Tetsutetsu and Kirishima's manly handshake of awesomeness often gets misinterpreted as an actual brawl- a clash of fists and shoves and headbutts- but don't worry about it! They're just bros being bros. Kaminari, please don't call for help, it's fine.
"Glad I caught you before you could leave campus!" Tetsutetsu gives Denki a sharp look. "Can we... talk alone? Are you busy?"
"No no, it's fine, man! Kaminari, go ahead. Tell the others I'll catch up." Kaminari is still a little suspect of 1-B if the way he's eyeing Tetsutetsu up and down is any indication. But in brutal honestly, it's probably because that vine-hair girl won't give him the time of day. He gives his friend a thumbs up to soothe his worries before shooing him off. Kaminari complies without another word.
"Is something the matter, bro?" Kirishima asked once Kaminari was out of ear-shot. Tetsutetsu was a free-spirit, and although intimidating most of the time, he had never given off the same vibes of dread like this before. A hand on the shoulder- casual, but not giving off too much pressure on the guy. His friends can wait.
Well, maybe Bakugo can't, but everyone accepted his impatience as a part of his... charm (with quotation-marks).
"It's about that one friend of yours." Tetsutetsu lifts both his index fingers up to his forehead to mimic what he was talking about, "The one with horns."
Kirishima blinks and points at himself.
Tetsutetsu gives a long-suffering sigh before snapping, "No, not you! The other one! The girl." He holds his tongue for a while before blurting, "Pink."
"Oh, Ashido!" Kirishima grins, but then his smile falters, "Is something wrong?" She was supposed to join them in the karaoke bar right about now... If anything had happened to her between being dismissed and... His hands curl into fists.
"Right." His friend nods a little too vigorously. One might even say he seemed embarrassed. Nervous. The tips of his ears peaking from underneath the mop of silver on his head are flushed. "Nothing's wrong, I just wanted to..." Tetsutetsu clears his throat. "She's single, right?"
Tetsutetsu laughs- or at least it seems like it; something to dispel the awkward tension that's pervaded their atmosphere. The other students are meandering past them, talking among themselves, headed home or to get some after-school snacks.
"I mean..." Kirishima starts, but finds the rest of the sentence missing. The thought of Ashido's love life had evaded his attention all up until now. It wasn't something she ever mentioned before, so I guess that means she doesn't have one, right? Or maybe she' s the Bakugo-type of lover and just doesn't talk about it directly? Opting instead to be passive-aggressive in their gestures of quote-unquote affection? Unlikely. Ashido is an angel; too nice and too direct to be anything but straight-forward in her intentions.
"I don't think so." He says instead.
"Cool." Tetsutetsu looks up into the sky, his shoulders losing their tension. "Cool. I just,"
Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki and Midoriya pass them by, calling out their name and wishing them a happy weekend. Tetsutetsu gives a weak, confused wave as a contrast to Kirishima's raucous regards. As they pass by, Kirishima notices how Todoroki's eyes never leave Midoriya. Maybe Ashido is the Todoroki-type of lover then, and pines helplessly in silence. But no, that's unlike her to be insecure in her feelings; Ashido's cup runneths over with confidence and action.
"I just wanted to know if it's okay with you if I ask her out."
Kirishima fears his neck may have snapped by how forcefully he turned away from Midoriya's fleeting figure. "Hah?"
"You can say 'no'." Tetsutetsu rushes in. He adds, solemn, (how manly) "I would never disrespect you as to go against what you want."
"What I want?" Kirishima parrots. He rushes in a small 'thanks' under his breath, while trying to process the situation before him. What he wants is an explanation, if he were blunt. "Why are you asking me? I mean, you do you, Tetsu!"
His friend gives him a pointed look, not unlike the one he shot at Kaminari moments ago. "I mean, aren't you two...?" He makes a vague gesture.
They sport matching red faces then- Kirishima and Tetsutetsu."Ashido and I??" He almost shrieks, "No- I mean, we're not like that." He fumbles with his words and volume. Just because he doesn't recognize the faces around them anymore doesn't mean he should be any less careless with what people could overhear.
And Tetsutetsu, he looks genuinely taken aback which- I mean, where did he get that crazy idea? Kirishima and Ashido being... Wild. Crazy, even. But if he asked if she was single, maybe it's not like he thought they were together-together, just... mutually attracted? That's the term, right? He's sure that's the words Jiro used when Kaminari wondered aloud what the deal was with Bakugo as he berated Midoriya for his "shitty fighting style, (you're) gonna get fucking killed, you shitty nerd!" while allowing said-'shitty nerd' to drape his arm across his shoulders, hobbling to back to the stands.
Tetsutetsu looks over him- like he's trying to figure something out, solving a puzzle with his eyes. "So you don't feel anything for Ashido then?" His voice soft.
"...Friends." Kirishima doesn't understand why he paused before saying it. It should have been automatic. "Best friends." Better, but not quite. Something felt off- like a hook that's bending from the weight. That's how he feels: bent. Relenting. Why? Fuck knows.
"If you want to-to date her," Ashido? Dating? Having a partner? A partner she would hold hands with and smooch? Wild. Crazy, even. "Go ahead. I give you my blessing." He ends on a theatrical bow.
To his credit, the goofy lopsided smile of Tetsutetsu's face almost nullified the internal conflict inside Kirishima. He just looked so happy.
"Thanks, bro!" His hand comes down on Kirishima's shoulder. "It means a lot! Thank you!"
"Do you..." Kirishima looks to the hand on his shoulder, "...want to join us? Karaoke bar?" He deliberated on his next words carefully, "She'll be there."
Kirishima should win some sort of bro-award. He imagines it gold with the words in eloquent script: Kirishima Ejiro, best bro in the world, year xxxx-xxxx. It seemed like he deserved it after all.
Despite the initial awkward tension, everyone but Bakugo seemed to invite Tetsutetsu with open arms. Ashido especially- literally coming over to greet him with an embrace that Tetsutetsu seemed too shaken to reciprocate. Good for him.
Why didn't she hug me then, Kirishima thought at that moment, and at that moment alone. Then again, it wasn't like it was a surprise that he was going to show up- they planned to go here together as a group. It's just that- huh. When was the last time Kirishima and Ashido shared a hug?
Sero offered to pick up drinks and Tetsutetsu and Kirishima asked for a "Diet coke with a glass of ice. Not the diet coke in the glass of ice, because it will water down and I want to take my time drinking it." in perfect unison. Everyone snickered behind their hands, well-adept now to how much the two mirror each other. Tetsutetsu flashed him a grin, sitting between him and Ashido. They're like twins- they share a lot of opinions and feelings (a quirk, not to mention). As Tetsutetsu oh so subtly scooches closer to Ashido, Kirishima wonder what else they share.
The door of their private booth slides open to reveal Jiro and Momo's arrival, along with a floating outfit consisting of a poodle skirt and a fluffy jacket that seemed to be made out of an actual poodle. Kirishima acknowledges this dry-cleaning nightmare as Hagakure. She sits at the floor between Ashido's knees, skirt pooling around her.
Momo exchanged furtive greetings with the 1-B student as Jiro altogether didn't notice him as she rushed to steal the mic from Kaminari on "her song" before the first chorus ended. Bakugo, seated in what seems like a painful slouching position, makes a snide remark about how neither of them would do the song justice anyway.
Kirishima watches Ashido lean forward, seemingly for Hagakure to whisper to her, before turning a deeper shade of pink that she already naturally is and swatting the shoulder of the fluffy jacket. Ashido then turns to Kirishima- ah wait, Tetsutetsu between them, and initiate a conversation that Kirishima strains to hear over the sound of Jiro, Kaminari, and Bakugo fighting over the same mic.
It's 35 minutes in and Kirishima is a little upset.
For one, there's a stain of diet coke on his right leg (Sero, come on, man. Why did you think you could hold that man drinks at one time?)
The softdrink had somewhat splashed onto Tetsutetsu's pants- not a lot, but enough to make the green of their trousers turn darker in some spots. Now Ashido, ever the angel, had been so courteous as to lean over and dab tissues on Tetsutetsu's thigh. The steel-quirk owner flushed and muttered a quick thanks, his hand settled on the shoulder of her uniform.
Kirishima only gawked disbelievingly between the few splahes on Tetsutetsu's pants, and the absolute disaster that was on his pants. Ashido had handed him some napkins and Kirishima tried not to feel a stab of betrayal that he was left to help himself clean up.
Which is- you know, whatever. He's a big boy. He can take care of himself. Ashido probably just wanted Tetsutetsu to feel welcome and- Tetsu, don't just put your hand on her knee like that! There are people right beside you that can- Anywhere, really! Any venue, don't think that you can just... That's not- It isn't-
Kirishima excuses himself to the bathroom to clean up the stickiness that seeped through the fabric of his pants unto his leg. After he cleaned up and returned to their private rented space, Kirishima noticed how most of the uncomfortable feelings are gone, but not all.
Bakugo, to everyone's surprise, was the first to leave. It may or may not have something to do in regards to when Kirishima's notifications pinged to alert him of Uraraka's twitter post consisting of a stolen shot of Todoroki and Midoriya sharing an ice cream late in the afternoon. Which is fucking weird because Kirishima follows Bakugo and knows he doesn't follow anybody except for Hero Magazine Weekly and some death metal bands he's never heard of. So what? Is he dutifully checking the Midoriya's friend's twitter accounts in revolution instead of just being a normal human being and just following them?
Actually, he probably totally does that, Kirishima thinks forlornly as his friend just up and leaves without so much of a goodbye.
Hagakure has switched her seating place from the floor in front of Ashido to the floor in front of Jiro as she shoulder the weight of Momo's tired head. They seem peaceful, the three of them. They're a stark contrast to Kaminari (who has yet to show any signs of fatigue) and Sero who's just getting the party started.
And Tetsutetsu and Ashido? They're still just talking. How long can two people talk for? It had to be a record. There seemed to be no lull in the conversation either as Kirishima just couldn't. find. an opening. Anything! Any pause to just... Partake.
They're both his friends, right? He should be able to join their conversation too. Really, it's selfish of them to leave Kirishima miserable with his sticky jeans. He doesn't even have Bakugo around to hold one-sided banters with anymore since the poor guy is off staking claim on Izuku by pissing in front of his house or something equally Bakugo-esque.
And Tetsutetsu's hand!! His hand! It's still just there. On Ashido's knee! And it- Had it gone up higher up her leg? Unbelievable. Is he going insane? How come no one has brought attention to it yet. Kirishima feels like he's going insane.
Tetsutetsu's hand looks sweaty too. He's probably nervous as hell. Then again, how is Ashido comfortable with someone perspiring on her pink, sculpted thighs? Those healthy legs that Mineta rumored to be ensured for half a million yen. Not that that's too unimaginable- they're good thighs. Objectively. Insanely good thighs, objectively.
Insane he might be, by the way, since he decided to split. Tetsutetsu's his friend, and he had already gave him his blessing- it would be scummy of him to be anything less than a supportive friend. And Ashido, well, she seems to be enjoying the attention which is- fair- Tetsutetsu's a cool guy. Rugged. Handsome. Cool quirk (my quirk). And all that is- fair.
So he braves a face and calls it a night to all his f-
The hand went higher, didn't it? Damn it, Tetsu.
The voice was too high to be Tetsutetsu's, Kirishima deemed. But it seemed unlikely anyone would go after him: they're literally his classmates. They'll see him on Monday. They have his phone number.
A flurry of pink was pacing behind him. He stopped- less of as a polite gesture, and more of from surprise. "What's up?"
"Wanna walk to the station together?" Mina beamed, her smile wide and shining, even at 8pm with the sun barely a sliver on the horizon.
"Don't you want to stay with," Tetsutetsu, "our friends?"
Ashido catches her breath, hands on her knees, "Ah? It's been long enough. I had fun! Did you have fun?"
Kirishima looks to the stain drying on his pants. "Of course." They laugh, with Ashido elbowing his bicep as she walks alongside him.
"That was really nice of you, by the way." Mina hums, voice a breath above a whisper in their world of late commuters and headlights. "To invite Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu."
"Anytime." He lies, staring pointedly at the white stripes of the crossing they're going through. He lost 10 years of his life today.
"You've always been really welcoming, it's awesome."
"Me? How about you?"
"What about me? I'm just being nice." Nice. Right. That's what you call making goo-goo eyes at someone for 3 hours straight. Being nice.
Kirishima foregoes the topic for a new, even more uncomfortable one, "You like him?"
"Tetsutetsu?" Ashido places her index finger on her lower lip. The evening lights bring out the soft sparkles in the lip gloss that he watched her reapply no less than three times in the duration of their get-together. "He's cool. He's a lot like you."
"A better version?" Kirishima half-jokes, half-despairs. It's been a while since his stomach lurched with that now-familiar cloying feeling of insecurity that make a home in his guts.
"I though you were done with that self-doubt nonsense!" Mina shoves her weight against Kirishima, almost knocking him off his feet. "We made a deal, remember? Horn buddies!" She pumps her fist in the night sky.
"I'm just kidding, just kidding." He lies, zeroing-in on her closed hand in the air- almost walking into a streetlamp that Mina grabs him by the bicep to stop from colliding with.
Mina gives him a pointed look. Just like the one Tetsutetsu had given twice this day. He really has to start deciphering what exactly that look was supposed to be, since he kept getting it so often. "If you say so." She says, half-heatedly, clearly unconvinced.
"I'm just tired! It's been a really tiring day. But it's worth it! It was a lot of fun." Kirishima says emphatically, his brush-in with injury waking him up from the lethargy in his bones.
The hand on his bicep snakes around the length of Kirishima's arm until he and Mina are walking with their elbows locked together. "Come on then, grandpa. I'll make sure you get home safe." She chuckles.
Suddenly, all the stress from earlier melted away. Then it got replaced with feelings of betrayal.
If Tetsutetsu had his blessing, does he have Tetsutetsu's?
He spares a sideward glance in Mina's direction. She notices and comes at him full-force with a winning smile.