"Come on, it's right over there," Todoroki insists, pointing behind the general studies building. Bakugou sighs, a rattling, obnoxious thing, and trudges over.
"What IS it? Aizawa will murder us if we're late for class."
"It'll only take a second," Todoroki assures him, not that Bakugou is assured in any way. "I found it yesterday."
With a pointed eye-roll, Bakugou walks beside him. He's obviously coming along, it isn't like Todoroki has to twist his arm or anything. You'd follow him anywhere, his mind helpfully reminds him, and Bakugou's nostrils flare at his own smitten stupidity. "Fuck my life," he says out loud, then feels guilty when Todoroki's brows furrow.
He watches Todoroki—as he always does—face turned and only peeking from the corner of his eye, and hates how he loves Todoroki's gliding stride, like the fucker need not touch the ground as mere mortals do. For such an awkward, socially cringe-y dude, his grace of movement seems almost unfair. Then again, if he was a gangly nerd in literally every way, that maybe wouldn't be justice, either.
Bakugou doesn't know. Doesn't care, either. Yeah, right, that annoying voice in his head sneers, and his jaw tightens. God, can he not know peace even in the solitude of his thoughts?! Maybe if he could stop staring for two seconds. Yanking his gaze away, he rounds the corner of the building and comes to a stop just as Todoroki does, stunned.
Tucked in an alcove, there is… a cat tree? It is a hideous, carpeted, juted monstrosity, taller than Bakugou, with little poofs on strings waving in the breeze. There's a set of bowls, too, full of food and water, and the child standing in front of it, gawping at them both like they materialized from thin air, is holding the tiniest kitten Bakugou has ever seen.
"What?" Todoroki breathes, and Bakugou looks over, eyebrows raising. Todoroki is glaring daggers at the kid, and while his words are a direct repeat of Bakugou's own thoughts, he has a feeling they are not talking about the same thing.
What is wrong with him? And who the hell is this kid? "You're telling me," Bakugou begins, sweeping his righteous anger around himself like a cloak, "You found a kitten, and instead of telling Aizawa or calling animal control or LITERALLY ANYTHING that would actually fu—" Cutting himself off, his eyes dart to the little girl, now visibly shaking. "—actually make sense, you BOUGHT IT A CAT TREE? And put it outside?"
Todoroki's lips curve down, and the kid's arms drop to her sides, the kitten plopping unceremoniously to the ground. At least it landed on its feet, Bakugou grumbles internally before his attention is once more pulled to his companion, a frankly impressive inhale swelling Todoroki's chest.
"Please don't dump your cat," Todoroki gusts out, and it might just be the most emotion Bakugou has ever witnessed from him. "It's… not a nice thing to do."
God in heaven, it figures. It's like the dumbass didn't hear a word Bakugou said. "IcyHot," he groans, then glances quickly to the girl, reminding himself to watch his language.
Oh shit, oh no… Chin a-wobble, the kid is clearly working herself up to a massive sob-fest. "Hey," he husks, hoping he doesn't sound as scary as Todoroki 'Scolding Random Children' Shouto, and kneels down. "It's okay. The little guy's fine," he tries, the kitten already batting at one of the poofs and paying their sorry human asses absolutely no mind.
It takes a minute or two, but soon enough, the girl is smiling again, shyly declaring that she has named the cat 'Protein' (Bakugou does not ask why). She follows them to Nedzu's office when they realize they have no idea where she came from, and—much to their consternation—neither does she.
Once they're on their way back to class, Todoroki suspiciously quiet, Bakugou 'tsk's his tongue, bumping their shoulders together. "Can't believe you bought it a fucking cat tree."
"Deluxe Play-time Furred Cat Condo with Toys," Todoroki recites, correcting him, and Bakugou can't help snorting.
"I hate you."
"Yeah?" Todoroki chuckles, grabbing Bakugou's hand. He doesn't tug at all, but it jerks Bakugou to a stop all the same. Since when do they touch?! Oh hell, and now they're looking at each other, why are they only a few centimeters apart?
"Yeah," Bakugou retorts, arrogant and certain, except it doesn't come out that way at ALL. Fucking hell, did he just whisper? Welp. Time to perish. Todoroki has the fiendish, staggering nerve to smile.
"Right," Todoroki murmurs. Dropping Bakugou's hand, he starts walking again. "Sure you do," he adds, now fully sarcastic, and Bakugou is torn between wanting to drag him back (to knock him the fuck out, of course, no other reason, the bastard deserves it) and wanting to melt through the scuffed linoleum floor.
"Thanks for coming with me," Todoroki tosses over his shoulder, and the shit sounds genuine. Any lingering anger over Todoroki trapping him and making him feel… things… vanishes.
"Shut up," Bakugou mutters, too flustered to be inventive, and scurries to catch up.