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To say the state of your relationship was unbearable would be the euphemism of the century.

Your thoughts often ran amuck, always hopelessly crawling back to that one despaired curiosity; wondering if he shared the same sentiment about your wishy-washy “friends” status as you did. He probably didn’t. That’s the seemingly unshakable brick wall that would inevitably dead-end your lovesick daydreams, each and every time. Though when his roughed-up hands linger on your skin a millisecond too long, when his steeled stare melts, hard rubies morphing into blazing lava pits, threatening to mar your very heart and soul with their scorching intensity –you’re not exactly certain you’d mind that– that’s when a flicker of something ignites within you. Hope, longing, doubt. Whatever it is, it terrifies you. Because you’re agonizingly aware of what that entails. He’s got you hook, line and sinker, but torturously he refuses to do anything with that. Almost like pulling someone in for a hug then abruptly and without explanation stopping midway, he keeps you at arm’s length. Not too far, not too close. And how that cycle destroyed you.

Katsuki was the type to jump into action and ask questions later. Except a lot of the times when these questions pertain to his own emotions, he didn’t even try to answer them, opting to shove them to the corners of his psyche, collecting dust, steadily accumulating until they become too much to ignore and he (sometimes quite literally) explodes. It’s a vicious loop that he could never break away from, he’d even come to find a sordid comfort in it. His coping mechanism was by no means healthy, far from it, but he’d grown familiar to the toxicity.

Katsuki couldn’t make heads nor tails of his feelings for you. Whenever he impulsively threw himself into the lion’s den that was your affection, caught in the moment, in the glimmer of genuine adoration in your eyes, he never came back the same. A piece of his heart would irreversibly split off and reside in the palm of your hand, he was scared that nothing would be left of it, that he wouldn’t be able to regain his bearings until it was too late. You so effortlessly juggled with his feelings, all with a single smile, it scared him that you had so much power over the fluttery sensation in his chest and yet, in the moment, it felt good. It felt so good to indulge in whatever fucky feeling was messing with his head, to let you hold him in the depths of obscurity with all prying eyes shut and what little words exchanged hushed. It felt so alleviating to feel skin on his own (for once not in battle), gentle, comforting but not coddling. It was unspoken between you that you were both more than friends. You knew it, he knew it. Neither of you ever mentioned it. What neither of you knew, however, was how far the other’s feelings ran.

But as high as your silent love made him feel, he crashed back down into the concrete when he was left to his own devices. Without your intoxicating scent, distracting touches fogging his rationality, Katsuki had all the time in the world to overthink. And overthink he did. His pride picked apart the delicate flowering in his heart, ripping it petal by petal until nothing was left but a garden of beautifully withered leaves, a condemnation to what he considered a weakness.

Katsuki was a taker by every sense of the word. Basking in your wispy adoration, only to brush you aside in favor of focusing on academics once he’d had his fill of your love. It was sickening.

Maybe it was the fact that you hadn’t outright confessed to him, maybe that’s what soothed the overbearing guilt that crawled up his throat whenever he saw that dejected face of yours, the one you made because of him. If your feelings for him ran deep, surely you would have said something by now, at least that’s what he thought. Or more precisely, that’s the excuse his mind conjured up in hopes of easing his conscious, trying to convince himself that self that yes, he washurting you, but at least he wasn’t hurting you that bad. He was infinitely aware that this doesn’t put him in any sort of moral high ground, nor does it justify his actions, but, again, it was a last-ditch effort to relieve his anguish if just by a little bit, even if he knew that excuse was bullshit.    

Surely he knew, there’s no way in hell someone as hawk-eyed as him didn’t notice the tyranny he held over the porcelain pitter-pattering of your heart, didn’t notice the fleeting, love-filled glances you sent his way. This was getting ridiculous, you were starting to believe he was taking some twisted sense of pleasure from your heartache, but he wouldn’t do that, right? He didn’t derive some sick kick out of having you indefinitely under his thumb, at his beck and call… right? A few months ago, you would have answered those uncertainties with a resounding “No!” defending his cruel behavior till the bitter end. But now…

Now you weren’t so sure.

And yet you still found yourself in his dorm, on his bed. It was supposed to be another study gathering, but one thing was glaringly missing. Y’know… the gathering. Kirishima was out training and he hadn’t bothered to invite the rest of his brain-dead, self-proclaimed squad. And that’s how you found yourself alone. With your best friend and secret crush. Just dandy.

Your hands were restless. Pulling at the seams of his blanket, cracking your own fingers, picking up your pencil for a brief moment of concentration, answering one or two questions only to drop it back on the mattress again and fidget some more. Katsuki wasn’t fucking blind, and your unease was ticking him off. Though he surprisingly hadn’t said a thing about it just yet, he was clearly nearing his wit’s end. His silence didn’t prevail for much longer, the meek sigh and not so subtle glance you chanced his way being his tipping point.

What.” It came out as a statement, a demand rather than a question. What was he demanding? He hadn’t thought of that yet, his temperamental limbs already taking the wheel and pressing on the gas without a destination in mind, just being short fused for the sake of it. Was it even his place to be making demands in this situation? Katsuki knew the answer to this one like the back of his hand, a solid no.

“What…?” You really had no idea what Bakugo was expecting with a question like that. He still had the audacity to roll his eyes.

“The hell’s got you so jumpy?”

“It’s nothing…” It was a lot more than nothing, that’s for sure.

“Don’t lie to me, (name). What the fuck is up with you?” Ah, there it is again. That look. His words were as cut-throat as ever, and his mouth was still pulled into that seemingly permanent scowl. But his eyes conveyed something that was whole worlds asunder from his harsh tone. Golden brows furrowed as they usually were, though unusuallyupturned just the slightest bit. You despised that look. It ensured that you’ll forever be caught in his grasp, forever there for him when he never spared you the time of day.

Your lungs constricted by a force of gorgeously wretched agony. Katsuki wasn’t fair when he bared his soul to you like this, it filled you with such fervent euphoria that torrefied its way through your being, singeing your veins with luminous infatuation. And it hurt. Because you knew he’d cage himself right up as soon as the moment of vulnerability perished.

A crystalline sheen permeated your vision. This wasn’t going to end well.  

“I said it’s nothing,” Your voice raised. You hadn’t meant for the words to be as frosty as they came out, but it seemed like your subconscious was utterly done with the tedium of heartbreak he keeps putting you through.

“What is fucking wrong with you? I was literally just asking why you were being so goddamn obnoxious today and then you go and make a big fuckin’ deal out of nothing!”

“Well, maybe I’m just fucking tired of giving you everything I have and getting nothing in return, Katsuki!”

Your chest rose and fell with each scalding breath that entered your lungs. The blood through your veins was pumping. Never had you been confrontational, and your sudden outburst wasn’t exactly welcome to your system. You wanted to vomit. This was not how you wanted things to turn out, you absolutely needed to leave, distance yourself from the emotional strain he was inflicting on you.  

Without taking notice of the panicked glint in the cherry red of his irises, you bolted out of the suddenly claustrophobic room, leaving Katsuki to stare at his agape door before flickering his unfocused attention to your supplies still laying on his bed.

Katsuki erupted time and time again, with you being as patient as a receiving end could ever be. It’s specifically because of your godly patience that he never considered what he would do once you erupted.

With your back sliding down your dorm room door, and little friction stopping your descent, you wondered and maybe even wished he’d call after you, come banging on your door with bristling apologies on the tip of his tongue. However, the jarring reality was very clear to you. You’d decided on that day, with your head buried in your tear-stained pillow, that these were the last tears you’d ever shed on him, that you were going to put him through the same wringing hell he’d put you through.

You were going to ignore Bakugo Katsuki’s existence just like he’d periodically ignored yours.

The following week had been bleak at best and excruciatingly bitter at its worst for the both of you. It was so strange having to adjust to the absence of the other, even if your company more often than not had been a quiet one, it was company nevertheless. The most grueling part though, was your shared friend group. They’d noticed that something was obviously awry, but since neither of you said a thing about it, they decided it would be best if they didn’t either. The awkward dead silences during lunch were still purgatory to behold. But after a few more slow paced days, the sun seemed to shine bright again. For you, that is.

You didn’t realize how much of your schedule revolved around Bakugo until he was completely out of it. How much time you spent with him, dreading him, thinking about him… him, him, him. He’d consumed your thoughts from the first sparks of dawn till the hallows of dusk. You had so much free time now that he was out of the picture, it was crazy. The more time you spent on yourself, on your hobbies, getting to know other classmates outside of your immediate friend circle, the duller the ache in your chest. Until it was but a static buzz. Yet you couldn’t deny that, with time, your fury had mellowed out, leaving behind a cold loneliness you couldn’t elude whenever your aimless stare landed on him, almost like it was drawn to him by muscle memory.

He was the exact opposite.

You’d think the throbbing within him whenever you finally gazed his way then instantaneously looked in the opposite direction would knock come modicum of sense into his stubborn head. But nope. And seeing you thrive without him only cemented what he already knew. He really was no good for you. So much so that it barely took anytime for you to readjust to the lack of him in your life, and not only did you adjust, you were the best he’s ever seen you both mentally and academically. In the first week of you ditching him completely, his bruised ego kept him for reaching out to you, but now, seeing that elated grin on your face –the one that had been gradually dwindling over the past few months– he didn’t want to take your newfound happiness away, he’d figured he’d done you more than enough harm already.

Heart heavy with reluctance, Katsuki made the decision to give up on your relationship. Deciding to wordlessly cheer you on from the sidelines and watch you bloom, flourishing into the person he robbed you of being for a chunk of your life, though whenever your spring hit, it would be without him. Until some day in the future where his pride wasn’t as suffocating, where he could genuinely, wholeheartedly repent his grievances and only hope for your forgiveness.

Kirishima never took Bakugo for a quitter, hell would freeze over before he even thought such a thing. So this was certainly a shock. What was even more shocking – and overwhelmingly concerning– was the fact that Katsuki had willingly, on his own accord confided in him, and he’d, in his own roundabout way, taken accountability for being a gigantic douche to you. As much as the redhead respected his friend’s decision to stay clear of you, he couldn’t help but wish you’d just talk to one another for once. Kirishima really was a saint, having to listen to two idiots ramble about how much they miss the other.

“Listen, man. I know you feel bad and all that, but maybe you should just talk to her? I’m sure she’d like some closure on this just as you do, even if that doesn’t mean things will go back to the way they were.” Eijirou tried to reason, praying to whatever higher being out there that Katsuki would just get the fuck over himself and communicate with you.

Fuck no. That’s not fucking happening, shitty hair,” Kirishima rolled his eyes at the oh so affectionate nickname, thoroughly done with his best friend’s melodrama. Welp, I guess there’s only one thing left to try.He heaved internally, mentally and physically preparing himself for Bakugo’s tantrum.

“Well, you know that if you won’t talk to her, others will, right? I heard some guys saying they’re gonna ask her ou–”

“Shut the fuck up! I don’t give a rat’s ass who asks her out!” He definitely did. Eijirou hid his smile. Checkmate.

“Whatever you say, dude.”

Later that day, three distinctly powerful knocks woke you up. Needless to say, you didn’t think that night would end up with you and Katsuki staring each other down, seated on your bed at one in the morning. Words got stuck in his throat, so he just… noiselessly watched your face, as if trying to telepathically ram his constipated emotions into you, in hopes that you’d make sense of them. Obviously, that didn’t work.

“Did you come banging on my door at one in the morning just to stare at me, Bakugo? I mean I know I’m pretty but still–”

“Shuddup.” Not really the best thing to say to you after weeks of radio silence. You were about to make another salty remark, but he opened his mouth first.

“I fucked up,” The fact that he was acknowledging he was at fault was… something. But that wasn’t nearly enough to pay off the debt off turmoil he’d caused you.

“No shit.” You replied without missing a beat. The ice that tinged your words caught him off guard, but he really shouldn’t have been surprised. He sighed, knowing he’d have to strip himself of everything, including his pride (especially his pride) down to his very core, to have a go at a second chance.

And so, he did.

He poured his everything out for you to observe, without an ego film distorting his words. Syllables reeked of muted agony, he really had rid himself of anything and everything that wasn’t his deepest soul. He finally offered you himself just as you had done countless times before. Katsuki swore that his heart would –and always has been– explicitly yours, he’d roar that fact at the constellations above if you so wished him to. And while it would take a while to heal from coruscating blisters he’d inflicted, you were more than content mending and welting your heart with his.