Chapter 1: Beginning of the End
Eijirou watched dreamily from across the park as the couple came to a stop at a mossy bench. His legs dangled over the stone wall, kicking into the air as he craned forward to hear their conversation. His chin rested in his palms as he beamed at another job well done. He watched as the man rubbed his neck nervously, while a coral arrow sputtered and beat where it had been embedded right over his heart. The woman clad in a glittery red gown bore a similar dark blue arrow which pulsed wildly as the man spoke to her. The man said something that Eijirou couldn’t quite make out, and the woman blushed vigorously as she raised a delicate hand to her bright smile. Eijirou grinned with unchecked joy and anticipation as the man reached into his suit pocket and brought out a dark velvet box.
The woman gasped and Eijirou couldn’t help the squeal that escaped his mouth and a quick clap of his hands before the man began to speak. “My love, though I’ve only known you for a year now I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather have by my side. Every day we’ve been together you make me smile and laugh and fall deeper and deeper in love with you.” Tears spilled from the woman’s eyes at the heartfelt declaration, and Eijirou’s cheeks hurt with how big he was smiling.
“I wouldn’t trade what we have for the world,” He continued. “I can’t help thinking that everything that’s happened, everything we’ve been through has been meant to be, leading us to this moment.” The man took a shaky breath. Eijirou bit his smile his hands clasped in front of him. “Meiko, will you make me the happiest man alive, will you marry me?”
Eijirou cheered as Meiko nodded, she laughed, happy tears slid down her face as the man guided the sparkling ring onto her outstretched finger. He sighed as the women took the man’s face in her soft hands, holding his blushing cheeks and drawing slow circles with her thumb as she pulled him down and met his lips with her’s. He was still gazing in adoration at the happy couple when he felt the rustle of wings beside him.
“You always love this way too much for your own good.” the newcomer chuckled.
Eijirou turned to face the bright eyes and knowing smile of Ochako. Her pastel pink wings were ruffled by the warm breeze, the moonlight catching on the small white spots that dotted the expanse of her feathers that never failed to remind Eijirou of a snowy owl.
“I know!” He laughed, leaning back on his palms to gaze at the starry night sky. “It just makes me so happy, ya know?”
“Careful Eijirou, don’t go getting attached on me. Your wings are too pretty to lose.” She bumped his shoulder playfully with her own.
He tilted his head towards her. “Don’t worry. I wouldn’t trade this job for anything.” He grinned and though he wasn’t egotistical he had to agree with her, his wings were too pretty to lose.
The silky feathers at tops of his wings were a deep purple. That slowly faded into a crimson red that covered the majority of his plumage, to disperse into orange and yellow at the tips of his fringe, like a sunset. Though his wings were a major plus of what he was, it was the job he worked that always kept him far away from a bond with a human. He loved making others happy, loved seeing them care for one another so deeply and so fully. He loved knowing that he had brought them that, that he had made two people happier than they could ever be. He had to doubt that any romantic or platonic love he could feel for a human could rival the great joy he felt from bringing them together. He would never let his own love wither his wings and melt his bow.
“What brings you here?” He asked, snapping himself out of his ponderings.
“Work, same as you.” She groaned slightly slumping forward.
“Difficult one?” He queried.
She sighed rubbing at her eyes with the heels of her palms. “You have no idea.” she muttered shaking her head.
“You’ll find someone for them soon.” He soothed. “You have a clean record, a bet they’re just having a hard time.”
“See but it's not his fault,” she whined dramatically. “I thought it would be so easy, he’s adorable and the sweetest thing ever! And I found the perfect match, like the highlight of my career match but he’s just so oblivious. I’m sure I’ll have an arrow ready for the original client soon, it's the match that’s driving me crazy.”
Eijirou nodded sympathetically, he’d had his fair share of enemies to lovers, Romeos and Juliets you name it. “I’m sure it's just a long job, you’ll get through it.” He smiled brightly.
“I hope.” She sighed squishing her cheeks between her palms. “I should probably get back to them though, and you should get your next assignment” she elbowed him softly. “It was nice seeing you Eijirou.”
She stood gracefully, unfurled her wings and took flight with a rush of wind that ruffled Eijirou’s hair and swarmed him with nearby loose leaves.
Every human had a multitude of possible soulmates, some were platonic, some were romantic, some only had one possibility while others had twenty. It was fates job to lead them towards one another and a cupid’s job to find and solidify a bond with a special arrow. The arrows were given to the cupid clear and spindly, but once the cupid identified a match the arrows would glow with the colors of the pair. It was always an exciting thing to find an arrow glowing bright and warm with new color. Eijirou always liked to guess what color each person would get based on their personality, sometimes it was easy to guess, calmer people were often blues, but a lighter blue leaned more toward innocence. The color of an arrow wasn’t an exact science though, and it was always more about the feeling the arrow emanated. It wasn’t hard to figure out who the person had feelings for, you could almost feel them through the smooth glassy surface. That was always Eijirou’s favorite part, the big breakthrough, the signal that his current job was almost complete.
He pushed open the door to Tetsutetsu’s office, a wide smile on his face as he fell back into the chair before Tetsu’s plain oak desk.
“I assume the job went well.” His boss and friend smiled broadly, looking up at Eijirou through his mass of pale lashes.
“One year, and the weddings on its way.” He grinned proudly, Tetsu’s brows rose.
“Damn bro, you work fast!” He praised. “You here for your next assignment?”
Eijirou knocked his fists together, a habit when he felt satisfied with his work. “Hell yeah!” He honestly couldn’t wait for his next client. He’d been on a roll recently and he couldn’t be more excited to see just how happy he could make this new human.
Tetsu laughed. “Your gonna need that energy for this one bro. He’s a handful for sure.”
“Nothing I can’t deal with.”
Eijirou took the file Tetsu handed him, it was small, this guy must not have had a lot of bonding experiences. He opened the folder to the first page, Bakugou Katsuki, age 26, height 6’0… Eijirou looked at his picture, he was certainly attractive, not that attractiveness made finding a match super easy but it sure didn’t hurt.
“What’s the matter, he’s hot, good education, steady job. This seems pretty routine.” Eijirou’s brows drew together as he addressed his boss.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Tetsu leaned back in his chair. “Apparently the guys a total nightmare. The last one assigned to him dropped him after two months, said he was a psychotic asshole and that no one would be stupid enough to stick with him.”
Eijirou winced. Maybe not so easy then. “I’m sure he’s not that bad. Romantic or platonic match?”
“Romantic, if you can. You’re not partial to direct interference so maybe you’ll have better luck.” Tetsu sighed, fiddling with a pen. His shiny silver and black striped wings hanging lazily over his chair.
“Yeah, I kinda like to keep my distance, change little things here and there and stay invisible.” Eijirou stated with as much conviction as he could muster, his excitement over this job had dwindled a little.
“Hopefully you can stick with what you're comfortable with, but I wouldn’t be surprised if direct interference is necessary.” He pursed his lips, this one had definitely frustrated him.
“Don’t worry.” Eijirou smiled brightly. “I got this, don’t even worry about it. I’ll do whatever it takes, this ‘asshole’ will be head over heels for someone by the end of the year.”
“Knew I could count on you Bro.” Testu beamed, leaning forward again. “Start whenever you can, I know you must be tired-”
“I can start now.” He cut in with a grin. “I’m not tired, I’m pumped, this guy’s not gonna know what hit him.”
“Damn, I know who's getting employee of the month.” Tetsu chuckled his shoulders and wings bouncing with the movement.
“We haven’t had employee of the month in fifty years smart guy.” Eijirou chuckled lightheartedly.
“Hey.” Tetsu pointed finger at him, leaning over his desk, a playful smile pulled at his lips. “I’m still your boss.”
“Aye, aye sir!” Eijirou tried and failed to act serious as laughter spilled from his lips.
Tetsu laughed along. “Ok get out, I have work to do!”
“Ok, ok.” Eijirou grinned stepping out of the office and into the sparsely occupied hallway.
He shut the door behind him.
He started down the hallway again, back towards the elevator. It wasn’t his average job, he typically didn’t take rejected files, but Tetsu needed his help and he wasn’t one to back down from a challenge. It couldn’t be too difficult.
“Watch where you're going next time fuckface!” Bakugou growled. Maybe this was gonna be harder than Eijirou originally thought. Ok, a lot harder.
Eijirou had just arrived at bakugou’s high-end apartment when the spiky-haired blond was leaving, shoulders slack, gate wide and a serious fuck you attitude. A few baffled pedestrians stared in shock at the blonds merciless slander. Eijirou cringed at the absolute aura of don’t fuck with me, as Bakugou sauntered away a deep scowl etched onto his handsome face. Eijirou let himself drop the last few feet to the ground, his wings stilled and nestled in around his shoulder.
He sprinted slightly to catch up with Bakugou, weaving through the mass of people moving down the street. Though no one could see or hear him unless he wanted them to, they could still feel him if he ran into them, so he did his best to keep pace with the grumpy blond. Bakugou stopped abruptly, causing Eijirou to almost bump into him, he used his wings to catch the wing and slow his pace as he looked up at the bar Bakugou had stopped in front of. It was a large building, adorned with multiple stories which were probably apartments, but beneath it all was a well-worn bar sitting on street level.
Bakugou let out an annoyed huff of air as he entered, Eijirou followed suit. The air in the bar was woody and warm, the expanse of the establishment was well worn and homey. The booth bakugou sat down in was freckled with worn holes and stains, the resin that was washed over the table was chipped and lackluster. Bakugou had sat down in front of a pretty girl with a mass of wild, curly pink hair, she smiled brightly at his scowl. Eijirou piped up at that, maybe he was lucky enough to start this job on a date and hopefully a good one.
“Hey Mr. Grumpy.” the pink haired girl grinned leaning forward on her elbows.
Bakugou grunted a reply and swatted at her elbows. “What?” she gasped.
“Get your fuckin’ elbows off the table, ‘s rude.” he grumbled half-heartedly. He was one to talk about rude.
The girl laughed. “Aren’t you the gentleman.” Maybe this was a date, albeit Bakugou was being an especially bad one.
Bakugou didn’t even reply, just let out a noncommittal grunt and turned away from her. Seriously, he was one to talk about being rude.
It seemed though that Eijirou was to be disappointed. “Sero and Kami are on their way. Kami’s just running late, and Sero was gettin’ a ride from him.” Mina said twirling the straw in her drink before taking a sip. So this wasn’t a date, a friendly outing then. Eijirou could work with that, friends to lovers was a common tactic employed by many cupids.
Maybe one of the angry man’s friends would be apt to fall for him, they already elected to spend time with him of their own free will so it wasn’t far fetched.
Bakugou rolled his eyes. “Figures, Pikachu wouldn’t know timeliness if it hit him in the face.”
The girl laughed loudly at that. “True, true!” she said between giggles.
Bakugou looked particularly discontent with the outburst, his brows knitted together, his nose scrunched and his top lip pulled upwards by a growing constant scowl that revealed pearly white and perfect teeth. This guy seemed to have everything going for him except his personality. Eijirou sighed, Tetsu did tell him this job wouldn’t be a walk in the park, quite literally like his last.
Eijirou simply observed for another 15 minutes as the pink girl made pleasant conversation and Bakugou only rarely replied with a rude remark or uninterested grunt. The girl, who he learned was named Mina when the two who he assumed were the Kaminari and Sero mentioned before met the current pair at the booth, didn’t take Bakugou’s insults to heart and neither did the newcomers. In Fact, they seemed to take Bakugou’s non-joking tone as nothing less than a comedy sketch. The blond would say something rude and abrasive and the three strangely fun loving people would laugh it off and shoot something jokingly rude right back that never failed to get the grumpy man riled up.
Eijirou couldn’t see how this job would be an impossible one. Sure this guy wasn’t an outstanding character, but somehow he’d found a way, purposeful or not, to get these people to like him. Eijirou just hoped it wasn’t a freak miracle, he was hoping for more options, but the blond didn’t seem too fond of strangers. Maybe getting him to bring a new person into his life was a little too far fetched.
The group left the bar soon after the sun had set, none of them very sober, except bakugou who seemed to be the best at holding his liquor or emotions (other than anger). Eijirou flew above them, his wings stretched wide after so long of being pulled tight against his body. He didn’t leave a shadow, like the group, from the flickering street lamps, just an oddly cool breeze that ruffled the group's hair and clothes with each flap of his wings. None of them seemed to notice Eijirou’s presence, too deeply engrossed in conversation. Except for bakugou, who kept tugging his jacket close and scanning the area behind them for someone he could not see. Eijirou was in awe of his perception, maybe it was just from years of loathing the presence of anyone but himself, but Bakugou knew Eijirou was there. Not specifically him, but he knew something was up, he’d have to be more careful then, even if Bakugou couldn’t see him he could still get finicky and make Eijirou’s job a whole lot harder. Some people were a lot more perceptive of inhuman presences, not that it’d matter too much, it just meant he’d have to be more careful with what he did.
The group eventually split off to head home, leaving Eijirou alone to contemplate his situation. He never tried anything with his first impressions of a client, just tried to get a feel for what he would be dealing with. His last few jobs had been agreeable average people, not every time was as interesting as this. Finding someone for a grumpy headstrong person like Bakugou would definitely not be a run of the mill job. He had leads, Bakugou’s friends seemed nice and like worthy candidates so far. If the three of them didn’t work out there were plenty of fish in the sea and he was determined to find the right one. He was up for the challenge, he’d never given up or failed a job and he definitely wasn't gonna let Bakugou down. Eijirou hadn’t been able to see a whole lot of his personality but he seemed tolerable. Really how bad could he be?
Chapter 2: Human Nature
Ochako convinces Eijirou to meet some humans face to face for the first time.
Eijirou was seconds away from pulling his hair out due to none other than Bakugou Katsuki. Although Eijirou couldn’t see how he was ‘psychotic’, in fact, he found him weirdly endearing. Endearing in a funny way, that made him think about how fun it would be to smile mercilessly at the blond, who seemed to be allergic to genuine grin. He was a royal asshole to almost everyone he met though, Eijirou had never officially met Bakugou and he was still making his life a living hell. He had been pulling out all the stops in order to get Bakugou to find someone, anyone really, Eijirou was desperate. He’d been trying for over a month now, most of the time that didn’t bother him much, sometimes people took longer to get to know someone, but Eijirou was getting nowhere with Bakugou. He hadn’t so much as made a new acquaintance despite Eijirou’s best efforts. Bakugou seemed to reject human contact like a bad organ, it was something he sorely needed but refused at every corner. Eijirou was sure that if he just got Bakugou to talk to some people he’d have a change of heart, or maybe he was just being optimistic. It almost seemed like the blond was aware of every attempt Eijirou made, and he would avoid each advance like the plague.
Bakugou and his friends were back at the bar from the first day Eijirou had seen him. It was emptier today, it was about three in the afternoon though so that was to be expected. Mina was typing furiously on her phone, glancing up at Bakugou with a mischievous grin. Eijirou was slumped against the wall, he picked absentmindedly at the oak floorboards as he halfheartedly listened to the little conversation going on beside him.
Mina chewed her bottom lip. “So how’s everyone’s weekend going?” She asked, drumming her finger on the table.
“Thank you for asking, I actually am having a pretty great weekend. I decided that-” Kaminari piped in, leaning back against his chair and pushing the front to legs off the ground.
“That wasn’t an invite for your entire life story dumbass.” Bakugou sneered, he kicked at Kaminari’s chair legs.
The electric blond squealed loudly as he tried to steady himself, falling forward slightly he let out a breathy laugh. “Holy shit, that was scary.”
“Fucking wimp…” Bakugou grumbled, slumped against his chair and arms crossed defensively.
“Wow Bakugou, you’re especially bitchy today.” Mina laughed, Bakugou narrowed his eyes at her.
“And that’s saying something.” Sero added, smirking at the blond across from him whose hands were balled into fists.
“I’m fucking fine, stop bothering me-” Bakugou stopped mid-sentence, which caught the redhead off guard. He curiously took a peek over the table at the fuming blond. “Scratch that, I need a knife.”
“Woah dude, the fuck?” Kaminari stuttered following Bakugou’s gaze with Eijirou.
There holding the door open for a small group of people was a rather small green-haired man. His wild curls framed his smiling face as he spoke with the rest of his party. He turned his emerald green gaze towards the table, his skin went pale but he managed a small wave and to keep his bright grin. Maybe Eijirou’s luck was changing, more friends more opportunities.
Bakugou growled. “Hey, you guys!” Mina’s chair scraped against the wood floor. She waved wildly. “Fancy seeing you here!” She called with an exaggerated air of surprise.
Bakugou clenched his fists, staring daggers at Mina who shrugged with a smile.
“Hey Mina, long time no see.” The green-haired man laughed awkwardly. He glanced at bakugou.
“Midoriya, pull up a chair, all of you!” Mina clapped excitedly and gestured to the table for Midoriya and his group of friends.
The new group pulled up a second table and a slew of new chairs. They situated themselves comfortably and Midoriya took off his jacket, now accustomed to the warmth. Eijirou’s eyes widened, he propped himself up to get a better look. He hadn’t noticed at first, he really hadn’t been paying much attention, due to his mopping. There jutting from Midoriya’s t-shirt was a bright turquoise arrow, pulsing softly in time to the beating of his heart. What lucky cupid got him?
Eijirou could feel himself deflate like a sad balloon. He almost didn’t notice the bubbly voice that followed his meekness. “I’ll be right back, gotta go to the restroom.”
Ochako walked by him with a spring in her step, her pale pink wings nowhere to be seen. Eijirou’s brows knitted together, surely Ochako hadn’t fallen for a human and lost them, they’d only spoken a little over a month ago. She passed behind him, avoiding his gaze, and into the bathroom. He turned back around to stare at the chatting humans. Bakugou’s fists were clenched so hard they’d faded to a pale white. He was surprised the blond hadn’t broken the skin with his nails yet.
“Hey there Mr. mopey.” Eijirou jumped at the voice over his shoulder.
Ochako laughed and Eijirou huffed in annoyance. She was still wearing her human outfit from before. A soft looking white sweater and a pretty green skirt, Eijirou narrowed his eyes. “You look weird.” He commented.
“Rude!” She scoffed, landing a playful swat on his head. “I think I look pretty cute.”
Her wings were back now, stiff and ruffled from obvious lack of use. “Where were your wings, and why are you with all those humans?”
“I’m incognito!” She squealed, her wings twitched with excitement.
“Incog- what now?” He raised a brow at her.
She sighed, her lips quirked up in a smile as she rolled her eyes dramatically. “Incognito, I’m undercover. Can’t all be playing God like you.”
“I don’t play God!” He laughed, some of his usual vigor returning.
“Yeah, well you sure don’t play human.” She smirked as she sat down beside him. “It’s so much fun. I’ve gotten further with my match in one month than almost three of behind the scenes work.”
The piqued his interest “How?”
“Oh you know, asked them to hang out somewhere and then canceled right before.” She droned with false laziness. “You have no idea how many times I’ve asked them to lunch or coffee and canceled as soon as they asked where I was.”
Eijirou snorted, that did sound like good progress. Ochako was really lucky, to have progressed so easily now that she’d found the right method was really great. Eijirou was happy for her.
“By the way, what’s up with you? You got that kicked puppy look.” She leaned toward him a little, her slight concern evident in her gaze.
“Oh, nothing too bad.” He laughed awkwardly, his palm rubbed self-consciousness at the back of his neck. “Just a really tough job. I haven’t even gotten close, maybe I’ve just lost my touch or-“
“Oh cut it with your self-esteem issues. You know full and well you’re the best Cupid in our department.” Ochako crosses her arms with a huff, her wings flared out defensively. “Don’t sell yourself short.”
“Sorry! Sorry!” He laughed, a little richer this time.
“So who’s the lucky primate?” She wiggled her eyebrows, her playful attitude returned.
“Don’t call them that!” He scoffed lightheartedly. “The blond one right over there with yours.”
“No, no, the other blond. Spiky one.”
“No way!” She laughed, brows raised.
“What?!” He asked sheepishly, drawing in on himself slightly.
“You got king explosion murder!” She gawked. “Bakugou Katsuki, angry bitch extraordinaire?” She let out another chorus of giggles.
“Well, when you put it like that…”
“Did you piss off someone upstairs?”
Eijirou shook his head. “No, Tetsu asked and I was a little too cocky… I guess…” He wished he’d been a little more tentative with his selection of a job, maybe asked for a test run. He’d been on a roll though and wanted to give his friend a hand.
“Maybe you should drop it?” Ochako offered as she chewed her lip nervously.
Eijirou’s brows tilted up, and his eyes big. “You know I can’t do that, that’s like the least manly thing ever. I’ve never dropped a job before, and besides, I’d feel bad doing that to him.”
“He’s not exactly a saint though, you’re gonna be at this for a while…” Ochako pondered for a moment before her face lit up. “You should go undercover, like me!” She grinned bringing her padded fingers together, a small tilt of her head.
“I don’t know about that Ochako. I’ve never done that before…” His brows shadowed his eyes, as he gazed at his fidgeting hands. Not many Cupids showed themselves to humans, it was a newer tactic employed by the youngest of them. Eijirou and Ochako were by no means old by Cupid standards, but they sure weren’t young.
“You’ll be fine! I’ll just say your my friend who just moved here or something.” Ochako’s grin pulled fiercely at her rosy cheeks, her bright gaze locked on Eijirou with new excitement.
Eijirou chewed his lip nervously. That was a lot different then what he was used to, he was sure to mess it up somehow. “But I don’t know the first thing about human life. What if I do something wrong? I don’t even have a last name…” He troubled himself further with all likelihood of situations, each more outrageous than the last. What if they found him out and ran experiments on him? Or more likely, what if Bakugou hated him and wouldn’t even talk to him and he had just wasted his time?
Ochako bumped his shoulder lightly. “That’s what the office is for silly! They’ll get you all set up, job, apartment, a whole life. Just, don’t, let Tetsutetsu pick you last name.” She concluded with utmost seriousness, but Eijirou could see the humorous glint in her eyes.
He snorted, a small smile now gracing his features. “Why’s that?”
“He went undercover a few years ago. Went with Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu.” She grinned broadly. It sure felt nice to spend time with Ochako. She was always welcome company, what with her cheerful nature and determined care for her friends.
“I guess I could give it shot.” He shrugged, his grin grew. “What with it working out so well for you.”
She squealed. “Oh, I’m so excited! I can’t wait to take you shopping and decorate your new place.”
“Wait, shopping? My new what?” He faltered slightly, the feeling of being out of his depth returning, but was quickly put back to rest by Ochako’s maternal like consoling.
“Don’t worry.” She cooed with a flick of her wrist. “I was confused at first too, but it was my favorite part. You’ll learn quickly trust me!”
“Whatever you say!” He laughed, the warm feeling in his chest finally returning. This wouldn’t be so bad. Bakugou would think he's great, they’d be best friends and then he’d set him up with the love of his life and be on his way. Simple, right? Probably not, he thought as he gazed at the blond, who was screaming himself hoarse at the timid green-haired man currently being sheltered by another with pale white and fiery red locks.
“Oh shoot!” Ochako stumbled to her feet. “I should probably get back to them before someone dies.” She sprinted back towards the bathroom. “Talk to Tetsutetsu about getting you set up, I’ll give him my two cents on your back story!”
“Wait, the crocs?” Ochako gapped.
“Yeah, the crocs. They were cool.” He muttered fidgeting with the surprisingly soft fabric of the red and black garment that Ochako referred to as a ‘flannel’. It was nice, but nothing like the silky fabric of cupid’s tunics.
Ochako pinched the bridge of her nose. “Eijirou, we talked about this. I know you like them but the crocs are only for inside ok.”
Eijirou huffed. “Yeah, ok. I guess I’m ready then…”
“Great!” Ochako clapped. “Then lets-”
“Oh wait!” Eijirou gasped. He stumbled back into the bathroom, Ochako smiled with a little shake of her head. This was his favorite part, he’d practiced for a whole day perfecting it. He had to look his best, as Ochako said, for his first impression. He set to work with a large smile as he layered a thick gel into his crimson locks, pulling slightly to raise the hair into thick peeks. He finished it off with a healthy dusting of hairspray and stood back to admire his work. He poked experimentally at the now slightly crispy strands, it was perfect.
“Tada!” He called as he sprung from the bathroom, a new aura of confidence absorbing him.
Ochako looked up from her cell phone, a large smile bloomed on her face. “I love it! It’s so you.” She giggled behind her hand.
“Really? I got the idea from that old poster we bought. The Crimson Riot one.” Eijirou had taken a quick liking to the old rock star when he’d seen a vintage poster on their shopping trip. He hung it proudly above his bed and styled his hair to match his new favorite singer, not that he’d listened to much prior.
“You ready now then?” Ochako asked, still grinning profusely as she stood.
“Yep!” He returned, taking one more quick look at his appearance in the tall mirror before tailing Ochako out the door.
“Now remember everything?” Ochako posed as they walked down the hallway of his new apartment building.
“Ok then, introduce yourself to me.”
He mentally prepared himself, bringing his signature large smile to his features. “Hi, I’m Kirishima Eijirou!”
“Nice to meet you Kirishima, how do you know Uraraka?”
“We met in college, we were pretty close till she moved.”
“Speaking of moving, what made you?”
“Oh my job, I’m a physical therapist down the street.”
“Wow, that’s cool-“
“Ochako is this really necessary?” Eijirou smirked.
“Don’t patronize me!” She huffed bringing her hands to her hips. “I’m just being a good friend and double checking.”
“Sorry, my bad.” He laughed heartily.
“Honest mistake.” She grinned mischievously at him, letting her hands fall back down at her sides.
They’d made it outside at this point, and Eijirou relished the feeling of the outside air. He’d never been one to stay cooped up in a stuffy air-conditioned building. It felt odd though to walk along the street, he’d always flown above to avoid the crowds. Right now, of course, flying was not an option, seeing as his wings had been tuck safely away. It hasn’t occurred to him to retract his wings, he felt like a very large feathered cat. He’d figured out pretty quickly though, he wasn’t sure how he felt about not having the comforting weight of his feathers pressed against his back. It felt like losing a limb, he could swear his wings were still there, extended to stretch in the cool breeze. They weren’t though, which he was glad for in front of all these humans.
“How do you deal with having your wings cooped up for so long.” He grumbled half-heartedly.
Ochako shrugged. “Don’t know, you get used to it after a while. I sleep with them out though, get in some good stretches before bed too.”
Eijirou nodded, he rolled his shoulders, still uncomfortable with the absence of soft down. They made their way down the street, the same path Bakugou had walked the first-day Eijirou had seen him. Ochako and he blended in much better than Bakugou though, they smiled at the passing people and made quiet conversation. Eijirou couldn’t deny he was excited to try this new method of work, he’d always harbored admiration for humans, but never got up close. To be able to be a part of their daily life, if only for a little while, was extremely exciting, to say the least.
They came upon the bar and Ochako gave him a wide smile and a quick pat on the back. “You got this. Don’t even worry!” She cooed.
Eijirou nodded. “Yeah!” he grinned, knocking his fists together.
“That’s the spirit!” She cheered.
She was right, he totally had this. I wasn’t like he had such an off-putting personality as Bakugou, who had befriended the same people. Although Bakugou was the one that gave him the most anxiety over the situation. He had to be friends with the blond in some respect, enough to know what kind of people he liked and to set him up with someone he could hopefully more than tolerate. That was gonna be like looking for a needle in a haystack. He doubted there was anyone out there he could get Bakugou Katsuki to tolerate.
They entered the bar, Ochako pulling him through the jungle of tables to the set up at the far corner. She pushed him into a seat and fell down into the one beside him.
“Hey everybody! This is my friend I was talking about.” Ochako smiled, pressing her fingers together her soft brown eyes shut with the smile.
“Hi.” He grinned nervously. “I’m Kirishima Eijirou.”
“Nice to meet you!” Mina beamed, reaching over to shake Eijirou’s hand.
“Any friends of Uraraka is a friend of ours.” “Yeah, nice to meet you, man!” The rest of the group hummed enthusiastically.
Eijirou could feel his shoulders losing their previous tension at the group's quick acceptance. “What the hell is wrong with your hair?”
Eijirou turned sheepishly to the voice at his left. Bakugou was looking at him through narrowed eyes. His lips pressed in a hard line and his brow in its permanent crease. At least he wasn’t scowling as bad as he normally was. Eijirou’s voice caught in his throat, his words bubbling and popping painfully on his tongue. “I think it looks cool.” Mina interjected, Bakugou let out a soft ‘Tch’.
“I’m Ashido Mina, by the way, you can just call me Mina!” She grinned. “This here is Kaminari, that's Sero, down there at the end is Midoriya, Todoroki, and Iida. You’ve already had the ‘pleasure’ of meeting Bakugou over there.” She smirked as the blond threw her a dirty glare.
“I’m a fucking joy to be around bitch.” He growled.
“You’re really proving your point man.” Sero laughed, it was a miracle Bakugou didn’t lunge across the table to strangle any number of them.
“I apologize for not introducing myself sooner!” The tall one Iida stood with a chop of his hand. “I did not want to interrupt anyone. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance!”
Eijirou laughed, Bakugou snorted beside him. “Nice to meet you too bro.” He grinned.
“Who the fuck says bro?” Bakugou grimaced, he leaned back lazily in his chair, his sharp gaze trained on Eijirou.
This time he was prepared. “Me… bro.” He snickered.
Bakugou rolled his eyes and let out a huff of air. “Don’t test him too much, he's a ticking time bomb.” Kaminari loudly whispered across the table.
Eijirou chuckled and Bakugou face screwed up in a scowl. “The fuck you say about me Pikachu!”
“So Kirishima?” Mina called over the ruckus. “How do you know our sweet Uraraka?” She wiggled her eyebrows making Eijirou laugh awkwardly as he ran his clammy hands along his jeans.
“We met in college.” He recited. “We were basically best friends till she moved.”
“What made you follow?” Midoriya piped in from the other end of the table.
“My… job.” He said, then followed up with more confidence. “I’m a physical therapist. My old practice went under, and Ochako told me about a place down the street that was hiring.”
“Wow, physical therapy.” Midoriya cooed. “That’s really cool! I’ve had to go myself a few times.” He laughed awkwardly at the last part.
“Oh, what happened?” Eijirou inquired.
“Well, you see-”
“It’s cause he’s got bones of fucking glass and is a dumbass.” Bakugou grumbled, crossing his arms.
“Yeah…” Midoriya chuckled softly. “I had mild osteoporosis when I was little-”
He could have sworn he heard Kaminari mumble, “I have osteoporosis.” under his breath as Midoriya spoke. Bakugou snorted softly, Eijirou smiled as the tiny grin playing bakugou’s features. The blond caught his eye, holding his gaze before clicking his tongue and turning away.
“-anyways, it wasn’t bad, but I was a pretty reckless kid.” He scratched at the hairs on his neck awkwardly. “I ended up with a lot of pretty bad fractures.” He pulled up his sleeve to reveal a slew of pale scars that traced his hand and lower arm like vines. Eijirou winced. “It’s not as bad as it looks, just from surgery. I’m fine now, got my body weight up working out with my stepdad and I’m good as new!” The small man smiled brightly now, and Eijirou couldn’t help but return the grin.
“We get it you’re a fucking sob story. Would be easier to just say you were a little bitch and get it over with.” Bakugou sneered finishing his drink.
Eijirou pursed his lips. He got that Bakugou didn’t like Midoriya but that was pretty rude. Iida’s mouth hung open ready to tell the spiky-haired blond off, but Eijirou beat him to it. “Dude, that’s not cool, you should apologize.”
Bakugou met his gaze with narrowed eyes. “What did you say shitty hair?” He glowered.
Eijirou tried not to flinch at the insulting nickname. “You should apologize.” He sat up a little taller. “It’s not manly to make fun of someone for opening up like that. How do you think Midoriya feels?”
Bakugou laughed at that. A little dark but genuine all the same. “Manly?” he choked out. “That’s funny shitty hair, where’d you come up with that bullshit.”
“Crimson Riot.” He answered, puffing out his chest a little at the mention of the man who had quickly become his idol.
“The old rock star?” Mina Inquired.
“Yeah!” Eijirou smiled broadly. “You heard of him?”
“Dude, of course, he’s pretty cool.” Kaminari interjected. “Sero had a signed poster in high school.”
“Wow, really!?” Eijirou gushed. “Did you meet him?”
“Oh no, I wish.” Sero chuckled. “It was my dad’s. Gave it to me when he thought I was old enough to appreciate it.”
“Oh man, that’s so cool!” Eijirou sighed longingly.
“You’re welcome to come over and see it sometime, I’ve still got it somewhere.” Sero shrugged with a grin.
“I’d love to!” Eijirou perked up. “Thanks!”
“No problem.” Sero answered. Eijirou didn’t miss Bakugou relaxing beside him though.
“Hey, wait.” He said turning to the blond. “You’re not getting out of this.” He crossed his arms, trying to emphasize his seriousness.
“Out of what?” The blond raised a brow lazily, fixing Eijirou with his indifferent gaze.
Bakugou rolled his eyes with a huff. “Finnnne.” He drawled out. “Sorry, you’re such a fucking bitch Deku. I’m gonna get another beer.”
The blond was gone in a flash. Leaving Eijirou to purse his lip and pout into the new silence.
“Don’t think you’re gonna get much more out of him man.” Kaminari offered.
“I don’t think I’ve ever even heard him say the word sorry.” Mina chuckled with a smirk.
Midoriya laughed softly. “Kacchan isn't really one for apologies.”
Kirishima slumped into his chair slightly. “Yeah, I noticed.” He grumbled.
“So,” Mina began. “Where exactly did you set up shop?”
Eijirou’s brow creased, he didn’t want to say he didn’t know what she meant, but he really didn’t. “Where am I living?” He asked tentatively.
“Duh.” Mina giggled.
“Oh um, that new building down the street from here, something court I think.” Eijirou shrugged, relaxing a little.
“Wait really?” Kaminari looked up from his drink. “Doesn’t Bakugou live there, the really nice place?”
“Yeah think so.” Sero nodded. “I guess you two are neighbors then.”
Kaminari snorted. “Yeah, good luck what that.”
Eijirou shook his head with a light chuckle. “I doubt it will be that bad. It’s a big place, we probably won’t even see each other.”
Eijirou snorted. “Yeah, your one to talk. You were unusually quiet.” He grumbled turning towards her.
She smiled at him. “I just wanted you to get a feel for them yourself. You know, on your own terms.”
He rolled his eyes. Ochako had been so invested in the plan until he had to talk. He honestly didn’t need help with talking he’d always been pretty chatty, but talking with a group of strangers had been nerve-racking even for him.
“You did great though!” She grinned, a pep in her step as they both walked home. “I think you made a pretty good first impression on Bakugou. You’ll be friends in no time!”
Eijirou raised a brow. “I don’t know about that. All he did was insult and laugh at me.”
“He insults everyone!” She waved him off. “At least he laughed for you.”
Ochako’s phone buzzed in her pocket. Eijirou took the time to evaluate the course of the night. Overall Ochako was right, it had gone pretty well, or as well as meeting up with Bakugou could. Eijirou had found he really did enjoy talking with the angry blonds friends. Everyone had been so warm and welcoming, except maybe the two-toned man Todoroki, who stared blankly and only whispered a few choice phrases (mostly to Midoriya).
While bakugou had laughed like Ochako pointed out, it was more at Eijirou than with him. He was definitely as unfriendly as Eijirou had expected, but oddly enjoyable to be around. He had a very energetic presence if you could call it that. It was hard to explain, but for however mean he was Eijirou could see why friendly people such as Mina would put up with him, or even enjoy being around him.
“Hey?” Ochako tapped his shoulder. “Earth to Eijirou!” She called, waving a hand in front of his face.
“Sorry!” He laughed. “What’s up?”
“We have a little group chat, Mina wants your number to add you.”
“Yeah really!” Ochako laughed. “They all really liked you.” Ochako leaned in a little with a sly smile. “Mina also thinks we’re secretly dating or something.”
Eijirou’s eyes could have popped out of his skull had they not been anchored to his head. “W-what? Why would she think that?” He choked out.
Ochako laughed. “Says she’s a bloodhound for tea and romance.” She shrugged. “I think it’s funny.”
“Yeah…” Eijirou replied awkwardly rubbing his neck.
“Don’t even worry about it.” Ochako smiled. “She thinks I’m dating any guy I talk to. Says I’m too cute to be single.” Eijirou snorted, that sounded like the vibrant pink haired girl he’d taken a quick liking to. “Sometimes I think she’d make a better Cupid than me. She prides herself on setting up her friends.”
“I doubt that from what I’ve heard about Midoriya. He’s definitely as nice as you said.” Eijirou grinned. The green haired man had been one of the kindest at the table and also one of the most adorable people he’d met. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t slightly jealous of Ochako for getting him.
“Yeah, he is.” She agreed her cheeks dusted a rosy pink. She coughed. “It’s uh Todoroki I’m setting him up with. You know weird hair, kinda quiet.” She pursed her lips slightly.
“Uh yeah, he didn’t really say much.” Eijirou commented.
“Yeah…” She sighed. “He’s like that. He’s why it's all been so difficult.” She kicked a stray pebble her gaze wandering. “Midoriya already really likes him.”
“That’s good though.” Eijirou encouraged. “You’re already halfway there!”
She smiled widely, finally looking up at him. “Yeah, it is pretty good. I just hope Todoroki comes around soon. It’s not that he doesn’t like Midoriya, he’s just got some stuff. He’s not good with being open.”
He nodded, he’d had people like that before. “I’m sure it’ll work out. He seemed pretty close to Midoriya tonight.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.” She nodded too, a little less enthusiasm behind it. “Oh, but can I add you?” She perked up.
“Add me to what?”
“The group chat silly.” She laughed heartily.
“Oh, yeah, sure that's fine.” He laughed along with her. “This is my stop right?” He gestured to the apartment building they’d just come upon.
“Eijirou,” Ochako giggled. “You’ve gotta know your own apartment building.”
“I know, I know, I’m sorry. This is all just so weird.” He groaned half-heartedly as he walked towards the double doors, taking that as a yes.
“You’ll get used to it. See you tomorrow, call me if you need anything.” She smiled brightly, waving at him.
“Thanks, you sure you don’t want me walking with you to your apartment?” He asked.
“I’m a big girl Eijirou.” She snickered. “I can handle myself.”
“Yeah, sorry.” He laughed sheepishly. “Bye!”
The walk up to his apartment was quiet. There weren’t many people around, except for the receptionist who smiled at him warmly. He opted to take the elevator as there were quite a few flights of stairs to his floor, and he didn’t fancy the climb. He was walking briskly down the carpeted hall when his new phone started to go off.
Unknown: Hey Kiri!
Unknown: is it ok if I call u that?
Unknown: you realize he has no idea who you are smart guy we never gave him our numbers
Unknown: Oh yeah this is Kaminari u know the cool one
Unknown: This is Mina you know the actual cool one
Eijirou opened the door to his new apartment and left his keys hanging by the door. He flipped on the lights, bathing the rather plain room in light. He hadn’t decorated much anywhere but his room, which was composed mostly of bright crimsons and pale grays. He figured he should probably respond to the constant beeps from his phone and then start on dinner, which he was not excited for. Ochako had taught him to cook basic meals, but anyone could see how uncomfortable the process made him, and how bad he was at it. He opened his phone as he sulked towards the kitchen.
Unknown: Hey, its Sero.
Unknown: Hi Kirishima, this is Midoriya!
Iida: Welcome to the group chat, this is Iida Tenya. Please refrain from spamming this chat with unnecessary information. Thank you.
Mina: The last number is Bakugou. He hardly responds though, unless you summon him.
Me: Hey everyone.
Me: Summon him?
Kaminari: Only weak pussies don’t respond to the group chat!
Sero: Wait for it
Unknown: Shove it up your ass pikachu
Mina: He appears!
Eijirou chuckled as he began to get the proper ingredients and tools out of the fridge and cupboards. Ochako told him instant ramen was one of the easiest things cook, and he wasn’t looking for anything complicated. Just boil the water and add the stuff in the pack, he reminded himself as he emptied the contents of the little silver packet into a pot with some water. That was how Ochako did it, right? Or did she add it after? It was too late now so he just turning up the heat and gave it a quick stir.
Mina: Hey Kiri, what's your apartment number?
Me: 172 why?
Mina: You forgot your wallet
Shit. He patted down his pockets. No wallet. He had forgotten it, probably right on the table by his bill. So stupid, all this human stuff was already getting the best of him and it was only the first day.
Me: Shit, I’m sorry.
Mina: It’s chill
Mina: Have it back to you in a few.
The water in the pan he’d filled up looked pretty hot. He had forgotten how Ochako had said he would know if it was boiling. He’d never worked a stove until she’d showed him. It was probably good enough so he dropped the brittle noddles in with a splash. Little beads of water cascaded his skin and clothes. The heated water streamed where it made contact with his skin, leaving behind irritated red dots that quickly healed over. He’d have to be careful of that around the others, he didn’t get hurt and that was sure to set off some alarms. This was gonna be a whole lot more difficult than Ochako made it out to be. He heard a loud bang coming from the door, that must be Mina.
“Coming!” He called back.
He sat the spoon he’d been using to stir his meal on the counter, trying not to make a mess of dark murky water from the packet, but not being too successful. He quickly came upon the door, he unlocked it and threw it open with a little too much force. His smile was wide and ready to thank Mina for his wallet, but instead, he came face to face with a scowling blond, his hands hidden in the pockets of his baggy jeans. Bakugou’s shoulders were practically drawn up to his ears and his brow rippled with wrinkles from his grimace, he looked like he’d rather be anywhere than where he was.
He made his signature tch as they locked eyes and pulled a black case out of his pocket. “Here's your wallet dumbass.”
“Oh uh, thank you!” He took the wallet and smiled warmly at the blond who’s lip twitched with a sneer. “The hell are you cooking in here? Smells like shit.” Bakugou scoffed.
“Just some Ramen dude.” Eijirou laughed at the blonds annoyance.
Bakugou pushed past him into the apartment. “Hey!” The redhead called. The blond made no move to turn back. “Ramen my ass smells like you boiled it in piss.” Eijirou laughed, he knew it couldn’t smell that bad. Maybe Bakugou’s nose was just picking up on how absolutely incompetent Eijirou was in the kitchen.
Eijirou jogged to catch up with Bakugou’s long strides. They entered the kitchen to find the water angrily bubbling in the pan almost completely evaporated. The contents of the little silver pack had burned and stuck to the bottom of the silver surface. Eijirou gasped and rushed to turn off the heat. “Wow, shitty hair looks like you managed to burn that shit pretty good.”
“I didn’t mean to.” He mumbled.
“Yeah, no shit. Clean that mess up, I’ll be right back.”
Eijirou set to work cleaning the mess in his pan and washing the soggy half cooked noddles down the drain. He probably would have burnt his hand pretty bad, with how careless he was being with the still hot pan, had he been human. Bakugou returned with a small bag which he threw unceremonious on the counter before he began rooting through Eijirou’s cabinets.
“What are you doing?”
“Fixing your fucking dinner.”
“Can’t stand to see idiots like you disgrace cooking like this.” Bakugou narrowed his gaze at Eijirou as he pulled the ingredients out of the bag.
The redhead craned his neck to get a better look at the contents over Bakugou’s shoulder. “Where’s your fucking cutting boards.”
Cutting boards… cutting boards… he mulled over the words in his mind, trying to match them with any of the objects Ochako had shown him. Bakugou ground his teeth in frustration at the dumbfounded look on Eijirou’s face.
“Oh yeah, cutting boards!” It finally clicked. He reached down into one of the lower cabinets to retrieve the thick plastic board. Bakugou snatched it away with a huff.
The grumpy blond began his work cutting up a variety of vegetables. Eijirou fidgeted with his hands, not liking having nothing to do or contribute.
“What's that?” He inquired, bringing his hand close to point at the white vegetable Bakugou was chopping up. Bakugou halted his progress to slap the redhead's hand away. “Do you want to lose a finger shitty hair.” He paused but continued chopping. “Its garlic, idiot.”
“Oh yeah!” He grinned broadly, shaking his head. “I knew that.” Bakugou clicked his tongue and rolled his eyes.
Bakugou continued his cooking. He dropped the diced garlic, another white looking vegetable, a pale yellow one and a bunch of little red flakes into the saucepan full of an oily yellow liquid. He added water, an orange vegetable and a slew of liquids Eijirou didn’t recognize. Leaving the mixture on its lonesome over the heat Bakugou took out a container of… animal flesh. Which at first made Eijirou grimace, the thought of eating another living thing unnerved him, but he supposed if humans did it than it couldn’t be that bad. He was proven right in his second assumption, the meat smelled amazing when Bakugou heated it up in his microwave. His mouth watered for the first time in his life and he bounced excitedly on the balls of his feet. Bakugou took no mind of his excitement or simply didn’t notice, too engrossed in his task. After slicing and preparing the meat that he said was left over from a previous meal he turned his attention back to the saucepan. He opened a new pack of Eijirou’s ramen, he dropped the noodles into the pan and threw away the little packet. It was oddly graceful how Bakugou had wielded a knife in the kitchen, even with all his anger behind it Eijirou couldn’t have helped but stared in awe as the blond had worked.
He stirred the pan silently gazing at it for a second. “Leave this on for another three minutes, take it off, put it in a bowl and put the steak, onions, and cilantro on top. Don't fuck it up or I’ll kill you.” He motioned to each item as he spoke.
Bakugou dropped the spoon he’d been using in the sink with a splash that made Eijirou flinch. “Thanks!” He grinned after a minute of the blond’s scrutinizing gaze.
“Yeah whatever shitty hair. Learn how to cook yourself will you, instead of relying on others like a fucking child.” Bakugou grumbled stuffing his hands in his pockets.
Eijirou jokingly saluted. “Yes, sir!” He chuckled.
Bakugou scrunched up his nose, his brows had been drawn further in and his lip itched with a sneer. He rolled his eyes before stomping out of the kitchen. “Wait, you're not gonna stay to eat?”
“Fuck no, who the hell said I’d want to eat with you.” Bakugou called over his shoulder as he reached the door.
“What about your bag?”
“Ok, see you around!” The door slammed shut before he could finish.
Bakugou sure was odd, but he could work with that. The job was certainly a lot more fun now interacting with him.
Me: Didn’t mess it up, just like you said! :)
Eijirou didn’t expect Bakugou to respond, after all, Mina had said Bakugou didn’t reply unless summoned with taunts, usually from Kaminari. He didn’t get his hopes up even when he saw that his message had been read. That was until he saw three little dots that paled and brightened at the bottom of the screen. He set down his chopsticks, ramen comically hung from his mouth. He let out an excited squeal as Bakugou’s message came through.
Bakugou: I said fuck it up. Don’t censor me dumbass.
Me: Oops haha
Bakugou: Fucking child
His food must have still been a little too hot because for the first time his cheeks felt warm.
Thank you so much for all the kudos and comments on the last chapter! I was so surprised and excited with the attention this fic got. This parts a bit longer and I hope you enjoyed it. I can't wait to show you guys even more of this story, its something I've had in the back of my mind for a while now. I should be updating every week by at least Friday, that's my goal but I also love to procrastinate and I have school. Please be patient with me but I will finish this fic hopefully as fast as I want to.
Chapter 3: You Know What Ship Never Sinks? A Friendship!
Eijirou goes on his first group outing and meets an interesting new prospect in his quest.
“Oh oh, it's right up here!” Mina called bouncing ahead of the group. “Come on hurry up!”
Eijirou chuckled, playing with the fraying string of his sweatshirt sleeve as he quickened his pace to match Mina’s. Bakugou sauntered along not far behind them glued to his phone, bristling like a moody cat at Mina’s calls.
“Oh my god did you hear?” Mina cooed skipping along beside him.
He shook his head with a tentatively “No…” it wasn’t really much information to go on.
“Sero finally asked Kami out last night!” She squealed. “They’ve had this touch and go thing since high school but they’re finally official!”
Eijirou smiled. “That’s great!” What he would give to have gotten one of them.
Speaking of his unfortunate assignment. This wasn’t the first time he’d seen Bakugou in the past week. Eijirou had seen him quite often in their apartment building. He’d talked to him while taking out the trash, and while leaving for a coffee shop he had absentmindedly followed the blond to. And while all of their interactions had been friendly he was slightly apprehensive about finding a suitable match for the blond. Especially with how Bakugou had barely spoken up in most of their fairly one-sided conversations.
“It is! Isn’t it Bakugou?!” Mina said over her shoulder.
A grunt and a “Shut up.” was all she got.
“He’s ecstatic” She grinned widely.
Eijirou laughed heartily. Based on Mina’s reaction, he assumed Bakugou was happy for his friends deep down.
“You have such a cute laugh!” Mina lauded grabbing onto his arm. “Baku, doesn’t he have such a cute laugh?” She called back much to the tense Eijirou’s dismay.
“Would it kill you to just fuck off?” He sneered, shaking his head.
“You’re no fun!” She pouted dramatically, hanging off of Eijirou and causing him to stumble slightly. “He’s so lame. He’s only here for the food.”
When Mina had invited him to go along with her and Bakugou to the so-called ‘farmers market’ he had been more than a little embarrassed at not knowing in the slightest what that was. And with Ochako being busy he was forced to try his best to pick up on it or just wait and find out. So far his best guess was that they sold food like a grocery store, but Mina made it out to be a little more special than your everyday supermarket.
“Wow,” Mina ogled the surrounding area. “there’s a lot of people here today.”
Eijirou looked up as they approached a large field that laid behind what appeared to be an old church. There was a rough circle of tables and tents showcasing a variety of fresh goods and products, smiling workers conversing with the numerous patrons that approached them. Surrounding the clearing were tall magnolia trees, branches laden with pale pink buds stretching towards the bright blue sky. Eijirou could smell the food being cooked, the scent of smoke and spices drifting towards them in the breeze.
“Wow,” he breathed. “This is so pretty!”
“What, you never seen a farmers market before or something?” Bakugou snickered coming up beside Eijirou.
Eijirou let out a cough of a laugh awkwardly gazing at his shifting feet. “No fucking way.” Bakugou rolled his eyes. “Figures. Come on let's go.”
“I’ve just never gotten around to it I guess.” He laughed nervously following behind Bakugou. Mina patted his shoulder. “It’s cool, we’ll show you the sights.”
The “sights” consisted of colorful stalls where Mina bought him the best breakfast he’d ever had (not that he’d had many), and Bakugou huffed and grumbled about raising prices and the crowds. It seemed Bakugou bought almost his entire pantry at the market because by the time noon rolled around his bag was overflowing with an obscene amount of fresh produce.
“Wow, Bakugou those bags must be heavier than me!” Mina crooned nudging the blond. “You’re like really strong.”
Bakugou huffed and rolled his eyes. “I regret ever telling you anything.”
“You love me,” She beamed. “I’m the best friend ever.”
Eijirou raised a brow at the exchange but didn’t ponder it long as Mina squealed excitedly and brought his attention to the center of the poorly made circle.
“Look! Look!” She jumped. “Baku it’s your BFF!”
Up against a large oak at the center was an ensemble of chattering people carrying a variety of black cases. They all seemed to flock to a pretty woman with flowy dirty blonde hair. She gave peppy orders with her hands on her hips and a charming smile. They must have been setting up for some performance as far as Eijirou could tell, a large group of people had gathered around them.
“She’s not my ‘bff’” Bakugou grumbled hoisting the straining bags up further on his arms.
“You’re so antisocial. Come on let's go say hi!” Mina coerced battering her lashes.
Bakugou just groaned as Mina grabbed his arm to pull him across the field. The blond obviously didn’t put up much of a fight as far as Eijirou could tell. This seemed to be pretty routine for the pair. Eijirou followed them in their trek towards the bustling group. The crowd around them was mostly market goes just settling down for lunch. Mina and Bakugou clambered through the crowd as Eijirou apologized to the people whose hands and feet Bakugou had stepped on.
“Camie!” Mina called waving wildly. The women, Camie, turned at the sound of Mina’s shouts and broke out in an excited grin.
“Omg!” She laughed as they came up to greet her. “If it isn’t my two favorite people.”
Bakugou rolled his eyes, refusing to look at the peppy women, who seemed to notice his classic poor attitude. “Hello to you too Mr. grumpy.” She grinned.
Bakugou growled a “Fuck off…” not to Eijirou’s surprise.
“Ohh?” Camie inquired looking over Mina’s shoulder at Eijirou. “And who might this be?”
“This is Kirishima. He just moved here.” Mina grinned pulling Eijirou closer. “Can you believe he’s never been to a farmers market?”
Camie raised a brow. “Like never? Worm.”
Eijirou laughed nervously. Why was she talking about worms? Was that an insult?
“Idiot hasn’t seen most things.” Bakugou scoffed. “It’s like he’s been living under a rock.”
“Hey don’t worry, I got you fam. I know some lit places around town Baku and I hung out at before I went on tour.” Camie beamed.
“Oohh… ah neat?” He managed to get out. Was neat an acceptable word? Camie didn’t really use any acceptable words he knew of.
Mina coughed out a laugh trying not to smile. Bakugou smirked not making eye contact. “I think I broke him.” Camie giggled. “But we should 100% hang out. I haven’t seen Baku and Mina in like forever.”
“That’d be nice.” He rubbed his neck, a nervous tick he’d unfortunately acquired in so many awkward situations. “I haven’t really been able to get out a lot.”
“Oh yeah me too recently.” She groaned. “Being on tour is chill until you actually have to do work.”
“It’s a job dumbass what did you expect?” Bakugou sneered.
“Whatever, now I’m home and once my album gets released we Gucci.” She bounced on the balls of her feet with an excited grin. “Are you guys staying for the performance we should totally hang out after?”
Bakugou met Mina’s wide grin with a glare. “We are not hanging out after.” He growled. “I have to check up on Ground Zero.”
“Oh come on bakugou! You haven’t seen her in so long, and we can hang out in the back like old times and eat free food.” Mina snickered. “Some quality time.”
Bakugou huffed. “Fine but no free food.”
“Yeet,” Camie exclaimed. “Let me finish this, go find yourselves a seat.”
“Don’t tell me what to do,” Bakugou grumbled as they waded back into the sea of gathering people.
Mina managed to find them an open patch of grass on the edge of the crowd. “Look over here. I found a spot!” She declared proudly.
“Yeah, congrats,” Bakugou muttered dropping down with his bags to lay on the patchy grass.
Mina sat down a little ways away from the moody blond. “Here Kiri, sit here!” She crooned pulling him down between herself and Bakugou.
The blond rolled his eyes and huffed but made no move to change anything.
Eijirou pulled at the brittle grass, absentmindedly scattering damp dirt from the spindly roots as he toyed with the yellowed strands.
“Quit it dumbass,” Bakugou growled. “You’re getting dirt everywhere.”
“Sorry man.” The redhead laughed stretching his legs out in front of him.
Bakugou rolled his eyes with a little shake of his head. Eijirou turned his attention back to the grass by his feet.
He leaned forward spotting a fluffy looking flower. “Wow!” He smiled looking down at the little plant. “Bakugou it looks like you!”
Bakugou sneered narrowing his eyes at Eijirou. “What the fuck Shitty hair?”
“It looks like your hair.” He answered.
Mina leaned down beside him. “I see it.” She grinned. “Stop being so grumpy. Who gets offended by being compared to a flower?”
“Yeah!” Eijirou chimed. “It’s cute.”
That seemed to catch Bakugou off guard. “Whatever.” The blond huffed, his cheeks flushed.
“You should make a wish Kiri!” Mina remarked drawing Eijirou’s attention away from the blond and back to the little flower.
“A wish?” He echoed tilting his head.
“Yeah,” She snorted with a grin. “You know, make a wish and blow all the seeds away.”
“Oh, ah, ok.” He replied with as much confidence as he could muster.
He tried not to be sad as Mina plucked the flower from the earth and held it out for him to take. Even if the plant was dead now he would be helping it spread its seeds, which was good. He took the flower and brought it up close to his mouth.
He breathed ruffling the fluffy white seeds. “I wish for-” He began.
“Wait, wait, wait!” Mina called waving her hands. “You can’t say it out loud, else it won’t come true.”
“Oh sorry.” He chuckled awkwardly, bakugou snorted softly beside him.
He took a minute to ponder his wish. There was really on one thing that he could think of that he wanted at that moment. I wish for Bakugou to find someone to love! He let out a burst of air that pulled at the little seeds and threw them into the air. They twirled and flew every which way making Eijirou grin. The white fluffs settled around them and Eijirou discarded the naked stem at his side.
“So,” Mina beamed resting her slightly sunburned cheek on her hand. “whatcha wish for?”
“I thought I couldn’t say.” He frowned as he drew his brows together in confusion.
She shrugged leaning backward to flop down on her back. “Yeah just testing ya.” She giggled, her arms splayed out beside her as she gazed at the sparse clouds in the blue sky.
“She’s also incapable of minding her own business.” Bakugou scowled propped up on his palms.
“Rude.” Mina pouted raising herself up on her elbows. “At least I’m not a pent-up bitch.” She smirked.
Bakugou sneered. “Oh shove it up your ass raccoon-eyes.”
“Or what?” She grinned slyly.
“Cool,” Bakugou growled. “you can go straight home after all this bs, see if I care.”
“Now you're univiting me!” She scoffed. “You just wanna get-”
“Will you fucking shut up!” The blond thundered making a few concerned heads turn.
Mina crossed her arms, trying to hold back a smile at getting Bakugou so riled up. Bakugou ground his teeth in frustration, staring so fiercely at the grass Eijirou half expected it to burst into flames.
The redhead cleared his throat, feeling too much like a bystander in the present conversation. “Uninvited where?” He tried, unsure if he wanted to bring the subject up again.
“Oh, sorry Kiri.” Mina chuckled, stretching out on the grass. “You see Bakugou owns this super cool restaurant down the street. We used to go down there all the time when it first opened. It was this dinky little place, nothing like it is now. We’d hang out in the back and eat reject recipes Bakugou was working on.” She turned on her side supporting her head with her hand. “He’s such a perfectionist, it wasn’t hard to get a full meal out of him.” She giggled.
Bakugou rolled his eyes. “Yeah well, that shits perfect now so you can starve for all I care.”
“That so cool!” Eijirou beamed. Of course, he’d already known about Bakugou’s career but it wasn’t hard to admire the blond for his hard work. “That’s how you know how to cook so well!”
“What?” Mina smirked.
“Nothing.” Bakugou snapped.
“How’d you learn? What made you want to open a restaurant? That's a lot of hard work isn't it-” Eijirou continued unfazed.
“Slow down shitty hair!” Bakugou scoffed.
Eijirou laughed running a hand through the hairs at the base of his neck. “Sorry!”
Bakugou huffed crossing his arms. “Whatever.” He grumbled not meeting Eijirou’s gaze. “I learned from my mom growing up. It’s something I’ve always been good at, so I thought I might as well make money off it.”
“So Camie would hang out with you guys there too?” Eijirou inquired leaning towards the blond.
Bakugou shrugged. “Yeah, sometimes.”
Eijirou’s smile grew. “Are you guys close?” He asked.
“Super!” Mina chimed in. “They were like best buds, ya know? Before she went on tour.”
“She sure is pretty,” Eijirou commented.
“Yeah, I guess.” Bakugou sneered his whole body bristling as he spoke. “Why do you wanna talk about Camie so much shitty hair, huh?”
“Sorry!” Eijirou laughed raising his hands in surrender. “Just interested ‘sall.”
“In Camie?” Mina raised a brow.
Eijirou chuckled awkwardly. “Oh, no! Just in getting to know you guys. You know, I don’t know many people around here.”
Mina nodded. “Oh yeah, we’ll definitely have to take you out more. Right Bakugou?” She grinned.
The blond made a noncommittal grunt in response. Although Mina seemed to take it as a yes.
The group settled into a comfortable silence as the performance began. Eijirou was in awe of Camie’s overwhelming talent. Just her presence and chemistry with the crowd was enough to have him captivated with the performance. Not to mention her energetic dancing which had the entire mass of onlookers pumped. Her voice was beautiful as well and soon he found himself jumping and dancing along to the song he didn’t know with Mina. The pink haired girl grabbed his hand, giggling as she pulled him around their grassy stage. Bakugou, being the party pooper he was had refused Mina’s offer to dance, and instead sat tapping his fingers lightly on his thigh to the beat. Eijirou smiled brightly at the blond as he caught his eye. Bakugou huffed turning away, his eyes trained on what little he could see of the performance through the dancing people.
Eijirou beamed. He couldn’t help but feel like he’d struck gold with Camie. Her and Bakugou seemed close, Bakugou albeit begrudgingly liked her and she openly enjoyed his company. He couldn’t have been happier that he’d decided to tag along today. It looked like he might finally be getting somewhere, Ochako would be thrilled. He let out a whoop as the song finished, maybe his wish for Bakugou to find love wasn’t as far fetched as he thought.
Eijirou grinned as the pair came up beside him. “Mina’s been telling me all about your restaurant.” He babbled excitedly. “It sounds really great!”
“Cause it is,” Bakugou grumbled crossing his arms.
“Always so humble,” Camie smirked with a sigh.
Bakugou clicked his tongue shaking his head.
Camie instead turned to Eijirou. “So Kirishima, Bakugou’s told me you just moved into his apartment building. What’s it like having such a crazy neighbor?” She smirked.
Bakugou shot her an unamused glare. “The hell do you think I do, dumbass, bang on the walls?” He scoffed.
“Idk fam, you never know with how much you yell.” Camie shrugged.
Eijirou laughed. “He’s really not that bad. We talk sometimes when we’re taking out the trash.”
Camie raised a brow. “Oh, worm.”
“Shut up already,” Bakugou grumbled. “We’re here.”
Eijirou turned away from the conversation to look up at the building they’d just reached. It was large and built of worn brick. A patio stretched out in front of it, unusual for this area of the city, dotted with pale orange umbrellas. It was already packed full with lunch goers enjoying their meal.
“Wow, it's packed!” Eijirou observed.
“Yeah, it's mine.” Bakugou rolled his eyes as if the knowledge that his restaurant was the best was the most basic information in the world.
“Come on, come on!” Mina beamed as she bounced inside.
The rest of them followed suit. Eijirou flinched at the burst of cool air that hit him as they entered the building. The inside was minimalistic but not to a fault. The worn brick continued on the inside, but the walls were decorated with a variety of white and grey architectural pieces. The only color other than the grungy red brick were bright pops of orange and occasionally dark greens that adorned explosive paintings and washed out pictures of the city. Eijirou could see how Bakugou had still kept his personality in his space while also achieving the professional aura of a business establishment.
The one place with the most personality though was by far the bar. The bartender called out to Bakugou who waved back with a neutral expression, the women’s workspace was large and made of dark wood, dotted with half-filled alcohol bottles. The most interesting thing though was the walls that surrounded her. Stapled and tapped to the supporting pillars and walls were signed bills brandished with doting notes and reviews. Eijirou stopped to examine a few, it seemed a lot of people enjoyed Bakugou’s restaurant and were happy to leave their mark and praise. It figures Bakugou would have a wall of money from people telling him how great he was. Eijirou chuckled at the thought as he followed the group into the back.
They made their way to the room furthest back in the restaurant. The walls to their left and right were obscured by industrial metal shelves, dotted with miscellaneous supplies. Eijirou ran a finger along the dull metal surface, collecting a mass of dust as he went. A plain pale green door was the only other exit at the far wall, leading to what Ejirou assumed was an alleyway of sorts.
Mina dropped down with a satisfied sigh into a musty brown bean bag chair. She laughed as a cloud of dust flew from the fabric with the force of her drop. “Home sweet home.” She giggled with a cough, waving away the dust that swarmed her.
Bakugou dropped his bags by the door and positioned himself with Camie comfortably on the table at the center of the room, in what seemed like a routine. Bakugou lay on his back, his legs dangling off the side at his knees. Camie sat down crisscross near him, she lifted his head into her lap with an annoyed grunt from its owner. Through the blond closed his eyes content as she ran her long manicured nails through his hair.
Eijirou stood by the shelving unsure of where he fit in the current situation. Mina seemed to notice his hesitancy easily. “Over here, Kiri!” She grinned scooting over and patting the space on the beanbag beside her.
He smiled tensely as he sat down beside her. It was a tight squeeze but much more comfortable than the floor he wagered. “So,” He started. “you guys came here a lot then?”
“Loads, fam,” Camie answered her hands still snaking through Bakugou spiky locks. “It's like the OG hang out.”
“Yeah!” Mina agreed. “We actually met Camie here. She was like one of the first patrons.”
“Really?” Eijirou questioned leaning forward on his elbows to rest his head in his hands. “How did you all start hanging out?”
“Well, low key kinda hated this one at first.” She gestured to Bakugou. “Idk, just got on my nerves with how rude he is. Then I learned what a big softy he is and he totally grew on me!” She beamed. Bakugou silently flipped her off.
“That's cool,” Eijirou commented. “I see why you came often. This place is super impressive, well, maybe not this room specifically.” He laughed. “The kitchen was the best thing I’ve ever smelled though when we walked by!”
Bakugou snorted before Camie could speak again. “You would think that.” He grunted.
Eijirou laughed sheepishly. “Yeah…” He trailed off.
Mina raised a brow, her eyes darting between them. “What’s that supposed to mean?” She inquired.
“Means this dumb fuck can’t cook for shit.” Bakugou pointed lazily at Eijirou’s general direction.
“I’m sure that's not true,” Mina smirked shaking her head. “Everyone can’t “cook for shit” next to you.” She accused.
“Ah no, not this time.” Bakugou rolled his eyes as he sat up. “He completely fucked up instant ramen. Who can’t cook instant ramen?”
“It was an accident,“ Eijirou mumbled as he fiddled with his shoes, abashed.
“Wait what happened?” Mina chuckled leaning over to look Eijirou in the eyes.
“Dumb fuck burned the flavor packet to the bottom of the pan. Doubt he even read the instruction.” Bakugou answered for him with a smirk.
Mina and Camie tried to hold back their laughs as Eijirou drew in on himself. “Yeah,” Eijirou tried to sound as confident as he could. “If it weren’t for Bakugou I wouldn’t have had dinner.”
“Wait, what?” Camie questioned, raising a brow.
“He fixed my dinner when he was returning my wallet. It was really good.” He smiled a little brighter.
“You fixed his dinner?” Mina gapped her arms falling limp at her sides at her surprise. “You never cook me dinner!” She whined throwing her arms up to flop down beside her as she slouched into the beanbag.
“First off, you live halfway across town, and second, it was fucking mercy and self-preservation. I wouldn’t have been surprised if master chef over there burned down the whole damn apartment. Excuse me for wanting a place to live.” Bakugou practically snarled, he really was a defensive person. Eijirou couldn’t remember a time Bakugou had taken anything lightly. To be fair though he hadn’t known the blond more than a week, though he’d bet his best feathers Bakugou had never just brushed off someone poking fun at him.
Speaking of his feathers, they were feeling pretty darn cramped after having them cooped up all morning hanging out with Bakugou and Mina. He was honestly impressed with how comfortable Ochako had gotten with keeping her wings contracted for so damn long. Maybe he’d try to slip away at some point to stretch them out.
“Have you never cooked before, or something?” Mina asked him, a confused tilt to her brow as she turned back to face him.
“Oh um, not much, uh, really…” He felt his heart pounding in his ears, a slight flush to his face, as he tried to forage his story. “My old roommate, uh, he did most of the cooking cause my hours at work were so weird. I just never really had the time to learn properly I guess.” He shrugged with a nervous grin. “I probably should learn now though, I guess. Like Bakugou said I probably would have burned down the building.” he punctuated the sentence was a tense laugh.
“See,” Bakugou smirked.
“Yeah…” Mina mused with her finger pressed solidly against her lip. “You should teach him Bakugou!” She beamed pointing at the blond.
Bakugou narrowed his eyes. “The fuck?” He growled. “Hell no.”
“You just said you didn’t want your building burning down.” Camie pointed out twirling a piece of hair around her finger innocently.
“Yeah, you should do it. Unless you’re scared you’ll be a bad teacher.” Mina shrugged with a knowing smirk. Eijirou chewed his lip nervously.
“I’m not scared, bitch. I’m a great fucking teacher!” He sneered.
Mina grinned maliciously. “Then prove it,” She challenged. “Pussy.”
Bakugou breathed hard through his nose. His eyes were wide with anger as he ground his teeth in annoyance. “Fucking fine.” He growled, his seething gaze moving from Mina to Eijirou who meet the fiery glare head on. Even if his brain was screaming at him to book it out of there. “I swear to god shitty hair, if you’re actually that bad I’m gonna fucking kill you.” Bakugou spat.
Mina scoffed. “Stop being such a dick.”
Eijirou spoke before either could begin with the insults and bickering again. “It’s cool.” He genuinely grinned. He was happy to be given the opportunity to learn how to cook. Especially by someone as talented as Bakugou. ”I’m a fast learner dude, don’t worry!”
Bakugou huffed. “You better be, or burning shit downs gonna be the least of your worries.”
“Yeah, I can imagine!” Eijirou laughed leaning back into the comfort of the beanbag chair.
“Now that that's settled,” Camie clapped her hands together. “Where's our lunch? Cause tbh pretty hungry right now.”
Bakugou sucked his teeth. “Oh hell no.” He scoffed. “No free food for you conniving assholes.”
“Wow right back at you.” Camie clicked her tongue as she crossed her arms fixing the blond with a glare.
“That’s the best you can do?” Bakugou grunted as he rolled his eyes.
“Come on!” Mina pouted. “We’re hungry we’ll take anything!” She practically begged, pressing her hands together in front of her face.
“Yeah?” Bakugou smirked. “If you’re that desperate you can eat out of the trash like a rat for all I care, or, you can pay.”
Eijirou couldn’t help the snort that escaped him. It was rude and uncalled for sure, but funny and Bakugou had a point, the restaurant couldn’t give up merchandise without a profit. “Traitor!” Mina hissed at him jokingly.
“See?” Bakugou gestured towards Eijirou. “Shitty hair gets it.”
“Ugh, fine!” Mina grumbled.
“Can you spot me, fam?” Camie batted her lashes exaggeratedly at Mina.
Mina sighed deflating more into the beanbag. “Fine cause you were on my side.”
“What about you?” To Eijirou’s surprise, Bakugou asked him. “You want anything?”
“Sure!” He beamed, happy to taste anything dish Bakugou came up with. He hesitated though. “I just need some air first.” He added.
“Ok…” Bakugou drawled his eyes slightly narrowed. “Just meet us in the kitchen or whatever.”
Eijirou nodded enthusiastically. “Cool!” He said as he gave a thumbs up.
Bakugou clicked his tongue. “Whatever…” He grumbled again as the group stood.
The three others filed out as Eijirou headed to the door at the far wall. As soon as the coast was clear he stepped out of the door and let invisibility wash over him like cool water. His wings extended from his back slowly, smarting like when you have your legs bent against your chest for far too long. He let out a content sigh as the sunset array of plumage feathered his peripheral vision in reds and purples. He reached his arms towards the sky, extending his wings to their full length, soaking up the warm sun on his fringe. He let his arms and wings fall to his sides as he rolled his shoulders, his eyes closed as a soft hum escaped him.
Not a minute had passed in his euphoria though when he felt the odd sensation of being watched. He peaked an eye open glancing around the plain and drab alley, he didn’t see anyone immediately, until he turned his gaze to the end of the long stretch of alleyway. At the end where the sidewalk started stood a tall woman, her midnight black hair pulled into a puffy ponytail with side-swept bangs that framed her pretty face. She stared back at him her mouth parted in a silent gasp. Eijirou met her gaze then turned to look behind him, there was no one else she could be looking at, but it was impossible for her to see him. He didn’t recognize her as any cupid he knew. Unless…
“Babe?” Someone came up beside her. Another woman, shorter, with a dark blue bob. The newcomer glanced down the alleyway following the tall women’s gaze straight to Eijirou, though her brow furrowed confused. She couldn’t see him like her partner.
“What is it?” The shorter woman asked glancing back at the other. “Is everything ok?”
The tall women blinked rapidly turning back to her companion. “Nothing.” She breathed barely audible at Eijirou’s distance. “Let's go, now.” She stated firmly as she took the other woman's hand and pulled her from Eijirou’s sight.
Almost like he’d been in a trance as soon as the women began to move Eijirou sprung into action. “Wait!” He called, his wing difficult to maneuver in such a tight space.
He stumbled down the alley clumsily jumping over boxes and debris. “Come back!” He called again as he slammed into an unassuming trash can. He cursed loudly as he flew forward, boxes and other odd objects falling around him as he hit the pavement. He winced, it definitely hurt more than he expected. He stood dusting himself off and shaking out his wings. He hastily placed everything back as best as he could remember before continuing his sprint down the alleyway.
When he finally burst forth onto the busy sidewalk, panting slightly and thoroughly disheveled the two women were nowhere to be seen.
Not super happy with this chapter but ya know, it's not always gonna be perfect. I enjoyed myself more towards the end as you can probably tell. I hope you all liked it though. I've started on the next chapter and I'm already feeling better about it. Thanks for reading. Comments and kudos are appreciated!
Chapter 4: Not Always a Balanced Equation
Bakugou makes good on his promise.
Things could have been going a lot better for Eijirou. Try as he might, the mass of anxiety that had settled in his gut over the black haired women was so hopelessly tangled in his stomach no amount of deep breaths and reassurances from Ochako could unwind it. His chest felt tight at almost all hours of the day, and his throat felt like a rubber band was being slowly wound around it.
He found himself anxiously pacing his room recounting the women's features over and over in his mind. He felt like he’d been cooped up forever, the deep red of his room seemed dull and lifeless in the placid empty space of his home. He pulled at his hair with a groan, things with Bakugou hadn’t been going too swimmingly either. He’d been invited out with Bakugou and Camie for lunch one warm afternoon, and while he’d been itching for a distraction he realized his position and ended up canceling not long before they were too meet. Camie reassured him it was ok and that they could hang out next time. Bakugou hadn’t spoken to him in a week though. He hadn’t even come by to start the cooking lessons he’d been coerced into providing the sulking redhead with.
Eijirou flopped back on his bed. His stomach growled loudly. He’d been living off take out, uncooked sandwiches and leftovers Ochako had helped him cook. He really felt pathetic, he’d asked Ochako to observe the tail end of what he hoped he could call Bakugou and Camie’s date. She had agreed and reported back that it seemed good, albeit casual and relatively uneventful. Eijirou sighed loudly into the empty space in a futile attempt to fill the silence. He glanced at his window, a lone beam of dying light shone past the curtains, little specks of dust lazily drifting into view under the shine of the setting sun.
He pushed himself up on his elbows, he really should stop sulking he thought when he heard a knock at the door. He rose from the bed, smoothing out the sheets behind him as he grabbed a soft white sweater off his dresser, pulled it on and tied up his sweatpants a little tighter as he wandered towards the door.
The knocking increased. It was probably Ochako coming by to check on him and maybe hang out if she wasn’t too busy. “Coming! Coming!” He called fiddling with the lock.
He pulled open the door. “Hey-” And for the second time was surprised to find red eyes mirroring his own in the doorway.
Bakugou blinked lazily at him, possibly waiting for an invitation. He sucked his teeth when he received none in Eijirou’s confusion, and shouldered past him into the apartment.
Bakugou slipped out of his shoes and rose to his full height to regard the still silent Eijirou. He raised a brow at the redhead who coughed awkwardly. “Oh, uh Bakugou. Not that it isn’t great to see you, but, um, what are you doing here?” He grinned scratching his cheek.
“Said I’d teach you how to cook,” The blond grumbled. “Dumbass.” He added as an afterthought, continuing further into the apartment.
That was when Eijirou finally noticed the bag, handle clenched in bakugou’s fist. He followed Bakugou towards the kitchen, genuinely smiling now. “Thanks, dude, but how’d you know I was home?” He inquired tilting his head, his unspiked hair brushing his shoulder.
“Didn’t,” Bakugou answered simply as he dropped the bag on the kitchen counter.
Eijirou smiled at the intense feeling of deja vu at the sight of the same bristling blond moodily unpacking the plain looking bag on his kitchen counter. “What if I was out?” He asked.
Bakugou tilted his head back with a loud huff. “Then I’d go home. I live right across the hall from you, shitty hair.” He finished unloading his bag. “Didn’t have my fingers crossed though, ‘s not like you have much of a life anyway.” He snorted.
“Ouch, dude.” Eijirou grimaced.
Bakugou glanced quickly at his hurt expression before training his eyes on the counter. “Whatever,” He grumbled. “You’re new so it’s not totally pathetic, I guess.”
Eijirou laughed his expression flipping like a switch to his normal grin. “Glad I’m not completely pathetic at least.” He came up beside Bakugou giving the ingredients a once over. “So, what’re we making?” He smiled at Bakugou who rolled his eyes.
“Let’s see if your dumbass can guess,” Bakugou smirked. “Doubt it though.” He crossed his arms staring Eijirou down expectantly.
“Oh… um, well those are noodles.” He started, pointing at the brick of thick noodles laid out on the counter. They were certainly thicker than the ramen noodles from before, but there were a lot of vegetables and some meat like the first time. I couldn’t hurt to try. “Are we making ramen again?” He grinned hopefully.
Bakugou looked like he wanted to facepalm, he schooled his annoyance though with a deep breath. “No dumb fuck, why the hell would we make ramen again. You wanna live off that shit or somethin’? It’s something new.” He shook his head with a groan.
“Oh, ah, ok sorry.” Eijirou laughed sheepishly, rubbing his neck.
“Just look at that shit ok. Labels are there for a reason.” Bakugou huffed, uncrossing his arms to point at the ensemble of ingredients.
Eijirou nodded looking back down at the counter. He reached out to take the packet of noodles in his hand, and give it a once over. He scanned the packaging until he settled on what he thought was the name. “Well,” He began. “These are udon noodles so, udon something or other?” He beamed feeling surer in his answer.
Bakugou nodded. “Guess that’s as close as I can expect you to get. Not bad, shitty hair,” He pursed his lips. “For you.” He added.
Eijirou laughed despite the backhanded compliment. “So what’s it specifically then?” He asked.
“Yaki Udon.” He answered simply. “It’s simple enough for you to not fail completely, I hope.” He snorted.
Eijirou chuckled. “Oh, come on man, you really don’t think I’m that bad, do you?” He knew he was really hopeless when it came to quite a few human things, and cooking was definitely one of them. However, he couldn’t push away the feeling though of not wanting to disappoint the surly temperamental blond.
“We’ll see…” Bakugou grumbled staring down at his collection of ingredients. “We gotta boil these.” He continued grabbing the packet of noodles from Eijirou’s hand. “Grab a pot.” He instructed.
Eijirou nodded and reached down into one of the cabinets to retrieve a reflective silver pot. “Will this work?” He asked.
“Yeah,” Bakugou answered crossing his arms, making no move to take the object. “Fill it with water, not too mu-” he cut himself off as he huffed loudly. “Why the hell am I walking you through this? Boiling the fucking noodles. Think you can manage that?”
“Definitely!” Eijirou beamed. Ochako had shown him what he did wrong last time, he hadn’t filled it with enough water. He got on with filling up the pot, this time making sure to add enough water. He placed the shiny metal basin on the stove and turned it up to medium heat. He stood back proudly waiting for the liquid to boil.
He turned his pleased smile on Bakugou who looked back at him plainly. “What?” The blond cocked a brow. “You want a gold star?” he smirked.
Eijirou pouted and Bakugou snickered. “Oh, I’m sorry. You boiled water, hurray!” He said mockingly.
Eijirou huffed, he’d be proud of himself even if Bakugou wasn’t. It was big for him, cupids sure didn’t boil water, much less cook. It may have been insignificant to Bakugou, a human, used to preparing meals, but to Eijirou it was new and nothing short of fascinating.
Soon the water was bubbling fiercely. Bakugou dropped the noodles into the pot carefully and fished a spoon out of Eijirou’s cabinets, which he handed to the redhead to stir with.
“How will I know when they’re done?” Eijirou inquired after a minute of watching the block of noodles slowly fall apart under the onslaught of boiling water.
“When they’re soft and loose,” Bakugou grunted his gaze shifting from the boiling liquid to Eijirou.
“Oh, ok!” The other man grinned as he reached up with his hand. His fingers hovered just over the water before a hand shot out and pulled his own away.
“What the hell!?” Bakugou practically screeched, Eijirou’s hand held in a death grip, his finger scrunched and reddened. “What the fucks wrong with you!?” Bakugou gaped, his eyes wide.
“I, ah,” Eijirou fumbled pulling his hand out of Bakugou strong grip. “I’m sorry, I didn’t-” He brought his hands up to his hairline tugging slightly, his brow creased. He had messed up so bad. He had almost given himself away. He had completely forgotten boiling water should hurt, you don’t just stick your hand in it.
“Quit that shit,” Bakugou growled as he grabbed Eijirou’s wrists to pull them from the abuse on his red locks.
“I’m sorry-” He began again.
“Shut up,” he grunted. “Let me see your hand.” He continued as he released Eijirou’s other wrist to gaze intently at the offending hand. Any redness was long gone now, yet Bakugou still turned Eijirou’s palm over in his hand, his rough fingers running urgently over Eijirou’s skin. “Does it hurt?” He asked his voice surprisingly soft.
“Ah, no,” Eijirou answered shakily. “I’m fine.”
Bakugou looked up to meet his gaze, his eyes narrowed and he dropped Eijirou’s hand unceremoniously. “What the fuck were you thinking, you idiot?” The blond hissed.
“Oh, I, uh, I didn’t…” He honestly couldn’t think a decent explanation. “It was… a joke?” It came out more like a question than an answer and Eijirou couldn’t help but wince.
Bakugou’s lips were a thin line, his brow contorted in a grimace. “That’s some bs…” He grumbled turning away.
“Huh?” Eijirou responded confused.
“Whatever.” The blond grunted his signature catchphrase. “Let's just finish this shit.”
Eijirou nodded tensely. He chewed his lip nervously waiting for Bakugou’s next instruction. “Get me a cutting board.” The blond finally said. Eijirou sprung into action, quickly grabbing a green plastic board and handing it off. Bakugou set the board down on the counter and removed a large knife, a sharp squeak emanated from the metal, as it was withdrawn from the wooden block housing a multitude of silvery blades. He held the knife up for Eijirou to take. “You know how to slice an onion?” He asked.
Eijirou chewed his lip and chuckled nervously. Bakugou took that as a no. “Figures.” He grumbled. “Come here.” He dragged Eijirou over to stand before the cutting board. “Take the knife.” He ordered, and Eijirou complied. The blond stepped back over to the ingredients and grabbed an onion which he laid on the cutting board before Eijirou. He crossed his arms staring expectantly at the redhead.
Eijirou gulped staring down at the knife in his hand and the white vegetable before him. He shakily cut the onion in half and set the flat side down, Bakugou nodded. Eijirou smiled feeling surer, he spread his finger out on the vegetable to hold it down as he brought the knife closer to slice the onion as best he could.
Bakugou sighed beside him. “Here.” The blond grunted over Eijirou’s shoulder as he tucked the redhead’s finger under his knuckles. “You’ll lose a finger that way.” He brought his other hand around to fix Eijirou’s grip on the knife. “Hold it like this…” The blond continued as he slowly started to cut the onion with Eijirou.
Eijirou made sure to keep as much distance between his back and Bakugou’s chest, he didn’t want to make things awkward. The other man seemed engrossed in his task though as he helped Eijirou finish cutting both sides of the onion.
Bakugou pulled away as he finished. “You’re gonna cut the cabbage.” He said, his voice gruff. “In a square, about this big.” He continued and held up his fingers about two to three centimeters apart.
“Ok.” Eijirou nodded taking the cabbage that Bakugou passed him.
He began to cut, making sure to keep his fingers bent and under his knuckles. He glanced over at Bakugou who had removed the noodles from the water and drained them in the sink. The blond met his gaze for a split second before he started cutting the carrots into thin stripes on another cutting board. Eijirou smiled, the atmosphere had relaxed since his “almost burn”. The silence was comfortable and Eijirou fell into the easy rhythm of cutting up the cabbage next to Bakugou, the only sounds being the soft hum of the air conditioning, the chopping of their unsynchronized blades and Bakugou’s hushed breaths.
It wasn’t long before they both finished and Bakugou set their completed work aside for them to start on the mushrooms and scallions. He had Eijirou on the shitake mushrooms, cutting out their tough stems and then thinly slicing the top. Bakugou himself worked on finely chopping the scallions at the top and then cutting them larger towards the base. The work became methodical soon, an easy grin gracing Eijirou’s features, and though the blond tried to seem unaffected, Eijirou could tell Bakugou was content as well. His brow had smoothed out leaving his face soft, his lips, usually stretched taut with a grimace, were relaxed and parted just slightly with his easy breathing.
“Come over here,” Bakugou called as soon as Eijirou finished his task. Bakugou placed the Scallions to the side and opened the container of, this time, uncooked meat. “This is pork belly.” He said as he retrieved the pink meat. “It's good as fuck so don’t mess it up.” He grunted as he laid the pork out to be cut. “You’re gonna cut it about as big as the cabbage, got that? Its gonna be a bit harder cause its meat.”
Eijirou gave the blond a thumbs up. “Got it!” He beamed. “Won’t let ya down!”
“Better not,” Bakugou grumbled stepping aside for Eijirou to begin his work.
Eijirou began tentatively, glancing questioningly at Bakugou every slice of the knife. The blond responded with a series of once unintelligible grunts. Eijirou was, happily, starting to pick up on Bakugou’s bizarre form communication that was once so alien to him. He understood now how Mina and the others had been so fluent in the blond’s language, that’d he’d been desperate to understand at the time. Bakugou certainly wasn’t an open book, but the other man definitely wore his strongest and most surface level emotions proudly on his sleeve, regardless of the mood or what others thought. Eijirou couldn’t help but admire that about Bakugou. Bakugou while not open with his deeper feelings was truthful and unabashed when it came to what he thought. Eijirou smiled, the redhead relaxed again once he found his stride, Bakugou making grunts of acknowledgment every once in a while until Eijirou had finished and set the knife down carefully by his work.
Bakugou stepped forward to glance down his nose at the cutting board, he nodded. “Not bad.” He grunted.
“I wasn’t lying when I said I was a quick learner.” Eijirou beamed, now catching on that “Not bad.” really meant in ‘Bakugou’ “Good job.”
“If you think this is the epitome of cooking, you’re in a for a rude awakening.” Bakugou snorted. “You got a long ass way to go, Shitty hair.”
Eijirou nodded, his grin ever present, even the once insulting nickname had become something positive in the secret, undefinable language, he couldn’t have been happier that he learned.
Baku had moved away. Eijirou glanced down at him as he rooted through the cabinets to retrieve a frying pan, which he placed on the stove. “Get me some oil.” He huffed dusting off his knees.
“Olive oil?” Eijirou asked opening the pantry.
“No coconut. Yes, olive oil, what else would I be talking about, dumbass?” The blond spat, his arms crossed defensively.
“Ok, ok, jeez.” Eijirou huffed as he grabbed the olive oil. He glanced at the bottle and then at Bakugou’s outstretched hand. He pursed his lips. “You can have it… when you apologize for snapping.” He stated, gaining confidence as he went. He knew it was a risky move, Bakugou could just up and leave him with a half-finished meal. Though some part of him knew the blond wouldn’t just do that, if not out of respect for his craft or just wanting to finish what he started.
Bakugou’s eyes narrowed. “The fuck?” He growled.
“You snapped, and it was rude. I’m sorry I didn’t know exactly what you meant, I wanted to confirm, and you were mean.” Eijirou expressed, his arms crossed his arms.
“You want me to leave or some shit?” Bakugou sneered.
“No,” Eijirou shook his head. “I want you to apologize.” He nodded affirmatively.
“Sorry or whatever.” The blond grumbled turning away, his shoulders hunched.
“Thank you!” Eijirou beamed, his hands moving to his hips. “You are forgiven Bakubro!”
Bakugou narrowed his eyes, his mouth agape. “The fuck did you just call me?” He growled.
Eijirou laughed heartily. “Bakubro.” He grinned. “I like it.”
“No,” the blond deadpanned “Its stupid.”
“You get to call me shitty hair though.” Eijirou countered still grinning broadly.
“I do what I want, you don’t.” The blond grumbled turning on the stove.
“Hey, what’d we just talk about?” Eijirou smirked.
Bakugou sucked his teeth. “I’m not a fuckin’ child, don’t talk to me like that.”
Eijirou laughed again, his cheek in his hand as he rested his elbows on the countertop as he gazed over at Bakugou. “Sorry, sorry!” He beamed. “How about Blasty then?” He proposed.
“Huh? The fuck, no, what's that even supposed to mean?” He grunted glancing over at the redhead as he coated the pan in oil.
“I don’t know,” Eijirou chuckled. “You’re just like so explosive. Everything you do is just, boom!” He punctuated his sentence with the appropriate sound effect, his cheeks puffed out and his hand interrupting the fake explosion.
Bakugou snorted, a ghost of a smile on his lips. “Still stupid.” He mumbled.
“Well, I like them both!” Eijirou declared. “And if you get to call me whatever you want then I get to call you whatever I want.”
“No,” Bakugou grunted as he withdrew a wooden spatula and dumped the pork belly into the empty frying pan. “That's not how this works. Are you trying to get me to use your name, cause I’m not.”
“Maybe…” Eijirou mused. “How about for every time you call me shitty hair I get to call you Blasty or Bakubro, and vice versa? It’ll be like a game or a challenge.”
Eijirou could see the conflict in Bakugou’s eyes as he absentmindedly stirred the meat in the pan. “Whatever, Kirishima.” He finally grumbled as he turned back to the stove.
“There you go!” Eijirou cheered. “You’re already winning!”
Bakugou smirked letting out a soft snort. “Hell yeah, I am.” He answered proudly. He glanced down at the pan a second later. “Hey, why the fuck am I doing this for you? Get the fuck over here.” He growled holding out the spatula for Eijirou.
Eijirou beamed as he accepted the spatula and took Bakugou’s spot at the stove. It wasn’t long before Bakugou was barking orders and instructions at him as they neared the completion of their meal. They cooked the meat until just done, and then started to add the vegetables. Bakugou closely monitored their progress, until the onion was soft and clear, and the rest were just slightly wilted.
“You gotta add the noodles with tongs,” Bakugou grunted handing Eijirou a pair.
Eijirou nodded taking the new tool from Bakugou. He added the noodles, slowly mixing the soft strands into the assortment of vegetables. Bakugou added ground pepper as Eijirou finished.
“Put the tongs in the sink.” He instructed measuring out some soy sauce.
Eijirou complied and laid the tongs in the sink and then turned back to Bakugou as he handed him a teaspoon of soy sauce. “Pour this in.” He grumbled turning back to what was left of their ingredients.
Eijirou poured the soy sauce into the pan as Bakugou spoke beside him. “This is my own recipe for Mentsuyu, you can just get it at the store though.” He mumbled, his light with concentration as he measured out three tablespoons of another dark brown liquid, which he held out for Eijirou to pour into the pan once again.
“Plate this and sprinkle some bonito flakes and the rest of the green onion on top,” Bakugou grunted once the mixture had been thoroughly stirred.
“Wait, what,” Eijirou pouted, looking back up at Bakugou, who had fixed him with his normal indifferent stare. “You're not staying to eat?”
Bakugou shrugged. “Yeah.” He said plainly.
“Come on!” Eijirou pleaded. “You did so much, you gotta try it!” His pout deepened as he brought out the puppy dog eyes.
Bakugou ground his teeth avoiding Eijirou’s gaze. “Quit that, I’m leaving.” He grumbled, although he made no move to leave.
“Let's just eat, please, it won’t take long.” He frowned his hands pressed together under his chin.
Bakugou sucked his teeth loudly, his gaze shifted to Eijirou slowly. “Fine.” He grumbled. “I’ll fucking eat, then I’m leaving.”
“Hell yeah!” Eijirou gushed knocking his fists together.
“Shut up,” Bakugou grunted grabbing two plates from the upper cabinet. “You’re serving.” He grumbled shoving the plates at Eijirou.
The redhead nodded still beaming as he plated their food. Bakugou was awfully picky about the amount he put on the plates. Eijirou pouted, if Bakugou was so picky he should have done it himself. He sprinkled bonito flakes and the green onions on top of each dish, and Bakugou grumbled about how heavy handed he was as Eijirou placed their plates.
“All done!” He grinned wiping his hands together.
Bakugou grunted his response as he sat down in front of his meal. Eijirou followed suit smiling down at his completed work. Bakugou dug in unceremoniously, his bangs covered his eyes and he made no move to conversate again.
“So,” Eijirou began taking a bite of his food. “Whatcha wanna talk about.”
Bakugou swallowed finally locking eyes with Eijirou. “I wanna talk about not talking with your mouth full, dumbass.” He sneered.
“Oops,” Eijirou laughed. “Sorry, but that’s one point for me.”
“No, what the fuck!?” Bakugou gaped. “That’s not a nickname, I’m just stating facts!” He growled his brows furrowed.
“Nope, I’m winning now.” Eijirou shrugged smirking.
Bakugou stood slamming his hands on the table, his chair almost falling with the force of the movement. “No, that's not how this work!” He bit back.
Eijirou chuckled shrugging again.
“Stop looking so smug!” Bakugou boomed. “I’ll fucking kill you!”
Eijirou threw his head back with a laugh. “Ok, ok, Blasty.” He grinned up at the fuming blond. “See, now we’re even.”
Bakugou’s eye twitched as he slowly sat back down, still bristling and his face slightly red.
“You really get worked up about stuff don’t you?” Eijirou cooed, his head tilted just slightly.
“Shut up,” Bakugou mumbled staring back down at his food.
The ate in silence for a minute, Bakugou barely making a sound and Eijirou slowly twirling his fork absentmindedly. His head popped up, oh, he had almost completely forgotten. He had been so preoccupied with hanging out with the blond that he’d almost forgotten to ask about his (hopefully) date and maybe try to push things along.
“I'm sorry I couldn’t hang out with you and Camie last week.” Eijirou finally spoke. “Did you guys have a good time together?” He asked.
“It was fucking fine or whatever.” Bakugou huffed as he got towards the end of his meal.
“That’s good.” Eijirou smiled over at the blond who blatantly ignored his stare. “Camie’s super sweet, I bet she was super fun to be around, especially with how close you two are.”
“Is it too much to ask for you to stop fucking talking,” Bakugou growled clutching his chopsticks so tightly his knuckles had all but turned white.
“Sorry,” Eijirou laughed a little forced. “Camie’s performance was so great, and she was so nice. I just wanted to see how she was doing.”
Bakugou’s lip twitched with a sneer. “You can ask her your damn self, you have her fucking number. So stop kissing up to her like some idiot every time you fucking talk to me.” He stood abruptly taking his plate in his hands. “I’m done, I’m going home.”
“Oh, ah, ok.” Eijirou fumbled over his words. “I’ll walk with you-”
“No,” Bakugou replied quickly. “Bye.”
“Ok,” Eijirou nodded as Bakugou made his way back to the kitchen. “Bye!” He called out as bakugou set his plate in the sink, the glass clinking loudly.
Bakugou glanced at him as he crossed in front of the little table. “You were right, you’re a pretty quick learner. Don’t expect anything easy next time.” He mumbled before he sauntered down the hallway and out the plain white door.
Eijirou sat glancing between his half-eaten meal and the spot Bakugou had just occupied. He knew bakugou was temperamental but he’d thought he’d figured out how to push the blonds buttons without completely setting him off. He frowned, he had only been trying to talk up Camie, but Bakugou had taken it so poorly it was almost laughable. He was almost laughable, what a shitty cupid he was, pissing off the person he was assigned to with talk of their possible match. Although that thought gave life to a new scenario. Maybe Bakugou was jealous, Eijirou could only hope that was the case. Maybe things were better than he hoped if Bakugou was threatened by someone else just talking about Camie. He smiled, it was a nice idea, after all, what else could he have been jealous of?
I'm actually really happy with this chapter. I'm glad I went with a solely bonding chapter for this one, and I think it came out well. I had fun writing it and I hope everyone enjoys. Thanks to my awesome friend bromomhab who edited this chapter for me. Also, thank you for all the comments and kudos on the last few chapters. I never dreamed people would enjoy my writing this much and you are all honestly so nice, so thank you!
Also if you wanna talk about bnha or just like send cute kiribaku shit my tumblr is existential-lobster. I’m gonna try to post sneak peaks and stuff if I remember!
Chapter 5: Metamorphosis
Eijriou's anxiety is easied... or maybe multiplied...
“So this is the go button.” Kaminari pointed to the little two button at the bottom of the white controller.
Eijirou nodded. “Ok…” When Kaminari had invited him over to play games with the “squad” this is not what he had envisioned. How was he supposed to play a game with a white plastic rectangle. “What do you do in this game?” Eijirou asked tentatively. What if this was supposed to be a game all humans knew, Ochako would have told him, right?
“It's like a car race. You drive around the track and try to beat everyone else!” Kaminari explained enthusiastically. “Dude, I still can’t believe you’ve never played Mario Kart!” He laughed leaning back into the plush cushions of the burgundy couch. “You’ll catch on, don’t worry.” He grinned.
Eijirou bit his lip staring down at the controller as Kaminari queued up the game. He’d thought he’d gotten over his underlying anxiety around his new human friends, evidently certain situations did cause a spike, but he had started to feel so much more at home with the humans. It was an odd feeling, he’d always been fond of humans, they were so fun and interesting, making their lives of their own accord. Eijirou had become increasingly enamored with his small taste of human freedom, he made sure not to fan the spark too much though, far too much fear surrounding where that led. Still, he knew he’d be emploring this new way of work many times in the future, long after he’d left his job with Bakugou behind, hopefully happily finished.
“Guys, come one!” Kaminari called. “I got everything ready!”
The group trugged, skipped and bounced out into the living room. Ochako grinned at him as she made her way to take the open space beside him. She was quickly cut off though by the blond that hopped over the back of the couch to take the intended space. Bakugou rose a brow at her bewildered expression, his own features somehow a threatening combination of bored and challenging.
“Oh, um, ok…” Ochako chuckled awkwardly as she sat down beside the blond.
Eijirou bit his lip nervously, he glanced quickly at Bakugou, who seemed to be having a staring contest with his shoes, and back at his controller as Mina fell down into the floral loveseat.
“Kami,” Mina whined. “You’re low on snacks!” She reached for her own controller and fastened it to her wrist
Kaminari put a finger to his lips pondering the accusation as Sero sat on the arm rest beside him. “Ok, how about…” His eyes lit up. “Loser buys snacks!” He smirked.
Bakugou shrugged his affirmation, Sero laughed an “ok” before reaching a hand up to run his fingers through his boyfriends hair. Mina pumped her fist in the air letting out a “Hell yeah!” grinning widely.
Ochako opened and closed her mouth with a pop. She’d hardly played and apparently wasn’t as confident about her chances as the other. Eijirou on the other hand was borderline mortified, he’d never so much as picked up a controller before today much less played this game. “Uh, am I included in this?” He grimaced, looking over at Kaminari who’d relaxed into Sero’s skillful fingers carding through his bright blond locks.
“Sure,” Kaminari shrugged “like I said you’ll get it fast. ‘Sides maybe you’ll get lucky, sometimes bakugou gets cocky and loses.”
“That was once!” Bakugou growled his forehead wrinkled, frowning in a way that Eijirou had started to find oddly cute with how little threat there was actually behind it.
“Whatever you say.” Kaminari shrugged animatedly with a smirk, Bakugou looked like he was ready to pounce.
“Ok, ok!” Eijirou stepped in. “How about we just start. The faster we start the faster we get snacks, right?”
“You got me there my dude.” Kaminari pointed over at him with a grin. Bakugou just huffed and grumbled, gritting his teeth and pushing himself further into the back of the couch. “Let's get this show on the road!” Kaminari grinned picking a map.
“Hey,” Mina squeaked. “Why do you get to choose which one we play!”
“Cause it's gotta be easy for Kiri!” Kaminari protested gesturing animatedly at the red head.
Mina purses her lips. “Sounds to me like you’re just scared of losing so you’re giving yourself an easy one.” She crossed her arms smirking.
“Just pick your fucking shit.” Bakugou growled selecting his character and car.
“Fine.” Mina huffed as she picking her own character, a pink mushroom looking avatar with white spots all over it, Eijirou was still confused as to how this was just a race car game.
Still, Eijirou decided to settle on his own character, the happy looking one on the cover, that was why he picked him, definitely not because he was so hopelessly confused and just wanted to get to the actual game. He picked out his red car that matched his character, bakugou snorted beside him. “What?” Eijirou asked the blond as he selected his own car for the giant turtle looking character he’d decided on.
“You addicted to the color red or somethin’?” He snorted again.
“No it’s just really cool, and manly, and it matches my hair!” He beamed pointing at the mountain of gel clad spikes atop his head.
Bakugou rolled his eyes as uraraka finished picking out her pink motorcycle and the screen went black and came back up on the beginning animation.
Eijirou gazed at the group around him, they all seemed so intense, he shuffled his feet feeling antsy. He’d come to terms with the fact that he’d probably lose, it wasn’t a hard conclusion to come by seeing as he had absolutely no idea what he was doing. “When do I press go!?” His eyes widened as the countdown began.
“When you wanna go.” Mina giggled her golden eyes glued to the screen.
He thankfully didn’t panic too much, he evidently pressed go at the right time cause his engine didn’t give out like Uraraka. “There you go, you got it!” Sero smiled at him over Kaminari but quickly focused back on the screen.
Eijirou beamed. He had got it, but there was still a whole race to go and he hadn’t started out too bad. He stayed ahead of Ochako and Mina for a while but soon started messing up pretty bad on a particularly hard bit. He let out a frustrated huff as Mina sped past him with Ochako not far behind.
He drew his brows together as he weaved along the road, his tongue just poking past his sharp teeth. He was so far behind, with Ochako hot on his tail, but even amidst what was at stake he was having a lot of fun. Mina kicking at a seething Bakugou’s feet trying to mess him up, and Kaminari desperately tried to distract Sero to take the lead. Kaminari quickly came up with a better plan than attempting to push his boyfriend off the side of the couch.
The electric blond quickly jumped up on his knees on the couch to reach Sero’s height. “Wha-?” The taller man gasped before Kaminari cut him off with his lips. Sero jumped slightly but his eyes quickly fluttered closed, Kaminari, however, kept his wide open trained on the TV where Sero had just flown right off a cliff, leaving the conniving blond to take the lead.
Kaminari fell back on the couch smirking. “Thanks babe~” He sang.
“Wait, what!” Sero’s gaped wide-eyed at the screen as Bakugou sped past him.
Mina cackled as she closed in on the baffled Sero. “Snooze you lose!”
“No, fuck!” The dark haired man cursed as he tried to regain his lead.
Eijirou beamed as he started to at least catch up a little bit due to all the commotion. It was all pretty futile though as they neared the end of the last stretch and he soared right off a cliff. Kaminari cursed wildly as Bakugou passed him to take the lead right before the finish, Ochako passed Eijirou in a similar fashion. He let out a frustrated sigh as Bakugou nudged his shoulder. Eijirou looked up, Bakugou had already taken first place far ahead of him. The blond held out his controller, which Eijirou stared down at dumbly. Bakugou rolled his eyes and sucked his teeth as he pushed the controller at Eijirou, and snatched the redhead’s out of his hands. Eijirou let out a soft “Oh” before grinning at the blond who was now trying to act like he totally wasn’t helping Eijirou cheat out of having to buy everyone food. He passed Ochako skillfully and got neck and neck with Mina as the finish line came into view. Kaminari’s eyes narrowed at Bakugou who was still moving his controller and Eijirou who was desperately trying to not seem suspicious. The redhead tapped his foot and chewed his lip looking obviously between Bakugou and the display.
“Stop right there!” Kaminari jumped up.
Eijirou finched staring up at the electric blond with big eyes. Bakugou kept his eyes trained silently on the tv until he finally crossed the finish line (for the second time). He dropped the remote causally in Eijirou lap before turning to Kaminari his brows raised. “What?” He crossed his arms.
“Y-you were cheating!” Kaminari gaped pointing accusingly at Bakugou and Eijirou.
“Don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.” Bakugou stared back at him unimpressed.
“Nuh uh you’re not getting away with that!” Mina squawked, obviously upset about being passed right when they’d got to the end.
“Cheaters never win, so that means you lose.” Kaminari nodded his arms squarely crossed.
That seemed to finally get to the blond. “No, I do not.” He growled at Kaminari who now seemed slightly hesitant to hold his ground.
“I think we vote on it.” Kaminari held his chin high. “Those in favor of declaring me the winner instead of Bakugou?”
Bakugou ground his teeth, a vain in his forehead twitching. “It was my fault.” Eijirou butted in quickly as he stood. “I asked Bakugou to help me, and besides I would have been last anyway so I lose. I’ll go get food.” His grin was small but ever present.
Sero shook his head. “Kiri, dude, it's fine. That wasn’t really serious, right Denki?” He raised a brow at his boyfriend.
“No,” Kaminari whined slouching. “I’m hungry!”
“It's fine,” Eijirou chuckled. “I’ll just go to the convenience store right down the street. I won’t be long, don’t worry.” He felt for his wallet in his jeans.
“You sure?” Ochako asked. “I can go since I officially lost.” She shrugged.
“Why are you all so nice to him and I’m just the devil or some shit?” Bakugou huffed falling back on the couch.
Mina snorted. “Cause you are the devil.”
“Shut it racoon eyes.” Bakugou sneered as Eijirou made his way to the door.
Eijirou smiled and waved back at the occupants of the apartment as he exited “Be back in a minute!” He called.
He got a chorus of byes back as he closed the door.
The convenience store sat just a few more shop fronts up, and Eijirou picked up his pace slightly to reach it. The air inside felt much more artificial and maybe a tad too cold so, Eijirou started on his task pretty quickly in order to get back to his friends. He’d sure grown increasingly fond of the humans he’d once found very odd, sure they were loud and boisterous and some rather off putting, but he’d found himself lamenting over the fact that he would one day have to leave them behind. They would all grow old and die and he and Ochako would reminisce about their time with the rowdy group of humans and Eijirou’s near impossible job. The thought made his chest feel odd and heavy as he combed through the rows of cheap snack foods. He fought against the urge to just think about wanting to stay. The idea made his body rigid with panic, that’s not what he meant, he didn’t want to stay, he wanted to… visit, yeah, he’d find a way to visit on occasion but nothing more, he would move on for sure.
Mind still a little flustered he ended up picking out a colorful bag of chips and a large pack of cookies. That would be enough for sure, so he brought his trove of snacks to the front of the store to check out. The cashier regarded him blankly and methodically swiped his items. Eijirou gave the man the appropriate number of bills before snatching up his bag and headed towards the door.
The redhead had just made it to the sliding doors as they opened with a soft electronic ding when he heard a voice he just quite recognized from the aisle behind him.
“Kyouka,” The voice sighed. “Do you really need all of that?”
Eijirou whipped around his brow furrowed. There standing at the end of the aisle was the black haired woman. She stood next to the same dark-haired woman from before casually browsing the store's contents. Eijirou weighed his options, he could try to speak to her again and risk her running off or causing a scene, or he could let it go, and neglect his longing for answers.
His curiosity evidently won out and he hurried down the aisle to where the two women stood chatting about the prices of packs of wires. He stopped beside the tall black haired woman and pretended to be engrossed in the shelf before him. He felt her eyes on him second later followed by a sharp intake of breath.
“Kyouka?” She asked softly.
“Hm?” The other responded.
“Why don’t you go look for the rest of the stuff on the list. I’ll look around here a little bit longer, ok?” The taller one placed a hand on her partner's shoulder who nodded and shrugged and then headed off towards the other side of the store.
They stood in silence for a second except for the soft lull of the store's music, until the woman spoke. “You don’t have to worry,” she said softly. “I would never say anything. Who would believe me if I did anyway.” She chuckled.
Eijirou swallowed, that was a relief. “W-who are?” He breathed.
The woman pursed her lips seemingly contemplating whether or not to give up that piece information. She stared pensively at the ground. “Yaoyorozu,” she answered tentatively. “Although, if you’ve heard of me than you’d know me as Momo.”
“So,” Eijirou nodded. “You are a cupid then.” He sighed relieved.
Momo finally met his gaze if only for a second out of the corner of her eye before looking away. “Was,” She corrected. “I was a cupid.”
“Was?” Eijirou repeated. “But how-” His thought finally caught up with his words cutting him off. Of course, the dark-haired woman, the one who had been by Momo’s side both times he’d seen her.
“Kyouka and I have been together for two years now.” Momo stated casually as she compared two items.
“That was you?” He glanced down at his feet. “The one that left, they never gave a name.” He said as he looked back up, she still wasn’t looking at him.
“I said I didn’t want to make a scene.” She smiled softly. “I didn’t expect the higher-ups to be so supportive of my choice, but low and behold they were.”
Eijirou nodded. “Does she know?” He asked.
“Who, Kyouka?” She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and looked over at him finally. “Yes, she does, she’s known for a while.”
Eijirou cleared his throat. “I don’t mean to be rude or anything,” He laughed awkwardly. “But, um, why?”
“Why did I leave?” she tilted her head at him raising a brow. “I just told you.”
“No, I mean just,” He took a deep breath. “How did you lo- like a human that much?”
Momo chuckled. “You’re awful nosy for someone I just met.”
“Oh, uh, sorry!” He laughed scratching at his cheek. “I’ve just never met a cupid who defect-” He met Momo’s hard eyes, daring him to finished the sentence. “...Who cared about a human that much.” He finished quickly.
Her eyes softened slightly. “This is your first time pretending to be human isn’t it?”
He nodded sheepishly, he didn’t understand why, something about Momo was just so regal, she was so poised and calm.
“I got tired I guess, you’re young I don’t expect you to understand, but I decided to try coming down here and interacting, not just for jobs.” Her smile began to grow as she continued. “It was my job to find humans that were ready for cupids to be assigned to. Kyouka was one I just… spent too much time on. ”
Eijirou nodded slowly. “I… I understand I guess…” He said slowly.
Momo’s smirk was small but present. “You sound unsure but I think you do understand.”
“W-what?” He stuttered.
“You eat don’t you?” She asked tapping his bag.
His brow furrowed. “Yes..” He answered tentatively.
“You never did that before, right?” She raised a knowing brow.
He nodded slowly.
“We think we have such an impact on them,” She continued, her grin was delicate but telling. “But I believe they have a much greater impact on us. The reason you eat is because you found something you like about them.”
He swallowed as he thought about Kamianri’s jokes, and how kind and welcoming Mina had been.
“The reason you blush,” She tapped his lightly dusted cheek. “Is because you care.”
He thought about how manly Bakugou was, how bea- great his genuine smiles were. His eyes widened and his fist tightened around the damp handle of his bag, he was sweating, he’d never sweated before. He felt his heartbeat quicken had that happened before?
“Hey,” He felt Momo’s hands on his shoulders. “Don’t panic, you’re ok. It happens to the best of us, even the ones who never end up like me.” she soothed. “You don’t have to worry. Being with them just… makes us more human.”
He nodded. He wished Ochako had told him this before he’d got himself into this mess. “So admiring them makes us more like them?” He asked.
“Not admiring,” She shook her head letting her arms fall back to her sides. “Knowing.”
He swallowed nervously and nodded once more. She gave him a soft smile as a call rang from the other side of the store. “Momo, you ready?”
She held out her hand. “I need to get going and it looks like you have places to be too. Can I see your phone?” She asked.
He nodded his brow furrowed as he handed her the device.
She handed it back after type something on it. “Here’s my number.” She said as Eijirou glanced at the screen. “Call me if you need help with human stuff or have any questions, ok?” She smiled.
“Oh ah, ok, thank you.” he grinned putting his phone back in his pocket.
“Bye.” She waved as she stepped around him, a pack from the shelf in her hand.
He waved back, “Bye…” As she left him standing dumbfounded in the middle of the aisle.
A part of him wished he’d never listened to Ochako and stayed on his own path, but the other part wasn’t so sure. He had adored every moment with his new human friends, but according to Momo that could be leading him down a very dangerous path. Everything was just starting to make sense, to fit, to feel comfortable. How could he be sure of anything he felt anymore? He let out a shaky exhale, trying and failing to ease the tension in his shoulders, and the tightness in his chest. He did know one thing for certain though, he needed to get Bakugou with an arrow and fast.
I am so sorry for how late this chapter is! I've been super busy because I'm doing the makeup for my school production of The Little Mermaid, which has been really fun but time-consuming. I promise to make up for it next chapter though, I'm planning on making the next one longer with a lot of fluff and fun, calm before the storm kinda thing, ya know. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this smaller chapter and that maybe some of your questions got answered! Thanks for all the kudos and sweet comments they really keep me going!
Chapter 6: Fools Paradise
Everyone takes a much-needed break, Ochako's got something to hide though and Eijirou is as oblivious as ever.
It had been a few weeks since Eijirou had confronted Momo in the convenience store. It was an understatement to say her words hadn’t panicked him slightly. How could they not? The thought of losing everything he’d known in his life thus far had a spike in his pulse, and heavy breaths in his lungs. It had been hard going back to the group with the snacks and not be a little closed off. Ochako was the first to notice his soured mood but didn’t push the subject at first, and not long after Bakugou was letting out annoyed huffs as the redhead made certain he had a suitable distance between himself and who he’d consider his closest human friend. No one really confronted him except for Ochako, who he’d brushed off saying he was fine. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust her or anything, he just didn’t want to make her feel bad about coercing him into his now anxiety-ridden situation. He left Kaminari’s apartment, oddly quiet, with Ochako and Bakugou in tow. As soon as Ochako branched off and Bakugou and he were left to face their apartment building, the blond stood oddly close.
“Stop with that moping shit.” Bakugou had grumbled. “It's fucking annoying.”
“Oh, ah, sorry…” The redhead had responded softly.
“Ugh, don’t be fucking sorry.” The blond had clenched his fists his voice wavered. “I just mean, your smile, it's not fucking horrible, or whatever.”
Eijirou had felt weirdly breathless his frown softened and he grinned just slightly. “You like my smile?” He had asked.
“Shut up,” The blond had growled. “I didn’t fucking say that!” He pushed past Eijirou towards the front doors. “I don’t fuckin’ give a shit so don’t go getting it in your pea-sized brain that I do.” He barked his shouldered hunched and, maybe it was just the light, but, Eijirou had thought his ears looked pink.
Not long after Kaminari had excitedly informed them that he would be taking them all on a “once in a lifetime, well deserved, free of charge” vacation to his parent's beach house. Eijirou had been particularly excited seeing as he’d never actually been to the beach. Even in his long life, he’d never been too far from the city where he was assigned.
“What are you a dog?” Bakugou snorted from where he’d been squished into the middle between Eijirou and Iida.
Eijirou’s brows knitted together. “No…” He drawled.
Bakugou rolled his eyes and looked away as a head poked through the space between the headrest behind him. “You never been on a road trip or something, fam?” Camie inquired from the back seat.
He shook his head. “Nope, never been to the beach either.”
“Wig.” Camie raised her brows. “That's wild, I thought everyone had been to the beach.”
“Not me.” He laughed awkwardly.
Bakugou snorted. “Big surprise there.”
“Hey,” Camie swatted his head. “You’re so rude.”
“And you’re an overreacting bitch!” Bakugou seethed glaring back at her.
Camie laughed. “I mean, I am pretty extra but not as bad as you.”
Eijirou grinned as he looked between the bantering pair. Bakugou caught his gaze, the blond’s eyes flickered to his grin and narrowed his eyes.
“What’s up with that stupid smile.” he snapped.
Eijirou shrugged. “Just happy about seeing the beach I guess.” He lied. “I thought you didn’t hate my smile?” He chuckled tilting his head.
“What!” Camie guffawed, her face gleeful.
“Shut up!” Bakugou practically screeched as he pushed Eijirou’s face back towards the window. “Go back to watching the fucking trees dumbass!”
Iida sighed animatedly to their left. “Please stop being so disrespectful towards one another.” He said as he removed his earbuds. “I am having trouble hearing my audiobook over your incessant shrieking.”
“I don’t shriek four-eyes!” Bakugou… shrieked.
“I will not tolerate your name calling and childish behavior Bakugou, and I would appreciate if you would lower your voice as to not distract the driver.” Iida exaggeratedly chopped at the air with his free hand not holding his phone.
“I’m fine dude.” Sero laughed earning Bakugou’s heated glare. “Just try not to wake Denki.” The electric blond mumbled something and turned in his sleep as if to punctuate the sentence.
“Don’t tell me what to do,” Bakugou growled. “I’ll wake up dunce face if I want to.”
“And I’ll leave you on the side of the road and you can walk home.” Sero shrugged looking at the blond challengingly through the rearview mirror.
“You wouldn’t.” Bakugou snorted crossing his arms.
“Try me,” Sero smirked back.
Bakugou ground his teeth and turned away and muttered a “Whatever” in Eijirou’s general direction.
“You mess with the bull you’ll get the horns.” Sero chuckled waving a joking finger in front of him.
“Oh, fuck off!” Bakugou grumbled.
“Come on guys,” Eijirou sighed. “It's over let's just enjoy the rest of the ride.”
“Yes, thank you, Kirishima.” Iida nodded as he put his earbuds back in.
Eijirou turned back towards the window. He lay his head gently against the car door as the wind pulled at his hair and made his eyes water just slightly. “You’re gonna love the beach!” Camie whispered behind him.
Eijirou smiled as he gazed at the passing scenery. “Yeah, I think you’re right.”
As soon as the car was finally parked he threw the door open and sprinted towards the sand. He heard a disgruntled “Hey!” behind him as he ran down the wooden path leading to the surf. His face hurt from how wide he was smiling, as he bounded down the stairs and kicked off his crocs at the bottom. His toes sank into the off white grainy substance and he let out another gasp of excitement. He lifted and lowered his foot three times into the smooth powdery ground before he looked up to gaze adoringly at the windy sea. The wind wasn’t harsh but it made his spikes sway just slightly with the trees, and threw little crystals of sand at his exposed ankles. The water sloshed at the shore, the biggest of the waves might have reached his waist if he waded out far enough. Oh how he wished he had his swimsuit already, the water looked so inviting, not calm or crystal clear but beautiful, welcoming and fun. He imagined just splashing around in the shallows with his friends. His heartbeat picked up slightly, maybe not with the humans than, he still wasn’t sure how he should act around or feel about them. He would enjoy the beach with Ochako though, she was sure to love it just as much as him once she got here.
“The fuck is up with you?!” A voice called behind him.
He turned to find Bakugou with his hands deep in his pockets, his spiky bangs pushed back by the wind as he sauntered down the path after Eijirou.
“It’s my first time at the beach, man!” He called back grinning broadly. “I’m excited.”
The blond sucked his teeth. “Yeah, I can see that.” He rolled his shoulders and glanced out at the water. “Don’t run off like a dumb fuck again, you’re like a toddler I swear.”
“Sorry,” Eijirou laughed scratching his neck. “I didn’t mean to worry you.”
“I wasn’t worried.” Bakugou hissed trying to push his bangs, which were flailing wildly in the wind, out of his face.
Eijirou shrugged. “Ok.” He smirked. “Maybe you can borrow one of Mina’s hair clips for your bangs though, she’s got a pretty manly looking pink one.”
“Oh fuck off.” Bakugou sneered at him.
“Eiji!” They both turned to see Ochako sprinting down the path towards them.
She used her momentum to throw herself in Eijirou’s arms. He hugged her back grinning.
“This is so awesome!” She beamed looking over his shoulder at the water. “It looks like it goes on forever!” She laughed.
Eijirou parted from her embrace as Bakugou looked up from where he’d been glaring at the sand. “What, have both of you never been to the beach?” He frowned deeply.
“Ah, nope!” Ochako smiled. “Crazy, right?”
“Yeah, so crazy.” Bakugou ground his teeth. “You guys just have so much in common.”
“Yep,” Ochako laughed. “We are pretty close.”
“Good for you.” The blond sneered. “Fuckin’ enjoy it then, I’ll leave.” He pursed his lips.
Eijirou tilted his head as Bakugou stomped away. “Bakugou!” He called. “What's wrong?”
“Nothing.” The other growled back over the wind. “Fuck off.”
Eijirou turned back to Ochako who shrugged. “That was weird.” He murmured.
“Not for him.” She chuckled.
He shook his head. “I don’t know, he seemed upset.”
Ochako rolled her eyes playfully and laughed. “He’s always upset. It would be actually weird if he wasn’t.”
Eijirou frowned gazing at the sand which tumbled and churned with the wind. He didn’t quite agree.
“Yeah,” Kaminari hands were on his hips. “My parents are loaded,” he smirked.
“No shit,” Bakugou grumbled pushing past the stunned group gathered at the door.
The rest of the group was still standing enamored by the set up before them as Kaminari and Bakugou started to make themselves at home.
Iida was the first to shake himself out of whatever trance the rest were in. “This is all well and good,” he stated repositioning his glasses. “But I suggest we finalize sleep arrangements first and foremost.”
Kaminari shrugged. “Sure dude, take your pick.” He glanced at the group. “We’re gonna have to share though.”
“Obvious.” Iida nodded. “We will get in groups then.”
Sero stepped up. “Denki and I can share a room.”
Kaminari leaned over the armrest of the couch, his hair just brushing the floor and his arms hanging down beside him as the blood rushed to his face. “Uhhhhh, the girls can take the master at the end of the hall upstairs, cause I’m so generous.” He grinned his hand on his chest.
“Iida why don’t we share a room.” Midoriya smiled sweetly.
Iida nodded. “Sounds reasonable.” Iida scratched his chin in thought. “That only leaves one room.”
Kaminari shrugged as best he could hanging upside down. “Someone can take the couch, it's nice.”
Todoroki stepped up. “I’ll take the couch, I don’t really feel like sharing with someone else.” A quick shrug accented his declaration.
“Then Bakugou and Kirishima will take the last room.” Iida chopped the air with an outstretched arm. “Does anyone have any problems with these arrangements.”
Everyone muttered a few quick yeses and murmurs of acknowledgment. “Good.” Iida crossed his arms. “I’ve put together a schedule for dinner tonight.” He pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket.
“We will deposit our personal items in our rooms and change for the beach. At 7 o'clock sharp we will head down to the beach. Kirishima, Midoriya and I will handle taking down any necessary dinner items.” Iida continued holding the paper out in front of him and chopping at the air with his free hand. “Bakugou will cook at 7:30-”
“Don’t tell me what to do jackass!” Bakugou shouted from across the room.
Iida cleared his throat loudly. “We will ask Bakugou to begin dinner at 7:30 and hopefully eat by 8 o'clock. We may stay out as late as we like, but I suggest we promptly head to bed by 10 o'clock at the latest to ensure optimal energy for activities tomorrow.” Iida looked up from his paper as he folded it back and secured it in his pocket. “Any questions?” He asked as he gazed at the surrounding faces.
Eijirou coughed. “No dude sounds good.”
“Excellent.” Iida nodded grinning. “Let’s pick out our rooms, please don’t fight.” He reminded everyone.
“Yeah,” Bakugou grunted standing quickly to make a break for the stairs. “We’re not children.”
“Really?” Mina snickered. “Than why are you running?” She asked hurrying after him.
“Cause I want the best room, dumbass,” Bakugou growled.
Mina huffed. “Kami said we already get the masters cause there's three of us. Whos the dumbass now, dumbass?” She smirked catching up with the blond.
“I’ll get the best of the others then!” Bakugou growled. “And don’t call me a dumbass, bitch!”
“Don’t call me a bitch, asshole!” Mina sneered.
Eijirou bounded up the stairs to step between the arguing pair. “Hey, hey, hey, guys!” Eijirou smiled. “It's fine, let's not fight.” He reminded. “Let's just get out stuff put away and get down to the beach, yeah?” He beamed.
Bakugou stared at him menacingly, Mina pursed her lips but her face had obviously already relaxed quite a bit more than the blonds. Eijirou’s grin turned nervous as the pair stared him down.
“Fucking fine,” Bakugou grumbled as he turned and stomped away. “Get your shit and let's get moving.”
Mina smiled up at him her demeanor flipped like a switch. “Thanks, Kiri!” She sang hoisting her bag up further on her shoulder and continuing down the hallway.
Eijirou sighed and followed after Bakugou, dragging his bag behind him, this was gonna be a long trip.
The surf was by no means rough, but it was still extremely amusing to crash headfirst into the onslaught of surging water. Eijirou laughed heartily as he shook out his salt laden hair, which clung in clumps to his equally damp face. The water rose and fell almost peaceful around him, raising him up so that his feet just brushed the soft sand before depositing him back on solid(ish) earth.
Kaminari laughed with him. “One more, ok, then we gotta head in to eat, or Bakugou will have our heads.” He grinned.
Eijirou gave the blond a thumbs up. “Ok!” He smiled back.
He turned his attention back to the water that stretched out before him. A few whitecaps broke the surface here and there, but nothing looked promising at the movement. Eijirou was happy for the sea to take its time with their arrangement though. He relished the feeling of cool water against his body, warm with exertion. The liquid felt borderline silky against his skin, and frantic fish darted about the seafloor to quickly tick his feet and dart away equally fast. He dug his toes into the sand to steady himself as the water rose and fell once again.
“Look!” Kaminari shouted beside him. “Here comes a good one!” he pointed.
Sure enough, a large wave broke the surface of the water not far from them. “Wanna ride it in?” Eijirou asked.
“Yell heah!” Kaminari beamed turning his back to the oncoming wave.
Eijirou followed suit and gazed back at the shore not too far away as the roar of the wave grew steadily louder in his ears. “Ready?!” He called.
“Yeah!” Kaminari answered confidently.
Eijirou beamed as the wind whistled in his ear and surf crashed and roared behind him. He felt the water around his waist dip and pushed himself off with as much force as he could muster. The water propelled him and Kaminari forward, and they rode the wave until it left them, laughing and grinning senseless, sprawled on the sand, the tide lapping at their sides.
“That was awesome.” Eijirou breathed between laughs.
“Ugh, I forgot how much I love that.” Kaminari beamed. “We gotta do that tomorrow.”
“Dude, yeah.” Eijirou grinned finally standing and brushing the sand off his swim shorts.
The current had washed the pair downwind of the rest of the group, so they hastily trotted back down the beach to their friends. Eijirou waved as the humans became steadily large as they approached. Mina lay sprawled on a towel soaking up the sun, her already tan skin darkening to an oddly almost rose gold color. Ochako sat on an adjacent towel, which she shared with Midoriya, along with her headphones and some video playing on her phone. Her skin was tinted pink in the heat, her cheeks rosier than usual next to Midoriya’s fierce tan.
Eijirou was happy to find Camie situated next to Bakugou, talking as he cooked, right were he had left them with the excuse that he promised he’d swim with Kaminari. Bakugou was grumpy as he left, seeing as Eijirou had brought Camie over and started the conversation. What was he supposed to say though? Sorry bro, I’m not being rude, I’m just trying to set you up with a sappy loving relationship. Which you’d honestly probably hate out loud, but I know you don’t mean it deep down, don’t worry! It wasn’t far fetched to believe that Bakugou hated Hollywood endings and true loves kiss, but Eijirou could tell that below the surface the blond was simply lonely, and Camie could definitely see it too, that's why she was the obvious choice!
“Hey you two,” Camie grinned as he and Kaminari approached. “have fun out there?”
Eijirou nodded enthusiastically. “It was great!”
Kaminari snorted. “Yeah, after I taught you how to keep your head above the water.”
“You can’t swim?” Camie rose a brow. “worm?”
Eijirou laughed sheepishly. “Uh, well-”
Bakugou looked up from his work to roll his eyes. “Surprised he can even breathe on his own.” He sneered.
Camie shook her head with a smirk. “Translation from grumpy: he missed you.”
Bakugou narrowed his eyes his brow fiercely furrowed. “You lookin’ to fucking die?” He sneered.
Camie shrugged. “Sorry, snitching your shit’s in my blood.”
Kaminari chuckled at that. “I’m gonna go hang with Hanta, call me when foods ready?” the electric blond asked.
Eijirou nodded. “Sure thing, dude.”
Kaminari smiled and gave him a little wave before bounding down the beach to where his boyfriend was trying to construct a sandcastle way too close to the surf.
“Hmmm,” Camie hummed thoughtfully. “Relationships are so cute and so frustrating, you know?”
Bakugou snorted. “Emphasis on the frustrating.”
Camie rolled her eyes. “You’re such a downer.”
“Yeah,” Eijirou agreed. “You probably just haven’t found the right person.” He wanted to scream: She’s right next to you!
Camie wiggled her brows. “Kiri knows what's up.” She smirked.
“That's a first.” The blond grumbled turning away.
“Ugh,” Camie crossed her arms with a pout. “Party pooper.”
“Shut up, foods done,” Bakugou growled depositing the beef, chicken, and vegetables he’d been grilling on the platters to serve. “Camie, go tell everyone.”
“Bet.” Camie grinned bouncing off and calling out to their friends lounging on the beach.
“Take this and bring it to the table,” Bakugou grunted thrusting a platter at the redhead.
He smiled taking the platter in his hands. “Got it.”
“Come on,” Bakugou grumbled turning off the grill and heading towards the porch attached to the house, with a platter of his own.
Eijirou skipped up beside the blond beaming at the mouth-watering scent wafting off the freshly cooked meat and vegetables. “This looks amazing!” He commented.
Bakugou smirked slightly, his eyes flicking towards Eijirou. “Yeah, of course, it does.”
“You really are the best cook ever!” Eijirou praised setting the platter down on the large patio table.
Bakugou snorted setting down his own platter. “I know.”
“Stroke his ego anymore and he'll ascend to new levels of assholery.” Kaminari joked as he came up behind Eijirou and threw an arm over his shoulder.
“Fuck off,” Bakugou growled pushing the electric blond off Eijirou.
“Ouch bro, that hurt.” Kaminari pouted as the rest of the group came up the stairs onto the patio.
Bakugou rolled his eyes. “Just get your fucking food and shut up.”
“Can do!” Kaminari beamed giving Bakugou a thumbs up as he eagerly sat down at the table and began piling his plate with food.
“Hey,” Mina called. “Save some for the rest of us!” She hurriedly sat down across from Kaminari to fill her own plate.
“Guys,” Eijirou laughed sitting down beside Kaminari. “I’m sure there's enough for everyone.”
“Not with his stomach.” Mina snorted gesturing to Kaminari with her chopsticks.
“Are you calling me fat?!” The electric blond wailed.
Mina shrugged. “Just sayin’ you eat a lot.”
Kaminari opened his mouth to respond but with beaten by Bakugou’s growl. “Will you just shut up and fuckin’ eat.”
Kaminari rolled his eyes which he then immediately trained on his food as the group got situated into their meal. The conversation was jovial and the atmosphere of the dinner peasant, as the lot continued to eagerly eat their supplied meal. Even Bakugou gave a few soft grunts to the group's banter as the sun began to set, bathing the surface of the water in soft hues of orange and red. Long shadows ran along the beach, bruising the sand with dark purples that swayed slowly in the dying light, mimicking the wind whipped fauna. Eijirou was stretched to remember the last time he’d taken the time to enjoy, solely, the setting of the sun. Sure many couples basked in the slowly fading glow, but Eijirou had never let his eyes lock and his mind fixate on the bright changing colors as the sun slowly dipped below the horizon. He’d always been happy to gaze at the array of hues that tinged his wings, now though, he couldn’t imagine trading the fading light for the now bored plumage.
“It's so beautiful…” He mumbled, his eyes still fixed on the setting sun as he spoke to Ochako at his side.
When no response came he turned back to find her trading hushed words with Midoriya giggling fiercely behind her hand. He sighed, his gaze flicking across the table where he encountered fiery red meeting him head-on. He smiled softly at the blond, who made Eijirou’s chest feel light at the slightest curve of his lips.
Mina groaned throwing her head back as she placed down another card. “Uhg, please, someone plus two him.”
Eijirou grimaced as he made his play. “Sorry, dude, I got nothing.”
“Wouldn't matter anyway, Sero’s our last hope,” Mina grumbled her hand squishing her pink cheeks.
Kaminari smirked. “Looks like I win then.”
“Not so fast.” Sero grinned placing a plus four on top of the pile.
Mina whooped and clapped her hands excitedly as Kaminari’s face fell. “This is abuse, I’m calling the police.” He pouted.
“Snooze you lose.” Mina snickered placing four cards in front of him. “Now take your cards.”
Mina placed her own card and grinned evilly as she looked down at her hand. “Uno” She sang happily.
Eijirou’s shoulders slouched as he placed his green four. “I’m not even close.” He mumbled looking down at his eight cards.
“Don’t worry dude.” Sero smiled as he dropped a green eight. “I’m right here with you.”
Kaminari frowned. “This is so unfair, you’re gonna win now.” He placed his card. “That's all I can do.” He groaned.
“She might not have green.” Eijirou offered.
Kaminari shook his head as Mina smirked beside him. “I looked when I was coming back from the bathroom, all she had was green.”
Mina grinned. “I guess that’s your lesson for the day Kami,” She put down a green reverse. “Cheaters never win.”
Kaminari threw his cards down. “I didn’t cheat!” He protested.
“Sounds like somethin’ a cheater would say.” Mina shrugged slyly.
Sero rolled his eyes. “Come on guys, are you gonna argue or are we gonna play another game?” He crossed his arms.
“I don’t know.” Kaminari groaned falling back on the carpeted floor, his arms and hair splayed wildly around him. “Kinda wanna watch TV or somethin’”
“I’m down,” Mina answered with a stretch as she stood to get the remote.
Sero nodded. “Cool, Kiri, you wanna watch something?”
Eijirou shook his head. “Nah, I think I’ll check on Ochako.”
Kaminari threw himself onto the couch. “Ok, have fun dude, if ya change your mind you know where to find us.”
“Yeah,” Eijirou nodded. “Might, I don’ know”
“Bye!” Mina waved sitting on top of Kaminari who was taking up most of the couch.
Kaminari shoved at her as Eijirou left the room. “Get off!” He grunted.
Eijirou bounded up the stairs towards the girl's bedroom on the left. Mina was downstairs and Camie was talking with Bakugou on the porch, much to Eijirou’s delight. That left Ochako the only one in her room because she said she had a headache. Eijirou came upon the door and raised his hand to knock, but was more than a little thrown off when the door opened to on its own, and on the other side, his hand still on the handle was Midoriya.
The green haired man looked up at Eijirou with clear surprised etched onto his features. His eyes were just slightly red, probably allergies Eijirou concluded.
“Sorry Kirishima,” Midoriya stuttered. “I was just leaving.”
The shorter man pushed past him his shoulders slightly drawn in as he hurried away from the door. Eijirou’s brow furrowed, while Midoriya was known for not being the most confident he almost always had the same smile Eijirou had become so accustomed to. His gaze shifted from Midoriya’s retreating figure back to the room he had been intent on. Ochako sat on the bed her shoulders drawn in just slightly as she gazed at her hands. Her fingers fidgeted and rubbed at the skin of her palm nervously. She hadn’t taken notice of Eijirou, he shifted his weight not knowing if he was welcome. He opted to confront and comfort his friend if she needed it, he’d have wanted her to do the same for him.
“Hey,” He said softly as he came up and sat down beside her.
She looked up as the mattress dipped beside her. “Hey,” she muttered.
“You ok?” He asked tentatively.
“Oh, uh, yeah… yeah, I’m fine.” She tried to smile. “I just messed up really bad Eiji.” Her laugh sounded too sarcastic and Eijirou silently cringed.
“What happened?” Eijirou questioned putting an arm around her shoulder.
She relaxed into the comfortable pressure. “I just, I wanted to check up on Deku and his arrow. Todoroki hasn’t really responded, but he seems to like Midoriya a lot. So I talked with Deku, and, I…”
“It’s ok.” He whispered rubbing her shoulder.
“I messed up this job so bad.” She frowned her head dropping to her hands as her foot tapped anxiously on the floor. “I should just drop it.”
That definitely took Eijirou by surprise. Ochako had never once even insinuated that she wanted to quit a job. She loved helping people just like any cupid and had never once sought to abandon one because of a setback.
“What are you talking about?” He gasped his brow furrowed deeply. “You’ve never wanted to quit a job before. What happened?”
He watched as her jaw clenched, her fingers picked anxiously at her hands, her nails digging just slightly into her skin. Ochako?” He whispered his eyes wide and brows tilted, his frown felt shaky and uncertain. “You can tell me.” He said taking hold of her fidgeting hands, which stopped their assault on her skin in his grasp.
“No, I can’t” She mumbled blinking her red eyes up at the ceiling.
He pursed his lips. “I’d never judge you. You’re my friend.”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t want you getting dragged down too. Sometimes it's better to just… be oblivious.” She mumbled as she stood. “Just get Bakugou’s arrow done fast. I need some air.”
Ochako hurriedly exited the room, her fluffy brown hair bouncing around her shaking shoulders. Eijirou watched as she left, confused and stunned by the odd turn of events that had conspired. He swallowed shifting his weight and chewing his lip as he stared down at the carpet. He’d tried to comfort Ochako but had instead completely muddied his own perception of his work with Ochako’s anxiety. Did she think the same problem with Todoroki’s arrow might happen to Bakugou, that it wouldn’t work? She had said something about his arrow, maybe he should check on it…
His own worries got the best of him as he tore his way through his suitcase to the very bottom where he’d stashed the bolts. His fingers ghosted over the glassy surface of the arrow he knew to be Bakugou's. He rolled it between his fingers feeling the new heat that radiated from it, his breath hitched and he broke into a grin. Bakugou’s arrow was responding to someone, he dropped the bolt as he fell back on the carpet pumping his fists in the air happily, grinning from ear to ear. Bakugou wasn’t some rage-filled manic like the previous cupid had thought, he liked someone, could hopefully fall in love with that someone. Forgetting all his worries with Ochako Eijirou sat back up to pull the arrow back into his hold. He held the clear object firmly in his grasp, his brow furrowed in concentration. He pursed his lips, he was sure he knew this energy, it was on the tip on his tongue. He placed the arrow back in the bag with a sigh, he’d probably kick himself later for not knowing right away. And maybe, if he’d had the lights on, he’d have noticed the light tinge of red that pooled at the center of the crystal bolt.
I'm so sorry for the long wait for this chapter. I've had a lot of things come up with family and school so I've been kinda busy recently, and unfortunately, it won't calm down until after my finals. Again I'm really sorry, I'm gonna aim for getting the next chapter out on time but I can't make any promises. Thank you so much for all your kudos and comments!