"Taiki get back here!"
Those words and his dog's startled yelp were the only warning Bakugou had before a sold weight crashed into his legs, effectively knocking him off balance and on his ass. Kimi whined and immediately leaped into his lap. A wet nose pressed against his arm as the source of his misfortune energetically smelled him. The clearly pleased with himself beagle shook his head, ears flopping loudly, before gracing him with a big, wet lick up the cheek.
Bakugou shoved the dog away and vigorously wiped the slobber away. Unfortunately, Kimi took that as an invitation to mimic the behavior. She jumped to his chest and started covering him with dog kisses as well. The second he turned his attention to his own dog to stop the attack, the beagle join in with the doggie love, placing his paws on Bakugou's chest and pushing him down for better access. Were Bakugou a lesser man, he would have shoved both canines away angrily. Instead, he accepted his fate, sucked his lips in and squeezed his eyes shut against the onslaught on dog slobber.
Kimi was not getting any treats when they got home.
As soon as the slobbery assault began, the beagle was pulled off him with a breathless apology. "I'm so sorry! He just takes off sometimes and he's way stronger than he looks! He just jerks his leash out of my hands and that usually sets me off balance so I go tumbling and he's off chasing some scent before I can even grab his leash back!"
Bakugou slowly sat up, wiping his face with his sleeve in disgust. He loved dogs, but hated dog slobber. Kimi was bearable when he was in a generous mood, but the slobber of a little pomeranian was also significantly less than other dogs. He looked up to glare at the owner of the poorly trained beagle. She was on roller blades, explaining her account of tumbling, and had already disregarded him to kneel down and scold her dog.
She had short brown hair that fanned out and around her head almost like- almost like beagle ears. Bakugou looked from the woman to her dog and could not contain an amused snort. The sound drew her attention from her dog once more and her eyes softened in concern.
"Hey, are you okay? Taiki is a heavy hitter despite his looks. And he really loves giving kisses. Sorry about that."
A lecture on learning how to properly train one's dogs was on the tip of his tongue, but instead Bakugou smirked and said, "I didn't know it was possible for someone to look so much like their dog."
She looked taken aback by the comment, before flushing slightly and furrowing her brows. "Like you have any room to talk! You're practically twins!"
Bakugou glanced to Kimi, still seated in his lap smiling her content dog smile, and back to the girl with a raised lip. "Oh fuck off. At least mine is trained. You should really have your mutt properly leash trained before going around on skates when you can't control it."
"Excuse you!" She huffed, standing up to cross her arms. "Taiki is very well trained, but he's also a stubborn breed with strong instinct! It's impossible to get him to listen when he's on a scent!"
Bakugou pushed Kimi off his lap to stand as well, effectively towering over the woman even with her skates giving her a few extra inches. She hardly backed down, just scrunched her nose and glared up at him. He sneered. "Even more a reason why it's a hazard for others that you're incapable of controlling him when he tries to run off. You're lucky I wasn't some old lady or kid he decided to barrel over."
"He has a lot of energy! He has way more fun if I can go his pace on my skates!" She snapped back. "He needs proper exercise, not just a quick trot down the block."
Was that a dig at his dog? Sure she was a toy dog breed, but she was a family dog and he would fight this chick in the middle of the park if she was trying to make a jab at his dog. He was ready to throw a few choice words at her, when the leash in her hand jerked and she started to pitch forward. Bakugou caught her without a second thought, ready to scold her about her poor dog walking-choices, but her delighted coo caught him off guard.
"Aw they like each other!"
Her dog was on his back, all tangled in his leash with his tail wagging wildly as Kimi bounced around him. Bakugou was at a loss for words. Kimi did not get along with other dogs. He'd seen her scare off many a dog twice her size more times than he could count.
"She doesn't usually like others," he commented dumbly. He realized he was still holding the chick up and shoved her away. She flailed for a moment, but quickly regained her balance and shined with a carefree smile.
"Oh so she's a jerk like her owner?"
While unexpected, her jab was not uncalled for. He had just been scolding a stranger for how she lived her own damn life. Like hell he would admit to the truth in her words. Bakugou rolled his eyes and clicked his tongue at Kimi. She reluctantly pulled away from the playful beagle to sit at his heels. "Fuck off," were his brilliant parting words as he resumed his walk with Kimi.
It just had to be his luck that it was not their first and final meeting. He ran into roller girl often enough that Kimi started seeking her and her headstrong beagle whenever they went out for a walk. Bakugou was annoyed by the woman's cheerful attitude and ability to brush away his insults with gentle jabs of her own. (Maybe he was even more annoyed he started seeking her out as much as Kimi was.)
They eventually properly introduced themselves. Her named was Uraraka and she moved to the city for university. Taiki was her family dog, but he developed some severe separation anxiety when she moved. So her parents helped her cancel her lease and find a new apartment that would let her have Taiki. He was used to racing around the countryside back home, so she felt guilty not letting him race around at break-neck speed on their walks. While Bakugou remained adamant it was reckless and stupid behavior, he had to respect her dedication to her dog.
She was infuriatingly easy to get along with. They bumped into each other at least every other day and Taiki was more than pleased to take a break from their madman racing to play some with Kimi as the owners chatted. Uraraka was going to school for a business degree. She really wanted to get a degree in a prestigious school in the city, maybe land some internships while studying, and then return home to help her parents' construction company. Bakugou admired her determination.
Several weeks passed as their meetings became routine. They never exchanged numbers, or discussed working their walks into a solid time schedule. They always just happened to be out at the same time most of the time.
But then Uraraka missed a few days and Bakugou cursed himself for never exchanging numbers. He wandered around the park longer than needed in hopes that she would just show up later than usual, but then those few days extended into a week, and then two. He would never admit it, but he was a bit worried. Had something happened to her? Why else would she had suddenly stop taking Taiki out on their dangerous runs?
He tried to convince himself he did not care that much. He was just upset Kimi had lost a playmate. That was all. He certainly did not miss talking with that bright and cheerful woman whose presence was almost enjoyable.
It was getting close to two weeks since Bakugou saw Uraraka in the park, and he had all but stopped trying to look for her. It was stupid getting worked up over someone he had no way of contacting again. Maybe she had just decided to take Taiki to a different park. It was not like that had made any promises to each other.
He was working on some of his winter break homework when his mom came back from taking Kimi on a quick walk. She smacked the back of his head lightly as she passed him. "Why didn't you tell me Kimi made a friend in the park? And that you've been talking with a cute girl in the park."
Bakugou looked up from his homework with a scowl. "What the fuck are you talking-" His eyes grew wide. "Wait- you saw Uraraka?"
"Oh, you even remember her name?" Mitsuki asked with a teasing smirk.
He could argue with his mom later, and he would definitely have to fend off the smug remarks when he got back. Bakugou jumped to his feet and threw his jacket on as he raced to the door. "I'll be back in a bit!"
Their place was not too far from the park, and Uraraka usually made several loops around the park till Taiki tired out. It was highly probable she was still there...
Bakugou felt like a complete idiot as he ran to the park. What was he even going to say to her? She had no obligations to him, but he just knew he would not be able to let this go until he at least spoke with her. Just as he entered the park, she whizzed past on her skates, Taiki galloping beside her with his tongue lolling about happily.
"Oi! Uraraka!" Bakugou hollered after her, hoping she heard before she disappeared around the bend in the path.
She clearly heard him, as she startled and stumbled to keep steady. Taiki recognized his voice as well, because he slammed the breaks, glanced behind them, then took off in the opposite direction toward Bakugou. Uraraka yelped and scrambled to keep hold of his lead and not eat dirt at the sudden change in direction.
Honestly, Bakugou should have expected his outcome when he called after them. All he could do was brace himself for the impact as Taiki bounded into his legs and Uraraka tried to slam her breaks in time. Bakugou caught her in his arms as all three of them went flying to the ground. The collision knocked the wind out of him, but her helmet slammed into his forehead and made his head spin.
He could hear her frantic apologies and attempts to calm Taiki as a wet dog tongue covered his face. Too dazed to make sense of much of anything, Bakugou shoved Taiki away and shook the spots out of his eyes. "Where the fuck have you been?"
Uraraka looked taken aback, but a smile quickly replaced the expression. "I went home for the holidays. I forgot to mention it and you weren't out the day before I had to leave. Sorry. Did you miss me?"
Heat filled Bakugou's cheeks and he blamed it on the concussion he surely must have gotten from their collision. "No, of fucking course not. Kimi was upset to suddenly lose her playmate and I'm pissed about that."
She giggled and unsteadily helped them both back to their feet. "Of course. I made sure to properly apologize to her earlier when I met your mom. That totally explains why you're suddenly here." She smiled softly and brushed her fingers across his forehead before he could come up with an excuse. "Are you okay? That sounded like it hurt."
Bakugou winced slightly, but shrugged it off. "Maybe I'll get a bump. I should be fine. Now give me your fucking number."
Uraraka blinked owlishly at him, then burst into hysterical laughter. "What kind of request is that, Bakugou?! 'Give me your fucking number'? What the heck! You just said you hadn't missed me!"
Heat again filled his cheeks, and Bakugou knew he was not being cool about this. He blamed it on the head bump. "Yeah, well, you owe me a coffee or something after cracking my head open because you can't control your damn dog."
She smacked his arm playfully with a small pout. "You're the one that hollered at us out of nowhere! You can't blame Taiki's reaction on me!" Taiki woofed and jumped up to rest his front paws on Bakugou's legs, as if to support her point. "But, I will agree to dinner to make up for disappearing and making you worry."
Bakugou was about to snap he had not missed her, but caught her eyes. They twinkled with her usual playful cheer, but there was also a shine of hope directed his way. His cheeks only flushed redder. He coughed and awkwardly directed his attention to Taiki, patting him on the head as he said, "Yeah, dinner would be nice."
Uraraka lit up in a wide smile. "Then it's a date! I'm looking forward to it!"
The words would never pass his lips–but–Bakugou was looking forward to it as well.
"It's a date," he repeated with a hint of a smile.