Some people say that when you're about to die, your life flashes before your eyes.
Bakugou Katsuki can say that this cliché is nothing but bullshit. The first time he almost dies, he sees nothing of the sort; no sad recap to make him rethink his life choices or wish he could've said goodbye to his loved ones.
No, Bakugou can affirm that all that sentimental shit only happens in movies. What he does see is the truck that has sped past the red traffic light coming closer at an alarming speed. He hears the shouts of the people on the street, feels his heart beat faster as his brain tries to catch up with the situation, too slow to make any difference.
He also sees a flash of silver, feels the brief warmth of being held and the wind that smacks his face and clothes as his feet stop touching the ground, moments before he finds himself on the other side of the crosswalk. Disoriented, Bakugou turns around just in time to see the truck speeding past him, the driver being apparently oblivious to the fact that seconds before he'd been about to run a man over.
Normally, Bakugou would be screaming as many insults at the dumbass as he could, but he's busy swiveling around, trying to understand what happened and locate the silver glow he'd seen.
No matter how much he searches, however, he can't find anything that could've been the source of it. The longer Bakugou stands there, the more people start throwing him weird looks, though they don't seem to have noticed the fact that some kind of fucking miracle has just happened right in front of them. In fact, they don't seem to remember it at all - the commotion that had started to form has dissipated, all signs of distress erased from everyone's faces.
After a while, Bakugou gives up, frustration welling up in his gut as he resumes his walk towards his apartment. Even though he hates to admit it, he still feels a bit shaken remembering how close the truck had been - he can almost imagine the impact, see how it would've played out, and it's a goddamn lousy ending for someone like him.
Bakugou isn't one to feel thankful, but he's pretty sure someone, or something, has just saved his life.
And whatever it was, he's glad they did.
A few weeks later, Bakugou's patience is wearing thin, and he wonders if he isn't in a movie after all.
He's always thought of himself as having good luck - partly due to his own ability to excel at pretty much anything he did, of course - but with the amount of times he's narrowly avoided life-threatening situations ever since the truck incident, he's starting to believe that his luck has taken on a really rotten path.
The accidents keep getting more and more ridiculous, too. It comes to a point where he's saved from having a fucking flower pot fall on his head by tripping on the sidewalk - it feels strangely like he's being pushed forward, but when he looks back there's no one there - moments before said pot smashes against the ground on the exact spot he'd been. He ignores the desperate apologies of the old lady that had accidentally dropped it from her apartment in favor of shouting insults at her, at life, and at everyone who keeps staring at him like he's some kind of lunatic.
The last string, however, is when he arrives at his apartment, only to find that the front door is ajar, the lock shattered, a result of numerous attempts at forcing it open if the marks that surround it are any indication.
"You've got to be kidding me," Bakugou mutters. He knows what he should do in this situation - step away, call the police, wait for them to arrive in case the burglar is still inside. But Bakugou is pissed, done with all the shit life's been throwing at him, and he can take on whatever fucking idiot decided it'd be a good idea to break into his place.
The first thing Bakugou registers when he enters the apartment, not even bothering to take off his shoes, is that his living room is a mess. The drawers of his TV stand have all been pulled open, their contents scattered across the floor. Bakugou grits his teeth when he notices that his most recent negatives, the ones he'd planned to have developed that week so he could decide which photos would be part of his next exhibition, are now completely ruined; some lie ripped nearly in half, others crumpled and stepped on.
The next thing he sees is a man, currently in the middle of destroying his couch by pulling the cushions off to look underneath them. Even though the guy is wearing a black piece of cloth obscuring everything but his eyes, he doesn't seem much older than Bakugou himself, probably in his twenties. He doesn't notice Bakugou at first, too busy searching for whatever it is he's hoping to steal.
The sight makes Bakugou blood boil, and he crosses the room in a few steps, watching as the burglar's head snaps up and his eyes widen.
"Not gonna find any money there, you fucker."
If Bakugou were thinking straight, he'd realize that his next move is incredibly stupid. As it is, however, he isn't thinking straight at all, so he launches himself towards the burglar, fists ready to punch the man out of his apartment.
That turns out to be a really bad decision, because after a few moments of struggling, all Bakugou manages is to rip off the cloth that serves as the guy's mask, and then he finds himself with a gun pointed to his face.
"Shit," Bakugou spits out, raising his hands to show defeat. The burglar, however, is trembling, clearly panicked that Bakugou's seen him, and Bakugou notices the change in his expression the moment he decides to pull the trigger.
Before he can do it, someone comes barreling towards him, knocking the gun out of his hands and sending him tumbling to the side. Bakugou watches with growing disbelief as a man that seems to have appeared out of thin air proceeds to kick the gun out of the burglar's reach, easily dodging the attacks aimed at him.
"Why do you have to be so damn reckless," Bakugou thinks he hears the stranger mumble under his breath as he manages to land a hit on the burglar's stomach. It doesn't look like there is much force in the punch, but the guy still turns away, scrambling towards the door and dashing out of the apartment with a scared whimper.
That leaves Bakugou alone with the stranger in his destroyed living room, and even though he's still filled with adrenaline from almost dying - again - he's able to register his weird hair, half white and half red, and his clothes, some kind of white tunic that wouldn't be out of place in a costume party.
The stranger doesn't seem to have noticed Bakugou yet, still standing with his back to him, his breathing echoing loud in the room.
"Who the fuck are you?" Bakugou asks, getting ready to jump into another fight if necessary. This guy, at least, doesn't seem to have a gun - Bakugou can't see how he'd hide it in those weird clothes of his.
To Bakugou's surprise, the stranger freezes, slowly turning to look at him, and he barely gets a glance at heterochromatic eyes before the man sprints towards the open balcony window.
"Oh no, you don't," Bakugou shouts, immediately running after him. He doesn't know what the man's planning on doing - he lives on the fifth floor, it's not like the balcony is a viable way out - but he lunges forward, grabbing onto the other's lower half just as he reaches the railing and starts to jump.
A familiar flash of silver cuts into Bakugou's field of vision, sprouting from the man's back and taking on a form that looks suspiciously like bird wings moments before it vanishes and both of them are sent tumbling to the ground.
They struggle for a few moments, but it doesn't take much for Bakugou to pin the other to the ground, straddling his back and holding his arms down. The man strains to turn his head towards Bakugou; his eyes rake his face before he lets his forehead hit the ground with a thump, a resigned sigh leaving his lips.
"You can let go now. I won't escape again."
Bakugou snorts, tightening his hold instead.
"How do I know you're not lying?" he asks.
"You've already seen me. I suppose it'd be useless to run away now."
Bakugou hesitates for a few moments before slowly letting go of the man's arms, keeping an eye out for any suspicious movements as he gets up. The other keeps his word, however, not doing anything that would indicate another attempt at-
What had he been about to do, anyway, jumping out the fucking balcony?
The flash he saw before they fell comes back to Bakugou's mind, and it doesn't take long for him to make the connection between that and the mysterious silver gleam he'd seen the day of the truck accident.
"It was you," he says. "You're the one that saved me that day. And..." He stops, thinking of every single time his life has been saved recently, due to some unlikely coincidence that just so happened to get him out of danger's way at the last moment.
Bakugou frowns, pinning the other with an accusing stare. "You better give me a damn good explanation right fucking now. What the fuck are you? And why are you following me around like a creep?"
The man turns towards the rails. Bakugou is about to jump forward to immobilize him again, but he only leans his elbows against the metal, his face partially hidden by his bangs as he stares at the night sky.
"You wouldn't let this go if I asked you to, would you?"
"Damn right I wouldn't."
"Of course not." The man shakes his head. "I'll tell you the truth then, but I can't guarantee you'll believe it."
Considering how his life seems to have turned upside down in the past weeks, Bakugou is tempted to say that at this point he's not past believing anything, as long as it brings at least some semblance of logic to the chaos.
"Okay." The man takes a deep breath, turning around to look at Bakugou. "My name is Todoroki Shouto. I'm your guardian angel."
Bakugou stares at Todoroki, silence stretching between them, familiar anger boiling beneath his skin the longer the other stands there with an empty expression.
"Guardian angel," he repeats. Todoroki nods. "Are you fucking-" Bakugou freezes in his movement to grab the other's shirt, his eyes narrowing as he recalls something. "Those silver things. Your - wings or something. If what you're saying is true, then show them to me."
There's a sudden burst of light, growing from Todoroki's back upwards, increasing in its intensity until it takes shape. The glow doesn't die out completely, still reflecting off the wide wings that now stretch until they almost hit the ceiling.
"Shit," Bakugou whispers. He can't do anything but stare in awe - he wishes he had his camera with him, if only to try to capture the way the white feathers rimmed with silver seem to shimmer when Todoroki moves them. He does look like an angel, right then, too ethereal to be anything but.
"You have your proof now," Todoroki says, breaking Bakugou's train of thought.
Bakugou forces himself to tear his eyes away from his wings, ignoring the surge of disappointment when Todoroki makes them vanish again. Instead, he focuses on the fact that supernatural beings are apparently real, and he's got one at his apartment.
A fucking guardian angel.
Bakugou almost wants to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it.
"Well, Birdie, then maybe you can explain why my life's turned into some kind of shitty horror movie where I can't go a fucking day without almost getting killed."
"What did you just call me?"
"Just answer me."
Todoroki doesn't comment anything else about Bakugou's nickname for him; he crosses his arms, and his lips are pressed into a thin line when he answers,
"Because you should be dead."
Bakugou blinks, wondering if he heard wrong.
"You were supposed to die that day, run over by that truck," Todoroki elaborates. "I saved you, but I broke the rules by doing so. Now fate's trying to make things right."
"By trying to kill me."
"I thought you were my guardian angel."
"And saving me is breaking the rules? What the fuck?"
"I don't know the reason behind Heaven's rules. They've been like this for far longer than my own existence."
"They need to revise them, then, because that's a fucking shitty rule," Bakugou says, fuming.
"I agree with you, but it doesn't matter anymore." Todoroki's gaze turns to the sky again. "They kicked me out, so I'm no longer bound by Heaven."
Even though Todoroki's expression remains carefully blank, Bakugou can tell this is a sensitive subject by the way his posture tenses almost unperceptively. He opens his mouth, but no sound comes out and he closes it again, because really - how is he supposed to react to this?
"I apologize if my following you bothers you. Now that I'm stuck on Earth, I have to stay close to keep track of what's happening around you. I'll try to hide myself better, from now on - though I can't simply leave you alone, or fate will find a way to kill you eventually."
"Slow down a second there, Birdie." Bakugou pinches his nose, resisting the urge to pace. His brain's furiously trying to keep up with everything Todoroki is telling him, and he can already feel a headache forming. "Are you saying you've been basically homeless for weeks?"
Todoroki frowns at the comparison, but slowly nods. "I suppose... you could put it that way."
"Shit," Bakugou says, again. To be honest, that seems to be his standard reaction to every fucked up thing that keeps happening on what's pretty much turning out to be the worst day of his life.
If he knew he'd be going from facing a burglar and nearly dying to having an angel appear at his place, then to finding out said angel has been kicked out of Heaven for his sake and feeling guilty as fuck about it even though it isn't even his fault to begin with, all in the space of an hour, he would've never gotten out of bed that morning.
Not to forget that some fucked up higher power is apparently trying to kill him.
"And there's no way to stop this... fate thing? Get them to take you back and get off my ass or something?" Bakugou asks. He can tell he's not going to like Todoroki's answer even before the other opens his mouth.
"No. Fate's not something you can just stop; it'll keep trying to get back to the way it's supposed to be. And once an angel is kicked out, that's it. Heaven can be quite... unforgiving." Todoroki once again turns towards the railing, leaning his foot on one of the metal bars, partially hoisting himself up. "It was my decision, though. You don't have to worry about it."
"Like hell I don't." Bakugou grabs the back of Todoroki's tunic, keeping him from jumping into flight like he obviously intends to do. "Why'd you do it?"
This time, Todoroki doesn't answer, refusing to look at Bakugou, though he doesn't struggle to get free of his hold, either.
"Fine, whatever. I don't care," Bakugou says, gritting his teeth. "But you're staying here."
Todoroki's head snaps towards him so fast his neck must hurt.
"Stay at my place. Better than having you watching me from a hiding spot like a fucking creep," Bakugou says. "Besides, that way we're... even or whatever."
"But- I didn't-"
"Just shut up and come inside before I change my mind, Birdie," Bakugou hisses, letting go of the angel and going back to the mess that is now his living room, listening as Todoroki follows him after a few moments of hesitation. He doesn't think only giving Todoroki a place to stay is a fair trade for what he went through to save his life, but there's nothing else Bakugou can think of at the moment.
And it helps lessen the feeling that it is his fault, somehow.
The following morning, Bakugou finds out that there are more surprising things about angels aside from their, well, existence.
"What do you mean, you've never had food before?" he asks, stopping midway through cutting onions for the miso soup.
"It means I've never had it before." Todoroki, as Bakugou also finds out, can annoy the crap out of him with just a few words. At this moment, however, he's too insulted by the idea that someone could've spent their entire life without having the pleasure of having a good, nicely prepared meal to give him a proper retort. "I can eat, if I want to, but my body doesn't need it."
"And you've never wanted to?"
"Well, then I am going to change that," Bakugou says, getting back to cutting more vigorously, because now making breakfast has turned into a mission of making the best fucking breakfast ever. If his food is the first one Todoroki is going to eat in who knows how many years, then he's going to make sure it sets a really, really high standard.
Luckily, Bakugou prides himself on being one hell of a good cook.
Forty minutes later, he sets down a bowl of steaming miso soup, rice, and scrambled eggs in front of Todoroki.
"Prepare to have your mind blown," Bakugou says, already digging into his own food.
He watches as Todoroki curiously pokes at the eggs before picking some up rather clumsily, struggling a bit with the hashi until he finally takes a bite.
Bakugou relishes in sweet satisfaction as Todoroki's neutral expression changes to one of delight as he chews, the edges of his lips curving up slightly.
"Does all food taste like this?" Todoroki asks, raising questioning eyes at Bakugou.
"If by this you mean fucking amazing, then you can bet anything I make does," Bakugou replies, smirking as he fishes a carrot out of the soup, popping it into his mouth.
Mission accomplished, he thinks to himself as he eats, staring at Todoroki for a while longer before he realizes what he's doing and focuses his gaze on his plate. There's something fascinating about having an angel sitting at his kitchen table, eating his food with hums of appreciativeness and wearing the pajamas Bakugou lent him, the sleeves a bit too short since Todoroki is taller than him.
Like this, Todoroki doesn't look like a supernatural being. He seems almost human, and for the first time since the previous night, Bakugou considers that having him stay at his apartment might not be that bad.
"Thank you for the meal, Bakugou," Todoroki says once they've both finished eating.
Bakugou waves a hand in dismissal, putting the dishes inside the dishwasher.
"Now you know what you've been missing out on, Birdie."
"Can you not call me that?"
"What do you want me to call you, then?" Bakugou asks, and then adds, simply to see the other's reaction, "Birdie."
Todoroki's expression turns into an annoyed frown, and Bakugou finds it hard to resist the urge to laugh.
"My name. Shouto."
Bakugou freezes, humor gone from his face in the blink of an eye.
"What, are we fucking bffs now or something?"
"Well, I've been watching you for your whole life. It seems natural, Katsuki."
The use of his first name should've pissed him off - not even his best friend, Kirishima, called him that - but what does make Bakugou mad instead is that Todoroki is right.
It's been less than twenty four hours since he's met this guy, and he still feels like a goddamn stranger - hell, he is a stranger, and Bakugou still doesn't know shit about him other than the few scraps of information Todoroki has shared - but when he uses his name, it doesn't feel wrong.
More like... a distant familiarity, perhaps.
It also feels like getting whiplash, to be reminded of how much about this guardian angel thing he doesn't understand when he was finally starting to wrap his mind around the situation.
"Look, Birdie," Bakugou starts, leaning against the counter and crossing his arms.
"You don't want to use my first name, fine. I get it. But stop with the Birdie thing, or I'm seriously considering letting fate have its way the next time it tries to kill you."
Bakugou huffs. He's amazed at how Todoroki can make him go from almost accepting to completely annoyed in the space of a few minutes.
"Look, Shouto," he says. He doesn't miss the way Todoroki's eyes widen; the name feels both alien and familiar at the same time, but it slides off Bakugou's tongue with ease, despite the sarcastic tone it's imbued with. "I get that there's this... connection or whatever between us, but stop bringing up this shit about watching me. If feels creepy as fuck, okay, to think you know everything about me."
Todoroki blinks a few times, seemingly taken aback by Bakugou's response.
"But I don't," he says, sounding genuinely confused. "I never meant to imply that I did."
"You just said you've been watching for twenty five fucking years."
"Yes," Todoroki agrees, "but I don't really know you. I know the things you've done, sure, but I don't know what made you do them. I'm not a mind reader, or an empath. That's not what being a guardian angel is."
"Being a guardian angel isn't a lot of things, apparently," Bakugou says. Todoroki's words, however - knowing that there'd been some kind of limit to this strange one-sided pre-relationship between them - give him a sense of relief. This way, it makes it easier to think of Todoroki as a normal person, even if it's one who just so happens to have wings. And who gets kicked out of Heaven for saving his life. And in the process, manages to disturb the order of fate or whatever.
Well, Bakugou had always known his life was meant for extraordinary things, so maybe he can deal with almost normal.
"Let's make a deal, then," he says, coming to a decision. "I'll call you by your name, and you stop talking about my life like it's a fucking reality show or something. Deal?"
Todoroki hesitates for a second - Bakugou wonders if he's thinking about his answer, or if he just doesn't know what a reality show is - but then he finally nods.
"Great. We can stop wasting my time now, I have photos to take and I'd like to do that in this lifetime." Bakugou pushes himself off the counter, exiting the kitchen and stopping to grab his camera which he'd left beside the TV before heading towards the front door. Halfway there, Bakugou stops, a thought occurring to him as he turns around, not surprised to find Todoroki following him.
"Let me guess, you gotta go with me to keep, I don't know, another flower pot from falling on my head?" Bakugou asks with a sigh.
"Fucking brilliant, but I am not being seen with you dressed like that," he points to Todoroki's ankles, which are showing from under the too short pants.
Todoroki opens his mouth, but Bakugou cuts him off before he can speak.
"That costume you were wearing yesterday won't do, either."
"I don't have any clothes besides that." Todoroki says. "But other people can see me only if I let them. The only one who I can't be invisible to is you."
When Bakugou thinks about it, what Todoroki is saying makes sense, and explains why no one reacted to him being suddenly saved by an angel the day of the truck accident.
Still, it has its drawbacks.
"Fine. But we're stopping to get you some normal clothes while we're out. I'm not having people stare at me like I'm fucking crazy for talking to you while you're invisible."
It takes a while, but Bakugou and Todoroki end up developing somewhat of a routine, and living together doesn't become as difficult as it seemed in the beginning.
Most of the time, Todoroki likes to keep to himself. He finds Bakugou's small collection of books, which he promptly devotes himself to reading whenever they're not outside, and it's often that Bakugou finds him sitting on a chair on the balcony, so absorbed in reading that he doesn't seem to notice the other's approach.
On days like this, Bakugou itches to take his camera and try to take a few shots of Todoroki without being noticed. He hadn't been surprised the first time he realized how beautiful Todoroki is - the guy's an angel, for fuck's sake, that was probably a requirement in his resumée - but sometimes it's difficult to look away even if he knows he's been staring for too long.
Todoroki's also a constant company every time Bakugou leaves the house, though he always makes himself visible after that first time. Bakugou is no longer fazed by the accidents that threaten his life, cursing only a little when Todoroki saves him from yet another one, more worried about his photography as they wander the city. He can recreate only some of the photos that were destroyed - part of what he's planned for his exhibition depends on sheer luck, on finding the right places to get what he needs for his photos.
Bakugou's surprised when Todoroki first asks him about it. He seems genuinely interested when Bakugou explains the theme - a reflection about time - wanting to know more about each of the three phases Bakugou's come up with for the narrative. His questions are blunt, but they're the kind of questions that Bakugou doesn't mind answering. Unlike the ones he usually gets on interviews about his work, it seems like Todoroki actually understands what the important parts are. The ones that matter the most to him.
He wonders if it's a guardian angel's sixth sense or something like that.
As pleasant as these conversations turn out to be, however, that doesn't mean Todoroki doesn't still annoy the fuck out of Bakugou. He has a way of getting under Bakugou's skin that makes most of their conversations include an almost endless amount of bickering, and what irks him even more is that sometimes, he can swear Todoroki is doing it on purpose. And enjoying it.
There's also the fact that despite being an angel, Todoroki moves like a fucking ghost.
Bakugou finds out about this particularly annoying trait when he wakes up in the middle of the night one day, getting up with the intent to get a glass of water. He's still half-asleep, not bothering to turn on any lights as he makes his way to the kitchen, body moving almost on auto-pilot as he reaches for the cabinet door.
"Is everything okay?"
The door falls shut with a loud noise, and Bakugou turns around with a sound he'd rather never admit he is capable of making.
In front of him is Todoroki, a light shimmer emanating from his wings, which almost touch the ceiling even if he doesn't haven them fully extended.
"Fucking hell," Bakugou hisses, his heart beating fast in his chest.
"I came from Heaven, actually," Todoroki says, the small quirk of his lips impossible to miss due to the glow that his feathers cast over his face.
"Ha. Very funny." Bakugou scowls, returning to his previous task of getting a glass from the cabinet.
"Sorry if I scared you. It's rare to see you up in the middle of the night, so I thought something could've happened," Todoroki explains. His wings flutter slightly behind him, and Bakugou's eyes are drawn to them, tracking their movement.
It takes a few seconds for him to notice that Todoroki is waiting for an answer, and when he does he quickly averts his eyes. He feels strangely uncomfortable, like he got caught doing something he shouldn't.
"Just getting a glass of water." Bakugou raises said glass, as if to prove what he's saying.
"Oh." Out of the corner of his eye, Bakugou notices Todoroki shuffling his feet, staring back at the living room as if he's trying to decide whether to go back or stay in the kitchen.
"What are you doing up, anyway?" Bakugou asks. He's more awake now, and while he's not one to start random conversations, talking to Todoroki before trying to go back to sleep sounds like a good idea.
"I don't sleep much." Todoroki moves from his place in the doorway to stand next to Bakugou, gazing out the window. Bakugou is painfully aware of how close his wings are, magically jutting through the thin shirt Todoroki's wearing without damaging it. They look soft to the touch, like Todoroki's hair does, and Bakugou wonders if there's any difference between how they would feel if he were to thread his fingers through both of them.
Wait a second. What the fuck?
Bakugou doesn't know where these thoughts are coming from, but he's starting to regret his decision not to go back to bed.
"Where'd you get that scar?" he asks, because he needs something to distract himself - and because it's something he has wondered about before. "Isn't there another shitty rule about, I don't know, angels having flawless skin or something?"
A strangled sound comes from Todoroki, and when Bakugou looks at him, he's surprised to find his eyes closed, his features contorted into something that almost seems like pain.
"I can't answer that," Todoroki says. In a second, he's back to his usual deadpan expression, though he hangs his head forward so his hair is obscuring his eyes when he adds, "I think I'll go to sleep now. Goodnight, Katsuki."
Without another word, Todoroki walks out of the kitchen. Bakugou is left dumbfounded, clutching the empty glass of water in his hands and wondering what the fuck just happened.
Bakugou dreams about Todoroki for the first time a few days after that.
It's the middle of the night when he wakes up, drenched in sweat, his cock painfully hard. His mind is filled with the remnants of his dream; Todoroki pinned under him, slick skin against slick skin, a salty taste on his tongue as Bakugou leans down to take him in his mouth.
Bakugou groans, rolling to his side and pressing his face against the pillow, trying to will his hard on to go away.
Todoroki's voice echoing his name, his hands pulling on Bakugou's hair as he thrusts into his mouth.
"Fuck," Bakugou whispers, his hands moving of their own volition, thumb sliding over the head of his cock to gather pre-cum before he takes hold of the base and starts to pump in a steady rhythm.
If Bakugou were able to form a coherent thought, he'd curse himself for doing this. He can't focus, however, the images still too vivid in his mind; the warmth of Todoroki's body, the taste of his skin, the way Bakugou can see through teary eyes as Todoroki's wings unfold moments before he releases into Bakugou's mouth.
Bakugou comes on his hand with a choked whimper, his breathing seeming to echo way too loud in the silent room.
He lies still for a while, panting, the haze of lust and sleep slowly clearing away from his mind.
When it does, Bakugou lets out a groan of frustration as he takes note of his current situation. He's just jacked off to Todoroki. His guardian angel. Who is sleeping right next door and who he'll have to face the next morning.
Bakugou comes to the conclusion that he's completely, utterly fucked.
If Bakugou had started to think that living with Todoroki was easy, now he's back to believing that it's a goddamn torture.
He feels on edge, aware of Todoroki's every movement, his gaze constantly drawn to him even if he tries to avoid it. The dreams haven't stopped, either, which only adds to his frustration; in fact, they've gotten more frequent, making it even harder to stand close to Todoroki without letting his thoughts show on his face.
Bakugou's familiar with sexual attraction. If that were the only thing bothering him, he might be able to ignore it, waiting until it burned out. But now and then, he catches himself thinking of things that he's afraid aren't related to that at all, like how Todoroki's hair would look like mussed from sleep. Or how beautiful he'd look laughing - Bakugou's never seen him laugh before. At some point, he realizes he wants to.
And it unsettles him, even more so than finding out what Todoroki is had.
Bakugou's not sure what these feelings mean, but he doesn't want to find out. He's got enough shit going on in his life already; the last thing he needs is to add this to the pile.
So he does the only think he can think of, which is to put as much distance between him and Todoroki as he can given their current situation. He can't tell if Todoroki notices the way he stops using his first name, or the way he's always cutting off their conversations before they even begin. When they're home, Bakugou spends most of the time in his bedroom, avoiding the living room for as long as he knows Todoroki's there.
It's easier this way.
Or at least that's what he tries to convince himself of.
"I know there's only a month left until the exhibit. I told you I'd send you the photos before then, didn't I? That means I'll fucking send them before then," Bakugou growls into the receiver, pacing back and forth on his living room.
He's been on the phone for half an hour, and no matter how many times he explains about the burglar and the ruined negatives, Aizawa simply won't give up pestering him about the photos. This is not the first time Bakugou's had an exhibition at one of the biggest art galleries in the city, which means that Aizawa, being responsible for organizing the events, has worked with him several times before. He should know by now that Bakugou is a fucking professional who has not once failed to deliver the material on time.
He hasn't gotten to where he is simply because of his talent, after all.
"You might be popular among the critics, Bakugou, but that doesn't mean we don't have other talented photographers waiting to get your spot," Aizawa says, and Bakugou has to resist the urge to tell the man to fuck off.
"None of them will be as talented as me, and you know that," Bakugou replies. He can imagine Aizawa's expression of tired resignation as he sighs, unable to deny what Bakugou is saying.
"You have until Sunday. We need time to get the promotional material printed out before the exhibition opens."
"Fine." Bakugou presses the end call button with more force than necessary, seething with the need to punch something. He settles for one of the cushions, hoping to relieve some of his anger without actively breaking anything he'd have to pay for later.
He should've expected Aizawa to call. Usually, Bakugou would've sent the photos already, but with so many things on his mind lately distracting him from his focus on photography, he's not sure if what he has so far is good enough for his standards.
But it's not like he has any other options now. If he wants to get the photos to Aizawa by Sunday, he needs to send them to be developed today, which means he only has a few hours to try to get some more shots before he heads to Kirishima's store.
Maybe Aizawa's right to worry, this time; he shouldn't have let things become so last minute like this.
"Damn it!" Bakugou hisses, not caring that his cushion has nothing to do with his predicament as he punches it repeatedly.
"Katsuki, are you okay?"
Bakugou drops the cushion to the floor, startled to hear Todoroki's voice so close to him when he hadn't even noticed him entering the room.
"Katsuki?" Todoroki repeats, and then there's a hesitant weight on Bakugou's shoulder.
Bakugou turns around abruptly, wrenching Todoroki's hand away from him, ignoring the way the shock on the other's face makes his heart clench.
"I'm fine," he growls, stomping out of the room only to return moments later with his camera bag.
"Are you going out?" Todoroki asks, already taking a step forward. "I'll go wit-"
"Don't!" Bakugou says. He needs to focus, damn it, and being near Todoroki right now is going to do the exact opposite of that. "I can stay alive for one fucking day on my own."
He doesn't look at Todoroki again to see his reaction before he leaves, slamming the door shut behind him.
For the rest of the day, Bakugou roams the busy streets, looking for things that would be worth photographing. During that time, the only dangerous accident that happens is when he's almost attacked by an angry dog, which Bakugou finds extremely insulting on fate's part; animals have always loved him, and that it would stoop so low as to involve a poor dog in its schemes really pisses him off.
It's nothing Bakugou can't solve without a few blocks of running as fast as he can. Despite that, he still finds himself looking around, hoping to catch a familiar glimpse of silver.
When he doesn't, he reminds himself that this is what he wanted in the first place.
Bakugou doesn't come back to the apartment for lunch, instead grabbing something to eat at one of the few restaurants he deems decent before going back to taking photos. He thinks he's managed to get a few decent shots - there's a bottle of wine and a glass left next to the city's theater, and a patch of wet dirt near a garden has perfectly neat footprints on it. They could almost look staged, but they aren't; Bakugou makes sure to frame the photos in a way that gives the scenario a sense of something missing, something that's happened some time in the past but is now gone, leaving behind nothing but an abandoned mark.
As the hours pass and the sky grows darker, Bakugou tries to drown himself in the photography, in the composition of lights and shadows, anything that can keep his mind from straying to undesired thoughts before he finally runs out of time, dropping the films he's accumulated in the past weeks at Kirishima's photography shop and being forced to go back to the apartment.
Todoroki doesn't bring up what happened when Bakugou arrives, though he seems relieved to see that the other is still alive. Dinner is quiet that night, and soon Bakugou retires to his room, claiming he's tired from walking around the city.
It takes hours for him to fall asleep, the silence bearing more weight than he ever thought possible.
A few days later, Kirishima texts Bakugou that the photos are ready.
Todoroki goes with him when he leaves, but as soon as they're outside he opens his wings, settling for following him through a distance, invisible to everyone else's eyes. Ever since Bakugou's outburst, that's how things have been; Todoroki seems to have come to terms with Bakugou's own attempts at pushing him away, talking even less than usual, staying out of his way like he said he'd do that first night the balcony.
Because of that, Bakugou's feeling crankier than usual, his irritation boiling as he all but stomps into his best friend's photography shop minutes before the closing time, knowing Todoroki isn't going to follow him inside.
"Bakugou, man!" Kirishima greets him with his always present enthusiasm from behind the balcony. "Just a sec, I've got your photos right here."
Bakugou taps his feet impatiently as he watches Kirishima sifting through the piles of envelopes that litter a shelf at the back.
"Dude," Kirishima says, pulling an envelope halfway out before shaking his head and continuing his search. "I know your photos are always awesome, but, seriously. Why didn't you tell me you had started working with models? Some of these were fucking mindblowing, man. I could barely believe you were the one who took them when I saw them, they're so different from the rest."
"What the fuck are you talking about? I don't work with models, and you know that."
"What are you talking about?" Kirishima finally finds the right envelope, placing it on the balcony and taking out a bunch of photos, spreading them out until he finds the ones he wants, putting them on top of the pile for Bakugou to see. "I mean these."
Bakugou's breath catches in his throat when he looks at them. He'd forgotten about these photos, random shots taken when they were outside, when Todoroki wasn't looking and Bakugou had pressed the shutter button before he could stop himself. There's one of Todoroki looking at the sky, his hair falling back and revealing wistful eyes that seem to shine with the reflection of the sun. Another one is taken from further away, but it captures Todoroki with a rare smile on his face, crouched as he extends a hand to pet a stray cat. Bakugou can still remember that day; it'd taken nearly half an hour to get Todoroki to separate from the cat, who kept purring and seemed content to simply stay in the angel's arms.
"Oh, I see." Bakugou's trance is broken by Kirishima's voice, and when he looks up his friend is staring at him with a knowing smile that makes him want to punch him. "I should've known it wasn't a model. Well, it hurts me even more that you didn't tell me about that, either, Bakugou. I thought we were friends," Kirishima says, pouting as he clutches his chest dramatically.
"There's nothing to tell you, Hair-for-Brains," Bakugou deadpans, gathering all the photos back into the envelope. He's thankful he's paid in advance, because the store suddenly seems too suffocating, and he feels an urgent need to get out before Kirishima says anything else.
However, he's not fast enough, and his shitty best friend seems intent on ignoring Bakugou's obvious distress.
"Whoever this guy is, you obviously like him," he says. "Your photos always have meaning, but this? This is raw emotion, dude. It screams from every single detail of these photos. You got it bad."
"Stop talking bullshit," Bakugou hisses, hastily grabbing the envelope and heading towards the exit. He's halfway there when Kirishima calls out,
"I think someone is in denial!"
Bakugou flips him off moments before the door closes behind him.
Back at the apartment, the first thing Bakugou does is lock himself up in his room, so many thoughts running through his head that he can't make sense of any of them.
Fuck. Fuck. When did it get to this point?
He'd thought he was doing the best thing by staying away from Todoroki, sure that whatever weird attraction he felt to the angel would dissipate. As he sifts through the photos, however, Kirishima's words echo on his ears, and he can no longer deny the truth of them reflected on the images he holds in his hands, catching up to him after weeks of running away.
This is raw emotion.
You got it bad.
"Fuck," Bakugou says once again, letting his head fall against the pillows. "You just had to be right, shitty Hair-for-Brains."
Bakugou ends up dozing off, and when he wakes up the sky outside has turned dark. He takes his phone out of his pocket to check the time - nearly 10pm. Putting the photos of Todoroki back with the rest of them, Bakugou puts the envelope inside the bedside table drawer before leaving his room, grabbing a jacket on the way out.
He finds Todoroki at his usual place on the balcony, and the angel startles when Bakugou clears his throat, turning to look at him with curious eyes.
"I'm going out. You coming?" Bakugou asks. He's not sure what he's doing, but he's tired of pushing Todoroki away now that he knows it's useless.
He figures he'll just have to learn how to live with his heart beating faster whenever he's close to him, then.
Minutes go by, and Todoroki doesn't answer, staring at Bakugou like he's never seen him before.
"What, do I have something on my face? For fuck's sake, Shouto, let's go already."
It's the sound of his name that seems to bring Todoroki out of his reverie, and he quickly gets up, catching up to Bakugou halfway through the living room with a quiet, "Okay."
Bakugou leads him to a small place just a block away from his apartment, one he likes to go to whenever he needs a drink and a nice ambient to escape from the stress of daily life, both of which he could really use at the moment.
The Bomb Squad is kind of a cross between a club and a bar; there's a stage where bands perform from time to time, a space cleared in front of it as a makeshift dance floor, and there's always some music playing in the background, though Bakugou appreciates the fact that whoever is in charge of picking the songs always opts out of the annoying repetitive music he usually hears at the most famous clubs. There are few couches and tables here and there, all taken by time Bakugou and Todoroki arrive.
The place is almost full, though not enough to become claustrophobic, and they're able to find two seats at the stools in front of the bar. Bakugou only signals to the bartender, raising two fingers, and the man nods, recognizing him from his previous visits and already moving to get two glasses of his usual drink to him and Todoroki.
An awkward silence settles between them. Bakugou opens his mouth several times before giving up and taking a sip of his drink, the taste of vodka burning down his throat.
Todoroki follows suit and promptly chokes, coughing as tears gather on his eyes.
Maybe it's because of the sudden way the tension is broken, but Bakugou can't help the full-blown laugh that shakes his body as he watches Todoroki grip the counter, looking at his glass like it has personally offended him.
"What is this?"
"This is another thing you've been missing out on," Bakugou manages to say between gasps of laughter.
"It's terrible." Todoroki pushes the glass away, pursing his lips.
"It's not about the taste. But then again, I don't even know if angels can get drunk. Can you?"
"I don't know. And I'm not sure I want to find out."
"Boring." Bakugou says, taking another gulp of his drink.
Talking to Todoroki becomes easier after that, though none of them bring up Bakugou's sudden change of behavior. It's something that will eventually come to bite him in the ass, and Bakugou knows that; right now, however, he just wants to chuck everything that's been bothering him out the window, and maybe get to have some fun in the process.
Fuck it, Bakugou thinks, pulling Todoroki towards the dance floor after a while. He's not the best dancer, but it turns out Todoroki isn't, either, even if he still manages to look graceful while he stumbles through his attempt at copying what other people are doing. Bakugou's sure him being an angel is directly related to that.
By the time they return to the bar, Bakugou's already starting to sweat, and there's a rare smile on Todoroki's lips, his cheeks flushed as they sit down once again.
Bakugou wants nothing more than to kiss him.
He stops himself before he can do anything stupid, getting up like he's gotten burned.
"Bathroom," he mumbles as an explanation, trying not to walk too fast as he makes his way to the toilets.
He takes more time than he needs in there, splashing some cold water on his face as his tries to calm himself down.
Finally, when it can't be acceptable for him to spend any longer staring at the mirror, he takes a deep breath and walks back into the chaos of the club, wishing he could punch his own feelings away.
It becomes clear that his wish won't come true when he sees his seat next to Todoroki has been taken, and the man currently occupying it is leaning with his lips way too close to Todoroki's ear, one of his hands slowly making its way to his thigh. Todoroki seems to be frozen, confused eyes searching the crowd before they finally find Bakugou. An ugly feeling boils beneath Bakugou’s skin as he pushes everyone out of his way, quickly making his way towards the pair.
"Get the fuck away from him or I'll fucking end you, you creep," he hisses when he reaches the bar, not bothering to measure his strength as he grabs the man's wrist, yanking him off the stool and away from Todoroki.
"What the hell, dude? Was just having a nice conversation with pretty boy here. Didn't your mom tell you it's rude to interrupt people when they're talking?" The man opens a sickening smile, then, and if Bakugou wasn't angry enough already, he sure is now.
"I said get. The. Fuck. Away," he says between gritted teeth, tightening his hold on the guy's wrist as a warning.
"Maybe I don't want to."
Bakugou barely has time to lift his other hand as the man's free arm swings towards him. He can hear people shouting as he blocks the blow, adrenaline coursing through him as he prepares to fight, but before he can do anything the man is pulled from his grip.
Bakugou looks up to see a guard dragging him away. The man's eyes are bulging with barely contained rage, his voice ringing loud over the noise as he screams.
"I'll be waiting when you get out, fucker! I'll beat you to death, then pretty boy and I can have a good talk!"
Bakugou growls, tempted to go after the guy, but a hand on his arm stops him, and he turns around to find Todoroki looking at him with worry.
"Are you okay?"
"Of course I'm okay," Bakugou huffs, taking the now vacant seat next to him.
"That was stupid."
"Shut up. Guy was a freak, getting his disgusting hands all over you." It's only when Todoroki's eyes widen that Bakugou realizes what he's said. "Don't just stand there like a fucking doll next time, idiot, or I won't help you," he adds, hoping Todoroki hasn't noticed the way his cheeks are burning.
"Sorry," Todoroki says, but his tone is more amused than apologetic.
They don't stay long at the club after that, the light mood somewhat spoiled by the disturbance. By the time they leave, however, Bakugou has almost forgotten about the man and his promise as the guard took him away.
They’ve only walked a few meters away from the club when there’s movement coming from the dark alley to their left. Bakugou only has time to see a glint of metal before he's pushed to the side by Todoroki, his shoulder hitting the ground with a painful thump. When he looks up, Todoroki's struggling with the man from earlier, who holds a knife in his right hand. Even in the dim streetlights, Bakugou can make out that the blade is tinged with blood.
Bakugou gets up at the same moment that Todoroki manages to knock the knife out of the man's grasp, the blade scuttling far with a metallic sound. Finding himself suddenly outnumbered and without his weapon, the guy seems to shrink on himself, wrenching away from Todoroki's grasp only to disappear down the alley he'd come from.
"Fucking coward," Bakugou spits out as the sound of footsteps slowly fade.
"Usually, he might have never actually done that," Todoroki says. "This is fate pulling the strings again."
His voice has a painful strain to it, and Bakugou quickly turns towards him, noticing that his shirt has been torn on his left side where the knife got him, a little blood seeping through and staining the tissue.
"Why the fuck did you jump in front of him like that? I can fight for myself, you fucking idiot," Bakugou says, reaching for Todoroki's shirt in order to take a better look at the wound.
"It's just a shallow cut, Katsuki." Todoroki takes a step back, motioning for them to continue their way back to the apartment. "Besides, I'm your guardian angel. You should be used to me saving you by now."
Bakugou huffs, dropping his hand, refraining from pointing out that Todoroki has never gotten injured saving him before.
They resume walking in silence, but they've barely reached the street of the apartment when a sudden flash cuts through the sky, a loud boom resonating moments before rain starts pouring down on them.
"Are you fucking kidding me," Bakugou screams over the sound of the rain as they dash through the downpour.
By the time they reach Bakugou's building, they're both drenched, breathing hard from all the running. Bakugou tries to call the elevator, only to find out that the power is down; he curses fate and Heaven for being fucking assholes as they climb the stairs to the fifth floor.
"What, was it trying to fucking hit me with lightning or something?" Bakugou growls as he unlocks the door to his apartment.
"I wouldn't be surprised," Todoroki replies, squeezing his hair and dripping water as he steps into the living room floor.
"Will you fucking stop flooding my apartment," Bakugou hisses, despite the fact that he's doing part of the flooding himself. "Get some dry clothes on. Leave your shirt off, though, I gotta bandage up that cut."
"I already told you, I'm not going to die from this."
"Do I look like I care?" Bakugou says. He does, actually, care, but Todoroki doesn't have to know that. "I'm not letting you bleed all over my place. Go get changed already."
Todoroki mumbles something that sounds like an agreement before leaving towards his room. Bakugou does the same, leaving his wet clothes on his bathroom floor before pulling on some sweatpants and an old T-shirt and getting the first aid kit from the cabinet.
There's a knock on the door, and Todoroki pads into the room quietly, wearing nothing but sweatpants that hang a bit too low on his hips. Bakugou gulps, raking his eyes over Todoroki's naked chest before shaking his head. He has to focus on what Todoroki is here for, which is to take care of the cut that crosses over the left side of his ribcage towards his back.
Bakugou sets the first aid kit down on the bed, motioning for Todoroki to climb up. The angel hesitates before settling in the middle of the bed, leaning his weight on his calves as Bakugou kneels in front of him. The mattress dips unsteadily under their added weight.
"Wait," Todoroki says, and seconds later, there's a silver flash and his wings are spread behind him, adding their own glow to the moonlight that comes from the window.
Bakugou curses internally. The wings might help Todoroki keep his balance, but Bakugou has to force himself to tear his eyes away from them, opening the first aid kit with a lot more concentration than necessary.
"Can't you, I don't know, fucking predict these accidents or something?" he asks, trying to distract himself as he picks up a damp gauze to clean the blood from Todoroki's side. With the way they're kneeling, he has to inch closer, placing a hand on Todoroki's bare shoulder to keep himself upright, and he gulps at the hot pulse that curses through him at the contact.
Keeping his focus on the task at hand is getting increasingly more difficult.
"I wish I could," Todoroki answers, wincing slightly when Bakugou wipes at the irritated flesh, his wings fluttering behind him. "Being a guardian angel... doesn't work like you think it does."
"How does it work, then? About time you explained that."
"Our job is pretty simple, actually," Todoroki says. "We can send inspiration to an artist who is having trouble painting. Or to a writer who's struggling with their novel. We can send motivation for a person to keep pursuing their goal, send them good dreams when they're feeling down, make-"
"Wait a minute. Dreams?" Bakugou, who's just finished bandaging up Todoroki's wound, stills as the dreams that have been plaguing him for weeks replay on his head. "Does that mean you were making me have those goddamn dreams!? I'll kill you."
Despite Bakugou's accusing stare, Todoroki's expression turns to one of confusion.
Bakugou sputters, searching Todoroki's face for any signs of lying, but the angel is as honest as an open book.
Oh, fuck. Bakugou wonders if this is fate's doing again, because he's pretty sure he's going to die of embarrassment.
"It's nothing, my bad," he mutters, cursing his cheeks for heating up. "There, your wound's fine. I gotta go, uh, do something now."
He starts to move away, but a hand on his wrist stops him, and Bakugou's breath hitches at the forcefulness of the touch pulling him back, throwing him off balance.
There's absolutely no way Todoroki could've missed the sound the escapes Bakugou's lips when he's jolted forward, colliding against the angel's naked chest, his thigh - which had moved on instinct to keep Bakugou from falling face-first into the bed - grazing Todoroki's crotch and sending a spark of pleasure through his body.
Bakugou knows he should step away, but he's transfixed by the way Todoroki's eyes widen, his pupils dilating and a light flush covering his cheeks.
"What dreams, Katsuki?" Against the noise of the rain tapping on the window, Todoroki's voice seems lower than usual, and Bakugou has to hold back a whimper at the way he says his name. His gaze unwittingly falls on Todoroki's slightly parted lips, and he's hyperaware of the way Todoroki's fingers are still wrapped around his wrist, burning against his skin.
"Dreams like..." Bakugou starts, wondering when his mouth became so dry, making it hard to speak. "Like this."
He presses his lips to Todoroki's, tentatively at first, giving enough room for the other to push him away.
He doesn't. Instead, Todoroki presses back with a choked sound, the hold of his fingers loosening in order to grip Bakugou's shirt instead. His lips taste sweet, and the realization that this isn't just another dream strikes Bakugou as unexpectedly as the storm had; Todoroki feels real, in a way he's never been in his mind before, solid and warm in Bakugou's arms.
When Bakugou pulls back, their breathing is uneven, and Todoroki watches him through half-lidded eyes.
"Others are like..." Bakugou starts. He raises his hand slowly, stare fixed on Todoroki's face as he stops a hair's breadth away from touching his right wing - a silent question.
Todoroki's lips fall open once again as he nods, urging Bakugou on. The heat in his eyes is visible even in the barely lit room, the moonlight that comes through the window basking him in an ethereal glow, and Bakugou swallows before carefully running his fingers over Todoroki's feathers, shivering at the soft feel of them against his skin.
Bakugou doesn't think he'll ever be able to forget the sight of Todoroki throwing his head back, eyes falling closed as his back arches and his wings press harder against his hand - or the sound that escapes the angel's lips, a long, drawn-out moan that goes straight to Bakugou's cock.
"Fuck," Bakugou says, self-control quickly slipping. He threads his fingers more forcefully through Todoroki's wing, reaching out to do the same with his left hand, and Todoroki keens, bucking into Bakugou's leg, his hardness impossible to miss as it rubs against him. Bakugou gasps at the friction, letting his head fall into the crook of Todoroki's neck, breath coming out in harsh pants. "They're so sensitive, Shouto, fuck."
Bakugou doesn't know if it has something to do with this guardian angel shit - maybe there's a connection that ties him to Todoroki, something that amplifies everything he's feeling - but he's aware of each point of contact between their bodies, heat searing into his skin, and all he knows is that he needs more.
He seeks Todoroki's lips, maneuvering so that he's straddling his legs instead of kneeling between them. They kiss slow and deep, Todoroki's hands moving to tangle in Bakugou's hair; his hold is gentle but firm, and for some reason this kiss feels different, more intimate than everything up until then. It sends a shiver up Bakugou's spine, makes him tighten his hold on Todoroki and pull him closer, a groan leaving his mouth when their cocks rub together through their clothes.
This is so, so much better than his dreams.
Todoroki bends forward so he can suck at Bakugou's neck, and the other's hands reflexively tighten on his wings - and then Todoroki's teeth are grazing skin, his nails scratching Bakugou's scalp and pulling forcefully on his hair.
A surprised gasp leaves Bakugou's lips, and Todoroki's head immediately shoots up, his eyes wide in apology.
"Did that hurt-"
"Do it again," Bakugou rasps. He can barely think straight anymore - the feel of Todoroki's hands, the heat of his skin, the sound of his voice, everything keeps him barely on the edge, and it's still not enough. "Fuck, Shouto, do it again, please."
Bakugou has never begged before, nor did he ever think he would. But as Todoroki pulls his hair again, with enough force to cause a delicious sting that makes his hips buck forward in desperate need of friction, Bakugou realizes he doesn't give a fuck, because this is the best thing he's ever felt and he'd beg over and over again if it meant he'd be able to have Todoroki touching him like this forever.
The sound of their breathing is muffled by the drops of rain that continuously fall against the window, their moans being swallowed in messy kisses as they grind against each other. Bakugou lets go of Todoroki's wings, not even giving the other time to finish the whine that starts to form on his lips before he's yanking off his own shirt and pants, urging Todoroki to do the same with the remainder of his clothes, and then there's skin against skin and Bakugou feels like he could come then and there.
"You feel so good," he gasps, one hand moving back to tangle in Todoroki's feathers as the other grips both of their cocks and starts pumping. He can't tear his eyes away from Todoroki's flushed face, can't stop thinking about how damn gorgeous he looks like this, falling apart with Bakugou's name on his lips.
"I've been thinking about this. About you," Bakugou says, "About fucking you. Making you scream my name. Wondering if I could make you come just from this." He flattens his palm against Todoroki's left wing, near the junction where it meets his back, and runs his hand upwards, stopping to rub some of the feathers with his thumb. Todoroki's moan sounds more like a sob, his eyes sliding shut as he holds tightly to Bakugou's shoulders. "Bet I could, and you'd look so fucking good."
Todoroki bucks into Bakugou's hand, desperation clear in his movements. He's close, Bakugou can tell, and that's fine because he's so fucking close, too.
"Can't get you out of my head, damn it."
Todoroki tenses for a second and then he's coming, moaning Bakugou's name as he spills on his hand, his wings flaring out and casting shimmering silver light over his face. Bakugou can't tear his eyes away, Todoroki's pleasure-ridden expression burning into his mind as he's pushed over the edge, body trembling and numb from the intensity of his orgasm.
They're both left breathing hard, eyes half-open and fixed on each other as Bakugou leans his forehead against Todoroki's, thighs struggling with the effort to stay upright. Todoroki moves so that his arms are hooked behind Bakugou's neck, one of his hands going back to his hair, this time simply settling there without pulling.
After a while, Todoroki leans back enough to trace Bakugou's cheek with a feather-like touch, then presses their lips together in a gentle kiss that makes Bakugou's heart beat faster again, from a different reason than before. When they part, it's with a small laugh coming from Todoroki, and Bakugou frowns trying to understand the reason for it.
"What are you laughing about?"
"I don't know." Todoroki shakes his head, still smiling. "This is all just... unexpected."
Bakugou's lips curve up of their own volition. He's not sure how to deal with the warm feeling that comes from seeing Todoroki smile like this, so he simply bows his head in an attempt to hide his expression, reaching for his discarded shirt to clean up the mess on his hand and their stomachs.
"You're lucky you didn't get the bandages dirty," he says. He means to sound exasperated, but it comes out with less bite than he intends. "I sure as hell wasn't going to bandage you up again."
"Me? What about you? You know, I wasn't the only one getting things dirty, Katsuki." Todoroki's tone is teasing, laughter still present in his voice. He looks almost smug, the damn bastard.
"I... you know what, just shut up," Bakugou mumbles, throwing his shirt to the side before falling down on the bed, motioning for Todoroki to do the same.
Silence reigns for a few moments, broken only by the ongoing storm outside, the occasional flash of lightning coming through the window and reflecting off Todoroki's feathers. He lies on his stomach, partially on top of Bakugou with his arms leaning on the other's chest, their legs tangled. Todoroki's wings encase their bodies almost like a blanket, occasionally brushing skin in a soft caress, and Bakugou can't help but think that this is nice - even nicer than the sex, if he's being honest with himself. He runs his fingers through Todoroki's hair absent-mindedly, a comfortable tiredness making his eyelids heavy.
He's almost drifting off when Todoroki speaks.
"So, about those dreams..." he starts.
"Shut up," Bakugou cuts him off. While he can't complain about what him bringing up the dreams led to, it's still fucking embarassing; leave it to Todoroki to ruin the perfectly good moment they were having. "You have no right to tease me about it after what just happened."
"No, that's not it," Todoroki lets out a short laugh, but his expression turns serious afterwards. He hesitates before asking, "Are they the reason you've been acting so cold?"
Of all the things Bakugou expected Todoroki to say, that definitely wasn't one of them - nor did he expect the hurt that is clear in the angel's voice. This is the first time that Bakugou actually stops to consider the possibility of Todoroki caring about the distance he'd but between them.
It makes him feel like shit.
"I suppose... you could say that, yeah," he admits. There'd been other things, too, that had gone beyond that, but Bakugou feels like he'd be threading into unknown territory if he brought them into the conversation. "You could've said something, though. About... I don't know, just something, for fuck's sake. How was I supposed to know you weren't just feeling obligated to follow me around?"
"Did I look like I was feeling obligated?"
"I couldn't tell, I'm not a fucking mind reader!"
"Well, you know now," Todoroki says. There's an implicit question in the way he phrases it.
Bakugou's not sure what Todoroki wants him to answer - that he'll stop avoiding him? That should be obvious already, all things considered - so he resumes carding his fingers through Todoroki's hair and mutters,
"Yeah. I know."
They fall into silence once again. Bakugou isn't feeling as sleepy anymore; he can't stop replaying the last few hours in his head, trying to get a grasp of what Todoroki's really thinking. The angel, too, seems lost in thought, his hair falling over his eyes as he traces random shapes on Bakugou's chest. Bakugou itches to brush the strands away - he wonders how Todoroki would react to that.
"Fate's going to keep trying to kill you, you know." Todoroki's the one to break the silence once more, his gaze locked on the movement of his fingers.
"Fuck fate," Bakugou answers, smirking when Todoroki looks up at him. "I've survived until now, haven't I?"
"Yes, because of me."
"Well, are you planning on going anywhere?" Bakugou asks. Even though his tone is teasing, there's a strain to it. He hates to admit it, but even after everything they've just talked about, after everything that's happened - he's afraid of Todoroki's answer.
Todoroki props his chin up on his arm, worrying his bottom lip before asking,
"Remember when you asked me about my scar?"
Bakugou nods. Todoroki's refusal to answer his question had gotten on his nerves, and caused him to waste many hours wondering about it; it'd be impossible not to recall.
"I told you that I got exiled because I saved you. That's the truth, but not all of it. I broke another rule, one that earned me this scar as punishment before they cast me down."
Bakugou's eyes are trained on Todoroki's face when he asks, "What rule was that?"
Todoroki's expression softens, his lips tilting upwards. "I fell in love with a human."
Bakugou stiffens, suddenly feeling like his chest has been filled with ice. He struggles to contain the urge to scream, not sure what to think of this new information. Their position suddenly seems a bit too suffocating.
Todoroki must've noticed his change in demeanor, because his eyes widen, realization dawning on them before he laughs.
"I fell in love with you, Katsuki," he says, in a tone that suggests it should've been obvious. "You also asked me once why I saved you, and this is the answer. So, you wanted to know if I'm planning on going anywhere - the real question is, do you want me to go?"
The wave of relief that hits Bakugou surprises him in its intensity, moments before the weight of what Todoroki's just said registers in his mind. His mouth opens, but no sound comes out; there's a knot in his throat, and he wonders when he became so damn sentimental.
He looks at Todoroki, and thinks he knows the answer to that.
"I-", he starts. Todoroki tenses, watching his face for a reaction, but Bakugou lifts one of his hands to cup his cheek, reveling in the warmth and the rightness of having Todoroki there in his arms. There's still things he needs to understand about the mess of emotions in his chest, and maybe he can't properly name them yet - but there's one thing he's certain of, and he whispers it against Todoroki's lips, moments before capturing them in a kiss. "I want you to stay."