When I finally saw you again, I remember that I had started crying. I knew you hated it when I cried so easily but I couldn’t help it. You had looked so...you, that my heart had actually hurt. The same red eyes, spiky blonde hair, slouch, casual clothes, scowl and rough way of talking. Despite everything that had happened and how my knees shook in fear, I had still sort of missed you-or at least the friendship that we had used to have.
At that time, I had expected you to yell at me again and shout. I had even been prepared to leave when you arrived because you refused to be in the same space as me. I hadn’t expected you to furrow your brows and nod at me while calling me by name. I had always been ‘Deku’ after confessing, never ‘Izuku’ that you had called me before for 15 years. To hear my name fall from your lips-without the coating of poisonous hatred-even as I cried was more than I could have ever imagined. For you to not hate me anymore...I remember thinking ‘what does this mean???’ And then you asked for me to accompany you outside so we could talk in private.
I had not dared to hope for an apology but that’s what I got that night. We sat outside in the school yard of our middle school, underneath the moonlight with the sounds of our classmates noisily celebrating the reunion. And you told me how you had felt all those years ago. How you hadn't been able to handle my weaknesses and strengths and straightforwardness and had ended up turning your fear and frustration into toxic anger and hate. How you would feel sick after bullying me and beating me up but at the same time, you felt trapped into continuing despite being unable to focus on school, unable to eat and vomiting all the time. How you had not known what to do about my confession in a society that ostracized homosexuality.
Your mother had yelled at you after finding out about your bullying but, despite her toughness, she had cried when she heard the full situation from you. You had fainted from your anger, grief, hunger, dehydration and sleeplessness the night I had left our hometown for a fresh start at a high school in a completely different region. You told me that night about the high school you had gone to after a recommendation from a psychologist. How it easily accepted all the innocent people society had taught you to hate. How you made friends that accepted you and how your therapist had helped you accept yourself and help you understand that you had loved me back but you didn’t think that could be true and had hated me because of it. You told me that you had missed our close relationship before my confession and would accept it if I never forgave you, but that you felt you owed it to me to apologize and explain it all anyway.
I don’t think I’ve ever cried as much continuously as I did that night. Though my tears flowed without any signs of stopping, not once did you scold me for it. No apology could erase how badly you had hurt me-even going so far as to tell me to kill myself. It couldn’t change the fact that I would always have a painful past with you. But it helped me not feel as if it had somehow been my fault all along. The blame had fallen on you and you had accepted that burden. I ended up being able to forgive you somewhat after all.
I don’t think either of us had expected to meet each other so soon after the class reunion-let alone end up in the same company. Yet two months later, we somehow ended up becoming coworkers. I think it had been a crucial time for us, working together. I was able to casually call you ‘Kacchan’ again and though you scolded me for it, there was no anger and you never raised a hand against me again. Even now, regardless of any ‘friendly’ punches and your boxing at the gym, you don’t even pretend that you will hit me again. If you had, I would’ve left you there and then but still, the change you brought within yourself since we were kids really moves me.
Our colleagues were probably pretty shocked by how close we were, but we had always strangely complemented each other, and we made a great team whenever we shared a project. I’ve never said it out loud but being able to coexist with you like that really soothed some of the leftover hurt that remained from middle school. It helped me to not be scared of you anymore. Especially with that time you supported me in standing up against Shigaraki-san-the trust in you that I had lost all those years ago was slowly earned by you again. That’s when I realized that I had become fully confident that you would no longer let yourself hurt me on purpose.
When you told me that your ex-boyfriend was moving out of the apartment you guys shared and so now you were looking for a new place to live, I was dumbfounded. You has completely neglected to tell me you had accepted your bisexuality, had gotten a boyfriend in high school that you eventually moved in with and then you had broken up with him because the two of you were better as friends. In truth, your embarrassment at having to inform me of such crucial details-even though we had, by then, become close enough to hang out sometimes outside of work hours-and how you were red and angry as you explained your past to me was what made me realise that I had started falling for you again.
Especially in the light of my realization then, I hadn’t expected myself to suddenly blurt out that I was planning to move out myself but that’s exactly what I did. I wasn’t set on moving but the commute to my job was very long from where I lived with my mother and I *had* been considering it. Of course, when I told you that I would be happy to share an apartment with you, you accepted and I remember how I had immediately regretted existing and hated my big mouth for betraying me. It’s funny to think of now because I had been so utterly horrified at the prospect of living with someone I was falling in love with.
We moved in together and I met your ex, Kirishima-san, and your group of friends from high school that you kept in contact with while you met my friends that I had made in high school. As a group, we all got along together wonderfully well-though the personality clash between you and Shouto-kun still makes me want to giggle. I love it when we throw a party and invite everyone. Despite being older and older, we can still be so childlike together that I hope we will never stop being friends.
After that group meeting and months of living together, we really did become even closer. Our talk of going home together caused our office to think we were together. They were very good to us and never told us to stop but they were almost too nice because I had denied the rumors of our relationship but they ignored it, thinking I was being shy. Nevertheless, at least we didn’t have to announce our relationship publicly and properly because of that-I would’ve been mortified.
I remember with clarity when you confessed to me again-it was surprisingly romantic. We stood alone in a secluded spot, underneath the new year’s fireworks, surrounded by the sounds of people around us celebrating the start of the new year. You faced me directly and, in a pause between fireworks, clearly stated that you were in love with me. I had blushed deeply and been unable to reply because of a throat too clogged up by emotions. You had understood though-you always did understand me-and had smiled softly before gently kissing me. It’s one of my favorite memories.
I’ve been reminiscing because I have been feeling restless tonight. I couldn’t help but look at your sleeping face illuminated in the moonlight-still in a scowl-and remember our past, the good and the bad. I love you so much and I’m so happy that we were able to be together after all. We share the same apartment, the same bed, the same space and I count my blessings every day because I am able to be with you.
I love how vulnerable you are as you cling to me in your sleep, in a way you never do when fully awake. I feel so full of joy as I trace the beautiful and sharp features of your face with my eyes, surrounded by your warmth, soothed by the motions of your breathing. I think I’ve tired myself out now by remembering so many things tonight, and so I’ll probably fall back asleep soon. I love you so much, Kacchan. I hope we’ll be together forever.