Riding in a car with Katsuki Bakugou wasn't something Izuku believed he would get to do before graduation. Or after. Or ever. Yet, there he was, sitting in the passenger seat of a newer model Honda Civic as the blonde took the familiar roads to Izuku's home without asking for directions.
It wasn't so much the car itself which Izuku looked forward to, but the fact they were together, willingly occupying the same space without being forced to do so. They could have split up the project and emailed it to each other. Though, they both strived to be the best, and if spending their Friday night together meant getting the top score, well, it was a small sacrifice. Katsuki could have easily made him take the bus and met him later, it wasn't like they lived far from each other. The opposite, in fact.
Growing up together had its perks. The need to share as few words as possible during an already tense ride just happened to be theirs. Without the need to ask for directions, there wasn't any reason to talk, even if there was a lot Izuku wanted to say. Briefly, he'd entertained discussing their school project, but had quickly decided against it.
Idly, he wondered what his senior year would have been like if they had remained friends past childhood. Would Katsuki have given him a ride everyday, saving him from the cramped school bus? Would they have inside jokes like they once did, new nicknames too?
Izuku hugged his backpack tighter against his chest as Katsuki pulled into a guest parking spot near Izuku's apartment building. Wondering about what-ifs never had a happy ending, and he could only hope things between them would remain civil for the duration of the evening.
“Tha-Thanks again for the ride.” Izuku awkwardly adjusted the strap of his backpack as he waited for Katsuki pull his own bag from the backseat.
Talking wasn't something they… did, not anymore. So, having multiple full length sentences between them in the span of a few hours was more than a little jarring. Being the only two without lab partners had been a bit of a surprise, especially since they were always battling for the top of the class. Locking eyes with Katsuki from opposite sides of the room when Mr. Aizawa asked if everyone had a partner seemed like it happened months ago instead of just that afternoon. He would never forget Katsuki's sharp eyes widening ever so slightly as realization dawned on them both.
“It's was just easier than waiting for you to take the bus.” He grunted at Izuku to lead the way. He was right, they arrived at Izuku's home thirty minutes before his bus usually dropped him off.
Izuku crossed the lot towards the door leading to his building, keeping his head down. They climbed the stairs to the second floor quietly, Katsuki staying a few paces behind with his hands shoved in his pants pockets.
Izuku slowly opened his front door, “Mom, I'm home.” He hadn't had time to call his mom, and he glanced at the angry blonde behind him. “And I have a-” he paused briefly, to which Katsuki raised an eyebrow- “classmate with me.”
Classmate. So different from the first time Izuku had burst through the door with the blonde in tow, declaring the boy he'd just met to be his best friend.
“Oh honey, I wish you'd have called I-’ Inko paused when she rounded the corner and spotted Katsuki.
“We got stuck as lab partners for AP chem. There's a lot of work before our presentation in two weeks, sooo…” Izuku scooted closer to his room, beseeching her with his eyes to not ask questions, and to, under no circumstance, ask 'why don't you two hang out anymore? You were such good friends’.
“Well, you boys have fun with your homework, then.”
Izuku bolted to his room, expecting Katsuki would follow, and paused only to open the door. He looked everywhere except at Katsuki as he brushed past Izuku and into his room. After tossing his bag to the floor next to Izuku's cluttered desk, Katsuki helped himself to a spot on the floor and began to pull out the necessary notebooks for their project.
Izuku wondered how much was different since the last time Katsuki was in his room. And how much was the same. Posters still hung on his walls, though instead of All Might and other various anime characters, he now had science themed ones and one of his favorite band. Well, there was the one limited edition All Might print over his bed, but that was special. Had he painted the walls since the last time Katsuki was over? He couldn't remember if he had painted it green before or after they stopped hanging out.
“I have some clipboards, that will make writing easier?” He didn't mean for it to be a question, and dove into the large bottom drawer of his desk before Katsuki responded. A lot of things had collected in there over the years, like the clipboards he pulled out, and the box set of an anime they used to watch together.
So many memories right there…
“Fucking- let's get started already.” A notebook appeared under Izuku's nose. “If we're 'stuck’ then let's get unstuck as quickly as possible.”
“Wasn't that the plan already?” They were stuck, surely Katsuki would have used the same word to describe their current predicament. Being so close was beginning to tap the well of emotions Izuku thought long dried up. They'd been left to stew too long, and where he'd once have mumbled an apology for inadvertently offending Katsuki, he now found he didn't care if he had.
His friends had called him all sorts of synonyms for 'stupid’ when he'd declared in their sophomore year that he had a crush on Katsuki Bakugou. He couldn't blame them, they didn't know Katsuki like he had, didn't know how his eyes lit up when he smiled, or how groggy he was in the morning after staying up too late. They didn’t know how he gave Izuku the first slice of cake, or how he would test how spicy something was. No, they didn't know any of those things. They only knew the things Katsuki called him in middle school. Maybe that was all they needed to know, maybe they were right.
Izuku quietly took the offered notes and began to compare them to his own as he settled into his desk chair. He chanced a glance to Katsuki, finding him working on the handout for class already. Soon, they settled into a quiet rhythm, passing notes and worksheets back and forth with minimal talking. They didn't need to talk much, somehow on the same wavelength about the direction of their project despite their personal distance.
A knock at the bedroom door brought the system crashing around them, their bubble of mutual understanding popping with Izuku's call of, “Come in.”
Inko's head appeared, “Katsuki, dear, are you staying for dinner?”
Katsuki shrugged, “It's probably going to take us a while to finish, but I can eat when I get home.”
Inko smiled, “Okay, you boys have fun.” She glanced to Izuku before closing the door again, but he couldn't find any meaning in the look.
Katsuki shifted his clipboard and book off his lap and stretched, pulling his arms over his head and craning his neck. Izuku followed the lines of back muscle, defined even under the black shirt. He averted his eyes before Katsuki caught his ogling. So much for being over that.
“Um…” Izuku looked down at his notes. “Would you like a pillow or something for your back?” His own was hurting, but at least he had a chair.
Izuku was pretty sure that meant yes. He crossed over to his bed to snag a pillow for Katsuki. And if he randomly selected the All Might one then oh well. Maybe it would remind Katsuki of better days. He could be passive aggressive, though he was sure Ochako would tell him to be full on aggressive and throw the pillow at his smug face. Hitoshi would probably tell him to offer his lap as a chair if he was going to keep up his ridiculous crush after years of near-zero contact. He wasn't sure what Tenya would suggest, but he probably wouldn't like it. And that was the exact reason he didn't tell any of them about his sudden partnership with Katsuki. It would be easy enough to text them now, but he only wanted to focus on keeping the atmosphere light between them for the evening.
A bird flew past the window next to his bed, drawing Izuku's attention briefly to the view outside. His window overlooked the large park across the street, the very park which separated his apartment complex from Katsuki's neighborhood. He met Katsuki for the first time at that park. They spent so many weekends and summers playing and exploring in that park. Inseparable. ‘Kacchan! Look what I found under this rock!’
It was also at that park everything changed. New friends, 'better’ friends, richer 'friends’. “You're such a loser, stop following me around.”
He wordlessly tossed the pillow in Katsuki's direction and resumed his position at his desk. They continued to work separately for the most part, not talking except to compare answers to the project guide.
Then, “How do you want to split the demo and presentation?”
Izuku hadn't given it much thought, hadn't expected to be offered a choice. He had been fully prepared to go along with Katsuki's plan, arguing would only have caused problems, right? Just like he hadn't questioned Katsuki's suggestion of working at Izuku's that night instead of his own, less cramped, house.
Having a conversation was new. Izuku swallowed, testing the waters, waiting for any sign of Katsuki's temper beginning to flare up in annoyance. “We could put the demo in the middle. One of us does the introduction and theory, and the other covers the chemical reaction and conclusion?”
Katsuki nodded. “I was thinking something similar. We'll see how it flows when we practice at the lab on Monday. Aizawa mentioned he'd be in the lab over lunches so we could stop in.”
“Ye-yeah. Sounds good. Which lunch period do you have?” It wouldn't work if they didn't have the same schedule.
“Second lunch,” Katsuki have him a pinched look, “same as you.”
Izuku wasn't sure what to do with that information. How did he not know they had lunch together while Katsuki did? Well, he had started to take Ochako's advice at the end of junior year and ignored Katsuki when he saw him in the halls, which hadn't been difficult since they hadn't had a class together since sophomore year. AP chemistry was their only class together their entire senior year, too.
“Oh,” Was all Izuku could muster.
Another knock sounded at his door, this time a welcome break from the uncomfortable turn the conversation was taking.
The door swung open, “I brought pizza!” Inko sat them on the floor between them along with some plates and napkins. “You boys have been working for hours, take a break.”
“Thank you Ms. Midoriya.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Izuku glanced at the All Might clock next to the door. It couldn't really be nearing 7pm already, could it? He looked at how much research they already completed, which wasn't bad for three hours of work.
“If you need anything, just call down the hall.” She gave them another jovial smile and left, closing the door behind her.
Katsuki shoved his books to the side, “Fuck, I’m starving.”
“Yeah, me too.” Izuku slid off his chair and met him on the floor, salivating from the smell alone. Two large pizzas from a local chain starred back at them, begging to be opened.
“Cheese.” Katsuki didn't hide his disappointment at the contents of the first box. Izuku greedily helped himself to a slice, stuffing it into his face while Katsuki tore into the second box with a toothy grin. “All right!”
Izuku scrunched his nose, imagining the burn from the spicy peppers and sausage. Once, when they were kids, he'd tried a slice despite Katsuki’s warning. Never again.
Katsuki grinned down at the pizza, “Remember when-” he cut himself off, pinching off his expressions. He pulled the whole box to his work area, not bothering with a plate.
Izuku ignored the remark, wanting to talk about the past a little as Katsuki did. He stayed on the floor with his own pizza, his desk far too cluttered for eating.
“Hey,” Izuku chanced breaking the silence again. “You want my pepper?” He held up the pepper included on the side of his pizza, why it was always included would always be a mystery.
“Sure, toss it here.” Sharp eyes followed the pepper as it left Izuku's hand, catching it deftly between two fingers.
“Wow, nice catch,” Izuku said before he could stop himself. Praise like that only ever brought Katsuki's ire in the past.
There was a pause, then a quiet, “Thanks.” Izuku would have thought he was imagining it if he hadn't seen Katsuki's lips move.
They ate in silence once more, each using the break to scroll through their phones. Izuku ignored the urge to fill his friends in on his evening so far. Talking to them the next day was always the safest bet when dealing with situations they had strong opinions about. The last thing he needed was them showing up at his door to 'supervise’ or something.
Across from him, Katsuki snorted at his phone. “Idiot.”
“What?” Curiosity always won. He wasn't surprised, not completely, when Katsuki offered an explanation.
“Friend asking for homework help.” He shook his head. “I don't know what your friend what's-his-name sees in him.”
Putting the pieces together wasn't difficult, he only had one friend dating someone Katsuki would call a friend. “Hitoshi?”
“Purple hair? Kinda an asshole?”
“Yea, unless Denki is dating another of my friends and I don't know about it.” Izuku shrugged, “He really likes Denki. Though, he does need help with his homework… like, a lot.”
“Fuck, did he rope you into helping him too?”
“Once. I was tricked, it was supposed to be a group study session that turned into an 'everyone tutor Denki’ session.” He laughed at the memory. “He ended up passing his Calculus final, though.”
Katsuki's laugh was a low growl which sent a shiver up Izuku's spine. “I wonder if that was before or after I had to tutor him and Shitty Hair for the same damn final.”
“It was the night before.”
“Fucking- me too. They both showed up at my house at like eight at night begging for one last study session.” He huffed out a breath.
“Well, Eijiro wasn't with us at the group session. Maybe he needed help and Denki went too, so you wouldn't be mad at just him?”
“Always looking for the good in people, huh?” It was nearly muttered under his breath, but Izuku heard it clearly enough. There was truth there, because he really did look for the good in people. It was why he'd held onto Katsuki for so long, refusing to give up on their friendship.
He did give up though, right? There wasn't a specific day he could point to and say, 'this was when I stopped trying’, it happened gradually. New friends came along, real friends, friends who didn't push him away. Friends who took his mind away from a group of childhood bullies and the one who once was a friend.
A thought occurred to him then, as he reached for another slice of pizza. He'd only been able to phase Katsuki so well from his life because Katsuki had also stopped. Stopped reacting aggressively if they passed in the halls, stopped seeking him out just to remind him of how cruel he and his group of rich friends could be. He even had new friends, better friends than the bullies he'd lead around.
They were always in each other's orbit, always aware even if not seeking each other out. How else would Katsuki have known they were in the same lunch period? Years ago, Izuku fell hard, projecting what he remembered of his childhood friend onto the handsome teen. The longing had never went away, not fully, even if he stopped believing there was ever a chance.
His throat felt dry, from the pizza or the ill-timed train of thought, or both. “I'm going to get a drink, want anything? I think we have some tea.”
“Water is fine.” Katsuki didn't look up.
Retreating from his room lifted a weight from his lungs, he felt like he was breathing the freshest spring air as he filled their glasses with ice and water.
“How's it going?” He should have known he couldn't escape his mom's questioning for long. Now, or after Katsuki left, it was bound to happen.
“We haven't yelled or punched each other. So, it's going well.”
Inko sighed. “I wish you two would-”
“Go back to being friends. I know. I do too, but there's just… Graduation isn't far off and we'll never see each other again. So, it's not like it's a big deal anymore.”
“You'll still see each other when you're home from college, though. So there's that…”
“Sure, mom.” He kissed her cheek, “Gotta go, more work to do.”
When he returned to his room, Katsuki had resumed working. His laptop was open on his lap, his back cushioned by the All Might pillow. “Here,” Izuku handed him the glass of water.
“Thanks.” He took a long gulp. “Hand me your presentation notes and I'll type them.”
“Uh, sure. You don't have to…”
Katsuki scoffed, “You can focus on the demo steps.”
“Sure. We still need to finish the five page paper.”
“I know. Once I have our presentation typed up, we can use that as the outline for the paper.”
“Oh, good idea!”
“I only have good ideas.”
It was probably wishful thinking that they could finish everything in one night, but they were going to be damn close. They worked well together, so well Izuku almost wished they'd had other classes together in high school.
At one point, Katsuki excused himself to use the bathroom and Izuku glanced at the clock. Nearly 9pm, time sure had flown. He gathered the remaining few slices of pizza, glad to stretch his legs again.
When Katsuki returned Izuku nodded to his desk. “I have the demo finished, just need your input. I'm going to run these to the kitchen.” He held up the boxes.
“Whatever.” Katsuki yawned and settled back into his makeshift work area.
It was getting late, and Izuku stifled his own yawn on his way out the door. Usually he was a night owl, but the past week had really kicked his butt.
“Honey, it's kinda late.” Inko called from the living room.
“Yeah, we're probably wrapping it up soon.” He combined the pizza into one box and stuffed it in the fridge. “Thanks again for ordering pizza.”
He was only gone for a few minutes, but when he returned to his room he found Katsuki sound asleep, laptop still on next to him and his books pushed to the other side. Blonde hair haloed his face on the All Might pillow, his face relaxed. Beautiful.
Izuku pushed the thought away as he knelt down to do the most dangerous thing he'd done in.. . well, that week for sure. “Hey,” he said as he gently shook a very firm shoulder.
He tried again but received no further response. Great.
He stood, turning on his heel to head to the hall closet, flicking the light off on his was. The hall closet was their catch-all, odds and ends, and extra blankets. He dug in the back, finally finding the All Might fleece Katsuki always used when they were kids. It matched the pillowcase Katsuki was currently using. The blanket was a bit on the smaller side, so he grabbed another to be safe and shut the door.
He could still hear the t.v. on down the hall and trudged his way to the living room. “Hey, Mom?”
“Yes, hon- oh dear.” Her grin didn't match her motherly tone when she spotted the blankets in Izuku’s arms.
“Do you mind… uh…”
“I'll call Mitsuki, do you need anything else?”
“A time machine.”
“Go to bed, I'll let you sleep in tomorrow.”
Izuku detoured into the kitchen to grab a fresh glass of water. He was able to catch part of the conversation his mom was having, and really wished he hadn’t. It was too familiar. How many times did they have impromptu sleepovers like this when they were kids? Probably more than they actually planned.
“Hello, yea, oh great, I did try that recipe, amazing, oh no, everything is fine, well, no, actually you won't believe this but I think Katsuki is staying the night, yes, seriously, something for school, I don't think so, stubborn boys, uh huh, oh yea,-”
Izuku retreated back to his room again. Katsuki was still passed out, his breathing even and deep, and he didn't stir as Izuku gently placed the blankets over him. It was serene; the perfectly nostalgic end to what turned out to be more than a decent evening.
He closed Katsuki's laptop, plunging the room into near complete darkness, before quickly changing into his pajamas. He opted for a plain grey shirt and black pants, leaving his All Might set safely hidden from view of his guest. They were similar to the All Might PJ's he had as a kid, the ones they both had as kids.
In fact, Izuku thought as he settled into his bed, he was fairly sure they both wore those matching pajamas during their last sleepover.
Their last sleepover.
If he knew it would be their last, he would have stayed up later, played more games, cherished the time more. ‘Kacchan, let's meet at the park tomorrow!’ They had met, just not in the way Izuku wanted. 'Who's the loser with the knock off sneakers?’ 'That loser? No one.’
He hadn't used the nickname in years. Not since their Freshman year.
His eyes fell on the bottom drawer of his desk. The All Might box set was the only one he kept in his room, the rest of his collection was now stored in the large closet down the hall. No matter how cluttered his room got, how many new things he was into, he kept the All Might box set within reach.
Kacchan. It was silly, he knew. But they were children watching anime and trying to emulate it. At least he hadn't turned the nickname into an insult. Deku.
He stared out his window, he used to be able to see Katsuki’s chimney peeking out from behind the first house. Now a tree had grown, blocking his view of Katsuki’s house completely. The symbolism of it wasn’t missed, he’d even used it in one of his English papers Sophomore year.
That night, he dreamed of years long past, of catching frogs and collecting bugs. It was a sweet dream, perhaps too sweet. And when he woke to face the harsh reality sleeping on his floor, he couldn't get out of his room fast enough.
His reflection in the bathroom mirror stared back at him. “What am I doing?”
He couldn't dwell on the past, or what he wanted from the future. Soon, Kacchan- Katsuki- would wake up and - and…
And what? He'd been nothing but cordial the previous night. They would awkwardly part once he woke up, go back to pretending they didn't basically live across the street from each other for the weekend, then meet during lunch to practice their presentation. They would finish a week before most of their class, and go back to ignoring each other during school until the day of presentations. Easy.
He left the bathroom and wandered to the kitchen, surprised to find his mom already dressed and sipping a mug of coffee.
“You're up early.” She eyed him, “Is Katsuki staying for breakfast? I can make blueberry waffles, does he still like them?”
“I don't know, and he's still sleeping.” Izuku poured himself a mug, doctoring it with plenty of sugar. “We haven't really talked about anything but school stuff.”
“It seems like you're getting along.”
“Mom. Stop trying to force it.”
She hummed. “You could try talking to him first. Mitsuki had some interesting things to say last night.”
He groaned, dropping his head into his arms. “I don't need parent gossip.”
She looked like she had more to say, and Izuku excused himself before she could pry further. No where was safe, but his room with a sleeping time bomb was the better choice.
He pushed his door open quietly, careful to not wake up his guest, only to find the blonde awake and hovering over his desk.
“No shit.” The words lacked any bite. “Sorry for staying, and thanks.” He didn't meet Izuku's eyes.
“Oh, uh, no problem. Were you looking for something?” He glanced at his messy desk.
Katsuki's sharp gaze briefly met his before he looked away again. “I was going to read over your demo write up.” He paused, biting his bottom lip. An unsure Katsuki Bakugou was new, it sent a ripple of ice up Izuku's spine. The unknown was never good with Katsuki, he liked when he was predictable and easy to maneuver around.
Katsuki tapped a paper on the corner of the desk with his knuckle. “I didn't mean to be nosey, but you left your shit everywhere. MIT, huh?”
“Uh, yeah. I think.”
“You think?” Katsuki sounded offended. “You got accepted to MIT and you only think you'll go?”
“Well, it's expensive. And I have a full ride to Berkeley. It's further away, but I think their genetics department is a better fit for me. Plus. Free.”
Katsuki stared at him. “Fucker.”
Izuku braced for a verbal attack, how he wasn't fit for the program, he should stand aside and stop taking handouts, work his way-
“I only got a partial scholarship.”
Wait. “You're going to…” Katsuki was going to the same college. Katsuki was... Maybe MIT would be better after all.
“Ha?” Katsuki's arms dropped to his side. “You'd seriously give up a full ride just to get away from me?”
He hadn't meant to say it out loud. Shit. But also, “If I could afford it, I probably would.” His eyes began to sting and he turned his back to Katsuki. Of all the times to cry, why now? He was over this.
Katsuki sighed softly, “Izuku.” When was the last time he said his actual name? They managed planning a whole project without saying each other's names.
“Look, I,” Katsuki began again. He paused and Izuku heard the creak of his chair behind him.
“I know this is too late. But, I'm sorry. For everything. For the way I pushed you away, the things I said to keep you away. All the bullshit in middle school. I didn't realize, I was too dumb to know back then, but you're a real friend. The kind I wish I held onto. It took Shitty Hair and Pikachu crashing into me last year to really make me aware of how shitty my other so-called-friends actually were.” He paused again, and Izuku could hear the barley audible crack in his voice, “I'm sorry.”
Izuku whirled around. Sorry? It sounded almost rehearsed, had he planned out what he would say?
“I-” Izuku didn't know what to say. Was this another trick? A cruel joke he would then tell everyone about later? No. It couldn't be, Eijiro and Denki would never find it funny. Would they?
Katsuki sniffed, shifting in the chair as Izuku continued to stare at him. “It's, it's whatever, ok? I don't deserve your forgiveness, and I know we're long past the point of being friends again. And we-”
“Kacchan.” Izuku knelt down in front of him. “It would be nice to know someone in college when we’re hours away from home.”
“Yea?” He hesitantly reached out to gently brush away a stray tear from Izuku's cheek.
“What, no comment about how easily I cry?” He held back a shudder at the feel of his warm, calloused fingers.
Katsuki shook his head. “ No. After a year and a half of therapy, I've learned a few things about healthy outlets.” He pulled his hand away from Izuku's face. “Tell anyone and we'll have a problem.”
Izuku knew an olive branch when we saw one. “Your secret is safe.” A chance to build their relationship again, to pick up the pieces and learn, to grow. “Thank you, Kacchan.”
“Fuck. Don't thank me. I'm trying to- fuck.” He ran his palms over his eyes. “I should get home, my mom is going to kill me.”
“It's okay. My mom called her last night.”
“That's worse.” He kicked the chair back and stood up. “I'll see you Monday at lunch?”
Inko's voice called from the hallway, startling them both. “Izuku, you have friends here to see you.”
Now? But it was so early. He shot Katsuki a confused look before his door swung open in a blur of purple and yellow.
“See,” Hitoshi drawled, “they're fine.”
Denki pouted, “I didn't say-”
“Guys, what are you-”
“Fuckers, you've got two seconds before-”
“Language, Katsuki!” Inko didn't pause as she passed the open door.
“Oooooo! Someone got yelled at!” Denki was grinning ear to ear. Katsuki's glare only added to his amusement.
“Guys, seriously. Why are you here?”
“Sorry, Izuku. I got dragged along.” Hitoshi leaned against the door frame.
“You were worried too!”
“One,” Katsuki began to count. “Two.”
Denki shoved his hands in his pockets, “You said you were working with your AP lab partner when we were texting last night. I didn't think anything of it, but then, Momo mentioned you turned down Shouto's offer to team up, and got yourself paired with Izuku. So, naturally, I was feeling nosy.”
Hitoshi interjected before Katsuki melted his boyfriend with the power of glaring alone. “We went by your place this morning, but your mom only laughed and said you'd be here.”
Izuku looked between the three of them, trying to puzzle out exactly what Denki said about Katsuki turning down Shouto. “Hitoshi, we're fine. Kac- Katsuki was just getting ready to leave.”
“Well, everyone is in one piece, no marks anywhere.” Hitoshi leered at them. “We're meeting up with Ochako and Tenya for breakfast, you're both welcome to join us.”
“Pass.” Katsuki turned to put his books and laptop in his bag, effectively dismissing the intruders.
“Bye guys,” Izuku mouthed 'text me’ to Hitoshi as he pushed his boyfriend out of the room.
The air in the room no longer held the promise of apologies and new beginnings. Katsuki's back was stiff as he packed his bag, stuffing his notes in haphazardly. He needed to fix it.
“Don't.” He fished his keys out of the side pocket. “Just… don't.”
“I- I'm sorry. For what I said yesterday, about being stuck. I didn't know you-”
“I said don't.” He brushed past Izuku with a growl.
Izuku grabbed his shoulder, emboldened by Katsuki's apology. “Wait.”
“Please. Just. If you want to pair up in the future, just ask, okay?”
Katsuki relaxed under his grip. “Yea?”
Izuku nodded. “Being stuck together isn't a bad thing, right? We're going to be going across the country together soon enough. Stuck, but in a good way?”
He was rewarded with a rare, genuine smile. “See you Monday.”