It wasn’t a secret to anyone in Class 1-A that Todoroki hated crowds. He was always on the outskirts, slowly edging away from any group over three or four people. His classmates understood his anxiety with crowds, at least, so they made sure to give him plenty of space when they talked. They had seen the way he would flinch when people got too close, the way he would jerk back when they raised a hand to touch his shoulder or arm, and had adjusted their behavior accordingly. They always asked if they could touch him, made slow, small movements so he could always see what they were doing. He never said thank you, but he hoped they knew he appreciated it.
So, he was just as surprised as anyone else would be if they saw him now, sitting halfway in Bakugou’s lap as they shared the tiny chair inside the photo booth at the back of the Common Room.
He had avoided the party for as long as he could, purposefully taking way more time than necessary to pick an outfit and brush his hair. He had promised Momo, who had planned the entire joint Valentine’s Day party with 1B, that he would go, at least for a little while; so he finally forced himself to walk down the stairs to the Common Room.
It was...a lot. The entire common space had been covered in red, white, and pink streamers made out of paper hearts. There were flowers and chocolates on every available surface that wasn’t already piled high with various cakes and pastries. There were plush, heart-shaped chairs everywhere and it suddenly made sense why Momo was shoveling down cupcake after cupcake. She had clearly used her quirk to make all this, and Todoroki knew the toll it took on her to create so many things one after the other.
He had made sure to thank her for her hard work before he slunk to the edge of the party, holding his drink in front of his face like a shield. His few friends, the “Dekusquad” (according to Mina and Kaminari) approached him and he was happy to talk with them. He talked to Uraraka and Tsu about the decorations and the cupcakes Satou had made.
“Here, Todoroki, I brought you one, it’s chocolate,” Tsu said, holding out the cupcake for him to take.
“Thanks,” he had said, turning his attention back to where Midoriya was talking to Iida about a new All Might figure he had seen at the vintage hero store he frequented.
“It’s from the bronze age, they only released two hundred of them, so I was so surprised to just see one, and in mint condition too, just sitting in a box on the shelf. The shopkeeper wants way too much for it, though, so I don’t really think I can justify spending that kind of money,” he had said, scratching at the back of his mess of dark green curls. Todoroki pulled out his phone to google the name of the store and made a mental note to visit sometime in the next week to buy it for him as an early birthday present.
Eventually, Uraraka had seemed to notice his social meter petering out and took pity on him, dragging Midoriya and Tsu away to dance with Iida, who was dangerously close to hitting the girls with his violent arm chops. It made Todoroki’s face twitch, the smallest hint of a smile slipping onto his otherwise blank face.
It wasn’t long before the people who didn’t seem to understand his aversion to large crowds of people had filtered over to talk to him. He liked some of the people in Class 1B, he had sparred with Tetsutetsu several times after their joint training, and he got along fine with Kendou since she kept Monoma away from him. After promising Tetsutetsu that they would spar again soon, he had excused himself to go grab another drink.
He had grabbed the first one he could reach in the large pink bucket full of ice and sodas - which was apparently a Strawberry Faygo - and stared around at the party. His previous hiding spot was now taken over by Tetsutetsu, Kendou, and an unconscious Monoma.
He shifted from one foot to the other, contemplating just going back up to his room when he saw the photobooth Momo had rented sitting by itself in the corner of the room. It looked empty and the crowd seemed to be heading towards the dance floor. It had seemed like a good place to lurk until he felt like talking to people again. He had slung open the curtain, already stepping inside when he saw Bakugou sitting on the tiny stool, scowling at him.
“What do you want, Half and Half?” he had growled, attempting to rip the curtain closed so the “Bakusquad” (also named by Mina and Kaminari) didn’t see him. Todoroki just stepped inside and let him yank the curtain closed.
“What are you doing, get out, this is my hiding spot, Icyhot,” he had complained, moving back so Todoroki could at least fully get into the photo booth.
“It’s a lot, I just need a second,” Todoroki had admitted, staring at how close his shoes were to Bakugou’s. The tips of their toes were almost touching in the small space.
“Whatever, you can stay, just don’t be loud or you’ll give us away,” he’d said, scooting over on the seat some. Todoroki stared at him, unsure of what to do until Bakugou huffed and grabbed him by the arm, pulling him down onto the way-too-small-for-two-people-stool. He ended up halfway in Bakugou’s lap, one thigh almost completely on top of Bakugou’s.
He stared at Bakugou for probably way too long to be normal. Bakugou was one of the few people who didn’t normally ask before he touched him, just shoved him away or moved him where he wanted him. It was annoying to constantly be moved around like a human chess piece, but it didn’t make him want to crawl out of his skin, at least, so he didn’t complain.
“Why are you hiding?” he asked, glancing at Bakugou again before he looked around the tiny room they were in. It was pretty simple compared to how extravagantly decorated the rest of the party was, just a small red stool and a red curtain as the backdrop. The camera was pretty small. He wasn’t really sure more than one person could fit in the frame if they didn’t squeeze in close. Momo did have the habit of trying to play matchmaker, though, so he was sure that was done purposefully on her part.
“Stupid Shitty Hair and Pikachu kept trying to make me dance. Do I look like I want to fuckin’ dance?” he huffed, wiggling around on the stool. Todoroki tried to move over to give him more room, but Bakugou just yanked him closer again.
“Quit wigglin’ or we’re both gonna fall off this shitty chair,” he said, glowering at him again. Todoroki held up a hand in defense.
“What did you do if someone wanted to take pictures?” he asked.
“I told them to get lost before I blew their heads off,” Bakugou smirked, letting his palm spark a bit as he spoke. Todoroki stared at the tiny pops of the explosions going off. They filled the room with an acrid, but somehow still sweet, scent and the tiniest wisps of smoke that floated towards the top of the booth before Bakugou waved them away.
“Of course you did,” Todoroki said. Bakugou frowned and stared at him. He could feel Bakugou’s body heat as it pressed against his side. He was normally colder on that side, so the heat from Bakugou’s body seemed to almost seep into him. He wondered if Bakugou could feel the cold like he felt his heat. He met Bakugou’s gaze after a second. Even his stare seemed warm like he could burn him to ash just by looking at him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Bakugou asked, still frowning. Todoroki leaned back, well, leaned back as much as he could without tipping them both off the chair.
“You’re like me, I guess. People suck, except the ones that don’t. Crowds suck always,” Todoroki offered, closing his eyes a bit as he spoke. The warmth of the booth was making him sleepy, in that soft comfortable way the heat did sometimes. He wasn’t really used to heat that didn’t take and take and burn and burn until there was nothing left.
“Yeah, whatever,” Bakugou said. Todoroki could basically hear him rolling his eyes and peeled one open to confirm his suspicions.
They both shot up, nearly crashing to the ground as someone rapped on the front of the booth. Momo’s voice floated in, and Todoroki groaned at the pleased tone she was using. She knew too damn much.
“Sorry boys, but if you aren’t going to take pictures, you can’t hide out in the photo booth, Valentine’s Day rules,” she said. Todoroki glanced at Bakugou as he listened to the sound of her footsteps heading away from them.
“Stupid Ponytail,” he muttered, leaning forward to fiddle with the camera. Todoroki just stared at him again.
“What are you doing?” he asked, peering over Bakugou’s shoulder.
“What’s it look like I’m doing, Half and Half, we gotta take pictures or get out, so we’re taking some goddamn pictures,” he all but growled, finally leaning back into the seat, maneuvering Todoroki so he was, once again, more in his lap than on the actual seat.
“What do we do?”
Bakugou stared at him, eyebrows raised.
“Dude, I knew you had a shitty childhood but I didn’t think it was this bad. You never went to the mall and took shitty photos with your friends?” he asked, one eyebrow still raised.
“I didn’t have friends. Not until I came to U.A., at least,” Todoroki answered. Maybe he should have been sad about it, no he definitely should have been sad about it from the way Bakugou’s eyes turned murderous at his confession. Suddenly, he looked back at the camera.
“Just do what I do, Icyhot,” he grumbled, clicking the button on the camera so it would start taking their pictures. He moved into his first pose, raising his hands and basically growling at the camera. Todoroki stared at his hands, trying to mimic his movements as the shutter went off.
The camera took a second, obviously allowing them to get ready before the next photo. Todoroki smiled as Bakugou moved into his next pose, holding up a finger and almost smiling, this open-mouthed thing that was basically all teeth.
Todoroki stared at him as Bakugou moved to go into his next pose. He wasn’t really sure why he did it, what possessed him to move forward and press a kiss to Bakugou’s cheek. Bakugou froze, staring straight ahead as the shutter went off.
They sat there for a moment, staring at each other in the silence of the photobooth. There was no noise beyond the soft whir of the camera preparing to take the last photo and their own breaths tangling up with each other.
“Shitty Half and Half,” Bakugou said, his voice quiet. He turned in the chair, pulling Todoroki impossibly closer to him. Todoroki had no choice but to loop an arm around Bakugou’s shoulder so he didn’t slip off the chair. “If you’re gonna kiss me you could at least do it right,” he murmured, slotting his lips against Todoroki’s just as the shutter went off.
They stayed like that for a moment, still kissing even when the printer whirred to life and began to print out their photos. Todoroki gasped when Bakugou cupped his face with one, large, calloused hand. It was impossibly warm against the colder side of his face. He pulled away after a moment, panting against Bakugou’s lips as their foreheads rested against each other’s.
“This was fun,” Todoroki said, still a little breathless. Bakugou grinned, that same toothy, almost scary smile that he normally used, but different still, softer somehow.
“I liked this,” Todoroki said, leaning forward to grab the pictures. “I’ll have to do it again sometime.” He looked up as Bakugou snatched the photos out of his hand, scowling.
“You’re only allowed to do it with me,” he said, crossing his arms. Todoroki raised an eyebrow.
“Why?” he asked, mostly teasing, but still deadpan enough for his voice to sound serious.
“If you kiss anyone else like that I’ll blast you into next week, Icyhot,” Bakugou growled. Todoroki laughed, a small noise that was mainly a puff of air, but it seemed to put Bakugou at ease. He let himself be pulled back in for another kiss.
“Seems reasonable to me,” he murmured, smiling at Bakugou’s ‘damn right it is.’
They stayed in the photo booth for a while. Bakugou snatched up each strip of pictures, making a big show about how stupid they were, but Todoroki didn’t miss the way he tucked them carefully into his pocket.
Todoroki pulled one of Bakugou’s boxes closer to him so he could start going through its contents. They had finally saved up enough money to get an apartment big enough for the two of them after debuting as Pros. Bakugou was busy unpacking the kitchen and swearing up a storm - probably at the haphazard way Todoroki had just thrown all the loose silverware into a box - not even bothering to wrap it up. He smiled to himself, probably a little too amused at his boyfriend’s annoyance.
He opened the box just as Bakugou came into the living room. He tilted his head, confused when he saw a small, cream-colored envelope. He let his curiosity get the best of him and opened it, smiling when he saw what was inside.
“You kept these?” he asked, looking up at Bakugou from where he had thrown his arms over his shoulders to look at what he was holding.
“Course I did, we look cute as hell,” he said, pressing a quick kiss to Todoroki’s cheek.
“Now come help me with this huge fucking mess you made with all the silverware,” he growled, stalking back towards the kitchen. Todoroki stared at him as he went, smiling a little. He ran a finger over the small strip of photos before he tucked most of them back into the envelope. He grabbed his favorite strip of photos and a magnet and followed Bakugou into the kitchen. He pinned the photos to the fridge, smiling fondly at Bakugou’s surprised, blushing face, remembering the way it had felt to kiss him for the very first time.
“Oi, Icyhot, you gonna help or just stand there and look pretty?”
“Shut up, Katsuki,” he said, rolling his eyes fondly.
He joined his boyfriend at the counter, thinking back to the night they’d taken those photos. He never imagined hiding in a photo booth would lead to the life they had built together, but as he stood by Bakugou’s side as they sorted through the box of silverware, he was incredibly glad he had crashed Bakugou’s hiding spot all those years ago.