Chapter 1: 5 Times
They spent four days moving Katsuki into his new home in Tokyo and setting up the things he’d brought with him.
It wasn’t the largest apartment, but he’d chosen it for the moderately spacious bedroom and the bathroom and balcony that were only accessible from it. This afforded him the convenience to use the would-be living room at the front of the apartment with its small kitchenette as the temporary headquarters for the Ground Zero Agency while he got things up and running. At least until he made enough money to get a proper office space, which Eijirou suspected wouldn’t take very long. After three years of watching him in UA Sports Festivals and in the news during his internship, the world was waiting for Ground Zero to burst on the scene as an actual pro, and he wouldn’t disappoint.
On the first day, they pulled up in a moving truck full of Katsuki’s home bedroom furniture but “none” of the All Might collectibles because Katsuki was too old to decorate with his childhood idol all over the place (and Eijirou knew better than to mention noticing the lone action figure in one of his clothing boxes). The desk and a small couch went to the office, a box with cookware and dishes to the kitchenette, and the rest of the furniture and boxes went to the bedroom along with a small television. They cleaned each room, hung Katsuki’s clothes in the closet, unloaded the office supplies into his desk, and hung the few pictures his mom had insisted he needed to make his “office” look more welcoming.
They spent four days, not because Katsuki needed them to sparsely decorate his new home, but because four days was all the time that Eijirou had to be there in Tokyo with him. Because only three days before the move, they’d decided that the looming inevitability of their physical separation was enough reason to define the unspoken thing between them and act on it.
So they had four days to be nothing but in love and explore their new relationship before Eijirou headed off to Chiba to visit his family. And after that, when Katsuki’s agency was active and Eijirou started his first official day as Fat Gum’s sidekick, they’d be living and working in two different cities.
It would be an adjustment being separated by more than a wall.
Once Katsuki’s belongings were set, they spent their time walking around Tokyo, ate at a couple restaurants, tested out some promising places for takeout, and just hung out the way they had for almost three years – playing video games, talking about just about anything, and sometimes just relaxing while saying nothing at all. Only now, there were hands grasping each other, fingers tangled in hair, legs twisted up together as they lay in bed, lips pressed against lips, and words of affection late at night.
They shared Katsuki’s bed and woke up in each other’s arms each morning. Eijirou learned that Katsuki liked to sleep face-to-face with an arm over him, which suited Eijirou just fine as he liked watching Katsuki wake. His pale blond lashes would flutter open slowly and his drowsy eyes took a few seconds to recognize the face in front of his. Each time, watching that moment when he realized Eijirou was with him – when that warmth filled Katsuki’s eyes and a contented smile tugged at his lips – Eijirou felt like he could stay there with him forever and just forget about new jobs and new apartments and different cities.
But at the end of the fourth day, it was time for Eijirou to go. And while he was excited to spend a few days with his family, he wasn’t ready to leave this temporary world of just them two yet.
Katsuki walked with him to the train station and they waited together for the train to arrive. He took Eijirou’s hand while they leaned up against the wall, and Eijirou squeezed it tight.
“I could stay another day.”
Katsuki shook his head. “You promised your mom you’d go, and you still have to move into your apartment. You really want to let Droolly get to everything before you get there? It’ll be a disaster.” He looked at Eijirou out of the corner of his eye and smirked. “Then again, considering your taste, it couldn’t be much worse.”
“Hey! My apartment is going to be the manliest, flashiest place you’ve ever seen.”
“I’m just saying, it’s a damn shame Soy Sauce couldn’t room with you and tone down mood of the place a bit.”
Eijirou lightly punched his arm but smiled. “I guess you’ll just have to visit before our decorating gets out of hand, then.”
Katsuki shrugged. “Guess so. I’ll take a day off to come visit you before you start your gig.”
“Good." Eijirou bit his lip. "Can’t believe you’re officially a Pro tomorrow.”
“I can’t fucking wait,” Katsuki said. “It’ll be better when it’s both of us together out there one day, though.”
Eijirou rested his chin on Katsuki shoulder and met his eyes. “You keep saying stuff like that.”
“I never say shit I don’t mean.” Katsuki kissed Eijirou quickly and hooked his arm around him.
Horn blasting and breaks squeaking a bit, the train to Chiba arrived finally, and Eijirou pulled his backpack strap back up his shoulder. He hugged Katsuki tight. “Knock ‘em dead out there.”
“I’ll see you in a few days.”
Eijirou headed toward the train but was pulled back by his bag. He looked over his shoulder to see Katsuki – brow furrowed and cheeks pink as he seemed to be thinking over his words before he spoke.
“You can say you’re going to miss me,” Eijirou joked.
“I love you.” Despite the blush on his face, he sounded confident and deadly serious.
Eijirou’s eyes watered and his mouth went dry, but he threw his arms back around Katsuki and pressed their lips together. “I love you too,” he said against Katsuki’s mouth.
Katsuki separated from him as the train’s horn blared again. “You’d better catch your train.”
Eijirou sighed. “I’ll see you soon.”
Katsuki nodded, and Eijirou finally boarded. He took a window seat where he could wave and watch Katsuki — never moving from his place — disappear as the train departed.
He wasn’t sure what to do with this mixture of elation at their first saying “love” and sadness at having to part, especially with a 75-minute train ride ahead of him. He passed the time text messaging with Sero and Kaminari, filling them in on some of the past few days, keeping the I-love-yous to himself.
When he arrived at his house, his Ma forced him into a seat at the dinner table for a late meal and fussed over him. He spent a couple hours up with his family before heading up to his old bedroom, which was filled with packed-up boxes from UA to take to his own apartment in a couple days. He collapsed onto the bed and sighed.
He had a text message from Katsuki, a response to the one he’d sent letting him know he arrived safely.
Katsuki: Have fun. I miss your shitty hair.
Eijirou sent him a reply that he missed him too and then tried to settle in to sleep.
He didn’t realize it would suddenly be so difficult to fall asleep without an arm around his waist.
They spoke on the phone every day and visited each other about once a week, because both were working crazy hours to gain more recognition as Pros.
Eijirou measured the quality of their time in the new things he began to learn now that their relationship had evolved. Katsuki loved Eijirou’s fingers combing through his hair and his sharp teeth brushing the tender skin of his neck. Now allowed to really look at him even if he’d seen him in various states of undress in locker rooms over the years, Eijirou memorized the freckles of his back. He learned the ticklish spots along his ribs that made him squirm when Eijirou ran his fingers over his body. After a particularly exhausting day, Katsuki would snore, but Eijirou learned that a small nudge would get him to stop.
He also loved to play with Eijirou’s hair, too, and his fingers often twisted shaggy strands together when Eijirou rested his head in his lap. He enjoyed embraces far more than Eijirou had even expected, and when they stood out on either of their balconies chatting, he often wrapped his arms around Eijirou from behind and hooked his chin over his shoulder.
Even though he was often a loud person, he tended to speak softly his words of affection for Eijirou even in the quiet of his own apartment. Not in a way that made them sound secret but rather sacred and awed.
But the quantity of their visits hardly felt like enough for Eijirou after being so close to Katsuki for so long. One night of being able to touch Katsuki, to kiss him, or even just to be near him would never be enough for Eijirou, and the days and nights that passed between those visits felt like he was going through Katsuki withdrawal.
Maybe that was accurate, because Katsuki’s presence was intoxicating. Every time they were alone together, Eijirou found more reasons to love him. And every time, it became more difficult to hop on a train or see Katsuki off to his.
Fortunately, living with Kaminari brought him some of the familiarity of their high school days and made it a bit easier. They played video games to pass the time or lazed around their cramped living room – filled with all sorts of random hobby stuff Kami couldn’t fit in his small bedroom – watching television when they were too tired to move after a rough shift. And when Eijirou wanted to mope about missing his boyfriend, Kaminari kindly reminded him it was “gross” and “lame” to be that pathetically in love – his words, not Eijirou’s – and that he better get off his ass and come out with the gang.
This was one of those such nights, but they were to be celebrating Eijirou after he secured the arrest of a big fish in a major crime organization causing trouble in Musutafu earlier that same day. He wanted Katsuki to be there, of course, but he always patrolled late on Thursdays.
Kaminari, Sero, Ashido, and Jirou dragged him from his apartment and took him out to a place where a local band that Jirou wanted to hear was playing, since Kami wanted any excuse to go out anywhere with Jirou. Eijriou had a good time dancing and singing with his friends, but it didn’t stop him missing Katsuki, especially when the two would-be (if any of them could just get their acts together) couples he was there with got particularly flirty with each other.
Partway into the band’s fifth song, he felt his phone vibrate with a text notification from Katsuki, so he excused himself to go respond. He tucked himself back in a quieter corner by the bathrooms and leaned against the wall.
Katsuki: You still out with Droolly and Soy Sauce?
Eijirou told him the girls were also there and asked whether he was finished his shift or not. Once he got confirmation from Katsuki, he decided to just call him. He hardened the inner ear on his other side to block out the sound of the music better.
“I thought you said you were still out? It’s loud on your end.”
“I am,” Eijirou said. “But I miss you. The band’s pretty good. I think you’d like them.”
“If the shrimp picked ’em, I’m sure I would. ”
“Just got out of the shower. I’m fucking beat.”
“Rough shift?” Eijirou asked.
Katsuki grunted. “Spent two damn hours chasing after a bank robber with a speed quirk but he gave be the slip. This guy’s been causing trouble for everyone lately and no one can fucking catch up to him.”
Eijirou saw Kaminari glaring at him from across the room and held up a finger to tell him to give him a minute. “That sucks. I bet you’ll be the one to get him, though.”
“As if I’m gonna let someone else bring him in after he fucking played me for a fool. How about you? Looks like you showed everyone what a badass you are today.”
Eijirou smiled. “It was nothing.”
“It was a fucking epic takedown. I wish I’d been there to see it in person.”
“Me too.” Eijirou gave Kaminari an apologetic smile when he started trying to wave him back over to their group. “You have a minute to video chat?”
A moment later, his phone was beeping and he held it in front of himself to accept the video call.
Hair wet and wearing an oversize Crimson Riot t-shirt that looked suspiciously like the one that Eijirou had been looking for all week, Katsuki appeared on the screen.
“You look good,” Katsuki commented and Eijirou’s grin widened.
“You don’t look so bad yourself. I’m half-tempted to let you get away with stealing my favorite t-shirt.”
Katsuki smirked and rolled his eyes. “You left it here.”
“It can stay there,” Eijirou said. “It looks better on you anyway.”
“Kirishima,” Kaminari said as he and Sero approached, “get your ass back out there on the dance floor before we drag you out there.”
Sero leaned into Eijirou’s space to be captured by the camera. “Hey Blasty!”
Eijirou elbowed him out of the way but Kaminari leaned over the top of the phone so that he was looking at Katsuki upside-down. “Kirishima’s ours tonight. Quit hogging h– Oh my god, are you wearing his Crimson Riot t-shirt with the holes in it?”
Sero pushed his way back in and grinned. “He is. Bakugou, that’s adorable.”
“Shut the fuck up, you idiots,” Katsuki yelled as Eijirou pushed them away and held his phone out of reach.
“Come on, guys. Just give us a minute and I’ll come back out soon. Promise.”
“Fine,” Sero agreed before Kaminari could protest. “Just make sure you kiss him goodnight for us!”
Eijirou laughed as Sero led the other guy away and then turned back to his annoyed boyfriend. “Sorry about them.”
“I should let you go before those shits come back,” Katsuki said. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
Eijirou couldn’t wait for tomorrow’s patrol to finish so that he could come home to Katsuki already at his apartment. “Get some sleep. I love you.”
“Love you, too. Get back to the assholes so you can go home at a reasonable time. Tell the alien and the shrimp hi for me.”
Eijirou nodded and said goodnight before rejoining his friends on the floor.
Less than 20 hours left until he would see Katsuki. Not like he was counting or anything.
Eijirou didn’t get sick often, but when he did, it typically knocked him off his feet for a few days. It turned out that long shifts in the winter while wearing his shirtless hero costume didn’t really help matters much.
His first time having to call out sick from his job found him shivering in a ball of blankets in the center of his bed with a high fever, scratchy throat, runny nose, and headache that made it impossible to relax or do anything that wasn’t just being miserable.
Kaminari wouldn’t even stay in the same room with him except to ask if he was okay or needed anything before hurrying away again. Eijirou supposed he didn’t blame him, considering that Kami getting a cold could mean their building’s electricity constantly going out with his sneezes, but he was glad when he left for work and took his anxious energy with him.
Eijirou only wished Katsuki could be there, but it was too long a train ride for Katsuki to take back and forth between too long shifts. Eijirou knew it wasn’t fair to want him to drop work to come expose himself to Eijirou’s germs, but he was feeling sick and lonely as the night got later and Kaminari was out on patrol.
Katsuki had sent him a few text messages to check in and ask how he was feeling, and Eijirou tried to downplay it. He didn’t tell him how his head pounded so bad he couldn’t sleep or that he hadn’t been able to stomach any food all day. Neither of them mentioned Katsuki visiting, and Eijirou suspected his sickness would ruin their weekend plans, too.
It was past nine when he gave up on trying to fall asleep. Frustrated with his own exhaustion, he relocated himself and his blanket cocoon to the living room for a change of scenery.
When sleep continued to elude him, he picked up the latest issue of Heroes Monthly, which featured a short article on the rising star of Tokyo rookie Ground Zero. It had become Eijirou’s new favorite reading material in the past two weeks, and it didn’t hurt that there was a very manly photo of Katsuki blasting away a villain during his first week on the job. Eijirou was so proud of him.
He sighed and looked at the picture longingly for a bit before setting the magazine on the coffee table. Katsuki would be home from his patrol soon, but he probably wouldn’t call since he was expecting Eijirou to be asleep. Eijirou wished he was right.
It was raining outside and Eijirou stared out the sliding glass balcony doors, mesmerized by the drops falling for a while. It must have had a hypnotic effect on him, because the next thing he knew, Eijirou was woken by a rough hand pressed against his forehead and then combing through his hair. A pair of arms slid under his knees and his back to lift him – blankets and all – so that he was held against a familiar, strong chest.
“Idiot,” someone said affectionately, and Eijirou blinked open his eyes.
Spiky blond hair. Katsuki was carrying him back to his bedroom.
“Katsuki? What are you doing here?” Eijirou asked.
“Did you think I was going to stay in Tokyo when you’re this fucking sick?” Katsuki said as he set Eijirou down in his bed. “Kaminari told me you were feeling worse than you let on. Wait here, I’m going to get you water. I bet you haven’t even been drinking any.”
He didn’t wait for Eijirou to confirm that he bet right, and when he came back he forced him to take small sips from a glass.
“You’re really warm,” Katsuki said while feeling his forehead again.
“Actually, I’m freezing.”
Katsuki rolled his eyes and sat beside him in the bed. “You have a fever, idiot.” He took the glass back from Eijirou and set it on the bedside table. “How are you really feeling?”
Eijirou gave him an apologetic smile. “Awful.”
Katsuki sighed and adjusted the pillows before lying down beside Eijirou, who wasted no time laying his head on his chest. “Don’t tell me you’re fine next time if you’re not.”
“Sorry,” Eijirou said and shut his eyes, listening to the soothing rhythm of Katsuki’s heart beating while fingers trailed up his spine into his hair. “Don’t you work tomorrow?”
“I’ll get the train back in the morning.” Katsuki kissed the top of Eijirou’s head and rubbed circles in his back. “Just go back to sleep.”
Eijirou yawned and coughed a little into the crook of his arm before settling back down again. “I’m glad you’re here, Katsu. Goodnight.”
Eijirou was on his break during a late-night shift when he discovered a voicemail from Kaminari about Katsuki on the news. The panic in his friend’s voice had him frantically searching the internet on his phone for Ground Zero, and it wasn’t hard to find. Every major news outlet was touting the breaking news: about two hours ago, a civilian captured a video of Ground Zero being thrown about 30 meters into a building by a villain with some sort of telekinesis quirk.
A newscaster was commenting over the video, explaining that Ground Zero had busted a bank robbery and engaged in a two-on-one fight with a villain who could use strong telekinesis in short bursts and another with a speed quirk. He’d just taken down the latter when the former caught him by surprise.
His stick of Takoyaki forgotten, Eijirou sat heavily on the curb as he watched the clip play out. The villain was a man taller and bulkier than Katsuki, and after Katsuki’s side hit the building – leaving a crater in the wall – he advanced.
Eijirou covered his mouth with his hand because Katsuki wasn’t getting up and the man dragged him up by the arm. But before the man could do any worse damage, Katsuki lifted his right hand to the man’s head and set off a large enough blast to knock him out cold.
Eijirou needed to know what happened next, but the rest of the emergency responders closing in on the scene blocked the camera’s view, ending the video.
“Both villains are in police custody and Ground Zero was taken from the scene by ambulance. There is no word yet on Ground Zero’s condition, but the city of Tokyo is wishing for the best.”
And that was it. Eijirou felt like the breath was knocked out of his lungs as he searched and hoped for any sort of message from Katsuki, but there was none. Was he okay? Was he alive?
He was startled when Fat Gum placed a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at his boss, who nodded and offered a sympathetic frown. “I’ve got this patrol. Go.”
Eijirou barely got out a thanks before he took off running toward the agency to get changed and calling Katsuki and Katsuki’s parents along the way. No one answered. He changed into his civilian clothes and took a cab to the train station with tears in his eyes. He tried calling them again and again with no answer, but he left messages again. He had no idea what hospital he needed to get to, but he knew he needed to be on a train to Tokyo right away. He was already hours late.
Once his 45-minute-long ride to the city was underway, he returned Kaminari’s call to fill him in on where he was headed and check to see if he knew anything more (he didn’t). Then he sat brewing over how much he hated being this far away from his boyfriend, especially in a time like this.
A bit later, he finally received a call from Bakugou Mitsuki, who cut right to the chase.
“Eijirou, we’re in the waiting room at Shuzenji University Hospital. The doctors are seeing to him still, but we don’t know anything yet. We just got here.”
“I’m on the train, already,” Eijirou said. “I’ll be there soon. If you see him, tell him…” He wiped at a stray tear and took a breath. “Just tell him I’ll be there soon.”
“It’s going to be okay. I raised a tough little shit.”
Eijirou laughed. “Yeah, you did.”
They said their goodbyes and Eijirou stared out the window for the rest of the ride. When his train was a few minutes from its stop, he sent a text message to Katsuki’s parents to let them know he would be there soon.
The hospital was a fifteen-minute walk from the train station, but Eijirou made it there in eight despite the rain. Sweating and out of breath, he skid to a halt in front of the desk in the Emergency Room. “Excuse me? My friend was brought in here tonight. Bakugou Katsuki. Er… or maybe he came in as Ground Zero? Please, can you tell me where he is?”
“I’m sorry, sir,” the woman behind the desk said. “I can’t give you that information unless you’re a family member.”
“You don’t understand. He’s my—”
Eijirou cut himself off when he caught sight of Bakugou Mitsuki entering the waiting room. He couldn’t remember a time he’d ever seen her look her own age, but worry was etched into her face, forming lines her smooth skin. She looked around until her eyes fell on him and she sighed.
Eijirou muttered a quick thanks to the desk worker and rushed over to Katsuki’s mom, automatically accepting the hug when she opened her arms to him.
“Eijirou.” She squeezed him tight and he had to lean down to rest his chin over her shoulder.
“How is he?”
She pulled away and grasped his arm to lead him back through the doors she’d come through and toward an elevator. “They’ve just gotten him into his own room for the night. He’s beat to hell.” She pressed the button for the elevator and huffed out a breath while watching the numbers descend. “He’ll be alright, though. Little shit making his parents worry like this.”
The elevator dinged before Eijirou had a chance to say anything about the moisture in her eyes. She collected herself better as they entered the elevator and she pressed the button for the fourth floor.
“What are his injuries?” Eijirou asked softly.
“He has a pretty bad concussion, but he’s been awake, so they’re not too concerned,” she said and crossed her arms over her chest. “His left side took the brunt of the attack: broken collarbone, two broken ribs, sprained wrist, fractured pelvis. He’s been treated with a healing quirk, so he should be fully healed in two or three weeks, but he’s going to be a stubborn ass while he’s laid up.”
Eijirou chuckled weakly. “Probably. Is he still awake now?”
She smirked. “Something like it.”
Eijirou was confused, but the elevator came to a halt and opened. He followed Mitsuki to the hero ward where they came to a private room with dim lighting.
Bakugou Masaru was sitting in a chair beside the bed talking softly, but he stopped to smile and say hello to Eijirou.
“Hi, Bakugou-san,” Eijirou said. Tears welled up in his eyes as he approached the bed.
Katsuki looked like a complete wreck. His left eye was bruised, cut, and swollen shut, and his bottom lip was busted too. His arm was immobilized against his chest to keep the shoulder from moving. There was still dirt in his hair, which was a bit flatter than usual. An IV was stuck and taped at the back of his free hand, so Eijirou took it gently. “Hey man…”
Katsuki looked up with his uninjured eye and gave him a dopey half-smile. “Mm. There’s my pretty boyfriend,” he said sleepily, causing Eijirou’s face to burn.
“He’s on pain meds,” Masaru explained.
“Yes, Katsuki, is feeling very good right now,” Mitsuki joked and smoothed some of his hair back away from his face.
“Cut it out hag,” Katsuki mumbled with no real annoyance while still looking at Eijirou. “Your hair’s shittier than usual.”
Eijirou laughed and ran his hand through his own spikes. He hadn’t gotten a good look at a mirror since before work, but he could tell that some of the spikes had flopped over. “I was on patrol and rushed over here the second I heard. I probably look like a mess, huh?”
“I like when you’re a mess,” Katsuki said in a lazy, suggestive voice.
Looking at Katsuki in the worst state he’d ever seen him in, Eijirou couldn’t joke on the topic. He couldn’t even find it in him to feel embarrassed about Katsuki’s flirting in front of his parents. “I wish I could say the same about you right now. Looks like you had a pretty rough fight.”
Katsuki snorted. “I fucking won.”
“Yeah, you did. You always win.”
Katsuki tugged on his hand. “C’mere.”
Eijirou sighed and sat beside him on the side of the bed. “I was worried about you.”
Eijirou dismissed the apology with a shake of his head. “How are you feeling?”
“Better now that you’re here,” Katsuki said. He closed his eye and sighed, but his thumb moving across Eijirou’s hand indicated he hadn’t gone to sleep just yet.
Eijirou felt tears again and bit his lip.
Masaru rose from his chair. “Mitsuki, let’s go grab a bite while Eijirou is here to keep Katsuki company.” He patted Eijirou’s shoulder as he passed. “You boys will be alright?”
Eijirou nodded but didn’t look up.
Mitsuki ruffled Katsuki’s hair again. “We’ll be back soon, brat.”
Katsuki grunted and peaked his right eye open again to look at Eijirou.
The moment they were gone, Eijirou choked back a sob and leaned to rest his forehead against Katsuki’s. “When I saw it all on the news…”
“Ei,” Katsuki said softly. “I’m fine.”
“I know that now,” Eijirou said. “But the entire way here I didn’t and it was awful.”
Katsuki pulled his hand from Eijirou’s grasp and pushed his fingers up through the back of his hair. “Ei…”
He shifted and hissed, and Eijirou sat upright again in alarm. “Are you alright?”
Katsuki wore a grimace but stubbornly pushed aside Eijirou’s hand when he tried to fuss. “’S nothing. Just moved wrong.” He took a moment to recover from whatever had pained him and sighed when he looked at Eijirou again with a mildly awestruck expression. “Shit, you are so fucking hot.”
Eijirou tried to stifle his laughter. “You have to stop that.”
“We should date,” Katsuki said.
Eijirou shook his head and pulled Katsuki’s hand up so that he could kiss his knuckles, which were cracked and broken in some places. “Katsu, we are dating.”
“The hell did I get so lucky?”
Eijirou laughed. Because you’re you and I’m the lucky one. You’re amazing and manly and beautiful. “I’m glad you’re okay.”
Careful of the dark bruising and swelling, Eijirou lightly brushed his fingertip near the stitched cut running from Katsuki’s left eyelid up through his eyebrow. “If that scars, we’ll kind of match,” he joked weakly. “Almost like looking in a mirror.”
“Wouldn’t look half as good as you.”
“You’re such a dork.” Eijirou kissed his forehead. “You need rest. Go to sleep.”
Katsuki caught his wrist as he tried to move to the chair. “Sleep better with you.”
Eijirou didn’t need to be told twice. He settled himself along Katsuki’s right side, wedging himself in the small space that was there so that Katsuki wouldn’t need to move. He propped himself on his elbow and watched his boyfriend’s eyes drift shut while he ran his fingers through filthy blond hair.
“Love you,” Katsuki sighed as he relaxed.
Eijirou sniffled and pressed another kiss to the top of his head. “I love you, too. So much.”
Katsuki was here – alive and safe after surviving a pretty brutal two-on-one battle. Eijirou was grateful, but he couldn’t help but feel like he should have been there to even the odds.
Eijirou was just dragging his feet through the door from a late-night shift when Katsuki called him. It was nearly two in the morning and they’d already said goodnight much earlier when Katsuki had supposedly been getting into bed. He pressed the phone to his ear as he toed of his shoes in the entry and whispered to not bother Kaminari. “Hey, dude, is everything alright? I thought you went to bed already.”
“Can’t sleep,” Katsuki said.
“You’re supposed to be on patrol early tomorrow, aren’t you?” Eijirou walked down the hall to his bedroom and quietly shut the door behind himself.
“I’m my own boss. I can work whenever the fuck I want.”
Eijirou shook his head and withheld a laugh as he sat on the edge of his bed. “You never change your schedule.”
“Whatever. It’s late and I can’t sleep because I miss you.”
“But you’re so cute,” Eijirou teased. “I miss you too, but I’ll see you in two days.”
Katsuki huffed. “I want to see you and your shitty hair every day.”
“When we start our agency, let’s move in together.”
Eijirou grinned and let his upper body fall back onto the bed. “What? Into your apartment?”
“Fuck no. I need a bigger kitchen than this shit. Besides, we’ll get something that’s both of ours.”
“Sounds good to me. You going to let me help decorate?”
“If you swear to keep your hands off the walls of our agency headquarters, you can decorate our apartment however you fucking want.”
Eijirou laughed. “You have no faith in me.”
“I’ve seen your childhood bedroom, your dorm room, and that disaster you and Droolly call an apartment.”
“Some people just don’t appreciate style.”
Katsuki snorted. “Oh, and that stupid clock can’t come.”
“Katsukiiii,” Eijirou whined. “Don’t you love me at all?”
“You know I do. A hell of a lot. I can’t wait to live in a shitty red-covered apartment with you. But that fucking clock is not coming.”
In all the time they’d talked about their future agency together and all the sleepovers at each other’s apartments, this was the first that the topic of officially living together had come up, and Eijirou’s heart raced at the thought.
Katsuki talked about the future often and always included Eijirou in it like it was obvious and no other possibility was even thinkable. And now it was more than just their professional partnership in that future. It was a home together with a kitchen that Katsuki could cook in and decorations that Eijirou picked out. It was nights lying together a bed that belonged to both of them and mornings watching Katsuki’s soft expression as he woke up.
Eijirou had never wanted anything more and he realized now that Katsuki saw him as the same permanent fixture in his life that Eijirou believed him to be.
This wasn’t just first love. This wasn’t just one moment among others to come. This was forever for both Eijirou and Katsuki.
“I’m going to turn the video on,” Eijirou said and held his phone up above his head.
Katsuki was lying on his stomach with his face half-smooshed into his pillow and one tired eye looking at the phone camera.
Eijirou smiled. “You look like you’re ready to fall asleep.”
Katsuki yawned as if to prove his point. “Just talk to me until I do.”
“Whatever the hell you want. I just want to hear your voice.”
“Hm.” Eijirou rolled onto his side and imagined that he was lying beside Katsuki and his fingers gripping the phone were holding his hand. He could be. If they were in the same city together, he could have every night like that.
Katsuki was looking more tired by the minute, but Eijirou felt a renewed energy and couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. “Let’s do it.”
“Let’s start the agency. I’m almost finished a full year as Fat Gum’s sidekick and our intern is graduating. Fat Gum would completely understand if I’m ready to leave. So let’s start the agency. Let’s move in together.”
Katsuki suddenly looked wide awake. “Are you serious?”
“I mean, if you’re ready for it. I know I am. This feels right.”
Katsuki sat up. “Yeah.”
Eijirou’s heart skipped a beat. “So we’re doing it then?”
“Hell yeah. We’re doing it.”
Tears filled Eijirou’s eyes and Katsuki sighed on the other side of the phone. “You sentimental dork.”
Eijirou didn’t deny it. On the cusp of having everything he ever wanted, he had every right to be a sentimental dork.
Besides, he knew Katsuki didn’t really mind anyway.
Chapter 2: Plus One
Sorry for the wait on this one. I wrote several versions of this until I was satisfied. I hope you'll enjoy it!
Thank you to arisprite for helping beta this on very short notice!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Fat Gum took Eijirou’s resignation well. He agreed that it was time for him to become a hero in his own right instead of a sidekick, and he was overjoyed to hear how excited he was to be moving in with Katsuki. There were some tears from both when Fat declared his immense pride in his protégé.
Kaminari was a slightly different story. Sure, he was glad the Eijirou was happy, but first he was more upset that he was going to be down a roommate and a wingman.
“No one talks me up like you do,” he said, even though they both knew how ridiculous it was when the only person Kaminari had been chasing for nearly a year now was Jirou.
“And who is going to room with me now?” he also lamented, but it worked out that Ojirou was looking for a new roommate, too, after a year working abroad.
“If you’re there with Kacchan, you’re both not even going to have a reason to come visit here,” was another one of Kaminari’s complaints a couple days later. Absurd. As if Eijirou didn’t still need to see his friends. As if Katsuki didn’t already make himself available to spend time with them. As if Kaminari and Sero wouldn’t be coming to Tokyo to see them, too.
“I’m just really going to miss having you around all the time,” he admitted once he finally stopped moping around the apartment like Eijirou had kicked his puppy. Eijirou said he would miss him, too, and they hugged like good bros. And from then on, discussion of Eijirou’s big move focused more around plans for all the awesome stuff they’d do when Kaminari visited him in Tokyo.
It was May when Eijirou and Katsuki finally moved into a one-bedroom apartment on the top floor with roof access. It had a real kitchen and a living room that didn’t need to double as an agency headquarters since the one they’d just opened was only a fifteen-minute walk from home.
There was something so satisfying about finally being able to have both his dwelling ‘home’ and his heart’s home in one place. Since the first time he’d known that he loved Katsuki, back when he was sure Katsuki couldn’t possibly love him too, he’d always wanted to work by his side — facing villains, protecting each other, chasing their goals together. If he could have nothing else, that would have always been enough for him. But since knowing Katsuki felt the same, he hoped for so much more than that.
It felt like all his dreams were being realized: the ones he’d dreamt for himself becoming a full-fledged hero, the ones for a partnership with Katsuki, the ones for a life with him.
Here in this little apartment, in a so-so part of town, his world felt full.
They didn’t bother with much decorating that first day, but Eijirou’s clock with the flexing biceps made it onto the living room wall. Katsuki threatened to blow it up, but he never made a move to actually touch the thing. They set to the task of cleaning and arranging furniture. They also organized everything in the kitchen but, in the end, didn’t feel like cooking at all.
For dinner, they ordered takeout, bundled themselves up in warm clothes, and – at Eijirou’s suggestion – carried a futon up to the rooftop to spend the evening under the stars, even if Tokyo’s sky only had a few. There was a slight chill in the air, but it only meant they sat closer, invaded each other’s space a little more.
Even on a clear night like that in Tokyo, most of the stars, save for the brightest few, were hidden behind the sky glow, but in a year of many visits to see Katsuki, Eijirou had become accustomed to this altered view of the night sky just as he had the neon lights and flashing electronic billboards.
The view from their new rooftop wasn’t particularly beautiful or scenic but it satisfied the need for open space in a way the tiny balcony couldn’t. At night, most of it was cast red in the bright lights coming off the building across the street, but a softer light from a different neighboring building illuminated the back corner where they set up camp in purple glow.
Eijirou thought Katsuki looked particularly beautiful in that lighting, the way the purple reflected off his pale hair and the side of his face. It seemed to capture everything that was soft and calm about him, even as it made his red eyes gleam a brilliant magenta that was somehow even more piercing. And though the wind wasn’t high, it tousled his hair, blowing it away from his forehead for the light to catch the remnants of the scar that intersected his eyebrow and added a touch of danger to his appearance.
A little over a year out of school and Katsuki managed to somehow look more rugged and tough while also appearing warmer and gentler. Maybe those latter qualities were just for Eijirou or maybe love just made him see them better. Either way, he found himself more drawn in by Katsuki every day.
In a month, a year, a decade — one of many decades he now dared to believe they’d share together like this — would that feeling keep growing? Eijirou wondered if his heart could contain it without bursting.
He sat facing Katsuki in the space between his outstretched legs with his own draped over Katsuki’s thighs as they talked, ate, and picked out of each other’s takeout containers. Katsuki shoved a mouthful of food in Eijirou’s mouth and laughed at his dumbfounded expression once after he’d started talking too fast and loud in his excitement for their plans the next day. Eijirou chuckled, too. Katsuki’s laughter was loud, unreserved, and infectious, and Eijirou could listen to it all day.
At some point, Katsuki set his food aside and leaned on one hand while the other pressed against Eijirou’s lower back to pull him closer. Taking the hint, Eijirou slurped up the noodles he’d just put in his mouth and abandoned the rest of his meal in lieu of tangling hands in the fabric of Katsuki’s sweatshirt. He crossed his feet behind Katsuki’s back and bowed forward until their foreheads were pressed together.
Those fierce eyes stared into his for a moment before Katsuki’s eyelids fluttered shut and he sighed, his breath warm against Eijirou’s chin. He shifted his weight toward Eijirou and slid the hand that had been propping him onto Eijirou’s thigh.
Eijirou didn’t say anything. He knew the signs of his boyfriend working up to saying something that usually turned out to be sweet and tender. He knew to wait him out.
“I’m glad you’re here to stay,” Katsuki said softly as he opened his eyes again. “It felt fucking lonely every time you left.”
“I know the feeling,” Eijirou said.
“I should have fucking asked you to come over a year ago.”
Eijirou recalled their last night at UA, the words spoken on the balcony, how Katsuki thought he would have said no to coming, and how wrong he was. “I probably would have done it.”
Katsuki studied him with the same intensity he had on that night. At that time, and so many others between then and now, in his eyes had been an overwhelming seriousness and honesty that Eijirou thought might swallow him whole.
He’d gladly drown in them.
Katsuki didn’t need to say much at all to make Eijirou feel loved, important, and cherished. It was all there in a single look. Eijirou found it funny that anyone could think him hard to read when his eyes were always an open book of real emotion and expression.
“I didn’t want you to feel like you just followed me,” Katsuki said.
“That’s kind of my job to decide,” Eijirou said. “And maybe I followed you to Tokyo, but I’m here now and I’m going to be standing beside you, aren’t I?”
Katsuki smirked. “Yeah, you are.”
“Well, I’m glad I’m here to stay, too.” Eijirou tilted his face to capture Katsuki’s lips.
It was soft and simple, an easy kind of kiss that came from knowing exactly how their mouths fit together and which direction Katsuki would move his head. It was also calmer and slower than many of their previous kisses, lacking the vague sense of urgency that had always nagged at their time together. After a year of kisses and caresses that always led to their parting, this was the first kiss they’d had that didn’t feel like ‘goodbye for now.’ And Eijirou was determined to take his time and savor this new feeling of permanence.
He trailed his kisses along Katsuki’s cheekbone and down his jawline before sitting back and smiling at him.
Katsuki’s fingers dug into his thigh as he gripped tighter. Head still angled toward the ground, he stared up beneath wind-swept bangs with his lips slightly parted for a moment. “I love you. So much.”
“I love you too.” Eijirou reclaimed his mouth. He slid his thumbs up under where he was already gripping the hem of Katsuki’s sweatshirt and stroked them along his hipbones. A shiver passed up Katsuki’s spine as he let out a shaky breath. Katsuki ran his tongue across Eijirou’s bottom lip, and he happily complied, opening his mouth just a bit.
The hand at the small of Eijirou’s back flattened against it and pulled him even closer until he was entirely in Katsuki’s lap. He pressed against him, sliding his hands slowly up beneath both layers of Katsuki’s shirt and sweatshirt until he was breaking the kiss just to lift the shirts off over his head. He rose up onto his knees and pushed Katsuki onto his back on the futon.
Eijirou took both of Katsuki’s hands, weaving their fingers together briefly before letting his fingers trail up Katsuki’s arms and to his shoulders, settling his hands there where he could trace the thick muscles at the sides of his neck.
If Eijirou didn’t love everything else about Katsuki, one look at his body certainly would have done the trick. His amazing broad shoulders, bulging biceps, and ripped forearms, all carefully sculpted over years to handle the kickback of powerful explosions. The way his body tapered down from those strong shoulders and hard chest to his slim waist. The chiseled muscles of his ribcage and every sharp little line that Eijirou loved to feel the paths of with his fingertips. The pronounced V lines above his hips, framing flawless abdominals, leading his eyes further down...
It wasn’t just that looking at Katsuki was very enjoyable. This was a body built of hard work, dedication, and passion. And Eijirou loved every small detail of him for it.
Katsuki was looking up with wide eyes and a slack jaw, and even under the purple hue of the lights, his face was flushed. He reached up to push some of Eijirou’s long bangs out of his face and left his hand where he tucked them behind an ear. “You are so fucking perfect.”
Eijirou turned his face into Katsuki’s hand and kissed the heel of it. “Katsuki, have you seen yourself?” He leaned down to kiss Katsuki’s left collarbone, then his right, and planted several more up to his Adam’s apple. He chuckled when Katsuki shuddered at the gentle nip of his teeth at the sensitive skin there.
“Shut up, it’s fucking cold out here,” Katsuki grunted as he grabbed Eijirou’s backside with both hands.
Eijirou pressed his lips beneath Katsuki’s ear. “I’ll just have to keep you warm.”
Fingers tugged at the bottom of his sweater and he pushed himself up to see Katsuki’s smirk. “I’d rather you even things up here.”
Eijirou helped him pull it off. It wasn’t like he hadn’t learned to handle a little chill in his hero costume anyway. He let out a laugh of surprise when Katsuki’s arms locked around his waist and he was swiftly maneuvered onto his back with Katsuki now hovering above him and wearing a triumphant, cocky grin.
Okay, yeah, Eijirou knew his heart would certainly burst someday, because there was no heart built to contain what he felt for this incredible man.
“I’ve never felt happier than I am right now,” he sighed.
Katsuki’s eyes softened and he leaned down to kiss Eijirou’s forehead. “Better get used to it, because I’m gonna make you feel that way every single day forever.”
Eijirou felt tears welling up in his eyes, so he pulled Katsuki in for another kiss, even if he’d probably seen anyway. Warm hands traveled the length of his torso and neck to tangle themselves in his hair, and the two of them just melted together.
“Forever, huh?” Eijirou said against Katsuki’s mouth, making the other pause. “I like the sound of that.”
Katsuki smiled and descended on him again.
And Eijirou learned just what forever had in store.
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