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„Let’s play some music!“
Kaminari nearly crushed Mineta who was sitting next to him when he leaned towards the aisle, waving his smartphone at their teachers, trying to draw their attention.
He failed. Mic was already wearing gigantic headphones and not hearing a thing, while Aizawa had zipped his sleeping bag all the way over his head.
Kirishima felt a bit sorry for his friend when he watched Kaminari sink back into his seat, apparently disappointed. However, he was kind of glad about their teacher’s unresponsiveness because even without background music to listen to, it was incredibly noisy inside the bus.
In front, Aoyama was telling Yaoyorozu all about historic sights in France much more dramatically than Kirishima felt was justified. Behind them, Ashido and Hagakure were having laughing fits while playing Shiritori with Sero and Todoroki. From time to time some word fragments reached Kirishima’s ears and he could not help laughing out loud himself when he heard Todoroki naming cleaning utensils every time it was his turn. Behind him, Jiro and Tokoyami were talking while playing some video games. And even though Kirishima didn’t know where exactly Midoriya was seated, given the fact that he was too small to be seen from behind his seat, he was sure he could hear his muttering floating in between all the other noises. Occasionally, Iida would stand up and shout some words in order to remind them to be quiet, but with little success.
Kirishima turned to his right to look at Bakugo who was sitting next to him. Bakugo had his eyes fixed at the scenery passing by outside the window. As was almost always the case, there was a small frown between his eyes, and his arms were crossed in front of his chest.
They were headed for a 2-weeks stay at a Japanese-style inn owned by U.A. They have not been told any specifics, only that the school had decided to grant them some vacation time in order to mentally prepare for their upcoming internships.
“Want some candy?”
Uraraka’s round, smiling face appeared from behind the seat in front of Kirishima.
He beamed at her and took the candy she offered him. It was two chocolate bars and he took both, passing one of them to Bakugo: “You too, Bakugo!”
Bakugo glanced at his face and then at the bar.
“Tsk” He clicked his tongue and the frown on his face got bigger. He then took the bar without a word and slowly started eating it. Kirishima watched him happily, feeling a little bit nervous. He was glad that Bakugo had been allowed to join them on this trip, with his grounding having ended just the other day.
When they had first heard of Bakugo’s fight with Midoriya the morning after it had happened, their classmates had all been very shocked and worried about them. Kirishima, however, already knew about it at that time.
That night, Kirishima suddenly woke up and heard the door next to his room close. Still in his pajama, he walked out onto the corridor and knocked on Bakugo’s door.
There was no reply. He waited.
A few moments later, the door slowly opened.
“What’s going on, Bakugo? You alright?” When he saw Bakugo’s injuries, he flinched, startled. “What happened to you??” He forgot to speak in a low voice, he was too upset.
“Shhh! Keep it down, shitty hair!” After hesitating one second, Bakugo pulled Kirishima inside his room. “Why're you even awake at this goddamn hour,” he snarled at him when the door had closed.
“I don’t know, I just heard you when you came back just now… Bakugo, what happened?”
“Nothing. It’s none of your fucking business, anyway.”
“Don’t say that! I’m your friend! Seeing you like this without knowing what’s going on, I don’t like this at all!”
Bakugo did not say anything, he just glared at him.
“Does this mean there was a villain attack, again? Here? Did they- did they try to take you away again!?”
For the split of a second, Bakugo’s face showed a puzzled expression. He then took a few steps back and let himself fall on his bed, lying on his back, facing the ceiling.
“No villains. I only settled things with Deku.”
Kirishima stared at him, dumbfounded. “You mean, you fought him? And those injuries… are Midoriya’s doing?”
“Yeah. But I started it. And of course, I won.” Bakugo smirked.
Kirishima wanted to ask for details but decided not to. Although he surely had not expected Bakugo to challenge Midoriya to a fight, and even less for Midoriya to agree to it, the fact that it had come to this did not surprise him as much as he felt it should.
He walked over and sat down on the bed next to Bakugo. He glanced at his face. Bakugo's eyes did not meet Kirishima’s, though, as they were still fixed on the ceiling. When he spoke, his voice was unusually quiet.
“It was my fault. All Might seems to think otherwise but I know things would've been different If I hadn't been there fucking slowing him down.”
“If only I'd been stronger… I should've been able to get out of there myself. Without All Might’s help. And without yours.” He turned his head and their eyes met. Bakugo’s expression was still illegible, but Kirishima felt a hint of vulnerability in it.
His heart skipped a beat. And then it hurt.
He hadn’t noticed just how much Bakugo had suffered since the day they had rescued him from the villains’ hideout at Kamino Ward. He had been so close to him, watching him much more intensely than ‘just a friend’ would. So why didn’t he notice?
Bakugo turned away.
“It wasn’t you guys’ responsibility, anyway. What happened was my fault.”
This time, it was Bakugo who seemed startled when their eyes met again. Kirishima had leaned over him so that his face was only half an arm’s length away from Bakugo’s.
“No, it wasn’t. There were many people involved other than just you. The only ones who are to blame are those villains. It could have happened to any one of us, it just happened to be you. You were outnumbered by them. Not even a pro hero would've managed to get out of there on their own.”
Bakugo seemed like he wanted to protest but Kirishima didn’t let him.
“I don’t think I would've been able to hold out as long as you did back there. I think you’re amazing, Bakugo. You really are.”
They stared at each other. Then, suddenly, they both blushed, and averted their gazes from each other. Kirishima, all of a sudden feeling very nervous, jumped onto his feet. He could feel the fast pounding of his heart. He tried to hide how flustered he was by directing a wide, sharp-teethed smile at his friend who was now sitting upright.
“But, I mean, since we’re UA students on our way to become the greatest heroes in history, let’s give it our best, right? Let’s try as hard as we can, so we can surpass even All Might!”
Bakugo looked at him. And then, he showed him the tiniest smile. “Thanks, Kirishima.”
Kirishima felt his face take on the color of his hair. He walked to the door and opened it. Waving at Bakugo, he shouted “G-good night, Bakugo!” in a volume that he was almost certain must have woken up their neighbor Shoji, and went back to his own bedroom.
Upon arriving at their destination, the students carried their luggage into the big Japanese-style inn.
“There are two big sleeping rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls," Aizawa informed them. "You have thirty minutes to put your things into your rooms and do whatever. Then we’ll meet in the outdoors cooking area and everyone can prepare the barbecue together. That’s all for now,” he concluded, zipping his sleeping bag back over his head again. No one commented on how he had been lying on the ground and not even bothered to stand up when giving the instructions.
“Where’s Mic-Sensei, sensei?”, Ashido asked, carefree as usual. But Aizawa had already gone back to caterpillar mode.
“Guess Aizawa-sensei's not as excited about this trip as the rest of us, right Bakugo?”, Kirishima turned to Bakugo while they were carrying their bags towards the boys’ communal bedroom. Bakugo snorted.
“Don’t put me together with you idiots, shitty hair. I’m only here 'cause they said we’re allowed to use the training ground here for improving our quirks. I’m not here to play around.”
Kirishima laughed. They had arrived at the room when Kaminari appeared from behind them and put his arm around Kirishima’s shoulders.
“Where you gonna sleep, buddy? I wanna sleep next to you!”
“Haha… let’s see…,” Kirishima’s eyes followed Bakugo who walked towards the very end of the room and put his things down onto the futon next to the wall. “Over there!” They dropped their bags onto the futons beside Bakugo’s. Kaminari started pulling snacks and card games out of his backpack and waved them elatedly in front of their faces. “Look what I’ve brought! We can stay up all night and have fun!”
“Don’t even dream of it, dunce face! If you won’t let me sleep at night I’m gonna fucking kill you!”, Bakugo hissed at him.
“How cruel! Just how rare d'you think occasions like this are, where everyone can sleep in the same room! We have to make the most of it!”
“What do I care. Make the most of it some place I don’t have to hear it.”
They continued bickering, and Kirishima let his eyes wander through the room. The room was smaller than he had expected and the futons were lying right next to each other without any gaps in between.
When we sleep, Bakugo will be so close…
He could feel his heart pound faster and hoped that no one would notice the blush on his face. Kaminari was right. It surely was a very rare occasion. And Kirishima wished he knew how to make the most of it.
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