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Maybe This Time I'll Stay

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Momo was groggy when she woke up. She felt tired and sore, reluctant to leave bed, and tempted to simply go back to sleep. She rolled over onto her side and immediately froze in place. A familiar spiky haired blond was laying beside her and for a moment, she was unsure what to do about it.

'This has to stop happening.'  The thought slowly melted her frozen mind, reminding her of her course of action. She had to get up, get out, and get herself together.

This wasn't the first time she had ended up in bed with Bakugo. It was one incident out of a handful of such encounters. Bakugo was an easy person to keep her distance from. He was aggressive, abrasive, and rarely sympathetic. He never had a kind word for anyone and never tried to pretend to be something that he wasn't. It made him an appealing person to be around when she didn't want those things. When she didn't want sympathy, didn't want to be coddled, didn't to acknowledge her feelings at all.

It wasn't good. It wasn't healthy. She needed to stop doing it. She needed to stop trying to repress her emotions just because she didn't want to deal with their negativity. She couldn't keep using Bakugo as a crutch when she didn't want to deal with her own emotions.

Slowly, she slipped out of bed. She was naked, but she didn't need that to know what had happened between them last night. The soreness between her thighs and the pain in her neck told her that story in detail. She didn't want to look around for her discarded clothing, so she created a simple sheet from her skin, wrapped it around her body, and fled to the bathroom.

Momo closed the door as quietly as she could, locking it behind her. She let her weight lean against the door, taking a deep breath in an attempt to release the tension inside her. This never got easier for her. She still didn't know how to deal with morning after awkwardness and often elected not to altogether. Taking a shower would make a lot of noise and possibly wake Bakugo. She wanted to avoid that if she could. Better to just get dressed and go. She could always shower at home.

She stuck to the simplest clothing she could make. A dress, undergarments, and comfortable shoes. She wanted to walk out of the bathroom and straight out the door. She could worry about what she was leaving behind later. With this plan in mind, she dressed as swiftly as possible. She didn't bother with her hair or worrying about the wrinkles in her clothing. She wouldn't look very well put together, but that wasn't her priority at the moment anyway.

Momo took a breath. She unlocked the bathroom door. With an encouraging nod to herself, she opened the door and stepped out of the bathroom.

Red eyes immediately held her in place. Bakugo was sitting up in his bed. His back was against the wall, his chest was bare, and the blanket was pooled in his lap. The sight caused her to blush and avert her gaze.

"So you were just gonna sneak out of here?" He questioned. His tone was harsh and critical. His eyes were calling her coward. Momo didn't have any words to refute such a claim and she bit her lip to keep from spilling empty platitudes in her defense. "What? You too good to talk to me?" He asked.

"What do you want me to say?" She asked him. "You've already made up your mind about me."

"You don't know shit about how I feel," He told her. He tossed the blanket off his lap and stomped toward her, naked and not caring one bit about it. "Why the fuck do you think this keeps happening?" He demanded. Bakugo was standing close to her, but he didn't try to crowd her. He didn't try to intimidate or menace her. His eyes were burning furiously though, and she couldn't say why.

"It was a mistake," She told him. Her eyes still refused to remain focused on him and the burning in her cheeks had yet to abate. She wanted to remain calm, but her hold on the feeling was tenuous at best.

"You wouldn't keep coming back if it was a mistake," He told her. "You're too smart for that shit. Try again."

Momo's eyes widened as she looked at him. Bakugo didn't compliment people. That, as well as the unexpected conflict itself, left her feeling wrong footed. "I... I'm sorry that I..."

"Don't apologize!" He yelled. Bakugo clenched his fist, covering the small explosions that went off in his palm. "I'm sick of this pretend meekness you carry around all the time."

"Pretend?" She repeated in confusion.

"You never once acted like you didn't know what you wanted last night," Bakugo said. "None of the times you came here were because you made a mistake or didn't know what you wanted. You know damn well what you want! That's why you keep coming back to me and not anyone else." He was yelling again by the time he ended his tirade.

Momo let out a shaky breath. "You're angry," she said. Not because it wasn't obvious, just to show him that she was acknowledging it. "I apologize for upsetting you. That wasn't my intention."

"No, your intention was to fucking sneak out of here like you do every goddamn time," He responded. "I'm done with that shit. If you have the balls to get in my bed, you damn well better have the nerve to look at me when you leave it."

She met his gaze as she asked, "What do you want from me?"

"I want you to goddamn stay!" He yelled. "Or at least tell me why you keep trying to leave." Bakugo walked away from her, punching his wall and emphasizing the impact with an explosion. "Fuck!"

Momo had never seen Bakugo like this, unraveling at the edges. He was always coiled tight with tension, with energy he released in aggressive fits. It was different now, seeing him desperately trying to clamp down on that aggression. He was holding himself as still as possible while he took angry breaths. She took a few hesitant steps toward him, unsure of what exactly she would do, but mind made up to do it. "Bakugo," She said softly. "Talk to me."

Bakugo ran his fingers through his hair before turning to face her. "You think you'd keep ending up in my bed if I didn't want you there?" He asked her.

"I..." Her mouth opened and closed a few times, but no further words would come.

"Do you think you'd keep coming here if it wasn't where you wanted to be?" He questioned, hardened gaze sharply focused on her. "Is that really the kind of person you are?"

The accusation made her flinch. She felt backed into a corner. He did have a point, though. If she could keep coming here, she should be able to confront her actions. She steeled herself, taking a deep breath. "Bakugo... I'm sorry." She held up a hand to forestall his response. "I'm sorry that I didn't consider your feelings. I... I was selfish."

"Yeah, you were." He told her. She should have expected that he wouldn't let her get off easy. It was one of the things she liked about him, after all, the lack of coddling.

"I didn't want to feel... pitied," She admitted. "It was easier not to think about anything, not to feel... what I didn't want to feel."

"You don't have to wait until you feel bad to get that shit," Bakugo told her.

Her gaze dropped briefly to her hands before forcing herself to meet his eyes. Bakugo had already given her an invitation, it was up to her to accept it.

"Bakugo." He raised an unimpressed eyebrow and she knew what he wanted. He was never one for formality and this situation didn't call for it. Momo blushed as she corrected herself. "Katsuki, may I stay for breakfast?"

He smirked as he headed toward the kitchen. "Only if you help me cook it."

She smiled as she followed him. "Do you... plan to put on any pants?"

"Do you?" He rebuttaled.

"I'm wearing a dress!" She objected.

"Whose fault is that? He asked.

Momo couldn't help the chuckle that escaped her. Perhaps this would be a little awkward, but she couldn't ignore all her feelings forever. As long as she was going to continue coming to Katsuki, and at this point it seemed clear that would, she may as well see if they could hash out a little more common ground.