He never meant for them to get this close.
It started after graduation—or maybe it started long before then. He’ll never know the truth now. All he’s certain of is that they both took a post working with the same pro hero when they left UA and he didn’t mind as much as he could have.
For a long time, he only saw her as Deku’s best friend who followed him around like a puppy. Then, after the Sports Festival in their first year, he realized she wasn’t as dumb and fragile as she appeared to be.
Over the years, they developed an understanding: not quite a friendship, but enough of a truce that she felt comfortable enough to speak to him even when he yelled and he understood that she would be able to take care of herself if the situation called for it. Sometimes her questions were fucking stupid and borderline insulting, but sometimes he overreacted. It happened often. Not that he’d ever admit it.
Bakugou didn’t notice a change until they fought their first villain together—just the two of them, under the supervision of their post-graduation mentor—and he realized her Quirk was kind of fucking amazing.
He didn’t acknowledge it until they found apartments in the same building and she made a habit of lounging around on his sofa with him on their nights off, even when he spent most of the time yelling over nothing while she hid her smiles behind the neck of her beer.
And he didn’t admit the difference until they were nineteen and celebrating something stupid in a bar with their friends. He blew a hole through a wall when she kissed a punk-looking random who didn’t deserve to fucking look at her, let alone spend time in her presence.
They got in a fight that night.
He also tore off her clothes and took her to bed.
Months later, when it slipped that she hadn’t been back to her apartment in weeks, their friends all predictably flipped their shit, wanting to know anything and everything about their relationship: how the fuck it happened, who started it, when did it start, did she have any idea what she was doing, were they insane?
Bakugou snapped at them all to go to hell. Told them that it was nothing. He didn’t fucking like her. They weren’t even friends.
At his side, Uraraka bit back a smile and kissed him on the cheek.
He should’ve known it then.
By the time they turned twenty, they’d both made names for themselves in the hero world and Uraraka gave up all pretenses of keeping her own apartment. It was easier that way, they agreed. They were both so busy. They had no use for two separate places. It was a waste of money, time, and resources. Sharing a home was the practical thing to do, and sharing a bed was a product of biology—because he hated her the least out of every other stupid person on their planet, so why shouldn’t he take advantage of their situation and spend every night tangled between her legs?
What a fucking idiot he was.
What a fucking idiot he is.
He watches it happen. The world hates him like that. He should be used to it by now.
At twenty-three and more content than he’s ever been, Bakugou has had many close-calls and many regrets, but in none of those situations did anything move in slow motion.
This is no exception. In fact, it almost happens too fast—like the blink of an eye, the flick of a wrist. One moment she’s standing there and the next she’s on her knees, a long silver blade protruding from her chest and crimson rivers of blood dribbling down her chin.
Bakugou knows the world doesn’t slow for tragedy, but he also knows that in this moment is the only time he’s felt his heart truly stop.
He thinks he yells her name but he can’t breathe. He thinks he feels the other heroes surge forward to finish off the villain but he can’t see. He thinks he dies but then he’s at her side and he’s holding her and she’s bleeding so much—she shouldn’t fucking bleed this much, she’s too small, too bright, too lively to be this weak—and he’s shouting something but his voice is choked and nothing comes out at all because this isn’t fucking happening please.
Her lips, soft and full, are stained with blood. Warm brown eyes are dim and dull. He’s clutching her to his chest and shaking her all at once—don’t you fucking dare die on me, roundface, I’ll fucking kill you—and her mouth barely moves with each halting breath as she struggles to speak.
Can she even talk? Or did the blade pierce her lungs?
Does he pull it out? Or leave it in so she doesn’t bleed out all over the goddamn floor?
What the fuck is he supposed to do?!
She’s trying to say something, choked and gurgled as her breaths are, and he’s yelling at her to not be fucking stupid and save her breath because she’s going to need it for when he beats her ass later for fucking scaring him like this. He’s so angry, he can’t even breathe, can’t see, and everything is too blurry, too unclear, and he hates her so much for making him feel like this because he knows without a shadow a doubt that these stupid, weak-ass tears are her fault.
“I hate you,” he screams in a broken whisper that’s barely a breath, and his chest hurts so fucking much and he holds her tighter and her eyes don’t close and she’s still warm but everything is wrong because the world is fucking ruined and he doesn’t care. “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I fucking hate you. Why are you doing this to me?”
A tear runs down her cheek. Mingles with blood. Disappears into his hair as he holds her too close and they both struggle to breathe.
“Bakugou,” someone is saying behind him. “Bakugou, stop. You can’t do this. Bakugou, please.”
The fire keeps growing.
And Uraraka? Her heart no longer beats.
He doesn’t go to her funeral. He doesn’t go to his apartment either, because he’s realized too late that it’s not his, it’s theirs, hers, all hers, and he can’t fucking think about it without getting torn apart. He’s not ready to face the reality of how weak he is yet. He knows it, but he’s still not ready.
He doesn’t wear a tux. She liked him in tuxes.
He doesn’t put out his cigarette. She always hated smoking.
He doesn’t breathe.
She’s already dead.
Deku and Todoroki find him on a roof, sitting with his legs dangling over the edge, watching traffic. Bakugou isn’t suicidal, but breathing is hard these days and he finds it easier when the choice is taken away from him, his lungs so tight and desperate that they hurt him in a way that tries to overshadow everything else. He finds it easier when he can nurture his anger in silence. He finds it easier when everyone else is far enough away to look like ants and he doesn’t have to deal with feigned pity and open confusion for the man who supposedly hated her but lived with her and is finding it hard now that she’s gone.
He’s not sure how these two pathetic dickfaces managed to locate him, but yelling takes more energy than he has and he’s too angry to give it a shot.
A laugh escapes his lips. Low and empty and hoarse. “You shouldn’t fucking be here.”
He can practically see the green-haired idiot’s sad, pathetic face. “Kacchan…”
“I’m fucking warning you, Deku. You don’t want to mess with me right now.”
“Did you not fucking hear me?!” he yells, his fist slamming into the cement with enough force to crack it and split his skin. “I said to leave me the fuck alone!”
“This isn’t what she’d want for you.”
In an instant, Bakugou is on his feet and his fists are curled in the front of Deku’s shirt as he slams him into the wall, snarling and snapping like a rabid dog. His words are unintelligible, his voice more anger than sorrow, but it’s the look on Deku’s face that gets him: unflinching, unoffended. Not scared or alarmed or surprised. Just… sad.
Bakugou has him pinned against a wall and the bastard has the nerve to look fucking sad.
He has never wanted to kill anyone as much as he does in this moment. Instead, he tightens his grip in Deku’s shirt and throws the bastard to the side like a piece of trash he’s discarding. Deku doesn’t even try to catch himself, even though Bakugou knows he’s perfectly capable. The green-haired idiot simply lets himself fall onto his ass, palms pressed against the rough cement of the roof, and it severely pisses Bakugou off.
“What the fuck is your problem?” he explodes like he’s the physical embodiment of his Quirk instead of an actual person, and the way Deku and Todoroki stare at him, silent and still and wary, makes him want to blow up the fucking world. “You came here to spit in my face? To rub it all in? To tell me I’m a fucking idiot? You think I don’t already fucking know that?!”
“I didn’t love her!” he screams. “We weren’t together, weren’t dating, weren’t even fucking friends. We shared an apartment for convenience and suddenly everyone’s looking at me like they’re expecting me to break down at any moment, like I actually give a fucking damn that she’s gone—but I don’t, alright? I don’t. So you can go back to whatever hole you crawled out of and tell all those other nosy bastards that I don’t fucking need their sympathy and I certainly don’t need their fucking concern. I’m fine, damn it. So what if she’s dead? It’s not like she mattered to me anyway.”
All the words burst out of him in a rush, and despite how much he tells himself it makes him feel better, his chest only gets tighter and his eyes burn like he’s walking straight through burning hell.
Much to Bakugou’s surprise, Deku doesn’t get angry or offended that he’s acting flippant towards his friend’s death. If anything, his expression grows sadder. “Okay,” he says quietly. “Okay, Kacchan. I get it. I’m sorry. It’s okay.”
Bakugou is angry—so angry. So angry that tears blur his vision and his chest feels like it’s going to burst. “Yeah?” He wipes a shaky hand across his face. Stumbles back. “So get the fuck out of here then. I don’t fucking need you, and I certainly don’t need you—” He sneers at Todoroki, stoic and silent as ever. “—when it’s clear you only tagged along to make sure I don’t beat up your fucking boyfriend again.”
Todoroki merely blinks without reacting, and Bakugou should’ve known how much that would piss him off.
Whirling around, he slams his fist against the wall, rough bricks cutting into his knuckles as he shakes with the effort it takes to keep from using Deku as his own personal punching bag. Just like old times. He’s better than that.
She used to say he was, at least.
“Well?” he snarls, voice cracking. “I told you to fucking leave. What the fuck are you still doing here?”
“Okay, Kacchan,” whispers Deku. “We’ll go. If that’s what you want.”
“Of course it fucking is. Didn’t you hear me the first time?”
“I just… I wanted to tell you that even if you didn’t love her, she—”
His shoulders tighten as if he’s shot, and in an instant, he’s whipped around and he’s grabbing for Deku again, but this time Todoroki steps in and shoves him back with an intangible wave of frost, his dual-colored eyes colder than the ice he manifests. A warning.
Bakugou wants to hate Todoroki for his threat, but a bigger part of him hates the elemental for his instincts more than anything else—because if Bakugou had been able to move that fast, if Bakugou had been able to react like that, wouldn’t this all be some fucking nightmare scenario instead of their fucked-up reality?
If he was good enough, quick enough, strong enough, wouldn’t Uraraka still be alive?
“Don’t,” he says instead, and he hates himself for sounding so weak, so broken, so fucking lost. The self-loathing cuts deep. It always has. “Don’t you fucking dare.”
There’s a quiet, lengthy pause. “Don’t you want to know how she felt?”
“You think I want to hear this shit from you?! If Uraraka wanted me to know something, she would’ve told me herself. That’s who she was. She wasn’t a fucking coward, and she certainly wasn’t the kind of girl who would’ve wanted her bitchy ass best friend to spew her secrets post-mortem as if we were in some shitty fucking teen drama. You should know her better than that!”
“I know that she never would’ve stayed with someone who didn’t deserve it, and I know that if she were ever put in a position where she was forced to leave that person behind, she’d want me to make sure he wasn’t alone.” Deku’s green eyes are far too earnest, and Bakugou has to turn his back on him, fists shaking at his sides, lest he attempt murder again before that stupid idiot’s best friend’s body has a chance to decompose.
That thought cripples him.
“She loved that you never underestimated her, Kacchan; she made that clear to anyone who ever underestimated you. But despite your strength and your faith in her, she was always so terrified that if anything happened to her, you’d never let anyone in again.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not about to start with you. Get the fuck out of here," Bakugou growls. "Now!”
He doesn’t watch them go, but when he’s alone on the roof again, he only feels cold.
The days pass by slowly and not at all.
“What about grey?” she asks, holding up the plastic case as she tilts her head, studying it. “It was one of our school colors, after all. Gotta pay homage to our roots, even after all these years. We can even go with a bit of green, if you want.”
Bakugou makes a noise of displeasure at the back of his throat as he shoves his fists deeper into his pockets, grumbling, “I don’t fucking care. Do what you want.”
She shoots him a look. “This is for your room too, Bakugou. You could at least pretend to care.”
“You want me to fucking lie to you then?” When she makes a face, Bakugou groans internally but shifts his weight to look at her, despite how obviously he doesn’t want to be here right now. “Look, I don’t fucking care what color sheets you want to put on our fucking bed. Chances are if we’re spending any time in it at all, we’ll either be passed the fuck out from exhaustion after working all day or you’ll be the only thing under me that I’ll be paying attention to. Got it, angelface?”
Her cheeks are deliciously pink, and if they weren’t in a department store, he’d throw her on the nearest flat surface and have his dirty way with her. “G-got it,” she stutters. She drops her gaze from his and exchanges one plastic case for another, holding the bundle of sheets tightly against her ample chest. “Red then.”
Bakugou grunts impatiently. “Red?”
“It’s my favorite color. We can—we can pair it with black, because black goes with anything, with little splashes of white and grey here and there. It’ll be modern and classic without stealing from your masculinity. I promise.”
“Since when is red your favorite fucking color?” He doesn’t like that he doesn’t know that about her. He’s an asshole, but he’s not inattentive, and certainly not when it comes to her.
A shy smile tilts her lips. “It’s the color of your eyes.”
Bakugou Katsuki is in his twenties. He’s no longer an angry little boy who is unable to express his emotions in a healthy way and he blows up a hell of a lot less than he used to—literally and figuratively—but he still blushes like he’s fifteen with a crush every time Uraraka looks at him like this.
The first time they find him, they’re surprised he’s sober. It annoying as hell. Since when has he ever been the kind of guy who drowns his emotions in alcohol? Needing self-medication is for the weak, and Bakugou is the strongest motherfucker there is.
He ignores the fact that Uraraka used to take anti-anxiety meds. She doesn’t count. The rules don’t apply to her. They never did.
His gym is pretty empty this time of day. There once was a stretch when there was a spike in applications because fans found out that this was where one of the country’s best heroes trained, but they were quickly turned away. This club thrives on anonymity and providing a safe, comfortable place for heroes to train, and they live up to their promise by keeping unwanted people out.
Most of the time, at least.
“What the fuck do you guys want?” Bakugou asks flatly, dropping his stance and gesturing for his trainer to take five. He knows his former classmates well enough that he can recognize their stubbornness will take a chunk out of his work-out time and trying to ignore them will only make them more annoying, not less.
Kirishima, Kaminari, Sero, and Ashido have always been persistent motherfuckers. Graduation didn’t change that one bit.
“What the fuck do we want?” Kaminari repeats incredulously. “Dude, no one’s heard from you in months! You haven’t been answering your phone. Completely abandoned your old apartment and didn’t tell anyone where you went. We thought you were on a bender, or passed out in some random bar, or unconscious in a ditch somewhere. If not for the continuous reports of you saving people all over the region, we would’ve thought you were dead. We had to hire a chick with a tracking Quirk just to find you!”
They all look startled at Bakugou’s flat tone of voice, more so than if he’d yelled. In fact, they look as if they expected him to yell and sort of want to rush him to the nearest doctor to make sure there’s nothing wrong with his head.
Exchanging a look with the others, Kirishima says slowly, “We’re just a little worried about you, man.”
“Well, don’t be. I’m fine.”
Cold, emotionless Bakugou seems to terrify the others more than if a villain had burst into the room with the ability to annihilate the entire world. While most of them look startled and alarmed, Kirishima merely stares at Bakugou like he’s a stranger he’s never seen before. “What the hell happened to you?”
“I grew the fuck up.” He tugs on the wrist of his glove, straightening it. “Now are we done here? I need to get back to training. My patrol starts at eight.”
Apparently it was a rhetorical question because Bakugou beckons his boxing coach with two fingers to start, completely disregarding the four idiots who came around way too often when Uraraka was still here. He takes his energy out on the pads, punching and kicking in tandem until he no longer feels a rhythm, drowning everything else out in practiced motions he puts all his strength into because he doesn’t give enough shits to put it into anything else.
At some point, his former classmates leave. They always leave.
He doesn’t watch them go either.
Anger is for people who care, and he doesn’t seem to care about anything these days.
“GOD FUCKING DAMN IT!” he roars, banging his fists against the bathroom door for what feels like the millionth time. “I’m not fucking kidding, roundface! This is the last time I’m telling you to hurry the fuck up before I blow open the door, throw you over my shoulder, and carry you the fuck out of here, whether you’re ready or not!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” he hears her sigh on the other side of the wood. “Jeez, Bakugou, you’d think you’d learn to be more patient considering we’ve shared a bathroom for years now.”
“Yeah, well, maybe I don’t like being fucking locked out for once,” he snaps. He won’t admit it, but being exiled while she’s getting ready is not something he’s used to—or pleased with. He’s a needy fucking bastard when it comes to her, and if they’re going to share an apartment, the least she can give him is a full-length view while she’s changing. Maybe even the opportunity to cop a feel.
He can almost picture her grin. “Are you pouting?”
“Fuck no!” Yes.
Her giggle is pure sunshine, even when they’re separated by a wall. “Have I ever told you how cute you are?”
“You wouldn’t fucking dare,” he growls, then chokes when the door finally swings open and his tease of a roommate steps out looking like something from a wet fucking dream.
Slinky black dress. Plunging neckline. A slit up the side giving him the most painful fucking peek of her perfect fucking thighs. She’s grown her hair out over the years, but she’s twisted the chocolatey strands in a flawless updo that piles messy curls behind her head while letting two layered locks fall forward, framing her face in a way that reminds him of when they were teenagers.
But what really gets him is the look on her face: pale with flushed cheeks and big brown eyes filled with shyness and insecurity, as if there’s any chance in hell she doesn’t know she’s the most gorgeous fucking creature on this Earth.
“What do you think?” she asks shyly.
His answer is immediate. “I think there’s no fucking way I’m letting you leave this apartment wearing that dress.” When she bursts into laughter, he growls and insists, “I’m fucking serious! You think I want anyone but me seeing you like this? Fuck that! We’re staying home.”
She’s smiling so wide it must hurt her cheeks. “You’re sweet, Bakugou.”
“I’m not trying to be funny.”
“Come on, we’re going to be late.”
“Damn it, roundface! I mean it!”
They ended up being on time to that stupid hero gala that they were invited to—something he never would’ve attended had she not twisted his arm into being her date—and he predictably spent the entire time growling at anyone who so much as looked her way.
But when they got home that night, she made it up to him.
God did she ever.
The doorbell wakes him up.
He fucking hates the doorbell in his apartment. It’s loud and obnoxious, echoing against empty walls and rooms like they’re made of fucking metal or something and this box of a home is a cage.
It’s not the most inaccurate of comparisons. Ever since he moved out of Uraraka’s place—literally bought out his lease and got Shouji to throw everything inside out so he wouldn’t have to go back for even a second—Bakugou has kept his belongings to a minimum and his apartment is no exception.
There’s one bed, one dresser, one table, and one chair. That’s it. Nothing else. His clothes don’t even fill up half the closet and his cupboards barely have two plates—for when he’s too lazy to wash his dishes right away, not for company. There are five rooms in this apartment—three common, the others supposedly for sleeping—but only two of them have a wink of furniture in them, not counting kitchen appliances that came with the place.
He made the mistake of creating a home before. All of it was taken away from him in an instant, leaving him with nothing but headaches and sharp pains he could never localize.
He’s never going to fuck up like that again. Never going to feel like that again.
Everything in his apartment is grey.
Reaching over to check his phone on the ground—he doesn’t even have a night table or alarm clock—he scowls when he realizes how early it is. For him, at least. These days, he goes to bed at seven in the morning and wakes up at noon. It was a difficult adjustment for a guy who had always gone to bed early and woken up at dawn like clockwork—after all, that’s what everyone said you were supposed to do—but he did it. He may have learned to do it with some help over the years, but old habits die hard, and a nocturnal schedule with a partner is still a nocturnal schedule even when she’s dead.
No one told him when he was training to be a hero that he’d be forced to be a night owl. Crime rates are just higher after dark. By patrolling when the sun does down, he gets the most fucked-up cases to tackle—which is exactly what he needs.
Bakugou throws open the door without checking through the peephole first and instantly regrets it. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
Deku looks nervous but otherwise determined as he shifts on his feet. Before Bakugou can slam the door in his face, the green-haired idiot quickly ducks inside, scampering into the center of the empty room to settle into a ready stance as if he expects to be thrown out on his ass but is prepared to fight against it using any means necessary.
It’s useless though, because Bakugou doesn’t try to kick him out at all. He doesn’t even look angry, just annoyed, like Deku’s a fly that managed to sneak into his apartment and chasing him out is more effort than it’s worth.
When Deku realizes that Bakugou isn’t screaming or trying to fight him, his shoulders go slack. His green eyes widen as he drops his fists to his side. “Oh my god, they were right. You are broken.”
Bakugou’s expression settles into a scowl. “I see you’ve been talking to Kirishima’s crew.”
“They used to be your crew, Kacchan! Your friends—and they’re worried about you.”
“Like I told them, I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine,” Deku insists. “You—you aren’t yelling at me and you haven’t been picking pointless fights and even reports of you being rude to the people you save have completely vanished! It’s like you’re not even the same person anymore.”
“So you’re mad because I’m no longer an explosive member of society,” he deadpans.
His childhood friend splutters. “N-no, of course not! That’s not—”
“If you came all the way out here to lecture me about my lack of anger problems, you can save it. I didn’t finish work until long after the sun came up, so I’m fucking exhausted. Now are you going to get the hell out of my apartment or am I going to have to make you?”
Deku stares at him like he suddenly stripped naked and started dancing like an exuberant monkey. “Kacchan, what happened to you?”
As soon as the words leave his mouth, he seems to realize that it was the absolute worst thing he could’ve said. Bakugou can’t stop the corner of his mouth from tightening infinitesimally and his hand clenches over the edge of the door.
Mentioning Uraraka, even indirectly, is forbidden. It might as well be law. Everyone knows better.
Except this asshole, apparently.
“Get the fuck out.”
Deku winces. “I didn’t mean… Look, I know how hard her death was on you and I know you’re still trying to deal with it in your own way, but—”
“How many times do I have to tell you that I’m not fucking grieving?” Bakugou bursts out, the steel door charring beneath his palm. Well, there goes his deposit. “You think this has anything to do with her? You think I’m so weak that I can’t function normally without her?” He lets out a low, dark laugh. “Bull-fucking-shit. I’m just the same as I’ve always been. Nothing has changed. If you can’t see it, it’s because you’re the one who’s so fucked up in the head that you’re projecting your issues onto me. I’m FINE. I’m GOOD. I’m just trying to live my fucking life without a bunch of nitwits trying to butt their heads where they don’t belong and ANNOY THE FUCK OUT OF ME.”
Green eyes grow wide and stunned. “I—”
“This is what you wanted, huh? You wanted me to explode? Well, here it is. NOW GET THE FUCK OUT!”
All dreams are nightmares, and the nightmares haunt him.
“What the fuck is this?”
“Hm?” Uraraka makes a distracted noise under her breath before she reappears out from their closet, now dressed in one of his old t-shirts that looks so damn good on her he never wants to see her in anything else. When she sees him staring at her phone, she frowns, crawling up the bed to see what he’s looking at, but her expression relaxes as soon as she peers over his shoulder at the calendar reminder on the lock screen. “Oh. It’s no big deal, just a doctor’s appointment.”
“Yeah, I can fucking see that,” he says sarcastically. “I meant, what the hell for?” Though his voice is sharp and unhappy, he knows she can hear the worry underneath: Are you okay? What’s wrong? Why do you need to see the doctor? Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?
Her expression softens. “I’m okay, I promise. I just have to renew my birth control. I got the implant before graduation, and it’s been four years. With how much time you spend inside me, I’ve gotta be pretty diligent with my timelines. It’s about time I replace it.”
Warmth rushes through his face. “Oh.”
“Yeah. Oh,” she teases, and pecks a kiss on a cheek while he scowls through his massive blush. Even after all this time, this girl still manages to embarrass him with one sly comment. It’s ridiculous. She’s ridiculous.
God, he wants her so fucking much.
“So you’re getting the implant again?” he asks as he settles back into bed and she curls up against his side like a needy puppy.
“Mm,” she hums noncommittedly. “S’easy. Four years. No worry.”
“Are there any options that aren’t as long-term?”
He’s aware he must resemble a cherry when she stiffens against him, but when she sits up to look at him, he keeps his gaze on where he’s playing nervously with her fingers. “I’m sorry?”
“I just—” Fucking fuck fuck. “—I was wondering if you maybe wanted to do something less definite. Easier to, uh, change if you decided you didn’t need it anymore.”
There is a very long silence in which he is too much of a coward to look at her, and then, “Bakugou, I’m twenty-two.”
He cringes inwardly. “Y-yeah, I fucking know that! Duh!”
“We barely finished our apprenticeships.”
“I just—I mean—I didn’t—you don’t—ahhhhhrgggggmmmmnnn you know what, fucking forget it,” he blurts out in a rush, his face so blisteringly red that he knows he must be one big, fat, idiotic tomato. “I didn’t mean to—uurrrghhhh motherfucking shit fuck shit—I just, I know we’re young and I’m a dumbass and I didn’t mean anything by it so we should just fucking drop it, alright? Please drop it.”
Another pause. “Bakugou Katsuki, did you just ask me what I think you did?”
Oh sweet fuck, he’s going to die of embarrassment. “I—I—I—”
“Are you implying you want to make pretty little babies with me?”
Teasing. Her voice is fucking teasing.
With a rumbling growl, his head snaps up to see the glittering amusement in her bright eyes for a split second before he’s tackling her to the bed, muffled squeals and shrieks filling the air as he tickles her like a madman and she squirms until she cries. “S-s-stop! Bakugou! Ohmygod! I surrender! PLEASE!”
“You little fucking brat,” he rumbles against her bare stomach as he shoves the shirt up to her chest and blows a raspberry against her creamy skin, making her laugh even harder as she pushes playfully against him.
“You like embarrassing me then, huh? You like making me feel like I’m going to burst with humiliation?” He tickles her harder. “You’re a fucking sadist, aren’t you?”
“I thought—you already—knew that,” she gasps between fits of laughter.
His girl always has to be snarky, even under playful duress. It is suddenly very, very hard to maintain his scowl. “My kinky little angel,” he croons, stopping his tickling by flattening his palms against her smooth skin and pushing them all the way up her sides to her breasts, squeezing tightly.
Uraraka immediately moans, and the speed at which she goes from squealing thrash-monster to liquid desire would astound him if he weren’t right there with her, her sound of pleasure shooting straight to his dick and making things very, very hard. “Bakugou—”
Suddenly he’s floating above her and she’s squealing apologies as he curses the world, limbs flapping uselessly at the air as he thrashes for release. She tries to get him to calm down so she can reverse her Quirk, but he’s angry and red-faced, and by the time she brings him back to the ground, she’s laughing so hard he can’t even kiss her.
“God fucking damn it, Uraraka!”
“I—I—I—I’m sorry,” she gasps through fits of roaring laughter, visibly endeared by the disgruntled look on his face. “I didn’t mean to, I swear!”
“That’s it!” he rants. “I’m fucking done! That’s what I get for being fucking nice! Never again!”
“Wait, Bakugou! Let me make it up to you.”
“Fucking hell if I’ll let you—nnngggghh!”
Later, in a not-so-rare moment of tenderness, Uraraka admitted she wanted two kids, maybe three. At least one of each.
Bakugou, in not as many words, agreed.
The next morning, she went on the pill.
Deku finds him at her grave on a Tuesday morning. The green-haired man doesn’t say a word and Bakugou doesn’t need him to. The silence is filled with birds. In the distance, the groundskeeper mows the lawn. Flowers come and go.
It’s late spring. Bakugou is soaking wet, but the sky is clearing.
It took the wimpy idiot a year, but he finally realized this was all Bakugou needed.
Grief is a funny thing.
It’s another year before he willingly occupies the same space as his former classmates. Then another before they get him to yell at them again, and they get so sappy about it with tears and everything that he nearly blows them out the window for being so damn annoying.
By the time he’s twenty-seven, his friends stop nagging because they no longer have to.
When he’s twenty-eight, Deku and Todoroki finally have their wedding. They’d been waiting; Bakugou knows that now. They save a seat for her and there’s not a single dry eye in the audience.
When he’s twenty-nine, Shouji reveals that he never threw away Uraraka’s stuff from their apartment. He kept it in a storage unit in case Bakugou ever wanted to see them again, and for the first time in six years, Bakugou initiates a hug.
When he’s thirty, he becomes an uncle. Deku and Todoroki name their daughter Ura-chan, and Bakugou knows the moment he holds her in his arms for the first time that she’s going to be the most spoiled little brat in the history of the universe.
When he’s thirty-one, he spends an entire night by Uraraka’s headstone and doesn’t say a word.
When he’s thirty-two, he saves the world and the world thanks him by letting him go.
“You know I’m a liar, right?”
“I’m a liar. I’m a liar and I’ve always been a liar and I lied to everyone every day, not because I was ashamed, but because you’re mine, and I didn’t want to share you, not with anyone, even when you were gone. I’m a liar, but I always knew what I felt and I was too much of a coward to say it then, especially to myself. I’m a liar, but I fucking love you, angelface, and I’m not lying now.”
To his surprise, she laughs so hard she cries, and even though he’s puzzled and flustered and embarrassed as hell, he doesn’t let her go, not for a second, not ever again, now that they’re finally together.
“What the fuck is so funny?!”
“Hate to be the one to break it to you, Bakugou, but you’re not a very good at pretending with people who know you. All our friends saw right through you from the beginning. Why do you think they tried so hard after I was gone? You were so obvious it was almost adorable.”
“TAKE THAT BACK.”
“That you’re obvious or that you’re cute?”
“Can’t take back the truth.”
“Why you little—”
She squeals, and he chases, and they roll, over and over, in a field that’s too green under a sky that’s too blue, but it’s okay because they’re together and that’s everything he’s been waiting for.
“You know I missed you, right? I really fucking missed you. So fucking much.”
“I know, Bakugou. I missed you, too.” A soft kiss, feather-light. Heaven. “Welcome home.”