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Bakugo always liked being by himself. It was easier that way, it was calmer that way. Being around others just made him fill with hatred and anger, and he discovered very young in his life that the only place he ever felt at home was in the forest.

 

He had left home properly about a year ago, but he still returned every once in a while to check in on his family, on his father. Running a village wasn’t something he wanted to do with his life, and his mother constantly berating him and breathing down his neck was suffocating. So he left.

 

Fighting had always come naturally to him. He had trained under veteran knights in his village, had learned how to use a sword as well as his own arm. Bakugo loved fighting more than he loved anything else in his life, loved the adrenaline, the feeling of popping in his hands and the thud of a beast’s body on the ground that signaled his victory.

 

Over his life, he’d fought hundreds of monsters. He’d fought giants, ogres, giant snakes, furry things with big, sharp teeth. But he’d never fought a dragon before.

 

Before, he’d thought they were extinct, myths. But standing in front of one now, he wasn’t so sure.

 

He blasted himself into the air partly because he wanted to get a better look, and partly because he had a sudden urge to beat the thing. He wanted to fight, to prove himself in a way he never had before.

 

The dragon roared when it caught sight of Bakugo, bared it’s huge white fangs and reached its claws out to swipe at him, but the sight just made Bakugo grin in excitement. He fired a blast behind him, shooting himself higher into the air, and then detonated a huge one down towards the dragon.

 

When the smoke cleared, Bakugo saw the thing recovering, having been knocked off balance and shaking its head.

 

Yes! This was his chance. He fired another blast above him this time, propelling himself down with one leg outstretched and landing a solid ass kick into the side of the dragon’s head. It toppled over more, its legs buckling as it worked to keep its balance.

 

Huh. Bakugo raised his eyebrow with disappointment. He thought a dragon would be a good enemy, ferocious, but Bakugo was beating this one almost as easily as he could a woodland creature.

 

He landed on the ground, and right when he did the dragon swiped at him with huge, sharp claws. Fuck, he was caught off guard.

 

“SHIT,” he cursed as he blasted himself up, dodging the attack as fast as he could. He was off balance, and he felt his cape catch on the talons and tear before he fell on the ground, his entire left side getting covered in dirt. He scrambled to his feet before the dragon could get another hit in, and blasted himself out of reach. His arms throbbed with the blast, and he scowled at his forearms.

 

He looked behind him at his cape to see the bottom of it even more torn up than it had been, two big holes at the edge of it. He turned towards the dragon with murderous eyes and his blood thudding in his ears. His hands clenched at his sides.

 

One more. He had one more explosion left in him. Make it count. He stepped back with one foot, the other bending to get himself in a strong enough stance to hold against the recoil, before he brought both of his palms in front of him, the explosion already collecting and glowing. His lips curled up in a deranged smirk.

 

“You tore my cape, you fucking asshole. Prepare to DIE.”

 

Then it caught, the blast bursting from his hands and almost knocking him backwards. His arms throbbed , but it didn’t matter. It was strong enough to do what he wanted. He shook his head, running towards the dragon, who had been blasted across the clearing and into a huge boulder.

 

It had hit it’s head, body thudding on the ground heavily enough that it slightly shook the earth at impact. Bakugo sneered, resisting the pain just enough to blast himself up and then landing superiorly on the dragon’s long nose. He smirked at it, drawing his sword confidently and pointing the edge directly between two glowing yellow eyes. One had a scar at the corner, curling like an eyelash. It blinked sadly at him.

 

He let his victory wash over him, confidence pouring from his body as he drew his shoulders back, sneering down at his prey. “I win.”

 

The dragon sighed, closing its eyes in defeat, when a weird orb suddenly appeared above their heads. Bakugo scowled, his forehead creasing in confusion. He hopped back onto the ground, rubbing his arms as he watched the light grow bigger, moving down to stand in between him and the dragon.

 

Out of the corner of his eye Bakugo saw the dragon’s body deflate in exhaustion, but it kept its eye on the light curiously.

 

“The fuck?” Bakugo growled. Did he have to destroy this thing too? His arms hurt, he needed a break. Damn it.

 

And then, suddenly, it felt like his entire chest and stomach was being grabbed and tugged forward, twisted and bundled together. Bakugo coughed, pain shooting through his entire body as he fell forwards onto his knees. His chest kept tightening and being pulled, like something was trying to pull him forwards by his gut. Ow. It hurt.

 

Bakugo looked up through squinted eyes to see the dragon also bent over, a deep growl coming from it’s chest and it’s claw coming up to clutch at its chest at the same place Bakugo was clutching his.

 

Then it stopped. Bakugo gasped in a breath, heard the dragon do the same. He lent forward, palms on the ground. His chest felt full, like there was something warm and heavy placed there, a warm stone.

 

The bond is formed. You are connected .” A smooth voice came from the light. It glowed big, impossibly bright, and Bakugo had to shut its eyes against it.

 

And then it was gone.

 

“WHAT THE FUCK!?”

 

Bakugo looked up, the dragon staring hard at the ground. Bond? What the fuck did that mean? What just happened? Why was there this weird stone suddenly in his chest?

 

Rage coursed through him. His blood started to boil, and he lifted himself off the ground, he was going to KILL that light.

 

He looked up, and as soon as his eyes met the dragon’s all the fight left his body.

 

They stared at each other, and somehow it felt like the rock in his chest started to feel warmer. Bakugo gulped.

 

Oh. That thing had done something, something that connected Bakugou and this huge, stupid dragon.

 

Okay...guess they’d have to find the light together. Bakugo took a deep breath, walking over to the dragon without breaking eye contact. He stood in front of it and puffed out his chest, his hands on his hips.

 

“Listen up. I'm assuming you can’t talk, but I’m pretty sure you’ve figured it out too. That stupid light did something to us, and we’re somehow connected now, which is dumb and annoying.” The dragon blinked at him.

 

“I don’t know how powerful this thing is, but I’d rather not find out what kind of bullshit will happen if we get separated, so you’re gonna come with me to find that thing and kill it. Deal?” Bakugo scowled. The dragon blinked again.

 

“Deal, fuck face?” He tried again. The dragon nodded its head.

 

Bakugo turned and started walking. He heard the dragon stand up and start following him not long after. He sighed.

 

They walked for a long time, the dragon correctly keeping his distance behind Bakugo. Although he wasn’t angry, he didn’t really want to be around anything living right now. The dragon could probably tell.

 

The silence was heavy, but Bakugo didn’t want to break it. Something in his gut twisted, telling him that the dragon behind him was uncomfortable. and maybe a bit sad even. He ignored it. He’d be rid of this and on his way soon enough.

 

They walked more. It felt like each step they took made the air thicken, the silence almost fucking suffocating. Ugh.

 

Jesus ,” Bakugo growled, stopping in his tracks and turning around. As soon as the words left his mouth, the thick air dissipated. The dragon looked surprised.

 

“What is it? Fucking quit pouting. It’s annoying,” Bakugo glared at him. The dragon just stared at him.

 

Bakugo quirked one of his eyebrows in my impatience. The dragon snapped out of its staring, shaking its head. Oh yeah. Dragons can’t talk.

 

Bakugo sighed, bringing his hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose. The rock in his chest got heavier. Ow.

 

He was used to magic, didn’t really know anything else. His family had been blessed with magic powers for generations-as leaders they needed it. Bakugo could make explosions from his palms, to an extent. He was a warrior, and he’d encountered hundreds of different types of magic, but nothing quite like this. Things that hurt him on the outside sure, but not on the inside.

 

This kind of magic was dumb . How was this supposed to work if they couldn’t even talk? Bakugo couldn’t find this thing on his own if this connection was going to keep fucking him up and weighing him down.

 

“What’s your name?” Bakugo muttered. Maybe he could at least try that?

 

No answer. The dragon cocked its head at him. UGH.

 

“Whatever. Let’s go.”

 

They walked. It felt like hours passed this time, but there was no more of that awful suffocating air within the silence between them. Thank god.

 

The dragon suddenly trotted up to walk next to him, a small smile on its face. It was huge, a red beast that towered over Bakugo. He didn’t like feeling so small. Bakugo glared up, clicking his tongue.

 

“What are you doing?” He growled. “Don’t fucking walk in front of me, asshole!”

 

The dragon glanced down at him smugly before turning his head to the road and taking off in a sprint.

 

“FUCKER!” Bakugo shouted, reaching behind himself and firing off a few blasts to launch himself forward.

 

Bakugo chased behind the dragon, a smile on his face as they ran. The dragon led him into the forest, and they dodged the tall trees and bushes, hopping over stones like an obstacle course.

 

They came upon a clearing, kind of. A clearing would be generous. It was a lake, a huge pond with clear, dark blue water. There were tall trees all around it, hanging over and blocking it off from the rest of the world.

 

Bakugo looked up at the dragon, it’s face content looking at the lake. Had it been here before? Was this like…. the dragon’s house?

 

“Hey-“

 

The dragon took off, flapping its wings once- just enough to launch into the air and dive into the water. Okay then.

 

Bakugo didn’t want to get wet. Water was cold and ruined the fur lining on top of his cape. He looked around, and decided a tree would be his best bet at avoiding a giant splashing idiot dragon.

 

He opted to climb instead of blasting himself up. For some reason exploding something felt like it might ruin the mood right now.

 

He sighed when he got up, settling on a high branch that hung over the river. He had a full view of the river, and of the dragon. He looked down at it, splashing around, it’s red body almost taking up the entire lake. It was long, wide. Its wings were smaller than Bakugo thought a dragon’s would be.

 

The dragon made a happy noise before plunging its head into the water, jumping and splashing. It rolled around, long tail flailing and a huge smile on its face.

 

Cute, Bakugo thought. His whole body stiffened as soon as the thought crossed his mind. Gross. This was a dragon, they were dangerous and assholes and Bakugo didn’t want anything to do with it.

 

Even if it did kind of seem like an oversized puppy, right now.

 

Bakugo looked away with a scowl, staring at the dark green leaves around him. He pushed all thoughts of the dragon out of his mind.

 

They were there for a long time. Bakugo, for some goddamn reason unknown to him, didn’t mind sitting up high while the dragon splashed happily beneath him. He leaned back against the trunk of the tree, crossing his arms and ankles and closing his eyes, just enjoying the shade and the stupid content feeling in his bones.

Chapter Text

He woke up the next morning calmer than he had in a long time. He blinked a couple times against the light sun peaking through the leaves, registering where he was.

 

He yawned, stretching his arms above his head and letting his legs dangle off each side of the branch he had fallen asleep on. It was like… like there was not an inch of bitterness in his body. Bakugo didn’t think he had ever woken up like this in his entire fucking life.

 

Oh yeah. The dragon. Bakugo looked down, and he wasn’t in the water anymore. He must have fallen asleep somewhere too. Bakugo rubbed one eye with the back of his hand, and then started climbing down the trunk of the tree.

 

When his feet hit the ground, he looked around. No dragon… Where did he go? Bakugo still felt the rock in his chest, so he must be around here somewhere.

 

Bakugo looked around, through the trees. There was red behind a few giant stumps, a while away from the pond. Bingo .

 

He strutted over to the dragon, sleeping soundly with his head on his paws.

 

…..Like a gigantic puppy.

 

Fucking stop . Jesus.

 

“HEY!” Bakugo set off a few explosions, yelling to wake the dragon up. Its head stood up immediately, alert, before registering Bakugo. Its eyes narrowed angrily.

 

“Don’t fucking look at me like that. We have places to be, playtime's over. Get your gigantic dragon ass in gear. Fuckhead.”

 

Bakugo turned his back, walking confidently away. He was in control. Control of his thoughts, and his feelings, and of that fucking dragon.

 

A few moments later the dragon showed up next to him, a comfortable silence settled as they walked side by side, back to the trail.

 

Bakugo was looking around, this part of the forest was one he always enjoyed. He got lost in the scenery, shoving his hands in his pockets as he stared up at the trees, the bushes, the bugs and flowers that flourished around them. He didn’t even register it, when the dragon suddenly paused, it’s ears perking up and looking into the trees.

 

Suddenly there was a low, foreign growl behind him, and then a roar. Bakugo snapped around, his throat tightening and his heart thudding in his chest. A Giant, a big one, a cursed one, had the dragon in his arms.

 

“HEY,” Bakugo yelled, nerves and adrenaline pumping through his veins as he got ready to launch into attack, but his body wouldn’t move.

 

The dragon roared again, the sound cutting through the forest like an earthquake. The giant smiled, deranged, lifting its arm that wasn't clutching the dragon to stretch across it’s red chest.

 

Bakugo watched in horror as the giant dug it’s fingers into the dragon’s chest and tore it open.

 

His stomach dropped, his mind going blank.

 

EIJIRO!” He screamed, the name coming off his lips naturally, like he’d said it a million times.

 

Red filled Bakugos vision, and he launched into the air and blasted off a huge explosion that shook his entire arm directly into the giant’s head.

 

The thing fell to the ground, Bakugo landing on it’s burnt head. His coherence came back, his arm suddenly throbbing in pain from the recoil. He usually wasn’t so reckless with his power. He blinked the world back into focus, and there was smoke filling the air, but it wasn’t from him. It was white.

 

Bakugo waved his hand to clear it, coughing. What the fuck.

 

A few moments later, the smoke cleared, and the dragon was gone. WHAT? No… no he needed it with him or else-

 

Bakugo’s gaze fell, to a human body curled up on the ground. A man, completely naked, shivering violently on his side. He had bright red hair.

 

That was-

 

Bakugo’s body moved on its own, over to the dragon’s side. Or… to what used to be the dragon. He knelt down carefully, a hand hovering above the man’s shoulder. He couldn’t see his face.

 

Bakugo swallowed around the knot in his throat, ignored the thundering of anxiety under his skin,

 

When the man turned to him, he noticed two things.

 

First, his entire chest was scraped up and bloody, dripping down the edge of his body. He was trembling, his skin pale.

 

Second….

 

He was beautiful.

 

Bakugo had to blink a couple times, just to register what he was looking at. The man- the dragon- had the same scar above his left eye, but now his eyes were a bright, stunning red. Just like Bakugos. He was looking up at Baukugo in awe, his eyes wide and lips slightly parted. His eyelashes were long, his skin smooth and soft, and there was a light pink dusting his cheeks.

 

….okay.

 

Bakugo coughed, snapping himself out of this weird shitty trance he had got himself into. He looked away, pretending that he couldn’t feel the rush of blood in his cheeks.

 

He looked down at the man’s open chest. Fuck . Why wasn’t he saying anything? Wasn’t he in pain?

 

“Hey… you’re all messed up,” Bakugo muttered, voice softer than he wanted it to be. What the fuck was his deal all of a sudden? Ugh.

 

The man blinked at him. Big, deep red eyes.

 

“What?” He said. His voice was deep, and smooth. It sounded like Bakugo thought it would.

 

Bakugo looked at him again, quirking an eyebrow and glancing down at his chest. The man followed his gaze, and when he looked down at himself, his eyes bulged. He made a small squeaking noise, and then flailed on the ground.

 

The man screamed in pain, loud. Bakugo’s stomach dropped at the sound, his body flinched. He looked away with one eye squeezed shut.

 

Yeah.

 

A soft sigh left the man’s lips, and his head dropped to the ground. Oh. He passed out. “Jesus Christ,” Bakugo muttered.

 

He took a deep breath to steady himself, trying to will the dizziness in his head to stop. What was this? Why did he care? He’d never cared when something got hurt. Maybe this was part of the dumb fucking “bond” that they were under.

 

And Jesus. He was a half dragon? Bakugo pinched his lips shut. He supposed that made sense, since he could understand what Bakugo was saying when he’d talk to him.

 

What happened though, to make him switch back? Did he do it to himself? No… no he seemed way too disoriented looking at Bakugo just now, didn’t even see the gaping wound in his chest.

 

The name. That name… where did it come from? Bakugo didn’t know the dragon’s name, but it was pulled from his gut just then. Eijiro…

 

Fucking gross ass name.

 

Bakugo scowled down at the man, his face peaceful in sleep. Fucker. He guessed he should probably help him, or he would bleed out.

 

Bakugo sighed, sliding his hand under the man’s shoulders before starting to slide his other under his knees when-

 

He was suddenly very aware that the man was completely naked.

 

Bakugo swallowed, his gut churning as he tried desperately to avoid looking... there . It was just common courtesy. Fuck .

 

He was surprisingly heavy, but his skin was smooth despite being covered in ash and blood and Bakugo didnt think twice about the weight. Time was of the essence.

 

Bakugo looked around, walking through the trees to find some sort of shelter. He walked about 6-7 minutes before he saw a small cave in the distance. That would do.

 

Bakugo placed the man down on the stone, cradling his head in his hand. His bright red hair was soft in Bakugos hand. It framed his face perfectly, long enough to end just under his chin. He was really pretty. Were guys supposed to be this pretty? Bakugo scowled at him.

 

“Tch,” Bakugo stood up, annoyed. This whole thing was fucking stupid.

 

He went out to get firewood, knowing they wouldn’t be getting out of here before dark. When he came back, he was surprised to find the man sitting up, hand shaking in front of his face, his eyes wide in horror. The hand was red from his own blood.

 

Oh god.

 

“Um-“ Bakugo started, but his lips shut as soon as the man looked up at him. Bakugo felt his heart drop out of his chest. The man’s face was pale in terror, his bright red eyes filled with confusion and brimming with tears. His lip started quivering.

 

“W-what...happened?”

 

Bakugo’s body moved on its own again, dropping the wood and rushing to sit down. He took off his cape, flinging it off of his own shoulders and reaching to wrap it around the dragon’s. He pulled it tight, reassuring, and tears started to trail down the man’s cheeks like a river. His bloody hand fell to his lap.

 

“You’re okay, you’re okay,” Bakugo muttered, grabbing for his white medical to wrap up the man’s open chest wound. He wrapped him quietly, quickly. The man didn’t move, body stiff as Bakugo reached around him to patch him up. Why the fuck was he doing this? Why did his chest ache so badly right now?

 

When he was done, Bakugo moved to an open wound on his arm. He had a tattoo on his bicep, the black ink an elegant design Bakugo didn’t recognize, but it was very well done.

 

Bakugo pinched some extra tape between his teeth, his heart rate picking up as he felt the man’s forehead lean closer to his. They were so close Bakugo could feel the heat rising off of him.

 

He suddenly felt the man’s body wrack with a sob. His hands paused in their movements.

 

“W-who are you?” said the man, voice soft and cracking. He sounded broken. Confused. Bakugo’s throat closed up, his chest tightening.

 

Then, again, more raw, “who… who am I ?”

 

Bakugo felt his heart squeeze. Oh fuck. He felt sadness fill every inch of his body as he felt the man’s body shudder and heave around sobs, his arms trembling. He didn’t know who he was? Did he not have any memory?

 

Fuck .

 

Bakugo squeezed his eyes shut, taking a deep breath before calmly wrapping up the man’s arm. He didn’t know what to say. He just sat there, wrapping, listening to the sobs and the pained breathing.

 

When he was done he pulled back, looking at the man’s face, stained with tears. He was still trembling, but at least he didn’t have any more open wounds. Bakugo noticed that the red of his cape matched the red of the man’s hair, and his eyes.

 

The man wasn’t looking at him, but Bakugo took a deep breath anyway. “My name is King Katski. I am a warrior from a village far from here, and my family has been in power there for as long as I can remember,” he said, voice deep and straightforward.

 

The man looked up at him, listening. The tears stopped falling from his face, and he sniffled. He nodded. Red eyes locked with Bakugo’s, and he felt the room instantly get hotter by 200 fucking degrees.

 

Bakugo cleared his throat, standing up suddenly and dusting off his pants. He felt the man’s eyes follow him as he turned his back and walked to the edge of the cave, placing a hand against the stone and looking around to make sure they were safe.

 

“Do- do you know who I am?” Small words behind him, timid. Bakugo clenched his hand against the stone into a fist.

 

He turned his head to look, the man gripping the cape around him like a blanket. He looked small. Bakugo grit his teeth, looking back out at the forest.

 

“Not really. You were a dragon until a little bit ago,” he muttered.

 

“Oh…” the man muttered. Bakugo turned and saw the man’s red eyes staring at the cave floor, thinking hard.

 

He walked back over to the pile of logs he had dropped, starting to build the fire just to keep himself busy. He felt really fucking weird right now. He couldn’t even find words to describe it.

 

“So… so how did I turn back?” The man asked, Bakugo felt his eyes on the back of his head. Bakugo paused for just a moment.

 

“I called you,” Bakugo muttered, rubbing two pieces of wood together to catch a spark. He could hear his own heartbeat thudding in his ear.

 

A heavy silence settled between them. Bakugo felt too fucking tense. “What?” The man whispered, confused.

 

“It-it just happened when you got hurt, I called your name and then killed the thing that tore open your chest.” Bakugo stuttered. Why did he feel so fucking nervous right now? Fucking hell.

 

“My name?”

 

Bakugo huffed, “Yeah..” He took a shaky breath before looking up into burning red eyes. “Eijiro,  I guess.”

 

Suddenly the red eyes locked with his widened, the man took a sharp inhale of breath as his eyes glowed red and his body straightened. What. Was it something about the name that triggered something?

 

“Oh!” The man-Eijiro- yelled, hands slamming on the ground and his whole body leaning towards Bakugo. He instinctively reared back, eyes wide. Too close, he was so close all of a sudden fuck .

 

Bakugo tilted his eyebrow at Eijiro , his dirty face wide in realization. Bakugo could feel the heat in his face at the sudden lack of fucking space between them. “What?”

 

“I remember you!” He exclaimed, pointing a finger in between Bakugo’s eyes.

 

What .”

 

“Yeah! We were running at some point, and you stood on my nose too.” His eyes gleamed, face twisted into a triumphant smile. Oh. Bakugo’s heart jumped in his chest. He was cute. Smiling suited him. Bakugo glared at him despite the butterflies in his stomach.

 

And- he had pointed teeth. They looked sharp, and for some reason it made Bakugos stomach twist, thinking about how sharp his teeth were.

 

Eijiro squeezed his eyes shut in a smile. He was too fucking bright for it to be legal. “You were so tiny”

 

“HEY FUCK HEAD, SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU WANNA FIGHT-”

 

Eijiro burst out laughing, the sound ringing through the cave and warming Bakugo from head to toe. Bakugo pinched his lips shut, dropping his fist that was raised in a threat and pouting. He looked anywhere else besides the bright light sitting in front of him.

 

“Sorry, sorry,” Eijiro’s laughter died down, and he rubbed the back of his neck. Bakugo frowned more. Fucker.

 

“Shut up,” he growled.

 

They sat there, silence settling between them, tense. What happened now? Were they supposed to fucking…. Talk? Bakugo had no idea how this worked. People are fucking confusing. Eijiro should have stayed a dragon, maybe if he had Bakugo wouldn't be sick from butterflies and the warmth in his chest right now.

 

“I’m going out. Don't leave.” Bakugo exclaimed, standing up and stomping out of the cave. He knew Eijiro was confused, but he needed air. He needed to fucking breathe .

 

And… and blow shit up maybe.

 

He walked about a mile away from the cave, dragging his feet to remember the way back. When he got far enough away he let loose, explosions rippling from his palms, yelling and kicking, punching and shooting himself this way and that. He almost felt bad for the trees that used to be there before him. Almost.

 

He tried to imagine anything else, to think of anything else, but all that was in his head were burning red eyes, soft hair and the brightest laugh anyone had ever heard.

 

When it got dark he headed back to the cave. As pissed off as he was, he knew that Eijiro couldnt do shit to defend himself right now, so Bakugo should probably go look out for him. Just to be a good person. Cause Bakugo was a good person.

 

When he got back though, Eijiro was curled up, asleep. Bakugo’s cape was draped over him like a blanket. Bakugo purposefully avoided looking at his peaceful, sleeping face. He started the fire, rubbing his hands near it for warmth. He was cold…but..

 

But Eijiro had his cape.

 

Bakugo fell asleep on the cave floor, both too close and too far away from the warmth he wanted.

Chapter Text

He woke up to bright red hair inches away from his nose.

 

“FUCK!” He launched himself backwards, shock and adrenaline filling his body. Eijiro was hunched over, knees bent and his head in his hands. He didnt even flinch when Bakugo moved away.

 

“Hello!” He smiled, too bright.

 

Jesus Christ what’s wrong with you,” Bakugo growled, blinking away the sleep and surprise from his body. Eijiro just smiled bigger.

 

“Nothing! I’m feeling good! What’s wrong with you, King Katski?” He tilted his head on his hands. Bakugo stuttered at his name being used. For some reason it didnt fit.

 

“Wha- NO! I meant why the fuck were you so fucking close to me?” He snarled. Eijiro just blinked at him.

 

“I was just admiring your arm drawing,” Eijiro said, nodding towards Bakugo’s arm.

 

Arm drawing? Wha-

 

What the fuck. Bakugo looked at his left arm, and on the top of his bicep there was a black tattoo. It was elegant, deep black ink swirling fluidly around the letter “K.” What the actual fuck.

 

Bakugo never got a tattoo.

 

“Why do you look shocked, my king?”

 

“My-” Bakugo stuttered, heart thrashing in his chest as he looked at Eijiro in horror. The other man blinked at him with wide eyes.

 

“You know, I have one too! They kind of match, you see!” Eijiro pointed to his own arm, then to Bakugo’s. Oh. He was right.

 

Bakugo groaned, pinched the bridge of his nose and doubled over. “It must be the fucking bond.”

 

“Bond?”

 

Bakugo was going to get a headache. He rolled his eyes, but explained everything to the redhead anyway. He needed to know.

 

“I see! That makes sense then, why I can tell when you’re happy or sad even without looking at you.” Eijiro thought to himself, placing a hand under his chin thoughtfully.

 

“Excuse me?” Bakugo growled.

 

“You know. Like when you feel all flustered and stuff, I feel it in my chest! And when you left yesterday, I felt you get angry, but not really angry, and when I was sad, I felt you get-”

 

“OKAY! Okay jesus,” Bakugo flailed. His face was bright red, fuck this was mortifying. He was cursing every god and spirit he knew for this day.

 

“Let’s just… drop it okay?” Bakugo muttered, avoiding eye contact. He felt his chest warm up, but it wasn’t from his own feelings. Was that what Eijiro was talking about??

 

Eijiro hummed in acceptance, silence settling over them. Then, he jumped suddenly to his feet, scrambling to take off the cape and handing it out to Bakugo. Bakugo turned to look at him.

 

“Aaaah! Im sorry, I completely forgot I still have your cape. Im sorry!” He scrambled. Bakugo glared at him, glared at the cape, and then back at him again.

 

“Keep it.” He muttered, his face warming again against his will. “...for now” He wouldn’t ever admit that he wanted Eijiro to wear it because it looked good on him, or that he didn’t want him walking around butt naked in front of Bakugo.

 

Eijiro smiled, tugging the cape back around his shoulders and putting his hands on his hips. Bakugo stared at him angrily. He wouldn’t admit that he looked better in Bakugos cape than Bakugo did, his long torso lean and gorgeous between the red fabric, and-

 

Shit .

 

He was still, very very naked. And Bakugo was staring.

 

No he wasn’t. He wasn’t staring. Bakugo felt his skin light on fire, all the blood in his body flooding to his face. Jesus Christ.

 

“Y-you- we should get you some fu-fucking clothes,” Bakugo stuttered, looking away. Fuck, he was being so obvious.

 

Kirishima blinked, and then looked down at himself before reaching a hand behind his neck nervously, a small smile on his face. “Yeah, you’re right,” he said sheepishly.

 

Bakugo clicked his tounge, untying his boots to dump out rocks onto the cave floor. They were annoying, and he really couldn’t keep looking at Eijiro right now. Eijiro sat down across from him, his hands fiddling in his lap.

 

“OH!”

 

Bakugo jumped up, the loud exclamation jolting him. “ Stop doing that ,” he snarled. Eijiro smiled. Why wasn’t he afraid of Bakugo?? It was annoying. Bakugo shot him a death glare.

 

“I remembered one thing,” he started. Bakugo raised an eyebrow.

 

“Kirishima.”

 

“Hah?”

 

“Call me Kirishima,” he smiled, tilting his head slightly with his smile. “I remembered people calling me that in my dreams for some reason, I think it’s my name.”

 

Bakugo had to swallow down his heart to stop it from rising into his throat. Kirishima….

 

“Plus, Eijiro makes my body feel weird and like it’s going to explode in a weird way,” he continued. He seemed to be unphased by Bakugos glaring. “Kirishima is more manly anyway.”

 

Bakugo looked down at the ground. Okay.

 

“Th-then you can call me Bakugo,” he muttered, voice quiet and shaky. Ei- Kirishima beamed.

 

“Okay, Bakugo!” He smiled, tilting his head to the side. Bakugo glared at him.

 

That was better, he supposed. Ugh .

 

They sat there across from eachother, either of them speaking. Bakugo focused on pouting at his boots, and he could feel the tension from Kirishima's body radiating towards him. He wanted Bakugo to break the silence.

 

Tch. Like hell.

 

Bakugo didn’t care if Kirishima was uncomfortable.

 

He stood up, putting his boots back on and running a hand through his hair before shoving his fists into his pockets. He turned to the side so he wasn’t facing Kirishima anymore, because his red eyes were burning a hole through him and he didn’t fucking like it.

 

He turned to walk away, but when he did he heard Kirishima get up to follow him. He cast a death glare behind him, but was only met with a smile. Again.

 

Jesus, this was annoying as hell.

 

“Where are you going?” Kirishima asked, running to catch up to him. Just like he had done when he was three times the size he was now.

 

Bakugo rolled his eyes. He didn’t even know where he was going, but he wanted to get some space. Kirishima was infecting his thoughts with each minute they were around each other. Kirishima’s eyes widened in wonder as they stepped outside of the cave, his red eyes scanning across the trees and the sky and the grass as if it was the first time he was seeing it.

 

Suddenly, Bakugo didn’t think he could tell him how suffocating he was, especially when he looked like that. He suddenly… didn’t want to miss watching Kirishima find out about the world.

 

It was all fucking bullshit.

 

Bakugo scowled at himself for thinking everything he was thinking, his heart beating out of his chest as he took off stomping towards the trail. He knew Kirishima would follow him.

“Hey! Wait up Bakugo,” a small voice called behind him. Ugh . He should hate that voice. He should find it annoying. But he didn’t.

 

And he found himself slowing down, to wait up.

 

Kirishima was by his side again, walking with his head tilting this way and that, but he kept glancing at Bakugo. Bakugo made a point to look grouchy, despite the warm feeling throughout his whole body. They walked for a while, Kirishima hugging Bakugos cape tight around him.

 

“So… where are we going? Are we gonna get some clothes??” He asked, voice light and curious. Bakugo didn’t look at him.

 

“Sure.” He growled. His hands fisted in his pockets.

 

Kirishima laughed, and Bakugo looked at him in horror. Why was he laughing? The fucker- “You sure are grumpy huh?” He smiled.

 

Bakugo looked at him, his lips pinching shut tightly. Kirishima’s face was open, his expression soft and… fond. His red eyes were warm, scanning Bakugos face as they walked. Bakugo wanted to slap himself in the face.

 

“I-Im not-“ He stuttered, his red face becoming ever fucking MORE red. Kirishima’s face twisted in amusement. “FUCK OFF.”

 

Bakugo felt that same foreign warmth in his chest, glowing as Kirishima laughed and went back to admiring the forest. Holy fuck this was weird .

 

Did-did Bakugo like him?

 

He’d never liked anyone before. Never felt anything but annoyance and superiority towards others, but now… what he was feeling towards Kirishima wasn’t anything he was used to.

 

Was this what people always told stories about? The concept of marriage and true love always seemed like a huge fucking myth to him, but now he wasn’t so sure.

 

Not that he was in love or anything. Fuck, they’d only known each other for a week, if that.

 

“Bakugo,” Kirishima bumped his shoulder and brought him back to reality. Fuck, had he been zoning out? Had Kirishima been talking to him this whole fucking time?

 

Bakugo looked at him. Kirishima was looking at him with piqued interest. “What were you thinking about?”

 

“How fucking stupid you are,” Bakugo growled, turning his gaze down to his feet. Kirishima gasped in fake horror.

 

“Rude! I’ve barely done anything to make you say that,” he said, but he didn’t sound actually offended.

 

It was nice. Usually people took Bakugos words to heart, usually found him insufferable. Kirishima… didn’t seem to.

 

They walked for about an hour, and Bakugo would have kept going if he hadn’t felt his chest tighten uncomfortably. He looked over and saw Kirishimas face, now covered in exhaustion. They could take a break then.

 

Bakugo wordlessly led them over to a boulder on the side of the trail, climbing on top of it and laying on his back. Kirishima looked confused, but immediately relieved when he figured out they were going to stop for a minute.

 

“So I can really wear your clothes? Can I pick out a shirt by myself?” Kirishima asked after a few minutes, voice light and filled with excitement .

 

Bakugo scoffed. “I don’t own shirts, idiot.”

 

Kirishima tensed beside him, turned to look at him with disgust and disbelief covering his face. Bakugo rolled his eyes.

 

“You don’t… own shirts.” He deadpanned. Bakugo held eye contact, quirking one eyebrow as he gestured to his torso.

 

“No? They get in the way. There’s nothing weird about it.”

 

Kirishima hummed, leaving back on his hands as the cape fell toward the rock, exposing his body. Bakugo looked as far in the opposite direction as he could. They really needed to get him some pants. “Then.. then I just want a half-shirt.”

 

“Huh?” Bakugo gave him a questioning look. The fuck was a half shirt?

 

Kirishima was looking up, face amused and content, like he’d already made up his mind. “Like.. you don’t wear a shirt, which I’m not complaining about,”

 

Bakugo almost choked on his own tounge, coughing awkwardly as Kirishima continued, “so if I wore a half shirt we could kind of twin! Like with our arms, you have a big drawing and I have a small simple one.”

 

“That’s the most ridiculous logic I’ve ever heard.”

 

Kirishima glared at him. Bakugo tilted his chin to look down at him, despite the fact they were sitting on the same rock. “If you don’t want to wear a shirt, dont. No one controls you.”

 

“I know that!” Kirishima interjected, sitting up and staring at Bakugo with an unreadable expression. “I just want to be a team.”

 

Oh. Bakugo felt his heart stutter in his chest. A team? Why would Kirishima want to be a team with him, all of a sudden.

 

“First,” Bakugo narrowed his eyes, leaning back against the rock and crossing his arms behind his head. “I don’t need a teammate. I’ve always been better by myself.”

 

Bakugo paused as he felt the rock in his stomach twist uncomfortably. Oops. He swallowed past it and continued, “second, even if we did work together, you need to learn how to actually fight. If you can even still become a dragon, if you have any powers, shit like that.”

 

Kirishima stared at him. He was looking at Bakugo like he had just slapped him in the face. “W-well,” he stuttered, voice defensive.

 

“You’re not by yourself anymore, are you.” Kirishima’s voice was borderline angry. Bakugo opened one eye to look at him, his normally calm face twisted in defense.

 

Bakugo felt his heart clench. He didn’t like that look, didn’t like any face on Kirishima that wasn’t one of happiness or amusement. Bullshit , his brain whispered.

 

“Y-yeah. I guess I’m not.” Bakugo muttered, turning his head away from Kirishima.

 

The weight in his chest evaporated. Good. Bakugo tightened his jaw in annoyance. Fucking Kirishima.

 

“Let’s go.” He exclaimed, launching himself from the rock and walking along the trail once again. Kirishima paused, but followed after him quietly.

 

They didn’t talk again until they reached the village. This wasn’t his hometown, but he was familiar enough with it that they wouldn’t get lost or mistreated. The shop on the edge of town was a boutique, so they didn’t have to go too deep into society to get what they needed. Bakugo didn’t like spending time around people too much.

 

Bakugo glanced at Kirishima before they got close, glaring at his open cape before reaching over and pulling it closed around his front. Kirishima looked at him, stunned at the sudden touch and pull, but blinked it away when Bakugo shot him a warning glare.

 

He got the message and kept the cape pulled tight around him, covering himself up as they walked into the shop. Kirishima’s face twisted in awe once again, and he started walking around and looking at clothes, the hair decor, the various beauty products that decorated the shelves.

 

Bakugo followed behind him, hands deep in his pockets as he let Kirishima explore. He silently wished they wouldn’t be here too long, but knew they would with how Kirishima was gaping at everything.

 

And he was right.

 

Kirishima picked out about 25 different items of clothing to try on, choosing 4 of them in the end. He laughed at Bakugos annoyed expression, smiled each time he saw himself in the mirror. The first time he had closed the door of the changing rooms, Bakugo had heard him scream and he almost burst down the door.

 

He had come out two seconds later, face bright as he looked at Bakugo and said, “my eyes are the same color as yours!” And then shut the door in Bakugos stunned face.

 

Bakugo clicked his tounge now, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed as he waited for Kirishima to finish putting on his last outfit. When he opened the door, Bakugo had to remind himself how to think. He was in light grey jeans, a red tarp tied around his waist and tall grey boots on his feet. He was wearing a half-shirt vest jacket made of dark grey jean material, and there was a red and black zebra striped scarf around his neck.

 

But… that wasn’t what got Bakugo. What shocked him the most, was that his hair was styled. It stood on the top of his head, mini spikes that decorated his skull like a lion's mane of red.

 

And it fit him perfectly.

 

Bakugo knew he was staring, knew his eyes were wide and his mouth was less turned down than he wanted it to be, but the smile on Kirishimas face was so distracting he didn’t really care.

 

“What do you think?” He beamed, tilting his head to the side.

 

“It-it’s fine. Let’s go,” Bakugo muttered, his heart thudding in his chest. He looked.. really good.

 

Kirishima smirked in amusement, clearly seeing Bakugos flustered face. Ugh. Bakugo pouted, standing up and grabbing the clothes in Kirishimas dressing room angrily before taking them to the counter.

 

Bakugo paid the clerk, barely speaking to him as he did. Kirishima beamed at the idiot the whole time, not daring to speak around Bakugos angry aura.

 

When they got outside, Bakugo inhaled the evening air deep through his nose, his eyes fluttering shut. He liked being in nature, people and the indoors suffocated him. He felt Kirishima’s red eyes on him, but he didn’t care.

 

The sky had started shifting to darkness now, they had been in there so long it was almost sunset. Bakugo inhaled again, puffing out his chest before he started to walk forwards only to have a hand pressed against his chest, stopping him.

 

Kirishimas hand was like fire on his skin, and Bakugo glared at him, their eyes locking. It was like a magnet, impossible to look away.

 

“Here,” Kirishima’s voice was soft, just above a whisper as he handed out Bakugos cape, placing it in Bakugos hand before abruptly breaking their eye contact and walking away.

 

Bakugo didn’t know there was tension until it was gone, and he had to catch his breath and blink a few times before he could register what had even happened. He shook his head angrily, sliding his arms back through the familiar straps of his cape and following Kirishima back towards the forest.

 

Since when did he start following Kirishima, instead of the other way around?

 

When he caught up to him, he realized he could see the entirety of Kirishimas face for the first time since he had transformed, because of the hair pulled away from his face. Bakugo.. liked this new hair style.

 

“Where are we going now?” Kirishima asked casually, face turned towards the grassy hill. “Back to the cave?”

 

Bakugo thought about it. “Mm.. nah. I kind of want to go somewhere else.”

 

“Where?” Kirishima quirked an eyebrow at him, like Bakugo had done many times before. Bakugo glared at him. Copycat.

 

Bakugo pinched his lips together, pouting away from Kirishimas expectant eyes,“w-when you were a dragon, you took me to this hidden lake in the forest. I-I had the best sleep I ever had there, so I want to go back… if it’s alright with you.”

 

Kirishima beamed then, smile lighting up the already pastel colored sky, and Bakugo watched as he sprinted towards the trees.

 

We wasn’t sure if what he felt while he watched Kirishima joyfully run through the tall grass was annoyance, shock or adoration. Kirishima stopped, looking back at Bakugo with fondness in his eyes until Bakugo walked up to him, pouting.

 

Then, he grabbed his hand and tugged him forward, running through the field, this time with Bakugo in tow. Kirishimas hand was warm and strong wrapped around his, and his laugh warmed the evening air when he saw Bakugo’s surprised expression.

 

Bakugo couldn’t take his eyes off of him, found himself utterly speechless. Kirishima’s red hair glowing in the sunset, his flawless face open and warm as they ran. He was stunning.

 

When they slowed down, Bakugo had to bend over and catch his breath. He told himself it was from running. Kirishima leaned back, a small, content smile on his face as he panted in the fading daylight. Bakugo was still staring.

 

God, he was so fucked.

 

Was it really okay to feel this way? Was it okay to become this infatuated with another person in such a short amount of time? Was-was this really him, or was it the bond, making him feel this way?

 

They started walking again, content silence settling between them like a warm blanket. No, no it wasn’t the bond. The bond was the rock in his stomach, the tattoo on his arm and the ability to feel repercussions of Kirishima’s emotions in his gut.

 

It had nothing to do with the quickening of his heart, or how his hand felt like it was still on fire where Kirishima had touched him.

Chapter Text

 

When they came upon the clearing once again, Bakugo watched as Kirishima’s face settled into one of the same content-ness that he wore when he was 20 feet tall and bright red.

 

“Do you remember?” He asked, voice quiet as he looked at the lake. Kirishima puffed out his chest

 

“Mmm,” he hummed, stepping closer to the water and looking down at his reflection. “Not really, but I have a weird feeling about it. Like deija vu.”

 

Bakugo shoved his hands in his pockets. It felt weird, being here again. It felt weird to be the one introducing this place to Kirishima.

 

The air was dense, but not in a bad way. It felt like every moment in this place was meant to change things, to impact him somehow. He kicked a rock with his boot.

 

“Bakugo?”

 

Kirishima was looking at him curiously from his place on the edge of the water. His eyes were glowing.

 

“What?” Bakugo muttered. He held Kirishimas gaze.

 

“What happened here,” Kirishima asked, quiet and careful.

 

Bakugo raised his eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

 

“Like..” Kirishima stood up, walking over to him with his gaze slightly lidded. Bakugo felt his stomach churn. “Between us?”

 

Bakugo felt his heart jump into his throat, blood flooding to his face. What ?

 

“W-wha- excuse me?” He growled, stepping away defensively from the slowly approaching Kirishima. He couldn’t look away from his eyes, glowing and dark.

 

Kirishima stopped, lifting his head to look slightly down at Bakugo, his chin tilted up confidently. “I just… feel a weird energy here. I may be wrong, but I’m assuming it’s because something happened.”

 

Bakugo swallowed thickly. He tore his gaze away to look at the ground, trying to will his heart rate to figure it’s shit out.  

 

“Nothing happened, shitty hair,” He growled, walking over to a tall tree and leaning his upper body against it, crossing his arms.

 

Kirishimas eyes flashed with amusement, a smile creeping across his face. “ Shitty hair?”

 

“You heard me,” Bakugo sneered at him.

 

“That’s not what you said in the shop, but sure. Whatever you say.” Kirishima chuckled, and Bakugo had to use all of his self control not to jump on him and blast his stupid head off his shoulders.

 

Fucking Christ.

 

“I-IM GOING TO BED,” he declared, climbing up the tree with reckless abandon. He ignored Kirishima’s soft laughter below him, ignored the heat in his face and the tips of his ears.

 

“The sun just went down!” Kirishima called out below him. Bakugo rolled his eyes, settling to lean back on the trunk of the tree, just as he had done before.

 

“Yeah, I know. What’s your point?” He shouted down. He couldn’t see below him, but he knew Kirishima was there.

 

Kirishima laughed, and Bakugo could see it, could feel it rumbling in his stomach. “You sure sleep early then, Mr. Warrior.”

 

Bakugo felt a tug of amusement at his lips. “High input, high output,” he said.

 

“Fair enough,” Kirishima muttered. “Are you gonna stay up there?”

 

“This is where I was last time,” Bakugo muttered, just loud enough for Kirishima to hear him. He felt his eyes get heavy, felt his brain start to shut down at the comfortable feeling in the air and the slight glow of the dark water below him.

 

“Okay,” Kirishima said, quiet.

 

And then, Bakugo slept.

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

The next morning, Bakugo felt just as refreshed as he did the first time. He liked it here. Maybe this could become a recurring spot for him. He climbed down the trunk of the tree to find that on the branch below him, Kirishima was laying on his stomach, arms hanging lazily off of the branch. His eyes were shut, long lashes fluttering against his cheeks and a line of drool coming from his lips. Bakugo didnt even fight the small smile on his face as his feet his the ground.

 

His stomach growled angrily as he stood and stretched. Oh yeah. Bakugo hadnt really properly eaten anything since meeting Kirishima. Kirishima must be hungry too. He walked over to the base of the tree, grabbing his sword and taking off into the woods. There had to be some sort of animal here.

 

He found a rabbit a little ways away from the lake, and a squirrel on the way back. It wasnt much, but it would do. He’d give Kirishima the rabbit. While he was cooking the animals over a small fire, he heard Kirishima’s feet thud on the ground behind him, followed by a loud yawn.

 

“Hey,” he said as he walked up to Bakugo. His voice was deep, rough with sleep and it made Bakugo’s blood boil a little. Why was that attractive to him? Why was anything attractive to him?

 

He grunted, not looking at the redhead as he sat down next to the fire. “What you cookin?” Kirishima asked.

 

“Breakfast.” Bakugo muttered, turning the stick to rotate the meat.

 

Kirishima chuckled. “I see that. Care to elaborate?”

 

“Not really.”

 

Kirishima punched him in the arm playfully as laughter filled the air. Bakugo shot him a death glare. This fucker-

 

“You are the grumpiest person in the world! I thought that there must be a part of the day where you aren't angry, but I dont think it exists!” Kirishima cackled, voice light and teasing.

 

“Shut the fuck up,” Bakugo growled, gaze lowering as he leaned towards Kirishima, raising his palms in a threat. Kirishima beamed, still laughing, and raised his hands in defeat.

 

He seemed unthreatened, but Bakugo let it go. He turned the meat again, pouting to the side. Kirishima was an annoying piece of shit.

 

They ate in silence. Kirishima was as bright as ever, like nothing in the world could make him upset. Was he always like this? Ever since the second morning they spent together, he had always had a smile on his face and wide, interested eyes. How was he so happy? He barely knew who he was. It was fucking ridiculous.

 

“What is it?” Kirishima was looking at him, one cheek filled with meat. He blinked at Bakugo innocently.

 

“Nothing,” Bakugo scowled, looking away. He’d been staring again.

 

“..okay?”

 

When they were finished, Bakugo stomped out the fire and promptly turned to the trail. Kirishima scrambled to follow after him, whining the whole time. Fuck .

 

“Where are we going?!” Kirishima said, finally catching up to him. Bakugo angrily shoved his hands in his pockets, pinching his lips shut. He concentrated all of his energy on ignoring Kirishima as obnoxiously as he could.

 

After a few minutes, Bakugo felt the rock in his chest drop for the first time in a while. Kirishima felt uncomfortable. Shit.

 

It was different when he was alone, even when he was with other people. He never thought twice about ignoring anyone, saying rude things or leaving them behind. But now he did care, now he had to care. About Kirishima, and his stupid feelings. Now, when Kirishima felt sad, he did too.

 

Bakugo took a deep breath. “Sorry, I just-”

 

“You're not too good with people, are you?” Kirishima was staring at him, red eyes boring into the side of his face. The question made Bakugo’s blood still.

 

“No, I’m not.” He muttered. His hands clenched into fists.

 

Kirishima’s face turned away, lips curled into a small smile as they walked. “You know, I’ve been remembering more and more about who I am and what happened to me in the last few days,”

 

Bakugo looked at him carefully, eyes wide. He remembered?

 

“..and I don’t know if this will help you at all, but I know that when I felt angry or annoyed with other people, all I had to remember was that whoever was making me feel that way has feelings too, and they might just be different people.” Kirishima continued.

 

Bakugo was staring at him, awestruck. He opened his mouth to say something, but shut it when nothing came out.

 

“Just.. be nice. Patience and communication are essential when dealing with people, okay?” Kirishima turned to him, red eyes soft and a small smile on his face. Bakugo felt his heart thud in his chest, warmth blooming within the stone.

 

He pinched his lips, turning his head away with a pout. “Okay,” he muttered.

 

Kirishima beamed, and although Bakugo wasnt looking at him, he could see it. He could feel the stone in his chest glow.

 

“Right! Good. So where are we going?”

 

Bakugo inhaled deep, waiting for his heart rate to return to normal and turning his attention back to the trail. “Somewhere open. A valley maybe.”

 

Kirishima quirked a brow at him, “Huh? Why?”

 

“If you want to be my partner, you’ve got to be able to fight right?” Bakugo looked at him, Kirishima’s face suddenly turning bright red.

 

“P-partner?”

 

Bakugo felt every inch of him heat up. Shit, no that’s not what he meant- “y-yeah. Training partner.” He muttered, tearing his eyes away.

 

“...right.” Kirishima stuttered. Both of their faces were bright red, and Bakugo could feel the stone tighten in his chest. Damn it.

 

They walked in silence for a while. Fuck, that was so embarrassing. Why did he say that? Fucking christ , Bakugo needed to get his shit together. His face was still beat red.

Change the subject. Yeah, that’s good. “Do you think you can transform back into a dragon?” Bakugo cleared his throat. He watched Kirishima still beside him. He stopped walking, turning to face Kirishima.

 

“I-I dont know. I’m afraid of what might happen.” he confessed, head dropping in shame.  

 

Bakugo scoffed, turning his back and walking forwards. “Dumbass. If you can’t control it, I can just call you back, remember?”

 

Kirishima inhaled behind him and then started walking again. “Okay.”

 

He was tense, worried. Bakugo could feel it. He tossed a gaze behind him, seeing Kirishima pouting at the ground. “Don’t worry shitty hair. We’ll figure it out.”

 

Kirishima looked up at him, face twisting suddenly into one of relief. He nodded at Bakugo, walking faster to stand at his side again. Why was Bakugo assuring him? Why was he being nice….

 

Cause you like him, a voice in the back of his mind whispered. Rage coursed through him at the thought, but he swallowed it down. He resorted to shouting strings of profanities at himself silently.

 

Bakugo heard Kirishima snicker beside him, but he ignored it. He didn't want to know what got the redhead so amused.

 

They walked a little while longer, maybe 20 minutes before Kirishima suddenly shouted, pointing through the trees at an open field. “THERE!”

 

It was plenty of space. Huge. Bakugo could see the mountains if he looked hard enough, the yellow grass was tall enough to graze his knees. He was silently thankful for his long pants.

 

Kirishima was like an infant, running around with his hands in the grass and a huge smile on his face. Bakugo scowled at him. He was like a puppy again.

 

Speaking of puppies… “Oi! Shit head!” Bakugo shouted. Kirishima turned to him with bright eyes before jogging back to him. “You ready?”

 

Kirishima caught his breath, looking at him with hope in his eyes. Bakugo tilted his chin up, and withdrew his sword. Kirishima froze.

 

“W-WHAT? Are you crazy?” Kirishima squeaked, raising his hands in surrender as he slowly started walking backwards. Bakugo’s lip curled in a sneer.

 

“I’m not. It’s motivation,” he said, pursuing Kirishima with his sword outstretched. Kirishima looked horrified.

 

He slowly turned, and took off sprinting. Bakugo cackled, a grin overtaking his face as he ran after him. “BAKUGOO YOU'RE SO MEAN,” Kirishima was yelling.

 

Bakugo felt the rush of adrenaline, one he hadn’t felt in far too long, course through him. He fired a blast from his palms to propel himself forwards.

 

“YOU BETTER TRANSFORM, SHITTY HAIR, OR YOU'RE FUCKING DEAD!”

 

Kirishima screamed, but there was a laugh mixed with it, and Bakugo felt his chest fill with warmth and a deep happiness he had never felt before. He shook through it, blasting off again.

 

“COME ON KIRISH-“

 

And then there it was. White smoke erupted from Kirishima’s skin, and Bakugo slowed to a stop as he watched the cloud grow bigger, bigger, bigger. Smoke that came from nothing, expanding with each passing moment in front of his eyes.

 

A familiar shade of red filled his vision. YES .

 

Bakugo blinked, waving his sword to help clear the smoke so he could look at Kirishima properly. Once it cleared, he had to jump out of the way to dodge a swinging tail from clotheslining him. “HEY! WATCH IT,” he shouted.

 

When Kirishima turned around, Bakugo was met with the same original yellow eyes and angry growl he had seen the first time. Bakugo’s smirk fell. Oh. If he was growling, he didn’t remember.

 

As a dragon, he was slightly smaller than Bakugo remembered. His head was about the size of Bakugo’s torso, and he was only about double or triple his height now. Bakugo took a stance as Kirishima trotted to face him, his snarl showing off large, pointed teeth.

 

Bakugo chuckled. Almost the same teeth, at least.

 

“So what was it, huh?” He said. The dragon growled, lowering his head and clawing at the grown. Ready to launch.

 

Bakugo smirked, kicking at the ground with his boot and hunching in the same way Kirishima was. “What did it for you?”

 

The dragon roared, shooting itself forward and lifting a claw to swipe at Bakugo. He dodged it easily, blasting himself up and over, out of reach.

 

“Calm down now,” he said, loud enough for Kirishima to hear. “Do you remember me?”

 

He looked Kirishima directly in the eye, locking their gazes. He straightened up at Bakugo’s question, blinking once, twice. Hesitating . Bakugo did an internal fist pump.

 

“Hey Kirish-“

 

There were flames being thrown at him, and Bakugo was just barely able to dodge it in time. A corner of his cape caught on fire, and he cursed as he stomped it out. Fire? He didn’t breathe fire before.

 

Fuckin BADASS.

 

Mostly. There was still the level of distance, the connection wasn’t quite as strong as he needed it to be. They’d just have to practice this. Bakugo turned up to him, a smirk melting onto his face.

 

“Shit! Fire huh?”

 

Kirishima’s yellow eyes were furious. He opened his jaw to fire again, but Bakugo was quicker. Boom, Boom, BOOM, he flew into the air, higher and faster and out of reach from the red beast below.

 

Still, Kirishima roared, turning his huge, muscular body to him and sprinting forward, following close behind Bakugo’s blasts. He smirked down at him. This is fun .

 

A throb in his arm, a small shoot of pain down to his wrists. Shit, Bakugo faltered just slightly off course, squinting one eye at the pain. Too much. He turned, firing off one last blast and looking down at Kirishima, who was still following him.

 

“That’s enough, EIJIRO,” he shouted the last word, and watched in relief as white smoke filled the air. He managed to turn in the air just before hitting the ground, tumbling into a roll to lessen the impact.

 

“Fucking hell,” Bakugo groaned. His forearms ached and he was sore on his shoulders where he’d hit the ground. That was fast this time, usually he had at least 30 minutes use of his explosions before they started backfiring. He furrowed his brow.

 

A low groan came from a yard away, the white smoke gone and red hair peaking over the grass. Kirishima.

 

Bakugo walked over to him. He scowled at Kirishima, his hair was down and his broad back was completely exposed to the air.

 

His broad… broad back, and smooth skin, the expanse of it ripped with muscle and-

 

“Fuck,” Bakugo muttered, low enough Kirishima couldn’t hear him. These thoughts were getting so god damn annoying.

 

He shook his head as he got closer, and Kirishima was indeed naked. Just like Bakugo had found him the first time.

 

“You okay?” He looked down at Kirishima, rubbing his forearm with one hand. Kirishima turned to look at him, red eyes wide and bright. They instantly filled with relief.

 

“Bakugo!” He beamed, a sigh falling from his lips.

 

“What.”

 

Kirishima stood up, realized he was naked, and quickly covered himself with his hand, red flooding to his already tinted cheeks and a nervous laugh falling from his lips. Bakugo ignored his own blush and tore his eyes down to the ground.

 

“What happened?” Kirishima asked. “I think I blacked out.”

 

Bakugo frowned, “you don’t remember anything?”

 

Kirishima blinked at him, quirked an eyebrow. His face twisted in thought. Bakugo glared at him. He was fucking ridiculous, looking like that.

 

“Mm, I remember like shadows, actually. And… explosions?” Bakugo’s chest filled with excitement, a small victory.

 

“Fuck yeah!” he shouted, and Kirishima looked at him in shock. “That was me,” Bakugo explained, blasting off small pops in his palms.

 

Kirishima looked at his hands as if they were the most fascinating thing he’d ever laid eyes on. “... woah,” he whispered. “Have you always been able to do that?”

 

Bakugo smirked, proud. He put his hands on his hips and absentmindedly took off his cape and threw it at Kirishima.

 

“Pretty-fuckin-much. Ever since I was four,” he said, Kirishima catching the cape before tugging it across his shoulders.

 

“You’ve never-“ Kirishima’s voice was small. He wasn’t making eye contact.

 

“I haven’t needed to,” Bakugo muttered, walking past Kirishima to grab his sword off the ground a few feet away.

 

Kirishima watched him as he put his sword back into its case on his hip, his red eyes wide and his face reddening. Bakugo raised an eyebrow at him. The stone tightened quickly, so fast that Bakugo barely even registered it before it was gone again.

 

Kirishima shook his head slightly, as if shaking off a bug, before turning to Bakugo. They silently headed towards the woods again. “So?” Kirishima asked.

 

“So, we’re making progress,” Bakugo chuckled.

 

It was easy, he realized. It was easy as he recalled the fight to an interested Kirishima, easy to talk to him.

 

It was fucking disgustingly easy to be around Kirishima, and Bakugo didn't know what to do about it.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

They worked into a system. They’d wake up, Kirishima would help cook food and then they’d be off to the field again, training and practicing and talking, before they headed back to the lake when it got dark. It was an unspoken rule, how each part of their day was planned out, and now both of them were fine with it.

 

Bakugo couldn’t use his arms too much. He wasn’t sure why, but after more than about 5 big blasts his forearms started throbbing. Kirishima asked about how it worked multiple times, but Bakugo himself didn’t even know. Still, he could fight with his sword, and he was fast, and he could throw a nasty fucking punch. Bakugo’s powers weren’t the only thing that made him into the warrior he was today.

 

Kirishima was getting better. He could recognize Bakugo now in dragon form for a few minutes at a time. He would pause, stop fighting, but then something would snap him out of it and he would resort back to attacking again. Bakugo didn’t mind, though. It was progress.

 

Bakugo taught him how to fight in hand-to-hand combat too, how to throw punches and dodge and tackle. Fighting with him like that was fun, made Bakugos blood pump and his heart race. Kirishima enjoyed it too, always had a smirk on his face that made Bakugos stomach twist. He was getting good, too, but Bakugo would never admit it.

 

Days passed. Maybe even a few weeks, Bakugo didn’t know. His life was lighter, his shoulders were more relaxed and he even found himself smiling a couple times before he went to sleep.

 

It was nice, having Kirishima around.

 

“AAAAAH,” Kirishima sighed, stretching his arms above his head and leaning backwards as they walked. It was getting dark out, quickly. “That was a good one. I think you may have bruised my cheek!”

 

“Serves you right,” Bakugo sneered. “You’re nothing compared to me.”

 

Kirishima chuckled, shaking his head. “Yeah yeah. I know.”

 

Kirishima pulled out his hair gel from his bag, styling it up in his famous spikes. Bakugo rolled his eyes. They had found an old dumbass witch to put a spell on Kirishima and his clothes so he wouldn’t be naked every time he shifted, and it was greatly appreciated from the both of them. A few days ago, Kirishima had found an old bag on the trail, and a couple of lost bracelets and even a glove to accessorize with.

 

Bakugo didn’t mind all of the upgrades to his look, but he didn’t understand why he insisted on styling his hair up every day. It was only going to fall down later. “You’re fucking dumb,” Bakugo muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets.

 

“Heey!” Kirishima shot him a glare, hands still moving through his hair. “What’s that for?!”

 

Bakugo clicked his tongue angrily, hunching his shoulders and pouting in the opposite direction.

 

“Dude,” Kirishima said, voice tinged with impatience.

 

“Why do you have to fuckin do your hair all the time?” Bakugo snarled, eyes moving back to Kirishima to scowl at his hair. It looked thick, and soft. Kirishimas hands were basically enveloped in it.

 

Kirishima looked at him, eyes wide, before a small smile crept onto his face. His hands resumed working through his hair. “It gives me confidence. I think it looks better like this,” he said.

 

“You look good either way, dumbass,” Bakugo huffed.

 

As soon as the words left his mouth, he froze, body cringing as he realized. Blood rushed to his face. Ah FUCK. He didn’t look at Kirishima.

 

“W-what? Really?” Kirishima squeaked, and Bakugo peaked one eye open to see his face was almost the color of his hair.

 

It was so fucking cute.

 

Bakugo’s heart was beating out of his chest, his hands shaking in his pockets. He took a shaky breath, starting to walk again. Breathe. “Shut the fuck up, it’s almost dark. Let’s go.”

 

They didn’t talk the rest of the way, but that was fine. Bakugo needed the time to mentally punch himself a hundred fucking times for saying such a dumb thing.

 

Kirishima had shitty hair. That’s all it was.

 

When they got back to the lake, both of them tossed their accessories down and Bakugo reached for his sword, squarely facing Kirishima. He looked flustered. “I’m gonna go get food,” Bakugo declared.

 

He turned his back on flustered Kirishima and walked back into the darkening woods. It felt like it did the first time he had left him in the cave. Bakugo frowned. They really hadn’t been away from each other (consciously) since then.

 

Ugh.

 

He went to the river, catching a few fish with the tip of his sword. His head was spinning, stomach churning with nerves and frustration. Kirishima… why was Bakugo so okay with him? Why was it so easy to be around him, why did he keep catching himself saying and thinking all this gross shit?

 

It was like, as soon as that stupid idiot got caught up in his life Bakugo became a different person. He didn’t have urges to run away, didn’t have urges to kill Kirishima every time he spoke. It was the opposite. He didn’t know what to do, didn’t know how to feel. Fucking Christ. Bakugo needed to get this shit out of his system, but other than blowing shit up and running away he didn’t know what else he could do.

 

He pouted at the dead fish, scooping them up by their tails and dragging them behind him as he headed back to the lake. They were big, heavy, but they would be more than enough to feed them until tomorrow night. Bakugo kicked the ground, a rock flying out of his way as he did. This whole thing was fucking dumb. Kirishima was dumb, and he was making Bakugo dumb too.

 

He walked back to the lake, but Kirishima was nowhere to be seen. He tossed the fish on the rock with a scowl, starting the fire. Whatever. Bakugo didn’t care what Kirishima did with his free time.

 

Bakugo started to skin the fish with the edge of his sword, the fire blazing when a red dragon stepped out of the shadows from behind some trees. Bakugo glared, amusement filling his body. Kirishima cocked his head curiously at the fish, innocently. He didn’t look angry at all.

 

“Really?” Bakugo accused, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. Kirishima blinked at him.

 

Intrigued, Bakugo held eye contact with him, lifting the fish in his hand. Kirishima’s yellow eyes followed it, pupils blown black. Bakugo snickered.

 

He lifted the fish up and down, teasing it. Kirishima’s stomach growled. This was fun .

 

“Why’d you shift? You know you can’t understand me when you’re like tha-“ Bakugo’s sentence died in his throat, a sudden realization hitting him.

 

Kirishima didn’t understand him, not in the long run. He wouldn’t remember…

 

He wouldn’t remember anything that Bakugo said, or did. His stomach churned, face exploding in a blush.

 

This… this was a good thing. This could fix his problem.

 

Bakugo breathed deep, eyeing Kirishima suspiciously. He was still looking at the fish. With a chuckle, he tossed the fish into the air, and Kirishima lunged into the air to catch it in his mouth. He chewed on it excitedly, half of it hanging out of his mouth, like a dog chewing on a bone.

 

Okay. Try to test this out, Bakugo thought. He looked back at the pile of fish, putting one on the fire with a smile on his face. “You’re pretty cute, like that.” He muttered.

 

He looked up cautiously at Kirishima. If he could understand Bakugo, he’d have a look on his face that said so.

 

He was leaning down, chewing on the fish intensely.

 

Bakugo let out a sigh of relief. This could work. Maybe he could actually do this. If Kirishima was being the calm version of a dragon instead of constantly trying to kill him, this could work.

 

When Kirishima was done with the first fish, he tossed him another one and then ate his own. He was seething, watching Kirishima out of the corner of his eye.

 

Dumb.

 

When he was finished, and Kirishima was scratching behind his ear with a claw, Bakugo stood up and walked over to him, his chest puffed out and face beat red.

 

“Can you understand me?” He asked. Kirishima simply blinked at him.

 

That was a no. “You won’t remember this?” Another blink.

 

Bakugo took a shaky breath, reaching up with a quivering hand and placing it on Kirishima's nose gently.

 

Kirishima flinched, reared back slightly, but Bakugo followed him, hand steady on his skin. It was warm, rough. He was scaled, but it wasn’t like a snake. It felt more like plate of armor. Bakugo could feel yellow eyes boring into his face, but he didn’t care, too enthralled with the feeling of his own skin on red scales.

 

He took a deep breath, and started moving his hand up and down, back and forth. Feeling. Kirishima’s eyes fluttered shut, and when Bakugo lifted his hand and started to properly pet him, Kirishima made a small whine in the back of his throat. He leaned into Bakugos palm, chasing the feeling as a small smile overtook his face.

 

Oh my god . Bakugo’s heart was beating out of control, throat closing up. He reached up with his other hand to place it on the side of Kirishima's head, hand moving on its own now, petting him freely. The way Kirishima leaned into him, practically fucking nuzzling his hand and his chest was too much, and an honest smile overtook his face before he could even care.

 

“You’re so fucking cute like this,” he murmured, voice soft. “Like a puppy.”

 

Kirishima made a happy noise, eyes opening and looking at him fondly. Bakugo felt his pulse stutter. He pinched his lips, eyebrows furrowing. Fuckin hell. He tore himself away, suddenly a bit cold without Kirishima in his arms. He turned his back, hands buried in his pockets as he walked over to the lake.

 

Kirishima laid his head on his paws, folded over each other on the ground, watching Bakugo’s movements curiously. Bakugo glared at him, and then started pacing around the edge of the lake, looking at his reflection each time he turned. It was getting dark now, he could see the colors of the sky reflected in the water. Red and orange.

 

The air was tense, but it was his fault. It felt as if all the frustration and intensity that was in his brain was leaking into the air between them.

 

Bakugo shook his head. No. Kirishima couldn’t understand him, no matter what he said right now Kirishima wouldn’t remember it when he shifted back. That’s right… he-he could say anything he wanted.

 

A deep breath. Okay. He needed to do this. It would help.

 

Slowly, he turned to look at Kirishima, his head tilted and still on his paws. Bakugo took a deep breath, hunching his shoulders. He glared at Kirishima. “Listen. I-I need to get something off my chest,” he started.

 

Kirishima blinked at him. Bakugo clicked his tongue, turning away again and resumed his pacing.

 

“I’m only saying this because you can’t understand and you won’t remember. Because I need to get this off my chest before it kills me.” Bakugo kicks a rock into the lake.

 

He turns, and looks Kirishima in the eye. “You’re stupid. Stupid and annoying, and you have the brightest and most beautiful fucking smile I’ve ever seen.”

 

“I like you, Kirishima.” Bakugo said, voice shaking as the words came from his mouth. The dragon just blinked at him, as if he had just said that he liked the color green instead of confessing his feelings.

 

Bakugo took a shaky breath, hand shaking as he tossed a rock into the lake. “I like you, and I’ve never liked anyone before. I don’t know what it means, or what to do about it. It’s weird, cause usually I end up wanting to leave whoever I’m around, or to kill them, but I enjoy spending time with you. Isn’t that bullshit?

 

“I don’t know what to do, I feel all flustered and aggravated every time you laugh, or when you look at me with those eyes…. and I fucking hate how excited you get, how your face lights up at stupid shit. And I hate how you’re not threatened by me, you act like I’m fucking….. endearing . Like I’m funny or something, even though I’m really just an asshole. You just don’t know that cause you’ve never met anyone who’s nice, anyone who’s not me.” Bakugo frowned at his reflection in the water.

 

“So it’s all bullshit. All of it. I didn’t plan on any of this. I don’t want to like you. But here I fucking am, making an idiot of myself and telling a dumb fucking dragon a bunch of sappy disgusting secrets because I’m too fucking angry to keep them to myself.” Bakugo looked up this time, and Kirishima’s head was up, and he was looking at him intensely. Fascinated.

 

His stomach dropped. “K-Kirishima, can you understand me?” A yellow eyed blink.

 

“Growl if you know what I’m saying,” Bakugo snarled, blood pumping through him. If…. if Kirishima knew….

 

There was no noise, just the same stare. Bakugo glared, but sighed in relief. Whatever.

 

Bakugo glanced around awkwardly. It was silent, because he was the only one talking. He didn’t like it anymore.

 

He.. missed Kirishima’s annoying ass voice. He scowled into the woods.

 

“Whatever. Transform back,” he glared at Kirishima, an eyebrow quirked before remembering he had to say his name.

 

Suddenly the idea of saying that name made him nervous, made his blood boil and heat overtake his face. No… no. Its fine. He only had to say it once.

 

“Eijiro,” Bakugo said, avoiding eye contact. His chest tightened.

 

Familiar white smoke filled the space and cleared, revealing Kirishima, his body drawn together and red eyes boring into Bakugo’s. His hands were buried in his front pockets and his face was quirked in.. nerves?

 

“What’s your deal,” Bakugo growled, bending over to undo his boot laces.

 

“N-nothing.” Kirishima stuttered, nervously rubbing his upper arm and walking over to Bakugo.

 

Out of habit, he reached to touch up his hair, but Bakugo watched out of the corner of his eye as he hesitated, his hand reaching into his bag only to pull back out. A small smirk tugged at the corner of Kirishima’s lips before he tugged his bag over his shoulder and put it on a rock.

 

“I was just worried you’d be mad I shifted, I guess,” Kirishima confessed, sitting on the ground and scratching the side of his face.

 

Bakugo glared at him, tugging off his boots angrily and tossing them aside before pulling his necklaces over his head. “It was surprising,” Bakugo muttered.

 

Kirishima hummed. “What are you doing,” he asked, eyes curious.

 

Bakugo threw his cape on the ground next to his boots and jewelry, starting to undo his belt. He tried to ignore the thudding of his heart and heat in his face

 

“Taking a fucking bath. Keep your eyes to yourself,” he growled. The rock in his chest twisted.

 

“O-okay.”

 

Bakugo took of his pants quickly, ears burning. He didn’t look at Kirishima, jumping into the water quickly. As he submerged his entire body screamed, and he shot up, shaking his wet hair out of his face

 

“FUCK!! IT'S FUCKING COLD,” he shouted, hand pushing the water away angrily. He heard Kirishima laugh. Bakugo glared up at him, ready to to fire a blast only to be met by the view of a half naked Kirishima, face bright with laughter as his hands started undoing his own belt.

 

His face went bright red. No… no. He couldn’t do that. “W-what are you doing fuckhead..” he growled.

 

Kirishima smirked down at him at the same time he tugged his belt from around his hips. It was.. unbelievably attractive. Bakugo swallowed thickly.

 

“I’m taking a bath! Keep your eyes to yourself,” Kirishima smirked, throwing his words back at him. Bakugo’s heart thudded in his chest.

 

“Tch. Like I would look,” he scowled at the water, turning around and plunging his head underwater. He kept his eyes closed, but internally relief filled him.

 

He liked being underwater. It was quiet. And Kirishima wasn’t there to torture him.

 

He heard a thud, Kirishima jumping in. He cursed to himself. Fuckin hell. Now there were both here, in a small private lake, both completely naked after Bakugo just told him he liked him.

 

Kinda. Kirishima didn’t know he told him, but still. The thought was still fresh in his brain, he could still taste the words on his tongue. He resurfaced slowly, still purposefully turned away from the red head. He shook his hair out of his eyes, and Kirishima squeaked behind him.

 

He turned to glare over his shoulder, Kirishima's hands covering his face, blocking the splash of water. “Watch it! What are you, a dog?” Kirishima said, his voice taunting.

 

Bakugo’s stomach churned, a deep twist in his belly at the words. He stuttered, face red as he glared at the redhead. “Fuck off!”

 

Kirishima laughed, and suddenly there was a wave of water splattering his back. Oh, that fucker. Bakugo growled, adrenaline filling him as he swung his arms wide, catching water in their wake as he twisted around, flinging water back at Kirishima.

 

“Hey!” Kirishima screamed, his laughter filling the woods. They started properly splashing, playing around and laughing in a way Bakugo hadn’t done since he was four years old. Maybe even since before his powers manifested.

 

Then suddenly Kirishima lunged at him, managing to completely soak Bakugo with a splash from his whole body, Bakugo sneered, a grin over taking his face, but it quickly faded as soon as he noticed how fucking close they were now. Not even an arms length away. Kirishima splashed him again, his distraction obvious. Fuck .

 

Bakugo sent another swinging wave of water Kirishimas way, and finally he got a good hit in. Kirishima laughed, arm blocking what he could, and he stepped back before he started to slip, but Bakugo reached out without thinking and grabbed his hand. Kirishima held onto him, holding himself up with a shocked and unreadable expression.

 

Bakugo’s heart was in his throat. What was he doing? He could feel the warmth of Kirishimas hand spread up his arm and throughout his entire body, and his entire body filled with embarrassment. Shit .

 

He pulled his hand away, tugging Kirishima with him, but Kirishima pulled too, and suddenly now he was… right there .

 

Not even inches away from him.

 

Bakugo felt his brain short circuit, his heart thrashing into his throat. Kirishima was there, his lips were right there, and Bakugo could feel his senses overflow with need and want, Kirishima’s body heat and scent was radiating between them and Bakugo wanted to drown in it.

 

Kirishima moved his hand down to Bakugos waist, and it left trails of heat down his body even underwater. Bakugo took a shaky breath, the air thick and hot between them and he couldn’t tear his eyes away from Kirishima’s lips. The hand on his waist tightened, and it was burning to the touch, thick and so big… he wanted….

 

Kirishima opened his mouth slightly, lips curling in a small smirk, and Bakugo looked up into burning red eyes to find himself unable to pull away. He knew he was breathing heavily, knew he looked flushed but he couldn’t help it. Kirishima looked down at Bakugo’s lips.

 

They were so close.

 

“Um-“ Kirishima whispered, his voice deep. Bakugo could feel the breath of his words against his face.

 

“GET OFF ME!” Bakugo snapped back to reality, tearing himself away and splashing water between them with the aggressiveness of his movements. His face felt like it was on fire.

 

When he looked back at Kirishima, he almost choked. He was looking at Bakugo with these… eyes. Like Bakugo was the most treasured thing in the world. His eyes were filled with this absolute adoration and understanding it was fucking-

 

Gross. It was gross. Bakugo didn’t want to be looked at like that, no one had looked at him that way in his life.

 

“Don’t look at me,” he growled, angrily trudging his way out of the lake and back to where his shit was. He felt Kirishima’s eyes burning against his skin as he walked.

 

He grabbed his cape and tugged it around his shoulders, drying himself off half-hazardly before shaking out his hair. He put on his boxers and climbed up the tree, ignoring Kirishima’s aura of discomfort.

 

Fuck this.

 

Chapter Text

The next morning Bakugo woke up late. Or, he thought he did, cause when he climbed down the tree Kirishima was sitting on a rock, fiddling with his clothes and staring into the water. His hair was still up, and his clothes weren’t messy from sleep at all. He must have stayed up all night. Bakugo glared at him.

 

Bakugo coughed to declare his presence, but Kirishima only flinched. He didnt turn around to look. Bakugo felt his stomach drop. Weird .

 

“Hey,” he said. Kirishima didn’t move. Bakugo felt anxiety flow through his veins.

 

He walked over slowly, standing just behind Kirishima. He couldnt see his face. “What’s wrong with you.”

 

Kirishima turned to glare at him, his face twisted in an anger and defense Bakugo hadnt seen before. “Nothing,” Kirishima muttered. He turned around. Fuck .

 

Bakugo swallowed nervously, but his body suddenly filled with annoyance. If Kirishima was upset about last night, Bakugo would kill him. He had no right to be angry, after coming onto Bakugo like that. The shithead.

 

“Fine then. Get your ass up. We’re going to train,” Bakugo snarled.

 

Kirishima hung his head, his fists clenching tightly around the red fabric in his lap. Bakugo felt rage course through him. Why was he pouting? He was being so fucking difficult. He had to get over himself.

 

“Kirishima,” Bakugo growled angrily, voice raising. “Let’s. Go. Quit being a pouty bitch, it’s fucking unmanly of you.”

 

Kirishima’s whole body stiffened. Bakugo felt the stone in his chest burn, and FUCK. It hurt, it felt like he was being fucking branded inside his goddamn chest. It took all of his restraint not to clutch at it, to keep his ground and scowl.

 

Kirishima took a deep breath, pained, and suddenly stood up, walking past Bakugo quickly. Bakugo barely got a glimpse of his face, but it was twisted in anger and hurt. He didnt even look at Bakugo. The heat of the stone subsided, but just a little. It was just slightly hotter than could be considered comfortable. Bakugo shook his head and started following Kirishima loosely.  

 

After a minute, Bakugo caught up to Kirishima’s fast pace and glared at the ground. The air was suffocating, he could feel Kirishima’s anger radiating off of him. He didnt like this, didnt like the fact that they were fighting for no fucking reason. It was bullshit.

 

Kirishima took a deep breath, his body physically inflating and then relaxing. He stopped. Bakugo looked at him. His eyes were closed, eyebrows drawn together.

 

“I.. I’m sorry,” Kirishima said.

 

Bakugo pinched his lips, resisting the urge to touch Kirishima’s shoulder and glaring at the trail in front of them. He started walking again, and Kirishima followed him. “It’s fine.”

 

Kirishima’s eyes were on him, “Do you still want to know what’s wrong?”

 

Bakugo swallowed, glared at the ground. Kirishima’s red eyes were pouring into the side of his face, and he didn’t fucking like it. It felt like he was being read like a book, or observed like a fucking wild animal.

 

“Not really.”

 

Kirishima sighed, shoving his hands in his pockets.

The thick air dissipated, and they walked in silence. Almost there , Bakugo thought. Almost to the field, and then everything will go away.

 

But no. They were interrupted suddenly, a group of people emerged out of the woods and stopped on the trail in front of them. Bakugo froze, his blood going cold.

 

He looked at them, eyes narrowed. A witch, with a pink dress, tall brown hat and a staff. A townsperson with long green hair, a big mouth and even bigger eyes. A tall knight with glasses and dark blue hair, and a familiar pair of different colored eyes and candy cane hair. And then-curly green hair, bright eyes and freckles.

 

The realization hit Bakugo like a bus, and a rage coursed through him, familiar despite not feeling it in years. A rage he had only felt towards one person.

 

Izuku.

 

“SCUM!” Bakugo screamed, raising his palms in a threat as he began to stomp over to his childhood friend, but he felt Kirishima grip his elbow. He turned to him in a scowl. Oh yeah, Kirishima was still there too. Kirishima smiled at him, disarming. Bakugo pouted. Be nice, Kirishima had said.

 

“Midoriya? Who’s this,” the tall knight asked, placing a hand on Izuku’s shoulder. The small boy was shaking, his whole body drawn tight and looking in horror at Bakugo.

 

“T-this is Kacchan-”

 

“SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU SHIT HEAD-” Bakugo shouted, rage coursing through his veins. Kirishima flinched behind him. Bakugo willed himself to close his eyes and take a deep breath.

 

“I’m King Katsuki, you shithead Knight, and this is Kirishima. What the fuck are you doing here, Deku?” he growled. Izuku looked at him with wide eyes, lips pinched shut.

 

“It’s nice to meet you King Katsuki, I’m Iida Tenya, and this is Uraraka Ochako, Tsuyu Asui and Prince Sho-”

 

“I already know the other two scum bags.” Bakugo snarled. This fucker was too outgoing and his superiority complex was fucking ridiculous. Bakugo curled his lip upwards, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

 

“You’re not an actual knight, Iida Tenya?” Iida stiffened, face growing red as he looked at Bakugo. Heh.

 

Kirishima’s hand was on his shoulder, and Bakugo turned to glare at him only to be met with the softest smile ever created. “Hey. Dont be rude,” Kirishima said.

 

Kirishima squeezed his shoulder, asking. “Sorry,” Bakugo grumbled.

 

Iida straightened up, adjusting the glasses on his face. Kirishima beamed. Bakugo turned his attention to Todoroki, who was staring at them with a bored expression on his face. “Bakugo,” he nodded.

 

“Todoroki,” Bakugo tilted his head. The air thickened around them.

 

Suddenly the round faced chick jumped excitedly, pointing at Kirishima. “YOU’RE A SHAPESHIFTER,” she exclaimed.

 

“Haaah?” Bakugo’s face twisted, and he defensively stepped forwards, blocking her from Kirishima. Behind him, Kirishima’s face turned to exhaustion.

 

The girl beamed, her cheeks bright and rosy. She stood proud, unaffected by Bakugo’s mannerisms. Her brown eyes shimmered, and she tilted her head pointedly to look over Bakugo’s shoulder at Kirishima.

 

“You are, right?”

 

Kirishima placed one hand on Bakugo’s shoulder, and one on his chest. He stepped past him, ignoring his glare and smiling at the girl. He nodded brightly.

 

“Nice to meet you! Im Uraraka,” she smiled at him. Kirishima reached out to shake her hand. Bakugo glared at them in horror. These shitheads were all ignoring him .

 

“Great. Fucking hell.” Bakugo said, turning away angrily and shoving his hands in his pockets. He felt the distance between Izuku and him become blatantly obvious, the fact that they had barely acknowledged each other’s presence was looming in the back of his mind.

 

Bakugo turned slightly to the side, but still watched Kirishima intently as he shook the girls hand energetically. “Hi! Im Kirishima!” He beamed.

 

Suddenly, Kirishima jumped over to the green-haired girl, grabbing her hand as well. His smile was unstoppable. “Hello!”

 

Then to Iida, who was much taller than him. Kirishima’s eyes shined up at the idiot, shook his hand strongly and tightly. “You’re so cool,” he said. “Sorry about him.”

 

Bakugo glared at him. How dare he apologize on Bakugo’s behalf . Bakugo apologized to the bastard already. He scowled at the two of them.

 

Kirishima suddenly turned to Izuku, smiling down at him brightly. Izuku’s shoulders instantly relaxed, and his face shifted into a smile that mirrored Kirishima’s as he took his hand softly. “Nice to meet you,” Kirishima said.

 

“Midoriya,” Deku beamed. Bakugo’s veins suddenly filled with jealousy.

 

Everyone was fucking touching Kirishima, and smiling at him. At his Kirishima.

 

He was about to step in and blast that bastard Deku in the face, but he was interrupted by Kirishima’s sigh and smile of wonder when he stepped to Todoroki. Half and half just looked at him, of course, but he seemed more intrigued than he had yet today.

 

“Y-youre the prince!?” Kirishima said, eyes glittering as he stared at Todoroki in awe.

 

Todoroki let a small smile fall on his lips, a slight blush on his cheeks. His eyes were fond. The bastard.

 

“Kind of. He’s a prince,” Iida cut in, hands chopping the air in front of him like a robot. Bakugo glared at them in horror. What the fuck.

 

Then, Todoroki reached forwards slightly, and fucking scratched the bottom of Kirishimas chin like a dog. The bastard was smiling, and Kirishima practically purred and leaned into it.

 

Just like he had last night, as a dragon.

 

Bakugo’s heart picked up, rage and jealousy coursing through him. He wasn’t mad at Kirishima, he probably didn’t even know what he was doing, it was just second nature to him, but Todoroki. Bakugo wanted to KILL him.

 

He was about to, he would have, but he didn’t. As soon as the explosion started detonating in his palms, his mind replayed all the other times he’d challenged Todoroki. When they were little, and when they were growing up. Bakugo had been proved weak compared to him too many times. He didn’t want Kirishima to see that.

 

Still.

 

“THAT'S FUCKING ENOUGH, HALF AND HALF BASTARD,” Bakugo yelled, grabbing the back of Kirishima’s scarf and tugging him away angrily. He raised his glowing hand in front of his body, glaring at Todoroki as he stepped between them.

 

Todoroki’s face shifted into the one of annoyed exhaustion he usually wore around Bakugo. He blinked at him slowly.

 

“Tch,” Bakugo turned away from him, and back to Kirishima, who was looking at him now. His eyes were scanning Bakugo’s face curiously. Bakugo pushed him further away from the group with a hand on his chest, and then turned to look at them. He glared. That’s enough of that.

 

Or… that’s what Bakugo wanted. Kirishima stepped forwards again, but only slightly. Bakugo knew he could feel his aura, telling him to stay put. “How do you guys know Bakugo?”

 

Midoriya froze up again, shoulders drawn together. His eyes flitted around them nervously as all his friends turned to look at him expectantly.

 

“We’ve heard of him through Midoriya and Todoroki, ribbit” the green haired girl said. She stuck out her tongue. Bakugo curled his upper lip in disgust. What?

 

“Tsuyu is a shifter too!” Uraraka chimed in, a hand on Tsuyu’s head. “Kind of. She’s basically a human frog,” she laughed.

 

Kirishima chuckled. He bowed his head. “So-“

 

“AA-Ah,” Deku interrupted, panicked, flailing his hands in front of him to prevent the conversation from continuing. “W-we don’t need to go into that.”

 

Bakugo scowled at the ground, radiating annoyance. Kirishima turned to look at him. His expression was unreadable.

 

Silence settled over the two groups. It was tense, and a little awkward. Bakugo really wanted to leave.

 

“Kirishima, I like your hair!” Tsuyu said, breaking the silence with a smile. Kirishima looked at her, and suddenly his face burst into a smile, pride and honest joy overtaking his features.

 

She beamed back at him. The mood around their group lightened instantly. “What do you shift into?” She asked curiously.

 

“A dragon,” Bakugo interrupted without pause, his voice defensive and proud.

 

Everyone’s faces twisted in awe(except Todoroki), looking at Kirishima as if he was the most special person in the world. Which he was.

 

But he was Bakugo ’s person. Bakugo’s dragon.

 

Kirishima beamed, rubbing the back of his neck as everyone made impressed noises at him. He laughed lightly. “It’s complicated though,” he said. Bakugo rolled his eyes.

 

“That’s really cool,” Iida said, eyes earnest as he looked at Kirishima. “I’ve never seen a dragon before.”

 

“And you’ll never get to,” Bakugo growled, glaring daggers at the tall knight. Kirishima laughed lightly, a hand on his shoulder again, disengaging.

 

Bakugo snarled at him, but stepped back. His shoulders dropped as Kirishima took his hands back.

 

Izuku looked pointedly at Bakugo, and he felt like puking. Bakugo hated those big green eyes, hated how they felt looking at him. Fucking Deku. “So Kacchan-“

 

“Shut up,” Bakugo growled. “Shut. Up.”

 

Midoriya frowned, a flash of anger and offense clear on his face. “We’re getting together a group of heroes,” he said. Bakugo shot him a death glare.

 

“We’re looking for heroes and strong people around the country, cause there’s evil emerging near the ocean, Kacchan. Evil no one's seen before.” He said, eyes boring into Bakugo’s with hope. “Will you help? You and Kirishima?”

 

“No fucking way,” Bakugo scoffed, turning away and grabbing Kirishima’s wrist to drag him along. Kirishima squeaked in surprise, letting Bakugo tow him at first but then standing his ground. Bakugo glared at him, furious, but Kirishima held his gaze, face defensive, confused and maybe.. angry?

 

“W-wait!” Uraraka squeaked, her hand shaking to stop them. Both of them turned to look at her. “It’s fine if you don’t want to come King Katsuki, but you guys shouldn’t leave right now.”

 

“Hah?” Bakugo quirked a brow at her.

 

“It’s really dangerous around these woods. I don’t know if you guys have seen anything, but spirits and monsters have been more and more chaotic around here lately,” she explained.

 

“That’s why we’re here actually, to help clear it out on our way to the coast, ribbit,” Tsuyu added, a finger raised. Bakugo glared at both of them.

 

Kirishima stepped forward, smiling at them softly. “We haven’t seen anything, but if you think it’s safer somewhere else we’ll gladly take your advice,” he said.

 

“Speak for yoursel-“ Bakugo started, but Kirishima’s dead and serious glare at him shut him up on autopilot.

 

When did Kirishima get so scary?

 

Bakugo scowled, pouting at the ground, but kept quiet. Ugh. They could take care of themselves.

 

“Don’t worry. You guys can stick with us overnight,” Izuku said, a small smile on his face looking at Kirishima, but he squeaked when he noticed Bakugo’s glare.

 

“It’s barely past noon,” Bakugo snarled. “We won’t have any problems for hours, ain’t that right round face?”

 

Uraraka’s nose lifted in disgust at the nickname. She glared at him, but Bakugo glared back. “Actually, we fought a being yesterday that is going to make the daylight much shorter now. We only have about an hour or so left of light,” she said

 

Bakugo raised a brow. The fuck?

 

“It’s a long story,” Iida sighed.

 

“Anyways. Im going to make us some shelter, so follow this way,” she said. The group of them started moving into the forest, and Kirishima followed easily.

 

Bakugo glared at him, but Kirishima grabbed his wrist so tight it almost hurt and drug him along. He didn’t look back at him the whole way.

 

Chapter Text

Uraraka built them a shelter, using her magic to easily maneuver trees and branches on top of each other, the rest of the group tying them together securely. Kirishima let go of his wrist, and went to help them. He still hadn’t acknowledged Bakugo at all.

 

He went to pout on a rock, a little ways off from the group. He could hear them all chattering, telling Kirishima stories, and he could hear the familiar bright laugh, could feel the stone glow when Kirishima smiled at a joke they told. Bakugo felt like throwing up.

 

True to what Uraraka said, the sky darkened soon after they walked into the forest. Bakugo glared up at the sky, silently cursing it for making her right, before angrily placing his head in one of his palms and fiddling with his boots. He thought vaguely about blowing himself up, since his hand was so close to his face.

 

Suddenly his gut twisted, and the stone quivered in his chest. Bakugo sat up, looking down at his torso in confusion before then looking over to Kirishima. He was talking to the two girls, and his face was bright red, his hands shaking in front of him and he was shushing them violently. The two of them smiled innocently at him. Bakugo quirked an eyebrow. What the fuck?

 

Bakugo went back to fiddling with the straps on his shoes, pleasantly annoyed before the air went cold. He looked up to see Todoroki and Izuku standing in front of him, and his blood filled with hate at the sight of them.

 

Todoroki was looking at him placidly, his hands in his fancy fucking trousers, and Izuku was nervously fiddling with his vest, bottom lip quivering just slightly. Bakugo shot them the nastiest glare he could muster. Go away.

 

“Fuck off, you shitheads,” he growled, lowering his chin threateningly. His patience for this day was getting dangerously low.

 

“P-p-please re-reconsider Kacchan-“

 

“SHUT UP DEKU ILL KILL YOU!” Bakugo stood up, palm glowing, rage flooding through him as Todoroki stepped between him and Izuku exhaustedly. He sighed.

 

Bakugo glared at both of them, standing straight and putting his hands on his hips. None of them spoke, the air thick. Bakugo had too much history with both of them, and none of it was good. Now they were… around each other. It was like Bakugo’s two worst memories, his two worlds colliding.

 

He’d never felt more looked down on more in his life.

 

“I’m not joining. I would never fucking hang out with you two, even if the world was ending,” Bakugo growled, eyes boring into Midoriya’s.

 

Deku stepped forward, face twisted in frustration and defense, a look Bakugo hated with all his being. “It IS ending Kacchan!” He raised his voice.

 

Bakugo glared at him. He didn’t fucking care. It wasn’t going to happen. They were bullshitting anyways, Bakugo and Kirishima hadn’t seen anything in these woods since the first giant.

 

Bakugo stood up, glaring at them, about to leave when Todoroki grabbed his shoulder. He tore himself away from the touch, disgusted, only to see Todoroki looking at him with earnest and kind eyes. Bakugo wanted to punch him in the face.

 

“We’re not looking down on you, King Katsuki,” he said. Bakugo glared daggers at him. “We want you to join us because you’re the strongest person either of us know.”

 

Bakugo clicked his tongue, turning to face them more squarely. “Of course I am, Prince Shoto ,” he sneered. Todorkoki’s lip curled, disgust clear on his features at the name.

 

“Don’t call me Katsuki, half and half. And... I don’t know why you fuckers figured I would fucking think that anyway. Cause I don’t.”

 

Todoroki’s face softened, just slightly, and he closed his eyes. “Sure,” he hummed.

 

Bakugo was about to lunge at him, to shoot a blast from his palms when Todoroki opened his eyes, and they glowed . The blue and grey shimmered with a warning, the focus and superiority in them all too familiar to Bakugo. He stepped back, pinched his lips shut.

 

“Speaking of names,” Todoroki purred. Bakugo froze, body drawing together. Shit . He figured they’d notice.

 

“Kirishima… he called you Bakugo earlier.” Todoroki was positively glowing in confidence, like he just knew . Midoriya was so red Bakugo thought he was gonna explode.

 

“What of it.”

 

“We both know what names mean to you Bakugo. All three of us do,” Todoroki continued, his face falling into boredom again, as if Bakugo was being stubborn. Which he wasn’t.

 

Bakugo pouted at the ground. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

 

“I’m sure you don’t,” Midoriya chuckled softly, “you’re oblivious to it.”

 

Bakugo launched at him, blood boiling. Todoroki held him back, annoyance clear on his face. Midoriya raised his hands in defense.

 

“WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?!” Bakugo shouted. Todoroki nudged him back.

 

He sighed exhaustedly, closing his eyes and shaking his head slowly. Then a small, barely existent smile crept onto his face and Bakugo listened in horror as Todoroki said, “you like Kirishima.”

 

He was frozen. Red as all fuck, and he could vaguely feel explosions popping off in his palms as his brain short circuited with embarrassment and rage. “W-WH-“

 

“You let him call you Bakugo, when the only two people you allow not to call you King Katsuki are us two. You let him touch you, you let him tell you what to do, you-“

 

“SHUT THE FUCK UP ILL FUCKING KILL YOU IF YOU-“

 

Midoriya’s hand was on Todoroki’s shoulder, and both of them stopped talking. They stared at him with the exact same face, soft and knowing. Bakugo glared at them, could feel his heart thudding out of his chest and hear his blood pumping in his ear. Fuck this. Fuck this.

 

Bakugo stormed off into the woods angrily, leaving the two of them behind. When he was out of view of the group, he threw his fist into a tree. His skin split open on the bark, but it felt good. The pain was welcome, grounding. Those fuckers were dumb, they had no right to come up to him and talk to him that way, after all they did to him.

 

He heard footsteps, but they were familiar. Bakugo’s face warmed in embarrassment and he straightened up, turning away so his back was all that was visible. He made it obvious he didn’t want to fucking talk .

 

“Hey,” Kirishima’s voice was quiet, cautious. It made Bakugo want to punch him. “What’s wrong? What happened?”

 

He was soft. Patronizing.

 

Bakugo felt his hair stand on end, that tone of voice was all too familiar to him. No. Not Kirishima. Kirishima didn’t get to talk to him like that. No one fucking got to talk to him like that.

 

“Kirishima,” he growled, his voice low and dark. He felt Kirishima tense up behind him.

 

“Go. Away.”

 

He heard a sharp inhale of breath, and then he was being grabbed with two hands, Kirishima gripping his shoulders and turning him around. His body was tense but he let himself be moved, purposefully keeping his head lowered. Kirishima’s eyes were burning into him. Bakugo couldn’t look at him. He couldn’t. He wanted him to leave.

 

Leave, shittyhair,” Bakugo muttered. He felt like he was going to break any second.

 

“No,” Kirishima said. Bakugo clenched his fists at his side. Kirishima tightened his grip on his shoulders, and he was so close. They were close.

 

Again.

 

You like Kirishima.

 

“FUCK,” Bakugo cursed, tearing himself away and turning his back to Kirishima again. Fucking shit. Todoroki didn’t know anything.

 

“Bakugo…”

 

Shut. The fuck. Up.” Bakugo squeezed his eyes shut, trying to fight through his anger enough to think, to think past his massive urge to destroy.

 

He felt Kirishima’s hand hovering above his shoulder, and he was about to slap it away but it lowered and gently, so fucking gently grabbed his injured fist. Bakugo felt his heart leap into his throat, the way Kirishima was cradling his clenched and bloody fist was the same way one would cradle a baby fucking duck. Or a teacup.

 

It was so soft.

 

Bakugo didn’t know what to do. He kept himself turned away, his heart racing, and just let Kirishima take his hand, turning it over in his own and bringing it closer to examine it.

 

“Why’d you….” Kirishima sounded hurt. His thumb gently touched an open knuckle, and Bakugo hissed through his teeth at the pain. Kirishima immediately took his thumb away and squeezed his wrist tightly.

 

“Why did you do that?”

 

Bakugo turned to glare at him, but Kirishima was looking at him just as angrily. They stared at each other. Bakugo clicked his tongue and wrenched his hand away.

 

“None of your fucking buisness,” Bakugo snarled. He started walking away but Kirishima grabbed his wrist again, harder, and tugged him back. Bakugo’s rage flared through him, and he turned to yell, to shoot a glare, but Kirishima’s enraged face stopped him from speaking.

 

“BULLSHIT ITS NOT MY BUISNESS,” Kirishima shouted, his voice echoing in Bakugo’s ears. His eyes were blazing, his lips pinched together and eyebrows drawn together. Bakugo had never seen him so angry in his life. Kirishima looked like he was about to attack.

 

Bakugo blinked. They stared at each other, a mutual anger settling over them in the form of silence. Kirishima was gripping his wrist so tightly it felt like it was going to bruise.

 

“Did you forget? Everything we feel is felt together .”

 

Bakugo’s heart stilled, guilt suddenly filling him at the realization. Oh. Fucking shit.

 

“I hurt your wrist too?” Bakugo muttered, eyes flirting down to Kirishima’s clenched right fist, shaking slightly at his side. It didn’t look injured.

 

“N-no,” Kirishima lowered his voice too, grip loosening just slightly. “When you get angry, I feel it. When you get sad-“

 

“Shut up. I fucking get it,” Bakugo snarled, anger flaming up for what felt like the hundredth time that night. “I’m not sa-“

 

Yes, you are!” Kirishima raised his voice again, glaring at Bakugo with a mix of hurt, anger and disbelief.

 

Bakugo pouted at the ground, avoiding eye contact. Ugh. He didn’t sign up for this. What was the point of feelings when he couldn’t lie about them?

 

Silence settled over them, a common knowledge that they were both tired, both done fighting. Like the collected anger between them dissipated. Kirishima let go of Bakugo’s wrist with a sigh, and Bakugo could feel the cold air at the absence. Whenever Kirishima touched him it felt like he had left a brand on his skin.

 

Bakugo suddenly felt… incredibly weak. He needed to sit down, his knees giving out as he leaned against the tree with his eyes shut tight. He sank to the ground, feeling Kirishima’s gaze on him as he did. He heard Kirishima sit down next to him, and hit the back of his head against the tree in frustration.

 

“Um,” Kirishima said, voice tired. Bakugo didn’t open his eyes. “Speaking of… this.”

 

Bakugo felt his heart stop beating. This? Them? Did he mean…

 

“I was talking to Uraraka earlier, the sorcerer,” Kirishima continued and the thoughts dissipated. Bakugo breathed out again.

 

“And… ugh. I don’t know if this is the right time-“

 

“Spit it out Kirishima,” Bakugo growled, his forehead drawing together in frustration. His eyes were still closed.

 

He felt Kirishima looking at him. Neither of them said anything for a second.

 

“Sh-she said she knew where to find the orb.”

 

Bakugo’s eyes flew open, his entire being snapping to attention. He looked at Kirishima, whose knees were folded up to his chest as he stared at the ground. He wasn’t looking at Bakugo.

 

“You’re shitting me.”

 

Kirishima shook his head slightly, still not acknowledging him. He looked sad, and small.

 

Bakugo’s mind was spinning, his heart racing. They could find it. That’s… that’s what the plan was, originally. That’s what he wanted. To find the orb and get rid of the bond.

 

To.. to get rid of Kirishima.

 

Bakugo suddenly felt hot. And then cold. He looked down at the ground, like Kirishima was. Awkward, impossibly heavy silence hung in the air above them, the same thought on both of their minds.

 

Did he want that?

 

No. No this was good. Bakugo had gotten soft, had lost himself, who he was. Everything that happened in the last two days was proof of that. He… he’d have been better if Kirishima never came into his life in the first place.

 

He inhaled deeply, looking over to Kirishima with a guarded and serious glare. Kirishima looked at him with wide, nervous eyes, his lips pinched together and his head tilted.

 

“Let’s go then.”

 

He saw the words drop on Kirishima like they were a physical object. His shoulders sank, his expression turning down and his eyes started shining. His usually happy lips turned down and Bakugo watched as they started to quiver, as tears started to form in his gorgeous red eyes.

 

And then he was blinking them away, his hand coming up quickly to deny them from falling, wiping his face on the back of his wrist as he sniffled and angrily turned away from Bakugo. “I knew you’d say that.”

 

Bakugo felt his heart break, he felt it, felt his stomach threaten to jump out of his mouth but he ignored it. Ignored the guilt, the sadness. He pinched his lips and forcibly replaced the pain he was feeling with anger.

 

Just like he had done his whole life, before Kirishima.

 

“Whatever. You said it. Let’s get going-“

 

“Tomorrow. I'm not leaving right now.” Kirishima interrupted him, his voice heavy and dark. It didn’t sound like Kirishima. Bakugo blinked at him.

 

“Fine.”

 

Bakugo curled in on himself, turning away from Kirishima against the tree. He closed his eyes and tried to will himself to sleep. It didn’t work. The air was suffocating him, the stone in his chest burning uncomfortably and painfully. Fuck .

 

It would be over soon. It would be over tomorrow.

 

He didn’t move or open his eyes when Kirishima got up and walked away. Didn’t feel hurt when he realized he had left Bakugo to go to the camp. And he definitely didn’t let tears fall from the corners of his eyes as he felt the familiar cold air of loneliness around him as he drifted to sleep.

 

He hadn’t felt it in what felt like a long time. Hadn’t felt so alone since….

 

He’d just have to readjust to the feeling.

 

Chapter Text

Bakugo woke up with a splitting headache.

 

It was light out, but just barely. The sky was tinted a bright orange and pink. Bakugo shook his head, forcibly waking himself up before standing up to go get Kirishima. He lost balance, his body falling slightly to the side but he stumbled back upright. Fuck.

 

God his head hurt. The whole world felt dark and heavy, like the very air around him was doing its best to crush him. Bakugo felt explosions fire in his clenched fists.

 

Honestly, Bakugo had expected to find Kirishima under the hut, inside with the rest of the shit heads. But he wasn’t, he was curled up in a tight ball, arms around himself with his back pressed up against a boulder. He was sleeping completely silently. Bakugo blinked down at him, staring. His heart ached against his will.

 

Bakugo’s mind felt empty. His whole body felt empty. He leant down, placed a hand on Kirishima’s shoulder and shook him gently.

 

“Kirishima, lets go,” he muttered. He was so tired.

 

Kirishima groaned, rolling over and opening one lidded eye. When he caught sight of Bakugo and his brain registered what was happening, he squinted. His usually bright face darkened immediately.

 

Bakugo felt his throat tighten, and he quickly stood up, turning his back as he started to walk into the forest again. This needed to be over now, and he didn’t care how. He just wanted this awful feeling to stop.

 

“I don’t want to go,” Kirishima’s voice was small. Bakugo knew he hadn’t gotten up even without turning around to see it.

 

“Yeah, well I do.”

 

Bakugo kept walking, into the shadows of the tall trees and towards the orb. Kirishima followed behind him distantly at first, but soon came up to Bakugo’s side. Neither of them spoke, the air hanging heavy and dense over their heads.

 

They walked for ten minutes, maybe twenty. But it felt like years. Bakugo couldnt think, didn’t want to. He felt nothing, did nothing but stare at the moving soil beneath his feet.

 

He heard Kirishima take a breath, and he internally braced himself, willing his temper to stay neutral long enough for Kirishima to say whatever bullshit he wanted. Or for him to read the fucking room and not say anything at all.

 

“Bakugo-“

 

“No.” Wrong choice.

 

Kirishima stopped walking, and when Bakugo didn’t Kirishima grabbed his wrist and forced him to. Bakugo turned to him with a fuming glare, but Kirishima was staring at him just as angrily. Again.

 

Bakugo hated being met with that face. There wasn’t any point in being enraged if the person you’re mad at is even angrier at you.

 

Kirishima’s face was twisted in anger, his face covered in a shadow. Bakugo blinked at him.

 

“What’s your problem ?” Kirishima’s voice was dark, angry. Foreign. “Why the fuck are you being like this!?”

 

Bakugo glared at him, tearing his hand away with all the strength he had and stormed off. He scoffed, walking as fast as he could without running. Kirishima made an angry, frustrated noise behind him, like a child, before chasing after him.

 

“Stop. Fucking STOP!” Kirishima yelled. Bakugo walked faster.

 

Jesus. You’re pissing me off. Why do you keep lying, and running away? Talk to me.” Kirishima was just barely behind him, his eyes burning into the back of his head. He sounded desperate. Bakugo’s body was shaking with anger.

 

“Shut up,” he growled. Kirishima ignored him.

 

“How the hell do you know those two? The prince? Why would you call that boy such a mean name? Do you know him or something?”

 

Bakugo couldn’t think through his anger. Shut up, shut up shut up-

 

“Do you not care about anything? About my feelings? Why don’t you tell me shit Bakugo. Yesterday was the first time I heard anything about your life before me, and you probably wouldn’t have ever told me about those people if I hadn’t met them.”

 

Fuck, FUCK.

 

“And the orb… w-why do we have to find the thing anyway? Im happy the way things are, arent you?”

 

Bakugo felt his heart still, but he wasn’t sure if it was from sadness or anger. The only thing he was sure of was that something just broke inside him, and he could feel it. Feel the cracks under his skin widen and shatter, feel his anger break through the walls he had built up. He stopped, and turned to Kirishima so slowly it felt like it took years before they were finally facing each other.

 

When their eyes met, Kirishima looked both intimidated and solid, like he was afraid of what Bakugo would say but stood by his own words. Bakugo narrowed his eyes.

 

“You think I asked for this?” His voice was low, dangerous as he took a step forwards. Kirishima’s eyes narrowed. “You think I asked for you to come into my life? I don’t owe you shit Kirishima.”

 

Bakugo kept walking, kept his gaze lowered and threatening as he stared at Kirishima. His fists were clenched impossibly tight at his sides. Kirishima pinched his lips and took a defensive step back, and the air stilled. Bakugo stopped moving. He stood up tall, tilting his chin as to look down at Kirishima.

 

“If you think you’re all that, I’ll prove to you otherwise.” Kirishima stopped breathing. He blinked, eyes wide and glowing as Bakugo brought one of his feet back and took stance.

 

“Fight me.”

 

Kirishima inhaled sharp, his eyes defensive and confused as they burned into Bakugo’s. There was a magnetic pull between them, neither of them able to look away.

 

“Fight me, so I can prove to you that I don’t need you.

 

Bakugo could physically see Kirishima’s chest stop moving, saw his eyes well up with angry tears. This shithead was a fucking crybaby.

 

Bakugo snarled, his whole body filling with the urge to fight and his expression darkened. He leaned back, and then took off in a sprint. He could feel his feet hit the ground in a way he’d never felt before, more realistic than anything he’d felt in his life.

 

“W-WAIT,” Kirishima dove out of the way just barely in time, body tumbling on the ground sideways before he got back to his feet quickly. His hands reached out in a plea, silently asking Bakugo to stop.

 

No. Bakugo launched again, flinging is body towards Kirishima with urgency, a war cry tearing from his throat as he detonated his palms just inches from Kirishima’s chest. The redhead dodged again.

 

Bakugo growled, his mind clouding over so heavily he could barely think as he kept pursuing Kirishima with explosions, as they danced across the field for what felt like hours. Left palm, right fist, right step, a jump, a lunge. His forearms throbbed, his throat aching as he breathed, but he kept fighting, kept lunging and throwing his fist. Vauguely, each time he caught a glimpse of Kirishima’s terrified and angry expression, he remembered the unspoken rule he had broken, not to use his powers unless Kirishima was in dragon form.

 

After a while, after no progress had been made except a small cut on Kirishima’s cheekbone Bakugo stopped, leaning over on himself, his hands on his knees as he gasped in air. Kirishima panted, his arms still raised in front of his chest in defense. He was looking at Bakugo with hurt and disbelief

 

Fuck. Fuck those red eyes, fuck that face. Bakugo took a deep, shaky breath and lunged forward, firing a bigger blast than normal right beside Kirishima’s head. He dodged again, and Bakugo was knocked off balance from the velocity of his movements, falling forward past Kirishima. Kirishima took a few steps away, eyes burning. Bakugo glared at him, wiping the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand as he hunched over.

 

Again. Boom .

 

Again, a dodge, a tumble.

 

“Come on you piece of shit! Fucking SHIFT!” Bakugo screamed, his arms aching as he kept detonating. He tumbled after Kirishima again.

 

“WHY!?” Kirishima yelled back, his teeth baring like a shark as he knocked Bakugo’s arm out of the way before throwing himself to the side. “So you don’t have to look me in the eyes? So I don’t see through your bullshit?”

 

“So it’s a fair fight!” They were both screaming, desperate as they danced around each other. “Im fucking better than you, better without you! Fucking FIGHT ME! BE A FUCKING MAN!”

 

“FUCK YOU!” Kirishima’s fist collided with his jaw and Bakugo felt his brain shake in his head with the impact. He stumbled back, barely keeping himself upright, and his hand came up instinctively to grab at his face, his cheek throbbing in pain. He turned slowly to Kirishima, who was looking at him with glowing red eyes. His expression was dark, face twisted and lip curled up in anger, showing his teeth. His fist was still held up near his chest, still clenched tight.

 

For a moment, neither of them did anything. The air was filled with anger and unsaid words, silent apart from their heavy panting.

 

Kirishima blinked, pinched his lips and took a deep breath, his shoulders drawing like he was about to move but Bakugo saw, and he was faster, letting his face go, aiming his palm at the ground, and launching himself into the air. Kirishima watched, red eyes glued to him as he flew up and over his head in an arc.

 

He landed, and shot a solid hit directly into Kirishima’s back before he could turn around. He stumbled forward and Bakugo fell to his knees against his will, his arms throbbing in pain.

 

“FUCK,” he screamed, and it hurt. His arms fucking hurt.

 

Kirishima was turned to him again, his eyes suddenly softening. Shit. Bakugo stumbled to his feet, body swaying slightly as he gripped one of his forearms. He lowered his gaze to glare at Kirishima. Fuck him. Fuck this asshole.

 

“You’re hurt-“

 

“Shut the fuck up,” Bakugo growled. Kirishima’s eyes were glued to his arms.

 

Then Kirishima looked up at him, and their eyes locked like magnets again. His face twisted. “YOU OVERUSED YOUR ARMS, YOU IDIOT!” Kirishima yelled.

 

Bakugo’s heart hurt. His arms hurt. His head hurt, his cheek hurt. Everything fucking hurt .

 

No. Bakugo shook his head, let go of his arm and shaking his hands out, like getting rid of excess water. No. He wasn’t going to be weak, not anymore. He exhaled heavily, and then sprinted forward again. Kirishima growled angrily, dodging again with barely any movement. Bakugo was getting fucking slow, fuck fuck fuck-

 

“SHIFT!” He screamed. Kirishima was looking at him as Bakugo threw another punch. He didn’t look back at him.

 

“NO!”

 

“KIRISHIMA,” Bakugo was losing it, his control, his heart slipping out of his grasp. He felt like he was going crazy, his whole body trembling as he raised his palms together in front of him. He heard the whine of an explosion, and then he shot.

 

When the light faded, he saw Kirishima on the ground on his back, yards away from him. His chest was black. Bakugo was yelling, screaming, saw nothing but red behind his eyes as he sprinted with all he had towards Kirishima. With a groan, he was sitting up, and Bakugo swung his foot into the side of his face.

 

He tackled him, Kirishima coughing on the ground. Bakugo was still screaming, grabbed both of Kirishimas wrists and pinned them to the ground, straddling his waist. Kirishima slowly turned to look at him, and Bakugo’s world froze around his red eyes. Stunning. Kirishima… .

 

He didn’t know he was crying until he saw one of his own tears fall on Kirishima’s cheek.

 

Kirishima looked shocked, heartbroken, and Bakugo felt him strain against his grip, his mouth opening to say something but no, no-

 

Bakugo bared down harder on Kirishima’s wrists and crushed their lips together.



————

 

It felt like his brain had both shut off and overflowed at the same time. The only thing in the world that was comprehensible were Kirishima’s lips on his and the hot tears streaming down his face.

 

“Hmph!” Kirishima made a surprised noise against him, and he could feel it, could feel the vibration against his lips. It was almost enough to stop him, but his brain was too empty to register anything. Every inch of him was filled to the brim with… emotion. It was disgusting.

 

It was messy, and uncoordinated, but after a second Kirishima kissed him back, lips moving against his easily, softly despite Bakugo’s harsh approach.

 

Then his mind snapped back into focus.

 

He pulled away quickly, angrily, immediately flinging himself off of Kirishima and scrambling a few feet from him. He couldn’t look at his face.

 

Shit.”

 

His head started caving in on itself, a bad headache crushing his skull. Bakugo pressed the back of his palm against his temple, the other fisting in the dirt next to him. “FUCK,” he yelled.

 

God. What did he just do. He kissed Kirishima. What the fuck was his problem? What the hell just happened? His mind was racing, suffocating him, and he suddenly felt like he was drowning, like he couldn’t catch a breath. Kirishima wasn’t saying anything, but he was sitting up now, two hands behind him and staring at Bakugo with fascination. The stone was so warm it felt like there was a fire inside his chest.

 

Bakugo sniffled, turning his head even further away from Kirishima and angrily wiping the tears from his face. He took a deep breath, and when he exhaled, his whole body deflated. Hunched on the ground, with barely any strength to even keep himself upright, what he did sunk in.

 

Well. He fucked up. Kirishima knew.

 

But… he could still feel the fire in his gut, could still feel the electricity from Kirishima’s mouth on his own. He could still feel his heart thudding in his chest, even as heavy silence hung in the air between them.

 

Neither of them spoke for what seemed like forever. Bakugo didn’t want to say anything. Speaking meant addressing what the fuck he just did.

 

If Bakugo ever thought the silence had been heavy and suffocating before, it was nothing compared to this. God, he was such a fucking idiot. He pressed his palm more firmly against his throbbing head, squeezing his eyes shut. He wanted to run away. He wanted to get the fuck away from this right now.

 

“B-Bakugo-“

 

“I know, okay. I know,” Bakugo squeezed his eyes tighter, pressed his palm tighter. He heard Kirishima inhale behind him.

 

“Do you-“

 

“Like you? YES, okay? Obviously. Fuck .”

 

The stone in his chest was so heavy he probably couldn’t even stand up. It felt like a paperweight in his stomach. He could feel the heat in his cheeks, the tips of his ears. He couldn’t look at Kirishima right now.

 

“Yeah,” Bakugo tried again. His voice was softer than he ever wanted it to be. He opened his eyes to stare blankly at the dirt. “I like you.”

 

Behind him there was a shuffle, and then he saw a familiar pair of jeans and red tarp replaced the dirt he was staring at. Kirishima kneeled in front of him, and Bakugo flinched as a hand cupped the side of his face. He was torn, wanting to lean into it and blast himself away. He decided to stay still.

 

He felt drained. Utterly, completely drained, like there was nothing left of him but a thudding heart and a corpse. The hand on his face was burning to the touch.

 

“Hey…” Kirishima’s voice was soft, barely above a whisper. His hand lifted Bakugo’s face up to his own and Bakugo didn’t have the strength to deny it.

 

But he wish he had.

 

Kirishima’s whole face was soft, sickeningly kind. His shoulders had deflated and the corners of his lips had curled into a soft smile and Bakugo felt like he might fucking melt into the ground. Or puke. Or both.

 

And then tears filled and overflowed from his wide, bright red eyes.

 

“W-WHAT THE FUCK!” Bakugo squeaked, hands grabbing Kirishima’s forearm where he was being held. His brain started panicking. He made Kirishima cry, shit this was why he didn’t want to tell him in the first place-

 

Kirishima laughed, glowing and honest, and he took one of his hands back to wipe at his eyes. Bakugo felt his throat close up, knew he was looking at Kirishima with wide eyes and a red face but he didn’t care. “I-im sorry,” Kirishima said.

 

“I’m just… so happy,” Kirishima whispered, and Bakugo felt his breath hitch. What??

 

Then Kirishima leaned forward to press his forehead against Bakugos’s, and again they were breathing the same air. Bakugo blinked, his heart thrashing into his throat. What? What’s happening? His brain wasn’t working, his body wasn’t working.

 

“I like you too,” Kirishima whispered, and Bakugo was barely able to draw in a breath before Kirishima was kissing him again.

 

It was everything he never knew he wanted. Like he’d been waiting every moment of his fucking life to kiss this dumbass, and each press of their lips together was putting him back together. Like his body was ignited with this wonderful shock each second, and he never wanted it to fucking end.

 

What the fuck happened to make him so damn brainwashed?? He’d never thought he’d be here, kissing a guy, thinking all of these mushy disgusting things that he’d spent his whole life despising. But here he was.

 

And when Kirishima pulled away and Bakugo put his own hand on the one still holding his cheek, he didn’t even try and smother the smile that overtook his whole face.

 

Bakugo kissed him again, and this time he didn’t stop.

Chapter Text

Kirishima pulled back slowly, softly, after what felt like an eternity. His lips immediately curled up in a bright, fucking huge smile. Bakugo smiled back, despite himself.

 

“You’re smiling,” Kirishima muttered, dragging a thumb softly along Bakugo’s cheekbone. Bakugo stiffened, tried to force his face into a glare, but he just fucking ended up smiling bigger. Like an idiot.

 

Bakugo turned his head to the side slightly, breaking the tension. Kirishima pulled back a little more, one hand moving behind him for support. “Don’t get used to it,” Bakugo muttered, still smiling.

 

Ugh.

 

Both of them leaned back. Bakugo swallowed, turning his body just slightly to the side and pulling his legs up, laying his arms on top of his knees. The air was tense, again, but not uncomfortable. Bakugo could get used to it. He just didn’t know what to say.

 

“So… um…” Kirishima muttered. Bakugo looked at him. His face was red, splotchy, and his eyes were flitting across the ground nervously. Cute.

 

“Ah… hmm,” Kirishima brought one hand to hold his chin in thought. He criss crossed his legs on the ground and leaned on them. “What… how? When??” He was looking at Bakugo now.

 

“Tch,” Bakugo clicked his tounge, looking at the trees in front of him. It was light out now. “Does it matter?”

 

“Of course it does!” Kirishima squeaked, and Bakugo glared at him. “You almost killed me because you had a crush on me!”

 

Bakugo felt anger and embarrassment flare through him, but he forced it down with a sharp inhale. Stay calm. He’s fucking right.

 

His eyes scanned across Kirishima’s face, and the second he saw the bruise forming on his cheek from where he kicked him, Bakugo’s stomach welled up with guilt. He suddenly felt like throwing up. “S-shit,” he muttered.

 

Without thinking he moved closer to Kirishima again, and his hand lifted to hover over his hurt face. The… face he hurt. God he was such a piece of shit, he couldn’t even-

 

“Bakugo,” Kirishima grabbed his hand and brought it away from his face, instead intertwining their fingers and Bakugo tried to ignore the butterflies in his stomach at the action. Bakugo looked up, into Kirishima’s eyes, and he felt his lip wobble just slightly at the softness in them.

 

“I’m sorry,” Bakugo whispered. It didn’t sound like it came from him at all, but it did. It had to.

 

Kirishima smiled, just a little, and squeezed his hand lightly. “It’s okay, I get it. Don’t beat yourself up.”

 

No. No, it wasn’t okay. Bakugo couldn’t solve all of his problems and feelings with violence, especially not anymore. Not with Kirishima. He didn’t deserve that. Bakugo couldn’t look away, fascinated by the sincerity and kindness in the red eyes he was looking into. Damn it.

 

“I won’t do that anymore,” Bakugo said. “I don’t want to. Im sorry I fucking… did it at all . I'm just not so good-“

 

“With people, I know,” Kirishima interrupted him, his eyes shining in the new daylight. Bakugo pinched his lips shut, and resigned himself in getting lost in Kirishima’s eyes and the feeling of a hand around his.

 

As minutes passed, Bakugo began to notice the millions of different shades of red in Kirishima’s eyes. There were even specks of brown, and yellow. His eyelashes were black, dark black, and so incredibly thick it was almost like they were fake. And the scar, on his left eye, it looked like an extra long eyelash, jutting out beautiful from the corner. It started at his lash line and ended just below his brow bone. He never thought he could find a scar beautiful, but he was now.

 

He snapped out of it when he heard a light chuckle rumble from Kirishima's chest. His eyes snapped back into focus from staring at that damn scar.

 

“Are you gonna tell me about this or are you just gonna stare at me for the next few hours?”

 

Bakugo felt all the blood in his body flood to his face. Fuckkk this. “S-shut the fuck up.”

 

He leaned back again, but turned so his body was still facing Kirishima directly. What the fuck did he say? How could he tell Kirishima what he’d been feeling if he barely even acknowledged anything until like 20 minutes ago?

 

Kirishima quirked an eyebrow. Bakugo glared at him, but took a deep breath. He guessed he could start from….

 

“The field,” Bakugo muttered. He leaned back and looked up to the sky past the trees.

 

“Huh?”

 

“When we went shopping, the first time. On our way back you grabbed my hand and fucking tugged me through that field like an idiot.”

 

Kirishima was staring at him with the most fascinated fucking eyes ever. It made Bakugo kinda want to squirm far away.

 

“I-I think that’s when it started.” Bakugo felt another blush rise to his face. “Or… when I started figuring it out.”

 

Kirishima hummed in acknowledgement and shifted to lean forward on his knees. He looked like an excited little kid. Bakugo hated him.

 

“I already liked you then,” Kirishima stated, and Bakugo had to physically restrain himself from choking. “I think I’ve been liking you since we were staying in the cave.”

 

What.

 

“You what now??” Bakugo growled, narrowing his eyes at Kirishima, bright eyed and bushy tailed in front of him.

 

“Yeah!! Like, I can’t pinpoint an exact moment, but when you left and got upset I knew it was cause you thought I was pretty and stuff.”

 

Bakugo was experiencing an outer body level of embarrassment. He couldn’t draw a breath to save his life. Oh my god, are you fucking kidding me. He wanted to die. He wanted to blow himself up right fucking now, take his palms to his face and just-

 

“I’ve thought you were pretty since the first moment I saw you, though,” Kirishima muttered, one hand coming to push up the hair that had fallen onto his forehead. When did he do his hair?? When did he have time? Bakugo had been to fucking self involved he guessed and-

 

Jesus fuck.

 

What did Kirishima just say? What was he saying? Bakugo was going to explode from the amount of blood in his face and the fast beating in his chest. He couldn’t do this fucking conversation.

 

Kirishima laughed, eyes squeezed shut and teeth showing, a blush on his cheeks. It warmed the air immediately, as it always did.

 

“Don’t look so upset. Im just telling you how I feel. Its not like I murdered a puppy or anything,” he said. Bakugo glared at him.

 

“I’m not fucking pretty,” Bakugo growled. Kirishima scoffed at him.

 

“You are. It’s ridiculous.”

 

Bakugo flopped dramatically on the ground, arms stretched out at his sides. He didn’t want to fucking deal with this. It was too much all at once. He’d passed his arguing energy level a long time ago.

 

It was silent for a long time. Neither of them knew what to say. Bakugo would have said something, but he had nothing left in him. Lack of sleep, a fight and an extreme level of embarrassment had left him completely deflated. He wouldn’t even know what to say. What was happening right now, what they both just said and did was too much to fucking process in one day, much less 30 minutes.

 

Kirishima cleared his throat and the sound cut through the air like an axe. Bakugo bit the inside of his cheek, resisted the urge to clench his fists. Damn it. Now it was awkward again. So awkward. Fucking Kirishima.

 

Another moment passed. A moment too fucking long and heavy. Bakugo wanted to die.

 

“Um…” Kirishima muttered. Bakugo felt a headache surge into his head. “So.. what now?”

 

Bakugo sighed.

 

He didn’t know. How was he supposed to know everything? He’d barely figured it out, much less what he wanted to do about it.

 

“Bakugo,” Kirishima nudged his leg with a foot. Bakugo inhaled deep through his nose. “Hey-“

 

“I don’t fucking know . I don’t know how to do this,” Bakugo growled over him before sitting up again and looking Kirishima in the eye. “What do you want?”

 

Kirishima blinked big red eyes at him. His face was dusted pink, he was sitting on his legs and had both of his hands on his knees. Bakugo was going to die.

 

“I want to be with you,” Kirishima said. His eyes were sincere, serious. Bakugo snorted.

 

“Yeah? You have been with me, shitty hair,” he said, rolling his eyes. Kirishima’s face twisted in defense.

 

“Not like that! I want to be with you for real!”

 

“What do you suggest then? We fucking… date or some shit?” Bakugo looked pointedly at him. Kirishima puffed out his cheeks in defense.

 

“I...yeah!! Let’s-let’s date. Do you want to date me?” Kirishima said.

 

Bakugo felt his heart stop beating.

 

“Ah-I-“ Bakugo felt his brain short circuiting, his face was so hot it might as well be on fire. Kirishima was staring at him. “Um-“

 

“F-fuck... Sure?” Bakugo was looking at the ground now. Damn it. Fuck this. Fuck today, fuck this week. He wasn’t equipped for this.

 

Then Kirishima was in his face again, red eyes bright and wide looking into his own, and Bakugo could practically feel the energy coming from his lips based on how close they were.

 

“That’s a yes then?” He said, and his voice was so deep Bakugo almost choked.

 

“D-don’t-“

 

“‘Cause if it’s a yes, that means I can do this ,” Kirishima whispered before his lips were pressed against Bakugo’s again.

 

The inside of Bakugo’s mind was screaming like a little fucking girl, his heart thudding so loud Kirishima could probably hear it but Bakugo suddenly decided he didn’t have a single problem in the world as long as Kirishima was kissing him.

 

“Mmm…Mmf y-yes,” Bakugo said against Kirishima’s mouth and the redhead pulled away with a smirk on his lips.

 

“Yes I’ll date you,” Bakugo whispered breathlessly. His eyes were glued to Kirishima’s mouth.

 

Kirishima pulled away then, and his face burst into the brightest smile Bakugo had ever seen. Brighter than all Kirishima’s annoying smiles before this, and that was saying something. Bakugo actually felt the need to squint and avert his eyes from how blinding he was.

 

How blinding his…. his boyfriend was.

 

Bakugo grimaced. It sounded weird, gross. He’d need some time to get used to that. But.. if it was with Kirishima he thought he’d be alright with it.

 

With Kirishima .

 

Bakugo furrowed his brow, glaring daggers at the man still beaming at him. Was this really happening? What happened to make this all happen so fucking quickly? He couldn’t process it. Maybe this was all a fucked up dream, cause none of it was sinking in. None of it was registering.

 

Kirishima suddenly got to his feet, still smiling down at Bakugo as he reached out a hand to him. Bakugo glared it it. Outstretched, reaching for him like it was the easiest thing in the world. Something inside him quivered, a voice in his head whispered, take it. Go with him. He wants you.

 

So he did.

 

And Kirishima didn’t let go of his hand when they started walking silently through the woods. Didn’t let go when Bakugo’s palm started to sweat. He didn’t let go when it got dark, and they heard a howl in the trees, or when he mindlessly lead them to a nearby cave.

 

Kirishima didn’t let go even when they fell asleep on top of Bakugo’s cape on the rocky floor.

 

Chapter Text

When he woke up, Bakugo had to physically restrain himself from screaming and blasting himself across the room. Kirishima was barely inches away, his big eyes closed and one cheek squished on the ground with a small line of drool coming from the corner of it. Why the fuck was he so close oh god-

 

Oh.

 

Oh, right.

 

Dating. The words echoed in Bakugo’s head and every single moment of yesterday hit him like a truck.

 

Bakugo felt his head swim, throbbing with a new and dark headache. The hand that wasn't being crushed by Kirishima lifted to press against his temples.

 

Holy shit. Kirishima and him. Bakugo and Kirishima. Bakugo liked him. He’d kissed him, he’d held his hand. Kirishima liked him back. Holy SHIT.

 

It was hard to believe. 24 hours ago he’d been the angriest he’d been in years, and now he couldn't remember a time he’d ever been happier. And Kirishima… liked him back. He really did. It was fucking surreal.

 

He’d kissed someone yesterday. He’d held someone’s hand yesterday. Kirishima was sleeping on his arm. Bakugo stared up at the ceiling. He couldn’t fucking believe it. What the fuck.

 

It had only happened twice, but Bakugo was already addicted to kissing Kirishima and like hell was he gonna do anything to jeopardize it. Turning his head even now, he wanted to kiss him again. Bakugo scowled at his sleeping face and soft lips.

 

His first instinct was to internally punch himself for thinking those things again, but it suddenly dawned on him that he didn’t need to do that anymore. He was allowed to think that shit. Cause they were dating.

 

They were DATING.

 

Jesus fucking Christ. Bakugo didn’t know how to date, he didn’t know what relationships were like. He didn’t know how to kiss someone, how to make them smile and blush and do all that other gross shit he’d seen his parents do.

 

What, were they supposed to giggle and hug? Kiss each other on the cheek? Make out? Have… sex?? Bakugo’s blood lit on fire at the thought… h-how would they even do that? Kirishima was really hot, really hot, obviously, but… they were both guys. Bakugo had never met anyone who was gay before. How do two guys do it?

 

Bakugo was glaring at the ceiling again, frowning. He wanted to… do that stuff. All of it. For some reason. It was fucking gross. Well… maybe not the giggling shit. Too girly. But….

 

“Bakugo,” Kirishima muttered, and Bakugo snapped to look at him. Shit.

 

“You’re thinking so hard it looks painful,” the redhead muttered with a smile. His eyes were droopy with sleep and his voice was rough, and as he rolled onto his stomach to face Bakugo properly he thought he might need to throw up with all the fluttering in his stomach. “How long have you been awake?”

 

Bakugo scowled at him, and then back up to the ceiling. “Not sure.”

 

Kirishima chuckled, and Bakugo felt a burning in his lower stomach, a fluttering he wasn’t familiar with and didn’t think he liked. What was with that deep chuckle that made Bakugo feel like he was gonna burst into pieces?? Bakugo bit the inside of his cheek, avoiding Kirishima’s stare as he sat up and looked down at Bakugo.

 

“What are you thinking about?” Kirishima asked. Bakugo pinched his lips.

 

“Nothing.”

 

Kirishima tilted his head down, face twisting into one of exhaustion. He didn’t say anything, but Bakugo felt the aura of “come on. You don’t get to do that anymore.”

 

Bakugo groaned, sitting up and putting his head in his hands. “I- I was just thinking about us. I don’t know how to date, Kirishima,” he admitted, looking at the redhead seriously. Kirishima just blinked at him.

 

“That’s okay!” He smiled, “I don’t either, you know. But… but I remember having a few crushes and I remember my old friends being in relationships so I think-“

 

“Woah woah, hold the fuck up,” Bakugo growled, blood boiling as Kirishima closed his mouth. He blinked at Bakugo innocently. “You remember what now? I thought you had no fucking memory! Where is this coming from?”

 

Kirishima gave him a pointed look and rolled his eyes. Bakugo wanted to punch him. “I told you I’ve been remembering shit in my dreams. You just didn’t listen.”

 

Bakugo felt guilt rise up in his chest, but he smashed it back down and replaced it with anger and annoyance. “And you didnt fucking tell me? You have to talk to me about this shit.” His voice was getting loud, but he didn’t care. Fucking Kirishima, keeping secrets from him all this time.

 

“Don’t yell at me,” Kirishima’s brow furrowed, his frown deepening. “ You don’t get to say that. You don’t talk to me about ANYTHING.”

 

Bakugo pouted at the floor. Fuck.

 

It was silent for a minute. Kirishima was looking at him, but Bakugo couldn’t bring himself to make eye contact. Thank god Kirishima was a patient person.

 

“Fuck,” Bakugo muttered. He clenched his fists at his sides.

 

“If you want this to work, you have to talk to me. We can’t almost kill each other every time there’s an issue. You have to tell me what’s on your mind,” Kirishima said, voice soft and barely above a whisper.

 

Bakugo drew his eyes up reluctantly to look at Kirishima. His red eyes were soft, a small, knowing smile on his face. He looked like a rose. Bakugo swallowed thickly.

 

“O-okay,” he muttered, turning his head away again. “What do you want to know?”

 

He heard Kirishima take a sharp breath and then hum in consideration. Bakugo squeezed his eyes shut in annoyance. He was beginning to reconsider his whole damn life. Kirishima was going to be annoying about this, he knew it. Bakugo didn’t talk about himself because he didn’t like who he was. He didn’t have a good past, a good childhood, good friends. He would rather have just buried all of that and never gone back. But… if Kirishima wanted to know he had a right to ask, now.

 

God what was he saying.

 

“Start with your family. You said you’re a king? Of what place?? Why aren’t you there?” Kirishima asked. Bakugo kept his eyes shut, focused on his breathing.

 

“I’m not a king. Not yet. My parents run a small village just next to the capital, it’s called Nara. Its really small, but everyone knows eachother. Its crazy fucking tight knit. We’re also on good terms with UA, the big Kingdom that-“

 

“Prince Shoto is from.” Kirishima finished. Bakugo glared at him. Kirishima raised his hands in apology.

 

Anyways. My old man and my shitty hag of a mom run Nara. My mom does most of it. That’s why I left, really… cause we don’t get along. She’s a raging bitch with a massive temper and she has to control every little thing,” Bakugo was ranting now, but for some reason it felt good. To get this shit off his chest. He hadn’t thought about it in years. Kirishima was looking at him with wide eyes.

 

“I know how to rule. When I left, I made myself the king of my own life and this god damn forest. I will be a real king someday. I just don’t want to be another person under my mom,” he continued. “I love my dad though, and I want to be able to step up to his plate someday. I’ll be the best damn ruler that place has ever seen.”

 

Kirishima furrowed his brow. “Then how could you leave?”

 

Bakugo quirked his mouth and thought about it. “I left cause I got in some trouble. I do go back to check in sometimes, I just don’t like to. People suffocate me. I like fighting, and I like nature, and I like to fucking win. Being on my own is the only way I can do that.”

 

Kirishima nodded, his gaze lowering to Bakugo’s clenched fist. “Right.”

 

It was silent for a little, both of them wrapped up in their own thoughts. Bakugo wondered if Kirishima thought he was a bad person, for leaving his town and his family. He just… couldn’t do it. Not after Izuku, after all of the fights with his mom.

 

“So.. what about the Prince and Midoriya?” Kirishima asked. Bakugo tensed.

 

“It’s…”

 

Kirishima was staring at him with an expression Bakugo couldn’t read. His eyes were wide, dark and serious. It made him feel… a bit nervous, if he was being completely honest.

 

Bakugo took a shaky breath. “It’s a really bad part of my past. A bad part of me.”

 

“I don’t care. I already know you’re an asshole,” Kirishima smiled, and although his tone was light and joking Bakugo still glared at him. Fucker.

 

Bakugo pouted pointedly at the ground, small explosions popping against the concrete of the cave floor. Kirishima laughed.

 

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Just tell me?”

 

Bakugo glared at him, but opened his mouth anyways. “Dek- Midoriya was this kid from my neighborhood. We grew up together, but he was weak and annoying and always fucking followed me around.”

 

Kirishima’s eyes narrowed. Bakugo scowled at him, and then at the ground.

 

“It’s a long story. Todoroki, the prince asshole, we kinda grew up together too. Sons of two ruling families. He was always an asshole, always acted casual and like he was fucking above everyone else. His father's a major dickbag, super abusive and pressure laden.”

 

Kirishima made a scrunched face. Bakugo rolled his eyes. “It was whatever, but when I started growing up I kept noticing how much better he was than me. So.. we fought a lot. A lot.

 

Bakugo’s eye twitched at the memories of ice, heat, panic. Glowing, multicolored eyes. “He… always beat me. Always. The last fight we had before I left, though, we talked. We kinda.. came to a standstill of respect. It’s fucking whatever. I still hate him, I just don't constantly want to kill him anymore.”

 

Kirishima hummed, nodding his head slightly in understanding. “That makes sense,” he said. “That’s why you called him Todoroki and weren’t as mean to him as Midoriya?”

 

Bakugo growled, but nodded his head anyways. “Don’t get me wrong, I still hate his fucking guts. Cocky fucker still pisses me off.”

 

“Sure, sure,” Kirishima smirked, waving his hand.

 

It was quiet for a second. Bakugo took a deep breath. Thank god that was over.

 

“You’re not telling me everything about Midoriya though. Keep going,” Kirishima said. Bakugo shot daggers at him.

 

“He’s a shitty nerd. That’s all. What do you fucking want me to say?” He growled. Kirishima rolled his eyes.

 

“Why are you so mean to him? What did he do exactly? You don’t just bully someone as nice as him for no reason.”

 

“Fuck off,” Bakugo muttered, avoiding Kirishima’s stare.

 

“Come on.” Kirishima sighed, exasperated. Ugh.

 

“It’s just… fuck. I know I was an asshole to him. I know i am an asshole to him. Im not fucking blind. Its just, I’ve always had this pressure to succeed, my whole life. Everyone expected the world from me, expected me to be a leader and a genius and a winner, because of my powers. Because of my family. It fucking.. got in my head, those expectations. So when this weak little nerd kept trailing behind me, like he could be in the same fucking league as me, I wanted prove him wrong. I didn’t want to be associated with him.”

 

Bakugo could feel Kirishima’s eyes on him while he spoke, but he couldn’t bring himself to meet his gaze. Didn’t want to. Damn it, damn this conversation. Damn this morning. This was fucking hard. Why was he even admitting all this shit?

 

“That’s all?” Kirishima said. Bakugo pursed his lips.

 

“No. I know you like him, but he’s different than he lets off. He’s got confidence, always wanting to do the right thing, and save people. Its not a fucking bad thing, but next to me I end up looking like a bad guy. A villain,” Bakugo muttered.

 

“You’re not a villain-“

 

“I know that.” Bakugo snapped. Kirishima was looking at him with so much empathy Bakugo wanted to blow him up. “Quit looking at me like that. I don’t need to be pitied.”

 

Kirishima erased the expression from his face, bit his lower lip nervously. Bakugo growled.

 

“Growing up, we both admired the same guy. A knight, named Yagi. He was the hero of our town, of every town. He was fucking amazing and-“ Bakugo felt himself get excited, thinking about Yagi. He was ranting, but he stopped himself. He couldn’t get off track.

 

“Anyways. He… he came home to our town. I had gotten in a fight, and Deku had seen and tried to save me, and of course Yagi had seen.” Bakugo scowled at his hands at the memory. He felt like throwing up.

 

“He took him in. He saw Deku and saw him as more worthy than me. It was… an awful time in my life. I started losing my mind, fighting anyone and everyone. I wanted to prove that I could be better than him. And then I got cornered by some assholes I should have been able to handle. I could have been killed, but Yagi was there. And he saved me. But- but…”

 

Kirishima put his hand on Bakugo’s jaw and he leaned into it, eyes fluttering shut. His heart was beating so fast, dark thoughts spiraling like a fucking tornado. Memories of green eyes, flashes of emerald lightning, fighting, Yagi’s deflated form pulling him to his chest.

 

“H-he got hurt. Because of me, and now he can’t fight anymore. Everyone knows it’s my fault that-“

 

“Bakugo.” Kirishima’s voice shocked him out of his thoughts, and when they made eye contact all of the darkness in his mind dissipated. The world phased out of focus except for the burning, soft maroon in Kirishima’s eyes.

 

“It wasn’t your fault.”

 

“If I hadn’t been in that situation-“

 

“He wanted to help. You didn't cause him any harm-“

 

“YOU WEREN'T THERE! YOU DON'T KNOW WHO I WAS BACK THEN, WHAT HAPPENED,” Bakugo yelled, a fire in the back of his head and his heart. He tore himself away and Kirishima flinched.

 

“Maybe you’re right, but I know who you are now. And you’re a good person, Bakugo. It doesn’t matter who- who you were back then. The past doesn’t matter.” Kirishima’s voice dropped and he looked down to his lap, avoiding eye contact. Bakugo narrowed his eyes at him. That was… personal.

 

Still.

 

“It doesn’t change what happened. What people think,” Bakugo growled. The air was tense. “And Deku is stronger now. Stronger than me, because of Yagi. He has powers that… make him a hero.”

 

Kirishima looked at him curiously. His face was serious. “You’re a hero too,” he said.

 

Bakugo snorted.

 

“You’re my hero.”

 

A choking sound came out of the back of his throat and he felt his whole face erupt with a blush. Kirishima looked at him with sincere, bright eyes.

 

“W-what?” Bakugo squeaked. Actually squeaked. Kirishima blinked at him. “what are you on about?”

 

“You know you are. If you hadn’t found me in these woods I don’t know what would have happened to me,” Kirishima said. His eyes were bright, glossy. Bakugo didn’t know how to breathe.

 

“W-well-“ Bakugo stuttered, his face as red as a fucking tomato and his palms threatening to pop off. He swallowed thickly.

 

Kirishima chuckled, his face turning red and tilting his head back. He leaned back on his hands, looking up toward the ceiling with a smile on his face. Bakugo glared at him.

 

“Maaan,” Kirishima sighed. He looked content. “I can’t believe this. I’ve liked you forever.”

 

Bakugo bit the inside of his cheek to keep himself from screaming or punching Kirishima in the jaw. He wanted to do both equally.

 

“I didn’t think you liked me at all. Not even as a friend. I thought my head was gonna explode last night when you kissed me,” Kirishima smiled.

 

Bakugo growled at him, narrowing his eyes angrily. “The fuck you mean?? Are you blind?

 

Kirishima turned his head to him tiredly, rolling his eyes. Bakugo curled his lip. “When I touched you in the lake you freaked the fuck out and didn’t talk to me until last night. What was I supposed to think?”

 

Bakugo pouted at the ground.

 

“That wasn’t… why I freaked out,” he muttered.

 

“Why then?”

 

Bakugo shot daggers at Kirishima. “C-cause! Some shit happened earlier that day that fucked me up and you- your hand is-“

 

Kirishima’s face twisted into an evil grin.

 

“FUCK OFF OKAY,” Bakugo yelled, leaning close with his palm blasting off small explosions as a warning. He was going to die. Kirishima was going to kill him.

 

“What was the thing that fucked you up?” Kirishima snickered, his smirk making Bakugo feel like he was going to ignite at any moment.

 

“None of your fucking buisn-“

 

“Was it when you told me that you liked me? Earlier that day as a dragon?”

 

The entire universe stopped spinning. Bakugo felt his chest and head caving in as he turned slowly to face Kirishima, who was wearing the smuggest fucking grin Bakugo had ever seen in his life and-

 

“Oh my god,” Kirishima was doubling over in laughter. Bakugo felt like he wanted to blow himself up again. “You should see your FACE!!”

 

Oh my FUCKING god. He had known. That complete and utter fucking dick, cock-sucking asshole shit eating bitch stick-

 

Bakugo started punching him, yelling and tackling Kirishima’s shitty laughing body and socking him lightly everywhere he could reach. Semi-lightly. It was his fucking fault. He deserved every hit he was getting and he KNEW it.

 

“YOU DICK-FUCKER! YOU KNEW?? FUCKING SHIT YOU ASSHOLE SHITTY HAIR DUMBASS. WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK?!”

 

Kirishima laughed harder, clutching his stomach and rolling on the ground as tears started to form in his eyes. “Your cursing isn’t even making sense anymore!! Oh MAN-“

 

Bakugo socked him softly in the jaw before cursing softly and falling onto his back again. He took 10 deep breaths, tried to calm himself down, listened to Kirishima’s hysterical laughter fade into a slight giggle.

 

Silence eventually settled over them, but the air was still filled with humor and a kind of… gentle understanding.

 

“Why didn’t you say anything?” Bakugo muttered.

 

“I didnt think you wanted me to know.”

 

“No shit. Since when do you remember shit in dragon form?” Bakugo pouted.

 

“Since you walked into view that night.”

 

Kirishima was looking at the floor when Bakugo snapped up to look at him. What the actual shit?

 

“Why didn’t you listen to me?”

 

Kirishima raised his eyebrow. Bakugo rolled his eyes.

 

“Like, when I told you to blink if you could understand me,” he scowled. Kirishima chuckled.

 

“I wanted to see what you had to say. You looked upset.” He snickered.

 

“I WAS upset shitty hair,” Bakugo growled.

 

Kirishima winked at him, an evil smirk curling up one corner of his mouth and Bakugo had to physically hide his face in his hands to dull the redness of his cheeks.

 

That was way too attractive for it to be legal, right?

 

Neither of them spoke for a little while, both of them blushing and getting lost in their own thoughts. Bakugo couldn’t recognize his own life. He was conflicted about letting himself be angry about when Kirishima was a dragon, or just letting himself drown in the thought that they were together. They were together . Holy fuck.

 

“What do we do now?” He wondered out loud. Kirishima hummed in thought.

 

“I don’t know. It's still daylight? We could go train. Im sure you’re itching to hit something since you haven’t thrown your fist in at LEAST 4 hours,” Kirishima teased.

 

Bakugo shot him a glare. “I’m not a barbarian,” he growled. “But sure. If you want to get your ass kicked so soon.”

 

Kirishima winced, eyes dropping shut as he hissed through his teeth. “Aaah! Too soon man.”

 

“Shut up.” Bakugo muttered before getting to his feet. He reached down to Kirishima without second thought, but as soon as Kirishima grabbed his hand his brain set off in a hundred alarms.

 

Oh god oh god he’s touching me what do I do? ! They screamed, but Bakugo grit his teeth through it. He had to get used to this, physical contact. He wanted to get used to it. He liked holding Kirishima’s stupid hand. His face was red as he lead them out of the cave, Kirishima avoiding eye contact with a small smile on his lips.

Chapter Text

 

God this was so awkward. They were so awkward!! Why didn’t Kirishima know how to do this. One of them needed to have some sort of idea.

 

They walked mostly in awkward, airy silence until Kirishima eventually found his fucking balls and started bombarding Bakugo with questions. They came so fast and naturally it felt like he’d been wanting to ask them forever.

 

“So why do you have those orange bands on your arms? Why do you wear knee pads? Where are your necklaces from?? When did you get your ears pierced?!” His eyes were wide, an excited smile stretching across his face.

 

Bakugo took a deep breath through his nose, trying to calm himself down. He didn’t know why he got so agitated when he was being asked these shitty questions. He just did. It kinda felt like a personal invasion, but he knew in his head it wasn’t, not really. Kirishima just wanted to know.

 

So he told him. Through gritted teeth. He told him how his arm bands were compression sleeves for his explosions, his knee pads were for killing and fighting. How his necklaces were each from his late grandmother, who made them for him whenever he was feeling trapped. How he’d had his ears pierced when he turned 13 as a sign of honor going into his teenage years. Kirishima looked fascinated, squeezing his hand every few fucking moments like he was drinking in every single detail.

 

It made for an interesting walk though, he supposed.

 

“What about you,” Bakugo asked. He felt Kirishima’s hand twitch in his own. “What’s your story or whatever?”

 

“Um, thats-HEY LOOK WE’RE HERE,” he shouted, panicked, pointing ahead of them at the field.

 

Bakugo narrowed his eyes at him, suspicious, but they were there. Kirishima was dodging the question, but Bakugo was excited to let loose. He’d ask again later. For now though-

 

“You look excited,” Kirishima sneered. Bakugo shot him a glare before walking forward and letting go of his hand.

 

“Shut up,” he muttered. With a chuckle, Kirishima followed him into the familiar tall grass before turning to face him with palms up in a fighting stance.

 

It felt different. Like light years had passed since the last time they stood here. So much had changed, like the sky had changed color, the air had gotten lighter solely because of the altercation in their relationship. Bakugo felt a million years younger, standing here with Kirishima now.

 

With his signature grin, Bakugo pushed back his cape with one hand so it blew away in the wind before drawing his sword with his opposite hand and raising it towards Kirishima. His red eyes widened, shimmered quickly before he let out a loud, pained whine, grabbed his face and fell dramatically to the ground.

 

“OH. MY. GOOOOODDDD,” Kirishima whined, body rolling back and forth on the dirty ground. Bakugo immediately put his sword back into his case.

 

“What the fuck,” he growled. Kirishima picked his head up slowly, looking at Bakugo with big pouty eyes and a bright red face. What?? What was his issue.

 

Then suddenly Kirishima stood up and lunged towards him, tackling him to the ground so fast Bakugo could only let out an embarrassing ass noise of shock at the impact. They flew backwards and toppled to the ground.

 

Kirishima’s hand held the back of his head to protect him, and for some reason the small gesture made Bakugo’s heart stop beating in his chest. When they hit, Kirishima squeezed Bakugo in a hug so tight a squeak was actually forced out of him.

 

“Get-OFF ME-“

 

And then Kirishima’s mouth was on his, harsh and urgent and Bakugo could do nothing but muffle surprise against the lips on his. His eyes fluttered closed and Kirishima lifted himself up just enough that he could hover over Bakugo and press harder into him. Bakugo would probably think that his lips would be bruised after this, IF he could think anything at all.

 

It lasted a few moments, a few wonderful moments where Bakugo didn’t have a single thought. He couldnt do anything but let Kirishima kiss the fucking life out of him.

 

Kirishima pulled off slowly, though, eventually, and as Bakugo let his eyes flutter open slowly he was faced with red eyes staring at him with adoration. Bakugo blinked slowly, and gulped. He felt drunk, maybe.

 

Bakugo’s eyes drifted slowly down to Kirishima’s lips, slightly swollen and red, and he watched as they slowly curled into a small smirk. Bakugo swallowed again. Kirishima smiled wider, and Bakugo could see the tips of his razor sharp teeth pointing out from behind his lips.

 

Fuck.

 

“Sorry,” Kirishima muttered, deep and gravely. He was staring at Bakugo with lidded eyes now, but his face gave away his amusement.

 

“What’re you… sorry for,” Bakugo said quietly. His eyes were still glued to Kirishima’s mouth and he couldn’t even recognize his own voice he sounded so fucking dazed.

 

“Tackling you,” Kirishima admitted, and Bakugo blinked before lifting himself up onto his elbows as his mind started to come back into focus. Kirishima leaned back to sit on his thighs to give him space.

 

Bakugo blinked at him, hoping his confusion was obvious on his face. Kirishima smirked at him, cocky. Bakugo felt his stomach twist and he forced a glare onto his face to hide a blush.

 

“Yeah. What the fuck was that for,” he deadpanned. Kirishima’s smirk just grew.

 

“Do you not want me to kiss you like that?” Kirishima tilted his chin up so he could look down at Bakugo superiorly.

 

Bakugo growled low in his throat, lifting himself to sit up properly and glare daggers at his boyfriend. No. Too confident. Not good. “Fuck off,” he grumbled.

 

Kirishima laughed, bright and real. Easy. “Sorry sorry, I just couldn’t help myself,” he said as he grabbed Bakugo’s wrist and lifted him up so they were both standing again. Bakugo crossed his arms in front of his chest with a pout.

 

“I just die when you do that with your sword,” Kirishima said lightly. Bakugo glared at him.

 

“Hah?”

 

“Like when you draw it out and point it all confidently. It’s gets me all-“ Kirishima explained, making ridiculous gestures in front of him that made absolutely no sense at all. “Ya know?”

 

Bakugo pouted at the ground, avoiding eye contact. “Tch, stupid.”

 

Kirishima smiled at him, silently leading them back towards the forest so they could start over. “I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time you know.”

 

Bakugo just grunted. His face felt like it was on fire. When they came to a stop Kirishima put a hand to the side of Bakugo’s face and gently coaxed it to look at him.

 

Close. So close.

 

Kirishima was smiling at him, of course, so softly it felt illegal. His eyes were wide and beautiful and burning and it felt like they were reading Bakugo like a book. Bakugo swallowed, felt his face rage with an even fucking BIGGER blush.

 

And then Kirishima was kissing him again, and it was soft. Just the faintest press of lips that lit Bakugo’s skin on fire with the caution and emotion woven into it. Bakugo pressed into it on autopilot, both of them breathing deep through their noses and Bakugo’s hand found Kirishima’s on his face and held it there.

 

When they finally pulled apart Kirishima huffed a shaky breath against Bakugo’s lips that was probably supposed to be a laugh. Bakugo smirked.

 

“I think I could kiss you forever,” Kirishima whispered.

 

“Yeah,” he whispered, breathless. Fuck.

 

They stared at each other for a few moments, and Bakugo decided he wasn’t in any hurry to step away because for some reason he felt completely content just standing here, Kirishima’s breath on his lips and his hand on his cheek.

 

But then there was a rustle in the trees across the field. Bakugo immediately snapped around, taking Kirishima’s hand away from his face and stepping in front of him possesively. His eyes scanned frantically through the trees, looking for the source of the noise on high alert.

 

“What is i-“

 

“Shh.”

 

Kirishima pinched his lips shut, one hand twisting in the back of Bakugo’s cape as he looked around.

 

Nothing. No more noise, no more movement in the trees. Bakugo let out a breath of relief, about to turn back around when he heard a shout and then something big and heavy collided with the side of his head, hard, and he was flying through the air and landing with a thud on the ground.

 

Shit. His ears rang, he couldn’t feel past the blinding pain on the left side of his head. He blinked once, twice, trying to get the world to stop spinning. What the fuck? What was that-

 

Kirishima.

 

Bakugo lifted his head, heavy, to where he could distantly hear shouting and growls. It was a giant, a big one, and he was swinging a huge brown club downwards towards Kirishima. Bakugo’s gut clenched.

 

Kirishima was running, jumping, dodging the giants movements, but just barely. Bakugo couldn’t breathe. Kirishima looked back at him with wild eyes before he started sprinting, running away.

 

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING,” he shouted. “ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU HURT?”

 

Was he hurt? Bakugo brought a static hand to the side of his head where he’d taken the blow, and when it touched he winced. Fuck. Ow. Pulling it away, it was covered in blood. Damn it.

 

“BAKUGO!”

 

Kirishima was running but the giant was catching up, and when he turned to look at Bakugo and their eyes locked the club collided with Kirishima’s side and he went flying.

 

No.

 

Bakugo stumbled up without thinking, took off running towards the beast and almost fell over as a blinding pain flashed through him. But he kept going, running, sprinting . He was probably yelling again but he couldn’t tell. Get there. Kill. Dont let him touch Kirishima. No one touches Kirishima.

 

The giant was still pursuing Kirishima but Bakugo was faster, ran in front of him and blocked him from the man lying a yard away on the ground. Bakugo looked up, his vision shifting in and out of focus, and felt his palms warm at his sides. Blow him up .

 

“Stay. Away,” he heard himself growl. The giant looked down at him, finally registering another person challenging him. He raised his club high in the air. He was going to attack but-

 

Bakugo couldn’t move.

 

His brain flashed memories. Giants. Red. Kirishima’s bloody chest.

 

He couldn’t move.

 

The club was dropping, faster, coming towards him, faster, fuck it was gonna hit him again it’s coming faster faster-

 

A flash of red and two roaring growls of pain, the giant was knocked out of his field of vision.

 

Fuck. Fuck. He had froze up. He looked over just in time to see a red dragon bite hard into the side of the giant’s green neck and tear it’s head off of it’s body.

 

Blood spattered everywhere.

 

Bakugo felt his body give out and he fell to his knees.

 

His eyes couldn’t focus on the ground, they kept shifting in and out of clarity like a bad camera lens. His hands dug into the ground, trying to grab onto something. His chest felt tight, his head throbbing in pain. Vaguely he felt blood drip down his jaw to his neck.

 

There was smoke, a groan to his left, and then a gasp, and then Kirishima was kneeling in front of him, head ducking down to look at his face. Bakugo looked up, and as soon as he saw Kirishima’s worried red eyes his own started filling with burning tears.

 

Shit. Shit, shit, no he hadn’t cried in years this wasn’t the time-

 

“Bakugo…” Kirishima’s hand came to hover over the open wound on his head, the other gently resting on his hip.

 

“I-I froze,” Bakugo choked out, hot tears running more freely down his face. He felt like he couldn’t breathe, gasping in air desperately and pathetically. Kirishima’s eyes started to water as he looked down at him.

 

“No, no, Bakugo you-“

 

“You could have been killed because of me-“

 

“Hey.” Kirishima’s serious tone snapped him out of his fit just long enough for them to lock eyes. “I was fine. Do you see any injuries on me?”

 

“I-“

 

“No. You don’t. Do you know why?”

 

Bakugo blinked. Stunned.

 

“Because I’m not someone you need to protect. I don’t NEED saving. I can take care of myself, you know,” Kirishima’s eyes were soft, sincere, scanning Bakugo’s face as he spoke. “We’re partners.

 

Fuck. Bakugo sighed and then pressed his forehead against Kirishima’s. He wasn’t sobbing anymore, thank god, but tears were still dripping down his cheeks and onto Kirishima’s lap. He was so stupid. So selfish. Of course Kirishima was right. Kirishima had saved him.

 

“You’re okay,” Kirishima whispered, and as his arms wrapped around his shoulder and waist Bakugo felt his whole body deflate. He let himself be pulled to Kirishima’s chest like a doll, let his head drop exhaustively on his shoulder.

 

“You shifted without me,” he muttered distantly. Kirishima chuckled softly.

 

“I wasn’t planning on it. It happens when I get really angry apparently.”

 

Oh. Bakugo felt like mush. He closed his eyes, let himself cry until it was all gone. Kirishima held him, ran his fingers through the small hairs on the base of his head.

 

Comfort.

 

Bakugo wasn’t sure how long he stayed in Kirishima’s arms. Wasn’t sure when he’d stopped crying, or when he’d buried his face in Kirishima’s neck. He only knew that he'd never felt quite as content as he felt right now, exhausted, pressed against Kirishima's chest with his heart in his ear.

 

Chapter Text

“It’s getting dark, you know,” Kirishima whispered.

 

Bakugo squeezed his eyes shut. Ugh. Okay. This was over, he had to get a grip. With a grunt he pulled himself away, felt Kirishima’s eyes watching him carefully as he tried to stand up.

 

“Fuck,” He stumbled, knees almost giving out before Kirishima was there again, wrapping his arm around his waist and lifting Bakugo’s arm around his shoulder to support him.

 

Once they were steadied, Kirishima chuckled, pressed a light kiss to Bakugo’s cheek that surprised him so much that he almost toppled over again.

 

“FUCKER! DIE!!” Bakugo shouted, trying to wrench himself free but Kirishima just tightened his hold around his waist and gripped the hand over his shoulder tighter.

 

Kirishima laughed. “Don’t threaten people when you’re on the verge of passing out, you egotistical blastoid.”

 

Bakugo shot daggers at him. “B-blastoid? Are you fucking kidding me?”

 

Kirishima started walking, back towards the woods. Bakugo tried to keep up, but his legs weren’t working quite right. Kirishima smirked.

 

“I could call you other things, if you want,” he purred. Bakugo fought back the choking sound that threatened to escape from the back of his throat.

 

“Pfft. Like what,” he spat. He had to keep some of his dignity, act like he didn’t care. Even after spending the last… while crying into Kirishima’s shoulder.

 

“Babe?”

 

This time Bakugo did choke.

 

Kirishima was smirking at him from the side, and Bakugo did nothing but glare and hope that his embarrassment wasn’t clear on his face.

 

“Maybe not then,” Kirishima chuckled softly. He hiked Bakugo up, he’d somehow managed to slide down. Bakugo glared at his useless stupid legs. Maybe he really was hurt. Damn it.

 

“You’re bleeding a lot,” Kirishima muttered. Bakugo grunted. He felt tired. “Do you have any bandages left?”

 

Bakugo blinked, took a second to register the question. Did he have bandages? Yes. Where were they… fuck… OH in his fucking waistbag.

 

Bakugo used his free hand to reach behind him, but Kirishima jostled him half-heartedly to stop him. Bakugo glared.

 

“We’re almost at the cave. Wait till we get there and I’ll do it, okay?” Kirishima smiled softly at him. Bakugo turned his head the other way with a pout.

 

“I don’t need your help.”

 

“You do right now,” Kirishima sighed. “It’s not a bad thing, you know.”

 

Bakugo did know. He didn’t feel pittied right now, didn’t feel like Kirishima thought he was better than him because he was helping. Nothing like Deku, nothing like Todoroki. He knew Kirishima was sincere. It was just a reflex, to say he didn’t need help. He’d felt that way his whole life.

 

They walked the rest of the way in silence. They got there just as darkness overtook the sky, and Kirishima deposited him gently onto the cave floor before crouching next to him. Bakugo glared out at the sky from under the rocks. Damn Uraraka.

 

“They were right,” Bakugo thought out loud.

 

“Mhm,” Kirishima hummed in agreement, pulling Bakugo’s cape back just enough to sneak a hand behind him and open his pack, pulling out the white tape.

 

“I thought they were lying,” Bakugo continued mindlessly. “About the sky and the evil fuckers.” He felt really dizzy.

 

“Stop talking now,” Kirishima said softly. Bakugo didn’t have the effort to argue with him.

 

Kirishima started wrapping the white bands around his head at an angle, the tape covering most of his forehead. His hands were gentle, careful. Bakugo was quickly fading out of consciousness, but he couldn’t help but stare at Kirishima in awe.

 

He looked focused, eyebrows drawn together as his eyes followed the movements of his own hands carefully. He was beautiful, red eyes wide and burning, cheekbones soft and tinted slightly pink. His mouth was pinched in concentration, and Bakugo couldn’t stop himself from smiling up at him goofily. Goofily? Who the fuck was he??

 

Damn it.

 

At some point Kirishima finished, and after smiling softly down at Bakugo, he pulled him to lay against his chest again.

 

He didn’t deserve these careful, soft hands. Those gorgeous eyes, searching his face. He didn’t deserve to be held this tightly. He didn’t….deserve...

 

————————

 

Bakugo woke up with a throbbing headache.

 

The only thing he could register was that one side of his head felt sore and sensitive. It hurt, but the other side of his head felt warm. He heard a heartbeat thud in his ear on the warm side.

 

Oh. Kirishima’s arms were wrapped around him under his cape like a blanket, Bakugo’s head pressed against his chest with the side of his head that wasnt hurt. Bakugo closed his eyes, focused on listening to Kirishima’s heartbeat and his warm body pressed against his stomach. He could feel the hardness of his body, his abs, under him, and it was oddly comforting.

 

He let himself get lost in the warmth for a while, trying to fall back to sleep. He was really tired.

 

Kirishima’s thumb swiped across the bottom of Bakugo’s back, soothing. Bakugo felt his stomach twist and errupt in butterflies. That was… low. Sensitive. His hand was dangerously close to the edge of Bakugo’s jeans. Bakugo swallowed.

 

Kirishima’s chest stopped moving, and Bakugo felt his head pull back to try and look at him, his hand immediately moving up on his back like he’d been caught. Shit.

 

“Bakugo? Are you awake,” Kirishima whispered. Ugh. Fuck it.

 

Bakugo pulled back with a grumble, leaning to look Kirishima in the face. His eyes were shut with a soft smile, and his hand gripped Bakugo’s waist reassuringly.

 

“Ugh,” Bakugo groaned, looking away and pushing himself off of his boyfriend angrily.

 

“What’s wrong?” Kirishima asked. Bakugo didn’t look at him.

 

“My head hurts,” he mumbled. It wasn’t a lie, not really. His head did hurt. But that wasn’t what was wrong.

 

What was wrong was that he was suddenly realizing that he liked the feeling of Kirishima’s hand near his ass. That he had actually wanted it on his ass. It felt good.

 

And that was gross.

 

Right?

 

“Oh,” Kirishima smiled with a light chuckle. “Let me change your bandages then. You’ve bled through them.”

 

He scooted closer to Bakugo, reaching his hand out. Bakugo glared at it. Kirishima raised an eyebrow. “Bandages?”

 

Oh. Duh.

 

Fuck. He was so out of it. His face was on fire as he reached behind him and pulled out the roll of tape, slamming it into Kirishima’s open palm. He was being so fucking obvious, damn it.

 

“Are you feeling better,” Kirishima asked lightly as he put the tape beside him and reached to start unraveling Bakugo’s already wrapped head. His initial instinct told him to slap the hand away, but he pushed it down.

 

“A little- ow fuck,” Bakugo growled as Kirishima tore away the bandage from his wound quickly. It fucking hurt.

 

“He really got you huh?” Kirishima chuckled. Bakugo glared at him through his lashes.

 

“Fuck off. He got you too,” Bakugo snarled. Kirishima just laughed at him.

 

“I have a bruise but otherwise all he did was make my mouth taste like blood and piss,” he said with a smile. Bakugo chuckled.

 

They were quiet for a while, Kirishima started wrapping his head with the tape. He looked just as focused as he had last night, but there was a small smile on his lips as he moved his hands around Bakugo’s skull. Bakugo clenched his fists on his thighs so he wouldn’t reach out and touch him.

 

Kirishima always touched him so softly. His head, his hand, his waist. His….

 

Ugh.

 

“Did you sleep at all?” Bakugo asked quietly, scanning Kirishima’s face. He felt soft right now. Small. Not at all like he usually felt.

 

Kirishima smiled a bit wider, but Bakugo couldn’t help thinking it looked a bit sad. It had an edge of exhaustion with it.

 

“Had to keep lookout,” he muttered. Bakugo’s stomach filled with guilt. Oh.

 

He would have asked why, but he already knew the answer. If there was a giant like that out in broad daylight looking to kill, there’s no telling what could’ve been out at night.

 

They were silent for a while. Kirishima finished wrapping his head, and Bakugo squeezed one eye shut as he pressed both palms against Bakugo’s cheeks and leaned over to kiss his taped forehead. Ugh.

 

So fucking soft.

 

Kirishima leaned back with a smile on his face, completely disregarding Bakugo’s glare. He tossed the rest of the bandage roll into Bakugo’s lap happily before moving to lie on his back, arms behind his head.

 

As Bakugo put the tape back into his pack and turned it around on his waist, guilt flooded him. Kirishima must be really tired. Fuck. He was such a shitty boyfriend.

 

He was mulling through options, trying to figure out how to fix this problem, but he knew there was only one solution. He just didn’t want to admit it.

 

With a sigh, he hung his head. Fuck it. They should go.

 

“I think we should go,” Bakugo muttered. Kirishima sat up on his elbows.

 

“Go where?”

 

“To the fuckin… to help… Deku… and…” he stuttered out. He didn’t like this at all.

 

Kirishima cut him off with a huge grin, jumping in front of him with his palms on the ground, face inches away.

 

“REALLY?” He shouted. Bakugo glared at him. He could practically see a tail wagging behind him he was so excited.

 

“Why are you so excited? We might get killed,” he deadpanned. Kirishima just smiled wider.

 

“We might get killed here too,” he said. “Besides, they're fun people.”

 

Bakugo rolled his eyes.

 

“Come on,” Kirishima stood up with a smirk, reaching his hand down to Bakugo. “We’re gonna be heroes.”

 

Excitement rushed through his veins, and he took Kirishima’s hand with a grin.

 

“Fuck yeah we are.”

Chapter Text

 

It took them a week.

 

They had to fight off these weak little goblins on the way, but that was easy. A few slices of his sword, a few jabs from Kirishima’s dagger and they were gone.

 

They kept stopping against trees, pushing each other against bark to kiss, then break away to laugh, and then lean back in again.

 

It was weird. Bakugo didn’t feel like himself. He felt lighter, happier. He didn’t itch to fight as often as he used to. He stopped flinching every time Kirishima grabbed his hand, and half of the time he even forgot that there was a rock in his chest it was so light.

 

His head had healed up on the fourth day. He had taken the bandages off and blown them up with a maniacal laugh, much to Kirishima’s complaining.

 

Kirishima showed him how he could remember shit better in dragon form. He would shift, and then Bakugo could touch him and he would listen to what Bakugo told him. They practiced running together, Bakugo standing on Kirishima’s neck and holding onto his horns. It was fun. When they weren’t kissing, they were running.

 

They caught up to the shit group on the 6th day. Bakugo felt a rush of power and superiority at their shock seeing a dragon, and he had yelled at them and demanded to join. Kirishima shifted down and when Todoroki said hello to Kirishima and not him, Bakugo had taken Kirishima’s hand defensively and the next minute they were bombarded with questions about their relationship. Kirishima answered all of them without too much detail, thankfully.

 

They got to the shore not even hours later.

 

The fight lasted hours. It was bloody, and hard. Kirishima ended up getting separated from him at some point, and at first he panicked but then the realization that Kirishima could handle himself hit him. Bakugo called out his name so Kirishima could shift back to normal, and then turned towards the shithead he was fighting against with Todoroki, a swell of pride in his chest.

 

The worst part was feeling small pings of pain whenever Kirishima would get hit. The stone in his chest would knock against his chest and he would desperately look around to make sure Kirishima was okay. He always was, but still. It got him every time.

 

Of course, in the end, it came down to him and Deku. He stood on the edge of a cliff with him, looking out into the ocean where a huge demon figure was walking towards them, and he remembered smiling. He was gonna fucking crush this, Deku by his side or not.

 

Thankfully though, Deku stayed by his side.

 

-----------------------

 

“KAMINARI?!” Kirishima’s voice broke through the air, still heavy with the post-battle smoke. Bakugo flinched at the sudden noise, turning to look at his boyfriend in annoyance. Kaminari? Who the fuck-

 

“KIRISHIMA?!”

 

Some fancy, preppy looking blond fucker was approaching them, arm waving high in the air with a smile on his face bright enough to rival Kirishima’s. Bakugo glared at him, then at Kirishima, who suddenly let go of Bakugo’s hand and used it to wave back.

 

Fuck no.

 

He was not in the mood to deal with more annoying people. Collaborating with Deku and Todoroki was taxing enough. All he wanted to do was find a cave or a tree and make out with his boyfriend who now had a scratch on his cheek that made Bakugo want to devour him for some reason.

 

But of course he couldnt do that.

 

Bakugo watched, fuming, as Kirishima and the new fucking blond dude reached each other and pulled each other into a hug that lasted way to fucking long. Bakugo wasn’t jealous. He wasn’t a jealous person. This dude just fucking radiated annoying.

 

They talked to each other, beaming, but Bakugo couldn’t hear what they were saying. The blond guy hit Kirishima hard on the back, and Kirishima smiled, scratching the back of his neck as a nervous habit. Bakugo couldn’t stop glaring.

 

Then suddenly both of them turned to look at him, and Bakugo forced his face into a deeper scowl. The blond guy looked warry, but Kirishima was smiling softly at him. Apologetic. They were still talking, now obviously about him. Kirishima smiled brighter, lifting his hand and gesturing for Bakugo to come closer.

 

Bakugo pouted at the ground, avoiding his boyfriend’s glare and clenching his fists angrily where they were already buried in the front pockets of his jeans.

 

The next thing he knew they were standing in front of him. Kirishima smiled at him, dissarming, but Bakugo glared regardless. How fucking dare he bring-

 

“Wow. You’re… jesus..” the blond said, eyes wide in shock as he gave Bakugo a very obvious once-over.

 

“What the FUCK is that supposed to mean?!” Bakugo growled, temper already reaching dangerous heights.

 

The blond looked at him, eyebrows furrowed like he was offended. “Dude chill out! You’re just intimidating is all. Quite aggresive too eh-” He covered his mouth, whispering the last bit to Kirishima. Bakugo heard it.

 

“FUCK YOU!! YOU PISS HAIRED-”

 

“HEY. Be nice. Kami is my friend.” Kirishima was looking at him with narrowed eyes, burning, his face pulled low into a scowl. Bakugo bit his tongue. He hadn’t seen angry Kirishima in a while, and he didnt want to start seeing it again.

 

“This is Bakugo-” Kirishima continued with a sigh.

 

“King. Katsuki.” Bakugo glared at them both, correcting. No one calls him Bakugo.

 

“Nice to meet you Bakugo. ” The shithead said with a smile. Fucker.

 

Before he could launch and blow this asshole’s face to bits, Kirishima’s hand was on his forearm, squeezing it reassuringly. Bakugo snapped angrily to look at him but somehow immediately found himself relaxing, his body deflating slightly at the touch and cautious, knowing gaze on Kirishima’s face.

 

Damn it. Unfair. It wasn’t fair for Kirishima to have such easy control over him.

 

With a sigh, Bakugo tore his arm away and pouted towards the ground. Whatever.

 

“B, this is Kaminari. He’s an old friend,” Kirishima said softly.

 

Bakugo grunted in acknowledgment. If he couldn’t avoid this situation, he might as well just do whatever he could to end it as quickly as possible.

 

“I knew Kirishima back when he had-“

 

“EIJIROU?!” A high pitched voice came from behind Bakugo and he flinched, shoulders drawing together as both of the boys in front of him looked over his shoulder.

 

Wait.. back when he had what?? Bakugo felt a flash of anger, recalling all the times Kirishima had changed the subject when Bakugo asked him anything personal. He was hiding something.

 

“MINA?! SERO!?” Kirishima shouted, eyes wide and shining with excitement.

 

No no no no no no no no-

 

Suddenly there were two more people in front of him, screaming and enveloping Kirishima in a hug. A girl with pink skin and even pinker hair, and a tall skinny fucker with a long black mullet. Bakugo’s skin lit on fire but he took a deep breath. If Kirishima was excited to see these… shitheads then he should at least control his temper a little . For Kirishima’s sake.

 

The girl pulled back, hands on Kirishima’s shoulders and a huge smile on her face. She looked him up and down before burying her hand in his hair. Bakugo wanted to punch her.

 

“What the hell did you do to your hair!” She gasped.

 

What??

 

“O-oh!! It’s nothing-“

 

“Yeah man. You’re like a totally different guy! All.. red and shit,” the black haired guy said.

 

What the fuck..

 

“THIS IS MY BOYFRIEND!” Kirishima suddenly shouted, hand raised towards Bakugo and suddenly 6 different eyes were on him.  

 

The air was immediately tense, thick and awkward as all three of Kirishima’s “friends” turned to him. Bakugo felt all the color rise to his face.

 

“Bak-King Katsuki,” Kirishima added, quieter this time. Bakugo snapped a glare at him and he shied away. Clearly he could tell Bakugo was on the edge.

 

“H-hello,” the chick said to him. Bakugo glared at her and she gave him a confused look.

 

“This is Mina, and Sero,” that Kaminari dude said. Bakugo glared harder. His temper was being contained by a very thin thread.

 

He glanced between the three idiots before locking his gaze again with Kirishima. Red eyes stared back of him but he looked embarrassed, a bit scared maybe. His face was almost as red as his hair.

 

Bakugo needed answers. He needed answers right fucking now. If these three spent however long without Kirishima before the fight, they could go back to doing that again.

 

“I want to leave,” Bakugo declared. He took the two large steps over to his boyfriend and grabbed his elbow, stomping quickly towards the forest before anyone could protest or stop him.

 

“Wait!” Kaminari shouted after him.

 

Kirishima twisted in Bakugo’s grip, shouting back, “I’ll come back to the village sometime! We’ll catch up-“

 

Bakugo yanked him harder, ending his sentence for him as they broke the tree line.

 

Hey,” Kirishima hissed, trying to yank his arm back but Bakugo just kept walking, kept his hand tight.

 

“HEY.” Kirishima shouted and Bakugo stopped. He kept his eyes on the ground.

 

“We talked about this. If you want this to work you can’t-“

 

“Can’t what?” Bakugo snapped, eyes burning as he looked back at Kirishima. “Keep secrets? Hide shit from you?!”

 

He was so angry. His whole body was burning, skin itching to move, fight, anything, but he couldn’t. Not anymore.

 

His fucking chest hurt.

 

Kirishima looked like he’d just been slapped across the face. He blinked, and then dropped his gaze with a small sigh that somehow made Bakugo even angrier.

 

“Look…”

 

“This is bullshit Kirishima! ‘ You look different? What’d you do to your hair?’ And that’s not even fucking counting the way you’ve avoided every single question I’ve asked you,” Bakugo shouted, panic settling low in his gut as they stared at each other. “You can’t just fucking…you can’t expect me to give you everything I have without giving me even a little. So you tell me what’s going on right fucking now or I’m leaving.”

 

Kirishima’s eyes widened, an emotion equivalent to panic flashed in his eyes. The stone in Bakugo’s chest dropped like an anvil, heavy in his gut along with the worry and anger coursing through him. Bakugo’s head felt like it was going to explode, and the air between them felt like it was so thick you could grab it. Something that hadn’t happened since the night of their first kiss.

 

“You don’t know who I was before you,” Kirishima whispered, face so pale he looked like a ghost. Bakugo scoffed.

 

“As if I was any fucking better. I don’t give a fuck who you used to be.”

 

Kirishima just blinked at him. Bakugo watched his hands clench into fists at his sides, and then he took a deep breath, chest puffing out defensively.

 

“I’m not a dragon,” Kirishima said, voice strained. Bakugo raised an eyebrow.

 

“Yes you are? I literally just rode two hours on your neck. Unless you’re telling me you fucking hexed me-“

 

“NO I just… fuck,” Kirishima shouted, turning away angrily. He paced back and forth, both hands coming to run through his slowly deflating hair. Bakugo pinched his lips.

 

“I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you’d find me disgusting. And weak,” Kirishima said. Bakugo opened his mouth to argue but without looking Kirishima raised a hand to silence him.

 

Kirishima stopped walking. He was turned to the right so Bakugo was staring at his profile, red eyes boring holes into the ground in front of his feet.

 

“I wanted to be a hero,” Kirishima muttered. Bakugo’s heart stopped, dread filling his stomach.

 

“I was small. Weak. I had this..” he raised his arms to flail around his head, “long, boring black hair. I had idolized this knight from a neighboring village, they called him ‘Crimson.’ He was the epitome of manliness. Growing up, I would look at him and think.. that’s what I want to be, ya know?” He turned to Bakugo with wild eyes, a look Bakugo had never seen on him before.

 

Bakugo felt sick. He hated this. He blinked, and Kirishima broke their gaze and started pacing again.

 

“Okay. Here it is. One day I was walking home from school with Mina, the pink girl. Some girl was being harassed across the road and.. and I thought ‘go Kirishima! This is your chance to be a hero!’ But my legs wouldn’t move, my body wouldn’t go and fight and I just..” Bakugo saw tears falling down Kirishima’s cheeks on the next pivot and his heart leapt into his throat.

 

“Mina saved them. I had never felt so hopeless, so pathetic . I was going to give up, give up on everything. But.. a man came up to me,” Kirishima stopped again, face drawing together. The tears stopped falling, but they were replaced by something deeper. Something angrier. “He told me he could make me into a hero.”

 

Kirishima glanced at him, but before Bakugo could register the emotion on his face he was turning around and walking to sit down under a tree. He collapsed like his legs couldn’t hold him up anymore. Bakugo walked over and sat down in front of him, movements gentle. Kirishima was looking up at the sky, eyes puffy and cheeks stained. He looked like a mess. If Bakugo had known…

 

“He gave me a goblet of some… red juice looking drink. He said it would make me stronger. I did it because I knew I could never get what I wanted otherwise.”

 

“The next thing I remember after putting that glass down was looking up at your face,” Kirishima muttered, finally looking at Bakugo again with tired eyes. Bakugo blinked.

 

Well. Holy shit.

 

“I know I’m pathetic but-“

 

“Stop talking now,” Bakugo said sternly, eyes scanning Kirishima’s face. His bones were filled with worry, and the stone in his chest was lighter now. It still ached, just not as intensely.

 

Kirishima blinked slowly at him, slumping up against the tree and looking down the length of his nose. He looked so utterly drained Bakugo couldn’t help thinking that talking about this must have taken everything he had out of him. And after that fight too… shit. Bakugo shouldn’t have pushed so hard.

 

“You’re disgusted aren’t you,” Kirishima droned. Bakugo shot him a glare but it was received with a stone expression.

 

“You know I’m not. Why the fuck would you say that,” he growled. Kirishima gave a tired shrug, looking at Bakugo’s collarbone.

 

I’m disgusted.”

 

Bakugo felt a flash of anger again, but it was different. It hurt in a different way, something he wasn’t used to. Kirishima had no right to get down on himself when he was who he was. How the fuck was Bakugo supposed to articulate that?

 

Kirishima looked about ten times more tired than Bakugo did. They stared at each other for a while, and eventually Bakugo got an idea. He took a deep breath.

 

“Do you like who you are?” He asked, eyes boring into Kirishima’s. Sadness and… something else he couldn’t place replaced the exhaustion on his face.

 

“L-lately I do but-“

 

“Shut it,” Bakugo interrupted. “That’s all that matters then right? You like who you are now, then fucking focus on that. The past doesn’t define who you are, and you know better than anyone that that’s a lot coming from me.”

 

Kirishima pinched his lips, denial flashing through his features. He looked at the ground. Bakugo sighed.

 

“Do you remember what you said to me after I told you about… about All Might,” he muttered. Kirishima’s breathing stopped, and he shook his head. God he was an idiot.

 

“You told me that I was your hero,” Bakugo said, heart thudding in his chest, the stone warming in his gut. Kirishima looked back up at him, confused.

 

“You are-“

 

“You’re my hero too,” Bakugo said, voice much softer than he meant to be. Kirishima’s expression unraveled, and his bottom lip started quivering.

 

Then a tear ran down his cheek and all the alarms started going off in his head. He started to panic, retracing his steps to find where he’d been an asshole but then Kirishima was laughing and wiping the tear away quickly, and Bakugo’s attention was back on him.

 

“S-sorry it’s just…”

 

Oh good. That’s a good cry. A I broke through to him cry. “I mean it. I’m a different person because of you. A better person. Someone who I can actually fucking tolerate. You’ve made everything in my life better ever since you smiled up at me in that fucking cave.”

 

Kirishima was looking at him, so soft and sincere Bakugo suddenly felt like melting into the dirt. Where were these words coming from? Who was he….

 

“Thanks,” Kirishima whispered.

 

Bakugo glared at him. “I’m not done. Clearly you can’t get it through your thick skull, but you’re fucking strong, Kirishima. You’re not just a hero to me, but to the whole world now. You think we’d have won that fight at all without you? You think I’d have survived that fight without you next to me??”

 

Kirishima squinted, and then he was laughing, bright and real and so perfectly Bakugo suddenly felt overwhelmed. He felt like hearing that laugh again had finally given him enough air to breathe.

 

“You’re good at that,” Kirishima said wearing that smile that made Bakugo’s whole body feel like jelly. Bakugo stood up with a roll of his eyes, extending his hand down to prompt Kirishima to do the same

 

“Good at what, shitty hair,” he muttered. Kirishima took his hand and pulled himself up, looking at the sky with a small smile on his face.

 

“Making me happy.”

 

Bakugo rolled his eyes, trying to hide the raging blush on his face. “Pfft. Don’t do that sappy shit. You got me. I'm dating you.”

 

Chapter Text

 

“I’m fucking tired of sleeping in caves,” Bakugo growled, stretching his sore arms above his head. The bruises he’d gotten from the fight yesterday were starting to turn green already.

 

“Me too,” Kirishima yawned, rolling on the ground like a cat. He was looking good as always, long red hair framing his face as he rubbed sleep from the corners of his eyes. Bakugo silently cursed whatever put bruises on his tanned abs and chest.

 

Kirishima sat up then, running a hand through his hair while smiling tiredly at Bakugo. He was so cute like this, sleepy and relaxed and soft. Bakugo could feel his heart pound into overdrive just looking at him. He was so cool, so pretty, and strong. Bakugo was pretty damn lucky if he kept getting to wake up next to this. Not that he’d ever-

 

Kirishima’s eyes widened then, face reddening before a sweet smile pulled at his lips. Bakugo glared at him. “What’s the shit eating grin for shitty-hair.”

 

“Nothing,” Kirishima whispered, smile growing fonder. The stone warmed in his gut.

 

Bakugo curled his lip in a growl, eyes narrowing. “No secrets,” he warned.

 

Kirishima groaned dramatically, flopping onto his back with a bright red face. What even..

 

“You’ll punch me if I tell you,” he said, big eyes blinking up at Bakugo innocently. Bakugo glared harder, holding his boyfriend’s gaze until he started laughing.

 

“I just… the stone got all hot when you were looking at me just now and-”

 

Oh god.

 

“You’re a lot sweeter than you look. You should say some of that stuff out loud sometime,” Kirishima smirked at him, sitting up again.

 

Bakugo’s face was going to explode it was so hot. “W-when- you can fucking red my fucking mind now too? Bullshit…” he whined, burying his face between his knees. Kirishima laughed.

 

“I can’t really… just when the stone does shit. I can pick out certain words, like there’s a little voice in my head that sounds like you that whispers a word or two,” Kirishima said softly. Shit shit shit Bakugo was not equipped for this.

 

“O-oh,” was all he could come up with to say. Kirishima laughed again.

 

“I just heard soft, strong, and then lucky and then I-”

 

“CAN WE PLEASE DROP IT,” Bakugo fell onto his back, using his hands to cover his face instead. Kirishima’s laughter rang through the cave and shook his core in a way he was sure he’d never quite get used to.

 

Can someone fucking die of embarrassment? Fuck, Bakugo was a hero and a warrior but this conversation was going to kill him before any villain did. Some honorable death.

 

Strong arms wrapped around his shoulders and then Kirishima was shoving his entire weight on them so Bakugo had no choice but to fall to the floor.

 

Get off me Kiri -“

Before he could finish Kirishima was kissing him, cutting off his words and despite the butterflies Bakugo growled into it. He tried to push the redhead off by his shoulders but he wouldn’t fucking budge. Kirishima didn’t move, kept kissing him until Bakugo sighed and gave into it. He tangled his hand in Kirishima’s hair and let his limbs go weak and mind blank out for a wonderful few moments before Kirishima pulled away.

 

“I was thinking,” Kirishima muttered, still so close Bakugo couldn’t look at him properly. His face immediately turned back into a frown.

 

“That’s not good,” he smirked. Kirishima gave him a shitty half-hearted glare and sat up.

 

Bakugo lifted himself onto his elbows again as Kirishima leaned back so he was sitting on his legs. “If.. if you want, we could still go find the orb?”

 

Bakugo froze.

 

What the fuck? Kirishima wasn’t looking at him, but he didn’t look guilty. He looked nervous… Bakugo sat up fully, face twisted and heart pounding too quickly in his chest.

 

“Why?”

 

Kirishima looked at him again and immediately shifted into panic mode, hands flailing in front of him. “N-NO! Not like that. Damn it..,” he chuckled the last of his sentence, trailing off and rubbing a hand over his face.

 

“I was just thinking, if we went to find it maybe we could ask for a bit more.. freedom? So you don’t have to call my first name whenever I shift or.. ya know?”

 

Bakugo blinked, relief flooding over him. Okay. Kirishima didn’t want to get rid of him. He let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding in and let his shoulders relax again.

 

“Fuckin… sure?,” he muttered. Kirishima smiled at him softly and Bakugo glared at him. “Wait… you still want to stay a half-dragon then?”

 

It was a fair question now that he knew. Kirishima was cursed. Bakugo would understand if he wanted to be freed from that and he was a good enough fighter and stayed in human form way more than dragon form and-

 

“Yeah,” Kirishima pulled him out of his thoughts and Bakugo snapped to meet his serious gaze. “I don’t hate it anymore. Not since I met you.”

 

Ugh. Stupid.

 

“F-fuckin fine then. We’ll go,” Bakugo stuttered quickly, standing up and turning so Kirishima couldn’t read too much into the blush on his face. He heard Kirishima get up and follow him towards the forest.

 

“Do you still know where it is,” he added and Kirishima nodded in his peripheral.

 

“We should get food on the way. I’m starving,” Kirishima said lightly, suddenly skipping in front of Bakugo like a child and looking around with bright, wide eyes.

 

Bakugo nodded. They hadn’t eaten since the morning of the fight, and if they were going to find the orb soon they’d need their damn energy.

 

They found a squirrel not far off, and a bunny a little later into the day. Bakugo threw knives at both of them, and then tied them around his waist until they wanted to eat them. Kirishima dramatically swooned both times, saying some bullshit like “you’re so manly when you kill innocent animals.”

 

From what he could see through the trees, Kirishima was leading them south. Weird place for an orb, usually magic shit settled in the north.

 

“One time Kaminari and I got lost in the forest,” Kirishima suddenly said, eyes scanning the trees with wide eyes and a small smile.

 

Bakugo just stared at him.

 

“‘S funny cause now the forest is pretty much my home. Maybe something about my new-found dragon instincts or something gives me the ability to know where I am a bit better,” Kirishima continued. Bakugo scowled at the ground.

 

He cleared his throat awkwardly and felt Kirishima turn to look at him. “Y-you said you grew up with that chick.”

 

Kirishima nodded, “I did. She lived in the cottage next to mine, why?”

 

“Just wondering. You...had a whole life before this,” he muttered.

 

Kirishima was quiet for a second, the air turned oddly soft and nostalgic around them as they walked. Bakugo couldn’t decide if he liked it or hated it.

 

“So did you. I just recently remembered all of mine,” Kirishima said quietly. Bakugo swallowed thickly.

 

“From what it sounds like your life was much better than mine.”

 

“Don’t say it like we’re dead!” Kirishima laughed suddenly. “Let’s eat now okay?”

 

Bakugo nodded and followed him to a little stump that had fallen over. He sat down and looked at his boots as Kirishima built a fire.

 

“My life wasn’t great, you know,” Kirishima said, sitting down next to him. His face was serious but not sad.

 

Bakugo rolled his eyes, taking out his knife to skin the dead animals. “We just talked about this. Next time you talk shit about yourself I’ll beat you up.”

 

“‘Kay,” Kirishima smiled.

 

They were quiet for a while. Bakugo moved to stick the meat on the edge of his sword when he was done skinning them and then held them over the fire.

 

“I didn’t like your friends,” Bakugo thought out loud.

 

Kirishima raised an eyebrow at him, lips curling into a smirk. “Mhmm.”

 

“I didn’t.”

 

“You didn’t seem as angry with them as you did with the others,” Kirishima’s eyes shimmered with mischief and Bakugo glared as hard as he could.

 

“All of them are shitty bastards. Your friends included,” he growled darkly.

 

Kirishima just rolled his eyes. With a pout Bakugo didn't even care was childish he took their food off the fire and waved it in the air to cool it.

 

“I think you're just jealous,” Kirishima smirked as he plucked the rabbit off Bakugo’s sword.

 

Bakugo threw another death glare as he took a large bite of the squirrel without even taking it off his sword.

 

Kirishima laughed with his mouth full. “Kidding, kidding. You know I like being with you.”

 

“Then why do you wanna go find the orb so badly,” the words came out before Bakugo could stop them, and he immediately avoided eye contact to look down at his boots.

 

Awkwardness filled the air and he held his breath as he heard Kirishima sigh beside him.

 

“It's not like that,” he said quietly. Bakugo took another bite. “It's… I want to be able to fight on my own, with you.”

 

Bakugo snapped to look at him again. “You do fight with me,” he said.

 

“I know just… ugh. Like I want to be my own person again. Independent. That way I can be like…an actual partner. I'm already cursed with one thing, I don't want to be under another if I don't need to.”

 

Bakugo nodded, dropping his gaze to his food. That made sense he supposed. He didn't want Kirishima to feel trapped at all, fuck, his whole life was spent trying to avoid being trapped. It was only fair Kirishima felt the same way.

 

“I think…” Kirishima continued with a deep breath. “I was thinking maybe there could be a way for us to stay connected in at least some way.”

 

Bakugo raised a brow. Kirishima smiled and slapped his hands together as he shoved the rest of his food in his mouth.

 

“A lot of the time I think the orb did this because she knew we were supposed to be together,” he said quietly once he finished chewing. Bakugo’s face immediately heated.

 

What the…

 

“Sometimes I think that…that I was cursed just because I was destined to meet you.”

 

Jesus fuck. Bakugo couldn't… His heart was beating so fast, he could feel how red his face was. Stupid Kirishima and his… fucking gross romance… Bakugo wasn't equipped to handle this. Kirishima laughed and Bakugo turned his head away more because there was no way in hell he could look at him right now.

 

“You're… fucking ridiculous” he stumbled out, voice shaking much more than he'd care to acknowledge.

 

Kirishima laughed again. Bakugo would never get tired of that stupid sound. “Sorry,” Kirishima whispered.

 

Bakugo took the last few bites of his food and tossed the last of the bones to the ground. His head was spinning, heart still pounding too quickly for normal standards. God how his life had changed. Lately he was feeling flustered more often than he was feeling angry.

 

He took a deep breath and stood up, felt Kirishima’s eyes on him as he did. Then in one foul swoop he turned around, gripped Kirishima's vest and pulled him up to crush their lips together in a kiss that would probably end up bruising them.

 

He pulled away just as quickly, smirking at Kirishima's dazed expression and lidded eyes. Then he turned around and started walking away.

 

“Let's go then, Mr. Independent.”

 

Chapter Text

 

The orb was in a cove, not too unlike their little lake back home. It was floating above the water when they got there, and Bakugo was about to cuss it out and announce their presence when Kirishima said that it looked like it was dancing. He had looked so entranced Bakugo didn't have the heart to interrupt.

 

Eventually it had finished twirling and swinging, and Bakugo yelled for it. Once it approached, Bakugo suddenly lost all his anger, as if it had sucked all emotions from him but respect and awe. So he stood, nicely, with Kirishima’s hand in his as the Orb spoke to them.

 

It had said that it’d been following Kirishima since he'd been cursed. After their fight it had deemed Bakugo a good enough presence to help him recover and thus had bonded them together. Bakugo had rolled his eyes. He was a lot of things, but a ‘good presence’ wasn't one of them. Thing had pretty shit judgment.

 

Kirishima asked for his freedom. They arranged it so that he could shift as he liked, on his own free will. Their emotions wouldn't be connected, but if they wished while Kirishima was in his dragon form they could communicate telepathically. Bakugo felt the stone disappear painlessly, and the K on his arm shifted to a single line while Kirishima's stayed the same.

 

On the way back, Kirishima found he was able to shift into a weird half-form. He kept his horns, his wings, and his tail, and there were a few specks of scales across the top of his nose. It was freaky, but he seemed to like it. He shifted in and out and halfway about a billion times while they walked.

 

“AAAHH,” Kirishima sighed as they caught eye of their clearing. Bakugo took a deep breath, breathing in the familiar air easily. It felt so fucking good to be back after all this time.

 

Kirishima ran forward, in his human form now, and immediately kicked off his boots and socks. He sat on the edge of the water and rolled up his pants so he could dip his legs in. Bakugo walked up casually, more relaxed than he'd felt in a long time. This place was like magic somehow. It'd been too long since they'd been here.

 

Kirishima looked up at him with big gorgeous puppy eyes that Bakugo couldn't help but blush at. “Wanna go for a swim?”

 

“Too tired.”

 

Kirishima pouted dramatically and Bakugo rolled his eyes. He stepped back and deposited his weapons and boots on the rock next to his tree, feeling Kirishima watching him the whole time.

 

“I'll… watch,” he added, throwing a glance back over his shoulder before grabbing a branch to start climbing.

 

“Pervert,” Kirishima giggled. Bakugo scoffed, climbing with sore arms and heavy legs.

 

“As if. You forget, the first time we met you were buck fucking naked.”

 

Kirishima groaned obnoxiously from below him and Bakugo smirked cause Kirishima couldn't see him. He finally reached his branch, like something from muscle memory, but stopped for a second when he got up. It was bigger. It felt wider. He could probably stretch his arms out all the way and not hang off of it. When the fuck did that happen?

 

There was shuffling down below, and then a splash. Bakugo situated himself so he was laying on his stomach and looked down to see Kirishima in dragon form, swimming and splashing around in the water below him.

 

Just like the first night.

 

Bakugo felt his heart swell and all the blood rose to his face. The orb had said that if they wanted to talk like this all he needed to do was think towards Kiri. Whatever the fuck that meant.

 

Shitty hair.

 

It echoed strangely. Kirishima immediately flipped onto his back in the water, paws up like a fucking sea otter. His eyes glimmered up at Bakugo.

 

Holy shit! Was that you?

 

Bakugo smirked. It was kind of like he was thinking in Kirishima’s voice, but it was loud and it made a small shiver run down his back. Bakugo wiped a hand down the side of his face. His heart was pounding but he didn't know why.

 

The next time he looked down all the breath in his lungs evaporated. Kirishima was looking at him with the most adoring expression Bakugo'd ever seen on him, even as a human. They locked eyes and then suddenly, slowly, the air around them lit up.

 

Fireflies.

 

Skirting through the air softly, as if they were living in slow motion. Bakugo suddenly knew nothing but the harsh thud of his heart and Kirishima’s angled yellow eyes under him. Deep blues, dark greens and turquoise swirled in his memory. The lights danced and swirled, and Bakugo couldn't help but feel like he was melting under the beauty of it all.

 

Bakugo didn’t believe in the afterlife. He wasn’t religious, didn’t believe in gods. But if there was a heaven, he was pretty sure it would look like this.

 

Hey, Kirishima echoed.

 

Hm?

 

You wanna come swim?

 

Bakugo rolled his eyes, turning and rolling onto his back with his hands behind his head. It was silent for a while, and he took deep breaths, reveling in his life for a second.

 

I told you, I’m tired, he shot down. Kirishima didnt say anything but Bakugo could practically hear his pout.

 

Bakugo squeezed his eyes shut and sighed. Fuck it. You can…. come up. If you fucking want.

 

Immediately there was a splash and some white smoke just barely rising to his field of vision. Bakugo closed his eyes again and breathed deeply. It was fine. They slept together on cave floors a billion times. This was no different.

 

Except it was different. This was Bakugo’s place. Inviting Kirishima up was like… formally inviting him into his private shit. And maybe that was okay. He'd shared a lot already with him right?

 

Bakugo heard scratching of bark and peaked an eye open just in time to see bright red spikes breech over his branch. Kirishima hauled himself up and Bakugo sent a glare that they both knew had no power over to him as he plopped his ass next to Bakugo’s torso. Kirishima just smiled at him.

 

“This branch is huge,” he muttered. Bakugo sighed.

 

“Yeah. Wasn't this big last time. Just enough for me.”

 

Kirishima chucked but it was laced with nerves, “Yeah well… I don't remember any fireflies either.”

 

Bakugo watched as Kirishima raised a hand and softly snatched one of the lighting bugs from the air around them. He brought it down between them and opened his palm, but the shit didn't fly away. Just lit itself up.

 

They both stared at it for a long time. Eventually Kirishima lifted his hand again and it fluttered off and Bakugo turned to sit up, legs hanging off over the water, facing away from Kirishima. His heart was pounding but he didn't know why.

 

There was some movement, and then Kirishima was dangling next to him. Bakugo kept his eyes on the lake.

 

“So I don't know much about courting,” Kirishima said quietly.

 

Oh fuck.

 

“But I know generally… You're supposed to get a girl flowers to show your interest. I don't actually have any flowers but…”

 

Bakugo snapped to look over with a red face. Kirishima was holding out a single red leaf to him with a dopey ass smile on his face and soft eyes. Bakugo couldnt decide if he felt enraged or flustered.

 

“I'm no fucking chick, shitty-hair,” he decided, moving forward to shove Kirishima’s shoulder and push him off the branch.

 

Kirishima squeaked, but in a flash there was red and a tail was wrapping around the branch, and then Kirishima was back next to him. He'd half shifted so he could swing himself around and avoid falling.

 

“Here,” Kirishima was still holding the leaf out delicately. Bakugo glared down at it.

 

“I.. I love you.”

 

The world slowed to a stop around them.

 

Bakugo couldn't breathe. The words were ringing in his ears.

 

Love? Kirishima loved him?

 

Two hands were on Bakugo’s cheeks and turning him to meet big red eyes. Kirishima’s hands were warm, but not as warm as Bakugo's face. He'd dropped the leaf.

 

Then soft lips were pressed against his and Bakugo pressed back through his shock and stiffness. Kirishima pulled away and looked him square in the face.

 

“I love you. You hear that?”

 

Bakugo gulped. He nodded. Kirishima smirked and let go of his face, turning to his side and looking down at the lake.

 

Fuck. Holy fuck. Bakugo was sure he was going to overheat. His heart was pounding, his head was spinning. He was going to die. This is what’s going to kill him.

 

Kirishima nudged his shoulder with his. Bakugo snapped out of it, looking at his boyfriend as the universe seemed to start breathing again. He was so pretty in the dim fairy lights. They made his hair look like fire and his tan skin glow like the sun. Fuck.

 

Love.

 

Bakugo didn't know about love. Didn't know how to make the words that Kirishima just spoke come from his own lips. But he did know, that if he could do one thing for the rest of his life, it would be sitting right here, with this man, passing the time by kissing him until their lips fell off.

 

So Bakugo leaned over and kissed him.

 

----------------------

 

Months passed. Winter came and went.

 

Kirishima was everything. They fought, but rarely. They went on countless adventures, laughed and kissed and even danced. Bakugo would deny it until he died, but he loved dancing. Especially with Kirishima.

 

Kirishima was healing. He got taller, both as a human and a dragon. Bakugo barely made it halfway up his leg as a dragon now.

 

They met up with his old friends. Introduced each other to their families. Kirishima even met All Might, who was visiting Bakugo’s village with Deku while they were there.

 

Spring was starting to merge into summer. The forest and their cove were alive with activity as Kirishima walked up to him in dragon form. He'd gotten bigger. Much bigger.

 

My wings, he said.

 

Bakugo looked around the side of his body, where his huge wings were curled up against him.

 

Completely healed.

 

Okay? Bakugo lifted a brow. Yellow eyes gave him a deadened look.

 

I tried flying last night.

 

Oh.

 

Could you do it?

 

Kirishima nodded. Bakugo felt his heart leap. He split his face into a grin and watched Kirishima smirk back and lower one of his shoulders so Bakugo could climb up it.

 

Prove it.

 

---------------

 

Bakugo was in a dream.

 

He'd ridden on Kirishima’s back a million times. While fighting, running, just to take a break. But this…

 

This was something else entirely.

 

They were high in the air. Bakugo thought that if he was this high up and moving this fast the wind would be obtrusive as fuck, but it wasn't. He could breathe just fine.

 

Fuck. It was gorgeous from up here. Kirishima had taken him above and past the forest, covering area that would have taken them a fucking month on foot in just 15 minutes.

 

There were mountains on the horizon. The sun was starting to fade behind them and it was casting the green trees below them in a dim orange glow. Bakugo focused on the man below him for a second, feeling each flex of his muscles as his wings moved, each breath from his chest rising and falling under his legs.

 

You're awfully quiet, Kirishima said.

 

Bakugo barely registered it, because suddenly the tree line broke and ended on a cliff that dropped into a huge, huge glacier valley.

 

Gorgeous. Ethereal. It looked like a painting.

 

Kirishima, he said, mindless, in awe. He felt wonderfully numb.

 

What?

 

I love you.

 

It was the first time he said it. Not the first time he tried, but the first time he was able too, and he was barely even paying attention.

 

That was, until Kirishima erupted in smoke and suddenly they were falling through the air.

 

“WHAT THE FUCK-”

 

Strong arms were wrapping around his but he barely even registered it cause there were free falling though the fucking sky!

 

“YOU LOVE ME!”

 

Bakugo was torn between getting out of Kirishima’s grip and pulling him closer. They were going to die.

 

“YES! YES! YOU FUCKING IDIOT! YES I LOVE YOU-MMPH”

 

Kirishima was kissing him but Bakugo pushed him off. Not the time.

 

“I know you do,” he said with a soft smile. Bakugo raised a hand and hit him in the chest.

 

“FALLING? FUCKING HELLO?”

 

“OH!”

 

And then in one foul movement Kirishima had Bakugo on his back and he was slowly growing, shifting as his skin hardened into red scales.

 

One last dropping movement under his legs and the smoke cleared and they were no longer falling. Bakugo grabbed onto one of Kirishima’s horns with one hand to steady himself and dragged the other down the side of his face with a sigh.

 

Kirishima was so stupid. Shifting in the middle of the sky like that. Bakugo hated him.

 

Bakugo? Kirishima said quietly.

 

Hmm

 

A yellow eye flashed up to him and then back down. That was the first time you've told me that, Kirishima said.

 

Bakugo felt his face get hot and he huffed a laugh. Yeah. Like you didn't already know.

 

He couldn't hear him but he knew Kirishima was laughing in his own head. They were quiet for a while, and Bakugo let himself get lost in the gorgeous scenery and sunset around them.

 

I do though, he said. Kirishima blinked up at him. Love you, I mean.

 

I love you too, Katsuki.