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says the moon

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On the last day of their second summer together, they go back to the beach.

There’s a hole in the rock and fine sand sitting unperturbed, and the water’s quiet. It’s impossible to reach without knowing where exactly it is, and even then, there are larger beaches on the way. So it’s their corner in the granite, and their personal pocket of silence protected from the wind. Bakugou wasn’t the one to find it and she complains loudly before going, but she likes how the ocean reaches out into the curves of the stone, almost intentionally. She likes how it comes to lap at her feet, how nothing can touch them while they’re here. Seagulls sit in the shade, the rare crab takes its time to move from one spot to another. She likes it.

“Can you do my back?”

Kirishima’s covered in sand up to her knees, she has an arm more tanned than the other, and her cheekbones already sport this permanent poppy shade. She carries summer so well. She’s also handing a tube of sunscreen to Bakugou, kneeling under the umbrella by her side. That’s not going to save her at this point, but whatever.

“Gimme,” Bakugou groans, snatching the tube from Kirishima’s hands. With a smile, Kirishima turns; a hand comes to flip her hair over a shoulder, leaving her back open, and Bakugou’s eyes linger on the fingertips. Down her spine she carries scars, some redder than others. Here’s her biggest strength, this massive shield of hers. Here it is, naked and soft. Tender to the touch.

Bakugou uses too much sunscreen. She doesn’t care about her palms turning white, about her cheeks red as sunburn, about that pit in her stomach bursting lagoon turquoise.

Farther away, the guys trip over themselves trying to pull up a net. Bakugou can hear their skin fizzle under the sun from here, or maybe it’s the last of her neurons finally giving in.

“I call dibs on you for beach volleyball,” Kirishima lets her know over her shoulder. “If the boys ever figure it out,” she adds as they all watch the net lean dangerously towards the water, a couple boys scrambling desperately to hold it in place.

Bakugou’s hands drift down under her ribs, over the tender waist. Kirishima doesn’t shiver.

“We’ll crush them,” she says, “all of them against us, I don’t give a fuck,” she whispers almost to herself. It makes Kirishima giggle, her body pliant under Bakugou’s fingers.

The lid of the sunscreen tube snaps closed. Her hands are not clean.

She gets to watch as Kirishima puts on some of this lip balm tainting her lips juicy red, the one that smells like cherries; she makes her lips pop, satisfied, then lies down on her stomach and unclasps the back of her bikini, humming in contentment.

Bakugou can’t remember the rules of beach volleyball.



“You know, one day there’s something I’ll have to tell you.”

Bakugou takes her hand off the handle of her dorm room. Kirishima’s not looking at her, her glazed-over gaze lost somewhere between her and the floor of the corridor instead. She’s a talker, usually.

“What is it.”

Kirishima’s head snaps back up, her hair shifting shades under the light, and her eyes come back to life. “Well, I’m not going to tell you now,” she laughs. Her shoulders are down, her legs relaxed. She’s not trying to escape the hole she’s digging for herself.


Kirishima shrugs. “I don’t know, not the right time.” And she’s not moving. She’s still standing there, a few steps away. Something in this corridor keeps her still, a grip around the neck.

“Then why bring it up?” Bakugou asks.

Kirishima’s gaze falls again. Blind, one of her hands finds her door handle.

Bakugou pushes. “Are you fucking dying or something?”

It makes Kirishima jump in her skin. “No! Just,” an inhale, too long, “let me find the words.”

Bakugou looks for the words on her and doesn’t find any. All there is to see is her towel thrown over her shoulder, her messed-up hair, the clean lines of the muscles in her arms, and deep breaths. Deep breaths. A moment of silence settles; Kirishima doesn’t break it.

She doesn’t need to be pushed. She’ll smile again. Bakugou will wait for her to smile again, and she’ll burn at the sight.

“Alright.” Bakugou unlocks her door. “See ya.”

A sigh. “Yeah.”

It takes some time after Bakugou sits on her bed for the other door to open and close. The click of the lock ripples through the wall they share.

Bakugou stays awake for twenty minutes too long that night, and throws the thin pieces of this conversation around in her empty skull in the hopes the words align differently. There’s something I’ll have to tell you, she said. Could be anything. Could be worse than silence.

You’re being ridiculous, says the moon behind the curtains, she said everything she had to. Look at her hands. Look at her throat.

Bakugou stays awake for ten more minutes.



It doesn’t take a genius to know that Bakugou should be afraid. Terrified, even. Legs quaking, heart crumbling, blood ice cold. She remembers the first time she saw the quirk – the shy suggestion of a shell over the skin, the muted thunk of two fists bumping, the ripples of rock setting into place. She wasn’t afraid then. Of course, three years of almost daily training can turn any kid into a better kid, she expected change, but she didn’t expect the looks of horror on their enemies’ faces. Three years turned this kid into a bone-shredding machine. She should be afraid.

She’s overjoyed.

Kirishima stands as though she carved herself out of the face of a cliff, tall, rough, ready to feast. The sight of her alone has petrified enough men, all too weak at the spine to take in the sight of such a Medusa, rock embodied, eyes ablaze. But it’s not watching her that kills. It’s forgetting she learned how to move, too – one second she’s rock packed so tight the surface of her skin shines under the lights of the training room, the next she’s flesh and she’s running, and she’s dodging shots to crawl closer, and it makes Bakugou’s chest burst with glee. It gets her to jump a bit higher and curse a bit louder, and dodge these fists cut out of sharp stone that could scoop muscles and nerves out of her arm in one hit. For each explosion she sets off, all she gets is the muted sound of a cliff rising, and a cloud of smoke Kirishima’s learned to use as a veil, staying small and swift to hide in it until Bakugou makes one move and suddenly here she is, the wall, the tower, scary as shit and about to aim for the heart.

Unforgiving. Unbreakable, always.

And in the moments her skin turns back to soft, malleable, inflammable skin, she’s still grinning. She’s so pretty when she’s into it, beyond pretty; she’s radiating life. She’s a threat with shining fangs and a trained knowledge of how to push Bakugou’s buttons, but even when her hair is flowing behind her Bakugou cannot allow herself to forget that finisher uppercut she’s mastered last year, cannot allow her guard to come down one second, or she’ll end up on the floor like all these men, too.

They should be thankful.

Kirishima is still breathing hard when she plops down on her bed that evening, with an arm slung over her eyes and her mouth open on a mindless ramble. She’s left her sports bag somewhere at the door and lets exhaustion overtake her, and she’s still sweaty. The hem of her shorts rides up – her thighs are ripe for touching. Bakugou knows she’d find muscle, all that mass that powered her all afternoon. But it looks delicate, too, full and easy to grab. Her chest is still rising and falling, stuttering with her words, the crown of her forehead is still shining, her hand is limp over her stomach.

How could she not be loved. How could she not be wanted.

Bakugou could wipe the sweat from her brow, kiss the plumpness of her thighs. She sits down next to her instead, just close enough that Kirishima’s body slides towards her with the dip in the mattress; just close enough that she’s the only one to witness how softly she’s breathing now, how softly she looks now, how perfectly she lies in a sea of pillows. Her chest squeezes and she knows exactly what it is – it’s the want to touch, the hailing call of the expanse of skin exposed to air, light, and kisses from her lips if she so chose. It’s the possibility of learning the sound her palms would make climbing up Kirishima’s sides, of learning how little it’d take for her every night to be haunted by the memories of a single evening not yet behind them. It’s the potential for self-education in kissing a girl far too adored.

How many people would fall to their knees in Kirishima’s lifetime, how many people would crave to have her – Bakugou’s not sure she wants to know. She counts one, at least, and likely a thousand more.

Let it go, says the moon, you won’t guess their names. See the bruises, see how her legs still shake. See the room she leaves for kneeling.

Bakugou has a shower to take.



“Stop eating the fucking peppers, we need those.”

Kirishima’s small laugh is airy, and she hands the plate of sliced bell peppers to Bakugou without resistance. The kitchen fills with the thick smell of fried vegetables and perfect rice, undisturbed by whatever high crime is currently underway in the living room if Kaminari’s screeches are any indication. Bakugou keeps an eye on the vegetables while Kirishima checks on the rice, standing shoulder to shoulder. It’s nice. With the window open on light rain, petrichor rolling in too, the late afternoon is a cozy bubble to sit in.

“Smells good,” Kirishima purrs. Bakugou spares a glance her way. Her hair’s down today. She’s wearing that glossy lip balm again. It’s in the corner of her lips, right where the dip is. It’s also over the edge of her lip line in places, under in others, like she wasn’t paying attention. She probably just likes the taste. She doesn’t care about a missing spot on the curve of her bottom lip, about her cupid bow juicy red. If she did that thing with her lips, the pop, the glide of lip against lip, it’d fix it. If she went ahead with a finger, mouth barely open in front of a mirror, it’d fix it. These shitty balms move and transfer so easily.

Bakugou doesn’t wear lip balm; the gut-deep desire to be covered with it still grabs her hard and holds tight.

Kirishima yawns. She exists so slowly.

Then she props her chin up on Bakugou’s shoulder, traces the back of Bakugou’s elbow with careful fingers, and Bakugou feels her eyes follow the hand holding the spoon. “Remember that time when I say I’ll have to tell you something?” she says, so low, so gentle the touch of warm air against skin is what makes Bakugou’s lungs levitate.

It’s still raining outside, droplets tip-tapping in a murmur against the windowsill.

“Go on,” Bakugou grumbles. That’s not her voice.

Kirishima inhales. Her chest presses against Bakugou’s side, then disappears again. “Would you be mad if I never told you in the end?”

Bakugou has things to say, too. She already knows the words she wants to put on these things, she already thought about them crossing her lips. She’s self-aware enough. Honest enough. Fearless enough. Still she keeps the silence intact – she might break it if there were a question. She’s not lying, she’s not hiding anything, no-one ever asked is all there is to it. To Kirishima it might be a huge occasion to name anything. An event. A celebration. Something unlocking, a click, a lesson. To Kirishima it might be a lot. Bakugou’s not even sure of what Kirishima wants to say – she might be fantasizing after all, playing a movie in her head for no reason. Kirishima might want to open up about family issues. About her future. Her health. Her wants.

A boy, Bakugou thought.

A girl, Bakugou’s thinking. Another girl? It stings, but it wouldn’t change anything.

She turns her head a bit. Kirishima’s right here, looking at her. Exactly at her. Bakugou has never doubted anything in her life.

“You’re so stupid,” she says – Kirishima’s brows shoot up immediately, her mouth tears in a confused, amused grin, her chin leaves Bakugou’s shoulder. Before she can speak, Bakugou pushes her away. “Shut up and get the bento boxes,” she says. Over the back of her elbow, fingertips linger; then Kirishima snorts and goes to grab boxes drying on the counter.

Bakugou has things to say, too, but she knows them to be true and not as scary as they first seem to be, so they still sit comfortably in the back of her throat. She can keep silent. It’s fine. She’s already talked to her mirror so many times.



The gym is not empty yet, metal still clangs against metal, distant voices mutter nothings to each other. The ventilation system is the loudest, trying its best to purge the room of the stench of young bodies sweating their hearts out. Someone even opened a window and the breeze comes to play with towels left to hang near the glass.

Sitting the floor, Kirishima pulls her legs open and tries to get her elbows to touch the space between her thighs. A pained groan rolls out of her at the tightness; insistent, Bakugou leans down and pushes further on her back to get her to stretch deeper, and Kirishima whines a bit louder.

“You big baby,” Bakugou says, grinning.

Kirishima’s eyes squeeze closed at the effort. “Dick.”

One hand heavy on her spine, Bakugou grabs Kirishima’s shoulder with the other and pulls to encourage her to keep her back straight in the stretch, and the noises coming out of Kirishima’s throat shift closer to low growls than to normal words. “It’d hurt less if you did it more often,” Bakugou berates her, still pushing her lower. Kirishima’s elbows finally touch the ground, her inner thighs apparently straining, her shoulders shaking, and her mouth falls open on a heavy sigh. Bakugou doesn’t miss the way her hips roll to try and relieve the pull of muscles in her groin.

“I know you’re right, I know you’re right,” Kirishima mutters, voice airy, “but – ahh fuck

Bakugou keeps pushing.

Kirishima reaches far in front of her with the tips of her fingers and muscles shift under Bakugou’s palms, her upper back stretching slowly. The bun holding her hair back is falling apart, wild sweat-stained strands dripping down her neck and pooling in the dips of her collarbones. At the base of her skull is an open spot, prime for kissing.

Bakugou keeps pushing. Kirishima’s breathy groans is all she can hear.

Her mouth is so dry she borrows Kirishima’s lip balm before they leave the gym. Cherries don’t do anything for the ball of lead in her throat.



Bakugou takes the place she wants, the one against the wall where she can keep the covers in her arms and scroll through her phone while Kirishima gets ready for bed. It grounds her. Makes her sleep better. That’s what she used to tell herself for a good year after the first time she crawled into Kirishima’s bed instead of her own – this spot in the corner is a prop, a tool for her to spend most of the night asleep. Something to do with having a monkey brain, about how corners are safer when sleeping, about how being surrounded by the someone else’s presence makes it easier.

Lying to herself became tiring after a while. Kirishima’s warm and safe, but she’s also Kirishima. She’s why Bakugou has things to say.

And at night, she’s also a sluggish shape rendered half-golden by the bedside lamp as she takes her clothes off. Bakugou’s not trying to watch – what would there even be to see that she hasn’t seen before – but Kirishima moves, and every new frame of her reminds Bakugou why she can only pretend to look at her phone. Why the corner grounds her. Why she presses the back of her shoulders into the wall – as long as her shoulders hurt, then she’s not acting on it. As long as her shoulders hurt, she’s not consumed.

She learns everything, re-learns it like an old lesson; the muscles in her legs tensing when she shifts; the layer of fat she’s never lost right around her hips, with shy dimples at the base of the spine; the skin folding at her waist when she bends over, the handfuls of her, the perfect spot for adoration. Over her ribs, scars and bruises alike meld into each other, and tanning lines run around her shoulders, curve between her legs. In the way she slips one arm after the other through the short sleeves of her shirt, Bakugou can guess her breasts, the weight of her breath, the stretch of her chest.

Kirishima runs a hand through her hair. Bakugou’s phone screen goes black.

She will sleep well tonight, she reminds herself when Kirishima turns off the bedside lamp. She won’t have nightmares, she reminds herself while Kirishima finds a space for herself in the bed and wishes her goodnight. She’ll be fine, safe in her corner. Their arms interlock comfortably then Kirishima settles, with her the silence that doesn’t let Bakugou think. She’ll be okay, Kirishima’s here. Kirishima’s here but she’ll be okay.


Still she melts into this mattress devoured by the need to touch her, to bring her even closer, to slot her arms around her waist and breathe in the crook of her neck, utterly scorched alive by the mere thought of kissing her right here against her pillows. Does Kirishima have even a sliver of a clue of how impossible it is not to love her terribly – Bakugou’s heart tears at the thought she might not. How blind could this stupid girl be.

The obsession with marking her all over burrows in Bakugou’s brain and turns her, too quickly, into a stoic, silently pleading mess in the dead of the night, eyes wide open while the sky peeks through the curtains. Maybe she should try to feel that weight. Nothing else matters in this bed. In some parallel universe she’s already doing it – praying on her lips, kissing her into beatitude, riding her hips till sunrise, giving in and kneeling already. She can feel the ghost of that reality on her lips, the tingles of what could be over her palms, the pull in her thighs she wishes was familiar.

But not now. Not while she can’t tell vulnerability from permission, not while she can’t tell an open heart from one wanting.

Some night she wonders if she really wants Kirishima, or if she’s explored the idea of kissing her so much she’s confusing it for a craving.

It’s a stupid question, says the moon, look at her face, look at me on her skin. Look at how I love her.

Bakugou has so many things to say.



Kirishima’s first victory is an arm tight around Bakugou’s neck, her entire torso hardened to points pressing into Bakugou’s back. Detonations seem to only be good at leaving scorch marks on the ground so Bakugou has to stop trying to wriggle out from under her at some point.

Bakugou’s first victory is two concentrated blasts aimed at that spot under the arm, where Kirishima’s armpit meets her ribs – the only consistent weak spot she’s found on her, open and softer than the rest of her body when she tries to move in her armor. The shockwave throws Kirishima against the wall and out of bounds, a howl echoing in the room for no-one else to hear. Kirishima’s still brushing entire pieces of concrete off her back and shoulders when she comes back to the center, and Bakugou’s chest swells with a two-toned pride.

Kirishima’s second victory has Bakugou on the ground, her back to the wall, dizzy with her heart stammering wild. On the other side of the white line not to be crossed, Kirishima stands, the foot that came out of nowhere slowly coming back to the ground. Bakugou counts the layers of stone she strips, all the way from diamond to skin, and bets on whether she’s broken a rib before standing back up.

Bakugou’s second victory leaves burn marks on Kirishima’s forearms before she has the time to activate her quirk, and Bakugou would at least try to feel bad if Kirishima wasn’t so elated. The look on her face says yes, says good, says just like that. Bakugou might be reading into it.

Bakugou’s third victory has Kirishima tapping out, her arm twisted in a lock behind her back while her front is being pushed solid into the ground by the weight of Bakugou sitting on her. She even has a foot right out of bounds, like a true loser.

“Three to two, shitty hair,” Bakugou boasts over Kirishima’s whines of discomfort. Kirishima only taps the ground louder.

Merciful, Bakugou releases the lock and Kirishima sighs in relief. It’s almost a music note in the silence that fell back over them. It coats the training room thick, full.

Bakugou sits back on her heels to allow Kirishima to turn around under her and catch her breath properly, and Kirishima’s hair spreads around her head with the twist of her body. Her waist fits just right between Bakugou’s knees, she’s ruined her clothes again, and she’ll need some gauze under her jaw – she’s just how Bakugou likes her: barely defeated, still a threat, still the only person Bakugou would ever want to have by her side. Still her best friend, as ruthless as she is beautiful.

“Alright,” Kirishima says, panting, “good game. But you’re too low when you dodge,” she adds, her head tilted, her ear almost touching her shoulder.

Bakugou quirks a brow.

Containing a grunt, Kirishima gathers her hands over her stomach. “Before, right then, when I came for you, you dodged and I couldn’t reach you anymore,” she says, and Bakugou knows what she’s talking about. The crouching, the feeling like a rabbit in front of a wolf, and picking between left and right. She went with right, for luck. “I thought you were going to hit me from below but you just… went,” Kirishima continues, one of her hands moving vaguely towards the distance. “You missed a perfect opportunity to break my jaw.”

Oh right. “You wanted me to break your jaw,” Bakugou snarks at her.

Kirishima manages to lift her head from the ground a little, insolent but still amused. “No, I wanted you to break a villain’s jaw,” she snarks back like she’d voice a dare. To Bakugou’s lack of reaction, she lets her head fall back down and apparently forgets to harden the back of her skull – it hits the ground with the full weight of the bag of pebbles she has for a brain and she groans at what she did to herself, her brows drawn in pain. Idiot.

“Wouldn’t have worked on you.”

Bright red eyes blink open. “You could have tried.”

“Waste of my time and energy,” Bakugou insists, straightening up to make her point. “Didn’t need that to kick your ass, you dumb brute.”

“Mean,” Kirishima protests, and Bakugou feels one of her feet kicking behind her. “You say that like I’m the biggest brute of the both of us.” She licks her lips. “Clearly there’s room to object here.” Her lips are shiny. Her cheeks are red. From effort.

Bakugou sighs. “I can’t stand you.”

Kirishima laughs under her. “Sure you can,” she says, her eyes searching the sides of the room for something to lock onto. Has she been covered in dust this whole time? She has these dips where her deltoids catch the bones, and higher against the throat she has this delta of veins going up behind the ear, and her neck is so naked. So naked. Her voice pulls Bakugou out of it. “You should know better than to miss obvious openings, is what I’m saying.”

Bakugou gives her that murderous grin, tilting her chin up in defiance. “Yet here you are.”

Kirishima’s eyes find hers again. She’s not intimidated, obviously. She’s never been scared. Her hands move slowly; they find Bakugou’s knees on either side of her waist, and her stare makes gasoline pool in Bakugou’s lungs, and a hint of a smile lights a match in her guts – Kirishima’s hands trail up her knees, up her thighs, her thumbs flirting with skin too sensitive to be thought of. “Yet here I am,” she says, and her voice goes so low Bakugou can feel it through her hips.

Kirishima could make her spit fire.

She’d stay here and make her say it again, she’d stay here and make her chant it. She’d stay here on her knees all day. There are no words to put on that.

She stands up and Kirishima’s hands linger on her thighs before falling back onto her stomach, down where she lies defenseless. Bakugou looks for words on her and doesn’t find any; she knows better than to ask. It’s not even noon.

She takes a cold shower before lunch.



On Sunday, Bakugou’s not the first to wake up.

Sitting in bed with her back against the wall, Kirishima’s beaten her to it. Her bed hair’s all over the place and the pillow has left an indent across her cheek. She’s pretty. Blurry, but already pretty.

“Good morning,” she murmurs, voice not quite there yet. Bakugou rubs her eyes and mumbles something in response. The day’s going by too fast already. It shouldn’t. The sheets are still warm. The pillows are still fluffy. Kirishima’s still there.

“’time is it?” she manages to articulate.

Kirishima sighs. “Dunno, seven or something.” A pause. Bakugou rests her eyes. The campus is silent, the rest of the building is silent. The only anchor is Kirishima, breathing. Kirishima, warm, her leg against Bakugou’s side, her head against the wall. Her fingers, tangled in the sheets. The red of her hair, pooling against white. Her shirt slipping off her shoulder. Bakugou was supposed to rest her eyes.

“Need to call my mom,” Kirishima mumbles, weakly making an attempt at pushing herself away from the wall.

Bakugou snorts. “Your mom’s not awake yet, dumbass.” Kirishima sighs again, sits back, looks at her better, and Bakugou feels herself breathe for the first time today. She rolls from her side to her back, a leg dangling from the mattress – here. All here, under Kirishima’s eyes. Her own bed hair and her own oversized shirt and all the room she’s supposed to take in such a bed. All the room she shared, and will keep sharing, with Kirishima.

A stomach growls. They ignore it.



Bakugou hears them, in her tone. The words. Unravelling in the morning, she hears them.

She doesn’t close her eyes, doesn’t look away. She’s ready.

Kirishima takes a moment to say nothing, be nothing, breathe on her own; Bakugou looks at her. Bakugou looks at her like she’s going to lose her. She knows she’s not, but something will break. She’s not ready.

Kirishima sits, tenderly. Unmoving, softly. Here with her legs under the same sheets.

“I think I like girls.”

Bakugou counts one inhale. She forgets what comes after one. Kirishima doesn’t blink. There’s a shade of begging in her silence.

The sheets are still warm. “You think?” Rasping.

Kirishima breathes, long and slow. “I know.”

Bakugou feels her heart trying its best to beat its way out of her chest; she knows why it doesn’t want to be here, but she’d never flee a room in which Kirishima sits in an old t-shirt, kissed by the winter morning. “What about it,” she asks from down on the mattress, and it’s a whisper, a question so quiet it hurts to let it leave her.

Kirishima finds it in her to smile a bit. “Sit up,” she says.


“Come on, sit up,” she smiles wider.

“Fuck you.”

Kirishima laughs. She has the prettiest laugh. “Bakugou please.”

‘I’m not your dog.”

The sheets crumple under Kirishima’s palm. For a moment it’s all silence again, and the strands her hair falling from behind Kirishima’s ears. And the crease left by the pillow disappearing. And her face warming up to her own smile, and the cream of the instant, the foam between them, the warmth in a hand close to a hand, in legs touching, in the absence of fear. In knowing.

Kirishima smiles, tenderly. “You know what I’m going to say,” she promises, softly.

So Bakugou sits up, and the words come out on their own. “Then say it,” she demands, because that’s as close as she’ll ever get to pulling it together. Say it, she tries, say it for me. The sheets rustle when she adjusts her position and brings her legs in closer; say it so I don’t have to.

Kirishima blinks, inhales. Her mouth opens on a taken breath and Bakugou can’t tear her eyes away from it; she could swear her lip balm hasn’t worn off, the one that tastes like cherries. Then a hand finds the side of her face, the curve of her jaw; a thumb finds the swell of her bottom lip, and even though she’s about to die Bakugou looks up before Kirishima speaks. “I think – I know I like you,” she says, and it’s easy. It’s so tender, and so soft it seeps through Bakugou’s skin, ripples between her cheek and Kirishima’s palm.

Nothing in Kirishima wavers, nothing shakes, nothing fears. She’s still red against white, still a bit blurry, still way too pretty for the hour. Bakugou has never wanted to hold her more than in this moment. She’s never known so clearly she would evaporate right this instant if she didn't touch her too.

But then Kirishima leans closer, and she has this understanding smile, and her thumb leaves Bakugou’s lip, and it’s all it takes to stun the unstoppable. Tenderness. Softness.

“I want to kiss you,” she continues. “Been wanting for a long time.”

“Say it again.”

Kirishima tilts her head to the side, swallows. “I want to kiss you, Bakugou.”

It’s impossible not to lean into Kirishima’s palm – Bakugou gives in. “The other thing. Say it again.” She doesn’t even know where her voice comes from, probably somewhere in her chest where it hurts the most, where it hurts so well.

Without words, Kirishima repeats, and it burns Bakugou’s lips on the way in.

She kisses her, and nothing else will ever matter. She kisses her at seven in the morning and it’s worth all of the nights spent hoping and all of the days spent staring; she kisses her, tenderly, she holds her, softly, and redefines cherries. Her hands are here on her, her breath is here on her, her mouth is right here on her, and Bakugou lives. Bakugou lives, and she can hold her, and fall back onto the bed to bring Kirishima down on top of her; she can kiss her back once, and twice, and again and ten times and deeper.

Kirishima pulls back to catch her breath and her hair touches Bakugou’s face, and she’s the prettiest sight. With one hand Bakugou pulls red strands behind Kirishima's ear and this blush, this tilt of her head into her trembling palm – Bakugou can't not love her.

So she rises up and catches Kirishima's mouth with hers again, and all is right in the world.

Losing herself in the comfort of Kirishima's weight above her is too easy, and she lets her hands roam slowly, over the curves of her back over the dips of her hips, drawing around her waist. With every new spots she discovers, Kirishima opens her mouth a bit wider, sighs a bit deeper, kisses her a bit better.

Bakugou already knows little could ever compare to the delight of having her against her own body, laid warm and gentle on her own chest, taking shared breaths. Sure, there's victory. Sure, there's adrenaline, and flying. She'd never give these up. But Kirishima, kissing her; Kirishima, smiling into a chaste peck; Kirishima, looking down at her like she sees her; Kirishima, saying "How was that?" like it's even a question, like Bakugou's whole heart isn't already out and beating between her palms; Kirishima kissing her again when the smirk she tries to contain still comes up to her lips; Kirishima.

Kirishima, tenderly. Her lips, her hands, her words, softly. Kirishima, her neck and throat and collarbones, all of her that Bakugou can reach, her laugh and the ways she looks haloed by red hair when Bakugou flips them over, Kirishima in the dark of morning.

She's so much to love, but Bakugou's never backed down from a challenge.

Pace yourself, says the moon, be grateful. See how she lets herself tremble under you. See how I still love her.

The sun rises.