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Why Not Both?

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6:30 AM

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Katsuki rolled over and grabbed his phone from the ground and snoozed it. The soft colors of the morning sunrise filled the bedroom and he tossed an arm over his eyes to block out the light.  He only got two hours of sleep and needed more if he was going to survive today, but he didn’t have the luxury for it. Groaning, he tossed the sheets aside and sat up. He rubbed the heel of his hands into his eyes, trying to erase the sleepiness from them.

Katsuki’s hands froze as he heard the soft noise next to him. He removed them slowly and looked to the other side of the bed. Deku was curled up on his side with a plush toy superhero hugged close to him. Katsuki let out a short sigh and moved the hair out of Deku’s face. He was still asleep and Katsuki wasn’t ready for him to wake up yet.

He pulled himself away from the bed and shoved his phone into his pajama shorts pocket. A yawn escaped him and he covered it with the back of his hand as he approached the door. He cast a glance behind him to make sure the kid was still asleep, and assured that he was, he left and pulled the door closed behind him, leaving it cracked so Deku could still get out easily.

Outside their bedroom sat the mini living space in their single bedroom apartment. There was a well used red love-seat in the middle, followed by a short coffee table covered in crayons and Deku’s drawings. Katsuki didn’t really use the T.V., but Deku usually watched some kind of cartoon about animals or superheroes in the morning while they were getting ready.

It took him a few strides to make it to the kitchen and he stopped in front of the fridge, his eyes scanning the whiteboard calendar that stuck to the front. He grabbed a black marker and X’ed out yesterday. He chewed the inside of his cheek as he noticed ‘ORGO QUIZ’ in red on today.

“Fuck,” Katsuki grumbled. He’d been too occupied with work and Deku to do any hardcore studying for it. He felt like he knew the stuff for it, but he wanted to do better than everyone else on it. He opened the fridge and pulled out the milk and eggs, followed by some left over food from his work. He aggranded them on the counter and dropped a cup in the rice cooker before starting it.

Katsuki started the stove and pulled two bento containers from the sink and set them aside. He had to make lunch for him and Deku, but they weren’t picky when it came to food. That was one thing their parents taught them well: stay open minded to what you eat. He grabbed a few more things from around the kitchen and set the stove up to make eggs for breakfast and an omelet for their lunch.

He walked over to the bar on the opposite side of the kitchen and pulled his organic chemistry book and flashcards from his bag. Flipping to a marked page, he started reading the material while muttering formulas and theories under his breath.

This was his normal morning routine: wake up then cook their food while studying for his classes. Katsuki didn’t have any free time during the week, mainly because of his work being the evening and night shifts. But he continued to score the top grades in his classes and managed to take care of his four year old brother in the process. He could brag and say he mastered the craft, if only it hadn’t been dropped on him a year ago.

His phone buzzed and he pulled it out after removing the omelet from the pan.

{Group: Orgo Succs}

[Unknown number] 7:02

Are we meeting up today?

[Unknown number] 7:04

Yeah, library like usual

[Unknown Number] 7:04

YESS

A few more messages came through, but he ignored them and set the device aside. A few people in his chemistry course who sat around him noticed he’d aced the first exam and all the quizzes, and forced him into a study group with them.

Idiots, learn the damn material yourselves.” He felt his eye twitch, but he also considered that going might actually help him reinforce some of the information he needed to know. He sighed and tried to figure out what time he needed to leave to reach his morning course and drop Deku off at the kindergarten. Their group wasn’t meeting till noon like usual on Thursdays, which gave him an hour to review the material.

Katsuki flipped a page and started reciting chemical compounds and how they formed, deciding he needed to get a head start. He finished making breakfast as the sound of small foot steps entered the kitchen.

“Mornin’,” Katsuki squatted down as Deku approached and rubbed his head, “How’d you sleep?”

“Morning,” Deku mumbled back as he crept forward and gave Katsuki a hug.

“Breakfast is ready, it’s eggs and toast. Quickly eat and wash up. We have to leave in a little bit.” He hugged Deku and stood up. He’d already eaten while making the food and studying, and finished up the bentos. “This one’s for you,” He set it down on the table by Deku, and put the other in his bag, followed by his book and flashcards. “I’m going to go shower and change, you better be done eating before then.” He pointed a finger and rubbed Deku’s head again before back tracing his steps and going to the bathroom beside the bedroom.

He had 3 lectures and lab today, making him go till 4:30. So he wouldn’t be able to pick up Deku till around five in the evening. Then he had work at eight till three. He really hated Thursdays.

“It’s gonna be a long fucking day,” Katsuki cursed as he shut the bathroom door.


12:30 PM

“OK! We just finished everything that’ll be on the quiz today, let’s take a break before the class starts.” A girl, Yaoyorozu, Katsuki thought her name was, announced as she shut her book and started to put her many colored highlighters and pens. She had two notebooks and a tablet with even more notes on it. Katsuki wondered sometimes if a tablet would help him study, but shoved the thought aside because they could barely afford rent, what would make him consider buying a tablet.

A few of the other people in their group started to take out food while they talked with each other. Katsuki ignored them all and pulled out his lunch and earbuds. He jammed them both in and unwrapped his food while waiting for his discover station to load.

“Hey, Bakugou, that’s a cute lunch!” The too loud voice broke through his music and he glanced down at the food and grimaced. It was a cute lunch, yeah because he made it. For Deku. Their were little hot dogs cut to look like octopuses and some of the rice was colored to look like stars. He glared at the loud mouth, a spiky red haired boy who kept asking annoying questions during their study session. Katsuki never really paid attention to who came to these sessions, he only came because it gave him a chance to focus on just one thing, and decided that the other boy had just joined.

Katuski turned his head back and continued to eat. He ignored the guys comment and started flipping through songs on his phone till he found a good one. But the guy was persistent.

“Did you make it? It looks homemade.”

Katsuki glared out the corner of his eye at him.

“So you don’t want to talk about food, okay, cool. What about chemistry? You seem to be really good at this stuff.”

Katsuki continued to ignore him, but just glared at him from time to time. But he kept fucking talking to him.

“I don’t really understand this stuff, chemistry. It looks like another language, but I have to take this course to finish my science electives. What about you? What’s your major?” The boy finished off his food and packed it away. Then turned his full attention to Katsuki.

“Physical chemistry. Mind your own business, dumb ass.” Out of habit, Katsuki flipped him off.

“Hey—”

Katsuki quickly stood up and packed his lunch and notebook away. Swinging his bag over his shoulder, he made his ways toward the front doors of the library. Their lecture started in half an hour, but it was a good ten minute walk to get there, and Katsuki wanted to get away from the useless noise happening around him.

“Hey, wait up.” A shade of red hit the edge of his vision and he groaned. The bastard was walking next to him, and he was still talking.

“Can I ask you something?”

“No.”

He let out a small laugh, “Can you help me review some stuff from the last exam? I didn’t do so hot on it, more like I bombed it.” He let out a laugh again, his face flushed a light red in embarrassment. He rubbed the back of his head and looked over Katsuki as they walked. “I mean, I think I know what we’re doing, but I just don’t understand it. All these reactions, synthesis, and reactivity stuff. I barely know what an organic compound is.”

“Shut up already. I can’t help you. Just go to the tutoring center and ask there.” It was true, Katsuki couldn’t help. One, because he was busy and barely had time for himself. And two, because he hated anyone trying to get something out of him.

“I’ve gone there before, they just told me all the groups were full, which is why I joined yours,” He took a step in front of Katsuki and spun on his heel to walk backwards. “We can work around your schedule, if that works better for you. It doesn’t bother me!” He smiled, a sharp, pointy toothed smile. Katsuki wanted to punch him. He was an idiot, a fucking dumb ass, and he was smiling about it.

“Fuck off, I already said no.” Katsuki started to walk faster, attempting to pass him, but the bastard flipped around and kept pace with him.

“I know, but you didn’t tell me why, so I won’t give up!” They arrived at the building and the guy reached for the door and held it open for Katsuki. “Why can’t you?”

Katsuki glared at him for what felt like the hundredth time and cursed under his breath. “I’m busy. I don’t have the time to teach a dumb ass like you.” He stomped through the doorway and took a sharp left, their lecture hall was the second door down. He slid it open and stepped into the nearly empty two hundred person lecture hall.

He took his normal seat in the row nearest the back and grabbed his textbook out to glance over the material they’d attempt to cover today. And then he saw the same fucking red hair in the corner of his vision.

“So, you’re actually one of the guys that read the textbook?” He sat down in the seat next to Katsuki and leaned over to look the book.

“Are you saying you don’t?” Katsuki knew some students didn’t read their books, but this course was one of the hardest for many people to pass, and he intended to ace it in anyway he can.

“Nope! Never have,” The guy let out another laugh and pointed to the diagram on the page. “We haven’t gone over that yet, what is it?”

“An example of alkyne synthesis. He’s gonna introduce the stuff today, but we won’t cover this till next Tuesday.” He didn’t know why he told the guy what it was, he could have just told him to mind his own business, but with how things have gone so far, Katsuki figured he’d just keep talking and not leave him alone.

“Oh, sweet! I didn’t understand a single thing you just said, but it sounds cool!” His eyes shined the same way Deku’s did when he was watching his favorite hero, All Might, win against a villain.

It is, he thought. “What’s your name?” Katsuki still looked into his eyes. They had the same happiness, the same innocence as Deku’s did. He felt both anger, for this guy, and protectiveness, for Deku, spike in him. He had a feeling Deku would like the guy, but quickly dismissed it.

“Ah, Kirishima Eijrou!” He smiled and rubbed the back of his head. “I’m new to the study group, like I said. I just joined today. My major is in health science on the PT track. Oh, sorry it means—”

“Physical therapy, I know.” And he did, his aunt was one and wouldn’t shut up about her work when they were together.

“Why physical chemistry? Wait, what even is physical chemistry?” The guy, Kirishma, looked at him with interest, like Katsuki was a new discovery.

“Huh? Just think of it as a way to use physics to study chemistry.” He tried his best to dumb it down as far as possible so the guy could understand, but he saw immediately it didn’t work.

“What? I don’t understand, but it sounds manly!” He smiled again and pulled his phone out to type a quick message before turning his attention back to Katsuki.

“So, about tutoring me,” Kirishima gestured with his phone, “you could always text me when a time is good for you and we can meet up. Like, anywhere. Most of my courses are on the science side, but I do have some down at the fitness center. Before you say no,” he set the phone down and raised both hands, “I really need to pass this course. And I really need help, and you seem to know your stuff. So, can you please just give it a thought?”

Just then, students started filling in the seats and the professor arrived at the computer on the bottom floor.

“Fine, I’ll think about it.” Katsuki shoved his textbook away and pulled out his five subject notebook and turned to a new page.

“Thanks, man! You’re the best! Here’s my number,” Kirishima reached into his bag and pulled out his notebook, ripped a piece off and quickly jotted a string of numbers. He passed it over to Katsuki, a smile still on his face and that damn happiness still in his eyes. It looked so much like Deku’s that Katsuki thought he was going soft.

He couldn’t afford to do that. He couldn’t afford to lose this battle.


5:15 PM

Deku held Katsuki’s hand as they crossed the street in front of their apartment building.

“Did you check both ways?” He looked down at him and watched as Deku quickly looked, his green hair waving as he did.

“Yeah! No cars.” He smiled up at him and Katsuki rubbed his head.

“Good brat, now let’s get home. We’ve got some work to do.” Deku nodded and lead Katsuki across the road, making sure to watch his step over the curbs. His phone started buzzing rapidly in his pocket and he pulled it out.

[UNKNOWN NUMBER] {ACCEPT} {DECLINE}

The number looked familiar and he had a feeling it was one of his coworkers.

“Hey,” Katsuki paused in the middle of a step and and dug in his pocket for the key. “Go ahead of me, gotta take this.” He gestured with his phone, Deku nodded again and took the key. He ran up the stairs to the second floor and turned the corner, vanishing from Katsuki’s line of sight.

He looked down at his phone and slide the green check to accept the call and pressed it to his ear.

“Wha—”

“Hey, you picked up!” A too loud and too excited voice said on the other end.

Katsuki felt his eye twitch and he let out a curse.

“What the fuck do you what.” He walked over and leaned against the side of the apartment complex. He had a feeling this call would last a while.

“I was wondering,” a loud crash happened in the background and someone started yelling, “Hey, guys! Can you be quiet, I’m on the phone!” Katsuki pulled it away from his ear and looked up at the sky, he didn’t have time for this.

“I’m hanging up.”

“Wait, wait! I do, I do have something to say! Well ask. I wanted to know if,”

“Who are you talking to, Kirishima? Is that your girlfriend! Let me talk!” A female voice interrupted.

“What? No, it’s a guy from my chem class. Hey, back off Mina! I have to—”

Katsuki pulled the phone away and pressed the {END} button. If he was only going to call just to talk to his friend, then why should he wait. He had to be at work in three hours and still had to make dinner for Deku.

He made his way up the stairs and around the corner. There apartment was the fourth door down and he only made it to the second before his phone started buzzing again. He pulled it out, it was the same number.

“Hey! Sorry about that, Mina was—”

“Fucking tell me what you want, I’m busy.” Katsuki clicked his tongue and kicked the wall next to him before he leaned against it.

“Oh, sorry, aha.” He sounded dejected but let out a small laugh. “I should have just texted you about it, but I was wondering if we could meet up tomorrow? I looked over my notes and I didn’t understand a thing.” He started to trail off and a loud bang happened on his end.

Tomorrow was Friday, and Katsuki only had a morning and afternoon lecture that day. He usually spent time in the library during his three hour break, or he’d run off to his professor’s office hour and ask them questions. It wouldn’t cut into his study time to meet up with him, but that would meaning he’d have to suffer being with him. Again.

“Bakugou?” Kirishima sounded concerned, “you there?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, is it—”

“Meet me at the library around 10. I’ll be study room 3B on the second floor.”

“Sweet! Thanks man!” Kirishima said after a beat of silence.

Katsuki ended the call before Kirishima could say anything and set his phone to silence, before turning it back to vibrate. Work or Ochako might call him and he needed to hear it if they did.

He opened the door to their apartment and heard the sound of something being destroyed from the T.V.. A moment later, Deku yelled in excitment.

“I’m gonna go lay down,” Katsuki called over as he set his bag down at the bar. “I have to work late tonight, so I’ll make dinner for you and Auntie Ochako, okay?” Deku called her that even if Ochako and him were the same age.

“Okay!” Deku never took his eyes of the screen and watched the All Might cartoon with the same sparkles of joy in his eyes as Kirishima’s.

Katsuki stopped at the door to their room, why had he just compared Deku to Kirishima? He’d done it earlier that day, but doing it again bothered him. He scratched the back of his neck and pushed the door opened. He flopped down on the bed a moment later and set an alarm to go off in an hour. He pulled the covers over himself and rolled over to face the window. He needed a damn good nap if he was going to survive his shift tonight.


7:20 PM

“Define Nuc- Nuclao- Nucleofu-” Deku moved the flashcard closer to his face, he probably thought that would help him pronounce it better.

“Can you spell it?” Katsuki stood across from the bar where Deku sat and was washing their dishes. Deku enjoyed trying to quiz him on his studies after they ate, and Katsuki had a feeling he would say these words at the kindergarten, trying to show off.

“N-U-C-L-E-O-P-H-I-L-E.” Deku sounded them off slowly and pointed to each letter in turn on the card.

“Nucleophile. It’s when a particle is attracted to the positively charged nucleus of the central carbon.” He put their dishes in the drying rack and whipped his hands on a towel.

“Nope! Wrong!” Deku flipped the card over and smiled at him.

Katsuki felt a smile tug at his lips as he stepped toward the kid. “Give me that card, brat. I know it’s not wrong.” Katsuki reached out for it and Deku pulled it away from him, sticking his tongue out.

“Hey—”

Just then, their doorbell rang.

“Give me the card and go get the door, I’ve got to change.” He held out his hand and Deku nodded, giving him the flashcard before running of to the door.

“Auntie!”


3:30 AM

Katsuki pushed the apartment door open and heard the muffled sound of someone talking. He set down the bag of left over food and produce from work and took off his shoes as soft steps approached him.

“You worked late today,” Ohako said from where she leaned on the wall.

“Yeah, I know. Some guy fucking called out last minute and I offered to stay. Need the damn money.” He stood up and rummaged around in the bag and pulled out a white to-go box with the letters BK on them. Katsuki also grabbed a smaller bag from inside the other one that held the leftover vegetables.

“Here you go. I made our restaurants steak, mid-rare, and mash potatoes. There’s also a side of vegetable stir fry in there for you.” He handed her the items. “They were tossing produce today, so I offered to take some of it. Figured the brat could use some variety in what he eats.”

“Thank you, Bakugou. And don’t call him a brat, he’s a good kid.” She looked through the bag and nodded her head. “Tsuyu will love these.”

Katsuki stood up and grabbed his things from the floor, “I’ve got to head to bed,” he said through a yawn, “Have to be up in a few hours for this god damn physics test.”

“Why would you take phys in the morning when you could have taken it in the evening with me? We could have been study buddies!” She playfully punched him in the shoulder.

“Yeah, but I have to be here to take care of him.” He nodded to where Deku was sleeping on the couch. “Don’t want to leave him alone.”

“I know,” She reached out to give him a one armed hug, but Katsuki stepped out of the way. “Fine, fine.” She said in mock sadness. “No hug from me, I’ll just be on my way back to my girlfriend.” She waved her hand in the air as she opened the door. “Night, Bakugou.”

“You too.” He heard the door click and he walked into the kitchen to put his things away.

He’d known Ochako since high school and she’d helped him out with Deku more times than he could count. Her parents had also been there for them when things went south a few years ago, and to that, Katsuki was thankful. He rarely felt indebted to people, he wanted to be able to stand on his own and do everything by himself, just so he could prove he could do it. But if they hadn’t been there, Katsuki wasn’t sure Deku and him would be where they are today.

“Hey, Izuku.” He rubbed the kids arm and Deku’s eyes fluttered open. “It’s time for bed.”

Deku made a small sound of acknowledgment and Katsuki picked him up. Deku grabbed his shirt and buried his face into Katsuki’s chest, trying to sleep again. Katsuki reached down and pressed the off button on the remote and the T.V. darkened. He walked carefully in the moonlit apartment to their room and laid Deku down on the bed, he was already asleep again.

Katsuki grabbed his pajama shorts from the floor and walked out to the bathroom to change when his phone buzzed in his pocket.

[Idiot] 3:55

Hey, man. Sorry about earlier. My friend was trying to get me to go out with her. About the study session, I forgot I have a class till 11 (T_T). Can we meet still meet after?

[Idiot] 3:56

WAIT ARE YOU AWAKE?

[Idiot] 3:56

IT’S ALMOST 4!!

Katsuki cursed under his breath, he’d accidentally opened the message screen out of habit and had his read notifications turned on. Katsuki had finished changing and was back in their room when he got the next message.

[Idiot] 3:59

Did I wake you?

[Katsuki] 4:00

No, fuck off

[Idiot] 4:00

Haha, good! What’s keeping you up? Someone was screaming in the hallway here and woke me up *angry face*

[Kastuki] 4:01

I’m trying to fucking sleep, bastard

[Idiot] 4:01

Same! Didn’t mean to keep you up, but can we still meet? *cute face

[Katsuki] 4:02

Yeah, don’t be fucking late or I’ll kill you.

[Idiot] 4:02

Sweet! On the second floor in room 2B right? I’ll catch you there *cute face

Katsuki closed the message screen and double checked that his alarm was set before locking his phone and plugging it in. How could this idiot keep talking to him with how he was responding? Katsuki would never know. His attitude had always been aggressive and he didn’t care if it bothered people or pissed them off. It was their fault for interacting with him.

He rolled over in the bed and pulled the covers up over him and made sure Deku was comfortable also.

Katsuki let out a groan as he rolled over so his back was facing Deku but his front was facing the door. He had to be up in two hours and was regretting staying the extra half hour. But he got free food and some money out of it, and that’s what mattered to him. His body could deal with his lack of sleep later when he was waiting for that red haired bastard at the library.

He closed his eyes for a moment and that’s when Katsuki noticed he was smiling. He was fucking smiling. Why was he smiling? All he’d done was… talk to Kirishima. Did talking to that guy make him happy? He didn’t feel happy or content, he felt tired and drained. But he ended up talking to him when he could have just ignored him. Katsuki groaned and rolled over on to his back, he tried to shove the thoughts away as he threw an arm over his eyes. All he wanted to do was sleep, it was going to be a Friday which meant he could sleep after picking up Deku for a few hours before work. And to Katsuki, that’s all that mattered at that moment.