Katsuki’s mother stood in the doorway and watched him pack.
“Either help or leave me alone.”
She did neither. “Did you thank your friends for coming to get you?”
“They’re not my friends. Two of them are class representatives, one was there when the villains attacked. They did it out of a sense of obligation. And Deku, he thinks it’s his job to save everyone because he’s a dumbass. I would have been fine without him.”
“Is that so.”
He didn’t answer, because they both knew it wasn’t.
“Katsuki, I know you’re angry about the dorms and about what happened and you have every right to be. I just want you to try to understand what it felt like for the rest of us. Not everyone who worried about you was doing it out of obligation. Some of us— me, your father— we care about you. And we’re glad you’re back safely.”
“So you can just ship me off to school full-time?”
When he looked at her, she was looking at the All Might poster on his closet door, not at him.
“You’ll be safer there.”
“I’m not becoming a hero to be safe, mom.”
“You won’t become a hero at all if you’re dead before you hit eighteen!” Katsuki’s school books crashed to the floor. Katsuki stared at them; it didn’t really make sense that his mother could have knocked them off the desk, but then, nothing in his life was making much sense these days.
His mother stooped to pick them up. Katsuki knew, in theory, that his temper came from somewhere, but it was one thing to know and another to see his mother lose control like— like— well, like he would.
She placed the books back on the desk. “You’re a smart kid, Katsuki, so tell me if my math is wrong. Two class reps plus one witness plus one Izuku equals four. Weren’t there five people who came to help you?” She didn’t wait for a reply. “Come help with dinner when you’re finished here.”
When Katsuki was in middle school, the shitty guidance counselor told him he had “anger issues”. He was always trying to give Katsuki advice on how to be less angry, when all Katsuki had wanted to know was how to get into U.A. Why are you angry? He handed Katsuki a piece of paper. Make a list. Katsuki crumpled it up and threw it at the wall.
One, Deku. Two, All Might. Three, Shigaraki Tomura. Four, his parents were making him live in the dorms. Five, he got kidnapped. Six, getting kidnapped made his mother worry and destroyed All Might’s body. Seven, his mother was absolutely 100% right that he owed Kirishima a thank you.
He’d made a damn list but he didn’t feel any better. Anger management was a fucking con job. He stuffed one last pair of socks into his suitcase and went downstairs to help his mother cook dinner.
There was exactly one upside to living in a dorm with all his shitty classmates, Katsuki decided, although he would never have admitted it out loud. It was bad enough to admit it to himself.
The one good thing showed up at his door every morning before training, treated him like he mattered when Katsuki knew he’d never done anything to deserve it. Tried to include Katsuki in stuff like movie nights or invite him to sit with the rest of the class at lunch, but didn’t push when Katsuki didn’t want to join in.
Damn Kirishima and his shitty hair and his stupid smile. Katsuki used to think it was annoying how Kirishima seemed to smile all the fucking time, but he’d seen that smile falter and found himself going out of his way to keep it in place.
He was Bakugou Katsuki, he didn’t need anyone, but having Kirishima in the room next door to him felt good. It felt important.
K.E: where r u????
B.K: my room
K.E: living room! come hang out!!!
B.K: fuck off
When he got downstairs he questioned his decision to come; the most annoying of his classmates were all present. Girls, Iida, fucking Deku. But Kirishima was on one of the couches talking to Ashido, which was the only reason Katsuki didn’t turn around and march right back upstairs. Deku could go fuck himself. After a whole day of blowing shit up and feeling like he was making no progress whatsoever, Katsuki just wanted to sit with Kirishima and ignore the rest of the world.
Kirishima beamed up at him when he approached the couch. “You came!”
“Never said I wouldn’t. Move over.”
Kirishima complied, scooting towards Ashido to make room for Katsuki. He added, “No, but you did say ‘fuck off’.”
“You’re so mean,” Ashido commented. Her tone was light, though, like a joke. Ha ha, it’s funny because Bakugou is an asshole but we talk to him anyway.
“Fuck off,” he told her flatly, and got a laugh out of her like he knew he would. He sat down in the space Kirishima had made for him. There was plenty of room, but he leaned over so his shoulder pressed against Kirishima. He didn’t think his shitty text had bothered Kirishima (they usually didn’t) but this was the only way he knew to apologize.
Kirishima pressed back even as he resumed talking to Ashido— about some dumb movie they’d both seen over break— so Katsuki let himself relax into the touch. He could feel apprehension rolling off the other people in the room, had felt it from the moment he walked in. He was used to that. Kirishima didn’t react to him like that, though. Katsuki closed his eyes so he didn’t have to look at anyone else. He could just concentrate on Kirishima and the warmth of his arm through his sleeve.
The next thing he was aware of was Kirishima’s voice. “Bakugou… hey, Bakugou.”
Katsuki sat up with a jerk and opened his eyes. The room was empty except for the two of them. Had he heard anyone leave? “What the fuck time is it.”
“Almost ten. You fell asleep, dude.”
Oh, hell. He’d gotten way too comfortable leaning on Kirishima, and now half the class had seen him— were probably laughing at him—
Kirishima put a hand on his arm. “Man, are you okay? You’ve got your murder face on.”
“I’m just fucking tired.”
“Yeah, you must be. I don’t think I make a very good pillow most of the time.” But Kirishima wasn’t laughing, not at Katsuki, anyway, just smiling a little like he wanted Katsuki to share in the joke.
“Your shoulder’s not as sharp as your damn elbows,” he said, and Kirishima grinned. A few days earlier Katsuki had let Kirishima drag him to Jirou’s room to watch movies with her and Kaminari and Hagakure. It was a lot of people for a pretty small room, and Katsuki remembered Kirishima’s elbow digging into his side better than he remembered the plots of any of the movies.
Kirishima gripped Katsuki’s arm and poked at his elbow with his free hand. “Like you can talk.”
“If I weren’t so tired I’d beat your ass.”
“Then we’d better get you to bed. You can kick my ass tomorrow.”
Katsuki let Kirishima keep hold of his arm as they climbed the stairs to the fourth floor, and went to sleep thinking of the press of his fingers and his wide, bright smile.