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Holistic Causation

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It was supposed to be a normal afternoon. Bakugou Katsuki finds himself standing in the teacher’s office listening to his homeroom teacher – Aizawa – go on and on and on and bloody on about the importance of good grades. Bakugou rolls his eyes, his hands stuffed in his pockets as he shifts his balance to other foot. Honestly, Bakugou has no fuckin’ idea why he was here and listening to all this crap in the first place. His grades are ranked third in his class, and still bloody third in the whole grade. Surely, that’s not considered poor, is it? Out of boredom, Bakugou glances at the student standing beside him. They were in the same class, he’s never really spoken to the other though – he doesn’t remember speaking to the other. He did find the white-red perfect split coloured hair strange, but then there are all sorts of people in the world.

“Which is why”, Aizawa sighs and puts a hand on Bakugou’s shoulder and pats, “Bakugou, I need you to tutor Todoroki”.

Bakugou does a double take at those words, what. Why? He should’ve listened to Aizawa go on, but there could be no reason on earth that would make it excusable to have him tutor anyone. He’s done nothing wrong, he doesn’t deserve this kind of punishment.

Scowling, Bakugou takes a good look at Todoroki Shouto, he’s honestly never had the impression that the other was bad at studying. They weren’t in the same middle school, but in high school he was sure that the chap was in the top five, ranked just after freakin’ Deku in their class, but what, now he’s being told that Todoroki Shouto has just dropped just like that in grades and needs Bakugou as a tutor – what the shit. But Bakugou shakes his head, perhaps the other is sick – he does look like he has a sickly face – and so hasn’t been studying – which has dropped his grades. But that still isn’t an excuse.

Does it look like he has time for any of this shit? The inter-high tournament is coming up – he needs to focus on that and not trying to tutor an idiot. Because that’s what Todoroki Shouto has to be. Only an idiot would let their grades slip so much to the point where the bloody homeroom teacher would be concerned and pull over someone else to freakin’ help! LIKE, WHAT THE SHIIIIIIT. And because of this shitty asshole’s shitty existence, Bakugou finds himself dragged down as well. It honestly does not sit well with Bakugou. Nup, not at all.

To say he was bamboozled is an understatement.

“No”, Bakugou responds, arms crossed and looks angrily at Aizawa.

“Sorry, Bakugou”, Aizawa’s expression doesn’t change, he shakes his head, “you don’t really get a choice in this”.

Bakugou rolls his eyes, there’s always a choice.

“It’s tutor Todoroki or no national basketball competition for you”, Aizawa sighs, “I trust that there might as well not be a choice there?”

Bakugou’s eyes definitely widen – because – fuck – this was a threat. A good part of Bakugou wants to challenge the other and scrap the inter-high tournament and just not tutor the idiot just so he can prove that there is a choice to be made he can choose and that he isn’t so simple that adults can just decide for him and manipulate him the way they want to. Except it’s the inter-high. It’s his final year in high school, and they’re going to the inter-high tournament – of course they are, what with Bakugou in the team, and they’re going to win the national high school basketball tournament. And Bakugou will be MVP.  So yes Aizawa-sensei is correct in the end that Bakugou will agree to tutor Todoroki – but that doesn’t mean Bakugou has to be happy about it. All he has to do is deter the other, have Todoroki not agree to this in the first place. It’s easy, his attitude in the first place is the best deterrent, who wants a boisterous and easily annoyed tutor anyway. Crap. He really doesn’t admitting himself to have those qualities.

“Todoroki”, Aizawa calls and looks at the slightly taller student, “remember that if your grades don’t go up, there’s no Koshien for you”.

FUCK. Bakugou looks up to the ceiling and wonders why there is no one looking after him from up above. They’re using the same icky threat they did with him with Todoroki. Even as a dedicated basketball player, Bakugou does watch the yearly Summer Koshien. He may not watch it all, but he turns the TV on and it’s playing in the background. He reads the articles in the paper the next day and argues with the newspaper when their opinion is clearly, just wrong. He’s not a huge baseball maniac, but he enjoys watching the sport. And if bloody Todoroki Shouto is going to miss out his chance of going to the Koshien because of his grades then there’s no way the other would want to pull out of the tutoring sessions. Bakugou feels his hopes crumble quickly. But he gathers himself up straight away. There’s always multiple silver linings, right? He hates to admit it, but he’s ranked third, he’s not the best (yet), but he’s doing his best, and it’s always realistic to know that there are people above him so he can challenge himself. Until he becomes number 1. Surely Iida and Yaoyorozu have better temperaments, not that Bakugou wants to admit, and it’s hard to think about it for too long, but their grades are better, so surely, they’re the better choice.

“Iida-”, Bakugou begins but get interrupted by Aizawa almost immediately.

“Iida and Yaoyorozu are both busy with their class representative duties as well as their after-school activities”, Aizawa gives Bakugou a small smile, “you’re the best student we have who isn’t involved in multiple after school activities”.

Bakugou frowns. Nope, he doesn’t like where this is heading, he can feel the anchor in his stomach weigh him down and swing side by side, as though it were taunting him. Surely qualifying for the summer national basketball tournament should count as multiple after school activities.

“I trust that this extra activity to help a fellow sportsman will not be a hindrance to your usual activities”, Aizawa’s tone has pride in it. He knows how to pull all of Bakugou’s strings well. He knows where Bakugou is weakest and aims right there with no shame.

And Bakugou knows that Aizawa is proud of him, proud of his grades, proud of his basketball performances, but no, no, he doesn’t want to admit and say that Todoroki Shouto won’t be a hindrance to his usual daily performances, because honestly, he won’t be, but, but, he doesn’t want to be forced to do this. It was ridiculous.

“You’ve always aspired to be like All Might-sensei, right?” Aizawa says to Bakugou, knowing full well how All Might has inspired Bakugou, “he definitely is a great teacher, one who wouldn’t let any student fail if he could help it”.

Todoroki becomes visibly tense.

Bakugou groans, “I get it! I get it!” It was a low blow to bring up All Might, Aizawa must be desperate. Wanting to be an incredible teacher like All Might doesn’t mean he should be going out of his way now to help someone who most likely had just let his grades flunk. He’s sure that if the other put some effort in he could lift himself from the failing grades – stupid half-ass.

“Thanks Bakugou”, Todoroki looks at Bakugou with determination, “I look forward to working with you”, he reaches out to place a hand on Bakugou’s shoulder but Bakugou roughly moves away just as Todoroki touches, the glare on his face clearly telling the other to not freakin’ touch me.

“Look”, Aizawa proposes, “I’ll even let you come over and pet my tabby cat”.

Bakugou immediately looks away from Todoroki to give his stupid homeroom teacher a shocked face, it quickly turns into anger though, “I don’t need that kind of bribe!” The idea of being able to play with Aizawa’s pet tabby cat was definitely a positive prospect – but the fact that it was being used as a bribe because Bakugou is sulking due to his current position, is not a good thought at all. Plus, since they live in dorms, it’s easy for Bakugou to bribe Aizawa’s tabby cat out to play anyway, he doesn’t specifically need permission when he’s sure Aizawa’s tabby cat likes him more than his stoic owner anyway. He honestly doesn’t even need to bribe the tabby cat for the cat to come and slink around his legs. Bakugou looks back at Todoroki who is wearing a dark and upset look – and Bakugou thinks that the one who should be upset isn’t Todoroki Shouto – he should be grateful and crying with happiness to even be able to spend one on one time with Bakugou Katsuki.

Which leads Bakugou stomping to basketball practice with a black cloud hovering above him – his mood was in the dumps. “Stupid Aizawa-sensei, stupid Todoroki Shouto”, Bakugou mumbles even as he changes into uniform in the change room. The training is as usual, vigorous. And as captain of the team, he’s even more strict – he wants to lead the team to victory. Basketball had been a joyful and painful experience for himself. He definitely enjoyed it, probably a bit too much to the point where he had become a very one-man team. His style of play was very independent, he received passes but did not give passes if he didn’t have to. That was until he started high school and was taught by the people around him that basketball is actually a very team-oriented game. And speaking honestly, it did make the game more fun. And he had thought it was absolutely the bomb to begin with, but now he can make it even better by playing as a team – sure thing. That doesn’t mean he needs help from anyone though. If anything, he’s helping his team by sending them passes. Still Bakugou knows that he isn’t entirely co-operative. He has his moments. But, him and his teammates they try to bring the best out of each other. It took a long time for this to happened – nearly a couple of years – and it really wasn’t until the end of second year when it actually happened – which by the way wasn’t too long ago.

If his teammates on the regular team - Kirishima, Sero, Kaminari and Shouji and the their go-lucky manager – Ashido doesn’t sense that Bakugou is in a foul mood, then something clearly is wrong with them, because they sure do see the dark atmosphere hanging around Bakugou. They’re not known to be Bakugou’s friends for no reason. But they don’t’ speak up, thinking it’s probably better to wait for Bakugou to calm down and then probe information out of him when he isn’t so upset. Or so, is what Kirishima whispers to the friends. It was good that they all had the same thoughts however. They jog around the court as warm up, they have short matches, they practice their dribbling and their shoots. But Bakugou feels his shoulders tense. And he can’t seem to unwind. Even as they wrap up and clean the indoor courts, Bakugou finds himself feeling agitated, he knows what he’s agitated about and he hates that it lets him affect him so.

He just has to accept that he’s been given a new task, a new responsibility. Todoroki Shouto. If he sees it as a challenge, then that should placate his fuming mood. Bakugou grumbles because no he doesn’t really want to despite wanting to not feel like a prickly fern. Even as Bakugou stands under the showerhead and washes himself, he doesn’t feel that it’s doing any good to his heart, he still doesn’t feel calm. He can hear the others gossip – like they always do – usually their nonsense makes Bakugou rolls his eyes, what’s so interesting about talking about which girl has the nicest boobs anyway. Lumps of fat. Bakugou runs a hand over his abs and is reassured that his abs are much nicer than two bloody lumps of fat. If anything, they should focus more on their shooting techniques by observing professional basketball players and watch how they play the game.

Bakugou towels himself dry quickly and doesn’t hang around to listen to their useless chatter. He does walk a little slower however when he hears them – his friends - call out for him and he hears them quickly rush to get dressed and run after him. It was like this every single time. It’s not like Bakugou needs people to escort him back. They say they just want to spend more time with him – but Bakugou knows that’s just an excuse and they’re just on the lookout to make sure Bakugou doesn’t get kidnapped again. It’s not like it was even a proper kidnap, it was just a school from the neighbouring district wanting to recruit him to join their school and consequently their basketball team. Thinking about it makes Bakugou roll his eyes. He was here in this school for All Might – the vice-principal of the school – and also Bakugou’s idol. It’s not like he’d go elsewhere. He wants to become just like All Might. A teacher and role-model for all.

The sun had definitely set by the time they set foot outside of the indoor courts and made their way back to the dorms. He ignores the volleyball team that’s still filing into the indoor courts for practice. He deliberately turns away when Midoriya tries to catch his attention. Bakugou wants to laugh at the way his friends actively look around, looking for spies, for intruders, for people who look like they’ll whisk Bakugou away with a better deal than All Might. They drop Ashido off at her dorms first before the rest of them make their way to the male dorms. Bakugou dumps his basketball gear in his room before he goes to refill his water bottle and chucks it into a tote bag along with his mini pencil case. He grabs a few of his note books and slips them in his tote bag before leaving his room. Time to go meet Todoroki Shouto the half-ass who’s going to Koshien, if he doesn’t fail.

However, before going to see the idiot, Bakugou deliberately seeks out Aizawa’s tabby cat – which wasn’t hard, he slinks around the corridor enough - and plays with him, he pets him and rubs his neck, he doesn’t even find it strange that the cat is so touchy feely. Bakugou brushes his nose against the other’s nose before he heads over to their homeroom classroom which Aizawa has granted them permission to study in – Todoroki already there and waiting.

“At least start studying”, Bakugou sighs and takes a seat opposite Todoroki and hangs his tote bag on the back of his chair and taking his water bottle out with ease.

“Oh”, Todoroki nods but makes no move to start studying at all, instead he just stares at Bakugou with an unreadable face. Stupid poker face.

“Well!?” Bakugou huffs and takes the first book on Todoroki’s stack of books on the desk, “what do you need help with again?”

“Um”, Todoroki hesitates a bit as though he too can’t remember what he needs help with, “I think it was Anatomy”.

“You think”, Bakugou mutters and already feels an incoming headache.

“And possibly Physics, Chemistry, Contemporary Japanese-” Todoroki continues as he mentally counts the subjects he’s taking.

Bakugou is not impressed, “would it have been easier to ask what you don’t need help with?”

“Maths”, Todoroki answers immediately with a straight face

Bakugou wants to bury his head in his hands, this person before him is hopeless, he almost wants to tell the other it’ll be better for him to give up on Koshien, but he knows that if someone told him to give up on his inter-high dream, he’d be furious. And if Todoroki Shouto got as far as entering Koshien, surely he would also be furious to some point, right? And so Bakugou doesn’t mention it. He doesn’t want to start a fight, not really anyway. He kind of wants to annoy the other so that Todoroki will go to someone else for help, but Bakugou knows well that with the other’s hopelessness, probably only Bakugou Katsuki can be his saviour now. Perhaps he does sound a bit arrogant, a bit too confident, but, he has faith in his abilities. And at least they are studying the same subjects. It’ll help.

Opening up Todoroki’s note book and flipping through the pages, Bakugou notes it’s Todoroki’s Chemistry notes – except they’re appalling, “what’s with this half-ass’d notes?” It’s a rhetorical question but Todoroki leans in to look at what Bakugou was talking about – even though they’re his own notes.

“Wha-”, Todoroki wants to defend himself but is cut off but Bakugou.

“These aren’t even complete, you just wrote stuff down half-heartedly!” Bakugou sighs and places the notebook down and looks Todoroki in the eye, “are you even serious?”

“I am!” Todoroki sits up straight, his eyes widen as he looks directly into Bakugou’s eyes and his voice is filled with conviction, “I’m very serious!”

“Then first of all re-write these notes”, Bakugou rolls his eyes, “we’ll start from there, you half-ass”. It already felt like such a long task. A long, boring and tiring task. When Todoroki’s blank look doesn’t change and doesn’t even bother to grab his notebook to start re-writing the notes, Bakugou realises that the guy before him is definitely an idiot. This is when Bakugou is glad for his foresight and brought his notebooks with him too. Sighing again, Bakugou bends back and fishes out his chemistry note book, he flips to the first page and shows the other, “like this”.

Todoroki nods and takes Bakugou’s notebook. His thumb gently rubs the pages and his eyes reads well through the neat notes, “can I have this, please?” Todoroki has the guts to ask.

The glare Bakugou gives the other is by no means just to try and scare the other. He puts effort into his notes and he makes it for himself, it’s personalised, targeting areas he’s familiar with and areas he’s not as strong in. There’s a reason he’s ranked high in grades.

“It’s written so beautifully, the colour coding, the different topics categorised and explained so neatly, it’s perfect”, Todoroki states, a small appreciative smile on his lips.

“Flattery will get you nowhere”, Bakugou shakes his head, he’s definitely happy to hear the compliments, but, he won’t let Todoroki Shouto take the shortcut – he’d make him do things properly, not half-ass through this, and if Todoroki gets fed up, even better, Bakugou won’t have to continue playing his current role! “Do your own work, I’ll explain things and then you write your own notes”.

Expecting Todoroki to look dejected, Bakugou smirks at the other, however Todoroki looks far from dejected, instead he’s nodding enthusiastically. Bakugou can see the comprehension in the other’s eyes. He really was a weird one. Bakugou clicks his tongue before he looks through Todoroki’s stack of books and pulls out their Chemistry text book, Bakugou flips to the first topic and finds it in his note book too. He opens it in front of Todoroki and starts explaining. Occasionally, he’d hold up his index finger and ask an impromptu question. When Todoroki answered correctly, he felt a surge of pride well up in his belly – and he had just started tutoring the other – what in the world. At least Todoroki finally starts showing traits of how he was ranked in the top five for grades in their class – he learns quickly. At least it doesn’t seem like Bakugou is stuck in a sea of acrimony and misery.

When the clock was ten to ten, Bakugou packs up his notebook and water bottle, “that’s it for tonight”.

Todoroki looks behind him at the clock, “it’s not even 10 yet”.

“I sleep at 10”, Bakugou responds without missing a beat, “I’m not missing out on any sleep because of you, don’t you have morning practice too?”

Todoroki purses his lips and nods and starts packing up too. Bakugou simply waves and walks out of the classroom whilst the other continues to pack up his belongings.

The next morning, Bakugou gets up early for morning practice – he calls it morning practice but he’s really just jogging around the field and then practicing his shoots. He does however take this chance to take a peek at the baseball field – and yes indeed Todoroki Shouto is definitely there – he’s so easy to pick out, Bakugou realises, with that white and red hair peeking out from the baseball cap now that he’s looking for the other. Bakugou smiles to himself, of course someone going to Koshien would be up early for morning practice. He knew he was right. Even though the other was a chore, Bakugou finds that he did have a small amount of respect for people who did their best for sports. Most likely because Bakugou himself enjoyed sports very much himself. If it weren’t for All Might, perhaps his already chosen profession for the future would be different.

However, as much respect as Bakugou does have for dedicated sports players, he really didn’t like seeing them freakin’ fall asleep in class. Which is why the slumbering Todoroki in their first class of the day really annoyed Bakugou. Extra co-curricular activities are important, however, so is studying, in today’s society, having good grades open so many other doors, so many other possibilities, why one would simply waste it away isn’t logical in Bakugou’s head. It’s all about keep a good balance. And if Todoroki doesn’t at least get a pass in his grades, he won’t be going to Koshien, and Bakugou is already sure that Aizawa will look at him with a frown – the trust and confidence he received from their homeroom teacher is heavy. And drastic measures need to be taken to keep up the trust and the responsibility. To keep his pride soaring high.

Bakugou has no shame as he turns and clearly throws things – rubber, coins, spare lollies he keeps in his bag - at Todoroki – and Bakugou is very happy to have all his shots land – he isn’t the ace of their basketball team for no reason (he isn’t the best shooter however). Except Todoroki just shakes his head, looks up and towards Bakugou, gives the other a lazy smile and a small wave and goes straight back to sleep. It was infuriating. He’s very close to getting up from his chair, going over to the other and beating him up. But that might leave both Bakugou and Todoroki unable to join the national tournaments in the respective sporting fields. And not to mention he’d be disrupting the class more than usual – and that clearly isn’t something he should be doing, but it doesn’t stop him from wanting to do it. The guy clearly knows he’s failing his classes yet has the guts to sleep in class – it doesn’t make sense. He most definitely is a half-ass idiot. Perhaps his memory was wrong and Todoroki never ranked in the top 5 for grades in their class. Because no one can be that stupid. He suddenly sees Kaminari’s idiotic face roll by in his thoughts and retracts his thoughts that no one can be that stupid – because Kaminari probably could be.

Before the next class begins, Bakugou stands up abruptly, talks to the student beside him in a serious manner – who nods. He ignores Midoriya who sits behind him and is clearly trying to work out what he’s doing. The student quickly packs up their things and vacates their seat and follows after Bakugou who then strides over to Todoroki and scowls when he finds the other hasn’t even taken any of his books out. Bakugou lightly hits him on the head and hisses out, “wake up you useless trash”.

Todoroki slowly shakes his head again and looks up, his face lighting up when his eyes make contact with Bakugou’s face.

Bakugou then takes Todoroki’s bag and drags the other to the other side of the room where Bakugou’s seat is and plops the other’s belongings on the now empty desk beside him. With rough movements, Bakugou drags the desk over so it sits side by side to him and looks to his right where Todoroki is and looks intensely at the other, “from now on, you’re going to sit next to me you half-ass”.

With no qualms or disagreements, Todoroki nods, “okay”, a very small smile still on his face as he plops down in the seat beside Bakugou and quickly makes himself comfortable on the desk. Bakugou takes his seat and gives everyone else in the classroom a glare so they’d stop staring and mind their own business. Bakugou wants to laugh in irony. He wanted to mind his own business too, but he had to be bloody tasked to make sure Todoroki Shouto’s grades don’t slip even more and actually get better. And to think the other had the guts to make it even harder than it is for Bakugou by sleeping in class! It wasn’t a challenge he couldn’t do, but, there was no gain for Bakugou in it.

Though when the next teacher comes into class, Bakugou finds himself getting up from his seat again and going over to give the teacher a quiet explanation of what was going on so that they wouldn’t make a fuss out of why they pulled two desks over together – if they were doing suspicious things. When Bakugou makes his way back to his seat, he sees Midoriya looking at him with wide eyes. Bakugou ignores him again and takes his seat. He looks over at Todoroki who is very comfortable with his head buried in his arms on the desk, his face turned to the side so that’s he’s watching Bakugou. At least the other wasn’t asleep.

With a yank, Bakugou pulls Todoroki by the shoulder and makes the other sit up. He gives the other a dark look and his tone filled with threat, “you’ll be studying, no sleeping”. He gives Todoroki the finger just for good measure.

Todoroki frowns in reply, “Bakugou-”

But Bakugou interrupts before the other can even try to make some sort of excuse, “take out your books”.

Todoroki is silent and just looks at Bakugou. If the other weren’t such a half-ass idiot, Bakugou would say the stare was quite creepy, a blank stare that seemed to be analysing everything on Bakugou’s face, it was more intense than he thought would be possible for Todoroki Shouto who seemed so far to really not care about his grades and hence the trouble he causes for other people. So inconsiderate.

“It’s physics”, Bakugou rolls his eyes as he pulls out his physics text book and notebook. He watches as Todoroki fumbles around in his bag, looking for the appropriate books. He gets a really, really bad feeling when the only thing Todoroki takes out is a piece of paper and a pen. Fuck. Bakugou knew it. The other had forgotten his books. This guy was a nightmare. A walking, sleeping and idiotic nightmare.

“Thank you, Bakugou”, Todoroki says with another small smile as though Bakugou had already agreed to sharing his text book with the other. The thought makes Bakugou’s blood boil. But Bakugou quenches his anger and places his physics text book in between the desk, right in the middle and already opened up to the correct page.

Bakugou had honestly thought that things could get better from here, except it doesn’t. Todoroki doesn’t do any of the work in class, he takes no notes, he doesn’t even touch his pen, instead he spends all his time looking, no, staring at Bakugou. Aggressively, Bakugou points at the text book and mutters under his breath for Todoroki to concentrate on class. Todoroki nods and looks at where Bakugou points to, but Bakugou soon finds that Todoroki’s gaze shifts back to Bakugou’s face anyway.

“Study”, Bakugou emphasises and points to the question in the physics book, “answer this for me now”. The small chatter of hardworking students masks the distress in Bakugou’s voice. The teacher walks around and answers questions and explains the more difficult concepts. He occasionally stops the class from working to discuss difficult questions and how it makes sense in the world of physics.

Recess couldn’t approach any faster.

“Kacchan”, Midoriya calls out and Bakugou wants to tear his hair out, he doesn’t need more idiots on his back. One Todoroki Shouto was already enough.

“Go away, Deku”, Bakugou replies without even looking at Midoriya. Bakugou’s hand immediately darts to hold onto Todoroki’s arm as he tries to stand up, “stay seated fucking Todoroki Shouto”.

Todoroki swallows thickly, nods and stays seated.

“If you’re thinking you’re getting a break, that’s naïve”, Bakugou growls, “we’re going to go through the first 2 periods today over recess”.

Todoroki inhales sharply and resigns himself to his now desk next to Bakugou.

Bakugou pushes aside Todoroki’s empty piece of paper and places a brand new notebook in front of Todoroki, “just for today, record all your notes in here, we’re not going to waste time going back to the dorms to grab your shitty books”. Bakugou sighs and pulls the textbook closer to Todoroki, scoots closer and starts explaining in great detail what Todoroki should’ve learnt the period before. When Bakugou notes that Todoroki is finally writing, Bakugou feels a sense of relief course through him. The other really is useless, but at least not totally useless.

When a strawberry milk makes its way in front of Bakugou though, Bakugou does look up and sees Midoriya beaming at him.

“You’re working so hard”, Midoriya states.

“I don’t need you to bloody go buy me drinks”, Bakugou scowls and glares at Midoriya. He takes the strawberry milk however and does start drinking it.

“Bakugou, you like strawberry milk?” Todoroki asks and immediately brings Bakugou’s attention back.

Bakugou turns to look at Todoroki to tell the other to shut up, study when he finds that they’re sitting too close to each other for comfort. Immediately, Bakugou’s eyes widen a little and he shifts away from Todoroki, “mind your own business”.

They obviously didn’t get to cover everything or even most of it in the short half hour break. The next period runs similarly to the previous periods. Todoroki not even trying to concentrate and study, him just staring at Bakugou work the whole time, he at least did try when Bakugou glared at him and pointed out specific sections for him to work on. It was a chore, and Bakugou was already wondering if his memory was wrong, and perhaps Todoroki was never in the top five grades of the class, but had always been in the bottom five. That seemed so much more likely.

Todoroki Shouto is renowned to be an amazing baseball player with amazing grades – is the reply Bakugou gets from his basketball group chat on LINE. It only left Bakugou feeling more confused.

He’s the captain of the baseball team

They’re going Koshien!

Did he do something to you?

Bakugou rolls his eyes, as though fuckin’ Todoroki Shouto can do anything to him. He stops checking when he can feel his friends start getting bloody over-protective over next to nothing again. Seriously. It started off as somewhat a joke, then it became a concern, and now everything, absolutely everything is a threat to Bakugou’s wellbeing. And that to Bakugou is the biggest joke and also a big form of harassment. Despite the friends saying that they’re trying to protect him from harassment.

“Don’t cross the line, asshole”, Bakugou mutters out and nudges Todoroki’s arm back across to his side of the table when he feels Todoroki’s arm brushes against his elbow when he writes. He immediately thinks of that one moment when he realised Todoroki was sitting too close to him in recess. Bakugou mentally groans, he has to put up with it. He’s 99.9% sure that as soon as leaves Todoroki semi-alone, he’d go back to sleeping.

Lunch time sends the regular basketball team and their manager Ashido to come pick Bakugou up for lunch. They all glare at Todoroki one by one, giving him side glances and sizing him up. Todoroki however does not look confronted or intimidated. He greets them all with a monotonous voice. Bakugou would usually tell them to stop and to go away, but he doesn’t, not with Todoroki Shouto the half-ass idiot. He sighs and stands from his seat, ignores the worried look from Midoriya he catches in his peripheral vision.

“I’ll give you 10 minutes to go to the restroom, grab lunch, whatever, if you’re not back here in 10 minutes with lunch, I’m beating you up”, Bakugou states very seriously to Todoroki and then stalks off with his group of friends hurrying after him, but not before they all give Todoroki a dark look.

“What’s up with you and Todoroki?” Kirishima asks, his voice filled with concern.

“Nothing”, Bakugou answers straight away.

“Are you guys friends now?” Shouji asks with confusion.

Bakugou shakes his head, “no”.

“Why’s his desk stuck next to yours?” Ashido asks, her voice filled with masked mirth, “some kind of entertainment for the class?”

“No”, Bakugou answers and he makes a turn for the toilet.

Eventually, Bakugou ditches his group of friends and goes back to the classroom with a yakisoba-pan and is somewhat glad to see that Todoroki is already sitting in his seat with an untouched soba, clearly waiting for Bakugou to return.

The studying starts and Bakugou thoroughly goes through concepts Todoroki finds difficult. Bakugou quickly learns that it isn’t that Todoroki finds the concepts difficult, it’s just that the other just doesn’t know it. They continue the rest of the day with their tables stuck side by side, Bakugou’s presence next to Todoroki keeping the other from sleeping, but also not resulting in super productive studying from Todoroki when he continues to just stare at Bakugou’s face.

There were a couple of times throughout the day Bakugou let his mind wander and think about giving up on Todoroki Shouto. He really was so close to being a hopeless case. And the nerve of the guy rubbed him in all the wrong ways as well, it clearly doesn’t help his current predicament. Though, when Bakugou eventually calmed down, he brushes aside his thoughts of wanting to abandon Todoroki Shouto and instead treads on and explains to Todoroki Shouto what he wasn’t listening to in class. If Todoroki Shouto maybe actually tried harder and listened in class, he probably doesn’t even need Bakugou Katsuki to tutor him. In fact, Bakugou was sure of this. But as soon as Bakugou takes his eyes off the other and goes off to do something else that isn’t study related, freakin’ Todoroki Shouto drops his head on the desk and goes straight back to sleep. It was infuriating.

It irks Bakugou to know that by the end of classes, almost everyone knows of Todoroki and Bakugou’s seating arrangements in class. It shouldn’t even be that interesting that it becomes some kind of fodder for all the gossipers in school – which is close to every single person. He’s sure it’ll become an article in their school’s fortnightly newspaper. Bakugou takes a quick glance at his friends’ group chat and regrets it straight away.

Todoroki was ranked #1 good looking male.

He was also ranked #1 sexy.

He was also ranked #1 hottest person.

And #1 person you want to spend a night with.

Bakugou huffs and wonders again how he got tangled up with such a well-known face of the school. If only the whole school could see Todoroki Shouto from his point of view – a half-ass idiot with only Koshien going for him. It was ridiculous enough that the school held polls based on a person’s appearance. Bakugou remembers the time he received the most votes for the person you want to cuddle and pet the most. Like, seriously, what the shit, how did these students even view him? If he could beat up them all, he will, but he definitely doesn’t want a permanent mark in his history for juvenile violence. When he thinks about it later, he’s sure it was just his group of friends illegally placing too many multiple votes for him. It seems like some form of fond harassment they’d get up to. He can practically hear their cackles as they discuss and plan out their mischief.

They go to their individual practice sessions – Todoroki for baseball, Bakugou for basketball. And Bakugou enjoys working up a sweat, if he barks more orders and is more aggravated than usual, no one mentions anything. If he picks on Kaminari’s dribbling too much or pushes Sero to practice more passes, no one says no, they only nod and continue to practice harder, all together. Bakugou had never really thought he’d be this into a team game where clearly there were people all around him letting him down, but the people he had beside him weren’t too terrible. They were acceptable. They were strong. And they were going to the national tournament and they’ll go through it like a storm. Or so he hopes anyway. Aiming to win the national tournament is probably stretching it, but they aim high, and they will aim for number 1 high school team in Japan. That will be and is their goal, and they’ll all work hard for it.

Bakugou feels much more refreshed after practice, he sits in the classroom and waits for Todoroki to show up whilst he quietly eats his dinner. It was only about 5 minutes before Todoroki shows up, a slight puff in his breath, the other must’ve ran over, Bakugou glances at the clock and notes that Todoroki is on time. Todoroki takes out his dinner and starts eating too. Bakugou grumbles and reaches over to take out Todoroki’s books as well, they can eat and study at the same time. This time, things do go along more swimmingly, they do go through more content than they did the previous night, and Bakugou again leaves before his bed time, subtly hinting to the Koshien player that he really should turn over for the night too.

The next morning, Bakugou wakes up with a slight ache in his shoulders which quickly disappear once he gives it a few good rolls. Morning practice continued without change. He once again jogged pass the baseball club who were also working hard in their field. Bakugou doesn’t want to look for Todoroki, but his eyes just wander through the club and lands on the captain regardless. Bakugou notes that even as captain of a sports team, Todoroki speaks moderately and level-headed. There’s no screaming or barking orders at others. Bakugou supposes that there all types of sports teams.

Practice goes by like a breeze. His teammates won’t shut up about this new development between Todoroki and Bakugou. It was barely a development, he was just tutoring the other – not that anyone else needs to know. For all Bakugou cares, they can go along assuming whatever shit they’re assuming, so long as it doesn’t make it to his ears.

Bakugou doesn’t want to owe Midoriya anything so he leaves a Hokkaido milk on Midoriya’s desk the next morning. Todoroki also walks in not long after and as discussed, takes a seat to Bakugou’s right, their tables still joined together.

“I like banana milk”, Todoroki leans over and whispers into Bakugou’s ear. Bakugou is taken by surprise at the proximity and immediately swats the other and puts an appropriate distance between them.

“I don’t care”, Bakugou replies with a snap, he flicks open the text book before class even starts and tells Todoroki to start working instead.

A small pout makes its way to Todoroki’s face, but it’s quickly wiped away when he watches Bakugou rub his ear, as though the small whisper left Bakugou’s ear feeling super sensitive. This time, Todoroki does bring his textbooks and his notebooks. Bakugou swore he’d beat the other up if he kept doing shit half-heartedly.

“Thank you, Kacchan!” Midoriya’s very pleased voice makes its way to Bakugou’s ears. Bakugou grunts as a reply.

Recess comes before Bakugou realises. He notes that this time, Todoroki doesn’t try to get out of his seat. He stays put and looks at Bakugou for instructions, “are we studying now too?”

“Yes”, Bakugou rolls his eyes, “we’d be doing this until your grades get better”. As the classmates shuffle in and out of the room is when Bakugou realises that there’s a hoard of girls outside the classroom peering in. He follows their line of sight and sees them all staring at Todoroki. It makes Bakugou want to roll his eyes even more. What his friends told him about Todoroki being super popular were not lies – not that he thought they were, but he hadn’t realised the extent of the other’s popularity.

When Bakugou comes to again, he finds himself looking at strawberry milk. He raises an eyebrow, looks pass it and at Todoroki who was holding onto said strawberry milk – and apparently was offering it to Bakugou.

“You like strawberry milk, right?” Todoroki states.

“Doesn’t mean I want anything from you, shitty ass”, Bakugou frowns and instead pulls the textbook closer and tells Todoroki to start working.

“Can’t you consider it something I can give you for giving up your free time to spend with me?” Todoroki asks, his voice quiet, he places the strawberry milk on the desk and then pushes it over to Bakugou’s side of the desk – over the line.

“I’m not doing this to because I want you to give me strawberry milk”, Bakugou hisses, “if you know you’re taking up my free time, then study harder to up your grades! Half-ass shit!”

The strawberry milk ends up sitting in the corner of Bakugou’s desk until lunch – when Bakugou decides he will have the strawberry milk after all. And it’s whilst he’s enjoying his strawberry milk and watching Todoroki work when a girl with a deep blush walks over to Todoroki and interrupts him. Bakugou immediately feels irritated, he already doesn’t get much time to tutor Todoroki, they really don’t need interruptions.

“Can I talk to you, Todoroki-kun?” The girl asks, fidgeting a little.

Todoroki looks up at the girl and then at Bakugou – who’s glaring at Todoroki and tapping his desk, waiting for Todoroki to start working again. “Sorry”, Todoroki looks at the girl and shakes his head, he looks back at Bakugou gives the other an apologetic look before digging back into the text book, “I’m busy at the moment”.

“O-oh”, the girls is slightly taken aback, she places a cute envelope on Todoroki’s desk, “I’ll leave this here then, please read it when you have time”.

Todoroki takes a glance at the envelope and sees the cute writing and hearts drawn all over the envelope – he knows what it is, he receives multiple a week. “I can’t accept this, I’m sorry”, Todoroki picks up the envelope and hands it back to the girl.

Bakugou has never really thought of dating. He does well by himself. Dating would be willingly tying extra baggage to oneself and having it drag you down. He has had his fair share of confessions, from all types of people. But none have ever met Bakugou’s expectations. In the end, it was Midoriya cleaning up the mess, giving kind words to the ones rejected by Bakugou. Midoriya really stuck his nose in everyone’s business. One day, perhaps, Bakugou does think it would be nice to have someone of equal standing, someone with similar IQ, someone with similar physical abilities. That would be nice. But, that wouldn’t be anytime soon. At the moment, his priority is studying – to become a teacher, and basketball – to do well at the national tournament.

Things quickly fall into a rhythm. After morning practice, they meet in the classroom a little earlier before class starts, they eat breakfast together whilst Bakugou explains very briefly upcoming topics for the day, to put Todoroki on the right track so that he can try and concentrate more during class. During class, Todoroki will work. He will study. Especially with Bakugou beside him, almost nagging. Lunch comes and they take a short 10 minute break before they go back to studying, a lot of the time, lunch in hand. Multi-tasking is a handy skill after all. Most lunches, Bakugou is sipping on his strawberry milk and writing up his own notes whilst helping Todoroki on the side as well. There’s usually practice after class, and they each go to their own. Their dinner takes place together, in the classroom, surrounded by textbooks and notes. Eventually, they just took turns bringing dinner for each other, it made things easier – or so Todoroki said.

Bakugou quickly realises that more than tutoring, things are looking to be more like a study group – except they’re not in a group, it’s just the two of them. He doesn’t want to admit it but this arrangement of theirs quickly settles into a familiar routine. It almost puts Bakugou at peace.

“I have a practice match this Saturday”, Todoroki states whilst he finishes up his notes for chemistry.

Bakugou doesn’t respond verbally, he only nods and continues his own chemistry notes.

“Would you like to come watch?” Todoroki asks carefully.

Bakugou looks up at Todoroki, there’s no setting afternoon sun to illuminate Todoroki and, there’s no sweet atmosphere going on, but Bakugou feels a flutter in his stomach. He feels slightly nervous. He doesn’t know why he’s feeling this way, but the fact that he’s not feeling himself leaves Bakugou feeling confused and strange.

“You can come after your basketball practice”, Todoroki offers.

Swallowing thickly, Bakugou scrutinizes Todoroki’s face, waiting for the other to break out in song and dance or something else just as ridiculous. But he doesn’t, he looks at Bakugou with a soft smile and Bakugou can feel that flutter in him again. He can feel the back of his neck heat up and Bakugou decides that Todoroki doesn’t need the low hum of a spring breeze or the soft illumination of a setting afternoon sun to make him seem prince like. For the first time, Bakugou believes he can see why most of the girls at school are freakin’ infatuated with this guy. He was really, really pleasing to the eye – mind and heart.

Bakugou nods, “okay”.

Immediately, Bakugou can see flowers coming out of Todoroki’s head as he lights up, his expression now decorated with a timid grin. Bakugou feels a surge of accomplishment for placing that smile on the other’s face. Honestly, Bakugou isn’t too into baseball. Sure he watches most of Koshien – but then who doesn’t? This practice match he’ll watch would give him a good idea of what kind of baseball played Todoroki is, frankly speaking, he never really remembered Todoroki being on the baseball team, or anyone really… they were all just baseball players to him.

The week rolls by slowly. His friends sit around and chat as quietly as the can whilst Bakugou continues lending Todoroki a hand and helping him with his studies. Bakugou doesn’t want to admit, but the rate in which Todoroki absorbs information is alarming. He really could be a studious honour student, if he weren’t such a half-ass slacker. Bakugou knows that led by Kirishima with the shitty hair, the small group of friends were throwing glances at him, questioning him with their gaze. He realises that he’s getting chummier than expected with bloody Todoroki Shouto. But the other is just someone he’s been unfortunate enough to be delegated to help. So what if they eat their meals together. So what if Todoroki brings him a strawberry milk each day without fail? They only ever talk about study – nothing else. They’re not acquaintances, they’re not friends, they’re classmates. And that’s it. And for fuck’s sake, Todoroki isn’t going to kidnap him to the baseball team. They really need to chill.

So when Todoroki starts walking Bakugou back to his room after their study sessions at night, Bakugou crosses his arms and looks defiantly at the other, “who put you up to this?”

Todoroki blinks in confusion.

“Was it Ashido? Kaminari? Shouji?” Bakugou asks, shooting out names rapidly, “Kirishima? Sero?” and then mutters under his breath, “don’t tell me it’s freakin’ Deku.” Bakugou temper catches onto his voice slightly as he grits out, “I’m not going to get kidnapped so stop following me around”.

Todoroki holds up both hands in defence, “we just want to ensure your safety”.

Bakugou honestly feels he can beat the friends up using Todoroki Shouto as a giant whacking stick. So chill they did, they trust Todoroki Shouto enough that he’s part of we now. Trusts him to bring Bakugou back to his room without ambush – the only ambush Bakugou receives now is Aizawa’s tabby cat. Seriously. But the level of harassment is still high. They definitely haven’t chill’d in that aspect.

“I hadn’t realised you were in such dangers”, Todoroki honestly look apologetic, his tone filled with regret, “I would’ve started making sure you go back safely earlier if I had known”.

“Well I haven’t been since, so it’s fine, you can stop”, Bakugou hisses, “whatever they told you, it’s an exaggeration on their part to harass me”, Bakugou explains.

Todoroki nods. And Bakugou thinks that the other has understood, that is until he bloody finds Todoroki Shouto at his door the very next morning.

“What are you doing?” Bakugou’s tension is high, there’s agitation in his voice.

“I’ll walk you to practice”, Todoroki says, “just in case”.

Bakugou rolls his eyes and lightly kicks Todoroki’s leg in defiance. But the other doesn’t go away, he follows after Bakugou to practice and has the guts to nod and tell him, “work hard, I’ll see you before class”.

Of course Bakugou is going to work hard. He has the motivation, and he’s never lost it. He knows what he wants. Bakugou sneers at Todoroki who smiles back and they both turn around, Bakugou groans when he sees his teammates’ eyes all staring widely at him. They don’t even need to speak for Bakugou to know what’s going through their heads.

“What, is Todoroki escorting you around now too?” Kirishima asks with a teasing tone.

“No thanks to you shit-heads!” Bakugou is angry, he’s not sure why he’s so angry, but he is. He gives them all a glare before he pads off to the changeroom. To get into gear. There’s a pregnant pause in the atmosphere, but Bakugou pays no heed to the frowns he receives. Or Ashido’s maniacal cackle that comes after it.

And as promised, Todoroki Shouto does end up back at his desk - still stuck next to Bakugou’s own desk before class starts. And Bakugou gives the other a glare before opening up the text book and going through the topics they were to cover in class that day – which meant no napping in class.

At lunch Bakugou gets up when he sees his freakin’ escort come and get him. He gets up and sighs. They’re occasional retards, but they’re really his closest and maybe only friends. Except they don’t hone into him. They literally grab Todoroki by the limbs and take him away. The shock on Bakugou’s face mirrored the shock on Todoroki’s face. The flurry of hurried whispers filled up the classroom very quickly which pretty much forces Bakugou to leave the classroom with a scowl – which really isn’t anything out of the ordinary. It was his turn to get lunch, and so he grabs two packs of the set lunch A before making it back to the classroom.

Todoroki slinks back into the classroom with the regular members of the basketball team and Ashido. Bakugou quirks an eyebrow at his friends – they give him a bright smile in return. Bakugou looks at Todoroki who looks more dead than usual. It definitely reeked of suspicion.

“Set A today”, Todoroki lights up straight away and grins at Bakugou, “perfect”.

Bakugou is sceptical of the other. But he says nothing and ignores the blatant stares his friends are giving him and starts digging in. He doesn’t forget to point Todoroki back to studying though as he savours his strawberry milk.

Saturday arrives and Bakugou finds himself anticipating watching Todoroki play. He doesn’t however let that distract him from his own game. Their tournament was just around the corner – Bakugou knows that they have too many gaps of weaknesses, but, with their effort, they can easily make up for it. For sure. Bakugou knows that his weakest points is his tendency to err on the side of fouls. It’s not his bloody fault when the other player is in his way and gets knocked over with the slightest touch. Honestly.

Bakugou takes a quick shower and puts on a clean tank and track pants before he makes his way out of the indoor basketball court. Nodding at the other members of the basketball club who linger behind to chat with the volleyball team who slowly files in. Bakugou was prepared for the onset of questions as soon as he took the turn towards the baseball field.

“Hime, you’re not heading to the dorms?” Kaminari asks, he looks at the others for an answer as well, as though they might know something he might not.

“No”, Bakugou answers and continues walking towards the baseball field, “and don’t call me that!”

“Where are you going?” Kirishima asks, also curious.

“Not your business”, Bakugou sighs and continues walking, not even surprised anymore that the other five were trailing after his footsteps.

“We just don’t want you to get kidnapped again”, Ashido says cautiously, knowing that it was a sensitive topic for Bakugou.

“Fuck!” Bakugou turns around for a second to glare at Ashido, “you know I won’t!”

“More like stolen”, Shouji mutters loud enough for everyone to hear. He does however send Bakugou an apologetic look when Bakugou turns to glare at him.

“Todoroki, again?” Sero asks, his voice honest and not betraying the displease he bears. His concerns weren’t just his imagination when they all realise that they’ve arrived at the baseball field. Already the others are voicing their concerns over Bakugou.

“Why does going to the baseball field mean it has to be about bloody Todoroki Shouto?” Bakugou hisses with his arms crossed.

“There’s no one else on the team you’re on…. speaking terms with”, Sero says and gives Bakugou a knowing look.

“Whatever”, Bakugou scoffs and walks towards the bench. He hears his friends muffling their voices and speaking to each other. Eventually he hears Kirishima run up to him. Bakugou knows it’s quite creepy to be able to recognise people by their footsteps, the sound of them walking and running, but Bakugou believes it’s because he plays basketball often enough with those idiots to recognise all their steps. He must have arrived just in time. He sees the practice match team file onto the field on the opposite side, the coaches already meeting on the field mid-way to greet each other. Bakugou notes that Aizawa-sensei really stands out in the middle of the baseball field dressed in black. He definitely does not seem like the typical baseball coach.

“Bakugou”, Todoroki calls and jogs up to Bakugou, “I’m so happy you came”.

Bakugou makes an incoherent sound as acknowledgement and dodges when Todoroki tries to grab his arm. Bakugou shoots the other a glare.

Todoroki lets his arms fall to his sides in response, he then looks at Kirishima and states, “I’ll make sure Bakugou gets back safely tonight”.

Bakugou’s eyes widens and then narrows, “I don’t need a bloody chaperone!” He frowns even more when both Todoroki and Kirishima ignore him and continue to stare at each other, silently communicating with each other.

“Okay”, Kirishima nods, “I understand”. He then pats Bakugou on the shoulder, turns around and leaves.

“What the shit”, Bakugou mutters and walks towards the bench, Todoroki quickly following and matching his pace beside him.

“I’m really happy you came”, Todoroki repeats and sends Bakugou a small grateful smile.

“I know”, Bakugou sighs, “you better be prepared to study after this by the way”.

Todoroki sits on the player’s bench and pats the seat next to him, Bakugou doesn’t complain and takes a seat. Immediately, Todoroki hands him a strawberry milk.

“I have a feeling we’ll win”, Todoroki muses, “with you watching”.

Bakugou scoffs and takes the strawberry milk. He surveys the field and notes that his friends were right, he honestly doesn’t speak to anyone else on the team. Aizawa is only on indication. In fact, everyone is on indication. Todoroki just had more indication than others.

“Todoroki”, Aizawa calls as he walks towards them. Bakugou finds himself looking up. If Aizawa was surprised to see Bakugou sitting there, he didn’t show it. Bakugou knows he technically wasn’t allowed to sit at the player benches, but this is a practice match, if no one was going to kick him off, then he’ll continue sitting there. He rather not watch this practice match with the hordes of other fans gathering around the edge of the field – Bakugou notes that many of them must be Todoroki fan-girls. The knowledge leaves a scowl on his face. He misses the look Todoroki gives him before he runs off to the field. It doesn’t take long for the two teams to greet each other. Seems like their team would be fielding first.

“How’s Todoroki?” Aizawa asks and takes a seat on the same bench as Bakugou.

Bakugou glances at Aizawa and wonders why the other is even trying to start this small chat. He’s sure Aizawa knows how well or how poorly Todoroki is doing in each of his classes, because if Todoroki wasn’t doing so well, Bakugou would’ve been summoned to the teacher’s office to explain. “He doesn’t sleep in classes anymore”, Bakugou says.

Aizawa hums.

Bakugou stays silent as he watches the match. He can hear the cheers of the small crowds gathered around the field. When their team comes back to the benches, Bakugou ignores the strange looks he receives from the players as he continues sipping on his strawberry milk. It was different to watching baseball on TV, the cheers sounded louder, and Bakugou found himself following each pitch carefully. He finds himself slowly becoming more and more engrossed in the game, and before he knew it, he was hooked. Technically he wasn’t sitting on the edge of his seat, but watching the game made him feel a sense of thrill. It reminded him of his own basketball games.

In the end their team won by a fair margin. As expected. But it was good apparently – well according to Aizawa who then debriefed the team and discussed points to work on. Bakugou wonders if he should even sit and listen in. He supposes it doesn’t matter, and honestly, he was curious to how differently a baseball coach like Aizawa saw baseball compared to someone like Bakugou, someone with only a small interest in the game.

Bakugou doesn’t really know why Todoroki asked him to come watch this practice match. He felt like he did learn a lot about the other however. Todoroki was most definitely not a half-ass when it came to baseball. He had superb concentration, there was no sign of sleep at all on the other’s face – he seemed a good different to the Todoroki who struggled to stay awake in class. Bakugou could tell that Todoroki was a very different captain to Bakugou. He wasn’t loud but still firm at the same time. He could tell that the other players looked to him for motivation to continue trying their best on the field. No wonder this team was going to Koshien. If Todoroki wanted to show Bakugou what a great team their baseball team is, Bakugou most definitely received the message. He could tell now why Aizawa was so adamant on Todoroki to improve his grades. He was essential to the team.

“Did you enjoy yourself?” Todoroki asks as he takes a seat besides Bakugou after the debrief.

Bakugou nods, “yes, it was a fun game”.

Todoroki’s face lights up, “would you, would you come watch my other games when Koshien starts?”

Bakugou frowns and turns to look at Todoroki’s face. He felt like he was talking to a child who was asking for sweets, “I’ll watch on TV”.

“Oh”, Todoroki’s crestfallen face makes Bakugou rethink his choices.

“I’ll try and make it, if I’m not at basketball”, Bakugou mumbles. The atmosphere was quite different to watching it on TV.

“I’m sure Aizawa-sensei will let you sit at the player’s and coach’s bench”, Todoroki says, his voice excited again, “it’s the best spot to view the game from!” With that Todoroki stands up again, “I won’t be long, wait for me, okay?” He then runs off to clean up the field with the others.

Bakugou is 100% sure that that’s an abuse of power. But he’ll take it regardless. It’s not every day just a normal spectator can sit so close and view the games. And it does take Todoroki a fair amount of time to clean the field, before he knew it the sun had set and a chilly breeze had set in. Bakugou cursed, he should’ve bought something with at least longer sleeves if he knew he was going to be out so late. Now that the game was over and he was no longer watching the game with enthusiasm, the light breeze felt even colder. A sniffle sets in and Bakugou finds himself occasionally rubbing his arms and jiggling his legs whilst waiting for Todoroki to finish up. Though honestly, he really could just go back to the dorms first and then come back out to tutor the other, then he wouldn’t have to be sitting around in the cold waiting and sneezing.

Which is why when Todoroki digs through his bag and hands him what is clearly a baseball jacket, Bakugou takes it and pops it on straight away but not before muttering that he doesn’t need someone’s stinking baseball jacket, he’s only taking it because he doesn’t want to catch a cold (which Bakugou knows himself is a load of bull). It’s not a perfect fit – slightly big, but the protection it provides from the cold soothes Bakugou’s mood. Bakugou does feel slightly embarrassed that he has succumbed to putting on someone else’s jacket, but, it was warm, and Bakugou preferred staying warm. It was nothing to be ashamed about anymore. It got rid of his sneezes. What people say about larger jackets being comfier was most definitely true. Bakugou even has a few in larger sizes just so he can lounge around in them in comfort – not that he’d ever admit that to anyone for as long as he lives.

When Todoroki was finally done, Bakugou huffs and stands from the bench he’s been warming up all this time.

“Should we grab dinner before heading back?” Todoroki asks.

“Huh”, Bakugou eyes the other warily, “I guess dinner is on the way”.

Todoroki stops and grabs Bakugou’s arm. Bakugou frowns and shakes the other off him quickly, “I was hoping we could go out and eat?” Todoroki’s voice is filled with hope.

Bakugou crosses his arms and shakes his head, “you do realise your grades are still horrendous, right?”

Todoroki gives the other a sad smile even when Bakugou turns around and starts walking forward again. Easily, Todoroki falls into step alongside the other.

“We’re going to grab dinner like usual and then go straight to studying, you half-ass shitter”.

Their usual dinner comprises of whatever dinner is being served at school. Bakugou quickly picks what he wants and curses at Todoroki for the other to hurry up. Bakugou finds himself very good at ignoring the chatter around him, the students who were all filing up and grabbing dinner themselves. He does however note the influx of females when Todoroki walks into the room however. With their higher tone of voice and small squeals. He doesn’t want to notice it, but he does. He had never really noticed it until recently anyway, perhaps he had gotten too good at brushing things aside. Or frankly, he never cared or his attention was just never directed that way.

It isn’t until Bakugou is back in his room after parting ways with Todoroki from studying who fuckin’ had to escort him back again, that Bakugou realises he was still wearing bloody Todoroki Shouto’s shitty baseball jacket. And fuck he was as close to as parading around with it on when he was grabbing dinner with the other. If any of his friends caught sight of that, he’s sure he’d be subjected to relentless teasing. Bakugou quickly takes the jacket off and holds it between his fingers and looks at it with disgust. It even had TODOROKI printed on the back – it was a personalised jacket – it was the team uniform. Fuck. With a click of his tongue, Bakugou dumps the jacket on his bed. He’ll deal with it when it comes. Bakugou looks at his phone and decides he doesn’t want to bother himself with such crap before he sleeps and leaves it on his bedside table, untouched.

The next morning comes too soon. Bakugou isn’t even surprised anymore when he opens his door to see Todoroki freakin’ Shouto already standing there and waiting for him.

Bakugou sighs and makes sure his door is locked before they both continue their routine and walk to the indoor basketball court. As soon as Bakugou steps in and hears the crap ton of whoops, screaming and wolf whistles, he knows that they must’ve seen him at dinner last night. Bakugou doesn’t even need to look at Todoroki to know that the other is confused, but he does anyway, to give the other a death glare, because technically, it’s all bloody Todoroki Shouto’s fault.

A single angry and loud “shut up!” is all Bakugou needs to have his team stop acting like idiots.

“I’ll see you at lunch”, Todoroki says and gently places a hand on Bakugou’s shoulder.

“Fuck!” Bakugou whips around straight away and roughly yanks Todoroki’s hand off his shoulder, “don’t touch me!”

Todoroki raises his hands up in defence and looks at Bakugou with a hint of shock on his features.

Bakugou growls and stomps off, hoping that his ears aren’t as red as they feel to be. He can feel them burning. It’s not like he’s never told Todoroki to not touch him, so why the shit does he have to look so surprised. That ass-hole. Shitty half-ass. Bakugou shakes his head and pinches his arm. He has to wake up from all this shit and concentrate on what’s really important. They have to do well at the nationals. His goal is to dominate the tournament.

During practice, no one mentions Todoroki – or Todoroki’s baseball jacket – which if Bakugou remembers correctly was still sitting on his bed, he’s sure he saw it when he was making his bed in the morning. He makes a mental note to himself that he needs to wash that and return it to the other. With a punch in the face as well, hopefully.

It isn’t until after basketball practice in which Bakugou finally takes his phone out to check for messages as he walks away from the court. And of course, on LINE, like he had assumed, he was flooded with messages and freakin’ images from the night before. Far out. These idiots. Bakugou couldn’t help but look at the photos – they bloody look like paparazzi photos. And it was also then when Bakugou realised that the other – half-ass Todoroki Shouto – definitely is taller than him. It irked him. It annoyed him. He always thought that they were much more similar in height, probably because whenever he sees the other they’re usually sitting – but in the photos, the height difference was much more noticeable.

“You both have such nice expressions”, Sero comments, his head popping from behind Bakugou’s shoulder to look at the other’s phone.

By reflex, Bakugou switches off his phone straight away and turns to look at Sero before headbutting the other, “you delusional!?”

Sero smiles at Bakugou and nurses his forehead softly, “don’t worry, we made sure he’s not recruiting you to the baseball team”.

“What. The. Fuck”, Bakugou’s eyes are wide and he can feel the agitation itching at him again. He can’t believe his fuckin’ group of friends were still strung up on that shit.

“We made sure we gave him a good warning”, Kaminari walks up and grins.

Bakugou is very sure of who we are, “having me know you guys are a bunch of weird idiots isn’t enough!?” Bakugou huffs in anger.

“Ehhhhh”, Ashido bounds by and latches onto Bakugou’s arm who roughly shakes her off, “Hime, are you upset that because of us, Todoroki might not like you-”

“Shut up!” Bakugou screams and stops Ashido from finishing her sentence. She must be on a high from sugar or some shit, sprouting out crap like that like it was bloody the truth. Because it most definitely was not, “and don’t call me hime!”

Ashido pouts and sticker her tongue out at Bakugou.

“Okay guys”, Kirishima comes over and gives everyone a pat on the shoulder, ignoring the glare that Bakugou sends him, “let’s man up and not bicker”, he sends Ashido a pointed look and then whispers, “Hime is in a bad mood, eh?”

But of course Bakugou hears him. “Fuck you!” Bakugou then sends a punch towards Kirishima who barely dodges with a chuckle.

“Are you spending this Sunday with Todoroki again?” Shouji asks.

“Yes”, Bakugou fumes and then realises that no, no he doesn’t want to, but yes, he is because, “we’re studying”. And it doesn’t matter if it’s Sunday, or a public holiday. It’s partially his responsibility to help pull Todoroki’s grades up, and Bakugou needs to maintain his grades anyway.

He hears the amused snorts coming from his friends but he ignores them all.

As Bakugou makes his way to grab lunch, he passes by too many people. He feels their gaze linger on him. He hears the giggles and soft whispers. He catches Todoroki coming from their whispers whilst they’re looking at him one too many times. Bakugou seethes and glares. He hadn’t thought it would actually be like so. It was worse than what he imagined. And all because of a piece of clothing.

If Todoroki notices that Bakugou is in an extra foul mood – he doesn’t say anything, nor does he act extra cautious. Neither of them bring up the topic of the jacket. When the news actually makes it to their school’s student-run fortnightly paper, Bakugou scrunches it up and then flattens it again and leaves it in the recycle bin. Nosy people digging into other people’s business. And it’s not even interesting, or whatever shitty phrase they used in the bloody article. He was merely cold. It doesn’t make them have a peculiar relationship.

The front-page article and photo spread does however seem to be the final cogwheel that launches Todoroki’s rabid fangirls into disgustingly infiltrating into Bakugou very, very personal space. When they crowded around him and asked him a million and one questions, it really annoyed Bakugou. He had actually tried denying it – but they were so persistent and talking about him being all shy like what the shit! Bakugou quickly learnt that if they weren’t even going to listen to him when he spoke the truth, it was much better to stop wasting his time and ignore them all instead. It was bloody frustrating to wade through them all and try and block out whatever stupid question they were asking. He wouldn’t give them the time of their day and answer, so Bakugou growls, stuffs his hands in his pockets and continues going to do his own thing. Their voices and questions continue to chase after him however. Stuck to him like his own bloody shadow.

“What else does Todoroki-kun like?”

“How long have you been seeing each other for?”

“What does Todoroki-kun smell like?”

“Does Todoroki-kun have soft hands?”

“Do you think Todoroki-kun would like me?”

“Is Todoroki-kun a good kisser?”

“What about in bed?”

“What pyjamas does he wear?”

“Does he wake up with bed hair?”

“Did Todoroki-kun confess to you first?”

“How did he confess?”

Bakugou becomes angrier and angrier with each second. The dim-wits clearly weren’t going to leave him be until they received the answer they wanted to hear – this is why people are idiots. All of them. Except All Might. So when Bakugou stomps along the corridor and coincidentally bumps into the person of interest – Todoroki Shouto – Bakugou couldn’t be any happier, he quickly turns around and looks at the flock of Todoroki fangirls and shouts out loudly, “look! There he is! Go annoy the fuck out of him instead!!”

He swears he can see the fangirls’ all think and process the information Bakugou just gave them. He can immediately see that their gaze diverts from himself and towards Todoroki Shouto. Perfect. Bakugou is proud of himself when he realises he single-handedly got rid of all the persistent buggers. Except… fuck… Bakugou looks at Todoroki who’s being swarmed and is looking more and more alarmed by the second, he’s clearly flustered and doesn’t even know where to start answering from. Bakugou sighs and crosses his arms and glares at Todoroki. He didn’t bump into the other by coincidence, he must’ve let the fangirls get to his head. He was heading back to the classroom because he needs to studying with freakin’ Todoroki Shouto. It was no coincidence, and now he needs to clear the fangirls from the other. Or, better still, Bakugou decides as he loudly opens the classroom door and catches the attention of the surrounding students. Bakugou gives Todoroki a deadly glare, “I’m giving you 5 seconds”, Bakugou hisses out.

Immediately, Todoroki nods and flusters around even more, he apologises as he too wades through the fangirls and goes after Bakugou into the classroom – but of course the fangirls follow him like bees to honey.

Bakugou flops in his seat and starts taking out his books, he glances at Todoroki when the other sits down. The fangirls still surrounding him as much as possible and still sprouting nonsensical questions.

“We’re busy”, Bakugou’s voice is cold and directs his statement to the fangirls, “so fuck off”.

“Please”, Todoroki nods and agrees with Bakugou.

Bakugou rolls his eyes when the fangirls file out muttering about how they’re only doing so because Todoroki-kun asked them to. What a bunch of idiots. Bakugou groans and wants to head-desk, but refrains himself and instead elbows Todoroki in the stomach.

“You know”, Todoroki says as he continues to scribble down notes under Bakugou’s scrutiny, “I don’t mind if we study at the dorms if you find it suffocating here”.

Bakugou looks blankly at the other – does Todoroki Shouto even know what he’s saying? He must be a bigger idiot than he though. For real. He does realise that if anyone, and Bakugou means anyone catches Bakugou going in and out of Todoroki’s dorm – they’re going to end up on the front page of the school newspaper, right? Bakugou voices out his reasoning soundly.

Todoroki shrugs, “it doesn’t bother me”.

“Well it should!” Bakugou whacks the other over the head with his exercise book.

“If it bothers you”, Todoroki gently nurses his head and gives Bakugou a soft smile, “then I can understand”.

Bakugou looks appalled at the other. The nerve of the half-ass trouble-bringer, “as if!” – which is how Bakugou finds himself trekking up to Todoroki’s dorm, he ignores the fact that he most definitely saw other students along the way and the fact that there were people watching him go into Todoroki’s bloody dorm room. Because no he isn’t scared or troubled by this. No. He isn’t.

The only amusement Bakugou received from that evening was learning what pyjamas Todoroki usually wore. He’s sure the fangirls would kill to be in his position. And Bakugou thinks he perhaps should milk his current situation for all it’s worth. Just to see the shock on everyone’s face. He’d deal with the aftermath later. Which is also how Bakugou decides he’d make himself comfortable on Todoroki’s futon. The other can sleep on the bare floor for all he cares. And when Bakugou wakes the next morning, he’s feeling quite satisfied to see that indeed, Todoroki Shouto was sleeping on the floor, chemistry notes in hand. Bakugou quickly discovers that the whole futon smells like Todoroki Shouto – of course it does. He also learns that Todoroki wakes up with only mild bed hair. It could’ve been worse.

Bakugou returns Todoroki’s baseball jacket a few days later, freshly washed and ironed.

From the amount of strawberry milk Todoroki gives Bakugou, Bakugou starts wondering if the other thinks that it’s the only drink that Bakugou enjoys. The thought leaves Bakugou feeling helpless for the other. And his thought was proven to be correct when Kaminari passes him a bottle of vending machine royal milk tea and Todoroki is puzzled and asks, “Bakugou you like milk tea too?”

Bakugou doesn’t even glance at Todoroki as he uncaps the drink and takes a few gulps before answering, “yeah, this brand is my favourite instant milk tea”, he waves the bottle in front of Todoroki.

Todoroki frowns slightly and then grabs the bottle from Bakugou and examines the brand – royal milk tea – it looks simple, he uncaps it and is just about to take a gulp when Bakugou quickly snatches his drink back.

“Oi”, Bakugou is not amused, “don’t just take someone’s drink”.

Todoroki looks down in shame a little but then look back at Bakugou and holds up one index finger, “just one sip?”

“No”, Bakugou caps his drink back and places it far away from Todoroki, “I don’t share”. As soon as Bakugou says that, Kaminari quickly swipes the drink and takes a few gulps full. Bakugou hits him straight away.

“Hey!” Kaminari mocks sadness in his face as he nurses his head, “I bought it for you”.

“Yes”, Bakugou hisses and then pokes the other in the forehead, “for me, and you know I don’t bloody share”.

Kaminari makes a face at Bakugou before he takes a seat opposite the studying duo and then plops the latest fortnightly newspaper in front of them and asks, “it’s true then?”

Bakugou scans over the newspaper and notes that he’s on the front page, again. He vaguely remembers thinking that he might as well, to amuse himself, but now that he sees it plainly on the front pages, it was bloody not amusing. Honestly, it felt like so long ago since his sleepover he had nearly forgotten about it.

“You spent the night at Todoroki’s?” Kaminari asks, his voice sullen.

Bakugou sighs and looks up and sees Sero, Kirishima, Ashido and even Shouji standing in the corridor and peeking in. They must’ve used Kaminari as the sacrifice. Bakugou huffs and gives Kaminari a nod.

“You like him more than us now”, Kaminari’s voice drops and Bakugou tenses at the quiver in the other’s voice.

“We were studying”, Bakugou states plainly and then sighs and moves the article away and motions for Todoroki to continue studying. Todoroki gives a shrug and continues studying, but not before giving Kaminari an I’m sorry but not look.

Kaminari points to the article, “you stayed the night, you never stay the night at ours”.

Bakugou shrugs, “does it matter?”

“Yes!” Kaminari crosses his arms and gives Bakugou a very displeased look, “Hime, I can’t accept this”.

“Don’t call me that”, Bakugou snaps back, “and I don’t care whether you guys can accept it or not, there’s nothing to accept in the first place”.

“You spend more time with him than us!” Kaminari laments, “how could that be?”

“How about we go play basketball together this Sunday, all of us?” Todoroki suggests, his head still buried in his text book.

“You think you’re in any position to negotiate?” Bakugou asks and glares at Todoroki, “with your shitty grades”.

Todoroki looks up at Bakugou with confidence, “I think I’m getting better, with your help”, Todoroki nods, “if my results are passable in the next test, can’t we?”

“But then”, Kaminari shakes his head and interrupts, “he’ll be spending time with you”, he points at Todoroki and then cries, “and not us!”

“What”, Bakugou shakes his head. Kaminari-logic often befuddled him.

“Hime will spend all his time teaching you how to play basketball”, Kaminari sighs and crosses his arms, “no fun for the rest of us”.

“Stop calling me that”, Bakugou snaps again, his left eye twitching at the nickname.

Todoroki actually does end up not getting a failing score in the next test. Kaminari hovers behind both Bakugou and Todoroki and whispers about how it’s okay to take a bit of time off studying. They end up deciding to go bowling – Todoroki adds himself to the group event much to Kaminari’s dismay. Bakugou shrugs and calls them all trash.

It turns out Todoroki hasn’t really been bowling before – playing it on the Wii doesn’t count, according to Kirishima. Kaminari and Sero tries to sabotage the other by telling him ridiculous ways to bowl. Kirishima on the other hand shows Todoroki a few examples, believing that a manly sportsman like Todoroki will get the hang of it really quickly. Todoroki ends up doing very well – beginner’s luck, says Ashido. He comes in third place. Right after Shouji and Bakugou.

Bakugou realises that he really hasn’t spent much time outside of basketball and studying. He thinks about how he usually spends the day and surmises that he really does spend a lot of time with one Todoroki Shouto. Kaminari is right, but he won’t bloody ever admit it to the other’s stupid mug. Ever since they started studying together – pft, it wasn’t even tutoring anymore, it was more Bakugou watching over and making sure Todoroki actually is studying and not dozing off or doing something even more unproductive – Bakugou has to admit he doesn’t spend as much time with his friends as they usually do. Sure, they still have morning and afternoon practice together, but they don’t eat together anymore. He’s too busy studying and telling them to go away. Honestly, he’s fine with that. It’s not like they need to spend all their waking hours together.

A sense of pride surges through Bakugou when he the effort he has put in bears fruit. Todoroki’s grades are getting better. He’s mostly out of the red now. Bakugou also feels that it’s probably okay to take studying together on Sunday out. He keeps the recess and lunch sessions, to efficiently go through concepts in the earlier classes whilst it’s still fresh in Todoroki’s head – if only he was listening. At least he doesn’t stare at Bakugou’s face as much as the earlier days. And Bakugou has plans to now spend his Sundays free of responsibilities. He plans to perhaps laze around in his room and flip through magazines and go through the many hundreds of interviews All Might has given over his career so far. Except, it doesn’t work out the way he intends it to. Not with the sharp knock at his door.

“What?” Bakugou says with a sour mood at the disruption of his could be harmonious Sunday afternoon.

Todoroki doesn’t look fazed in pair of shorts and baseball jacket, “I tried messaging you, but you didn’t reply”

“I’m busy”, Bakugou says and tries to close his door but Todoroki’s stubborn weight is pushing the door open.

“Teach me how to play basketball”, Todoroki asks, “please”.

Bakugou then stops trying to close the door on the other. If it’s basketball, it’s a different story, “give me a few”. Bakugou closes the door and changes into more suitable bottoms, his track suits won’t be good. He pulls on a pair of his basketball shorts and shrugs, walking out with his tank.

They don’t go to their indoor basketball court – the volleyball club is currently using it. Instead, Bakugou takes Todoroki around to a nearby public outdoor basketball court. So, Todoroki wasn’t too bad at dribbling, but his shoots were fuckin’ terrible.

As soon as Todoroki got a goal he turns and looks at Bakugou with excitement, “do you think I’d be like Slam Dunk’s Sakuragi Hanamichi?”

“Fuck no”, Bakugou frowns and reels back in shock, “he’s an idiot like you, but he’s actually a genius at basketball. So no.” Not to mention their demeanours were totally different.

Todoroki shrugs and seems to easily accept that answer anyway, “I’m going Koshien anyway, should be enough”. He bounces the basketball a couple of times before trying to shoot from where he’s standing, it misses hitting the ring. Todoroki goes to pick it back up and tries again, “I actually feel very nervous about Koshien”.

“Hm?” Bakugou watches as Todoroki tries to shoot again and misses.

“I’m definitely excited, but for me, I only have this one chance, I don’t want to mess it up”, Todoroki confesses, “our chance is so high this year that it makes the pressure even worse”.

Bakugou hums and steals the ball off the other before doing a lay-up shot. Before he knows it, he finds himself saying, “I’ll come watch your matches if you come watch mine”.

“Thank you”, Todoroki voices his gratitude.

“Though it might just increase your stress levels”, Bakugou smirks, “having me watching, I didn’t give up most of my free time to help you study for naught”. He vaguely remembers telling Todoroki that he’d consider going to watch the other’s Koshien matches, he guesses that if Todoroki really does end up in the stands of his matches at the national tournament, he’d make his way to the Koshien matches too.

“It’s a good pressure”, Todoroki reassures.

Bakugou spins the basketball in his hand and gives the other a small smile, “you suck at basketball”.

When the call of the breeze rolls over again and tickles Bakugou’s skin, Bakugou curses again. He had forgotten his outerwear. Again. It feels like deja vu when Todoroki chuckles and hands him his baseball jacket again. Fuck it. Bakugou takes the jacket and pops it on straight away. They’re not at school, and even if they were, it’s old news. And it’s cold at night.

As they walk back, Bakugou gets lured in by the smell of okonomiyaki. It must’ve been obvious when Todoroki suggests, “perhaps, if it’s ok, do you want to have okonomiyaki for dinner?”

Honestly, Bakugou should’ve thought first he doesn’t have to eat with the other, but now, he agreed almost straight away because his stomach was already craving it. It was a small restaurant. It made the smell more abundant and wafted gently and tingled with Bakugou’s sense. He could not wait to dig in. The shared jug of orange juice was good, the food was also good, no, it must’ve been very good because it made Bakugou think that when he wasn’t talking about studies with Todoroki Shouto, the other was actually pleasant to be around. Even almost, he dares think, fun.

When Todoroki places a hand gently on Bakugou’s arm to bid him a good night, Bakugou doesn’t lash out or immediately remove the hand. He nods and heads straight into his room. Todoroki’s baseball jacket ends up sitting on Bakugou’s bed, again, smelling slightly of okonomiyaki.

It’s not quite Bakugou’s bed time yet when he receives a message on LINE from his basketball group chat. He already has a daunting feeling of what it could be. When he opens it, it sure is exactly what he thought it was. Some asshole had seen him and Todoroki at the okonomiyaki-ya. And damn, even if it was old news, it still irked Bakugou to see himself in someone else’s baseball jacket. It had their freakin’ surname written on the back after all. He can already see the team hammering him for details already. It was going to be troublesome to deal with. He doesn’t even want to begin to understand why they were all so sensitive when it came to Todoroki. He’s shit at basketball. And Bakugou has no interest in playing baseball. Bakugou sends an angry cat stamp before switching his phone to mute and turning over for bed. He sleeps soundly with no worries.

Bakugou should’ve known that his group of friends would summon him to the very same okonomiyaki restaurant he visited with Todoroki for a meal. It was a troublesome episode but, it doesn’t mean that he was reluctant to go. Maybe the fact that his company was loud and often referred to themselves as the Bakugou Gundan was a good display of their maturity levels, but there was more okonomiyaki flavours he had wanted to try. So it was a good opportunity to try some more.

He should’ve known something wasn’t quite right when Sero comments on how he thought Todoroki would’ve tagged along to their okonomiyaki gathering. At that point in time though, Bakugou just frowns and doesn’t fully understand the implications of that comment. He brushes it aside and just leaves it as Sero being weird.

And as expected it doesn’t take long for that photo of Todoroki and himself at the okonomiyaki restaurant to make its way around the school. It doesn’t even need to appear in the fortnightly newspaper for it to be the talk of the school. Bakugou still doesn’t find why it’s so amusing. He’s sure a lot of the students go around borrowing clothes from others and wearing it. Sure, most of them are friends whereas Todoroki and he aren’t, but c’on, like the school knows any better. But no, Bakugou quickly works out it’s because it is the Todoroki Shouto that it freakin’ brew up like a storm.

Usually, Bakugou would prefer to beat up the flies that swarm around and freakin’ annoy him. It was the same hoard of Todoroki fans bugging him, asking about Todoroki this, Todoroki that. Like hell Bakugou knows! For once he felt like he needed a mute button desperately as opposed to just beating everyone up. They were like cockroaches, never ending, always living. If he thought his friends’ form of harassment was terrible, the fangirls was many, many times worse. Who in their right mind even goes around asking someone else how is the sex. Like what. What sex.

He’d have thought that if the bloody fangirls thought Todoroki and he were fucking that they’d go hole up in a corner and bawl their eyes out – because don’t they freakin’ worship him? Aren’t they the ones who really want to be all physically intimate with the half-ass baseball idiot? The only thing Bakugou wants from the other is for him to raise his grades. And maybe the strawberry milk too. He’s kind of grown into that forced habit. Seriously.

They end up begrudgingly heading back to Todoroki’s dorms to study, to simply avoid the idiots who won’t stop asking Bakugou about Todoroki’s habits in bed when bloody Todoroki Shouto is right there, so why is it that it’s Bakugou who gets bothered by all these nonsensical questions. He doesn’t know shit about Todoroki, in the first place he has a futon for a bed which seems to normally be packed away neatly. How is that even interesting? Not that Bakugou wants to understand the viewpoint of a stupid fangirl.

Bakugou flips through Todoroki’s practice test and determines that his hard work has paid off. Todoroki is getting better, in fact, he’s most definitely safe. He can see the influence he has had on the other, Todoroki is starting to answer the questions the way in which Bakugou would answer the questions. It is slightly upsetting to see the other copy him so, but in a way, it means that he’s that good, right? Still.

“You’re doing well”, Bakugou says as he fluffs out Todoroki’s futon and hops in, “we could probably stop this tutoring business now”, Bakugou wiggles a little and makes himself comfortable.

“Huh”, Todoroki looks at Bakugou who looks back at him from his futon with a cheeky grin.

“And I can finally go back to my Todoroki-free life”, Bakugou chuckles and closes his eyes. Ready to sleep.

Bakugou might’ve been naïve in thinking so. And believing so. As soon as Todoroki returns to his own seat – he bloody falls straight back to his poor habits and sleeps. Bakugou has no qualms in disrupting the class to drag Todoroki across the room once more and force the other to stay awake next to him and listen in class. So maybe Todoroki does need Bakugou there to maintain his grades. It wasn’t part of the responsibility he received from Aizawa, but, well… Bakugou thinks it’s okay. It’s just studying anyway. If Todoroki ends up failing again, Bakugou is sure it’ll reflect poorly on him even though it’s not Bakugou’s problem. Not directly anyway, he hopes. “You idiot”, Bakugou shakes his head and sighs. Why is he always surrounded by idiots?

“Want to go out for dinner tonight?” Todoroki asks one morning as he picks Bakugou up from his room.

Bakugou shrugs, “whatever”. He’s too occupied with basketball he can’t even think about food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, it doesn’t matter, basketball first. Their first match is this weekend. As soon as the summer holidays start.

That night, they end up going to a steak joint nearby. Bakugou wonders if it’s really alright for him to eat such a hearty meal so close to his match – a very important one – the start of the national tournament. He is following a fairly strict diet menu – though the number of strawberry milk he’s been consuming definitely should not be in the menu.

Bakugou knows that if any of his friends catch him out eating steak without them, they’d be generally upset. So upset that they’d latch onto him and complain over and over. The thought itself makes Bakugou feel tired already.

Todoroki takes out a sheet of paper and passes it to Bakugou. Bakugou takes the sheet and notes that it’s the Koshien schedule. Todoroki has even so kindly highlighted the days he’d be playing – if all goes well.

“Is your schedule out yet?” Todoroki asks

“Yeah”, Bakugou nods and takes out his phone to send the timetable to the other through LINE.

Todoroki looks at the timetable and notes that Bakugou’s first game is the coming Saturday, “it’s only a few days away!”

Bakugou hums and picks at the bowl of shared chips.

“I’ll be there”, Todoroki assures Bakugou. Bakugou doesn’t need the assurance, it doesn’t even matter if Todoroki is there or not, he just mentioned it on a whim because he thought it would make the other feel better about Koshien. Or so he thought, though he wouldn’t really go out of his way to help someone if it meant it was an inconvenience to himself, usually.

When they leave the restaurant, Todoroki hands Bakugou a jacket – as though it were by habit by now. Bakugou notes straight away that it’s not the usual baseball jacket – and he remembers with a flush to his face that the baseball jacket is still sitting on his bed – no longer smelling like okonomiyaki. He hopes Todoroki doesn’t see the red in his face under the night sky when he begrudgingly takes the other’s jacket – it’s just a plain navy jacket – the material soft, the hood inviting. Bakugou nods as thanks and slips the jacket on. He tries not to too blatantly sniff at the jacket – already recognising the scent as Todoroki Shouto, the half-ass baseball idiot.

It must be a casual jacket. It’s most definitely not a baseball jacket, it’s not part of the school uniform either. Therefore, it must be a jacket from Todoroki’s personal casual dress collection. The thought makes Bakugou’s cheeks burn even more and an unfamiliar feeling burns through him, as though he were overheating. He knows he should feel embarrassed, but he only does so slightly, the rest of his red cheeks and ears are most definitely from knowing that he’s wearing Todoroki’s casual jacket. Wait, isn’t that the root to his embarrassment anyway?

There’s no smart-ass comment that comes out of Todoroki’s mouth. Todoroki must know that he hasn’t received his baseball jacket back yet, yet the other hasn’t said anything. Bakugou gently fluffs the jacket and peeks at Todoroki as subtly as he can. He looks away immediately when he sees Todoroki looking at him with a small, small smile. If that smile was any wider, he’d be a creep. In fact if it was anyone but Mr #1 handsome face of UA, he’d be a creep. Bakugou doesn’t reprimand himself for conjuring all these excuses for one Todoroki Shouto.

He reminds himself that even on a summer night, the wind is cold. Really cold. Just as cold as the spring breeze.

They don’t go back to their homeroom to study. Instead they ignore the elevators and take the long way up to their dorms – the stairs. It was, in Bakugou’s eyes a small effort to try and work off some of those chips he had consumed earlier. There was still the steak… it would be easy if he could just easily pin the blame on Todoroki. All the strawberry milk and now steak and chips. That guy is trying to fatten him up and then have him for dinner, isn’t he? Just like Hansel and Gretel. Bakugou laughs to himself at that thought.

“Are we studying tonight?” Todoroki asks as he follows Bakugou to his room.

“Hm?” Bakugou considers it as he unlocks his dorm room door, “yeah, sure”.

“Okay”, Todoroki nods and stands outside of Bakugou’s door, “I’ll wait for you here”.

Bakugou doesn’t glance back at the other as he walks into his room, he does however leave the door open. Bakugou see Todoroki’s baseball jacket sitting on his bed. Even though it no longer smells like okonomiyaki, he hasn’t washed it. Bakugou turns away and instead grabs his studying materials before walking out again. And as promised, Todoroki is standing outside waiting with a bored expression. Bakugou thought the other would at least be on his phone. But he’s not. Instead he’s standing there, back against the wall with an aloof expression as though he were guarding the dorm room coolly.

Like some kind of ikemen from some popular shoujo manga.

The thought makes Bakugou want to turn around and go straight back into his room.

They end up passing by students who explode into whispers who stare and point at them. Bakugou sighs and continues walking. It isn’t until he’s already inside of Todoroki’s room and studying that he realises he’s still wearing the other’s beautifully soft navy coat. He just hopes that no one else recognises the coat as part of Todoroki’s private collection.

But who was he kidding.

Bakugou wakes up the next day inside of Todoroki’s futon. He sees the other sleeping soundly beside the futon with his own makeshift bed – Bakugou knows he should feel bad for the other for sleeping on the floor just like that, his futon taken and all, but, well, it’s not like it’s the first time. Todoroki honestly could prepare a second futon, not too hard right?

Roughly waking Todoroki up with shoves and kicks, Bakugou growls and lightly scratches his tummy. It was time for basketball practice.

“Did you sleep well?” Todoroki asks, rubbing his eyes.

Bakugou tries not to laugh at the other’s bed hair. He instead grunts and nods in confirmation before asking back, “did you sleep well?”

Todoroki scowls, “as well as I can without a futon”.

Bakugou scoffs, “not sharing with you, even if you insist”.

They clean themselves up nicely before Todoroki walks Bakugou to the indoor basketball court. Bakugou is honestly use to the wagging eyebrows and nudges from his friends every time he walks in for morning practice, chaperoned by the baseball captain. Except this one morning it was different, his teammates were already there – and Bakugou had decided to go earlier too – they were all seriously practicing – their big match is tomorrow after all. There are no sly glances.

There’s a sense of pride that runs through Bakugou when he realises that they’re all working hard. He’s proud and happy.

Until Ashido comes running screaming “hime!”

Bakugou sighs. He should’ve known that even though the other might be a little bit more mature, it’ll always be Ashido who’ll come crashing loudly and enthusiastically, it’s not always a bad trait… but… sometimes it’s just full on, annoying.

“Hime~”, Ashido calls again and Bakugou rolls his eyes when the rest of the basketball team suddenly look up from what was serious training and send wide-ass shit-eating grins at him.

Bakugou isn’t stupid. He’s sure that again, this time, it has something to do with Todoroki Shouto. Damn it.

Ashido snuggles up to Bakugou’s side and pulls out her phone, “hime, you need to respond to our messages! Look at this!”

With another sigh, Bakugou looks at Ashido’s smart phone, and of course, it’s a picture of him from last night – he’s not looking at the camera, but Bakugou has to admit that it’s not a bad photo of himself, but that’s beside the point.

“This jacket, hime!” Ashido’s voice is excited.

Huh. The jacket. Bakugou frowns. It’s Todoroki Shouto’s personal navy jacket. The realisation clicks quickly. How could Bakugou have forgotten about the massive size of Todoroki Shouto’s fan club and their ridiculous and sexual-harassment questions. Of course, they know all of Todoroki Shouto’s private casual clothes collection – except his pyjamas, they were trying to dig that information out of him not too long ago.

Ashido giggles, “I hear it’s Todoroki’s jacket. One that he’s quite fond of?”

Damn it. Bakugou sighs again and turns back to glare at Todoroki who only gives him a small smile and waves before he leaves to head off to his own training. Bakugou growls and instead whips back and starts getting ready for his own training, Ashido still grabbing his arm and talking enthusiastically.

“You sure are getting snuggly with him”, Ashido’s smile is bright.

“If you keep talking about this I’m going to treat you like I do shitty Todoroki’s rabid group of fangirls”, Bakugou grits out and glares at Ashido.

“You won’t go eat hamburgers with me anymore?” Ashido frowns and gives Bakugou a pout.

“No”, Bakugou states firmly.

“You won’t let me cling to you like I am now?” Ashido shakes her head.

“No”, Bakugou repeats again.

“You won’t help me with my homework anymore?” Ashido clings hard onto Bakugou’s arm even as the other tightens his basketball shoes.

“No”, Bakugou states sternly.

Ashido whines and asks, “you won’t fill me in on your sex life with Todoroki?”

Bakugou pulls away super quick, in shock. He’s always had great ears, he can hear very well, but at this point in time, he feels like he needs to clean his ears out. But before he can confirm what Ashido had just asked him, she runs off and tends to her manager duties. The sly thing. He doesn’t even get to go after her when Shouji pulls him into practice, and before Bakugou knows it, his entire focus is on training.

It’s gruelling but Bakugou is careful to not overwork himself or his teammates. They have to be in their best form for their match tomorrow.

Bakugou passes the last day of school before the summer holidays start thinking that it will run smoothly. However, he once again finds himself bombarded by Todoroki Shouto’s bloody fangirls. They’re coy now. Not as upfront with their harassing questions. They still send him glances from a proximity Bakugou finds too close for comfort. He ignores the giggles they send in his directions and the squeals that pass like a Mexican wave as soon as Todoroki takes a seat beside him. If it wasn’t for his pride, he’d bury his face in his arms, away from the world.

They’re merely study-mates, why does no one seem to understand.

He quickly learns that wearing Todoroki’s basketball jacket is just as embarrassing as wearing his casual dress jacket. Which Bakugou makes himself believe isn’t freakin’ embarrassing at all. There’s no special meaning to it. Todoroki just so happens to have a jacket whenever Bakugou is looking for one anyway.

“You’re not going home for the summer holidays?” Todoroki asks Bakugou as they head back to the dorms.

“No”, Bakugou glances at Todoroki, “easier to stay here and continue training for the nationals”.

“That’s true”, Todoroki agrees, “I’ll be here in the dorms until it’s over”, there’s a tinge of fear in Todoroki’s voice – Bakugou recognises it too because it’s the same tinge that laces his voice when he also agrees with a “me too”. The tournament may well end faster than either of them wishes it to. There isn’t anything to say but to do their best – there is no comforting needed, Bakugou holds Todoroki’s gaze with his own. He’s sure the other is a determined player. They’d both do their best to leave no regrets.

The weekend comes along with bright weather. Bakugou has to remind himself that no he doesn’t need Todoroki’s jacket, he has his own to wear early in the morning to keep the cold out – in fact, his own basketball jersey is perfect. Todoroki’s casual dress navy jacket also ends up on the end of Bakugou’s bed – he really is starting a neat collection there, isn’t he?

They’re kind of like the dark horse, the underdogs, none of them are any tall, with Shouji as the only exception. Their first match at the nationals, Bakugou knows already that the other team is pretty much all composed of giants, but then most basketball teams are anyway, they’re just special in that they’re all midgets in comparison. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t any good.

With some stretches performed in the waiting room, Bakugou skips the motivational speech and instead lightly punches all of them on the shoulder – that in itself speaks more words than not. There’s no squeak of shoes as they head out into the battlefield – the basketball court in the stadium. The bright lights temporarily blind Bakugou some, but he quickly adapts, he can hear the crowd cheer and the chatter amongst the spectators.

“Katsuki!” A voice louder than the crowd bellows out and makes its way to catch Bakugou’s attention.

Bakugou already has a scowl on when he hears an overly energetic voice call out his name. He looks over and gives a frown – it’s his mother who’s loud and crazy and his father, much quieter, but still smiling with all the pride in the world, waving at him. Of course, they came. Bakugou won’t admit it but he’s happy that they’re here to watch such an important match to him.

And then he sees him. Freakin’ Deku who won’t mind his own business, sitting next to his parents and waving just as enthusiastically as his own mother. What. He can’t hear it, but he can read Deku’s lips and see the Kacchan that comes out of it. He wishes Midoriya would just stick to his own field in bloody volleyball and not come invading basketball when he doesn’t even have a single cell of interest in it. Stupid nerd.

Bakugou grumbles and ignores his parents and Midoriya. Kirishima notices and swings an arm around Bakugou and guides him to their bench, “chill out! They’re just here to support you!”

Bakugou pushes Kirishima’s arm off and takes off his jersey. He was going to beat the shit out of their opponents in basketball. It didn’t matter that they were taller and broader.

It’s when Bakugou is on the court warming up with a couple of shoots that he hears a voice he kind of expected to hear but didn’t at the same time, because he didn’t really think he’d come.

“Katsuki! Katsuki!” Todoroki Shouto shouts out.

He also did not expect freakin’ Todoroki Shouto to be using his first name – they hadn’t even discussed whether it was okay to be on first name basis, and Bakugou knows for sure as he looks up at Todoroki with a grinning face that it’s not okay. He’s never even seen Todoroki grin so widely before. What the shit.

“Don’t’ call me Katsuki!” Bakugou yells back and raises a fist and shakes it, he was definitely going to beat up Todoroki Shouto too.

Todoroki gives Bakugou an even wider smile and a thumbs up, as though he was saying I’m here to watch so you better remember to come to my matches.

Bakugou huffs and turns around to continue warming up, he misses how his parents stand up and looks curiously over to the person their son was interacting with. They definitely did not mishear the Katsuki that came out of the guy sitting in the stands.

By the time Bakugou glances back at his parents, he sees them talking to Deku like it was no big deal, as though he were great and absolutely magnificent – in which he was – at being a nerdy ratbag.

The whistle blows, Bakugou gathers with his team at the centre of the court, ready to play. Immediately, his surroundings turn quiet, there is no chatter and the atmosphere is still. Breaths are held as the game starts.

Bakugou loves the thrill of chasing after the ball. He knows he isn’t the best shooter on the team, but he prides himself on his agility and reflexes. He knows that even though he isn’t the best shooter, he can still shoot quite bloody well. With each goal he makes, he feels the adrenaline pumping through him. It was absolutely exhilarating. It’s his well-rounded-ness that has made him the ace of the team. Except his fouls… Bakugou makes a pout when he gets called for his second foul of the match, he can feel his temper flaring up but at the sight of basketball, he easily represses it. He doesn’t even shoot the umpire a nasty glare. Instead he directs it at his parents, he hates their shit-eating grins. As if they know every blood thing about him – in which they kind of do. It’s the perks of being parents. When his gaze does catch Midoriya in the periphery, he quickly averts his gaze and looks anywhere else but at Midoriya, and of course his eyes land on his most recent semi-friend and semi-classmate, Todoroki Shouto. Who gives Bakugou a small smile and waves, he can’t hear it through sound of his pumping blood, but, he can tell from the way the other’s lips are shaped that he’s calling out Katsuki.

“Go die”, Bakugou mumbles as he takes possession of the ball and makes sure it reaches his teammates well so that they score a goal before the half time whistle blows. They’re still marginally behind though. He doesn’t even need to double check the scoreboard to know – but he does anyway.

Bakugou listens carefully to their coach – Midnight-sensei – he doesn’t even know why she likes to be addressed by such a flashy name, but really, whatever floats her boat. It was, he must admit rare to have a female coach for their team, but then they’ve never really met the stereotypes anyway. He absorbs the motivational words and the words of strategy.

The second half starts and they’re pumping to go. Their timeout is used not too long into the second half and Bakugou finds himself being reprimanded for piling up fouls – it’s honestly not his fault that the other players are trying to sabotage him. Bakugou narrowly misses being chucked out of the court – and they win their first match of the nationals. Sort of barely – but it’s a win nonetheless. Bakugou finds himself grinning with happiness and lets his teammates glomp him and bring them altogether for a group hug. He barely remembers to look up at his parents and pass them a cheeky grin.

Midnight ends up taking them out for yakiniku to celebrate their first win – Bakugou isn’t too fond of yakiniku on a hot summer’s night, but he can’t find himself saying no to meat for a celebration. It was good to go out for dinner after a long match – it always felt long and pressed for time at the same time when Bakugou found himself playing basketball, but each time he reflects on it, he realises how short it really was. Yet he was addicted. He wanted to do well in it. More than just well, he wants to be amazing at it – some will say he already is.

Todoroki Shouto is sitting outside of Bakugou’s dorm room when he gets back. Bakugou raises an eye and scrutinizes the other, he ignores his teammates’ whining – why is it Todoroki again?

“Katsuki”, Todoroki speaks as he stands up and dusts his pants briefly.

Bakugou tenses and does not look behind him at his friends who react instantly in uproar of disagreement. Todoroki does not seem fazed. Bakugou scrunches his eyes tight and mentally sighs when he feels his friends grab at him and pull him down the corridor – away from his room – away from Todoroki Shouto. Before Bakugou finds himself pushed into a dorm room he sees Todoroki give them an exasperated look before slumping back down to sit in front of Bakugou’s dorm room again.

He quickly recognises it as Kirishima’s room.

“What was that?” Sero asks, as he locks the dorm room door and crosses his arms darkly.

“What?” Bakugou asks back and sees Kirishima on his phone – most definitely messaging Ashido the current situation.

“You know what”, Kaminari also has his arms crossed, his expression upset.

Bakugou hears Kirishima’s phone ring and knows that Ashido has received the message and called straight away – she’s immediately put on loud speaker.

“Hime! How can he call you by your first name!” Ashido cries immediately. Bakugou finds himself cringing at her tone and the static that passes through his now very delicate ears.

“Don’t call me that!” Bakugou snaps back, angry by habit, “you guys go around calling me Hime Hime Hime, so why the shit are you all so bloody upset when the half-ass calls me by name?” Bakugou glares at them all and notes that even in this kind of situation, Shouji is still quiet. It’s not that Bakugou has temporarily forgotten that he never gave Todoroki permission to use his first name – he’d be going to pick a fight with the other over that after he deals with this mess here.

Bakugou sighs and he too crosses his arms and gives his friends a good stare, “freakin’ Deku calls me Kacchan, do you see me going out of my way to spend time with him? Eat with him?” They’re all idiots.

“No”, Kirishima agrees, “but you do all that with Todoroki Shouto”.

“So? Doesn’t mean he’s like you guys”, Bakugou shrugs and finds that he has to admit if he wants to end this peacefully, “he’s not any more special than you guys are to me”. And they’re all bloody idiots for making him admit it just so they can have a peace of mind – like seriously? Does Bakugou look like he’d put up with shitheads pestering him if he didn’t find them somewhat important to him?

“So he’s just as special”, Kaminari mutters.

“The biggest problem is actually Todoroki not being one of us”, Sero thinks aloud and looks at Shouji for confirmation.

Bakugou doesn’t even want to start understanding why his friends are so adverse towards Todoroki Shouto. From what he can remember, it was never really there, or maybe not as intense. Was it because Todoroki was so popular that he’s become hated by some of his fellow school mates? Was that even logical reasoning? He can imagine the chaos that would happen if Bakugou did treat Todoroki like a friend, like the way he treats his basketball team. It’ll never be peaceful. His friends will probably be even more aggressive than they are at the moment. Bakugou secretly hopes that Todoroki will never become one of them – just so he doesn’t have more shit to deal with – in fact, Bakugou is sure he can greatly influence whether Todoroki will become part of the gang or not. This was turning out to be a headache already.

“We should”, Ashido starts slowly, “corner Todoroki and ask him what his deal is”.

There’s murmurs of agreement. But Bakugou finds he couldn’t care less. He needs to go and beat up Todoroki Shouto, Huffing, Bakugou pushes pass his friends and unlock Kirishima’s dorm door, he places his hand on the handle, “we have early training tomorrow, go sleep”, Bakugou then yanks open the door and walks out with a dark mood.

Todoroki stands up straight away when he sees Bakugou, “Katsuki”, he greets again.

“Fuck this”, Bakugou growls as he unlocks his door and drags Todoroki in with him, making sure his door is locked again just in case Ashido gets ideas and comes infiltrating.

“Katsuki, congratulations on your win today”, Todoroki grabs Bakugou’s arm to catch the other’s attention.

Bakugou nods before he leans in and headbutts the other, “who said you can go around calling me Katsuki?”

“It just slipped out”, Todoroki says honestly as he nurses his forehead with his other hand, “habit…”

“Habit?” Bakugou presses, “and just why do you have a habit like that?”

Todoroki doesn’t answer and only looks calmly into Bakugou’s eyes. As though that in itself were an answer.

“Look, you should know that you need to ask for permission or at least have some form of agreement between the other party to address them so casually you half-ass!” Bakugou is stern as he frowns and lectures Todoroki.

Todoroki nods, “you can call me Shouto then”.

Bakugou gives the other a look of shock, he was bamboozled at the other, “I don’t bloody want to!”

“Oh”, Todoroki lets go of Bakugou’s arms, takes off his shoes before walking further into Bakugou’s room, he sighs before he crawls into Bakugou’s bed, “well then, you can call me whatever you like, I’ll continue to call you Katsuki”.

“Get the fuck off my bed!” Bakugou almost screams as he scrambles to take off his own shoes before running over to yank Todoroki out of his bed – except it proved more difficult. They end up wrestling a little and neither of them end up on the bed as they continually to yank each other off.

“You’re not fair, you sleep in my futon all the time”, Todoroki is huffing as he states.

“Then go back to your bloody futon”, Bakugou doesn’t hesitate to quip back.

Todoroki picks up his baseball jacket that had made its way to the floor and gives a snort, “make sure you wear this jacket when you come to my match tomorrow”.

Bakugou raises and eyebrow and stares at Todoroki, surely even Todoroki has realised the amount of attention that bloody jacket has summoned, right?

“It’ll let you sit at the coach and player’s bench”, Todoroki explains, “the game is best viewed from there”.

“Whatever”, Bakugou grunts.

The two end up on the floor, sharing the doona they pulled down from the bed in their fight to see who gets the bed – neither – Bakugou has his own pillow whilst Todoroki uses his navy jacket as a makeshift pillow.

Bakugou waits until Todoroki’s breathing steadies out. He pokes the other a couple of times to make sure that Todoroki Shouto is asleep. With a pout, Bakugou tries to as gently as possible shove Todoroki into the bed – the other did have a Koshien match the next day, and if he loses there, what would tat make of Bakugou’s hard effort so far in the year to improve the half-ass’s grades? He won’t let Todoroki not getting a good night’s sleep be an excuse if he does lose the match. He’d never let himself live it down.

A sad expression makes its way to Bakugou’s face when he realises that he doesn’t have a spare pillow – he has never needed one – and so he tucks his own pillow under bloody Todoroki’s head and covers the other up with his light doona. Enough for the summer night.

Todoroki Shouto is such a pain.

Bakugou slips in to the bed next to the other after pushing Todoroki right to the very edge. Even if they’re sharing a bed, personal space is important. Bakugou makes sure he too sticks to the very edge of his bed. He really should’ve just kicked Todoroki Shouto out to begin with. Then he wouldn’t end up in this annoying situation.

When the time to wake comes, Bakugou is so glad he’s the one who wakes up first so he can gently remove himself from the bed before brutally waking Todoroki up who as usual is always in a daze first thing in the morning.

Morning practice comes and goes, Bakugou finds himself quickly making his way to the Koshien stadium – and like Todoroki said, him wearing Todoroki’s baseball jacket really did get him easy access to the field. When he approaches the bench where their baseball team is, no one even bats an eyelid at him anymore. Aizawa does give him a nod – and Bakugou wonders what kind of conversation Todoroki must’ve had for Aizawa to not question why a non-member is entering their bench. Todoroki does however give Bakugou a small smile and a wave. Bakugou can most definitely see the gratitude in the other’s gesture.

Bakugou sees a different team file out after they finish cleaning the courts – it seems like they have allocated spots for practicing too, he wonders if Todoroki went to practice the day before? Or maybe their team wasn’t allocated for practice the day before?

Bakugou quickly figures out that yes Todoroki was right in that the live atmosphere was very different to watching Koshien on TV.

A “well done, Todoroki”, slips out of Bakugou’s lips every time Todoroki catches the ball or scores a run, which seemed often enough. Bakugou ignores that he barely knows anyone else on the team – he might’ve seen them around school, but, if they’ve ever had a conversation – he can’t remember.

The match finishes in the late afternoon with their baseball team winning. Bakugou probably won’t ever admit it out loud, but the Todoroki Shouto on the Koshien baseball field was quite cool.

The week continues on with Todoroki and Bakugou attending each other’s matches when they can. Bakugou finds himself becoming more and more invested in the game, finds himself cheering more and more as he also meets the expectations and chaos of the roaring crowd. Aizawa sits a few seats from him and if he glances at Bakugou and says nothing, Bakugou will pretend that nothing is happening, nothing is changing. Nothing has changed. When Bakugou catches himself hopping off the bench and screaming from joy when someone hits a homerun – he knows he’s probably too invested in the game – when Aizawa gives him a side-eye, Bakugou pretends that everything is normal.

He continues to wear Todoroki’s baseball jacket, it isn’t too heavy or hot. Okay, maybe a bit hot and the jacket ends up hanging off his shoulders or just down right tied around his waist as he continues cheering for their team – they play so well.

Todoroki and Bakugou meet up often enough back at the dorms to eat. Rarely when they have enough time off together, they even find themselves falling back into old routine and eating out. And Bakugou finds he thinks nothing of it.

“One grapefruit juice, one oyako don and an omurice please”.

It’s at the end of the first week when Bakugou and his team find themselves defeated. He hears nothing but his own panting. He feels nothing but his own sweat as he looked up towards the stadium lights and let the lights blind him temporarily. Bakugou has never taken defeat well. Even when Kaminari holds his shoulders and steers him to the centre of the court to thank the opponents for the match, he can feel the dead silence ringing and buzzing across his skin. It was tangible fear.

He looks up briefly and sees his parents, a sad expression on their face, but it lights up when they notice their son watching them. His eyes darts and he finds Todoroki again. Todoroki’s expression is blank, it looks just as sad and heavy as the weight tugging at Bakugou’s stomach. He was sad. He hadn’t wanted to lose. No one did. But they had lost.

Bakugou leaves his phone sitting on mute. Even as captain all he felt like he could do was look into each of his teammates’ eyes with pride swimming in his eyes. Because he is proud of each and every one of them. Even of himself. He sees their gratitude in return, their understanding and their deep sorrows. Because he is sure that it also reflects in himself.

Bakugou sits amongst his basketball team as they eat a bowl of udon each, but together. They’re quiet compared to the memories Bakugou has of their usual liveliness. Except that peace only lasts for a little bit before it gets broken. The match they’ve just finished is discussed very carefully, they all dance around it and never breach it too much, because it’s still a very raw and sore spot. Midnight sits with a contemplative gaze, however when she catches the eyes of her students, her eyes twinkle and she’s proud.

It makes Bakugou want to choke on his dinner.

It was one thing for him to feel a sense of pride for his team. It was another thing to see someone else direct the same strong feelings at him. It made him feel small. But also, precious.

There are no complaints coming from Bakugou when his friends walk him back – technically they’re all heading to the same direction, but Bakugou can tell from the way they walk beside him that they’re escorting him. Nothing new there. He thinks he rather enjoys their company, even if it’s albeit quiet or filled with randomness – he enjoys that, he finds that he needs it now. Especially to distract him from thinking about how he’d end up packing his room tonight so that he can head to his parents for the rest of their summer vacation.

Todoroki Shouto isn’t even on Bakugou’s mind until he sees the other leaning against his door frame. If Shouji was tugging on his arm to pull him away from Todoroki, Bakugou shrugs off the hold. If Kirishima’s hand on his shoulder meant he didn’t want Bakugou to go towards Todoroki, Bakugou walked off anyway. If Sero’s whisper of please is caught by Bakugou’s sharp ears, he ignores it. If Kaminari’s distressed plead for Bakugou to not makes its way to Bakugou’s ears, he blocks it from his senses.

Bakugou won’t say it, but he’s glad to see Todoroki there. He unlocks his door and slips in quietly, pulling Todoroki along with him into his room. The door clicks shut and Bakugou watches to make sure Todoroki locks it. They don’t say anything to each other as they take off their shoes.

He feels tired. He crudely takes off his clothes and wipes a damp cloth against his skin, paying Todoroki no heed. He’s tired. He’s sad and the overwhelming weight of it all comes crashing to him just as Bakugou pulls on his pyjamas and flops on his bed. He doesn’t even look up when he feels an extra weight on the bed – knowing it can only be Todoroki Shouto.

“Katsuki, you were still amazing today”, Todoroki speaks softly, he dares to place a hand on Bakugou’s shoulder in solace.

Bakugou buries his face into his pillow and lets out an anguished scream, one that should’ve been released many hours before. He finds consolation in the way Todoroki cards through his hair, he finds relief when he hears the other’s breathing – not steady, but not maniacally sporadic like his own. He calms down slowly, his tears soaking his pillow as he relives his final summer national basketball match. There were so many things – but nothing he regrets.

“I’m so proud of you”, Todoroki speaks, his fingers still gently massaging into Bakugou’s head.

And he is proud of himself. But he’s never taken loss well – not that there have been many losses in his life.

Bakugou finds himself eventually sleeping soundly from his tiredness and the rivers of tears. It was only regretful that they had lost. He does however wake up in the middle of the night feeling extra hot. Instinctively, Bakugou sticks out a leg from under his doona to try and cool off a little, except he is met with resistance, his eyes fly open straight away and realises under the dimly moon lit room that bloody Todoroki Shouto was still there. In his bed and sleeping. His face serene as he sleeps peacefully. He had somewhat accidentally kicked Todoroki Shouto – he had meant to stick his leg out, but he hadn’t intended to have that said leg contact the other. Todoroki doesn’t even flinch as he continues sleeping.

With a somewhat sated heart, Bakugou carefully lets his hand peek from underneath the doona cover so that it reaches out towards Todoroki’s face. He pokes at the other’s cheeks – it’s not as soft as he thought it would be, Bakugou pokes his own cheeks and finds his own much softer – he wonders if that means Todoroki has a slimmer face – not that he thinks of himself as fat.

And Bakugou looks at the scar that covers a good amount of Todoroki’s face. He holds his breath as he lets his fingers trail across the scar, going over the edges and brushing aside hair so he can see the extent of the scar.

Todoroki wiggles his nose a little but offers no other form of resistance.

Bakugou wonders how Todoroki came to get that scar – or is it a birthmark? It looks… like it could be both, it does however feel like a scar and not a birthmark. He however, wants to believe it to be a birthmark and not a scar. Bakugou lets out a shuddered breath at that thought. He closes his eyes and his hand retreats back into the doona covers.

He was most definitely not a creep.

Bakugou wakes up the next morning feeling not quite refreshed and also not as sad. His eyes however feel heavy and his heart still tired. Almost with impeding fear, Bakugou sits up and reaches for his phone and hovers over it. He hadn’t touched it ever since they lost their match.

Todoroki’s breathing shifts and Bakugou is immediately alert as he turns to look at the other, watching as Todoroki blearily wakes up with a groan.

There is no how are you feeling? Todoroki merely gives Bakugou a small smile and a soft, “good morning, Katsuki”.

Bakugou pouts and lets his head fall down. He felt small again all of a sudden under Todoroki’s gaze. A small part of him feels ashamed, feels embarrassed for Todoroki to know that they hadn’t won that game – but it was a good game nonetheless. Bakugou closes his eyes and stifles a strangled cry when he feels Todoroki’s hand gently pat his head, fingers carding through his bed hair. Bakugou leans very little into the touch which only sparked more of that cold feeling pulling at his stomach. His hands come up to cover his own face as he tries to push all the tears back in.

A soothing hand rests on Bakugou’s back and rubs small circles – if it was meant to be comforting – it was working, in fact probably too well as his tears wouldn’t stop rolling down his face. It doesn’t take long before Bakugou leans forward and drops his head to his doona covered knees. He really didn’t like losing.

When Bakugou calms down, Todoroki doesn’t say anything, he continues to massage Bakugou’s back. When their eyes meet, Bakugou is greeted with a soft and small smile. A sigh escapes Bakugou before he gets off the bed. Ignoring the fact that he had let Todoroki Shouto in to see him as a wreck.

“I’ll go watch your match today”, Bakugou speaks as he pulls on a set of fresh clothes, he looks back at Todoroki just in time to see the other’s reluctant and concerned face – no doubt thinking it may hit Bakugou hard to see a team at a national tournament when his own had lost less than 24hours ago. “I think it might put me in a better mood, watching you play”, Bakugou almost wants to look away when Todoroki gives him a wide and beaming smile. He also did say that he’d go watch the other’s matches when he could – and now that his summer is over, he has no excuse.

Bakugou ends up dropping by his family home with a strawberry milk in hand and his luggage to dump in his room before he makes his way to the Koshien stadium. His parents latch onto him and rub his head fondly, placing smooching kisses on his cheeks and makes sure they know exactly how proud and happy they are of him before they wave goodbye and watch him depart – he gets a reminder to return for dinner.

Holding Todoroki’s baseball jacket in his arms, Bakugou strolls into the stadium with confidence and looks for their team – he spots them easily thanks to Todoroki’s very distinctive hairstyle. He merges with the team easily and takes a seat in the same spot at the benches just as easily. Bakugou does note that Aizawa does give him a longer look than usual – he must be trying to gauge his expression after yesterday’s loss. But Bakugou shrugs it off. He focuses on the warm ups the baseball team gets around to.

Again and again and again, Bakugou finds himself immersed in the game as it starts. He finds himself with the crowd, with the team, cheering and feeling excited, the nervousness of the players also reflecting in himself. He almost feels like he’s part of the team – except he isn’t – he’s just some kind of smuggled guest. But that doesn’t stop him from distracting himself and enjoying the game.

The absolute joy and happiness he feels when Todoroki and his team win again throws Bakugou onto a rainbow filled with bright colours and sunshine – he feels absolutely elated, so much that he can understand why so many people are so invested in the Summer Koshien every single year.

Todoroki ends up pulling Bakugou away from the stadium for lunch, a large smile on his face as Bakugou lightly hits his shoulder, “go die, stop walking in front of me”, and quickly hastens his steps so they’re walking side by side.

“If we win Koshien, will you go eat cold soba with me?” Todoroki asks before he takes a bite into the hamburger.

Bakugou scrutinizes the other for a little before giving a small nod, “why cold soba?”

“It’s my favourite”, Todoroki replies with a small smile. Which is when Bakugou realised he doesn’t know much about Todoroki. His likes and all. He feels a flutter of emotions coarse through his tummy, and Bakugou knows soon he’d be flustered – but he has no reason to be. He stomps on his thoughts and feelings and forces a neutral expression on his face.

“Plus”, Todoroki adds, “cold soba is best had in summer”.

“Shouldn’t you go eat it with your team then?” Bakugou asks, he remembers how he and his team went to go eat afterwards, even though they had lost. Their company was good however.

“Nah”, Todoroki shrugs, “we’ll go eat something else”.

“Huh”, Bakugou purses his lips and his brows furrow in confusion, maybe his team doesn’t like cold soba.

“I want to eat my favourite food with you”, Todoroki says calmly and smiles when they catch each other’s eyes.

Bakugou has to quickly remind himself that that doesn’t mean anything at all and that no, he will not let his face flush from such a simpleton sentence that is built out or corniness and shit Todoroki doesn’t even know what he’s saying.

Todoroki gives Bakugou another encouraging smile – Bakugou notes that he’s receiving more and more from the other these days – before he gets up to go and pay for their meal. Bakugou ducks his head down and pretends that he’s definitely not interested in the other’s actions at all.

When Bakugou looks up and sees his own flushed face in the reflection of the window – he can see how many of the students believe that he has a thing with Todoroki Shouto. Especially if he was going around with such an expression. He recognises what expression he’s wearing. He’s infatuated. With Todoroki Shouto. Fuck. He’s in love. When Todoroki finishes paying for their meal and returns, Bakugou’s eyes are wide. Shit. If he’s been this obvious there’s no way Todoroki wouldn’t know. And god knows how long he’s been walking around with such an easy-to-read expression for! Fuuuuuck. He’s so screwed.

Bakugou quickly looks away from the window and finds his gaze on the meal they just finished and fuck this shit when he notes that there’s only one milkshake between the two of them, he hadn’t even known when he had started sharing drinks with bloody Todoroki Shouto. He can’t even pinpoint the exact day, what had happened? How did he let his guard down like that? Crap, crap crap, there was only the one straw – shit – does this mean they’ve been sharing all these fuckin’ indirect kisses without him even realising!? And oh gosh, they’ve shared his bed twice in just the last week – it was all progressing too quickly – wait nothing is progressing because they’re not even supposed to be bloody friends! But they do spend a lot of time together…

“Want to go for dessert next, Katsuki?” Todoroki suggests.

Seriously though, why is Todoroki using his first name – he can’t remember but he can remember but he doesn’t want to remember how that even came about because it was fucking making his cheeks burn from embarrassment. Crazily. And not to even mention, Bakugou is absolutely filled to the brim. He’s full. “No! Aren’t you stuffed?” Bakugou frowns and gives the other an angry look, trying to mask his embarrassment with anger instead.

“I am”, Todoroki nods and isn’t fazed at all with Bakugou’s random outburst, “we’ll go for a walk around first then”.

Bakugou grumbles and stuffs his hands in his pocket before stomping off. They end up wandering off and around a neighbourhood, Bakugou stops each time to play with wandering cats. They’re not as friendly as Aizawa’s tabby cat – in which he’s become quite close with. The wandering cats approach him with caution but eventually give in to being pet and have their belly rubbed. Bakugou squats down and diligently admires them all.

“So cute”, Bakugou speaks to the cats and has difficulty trying to give equal attention to each and every single one. “Look how cute they are, Todoroki”, Bakugou says as he carries a cat and lifts the cat up as though the cat was Simba the lion.

“Cute, indeed”, Todoroki has a grin on his face as he too squats besides Bakugou to play with the cats.

On the way to desserts, Bakugou complains and complains about how he doesn’t want to, but finds himself going anyway. Todoroki Shouto is most definitely a bad influence on his mood. It is however quickly displaced when Bakugou munches into his lava cake and Todoroki into his cheesecake. He does however stop when he realises that he is in a very strange mood – he recognises that he’s infatuated, fine, but it doesn’t mean he needs to act like he is even so. Almost straight away, Bakugou changes his demeanour, a frown replaces his relaxed eyebrows, a scowl on his lips instead of a smile.

Bakugou’s parents end up driving over to pick their son up – just in case he forgot he was to be home for dinner – Bakugou hates that Todoroki isn’t even surprised that his parents just magically appear and know where their son is – Bakugou ends up mouthing google maps to Todoroki before he’s dragged into the car, his parents offering Todoroki a ride back – he denies – they wave cheerfully and drive off.

When Bakugou finally does get around to checking his phone – he replies curtly to all the messages of regret following their loss at the nationals. It’s okay, Bakugou thinks, it was a good journey, and it’s not like he’d never play basketball again. When Bakugou sees that Todoroki Shouto has started sharing his location with Bakugou, Bakugou nearly chokes on his own spit. He sends the other a judging stamp on LINE before he immediately goes to check to see where Todoroki is – and of course, he’s at the school dorms. Bakugou considers over and over again whether he should share his own location with Todoroki – but decides against it, it’s already bad enough that his infatuation is written all over his face.

With a soft grip, Bakugou holds onto his pillow and grips it hard as he covers half his face and rolls in his bed. He’s doesn’t like Todoroki like that. But he does have very, very positive feelings for him at the same time, he just doesn’t want to admit it to himself so easily.

“Sh-Shou-Shou-”, Bakugou stammers out softly, the pillow muffling his voice. He groans when he realises he can’t say Todoroki’s first name without burning up in flames. He is so screwed. It shouldn’t even be like that because it’s just a first name, in the very end, just a name. Seriously. He shouldn’t get so worked up over just a bloody first name! “Shou-”. But that doesn’t can speak the other’s name calmly yet.

When Bakugou falls asleep with a part of Todoroki Shouto’s name on his lips and not the dampening thoughts of his recent basketball match loss – he doesn’t notice until he wakes up the next morning feeling uncannily refreshed. If his parents notice that he’s been carrying around someone else’s baseball jacket more and more, they say nothing but does eye the jacket a little bit. Bakugou’s father even went as far as asking Katsuki, shouldn’t you watch that baseball jacket? Surely, it’s not that bad. And washing it would mean he’d have to return it right? The thought looms at the back of Bakugou’s head. Thought it should be okay, since he still needs the jacket to enter the Koshien stadium and watch Todoroki’s matches from the bench, right? Right. Yes. That’s definitely the correct and only answer.

In which Bakugou does go and watch, the practice matches and the official matches. Bakugou knows he should be suspicious of how invested he’s becoming, and how much more he’s come to like baseball. It was a slow but out of the blue development at the same time. Which obviously didn’t make sense.

“Katsuki, I’m so glad you could make it”, Todoroki is beaming as he looks at Bakugou who now very naturally takes a seat at the bench with a nod. Bakugou praises himself for not going full on crazy with his blushing and instead a nonchalant “whatever”, escapes his lips. He’s doing well.

When Bakugou catches himself also screaming out in joy with a proud “yes!” he doesn’t care about the nagging voice at the back of his head telling him that if things go on like this, it’ll be more than just a measly crush. Bakugou soon realises that it’s not like he doesn’t watch the other players because he doesn’t really know them compared with Todoroki – but it’s more like, he can’t keep his eyes off Todoroki because that’s his main interest. Because of his bloody crush. And so when they win the match and qualify for the finals of the prestigious Summer Koshien, Bakugou finds himself bursting with joy. He’s standing at the bench yelling out in happiness along with all the other fans. Aizawa included. And to think he’s usually so cool, calm and collected. Just kidding. Just wait till Bakugou finds his tabby cat and informs him that his owner too can be a very boisterous person when need be.

Todoroki urges Bakugou to come and celebrate with the team. Bakugou vehemently denies the request. “The team should celebrate properly”, Bakugou insists, and he knows that the team will have much strategizing and motivational talks happening – and he doesn’t want to be there for that – because he isn’t part of the baseball team who has just qualified for the finals of the Summer Koshien. No. He’s still the captain on the basketball team who despite their recent loss, still stands tall and proud. Because they did their best. And no one could take that from him. Even if he sits with the coach at the baseball team’s matches, he’s not a player, he’s not the manager either, he’s simply there through connections, just a spectator. One who’s also crushing on his connection. Damn it.

When Todoroki calls him that night, Bakugou very much considers rejecting the call in fear the other can hear the blush through his voice. But Bakugou knows that if the other can hear it through the phone, there’s no doubt he already knows from all of their outings together. Except he hadn’t realised he like the other then. So maybe it wasn’t obvious then. But it bloody well is now. And so Bakugou lets his phone ring out, listening as Todoroki’s call goes to voice message.

“Katsuki, good evening, I hope I didn’t disturb your sleep, but it’s not quite your bedtime yet, so maybe you’re in the bathroom? Anyway, let’s go out tomorrow, there’s a new curry place we should try. Let’s meet at the station at noon. Also, thank you so much for coming to my match today, it was very good motivation. Well then, call me back. See you.”

Bakugou has no shame when he re-listens to the message again. When he saves the voice message, he feels like he’s just digging a deeper hole for himself. But it doesn’t stop the small smile that pulls at his lips. Instead of calling back, Bakugou LINEs the other instead – ok noon tomorrow at the station. And the conversation should’ve just ended like that, but nope, it went on, and Bakugou can’t even remember how they kept derailing from topic to topic. It would’ve been hilarious to be the one watch as the topics switch so quickly, he was also very impressed with how quickly Todoroki could type. Eventually though, Todoroki notes that it is pass Bakugou bed time and then should both call it a night.

The next morning, Bakugou wakes up feeling slightly giddy. It was a scary feeling to wake up to. When he remembers his very eventful conversation over LINE with Todoroki the night before, he wants to bury his face back in his pillow in embarrassment. It can’t be normal to want to talk to one person that much. He really was stuck in this stupid crush.

More often than not, Bakugou finds he doesn’t like the fact that his parents work from home – he’s back from his morning jog around the block and his parents are just starting to prepare breakfast. He showers before joining them, and he knows he’s acting very normal but they still know something is up.

“Where are you going today?” Mitsuki asks, her tone filled with a sense of playful curiosity.

Bakugou looks up at his mother – the old hag – and rolls his eyes. He’s not even wearing anything different from what he usually wears, how does she even know that he’s going out?

“Katsuki”, Masaru calls out and Bakugou shifts his gaze to look at his old man instead, “it’s because your brows aren’t furrowed”.

Immediately, Bakugou frowns at his father’s words.

“Are you saying he usually looks constipated?” Mitsuki asks as she lays out the bowls of rice porridge with more force than usual, an angry look on her face as she directs it at her husband.

“No”, Masaru shakes his head and raises his hands, “only you’re allowed to call him that, apparently”, he turns from his wife and looks at Bakugou to give him a cheeky smile.

“Damn right”, Mitsuki lifts her head up high before she too takes a seat and they start breakfast.

Bakugou doesn’t like that his parents can read him so well, it feels like some sort of invasion of privacy. He had enough of that in middle school. And now that he was in high school – a boarding school, he had forgotten how much he disliked having his parents read him like an open book. And with them working at home – it also meant that so long as Katsuki stayed home, he was being surveyed. As if the google location wasn’t stalker-ish enough. But he liked the perks of location sharing – he could see where his parents are at all times – so long as they carried his phone, if they were grocery shopping, all he needs to do is dial their number and ask for whatever he wants – though more often than not, he’s the one carrying all the groceries for them anyway.

He ends up cleaning the kitchen and pantry until it was time for him to leave. He leaves the TV on so his parents can continue watching the Koshien matches as the please.

“You’ll be home for dinner?” Masaru asks when Katsuki is at the doorway putting his shoes on to go out and make it in time to the station near school by noon.

“Yeah”, Bakugou grumbles out, “I’ll let you know if I need to be picked up”.

“Okay”, Masaru smiles reassuringly, “don’t go too wild out there”.

“I’m not doing anything like that”, Bakugou frowns, arms crossed and gives his old man a look before stepping out of the house.

Todoroki is already at the station by the time Bakugou gets there and opens up the LINE app to message the other – he really does stick out like a sore thumb. He pretends to not see the masses of people who walk by and then turn their head around to take another look at bloody Todoroki Shouto. Even outside of school he’s a popular half-ass. Must be that stupid mug. And that stupid hair. And those stupid clothes which do nothing to hide the toned body it was hanging from.

Bakugou finds himself rather surprised that Todoroki isn’t flocked with people trying to talk to him. If he didn’t know who Todoroki Shouto was, and saw him standing around the station waiting, looking all cool like that, he’d probably roll his eyes at his heart that will skip a beat. But because he knows it’s Todoroki Shouto the half-ass idiot who bloody sleeps in class at all given chances, his heart feels like it’ll jump right out and kill him then and there. He hasn’t even made eye contact with the guy yet or spoken yet and he feels a slither of nervousness run through him, a small sense of embarrassment clawing at his heart. All just from thinking about one Todoroki Shouto.

“Katsuki!” Todoroki lights up again when he spots Bakugou and walks over to the other, “are you hungry?” The grin that Todoroki sends Bakugou is too bright and Bakugou looks away straight away and grunts out a “hurry up and go”.

It turns out the curry store Todoroki wanted to visit really wasn’t far from the station – which meant it was also very close to school. In a small dingy alley – Bakugou wonders how many people have had their kidneys taken out in the suspicious alley – there was the one shop lit up by a plain white sign. All it had written on it was Curry. It turns out the store hidden within the suspicious little alley was much more comfortable than what Bakugou had imagined – he supposed walking through the narrow alley would make one think there’d be little space within the restaurant itself, but no, it was spacious, and warmly lit. But best of all, the smell of curry was heavenly.

When Todoroki orders Curry Soba – Bakugou can’t help but look at the other with bewilderment, “at least order Curry Udon”, he shakes his head at Todoroki.

“Soba is nice”, Todoroki replies and then looks back at the waiting staff and adds, “and a Calpis to share please”.

Bakugou doesn’t realise that they’ve ordered a drink to share, again, until it sits in front of him. At least with Calpis they can just pour it into the glasses provided, there is no indirect kissing there. The thought calms him down until he sees Todoroki take a gulp straight from the can itself. Bakugou goes through his brain and tries to remember if this has ever happened before – because how did he act then? Did he just order his own can of Calpis – unlikely otherwise he’d have noticed this behaviour turned habit much earlier. Did he also take a gulp from the can too? Or did he pour it into his own glass to drink out of? There were so many possibilities that Bakugou just decides he’s better off not drinking the Calpis at all.

The curry rice – as expected was tingling his sense, it was delicious. He thinks he may come back again to try the different types of curry on offer. Though as he watches Todoroki eat his curry soba with enthusiasm, he wonders if it might be better if he came alone. When Todoroki picks up some curry soba and passes it to Bakugou – Bakugou thinks, perhaps not as he picks up the noodle with his own chopsticks and tries it. It was surprisingly good.

The triumphant smile on Todoroki’s face is all Bakugou needed to know that the see? I knew curry soba would be great was made known to them both. Bakugou frowns and promptly ignores it. He tells himself that it’s totally fine for Todoroki to pay – he did say he’d treat him.

Todoroki even ends up dragging Bakugou into a Seven Eleven afterwards. Bakugou looks at the magazines on display whilst Todoroki does whatever he needs to do at the convenience store. It was when Bakugou is glancing over the newspaper section that he sees one with the Summer Koshien on the front page, he picks it up straight away and skims over it. Bakugou nods when he agrees with the writer and shakes his head with a click of his tongue when he disagrees.

“Katsuki, let’s go”, Todoroki says as he walks up to Bakugou. Bakugou carefully places the newspaper back where it belongs and hopes it isn’t too obvious that his heart is skipping a few beats when he turns around to see Todoroki handing him a strawberry milk.

“Here”, Todoroki’s expression is neutral as he hands over the strawberry milk to Bakugou who takes it after a moment of hesitation, “I thought you’d be thirsty, you didn’t have any Calpis at all”.

“Oh”, Bakugou nods and he wants to combust or just leave, he shouldn’t feel this happy for someone to just notice that he wasn’t drinking bloody Calpis of all things. And to be so considerate and buy him strawberry milk afterwards? Todoroki Shouto is definitely not good for his currently very worn and fragile heart.

“I hadn’t realised you don’t like Calpis”, Todoroki muses before he pops a straw into the banana milk he’s holding onto.

“Just wasn’t thirsty”, Bakugou huffs and takes a sip of his strawberry milk. It was a lie, he just didn’t know how to drink the Calpis without blowing his freakin’ cover. But from the way Todoroki smiles at him, Bakugou sometimes finds himself thinking, perhaps Todoroki knew long ago and was just pulling his leg now, taking in all these chances and recording it so he can make fun of him later on. What an ass. A half-ass with seemingly too much time on his hands. To the point where he almost seems like an unscrupulous piece of shit. Who also wore nice jackets. In which Bakugou was also crushing on, badly.

Somehow, they end up at a cat café. Bakugou has no qualms. He likes cats. They’re pompous beings. But he likes them anyway. Bakugou orders a strawberry milkshake – for himself, he makes it clear before he picks up a Himalayan cat sitting a table and holds him up with a grin. Bakugou slides into the seat and places the cat back on the table where he was sitting before. His fingers gently running through the fur and fluffing it up on purpose. The Himalayan cat looks at Bakugou before turning his head away. Todoroki takes a seat opposite Bakugou and looks around curiously, but instead ends up looking at the Himalayan cat Bakugou was playing with. He makes a small oomph when a Ragdoll cat makes himself comfortable in his own lap.

“They sure are friendly”, Todoroki comments as his hand naturally goes to pet the one on his lap.

Bakugou agrees with a hum, too distracted with the Himalayan cat on still resting on the table, his tail swishing around to gently swat at Bakugou’s hand, “they’re use to humans, this being a cat café and all”.

Eventually the Himalayan cat scoots off the table and lands on the plush bench Bakugou was sitting on and makes himself comfortable leaning against Bakugou’s thigh. A British Shorthair comes pouncing with a rat’s tail and playfully nudges Bakugou to pay him some attention. And Bakugou does, his strawberry milkshake forgotten in Todoroki’s hands.

Bakugou knows he’s lost track of time when he’s surprised to see the time on his phone when his mother of all people calls him. He does pick up the call to see what his mother wants.

“Papa said you’re coming home for dinner?” Mitsuki’s voice is questioning and full of suspicion

“I am, I am”, Bakugou sighs and his face quickly contorts into one of frustration and not the peaceful expression he had from playing with the cats.

“Well, it’s going to take you a fair amount of time to get home from the cat café”, Mitsuki’s voice is all-knowing.

“Fuck”, Bakugou whispers with annoyance, “you’re parked outside waiting for me already, aren’t you?”

“Yes, sorry hurry up and get your butt out here”, Mitsuki says and hangs up.

“Bloody old hag”, Bakugou growls before pocketing his phone and standing up. He looks at Todoroki and nods, “I gotta go, see you”.

“Oh”, Todoroki’s expression falls and he too stands up, nudging the Ragdoll cat that was still on his lap, “okay”.

Bakugou definitely does not need Todoroki to see him out of the café, but Todoroki does anyway, claiming that he should get back to the dorms anyway.

“I’ll call you later”, Todoroki says and waves goodbye to Bakugou as Bakugou wrinkles his nose and gets into his parents’ car.

“Don’t”, is all Bakugou says before he slams the car door shut, glaring at his parents who watch him from the rear-view mirror.

Todoroki does end up calling later that night, after his baseball training – in which Bakugou finds himself picking up the call anyway. Stuff the embarrassment. They end up talking about cats. And dogs. And food. Food to try, together. Todoroki even proposes to open up an excel spreadsheet to list out all the places that they should visit together. Bakugou thinks, it’s not a bad idea and sits in front of his computer, google excel spread sheet open and they fill in the table together. It doesn’t even matter if they list restaurant in Hokkaido or on the other end of Japan in Okinawa, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have to go there to eat, they just want to go there to eat.

Bakugou tries not to let him hope that this might mean Todoroki maybe does enjoy his company.

That however, is a very dangerous thought. It’s further highlighted when Mitsuki knocks on her son’s door and tells him to rest up early instead of till sunrise on the phone. Bakugou doesn’t like listening and following everything his mother says, but when he looks at the time, he realises he has been on the phone for a bloody long time – a few hours – honestly, this is quickly becoming unhealthy behaviour.

“I need to go”, Bakugou says into his phone pressed against his shoulder and ear as he fluffs his bed before slipping in, “tomorrow is the big day”.

Todoroki hums in acknowledgement, there’s a shuffle that comes from Todoroki’s end. Bakugou exhales loudly when he gets into his bed and pulls his covers up to his chin, phone in hand and close to his ear so he doesn’t miss what Todoroki may have to say.

“Yeah”, Todoroki sighs, “yeah, you will definitely be there tomorrow, right?”

Bakugou snorts, “I’ve been for all your other matches, haven’t I?”

“Okay”, Todoroki’s voice is relieved, “I reckon I play better with you watching”.

“Shut up”, Bakugou says but regrets it straight away when Todoroki really does shut up and all that’s left is the sound of Todoroki’s breathing over the line. It sends a flush straight to Bakugou’s cheeks when he realises how inappropriate it is to listen to the other breathing whilst Bakugou himself was in bed, preparing to sleep. He quickly consoles himself and reminds him it’s no biggie, they’ve already slept in the same bed together – as friends – but still – still the one bed – he’s heard the other’s breathing up close before, this shouldn’t be any different. But it is, because he knows he freaking likes the other now. It was a major difference.

“Katsuki”, Todoroki’s voice is smooth as he breaks the silence.

Bakugou wants to curse someone, anyone when Todoroki says his name like that. If he wasn’t already blushing, he definitely was now, his whole body feels hot, all flushed and tingly. It scared him. But at the same time it was also very exciting. There was the anticipation of what Todoroki will say next. It made Bakugou’s heart thump loudly, he felt that his ribcages were going to crumble beneath his heart all too soon. He hadn’t realised until he was listening out for it, but his breathing had quickened into shallow breaths.

“I”, Todoroki’s voice is soft. There’s a small gap of silence before Todoroki speaks again. Bakugou thinks that this really isn’t good for his racing heart. “Katsuki, I just, I want, I…”

To begin with, Bakugou is not a patient man. But here he was clutching onto his phone and listening to Todoroki who clearly has forgotten how to speak clearly and is stumbling all over his words. He’s hanging onto each word carefully to try and decipher the puzzle that is Todoroki Shouto. But to no avail.

Todoroki takes a big breath, “I’ll tell you after Koshien”.

Bakugou feels his stomach sink straight away. Whatever Todoroki had wanted to say – it did not sound light-hearted, in fact, it sounded heavy and serious. A million and one different scenarios run through Bakugou head straight away – what if Todoroki was sick? What if he was going far, far away, forever? What if he wanted to tell Bakugou that this whole time it was just a dare for Todoroki to get close to Bakugou? That he didn’t even want to be friends with him in the first place?


It’s not something he wants to admit, but Bakugou feels that that is somewhat what they are at this point in time. He’s never let someone in so close. It scares him still. To not know how Todoroki thinks of him. To think that there is the (slim) possibility that Todoroki is treating this all as a farce.

“I will see you tomorrow”, Todoroki says slowly, “good night, Katsuki”.

He even freakin’ let Todoroki call him by his first name.

“Good night”, Bakugou whispers back. He’s so screwed. He doesn’t hang up and waits for Todoroki to hang up. He can hear Todoroki’s breathing on the other end. It sounds erratic, just like his own. Bakugou ends up closing his eyes and before he knew it, he fell asleep listening to Todoroki’s breathing, his own heart doing cartwheels through his fear infested stomach.

Bakugou dreams of his own fears. He wakes up with a cold sweat and Todoroki’s first name on his lips. He wants to check the time on his phone but finds that it’s out of battery. With shaky hands, he plugs his phone into the charger and waits for the time to blink at him. It was 4:16AM. When Bakugou swipes his phone open, he notices that it was still on the LINE conversation with Todoroki, the last activity being the call from last night – he wants to hurl and dig himself another hole to bury himself in when he realised that his last call with Todoroki was just over 7 hours long – no wonder his phone died on him. Fuck. They must’ve both fallen asleep without hanging up.

Even though he tries, Bakugou finds he can’t get back to sleep, instead his thoughts are plagued with thoughts of Todoroki. He keeps replaying the other’s voice in his head, he wants to know what Todoroki has to say to him, it’s leaving him in jitters as he starts imagining the different conversations that could happen depending on what Todoroki has to say. Bakugou knows he’s really screwed when he even starts imagining up the best responses he could give depending on what Todoroki has to say.

Todoroki Shouto really could be the death of him.

Tossing and turning in his bed, Bakugou can’t find a comfortable enough spot. He ends up lying in bed wide awake and contemplative. He does pull himself up easily when it was time for his morning jog.

The buzz of the Summer Koshien finals was sending Bakugou into a fit of nervousness. It wasn’t even his finals to play. But from all the newspaper displays littered across the streets and all the TVs switched on ready to watch the finals match, it really made Bakugou feel that he should be nervous for Todoroki Shouto.

“You sure have been going to go watch the Koshien a lot this year”, Mitsuki comments as she watches her son get ready to leave the house.

Bakugou shrugs, “someone I know is playing”.

Masaru frowns, “you mean your school’s team”.

“No”, Bakugou frowns back and shakes his head, “I should be back for dinner”, he childishly pokes his tongue out at his parents before heading off.

The sun was bright and its warmth tickled his skin and reminded him of the sweltering weather Todoroki would be playing under. He was excited. They really did have a very good chance at winning. They were, after all, in the finals already.

Bakugou makes his way to the grounds and the players are already there, he’s standoffishly to the side watching as they do their stretches. He wants to cringe and look away when Todoroki notices him. Bakugou becomes the one on the receiving end of Todoroki’s absolutely beaming smile. Bakugou wants to dig himself another hole when Todoroki jogs up to him with a Katsuki. The smile is still there. Bakugou is sure his crush is written all over his face when Todoroki grabs his arm and squeezes a little, “I’m so happy you’re here, with you watching, I’m sure to win”. If anything, Todoroki’s smile widens and squeezes Bakugou’s arm again before he returns to stretching with the rest of his team. This time there wasn’t even an Aizawa-sensei to hide behind.

Aizawa comes in shortly after and the team huddles together to raise their morale before Aizawa gives a short and succinct speech – they are the best – before h takes his eat on the bench and Bakugou carefully takes his own, hyperaware that this is the finals. There’s bound to be even more eyes watching. It makes him feel a little queasy knowing that’s he definitely out of place.

The match starts and Bakugou finds himself smiling to himself whilst watching Todoroki play – he definitely was a serious player on the field, he seems to half-ass everything else, but with baseball, you could tell he’s passionate about it. His slight frown of concentration and very alert body stance, it was totally different to the Todoroki who slouched on the desk and tried to sleep the classes away.

Once again, Bakugou finds himself roaring with the crowd. He’s anxious and knows he isn’t blinking much. He groans too when their team falls behind or when he knows they could’ve performed better. Despite all that, Aizawa sits on his seat and watches with calm eyes. But from the occasional twitch of the leg, Bakugou knows that his homeroom teacher is probably the most anxious of them all. Bakugou definitely finds himself standing up and cheering, arm raised when they score a homerun or when they catch someone out. He’s ecstatic and can feel the adrenaline pump through his vessels even though he’s not even the one playing. He winces and feels like he too can feel the pain when he sees the players skid through the ground, diving for the ball.

Bakugou has a love hate relationship with close matches, certainly it makes his adrenaline pump even more, but the excitement and the close scores always puts Bakugou on the edge. Like every point is the last. Every breath could be his last, his concentration needs to be spot on. No time to even think about anything else. No time to rest or take a breather. It’s not his match but he feels the familiar sense of anticipation and nervousness creep within him. It was most definitely the only thing in his mind.

When the last pitch is thrown and the last run is counted, Bakugou is already standing up and screaming with the crowd. They’ve won. It’s when he realises he should look at Todoroki to see his reaction that he finds himself already look at the other. Fuck. He looks so happy. And Bakugou just knows he’s fallen a little bit more in love with Todoroki Shouto.

Bakugou watches the members run up to each other and celebrate. He also takes after Aizawa who runs to his team and they huddle together for a cheer. Bakugou stops short when he remembers he’s not part of the team. But he cheers when the team cheers too. When Todoroki looks up and makes eye contact with him. Bakugou feels his breath stop.

He starts breathing again as he watches Todoroki hug the group tightly once before letting go and running towards Bakugou.

He can’t hear anything through the cheering of the crowd. But he sees very clearly the Katsuki that Todoroki’s lips form.

Bakugou shakes a little and he looks at Todoroki with bewilderment. He’s happy for him, so bloody happy for him. He finds him running to Todoroki too.

It was on the spur of the moment. Bakugou swears it’s because Todoroki had his arms stretched out. Bakugou thought nothing of it as he leapt through the air and jumped straight into Todoroki’s outstretched arms.

“Shouto”, Bakugou laughs, arms wound tightly around Todoroki’s shoulders, legs around Todoroki’s waist. Todoroki caught him well, definitely did not disappoint. His smile still as bright.


And Bakugou can hear Todoroki’s voice so well now. His grin widens. He’s so proud and happy for Todoroki.

Bakugou’s world stops however when he feels Todoroki’s lips pressed against his own. Instinctively, his limbs tighten from surprise. He blinks a few times before fully comprehending what was happening. His limbs go limp but he’s still held in place by Todoroki.


Todoroki brushes his lips against Bakugou’s a few more times before he opens his own eyes to look back at Bakugou.

Bakugou panics. He struggles, he pushes and hops off Todoroki at an alarmed rate. Immediately, Bakugou covers his mouth and stares wide-eyed at Todoroki. Only for a second though, before he turns around and runs.

What in the world just happened. He knows what happened, but how, why did it happen. What in the world. Todoroki Shouto is his crush. What in the bloody hell. Bakugou runs and runs, he shakes his head and tries to clear his thoughts, but even the cheers and screams from the crowd couldn’t drown his increasing anxiety. Bakugou notes distinctly he was so weak as to freakin’ press his lips back against Todoroki’s lips. And oh shit, he had bloody called the other Shouto. Why. When not even a night ago the name couldn’t even slip out of his lips without the slaughter of embarrassment.

After the bizarre kiss – it’s bizarre – Bakugou convinces himself of so – what the shit was even going through his mind. He unhappily reprimands his body for even jumping into the other’s arms and in front of millions of people, kissing, like what is wrong with him. He’s in love. No he isn’t. It’s bloody Todoroki Shouto, there is nothing to be in love with. And he’s not in love. So what if his body acted by itself and jumped into Todoroki’s arms? So what if their lips pressed against each other? It was out of joy. Not that he’d go pressing his lips against anyone else. No, anyone. Not anyone else. He’s not in bloody love. He’s ok to admit to having a crush, or even liking the other, but to be in fucking love with Todoroki Shouto!? Fuck. So what if he bolted and ran back home straight away? So what? So what if his parents were clearly watching on live TV and freakin’ saw it all. SO WHAT. It’s ok to admit that he has a crush and likes the other, but to kiss and be in bloody love!? No. Just no.

But yes.

Bakugou buries himself under his covers and tries to not think about it. He can feel his ears heating up in embarrassment already. He didn’t want to have his first kiss on national TV. He’s never even thought about how he’d want his first kiss – but he’s sure if he did he would not have wanted it to be so bloody public.


Bakugou groans. It’s his old man.

“Kirishima-kun and all are here to see you”, Masaru says from outside of Bakugou’s bedroom door.

“Go away”, Bakugou says from under his doona covers. He doesn’t want to see anyone. He’s not in the mood for endless teasing. At least his parents gave up after they saw his face and how quickly he ran into his room.

Hours pass and Bakugou finds himself occasionally drifting off to sleep from thinking too much. He was getting tired from all his thoughts. By the time Bakugou checks his phone, he’s realised that a day has passed since. Bakugou finds that he doesn’t even find himself hungry. But he drags himself out of his room to ransack the kitchen to eat – he wants to stay healthy. And not even Todoroki Shouto can bloody stop him from that. He does however stop by the bathroom first to clean up his appearance, he doesn’t need to leave any more weaknesses for his bloody mum to attack.

Mitsuki is in the kitchen cooking up curry when Bakugou walks in.

“About time you left your damn room”, Mitsuki says with a teasing tone but gives her son a smile.

“Shut up”, Bakugou says weakly and hovers around the curry, hoping that the wafting smell of the curry will ignite his appetite.

“It’ll be done in 5 minutes”, Mitsuki gently nudges her son away from the stove, “go set up the table and get your father”.

Bakugou grunts but does as he’s told without fight. He wipes the table clean, sets up the table mats, and grabs the fork and spoon. Slowly, he makes his way to the study to grab his old man. Masaru smiles fondly.

Lunch does not breach on Bakugou’s questionable behaviour the day before.

Bakugou is back hiding in his room from the world when his father knocks on his door again

“Go away”, Bakugou says without any force, his face buried in his pillow.

“Todoroki-kun-”, Masaru begins but his son quickly cuts him off

“Can go fuck off!” Bakugou lifts his head up to yell and then plops back down. It was all the half-ass shitter’s fault, if the other hadn’t told him to watch their match. If Todoroki hadn’t given him his baseball jacket because it was a chilly night. If the other hadn’t then sort of publicly half-snuck him in to the grounds and most likely bribed freakin’ Aizawa-sensei into not reporting him for trespassing. If Bakugou hadn’t been sitting with the rest of the team. If Todoroki hadn’t looked directly at Bakugou after winning with that silly wide grin of his. If Todoroki hadn’t caught him and held him tightly. If he didn’t say Katsuki with that beautiful voice of his. If Todoroki didn’t have fuckin’ lips. If Todoroki – if Bakugou hadn’t met Todoroki in the first place. If Bakugou wasn’t in love with the half-ass in the first place. No. Wait.

He was most definitely NOT in love with Todoroki Shouto. He can’t be. Okay, so maybe he was.

The next day, Bakugou comes out of his bedroom and sit in their small backyard and plays with their neighbour’s cat. He does wonder briefly if their neighbour will notice if Bakugou invites their cat over for an extended stay at theirs. He’s definitely willing to try. Until of course his mother sends him off for errands – grocery shopping. Bakugou groans but does it anyway, letting the cat go off again. He takes the neatly written list of things to buy and takes off.

Bakugou should’ve known that his parents had planned the ambush. He swore they did because there were definitely no foreign shoes when Bakugou came back with bags of groceries – technically it should mean that there are no guests, that the only ones at home are his parents and himself. So what the shit was bloody Todoroki Shouto doing sitting in his living room with his text books out and studying like he belongs there. Where the shit were his parents? Clearly not dealing with the shitty bugger in the living room. They must’ve hidden his shoes so that Bakugou would enter their house calmly.

Todoroki looks up, smiles widely at Bakugou and waves, “Katsuki!”

Turning away straight away, Bakugou is sure he’s about to explode. How should he even react? Definitely not with a wide smile and a wave. And most definitely not with a Shouto of any sort, cheerful or sad. And so Bakugou ignores the other. He places the groceries in the kitchen – and only puts the stuff in the fridge that really needs to be in there now and ignores everything else before he quietly makes his way back to his room where he will either stay in or escape out of. Except nope. Masaru is standing outside his door with a fond grin, again.

“Move out of the way, old man”, Bakugou growls and crosses his arms, “or I’ll force you”.

Masaru sighs and takes a step closer to his son and places both his hands on the other’s shoulders, “Katsuki, don’t be like this”.

Bakugou frowns, he can do whatever he wants. And if he’s going to ignore Todoroki Shouto then he will.

“Mama and I are both very happy for you”, Masaru smiles and places his forehead against his son’s own, “that you’ve found someone you like”.

“We’re not!” Bakugou says loudly before pushing his father off of him, “it’s nothing like that!”

“But you two kisse-”, Masaru sounds confused. And immediately his soft smile turns into a frown. He wasn’t grasping the situation at all.

“I know!” Bakugou finds his hands in fists, “which is why I said no, and told you to tell him to fucking fuck off”.

“Katsuki!” Mitsuki comes yelling and immediately pulls her taller son into a grip lock and drags him back to the living room.

Bakugou definitely fights and complains, he can hear his father in the background trying to tell his wife that there’s a misunderstanding, but of course the old hag doesn’t hear anything and continues with her death grip on her son and plops him not very gracefully in the living room, in front of one sodding Todoroki Shouto.

“I need help with my summer homework”, Todoroki says immediately.

“What”, Bakugou is most definitely confused, of all reasons as to why Todoroki was in his bloody house, he did not expect it to be because the other needed help with studies. Though it obviously should be the only reason. Fuck. Bakugou wonders if that, that ki-, that ki-ss, even fuckin’ happened. But he’s sure it did, his old man knows about it. And obviously all those hundreds of thousands of people watching Koshien live did too. So why the shit is Todoroki acting like it never happened and asking normally about school work. Bakugou feels anger when he realises that he’s the only one who was so worked up over it. Bakugou immediately thinks of all of Todoroki’s fangirls – of course Todoroki would’ve had kisses, probably more kisses than the number of strands of hair on his bloody half-ass head. No wonder the other wasn’t worked up over it. It’s not like it was special, or like it meant anything. Bakugou was the only one going around in circles agonising over it.

Because he was the one who dug his own never-ending hole by being in love with this infuriating nincompoop.

“Fuck this”, Bakugou’s voice is terse and quiet as he stands up and walks out. He doesn’t even slam the door when he makes it to the bathroom. Shaking his head he quickly splashes some cold water on his face. He has to calm down. Even though Koshien is over, it’s not like he can abandon someone who needs help with studies, even if it is bloody Todoroki Shouto. Actually, Bakugou believes he can. But, if Aizawa gets wind of this, Bakugou scrunches his nose, he can imagine it won’t look good for him in the future for when he applies to be a teacher. Damn. He drags himself back to the living room and notes that his parents are huddled in the kitchen speaking to each other in whispers, they look up and give him a pitiful look, and Bakugou flips them the finger before making his way back to hell.

It turns out Todoroki really did need help with the summer homework. Bakugou finds that even though he was feeling more agitated than normal, he falls back into the study routine with Todoroki very easily. The familiarity is soothing. There’s the same nagging voice at the back of his head wondering if this study business was what Todoroki had wanted to talk about the night before the Koshien finals. The more Bakugou thinks that it is what Todoroki wanted to talk about, the more he feels like drowning himself in his own sorrows. When he stands up to take a break, aka make tea in the kitchen for himself – Todoroki doesn’t get any because he isn’t even a guest. He finds his parents ambushing him.

“Katsuki, we didn’t realise, would you like us to kick him out after torturing him?” Mitsuki asks, concern written all over her face – it was strange compared to her usual haughty and brash personality. Masaru nods enthusiastically in agreement and even holds a fist up and waves it.

Bakugou rolls his eyes at the exaggeration, “it’s fine, he actually is shit at studying and needs all the help he can get”.

And with that, Bakugou’s parents leaves him alone. Bakugou ends up kicking Todoroki out of the house before dinner, just in case the ass-hole thought he could be having dinner too. In which he clearly will not be.

Bakugou does check his phone that night and of course he has too many messages all focusing on that bit at the end of the Koshien match. He also notes that Todoroki had called him multiple times. In fact, 37 times too many. If Bakugou hadn’t known that Todoroki really was just desperate for help with his summer homework, he would’ve definitely thought that the other was some kind of psycho-soon-to-be-stalker piece of shit.

Which… hold on, how does the half-ass baseball idiot even know where he lives?

“Midoriya told me”, Todoroki answers simply when he pops by the next day with his study gear.

Bakugou swears he’s going to beat the shit of out Deku. Can’t even mind his own business.

“You didn’t answer any of my phone calls”, Todoroki almost sulks as he takes a seat opposite Bakugou in the living room, “on the day we won Koshien”.

Bakugou looks at Todoroki and says nothing. His expression not giving away all the turmoil he felt bubbling within him. He does not need another reminder of that Koshien kiss.

“Did you-”

“Just”, Bakugou interrupts and nods towards the studying materials, “shut up and start studying”. He uses pure sheer will to push his blush down. He definitely does not need it showing now.

“I’ll study if you share you google maps location with me”, Todoroki says and points to his own phone, “Katsuki”.

Bakugou tenses up and gives Todoroki a stare, “why?”

Todoroki swallows deeply and fidgets a little, “I shared mine with you, is it not only fair that you share yours with me too?”

“You fuckin’ stalker”, Bakugou mumbles but takes his phone out to share his location with the other anyway, “don’t come popping up out of nowhere though”, Bakugou frowns and remembers how his parents always still checked up on him through the specific app. Such stalkers. As soon as Bakugou shared his location however, he starts wondering if this is typical behaviour for classmates – they’re still not really friends, only sometimes friends, sometimes not still – and Bakugou is terribly sure that he will not share his maps location with anyone at school, his bunch of basketball friends included – he can just imagine the chaos that will result from that – hime this hime that – it’s like creating and fuelling the stalkers himself. He really has only shared his location with his parents, and now Todoroki Shouto of all people – his crush. His impossible crush that sprung out of nowhere and had no business trying to wriggle his way into Bakugou’s life. But he did so anyway.

Bakugou will admit though, that he does on most nights check where Todoroki is and wonders if the other is sleeping yet or not. He just hopes that Todoroki won’t use his location to do anything creepy. He may regret sharing his location with Todoroki, but he knows he can switch it off whenever he feels too uncomfortable.

When Todoroki does start studying again, Bakugou finds he easily falls back into routine again. His feelings and turmoil pushed to the very side.

Bakugou is sure the world is out to get him when the old hag dances into the room and very nicely asks Todoroki to stay for dinner. And the freak had the guts to say “yes, I’d be more than pleased to”. To think just yesterday his mother was threatening to kick Todoroki Shouto out of the house. Bakugou rolls his eyes.

The old hag too must be infatuated with the half-ass baseball idiot with the half dead fish eyes. They were actually chatting and getting along too well over dinner. Even his father had friendly input and seemed to adore Todoroki Shouto. Was Bakugou Katsuki the only sane one left? The only one left who can see that Todoroki Shouto isn’t whatever he is – some prince on a white horse with a godsend face? He’s actually a clingy and useless piece of trash. The only thing he’s interested in is bloody baseball and sleeping. The thought makes Bakugou even more upset. Because his mind lovingly reminds him that it’s this useless half-ass trash he’s infatuated with.

At least his parents don’t bloody fawn over Todoroki Shouto to the extent where they forget to remind Todoroki that it’s getting late and that he really should head home – oh, but, feel free to come back whenever you like. And of course, Todoroki Shouto takes that to face value and ends up coming over every single bloody day for the rest of their summer break.

Bakugou Katsuki is not amused. It definitely does not leave him ample time to try and dissect this stupid crush he has on the other. He’d carve it out of himself and dump it into the dead sea – where it belongs.

Todoroki Shouto even suggests he’d come and pick Bakugou up before they return to school, just in case. Just in case of what though? Bakugou finds himself wanting to shoot back. But he doesn’t. He ignores the “that’s a good idea, Katsuki” from his old man.

“Fuck no”, Bakugou responds coldly. Todoroki must still be stupid despite having his grades improving. After that episode at the end of Koshien, Todoroki thinks it would be a marvellous idea to waltz in together with Bakugou side by side to school? Hell no. They might as well announce their marriage if that were the case! Bloody idiot.

“But your friends won’t be coming to pick you up right?” Todoroki says as though he already knows.

Which is true, but how the shit does Todoroki know. A good guess most likely. It was sort of unfair that the other idiots lived far from him. Wait, it’s not like an escort is needed anyway. He doesn’t need one. He can’t believe his group of friends is still keeping this Bakugou-escort going. To the point where it seems like Todoroki is taking it very seriously. Sure he let the other walk him to and from practice and what not, but simply because it was a short distance, he couldn’t be bothered telling the other to fuck off for the nth time and they hadn’t bloody kissed! And he hadn’t realised he was freaking in love with Todoroki either!

“I’ll call Midoriya and see if he can escort you to school then”, Todoroki states and decides all by himself.

“Oh, I haven’t seen Izuku in ages!”, Mitsuki smiles widely, “he doesn’t come around much anymore”.

Bakugou can feel his blood run cold. If Todoroki makes that phone call, Deku will come running. He’d assume the worst, which could well mean that Bakugou could find Deku stalking him, again. Just great.

“Fine, okay”, Bakugou growls out, “I’ll see you tomorrow, don’t fuckin’ call Deku”. At least Todoroki’s presence was more tolerable than the shitty nerd.

Bakugou realises that there’s nothing stopping him from going back early and avoiding any sort of escort. He puts his plan into motion and starts packing up his belongings to head back right after breakfast tomorrow. That’ll show Todoroki Shouto. He’ll spend his day playing with Aizawa-sensei’s tabby cat and drinking royal milk tea, free from Todoroki Shouto’s presence. It was a brilliant plan.

If only it worked.

“You didn’t pick up my calls again”, Todoroki explains, his bag in hand at Bakugou’s front door, “and I didn’t know what time you planned to get back to school, so…”

“So you thought you’d come at fuckin’ 7AM?” Bakugou sneers, “what is wrong with you?”

“I didn’t wake your parents, did I?” Todoroki asks with concerns and tries to peek behind Bakugou to see if there are matching angry parents.

Bakugou thinks yes just to make the other feel apologetic, guilty and stupid for coming over at 7AM, but he rolls his eyes and slams the door in Todoroki’s face. He storms pass and back to the kitchen to prepare his breakfast, he won’t let it ruin his day. Masaru ends up trotting over to the front door to let Todoroki in. Who also very casually joins them for breakfast.

“I wish I had a son like you”, Mitsuki says to Todoroki as the other helps clean up breakfast. Bakugou rolls his eyes from where he’s already wiping the table down. The old hag needs to get her eyes and brain checked. She already has the perfect son, why does she want some useless half-ass trash?

“Wouldn’t that be lovely, Papa?” Mitsuki asks and nudges her husband who’s busy washing the dishes.

Masaru agrees with a wistful tone, “yes, Todoroki-kun would make a wonderful son-”

“-in law”, Mitsuki tags on cheekily as she saunters to her son and nudges him a few times.

“What the shit!” Bakugou frowns and looks at his mother with flabbergasted eyes, “I already told you it’s not like that!” Bakugou gives a glare towards his old man for good measure. He can feel the rise of a blush on his skin and Bakugou makes it dead obvious that he is not going to lay eyes on Todoroki Shouto. He doesn’t want to see the other’s reaction. His shock and disgust, nup, doesn’t want to see that at all.

“I would like that very much”, Todoroki speaks, his voice clear and rings too loudly in Bakugou’s ears.

And Bakugou does immediately whip his head around to look at the other after the admission, “what the hell is wrong with you?” Bakugou asks again, his voice loud and confused. Does Todoroki even know what he just admitted to? Is the other really that hopelessly stupid? What in the world.

Todoroki gives Bakugou a grin, “are you against it, Katsuki?”

Bakugou can feel himself on the brim of self-combustion. It’s been a long time (or so he thinks) since he’s heard his first name come out of Todoroki’s lips. It feels like a long time anyway. He wants to and doesn’t want to pull away when Todoroki walks towards him. But he won’t cower away no matter how much his heart pumps faster and no matter how much he can feel himself developing cold sweat. He stares hard at Todoroki with a frown.

“I don’t have any sodding siblings for you to marry, you stupid half-ass”, Bakugou grumbles out, he glances away and at his parents to gauge their reaction – at least there’s no sibling that he knows of – they roll their eyes and shake a fist at him.

“You-”, Todoroki looks surprised at Bakugou’s statement, he sighs and huffs but doesn’t tear his eyes away from the other.

Bakugou knows the implication made in the conversation – he isn’t stupid – but so long as that stupid freakin’ blush is marring his skin, he’d dodge the implication and pretend that he doesn’t give a shit or know what they’re saying. How bloody embarrassing. This crush of his will eventually go away. Because he isn’t in bloody love with Todoroki Shouto.

“Shut up”, Bakugou snaps anyway even though he knows that Todoroki had nothing else to say. He feels a familiar anger bubbling in his stomach. He ignores Todoroki and takes his bags and stalks out of the house loudly.

The way back to school is mostly silent on Bakugou’s end, him giving curt responses to Todoroki only when he needs to. It however, only seemed to make the journey feel longer than necessary. He feels his frustration increase the longer Todoroki is there next to him doing nothing but making one-sided small talk. It’s definitely brimming when Todoroki doesn’t forget to walk Bakugou back to his dorm room.

With irritation, Bakugou opens up his dorm room and steps inside, throwing his bags to the side before turning back to close and lock his door. Only to find Todoroki in his way.

“Why are you mad at me?” Todoroki asks as he holds onto the door of Bakugou’s dorm room, preventing Bakugou from closing it on him.

Bakugou frowns and glares at Todoroki, “I’m not, so leave”.

“No”, Todoroki is stubborn and his grip on the door tightens, “no, I don’t want you to be mad at me, upset with me”.

“I’m not”, Bakugou reiterates, “so fuck off”. He knows his tone comes off as rude and fed up, but that’s what he is, he’s fed up with himself running around in confusion over one Todoroki Shouto. He doesn’t need all that crap in his life.

Todoroki shakes his head, “you’ve been angry at me ever since K-”

Immediately, Bakugou slaps his hand over Todoroki’s mouth to prevent the other from talking. He doesn’t want to hear it. He isn’t ready for the kiss that meant so bloody much to him but so bloody little to Todoroki to be brought up. “Shut up”.

Bakugou does yelp and quickly take his hand back when he feels something wet glide against his palm, he looks furiously at Todoroki in shock.

“Look”, Todoroki’s voice is stern, “if you’re not going to tell me why you’re not happy with me”, Todoroki pushes pass Bakugou who’s still holding his hand and looking at Todoroki with wide eyes, “then I’m going to stay in your room”, he then dumps his bags into Bakugou’s room.

“What the shit!?” Bakugou yells and pulls Todoroki away and out of his room, “no! You will not!” Todoroki’s grip on his elbow burns him and Bakugou is hyperaware that the other is holding onto his arm tightly.

“No!” Todoroki is just as fierce, “I-”

“That’s exactly what I hate about you!” Bakugou says in frustration.

“What?” Todoroki’s expression drops straight away into that of confusion.

Bakugou snarls and pushes himself away, he stalks back to his room and locks the door. He sees Todoroki’s bags lying in his room and he very unhappily grabs them, opens his door and throws them at Todoroki – Koshien is over – who cares if it hits Todoroki in the face. Even better if it does hit him in the face, but Bakugou doesn’t watch to see whether the bags really do hit Todoroki in the face or not as he slams his door shut again and locks it. He ignores the pounding on his door. He ignores the frenzied shouts of Katsuki over and over again. Todoroki Shouto can go fuck off.

A groan escapes Bakugou’s voice when he realises that there must’ve been students loitering around who had heard all of that. But that seems to be the least of his worries as he sits on his bed, huddled in the corner, knees up and head buried.

He hears his phone go off and knows the half-ass is calling him. Angrily, Bakugou rejects the call, turns his phone off and then chucks it across his room. He’s angry. He’s upset. He wants to be left alone. He doesn’t want to think about Todoroki Shouto.

Eventually the pounding and shouting outside his door dies down and Bakugou thought he would feel relieved, but he doesn’t even feel an ounce of relief. The dead silence only seems more suffocating. But it’s better than having to deal with Todoroki. Just the thought of Todoroki brings Bakugou’s gut into turmoil.

Bakugou skips his morning jog the next morning.

He skips the first class. And the second.

He ignores his friend who knock on his door asking for him during recess. He pretends he’s not in. They threaten to break down his door – but Bakugou knows deep inside that they won’t.

Bakugou feels his breathing stop when he hears Todoroki’s voice coming from the other side of the door. He can’t understand what they other is saying, all he knows is that the voice makes the dark, dark feeling inside of him swell. It makes Bakugou hold his knees tighter to himself.

Lunch time comes and Bakugou ignores the grumble of his starved tummy. He hears arguing outside his room. He can hear his friends wonder if he’s still upset with their last official high school basketball match – which is only partially true. He can hear his friends accuse Todoroki for upsetting him – which is very true. A small part of him hopes that his friends will just drag Todoroki away and banish him from Bakugou’s world. The other part of him feels pain ring through his head at the thought of losing Todoroki. Not that he has Todoroki in the first place.

He knows that classes must’ve ended and dinner time must’ve rolled around when he hears Kirishima knock on his door and let him know exactly that. Bakugou doesn’t reply. He groans to himself when he hears Midoriya’s concerned voice as well. Eventually the voices dwindle away and Bakugou is left with his own silence.

Until a loud smash brings Bakugou’s head looking up straight away. He thought that perhaps he heard wrong. That it was all just a part of his imagination, and then he hears his balcony door slide open.


Bakugou is off his bed and standing defensively as he watches one Todoroki Shouto slide open his balcony door and step in. He looked upset – and it got to Bakugou’s heartstrings, he wonders what could’ve gotten Todoroki so upset.

“Katsuki”, Todoroki growls and stalks towards Bakugou.

Oh. Bakugou realises. That’s what this is.

“Piss off!” Bakugou yells and punches the other in the face, “take a hint and leave me the fuck alone!”

“Is this because we didn’t go eat soba after our Koshien win?” Todoroki is angry too and questions as he grabs Bakugou’s wrists tightly and pins Bakugou to the wall besides the bed, “it’s not my fault-”

“Oh?” Bakugou sneers, “so it’s my bloody fault now is it!?” He hears his heart telling him yes, it is your fault for falling in love with him in the first place. It only makes him angrier.

“If you hadn’t ran away”, Todoroki stresses, “if you had answered my phone calls!”

Bakugou’s frown deepens as he glares at Todoroki, “if you hadn’t kissed me!”

Todoroki’s eyes narrow as he leans in, his body quickly covering Bakugou’s own and capturing the other, his eyes looking straight into Bakugou’s own, his breath deep and puffed out from arguing, his voice however softens, “no, the kiss was right”.

Bakugou feels surprise fly through him, again. His eyes squeezes shut tightly. Todoroki’s lips were soft against his own lips. A little chapped, but still soft and pressing incessantly. But this isn’t what Bakugou wants. At least not like this. He struggles beneath Todoroki’s body, he yanks his wrists, he tries to kick Todoroki, he squirms and hates but loves at the same time Todoroki’s weight upon himself. The kiss takes a turn and turns rough, mirroring the rough way in which Bakugou was trying to free himself. There’s teeth and tugging. Bakugou hears their gasps when the break apart before Todoroki slams their lips back together again. Their tongues touch and Bakugou feels himself rapidly losing traces of logical thoughts.

Confusion blooms in Bakugou rapidly as he struggles to understand why they’re kissing. He can feel it lead to the tears that prick at the corner of his eyes before they pool and start streaming down his cheeks. He doesn’t want to think about all the other people Todoroki has kissed. He’s just one of the many. He should hate that Todoroki can so easily go around kissing people like that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t make Bakugou love him any less. It only makes him hurt even more.

When fingers gently wipe away his tears, Bakugou realises he can breathe through his mouth again. His eyes snap open to see Todoroki’s mismatched eyes looking into him.

“Katsuki, don’t cry”, Todoroki’s voice pleads.

And it’s all Todoroki Shouto’s fault.

Bakugou sniffs and tries to calm himself down but the tears are still streaming. He can feel dull pain on his lips and he feels a sense of embarrassment run through him when he realises his wrists are free and he raises his hands to press his fingers against his now throbbing lips. His lips in which Todoroki were biting at not even a minute ago.

“I’m sorry for upsetting you”, Todoroki drops his eyes before raising them and looking back into Bakugou’s eyes, “please forgive me”.

Bakugou doesn’t even remember what Todoroki was apologising for. He can’t remember why he was upset with the other in the first place. But he nods. He closes his eyes and relishes in Todoroki’s touch when Todoroki presses their foreheads together, his hands still cupping Bakugou’s cheeks.

“Thank you, Katsuki”, the relief in Todoroki’s voice makes Bakugou swallow thickly.

Bakugou sits on his bed in a daze and trying to digest everything that has happened as Todoroki cleans up the tear streaks on his face, wiping with a lukewarm face washer. His thought are still disarrayed when Todoroki calmly tugs at Bakugou’s arm and leads them out of the dorms, out of the school grounds. He doesn’t even know where they’re going as he walks besides Todoroki. He was so invested in his own thoughts he hadn’t even noticed the looks or the whispers the other students were giving them.

“I really wanted to eat cold soba before summer ended”, Todoroki muses, “though I suppose summer wasn’t too long ago”, he holds the door of a soba restaurant open for Bakugou and ushers the other in.

Bakugou has a small frown on his face but it soon disappears when he remembers how hungry he is and walks through the door. They take a seat at the back of the restaurant and Bakugou barely looks at the menu and instead just waves for Todoroki to order for him as he tries to sort out how all of this is even happening, why he’s suddenly going out to eat like normal with Todoroki when he clearly remembers being overly angry and upset at the other – the reason, he searches through his memories and find he can’t find a single clear reason.

Except for the fact that he was in love with Todoroki Shouto.

“I’m sorry”, Bakugou says in the tiniest of voices. His eyes aren’t downcast, they’re sad but they look straight into Todoroki’s eyes like they did not too long ago.

Todoroki nods and accepts the apology, “it’s fine”.

No. It’s not fine. Bakugou blinks blearily as he wills his tears to not come out again. He can’t be in love with Todoroki Shouto. He needs to put a stop to it.

The cold soba was flavourful and Bakugou ate it appreciatively. He found himself unable to stop his smiles as he was engaged in a familiar and comfortable conversation with Todoroki once more. However it broke as soon as the food finished and Bakugou found himself with nothing to distract him from his thoughts.

Bakugou finds that his mood is still dampened even as they make their way back to the dorms. He only realised that the breeze was cool when he finds a jacket draped over his shoulders – it’s not Todoroki’s baseball jacket, or Todoroki’s casual navy jacket (because they’re both sitting on Bakugou’s bed). It’s a navy and white cardigan more than anything. Bakugou lets it hang on his shoulders. He glances at Todoroki and see the other with a soft smile. Bakugou looks away and hopes the night is enough to hide the blush on his cheeks.

He doesn’t even know where to start from. To stop loving one Todoroki Shouto.

They share a comfortable silence as they walk back. This time, Bakugou doesn’t even snap at the other when Todoroki escorts him back to his room. He does however hesitate a bit when he realises that Todoroki is smoothly infiltrating into his room. He doesn’t however, become alert until he’s lying in his bed and then feels a weight besides him. Bakugou’s eyes snap open straight away and watches as Todoroki also gets into bed – Bakugou’s bed.

It wasn’t right. It’s not fine. Bakugou doesn’t need this kind of torture.

“Get out of my bed”, Bakugou isn’t pleased.

“No”, Todoroki is stubborn, again.

“Go sleep in your own room”, Bakugou is tired of this.

“No”, Todoroki is still stubborn, “can’t leave you alone with your room so open and unguarded”

“Which is entirely your fault”, Bakugou reminds the other of breaking into his room.

“Not entirely”, Todoroki says, his eyes look into Bakugou’s own. And he’s right. If Bakugou hadn’t locked himself up in his room (because of Todoroki), then Todoroki wouldn’t have broken in through the balcony, “can’t have someone break in and harass you”.

Bakugou rolls his eyes, “the only one who’ll do that is you”.

Todoroki has the nerve to smile at that as he scoots closer to Bakugou who proceeds to scoot away and presses himself against his wall.

“If you really want me to sleep in my room”, Todoroki starts with a whisper, “then you’ll have to come up and sleep in my room too”.

Bakugou shakes his head and finds himself too tired to deal with Todoroki-logic. “Whatever”, Bakugou turns around and faces the wall instead whilst hoping his lethargy will just let him sleep instead of have his overactive mind mull over sleeping in the same bed as the person he was disgustingly in love with.

The next morning, Bakugou has to peel Todoroki’s arm off his waist. When he first noticed it, it definitely sent his heart soaring. He felt like he could’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure on the spot. But then he remembers that he needs to stop. Stop loving Todoroki Shouto. And the fastest way to do that would be to reverse everything. If he and Todoroki had never been friends in the first place – if they had never talked in the first place, none of this would’ve happened. And Bakugou could go back to his peaceful life with no emotional rollercoaster over one half-ass shitter.

Bakugou has understood that Todoroki is a persistent bugger. Which meant he had to take things slowly. He’d have to go at snail’s pace to remove Todoroki from his life. Start small, aim high. He started with first of all putting a stop to all late-night visits. He stopped going to club early in the morning so that Todoroki didn’t have to escort him. He stopped answering the other’s phone calls. He only responded on LINE, and even then, he tried to dwindle out the conversations. He stopped going out for dinner with Todoroki. He slowly stopped studying with Todoroki, insisting that he had made plans with his own friends. And he did. He had a death grip around his friend, insisting that they needed to hang out to make up for lost time. It was enjoyable regardless. He stopped eating in the classroom with Todoroki, instead eating at the cafeteria with his friends. He pulled apart their desks so that they stopped sitting side by side, elbows brushing every now and then in class. He stopped. He stopped.

And it fucking hurt.

Because Todoroki Shouto still looked at him and gave him soft smiles, small beams, still called him Katsuki with that voice filled with fondness. Todoroki still held his arm and looked him in the eye when talking to him. He still passed Bakugou a strawberry milk every day. Todoroki still slept in class and Bakugou caught Todoroki staring at him in class when he wasn’t sleeping. He still pulled up a seat and sat with Bakugou for some lunches. He’d still mingle with his basketball friends and they’d occasionally spend recess together. He still bloody broke in through the balcony and sat with his back against Bakugou’s bed, flipping through text books and what not. It got to the point where it was so ridiculous Bakugou found it was easier to just leave the door unlocked. Todoroki still managed to weave himself in Bakugou’s life even though Bakugou doesn’t want – he can’t want it.

It drove Bakugou nuts. It definitely did not relieve Bakugou of anything. He still found himself not loving Todoroki Shouto any less. In fact, he came to understand what people mean by absence makes the heart fonder. Because Bakugou caught himself constantly looking at Todoroki Shouto. He found himself thinking of Todoroki in classes, in between classes, before and after classes. He was thinking of Todoroki constantly. He found himself turning around whenever Todoroki was mentioned. He found himself frequently checking where Todoroki Shouto was on google maps when the other was out of his sight. He found himself still holding onto the three jackets Todoroki had lent him – he found he couldn’t return it. He hated himself for occasionally putting it on when he found himself missing Todoroki Shouto too much. He found his heart beating too quickly and too loudly when Todoroki passed him ice packs for his swollen and red eyes – a result from him dropping tears from missing one Todoroki Shouto too much.

Bakugou Katsuki found himself still in love with Todoroki Shouto.

So Bakugou stopped unlocking his door for Todoroki to enter, he stopped accepting the strawberry milk the other bought for him, he would up and leave when Todoroki Shouto took a seat to eat lunch together, he started turning around and walking away when Todoroki integrated himself within his small group of friends during recess.

He knows Todoroki Shouto is a persistent critter, he knows it won’t end that easily. But he hopes it will, for the sake of his heart that now pumps out in pain and longing.

“Don’t avoid me”, Todoroki holds tightly onto Bakugou’s arm, “please, Katsuki”.

It hasn’t even been a week and Bakugou finds Todoroki tackling him into his room and then pushing his back against his dorm door, Todoroki holding tightly onto one arm and crowding him in. Bakugou knows he probably looks close to a kicked puppy, but he’s not a coward despite being afraid. Bakugou looks Todoroki in the eyes and says nothing. Even when he hears Todoroki lock the door, he doesn’t say anything.

He’s still as good looking as ever. Bakugou can feel his heart rate increase the longer he stares into Todoroki’s eyes.

“Why have you been avoiding me?” Todoroki’s voice is quiet.

“Nothing”, Bakugou states with his voice just as quiet, “our studying arrangement is over”. There’s nothing left now.

Bakugou pushes against Todoroki and means to free himself. But it doesn’t work out. Todoroki grips his arm even harder and shuffles his body so more of it blocks Bakugou’s way and squashes his thoughts of escaping until Todoroki is satisfied.

“No”, Todoroki shakes his head, “you’re not even treating me like a classmate, you’re avoiding me”.

“Doesn’t matter”, Bakugou scowls, his expression turning sour.

“It does”, Todoroki emphasises, “because I, because you!”

Bakugou frowns, eyes squint a little and he looks at Todoroki with confusion, he can’t believe he’s in love someone who can’t even get his words out, what an idiot.

“You love me?” Todoroki asks, eyes wide.

Bakugou freezes. Did he say that out aloud? Shit. “What?”

“You just said, you love me”, Todoroki says, “someone who can’t even get his words out, you love me”.

Bakugou curses under his breath and tries to say something, but he’s too busy looking at the smile on Todoroki’s face. The dazzle was too bright. He just knows that Todoroki will use this against him. Use to it to tease him and maybe even turn him into an errand boy – which he will vehemently deny.

“I love you too”, Todoroki says.

What. That’s not something someone would say if they’re planning on using it the confession as blackmail material? Bakugou becomes increasingly confused.

“I’ve loved you for a long time”, Todoroki confesses.

Bakugou can’t believe what he is hearing.

“So many months ago”, Todoroki muses, “I had already started liking you, everyone could tell by the way”, Todoroki offers Bakugou a small smile, “everyone but you”.

Bakugou tilts his head at the small maybe-insult.

“I tried to talk to you but you brushed me off so coldly”, Todoroki pouts. Bakugou does not remember Todoroki ever coming up to him to talk before this whole fiasco started.

“Your friends laughed at me so cruelly, saying things like stop speaking so loudly when hime is around and things like stop perving on him. Even Midoriya told me that asking him for all he knows about you won’t help me when you ignore me like you do everyone else”, Todoroki sighs, “your friends also gave me a huge warning after we started getting a long, just in case you wondered”. Bakugou frowns and does remember his friends pulling Todoroki away once during meal time… that must’ve been when they threatened Todoroki. He can’t imagine all the embarrassing shit they must’ve said.

“I’m so happy to hear that you love me too”, Todoroki smiles again and leans in and presses his forehead against Bakugou’s own.

Bakugou is at a loss. His confusion bubbling greatly but also, he feels relieved that this may not be the one-sided love he had thought it to be.

“Katsuki”, Todoroki’s voice is full of admiration, he nudges the other’s nose with his own and then he presses their lips lightly together.

Heart racing and sweat clamming up his hands, Bakugou presses his lips back gently. He can’t quite believe this. To think that he had maybe spent all this time thinking he was wrongfully in a one-sided love. Bakugou’s hands sort of timidly go up to clutch onto Todoroki’s shirt. He squeezes his eyes shut and commit the emotions to memory.

“By the way”, Todoroki leans back and has a sheepish smile on his face, “I may have let my grades flunk so that Aizawa-sensei would get you to tutor me”.

“What?” Bakugou’s frowning again. This was most definitely news to him.

“Yeah”, Todoroki’s sheepish smile turns into a beaming one, “I was getting desperate since you were ignoring me”.

“You’re telling me you deliberately flunked your classes so that you could get into my pants?” Bakugou crosses his arms and gives Todoroki a raised eyebrow.

Todoroki shakes his head, nods, shakes and nods again, he swallows thickly and does funny movements with his hands as he tries to explain, “yes, no, yes, but, look, not that crudely”.

“Huh”, Bakugou narrows his eyes the other and nods.

“I mean, technically, I still haven’t gotten into them yet”, Todoroki states and has the audacity to look Bakugou over and glaringly obviously stare at Bakugou’s groin, “your pants, I mean”.

Todoroki Shouto would’ve had to be stupid to not see the punch coming his way. But Todoroki Shouto isn’t stupid. Well, maybe the idea of not doing school work so he’d fail his classes and hope on the chance that he’d be tutored by one Bakugou Katsuki was a rather stupid idea, but Todoroki Shouto isn’t stupid – he did rank top 5 in classes overall for a very stable amount of time. (But that could just mean he’s book-smart, but let’s not get into all the gritty details). And so Todoroki Shouto does see the punch and almost easily dodges and catches Bakugou’s fist.

“Though if you let me get into your pants now”, Todoroki explains, “that would mean my plan from your explanation would be complete”, Todoroki pauses for a few seconds to let Bakugou really think about it, “and you’d be right about me flunking my grades to get into your pants”.

“Fuck!” Bakugou doesn’t even try to remove his fist from the other’s hold, he scrutinises Todoroki and doesn’t want to believe someone so utterly stupid in the world actually exists, but here he was, standing before him and asking in the most stupid way to bloody act upon physical intimacy. Todoroki Shouto was ridiculous. “Is this how you ask everyone you want to bang? Does it even work?”

Todoroki shrugs and gives Bakugou a charming smile, “you tell me, does it?”

Bakugou thinks the other really is a psycho. But he finds himself sitting on Todoroki’s futon that night. Staring at the other who’s sitting on the other end. He watches the other fidget. He wonders how he fell in love with this idiot.

Making himself comfortable, Bakugou slips into Todoroki’s futon like it’s normal, wriggling some to find the right spot. He tilts his head and looks at Todoroki, “go lay out your spare”.

Todoroki nods and lays out a makeshift futon next to Bakugou, he also slips in easily and his head turns to look at Bakugou who was watching him the whole time.

Shyly, Bakugou sticks his hand out from under the covers and reaches towards Todoroki. Todoroki gets the message straight away and immediately grasps Bakugou’s waiting hand tightly in his own. They both share a nervous smile together before falling into their slumber.

Bakugou finds himself content with these small gestures and signs of familiarity back again. Todoroki’s scent burns his heart and makes him feel more comfortable than he should. He does tense up and cringe a little when Todoroki starts openly touching him in public. His friends’ snarky and witty comments fall deaf to his ears. The wolf whistles and curious whispers roll off him easily. Bakugou’s eyes however are wide and they stare at Todoroki for a second before he visibly relaxes into the other’s touch.

Whether it’s fortunate or not, the news of this development in Todoroki’s and Bakugou’s physical intimacy doesn’t become too much of a fanfare. It seems most people already believe them to already be dating. This knowledge peeves Bakugou. But he doesn’t mind the small touches. He likes to be able to casually brush Todoroki’s hair. He likes to not feel shame or guilt when he puts on Todoroki’s clothes. He likes that he doesn’t have a dying need to wretch himself away from the other when their shoulder touch. He enjoys the tingle that dances through his fingers when they lace with each other. He smiles to himself when they lie side by side and bask in each other’s warmth.

Bakugou does however remind himself to limit the Public Displays of Affection – it could make other people feel uncomfortable. Himself included.

Todoroki Shouto meets Masaru and Mitsuki, again. One weekend during the wintery month before Christmas. Bakugou ignores the shit eating grin his mother wears and the I knew all along expression his father gives him. Who cares. They’re where they are now, no need to kick up a fuss and dig out the embarrassing and painful past. Todoroki showers the family with humble gifts.

“Why are you bringing over this ancient set of tea set?” Bakugou crosses his arms and stares hard at Todoroki.

“It’s a gift for your parents”, Todoroki answers, “I can’t show up empty handed”.

“Then fuckin’ bring small snacks or something like every other normal person out there”, Bakugou is exasperated, “not some bloody overly expensive priceless antique!”

“But they’re going to be in my in-laws”, Todoroki is serious as he carefully places the antique in a bag as they make their way out of the dorms.

“Shut up”, Bakugou growls and stuffs his hands in his pockets.

The gift was anything but humble. It was a declaration. In which Mitsuki received with joy and Masaru with hesitance, he kept glancing at his son who sat on the couch fuming and sulking at the same time. Todoroki wore a look of nervousness as he fidgeted with his fingers. The smile he received from Bakugou’s parents however put his beating heart at ease as he slumped back onto the couch, his head on Bakugou’s shoulder.

“Why are you so freakin’ nervous?” Bakugou hisses out quietly, “you knew they liked you during that time after Koshien”.

“Yeah, but”, Todoroki rolls his eyes, “I wasn’t actually dating you then, you kept rejecting me, but now I am”.

Bakugou huffs and rolls his own eyes. Muttering idiot under his breath.

Within the confines of the walls of their private rooms – probably no longer hallowed, if ever – Bakugou sits at the end of Todoroki’s futon, slowly inching towards the other so that they met in the middle, lips touching gently. He’d never thought himself to be one to date so early on. But Todoroki Shouto seems to be an exception. He’s intelligent – but a schemer still – he’s most definitely capable physically – as demonstrated through baseball, he’s definitely pleasing to the eyes – evidenced by the constant blushes Bakugou finds himself fighting with and Todoroki is most definitely someone who stood beside him in comfort. Bakugou begins to think and believe whole-heartedly that if it’s Todoroki Shouto, he’d like that, it would be amazing, it wouldn’t be perfect, which makes it perfect.

Christmas holidays start and Bakugou sees Todoroki enough to satisfy his otherwise lonely heart. They message each other often. They call each other often. They’re frequently on the excel spreadsheet adding on other restaurants they want to try, it eventually branches out and there are new tabs open for different restaurants they want to try in different cities, prefectures, countries. Soon Bakugou and Todoroki are adding on different countries they want to visit, together. Activities they want to do, together.

The New Year rolls around and Bakugou finds himself at the temple, with his parents, praying for a good year. He meets up with Todoroki every now and then, enough to calm his itch that’s not so nicely probing him and telling him he needs to see the other. Which he doesn’t. But he does see him anyway. They share a few more kisses and Bakugou finds himself bubbling with joy under the wintery skies. His feet wary as they trod across the icy pathways, his hand tightly holding onto Todoroki’s own as they trek to find the specific teahouse they wanted to visit.

Bakugou Katsuki meets Todoroki’s family over sukiyaki. He was invited for dinner. He wasn’t too sure about donning traditional dress and eating dinner – but it was what was requested and so he did. It did of course lift the atmosphere. And like a normal person, he brought with him much more humble and normal gifts. Bakugou soon discovered that Todoroki’s crush on him was widely known by the family. It was a nice change of pace to see Todoroki act all flustered from the teasing. He’d known that Todoroki’s father was also a well-known teacher. It was somewhat, nice to meet him until he brought up the topic of the now infamous public stint at Koshien – that kiss. That was not so nice. It was a black hole in Bakugou’s history, it was too public.

Enji hopes that it won’t hinder their careers. Todoroki thinks it will give their careers a boost. Bakugou just wants to forget that it all happened. Because Enji was right, the current society isn’t prepared to handle something like that. He’s sure it will somehow be under scrutiny once he applies to be a teacher – which reminds him why he needs to continue staying on Aizawa’s good side, the more allies, the better. Bakugou ends up napping with his head on Todoroki’s shoulder before he wakes up with bleary eyes and is led to the guest room to rest.

With their two week break over, Bakugou finds himself still following a steady rhythm with Todoroki by his side. Bakugou does find himself wanting to once again combust in embarrassment when he finds himself lying on Todoroki’s futon, the other above him with his mouth on his cock. Bakugou lets out a strangled groan and he feels the lower half of his body twitch before he opens up his mouth and reaches up to hold onto Todoroki’s cock before tugging at it and gently guiding it into his own mouth. He had never expected his first blow job to be in this position. He hadn’t even though about sex until recently, until Todoroki Shouto waltzed into his life like the scheming ass he is.

As excited as he is, Bakugou found that he was also strangely worried that Todoroki would bloody become unable to support himself and crumble, falling upon him, it would be a disaster. Sure, it’s sexy and exhilarating to have Todoroki inside his mouth, but to then have the whole of Todoroki’s weight on his face, nope. No go. Bakugou is still diligently sucking on Todoroki’s manhood when he lets his arms fall and for his fingers to grip onto Todoroki’s thigh, squeezing softly, as a reminder for the thighs to not just turn into jelly. Because Bakugou would not be pleased if that happened.

“It’s my birthday”, Todoroki announces as he and Bakugou make their way to Yakiniku for dinner.

Bakugou whips his head around straight away and squints at the other. He hadn’t known, he hadn’t even though about it. It was 1 11. So many ones.

“Can I have a kiss for my birthday?” Todoroki asks.

“We’re in public”, Bakugou deadpans and shakes his head, “you can have as many as you like when we’re not in public.”

Todoroki nods and stands a little closer to the other, “now I’m the same age as you”.

“Not for long”, Bakugou comments and breathes out heavily into the air, watching the frost in the street. The realisation that all of these outings for food or whatever are dates sends a tinge of red to Bakugou’s cheeks – when Todoroki notices, Bakugou merely says it’s from the cold. Todoroki nods and takes his scarf off and wraps it around Bakugou’s own neck. It was warm and cosy. The best thing was though, it smelt like Todoroki.

(Bakugou ends up buying one banana milk for Todoroki after their dinner, Bakugou will admit that he did have at least half the drink himself).

The end up back at their dorms. Bakugou says nothing when Todoroki follows him into his room, making sure the door is locked. Bakugou only looks at the other with a blank expression when Todoroki pushes him against his bed, breath warm and tickling his cheek. The kiss is tender and slow. It’s most definitely warm and leaves Bakugou forgetting it’s even winter. Bakugou closes his eyes when Todoroki moves from the lips and begins pressing his lips on Bakugou’s nose, chin, eyes, cheeks and neck.

Bakugou does inhale sharply when he feels cold hands lip under his clothes, sliding across his smooth skin and just touching whatever it deems fancy. He takes in another gasp when Todoroki peels off Bakugou’s jacket and pulls the other’s t-shirt up. Bakugou’s eyes open as he allows Todoroki’s lips to press against his nipples, to leave a trail of kisses down his body and across his limbs. Bakugou curses when the expectant soft lips turn into the sharp bite from pearly white teeth. He hisses and grabs Todoroki by the shoulder and squeezes.

“As many kisses as I want today”, Todoroki says in between his kisses. Bakugou nods, but the kisses he had in mind weren’t like this. But he doesn’t try to stop Todoroki anymore and lets him do what pleases him. His hands still clutching onto the other.

It’s when Todoroki pulls off Bakugou’s pants and underwear and starts nibbling at his inner thigh that Bakugou realises that Todoroki has intentions to go further tonight. He hopes the small sounds of pleasure escaping his mouth and the slow widening of his legs is enough of an answer for Todoroki Shouto. Todoroki’s fingers lightly brush against Bakugou’s hole. He stops when he feels Bakugou tense. He pokes his head up and looks at Bakugou, asking if it’s alright to continue.

Bakugou swallows thickly, his toes clench and he nods, “I, ‘s fine”.

And it’s all Todoroki needs before he bends back down and presses his lips against Bakugou’s entrance. The yelp Bakugou emits only fuels him further. Bakugou can feel his legs tense up each time Todoroki presses against his entrance. He shoots a hand out to grab the top of Todoroki’s head, fingers tangled in his mismatched hair. Bakugou’s other hand clenches against the mattress beneath him, his fingers digging pass the bedsheets and into the bed.

He has obviously never done anything of the sort, he’s nervous and he can feel tears pricking at the corner of his eyes, he whimpers when Todoroki’s tongue finally comes out for a taste, gently licking around the hole before curiously dipping in further, pushing pass Bakugou’s very, very tight rings. Straight away, Bakugou’s feet are no longer pressed against the mattress, his legs go flying up, toes clenching in the air. It was a very unfamiliar feeling and quite the shock.

Todoroki hums in happiness and slowly he removes his tongue, he presses his lips against the sensitive spot a few more times before he diverts his attention and gives Bakugou’s erection a few too many kisses. Todoroki smirks and looks at Bakugou, cheeks flushed, hair a mess and breathing deeply. It was most definitely a sight he found all too endearing.

Bakugou feels almost delirious but manages to smirk back at Todoroki, taking in the other’s own flushed cheeks, hair that’s sticking out oddly and very wet lips. Bakugou grins wickedly when Todoroki leans forward to nudge their noses together before saying, “I want to have sex”. Weren’t they already though? A small laugh escapes Bakugou before he answers, “yeah? Me too”.

Time seems to move slowly as Todoroki peels his own clothes off, dumping them with Bakugou’s clothes that were gathered at the foot of the bed. The touches weren’t hesitant and filled with intention. Bakugou enjoys hearing Todoroki’s breathing, and enjoys how he can steadily feel the other’s body temperature rise. Bakugou reminds Todoroki to not leave any marks that are too visible on his neckline – he doesn’t want his friends to mercilessly tease him to no end. Todoroki says okay but doesn’t listen as he insists on leaving Bakugou’s neck covered in hickeys. Bakugou should’ve known Todoroki got off on deliberately disobeying him. Only in certain situations, he hoped.

Bakugou grins and greets Todoroki’s own erection with a tug and a kiss on the head. Bakugou feels that perhaps using bath gel as lubrication is a bit strange, but he grits his teeth and says nothing as Todoroki works his way into Bakugou with his bath gel covered fingers. It was a intense burning feeling. It did not feel at all comfortable, but the image of the goal was too tempting to stop. It was irresistible. Bakugou groans when Todoroki’s fingers circle his entrance, his groan a little louder when the fingers push deeply in and start moving in random directions (he later learns that this is usually called scissoring), he moans when the fingers pull out and Todoroki nudges and asks Bakugou to help him cover Todoroki junior in bath gel.

With delight, Bakugou kisses Todoroki’s erection again before he very carefully helps Todoroki lather up his erection.

“You better not half-ass this”, Bakugou mutters, lightly kicking Todoroki’s side before he lets himself lie back down on his bed, eyes watching Todoroki to see what he’d do next.

Todoroki huffs, “you know it’s not like that”.

Bakugou grins and uses his toes to nudge the other, “well?”

Nodding, Todoroki swallows hard, he places his hands on Bakugou’s waist and rubs a few circles before his hands move down to grip onto Bakugou’s thighs, lifting them up and placing one over his shoulder, the other leg around his waist.

“I’m in love with you”, Katsuki mumbles as he then goes to lace his fingers with Todoroki’s own fingers.

“Thank you”, Todoroki replies, “I love you too”.

Bakugou’s eyes flutter as Todoroki very steadily and slowly pushes the head of his erection into Bakugou. Todoroki takes in all the little sounds Bakugou makes as he gently purses his lips together.

“Kiss…”, Bakugou breathes out heavily, his limbs tensing up with every movement Todoroki makes.

Todoroki makes a sound of agreement before he leans in - noting the way his manhood slides even further into Bakugou – to press his lips against Bakugou’s own lips. Their tongues meet shyly.

Bliss. Is all Bakugou feels as Todoroki sweetly moves in and out, they hold tightly onto each other as they share their love with each other. He smiles as Todoroki licks his cheeks dry of his tears, whispering softly of how much he adores the other. He can’t help but think he wants Todoroki to keep thrusting into him. Bakugou can feel that he’s becoming quickly addicted to the burn of Todoroki inside of him, rubbing against his insides. And when they complete each other, the slickness that fills him up and coats his insides, it most definitely had Bakugou roll his eyes back in pleasure. He is further reassured to why one can become so addicted to sex.

When Todoroki strokes both their cocks to stand up tall again, Bakugou does not think about sports, cats, strawberry milk or studying, all he can focus on is the handsome face before him, the eyes brimming with adoration and admiration and the smile that speaks of all the time he intends to spend together with. He most definitely doesn’t complain when they both move to instigate a second round.

“I got into your pants”, Todoroki smiles broadly and looks at Bakugou with delight. He doesn’t dodge the punch Bakugou sends flying, instead covering up the sting on his cheek with amusement and laughter.

They end up drinking their respective banana and strawberry milk as they lounge around in a clean bed afterwards, the sweat and other bodily fluids already cleanly washed off their body.

Todoroki stretches his limbs and says, “sex is nice”.

Bakugou scoffs and swipes the other’s banana milk and places his own strawberry milk in Todoroki’s hand, “that’s because you’re doing it with me”.

There is no disagreement from Todoroki.

Eventually cuddling turns out to a full on tickling war, Bakugou ends up winning – with a triumphant display of happiness. It wasn’t until much later that the pain throbbing in his backside informs him that it may be best he rests. And so, he does.

This is his little happiness.

Bakugou wakes up with the trickle of the morning sun. He had slept in. Todoroki’s arm around his waist is heavy. He lifts the covers off himself and regrets it straight away when the chill in the room envelopes him. He quickly pulls the covers back and stays in bed. He can feel the aches and pain in his limbs and his backside. It was a good and dull sore though as Bakugou reminisces over what he had participated in to result in such aches. Todoroki’s soft snoring stops which is when Bakugou realises the other is slowly waking up. Often enough, Bakugou can’t seem to comprehend how he was able to snag such a hunk. And then he remembers that Todoroki was only a hunk to him once he started to get to know the other a little bit more.

They kiss lazily and snuggle in bed for a little bit longer, warm hands caressing smooth skin and gently circling slow showing bruises.

“I love you, Katsuki”, Todoroki murmurs into Bakugou’s ear as he cups the other’s face, thumb rubbing small circles.

“Same here”, Bakugou replies, craning his neck and inviting Todoroki to press his lips there too.

Bakugou’s friends all end up with a hit on the head when the comment on how much more beautiful Bakugou looks now that he’s gotten laid. It was most definitely not a conversation they should be having, much less in public. Todoroki grins and bumps his shoulder against Bakugou’s own, “I agree”. He too ends up with a fist to his head, courtesy of his very own Bakugou Katsuki.

Graduation comes as swiftly as a lightning. Bakugou is the definition of pride and confidence as he stands tall on his graduation day. His parents, all smiles, just as proud. He looks at this whole journey as a whole, tries to remember the small things he has noticed about Todoroki Shouto over time and yes, perhaps the real idiot was Bakugou Katsuki, to have not noticed Todoroki Shouto’s blatant dying love for him from the very start, from even before Aizawa-sensei summoned them to the teacher’s office started turning the cogwheels of Todoroki’s not exactly elaborate plan. Todoroki wasn’t the half-ass shitter he had thought him to be, still he is an asshole however. All the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Bakugou looks over at Todoroki Shouto, “Shouto”, he calls out tenderly, Todoroki moves his gaze and catches Bakugou’s own gaze and holds it. Todoroki sends him a smile that leaves Bakugou holding his breath and heart soaring. He’s once again reminded that he’s in bloody love with Todoroki Shouto. And the feelings are here to stay. Fuck.