Chapter 1: Another one bites the dust
“You’ll find my resignation on your desk in the morning, sir.”
“Yeah, you can fuck off for all I care. Now get the hell out of my office.”
There was a collective round of sighs as they watched him go.
“Come on, pay up Hanta. You too Denki. I win this round.” The pair grumbled, but handed over the cash.
“Damn it, I thought Mashirao’d last longer than two weeks though… Ugh, you always win Mina.”
“That’s because you guys are way to optimistic. Mr Bakugou always finds a way to break them.”
The boys glanced at each other. “Keep it down would you? Unless you want a new job too.” Hanta mumbled it, and still almost jumped out of his skin when the door slammed open.
“Hey! Do some fucking work and find me a new fucking assistant! And one that can fucking cut it this time!”
“Right away sir,” Mina replied smoothly. She’d already started writing the email when Mashirao had broken the news. “I’ll begin recruitment immediately.”
Their boss stomped back into his office, and all three of them breathed a small sigh of relief.
“Seriously though,” said Denki, once he was sure the coast was clear. “Where the hell are we going to find another assistant for him? That’s the fourth that’s quit in three months!”
Katsuki Bakugou stalked his office, taking in the view of New York. Well, that was that. Another bottom feeder that had scraped themself off his boot. If they couldn’t cut it in an environment like this, what the fuck were they even doing here? Whatever. It wasn’t his problem, and it just meant he didn’t have someone breathing down his neck while he worked. And on that note… He flipped open his laptop, and sank down into the chair in front of his desk. He still needed to finalise the details of his takeover of Ingenium enterprises.
At just twenty seven, Katsuki was already one of the most successful people on Wall street. After starting up his own pyrotechnics firm while at college, using the money from his student loans, and through a combination of ambition, acumen, and sheer ruthlessness, not only was his own company thriving, but by twenty three he’d already performed his first takeover of another company. Four years later, he’d already made his first billion. He’d been voted Wall Street’s number one rising star, and had been considered for most eligible bachelor, until he told the person asking for an interview where to stick it.
The only thing more legendary than Katsuki’s ability was his temper.
It was more of a relief than usual when he signed off for the day, and hit the elevator call button in his office, the doors immediately opening. Iida was being more of a pain than he’d hoped over the deal, and it felt like he hadn’t gotten anywhere all day. And being pissed from another assistant quitting wasn’t helping. The elevator only went a single floor, before the doors slid open, and Katsuki pressed his thumb to the keypad. The door slid open, opening onto his penthouse. He’d always liked to be close to the office, so when he’d bought out the building, he’d claimed the top three floors for his own use. Four, if you counted his personal offices. on the forty eighth floor.
This was where the real view was at, from the windows that ran floor to ceiling on every wall, to the panoramic view of the city he had from his rooftop pool. It was all sleek, and modern, and expensive, but today he headed straight up to the gym. He had some frustrations to work out.
It was two weeks later, with the merger deal finally sorted, that he received a call from Hanta.
“Sir, we have an application for the position.”
“Position- What, for my fucking assistant? The fuck took so long?”
“Sorry sir. I don’t think there’s many left.”
“Watch it. Well? Who the fuck is it?”
“One… Eijirou Kirishima. He says he can come in at your convenience.”
“Then tell him to get his ass here tomorrow, two pm.”
“I’ll let him know.” Hanta filed the rougher edges off the message. He’d find out soon enough anyway, and even if it was only a few weeks, it’d make his life quieter while he lasted. Hopefully the guy was desperate. “Sir, just to remind you… he is the only candidate.”
“Doesn’t fucking mean I’m going to hire him without an interview, am I? Tell him he better not be fucking late,” Katsuki added, before hanging up.
On the other end of the, now dead, line, Hanta sighed. “Why does he even bother with personal assistants anyway? He just uses us as them…”
Mina patted him on the back. “Maybe this one’s finally the one.”
There was a pause, then all three of them laughed, but quietly, in case their boss heard.
Denki had the last word. “Poor guy. God have mercy on his soul.”
He was on time at least, in a plain suit and tie, but with red hair slicked back into spikes. It was a bold choice, but one that probably wouldn’t be an issue. By the time he’d walked into the office, a little lay due to Bakugou’s previous call overrunning, the betting pool was already being set up.
“So, what makes you think you’re qualified?” Katsuki had gone straight into the interrogation, not even bothering to let Kirishima introduce himself.
“Well, I was a personal assistant to Tensei Iida for four years, but with the merger recently, there were redundancies.”
“You moved fucking fast then.”
“I didn’t want to be out of work any longer than I had to. Bills to pay, that sort of thing.” For someone who’d just lost his job, he was damn cheerful. That dumb smile hadn’t left his face the entire time.
“You won’t need to do much business wise. The idiots outside handle all that, so I’ll need you for errands. Lunch, dry cleaning, shopping, all that shit. You do know how to make coffee, don’t you?”
“I got through college by working as a barista sir.”
“Then you can’t be any fucking worse than the last guy. I’m gonna work you to the fucking bone, you know that?”
And he still smiled. “If you’re paying me, I’d like to think you’ll be getting your money’s worth sir.”
Katsuki grunted. “Well, it’s not like I’ve anyone else in mind. When can you start?”
“Tomorrow, if you want.”
“Tomorrow’s a fucking Saturday.”
“I know.” He was a daring little bastard, but he still knew who was in charge, and Katsuki could get behind that.
“Well, I’m not working fucking weekends, so be here Monday morning. Eight am.”
Kirishima stood up. “Thank you sir,” he said, offering his hand. “I’m looking forward to working for you.”
Katsuki didn’t bother shaking it. “Let those assholes outside know to expect you on your way out. I can’t be fucked wasting my breath on them.”
“I will do.” And still that dumb smile, Katsuki thought, as he watched the new guy go. It’d probably get annoying, but he could always fire him.
“So I guess I’ll see you all on Monday then. Is there anything I should know?”
“Well, you already met him,” said Denki with a grin, ignoring the elbowing from Hanta. “Just keep your head down and do what he asks and you should be fine.”
“I don’t think there’s anything that you wouldn’t be better hearing from him…” Mina began to add, before she snapped her fingers. “Wait, coffee things. I’ll show you where the maker is. The boss does love his coffee after all. Seriously, he should get a machine in his office, but he’s too stubborn to make his own.”
“You call that thing a coffee maker?” Nothing Katsuki had said had made his smile falter, but the sight of an instant coffee machine did it. “I thought you said he liked coffee?”
“Alright, mister barista. We can’t all be hipsters about it.”
“...You think I’m a hipster?”
She was tempted to make a comment about red hair, but with his expression, it would have been like kicking a puppy. She sighed.
“Just… see you on Monday, okay? And be a little early. Mr Bakugou says he starts at eight, but he’s a bit of a workaholic.”
“Thanks.” That bright smile was back, and there was a definite spring in his step as he left the office. Mina grinned at the other two, and held out her hand.
“God, fine,” Denki grumbled, handing over the cash. “I swear, you make more off these bets than you do working here.”
“I’m just better at reading people than you. You too Hanta.” He groaned. “Right then. Envelope predictions for how long he lasts. Usual buy in?”
It was probably best for Eijirou’s ego that he didn’t hear the conversation after he left. But he at least managed to hold himself together until after he’d taken a cab home, and let himself into the small studio apartment. Then he let himself turn into a small quivering wreck. The Katsuki Bakugou! Employing him ! Sure, he’d worked for the Iida brothers for a few years, but but they didn't have his clout. Or his reputation. Admittedly, he hadn't seemed too bad in the interview, but he wasn't actually working for him then. Easy on the eyes too, but Eijirou wasn't about to be unprofessional and ogle his boss while he was working. His boss. It still felt weird calling him that. It'd take some getting used to.
Tempting as it was to go out and celebrate, he didn't want to risk being rough on his first day. So he phoned his mom instead.
“Hey, Mom? Yeah, I got the job. Yeah, it actually pays a little more, so, you know, it's kind of a blessing in disguise.” He sighed. “Mom, I know he’s the reason I lost my job in the first place, but it was just business. It’s not like he woke up and thought ‘Let’s make Iida’s assistant redundant. Mom, stop worrying, I'll be fine. Mom. Mom, that’s not stopping.” He sighed, and held his phone away from his ear while she rambled away. “Mom, someone else is trying to call me, I'll call you on Monday, okay?” She was a nightmare once she got going, and he wasn’t being called at all, but there was no way to stop her without a good excuse. It was still only about four, too early to bother eating… Hmm. Tempting as watching trashy reruns of U.A. was, he’d was going to be productive. Eijirou booted up his laptop, and pulled up google. Time to act like a creepy stalker, and find out as much about his new boss as he could.
Eijirou had tried to sleep last night. Really, he had. But knowing what was coming, his first day working for Katsuki Bakugou himself, well… Anyone would be nervous, right? Too nervous to sleep, that was for sure. He’d managed a few hours at least, but he was going to have to rely on caffeine to pick up the slack. Especially since it was only seven fifteen when he pulled up outside the building for Mortar Pyrotechnics (and the unholy number of other companies Mr Bakugou had drawn into his orbit), carrying a large package. More than a few people mistook him for a delivery man, but that was fine, it would be worth it.
“I know I said early, but you might be a little too eager and what the hell is that?” asked Mina, changing track mid sentence when she saw the box.
“I told you. There’s no way I could serve instant coffee in good conscience. So I brought a proper machine with me.”
“You… holy crap you actually did. Did you seriously just have all this stuff lying around at home?” She asked, as she helped him carry the box to the small kitchenette.
“Well, yeah? I need to make coffee somehow.” She shook her head.
“Well, at least you’re keen. Based off when he started working, you’ve got maybe ten minutes before he starts yelling for a caffeine fix, so it better work fast.”
“Mina, please. I’m a professional.”
“Kaminari! Where the fuck’s my coffee?” came an angry and completely unmistakeable voice over the intercom.
Denki sighed, and nodded to Eijirou. “Looks like you’re up.”
“Wish me luck,” he replied, coffee in hand.
“Good luck. You’re gonna need it,” he added under his breath.
“Holy shit, you were actually fast for once- who the fuck are you?”
“Eijirou Kirishima, your new PA? You hired me on Friday?” Katsuki stared at him for a moment, like he’d just claimed the sky was a lamb shank. He was sat there in close fitted dark blue suit, but the shirt was open at the top, and he hadn't bothered with a tie. Kirishima did an excellent job of not staring at the exposed sliver of flesh. Something seemed to click for Bakugou.
“Oh. Right. Well, what the fuck are you standing there for? Give me my fucking coffee!”
Eijirou tried not to hold his breath. He’d taken a gamble, with this one, and while he did have a safer bet in reserve outside, this was going to be his new boss’s first impression of him. Literally, apparently. Time seemed to slow, as Katsuki raised the mug to his lips.
“...The fuck’s this supposed to be?”
Well. Shit. “S-sorry sir, I’ve got something a bit plainer outside, I’ll go fetch it-”
“I never fucking said I didn’t like it. I just asked what the fuck was in it.”
“O-oh! Well, I heard you liked spicy food, so I tried a recipe I know for Lavado beans with some ground Guajillo-”
“In fucking English.”
“Sorry. It’s a chili espresso, sir.”
“Huh.” That was all he said. No follow up questions, no praise, but no yelling either, and he was definitely drinking it. He looked up. “...You still here?”
“Sorry sir. I didn’t know if you needed me for anything else.”
“Well, you can make yourself useful and go pick up the progress reports from the assholes on the seventeenth floor. Should have been on my desk on Friday, but they’re fucking late. Again.”
“I’ll get right on it,” Eijirou replied, before making a quick exit.
“Excuse me, Hanta, was it? He’s asked for progress reports from the seventeenth floor. Do you know who I’d be asking for?”
“Huh? Oh the new guy? Well, you want-” He stopped, suddenly. “Wait. You don’t need to remake the coffee? Like, at least six times?”
“Holy shit. Uh, right… seventeen… That’d be Kouda you want. He manages all the pet based companies Mr Bakugou bought up.”
“Thanks.” Hanta stared at his back, as Eijirou waited for the elevator.
“But shit . He still throws my coffees in my face half the time.”
It turned out Kouda had only just arrived, and nearly had a breakdown when he heard Bakugou was mad at him. It turned out he’d already submitted the reports digitally - it was just a printed copy that he was lacking. With those in hand, he headed back up, pausing when Mina waved him over.
“He’s in a call right now, and he’ll flip if you disturb him.”
“Thanks for the warning. I’ll be quiet.”
“That’s not-” She tried, but he was already gone, slipping into Katsuki’s office without a sound. And he’d been doing so well too.
“I don’t give a fuck about your excuses. Your entire department is down ten percent from their targets!”
Eijirou didn’t say a word, merely putting the offending documents on the desk, and was about to leave, until he noticed the already drained coffee cup.
“No, you absolute fuckwit, the projections already took into account the fall at this time of year. Are you fucking kidding me?”
He steeled himself, and slid closer, trying to take the mug without attracting attention, but without seeming too nervous either. Bakugou’s eyes flicked towards him, but he didn’t say anything (to him, at least), and Eijirou continued as he was, taking the offending cup and leaving with the minimum of fuss. He finally breathed out when the door clicked softly behind him. God he needed a coffee himself.
“You survived the lion’s den then?”
“Oh, Mina. Yeah, I’m fine. I’m making him another coffee, how do the guys take theirs?”
“You’re making? Hanta’s fine with a Cappuccino, and Denki’ll love you forever if you make him a caramel latte.”
“How did you know I had the stuff for that?”
“I was nosey and had a root. Don’t worry, I didn’t move anything.” He wasn’t sure he believed her, but it didn’t make much of a difference anyway. The insulated coffee pot was still warm too, from when he’d made the last cup, so it only took him a minute to get it back up to temperature, just long enough to prepare the chili for Mr Bakugou.
He slipped back into the room with the replacement coffee, placing it close enough for him to reach, but far enough away that he wouldn’t knock it if he hadn’t noticed it.
“I know what the projections are, I made the fucking projections!” Bakugou threw back his hand, arcing just past the gently steaming coffee. He spared Eijirou the slightest of nods when he noticed it, before going straight back to his yelling. “Are you an actual fucking retard?”
His second brush with death for the day done with, Eijirou headed back and finished everyone else’s coffee’s, putting them on everyone’s desks.
“Mmm, Mocha, just how I like it.”
“Is that caramel?” asked Denki, lifting the cup to his nose. “Oh, dude, you are a keeper!”
Across from him, Hanta snorted. “A caramel latte? God, you’re such a girl.”
“Guilty as charged,” said Eijirou, picking up his own. “You can’t beat a caramel macchiato.” Hanta rolled his eyes. “Hey, Mina? The progress reports. Is there any way to know which Mr Bakugou doesn't have printed copies of?”
“Hmm.” She thought for a moment. “I know he doesn't mark the emails as read until he’s read the physical copy, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have it, and he’s been pretty busy this morning… Why do you ask?”
“Well, with him being in a meeting, I'm at a loose end. I figured I could see if there were any other reports he was waiting on.”
“I can't see him complaining. I’ll give you read only access to his emails. If he wants you assisting him it shouldn't be an issue. Actually, I haven't even given you your own details yet, have I?”
Once he was set up, Eijirou gingerly picked through his new boss’s correspondence, careful not to open anything that hadn't already been read. After pinning down some of the open threads, he followed them up himself, politely introducing himself, confirming the status of the reports, and then in a few cases, printing them off himself. Before he knew it, it was already nearly midday, and the yelling from the head office had grown to the point that they could hear it outside. Even Eijirou wasn't willing to step in there right now.
When silence finally reigned, a little after noon, there were more than a few nervous glances in the office. If his mood was as bad as it had sounded, then there was every chance he wanted someone to take it out on. When Eijirou took the reports and a fresh coffee, the others looked at him like he was some kind of martyr.
“Well, it was nice while he lasted,” Denki sighed, bracing himself for the inevitable explosion.
Eijirou opened the door a sliver, to check Mr Bakugou wasn't in another meeting, but he was just sat there in his chair, glowering out of the window. He stepped inside.
“Sir-?” he began, but his boss cut him off with just a look.
“What the fuck do you want?”
Eijirou held his composure. “I brought you a fresh coffee, as well as some more reports you were waiting on,” he said carefully, placing them down on the desk. Mr Bakugou glared.
“Right. Now get the fuck out of my office.”
“Right away sir,” he replied, clearing the room as quickly as he could without running. An utterly foul mood then, but he could have sworn he caught something to the effect of ‘Not completely useless’ as he closed the door behind him.
Eijirou glanced at the clock again. It was nearly one.
“What does he do for lunch?”
Sero shrugged. “He eats in his office when he remembers, but he’s probably going through the reports right now. You’re safe for that one today.”
Eijirou frowned. Busy or not, he still needed to eat. And if he was too busy to remember, well, what else was a personal assistant for? A quick google search of the area later, followed by a short call, and he was out of the building, back fifteen minutes later with a carrier bag that was still warm. Technically he’d paid for it out of his own pocket, but he was pretty sure he could claim it back on expenses. Besides, a few dollars was a small price to pay for a good impression.
“Sir, I brought you some lunch.”
Mr Bakugou barely glanced at it, before he paused. “How the fuck did you know I liked the sushi from there?”
“You’re a well known man, sir. There’s a lot of information online, and the rest was an educated guess.”
“Huh.” He looked at him, and for the first time properly looked at him. “What the fuck was your name?”
“Eijirou Kirishima, sir.” Internally, he wondered how many more times he'd have to introduce himself, but the man must have to deal with a lot of people every day. It probably took awhile for individuals to stick for him.
His boss seemed to pause, as though he was about to say something. “You've got shitty hair,” he eventually settled on, and Eijirou silently wished he’d quit while he was ahead.
“I'm sorry, sir.” That only elicited a grunt. “Sir, is there anything else you’d like me to do?”
“Hmm. I've got some presentations that need proofing and polishing. That's a fucking waste of time you can save me.”
“If you send them to me sir, I'll get on it right away.”
His boss gave him a quizzical glance. “You even have a fucking email here?”
“Yes sir. Miss Ashido already set me up.”
“Good. And tell her to replace the piece of shit marketing manager that came with Ingenium. If that's the kind of asshole they're relying on, no wonder they were going fucking bust. The fuck are you still here?” he added, seeing Eijirou hadn't moved.
“Ah, sorry sir. Just making sure that was everything.”
“Yeah, yeah, fuck off and do some work. And get me another of those fucking coffees.”
It turned out he’d gotten off so lightly that morning only because his boss hadn't internalised the fact that he had a new assistant yet. Now it had sunk in, the tasks were coming thick and fast. There was no way one person could handle it all, but looking at the list as it came in, there was a fair bit of backlog. He must have been sitting on some of this since he lost his last assistant. All he had to do was get on top of things, and prioritise.
By the time he finally clocked off a little after six, the mound was still being added to, but he was pretty sure he’d made it smaller overall. He hoped so, because if he hadn't, he was going to have some late nights dealing with it. But for tonight, it was time for takeout, a few hours of trashy tv, and (he sighed internally), phoning his mom. Considering she’d spent the entire weekend sending him horror stories from people who’d previously worked for Mr Bakugou, he wasn't looking forward to it.
When he finally managed to pry her off the phone, he’d decided that his new boss was easier to deal with.
I had planned to get a little further this chapter, but it felt like a relatively natural point for a break, and I figured little and often would be preferable to infrequent walls of text dumped out.
His next few days on the job passed quickly, despite the late nights he pulled multiple times to get ahead with the backlog of work. It was paying off, because by the end of the week he didn't have anything outstanding from before Wednesday. A few more days and he’d hopefully be on top of things.
He steeled himself as he entered the office bearing the first coffee of the day. Just one more day, and then he could enjoy his weekend, and not have to worry for two whole days.
“You still not done the spreadsheets from Wednesday yet, shitty hair?”
“They're first on my list for today sir,” he replied, placing down the cup. On the plus side, Mr Bakugou had stopped asking what his name was every time he spoke to him. Unfortunately, he’d taken to calling him by that nickname instead. Eijirou already had a sinking feeling he was stuck with it.
“The fuck’s with the foamy shit?”
“It's a macchiato sir. I thought I’d try something new.”
“Well it’s weak as shit,” he snapped after the first sip, angrily shoving it towards Kirishima. “Come back with a real fucking coffee!”
“Right away sir. Sorry.”
He sighed to himself, as he started making an espresso. What kind of monster couldn't appreciate a macchiato?
“Finally made a bad one, did you?” asked Denki, wandering over from his desk.
“It was my own fault really. It's what I get for fetting cocky.” He sipped the rejected coffee - at least he could appreciate the foamy goodness. Denki raised an eyebrow.
“Didn't the boss try that?”
“That counts as an indirect kiss, right?” Eijirou choked.
The other man just laughed. “You can handle the boss yelling, but not that? Dude, you're screwed if Hanta finds out.”
“Yeah, well… You just caught me off guard, that’s all.”
When he took the replacement coffee into the office, the macchiato hadn't been touched again. Until Denki drank it.
“Hey, shitty hair!” Mr Bakugou’s head stuck out of his office, glare locked on Eijirou. “You can fucking drive, right?”
“Uh, yes sir. Why?”
“Because my fucking driver called in sick, and I’m supposed to be having a lunch meeting at one,” he snapped, stomping out of his office. “You'll have to fucking do.”
“When the fuck do you think?” His boss’s voice was steadily climbing already. There was no time to waste.
He had wondered why Mr Bakugou needed a driver to cross such a short distance. If it was such an emergency, he could have driven himself, or gotten a taxi. At least, that’s what he’d thought, until he’d spent two minutes with the man in a car.
“MOVE YOUR FUCKING ASS OUT OF THE WAY YOU FUCKING ASSRAG PIECE OF SHIT!”
If this was what he was like as a passenger, Eijirou couldn't in good conscience let him near the wheel. Endure it. He had to endure it.
“FUCKING CUT US UP WILL YOU YOU FUCKWIT I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!”
It was quite possibly the most stressful twenty minutes of Eijirou’s life.
“I'll be at least an hour. Find somewhere to park, and I'll call you when I'm done.”
He didn't wait for a reply, striding into the high end restaurant like he owned the place. Actually, it was plausible that he did. An hour. He considered his options as he pulled into the nearest car park (God bless sat nav), and carefully maneuvered into a generous space. The car probably cost more than his year’s salary and he was not going to so much as scuff it. An hour gave him time to get lunch himself, but best to go for something quick that he could take away. He wanted to be ready if the meeting ended early.
That there was a nearby subway was practically a gift from the heavens, sans the terrible coffee. Especially given that, as he’d predicted, he got the call early. Bakugou barely let him stop, throwing himself into the back seat, and slamming the door.
“Get a fucking move on.”
He was fuming, to angry at whatever had just happened to even yell at the traffic. Eijirou could hear him muttering to himself, but he couldn’t make it out. Maybe he wanted to vent? He took a deep breath.
“Did the meeting go well, sir?”
“What do you fucking think?”
“Do you… want to talk about it?” Now he really was living dangerously, and he tried not to focus on the scowl in the mirror.
“Why the fuck would I do that?” About as expected then-
“That fucking piece of shit bitch told me I needed to work on my public image! Who the fuck does she think she is?” Oh. Apparently he did. “I make more in a month that she fucking has in her life, so where does she get off telling me what to do?”
“Who were you meeting sir?”
“That bitch Momo.”
“Yaoyorozu?” He recognised the name from his time at Ingenium. The Iida brothers had had consultations with her before.
“Whatever her fucking name is.” There was a rare moment of silence, soon shattered. “THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM IT’S ON FUCKING GREEN MOVE YOUR GODDAMN ASS YOU AUDI ASSHOLE!” Oh good. Apparently he was feeling better.
That detour had probably added another day of working late to catch up too, but it was fine. Eijirou had rent to pay, and Mr Bakugou had stormed right back into his office the moment they’d returned. A placating coffee later, and Eijirou was back at his own spot, being approached by Denki who was wearing a look that could only be described as pity.
“I won’t even ask how it went, but we were gonna head out and grab a few drinks after work. You want to hang?”
He actually just wanted to sleep, but he couldn’t exactly say that. “Are you go straight from work, or do I have time to go and change?”
“Meeting about eight, if you’re up for it.” It couldn’t hurt to actually get to know his co-workers. Might as well start sooner rather than later.
“Sure. Just a couple though, I’m beat.”
“Dude, trust me, we get it. We’ve all worked for him for long enough.”
“That’s- That wasn’t what I meant.”
Denki laughed. “Still so young and pure. Mina picked the place, so I guess she might as well text you the deets. Catch you later.”
It was closing in on six, and he could already see the others gearing up to go.
“Hey, Eijirou, you coming?”
“Yeah, just give me a minute. Is Mr Bakugou still working?”
“Probably. Maybe even a few more hours if he’s still pissed about that meeting,” replied Hanta.
“Shit, that late? I’ll make him one more coffee before I go.”
“The boy is an actual saint. He’s too good for him, Mina, can we keep him for ourselves?”
“Only if you want to tell Mr Bakugou that you stole his assistant.” Denki quickly shut up. Even Eijirou smiled at that one.
“Go on. I’ll meet you there. I’m not going drinking in a suit.”
“Sir, I brought you another coffee.” He barely looked up at him, only letting out a small grunt. His boss… had he had bags under his eyes earlier? He looked exhausted. He almost said something, but he stopped himself. This was his boss. Who had only been his boss for a week. It was his job to assist, not pry. “I’ll see you on Monday, sir,” he added, closing the door softly behind him. Right then. Time to dash home and get changed. If he was fast, he might even manage a shower.
He did, but he was cutting it close. He’d swapped to jeans, and a casual black shirt over a red t-shirt, forced to restyle his hair in the back of the taxi taking him to the bar. He silently vowed to apologise to it for the ignominy later. The other three were already there, and waved him over to the table they’d claimed. It was a cheap place for the area (and so still reasonably upmarket), the lights dim, and the music loud.
“Hey, you made it! We were getting worried we’d have to start betting on it.” Mina beamed at him.
“Sorry, hair took ages to dry.”
“It’s looking fierce though,” replied Denki, giving him a thumbs up. “You could take someone’s eye out with those!” It was weekend hair, so the spikes were more extreme than what he wore at work. He rubbed the back of his neck.
“Yeah… It’s a habit, I guess.”
“Who cares about his hair, what matters is what he’s drinking!”
“Oh, I was going to go get a beer-”
“Nope, dude, first round’s on me.”
“Eiji, take it,” said Hanta. “This cheapskate’s probably never going to offer again.”
“Hey, I’m not a fucking cheapskate! It’s not my fault I have expensive hobbies!”
“Bro, no one needs that many electric guitars. You can barely even play.”
“I can too!”
Mina rolled her eyes. “We’ve lost them. I’ll get you one.”
The argument had mostly died down by the time she’d returned with the round, and Eijirou was just about starting to relax. No doubt the alcohol was helping soon after too.
“So, how’s it been? This first week?”
“Well, no shit,” said Denki. “I meant dealing with the boss. We’re used to him, but, well…”
“I mean, he’s pretty intense. But he’s not a bad guy.”
“Hanta, are you hearing this? Is that the chorus of of literal angels I hear?”
“Ah, shut up Denki. You’re just being a salty bitch ‘cause the boss doesn’t let you slack.” Sat there with them like this, it was easy to forget that these three were, after Mr Bakugou, some of the most powerful people in the company.
“Seriously, he’s not that bad… Though I do wish he’d drop the nickname.”
Mina snorted. “You mean shitty hair? Don’t worry, it’s practically an initiation ritual with him. It was months before I stopped being racoon eyes to him.”
“Oh, yeah, that was great. She came in one day and her mascara had run in the rain. She looked like a full on bandit! Ah classic,” Hanta said with a sigh. Mina glared at him.
“Oh? That’s pretty big talk from tape face. Didn’t he walk into the office while Denki was trying to get the roll off you without ripping out your eyebrows?”
“THAT WAS DENKI’S FAULT IN THE FIRST PLACE!”
“It was funny as hell though-”
“Shut the hell up drooly!”
Mina leaned over. “He fell asleep at his desk one time. You can guess the rest,” she whispered.
“And Mr Bakugou caught him? And didn’t fire him?”
“He might look, sound, act and be an idiot, but Denki is actually pretty good at his job.”
“I… have no idea how offended to be about that sentence.”
“It’s just the truth man.”
“Shut uuuuup, Hanta!”
Eijirou chuckled. He had a feeling these three were going to be what kept him sane. And then he sighed. Maybe it was the drink, but his thoughts kept straying back to his boss. “Does… Does he work this late every day?”
“Who, Bakugou? Maybe? I mean, he literally lives above his office so it's not like we see him leave. What brought this on?”
“I guess… I don’t know. I just feel bad that he wasn't invited.”
“Dude, even if we had, he wouldn't have come. Besides, if that's what he's like normally, do you want to see how he is drunk?” Kind of.
“We’re supposed to be relaxing, not worrying about our boss!” Mina declared, standing up. “Shots, then selfies!”
He hadn't wanted to get too drunk tonight, but there was no stopping her. At least he had all weekend to get over the hangover, he thought, before the tequila put a stop to that.
When he woke up the next morning, he wasn't entirely sure when (or how) he’d gotten home, only that he regretted everything with every fiber of his being, as the sunlight committed a brutally sustained assault on his head. He was in the middle of making the greasiest breakfast he could muster, when his phone rang. Mina? He was surprised she was even conscious.
“Oh my fucking god, Hanta drunk texted Mr Bakugou!” Eijirou choked.
These expectations Im setting are unrealistic. I'm terrible at writing at weekends.
“What did he send him?”
“Nothing bad, thank god, just a few selfies. Apparently he was trying to send them to Denki and hit the wrong name.”
“Well, that doesn't sound that bad-”
“It was two in the morning.”
“Yeah,” she agreed. “He didn't reply, but that might be even scarier. What if he’s just waiting for us on Monday, ready to kill us all?”
“He wouldn't actually kill us, right?”
The silence wasn't reassuring. “...He has a very good lawyer.” And neither was the answer.
“So what do we do?”
“Don’t say anything, hope he’s forgotten about it, and throw Hanta under the bus to save ourselves?”
“I’d feel bad doing it though…”
“He was the one who text him.”
“But you're the one who suggested shots.” The silence that followed was practically an admission of guilt. “Hey, Mina? Could you send me the pictures- Shit! I think my breakfast is burning!”
“Then go, go! I’ll text them!”
“See you!” He practically dropped the phone, as he ran to take the bacon off the heat, throwing a window open and wafting the smoke out with a towel before it set the sprinklers off.
He glanced at his phone as the pictures came through, and sighed with relief. He was clearly wasted, but he was fully clothed and wasn't making out with anyone, so he’d consider it a win. He’d have been willing to post it on facebook, if it wouldn’t feel like rubbing it in. He spent the next two days trying to ignore the existential dread.
The office was… worryingly subdued when he arrived on Monday. Hanta in particular was trying to make himself as unnoticeable as possible, even down to building a small wall of files to hide behind. It was never going to work. He wasn’t looking forward to this, but he did still have a job to do. And chili to act as a bribe. He could have sworn he heard everyone breathe in when he opened the door.
“Good morning, sir. I brought you a coffee, and last week’s progress reports.” He’d looked into the existing system for submitting them, and there hadn’t been one, so he’d told everyone to simply send the digital copy, and he’d print them himself. It was barely any extra work for himself, and made it much easier to know who to chase up. Mr Bakugou gave him the silent treatment. Oh, to hell with it. There was no way the dread was better than the inevitable yelling - he might as well rip the bandage off and be done with it.
“Did you have a good weekend sir?”
“You me aside from being woken up at two in the fucking morning by you assholes steamed off your faces, shitty hair?”
“I'm sorry about that sir. By the sounds of things, it was a simple mistake.”
“You think I hadn't fucking worked that out? Why else would he fucking text me that late?”
“It’s partly my fault sir. I’d been saying that it would be nice if you could join us the next time. It probably influenced him a little.”
Now that seemed to knock him dead. “Why the fuck would you want me to go? I’m your fucking boss.”
“That doesn't mean you’re not still a person. Is there anything you’d like me to order you for lunch?”
Bakugou leaned back in his chair, and eyed Eijirou. “You know you’re the only one who had the balls to talk to me about it? Those fuckers have been avoiding me all morning.”
“I think they're hoping you'll forget about them if they wait long enough.”
“I know. It’s fucking hilarious.” And he actually grinned. It was the first time Eijirou had seen him without a scowl, and was his daily reminder that his boss was incredibly attractive. “I’m still fucking pissed, but I'm not going to do anything. Watching them panic is comedy gold. And if you breathe a word to them I'll fucking kill you.”
“My lips are sealed.” He felt a little bad for them, but only a little. It was pretty funny, and now his own main worry was keeping a straight face all day. “So, about lunch…”
“Get me whatever. You've been pretty good so far.”
“Will sushi be alright then?”
“I just said get me whatever.”
“Yes sir.” This was probably the longest he’d actually spoken to him, and that included the interview. “If there’s anything else you need, please just ask.”
“That's what I fucking pay you for. Go chase up the progress reports for me-”
“Already on it sir. I was just waiting for replies from two departments. The rest are there.”
“...Oh. Well go fucking do something else then.”
“Right away sir.”
“He… he survived! Dude, you still have a job, right?” Time to play it cool.
“Yeah, but he was more pissed at you guys than he was at me. He knew it was you guys who planned the night.” The colour drained from their faces. “Best keep your heads down.”
He followed his own advice, because there was no way he’d handle an interrogation. He was back in Bakugou's office a few times, and made sure to make a show of working himself up to it each time. By the time Bakugou finally came out to end the charade mid afternoon, Eijirou was starting to think he was being punished too after all. Bakugou stomped dramatically into the center of the room, and everyone braced themselves.
“Watch who you fucking text next time,” he growled, before heading back into his office. Eijirou just about managed to stifle his chuckle until the door was closed.
“Eiji, dude, you fucking traitor!”
“Sorry, sorry, I was sworn to secrecy!”
“I can’t believe we’ve been worried all day over nothing,” Mina groaned, slamming her head onto the desk.
“I mean, he really was annoyed. He was just letting you punish yourselves.”
“The boss is a cruel, cruel man… How did you end up in his good books anyway?” Hanta asked, still clearly scarred for life by the traumatic experience.
“That’s it,” he confirmed with a nod. There was another thud from Mina’s head.
“Dude, you’ve got balls of steel. Either that or you’re an actual real life Nanny McPhee.”
Hanta snorted. “That’s your punishment for this rank betrayal, McPhee.”
“Guys, really? It's not my fault Hanta was dumb.”
Even Mina was cracking up. “Pngh, McPhee!”
“Well then, I guess I’ve got no choice,” he declared dramatically. “Until the nickname stops, you’ll have to make your own coffee.”
“But dude, yours is so good! I can’t go back! You opened my eyes!”
“Tough,” he replied, setting himself down to write some emails. “I’ll make sure to stink the office out with it next time I make one for myself or Mr Bakugou.”
“I take it back,” said Hanta, with a mock groan. “You’re a far crueller man the boss could ever hope to be.”
He caved on the second trip.
The rest of the week was relatively peaceful, aside from the periodic yelling from the office next door. Eijirou was steadily growing more confident, and even the others had noticed it. Whereas before he’d shuffle into Bakugou’s office like a nervous wreck, now he was just walking in like he had every right to be there (though he was still careful to make sure he wasn’t in a meeting before making a sound). And by Friday he was already risking small talk.
“Do you have any plans for this weekend, sir?” Eijirou asked, as he watered the potted plants. He hadn’t been asked to, but they’d been wilting a little.
“Why, you fucking planning something?”
“Oh, no. I’m staying in until payday sir. Let’s just say I spent more than I planned last week, and leave it at that.”
“Huh. No, I don’t have any fucking plans. Maybe I’ll get bored run a rival into the ground.”
“That’s a shame. There aren’t any parties scheduled for the economic elite to mingle at? I know the Iida brothers went to some from time to time, when I still worked for them.”
“Why the fuck would I want to go and play nice with people who think they’re on my level?”
“You could always think of it as like a wine tasting, for your next purchase.”
Bakugou actually snorted with laughter, before he caught himself, and coughed. “You insulting my taste in wine?”
“No sir,” Eijirou replied, trying to hide his own smile. So he did know how to laugh. “I noticed you had a reasonably large gap without meetings in the middle of today, so I ordered you a steak for lunch. I hope that’s okay.”
“What moron complains about a steak?”
“Don’t you fucking use language like that in my office.” He was fairly sure that was a joke. He’d proven to be self aware enough to see the hypocrisy.
“Sorry sir," he replied, smile still on his face. "Do you need anything else?”
“Just some fucking peace and quiet.”
“Then I’ll get out of your way.”
He’d thought he’d escaped, as he packed to leave, until came the conversation he’d been dreading.
“Hey, Eiji? Fancy coming out tonight?”
“Sorry Denki, not this week. I’m on a tight budget until I get paid.”
“Boo. Well, whatever. Catch you next week dude!”
“Yeah, see you. And you guys have fun.”
“Pfft, you know we will. Without you.”
“It won’t work.”
“Eh, it was worth a shot. Later.”
He waited for them to leave, then made one last round of coffee. When he took it through, the usual acknowledgment of his presence (and hair) never came. Mr Bakugou was asleep, napping in his chair. Gently, he put the mug down, and glanced around, finding a blank piece of paper (and yes, he checked both sides), and a pen. When Bakugou came to, he found a note next to the mug.
Sorry if it’s cold. I didn’t want to wake you.
To my incredible amusement, it wasn't even that bad. Just late. Everyone lived, it's fine.
I'm going to take this moment to thank everyone who's reading and leaving lovely comments each chapter - I had planned to reply individually to all of them, but there's only so many times a man can write thank you for commenting before he goes insane, so I'll do one big thank you here! Without all of you, I've no doubt I wouldn't be posting anywhere near this obsessively.
...I may need an intervention.
Kirishima had never been more glad for payday. It came double for Mina, as they all cracked open their betting predictions for Kirishima. He wasn't sure how to feel about the single week Denki had given him, though he’d at least been apologetic.
“Sorry dude. I figured you were too nice to handle him.”
Sero’s three weeks wasn't much better. But the other two’s jaws dropped when Mina predicted Kirishima was the one.
“How the hell Mina?”
“Yup, so pay up.”
“It’s only been a month, don't you think it’s a bit early to be calling that?” he asked, blushing a little.
“Nah. All three of us can see it. A couple of guys lasted longer, but you could always see the cracks after the first week or two,” Sero said.
“Dude, the guy actually likes you. We’ve worked for him for years and he still only just about puts up with us. But seriously, Mina, how the hell did you call this one?”
Eijirou groaned. “Can we just tell them already?”
“Wait, tell us what?”
“Well, I miiiiiight have gone to college with him,” Mina admitted, rubbing the back of her head. “And then I emailed him asking him to try for the job.”
The cries of outrage even managed to draw Mr Bakugou from his office, who promptly laid into everyone. Except Eijirou, a fact which absolutely everyone noticed, and made sure to point out. Repeatedly. For the rest of the day.
“Sorry about before,” he sighed, when he next went into the office. “They’d been taking bets on how long I’d last here, and got a bit excited.” There was no response. “Sir?” he asked, looking up.
“It’s not my fucking fault none of them could hack it.” He had a face like thunder, but he didn’t sound angry, just… unhappy.
Eijirou made up his mind.
“Sir? They’ve asked me out with them later. You’re welcome to join us.”
“Tch, like you fucking mean that.”
“I do.” Eijirou’s voice was firm. “If it helps, think of it this way. The better I know you, the better I’ll be at my job. It’s practically a work meeting.”
He didn’t look convinced, but he conceded. Slightly. “I’ll think about it. But don’t hold your fucking breath.”
“Well, if you do decide to come, we’re meeting at eight.”
The end of the day came and went with no further reply, and Eijirou went home to change feeling surprisingly down. He really had hoped Mr Bakugou would decide to come, but at the end of the day it was his decision. He’d offered, and done all he could - he couldn’t force him. So it came as something of a surprise when, as he was pulling up outside the bar at about ten to eight, his phone dinged.
Where the fuck are you?
It was an unknown number, but there was only one person who’d be texting him something like that. He almost dropped his phone in his haste to reply, simply giving the address and telling him he’d just arrived himself. There was no text back, but he didn’t have chance to think about it. After all, Denki was already there.
Half an hour later, Bakugou arrived. Eijirou had barely recognised him dressed down, in tight jeans and a leather jacket, with a pair of shades probably there as a disguise. Shit. Denki had pounced on him so quickly he’d forgotten to tell them Bakugou had accepted. They knew he’d been invited, but last they'd heard he still wasn't coming.
“The fuck are you all staring at?” The other's were in shock. Eijirou mostly couldn't get over how good he looked.
“Don’t fucking call me that. It sounds weird out of work.”
“R-right. What do you want s- Um, Katsuki?” Now that was a weird word to say. “It's my round.”
“Whatever, long as it's fucking decent.”
Shit. Even by the time he’d gotten back from the bar, he could feel the tension in the air. The conversation that had been so lively before now felt stifled and awkward, and his own attempts at conversation weren't doing much to help. His boss had noticed too.
“Oh, fuck this. I knew this was a bad idea,” he said, stomping away from the table.
“Wait!” Eijirou got up to follow him. “Ugh, guys, really? Si- Ugh, Katsuki!”
“The fuck are you following me for? It obvious they don't want me here.”
“They're just surprised, si- Katsuki. They started buying me drinks so quickly I forgot to tell them you’d agreed to come. This is my fault… I drag you out here, and then fuck it up right from the start…” Bakugou stared at him. His first instinct was to brush him off, but the guy was actually fucking sincere!
“Tch, you’re not the fucking problem here.”
“Look, just give- give me two minutes! I’ll go talk to them, but please stay. You deserve to enjoy yourself too.”
From where he was stood, Katsuki couldn’t make out what shitty hair was saying, but whatever it was, he seemed to be doing the nice guy equivalent of yelling. What was the fucking point? He should have known better than to come- Shitty hair waved him over. He groaned. Apparently he was a glutton for fucking punishment. There was an awkward pause when he came back over, broken by what sounded suspiciously like someone being kicked. Denki’s sharp intake of breath was a bit of a giveaway too.
“Sorry boss. We were being pretty rude there.”
“Yeah, sorry,” agreed Mina. “We’re just not used to seeing you outside work.”
“Yeah, well, if you’re gonna be asses about it don’t get fucking used to it.”
After that, the conversation trickled back, and they were acting like normal people again, though he could tell they were still being more guarded than normal. The only one who wasn’t treating him like he was some god damn fragile ornament was shitty hair. For the most part Katsuki just let them, content to sit back and drink, but it would have been easier if the music wasn’t so shit.
“The fuck did you choose this dump anyway?”
“They’ve booked a really good live dj for tonight! Oh man, I can’t believe I’m gonna see Present Mic live!” He knew the name - Yaoyorozu’s advertising department worked with him a lot, which meant he was a pretty big name. Surprising he was doing such a small gig as this. But at least Denki was loosening up. He would have gone up the fucking wall if they’d been awkward all night.
“You’re staying for it, right?” shitty hair asked, looking like a puppy begging to be fed from the table. And even he wouldn’t kick a puppy.
“Fine, whatever.” Fuck. He looked genuinely thrilled. People weren’t happy when he was around, that wasn’t how things worked. People were happy when he left and stopped yelling at them.
He wasn’t expecting it when the lights dimmed, but he was way too cool to let anyone realise. A spotlight glared, revealing the figure who’d taken the stage. Present Mic, owner of the world’s most ridiculous necklace, and strong contender for worst hair ever.
“Can I get a YEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!?” The crowd roared. Katsuki groaned. “Then let’s get this party started! Let me see your peace signs!”
Denki knowing all the words wasn’t a huge surprise. Mina knowing all the words wasn’t much more of a surprise. Shitty hair (Shit, he had to give that title to Mic now) knowing all the words? That he hadn’t expected. Katsuki knew the song. He even knew most of the chorus. But those three were singing along at the top of their lungs from the first note, word perfect. They even knew the bridge! Who the fuck knows the words to bridges?
“I hear a voice a' calling, telling me to risk it
asking if I have been going the distance
singing with a passion that I cannot deny!”
Shitty hair… wasn’t actually half bad, even if it was hard to hear him over the other two screeching. The only one who wasn’t joining in was Hanta.
“What, you’re not drunk enough?”
“Nah, I'm just not that keen on the song. I think his first one was better.” He glanced around. “But please don't tell those three I said that. They’d lynch me.”
“Blackmail noted.” Hanta let out a nervous laugh. Katsuki hadn't decided if he was joking yet.
“You didn't fucking warn me this was going to be karaoke.”
“Sorry Katsuki. I just really fucking love that song,” he replied, taking his jacket off. Shit. He’d been hiding those arms in those cheap suits? The guy was ripped! And that shirt was tight enough to show it wasn't just his arms- Fuck, how much had he had? No one seemed to have noticed though. They were all too busy blaring out the next song.
“Guys, pictures!” And there struck Mina, selfie queen. There was no way he was being dragged into that.
He stayed until the end of the setlist, then took off. They were all staying out, and they tried to talk him into another hour, but he’d done his time now. He was done. His phone beeped, as he rode the silent elevator up to his apartment (it was a little known fact that it also went to the ground floor, and his private garage). Shitty- Eijirou? A picture, the only one he’d agreed to mostly to shut them all up. A selfie, with all five of them, himself looking surly as Eijirou practically held him in place. And a caption.
“I had fun. We should do this again sometime.”
He’d… consider it.
Go on, be honest, who was expecting Mic to be the next character to show? Me either. I literally decided that halfway through that scene. Planning. Who needs it?
This is also to blame for the viewpoint shift. I only realised I'd done it after I’d done it, and just rolled with it.
Also, congratulations to Bakugou and Kirishima for rocking the character poll! Im so proud of my fictional boys.
Eijirou had thought it had gone quite well, all things considering. Even if, when he came in on monday, his throat was still a little sore from the karaoke he’d been dragged to after. It definitely hadn't been his idea. Not at all. As far as he was concerned, Katsuki suggested it.
So it was something of a surprise when his boss turned out to be in an utterly foul mood.
“Ka- Sir?” He was too busy ranting incoherently to answer, but Kirishima spotted a newspaper crumpled into a ball, where it looked to have been thrown against the wall. Curious, he straightened it out. There was no mistaking it. That was the bar they’d been in on Friday, and there was his own red hair staring back at him, alongside what could only be his boss’s bright blonde. Mina, Denki and Hanta were there too.
“I hadn’t realised there’d be so many cameras there for Present Mic. One of the paparazzi must have spotted us. I don’t see anything wrong with the picture though - it’s barely a footnote.”
“What? Who gives a shit about that fucking picture? Read the one above it.”
“Endeavour industries… bought out by Shouto Todoroki and Izuku Midoriya-” A pen shattered against the wall.
“Why him? Why fucking him, of all people?”
Eijirou stepped back. He’d seen Katsuki angry plenty of times, but never this bad, and he wasn’t sure what to do. He wasn’t sure if there was anything he could do. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to try.
“Do you know him-?” This time it was a cup that faced his wrath.
“Know him? The fucking bastard’s been riding my coattails since school. He was always talentless, never was going to amount to anything. Then somehow the bastard got into Stern with me. Bad enough that he stole my big moment, but then he-” He coughed, and caught himself, whatever he was about to divulge left unsaid. He wasn't going to push his luck any further on that one.
“What about Shouto?”
“It’s in the past,” he snapped, and Eijirou took the hint.
“I'm sorry for prying. I'll get you a fresh coffee, and clean up this mess for you.”
Katsuki didn't respond, and slumped in his chair. Eijirou was… Well, he was worried.
He spent a lot of time in Katsuki’s office that day. He noticed, of course. The man wasn't an idiot.
“Do you have actual work to be doing?”
“I am sir. And I'm on top of everything.”
It was mostly true, and Katsuki accepted it. Eijirou couldn't say why - while he could usually read his boss and his passionate outbursts pretty well, on the rare occasions he closed off like this he became completely inscrutable. All he could do was make it tacitly clear that he was there for him if he wanted it.
His mood stayed sour for the rest of the day, and could only have said to have improved the next on a sheer technicality. If he was honest with himself, Eijirou would have called it moping. Katsuki’s moping was, admittedly, an unusually aggressive and productive form, but Eijirou could spot a man trying to ignore something.
By Tuesday lunch it must have started to catch, because Mina came over.
“Still no luck then?”
Eijirou shook his head. “Nothing. I just wish he’d talk to me, so I could try and help. Any ideas?”
“Normally when he gets in a funk like this you just have to let it blow over, but I'm not sure how long that'll be this time…”
“I can’t just leave him like this…”
“I mean, you can,” Mina replied, completely serious. “Cheering him up when he’s grumpy isn’t in your job description.”
He stared at her. “And? I know I don’t have to do anything. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to!” She fidgeted, before sighing.
“Of course you do. You always do. Maybe that’s enough.”
“It doesn't feel like enough though…”
He’d thought he’d managed to brighten himself up, but the next time he went into Katsuki’s office he had a weird look on his face.
“I'm fine. Stop fucking worrying.”
How did he…? Eijirou opened his mouth to assent, but the words refused to leave his mouth. “No. You’re not. Whatever your issue with him is, it’s eating away at you, please, just talk to me-”
“Eijirou.” Katsuki’s voice was calm, but his knuckles were whitening where he gripped the edge of his desk.esk.
“...I’m sorry. I know I’m overstepping my bounds.” A primal part of him wanted to run, run as fast as he physically could. But he knew he’d never forgive himself if he backed down now. “But I don’t care. If whatever your issue with him is too personal to tell me, then fine. At least let me help take your mind off it. Do you have any plans tonight?”
“I asked if you’re doing anything tonight.”
“I fucking heard you the first time, why the fuck do you even want to know?”
“Because you have plans now. I’m coming round to yours, and we’re going to watch movies, and get takeaway, and enjoy ourselves, and not think about whatever it is you won’t talk about.”
“Do I get a choice in this?”
“Only between movies and talking,” Eijirou replied with a smile.
“Fine, the fucking movies it is. But I’m picking. Tch, you’re my fucking assistant, the hell are you doing this?”
“Because I’m also your friend, Katsuki. Let me know when you’re done for the night.” He left the room straight away, mostly so his boss didn’t have time to change his mind and just kill him instead.
He closed the door behind him.
“Guys. Why were you listening in?” All three guiltily unpressed their ears from the door.
“Um, good luck?” Mina said quietly as she left. The other two had already gone, and there was only Eijirou left in the office.
“I’ll be fine,” he replied, and almost believed it himself. “It’s just a movie or two.”
“Just… I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”
“Sure. It’s not like I’m going anywhere.”
“Yeah… And, Eiji? Thanks.” She left before he could ask what she was thanking him for. Last he checked he hadn’t done anything for her to thank him. Well, whatever. He had other things to focus on. It was already past six after all. The door creaked open.
“Katsuki? Are you still working? Everyone else already left.”
“Fuck. You’re still here?”
“Of course I am. I promised you a movie night.”
“Threatened more like. I need another twenty minutes to finish these emails.”
“Anything I can help with?”
“Not unless you have intimate knowledge of the company finances. And then you’d know too much, and I’d have to kill you.” Eijirou was pretty sure it was a joke, but he said it in a such a deadpan tone that it was hard to be sure.
“I’ll just pre-write the emails chasing up the progress reports to the usual suspects then.”
He stayed in the office while he did it, quiet, tucked away in the corner, but still there, if only to make sure Katsuki didn’t slip away. He knew full well if he lost sight of him there’d be no getting him back.
He sighed. “It’s nearly seven. Don’t you think you’ve done enough for today?”
“Katsuki. I know you have a habit of working until nine or ten. But you were still at it at eleven yesterday.”
“How the fuck?”
“I do talk to the cleaners, you know. Working yourself into the ground won’t solve anything.”
“And movies with you will?”
“Well, no. But if you feel better after it, I’ll consider it a win.” For all his complaining, Katsuki hadn’t actually refused, or told him to leave at any point. Eijirou was getting good at reading between the lines.
Katsuki groaned, and snapped shut his laptop. “Come on then. I’m not gonna get any fucking work done with you sat there bothering me anyway.” He hit the button behind his seat, and the wall slid open, revealing the inside of his personal elevator. Eijirou had been in it once before, when he’d filled in for his driver, but he’d only gone down that time. He wasn’t sure if anyone had ever been up.
“So, what movies do you have in mind?”
“I don’t fucking know.”
“But you had all afternoon to think about it!”
“Yeah, well, I didn't think you’d actually go through with it.”
The elevator stopped before he could reply, and Katsuki pushed out, putting his thumb to the scanner, and waiting as the door slid open. “Well, get a move on.”
Eijirou wasn’t sure what he’d been expecting, but the sleek, modern living room he walked into… probably should have been it. It was all top of the line, almost definitely designer, but the styles were all pretty simple. There was no showing off just how stupidly rich he was. Which actually made quite a bit of sense. After all, he’d probably never expected anyone else to step foot in here.
“It’s nice in here.”
“Of course it fucking is. I designed it.”
“An eye for design too? Is there anything you can’t do?”
“If there is, it isn’t worth doing. Don’t just fucking stand there. If you’re coming it do it properly.”
“Oh, right-” Katsuki was already gone, so he figured he’d do as he was told. He left his shoes and jacket by the door, and was debating on whether or not to lose the tie as well when Katsuki got back, and the tie was immediately discarded. He’d swapped to a pair of jeans, and his shirt was open enough buttons to nearly make Eijirou have a heart attack. There was no way he knew what he was doing to his poor heart, right? Even he wasn’t that cruel. Right?
“What are you staring at? It’s not like it’s the first time you’ve seen me dressed down.”
“Y-yeah. Sorry. So, movie. You have to have something in mind.”
Eijirou shrugged. “Then we’ll just have to browse netflix and see what comes up.”
“Don’t have it.”
“You- You poor deprived soul, this is worse than I thought! We’ll use mine.”
Katsuki wasn’t given any more say in the matter, and minutes later Eijirou’s recommendations were flooding the screen.
“Love actually. Beauty and the Beast. Broadcast- what the fuck even is broadcast news? Mamma Mia? Is everything you watch a shitty romcom?”
“Hey, Mamma Mia is a flawless gem, and I won’t have you saying anything against Queen Meryl’s good name.”
“We’re not watching a fucking romcom.”
“We don’t have to. What about…” His eyes traced the lines of options. “Something fun and actiony… Oh, what about the All Might movies?”
Katsuki paused. “How did you- Whatever. As long as you don’t put the the fourth one on, ‘cause that one was a trainwreck.”
“What? But that was one of the best ones!”
“Please. That romantic subplot with him and Nighteye was shoehorned in to try and get more girls watching it and you know it.”
“That was the best part! The hints had been there since the first movie!”
“Right. I’m putting them on. And I’m going to point out every hint you’re missing.”
“See? See?” he managed, between mouthfuls of pizza. “Look at how worried he is about All Might! Even when he’s trying to push him away, because he doesn’t want his battle with All for One to hurt the people he cares about! And Nighteye’s so desperate for him to tell him himself, even though he could just use his power to see! That’s not the worry of someone who’s just a co-worker!”
“Doesn’t seem that fucking different to you,” Katsuki replied dismissively. Eijirou choked. When Katsuki turned to look at him, his face matched his hair.
“K-katsuki! Come on, it’s totally different! They’re just downplaying things because they were worried having gay characters would affect sales. T-they’re just testing the waters here.”
Was he giving off the wrong signals? Was he giving off the right signals? No, that was stupid! This was his boss! Sure, he was attractive, but so were tons of people. That didn’t mean he like liked them. Wait, did he look relieved? Or disappointed? His own heart was racing too fast for him to be able to tell. He hadn’t expected such a soul crushing bout of regret.
He stopped analyzing the romance after that, and focused on the pizza. Things were only awkward for a little while, because a few minutes later Eijirou was too busy gushing over the fight scene to think about it. They ended up watching the second one too. Eijirou didn’t see the end of it.
The bright lights of a city just starting to rise poked their way through the curtainless windows, and he squinted. This wasn’t his- Where-? Wait, this was… This was Katsuki’s living room? Had he fallen asleep? A quick glance at his phone told him that he must have done. It was nearly six in the morning. He wasn’t sure what was worse. That he’d just woken up on his boss’ couch, or that he missed the big reveal about Shigaraki’s identity. Probably the couch. Yeah, he’d go with the couch. Katsuki wasn’t there, so he must have gone to bed, which meant he knew he was there, but now what did he do? Did he get up? Wait for Katsuki? The entire thing had been spur of the moment, and he hadn’t planned on staying the night, so he didn’t have anything with him. Did he make them both breakfast, or would Katsuki get mad if he rummaged through the kitchen- His head snapped round. A light had come on upstairs, and those sounded like footsteps.
“Good. You're fucking up.” Holy shit he wasn't wearing a shirt. And the guy worked out. Like he wasn't hot enough already.
“I'm so sorry, you should have woken me up!”
Katsuki shrugged. “Too much effort. You getting ready or what?”
“Have I got time to nip home? I don't have a change of clothes, and I slept in most of them.”
“New York Rush hour? Not fucking likely. This way.”
“Huh?” He wasn't sure what Katsuki was getting at.
“I said move. You need a fucking shower, but first you’re coming with me.”
It turned out he was being dragged to Katsuki’s surprisingly extensive walk in wardrobe.
“Take that off.”
“I need to see what size you are so I know what'll fit you.”
He wasn't sure if he was being sized up or checked out. He wasn't sure which he’d prefer. All he knew was that he’d never felt this awkward being nearly naked with another guy in a small space.
“Let’s see… you’re a little bigger than me, but not by much, so the ones which are a little loose on me should be snug on you… You. Shower, now.”
He was quick. And quickly found out that the thing more awkward than being around him in just his underwear was being around him, still slightly damp, in nothing but (his) towel.
“Try that, and if it-” He stopped mid sentence and snorted with laughter. “Holy shit is that what you look like with your hair down?”
Eijirou matched it again. “Yeah, well… It's not like I have any gel with me.” A pot was thrown to him.
“No way I'm inflicting that sight on everyone.” He was too grateful to be mad, clutching the little tub of salvation to his chest. “Fucking wierdo. That suit doesn't fit, I laid some out in size order. Just step up or down till it’s right.”
“What about you?”
“I'm not fucking watching you get dressed. And I need a shower too.”
His eye was spot on. As soon as he’d finished getting the last of the water off himself, Eijirou slipped into the suit, trying not to have a heart attack when he saw the label and implied price of what was, really, just a plain slate grey suit. Although- Oh god it was silk! When Katsuki next found him, he was dressed, though the jacket was temporarily hung up, and he was making breakfast for two.
“I hope this is okay. I guess based on what was in the fridge. ...I wanted to do at least something after all this imposing.”
“Tch.” He still ate it. Maybe it was the fact they were both fully dressed now, but the silence was… comfortable, for once. But soon enough, the moment passed, and the two of them had to start work for the day. It was the first time Eijirou had been there before Mina.
She was immediately suspicious. “So, how was it?”
“It was fine. Just pizza and cheesy superhero movies. We didn't talk about work once.”
“Huh. That’s it.” She paused. “I've not seen that suit on you before- Wait. That's one of Mr Bakugou’s, isn't it?” Her eyebrow became accusatory.
“Look, I… fell asleep on his couch, okay?”
“And you were still there this morning?”
“Yeah, and I didn’t have time to go home, and it wasn't like I'd planned to be there overnight…”
“Hmm.” That was all she said. That was all she said to him for the rest of the day. But apparently it wasn't just to him.
Denki and Hanta came over at lunch.
“Dude, what did you say to Mina earlier? She's been acting hella weird ever since she spoke to her.”
“Nothing. I mean, I filled her in on how last night went, but that was it.”
“Oh, your date with the boss man? How did it go?”
Eijirou was too busy choking to answer.
“Ah. Like that dude? Well, catch you later.” The guys shrugged, and left him to it.
Katsuki let him keep the suit, when he tried to return it. Apparently he never wore it anyway, and Eijirou might as well have at least one suit that wasn't shit. He wasn’t sure if that was Katsuki being thoughtful, or a dick. The line was pretty blurry sometimes, but even after he got home, Eijirou couldn't settle. Had Katsuki been right? When he watched nighteye, his feelings seemed completely obvious. Was he really acting the same? Was he the only one who couldn’t see it?
He stared at his phone. He wrote a text. He deleted it, then wrote it again. After another fifteen minutes, his thumb finally stopped hovering, and broke the cycle. Sent.
Hey, Mina? How do u no if you like some1?
He waited for what seemed like an eternity. It was eighteen seconds.
Oh thank fuck its about time
Surely you didn't all think the Deku jad gotten away with it, did you? That grudge is alive and well. And being papered over by, what's this, actual relationship progress? Gasp.
I'd say I'm sorry to keep you waiting, but I've clearly been spoiling you all. Plus this chapter's twice the length of the others.
Plus I had the monster Hunter demo to play, and, I’m sorry. I love monster hunter more than all of you =p
(Actually I mostly write while on public transport so weekends are always slow)
The only thing that stopped Eijirou immediately calling Mina was that she beat him to it.
“Ugh, seriously Eiji. It's been killing me waiting for you to figure it out.”
“You could tell- Oh, who am I kidding, it's you. Of course you could tell.”
Even in college, Mina had always been good at reading people. Like books - the kind that had big letters and lots of pictures. There was a reason Mina was head of Human Resources. No one worked in that building without her approval - If Bakugou was the company's King, then Mina was it's Queen.
“I mean, yeah, but even Denki can see it.”
“You don't remember? After he left the bar after Mic played, and you did nothing but talk about him for two hours.”
“Oh god. I wasn't that drunk was I?”
“Nah. It was only ten minutes really.”
“Mina! I'm having a serious existential crisis here!”
“Well, what do you think of him? And it's just me, so be honest.”
“Honestly…?” He took a deep breath. “He’s… handsome. And smart, and passionate, and ambitious, and kind too, even though he tries to hide it under all that grumpiness. And then when you’re not expecting it he’ll tell one of those really dry jokes of his, and it'll just kill me and oh my god I've got it bad.”
“There it is.”
He groaned. “Mina, what do I do?”
“Talk to him about it? There’s no way you can keep this bottled.”
“I know, but… What if he doesn't feel the same. Is he even into guys? And he’s my boss, and I've only known him a month!”
“And? You spend a lot of time with him. There’s people who get together and work after one or two dates. For the rest… I'm not sure.”
“What? But this is you! You can read anyone.”
“I know. And he does like you, but… Well, I've never even seen him like someone as a friend before. At least, not properly. So I've no comparison for if this is platonic or romantic. You could just ask him-”
“Are you nuts? If I screw this up I might lose him and my job!”
“So what?” she asked, and he could hear the judgement in her voice. “You're just going to keep your mouth shut, and suffer being around someone you’ll never know if you could have had something more with, because you were too scared to take a risk and be honest? That's not very manly of you.”
“I-” She was right, of course, even if it hurt to hear her say it. “I know. I won't sit on it forever, I promise. I just… I only really see him in work. Let me do a few more things with him just as friends first. I think I need to ease him in.”
There was a sigh from the other end of the line. “If that's what you think, I'll trust you. Honestly, when it comes to this you probably know him better than I do. Just don't leave it so long that you miss your chance. Uuugh. I have to work with you two. This is going to kill me.”
“How do you think I feel?” he replied, a small smile finally forming on his lips. “I have to actually talk to him. Friday the usual plans?”
“Not this week. Hanta’s parents are over, so Denki’s going to meet up with some old friends instead. But the week after should be, why?”
“I'll try and bring him again.”
The two of them chatted for awhile, catching up about college, and just generally making small talk. Down the phone, he heard her yawn.
“Eiji, damn it, we have work tomorrow. Let me go to bed.”
“Let you? I'm not the one who started complaining about our old professors.”.”
“I see your point, and choose to ignore it. See you tomorrow Eiji.”
“Yeah, see you.”
He sighed, as he sloped off to bed. How the hell was he supposed to sleep after that conversation? Badly, as it turned out.
So badly even Katsuki noticed how tired he was.
“The fuck are you so tired for?”
“Sorry. Just a bad night's sleep.”
“Well get some fucking coffee down you. It's going to be a busy day.”
It was, but he still found time to invite Katsuki out for the following Friday.
“Whatever, sure.” He hadn't even put up a fight that time. Could it be he really was enjoying himself? Or was he just reading too much into it? He had no clue, but he did know he was unreasonably excited for it.
Until the day before. He came into the office completely miserable.
“Holy shit dude, who died? Uh, no one actually died, right?”
“Ugh, just my apartment block. They’ve had a termite infestation, and now they’re saying it’s not structurally sound.”
“From termites? How old is your place?”
“Well, the building isn’t coming down, but all the staircases are wooden, and someone already fell through one. They need to nuke the place then repair everything. So I need all my stuff packed and out of there by the end of the week. God, now I have to tell him I need to cancel…”
“That’s fucking stupid.”
Eijirou turned so fast he nearly gave himself whiplash. How long had Katsuki been stood there? Why was he even out of his office in the first place?
“Sorry. I was really looking forward to tomorrow too, but I need to find somewhere to live for, like, the next month at least-”
“No, I mean it’s fucking stupid why you’re even worrying about it. I’ve got a spare room.”
It took a moment for that to sink in.
“You- are you sure?”
“Why the fuck not? Gives me an excuse to keep my hag of a mother from visiting.” He was pretty sure the others were staring as much as him, but he had other things to worry about right now.
“I mean, if you’re offering, I’d love to, thank you, and it’d be a real weight off my shoulders. I’ll still need to sort out something for my furniture, but I can get a storage unit for that…”
“Good. Bring your stuff with you tomorrow. You might as well get ready here.”
“Tomorrow- Oh, going out! I mean, I do still need to pack everything and move it-”
“These three can help.”
“We can?” Mina elbowed Denki in the ribs. “I mean, yeah, sure dude!”
“Well, I guess… If I hire a unit tonight then I should be able to make it… But, seriously, guys, you don’t all need to do this.”
“Eh, consider it a thank you for ruining shit coffee for us forever.”
“Speaking of, where the fuck’s mine? I only came out to see why the fuck it was taking so long.”
“Ah, sorry! It should be ready to make now, I’ll have it to you in just a minute!”
He was in shock. Had that actually just happened? Katsuki, offering to let him live with him? Sure, it was only temporary, and they were basically only going to be roommates, but… Well, he had wanted to spend more time with him. Maybe this was the best thing that could have happened to him. Or maybe he’d go completely insane. Both seemed pretty possible.
“Bro, could you be any more obvious about it?”
“Huh? About what?”
“You’ve had a dumb grin on your face all morning,” replied Hanta, trying and failing utterly to suppress a smirk. “Ever since a certain someone swooped in like your knight in shining armour.”
“I have not! ...Have I?”
“Yup. If you’re not careful the boss’ll notice. And even he can’t be that oblivious.”
“Has he said anything? Is he on to me?”
“No, but fuck knows how.”
Eijirou took a deep breath. Even though he did want Katsuki to find out sooner or later, he wanted to tell him properly. Not just have him find out through gossip. But if his poker face was this bad… Well. He was probably pretty screwed.
It was probably quite telling that he had almost everything packed that night, and it was only partly because he didn’t want to keep everyone when they were offering to help him out. Excitement had nothing to do with it. Not at all. And he definitely wasn’t equal parts nervous, and wasn’t just distracting himself. And yes, he had already decided on what to wear tomorrow night. And changed his mind twice. Apparently this was just his life now.
He brought everything he might need in the short term to get ready the next day, during which he was just as bad as the night before. When it finally came time to pack up for the night, he’d never been more or less ready. Katsuki waved him into the lift. Eijirou had expected him to just open the door, but instead he stopped, and input a complex sequence of commands.
“Put your thumb here,” he demanded, and Eijirou was too flustered to question it. The lock beeped. “There. Now you can get in.”
“You’re giving me a key?”
“Well I’m not fucking letting you in every time you need to come through the fucking door. The fuck else were you expecting?”
“Yeah… I guess that would make sense.”
“...The fucks wrong with you? You’ve been acting weird since yesterday. You don’t want to stay here?”
“No, no! It’s not that! I couldn’t think of anywhere better! I guess I’m just a little nervous about it. You are still my boss after all.”
Katsuki gave him an odd look. “The fuck happened to the Eijirou who decided we were fucking friends? Or does that only count when you think I need something?”
“I- You’re right. I’m being a hypocrite, aren’t I?” he said, silently relieved that he’d latched on to the half of his issues that he didn’t mind talking about. “I lecture you about letting people help, then don’t let them help back. I’m being an idiot, aren’t I?”
“Yeah. You fucking are.” Blunt as ever, but that was part of why he liked him.
“Sorry. Oh, but do you want me to pay rent or anything?”
Oh. Oh, Eijirou recognised that look. That was the look Katsuki had when someone had just said something so stupid he wanted to punch them in the face.
“Eijirou. You fucking know how much money I have, right? You really think I’d even notice anything you could give me? I pay your fucking wage in the first place! Now, are you getting ready or what? Your room’s this way. Unpack whatever you brought or whatever while I grab a shower.”
The room was nearly as big as Eijirou’s whole apartment. It wasn’t as big as Katsuki’s (he’d caught a glimpse when he was having suits forced on him), but it was still more space than he’d ever had in his life. Hell, he probably could have fit all his stuff just in here, and didn’t even need the storage locker, apart from the fact that he couldn’t bring himself to even consider ruining Katsuki’s impeccable sense of style. The bed was a king size. And… was that a tv built into it? Don’t get used to it, don’t get used to it. He was still just a guest, after all, crashing in a friend’s spare room. Nothing more.
When Katsuki left the shower, there was a steaming coffee waiting for him.
“We’re not at fucking work you know.”
“I know. But even if you don’t want rent, I still want to show my appreciation, and I’m not being a freeloader.”
“Ugh, whatever. Aren’t you having a shower?”
“Uh, yeah. I was just waiting for you to be done.”
“...I’ve got more than one fucking bathroom you idiot. There’s one right outside your room. Might need to move some of the old hag’s shit though.”
Well, one more reason he felt like an idiot today.
“R-right. I’ll be quick.”
“Whatever. I’m not the one who’ll have your ass if you’re late.” With the picture in his mind of the only thing more scary than an angry Katsuki, a jilted Mina, he was ready in record time. Katsuki was waiting with a mouthful of toast, before sliding the plate towards him.
“Eat it. You’re not drinking on an empty stomach.”
“I had a pretty big lunch, but-” He caught Katsuki’s look. “I mean, thanks.”
Katsuki stared at him. “Stop walking around on fucking eggshells just because you’re staying here. It’s pissing me off.”
“I’m not fucking finished. You think if I had a problem you being here I would have offered? I don’t say things I don’t fucking mean. So stop acting like a nervous prick, and start acting like you again. I put up with you because you don’t fucking act like that.”
“O-oh.” It made perfect sense, now that he said it. He’d spent so much time worrying he’d forgotten to even consider the fact that it was Katsuki who brought it up in the first place. And he was right. Eijirou was the one who was making things weird. “Yeah, you’re right. Guess I got caught up in my own head there. I’ll try not to let it happen again.
“Yeah, there’s that fucking stupid smile you never get rid of. It’s fucking weird seeing you without it.”
“You look good.” He did too. Katsuki was a master of simultaneously looking incredible and like he’d just thrown on whatever was to hand.
“What else is fucking new? You just going to stand there gawping, or are we going?”
The bar Hanta had picked was walking distance from the office, so the pair walked leisurely through the evening air. A handful of people recognised Katsuki, but it wasn’t that surprising - so close to the heart of the city’s business, it would have been more of a shock if he’d gone unnoticed. He ignored them all, pointedly talking to Eijirou, until they went away.
“Fucking leeches,” he growled. It was probably a bit harsh, but Eijirou wasn’t in the mood to disagree.
It was a great night. The others were kind enough not to tease him in front of Katsuki, and, for all his grumbling, Katsuki himself was there for nearly five hours, finally declaring he was done with the lot of them at one in the morning. Eijirou left with him, mostly just because he was tired himself, but partly because he wanted to keep talking to him for just a little longer. It had only been small talk, but it felt like he’d finally started to open up a little. He’d learned his favourite colour (orange), what music he liked (a surprising taste for jazz), which sports he was into, and which teams weren’t safe to talk about if he valued his life. For the first time, just for a few hours, he’d been able to forget he was his boss completely.
Before he knew it, he’d followed Katsuki all the way back to the office. He hadn’t planned to - he still hadn’t actually moved in after all, but he’d been so wrapped up in the conversation he’d not realised. Katsuki glared at him, the door leading to the private elevator held open. “Well?” he asked, iron control only letting the barest hint of a slur show. “You coming in or what?”
Woo, progress? Surprise, he ended up moving in before le romance happened, but dont worry. We all know he wont be leaving.
For those who may or may not care, next chapter Im planning to include more faces beyond just the squad. And properly. So that'll be a thing.
Also, 200+ kudos? How when and why did that happen? Thank you everyone who inexplicably enjoys my ramblings and keeps subjecting yourself to them.
Waking up in a strange bed with a splitting hangover did lead to a moment of confusion and a panicked checking that he hadn't had a drunken one night stand. Once that had been cleared up, and his brain started working properly, he groaned and looked at the time. Eleven. And he was supposed to be moving today. Thankfully, they'd had the foresight to schedule the meeting for late afternoon, to give everyone time to recover, but he was not looking forward to lugging around heavy objects. And he still had things to do, so he forced himself out of the ridiculously comfy bed.
Katsuki was already up, and looking none the worse for wear.
“How the actual fuck?”
“Because I didn’t get as wasted as you, idiot. Fucking eat something, you look like shit.”
“Yeah… Something quick though, I need to go clear the rest of my apartment before the others get there.”
“You’re not fucking done?”
“Pretty much all the packing is,” he said, between mouthfuls of sugar seasoned with cereal, “but I wasn’t expecting to stay over last night, so I still need to clear all the cupboards out, and do a last sweep to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I’ll phone a taxi in a minute.”
“When’ll you be back?”
“Depends on the traffic. The unit’s just outside town, and then we have to make the trip here, so…”
“Fine, text me when you’re on the way then.”
“So I know when to order fucking food.”
“Oh, right. Hanta said he knew someone with a van, so hopefully we’ll only need to make one trip.” He stood up, stretched, and immediately regretted it for this pain in his head. “Well, I guess I’ll see you later.”
He had more crap to shift than he thought. The frozen stuff he had to throw, but the rest he bundled up, and took to the nearest food bank. No sense it going to waste. He hadn’t even considered taking it with him - given that he bought the cheap brands, he’d probably just end up insulting Katsuki if he tried. Once he’d finally managed to escape the talkative woman running the bank that was trying to set him up with her daughter (and then son, when he’d told her he was gay), and only just got back before the others showed up.
“Wow, dude. You live like this?”
“Denki, I already packed everything.”
“Yeah, but this place is tiny!”
“I prefer the term economically optimised.”
“Eiji, I know how much you earn. You can afford way better than this,” said Mina, arms folded. “And I know the Tenyas paid you well.”
“Isn't this all a moot point anyway, since I'm in the middle of leaving?”
She paused. “I swear to god if you move back in here after it opens I'll kill you myself.”
“Like he has any plans on moving out once he’s got cosy with the boss,” Hanta said with a smirk, while Denki nodded along.
“Alright, let's not kill him off, or the boss’ll have our hides. Start actually moving the furniture would you?”
“Right away miss,” replied Denki, tongue sticking out, as he grabbed one end of the couch, Hanta across from him. Eijirou grabbed a few chairs, but Mina caught him.
“I'm serious though. Promise me you won't hit a month, and move back out without being honest with him. You wanted to spend time with him, now's your chance. Make the most of it.””
“Yeah… I will do.”
“You better. Because if you’re still pining after this I will break you.”
Somehow she expected him to just get on with things after that, but he was too busy shifting furniture to dwell on it. All three of them were swiftly coming to the conclusion she was an even harder taskmaster than Katsuki when she put her mind to it.
“Seriously, what’s the rush?” Denki asked, trying to not scream as she plowed through the traffic. Eijirou himself was seriously regretting letting her get behind the wheel.
“We still have another trip to make, and I am not missing the new episode of the Bachelor.”
Somehow, none of them died, and he stepped out of Denki’s car (a yellow and black camaro. The teasing over him buying Bumblebee was apparently old news) onto the street outside the tower. It was already dark, so late into the year, and his breath was visible in faint puffs. He’d only remembered to text Katsuki when he was half way there, but he could just claim they got lucky with the traffic.
“You forgot, didn’t you?” Shit. He’d seen right through him.
“...Just a little.”
“Well, whatever. It just means you have to wait longer for food.”
“It’ll give me time to move these boxes at least.” He didn’t actually have all that much to deal with. He’d brought a good chunk of his clothes the day before, so it was mostly things like movies, games and cds. He’d have to talk Katsuki into trying some of them. But for now, the boxes were slid under the bed, or in the bottom of wardrobes. He could unpack them as he used them.
When he came back down, chinese had just arrived, and Katsuki was pulling up a movie.
“Try not to fall asleep this time,” he snapped, and hit last viewed. All Might 2? And… that wasn’t far past what he remembered seeing? Had he stopped watching after Eijirou had fallen asleep?
“No promises. Still hungover, remember? You’ll just have to wake me up if I do.”
“I’ll get a trumpet.”
“Oh you bastard.”
They ended up watching the third one as well. And he even managed to wake up the next morning without being confused as to where he was, followed by a small victory in the argument as to who made breakfast. Eijirou won, and made a full fry up for them both just to rub it in. Katsuki responded by finally giving him the grand tour. A lot of the place he’d already seen, but it turned out Katsuki still had a couple of surprises left for him.
“You've got a full on gym in here?”
“Like I'd bother going to a public one.”
“Holy shit. You’ve got everything in here!”
“Yeah. So you’ve no excuse for letting yourself go soft while you're here.” Eijirou was torn between blushing and being a small kid at christmas.
“Seriously, this is insane.”
“You haven't even seen the fucking roof yet.”
“You have a fucking pool up here?”
“Heated, and with a hot tub too. That canopy’s glass, but you can make it dark or transparent, and you can open or close the sides with a button. Oh, and a bar and grill I never fucking use.”
“Have I ever told you you have the best house ever?”
“No, but it’s fucking true. Now can we go in? It's fucking freezing and I'm not putting the heaters on so you can gawk.”
“Point taken. I think I might hit the gym then, and grab a shower. It’s been too long since I last went anyway.”
To his surprise, Katsuki ended up joining him.
“...The fuck are you staring at? Perks of a home gym.”
“You’re telling me,” he blurted out, before realising what he’d just said. He really hadn’t been prepared for Katsuki to come in completely shirtless. “I mean, I probably would as well if I had my own private gym.”
“What’s stopping you?”
Did that count as flirting? Was the man even aware of what he was doing to him right now? Would it be weird if he took his shirt off? Would it be weird if he didn’t ? This was a minefield he wasn’t prepped for.
“Fair point I guess,” he settled for, shrugging, and removing his shirt. He was trying to gauge interest after all.
“Your stomach needs work.” Did that mean he was checking him out? Or just that he took working out seriously? Gods, he wished he had Mina’s talent right now.
They didn’t talk much for the next hour, focusing on their respective workouts, while Katsuki subjected Eijirou to a full spectrum of soft rock. He ached all over, but that was his own fault for getting competitive with the weights. For all his suffering, it was nice to know there was at least something he could beat Katsuki at. Once they were cleaned up, Katsuki proceeded to return the favour by crushing him at every game he owned. It just wasn’t fair.
It was amazing how quickly he’d felt at home after just a few days. Maybe it was because Katsuki wasn’t treating him like a guest, but it felt more like home than his actual home did. Maybe it was just because Katsuki was there. Having an extra half an hour in bed in the mornings wasn’t hurting either, considering he now only had to walk to the elevator to get to work. Until he’d done it himself, he’d though it odd that Katsuki would want to basically live at work. Now he was convinced it was another sign the man was a genius.
Despite the added teasing from the others, work itself didn’t change much. Eijirou had given up all pretenses, and now just called his boss Katsuki all the time, unless he was dealing with a client, but that part of life was otherwise unchanged. Until he got a strange email on the Thursday.
My name is Momo Yaoyorozu. While we haven’t spoken before, I am acquainted with your employer, Mr Bakugou. As I’m sure you are aware, I represent Creati visions, which deals with both personal and corporate personal relations, and there is a social event approaching which I believe it would be beneficial for your employer to attend. All of the biggest names in business will be attendance, and it would be good for him to meet his peers and competition. The details of the event are enclosed in the attachment.
That… was unexpected. Last time Katsuki had spoken to her he’d been fuming the entire way back to the office. Still, he couldn’t just ignore it, and, looking at the party (which was what is was, no matter how she dressed it up), he was inclined to agree with her.
If you don't mind me enquiring, why ask me? Wouldn't it be better to approach him directly?
It took her a while to respond. From personal experience, she'd probably rewritten it a few times.
I've attempted to get him to go several times in the past, and every time he refuses. Until recently, there was no evidence he went to social events at all. And then, just recently, he was spotted at the Present Mic concert. As far as I can tell, the only thing that has changed is you. Which is why I came to you and not him.
Apparently that paper was coming back to haunt him after all. Still…
I'll talk to him. I won't lie to him or manipulate him into coming, but I'll try to convince him. But I can't promise results.
I understand that. Thank you. If you succeed, let me know by the end of Monday, so I can finalise the numbers.
Good luck. Momo Yaoyorozu.
Well. That was a thing that just happened. Well, he wasn't in a meeting right now, so… might as well get it over with.
“Hey, Katsuki? I just got an email… There’s a business social next weekend and you’ve been invited.”
Katsuki groaned. “That bullshit again? I tell her to fuck off every year. You got anything actually important to say?”
“Why not go?”
“I mean it. The Tenyas went every year, and most of the time they came back with new deals or information. And who knows, you might even enjoy yourself.”
“Like I'd fucking enjoy myself with those pricks.”
Eijirou sighed. “Come on, you're just being stubborn now. It's only one night.”
A grimace crossed his face, as he apparently wrestled with a choice of terrible proportion. “...Fine. But you're fucking coming too. At least then there'll be someone worth talking to.”
“I'll… I don't think that’ll be a problem,” he managed, trying to hide how flustered he was. He hadn't even considered the option until Katsuki had said it. “I'll let her know.”
“Good. And still tell her to fuck off for me.”
He asked me to pass on this message, and I quote: “Fuck off, but whatever, I'll go to your shitty party.” He’s insisting I go as a plus one however. Will that be a problem?
Eijirou. Anyone who can convince Katsuki Bakugou of anything is more than welcome to be there. You’ve managed in twenty minutes what I haven't in four years. I'll make sure both your names are on the list. We'll have to make sure to actually meet while we’re there.
Looking forward to it.
And also having an internal panic attack what the hell had he just agreed to?
Apparently I lied and overran. They'll turn up next chapter instead.
“Don't make any plans this weekend.”
“...huh? The social isn't until next weekend.”
“I fucking know that! And I've fucking seen your wardrobe. There’s no way I'm being seen dead with you in one of those cheap ass suits, so we’re getting you a proper one.”
“I… don't think I can afford anything you'd consider decent-”
“Will you shut the fuck up about money? I'm the one who dragged you with me, I'll fucking pay for it.”
He opened his mouth to argue, but he already knew he’d lost.
“If you insist… I just don't want to take advantage-”
“If I want to buy you a suit I'll buy you a fucking suit!” he yelled, slamming a hand down on the table. “You’re coming, and you're going to look fucking good!”
“Alright, alright.” He paused, a shiver running down his spine. “...Katsuki. why are you staring at my hair?”
“Best Jeanist?” Eijirou stared in wonder at the shop front. “Is this the most expensive inaccurately named tailors in town?”
“Yeah, and the best. And if you bring up money one more time so fucking help me. Tsunaga’s an ass though. Yo, Tsunaga!” he yelled, walking into the shop. “You busy?”
“As brash as ever, Katsuki. Please don't disturb my other customers. Especially when you made an appointment. I must admit though, I hadn't expected to see you back here so soon. Did something happen?”
“It's not me I need it for.”
“Oh? Now who would this be?” Tsunaga asked, realising that Eijirou coming in behind Katsuki wasn't just coincidence. “The mystery man from your little outing?”
“What's it to you? You going to make him something or what?”
“Of course. Did you have something in mind?”
“Yeah. I fucking did.” Katsuki walked over to Tsunaga, and the low muttering between them was making him nervous. Wait, did Tsunaga just gesture to his hair?
“Mr Kirishima? If you're ready, I need to take your measurements.”
Tsunaga was both quick and professional, taking the measurements faster than Eijirou even thought possible.
“You really won't tell me anything?”
“I'm afraid Katsuki wants it to be a surprise, and I’d rather not risk his custom by talking. I shouldn’t worry though. I agree with his vision for this, which is a sentence I never would have believed I’d ever utter when I first started working with him. If you could raise your arm.”
“Really? He always looks great.”
“Now, yes. His sense of style is excellent, but when I first met him he was like a wild animal, often going out of his way to dress badly just to be stubborn. It took time, and effort, but I’m proud to say I had a hand in his newfound ability to pretend to be a reasonable human being.”
“Was he really that bad?”
“The man would have worn sweatpants to a major meeting out of sheer spite if he hadn’t been restrained.” Eijirou snorted. “Keep still please.”
“Sorry. Won’t he kill you if he finds out you’re telling me this though?”
“I should be fine. So long as I don’t show the pictures. If you ever need leverage on him, call me.” He had to have been joking, right? But he was so deadpan about it… Wait, was this where Katsuki learned it from? If it was, he had so many bones to pick right now.
“Well then, Mr Kirishima, I have everything I need. The suit should be ready late this evening.”
“That fast? How?”
“I’m used to dealing with high end clientele. I have multiple layers of express service available for purchase. Katsuki chose ‘everyone drop everything and get it done now’ as his option.”
“...But it’s not until next week?”
“You know how he is. Patience isn’t one of his virtues.” If you’ll head this way?”
“You done yet?” Katsuki snapped, as they entered the main shop floor. His glare was mostly reserved, however, for a pair of women who were currently backing away slowly.
“My team have the numbers, and should be starting on it as we speak. I’ll send you a message when it’s complete.”
“Good. Means we can get the fuck out of here. Come on, we’ve got another stop yet.”
“Another? Isn’t the suit- Oh. No. No, you wouldn’t.”
“It’s a fucking mess and you know it!”
“Katsuki, no, I’ll do anything!”
“Good, then you’ll come and do what you’re told.”
As peace descended back on to the shop floor, the girls sighed. “So he was telling the truth after all…”
“All the best ones…”
He stared in disbelief. “I know I’m trying to be begging for my life here, but… I just… You come here ?” Of all the places Eijirou had expected Katsuki to get his hair done, All That Twinkles was decidedly not at the top of the list.
“What, the guy's fucking good at what he does. Stop fucking laughing!”
He tried. Really, he tried. But everything he knew had just proven to be a lie in the most hilarious possible way. “I'm sorry, it’s just…” No, he was too busy laughing to even describe that mental image.
“Right. You're getting a fucking pink buzzcut now.” Eijirou immediately fell silent.
“Please forgive me.”
The salon was the most garish thing Eijirou had ever seen in his life. No one needed that many mirrors, especially when most of them were clearly just there to throw light around. And gold wallpaper? Really?
“What this? You return to allow my hands to grace your tender locks so soon, mon ami?”
“Fuck off Yuuga. My hair’s fine-”
“-it’s this idiot’s I need you to work a fucking miracle on,” he finished, pointedly ignoring the shameless flirting. He was used to it.
“Who would- Mon Dieu! What travesties have you inflicted upon those crimson strands? My stomach is cramping in pain on your behalf! You have no plans, I hope?”
“Nope. I saw this coming.”
“Katsuki, what the hell’s going on?” A pair of assistants were already trying to shepherd him into another room.
“You allow him to pass your name from his lips, mon ami? Would that you would bless me with the same… “
“I told you. He’s going to fix that shitty hair of yours.”
“Fix? You wound me sir. I will transcend it!”
“But Katsuki, I like my hair-”
“And you'll like it even more once you're actually doing something with it besides slapping a full tub of crap into it a day. Just fucking trust me, would you?”
Eijirou looked him straight in the eyes. He did. More than anyone, except maybe his mother. “Alright. Can I at least keep the colour?”
“I wasn't going to have him change it anyway. You wouldn't be fucking you without it.”
“Is the patient ready for me to operate?”
“Yeah. You'd better fucking do a good job.”
“You wound me. Have I ever not?”
“Just get on with it.”
“As you wish,” replied Yuuga, twirling a strand of hair around his finger. “But this will take several hours. You simply cannot rush art.”
After the first ten minutes Eijirou wasn't sure if he was in a salon or a spa.
“Before I even begin to work on you, we must deal with all this cheap product in your hair. A fresh canvas is required here.” Which was how he’d ended up reclined in a ridiculously comfortable chair, head half submerged in pleasantly hot water, with Yuuga massaging his hair and scalp.
“Couldn't you get an assistant to do this bit? You must have better things to do than wash my hair.”
“Not at all. Monsieur Bakugou entrusted you to my care personally, and it not a charge I take lightly. Besides, I have only the more common clientele booked for today, yourself excepted. And I do enjoy a challenge.”
“...Is my hair really that bad?”
“My dear, would you gorge on junk food and nothing else for months, with no exercise, and still expect to have those wonderful muscles?”
“Huh? No, I'd just get fat.”
“Such is what you have been subjecting these tortured locks unto.”
The cleansing took at least half an hour, followed by another hour of what he called ‘rejuvenation’. Eijirou doubted the alchemic monstrosity sat in his hair could actually do that, but he wasn't going to argue. What he was going to argue was when Yuuga returned with a bundle of hair dye.
“I thought you all agreed I could keep my colour!”
“We said we would keep it red, but that amateurish attempt has to go. We shall re-dye it crimson anew. And properly, this time.” He was feeling very attacked about all of this. He just wished he had a defence.
Somehow the dyeing took even longer than the pretreatment, as Yuuga layered on multiple shades and highlights. Eijirou indulged in some small talk just to help pass the time.
“I still can't believe Katsuki comes here. No offence, but it doesn't seem like his kind of place.”
“There is no accounting for his taste, no? If only he had come here sooner.”
“I just… can't picture him getting the full treatment like this.”
“Alas, he has not, because his luxurious mane is a delight to work with. Soft, silky, easy to manage, and naturally such a wonderful ash blonde. I may envy him, at times. But only quietly. He is one of our most loyal clients.”
Eijirou would have sighed, except he was trying not to breathe in the dye. “I keep hearing that today.”
“That does not surprise me. He is a hard man to please, but the things he does like, he holds on to tightly. You should know that well enough, hmm?”
He spluttered, so it was a good job his head was pinned in place. “It’s not like that!”
“Oh? That I can match my colours to your checks says otherwise.”
“I mean…” He glanced around, even though Katsuki clearly wasn’t there. And still dropped his voice. “I do like him… I just… Haven't worked up the courage yet.”
Yuuga paused, thoughtfully. “But what is it you fear? Rejection? I shouldn't fear that at all. Do you not see the tenderness in his eyes when he looks at you? It paints my heart green to see.”
“You… you really think so?”
“The heart is as simple as it is complex. And his is a heart worn on his sleeve. ...Loud as it might be. Hmm. Yes. I think we may be about ready for the reveal.”
Discussion of his love life were quickly forgotten. The results took Eijirou’s breath away.
“It looks, well, completely natural!” It was a darker shade than he usually used, and there were definite coppery undertones, but at this point he didn't even care.
“Of course. Your old colour was unnatural and flat. This is a red worthy of a celtic god. Of course, it still needs work. It lacks any sense of style, and whoever last cut this should have their hands removed. Do you wear it so long by choice?”
“Kind of. I mean, I definitely wouldn't want it shaved off.”
“Hmm… Perhaps… Yes, I see what needs to be done here.”
Two hours. It took two hours, and Yuuga didn't let him look once until it was done. He even made him wear an eye mask. Even blind, he could tell significant amounts of hair were being removed, and it made him nervous. He just had to trust Katsuki. He was the one behind this. It'd be fine. Yuuga had been quiet for awhile, but he’d stopped cutting, and Eijirou could feel his hands styling his hair, when he suddenly spoke.
“Well, what do you think?”
“You're a fucking miracle worker. Even if it did take you fucking ages.”
“Rome was not built in a day. Besides, you were under no obligation to wait here for him.”
Katsuki had done what? For real? It’d been about four hours! And why did he get the feeling Yuuga was saying that for his benefit?
“Just let him fucking see it.”
“With pleasure. May I present the new and immeasurably better coiffed you?”
He hadn't known what to expect. He hadn't expected that. His hair was swept back into a loose feathered faux hawk, the tips just defined enough to bring to mind a ghost of his former spikes. Yuuga must have taken what he’d said on board, because instead of shaving the sides, he’d simply cut them very short, and feathered them backwards to match.
“I… I actually love it.”
“I fucking told you you would.”
“I'm sorry for doubting you. I thought I was in trouble for using gel though?”
“Gallons of cheap nasty stuff, yes. A high quality wax, used sparingly, is of no threat. Mon ami, I place the rest of his rehabilitation into your hands. Do not let him squander my masterpiece. I've grown quite attached to him over these long hours-”
Katsuki growled. Katsuki actually growled .
“Ah. It seems as if we may have run over somewhat, and I'm sure you have places to be. Until next time.” Yuuga made a quick exit, but… had he done that on purpose? It could have just meant that Katsuki didn't like Yuuga in general, but… He didn't have time to think it over, as Katsuki practically dragged him out of the salon.
“Tsunaga said he’s just doing the finishing touches. We can do a last fitting.”
They made him try the suit on blind too.
“I was surprised when you suggested it, but it really does suit him, doesn't it? And your trip to Yuuga was a resounding success.”
“Of course it all fucking works. I picked it, remember?”
“So you did. Well then, Mr Kirishima. If you’d open your eyes.”
It was a deep wine red. Kirishima didn't even know suits could come in that colour, but he loved it already.
“As you can see, we opted for a double breasted jacket. You're very broad shouldered, so we made it a focus, rather than hide it. A white shirt, and black tie should need no explanation, and if you look you'll notice the front panels are embroidered with a gear pattern trim. Despite the suggestion nearly giving me a heart attack, the execution is subtle enough to add interest without being tacky.”
“Katsuki… this is all-”
“Amazing? Yeah. Gush when we get home. I'm sick of shopping for one day.”
“Should you need anything else, you need only ask. If you’d like to change back, I'll package everything up for you.”
He was sad to take the suit off, bit equally terrified of so much as smudging it. He settled for running a fascinated hand through his new hair instead. Soft was a new sensation for him.
“Stop messing with it,” Katsuki snapped in the back of the car. He’d arranged for his driver to take them and bring them back.
“Sorry. It's just so… Hnngh, I love it. Hey, Katsuki? When we get back, let me make dinner. You've been spoiling me all day, and I want to at least do something to show I appreciate it.”
It was a damn amazing steak, even if he did say so himself. If only he hadn't bottled it when he tried to confess his feelings to Katsuki.
Social will be next chapter. I promise. Really.
And thus we have a makeover episode. With yet more characters that no one expected. Somewhere, Uraraka is lamenting that she hasn't even been mentioned yet. I'll... probably think of something.
The reaction to his new look on Monday was priceless.
“Dude, when the fuck did you get so hot? You ever feel like rebounding, hit me up-”
Mina smacked him on the back of the head. “He’s right though, you do look good. Even if it will take some getting used to. I haven't seen you change it since you started dying it.”
“I bet he wouldn't have if anyone else had asked. What? Come on, this screams the boss’ handiwork.” He wished Hanta wasn't so right.
“I mean… He is stylish-”
“-and you still haven't told him.”
“Don't try and deny it Eiji. If you had, you’d be an uncontrollable mess of joy.”
He sighed. “...I know.”
“Do it. Because if it comes down to it, I'll frogmarch you in there and do it myself.”
“She really would,” agreed Hanta.
Six more times. Six more times that week Eijirou tried to tell him how he felt, but every time he lost his nerve. He could feel Mina judging him more and more each day, but he just couldn't do it. And he knew why. He was loving every moment spent with him, even just as friends. And as much as he wanted more, he was even more scared of losing what he had.
Before he knew it, it was already Saturday, and he was getting ready for what probably would have been a date if he wasn't such a fucking coward.
“You ready or what? ...Can’t believe they're fucking starting drinking at two.”
“Yeah, sorry, I'll be right out. Well, how do I look?”
“Perfect. Even if I do say so myself.”
“Thanks… You look pretty good too.” Both his jacket and waistcoat were hanging open, and his tie was draped around his neck. By all rights he should have looked scruffy, but the fact that it was on Katsuki just made the entire thing roguishly hot.
“Like I need anyone to tell me that.”
“I mean it though. I almost offended how well you pull that off.” An odd look crossed his face.
“Whatever. The sooner we get there the sooner we can leave.”
He’d been there two minutes. He already felt horribly out of place.
“Katsuki, it’s good to see you made it.”
“I said I’d fucking come. Or are you calling me a liar?”
“Not at all,” replied to woman, who Eijirou was assuming was Ms Yaoyorozu. “We’re just glad to have you finally join us. And you must be Eijirou,” she added, offering a hand. “It’s good to meet you in person.”
“Same,” he replied, taking it, and trying to look anywhere but her very low cut dress. He’d actually mistaken the sleek red and gold number she was wearing for being sequinned, but up close he realised it was actually the material itself that was reflecting the light.
“We’ll have to speak later, but for now, please, enjoy yourselves.”
They’d hired out an entire rooftop bar that was exclusive enough at the best of times for the event, heated to ward off the winter chill. Waiters wove with trays of champagne flutes between groups of people Eijirou recognised from papers, or from glimpses before and after meetings when he still worked for the Iidas. Wait, when did that glass get in his hand?
“Ugh… I’m not really that fond of champagne…”
“Then don’t fucking drink it. I’m getting a whiskey. You usually have beer or vodka, right?”
“Yeah, but that doesn't seem classy enough for here… Maybe a gin and tonic?” His hand started to reach for his wallet, but Katsuki caught him.
“Don't you even fucking dare.”
“Katsuki? I’d heard you were coming, but I wasn't sure of it was just a rumour.”
We were stood at the bar waiting for the drinks, when the voice came from behind us. The brown haired girl in thr white and pink dress seemed familiar, but Eijirou couldn't place her. But she beamed at them like she was greeting an old friend.
“Oh, Ochaco? You come to these?”
“This is my third year. Which you’d know, if you ever showed your face.”
“Yeah well I didn't fucking want to.”
She must have noticed Eijirou standing there awkwardly, because she turned to him. “Well? Aren't you going to introduce me to your handsome friend?”
“Pfft, whatever. This is Ochaco Uraraka. She’s the owner of the biggest construction firm on the east coast, and just about tolerable to be around.”
“That's high praise from him. I'm Eijirou. Eijirou Kirishima. I’m-”
“My plus one,” Katsuki cut in. Was he ashamed he’d brought his assistant?
“Well it’s nice to meet you. So, how’s new year looking? Are you going to top yourself again?”
“I always fucking do.” The pyrotechnic firm remained the heart of his business, and while he was more hands off these days, he was still the organiser for nearly every large scale display in America. The one thing he always did make sure to plan personally, however, was the New Year's display for Times Square. And it was always spectacular.
“That's all you'll get out of him. He won't even tell me anything about it.”
“That's because it's on a need to know basis, and you don't.”
“Does that mean you've finished planning it Katsuki?”
He shrugged. “The actual display, sure. Just not locked down some of the colours. What about you? Any big contracts lined up?”
“That's why I'm here. It's amazing what people want after the third glass.” She winked at them. “Yours is still one of our best works though. Oh, Tsuyu!” She beckoned a woman over. “Tsuyu’s our top architect. I’d never have managed to get the big deals without her.”
“Oh stop. You do the hard work. I just draw pictures.”
She was disconcertingly expressionless, but she seemed friendly enough.
“Eijirou. I heard people say.”
“R-right. It’s nice to meet you.”
The four of them made small talk for a while, which mostly amounted to Katsuki and Ochaco talking about work while Eijirou and Tsuyu stood around like awkward third wheels. It was almost disconcerting seeing him being so civil. Eventually though he sloped back off to the bar, so Ochaco took the chance to actually talk to other people.
Leaving Eijirou awkward and alone surrounded by rich people. He was about to follow after Katsuki, when he spotted a face he hadn't expected to see there.
“Oh, Eijirou? This is a surprise. But please, just call me Tenya. You don't work for me anymore after all.”
“True, but old habits, Mr- Uh, Tenya. I wasn't expecting to see you here.”
“Well, we might not own Ingenium any more, but Tensei still has a lot of contacts. He’s been introducing a lot of people to each other. How have you been? It was something of a surprise when I heard you were working for Bakugou now.”
“I got asked directly,” he admitted.
“Really? They must have worked quickly. You barely had a week off, didn't you?”
“I went to college with one of his managers. She knew I worked for you, so she emailed me about it. It’s… actually going really well.”
“I’d gathered, since I'm assuming you're here as his plus one. And you look well. Better than I ever remember when you worked for me.”
“You really think so?” he asked, genuinely surprised.
“I do. And it must be similar for Bakugou, for you to have convinced him to come.”
“How did you-”
“It’s hardly a coincidence now, is it? And you can be surprisingly persuasive when you feel strongly about something.”
“I don't know… Oh!” His eyes lit up when he saw the shock of ash blonde hair. “I'll talk to you later. Katsuki!”
He was nearly to him, when Katsuki stopped dead.
“Katsuki?” He followed his gaze. Even though he'd never met them, there was no mistaking that red and white hair, or that scar, or the green hair next to him. Shouto Todoroki, and Izuku Midoriya. Shouto said something, Izuku laughed, the two kissed.
The glass in Katsuki’s hand shattered. Eijirou chased after him.
He found him in a far corner, hidden from view from the rest of the party, blood trickling down his hand.
“That's why I never fucking came. Those two. Rubbing it in my fucking face.”
Katsuki flinched as Eijirou gently placed a hand on his shoulder. His eyes were red, as though he couldn't pick between being angry and crying. Eijirou opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. What did he say? What could he say?
“I met him at college.”
Katsuki nodded. “We were friends. We’d talk for hours about anything and everything. Our dreams for the future…”
“You liked him?” he asked, his heart sinking.
“Taking Endeavour over from his asshole old man was supposed to be our fucking dream!” he yelled, knuckles whitening around the railing, before he winced, blood trickling from it.
“Let me take a look… What happened? Did it not work out?” he asked, as he started pulling out the shard of glass stuck in his hand.
“I never got a fucking chance. When…” He grimaced, but Eijirou was pretty sure it wasn't because of the glass. Eijirou squeezed his shoulder. “I went to meet him after class, and there was fucking Izuku, asking him out like I didn't even fucking exist! I was… I was so fucking mad! He was supposed to be my fucking best friend, and he went and fucking did that to me!”
Warm wetness dropped onto Eijirou’s hand. “It hurt. It hurt so fucking much, and they never even fucking noticed! They were so busy being loved up in front of me that they never even fucking noticed when I stopped talking to them!”
“Did he know?”
“What?” he asked, head snapping around.
“Had you ever told either of them how you felt?”
“I- I never got the fucking chance. That's why I went to meet him.”
“Then can you really blame him? How was he supposed to know you already had your eye on him? If you left it too late, and missed your chance-” He stopped, and let out a laugh, harsh and joyless. “Oh, who am I kidding? I can't talk to you about this, when I can't even listen to my own advice. When I can't even tell you how I feel,” he said, tears in his own eyes. “All these weeks too scared to tell you I loved you-” Katsuki’s eyes widened. “-when I never had a damn chance, did I? I should have seen how strongly you felt about him, and let's face it, how am I supposed to even match that-”
He was cut off, as warm lips pressed themselves against his mouth. Eijirou gasped, seeing the ruby eyes an inch from his. This was a dream, right? It had to be.
“...At least let me fucking answer before you start wallowing in self pity…” mumbled Katsuki, pulling back slightly.
“No, I just fucking kissed you out of pity. Of course I fucking like you! And I was being pretty fucking obvious about it!”
“Then- Why didn’t you say anything?” he asked, head still pressed close to Katsuki’s.
“Because you kept giving me mixed signals. Sometimes you seemed into it, but sometimes you fucking ran for it. How the fuck was I supposed to tell without scaring you off?”
“And here I was too scared to tell you in case I lost you as a friend. I’m such an idiot.”
“No fucking complaints there. Now are you gonna keep fucking talking, or are we gonna finish that kiss?” Eijirou pulled him closer, and this time it was his turn to shut him up.
“So… Next time someone asks, you can introduce me as your boyfriend?” Eijirou asked, when they came up for air.
“Nah, you’re just some guy I stick my tongue in. What do you fucking think?”
“Just checking. I’m trying to learn a lesson about assumptions.”
“Yeah, well just don’t expect to get it easy at work because we’re together.”
“Hah, if you did that I’d ask who the fuck you were,” he laughed, and this time it was genuine. He could have stayed like that forever, but there was a party they were supposed to be at. And this section of the roof wasn’t heated. “C’mon babe, let’s get back to the party, and let them all see just how happy we are.” Katsuki’s eyes widened slightly. “Sorry. You don’t mind me calling you babe, do you?”
“No, ‘s nice,” he replied, pressing his forehead to Eijirou’s. He shivered.
“Yeah, let’s get you back in the warm.”
“...A’ight Eiji,” he said with a sigh. “What? If you get a pet name I’m fucking having one too.”
Katsuki’s arm was around his waist when they rejoined the party. It took all of ten seconds for Ochaco to notice.
“Aha, looks like I get to be the first to congratulate you two!”
“The actual fuck? How do you even fucking do that?”
“Oh, the way you two were with each other before screamed UST. Then you disappear, and come back both looking all happy and loved up? My romance sense are never wrong.”
“Yeah, well- thanks,” he conceded, begrudgingly accepting the well wishes.
“Seriously, I really am thrilled for you. You deserve to be happy.”
Eijirou responded by quickly kissing his boyfriend - and he was still getting tingles every time he even thought that- just to announce to the world how happy he was. He was pretty sure he saw the flash of a camera, but he didn’t care. Neither of them did.
“Are they finally getting it on?” Tsuyu asked from nowhere, sending a rush of crimson to Eijirou’s face.
“Yup. They’re both off the market.”
“Guys, seriously… Hey, don’t you have a ton of people to introduce me to babe?” Ochaco managed to mostly squash a small squeal.
“Yeah, you’re right. I need to make sure everyone knows I’ve got the best looking boyfriend here.”
The pair did the rounds, meeting and greeting whole hosts of people Eijirou knew he’d never remember the names of, but who Katsuki was still more than happy to introduce him to, making small talk about their respective businesses before whisking him on. After a few rounds of that, Eijirou smiled at the face he saw in the crowd.
“Oh, let me do one babe.” Katsuki followed his gaze. He grinned.
“Go on then.”
“Hey again Tenya. And Tensei, it’s good to see you too.”
“Kirishima? And Mr Bakugou? We haven’t spoken since the deal. How is Ingenium doing?”
“Great. I wouldn’t have fucking bought it if I’d thought it wasn’t going to.”
“True enough, that would be bad business. Have the staff taken to the move okay?” asked Tensei, sipping the champagne in his hand.
“Not much changed for them. They knew what they were fucking doing, I wasn’t going to change it for the sake of it. Besides, this one made it worth it by himself.” Eijirou matched his hair again, but he couldn’t keep the smile off his face.
“I should probably thank you too. If you hadn’t sold to him, I’d still be single.”
“I thought as much from our earlier conversation,” Tenya replied. “Congratulations, and I’m only mildly upset that I now have to make my own appointments because of it.”
Eijirou laughed. “Come on, you must be able to find a new assistant.”
“With your skill? Not so easy. Besides, I’m only working on small side projects right now. I couldn’t justify it.”
“What are you fucking working on? If you’re here you mustn’t have fucking retired. And you could have done. I gave you enough fucking money.”
“We could have done, but I’m not built for sitting around a growing a beard,” Tensei laughed. “I keep buying Nascar racers.”
“And I think you’re a fool every time, but you won’t listen.”
“Listen to him, he’s worse than our mother.”
Katsuki’s face fell. “Shit. I’m going to have to tell the old hag, aren’t I?”
“I’ll trade you for telling mine.”
“What do you expect me to fucking do? Hello, Mrs Kirishima? This is your son’s boyfriend, except he was too much of a bitch to tell you himself?”
“Yeah. Pretty much. That sounds great.”
“Fuck you,” he said, but there was a smile on his lips as he said it, but it faltered. Eijirou had seen them too.
“...I think you should babe, but it doesn't have to be today if you're not ready.”
“...No. I've made them wait fucking long enough. Sorry, Iiidas. I've got something I need to take care of.”
“It was good to see you again,” Eijirou added, before following at his boyfriend's side.
“...Hey, Izuku. Shouto.”
Are you happy now?
(Also, 300 kudos? Where are you people even coming from?)
“Katsu? Is that you?”
“H-how have you been?” Izuku stammered. “You haven’t spoken to me for years...”
Katsuki glanced around. “Can we talk somewhere a bit more private? I guess I owe you a fucking explanation…”
“Sure, no problem,” he replied, but he cast a worried look at Shouto.
They found a table in a corner. It wasn't uncommon to see people hashing out early deals like that, so it was unlikely anyone would bother them.
“Um, Katsu? Who is this?” Izuku asked, eyes warily on Eijirou.
“Right, right. This is Eiji, my-” he took a deep breath. “-boyfriend.”
“Nice to meet you,” he added awkwardly.
“Was that why you stopped talking to us after you started dating? You needed time to figure yourself out?”
“What? Fuck, no. I figured that shit out years ago. You just beat me to the fucking punch.”
Izuku’s eyes went wide with realisation. “You liked me?”
“No! I've known you since we were fucking kids, that'd be fucking weird!”
“He means me,” Shouto said simply, realizing more correctly. “The day you asked me out Izuku… I’d forgotten until now, but it wasn't you I was waiting for. Katsuki had asked me to meet him there after class. He did it all the time, but that day he didn't say why.”
“And I got to you first? Oh, god, Katsu, I never knew! I’m so sorry!”
“Yeah, well, it's my own fault for taking so fucking long to do anything about it.”
“I'm more at fault. I text him while he was probably watching us kiss to say something had come up.”
“Yeah, like your dick.”
Eijirou snorted. He tried not to, he tried so hard, but there was no way he could resist being blindsided by that. Izuku’s shock eventually gave way to a smile, while Shouto was completely deadpan.
“It's a fair assessment. I also should have realised you were avoiding us.”
“At first I thought you just didn't want to be a third wheel. But I should have seen the signs. I mean, I've seen you hold a grudge for eight years because someone took your lunch when we were six.”
“Then this would match the timeframe for him getting over it,” Shouto replied, still completely deadpan.
“Shou, this is a little more serious than taking his lunch. Besides, he didn’t get over it. He beat him up and took his lunch money to pay it back. Sixteen days in a row, because he’d calculated the interest.”
“Did you have to fucking bring that up?”
“Hey, I’m not the one who ignored his best friend’s texts and calls for eight years,” Izuku shot back. “And you’re only embarrassed because I said it in front of your boyfriend,” he teased.
Katsuki went deathly silent. Eijirou held his breath.
“You want to talk about the fucking time I caught him dressed as All Might and running around pretending to be him?”
“Huh? Babe, don’t kids do that all the time?” Eijirou asked, not seeing the colour drain from Izuku’s face.
“He was Nineteen.” Eijirou started to open his mouth. “And sober.” It closed again.
“...Didn’t you tell me those were pyjamas?”
“They are!” Izuku shouted, earning a few strange looks and turning a shade that even put Eijirou to shame.
“I should probably thank you both,” said Eijirou, looking between the two of them. “I mean, if this love triangle hadn't been such a mess there’s no way he would have been on the market for me to snag. ...what? Come on, we’re way past the heartfelt apologies here.”
“No, he’s right,” Katsuki agreed. “If you hadn't gotten to Shouto first, I wouldn't have ended up with a way better boyfriend than you.”
Izuku gasped. “You take that back! Sho’s hotter and you know it!”
Eijirou looked at Shouto and groaned. “I am so sorry I pushed him to make up.”
“It's just like old times.”
“...This is never going to stop, is it?”
“...You get used to it.”
With the three of them passive aggressively reminiscing, there wasn’t much Eijirou could add to the conversation, so he slipped off to get more drinks.
“Oh, Eijirou? You’re not with Mr Bakugou?” Momo was stood behind him, flanked by two other women.
“Huh? Oh, Momo. You’re done greeting people?”
“Yes, the last few to appear arrived a while ago, so I’m finally free to talk to people myself. Mr Bakugou didn’t leave, did he?”
“Oh, no. He’s over there, catching up with Izuku and Shouto.” She gasped. She actually gasped.
“After all this time?”
“You knew about that?”
“Not why, but he’d made comments before about them being present. I'd wanted to ask how you'd talked him round, but I think I already have my answer. Here, let me introduce you. This is Tooru Hagakure, freelance journalist and photographer.”
“Nice to meet you, and thanks for the excellent photo opportunity earlier.” Earlier…? Oh, she must have been the one who took their photo while he was kissing Katsuki.
“Uh, you’re welcome? I can't say I noticed you before.”
“The tabloids’ll eat that right up. Assuming you've no complaints about it getting out?”
“This event is invitation only, and that includes the press. Tooru is on the guest list because I've worked with her enough to trust her not to put out anything personal that the person in question would rather keep private.”
“I don't mind, though I don't know if Katsuki will. Although… how long would it be until they went out?”
“Monday at the earliest. Why?”
“Oh, good. That gives me time to tell my parents.”
“...They don't know?”
“It happened here? Can I put that in the scoop?”
“I mean, it is true. Um, sorry, you were?” he added, looking to the other women. “We got a little sidetracked.”
“Kyouka Jirou, Momo’s very bored plus one,” she replied, lazily offering a hand.
“She’s also the head of media and advertising at Creati.”
“Let's face it though. That's not why I'm here.”
Eijirou was about to ask what she meant, when he caught the faint blush on Momo’s cheeks. Ah. A kindred spirit.
“Well, I'm going to keep doing the rounds,” said Tooru, readying her camera. “So far you're the most interesting thing to happen here, and the free food won’t quite make up for the lack of scoops.”
“Hmm. I'll see you later then Tooru. Eijirou, should we find a seat? I'd like to pick your brains on Mr Bakugou, if you don't mind.”
It wasn't quite as out of the way as the previous table, but at least they weren't being jostled. Momo took a sip of champagne.
“I know you have… advantages, when it comes to dealing with Mr Bakugou, but I was hoping you might have some insight in how I could make dealing with him a little… smoother?”
“Sheesh, just be honest that dealing with him gives you major anxiety Mo.”
“What? It's true.”
“E-even so, a better business relationship would benefit everyone, don't you think?”
“Hmm, I guess,” he agreed, pausing to think about it. “Well, for a start, I think he’d prefer Kyouko. And I don't mean badly,” he added quickly, “but he prefers people who talk straight with him. If you treat him like a ticking time bomb, worrying about what to do or say to not piss him off, it's already too late. Just, you know, treat him like he’s a normal person. Calling him Katsuki would be a decent start.”
“But wouldn't he find that disrespectful?”
“That's the thing. He can tell the difference between showing him respect and actually respecting him, and he hates people sucking up to him. Oh, and after a while you start to get a feel for the difference between when he’s angry and when he’s just yelling out of bluster, because if you make a joke at his expense he’ll yell at you over it even if he isn't actually mad and thought it was really funny-” Both of them were staring at him. “...what?”
“You’ve got it really bad, you know that?” Kyouka said, as she downed a mouthful of what Eijirou suspected was vodka.
“I know…” he said with a groan. He took a sip of his own drink, the coughed and spluttered as Katsuki’s whiskey hit his lips. “Oh, crap, I forgot I had a drink for him. I should probably go find him, and make sure they've not killed each other or dragged me into anything that’ll defile me forever. I'm sure I'll catch you around somewhere,” he added, as he stood to leave. “But seriously, don’t worry about it. He’s really not that bad.”
To his relief, he didn’t return to a body, but he did return to a boyfriend who’d noticed his absence.
“What the fuck took you so long?”
“Sorry, Momo ambushed me. Did I miss anything?”
“Just the pair if them sharing embarrassing stories. I'm not convinced all of them were true.”
“Huh. I'm not sure whether to be disappointed or relieved.”
“Relieved,” snapped Katsuki, as Izuku replied “Disappointed” in perfect unison.
Eijirou was about to answer, when Momo’s voice came out over the speakers, temporarily silencing the ambient music.
“Excuse me, if I could have everyone’s attention. If everyone would please make their way to the restaurant on the floor below, this evening's dinner will begin serving in thirty minutes. I'm pleased to announce that this year the dinner is the work of Rikido Satou, who has taken time to oversee preparations personally. Thank you.” The music gently returned as Momo finished the announcement.
“So that’s who the catering was this time. I guess Momo hasn't spared any expense,” Izuku said, though he didn't sound anywhere near surprised enough in Eijirou’s opinion. Maybe having an internationally known celebrity chef catering your corporate gathering was normal when you were this rich?
“Come on,” said Katsuki, downing his drink, “I'm fucking starving.”
“Then let's go,” Eijirou agreed, and smiled when Katsuki slipped a hand into his.
The chandelier was probably a bit much. He’d have to google it later and find out whether that was the building’s bad taste or Momo’s. The waiters he’d expected. The quantity, he… probably should have expected as well. One of them approached the two of them and bowed as they entered the candlelit hall.
“Mister Bakugou and mister Kirishima? If you'd care to follow me, your table is this way.”
To his pleasant surprise, he was seated next to Tenya, currently talking to Ochako who was next to Katsuki. Tensei and Asui filled the remainder of the table, and glancing around the rapidly filling room, Momo’s true talent quickly became apparent. Almost everyone who Kirishima recognised from that day was seated with people he’d seen them talking to. Every table was harmonious, and he realised that Momo didn't just know everyone in wall street. She knew who they knew, and got along with. The entire seating plan was a delicate and precise work of art.
The waiter stepped forwards, handing each of them a menu. “Would you care for more drinks while you decide?”
“I'll take a brandy.”
“Babe, should you be mixing drinks?”
“Just shut the fuck up and order.”
“Alright, alright. A red wine for me please.”
“Rosé for me,” Ochaco said.
“Just water,” added Tsuyu.
“The house white, if you would,” Tenya asked. Tensei rolled his eyes.
“You’re so boring. Vodka martini on the rocks. So, what was that you were saying Ochaco?”
Tenya groaned. “Blast, I thought we’d escaped that topic.”
“Nope! And I still think you should give it a try.”
“Give what a try?” asked Eijirou.
“Dating Tsuyu.” He would have spit out his drink if he had one.
“I already told you Ochaco, I’m not looking for anyone right now.”
“I wouldn’t date you anyway.” At this point it was a miracle he wasn’t choking.
“Drat. Tensei?” He held up a ringed finger.
“Already spoken for.”
Ochaco sighed. “I guess operation find Tsuyu a boyfriend will have to wait… Unless… Hey, Katsuki?”
“I’m fucking spoken for and you know it.”
“Not you, obviously. But I don’t suppose you have anyone that works for you…?”
“The fuck should I know about their damn love lives? ...Though Denki’s probably fucking desperate enough.”
“True,” agreed Eijirou. “He did hit on me when I got in on Monday.”
“What? That fucker! I’ll fucking kill him!”
“Babe, babe, breathe! We weren’t dating then, remember?”
“That’s- Ngh, fine, but if he tries anything again there’ll be blood!”
“...Babe. Please don’t get arrested.”
“I won’t. I’ve got a fucking amazing lawyer.”
“See, Tsuyu? This is what I want for you!”
The food was excellent. All five courses of it. Or six. He still wasn’t convinced that all those desserts only counted as one.
“I’m not usually too fond of mass catering, but they really outdid themselves with this one,” said Ochaco, polishing off the last of a mango vacherin.
“Hmm. Momo did an excellent job getting Rikidou, though the steak was perhaps a mite overdone,” agreed Tenya, who was trying to ignore how drunk Tensei was getting.
“That’s why you don’t get a fucking steak if you can’t yell at the chef to make sure they get it fucking right.”
“But babe, you sent the duck back. Twice.”
“It’s not my fucking fault they didn’t know how to fucking crisp up the skin!”
“It was fun watching you nearly choke on the lobster though,” Tsuyu pointed out, and Eijirou buried his head in his hands.
“Please don’t remind me of that.” On the plus side, it had distracted him from how disconcerting it was to be surrounded by rich people. He’d hoped Tsuyu at least was closer to his level, but it looked like she was used to events like this too.
A glass rand near the center of the room, where Momo had taken to her feet.
“Everyone, I want to thank you all for coming, but first, let me present the architect of this evening’s meal, Mr Satou.”
For someone known for his sweets and desserts, Eijirou hadn’t expected someone so… burly.
“Thank you, everyone, and I hope you all enjoyed your meals.” There was a polite round of applause. “I won’t take up too much of your time, but I do have a small announcement. As I’m sure you’re aware, the tables at my restaurant, Sugar Man, have been booked out for christmas dinner for several months now. However, I do in fact have several tables still available, and exclusively to those gathered in this room.” An excited murmur ran around the room. “In two weeks, any unclaimed will go on to general sale, but I hope to see at least some of you there. Thank you for your time.”
“Huh, so that’s- Babe. Babe, no.” He could see him, considering it.
“What? Just because I want to enjoy a fucking decent meal with you?”
“I’d rather spend christmas at home. You know. With you.” He tried to ignore Ochako sighing, while watching them very intently.
“Then I’ll get a fucking chef in-”
“Babe, I’ll cook.”
“Ugh, I can’t take it, you guys are too adorable.”
“Oh, yeah, definitely Ochaco. I’m kind of salty he wasn’t like that with Tenya.”
“Tensei, please. Could the pair of you kindly stop interfering with my love life?”
“But you don’t have one. That’s the problem.”
“Tensei. I’m trying to listen to Momo’s speech.” Crap. Eijirou had no clue what she’d just been saying. Hopefully it was nothing important.
“Huh, she must be done. People are starting to leave.” And she was coming over. All of a sudden, Eijirou felt like a kid who’d been taught talking in class again.
“Um, this might sound a little strange but…” Momo hesitated, until it looked suspiciously like Kyouka jabbed her in the back with her elbow. “I’m hosting an after party. Unofficially, and private. I’m only inviting a few people I’ve known for a while.”
“And you fucking picked us?”
“Well, all six of you are invited of course.”
“Well, I’m in.”
“Tensei, you’ve been at it for hours already. Do you really think this is a good idea?”
Tenya groaned. “Fine, if only to keep him from doing something irepperably stupid.”
“Well, I had no plans,” Ochaco added, looking at Tsuyu hopefully.
“I’m not interested. I’ll see you at work on Monday Ochaco.”
“But, but- How will I introduce you to people if you’re not there?”
“You can’t. That’s the point.”
Katsuki snorted with laughter, then immediately regretted it, as Momo bore down on him.
“What about you M- Katsuki?” He raised an eyebrow, but didn’t comment.
“Not fucking interested.”
“What? Come on babe. It’s still early, and it sounds fun.” Eijirou leaned over and down, placing his chin on Katsuki’s shoulder. Katsuki rolled his eyes. But he caved.
“Excellent. It’s a shame you won’t be joining us Tsuyu, but I understand. For the rest of you, could you meet me by the exit in about twenty minutes? I still have more people to invite.”
Surprisingly, Izuku and Shouto were there, along with a handful of other people Eijirou hadn’t spoken to.
“Katsu, you’re coming?” Izuku sounded genuinely thrilled. And slightly drunk.
“Yeah, so what? So where did you have in fucking mind?” asked Katsuki, trying not to be drawn into that conversation right there.
“Um, well, actually… My house? Assuming no one has any objections to that…”
There was a distinct lack of complaining.
“See, Mo? I told you they’d be fine with it. Stop worrying.”
“Well, I didn’t want to assume… I, um, actually live not too far from here. I have a few cars waiting.”
Her apartment wasn’t as big as Katsuki’s but she clearly had a similar sense of taste. Aside from the large collection of instruments and records, which he’d put money on being Kyouka’s. It turned out she’d been planning this for a few weeks, because her fridges were well stocked with alcohol, and Kyouka already had her entire dj booth set up. Two beers later, Eijirou was drunk enough to want to dance, and was hung off Katsuki trying to get him to agree.
“Eiji, I’m not fucking dancing,” he grumbled, trying to get more booze down his own throat.
“But babe, Izuku’s dancing with Shouto-” Katsuki practically dragged him to the dancefloor by his tie.
“You better dance the fucking shit out of this.”
“You know it babe.”
Never had there been a dance off so passive aggressive. Every move became more over the top, as the pair tried to out do each other, Eijirou and Shouto dragged along for the ride, but Eijirou didn’t mind. He was dancing with his boyfriend. Even if it was to show up his boyfriend’s best friend that he hadn’t spoken to for years because of his dating life and everyone was stupidly rich and fuck his life was weird.
And then Ochaco broke the floodgates on the karaoke. Singing showtunes, lied back across a table. Showtunes to which Tensei apparently knew all the words. So did Eijirou, but apparently he wasn’t drunk enough for that . Or maybe he was. Surely there was no other explanation for his brain trying to tell him that Izuku and Shouto were duetting hot and cold. At Katsuki. And Shouto was terrifyingly good at it (Izuku not so much).
He practically held his breath, as Katsuki stood up, stalked over, ripped the mic off them… and started singing my way. And he was incredible. Eijirou wasn't even mad that it was yet another thing his boyfriend was amazing at. He was too busy being in awe.
“Fuck, I'm gay.”
“Shyeah, we noticed, you've kissed him like, five times since we got here,” slurred Tensei, propped up slightly by his declared new best friend Ochaco.
“‘s so rude of him. If he’s gay, how am I supposed to set him up with Tsu?”
“Ménage à trois?” Tensei helpfully supplied.
“How is it you can pronounce that flawlessly, yet can't even stand?” Tenya asked with a sigh. “You're heading home. You've had quite enough for one day.”
“Nooooo! Don't take my musical buddy! He was going to be my phantom!”
“Another time. I'm sorry you had to see him like this, Eijirou.”
“Huh?” he’d been transfixed by Katsuki, and hadn't even noticed them talk. “You're going? See you around then,” he added absently, completely absorbed in the last big notes, and utterly failing to be surprised when he dropped the mic.
He didn't even get a chance to talk before Eijirou pulled him into a kiss.
“...How drunk are you?” he noticeably complained only after they'd finished.
“Maybe very?” Eijirou admitted. “Or just lots?”
Katsuki glanced at his watch. “It's fucking two am. How the fuck? I'm getting you home.”
“...Are you coming too?”
“No, I'm staying here. Of course I'm fucking coming. Momo, we’re heading off. Later.”
Eijirou wasn't actually drunk enough to need help getting out of the car back, and it was Katsuki who was having trouble getting his thumb on the scanner. So Eijirou helped him. Even if that meant pressing against him from behind and helping guide his arm.
“I can fucking do it myself.”
“I know. ‘s an excuse.”
Eijirou was still holding him when they got out of the lift.
“Mmm, ‘kay. Love you,” he added, as he started to head to bed.
“The fuck do you think you're going?” Eijirou stopped, confused. “What good’s having a fucking boyfriend if he isn't going to warm the bed up for me?” The penny finally dropped.
A few minutes later, he was already asleep, arms wrapped around Katsuki.
Woo! Things! Parties! Drunk people! A tired writer going to bed!
Apparently waking up in a strange bed incredibly hungover with Katsuki pressed against him was bad for Eijirou‘s nerves. Katsuki grunted as he shifted in surprise.
“Mmmgh, stay fucking still.”
“Sorry babe,” he managed, as his brain caught up to the events of yesterday, and he realised in relief that he was in fact wearing pants. “What time is it?”
“Too fucking early, so go back to fucking sleep.”
It was already light though, so he forced his eyes to focus on the screen of his phone (still in the pocket of the pants he'd failed to remove). “Babe, it's already eleven.”
“Fuck this morning, fuck the sun, and fuck you for waking me up. Now shut up and go back to being a fucking pillow.”
Eijirou couldn't argue with that.
They finally moved at around two, when hunger managed to overwhelm the general unpleasantness that was being conscious. Unfortunately, his hangover was well beyond the point that could be relieved by stodge and coffee, and he lay with his head on the counter, next to his empty plate.
“Babe. Make the sun go away. Bribe it or something.” Katsuki grumbled, but, miraculously, the room really did darken. “I knew rich people were magic!”
“Fuck off. I just darkened the windows.”
“That’s what I said. Magic.” He winced as he moved too quickly, then winced some more when a realisation hit him. “Oh, crap. I need to phone mom. She’ll kill me if she finds out before I tell her.”
“How the fuck we should even find out?”
“The reporter? She got pictures of us?”
“Babe, she asked you if she could run them to print.”
“No fucking clue who you’re on about. You still fucking drunk Eiji?”
Eijirou sighed. “No. Well, probably not. And it doesn’t change me needing to talk to mom. I think I'll grab a shower first though. See if it wakes me up a bit. You should let your parents know too,” he added.
“Fuck no. The hag’d want to meet you, and then she’d have an excuse to visit.”
“What if I want to meet her?”
“Then there’s something fucking wrong with you.”
“Yeah, probably,” Eijirou agreed with a grin. “After all, I fell for you, didn't I?”
“Alright, but can you wait until after I talk to mom?” He ducked, as a chopping board sailed through the air where his head had been. At least he hadn't gone for the knives.
The shower didn't help, but at least it let him pretend he was a functioning human being to himself. He groaned, thumb hovering over the call button. He was way too hungover for this.
“Hey, mom? Yeah, I have news. What? No, I haven't quit. No, he hasn't fired me either- Mom, I still have a job! It’s- Look, I have a boyfriend. What do you mean when am I moving in with him? Yes, it would be weird if I was living with another man, but I'm not- No, Katsuki isn't a girl! He’s my boyfriend! Yes, mom. I've already considered that dating my boss is a risky move for my career if it doesn't work out, but… I think it will. I have a good feeling about this. I know mom. I love you too. I'll talk to you again soon.”
He hung up, sighed, paused, and then sent her a picture of him and Katsuki. Hopefully that'd make her feel better-
What did you do to your hair? Are you having a midlife crisis?
He flopped down onto the couch, by complete coincidence draping himself over Katsuki’s knees.
“The fuck’s wrong with you?”
“Babe, she’s even more stubborn than you.”
“Also she insulted my gorgeous hair!”
He’d expected him to blow up. What he hadn't expected was Katsuki’s surprisingly gentle fingers running through his hair. “Who gives a fuck what anyone else thinks?”
“I thought I did, but you're very persuasive.”
“Fuck right I am.”
There was a pause.
“Babe, you're not expecting to me to move now, are you?”
“I'll fucking kill you if you do.”
“...Movie and takeaway then?”
That Monday was the first time since any of them had started working there that Katsuki wasn't the first in the office.
“You think he’s ill?” Denki asked, eyeing the empty office. It was still only twenty to eight, but this was unheard of. The man barely even took holidays, unless Mina forced him.
“No,” Mina replied, checking her emails again. “He'd have let us know if he was.”
“Why? Is that what he did last time?” asked Sero. “...Mina?”
“...I don't know. He’s never been ill. But I'm sure Eiji would have said something.”
“Hey, yeah, Eijirou's usually here by now too. You think it’s both of them? There’s no way they're hungover from Saturday, is there?”
“No. Mr Bakugou wouldn't get that drunk. And Eiji has too high a tolerance for a two day hangover. Both of them… I wonder.”
“This is your fault,” Katsuki hissed, as they came down in the lift.
“Hey, I didn’t force you to drag me back into bed when I tried to get up. After you punched your alarm across the room.”
“Then stop being so fucking warm. How the fuck am I supposed to leave that when it’s fucking winter?”
“Babe, your house hasn’t gone below seventy since I moved in.”
“And you didn’t exactly fight when I started kissing you.”
“What do you think I am? A monster?”
The fact that it was only ten to eight, and therefore still far earlier than almost everyone else in the building could be expected to turn up, was besides the point. If he hadn’t spent years training Mina, Hanta and Denki to fit his absurd schedule, no one would have even noticed that it had been, shock horror, quarter past seven when he’d gotten out of bed.
Suddenly, Katsuki’s hands were uncomfortably close to his throat.
“Stop fucking squirming. You fucked up your tie.”
“You know how to tie one?” he asked, pushing his luck slightly as Katsuki fixed his hurried mess.
“Duh. I need to be able to yell at fuckwits who fuck it up.”
“Aww, that might be the most you thing I’ve ever heard you say.”
“Shut the fuck up.”
“So, what do we tell the others?” he asked, glancing to the door to where the others were. They’d been in Katsuki’s for ages now, but neither was quite willing to admit they were stalling.
“Nothing. We act like nothing happened, and silently dare them to fucking say anything.”
“I’m not as good as you at silent menace, but I’ll give it a go.”
He walked into the office. Mina took one look at him.
“Thank fucking god, it’s about time you did something.” The penny dropped for the other two.
“Go on, how did you finally ask him?” asked Mina.
“Did he kill you for taking so long?”
“Dude, is he as explosive in bed?” All three of them stared at Denki. “...What?”
“Bro, that’s our boss.”
“And my boyfriend.”
“Ha, he admits it!”
“Is that why you’re so late this morning? A passionate lovemaking session?”
“Look, I do actually have work to do. Can we save this for lunch?”
“Make that coffee with love dude!”
“...And if Denki goes missing, don’t look for the body.”
Despite his attempts to slip off and eat lunch with Katsuki, he found himself cornered.
“Guys, seriously, do we have to do this?”
“Eiji, I’ve put up with your pining for weeks now. You’re giving me the damn details.”
“Yeah, we have to hear how you managed to confess.”
“Says Mr can’t get a date to save his life?”
“Dude, you traitor!”
“Kill me now,” Eijirou pleaded, sinking his head into his arms. Mina’s hand dragged it back up.
“No, no, you’re not taking the easy way out.”
“Ugh, fine. I… Well, I didn't exactly plan it. Honestly I kind of just blurted it out at the party.”
“You drunk confessed? Eiji I'm ashamed of you.”
“No, no! We were both sober… then. It was more… Well, I don’t want to say too much, because it’s personal, but we saw someone he used to like, and I got insecure, and blurted and didn’t even let him say anything, and then… he kissed me.”
“Eiji… That’s either the sweetest or the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Maybe both.”
“Wait, wait, hold up. Somewhere out there there’s a human besides you that the boss actually likes ? Come on, give us the deets dude! You can’t leave us hanging like that!”
“Not even a hint?”
“Give it up Denki. Would you want to be the one to spill the boss’ secrets?”
“No, Hanta, dude! You’re supposed to back me up here!”
“Not happening. Some of us don’t have a death wish.”
“Seriously, Denki, just drop it,” agreed Mina. “If you’re that desperate, you can ask him when we go out on Friday. You two are coming this week, aren’t you? We have to celebrate after all.”
“Don’t know either way. I’ll ask him before tomorrow.”
“I hope so. After all, I need to see the great Katsuki Bakugou as wasted as it sounds like you were on Saturday.”
Eijirou went pale. “I… didn’t say… that…”
“Please, I caught what you said. We weren’t drunk then. Which means you both were later. Very, from the tone.”
“Mina, do you always have to read me like a book?”
“Only because you make the letters so big.”
“Fine, fine, yes, we were very drunk, yes I felt like death yesterday, and no I don’t remember getting home.”
Denki stared at him. “So you don’t remember your first time?”
Unfortunately, Eijirou was actually drinking when he said that. Hanta wiped coffee off his face.
“Denki, I’m not going to sleep with him on the first day!”
“So you’re still a virgin?” This time it was Mina who snorted.
“Sorry, no. My room was only two doors down from you at college, there’s no way I can keep quiet on that. What did happen with Tetsu?”
Eijirou shrugged. “He moved back home. We both knew it wouldn’t work long distance. Besides, we were never that serious.”
“Yeah, I guess you were just friends with benefits. Frequent, loud benefits.” He buried his face in the desk.
There was no escaping them, and by the time he was able to slink back upstairs with Katsuki, he was fairly sure the phrase ‘iron rod’ was going to haunt him for the rest of his days.
“You’re not clingy enough. The fuck’s wrong with you?”
“Mina’s been telling everyone about my college love life, and it’s awful.”
“How the fuck does she know?”
“I went to college with her. I know she didn’t say anything anything at first, because we didn’t want it to seem like nepotism, but I thought you knew by now.”
“No. She kept that fucking quiet. Well whatever. What do you want to do tonight?”
“You.” He immediately realised what he’d said, and turned bright red. “That’s not- Shit, that came out wrong.”
“You didn't fucking warn me you were going to be needy.”
“God, sorry, it’s Denki’s fault, I've got it on the brain now… Babe?”
Katsuki had gone unusually quiet. “...does it bother you? That we haven't slept together?”
“What? No! Babe it's been two days. I didn't want to rush things, because I wanted there to be more to us than just sex. But, uh…” He glanced around. “If you're up for it God knows I am.”
“I'm… It’s not that I don't want to, it's just…”
The penny dropped. “It's your first time, isn't it? Shouto was your first crush.”
“Don't sound so fucking pleased about it.”
“Sorry. Still, that settles it. Tonight, I'm wooing you.”
Said wooing involved a home cooked steak dinner in front of the fire. He’d wanted candlelit, but Katsuki didn't have any, and Eijirou wasn't about to leave his man to get some. The movie that followed was just a hollow excuse to sit with Katsuki in his arms and wandering hands. They lasted a whole ten minutes before Katsuki had Eijirou pinned to the couch, and only another five before they gave up on the living room entirely.
Mina knew .
No, Im not dead. I was just away over christmas. But I am le back, and these two are still sickeningly adorable.
Also that's as close to a sex scene as you're getting.
Once the rest of the office had got bored of teasing him about his new relationship status, work didn't actually change all that much. Katsuki still worked him to the bone, and he didn't yell any less (though Eijirou liked to think it was more affectionate now). They'd maybe sneak a quick kiss on the cheek here and there, but beyond that, it was business as usual.
And almost as late. Despite Eijirou’s best efforts, Katsuki was staying as late as ever. Eijirou had taken to finishing sooner, and then making dinner ready, saving Katsuki time, and giving him an excuse to drag him from his desk. Eijirou understood though. December was Katsuki’s busiest month. The comapny’s busiest month was June, in preparation for the 4th of July, but Katsuki didn't feel the need to hand plan anything for that. No, the times square new year fireworks were his baby, and the plans for that would have to be prised from his cold, dead hands.
It had taken a few rereads of the numbers before Eijirou had realised that he went significantly over budget every year. And covered the extra himself.
“Babe, you know you're going to be nearly a million out of pocket over this, right?”
“Yeah, and? I need to top last years.”
“No one would notice, because it’d still be amazing.”
“I'd fucking notice. And it's good advertising. The better that display, the more we get asked to do.”
“And the donations you make to cover the clean up and extra security via child companies?”
Eijirou grinned at him. “You know the world wouldn’t end if you let people find out you’re actually a nice person, right?”
“I’m fucking not. And how the fuck do you know so much about the finances?”
“Oh, you kept getting questions from some of the managers about budgets while you were in meetings, so I brushed up on them so I could answer them for you. Honestly, most of them just ask me in the first place now.”
“Huh. I thought they’d been fucking quiet about that lately. Figured they’d finally started being competent.”
“Nope, just me. You're still coming on Friday, aren't you? I'll never hear the end of it if you don't.”
“Yeah, I guess. As long as nothing comes up.”
Eijirou stretched, and looked at the clock. “Right then. It’s late enough, I’m going to go make dinner,” he said, quickly kissing Katsuki on the cheek. “Any requests?”
He shrugged. “Just make whatever.”
“Alright. You've got about an hour.”
He was gently humming to himself when he thumbed the pad to open the door to the apartment. Which lasted exactly until he came face to face with a very angry looking blonde woman.
“Where the fuck is that good for nothing son of mine?”
“Huh, you forget something?” He looked at him. “...The fuck’s wrong with you?”
“...You’ve got a visitor.”
“The fuck? In the house? The hell did they get… in… Fuck.” His face went pale.
“Katsuki Bakugou! So you couldn't even be bothered to tell your own fucking mother you finally stopped moping over that damn Shouto and got yourself a boyfriend?”
“I wasn't fucking moping! And how the fuck did you even find out?”
She slapped him with a newspaper. “An article about you two making out at a party! At first I thought you were just wasted, but then I actually read the fucking thing!”
Eijirou glanced between them. “I'll make some coffee. How do you take it?”
“Cream, two sugars,” she said, without looking round, and hammering back into her son without pausing for breath. “So how long?”
“About fifteen minutes before that was taken. Seriously, it's been like three days.”
“And he’s already moved in? Bullshit.”
“Actually, he’s telling the truth. I'd been staying here anyway while my apartment was being fumigated,” Eijirou cut in, finally given a point he could actually defend Katsuki on.
“How the hell did you talk him into that?”
She looked at Katsuki. “Who are you and what the fuck have you done with my son?”
“I haven't done anything you fucking hag!”
“Pretty good impression, but I've got my eye on you.” She sighed. “I am happy for you. I just wish you'd fucking told me yourself. Eh, at least now I don't have to worry about you hitting thirty and still being a virgin.”
Eijirou narrowly avoided dropping the entire contents of the kettle on himself.
“Oh my fucking god. You seriously came out here just to say that?”
“I might not have had to say it in front of your boyfriend if you’d fucking called me!”
Eijirou attempted to compose himself, and brought over the coffee. “I was about to start making dinner. Should I make enough for three?”
“See, now there's a nice, thoughtful boy. I bet his mother knows about you! And I'd love to.”
“Don't I get a fucking say in this?” complained Katsuki.
“No, you fucking don't. Eijirou, was it? Let's do this properly. I'm Mitsuki Bakugou.” She offered a hand.
“Eijirou Kirishima. I've… heard a lot about you.”
“All bad, I assume. I know what that brat’s like.”
Eijirou considered saying he could see where he got it from, but decided he’d rather continue living. “I don't know, I think I'm getting the hang of translating what he really means.”
Katsuki snorted. “I flirted with you for a month, and you didn't have a fucking clue.”
“Yeah, well, excuse me for thinking you were out of my league.”
“You fucking know I am.” He dragged him into a kiss. “What's your fucking point?”
“Babe, in front of your mom?”
“To hell with her. She wants to talk about my fucking sex life-”
“-fuck you, she can deal with it.” His stomach growled.
“Then let me deal with that, while you apologise to your mother.”
The yelling didn't sound much like apologising, but it at least kept them out of his way while he cooked. When he brought out the marinated gammon and all the vegetables he could muster (and of course, eggs and pineapple, because he wasn't a savage), he was feeling particularly proud of himself.
“Mmm, you got yourself a man who can cook, and he’s a nice boy too. You've got good taste. Not sure about his though.”
“I don't know, he’s actually quite sweet once you get past the bristles.”
“Hah! Katsuki, sweet? Are we talking about the same fucking kid?”
“So help me I'll fucking kill the both of you.”
Eijirou set his fork down. “Actually, Mrs Bakugou-”
“Pff, just call me Mitsuki. Or mom - it'd be nice if someone did.”
“Uh, Mitsuki. If you don't have any plans, would you want to come for christmas dinner?”
“The hell Eiji? Don't I get a fucking say in this?”
“I'd love to, and his father will be thrilled. We never see the little shit at the holidays, so it'll make a nice change.”
Ignored, Katsuki stormed off. Eijirou sighed, and stood up to follow.
“I'll work on him. Give me five minutes.”
He found him sulking on the roof terrace.
“Babe… I'm sorry I didn't ask first, but you know what they say. Better to ask forgiveness than permission.”
Katsuki glared at him. “That was supposed to be our fucking day. Just the two of us.”
“But babe, we’re alone together all the time, and I know you didn't go home for thanksgiving. Family is important, y’know?” He wrapped his arms around Katsuki’s waist. “How about a deal? Let me invite our parents for Christmas, and New years eve is all you. Whatever you want, no questions asked.”
Katsuki grunted. Eijirou pressed his face against his. “...Fine.”
“Thanks babe,” he said, with a wide smile. “C’mon, there’s gammon going cold down there.”
He nodded to Mitsuki when they reentered. She didn't press her luck.
He’d half expected Katsuki to back out of the Friday after Eijirou conspired with his mother, but he still turned up as promised.
“Eiji we're going shopping tomorrow.”
“Because your wardrobe isn't as hot as the rest of you, and that's unacceptable,” he replied, as they walked into the bar.
“Babe, you just bought me clothes two weeks ago. You don't need to-”
“That was for an event, and I fucking want to. And on that note, tale this.” He handed him a card.
“A credit card? Babe, what?”
“It's linked to my account. And I'll be checking to make sure you're using it.”
“I- I can't take this, it’s your-”
“What, you gonna make a big speech about not wanting to depend on me? Spoilers, I pay your fucking wage. All your money comes from me anyway.”
“I was going to say it doesn't feel right. I haven't earned it-”
“Then it's payment for your second job of being my boyfriend. It’s my fucking money, and you're going to fucking spend it.”
“Babe, you don't need to spoil me like this-”
“I know. But I fucking want to.” He pulled him into a kiss, in full view of everyone in the bar.
“Get a room you two,” Hanta called, having spotted them already and definitely not been listening in. Denki and Mina were there too, and, surprisingly, Ochaco and Tsuyu.
“The fuck are you doing here? Eiji, is this your fault?”
“Not me for once. I'm as surprised as you are.”
“Mina invited us,” Ochako explained. “And I had to come and see the relationship goals for myself.”
“Babe, be nice. They came to spend time with us.”
“He’s already whipped,” said Tsuyu. Even Denki flinched slightly.
“Tsuyu, just because it's true doesn't mean you can say it!”
“Oh, you fucking think I'm whipped too, Denki? I can fucking fire you you know.”
“Eiji, protect me from your man!”
“Sorry. But you started it.”
“Guys, guys,” cut in Ochako. “There’s more important things to discuss. Like if Hanta and Denki are single-”
“I’m not dating them.”
“Tsuyuuuu! At least give it a chance.”
“You know, I think this is the first time I've ever been rejected by a girl I wasn't even hitting on,” said Denki with a sigh.
“Can’t be that much of a jump,” replied Hanta, patting him on the shoulder.
“Not helping bro.”
Katsuki forced him to buy every round that night, and watched him like a hawk to make sure he was using the right card. He tried his own once, and thought he’d gotten away with it. The glare of withering disapproval when he brought the drinks informed him otherwise. Still, it was an enjoyable evening - and then the karaoke started. Ochako must have known, given that Tensei turned up ten minutes before it started, and he must have had plenty of warning, but she wasn’t for admitting to it. Still, even Katsuki was chatting to him, especially while Mina, Hanta and Denki were doing a trio song.
“I’m glad Mina invited me,” Ochako said, watching them sing. “I’ve had a good time.”
“Pfft, that’s nothing,” Eiji countered. “If she hadn’t headhunted me, we’d still both be single.”
“Fuck that, if she hadn’t talked me into taking over Ingenium, you’d still be there.”
“Oh, so that’s why you changed your mind? I had wondered,” said Tensei, but Katsuki wasn’t listening. He was too busy staring at Eijirou.
“She fucking didn’t.”
“She said she never even advertised the role.”
“And she already knew you?”
“She checked I was still working there about three weeks before you bought it.”
“Then the next fucking day she was onto me.”
“She… no. She couldn’t have.”
“She fucking did.”
They both stared at her when she returned.
“Mina. Did you get me to take over Ingenium just so you could get Eiji as my fucking assistant.”
She stopped dead. “Oh, hey, would you look at that, I love this song!” And promptly headed back the way she came.
“She… She actually… I can’t… Babe?”
“Why do I feel so weirdly fucking proud of her?”
“You feel proud of her? This is incredible! She’s elevated shipping to a whole new level! Tsuyu, I need to up my game!”
“I need to swap notes with her!”
“But I just requested phantom!” Tensei pleaded.
“Corner her at work?” Katsuki muttered to Eijirou.
“I mean, you want to make her squirm, right?”
“You know me so fucking well.”
The two of them spent a good amount of their shopping trip plotting ways to make her sweat (and the rest making Eijirou sweat at the price tags. Did he need a seven hundred dollar sweater? No. Did Katsuki force him to get it after he showed interest? Yes.)
She attempted to call in sick on Monday, but was met by a double declaration of bullshit. There was no escape.
Of course Bakumama had to appear at some point.
Also my European ass failed to realise Id put the social over thanksgiving weekend, because that isnt a thing here. Yes, I have a precise calendar for when all this is happening. Kiri has had a birthday while working there, but it was before the first night out woth Katsuki, so it got brushed over. I might bring it up later.
I ran out of pretty much all of my planned plot. Im now stuck waiting for inspiration. (At least Im not teasing you all with cliffhangers)
It was a week until Christmas, and Eijirou had bought all of his presents. Except one. He still didn’t have any clue what to get Katsuki. The man was loaded, what even was there that he didn’t already have? Especially since it needed to be something he could afford himself - Katsuki had finally broken him with the credit card by hiding his wallet, and forcing him to pay with Katsuki's money. He claimed he wouldn't be satisfied until Eijirou had stopped looking at price tags completely, but had begrudgingly accepted that him letting Katsuki pay for things was a start.
Not that there was any point trying to compete with Katsuki on the gift. He knew his boyfriend was going to go all out, and there was nothing he could do to stop him. So it needed to be something thoughtful, that meant something. That he could get in less than a week. He was completely screwed. He’d already checked most of the jewellery shops he could find, and he was pretty sure Katsuki already had at least one of anything he could want. Two, more likely.
Chocolate? Too generic. Flowers? God, he couldn't even keep a straight face thinking that. At this point he was seriously considering asking Aoyama for advice.
“Ngh, sorry!” he apologised to the woman he'd just bumped into. He paused. Where was he? He’d never been down this street before, and was this a… gallery of some kind? He shrugged. At this point he'd try anything.
The door chimed as he stepped inside. There was a slight smokiness to the air, maybe some kind of incense, but he couldn't place it.
“‘Sup fam? Can I, like, totes help?”
“Uh… Sorry. I was just trying to find a present for my boyfriend-”
“Well we’ve got some lit stuff. Take a look. And if you think it's all lame, we can do a print of your own pictures. Paint ‘em too, but it's cutting it a bit fine for that, you get me?”
“T-thanks. I'll look around.” People actually talked like that? It took all sorts, he guessed. The pictures were nice, and the artist was clearly skilled, but there was nothing that said… Katsuki, to him. Still, what was it she’d said? They did prints?
He pulled out his phone. Scrolling back, it was amazing how few pictures he had before he’d started working for Katsuki. The Iidas had been nice enough to work for, but they'd kept things very professional. Drunk Tensei was an experience he still hadn't fully processed. But now… He had dozens, if not hundreds just from that first night out with Mina, Hanta and Denki. Just as many from the Present Mic concert. His first picture with Katsuki - even if it did have all five of them on it. Day by day, he could see Katsuki relax in them, and open up, and enjoy himself more and more. Pictures of the two of them at Momo’s event, but way more from the after party. Ochako was there, and Tsuyu, Tenya and Tensei, one with Jirou, a few with Momo, even one or two with Izuku and Shouto. He’d have to invite them out with them sometime. Maybe a double date.
There were pictures he’d taken of the two of them, after he’d finally confessed and the apartment had become ‘home’. Simple snapshots of everyday life, a hastily scrolled past selfie of himself in nothing but an apron that he’d sent to Katsuki one morning, a handful of photos he’d sneaked of Katsuki at work. All of them precious memories that he wouldn't trade for the world.
“You okay there? You've been there for ages.”
“Sorry. You mentioned prints? Paintings would have been better, but I guess I left it a bit late…”
She hummed thoughtfully. “Yeah. But… if you want the look, we can overpaint a print. Looks about the same, but it's hella faster.”
“Really?” He looked back down at the gallery in his hand. “Is it soon enough to get two?”
The package arrived at work on the Wednesday, addressed to him, and left unopened all day, despite Denki and Hanta’s best efforts to get him to spill. Somehow he managed to fend them off, but it was exhausting, and he was almost tempted to give them their presents early to shut them up.
He held out until Friday, the last day of work until the new year, for anyone not directly involved with setting up new years displays. He brought them out at lunch.
“Eiji, you didn't need to!” gasped Mina, gently unwrapping the pink box and unveiling a shirt that was a twin of one she already owned.
“I know you've loved that shirt since college, and it was starting to rip up, so… I got the size right, didn't I?”
“These were limited edition, how did you even find one? It’s perfect, thank you!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around him.
“Dude, I love it! ...What is it?” Denki asked, turning over his opened box.
“A wireless charger for your car. I’ve seen how many cables you have in there.”
“Oh, sweet! Hanta, what did you get?”
Hanta was presently looking at his gift in stunned silence.
“I’m sorry if you don’t like it, I didn’t know what to get you and Mina suggested it, but I wasn’t sure if she was just messing with me-”
“Eijirou. Do you have any idea how long I’ve been staring at this?” It was a set of bottles of soy sauce, each a different expensive variety. “I owe you big time, both of you. But this is really expensive stuff, are you sure you can afford this?”
“Hanta, I had to argue with Katsuki to even let me pay for his present. I have literally nothing else to use my wage on.”
“Well thanks. I appreciate it.”
“Hey, wait. Why’s mine so much cheaper than everyone else’s then?” demanded Denki.
“Mom and Dad are definitely still coming tomorrow,” said Eijirou, putting down his phone, and returning to help Katsuki with the christmas decorations. He’d wanted to put them up sooner, but he’d found out to his horror that Katsuki didn’t even bother with a tree most years, and had had to wait for all his orders to be delivered. And he’d insisted on putting them up together, so here they were, on Christmas Eve, finally putting up the tree. The turkey was already in the oven, ready to be turned on at precisely 4.35AM (Eijirou was pleased to discover Katsuki’s oven had a timed start, and that he didn’t need to set an alarm for it this year), the vegetables were ready to be pre-prepared, and now Katsuki had been forced onto Eijirou’s shoulders, since he was refusing to admit he couldn’t reach the top of the tree without ladders.
“Put me down you dumb fuck!”
“I will, when you put the star on the tree.”
“There, it’s done, happy now?”
“Not sure. Do you think we need mistletoe up?”
“The fuck for?”
“So I have an excuse to kiss you.”
“When the fuck have you ever needed that?”
“...Good point. We can skip it. Can you put the lights up on the window while I start prepping the food? If I do it tonight, then I have more time to spend with you tomorrow before everyone arrives and I go back to freaking out about you meeting my parents.”
“Not until you put me fuckign down!”
“Oh, right. Sorry.”
Katsuki grunted as his feet met the floor again. “And what are you worrying about? You already met the old hag.”
“Yeah, but she surprised me! I didn’t have time to worry about it! I've had plenty of time to worry about this!”
“Are you really that worried about whether they'll like me?”
“What? No, I don't care about that,” replied Eijirou. “I mean, I hope they do, but if they don't they'll just have to get over it. I'm worried about what she’ll say. Babe, what if she brings baby photos ?”
Katsuki snorted. “I'll finally know what your natural hair colour fucking is.”
“No! That's my deepest and darkest secret, you can't ever know!”
“You fucking moron, your dye says on it that its for use on black hair.”
“And you think I've never seen your roots before?”
“Baaaabe, you're supposed to pretend you don't know!”
“Sorry. Oh no, I’m a fucking moron and pay no attention to my boyfriend,” he said in a monotonous deadpan.
“Babe, I'm feeling very attacked right now.”
“Then stop being such a moron and make the stupid dinner you've been obsessing over all week.”
“That's because Christmas dinner is a Big Deal!” Somehow Katsuki could hear the extra capital letters.
“Not to me it fucking isn't.”
“But it is to me, and as my loving and supportive boyfriend that means it is to you too.”
“Tch, fine, whatever, just fucking get on with it already.”
He was done with just enough time for them to snuggle up and watch An All Mightmare before Christmas before bed (How Katsuki had gone his entire life without seeing it was a mystery and a travesty), and Katsuki dragged a half asleep Eijirou up to bed as the clocks rang in Christmas day.
Much as he would have been happy spending the entire day with nothing but snuggling up in bed with Katsuki as his present, the alarm on his phone forced him to venture out at nine to turn over the turkey. Deprived of his hot water bottle, Katsuki shuffled down not long after, an envelope in hand.
“Babe, you didn't have to get up yet- huh? What's this?” asked Eijirou, as it was shoved into his hand.
“Just fucking open it.”
The card was plain and simple, but inside were a pair of tickets.
“We’re spending valentine's in Hawaii,” he mumbled, wrapping his arms around Eijirou’s neck, and his eyes widened in surprise. Not just at the gift (though he'd half expected something extravagant like that), but at Katsuki being so… affectionate. He wasn't one to shun physical contact between them, but he was almost never the one to initiate it, outside of the occasional kiss.
“You didn't need to go all out,” he replied, his voice soft.
“Yeah I did,” Katsuki murmured back. “‘ fucking love you-”
Eijirou’s mouth didn't let him finish, and seconds later Katsuki was pressed against the cooker, Eijirou’s hands gripping him tightly.
“What was that for?” asked Katsuki, panting slightly, when they broke for air, his face flushed almost the colour of his boyfriend's hair.
“The best christmas present ever,” he answered, pushing a knocked pan back onto its hob with his elbow.
“No babe. Hearing you say that. It’s the first time, you know?”
Eijirou nodded, idly tracing his fingers up Katsuki’s back. “It didn't bother me. I knew how you felt even if you didn't say the word. I guess I didn't expect to.”
“I really never said it before?”
“Babe it's fine. I'm just happy hearing it.”
“...Does that mean you don't want the car?”
“The bright red Lamborghini parked in the garage for you.”
“...You’re serious? You didn't need to do that, I already have a car-” Katsuki snorted. “Hey!”
“That shit heap makes mine feel bad having to share a room with it. Besides, you deserve a proper car.”
“It is a proper car! My parents helped me get it when I started college.”
“Holy shit, you've had it that long? And I bet it was used when you bought it, wasn't it?”
“...Maybe a bit,” Eijirou conceded, though he was by no means happy about it.
“Exactly. Now shut up and let me spoil you.”
“...Shit. Babe, can you watch the potatoes for me for a minute?”
“Sure, but why?” Katsuki asked, eyebrow raised.
“I haven’t given you my present yet! I’ll go grab it!” He was already halfway up the stairs, and was back barely a minute later, with two packages in his hands. Katsuki stared at them like the were about to explode. “Well, go on, open them!”
He slowly peeled back the bright red paper, far too slowly for Eijirou’s tastes, who was quite eager for the suspense to not be killing him anymore.
“It’s not big or expensive, I mean, I was never going to beat you there, but, well…”
Katsuki stared at them. He… remembered those pictures. The one of the five of them, the first time he’d gone out with them, that one he never heard the end of. Honestly, he wasn’t surprised Eiji’d pick that one. But the other… They’d been watching a movie, and ended up lying next to each other on the couch. He’d taken the picture on a whim, but Eiji had begged him to send it him. ...They’d even got the texture of his couch behind them right, the strands of EIji’s hair picked out against it, the blush he’d been trying to fight as Eiji had kissed him on the cheek.
“...Babe? You don’t like them, do you…?”
Katsuki put them down almost reverentially, before he took Eiji by the shoulders, and pressed him down on the couch. Eiji’s eyes opened in surprise - he’d gone over plenty of responses in his head, but he hadn’t expected that look. “Babe, our parents are going to be here an hour and a half,” he said, but it was a weak, flimsy defence and both of them knew it.
“That’s plenty of time,” Katsuki replied, his voice practically a growl.
The pans on the stove whistled as the vegetables came to a boil.
Eijirou just about managed to get back to the cooking in time to stop anything burning, though he had a horrible feeling the parsnips were a little overdone, and then grabbed a quick shower while Katsuki cleaned up the living room, before grabbing one himself. It was too cold to have the windows open, but it was either that or suffocate from air freshener. When the door rang, everything was practically back to normal.
“Mom, Dad, you made it!” Eijirou cried, taking off his oven gloves (but not his fresh apron) and running over to hug them. “Food won't be ready for at least half an hour yet, but let me introduce you. I mean, I know he just let you in, but this is Katsuki. Babe, these are my parents.”
“No fucking shit.” Katsuki rolled his eyes, and Eijirou was glad he’d thought to warn his parents about Katsuki’s… vocabulary. He just hoped they could see the ghost of a fond smile on Katsuki’s lips that was as obvious as the sun to him. Katsuki held out his hand though, and Eijirou’s heart restarted when his father shook it.
“It's nice to meet you dear. Eijirou’s told us a lot about you.”
“Sometimes he even remembers to talk about himself,” his father added with a laugh.
“Yeah, he is pretty bad at stopping talking, isn't he?”
“Baaaabe. Can I at least show them around?”
“Nope. You can get back in the kitchen, ‘cause I’m not eating that turkey if you burn it. I’ll show them around.”
“Babe, I love you, but I’m feeling very attacked right now.”
“You’ll get over it.”
“Are you two… always like this?” asked his mother. Revenge time.
“Only in front of other people,” Eijirou replied. “He’s a massive softie when he doesn’t think anyone’s looking. You know he makes secret donations to kids charities?”
“Actually fuck you!”
“Babe, we have guests! I thought you were going to be a considerate host and give them the grand tour?”
Katsuki grumbled, but obliged. “Tch, fine. Downstairs is pretty much what you can see, so let’s just head straight up.”
It occured to Eijirou he may have made a mistake leaving Katsuki alone with his parents. They could be telling each other anything right now. And it would probably be true, and that was even worse! Like that time he woke up in the middle of the night, and Katsuki wasn’t in bed, and he’d stumbled around the house half asleep looking for him, and he was only in the bathroom, and he still brought that up when he wanted to laugh at him. He wouldn’t. He would .
His grin when they got back down confirmed that he had .
“It’s a lovely place Katsuki has here. You’re not taking advantage of him, I hope?”
“See, babe? It’s not just me!”
“Oh, hell no, you can shut right up! I’ve only just managed to get him trained to stop asking to pay for everything, I am not going through that again!”
“Mom, this man didn’t even want to let me pay for his christmas present. I want to pay for things. Please, help me stop him spoiling me.”
“Not gonna happen Eiji. And if your beach crap’s ugly, I’m getting you new ones for Hawaii.”
“You’re going to Hawaii? When?” asked his father. “You know, your mother and I went there for our honeymoon, though I doubt it was quite as grand as what you’ll have in store.”
“...Valentines,” Eijirou mumbled, suddenly very focussed on the dinner. “A week at valentines. It was one of my gifts…”
“He’s my boyfriend,” Katsuki said, matter of factly. “That means he isn’t allowed anything but the best.”
“It’s terrible. I have to be really careful what I say. I make an offhand comment that something looks nice, and it’s on our doorstop the next morning. It’s like living with a really excited genie!”
“Who the fuck complains about getting stuff?” He was cut off by another ring at the door. He groaned. “Great. There goes the peace around here.”
Mitsuki practically barged in, a plain looking man that Eijirou assumed was Katsuki’s father trailing behind them.
“Well hey there kiddo, good to see you again” she called out, completely blanking Katsuki, “Guess you still haven’t killed this brat of mine. Guess you see something I don’t.”
“Go to hell you old hag.”
“This is my husband, Masaru. Masaru, the saint with weird taste.” She didn’t even let him speak before she turned to Eijirou’s parents. “And you must be Mr and Mrs Kirishima? It’s nice to meet you, I’m Mitsuki Bakugou. Sorry you had to meet my son.”
“I’m right fucking here!”
The pair were, understandably, slightly bewildered by the human tornado that had just entered, but managed to at least introduce themselves.
“Babe, can you set the table for me? I’ll be plating up soon, and I kind of forgot to do it this morning,” Eijirou said.
“Yeah, yeah, fine.” It was Katsuki’s fault for distracting him anyway.
“Can you put the heating on? It’s a bit chilly in here,” added Mitsuki, glancing around. “You normally have it like an oven.”
“Sorry, that’s my fault,” Eijirou replied, trying not to break out into a spontaneous flood of sweat. “I had to open a window earlier to let all the steam out.”
“I hope you’ve not been taking advantage of him, and having him slave over a stove all by himself for us.”
“I offered to help, but he wouldn’t fucking let me.”
“I said I wanted to cook for everyone, and I meant it. It was my idea after all,” affirmed Eijirou, pulling open the oven. “I hope everyone’s hungry. The turkey’s… I might have gone a little overboard.”
That was an understatement. Even on the biggest plates Katsuki had, they were overflowing. The turkey was dripping juices, the roast potatoes were a crisp golden brown, the pigs in blankets could probably have been skipped realistically, but Eijirou had handmade three each all the same. Five types of vegetables had definitely been overkill, and the stuffing was homemade too.
“Everyone, dig in. Oh, and have as much gravy as you want. I have another two jugs full in the kitchen.” Said jugs were repurposed cafetieres. Honestly,, he would have liked to carve the turkey at the table, but there just wasn’t enough room for it. He'd barely managed to find space for the holly red candles he'd picked up. The one thing he hadn’t handled was the mulled wine, which Katsuki had bought (and Eijirou had known better than to ask the price. No doubt the answer would have given him a heart attack).
“Um. Dig in?” he added awkwardly, at the table of people who were mostly staring at awe in the monstrosity before them.
The talking was quickly replaced by the sounds of chewing, and the faint hum of christmas songs Eijirou had put on in the background. And no one was complaining, which he was going to file as a win. He wasn't too surprised when Katsuki cleared his plate, or Mitsuki for that matter, but his own mother?
“Does anyone want a coffee,” he asked, as he cleared the plates. “And does everyone want dessert now, or should I wait?”
“Dessert? You made a dessert as well?” He nodded. Even Katsuki hadn't known about that.
“Yup. I made a spiced fig torte with a caramel sauce. It just needs heating in the oven for a few minutes.”
“Were you holding out on me last time I was here kid? Because this is restaurant quality.”
“I knew he could cook, but even I didn't know he was this good,” agreed his mother, causing Eijirou to blush as red as the candles.
The dessert was just as good, and the cheeseboard still eaten, despite plenty of statements that they couldn't eat another bite and everyone had retired to the living room with drinks.
“Hey brat! Where’s that brandy I know you have stashed away?”
“Fuck off, I'm saving that for a special occasion!”
“I got invited to yours for the holidays, what could be more special than that?”
Eijirou and Masaru shared a look of mutual understanding, before staring at the unfolding argument with complete fondness, and a glass of gin in each of their hands. The rest of the night was whiled away with small talk, the two of them mostly leaving their parents to it, except to answer any questions they threw at them.
“I'm just gonna grab some air Eiji,” whispered Katsuki, quickly pecking him on the cheek, before heading upstairs to the roof terrace.
Katsuki took a deep breath of the chilly night air. There was only so much of people he could take in one go (Eijirou aside), and the old hag was more draining than most. The door went behind him, and he turned, expecting to see Eijirou, only to come face to face with Eijirou’s father.
“...Can I help you?”
“I just wanted to talk. Man to man.” The fuck? “When Eijirou first started seeing you, we… Well, his mother and I were worried. The boy hurts easier than he lets on, and dating a billionaire, and his boss besides? We were worried he was just a flavour of the month that you'd cast aside.” Katsuki opened his mouth to argue, but he raised a hand to stop him. “The only reason we didn't say anything was because we'd never seen Eijirou so happy as when he spoke about you. But tonight put all my fears to rest. Because even though you try to hide it, the way you look at him is the same way he looks at you. There were times tonight when it was like you were the only two in the room, and now I know he's in good hands. So, even though I know it wouldn't have stopped you if I didn't, consider this me giving you my blessing. You're better for him than I think either of you know.” He turned to the stairs. “Your mother is a terrifying woman, by the way.”
“I know. Hey- thanks,” he added, only just loud enough for the other man to hear. Illuminated only by the lights of the city buildings, the older man gave a small smile.
“Where did you go dear?” Eijirou’s mother asked, ignoring the fact that her son was currently trying to smother himself with a cushion. “Mitsuki and I were just swapping stories. I've missed having mom friends to talk to.”
“Just the bathroom,” he replied, picking his glass back up. Yes. Everything would work out fine.
Even Eijirou was glad to be rid of them when they finally got their parents to leave at nearly midnight.
“Babe, have I created a monster?” asked Eijirou, shuddering at the thought of his mother's new best friend.
“Yes. You're going to fucking regret that one.”
“Yeah. I enjoyed myself though.” He glanced at Katsuki.
“...Yeah. Me too.” Eijirou smiled to himself. That alone made it all worthwhile. Maybe it was the gin talking, or the fact that Katsuki’s shirt had managed to worm a few buttons loose during the night, but, suddenly, he wasn't feeling all that tired. He slid his arms around Katsuki’s waist, fingers tracing the lines of Katsuki’s hips.
“You know, we kind of got cut short this morning. We could always finish where we left off.”
His answer came in the form of Katsuki practically dragging him upstairs by his collar.
Outside, though it was a little late, it started to become a white christmas.
Still not dead. However, every second working on this is a second not spent on monster hunter, amd you should be grateful for everyone I have deigned to give you /shot.
Still, I think this might be the longest chapter yet, and I finally got my binge writing habit going again, AND I have a plan for the next chapter, so hopefully I should have another one up much sooner. Maybe. Blame Nergigante if I don't.
Boxing day was a write off. Neither of them had drunk enough to be hungover, but Katsuki was adamantly refusing to get out of bed, and with Katsuki's arms around his waist, and face against his back, Eijirou couldn't muster the willpower to resist him. If it wasn't for the incredibly rude intervention of Eijirou’s bladder, they might well have stayed there all day. And tempting as it was to go straight back to bed, he did still have to finish cleaning up after yesterday's feast.
He was putting the dishes away when he was interrupted by a familiar pair of arms.
“Who said you could get up?”
“I know, but I need to clean up-”
“Fuck cleaning,” he grumbled. “Still wanna snuggle.”
Eijirou was currently regretting his decision to head down and clean in just his boxers immensely. What will he had was fast being sapped by Katsuki’s abs pressed against his back, and he lasted all of thirty seconds before he, Katsuki, and a duvet made themselves comfortable on the couch. Watching movies snuggled up with his boyfriend was productive, right?
Katsuki had said he could take the days over christmas off as well, but Eijirou had refused. If Katsuki was working, he was damn well going to assist, like he was paid to. Eventually the compromised, and made the most of the empty office to completely ignore the dress code. It felt almost scandalous, being at work in nothing but jeans and a half unbuttoned shirt - he hadn’t even bothered putting shoes on. And it wasn’t the most taxing few days on him. With most of the other staff off, Eijirou didn’t have many calls to take, but he did head off any that weren’t directly related to the display Katsuki had lovingly crafted that was due to go off in all of four days. And he still hadn’t told Katsuki what he was planning. He might kill him. Assuming he couldn’t pin the blame on anyone else.
It was the twenty eighth, and Eijirou was about ready to clock off. He’d tried a little harder today, going for a smart business casual look, and had managed to talk Katsuki into the same ‘so he had something nice to look at’. He’d rolled his eyes, but gone along with it, and it was finally time for Eijirou to make his move.
“Babe, could you do me a favour? I think there’s a file I need in the office downstairs, and I don’t have a key for it. Could you quickly let me in?”
“Tch, fine. Not like you to fuck up like that.”
“Sorry. I guess I’ve not been paying as much attention with it being christmas and all. You look really nice,” he added, noting the way Katsuki’s shirt did nothing to mask his strong arms.
“I know. You keep saying. Why are you being so fucking weird today?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I’m just nervous for New Year. You keep saying you’ve got big plans, and, well…”
“You’re going to love it,” he said, giving Eijirou a quick kiss. “This one? The fuck do you need from-”
It was a christmas party. It was a full fucking christmas party. Who the fuck threw a surprise. Fucking. Christmas party? And how the fuck had he arranged it literally right under his nose, in his own damn office building?
“The actual fuck?”
“Sorry boss, it was Eijriou’s idea,” said Hanta, handing Katsuki a glass. “Said you’d need a break before the last bit of madness, and wanted to get everyone together for you.”
“Yeah, dude arranged everything himself, even down to the catering. It’s been killing us not saying anything,” Denki added, already halfway through a class of his own.
“Actually fuck you.”
“Babe, you were done for today anyway. You can enjoy yourself for a few hours. And everyone’s already here.”
He wasn’t kidding either. Mina, Denki, Hanta, those three didn’t surprise him. Ochako and Tsuyu, as well, he could have kind have seen coming. Tenya, Tensei, sure, maybe. Momo and Jirou? Wait, was that Kouda, chatting away with Jirou? That guy could even talk?
“You invited fucking Tokoyami?”
“Well, yeah. Babe, you don’t exactly have a massive friends list.”
“You invited my fucking lawyer.”
“I didn’t invite your mom?”
“Thank fuck for that-”
He was cut off by a sudden sensation of glitter.
“Mon ami, so good to see you again! You have been taking care of my creation, no?” Aoyama gently tugged on Eijirou’s hair, examining it. “Hmm. Acceptable. Though due another trip, moi would say. It brings me great joy to see the pair of you with such amor between you, however! I had worried you’d dance around the issue forever.”
“Fuck off, charmless. When was the last time you were with someone?”
“Moi cannot help it if roses shy away from my brilliance. The sun wilts delicate flowers, no?”
“Oh my fucking god. Eiji, you handle him. I need a stronger drink if I’m stuck with this.”
There was an awkward silence. “...You know, my friend Denki over there keeps talking about getting a lightning bolt dyed into his hair-”
Aoyama’s face fell. “The blonde? Excuse me. I have a crime to prevent.”
Just as planned. Even if Eijirou did silently apologise.
“Eijirou, it’s good to see you again. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”
“Oh, Momo! Thanks for the tips. There’s no way I could have set this up without you.”
She smiled. “I think you probably could have. After all, you’re the one that got everyone here. That was the hardest part.”
“Nah. That was keeping it a secret from Katsuki. And I’d have been screwed if Hanta hadn’t been able to let everyone in.”
“If you say so. But if you ever feel like working for your boyfriend is a bit much, you’re more than welcome to work for me.”
Eijirou laughed at that. “God, he’d kill you if he heard you say that. I’m happy being able to fawn over him at work, but thanks all the same.”
“It was a long shot. Well, I’ll let you get to it. It looks like he’s found Ochako.”
“...And then he started dancing on the table, trying to wear a lampshade like it was a phantom mask!” Ochako managed, though she was practically crying as she pulled up the video of Tensei’s drunken antics. The man buried his face in his hands, as Katsuki and Ochako howled with laughter, and even his own brother couldn’t suppress a chuckle.
“You’re all terrible. I need a drink to forget the pain you all bring me.”
“And thus the cycle begins anew,” Tenya sighed. “Tensei, at least wait until all the guest have arrived before you stop being able to walk straight.”
“What was that? I can’t hear you over the sound of this vodka.”
“Ochako! Stop him!”
“I bet he’ll lose the… shirt, first.”
“That isn’t helping!”
“Nah, has to be the tie,” countered Katsuki, before Mina popped up like a shark that smelled blood.
“Ten dollars on the pants.”
“Who even are you?”
Katsuki laughed, mostly at Tenya’s expense, when he heard a voice behind him.
There he was, probably the last person he’d expected to see, and Shouto was with him. Even though they’d parted last on amicable terms, Katsuki hadn’t spoken to either of them since. That many years of awkwardness didn’t vanish overnight.
“I wasn’t sure if you’d want us here, but Eijirou insisted we come, and, well…” He hesitated, hand hovering over his jacket pocket. “...I wanted to give you this. In person. Before everyone gets drunk. It… seemed like as good a time as any.” He handed over a small envelope, in white, green and red.
“...Two wedding invites?”
Izuku nodded, face caught between relief and terror. “It’s okay if you don’t want to come, or if you can’t make it, because I know it’s kind of short notice, but it’d be nice if, well, you could be there?” He trailed off, trying not to make it obvious that he was studying Katsuki’s expression for any hint of a reaction.
“...Yeah,” he said eventually. “I can make that.”
Izuku’s face lit up. “Really? I’m so glad! Honestly, it’s a shame it took us so long to meet back up, or I could have asked you to be the best man- Wait, would that have been awkward? Sorry, I’m being insensitive, aren’t I, I-”
“Izuku, just shut the fuck up. I said I’m coming, didn’t I? You think I would if I still gave a shit who you were marrying? ...No offence,” he added half heartedly, glancing at Shouto. He shrugged.
“A lots changed. We were a lot younger then. It would be nice to be friends again though. We should go on a double date sometime.”
Katsuki almost spat out his drink. “Did the ice king actually just suggest a double date?”
Izuku patted his arm. “Don't worry about it honey. Was that a yes?”
“I'll think about it. No promises.”
Izuku practically beamed. “We'll have to arrange something! But later. I mean, it'd probably be rude to do it at your party.”
“Hey, don't fucking lump me in with this. This is all Eiji’s fault.”
“I'm just happy you found someone who works for you. Really.”
“Yeah, well, it took a special breed of weirdo.”
“Isn't that basically everyone here? Eijirou might have invited them, but they came for you.”
“Fuck off. No getting sappy at my party.”
Izuku laughed. “All right, all right. C'mon Shouto, I want to catch up with Ochako, and then become the undisputed king of that dance floor!”
“Oh you are fucking on bitch.”
“No. He looks like a bird.”
Ochako sniggered. “Yeah, he does. I think it's the nose.”
“If Tsuyu doesn't want to date anyone you can't force her,” Eijirou tried, though he was fairly sure he was yelling into the storm.
“But all my other friends are taken or beyond help!”
“I'm single-” began Tenya, and then the penny dropped. “...I resent that remark. Besides, you're single yourself.”
“I can't help it if other people's relationships are more fun than being in one.”
“Then I should take you on a date and prove you wrong on both fronts.”
She burst out laughing. “Ah, that's a good one,” she said, finally, wiping her eyes. “...Oh my god were you actually serious? Yeah, no thanks.”
Tensei took over laughing duties. “Here lies Tenya, who couldn't even get a pity date.”
“Eijirou. What's the strongest drink you have in? I think I need several to deal with… them.”
He patted him on the shoulder in solidarity and understanding. “Let's get you set up.”
“Are they actually doing this?”
“Are you really surprised?” asked Shouto.
“...No,” admitted Eijirou, who’d been fully expecting this when he’d invited Izuku. “I just thought they'd need to be more drunk first.”
The dance floor had been cleared. Mina was already taking bets. It was barely nine o'clock and they were already having a dance off.
“So… Is anyone actually judging this?” asked Denki. Hanta shrugged.
“Do you want to be the one to tell either of them who was better?”
“Point taken. A tie it is.”
And then sexy back came on, Izuku started break dancing, Katsuki body rolled, Eijirou let out an admiring sigh, and Shouto sounded like he was about to choke.
“Never mind. It's a contest to see whose boyfriend breaks first.”
“I think Izuku has an unfair advantage then. Have you seen how red that guy is?”
“Hmm, hmm. That's an excellent point Hanta. But I raise you this. Wasn't the boss wearing a jacket when he started dancing?”
Eijirou watched in transfixed awe as the number of remaining fastened buttons dwindled.
“...I feel weird watching this,” Hanta said. “It's almost like walking in on your parents having sex.”
“...Dude? You have issues.”
“What? Our boss is half naked and flirting in front of us.”
“Hanta, like he gives a shit what any of us think. Dude, we’ve seen them make out before!”
“Denki, there’s a difference between making out and half naked body rolls. ...Also, should we tell him that Ochako’s taking pictures?”
“Nah. He's a big boy. He can kill her himself if he's bothered. Oh. Now they're making out. You're right, it is different.”
“I feel like I should be embarrassed, but to be honest we’ve made out at way more formal events than this.”
“You’re not allowed to be embarrassed of me. Besides, you're still wearing pants, aren't you?”
“ Babe .” But despite that, everything felt right with the world. Although seeing one of his old bosses belt out total eclipse of the heart with Ochako was still surreal. Kind of like walking in on your parents dressed up for a fancy dress party. He was also regretting letting Ochako meet Mina. The two of them had found a whiteboard, and had produced something that looked worryingly like a list of singles they both knew. Tenya was drunk enough to be dancing (also surreal), Aoyama had found Denki, and that looked suspiciously like flirting. Hanta, abandoned, was consoling himself with Tokoyami, though since Tokoyami hadn't left the darkest corner of the room yet, it probably wouldn't help.
“...Hey, babe? Let's sing something.”
“...What?” Eijirou whispered in his ear. “Fuck you. 93 version, I'm opening.”
“God I love you.”
There was baited breath all around as they set up. Getting Katsuki to sing was always difficult, and a lot of the people there hadn't heard him before. Eijirou was also there, but no one even questioned that. The music kicked in.
“ Don't go breaking my heart.”
“I couldn't if I tried~”
Around the room, worldviews shattered.
“Babe, I can't believe you and Izuku sang anything you can do,” Eijirou laughed, dragging his wonderful, perfect boyfriend out of the elevator.
“I can't believe you made me stay up ‘till nearly three in the morning,” he tried to snap back, but he couldn't keep the grin off the face he was pressing close to Eijirou’s.
“We had to wait until everyone left. You could have made them leave.” Je really wanted to sleep, but he also really wanted to have a drunk make out session, and it was really hard .
“Fuck. Don't I like, have fucking working tomorrow? Today? Whenever the fuck?”
“Baaaabe. I already moved all your meetings. You're free till three.” He giggled slightly at the accidental rhyme.
“Have… Have I ever told you how much I fucking love you?” He fell onto Eijirou, his entire weight now supported by his larger boyfriend, who’d barely seemed to notice and was playing with Katsuki's hair. A part of Eijirou was fairly sure letting Katsuki and Izuku have a drinking contest had been a bad idea, but right now he was took drunk and covered in Katsuki to work out why. The most important thing was that Katsuko had won, and winning made Katsuki happy, and happy Katsuko was the only kind of Katsuki allowed, except maybe sexy Katsuki. And angry Katsuki, but angry Katsuki looked a lot like sexy Katsuki, and happy Katsuki looked like sexy Katsuki as well, so maybe all the Katsuki’s were good. Water. They needed water. He didn't like hungover Katsuki.
He wasn't entirely sure how he'd ended up in bed still mostly clothed and with Katsuki lying horizontally across him the next morning (afternoon. It was already half twelve), but at least neither of them seemed to have thrown up. Honestly he barely remembered the party ending at all, but he must have been just coherent enough to stop the worst of the hangover, because he only felt like shit, instead of like he was about to die.
Katsuki was worse. The day was hell. He only regretted it slightly.
New year's eve came, and Eijirou was equal parts excited and nervous. He’d given Katsuki free reign, and he hadn't breathed a word about it yet.
“So are you finally going to tell me what we’re doing?” he asked over breakfast.
“Fuck no. I'm busy this morning, need to do some last checks, but I’ll drop you off at Aoyama’s on the way. You can get a touch up while I'm get that done.”
“He's open today?”
“Half day, regulars only. Hurry the fuck up, I need to get going soon.”
“Sorry babe. Didn't know I needed to rush.”
If Aoyama knew anything, he wasn't telling either.
“Mon ami, you would ask me to get in the way of amor? Unacceptable. Inconceivable. Your roots need touching up.”
“Your hair. Let us focus on why you are here, shall we?”
On the side, Aoyama’s phone vibrated. He was too professional to answer it immediately, which gave Eiji chance to see the caller id. Denki Kaminari? Well well. Someone had been busy. But maybe he wouldn't say anything while his hair was held to ransom.
Katsuki picked him up just after noon, hair renewed, and still painfully curious.
“So what now?”
“We get fucking ready. No rush, but wear something nice.”
The car came for them at four.
“That suit, huh?”
“It's not a problem, is it?”
“Fuck no. I just don't get you in it that often.” Well of course not. It was the suit he'd worn when they started dating, it almost felt wrong to wear it for anything but a special occasion. And this had to count. Especially when he realised where they were pulling up.
“Satou’s? Babe. ”
“No questioning, remember?” He quieted, but the shock remained. After all, this was the restaurant that had made Satou famous, that had once memorably received the review that three Michelin stars just didn't seem like enough. It might have been the most expensive place in the city. On new years eve. With his stunningly hot boyfriend who he clearly didn’t deserve.
“Do you have a reservation, sir?”
“Let me… Ah, yes. Your table is prepared for you, if you'd like to follow me.”
Eijirou couldn't help but feel out of place. While the inside wasn't as over the top as he’d expected, he’d spent enough time with Katsuki to be able to tell when things were expensive. He had a horrible feeling the panelling was real rosewood. Oh God. There were no prices on the menu.
“If you ask, I'm breaking up with you. And you better not hold back either.”
Shit. He was on to him. There was no getting around it, so he’d just have to force himself to relax, and enjoy the fact that he was at a candlelit table with Katsuki.
“Might I get you some drinks, sirs?” asked the waiter. Who was wearing a waistcoat. God he was out of his depth.
“A bottle of the house red for now. Eiji, you're fine with that?”
“Yeah, sure babe.”
“Of course. I'll give you some time to decide on your meal. Though if I might offer an opinion the venison is particularly tender today.”
“No one asked for your fucking opinion,” Katsuki muttered when he was out of earshot, and Eijirou had to fight not to snort. And suddenly it was like a spell had been broken - it really was just dinner with his boyfriend, no matter how fancy the place.
“The fuck for?”
“Well… Being you, I guess.”
“You're a fucking weirdo sometimes. So what do you want?”
“Not sure yet. There's steak, but I always get steak, so it might be nice to try something different for once. Oh, wild boar!”
“Yeah, that is pretty you. ...Fuck, the venison does sound good.”
“Babe, if I’m not allowed to pick by price, you're not allowed to pick to spite the waiter. If you want it, get it.” Katsuki grumbled, so he decided to change the subject. “Have you been here before?”
He shrugged. “Once or twice. Always been ponytail behind it though. First time I’ve been for myself.”
It figured. He seemed so at ease here, but that was just him, wasn’t it? Katsuki belonged anywhere he wanted to be, what anyone else thought be damned. ...Maybe that applied to being with him too.
The wild boar was delicious. As was the venison, which Katsuki had insisted he try, and as Eijirou had expected from a place owned by Satou, the desserts were to die for. They’d ended up getting a second bottle of wine, but neither of them were particularly drunk when they left the restaurant just before seven.
“Thanks babe. I really enjoyed myself.”
Katsuki looked at him like he was an idiot. “The fuck are you talking about? We’re just getting started. Hope you brought a coat.”
“...No? Was I supposed to?”
“It’s a good job I thought of it then. I had the driver drop them off at the cloakroom for us. You’re going to need them.”
Because Katsuki, he who loathed the cold more than anyone else alive, was braving the sub zero temperatures to go on a walk with him. Satou’s wasn’t far from battery park, and Katsuki had taken full advantage of that in his planning. Everyone always made such a big fuss over central park that Eijirou hadn't actually ever been there, even though he practically lived round the corner, and he was currently kicking himself for it. Or maybe he wasn't, because it meant his first trip here was walking down the waterfront with his boyfriend, who, despite the gloves, hat, scarf, fur lined coat and second scarf, was already going bright red from the cold.
“Fuck, this was supposed to be romantic,” he grumbled, voice muffled, his breath seeping thick white clouds through the gaps in his scarf. “Why’d it have to be so fucking cold?” Eijirou chuckled (he was lying to himself, it was more of a giggle). “Fuck off. You're not allowed to enjoy my suffering.”
“I'm not. It's just cute, knowing there's something even you can't beat.”
“Oh? You think I'm unbeatable?”
“My very own All Might.” He gently tugged at Katsuki’s scarves, before inviting himself in. “Hey.”
“The fuck are you doing?” muttered Katsuki, but his voice was soft.
“Helping with the cold,” he replied, before leaning in the extra inch. Katsuki’s breath was hot against his face, like a roaring fire that fought off the winter chill. It mixed with his own, billowing until he could barely see the ruby eyes a hair’s breadth from his. The park was quiet, barely anyone there but them, but he wouldn't have cared if it had been full to bursting. Let them see, was his last thought before their mouths met, and the clouds of breath began to thin. He’d half expected to end up pinned to the ground, but Katsuki’s usual hot passion was replaced with a warm tenderness, a gloved hand idly running through Eijirou’s hair. His own arms slipped around Katsuki’s waist, desperately trying to pull him even closer, the scraps of air between them still too vast a gulf for Eijirou. He pictured Katsuki’s heartbeat, strong and steady no matter the situation, and wished he could feel it against his chest for real, even as Katsuki’s other arm drew tight around his back. The bustle of the city faded into a gentle hum, mixing with the lull of the waves until there was only them, and the warmth they shared.
The clouds of breath returned, as their lungs dragged them cruelly back to reality, but neither of them felt particularly inclined to move. Eijirou pressed his forehead to Katsuki’s.
“What's that dumb grin for?”
“Just thinking how romantic it would have been if the fireworks had started going off while we were kissing.”
“Yeah… I've got a better plan though.”
Eijirou begrudgingly left Katsuki’s scarf, and the two of them walked leisurely to the end of the park, fingers entwined together.
“Yeah. How are you with heights?”
Not as great as he said, a fact Katsuki became immediately aware of, as the grip tightened on his arm. He’d booked the helicopter for their private use that evening, and it was designed for comfort. Functionally, the interior was a sofa facing out of the fully windowed sides, where he and Eiji could snuggle together and gaze at the city below. The cockpit divider was even tinted, to give them some privacy. It had been one hell of a find, and worth every cent he’d paid for it.
“Yeah… Just a little nervous.”
“Don't be. I am here.”
“Babe, did you just-”
“Don't ruin the moment. Look, we're high enough to get a good view.”
The city fell away beneath them, countless lights reflected in the waters of the Hudson, as they soared along its course.
“You've never seen New York like this then?”
Eijirou shook his head. “Never. It's beautiful.”
“It's got nothing on you.”
Eijirou thought he’d built up a tolerance to Katsuki’s random compliments, but that one ripped straight through it, and his face went bright enough that even the dim lights of the helicopter were enough to see it. “ Babe. ”
“What? It's true. Now shut up and look at the Statue of Liberty.”
They toured the skies for nearly an hour, until they came to a rest in a seemingly unremarkable patch of air.
“Is something wrong?”
“Look at the time.”
One minute to midnight.
Even from the sky, he could hear the cheer of the crowd. And then the cries were drowned out by fireworks. Right in front of them, filling the sky. Suddenly he understood the point of the helicopter. It was a front row seat for just the two of them.
“Babe… They're incredible. You're incredible. There’s a lot of red though.”
“I know. I wanted them to remind me of you.”
Amidst a riot of crimson and gold, they watched the birth of a new year. Together.
Well, we're getting there. I'd say I've got about two more chapters in me, and then I can finally stop teasing you all with this.
Next chapter will be the promised beach episode.
(When will it come? Who knows. Blame mobile games)