Izuku didn’t make it to the grocery store.
Instead, he camped out at the bottom of the apartment stairs on the ground floor—far enough away that he couldn’t interfere with the visit, but close enough he wasn’t violating the house arrest. Izuku crossed his arms over his knees and set his face in them. Hiding at the bottom of the stairwell, out of sight from other residents and the outside world, wasn’t his best moment, but it spared any fans or passerby from seeing the frustration on his face.
He had to trust Kacchan, no matter how much his instincts told him otherwise.
Izuku sulked in the stairwell for about an hour before he fell asleep, lulled to slumber by the buzzing of the light overhead and the sound of the air conditioning units on the other side of the wall. He jerked awake after the impromptu nap and checked the time—he’d been gone for three hours.
He stood up and stretched out his limbs, stiff from sleeping in the corner of the stairs. Izuku trudged back upstairs, inwardly hoping Kirishima was long gone, but he prepared himself just in case the other Alpha was still there.
“Kacchan?” Izuku asked, staring into his empty living room.
He walked past the damage on the wall, mentally reminding himself to pay the building owner for the repairs, and looked for his Omega in the small apartment. Kacchan was neither in the kitchen or living room, so he had to be in a bedroom. Izuku’s nose scrunched when he walked by spots where Kirishima’s Scent lingered, but it was stale, indicating the other Alpha had left.
Izuku relaxed, however, it was odd that Kacchan hadn’t answered him when he came in. Though, he might have gone to bed early if his talk with Kirishima had been exhausting or his video game music might have been turned up too loud if he was distracting himself.
Izuku didn’t see the Omega in the master bedroom, so he took the needed step across the hall and tapped on Kacchan’s door. “Are you still up?”
Still no reply.
He opened the door and dropped his shoulders. “Oh, Kacchan.”
Kacchan had curled up on the floor, turned in toward his bed with his knees tucked into his chest. Broken pieces of plastic littered the floor, charred and burned beyond recognition. Izuku couldn’t identify what the debris had once been, but he imagined Kacchan was short a game controller. He crouched and looked over, frowning at the red on Kacchan’s hand and the tiny flakes of black that clung to his palms. Izuku put a hand on his arm and stopped.
Kacchan wasn’t asleep.
Deku sat on the floor next to Katsuki and rubbed his shoulder in small circles. He pressed their backs together and faced the other way. “Did something happen with Kirishima?”
“No,” Katsuki said. He flicked a piece of the charred cell phone off his finger and rested his knuckles on the floor. “We watched TV and he told me how everyone was doing. It was nice.”
Deku continued to pet Katsuki’s shoulder. The motion felt soothing, but it turned Katsuki’s stomach in the same breath. He felt like a house cat. Deku kept petting, varying the pressure in small circles. “Why’d you break your game controller?”
Katsuki stared at the remains of the cell phone and almost laughed. He hadn’t cleaned up his evidence, waiting to get caught, but Deku trusted him too damn much. The idiot had jumped to the wrong conclusion.
He pushed up on his elbow, shoving Deku over. Katsuki remained sitting back to back, not wanting to see Deku’s face right now.
“Kacchan?” Deku asked.
“It pissed me off,” Katsuki answered. He got off the floor, using the bed to haul himself up. If he wasn’t going to get into trouble, he wasn’t going to sit here and get interrogated either. “I’m taking a shower.”
Deku picked up a piece of shattered glass from the cell phone’s screen, turning it over with a curious look.
Katsuki didn’t bother to help him figure out where it came from.
Izuku cleaned up the scraps of Kacchan’s controller and threw them away. He concentrated on the sound of the shower water through the wall, hoping that Kacchan would talk to him when he finished. If Kirishima hadn’t done anything to upset him, Izuku wanted to know what had—or at least to know what had gotten worse if Kacchan was still lingering on old aches.
He cleaned up around the house to distract himself. Izuku straightened the couch cushions and cleaned out the sink. He checked the fridge, wishing he’d actually gone to the store, and threw away a few items that had gone bad. Izuku puttered about mindlessly as time ticked by.
Kacchan’s shower continued.
After an hour, Izuku knocked on the door and asked, “Are you okay?”
Kacchan didn’t answer.
He knocked louder. “Kacchan. Are you still in the shower?”
The water turned off and Izuku stepped back as the door swung open a few seconds later. Kacchan stared at him, dripping wet. His hair hung around his face, drops of water hitting his naked skin.
Kacchan said, “No.”
“You’re getting the floor wet,” Izuku said. He reached past Kacchan for the towel waiting on the counter and pulled it over. Izuku draped it over Kacchan’s head and he huffed, his mouth twitching in a smirk. Izuku watched Kacchan shiver and touched his arm. “You’re freezing.”
“The hot water ran out,” Kacchan said. He reached up and rubbed the towel against his hair to dry the stands before he pulled it off and dropped it on the floor to mop up the small puddle he’d made. “You might want to wait until morning for yours.”
Izuku squatted next to Kacchan on the ground and hugged him from the back. He squeezed, pressing his cheek into the slick, chilled skin. “You’re scaring me, Kacchan. Please tell me what happened while Kirishima was here to make you this upset.”
Kacchan sat on the floor, holding the towel in his lap. He stretched the fabric and twisted it, wringing out the water he’d sopped up. It dripped over his legs and back onto the tile and he leaned back into Izuku’s hold.
“At least tell me you’re not going to hurt yourself,” Izuku said. This wasn’t Kacchan’s usual form of sulking when he was upset and thinking too hard. Kacchan locked himself in his room and played video games. He watched television. He sulked. This was new and it terrified Izuku. Kacchan hadn’t hurt himself yet, but between curling up on the floor and the cold shower, he could see Kacchan going that direction. “Kacchan?”
“After Kirishima left,” Kacchan said. He shivered and set the damp, cold towel on his waist. Izuku listened to his breathing and felt his chest move under his arms. Kacchan paused. Izuku could almost hear him thinking. Kacchan went limp, dropping his head onto Izuku’s shoulder. “I got a message from someone I thought was a friend. They called me a domesticated house pet.”
Izuku squeezed Kacchan tighter. “What friend said that?”
“A lousy one,” Kacchan said. He whispered, “I’m scared he’s right.”
“You are a spoiled like a pet,” Deku said. Katsuki felt a flicker of annoyance and glanced at the Alpha out of the corner of his eye. “I can see where they got that. You laze about most of the day, playing whenever you want and sniffing around whenever there’s food. You demand attention at the oddest times, sleep in bed with me, and you’ve destroyed enough furniture to make any pet jealous.”
Deku cut him off with a kiss, grinning into it as his arms tightened around Katsuki’s waist. “You’ve got a lot of work to do proving that so-called friend of yours wrong if you don’t want to be a house pet.”
“What sort of work?” Katsuki asked. Deku changed positions to sit properly behind Katsuki, putting his legs on either side of him. Deku pulled his knees up brushing against his thighs with his jeans. Katsuki flushed and pulled his towel closer as his sense of shame slowly returned. Just because Deku had seen it all before didn’t mean Katsuki wanted to walk around naked. “Because my options are pretty limited.”
“We could start by looking at work ads,” Deku said. He pressed his nose into Katsuki’s hair and exhaled, his breath warming Katsuki’s neck. “You get restless when you have nothing to do, so it might not hurt to look at your other job options with an open mind.”
Katsuki slumped in Deku’s hold and stared at the ceiling. He knocked his knee into Deku’s and closed his eyes. “You think I should get a job.”
“It’ll keep you busy and give you something else to focus on,” Deku said. Katsuki wasn’t so sure of that. In the worst case, he’d spend all his time working and lamenting what he’d lost instead. But Deku could also be right—sulking around the house sure hadn’t helped things. Deku patted Katsuki’s stomach and tugged up. “Let’s get off the floor, Kacchan. We can talk about it more tomorrow when it isn’t so late.”
Katsuki grabbed the towel as he pulled away from Deku and stood up, wrapping it around his waist. Deku walked around him to brush his teeth at the sink and Katsuki wandered into the bedroom and changed into his night clothes.
They crawled into bed together and Deku helped himself to Katsuki’s chest as a pillow. Deku snuggled up and breathed out, reaching across to turn off the alarm before he moved back into place. Katsuki rolled over and pulled the blanket tighter around them, throwing his arm over Deku’s side.
Katsuki closed his eyes and rested, but sleep didn’t come.