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That's the word that always comes to mind this time of year. The whole world holds its breath as the trees, and houses are coated in a blanket of white.

It didn’t used to be like this. Once upon a time, winter was filled with cackling laughter and clattering in the kitchen and sound. The whole world used to hold its breath not for the snow, but for Bakugo and Kirishima, in awe of their joy.

Christmas’s filled with laughter of friends and family, of lights twinkling in tree’s and cheesy gifts that Kirishima would cherish forever. Of New Years Eve parties and New Years kisses. Of snowball fights, and of the broken nose from a snowball that was more ice than snow.

Winter used to be filled with Katsuki, and all the sound and energy and joy he brought with him.

Then the house was filled with absence and quiet, and didn’t it make sense to keep it that way. Katsuki brought sound with him, so if he was gone why should the sound still remain?

This year would be different though, this year would be the first in many where at least part of his winter would be filled with sound and with people. The first in seven where he had plans other than feeding his cat, sipping tea, looking at old photos of memories long gone, and throwing himself into hero work with a vengeance.

This year he finally took up an offer. An offer, on who to spend Christmas with. He could have chosen Ashido’s, or Denki’s, or any of his other friends' offers. But he didn’t. If he spent christmas with them it would be filled with too much and not enough sound.

There would be clattering, and swearing, and laughter. There would be quiet concerned glances, and comforting words that over time had become meaningless. There would be an awkward pause, that even after seven years all of them felt as they waited for a groan or the pop of an explosion to burst out. Sounds that they would never hear again and hadn’t in a long time, long enough that they should have been used to the absence, but they never were.

Instead he would be spending his Christmas with Aizawa. With him there wouldn’t be any pitying looks. There would still be sound, how could there not be with Yamada and Eri there. The noise would be softer though, less demanding. Aizawa never was the type of person to show pity.

Some part of him found it surreal to be spending a day, especially Christmas, with his former homeroom teacher. With his former English teacher. With Eri who was now a teen, a young adult, and well on her way to becoming one of the best heroes the world would see.

Eri doesn’t remember Katsuki, not really. He was the one who taught her to swear, and how to get angry. One memorable occasion the three of them had been caught by Aizawa, Eri mid knife throw eyes furrowed and pure concentration on her face. They had never seen Aizawa so angry as then, his eyes glowing red and capture weapon rising off his shoulders. Kirishima and Bakugo had never been closer to being expelled then on that day, he’s pretty sure.

But Eri doesn’t remember that. How could she, a woman of nineteen, could not be expected to remember a boy who’s biggest impact on her happened when she was six. The only memories she could be expected to have was of a loud and passionate babysitter, and of a funeral.

Aizawa and Yamada remembered. They had taught them for three years, and watched over them long after graduation. They were still caring for their former class in little ways, Christmas was evident of that.

So here Kirishima was, flipping through to the last page of a scrapbook gifted to him, by Sero, filled with pictures of Bakugou and his Bakusquad, as they used to joke. Here he was standing up and gently closing and putting the book away for another day. Pulling on sturdy winter boots, and grabbing his car keys, and starting his car, heading out to his first Christmas in years. To a family that was not his own, but could be if he needed. Today would be the first winter in years where there would be sound.

“Kirishima! You're here!” Yamada said as he answered the door.

“I said I would come didn’t I”

“That you did” Said Aizawa, his voice appearing with the rest of him as he beckoned Kirishima inside.

“Sorry about the noise, we have more guests here than we expected.” A sheepish grin on Yamada’s face accompanied by his sheepish tone.

“No problem.” Kirishima smiled.

And maybe it really wasn’t. Maybe the sound was ok, maybe moving on at least in this way was ok.

Maybe Katsuki would want Kirishima to have sound and people. Maybe Katsuki would have wanted this for him ever since he died. And maybe life would be a little better with Sound coming back to winter.