There’s no intense build-up, no fathomable reason, no nothing.
It’s just the sparks that run across his skin whenever he catches purple eyes fixed on him or sees that smirk soften at the corners to form a genuine smile. It’s the way his core tingles with static whenever Shinsou laughs at any of his jokes no matter how lame they may be.
Denki’s already been through his bicurious phase. He can look at good-looking dudes and say they're attractive but he’s never developed a crush on one. That led him to safely (and foolishly as his future self would soon realize) conclude he was straight, stall all related thought processes and promptly stow them away into a mental file never to be opened again.
And now after more than a year later, it’s like his brain decided to suddenly boot up again and start running all programs full speed ahead, leaving Denki to chase after them with unsteady steps, a rapidly beating heart and the realization that maybe he does like guys. Or just one guy in particular.
There’s the normal giddiness and blushing that happens with all people when they like someone. But in Denki’s case it’s accompanied by the buzzing of electrons as electricity lets loose from his body in small jolts. Mina decided to call them ‘love sparks’ when Denki went to her for advice and the name just stuck.
The first time his sparks make an appearance, he’s sitting on the common room floor with a cable in his mouth connected to a portable battery, trying to make sense of his arithmetic homework. Shinsou on the other hand is stretched across the green monstrosity they call a couch, his back supported by the armrest and is nursing a cup of coffee with one hand while the other hand is busy playing some game on his phone.
Denki’s too stuck on which formula to use to be completely aware of Shinsou’s presence until he hears a loud beep quickly followed by a muttered curse. It’s when Shinsou accidentally nudges him with a leg in the process of getting up that Denki recognizes the beep as the sound indicating low battery.
“Yo, you got your charger with you?” Denki asks and immediately presents an open palm like it's a reflex for him. Which it probably is at this point with the amount of times he’s charged people’s phones.
As soon as the charger is dropped into his hand, he puts the USB end into his mouth with zero hesitation. He knows for a fact that it isn’t dirty because Shinsou is part of the Bakusquad and keeping your chargers clean is the seventh rule of the official Bakusquad Rulebook™.
All chargers have a distinct taste to them. He doesn’t know why and just shrugs it off as a quirk thing. Kiri’s cable tastes salty, Bakugou’s is cavity-inducing sweet, Mina’s is spicy but nothing he can’t handle, Jirou’s tastes kinda like marshmallows and Sero’s is just weed without any of the after-effects.
Shinsou’s wire tastes tangy, like Iida’s premium orange juice that mysteriously disappears from the fridge sometimes. It overpowers the battery’s stale taste and Denki absentmindedly swirls his tongue around it. He looks back at the math worksheet spread in front of him and promptly decides that it can wait. His brain’s tired and the assignment isn’t due for a week anyways.
He joins Shinsou on the couch, pushing his legs off to make space for himself and planting his chin on Shinsou’s shoulder. Shinsou pauses his game in the middle of tossing a ball to a virtual kitty in order to poke his cheek. Denki takes the hint and rests his cheek on Shinsou’s shoulder in place of his chin.
It feels oddly intimate. Maybe due to the dim lighting of the room or maybe due to them being the only ones there right now. Usually there are four of them but Todoroki had been herded away by Midoriya earlier and Tokoyami was last seen perched in a tree reading a book using a flashlight and saying something about embracing his natural instincts.
But somewhere deep within the recesses of his mind, Denki knows it’s because he’s at the very least attracted to Shinsou if nothing more.
Shinsou takes a sip of coffee, places the cup on the table and brings his now empty hand to pat Denki’s head. “I can literally feel the gears turning in your head. Whatever it is, don’t worry about it so much.” Shinsou ruffles his hair one more time before picking up his coffee cup again.
Denki feels a tell-tale tingle down his spine as electric current builds up in his body and a few stray sparks dance across his skin. His face heats up and Denki’s so glad the room is dim because he doesn’t have to worry about Shinsou seeing his blush.
He’s pretty sure Shinsou’s felt a shock of static but he doesn’t say anything so Denki doesn’t mention it either. He nuzzles further into Shinsou’s shoulder and blames his sudden lack of quirk control on not getting enough sleep for the past two days.
Denki twirls a pencil between his fingers as he stares at the back of Shinsou’s head. His hair more specifically, as he wonders whether or not Shinsou’s already poofy hair would get poofier when zapped.
His attention shifts to Kirishima who’s sitting opposite Shinsou at the foldable table in the middle of the room, when Shinsou helps the redhead with a numerical. But apparently neither of them are able to solve it because Bakugou gets up from his desk, explains something to them and goes back up again.
He tries to focus on his chemistry textbook again and is almost immediately distracted by Mina who has fallen off of the bed with an undignified plop. Sero, who’s sitting cross-legged at the head of the bed just sighs in disappointment while Jirou actually lends her a hand and helps her back up again.
Then his attention is back to Shinsou for the rest of their squad study session.
Denki groans in disappointment as he stares at his notebook. He had barely been able to complete three mole concept numericals in an hour. ADHD is such a pain in the ass. At least he has half an hour more with Bakugou. Maybe he’ll be able to focus better now that his main source of distraction isn’t here.
He and Mina are now seated on one side of the foldable table. Bakugou’s sitting on the other side in his usual slumped posture as he sets down a stack of colour-coded flashcards in the middle of the table.
“Fucking confess to the bastard already.” Bakugou grunts out.
“Wh-what are you talking about ahahaha?!” Denki sputters out unconvincingly as heat slowly creeps up his neck and sparks of lightning shoot out of his palms.
He knows exactly who Bakugou is talking about and he’s sure Bakugou knows that too judging by the raised eyebrow and disdainful expression on his face which Denki pointedly ignores alongside Mina’s muffled snickers.
He also steadfastly ignores the electricity that flickers in the air.
He’s going to confess.
He’s actually going to confess .
Everything’s been going well. He woke up a whole forty minutes before his alarm and had time to get in a bit of morning exercise.
Bakugou had made breakfast for the entire squad and not just Kiri, which was a good omen in itself. Not to mention the pancakes and fluffy scrambled eggs that they washed down with their beverage of choice. (Mina is totally the culprit responsible for the disappearance of Iida’s orange juice).
He even managed to reach class five minutes early and got Iida’s approval which was so much better than the disappointed look he got from the taller boy on most mornings when Denki stepped into the class after the bell had rung.
The universe is on his side today!
Or it was till Hero Training at least. That’s when it all started going downhill.
Denki aimed his pointer finger at a block of cement and shot out electricity. He’s been practising controlling his voltage output and so far this is his best attempt. Shinsou’s been saying something encouraging for every single one of his attempts so Denki whipped his head back only to see Shinsou staring at Midoriya with an awestruck expression on his face.
His heartbeat falters for a bit.
After all there’s no way Shinsou could like someone like him . He’s not smart or powerful. Hell he can’t even control his own quirk. All he’s good for is being a laughing-stock.
Maybe he shouldn’t confess after all.
After that, everything goes by in a blur and all of a sudden it’s time for them to head back to the dorms.
Denki tells his friends to go on ahead without him and takes some more time than usual to finish showering and packing up his stuff.
He steps out of the school and is almost immediately assaulted by the sight of Midoriya smiling brightly and saying something to Shinsou whose face is adorned with a light blush and a small smile of his own.
Denki thought he and Shinsou had a thing , where he flirted and the other responded back sarcastically with a deadpan look. They had all those late-night conversations ranging from confidence issues to pointless gossip to whether or not water is wet.
He probably didn’t even mean anything to Shinsou.
Besides he and Midoriya looked so happy together. What kind of friend would he be if he wasn’t happy for them. It hurts but he can deal with it. Ignoring his feelings sounds like a much better option as compared to ruining their friendship.
Midoriya spots him and waves. He then walks away giving a thumbs up that was probably supposed to be discrete, to Shinsou. Knowing how analytical the greenette is, he had probably already found out about Denki’s little crush.
Shinsou stays there.
The steady hum of static grates on his nerves and the sharp astringent taste of ozone feels heavy on his tongue as he gets closer and closer to where Shinsou is standing. He’s sure Shinsou will turn him down gently but that does nothing to ease the anxiety eating away at him.
Denki’s heart rate spikes with every step he takes.
“Hey.” Shinsou drawls out with a slight twitch of his lips.
Shinsou stood under a tree with a hand placed at the back of his neck in what Denki easily recognized as a nervous gesture. Holy shit he is so hopelessly gay for this boy. Getting rejected was gonna suck ass.
“So um I l-like you. In a more than friends way. Would you be um willing to go on a date with me?” Shinsou's entire face is red and he’s looking everywhere except for Denki.
Wait… what? There’s no way he heard that right. Right? But Shinsou wasn’t the type to joke about stuff like that. Maybe he was hit by some kind of quirk?
Denki looks around and points to himself when he sees no one around them. “Are you talking to me?”.
“I assume I’m talking to you because I don’t really see anyone else here.” Shinsou states in his usual monotone.
And okay that’s a fair point.
“Really?!” Denki asks excitedly, bouncing on the balls of his feet.
“Would you prefer if I said something like ‘will you be the wool cap to my plastic ruler’?” Shinsou deadpans.
“Well you definitely can’t be a ruler since you’re obviously not straight.” Denki replies cheekily because he’s an obnoxious little shit with a penchant for derailing conversations. “But also, yes I’ll go out with you. I like you too Shin-Shin!” He adds at Shinsou’s insistent glare.
“Never call me that again.” Shinsou huffs out.
“Awww but Shin-Shin~!” Denki sing-songs with the fakest pout he can manage.
The air around them crackles with electricity and Denki is sure that anyone who touches him will end up with enough static to shock themselves with every object they touch for at least the next twenty minutes. Electric current zig-zags across his body simulated by his elation. Denki feels like he's on top of the world!