It shouldn’t have been a fucking problem. Which is exactly why Bakugou was pissed the fuck off because it really fucking was a huge problem. He didn’t like problems he couldn’t solve with logistics, tactics, or just straight up punching it in the goddamn face. Punching would actually make things a lot worse than they already were. If Kirishima noticed it, he was a saint for not saying anything but it was really starting to drive Bakugou to the brink of madness. He didn’t know what to do.
He couldn’t touch Kirishima. He didn’t know how to make it sound any less weird and childishly stupid and dramatic than it was.
The thing of it was, Bakugou was really good at hurting people. It was a pretty useful skill to have, given his line of work. Putting people down, blasting them the fuck out. He was good at winning. And he enjoyed it. Maybe that made him a little fucked in the head, but he stopped caring, well, up until he had to care a lot.
All because that smiley rock-faced son of a bitch that Bakugou got a flip-flop stomach over. He was almost embarrassed at himself. No, actually, he was extremely embarrassed at himself for how disgustingly charmed he felt whenever he thought about Kirishima and his shark-toothed smile, how his eyes glistened when he laughed, how his muscles looked after a good workout… no that was besides the point.
Bakugou didn’t know how to not hurt Kirishima. Not that he wanted to! No one taught him how to be gentle. No one expecting soft and caring. Kirishima was the first person he had to train himself not to see as an opponent but rather to care for. It was a hard thing to differentiate, if you could imagine.
Bakugou never really thought about it because it had never been an issue before now. There had always been admirers, but that was true for anyone with a cool quirk. Bakugou had the coolest quirk so everyone wanted to be associated with him. It didn’t matter that no one really gave a shit about him because he couldn’t be fucked to care anyways. Relationships, dating, all that gross shit, was just a hindrance to his goal. It was just stupid teenage stuff he was never interested in anyways.
He also wasn’t an idiot, he had been attracted to people, he understood why people had sex, dated, all that stupid shit. Theoretically he knew it wasn’t without reasons, as it’s kinda what social creatures did.
Since Bakugou was a kid, since he was old enough to understand what all that crap even meant, he just figured it wasn’t for him if he wanted to be the number one hero. He wanted that more than he wanted some stupid girlfriend or boyfriend.
Everyone knew not to touch Bakugou. He heard them in class, he even was quite delighted by it.
“Don’t touch Bakugou if you don’t wanna get your face blown off!”
It was good that people were afraid of him. It meant they took him serious. It meant he wasn’t the one to be fucked with.
Wild how so many years can pass
without being touched at all
though, before Bakugou even noticed that it was something to pay attention to. And why should he have? Being touched usually meant he was in a fight and he damn sure wasn’t about to let his guard down for anybody.
But then Kirishima got hurt. Bad. Bakugou didn’t like to think about that too much but he remembered sitting next to him in the hospital. Kirishima was bruised, bloodied, broken . Bakugou was good at making people hurt but all he wanted in that moment was to make Kirishima better again. There was no training course on that - not one that Bakugou could pass as any combat course.
When Kirishima woke about two days later, Bakugou hadn’t slept at all. He asked Kirishima what he could do, as gently as he could ever muster. Stupidly, he couldn’t remember the last time he had ever whispered in his life. Kirishima just turned his palm upwards, silently inviting Bakugou’s touch. They never did that. No one had ever asked that of Bakugou. He didn’t deny Kirishima’s one request, as simple as it is. Bakugou was sure he could go for some water or some pain meds or something.
Kirshima’s palm was probably the softest thing Bakugou had ever touched in his life. It was so weird since he could literally turn himself into a fucking rock. He thought he used some sort of moisturizer to keep the skin from getting too dry and calloused. Bakugou had to do the same with aloe vera to keep his hands getting too red or even blistery if he was training his quirk hard.
Bakugou remembers how he could literally feel his heart echoing with each beat inside his chest. He didn’t know what the fuck he was doing, touching all over Kirishima’s hand, petting his palm and stroking his fingers like he was a pet hamster or something. It was a curious thing, this hand-touching business. Finally, he slid his fingers between Kirishima’s palm to palm. Tension shot up through his veins, all-too aware that this was something new and foreign , and not exactly unwanted. It was… nice. And it made Kirishima smile so maybe that wasn’t all bad.
He knew he liked Kirishima then, in that moment. Really liked him, in that way he would criticize others people for. It didn’t mean he necessarily knew what to do about it, but all he could think of from when he heard that Kirishima had gotten hurt to long after his recovery was how he wouldn’t know what he would do if anything happened to Kirishima. It wasn’t so dramatic like he couldn’t live without him. But Bakugou didn’t want to live without him, was the thing.
After that, Bakugou became extremely aware of the space he and Kirishima shared. He was sure that at any given moment he could calculate every centimeter between them before something in either of their gravitational fields would eventually pull them together. It was measured in sparring, a playful clap on the back, the spaces between their thighs on long bus rides. Bakugou was so consciously aware all the time
It wasn’t long until Kirishima finally kissed him. As far as kisses went, in all the movies that Bakugou had seen that featured them, the act itself was little more than a wet smash of lips. Not that he had anything to compare it to, but it didn’t stop either of them from going wide-eyed and red in the face when Kirishima pulled back. When Bakugou didn’t say anything, but stared in embarrassed shock, Kirishima tried to run away. Bakugou held grabbed the hem of his shirt to stop him from going. Kirishima froze in place and neither of them moved for a minute. Finally, Bakugou moved to awkwardly hug him from behind. He felt stupid and his hands wouldn’t stop shaking, but he pressed his forehead to the space between Kirishima’s shoulder and neck. A hand slid around his middle and Kirishima’s kept it there with his own. They stood like that for a minute until one of their stomach’s growled and they both started laughing.
He told Bakugou later on that he had a whole speech planned, a confession of everything he admired about Bakugou but when the time came, he couldn’t think of anything to say… just that if he didn’t kiss Bakugou in that moment, he would have probably died.
Bakugou had said, “Yeah, dipshit, know what you mean.”
The word “boyfriend” felt weird and sticky. He knew that’s what he and Kirishima were , technically. He just never used it. He liked partner. It meant they kicked ass together no matter what they were doing.
But if they weren’t fighting, teaming up to take down a villain, Bakugou didn’t know what the fuck to do. They still did all the other shit they did before and that was fine. But sometimes Kirishima would do something like put his arm around Bakugou’s shoulder while they watched movies, or touch his hand while they were at lunch, nevermind trying to kiss him. It all obviously meant something more than just two friends spending time together. They were reminders of what they were to each other and everything became incredibly heightened. Bakugou felt so disgustingly juvenile and awkward all the time.
What was even worse was how badly he wanted to touch Kirishima literally all the fucking time . Not even in a sexual way. But he couldn’t just… People didn’t just… There was no way Bakugou could go around touching Kirishima whenever he wanted. That would be just too fucking weird and he didn’t wanna put his partner off.
He didn’t know how to be normal and chill about it as Kirishima was, as everyone else in the whole fucking universe seemed to be. What kind of sense did it make that his hands were trained weapons, but successfully holding Kirishima’s hand without breaking a cold sweat was somehow the bigger accomplishment.
Sometimes he thought about different things, like nuzzling the back of Kirishima’s neck while he brushed his teeth in the morning because his hair was still soft and probably smelled really nice. Or after a really intense workout, Bakugou found himself wanting to caress his biceps and feel if they were any bigger than earlier. Or if they were just hanging out, he wanted Kirishima to sit in his lap? That had to be weird right? He felt so clingy and stupid that something so simple was something he didn’t know how to do.
Touching and being touched, the great ironic mystery of Bakugou Katsuki’s romantic life.
It didn’t feel very romantic.
But nothing really felt like a problem until Bakugou told him to come sleep over in his room. Or rather, he told him to come play games in his room but it was implied that Kirishima should plan on staying over. He thought that it would be the perfect way to learn how to get used to being so close to Kirishima without being so fucking weird about it. Couples slept in each other’s bed all the time.
It was, well, fine. But the bed was cramped and Bakugou was way too fucking aware that there was someone else in his bed. He couldn’t toss and turn, wouldn’t stretch his legs out. At some point Kirishima threw an arm over his stomach, pinning him in place, and Bakugou resigned himself with no sleeping at all. He was already an over-warm sleeper to begin with, so the extra mass of body heat made everything sweltering. He felt sticky all over, like he wanted to take a long cold shower. He just laid there wide awake and perfectly still because Kirishima was snoring and it wasn’t his fault Bakugou was overthinking.
God is this what Deku felt like all the time? How fucking exhausting.
He was just… so uncomfortable. And he felt so guilty because he had no reason to be.
The next morning when Kirishima woke, he said, “You didn’t sleep well did you?”
Bakugou shook his head saying, “Guess I’m not used to it yet.”
Kirishima just nodded apologetically and left soon after. Bakugou felt like shit.
He knew he was a total fuck up in this whole thing. It never occurred to him that Kirishima would ever sense it. Shit. What if he thought he was doing something bad?
What was the point in being a the world’s best hero if he was also the world’s shittiest partner?
What if this was something he just didn’t know how to do? Or could ever do?
It wasn’t Kirishima’s fault that Bakugou never learned how to be gentle and comfortable with touching other people in a way that wasn’t causing them direct physical harm. He wanted to take Kirishima and just hold him in his arms, kiss him maybe, and just
there with him like…
This all brought him to the present.
Kirishima and Bakugou wrestled a lot because that was a safe and easy way to touch his boyfriend without things getting weird and over-complicated. Kirishima was trying to overtake him just like Bakugou was trying to do to him. There was a clear objective and that made him less weird about it. But he wasn’t totally oblivious that it was an easy way to get his boyfriend all sweaty and his body all over and around him. Bakugou understood the homoeroticism in sparring just for fun when he realized he was definitely attracted to the person he was sparring with.
They were in Kirishima’s room. There were wordless grunts, sounds of struggle coming from each of them. A triumphant laugh when one pinned the other successfully. It stopped being a fight and eventually something more. There was no anger or frustration at getting pinned beneath the other boy. If Kirishima was the same as Bakugou, there was a hyper-awareness at the display of strength that was extremely attractive. He knew Kirishima was turned on by that kind of shit.
It was one of those moments that Bakugou knew was just for them. Sometimes he needed reminding, but he liked this. That they could just… play around. Not everything had to be a competition. Of course they were both competitive and that would never stop, but if Bakugou wanted to not be serious for a while, it was okay with Kirishima. Letting his guard down was not a task so easily accomplished, Bakugou found.
If he wanted to stop wrestling for a minute and just look at Kirishima while Bakugou had him pinned beneath him, he could do that, he thought. So he did that. Kirishima wasn’t struggling, but watching Bakugou with wide, expecting eyes. There was something itching in his fingers, like the need to activate his quirk and just blast the shit out of something. But it wasn’t that.
“You can,” Kirishima said, breaking the quiet. Bakugou must have been too focused to realize he had been staring at the plumpness of Kirishima’s bottom lip for well over a minute now.
Kirishima’s hands were tossed over his head and he gently stroked Bakugou’s wrist where it was placed near them. A silent form of permission, a welcome sign if ever there was to fucking do something. Bakugou felt suddenly overwhelmed and slightly anxious but he couldn’t move.
“I don’t know what to do.” He confessed lamely.
“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“If you wanna kiss me, I’d like that.”
Shit, how could he just say something like that!
Kirishima’s mouth turned upwards into a smirk and a raised eyebrow. God he looked so good. It was only then that he noticed how Kirishima’s shirt had pulled up just a bit in their tussle. Just enough to show that indention of muscle near his hip.
Bakugou choked back his nervousness and gently touched that part of exposed skin. Just to feel it because he didn’t know he would be able to live without doing so. He didn’t expect Kirishima’s stomach to convulse and shiver like it did. Bakugou could see the muscles contort under his sweat-damp tank top.
He pulled his hand back, sure it was an uncomfortable touch.
“Hey,” Kirishima grabbed his attention, “I said you could.”
“It didn’t feel…?” Bad? Weird? Good?
“I like when you touch me.”
“But I don’t know how.”
Kirishima let out a breathy laugh as he perched himself up on his elbow.
“It’s not a skill, you dolt. You just… do it.”
Bakugou felt his face contort into its resting frown. He knew it was supposed to be easy but it damn sure didn’t feel that way. Of course to Kirishima it was. Bakugou hated feeling like an idiot, having to second guess himself all the time. He wasn’t exactly use to this. He always went everything a thousand percent sure he was gonna come out the victor.
With Kirishima here, beneath him, waiting, he felt overexposed and prickly. Too many unknowns. What if he was accidentally too rough? What if it was unpleasant and Kirishima hated it? What if he was too much?
He closed his eyes, frustrated. He sat up completely, pulling himself away from Kirishima. Hot anger began to swell in his chest. He wasn't going to explode on his partner, that was unfair and irrational. But God he hated feeling this way.
Only a moment later, something soft and feather light came to the side of his face, curving around his cheek. Bakugou opened his eyes wide in a panic, his whole body jolting at the contact. It was Kirishima’s hand, almost petting his face. Bakugou let his eyes close again as fingers began tracing the lines of his face. A thumb smoothed out the lines between his brow until they relaxed. Fingers traced the bridge across this nose, and under his eyes.
Bakugou couldn’t help but let his mouth fall open. These gentle touches might as well been his own quirk igniting in his pores. He almost couldn’t stand it.
Kirishima touched his lips, his ears, his throat, all with beautiful and expert care that made Bakugou almost want to scream.
When he opened his eyes, his vision was blurry and itchy with hot tears.
How the fuck was he crying? How did this shit happen?
He turned his head away, ashamed at his loss of control over himself, and waited for Kirishima to laugh at him. Bakugou closed his eyes again, and felt those stupid son of a bitch tears betray him by rolling down his cheeks.
Bakugou hated crying more than anything and especially crying over something so stupid like this.
“It’s okay,” Kirishima whispered. By now, moments Bakugou wasn’t even counting or paying attention to, Kirishima had pulled himself up into a sitting position so that Bakugou was pretty much sitting in his lap.
He smoothed his palms around Bakugou’s back, folding him into a hug. Bakugou’s hands were folded awkwardly between them before he shakily wrapped them around Kirishima’s middle, still unsure.
“It’s okay.” Kirishima said again.
His palms were scorching on Bakugou’s back. Every square inch of him was covered in gooseflesh. It felt too good, that was the problem. He didn’t know how to keep control of that want of more . Kirishima was achingly gentle, as if coaxing wild dog into trusting him. Which honestly, wasn’t much far off from the reality.
He never thought Kirishima was a threat or would ever hurt him. But maybe there was a part of Bakugou that never quite reconciled with how badly he wanted Kirishima’s touch. As if somehow he was betraying his own personal moral code. He didn’t think it was anything about Kirishima being a boy. But years of telling himself he didn’t need it, didn’t want it, eventually felt like not allowed to want it. And the sheer desperation that seeped from every square inch of him felt like guilt.
He hated himself for not knowing how to ask Kirishima for more, to not stop.
He was so thankful that Kirishima didn’t.
They sat like that for a while, with Kirishima rubbing his back, and softly nuzzling his shoulder and neck, until Bakugou was sleepy and malleable. He felt wrung dry and embarrassed.
“Can we try it again?” He asked. Kirishima looked up at him, with glazed sleepy eyes and a relaxed smile.
“Try what again?”
“I don’t know,” He shrugged, “Sleeping.”
Kirishima’s face lit up with what could only be described as glee. “Yeah?”
“Don’t make it weird, asshole.”
Kirishima didn’t skip a beat before pressing a wet kiss to Bakugou’s cheek. Bakugou groaned in mock disgust, pushing him away and standing. Kirishima was laughing and shaking his head. Bakugou held his hand out for his partner, who took it and pulled himself up. He let himself feel the warmth spread between their palms and up his arm. He didn’t hate it, it felt tingly and nice.
“Not that you need any more of an ego boost,” Kirishima said, “But you’re not bad at this, if you think you are.”
Bakugou opened his mouth to shoot back something sarcastic and cocky. But the moment was almost too sticky sweet to ruin. Instead he pressed himself close to Kirishima and pressed a kiss to his sweaty forehead.
Kirishima smiled and tightened his grip on Bakugou’s hand. He liked this, whatever weak attempts at being a boyfriend Bakugou could muster. He felt waves of relief wash through him. There was nothing to worry about.
That night, Bakugou still didn’t sleep well. He never really could to begin with so that was probably a whole other set of unrelated issues to unpack. But he didn’t feel so disgustingly panicky with Kirishima in his bed. This time he just looked him as he slept. All his sharp edges were softened by sleep. His mouth hung open just a fraction as warm puffs of breath spread over Bakugou’s collar bone.
Like the last time, Kirishima had unconsciously thrown an arm across Bakugou’s stomach but he didn’t hate it. Kirishima felt like a grounding presence, something warm he could fold himself into. There was space between them still. A lot of the movies showed couples romantically folded into one another, but Bakugou could settle with holding his hand while he slept.
This felt pretty fucking good for right now, if you asked him.