Eijirou could feel his blood pressure rise as he realized that jerk had made Bakugou so upset he’d torn up his knuckles punching a solid wall! “What did he do?”

“Nothing!” Bakugou snapped, but he curled in on himself in a way that was so un-Bakugou-like that it physically pained Eijirou to see it.

“He definitely did something, I just don't know what,” Airi chimed in, causing both men to look at her with twin looks of surprise. “What?” she demanded, “I walked here with you, where else was I going to go? I deserve to see some resolution to this whole will-they won’t-they thing.”

With one accord, Bakugou and Eijirou silently chose to ignore her, turning back to face each other once more.

“Bakugou,” Eijirou said, catching the other’s hands with his own. “I’m sorry. I should have come sooner.”

“Don't be sorry,” Bakugou ducked his head with a growl, unable to meet Eijirou’s gaze. “I said it wasn't necessary, so don't feel like shit just because you believed me when I said so.”

Regardless of what Bakugou said, Eijirou wanted to feel shitty, but feeling bad wasn't going to change what happened or make anything better. “Okay,” he agreed, his voice soft, rubbing his thumbs gently over Bakugou’s battered knuckles. His friend’s hands trembled in his grip, and Bakugou inhaled sharply.

“Fuck,” he breathed, shutting his eyes briefly. “Dammit, Kirishima, do you have any idea what you’re doing to me?”

Eijirou frowned in confusion. “No, what?”

“God dammit, you’re such an idiot, why do I put up with you, I swear,” Bakugou snapped, squeezing his eyes tighter. “You’re fucking touching me. And it’s… real fucking nice. Just. It’s real good, okay?”

Eijirou didn’t understand why making Bakugou feel better was such a bad thing. He was even less clear on why that made him an ‘idiot’. “Wait, so do you not want me to touch you?” A sudden thought raced through his mind that the last alpha touching him had probably been very invasive, and shit! He should have asked Bakugou before touching him! He started to let go, and Bakugou whined.

“Don’t stop,” he snapped, then stiffened, his crimson eyes darting from side-to-side, pointedly not making contact with Eijirou’s gaze. “Or do. Because it’s fine. Whatever you want.”

“I want what you want,” Kirishima insisted hotly. “So just tell me what you want.”

“Holy fucking shit,” Bakugou breathed. “Are you trying to get me painfully aroused? Because that’s what’s happening right now, and if you’re not going to take responsibility, then fucking stop.”

Eijirou froze. What? He glanced closely at Bakugou, his eyes taking in signs that he’d seen but hadn’t really pieced together just yet. Flushed. Heavy breathing. Trembling. Oh, yeah, and a sizeable bulge in his pants. Holy shit, Bakugou was seriously turned on! But Kirishima hadn’t even been doing anything! He’d just been holding his hands! Nobody got turned on from hand holding! ...did they? What was the right response here? This was weird. Bakugou was probably going into heat after all and just didn’t realize that’s what was happening.

“Fuuuuuck, Kirishima,” Bakugou tipped his head back and groaned in a throaty voice that sent shivers of pleasure cascading down Eijirou’s spine, “Are you going to fuck me or not? Because if you are, I’d like to do it now.” His eyes flew open, and he gazed into Eijirou’s, a challenge in his expression. “And if you’re not, then you need to stop fucking touching me before I lose my shit. Or, you know, come in my fucking underwear.”

“Oh.” Eijirou paused, realizing he’d begun to absently run his thumbs over Bakugou’s bandaged knuckles again. “But I thought you needed suppressants…?” He really didn’t think it was a good idea to just mate someone who might be in heat. Heat was an altered state. Bakugou might think he was into Kirishima now, and then realize later that he’d made a big mistake. Kirishima wasn’t sure he’d be able to handle the fallout from something like that. It would break him.

“You brought the suppressants here, yeah?” Bakugou’s eyes were locked on him, his gaze hungry. “So I’ll be fine, then. I’m not in heat now, and with what you brought I’ll have enough to last me the rest of my time here.” He grunted, leaning forward to look Eijirou in the eye. “I just really, really need to have sex. Right now.”

Behind them, Arakaki cleared her throat. “You might want to go to your room for that,” she suggested in a bright tone. “Not that I’m sure there wouldn’t be a fair number of people who would enjoy the show, but you two just don’t strike me as the exhibitionist sort.”

Bakugou sighed heavily, his gaze turning from Kirishima to rest on the brown-haired young woman. “Oi, sundress girl?”

Arakaki beamed back at him, totally unashamed. “Yes, Bakugou?”

“Fuck off.”

It took surprisingly little convincing to drag Kirishima out of the parlor and down the hall towards Katsuki’s shitty little room. It wasn’t until he’d kicked the door open and pulled Kirishima inside that he reconsidered this decision. The red-haired alpha stumbled to a halt, his eyes taking in the fist-sized hole that Katsuki had put in the wall the night before, along with the now dark-brown smears that had been left behind by his bleeding knuckles.

“Oh my god,” Kirishima said weakly. “Seriously, Bakugou, can we talk about this?” he gestured to the wall. “Shit went down, and I’m really worried about you.”

“Sex now, worry later,” Katsuki told him, peeling off his jacket.

Kirishima made a distressed noise. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea, Bakugou.”

“What the hell are you talking about, it’s a magnificent idea, now take off your fucking clothes,” Katsuki insisted, pulling off his shirt and sparing a moment to glower at Kirishima, who was still fully dressed.

“I mean it,” Kirishima snapped, grabbing Katsuki’s wrists and gripping them firmly. “Just… wait a minute.”

Fucking bullshit. He’d spent ten goddamn years filling out paperwork because he couldn’t fucking get over his best friend, and now that said friend had claimed to genuinely and honestly find him attractive too, he wanted to fucking wait? No! Bakugou was fucking done being told what to do, if Kirishima was telling the truth and he was really interested in Bakugou, then he would fucking take off his clothes and bury that knot as deep as he could get it in Katsuki’s ass, and he would do it right that fucking second.

“I’m not waiting,” Katsuki snarled, using his wrists to force the alpha a few steps back. “Either get in my bed, or get out.”

“Let’s talk about this!” Kirishima yelped, “I just want you to be sure that this isn’t some sort of, I don’t know, heat thing, or something you’re doing because of what some creepy alpha did to you while you were in here! You tore up your bare knuckles on a wall, Bakugou! I think I’ve earned the right to be a little concerned about that!”

God dammit, how many times was Katsuki going to be repeating himself? “We can talk about that shit later, rocks-for-brains. Right now I just. Want. To have. Sex!” He shoved hard enough that the backs of Kirishima’s knees hit the edge of the bed and he tumbled backwards. His tight grip on Katsuki’s wrists meant that he pulled him down too, and the two of them landed heavily: Kirishima on the bed, and Katsuki on Kirishima.

“Are you sure you really want this?” Kirishima yelped, “I just think we should think about this-”

Katsuki was going to rip his damn head off. “Are you fucking serious?” he roared. “I’ve been thinking about this for ten fucking years!”

Kirishima stilled beneath him. “...what?”

“Why the fuck do you think I filled out deferred mating paperwork for so many years that I got slated for mandatory residence? Do you really think it’s because I couldn’t have found an alpha to fuck if I had goddamn wanted one?” Katsuki wanted to use his quirk so bad he could practically taste the nitroglycerin-smoke in his mouth. He just wanted to explode something, he was so furious. “I didn’t want an alpha! I wanted you! I was waiting for you, you dumb shit! Waiting for you to pull your rock-hard head out of your shitty ass and fucking notice me!”

He was panting hard as he lifted his hands and planted them on either side of Kirishima’s face. The man below him was still clutching his wrists, but he didn’t seem to be exerting much pressure at this point. It seemed more like he was holding on to them because he didn’t know where else to put his hands.

“And now! Now that I know you’ve wanted me just as much as I’ve wanted you, for all this time, you have the gall to tell me to fucking think about it?” Katsuki thundered, his voice shaking the walls. “I don’t need to think, I’ve been thinking about you for an entire decade! JUST SHUT UP AND FUCKING DO ME, YOU ASSHOLE!”

Chapter Text

Staring up at Bakugou, Kirishima realized that he could never have imagined the true intensity of what it was like to be pinned beneath the explosive blonde. Bakugou’s bare chest was heaving with emotion, and his eyes burned like hot coals. His teeth were bared in a half-snarl, his arms braced on either side of Eijirou’s head. Damn, it was hot. And if Bakugou was telling the truth, if he’d really filled out that deferred mating paperwork, year after year, because he’d been waiting for Eijirou to get his shit sorted? In that case, he figured the whole ‘ what the hell made you so mad that you went and punched a hole in the wall?’ issue could probably wait another hour. Or two. Or more. Depending on their stamina.  

But the one thing that kept nagging at him was the stupid thing with the suppressants. If Bakugou was on suppressants now, then why was he so… needy? Why was he so frantic to have sex? It was lowkey terrifying, he didn’t want to do something that would end up hurting Bakugou later, and heat sex was something that you talked about with an omega before they went into heat, because sometimes things would get fuzzy for them once they were in heat. He and Bakugou had not talked about this, hadn’t established any sort of hard limits, soft limits, nothing. He didn’t know preferences, or…

Shit, this was all so damn confusing, he’d thought he was coming to stand bodyguard for a helpless mandatory resident omega. He hadn’t expected to be straddled by said mandatory resident, who also happened to be incredibly attractive, oh, and also the very guy that he’d been pining after for years. Who had apparently been reciprocating by pining after him in return.

“I can’t do it!” Eijirou yelped, “I don’t know if this is what you really want, what you really need, or if it’s just your heat-”

“FOR FUCK’S SAKE,” Bakugou bellowed down at him, “I’M NOT IN HEAT!”

“But you’re acting weird!” Kirishima protested. “I can’t take that risk, not with you! You’re too precious to me.”

Something in Bakugou’s expression changed at those words, his face twisting. “What did you say?” he asked, his tone of voice suddenly much softer.

“You’re precious to me,” Eijirou repeated, gazing up at him. “I don’t want to risk anything that might threaten our relationship.”

Bakugou’s face pinched slightly, and he pressed his lips together in a line. “So you’re not opposed to sex as a general principle, just right now, specifically,” he stated, his voice flat.

“Oh, yeah,” Eijirou agreed heartily, “I’ve had dreams that weren’t this hot. I definitely want to have sex. Preferably soon. I just… I don’t want this to be something we rush into too quickly.”

Bakugou growled low in the back of his throat, and sat back, one knee settling between Eijirou’s, the other to the outside of his right leg. “Fine.” He shook his wrists, pointedly freeing them from Eijirou’s lax grasp. “You can’t keep touching me, then,” he said sharply, scooting off of Eijirou entirely and grunting. He reached down, undoing the button on his jeans and unzipping them, shucking them in a swift motion, leaving him clad in only his boxer-briefs.

“Um,” Eijirou said, his mind whirling while his lips seemed to have lost connection to his brain. “What are you doing?”

Bakugou glanced over his shoulder at him and scowled. “I told you. I’m fucking hard, and if you’re not going to take responsibility, then you’re going to at least sit there and watch.” At that, he hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his underwear and tugged it down, kicking it off once it reached his ankles. A groan escaped his lips as he straightened up, his cock jutting out like it knew it was the center of attention.

Eijirou blinked in surprise as Bakugou crossed the floor, moving back towards the bed. He didn't crawl back on top of Kirishima (fortunately, because Eijirou’s self-control was already reaching its limits), instead moving over to the nightstand and yanking open a small drawer.

Bakugou made a pleased grunt, pulling out a bottle of lube and pouring a generous amount into one hand. He then set the bottle down and spread the lube across his other hand, too. Eijirou wanted to ask why, but he didn't trust his voice at the moment.

With one hand, Katsuki lightly grasped himself, breath hitching as his hips twitched forward. Then, Eijirou noticed the other hand, hovering behind Bakugou. He glanced up at the man’s face to see him sneering down at Eijirou, crimson eyes flashing.

“Like what you see?” Bakugou asked, voice laden with the weight of arousal. Turning until his back was to Eijirou, Bakugou’s other hand waited, a single digit resting along the puckered flesh of his entrance.

Kirishima’s breath caught in his throat as he watched Bakugou slide to the ground before slipping a fingertip in. He slowly pressed it deeper, pulling out after a minute to add a second finger. As the stretch increased, Bakugou groaned, a sound that seemed to wrap around Eijirou and pull at those stubborn parts of him that were refusing to participate.

Bakugou was working his cock with one hand, hips jerking forward, seeking friction from his slicked hand, while the fingers of his other hand thrust deeper inside, drawing out mewling gasps from the omega. Bakugou’s head was thrown back, his legs shaking as he added a third finger, then a fourth . He kept working himself wider, his breath coming in gasps, his hips stuttering as his rhythm failed, and then he was crying out, orgasming hard, his come splattering across his hand and fingers, both hands pulling away as he collapsed to the floor, panting. He braced himself on his hands and knees for a moment, and Kirishima sat up, concerned. Should he help?

Then Bakugou lifted his head. Eijirou saw a wicked gleam in his eyes before the blonde carefully bent forward, still on his knees but this time pressing his face to the floor. Reaching back with both hands, one still covered in ejaculate, Bakugou gently grasped at his ass, spreading his cheeks so that Eijirou suddenly had an unobstructed view of the place that Bakugou had worked open with his clever fingers.

His face blushed nearly as red as his hair, but he couldn't seem to tear his eyes away, mesmerized by the sight.

“Just so you know,” Bakugou rasped, his voice still laden with heady arousal, “The offer of sex is still very much on the table.”

Shit, Eijirou had never wanted something more than he wanted Bakugou in that moment. Instead, he fisted his hands on the blankets on Bakugou’s bed and gritted his teeth. He had made the right decision, waiting to be sure this wasn't heat. Still, with Katsuki’s body spread out before him like this, it sure as hell didn't feel like the right decision.

As the seconds ticked by, Katsuki could feel his come drying, felt the cool air of the room whisper across his bare skin, and wished desperately that Kirishima would just fuck him, already. With every moment that dragged on, that sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach seemed to fall a little bit further.

Kirishima didn't want him.

Of course he doesn't want you, a cruel voice that sounded eerily like Adachi purred in his mind, You’re damaged goods.

With a snarl, Katsuki pulled his hands away from his ass. Presenting hadn't worked, a show of self-stimulation hadn't gotten him to move, fuck! Bakugou had always assumed that Kirishima would at least pretend to want him, he’d never pictured Kirishima flatly refusing him. And Kirishima had claimed that he wanted Bakugou, but he sure hadn't seemed too interested in him when it counted. Was this all just a convoluted lie to keep him pacified until they left the heat-house?

With a groan, Katsuki drew himself up, rising with some difficulty and standing wobbly on his post-orgasm legs. Another spike of desire churned in his abdomen, and he could feel the scrape of phantom teeth against his mating gland. Fucking Adachi, Katsuki’s mind supplied, and he had the urge to punch the wall again because he needed this, he needed Kirishima’s touches to erase the feel of that disgusting alpha from his body.

But Kirishima didn't fucking want him.

The realization crashed over Bakugou like a bucket of ice water. Kirishima didn't want this, he was lying to keep Katsuki happy, how else could you fucking explain it? Katsuki had assured him this wasn't his heat, and it wasn't, so why else would Kirishima be holding back?

Revulsion and self-loathing clutched at him suddenly, and he realized that he’d just forced his friend to watch him pleasure himself. Fuck, if he really wasn't interested, what the hell had that been like? Awful. Katsuki was a terrible friend for doing this, and even worse for asking something of Kirishima that he was obviously unwilling to do. His throat tightened and his eyes prickled with wetness at the corners.

Fuck that, Katsuki wasn't a goddamn crybaby! With a roar, he turned and punched the wall again, not as hard as he had when he’d put a hole in it, but enough to get his knuckles smarting. It felt like one of them had started bleeding again under the bandages, but anything was better than the phantom sensation of Adachi’s hands and mouth all over him.

“Bakugou!” Kirishima was on his feet, crossing the room in an instant, grabbing the hand he’d used to hit the wall and looking at Katsuki with concern. “What’s going on?”

Katsuki didn't know what was going on, that was the whole goddamn problem! He just knew that he needed something, that Adachi’s touch still lingered on his skin like a fucking curse, and he didn't want to feel it anymore. “I can't get him off of me!” Katsuki snapped, allowing Kirishima to keep holding his hand, trying to focus on that sensation over the ones that littered his chest and throat.

“Get who off you?” Kirishima asked, proving yet again that the man was a dense motherfucker.

Snarling, Bakugou tugged his smarting hand out of Kirishima’s grasp. Paying no mind to the fact that he was probably staining Kirishima's shirt with his cum-coated hand, Bakugou grabbed his collar with both fists and shook him roughly. “The fucking alpha who kept touching me,” he snarled. “I can't - I can’t - I feel him on my skin,” Katsuki was babbling now, but he couldn't seem to stop his mouth, so he rambled on, “Every time I close my eyes it's like he’s fucking there, whispering in my ear, licking me, fuck, I can't take it!” He shook Kirishima again. “I can't get him off of me, I tried washing it off but he’s still there, I’m dirty and I can't get clean and you don't want me anyway, so why the fuck does it even matter?” on the tail of the last bit came something that resembled a sob, though he’d never fucking admit it.

Kirishima reached up, placing his broad hands atop Bakugou’s, squeezing gently. His eyes were wide, his face pale. “This is about what he did to you,” he said softly, a hint of understanding creeping into his tone.

“It’s fine,” Katsuki snapped, halfheartedly tugging away, but Kirishima held his hands tightly and refused to let go. “I wouldn't want me like this, either. Desperation’s not a good look on anyone.”

“That’s not why I said no,” Kirishima said firmly, “and you know it.”

“I don’t know fucking anything,” Katsuki snarled. “I just know that you don’t want me.”

Kirishima closed his eyes as if he’d been physically pained by the accusation, taking a deep breath. “I told you. That’s not true. I just want to wait.”

“You just want to wait until it’s over so you can fucking forget this ever happened,” Katsuki elaborated.

“That’s not true either!” Kirishima protested, “I just don’t want to hurt you!” His hands tightened over Katsuki’s as he said this.

“Too late, fucker, you already have,” Katsuki growled, trying to shake free of Kirishima’s grip. He got one hand loose, and used it to pry Kirishima’s grip from the other. He stomped across the room to the bathroom, washing his hands. Once done, he stomped back into his room, ignoring the way Kirishima was watching him as he tugged on his underwear, then his jeans, his t-shirt, and finally, his jacket.

He didn’t bother looking back at Kirishima, yanking open his bedroom door and slamming it so hard behind himself that he heard the door frame crack ominously. He didn’t bother looking back to see how bad it looked, what did it fucking matter, anyway? He’d already put a hole in the wall, what was a little more property damage? With a snarl, he marched down the hallway.

Forget Kirishima. He was going to fucking socialization.

“Wow, I wasn't expecting to see you down here so soon,” Airi said, crossing the room to approach Bakugou. “What happened to your boytoy?”

Bakugou stiffened, and as she approached, Airi caught the bright sheen in his eyes, the hard tension in his jawline. No. There was no way…

“He didn't want me,” Bakugou answered hoarsely, the statement followed by a strangled noise that Airi immediately promised herself she would never tell another soul about. It wasn't a sob. It was more raw, more honest than that. It made her chest ache just hearing it.

Airi considered this new information carefully and found herself shaking her head. Impossible! Red Riot had seemed very interested in Bakugou when the two of them had kissed in the parlor. Besides, from what Airi had gleaned from the conversation with the redhead earlier, he definitely felt strongly about Bakugou. “Why not?” she demanded. There had to be a reasonable explanation for this!

“How the fuck am I supposed to know?” Bakugou roared, his pain manifesting itself as rage. That was okay, Airi had done her fair share of shouting at innocent people when she’d first learned about her ex-fiancé’s infidelity. Heartbreak made you want to lash out.


Airi wasn't sure how Matsumoto had managed to sneak over in the few moments they'd been speaking, but there he was, standing beside Bakugou and gazing at him with a look of concern in his eyes. Meanwhile Yamanaka had managed to appear at her side without her notice. He stepped up beside her, prepared to take Bakugou’s verbal assault on her behalf. It really wasn't necessary.

“Fuck off, Matsumoto,” Bakugou spat the words through his teeth, his eyes burning with rage.

“I know you don't like it when people like myself - that is to say, alphas - presume to know what's best for you,” Matsumoto said primly. “But with all due respect, I don't think you should be alone right now.”

Bakugou shut his eyes, inhaling sharply. “Fine,” he snarled, eyes flying back open to land on Airi. “Not a fucking word, Arakaki,” he growled. “That wasn't for them.”

Airi nodded. Like she would ever betray his confidence.

“I’m getting some coffee,” Bakugou announced after that. “You can come with, I guess,” he added, sparing a glance in Matsumoto’s direction.

Matsumoto nodded solemnly, and trailed Bakugou across the room as the fiery-tempered omega stomped off in the direction of the beverage table.

“Are you okay?” Yamanaka asked Airi, glancing down at her with concern.

Airi tried not to think too hard about how much she liked having his eyes on her. “Oh yeah, he was just upset about something,” she said dismissively.

Yamanaka glanced across the room to the beverage table where Bakugou was pouring himself a cup of black coffee. “Is he okay?”

Airi honestly didn't know how to answer that. “I hope so,” she said weakly.

Kirishima stared at the door to Bakugou’s room, which the blonde had slammed closed with such force that the frame had cracked in two places. Between that and the fist-sized hole in the wall, it seemed obvious that Bakugou was hurting, and lacked his usual means of constructively working through the things that pained or frustrated him. Kirishima scowled at the thought. He hadn't helped matters any, it seemed, with his reluctance. He didn't understand what was going on, but something about Bakugou’s insistence on sex hadn't sat right with him.

He closed his eyes briefly, willing down a bloom of anger gripping his chest. Bakugou had said that he couldn't rid himself of the sensation of that alpha, the one Eijirou had pulled off of him in the parlor. The one who had done… hell, Kirishima had no idea what the creep had done to Bakugou. Horrible things, in all likelihood. But Kirishima had stupidly assumed that just because someone was a mandatory resident didn't mean they had no options. Had assumed that Bakugou wasn't the mandatory resident, and so he wouldn't need to worry.

He reopened his eyes and sat back down on Bakugou's bed, groaning at his own foolishness. Hadn't Midoriya told him? Hadn't Uraraka? Why had he been so quick to assume that mandatory residence was no big deal? Why had he assumed that Bakugou was at a heat-house for any other reason? He’d been told it was for omegas who filled out ten years of deferred mating paperwork - he and Bakugou had just talked about it the day before! Why hadn’t he noticed? Why hadn't he worried?

Because I don't know what it’s like to be stripped of sexual agency the way omegas are, Eijirou realized. Even though alphas went into rut, it wasn't like they were government-mandated into situations where they might be manipulated into impregnating someone. The worst thing he could think of right off the bat was if an omega were to corner him while in heat, they might trigger his rut.

Even then, it was less likely for that to happen to him than the average alpha, because he was a Pro Hero. He took rut blockers and scent neutralizers regularly, so the likelihood of an omega trapping him in a rut was low. Unless someone were to, say, lock him in a shitty establishment where omegas could freely flirt with him and maybe his rut blockers would conveniently go missing, and then…? He shuddered to think about what could happen, when considering it in that light.

And that was exactly what Bakugou had endured. Why? Because Kirishima was too much of a fucking coward to be honest about his feelings, and had tried to cover it up by running his mouth about omegas like it was somehow their fault he didn't want them.

His fists clenched unconsciously as he realized that his insistence on avoiding his real emotions had also pushed Bakugou away from him, making the other man feel like he would be rejected by Kirishima simply because of his omega nature. Shit! He’d probably feared that Kirishima would reject his advances, and would respond to him like Kirishima reacted to other omegas - cringing and apologetic refusals. And Eijirou had done exactly that. Oh, he’d kissed him, sure, but as soon as Bakugou presented as interested in more than just kisses, the moment Bakugou had seemed interested in mating, Kirishima had pushed him away. Just like he always pushed omegas away.

Kirishima buried his face in his hands, groaning loudly. He was such an idiot.

He spent several long seconds wallowing in self-pity before he stiffened his shoulders, doing his best to shake off the melancholy settling over him. He’d already made things worse once; now he had to figure out how to fix it. He frowned, wondering where to start. Bakugou wanted sex, badly. Eijirou still wasn't sure that it wasn't a heat, and he wouldn't feel comfortable taking advantage of his best friend in an altered state. It seemed that the first order of business, then, was finding proof enough to reassure himself that Bakugou really wasn't in heat. Then he could… well. Wait now, he was getting ahead of himself there.

Bakugou had stormed out saying not to touch him, so probably Eijirou’s first order of business was trying to clear the air between the two of them and explaining that he just needed a little more time to feel comfortable, and…

A shot of adrenaline raced through Kirishima as another thought occurred to him. Bakugou was a mandatory resident. He’d just stormed off, alone. What if that fucking alpha touched him again because Kirishima had been too busy moping around in Bakugou’s bedroom to protect him like he’d promised he would? The very idea made him sick, and he leaped to his feet, dashing for the door. In his haste, he threw open the door, smashing over the wastebasket behind it and spilling its contents. He turned and shut the door again, about to pick up his mess and paused, looking at what had spilled out in confusion. A shirt? A pair of pants? Underwear? Eijirou stared at the items, baffled. Why had Bakugou thrown away perfectly good clothes? He knelt down to put them back in the trash and paused, a thick smell reaching his nose, similar to the smell that lingered on his own shirt collar where Bakugou had grabbed him. Cum. The pants and underwear were stiff with ejaculate, but where the stains on his shirt smelled of Bakugou alone, there was the scent of another lingering on these clothes, a musty smell almost like the scent of a dusty cork from an old bottle of wine. The smell was even stronger on the shirt, all around the collar where the owner of the scent had apparently spent some time scenting the omega. Bakugou’s scent was there too, not the smell of his sex leavings, but a scent that Kirishima now knew to be Bakugou, dark and simmering like chili-infused chocolate, spicy and dry like pure cinnamon on his tongue.

Kirishima had smelled the same scent sharply when he’d run his fingers along Bakugou’s neck while they kissed. That filthy alpha had taken advantage of Bakugou, had teased out that tantalizing aroma by playing with Katsuki’s mating gland! The idea that someone else had smelled him like that, had drawn out that spike of arousal, infuriated Kirishima. How dare this alpha touch Bakugou like that!

Obviously it had been a terrible experience, since Bakugou had thrown away the very clothes he’d been wearing. His heart ached as he pushed the clothes back into the wastebasket, pausing when his fingers brushed against something wet. It was under the collar on the left side of the button-down, and seemed like a cross between water and the kind of slime that snails and slugs leave in their wake. The sour smell was even stronger, less like a wine cork and more like vinegar, assaulting his nose. He examined it closely, and the tips of his fingers prickled with sensitivity when he brushed them against the strange fluid. This strange fluid seemed to be mainly present at the place on the collar where Bakugou's mating gland lay. Kirishima’s forehead drew into a frown as he puzzled through that. He didn't know what this substance was, but it smelled a lot like that damn alpha.

Had he done something to Bakugou’s mating gland? Was that why Bakugou was acting so needy? Shit, he didn't know, and he really didn't want to ask Bakugou. It would be cruel to make him relive whatever had happened, especially something that had made him throw away the clothes he’d been wearing and - Eijirou’s eyes wandered to the fist-sized hole in the wall - hurt himself.

A thought came to him then, and he dug out his phone. The creep had sent him a video. Maybe he would catch the alpha putting that strange substance on Bakugou’s gland. It was a long shot, but Eijirou was willing to take it at this point. He had to know what happened so he knew how to respond.

Shit, but Bakugou was still alone out there. Scowling, Kirishima tucked his phone away again, righting the wastebasket and standing. He would go find his friend first, he could always check on that other stuff at night when regular visiting hours were over. For now, he needed to be with Bakugou.

Chapter Text

Katsuki swallowed his coffee, enjoying the warmth of the beverage, if not the flavor. “This place has shitty coffee,” he commented.

Matsumoto stood beside him, staring into the depths of his own cup of coffee like he was expecting it to drink itself or something. “It is rather bitter,” the alpha agreed.

“It's more than just bitter,” Bakugou countered, “It’s got no richness or depth to it, just bitter and sour.”

The distinguished scarecrow pushed his glasses up on his nose a little and sighed. “True.”

Bakugou drained his cup and sighed. “At least it has caffeine,” he muttered, and poured himself another cup before moving across the room again, pointedly taking himself as far away from yesterday’s corner as was physically possible. “I owe you for yesterday,” he said finally, glancing back over his shoulder at the tall, slender alpha trailing behind him.

Matsumoto’s eyebrows jumped upwards in surprise. “How so?” he asked.

Bakugou set his coffee down on a small table and plopped into the chair beside it, nodding his head at the two chairs across from him. “You watched out for me yesterday, after… that happened,” he said, avoiding Matsumoto’s gaze, instead picking up his coffee again and staring down at it. “You kept any other alphas away, and stayed with me so the staff wouldn't get pissed at me for not socializing. You didn't have to do that, but you did.”

“You're wrong,” Matsumoto said carefully, his voice brittle like he was trying hard not to snap. “I did have to do that. I couldn't forgive myself for just leaving you alone like that. I can't imagine leaving anyone in such a vulnerable state. It wasn't a choice; I had to do it.” He reached out, gently brushing his long fingers over Katsuki’s bandaged knuckles. “I just wish I’d arrived sooner,” he said softly.

Katsuki pressed his lips together to trap the whine that was building in his throat. What the fuck was wrong with him? His body seemed ready to throw itself at literally any alpha who showed him the slightest bit of attention. He didn't want to feel like this, didn't want his skin to feel every light touch of an alpha like it was a direct link to his out-of-control libido.

“Sorry if I’m interrupting, but actually I’m not that sorry,” came a voice from behind him, “Bakugou? Are you all right?” Fucking Kirishima was hovering behind him now. Katsuki resisted the urge to groan as his body redoubled its efforts to reach a state of arousal.

Across from him, Matsumoto stood smoothly, his shoulders bunching with tension. “And you are?” he growled, his voice dipping into a deeper register that sent a shiver down Katsuki’s spine.

Fucking hell, could his stupid instincts not do this to him for five damn seconds? Was that too much to fucking ask?

“I’m Kirishima,” the red-haired alpha responded with surprising calm. “You're not the asshole I met earlier, and Bakugou seems to be okay with you, so I’m going to assume you're a decent guy.”

Matsumoto glanced between Bakugou and Kirishima, uncertainty playing across his features for a moment before he relented, once more taking his seat. “I apologize,” he said stiffly, “I wasn't sure who you were or whether Bakugou was comfortable with your presence.”

Except that Katsuki wasn't comfortable with Kirishima’s presence, because the man had refused him earlier and was obviously only here out of a sense of obligation. “Fuck off, Shitty hair,” Katsuki told him tiredly, glancing up at his friend.

“I don't think I will,” Kirishima replied, settling into the second chair across from him. He glanced at Katsuki’s cup and grimaced. “I can't believe you're actually drinking that,” he said.

“I don't have any other options,” Katsuki shot back snidely, but he set the cup down anyway.

“I’ll bring your filters and usual blend with me tomorrow,” Kirishima assured him. “Oh yeah! While we’re on the subject of bringing things, Arakaki mentioned something about you thinking the shampoo here smells terrible. Did you want me to grab yours from your apartment? Or I could just bring you some of mine.”

Katsuki hated the way his chest bloomed with warmth at Kirishima’s eagerness to help. His alpha - not your alpha, get a fucking grip - wanted to provide for him, would even let him use his own shower supplies! It felt protective, like Kirishima was showing Katsuki that he knew him, knew him well enough to give him what he needed. Except for sex, Katsuki reminded himself glumly. He doesn't fucking want you, remember? He’s just a good person, that’s all.

Matsumoto’s face was bright red as he glanced between Katsuki and Kirishima, finally clearing his throat and saying awkwardly, “I’m sorry, I thought Bakugou was a mandatory resident?”

Kirishima turned to look at him, confused. “What are you talking about? He is a mandatory resident.”

Matsumoto gaped at Kirishima. “How is that possible?” he finally managed, “When the two of you are obviously incredibly familiar with each other?”

“It’s obvious, if you think about it,” Bakugou said sharply, “We haven't fucked.”

Matsumoto looked appropriately mortified by his use of coarse language. Katsuki found a bit of vindictive pleasure in causing that reaction.

“Oh,” Matsumoto said weakly, his forehead creasing with confusion, “Then why is he here?”

Katsuki looked at Kirishima and raised an eyebrow. “‘Why ’ indeed,” he sneered. “You gonna fuck me, Kirishima?”

Kirishima’s face was almost as red as his hair. He wheezed a little, his fingers digging into the arms of his overstuffed chair. “Oh, uh… I mean…” he tossed a worried look in Matsumoto’s direction, and Katsuki could practically see his friend’s mind whirling, trying to figure out what would happen if he didn't fuck Katsuki. Would Matsumoto do it instead? “Maybe later?” he squeaked.

Matsumoto was giving Kirishima a strange look, like he wasn't sure how to react to such a weak-ass response. “I hope you know, Bakugou, if you are seeking a partner for your heat, I would be more than happy to oblige,” Matsumoto informed Katsuki, shooting another glance in Kirishima's direction like he wasn't sure if the alpha beside him was going to take offense to that or not.

As it turned out, Kirishima very much took offense. “You creepy bastard!” he snarled, whirling on Matsumoto so fast the other alpha barely had time to blink before Kirishima’s fists were clutching his collar, shaking the other alpha roughly. “He’s still dealing with shit because of some disgusting alpha's inappropriate behavior, and you would just take advantage of that?” Kirishima sounded utterly repulsed by the idea. “I swear, you lay so much as a pinky on him,” a low growl erupted from his throat, “You'll answer to me.”

Katsuki had seen enough. “Holy fucking shit, Kirishima!” he snapped, leaning forward, “It’s not enough that you won't mate me, now you're going to fucking cockblock me, too? What the hell?”

Kirishima dropped Matsumoto’s collar and looked at Katsuki, his eyes pleading. “Give me time, please,” he said, “I just need to figure out-”

“You won't fucking mate me, and you don't want anyone else to mate me!” Katsuki snarled. “What is there to figure out?”

Matsumoto was glancing back and forth between the two of them, surreptitiously straightening his collar. “If Bakugou wanted to mate me, I’d do it in a heartbeat,” he said simply. “Perhaps the reason you're not ready is that you are not interested in - ”

“Hey buddy?” Kirishima turned to Matsumoto so swiftly that Katsuki only caught the briefest glimpse of murder in his friend’s eyes, “How about you shut the hell up about shit you know nothing about.” It wasn't a request, more of a threat. Kirishima was shaking with barely restrained fury, his fists clenched tightly, and Katsuki could see Kirishima’s hardening quirk ripple intermittently across his fists as the red-haired man fought to control his temper. “Something awful was done to Bakugou, and the last thing I want to do is to hurt him more by jumping into shit too quickly.” Kirishima stabbed his index finger into Matsumoto’s chest, eliciting a grunt of pain from the bespectacled alpha.  “So maybe back off with this shit, implying that because I care about him enough to figure shit out before mating him, I must not be interested enough. I’m plenty interested, I just have self-control, too. Which is, incidentally, the only reason I’m not kicking your goddamn ass right now.”

Katsuki had to admit, watching Kirishima hulk out on another alpha for daring to suggest that he wasn't interested went a long way towards assuring him that maybe his friend really was interested. Maybe he did have other reasons for refusing Bakugou’s advances. It was still shitty; Bakugou should be allowed to make those kinds of decisions for himself, not have them dictated to him by Kirishima. But at least he was starting to wonder if maybe Kirishima didn't mind the fact that he was an omega.

“So you’re okay with me being an omega, then?” Katsuki asked Kirishima.

The red-haired alpha turned from Matsumoto to face him, his eyes wide and expressive. “The only thing that’s not okay is that I made you believe I had a problem with omegas in the first place,” he said earnestly. “I’m so sorry.”

Matsumoto looked very confused. “You have a problem with omegas? Do you prefer betas, or something?”

“I don't have a problem with omegas,” Kirishima growled, turning so his body was placed partially between Katsuki and Matsumoto. Every line of his body seemed to scream MINE.

“I am… confused,” Matsumoto confessed. “Bakugou, did you want me to stay, or are you comfortable with…” Matsumoto sniffed disdainfully, “him?” The way Matsumoto said ‘him’ very clearly demonstrated how he felt about Kirishima.

“It's fine,” Katsuki told him, making a shooing motion with his hand.

Kirishima settled back in his chair, watching Matsumoto go with a wrinkled nose. “He seems… nice,” he finally managed. “I don't think he likes me.”

Katsuki resisted the urge to roll his eyes, picking up his coffee and taking a sip. Ugh. “He’s had his eye on me since day one,” Katsuki told him, then sniggered into his cup. “He knows when he’s outclassed, though.”

“Yeah, well, anyone could see you're dealing with a lot of crap, and taking advantage of that just to get in your pants… it’s super unmanly,” Kirishima declared, his nose wrinkling a little more in the direction Matsumoto had gone. “Anyone with a sense of justice would outclass him.”

Katsuki blinked. “Is that why you won't do me?” he hissed. “Because you think I’m weak? That I’m some delicate fucking flower who doesn't know how to say ‘no’ when he’s had a bad day?”

Kirishima just turned to stare at Katsuki, disappointment in his eyes, until Katsuki found himself backing down voluntarily.

“Fine, fine, I know you don't actually think I’m weak or any of that shit, but seriously,” Katsuki glowered at him. “You won't mate me, but you don't want anyone else to do it either. It's kind of bullshit.”

Kirishima made a face. “You threw your clothes away yesterday,” he said. “You broke the wall. That's not… you. Not unless you were really upset.”

Katsuki swallowed hard. He hadn't realized Kirishima would go through his room if he left him in there. “Am I not entitled to privacy?” Katsuki snapped, then sighed, staring down into his coffee cup. The eyes reflected in the coffee looked tired. He didn't have the energy for another fight with Kirishima. He glanced back up at the stupid-haired idiot with a sigh. “Forget it.”

“I knocked the can over when I was leaving, so I saw the clothes when I shoved them back inside,” Kirishima explained, giving him a disappointed look. “I wasn't trying to violate your privacy. But even without seeing that, or the wall, you're still acting different. Plus, you're so…” Kirishima gestured abstractly, “fixated on mating. Do you really need it that badly? Or is something else maybe affecting your judgement?”

Katsuki wanted to tell Kirishima that he was always fixated on the thought of having sex with him. But that wasn't entirely true, his whole body had gotten strange after Adachi’s … attentions. “That alpha from the parlor messed me up by playing with my mating gland, and tricking me into dropping my suppressant dose for a day,” Bakugou told him, carefully avoiding any mentions of what else Adachi had done. “I guess that combination made me more… how’d you put it? Fixated? Yeah. A lot more fixated on mating.” Katsuki shrugged.

“So he did something to your mating gland,” Kirishima mused, tapping the end of his index finger to his top lip, forehead creased in a thoughtful frown. “Hmm.”

Katsuki resisted the urge to laugh. Kirishima wasn't exactly a deep thinker, and asking him to consider anything complicated was something of an exercise in futility. He was the type of person who charged into a situation headlong. Hit, and get hit. Those were his two duties in most of their hero work, and he did it well. “Strategy” and “Problem Solving” were not really in his job description, and with good reason. Kirishima was fucking terrible at that shit.

“That doesn't change the fact that I want to mate, even if it is a result of that ashole’s manhandling. I’d still rather feel you on my skin than him,” Katsuki told Kirishima.

Kirishima’s frown deepened. “Do you think that feeling you talked about, like he’s still touching you - is it getting better, or worse?”

Katsuki didn't want to think about that. He'd rather forget it entirely. But it was a fair question. He closed his eyes, and shuddered, as a phantom caress slithered along his neck. “Fuck!” he cursed, eyes flying open. “Shit!” he looked up to see Kirishima leaning forward, hovering nervously. He waved him away with a sigh. “About the same,” he said. “It was getting worse the last day or so, but it’s been the same since the parlor this morning.”

Kirishima nodded seriously. “Maybe he found a way to override your suppressants?” he guessed.

Katsuki growled lowly. “I already fucking told you, it’s not my heat.”

Kirishima ‘hmm’d noncommittally, glancing at his watch. “It’s almost lunch time,” he noted, clumsily changing the subject.

Since Katsuki didn't want to talk about Adachi any more than Kirishima did, he let it happen without comment.

Kirishima glanced at Katsuki. “You hungry?”

Katsuki wasn't really hungry, but it would be a change of scenery, at least. Then again, he was still pissed that Kirishima didn't believe him when he said this wasn't his heat. Pissed enough that he wasn't about to make things easy for the redhead. “I’m not hungry,” he told Kirishima. “I can't even finish this swill,” he added, lifting his coffee cup to show Kirishima how much was left.

“Oh, okay. Let me know when you get hungry, then,” Kirishima replied with more cheer than Katsuki really felt the situation warranted. The redhead frowned a moment later as he remembered something. “We can't go between two and five, though, since those are your afternoon reserved visitation hours, and the code of conduct says those can't be spent in the dining hall.”

Katsuki’s blood ran cold. He hadn't even considered the fact that Kirishima’s presence wouldn't actually have any bearing on his schedule. Of course he still had reserved visitations! He was an idiot to think otherwise! Fuck! What if Adachi requested him again? Kirishima wouldn't be able to do shit about it, and Katsuki would have to endure, knowing that Kirishima knew he was letting some asshole touch him…

Oh god, that was so much fucking worse than any other thing that might happen. His chest hurt, he couldn't breathe. Adachi still had him under his thumb, shit! How the fuck was he going to last through another four days of hell? And knowing that Kirishima was right there made it that much worse - fucking dammit! He didn't want Kirishima to worry about him, and if Kirishima was already having second thoughts about mating, watching Adachi get all physical would probably turn him off entirely! His ears were ringing. His fingertips prickled like they were going numb. His throat felt tight, like he was choking on each breath and he couldn't seem to get enough fucking air, he was dizzy, his heart was pounding so hard it hurt -

Something warm and comforting caught his shaking hands and gripped them tight. “Bakugou! Hey! Bakugou!” Kirishima was gently surrounding Katsuki’s hands with his own, eyes fixed on his face, concern radiating off him like heat from a stove.

Dimly, Katsuki noticed his cup of coffee lying on the floor, the dark liquid fanning out from where the drink had been dropped. “Fuck,” he breathed, “I forgot he could still request-”

“No one is requesting you,” Kirishima interrupted sharply. “That's the first thing I did when I left your room. All of your reserved visitations today - and tomorrow - are with me. No one else is getting near you without your permission, and no staff people are going to dare interfere because I’ll be right here with you the whole damn day.”

Bakugou slumped in relief. “Oh,” he said lamely. His hands were still shaking, but Kirishima held them tight so no one else would notice. His gaze drifted back to the coffee he’d dropped. “I should clean that up.”

“I’ll get some napkins,” Kirishima offered. “Want me to bring you a new cup while I’m over there?”

“Hell no, the swill this place calls coffee is fucking disgusting,” Katsuki replied.

Kirishima chuckled. “Yeah it is,” he agreed, patting Katsuki’s hands gently before popping to his feet and moving off in search of napkins.

Kirishima decided that even if Bakugou didn't want coffee, he could use a cup of something warm to soothe his own nerves. He hadn't seen Bakugou panic like that in at least nine months, maybe even longer. The last time had been because of bad intel from dispatch, and the building they’d been evacuating had nearly crushed Eijirou and twenty civilian victims after Bakugou had mistakenly taken out a support wall in a bid to catch the escaping villain.

He’d been white as a ghost when Red Riot had finally emerged from the rubble. Eijirou hadn't blamed him for the incident. After all, accidents happened, bad information sometimes got passed along, and a quirk like Bakugou’s could very easily create problems if he didn't have all the necessary data to make informed decisions when pursuing a villain.

Eijirou poured himself a cup of coffee with shaking hands. He took a calming breath, grabbed a fistful of napkins, and turned to head back to where Bakugou was waiting. His friend was staring down at the coffee cup he’d dropped, hands clasped firmly together, resting between his knees. His eyes were dull, and his shoulders sagged like he was exhausted. There was a line of tension in how he held himself, though, and something about how he sat screamed “discomfort”, at least to someone who knew Bakugou well as Eijirou did. For not the first time, Eijirou imagined what he would have done to that awful alpha if he hadn't sworn to himself that he would stick to the code of conduct. Probably something that would get his hero license suspended pending further investigation. Hence why he was trying his hardest to follow the code of conduct to the letter.

He eased into one of the seats across from Bakugou, setting down his coffee and dropping the napkins onto the spill, bending over to wipe it up. Bakugou’s hand joined his a moment later, and the two of them mopped up the spilled drink in silence.  Eijirou tucked the dirty napkins into the cup, mentally thanking the universe that the ceramic hadn't broken when it hit the floor.

“So,” Bakugou said as Eijirou set the cup full of wet napkins aside, “You reserved all of the visitations?”

“Of course!” Kirishima told him. He’d gotten lost coming down from Bakugou’s room, and when he’d stopped to ask a staff person for directions, it had occurred to him that the alpha creep might have tried for another reserved visitation, so he'd asked to go to the front desk, and forked over the cash to reserve all of that day’s visits, and tomorrow’s. He’d wanted to reserve every day, but the receptionist had informed him that reservations could only be booked one day in advance. He figured he would just have to remember to reserve the next day’s visitations when he arrived each morning.

“You gonna do anything with all those visitations?” Bakugou asked, raising an eyebrow. “You know they can be taken in a room, not just the parlor,” he added with a leer.

It was really unfair how damn attractive Bakugou looked when he said things like that, his eyes raking up and down Eijirou with undisguised delight. Coughing to hide the fact that he’d been rendered momentarily speechless by Bakugou's molten gaze, Eijirou tried to figure out how to respond to that. He still didn't want to hurt Bakugou, but what his friend had said earlier resonated with him - even if his fixation on mating was caused by that alpha, Bakugou still wanted to feel Eijirou, and not that creeper, on his skin. Eijirou could respect that desire… to an extent, anyway. “Whatever you want,” he finally managed, although that wasn't precisely accurate.

Bakugou was quick on the uptake, though. “Whatever I want… Unless it’s sex,” Bakugou shot back with a scowl.

Oh my god, Eijirou was not strong enough to keep having this conversation, it was going to break him. “I don't want that right now,” he stressed. “But anything else is on the table.”

Bakugou leaned back, his eyes narrowing as he stared at Eijirou calculatingly. Oh shit. He knew that look. His blonde friend was looking for a loophole. “ Anything else?” he parroted Eijirou’s words back at him.

Swallowing hard, Kirishima nodded.

“So define sex for me, then,” Bakugou said, a slow smile creeping across his face. “Would that be any penetrative act? Or just knotting?”

Oh god, Eijirou could tell by the burning sensation alone that his face was bright red. He was such a virgin when it came to talking about this sort of thing. How the hell was Bakugou so chill about it when he’d apparently been filling out deferred mating paperwork for just as long as Eijirou?! “Uh,” he said intelligently, then fumbled for an answer, “I guess I mostly just want to wait before knotting, so kissing or whatever is-”

“What about oral?” Bakugou interrupted. “I wanna suck your dick.”

Shit, shit, shit! How could he just say that with a straight face? Kirishima thought he was going to melt into a puddle from the burning heat of his embarrassment. “I guess?” he squeaked, like he’d suddenly fallen backwards in time to the awkward stage of puberty where his voice refused to cooperate. “If you really wanted to do that?” Eijirou was going to die.

“What about hand jobs?” Bakugou continued, as if he were casually commenting on the weather, and not talking about lewd activities in a very public space. “Or… would you finger me if I wanted that?”

That’s it, Eijirou was officially dead, his brain had ceased to function, someone call the coroner, he was basically ready for cremation at this point. “Uh,” he said, and then, valiantly fighting to say something, he added, “If you want me to do that, uh… Yes? I guess.”

Bakugou folded his arms carefully over his chest. “Would you give me oral?”

Holy shit, his face was on fire. “If you want?”

A satisfied smirk crossed Bakugou’s features. “So besides knotting and bonding, basically anything else is on the table,” he summarized, anticipation flickering in his crimson gaze.

“Uh,” Eijirou swallowed hard. “I guess? But can we please take it slow?”

Katsuki scowled, though his eyes glinted with devious intent. “Fine.” He stood, and Eijirou was about to mirror his actions when Bakugou sat down again, settling down comfortably on Kirishima’s lap. He leaned in, burying his nose in the crook of Eijirou’s neck and inhaling deeply. He hummed quietly, then said, “I’ve wanted to do this for fucking years.” Eijirou nearly vibrated out of his skin when Bakugou followed up that statement with a soft kiss to the point where his jaw met his throat, and then pressed his own neck closer, rubbing it against Eijirou’s with a groan. The contact released a burst of scent from Bakugou that left Eijirou’s brain scrambling to form coherent thought. Everything was spicy and rich and earthen and it smelled so damn good.

Eijirou groaned, he’d smelled Bakugou before, but it was always so much more subtle than this, buried deep beneath the suppressants and scent neutralizers they’d been using since the beginning of high school.

Kirishima wished he could reciprocate, but in addition to his rut blocker, he’d taken scent neutralizers because he hadn't expected to want to seduce any of the omegas at this heat-house. What a mistake that had been, because now his instincts were screaming at him to release his own scent and he had no real way of doing so. He groaned again, “Dammit,” he said, his mouth fumbling for words, “Shouldn't have gone scentless today.”

“Damn straight,” Bakugou bit out, his teeth catching briefly along Kirishima’s jawline. “Wanna fucking smell you.”

“Sorry,” Kirishima gasped out, “I won't take scent neutralizers tomorrow.”

“You better not,” Bakugou growled in his ear, and shit did that ever do things to Eijirou. He arched his back unconsciously, gasping as Bakugou shifted in his lap to straddle him. “So,” Bakugou murmured into Eijirou's ear, “When does that first reserved visitation start? Because I have fucking plans for that shit.”

“Oh my god,” Eijirou whimpered, which admittedly wasn't really an answer to Bakugou’s question, but it seemed to satisfy him anyway.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was grateful that at least the Dining Room let him order whatever the fuck he wanted, unlike the cafeteria. After scenting with Kirishima had turned into a protracted makeout session, Katsuki had stopped to catch his breath, only to realize he was actually fucking starving. He’d said as much, and Kirishima had been glad to accompany him to the Dining Room, since he hadn't eaten much breakfast, either.

“Huh, this is actually a decent menu,” Kirishima commented. “Is the food any good?”

“Curry wasn't spicy enough,” Bakugou told him, frowning a little as he perused his options. He should go for something healthier this time - high protein, various vegetables, low in saturated fat.

Kirishima chuckled at Katsuki’s comment, his eyes flicking up to meet Bakugou's momentarily, “Places like this are never spicy enough for you,” he noted.

“True,” Bakugou admitted, scowling at his menu, “But still fucking annoying.”

Kirishima just chuckled again. “You decided yet?”

“Yeah, but fair warning: I’m ordering a shit-ton of food,” Katsuki said. “I’m fucking starving, and I’m going to need a lot of energy for all the dick-sucking I’m going to be doing this afternoon.” He watched with undisguised delight as Kirishima choked on his own saliva, face going red.

Honestly, he was so fucking easy to tease. Katsuki had known this on some level before that day, simply because Kirishima was one of those naïve types who didn't fucking get it when people flirted with him in subtle ways. This minor character flaw meant that anyone flirting with him had to get brutally honest to make any headway, and therefore Kirishima’s outsized reactions to sexual advances had always been very easy to spot. Still, Katsuki had never really had the occasion to flirt with Kirishima himself, so he hadn't realized the extent to which flirting and propositions turned Kirishima into a stuttering mess. It was fucking adorable, even if his insistence on “going slow” still pissed him off.

He could respect that just because he was ready didn't mean Kirishima was ready for that sort of thing too. After all, Katsuki had benefited from the two-day wait in a heat-house in order to grapple with what coming clean might look like, whereas Kirishima had the whole thing sprung on him just that morning. It was understandable (if annoying) that he would want a bit more time to process everything. Katsuki was coming to accept that his hesitation didn't mean he wasn't interested, especially when Katsuki recalled the way Kirishima's dick had twitched when Bakugou had scented him.

“Order whatever you want,” Kirishima said in a strangled tone. “It’s my treat, so…”

Katsuki grinned at that. “Maybe I’ll order the filet instead, then,” he lied.

Kirishima didn't appear one bit phased. “I owe you ten years’ worth of dinner dates,” his friend said seriously, his gaze growing somber. “Order whatever you want, don't hold back.”

“Fuck that, I pay for my own food,” Bakugou snapped, not about to make Kirishima feel obligated to buy him dinner. It wasn't like he was some weak-ass omega who couldn't fucking pay for his own damn food, he was a Pro Hero too, dammit!

Kirishima frowned slightly. “You don't always pay for your own food, though. What about when we treat each other to dinner after a clean villain takedown?”

“Oh yeah, well, no-casualty dinners are different,” Bakugou grumbled. “It’s positive reinforcement.” They’d started the tradition during their third-year internship when both of them had been struggling with developing their quirks in ways that allowed them to be used effectively and safely in the field. When Bakugou’s team had been able to take down a villain with no civilian casualties for the first time since he’d started, Kirishima had treated him to dinner. When Kirishima’s team had no casualties the time after that, Bakugou had in turn bought him dinner. It was a tradition they had continued up to the present, still celebrating the days when villains went down without causing more suffering to the innocent people around them.

“Okay, so maybe our new thing can be that we take turns paying for meals when we eat out - except for clean takedown dinners, the rules for those are the same,” Kirishima suggested, giving Katsuki a brilliant smile before elaborating. “I just think it feels nicer to treat someone to a meal rather than just paying for our own meals each time, so why don't we do that?”

Bakugou blinked hard. Kirishima was talking like he expected them to go out again in the future. Probably a lot, if he thought it was important to set a meal-paying precedent. The realization that Kirishima was actively considering their future together hit Katsuki like a runaway train, stealing his breath away for one heart-stopping instant. “Yeah,” he finally managed, struggling to speak past the lump in his throat, “I guess that’s fine.”

“Then I’ll pay for this one,” Kirishima declared, eyes back on his menu, “and you can pick up the next check.”

Katsuki didn't trust himself to speak in that moment, so he just grunted his approval, turning back to the menu and lifting it so he could hide the blush that had to be crawling across his face. Kirishima was thinking about going on dates together! It felt surreal.

He’d always pictured Kirishima kindly but firmly letting him down, even in his wildest fantasies he had tried to be realistic, maybe they’d fuck before Kirishima told him he wasn’t interested. Never had Katsuki dared to hope for the two of them to have a future together. Shit, he was getting emotional. It was fucking gross, probably the result of his damn hormones all going haywire since he’d dropped his suppressant dose and then had a few hot-and-heavy sessions with fucking Adachi and Kirishima now, too. He wasn't usually this sentimental, but… fuck, he wanted a future with Kirishima, too!

Maybe he could only admit it when his body was craving contact and comfort, but it was still true. He wanted Kirishima, had always wanted Kirishima. He couldn't imagine spending his life with anyone else. Not that he would ever fucking admit to anything that damn soft, he wasn't a weak-ass omega who needed an alpha or any of that shit. He just figured his life would probably be better if Kirishima were a permanent part of it, that’s all.

“Should I flag down the waiter, or do you need more time?” Kirishima asked, setting down his menu.

“I know what I want,” Katsuki replied, lowering his menu now that his face was no longer burning.

“That you do,” Kirishima muttered, then flushed when he met Katsuki’s gaze and realized the blonde had overheard his words. “Not that that’s a bad thing!” he exclaimed quickly, “I’m glad you know what you want, in, you know, pretty much any situation, so I know if I ask you'll have a firm answer for me…” he trailed off awkwardly, then buried his bright red face in his hands. “Let’s just order lunch,” he groaned, voice muffled by his calloused palms.

Bakugou just rolled his eyes, unable to totally hide the way the corners of his mouth curled into an amused smile at the redhead’s antics. Kirishima was a dumbass, sure. But he was Katsuki’s dumbass, and he was damn well going to do whatever he could to keep it that way.

“So, uh…. Reserved visitation,” Eijirou said awkwardly, eyes glued to his coffee cup for fear that any eye contact with Bakugou would result in an immediate and severe blush.

“Hell fucking yes, it's about goddamn time,” Bakugou almost snarled with excitement.

Shit if that didn't set Kirishima’s brain scrambling, the raw power in Bakugou’s tone alone was enough to send shivers of excitement down his spine. “Okay, um, it’ll be two o'clock in about ten minutes, so, we could probably start heading to your room…?” Eijirou’s face was burning now, so staring down at his coffee to avoid looking Bakugou in the eye had obviously failed. He risked a glance up, and the blonde was staring back at him with a pointed leer.

Bakugou rose from his seat. The two of them had returned to the socialization room after eating, and Kirishima had been trying not to think about how soon two o’clock would be upon them, fumbling through small talk like he had forgotten how to make his tongue work. For his part, Bakugou had apparently decided that it was open season on Eijirou’s sense of propriety, and had been dropping hints and innuendo practically nonstop.  

“Get your pert little ass out of that fucking chair right now, shitty hair, we are going to my room and I am going to get my lips wrapped around that dick like it’s a fucking lollipop,” Bakugou demanded, extending a hand, apparently intending to help Eijirou stand.

Kirishima took his hand willingly, allowing Bakugou to tug him to his feet. He looked for a place to discard his coffee cup. “Where do I put my cup?”

“Leave it on the goddamn table, I don’t give a fuck,” Bakugou snapped irritably, “Fucking hell, why are you so fucking slow?”

Maybe because I’m not the one who’s probably in heat, Kirishima thought, feeling his nerves get the better of him once more, setting his stomach churning. He really hoped this was the right decision. He knew that anything serious should wait, but maybe he was still moving too fast with this. But Bakugou wanted to do this, right? Still, he had to wonder how much of this was because of that damn alpha messing with Bakugou’s mating gland. He had no idea, and it scared him that this could all be the product of some asshole manipulating Bakuogu to make him want sex.

Bakugou was already halfway across the room, and Kirishima was still struggling to get his feet to move from where he stood. He was just so goddamn scared. What if Bakugou changed his mind? What if he hated Kirishima for taking advantage of him? What if - ?

Bakugou was staring back at him from across the room, a stricken look on his face. He began marching back towards Kirishima, expression darkening as he approached. “Don’t you fucking dare do this to me again, you bastard,” he snarled, grabbing Kirishima’s collar and pulling him in close. “You listen to me, and listen good.” He shook Eijirou for extra emphasis. “We are going to my room. We are going to have a good time. We can even take it fucking slow, since you seem so hung up on that. But we are not going to fight about this again. You’re coming to my room. I’m sucking your dick. Get over it.”

Eijirou’s throat felt thick, and he swallowed hard. “I just don’t know…”

Bakugou’s face twisted into a furious expression, and he shoved Kirishima back, releasing his collar as he did so. He squared his shoulders, his eyes burning into Kirishima like hot coals. “You, or Matsumoto. Take your fucking pick.”

Eijirou blinked hard, confused by the sudden turn in the conversation. “I’m sorry?”

“I’m sucking your dick, or I’m sucking Matsumoto’s dick. Someone’s getting their dick wet in the next ten minutes. Is it going to be you, or him?” There was a fury in Bakugou’s gaze that seemed all-consuming, like an out-of-control wildfire.

An icy grip settled around Eijirou’s heart as he gazed at Bakugou, his mouth dropping open in shock. This wasn’t right. This wasn’t Bakugou. What the hell was wrong with him? “Would you really do that?” Eijirou asked the other man carefully, because if Bakugou really meant what he’d said, then Eijirou would find himself genuinely terrified about what that might mean for Bakugou’s mental state. “If I said no again, would you really… do that?”

Bakugou shut his eyes, and a look of pain swept across his features, like he’d been physically injured. “Fuck,” he muttered, then reopened his eyes to gaze at Eijirou. “,” he admitted. “I wouldn’t. But dammit, Kirishima, why won’t you just let me have this?”

“Because you just tried to coerce me into letting you suck my dick by threatening to go perform a sexual favor for another alpha if I didn’t,” Kirishima shot back, trying really damn hard not to feel pissed off about that, and mostly failing. “You’re not making this easier for me when you act like this,” he finally said. “I… I want to, Bakugou, I really do. But. Maybe that other alpha’s effect on you is still too strong.”

Bakugou’s eyes went from furious to empty in a matter of seconds. “You still won’t do it,” he said, resignation settling across his features.

Eijirou found himself nodding. “I just… don’t think it’s a good idea. At least, not today. Let’s try for tomorrow, instead?” Eijirou tried to sound encouraging, but his words rang hollow. He genuinely didn’t know if tomorrow would be enough time or not.

Katsuki clenched his fists, but his face remained curiously expressionless. “So that’s it, then,” he noted darkly. “You still won’t… accept me.”

Eijirou pressed his lips together, trying to think of a compromise.  “We could… kiss?”

Bakugou threw his hands in the air, his expression darkening into one of rage. “Oh, fucking terrific, we can make out because somehow that’s better than performing an act that might be considered sexual, because goddamn sex is going to mess me up but sticking my tongue in your mouth is like picking fucking daisies? The hell, Kirishima? What the fucking hell?! I don’t fucking understand you!” He paused, panting heavily, shoulders heaving with each breath. “How am I supposed to believe you when you say that you want me when you won’t fucking touch me?” he demanded in a broken voice. “I can’t understand that, I can’t trust that, I need some goddamn evidence that I’m more than just a friend you can stomach kissing! For fuck’s sake, try seeing things from my point of view for fucking once!”

“We'll try seeing it from my point of view!” Kirishima shot back. “Some alpha just bulldozed all over your boundaries and hurt you. Maybe I don't want to be like that!”

“Maybe you're a fucking coward!” Bakugou shouted.

“Maybe I am!” Kirishima roared back, grabbing Bakugou and enveloping him in a crushing hug, burying his face along Bakugou’s neck. “Maybe I’m afraid of hurting you, you idiot,” he added, his voice muffled. “I can't take that risk,” he confessed, lips brushing against Bakugku’s throat as he clung tightly to the blonde man. “I’m so damn scared.”

Bakugou stood frozen, stiff in Kirishima's embrace for a long moment before relaxing into the crushing hug with a sigh. “Fucking idiot,” he said, a hint of fondness coloring the exasperation with which he spoke. “Have it your way, then. What’s one more goddamn day of waiting, in the grand scheme of things?”

Rather than speak his reply, Eijirou just clung tighter to Bakugou, holding him tightly until the other man started to squirm in discomfort.

“Thank you,” Eijirou finally whispered, releasing his hold.

“We better fucking do this tomorrow,” Bakugou warned him lowly, “Or I’m going to be so fucking pissed.”

What Bakugou said wasn't all that funny, but Eijirou chuckled anyway, his relief bubbling upon the form of laughter. He patted Bakugou’s shoulder. “I’ll try to remember that,” he promised.

Bakugou glowered at him, but the hint of a smile tugging at his mouth ruined the overall effect. “Do or do not, there is no fucking ‘try,’ shitty hair.”

Now Eijirou really did laugh. “Did you just quote Yoda at me?” he squawked incredulously.

Bakugou folded his arms and gave Eijirou a look that seemed to say he refused to be embarrassed about this, “The point still stands,” he snapped. “Tomorrow.”

Eijirou didn't have the heart to tell him he wasn't sure if tomorrow would be enough time, but his face said enough.

Bakugou sighed. “Think about it,” he urged. “It’s not… shit, it's not a big fucking deal, so just… think about it,” he said again.

Eijirou nodded carefully. “I’ll think about it,” he agreed carefully, then glanced at the time. “It’s, um, five minutes after two now. We’re not going to… um, you know,” his face was burning and he hadn't even said anything explicit, he was so pathetic, ugh. “So should we just go to the parlor?”

There was no way in hell Katsuki was going to visit the parlor ever a- fucking -gain, so even if Kirishima wasn't interested in anything risqué or whatever shitty adjective he would eventually manage to say without stuttering madly , they were still going to his room. Katsuki figured he should probably inform Kirishima of this fact, and he was even planning to be chill about it. Instead, what came bursting through his lips was, “If you think I'm ever going near that fucking place again you can suck your own damn dick ‘til you choke on it.”

Kirishima’s eyes widened. “Oh,” he whispered, and Katsuki immediately regretted everything.

Fuck! He’d been trying to prove that he was fine, since Kirishima seemed to have some sort of hangup over a perceived lack of emotional stability on Katsuki’s part. Freaking out about the goddamn parlor wasn't going to move things along at all, it was probably enough to make Kirishima second-guess things even more! “I just,” Katsuki immediately backpedaled, “It’s kind of a shitty area anyway, people sucking face everywhere and shit-”

“And nothing to do with that alpha,” Kirishima cut him off, obviously not buying Katsuki’s lame-ass excuse. Dammit.

“That’s not the only reason,” Katsuki protested (lied). “Besides, if I avoided everywhere that alpha messed with me I couldn't even come in here,” Katsuki flung his arms wide, pointedly ignoring the part of himself that whispered he would gladly avoid the socialization room too, if that were an option.

Kirishima was watching him with compassion, and a hint of frustration. “Which is why you refuse to even look at that side of the room.” he pointed in the direction of the chair where Bakugou had been sitting yesterday, when -

He shook that thought off before it had time to fully settle. “Dammit, Kirishima,” he growled, “How can you be so fucking stupid and yet so goddamn perceptive?”

Kirishima shrugged modestly, his eyes crinkling a little as he smiled briefly. “It’s a gift,” he replied. His eyes narrowed a little. “I want you to tell me when things or places make you uncomfortable, but don’t… lie. Please.”

Bakugou sighed. “I don't like the parlor because that fucking creep would force me to meet him there. I don't want to go to the parlor with you, because that place feels… bad. I don't like it.”

Kirishima nodded. “Okay. Your room, then,” he agreed pleasantly.

Katsuki led the way, traipsing up the stairs and down the hall. He paused briefly to survey the damage he’d done to the doorframe. “I’ll probably have to pay for that,” he grumbled, running his fingers lightly along the crack.

“Yeah,” Kirishima noted. “It’s pretty impressive though,” he added with an amused huff.

Katsuki couldn't help but smile at that. “Hell yeah, I broke their shitty door. Maybe they'll get a more sturdy one next time.” He popped the door open, and walked into the room, then sighed, turning to look at Kirishima, who shut the door behind himself.

Kirishima looked at Katsuki. Katsuki stared back. “Uh… now what?” Kirishima asked.

“How am I supposed to know?” Bakugou demanded irritably, “You're the one who doesn't want to do anything!”

Kirishima glanced at the bed and blushed. “We could, um…”

With a low growl Katsuki flopped on the bed and looked up at Kirishima. “Come on, ” he urged, “I agreed to keep things… slow,” he said the word with a look of disgust, like it left a bad taste in his mouth. It kind of did, he was so damn ready and Kirishima...wasn't. He officially hated the word ‘slow’, but he would do his best to respect Kirishima's stupid hangups and take it one, tiny, itty-bitty baby step at a time. Even if it fucking killed him.

Kirishima perched lightly on the edge of the bed, gazing down at Katsuki. “Um,” he said, oh-so-eloquently, and blushed madly.

Katsuki rolled his eyes. Did he have to do everything around here? He pointed to his own face. “Fucking kiss me, rocks-for-brains,” he snapped.

“Oh, right,” Kirishima said, and complied, leaning down to brush his lips against Katsuki’s.

Bakugou reached up, one hand finding Kirishima’s shoulder while the other ran along the man’s broad chest. He kissed back, licking at the other man’s lips. Kirishima responded to his unspoken demand, deepening the kiss and groaning, shifting his position from sitting beside Katsuki to pressing one of his knees between Bakugou’s legs, resting his body weight partially on Bakugou, one of his own hands sliding up Katsuki’s chest.

Bakugou ground his hips against the knee Kirishima had conveniently provided, a whine building in his throat at the sensation. Kirishima's wandering hand slid up from his chest to curl along his neck, cradling the back of his head while his thumb gently stroked along Bakugou’s mating gland. It was so good, too good, and a Bakugou broke the kiss with a choking gasp, gulping down air like a man drowning. Kirishima took this in stride, nuzzling at the point where Katsuki’s jaw met his throat, as Katsuki turned his head willingly, baring his throat to provide better access. Kirishima peppered light kisses along Bakugou’s jawline, his thumb still lightly dragging across his mating gland. The air was heavy with his scent, drawn out by Kirishima's attentive ministrations. Katsuki was writhing under him, the pleasure pulsing through him. He could feel pressure building, and he knew he was getting hard, just from a bit of rubbing and Kirishima stimulating his mating gland…

A stab of horror shot through him as he realized that was exactly how Adachi had gotten him to come. Suddenly his nostrils were full of the stench of that horrible alpha, his hands trembling as he remembered how easily Adachi had managed to draw out his orgasm, how he hadn't fucking wanted that, but his body had responded on its own.

Kirishima sat back, gazing down at Katsuki with concern. “You okay?” he asked, so careful, so goddamn slow, and he’d been fucking right. Katsuki hadn't been ready, fuck! It was embarrassing.

“I…” What the hell was Katsuki supposed to say? That he’d been wrong? He didn't want to be wrong. “It’s nothing,” he lied.

Kirishima lifted his knee and settled it over Bakugou so he was straddling his thighs, and folded his arms. “Try again,” he said, a stubborn tilt to his chin.

Katsuki felt like curling into a ball, but fuck that, he wasn't a goddamn baby and he could talk about this shit, even if the very thought made his skin crawl. He was strong. He could do this.

“I think… playing with my mating gland might be…” Fuck, he couldn't seem to get the words out, there was so much he should be saying, yet he couldn't seem to finish the thought, embarrassment tying his tongue.

Kirishima’s eyes widened. “Oh. Shit!”

Bakugou lifted his hand and pressed it over his eyes because he couldn't fucking stand to see the look on Kirishima’s face when he continued. “He made me fucking come, just from that and… touching me.”

Kirishima shifted slightly over him. “I see,” he said, a rumble of anger in his tone.

“And he sat on top of me,” Bakugou added, because somehow that seemed to be fucking with him, too, Kirishima laying all over him, touching his mating gland… Fuck. He was so pathetic, letting such insignificant details bother him! It was fine,  no big deal, he shouldn't have even said -

“Why don't you climb on me, then?” Kirishima suggested, his weight lifting off of Katsuki’s thighs and a shift that bounced the bed followed as Kirishima apparently flopped down beside him. “I’ll keep my hands to myself this time, so you can just… do what you want.”

What I really want to do is wrap my lips around your cock and take it so deep in my throat I fucking choke myself on it, Katsuki thought irritably. But he’d agreed to wait, so he would. No matter how badly he wanted it. When he sat up and opened his eyes, his breath caught in his throat. Kirishima lay on his back, crimson eyes gazing fondly at Bakugou, his arms lifted up behind his head. That particular pose emphasized the musculature in his arms and chest, and for a moment Katsuki just stared, transfixed by the rise and fall of Kirishima’s chest with each breath.

The longer he stared, the redder Kirishima’s face grew. “Um,” he finally said, face nearly as red as the dye-job on his shitty hair, “You're sure this is okay?”

That was all the encouragement Katsuki needed, straddling Kirishima and grinding against him with intent. The man beneath him gasped at the sudden sensation, his head tipping back as his hips bucked, leaning into the sensation. With a low growl, Katsuki bent down and captured Kirishima’s lips in a harsh kiss, nipping at his lips and grinning when Kirishima yelped in surprise. The yelp meant he had to open his mouth, and Katsuki took advantage of that, diving in with his tongue and groaning into Kirishima’s mouth as he pressed their bodies flush together.

Lips, tongue, and teeth clashed, sometimes awkward but always exactly what Katsuki needed. Harsh. Controlling. Demanding. He rolled his hips and Kirishima groaned. Bakugou could feel him, through their clothes, and he wanted to feel more, but he’d agreed to wait, so he waited. Eventually, his fiery passion waned to a simmering desire, until finally,  they were just trading soft kisses back and forth. Breaking apart, Katsuki slid off of Kirishima to rest beside him, one of his arms still draped across Kirishima’s chest, their legs tangled together. Humming contentedly, Katsuki leaned over to Kirishima’s ear, gently murmuring, “Just so you know, I’m still planning to suck your dick tomorrow.”

Kirishima huffed in amusement at that. “I think… I think I’d be okay with that,” he admitted.

Katsuki was going to count that as a victory.

Chapter Text

“Oi, you still awake over there?” Bakugou demanded after a solid fifteen minutes of slow breathing, the two of them just lying beside each other.

“I’m awake,” Eijirou verified. “Are you?”

“What kind of stupid-ass question is that?” Bakugou scoffed. “I’m the one who asked you, it should be a given that I’m awake.” He elbowed Eijirou sharply in the ribs as he said this. 

“It’s almost five,” Eijirou noted, ignoring the pain in his side and glancing at the little clock at Bakugou’s bedside. “Are you hungry?”

“I’m a hell of a lot more horny than I am hungry,” Bakugou grumbled, “But yeah, I guess I could eat.”

“We could give it an hour or two before dinner,” Eijirou suggested.

“Sure,” Bakugou agreed, “Like I said, I’m not all that hungry.”

This was not the conversation that Eijirou actually wanted to be having, but he was having a hard time figuring out how to start the conversation he wanted to be having. “Okay,” he said weakly. “Um…”

Bakugou sighed heavily, shifting so he was propped up on one elbow, his crimson eyes staring down at Eijirou with undisguised irritation. “What do you want?” he demanded.

“Oh?” Eijirou blinked in confusion. “What do you mean?”

“You’re obviously thinking about something serious,” Bakugou snapped. “You’ve got that stupid wrinkle between your eyebrows, here,” and he poked Eijirou’s forehead, pressing his index finger against him for a few seconds before removing it. “So what is it?”

“Um, just... “ How did you apologize for accidentally doing things that reminded your friend (could Eijirou mentally call him lover or mate now? Was that taking things too fast?) of his recent sexual assault? “Sorry for the, you know, uh,” he was stalling, and he still wasn’t sure how to say what he was thinking.

Fortunately, Bakugou was smart enough to figure out what Eijirou was trying to accomplish. “Are you about to fucking apologize for making out with me?” He jabbed a fist into Eijirou’s gut - not gently, but certainly not at full force, either. It was something of a love tap, a light punch to catch Eijirou’s attention, more than anything. “That's not your problem to worry about!”

“But i was on top of you and it made you-” Eijirou began to protest, but Bakugou interrupted him, speaking loudly.

“Not. Your. Problem,” he insisted. “Besides, you listened and we made it work, so I don't get why you're still bothered by it.”

“I don't want to remind you of -”

“Well tough shit, because I’d never been touched by an alpha that way before he came along,” Bakugou snapped, sitting up fully and glaring down at Eijirou. “So it’s going to happen.”

Eijirou fought down a growl at the thought of that creep being Bakugou’s first anything. It made him so angry that he could barely see straight. Bad enough to lose to another alpha because he’d been too afraid to make a move. But for another alpha to have intimate moments with Bakugou because he had not been given an alternative? Horrific. And infuriating. “Just because it’s going to happen doesn't mean I have to like it,” Eijirou grumbled.

“So do things with me that he didn't do!” Bakugou shot back, looking like he wished Eijirou were sitting up too so he could elbow him again. “Like letting me suck your dick!”

Eijirou couldn't hold in the amusement at that statement. “Oh my god,” he gasped, “You have such a one-track mind!”

Bakugou glared down at him, obviously irked. “Can you fucking blame me?” he snapped, and reached down between Eijirou’s legs, resting his hand there for a moment before squeezing gently and sneering at Eijirou’s shell-shocked expression. “Who wouldn't want this?”

For his own part, Eijirou was very consciously trying to not react to Bakugou’s touch. “Uh,” he said, which is about all he could manage, as most of his brain power was occupied with the fact that Bakugou was cupping him through his pants.

With a sigh, Bakugou let him go, which was a relief because, for a few seconds there, Eijirou had felt as though he were about to combust. He gasped for breath for a moment, trying to get his brain to function normally again, while Bakugou gazed down at him, dark amusement glinting in his gaze. The blonde shifted his weight, moving one leg over the edge of the bed and extending a hand towards Eijirou. “Get up,” he told him, and Eijirou complied, gripping Bakugou's hand and finally sitting up himself.

“So… dinner?” Eijirou suggested.

Bakugou nodded. “Let’s go.”

Leaving the heat-house at eight o’clock with all the day-visit alphas was one of the hardest things Eijirou had ever done. He knew, logically, that Bakugou would be fine, that he was just going to sleep or whatever, but it was still hard to walk away. It felt like he was abandoning his friend, and that didn't sit well with Eijirou.

In fact, it bothered him so much that he didn't even go straight home. Instead, he went to Bakugou’s apartment first, a 2LDK in a nice neighborhood, which was only affordable due to the fact that Ground Zero merch sold like hot cakes, so his salary was well padded by various companies paying top dollar for the right to use the Ground Zero image.

He let himself into the apartment, only to stop short as something occurred to him. Shouldn't Bakugou’s apartment key have been a sign of something to Eijirou? He’d always assumed Bakugou had trusted him with it because they were best friends, but the fact that an omega had trusted an alpha with his apartment key… That was risky, in a lot of ways, and Eijirou’s heart felt full as he realized just how much Bakugou must have trusted him, to give him something like that.

Shaking his head sharply, Eijirou tried to push aside the thoughts that had momentarily rooted him to the floor and got moving - he’d come here for a reason, after all. First, he found Bakugou’s coffee and grabbed the pour-over filter, because he knew that’s how the blonde liked to prepare his coffee. Next, he headed to Bakugou’s bathroom, retrieving his shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and packed them up as well. Absently, he recalled Bakugou’s complaints about the lack of high-protein meals at the heat-house, so he rummaged around until he found Bakugou's protein supplement powder, and put some of that in a smaller container. He realized that Bakugou might also want to do some weight training, so he scuttled down the hall into the spare room that Bakugou had converted into something of a home gym, and grabbed some free weights.

Now his pile of things was starting to get pretty heavy, but he glanced around once more, just in case he’d forgotten something. Satisfied that he’d thought of most everything, he packed up what he could fit into his shoulder bag. He was glad he’d brought it, but tomorrow he’d need to wear a backpack to smuggle in all these supplies. Oh well. With a weight in each hand and an overstuffed bag slung over his shoulder, Eijirou headed back out into the night, ready to head for his apartment, though he doubted he would be sleeping anytime soon.

Logically, Katsuki knew he should shower before bed. But the little bit of Kirishima’s scent that had made it past the neutralizer clung to his clothes and Katsuki didn't want to wash that smell away. He wanted to keep it, wrap it around himself like a… a fucking blanket, or some shit. He wanted to be surrounded by the smell of Kirishima, and the barest hints of scent he’d gotten on himself and his clothes would have to suffice. Since he was already being pretty shameless about the whole smell thing, he didn't bother holding back. Flipping face-first onto his bed, he inhaled deeply in the spot where Kirishima had lain for almost three whole hours - fuck, it had been such a good idea to put him on the bed, it meant Katsuki could get a better smell from the spot after he left, and it would still be there after showering, too. And Katsuki would shower. Just… not right away, not when he could spend time basking in the faint musk of Kirishima on his blankets. He groaned, reaching down and palming himself as he fought to catch the scent of the alpha, buried beneath blockers and neutralizers but still lingering tantalizingly along the blankets, like it was almost enough.

With a grunt, Katsuki forced himself to stand up and stop before he made a mess of himself over a fucking stinky blanket, stripping down and heading into his bathroom for a shower after all. He made it fast, and had to think hard about whether or not to use the damn flower soaps. He ended up just scrubbing his body and hair with the hand soap, because it was the least scented thing in the bathroom. That done, he toweled off and tugged on his pajamas, which was really nothing more than a comfortable t-shirt and a clean pair of boxer-briefs. He resisted the urge to smell the hollow spot on his blanket for about ten seconds, before he gave in and took one more deep breath from the blanket before tugging the covers back.

A knock sounded on his door.

“Dammit,” Katsuki muttered under his breath, and stomped over to the door, opening it. “What?”

Arakaki blinked up at him. “Hey man,” she said, “I just wanted to check in, see how you were doing.”

“I’m about to sleep,” Bakugou told her, not sure what more sundress girl wanted from him.

Shrugging one shoulder, Arakaki grinned at him. “Sure, you can do that, I was just wondering if you and your guy worked things out.”

“Why the hell is that any of your business?” Katsuki demanded irritably, of half a mind to slam the door in her face.

“Oh, it really isn’t,” Arakaki assured him, grin widening. “Buuuuuut, did you? I gotta know.”

Katsuki was really ready to sleep, and definitely not talk about all the things he and Kirishima didn't ‘work out’ that day. “If you must know, the answer is not really. Now fuck off.”

The young woman stroked her chin thoughtfully, though the ‘master sleuth’ effect was somewhat ruined by the fact that she was wearing mint green flower-patterned pajamas. “I see,” she said, even though Katsuki wasn’t sure what the hell she meant by that. “So he’s shy, then?”

Katsuki blinked twice, feeling his mouth drop open of its own volition. “How the fuck-?” he cut himself off, but then changed his mind, and decided he’d like to know the answer after all. “How did you know that?” he demanded. “You talked to him for like, five seconds.”

“I’d say it was a little more than five seconds,” Arakaki protested, moving past Katsuki and into the room like she goddamn owned the place. “As for how I knew… well, not all omegas are as bad at dealing with alphas as you are.”

Katsuki wasn’t sure whether to take that as an insult or a compliment, but based on the teasing smirk she was tossing his direction, he was pretty sure she’d meant it as an insult. “Fuck you!” he snapped, shutting the door behind her. “I’m plenty good at handling alphas-”

“Oh sure, you’re good at threatening them and confusing them,” Arakaki shot back with a smirk, tossing her brown hair over one shoulder and moving towards his bed before pausing, turning, and raising an eyebrow in Katsuki’s direction. “Oooh, this smells like him,” she noted, pointing at the center of the bed and wiggling her eyebrows a few more times, probably just to annoy him.  “Anyway, as I was saying, you’re terrible with alphas.”

Katsuki still felt the urge to kick her out, but the small part of him that wasn’t smarting pride was curious. “What makes you say that?” he demanded.

“Well,” Arakaki perched on the very end of the bed, far from Kirishima’s spot and making sure not to come between it and where Bakugou would probably be laying (which was thoughtful, but also embarrassing because it meant she knew he’d want to smell it as much as possible). “I could tell right away that your guy is painfully, um… inexperienced? And also kind of clueless.”

Katsuki blinked at her. She wasn't wrong, but… “How the hell did you figure that out?” he demanded.

Arakaki gave him an exasperated look. “He barely knew how to talk to omegas who hadn't even started flirting, he just screamed ‘I’m gay’ and hoped it would work.”

Katsuki barely resisted the urge to slap an open palm to his forehead. “Oh my god, he’s a colossal fucking idiot.”

“Yeah, but he’s your idiot,” Arakaki replied with a sly grin. “Anyway. The point I was trying to make is - he’s nervous, and he seems like the type to… panic… when an unfamiliar or awkward situation presents itself.”

Katsuki couldn't in good conscience allow this slander to continue. “The man is a fucking pro hero, he doesn't panic.”

“Maybe not in hero situations. But he’s a hell of a rookie when it comes to any sort of mating rituals,” Arakaki pointed out. “He just hasn't had any, uh… training…?” she cocked her head slightly. “Does that analogy make sense?”

Katsuki scowled, but grudgingly admitted, “I guess.”

“So he’s a rookie. He’s nervous,” Arakaki explained, “It’ll be hard for him to make a move unless you can help him feel comfortable.”

“This conversation isn’t making me comfortable,” Katsuki grumbled, though he didn't really mean it and they both knew it. “Don't I get anything out of this?”

“Do you want to mate him or not?” Arakaki demanded. “Because the good ones take work. They are so focused on being respectful they can forget to have fun and just… enjoy things, sometimes.”

“Does your big-nose guy have similar issues?” Katsuki asked.

“Big nose…” Arakaki repeated, brow furrowing in momentary confusion before her eyes widened and she barked out a single hearty laugh, “you mean Yamanaka?” she asked for confirmation, then didn't bother waiting for Katsuki to respond before saying, “Oh yeah, he’s useless. So damn set on being ‘respectful’ that he can barely bring himself to hold my hand and he’s been here every day after work for a whole week, now.”

Katsuki stared at her dumbfounded. There were other idiots like Kirishima out there? Unbelievable. “What the fuck?” he said, “Why?”

“To be fair, I like going slow in cases where I don't really know the guy all that well, so I’m not exactly complaining,” Arakaki pointed out. “But you and your alpha are close, right? So it shouldn't be hard to get things moving.”

“I think he’s still worried about me,” Katsuki said, “So I’m not sure how to help him feel more confident with a situation like that.”

Arakaki made a face like maybe she agreed with Kirishima. It had to be a fucking conspiracy, a bunch of overprotective worriers coming at him from all sides. “Yeah… now that you mention it, are you sure you're okay after all that? Because it’s important to be honest with him…” her eyes narrowed as she considered Katsuki, “...and yourself.”

Katsuki glared at her for a moment. “We talked.”

She glared back. “How much?”

Katsuki resented the inquisition this conversation had become. “Enough!” he snapped. “Look, I… I gotta deal with shit my way, and I'm gonna do it on my schedule, and it’s none of your fucking business to know when or how I do it.”

Arakaki considered him for a long moment. “You're right,” she agreed finally, “It is your choice. But do give yourself the time and space to work through things properly, and… don't hesitate to reach out, if you need someone.”

Katsuki nodded sharply, not quite able to make eye contact. “Yeah.”

Arakaki leaned over and patted him on the shoulder. “I’ll see you at breakfast tomorrow.”

Katsuki chuckled, and looked her in the eye this time. “If you insist.”

“Oh, you know I do,” Arakaki replied with a jaunty wink, and saw herself out.

Eijirou crashed through the door to his apartment - almost literally, since he’d cradled both weights in his left arm to unlock the door and nearly dropped them. Considering how late it was, the neighbors would have definitely heard the weights hit the ground and been irritated by the disruption. Of course, thrusting them against the door to try and pin them close to hold onto them wasn’t much better, making a loud thump and popping the door open. Scurrying inside, Kirishima shut the door and shed his shoes, donning a pair of house slippers and shuffling across the floor to his living room, specifically the coffee table. Setting down the weights followed by the rest of the materials he’d gathered at Bakugou’s apartment, Eijirou unloaded his arms onto the table. Once he’d arranged the protein powder, coffee, and toiletries to his satisfaction, he threw himself facedown on his couch and sighed heavily. He still had a lot to think about, and that alpha bastard who had hurt Bakugou was at the top of his list.

Except that Eijirou knew almost nothing about him - not his name, his age, his quirk, or if he had a criminal record! But he was hoping to change that, preferably that very night. Still, Eijirou recognized his own limitations - he wasn’t the information-gathering, researcher type of hero, and probably never would be. He did, however, know a certain hero who excelled at information-gathering, and it was to him that he would be reaching out. With a grunt, he rolled over on the couch, pulling out his phone and scowling. If he asked Bakugou for the name of that alpha, how would he react? Would it upset him? He didn’t want to risk it. Better to go with what little he knew, and not drag Bakugou into this if he could help it. He pulled up his texts and sent off a quick message to Midoriya.

Me: Hey man I have a problem and I could use some help

It didn’t take long for Midoriya to reply, which was good, because Eijirou was getting more antsy by the minute, and he wasn’t even sure why. It wasn’t like the alpha could do anything now. Still, he didn’t like being separated from Bakugou after what had happened. It left him feeling… useless. He couldn’t protect Bakugou from the shit that had happened because of his own cowardice, his own unwillingness to risk being hurt. Trying to fix it was the least he could do, and he couldn’t do that until he knew more about that goddamn alpha. His phone vibrated as the text came in.

Midoriya: I’ll do what I can! What’s the problem?

Eijirou considered that for a minute.  He didn’t want to out Bakugou in all this. Then again, he didn’t necessarily have to.

Me: There’s this alpha at a heat-house who harassed a mandatory resi

Eijirou paused, frowning at the message, and then deleted the last few words, changing it slightly.

Me: There’s this alpha at a heat-house who assaulted a mandatory resident

He sent it, then realized that more information was probably necessary.

Me: the staff didnt even worry about it because the alpha doesnt look threatening and mandatory residents are low on the priority list i guess

Me: but its bullshit yeah?

Me: like this alpha used some sort of weird fluid stuff on the omega’s mating gland to trigger his heat or something

Me: the omega keeps saying it’s not a heat though, but that might be a lie he’s convinced himself of i dont know i just don t

Me: im just really worried i guess and i dont want anything bad to happen and i gotta know if this alpha has done this before but i dont know how to find out anything like that

Eijirou stared at the wall of texts he’d sent to Midoriya, and had the grace to feel slightly embarrassed, since Bakugou was constantly harrassing him for sending a million texts instead of keeping his thoughts contained to a single message. Still. Midoriya was probably fine with that, and he was a good dude, so it’s not like a little bit of annoyance with the multiple texts was going to stop him from helping out.

Midoriya: so you want to know if this alpha has done this before? Assault mandatory resident omegas in heat-houses?

Eijirou sighed in relief.

Me: Yeah

For nearly a minute, there was no reply, and then another text came in.

Midoriya: Ok, that should be doable, but we need some more specifics. So you said there was an unusual substance present on the omega’s mating gland, that the victim was a mandatory resident, and that the victim thought they were not going into heat because of the assault but the response created by the incident produced a behavior that seems consistent with being in heat?

Eijirou had to read it a few times to make sure Midoriya wasn’t missing anything. It seemed to be pretty much what he’d just said, so he texted back a quick reply.

Me: yes

Midoriya replied a bit faster this time.

Midoriya: So you think it’s possible that the alpha in question has done this before?

Eijirou frowned. He just… didn’t know! He had no information at all, what the hell was he even doing trying to solve something like this with absolutely no relevant information?

Me: Honestly i dont know I dont have any details

Me: I wasnt going to pry because i didn’t want to make the victim relive the incident

Midoriya’s reply was swift and brutally honest.

Midoriya: Does the victim want to press charges at all? Or are you just championing their cause without knowing much of anything about the incident or what they want to do about it?

Well. That cut straight to the heart of the matter, didn’t it? Eijirou winced at the question staring up at him, and realized that he’d never actually asked Bakugou what he wanted to do about the alpha. Maybe Bakugou didn’t want to catch the guy, maybe he just wanted to forget, maybe -

Dammit, maybe he should just ask Bakugou instead of putting words in his mouth.

Me: shit ur right just a second i’ll ask

He switched from his conversation with Midoriya to messages from Bakuogu and froze, seeing the video that the alpha creep had sent him from Bakugou’s phone. He wanted to throw his phone across the room just seeing it, and now realizing exactly what he was seeing in that goddamn video, it just made him feel that much worse. Holy fucking shit, that was a video of Bakugou being assaulted. The very idea made his stomach churn and his mouth prickled like he was about to puke. He couldn’t bear to even look at the thumbnail. Convulsively, he closed the messages and took a deep breath. A realization struck him, so painful it actually cramped his stomach. He had to watch it. He had to look for clues.

His hand shook as he opened the video.

The alpha smirks at the camera as he lifts it up to show Bakugou, eyes squeezed shut, face carefully controlled. With a grunt, the alpha runs his other hand up along Bakugou’s chest, huffing in amusement as Bakugou arches into the touch, then immediately tenses. He is uncomfortable, and his face is turned away from the alpha, but his body still moves like it wants something his mind is set on resisting. The camera swings jerkily, and the alpha is running his hand along the side of Bakugou’s neck, inhaling so deeply as he leans in that the sound is captured by the phone’s mic. The reason for the angle change is made apparent when the alpha leans in, licking a stripe up the side of Bakugou’s neck, and then wraps his mouth around the sensitive mating gland, sucking on it for a few moments before drawing back, nipping at it gently. The sound Bakugou makes is halfway between a moan and a sob, and the alpha’s mouth twists into a cruel sneer at the sound. As his mouth pulls away, the camera captures a string of saliva dangling from his mouth. It is wet and shiny, and it is glowing , ever-so-slightly.

The video cut off there, and Eijirou gasped for air, realizing he’d been holding his breath through the entirety of the video. It was only twenty-three seconds long, but watching it had seemed to take an eternity. What the hell had been with his saliva, though? It had been radiating a pale blue glow that was anything but natural, and suddenly Eijirou was wondering if maybe the weird fluid he’d found hadn’t been a lab-created substance at all, but actually something the alpha had generated with his own body. Was it a quirk? Holy shit, was it a heat-triggering quirk? Or something else? He didn’t know, but it changed the game considerably, because now he had something like proof that the alpha had actually done something to Bakugou, something weird that might explain why Bakugou had been so… insistent.

Oh shit, if this alpha really had done this before, how many omegas had he managed to assault simply because he’d been able to trigger their heats and take advantage of them? The very idea was horrifying. Rather than dwell on that, he quickly downloaded the video to his own phone as evidence, because if Bakugou wanted to delete it he wanted to be sure Bakugou could do so without destroying evidence that they might need to take the alpha down. Not that he was particularly happy about having shit like that on his phone, either, but if someone had to deal with it, better for it to be Eijirou than Bakugou.

That done, he texted Bakugou.

Me: hey man quick question

Me: did you want to prosecute the asshole who took advantage of you

Me: because i dont know his name or quirk or anything like that but you could probably help figure out how to take him down

For a long, long while, there was no answer. Then, the previous video message from Bakugou disappeared from the chat. Still no answer. Eijirou was starting to get antsy, worrying that maybe he should have asked in person instead of over text - he was sort of bad at figuring out what kinds of things should be face to face discussions, and what was appropriate over text. He was already regretting not being there so that Bakugou had someone to be there for him when he found the damn video, and realized what that asshole alpha had done. But it was too late for that now, he just had to wait and see what Bakugou’s response would -

Bakugou: I will fucking murder that bastard

Bakugou: Fucking

Bakugou: Explode him

For a long moment, Eijirou just stared at the messages, not sure how to respond to that. On the one hand, he was in 100% agreement with the sentiment, but he also couldn’t tell over text if Bakugou was actually serious or not. He couldn’t actually agree to help Bakugou murder someone, it would be vigilantism at best, downright criminal at worst. The justice system existed for a reason, and even heroes weren’t above the law. Another message arrived with a buzz.

Bakugou: What do you need to know

Sighing in relief, Eijirou answered.

Me: name? possible criminal history? does it seem like hes done this before?

The answers rolled in quickly.

Bakugou: Adachi. Forgot his given name, think it started with a K. Kenji? Fuck it

Bakugou: Not sure about criminal history, but he’s a damn good pickpocket, stole my fucking suppressants without me noticing

Bakugou: Definitely not his first time taking advantage of a mandatory resident, he knows exactly how far to go without alerting staff

Eijirou nodded, then texted back.

Me: Did you notice anything like a quirk?

He hesitated for another moment before adding a quick note.

Me: it seems like maybe his saliva is …

Kirishima paused and considered the text. What the hell even was that alpha’s saliva? Well. He would just take the easiest route.

Me: it seems like maybe his saliva is related to his quirk

Bakugou replied quickly to that one, too.

Bakugou: Possible. That stuff was fucking gross.

Eijirou nodded.

Me: thanks for the help

Me: you ok?

For a long moment, there was no reply. Bakugou began typing, paused, and began typing again. Finally, his message arrived.

Bakugou: Been better, that’s for fucking sure. But I can count on you, so it’s not the worst I’ve been

Eijirou was relieved, but also he wasn’t entirely sure he bought it. Bakugou’s response that he wanted to explode the alpha  - Adachi - had seemed a lot more genuine. But he would give Bakugou the benefit of the doubt. Besides, they could talk more the next day. For now, he and Midoriya needed to see if there was anything out there that might help them take down Adachi.

Me: ok i got some more information. alphas name is Adachi, seems like maybe his saliva can make omegas go into heat - quirk maybe? - and hes good at picking pockets, and knows the way to assault omegas without getting caught by heat-house staff.

Midoriya didn’t answer right away, and for a terrifying moment Eijirou thought he might have fallen asleep. He couldn’t do this on his own, but if Midoriya had already gone to bed he wouldn’t have a choice in the matter! He glanced at the clock and winced. Damn, it was already one AM, no wonder Midoriya had gone to sleep.

Midoriya:  what area is the heat-house in? There are apparently a lot of police cases that involve heat-triggers near heat-houses, so a region would be good to help narrow down our options. Cross-referencing that with the sleight of hand and mandatory residency might get us something more solid to work with. I logged into our system remotely, so I won’t actually need to go into the office to look this over. Honestly this doesn’t really fall into our jurisdiction, we’re more scorched-earth type heroes, you know. If all his quirk does is trigger heats, then it’s better to let the police handle it.

Eijirou scowled. Midoriya might be right, but there was no way in hell he was going to let the police take down the bastard who had assaulted Bakugou. This was his fight now, his and Bakugou’s. Possibly also Midoriya’s, now that he’d sort of brought him in on it.

Me: the heat house is called The Gentle Embrace.

Midoriya didn’t respond for a long minute.

Midoriya: Whoa. This is weird.

The message was both unhelpful and incredibly distressing to Eijirou. What did that mean? Weird? What kind of weird? Good-weird? Bad-weird? Weird-weird?

Midoriya: There have been almost a dozen reports of sexual assault coming from that same heat-house, all of them mandatory residents, all claiming their suppressants were stolen and their heats triggered. The establishment claims it isn’t responsible for any lost or stolen items within the premises - which is just typical liability verbiage, and the alpha that was responsible for the assault is described very differently each time. Damn, that’s probably why no one has noticed this otherwise painfully obvious pattern. The name, hair color, eye color, and type of dress are all different. The only common thread I could find is that the mandatory residents are all male, and the alpha is reportedly small and came across as meek at first.

Eijirou felt his pulse quicken as he scanned the information. He went back and read it once more, to be certain he’d seen all the relevant information.

Me: if he looks different and uses a different name every time, how the hell are we supposed to catch the bastard?

Midoriya: I’m going to ignore the fact that you’re still saying “we” when this sort of thing is better left to the police than heroes, and I’m also going to point out that the obvious answer is a sting operation. But I still think the police should be the ones to set that up, not us.

Me: I see your point, but how long is that going to take? Can’t we get approval to take this guy down ourselves?

Midoriya: Maybe, but aren’t you supposed to be on rut season? By the time you get back the police might already have it well in hand anyway.

Me: im fine with coming back from rut season early if it means i get the chance to take down this asshole personally

Midoriya: I’m sensing that you really want to do this.

Me: im gonna do it

Midoriya: Fine, then I’ll fill out the necessary forms. I guess we could probably argue that not knowing the exact methods he is using to change his appearance and trigger the heats means we don’t have firm enough knowledge of his quirk to risk the lives of police officers. It’s a bit shaky, but I’ll see what I can do. With luck, the paperwork should go through in a day or two.

Me: thanks man, i really owe you one for this

Midoriya: Don’t thank me yet, we still don’t know if they’ll green light the operation

Me: thanks for listening and doing your best, then

Midoriya: Haha, okay, I’ll accept thanks for that at least. Get some sleep now, okay?

Me: I will

Eijirou shoved his phone back into his pocket and sighed. He was tired, but he was also anxious. He didn’t think he’d be able to sleep for awhile. Despite his misgivings, by the time the light of morning reached his eyes he had succumbed to his resigned exhaustion, still splayed out on his couch, forehead crinkled in concern.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was just getting comfortable after Arakaki had let herself out when his phone buzzed lightly on his nightstand. With a half-hearted grumble, he picked it up to see the message shining on his screen, a text from Kirishima.

ShittyHair: hey man quick question

The next message came in a moment later, his phone vibrating gently in his hand.

ShittyHair: did you want to prosecute the asshole who took advantage of you

Katsuki sighed. He didn’t particularly want to talk about this now, at one in the fucking morning, but he knew Kirishima would just end up an anxious mess if he had to wait all night for a response. Unlocking his phone to reply, Bakugou saw the third message arrive with another vibration.

ShittyHair: because i dont know his name or quirk or anything like that but you could probably help figure out how to take him down

Katsuki’s thumb hovered above the touchscreen, about to respond to Kirishima’s question, when a glimpse of something unexpected caught his attention. He could see the bottom half of a video thumbnail still in the messages, and he hadn’t noticed Kirishima sending him a video earlier. Wait, but it looked like he’d been the one to send it, not Kirishima. He couldn’t imagine what he’d sent, the last time he’d messaged Kirishima it had been in a panic, after realizing Adachi had fucked with his suppressants. Had he sent a video message by accident? He scrolled up to see it and froze.

What. The. Fuck.

He couldn't breathe for a moment, feeling as though his entire body had been turned to stone. Kirishima had to have seen it, fuck! Fucking shit! Deleting it took mere seconds, but his heart pounded like he’d been training for an hour. Fucking hell, he’d definitely seen it, fuck!

His hands shook, but shit, he could t let this shut him down or Kirishima would walk on eggshells around him again tomorrow and Katsuki was going to vibrate out of his own skin if he couldn't get his fucking hands on Kirishima’s real goddamn body, no clothes, just…

Shit, he was getting distracted. He needed to answer Kirishima. Should he ignore the video, what he had just done, deleting it like that? No, avoiding things just made Kirishima worry more. Katsuki woukd acknowledge it, then, but he wasn't going to be too serious about tt, either. Keep it light, so that Kirishima didn't worry.

Me: I will fucking murder that bastard

...okay admittedly, from anyone else that probably would not be considered a light, casual response. But threatening bodily harm came as naturally to him as breathing, and Kirishima knew that.

Me: Fucking

Me: Explode him

He added the last bits, just because he figured Kirishima would appreciate the honesty - Katsuki absolutely wanted to destroy Adachi. Explosively. But he also knew he couldn't continue to dwell on that, so he sighed and composed another quick message.

Me: What do you need to know

The reply came pretty quickly for that one.

ShittyHair: name? possible criminal history? does it seem like hes done this before?

Katsuki tried to reply as quickly as he could. Except… he couldn't fucking remember Adachi’s name. He’d introduced himself in the lobby that first morning, but for the life of him Katsuki couldn't seem to wring the name out of his memory. Had it started with a K? He seemed to remember that. Kenta? Ken? Kenzou? Whatever. He didn't have time for this bullshit.

Me: Adachi. Forgot his given name, think it started with a K. Kenji? Fuck it

He glanced at what else Kirishima wanted to know. How the hell was he supposed to know Adachi’s criminal history? Still, he tried to think about the situation from a more analytical perspective. Shit, he’d been able to pick Katsuki’s pocket and manipulate the staff into taking his drugs and had somehow swapped out the remaining drugs… did he have someone else on staff who was his partner in crime? Fuck, he didn't know enough to really say anything definitive about that, so he'd stick to what he knew for the moment.

Me: Not sure about criminal history, but he’s a damn good pickpocket, stole my fucking suppressants without me noticing

And the third answer was easy enough - Adachi was practiced, calm, and comfortable with what he was doing. There was no way in hell this was his first time pulling shit like this.

Me: Definitely not his first time taking advantage of a mandatory resident, he knows exactly how far to go without alerting staff

Kirishima's reply arrived quickly.

ShittyHair: Did you notice anything like a quirk?

ShittyHair: it seems like maybe his saliva is related to his quirk

Katsuki replied quickly to that one, too, if only so he wouldn't have to fucking dwell on the idea.

Me: Possible. That stuff was fucking gross.

Kirishima’s response came a moment later.

ShittyHair: thanks for the help

He followed that up with a question Katsuki hadn't honestly been expecting.

ShittyHair: you ok?

Fuck. Was he okay? He didn't fucking know, he was just trying to stay sane until he could leave this fucking hellhole without being sent a scolding letter from the government with a demand to return within the next year.

Me: I'm fucking pissed as hell -

He stopped, scowled, and erased it. Saying it wouldn't actually make him feel better, and would just stress out Kirishima even more. He frowned, considering.

Me: At least I know you'll be here -

Hell no, that was way too soft, he sounded like some sort of pining omega from one of those stupid-ass romance novels half-n-half hid in his desk and pretended to hate. Sighing, he aimed for something between the two sentiments.

Me: Been better, that’s for fucking sure. But I can count on you, so it’s not the worst I’ve been

He saw the read receipt, and waited for a reply. And waited. And waited. Fuck, why wasn't Kirishima answering? Holy shit, maybe he wasn't coming back after all! Fuck! But Kirishima wouldn't do that, they were friends, right? They relied on each other, had each other's back, they…

God- fucking -dammit, he’d scared him away with his damn insistence today, hadn't he? Fuck! His chest clenched, and for a moment, he felt panic claw at his throat as he realized that without Kirishima there, reserved visitations were back on the table. He wouldn't just… leave, would he?

Was it something he’d said in his last text? He stared at his screen, scrutinizing each word like it might have been the one to scare Kirishima away. Fucking hell. No matter how he read it, it still didn’t seem that bad. Hell, he probably would have said something similar even before they’d all but bared their souls to one another. So why the fuck wasn’t he responding? He tried to calm down, to breathe slowly and not let the agitation affect him, but that was like trying to ignore a swarm of bees buzzing all around his head. Ignoring them didn’t make it any less obvious or threatening. Try as he might, Katsuki couldn’t seem to block out the fear that maybe he had misread this whole situation with Kirishima. Maybe he wasn’t okay, because he didn’t actually have Kirishima at his back after all.

Several hours later, the sun rose. Katsuki’s eyes watched the creeping light fill the sky, torn between frustration and panic. He didn’t sleep at all that night.

Day 4


The next morning, Eijirou was up and out the door early, intent on getting to the heat-house by precisely eight. When he was about five minutes away, he realized he’d forgotten to get cash from an ATM, and stopped by a convenience store to get some cash so he could reserve Bakugou’s reservations for the next day when he checked in. He had a massive backpack slung over his shoulders, loaded up with all of the things he’d gotten for Bakugou the day before. He was grinning as he marched in to the lobby of The Gentle Embrace, greeting the young woman behind the desk with a cheerful, “Hello!”

“Welcome to The Gentle Embrace, sir,” she said, then her eyes widened as she recognized him. “Oh, you’re back?”

“I mean, I have reserved visitations with Bakugou today,” Eijirou said, feeling his face burn sheepishly when he realized that making multiple reservations in a single day probably came across as obsessive under normal circumstances. That said, he could handle a few odd looks if it meant Bakugou was safe from that asshole alpha. “Oh! Which reminds me, I actually wanted to reserve visitations with him for tomorrow, too.”

“Can I have your member card, please?” the young woman extended a hand, and Kirishima quickly passed her the card they’d printed for him yesterday. It felt weird, since he’d always ended up throwing out the membership cards for the other heat-houses he’d visited. He’d never actually used his membership card at one of these places. Still, it wasn’t all that different from karaoke or a doctor’s office. It felt familiar to hand over the card, yet he situation still felt awkward.

“And you wanted reserved visitation with…?” she prompted, typing into the computer.

“Bakugou Katsuki? I want all of the visitations for tomorrow,” Eijirou specified.

The young woman fought unsuccessfully to control her expression. “O-oh, of course…” she typed again. “That will be twenty thousand yen, please.”

“Oh yeah, sure, no problem,” Eijirou dug into his wallet, handing over the cash.

“And another two thousand for a day visit,” the young woman added, “and would you like a dining hall pass, or will you pay by the plate?”

Eijirou paused, two thousand-yen bills halfway out of his wallet. She hadn’t offered him the dining room pass the day before. Maybe it was a ‘frequent visitor benefit’ that he’d skimmed over in the code of conduct he’d read yesterday. Hopefully she wouldn’t mind him asking about it. “How much is the dining room pass?”

“Five thousand per person,” she told him, “drinks included.”

That was a pretty good deal, if drinking was on the table. But Eijirou wasn’t sure if he felt that drinking in a place like this was a good idea, so he wasn’t sure if that pass would be worth it or not. “Can I get back to you on that?”

“We only offer the pass until an hour before lunch, so come back and get it before then,” the receptionist told him. “It’s good for two meals - sides or dessert included - and any drinks on the menu.”

“Thanks for the information,” Eijirou said with a grin, handing over the two thousand-yen bills. “So that’s tomorrow’s visitation cost and the entrance fee, right?”

“That’s correct,” she said with a small smile. “Your first visitation with Bakugou begins now, would you like to wait here for him or the socialization room?”

“Oh, uh, socialization room,” Eijirou said quickly. He’d forgotten that visitations started promptly at eight.

“I’ll let them know,” she said with a smile, indicating the door leading to the socialization room. “Thank you for choosing The Gentle Embrace.”

Kirishima smiled weakly in response, but said nothing. He hadn’t actually chosen this place, and neither had Bakugou. In all honesty, he hoped that after this week, they’d never have to set foot in it again. But it seemed rude to tell her that, so instead he just tried to avoid eye contact and made his way to the socialization room as quickly as possible.

“You look like death,” Airi told Bakugou when he opened his door. He did, too. Eyes ringed with dark circles, hair hanging limply in his face, still sweaty from his workout… His body odor was pretty ripe, too, he’d obviously done some pretty vigorous exercising in a small enclosed space with poor ventilation. “Smell like it, too.”

“Fuck you too, sundress,” Bakugou shot back, extending both of his middle fingers in case his words were not enough to fully express his distaste.

Dipping into a curtsy, lifting the hem of the aforementioned clothing, Airi smirked. “So, you ready to see your man?”

“I don’t know,” Bakugou snapped, “Are you ready to stop fucking playing twenty questions about this bullshit?”

Airi frowned a little, eyeing him closely. He seemed… off. Even moreso than the day before, and that was… not at all what she’d expected. “What happened?” she demanded. “Did something go wrong?”

“It’s nothing,” Bakugou snapped, waving a hand dismissively. “I should probably shower, you go eat, I’ll catch up.”

Airi frowned, checking her watch. “It’s almost eight,” she pointed out.

“So I won’t fucking eat breakfast,” Bakugou shot back, “It’s fine.”

It was definitely not fine, and he looked terrible. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing!” Bakugou snapped, “I’m just being stupid, okay, I’m sure everything is fucking fine but I can’t shut my goddamn brain off at will and I…” he sighed gustily. “I’m just so fucking tired of this shit, you know?”

Airi didn’t really know, but she nodded and hmm’ed sympathetically. “I’m sure your alpha -”

“Except I still don’t fucking know if he is my alpha!” Bakugou snarled. Aha, so that’s what this was about.

“Well then talk to him,” Airi snapped back, not about to be intimidated by a growly guy who was bad at talking about emotions - hell, she’d been engaged to one of those, and while it had ended badly, she’d learned that sometimes tough love was the only way to get through to someone. “We both know that moping around isn’t going to do you any good. Now go shower real quick and then get downstairs because I’ll have fish and vegetables waiting for you.”

Bakugou sighed. “Fine,” he said, slamming the door in her face.

Airi blinked, of half a mind to pound on the door again and demand he try that again when the door creaked open.

From the other side of the door Bakugou sighed, straining as though it was physically paining him to speak. “...thanks,” he grunted, and shut the door again, more quietly.

Airi smiled to herself, spinning on her heel and walking down the hallway. She had to get to breakfast early if she was going to get through the line for a second helping.

Chapter Text

Katsuki only showered in the barest sense of the word, running hot water over his body and scrubbing the sweatiest parts of his body with the fucking stupid flowery hand soap (only because it was the least terrible scent option, and he knew he reeked). That done, he toweled off and tugged on a set of comfortable clean clothes. He took his suppressant and headed down to breakfast, even though he only had about ten minutes before visitation hours began.

Sundress girl flagged him down as he walked in the door, pointing at a tray with salmon and a blanched spinach and sesame salad. She was grinning, proud that she’d managed to save him a trip through the line. Since he was already short on time, Bakugou figured whatever food Arakaki had reserved for him would probably be enough.

He plopped down across from her and took the salmon, grumbling a quick “Thanks” only because he figured he should at least acknowledge the gesture. That done, he began stuffing his face. He’d finished both pieces of salmon and had just picked up half of the spinach in one massive bite when a staff person wandered over to their table. Katsuki felt his stomach clench, even though he knew on a logical level that Kirishima had reserved all the visitations, seeing a staff person come to tell him about the visit still put him on edge. Besides, what if Kirishima was a no-show? Would they give the slots to someone else? Fuck, he hoped that wasn't the case.

“You have a reserved visitation at eight,” the staff member told him, their hair hanging over one side of their face. “Will you be taking it in the parlor or your room?”

“Can we meet in the socialization room and go from there?” Katsuki asked, genuinely curious.

Tilting their head slightly, the staff person eyed Katsuki. “As long as the alpha is satisfied with that arrangement, I don't see a problem,” they finally answered. “I’ll make sure the alpha knows of your preference.” With that, the individual wandered off, probably to talk to Kirishima.

Arakaki raised an eyebrow in his direction. “Not going straight to the bedroom?”

“Yeah, well, it turned into a fucking disaster when we tried that yesterday,” Katsuki shot back, a bit more harshly than was probably necessary. Not that he was going to apologize for that, since ‘more harsh than necessary’ was practically his tagline . “I figured we might try talking first today, so I can get him to fucking chill.”

Arakaki sniggered at that. “I can't argue with that logic,” she replied. “But finish your breakfast before you go.”

Bakugou rolled his eyes, cramming the huge bite of spinach in his mouth and chewing pointedly. He finished the rest of the salad in a second, equally monstrous bite.

“Show me your teeth,” Arakaki commanded.

Katsuki stared at her like she’d just told him to rob a bank. “Fucking why?” he asked.

“Because you just ate spinach, and it might be stuck on your teeth,” Arakaki replied, sounding vaguely exasperated. “Do you have breath mints? You don't really have time to go back and brush your teeth.”

“No, I don't have fucking breath mints,” Katsuki snapped, “Why does that even matter?”

“Because kissing with fish breath is gross,” Arakaki told him, quickly moving from vague exasperation to outright irritation. “Have you never kissed anyone before?”

“I don't see how that's any of your fucking business!” Katsuki hissed.

“Holy shit, that question was supposed to be rhetorical.” Arakaki said faintly, “I didn't think you really hadn't kissed anyone before this alpha.”

“Fuck you!” Katsuki didn't really have a substantial response to her accusation. His face was burning with what was probably embarrassment, but he was going to call it anger because that felt safer than admitting Arakaki had gotten to him.  

“Here,” Arakaki passed him a small container of mints. “Use these, I have more time to brush my teeth than you.”

“Fine,” Bakugou griped, accepting the mints, albeit grudgingly. He might use them. That didn't mean he was going to do it right there in front of her. What if he wanted coffee? The mints would make the shitty swill taste that much worse! He’d keep them in his pocket for later, though, because he imagined bad coffee and fish would probably make for a subpar overall kissing experience and considering how flighty Kirishima was, he could use all the help he could get. “I’m leaving now,” he told Arakaki, who smiled up at him with a predatory grin.

“Go get him, tiger,” she said, which was an amusingly dated phrase (considering she was probably younger than Katsuki by a year or two), yet it seemed to convey an oddly appropriate sentiment.

Katsuki grinned back, putting as much intent into his expression as he could muster. It must have worked, because a look of surprise danced across Arakaki’s features, closely followed by an approving nod.

She gave him a thumbs-up. “You got this.”

Much as he loathed to admit it, Katsuki appreciated the vote of confidence.

Eijirou hated waiting. He’d never been particularly good at sitting back and doing nothing, and knowing that the people in this place didn't give a fuck about Bakugou certainly didn't help matters. Was he all right? Did he still have his suppressants? Was he getting enough food? Did he get in trouble for the broken door? That alpha wasn't around, was he? He probably didn't have overnight privileges, those were expensive and filling out all the paperwork to approve something like that was time-consuming. Bakugou was probably fine, Eijirou was just getting himself worked up over nothing.

“Oi,” the gruff voice of Bakugou barked out from behind him, startling him from his reverie.

Eijirou spun on his heel, feeling the tension in his chest ease at the sound of that voice, but his anxiety spiked again as soon as he laid eyes on Bakugou. “What happened?” he gasped, reaching out to grab him before freezing, not sure if Bakugou wanted physical contact or not. “You look terrible!”

“Ah yes, just what every man wants to hear from his lover first thing in the morning,” Bakugou drawled, looking vaguely pissed. Not that this was an unusual expression by any means, but Eijirou still felt like he was missing something.

“Did something happen?” he asked in a small voice, almost afraid to hear the answer.

“Was there a reason you never texted me back last night?” Bakugou growled, folding his arms over his chest and eyeing him with a particularly vicious stare.

Oh shit, had he forgotten to reply? Eijirou fumbled his phone out, blearily remembering he’d texted Midoriya after Bakugou agreed to cooperate, but… oh. Damn. He really hadn't responded, and Bakugou had - oh hell, he’d said something really sweet, too! In his rush to figure out what to do about that Adachi guy he’d missed the real subtext of Bakugou saying something like I can count on you, but now that he was reading it in the light of day… his cheeks flared red as the full significance of the message sank in. Bakugou trusted him. Relied on him. And he’d just… not responded. Left him hanging, after he’d made himself vulnerable. Saying something like I trust you might not seem to be much for most people but Bakugou didn't trust easily, and to just… say nothing, after Bakugou had said something so genuine? It must have been unnerving, to say the least.

“I…” Eijirou looked up at Bakugou, fully aware his face was burning and probably as red as his hair. “I fell asleep…?” it was pathetic, and it was only really half of the truth, but it was the more relevant part, as far as Eijirou could tell.

Bakugou blinked. “You fucking…” he sighed, lifting the arm folded over the other to his face, pinching the bridge if his nose and taking a deep breath. “You fell asleep.”

It wasn't a question, but Eijirou found himself nodding anyway. “I’m so sorry,” he apologized, “I… wow.” He was so embarrassed. Plus, he was beginning to suspect that the reason Bakugou looked so terrible was actually because of his mistake. “I don’t know what to say,” he admitted after an awkward pause.

Bakugou sighed, lifting his head to glare at Kirishima. “Yeah. Obviously.” He turned his sharp gaze to the cell phone still clutched in Eijirou’s hand and raised an eyebrow.

That was a bit heavy-handed, but it got the point across. Kirishima would have gladly crammed his entire foot in his mouth to avoid making things worse, but he was just… bad at this whole communicating thing, apparently. He’d never thought he was that bad at it until the last few days, but now he was starting to realize that he really should be more… careful? Cautious? Thoughtful. Yeah. He needed to think about what he wanted to say before just blurting things out, because once he said something, he couldn’t really take it back.

He looked down at his cell phone, which Bakugou had just indicated, and lifted it slightly. “It means a lot to me, though.” He fumbled a bit, trying to figure out how to express his thoughts, lamely settling for “What you said, I mean. In the message that I didn’t answer.” He could tell he’d definitely not picked his words well this time, because Bakugou was looking at him like something he’d found stuck to the bottom of his shoe. His expression held a sort of detached disgust bordering on anger.

“You…” Bakugou folded his arms again, then unfolded them, fingers twitching like he wanted to send a few crackles across his palms, but he was restraining himself. Barely. “Thanks, I guess.”

“I mean it, though!” Eijirou was trying desperately to rectify this situation, even as he felt his control of the conversation slipping away the longer it continued. “It was so touching!”

“So touching that you read it and immediately thought to yourself, ah yes, that message was so touching that I can go to sleep peacefully without fucking answering him, like a goddamn asshole?” Bakugou’s hands were curled into claws, his self-restraint frayed to the point that Eijirou was impressed that he hadn’t actually blown anything up yet. He seemed to be teetering on the edge, though, and Eijirou genuinely didn’t know how to talk him down. This was all his fault, and everything he said just seemed to make it worse.

Why was he so bad at this? Covering his face with his hands, he tried to think. His backpack was cutting into his shoulders, his heart pounding, and all he could think was how damn stupid it was that his lack of response to Bakuogu’s message of trust had in turn damaged that trust, and how the hell was he supposed to fix that? He couldn’t, and he didn’t know what to do about it, either! With a sigh, he shed the backpack, dropping it to the floor with a solid thunk, of half a mind to flop into the nearest chair and just, not try. Because everything he tried just seemed to piss off Bakugou that much more.  

“What the hell is in that thing?” Bakugou was staring at the backpack like it had sprouted legs and started walking around the room.

Kirishima blinked,  glancing between the bag and Bakuogu. “Uh… just some stuff I brought,” he said, trying desperately to aim for ‘casual’ and failing miserably.

Bakugou glanced between him and the bag, eyes narrowing in suspicion. “Stuff?” he repeated, obviously not satisfied with such a vague answer.

“Yeah, just, uh…” Kirishima decided that in this case, actions might be a better option than trying to use his words. He dropped beside the bag and began rifling through it, pulling out the coffee and filters first, setting them on the nearest table before returning to the backpack, speaking all the while. “I brought your coffee, since you said you didn’t like the stuff here,” he said, “And then I remembered you were mad about the food? So I grabbed some of your protein powder,” he placed that on the table next to the coffee.

Bakugou was frowning at the stuff on the table, not an angry scowl, but a baffled glare like he didn’t understand why that stuff was in the backpack and he wasn’t sure how to feel about it. While he was puzzling through that, Eijirou continue to unpack the stuff he’d brought.

“Oh, and I brought your shower stuff too because you didn’t like the stuff they have here,” Eijirou added, pulling out the toiletries, “and then I thought I’d bring some of your weights, too, since you’ve probably gotten tired of doing the same routine for like three days.” He lifted one weight out of the backpack, considered the pile of things on the table, and carefully returned it to the backpack. No point in just dumping random weights on the table, he could leave those in the backpack until they got to Bakugou’s room. If they got to Bakugou’s room.

“What the fuck is all this?” Bakugou demanded finally. “When the hell did you even get this shit?”

“Oh, last night,” Eijirou answered, “I wanted to be sure I got it for you before I forgot, and then I carried it all home… oh, haha, I probably could have just gone to your place this morning but I didn’t think of all that stuff until I was already there, so…” he shrugged. “I just wanted you to feel more comfortable.”

Bakugou was looking at him now, not glaring, not frowning, just… looking. Evaluating him. “Huh,” he said gruffly, ducking his head and brushing his fingers across the coffee filters thoughtfully. “So you…” he cleared his throat, swallowing hard, and glanced up at Eijirou, his scarlet eyes softening ever-so-slightly. “You were thinking of me, then.”

“Of course I was thinking of you!” Eijirou exclaimed, “I care about you, I think about you all the time!”

Bakugou tilted his head ever-so-slightly. “Right. Just… not when you fall asleep.” Although the accusation was nearly identical to one he’d made only minutes earlier, this time, his mouth was twitching with a hint of a smile.

Sheepishly, Eijirou scrubbed at the back of his neck. “Yeah… sorry again,” he said.

Bakugou sighed gustily. “I guess that’s just one of the hazards of dating a fucking idiot.”

It was unkind, at least on the surface, but Bakogu said it with such fondness that Eijirou was really struggling to take offense. Instead, he just feigned a wounded expression. “Hey! I’m not an idiot!”

Bakugou grinned. “But you are dating me.”

Eijirou bit his lip nervously, “If you’ll have me,” he said. “I… I know I didn’t do so great last night, but I’ll try-”

“Oi,” Bakugou cut him off, “Fuck that, I was just… aw hell, I screwed with my own head and then acted like it was all on you. It wasn’t all you, I fucked up too.”

Eijirou nodded slowly. “Okay. Good. Sorry, anyway.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Bakugou replied, and scooped up the coffee Eijirou had brought. “I’m going to make some coffee. You want some?”

Grinning, Eijirou returned the rest of the items to his bag and slung it over his shoulder once more. “Okay!”

Bakugou stomped off in the direction of the hot water, and Eijirou trailed behind him, the warmth of fond gratitude blooming in his chest. He wasn’t sure how, exactly, but it seemed like they’d resolved that issue. He just hoped that he’d learn how to communicate better in the future.

Once Katsuki had made himself the first decent cup of coffee he’d had in days, he and Kirishima wandered back across the socialization room to a few chairs. The heavy backpack once more hit the floor with an ominous thunk, though at least now Katsuki knew why it was so damn heavy. He glanced at Kirishima over the rim of his cup. His boyfriend (they were dating, right? Kirishima hadn't objected to Bakugou saying they were dating so it definitely counted, right? He could call Kirishima his boyfriend. Probably. Fuck, why was he so damn nervous about this shit?) was gazing back at him with a fond look in his eyes and a smile on his face.

Katsuki cleared his throat awkwardly. Well. One of them had to start this conversation, it may as well be him. “I need to know how far you’re willing to go with me today,” he said.

Kirishima’s face crinkled in confusion, “Go? Like, on a trip?”

No, you idiot, I’m a fucking mandatory resident, where the hell would I be going? Katsuki wondered. Instead, he settled for glaring at Kirishima until the other man took the hint.

“Oh! You mean how far to go,” he emphasized the word in a tone that sounded way too fucking sexy coming out of his mouth. Katsuki wished he’d been recording the conversation - the rough husky tone, the way Kirishima’s voice had dipped into a sensual rumble on the word ‘go’... fuck, he could probably enjoy himself thoroughly with a recording of that sentence and maybe an article of clothing that smelled like him, because seriously, hot damn.

Still, now was not the time to get distracted. “Yeah, what are you going to be okay with? You need to tell me because I can’t fucking go through the same shit as yesterday,” he said, mostly because he hadn’t fucking slept and had absolutely zero emotional energy remaining after that whole debacle with the fucking unanswered message.

He didn’t want to fight about fucking boundaries again, so he figured that since Kirishima was the one with hangups, he should be the one to establish exactly how far they would be going. Katsuki was not going to fight him again. Instead, he would just fucking walk away, because he was too tired for this shit right now.

Kirishima took a moment to consider Katsuki’s request, his face thoughtful. Finally, he said, “I don’t want to take things too far, but…” two spots of color on his cheeks began to spread as he continued, “I did, uh, bring condoms…?”

A tension that had been clenching in Katsuki’s chest seemed to dissipate at those words. Fucking finally! But wait, this was still Kirishima, so he should probably make sure. “So then we’re doing this,” he said carefully, not exactly a question but also quite a statement.

“Um, well, you said you wanted to-” Kirishima squeaked, “suckmydick, and I thought that we should be careful and-”

Wait. Hold up. Bakugou felt his chest clench. Surely he hadn’t been reading this whole situation wrong. “You want me to use a condom for oral sex?” Why? Had Kirishima… fuck, Katsuki had never heard Kirishima talk about other lovers, but the guy wasn’t exactly the type to kiss and tell, so maybe… dammit, maybe he was actually more experienced than Katsuki? Maybe he’d been with other people, but if that was the case, wouldn’t he have gotten tested? So he would probably know if he was clean, right? Fuck! Had Kirishima slept with other people while Katsuki had been busy bemoaning the fact that Kirishima wasn’t with him? Fuck!

“Uh,” Kirishima’s face was bright red and his eyes were wide with panic. “Is that not… I always thought, you know, safe sex and all…?” his voice was weak. “I honestly have no idea how this works,” he admitted after a moment. “I’ve never… you know. I don’t know anything.” He covered his face with both hands. “So, no condoms?”

“I mean, I’ve never had sex with anyone,” Katsuki pointed out dryly, “so if you haven’t, either, then there’s no pressing reason to use a condom for oral sex.” He ignored the way his chest tightened ever-so-slightly at the last statement. Of course Kirishima hadn’t been with anyone else, he’d just said as much. And why was it such a fucking big deal if he had? This was not where his mind should be anyway, he was supposed to be explaining that latex was not what he wanted in his mouth - he wanted Kirishima. “Unless you want to leave a bad taste in my mouth, in which case sure, condoms are a great idea,” he added, sneering a little. No fucking way was he using a condom, he wanted to taste Kirishima. Had wanted to taste him for years.

“Oh my god, how can you talk about this with a straight face,” Kirishima gasped out, peeking through his fingers up at Katsuki. “So you don’t want to use a condom, then.”

“Not for oral sex,” Katsuki clarified. “With the whole suppressant fuckup, though, I think the extra protection would be good for knotting.”

Kirishima choked on what was probably just saliva, his face turning bright red. “I’m really not sure we’re there yet,” he gasped, eyes darting around the room like he couldn’t bear to look at Katsuki. “Let’s stick with, you know, uh - other - yeah, other stuff,” he stammered, finally turning back to look at Katsuki with wide eyes.

“You’re not just saying that?” Katsuki pressed, determined to get a straight answer out of Kirishima. “Because I can’t fucking… yesterday sucked. I can’t do that again.”

Rather than agree right away, Kirishima took his time, carefully considering. “If you really want to… do that,” he said slowly, “then it’s okay with me.”

Unexpectedly, Katsuki felt a rush of irritation. “Look, you have to be more specific than that, there’s a million fucking things ‘ that’ could mean. Tell me exactly what you’re okay with, and what you’re not okay with.”

“Oh god,” Kirishima whimpered, then, “If you wanna suckmydick” he cut himself off with a half-yelp, cleared his throat, and tried again. “If you want to… put your mouth… on me… anywhere on my body… then it’s okay.”

“Anywhere?” Katsuki pressed.

“Anywhere,” Kirishima agreed, though his face grew uncertain. “...why?”

“So if I wanted to eat you out…” Katsuki began, watching Kirishima carefully.

Swallowing hard, his crimson eyes locked on Katsuki’s face, Kirishima replied, “If you want to… then it’s okay with me.” He bit down lightly on his lower lip, sharp teeth pressing into the soft flesh. “I can’t promise I’ll be into it, but I’m willing to try,” he elaborated after a moment.

“That’s good enough,” Katsuki told him, “no one has to like everything. But so long as you’re okay…” he took a deep breath. “What about me?”

“What about you?” Kirishima asked, his eyebrows scaling his forehead, a frown of confusion on his face.

“If I asked you for something, how far would you go?” Katsuki asked. He gripped his hands together and willed them not to shake. It was one thing for Kirishima to passively accept something, but Katsuki wanted more than a willing partner, he wanted an active participant, and if all Kirishima was going to do was lay there and take it… well, then Katsuki would rather not start anything that would just leave him feeling even shittier than before.

“I guess as far as you,” Kirishima said thoughtfully. “I mean, I wouldn’t mind tasting you either.” His eyes widened as he realized what he’d just said, and he clapped a hand over his mouth, his face burning as crimson as his hair. He said something, but with his hand over his mouth it was so muffled that Katsuki couldn’t tell what he was trying to say.

“Care to repeat that?” Katsuki asked.

“Um,” Kirishima replied, carefully removing his hand, “I was just embarrassed, I guess. But the answer still stands,” he added quickly.

Katsuki nodded, and took a careful sip of his coffee. “You’re sure?” he asked.

It was somewhat reassuring but also incredibly stressful, watching Kirishima carefully consider the question. “Yeah,” he finally agreed, ducking his head slightly and running a hand through his spiked eyesore of a haircut. “I’m sure.”

Katsuki drained the rest of his coffee in a single gulp. “Then let’s fucking go,” he insisted, standing. For a moment, he was terrified that Kirishima wasn’t going to come, that it would be like yesterday and he was going to stay seated again and this whole bullshit was just going to be a repeat of the day before.

Then Kirishima rose, a bright smile on his face, and he shouldered his backpack with surprising ease, considering how heavy the damn thing had sounded when it hit the floor. “Yeah,” he said, a surprising gentleness in his tone, “let’s go.”

Eijirou was expecting the hole in the wall of the room, knew that the cracks in the door frame were there, and had accepted that Bakugou was probably not ready to talk about that yet. He was also beginning to suspect that this was okay. Bakugou needed to decide for himself when the time was right to talk about that sort of thing, and worrying about Bakugou didn’t necessarily mean that he had to put everything else between them on hold until the whole alpha incident was resolved. In his own way, Katsuki had been trying to reach out to Eijirou, and he’d almost missed it, so wrapped up in his concern for Bakugou that he hadn’t been entirely willing to listen to what Bakugou wanted.

Of course, his flat dismissal yesterday at the idea of being in heat hadn’t helped matters, but today felt different. Like they’d both realized that maybe slowing down and talking things through before jumping in was important. Though admittedly Eijirou had realized that there was a point where one needed to move forward from mere talking. They’d managed to strike a balance, somewhere in there, between communication and, well… Yeah.

Anyway! Bakugou agreeing to keep things… light-ish… had helped Eijirou accept that whatever it was that had Bakugou so worked up, it probably had more to do with reclaiming his sexual agency than it did his heat, especially since Bakugou had been so forthcoming about condoms probably being necessary for any sort of penetration that might involve the risk of pregnancy. Surprisingly, Bakugou’s straightforward response had helped Kirishima feel more at ease with the situation as a whole, and that made it easier to recognize that Bakugou was making a lot of allowances to help Kirishima feel comfortable, and he should probably step up and do his part as well.

Though really, it wasn’t like agreeing to let Bakugou give him head was that much of a noble sacrifice.

Bakugou shut the door behind himself, his eyes raking across Eijirou like he was seeing him for the first time, and really liked what he saw . “How are we doing this?” he demanded, taking a step forward.

Eijirou took an involuntary step backward, half-intimidated by the sheer intensity of Bakugou’s gaze. “Whatever you want,” he said.

Bakugou paused, his eyes narrowing. “What I want is what you want,” he said, his voice a low rumble that did things to Eijirou. Holy shit. Had his voice always been that… sensual? Or was this something new that Eijirou was only just now discovering? Because wow. It was really good. Really, really good.

“Oh, um, okay, where do you want me then?” Eijirou asked, then realized that wasn’t really helping Bakugou if he was really expecting Eijirou to ask for something. “Maybe um… I’ll just sit down,” he squeaked, scooting back and dropping on Bakugou’s bed. “Oh! And I didn’t wear my scent blocker today, so -”

“I know,” Bakugou rumbled, moving so fast he was practically a blur, straddling Eijirou’s lap and leaning in to take a deep breath. “Smells amazing,” he said, his breath ghosting along Eijirou’s neck and okay yes, more of that please.

Eijirou opened his mouth to say something to that effect, but instead what came out was a very indecent-sounding moan, followed by an incoherent string of words consisting mostly of “yes”, “more” and “shit”.

Of course, this only seemed to spur on Bakugou, who curled one hand up in Eijirou’s hair, holding tight without pulling, while the other trailed down his chest, lingering briefly before moving downwards once more. Eijirou felt like his skin was on fire everywhere Bakugou was touching him, his breath coming in great gulps. When Bakugou’s hand in his hair trailed down to his shoulder, he didn’t even try to resist the pressure that pushed him backwards, and he fell onto the bed entirely, his chest heaving like he’d been pumping iron, not just enjoying the attentions of his super hot - oh shit, boyfriend, Bakugou was actually his boyfriend wasn’t he? The thought, which had somehow escaped his notice until that moment, made itself clear in that instant and it was glorious. His boyfriend, Bakugou. The tug at his waistband drew his attention back to the moment, and he realized Bakugou had shuffled back on his lap slightly, just enough to work at his belt buckle, releasing it and then fumbling with the button on his jeans.  

“Fucking piece of shit,” Bakugou cursed, obviously struggling with the pants. “Dammit,” he growled, “Are you really attached to these fucking things?”

“Bakugou!” Eijirou yelped, “Don’t rip them!” Or explode anything that close to me, for the love of god, he didn’t add, but only because he knew Bakugou wasn’t that reckless, though the fact that Bakugou could do it had still crossed his mind, however briefly.

“Fine,” Bakugou groused, scooting back again until he dropped off the bed entirely, immediately pressing in between Kirishima’s knees, getting closer to the button so he could see it better. “This thing is stupid,” he huffed, then made a small “hah!” of exultation a moment later as the button finally came loose. He tugged the zipper down, pulling Eijirou’s pants open to reveal his bright red boxer shorts.

Eijirou sat up, bracing himself on his elbows so he could see what Bakugou was doing, just in time to see him bend forward and mouth at the bulge in his underwear, inhaling deeply. His eyes flicked up to meet Eijirou’s, and there was a hungry look in that gaze that made Eijirou’s breath catch in his throat. A dangerous grin tugged at the corners of his lips, and he opened wider, teasing at Eijirou’s clothed length. His eyes danced, noting every sound Eijirou made, which happened to be quite a lot.

Eijirou wasn’t trying to be loud, but this was Bakugou Katsuki with his mouth on his dick. It was a dream come true - literally! He couldn’t even begin to count how many times he’d imagined something like this, and reality was so much better than he’d ever dared to hope. He gasped as Bakugou moved up, licking a stripe up along his abs before hooking his fingers around Kirishima’s waistband and pulling at his pants. “Lift your fucking hips, idiot,” he grumbled, his breath puffing against Eijirou’s stomach and shit shit shit why did that feel so good? He did as he was told, doing his best to arch his back and lift away from the bed. Bakugou didn’t seem to mind helping, either, using his own considerable strength to lift Eijirou’s lower body up and tug the pants and boxers down below his ass before tugging them a bit lower until they were bunched up around his knees.

“Fuck it,” Bakugou proclaimed, and then he pulled off Eijirou’s pants entirely, followed by the boxers. At least he hadn’t tried to take off his socks, and as they’d both shed their shoes before proceeding to the bedroom, the indoor slippers he’d been wearing had come off easily once he’d hit the mattress. Honestly, Eijirou wasn’t too worried about any of his clothes at the moment. He had much bigger things to concern himself with, mainly the fact that Bakugou was back between his legs, staring down at him. “Hey,” Bakugou said, his eyes softening ever-so-slightly, “You sure you’re okay with this?”

Eijirou wanted to scream, he just… he wanted it, he wanted it with so much intensity he could practically taste his own desire. But he tried to restrain himself and answer honestly. “Yes, please Bakugou, I want you so bad,” he gasped out, which admittedly was not really the restrained answer he’d intended to give but it was too late for that now.  

It seemed to do the trick, though, because Bakugou’s mouth was on him in an instant, its wet heat surrounding him, drawing him in… Bakugou seemed to be a bit too excited, though, because within moments he choked, pulling away with a cough. “Fuck,” he rasped, “I need to work on that,” he said, then leaned back down, licking a stripe up the underside of Eijirou’s cock, one hand encircling the base while the other hand found its way to his balls. The sensation was so different from when he touched himself, so much better than anything he’d imagined.

Bakugou’s breath puffed across his dick, and Eijirou realized with confusion that he was laughing.  Why was he laughing?

“Why are you - aaah! - laughing - guh,” Eijirou managed, his breath coming in ragged gasps, his voice climbing to new octaves when Bakugou paused to wrap his lips around the head of his dick and suck, holy hell, the suction added a whole new dimension of pleasure to the experience, and he couldn’t contain his reactions.

Unfortunately, neither could Bakugou, it seemed. He pulled off of Eijirou, his lips making a wet pop as he fought to control the snort of laughter. “Fucking ridiculous,” he half-sneered, half-chuckled. “You’re so loud, it’s…” He pressed a kiss to the tip of Eijirou’s cock, “fucking adorable.”

Who was calling who ridiculous, now? It wasn’t like Eijirou was the one going around kissing people’s sopping wet dicks and calling them adorable. Oh. Oh shit. Bakugou had called him adorable. He could feel his face heating as what Bakugou said began to sink in. He’d called him adorable. If anyone had asked him if he’d liked to be called adorable, he probably would have answered by saying he’d rather be called strong or manly or powerful. But… there was a softness to Bakugou’s tone when he said it, a fond warmth to his words that Eijirou wasn’t sure he’d ever heard there before, and it seemed to burrow into his very core, and he was so inordinately pleased that Bakugou had called him adorable that he couldn’t really find the words to describe it. Although that might have been due to the fact that finding words of any sort was growing more difficult as Bakugou returned to his ministrations, wrapping his lips around Eijirou and drawing him deeper into the warm, wet heat.

After that, his mind was so caught in every sensation, every sound, every movement, that coherent thought seemed to slip away entirely. Before he realized what was happening, he could feel his body tensing in that certain way, and it was all he could do to yelp, “Gack!” (which was not at all what he’d been trying to say, but Bakugou pulled off him to ask “What the fuck?” just as he came, so it achieved the intended purpose anyway.) The force of his orgasm was so strong that he felt like he’d gone boneless - literally, that had happened before, there was this one time when a quirk-user had literally turned him boneless during a fight. Fortunately it had been reversed but the whole experience had been uncomfortable and left him feeling like his body needed to recover from the sensation. So maybe it wasn’t actually a perfect analogy, because he wasn’t really uncomfortable so much as spent, utterly and satisfyingly. He still didn’t move when he heard Bakugou leave the room, more because it felt like entirely too much effort to move his limbs at the moment, though his eyes tracked him as Bakugou moved into the bathroom, and returned with a wet washcloth.

Although he muttered under his breath as he worked, his touch was soft, carefully cleaning up the mess Eijirou had left all over himself, taking great care with his oversensitive body. Then Bakugou peeled off his shirt, which Eijirou had also managed to splatter, balled it up, and tossed it aside. He flopped onto the bed beside Eijirou, rolling over and gently carding a hand through his hair, probably ruining his gelled spikes, though Eijirou didn’t mind that nearly as much as he might have, normally.

“That was… amazing,” Eijirou finally said, when it seemed obvious that Bakugou was waiting for him to say something. “Really.”

Bakugou huffed, scooting a little bit closer and pressing his nose into the base of Eijirou’s throat, taking a deep breath before responding. “Good.”

Eijirou turned his head towards Bakugou, pressing a kiss to his forehead. “Thank you,” he said softly, “for taking care of me.”

Bakugou snorted dismissively. “It was just-”

“No,” Eijirou interrupted him quickly, “I mean for being careful. For making sure I was comfortable. For listening to me.”

Clearing his throat, Bakugou looked away. “Oh. That. I just don’t see the fucking point of this if you aren’t as into it as I am.”

Eijirou smiled. “I’m glad you feel that way,” he said softly, before adding, “and I’m definitely into it.”

At this, Bakugou burst out laughing. “That’s fucking obvious,” he gasped, “You were so damn loud!”

Eijirou felt his heart start to beat faster as the words sank in. “O-oh,” he said quietly, his face already beginning to burn as he asked, “exactly how loud are we talking?”

Rather than answering him, Bakugou just laughed harder.

Eijirou tried to ignore that, as well as the telltale burn of a blush crawling across his cheeks, choosing instead to enjoy the sensation of Bakugou curled up beside him. It wasn't all that difficult.

Chapter Text

Katsuki wasn't sure there was anything he loved more than laying beside Kirishima, breathing in his scent and carding his fingers through the coarse, obscenely red strands. Except he’d felt the same way when he’d had his lips wrapped around Kirishima’s dick, too. And when they’d been kissing. Fuck, he didn’t know which part of being with Kirishima he loved the most - all of it, probably. Because it was Kirishima.

As if in response to his thoughts, Kirishima turned to look at Katsuki, a soft smile creasing his features as his vibrant eyes flicked down to meet Katsuki’s. “Hey,” he said softly.

“What?” Katsuki responded, not exactly brusque, but certainly less soft than the tone Kirishima had used.

“What about you?” Kirishima asked, his eyebrows furrowing with concern.

Katsuki blinked. “What about me?” he demanded, wondering what the hell Kirishima was going on about.

Kirishima’s face flushed bright red. “I mean,” he said, his voice climbing nearly an octave as he continued, “You didn’t exactly get off, and I was just thinking that maybe…” he trailed off, clamping his mouth shut, eyes wide and staring at Katsuki. “...maybe I should return the favor?” his voice shook as he made the suggestion, his cheeks flaming.

For some reason, it pissed him off. “Do you fucking want to?” Katsuki demanded, pulling back slightly to glare at him pointedly.

Kirishima’s face was getting redder, which frankly Katsuki wouldn’t have believed possible if he hadn’t seen it for himself. “I guess?” he said, “I mean, it doesn’t seem fair…”

“That’s bullshit,” Katsuki cut him off before he could even start with that. “This isn’t a fucking transaction, you don’t have to do anything just because I did. Do it if you want to, but don’t fucking feel guilty if you just wanna lay here and…” dammit, he was not going to say ‘cuddle’, not even for Kirishima, “...fucking chill.”

Kirishima’s expression lightened at his words. “Right,” he said breathlessly, “Well, I mean, I still want you, but I’m also pretty happy just laying here with you, too.”

Hell yeah, Katsuki could relate to that. He opened his mouth to say as much, only to be betrayed by his own fucking stomach, which rumbled loud enough to make Kirishima jump slightly.

“Was that you?” Kirishima asked, his face darkening with concern. “Did you not eat anything today?”

Katsuki scowled. He’d eaten! ...not much, but he had eaten something. “I ate.”

Kirishima eased up into a sitting position, glancing down at Katsuki as he moved. “Are you hungry?”

Of fucking course he was hungry! Katsuki glanced over at the clock beside the bed and blinked. “Fuck,” he commented, “Is that really the time?” he hadn’t realized they’d spent so long in his room.

Kirishima frowned at the clock. “Wow,” he commented. “I guess it’s definitely lunchtime. So much for the dining pass.”

Katsuki frowned, easing off the bed and rummaging in his closet for a new shirt. “What dining pass?” he demanded, tugging the shirt on.

Kirishima was tugging up his pants, glancing up briefly to answer. “It’s this drinks-included order-anything deal for two they offer for lunch,” he explained. “But you have to order it an hour before lunch.”

Katsuki wasn’t much of a drinker, generally, so the deal probably wouldn’t be worth it. Besides. “If you want to drink, I brought this,” he said, taking out the bottle he’d brought with him when he’d checked into this hellhole of a heat-house.

“You keep liquor in your wardrobe?” Kirishima demanded, sounding like he wasn’t sure if he should be impressed or concerned.

“I thought this week was going to be a disaster,” Katsuki explained. And I was fucking right, he didn’t add, at least, not aloud.

Kirishima’s shoulders slumped as he looked at Katsuki, his eyes sad. “I’m sorry,” he began, and Katsuki sighed.

“It’s not your fucking-”

“But it is my fault that I never said anything!” Kirishima interrupted, taking an unconscious step forward, earnest expression on his face.

Oh my god, they were not going to do this again. “Yeah, well,  it takes two lovesick morons to create a situation this fucked up,” Katsuki shot back, “So let’s just agree that at least we’ve got things on the right track now and not worry about whose fault it is.”

Kirishima smiled faintly. “Okay,” he agreed, then glanced to the door. “So, lunch?”

Katsuki grinned. “Let’s go.”

Eijirou and Bakugou had nearly made it to the lunch room when they bumped into the omega girl he’d brought suppressants for - what was her name, Arakaki? - and some alpha guy who was with her. He wasn’t especially tall, but he had broad shoulders, a muscular chest, ample stomach, and large nose. Despite his rather intimidating bulk, his eyes were kind, and he seemed to recognize Bakugou.

“Hey!” Arakaki cried, flagging down Bakugou and Eijirou with a wide grin. “How you two doing? Better?” She wiggled her eyebrows pointedly, and Eijirou felt his face heat.

“Uh, we had a nice morning,” he said awkwardly, not sure what else to say.

“I sucked his dick,” Bakugou said, jerking a thumb in Eijirou’s direction. “It was fucking amazing.”

Eijirou and the heavyset alpha exchanged appalled glances, while Arakaki and Katsuki exchanged a high five.

“My man!” Arakaki crowed, then glanced at Eijirou with a grin. “You’re one lucky guy, you know?”

“I know,” Eijirou said with a smile, despite the sheer embarrassment that was threatening to make him melt into the floor.

“Do you wanna have lunch together?” Arakaki asked Bakugou, who made a face and glanced at Eijirou.

Eijirou just shrugged. He didn’t really know either of them, but obviously Arakaki and Bakugou seemed to get along well. He wasn’t sure how that had happened, exactly. Bakugou hadn’t really been here for a long time, but Arakaki did seem rather endearing. She was also apparently unfazed by Bakugou’s personality, which was pretty impressive as even some pro heroes didn’t know what to make of him. “I’m fine with it if you are,” he said.

Bakugou shrugged. “Whatever,” he said, and apparently that was that.

Arakaki and Bakugou moved ahead of them for the dining hall, while Eijirou hung back to introduce himself to the large alpha who had been accompanying Arakaki. “Hi,” he said, “I’m Kirishima Eijirou. And you are?”

“Oh, hi,” the large guy said, his voice deep and surprisingly warm. “I’m Yamanaka Kengo.”

“Nice to meet you!” Eijirou said to Yamanaka with a grin.

Yamanaka echoed the sentiment with a small smile of his own, then glanced down the hall to where Arakaki and Bakugou appeared to be conversing animatedly. Eijirou was impressed - it was rare to see him get animated with anyone he didn’t consider ‘worth his time’, and he was amazed that Arakaki had managed to fit that criteria.

“They seem like they’re having fun,” Yamanaka said after a moment.

“Yeah, surprisingly,” Kirishima said, shaking his head slightly in amazement. “Bakugou doesn’t exactly play nice with others, usually.”

Yamanaka chuckled at that, scrubbing at the back of his neck awkwardly, “I could see that just from our first meeting.”

Eijirou frowned. “Your first meeting? How did you meet?”

Yamanaka opened his mouth to answer, then paused, a look of concern flashing across his face. “There was this… other alpha…” he began awkwardly, his eyes dancing across the hall from side-to-side, avoiding contact with Eijirou.

Oh. That guy. “I know about him,” Eijirou said, “So don’t worry about it.” Even though he meant it, Eijirou’s stomach still churned at the thought of what the hell that alpha might have done.

“Well,” Yamanaka said, his eyes flicking briefly to meet Eijirou’s, “The first time I met Bakugou was when he came to ask Arakaki how to get rid of an alpha who wouldn’t leave him alone.”

Kirishima winced. He should have been here! He would have made sure no alpha dared touch Bakugou without permission.  But he knew that making him feel guilty wasn’t the point of this story, so he tried to refocus on what Yamanaka was telling him. “So he interrupted your conversation?”

“Essentially,” Yamanaka chuckled. “He interrupted our conversation to ask Arakaki if there was some way to chase him off, then asked us if I or my friend felt ‘alpha enough’ to chase him away.”

Eijirou choked a little. “He said it like that?”

“He used more profanity,” Yamanaka said, “but essentially, yes.”

Eijirou wasn’t sure if he wanted to laugh or shake his head. Leave it to Bakugou to threaten an alpha’s dominance while still demanding help. Only he would try and make them feel like less of an alpha for ignoring his plight. “That… actually doesn’t surprise me,” he admitted weakly.

With a shake of his head, Yamanaka smiled. “I guess that’s telling,” he said. “He’s got an… interesting personality. Definitely not a typical omega.”

“Yeah,” Eijirou replied dreamily, before frowning. “Wait, what the hell do you mean?”

Yamanaka lifted his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Not intending anything by the comment, just… he’s a very abrasive person. Not someone you typically think of when you hear the word ‘omega’, that’s all.”

Eijirou wanted to argue that Bakugou was the best omega, except he’d spent most of his adult life assuming that Bakugou was an alpha for similar reasons, so he really didn’t have a leg to stand on. “Yeah,” he said weakly, “You’re right.”

“You seem to like it, though,” Yamanaka said. “Like him.”

Eijirou smiled widely, glancing back ahead to where Bakugou and Arakaki were still deep in discussion. Arakaki had her hands clasped over her mouth, and Bakugou was gesturing obscenely. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know what they were talking about, but he really hoped it wasn’t about the events of that morning.  “I do like him,” he said quietly. “A lot.” He turned to look at Yamanaka then. “You seem pretty interested in Arakaki,” he added.

The bright blush that crawled across Yamanaka’s face made it obvious Eijirou was right. “Ah, yeah,” Yamanaka said faintly, “I am.” He wrung his large hands together, glancing at Eijirou with a nervous look. “How did you… you know… this morning? I’m still trying to…” his face grew even more red, “...I mean, I get flustered just holding her hand, you know? How do you do it?”

Eijirou really wished he had an answer for Yamanaka, but he didn’t. “It’s all him, really,” Eijirou admitted weakly, “I’m pretty bad at this whole courting thing,” he explained, “and Bakugou is really good to me, making sure that we move at my pace, but he’s not going to let things just… stay the same? He’s really really good,” Eijirou wasn’t sure how to describe it besides just repeating ‘he’s so good’ over and over again, so he just left it at that.

Yamanaka nodded slowly, “She’s a lot better at this than me,” he agreed, “maybe it’s the personality? She and Bakugou both seem to be very… intentional. When they want something, they say so. And then they make it happen.” He ran a hand through his short brown hair, sighing heavily. “I wish I could be more like that,” he said. “Did you know she’s the one who’s grabbed my hand every time? I haven’t done more than let her, and I… I just don’t know what I’m doing.”

Eijirou laughed. “I think that’s how this works,” he said, “no one really knows what they’re doing. But you can’t let her do all the work.” He ducked his head, suddenly embarrassed. “Bakugou called me out for not doing anything,” he said, “It’s one thing to not initiate, but if only one person is doing all the work, it feels like disinterest. I don’t want him to think that, not ever. So I figured it’s better to make a fool of myself than make him feel unwanted, you know?” he glanced back up to see Yamanaka staring back at him with wide eyes.

“I never thought of that,” he said, turning back to look at Arakaki before glancing back at Eijirou. “You’re right. I’d never forgive myself if I hurt her by making her think I wasn’t interested.”

Eijirou winced. He’d already done that to Bakugou, and could attest that it felt real damn shitty. “You should make a move,” he said. “Even if it’s small. It’s something, and taking that step is meaningful to both parties.”

Yamanaka nodded. “You’re right,” he said, then smiled. “Thank you, Kirishima. I appreciate your insight.”

I just wish I hadn’t had to learn it the hard way, Eijirou thought with a grimace. Then he forced the expression from his face and smiled back at Yamanaka. “Glad to help,” he said.

“Oi!” Bakkugou shouted from down the hall, “You two are so fucking slow!  Move your asses before all the food’s gone!” He was standing with Arakaki by the dining hall doors, arms folded across his chest. Beside him, Arakaki had her hands braced on her hips.

Yamanaka chuckled. “Sorry!” he called, jogging the rest of the way down the hall.

With a chuckle and a shake of his head, Eijirou jogged after him. Yamanaka seemed like a neat dude. He was looking forward to having lunch with him, even if it wouldn’t be the same as having lunch with only Bakugou. Besides. He and Bakugou had several hours of reserved visitations after lunch too, so it wasn’t like he wouldn’t get any more alone time with his - shit, he still couldn’t quite get used to it - boyfriend. Damn it felt good thinking that word. Goofy grin plastered across his face at the thought, he reached the door a moment after Yamanaka. “All right,” he said, “let’s get some food.”

“It’s about damn time,” Bakugou muttered, but his look was one of fond exasperation, rather than genuine irritation.

Eijirou just grinned at him, determined to enjoy their time together as much as possible.

Chapter Text

After lunch, Katsuki wasn’t sure what the hell they were going to do for the rest of the day. He knew what he wanted to do, but he didn’t want to freak out Kirishima all over again. So he suggested they head over to the socialization room. Once they arrived, however, they found themselves sitting in the same chairs as before they’d gone to Katsuki’s room, staring at each other blankly.


Finally, exasperated, Katsuki stood to get a cup of coffee, only to remember they’d taken Kirishima’s bag upstairs and he still hated the damn motor oil this place had the audacity to call coffee. “Dammit,” he said, “I forgot the coffee is still upstairs.”

“You want coffee?” Kirishima piped up from his seat, standing. “We can go get it.”

Katsuki resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He’d only wanted coffee because they weren’t fucking doing anything. “If we go upstairs, then there are things I’d like to do a hell of a lot more than just grab a bag of coffee.”

“Then why don’t we do that?” Kirishima replied brightly.

Katsuki was going to strangle him, he really was. He whipped around to glare at the red-haired idiot. “Not to be an asshole about it, but you didn’t exactly make any fucking suggestions, and I didn’t want to be presumptuous.”

Kirishima blinked. “I… thought you wanted to come here? You’re the one who said we should go to the socialization room.”

Fuck, he was fucking right, but Katsuki didn’t have time to worry about irrelevant details like that. “Fine, then what do you want to do?”

“Well, I’d like to brush my teeth,” Kirishima answered, appearing thoughtful, “Because I had that garlic chicken thing, and I don’t think it would be an enjoyable taste.”

“Enjoyable taste?” Katsuki repeated. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Well, I don’t want to kiss you with garlic breath!” Kirishima snapped, waving his hands in the air like he was trying to flag down an airplane. “Sorry if I’ve been a little quiet, I didn’t bring any breath mints or anything and I could probably kill a vampire with this breath!”

Katsuki just stared at him for several long seconds. “You… didn’t suggest anything. Because. You wanted to brush your teeth before kissing me?”

“Yes!” Kirishima snapped exasperatedly. “I don’t want to gross you out!”

Katsuki wanted to say that Kirishima could never gross him out, but… well. Garlic breath was one of those things that even the sexiest man alive probably couldn’t pull off. Instead, Katsuki dug into his pocket for the breath mints sundress girl had practically forced on him, and withdrew them. “I have these,” he said, a smirk on his face as he waved them tantalizingly in Kirishima’s direction. “If you want.”

Kirishima’s eyes widened. “You have breath mints?” he demanded, then paused, looking confused. “Why? I thought you didn’t want anything to do with this whole… thing,” he waved his hand, gesturing at the room in order to indicate the heat-house as a whole.

“I don’t, but Arakaki practically shoved them down my throat this morning,” Katsuki replied. “She said fish and coffee were a pretty terrible combination.”

“They are,” Kirishima agreed, then snickered a little. “But that’s okay, you weren’t planning on kissing anyone yesterday, so I can’t exactly fault you for that one.”

Faintly, Katsuki recalled that when he and Kirishima had first kissed (had it really only been yesterday? Damn.), he hadn’t bothered to brush his teeth after drinking the stale-ass coffee from the socialization room. He might have also had some fish breath, since he’d brushed his teeth before breakfast, not after. Damn, he’d already given Kirishima a bad breath kiss experience, he needed to remedy that as soon as possible. Preferably by kissing him a lot more. Yeah. That sounded like a good plan.  “Damn,” Katsuki said, “I gotta make that up to you.”

“Don’t worry, I intend to make sure I get enough kisses from you that the memory of a bad breath kiss becomes a very faint memory,” Kirishima told him with a wide, guileless smile that stole Katsuki’s breath away. How the hell could he say something that sounded vaguely rude, and make it feel like he was trying to fucking seduce Katsuki? It didn’t seem like that should be physically possible, but he was fucking doing it.

“I have an extra toothbrush in my room,” is what Katsuki said, jerking his head in the direction of the door. “We can get started on that whenever you want.”

Kirishima grinned. “Now sounds like a good time to me.”

“Fuck yeah,” Katsuki agreed, already heading for the door. “Let’s do this.”

He hadn’t expected Bakugou to have an extra toothbrush, even if it was just one of those weird ones that came in a package like at hotels. Still, it worked well enough, and Eijirou was happy to use it.  He was glad for the mouthwash too, though that was actually Bakugou’s personal mouthwash, which he’d brought with him. There was something oddly endearing about getting the chance to use his mouthwash, even though he’d definitely done it before when he’d spent the night at Bakugou’s apartment for a long night of studying or gaming or whatever. It felt different now, though, because it wasn’t just Bakugou’s mouthwash, it was Bakugou’s mouthwash that he was using to clean up his mouth so he could kiss Bakugou. Which somehow made it feel a thousand times more sexy than just borrowing mouthwash from your bro. He didn’t know why it felt different, it just did. Bakugou used the mouthwash, too, which was funny to Eijirou for some reason. Again, he couldn’t exactly decide why it was funny, it just was. Maybe everything felt funny and different because there was a new context for doing the same things. He liked that. It made everything feel more exciting, somehow. Even if it was just mouthwash. He considered saying something about it to Bakugou, but thought better of it, mostly because he figured that Bakugou wouldn’t get it. He’d probably roll his eyes and say ‘it’s just fucking mouthwash’, which was okay, too, because that was a very Bakugou reaction to his weird giddy mood.

After the mouthwash, though, Eijirou was at a loss. He messed with his hair in the mirror until Bakugou had finished rinsing out his mouth too, and then stared at him blankly. Bakugou stared back at him for a few seconds, then rolled his eyes. “Let’s go back to the bed,” he suggested, and Eijirou was happy to comply, because he didn’t have a clue how to proceed. That was being somewhat hypocritical, considering the advice he’d given Yamanaka,  but he really was happy letting Bakugou take charge, especially since he still wanted to make sure that Bakugou was absolutely on board with this.

Bakugou dropped down on the side of the bed, patting the empty spot next to him. “Sit down,” he said.

Eijirou was about to comply, but he thought he would try for a little creativity. He was about to just go for it, it when he thought maybe it was a good idea to ask first. “Can I sit on your lap?” he asked. Bakugou stiffened, and Eijirou felt his heart sink as suddenly he was reminded of their previous foray into kissing, where Bakuogu had asked him not to climb on top. Which Eijirou had just promptly forgotten all about. Shit. He was the worst boyfriend. He opened his mouth to say that Bakuogu should just forget it, he didn’t really mean it, he was sorry, but before he could, Bakugou spoke.

“Do it,” he said, his voice rougher than Eijirou had expected. “Just… go slow.”

Eijirou swallowed nervously. “If you’re sure…”

“For fuck’s sake, I said do it, didn’t I?” Bakugou threw his hands in the air. “I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t fucking mean it!”

Nodding rapidly, Eijirou rushed forward, his nerves lost in the rush to just get on with it and not make Bakugou more upset than he already had. Of course, in his hurry he’d forgotten Bakugou’s caveat to go slow. He practically tackled Bakugou to the bed, instead of languidly settling onto his lap like he’d intended. Because body-slamming your partner was apparently just Eijirou’s style. He was too nervous to try and look sexy, and apparently his default was just raw force. Oof. He didn’t even want to think about how that would translate to mating. Shit. Why was he so nervous?

He and Bakugou hit the bed hard, breath escaping in a whoosh . Bakugou was glaring at him balefully, and after a hit like that he was probably about as breathless as Eijirou. Groaning, Eijirou rolled off of him and flopped down next to him, wishing the bed would just swallow him alive so he could be done with this. “That… wasn’t how I planned for that to go.”

“Yeah, no shit,” Bakugou grumbled next to him. “That wasn’t even sitting, that was… like, jiujitsu.” He snorted then, though it was more amused than angry. “What the fuck,” he said, voice warmer than Eijirou really thought he deserved after his antics.

“I was… nervous,” Eijirou didn’t even get the words out of his mouth before realizing how stupid that sounded. What right did he have to be nervous in this situation? He wasn’t the one in an awkward position, Bakugou was the one who should be nervous. Ashamed, he covered his face with his hands, only to feel a strong grip on his wrists, pulling his hands away.

Bakugou was looking down at him, pulling his hands back so they could look each other in the eye. “None of that,” he said sternly, “how am I supposed to fucking kiss you if you cover your face?” With that, he leaned down, pressing a gentle kiss to Eijirou’s lips.

Eijirou surged up to meet the kiss, opening his mouth to deepen it. Bakugou’s grip on his wrists tightened and he pressed them down on either side of Eijirou’s head. He didn’t mind that, in fact, he rather liked it when Bakugou asserted himself like that. He groaned as Bakugou shifted one leg across his hips, straddling him and pressing their bodies closer together. Bakugou groaned low in his throat, chest rumbling against Eijirou’s as he nipped at his lips, teasing them with his teeth. Eijirou bucked up under Bakugou, his body coming alive, his skin prickling with heightened sensitivity.

Releasing one wrist, Bakugou slid a hand up under Eijirou’s shirt, his warm palm dragging up the side of his ribs, drawing an instinctive tensing from him at the motion. Bakugou paused, a sinister grin sliding across his features as his eyes narrowed. “Kirishima,” he said, his voice almost sing-song as he gazed hungrily down at him, “Are you ticklish?”

There was no safe answer to that question. “Uh… sometimes?” Eijirou responded weakly.

Bakugou let go of his other wrist in favor of rucking his shirt up to his armpits. “Does this tickle?” he asked, drawing his fingers up Eijirou’s abdomen as he spoke.

Curling up at the prickle of short-trimmed nails dragging up his bare skin, Eijirou yelped, swatting ineffectively at Bakugou’s hands. “Noo!” he wailed, “Stop!”

Bakugou pulled his hands away, a look of concern flashing across his features, “It’s not that bad, is it?” he asked, obviously more worried than Eijirou had really expected him to be.

“N-no,” Eijirou admitted sheepishly. “I’m just not used to-”

Bakugou didn't even let him finish, attacking him again with his fingers, running them up his sides before sinking down to place his mouth over one of Eijirou’s nipples and sucking, and holy shit, that felt amazing and not at all like anything Eijirou would have imagined. He bucked wildly as Bakugou’s hand teased his other nipple, not sure if it tickled or if he was actually enjoying the sensation but the longer this went on the more convinced he was that this wasn’t quite the same as tickling and he was genuinely enjoying the sensation.

“Shirt off,” Bakugou demanded a moment later, shoving Eijirou’s arms up so he could rip the offending article of clothing away.

“You too!” Eijirou protested, tugging at the hem of Bakugou’s own shirt.

Bakugou sneered down at him, all too happy to comply, whipping his shirt off in an instant and tossing it overhead so it landed with a soft thump somewhere on the floor. To be perfectly honest, Eijirou wasn’t really interested in where, exactly, the shirt had landed, too taken with running his eyes over Bakugou’s muscular body towering over him. Almost frantically, he reached up to touch Bakugou, part of him still amazed that he could do that, that Bakugou would let him put his hands all over him, and god Eijirou just loved him so damn much, he wanted him so bad. He surged up, wrapping his arms around Bakugou’s waist and pressing their lips together. Groaning into the kiss, Bakugou buried his fingers in Eijirou’s hair, his fingers combing through it a few times before he grasped it gently, pressing Eijirou even closer.

“Hey Kirishima,” he rumbled a moment later, his voice thick and deeper than Eijirou remembered ever hearing it before, “I’m taking your fucking pants off.”

Eijirou had absolutely no problem with that.

Katsuki watched Kirishima’s eyes widen, his pupils dilating as the words sank in. “Oh,” was all he said, because he was fucking ridiculous. For some reason Katsuki had yet to puzzle out, his idiocy was endearing, even though Katsuki was pretty sure if anyone else were this dense he would have murdered them by now. Scooting back, Katsuki stepped back off the bed and pulled off his belt, unzipping his pants before he glanced up to realize that Kirishima hadn’t even fucking moved. He was just staring at Katsuki like he was a wild animal, and if he moved, he might startle Katsuki.

“What the fuck?” Katsuki groused, “Take off your pants!”

“I thought you said you were taking off my pants!” Kirishima protested.

Oh. Right. He had said that, hadn’t he? “Then you take off mine!” Bakugou snapped, pointing at his pants with the undone fly, knowing that it was really more of a formality at this point, since all Kirishima would need to do is grab the waistband and tug. Still. It was the principle of the thing!

“Right! Okay!” Kirishima leapt from the bed, almost crashing into Katsuki again. Fortunately, he was starting to expect this sort of overenthusiastic bullshit, so he sidestepped as quickly as he could, snorting in amusement as Kirishima yelped and almost tripped over his own feet. “Sorry!” he apologized, “I just…” he trailed off, reaching for Katsuki’s pants, only to realize the fly was already down. “You already did it,” he said, sounding baffled.

“They’re still fucking on me,” Katsuki griped.

“Oh!” Kirishima grabbed his pants and tugged them down to his ankles in one swift move, crouching as he did so. He lifted his head and paused, seeing what he was at eye-level with. “...I guess someone’s enjoying himself,” he said after a moment.

Katsuki wasn’t sure whether to roll his eyes or strangle Kirishima. “Yeah. It’s fucking great. Sure wish that my goddamn boyfriend would let me take his pants off, too, so we could maybe fucking do something about it.”

Kirishima’s eyes widened. “Right! Of course,” he stood so fast Katsuki took a step back to avoid Kirishima cracking his head on Katsuki’s jaw. Kirishima didn’t even notice, his eyes jumping wildly from Katsuki’s hands to his own pants. “Um, I can undo my belt and stuff too, if you -”

“Fuck that,” Katsuki answered, more of a gut reaction than a carefully considered answer. A moment later,  he remembered how fucking stupid Kirishima’s pants had been earlier that day. “Wait. No. You do the first part.”

Kirishima nodded, though he seemed to struggle with his top button too. Katsuki wasn’t sure if this made him feel better or worse. Maybe they were both just bad at buttons? Maybe he’d consider investing in a pair of tear-off pants for Kirishima. It would be convenient, especially if they made a habit of… whatever this was. Oh well. Until that day… he grabbed Kirishima’s pants and tugged them down. Kirishima stepped out of his pants, too, and then they were both sort of staring blankly at each other in their underwear. How fucking stupid was that? It was just fucking underwear, goddamn, they saw each other naked in the agency locker rooms all the goddamn time, why the hell was this any different? (He knew why it was different).

Flopping back down on his bed, Katsuki beckoned to Kirishima. “This time, don’t fucking tackle me,” he warned.

Kirishima nodded jerkily, but he clambered onto the bed and settled himself gently in Katsuki’s lap. Fuck, it felt good, his warm body pressed against Katsuki, his thighs soft and hard all at once, bracketing him in on either side with warm, solid muscle. Kirishima leaned forward, wrapping his arms around Katsuki, one hand sliding up his back to rest behind his neck, fingers gently tangling in his hair. Bending down, Kirishima buried his nose in the crook of Katsuki’s neck and inhaled. “You smell good,” he said sweetly, voice half-muffled by Katsuki’s shoulder.

“I can’t smell you properly with those nasty chemicals running through you.” The sinister voice whispered in the back of his mind, Adachi’s sneering, demanding tone stabbing through him like a knife. He stiffened, a jolt of panic leaping through him. No! Fuck! This was Kirishima, he was safe, he wanted this, dammit! Forcing his body to relax, Katsuki inhaled deeply.

The scent, Kirishima’s scent, danced through his senses, a warm, protective scent that felt like patience and care and devotion and everything Katsuki had wanted from him for so damn long, and fucking finally, he had it. He had Kirishima, and Kirishima had him, and everything was going to be alright. A whine building in his throat, Katsuki tipped his head back, allowing Kirishima more access to his throat, to his mating gland. Kirishima responded, pressing closer to Katsuki, pressing his lips gently to the sensitive spot before whispering, “You okay with this?”

Groaning, Katsuki nodded, “Fucking do it.” He was amazed that Kirishima somehow understood exactly what he meant, because Kirishima gently licked a stripe up the side of his neck. For a moment the sensation tore at him, his body beginning to shake, and Kirishima pulled away. Fuck that, Katsuki had said to do that, he fucking wanted Kirishima there, he didn’t want to remember anyone but Kirishima. He took another breath, filling his lungs, and opened his eyes to glare at Kirishima. “Do. It.”

Kirishima swallowed hard, his eyes wide with concern. But he nodded seriously, his hand carefully dipping to run a thumb along Katsuki's throat as he placed his lips on that sweet spot and sucked gently. The sensation leaped and crackled like dancing flames through Katsuki, his whole body reacting physically to the ministrations. Fuck, it felt amazing. Almost too much, the sensation curling through him almost like a living creature, shaking him to his very core and drawing up sensations and memories that Katsuki didn't want to be a part of this. Furiously, almost desperately, Katsuki focused on breathing, on trusting, on feeling safe. It took a long time, Katsuki wasn't sure how long, but little by little, he could feel his body relax, felt the stiffness and the fury and the terror subside. He could feel Kirishima's softness, the care with which he touched Katsuki, as if he was something precious and desirable. Finally, it was like some hard, dark part of Katsuki was pried open, and he could feel the dark, filthy feeling of Adachi being peeled away with every soft touch and gentle murmur that Kirishima offered as he pressed his lips to Katsuki's throat, his jaw, his cheek, his forehead, and finally, his lips. Katsuki melted into that kiss, breathing in the smell of Kirishima and feeling tension that he hadn't even realized he was carrying begin to fall away, leaving him feeling lighter, freer, than he had in what felt like eons.

And if a tear or two fucking crawled from the corners of his eyes when he wasn’t paying attention, well, Kirishima was smart enough not to say a goddamn thing about it.

Chapter Text

There was something magical about the sensation of Bakugou melting into his embrace, Eijirou thought. He could feel the tension in Bakugou’s frame recede as his muscles eased and softened, and he pressed closer, awash in the sensation. He smelled perfect, his scent spicy like the kind of chilies that set your mouth aflame and heavy like dark chocolate on the tongue. Eijirou groaned into Bakugou’s neck, gently scraping his sharp teeth along the curve of Bakugou’s neck. Keening, Bakugou arched into the sensation, totally shameless in his ecstasy.

Not that this was surprising, as Eijirou was beginning to realize that Bakugou was pretty shameless in everything. He’d known that Bakugou was like that in his professional and personal life, but he hadn’t realized Bakugou’s intensity, his absolute bombastic nature and utter refusal to feel shame for who he was would extend to his intimate encounters, too. And yet, it was just like him to be that way, shameless, open, driven, absolutely certain of what he wanted and what would be required to achieve it.

Bakugou had held himself back for so long - so damn long - simply because he thought Eijirou wouldn’t be interested, and the realization that he’d been burying this part of himself, closing himself off, refusing to admit what he wanted so that Eijirou wouldn’t be upset by it (even though he wouldn’t have been , but that wasn’t really the point)...  Eijirou never wanted to see Bakugou hold himself back on his account. Not professionally, not personally, not ever. And so, as Bakugou basked in his attention, coming undone at Eijirou’s every touch, he could feel his own body relaxing, easing into the sensation, relishing in the familiarity of being close to Bakugou.

All too soon, Bakugou pulled back with a grunt, “Oi,” he said, his voice more strained than Eijirou had expected. After clearing his throat a few times, he continued. “You hungry?”

Eijirou’s first instinct was to deny it. Hadn’t they just eaten lunch? But then his stomach made a small grumbling noise, and Bakugou poked his abdomen, giving it the stink-eye.

“That’s the third time it’s done that,” he said, his gaze lifting to meet Eijirou’s, daring him to contradict the statement.

“Really? I hadn’t noticed,” Eijirou replied honestly, mentally chiding his stomach for not keeping it together. He’d been really enjoying the skin-to-skin contact with Bakugou, and frankly was peeved that his body had decided it needed food to the point that it insisted on making noise about it.

“Yeah, well, we should probably eat something anyway,” Bakugou said, easing off of his bed and tugging his pants on. “It’s getting late.”

Eijirou glanced at the clock, blinked twice, and stared hard. He hadn’t even noticed the time passing. “Holy shit,” he said, “Where the hell did the time go?”

Bakugou just snickered. “Yeah,” he said, “That’s what I was wondering, too.” He pulled his shirt on, then glanced over his shoulder to glare at Eijirou. “Are you coming, or am I supposed to just fucking eat dinner by myself?”

“Oh!” Eijirou leaped off the bed too, struggling into his own pair of pants, tugging his shirt back on, and patting his head anxiously to ensure the spikes hadn’t gone all floppy. They had, but then Bakugou reached up and ruffled his hair, which really just ruined all of the work that had gone into his hairstyle.

“You look too damn hot,” Bakugou grumbled, “Don’t you have like, a hat or something? Damn, everyone in the whole place is going to want your number.”

“Yeah, but they can’t have it,” Eijirou protested, “I don’t care if anyone else likes how I look, anyway, I just want you to think I look good.”

Bakugou snorted a laugh, “Hell, you know I think you’re fucking sexy as hell. And if you didn’t, well, you do now.” He jabbed an elbow into Eijirou’s ribs. “Let’s go get some fucking food.”

They had barely started their meal when Kirishima set his fork down, his face stony. It wasn’t a familiar look on his face, one he reserved for only the gravest of conversations. Carefully, Katsuki took another bite, then set down his chopsticks. He had the feeling that whatever Kirishima was about to bring up, it wasn’t going to be light dinner conversation.

“So, about that… uhm,” Kirishima ducked his head, clearing his throat. “That. You know. Um.”

“I don’t know, actually, because all you’ve said is ‘that’,” Katsuki pointed out, not sure if he was amused or irritated by Kirishima’s hesitation, though he was leaning towards irritated.

“That alpha who…” his eyes flicked up to meet Katsuki’s, narrowing slightly, then widening.

Don’t you dare say ‘hurt you’, Katsuki thought viciously. Don’t you fucking dare.

“...who assaulted you,” Kirishima finished his thought, “like a coward.”

Katsuki blinked twice before he could find the words to respond, especially those hadn't been the words he'd expected to come from Kirishima's mouth. “What about that asshole?” he finally asked.

“I mean, I know I asked last night, but I figured it might be good for me to ask in person,” Kirishima said, moving his food around on his plate without actually taking a bite. “About… you know.”

Katsuki was so sick of ‘you know’ when no, he didn’t fucking know! “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he snapped, “just say what you’re thinking.”

“So you do want to press charges?” Kirishima asked, leaning forward, his face earnest. "Against the alpha. You want to go through that whole process? It's okay if you don't want to," he added, though the look in his eyes said that he really hoped Katsuki wanted to chase after the bastard.

That was fine with Katsuki, because he wasn't about to let that asshole just go on living his life after all he'd done to Katsuki, and probably other mandatory residents before him. Sighing heavily, Katsuki leaned back in his chair. “I would, but good luck getting any charges to stick. He’s fucking smart, like I said.”

Kirishima frowned. “Right. Public indecency wouldn’t work because it’s a heat-house, so -”

“The most likely thing to get him on is stealing the suppressants, since stealing meds from people is generally frowned upon,” Katsuki said, scowling as he considered the potential case. “They aren’t prescription meds, though, so it’s not likely to be considered as bad. Still, between those thefts and the inappropriate behavior, I’m sure you could make a case that taking away someone’s suppressants and screwing with their heat is premeditated assault.” Katsuki leaned forward, placing a flat palm on the table for emphasis. “And this definitely isn’t his first time pulling this shit,” he added. “He’s had a lot of fucking practice, I could tell. You know those villains who just know exactly how much shit to pull without getting in real big trouble? He’s like one of those.”

Kirishima made a face at that, and Katsuki agreed wholly with the sentiment he could read on the redhead's expressive face. Those sorts of villains were the worst. They knew what they were doing to the extent that they knew how to game the system and do just enough damage to be seen as dangerous, but not so much as to attract major attention. They just liked to watch the world burn, and knew how to get away with it. It fucking sucked.

“Apparently there’s been a pattern of rapes being reported from this heat-house,” Kirishima said suddenly. “They haven’t been able to nail down a specific suspect, but all of the victims reported that the alpha did something like trigger their heats or steal their suppressants.”

Katsuki blinked hard. “He’s fucking based out of a single heat-house? Is this guy for fucking real? Who the hell has the balls to pull something like that? How the hell hasn’t anyone caught him?” The look on Kirishima’s face told Katsuki he was missing something. “What?” he demanded, “Does he wear a fucking mask?”

“Kind of,” Kirishima admitted slowly, “every single description of him has a different eye or hair color, and his build is really nondescript and average, so there’s nothing really easily identifiable about him.”

“Oh shit, so his boring face is actually a fucking mask to let him hide in plain sight,"  Katsuki realized, feeling a grudging admiration that quickly soured into disgust. “He’s fucking good at this shit,” he noted, hating to even admit it.

Kirishima bit his lip and nodded. “There is one good point about all this though,” he said softly.

Unconvinced, Katsuki lifted a single eyebrow. “What might that be?”

“He’s got a pattern,” Kirishima pointed out. “We know where he’ll be looking for his victim, and we know he’ll be looking for a male mandatory resident.”

A slow smile crept across Katsuki’s face as he put the pieces together. “You’re talking about a sting operation,” he said, curling his hands into fists, his grin stretching wider as he thought about pounding them into the smug bastard’s face. “Hell yeah. Where do I fucking sign up?”

Chapter Text

Midoriya Izuku was surprised to learn that despite the flimsy excuse of “there’s an unknown quirk involved”, his agency was given permission to arrange a sting operation in order to catch the alpha who had been assaulting mandatory resident omegas.  That said, there was still a lot of planning to do, and it would probably be a good idea to bring in Kirishima, which complicated matters. After all, he wanted in on the sting, but he was currently on his rut season and wasn’t supposed to be on the clock for another several days. Izuku didn’t anticipate a positive reaction to being told to stay out of it until his rut season was over, but if he wanted to participate as an active hero, he’d have to reschedule his rut season. It was a messy situation, and Izuku didn’t really want to be the one heading up the investigation if it meant explaining to the agency that Kirishima wanted to come back halfway through rut season, since it would mean he’d need to take another rut season at a different time.

Still, he hated to turn Kirishima down - if he’d been the one to discover something like this, it would be hard for him to let it go, too. So, with an internal groan, he texted Kirishima.

Me: Hey, so I got official approval for the sting operation to run down that alpha from The Gentle Embrace, but you’re still listed as out on rut season in our agency roster. If you want to get in on this operation, you’ll have to ask to come back from rut season early.

Surprisingly, Kirishima didn’t answer immediately. Izuku had rather expected the guy would be glued to his phone, considering how insistent he’d been about it - that’s why Izuku had rushed the request, after all. He’d expected the operation request to take at least 48 hours for processing, but apparently abuse of mandatory residents hit pretty high on the police priority list, because he’d managed to work something out in about 24 hours. Now they just needed to plan the sting, submit the operation details to the local precinct, and get to work. But in order to do that, they’d need to meet up with the people involved in the operation, and if Kirishima was occupied by watching out for the most recent victim, the one he’d described to Izuku, then he really wouldn’t be able to participate. At least, not in the planning session.

Kirishima: great!!

Kirishima: i can operate without coming in to the office, though, right? i have another commitment during the daytime

Kirishima: i can probably log in to the system remotely and check back in early, so that shouldnt be a problem?

Izuku sighed. Based on how Kirishima was avoiding describing exactly what commitment was keeping him occupied during the daytime (which likely included the operation hours for the heat-house where he’d discovered the victim), it seemed fairly obvious that he was trying to keep an eye on the mandatory resident.

Ever since Kirishima had first contacted him, Izuku had a sneaking suspicion that the mandatory resident in question was the same mandatory resident that Kacchan had been asking Kirishima to research for earlier in the week. After all, Kirishima had asked around at their dinner about what sorts of rights a mandatory resident was afforded when being harassed, but only because Kacchan had asked him . And now Kirishima was curiously unavailable during the daytime. Perhaps because the victim that Kacchan had identified needed someone to stay near them, and Kacchan had better things to do. (He didn’t want to think about what the alternative might be - it was easier to believe that Kacchan simply didn’t have the patience to babysit a mandatory resident, rather than allowing himself to wonder if it might be something far more sinister.)

He wondered, absently, if Kacchan wouldn’t mind delaying his own rut season to help with the operation, too, since he’d been the one to draw Kirishima’s attention to the problem. Then he imagined trying to convince Kacchan to drop out halfway through his rut season, and winced. Yeah, that wasn’t happening. Unless…

But Izuku was pointedly not allowing his mind to proceed along that particular train of thought. Sighing, he glanced back down at what Kirishima had said, and wondered how they could coordinate this sort of operation without actually having everyone in a room to decide on a solid plan of action. It seemed doomed to failure, unless they could coordinate a time to discuss at night. After shift. Ugh. Of course, he was making assumptions, and it was possible that Kirishima simply wasn’t considering the situation fully. Just because he wanted to be nearby didn’t mean it was the best option.

Even as he typed his next message, Izuku winced, because he knew that it would come across as lacking in empathy. But he needed to know what their options were going to be as they began the operation, so he had to ask this question, even if it seemed cruel. While Kirishima hadn’t explicitly stated why he was unavailable, Izuku expected him to share those details. Kirishima couldn’t be vague and be allowed to participate in the operation. If he wasn’t going to share everything he knew with Izuku, their whole operation would never get off the ground, and more mandatory residents would suffer as a result. They had to do this right, and sometimes that meant asking hard questions.

Me: Are you sure you can’t leave the mandatory resident on his own? Do you think the alpha will come after him again?

Kirishima: im not going to abandon him

Sighing, Izuku nodded to himself. He’d expected as much, but he’d needed to ask, just to be sure. It would complicate things, but part of being a hero was learning to adapt to difficult circumstances.

Kirishima: we just have to make this operation work without me being available during regular heat house hours

Kirishima: can we plan the operation after hours instead?

…Because this whole operation wasn’t already complicated enough. Izuku sighed, pressing a palm to his face and closing his eyes briefly. It was frustrating, but he didn’t particularly blame Kirishima for his response. If he were in the same situation, he couldn't say he wouldn't do the same.

Kirishima: can i loop bakugou in on the operation? i dont think hell actually be participating but i think hed like to know

Izuku had been expecting that, too, and felt the small bloom of pride in his chest that he felt every time he knew he’d figured something out. This was indeed the same omega that Kacchan had been worried about. He didn’t particularly mind if Kacchan knew about the sting, since the man knew how to be subtle and definitely wouldn’t give away the operation before its time. In fact, it would probably be worse if Kacchan didn’t know about the plan and ended up recognizing someone undercover during the course of the operation. That had more potential to go off the rails than simply looping him in on the plan once it was established.

Me: Sure, I’ll let him know once we have our plan figured out.

Kirishima: that works, i guess

Izuku had the sneaking suspicion that Kacchan was going to know about the operation long before the planning concluded, but he also figured that he had plausible deniability at this point. That would have to be enough.

Me: I’ll get back to you when I figure out who else will be participating and when we can start planning.

“So I guess I’ll just wait until he gets back to me about the plan,” Eijirou concluded, pausing his pacing and turning to face Bakugou from the middle of his room where he’d come to a stop. “What do you think?”

Bakugou was staring at him from where he stood, next to his bed. He was oddly quiet, as he had been for the entire time Eijirou had spent explaining what he’d learned, and what their next steps would be. Bakugou’s hands were shoved deep in his pockets, a cloudy expression draped across his fine features. As Eijirou looked him over, noting his hunched posture and the wrinkle between his eyebrows, he felt the first inkling that maybe this brief overview of the conversation with Midoriya hadn’t gone over as well as he’d hoped it would.

“So you didn’t do the research yourself, then. You had Deku do it,” Bakugou said slowly, one eye twitching. His face slowly stiffened into a disbelieving half-grimace. “You told fucking Deku?” he asked, voice strained, as if this was somehow more surprising than the fact that Eijirou might have been able to find all that intel on his own. Really, Eijirou was surprised that Bakugou hadn’t expected someone else to be in on it, he knew that research wasn’t Eijirou’s strong suit! But for some reason, this news seemed to have taken him by surprise, and more than that, he seemed visibly bothered by the news. Almost distraught.

Eijirou stood awkwardly in the middle of the room, half inclined to start pacing again. “Midoriya is good at research,” he said cautiously, “way better than me, anyway.” He shrugged weakly, adding in a placating tone, “Besides, you know he understands discretion, if there’s something he needs to keep quiet, then he will.”

“Yeah, sure,” Bakugou rolled his eyes, muttering something about All Might and secrets never being Deku’s specialty. After the momentary grousing, Bakugou shut his eyes and inhaled sharply. “But...that’s not the point,” he finally said through gritted teeth. His eyes reopened, fixing on Eijirou with an unexpected intensity.  “You told him, and you did that without checking with me first. You just up and told him that I’m a-”

“I didn’t tell him it was you!” Eijirou protested, throwing his hands up in a gesture of surrender, even as he took an involuntary step forward. “I would never do that!” he may be a pretty tactless person by nature, but even he knew better than to tell Midoriya that Bakugou was really an omega! “I just said-”

Bakugou shook his head before Eijirou even had the chance to finish his defense, covering his eyes with one hand. “He’ll fucking figure it out,” he growled, corners of his mouth turned down in an almost pained expression. “He always sticks his nose in things that don’t concern him, trust me, he fucking knows.”

“I mean, I don’t think anyone would ever suspect you’re an omega, even if you are in a heat-house,” Eijirou said soothingly, trying to keep his voice calm, despite the fact that seeing Bakugou so upset was upsetting him, too. “He probably thinks you’re just here for the same reason I thought you were here - to see an omega. There’s no way he’d jump to the conclusion that you’re an omega, even if you’re staying in a heat-house.”

Bakugou tipped his head back, groaning loudly. “You don’t. Fucking. Get it.” He leaned forward then, dropping his hand, his crimson eyes piercing Eijirou. “Deku already knows I’m an omega, dipshit. Now he knows I’m a fucking mandatory resident, and he probably knows I’m the one who was fucking assaulted, too. Shit!” He snarled, turning and punching the wall beside him to punctuate the expletive.

Eijirou winced, eyeing Bakugou’s hand and hoping that the strike hadn’t added to the previous injuries on those same knuckles. “...oh,” he said softly, feeling as though the air had been stolen from his lungs as what Bakugou was saying began to sink in. “Oh no.” He hadn’t known that! But even if he had, Eijirou had still needed someone who could do the research he didn't have the time or experience to handle! That said, he absolutely hadn’t known that Midoriya knew Bakugou was an omega. He hadn't even considered it a possibility, since he hadn’t known, he’d assumed no one else knew, either! Eijirou felt his hands begin to shake as he realized what he’d done. Shit.

He couldn't bear to look at Bakugou as the pieces all began to fall together. He’d accidentally told Bakugou’s rival (it was a relatively friendly rivalry at this point, but still definitely a rivalry) about one of Bakugou’s weaknesses - about his mandatory residence, too, which was proof that Bakugou hadn't even mated anyone in ten years, which was just another level of personal information he had no right to be sharing with anyone! He’d described the victim as a male omega, and Midoriya was smart enough to figure that out, especially with how protective of the mandatory resident Eijirou was being. Bakugou hated to appear weak, especially in front of Midoriya, and Eijirou had essentially told his most horrible, darkest secret by describing the utter vulnerability and powerlessness of the situation to the one person that Bakugou would do absolutely anything to keep it from.

Dammit! Eijirou felt his heart race even as his stomach twisted up inside him. His chest felt tight, like his lungs had seized up and were refusing to let him breathe. He was going to be sick, he wanted to crawl into the earth and never come out, he was the worst, how could he have done this to Bakugou? He was a terrible friend, he couldn't believe he’d done this, he -

Distantly, Eijirou heard Bakugou sigh heavily, and looked up to see him pinching the bridge of his nose, a look of exasperation crossing his features.

“But you didn’t know that Deku knew I was an omega,” Bakugou said gruffly, dropping onto the edge of his bed, slowly curling his fingers around the blanket, clenching them into a tight fist as he gazed at the floor. He lifted his head and made eye contact a moment later, his eyes narrowing. “Don't get me wrong, I’m still pissed. You didn't even ask me for my input, you just fucking… did whatever the hell you wanted to do, and it was a fucking stupid move.” His shoulders slumped as he sighed again. “But at least Deku is going to help us get this guy. So it’s not a complete disaster.” Groaning, Bakugou flopped onto the bed entirely, lying flat on his back, his gaze locked on the ceiling. “Fuck,” he said heavily, “I’m tired.”

Eijirou ventured a quiet response from where he stood in the center of the room, wishing the floor would open up beneath his feet and swallow him whole, “You want to sleep?”

“I’m tired,” Bakugou repeated, “Not sleepy. I’m just sick of this shit, sick and pissed off and just… so. goddamn. tired.”

“Oh,” Eijirou replied weakly, not sure what else to say. “I’m… sorry,” he said then, his chest aching. “Should I go?”

Bakugou sighed again, still not looking at him. “No,” he said. “Just… fucking talk to me, stop running off and making these damn decisions by yourself.”

Eijirou bit his lip, nodding in agreement, even though Bakugou wasn’t actually looking at him and therefore couldn’t actually see him nodding.  “Okay,” he whispered, still not sure if he should just go anyway. But Bakugou had said not to go, hadn’t he? Should he just keep standing in the middle of the room? The pleasant mood from earlier that day seemed to have totally vanished now. Eijirou hated that Bakugou was feeling so frustrated, and hated even more that it was his fault. He wished he knew how to make it better, even though there really wasn’t much that could be done in this situation. “Maybe I should go,” he said again, if only because he thought that leaving might help him absolve his guilt by giving Bakugou the space he probably needed to process the bad news.

“I already fucking told you,” Bakugou growled from the bed, lifting his head to stare at Eijirou, “Don’t.”

Eijirou didn’t understand why Bakugou wanted him to just… stand there in the middle of the room, but if that’s what it took to show him how sorry he was, then he’d do it. “Okay,” he said again. “I’m really, really sorry.”

Bakugou sighed heavily, flopping back onto the bed. “I know,” he growled. “Just… wait. Thirty seconds,” he pointed at Eijirou to emphasize his next phrase, “and don’t. Fucking. Leave.”

“I won’t,” Eijirou promised, and fell silent, standing miserable in the middle of the floor, silently counting the seconds.  He made it to forty-two seconds before Bakugou sat up and stared at him from the bed.

“I’m pissed,” he said simply, then patted the space beside him on the bed. “Sit down.”

Eijirou gingerly settled down on the bed next to him. “I’m really sorry,” he said again.

“I know,” Bakugou said wearily, not looking at Eijirou. He added, more quietly, “Don’t leave.”

“I won’t,” Eijirou promised, glancing nervously at Bakugou. “Unless you want me to.”

“I don’t,” Bakugou said, still not looking at Eijirou, his face taut with stress. He bumped his shoulder up against Eijirou’s, a bit roughly, though not really with the intent to do harm. “Idiot.”

“I know,” Eijirou said miserably, staring at his hands, not sure what to do. A moment later, he felt Bakugou’s head settle on his shoulder. He stiffened, afraid to look down, afraid to acknowledge the gesture. “I’m sorry,” he said again, so softly he could barely hear himself speak.

“I know,” Bakugou rumbled, his own voice softening. He was still leaning on Eijirou’s shoulder. “We’ll figure it out.”

Eijirou felt some of the tension in his spine ease. “Oh. Okay.”

Chapter Text

Internally, Katsuki wanted to be angry, but he just… didn’t have the fucking energy to really get pissed. He’d been angry, hurt, frustrated, and disgusted so many times over the past few days, he just couldn’t find the emotion within him to really stay mad. So instead, he leaned against Kirishima, breathing in his scent, and tried to think rationally. It wasn’t his usual style, but he couldn’t exactly go blow shit up until he had regained access to his training rooms, so he would have needed to switch things up anyway. Being close to Kirishima helped, at least. Despite the dejection drifting off him at the moment, he still smelled familiar, though obviously much stronger than usual.

It occurred to Katsuki that he’d never really smelled Kirishima strongly before, since he, like Katsuki, used scent neutralizers religiously to prevent his scent from permeating personal spaces, since stinking up the apartment meant it was twice as hard to prep for hero work. If you didn’t wear those scent neutralizers regularly, you’d have to come in early for your shift to wash off your own scent with deodorizing soap, then applying scent neutralizers before finally suiting up. It was easier to just use them all the time, and Katsuki had done the same as Kirishima. It meant that Katsuki had never really smelled Kirishima like this, not so strongly, at least. It was a heady scent when Katsuki’s nose was right up against Kirishima’s shoulder, so close to the scent glands in both his neck and armpits.

It was distracting, too, which was exactly what Katsuki needed at the moment. He huffed, inhaling deeply, already loathing the long night he would have to spend vainly trying to hunt down Kirishima’s smell on his bedsheets. A thought occurred to him then, and he lifted his head slightly, just enough to look at Kirishima’s face, without actually lifting his head. “Oi, Kirishima?”

Kirishima stiffened, giving off a startled, anxious scent. Internally, Katsuki cursed himself for agitating Kirishima, since now he didn’t smell nearly as nice as the warm comforting scent he’d been giving off mere moments earlier. “Oh, uh, yeah? Did you need something?” he asked, glancing down at Katsuki, still sitting rigid due to his nerves.

There wasn’t really a tactful way to go about saying this, which suited Katsuki fine. “Can you give me some of your clothes?” he asked, not bothering to beat around the bush. “I want something that smells like you.”

Kirishima’s eyes grew wide. “You want something that smells like me?” he repeated, then blinked hard. “...why?” he asked a moment later, sounding utterly befuddled.

Genuinely not expecting that to be his response, Katsuki found himself momentarily speechless. “Because,” he finally managed, “I want to smell you.”

“Why?” Kirishima repeated, still sounding confused.

Oh my fucking god, Katsuki had thought he hadn’t had the emotional energy to lose his temper, but here he was, getting pissed off all over again. “Are you fucking shitting me right now?” Katsuki demanded, pulling away from Kirishima, who smelled more of confusion than anything else at the moment, “Why do you think? Because I fucking like you, I like how you fucking smell, and I want to have something that smells like you with me when you’re not here!”

Kirishima’s confused expression began to soften, ever-so-slightly. “Oh. But I’m not wearing any special cologne or anything, and I put on clean clothes this morning so I don’t think they’ll smell that much…”

“You can’t be fucking serious,” Katsuki snapped, his eyes scanning Kirishima’s face, only to realize that holy shit he was fucking serious. “Kirishima,” he said sharply, “this isn’t a new concept.”

Opening his mouth to respond, Kirishima paused for a moment, his forehead wrinkling.

Katsuki could sense that Kirishima was about to disagree with him for some stupid reason, and he was not ready to have a fucking argument about why it made perfect sense for Bakugou to want something that smelled like Kirishima. So he ignored the fact that Kirishima was about to speak and kept talking. “Seriously, people have literally been pulling this shit for centuries,” he insisted, “you can’t honestly think that wanting to have something that smells like your boyfriend is unusual.”

Kirishima squared his shoulders, his forehead still wrinkled. “Yeah, but…” he paused, his expression shifting from confused to thoughtful to a look of determination. He sighed, his shoulders slumping back down as he hunched slightly. “I guess,” he finally said, tugging one arm out of his jacket, “you have a point. But if I give you my shirt,” he continued, shucking his jacket entirely and reaching back to grab the collar of his shirt, “then you need to give me yours. I want something that smells like you, too.” With that, he tugged the back of his collar up and over his head, pulling his shirt off in one smooth motion. He extended it to Katsuki with a grin. “Here you go.”

Fucking finally, Katsuki accepted the shirt, immediately stuffing it into his pillowcase. “Fucking fantastic,” he said.

Kirishima was staring at him pointedly.

“What?” Katsuki asked, then he remembered. Right. “One second,” he said, tugging off his own shirt and passing it to Kirishima. “Don’t lose this,” he warned.

“I won’t,” Kirishima assured him, his eyes crinkling with the force of the grin on his face. “Thanks.”

“Yeah, it’s whatever,” Katsuki said dismissively, though internally he felt almost… proud, that Kirishima had wanted something that smelled like him. It was kind of flattering, in a weird way. “So anyway. When the hell are you planning this damn operation, anyway?”

“I’m not certain,” Kirishima answered, “but probably not for a little while, yet. I’ll definitely keep you updated.”

Katsuki nodded, his eye catching the time. “Oh. Damn,” he said then, “I think visiting hours end in about ten minutes.”

Kirishima winced. “I should probably get going, then.”

“Yeah,” Katsuki answered.

They both stared at each other for about ten seconds before Katsuki sighed. “Fine, if you won’t fucking say it, then I will. Do you want a goddamn kiss goodnight?”

Kirishima’s face flushed bright red. “Actually, I was just thinking I should really apologize again for-”

“Fucking don’t remind me about that now, I was going to kiss you! Fuck! Your timing is shit,” Katsuki snapped. “Apologize tomorrow. Kiss now. Figure out your goddamn priorities!”

Sheepishly, Kirishima rose to his feet. “Sorry. I uh… would definitely like that goodnight kiss if it’s still on the-”

Whatever the fuck he was going to say, he didn’t get the chance to finish the sentence, because Katsuki reached up behind his head and pulled him in for a kiss, pressing their lips together, inhaling the scent of Kirishima as he nipped gently at his lower lip. It took barely a second for Kirishima to react, sliding his hands up Katsuki’s bare waist, discarding the shirt he’d just been handed in favor of handling the genuine article. Pressed so closely Katsuki could feel each breath that Kirishima drew in, he licked once at Kirishima’s lips, and they opened, allowing him to deepen the kiss. The softness of Kirishima’s lips was a sharp contrast to the hard planes of his body, and Katsuki relished the feel of it beneath his fingers, running his other hand up Kirishima’s chest. All too soon, Kirishima pulled away, gasping for breath.

“Wow, okay,” he said weakly, tugging awkwardly at his pants, “That was some goodnight kiss.”

“Don’t forget your jacket,” Katsuki said, picking it up and handing it to him, along with his own shirt.

“Oh yeah,” Kirishima said faintly, “I’d probably look weird leaving here half-dressed.”

Considering he was just shrugging the leather jacket on over his bare chest, Katsuki had the feeling he’d still look weird to most people. But he smelled like a rugged, powerful alpha who’d spent the day in the company of in interested omega, so honestly, the look sort of worked for him. Or maybe that was just Katsuki’s own biased interpretation of the look. He doubted it, though. He’d seen Kirishima draw more than a few sideways glances in his time, and he had the feeling this outfit would draw a hell of a lot more. But Kirishima was fairly oblivious to being noticed - in fact, it was probably related to his somewhat lacking self-esteem - and so he’d likely suffer little embarrassment on the trip back to his apartment.

Speaking of apartments, Katsuki was looking forward to finally showering with his own damn toiletries. But that would only happen once Kirishima actually left. “You look fucking hot, is how you look, half-dressed or not,” Katsuki informed him, finally responding to what Kirishima had said. He angled his head towards the door, then gave Kirishima a friendly tap on the ass. “Door’s that way.”

Kirishima yelped lightly, clutching at his rear end and looking vaguely scandalized. “You slapped me on the butt!”

Katsuki raised one eyebrow. “If you didn’t like it, I won’t do it again,” he said.

“Well, no, that’s not…” Kirishima’s face reddened. “I was just surprised,” he said. “Um. Goodnight?”

“Sweet dreams, hot stuff,” Katsuki replied. “And you know, you could always ask about getting overnight approval here,” he wiggled his eyebrows, glancing pointedly at his bed. “I’ve got plenty of room here for… sleeping,” he made sure to emphasize the word ‘sleeping’ in a way that made it crystal clear that falling asleep was the last thing on his mind.

Kirishima swallowed hard, but seemed to be genuinely considering it. “Oh, yeah. I’ll ask,” he said.

Katsuki had to suppress a noise of surprise. He hadn’t actually expected Kirishima to agree, since he’d been so paranoid about Katsuki’s heat and the suppressant screw-up possibly fucking with him. He grinned, and made a shooing motion. “Get going before they kick you out,” he told Kirishima.

“I’m going, I’m going,” he agreed mildly, letting himself out, shutting the door behind himself.

The grin fell from Katsuki’s face as soon as the door shut. He sighed, and turned to the bed with a considering glance. At least he had something that smelled like Kirishima. That might make sleeping in this shithole just a bit more bearable.

Izuku had managed to find two other people to coordinate with for this sting operation, and a lot faster than he’d expected. He’d ended up asking for Todoroki, mostly because he was a fairly level-headed person, and as a beta, he could pull off the look of a more powerful male omega, which seemed to be the perpetrator’s victim typology. Adding a few artificial pheromones to simulate a suppressed omega heat and scent block wouldn’t be too hard, either. And the other person who would be in on it was Uraraka, who he’d asked because she was an omega and also because he knew if he had a part in taking down an abusive alpha and she hadn’t been invited to participate she probably wouldn’t speak to him for a month.

As a forceful whirlwind of an omega herself, Uraraka felt strongly about protecting omegas who couldn’t stand up for themselves, and making sure people who took advantage of them understood their mistake. Fortunately, she was also a professional, and would absolutely never take any sort of action that might jeopardize the mission. She would be the omega on the inside. She was subtle, clever, and had a good head on her shoulders. She would be an asset to the team, and Izuku was glad to have her. Now he just needed to figure out what the hell they were going to do to get this guy, and how they were going to go about doing it.

He figured the first thing they could do was start a group chat.

Me: Hey all, so we need to figure out a time to meet up and plan this operation. The team consists of myself, Todoroki, Uraraka, Kirishima. Bakugou knows about the plan, too, but he’s not back from rut season so while he has been looped in, he’s not an official part of the planning process.

Uraraka: Right! I’m available after shifts in late evenings after 10PM, or before my shift from about 5AM until 11AM.

Todoroki: I am also available in the evening. My shift starts early so I won’t be available after 3 in the morning, though.

Kirishima: im free anytime before 7am or after 8pm

Izuku eyed the responses, internally aligning the schedules. Huh. That worked out better than he’d expected. Though they were probably foregoing sleep in order to attend the meeting, so maybe it wasn’t actually a great schedule. Still, this was an important mission, and one night’s missed sleep could be made up. Nodding to himself, Izuku quickly typed up what he’d noted.

Me: Sounds like we’ll be meeting in the evening, then. I have to start prepping for my shift by midnight this week, so how does 10PM - Midnight sound for everyone?

Todoroki: That is fine for me.

Uraraka: I can do 10-12!

Kirishima: im good with that time

Izuku grinned at that, and quickly typed his reply.

Me: Okay, great. Let’s aim for 10PM tomorrow. Preference of location?

Kirishima: anywhere is fine as long as its not at my place

Kirishima: my place is a mess

Snorting, Izuku felt amusement bubble in his chest. Kirishima’s place was always a mess. It wasn't  bad, per se, but it was definitely on the cluttered side. It would have been interesting, trying to fit the whole team in there.

Todoroki: I’m the only one with an actual house, not just renting an apartment, so let’s do it here so we don’t have to worry so much about nosy neighbors. Mine know better than to complain.

Uraraka: Do I want to know what blackmail material you have on them? lol.

Todoroki: You misunderstand. The last time someone came to complain about noise, I came to answer the door directly from my training room. My clothing may have still been smoldering in places. In any case, I haven’t heard any complaints since.

Izuku had heard that story back when it had first happened. Though at the time, it hadn’t seemed nearly as lighthearted. Todoroki had called him in the middle of the afternoon in a panic, babbling about how he’d just terrified his neighbors by being ON FIRE inside his house, adding that he’d only just bought the house a year ago, and what if the neighborhood association fined him for answering the door while being on fire, what should he do? Izuku had tried so hard not to laugh, and had marginally succeeded, then reminded him that since he’d gone to the effort of fire-proofing the entire house, and fire quirks were hardly uncommon, his neighbors would more than likely write the incident off as a ‘weird quirk thing’. He’d been right, and Izuku was glad to see that Todoroki could joke about it now.

Me: Okay, Todoroki’s house it is. 10 PM. Tomorrow night.

Todoroki: I’ll have snacks and drinks, but if you want something specific please bring it yourself.

Izuku smiled a little at that remark. He was sure that Todoroki would have more than enough, he always put in a lot of effort when playing the host. He was also sure that neither of the others would bring anything either, as they were just as aware as he of Todoroki’s excellent skill as a host.

That decided, Izuku glanced at the clock and sighed. He still had an hour before he needed to head for the office. That was enough time to start thinking about the plan, and what they might need to get it off the ground. Scrounging up one of his many notebooks, Izuku flipped through it to a blank page, yanked open his desk drawer to retrieve a pencil, and began scribbling down ideas.