The first time Bakugou saw Kirishima break, it was because of him.
He remembers the guy when he got warped with him back in USJ. Bakugou didn’t really paid him much attention back then. Villains were coming all around them and Bakugou only cared that the guy isn’t a liability.
He can fight, that's all that matters.
He saw what his classmates are capable of and these weak shits are nothing compared to what he’s seen in their little battle simulation, so it made little sense that the guy was worrying about the others. A fuckin waste of time, they need to stop the ones who are calling the shots. Those are the big guys.
After the area is cleared, he quickly made his way back to where that Warp bastard is. He’s the villain’s way in and out of this fucking facility. Fucking checkmate if those pros get here anytime now.
At the corner of his eyes, he sees red following him closely. Fucking shitty hair.
Flashforward to his first UA Sports Festival. He needs a team and he can’t fucking remember half of these guys asking him to team up.
He’s popular. He knows because he’s powerful and all these guys just wants him so they can have a shot at winning too. Just like the friends back home. Just like in middle school. But fuck, he needs a team.
He hears his name called out so loud that it rings above the crowd and sees Shitty Hair running up to him.
He was asking to team up.
“You’ll get the 10 million points right! I’ll be your unbreakable horse!”
Kirishima says with every bit of conviction he has. Like he knows he’ll win. Like he knows Bakugou’s going to win and Bakugou feels ecstatic, his adrenaline rushing at the prospect of a good fight.
He grins and said yes.
When he faces Kirishima for the individual fight, he knows he had to be extra careful. A hit from those hardened fists would likely take him out so he dodges.
He knows his explosions has little effect on the guy and it seems like the guy’s quirk is more than just ‘hardening’. His blasts didn’t make Kirishima sway one bit. Fucking shockproof. So, he’s backed to fight in close combat.
He feels Kirishima’s fist scratch his cheek. Fucking fuck!
Gotta wear him down, there’s a reason why he can’t stay in that hardened form forever. It’s not one of those transformation quirks. Bakugou grins at that realization and when he feels Kirishima stagger, he fucking blasts him in rapid successions. His hands are aching but he’s thrilled. His blood is pumping, and a hideous smile graces his face.
Plus fuckin Ultra!
Like what All Might did to that Nomu so the bastard can’t regenerate. Wear him down till he breaks, tear him up until he fuckin-
he screams as he sends the final blow and he saw Kirishima go down. His skin covered with scratches and burns but nothing too serious. Midnight steps into the ring to check on Kirishima and declares Bakugou’s win. An undisputed win. He goes down the arena stage to rest and prepare for his next battle.
He sees Kirishima later, all patched up and sharp teeth on display as he smiles.
“Man, you’re so strong. You really beat me out there.” He gushes out to Bakugou the next time they got a time to talk. Bakugou’s still seething from that fight with fucking Half’n half, pfft if you can call that a fucking fight.
“I think I actually blanked there for a sec, man you really broke me down” Kirishima continues as he scratches a healing wound on his forearm. Raccoon eyes slaps his hand next to him and started scolding him. Kirishima at least looked a bit embarrassed.
Bakugou looks at Kirishima, finally looks at him and sees a guy far from defeated. He’s not broken. Instead he kept fighting.
The guy pesters him to help him out with his Math and History and he agrees just because he wants to prove that he can fucking teach too. Plus, the tutor sessions also help Bakugou go back to his notes. It made studying a little bit more tolerable. Kirishima sticks with Bakugou even after repeatedly getting hit because Bakugou’s too quick tempered and he, too stubborn. They got kicked out of the library at their first study session, so they meet up in this small diner that’s open 24/7 near UA. The food tastes like shit. It’s so heavily drenched with oil and salt and Kirishima eats it like a vacuum.
“You know that’s fucking bad for you, right?” Bakugou watches as Kirishima inhales another burger.
“It’s meat!” Kirishima defends himself.
“It’s manufactured shit!” Bakugou seethes. “Do you even have a diet plan or some shit, you’re not gonna build muscles from that.”
“Uhh.. I eat meat?” Kirishima tilts his head in confusion and it took everything of Bakugou to stop himself from grabbing that face and just fucking hit it with something, like the burger Kirishima’s still eating. Contrary to popular belief, Bakugou doesn’t really want Kirishima to have dead brain cells.
Instead, Bakugou rips off a page from his notebook and started writing furiously.
“What you writing?” Kirishima peeks at his note.
“Fuckin food you need to eat dumbass, you’re gonna be a hero right?” Bakugou continues writing and doesn’t see Kirishima’s surprised face.
“Of course, I am!” His sharp teeth flashes when he smiles.
“Well, start fucking living like it.” Bakugou slides him the note.
Kirishima slids the note in one of his books.
“You better make use of that, what you got in question number 6.” Bakugou goes back to their homework.
“Ah, I’m not there yet.”
They quickly went back to studying.
Kirishima did make use of the note. Bakugou saw him getting better food in their canteen. He brings smoothies that Bakugou thinks are homemade because Kirishima says he eats fruits and vegetables better that way, something about his teeth making it hard to chew on leaves. Dunce face gags when he tried one of those. Sees him training in that hellish summer camp Aizawa especially designed to make them actually see hell. Was there in Kamino. He’s far from broken.
This fucking sucks.
Not only did he fail into getting his provisional license, he was fucking stuck with Todoroki doing team building and first aid shit while Deku gets to fucking work as a real hero and with one of those Big Three third years too. Fucking shit.
Even Round Face and Frog Girl got to have more action than he has. Kirishima’s also with one of the Big Three guys working his ass out there in the streets, fucking shitty hair getting ahead of him too. Bakugou knows he’s bitter. Fuck.
But Bakugou gets it, why Kirishima had been scouted so easily. He read his provisional license test report and fuck he really needs to fucking cooperate or some shit. Kirishima, for all his rugged hero appearance has a smile that can brighten anyone in his company.
Grudgingly, he has to accept that this is his life now for the moment. He failed so now he has to make up for what he lacks. Todoroki loves to fucking remind him of that.
Not that he’ll ever admit it, but his classmates’ presence was a fucking relief.
Sero keeps inviting him to play games in Kaminari’s room. He says that he’s going to beat Bakugou in Donkey Kong any day now. Just fucking try Soy Sauce.
Kaminari seems to have taken a liking to voluntarily charge his phone. He says it’s for quirk training and Bakugou lets him. In turn, he gets to play games in Bakugou’s phone. He actually downloaded 2 more games and Bakugou secretly enjoys playing it. Especially since one of them is a Battle Royale type. He sees Satou in the school gym and they spot for each other. The sugar hero-to-be invites him to his room to try out a recipe he made and Bakugou cooks for him in return.
Bakugou never had female friends back in middle school. Had dated one just to try it out but they quickly broke up because ‘he’s too focused on being a hero and not enough for me’. That’s what she said when they saw each other for the last time. Bakugou didn’t cared, she didn’t too.
There were no tears nor screaming, it was a mutual acceptance for the both of them. They just tried it out and it didn’t work so now they’re done.
It’s not like Bakugou doesn’t know how to talk to girls, they’re just as shitty as boys, his mother a prime example of it. It’s just that, girls tend to avoid him because of his abrasiveness and Bakugou’s sure it’s because he calls everyone a bitch so there’s that. So, it’s a bit nice how Ashido can look him in the eye and welcome him ‘home’ as he and Todoroki come back from supplementary classes.
Jirou plays music in the common room sometimes and Bakugou likes the songs that she plays.
He knows Hagakure watches him bake with Satou and she waits for them to finish so she can get the first bite.
It was disgustingly domestic and Bakugou’s getting swept by it.
He just got inside the classroom when Kaminari shoves his phone screen to his face.
“Bakugou look! It’s our red boy!” He says excitedly.
“Back off Pikachu, I can’t read that close.” he snatches the phone so he can read it properly and there it is, the headline with Kirishima’s hero name. He actually made it to the news for his debut!
Bakugou was proud, of course that idiot managed to fight a guy connected with illegal drug use at his first day. He reads the article. Of course, the civilians like him. He probably has more fans now. The villain was described to have blades sticking out at him and was enhanced by a drug. Like that fuckface back in summer camp with blades at his teeth and Kirishima managed to beat that.
He’s getting ahead.
Bakugou felt it spreading inside of him. It’s ugly and disgusting and it makes him want to throw up and get away from all of this talking and people and shit.
He’s fucking jealous.
He didn’t even say anything when they saw Kirishima enter the classroom. He looks tired but he was trying hard to entertain everyone who was gushing out how impressive Red Riot was. Bakugou just fucking seethed at his corner and he hates how obvious it is.
They coincidentally met in the hallway later that night as Kirishima was about to enter his room.
“Does it bother you?” he genuinely asks and Bakugou can’t fucking stand himself.
“Fucking fuck, no it doesn’t. It’s not your fucking problem.” Bakugou tries to explain and cringes when he realized how harsh he sounded. It wasn’t supposed to sound like that. Be softer. Nicer. Fucking cooperate.
Kirishima didn’t seem to take offense by it and instead removes his hand from his bedroom doorknob and turns to him with a worried expression on his face.
“Bro, are you okay?”
“yeah, I’m fine. Just got a lot of shit to figure out, you know, supplementary classes.” Bakugou tries to explain but he can’t help but hear the frustration in his voice. Kirishima luckily accepts that as it is and gives him a reassuring smile.
“I’m here whenever bro.” Kirishima raise his fists for Bakugou to bump. Bakugou takes it like a touch-starved man.
“yeah.” He simply replies and Kirishima smiles wider that it makes Bakugou’s vision turn a little bit brighter.
There was a second of silence as the conversation ends.
“Good night then.” Kirishima smiles as he opens his door.
“Night.” Bakugou mumbles back but wait, he has to let Kirishima know.
“Hey!” he calls to him before Kirishima can close the door
“You did good out there.” Kirishima needs to know that so Bakugou tells him exactly that. He sees Kirishima’s eyes widen at the compliment, his cheeks dusting the color of his eyes.
“Thanks Bakugou!” and now he smiles for real. Teeth full on displayed and eyes closed Bakugou doubts he could see. Bakugou wasn’t prepared for it.
“Yeah, it’s whatever! You better keep up with that cos when I get my license, I’m going to catch up so fast you don’t even know I was coming”
And Kirishima. Fucking Kirishima looks at him and confidently replies,
“Oh, I’m looking forward to that.”
Bakugou, with no idea how to respond to that gives him the middle finger and then he quickly goes inside his room thinking how compliments are fucking stupid.
Kirishima smiles when he laid down on his bed that night.
He should’ve seen it coming when Kirishima started having secrets with Deku, Frog Girl and Round Face. The four of them sharing whispers in the dorms. They go out together for the internship and comes back as well tied to the hip.
He should’ve seen it when Deku started doing shit, like he’s distracted in class when he is the biggest nerd Bakugou knows. Should’ve seen it when the smiles that shows off every fucking shark teeth Kirishima has, becomes a rare sight. Should've seen it when Kirishima became so tight lipped every time he asked about the internship.
They were into deep shit. Shit the rest of the class didn’t know until the fucking news broadcasted a fucking raid mission to a fucking yakuza hideout. Present Mic was quick to update them about it when the shit was broadcasted. It was a delicate mission and the fucking League of Villains are said to be involved somehow. Aizawa sensei was there as well as the rest of his interning classmates save for Tokoyami.
His palms began to sweat as he and the rest of the class relied on the broadcast for fucking news. What if there were Nomus there too? Fuck. All Might’s fucking retired now. If anything goes to shit. SHIT.
“Everyone, don’t worry.” Iida’s voice startles the class from watching the television.
“Our classmates are strong, Aizawa sensei is there and a lot of pro heroes” Iida assures them. He feels Yaoyorozu finally breathe next to him, she’s clutching Jirou’s hand as Kaminari rubs her back soothingly.
“Yes, let’s trust them to come back.” Yaoyorozu agrees.
The situation about the pro-heroes was finally being updated. A lot of them in critical conditions but no deaths reported in the scene.
Present Mic gives them assurance that their classmates are all safe. Uraraka and Tsuyu were hit by a villain's quirk but is unharmed. Deku is safe and Kirishima.
”Kirishima-kun was unconscious when the medics and the police arrived. He received multiple lacerations all over his body. He’s already taken to the nearest hospital and on the way to full recovery” Present Mic informs them.
The whole class finally can breathe. Bakugou can breathe. He’s fine. They’re all fine. At least that’s how it was until news of Nighteye’s death was broadcasted. Fuck. Bakugou knows that the news can’t cover the entire extent of what happened but fuck, this is their reality. Shit happens.
The four interns return to the dorms that night and the entire class went full mama mode on. Bakugou doesn’t want to crowd them like the rest of the idiots but he stays in the common room to see them. To see him.
He watches as the guys do their best to comfort the interns.
He sees Uraraka look at her hands, she’s hurt. Maybe not physically but Bakugou knows she’s hurting
“I want to save people.” she says and Bakugou saw Kirishima’s face crumble.
Sees the hurt in his eyes and Bakugou was afraid he’s going to break even after Sero tried to distract him. Fuck.
“Hey, you good?” Ashido asks in the gentlest voice Bakugou has ever heard from her.
Kirishima looks at her and softly says that he’s getting there.
And that’s fine, Bakugou’s fine with that. Kirishima will not break here. He watches as Ashido brings out Koda’s pet bunny to cheer up everyone.
Fucking fuck. Pikachu.
Bakugou didn’t even noticed when Kaminari started calling him that.
“Hey! You were worried too so join us!” Kaminari egged Bakugou to join the circus his classmates had formed in the middle of the common room.
“Fuck off, I’m going to sleep” He reasons that it’s because he’s got his provisional license retake the next day.
He doesn't know how long he stared at his ceiling that night before he finally fell asleep.
True to what Kirishima had said, he comes back ready to fight with this brand-new energy. Kirishima trains harder. He takes on harder blows. Even trained with both Bakugou and Satou hitting at him at the same time. He takes on Bakugou’s howitzer.
“I’m still weak, for now I can only defend but my attacks are low luster at best.” Kirishima explains to Cementoss and in that moment Bakugou sees Kirishima’s strength. That Kirishima sees his own weaknesses. He knows where he lacks the most and he improves it as quickly as he can. It’s something he should learn about himself.
“Hey Bakugou, what’s a howitzer?” Kirishima asks mid-attack.
“It’s just a fucking artillery, like a cannon.” Bakugou dodges and sends his own fist to Kirishima’s jaw.
Kirishima had the nerve to fucking laugh as he easily dodges.
“You’re actually quite a nerd huh, Bakugou.”
“WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY!” He sends another blast.
He hears Kirishima’s laughter ringing above the explosion.
Everything’s a mess.
There’s smoke everywhere. It makes it harder to breathe even for Bakugou who had to deal with explosions his whole life.
He flies faster and takes down two of those weaker types of Nomus. A businessman thanks him as he was quickly gathered by Sero to swing to the evacuation area. He goes back to the air and takes down a villain with a flying type of quirk.
There’s no time to think of unnecessary things. Like how he saw Endeavor got swallowed by blue flames. Like how he saw the copy guy and mind control guy unconscious as Kaminari and Aoyama carried them to safety. Like how he saw Vlad King carry an unconscious Aizawa-sensei at his back, Present Mic beside him as they take down villains who were trying to get inside UA. Thirteen was gathering this year’s first years to safety.
Like how he lost sight of Kirishima amidst the battle. He hasn’t seen Kirishima after he saw him take a hit that sent him crashing into a building.
There were too many civilians. They need to evacuate everyone in the area.
He sees green flash beside him.
“Deku!” he yells as he sent another villain down and ties him up quickly. The area is cleared for now.
Deku runs up to him as they both take a moment to breathe.
“Kacchan! I need you for this plan! Hear me out!” Deku looks at him. His eyes sparkling with the same glow that surrounds his body. Bakugou couldn’t help but to compare his stare to the former number 1 hero. It just radiates of strength that mirrors what All Might used to signify.
Bakugou immediately feels overwhelmed. Gone was the kid who couldn’t do anything as he took Bakugou’s explosions. This is someone Bakugou knows that will eventually be the number 1 someday. Their relationship will never come back before the days where competition was everything for Bakugou but they’re trying. Bakugou’s trying harder. They trust each other and that’s enough for now.
“let’s fucking hear it, nerd.” he grins. He knows Deku’s plans are always a pain in the ass to whomever it is made for.
They’ll end this now. Shigaraki is there and they rush him to a corner. All his villain friends are down.
Bakugou was about to rush in the fight himself, sees Deku flying with Uraraka and Todoroki when he sees a woman, obviously civilian, hiding underneath the pile of debris and trying not to make herself get noticed. Her eyes are big as saucers as she looked at him frightened.
It reminds him of Deku back in middle school. It reminds him of the time when the sludge monster began choking him as he sees pro-heroes look at him helplessly as they wait for someone more ‘suitable’ to save him. It reminds him when his vision turned to black, rough hands grips his neck as he was taken away from his classmates.
He didn’t even had to think about it. His body pushing him to move towards the woman. He blasts a wall that was crumbling down on them, checks her vitals and assure her she’s safe. She’s teary eyed. Her legs trembling from nerves and adrenaline when he picks her up and she says thank you repeatedly on his chest. He made his way to the evacuation area.
Win by Saving. Save by winning so fucking win this Deku.
The fight’s over. Deku wins. They win.
He saw Deku stand after the battle, triumphant and screaming. The people feels it. Like when a budding flower finally opens its petals to reveal the world it’s true beauty and colors. There’s crying and laughter but overall, a big fucking relief but why the hell does Bakugou still felt uneasy.
He watches his surroundings when an obvious lack of red hair and sharp toothy smile was missing in the crowd. He meets Ashido’s worried eyes and both of them came to an understanding. Something’s wrong. They run to find their classmate.
There’s really a little reason to be worried because not everyone is near the evacuation area. Kirishima might’ve been busy on other parts of the city but a nagging feeling tells him to find him. Make sure he’s fine. Please be safe.
He goes back to where he last saw the red head. He follows the trail of destruction and eventually sees him standing alone in the middle of debris.
Bakugou runs to him but stops when Kirishima didn’t respond. Bakugou stops in his haste to take in what he sees.
There’s red everywhere. Now that he noticed it, it made the air taste pungent and metallic. It’s blood. It covered Kirishima, his clothes, his hands and the floor surrounding a body of a nomu.
The body is stuck underneath the piles of debris, blood turning its dark skin even darker as it seeps out to the cemented floor. It's hard to identify who that was because of the alterations it had undergone but-
“Rappa.” Kirishima finally says something and he’s now visibly shaking.
Bakugou felt himself tense when he realized that who that nomu was once before.
It's the man that plagued Kirishima’s dreams when he was just a first year on his first internship mission. Bakugou knows because he couldn’t help but look up the villain after the third time Kirishima stayed by his side because both of them are haunted by their reality and it’s easier to have someone to just be by their side.
Bakugou knows because the other boy’s voice trembled when he finally told Bakugou what happened to him in that raid and it makes him want to explode everything that’s wrong in this world. His eyes are trying to focus on Bakugou but it’s not. He’s slipping somewhere Bakugou can’t reach. He notices Kirishima is still hardened around his arms and chest. Bakugou can’t breathe.
Bakugou approaches him slowly. “Kirishima.” He tries to call him again and Kirishima is still not responding. Bakugou wants to scream.
“He’s dead.” Kirishima says. “I tried.” He lets out a shaky breath.
“I tried, I really tried.” there’s tears falling from his eyes.
“I tried to stop him, I really did but he kept on coming for me. He said that he will not stop until one of us-“ he shook as he took a breath. Bakugou’s so afraid. Kirishima’s breaking. He’s breaking.
“-until one of us-“ Kirishima falls to his knees but a man catches him before he falls. It took a second for Bakugou to recognize him but that’s Fat Gum, in his skinny form and clothes loose.
“Fat.” Kirishima blinks.
“You did the best you can Riot.” Fat holds him and drapes a large blanket around him. Kirishima finally drop his hardening as he let himself feel safe in the arms of his mentor.
Bakugou felt someone hold his right hand. He didn’t even know that he was shaking until Sero steadies him. Ashido sticks to his left side, she’s holding Kaminari as they watch their friend. Fat half carries him to where the medics are now setting up.
“He’s strong.” Sero says to assure them.
Kirishima finally puts his eyes on them and he smiles, relieved to see them all safe. Kaminari runs to him in a tearful hug and the group can’t help but follow him to the red head. Ashido’s starts crying as she joins the boys hugging and Sero moves Bakugou so that they can have a little group hug. Bakugou lets him.
They’re covered with sweat, dirt and dried blood but it’s the most amazing thing Bakugou felt after all that’s happened today.
Kirishima finally looks at Bakugou and he felt burning in his eyes.
“Did you win?” Kirishima smiles and Bakugou hates how he is still trying to comfort people when he’s the one hurting.
“tch, of course, we’re heroes”
Heroes always wins.
You're a hero.
Is what Bakugou means and Kirishima understands.
Bakugou raises his fist and Kirishima bumps it with his own but then his arms wrapped around Bakugou’s waist as he drops his head unto Bakugou’s chest.
Bakugou holds him too.
It’s a rush after that. There’s medical check-up and police assessment and interviews. Thankfully the school handled all the media press because technically, they’re still students even though majority of them are already scouted as sidekicks in hero firms.
They said it’s from brain damage. Rappa was dead when the police and the medics arrived. They filed it as self defense given on what’s happened that day, it was the least of their concern. Thankfully, Rappa’s family didn’t file a case. Kirishima’s hero license is safe.
Class started again. They go to therapy. Kirishima especially goes to a therapist as prescribed to him by the police and the school. They train, they study and eventually they graduate.
He sees Kirishima at their gates, smiling as he waves his diploma in the air, strong and proud.
They move on.
He always took the noon shifts.
There’s something about the coolness of that time of the day that he likes that he can’t pinpoint. Like the sun not glaring at him so harshly or that his excess sweat makes his skin cooler. Bakugou loves his quirk but he can’t deny how disgusting it is on the base level.
Sweat. Explosive sweat. At least he still smells decent even after sweating tons of it, he muses but can’t deny how annoying it is to do laundry where he literally is holding a hamper of potential explosives. Fuck he has to do laundry tomorrow, can’t let half’n half do that.
Whose bright idea was it to room with Todoroki, of all people. He’s surprised they haven’t set their apartment on fire. At first, the idea made sense because Bakugou was joining in Endeavor’s firm as a sidekick and Todoroki was looking to live away from his father meaning, he doesn't want to live in the agency's dorm so Deku suggested it. They almost forgot about Bakugou’s quite… flammable everything until Todoroki almost set their laundry room on fire.
It wasn’t bad. Honestly, Bakugou’s quite content with the routine he and Todoroki set with each other.
Todoroki takes the morning shifts, so they rarely see much of each other during work days but they both have their Thursdays free. Bakugou’s quick to learn that Todoroki hasn’t an ounce of knowledge about pop culture so usually they have movie marathons marked almost every Thursday.
Todoroki seems to really like the Disney films so Bakugou creates a whole list of the best and only the best movies because he can’t have Todoroki sing High School Musical songs around the apartment just as much as how he kept singing “A Whole New World” with both voices. Like, he’s really alternating with his half’n half self to sing both parts.
Camie and Inasa joins them every other week or so if they find themselves free.
Todoroki invited them the first time back when they were just starting to watch The Lion King series without Bakugou’s permission because “Fucking hell I’m not cleaning shit for guests.” but as it turns out, the two Shiketsu graduates are decent guests compared to their idiot high school friends. Plus, they bring more food and drinks to spare because Inasa is a fucking people-pleaser and Bakugou loves Camie’s offhand comments especially when they finally move on from Disney to fictional hero films.
Speaking of idiot high school friends. Denki has been calling him lately. He sees the hero Chargebolt quite often given that their agencies do quirk compatibility training thrice per month, but Denki still calls him almost daily to catch up and maybe, to talk about Kirishima.
He has little news about the red headed hero. He hasn’t been in contact with Kirishima since the time when the class went back after their graduation celebration in l-island.
They stayed in that island during the weekends after their graduation. They met up with Melissa again who had also graduated and is now a head of her support lab. Looking back at it now, Bakugou really enjoyed his time there.
He will never admit it but he liked that short weekend with his classmates, especially that time when he beat Deku in the Villain Bot Game or when Denki almost zapped the whole pool or when he convinced Mina to try a jalapeno flavored ice-cream, good times. Until the night before their leave, Bakugou regrets to remember.
He wasn’t entirely sure what and how it happened. Being with Kirishima had always been easy. Talking to him had always been easy so by the time that they actually went into a disagreement. Bakugou’s brain was slow to realize what exactly was happening.
He remembers the cold night air. He could smell the sea. They were walking along the shore on the way to their graduation dinner party. He remembers talking. They used to talk about everything and nothing at all but this time he remembers talking about plans. He remembers talking about stuff after they graduate.
Bakugou had always been ambitious. He wants to be the number 1 hero so it shouldn’t come off as a surprise that he wanted to go pro immediately after graduation.
“You’re gonna make your own agency?” Kirishima blinks at him, there’s surprise in his voice. Why is this a surprise. He and Kirishima had talked about having their own agency before.
“Yeah, that has always been my plan. You know that Ei.” Bakugou reminds him.
“Yeah I know that but.” Kirishima hesitates.
“But what?” Bakugou frowns.
Kirishima sighs as he tried to shrug the topic off. “It’s nothing, I just think it might be a bit too soon I guess” he explains.
“Well when the hell am I supposed to do it?”
“No, no you should do it, I just think you might want to wait it out.”
“Wait it out? What are you even going to do after this? Go back to Chiba?” Bakugou asks in frustration and Kirishima blinks at him in thought.
“Maybe? I don’t know dude. It’s a bit overwhelming, I guess. Graduating.”
“Well I’m fucking happy that’s done, we can now go pro Ei.”
“I know that Kats, but I think I’m going to stay as a sidekick for a while.”
“A sidekick? Really? We’ve basically been sidekicks our whole high school life Eijirou! You should be done with that by now!”
“Well, I’m not! Sorry I’m not catching up the way you want me to.”
“What?! What the hell do you even mean?”
“Fuck, it’s nothing just, just forget it.” Kirishima groans in frustration as he walks ahead of Bakugou.
“No!” Bakugou calls to him as jogs to catch up with the red head. “I’m just saying-“
“Drop it Katsuki!” Kirishima stops walking and turned around to face Bakugou with so much fury that Bakugou can’t help but stop dead in his tracks with shock. Kirishima must’ve seen his face because he stares at Bakugou, blinks and then took a deep breath. His face calming down when he exhales. With a sigh, he says;
“Hey, let’s just forget about it tonight. We’re gonna be late and you know how Iida is. Shit, the dude planned this dinner too.” He ends with a small chuckle and Bakugou can’t help but laugh a bit. They could be retired and Four-eyes would still berate them about tardiness.
“Fucking fine, let’s go.”
They never talked again that night. Not even in the morning when they were on the flight back to Japan. Not when they landed. Not when they were saying goodbyes to their now-former classmates. He hasn’t seen Kirishima since they left the airport.
Later, it dawns on Bakugou that he forgot to ask Kirishima to join him in his agency as partner. So much for planning huh. He never really pushed through with his agency too. After much thinking, it would really be too soon.
It’s not like Bakugou actively tried to contact the guy but he hasn’t received a single phone call or text from Kirishima. He knows Denki and Hanta still keeps in touch with him. He asked Denki about him a couple of times.
“He's doing okay dude, go talk to him.” Was his only answer and it grates Bakugou how he had to find news about Kirishima from Uraraka.
“Kirishima? Oh he’s a sidekick for Fat Gum now.” Uraraka tells him as she slurps her noodles in their living room. She comes to his and Todoroki’s apartment quite often, sometimes bringing Deku or Iida. She brings good action films with her for them to watch and she actually helps out in the kitchen. That is the only reason Bakugou gives her the free reign to enter their place as she wants. Todoroki even gave her a spare key so it’s not an uncommon sight to see her lounging in their couch uninvited.
“Why you ask? Aren’t you like best friends or something? You guys were always together back then.” she questions him as Todoroki sat next to her, holding his own bowl of soba.
“It’s nothing.” Bakugou grumbles to his bowl.
“It bothers him. Kirishima hasn’t been here.” Todoroki informs her.
“Oh Katsuki. You miss your high school sweetheart?” Uraraka teases.
“Shut up!” Bakugou yells at them. “It was not like that and you know it.”
Uraraka sighs. “You know, you could just invite him over if you really want to see him. I’m sure he would really make time to see you, you know.”
“that’s the thing, I can’t. He hasn’t.. he hasn’t called me or whatever”
“but have you tried calling him.”
He hasn’t. The silence tells her his answer. The grunting noises from the action film playing and Todoroki’s happy slurps are the only noise in their apartment
“see.” She pointed out.
“yeah, yeah fuck you”
“I know you love me.”
So it’s a big surprise how he sees Kirishima for the first time after all those months.
He was in his night patrol. The time almost 1 in the morning when he goes to a dark corner and sees a figure lying in an alley. He carefully approaches the man. They could’ve been anyone. A drunkard lost in his intoxicated mind, a homeless person trying to find a place to sleep, a body left to die but no it wasn’t. The man was dressed in a simple dark jacket and sweatpants but the way his hair falls to his face fills Bakugou with both dread and familiarity.
The guy’s not moving at all. Fear chills his bones as he approaches the body and he sees Kirishima’s face covered with bruises and scratches but that’s unmistakably Kirishima with his long eyelashes and the little scar on his eye. He can’t be. He’s not moving at all. He can’t be dead in a stupid fucking alleyway. It took a second for Bakugou to remind himself on what to do if you find an unconscious body when Kirishima wakes with a jump.
Bakugou stills when Kirishima looked at him for what feels like minutes before the man gives him a sharp toothy smile that Bakugou hasn’t seen for a while and it makes his heart ache before realizing what the fuck is happening.
“Fuck Eijirou what the fuck! What the fuck?!” He holds the man by his collar.
“Ah, Katsuki hey.” Kirishima smiles at him sheepishly.
“Don’t fucking hey me what the fuck are you doing here all beat up and shit” He almost shakes the man.
“Nice to see you too”
“Don’t fucking change the topic, c’mon let’s get you to the hospital. I need to fucking report this to the authorities” He moves to help Kirishima but the guy moves away from him.
“No, this. This was from an unsanctioned fight.”
“What the fuck does that mean? Are you a fucking vigilante? Are you fucking kidding me right now Eijirou?”
“No! No. I’m not. I’m still a licensed sidekick but I- I’ve been in” Kirishima looks away.
“Underground fighting.” He finally answers.
What the fuck.
“Does Fat know?”
Kirishima looked down ashamed.
“What the fuck are you fucking stupid Ei! They could take away your license if somebody found out”
“I mean, I could always go rogue.”
“Don’t fucking think about it. I’ll kick your ass if you do that.”
“I was kidding.”
“You should stop it.”
“C’mon lets get you somewhere not here, did you do anything for that wounds” Bakugou moves to stand the man. Bakugou can’t help but notice how much his best friend has grown bigger.
“Aww you do care, Katsuki”
“fuck you, you know I do.”
“Yeah I know” Kirishima softly smiles.
Bakugou doesn’t miss how Kirishima can easily change the topic. Bakugou helps him up and finally sees Kirishima’s hair lit by the nearest street post.
“What the fuck happened to your hair?”
“What? What happened to it?” Kirishima visibly panics as he touches his hair as if he’d suddenly gone bald in a second.
“It’s black.” Bakugou points out.
“Oh, I thought the red hair was a very Red Riot thing and I can’t have people noticing me in the ring.” Kirishima picks at a lock of hair.
“Fucking shitty hair”
“Hey, you liked my hair!”
Bakugou misses this, misses him and god Bakugou wants him back.
“You’ve never seen my place.”
“Yeah, you and Todoroki right? How’s that?”
“You should go and fucking see it for yourself.”
Kirishima laughs exuberantly.
“Is that an invite Katsuki?”
“fucking take it as whatever it is, I need to check if you broke a rib there because you’re so fucking evasive about it. It’s either there or my agency so take your pick. We have a lot of catching up to do” Bakugou looks away, heat catching up to his cheeks.
“Yeah, we do.”
The area, as it turns out is near an underground fighting rink. It’s technically illegal but pro-heroes can’t touch it without a warrant and the police.
“You know I have to report that Ei.”
They’re in Bakugou’s room for some time now, just talking. Bakugou had already checked on Kirishima’s injuries and deemed the red head bruised but safe, no broken bones or internal injury as far as he can see.
“Yeah, I know. It won’t be a first time a rink was tipped off, won’t be a last, you’ve always been a good hero.” Kirishima sighs.
“I won’t report you”
Kirishima looks at him with disbelief. “You should.” Kirishima tells him.
“I said I fucking wouldn’t, didn’t I?”
Kirishima can’t help but groan at him.
“Fuck, I should be begging you not to Katsuki! You can’t just let me get away with this! I know this goes against every code you follow but- fuck! There must be something I could do to repay you for this, anything at all?”
“Anything?” Bakugou asks, his mind already made up with what he wants.
“Yes Katsuki, anything!”
“Come back to me.”
Bakugou hates how he’s so desperate but fuck it, he want his best friend back. He wants Kirishima back in his life, by his side. Kirishima stared at him with wide eyes, as if not sure he was hearing right.
“Come back to me, Eijirou.” Bakugou repeats to make sure Kirishima heard him this time and the red head finally moves this time.
“Yeah. Yeah, I heard you the first time Kats.” Kirishima moves to rest his head on Bakugou’s chest, his hands hesitating to wrap around Bakugou’s waist but Bakugou’s quick to welcome his touch.
There’s a feeling of relief when Bakugou wraps his arms around the red head too. It just feels so familiar and natural that Bakugou couldn’t believe he had gone months without this.
“Did you really think I need to be indebted to you for me to want to have you in my life?” Kirishima mumbles against his chest and Bakugou can’t help but tighten his hold on him.
“Not really, but I- I’m sorry Ei” He tells the red head. “I just really want you back.”
“You’re my best friend Katsuki! I really missed you and I’m sorry too, I didn’t mean to ghost on you but I did and fuck, I’m so sorry.”
“Wow, you’re swearing more than me now.” Bakugou teases, trying to lighten up the conversation.
“And who’s fucking fault is that.” Kirishima teases back.
They both jumped when someone knocked on the door.
“Bakugou? There’s enough breakfast for your friend if they want to.” Todoroki informs through the door. “I’m going out now.” He adds. He and Todoroki sometimes do eat breakfast together, but this is probably the first time he and Todoroki had to encounter the ‘bringing a friend home and them staying til the morning’ situation. Fuck, they have to talk about a new set of rules later.
Bakugou groans and shouts at the door. “It’s just Kirishima, IcyHot!”
Kirishima snickers next to him, “You still call him the cute nicknames?”
He hears Todoroki’s “Oh.” and “Good morning Kirishima.” through the door. Kirishima laughs out loud and brightly says good morning back.
“I should go.” Kirishima moves out of arm and touches his cheek as he says goodbye. His hand’s not soft. Had never been but it’s so gentle and light on his face, Bakugou finds himself craving for it.
“Take care.” Bakugou says but truthfully, he wants to object. Tell him to stay. Katsuki scared of losing him again, but he lets him go.
The red head exits the room with a wave. He hears Todoroki offering Kirishima to drive him home. The doors close.
He’s gone. Again. He can do nothing but trust Kirishima to come back again.
He wakes to a text from a number he hasn’t heard from a long time.
Lunch at 12? Call me when you wake up – Ei.
It’s nice having your own hero agency, even though he’s sharing it with Deku.
It took a while but he’s finally here. A full-time hero. He’s far from number one though. Endeavor still holds that title but he’s finally out of that man’s agency and making a name for himself without being tied to the Todoroki name.
He and Deku took so long to start their agency with all the paperwork and money to actually open one but they finally made one. They named it after All Might. They’re still rookies though. Their agency is barely a household name. None of his batch has made it even close to the top ten that’s why he has to work harder.
Which is why they had to answer the distress call, even if it was a district or two away.
“Sir Kacchan.” Aria calls out to him. She’s in her second year and interning for him. She’s small, like Tsuyu small but she’s an annoying little shit who can manipulate the air that touches her skin into water. She’s finally mastered using her quirk to lift herself up from the ground.
“Fucking keep up!” He yells at her as they fly towards where the call asked for them. “and don’t fucking call me that!”
“Whatever you say Sir!” She yells back at him. Bakugou knows she will call him that again. She reminds him of Uraraka so much that it makes him think she has something to do with how Deku chose their potential interns.
Bakugou swears he has a hero name but fucking Deku had to call him that stupid childish nickname while they were on live television and the whole world just fucking went and used it as if it’s his official hero name. Bakugou swears this is some karma shit.
“It makes you sound more… nice? I think it’s cute.” Mina tried to assure him when they went out for drinks and barbeque one evening with the rest of the ‘bakusquad’, as they would like to call themselves even after graduating.
“Cute! I don’t do cute!” He angrily tells her. Jirou is laughing beside him at his situation. The Earphone Jack hero is still replaying the whole ‘kacchan’ thing to Satou from her phone. Satou grins at him.
“Fucking shut it Sugarman.” He points at him.
“I said nothing.” Rikido smirks unapologetically.
“Your face said it all!”
“I don’t know Kacchan, I think you do have loads of cuteness.” Hanta teases him from across the table and Bakugou feels his temper rising from the embarrassment.
“Yeah, under that ugly face.” Denki continues and the two idiots snicker at him. Bakugou was about to curse when he feels a hand brush his cheek.
“Hey, I still think you’re manly.” Kirishima greets him with a smile. Bakugou rubs his cheek when it suddenly felt tingly from the touch.
“Fucking Shitty Hair.” He grumbles back but Kirishima just smiles wider at him. He looks good. Some time ago, Kirishima had taken a liking to driving around in a motorcycle because it helps him with his mobility as a hero and he still uses it even off-duty which is why he's sporting his black biker jacket instead of his usual bright colored shirts. He grew out his hair. The red locks are still styled in his trademarked spikes, but the back of his hair flows down to his back.
“Ei!!” Mina shrieks as she launches herself to the sturdy hero and Kirishima laughingly spins her around like that one romantic movie Shouto liked to repeat at least once a month.
The group greets him enthusiastically.
“Hey guys!” he greets them back, Mina still clinging around his neck. A neck noticeably thicker than it was last time they met. He’s been working out.
“You’ve seen the news Ei?” asked Denki as Kirishima and Mina settled themselves to the table.
“Yeah, at least it was better than Lord Murder Explosion.” Kirishima takes a bite from Bakugou’s plate and Katsuki can’t do anything about it but glare at him murderously. Kirishima smiles at him apologetically and Bakugou just rolled his eyes and hands him over the tongs to the grill. He cooks Katsuki a piece too.
“It was a good hero name and I stand by my 15-year-old ass making it up.” Katsuki defends himself. “Who wants to be called Kacchan?”
“Chill, it actually works for you.” Kyouka says as she puts pieces of meat in Mina’s plate. “Like your actually approachable.” She comments.
“Oooh.” Mina gushes out like she discovered something. “It’s like you’re one of those ‘I’m a bad boy but I actually have a soft side’ trope. I know some girls dig that. It would do you well in the hero charts.”
Sero laughs at that.
“What the fuck do I care if I’m approachable, it doesn’t matter if I’m the best.” Bakugou says. He hears Kirishima whispering “So manly.” beside him. The group laughs as they remember their high school years.
So yeah, he’s stuck with that stupid nickname Deku gave him when they were like, three years old and he hears it again when he and Aria finally made it to where the commotion is.
“Kacchan!” Yaoyorozu greets him in the scene
"Ponytail." he greets back.
"How's Deku? He's still in the States?” the Creation Hero asks good-heartedly but Bakugou knows she won't be asking about him if it’s something unimportant for the situation he was being called to.
"Yeah, as it turns out. He and Yagi met some trouble there. Enough about the nerd, what's happening?" he urges her to fill him in about the call.
"It's a mess really, we don't know if its coincidental or planned but 3 villain groups are causing public havoc right now, and one of them is the group that call themselves the Equilator."
ah, it was a good thing Deku wasn't here. Nerd doesn't need to get involved with a bunch of fanatics.
"Those fucks wanting to have another All for One successor? What do you mean we don't know if this is a coincidence?"
"It means Tentacole saw them fighting with each other as well."
"Pffft when did villain alliances ever stopped them from killing each other."
"Point taken, Chargebolt and Earphone Jack are already on the scene as well as Ingenium and our Can't Stop Twinkling boy. Tentacole reported that they can handle their situation already but there are still villains sighted west from here."
"I can't believe he gets to be called that while people still can't use my fucking hero name."
"Well you've never called me by my name either so what now Kacchan."
"Hit me where it hurts huh, Ponytail."
"Red Riot and Uravity are on their way too." Yaomomo adds.
"Nice, let's go Aria."
"It's nice to see you again Creati-san"
"You too, don't let him bully you Misty"
"I don't bully her" He yells back at his former classmate.
He flies west through the streets and got there in time to stop a villain almost vaporizing a building in her way. Aria quickly helps evacuate the civilians in the area.
He chases her to the top of an under-construction building
"Kacchan" the villain screeches. He fucking hates that name.
"Oi, what the fuck is this about."
"the world should always have a balance. A yin and yang. Darkness and Light. No one should have that power that he possesses. There should be a next one if he exists. He has to die together with that stolen power of his.” The villain recites.
"Tell me how did you know about One for All"
"it’s a shame really, you would have been a great All For One successor."
Bakugou should've stopped listening. He should have just captured the villain as fast as his compressed explosions could because he didn't notice when another villain shoots a blast in his direction until the last minute.
He feels himself flying but not in the direction he expects to be. He quickly rolled himself just to see Red Riot standing in his place instead and meeting the blast that was supposedly for him. The villain's power sends a force that breaks the ground, it shakes the nearby buildings and it throws Kirishima down the building.
"Eijirou!" Katsuki screams after him but Uravity's voice calls to him for help and he quickly assessed that he must take down the two villains first before he could get to Eijirou.
He moves unthinkingly. He creates a blast to his targets. Ochako quickly restrains them as soon as he pushes them to her but something in his gut feels wrong. His sweat feels chilling against his skin and his heart feels like it's sinking when the image of Eijirou falling comes back to him.
It was just like in his first licensing exam. Just like in l-island. It was a sudden reality check to Bakugou. It's like he hasn't changed at all since high school. He's still fucking weak. He still needs to get his fucking weak ass saved and just fucking up everyone that even try to save him. If he had been stronger if he had been-
He feels soft hands holding his cheeks and blinks to warm brown eyes.
"We got em." Ochako smiles and he feels himself slowly lowered as Ochako releases her quirk.
"Thanks." he tells her as she lifts him up. He sees Hanta and Rikido rounding the villains to be taken to the police.
"You didn't respond when I called you back there." She explains.
"I'm here, Hanta came just in time."
He whips his head to the voice and feel anger boiling when he sees the red head.
He doesn't know what his face looks like when he stomped towards Kirishima but the red headed hero’s smile quickly drops from his face.
Without thinking he pushes Kirishima away in anger but the sturdy hero remains in his spot, looking at Katsuki with bewilderment and concern but annoyance was slipping through his frown.
"What the fuck Katsuki!"
"What were you thinking Ei!“ He digs a finger on Kirishima's chest but was quickly slapped away by the man.
"What the hell Katsuki, are you really fuckin talking about that?!“ Kirishima snarls back at him.
"THAT HIT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MINE!"
"ARE YOU FUCKING HEARING WHAT YOU'RE SAYING RIGHT NOW?" Kirishima puts his hands up in frustration.
"YOU CAN'T JUST JUMP INTO EVERY FUCKING DANGER YOU SEE EIJIROU."
"AND WHAT? DO NOTHING? IM SUPPOSED TO TAKE HITS KATSUKI. IM BUILT FOR THIS, I TRAINED FOR THIS."
"NOT FOR ME YOU DON'T."
"AND HAVE YOU TAKE THAT? I KNOW YOU'RE STRONG KATSUKI BUT BE HONEST YOU CAN’T HANDLE THAT TYPE OF DAMAGE."
“I CANT HAVE YOU DOING SHIT BECAUSE OF ME, I DON'T WANT YOU TO BREAK BECAUSE OF ME!“
and he remembers All Might's frail form revealed to the whole world because he was weak. It was his fault when the villains saw him, picked him from the hundreds of UA students and thought that he'd be the one weak enough to join their side. It was hi-
like a mantra that he kept repeating to himself since the day he was told the truth about All Might's power.
It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault-
"Look at me Katsuki." and Bakugou does. He wasn't aware when he had lowered his eyes nor when Kirishima moved closer to him but he's now in a distance where he can feel the heat of Kirishima's skin.
"Hey, look at me and tell me what you see."
"You're just standing there." Bakugou grunts out.
"Exactly, I'm still standing. Wasn't it you who told me that I'm unbreakable so you better believe in that."
Katsuki vaguely recalls that conversation but he remembers it. Like All Might at the end of Kamino, he's still standing, Kirishima's not broken.
Kirishima looks at him with his red eyes and without a word, opens his arms and Bakugou takes it. It's a bit uncomfortable with all the armor they're wearing but they made it work. Warmth spreads across Bakugou's body and he welcomes it as it filled him with relief.
"Dumbass, it was you who told me you're unbreakable." Bakugou mumbles against Kirishima's skin and he feels the red head smile.
"Yeah but you believed in me."
"Of course I did, You showed me you're strong!"
He feels Kirishima's chest vibrating when he chuckles and it sends a thrill to his body.
"Hey Katsuki, explode me if I do something you don't like."
"What?" he tried to ask but was cut off when he felt lips against his forehead,
then his temple,
then to his cheek.
"Thought you were the gutsy hero" Bakugou pokes at him.
"I am." Kirishima smiles and it's bright and warm and everything Bakugou wants right now.
"Kiss me properly then." Bakugou whispers.
Bakugou can never really get used to the hero life.
He doubts anyone that takes this job seriously could.
He never really knows what trouble he would encounter the next day. Most days just leave him tired that he sympathizes with how his former teacher can spend a day sleeping in his yellow cocoon of a sleeping bag.
And then there were bad days.
Bad days that opens old scars or just plainly reminds them that they're still human after all.
The moment he hears Kirishima took his time after parking his bike, he knows that he's having one of those bad days.
Bakugou moves when Kirishima walks in their living room, shoulder hunched and head down.
"Hey, let me help you with that" Bakugou reaches for Kirishima's jacket to hang it on the rack.
"Thanks Kats" Eijirou gave him a small smile as he let himself be undressed to his shirt and pants. Bakugou leads him to their sofa and lies there with him.
Kirishima buries himself in Bakugou's embrace and presses his face on his chest until he could hear Katsuki's steady beating heart.
They lay there for minutes until Bakugou can feel Kirishima's tears on his shirt. Bakugou hugs him tighter.
"The case I'm working on." Kirishima begins and Katsuki hums in reply.
"When we found out where they were hiding, it was already too late." Kirishima gasped out and Bakugou moves him so that he can hold him closer. Hold him closer so that he wouldn't fall apart.
"He was just a kid, Katsuki. Barely out of high school from the looks of it. How the hell did he get himself in a gang. I couldn't save him. The fight started before we even came, FUCK." Kirishima hugs him tighter and that's all Bakugou can do as he soothes the man lying on him. Kirishima will get through this. He'd pick himself up. He'll pick his broken pieces up and piece himself together. It doesn't hurt that Bakugou is there to make the pain a little lighter.
He's strong. This is his unbreakable hero.