Bakugou doesn't remember when he decided to let them stay. When he started to let them sit in his room as if it was their own. When he allowed them to take over the place he used to fill only with himself.
Kirishima sits criss cross on his bed, his eyes focused on the notes and book in front of him, hunching over it in such a way that would certainly make his back and neck hurt later. He swapped his school uniform for casual clothes after the last class, looking almost soft in his old crimson riot hoodie. The once red garment now faded and washed out. His hair is tied back with his bandana, keeping fallen strands out of his face.
Kaminari is sitting on the ground, papers and books spread in a circle on the floor around him. He shifts every couple minutes, going from sitting to lying on his stomach, propped on his elbows. From there to lying on his back, hands holding his book up into the air to be able to read it. Then, after a couple of minutes, he goes back to sitting. A never ending flow of movements.
Bakugou claimed his own desk, something he did the moment they entered his dorm. Not that they ever tried to take the spot from him. He always sat at his desk, schoolwork in front of him, one leg propped up, leaning his chin against his knee as he peered at the papers.
Kaminari shifts again, but the noise is muffled by the earphones Bakugou got into the habit of wearing. There isn't any music playing, but they help him with blocking out common sounds, as well as softening unexpected louder ones. He doesn't look up from his work as Kaminari moves around. The boy is sitting just outside his vision, so his movements go unseen.
Together they figured out what is distracting and what isn't. What is okay and what isn't. When to be silent and when to speak up. It has been through trial and error that they got to where they are now. Tentative steps into newer territory, followed by backtracking and many retries as they learned. They’re still far from perfect, but they are all willing to work for it, prepared to put in the time, the energy it would take to get there.
Kirishima is sitting within eyesight. A red spot in the corner of his eye. Bakugou can see the way he starts frowning down at his homework, his pen in his mouth as he bites at it, ruining yet another pen.
Bakugou closes his eyes for a second, knowing Kirishima will pout down at his pen when he eventually notices, disappointed in himself. But if Bakugou calls him out now, it wouldn't help. Kirishima would only feel worse about it and it just happens again. Just like it had all the times in the past.
So instead, Bakugou watches him, head still turned to his own work, pretending to read the next exercise, but his attention is no longer there. He waits for the frown to disappear between Kirishima eyebrows. Sometimes it does. If so, that meant Kirishima realized what the correct answer is. A self satisfied smile would always find its way onto his lips as he started scribbling down the newly discovered solution.
This time the frown stays, a deep crease between his eyebrows. Kirishima glances up, looking over at Bakugou with questioning eyes. He opens his mouth, a question on his lips, before he snaps his jaw shut, turning back to his work.
Bakugou pretends he didn't see as he finishes his own question, giving it a few seconds before he pushes himself off his chair.
Kirishima glances up, pulling the pen out of his mouth and letting it fall forgotten next to him.
The corner of Bakugou's lips pulls at the thought of the spit that was on the pen that had just ended up on his clean sheets. He doesn't say anything about it, deciding that Kirishima's sheepish look as he realizes his own mistake is enough.
He pushes away some of Kirishima's books, sitting down next to him on the bed. He pulls the notebook off Kirishima's lap, flipping back to the last question they did together. "Oi, show me what you have been doing so far, Shitty hair," he grumbles, but there's no real heat behind the words.
Kirishima plucks the notebook right back out of his hands, the frown already softening, a sparkle in his eyes.
Kaminari shifts, pulling out his earphones, not pausing the music as he drops them next to his phone. He looks up at them, pushing up far enough to see the pages of Kirishima’s book, letting himself fall back to the floor, starting to search between the paper mess around him. He grabs the corresponding notebook out of the clutter, together with a red pencil and blinks back up at them.
Bakugou shifts closer, pressing his knee firmly against Kirishima's thigh, raising his eyebrow to prompt him into starting.
Kirishima talks him through his answers, explaining his thought process and reasoning. Bakugou listens silently to him, nodding after every correctly answered question, only speaking up when it's incomplete or just not quite right.
The sound of Kaminari's pencil as he writes along fills in the gaps in between their talking. "Can you repeat that," he mutters softly, his eyes big as he looks at them.
"Sure." Kirishima's response is just as quiet. He leans forward, almost hanging off the edge of the bed, trying to show Kaminari his notes.
Bakugou reaches out on instinct, grabbing his shoulder to keep him from falling, acting before he realizes that he moved.
Kirishima glances over his shoulder and smiles gratefully at him. Then he turns back to Kaminari, pointing at his own notes as he explains the question.
“Do you get it?”
Kaminari nods, quickly writing it down, so fast that it will probably be illegible the next time he looks at it. “Yeah, I understand now, thanks.”
“No problem, bro,” Kirishima says, “I had difficulty with that one too.”
He leans more forward, only the grip Bakugou has on him keeping him from falling off the bed. There was a time when Bakugou would just have let go of him and would have let him drop onto the floor with an eye roll and a scoff. Something has changed, and now he holds onto Kirishima’s shoulder, watching him hit the top of Kaminari’s head with his notebook.
“Hey!” Kaminari schrieks, but the shout is clearly more out of surprise than anything else.
"What?" Kirishima laughs, moving back as Kaminari shoves at him.
"I'll get you back for that," Kaminari threatened, pointing at him with his pencil. A smile is pulling on the corners of his lips.
"Oh yeah? What you're gonna do then," Kirishima teases, moving to lean back off the bed.
Bakugou tightens his grip, holding Kirishima back. "You were showing me your work, Red."
As much as he likes watching the exchange, they still have work to do. They can relax after they finish their homework.
Kirishima grins at him, seemingly unbothered by the interruption. He sends Kaminari a last teasing look, to which the boy only responds with a wink.
Bakugou shakes his head, tapping Kirishima's notebook impatiently, ignoring the whink Kaminari also sends his way.
They go through all of the remaining questions until they reach the one Kirishima got stuck on earlier. Sometimes the short distraction of thinking about other questions would be enough to refresh his brain and for him to realize what the answer is. If so, he would then nod along as he writes it down, afterwards showing it to Bakugou, similar to how a child shows their parent their drawing proudly.
Other times it doesn't help and Kirishima would look at him, lips parted slightly, exposing his sharp teeth as he shakes his head.
This time the question proves itself too hard and Kirishima chews at his bottom lip. His eyes dance through the room, like it will magically give him the answer. He shakes his head, before looking at Bakugou. "I can't figure this one out," he says, offering him a pencil, one of the few where the end hasn't been chewed on yet.
Bakugou scoffles, but he takes it. He leans over Kirishima's lap to look at the book. He reads the problem out loud, glancing at Kirishima to check if he follows along, before he starts giving small hints to lead Kirishima in the right direction.
Then when the frown between Kirishima's brows has completely disappeared, being replaced by a blinding grin, his eyes thankful, Bakugou slides off the bed, placing himself down on the ground next to Kaminari.
He grabs the notebook right from underneath Kaminari's nose, scanning over the answers as the boy pushes himself upright into a sitting position.
At first Kaminari would just wait for Bakugou to give his notebook back, but over time he started to inch closer. He used to hover over his shoulder, watching Bakugou correct his questions with Kirishima's pencil. Bakugou had hated that, the almost touching, but not quite. But every time he attempted to voice his displeasure, it had led to Kaminari not touching him at all. So he had forced himself to sit it out and somewhere along the many hours they spent studying in Bakugou's dorm, that room between them had disappeared.
Kaminari watches along at how Bakugou puts down a check mark at every correctly answered question. His chin rests on Bakugou's right shoulder as he leans heavily against him, chest pressed against Bakugou's shoulder blade. He snakes his arm around his middle, hand finding his jacket pocket. Kaminari fidgets with the zipper, pulling it up and down as he attentively follows along with the corrections Bakugou makes to his work.
A small smile appears on his lips as he takes back the notebook when Bakugou offers it.
Kaminari detaches himself from him and Bakugou misses the contact immediately.
Kaminari turns to Kirishima, who is doing an awful job at pretending not to watch them. "I'm getting better," Kaminari says, "I made less mistakes than last time."
Kirishima doesn't respond verbally, instead he reaches down to gently punch Kaminari's shoulder.
Bakugou follows the interaction with his eyes, and all of it should be too soft, too sweet for him to enjoy. It should be, but it isn't.
He watches them grin proudly at each other. Kaminari leans forward, resting his head on the edge of the bed as he stares up at Kirishima. Most of his hair has fallen out of the bun he put it in earlier. The strands seem to glow like gold in the orange light of the late afternoon sun.
Kirishima drifts closer to him, doing so unconsciously. He reaches out, brushing the hairs out of Kaminari's face. Kaminari leans into the touch, his eyes fluttering shut. Their smiles change to something more tender and warm.
Bakugou turns away, both of them together suddenly too bright for him not to be blinded.
He glances over Kaminari's things instead, eyes falling on the book sticking out of his bag. He grabs it, turning it to read the title. It isn't one of the books they have been given in class, rather he recognises it as the one Kaminari had been reading during the lunchbreak the day before.
"Dunchface," Bakugou snaps, but it's too gentle, too fond. Too much everything and never enough. Kaminari knows it too. Bakugou can see it in the way the boy takes his time to turn his way, relaxed and comfortable.
"Explain the plot?" He holds up the book, shaking it in the air.
Kaminari follows the movement with his eyes. A big smile breaks through. He surges forward, grabbing the book out of Bakugou's grasp.
"How long do I get?" He asks excitedly, clenching the book in his hands, buzzing and crackling.
And Bakugou knows he shouldn't find the tiny electric waves running over Kaminari's fingers cute. He knows he shouldn't think of the way Kaminari's nose scrunches up and his eyes squeeze completely close as he smiles a smile almost too big for his face, as pretty.
Bakugou glances at the clock, ignoring the all knowing look Kirishima sends him.
"Eight minutes," he decides.
"Eight?" Kaminari shrieks overjoyed.
He quirks his eyebrow. "That's what I said, didn't I?"
Kirishima shifts, leaning the weight of his upper body on his elbows as he hangs over the edge of the bed.
"Last time was five. You're being more generous with him," Kirishima whispers into Bakugou's ear. He speaks softly enough so Kaminari doesn't hear, but his warm breath still rolls down Bakugou's neck, causing an involuntary shudder to run over his spine.
Kirishima laughs airily, deliberately blowing more warm air towards him.
This time Bakugou is able to suppress the shiver. He holds up his middle finger to Kirishima. His eyes are glued on the Kaminari, not giving Kirishima the satisfaction by turning, because he knows his eyes would betray him.
Kirishima only chuckles in response, moving away, giving back some of Bakugou's sanity. And Bakugou wishes for him to come back and stay as far away as possible at the same time.
"Can I?" Kaminari asks, still sounding absolutely thrilled.
Bakugou nods, not trusting his own voice.
Kirishima doesn't say anything when they pass the eight minute mark, but he raises his eyebrow when Bakugou eventually stops Kaminari after eleven minutes.
'That was more than eight minutes,' Kirishima mouths.
'Shut up,' Bakugou mouths back angrily.
Kirishima only shrugs, turning back to his homework with a smile on his lips.
Kaminari is still grinning as he pushes the book back in his bag. He lets himself fall down on his stomach, grabbing his own work.
Bakugou pushes himself off the ground, stretching his legs, before sitting down in his chair. Now with his back turned to them, the smile that he had been fighting the entire time slips through. He pushes his fist against his lips, trying (and failing) to make it go away.
He glances at Kirishima from the corner of his eye, checking if he noticed. Luckily Kirishima seems completely absorbed in his own work. He's lying on his stomach, stretched out with his feet hanging off the edge. His pen is back to his mouth, only now poking and pushing at his lips as his eyes scan over the text. He mumbles the words low and quietly under his breath, unaware of the focused eyes Bakugou has on him.
Kaminari softly snickers behind them, the sound almost immediately muffled as he claps his hand over his mouth. Still Bakugou's gaze shoots back to his own work, cheeks heating up.
Maybe he laughed because he read something funny, or thought of something dumb. Maybe he didn't notice me staring.
Kirishima makes a questioning noise, not looking up from his work.
Kaminari shakes his head. And Bakugou is once again semi-impressed by Kaminari's ability to make any normally soundless actions produce noise.
When Bakugou is confident that most of the red has left his face, he looks over his shoulder.
As if Kaminari can read his mind, his eyes find Bakugou's immediately. He smiles, eyes flickering to Kirishima and directly back to him. His grins widens.
Bakugou scowls at him, fighting the warmth that is trying to flow back onto his face.
Kaminari blows a kiss his way. A laugh escapes him as Bakugou turns back around. He hides his face behind both his hands, his whole face heating up.
Bakugou misses the slightly confused look Kirishima sends him, before he looks at Kaminari for an answer. Kaminari gives a shrug as explanation, blowing Kirishima a kiss too.
When Bakugou eventually withdraws his hands enough to glance at them, Kirishima's whole face is a slight pink colour as he stares blindly down at his notebook. Kaminari is happily writing down something, smugly grinning to himself.
Bakugou feels the need to throw something at him, but decides against it. He shifts to look at the last few assignments on his desk. He pushes his earphones back into his ears, letting a few small explosions pop in his hands. Kirishima blinks back to life to the sound, but he doesn’t look up, instead he pushes the sting of his hoodie into his mouth, chewing on it thoughtfully as he restarts his work.
Kaminari hums questioningly at the sound of the explosions, curious and unconcerned.
“Feels nice,” Bakugou mutters as a form of explanation.
Kaminari hums again, this time in acknowledgement. “Do the same.”
Bakugou settles down, stirring his focus back to his homework. Time passes freely as he concentrates on the different questions and only when he finishes the last one, he notices that it has gotten much darker in his room, shadows growing at the corners.
The sun is low on the horizon and fills the room with a weak red light. Bakugou eyes the clock, realizing more time had passed than he originally thought.
He stretches, reaching his arms above his head and pushing his shoulders backwards. He twists his body, grabbing the backrest of his chair to push through, letting out a low groan when his spine pops. He breathes slowly through his nose, letting himself relax. The familiar, dull ache of his sore muscles after training makes itself more apparent.
He puts his books away, hands reaching up to pull out his earphones, but stopping before he can. His thoughts run all over the place, loud enough on their own. He drops his hands, deciding against removing his earphones for now.
He turns around on his chair, eyes falling on Kirishima. He glows in the red light, looking both sharp and compliant at the same time. Bakugou’s eyes drift over his form, only lingering briefly at the thin strip of skin showing where his hoodie rode up at his side. Kirishima is still on his stomach, squinting down at his notebook. Seemingly able to feel eyes on him, he looks up, a tired, but content smile spreading on his lips when their eyes meet.
“Hey,” Kirishima sighs, blinking blissfully at him as he folds his arms to rest his head onto.
“Hi,” Bakugou says, the word falling from his lips, unusually soft and nothing like him. Suddenly he is standing on unfamiliar territory and panic rushes through him. Not knowing what to do, he says the first thing that comes to mind, “my bed comfortable, Shitty hair?” His voice lost most of its edge, but it’s still harsh compared to the warmth of the room.
Kirishima doesn’t seem to be concerned by Bakugou’s sudden defensiveness. His smile doesn’t waver as he watches him, eyes filled with an emotion Bakugou can’t quite place.
“Yeah, it’s,” he says, mouth barely moving, his eyes fluttering shut. He turns, pressing his nose into the crook of his elbow, looking like he can fall asleep any second.
Bakugou’s eyes shift over to where Kaminari is still laying on the floor, softly tapping the ground with his foot to an inaudible rhythm. His lips move soundlessly and it takes Bakugou a moment to realize Kaminari is singing. He scribbles things down in his notebook, chin resting on the palm of his hand. His schoolbook has been elbowed out of the way, making it clear he was no longer working on assignments.
Bakugou stands up, stepping closer. Kaminari doesn’t notice, his focus completely on whatever he is doing.
Bakugou’s eyes scan over the paper, finding the last question Kaminari worked on. He waits for Kaminari to lift his pen before kicking his side.
“What?” Kaminari head shoots up, blinking repeatedly to get back to reality. He rolls over onto his back, looking up at Bakugou, grinning with too much energy, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. “Oh hey bro, what’s up?”
“Did you finish your work, Sparky?” Bakugou snaps at him, already knowing the answer.
“Uhh, let me check.” He lifts his head far enough to yank his notebook out from under him. He drums his fingers on it as his eyes dance over the page. He peeks at Bakugou over the edge. Bakugou pretends he doesn’t notice.
“Well, to be honest.” Kaminari laughs awkwardly, not meeting his eyes. “I seriously tried to, but then I got distracted by an new idea for a bass line and that got me thinking about something else and then I remembered that thing I still needed to do and—”
“Spill it out, Dunchface.”
Kaminari stiffens, curling almost invisibly into himself. He swallows, lowering his eyes. “Didn’t finish,” he mumbles.
Bakugou wants to yell at him to make it clear that he isn’t asking this to upset him. He tightens his jaw so as to not snap at him, knowing that it would only make it worse. “How far did you get,” he says, sounding far more aggressive than he wanted to.
Kaminari shrinks in on himself. “Only two and a half left.”
“Do you understand them?” Bakugou bites the inside of his cheek to weaken the harsh words.
“The first two I get, they are the same as the ones I did finish.”
“And the last?”
“Don’t know. Haven’t looked at it yet.” Kaminari picks at the paper, eyes fixed on his hands where they won’t cross Bakugou’s.
“When were you planning on doing them?” Bakugou folds his arms over each other, staring down at Kaminari, wishing he was better with words.
“After breakfast, while you guys are out on your morning run. They shouldn’t take long to get done,” he mumbles, pushing himself up so he is sitting. He is still folded in on himself, but his shoulders have loosen.
“And what if you get stuck?”
Kaminari doesn’t answer immediately, instead he frowns down at the notebook he is still holding onto too tightly. Bakugou can see the gears turning in his head.
Kaminari glances up carefully. “I would ask you or Kiri to help me when you get back,” he offers.
“Are you telling or asking me?”
Kaminari shakes his head. “I would ask either of you for help if I get stuck,” he repeats more certain.
Bakugou squints at him, before he nods. “Okay then.”
Kaminari stares at him, a million thoughts and questions visible shooting through his eyes like lighting. “Oh.” He blinks. “Yeah, okay, you’re right.”
“Tsk, of course I am.” Bakugou turns to glance at Kirishima. The redhead is watching them intently with lidded eyes, chin resting on his folded arms and most of his hair hanging in his face.
“Come on, idiots,” Bakugou scoffles, “we’re going downstairs.”
Immediately Kirishima pushes himself off the bed, shoving hair out of his face.
Kaminari scrambles up right. “You’re cooking for us?”
Kaminari pouts at him, pushing his feet into his sneakers without untying the laces first.
Bakugou rolls his eyes, eyeing Kaminari’s shoes with a scowl. “I’m not doing all the work, you two are helping.”
Kaminari shrugs, opening the door to the hall. “If you say so,” he calls over his shoulder, rounding the corner.
Bakugou glares after him. They can hear Kaminari's laugh drifting through the hall, until the elevator doors close.
“Too much?” Bakugou asks, not looking away from the opened door.
“We’ll work on it,” Kirishima says. He places his hand on Bakugou’s shoulder, squeezing reassuringly, before pushing him forward. “Let’s go bro, before Kami blows up all the appliances.”
“As if you’re any better than Sparky, Shitty hair,” Bakugou grumbles, kicking the door shut behind them.
Kirishima laughs, throwing his arm around his shoulders. “Maybe not, but I guess you have to teach us then.”
Bakugou only grunts, a scowl firmly back on his face.
Kirishima doesn’t falter. Doesn’t even acknowledge it as he pushes the elevator button, starting a one sided conversation about something Ashido had said.
Soon enough, they are joined again by Kaminari. They don’t actively try to get Bakugou to talk, but they don’t exclude him from the conversation. Cheerfully responding to his gruffy, one word replies.
Bakugou briefly wonders where the sudden energy is coming from. Both of them had looked like they could have fallen asleep in his dorm earlier. His thoughts are interrupted as Kaminari lets out a yelp, dropping the kitchen knife he was cutting vegetables with on the counter.
“All ready on it,” Kirishima says right away, reaching for the first aid kit on the fridge.
“Are there any cool bandages?” Kaminari asks, not alarmed as Bakugou grabs his wrist forcefully, pulling his hand close to examine the wound.
“How did you even do that? I told you to concentrate,” Bakugou barks. He pushes Kaminari’s hand under the cold, running water, pulling it up to his face moments later, squinting at the cut on Kaminari’s index finger.
“I was focusing,” Kaminari sputters in denial, but it’s weak.
“Tsk.” Bakugou lets go of his wrist, stepping over to the pan that’s still on the stove. He lowers the temperature, eyeing them as he keeps the food from burning.
Kirishima immediately takes his place, reaching out to look at the small cut himself.
“It’s nothing,” Kaminari assures, “doesn’t even hurt.”
“Still,” Kirishima mutters, tongue poking out between his teeth as he daps at the skin with a cloth.
Kaminari hisses when it stings. He tries to pull his hand away, but Kirishima holds on firmly, ever so gentle.
“Sorry,” Kirishima apologizes, offering a sympathetic smile. “What band aid do you want?”
“Is there a Red Riot one?”
Kirishima glances at the band aid around the ring finger of Kaminari’s other hand, the orange, black and green colours of Bakugou’s hero costume vibrant in the yellow lighting of the kitchen.
“You’re trying to collect all the heroes?” He teases, looking through the bin for the recognisable red of his own costume.
“No,” Kaminari hops on top of the kitchen island, “only you two.”
The spatula that Bakugou was holding slips out of his hand. He is able to catch it just before it clatters onto the floor, snatching it out of the air. When he looks up, the other two are looking at him.
“Everything alright?” Kirishima asks, tilting his head slightly. Something he does without being aware of it.
“Yeah, I’m good. Spatula fell, that’s all.” Bakugou pushes himself off the ground, brushing off the non existing dust on his clothes.
“Good thing that we have had reflex training,” Kirishima says. He sends him a small, sunny smile, before returning on his quest of finding a Red Riot band aid.
Kaminari raises his eyebrow, grinning widely like he knows exactly what happened. Bakugou glares at him, but his grin doesn’t waver.
Bakugou closes his eyes, sucking in a sharp breath as he forces himself to relax. It doesn’t come as difficult as it once did. He gives himself a few seconds, before he forces his eyes back open. Kaminari is still looking at him, leaning against Kirishima, arms folded on top of his shoulder as Kirishima stands hunched over the countertop. Kaminari’s grin is still in place.
A plan forms in Bakugou’s head. He slowly turns back around towards the stove, pausing just before they would only be able to see his side profile and then he winks at Kaminari.
Kaminari lets out a squeak and almost falls off the counter.
Bakugou quickly turns fully around, going back to cutting vegetables with warm cheeks.
“Are you okay?” He can hear Kirishima ask.
“Yeah,” Kaminari wheezes. He clears his throat. It doesn’t help. “Yeah, I’m fine, it was nothing.”
Kaminari seems to be choking on air. Bakugou, even with his back turned to them, can feel Kirishima frown. The silent, are you sure , loud and clear over the faint humming of the kitchen.
“Did you find one?” Kaminari asks, clearly trying to divert the conversation, his voice airy and higher than usual. Bakugou doesn’t fight the smile that forms on his lips. He did that.
“Oh yeah, I did,” Kirishima says, sounding like he knows exactly what Kaminari is trying to do and letting him get away with it. He shifts around, presumably grabbing the band aid.
Bakugou listens to them talk about the designs of the band aids with half an ear as Kirishima wraps it around Kaminari’s finger.
“Kiss it better?” Kaminari jokes as he kicks his feet lightly against the cupboards.
Before Bakugou even can roll his eyes at Kaminari’s teasing, Kirishima responds easily, “sure.”
Immediately Bakugou spins on his heels, just in time to see Kirishima bring Kaminari’s hand up to his mouth and gently press his lips against the band aid that is just as red as his hair. Kaminari looks exactly how Bakugou feels. All the air has been punched out of his lungs in one hit, leaving him stunned and gasping. He is breathless, achieved in the best way possible.
He grabs a hold of the counter, stabilizing himself. He pushes his fist against his mouth, breathing harshly through his nose over his knuckles.
Kaminari’s mouth hangs open, but no words leave him. He stares shocked at Kirishima's back as he places the first aid kit back on top of the fridge. He looks like he short-circuited, but then he moves. He brings his hand up to his face, gawking at the bandaid.
Kirishima looks at them innocently when he turns back around, tilting his head in a silent question. However, his eyes sparkle playfully and his lips pull up at the corners, partly revealing his sharp teeth.
Bakugou grumbles at him, but it’s unintelligible and clearly forced. He ignores both of them as he fixates entirely on finishing cooking, trying to block them out.
They let him, giving him the time and space to collect himself.
It takes a couple of minutes, but then Kaminari snaps out of it, coming back to reality. He rattles and babbles on and on about a book he read last week, his voice becoming a negligible background noise.
When Bakugou turns around, the bowls with their prepared food in his hands, he is met with the sight of Kirishima sitting at the head of the kitchen island. Elbows propped up on the countertop, chin resting on his palms as he watches Kaminari intensely.
Kaminari has turned Kirishima’s way, twisted his body so his right leg is still hanging off the edge, but his left is now located on the counter. He moves his arms around enthusiastically, almost hitting the lamp hanging from the ceiling multiple times. He doesn’t seem to notice.
Bakugou has no idea what he is talking about, but Kirishima looks genuinely interested, absorbed in the monologue and attentive listening to everything Kaminari is saying.
Bakugou doesn’t look away as he grabs their chopsticks blindly. Moving closer, he places the bowls in front of each of them.
He steps behind Kirishima to get to his place. Kirishima wraps his hand around his forearm, stopping him, squeezing lightly. Thank you , it means.
Bakugou twists his wrist so he can press his fingers to the side of Kirishima’s hand. You’re welcome. He slips out of Kirishima’s grasp, who’s fingers trailing down over his wrist and hand, falling away when they reach his knuckles.
Bakugou sits down on the stool where he always sits. His back facing the doorway leading to the living area, across from Kaminari.
Kaminari follows Bakugou with curious eyes, chuckling when Bakugou scowls at him. “Thank you for cooking, Blasty, it looks amazing.”
“It better be,” Bakugou bites at him. Kaminari just chuckles again.
“You were saying?” Kirishima asks, making Kaminari turn his attention back to him.
“Oh yeah,” Kaminari laughs, beaming brightly at both of them, instantly returning to his heated explanation of the book.
Bakugou tries to follow along, but with the lack of context, he quickly gets lost and overwhelmed by the words falling rapidly out of Kaminari’s mouth. He busies himself with eating dinner, watching as Kirishima nods, who is actually able to keep up with the story.
Kirishima shoves the last couple of bites into his mouth, a few rice grains stick to the corners. He licks his lips, but misses some. Before Bakugou can even realize what he is doing, he is already leaning forward over the kitchen island. He moves the pad of his thumb over the corners of Kirishima’s mouth, brushing the last few grains of rice away.
Kirishima instantly flushes bright red, staring at him with big eyes, lips parting slightly. Kaminari has gone quiet.
“You missed a few,” Bakugou points out, trying to make it sound like his action was perfectly normal, his decision nothing, but logical. He doesn’t feel like he succeeds.
His thumb is still hovering in front of Kirishima’s lips, so he can feel his warm breath roll over his finger as Kirishima lets out a small, “ah.”
He pulls away, sitting back down, his own cheeks feeling like they are burning. He can feel both of their eyes on him, asking for an explanation he can’t give, even though he wants to.
Glancing up, he notices the almost completely full bowl in front of Kaminari. He pokes Kaminari’s knee with the other end of his chopsticks. “Go eat, before it cools down even more.” With that, some of the build up tension flows away.
Kirishima’s cheeks are still pink when he washes the dishes, but he snickers as Kaminari shakes out a bowl above the sink, causing the foam that was left in the bowl to end up everywhere except the drain.
Kaminari hits his shoulder with the dish towel, scooting back over the counter out of reach when Kirishima lifts his hand to splash water his way.
Kaminari cackles loudly when the water hits him nevertheless.
Bakugou watches them as he puts away the leftovers, not hiding away the small smile that has formed on his lips.
Soon enough they are on their way upstairs again, the elevator doors sliding open to their floor.
Kaminari presses past him, slipping his hand in and out of Bakugou’s pocket. He holds the keys high in the air, letting out a victorious cheer, jumping away from Bakugou’s hands when he tries to grab him.
“Give that back,” Bakugou grunts, not actively trying to get them back.
Kaminari just giggles, skipping down the hall to Bakugou’s dorm. He opens the door, disappearing inside.
Kirishima snorts next to him. Bakugou smacks his shoulder, but Kirishima sees him coming, hardening his skin a second before impact.
Bakugou curses under his breath, glaring at Kirishima’s side profile.
Bakugou remembers how it had just started with him going on one study date with Kirishima. He had thought it would be a one-time thing, but it hadn’t been. Studying with Kirishima became a regular occurance, something he secretly started to look out for.
One day Kaminari had decided to join them in the library and Bakugou had spent most of the time glaring at him. Still Kaminari came back the week after, and the one after that.
The one time Kaminari had been running late and Bakugou had snarled at the girl trying to take the place on his right. The library was buzzing when he finally showed up and both Kirishima and Kaminari had been unable to concentrate the whole time they were there. Frustrated and overstimulated by the noises and movements, Bakugou had dragged them over to his dorm, snapping at everything and everyone along the way.
From that moment on they studied in his room. After that became a bit of a blur, their study sessions going from once to multiple times a week, running longer every time, until it only seemed logical to eat dinner together.
He remembered how Kaminari had hesitated, before faking confidence, stepping out of the elevator after dinner one night onto Bakugou’s and Kirishima’s floor. Both him and Kirishima had hovered by Bakugou’s dorm, before retreating to Kirishima’s dorm when he had thrown the door shut in their faces. He had heard them laugh through the wall.
The next time he left his door open when he stomped into his dorm. They slowly had followed him into the room, glancing at each other. He had ignored them in favour of finishing the last remaining of his homework.
And ever so slowly they relaxed around each other, to the point where Kaminari thought it to be okay to steal his keys and for Kirishima to laugh about it.
They step into his dorm, Bakugou closing the door behind Kirishima. Kaminari is picking up his notes and books off the floor, putting away the loose papers in the All Might folder he had stolen from Bakugou that he had let him keep.
“Where are my keys, Dunchface?”
Kaminari doesn’t look his way as he shrugs his shoulders, but he doesn’t try to hide his smile. “I’ve no idea, Blasty.”
“If you lost them in the ten seconds you had them, you’ll die.”
Kaminari pouts, shaking his head. “That isn’t very nice.”
“I will kill you,” Bakugou threatens, fisting the front of Kaminari’s shirt.
“I don’t have them,” he whines, hands clasping Bakugou’s as he tries to pull himself free.
“Kaminari,” he hisses low, tightening his grip. Kaminari’s eyes dart to something behind him and Bakugou immediately lets him go in favour of turning around.
“Shitty hair, give them right now.”
Kirishima looks at him innocently, still standing close to the door. “I don’t have them,” he says, sounding genuine, too genuine.
Kirishima only laughs, throwing his head back. Bakugou steps into his space, once again reminded of the fact that Kirishima had grown a couple of centimeters in the last year and is now slightly taller than him.
“Where did you hide them.”
Kirishima grins down at him, holding his hands up in surrender.
Bakugou growls, pushing his hand into the pocket of Kirishima’s hoodie. His fingers find cool metal and he pulls out his keys. There is something extra, adding more weight. A bright, yellow and red hanger.
“What’s that,” he says, lifting it up so he can glare at it.
“We got you a keychain,” Kirishima explains.
“As gift,” Kaminari adds happily.
Bakugou narrows his eyes at the keychain. He recognizes the two tiny figures standing with their arms thrown over each other's shoulders as simplified versions of Kaminari and Kirishima in their hero costumes.
He doesn’t recall seeing the design before, the art style being just as unfamiliar. Must be from a freelance artist , he realizes. They clearly spent a lot of time looking at references as he can’t find any of the mistakes that are usually made. The background behind Kirishima is Kaminari’s trademark yellow and behind Kaminari is Kirishima’s red, morphing together between the two into an orange that closely resembles Bakugou’s.
He pushes his keys with the keychain and all into his pocket. “I hate it, why would you buy something with your own faces on it,” he says, glaring at them.
Kaminari grins proudly, throwing his arm over his shoulder. “I’m really happy you like it.”
“I just told you I hated it. Are you deaf or what?” He says through clenched teeth. He shoves Kaminari off of him, who only laughs and returns to collecting his things.
Kirishima lays a hand on his shoulder, squeezing, before brushing past him to pick up everything he left on the bed. His smile is clearly visible on his face.
Bakugou watches them, hand finding its way into his pocket where he curls his fingers around the new addition to his keys. He hates it. Hates how much he loves it.
He settles next to Kirishima on the bed, placing his laptop on his lap. Kirishima shifts, leaning back against Bakugou’s shoulder, pulling his Gameboy out of his pocket.
Across the room, Kaminari inches closer to his closet. “Can I lend a hoodie?”
“Aw, please Blasty, it’s cold,” Kaminari whimpers.
Bakugou can see him shiver, rubbing over his arms as he watches Bakugou expectantly. His shirt clings to him at the places where it had gotten wet during Kirishima’s and his playfight in the kitchen.
“Okay, thanks, you’re the best.” Kaminari pulls open the closet doors, starting to look through the clothes.
Kirishima snorts. “And you question why people get confused by you,” he says, eyes not looking away from where a weedle is failing to do any damage.
“What?” Bakugou hisses, but it misses any real heat. He types in the site he watches films on, waiting for the awful wifi to load.
“You say no when you mean no, but also when you mean yes. To anyone that doesn’t know you and doesn’t know where to look for the actual answer, it just seems like you're always saying no,” Kirishima explains easily, before pushing a button with a frustrated groan. His pidgey hits itself in confusion again.
Bakugou grumbles, trying to come up with something that would prove Kirishima wrong. His attention is however caught by something else.
Kaminari suffles towards them, wearing one of Bakugou’s All Might hoodies. The one he chose is already a size too big on Bakugou and Kaminari is completely drowning in it. Too wide for Kaminari’s slender frame, the hoodie has slipped down and reveals the skin of his collarbones and right shoulder. The bottom just reaches the middle of his thighs, being pushed up and falling down every time Kaminari takes a step. The sleeves hang over his hands. Kaminari pushes them up to his elbows, but they sag down again over his wrists.
Bakugou nudges Kirishima with his elbow, causing him to look up. Kirishima opens his mouth and Bakugou nudges him again, harder this time, to keep him from speaking.
Kaminari squats down next to his bag. He rumbles through it, grabbing his book and pushing his shirt in, before continuing his way to the bed.
Bakugou notices the moment Kirishima realizes what Kaminari is wearing, as he promptly sits up. His eyes run over Kaminari, lingering at his partly visible collarbones and where the hoodie ends on his legs. He lets himself fall back against Bakugou’s shoulder. “So cute and manly,” he whimpers.
Bakugou hums low in agreement.
He quirks his eyebrow when Kaminari sits down on his otherside.
The boy grins brightly, unaware of the crisis Kirishima and Bakugou are going through. “Thank you again, Blasty, your hoodies are one of the best,” he pipes up, snuggling into the fabric.
“Only one of the best?” Bakugou asks, his voice is scratchy as he huffs out the question.
Kaminari shrugs, settling against him. “It’s a shared first place.”
“Oh yeah? With who?” Bakugou asks. Confident that he already knows the answer. Kirishima must do too. The screen of his Gameboy is stuck on the same image, asking which attack he wants to use.
“With Kiri of course. Who else?” Kaminari chirps, leaning his head against Bakugou’s shoulder and flipping his book open.
Kirishima inhales sharply, the tips of his ears turning just as red as his hair.
“I’ll beat their ass if anyone else tries,” Bakugou puffs out. He jabs Kirishima’s side again. Kirishima returns to his Pokemon battle.
“I would cheer you on,” Kaminari says absent mindedly, his attention in the conversation quickly disappearing as he starts reading.
Bakugou scrolls through the catalogue, scanning over the titles, summaries and movie covers. Eventually he ends on a film some people in class had talked about that hadn’t sounded completely awful. He plugs his earphones in, turning on subtitles. The moment before he presses play, Kirishima shifts on his shoulder.
“I’m extremely content with sharing first place in this,” Kirishima whispers, so soft and private that Bakugou wouldn’t have heard if they weren’t sitting so close.
Bakugou hits the play button just a tad too hard, his face heating up.
Around twenty minutes into the movie, Kirishima turns off his Gameboy. He shifts around, sinking more against Bakugou as he turns just enough to watch someone jump out of a moving car.
“What are they doing?” He asks, his breath dancing over Bakugou’s neck.
“Being idiots is what they are doing,” Bakugou grumbles, watching with slight disgust as the main character decides to run away from the antagonist by running up to the top of the building. They don’t have any established way of getting off the roof safely. “They are more stupid than all the extras in this school put together.”
Kirishima hums. “Sure they are. Makes our classmates not so bad in comparison, huh?”
“They wish,” he grunts.
“You know,” Kirishima says, interrupting himself by yawning. He rubs in his eyes, before he plucks Bakugou’s left earphone out of his ear, pushing it into his own.
Bakugou rolls his eyes, but doesn’t say anything. He moves so Kirishima can rest his head more comfortably, not taking his eyes off the screen. He reaches up, gently starting to comb his fingers through Kirishima’s hair, carefully pulling at the hairs still sticking together due to the hair gel. Kirishima softens underneath his touch.
Kaminari shifts too, turning to nestle more into his side, eyes not wavering from his book, only a few pages seem to be left unread. He hums content when Bakugou wraps his arm around his waist, pulling him closer.
“I know?” Bakugou asks, as it becomes clear Kirishima isn’t going to finish on his own.
“You know?” Kirishima repeats, rubbing at his eyes again.
“That’s what I’m asking you. You were going to tell me something.” Bakugou scratches lightly behind his ear. Kirishima lets out a satisfied sigh, tilting his head into the touch.
“I just thought that you’re like the cyndaquil line,” he murmurs.
“You think I look like cyndaquil?”
Kirishima nods. “Not always, but sometimes, when you let us in.”
“And the rest of the time?”
“More like typhlosion,” he mutters, “but that’s okay too, you’re really manly.”
“Uhhuh.” Kirishima nods, squinting at the screen, the main character just jumped off the edge of the building into the fountain below. Any person would break their legs with how shallow the water is, but by the logic of movies, that isn’t the case.
Bakugou continues to brush through his hair, aware of the fact that Kirishima will probably not remember most of the conversation tomorrow. “And what about Sparky, who is he?”
“Pikachu is super cool,” Kaminari offers. He lets the book fall down next to him, curling into Bakugou’s side fully.
“You finished reading?” Kirishima asks, pulling the earphone out of his ear.
“Yeah, I can tell you about the ending tomorrow if you want?” Kaminari offers, his voice muffled as he slips his hand over his mouth to hide his yawn. His whole face gets covered by the sleeve of his hoodie.
“I would like that,” Kirishima mumbles, reaching out to turn down the brightness of the laptop.
Bakugou watches the main character, who’s name he can't be bothered to remember, and a very suspicious new character, who was mysteriously sent to help, drive away in a very old getaway car. They stir their car to take a u-turn, speeding into a tunnel. The screen becomes completely black, plumping the room in darkness, and Bakugou has no memory of seeing them reach the end of the tunnel.
Kirishima is the first to wake. He pushes himself upright, off of Bakugou's shoulder. Bakugou blinks awake at the sudden lack of heat and contact, his eyes finding Kirishima's.
"I guess we fell asleep during the movie, it's been a long day," Kirishima whispers, his voice hoarse.
Bakugou only nods, drifting somewhere between consciousness and sleep. Kirishima looks soft in the blue light filtering past the curtains. His mind is blurry and he wants Kirishima to sit back down next to him. Rest his head back on his shoulder and put his arm around Bakugou and Kaminari, holding them close.
Kirishima glances at the clock and Bakugou follows his eyes slowly. "It's past midnight."
"I can see that, idiot," Bakugou mutters back, too tired to roll his eyes or even frown.
Kirishima only smiles in response. He turns, moving towards his and Kaminari's school bag and kneeling down to grab the last items that are scattered around the room.
Bakugou glances down at where Kaminari's face is pressed against his chest, his arm loosely placed around his waist. He is peaceful, his lips parted slightly as he breathes in and out, a few stray hairs moving with every breath. The bun his hair had been in is completely gone and Bakugou slowly reaches up to remove the tie out of the tangled mess.
Kaminari reacts by shifting closer, his face completely disappearing in the crook of Bakugou's neck.
Bakugou only realizes that he is falling asleep again when a flash goes off. He blinks back to the surface, glaring at Kirishima who is staring down at his phone. His face is illuminated by the screen, highlighting his gentle expression.
"Delete that," he growls, but the words come out too soft to be taken serious.
Kirishima grins, his eyes dancing over Kaminari and back at Bakugou, gaze filled with an emotion Bakugou doesn't know if he understands quite yet. But he wants to understand, wants to learn to understand. He knows he is almost there.
"No, I don't think I will," Kirishima says, pushing his phone is his back pocket. He picks up the bags, hanging both over his shoulder as if they weigh nothing.
Bakugou grumbles, but he doesn't do anything else. He knows that Kirishima will send them both the picture somewhere tomorrow.
Kaminari will probably print it out. Hang it on the board next to his desk, where the whole thing is filled with different pictures and notes. Kaminari has been adding to the college since they started living in the dorms. Recently, almost all the newer ones have either Kirishima, Bakugou or both in them. Red and orange, pushing photos of the bakusquate to second place in numbers.
Kirishima will probably add the photo as one of his lock screen backgrounds, showing it proudly to Ashido and Sero when it shows up.
He knows they will do those things, just as much as he knows he will save the photo too, like all the others they send him, even though he acts as if he never does. It will end up in the folder on his phone that is filled with photos of red, orange and yellow.
"I got to wake him," Kirishima whispers, glancing down at Kaminari.
"I know," Bakugou sighs, slowly removing his hand from Kaminari's hair.
Kaminari whines lightly, curling impossibly more around him.
Kirishima kneels down in front of them, placing his hand on Kaminari's shoulder. "Hey buddy, can you wake up for me?" Kirishima asks, gently shaking him.
“No,” Kaminari whines, fisting Bakugou’s jacket.
“You need to, at least enough to walk,” Bakugou tells him. He carefully tugs at Kaminari’s fingers until he lets go. Kaminari whines again, but he does blink open his eyes enough to look at them.
“There you are,” Kirishima praises, stroking Kaminari’s jaw with his thumb. “Let’s say goodbye and get you to your own bed.”
“Okay,” Kaminari mutters, clearly falling back asleep again. He pushes himself up enough to press his lips to Bakugou’s cheek, quick and lazy, slumping back against his side a moment later.
Bakugou, who was close to falling asleep himself, now feels wide awake. His cheek tingles as where Kaminari has kissed him.
"Come on, Denki, up you go," Kirishima murmurs as he pulls Kaminari up right. Kaminari seems unconcerned about the ease with which Kirishima pushes his body around, letting himself be manhandled and put on his feet.
He rubs at his eyes, blinking drowsily at Kirishima. His eyeliner is slightly smudged around the corners. "Where we going," he mutters, his words slurred as he stumbles forward, falling against Kirishima.
Kirishima snakes his arm around his waist easily, unfazed by the fact that Kaminari leans his whole body against him, the boy not even trying to keep himself standing on his own.
"We're going to our own rooms," Kirishima whispers, bowing down to nudge the top of Kaminari's hair with his nose. "Katsuki needs his own sleep."
Bakugou blinks at the use of his first name, the sound is strange and unfamiliar on Kirishima’s tongue, but in the best way it could be. One that makes him wish for Kirishima to say his name again.
Kaminari mutters some unintelligible words, the pout audible in his voice.
"What did you say, Denki?" He asks, feeling just as odd and great about using Kaminari’s first name as his own being used.
Kaminari turns his head enough to look at Bakugou with half lidded eyes. "I want to cuddle, sleep with you," he says, his eyes fluttering close halfway through.
Kirishima chunkles, brushing a few stray hairs out of his face. "Maybe next time, tonight we're all going to sleep in our own beds."
"Okay," Kaminari agrees easily, swaying on his feet, hand grasped around the sleeve of Kirishima’s hoodie. He seems to force himself to wake up more. “You both called me Denki,” he mutters. “Are you going to keep calling me Denki?”
“Only if you want us to,” Kirishima says.
Kaminari nods. “Want to. Can I call you Eijirou and Katsuki too?”
Kirishima presses a kiss on top of his head. “I would like nothing more than you,” he looks up to meet Bakugou’s eyes, “to call me both Eijirou.”
Bakugou stands up, letting Kirishima pull him close. “I won’t stop calling you Shitty hair and Dunchface,” he warns.
Kaminari intertwines his fingers with Bakugou’s as Kirishima presses his nose against his temple. “We don’t mind. You’re gonna let us call you Katsuki?”
Bakugou breathes slowly, knowing that this decision placed before him isn’t just about being allowed to use first names. That by agreeing, he is saying yes to something so much more. Something they want to give to him, actively choose to share with him.
And maybe he doesn’t remember when he decided to let them stay. When they took over his room. When they filled up the space he had always occupied with only himself.
Maybe he doesn’t remember all of that, but he knows one thing to be completely and utterly true.
He wants them to stay.
“Yes, I want you to call me Katsuki.”