Uraraka cradles the bento in her arms as if the warm, packed lunch could protect her from what was waiting at the end of the hall. Then, she wants to smack herself.
It’s just Bakugou!
But then again, there was no ‘just Bakugou’ when it came to him. There was always the explosive temper, the literal explosions, and the urge to kill anything breathing wrong within a three meter radius of his body. She has no idea what kind of mood he’s in, nor does she know how he’s doing after being kidnapped. But…but that’s why she has to go.
“I feel so useless,” she says, pacing back and forth in the classroom between Iida and Midoriya.
Iida sighs, sympathetic to her plight. “You heard what Kirishima said, though,” he reminds her. “Bakugou wasn’t himself.”
“He’s been in so many vulnerable situations of late,” Midoriya adds. “He hates showing any weakness, and the fact that he had to get rescued must drive him up the wall. On top of all that, I’m sure even Kacchan was afraid, surrounded completely by villains. He’s going to want to be left alone.”
“It wouldn’t have to be something big,” Uraraka says. “A get-well letter, or a melon, or anything! Just something to show that we still care and were worried about him.”
“He knows,” Iida says. “We rendezvoused with the hero rescue team, remember?”
“I’m surprised he wasn’t angrier at us for even attempting to rescue him,” Midoriya says.
Everything they said made sense. And chances were that they were right—Bakugou would probably be fuming that she even thought of him, the oddball he was. Her making him a lunch probably meant that she thought he couldn’t feed himself or something dumb like that. Whatever. She was here, and she knew hospital food sucked (Midoriya complained enough), so Bakugou was getting a homemade bento whether he liked it or not.
Uraraka gathers all the courage she has in her chest and takes a deep breath. Nodding to herself, she throws open the door to his room. “Bakugou!” she declares. “I have brought you a bento!”
Bakugou looks up, trademark moody stare in place, but his mouth falls open when he notices who it is. “You,” he says, narrowing his eyes.
“Me,” Uraraka says. There’s a moment of silence, and she wiggles the bento in her hands. “It’s still warm,” she says.
Bakugou squints. “Why did you make me a bento?” he asks. “Didn’t I beat your ass in the sports festival?”
Uraraka puffs up her cheeks. “Never mind all that!” she says, and marches up to him. Bakugou looks mildly alarmed, leaning back when she approaches.
“I was really worried about you,” she says, face softening. “We all were. I can’t imagine what it was like to be captured by villains. I think I wouldn’t have made it.”
“It was fine,” Bakugou grunts.
“Uh-huh,” Uraraka says. “Well, this is for you because I’ve heard from Deku that the food at this hospital really sucks.”
She drops the bento in his lap. Bakugou stares at it.
Uraraka raises an eyebrow. “It’s food. You put it in your mouth and eat it.”
Bakugou bristles and flips her off. “I know what a bento is, fuckmunch! I just don’t why the hell you’d go out of your way to make me some goddamn food when I’ve only ever blasted the shit out of you!”
Uraraka smothers her giggle with a hand over her mouth. “Do I need a reason to be worried about a classmate? Of course I care about you, Bakugou.”
Bakugou stares at her, eyes wide. Uraraka stares back, eyes equally as wide. “Um,” she says. Bakugou opens his mouth and she panics. “Okaygladtoseeyou’refinebye!”
She runs from his room without another word, pressing her hands to her warm, warm cheeks and wondering why she didn’t just listen to Iida and Midoriya in the first place. But…she got him to flip her off. Even come up with a Bakugou Brand™ creative insult! She smiles, wobbly but genuine. He was going to be okay.
It is still warm. Bakugou doesn’t know what to make of it.
The bento is wrapped in a light green handkerchief. With bunnies on it. Winking bunnies.
“What does this mean,” Bakugou says.
“What does what mean?” Kirishima asks, pushing open the door to Bakugou’s room and stepping inside. He’s carrying two cups of ramen. He notices the bento and his mouth makes an ‘O.’ “Who brought you a bento?”
“Gravity girl, what’s her name,” Bakugou says. He pokes the box, unnerved.
“Uraraka? Man, you’re lucky; she’s real cute,” Kirishima says. He places the ramen on a table and settles into a chair by Bakugou’s bed. When Bakugou doesn’t make any more movements, Kirishima raises an eyebrow. “Well? What are you waiting for? It’s just gonna get cold the longer you wait.”
“Why’d she make me a bento?” Bakugou mutters. “I’m not nice to her. We aren’t friends.”
“Uh, it’s called a kind personality,” Kirishima says. “I know you don’t have much experience with those, but—”
“I’m plenty kind, asshole!” Bakugou snaps. “I’m a goddamn delight!” He unties the handkerchief with short, vicious tugs. Kirishima snorts into his ramen.
Bakugou lifts the top off the bento. A little puff of steam accompanies the lid’s removal. And underneath, the bento is a colorful and neat array of foods. Uraraka had vegetables, rice, octopus sausages, and even apples cut to look like bunnies.
“What the fuck,” Bakugou says.
Kirishima leans forward to catch a glimpse of the lunch. “Aw, man!” he grumbles. “That’s so much better than ramen! And a cute girl made it!”
Bakugou slams the lid back on the bento. “Keep your eyes to your own lunch, bastard!” he snarls.
Kirishima moodily goes back to his ramen, and Bakugou peeks under the lid once more. By slamming the lid down, he’s shaken loose a piece of paper attached to the lid. He picks it up. It reads: ‘Feel better, Bakugou-kun! And make sure to eat your veggies! –Uraraka.’ There’s a cartoon of a smiling piece of broccoli drawn at the end. Bakugou’s eye twitches.
“The hell is all this cutesy shit,” he growls. “I’m not a chick. I don’t need notes and apples cut up for me.” He sticks a toothpick in the octopus sausage and eats it in one bite. He jolts. It’s delicious.
“What’s her problem, huh?” He shovels rice into his mouth.
“I can take care of myself.” And crunches on the apples.
“Don’t need this stupid pity lunch.” Wolfs down the vegetables.
“You could have at least left me a bite,” Kirishima complains. “There’s not a speck of rice left!” He grins, though. “Must have been pretty good.”
Bakugou fixes him with a murderous glare. “It wasn’t good,” he snaps. He looks down at the empty lunch box. “It was adequate,” he compromises.
But his stomach rumbles gratefully and he feels satisfied for the first time since he’d been admitted to the hospital. Uraraka had taken time and care to balance his meal, make it fresh, and even cut up his food into cute shapes for…for whatever the hell reason.
“The fuck you looking at?” Bakugou mutters to the winking bunnies on her handkerchief.
“Uh, dude? Are you okay?” Kirishima asks.
“I’m fine! And what the fuck are you still doing here, jackass? Didn’t I say I didn’t want any visitors?”
“Yeah, but you started yelling like normal Bakugou again,” Kirishima points out.
Bakugou can’t meet his eyes. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he says. “I’m perfectly fine. You all need to stop acting like I’m a fucking invalid.”
Kirishima stands. Walks over to Bakugou, claps a hand on his shoulder and squeezes. “You’re right,” he says. “Please go easy on us. We’re just glad you’re okay.”
He leaves after that, leaves the room and leaves Bakugou to his thoughts. Had he really been so off that everyone noticed? Had Uraraka’s lunch really snapped him out of it? He fists the handkerchief in his hand. It’s soft. He frowns harder.
The day after he’s released from the hospital, Kirishima finds Bakugou curled around the corner in front of the door to Class 1-A, peeking through a crack into the classroom.
“Bakugou,” Kirishima says, and Bakugou leaps back from the door, hair practically standing on end and a loud swear on the tip of his tongue.
“Motherfucker,” he snarls. “You tryna kill me with a heart attack? What does a guy have to do around here to avoid getting murdered?”
“Why are you spying on our classmates with a killer aura, Bakugou,” Kirishima says flatly, raising an eyebrow.
“I don’t see how that’s any of your goddamn business,” Bakugou says, tugging on his uniform and straightening it out. Kirishima rolls his eyes and peeks through the door. On the other side, Uraraka giggles at something Midoriya said. There are others there already, but Kirishima has a hunch he knows who Bakugou was staring at.
“You suck at this love confession stuff,” Kirishima says.
“It’s not a love confession, fuckass,” Bakugou hisses. “I’m just trying to make sure we’re even. I don’t want to owe her a debt over that stupid fucking bento.”
Kirishima blinks. “You’re trying to say thank you?”
“I don’t do thank yous,” Bakugou says. “And I’m not thankful. I don’t give a flying shit whether she cares or not, and I don’t care about the bento.”
“Well, obviously you do,” Kirishima says. “Otherwise you wouldn’t be staring at her from afar like some besotted loser.”
Bakugou grabs him by the collar. “You wanna fight, Hair-For-Brains? Because I'm about a second from blowing your face off.”
“I’m just saying,” Kirishima says, holding his hands up. “I'm not afraid to go talk to her. If you want me to take a message, I’ll be your messenger pigeon.”
Bakugou gapes at him. Flaps his jaw uselessly. And then, sputtering and red-faced, he snarls, “Who the fuck is scared of who? I do not need you to be my messenger pigeon. I am perfectly capable of walking up to Uraraka and delivering this fucking note.” Bakugou waves a folded piece of paper at Kirishima’s face.
“A note?” Kirishima says. He’s grinning.
“Fuck you,” Bakugou says, and throws Kirishima back. He then throws open the door and marches into the room. Kirishima rushes forward to watch the scene go down.
Bakugou stalks up to Uraraka and throws the note onto the desk in front of her. “Here,” he spits. “Take that. Now I don’t owe you for the fucking…the fucking bento.” He also produces her box and handkerchief, neatly folded on top from his bag.
Uraraka’s eyes are wide as saucers.
“Well?” Bakugou says, shoving his hands into his pockets and glaring at her with something akin to panic in his eyes.
“Th-thank you, Bakugou,” Uraraka says, picking up the note and her box.
“Whatever,” Bakugou says, and slinks over to his seat, pointedly looking away from her and glaring at anyone who dares to look at him.
Uraraka turns to Midoriya, whose eyes are just as wide as hers. “What,” she asks, “was that?”
“Oh my god,” Midoriya says, covering his mouth. “I think he likes you.”
Uraraka punches him in the shoulder. Her face burns so, so hot. “Be serious!” she hisses under her breath.
“I am,” Midoriya says, horrified. “That’s the most passive he’s ever been towards another person, especially a person who helps him.”
Uraraka slides into her own seat in a daze. Heedless of those around her, she folds open the note, hastily scratched on a sheet of notebook paper, wrinkled and the ink smudged.
It reads: ‘I washed the box so if you’re trying to get me into your debt, it’s not gonna work. I consider that good enough repayment. The food was good. I don’t really get your thing for bunnies.’ –B
It’s begrudging. It’s heartfelt. Uraraka runs her fingers over the ink, smoothing out the crumpled paper. And then, she allows herself the tiniest, tiniest of smiles.