The ‘Squad'--as Kaminari had dubbed them--had been friends for over a year when the first glimpse came to them. It was, oddly enough, Kaminari who noticed it.
“Bakubro? What's up with your arm?”
Bakugou tensed for just a second before relaxing, holding up his arm. “Nothing, idiot,” he drawled, eyes widening just a hair when Kaminari suddenly grabbed his arm and turned it out.
“When did you get this?” He asked, smoothing a thumb over the dark bruise coloring the inside of Bakugou's bicep. “Wasn't there the other day, dude.”
At this point, the whole squad was watching, intrigued.
“It's nothing,” Bakugou shrugged off, unconcerned, though perhaps his tone was just a little tight. “Working out at the gym. Did the machine wrong.”
“How do you even get a bruise there?” Kaminari murmured, but Bakugou pretended like he didn't hear that follow up and Ashido started in on the newest gossip she'd heard so Kaminari shrugged and figured if Bakugou wasn't concerned he wouldn't be either.
A few weeks later, they were changing out for class in the locker room.
“What the hell?” Sero exclaimed, eyes focusing on the mirror behind Bakugou where the blond had been angling his bruised back away from them. Bakugou noticed his stare and looked behind him, eyes steeling over when he noticed the mirror, slamming the door shut to the locker.
“Forget it,” Bakugou grumbled, shoving his shirt over his head.
“Dude, that looks bad,” Sero said, concern in his voice. “What in the world happened?”
“Don't worry about it,” Bakugou brushed off, already heading for the door without waiting for them.
Sero glanced at Kaminari and Kirishima, all of them with worry on their faces. They rushed to finish changing and followed the volatile blond out. No one was sure how to bring it up without making Bakugou even angrier though, so they let him avoid the subject and tried not to worry too much.
“Hell yeah, beat that!” Kaminari cheered as he beat Bakugou's previous score. “You're up, Bakubro!”
Bakugou smirked, grabbing the controller and focusing in on the game.
“Go, blasty, go!” Ashido cheered.
Kirishima laughed. “You're score won't sit at the top for long, dude,” he teased Kaminari.
“Fuck you,” Kaminari said, grinning as he leaned into Bakugou's space. “Blasty's going down!”
Everything after that was a blur. In a rush of competitive teasing, Kaminari had clapped his hand around the back of Bakugou's neck. Within milliseconds, Bakugou had whirled on him, muscles tense and palms sparking as he slammed Kaminari onto the ground with a fist in his shirt and a free hand popping inches from his face.
“What the fuck, man?!” Kaminari shrieked, electricity sparking off of him wildly.
Bakugou jerked back, eyes wide in shock as he scrambled away from them all until his back hit the wall, one of his hands moving automatically to curl around his neck, covering his nape. They all stared at each other, breathing hard like they'd been in a fight.
“Bakugou?” Kirishima said, edging closer to the skittish looking blond. “You okay?”
Bakugou exhaled roughly. “Sorry,” he breathed, muscles quivering under the tension in his body. He looked ready to bolt, eyeing the door.
“What the hell was that?” Kaminari demanded, sitting up and sliding a little further away from the temperamental blond.
“Sorry,” Bakugou repeated, lower, biting his lip. Kirishima frowned; he was definitely planning on running.
“Hey, dude, we're your friends,” Kirishima spoke up, “you can tell us what's wrong.”
Bakugou looked at him then and Kirishima was surprised to see actual fear shining in his eyes. Bakugou, afraid? What could he possibly be afraid of? Especially here?
“I…” Bakugou hesitated and Kirishima's eyes bugged. He'd never heard Bakugou sound so unsure before.
“Bakugou, we would never make fun of you for something serious,” Ashido assured him quietly. “If that's what you're thinking,” she added.
“I've never...told anyone,” Bakugou whispered, looking away.
“Take your time, bro,” Kirishima said, moving to sit beside him.
“Yeah, no judgment,” Sero spoke up calmly.
Bakugou shook his head. “It's...just don't worry about it. It's not important.”
“Yeah, you just almost blew my head off, nothing important,” Kaminari muttered, rolling his eyes. He winced when the other three glared at him while Bakugou ducked his head. “No offense, dude,” he was quick to say, “you just kind of startled me, you know?”
“Yeah,” Bakugou sighed, rubbing at his neck. “Just...don't touch my neck,” he finally said. “Ever. Or the back of my head. Or my back.” He paused, licking his lips, eyes flickering around. “Don't touch me at all if I can't see you, actually,” he seemed to decide after a moment. “I don't...like people coming up behind me.”
All three of them frowned, sharing looks of concern. “Of course, Bakugou,” Kirishima spoke first, carefully leaning against his side.
“Yeah, we promise,” Ashido agreed, shuffling closer.
“Sorry, man,” Kaminari offered, still reeling a bit from the sudden attack.
“Yeah, me too,” Bakugou murmured. If any of them found it odd that he'd apologized three times now--and they all did--Bakugou was thankful that none of them called him out for it.
“Want to try this again?” Sero offered, head gesturing towards the game.
“You go ahead. Give me a minute,” Bakugou muttered, and they reluctantly pulled away, giving him some space and trying to act normal, except for Kirishima.
“Bakugou?” He whispered, head low next to Bakugou's and warm against his side.
“Not...now,” Bakugou breathed out quietly. Maybe one day, if he was ever going to be able to talk to anyone about this, it would be Kirishima, but right now he felt seconds away from painting the floor with his dinner and he didn't think he could stomach actually voicing any of the fucked up situation out loud.
“Okay,” Kirishima agreed, always so careful not to push for more than Bakugou could give. “I'm here for you.”
“I know,” Bakugou said, and he exhaled slowly. He did know, and that actually made a difference, knowing that he had people who would have his back. People who would come for him if something happened. People who cared. He quirked a small smile at the thought, bumping up against Kirishima's shoulder. “I know.”
“Are we really going to ignore the whole deal with Blasty?” Kaminari asked the next time the squad was together sans Bakugou, who had tapped out early for bed not long ago.
“What exactly are we supposed to do?” Sero said, raising a brow.
“We don't even know what's wrong,” Ashido pointed out.
“He hasn't even told you, Kirishima?”
Kirishima shook his head. “No. He doesn't want to talk about it so I haven't asked. But I mean, think about last year. There was that sludge villain, the whole thing at the sports festival with the chains and that muzzle, then the kidnapping during the summer camp...is it really so hard to believe that he'd have some issues with people touching him without his consent or without him knowing who it was?”
They all hummed thoughtfully. “Do you think those bruises from a few weeks ago have anything to do with it?” Kaminari asked, looking at his arm where Bakugou had had the first bruise. “How do you even bruise your bicep there?” He asked aloud, holding onto his arm.
“If someone grabbed you hard enough,” Ashido murmured quietly.
“Who'd grab Blasty like that though?” Sero denied. “And what about those marks on his back?”
“I didn't get a good look but they kind of look liked he hit something straight,” Kaminari said.
“Or maybe was pushed,” Kirishima whispered, eyes widening.
“What? What do you mean?” Ashido demanded. “No one here would do those kind of things to Bakugou outside of a sparring match.”
“Yeah, and those were right after breaks, when we hadn't sparred the day before.”
Sero hissed. “Did Bakugou do anything different those weekends when he came back bruised?”
Kirishima shook his head. “I mean, I think he might've went home?”
Ashido's hands trembled and she curled them into her shorts. “With the way Bakugou acted at the start of first year, I always figured he used to be a bit of a bully,” she admitted, clearly hesitant. “I don't think…I doubt anyone from his past would be able to just hurt him like that. Or at least, not someone our age.”
Kirishima glared at the floor, hands clenched tight. Sero sucked in a breath and Kaminari gritted his teeth.
“Has Bakugou ever talked about his parents?”
They all were silent, thinking, trying desperately to dispute where their thoughts were all going.
“He...answered a phone call once, when we were hanging out,” Kirishima said after a moment. “I think it was one of his parents. He told them he wasn't coming home that weekend and to piss off. He had to turn his phone on silent after that because his phone was blowing up from the calls and texts. I saw one on his home screen, it said it was from ‘Hag,’” he paused.
“What did it say?”
“It said…’You've got to come home sometime, you--'” Kirishima sighed. “I can't imagine it ended on a good note.”
“What do we do now?” Sero asked after they all took some time to process that.
“I don't know,” Kirishima said, slumping.
“We'll figure something out,” Ashido promised, eyes blazing protectively. “No one hurts our Blasty.”
“Bro! You want to hit the arcade this weekend?” Kirishima asked, leaning into Bakugou's side, heart racing when his arm wasn't thrown off the blond's shoulder.
“Can't,” Bakugou denied, unhappy scowl on his face. “Going home this weekend.”
Kirishima had to fight off the urge to stiffen, beating back panic. They weren't even positive if they were right, even if it did seem so, but Kirishima still couldn't help but want to keep the other from being hurt again if there was even a chance of them being right. He looked over Bakugou's head to Sero and Kaminari with wide eyes, not knowing what to do.
“Hey, you know, I don't think we've ever been to your place, Blasty,” Kaminari said, grinning cheekily. “You should let us tag along! We could have, like, a sleepover, you could show us around.”
“Fuck no,” Bakugou growled, tensing under Kirishima's arm.
“Awe, I'm curious now,” Kaminari replied. “Hiding some embarrassing childhood photos, man? I'll show you mine if you show me yours,” he winked teasingly. “I was a delight as a child.”
“You were an idiot, I bet,” Bakugou grumbled, not raising to his dig. “But no, you're not coming to my house. If you want to have a sleepover, throw it at one of your houses.”
“But then you wouldn't be there!” Kaminari denied, pouting.
“Too fucking bad.”
“Come on, Bakugou,” Kirishima urged a little gentler. “It could be fun.”
Bakugou glared up at him. “No. It wouldn't,” he said through gritted teeth, eyes warning.
Kirishima squeezed his shoulder. “We want to hang with you,” he said quietly, meaningfully. “We're on your side, after all,” he assured him.
Bakugou paused in his step, looking at Kirishima almost seeming stunned before glancing at Kaminari and Sero, surprised to see them looking just as serious.
“How in the hell,” he began, shaking his head.
“We put it together. Four brains do eventually connect the dots,” Sero pointed out.
Bakugou shook his head. “No. You're still not coming,” he denied.
“But we could--”
“No!” Bakugou shouted, shoving Kirishima's arm off him. “You don't even know what you're asking. It's fine. Let it go. Just forget whatever dots your stupid brains connected.”
“I said let it go!” Bakugou demanded, stomping towards the dorm.
“That...could've went better,” Sero noted.
Kirishima sighed. “Went about as well as I expected, actually.”
“Better than I expected. I thought he'd explode at least one of us. Probably Kirishima by nature of being the one most able to withstand his explosions,” Kaminari noted.
“Maybe we're just blowing this out of proportion,” Sero said hopefully.
They couldn't help but hope he was right.
Ashido frowned as she squared off against Bakugou on Monday, unable to not notice how he favored his right side.
Bakugou gritted his teeth as she eyed his left leg before meeting his eyes with a raised brow. He flicked her off, shifting his stance to put more weight on his left leg, face twisting in a scowling grimace of pain.
“Blasty,” she murmured sadly. “Stop. Please,” she asked quietly.
“Fucking fight me,” Bakugou growled, palms popping.
Ashido bit back a sigh, activating her quirk and rushing for Bakugou's right side. She avoided going for his left even when pain twisted his features to the point that he left himself wide open.
“Dammit, Ashido!” Bakugou shouted after she'd refused to take advantage of him twisting wrong and stumbling with pain. “Take this shit seriously!” he demanded, glaring at her with frustrated rage.
“Bakugou,” she said, trying to keep compassion off her face even though that's what she felt. “You're one of the strongest in our class. It won't make me stronger to take advantage of openings when you're not at your best.”
Bakugou settled a little at her reasoning, since she'd done her best to not make it sound like it had anything to do with her not wanting to hurt him more. He still looked furious though, moments away from working himself back up into a frenzy, and as confident as Ashido was that Bakugou wouldn't ever intentionally hurt her, she wasn't built like Todoroki or Kirishima where she could handle Bakugou in his emotional berserk mode.
“What happened?” She asked, walking closer and trying to not agitate him more.
Bakugou glared from under his bangs. “I twisted my knee,” he said evenly, daring her to challenge him.
She winced, wondering how such an injury had happened but knowing she'd never get an answer. “Will you let me walk with you to Recovery Girl's office?” She asked.
“Fuck off with that shit,” Bakugou spat, turning away from her and pointedly stomping his feet. She flinched for him, knowing he'd never allow himself to show how much he was hurting himself just for spite at this point.
“Please, Bakugou,” she whispered, stepping closer to follow. “I don't think you're weak. No one thinks you're weak. I promise.”
Bakugou glowered at her from the corner of his eyes.
“You don't have a clue what you’re talking about,” Bakugou said coldly. “Something like this won't be enough to stop me. If you won't fight me for real, I'll find someone who will.”
Then he stalked off to where Iida and Uraraka had just finished their match, loudly demanding Uraraka to fight him. She instantly squared up, eyes burning, and Ashido's chest ached when Bakugou gritted his teeth and started an attack.
“He's hurt,” Sero noted, having came over for the switch after he and Tokoyami had finished their match.
“Yeah,” she whispered, feeling a little choked up.
“It'll be okay,” Sero assured her, both of them turning from watching Bakugou and Uraraka's spar. “It'll be okay.”
Bakugou dozed on the bed, legs over Kirishima's lap. Kirishima was massaging his calves with one hand, the other idly scrolling through his phone, propped up with his back against Bakugou's wall.
Sometimes Bakugou needed to get away from the trio, especially now with their constant worrying eyes on him. Kirishima was different somehow and he hadn't really tried to sit down and think about why that was. Kirishima was his best friend and that was enough for them both for now.
Kirishima's touch moved from his right leg to his left. Bakugou flinched, hissing at the first squeeze near his knee and Kirishima startled, dropping his leg.
“Bakugou?” He asked, concerned.
“Easy,” he drawled, trying to calm his own racing heart.
Kirishima frowned, looking at his leg. “What happened?” He asked quietly, setting aside his phone and carefully rubbing Bakugou's calf, avoiding his knee.
“Twisted my knee,” Bakugou muttered.
Kirishima peeked up at him from under his bangs, his hair down for once since they'd already had a shower. “You did?” He nearly whispered. “Or...someone else did?”
Bakugou nearly choked, quickly looking away from Kirishima's gaze. Damn these idiots for being observant and putting things together that they should leave well enough alone.
“You don't have to talk about it,” Kirishima finally said after a long silence. “But you know we're all here for you, right?”
Bakugou sighed, closing his eyes. “Yeah,” he agreed. “I only have another year though. Don't see why I should rock the boat this late in the game, especially when I live here most of the time now.”
Kirishima frowned, thumbs brushing Bakugou's pants over his legs, eyes downcast on where his hands touched him.
“You could come to my house on breaks,” Kirishima offered. “My mom and ma would love to meet you. They say they feel like they know you already cause I talk about you so much.”
Bakugou snorted, lips quirking up just barely even as he kept his eyes closed, probably so he wouldn't have to show what he was really feeling. He'd learned a long time ago that his eyes gave everything away.
“Just makes it worse when I don't come home,” Bakugou muttered.
“Not if you never go home again,” Kirishima growled, voice hard. “They won't be able to touch you.”
“She'd demand the school send me back. Might pull me out,” he said. “Easier to just wait it out until she doesn't have any power over me.”
“I've already thought about it,” Bakugou cut him off, oddly subdued. He opened his eyes, meeting Kirishima's, and the redhead was shocked speechless by the exhausted defeat in them. “I promise whatever you come up with, I've already considered it. This is easiest. Anything else will just make things worse.”
Kirishima's face twisted and he sniffled. Bakugou sighed, holding out one arm and Kirishima crawled up next to him, curling against him.
“I want to go with you next time,” Kirishima whispered.
“No you don't,” Bakugou denied, lips brushing against Kirishima's forehead.
“I want to be there for you,” Kirishima said vehemently.
“I want you here,” Bakugou said, meeting his gaze evenly, “away from her. And away from what she makes me.” His face soured and he looked away. “I'm not a good person when I'm around her. She makes it too hard to be good so I don't even try. I don't want you to see me like that.”
“Please, Kirishima,” Bakugou murmured, pressing his forehead to Kirishima's. “Just let me deal with this.
Kirishima sniffled, aching, hating, but he nodded reluctantly, cupping Bakugou's face and brushing his nose against his. “I don't like it,” he croaked. “I want to at least tell Aizawa.”
“Don't,” Bakugou shook his head. “Promise me you won't.”
Kirishima gulped and tears welled over, silent and morose. “I won't,” he shakily agreed.
“One more year,” Bakugou murmured, soothing him gently. “I'm tough, yeah? I can handle another year.”
The problem was that Kirishima didn't want Bakugou to have to deal with this for another year. Any breaks now were tainted with concern and the entire squad drove Bakugou crazy with their texts whenever he was home.
“I'm fine, alright?” He grumbled one Monday after they returned from the spring break. “I'm not going to, like, get murdered or anything. She's a bitch but she's not like that. She hasn't done anything serious in years.”
They all glanced at each other with worry, wondering just what the Bakugou Katsuki considered ‘serious’.
As they stared at the vast time that was summer break, things quickly began to crumble.
“Just come stay with me,” Kirishima begged him. “At least a couple weeks. The break is over a month long, Bakugou. Please.”
“Yeah, and you can come to my place for some time too,” Kaminari offered.
“Slumber party, dude,” Sero nodded.
Ashido wavered. “My parents probably wouldn't let a guy sleep over, but I could ask?”
“No. No no no, quit being little shits about this. I'm fucking fine, alright? I've spent every summer of my life at home. I can make it through one more. The hag stays at work most of the day anyways. It's fine,” he growled.
“No,” Bakugou hissed, glaring at them. “Let me deal with this myself, dammit. I'll see you all after the break.” He glared for a long moment before sighing, looking away from their chastised expressions. “Quit looking like I kicked your puppies. I promise I'll text you if something happens, alright?” He muttered. “I'll pack up and go to fucking Kirishima's if she gets unbearable. Quit treating me like a fucking invalid or something.”
Ashido sniffled, hesitantly stepping forward and holding her arms up with a hopeful expression.
“Dammit,” Bakugou muttered, moments before he was pulled into a tight hug which Kaminari, Sero, and Kirishima all joined. “I hate you all.”
“We love you too, Blasty,” Ashido mumbled against his chest, only blubbering a little.
“Yeah, yeah,” he grumbled, hiding his face in her hair so they wouldn't see the extra shine to his eyes. “Whatever.”
Kirishima did his best to distract himself during the day as break wore on, but he only felt a moment's peace at night when Bakugou would text their group message a simple goodnight. It was a check-in, a promise that everything was okay, even if Bakugou would deny ever doing something to help set someone else's mind at ease. Kirishima was sure he wasn't the only one who couldn't breathe comfortably until seeing that simple text.
Bakugou humored them every night for the first two weeks of break. Then, fifteen days into the break with still half a month to go, he didn't send a text.
Kirishima stressed. They all had sent messages that went unanswered. He was frantically checking the news for any sign of an accident reported. He felt like he couldn't breathe and didn't sleep at all that night.
At six twenty-three in the morning, Bakugou texted them.
‘Sorry. In hospital, meds knocked me out. I'm fine.’
Kirishima's phone instantly came to life, revealing that he wasn't the only one who hadn't gotten any rest.
‘In the hospital?!?! For what?!?!?’ Kaminari demanded.
‘Dude, what the hell?!?’
‘Are you really okay?’
‘What room?’ Kirishima finally managed to type out.
The messages stopped, all of them waiting impatiently as the three dots told them Bakugou was typing.
Kirishima was already up and throwing on clothes.
‘Be there in 30.’
Kirishima left a note on the kitchen table for his moms. Even if he was almost eighteen, he still didn't want them to worry. Then he ran to the nearest train station, catching the subway to the hospital.
Kirishima walked into the hospital subdued, angry but not willing to take it out on any of the staff. He moved with a purpose, taking the elevator to the eighth floor and silently stepping out, following the signs to Bakugou's room.
Bakugou looked up from his phone when Kirishima walked in, face so cold it was made of stone. Kirishima set his jaw, eyes falling on Bakugou's arm that was in a cast. His eyes narrowed, teeth grinding in frustration, but he sat down in the chair at Bakugou's bedside without a word.
Slowly, Bakugou relaxed, easing from his tense posture where he'd been waiting for a blow up. Kirishima reached out then and carefully took his free hand, tracing his calloused palm with his own rough fingers, whether for his own benefit or Bakugou's he didn't know. Bakugou let his hand rest open and limp in Kirishima's hold.
“When you get out of here, you're coming to stay with me,” Kirishima said, voice even.
Bakugou shifted, muscles tensing for a fight, and Kirishima looked up from under his unmade hair with impassioned red eyes buried by exhausted shadows.
“That's not a request,” he cut off anything Bakugou could say. Bakugou looked stunned, opening his mouth to argue anyways. “Please,” Kirishima cut him off, squeezing the hand still held in both of his own. “Don't make me worry about you like that again.”
Bakugou slumped, exhaling roughly through his nose in exasperation.
“I'll have to get some stuff,” he muttered, relenting.
“Then we'll go get your stuff,” Kirishima agreed, dropping his gaze back to their hands.
Kirishima stayed, texting the others to let them know that he was there and Bakugou really was alright, he had a broken arm, something Recovery Girl should be able to fix as soon as they got back to school, and that Bakugou would be staying with him. He let his parents know where he was, told them Bakugou had finally agreed to stay, so they were both excited about him getting out and them getting to meet him. The doctor assured Bakugou he'd get to leave by later that afternoon if there wasn't any complications.
Around early afternoon, a woman with Bakugou's hair stepped into the room, pleasant smile on her face.
“Time to go home,” she said cheerily.
Kirishima glared at her stonily. She paused.
“Who are you?” She asked, frowning.
“Katsuki's friend,” Kirishima said evenly, not pulling away when Bakugou clutched at his hand tightly and never taking his eyes off Bakugou's mom. Her brow furrowed in confusion.
“That brat doesn't have any friends,” she waved off, scoffing, as she neared Bakugou's side.
“I'm his best friend,” Kirishima declared. “And he's going to spend the rest of the break with me.”
She stopped, raising a brow. “Oh, are you?” She asked, looking at Bakugou who's face twisted in a scowl even as he ducked his head like he expected an attack.
“Yes, he is,” Kirishima spoke up, earning a glower from her at the interruption. “And you're going to let him.”
She laughed without humor, mocking. “And why would I do that?” She demanded, smirking now.
Kirishima stood, internally pleased to see that he was over a foot taller than her thanks to his growth spurt, knowing he made an intimidating figure with all his strength training as he crossed his arms and flexed his arms.
“Because otherwise I think the hospital might be interested to hear more about just how Katsuki broke his arm,” Kirishima said lowly, voice practically a growl. “And I think those sorts of questions might get a little uncomfortable for you. Wouldn't they?”
Her face turned furious, mouth morphing into a nasty snarl of rage. “How dare--”
“How dare you,” Kirishima cut her off with a growl, “hurt your son,” he hissed.
Everything was quiet in the room. She was breathing harshly, nostrils flaring, and Kirishima clenched his hands over his arms to keep himself from reaching for her.
“Katsuki's going to be discharged today. We're going to go pick up his stuff from his room. Then he's going to stay with me for the rest of the break and every other break from now on. And you're not going to do a damn thing about it or I'll report you,” Kirishima informed her calmly. “You can't hurt me,” he whispered, voice banked by protective rage, “and I'm not letting you hurt him again. Do you understand?”
She shook with frothing anger. “I can do what I want. He's my son,” she told him. “I can have you kicked from this hospital. I can pull him from that stupid ass school. I can ruin him.”
“No, you can't.”
They both startled at Bakugou's interruption, eyes blazing as he glared at his mother.
“You talk back to me?” She screeched, raising a hand as if to slap him.
“You can't do shit to me anymore,” Bakugou shouted. “I'm almost eighteen. U.A. wouldn't let you pull me without an excuse, and I could petition for emancipation. So fuck you!”
Kirishima caught her hand before she could connect, as she'd attacked Bakugou from his side with the broken arm. She hissed angrily, yanking at her arm, but Kirishima only held her, barely refraining from squeezing her arm tight enough to leave a bruise. He knew that wouldn't help anything right now.
“Do you understand?” He repeated, voice calm despite the raging storm inside him.
She spat in his face, jerking her arm back and Kirishima was forced to let her go or he would've dislocated her shoulder. She turned and stalked out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
Kirishima scowled and grabbed for a napkin, wiping his face off. When he looked back at Bakugou, the blond looked absolutely livid, his free palm popping with sparks.
“I'm going to--”
“It's done,” Kirishima said, furious but sitting down with a sigh. “Just let it be done.”
“Katsuki,” Kirishima called out, silencing the other. Kirishima smiled ruefully, cupping his face and brushing a thumb across his cheek. “It's done. Let it be done,” he requested quietly.
Bakugou sighed and it looked a lot like relief.
“Thanks, Eijirou,” he nearly whispered, voice breaking just a little.
“Anytime,” Kirishima promised, smile curling his lips as he leaned down to kiss Bakugou's open palm, grinning more openly now as Bakugou blushed.
Bakugou's father was in the house when they arrived to get his stuff but his mother was nowhere to be seen. She'd obviously told his father something though as the man looked impossibly sad as he let them in without a word and watched Bakugou pack up a few of his belongs from the doorway of his room.
“I'm sorry, Katsuki,” he whispered as they went to leave, Kirishima carrying a box while Bakugou had a couple bags of clothes over his shoulders.
Bakugou nodded, not saying a word, and set his key down on the table between them. The clink was final, un-echoing. When the door closed behind them, they could both hear the man let out a hitching sob.
Bakugou didn't look back.
Kirishima had given his moms a little forewarning about the situation, not wanting to tell all of Bakugou's situation but needing to give them something if they were going to be hosting another almost eighteen-year-old for the rest of the school year. They'd taken it in stride, welcoming Bakugou when they stepped into the house. Kirishima's little sister bounced around in excitement.
“You're Katsuki, right? You make explosions? Ei-nii says you're super manly and cool!” She gushed, grinning to show her own mouthful of shark-like teeth, which were actually the focus of her own quirk. She could bit through, and eat, literally anything, as well as breathe under water. She'd given their ma a nasty scare at the public pool a long time ago before they'd known what her quirk was.
“Of course I am,” Bakugou bragged, looking a little bit more like himself as he smirked confidently. He showed her a few little sparks from his palm and she squealed in excitement, demanding to see more. Kirishima smiled, winking at Bakugou when the other glanced at him for help and laughing as he left Bakugou with his sister and the blond male tried to curse him out without saying the word ‘fuck’ in front of his sister.
“Is everything going to be okay?” his mom asked quietly.
“I think so,” Kirishima agreed, eyes flickering over to her before returning to Bakugou like a magnet.
His mom patted his arm proudly. “Why don't you invite your other friends over tomorrow night?” she suggested knowingly.
Kirishima grinned. “Thanks, mom,” he said, leaning over to give her a quick peck on the cheek. “You're the best mom.”
“Excuse you,” his ma said, laughing as she slapped his arm lightly.
“And you're the best ma,” he was quick to assure her, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek too.
“We're so proud of you,” his ma said, reaching up and ruffling his hair and messing up from spikes.
“Awe, ma! Come on!” He whined dramatically, heart swooning as Bakugou burst into laughter at his expense.
“Serves you right, Hair for Brains,” he teased.
“Hair for Brains?” His sister echoed, eyes brightening.
Kirishima's eyes widened in horror. “No,” he said, pointing at her. “You don't call me--”
“Hair for Brains, Hair for Brains, Hair for Brains!” She sang merrily.
Bakugou laughed louder. Kirishima blushed, watching him fondly despite himself.
“Hair for Brains,” his ma murmured, snorting in humor herself. His mom giggled behind her hand.
“Time for dinner,” she called out, heading for the kitchen. Kirishima's ma and sister headed behind her, his sister still chanting what had apparently become his new nickname.
Kirishima paused when Bakugou brushed against his arm, an odd expression on his face.
Bakugou looked away from him but didn't move, hand grasping his wrist almost gently. He squeezed his wrist once before pulling away, slipping to the kitchen and joining the conversation casually, like he belonged there.
Kirishima smiled. He liked that thought.