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Fall For His Smile

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“We don’t celebrate Christmas.”

 

Ashido produces a monstrous pout directed towards Bakugou, folding her arms as she does so. Trust him to knock her spirit.

 

“Yeah, I know that, but we could! Well- okay, I was researching what other countries do for Christmas, right, and I found this!”

 

She holds her phone about two centimetres away from Bakugou’s face and he has to cross his eyes to even look at the screen, let alone read the words. Either way, he wasn’t going to humour whatever half-baked plan she was coming up with now, but when he eyes Kirishima and Kaminari looming over the other end of the couch, looking hopeful, he wonders if he’ll have a choice.

 

“Okay, so they call it a ‘Secret Santa!’ What you do is you write everyone’s names on a piece of paper, put it in a box and then each person has to pull a name out. You don’t tell anybody what the name is, but what you gotta do is buy a present for them! Then, when it gets to Christmas, you all hand your presents over and find out who got you what!”

 

Her explanation is unbearably long-winded but it would be harder for Bakugou to get through it without understanding, so by the very end of it, he gets the gist. Ashido looks mildly offended by his lackluster response as she shakes her phone for emphasis. “C’mon, it sounds super fun, right? We figured we were gonna do it as a class!”

 

“Well, then definitely count me out.”

 

He flinches slightly as Kirishima claps his hand hard on his shoulder, leaning over the back of the sofa, “Sorry, buddy, no can do. There are twenty of us and if one of us drops out, then someone’s gonna go without a present. It’s only fair.”

 

Bakugou folds his arms and grunts, knowing full well Kirishima’s point actually made very little sense and he gets the feeling Kirishima, himself, probably hadn’t put too much thought into it. Still, he’s still not totally convinced but he’s been in this class long enough to know how this is going to end. Kaminari jumps the back of the couch to plonk himself next to Bakugou, far too friendly for his liking.

 

“C’mon, dude. Look, if you get Midoriya, we promise we’ll swap with you, okay?”

 

That sure did sound convenient enough, but the entire premise just didn’t interest him. Not only did it seem like a colossal waste of time, but he really didn’t fancy getting too chummy with the rest of his classmates.

 

But, as he eyes Ashido ranting to the group of students entering the dorm, taking their shoes off, he sighs with resignation.

 


“Okay, so do we all get it?”

 

There’s a short chorus of agreement from the class, all sat in the communal area, as Ashido sells her little idea. The girls seem to be the most excited by it- though you can’t see her too well from the clothes she’s wearing, Hagakure seems to be vibrating with energy.

 

“Is there a limit to what we can gift the person we get?” It’s a very sensible question from Yaoyorozu, which Iida backs up at the speed of sound and if he’s about to start sticking all kinds of rules on this thing, Bakugou might really have to tap out.

 

“Well, it’s common for people to have, like, a budget on these things.” Ashido explains, “So let’s say our price limit is 1500 yen, okay? You can’t go above that!” She holds her hand flat in front of her face to indicate a line being drawn and the rest of the class seem to agree on that.

 

The moment Iida opens his mouth Bakugou zones out and begins to observe the other students in his class, who also seem bored to listen to the finer tunings of this activity, but as his eyes stop upon Tokoyami, who is stood by the window with his arms folded, leant against the wall, a small piece of paper is thrust in his face.

 

He snatches it with a grimace. A pencil is passed around the group and he scribbles his name as messily as he can, before folding it and flicking it into the small jar on the table. Once everyone’s names have gone into the jar, Ashido picks it up, puts the flat of her hand over the top, and begins to shake it with vigour.

 

The other students watch, sat on the edges of their seats and they’re excited to see just who they’re gonna get. Bakugou can’t help but think that some of these people must be impossible when it comes to buying them gifts. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what to buy somebody like Shouji, who happened to be stood at the back, quietly talking to Tokoyami.

 

Bakugou notes their height difference with mild amusement, wondering if that little shortstack had grown at all since their admission into school.

 

He’s caught up daydreaming about the period of time between the start of school and now when the jar is thrust under his nose and he frowns. He rolls his eyes, purely to emphasise his thoughts on the idea, but snags a piece of paper with two fingers anyway. He doesn’t open it and, instead, watches everyone else pick their bits first.

 

At the very end, Ashido overturns the jar and allows the final piece of paper to flutter gently onto the table, which she then picks up. “Alright, do we all have a piece of paper!”

 

“Yeah!”

 

“Then let’s see who we got! Remember, don’t tell anyone! Even if you really, really wanna!”

 

Her warning goes mostly unheard, but the class falls oddly silent as they all read their bits of paper. Bakugou can practically hear the gears whirring and he can see a few bemused expressions, wondering just how the hell they were gonna buy a gift for this person of all people.

 

Oh, that’s right.

 

He still hadn’t read his, yet, had he?

 

Holding it a little closer to his face, he deftly unfolds the paper with one hand and reads ‘Tokoyami Fumikage’ in small, neat handwriting.

Chapter Text

It’s already bitterly cold outside. The sky has been full of billowing white clouds for some time now and the light rain falls gently on Bakugou’s flushed skin. His coat falls loosely around his shoulders, hands deep in the pockets, as he walks the busy streets of Musutafu.

 

Christmas isn’t exactly a big holiday in Japan. It’s celebrated mostly by couples, so he finds the sudden festive spirit pushed upon them by Ashido to be baffling, but it’s still remarkably busy for the middle of winter. He figures people are preparing for the new year.

 

He frowns, stopping at one of the larger sets of traffic lights as he glances back and forth down the wide streets. In his head, buying a gift for Tokoyami seemed like a piece of piss. He liked all that gothy black shit, so he’d just go ahead and get something a bit like that, right?

 

But now that he was walking around, looking at shop windows, he finds himself faltering. It’s not like he cares that much but he doesn’t really want to be singled out for buying a shitty present if everyone else was putting effort in.

 

So, what, did the guy read books? Play video games? What hobbies did he have?

 

And how the hell was he supposed to know that? He doesn’t recall a time the two of them have ever had a conversation that exceeded five sentences. Tokoyami barely classed as an acquaintance but what he did know was that he was on the ‘above average’ tier when it came to skills as a hero.

 

Good quirk, good attitude, wasn’t easily moved by things and genuinely hard to hate, as it stood. It was like he knew just what not to say, but on the other hand, it made it harder to gauge his personal life.

 

 

Maybe he was just thinking too hard about it. Seeing as he seemed so placid all the time, maybe he really could make do with just anything.

 

He finds himself thinking that as he rounds a corner and enters a shop he doesn’t catch the name of, but by the look of the aisles, it just seems like a general junk-like shop. Full of too many things to categorise.

 

He bypasses the clothes section at immense speeds.

 

He stops for a moment in the lighting section, purely because everyone (except maybe not Tokoyami) liked to look at the lights for a bit. Call it primitive entertainment- pretty lights were nice to look at.

 

There’s a sizeable collection of lamps on the opposite shelf which he takes some time sifting through. Things like rock salt lamps, lava lamps, glitter lamps, lamps in different shapes and sizes and, what luck, a good portion of them seemed to be on sale.

 

He’s hesitant, knowing full well what Dark Shadow’s stance on light was, but, hell, it wasn’t like Tokoyami spent his free time basked in pitch black darkness. From his own experience at the training camp some time ago, he’d come to realise that pure darkness could spell quite an amount of trouble for both Tokoyami and Dark Shadow.

 

He picks up a lamp that’s in the shape of a shell- it’s plastic, but painted well enough to look like one, and the light shines from the inside, generating a small, warm amount of light. It looked like something decorative you’d find in a typical suburban house- he figures his mother might appreciate it more than he would.

 

There’s a rectangular, wobbly shaped lava lamp that sports blue and red colours and Bakugou silently watches the wax inside float around in a mesmerising fashion. That would bring a pretty calming vibe to a room. He’s almost tempted to buy one for himself, catching himself staring for a little too long.

 

At this point, he turns to check out the rest of the aisles but his eye catches on a lamp on the very corner that’s round in shape.

 

Ah, he remembers being interested in these as a kid. It was one of those plasma balls- the ones that were slightly dark on the inside and made cool patterns if you pressed your fingers on it. He testily swipes the pad of his finger over the domed glass and watches the vibrant plasma filaments move with excitement.

 

He can...see this working. It was a lamp that generated little light, it was nice to look at- he isn’t sure if that’s a trait carried by birds but he’ll just go ahead and assume it is- and from what little he’d seen of Tokoyami’s room, it would fit right in.

 

Embarrassingly enough, he lights up when he sees that the price tag is a little below 1500 yen, most likely as part of the sale. He removes his finger and takes a moment to weigh out the options in his head.

 

Lasts about three seconds, in all honesty, because he hates spending hours looking for dumb shit to gift people and he can’t really see where this can go too wrong. He slides the lamp aside and carefully pulls out one of the packaged ones to take the cashier.

 

The cashier seems to have a mix of emotions when Bakugou sets the lamp down on the counter. It’s most likely the fact that she recognises him and is subsequently terrified of his existence. She keeps her head down and scans the box as Bakugou slides the money over the counter.

 

She nervously hands the change over, remaining dead silent, and Bakugou merely nods his head disinterestedly as thanks before leaving. He makes sure to grab a plastic bag to hide the present as he takes it back to the dorms.

 

He has to go back, minutes away from the dorm, to buy a small roll of wrapping paper- cursing the entire journey there and back but he returns eventually. When he slips in, kicking his shoes off at the door, he spots a small gathering of students occupying the communal living room.

 

He’s not bothered to go and say hi, so he keeps the bag close to his side and stalks upstairs to his room before anyone can question what he’s bought. The dorms, themselves, now have an air of festivity about them as Ashido had brutally insisted on having some kind of decoration.

 

He snarls, tearing the string of red tinsel that lines the top of his doorway away and tossing it unceremoniously on the floor behind him. Decorations were too far for a holiday that isn’t even widely celebrated in Japan. He shuts the door loudly behind him and sets the package down on the floor.

 

He decides to wrap it now, saves time rushing to do it later, and though it’s a rather menial task he finds there’s something kind of nice about wrapping a present. It’s even nicer when the present comes out looking immaculate, so he decides to kill some time making it as perfectly wrapped as possible. It’s almost like origami.

 

By the time he’s done, it’s dark outside and he’s sat on the floor of his room next to a box wrapped in paper with little lucky cats on them. It’s the least offensive and most festive looking paper they had and it wasn’t like there was the widest range to choose from.

 

He stares hard at the little cat motif, losing himself to a bit of a daydream and before he really thinks about what he’s doing, he picks up a black marker and doodles a set of wings and an oddly shaped beak onto one of the cats.

 

It doesn’t look like a cat anymore and it certainly doesn’t look like a bird either. It looks like something akin to a monstrosity. He caps the pen and wonders what the fuck he’s just done, before muttering a lovely expletive under his breath.

 

Ruined perfectly good wrapping paper, in his eyes, and now he didn’t have enough to rewrap it either. Fuck it, he thinks, shoving the present under his desk where it will inevitably wait until the gift-giving day.

 


Bakugou isn’t really bothered on the days leading up to the exchanging of gifts but when he wakes up that morning, he wonders just who picked his name out of the jar. Getting a gift isn’t a bad thing by any margin so even he has to shrug and go along with it, but the noise in the halls is becoming bothersome to the point he doesn’t have a choice but to get out of bed.

 

He slips into some comfortable, lazy clothes and he’s barely got his trackies round his thighs before Kirishima is bashing the door in like a lunatic.

 

“Yo, buddy! Wake up, already, we’re about to exchange gifts!”

 

Bakugou is tempted to go back to bed out of pure spite, but he eyes the package tucked neatly away under his desk- still with the horrid little bird-cat drawing on it- and sags on the spot. He kicks it out with his foot and picks it up before opening the door.

 

Kirishima has tinsel wrapped around his neck like a scarf, bright red to match his scheme, and he’s holding a small parcel in a paper bag in his hands. His grin is too bright for so early in the morning and it’s giving Bakugou a headache.

 

“Woah, that’s a pretty big present.” Kirishima’s eyes sparkle as he inspects the box tucked under Bakugou’s arm, “I wonder who the lucky student is!”

 

“Well, it’s not you, I’ll tell you that much.” Bakugou says grimly, bypassing Kirishima and making his own way down the hall. Kirishima, naturally, follows behind and initiates a friendly conversation to which Bakugou can only really humour him.

 

By the time Bakugou and Kirishima reach the ground floor, everyone else is already gathered on the couches nattering excitedly. There’s presents of various sizes littered all around the place and over half the class are wearing some kind of festive getup.

 

Bakugou has to sidestep three attempts of being adorned with tinsel before he finds a place on the far end of one of the couches, where he tucks his gift under the table so it’s obscured from prying eyes. He’s a little self-conscious about how big the gift is in comparison to some of the smaller gifts he can see. He doesn’t want to look like that much of an asshole but he also doesn’t want to look too eager.

 

Ashido’s chipper voice levels the din as she waves a hand in the air, “If we’re all here, then we can totally begin swapping gifts! So, like, go find your person!” She dances from one foot to the other and people begin to swarm as they find their respective partners.

 

Bakugou sits forward on the couch, eyeing the present under the table, and now that everyone else is far too occupied in swapping gifts, he’s sure they won’t pay too much attention to him.

 

As he thinks this, he turns his head and almost chokes as Asui’s bright, froggy face comes into clear view.

 

“Christ, where the hell did you come from!?” He almost screeches, scooching further up the couch as Asui makes little to no effort of moving. She does, however, produce a small, rectangular package and she holds it out for him to take.

 

“Merry Christmas, ribbit.” She croaks, seeming to enjoy the festive mood. Bakugou hesitates, but takes the parcel with a barely audible ‘Thanks’.

 

He rips the red-coloured paper with ease and it’s...chocolate?

 

“Bit early for Valentine’s day, ain’t it?” He questions with a quirked brow and he wonders if there’s been some kind of misunderstanding on what the meaning of Christmas is. Asui looks unperturbed, so maybe not…?

 

He takes a better look at the packaging and sees the words ‘Red Hot Chilli Chocolate’ plastered on it in an explosive font and now it makes a bit more sense. Asui puts a finger to her lips and hums, “I thought it might be something you’d like. Take it as a challenge, if you want.” She smiles pleasantly and Bakugou...can’t really be irritated in a situation like this. He’s genuinely intrigued by the gift and he can’t deny it’s not a bad thing to receive.

 

“Thanks.” He repeats and Asui lights up a little, croaking cheerfully. “You’re very welcome.”

 

With that, she slips away to mingle with the other crowd of people and Bakugou figures now is the time to make his move. He pulls the box out from under the table, and scans the room to find his target.

 

Unsurprisingly, he’s leant up against one of the far walls, chatting softly to Shouji, who is holding an opened present of his own- a small, plush octopus. Bakugou hoists the present under his arm and it’s hard for him to look conspicuous as he approaches the two. The moment Shouji spots him, there’s a small telltale smile seen from under his mask and he excuses himself politely, leaving Tokoyami to watch Bakugou with wide eyes.

 

“Uh…” Strong start from Bakugou, there, but Tokoyami is hardly a threatening contender as he, too, seems to be lost for words. Bakugou decides he doesn’t have time to dick around and thrusts the parcel out. Tokoyami seems a bit taken aback by the generous size, but takes it graciously.

 

“Thank you.”

 

“Thank me after you see what it is.” Bakugou grunts, but sort of hopes that it’s a present that’s enjoyed. Tokoyami has to balance against the wall to open it without dropping it and there’s a moment of silence as he rips back the paper to see what it is.

 

Bakugou watches his expression intensely and feels something like relief when Tokoyami’s eyes brighten.

 

“Oh…!”

 

“I don’t really know...what you’re into, or whatever, so I just...got you that.” He shrugs, scratching the back of his neck and he’s fully expecting a flat, yet polite thank you and that’ll be that, but he finds himself staring when Tokoyami is inspecting the box with...something like muted excitement.

 

“Oh...this is great!”

 

Bakugou swallows.

 

“It is?”

 

Tokoyami tears the rest of the paper off and holds it safely in his arms. “It is. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve always wanted one of these, ever since I was little.” He admits with a small, twitch of a smile, eyes flitting over the box. “I thought they were the coolest things in the world.”

 

This is a far better reaction than Bakugou could’ve ever expected and he has to admit, it’s good that he likes it- it’s far better than if he didn’t but he can’t help but feel somewhat bashful about it, which is weird, because ‘Bakugou’ and ‘bashful’ don’t belong in the same sentence together.

 

It’s at that point he’s surprising himself because he can’t tear his eyes away from Tokoyami’s expression, picking up every subtle twitch and change as Tokoyami absentmindedly picks at the cardboard packaging and as he falls silent, he looks back and forth for something to say to express his gratitude.

 

He looks up at the taller, blonde boy and Bakugou feels his heart drop to the very pits of his stomach as he watches him give the widest, most gorgeous smile he’s ever seen.

Chapter Text

That day seemed to drag on forever and it had turned into a party more than anything else, but now that it was late into the night, people were finally giving in and going to bed. Bakugou had slunk off long before everyone else and not just because he had himself a stricter bedtime routine, but because he wasn’t sure if he could stand to hang around without falling headfirst into some kind of horrid breakdown.

 

He’d been mortified when, half an hour after giving Tokoyami his gift, the image of that fucking smile was the only thing he could think about. Other thoughts were less coherent and his brain just didn’t seem to be interested in focusing on them. Instead, it was deciding to subject him to…

 

...what even was this, anyway?

 

It felt like he was going to be sick then and there but it was such an innocuous thing to happen so why did it seem to eat up his mental functions?

 

He’s lying in bed, duvet half-concealing his face and every time he closes his eyes, he sees the same fucking thing there in front of him, like the colourful lines of staring at a light bulb directly for too long.

 

It was just a smile- but no, it wasn’t just a smile at all, was it, it was something that literally took his breath away and left him blank. It was a smile he’d never seen before and probably may never see again, something so genuine and heartfelt, and behind his eyelids he can make out those shitty details. The visibility of his teeth, the sharp curve of the edge of his mouth and the way his cheeks bulged slightly under his barely-closed eyelids.

 

It’s easy to say the guy wasn’t made for intense emotional expressions but Bakugou felt more than ready to dispute that. He didn’t necessarily think it, but on a subconscious level, he’d decided those parts of him that made him appear peculiar and unconventional were genuinely something to behold.

 

They made him look fucking beautiful and that sudden realisation had sent Bakugou to mope in bed.

 

There’s an awful lot to unpack in a situation like this and he’s not sure where to start, if he even wants to. His initial decision is to not touch the topic at all and carry on as normal until it subsides and eventually disappears.

 

But the more he thinks on that, the more he remembers that literal split-second moment, the more he feels that he just wants nothing more than to see it again and again. He wants that same feeling of ice in his stomach and fire in his lungs.

 

He rolls over with quite a pout on his face. It was just a fucking smile!

 

So why did it eat him up inside and make him feel hesitant? He can’t even imagine just what he’s supposed to feel hesitant about but in the end, no matter how far he tries to veer away, he always comes back to that same damn image.

 

He’d hate it if he didn’t already love it.

 

His brain is already thirty steps ahead of him, too, because after a while he begins to realise he’d been daydreaming about what to say to him next. He’d been playing out a fictional conversation in his head, just to imagine what would happen and, to an extent, it was like a kind of safety net, where he could daydream about what he wanted to happen without any kind of risk of making himself look like the ultimate dickhead.

 

However, Bakugou is still very discontent with the fact he’s even daydreaming to begin with. He’s never spared that guy a second thought- well, not since the training camp, but it wasn’t like they were even friends. This seemed like a sudden jump from nothing and because of that, he has no idea whether or not to take himself seriously.

 

He’s torn, simply put, but as he begins to drift off, exhausted from the day, he decides the only way to rid himself of this odd burden is to just have one more glimpse. He has to do something to see that smile again.

 

Just one more time.

 


 

After a while, the communal front room had become a place to openly play video games. A lot of the class had their own games consoles and some had been kind enough to hook them up to the TV and keep them there for anyone to play. That being said, it became more commonplace for students to be found playing video games, whether it was by themselves or as a group.

 

It was also nice as well because those who didn’t own consoles sometimes bought extra games for them that they’d wanted to play. Overall, it was a working system that was beneficial to all.

 

Bakugou figures he might be able to leech some of that benefit when he comes downstairs the next weekend to find Tokoyami, Shouji and Kouda, as a group, playing Smash. A classic for all ages, but Bakugou cannot figure out how they can play it so quietly. Usually Smash matches ended up with someone stood behind the couch instead of sitting down, someone trying to kick the other and a monumental amount of expletives being yelled.

 

Yet there they are, sat like normal people on a normal couch playing with quiet and minimal chatter. Bakugou lingers by the entrance to the kitchen, watching as the match ends and before he disappears to grab himself some food, he watches Shouji stand up with his phone in his hand.

 

“Sorry, I’ve got to go.” He says, brandishing the phone to indicate something and the other two nod as Shouji slips away. Bakugou sort of sidles behind the couch to see who won, though he can’t tell which character belongs to who and Kouda seems to jump three feet into the air whilst still sat on the couch.

 

Tokoyami tilts his head enough to look behind him and see Bakugou.

 

“Oh.” He says, pausing, before offering, “Do you want to play?”

 

Bakugou looks between the two of them and Kouda sort of waves his hands and gets up, indicating that fact he was leaving. Tokoyami’s mouth drops open as he formulates a response a bit too late, “Oh, you’re leaving too? I’ll see you later, then.”

 

Kouda nods politely before dashing away in silence, leaving Bakugou in a room with Tokoyami, a spare game controller and a huge opportunity that he would be an idiot not to take. It’s made even better by the fact it’s presented to him a huge, fuckoff silver platter by the gorgeous smiler himself.

 

“Do...you want to play a match with me?”

 

Bakugou has to force himself to hesitate for a moment, just to show he hadn’t already decided before the offer was made, but he shrugs and vaults the back of the sofa to sit down next to him, grabbing the unoccupied controller. He’d say he was an average player but he couldn’t bear to be modest.

 

He was gonna kick this boys ass for sure. He cracks a small, telltale kind of grin which Tokoyami finds quite relaxing in their current situation- he can’t quite figure out if they’re friends or not but this seems to be a good thing to bond over.

 

Bakugou picks Lucario- perhaps surprising but he’s mostly just a personal favourite whilst Tokoyami picks--

 

“Are you really picking Falco…?”

 

Bakugou watches the tips of his feathers prickle slightly as he tilts his head in the opposite direction, “Call it...a kind of relaxing kinship.” He says with a small, flicker of a smile that Bakugou latches onto immediately. It sort of makes his stomach jolt with a tiny spark of excitement and he has to physically keep his flat expression up so he doesn’t look like an eager freak.

 

They start the match and Bakugou is a big fan of flawless victories but he’s genuinely surprised to see Tokoyami, deftly tapping away at the buttons on his controller, keeping up with him. He wouldn’t necessarily pin him as a gamer-type but looking at him now, he gets the impression he plays his fair share of them.

 

Bakugou still wins regardless, he’s not a loser in any aspect of the word, but he feels remarkably good about the match. When he looks over to Tokoyami’s expect face, he offers a meagre shrug.

 

“Go again?”

 

He relishes in the way Tokoyami’s expression lightens by just a fraction, as he goes, “Yeah, sure.”




 

The next few hours are spent just playing video games. Bakugou very rarely spends this kind of one-on-one time with anyone else in the class but he doesn’t really mind so much. It’s not loud, Tokoyami is a good opponent in most things, it seems, and with everyone else off doing their own thing, he feels more relaxed than he has in a while.

 

But every time the two of them lock eyes, he’s instantly reminded of that gorgeous image he wants to see once more and it makes his jaw lock and his muscles tense. He can’t deny the feeling of that, too, is oddly pleasurable.

 

They’re sat a little more casually on the couch now, having gotten comfy, and there’s some kind of snack nestled on the couch in the space between them which they both occasionally pick from. As they jump from game to game, Bakugou gets more time to think and more time to observe and the more he observes, the more he finds that he likes what he sees. It’s not just him, either. A short while into their impromptu hangout session, Tokoyami finds himself curiously watching Bakugou every now and then, wondering beyond just how this happened.

 

Did the gift exchange the other day really turn into this? It seemed far too innocuous of a thing to spark a friendship. Tokoyami would be suspicious if he didn’t find it so enjoyable.

 

As Bakugou glances over for what might’ve been the fiftieth time over the past half an hour, his eyes lock in on the now familiar but slight movements. The way his mouth twists slightly in a habitual manner and the way his feet fidget against each other to ward off the cold. He’s a surprisingly fidgety individual, so Bakugou’s intrigued when he picks up those little habits like tapping his fingers on the armrest or picking the skin at his fingers- definitely a weird habit.

 

Bakugou quirks an eyebrow, “You do that often? Doesn’t it hurt?”

 

Tokoyami is momentarily wordless, unable to piece together what he’s talking about until he looks down and it’s as if he’s only just realised what he’s doing. “Oh.” He says. “Um...not really. Sometimes it gets sore later on, but...sorry, I didn’t even realise I was doing it. It’s kind of disgusting…” His voice dips down into quiet shame and Bakugou’s immediate instinct is the remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

 

“It ain’t disgusting- don’t get so mopey-” He says brusquely, “-but if it gets sore, why even do it?” To that, Tokoyami shrugs, inspecting his nail-bitten fingers. “I don’t really know. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember...I think it’s just a habit to keep my fingers busy.”

 

“I’ve never seen you do that before.”

 

Tokoyami scratches his cheek with a pause, “Well...I fold my arms for the most part. It actually stops me from biting my fingernails or messing around with whatever I can get my hands on.”

 

Bakugou’s eyes genuinely widen at this point because Tokoyami just seemed like the kind of guy who’d do that- he hadn’t expected there to be a reason behind it. “You serious? Man, you’re like a little kid.”

 

Tokoyami prickles slightly at the comment, unsure of whether or not he should really be embarrassed by it but before he can make any kind of protest, Bakugou continues, “So, what, are you one of those guys with shit attention spans? Is that a bird thing?”

 

The other teen frowns at him from across the sofa, but it’s somewhat good-natured, “I believe that’s goldfish. And...I suppose so, yes. I try my utmost to keep up with everyone else, but I don’t even realise I’m not paying attention until the class is over.” He hangs his head slightly, gazing wistfully at the controller in his hands, “I suppose that’s to blame for my poor midterm scores.”

 

Bakugou thinks on that for a moment, idly staring at the menu screen of the game they’re playing and he can’t help but wonder if there’s a lot more to him he hasn’t noticed aside from this. He’s actually surprised but he’s unsure of what he really expected from Tokoyami.

 

“Well...if you want to do better and you’re willing to put the effort in yourself…” He trails for a moment, catching Tokoyami’s attention, “...then I guess I could spare some time to tutor you.”

 

There’s a few moments where he can watch Tokoyami’s features light up and it’s as smooth as watching an hourglass run. “I...I don’t know- are you sure? I wouldn’t want to waste your time or anything. You’ve got your own studies to do, I’m sure.” Despite how much he perked up, it’s a mystery why he seems to be pushing the idea away but Bakugou merely rolls his eyes.

 

“It’s not a waste of my time if you’re taking it seriously. If you piss about and don’t pay attention to me when I’m talking to you, then I won’t bother.”

 

Tokoyami ponders the offer. “Only...only if you’re sure.” He says, voice laced with uncertainty and Bakugou nods. “Of course I’m sure. Besides, I figured it’d be easier for you if it’s just the two of us. It’s hard to pay attention in a huge boring class with other losers. Even I lose track sometimes.”

 

Bakugou says this, but what he means is ‘I know you have a problem that becomes a big issue in group-based learning, so I’ll spare you the time to tutor you properly one-to-one, because I know you’re smart. You just need the right environment to learn.’

 

Of course, the chances of him ever letting a sentence like that fall out of his face is slim to none. Besides, he can play it off well enough as a normal thing because he’s the one tutoring Kirishima as well. If he can successfully train that idiot, Tokoyami would be no problem at all.

 

Speaking of Tokoyami, he’s fiddling absentmindedly with his controller, flicking the joystick back and forth as he thinks a little more about the proposal. “Thank you.” He finally says, “That’s a lot of help for me. I try and stay as focused as possible in any situation but when I’m just sitting there, everything goes on a tangent and before I know it, I’ve flicked a pencil in the back of someone’s head again.”

 

Bakugou snorts. How could he not? Tokoyami also cracks a smile because it’s ridiculous and amusing in equal measure.

 

He lightly kicks Bakugou with his foot as if playfully telling him to shut up and Bakugou is too trained on that verging smile that he doesn’t want to back down. He thinks to himself, just a little more, just to see that smile again and that’s all he needs.

 

He’s being a bit coy, here, and though Tokoyami is silently telling him to stop teasing, he wouldn’t mind just a little bit more. Just enough to make his chest go funny again. Though he’s not aware of it, he craves that new, exciting yet subtle sensation that Bakugou does as well. He enjoys the parts of their conversation, where Bakugou could be construed as being playful and even if he isn’t...maybe he can just pretend.

 

His foot fractionally edges closer to Bakugou.

Chapter Text

Though it’s agreed in passing, an evening of one-to-one tutoring actually does occur a few weeks later. Everyone seems to be cramming in as much study time as possible to be as caught up as possible so nobody lags behind. Tokoyami finds himself in Bakugou’s room for the first time in his life and honestly, he’s unsure of what he expected.

 

It’s...just normal. There’s a bed, with a plain duvet, a desk, and some other things. Despite that, it feels a touch on the bare side. He can’t find anything that really screams ‘Bakugou’ other than the set of weights he spies tucked away under his bed. He has something of an explosive personality, something that’s fitting especially in accordance with the rest of his existence, but behind that, Tokoyami begins to get a glimpse that it’s not all that it seems.

 

Describing something as ‘not all that is seems’ is usually understood to mean ‘something different that lies behind what you see’, mostly in the context of what lies behind is usually a lot more extraordinary than at first sight but in this case, it’s the polar opposite.

 

It’s’ not all that it seems’, to mean, even though he’s explosive, he’s flashy, he’s foul-tempered, foul-mouthed, egocentric, violent, rude, goal-driven, stubborn, bitter, reckless, powerful, brash, brutish, generally unempathetic and incredibly standoffish…

 

...he’s still a sixteen year old boy.

 

He’s human and in that regard, he’s actually bizarrely normal.

 

You’d expect someone with such an awesome and powerful existence- someone who puts that power to use in almost everything he did- to be mighty in every other aspect of his life as well. The same way you’d expect All Might to constantly maintain his superhero persona in every aspect of his life, purely because it’s how he appears mostly, when in actuality, All Might is also just a person. A person who sleeps, who goes shopping, who gets bored, gets sad, who laughs, cries and trips over things in the way every other person in existence does.

 

They’re just people and Bakugou isn’t any different. Though he presents himself as some kind of god amongst men- and at points in time, surely lives up to such a spectacular title- he’s still a boringly normal and mundane person at times.

 

Thinking about that, it makes Tokoyami realise that Bakugou is as real as they come and those little mundane moments and actions makes him seem even more boringly human and there’s something about it that he adores.

 

Because in a life of darkness and drama, attending a school for superheroes and seemingly having every moment of your life become a twist and a turn into a new future, there’s something he greatly appreciates about normalcy.

 

And finding that in someone as uncommon as Bakugou makes him feel like there’s a chance hidden somewhere that he just has to find before he can grab it.

 

“Are you serious? We haven’t even started studying and you’re already not paying attention!” Bakugou barks, causing Tokoyami to flinch a little bit. His eyes slowly and habitually close, “I apologise. This is the first time I’ve ever seen your room. I was just taking in the surroundings.”

 

“Yeah, well it’s nothing special to look at.”

 

Bakugou roughly tugs out the chair from under his desk and, using a flick of the head, gestures for Tokoyami to sit down. Tokoyami falters for a moment, books in hand, before politely taking a seat.

 

“So, where do you want to start.” Bakugou plonks his pencil-case on the desk in front of Tokoyami, “What do you struggle with the most?”

 

“Maths, mostly. I’m not the best at physics, either.” Tokoyami sifts through his books, pulling out the few he thinks will be relevant. “Japanese literature and English aren’t subjects I have to worry about, though, so I’m doing okay there.”

 

“Alright then. Start with Maths” Bakugou soon perches himself on the desk in front of Tokoyami and the other teen just can’t quite keep his eyes off of him. Bakugou is flicking through one of his own textbooks until he finds the page he wants. He sets it down in front of Tokoyami, “Okay, take a look at that. I wrote down the formula on the other page.”

 

Tokoyami’s eyes flit across both pages as he focuses purely on retaining and recording the information given. Bakugou watches him begin to scribble it down and slowly talks him through each problem.

 

Tokoyami doesn’t enjoy maths by any stretch of the margin but now that he’s beginning to understand and with a fairly nice tutor to boot, he feels a little more motivated and in the right headspace to be focused.

 

And if Bakugou stopped perching on the table inches away from him, he really would be able to focus. Nonetheless, he knuckles down for the time being and does what Bakugou instructs.

 


 

“So, you’ve got it then?”

 

“I think so. Sorry it took so long- I’m really grateful.” Tokoyami tells him quietly, folding his textbook and putting it in a small pile with the others he brought. Bakugou habitually rolls his eyes, “Yeah, yeah, you can show me how grateful you are by doing better on your next test.”

 

It’s been quite a few hours- the room has progressively become darker as the day has stretched out to an end but with a few textbooks full of work, Tokoyami feels quite accomplished.

 

“Oh, of course.” Tokoyami pushes the chair out and Bakugou opens his mouth a fraction, tempted to ask him to stay just a little longer, but decides against it. Despite the action, Tokoyami lingers silently for a moment, eyeing Bakugou and the way he’s just sat there.

 

“Um. If you need anything, just to repay you for this, you can just tell me.” He offers with a sense of good nature in his eyes, turning them from piercing to soft. Much to his dismay, though it’s easy to hide, Bakugou shakes his head.

 

“No need. I don’t do debt.”

 

Tokoyami looks momentarily bemused, which turns into amusement as he gets out of the chair, “I’m sure you don’t. I’m sure you never paid Kirishima back for that night-vision set he bought when he ran off to save you.” His eyes narrow slightly but the smile is there, as if he’s daring Bakugou to lie to him. Instead, Bakugou perks up.

 

“Eh? How the hell did you know about that?!” He slides off the table, frowning slightly but only at having been caught out, “You weren’t with them when they did it, were you?” He folds his arms but notices that Tokoyami looks distinctly downcast, “I...I wasn’t, no. In fact, I regret not coming along.”

 

“Don’t. It was a fucking stupid idea and those idiots should’ve been kicked out. Pro Heroes are there for a reason.” He tells him sternly. Tokoyami hangs his head a little, not entirely convinced but Bakugou can at least feel a twinge of the sentiment behind his words.

 

“Well, either way, I only knew about it because I’ve been borrowing it from Kirishima for a while. Training with Dark Shadow and all that.” He explains and now, that does make sense. Bakugou could see Kirishima cheerfully telling that little anecdote and the thought makes the veins in his temple throb with irritation.

 

He pushes past that to say, “Huh, for someone who works a lot with the dark, I just assumed you’d be able to see just fine.” It’s a nice, smooth transition to a more casual tone but Tokoyami gets the feeling that Kirishima will be getting a bit of an earful from him tonight.

 

“You’d think that, wouldn’t you? To be honest, if I could see in pitch black darkness, it would make things a lot easier, but unfortunately, I’m not blessed with those kinds of abilities.” He fiddles with the compacted pages of the books in his hands, stood only a few feet away from Bakugou. “But, as it stands, you’ve done a really nice favour for me. It’s only natural I want to appropriately pay you back for it.” He says, quite insistently. Bakugou rolls his eyes again, “Really, there’s no need. I don’t like being in debt to people, and I sure as hell don’t like putting it on other people.”

 

Well...maybe that wasn’t true- it was dependent on the person. If the guy was a total scumbag then, just maybe, he’d enjoy being a little bit cruel, but in Tokoyami’s case, he wasn’t about to try and get even. Either way, he shakes his head, “Just do better. Show me I haven’t wasted my time, got it?”

 

“Of course.” Tokoyami’s feet shift slowly against the carpet as he looks between Bakugou and the door.

 

He’s unsure if he even wants to leave, but soon enough, he offers a curt smile and forces himself to turn around and head to the door. “Thank you, again.”

 

“There’s a test coming up when we go back, so don’t fuck it up, will you? Show me you actually learnt something today.” He chides gruffly, seeing him to the door and holding it open for Tokoyami to step through and into the brightened corridor outside.

 

“Will do. I’ll do my best.” He smiles, before gracefully turning away and disappearing down the corridor. Bakugou doesn’t shut the door for quite a while after, caught up in thinking about nothing, but his hand slowly nurses the slightly ache that spreads over his sternum.

Chapter Text

Quite a while passes before Bakugou and Tokoyami have another close encounter. School starts back up again, so both of them are far too busy readjusting to their school lives to take the time to socialise with one another. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from taking notice of one another.

 

Bakugou, especially, finds himself watching Tokoyami out of the corner of his eye more often than he’d like to admit. There’s something about him that just really gets to him and he’s not quite sure what it might be. Nonetheless, there’s something weirdly relaxing about watching him, across the room, socialising casually with the classmates who sit adjacent to him.

 

They seem to have formed their own little social circle there and he hadn’t noticed until now how the class, as tight-knit as they were, have branched off into their own groups. He supposes his own little group, much to his reluctance, consists of Kirishima, Kaminari, Ashido and Sero. A weird mix no matter how you look at it, but there it was.

 

Still, there was something weird about watching him. It allows him to notice the little things and to his surprise, even though he was a bit of a suspected chuunibyou- because there’s not a chance in hell he could legitimately speak the way he does and not have something going on- he actually retained a surprising amount of normalcy which Bakugou finds weirdly relaxing.

 

Alongside that, he’s begun to notice him in class and now he understands exactly what he meant when he explained that he had problems focusing. Slyly stealing glances behind him during classes with teachers that were much less perceptive than Aizawa, he watches the way he fidgets. If he’s not taking apart his mechanical pencil, then he’s either drawing on his eraser or twirling the pencil around his fingers. Failing all of those, then he’s probably staring at the slight view of the sky he gets through the windowed gap in the door.

 

The way his eyes kind of glaze over in thought is pretty cute, he has to admit but before long, he begins to realise that now he isn’t paying attention, and, frowning, snaps himself out of it to resume the lesson.

 

The test comes up a week into the new term and though some students are nervous about doing poorly, everyone seems to be trying their hardest to learn as much as possible before it. Tokoyami, especially, is nervous about doing poorly because now he has the pressure of proving to Bakugou that the tutoring was well worth it. He can’t afford to come in the bottom tier again. He thinks if he can at least make it into the top ten- or jump a few places upwards, then that’ll be enough for now.

 

He can’t help but notice that even the most intelligent students are a little anxious too but he can’t blame them. It takes a lot of work to stay in the top, but when he glances up at Bakugou’s seat at the front, from just the frame of his face that’s visible to him, he can tell Bakugou is more casual about it than ever. He’s not writing at the same hurried pace as everyone else and where everyone else’s faces are twisted in thought, his expression is stone cold.

 

At that point, he remembers he’s supposed to be working on the test and not zoning out again. He internally curses the negative traits he’s afflicted with before getting back to work.

 


 

Whilst everyone was relaxed to be out of the test, for the rest of the week, there was quite a tense mood hanging over the class. Doing poorly on tests meant those in the bottom quarter would be doing not only make-up tests, but a whole week’s worth of extra tutoring and study time and the thought of that seemed unbearable.

 

But, that Sunday, a small stack of folded papers wrapped with an elastic band was deposited at the dorms, much to everyone’s surprise. It came free with a little sticky note from their teacher which, spoken aloud by Iida, read, “ I’m not here next week- something cropped up. Use the time to go over your test results .”

 

It’s almost a sigh of relief. Everyone crowds around Iida as he separates the papers and begins to hand them out one by one in an orderly fashion. Bakugou lingers at the very back, not overly bothered by the commotion, because he has enough confidence in himself to know he’s done well. He can just tell. He’s that good.

 

When it’s finally his turn, he snatches the paper from Iida’s oddly rectangular hand without any word of thanks, before stalking off to the sofa he’d been sitting on before. He opens it and--

 

Only two answers wrong. That was a good 38/40 but it wasn’t 40/40 and, reading the little scribble at the top, he’d only come 3rd out of the 20 students in their class and that’s enough to make him seethe. This just wouldn’t do. It wasn’t like he didn’t study either, so what gives?

 

Yaoyorozu and Iida were too smart for their own good, it seemed. He’s about to crumple up the paper when his eyeline is met with a belt buckle, half tucked away under a black shirt. He slowly looks up and sees Tokoyami staring back at him. The lower part of his face, however, is hidden by the thin paper he’s holding up. He tilts his head to the side, gesturing for him to follow.

 

Bakugou crumples the paper anyway and shoves it in his pocket with angry disappointment, which he mutes well for the time being as he follows Tokoyami out into the empty kitchen area.

 

“Go on then, how did you do?” He asks and the sight of Tokoyami furtively hiding behind his test paper is enough to spike his mood upwards, at least temporarily. There’s a nice pause there, before Tokoyami turns the paper around and holds it up for Bakugou to read.

 

‘29/40 - 10/20’

 

29 marks out of 40, landing him 10th overall in the class. That meant he’d scraped the top tier by the skin of his teeth and though it had landed him at the very bottom of the 10, it was the top tier nonetheless. That was good news.

 

Or, judging by the way he looked barely contained, it must be great news. Bakugou shoves his hands into his pockets and nods quietly. “So you did do it. Glad to see I wasn’t wasting my time on you.” Well, he says that, but even if Tokoyami had come dead last in the entire class, proving Kaminari to be smarter than him- which was an enormous insult if ever he’d heard one- he wouldn’t have considered the tutoring a waste of time. Academically, maybe, but not...socially.

 

If that made any sense at all.

 

Tokoyami genuinely looks incredibly pleased with the result, as he skims over the page one more time just to make sure he read it right. The corners of his mouth tremble a little with a budding smile and Bakugou locks in on that at an immense speed. It momentarily frazzles his brain and leaves his palms slick with sweat.

 

“I’m...you did really well. I’m proud of you.”

 

Tokoyami silently double takes, wondering if he heard that right but the way Bakugou glances at the floor, lips teasing a pout leaves his mouth hanging open slightly. Was he serious? As in, seriously complimenting him? He can’t help but feel like he’s lying, but…

 

The feeling makes his heart swell in a way he can’t quite describe. His eyes flit in all different directions, unable to land on Bakugou directly and Bakugou tilts his head slightly to eye Tokoyami’s reaction. His fingers are gripping the paper so tightly it leaves long, smooth creases. He’s not sure what to say. He’s not sure if a ‘thank you’ is enough to express not only his gratitude but his joy in the outcome.

 

He’s not sure how to express how meaningful hearing something so nice from Bakugou is.

 

So he smiles. Properly. He’s happy and so the only natural reaction is to smile. He momentarily pulls the paper down so Bakugou can see his entire face as he beams up at him- it turns into a bit of an embarrassed half laugh and it’s like a smile with a bonus for Bakugou, as his face begins to burn.

 

In fact, everything seemed to burn at that moment. His head, his face, his heart and all because of a stupid fucking smile. Something everyone did, almost everyday and here he was, feeling weak in the gut at the sight of it.  

That was it, wasn’t it? That was what he’d wanted to see all along, just one more time to sate that uncontrollable desire for a sight that made his mouth bone dry.

 

But if that was it, if that was all he wanted, then why did he feel so unfulfilled? If anything, it set him even deeper in whatever pit he’d dug himself into. It ached a little and he felt like there was more he needed. Just a little more. Just a little and that would be it.

 

He feels a little woozy when his head dips, he leans forward and his eyes close long before his lips press against anything. He stays like that for what might’ve been two seconds or two minutes but it felt bizarrely longer than that. Finally, he pulls away, allowing his eyes to flutter open and he’s still bent over slightly, staring dead into Tokoyami’s shocked face.

 

His eyes are so wide his pupils are like pinpricks, mouth hanging open again but this time much wider than before. Bakugou can feel his breath on his cheeks and his upper lip and he can actually feel how shaky it is from the way Tokoyami trembles. His fingers have crumpled the sides of the paper, almost ripping it, as he stands there, motionless.

 

He wants to swallow but he can’t. He can feel the glob of saliva at the very back of his throat but no matter how much he strains the muscles, it just won’t go down. It hurts.

 

The paper comes back up to conceal Tokoyami’s now fluffed up face- his cheeks look puffy and the fibers over his face individually prickle as he just stares. His eyes are still comically wide and it now dawns on Bakugou that he’s made a fucking terrible mistake.

 

So he spins on his heel and runs away.

Chapter Text

The next week is fucking agonising . Bakugou doesn’t know exactly what’s going on in Tokoyami’s case, but for him, the game plan had been to avoid the other teen at all costs. Not make even a glance of eye contact and certainly not end up alone in a room with him. It was times like this where he was genuinely glad to have a posse who just wouldn’t leave him the fuck alone. At least he could now see the benefits of being able to mingle.

 

But, naturally, that didn’t solve the problem- it just presented itself as a temporary solution or, more accurately, a way to put off dealing with the problem. He doesn’t want to face it in the slightest, despite having to reassure himself that he’s not a coward. Nonetheless, after school one time the week after, he finds himself lying in bed wracked with...something.

 

He’s not sure what it is, but it’s not normal, that’s for sure.

 

He’d kissed him. As in-- he’d actually kissed him. With his lips. He’d just...bent over and--

 

He closes his eyes every time that exact memory surfaces in his mind and it plays out like it’s happening all over again. The fizzy feeling in his stomach, then everything going dark as he shuts his own eyes, almost unable to even witness his own actions, and then pulling back just a fraction. Part of him wishes he’d never opened his eyes after that. The look on Tokoyami’s face was something he’s unsure he can deal with. That look of shock, of utter mortification-- and the worst part about it, is that Bakugou just couldn’t gauge what he was thinking.

 

It was a reaction that gave him very little to go on. Did he enjoy it? Did he hate it? Did he never want to even look at Bakugou ever again or was avoiding him causing the guy pain? For the life of him he just could not figure it out.

 

He absentmindedly scratches his nose, now having a moment where he’s too spaced out to think about anything for a while, but it doesn’t last long. He can’t get far on any sort of tangent before he somehow winds up back where he started.

 

He rolls over onto his side. He really doesn’t want to admit it, but this will never end unless he does something, not to mention the longer he leaves it, the more complicated the situation would become. There’s only a short window left for the two of them to talk about it, whilst the incident is still fresh and relevant, but past that, it becomes old news and awkward to speak of.

 

He rolls over again, glancing at his phone that sits innocently on the other side of his pillow.

 

 

He dances with the idea of texting him, but not only would it take forever to accomplish, but it  also wouldn’t offer the same kind of closure- not to mention sorting a problem through text, a problem of this caliber, just seemed plain cowardly.

 

He frowns, realising he’s just lying there doing nothing about what’s bothering him. Why should he be worried about confronting Tokoyami? It was just a silly little mistake. It meant nothing. All he had to do was tell him that.

 

Of course, assuming it was just a mistake.

 

He sits up suddenly, creasing the sheets beneath him. His phone still lies on the pillow but has failed to seduce him into texting Tokoyami. He swings his legs over the edge of his bed, feeling a bit hot around the face- not in the flustered way, but in the rather warm and sickly way, like having taken a long nap in the middle of the day.

 

He gets up, feeling a bit lightheaded, and upon opening his bedroom door, is temporarily blinded by the harsh light of the bulbs that light the corridor outside. He roughly rubs at his eyes, massaging away the creasing feeling in the inside corners, closing the door behind him.

 

It’s kind of a now or never situation and he’s hesitant all the way to Tokoyami’s room, even when he tentatively reaches out to knock on the door. He’s a far cry from his usual self at the moment, so much so that Tokoyami, having assumed the soft knock at the door belonged to one of the more placid members of the class, looked stunned when he opened the door.

 

His mouth falls open to say something, to say anything, but he falls short and an inaudible groan is the only thing to escape. Once again, Bakugou can’t accurately gauge exactly what’s going on in Tokoyami’s head, so he’s left with little to go on, but at this point he has to assume it can’t be good.

 

Tokoyami doesn’t shut the door in his face, though. He stands there, feeling quite a bit smaller than the blonde teen, who seems to tower over the doorway in a fashion that would be quite threatening if his face wasn’t so downcast. Nonetheless, he remains silent and waits for Bakugou to initiate an explanation as to why he was here.

 

Bakugou tears his eyes from Tokoyami’s momentarily to glance down meaninglessly at the floor. He wants to scratch the back of his neck, feeling a prickling itch, but his hands seem rigidly locked at his sides.

 

“I reckon we should talk.”

 

Tokoyami can only nod. It takes a short moment for him to find his voice to clarify, “Perhaps we should. Uh...would you like to come in, then?” He pushes the door open a little wider and steps back to give Bakugou enough room to enter. Bakugou tentatively follows behind him, pushing the door a little wider with the very tips of his fingers. There’s a shy creak from the door, until Bakugou closes it behind him.

 

Tokoyami stands in the centre of the dimly lit room. He’s absentmindedly picking his fingernails, instead of folding his arms the way he usually does. He looks around for a moment, before finally engaging Bakugou, “So...what did you want to talk about?”

 

“You know what I wanna talk about.”

 

Tokoyami sighs, rubbing his hand down the side of his face- concern is etched into his features. “I guess. I just...don’t know what you want to say about it.”

 

Bakugou shrugs lamely. “Well...what do you want to say about it?”

 

For a guy to come here with no game plan and actually no idea just what he wants from this situation, Tokoyami wonders what’s going through his head. He looks side to side briefly as he thinks, before deflating slightly as he exhales, “Well...asking why would be a good start.”

 

Why.

 

Bakugou already doesn’t know what to say. In fact, he feels like he might’ve made a grave mistake in coming here, but he knows damn well it won’t erase the crushing feeling in his chest, so he stays put.

 

“I...don’t really know. I wasn’t thinking that much about it until after it happened.” He admits, now looking a little bit more serious. Tokoyami frowns, “You weren’t thinking about it? Why...why would it even lead you to do something like that?”

 

“Are you upset?”

 

Tokoyami swallows.

 

“I’m...I’m not upset .”

 

Bakugou tilts his head a fraction, pulling quite a face. “Then…”

 

“Well, it still doesn’t explain anything. It doesn’t even explain why you’re here now after you’ve been avoiding me for the past week, either.” He says, now looking a bit disgruntled. Bakugou has to feel at least a little sheepish, but his expression reveals nothing.

 

“Well...alright. Yeah, I was avoiding you. I figured you’d be pissed off at me for doing that. You looked pretty damn horrified after it happened.” He tells him. Tokoyami merely nods in acknowledgement as he processes a response.

 

“I...I was just surprised. Like, really surprised, but I wasn’t pissed off at you. I was a little annoyed that you were avoiding me, though.” He tells him. Bakugou can’t argue with that, really. “I guess that’s fair enough. It’s been fucking bugging me all week, though. Not like I just forgot it happened or anything.”

 

“Naturally. That’s why you’re here, after all, isn’t it?”

 

Bakugou rolls his eyes and Tokoyami manages to crack something of a smile, “Roll your eyes all you like, but I don’t have any explanations to give.” He steps forward so he’s about level with Bakugou’s chest, “I want to know why you...um…”

 

Bakugou can only watch the way his face prickles as he intentionally trails off, allowing him to fill in the blanks. Of course, Bakugou can’t really resist teasing, even now.

 

“Why I kissed you?”

 

Tokoyami’s shoulders sort of come up in a rather rigid pose which emphasises his now apparent embarrassment of acknowledging the situation. The feathery parts that adorn his face fluff up and outwards, making it look a bit like somebody had just rubbed a towel over his head.

 

Bakugou lifts his hand up to extend a finger, pointing directly into Tokoyami’s face. When Tokoyami finally looks back up, feeling the sudden warmth subside, he’s met with that sight.

 

He looks up at Bakugou with quite vacant eyes.

 

“That’s why.”

 

He tilts his head. Bakugou allows his finger to gently flick the tip of Tokoyami’s beak.

 

“Call it fuckin’ gay if you want, but...to tell you the truth, I just did it because I wanted to. The past month I’ve noticed you a little more- I guess it’s like...well…” His face twists slightly as he thinks, “I guess I’ve seen more of you now than I have before. It interested me.”

 

Tokoyami can only really stare and listen in silence.

 

“I mean, you’re still a dramatic fucking chuuni, but like...I guess there was more to you than I’d noticed and...it got to me.” He frowns, “ You got to me- with that fucking smile. It’s been pissing me off for weeks now, ever since I gave you that damn gift.”

 

Said gift sits blamelessly in the corner, switched on atop the table, casting a near invisible glow on the wall.

 

“I don’t know why you had to make that stupid fuckin’ face at me, but you did and it got to me. You literally never smile like that. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you smile at all, before then. I just…”

 

He looks down, hands now in pockets and feet shuffling against the carpet. He speaks lowly.

 

“I just wanted to see it again. I thought maybe if I could see you smile like that, I’d feel less hung up about it- like I’d stop thinking about it.” He lifts his head, “That’s why I offered to tutor you to begin with. Figured it might make you…”

 

He doesn’t say ‘happy’ but it’s not like he needs to.

 

“Then you got your results. Did yourself proud and...I thought, since you’d make that face again, I’d go back to not thinking about you. I’d stop feeling fucking torn up but, no, it just hooked me again and I just…I had to.”

 

His eyes look oddly sorrowful and Tokoyami isn’t sure he likes it.

 

“I mean, how fucking stupid is that.” He laughs humorlessly and it’s breathy like harsh wind, “It wasn’t even for who you were or what you could do. It was that damn, fucking smile. That’s all it fucking took.”

 

He almost hates that it allows Tokoyami to have power over him. It makes him feel somewhat humiliated and hopeless to combat it, but Tokoyami’s expression is soft, even if he can only see the top half of it.

 

His eyes don’t look as sharp and narrow as they normally are.

 

“How the hell do you do that?”

 

He really, really wants to pull his gaze away and look somewhere else but Tokoyami’s eyes are magnetic and seem to draw him in more and more every time he risks a glance. He almost feels cheated and he’s not sure why, as if Tokoyami’s been aware of this the entire time.

 

But, when he focuses in a little more, he realises Tokoyami looks both surprised and downcast. His hand is brought up to cover a certain part of his chest as he looks up at Bakugou with sincerity.

 

“Part of me thinks you’re joking...but I hope you aren’t.” He says. “I mean, I certainly didn’t expect an explanation like that. I really couldn’t have anticipated anything like that, but...you seem to be full of surprises.” He tilts his head back enough and Bakugou can see that regular placid smile that always seems to look like a smirk from any other angle.

 

Bakugou is so captivated in that moment, he lifts his hand to hook a finger under Tokoyami’s beak, lifting his head up a few inches. Tokoyami’s eyes become just as wide as they had a week ago and his mouth would hang open if Bakugou wasn’t basically holding it up. He’s almost too scared to exhale, in case Bakugou could feel the warmth on his wrist.

 

“I’m not joking.” He says softly, “What kind of asshole do you think I am?”

 

“An asshole who kisses someone and then avoids them for a week, because he can’t face telling them the truth.” Tokoyami responds quite slyly.

 

“I just told you the truth, didn’t I?”

 

“You kissed me because you like the way I smile?”

 

Bakugou doesn’t say anything, but his lips are permanently locked in a half-smile.

 

“And you’re absolutely sure that’s the only reason? There’s nothing else aside from that, that you might want to tell me about?” Bakugou has to admit, he’s never seen Tokoyami tease anyone before, but it’s not like it’s driving him away. His smile deepens alongside a frown.

 

“So what are you implying?”

 

“Oh, nothing. I just...was under the impression you might’ve neglected a few important details is all. Omitted something you’d rather keep to yourself…?” There’s a smile playing on his face that shifts to a grin every now and then as he speaks.

 

Bakugou emits a husky laugh. “Now who’s being the asshole? I’m not telling you shit if you keep prodding like that.” He closes the gap between them, finger still gently hooked under the other teens’ chin, so they’re almost touching.

 

“Well, in that case, if you’ve nothing left to say...might I say something instead?”

 

“Go ahead.”

 

There’s a sizable pause here, where Tokoyami’s inspecting Bakugou’s features quite closely. He hadn’t really expected the conversation to swerve into this manner and though he’s terrified he’s reading every tiny thing wrong, even down to the curled finger that’s affectionately hooked under his chin, he desperately wants to see it through to the end.

 

His hands come up to rest on Bakugou’s chest, allowing the two of them to now actually touch. “I’m...I suppose I’m not the best with words.”

 

“Mhm…”

 

“And I--I’ve been thinking about it for a while...even a little before what happened.”

 

“Yeah..?”

 

“And I was thinking...it’s very possible that I--”

 

“That you…?”

 

“...are you going to keep doing that?”

 

Bakugou grins. “Yeah. Carry on.”

 

Tokoyami frowns, but doesn’t pull away. “I’m not sure I want to.”

 

“No, c’mon, what were you thinking? I’ve said what I wanna say and now it’s your turn. Spit it out already.” He chides with amusement, gently teasing the softer spot under his beak. “Say it.”

 

“Uh, I don’t think I will.”

 

“Say it.”

 

“No…”

 

“Say it…”

 

He leans a little closer, effectively inches away from Tokoyami’s face and it causes his breath and his heart to hitch. He clamps his mouth shut, now adamant on refusing to speak, though it’s evidently playful. Bakugou pouts when he realises he’s not going to get what he wants, but an idea sprouts from it.

 

“Fine. If that’s how you wanna play it. Since you’re not using it right now,” The pad of his thumb lightly traces the very corner of Tokoyami’s beak in emphasis,”...then I guess that means I can…

 

There’s a short pause where Tokoyami realises Bakugou had been referring to his silence and, by extension, his mouth and that’s why he was currently occupying said mouth with...his own.

 

Bakugou’s lips protrude slightly to press a softer kiss against the hard line that runs around the sharp edge of Tokoyami’s beak and it’s such a sensitive feeling, Tokoyami has to kiss back when he feels Bakugou’s lips curve around his.

 

His hands are gripping the front of Bakugou’s shirt and it feels bizarre that he doesn’t remember clenching down, but all of the feeling in his body has rushed to his face and he feels the way Bakugou’s free hand gently runs over and cups his fluffy cheek. Bakugou emits a low, almost feral, hum that Tokoyami can feel on the edge of his mouth and the tip of his tongue as it delves slowly, rhythmically, against his.

 

He’s only vaguely aware of the sensation of his feet moving on their own, stepping backwards as Bakugou coaxes him further and further until his back hits the door. He emits a light groan, managing to slide his hands from the front of Bakugou’s shirt up over his shoulders to run his fingers through his hair and over the back of his neck.

 

They carry on like this for a good ten minutes and by the time they take the time to break away for a moment, they’re both a mess. With hair askew, saliva coating their lips and tongues and a distinctly hot sensation growing in their chests, they take a moment to catch their breaths, feeling the accumulation of warmth in the short gap between them. Bakugou can feel beading sweat right in the middle of his hairline which is momentarily relieved when Tokoyami runs his slightly spindly hand up over his forehead, pushing the blonde hair back. He sighs, almost blissfully.

 

“So...what was it you were gonna say, again?”

 

Tokoyami smiles coyly, “It doesn’t matter anymore.” He says softly, lowering his head to rest on the slope of skin that connects Bakugou’s chest and shoulder. Bakugou rolls his eyes, knowing that even though now might not be the time to prod, he’d get the answer he wants sooner or later. For now, though, he gently strokes the fluffy black expanse that covers Tokoyami’s head.

 


 

It takes no time at all for the two of them to decide to start dating. It’s bizarre at first, having no experience in dating on either side, but they soon begin to feel each other out, figuratively and literally and they’re both remarkably surprised at how much progress has been made in such little time.

 

Then again, with such an attraction that seemed to spark out of nowhere, with such intensity and passion, Bakugou isn’t really that surprised anymore. He’s used to feeling his mood slowly lull into calm contentment whenever Tokoyami appears and he’s found more that he appreciates about the relationship than he’d initially thought.

 

For instance, Tokoyami doesn’t butt in to tell him to shut up or calm down unless he’s being really quite unruly. Instead, he just sits back and observes quietly, allowing Bakugou to have his moments and Bakugou likes that, because attempting to be quietened is an action that immediately gets on each and every one of his nerves.

 

Another is that somehow, Tokoyami always seems to know what to say and how it act no matter the situation. Unless Bakugou is finding his naturally calm and cool demeanour to be contextually annoying, he’s rarely ever a bother.

 

On the flipside, Tokoyami actually isn’t all too bothered by...pretty much everything about Bakugou. Even his explosive temper and all around abhorrent attitude- it’s just something that comes with the guy. He’s accustomed to it and if he’s being honest, Bakugou isn’t Bakugou without that special kind of unrelenting and totally unnecessary moodiness.

 

And, though he would never admit it to anyone, he secretly revels in being the only person to which Bakugou will immediately soften his mood for. He could be rampaging down the corridor in the lowest mood possible, blasting any and everything in his path, but if Tokoyami happened to pass by, he’d switch without batting an eye. He’d go from ‘fuck absolutely everybody’ to ‘hey babe’ in half a second and there was just something about that power that made Tokoyami feel quite special.

 

Sure, he could be loud, brash and quite undesirable at the worst of times, something Tokoyami found to be sort of repulsive at the beginning of their time in school, but now it was just a thing that tied the rest of Bakugou together to make one whole human being. It was just a part of the collection that made him sigh dreamily at his boyfriend.

 

Though he’s never admitted that aloud, Bakugou knows this and appreciates it more than he’ll ever let on.