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The Hands Are the Window to the Heart

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The Hands Are the Window to the Heart (Bakugo’s Birthday Fic)
Spen Buck-Flo @arfo_arfo | start. Oct.24.2018 - fin. Oct.30.2018

Kirishima had been on his hands and knees all of Bakugo’s birthday.

He had asked for the day off three whole months in advance, stating that the reason was “necessary family time.” Kirishima didn’t know why he was so paranoid about one of their mutual coworkers blabbing to Bakugo that he had something up his sleeve. Maybe it was because this was the first birthday they would share since they left UA and gained official hero status (though they were still sidekicks working for an overarching agency). For some reason, this birthday felt more real, more serious than the birthdays they’d celebrated before.

That was why Kirishima was determined to make this birthday really mean something.

Everyone who knew Kiri knew he was messy. Honestly, he had been since he was a kid. It wasn’t like he was a slob—he and Bakugo never let the dishes get gross and took out the trash at least once a week. It’s just that, more often than not, Kirishima’s tendency for absent mindedness resulted in him leaving a bit of a disaster zone in his wake. Okay, let’s be real. Sometimes, Kirishima left his underwear on the bathroom floor instead of in the hamper. Sometimes, he forgot to close the cabinet door behind him when he went to get a glass. He forgot to put the cap back on his toothpaste more often than not and the side table on his side of the bed had at least than three half-drunk water bottles on it at any given time.

Bakugo, on the other hand, was a neat freak. Bakugo was tidy. Bakugo was orderly. He was the type of person to use a different type of hanger depending on whether he was hanging a t-shirt or a pullover. He was not the type of person to, let’s say, try and 3-point a tissue, miss, and then forget about it until a week later. Bakugo was not, and Kirishima definitely was.

Of course, Kirishima knew that his lack of organization bothered his boyfriend. Bakugo had mellowed out since leaving UA—Kirishima had often wondered which was the leading factor, work being so physically rigorous or the fact that, now that they lived together, they could bang all they wanted. Still, Kirishima knew it pissed Bakugo off when there was a hairband strewn on the floor or when Kiri screwed up the blinds and forgot to fix them. This was where Kirishima’s present idea stemmed from.

Kirishima let out a sigh of relief as he sat back from his work. In front of him was a house worth of freshly polished floors, the soft scent of lavender Pine Sol (Bakugo didn’t like the original scent) rising from them. In the almost eight hours since Bakugo had left for work, Kiri had set his mind to deep-cleaning the house from ceiling to floor. He had become a determined, unstoppable whirlwind of sheer scrubbing force. Since that morning, in no particular order, Kirishima had done the following: thrown away all the accumulated trash in the house and then emptied the garbage cans, including the ones in the bathrooms; dusted all the furniture, all the cabinets, all the shelves, and all the appliances; scrubbed the shower, toilets, and sinks; cleaned their mirrors; unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher; changed a lightbulb that had gone out without either of them noticing; swept, swiffered, and vacuumed; wiped down all their countertops and appliances; stripped the sheets from the bed and put fresh ones on; and, as his last task, successfully polished the now gleaming floors until they shone.

Okay, so maybe asking off work three whole months early was a little overboard for just a cleaning day. Kirishima knew he was putting a lot of unwarranted pressure on himself. In previous years, Bakugo hardly seemed to notice his birthday had come around until someone else mentioned it. Apparently, the Bakugo household didn’t celebrate these things with the extravagance that Kirishima’s family did. Bakugo would probably be happy not celebrating at all, a fact which irked his boyfriend to no end.

He wiped the back of his hand across his brow and took a second to check the time. According to his watch, he still had an hour and a half until his boyfriend got home. That gave him enough time to get in the shower, rinse the cleaning residue from his body, towel off, and take care of his hair.

Maybe it was a difference in their love languages, but Kirishima really wanted to show Bakugo how much he treasured him for this birthday. They had been living together for a while now and Kirishima had this deep urge to make sure Bakugo knew that time was special to Kiri. Bakugo was turning twenty, for crying out loud; his man was now two whole decades old. Kirishima just hoped that the house’s deep clean, along with the physical present Kiri had gotten him a month ago, was enough.

Kirishima headed to the bathroom, his knees protesting as he rose from the floor. Their one bedroom, one and a half bath apartment wasn’t shabby, and its complex was conveniently close to the agency where they worked. In the year they’d been living there, Kirishima and Bakugo had put in effort to make it feel like a home. The whole thing was decorated in a fashionable modern style, though it had been hell for both boys to agree on a look. The final result was a color scheme consisting of whites and warm neutrals, with a few pops of bright accents here and there. Kirishima entered the bathroom and started the water, setting the nozzle all the way to hot so it would warm quicker. A sigh of relief escaped his lips as he slipped off the old tank top he’d worn to clean in, mindfully dropping the article of clothing in the freshly emptied hamper instead of the floor. He peeled off his shorts and deposited the rest of his clothes there too, stripping until the only thing he wore was the orange hemp bracelet on his right wrist. He always took that off last.

That bracelet was one of the most treasured things Kirishima owned. Though it wasn’t fancy, simply three orange cords woven around each other in a braid with two red beads tying off each end, the memories that went with it were invaluable to him. The bracelet was Bakugo’s graduation gift to him from when they’d graduated UA. Kirishima still remembered that night as if it was yesterday. They were supposed to be attending a party Midoriya and his mom were throwing, but had fled to the roof for some fresh air. The party was nice and all, but having twenty kids, a handful of parents, and at least five pro heroes in one small suite made for a lot of noise and very little breathing room. Kirishima had been enjoying looking at the stars in silence when Bakugo had presented the box to him, a small thing wrapped in red and white paper. Along with it had come an open invitation for Kirishima, still undecided about what to do after high school, to follow Bakugo to the hero agency he’d gotten accepted to, one of the top five in all of Japan. Bakugo had explained that he had already worked it out with the higher ups and that Kirishima would immediately be accepted if he put in an application. With a little heat, he mentioned that Kirishima would’ve gotten in anyways, if he hadn’t been too self-deprecating to apply to an agency that good. In that moment, the blonde had seemed nervous.

Of course, Kirishima had accepted. Overjoyed, he’d put on the bracelet that very second. He’d been even more overjoyed when he saw that Bakugo had gotten himself one to match, a red one with orange beads.

Kirishima placed the graduation bracelet delicately on the counter. It was more than just a bracelet to him; it was a symbol of he and Bakugo’s bond, of how their paths were woven together. It was a promise to always have each other’s backs, no matter what. Kirishima gazed at it fondly once again before adjusting the water, stepping in the shower and washing off.

△ ▽ △

Kirishima had just gotten done styling his hair and was getting dressed when he heard the front door open.

“Oi, Ei, I’m—” The familiar voice shouted out, gruff as always. Kirishima heard it cut off and couldn’t help the giddy smile that rose to his face, as if he was a middle schooler with a crush. The front door shut with a decisive click. He heard the shuffling noise of his boyfriend taking off his shoes and placing them by the front door.

“I’m in the bedroom!” He called. He buttoned up the top of his jeans and opened the drawer where he kept his t-shirts, rummaging around. Slowly, Bakugo’s steps grew closer. Their normal confident air was lacking, replaced with something else… curiosity, maybe. Kirishima bit his lip to try and muffle his smile. He grabbed a random top, not particularly caring which one, and shut the dresser drawer. His boyfriend’s footsteps paused for a few seconds. Kirishima’s lip escaped from his teeth’s grasp.

“Do you like it?” Kirishima pulled the shirt over his head and stepped out of the bedroom into the hall. For a few seconds there was only silence as the shirt slipped past his eyes and rendered him sightless. Then, the shirt was flat against his body and Bakugo was in front of him—no, on him—before he had time to react, warm arms wrapped around Kiri’s torso, chest a reassuring presence against his front. Bakugo engulfed him in a hug, the all-encompassing kind that only Bakugo knew how to do just right. Kirishima felt a laugh stir in his belly and he let it out breathlessly.

Of course Bakugo would immediately notice the clean house. Kirishima reckoned that Bakugo knew the second he stepped through the door and Kiri’s hero costume wasn’t lying discarded in the hall floor. Still, it was validating to know his hard work was so obvious, to have it recognized.

Bakugo took the momentum of the hug and used it to push Kirishima, walking him with his body back into the bedroom. Kirishima couldn’t even hug back, just had to focus on not falling backwards onto his ass like a doofus. His arms desperately tried to stabilize in the air and a real laugh left his mouth this time, deep and throaty and elated.

“Bed, now.” Bakugo answered his question before it even formed on his lips. Kiri’s legs came into contact with the soft comforter of their shared California King. In one swift movement Bakugo had them on the bed, the blonde curled on his side and Kirishima underneath him. Bakugo took this movement to deepen the embrace, wrapping one leg on top of Kirishima’s body, the other underneath, and fully bury his head into his lover’s chest.

Kirishima was privy to Bakugo’s emotions by now. He’d spent enough time in the explosive blonde’s company to know the signs. Though they were pressed to the bed, bodies intertwined, this was not a Bakugo wracked with lust. This was not a shaking, needy Bakugo feeling a desperation to his core—at least, not in that sense. This was an affectionate Bakugo, a Bakugo reaching out to their companionship like it was a lifeline, like it was a breath of fresh air to someone who was suffocating. This was a grateful, overwhelmed Bakugo who knew that no human words could express what his heart was feeling.

Long ago, he and Kirishima had talked about how, sometimes, Bakugo felt things that his mouth didn’t know how to compute. Sometimes, things like love or joy were so overwhelming to the blonde that it made him feel like his whole body was going to explode instead of just his hands. Then, they had decided that if Bakugo ever felt like this, he could just express it to Kiri through physical contact. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the hands are the window to the heart, after all. Sure, sometimes Bakugo expressed these overwhelming feelings in sexual, non-platonic ways. But their relationship was built on more than that. The majority of the time, Bakugo needed to get these feelings out by holding the redhead in his grasp, to feel the realness of Kirishima next to him. It helped calm him to feel the solidness of his partner. To feel him breathing. To hear his heart beat. Bakugo expressed that, most of the time, the physical stimulus was enough to make the emotions overflowing in his throat not choke him anymore. Kirishima was happy to be that for him, and to be there for him. Kirishima knew that he would always be there for him, as long as Bakugo was willing to keep him around. There was nowhere Kirishima would rather be than wrapped in his lover’s melting sugar embrace.

A minute passed, a soft, quiet minute.

"'Suki,” Kirishima prompted, his eyes sparkling.

“What did you do, you idiot?” Bakugo responded seemingly instinctually, speaking almost before Kirishima had finished, knowing what Kirishima was going to say before the redhead even got it out. Bakugo’s voice was alight with wonder, its gruff tone taking on something sappy and affectionate. It made Kirishima’s heart swell three times its normal size and shine twice as bright. This was what Kirishima wanted to celebrate; this companionship, the amazing reality of being as intertwined as the cords of their bracelets. The years he’d spent at Bakugo’s side had been the happiest of his life. He’d die to make sure that Bakugo believed that.

Kirishima knew to take Bakugo’s question for the praise it was. He smiled bigger to himself, though he hadn’t stopped grinning since Bakugo had walked in the door, and adjusted the blonde more comfortably in his arms.

“Happy birthday Katsuki.” Kirishima said. He felt his lover smile softly against his chest, against his heartbeat.

‘Happy birthday, Katsuki,’ is what he said. What he thought was ‘here’s to another twenty, my love.’