It's two in the morning when Mina sends a message to the Bakusquad group chat.
/alienqueen: Bro-mergency Meeting in Sero's room!
Kirishima loves Bro-mergency Meetings. They just turn into 'lets eat way too much junk and talk about our feeling at two in the morning' sessions, and Kirishima loves that. Even though they could get in trouble for being in Sero's room past curfew, and having Mina on the boy's side of the dorms, it's totally worth it. Kirishima grabs a pair of sweatpants, foregoing a shirt entirely as he tucks his phone into his waistband, and leaves his room.
He knocks on Bakugou's door, smiling when he gets a gruff, "Yeah, I'm coming, fuckface."
Kirishima waits, and once Bakugou has joined him with a blanket wrapped around his bare shoulders and neon orange pajama bottoms on, they make their way up stairs. Neither of them talk as they walk because, as one often is at two in the morning, Bakugou's sleepy. Kirishima also doesn't want to risk accidentally waking anyone else. They keep their footsteps light, and it's quiet enough that they can hear Kaminari stomping up the stairs below them. He meets them on the fifth floor landing, wearing the full set of the ugliest highlighter yellow pajamas that Kirishima has ever laid eyes on. They were a gift from Mina, he knows, because everyone in their group has a set, though only Bakugou and Mina wear them regularly. Kirishima thinks Kaminari chose to wear them for the Bro-mergency Meeting, and mourns that he didn’t think of that.
Sero's room is at the very end of the hallway, and the ideal meeting spot because he's got like forty extra blankets, and his bed is the biggest out of all of theirs. It's easier to fit everyone on it when they inevitably crash at god knows what time. Not to say it's not a struggle, just less of one. Kirishima wiggles his shoulders to shake out any excess energy, but it's futile in the face of his excitement to hang out with his friends, whom he loves very much.
As they get closer to Sero's room, a soft sound filters into Kirishima's hearing. He glances over at Bakugou next to him, and Kaminari on Bakugou's other side, but both of them are quiet, other than Kaminari's obnoxious footsteps. Kirishima checks behind them, and in front of them, but there is no one else in the hallway. It gets louder as they get closer to Sero's door, and Kirishima is able to recognize the noises as he comes to a stop outside of the room next to Sero's; someone’s crying. The door is just barely cracked, and thick sobs are spilling forth in heavy hiccuping gasps. Kirishima flashes back to a vague memory of standing in the hallway outside of his sisters' rooms as they cried the night after their mother died.
"What are you doing?" Bakugou's voice is quiet, yet insistent, and it brings Kirishima back to the present.
"Go ahead without me." Kirishima says, turning fully to face Todoroki's door. Bakugou's eyes cut to the door, and back to Kirishima before he rolls them. He waddles the rest of the way to Sero's door, following Kaminari in. Kirishima knocks lightly on Todoroki's door, saying softly, "Hey, it's Eijirō. Are you okay?"
The only response is the sudden quieting of the hiccuping sobs. They don't stop completely, they're too forceful for that, but they become stifled as if Todoroki is trying to swallow them down. Kirishima's heart clenches, and he slowly pushes the door open. The room is dim, but there is soft light glowing from a tiny patterned cube plugged sitting in the corner. It's slowly passing from green to blue as Kirishima steps into the room. Todoroki has his back pressed to the far wall, knees pulled together, one hand clenched in the bed sheets and the other sealed over his mouth.
"I was passing by and I heard you, uh, crying." Todoroki grimaces as he says it, and Kirishima immediately feels bad. "I wanted to make sure you're okay. Can I," he pauses, unsure, "Can I do something? Like to help you feel better."
Todoroki doesn’t say anything, staring at Kirishima as his chest heaves with poorly silenced sobs. The tears streaking his face are shimmering in the light, and Kirishima is struck with how pretty he is as the glow of the nightlight passes from blue to white. The tears on the right side of his face are frosted as they trail down his cheeks, and Kirishima notices that the temperature in the room is strangely chilled. He can see frost on the bed sheet under Todoroki's hand as well, and he wonders what lead to this as he stares. Kirishima feels endlessly awkward and intrusive as he stands just inside the doorway of Todoroki's bedroom, essentially watching him cry without doing anything. Todoroki's eyes flutter shut, and Kirishima wants to hugs him, to rub his back until he can take a full breath, but it's not his place. He turns to leave, gripping the door knob to pull it closed.
"Wait," It's stuttering and near inaudible, but Kirishima is sure he hears it. A moment later, Todoroki rasps, "Stay." between breaths, and Kirishima can feel his heart clench in sympathy again.
When he looks at Todoroki, he's looking away, but the hand previously on his face is now clenched in his lap. His breaths are loud and choked in the room now, but he seems like he's trying his best to calm his sobbing instead of muffling it, like before. Kirishima closes the door, taking a hesitant step further into the room after it clicks shut. Todoroki looks up, and his eyes are giant and watery, the bag under them deep against his pale skin. The light fades from white to purple as Todoroki hesitantly shifts over, lifting up his blanket to offer a spot to Kirishima. He averts his eyes again when Kirishima moves to take the spot, and he looks so raw and vulnerable with the gentle lighting making the edge of his scar look rough as he tilts his head down towards his lap, hair partially hiding his face.
They are pressed flush from shoulders to hips, and Kirishima can feel the way Todoroki's slim torso shakes. Kirishima purposely leans into him, uncertain what to give besides closeness right now. Todoroki hesitates for a moment then reciprocates the lean, slouching down so he can rest his head on Kirishima's shoulder comfortably. Todoroki is still gasping in all of his breaths, near hyperventilating next to Kirishima, which is beyond worrying. Kirishima reaches over, taking Todoroki's hand in his to make sure he has his attention. When Todoroki tries to force his breathing to regulate quicker in response Kirishima curses himself.
"Breath with me. In through your nose, out through your mouth." Kirishima smiles to himself, nose crinkling in disgust when Todoroki sniffs loudly. It's gross, but as he feels Todoroki take a careful breath with him, he doesn't mind. "Again," he says, voice low as he gently lays his head against Todoroki's. Todoroki turns his face inwards, and Kirishima can feel a fresh wave of tears against his shoulder, but Todoroki's breaths are gradually steadying as they breath together. The light deepens from purple to pink, and Kirishima's gaze is caught on where their hands are tangled on Todoroki's thigh, Todoroki gripping his like a lifeline. Kirishima's pinky is caught awkwardly between their palms, and their fingers are laced off center, but it's okay since Kirishima can still brush soothing strokes over the side of Todoroki's wrist in time with their breaths. Todoroki faces him, curving his body to fit against Kirishima's seamlessly, kicking the blanket off so he can tuck as close as possible. It's peaceful as they sit together, broken occasionally by stray hiccups from Todoroki.
Kirishima can't stand the silence after a while, though.
"My mother died when I was four. She was always around, but I can't really remember her. My older sisters remember her. After the funeral, Junko had a lot of nightmares. She would always wake up crying. Etsuko and Asako couldn't sleep at all. We had to get them sleeping pills to help regulate their sleeping schedules for a while. Minato and Eiko seemed fine, but they didn't talk as much. They threw themselves into their work, and ended up graduating top of their class. They work as pros in Gang Orca’s agency, now, and they're much better about taking breaks. They visit dad a lot. I don't remember her, but apparently I got more of her quirk than dad's. And I look the most like her, though none of us really look like dad at first glance." Kirishima knows he's rambling now, but Todoroki is relaxing, slowly warming himself and the room, as he keeps talking. "Dad always used to joke about how he couldn't slack off with six kids to take care of. I think it was his way of reminding himself that he had to go on without mom. If he focused on us, and taking care of us, he wouldn't have time to be sad. And we were a handful, especially since my quirk manifested two days after the funeral. That's how I got the scar above my eye. I was rubbing my eye and my arm hardened, and you know I'm all sharp when I harden so I just cut through my eyelid. Dad was so worried when he saw my eye bleeding and how I was crying, but apparently mom did something very similar when she got her quirk, and he'd heard the story enough to tell it back to me on the way to the hospital which helped calm both of us down." Kirishima takes a breath, and Todoroki adjusts against him. He shifts up, sitting away, and staring at Kirishima’s face. Kirishima gulps, cutting his eyes to the side, and then back to Todoroki’s face as Todoroki leans closer. He closes his eyes, pressing back into the wall nervously. What is Todoroki doing?
Then he feels a soft touch to his left eyebrow, Todoroki’s thumb smoothing over it as he says, “I never noticed your scar.” Kirishima release the breath he was holding as Todoroki settles back down next to him, opening his eyes to take in the pink glow bouncing around the room. He can see better from this angle that the pattern on the cube is a snapshot of an aquarium.
"Tell me more about your sisters." Todoroki says when Kirishima doesn’t continue, and it's closer to the smooth, low tone that Kirishima is used to hearing from Todoroki. This seems to be helping, which is good because talking has always been easy.
"Well, I have five of them. Junko is the oldest then there's Eiko and Minato, the older set of twins, then Etsuko and Asako, the younger set of twins, then me. I'm the baby, and they remind me of this often, but not in a bad way, just in an older sibling way, like with teasing and stuff. Junko works doing support for another of Gang Orca’s agencies, and Eiko and Minato work as pros at another one like I said earlier. They’re at one somewhere in the north I think. Etsuko and Asako are working as sidekicks there as well. They are doing more fighting than Eiko and Minato, though, because Eiko and Minato's control and strength of their quirk make them basically invincible, but still super flexible which allows them to be really good rescue heros, and they're a super cool duo which means they gets a lot of work done in not a lot of time."
"Was it crowded growing up with so many siblings?"
"Oh, absolutely," he says, but he's smiling impossible big when Todoroki leans back to look at him, "When I first started doing my hair it was a nightmare because there were two other people who needed the bathroom in the morning before school, but it took me forever to get it styled just right. Etsuko and Asako were pissed at me for weeks until I managed to cut my bathroom time in half. It was good though. I had five friends from the get go, and it's super helpful to have five people with basically the same quirk as you. I realized Eiko and Minato have got a lot of tips and tricks to help with mobility early third year, which was great for improving myself. We're all pretty close, always have been. Even when I came out as trans they all just kinda hugged me, and helped me plan out my transition. Eiko and Minato were sad because they thought they couldn't call me their cute baby sister anymore, but then I reminded them that I'm still a cute baby, just a brother instead of a sister and they felt better." Kirishima shrugs, and Todoroki snorts, laying his head back down on Kirishima's shoulder. Kirishima feels delighted that he elicited that adorable noise from him.
"Do you have any siblings?" Kirishima asks, pulling Todoroki's hand into his lap to hold it with both hands. Todoroki has strong hands, calloused from the use of his quirk over the years with long fingers and neat nails. Kirishima plays with his hand, lightly massaging from the heel of his palm to the top. Todoroki hums in contentment next to him, watching the movement.
"I think I have many, but I only know one, Fuyumi. She's the oldest, I think. After Endeavor put mom in a hospital, he kept Fuyumi around to take care of the house, and sent the rest of my siblings away. I was the only one who had the perfect mix of their quirks so I was the only one he kept around. It was all training sessions, but it was more time and money than he was willing to spend on the rest of them. Fuyumi is nice, and she cares about me a lot. She was always the one to take care of me after Endeavor would take out his anger on me or put me through an especially hard training session. She tries to make up for how shitty Endeavor is. I want to make it up to her. She deserves better than having to take care of an emotionally stunted younger brother and a father with anger issues. I don’t think she has hobbies, and she never takes time to herself. I don’t know if she’s interested in dating, but she should at least have the option. She deserves better. I want to do... something nice for her." Todoroki finishes awkwardly, fidgeting a bit to get comfortable again. He seems unsure as to whether he should stretch his legs out or keep close to Kirishima. Without thinking Kirishima grabs Todoroki's legs and shifts them over his lap, allowing Todoroki to do both.
"She sounds like she could use a break. If you need help with, I don't know, brainstorming ideas or preparing stuff or picking out a gift or something, let me know." Kirishima says, and Todoroki nods into his shoulder.
The conversation peters out naturally, leaving them sitting in a silence that Kirishima welcomes this time as the nightlight cycles from pink to yellow and back to green. It's when Kirishima hears a thud from next door that he remembers the Bro-mergency Meeting. He pulls his phone out of his waistband, checking the time. It's nearly 3:30, which means Ashido has probably just finished complaining about how pretty everyone is while stuffing her face with cookie dough. Kirishima opens the group chat, surprised when he sees a bunch of messages for him.
/alienqueen: @rockhard where are you???
/alienqueen: @rockhard you never miss a Bro-mergency meeting!! :(
/alienqueen: @rockhard eiji where are you?????
/alienqueen: @rockhard it's not the same withouth out you
/alienqueen: @rockhard we need you to validate us
/alienqueen: @rockhard bakugou's just calling us stupid every time we complain about yaomomo’s perfect everything, and it's nowere near as nice
/alienqueen: @rockhard he can't appreciate the beautiful heroines of today's world with us
/alienqueen: @rockhard kaminari and sero are just laughing while kaminari attempts to steal hitoshi's ice cream
/alienqueen: @rockhard hitoshi isn't laughing, but he did do the condescending snort when i mentioned jirō’s excellent music tastes
/alienqueen: @rockhard you know the one, the one that makes you feel bad about existing in his presence
/alienqueen: @rockhard eijiiiiiiiii
/rockhard: sorry, i thought katsuki would have told you. i'm literally next door in todoroki's room.
/rockhard: can i bring him to the Bro-mergency meeting? he seems like he needs junk food and friend rn.
/alienqueen: oh you should’ve said earlier that you’re with your boyfriend
/alienqueen: of course, all are welcome as long as hands stay off hitoshi’s ice cream. he absolutely just brainwashed kaminari into doing the chicken dance for daring to reach for it
/rockhard: be right there
Before Kirishima can figure out how to invite him and tell him to ignore Ashido's teasing at the same time, Todoroki is saying, "What is a Bro Emergency meeting?"
"Bro-mergency. And it's just where me, Katsuki, Mina, Hanta, Hitoshi, and Denki get together to hang out all night. Do you wanna come?" Todoroki thinks for a moment then nods his head. "Great. I don't know what junk food you like, but Mina and Hitoshi always grab a lotta shit so I'm sure you can find something."
"Thank you," Todoroki says, giving Kirishima the softest, sweetest smile he's ever seen. Kirishima's chest goes all warm and fuzzy as a blush spills over his cheeks and his heart does a tumbling routine.
"No problem." Kirishima manages, pulling himself then Todoroki to standing easily. They make their way out of Todoroki's room and into Sero's. Mina cheers when they enter while Bakugou rolls his eyes at her enthusiasm. Kaminari tries to sneak a bite of the cookie dough in her lap only to bring her acidic wrath upon him as Shinsō shakes his head with a soft when will he learn. Sero laughs at the entire display and Shinsou huffs, sticking a spoonful of ice cream into his mouth. As soon as Todoroki catches sight of the cheesecake chunks in it he settles down next to Shinsou, grabbing a utensil from the pile in the middle and taking a spoonful. Shinsou makes a noise of disagreement, but quiets when Todoroki gives him a blank look. Kirishima doesn’t know what Shinsō sees there, whether it’s dry tear tracks on Todoroki’s cheeks or something else, but he silently balances the tub between them, much to Kaminari’s disbelief. Kirishima curls down next to Todoroki, making himself comfy pressed up against his side as Shinsō and Todoroki shrug at Kaminari in perfect sync.
"Now, where was I?" Mina says.
“Katsuki’s perfect skin.”
“Oh yeah,” she rounds on Bakugō, “What is up with that? Someone as rude as you—” She immediately launches back into her rant about Bakugō’s unfairly nice skin when everyone is settled. Kirishima can feel himself grin as he listens, beyond happy with how this night turned out.