Badd’s eyebrow twitches as he stares at the magazine in his hands.
S-Class Hero, Metal Bat, seen with secret lover?!
Badd’s eyes slowly slide down from the title to the cover page, heart stilling in his chest at the image he’s presented with. He taps his foot against the kitchen tile rapidly, lips pursing as he tries to think up an excuse he’ll inevitably have to give to his sister and the other S-Class heroes because—
Because that’s definitely a picture of him and Garou.
It was taken on the night they went grocery shopping together, and Badd is infuriated for a second; he had enjoyed that night— it was sweet and fun and so normal, he really felt like a real seventeen year old for once. It feels like an injustice to have the privacy of it ripped away from him.
He’s granted a small mercy, however. Garou is unrecognisable in the photo. It’s a close up of them as they were making their way down the street— Garou’s left arm is wrapped around his shoulders, pulling him close in the cool night air, but he has a hood over his head and a face mask. And even then, the entire picture has a blurred effect added, indirectly camouflaging Garou’s visible features— just to focus the view on Badd more.
Badd, who had his hair all messed up and loose from when Garou had run his hands through it earlier that night. Badd, who had been in Garou’s ridiculously oversized hoodie. Badd, his face lit up brilliantly by his smile, a wide and obvious blush riding his cheeks, who had obviously been in the middle of laughing.
His foot stops its perpetual tapping.
He hadn’t meant for anyone apart from Garou to see him like that.
If that hadn’t been indicative enough of their relationship, the photographer had very obviously decided to make sure the view of Badd’s right arm wrapping around Garou’s middle was in shot.
He climbs onto one of the kitchen surfaces, legs swinging anxiously as he flips through the magazine. There’s a whole double spread dedicated to them— detailing public reaction and whatever else the journalist had seen them do. Badd sort of wants to tear this guy to shreds— can’t he have one thing?
Either way. He’s going to have to think up an excuse.
“Yo,” a voice rings out directly in front of Badd, and he jumps. Garou is stood in front of him, an expression of amusement etched onto his face, and Badd belatedly notices that he seems to have a twin copy of the magazine he’d been reading clutched in his hand. “So you saw it too?”
“Jeez— how the fuck do ya walk so quiet?” Bad hisses before confirming that he had, in fact, seen ‘it’, too. “This fucking sucks— I literally can’t even buy groceries with you.”
“I can find this guy easily enough, y’know.” Garou states, stepping close to Badd so he’s standing between his legs. Badd leans his head onto his boyfriend’s chest, exhaling softly. Garou’s hands hover over his shoulders for a second, awkward, before his arms are slowly sliding over Badd’s shoulders and he’s relaxing.
“No point. Another will just replace ‘em.” Bad mumbles, moving his head to rest in the crook of Garou’s neck. “Y’know— ‘s almost midnight. You should sleep.”
“So should you,” Garou counters, but there’s no real heat behind it. Badd only wraps his arms around Garou’s middle tighter. “You seriously worried ‘bout this?”
“I mean,” Badd mumbles, unsure, “I just dunno what to tell Zenko. And the other heroes. ‘N the press, too, cuz they’ll ask fer sure.”
“Technically, apart from Zenko, you don’t gotta tell them shit,” Garou states, causing Badd to snort. He leans back and regards Garou with a curious look, prompting him to continue. “You know— fuck ‘em. Who cares. It’s your life, not theirs.”
“Can’t argue with that,” Badd agrees, smiling, and feels his chest swell at the bright grin he’s met with. Garou always knows how to cheer him up, it seems. “So— what do we tell my sis?”
“Just tell her you have a boyfriend. Doubt she’ll care,” Garou points out, and then, looking to the side in embarrassment, “you don’t have to tell her it’s me, though.”
Badd studies him for a second, noting the well-hidden shame gleaming in his eyes, before sighing. He unwraps his arms from around Garou and reaches his hands up to his boyfriend’s face, turning it so they’re fully facing each other. Gently, he places a kiss against his cheek.
“Now that won’t do,” he whispers fondly, eyelashes brushing against Garou’s cheek softly. He eyes the way Garou’s face reddens significantly and exhales a laugh through his nose. “Y’know Zenko loves ya. Even if she thinks yer my friend right now. I love ya, don’t I? There’s no reason for her not to.”
Garou’s eyes widen and fraction and Badd pauses, realisation washing over him. That’s the first time he’s ever said it, actually— that he loves him. It’s a shock to Badd. He’s thought it so many times it feels as though it hadn’t needed to be conveyed through words. Looking at the stunned face Garou is wearing right now, however, it seems as though he’d been wrong.
“Hey,” Badd whispers, just because he can, “I love you.”
“Okay,” is his response, voice awfully small, and Badd watches his arms unfold from around his shoulders so his hands are sliding over Badd’s chest— clutching at the material there. “Okay, I— I love you, too.”
Badd smiles, and kisses him again. This time on his lips, slotting into place against Garou so naturally it feels like he was made for it. Garou melts against him, hands sliding over his chest and shoulders and neck, and Badd laughs fondly into his lips in response. Right now, it’s just them, in Badd’s modestly sized kitchen and making out against one of the surfaces.
“I love you,” Garou is mumbling, whispering, gasping against Badd’s lips and jaw and neck, and Badd hums in response. He seems desperate, almost, as if he thinks that him letting Badd go now will mean he’ll lose him. “I love you, I love you, I love you so much.”
“Mhm, I know ya do,” Badd chuckles, his cheek pressing into Garou’s hair as he buries his face in Badd’s neck. “I know ya do, dumbass. It’s okay. I love ya too, It’s okay.”
They’ll be okay.