Kirishima is slowly roused from sleep by the feel of his bed dipping from a shift in weight around him. He mutters tiredly, spread-eagle as he is, and thoughtlessly shifts to rub at his eye with the back of his hand. The smell of something burnt and sweet and smokey further pulls him out of his faceless dream, and his nose scrunches as the scent grows stronger as the bed dips further.
Suddenly, he feels a gentle hand on his, tugging his own away.
That causes a mild panic to run through him because as far as he knows, there shouldn’t be anyone else touching him. He jolts slightly with a soft snore, confusedly blinking his eyes open - or one - since unknown fingers are still ghosting over his scar and he has to keep one eye shut.
Blurry eyed, it takes several blinks and him reaching up to grab the wandering hand at his face before he can make out who is in his room. It should be pitch black in his room but instead, there’s a strange flickering amber glow sending warm shadows dancing across the walls and ceiling of his dorm room.
That causes him even more concern, and he’s half lifting himself up on his elbows when he finally makes out the face close to his own, and the wrist he’s been holding onto shifts so that instead of stroking his scarred eyelid, a warm hand is now gently cupping his jaw, thumb rubbing over his cheek.
It’s definitely Bakugou’s face, not even a full foot away from his. The other looks serious with sweat on his brow, but his expression - although seemingly baffled by something - gentles, some.
Being this close with Bakugou crouching over him in the dorm room in the dark - how late was it anyway - sends a small thrill through him, and he feels like he should be really excited by it, but mostly he’s just… confused.
“What time isst?”
He glances over at his alarm - having to shift his face more than usual because Bakugou hasn’t let go of his face and only moves his hand to thumb under his eye at the motion - and sees its not even six in the morning yet.
For the first time, he realizes the disconcerting lights dancing around his room aren’t because of a weird power surge, but because Bakugou is holding a flame in his other hand. Its crackling with nearly silent pops and is almost entirely smokeless.
He didn’t even know Bakugou could do that!
He manages to squirm and wiggle his way into a sitting position, noticing Bakugou still isn’t climbing off of where he near straddles him on the outside of the covers - but the fact is almost forgotten as soon as he gets a good look at what Bakugou is wearing.
Well, or not wearing? His shirt is gone, and it looks like he has some sort of thick jewelry hanging off his neck, and either his cover - or something else - is trailing back off his shoulders. Something dangles from his ears and Kirishima is certain they look like fang earrings - and although that is incredibly manly looking - it throws Kirishima off not only because it’s so unusual for Bakugou to wear something remotely like this - but because of how damn well it seemingly compliments him.
He can’t help but flush as he stutters out a response his sleep-ridden brain can’t hold back.
“D-dude, what are you wearing…?”
Bakugou cocks his head to the side, eyes narrowing some - and Kirishima can’t help but focus on those red eyes now. Were Bakugou’s eyes always…?
Vividly, the blonde’s eyes seem to be glowing in the dark. Bright, red, and pulsing - much like the crackling flame he keeps caged in his hand.
Kirishima takes a moment to close his eyes and shake his head to help wake himself up, dislodging Bakugou’s hand - who withdraws it and instead rests it on his knee.
He gently slaps his palms against his cheeks a few times, wondering if perhaps he’s dreaming only to open his eyes once more and see Bakugou still patiently watching him with a pensive and somewhat baffled expression.
“Uh, okay, what’s going on, Bakubro? Did… did you have a nightmare again?”
He says this more quietly, trying to be as reassuring as possible. It wouldn’t be the first time Bakugou had come into his room before to wait out a bad dream until morning came, but this is the first time he’s ever come in with such strange attire on.
It’s all really exciting in its own way, but Kirishima can’t help but think something’s wrong.
Bakugou is looking at him oddly again, almost like there’s something wrong with what’s in front of him but he can’t quite put his finger on it. Embarrassed, Kirishima brings the back of his hand up to wipe his chin in case he’s drooled in his sleep and is mortified to see he had, in fact, drooled quite a bit . No wonder Bakugou’s staring at him - although, it’s not like its the first time he’s seen that either!
“Nightmare…? You were the one who was just asleep, Eijirou.”
His first name takes him off guard enough that he is openly shocked into full wakefulness, and he flounders speechlessly as his entire face heats up and his toes curl. So many emotions swirl through him like a lightning storm, from surprise and elation to pure unadulterated shock and disbelief. He can only settle on being embarrassedly mortified and pleased.
“Y-yeah, that’s right. You’re here. In the dorms. W-with me.”
His heart is beating like crazy as a memory surfaces.
Once before, Bakugou had woken up in a daze after he’d accidentally fallen asleep while tutoring him for an exam. When he’d woken Bakugou back up the blonde had been in a disoriented and frightened daze, bordering on almost having a violent outburst before he’d stormed back to his room and refused to speak of it again.
Kirishima can’t help but worry this might be like that now, but Bakugou seems perfectly calm if not further puzzled by his words.
“The ‘dorms…?’ What do you mean dorms , where are we?”
Make that definitely confused.
“H-hold on, man…”
With some shifting and nudging, he manages to climb off his bed - with Bakugou staying right at his shoulder, until Kirishima half-stumbles into his desk and the wall before getting ahold of his lamp’s lightswitch and turning it on.
Light brightens his room and Bakugou blinks in what now looks like wariness as he squints against the light and looks around. The flame goes out in his other hand as he closes his fist.
The more he looks around, the more miffed the blonde appears before Bakugou refocuses on him, eyes narrowing in suspicion. Kirishima normally feels like he can read Bakugou better these days, catching small nuances he used to miss, but something is definitely off with the blonde that Kirishima just can’t put his finger on.
“Where’s the cave we were just in…? What happened?”
“Caves? What caves? We’re at U.A., remember?”
It’s his voice, Kirishima thinks. It’s a little deeper. Damn, almost huskier in a way. Is it because he was roused from sleep…? No, it’s not just that. There’s a calmer tone to it too, less of a growl and more of a natural baritone sound to it.
Once he realizes that, Kirishima begins to realize other things one after another.
Bakugou’s taller, by a few inches. He’s broader in his shoulders and arms too.
The realization makes an uneasy chill tingle up his spine.
“ Uei? What are we doing back in damn Uei for? We were heading in the opposite direction!”
Even his anger is different, more in disbelief than bursting at the seams.
For the first time, Kirishima feels dread settle in his stomach. Bakugou watches him with a troubled expression, arms crossed, and although Kirishima is certain the person in front of him looks just like Bakugou - sounds just like him - he’s not certain they’re really his best friend.
The unsettling chill against his spine only grows as he struggles to find his voice.
“...are you really Bakugou?”
Bakugou blinks at him. Then he frowns and comes forward and Kirishima backs up a step and knocks into his chair and desk again. Alarm flickers onto both of their expressions before Bakugou seems to gentle his motions. He lays a hand on his own chest, and there’s warmth there and fire at his fingertips. It crackles like explosions, but the sounds are muffled into quiet cracks and pops.
“Are you the one who had a nightmare, Eijirou…?”
It’s really disconcerting seeing such an unsettled expression on Bakugou’s face, as if he’s the one not making any sense. Seeing it morph into a comforting and consoling expression makes his heart twinge and although he’s not sure if he should move away or not, he stays put as Bakugou approaches him and moves to place his hand on Kirishima’s chest.
He’s ready to harden in an instant, each crack and pop trying his nerves, but the small flaming explosions don’t hurt at all and Bakugou’s back to cupping the side of his face again, reexamining his scarred eyelid with critical eyes.
Eyes that are still glowing, and brighter than what he remembers.
“I… I can feel it. You’re Eijirou… But you feel… Different. Changed. Your magic feels so…”
Bakugou cuts off tersely, staring into his eyes before shifting his hand away. Instead he presses his cheek into Kirishima’s chest as if he’s trying to hear something. It makes Kirishima’s heart skip a beat or two, and that’s definitely bad for his health, but he can only flush and sputter quietly and hold his hands up unsurely.
Bakugou’s being so weird.
He’s not sure if he should try to hug Bakugou, or even attempt to touch him right now - and he’s left floundering as Bakugou’s cheekbone stays tightly pressed up against his chest.
“Um, Bakugou, what are you doing…?”
He finally shifts to place a hand back on his desk, knocking over a mug full of pens and pencils on accident with a clatter of noise, but instead of trying to pick them up he places his palm on the overturned mug to quiet it.
Bakugou stands up again, eyes narrowed and lips thinned. This is a expression he’s seen a lot. Determination, and a burning desire to understand something that’s gotten in his way. Normally to understand if that something is explodable, but…
But then Bakugou’s lips are against his and Kirishima is shocked so much that he actually yelps into the kiss and bites down . He jostles the desk against the wall again - and the mug under his hand breaks as he puts pressure on it and it cracks apart.
Bakugou barely reacts to the sharp graze of teeth against his lips, instead further narrowing his eyes, before slowly pulling away. When he does, he hums in thought, seemingly unbothered by his blood dripping down his chin.
“Definitely Eijirou,” he states as his tongue comes out to lick his bloodied lip, and even though Kirishima squeaks again at the display, Bakugou’s eyes and words are still full of self-assurance as he thumbs his wound, “but not my Eijirou.”
Kirishima, meanwhile, still has his hands pressed over his lips, either to guard them or just because he’s so shocked - he’s not sure of which.
Bakugou just kissed him.
Only vehemently repeating the mantra of how unmanly it would be to swoon and pass out stops him from doing something incredibly embarrassing.
“Wh-why would you do th-that?”
He’s mortified of how his voice catches, but Bakugou merely lifts an arched eyebrow. Before he can say anything, there’s the sound of a door slamming shut and heavy footfalls coming from down the hall before two loud bangs sound against his door.
“Oi, Kirishima, the fuck are you doing in there!?”
The voice is all too familiar, even stressed with anger and what Kirishima thinks might be laced with alarm.
Kirishima’s stomach drops at the voice as he turns to face Bakugou, only to find him stepping to face the door, arms crossing once more, expression weirdly thoughtful at this unexpected outburst.
Kirishima knows that voice. He knows just as well as he knows his own, and that’s why he’s scared, because it’s definitely Bakugou’s voice on the other side of that door, despite Bakugou being right beside him right now .
For a moment he thinks this Bakugou might try to stop him from going to the door, but he merely watches and waits as another sharp knock - this one louder - causes Kirishima to flinch. Seeing as he makes no moves to stop him, Kirishima shimmies around him and drops his hands from his mouth as he heads for the door.
Vaguely, in some shock, he worries if he’s having some sort of fever dream as he pulls his door open and places his hand against the frame for balance.
It hurts, for some reason.
Bakugou’s there too, and Kirishima’s still surprised despite himself. But this Bakugou looks like the one he knows - from his black tank top down to his familiar baggy joggers. He looks wide-awake and miffed despite his bed-ridden hair, and his sharp gaze quickly assess him top to bottom.
“The hell are you doing waking me up so… The shit happened to your lip?”
It takes Kirishima by surprise to taste the copper metalic tange of blood in his mouth, but that’s enough to shock him out of his stupor to speak again.
“Bakugou. Holy shit. You are Bakugou, right!?”
Bakugou looks at him now with a lifted eyebrow, and if it isn’t the exact same expression as the one he’d just seen moments ago.
“The hell are you on about...?”
Kirishima shifts his hand to put it against his forehead, because wow, his head is beginning to hurt. Only Bakugou’s carmine eyes zero in on the motion, and then he’s catching him by the wrist and turning his hand over to look at his palm.
“You’re bleeding, idiot! How did you manage to slice your palm open when you have a hardening quirk!?”
Kirishima is tongue-tied because what’s he supposed to say!? ‘Oh, well, you see, there’s another manly Bakugou in my room right now, and he happened to startle me into breaking my mug and I guess that it sliced open my palm, but until now I didn’t even notice it because he just kissed me but like oops I bit him and ohmygosh-ifBakugou-isrighthere-whoisinmyroom-’
Before he could get anything out, a hand settles on him from behind and he’s jerked back a step out of the doorway with another yelp. Bakugou looks just as startled and shocked as he does when his door is slammed shut between them.
Then he’s spun around and Kirishima pushes his back against the door in alarm, fists up and quirk already beginning to harden, but imposter? Bakugou is regarding him calmly, if not smugly, and boy, that look should not look as familiar or be as comforting as it is.
“I thought so. That explains it. If there is another me here…”
Glowing red eyes trace over him as a fist rattles at the doorknob at his back, Bakugou’s voice shouting from the other side as the Bakugou right in front of him keeps one arm firmly pressed against the door to keep it from opening.
This strange Bakugou comes to press his hand against the side of his face again, thumb on his scar, and with such a gentle expression that leaves Kirishima breathless and his quirk unsteady, he purrs: “...then, of course, there’s going to be another... Eijirou too.”