“Hey, Kacchan,” Izuku called out from next to Katsuki. He fumbled the game controller in his hand nervously. “Can I tell you something?”
“What’s up?” Katsuki was unsure if he wanted to hear the rest of this, but he couldn’t stop his mouth before it spoke.
“I’m going on a date soon, I think,” Izuku says, and a small smile appears on his face, and yeah, Katsuki didn’t want to hear this. “I really like this guy.”
“Ah,” Katsuki whispers, and he wants to escape. “That’s good, then. He asked you out?”
“No, I asked him.” Izuku’s smile gets bigger, a goofy grin sliding up his face, and Katsuki feels like something is slithering underneath his skin. “I’ve had a crush on him for a while, but I finally got a chance to ask him.”
“I hope you have fun,” Katsuki felt fake, pretending to not feel like he wanted to escape this conversation.
“Ah, thanks, Kacchan!” Izuku gave him a big smile and Katsuki’s chest ached.
Don’t look at me like that. I don’t give a shit.
But he did give a shit. There was one problem with Izuku dating someone, and that was that Katsuki had been in love with him for 3 years and was too chickenshit to say anything. At this point, it hurt more to see Izuku sad than to see him dating other people, so he would just bury his feelings deep inside himself and help Izuku with whatever relationship he was in. It hurt, but the fucker deserved to be happy. He hadn’t done anything to deserve that same happiness, so he would just sit and stew in his own feelings until they killed him, or someone finally did.
“Who is this mystery guy?” Katsuki forces himself to say, not wanting to admit defeat, but hoping to see Izuku smile.
“Well, I don’t think he’s a mystery to you. Considering you’re best friends and all,” Izuku meekly answers, moving his face away.
“WHAT,” Katsuki’s voice was a little too loud. “W-which one?”
He was pretty confused, since he only had two best friends: Izuku and Kirishima.
Izuku didn’t answer, instead pulling out his phone and showing Katsuki a picture of him and another boy who was fucking Kirishima he was dead. Of all the fucking people Izuku could date, he asked out Katsuki’s best friend. He tried his hardest to remain calm.
“Is that okay?” Izuku asks, his brows knitted together.
“I’m not your keeper or anything, you can date whoever you want,” Katsuki huffs out, chewing on the sides of his mouth. “I can’t believe shitty hair didn’t tell me first, though.”
“Ah, I asked him to let me tell you,” Izuku smiled quietly, fumbling the controller in his hand. “I know you guys are close, but I feel like we’re close too, so I wanted to tell you first.”
“Well, does he know that I’m going to give him hell about it?” Katsuki buried himself deeper and deeper, not letting any of his own feelings show.
Izuku laughed, the sound magical in his ears, and he remembered why he was doing this. He did this to hear that laugh for as long as possible, because as soon as Izuku knows his feelings, he’s done for. He doesn’t really know if he’ll be able to handle a heartbreak like that.
“That’s what he told me you would say,” Izuku has this look in his eyes, the wrinkles around them giving him extra light inside, and it tore him to pieces.
He wanted to be happy for the both of them. He should be happy. But, as always, he was an asshole, so his heart got in the way of being completely happy for them. He was happy to see Izuku smile and laugh, but he was upset because it should be him making Izuku smile. He was a selfish prick, but he wanted Izuku all to himself, he wanted to be the person next to his side, but he couldn’t, because he was an asshole to him in middle school and nothing could ever make up for that. They were friends now, but he still feels like garbage over it. He couldn’t do anything to fully make himself feel better, he couldn’t even imagine why Izuku would give him the time of day, much less be his friend.
Izuku looked happy, anyway. He was blushing slightly in the picture of the both of them, and Kirishima’s grin looked like it was going to fly off his face with how big it was. Izuku seemed embarrassed now, showing him this photo, but he had it set as his phone wallpaper, so he wasn’t embarrassed about them, but about Katsuki knowing.
It pissed him off. Everything about this irritated him. It irritated him how happy Izuku was, and it irritated him that Katsuki was pissed off about it.
“So, have you guys gone on a date yet?” Katsuki swallowed his pride and tried to act as normal as possible. That’s the only way he could get by.
“Ah, not yet,” Izuku squirmed a little as he sat next to him. “I wanted to ask him out to a date but I’m too nervous.”
“Nervous? You got the worst part over already,” Katsuki refused to look at him, focusing on the game on the screen.
“Yeah, but I have no idea where to go!” Izuku whines as he loses the fight in the game. “It’s our first date, I don’t want to ruin it.”
“If anyone would ruin it, it would be shitty hair, not you,” Katsuki gives the fakest smile imaginable. He hoped Izuku believed it.
“Kacchan, that’s too mean!” Izuku laughed and looked at him. “Kirishima is your friend, don’t be rude!”
“Shitty hair should be nice to me, considering he’s stealing my best friend away and I’ll never see that best friend again,” Katsuki smiles as he says this, trying not to betray himself on accident.
“Aw, Kacchan, am I your best friend?” Izuku set his controller down and punched Katsuki’s arm. “’Shitty hair’ isn’t stealing me away, I’ll still hang around. This isn’t any different from the last relationships I’ve had.”
But it was different, because Izuku was dating his best friend instead of some random asshole who Katsuki knows couldn’t treat him right. He knows Kirishima would treat him right, and it pisses him off.
“Tell shitty hair he can’t come crying to me every time I want to play video games with you,” Katsuki laughed, but his fists clenched around the controller. “Are you tired of this game? I’m ready for something a little different.”
“Put on whatever you want,” Izuku stretched his arms, and Katsuki put on something that would completely distract them from this hellish conversation.
They played games for a few more hours, taking breaks in between for unhealthy snacks, before it was dark.
“I should probably get home, or I’ll be exhausted in the morning,” Izuku stood and stretched.
“I’ll walk you home,” Katsuki stood as well, putting on a jacket.
“I live like 2 houses away, Kacchan,” Izuku had an embarrassed smile, but he looked grateful.
Katsuki had always walked him home when Izuku spent the day at his house, ever since they were kids. For a few years in middle school, Izuku never came over, but after they started talking again, he started up the tradition again. When they were kids, he would hold Izuku’s hand as he walked him home. He wishes he still could.
They still lived in their childhood homes, despite being almost old enough for college, but Katsuki wasn’t desperate to move out just yet. He didn’t want to move because it would be inconvenient, but also because he wouldn’t live so close to Izuku if he did. He saw him almost every day, and he didn’t want to lose that.
They walked together, close, yet not close enough for Katsuki. He wanted to reach out and take Izuku’s hand, but Izuku was the one thing he couldn’t reach for. Especially not now. He heard Izuku’s breath as they walked, and he could hear his teeth chatter from the cold.
“Are you cold?” Katsuki knew the answer, but he asked anyway.
“Yeah, but I’ll be fine. It’s not a long walk,” Izuku says quietly, but his shivering irritates Katsuki.
Katsuki strips off his jacket quietly and drapes it over Izuku’s arms. Izuku looks up at him, his eyes reflecting the light from the streetlamps, his face blushing lightly. In this light, he was the most beautiful to Katsuki. He had many looks that were attractive or gorgeous, but under the soft light, with his hair a mess and his cheeks flamed, he was beautiful.
“Thanks, Kacchan,” Izuku’s voice is soft, much too soft for Katsuki to handle.
“Don’t mention it,” Katsuki lets himself think of these moments as if he could call Izuku his, lets himself be happy for just a moment under the soft light, and it hurts more when they arrive at Izuku’s door and he is given back his jacket.
“Have a good night, Kacchan,” Izuku smiles and Katsuki fakes another smile, just to make sure Izuku thinks everything is okay.
“Have a good night. Don’t stay up all night talking to lover-boy,” Katsuki says as he turns away, not letting Izuku see his face. The day was piling up on him.
“K-Kacchan!” Izuku’s embarrassed voice calls from behind him, and he forces out a laugh, but his face stays slack.
He walks away, away from where his happiness slept, and he walked away from any chance of Izuku ever caring about him. He wasn’t the one for Izuku, and that thought tore at him like fire through a forest, and he has to turn off that image, because the forest always reminded him of Izuku. He ran his hands through his hair as he walked back home, trying to calm his heart so his mom wouldn’t notice. He took a deep breath outside of the door, and he put on his normal resting bitch face.
“Katsuki, come help me with this,” his father calls from the other room, and he lets himself melt back into his fake normal personality.
The night passes normally, with Katsuki doing everything he can to distract himself from the fact that the love of his life is dating his best friend, and it’s not really working. If he has a moment to think outside of his routine, his mind moves back to the fact that Izuku is dating Kirishima, and it’s driving him up the wall. He decides to turn in early because he can’t focus and sleeping sounds a lot better than crying over his selfishness.
Except that sleep doesn’t even relieve his brain. He dreams about watching Izuku getting married, and he lives alone for the rest of his life, and it’s too close to what he’s imagined for him to be comfortable. He wakes in the middle of the night covered in sweat and with burning eyes and he lets himself let out a few bitter scorching tears before he falls back asleep. He doesn’t dream after that.
He wakes in the morning and decides to confront Kirishima about it. He pulls out his phone and texts Kirishima to meet him at a train station, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. He gets dressed and ignores the phone call coming in and heads out to the station. He thinks of what he’ll say as he walks alone to the station with headphones blasting music in his ears. He has to prepare himself for any kind of confrontation, practicing his words over and over until he has the conversation memorized, but it usually doesn’t help. He sits on a bench when he reaches the station and watches crowds of people pass as he waits for Kirishima to arrive.
Eventually, he spots a spiked mess of red hair through the crowd, and he stands to wave him over.
“What’re you doing, springing this up on me, man?” Kirishima has a smile on his face, but he looks nervous. Izuku probably talked to him beforehand.
“What are you doing, dating my best friend without telling me?” Katsuki has an edge to his voice, but he smiles to make it seem like he’s faking the edge.
“Izuku wanted to tell you first!” Kirishima’s face turns as red as his hair, and he moves his eyes away from Katsuki.
“Oh, he’s Izuku, now, huh?” Katsuki lets himself get his frustration out with a teasing tone, being careful not to let his real feelings spill out. He had become a pro at that by now.
Kirishima’s whole face goes red, and Katsuki can’t help but laugh. He’s happy, stop being a jerk now, Katsuki. They both deserved a friend better than him. Katsuki laughs at him.
“Izuku’s all worried about where you guys are going to go on your first date, oh no!” Katsuki does his awful impression of Izuku at the last part of his sentence and Kirishima laughs at it. “Stop pussyfooting around it and take him out or I’m going to throw up. I don’t want to hear about it every time he comes over to play video games.”
If there’s anything Katsuki will give himself, he will acknowledge that he’s observant. He tends to pick up on what his friends are feeling before they say it, and he can tell that Kirishima is just as nervous as Izuku.
“Dude, you’ve known him way longer, you need to help me out!” Kirishima contorts his face dramatically and grips at Katsuki’s sleeve, begging.
“Why are you acting like you don’t even know him?” Katsuki hesitates to help them out, but he knows that it’ll make them both happy, so he relents.
“You’ve been friends for forever, just help me out! Where does he like to go?” Kirishima has a begging tone to his voice, so Katsuki stops being an ass.
“Just take him to dinner and a movie or something. I think he has a movie he wants to see, anyway,” Katsuki knows that Izuku has a movie he wants to see, because Izuku told him before, and he had been planning on taking him to go see it. Whatever. He didn’t deserve to take him, anyway.
“Do you think he’d like that?” Kirishima’s voice is back to normal, and he still has a slight blush on his cheeks.
“Izuku is a simple guy, just don’t fuck it up and you’ll be okay,” Katsuki huffs. “Do you wanna go shopping or something instead of just standing in the middle of the station?”
“If you want. I need to get a new shirt if I’m going on a date,” Kirishima follows him as he gets on a train heading into the city, and Katsuki wants to die on the spot.
He was such an asshole. He couldn’t even help his friends out because his heart was killing him. He wanted to enjoy hanging out with Kirishima, but all he could think about was the fact that he was helping him woo the guy he was in love with, and it made him nauseous. He wanted to lock himself up in his room and never face his friends again, because he didn’t deserve them.
“Hey, are you okay?” Kirishima asks him in the middle of their shopping trip, and Katsuki feels even more like garbage. He needs to act like normal.
“Yeah, why?” Katsuki stuffs his hands in his pockets.
“You just seem off today,” Kirishima looks at him, his face soft and his eyes dark, and Katsuki wants to punch himself. “I’m not taking Izuku, I promise.”
“I know that, dumbass,” Katsuki says this more to himself than he does to Kirishima.
After he gets home, he finally decides to check his phone. He has multiple messages from Izuku that he doesn’t want to check, but the notifications bother him, so he opens the chat up.
Eijirou said he was hanging out with you. Please don’t kill him! –Izuku
Kacchan, please don’t kill my boyfriend before I can even have our first date. –Izuku
You better respond, or I’ll show him that photo of you from elementary school. –Izuku
The last one was sent not that long ago, so he texts back.
Don’t worry, your precious boyfriend is safe and sound. For now. –Katsuki
He throws the phone and himself onto the bed, curling up into a ball and staring at his phone. He wishes that Izuku would call him his boyfriend one day. It won’t happen, though.
Katsuki laughs at the grumpy text and doesn’t respond. He figures that Izuku would call him if he was really worried. He slightly hoped that he wouldn’t call, because hearing Izuku’s voice would hurt his heart, but he also loved hearing Izuku’s voice. It was soothing, it could calm him even if he was exploding with rage. He was always the calm to Katsuki’s storm, and he didn’t want to lose that.
Sure enough, the phone starts ringing after a few minutes. He answers.
“Izuku, you know I wouldn’t hurt your boyfriend,” Katsuki feels the words sting his throat as he says them.
“You promise? Eijirou said you were acting weird today,” Izuku’s voice has a higher pitch to it, like he was worried.
“You’re on first name basis now, huh? That changed from yesterday,” Katsuki changes the subject to avoid having to talk about himself.
“Ah,” Izuku sounds embarrassed, just like Kirishima had before. “He asked me if I could last night, so we both are, now. Is that weird?”
“You’re dating, it’s not weird,” Katsuki says, and he can hear Izuku’s sigh of relief on the other end. “Anyway, don’t stress about me. I’m fine. Kirishima is just projecting his nervousness on me.”
“He’s nervous?” Izuku always picked up on weird things. “Why is he nervous?”
“Fuck if I know,” Katsuki does know, but he’s not going to admit it. “I need to sleep, go ask him yourself.”
“Ah, okay. Goodnight, Kacchan,” Izuku’s voice is calm and quiet, and it calms Katsuki’s mind.
“Goodnight,” Katsuki responds, and ends the call and sighs.
He doesn’t sleep well that night either.