After meticulously realigning and readjusting her bed quilt for what seemed like an eternity, Momo Yaoyorozu finally achieved the symmetry she'd desired and took a step back to properly evaluate her work. Placing her hands on her hips, she beamed with delight. She couldn't recall the last time her room had looked so refined and tidy. Granted, she always made an effort to make sure it was organised, but considering the scheduled event taking place that evening was of great importance, she believed some extra care and attention was warranted. Some of her peers probably would've jokingly accused her of being an overzealous perfectionist once again; a title she'd received repeatedly, and one she couldn't consciously disagree with. But where was the harm in preserving presentation, thought Momo. Her living space was just as important as her appearance and behaviour. After all, her expected visitor hadn't been inside her room before, and she was determined to make a good first impression. It was only after acknowledging this was she reminded that said guest wasn't somebody she believed who'd be particularly concerned about her room. Perhaps she was obsessing over this a little more than necessary. Regardless, she was still pleased with the results, and hoped very much they'd taken notice of it, too. At the very least, the cleaning and reorganisation of her room had offered her a method of channelling her lingering apprehension and uncertainty.
Satisfied with her efforts, Momo elected to finally retire from her feverish redecorating lest she waste any more of her energy; the last thing she wanted was to appear sluggish or exhausted. With her visitor's scheduled appearance approaching, Momo removed one of her chairs and sat down patiently, the only sounds noticeable becoming her breathing and the gentle ticking emerging from the wall-mounted clock she examined intermittently. But with each passing minute, Momo became increasingly more worried. Her anticipation devolved into fear and finally disappointment. They'd given their word that they would attend (albeit begrudgingly) when she'd approached them earlier, but given that she hadn't specified what it was she wished to discuss, she could understand why the mightn't've been very eager. In her heart, Momo liked to believe they'd instinctively know what the subject of their scheduled discussion would be.
Perhaps they were running late or had simply lost track of time, rationalised Momo, trying to instil some reassurance and comfort. But the possibility they'd abandoned the promise entirely was becoming increasingly more likely as the minute hand on the clock performed another complete rotation. Somehow a part of her knew that her desire to reconcile with them had always been in vain.
But Momo's paranoia was put to rest after being treated to the sound of a knock at her door. It hadn't been a polite, gentle knock rather a loud, abrasive one, no doubt performed with a clenched fist rather than with knuckles. It was unmistakably them. Overcome with relief and renewed excitement, Momo wasted no time and eagerly approached the door, adopting a welcoming smile.
But it was only after being graced with their presence did Momo discover how unprepared and ill-equipped she really was to deal with the impending arrangement.
Although it had been some since they'd become acquainted with one another, Katsuki Bakugo was one of the few remaining classmates that she still wasn't terribly intimate with; at least to the point where she could consider him a friend. His combat prowess, respectable intellect and strategical mind, and fierce tenacity when in pursuit of his goals were qualities she was intimately aware of, and it was for these reasons and more that Momo had developed a great deal of respect and fondness for him. However, he was still somebody she found quite intimidating. In spite of the many interactions they'd shared with one another in and outside of class, Momo still didn't believe she understood him quite as well as she thought she should nor had she ever felt truly comfortable when in his presence. He really was an imposing figure; a force that commanded authority. Even as he stood outside her door with seemingly no intentions of making her uncomfortable, he still possessed an inexplicable power over her. It was honestly quite breath-taking for Momo, who felt her already agitated heart beat even faster.
Having become somewhat of a savant when it came to reading people, Katsuki was quite adept at recognising exaggerated or insincere natures, especially feigned confidence. Her hospitable and welcoming smile was just a façade. Her unmistakable poise, elegance and composure were jarringly absent. She was nervous. Yaoyorozu's apprehension concerned him a little, admittedly. He understood his presence could have an effect on people, but for once, he wasn't trying to be intimidating. Was he really so threatening, to even Yaoyorozu of all people - somebody who was never hesitant when it came to conversation or issuing him criticism and feedback? It was evident that his arrival had been confronting for her, and this assertion bothered Katsuki. Her current disposition wasn't at all unlike how'd she appeared when she'd approached him earlier and requested his attendance. Katsuki had given her the benefit of the doubt and assumed it had been her nerves, rationalising that she'd improve come his scheduled appearance. Evidently that wasn't the case. The prediction that their discussion would be conducted smoothly was starting to appear unlikely. Still, in spite of her reluctance and his own, he was prepared to endure it, if only so that they could finally put an end to their tension.
As she continued to stare into his red eyes, the typically refined young woman was effectively reduced to a frightened little girl. Her attention and dedication had ultimately been misplaced, she acknowledged. She'd been so consumed by the urgency to make her room look presentable when she really should've used that time to properly prepare how she was going to conduct herself. Momo felt her forced smile begin to falter. His presence alone was making her so anxious and distressed. She didn't want to imagine how she'd be able cope when they actually engaged in conversation, if they would at all for that matter given her condition.
Studying one another in silence outside her dorm wasn't exactly what Katsuki had anticipated. Considering she'd seemingly forgotten what was to take place, Katsuki elected to remind her. "So are you gonna let me in or what?"
Momo's cheeks became enflamed. "Y-yes. My apologies." Clearing her throat, Momo stepped aside and politely ushered him in, hoping to recover from the momentary embarrassment. "Welcome. Please, do come in" she added with forced enthusiasm.
After allowing him to migrate past her, Momo cursed herself for her ineptitude before gently closing her door. It was too late to reconsider or postpone. This was really happening, and she had to make sure that she wouldn't do anything else to potentially jeopardise the opportunity.
Recovering her resolve, Momo returned her attention to him. With his hands still in his pockets, Momo watched as Bakugo examined her room curiously before his eyes settled upon her, patiently and expectantly. Recognising what he was visibly insinuating, Momo motioned to one of the available chairs she'd arranged for them. But rather than accept one, Bakugo seated himself upon her mattress, having seemingly misunderstood her. After finely preparing it for so long, it perturbed Momo to witness the quilt ruffle and crumple under his weight, but she couldn't say she was completely surprised. Deep down, she'd always accepted that he probably wouldn't have been impressed with the state of her room. Regardless, if he preferred the bed then so be it. His wellbeing and comfort were incredibly important to her.
Her mattress was incredibly soft and comfortable noted Katsuki as he continued his exploration of her room with his eyes. He'd never been one to be particularly fascinated with décor, but he couldn't deny he wasn't admittedly a little captivated by the interior of her living space, especially her exotic furniture, no doubted supplied by her family's enormous wealth. He didn't know where her items originated from or for what purpose most of them served - all he knew was that he was impressed with what he was seeing. Unlike so many of his classmate's rooms that he'd visited, Yaoyorozu's was without a single noticeable stain or sign of neglect. He dared say it was even more polished and organised than his own. He expected nothing less from the top student. Her desire for perfection was reflected by the management of her living space. He respected that.
Although he was an unfamiliar classmate, he was still a guest nonetheless, and one that deserved to be treated with respect. If he was to sacrifice so much of his valuable time for her, the very least she could was ensure he was comfortable and content.
Approaching him, Momo offered a smile, folding her hands over her waist. "Is there anything I can get you? Shall I prepare some tea? Would you like a cup?"
"No" answered Katsuki bluntly.
"W-well, how about something to nibble on, then? I could always retrieve some biscuits from downst-"
Katsuki rolled his eyes. "Will you just get on with it? The sooner we get this sh*t over with the sooner I can leave."
Considering he was expected to sacrifice his personal time for her, Momo understood his impatience.
"Right. Of course. I'm sorry" she whispered, bowing apologetically.
The gesture evoked discomfort in Katsuki. Maybe he had been a little impolite. Katsuki understood she was only trying to be a respectable hostess, but there were more important matters to address than his wellbeing.
Momo elected to permit his request and delay the inevitable no longer. After all, it's what he'd agreed to, nothing more and nothing less. She'd been offered his compliance, and it was about time she delivered upon what she'd proposed for them to do.
Momo wasted no more time and gingerly migrated towards him. In response, Katsuki reallocated himself to offer her a space on the mattress. Accepting the spot, Momo reluctantly sat down, folding her hands in between her thighs to in an attempt to disguise how anxiously her hands were trembling. The exhale that escaped her lips might've given him some insight on to how she felt. And that it did as Katsuki studied her intently, not realising he'd been staring at her until she returned her gaze to him ever so briefly. Upon making eye contact, the each averted their gazes once more; Katsuki returned to staring at the adjacent wall while Momo's attention became affixed to the floor.
"I think you might already know why I've asked you here…" announced Momo hesitantly, finally summoning the courage to speak.
Katsuki's leg fidgeted restlessly. "I've got a pretty good idea what this might be about…"
As if the silence and tension in the room hadn't already been unbearable for the two. Although they'd each been quite eager to commence, it appeared that neither of them was in any real urgency to address the matter anymore. In fact, Momo and Katsuki were starting to wonder if bringing attention to the event again was the right decision at all anymore. Reflecting on the evening only further intensified the already overwhelming feelings they'd each been experiencing for several days; feelings of confusion, uncertainty and desperation, as well as frustration, disappointment and remorse. In spite of their intellects, neither of them truly knew what to make of the fateful encounter with one another from four days ago. The otherwise innocent sparring session had ultimately ended with an unexpected result.
Considering she'd been the one to organise it, Momo decided to be the one to initiate. "So did you want to perhaps talk about it?" She elected to approach the situation carefully, knowing full well just how agitated her guest could be when pressured or provoked.
"Why?" Grumbled Katsuki. "What's there to talk about? It's in the past now."
"I just think this is something really important that we need to address."
"It's not important to me."
"It involves you so therefore it should warrant your attention" insisted Momo.
Katsuki glared at her accusingly, displeased with the tone she'd adopted. "I haven't said a single thing to you in the past four days."
"Exactly! Not once have you made an attempt to try and approach me about this."
"Which should be a pretty f*cking obvious sign that I don't want to talk about this."
Momo anticipated some resistance from him, and if she were being completely honest, a part of her would've preferred they just forget about it entirely and move forward. But the moment they'd unexpectedly shared with one another wasn't something she could discount so casually.
"We mightn't want to but we need to. This isn't something that we can just disregard or ignore. This is very important. It's been a source of great concern for me for the past few days, and I would like to think that you've been giving it some thought, too. This is why I would really prefer if we addressed this now and tried to dissect it rather than just pretend it didn't happen." She folded her hands over her chest, pleadingly. "So can I ask you to please be cooperative with me…just this once? I can see that you have very little interest in this, and I completely understand why you'd prefer for this to remain in the past. But this is something I cannot ignore. So may we please discuss this?"
Her insistence irritated Katsuki, but only because he knew that she was correct. Although he still harboured great reluctance too, deep down he knew that just ignoring the situation without so much as an attempt to resolve it wasn't the sensible choice. They really needed to sort this out.
"Well, I'm here now" he answered dryly. "That's what you asked me here for, wasn't it? To make sense of all this sh*t?"
Momo confirmed with a nod. "It was."
Katsuki relented. "…Fine then."
It wasn't a complete consent to the proposal, but an agreement nonetheless. "Thank you" whispered Momo with a weak smile. His compliance meant more to her than he possibly realised.
Katsuki shook his head in bewilderment. "I just don't know why you're making such a big deal about this. It's not like we were doing anything illegal or dangerous. We were just…"
He abruptly fell silent. Even after being supplied with more than enough time to think about his actions, Katsuki still couldn't properly process their encounter much less actually verbally discuss it. With very subsequent reflection, his stress levels only seemed to elevate. How he wished they weren't about to engage in conversation about this.
His noticeable distress and discomfort concerned Momo, who had to resist physically comforting him with her hands, reminding herself that he probably wouldn't appreciate it. Instead, she offered a smile. Momo empathised with his distress; reflecting on the experience was quite uncomfortable for her, as well.
"…It was just a f*cking kiss" whispered Katsuki. "So what? It doesn't mean anything. It was an accident anyway."
After allowing those words to properly register, Momo's heart sank, disappointed to hear he could disregard their encounter so causally.
"I wouldn't consider what happened an accident…" confessed Momo quietly.
Katsuki's foot began to fidget restlessly as it balanced on his knee. "Y-yeah, well I don't care what you thought of it" he stammered, "it was an accident to me. You actually think I wanted that to end up kissing you?"
"No! Why the f*ck would I?"
Momo studied him in disbelief, struggling to accept his words as the truth. "…You mean to tell me that you didn't intend to return our kiss?"
"Of course I f*cking didn't!" Katsuki barked. "It was just…"
Upon witnessing her sudden despondency, Katsuki too felt a wave of disappointment come over him. Never before had ever he ever experienced difficulty communicating with her before; she was, after all, one of the only classmates he actually genuine respected and appreciated. But now it seemed as if he was incapable of speaking to her properly – and Katsuki knew exactly why. Although he acknowledged he was being deceitful, he still wasn't about to inform her about his true sentiments. And so, he elected to exaggerate the truth even further.
Katsuki lowered his gaze. "I tripped - that's what happened. And your face just so happened to be in the way. I didn't mean to…make contact with you like that." But upon returning his attention to her, he discovered a look of scrutiny and confusion on her face.
"You tripped?" Asked Momo, unconvinced.
"Yes! Obviously! What? You don't f*cking believe me?"
Although she'd naturally predicated he wouldn't be as open to discussion as she would, Momo refused to believe what she was hearing.
"No, I don't, quite frankly" replied Momo, folding her arms in disapproval. "I mean, how could you have tripped? We were each standing completely motionless apart from one another. Realistically, for you to have 'tripped', there would've-"
Katsuki bared his teeth threateningly. "Don't f*cking play this analytical detective sh*t with me! I told you – it was an accident."
The butterflies occupying Momo's stomach fluttered as she reflected on a particularly crucial moment from their encounter. "If I recall, when we…connected, you held me."
Katsuki's body tensed ever so suddenly. It had only been a matter of time before she'd bring attention to that piece of evidence.
"Yeah, for f*cking support when I tripped" he retorted irritably, his voice becoming increasingly louder. "Have I gotten through your skull yet or do I need to repeat myself again for the nineteenth f*cking million time? It was an accident and nothing more. I never meant for us to…" he hesitated, "…lock lips with each other. Use your head - why the hell would I actually want that? I… It wasn't…"
Katsuki's verbal tirade came to a halt when he abruptly ran out of breath – and more crucially: fabricated excuses. For once, he was at a loss for words.
He couldn't exactly fault her for her suspicion. After all, he would be too; it wasn't the most convincing argument, and one that could easily be disproven. But Katsuki was prepared to commit to it. After enough resistance, maybe she'd finally drop the subject…in spite of how much he really wished he could confidently share his thoughts and feelings. Why did all these emotions have to be so vexing?
Averting his attention from her, Katsuki released a disgruntled exhale. "Just forget it."
Once more, Momo resisted the compulsion to comfort him like how she often would with her friends during moments of intensity. His agitated, flustered mannerisms; the increasing use of vulgar profanity; the desperation in his tone; the soft shade of red decorating his cheeks… Anybody could infer that something was causing him a great deal of distress. Maybe he was telling the truth, and maybe she was becoming a little too passionate about all this, but Momo wouldn't stop until she convinced him to share his true thoughts.
Momo adopted a warm smile for him, one that would hopefully put his unrest at his ease. But her demeanour immediately faltered upon witnessing her guest glare fiercely.
"What are you f*cking smiling about? Is this a joke to you? This involves you, as well, y'know?"
"I know. I'm completely aware of what's happened. But unlike you, I've acknowledged and accepted our encounter with one another rather than attempt to abolish it."
Katsuki rolled his eyes. "Well, good for you, then. What do you want, a medal?"
Momo sighed despondently. "…I'd just really appreciate an opportunity to talk with you about this…so that we may be finally able put this tension between us to rest for good."
If he were being complexly honest with her, there was nothing Katsuki would've wanted more, either. Maybe he was being unreasonable and unfair. Still, her patience and insistence weren't enough to convince him to participate. What did it matter that she 'acknowledged' their encounter together? She couldn't even begin to comprehend how he felt about the situation. During his enrolment at U.A, Katsuki had committed many injustices he wasn't proud of, and kissing one of his female classmates without their consent stood as one of the most regrettable and deplorable.
Studying her gentle smile was doing him no favours; it only made him loathe himself even more for potentially disrespecting somebody so undeserving. And so, Katsuki averted his gaze, massaging his leg feverishly to repress his destabilising nerves.
"You don't understand..." he whispered irritably.
Momo's smile disappeared, replaced with a look of disappointment and dissatisfaction. She'd really expected better of him. This resistance and lack of cooperation were qualities the old Katsuki Bakugo was infamous for; not the refined and mature one she'd come to respect and admire. Why could he just be honest with her? Was she really so untrustworthy?
"You're right; I don't, honestly. Why can't you just accept that we shared a kiss with each other? Are you embarrassed? Is that it?"
Katsuki's teeth began to grind together. She was embarking down a very dangerous path. "…No."
"What are you so afraid of, then?"
She'd better abandon her little crusade lest she invite his wrath, thought Katsuki, glaring threateningly. "Do you think I'm a f*cking child? I'm not f*cing scared of something like this."
"Then why are you behaving so defensively? If you aren't-"
Momo jolted after being abruptly treated to the sound of the young man's foot being brought down forcefully upon her floor. Before she could even think to continue, she was silence by the presence of his notorious, scathing scowls.
Having abandoned the campaign to maintain composure and control, Katsuki completely disregarded the circumstance and environment he found himself in and, more critically, the person he was addressing. He'd warned her to stop investigating, but she'd refused to listen. If she really wanted to know how he felt, she was going to receive the truth – unfiltered and uncensored for her listening pleasure.
"Why the f*ck shouldn't I be acting so f*cking defensively!? You're making me out to be some kinda sick f*ck for kissing you. You probably think I tried to sexually assault you or something!"
It was only after a few seconds were his words finally able to register with her – and upon allowing them to sink in, a wave of intense remorse and penitence enveloped Momo. Even with her impressive intellect, she still hadn't been able to realise why he'd insisted on keeping the truth from her when it should've been so very clear obvious.
"I didn't…" stammered Momo, struggling to speak coherently. "I-I never said that. I don't think at all."
"Then why the f*ck are you getting so f*cking worked up about this? If you know I never tried to assault you then what's the f*cking point in talking about this!?"
Gripping her quilt cover tightly, Momo winced as the young man's voice became increasingly louder. But rather than the passion and fire he was renowned for, fear, desperation and dread were noticeable in his voice and eyes. He wasn't irritated, concluded Momo. He was hurt.
Katsuki raised his hands angrily, rationalising that keeping his sentiments a secret had become entirely pointless. "Alright, so I f*cking returned the kiss! There! I said it! I admit it! Are you f*cking satisfied now? Will you f*cking quit playing the victim and stop making me feel like sh*t?"
Momo shook her head anxiously. "I didn't… I'm not-"
"How do I know you haven't already reported me or something? I bet you have. This is your f*cking plan for revenge, isn't it? To pin all this sh*t on me? For all I know, you've probably already spilled this to everybody and twisted the story to make me sound like a f*cking rapist! I'm right, aren't I?"
Momo stared at him pleadingly, desperate to denounce the accusations. "That isn't true. I swear it isn't."
"Then what is it then!?"
With her hands, Momo gently ushered for him to lower his voice. "Just...be calm. Please…"
"Don't f*cking tell me to 'be calm'! You're the one who's losing their sh*t over this!"
A sudden escalation made Momo jolt, recoiling in fear. And it was only after witnessing her reaction and recovering some semblance of reality did Katsuki realise just what had taken place. He'd lost control once again.
An uncomfortable session of tense silence graced them, with the only sounds being the faint ticking of the clock, but barely noticeable below the young man's intense and chaotic breathing. Katsuki felt as if he was on the verge of hyperventilating as the events that had unfortunately transpired finally registered with him. He'd just brutally assaulted the person who'd invited him to engage in a polite and civil discussion – the very same person he'd passionately embraced several days earlier. Katsuki breathing intensified in response to his fluctuating emotions as he scraped his hands violently through his hair. Just what the hell was wrong with him?
Momo summoned all her remaining resolve to prevent herself from breaking down in front of him. It very much hurt to witness him in such a state. It hurt even more when he was reminded that she'd been responsible because of her selfishness and insensitivity. How could she aspire to be a hero when she could be so hurtful and disrespectful to those she valued?
Momo couldn't bear to allow him to potentially punish himself any longer, and so she finally acted upon her maternal and nurturing instincts and summoned a handkerchief from her chest. Katsuki watched her carefully, curious of her motive. Extending her hand cautiously prompted Katsuki to recoil and glare, instinctively interpreting the gesture as a threat. Having predicted some resistance, Momo presented an apologetic smile to instil some reassurance. But it only served to distress Katsuki even more? Why on Earth was she smiling for him? Had she just forgotten what had happened?
It wasn't long before Katsuki realised her offer of kindness wasn't a ruse. If it were any other person, he would've retaliated. But even though he'd just abused her, she was still one of the only people that inspired safety and trust in him. And so Katsuki surrendered and allowed her to tend to him. Momo brought the handkerchief to his face, gently wiping the lingering sweat and occasional tear decorating his cheeks and forehead. Rather than humiliation or irritation, the sensation of her hand gliding across his face evoked feelings of nostalgia and familiarity he'd long since forgotten about. It had been some time since anybody had comforted him so intimately. It felt...nice. And Momo couldn't say she didn't enjoy it quite a bit, too.
After concluding, Momo politely removed her hand and offered him another gentle smile as well as the handkerchief to which he declined with anxious shake of his head. In spite of her efforts, evidently her desire to offer him the comfort and relief he needed and deserved had been in vain. It really did appear as if she was incapable of doing anything right. Possible difficulty with communication and cooperation had been expected. What she hadn't anticipated, however, was for her to end up ruthlessly antagonising him for his understandable reluctance and fear. Rather than resolve the tension between them, she'd only further perpetuated it. And Momo couldn't have been more disappointed in herself for her actions.
"I'm sorry" whispered Momo apologetically, her words struggling to emerge through her tearful smile. "I'm terribly sorry. This isn't how I intended for this go at all."