He didn’t really know what emotion he was feeling right now as he watched Bakugou stomp past Mina, glide through their classroom over to his seat, and snatch up the green tea bottle from its spot on his desk. There was another note stuck to it – probably another little comment about him enjoying the drink, or maybe it was calling him cute again, or maybe it – oh…
It was jealousy.
The emotion that Kirishima was feeling right now was definitely jealousy.
Which was… okay, he kind of understood where it was coming from, but still, he couldn’t really say that he had any right to be jealous. Someone was leaving Bakugou little love notes, but Kirishima was the one he had kissed last night in his dorm room, right? Had it really all been some kind of weird fever dream?
No. Bakugou had kissed him again this morning – a quick peck on the lips that almost, almost, didn’t count, but it was still something. Still something more than the raging red of anger and embarrassment that flushed across Bakugou’s face as he exploded the little note in his hand and stared daggers at the green tea bottle with a concentrated pout.
Kirishima should be doing something right now, he was sure of it. Even if they weren’t boyfriends or in a public relationship or whatever, he had even more of a reason to help Bakugou through this now than he had the day before when they were just best friends, and he was going to help, really. But the moment he decided to step into the classroom was the same moment Mina snagged the sleeve of his uniform and tugged him back out into the hallway.
“Did you talk to Bakugou yet?” She asked, her black eyes darting over to class 1-B’s homeroom. Tsunotori and Yanagi were walking in side-by-side as they spoke, and she had them in her sights with a predatory look.
“O-oh, well…” Shit. Kirishima bit his lip and glanced into the classroom, almost desperately wishing for something to come along and create some kind of diversion for him. Thankfully, it seemed like the universe was finally showing him a small bit of mercy, because it didn’t really look like Mina was waiting for him to answer anyway. For once, it seemed, she did not care about the romantic development of someone else’s relationship.
No, she had far more pressing matters to attend to. “I know who it is.”
Kirishima’s eyes snapped back to attention. His chest tightened in anticipation and he was surprised at how light-headed he suddenly felt. “What?” The word slipped out of his numb mouth.
Mina nodded; her lips set into a tight line. “I know who it is. I saw them sneaking out of our classroom, just a few minutes before Iida and Midoriya and Todoroki arrived this morning.”
Kirishima blinked in surprise. Oh god. Mina knew. Her eyes were brimming with excitement and knowledge. She was practically gnawing away at her bottom lip and her curled fists were shaking by her sides. But she wasn’t saying anything – she wasn’t declaring who it was loud and proud and asking him what he thought they should do about it. She wasn’t racing over to Bakugou to tell him either; her feet remained firmly planted on the ground in front of him.
No, she was holding herself back. Keeping it all in. She was waiting for him to ask. Mina was a good friend, the best friend he could have ever asked for apparently, because she was waiting for confirmation to see if he even wanted to know. She was waiting for him to take the lead on this.
He had one more question to ask.
One more question and then all of this would finally be over.
He shouldn’t be this nervous. His hands shouldn’t be sweating this much. His heart shouldn’t be beating this hard, like it was trying to physically escape from his chest. His throat shouldn’t feel this tight.
Bakugou had kissed him. Bakugou liked him. So it shouldn’t matter who the secret admirer was anymore, right? It shouldn’t bother him to know – he should be excited for this. If not excited, then at least relieved. It was finally over. They could tell Bakugou, and maybe convince him to let his secret admirer down easy (or as easy as the explosive blonde could possibly let anybody down; Kirishima was thankful, and a little guilty, that he didn’t know what that felt like) and everything could go back to normal. Or maybe everything could transform into a new normal; one where Kirishima and Bakugou were together.
He opened his mouth. His breath caught in his throat. Why couldn’t he ask this question? Why was it getting stuck in his throat now? He’d been doing so well lately, asking all the right questions and refusing to let the answers and the fear of the unknown deter him or scare him away. Why was he being so hesitant? Why did it feel like the hallway was spinning? Why –
“What the fuck are you assholes whispering about out here?” Bakugou’s scowl was like a beacon in the middle of the dark sea. Kirishima let out a breath at the sight of it appearing over Mina’s shoulder.
Mina twirled around to face him, a huge grin splitting across her face. She teetered on the balls of her feet, her hands clasped behind her back, and she glanced at Kirishima again, her eyes pleading, waiting for permission.
It was all Kirishima could do to force himself to nod.
Mina raised a hand and tapped an innocent finger on the bottle clenched in Bakugou’s white-knuckled grip. “I know who gave you that,” she said teasingly.
Bakugou’s glare could have cut through glass. “Fucking who?”
The trio jumped in unison at the loud shout that echoed down the hall. Kirishima turned and his stomach tightened a little as Tetsu came tearing out of his own homeroom and beelined it straight for them. Kirishima hardened his arm and held it out, clotheslining Tetsu in the chest just as the other boy turned to steel, bringing him to a very sudden stop beside him.
Tetsu looked at Mina and then leveled Bakugou with a knowing gaze before he turned to Kirishima and grinned, like he knew some big juicy secret and Kirishima was the lucky person he was about to spill it all to. “I gotta tell you something. Something about… something we were talking about last week, do you remember?”
“What the fuck? You’ve been talking about this shit with this idiot too?” Bakugou’s glare was now resolutely and whole-heartedly on Kirishima, who shrank back a little at the intensity of it. Shit. Okay, strike that, maybe there had been two things that he’d forgotten to mention to him last night.
“Oh! So he knows?” Tetsu asked, head cocking to the side curiously.
“Fucking knows what?” Bakugou spit out through clenched teeth, still glaring at Kirishima with a silent expression that definitely meant that they were going to be talking about this later. Great.
“Wait, did you figure it out too?” Mina blurted out, rounding on Tetsu with newfound excitement.
“What the fuck!” Bakugou threw his hands up, growing more furious the longer he was being ignored.
Mina turned to Bakugou at the same time that Tetsu turned to Kirishima.
“I know who your secret admirer is!”
“I know who is crushing on him!”
Bakugou snarled like a dog. It looked like he was barely containing his mounting rage now. “I fucking know Raccoon-eyes, who the fuck is it?”
Tetsu opened his mouth, “It’s – ”
Mina elbowed him hard in the ribs. “Hey! I get to tell them who it was! I figured it all out! This is my detective case!”
Tetsu gaped at her in utter astonishment. “What?! How did you even figure it out at all? She’s in my class!”
Mina glared, her hands finding their way to her hips. “If she had been in my class, I would have figured it out ages ago! It’s not my fault it took you forever!”
“Clearly I wasn’t as invested as you are! C’mon, Kirishima and I have been talking about this for way longer!”
“Nu-uh! Kiri and I have been trying to figure this out since the first incident!”
Bakugou’s hands crackled with explosions and effectively brought their bickering to a sudden end. Kirishima hardened a little in preparation, just in case the blonde decided to really let loose on them all. “If someone doesn’t fucking tell me right this fucking second – “
Mina grabbed him by the shoulders. “It’s Tokage Setsuna!”
“Uuugh!” Tetsu threw his hands up in distress. “Dammit! I was supposed to – “
“Who?” Bakugou’s confusion was barely showing under the dangerous red flush that had crept up the back of his neck and spilled over onto his cheeks and ears. Kirishima would have thought it was cute, if he didn’t feel like he was going to throw up.
“It was Tokage – “
The little clearing of the throat was so quiet, it was a wonder any of them even heard it all, before a deafening silence fell over them. They turned as one, eyes snapping over and landing on a short girl with wavy, moss-green colored hair, who smiled at them as though they hadn’t just been screaming about her in the middle of the hallway.
“It was me,” she waved a little sheepishly, but her resolve never faltered. Her shoulders were straight and confident, and her chin was high as she looked each of them in the eyes. Kirishima forced himself not to look away when she lingered on him a little longer than the others. “I’m sorry to have caused so much trouble,” she tugged at a strand of hair that fell just below her shoulders before she clasped her hands behind her back and leveled Bakugou with a steady look, who instantly stiffened under her gaze.
“Oh,” Bakugou grumbled, “I remember you.” His voice sounded a little uncertain, and a little calmer than usual; like he wasn’t necessarily sure how to regard her. “From the joint training thing.”
“What the hell?” Is all Bakugou responded with, holding up the green tea bottle. Kirishima winced a little at that, as did Mina. He wished they’d had time to prep this and make sure Bakugou didn’t say anything too rude or harsh.
Tokage was… so small. She definitely wasn’t fragile, though. At least, it didn’t seem like she was from the way she merely laughed off Bakugou’s brash declaration with a dismissive little wave of her hand. “Ah, yeah, sorry. It isn’t really my style to do something like that but I was convinced by someone that…” she paused and eyed the three onlookers around her before she squared off her shoulders and stood to her tallest height; a whole 158cm. “Would you mind if we spoke about this after class? Alone, maybe?”
Kirishima looked at Bakugou, who seemed like he was getting ready to barrel through whatever the hell this was about to be in the usual fashion that he pushed through everything else. His red eyes connected with Kirishima’s and stayed there for a moment, searching for something, but Kirishima didn’t know what he was supposed to be giving him. He felt like he was on autopilot right now. Like he wasn’t really a part of this awkward group; huddled around what should have been a private conversation.
Bakugou scowled before he turned his glare back onto Tokage. “Fine.”
“Good.” She nodded again before she tugged on Tetsu’s sleeve. “C’mon, class is going to start soon.”
And just like that, it was over.
Kirishima felt his muscles unclench as he watched Tokage and Tetsu walk back to their own classroom, whispering to each other. From the sheepish look on Tetsu’s face and the awkward hand that he pressed onto the back of his neck, it looked like he was getting scolded for outing her like that. Which, well, Kirishima could understand. He felt a little guilty, honestly. They’d been so caught up in the moment, so caught up in their own investigation and how all of this had been affecting them, that he hadn’t even realized how loudly they’d been shouting until the other girl had interrupted them.
Kirishima looked at Bakugou and he had to really work to steady himself against the sudden wave of surprise that washed over him as he watched the blonde crack open the green tea, take a long sip, and walk back into homeroom like nothing had even happened. Mina caught his eye and they exchanged a bewildered look.
“That… went better than I thought it would,” she breathed. “Differently than I thought it would, but… better?”
Kirishima didn’t really know how he was supposed to feel right now.
Bakugou hadn’t yelled or screamed at her, which was a good thing. He really hadn’t wanted the secret admirer – Tokage – to feel bad or ashamed about anything that had happened over the past few weeks. She was just a girl. A girl with a crush on some boy who she’d never really interacted with before and didn’t really know that much about. It had been a leap of faith on her end, it seemed, and he was thankful that she had been spared Bakugou’s unrelenting rage, which had been known to reduce people to actual tears.
“He drank from the bottle,” Mina said quietly, almost nervously. She bit her lip and glanced at him, as though she expected him to fall apart or something. Like Bakugou drinking from the bottle was a horrible admission of some kind. Was it? But…
“He kissed me last night.” Well… he hadn’t necessarily meant to say that out loud, but what the fuck ever at this point.
Mina blinked in surprise. “He…” her eyes widened, and she smiled a little. “Wait, really? So are you guys… wait…” From the way her face scrunched up, it looked like her mind was working a mile a minute to catch up with all of this new information.
Kirishima shook his head. “I don’t really know.” He answered the questions she hadn’t been able to ask, because really, it didn’t matter. He was back at square one, he was just realizing, because he didn’t know anything.
Sure, he knew who the secret admirer was now, and sure, Bakugou knew about his feelings for him, and sure, he somewhat, tentatively got the gist of how Bakugou felt about him, but honestly, he didn’t know anything at all.
He didn’t know how Bakugou was going to handle his conversation with Tokage later. He didn’t know what he was going to say to her or how they would walk away from the situation afterwards. He didn’t know what it meant that Bakugou had finally drank from the tea bottle, like it was no big deal, like Kirishima hadn’t been standing there watching him do it, like he didn’t have the original tea bottle in his room after he’d refused to accept its existence. He didn’t know what they were, or if Bakugou had changed his mind, or how any of this was going to play out. He didn’t know what he was going to say to Bakugou later, when they inevitably had to talk about all of this, and he didn’t know what he was supposed to say to Mina now, as she stared at him with wide, curious and slightly worried eyes.
He didn’t know, and he didn’t have the time to ask because Aizawa was walking towards their homeroom, looking tired and bored as usual. And as much as Kirishima wanted it to be, now was not the time to try and untangle any of this.
Now, it was simply time for class.
He caught Bakugou staring at him seven times during the course of their morning lessons, uncharacteristically quiet just like the first day the green tea bottle had appeared on his desk two weeks ago. Kirishima didn’t know what that meant. He didn’t know why Bakugou looked so contemplative, all of his features smoothed out and soft-looking, but it was starting to make him sweat, because a small part of his brain was telling him that Bakugou had changed his mind. That somehow, for some reason, Tokage was the better alternative between the two of them. That Bakugou had options now, choices, and that he was trying to come up with the best way to break the news to Kirishima that he was the undesirable pick between the two presented to him.
As the bell rang signaling for lunch, Bakugou was the first one out of his seat.
Kirishima tried to take his time as he packed his notebooks and pencils away, thinking his snail’s pace movements might provide him with some extra time to think. But of course, the universe had other plans for him, as it always seemed to, because Bakugou was already standing in front of his desk, waiting for him. It shouldn’t be a big deal. Bakugou waited for him all the time. They usually walked to lunch together. They were best friends. So why did everything feel so raw right now? Why did every movement feel so magnified – so calculated and precise.
But when Kirishima chanced a glance up at him, Bakugou looked exactly how he always did. His scowl pulled the corners of his lips down, there was a permanent crease on his forehead from the way his eyebrows tugged together, his shoulders were tense but slouched; rough but relaxed. Their eyes caught. One of Bakugou’s brows quirked up.
“The fuck are you stalling for?”
Kirishima’s eyes lowered to the, now painfully empty, green tea bottle hanging loosely from Bakugou’s fingers. Questions poised on his tongue that burned to be asked, but Bakugou moved before Kirishima even had the chance to ask anything.
He sighed loudly as the last few students of their class trickled out into the hallway. Mina hovered in the doorway, looking anxiously between the pair of them, before she hurried to catch up with Kaminari and Sero. She would not be saving him today. Kirishima stiffened when he realized, quite suddenly, that they were alone again. He stiffened even more when he came to the very startling conclusion that Bakugou was loitering behind, yes, but not for him this time. He was waiting for Tokage. Because they were supposed to talk after class. It punched him in the face when Kirishima realized that, for once, he was the one hanging back, unconsciously, waiting for Bakugou, almost afraid to leave him alone. His face burned a little at the thought.
Bakugou clicked his tongue against his teeth, grabbed the back of Kaminari’s chair and pulled it out until it was flush against the front of Kirishima’s desk – where he’d still failed to move from – before he plopped down into it, straddling it backwards, and bonked the empty bottle off of Kirishima’s forehead. “Say something.”
Kirishima’s mouth felt dry. “What are you going to say to Tokage?”
Bakugou snorted. He looked a little amused as he covered the top of the bottle with a hand and placed his chin on top of it, leveling Kirishima with a deadpanned expression. “I’m gonna fucking propose.”
Kirishima blinked. It took him longer than he’d like to admit to understand that Bakugou was fucking with him. His face burned even more, and he looked down at his lap. “Please don’t joke like that right now…”
Bakugou scowled harder. “What the fuck is wrong with you? You were all damn happy this morning.”
Kirishima looked up at him, a little incredulous. He didn’t understand where Bakugou’s nonchalance was coming from. Two weeks ago, when the first tea bottle had appeared, Bakugou had nearly lost his shit, literally. He’d been excused from hero training because he couldn’t keep it together. When the second tea bottle had appeared, Kirishima had listened to him throw up in the toilets while his body overreacted to an onslaught of what was probably intense nerves and overwhelming confusion, not to mention a feeling of extreme vulnerability, considering Kirishima had been there to witness it all happen. He’d been so upset – so embarrassed – so filled with rage and so adamant to dispel any of it and pretend that it wasn’t even happening. So ready to deny and to fight.
So what had changed? Why was he suddenly so calm about all of this? How could he drink from that bottle, knowing who had given it to him and why, when he couldn’t even bare to look at the other ones that had been presented to him? What happened?
“Oi, Kirishima. I asked you a fucking question.” Bakugou was looking at him strangely. He’d lifted his chin up, eyebrows furrowed even further, and his lips were pressed tight together. He looked… concerned?
“I just don’t understand,” Kirishima said, and he had intense déjà vu back to last night. “Why aren’t you freaking out?”
Bakugou’s concerned expression melted back into a hardened scowl once more. “The fuck? Freaking out about what? You’re the one that’s freaking the fuck out. It’s freaking me out.”
Kirishima blinked again and jerked in his seat a little, startled, even more incredulous than before. He was freaking Bakugou out? Bakugou was freaking him out! “You… you found out who your secret admirer is.”
One of Bakugou’s eyebrows quirked up again. “Yeah? That was the whole fucking point of all this stupid bullshit. You guys were the ones that wanted me to fucking figure it out. I wanted to leave it alone!”
“What are you going to say to her?” Kirishima asked again, his chest tightening.
Bakugou’s eyes flashed over his face as he chewed on the inside of his mouth, searching again for something that Kirishima didn’t know how to give him. Suddenly, a little sneer pulled his lip up. “Fuck, you think I’m gonna start dating her or something, don’t you?”
If Kirishima’s face was flushed before, it was nothing compared to how hot it felt now. “I mean… we haven’t really talked about everything and – “ he paused when Bakugou pressed a hand against his face and rubbed tiredly, as if this was a conversation they’d had many times before, which was so incredibly hilarious because Kirishima could have never anticipated having these kinds of discussions with Bakugou just a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago, all Kirishima had wanted to do was have these kinds of in depth talks with Bakugou – to learn more about him, to be closer to him. Now, suddenly, he found himself missing all of their light-hearted chatter and comfortable banter.
Bakugou sighed harshly before he dropped his hand again, pressing the palm hard against the top of his thigh as he leaned so close that his chest nearly rested on Kirishima’s desk. “Kirishima, do you remember what we did last night?”
He didn’t choke – he didn’t – he just hadn’t been expecting that question. “I mean… yeah, obviously.”
“What did we do?”
Kirishima knew his whole body must be bright red at this point. “Well… we kinda… kissed.”
“No. We didn’t just kinda kiss. We fucking made out and you had your hand up my shirt.” The only acknowledgement of the mutual awkwardness of this conversation was that the tips of Bakugou’s ears turned a little pink. “So why the fuck would I start dating someone else the very next damn day? Do you know how little I want any of this to be happening?” Bakugou’s jaw was tight now as he ground his teeth together and kept Kirishima rooted to the spot with the intensity blazing in his eyes. The hand holding the green tea bottle tightened dangerously. “Do you know how messed up I am right now? I feel like I’m fucking losing it. I don’t even want to fucking go to training today, that’s how delirious I am. So I’m gonna need you to get your shit together because you’re supposed to be the one who knows how to deal with all these feelings and bullshit.”
Kirishima looked at him for a long time. Bakugou was tense, yeah, but he was always tense. It was almost imperceivably to see how nervous he was. “Why did you change your mind?”
Bakugou didn’t answer, just gnawed on his cheek and raised an eyebrow for Kirishima to elaborate.
He shifted a little in his seat. “I’m just… a little confused still. Apprehensive, I guess. It doesn’t feel… real? A few weeks ago, you were so against all of this. But now we’re… this, and you aren’t trying to kill Tokage, and I guess I don’t really…” Kirishima huffed a little laugh in spite of everything, resting a hand awkwardly on the back of his neck. “I guess I don’t really know how to handle you when you aren’t raging.”
Bakugou blinked at him, slow and calculating, mind racing behind his bright eyes. He watched Kirishima as though he expected the redhead to be able to read his thoughts and just know everything. As if he were dreading having to open his mouth and actually speak the words that would finally, finally, solidify all of the madness into something more coherent, something that Kirishima could actually wrap his head around.
The past twenty-four hours have felt like Kirishima’s been floating in liquid, suspended between reality and some of his wildest dreams, and he didn’t know what to believe anymore. Nothing made sense and yet everything felt right, which made it even more unsettling how uncertain Kirishima felt in that moment. Like every move he made had to mean something, like everything breath he took or word he spoke had to convey some answer for the millions of questions spiraling around in his head.
A soft, sturdy knock on the door of the classroom made them both jump and finally look away from each other. Tokage stood in the doorway, smiling politely, as though her presence was not both jarring and unfamiliar.
Bakugou sniffed, glaring down at his lap for a second as he teetered on the edge of something, before he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. Kirishima watched in tense silence as he typed in his passcode and tapped around on the screen before he tossed it down onto Kirishima’s desk and slid it in front of him. Without another word, he snatched up the bottle, stood from his seat, gave Kirishima one last stern, meaningful look, and walked away.
Tokage ducked her head a little as he got closer, eyes casting downward as a small blush dusted across her nose, and Kirishima stiffened a little in his seat. He knew what she was feeling, probably. The first few days of knowing Bakugou, Kirishima hadn’t really been able to look him directly in the eyes either. Those red eyes of his were always so intense and purposeful, framed by soft features that hardened into steadfast lines that made him look both angry and attractive at the same time.
The pair of them left in silence, leaving Kirishima alone to stare after them. A part of him wanted to do something incredibly stupid and demeaning, like follow them, because his incessant desire to know was rearing its ugly head again, but one quick glance down at the foreign phone in front of him made his heart stop.
Bakugou had pulled up a text thread.
His text thread with Uraraka.
It was scrolled all the way up to the very top; timestamped two weeks ago – that eventful Thursday that had skyrocketed this entire situation and sent everything careening out of control.
Kirishima felt like he shouldn’t be looking at this. It was a private conversation, on Bakugou’s private phone (which he’d never really looked at before, he suddenly realized; he didn’t even know what Bakugou’s lock screen looked like), but if he hadn’t wanted Kirishima to see it – specifically to read it – then he wouldn’t have left it behind for him, so it must be important, right?
Steeling himself, trying to calm his racing heart and steady his shaking hands, he leaned over the phone, hunching his shoulders up as though to protect himself, and began to read.
It went something like this:
RoundFace: Ok training is done. Srry u missed it today. What did u want to talk about??
Bakugou: It was Kirishima
RoundFace: ?? What was???
Bakugou: The bottle
RoundFace: Wait u think Kirishima likes u???
Bakugou: You don’t?
RoundFace: I mean I guess it kinda makes sense…
RoundFace: But like wouldn’t he know that u’d hate that? He’s pretty considerate of things like that. I don’t think he would do anything that would make someone uncomfortable
Bakugou: You think I don’t fucking know that?
RoundFace: What do u want from me tho?? If u already know it was him why don’t u just talk to him about it?
Bakugou: What the fuck am I even supposed to say to something like that
RoundFace: Idk. Do u like him too??
Bakugou: More than any of you fucking idiots
RoundFace: But that’s also not really what I asked tho? I mean do u like him like that???
RoundFace: Helloooo?? How am I supposed to help u if u keep ignoring me???
Bakugou: Fuck you I’m fucking thinking
RoundFace: Why do u think it was Kirishima?? Like why do u think he likes u like that?
Bakugou: He’s not fucking subtle
RoundFace: Okay fair
RoundFace: U’re not mad at him right???
RoundFace: I think u should talk to him about it
RoundFace: U’re so annoying
Bakugou: Fuck you
RoundFace: Do u want my help or not??? Like u’re so confusing. I don’t mind helping u with this but u could lose the attitude
Bakugou: What if there’s another fucking bottle on my desk tomorrow
RoundFace: There won’t be one if u just TALK TO HIM ABOUT IT TONIGHT
Bakugou: I’m fucking downstairs with everybody I’m not just going to fucking blurt it out
RoundFace: U’re downstairs??? Wow. Did u get dragged there or something??
Bakugou: Fuck off
RoundFace: Oooh Kirishima got u to go down
Bakugou: FUCK OFF!!!
RoundFace: I think u guys would be kinda cute together!
Bakugou: Delete my fucking number right now
RoundFace: R u embarrassed??? Or r u actually angry?
Bakugou: I’m furious
RoundFace: So embarrassed
RoundFace: I can get up early tmrrw and try to talk to him before he brings another bottle if it even is him
Bakugou: It’s him
RoundFace: R u certain that it is or r u hoping that it is??
Bakugou: GET FUCKING FUCKED YOU FUCKING DEGENERATE
RoundFace: Ugh u’re so annoying!!!
RoundFace: Where did u go???
RoundFace: I didn’t see anybody else when I got here earlier just the bottle so u can stop freaking out now!!!
Bakugou: It was Kirishima
RoundFace: ??? Did he tell u that himself??
Bakugou: No you fucking idiot
RoundFace: Ugh! Don’t call me that!!
RoundFace: How do u know then??
RoundFace: Did he say something to u in the bathroom???
Bakugou: He was fucking talking about how it was a good thing to have a secret admirer or whatever the fuck and he was fucking looking all stupid
RoundFace: Looking stupid?? What does that mean???
Bakugou: His stupid fucking face was all soft and shit
RoundFace: R u trying to say he looked happy??
Bakugou: No fucker I know what fucking happy is I’m not a fucking moron he looked
Bakugou: I don’t fucking know!! It was him!!!
RoundFace: I think maybe u’re freaking out a little bit too much about this
Bakugou: I’m not freaking out I’m fucking pissed!!
RoundFace: But like why?? Does it make u uncomfortable that he likes u?? Cause I can understand that u know. That’s not like a totally outlandish thing to be feeling especially if u don’t like him back
Bakugou: I’m not fucking uncomfortable
Bakugou: It’s Kirishima
RoundFace: Aww! That’s sweet Bakugou! :) U’re right tho it’s hard to be uncomfortable around him. He’s so warm!
Bakugou: SHUT THE FUCKING SHIT UP
RoundFace: Why are u so pissed then???
Bakugou: Why wouldn’t he just fucking say it to my fucking face
RoundFace: Is this like a trick question??
Bakugou: FUCKING WHY WOULD I ASK A FUCKING QUESTION IF I DIDN’T FUCKING MEAN IT
RoundFace: Well u’re kind of scary sometimes u know and u’ve never rlly showed any interest in anything like this. I’m sure he’s probably worried that if he tells u that u’ll like explodokill his face or whatever and then never talk to him again
Bakugou: He can withstand my howitzer
RoundFace: OMG BAKUGOU THAT’S NOT THE POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE!!
RoundFace: Is that rlly all u got out of everything I just said??
RoundFace: How are you so smart AND so stupid????
Bakugou: I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU!!!
RoundFace: See???? Why would he tell u to ur face when u would probably just scream at him??
RoundFace: R u dead???
Bakugou: I wouldn’t fucking scream at him
RoundFace: Ok but he doesn’t know that
RoundFace: It’s hard having a crush on someone u know especially a close friend
RoundFace: Or well ok maybe U wouldn’t know but it is
RoundFace: Trust me
Bakugou: Yeah I know you’re fucking crushing on shitty Deku for some fucking reason
RoundFace: How did u know that????
Bakugou: You’re not fucking subtle either you goddamn idiot you’re just as fucking obvious about it as dumbass is
RoundFace: That’s so embarrassing
Bakugou: Yeah it is
RoundFace: Shut up u’re such a jerk!
RoundFace: I don’t have to help u u know
Bakugou: You’re not even fucking helping me at all
RoundFace: I’m talking u thru everything that’s helping!
Bakugou: NO IT FUCKING ISN’T
RoundFace: What do u want from me???
RoundFace: Like what r u hoping that I can do??
Bakugou: I want you to fucking tell me what to do to make all of this go away
RoundFace: Why do u want it to go away so bad??
RoundFace: U have like three options here
RoundFace: If u don’t like Kirishima like that then u should talk to him about it and tell him that u just want to be friends. Kirishima is a tough guy and he will get over it and he’ll probably still want to be ur friend even if u don’t like him like that because he’s so nice and he would probably rather still keep u as a friend than lose u all together
RoundFace: If u want all of the tea bottle stuff to stop happening then u need to talk to him about it because he will probably keep doing it if u don’t say anything about it because he probably doesn’t think u’re getting the message or something
RoundFace: And if u don’t like him like that and u rlly just want everything to go away including his friendship then u still need to talk to him and let him down GENTLY and tell him that u’re uncomfortable and u don’t want to spend as much time with him anymore
RoundFace: But like u still need to TALK TO HIM because otherwise everything will just stay the same as it is
RoundFace: Did u finally block me???
Bakugou: He’s fucking avoiding me
RoundFace: Why?? What did u do?
Bakugou: FUCKING NOTHING!!
RoundFace: Ok well idk I don’t rlly believe that??
Bakugou: Come to my fucking room
Bakugou: WTF! WHY THE FUCK WOULD I TELL YOU TO AND THEN NOT BE FUCKING SERIOUS ABOUT IT
Bakugou: He wants to hang out this weekend
RoundFace: Ok well that’s good u can talk to him then
Bakugou: Now he’s not fucking answering me
RoundFace: Well he’s probably a little put off after you YELLED AT HIM today
Bakugou: I DIDN’T FUCKING YELL AT HIM FUCK WE TALKED ABOUT THIS
RoundFace: U’re exhausting to talk to
Bakugou: FUCK YOU!!!
Bakugou: He’s fucking got raccoon eyes in his room now
RoundFace: Ok?? They’re pretty good friends
Bakugou: He always fucking hangs out on Friday night
RoundFace: Wait r u jealous??
Bakugou: FUCKING NO
RoundFace: Omg u’re jealous of ASHIDO??
Bakugou: FUCK YOU I AM NOT
RoundFace: Can u please talk to him tmrrw?
Bakugou: Why the fuck should I? He’s not even answering my texts
RoundFace: Because u always answer his right????
RoundFace: U do see the irony don’t u??
Bakugou: Fuck off
RoundFace: Why don’t u go sparring with him or something? He likes sparring with u
Bakugou: And fucking say what
RoundFace: Omg u’re so dumb!!!
RoundFace: Tell him u aren’t mad at him
RoundFace: Because u aren’t right??
RoundFace: Ok then just tell him that
Bakugou: Fucking and then what??
RoundFace: Omg Bakugou!! Just hang out with him!!! If u keep making everything weird then everything is going to stay weird
Bakugou: I’m not fucking making anything weird he’s the one leaving me fucking bottles and shit
RoundFace: Oh no ur friend did something nice for u
RoundFace: Alert the hero network. Bring in the pros
Bakugou: I fucking hate you
RoundFace: I can’t believe I have to walk u thru all of this
RoundFace: Just go sparring with him and tell him u aren’t mad at him and he’ll probably be so happy that everything is ok between u guys that he’ll take the lead and make everything feel normal again
RoundFace: Hellooo? R u going to do that or not??
Bakugou: Fucking fine
RoundFace: Finally. Tell me how it goes
Bakugou: She was in his fucking bed this morning
RoundFace: ??? Who was??
Bakugou: Fucking raccoon eyes!
RoundFace: Oh u’re jealous again
Bakugou: I AM NOT
RoundFace: Where r u?? Why r u up?
Bakugou: I’m fucking going to the gym to spar like u fucking said to
RoundFace: Omg it’s so early WHY?!?!?
Bakugou: WTF WHEN THE FUCK ELSE WAS I SUPPOSED TO
RoundFace: U’re so weird omg idk why Kirishima likes u
Bakugou: Fuck off
RoundFace: U guys r actually rlly cute together the more that I look at u two! :)
RoundFace: How did it go today?
Bakugou: Fucking weird
RoundFace: Like u made it weird???
Bakugou: Fucking NO
Bakugou: Him and fucking raccoon eyes are sneaking out tomorrow night
RoundFace: What?? Why???
Bakugou: Fucking to catch the secret admirer in the act or something
RoundFace: What???? I thought u said it was Kirishima
Bakugou: IT FUCKING IS
RoundFace: Ok but then why would Kirishima go with Ashido to catch the secret admirer if he is the secret admirer???
Bakugou: I don’t fucking know
RoundFace: I’m confused
Bakugou: FUCKING SO AM I
RoundFace: R u SURE it’s Kirishima???
Bakugou: Fucking yes who the fuck else would it fucking be
RoundFace: Idk it could be someone else u’re kind of cute sometimes when u aren’t going nuts
Bakugou: WHAT THE SHIT
RoundFace: Omg! I don’t like u chill out! Ppl can think other ppl r cute without liking them u know
Bakugou: I’m not fucking cute
Bakugou: I’M FUCKING NOT
RoundFace: I still don’t understand the whole sneaking out thing tho
Bakugou: He probably fucking hasn’t told raccoon eyes that it was him
RoundFace: Maybe yeah
RoundFace: It would definitely be her idea to do this and he probably panicked when she asked him to go with her so he just agreed to go with her so he wouldn’t look suspicious
RoundFace: That’s smart
RoundFace: R we done talking???
Bakugou: I’m going with them
RoundFace: Oh god
Bakugou: What the fuck else am I supposed to do
RoundFace: U’re frustrated
Bakugou: FUCKING YEAH I AM
Bakugou: I JUST FUCKING WANT THINGS TO GO BACK TO FUCKING NORMAL
RoundFace: What is happening that isn’t normal besides the tea bottles tho???
RoundFace: U keep saying he’s making things weird but what he is doing that’s making everything so weird for u?? He doesn’t seem like he’s acting any differently at least not that I can see
RoundFace: UUUGH HELLOOOO??????
Bakugou: He just fucking is
Bakugou: He fucking looks different
RoundFace: ??? No he doesn’t??
Bakugou: FUCK YOU YES HE DOES
Bakugou: His hair is fucking different or something
Bakugou: Cause I fucking notice it so it has to be different why else would I fucking notice shit that I didn’t notice before unless it was fucking different
RoundFace: U’re so dumb
Bakugou: WHAT THE SHIT
RoundFace: U like him too!
Bakugou: WHAT THE FUCKING SHIT NO I FUCKING DON’T!!!!
RoundFace: Yeah u do u just didn’t know that u did
RoundFace: Omg u’re so so dumb
RoundFace: I am shooketh
Bakugou: WHAT THE SHIT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN
Bakugou: I DON’T FUCKING LIKE HIM
RoundFace: Why not??
Bakugou: WHAT THE FUCK
RoundFace: I’m being serious tho
RoundFace: U guys get along really well and u actually like spending time with him right?? He’s really sweet and doesn’t mind all ur yelling and stuff and u guys make a rlly good team when u’re sparring and everything
RoundFace: Do u think he’s cute???
Bakugou: HOLY FUCKING SHIT STOP TEXTING ME
RoundFace: U THINK HE’S CUTE!!!!
Bakugou: FUCKING NO I FUCKING DON’T
Bakugou: THIS IS SO FUCKING STUPID
RoundFace: He IS rlly cute Bakugou! It’s just a fact. Like his hair is rlly nice and he has such a pretty smile and the scar over his eye is sooo adorable!
Bakugou: FUCKING WHAT THE FUCK I THOUGHT YOU FUCKING LIKED SHITTY DEKU
RoundFace: Ppl can think other people are cute and not like them!!
Bakugou: So then I don’t fucking like him
RoundFace: But then u think he’s cute???
Bakugou: Oh my fucking god
RoundFace: That’s so sweet!
Bakugou: SHUT THE FUCK UP
RoundFace: Bakugou it’s not a BAD thing
RoundFace: You don’t look stupid or anything for thinking he’s cute! If anything it makes u look better because now I know u actually have a heart lol
RoundFace: Omg stop freaking out!!
Bakugou: I’M NOT FREAKING OUT
RoundFace: U’re so freaking out!!!
RoundFace: Would u relax for just like one hour please???
RoundFace: Why don’t u tell him???
RoundFace: Where r u??
Bakugou: It’s fucking weird again
RoundFace: What is??
Bakugou: He left a fucking note on my fucking forehead this morning
RoundFace: ??? I’m so lost u disappeared for like a whole day
RoundFace: Can u just walk me thru whatever u’re thinking right now because I’m not a mind reader and u’re so difficult to understand
RoundFace: U asked for my help kinda and I want to help u so like??
RoundFace: EARTH TO BAKUGOU!!!!
Bakugou: I fucking liked shit the way things were before all this fucking shit happened
Bakugou: This is so fucking goddamn annoying
RoundFace: Why is it so bad tho??
Bakugou: It’s fucking distracting
RoundFace: But doesn’t it make u feel good???
RoundFace: Like doesn’t it feel nice to look at him and know that someone likes u for who u r???
RoundFace: U think it’s weak or something don’t u
RoundFace: U’re so annoying!!
RoundFace: IT’S NOT WEAK!!!
RoundFace: It would probably make u of all people stronger even
Bakugou: Fucking how
RoundFace: Because it would give u motivation! U’d have someone to work hard for to impress and fight for and all of that
RoundFace: And it rlly wouldn’t be that different from how u guys r now honestly
RoundFace: Well like u guys would still go to class and train together and u’d still be on the path to becoming heroes and u’ll probably still do the same things u’ve always done together just as a couple instead of as friends. It’s not like anything momentous would change
Bakugou: He would expect shit from me
RoundFace: ??? What do u mean?
Bakugou: Like lovey fucking shit
RoundFace: Hmm I rlly don’t think so??
RoundFace: He’d probably just like want u to hold his hand and kiss him and stuff
Bakugou: FUCKING THAT’S LOVEY SHIT
RoundFace: Wait so u don’t want to kiss him???
Bakugou: WHAT THE SHIT FUCK OFF
RoundFace: Do u rlly not see how little of an argument u have here?? Like u r literally not making any valid points at all
RoundFace: R u afraid that u’ll mess it up or something?
RoundFace: Bakugou… :/
RoundFace: U wouldn’t mess it up!!
Bakugou: Fucking how do you fucking know I don’t fucking know anything about this fucking shit
RoundFace: Because the fact that u’re even worried about messing anything up in the first place shows that u would work rlly hard NOT to mess it up and as long as u’re putting in the effort there’s nothing to mess up! It’s rlly not as hard as u’re thinking it is. Relationships r supposed to be relaxing and make u feel good it’s not like it would be torture
Bakugou: It would fuck up our friendship
RoundFace: It rlly wouldn’t…
RoundFace: I think u should tell him how u feel
Bakugou: FUCKING I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW I FUCKING FEEL
RoundFace: Yes u do!! If u weren’t being so stubborn about this it would be so easy for u to understand!!
RoundFace: It’s okay for u to be feeling like this!! U guys r rlly close and I think u would be rlly good together and it’s probably scary for u because u’ve obviously never dealt with anything like this before but Kirishima is a rlly patient and understanding guy! He would never do anything that u wouldn’t want!
RoundFace: And also this whole thing is rlly exhausting. Don’t u want it to be over?? If u just take the leap and get the initial talk over with then things can settle back down again I PROMISE!
Bakugou: I don’t even fucking know how to do something like that
RoundFace: U’re smart Bakugou u’ll figure it out. Just find a time to talk to him. If u told Kirishima all of this and told him that u’re afraid of messing things up then he would understand! He’s probably scared of messing things up to!!
RoundFace: U both care about each other and u’re both strong so I rlly rlly RLLY don’t think it’ll be horrible and traumatizing like u think it will be
RoundFace: Yay!! I’ll be rooting for u! :) Good luck!!!
Bakugou: Shut up
RoundFace: So rude
RoundFace: !!! Did u talk to him??? How did it go? :)
RoundFace: I didn’t hear u explode anything so it can’t have been that bad LOL!
Bakugou: It went fine
RoundFace: Come oooon I helped u thru all of that and I don’t even get to know any details!?! :(
Bakugou: We fucking talked in my room and he told me he fucking liked me which I already fucking knew
RoundFace: Did u kiss him????
Bakugou: FUCK OFF
RoundFace: OMG AWWW U KISSED HIM!!!!
RoundFace: I can’t believe I care so much about ur love life lol but that is rlly cute!
Bakugou: I hate you
RoundFace: :) I’m glad things worked out for u Bakugou!
RoundFace: R u guys dating now???
RoundFace: Wait what???
RoundFace: Why not :(
Bakugou: It’s too much
Bakugou: We’re just fucking taking it easy
RoundFace: Ok ok I understand. That’s probably good! It’s still rlly new probably for both of u so it’s okay to go slow about things
Bakugou: He wasn’t the fucking admirer
RoundFace: Wait who is then????
Bakugou: I don’t fucking know obviously
RoundFace: Oh no
RoundFace: Kirishima is probably rlly upset by all of this then
Bakugou: What the fuck does that mean
RoundFace: Well someone has been leaving you little bottles and notes and stuff right in front of him and he has had to watch it all happen and pretend not to care
RoundFace: He didn’t say anything about it to u???
Bakugou: Fucking no
RoundFace: What r u going to do?
Bakugou: I don’t fucking know
RoundFace: Can I say what I think u should do??
Bakugou: Fucking finally
Bakugou: Hurry the fuck up before I pass out
RoundFace: I think u should try to show Kirishima that u care about him even if u aren’t officially dating or anything. Like obviously don’t do anything u don’t want to do but if u can hold his hand or do small things just do them for his sake. I know it’ll probably be awkward at first and u don’t want to go too fast or anything and I get that and I won’t tell anyone but he’s probably kind of sensitive right now so when it finally comes out who the secret admirer is just make sure u’re there for him ok?
RoundFace: I rlly am happy for u guys!
Bakugou: Shut the fuck up already
RoundFace: LOL u’re so weird
And that was it.
Kirishima stared at the last few text messages until the phone screen went black, and then he stared at his own tiny reflection for a little bit longer. He tried to process everything he’d just read.
Bakugou had always known about the way Kirishima’s felt about him. Which, okay, he supposed maybe he hadn’t really been as nonchalant and careful about everything as he thought he had been. But Bakugou also hadn’t pushed him away or refuted any of his efforts, even back then. And reading this, seeing it all play out before his own eyes… it was easier to understand how they’d gone from Bakugou puking in the bathroom to them kissing in the middle of his dorm room. It made sense now.
The uncertainty and unknowing that had been gripping at Kirishima’s insides loosened and dissipated. He let his shoulders slump and he finally took in a breath that actually filled his lungs for the first time in what felt like years.
Bakugou liked him. He definitely wasn’t happy about it, considering how much he despised things like this, but there was no doubt about it anymore. Bakugou liked him. And Kirishima liked him. They liked each other. They’d kissed. And they were still friends. Everything was fine.
Kirishima glanced towards the doorway. Bakugou was out there somewhere, probably in some empty hallway or classroom somewhere with Tokage, and he was probably letting her down. Was he telling her that he already liked somebody else? Kirishima didn’t know, he probably would never know what they talked about, but somehow that thought didn’t make him ache anymore.
They liked each other. And here he was, moping about it.
Why was he moping about it?
A little smile tugged at the corners of his mouth before he could hold it back.
They liked each other! Oh god, Bakugou really liked him!
He grabbed up Bakugou’s phone and his bag and sprang to his feet before he hurried out of the room, smiling so wide that his cheeks were already starting to hurt. It played in his head like a mantra, echoing back at him with every step he took. He likes me, he likes me, he likes me. Last night wasn’t just a fluke, or a lapse in judgement, or whatever he’d been so worried about it being.
Bakugou was struggling with this, the emotions and the daunting reality of it was probably harder for him to handle than it was for Kirishima, but he was willing to give it a try – to give them a try. He was willing to put in the effort, for him. He was scared of screwing things up, just like he was. They were in this together.
With every new thought that popped into his head, his mood felt more elated. The weight on his shoulders grew lighter and lighter. It was finally over. And yet, it was just starting, really. He had all the time in the world with Bakugou now, as long as the other boy wanted him too. They would figure everything out, one step at a time, side-by-side, just like they always had.
He turned the corner and slowed when he saw Bakugou leaning against the wall a few meters away from the Lunch Rush entrance. In his pale hands, he held two to-go boxes, and Kirishima’s heart soared.
There he was. Bakugou Katsuki, waiting for him with a boxed lunch and a familiar scowl.
Kirishima beamed at him when Bakugou’s eyes finally slid over to him as he drew closer. “How did it go?” He asked and he couldn’t do much to stifle the excitement in his voice.
Bakugou cocked an eyebrow, his cheeks tinting pink. “You’re in a fucking better mood.” He shoved one of the boxes into Kirishima’s chest when he came to a stop in front of him, grumbling something about it being his favorite. “It went fine. She fucking understood or whatever.”
“What’d you say?” Kirishima was still grinning as he opened the box to peer inside. It was indeed his favorite. He hadn’t even known that Bakugou knew what his favorite Lunch Rush order was until that moment. It made his chest feel warm and tingly.
“Told her I already had an idiot so I couldn’t adopt another.” Bakugou snorted.
Kirishima laughed, a genuine laugh, and it felt so good coming out of him. Bakugou smirked at him, obviously pleased with himself, before he pushed away from the wall and turned his back towards the cafeteria entrance. He held out his hand.
“Oh, right,” Kirishima closed the to-go box and reached into his pocket to take Bakugou’s phone out and give it back to him.
Bakugou stared at the phone in his hand as if he’d never seen it before. He huffed out a laugh, ears tinging a darker red, before he rolled his eyes and shoved his phone into his back pocket. He held out his hand again.
Kirishima stared at it, a little dumb founded, before he caught eyes with him.
Bakugou looked exasperated. “Fucking shit you idiot are you going to hold my damn hand or not?”
Kirishima started in surprise before a timid smile grew on his lips. “Yeah?”
Bakugou wiped his hand on his pant leg before he held it out again more aggressively, face burning, his chin jutting out like a challenge. Whether it was directed at Kirishima or himself was still up for debate. Kirishima bit his lip to keep from smiling too much like an idiot before he slowly intertwined their fingers together.
It was exactly how he thought it would be. He could feel the callouses on Bakugou’s palm against his own. There was a thin layer of sweat despite the fact that he’d just attempted to wipe it away but Kirishima found, much like he’d originally thought, that he didn’t really care. He squeezed the blonde’s hand, who stuck his tongue into his cheek like he was fighting either not to smile or resisting the urge to run away, before he squeezed back, maybe a little too hard.
“You good?” Kirishima asked through a beaming smile.
Bakugou studied his face before the left side of his mouth ticked up into a little smile of his own. “Fucking great.”
Kirishima laughed, maybe a little too giddily, before he followed the other boy away to eat outside.
They’d been together for two months now.
Kirishima still couldn’t really believe it.
He glanced up from his food and looked at the blonde sitting next to him, who was far too engrossed in an argument with Kaminari to notice. Or maybe he did notice, since he pressed their thighs together and slid his foot around Kirishima’s own so that their ankles were touching under the table. Kirishima tried not to smile too dumbly as he shoveled rice into his mouth.
They still hadn’t really told anybody. The only people who knew were Uraraka, Mina, Todoroki (of all people, the sneaky bastard), and maybe Sero, though he had yet to say anything to either of them about it. Still, the way he stared at them sometimes made Kirishima think that he at least had an idea that something was going on.
Uraraka had been right. Not much really changed between them over these past two months. Which was more of a relief than anything else.
Bakugou still waited for him every morning so they could walk to class together, except now he waited outside Kirishima’s door instead of in the common area so that he could peck him on the lips. His cheeks still flushed every time and Kirishima didn’t think he’d ever get over seeing him like that.
They still went to classes, except now sometimes Kirishima would find Bakugou staring at him and they’d share a little smile and it would make Kirishima’s insides dissolve into truly embarrassing goo.
They still trained after class together, except now Bakugou got incredibly flustered whenever Kirishima complimented him or squeezed his bicep or pinched his cheek, which just made Kirishima want to do it even more.
They still studied together, except now sometimes Kirishima would find himself openly staring, and Bakugou would always catch him and they’d look at each other before one of them finally leaned in and they’d kiss in the privacy of their dorms.
Kirishima still tried to convince Bakugou to hang out with the rest of their classmates, except now Bakugou seemed to resist less and less, groaning and rolling his eyes any time Kirishima flashed a pleading look that he knew Bakugou couldn’t say no to.
It’d been two months since they got together and true, not much had changed. And yet, everything seemed to be different now. Better. Closer. Warmer. Lighter.
Bakugou glanced at him out of the corner of his eye when Kaminari turned to grab Tokoyami’s attention and he sent Kirishima a little wink that had Kirishima blushing and looking down at his food and biting his lip to keep from smiling too stupidly. Mina saw the whole exchange, but she pretended that she didn’t.
When lunch was over, they gathered up their trays and threw away their leftovers before marching back to class. Bakugou’s knuckles brushed against his and Kirishima turned his smile towards Sero and pretended to have been paying attention to whatever he was saying. The air around them felt light and charged with electricity as they gathered back into their classroom. Or maybe that was just Kirishima.
He came to a surprised stop when he registered that something was off.
There, sitting innocently on the top of his desk, was an unopened packet of meat sticks with a little note on it. His heart leapt into his throat as Kaminari groaned loudly from beside him.
“Are you kidding me! Another one! Why isn’t anyone crushing on ME?!”
Kirishima’s hand moved on its own as he plucked the note from the little snack package and held it up to read it.
Kirishima felt the smile slowly take over his face until he knew he had the world’s most obnoxious shit-eating grin. He looked over at Bakugou’s desk, who was pretending to be interested in his notebook, despite his own broad smirk and the little dusting of color on his cheeks.
“Looks like someone’s got a secret admirer,” Mina crooned with a wink.
Kirishima’s cheeks blazed as he sat down in his seat. “I guess I do,” he replied happily.
Bakugou snorted from somewhere on the other side of the room.