Hey there, Deku.
Izuku’s lips pulled back into a gentle smile as Katsuki’s words filled the air. He poured his cup of coffee, dancing lightly to the sound of soft music playing from the stereo, and just listening to Katsuki as he spoke.
I think I’m going to be a little late today.
“Mm,” Izuku hummed to himself and took a sip. “Of course you are, Kacchan. You’re late more times than you’re early.”
Busted a guy trying to steal from a convenience store on my way home and had to turn back around. Dumb asshole. I don’t know why they keep doing this shit when they know I walk this route at night.
“Maybe they secretly want your autograph?” Izuku chuckled at that. He wouldn’t put it past a crazed fan to go that far just to meet their idols. Izuku did some pretty crazy things when it came to his, so a part of him secretly understood. Besides, Kacchan was awesome. He walked over to the sofa, and sat down, kicking his feet up and pressing play on the tv.
Anyways, don’t wait up. I know you do. Just get some rest, I’ll be home soon.
“Oops,” Izuku smiled. “Busted.”
Izuku looked down at his phone when the recording ended and pressed play for the next one. His eyes scanned the news channels before he sighed, turned back off the tv, and stood up. Nothing new or interesting on the news to report. That was fine. He preferred it that way. It meant his city was safe; it meant he was doing his job right.
Hey there, Deku.
“Morning, Kacchan.” Izuku yawned as he stretched and looked for a fresh cup of coffee. His pot from yesterday still sat in the coffee maker. He hummed while rubbing his eyes and sighed. Day-old coffee it is.
Called Auntie today. She seemed a little worn out. I think you need to head over there—just sometime this week if you can. I hate how she’s always so alone these days.
Izuku’s lips pursed, and he went silent for a moment. “Yeah,” he said softly to himself as Katsuki’s message played. “Yeah, me too. I hate it too.”
We need to get her a cat or something. She’d like a damn cat.
“She really would like a cat...” Izuku’s fingers wrapped tighter around his mug. She’d probably want a cat with as much extra fur as they could find. His mom loved the fluffier things in life—animals included.
But she invited us to dinner Saturday. I told her you worked, but I’d go out there. See if you can get off, okay?
“I’m sorry, Kacchan, Mom. I can’t make it. I’m needed at work on Saturday.” Izuku frowned as he made his way back into the kitchen to pour himself another cup of coffee. This time, he added a splash of liquor. It wasn’t much, but enough to take the edge away while he struggled to wake up.
Anyways, gotta go. The fuckin’ laundry won’t start. Be home soon.
“I’m home, now,” Izuku murmured. Coming home to their shared apartment last night and finding Katsuki knee-deep in bubbles was the funniest thing he had ever seen. Katsuki was so pissed; his hair was weighed down by suds, and they were still pouring forth when he walked in.
“Deku, what the fuck is happening?” Katsuki practically screamed at the top of his lungs.
“I don’t know, Kacchan! What’d you do to it?!”
“I didn’t do shit!”
“Well, obviously you did something, or this wouldn’t be happening.”
“Fuck you, Deku.”
Izuku smirked when he saw the bottle of dish soap sitting on the counter.
“Is that what you used, Kacchan?”
Katsuki froze for a moment and shrugged, turning his face to the side. “Maybe. We were out, okay?”
Sighing, Izuku chuckled to himself. Yeah, that was fun last night. Ever since Katsuki moved in with him, there wasn’t a single day that he didn’t cherish. Life was a fickle thing, and their line of work only made the line they walked thinner. He needed to cherish it all—he never knew when he wouldn’t get the chance again.
Their shifts never matched anymore. It was hard to call each other a hero-duo when they kept getting assigned different patrol routes, but it came with the job. They couldn’t always patrol together, and Izuku knew that. But it seemed he saw Katsuki less and less. Sometimes he just wanted to walk a patrol with him more often or sit down and have dinner together again. It felt like ages since they last got to do something like that.
Hey there, Deku.
I—fuck. I think I… No, no. I know I do. I miss you, Deku.
Izuku’s heart skipped a beat in his chest. He pulled his shirt on over his head, changing into his costume. The gentle way Katsuki told Izuku he missed him made his heart lurch. His lips quivered. Why was this so damn hard? Half the things he heard from Katsuki anymore were through voicemails now. They were the little parts of Katsuki that he didn’t really show to anyone else and that made them all the more special. But still, Izuku missed him too. He missed the real Katsuki and his real voice. He missed his smiles and his touches. He missed everything about him, and even though he knew they were only a few hours apart—a few more days to go—Izuku still wanted to reach out and pull him in close. He wanted to make sure Katsuki would still be there—waiting for him to come home.
These week-long covert missions are a pain in the ass. I’m so tired of you heading out and leaving everything behind. I get it, you know. We can’t jeopardize the mission, but going dark like this freaks me out. They’re dangerous, and I just—I never know when you’ll call me again.
Tell anyone I said that, and you’re dead fucking meat, you hear me?! I just—I hope you’re okay. Come home soon.
“I’m sorry, Kacchan,” Izuku whispered. His movements slowed down until they were nothing more than a crawl. The edges of his eyes burned with unshed tears. His arms trembled, and a shaky sigh found its way out as he sank down to the floor of his hotel room. “I can’t come home, not yet. I’ll be home soon —soon.”
Izuku slapped his cheeks and shook his head. He couldn’t stay down there. People needed him; he had work to do. So he pulled himself to his feet and headed out for the day. It was going to be a rough shift, he could feel it already. He groaned, just thinking about it.
Hey there, Deku.
“Hello, Kacchan,” Izuku breathed as he filled out his paperwork. It had been a long shift, and it was going to be an even longer evening.
I was looking at this little shop down the road from our place, and it has these fuckin’ drinks, and you like drinks?—Fuck, of course you like drinks.—That’s not what I meant. Shit! How do I delete this?
“Deku!” Izuku turned his head to the side and smiled brightly, letting his phone drop to his side.
“Kacchan,” he hummed. “There you are!” Katsuki walked up to his side with his usual scowl on his lips. “Are you going to the gala tonight?”
“Don’t got a choice, and you know it.”
“Good. Wouldn’t be much fun if you weren’t there.”
“Is that so, Deku?” Katsuki grinned, leaning down until the tips of their noses nearly touched.
“It is, Kacchan,” Izuku chuckled. “And I heard there’s this shop down the road that we could visit aft—”
A large hand suddenly pressed into his face. Izuku tossed his head back in laughter as Katsuki’s face bloomed a brilliant red. “Shut the fuck up, Deku. Go by yourself, asshole.”
“Kacchan, c’mon,” Izuku teased. “I like drinks.”
“I said shut up!”
Hey there, Deku.
Kirishima wants to hit the bars tonight, so don’t wait up. I’ll be home soon.
Izuku felt his stomach roll and frowned. His phone lay by his head on his pillow while hot tears raced down his cheeks. Kacchan did it again. For some reason, Izuku kept letting his thoughts get the better of him. Maybe, this time, Katsuki would ask him to join them. Maybe, this time they were close enough to hang out after work. But not just go out for dinner or see the latest movies. Izuku wanted something a little more— intimate?
He’d seen the way Katsuki acted when he let all his defenses down. It was a Katsuki he had only gotten to witness from the sidelines—never up close and personal. Just knowing he didn’t want Izuku around when his guard dropped made something hot burn at the center of his core.
He wasn’t good enough; he wasn’t who Katsuki wanted. Izuku let his thoughts carry him away while his eyes drifted shut.
The sound of quiet vibrating woke Izuku from his fitful sleep. Rolling over on his pillow, he glanced at the time and frowned. Who was calling him at 4 am? His fingers searched for his phone lying somewhere on his bed until he found it. The vibrating stopped, and all that met him was 1 missed call and a new voicemail.
Izuku swallowed the lump rising in his throat. Kacchan. Why was Kacchan calling him when he should’ve been hanging out with his friends?
Hey there, stupid Deku.
“Hey, Kacchan,” Izuku sniffled and rolled over on his back. His eyes still burned from all the tears he spilled just a few hours ago.
So stupid. Who has that many freckles, hah? Too many.
Izuku chuckled quietly into the speaker. His freckles? “What’s wrong with my freckles, Kacchan?” he wondered.
You should—you should count them yourself. ‘M tired of counting them, ya hear me?! You count them now, stupid. They’re distracting; you’re distracting. I wanna kiss ‘em—
Izuku’s breath ripped from his lungs as he sat straight up in bed. Him? Kacchan wanted to kiss him? His freckles? No, no, no. That couldn’t be right. Katsuki was drunk, and Izuku shouldn’t be listening to the ramblings of a drunkard.
Bakugou, there you are, man! What’re you doing out here? Who’d you call?
No one, fuck off. Deku?
“K-Kacchan,” Izuku cried again, harder than before.
Deku, you there?
“I-I’m here; I’m here.” He laid his head back against his pillow once more, curling into himself as the rest of Katsuki’s voicemail played.
Where’d you go, huh?
“Nowhere, Kacchan. I’m still here; I’ll always be here. C-Come home soon, okay?”
Must’ve fallen asleep. Cute.
Izuku’s chuckle divulged into a sob. He didn’t know what to believe. But a part of him knew he could sleep a little easier that night. Even if he wasn’t invited with Katsuki and his friends, he was still on Katsuki’s mind—if only a little.
When Izuku woke up the next morning, there was another missed call—another voicemail for him to listen to. He smiled, remembering the drunken ramblings he got last night, and quickly pressed play.
H-Hey there, Deku.
“Good morning, Kacchan,” he hummed in response.
Sorry I didn’t come home last night. Listen, I know you’re pissed. I didn’t call you or anyt—
Oh, you called him alright.
Izuku smiled at the sound of Kirishima’s voice teasing Katsuki.
Huh? What’re you talking about, fuckface? No, I didn’t.
Yeah, you did, Kats. You were drunk as fuck; it was the funniest thing. Kept crying about him falling asleep on you every time you called him, but he never answered you once. No wonder you never want him to see you like this. All you talk about are his freckle—
Shut up, asshole!
A quiet shuffling sound came from the other end, followed by an ‘oomph’ before Katsuki’s voice returned.
Deku, uh. I’ll be home soon. Uhm—better be there when I get back.
Izuku’s lips pulled back into a soft smile. He slowly crawled out of bed and made his way into the living room. His heart flipped in his chest when he found Katsuki sprawled out over the couch. A bowl set off to one side, and his phone rested in his hand. Izuku’s contact information sat open on the screen, an uncompleted phone call just waiting to happen.
Hey there, Deku.
“Hi, Kacchan.” Izuku’s fingers shook as he held the phone to his ear.
Meet me by the silver fountain at 6 tonight. I’ll be waiting. Wear something nice.
“Kacchan, please come home.” Izuku pulled the phone away. He tried calling through his tears, but his mind wouldn’t work right. He couldn’t get Katsuki’s number to show up on the screen, and he wanted to scream.
“C’mon, c’mon, c’mon!” he hissed through clenched teeth. “Pick up, Kacchan. Please? Please?”
Katsuki’s voicemail clicked on, and all Izuku could do was yell while frustrated tears burned down his cheeks. “I can’t do this alone!”
Deku. I’m on my way. Don’t worry about a thing, okay? She’ll be alright. I promise; sh-she’ll be alright. She has to be… she has to be.
Hey there, Deku.
“K-Kacchan,” Izuku breathed from the other side of the door. He stared down at his phone, knowing full well Katsuki was leaving him a message. It made his heart flip in his chest and his lip quiver.
I-I don’t—You don’t have to do this by yourself.
Katsuki’s voice cracked. No, fuck! Katsuki’s voice is steady and strong. He doesn’t break, not ever. Not over things like this, he can’t. Not when Izuku needed him to be the strong one for now. He can’t. Izuku hit his head against the door as he listened to him speak.
She wouldn’t want you to be alone right now. Please open the door, Deku. I know you’ll get this. Please let me be with you—
“Kacchan,” Izuku whispered as the door swung open. He kept his eyes to the ground, unable to find the strength to raise them up.
“Fuck, Deku.” Katsuki was there in seconds. His warm arms wrapped around Izuku, pulling him down to the ground and holding him close. He was so safe—so steady. Katsuki was Izuku’s foundation when things began to fall apart. He was everything Izuku ever needed and more.
“Sh-She’s gone, Kacchan,” Izuku heaved. His whole body shook as he spoke. Grief seeped its way into his arms like a fair-weathered friend. Only there when life suited it best.
“I know, shh. I know. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, Deku.”
“She’s gone, Kacchan. She’s—She…” Izuku’s sobs ripped from his throat as he crumbled to a million pieces. “M-Mom!”
“Shh. Shh, I-I’m sorry. It’s okay, it’ll be okay.” Katsuki kissed the side of Izuku's head as he rocked the pain away. Under different circumstances, in a different time, Izuku would’ve been flustered by the gesture.
Hey there, Deku.
Izuku’s brows furrowed. He paused in the middle of the dark hallway to listen. “Kacchan?” he whispered. Izuku pressed his ear to Katsuki’s door, straining to hear him a little better. He didn’t realize he came home already. It was early for Katsuki. Sometimes he wasn’t home until the next morning, but it was the dead of night right now.
I know it’s the middle of the night right now, and you’re sleeping, but you like these stupid little voicemails, and I just—They’re easy t-to talk to, I-I guess.
His heart flipped in his chest as he listened in. Why was he leaving him a voicemail right now..?
I don’t—fuck—Things are a little hard at the moment, and-and—fuck, fuck! I can’t sleep. These dreams they just kee—
“Kacchan? I’m coming in.” Izuku’s knuckles wrapped against the wooden door before he pushed it open. “Kacchan, a-are you crying?”
He waited a beat for Katsuki to respond, but the sound of a broken sob had him entering and heading toward the crouched figure in the corner.
“D-Deku,” Katsuki heaved, broken eyes glanced up at him from his spot on the floor. Izuku’s heart sank into his chest. Katsuki looked so frail. Nothing like he’d ever seen him before. Yes, he had his moments where he needed to breathe, but he’s fallen to the ground in defeat. Not like this.
“Hey,” Izuku hushed out. His fingers brushed the sides of Katsuki’s cheeks, catching the tears falling down his pale skin. “Hey. What’s wrong; what’s wrong, Kacchan?”
“I-I couldn’t save them, Deku. I couldn’t—they were right there, and I couldn’t—” He clenched his teeth and cast his gaze to the ground. His eyes squeezed shut, his head shook, and his fist balled up in his hair.
“Hey, no, no, no. Don’t you do that to yourself. Look—no. Look at me, look at me, Kacchan.” Izuku tilted Katsuki’s face back toward him, forcing those panged red eyes to share the hurt resting inside. “Hey, there you are,” he soothed. His fingers brushed the hairs from out of Katsuki’s face while he worked his way closer into his space. “Shh. It’s okay; it’s okay.”
“They were s-so young, so young, Izuku.” And finally, he crumbled, unfurling from himself and pulling Izuku in. Katsuki’s head dipped against his neck while his cries filled the room.
“I know; it’s okay. I’m here. I’m here; you’re safe.” Izuku held him tight. He held him until Katsuki’s tears subsided and his body stopped shaking. He held him when they crawled into bed together, and he held him even after they woke up—wrapped tightly within each other’s arms.
It was on the news the next day. Something so simple but so easy to mistake. No one blamed Katsuki for the structure’s instability. He arrived on the scene during the aftermath and was only a part of the rescue team. It didn’t make things any easier. Izuku knew it all too well. Katsuki would be haunted by their faces for the rest of his life, and there was nothing Izuku could do to save him.
Hey there, Dek-Deku—Fuck—Izuku.
I keep trying this, and it’s not working, but I want it to work, so I’m going to try again. Meet me tonight? At that stupid fountain downtown, yeah? I’ll be there all night. Take your time. I’ll see you soon, okay?
Izuku bounced back on his heels as his eyes searched the small crowd for Katsuki. He raced out the door as soon as he got Katsuki’s message. All night? How long had he been waiting?
Izuku whipped around and froze. Katsuki’s shoulders were hunched, his hands in his pockets, and his eyes cast to the side. A delicate blush painted his cheeks and warmed Izuku to the core. “Kacchan.”
“Listen,” Katsuki kicked at an unseen pebble on the ground. The moon above cast a pale light against his head that reflected off each spike of chaotic blond hair. A shadow covered parts of his face when he turned away that had Izuku stepping closer.
Katsuki straightened up when Izuku’s face was suddenly inches from his own. “I'm listening,” Izuku breathed. His fingers reached out to softly touch Katsuki’s arms, feeling him stiffen beneath him.
“I-I had a plan,” Katsuki breathed. His gaze softened as he looked down at Izuku. “But each time I tried to do the fuckin’ thing, something happened. So, I-I don’t have one anymore.”
Izuku smiled. The corners of his eyes began to burn, and his lip started to wobble. “T-That’s okay, Kacchan. Plans were never our thing, were they?”
“No. No, they weren’t.” Katsuki leaned in closer, their noses only inches apart. “Can I just kiss your stupid face, and call it done?” he whispered softly.
“If you don’t, Kacchan, I’m leaving and never answer another one of your phone calls again.”
Izuku’s eyes fluttered closed when Katsuki’s warm lips pressed against his own. It only took them 28 years, countless arguments, and more missed calls than Izuku could remember, but they were finally on the same page.
“Mm,” Katsuki pulled away first, a playful smile spreading across his lips. “Taste’s like freckles.”
Izuku’s head swung back as a burst of hearty laughter ripped from his chest. Katsuki’s arms stayed wrapped around his waist, holding Izuku still with a grip that screamed of never letting him go again. “You really like my freckles, don’t you?”
“Can’t get them off my mind.”
“Then,” Izuku whispered softly. He leaned forward until his lips nipped at Katsuki’s ear. “How about we skip dinner? There’s a bed I’ve been wanting to warm for too damn long now.”
“Perfect,” Katsuki groaned. “Because I have freckles that need to be counted.”
Izuku smiled to himself. “Babe, huh?” Izuku popped a grape into his mouth. “I like that, Kacchan. I like that.”
I’m starving and can’t for the life of me find the strength to cook something tonight. Take-out sound good? Text me your order or something, and I’ll pick it up on my way back. I’ll be home soon. Love you—fuck. Fuck! Delete, dammit! Where’s the delete?!
Izuku nearly choked to death.
Hey there, Deku.
“‘Morning, babe,” Izuku hummed.
They’re putting me on one of those stupid week-long missions. I guess it’s my turn to go off the grid.
“Ugh,” he groaned. Of course, they’d send Katsuki away just after they got together. When all Izuku wanted to do was lounge around in their bed, watching movies and holding each other, the world suddenly decided it needed more saving yet again.
I just got out of a meeting about them, so I’ll tell you more when I get home. L-Love you, or some shit. I guess. Fuck. S-See you soon. Goddammit, why am I so—AGH!
Izuku laughed freely at that. Katsuki was a mess— his mess but a mess all the same. The awkward way he stumbled into loving Izuku still pulled at his heartstrings every time he heard him say it. It wasn’t like Katsuki to just speak those words so easily, and even though he stuttered or said them under his breath, Izuku knew he was going out of his way to say them at all. It warmed him to his core and brought fresh tears to his eyes.
How did he get so lucky?
Hey there, Deku.
I’m about to go dark. I know we just got off the phone together, but thanks for not answering. I-I wanted to give you something to listen to while I’m off the grid. This is the last phone call I can send you for a while. Miss your stupid face already, but don’t tell anyone I said that. Anyways, they’re loading up. It should be about a week. Don’t have too much fun without me, okay? Love you, babe. I’ll be home soon.
Hey there, Kacchan.
Katsuki smiled into his phone. His mission finally ended, and he was loading up to head back home. The second he got service, his phone began vibrating as message after message trickled in. The first one he opened was a voicemail Izuku left him just a few hours ago.
I—I got called in on something top-secret, and I didn’t wanna tell you.
“Mission?” Katsuki frowned. Since when didn’t Izuku tell him about his missions?
“You talking about the one in Tokyo?” Katsuki paused the voicemail and glanced up.
“Dude,” his colleague leaned forward with a whisper on his lips as if he was about to divulge a dark secret. “I heard they were going after the yakuza’s drug ring. Last time a stunt like that was pulled, they lost a lot of people.”
“You don’t know what you’re fucking talking about,” Katsuki snapped, but his heart still sank deep into the pits of his chest. He quickly pressed play again.
I-I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I should’ve told you. Oh god, I should’ve told you. But I know you; I know you, and you would’ve worried this whole time.
I-I didn’t want you focusing on something that wasn’t important. Oh god, I’m s-so stupid. Fuck, why didn’t I t-tell you?
A horrid, wet sob ripped through the speaker, making Katsuki’s blood run cold. “Go,” he whispered softly at first. “Go, go, GO!”
The driver at the front of their bus turned around with a frown. He looked to say something in response, but the second he saw Katsuki’s pale face and wide eyes, he didn’t question anything. The rest of the group went silent. He saw them slowly taking their phones out of their pockets in search of something to tell them what was going on, but his mind was hyper-focused on Izuku’s words.
I thought I’d be home before you were back, you know? I really thought I would. I’m sorry. I can’t—I can’t breathe; I can’t—There’s—there’s blood? Bleeding. I’m blee—Kacchan?
“Oh god, no.” Katsuki pressed the back of his hand to his mouth. “Deku?”
I-I love you so much, so much. Y-You taught me…
There was a long pause, and for a moment, Katsuki thought the call ended. “No, no, no. C’mon, Deku.”
Ah. S-Sorry, it’s hard to breathe—you taught me to be strong and to strive for vic-victory. I wanted to win; I did win but…
Katsuki could barely hear anything over the sound of his own heart beating against his ears. Hot tears streamed down his face. Stupid, he was so fucking stupid. Why’d he leave? Why the hell did he leave?
I’m so sorry. I don’t wanna die, Kacchan. I don’t—I’m so cold.
Izuku’s voice was growing more and more panicked. Katsuki couldn’t stay still. He got up and began pacing the bus as he listened. His eyes flicked up to see the broken expressions on everyone’s faces, but he couldn’t listen to what they were saying. Not yet, he wasn’t ready. This wasn’t really happening.
W-Where are you, Kacchan? I’m—I’m scared. I-I can’t do this alone; why am I alone? Kacchan? I can’t feel my legs. I-I can’t breathe; I can’t. Kacchan? Are you there? Please, please oh god. Why won’t you answer me?
“Deku, dammit!” Katsuki paced up and down the aisle, ignoring the arms that tried to tug him down and make him sit.
I’m so—I’m so tired, Kacchan. I’m sorry. I tried, I really tried. I won’t be coming home tonight, Kacchan. I love you.
“No, no, no.” Katsuki shook when he pulled his hand away. His fingers fumbled with his phone, trying so hard to call Izuku back and hear his voice again. That couldn’t be it. That couldn’t be his last message. There was more; there had to be more. Where was the rest? Where’d it all go?
His eyes barely registered the notification banners still popping down on his screen—each one more gruesome than the last. They were real, none of this was real. Katsuki was going to come home, and Izuku would be there waiting for him.
The smell of fresh coffee brewing early in the morning would be the first thing he noticed when he walked in. Izuku would be leaning against the counter, a warm mug in hand. Or he’d be lounging across the couch, feet kicked up in the air as he skimmed through his hero analysis notebooks.
Izuku was at home, waiting for Katsuki to crawl into their bed and keep him warm at night. Because Izuku loved him; Izuku would always love him. They were inseparable, and they were starting a family, so where did Izuku think he was going?
Katsuki’s fingers quivered as he pressed call one more time, hoping to hear Izuku’s voice pick up on the other end. Instead, he was met with a sound that once made his heart feel warm on the inside. A short dial tone, and complete silence.
“H-Hey there, Deku.”