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They will come back to each other. They’ve always agreed on at least that. 

Deku is leaving. 

It’s nearly all Katsuki can think as Deku covers him from behind, the heavy, muscled weight of his body draped over Katsuki’s, wet kisses pressed between Katsuki’s shoulder blades. Deku’s hands encompass him, big and blunt-fingered and scarred to high hell, gripping and smoothing over hips and thighs, ribs and shuddering flanks. Katsuki’s face is buried in his arms, damply mouthing at the sheets, panting hard and they aren’t even fucking yet. Deku’s just mounting him like he’s breaking in a mustang, all soothing murmurs and a jockey’s dynamic, compact body anticipating the next moment Katsuki might buck him off. 

But Deku is leaving tomorrow, and it’s all Katsuki can think as Deku kisses behind his ear and ruts his thick cock in the crease of his ass, droplets of sweat pattering onto Katsuki’s damp spine to join the hot, wet trail travelling down to where their skin meets and slicks. 

Then Deku rises from him, palming up Katsuki’s sides to jerk his ass into place, high and presented for the warm breath that Deku huffs over his hole, and when Deku swipes the flat of his tongue over that spot, slippery and slow, Katsuki stops thinking of anything at all. He fists the sheets, lungs sucking in his old air, his face crushed into the mattress as it is while Deku thumbs at Katsuki’s asshole and spreads it gently, delves into it with rough, uneven thrusts of stiffened tongue. 

The backs of Katsuki’s thighs are prickling and dripping sweat, the tuck of his knees pooling with it, Deku’s grip on his ass flexing firmer, fingertips digging in deeper, hopefully bruising. It’s so fucking hot in this dorm room where all the boxes are packed and stacked and the windows are open to the thick, soaked cottonball heat of summer, but as long as Katsuki keeps his head down and his ass up, he can’t see it, can’t know anything but for the way Deku his grunting and moaning into him, fucking and licking and sucking in earnest, enough to get Katsuki’s thighs quivering, knees struggling to keep him up.

“Look at you,” Deku murmurs at the small of his back, lips smearing his words into Katsuki’s shivering skin. The click of a bottle barely registers, but the lube-sloppy dip of Deku’s thumb into Katsuki’s ass jolts through him, chucks a moan from his mouth that makes Deku hum with pleasure at the sound and keeps mumbling. “So perfect like this. Gonna make you feel so good, Kacchan, so amazing, just like you, like you, perfect, perfect—”

“Shut up,” Katsuki manages, already overwhelmed, already struggling not to rut the weeping length of his cock against the covers like the horny teenager he absolutely is. He can’t take much more and Deku is only one finger deep, curved at the knuckle to press and rub just where it forces a yelp and a snarl from Katsuki’s throat, a threat to riot if Deku doesn’t either give him more or let Katsuki fuck him stupid to stop this tease.

But Katsuki doesn’t want to fuck Deku right now, and they both know it. Katsuki wants the memory of Deku inside him, part of him, filled up and fucked through and sore enough to feel it tomorrow at the airport when Deku fucks off to Vegas to follow in their goddamn idol’s footsteps. Katsuki wants this; the way Deku’s breath hitches upon shoving in that second finger, the way he massages the meat of Katsuki’s ass in his free palm like he’s sizing up to spank, and the sharp and stunning burn when he finally does give it a smack once, twice, three times until Katsuki is breathless and wordlessly begging by fucking his hips back against Deku’s hand until that third finger stretches and scissors him helpless and wide.

“Need it, don’t you, handsome,” Deku murmurs, punctuating with another spank that surges straight to Katsuki’s cock, tightens his balls up hard between his legs. Katsuki must make a noise because Deku his hushing him, palming at the offending spot and up his back, fingertips massaging into the twitching muscle and hypersensitive skin. “S’okay, it’s okay, me too, me too, Kacchan, I need you so bad. Never not gonna need you. Never, never. . .”

And then Katsuki’s world is upending and Deku is rolling him onto his back with murmurs of, here handsome and just like this and wanna see you look at you oh my god and Katsuki is baring his teeth like a cornered animal even as he’s bringing his knees up to his chest, nails digging into his thighs as he presents himself for the way Deku is looking at him with a flushed face and puffy lips and eyes like dark, intense slits of directed desire. 

When Deku slides slowly, purposefully inside of him, Katsuki doesn’t know who is louder, doesn’t know if it's sweat catching on his eyelashes or something else, but at least Katsuki can’t think anymore. Can’t think for the feel of Deku filling him, stretching and stuffing him thick and just this side of too soon for Katsuki’s body to properly adjust to the hefty width of him.

“Go,” Katsuki snaps, meaning stay, but he rolls his hips down onto Deku’s dick and grits his teeth. “Go.”

Deku settles between Katsuki’s legs, his chest glistening with each shallow breath as he leans in and slides his hands up Katsuki’s thighs, hooks his knees over each arm and thrusts in hard, straight to the bottom. After that it’s a fucking mess, it’s a perfect disaster of meeting and mating, eyes wide open and on each other as they crash and collide and come with Katsuki’s arms reaching up to Deku, wrapping around Deku, clinging him close as they collapse into each other like old stars. 

Katsuki holds onto Deku through the night, tucking curls beneath his chin, Deku’s lush thigh and shitty arm slung over Katsuki’s body in a proprietary cling until they wake in the exact same position, sticky and disgusting and too early for having to catch the flight. 

In the airport, they don’t hug because there’s eyes everywhere and they’re famous now. Barely graduated but already bursting at the seams of who they were and who they want to be. They don’t hug because they both know neither of them will be able to stop otherwise.

“It’s only a year,” Deku says for the hundredth time in the last two months, his smile crooked and his eyes wet. “Just a year. And then I’ll come back better, I’ll be the best, the—”

“Who’re you tryin’ to convince?” Katsuki asks with a grin, keeping his aching fists firmly in his pockets. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“So watch me,” Deku fires back, leaning in one step, then two, their faces close enough that Katsuki can smell his coffee breath. “Watch me, okay?”

Katsuki’s smirk shudders to a halt, his exhale shaky as he nods.

“Don’t marry a stripper,” Katsuki manages. 

Deku’s smile looks more genuine this time around, the humor in his eyes easing the scream at the back of Katsuki’s skull. 

“I’ll come back to you,” Deku says, and Katsuki believes it, because Deku might be strange and changeable and constantly evolving, but he’s never been a liar. “I’ll come back to you, Kacchan. Don’t—don’t—”

Katsuki palms the nape of Deku’s neck and yanks him in, seals his mouth to Deku’s open, surprised lips and groans into it once, licking inside, tasting, savoring, then parting. He doesn’t remove his hand. They stare at each other, breathing hard. 

“I’ll be here,” Katsuki says. 

And that’s the last thing they say to each other face to face for a very long time.


The thing has always been this: they both love each other, but they both love their careers almost as much, and neither of them wants to force the other to carve into that career to make space for a relationship that will inevitably demand a lot of emotional, physical, and mental time and attention.

It’s an easy thing to say and an impossible thing to pull off. 

Eight months in and it’s too much, or, conversely not e-fucking-nough. Katsuki pulls favors, owes his workmates big time, and pays out the ass for the last minute flight, but he gets on that plane anyway, because if he has to spend one more night without Deku up to his ears, eyes, nose, mouth, ass, everything, he’s going to burn down a city block and personally lock himself in Tartarus so he doesn’t commit a murder. 

Katsuki hates Vegas as much as he did the time he came in First Year. It’s dry and dirty and loud and leaves his skin feeling cracked and itchy, like it can’t wait to be gone from his garishly grungy hellhole. Deku sings it's goddamn praises like a minister at the Church of Slots and Strippers, but Katsuki is unimpressed and he only wants one thing from this place and it’s not a twenty-four hour buffet or blackjack. 

He didn’t bother with a hotel, because he’ll damn well stay where Deku is staying, whether he likes it or not. He already knows the MMA gym he hangs out at on his off hours, stuffed wall to wall with famous fighters with bigger muscles than Katsuki but far less brains. He’s not jealous. 

Katsuki busts through the doors with his duffel over a shoulder and inhales the familiar scent of concrete, sweat, and old blood as he scans the room. The bro at the desk must recognize him instantly, because he’s smiling like he won jackpot, and Katsuki doesn’t have time for niceties, so he only asks for Deku and waits, staring. 

“He’s, uh, in the locker room,” the dude says, slack-jawed and stupid as they came. “Hey, could you sign—”

Katsuki stomps off toward the smell of mildew and bleach and jockstraps. American, Japan, wherever—these places always smell like balls, never changes. He shoves into the locker room, turns the corner—

Deku sits on a bench in a towel, fresh as a daisy and damp with a shower, hunched over his phone and frowning deeply as he thumbs through it. 

“I’ve been on airplane mode,” Katsuki drawls, holding back a grin in favor of a completely bland expression when Deku screams like a girl, drops his phone, and jolts to his feet. 

“K—” is all Deku manages as he seems to strangle off, eyes huge, curls dripping down his temples as his mouth soundless works around words he can’t say. 

Katsuki blinks, even as his entire body strains like a dog on a leash, barely restrained from holding back. 

“What?” Katsuki says, dropping his duffel and cocking a hip. “It’s called a surprise, dumbass. Get—OOF—”

The wind knocks clean out of him, his back impacting with the lockers, a rattle of metal as his skull hits, but he can’t hear anything for the blood roar of adrenaline in his ears as Deku encompasses him, wraps around him, arms like iron, mouth frantic, kissing his lips, chin, cheekbones, eyebrows, eyes. Deku’s making sounds like a dog, too; whimpering, whining, rubbing his face against Katsuki’s stubble, his jaw, burying his face in the crook of Katsuki’s neck and inhaling deep, shaking, he’s shaking , and Katsuki can hardly breathe for the relief, for the wanting, for the needing to live for this, just this, just him.

There’s no time or place to fuck here, but they half manage it, Deku dragging their dicks out and palming them together, flooding Katsuki’s mouth with his tongue, the taste of him not forgotten but not entirely familiar anymore after all this time. He smells the same, though, like clean musk and fresh sheets on the line, like the tang of unsweetened tea he always drinks, and maybe a little blood in his mouth from where their teeth knocked together too hard. 

They rut into each other like animals, breathing into each other’s open mouths, Katsuki’s hands in Deku’s hair, gripping tight, holding their faces close. Eyes open, looking into each other in ways a screen can never compete. Deku whispers Katsuki’s name as he comes and Katsuki follows, helpless.

Much later, when their bellies are full of Five Guys and both of them have made at least three jokes about taking five guys as they eat burgers stacked with enough meat to put a weaker man into a coma, Deku sits on Katsuki’s lap like a kid waiting for a story and wraps his arms around Katsuki’s neck, resting his head upon Katsuki’s wide shoulder with a sigh. 

“I was very surprised,” Deku murmurs, his voice gone slurred and sleepy with the sex and food and comfort. “Thank you.”

Katsuki grunts and shrugs, nudging Deku’s head off of him in the process. Deku straightens up a little, meeting Katsuki’s gaze. He looks old somehow. Sharper around the edges, a grit to him that wasn’t there before. Katsuki likes it. He likes the man Deku is growing into. 

“You know I can’t take off three days of work, though,” Deku says seriously, his dark, straight brows scrunching together. “This is basically a glorified internship, so I can’t—”

“Ain’t askin’ you for shit,” Katsuki says. “Just needed to be here.”

Deku smiles at this, bright and perfect, and he’s young and apple-cheeked all over again. 

“You didn’t hurt anyone before you left, did you?” At Katsuki’s sidelong glance, Deku laughs and punches him in the gut, not lightly. “Asshole, who did you get in a fight with? I knew you couldn’t have just skipped the country for me—”

“I,” Katsuki snaps, all intensity and truth, fingers gripping Deku’s jaw steady, “will do anything for you. Deku. Don’t forget.”

And fuck if Deku’s eyes aren’t the greenest, prettiest things he’s ever seen, especially when the pupils go pregnant and his lashes flutter. Slowly, Deku shakes his head, Katsuki’s hold still hard on his chin, and swallows with a soft click.

“No,” Deku rasps. “I won’t forget.”

“Swear it,” Katsuki demands, leaning in, breathing him in with a long, obvious inhale, nudging Deku’s chin higher to reveal his ransacked pulse beneath thin skin. He presses his mouth there, licks it, kisses it, listens to Deku’s breath shudder out.

“I swear it,” Deku whispers. “Kacchan, hey, I need to tell you—”

But he doesn’t get a chance to tell him anything, because Katsuki is laying him along the shitty, secondhand couch and slowly stripping him, kissing him everywhere until Deku is a shaking mess of nerves, until Katsuki can take him in mouth and suck him down into silence and compliance. 

It isn’t until the second night, the night before Katsuki’s flight back, that Deku looks at him from across the tiny, round kitchen table that Deku apparently found in an alley, the space between them loaded with Jollibee chicken and spaghetti, that he says, “They asked me to stay on longer. After the year is up. To—to fill in for a guy who’s retiring in a couple months. Just to shoulder some shifts until they can sign on someone good enough to take his place. I don’t—I won’t take it, but—”

“Take it,” Katsuki says, holding unblinking eye contact. “Don’t insult yourself. You should take it.”

There’s uncertainty there, nerves jangling in Deku’s frame, but also a softening of relief in his gaze, and that’s what Katsuki needs to see to know it’s the right choice. If they’re going to do this—if they’re going to do this forever, without resenting each other in the end for holding the other back, this is how it has to be. 

“I don’t—” Deku looks away, worries at his lip with two greasy fingers. “I don’t know when I’d be back, is the thing.”

“So?” Katsuki tears into a hunk of crispy chicken, talking as he chews. “There’s no rubric for your damn existence. Life ain’t a test you get right or wrong, Deku, and no one’s gradin’ you but yourself. This is multiple choice, forever.”

Deku looks at him and bursts into tears. 

It goes on like that for a while, until Deku starts to squirm in Katsuki’s comforting embrace and gets desperate to kiss him, touch him, feel him. The last time they fuck before Katsuki goes is over the back of the couch, Deku’s hands bruising on Katsuki’s hips, railing the air out of him but filling him with something so much more important. They barely manage to roll onto the couch afterward, Deku blanketing him in his comforting weight, snoring on him, and Katsuki doesn’t sleep for a long, long time listening to Deku just breathe. 

Deku can’t take Katsuki to the airport the next afternoon, but they kiss in the shower, after brushing their teeth, in between bites of bagel, in the open doorway. Katsuki doesn’t bother to say goodbye this time, and neither does Deku. They’ve always been better speaking with their bodies, anyway.


Deku’s feet don’t touch Japanese soil for three years. They see each other four times during that period. 

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Deku is a hit with Vegas, all sunshine smiles and sexy body that he is. Doesn’t hurt that his name goes hand in hand with All Might’s, and Vegas is practically a shrine for him, even after all these years. 

But after a particularly nasty battle that leaves Deku with a broken back and learning to walk all over again, Deku does come home. If he even considers Japan home anymore. Katsuki has never asked. 

There’s a lot they haven’t asked of each other these days. Adulthood is like a fist around freedom and being a Pro Hero only adds iron knuckles to the fist, punching and crushing dreams out of the way in lieu of death-defying feats and funerals and blinding fame.

But they will come back to each other. They’ve always agreed on at least that. 

Deku comes back.

Katsuki doesn’t get to see him first. Or second or third. Deku’s mom picks him up at the airport and they return to the Midoriya household, some house that Deku bought for his mom with his first proper Pro Hero paycheck. Katsuki has never seen it in person, but Deku had once set the pictures and it’s nice.

Unable to get out of work for the life of him, let alone hope a train to head out of the city is out of the question, and so Katsuki can only continue to wait. Somehow, knowing Deku is on the same side of the planet as he is makes the waiting feel like water torture, each minute a drop upon his forehead, threatening to cave him in. 

Two days after Deku’s arrival, a full forty-eight hours of wanting to scream and commit arson like the old days, Deku texts him, sorry i passed out so hard and i miss you and when can i see you and kacchan are you sleeping i can’t sleep and is your address the same, as if Katsuki will ever move and not tell Deku, even if they haven’t been keeping in touch as much as is probably normal for two people batshit in love with each other.

Katsuki rolls his eyes at the morning messages and smiles like an idiot as he texts, where the fuck would i be moving to, before hopping into the shower. By the time he gets out, dries his hair and dresses, there’s a knock on the door, and Deku is standing there in ugly gym clothes, Katsuki’s brand collaboration sneakers, and a shy, unsure smile topped with a blush. 

Blinking, Katsuki can only stare, taking him in. It’s been thirteen months. All at once, Katsuki’s not sure what to do with the person standing before him, rubbing at his bad arm like it hurts just existing as a limb.

“Come in already,” Katsuki says, for lack of better words, stepping aside so Deku can toe off his shoes. 

“Thank you,” Deku murmurs, a weird tone to his voice as he shrugs from his hoodie and hangs it. 

When he turns, Katsuki can see the way the yellow tee strains between Deku’s shoulder blades and the cuffs around his biceps are rolled up and taut against muscle. He’s gotten bigger. Not taller, but undoubtedly bigger. A flare of something familiar but long-ignored thrills down Katsuki’s spine and dances in his gut.

But when Deku turns around to meet his gaze, the feeling drops, leaving only a tightness in Katsuki’s chest, an anxiety he’s not sure how to handle. It’s just, well, weird, to have Deku in his apartment, in his personal space, when Deku has never set foot in here before. He looks like a cardboard cut out meant for somewhere different. 

“Drink?” Katsuki says, all little too sharply, rubbing his suddenly sweaty palms on his thighs. 

What the fuck? What the actual fuck? Why is this so weird? Sure, it’s been. . .a long time. And he can’t remember the last time they made time to video chat, but—

“Kacchan?” Deku whispers, and suddenly Deku is all big, imploring eyes again and familiarly swollen with emotion as he takes two steps toward Katsuki, his head ducked just a little like he’s been a bad dog or something. “I’m—I’m home?”

The flood of emotion slams against the back of Katsuki’s ribs with such a force that he forgets to breathe, his heartbeat scattering with the shock of it, hands shaking as the violent stream of  years of restrained longing and love crash through him at once, finally safe to feel again. Finally safe to be just a man again.

Katsuki doesn’t realize he’s crying until he feels the clammy wet against his cheeks from where he has buried his face in Deku’s hair, arms encircling that unfamiliar-familiar body, all new muscle and strength but same embrace, same shuddering breath, same sniffles against Katsuki’s chest. 

“Sorry,” Katsuki croaks into Deku’s curls, his voice cracked through with a fresh wave of shocking tears as his shoulders subtly shiver with the released weight of it. “Sorry, I—I don’t know why—”

“S’okay,” Deku murmurs, arms coming up around Katsuki’s neck, pulling him in, kissing at his jaw, his ear, whispering, “It’s okay, handsome. M’sorry too, sorry it took me so long—”

Don’t,” Katsuki snaps, only pulling back enough to glare at Deku through the wet haze. Deku’s cheeks are red, eyes foggy, and he’s beautiful. He’s Katsuki’s. “Don’t ever be sorry for that. We’d always agreed—”

“But I missed you,” Deku says, harsh and frustrated and bringing his hands to Katsuki’s cheeks, frantically searching his eyes, his face, breathing quick and shallow. “Even after all that time, I thought—sometimes I thought I could die from it. Like my heart would kill me before any villain could. Does that make any—”

“Of course it does, you fucking idiot,” Katsuki says breathlessly, his chest filling and floating like clouds. 

“Bakugou Katsuki,” Deku murmurs, fingers combing into Katsuki’s hair, thumbs glancing over Katsuki’s damp cheeks, “can I keep you now?”

“Yes,” Katsuki sighs, leaning in, pressing his brow to Deku’s, banding his arms around Deku’s thick waist. “I thought you were smart? Stupid question.”

Deku laughs, choked up and wet as he presses a kiss to Katsuki’s smiling mouth, then another, then in between that and the next, says, “Thought life wasn’t a test?” Another kiss, another, urgent hands tugging Katsuki’s shirt off. “Which means there’s no stupid questions.”

Katsuki hums against Deku’s lush lips, walking backwards toward his bedroom and dissolving into throaty, low laughter when Deku’s head gets stuck in his tee, appearing with curls poofy and disarrayed before Katsuki tugs him by the nape and thrusts his tongue in deep, reacquainting himself with the taste and licking up the hungry tang of him. Deku reacts like an animal, growling deep in his broadened chest, hands skating around Katsuki’s back and past his waistband to grab and squeeze handfuls of Katsuki’s ass. 

With a desperate, needy moan, Katsuki yanks away and spears Deku with a hot look before leading him to the bed he’s slept in alone for years. They tumble down together, wrapped in each other, yanking and tearing at clothes, rediscovering each other’s bare bodies and where it hurts the very best. 

Deku mouths at Katsuki’s body like he’s dessert, lapping and licking at his throat and tight nipples, then sucking bruises into the quiver of his stomach, breathing in deep of the crease of his thigh and spreading his knees to lick that dark, warm spot until Katsuki feels like ice cream left out in the sun to melt. Deku nuzzles at the pale fluff of hair around his high, blushing cock and moans, using his tongue around the base and curling around his balls until Katsuki digs his heel into Deku’s shoulder and urges him on. 

But Deku only licks at Katsuki’s erection like a popsicle, suckling on the pulsing head, tip of the tongue twisting against the bunch of nerves just below, teasing, torturing until Katsuki thrusts up into his mouth, whining with relief when Deku’s laugh vibrates down his length and sucks him in. The sounds are obscene, sloppy and slick, drool slathering with seed as Deku bobs his head like he loves this more than living. 

It’s been so long, too long, and everything is too much, so much that Katsuki has to fist Deku’s hair and abruptly yank him up and off, gritting his teeth when Deku whines like he’s been deprived. 

Deku,” Katsuki strains, hoping Deku can read the plea in his voice as they lock eyes.

Deku takes one long look at him, teeth pillowed in his swollen bottom lip, dark gaze trailing down Katsuki’s body and lingering at his cock before he smiles, still biting down on his lip, almost coy, as if Deku actually knows how to be anything less than straightforward. 

“Lube?” Deku asks, grinning. Katsuki will punch him in the arm for that cocky look later. 

It isn’t long before Deku is kneeling between Katsuki’s loose, spread legs, Deku’s blown-out black stare intent on the view of Katsuki fucking himself down on Deku’s spread fingers, tilting his hips and jolting them down on each new stab of pleasure, mindlessly searching for whatever release Deku will allow him at this point, he’s not picky at all anymore, and he has even less shame about it than he once had.

“Shit,” Deku breathes, his voice shaky as he continues to look directly down, twisting and parting his fingers inside Katsuki’s dripping clench of muscle, seemingly mesmerized by the way Katsuki takes him in time and again. “Shit, you’re so—you are so—”

“So gonna get off without you,” Katsuki snaps, arms bent back to grip the headboard as he finds that perfect angle inside him and fucks down on it again, again, and feels the taut curl of release coil in his cock. “Unless you hurry—the—fuck—up.”

Deku, the piece of shit, actually looks like he’s considering it for a moment before he seems to snap to his senses, all desperation once more as he handles his cock and feeds it right into Katsuki’s twitching hole, his lips parted with a trembling huff of breath as he shoves down deep to the end, punching the breath from Katsuki’s gut. He feels fucked right up to the chest, Deku’s dick right between his lungs, up in his throat, filling him right through to burst. 

Katsuki chokes on it and moans, hoarse and hollow as he begins to move. And Deku is right there with him, draping his body over Katsuki’s, palming Katsuki’s thighs until his legs rise to wrap high around Deku’s waist, and Deku’s arms hook around Katsuki’s shoulders, anchoring Deku in place as he fucks into him low and slow, face to face, seeing eye to eye as ever like this, breathing each other’s air, licking at each other’s mouths and cheeks and chins, choosing bites over kisses as the pace surges and races toward frantic, frenetic, out of fucking control. 

Deku kisses him, then, when they’re coming, when Katsuki is clenching around him and spilling between them and Deku is fucking him through it, sharp and harsh and unyielding, Deku kisses him then, full of the years and the yearning and the yawning span of time they gave up for each other’s success. They are so wrapped in each other, legs and arms tangled, that it’s impossible to tell who is who anymore, and Katsuki isn’t going anywhere without Deku inside him ever again. 

Later. Later, after they drink a gallon of water each and it’s still the middle of the goddamn day by the look of the sun streaming through the windows, and Deku has his head on Katsuki’s lap, practically purring with the way Katsuki scratches his nails through Deku’s scalp, Katsuki feels reality begin to settle around him with the gravity only Deku can bring to his world.

“You came back,” Katsuki finds himself saying.

“So did you,” Deku replies, soft lips curved as he looks up at him, unabashedly adoring in a way that used to embarrass Katsuki.

“I never went anywhere,” Katsuki says, frowning. 

“But you could have gone anywhere,” Deku says softly, reaching up to touch Katsuki’s frown. “Anywhere with anyone.”

“I told you I’d be here.” Katsuki bites at Deku’s fingers, aggravated that Deku can even insinuate that Katsuki would have been anything but his word. “I told you I’d be here. I told you I’d wait. I told you anything—”

“Anything,” Deku interrupts, smiling. “Anything for you. I didn’t forget.”

“Good.” Katsuki distantly realizes he’s smiling back, but it’s too late to pretend to be anything but elated now. “So don’t start forgetting now.”

“I swear, handsome.”