Katski has a very delicate relationship with love. He always has. Maybe it comes from his odd upbringing, maybe it has something to do with his quirk and how the pride it’s given him has affected his relationship with others. Then again, all his life his only goal has been becoming a hero, and for a long time he viewed things like love as an obstacle.
It’s just that Katsuki has never really understood love.
He isn’t sure he would call the relationship he has with his parents love. Some might say that makes the family disfunctional, but Katsuki doesn’t really give a fuck. The Bakugous are a family built on respect, mostly, with a good dose of trust. Maybe that’s what love is. Katsuki can’t say for sure.
He never really had friends to love. As a child, everyone else just looked up to him, calling him cool and asking to see his quirk, once it developed. In middle school, once he really started working towards his goal, he kept around a couple lackeys, mostly for convenience's sake. And in high school- well. There were four people in his high school he ever considered his friends, and they ended up being much more than that.
And through all of that, there was Deku.
His relationship with Deku was. Bad. By now, well into his adult years, through much therapy and time removed from the nerd himself, he knows it was his fault. He knows. He is well and fully aware that he has no right to look back on those memories and say literally anything about them except ‘I’m sorry’.
He may have grown a lot since highschool, but probably not that much. So he just doesn’t say anything about it at all. He tries not to think about it, either.
Some say self-love is another form of love everyone should have in their lives. Others say Katsuki’s got plenty of that and some to spare. Katsuki’s glad everyone just thinks he loves himself a lot instead of seeing how fucking disgustingly prideful he is.
Katsuki doesn’t love himself very much at all, actually. But he tries not to think about that either.
And then, romantic love.
So it turns out Katsuki ust doesn’t like to think much about any kind of love at all.
Sometimes, though. Sometimes, late at night after a long as shift heroing, he lays in bed and wonders if he’s capable of love. If he deserves it. If he really has gone through his entire life completely loveless.
Though, if he has, he supposes he wouldn’t be here, would he?
In Japan. In Mustafu. Standing at the door to his childhood home, palms sparking against clammy skin, ruining yet another pair of pants because he absolutely refuses to take his hands out of the pockets, because then he’d have to do something with them, which means he’d probably have to knock on the goddamn door -
“Are ya’ gonna fuckin’ knock or not, ya’ brat?!” he hears his mother yell through the door, startling him out of his revere of something-that-is-not-panicking.
Luckily, it’s just what he needs to kick himself into high fuckin’ gear, and he tears his hand out of his pocket to bang on the door with a growl.
“Let me in ya’ damn hag!” He says, despite just quite obviously hesitating and not wanting to be let in.
She wrenches the door open, almost but not quite freezing at the sight of him. Her eyebrows furrow in time with his own, both of them as startlingly in-sinc as ever. She snarls at him before turning around, gesturing over her shoulder for him to come inside. “Get ‘yer ass the fuck in here! Haven’t seen ya’ in almost half a decade, but ya’ can’t even give me a fuckin’ hello, asshole.” She mumbles the last bit, but they both know Katsuki can still hear her.
Katsuki is about to retort, when his father interrupts him from the living room. “Katsuki! It’s so good to see you, son, how’ve you been?” He comes up to hug Katsuki, and it’s just as awkward as any hug Katsuki has ever been a part of.
“Uh. Fine, I guess.” Katsuki says, looking to the side as his father pulls away and pushes right through the awkward bullshit, continuing the conversation. Thank fuck for Masarau.
“Where are your bags?”
Katsuki winces, “I uh. I don’t have any. I’m not staying, I’ve gotta catch a train to Tokyo at nine.”
“Ex-fucking-cuse me?!” His mother yells from where she disappeared into the kitchen. Hopefully she isn’t cooking, she’s always been shit at that.
“Here we fuckin’ go.”
“What in the hell do you mean you aren’t staying? You said you were gonna be in Mustafu for three weeks!” She’s throwin’ her hands around, makin’ herself seem real fuckin’ big.
“No, ya’ senile fuckin’ hag, I said I’d be in Japan for three fuckin’ weeks! I got hero shit to do, why the fuck do you think I’m here?!” Oh, yeah, well Katsuki can seem real fuckin’ big, too!
“Oh, I don’t goddamn know, maybe to visit your parents! Y’know, the ones who fuckin’ raised you!” God, here they go again with all the damn guilt trips. You’d think she’d realized it’s only gonna push him away by now.
“Jesus fuckin’ christ, mom, how many times do I have to tell you that I’m a busy ass fuckin’ hero! And, and, being a fuckin’ hero comes with a whole lotta fuckin’ risks! Like, say, being spotted with my parents and then havin’ them used as fuckin’ leverage against me?!”
“I can fuckin take care a’ myself, Katsuki!”
“Not against a fuckin’ big-shot villain you can’t!”
And so the rest of the night went. At eight thirty, Katsuki leaves his parents’ feeling a storm of emotions. As he walks to the train station, he tries to convince himself that he doesn’t need to feel guilty for not speaking to his parents at all during the five years he spent in America. Or for planning to continue to not talk to them for the foreseeable future.
He just barely manages to stop himself from thinking about how the other people he’s left behind must feel.
He watches the buildings go by and thinks about where they are now. He knows a good majority of his graduating class is in the top one hundred of the hero charts here in Japan. He knows both Yaoyarozu and Ojirou were also offered hero transfer programs and accepted.
Todoroki, Deku, Kirishima, Tokoyami, and Iida are in the top fifty. Todoroki and Deku are in the seventeenth and fifteenth spots respectively. That’s insane, considering they’ve only been in the game for six years. It’s unprecedented, other than Hawks. But the hero community largely considers Hawks to be an exception, what with him defecting from the number two hero spot to leave the country with the villain Dabi.
Yeah, the whole Hawks thing is really fucking weird. Katsuki always gets a headache thinking about it. (Dabi isn’t even hot .)
When Katsuki found out about the current hero ranking in Japan, he nearly broke a window. He was furious . At the same time, deep down, he regretted not being there to provide them some competition. But mostly, it enraged him.
So he vowed to climb the American ranks faster than they could ever fucking imagine. He figured that if he was keeping track of their rankings, they would be keeping track of his.
It took him a lot of time, and personal awareness, and therapy, to realize that he was probably the only person in the entire fucking world who cared that much about a bunch of heroes in a different country.
But he still wanted to be the best, no matter what country he was in.
So he worked on climbing the ranks, trying his best to be the most heroic hero in the goddamn world. After a while, he figured out it wasn’t nearly that fucking easy.
But he kept trying anyway.
And trying .
And god is he ready to stop trying so damn hard.
On the train ride, with nothing else to do than to hold on to the bar above him, he feels the exhaustion hit. He closes his eyes, remembering the look on his parent’s faces as he left them again, with no real plans to see them again any time soon. His chest hurts, and he doesn’t know why. It didn’t hurt this bad when he left the country last time. Not until he was actually in America, at least.
He just. He doesn’t mean to leave them behind. To abandon them. He just has to. Get away. Sometimes. The being around people just gets to be so much .
One thing leads to another, and soon Katsuki is thinking about the other people he left behind. The only other ones he fucking cares about, anyway.
Eijirou. Hanta. Mina. Denki. He misses them. He’s missed them since the day he left five years ago. But they’re also. They’re also the reason he left.
He thinks, maybe, he loved them. In a way no one is supposed to fucking love four goddamn people. He felt safe with them. They were his home.
And that scared the shit out of him.
“Oh, sorry!” Katsuki is snapped out of his revere by someone bumping into him as they let in the people from the stop before Katsuki’s. He takes a second to get his bearings again and ignore whatever’s nagging him before responding.
“S’fine.” He says gruffly, looking away from the stranger.
He hears the stranger gasp, but he doesn’t look. He’s hoping it’s not some groupie recognizing him from his hero work when his heart nearly comes to a fucking stop.
“Katsuki?” Kaminari Denki (did he fucking summon him?) says, clearly shocked to be seeing him. Katsuki’s eyes snap down to him, and they just. Stare at each other for a while.
Katsuki is. Feeling a lot. Right now. Between the already taxing night he’s had, and the shock of seeing someone he loves again-
It’s no surprise, really, that his eyes are a little wet right now.
What is a surprise is the way Denki reaches up and wipes the tears away. Katsuki lets out the most pathetic, desperate, quiet little sigh he’s ever heard.
“What are you doing here, ‘Suki?” Denki asks, so quiet, almost quiet enough for Katsuki’s entire world to narrow down a familiar voice, a concerned face, and bright yellow hair.
“V’got. Meeting with someone about whether or not I’m continuing the transfer program.” Denki’s eyes widen, and clearly he wants to ask, but there’s a war in his eyes and Katsuki doesn’t know why.
“Why are you upset, sweetie?” Oh. Denki’s always been fond of pet names.
“Just got back from my parents. M’goin’ to a hotel right now. They’ve already got my bags and shit.” Katsuki’s almost in a trance at this point, unable to look away from yellow eyes, and just answering with the truth automatically.
Denki looks to the side and bites his lip before getting his phone out and typing something, sending a text, maybe. “I’m coming with you.”
“What?” Why is Denki trying to come to some hotel with him? Does he think Katsuki can’t take care of himself, just because of a little crying?
“If you think I can just walk away from you after all this time, you’re insane.” Denki says, so vehemently, and all Katsuki can think is Oh . Luckily, he’s saved from answering, as they’ve arrived at his stop.
They get off, and Denki follows Katsuki on the route to his hotel very closely. Their sides are pressed together, and it takes Denki’s hand brushing up against his a few times to realize Denki wants him to take it. He does.
He tells himself holding hands is normal. He tells himself it’s okay. Denki’s a very physical person, and Katsuki knows he needs the reassurance of touch right now. But. The emotions it’s making Katsuki feel.
His chest is tight. When he glances over and sees the neon lights playing against Denki’s skin with the dark background of the street at night, he stops breathing . But he doesn’t. Hate it. When Denki’s hand squeezes Katsuki’s and the other wraps around Katsuki’s arm, getting them as close as possible while still being able to walk, Katsuki wonders if anything is supposed to feel this good.
Or hurt this much.
The silence between them is heavy, even as Katsuki checks in at the hotel and leads Denki to his room. They step inside, and Katsuki closes the door behind him. Denki buries his face in Katsuki’s shoulder, and Katsuki doesn’t realize he’s crying until his shoulders start hitching with the force of his sobs.
“Sorry, sorry, I know you don’t like all the icky emotions stuff I just- I just missed you so much , ‘Suki, god.” He sobs. Sobs . “Just. Just let me cry for a little bit, okay?”
Denki gasps as Katsuki turns in his arms, wrapping his arms around Denki in what feels like the most important hug of his life. They’re pressed so close together it feels like there’s just no room for the normal awkwardness. Katsuki runs a hand through Denki’s hair, and they’re both crying. Someone’s knees give out, and they’re on the floor, sobbing all over each other and generally being pathetic.
Somehow, it feels good . It feels like he can finally breathe, even if it’s hitching and unsteady. Slowly, the pressure in his chest is leaking from his eyes.
Everything is such a blur that Katsuki doesn’t even know when he started mumbling, but he is now. He can’t stop apologizing. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry Denki, I’m sorry I left and I’m sorry I didn’t keep in touch, and I’m sorry I was ever enough of a jackass to make you feel like you couldn’t cry on my shoulder, I’m just so sorry, god, Den, I’ve never been more sorry.”
He can’t stop hearing Denki, in his head, apologizing , for crying . Katsuki made him cry and Denki apologized. Because of the way that Katsuki was, before therapy, before the ache had settled in his chest to stay, before leaving , he was that much of a shithead. Maybe he still is.
He hates his youth with a violence he draws directly from it.
Eventually, they stop sobbing. Then, their eyes dry. They’re wrapped in each other, Denki’s face in Katsuki’s chest, Katsuki’s face in Denki’s hair. On their knees, taking in shuddering breaths and trying to convince themselves they’re alright.
Katsuki speaks first. “We should. Take off our shoes and coats and shit. I’ve got pajamas you can borrow. Let’s get off the floor, get in bed, yeah?” Katsuki runs a hand through Denki’s hair, trying to get him to look up at him.
He brings his head up slowly, just sort of looking at Katsuki for a bit before nodding slowly. They get up, carefully, never not touching. They bump heads a bit as they take off their shoes, which makes them chuckle. Katsuki finds him some clothes, and they face away from each other to change.
There’s a tension in the air. Katsuki… Katsuki really wants to kiss Denki. It’s not a new feeling, but it is a dangerous one. He doesn’t want Denki to love him. Because of what just happened. Because of all the times Katsuki might make him cry. Because Katsuki is, most likely, going to leave again.
And because of the three other people he loves. He can’t do that to them. He can’t choose one over the others.
Can’t do that to himself .
(Because at his core, he’s a very selfish man.)
He’s done dressing, and by the sound of it, so is Denki, but he doesn’t turn around.
He hears Denki move to the bed. Katsuki turns and sits next to him without looking over. He can tell Denki is thinking, because he’s bouncing his leg and he’s wringing his hands. Denki gets very restless when he worries about something.
“Uh, okay so, ‘Suki, I’m gonna tell you something, and you have to promise not to freak out, okay?” This makes Katsuki want to freak out. Obviously.
“Okay?” He says, drawing out the ‘o’ nervously.
“So. Ahem. There’s no easy way to say this but.” He takes a deep breath, like he can force the words out by taking enough air in, “Me, Eiji, Hanta, and Mina are all dating. Like the way that two people date but it’s all four of us. It’s not cheating and we’re all very happy together and I love all of them equally and they all love me and will you please stop staring like that? You’re making me nervous!”
Katsuki does not stop staring.
“You can do that?”
Denki stares for a second before bursting out laughing, doubling over with the force of it.
“Oi, don’t laugh at me, fuckface! It’s not my fault I didn’t know!” He grabs Denki by the shoulder, pulling him up so that Denki has to look at his glare dammit.
Instead he just doubles over onto Katsuki which is.
And if anybody asks, all of his blood if circulating through his body evenly, and is most certainly not pooling in his face.
Or anywhere else.
“Sorry! Sorry, ‘Suki, it’s just- your face! Oh my God, your face .” Denki is so fucking lucky his laugh is the most adorable thing in the world-
“You think my laugh is adorable?! Aww, ‘Suki!”
“Shit!” Fucker, making him say shit out loud he didn’t mean to.
“God,” Denki’s laughs are (unfortunately) finally petering out, and he gestures to the headboard, “we should probably get some sleep, huh?” He says. Now is when Katsuki chooses to question all of his life choices leading up to this point because, really?
There’s only one bed.
“Won’t your, ah…”
“Partners.” Denki helpfully supplies.
“Won’t your partners mind us sleeping in the same bed?” And, is Katsuki being weirdly complacent about this? Yes. Is it because he doesn’t want to think too much about this whole situation? Also yes. Is that because of his own particular feeling for the four of them? Guess.
Denki then looks up at him with the only look Katsuki has ever been able to describe as both mischievous and fond. “Not if it’s you, ‘Suki.”
Katsuki. Doesn’t know what to think of that. So he isn’t going to, thanks .
They climb up onto the bed and get under the covers, cuddling up without either of them needing to ask. Katsuki lays on his back, Denki curled up on his chest.
The last thought he has before falling asleep goes a little like this:
They’re all gonna kill him tomorrow, aren’t they?
Because, really? Did Katsuki think Denki wasn’t going to drag him back to his place the minute they woke up?