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Izuku opened his bedroom door later that night to find Katsuki standing on the other side, pillow in his arms, blanket tossed over his shoulder, and a scowl on his face.

The scowl, at least, was familiar and not worth questioning, but the rest of the picture didn’t make sense. There was no one else in the hallway, however, so the sudden and demanding knocking Izuku had rushed to answer had to have come from the grumpy looking boy in front of him. Izuku couldn’t even begin to fathom why he was there, but probably the most confusing part of Katsuki standing outside his door looking like he was mentally preparing to charge in against an unknown enemy was that he even knew where Izuku’s bedroom was in the first place. It wasn’t like he’d ever stopped by before, and Izuku had just kind of assumed that knowledge of where he slept wasn’t something Katsuki would ever bother learning.

As for the pillow and blanket…well, they were truly baffling and Izuku blinked at them long enough for Katsuki’s scowl to turn into more of a snarl.

“Move, nerd,” he eventually ground out, shouldering past Izuku into the room, and what? What was happening here?

“Um…” Izuku turned, hand still on the door, and tried to figure out what Katsuki could possibly need from him at this late hour that involved…things to sleep with. And apparently his bedroom. “Can I help you, Kacchan…?”

“I’m staying here tonight,” Katsuki said, or declared more like, in a tone that made it clear it wasn’t up for discussion because he’d already made up his mind, and again, what? He was standing in the middle of the room now, eyeing Izuku’s half-destroyed comforter that he hadn’t had time to replace yet. Most of the rest of the room was back in order, at least, All Might figures neatly arranged and papers organized on his desk, but it would be impossible not to notice that comforter and the singe marks still on the wall beyond it. “What the fuck? You did this in your sleep?”

“Yeah, I mean – it was an accident, I didn’t – did you say you’re staying in here tonight?”

Katsuki shot him an annoyed look over his shoulder. “What, you deaf now or something?”

“But.” Izuku gaped at him. “What – why??”

“To make sure this doesn’t happen again, obviously.” He said it like Izuku should’ve known, and okay, maybe the pillow should’ve been a hint, but what???

“You…you don’t have to do that, Kacchan, I’m sure it was just a one-time thing!” Izuku said, voice high and flustered for some reason. “Where would you even sleep??” His gaze cut to the bed as he asked, because it was probably big enough, but it had been almost ten years since the last time they’d shared one at a sleepover and somehow he didn’t think that would fly at this point in their semi-stable, slowly recovering but still pretty damaged relationship.

In response, Katsuki just gave him a flat stare and unceremoniously dropped his armful of bedding onto the floor. “Duh.”

“Oh, right…” Izuku let out a nervous laugh, palming the back on his neck. “This is super unnecessary, Kacchan, I promise I’ll be fine.”

“Like I give a shit about that!” Katsuki said loudly, except he was the one standing in the middle of Izuku’s bedroom, very much uninvited, so Izuku could only raise his eyebrows at him and very carefully not point out how contradictory that statement was. “But it’s not like All Might can babysit you, right? So I guess it’s up to me. Stupid Deku, you’re always such a pain in the ass, you know?”

Izuku tipped his head to the side a bit, letting his gaze grow skeptical now. “…Uh-huh,” he murmured, which instantly had Katsuki bristling up.

“Shut up, don’t make it weird! No one else knows, right? And you can’t be left alone, look what the hell you did last night!” He gestured wildly around the room, even though he hadn’t even seen the damage until approximately two minutes ago so it wasn’t like he’d really known. “It’s better to make sure it doesn’t happen again and if it does, at least someone will be here to keep you from destroying the entire dorm! We can report back to All Might in the morning. It’s like a fucking experiment, or study, or some shit like that. You gotta keep track of everything!”

That sounded like about five different excuses for Katsuki to sleep over rolled into one jumbled mess of word vomit, but the other boy actively trying to be involved with anything related to Izuku was new and exciting and kind of nerve-wracking, actually, but also a little awesome? Maybe a lot awesome. But it also felt sort of fragile, like it was something made of glass that needed to be handled with extreme care because one wrong move could splinter the entire phenomenon into countless tiny shards that would be impossible to put back together.

Which meant Izuku had to tread lightly here.

Mineta chose that exact moment to waltz by on the way to his own room, but he was quick to backtrack and pause outside Izuku’s door, giving the two of them a baffled look.

“Uh…you guys good?” he asked, with the tone of someone who wasn’t sure if they should be calling an adult or not because there might potentially be a dangerous hostage situation going on here.

“WE’RE FINE, IDIOT!” Katsuki shouted, holding up a crackling palm, and Izuku hastily scrambled to follow that up with a: “Yep, we’re good! Thanks, Mineta, goodnight!” before slamming the door in his smaller classmate’s face. And what a brilliant move that was, since he’d effectively just shut them in here. Apparently this was definitely happening now. He collapsed against the door with a weary sigh before leveling a glower at Katsuki. “Can you not? And watch your volume!”

Katsuki bristled all over again and threw an arm out, jabbing a pointing index finger toward Izuku. “You’re the one having secret NOT secret meetings with All Might where everyone can see!”

“Alright, alright, I’m sorry!” Izuku said, holding up both hands in what was supposed to be a calming gesture but seemed to have the opposite effect because, well, this was Bakugou Katsuki he was dealing with. “Won’t happen again, promise! We’ll be more careful.”

Although, he thought, Kacchan could act pissed off like this all he wanted, but he was the one willingly here in Izuku’s room and nosing his way into Izuku’s business, wasn’t he? So maybe there was some part of him that liked being in on the secret.

Katsuki crossed his arms over his chest and harrumphed, shooting an angry glare at the wall above Izuku’s desk, and Izuku smiled a little.

Hmm, scratch that maybe. Kacchan definitely wanted to be included.

“Holy shit.” The irritated tension abruptly melted from Katsuki’s body as his gaze landed on something else. Izuku followed his line of sight and promptly let out a strangled, embarrassed sound. “Wow. Really, nerd?” Katsuki stalked over to the proudly displayed line of All Might memorabilia and, looking his usual brand of cruelly amused, snatched up one of the figures.

Carefully, though. Izuku could tell, even as he staggered over to defend his prized possessions.

“The guy’s your teacher now – no, mentor, and you’ve still got this damn shrine dedicated to him? Are you actually five-years-old, Deku?”

“Ah, it’s not like I brought everything! Just a few pieces…that one’s a limited edition, Kacchan, don’t drop him!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, though he couldn’t completely hide his interest as he looked the figure over. “Tch. Still such a shitty fanboy.”

“Pot, kettle,” Izuku blurted right back, and Katsuki promptly scowled before gently placing the figure back where he’d gotten it from.

“I was never this bad,” he said, leaning in to examine a hand-painted, ceramic figurine that Izuku was honestly surprised (and relieved) had survived his One For All outburst the night before. Next to that was a piece that Izuku was particularly proud of – they’d only made a thousand of it, and Izuku had #452. Katsuki’s eyes widened just slightly as he looked at it.

Izuku made a disbelieving sound in the back of his throat. “You’re such a liar,” he said in exasperation, turning to his collection. His eyes moved over the various figures and statuettes, finding a few specific ones to point out. “You’ve definitely got that one, your mom got that one for your birthday, pretty sure that was a Christmas present, I know you’ve got that one because your dad bought it when we were out shopping that one time and you were throwing a temper tantrum–”

Katsuki threw a hand out, clamping it over Izuku’s mouth, and Izuku wasn’t nice enough not to snicker at the redness of the other boy’s ears as he swiftly ducked away and backed up half a step.

“I’m just saying, you can hide it all you want, Kacchan, or pretend you got too cool for it or whatever, but you’ve probably got half of these packed away somewhere at home.”

Shut up,” Katsuki growled, reaching out and trying to cover his mouth again. Izuku dodged and batted his hand away, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to deter him, and they quickly found themselves grappling with each other in the sort of idiotic slap-fight that would make even a pair of brawling cats turn away in embarrassment for them. “Fucking– QUIT IT, NERD!” Katsuki finally exploded, shoving at Izuku’s shoulder a final time before he abruptly turned away and dropped to his knees on top of the blanket he’d dumped on the floor earlier. “This is stupid, you’re stupid. I’m going to bed.”

“Kacchan, it’s like…9:30.”

“Your point?” Katsuki turned slightly to shoot him a glare. “You got something more important to do than sleep?”

Izuku gestured toward his desk, eyebrows raised. “I mean, homework…”

“Why didn’t you do that already?!”

“Because it’s not that late! Not everyone goes to bed so early! This is normal!” In fact, if Izuku went down to the common room right now, he was sure he’d find at least a third of their classmates milling about, finishing their work for various subjects. He joined them sometimes, and might’ve even gone downstairs tonight had the temperamental blonde currently making some kind of blanket nest on his floor not decided to throw the entire universe off-kilter by interrupting his evening.

“Whatever,” Katsuki said, hitting his pillow a few times before letting his head fall onto it and pulling the blanket up over his shoulder. “I’m sleeping, so just be quiet about it.”

Izuku’s jaw dropped as he stared at the other boy in an affronted sort of way. He was telling him to be quiet? In his own bedroom? Izuku huffed and threw his arms up, muttering: “Unbelievable,” under his breath as he stepped over the Kacchan-sized obstruction in the middle of his floor and made his way over to his desk.

Oh well. He could survive one night of Katsuki “babysitting” him, he supposed.

* * *

It wasn’t just one night.

Katsuki was gone by the time Izuku woke up the following morning, and he barely looked Izuku’s way the rest of the day. That wasn’t exactly unusual, except that he’d just spent the night on Izuku’s floor and Izuku had sort of expected that might come up at some point.

He wasn’t expecting for Katsuki to turn up outside his door again, pillow and blanket once again in hand.

Izuku groaned, head tipping sideways to thunk off the door. “Again?” he asked, and Katsuki just gave him a look before shouldering past him the same way he had the previous night. At least Izuku knew to shut the door after him this time, not needing any nosy classmates walking past again and getting too curious about whatever the hell was happening here.

“Can’t call it a damn study with only one night’s worth of data,” Katsuki said gruffly. He dropped his armful of bedding in the same place as last night and then plopped himself down onto the chair at Izuku’s desk.

Izuku sighed. “I really don’t think it’s going to happen again,” he said, wandering over to sit on his bed since Katsuki had claimed the only chair in the room. One of his textbooks was still spread open on the surface of the desk, a notebook full of unanswered homework problems underneath it. Izuku tried not to look too grumpy about being interrupted again. “That was the first time I’d seen them since the Sports Festival.”

Katsuki blinked at him. “Them?” he repeated, and Izuku cursed under his breath.

“U-um, well. See.” He let out a nervous laugh, dropping his eyes and poking his fingers together sheepishly. “It was more than just One For All activating on its own. I, uh…had a dream? About all the predecessors. The other users of One For All.”

“…A dream,” Katsuki repeated again, brows drawing down. He was frowning and looked almost uncertain, like he was trying to figure out if Izuku was just bullshitting him somehow.

Izuku hesitated just long enough for Katsuki’s uncertainty to melt into impatience (which, to be fair, took approximately four seconds) before he nodded. “Yeah…” He spread his hands out, palms up, staring at them without really seeing them. “It was strange.” Honestly, he wasn’t sure he should be mentioning this part to Katsuki. It was probably best to leave all the details of exactly what had happened to All Might, but another couple of seconds ticked by and Katsuki made a soft, irritated sound, and suddenly Izuku was talking. It spilled out of him, words piling on top of one another as he hurried through a summary of what he’d witnessed two nights previous before moving onto the vision he’d had at the Sports Festival. Katsuki didn’t interrupt at all, just listened intently until Izuku finished and finally looked up at him again. “So that’s…really what’s been happening. I don’t know why it set my Quirk off, but I don’t think it’s something that’s going to happen often or anything like that.”

For a moment, Katsuki didn’t reply at all. He was hunched over, elbows braced on his knees and hands clasped tightly in front of him, just staring, and Izuku did his best not to fidget under his hard gaze. Eventually, finally, he drew back and turned abruptly away, facing Izuku’s desk instead. “Tch…” Without a care for the homework still lying there, he kicked his feet up, bracing them against the desk and tipping the chair onto its back legs, arms crossed over his chest. “Twenty percent, huh.”

“Eh?”

“That’s what you said.” He let the chair lean further back, head falling backwards to give Izuku an upside-down glare. “That they said twenty percent is all you can manage right now.”

“Ah, yeah… It’s more than I thought.” Izuku ran a hand through his hair, scratching the back of his head as he looked up at the ceiling. “I was at about eight percent when you and I fought.”

Katsuki made a choked sound and promptly overbalanced, sending both the chair and himself crashing onto the ground.

“Kacchan!” Izuku shot up and stumbled forward, hovering over Katsuki and trying to refrain from holding out a hand to help him up. “Are you okay??”

Fine,” Katsuki grunted. He rolled the opposite of direction of where Izuku was and came up on his knees, hands braced against his thighs as he leaned forward to snarl at the other boy. “What the fuck do you mean you were only at eight percent?!”

Izuku eyed him somewhat warily. “That’s what my body could handle then. Without damaging anything.” He lowered himself to the ground, cautiously, like he was watching for signs of an impending explosion, but Katsuki’s hands stayed clenched around the material of his sweatpants so Izuku settled into a cross-legged position. “I’m still working on making this power my own, remember?”

“I get that,” Katsuki growled, “but eight percent? That’s it?!” He brought a hand up, rubbing the back of it against his right cheek without seeming to realize he was doing so, and suddenly Izuku thought he understood. He perked up a little, unable to stop himself from grinning even when Katsuki quickly went on the defensive and gave him a suspicious look. “What?”

“Heh.” Izuku’s grin widened. “You’re thinking that was a really hard punch for only being eight percent.”

“What?!”

Izuku nodded. “Yep! That’s what just went through your head. You didn’t realize that it’s not just a matter of learning how to use One For All, it’s that I physically can’t utilize it at its full capacity yet.” He looked up, eyes wide with excitement. “Imagine how strong I’ll be at one-hundred percent!”

Katsuki seemed a bit shell-shocked, which Izuku almost felt bad about (almost), but he recovered quickly and brought his arms up, hands flexing and small explosions popping along his palms. “Whatever, Deku, you could be at two-hundred percent and I’d still kick your ass!”

Izuku’s grin turned sharp and he held up his own fist, letting the familiar trails of green lightning come to life and crackle around it. “I’ll go to three-hundred percent then!”

“You still wouldn’t beat me!”

“Four-hundred percent!”

“I’M NOT LOSING TO YOU AGAIN!”

“Five-hundred percent!!”

HAAAAH?!

And then Katsuki lunged at him and Izuku was left scrambling to make sure his room didn’t get blown up for the second time in less than a week.

* * *

The third night, Izuku dragged his textbooks down to the common room and parked himself on one of the sofas, fully intent on staying there until he was caught up with all his homework. He hadn’t finished as much the night before as he wanted to, what with the unexpected wrestling match he and Kacchan had ended up in – if rolling around on the floor and pulling at each other’s hair could really be described as wrestling. It had only ended because Mineta had banged on the wall between their bedrooms and told them to shut the hell up, after which Katsuki had buried himself beneath his blanket and promptly passed out while Izuku tried to figure out how this was actually his life now. Once again, his Quirk hadn’t activated during the night and Katsuki had been gone by morning.

“You’re working hard.”

Izuku looked up at the voice, finding Todoroki leaning over the back of the couch and watching as he scribbled furiously in his notebook.

“Ah, yeah… I didn’t finish last night.”

“Really? That’s unlike you.” Todoroki came around the couch, sitting down on the opposite end with his own pile of textbooks.

“Probably because he’s been having weird sleepovers with Bakugou,” Mineta muttered aggressively from his position on the floor in front of the coffee table, and Izuku winced as all movement in the room suddenly halted. Todoroki stared, Uraraka and Jirou both glanced up from where they were reading on one of the other couches, and Ojiro, curled up on the third couch, paused in his own writing to shoot a curious look Izuku’s way.

Izuku half hoped they would all just return to their work if he didn’t say anything, but of course his silence just fueled everyone’s curiosity.

Probably the alarmed look on his face didn’t help either.

“Deku…” Uraraka said, almost cautiously, and Izuku barely contained the high-pitched eeep! that wanted to escape him. “You’re having sleepovers with Bakugou?” Her head tilted to the side. “Does that mean you two have finally made up?”

“So that’s where he’s been!” Kirishima wandered over from the kitchen, apple in hand, and made himself comfortable on the arm of the couch near Izuku. “I stopped by his room the other night but he wasn’t there. You two have been hanging out? That’s awesome, bro!” He held out a fist, presumably for Izuku to bump with his own, and he did so with an awkward laugh after hesitating for a second or two.

“It’s not really hanging out,” he finally managed to say. “He’s just…” Izuku floundered, looking for some kind of excuse, something that could possibly explain why Katsuki was spending nights in Izuku’s bedroom of all places when the two of them could barely hold a civil conversation during the day. “He’s helping me with something,” is what he settled on, and decided he’d just have to say it was a private something if any of his classmates tried to harass him for more details.

Todoroki lifted an eyebrow at him. “Bakugou is helping you with something?”

“That’s not suspicious at all,” Jirou said.

“I promise it’s nothing to worry about,” Izuku said quickly, the words tripping over each other in his rush to get them out. “It’s nothing suspicious or weird–”

“It sure sounded weird,” Mineta cut in, and Izuku scowled and threw a pencil at his head.

“It wasn’t! It’s not. Everyone forget about it! Okay? Please??”

Uraraka, bless her heart, just smiled at him. “Sure, Deku. I’m sure it’s important if even Bakugou’s gotten involved. But if there’s anything anyone else can do, you’ll ask us, right?”

“Right,” Izuku replied, nodding and trying not to melt simply from being unable to handle the sweetness she was directing his way. “Right, yeah. Of course! It’s not a big deal, though. Promise!”

“…Mm-hmm.” Todoroki sounded skeptical. Izuku didn’t blame him.

Kirishima just clamped a hand on Izuku’s shoulder. “Remind him he owes me a study session, will ya?”

“Sure,” Izuku said, and figured now was as good a time as any to do that. He still hadn’t finished the work he wanted to but he gathered up his books anyway. “I’ll just go do that now. If he’s even– He might be in his room! I’m not assuming he’s already in mine or anything. Ha. That’d be– OkaybyeGOODNIGHT.” He finished in a rush and darted out of the room.

Right. Good.

Smooth.

And totally inconspicuous.

Izuku groaned and banged his head against the wall of the elevator as he rode it up to his floor. His floor, he didn’t even bother going to Katsuki’s, and of course it didn’t matter because Katsuki was already sitting cross-legged on his bed when Izuku pushed open the door to his room. Seeing as how it was just past 10:30 PM, this was somewhat surprising and Izuku paused, earlier embarrassment forgotten as he eyed the other boy.

“Kind of late for you, isn’t it?” he asked, dropping his books off on his desk.

Katsuki grunted at him, and Izuku waited for a moment until he followed that up with: “It’s…extra work. For those dumb classes.”

The classes he and Todoroki had to take, Izuku assumed, and he nodded.

“How’s that going?”

“Shitty,” was the swift reply, and Izuku rolled his eyes. He debated prying some more into it, because he actually was curious, but in the end he figured it’d probably be easier and less painful to just ask Todoroki. He’d definitely get more details out of him.

But speaking of Todoroki…

“So…the others are starting to wonder why you’re sleeping in here,” Izuku said, as casually as he could manage. He was still standing by his desk, absently drumming his fingers on the surface, and Katsuki paused in whatever he was writing to glower up at him through the hair falling into his eyes.

“What?”

“This whole thing.” Izuku gestured back and forth between the two of them. “You didn’t think they wouldn’t notice, did you?”

From Katsuki’s silence, it was clear that was exactly what he’d thought. Izuku gave him an exasperated look, unable to help himself. Even with Mineta spotting him the first night he’d shown up here, it honestly still hadn’t even occurred to him that anyone would find it unusual enough to start poking around. Because Kacchan wouldn’t care enough to poke around, so why would anyone else, right?

Typical.

“Fuck,” Katsuki said, and it was so succinct and yet full of meaning that Izuku snorted out a laugh at the other boy that instantly had him scowling. “Shut up! Shit, they asked about it? Why the hell do they care?”

“Because it’s legitimately confusing?” Izuku offered. “I tried to say you were helping me with something, but I don’t think they bought it.”

“How is it confusing?!” Katsuki threw down his pen and crossed his arms, shoulders hunching up around his ears. “I told you, I’m just making sure none of that crazy shit happens again. If All Might could get away with sitting in here all night without it being totally fucking creepy, he probably would, too! Blowing up your room isn’t normal, Deku.”

Izuku had a sudden and deep understanding of why Katsuki had slapped his hand away every time Izuku had ever tried to help him up, of why he’d snarled and raged whenever Izuku had ended up in a position where trying to save his childhood friend had been an unavoidable option.

Having someone worry about you was annoying when you didn’t want them to.

But the thought was gone as soon as it shot through his head, nothing more than a split second’s worth of frustration that was swiftly replaced by a weird sort of fluttering feeling in his chest and a warmth that bloomed upwards until Izuku was sure his cheeks were red with it. His mouth opened even though he didn’t have anything to say, hands closing into fists at his sides for a moment before he drew in a slow, stuttering breath.

Katsuki was looking at him weirdly – in something close to alarm, maybe. His eyes were slightly wide anyway, the rest of his expression tight, and his fingers clenched around his biceps.

“What the hell is that look?” he asked, voice more unsure than it usually was but still demanding all the same.

“You–” Izuku stopped.

No.

Remember the glass phenomenon. Don’t shatter it.

“…Never mind,” Izuku continued faintly, looking away. He’d had an inkling already, after all. He’d thought, maybe, the first night Katsuki had shown up.

Something had shifted after they’d fought all those weeks ago, that much had been obvious, but he hadn’t wanted to look too closely at it. To get too hopeful or assume too much.

But this?

Kacchan cared.

In his own boorish way, he was actually sort of concerned about something that was happening to Izuku. About something he was dealing with. Sure, he was acting like it was a burden. Like because he was the only other student who knew, it was up to him to take on this extra responsibility. But Izuku knew Katsuki, had known him for his entire life, and he knew Katsuki didn’t do anything he didn’t want to do. He didn’t go out of his way for anybody unless he actually gave a damn about them, and the number of people who made that list was distressingly small.

That Izuku had maybe finally managed to get on it…

The feeling in his chest ballooned again and Izuku spun away, walking quickly and stiffly over to his closet.

“…What the fuck,” Katsuki muttered behind him, and Izuku heard him shifting on the bed as he busied himself with pulling out a change of clothes to sleep in. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter what those dumbasses think. Just ignore them.”

Izuku yanked his shirt off over his head, turning to look back at Katsuki as he pulled a new one on only to find Katsuki already watching him. “I can’t just ignore them,” he said. “I figured I’d stick with the story where you’re helping me. Even if it is unbelievable.” Katsuki made a face at him, disgruntled and clearly unhappy with this plan. “Don’t look at me like that, it’s the truth! Just not all of the truth.”

Fine,” Katsuki grumbled, tapping his pen against his notebook. “Fucking whatever. If they ask me, I’m telling them it’s something embarrassing.”

“Gee, thanks,” Izuku said dryly, kicking off his pants next. Katsuki’s eyes dropped back down to his notebook, the tempo of his pen tapping picking up a bit. “By the way, Kirishima says you owe him a study session.”

“The hell I do,” Katsuki said, but he reached for his phone anyway and quickly started typing away on it. Izuku, pulling on a pair of gym shorts now, decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and happily assumed he was texting their redheaded friend.

Since Katsuki was still on the bed, Izuku sat down at his desk and used his foot to roll one of his weights over. He might as well get a couple reps in before bed, even if it meant leaving his homework undone for another night. He was a few arm curls into his first set when Katsuki cleared his throat. “You, uh...”

“Hm?” Izuku glanced at the other boy. Katsuki looked vaguely like he’d just swallowed a lemon. He was tapping his pen again.

“You’ve…” The lemon look wasn’t going away. If anything, it got worse, until it seemed like Katsuki was actually going to physically choke on whatever he was trying to say. It was a little concerning, but Izuku wasn’t about to let such an emotion show on his face and just forced himself to wait instead. “…You’ve – improved,” Katsuki finally ground out between clenched teeth, and Izuku’s eyebrows about shot straight off his forehead.

“…I think you just complimented me but managed to make it sound like an insult,” he heard himself say distantly, mind going a mile a minute trying to process the words that had just come out of Katsuki’s mouth.

Katsuki let out a strangled sound, burying his hands into his hair and glaring down at his homework. “It’s not a compliment, just a fact!” he said loudly. He squinted moodily in Izuku’s direction, hands still gripping spiky locks. “You know, I was there for every freaking gym class you ever had and you couldn’t even do a damn pushup half the time. You were pretty fucking useless.”

Izuku tried not to let that sting and ended up wincing anyway.

Not because–” Katsuki grimaced, hands falling to close into fists in his lap. “Not because of…not having a Quirk. Or whatever. Just. Physically.” He gestured aimlessly, the motion looking out of place on him. “And then in the space of a fucking year or some shit you went from that to…” This time he gestured at Izuku, who had frozen with the weight in hand, arm curled halfway up. “All of this. I’ve got a pretty damn good idea what that takes. I know it’s not easy, so.” He shrugged, movements jerky, and looked supremely uncomfortable. Like he regretted ever starting this conversation. “So – it’s good or whatever. You did…”

He stopped there, finally unable to continue. His ears were red as he scowled down at the notebook in front of him, and Izuku focused on ignoring how very, very warm he felt.

You did well?

It was the sort of thing he heard from All Might pretty often. The sort of thing he could even, sometimes, admit to himself. Even with all the support he’d had from others, and even with as far as he still had to go, he knew he’d done well for himself to get to where he was now.

But Katsuki was the only other person who truly knew the difference between pre-Quirk Izuku and post-Quirk Izuku. Hearing this kind of thing from him was…

Izuku lowered his gaze, starting his arm curls again. A smile slowly spread across his face but he didn’t dare let Katsuki see it. The other boy wasn’t looking anyway; Izuku could hear him scribbling harshly in his notebook.

“…Thanks, Kacchan.”

“Shut the fuck up, Deku.”

* * *

Katsuki, surprisingly, was still there the following morning this time. Izuku only realized this when he nearly tripped over him as he tried to make his way over to his closet in a half-asleep state. He paused, squinting down at the spiky hair sticking out from beneath the blanket on his floor, and then slowly stuck his foot out and nudged the other boy in his side.

The lump grumbled something unintelligibly before rolling over to peer up at Izuku. “What,” he grunted, blinking blearily.

“You’re still here.”

“Nn… Went to bed late.” Katsuki rubbed the heels of his hands against his eyes, and Izuku tried not to look amused at the idea of anything before midnight qualifying as late for teenagers their age. “Shit, Deku, it’s still fuckin’ dark out. Why the hell are you up?”

Izuku glanced toward the balcony where it was, indeed, just beginning to turn gray outside as the early morning sun struggled to break through the nighttime darkness. “I usually wake up around now. You’ve just been gone even earlier all the other mornings.” He propped his hands on his hips, tipping his head curiously to the side as he watched Katsuki. “Though you seem to be struggling today.”

“Fuck you, m’not. Just don’ wanna be awake right now.” Despite saying that, he heaved himself up a second later, stretching his arms over his head and arching his back for an extended moment before a massive yawn interrupted him. “Holy shit, I hate your stupid posters,” he said after a beat, scrubbing a hand through his hair.

“What? Why??”

“Because I don’t wanna wake up to All Might fuckin’ staring down at me, it’s really goddamn weird.”

“It’s not weird!” Izuku said, insulted. “Lots of people have hero posters!”

“No, it’s weird,” Katsuki said again. He was finally starting to sound more awake now. “It’s really, really weird, you weirdo. I gotta see this guy every day, I don’t need him watching me all night, too.”

“He’s not– That’s– Kacchan!”

“I mean maybe you’re into that, but I’m sure as hell not, so…”

Kacchan!!

Katsuki smirked, drawing his knees up so he could prop his elbow on one of them and rest his cheek against his hand as he looked at Izuku. “Shitty fanboy.”

Izuku just barely refrained from stomping his foot against the ground and gave an embarrassed scowl instead. “Anyway,” he groused, deciding to just ignore Katsuki’s teasing entirely and forcibly steer them in the direction of a new topic. “Why do you get up this early? If this is your usual time.” And you’re not just trying to escape someone’s bedroom, he didn’t add.

Katsuki gave a one-shouldered shrug. “I go running a few times a week,” he said, turning his head to bury his face against his knees and letting out a soft, low groan. “Fuuuuck, I wanna sleep.”

“…You can go back to bed,” Izuku said, somewhat awkwardly. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have woken you up.” He was interested now, though, the mention of Katsuki running causing him to perk up a bit.

“No, I’m up,” Katsuki said, but it was muffled a little since he still had his face buried.

“Right…” Izuku drew his bottom lip between his teeth for a moment, then asked tentatively, “You run in the mornings?” Katsuki grunted out something that Izuku supposed was an affirmative. “I’ve never seen you.”

“Were you looking?”

“Ah, I guess not.”

“Then there you go, idiot.”

Izuku huffed. “Were you going to go today?”

“I guess.” Though he sounded like it was the last thing he wanted to do. Then again, sometimes that’s just how it was, no matter how much you might actually enjoy feeling the pavement beneath your feet and the wind rushing past your face. Sometimes it was just dark and cold and too early and your bed was super warm and comfortable and dragging yourself out of it was really kind of horrible.

“Um.” Izuku hesitated briefly, and Katsuki turned his face to the side just enough so that Izuku could see one blood red eye peeking out at him. “Can I come with you?” Katsuki’s brow furrowed in lieu of a response, and Izuku scrambled to clarify, his hands waving wildly in front of him. “Just today! I was going anyway, and you said you were going, so I just thought – maybe! But if you don’t want to, I get it, that’s fine, no problem.”

“…Whatever,” Katsuki said after a beat. Izuku released a breath he hadn’t even realized he’d been holding, a grin splitting across his face. Katsuki scowled and finally unfolded from his curled up position, shoving himself up to his feet. “Do what you want. I gotta get my shoes and shit.”

“Right!” Izuku exclaimed, nodding eagerly. “Hang on, I’ll be quick!” He darted over to his closet and yanked the first hoodie he could find off one of the shelves and pulled it over his head. Predictably, it had All Might’s face plastered across the front of it, or at least the silhouette of it, blonde hair the most prominent feature, and Katsuki gave it an exasperated look.

“For fuck’s sake,” he muttered, before turning and kicking his blanket and pillow toward the corner of Izuku’s bedroom. Izuku guessed that meant he’d be back again that night – usually he took the bedding with him, but maybe he’d figured it was pointless this time.

Izuku grabbed his running shoes next and then bounced up to Katsuki’s side. “Okay, ready!”

“Hurray,” Katsuki said dryly, but he led the way out of the room and over to the elevator so they could take it up to his floor. Really, Izuku probably could’ve just waited downstairs, but he’d had the sudden realization that he’d never been in Katsuki’s room before and this quickly became an opportunity that was too good to pass up.

Katsuki stopped in front of another door first, however; the one next to his own. Izuku watched him curiously as he threw it open without even bothering to knock.

“Yo,” he called out. “Dumbass.” Izuku stood on his toes so he could peer over Katsuki’s shoulder into Kirishima’s room, and he heard a jumble of sleepy, nonsensical sounds that indicated the other boy was acknowledging the rude wake-up call. “I’m going out with Deku.” An arm flopped out of the blanket-covered mound on the bed and gave them a thumbs up. Katsuki snorted and rolled his eyes, pulling the door shut again.

“You and Kirishima go running together?” Izuku asked, trying not to feel jealous. Honestly, he liked Kirishima a lot, and he was happy Kacchan had people here he could actually call friends instead of just classmates he hung out with because it was convenient. That might be too harsh, but Izuku was pretty sure Katsuki hadn’t kept in touch with anyone from their junior high. Which was maybe a little strange considering it was all the same kids they’d spent their entire lives with, but again, convenience. And Izuku knew he fit into that category, too, technically. They’d only been friends in the beginning because they lived in the same neighborhood and their mothers knew each other, and Katsuki had certainly dropped him easily enough all those years ago. So maybe it wasn’t a surprise that he’d dropped everyone else, too, the second he’d gotten into U.A.

Kirishima was different, though, Izuku could tell. If only because he was pretty sure Kirishima wouldn’t let Katsuki get rid of him so easily.

But he also didn’t think Kacchan wanted to get rid of him.

It was nice. Izuku wasn’t jealous.

…Just curious, because he’d never quite figured out how the hell Kirishima had actually managed that, aside from possibly pure stubbornness and the fact that he was genuinely a really good guy.

“Sometimes,” Katsuki replied, pushing open the door to his own room now and trudging over to his closet. “If the idiot manages to actually wake the fuck up.” He stripped his tank top off and Izuku quickly averted his eyes, taking in the rest of the room instead from where he was hovering in the doorway. It felt familiar, even though Izuku hadn’t been in Katsuki’s bedroom at his parents’ house in years. Not that it looked the same or anything like that, obviously Kacchan at seven or eight-years-old had vastly different tastes than Kacchan at sixteen, but there were a few things here and there that Izuku recognized and the overall effect had him smiling softly.

“You have the same All Might mug that I do,” Izuku spoke suddenly as his eyes landed on said mug on Katsuki’s desk.

“Hah?” Katsuki turned, in the middle of pulling a long-sleeved athletic shirt over his head. “What, that thing?”

“Yes, that thing.” Izuku crossed his arms over his chest. “You go on and on about all the All Might stuff I have and you’ve got the same thing right there!”

“I have one fucking thing, you damn nerd – you’ve got an entire freaking museum!” His head finally popped through the opening of his shirt, porcupine hair and all, and he glowered at Izuku as he yanked the rest of it down over his stomach. “Don’t try to compare us because we’re NOT the same.”

Izuku huffed, maybe even pouted a little, eyeing Katsuki as he stared down at his own sweatpants and seemed to have some kind of internal debate about whether he wanted to exchange them for something else or not. He must’ve eventually decided not to because he muttered a quick: “Fuck it,” and grabbed his shoes before turning and edging his way past Izuku in the doorway. “Come on, stupid Deku.”

They made it outside, the chill morning air nipping at their cheeks as they silently worked their way through a series of stretches. It wasn’t enough to warm them up, and Izuku started hopping in place a bit, from one foot to the other, trying to wake up his still sleep-stiff limbs as Katsuki cupped his hands together in front of his mouth and breathed onto them.

“Ready?” Izuku asked after a few minutes, arms over his head and fingers locked together as he gave his muscles a satisfying pull.

“Waiting on your slow ass,” Katsuki grumbled, which was just patently not true, but he took off down the path before Izuku could say anything about it and left the other boy scrambling to catch up.

“Jerk,” Izuku muttered when he pulled up alongside him, and Katsuki just rolled his eyes.

It was silent for awhile, nothing but the sound of their feet pounding on the pavement accompanying them as they jogged past the various dorms of U.A. There were several different running trails around campus and they saw a few other students taking advantage of them, as well, some with headphones on and a few even using whatever random Quirk they might have to push them along.

It was silent for long enough that Izuku felt it sort of tipped into something vaguely uncomfortable, actually, but he wasn’t sure what to say to dispel the burgeoning tension. Working out together like this wasn’t something he and Katsuki actually did; they weren’t friends, and aside from the past few days they didn’t talk outside of forced classroom situations. Mostly, anyway, a few notable instances notwithstanding. He wondered what kind of conversations Kacchan and Kirishima had when they went on their morning runs.

“So.” Izuku’s voice was loud, startling as it pierced through the quietness surrounding them, and he immediately panicked because he didn’t actually have anything to follow that up with. “Um. H-how long are you thinking of doing the…the overnight thing?”

“What overnight thing?”

Izuku turned his head, giving the other boy a skeptical look. “The overnight thing where you sleep on my floor every night? Remember? You just woke up there like thirty minutes ago.”

“Oh that,” Katsuki said, like it could’ve possibly been anything else. “Hadn’t thought about it. Guess ‘til I’m sure you’re not gonna blow yourself up.”

Izuku sighed. “I didn’t even blow myself up the first time it happened.”

“Your room looked like a goddamn shitstorm.”

“You didn’t even see it that night! Only Aoyama did!”

“Who?” Katsuki asked, face scrunching up in confusion, and Izuku rolled his eyes so hard it almost hurt. “Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Just because you cleaned up most of it – I saw enough!”

“Fine, whatever,” Izuku grumbled, unintentionally sounding enough like a certain grumpy blonde that Katsuki actually gave him a look out of the corner of his eye. Izuku ignored it, focusing on putting one foot in front of the other as they turned down a path that took them by the training buildings. Silence fell over them again, panting breaths added to the soundtrack of their footfalls and a few morning birds singing in the trees above them.

Izuku was surprised when, after another few minutes passed, Katsuki was the one to interrupt the quiet this time. “How long’s it gonna take you to get to one hundred percent?”

“Eh?”

“You heard me.” Katsuki scowled. “No point kicking your ass when you’re not even at your full strength.”

“I am at my full strength. Just…the full strength that I’m capable of using, if that makes sense.” He gave Kacchan the stink-eye. “And you’re not going to kick my ass.”

“Shut up, you know what I’m asking!”

“Yeah, but I don’t know the answer!” Izuku frowned, gaze trained on the pavement in front of him. “Realistically, probably years,” he admitted, familiar frustration bubbling up in his gut. “There’s a lot of factors… Getting my body used to handling more, but also making my body able to handle more. I’ve still got a ton of training to do.” He glanced over in time to see a weird expression forming on Katsuki’s face.

“You gonna have to bulk up like All Might?”

Izuku gave a weak laugh. “I don’t know if I can get that big, but maybe!”

Katsuki made a disgruntled sort of sound, head turning to give Izuku an obvious once-over. “I don’t see it.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re too shrimpy!” Katsuki exclaimed, throwing a hand out in Izuku’s direction as if to gesture at the entirety of him. “Look!”

“What– I don’t have to look, I know what I look like! I’m still growing!” Izuku said, flustered and indignantly offended. “It’s not like you’re THAT much taller than me!”

“Yeah, but you’ve got twigs for arms,” Katsuki said, as though this was some kind of obvious fact when it wasn’t. He even flexed his own arm, the one closest to Izuku like he was trying to show him what a real hero’s muscles should look like, but the effect was lost since he wasn’t in one of his usual tank tops.

Izuku just gave him a sulky, stubborn sort of look. “You’re the one who said I’ve improved.”

“The hell I did,” Katsuki snapped immediately, and Izuku gaped at him.

“You– Literally just last night you said that! Last night!!”

“Well, fucking forget I said it then!” Katsuki complained, voice a notch higher than usual and, if Izuku wasn’t mistaken, cheeks that were a touch too flushed even with the running they were doing. “It was obviously a fucking mistake!”

Izuku hummed a bit, directing his gaze forward again. “I’m not going to forget it.”

“What?!”

“I’m going to frame it.”

“What the– How the fuck.” Katsuki grimaced, his shoulders hunching up slightly as he bared his teeth at the other boy. Izuku cheerfully ignored him. “You can’t fucking frame something that was goddamn verbal, you idiot.”

“I’ll write it down!” Izuku sped up a step or two, turning so that he was facing Katsuki and jogging backwards. He was weirdly giddy, and felt braver than he had around Katsuki in literal years. His hands came up, spread wide in front of him like he was displaying an invisible banner. “You’ve improved, Deku,” he said, voice exaggeratedly gruff in a clear imitation of Kacchan. “Bakugou Katsuki, 2018.”

“You do that and I’ll fucking kill you,” Katsuki growled. “I’m also gonna laugh in your shitnerd face if you fall and crack your head open. Turn around!”

“Yeah, yeah…” Izuku did as told, facing forward again, though he stayed just slightly in front of Katsuki so that he couldn’t see the wide grin stretched across his face. That only made Katsuki speed up, too, of course, until he was the one pulling slightly ahead. Izuku picked up his pace, as well, trying to match Katsuki, and this went back and forth until the pair was all out sprinting back to their dorm.

“STAY BEHIND ME, NERD!” Katsuki shouted through the wind rushing past his face.

“NEVER!” Izuku shouted right back, pushing himself onwards, faster and faster. “I’M GONNA BEAT YOU, KACCHAN!”

“THE HELL YOU WILL! FUCK OFF AND DIE!”

Afterwards, when they’d made it back to the dorm and were both bent over at the waist, hands propped on their knees as they sucked down gulps of air, Izuku had no idea who had won.

He thought maybe it was a tie.

* * *

Izuku was sitting cross-legged on his bed later that evening, watching as Katsuki made his usual blanket nest on the floor. He’d finally caught up on all his homework earlier, working furiously as soon as classes had let out so that he wouldn’t have to worry about being interrupted again, but that just meant that now he didn’t have anything to distract him from the still kind of unusual presence of his former childhood friend lurking around his bedroom.

Another moment passed and Katsuki gave a satisfied little nod at his makeshift bed of blankets before reaching for a textbook he’d discarded earlier.

“Do you want to sleep up here tonight?” Izuku blurted out, and Katsuki promptly startled, slipped, and fell smack on his face, the textbook sliding out of reach as his hand bumped into it and unintentionally shoved it away. Izuku let out a surprised sound, hands flailing in front of him like he wanted to reach down and pull Katsuki upright again himself. He wasn’t sure what had possessed him to ask that – he’d been thinking it, yeah, but he hadn’t been planning on just throwing it out in the open like that!

“What?!” Katsuki demanded, pushing himself up and leveling a dangerous glare on Izuku as he covered his face with his hand. He looked like he was rubbing his nose, probably sore from being slammed into the floor, but also kind of like he was trying to hide his suspiciously pink cheeks from view.

So even Kacchan could get embarrassed from something like falling on his face, Izuku thought. He snorted a little and giggled somewhat helplessly despite himself, bringing a fist up to cover his mouth, but that just made Katsuki look even more furious and Izuku was sort of surprised that he didn’t have any urge at all to cower in the face of the other boy’s anger. Instead he just held up his free hand in a placating way, knowing it would probably just make things worse, and tried not to laugh too much as he hurried to explain. “Calm down, Kacchan, I didn’t mean – I’m not asking if you want to share, do you think I have some kind of death wish?”

“I don’t know,” Katsuki growled, “You’re fucking dumb and you’ve always been pretty eager to jump headfirst into a fight at the first sign of danger.”

Izuku just waved him off, and this was weird. It was weird, he wasn’t worried at all, Kacchan could bluster and posture all he wanted and all Izuku felt was a sort of fond exasperation toward him. Even during their worst times growing up, Izuku had always been able to tell the difference between a truly pissed off Kacchan and one that was just ranting and raving. And he might’ve ducked away from him plenty of times in their lives, had to hold his arms up to guard against shoves and punches, covered his head when Katsuki went off with his usual explosive attitude, but he’d never truly been scared of him and that certainly wasn’t about to start now when Katsuki was in the middle of his self-assigned babysitting job.

Wary, though? Cautious not to do anything that would set him off?

Yes, always, almost constantly.

But those feelings were nowhere to be found.

“I just meant do you want the bed this time?”

Katsuki still looked a little deranged, obviously ruffled and barely keeping his temper in check. But he hesitated. Cocked his head to the side just a bit. “…Where would you sleep?”

“The floor,” Izuku said easily, pointing at Katsuki’s blanket nest. “It can’t be that comfortable sleeping down there every night. Since you’re doing me this gracious favor,” he rolled his eyes as he said it, and Katsuki growled a little at him again, “I figured we could at least take turns.”

He waited as the seconds ticked by, giving Katsuki time to process his offer, but eventually Katsuki straightened up and let his hand fall from his face to his lap. “Fine,” was all he said for a moment, before adding in a loud voice, “It’s about damn time, Deku. Pretty fucking rude to let your guest sleep on the hard floor every night.”

“Sorry, sorry,” Izuku said with a sigh, sliding off the bed and onto the blankets on the ground. Katsuki quickly stood up and practically threw himself onto Izuku’s mattress. “Don’t step on me when you leave tomorrow.”

“Not gonna promise that,” Katsuki said flippantly, falling back onto Izuku’s pillow and crossing his arms behind his head. “You planning on sleeping in or something?”

“…No,” Izuku said after a slight pause, looking up at Katsuki. He’d wriggled under the blankets and had his arms braced behind him, resting back on his hands. “Why? I just – you’re usually gone before I wake up. And it’s not late this time.” It was barely past 9:00 PM, actually. Izuku wasn’t tired at all.

“I’ll probably go for a run again tomorrow.”

Izuku waited, eyebrows lifted, but that was all Katsuki said. It…sounded like. Well.

An invitation, maybe.

But Izuku didn’t want to get too ahead of himself, so he didn’t say anything.

After a moment, Katsuki rolled over to scowl down at him. “Dumbass,” he said, sounding annoyed that Izuku hadn’t responded at all and also like he knew the other boy was waiting for something more straightforward and was irritated by it. “You can come with us.”

Us. Kirishima, probably? But still.

Izuku’s eyes lit up, and Katsuki’s face screwed up into some kind of expression that Izuku couldn’t even begin to decipher. “Really?” he asked, too excited and feeling a little pathetic about it but plowing forward nonetheless. “Sure, Kacchan! If you’re okay with it!”

“It’s fine!” Katsuki said, voice overly loud again as he mashed his face into his pillow. Izuku’s pillow. He watched as Katsuki inhaled deeply, voice muffled when he spoke again. “It’s just a fucking run, don’t be so fucking embarrassing!”

“I’m not embarrassing,” Izuku mumbled, though maybe he was. He’d have to try not to trip all over himself tomorrow when Kirishima was there. Hopefully the other boy wouldn’t feel like he was intruding.

“You’re a damn mess,” Katsuki groused. He shifted again, probably so he could actually breathe, and gazed down at Izuku with one visible eye. “You’ve always been a mess, and a nuisance, and a pain in the ass.”

“And yet here you are,” Izuku said dryly, finally lowering himself to rest against the pillow. He turned onto his side so he could still look up at Katsuki. “Watching out for me to make sure I don’t accidentally kill myself or whatever even though there’s literally no reason to think something like that might happen.”

He was pushing it and recognized it immediately as soon as the words left his mouth. Warning bells went off in his head as he resignedly braced himself for a possible enraged reply, but Katsuki just harrumphed. “Maybe I just wanna be a witness when that power you got from All Might fucks you up, you ever think of that?”

Izuku hummed lightly. “It’s my power now,” he said. “It’s not gonna fuck me up.” The words sounded almost awkward coming from him, unused to saying them as he was, but he watched as Katsuki’s eyes widened the smallest amount and for some reason felt his face go warm.

“You talk to your mom with that mouth?”

“Oh my god, no, she’d be so disappointed – don’t tell her!” Izuku said in a rush, and Katsuki actually barked out a laugh and then instantly looked startled at doing so.

He recovered quickly, though, shifting so that less of his face was mashed against the pillow. “Idiot. When the hell would I even see her?”

“Don’t tell YOUR mom, then!”

“Like I even would! Fucking hell, calm down.”

Izuku did, squirming around until he got comfortable. He kind of wanted to shift onto his back, but then he wouldn’t be facing Katsuki and he was enjoying the back and forth they had going on too much to turn away from it. It reminded him of when they were younger, before Katsuki had violently booted Izuku out of his life, when they used to huddle together beneath the blanket of whoever’s house they were at and talk about how cool All Might was and how they were going to grow up and be his sidekicks one day.

There were several feet and ten years between them now, they didn’t have their heads pressed together as they giggled over their matching costume designs in one of Izuku’s first notebooks, but this was still something. It was the beginning of something, anyway. Katsuki was in Izuku’s bed and Izuku was wrapped up in Katsuki’s blanket, surrounded by the other boy’s familiar scent, and for the first time he felt like maybe he didn’t have to tread quite so lightly anymore.

“How is your mom, anyway?” he asked, voice soft, and that was a different sort of question, one that propelled them past their usual conversation limits of something related to school, One For All, or Katsuki insulting Izuku in one way or another. It was personal, and a hard reminder that Izuku actually knew Katsuki’s mother and at one point in their lives was so used to being around her that he’d more than once called her ‘mom’ himself, much to his embarrassment.

Katsuki was quiet, but it was too late for him to pretend to be asleep because he’d been watching Izuku this entire time, so he just frowned and eventually managed to dredge up a reply. “She’s still a bitch.”

Wow.”

“What?” Katsuki scowled. “She’s an old hag!”

“That’s rude, Kacchan.”

“The hell do I care, she knows what she is.” He paused, clearly waging an internal debate, and Izuku waited expectantly until Katsuki finally huffed out a sigh and reluctantly returned the question. “How’s Auntie Inko?”

“She’s good,” Izuku replied carefully, trying not to let his surprise show at the familiar way Katsuki had referred to her. “In a constant state of panic and worry that I’m going to die somehow, but she’s good.”

“Yeah, ending up in the hospital ten times during your first semester can do that to someone,” Katsuki said, tone dry, and then after a beat followed that up with: “She doesn’t know, right?”

Izuku shook his head briefly. “No… You’re the only one I told. She thinks I just got my Quirk really late.”

“You ever gonna tell her the truth?”

“I don’t know… I’m not sure All Might wants me to. And I don’t want to worry her.”

“She’s obviously worrying anyway.”

“Yeah.” Izuku frowned. “She almost didn’t let me come back. When U.A. moved to the dorm system? She told All Might no.”

Katsuki lifted himself up on one elbow, eyebrows raised. “Shit, really?”

“All Might convinced her, but it was a close call.”

“Damn,” Katsuki said. He laid back down, curling an arm under the pillow. “That close to being Deku free.”

Izuku rolled his eyes. “Ha ha.”

“And…your dad?”

“Still abroad,” Izuku said, short and to the point. Katsuki eyed him briefly, but Izuku looked away. “It’s been awhile since I last saw him.”

“Lucky. My dad’s still a nerd.”

“You love your dad.”

“Shut up!”

Izuku chuckled but felt himself relaxing, unaware that he’d tensed up in the first place. He didn’t think about his father often, because when he did it always left him a weird mix of sad and resentful and he didn’t like the way that felt. He didn’t like being bitter. The man had been working overseas for nearly Izuku’s entire life, sending paycheck after paycheck home to help his mother raise him.

He would’ve preferred to just have his dad there with them, regardless of the money.

Katsuki was grumbling something up on the bed, fidgeting under the covers until he just abruptly rolled over and gave Izuku his back. “I’m sleeping,” he declared in his usual loud tone.

“Night,” Izuku murmured. He got a grunt in reply, which was a step up from being told to shut up again, at least.

He’d take it.

* * *

The following night was mostly uneventful – mainly because Izuku crashed early and thus slept through the entirety of Katsuki’s stay. He was tired from the early morning run and a particularly difficult training session with the rest of his classmates in the afternoon, so he’d accidentally fallen asleep before Katsuki even got there.

That meant Katsuki had slept on the floor again, which Izuku felt a little bad about because he’d been planning on letting him have the bed. So when he showed up on the sixth night, letting himself into Izuku’s room without even knocking this time, Izuku just pointed and Katsuki flopped down onto the mattress without question.

“New comforter,” he noticed, lying spread-eagle on top of it.

“Mm, finally got around to replacing it.” Izuku was chewing on his pencil where he sat at his desk, frowning down at one of his textbooks. “Did you do the English homework yet?”

“Yeah, earlier.” Izuku looked over at him, a sheepish expression plastered all over his face that had Katsuki groaning before he could even ask anything. “No.”

“I just have a couple questions!” Izuku said pleadingly.

“Figure it out yourself, stupid Deku!”

“Kacchaaaaan...”

“You whining at me isn’t gonna change my mind.” Katsuki closed his eyes and tipped his head back, chin jutting out in a stubborn way. Izuku just stared at him, brow furrowed and a pout tugging at his mouth. Katsuki’s teeth ground together. A few seconds ticked by. “Goddammit, fine!” Katsuki exploded, lurching up off the bed and stomping over to Izuku’s desk. Izuku just barely refrained from cheering, though it helped that Katsuki reached out and shoved his head to the side as he leaned over to glare down at the textbook. “This shit’s easy, what the hell don’t you get?”

Izuku babbled out some kind of response, pointing to the few questions that he was having trouble with. He ignored that Kacchan’s hand just kind of stayed on his head, fingers buried in his hair even as he barked out explanations at rapid-fire speeds that had Izuku scrambling to keep up.

“Your grammar’s all wrong in that one, too,” Katsuki said, bending closer and tapping at Izuku’s notebook. He smelled good. It was hard not to notice when he was so close, but Izuku did his best to launch the thought out of his brain.

“Really? Ah, I thought for sure I had that one right.”

“Nope.” Katsuki shoved his head again, and then finally seemed to realize he’d had his hand there the entire time and instantly let Izuku go, taking a giant step backwards as he did. He cleared his throat. “Read the question again, idiot.”

Izuku did as instructed, muttering under his breath while he tried to work out the correct answer. “Oh,” he said after a moment. “You’re right.”

“Of course I’m right. Some of us actually pay attention in class.”

“I pay attention, Kacchan, I just got mixed up on this chapter!”

“Whatever,” he muttered, sitting on Izuku’s bed again, and then they were quite suddenly interrupted by Kaminari leaning halfway through the door that Katsuki had forgotten to shut.

“Hey dudes,” he greeted cheerfully.

Katsuki cursed under his breath. Izuku made sure to smile. “Hi Kaminari,” he replied. “What’s up?”

“Nothing really.” Kaminari rocked back on his feet and then pitched forward again, catching himself on the doorframe. “Just thought I’d stop by. Check up on you two. Because you know…” He let go of the frame with one hand, leaning even farther into the room as he pointed at both of them. “Inquiring minds would like to know just what the hell is going on here.”

“W-what do you mean?” Izuku asked, laughing nervously. He glanced over at Katsuki, who was busy gritting his teeth and glaring up at the ceiling. “There’s nothing going on!”

“Uh-huh, sure,” Kaminari said, nodding like he actually believed that. “Except that you two have been hanging out every night this week and somehow you’re still alive, Midoriya.”

“We’re not hanging out!” Katsuki snapped, redirecting his glare toward their visitor now. “Get the fuck out of here, Dunce Face, we’re busy!”

“Oh yeah, soooo busy.” Kaminari rolled his eyes, looking back and forth between them. “Come on, just tell me! I can keep a secret. I’m great at secrets!”

“Yeah fucking right,” Katsuki said with a snort. “You just spilled the beans on Pinky the other day, didn’t you?”

“That doesn’t count!” Kaminari said quickly, though he looked oddly guilty and tossed an anxious look over his shoulder. His voice lowered a bit. “Mina wanted me to tell Kirishima she was crushing on him!”

“She punched you in the face when she found out.”

“Out of love!” Kaminari insisted, practically hissing it at them. Izuku had a feeling that if he looked out in the hallway right now, he’d find a cluster of their classmates gathered around the elevator, waiting for Kaminari to report back to them. Geez, was it really so strange that he and Kacchan were spending this much time together?

…Oh, who was he kidding. Of course it was.

“Yeah, well now I gotta deal with that idiot freaking out about what to do, so when I’m the one punching you in the face just know it’s ‘cause I wanna kill you!”

Izuku was actually familiar with this whole situation because it had come up during their run yesterday morning. To be honest, he was half convinced now that Katsuki had only really invited him along so that he could field all of Kirishima’s panicked questions about what to do when a girl confessed to you.

Like Izuku had any freaking idea.

He sighed.

“We’re just working on something, Kaminari.”

“A project,” Katsuki quickly added. Izuku blinked at him. Kaminari blinked at both of them.

“What kind of project?”

“Extra credit,” said Izuku.

“Something for All Might,” said Katsuki at the same time. He glared at Izuku.

“…An extra credit project for All Might,” Izuku summed up, glancing back over at Kaminari. He grinned. “See? No big deal!”

“Sounds suspicious,” Kaminari said, narrowing his eyes. “Like you’re covering up for something else.”

Katsuki shot up off the bed, marching over to the door with his hand raised and a few warning explosions popping along his palm. “What the fuck would we be covering up, hah?” he demanded, and Kaminari scrambled backwards, waving his hands in front of him.

“Nothing, nothing! Look, we were just curious!”

“Well get un-curious or I’m gonna kick your ass! All of you!” he shouted out into the hallway, and Izuku sighed again because yeah. That’s what he’d figured.

Katsuki slammed the door in Kaminari’s face without waiting for a response. “Idiots,” he grumbled, shoving his hands into his pockets and slouching his way back over to the bed. “Bunch of nosy assholes.”

“You probably just made it worse.”

“Whatever! I don’t care.”

Izuku watched him carefully as he dropped onto the mattress, shoulders hunched up around his ears. “You know,” he started to say, somewhat hesitantly. “You can stop doing this anytime.”

Katsuki looked at him, eyes hard and his brow furrowed. “Do you want me to?”

It was the first time he’d bothered to check. Izuku thought if he said yes now, Katsuki would get right up and head back to his own room, no questions asked.

He didn’t want that.

Izuku drew his bottom lip between his teeth and gave his head a brief, tiny shake. Katsuki let out a breath, the stiff line of his shoulders relaxing a bit. Izuku hadn’t even noticed how he was holding himself until he watched the tension drain out of him.

“I told myself I’d do it for a week,” Katsuki said, dragging a hand through his hair. “After that you’re on your own, Deku.”

“A week,” Izuku repeated. “So…that’s one more night?”

“Guess so.”

Izuku thought about that. Nodded after a moment. “Okay then.”

* * *

The next night, their last night, Izuku was ready with a bowl of popcorn, a bag of spicy nacho chips, and an old All Might movie set up on his laptop. It was one that had come out years ago, around the time that Katsuki’s attitude toward Izuku had started changing. In fact, it was one that they normally would’ve seen together. That, as a child, Izuku had wanted to see with Kacchan and thus had always been kind of sad it had never happened.

Katsuki paused in the doorway when he arrived, taking all of this in with raised eyebrows. Izuku waved a hand at the empty spot on the bed next to him.

“Come on,” he said, nervous, his voice shaking a little though he tried to hide it. Tried to look like this was normal, something they always did.

Tried to pick back up where they’d left off all those years ago.

It took a moment, a long moment while Izuku held his breath and prayed, but eventually Katsuki stepped into the room and pushed the door shut behind him.

“I’m not watching some dumb nerd thing,” he said, sitting down beside Izuku and pulling his feet up onto the bed so he could shift into a cross-legged position. He reached for the nacho chips, claiming them early, but that was okay because Izuku wasn’t really a fan of them and maybe Kacchan remembered that.

“It’s a classic,” Izuku said, grinning, and Katsuki rolled his eyes as he shoved a handful of chips into his mouth. Izuku ignored him, settling in and resting back against the pillows he’d lined against the wall behind them, both his and Katsuki’s. He hit play, and it took approximately twenty-four seconds for Katsuki to realize what they were watching and let out a loud snort.

“Oh my god,” he said. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

“It’s a classic, Kacchan,” Izuku repeated, his grin stretching even wider.

“This movie is a goddamn shitstorm disaster, Deku,” Katsuki said, but he looked vaguely excited – or about as excited as he was capable of appearing, anyway, eyes slightly wide with an eager light to them.

Izuku finally broke down and laughed, grabbing the bowl of popcorn he’d set aside. “I know,” he said. “It’s one of my favorites.”

It was terrible, though. So terrible it was kind of amazing. The actor playing All Might looked nothing like him, the special effects were awful, and the plot was ridiculously over the top and made little to no sense. It had come out on the heels of one of All Might’s famous fights back in the day, and the studio had clearly rushed to get the movie made before the next major fight came along and wiped this one from the general public’s memory.

It was corny and horrible and had been universally trashed and Izuku had always, always wanted to watch it with Kacchan and listen to him rip it apart piece by piece.

“Look at this fucking asshole!” Katsuki was saying halfway through the movie, snacks abandoned in favor of pointing out every single detail the movie had failed to get correct. Which was basically everything. The laptop was balanced between them on their knees. “Look at – who is he even supposed to be? He just shows up out of fucking nowhere with his dumb Quirk. Why the fuck would All Might need a rival like that?”

Izuku giggled helplessly, his shoulder pressed against Katsuki’s. “Wait, wait, wait,” he said, flapping a hand in Katsuki’s general direction in a sort of hushing motion. “He’s so stupid but he’s got the best lines.”

“You mean the worst lines.”

“The best worst lines.”

They both quieted briefly, waiting for the right moment, and then simultaneously held up a fist in front of themselves and exclaimed in overly dramatic voices: “COME, ALL MIGHT! I WILL BE YOUR DOOOOOOM.”

Izuku immediately burst out into peals of laughter, collapsing sideways against Katsuki who was snickering at the absurdity of it all. For whatever reason, he didn’t immediately shove him off. “Hang on, that stupid girl shows up soon.”

“I don’t know why they tried to give him a love interest in this one,” Izuku said, stretching an arm out for the popcorn and taking a fistful of it.

“Because the rest of it was bullshit anyway, so why not?” Katsuki snapped his fingers before making a grabby hand gesture for the popcorn bowl, as well, and Izuku handed it over without taking his eyes off the laptop screen. “Your mom used to add chocolate chips to this,” he said, shifting the popcorn around like he was looking for surprise chocolate at the bottom of the bowl or something.

“Mm, we didn’t have any downstairs,” Izuku said absently. On the laptop, terrible All Might punched the stupid rival guy in the face. He had his thumb tucked beneath his fingers when he threw the punch. Izuku shook his head.

Amateur.

“We had these, though?” Katsuki asked, holding up the empty bag of spicy chips. “The hell, I would’ve snatched ‘em sooner if I’d known.”

Oh. Izuku glanced over, feeling his face warm slightly. “No, I bought those earlier.” He let out a somewhat nervous laugh. “I guess I could’ve gotten chocolate chips, too. I didn’t think about it until later.”

Katsuki went silent for a few seconds, staring at the bag. “You bought these,” he repeated eventually. “You don’t like these, dumbass.”

Izuku rolled his eyes, even though some part of him quietly threw a party because he’d been right before – Kacchan did remember. “I know,” he said simply. And then in a dryly amused tone: “I didn’t forget.”

He left it at that, and Katsuki didn’t say anything else. A few minutes later he just made a comment about how the fucking dumbshit bad guy was about to monologue the hell out at terrible All Might – who was just going to let it happen – and Izuku fell into another uncontrollable giggle fit as he listened to Kacchan rant and rave.

Katsuki never did tell him to move, either. It wasn’t until the movie ended that Izuku finally forced himself to straighten up. He closed the laptop and set it aside, then brushed some crumbs off his blanket. Eh, he’d have to clean properly in here tomorrow. It could wait for now, though.

“I fucking hate that movie,” Katsuki said, drawing his knees up and making no move to relocate to the floor.

“It’s pretty horrible,” Izuku agreed easily. “I love it.”

“Do you actually own a copy of that shit? Or did you download it?”

“It’s an All Might movie, isn’t it?” He tugged at his pillow, dragging it back over to the head of the bed where it was supposed to go. “Of course I own it.”

Katsuki snorted. “Nerd.”

“Little bit.” Izuku’s head fell onto the pillow and he stretched his legs out in front of him on the mattress, taking up the narrow aisle Katsuki had left when he’d pulled his knees up. There wasn’t really room, Izuku ended up with one leg resting on top of Katsuki’s feet, but that was fine.

Except that after a minute or so of weirdly not uncomfortable silence, Katsuki started wriggling the toes trapped beneath Izuku’s leg. Izuku didn’t move out of the way, just looked up at the other boy. Katsuki was staring down at his leg, sort of frowning but not really. He looked more like he was in the middle of some deep, intense thought.

“So serious, Kacchan,” Izuku murmured after a moment, and Katsuki blinked and snapped his eyes up to Izuku’s face. He wriggled his toes again.

“You’re heavy,” he said.

Izuku thought about actually moving this time since that was probably Katsuki’s way of telling him to get the hell off, but…he didn’t. “Rude,” he said instead.

“No, like…” Katsuki pulled one foot free, using it to prod at Izuku’s thigh right where the line of his shorts was. And now he was frowning. “Muscle.”

“…Yeah,” Izuku said, raising his eyebrows a bit. Hadn’t they already had this conversation this week? Or something similar? It seemed like it kept coming up. “It’s that surprising, huh? We’ve been at U.A. for months, Kacchan. You’ve fought me!”

Katsuki immediately scowled. “You’ve usually got all this covered up by your costume! Or gym clothes or some shit. It’s different than just seeing you use your Quirk.” He moved his foot down Izuku’s leg, hooking it beneath his ankle and lifting it off the bed. “Like what the fuck is this?” he demanded, pointing at Izuku’s calf muscle. “Where the hell did that even come from? You did NOT look like this in junior high!”

Izuku spluttered but couldn’t make himself pull away. “That’s been there! Junior high was a long time ago; I started working out with All Might a year before we even took the U.A. entrance exam. None of this is new!”

“Yeah, but I wasn’t paying attention before!” Katsuki said, loud and sort of angry, though it wasn’t the kind of anger that was usually directed at Izuku. It was different. It almost felt like he was yelling at himself. “I never thought I had to!”

Izuku opened his mouth to reply, but found he didn’t know what to say. He knew what Katsuki meant, had heard it from him enough during their last fight. He was the one that Katsuki was supposed to be able to leave behind. He wasn’t supposed to be anything, just a pebble in his path, not someone who grew up to be a formidable rival. Katsuki had never studied Izuku the way Izuku had studied Katsuki. He’d just done his best to ignore Izuku and would then regularly get pissed off when the kid he’d blocked out suddenly improved in leaps and bounds.

They’d been in the same class for forever but Katsuki hadn’t seen him in years.

He was seeing him now, though. Looking at him a little more closely than Izuku was comfortable with, actually. He could feel it on his skin, feel the way Kacchan’s eyes dragged over the entire length of him like his stare was a physical touch.

Eventually Katsuki’s scrutinizing gaze made it back up to Izuku’s face, and Izuku had no idea what he looked like just then but he knew his eyes were wide and his cheeks felt embarrassingly hot and whatever his expression was, it was enough for Katsuki’s own eyes to widen a bit, as well, as he stared. Izuku’s heart pounded in his chest and something thrummed within his veins. Kacchan was still watching him, and this was all really, really weird.

Then something seemed to snap – Katsuki abruptly jerked his eyes away and Izuku could suddenly breathe again. He felt like he’d just run a marathon and had no idea why, just let out a shaky exhale and watched as Katsuki’s hands clenched and unclenched for a couple seconds.

When Katsuki glanced sharply back at him, Izuku jumped a little. “Look at this,” Katsuki said. Izuku blinked, was about to ask in a baffled, too-high voice just what he was supposed to look at, but then Katsuki dropped sideways, catching himself on his elbow in the space between Izuku and the wall. He was effectively lying beside him on the bed and Izuku’s already frazzled brain had no idea what to do with that information. Then Katsuki reached out and yanked his sleeve up toward his shoulder. “Look,” he said again, sounding almost disgusted. “You have fucking biceps.”

“Oh my god,” Izuku groaned, every bit of overheated, flustered confusion at this entire situation disappearing like smoke in the wind. He tried to twist away, but Katsuki just used his hold on Izuku’s sleeve to pull him back into place before poking at his arm. “Stop!” Izuku slapped at his hand, but he was trying not to laugh and it was obvious in his voice. “It’s not a big deal!”

“It kind of is,” Katsuki insisted, shifting and flopping onto his back. At least he wasn’t poking Izuku anymore. “That shit fucking hurt when you punched me, it seriously pissed me off. Come on.” He held his arm up, the one that he’d previously been resting on and was now wedged between them, and made a fist. And since he was in a tank top this time, it was impossible to miss the way his muscles bulged. “Flex,” he ordered, glaring at Izuku, and Izuku sighed.

“This is stupid,” he mumbled, but he did as told anyway, lifting his arm and holding it beside Katsuki’s, clenching his hand and flexing his bicep as best as he could.

They were silent for a moment, comparing. Katsuki in particular studied their raised arms probably harder than was necessary before finally declaring: “I win.”

“What?!” Izuku frowned, squeezing harder, his arm shoved against Katsuki’s. “I don’t know, Kacchan, I think–”

“Nope!” Katsuki dropped his arm and sat up suddenly, throwing a leg over Izuku and basically crawling over him to get off the bed. Izuku carefully let his mind go blank at that and just…didn’t think about it. “I’m bigger,” Katsuki was saying, as he dropped onto the blanket pile on the floor. “So I win, Deku!”

Izuku grumbled unhappily under his breath for a moment, crossing his arms over his chest. “Fine,” he eventually said. “It was close, though!”

“Tch, whatever, you’ve got a ways to go still.”

“Not that far. I’m gonna beat you soon.”

“Like fuck.” Katsuki shuffled closer to the bed, glowering at Izuku. “You’re never gonna beat me, nerd. I’ll keep improving.” He lifted up on his knees, leaning over Izuku, and Izuku sucked in a breath for some reason, eyeing Katsuki warily, but it turned out he was just reaching over him to grab his pillow.

“…Yes, I will,” he said awkwardly, the response delayed until Katsuki wasn’t looming over him anymore. He recovered quickly, though, turning onto his side to give the other boy a petulant glare. “I’m not going to be satisfied until I do.”

“Good.” Katsuki leveled a hard look on him. “Use that.” He settled onto the floor, face half mashed into his pillow since he was lying on his stomach. “Try not to blow up the room tonight.”

Izuku made a protesting sound. “I haven’t done that at all this week! It was one time.”

“Whatever, I don’t care! Just make sure it stays that way!”

“Fine, I will!”

“Fine!”

Fine.” Izuku harrumphed, kicking at his blanket until he was able to slip his legs beneath it. “So bossy, Kacchan.”

“Fucking whatever, Deku, go to bed! Goodnight!” He sort of yelled it at him, but Izuku’s breath caught anyway. When he looked down at the floor, Katsuki had his eyes squeezed shut and was very obviously not going to open them again.

Izuku smiled.

“Goodnight, Kacchan.”

“Shut up!!”

* * *

Izuku woke up the following morning to find Katsuki’s face way too close to his own. Though really, he was just at the edge of the mattress, staring at him in an annoyed kind of way, but it was startling enough that Izuku went from drowsy and half-asleep to wide awake in an instant. He threw himself backwards, hitting the wall behind him, and was sort of offended that Katsuki didn’t immediately offer up an explanation and instead just blinked at him like he had no idea what could’ve caused Izuku’s extreme overreaction.

“What the heck,” Izuku complained, hand clutching the front of his shirt. “Kacchan, you can’t glare at people so early in the morning like that!”

“Fuck you, I’m not glaring,” Katsuki said, though he was, in fact, still glaring. He was kneeling on the floor, one arm braced across the top of the bed, his chin resting on top of it. “Your Quirk didn’t activate.”

“I told you it probably wouldn’t!” Izuku cried. “What, are you mad or something?”

“Kind of!” Katsuki sat up, scowling a little. “I stayed in here all week and nothing even happened!”

Izuku rolled his eyes, letting out an exasperated sound. “That was your choice, you decided that all on your own! Don’t blame me for nothing happening!”

Katsuki huffed, turning to sit with his back against the mattress. “Stupid. You’re stupid, Deku. If something happens some other night, you can just text me, I guess, and I’ll come down. I’ll give you my number.” He reached for his phone, grumbling the next part under his breath, almost unintelligibly: “You’ll probably go and blow something up tonight, soon as I’m not here. Stupid Deku.”

“I already have your number,” Izuku said, scooting over to the edge of the mattress and peering over Katsuki’s shoulder.

“Oh.” Katsuki paused. Turned his head slightly to look up at Izuku. “Well, give me yours, then.” Izuku rattled off his phone number, watching as Katsuki entered it into his cell phone until the other boy paused again. “…It’s already in here,” he said, sounding honestly perplexed, like he wasn’t sure how or when that had happened. As much as Izuku wanted to be insulted, he ended up laughing a little instead.

“What a mystery,” he said lightly, but then his eyes narrowed. He was still looking over Katsuki’s shoulder, so he could see the contact entry that had his number attached to it. “You’ve got me under Shitnerd– Kacchan. Change that!”

“What the fuck else would I have you under– Oi! What the hell, get off me!”

“Change it!” Izuku demanded from where he was half-plastered to Katsuki’s back, his torso bent over Katsuki’s shoulder so much that he was practically falling into his lap. He’d lurched off the mattress in an attempt to grab the phone, an effort that was only semi-successful until Katsuki twisted away and Izuku tumbled the rest of the way out of the bed and ended up partially on the floor. The rest of him was splayed across Katsuki’s legs, and Katsuki had the phone held above his head as he tried to shove Izuku off. But Izuku just grabbed at his shoulder, using it to pull himself up as he reached for the phone again.

“The fuck is wrong with you?” Katsuki said, grunting and shifting under Izuku, trying to dump him off entirely. “What do you want it to say?!” He managed to get Izuku off him and scrambled up onto his knees, only to get tackled from behind as Izuku threw himself at him again.

“My name, maybe?” Izuku planted a knee in Katsuki’s back, ignoring his outraged squawk, and leaned forward to grab his wrist.

“I am not putting Midoriya Izuku into my phone!” Katsuki exploded, flinging his free arm backwards and catching Izuku in the side with his elbow.

Izuku cursed and knew he’d have a bruise there later. “Not that name!” Honestly, Katsuki said it like the idea of having Izuku’s given name listed as a contact was just so outrageous or something, instead of totally normal. What a weirdo. But fine, whatever, it wasn’t like Izuku had Kacchan listed as Bakugou Katsuki either.

Katsuki growled and shifted, yanking his arm free from Izuku’s grasp and at the same time throwing his weight backwards so that he could flip Izuku onto his back and collapse on top of him. He stayed like that, knocking his head back into Izuku’s gut hard enough to draw a gasp from him, but otherwise just made himself as heavy as possible and more or less settled in against him. Against Izuku’s stomach, just lying there as he brought his phone up to his face and starting typing away at it.

“Better?” he asked after a moment, voice gruff as he lifted his arm over his head, high enough for Izuku to see the phone. It just said ‘Deku’, nothing fancy or special, but Izuku felt warm anyway and nodded quickly.

“Yeah,” he said, a touch too happy maybe. He could tell because it made the top of Katsuki’s ears turn red. “It’s better.”

A loud banging on Izuku’s wall interrupted them suddenly.

“SORRY TO BOTHER YOU,” Mineta said loudly, not sounding sorry at all. Sounding pretty annoyed and kind of grossed out, actually. “BUT COULD YOU BOTH PLEASE STOP WHATEVER THE HELL YOU’RE DOING AND SHUT THE FUCK UP.”

Katsuki lurched up to his feet, hands flexed at his sides and setting off small explosions. “You shut up, you shitty grape!” he yelled back at the wall. “Say anything else and I’ll kill you!”

Izuku glanced over at the clock on his desk, realizing he actually had no idea what time it was. Which of course meant it was stupidly early. He let his head fall back onto Katsuki’s blanket and laughed. “Kacchan, it’s not even six in the morning!” he exclaimed, still laughing and feeling giddy and bubbly and just all around sort of strange, honestly. But in a good way? It was kind of confusing. “Why were you up so early??”

“Shut up!” Katsuki shouted, attention immediately diverted from the wall as he glowered down at Izuku. “I was going to go for a run but you distracted me!”

How Izuku had distracted him when he’d just been sleeping, he had no idea. But he wasn’t about to question it.

“Are you coming or what?” Katsuki snapped, stepping over him and heading for the door. He paused before reaching it, turned back, and bent low to scoop up his pillow and yank the blanket out from under Izuku’s head.

It was the first time in days he’d be leaving the room with all of his bedding. Izuku tried not to be upset about that. It felt a little too final – like things could too easily slip back to the way they’d been before.

“Hurry up, asshole, I’m not waiting for you!”

Then again…

“I’m coming, I’m coming.” Izuku pushed himself to his feet, grabbing his shoes and a hoodie before turning toward the doorway where Katsuki was lingering. Waiting, despite what he’d said.

Izuku grinned. Katsuki promptly shoved a hand in his face and turned away with a scowl. “Quit it! You’re fucking embarrassing, nerd!”

“Stop yelling, Kacchan, you’ll wake everyone up.”

“GOOD. THEY CAN STOP BEING LAZY EXTRAS, THEN.”

Kacchan.”

Izuku pulled the door shut behind them as they left, following Katsuki as he stomped down the hall and listening to him grumble and complain about their stupid nosy classmates and how they couldn’t mind their own goddamn business.

So the week was over. That was fine.

This was still a good start to a new day.


FIN