“It’s a variant of a mind-reading quirk,” the doctor told Izuku. “The person affected will say anything that crosses their mind for the duration. It should wear off in about a day. Not dangerous, just a little embarrassing, and it can be distracting to try and work through it so I advised Bakugo-san to stay home.”
Izuku thanked the doctor, wondering if Kacchan would actually agree to stay home. It didn’t seem likely. He thought privately that the danger was less that Kacchan would be embarrassed and more that he would insult the wrong person.
Kacchan, when Izuku got to him, was wearing a cold mask and an angry look. Izuku had to stifle a laugh, reminded of the sports festival in their first year.
“Hey Kacchan,” said Izuku cheerfully, because if Kacchan still had the energy to be grumpy then things were probably fine. It was when he got quiet and blank that was really dangerous. “Ready to go home?”
Kacchan gave him the finger and said something muffled by the mask that was probably “I don’t need your help, idiot Deku.”
“Yeah, you’re fine,” said Izuku, relieved. “C’mon, let’s go.”
On the ride home, Izuku began to wonder, though. Kacchan did seem more talkative than usual, keeping up a steady stream of muttering that was basically unintelligible beneath his face mask. When they finally got back to the apartment, he stomped in the doorway, kicked his shoes off, and flung the face mask into the corner.
“Fuckin’ finally,” he said. His voice was a little hoarse.
“Oh,” said Deku. “Did you not want to keep that on?”
“Fuck no,” said Kacchan. “It’s hot and it itches. The only reason I wore it in the first place was to keep from saying anything stupid to a stranger. I don’t need it now, because you’re here and you make me feel safe.” He stopped and made a face like he’d just bitten into something unexpectedly bitter.
“Er,” said Izuku, experiencing a rapid perspective shift on the whole situation. He had been wrong. He was used to thinking of Kacchan as someone who always spoke his mind anyway, but he had forgotten that the bluster was used as cover to hide everything Kacchan didn’t want to say.
He was beginning to understand that “will say everything that goes through his head” really meant everything.
“Argh,” said Kacchan, throwing up his hands. “I knew this would happen! This is why I want to get out of the hospital as quickly as possible. I can’t help it if your face makes me think stupid thoughts.” He stomped toward the couch. Izuku picked up his shoes, straightened them, and followed.
“Should I...leave?” he asked tentatively. Kacchan hated being vulnerable. He probably didn’t want Izuku around.
“No, don’t leave!” snapped Kacchan, and then made that bitter, pursed face again. “This fucking sucks. I’m afraid of you knowing how I feel and looking down on me for it. But I know you wouldn’t. So I hate it, but I also kind of want you to know.” He pulled up his knees and buried his head in his arms. “It fucking sucks,” he said again.
Izuku’s heart clenched, and he almost put a hand to his chest, the pain was so startling and unexpected. His cheeks were suddenly hot.
“O—oh,” he said faintly. The words seemed to come from a distance. He perched on the couch beside Katsuki, placed a hand on his shoulder as if he were comforting a startled animal. Kacchan didn’t flinch away.
“Ochako is going to laugh at me,” he said, muffled into his arms. “She’s always trying to make me be honest and open and shit.”
“She wouldn’t laugh at you, Kacchan,” said Izuku firmly.
“Yeah, I know,” sighed Katsuki, flopping sideways on the couch. “She’s so nice. You’re both way too nice for someone like me. Now please, god, can we watch some TV before I say anything even worse?”
Izuku’s heart twisted again.
“Yeah, of course,” he said.
Ochako wasn’t laughing when she came home. She burst in with a crease between her brows, kicking off her shoes and coming straight over to the couch.
“Deku-kun,” she murmured, kissing Izuku briefly in greeting before turning to Katsuki and grabbing his face between her palms.
“I can’t believe you,” she scolded. “Who taught you to be that reckless against an opponent whose quirk you didn’t know? I know it wasn’t Aizawa-sensei. You can’t just coast on raw power, you should know better by now.”
“Mrf,” said Katsuki.
“Honestly,” said Ochako, and hugged Katsuki tightly. “What if it had been a more dangerous quirk?”
Katsuki mumbled something into Ochako’s shoulder.
“Hmm?” she said, pulling back. “What was that?”
“I said I’m sorry,” he said, looking away. “I feel bad for making you worry.”
Ochako blinked and she darted a look over to Izuku. He could see the gears turning in her head just like they had for him.
“Ah,” she said, and released Katsuki, flopping down beside him. “That’s okay. It wasn’t your fault,” she continued, her voice gentle. “Um, are you hungry? I can make something if you want.”
“Stop that,” said Katsuki roughly.
“Huh?” said Ochako. “Stop what?”
“Stop treating me like there’s something wrong with me!” snapped Katsuki. “Like I’m weak! You don’t have to be—gentle with me.”
“Sorry, Katsuki-kun,” said Ochako. “It’s just that it would be easy for someone to accidentally get you to say something you, um, don’t want to? We don’t want to…” She looked over at Izuku for help.
“Take advantage of you,” said Izuku.
Kacchan growled and shook his head.
“That’s not it,” he said. “I think you should take advantage of me. I want you to.”
Izuku looked over at Ochako, but she looked as confused as he was. Katsuki gave a frustrated sigh and tugged at his hair, words coming out of him like rusty nails pulled from old wood.
“It’s like there’s a hole in my chest and I can’t stop things from spilling out. But I kinda don’t want to. You remember losing your baby teeth? It’s better if you just yank it out, right? And you know I’m not good at, at, this—” his words coming faster now as he stared at the ground somewhere by Izuku’s feet “and it’s because I would say things I wouldn’t normally. I want to know that I can’t hold anything back. That I don’t have any control. That I have to just trust you.” He took a deep breath. “Does that makes sense? It sounds stupid when I say it.”
Ochako’s eyes were wide, wider than Izuku had ever seen. He himself seemed to be getting dizzy—he was holding his breath, he realized. He let it out slowly, as if being too loud would disturb the fragility of the thing Kacchan was offering them.
“It’s not stupid,” said Ochako huskily. She squeezed Kacchan’s hand tight, lifted it to her lips and pressed a kiss on the knuckles. Wordlessly, Izuku reached out to grip Katsuki’s knee. “How about this, we’ll make you be honest with us, but we’ll be honest with you too. Right, Deku-kun?”
“Of course,” said Izuku, giving Katsuki an encouraging smile. “Don’t worry, Kacchan. We’ll take care of you.”
Katsuki made a choked little noise in the back of his throat.
"How about I start," said Ochako, tracing a line on Kacchan's palm. "Even before you and Deku-kun and I all started dating, back at our old apartment, my favorite energy drink would always be in the fridge even if I hadn't bought any."
"Damn," said Katsuki. "I was hoping you hadn't noticed that."
"Why not?" asked Ochako.
Katsuki ducked his head and mumbled in response.
"Hmm?" said Ochako sweetly.
"It was embarrassing," he said. "I didn't want you to know that I—cared."
"Oh, but it's sweet," said Ochako. "Isn't it, Deku-kun?"
"Yeah," said Izuku, rubbing his thumb over Kacchan's knee. "He does that for me, too. He brought takeout from my favorite place the other night and pretended not to remember."
"Is that so?" said Ochako, winking at Izuku. "Katsuki-kun is so sweet."
"Kacchan, you're turning red," said Izuku, peering at him.
"It feels weird," muttered Kacchan. "When you say nice things about me. It's like—hot. In my chest. Like I'm sick. It kinda turns me on. And, shit, fuck, I shouldn't have said that, I hate this." He buried his head in his arms again, and Izuku and Ochako’s gazes meant. They had been together long enough now that they could communicate in looks, and Izuku got what Ochako was trying to tell him right away.
They had never really talked about it with him, but it had been clear to both of them for a while that sometimes Katsuki...needed something from them. He didn’t ask for it in words, but sometimes the only way to calm his frustration was to kiss him into submission. He might snarl and snap, but if Izuku or Ochako made it clear they were in charge, he always went down.
Izuku wasn’t as comfortable in the role as Ochako was, but if ever there was a time when Katsuki needed it, it was at that moment. He nodded across at Ochako.
“Katsuki-kun, look at me,” said Ochako, firmly enough to get Katsuki’s attention. As he looked up, she grabbed his face, tilting it up and kissing him all in one motion. Izuku’s breath caught in his throat in spite of himself at the picture they made. Kacchan was melting into the kiss like he wanted nothing more than to let Ochako devour him whole. Honestly, Izuku could relate.
Ochako broke the kiss slowly, leaving Katsuki leaning in towards her for more as she pulled away. Electricity was fizzing under Izuku’s skin just from watching them, like the first time he had used One For All. He felt like he could do anything, delicious anticipation curling in his stomach.
Ochako licked her lips.
“What are you thinking about now?” she asked.
“Again,” said Katsuki hoarsely. “Please.”
Ochako dimpled at him.
“Well, since you ask so nicely,” she said, and took his face in her hands again, kissing him slowly and wetly, rolling his lip between her teeth. Izuku took the opportunity to move closer to Katsuki, pressing up against his back.
"Deku," said Katsuki, when Ochako had released him. "I need—"
And he was twisting around, surging against Izuku's mouth, hot and desperate, kisses open-mouthed and sticky. Open and gaping in a way that he never usually was, even when Izuku was, say, fucking him into the bed.
"Wow," said Izuku wonderingly, pulling back and swiping a thumb along Katsuki's lower lip. "You're like this already. You must really want it, Kacchan."
Katsuki closed his eyes and made a pained noise.
"I do, I do," he said, pushing his face into Izuku's palm. And then, eyes skittering. "I love your hands."
Izuku's breath caught in his throat and stayed snagged there. He looked down at his right hand, scarred and crooked and familiar.
"They feel different from anyone else's. I always—I can never forget that it's you touching me," continued Katsuki. "It drives me crazy. You drive me crazy. You make me—want."
"What?" interrupted Izuku. "What do you want?"
"I want you to leave your mark on me," said Katsuki, suddenly clear-eyed. "Both of you. So I don't forget who I belong to."
Izuku's heart thumped in his chest, and he could feel his face turning red. He wasn't sure he was going to survive this, he thought faintly. But something deep in his stomach was crawling, hot and hungry, and in the back of his mind all he could think was yes.
“Oh?” said Katsuki, eyeing Izuku. He grinned, back to his cocksure and confident self for a moment. “Do you like that? You would, you bastard. Everyone thinks you’re all selfless, but really it’s just when someone’s yours, you won’t let go of them for anything.” He leaned in. “C’mon. You know you want to.”
“Shirt off,” said Izuku, scrabbling at the offending item of clothing. Ochako grinned and crawled into Katsuki’s lap to help. Somehow between the three of them they managed to get Katsuki’s t-shirt over his head, where it was promptly discarded on the floor and forgotten.
Izuku leaned down and bit, hard, at the junction of Katsuki’s skin, sucking on the mark after to bring the blood to the surface.
“Like that?” he asked.
“Fuck, yeah,” said Katsuki, and then hissed as Ochako dragged her nails down his chest, leaving red streaks. His attention shifted, swinging away from Izuku and back to Ochako. “I liked it,” he told her, swallowing. Izuku felt the movement under his lips as he sucked a line of hickeys up Katsuki’s throat. Ochako made a questioning noise. “When you hit me, that first time.”
“Oh?” said Ochako. “I liked it too, but I think that’s better saved for when you’re being bad, don’t you? And you’re doing such a good job right now. I don’t have to slap you around to make you behave, you’ll do it all by yourself.” She bent to murmur warmly in his ear. “You’ll behave yourself and you’ll like it. Because you want to be good for us, don’t you...Kacchan?”
Katsuki thrashed violently in against Izuku’s hold and moaned like he couldn’t help himself. Izuku met Ochako’s eyes in admiration. She was really gifted at getting a reaction out of Kacchan.
“Hey,” said Izuku, mock-sternly. “Stay still.” He wrapped an arm around Katsuki from behind, pulling him back against Izuku’s chest. Katsuki struggled, trying to pull away, but Izuku just fractionally tightened his grip.
“C’mon, Kacchan,” he said in a low voice. “You know better than that. If it’s down to a contest of strength you’re no match for me.” He felt kind of silly as he said it, like he was playing at being a villain, but judging from Katsuki’s inhale and the way he ground down against Izuku’s rapidly hardening dick, it was the right thing to say.
With Ochako sitting on his legs and Izuku holding him from behind, Katsuki was well and truly caught, pinioned and held immobile between them.
“Anything else you want to tell us?” Izuku asked, and then, with a burst of daring. “We might even let you come.”
“I used to think about you,” Katsuki gritted out. “Together. Every time you came over to spend the night with Ochako, I couldn’t stop thinking about what was happening on the other side of the wall.”
“Did you touch yourself?” asked Izuku, punctuating the statement by sliding his free hand down Katsuki’s chest toward his groin. He let his fingers just barely graze the bulge in Katsuki’s pants.
Katsuki squeezed his eyes shut.
“Yes,” he said like it was being dragged out of him. “I tried to pretend I wasn’t listening, or that I was just thinking of a porn star or something. But I would always end up thinking about you instead. I felt like shit afterwards.”
“What were you imagining?” asked Ochako. “Me and Deku-kun, with you watching?” Her fingers crept down to his waistband. “Or were you with us?”
“B-both,” gasped Katsuki, hips bucking up into empty air. “Either. Sometimes I would—“ he swallowed. “Sometimes I would imagine what would happen if you heard me—through the wall. What you would do.”
“What would we do?” asked Izuku, slowly easing Katsuki’s waistband down.
“Ah—” Katsuki hissed as his cock sprang free, red and hard, precome budding at the tip. “I mean, the most likely thing would be that you’d just ignore me, pretend you didn’t hear…”
Ochako frowned. She was toying with one of Katsuki’s nipples, lightly flicking at it with her nail.
“But that’s not what you wanted, right?” she asked, punctuating it with a sharp twist to his nipple.
“No,” he spat out. “No, fuck I wanted you to hear me. I wanted you to hear me and come over into my room and fuck me raw. Or—anything—just watching me probably would have made me blow my load. I couldn’t get you out of my head.”
“That’s it,” said Izuku encouragingly, his fingers tangling with Ochako’s on the shaft of Katsuki’s dick, not moving, just providing some friction for Katsuki’s abortive thrusts. “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? You’re doing so well, Kacchan.”
Katsuki’s dick leaped in their joined hands, precome dribbling hot and slick over Izuku’s knuckles.
“Wow,” said Izuku breathlessly, hot all over like Katsuki’s flush was spreading to him to. “You really like that, huh, Kacchan?”
“Feels—weird,” panted Katsuki. “I like it, but it's...too much. Itchy. Makes me want to punch something.”
Izuku had to stifle a laugh. Trust Katsuki to have a violent reaction to praise.
“Isn’t it because, deep down, you’re a bit insecure?” asked Ochako, and Izuku felt Katsuki’s breath leap in his chest. “All that crowing about how you’re the strongest, how you’re going to be the number one hero, and you still think people are praising you out of pity.”
It was maybe the first time Izuku had seen Kacchan totally struck dumb.
“But you’re wrong,” continued Ochako gently. “Katsuki-kun, everyone genuinely admires and respects you.”
“Yeah!” said Izuku. “Kacchan, you’re amazing! I’ve never stopped looking up to you.” He lowered his voice and murmured into Katsuki’s ear: “And you look so good right now...Ochako and I are so lucky, we get to see you like this when no one else does.”
“Mm, we’re really lucky,” agreed Ochako, as Katsuki made a pained noise and tried to bury his face in her shoulder. “It’s okay, sweetie, we’re almost done. You just need to hold out a little longer. We love being able to see this side of you, and we’re so glad you trust us enough to let us see it.”
“We’re so glad you’re ours,” said Izuku roughly, finally beginning to move his hand on Katsuki’s dick. He had barely gotten through three strokes when Katsuki was coming with a choked cry, muscles spasming against Izuku’s hold and head lolling limp on Ochako’s shoulder.
When he lifted his head up, his face was streaked with tears.
“I...you…I’ve never said it, but I—”
Without thinking, Izuku covered Katsuki’s mouth.
“It’s okay,” he said. “We know, Kacchan.”
“You can tell us when you’re ready,” said Ochako gently. “When you’re really ready.”
They went to bed early that night and slept in late the next morning. Izuku and Ochako got up before Katsuki, as usual, but he came in while they were finishing breakfast.
“Morning, sleepyhead,” said Ochako. “How are you?”
“‘M fine,” he said in a croak. “Throat sore.”
He looked puffy around the eyes but well-rested to Izuku, and surprisingly docile.
Or...maybe not so surprising, considering.
Ochako tilted her head.
“What do you think of Deku-kun’s face?” she asked.
“Fuckin’ ugly,” Katsuki snapped, as if by instinct, and Izuku couldn’t help but laugh.
“Well, you’re back to normal,” he said, and Katsuki grinned at him.
“Guess so,” he rasped. “Urgh. Need water.”
“Let me make you some throat-soothing tea,” said Ochako, hopping up. “That’ll be better for you.”
“Mm,” said Katsuki, downing a glass of water. And then he put the glass down. “Hey,” he said, and Ochako and Izuku both turned to him. He looked down. “...love you,” he said gruffly.
Joy bubbled up in Izuku, so bright and powerful that it almost choked him. In the end, it was Ochako who spoke for them both.
“We love you too, Katsuki-kun.”