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Emotions Are Hard

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After the sports festival Katsuki didn’t spend too much time thinking about Uraraka. He had been pretty busy thinking about how that idiot Half-and-Half hadn’t even really tried in their fight and how fucking annoying that was. What was the point of winning if his opponent didn’t even try?!

Uraraka had tried. She had put everything she had into their fight. Never giving in, and only stopping when her body couldn’t keep up. It was dangerous using a Quirk exhaustively like that. No matter what shitty Deku said, Katsuki had a feeling he knew where she learned that stupid trick. Especially considering how many bones that dumbass Deku broke when he fought against Half-and-Half. It was pretty fucking annoying that Half-and-Half went all out for Deku even though Katsuki was clearly the stronger opponent. Strong enough to beat everyone else. Like Kirishima and Uraraka.

Okay, so, maybe he had been thinking about Uraraka, but it made sense considering the sports festival was only a few days ago! It was annoying and shitty, but he was getting over it.

Katsuki wondered if she was doing better after clearly over using her Quirk. Not liking this kind of thinking-- it was unfamiliar and edging terrifyingly close to feelings which he did not have time for-- Katsuki pushed himself off his bed and grabbed a jacket from the floor.

In his haste to get out of the house, Katsuki had forgotten to avoid the kitchen where his parents had been preparing dinner.

“Katsuki, good you’re going out,” he mother had said. “I need you to pick up a few things at the store.”

Katsuki had yelled a bit, his mother had yelled back, his father had scolded them, and Katsuki accepted the list in order to get out of the house. Even grocery shopping was better than sitting on his bed thinking about things that were too dangerous.

On his way to the grocery store, Katsuki itched to run, but he had already exercised today and knew he wouldn’t be doing himself any favors if he pushed himself too far. Maybe someone should tell that to Uraraka. She clearly didn’t get the memo and needed to understand that overusing any muscle in the body, even a Quirk, was dangerous and stupid.

Katsuki growled to himself, kicking an empty bottle across the street and startling an older man walking his dog. The man hurriedly crossed to the other side of the road in order to avoid Katsuki, and a group of preteens across the street giggled. Katsuki debated flipping them off, but decided they didn’t really deserve his attention.

The walk was short, so Katsuki only managed to kick a few more things in his way and scare a few more people into crossing the street. The doors opened automatically when he approached them, and the supermarket was warm and bright when he entered.

Katsuki looked down at the list, and scowled harder when he realized how long it was. This was not a few goddamn things, this was a full grocery list! A small part of Katsuki debated not getting the list, but a bigger part of him wanted to eat that night, so he grabbed a stupid cart from the stupid entrance and made his way deeper into the stupid store.

Grocery shopping would never be a go-to activity, but at least it was serving the job of distracting him from his thoughts. Plus fruit didn’t care if he was glaring, and everyone getting out of his way made it much easier to push the cart around.

Of course, that’s when it all started to go to shit. Katsuki was in the bread aisle, wondering if he should pick up his favorite everything bagels or the neutral onion ones that his mom liked too, when he saw her.

Her hair was pulled up messily on the top of her head, and Katsuki had rarely seen her in casual clothes, but he had no doubt of who was standing in the aisle in front of him. Uraraka was standing on her tiptoes, clearly trying to reach the last package of a certain brand of sliced bread that had been pushed to the back of the top shelf. Katsuki had a brief moment where he debated going on to the next aisle and ignoring her, before he remembered that he was Bakugou Katsuki and ran from nothing. Not even feelings.

He pushed his cart next to hers and reached up next to her to grab her stupid bread. She was like a head shorter then him, so he could easily reach the bread. He pulled it down and held it out.

“Hey, that’s mine!” Uraraka said heatedly before she noticed it was him. She actually smiled. Like it was nice to see him. What the fuck? “Oh, hi Bakugou!”

He wasn’t sure what to say. “You’re kind of short.”

From the annoyed expression on her face, Katsuki guessed that probably wasn’t the right thing to say. He looked down at the bread for something else to say and was distracted by the brand. “Why are you getting this shitty bread anyway?”

She snatched the bread out of his hand, and Katsuki took a moment to wonder where that speed was near the end of their match at the tournament. Probably non-existent considering how much effort went into holding most of the stadium over their heads. It had been both terrifying and amazing, and Katsuki had been amazed that his defense had held up against it.

“-you know, maybe I like this bread,” Uraraka was saying, hands on her hips after putting the bread in her cart. Her very empty cart that looked sad and desolate next to Katsuki’s almost full one.

“It tastes like cardboard,” he told her, and she scowled pretty impressively before turning back to her cart in a huff.

Her grip on the cart was tight, and she let go hurriedly when she realized, quickly releasing her Quirk before the cart could get more than a few centimeters off the ground. Uraraka took a deep breath, making sure not to fully grip the handle as she gripped the cart.

“It’s the cheapest one they have,” she informed Katsuki without looking him in the eye. Her voice was soft in a way he rarely associated with her.

Katsuki had a brief moment to wonder if maybe he should apologize, but she was already pushing her cart away. Uraraka turned back with a bright smile that doesn’t reach her eyes and waved sweetly. “Thanks for grabbing it for me!” And then she was gone. Down into a different aisle and away from Katsuki.

It’s probably for the best. Katsuki has been told many times that he is a fuck up when it comes to being nice, and it has been widely acknowledged that he probably shouldn’t be out in public alone. He grabbed his bagels and headed to the next aisle, a weird feeling in his stomach when he didn’t see Uraraka. Katsuki wasn’t sure if the feeling was positive or negative, so he decided to ignore it and hope it went away.

The rest of the trip was over quickly since he only had a few more aisles to get through, and Katsuki quickly found himself loading up his purchase at a register. As he’s waiting for all his items to be rung up, he noticed Uraraka a few registers down. Scowling, he realized that she barely has more than some cheap essentials on the belt, and she hadn’t gotten much more than had been in her cart when he saw her earlier. Didn’t the moron realize that food was an important part of helping the body?! Quirks need fuel as much as anything else, and those meager selections wouldn’t help.

Noticing that the poor girl at the register was shaking and looking terrified, Katsuki tried to put some effort into not looking as scary. He wasn’t sure if it worked, but the checkout girl and the boy bagging did go faster which was helpful. They had his groceries bagged in record time, so after paying, Katsuki hurriedly pushed his cart closer to Uraraka’s register.

She was smiling warmly at the blushing boy manning the register and was talking politely to the girl bagging her goods in a bright pink reuseable bag. Katsuki looked down at the six bags in his cart, then up at the one bag the girl was putting in Uraraka’s cart. He scowled.

Uraraka carefully handed over some cash, and the blushing checkout boy fumbled a bit as he made her change. Sure she was pretty, but that idiot needed to get a hold of himself. It was embarrassing.

The girl bagging leaned over to Uraraka and whispered something, pointing at Katsuki as she did. Uraraka turned to look at him curiously and smiled. Her smile was warm and this time it reached her wide eyes, and Katsuki took a moment to wish it never ended. Goddammit, the stupidity of the boy at the register seemed to be spreading.

“Don’t worry,” said Uraraka to the girl bagging as she grabbed her change from the bushing boy. “I know he looks creepy, but we go to school together!”

Uraraka left the line, pushing her cart with one stupid bag to the exit and Katsuki followed her. She put her cart with the others and grabbed her lone bag, then waited for Katsuki to do the same.

“I didn’t realize you lived around here,” Uraraka said as they left the store, both heading in the same direction. “But, I guess Deku lives close, and I know you guys are neighbors, so I should have figured it out!”

Why was she so smiley all the time. Didn’t it hurt her face?

She wasn’t saying anything else, so Katsuki supposed he should respond. “Didn’t know you lived around here either,” he managed. More towards the ground than to her, but hey he was putting in some effort.

“Well, I didn’t grow up here,” Uraraka explained. “But my parents live too far away for me to commute to Yuuei, so I had to rent an apartment nearby when I got in.”

“That’s why you don’t have like any food,” Katsuki acknowledged. “You live alone.”

“I have food!” Uraraka snapped back. “I just don’t eat the disgusting amount you do!”

Katsuki had been calculating his diet for maximum health and efficiency ever since he was a child and realized that being a hero meant having his body in the best condition it could be in. “Well that’s fucking stupid.”

She huffed and stomped up a side street, which was odd. “Where the fuck are you going now?”

Uraraka turned around, more confusion than anger on her face, which Katsuki counted as a win. “My apartment?” It sounded more like a question than an answer. She was pointing at a large apartment complex a few buildings away.

“I have to go put these away and make dinner,” she told him, hefting the stupid bag.

Katsuki wasn’t sure what made him say it. He had no idea what stupid, foolish idea he had gotten into his head, and he had always been known to speak without thinking, but this was a new low. “My parents are making dinner now, you should come.”

“You want me to come to your house for dinner?” Uraraka said, confusion flitting over her pretty face. Goddammit.

“That’s what I fucking said, isn’t it?”

She smiled, but it was small and Katsuki had a feeling he already knew her answer before she turned away. “I wouldn’t want to be a bother, Bakugou. I’ll be fine on my own.”

He reached out and briefly thought about grabbing her hand, but instead grabbed the straps of her bag loosely. “My parents are weirdos who like cooking. They fucking love having people over to eat it. Come.”

She seemed to be considering his offer. “As long as you don’t think they’ll mind.”

“I already said it’s fine, let’s go.”

“I have some things that should really go in the fridge,” Uraraka said as she looked down at her bag.

Why did she have to make this so fucking complicated? “We can just stop at your place, then go to mine.”

“Are you-” she started to ask, but he cut her off.

“I’m fucking sure. Let’s go.” Katsuki pushed passed her, not wanting to deal with the indecision any longer. Uraraka hurried to catch up as she led him to her building. It wasn’t a long walk, and he followed her to the right floor with only minimal complaining.

Her apartment was small and neat. The front part had a living room that flowed into a kitchen and he could see a bedroom door down the hallway. He put his groceries down on the floor near the entrance. The couch was older, but still comfy when Katsuki slouched into it. He noticed a picture of Uraraka with stupid Deku and the fast glasses guy on the windowsill, next to a picture of Uraraka and two people that had to be her parents.

Uraraka puttered around in the kitchen for a few moments, putting away the items that had to be in the fridge and cabinets. He scowled when he looked at how empty they were. That was just dumb.

Katsuki didn’t notice Uraraka was done until she was standing in front of the couch, twisting her hands and not looking him in the eye.

“Done?” Katsuki asked, and tried not to make it sound like a grunt, but he didn’t think it was successful.

“Yes, but-”

“Let’s go then,” he cut her off before she could question if it was a good idea. He wasn’t sure if it was and really didn’t have any good reasons for inviting her over, but he wasn’t going to fucking admit that to her.

She picked up half his bags, which was annoying, and refused to give them back. He picked up the other half and they made their way out of her small apartment. Locking the door behind them, the two made their way back to the street in silence.

“You’ve always lived in this neighborhood then?” Uraraka asked as they made their way to his house.

“Yup.”

“The place I grew up in was quieter than this. Not as close to the city, so everyone had a big yard,” Uraraka chatted. She went on about her hometown. A small town a few hours away that sounded extremely dull and even less exciting than this neighborhood.

“But, it’s nice here,” Uraraka was saying. “My parents were worried about me living on my own, but it’s not so bad in this kind of area.”

“It’s fucking boring, is what it is.” The area was pretty quiet. Few villains made their way to this small neighborhood, and it’s proximity to Yuuei had the benefit of heroes that were close enough if they were ever needed.

“That’s not always a bad thing, Bakugou,” Uraraka hummed, but before he could ask her what the fuck she meant by that, she changed the subject. “There are nice sidewalks for walking, or for running. I’ve been thinking about starting running. Deku said it helped him with his Quirk. Do you run Bakugou?”

Katsuki debated if insulting Deku was worth pissing off Uraraka. On the other hand, agreeing with Deku was unimaginable. He decided to ignore it. “Yeah, I run most mornings.” Good. Neutral. Not insulting Deku. Of course then Katsuki had to open his dumb mouth again. “You live close enough, you could run with me.”

Katsuki was debating if maybe he should just explode his face so he couldn’t talk anymore.

Uraraka was flushed, waving her arms around with the groceries and talking quickly. “Oh no, I’ve never really been running before and you’re clearly very -” she trailed off, flushing deeper and avoiding eye contact.

“I’m what?” Katsuki snapped, annoyance flaring up at her refusal. Not like he wanted to run with her anyway.

“A very experienced runner,” Uraraka answered louder than usual and looking straight ahead.

Well, yeah obviously he knew what he was doing, or else he wouldn’t have fucking asked if she wanted help. “Most people are fucking stupid when they start and hurt themselves.”

Uraraka looked over at him and smiled warmly. “That’s nice of you to offer.” Wow, nice was never a word anyone associated with Bakugou Katsuki. “But, I don’t want to slow you down!”

Before he could tell her how stupid that statement was, that of course she would be slower if she just fucking started, she changed the subject again.

“Oh, look there’s Deku’s apartment!”

Katsuki made a very pointed effort not to ask her when she went to Deku’s. “Yeah, we’re neighbors, dumbass. This building’s mine.”

They made their way up to his family’s apartment in silence, and Uraraka made funny faces at a baby they shared the elevator with, and Katsuki tried not to scowl when the woman pushing the carriage looked at him curiously. It was challenging.

Making their way out of the elevator, Katsuki led them down to his door and unlocked it roughly.

“That took an awfully long time, Katsuki!” his mother called, and honestly she should probably just be happy he came back at all after she gave him that stupid long list. Uraraka was standing nervously in the entrance after toeing off her shoes, so Katsuki gestured with his head for her to follow him to the kitchen.

The house smelt amazing, and Katsuki hurried Uraraka passed some old childhood pictures that hung on the wall that mostly featured him and stupid Deku doing dumb shit like splashing in puddles. Why the fuck they were still up, he would never know.

Dropping the groceries on the counter, his parents turned from setting the table to him. Uraraka put her half down much more gently. What a fucking suck up.

“Katsuki! Don’t just drop things on the counter! That’s how the eggs-” his mother stopped her scolding when she caught sight of Uraraka.

“I guess we will need another place setting,” his dad said good naturedly, and Katsuki found himself grateful that his parents were occasionally better at socializing than him. His dad was already grabbing another place setting and his mother was shifting around the dishes to make room for them.

“Thank you so much, Mr. and Mrs. Bakugou!” Uraraka gushed, bowing slightly as his mother approached. “I don’t want to be a bother, but Bakugou was really instent. I’m Uraraka Ochako.”

“Pretty and polite,” his mother noted, and Katsuki took back every nice thing he had ever said about his parents, they were clearly monsters. “How on Earth did you become friends with someone like my idiot son?”

Uraraka laughed, and Katsuki busied himself putting the groceries away with his father in order to hide the flush to his cheeks.

“We go to school together,” Uraraka was saying as his mom pulled her to sit at the table. Katsuki put the milk away and tried to ignore them. This was clearly a huge mistake.

“You must be smart too if you were able to get into Yuuei!” His mother gushed, and Uraraka was blushing furiously under his mother’s praise when Katsuki looked over. He quickly grabbed some cans to put away in the cabinet. “What’s your Quirk, dear?”

“Oh, I have a gravity Quirk,” Uraraka answered brightly, and when Katsuki was done not-hiding in the cabinet, he turned around to see his mother floating a few centimeters off her chair smiling widely. Uraraka released the weightlessness before she could get too high and was smiling as well.

“That is very impressive, Uraraka!”

“You fought Katsuki in his first match,” his dad pointed out, done with putting away the groceries. Katsuki really wished he hadn’t said that because clearly his mother had not put it together yet.

“Bakugou Katsuki!” She thundered, and damn that was his full name she was throwing out there. “How could you fight your smart and pretty classmate like that!? She couldn’t even stand when it was over!”

His mother turned to Uraraka and put a hand on her arm. “I’m sorry for not recognizing you, dear. You were wonderful during that match. I almost thought you had him a couple times, and I know I was rooting for you!”

“Mom!” This was so embarrassing. Why couldn’t he just live alone like Uraraka did? Maybe next time he got the bright idea to do this, he would be smart enough to offer to cook at her house.

“Thank you Mrs. Bakugou,” Uraraka said brightly. “I learned a lot from that match, and I am looking forward to a rematch at the next sports festival.”

“Tch, it better be good.” Katsuki pulled his chair out and fell into it. He was sitting across from Uraraka and she had a very determined look before smiling brightly again.

“But, that’s a long way away, so right now I’m just focusing on my training,” she said and was gesticulating wildly.

“That’s a very good attitude to have,” Katsuki’s father said as he sat down between them. “For now I think we should eat.”

“I hope you like everything, Uraraka,” his mother was saying as she passed serving dishes to Uraraka. “Katsuki hasn’t brought a friend over since he and that young Midoriya boy were close!”

Katsuki made a very concentrated effort not to bend the serving spoon in his hand. He didn’t remember doing anything in particular to upset his mother recently, why the fuck did she have to embarrass him like this?

“Thank you so much for having me!” Uraraka answered, thankfully ignoring the part about stupid Deku. “Everything is delicious.”

“You are such a sweet girl!” his mother said again. Katsuki was debating if blowing up the table and running was a viable option at this point. “Anyone who can put up with my son is always welcome at any time!”

“Mom!”

“Hush, Katsuki, it’s rude to talk with your mouth full,” his mother said without looking at him. Katsuki turned to his dad, who was quickly becoming his favorite parent.

“It’s amazing a talented girl like you is friends with, Katsuki. He’s always had trouble keeping friends.” Katsuki took it back. His whole fucking family was dead to him.

Dinner was nice. By that Katsuki meant the food was nice. His parents were awful and embarrassing, and Uraraka kept smiling and blushing as his parents talked which was pretty damn distracting. There was a steady stream of conversation, mostly about school and finding new and exciting ways to embarrass Katsuki, that was only paused briefly when his parents learned that Uraraka lived alone and wanted to know why Katsuki hadn’t invited the poor girl earlier.

It wasn’t the worst night of Katsuki’s life, all in all.

*******************

“Thank you so much for having me!” Uraraka said for what must have been the hundredth time.

“Of course, dear,” his mother said, hugging her tightly, and then pushing some leftovers into her hands. “It must be lonely all on your own, so anytime you want a home cooked meal, feel free to come over.”

“We hope to see you again soon Uraraka,” his dad called from the kitchen where he was washing dishes.

“Yeah, yeah, she gets it,” Katsuki snapped as he dragged Uraraka to the door. “Stop struggling, I’m helping you escape before my mom remembers that she likes to play stupid board games with people and you're stuck here for hours.”

Uraraka giggled and called out another thank you to his parents as she followed him to the entrance.

“Thanks again for inviting me, Bakugou,” Uraraka said as she was slipping on her shoes. The leftovers floated above her head as she needed her hands free. “I had a really great time.”

The leftovers fell into her arms and she caught them easily.

Katsuki decided staring at the wall behind her head was the best course of action before he said something really stupid again. “Well, they’re right. You can fucking come back if you like.” Too late. Tonight was clearly the night to fuck everything up.

“Thank you,” she said again. Then got up on her tiptoes-- because she was too damn short and that is what caused all these issues in the first place-- and kissed him gently on the cheek. It was just a brush of her lips, and Katsuki felt his whole face heat up at the touch. Before he could figure out what to say, a red faced Uraraka was already out the door and on her way home. What the fuck? What the actual flying fuck?

“Darling, you really shouldn’t leave your mouth open like that, it’s not attractive.”