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Listening to people walking down the street, birds chirping, cars approaching - it all suddenly became a morning routine for Katsuki. Weekly morning coffees with his best friend, Eijirou, also grew to be a significant part of his life, although he won’t admit it if his life depended on it. Things that Katsuki once laughed at now make his life a bit more tolerable. He started noticing things that always slipped through his mind, taking a closer look at the stuff he never really cared about. Appreciating the world a bit more, now that the person he cared about the most left him for almost two years and walked into his life without any warning.

Although, he can’t blame anyone but himself for that. Todoroki didn’t seem to care about seeing Katsuki, the ruby-eyed male was the one who came to his apartment, drunk to the core.

“Izuku told me Todoroki is back in town. Is that true?” Eijirou pours himself a good amount of sugar into his coffee. Sitting across from his friend, Katsuki finds his mind wandering around the half and half boy again. But then again, he’s not really a boy anymore, is he? He was when he left, they’re both 21 now. They left their teen lives behind.

Katsuki only nods and takes a sip of his black coffee.

“Have you seen him yet?” Eijirou says, but it’s almost like no one is listening. Katsuki doesn’t like the direction this conversation is going in. He can feel his head pulsating, as always when this topic is brought up, “I think you should, you know. You guys used to-”

“I know what we used to, Ei,” he spats, the words bitterly come out of his mouth, almost as bitter as his coffee. It makes his heart sting, the way how Eijirou used past tense when talking about them . “I did go and see him, is that what you wanted to hear?”

Eijirou pouts and shakes his head in disbelief. “I assume you two didn’t talk things out?”

“There is nothing to talk about,”

“I think there is,”

“You don’t know shit , Ei. Can we drop this fucking subject now?” Katsuki raises his voice a little, but not too much. He cannot show anyone how weak he actually feels.

They stay in silence that eats Katsuki inside-out. The silence that he got to be used to, that makes his stomach sink just this tiny bit lower. Eijirou nibbles on his lower lip, almost as if he wants to speak but he can’t. As if there are a thousand and more unsettled questions that he’s dying to get answers to.

“We’re not back together if that’s what you want to ask,” Katsuki murmurs. Eijirou chuckles and gives his friend a gentle smile.

“I figured,” he says. He takes his time to look at his friend and wonders where did it all go wrong. Both Katsuki and Shouto were so happy together, so how did they end up like this?

“You used to smile a lot more,” Eijirou notices. Katsuki’s head, previously hung low, now perks up and his eyes, unintentionally, are filled with tears. “Those were genuine smiles. It made me scared, you know? I mean, Bakugou Katsuki is actually smiling , that’s something new,” he chuckles. “Now you always smile like you’re about to cry,”

Katsuki can’t quite put a finger on the emotion that takes over his heart, his mind and his body, but what he does know is that he cannot carry on like this - longing for someone that’s completely out of his reach. It’s the rage, it’s pain, it’s the tear-stained pillow, it’s those sleepless nights that make him say,

“And that is exactly why I stopped,”.

He finishes his coffee and leaves the cafe, without saying a word. This was also part of his routine - keeping everything to himself to avoid breaking down in a public place like now.

-x-

Shouto opens the door and seems unphased by Katsuki’s sudden appearance. Katsuki already regrets coming down here again. Mistakes are about to be made, voices raised and, Katsuki is sure of it, broken hearts are going to be, well, broken all over again.

“We have to talk,” he says, his voice comes out harsher than he intended it to be. Shouto lets him into his apartment that Katsuki knows so well, all without saying a single word. 

The further he walks into the living room, the more his heart clenches and the more he wants to leave. There are memories flowing out of every corner of this room and it overwhelms Katsuki so much he’s scared he won’t be able to speak. He sits down on the couch, the one that reminds him of when he stopped by to see Shouto just after he got back from his internship. The one that reminds him of the night where Katsuki admitted he had never stopped loving Shouto, the latter having no idea about it. It kills Katsuki.

Something is odd, though. There is less stuff scattered on his bookshelves, he got rid of the old, grey carpet and there are boxes standing here and there.

As Shouto walks into the living room, Katsuki shoots him with a question that makes his throat go tight.

“Are you moving out?”

Shouto seems to freeze, the colour washes off of his face. Judging by the look of his eyes, he was not prepared for this kind of conversation and neither was Katsuki.

“Yes,” Shouto’s voice is hoarse, and so he clears his throat and speaks up again, “I’m going back to America. I have a flight on Saturday evening,”.

Katsuki slowly nods his head and bites his lip, “Back to work or-”

“I met someone, Katsuki,”

Time stops. His heart is pounding, he can’t feel anything but the growing pain in his chest. Is this how dying feels like? he wonders.

“Oh,” he sighs out. His mind is dizzy, Katsuki feels like he’s about to pass out, “Who’s the lucky one?” he asks, pretending the thought of Shouto being with someone else does not kill him.

“Her name is Lisa,” Shouto says and marches a bit in place, visibly uncomfortable. Lisa. Lisa. The name rings in Katsuki’s mind. He nods his head and takes in a deep breath.

“Do you love her?” he asks, his voice breaking. He looks at Shouto with teary eyes. He promised himself he won’t cry but how can you not cry when the person you love the most in the world breaks your heart for the second time?

Shouto’s expression changes, his brows knit together and he looks like he’s about to wail any second now, “I- I don’t know,” he stammers and scratches his arm. Katsuki doesn’t know what hurts him more - Shouto’s face or the way his voice breaks.

“Do you love me ?” he drops the bomb. Shouto is about to collapse. He blinks furiously to avoid letting the tears stream down his face, Katsuki notices.

“I don’t… I don’t know…” Shouto whispers. Katsuki closes his eyes and takes deep breaths. He’s sick of it, “I’m so sorry, Katsuki-”

“You broke my fucking heart and all you can say now is sorry?” he stands up and grits his teeth. He’s furious how big of an impact Shouto’s words leave on him.

“You think you’re the only one who’s been hurting this entire time?” Shouto raises his voice. He’s not screaming, but the way he emphasises every word makes it clear for Katsuki that he’s angry, “ Two years I’ve been wondering whether or not I made the right decision to leave. Two years I’ve been regretting putting work above you,” he raises his finger at him. Shouto was never the one to get emotional during fights, but people change - that’s something Katsuki has learned over the time, “And when I come back here and seek some time off you come to me and say you love me, what the hell am I supposed to do?”

“What was that now?” Katsuki lets out the breath he had no idea he’s been holding in this entire time. He might have hearing problems, but he’s sure he heard Shouto right, “You heard me say it?”

Shouto bites his lip and looks away, clearly regretting saying anything. That’s the last straw for Katsuki. His feet move faster than he can think and he makes his way towards the door.

“Please,” Shouto reaches out for him but Katsuki swats away his hand.

“Don’t fucking touch me,” he whimpers. Before he leaves, he gives Shouto one last glance. Seeing Shouto this broken was not something Katsuki wanted.

“Say hi to Lisa from me,” he says his final goodbye and slams the door.

-x-

Katsuki has never felt more alone in his entire life than he does now. Even surrounded by friends, he can’t get rid of the hollow, cold feeling in his chest. He tries to ignore the tears that keep appearing in his eyes and the horrible pain in his hair from the intense pulling. He tries to find comfort in the soft grass, in the sun hidden behind the grey clouds and in the wind that flows through his bare skin. But, despite all this effort, his mind is still occupied with Shouto.

Katsuki tried to call Eijirou and ask him to get him the hell out of here. He never called his number though, he was too scared to show his friend just how broken he actually was. And so he let his feet lead the way, and that’s how he ended up on a hill about fifteen minutes away from Shouto’s house.

His ruby-eyes look straight ahead at the tall trees, the city that seems to be a bit too quiet and the sky that’s washed with blue and white and grey. It all looks too good to be true.

“It’s so cliche of you to come to the place where we had our first date,” he hears Shouto’s voice and, honestly, that does not surprise him one bit. He half-expected Shouto to come here. Katsuki knew him too well and he knew Shouto would eventually find him.

“And it’s cliche of you to follow me,” he growls out and it makes Shouto chuckle. Classic Katsuki move.

After a while, the blonde quietly states, “It wasn’t a date, by the way,”. Shouto looks at him confused, Katsuki avoids eye-contact at all costs. He doesn’t want to drown in his heterochromatic eyes yet again, “I specifically told you not to come and you still did,”.

That also makes Shouto chuckle, “I was stubborn, wasn’t I?”

“You still are,”

They stay in complete silence and it’s not at all awkward, unsurprisingly to Katsuki. He liked those silences he shared with Shouto, it made him feel closer to the other male. Ironically, even though they're centimetres away from each other, Katsuki has never felt more isolated from Shouto.

“I want this to work out,” Shouto says. Katsuki only shakes his head because he knows it’s impossible anything will work out, “Don’t make that face, you know I know what you’re thinking, right?” somehow he notices how Katsuki’s nose scrunches and how his eyes are clouded with unjustified anger.

“What about Lisa, huh? If you leave her and whatever the fuck was between you two, you’d be a complete jerk,” Katsuki faces Shouto and, finally, looks him in the eyes. Shouto has always been a difficult man to read, but over time it became easier for Katsuki to guess how he was feeling.

And right now, Katsuki can tell Shouto is just as broken as him.

“We went out on a couple of drinks, that’s all. It meant nothing to me,” he says. Bullshit, Katsuki thinks.

“Real classy,” he laughs. He’s annoyed and he’s had enough of this conversation already.

“I love you, Katsuki,” the bomb finally drops on him unexpectedly. Katsuki has trouble finding the right words to reply but it doesn’t seem to bother Shouto, as he continues to speak, “I love you and I’m sorry I had to leave you to fully understand this. Letting go of you was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but now I’m sure…” he pauses. He looks out of breath and Katsuki is, too. His heart feels like it’s about to burst any second and it overwhelms Katsuki but all he can think about is Shouto and Shouto and I love him.

“I love you and I need you in my life more than anything,” he finishes and it’s enough for Katsuki. Tears that he never noticed stream down his cheeks and he gives Shouto a fond smile, the one that’s reserved for him and him only.

“You’re so stupid,” Katsuki says. What Shouto hears is “ I love you ”. He’s heard this phrase more than enough to understand its true meaning.

Usually in the movies when couples get back together, there’s a sunset in front of them. The various shades of red and orange blending into one, creating a romantic-like atmosphere that makes the audience tear up. Katsuki feels like he’s in a movie right now and it’s nowhere near romantic - the sky isn’t even blue, it’s grey and the air is filled with the smell of the city, but it’s perfect for him.

Listening to Shouto’s heartbeat, breathing in sync and feeling each other’s warmth - this is where he truly belongs.