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Let My Sun Melt Away Your Scars

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                It was a quiet Sunday.  Most students were out making sure they had all of their supplies for the upcoming school semester.  After all, the first day back was only a week away.  But some were all set, enjoying the last week of their winter break before having to return to sleepless nights and weekend study cram sessions.  Even so, the little coffee shop was pretty calm.  There were only a few people in that day, sitting back on their laptops, or plugged into their music; just relaxing, and enjoying the quiet serenity and overall peaceful atmosphere.  Soft jazz music played through the overhead speakers.

                “Man, I can’t believe school starts back up in a week!” one of the baristas sighed to himself as he was washing dishes.  “Oi, did you find out if you’re rooming with someone yet?” he asked his fellow coworker, who was wiping down the front counter.

                “Ah, no, not yet,” he replied, wringing out his wet rag in his wash bucket.  “To be honest, I probably won’t have one.”  He began to scrub the counter again, “I mean, unless it’s just a room change, most people don’t transfer in for the last semester of the year.”  He tossed his rag in the bucket and pulled a dry one from the back of his apron, “But who knows,” he started to dry the counter, “maybe someone will switch rooms and end up in mine.”  Once the counter was mostly dry, he tossed the rag over his shoulder and reached down to grab the bucket, “If I do get a roommate, I’m just hoping we can be bros!  I mean, that’s how we met, Sero, and look at us now; best buds!”  He smirked at his friend, who held out his fist, and was met with the redhead’s knuckles.

                Sero Hanta had roomed with Kirishima for the first year and a half of University.  After getting too drunk during a party earlier that summer, he tried to jump from a balcony, claiming he was Spiderman.  The two decided they might be better off rooming separately.  He was quite tall and had straight, jagged black hair.  Although being rather plain, he had a huge toothy smile that could make anyone smile back.  He also had a tendency to wiggle his eyebrows when flirting or telling a funny joke.

                The redhead pushed through the swinging door and into the back.  He dumped out the dirty cleaning solution into the large sink in the back, tossing the rags into the laundry hamper.  He had just started to wash his hands off in the back sink when he heard Sero calling for him.

                “Oi Eiji, can you come help this guy out?!”  Sero hollered from the front, probably elbow deep in the suds.

                “Ah, coming!” Kirishima shouted back and wiped his damp hands on the front of his apron.  He pushed back through the swinging door and jogged up the customer.  He doesn’t recognize him.  Maybe he’s transfer student!  After all, since this was a pretty small college town, the only unfamiliar faces are those of new students or visiting family.  “Hey, welcome to the ‘Spice Spoon!’ Let me know if you have any questions about anything on the menu!”  He smiled and was met with a scowl, before the customer turned his eyes to the menu on the wall behind the counter. 

                Kirishima inspected the customer while waiting for his response.  He was wearing an oversized black pullover hoodie with a white cracked skull on the front, hands shoved into the large pocket.  He’s also wearing a pair of loose fitting black jeans, with a silver chain on the side.  He has a black messenger bag across his body, decked out with various pins and patches.  Kirishima couldn’t see his shoes, but based on the other pieces of his outfit; he could guess that they were probably black too.  He had short blond hair sticking out from a loose fitting black beanie, also covered with pins, like his bag.  His skin was fair and he had strong and well sculpted facial features, with a few freckles randomly about his face.  And he had the most intense looking eyes Kirishima had ever seen.  They were slender and a deep, mysterious red.  They were lined with a thin hint of black eyeliner, making his eyes look even fiercer.  Honestly, the guy looked like a model or a singer in a rock band!  He must have been staring for too long because the customer was looking back at him, scowling.

                “A-ah,” Kirishima broke eye contact for a second and smiled, his face a little flushed from embarrassment, “did you have any questions about the menu?”  He locked eyes again, “Or do you have a specific flavor that you like?  I can give you some suggestions based on that if you’re unsure about our selection.” 

                The blond looked back at the menu and then in the display case full of cute pastries and tea sandwiches to the left of the register.  “Anything spicy?” he finally asked, still examining the display case.

                Kirishima was a bit taken back by his question.  He had never heard of a café having spicy food.  “A-ah,” the blond looked back up at him, “w-we don’t really have anything like that,” he smiled and scratched the back of his head, “sorry.”

                “Tch,” the customer scowled again, “How about cinnamon?” he asked, sounding a bit annoyed.

                Kirishima lighted back up and smiled, “Ah, we do!”  He gestured a hand to a chalk drawing of a cute little snowman with cinnamon sticks for arms.  “We have a cinnamon mocha macchiato for the winter season!  I can even add some extra cinnamon for you, to make the flavor more intense!  And I can do it on the house, since it’s your first time here!” he winked and flashed a bright smile again.

                “Ah, sure,” the man replied and fished into his pocket for his wallet, which was attached to the chain hanging from his belt loop.

                “Perfect!”  Kirishima held out a hand to point at the cup sizes, “Which size would you like?”  The blond looked at the sizes and pointed at the largest one.  “Perfect!” he typed on the touchscreen register.  “Is there anything else I can grab for you today?”  The customer shook his head.  “Alright sir, it’ll be ¥685!”

                There was a slight hesitation from the blond, but he pulled a ¥1,000 out of his wallet and handed it over to Kirishima.  “You can keep the change,” he muttered.

                “A-ah, thank you sir,” Kirishima beamed and bowed his head slightly.  “I’ll make this up and bring it out to you in a minute!”  The blond nodded and turned to sit at a table.  As he walked away, Kirishima looked down at the man’s feet.  He was right; his shoes were black, but he wasn’t expecting them to be a slight platform.

                Kirishima turned to start making the drink and was met with Sero’s toothy grin.  “W-what’s with that face?” Kirishima elbowed him and began mixing the customer’s drink.

                “I saw you checking him out man,” he smirked and elbowed him back.  Kirishima’s face flushed a bit and he scowled at Sero.  The taller of them just smirked again and turned off the tap, patting his hands on his apron.  “Honestly dude, I don’t blame you,” he shrugged, “the guy’s pretty attractive.”  Kirishima topped the drink with the café’s specialty whipped cream, and sprinkled some ground up cinnamon and shaved chocolate on top of the whipped cream.  Sero threw a hand over the redhead’s shoulder and admired the flawless drink.  “Man, you are too much of an artist when it comes to these.  They always look like they’re straight out of a magazine.”  He jokingly nuzzled Kirishima’s face, “You’ll make a good wife one day,” he snickered and was softly punched in the arm as Kirishima wiggled out of his grasp.  “Ah, just be my wife Eiji,” Sero whined and wrapped his arms around the other’s waist.

                “Dude, I would never be your wife after having to live with you for a year and a half!”  He smiled, “I got so sick of your mess all over our room!”  Kirishima laughed, “And don’t get me started on your smelly feet,” he jokingly made a disgusted face; “I still have nightmares about them coming to life and chasing me!  I can still smell them too!”  Sero laughed along and jokingly elbowed Kirishima in the ribs before popped into the back room. 

                Kirishima examined the drink once more, making sure it was up to his standards.  He added in two Pirouline, as a little bonus.  He scooped it up and headed to the table in the far corner of the café, where the blond was sitting.  He was fully engrossed in whatever he was doing on his laptop, typing away, headphones shoved into his ears.  Kirishima carefully approached the table and set the drink down.  The blond pulled out one headphone and looked up at the barista.  “One cinnamon mocha macchiato, with extra cinnamon,” He smiled and bowed slightly.  “Let me know if I can get anything else for you or if it’s not to your liking.  I’d be more than happy to make you another drink if you don’t like it.”

                The blond examined the drink, “Thanks,” he muttered and popped the headphone back into his ear.  Kirishima exhaled and turned to head back to the counter.

                As he was stepping behind the counter, a group of 7 girls threw open the doors to the café and poured inside, their chatter immediately drowning out the smooth jazz music playing through the speakers.  Kirishima smiled and welcomed them in.  Even as charismatic as he was, it always tired him out having to deal with large groups.  Sero popped out from the back and wrapped an arm around Kirishima’s shoulder, wiggling his eyebrows at the girls.  They giggled at the two and began to order their drinks.  Sero went over to the mixing station and started making the drinks as each girl ordered them.  After the group had finished ordering, they shuffled over to a table, a few spots away from where the blond man was sitting.  He immediately scowled and looked like he was turning up the volume on his laptop, trying to drown out their giggling.  They could be seen looking over at the blond and whispering amongst themselves.  Kirishima watched the man finally take a sip of his drink.  He swallowed and looked at the cup, examining it closer.  He then took another big swig, before setting it back down on the table.  He pulled out a Pirouline and began to eat the soggy end.  ‘Good,’ Kirishima exhaled, ‘he liked it.’ 

                Once the drink orders were finished, the two of them brought them over to the girls, both bowing after the girls thanked them.  “Man,” Sero stretched his long arms above his head, as they walked back to the counter, “why are the cute ones always in such large groups?”  He tossed an arm over Kirishima’s shoulder, “Makes flirting with ‘em harder.”  He frowned and Kirishima smirked as he rolled his eyes.  The bell over the door rang again and they both turned to see a man with white and red hair walk in, sliding his jacket off of his shoulders.  “Oi, Todoroki, there you are!”  Sero shouted and waved at the man.  “That’s your cue,” he looked at Kirishima, who was beginning to untie his apron.   

                Todoroki Shouto had been working at the ‘Spice Spoon’ since half way through their first year of university.  He was extremely handsome in a very unique way.  Having two different colored eyes, the right being brown, while the left was a deep turquoise; he received a lot of attention and was often fawned over by the female guests.  His hair was white on the right and red on the left, to complement his unique heterochromia. 

                Their coworker fetched his own apron off of the peg and threw it over his head, fastening the tie around his waist.  “Sorry,” he bowed, “I lost track of time with my studies and was almost late

                “Dude, you’re still like 5 minutes early,” Sero, patted him on the back and grinned, “don’t sweat it.”  The other smiled and headed into the back room to hang up his coat. 

                As Kirishima was about to remove his apron, there was a loud shatter and a shriek from behind him.  He turned to see one of the girls over at the blond customer’s table, his almost full drink half on him, and half on the floor, shards of his cup scattered around the two of them.  He had his laptop over his head, which luckily looked unharmed.  “Oi bitch, watch it!” he shouted and ripped his headphones out of his ears, tossing them, and his laptop, into the safety of his bag.  The other girls quickly jumped up and scampered over to their friend, who was on the verge of tears.  “Ever heard of minding your own damn business?” 

                One of the girls stepped in between the two, “It was an accident, back off!” she shouted, but Kirishima could tell she was nervous of the other man by her stance. 

                The redhead retied his apron and he and Sero both rushed over to the table as Todoroki emerged from the back with a mop and bucket.  He was always prepared in situations like this.  “What happened?” Kirishima asked.  “Are either of you hurt?”  His question was mostly directed at the blond man, who had coffee all over his lap.

                “I’m fine,” the blond glared at the girl, “luckily,” he spat as tears started to pour out of her eyes.  “What’s your deal?  Can’t you just leave someone the fuck alone?”  He slammed a fist on the table, causing it to teeter.  “Dumb bitch,” he scoffed.

                “Okay, now just calm down,” Kirishima stepped between them, being mindful the ceramic shards on the floor.  He turned toward the group of girls, “Please go back to your own table and,” he turned to the man, grabbing a dry towel from Sero’s apron, “are you sure you aren’t burned?” he asked, handing him the clean towel.  The blond man snatched the towel and moved to the other side of the table.  “I may have some slacks in the back, if you would like some dry pants,” he smiled slightly, trying to lighten the mood and restore the calm atmosphere. 

                “Whatever,” the man scowled and grabbed his bag, following Kirishima to the back while Todoroki began to clean up and mess and Sero tried to calm the sobbing girl.

 

                “It’s not nice to make a lady cry,” Kirishima stated as he rustled through the extra slacks they had folded in the back, “especially when it’s an accident.”  He grabbed a pair that he believed would be the closest in size for him and handed them over to the blond, along with a plastic bag for his wet clothes.

                “Whatever,” he scoffed again unbuttoning his jeans, seeing that his underwear was also pretty soaked.  He snatched the slacks and the bag from the redhead.

                Kirishima gestured to another door, “Feel free to change in there.”  He turned and started to head back to the café.  He heard what he believed to be a ‘Thanks’ from the other man, before heading through the door.  He headed over to the mixing station and quickly whipped up another drink to go.  Even if he was an asshole about the situation, it did suck and he had barely downed any of his drink, especially after Kirishima had put so much time into it.  He brought out a plate of cookies for the girls and apologized again for the other man’s behavior.  They kindly thanked him and accepted the peace offering.  Kirishima removed his apron, and hung it on the rack, as Sero and Todoroki rejoining him at the counter.

                “Thanks for handling that man,” Sero sighed, “I really hate confrontation.”  He scratched the back of his head, slightly embarrassed.

                “It’s no problem,” he playfully punched Sero on the arm and gripped a firm hand on Todoroki’s shoulder, “thanks for dealing with the girls and the mess,” he smiled at the two of them.  He hated confrontation, just as much as Sero, but was pretty good and putting on the brave face to deal with the occasional unruly customers.  The blond emerged from the back, carrying the plastic bag.  “Well, I’ll see you guys Tuesday!” Kirishima smiled and waved as he grabbed the new drink and followed the other man out. 

                “Ah, here,” he handed him the new coffee. 

                The man looked at it surprised.  “You didn’t have to make a new one, it wasn’t your fault,” but he took the drink in his free hand.

                “Don’t worry about it,” he smiled.  “I always want to make sure everyone leaves, having a good experience!” he beamed.  “Ah, I didn’t get your name,” he stated, hoping that he would be leaving a good enough first impression on this new face.  “I’m Kirishima.  Kirishima Eijirou!” he held out a hand.

                The blond looked at the outstretched hand and took a sip of his new coffee, exhaling a puff of breath into the cold winter air. “It’s Bakugo. Bakugo Katsuki."

Chapter Text

                The two men walked back toward the campus together, with Kirishima doing most of the talking and Bakugo just nodding and answering the occasional question that was thrown at him.  He didn’t seem like a huge talker, but Kirishima was destined to try and get to know the new guy.

                “So, you just transferred here, right?”  His question was met with a slight nod.  “Cool!  Well, if you ever need help finding anything, just let me know!” he smiled and jabbed a thumb in his chest.  “I know this whole town like the back of my hand!”  He glanced over the blond, who was taking another sip of his drink, looking at the ground slightly in front of him.  “Ah,” Kirishima was worried he was annoying him with his blabbering, since he wasn’t replying, so he tried a different approach, “Are you studying anything specific?”  Maybe he would talk about something he was passionate about.

                Bakugo took another sip before replying, “Culinary arts,” he murmured, “I like to cook.”

                “Oh cool!” Kirishima smiled, they had something in common after all!  “I love cooking too!  That’s why I love working in the café—”

                “Tsk,” he was cut off by a scoff from Bakugo, “not the same thing.” 

                “Ah,” Kirishima backed off a bit, “sorry.  I do like cooking too though.”  They continued the rest of their walk in silence.

 

                They arrived at the main entrance for the school and, to his surprise, Bakugo kept walking.  “Hey, where are you going?” he asked, hoping he wouldn’t make him even more mad.

                He held up the bag with his wet clothes, without looking back, “cleaners.”

                Kirishima remembered that he hadn’t gone to the grocery store yet.  “I’ll tag along!” he shouted and bound up to walk with Bakugo again.  “I still have to get some stuff for my dorm.”  The coin-op laundry was in the same shopping plaza as the grocery store, quite convenient actually.  It seemed everything was so close together, you didn’t even need a car to live here.  Sero was the only person Kirishima knew, personally, who had a car; a kitschy little vintage black bug that was a gift from his mom before he left home.  Curious, he decided to ask, “Are you staying in the dorms?”

                “Yeah, s’cheaper than renting an apartment.” he scoffed, taking another sip of his coffee.

                Kirishima laughed, “Yeah, that’s definitely true!”  He rubbed a hand on the back of his neck, “Don’t even know why I asked.”

                Bakugo looked over at Kirishima, “Do you have to be so bright?” he asked.

                Kirishima looked at Bakugo; head tilted to the side a bit.  “Bright?” he asked.  “What do you mean by that?”

                He turned away again, “Like, you’re always smiling and happy.  It’s annoying.”

                “Ah,” Kirishima looked away too, “s-sorry.  I just try to be the guy that makes everyone’s day better.”  He shoved a hand into his pocket, playing with his keys, “Making people happy makes me happy, I guess.  Sorry if I was annoying you.”  Bakugo scoffed again and they walked the rest of the way to the plaza, surrounded by silence again.

                Once they arrived in front of the grocery store, Bakugo finished his drink, tossing it into a trash can by the door.  “When do you want me to bring these back to you?” he asked, pulling on the pant leg of the slacks.

                “Oh, I’m working Tuesday, if you want to swing by then,” he smiled again, trying not to be as ‘bright.’

                “Ah, sure,” he said and turned and walked toward the cleaners. 

                “Yeah, see you then!” Kirishima waved, even though the blond wasn’t looking, and promptly entered the store.

                He started his search down the aisles, grabbing the basic college crap food; bread, and stuff for sandwiches, chips, crackers, ice cream, more instant dinners, granola bars, and a pack of beer.  Kirishima wasn’t the type to drink, especially after he and Sero got way too drunk last year and he had to save his friend from almost jumping from the balcony, but figured he get it, just in case.  It was nice to unwind every now and then.  He headed over to the produce section, grabbing some fruits for study snacks.  He grabbed a large bag of oranges, knowing that they were Sero’s favorite.  He paused; they would probably be doing the majority of studying in Sero’s room, now that he thought about it, and he always had a hefty supply in there.  He swapped it for a smaller bag, and added them to his basket, just in case they ever decided to hang out in his room.  He bagged up his groceries and headed back out into the cold.  He thought about popping into the cleaners to say goodbye to Bakugo, but decided it was best not to push himself on the new guy, too much.  So he started his walk back to the campus dorms to change out of his café uniform and into his gym clothes.  He always liked to head to the gym after work.  It was a way for him to wind down after a long day.

                As he arrived and walked toward the men’s dorms, he spotted a familiar head and jogged a bit to catch up with them.  “Oi, Kaminari!” he shouted and the other man turned his head and smiled.

                “Hey man!  Long time, no see!” he shouted excitedly, embracing the other man in a huge hug, playfully slapping him on the back.  “You just get off of work?” Kaminari asked, noticing how Kirishima wasn’t in his usual lounge attire.  “Was Sero still there?” he asked, walking with the other man to the dorms.

                “Yeah,” he replied, “he’s closing with Todoroki tonight, since Mina is still out sick.”  Mina was the head honcho over the ‘Spice Spoon,’ but had been stuck in bed with a nasty cold since Friday.  Since Sero was second in charge, he offered to cover as many shifts of hers as he could manage.  “I’m starting to think it might have been more than a cold, but Uraraka has been taking good care of her,” he shot him a ‘thumbs up.’

                “Ah man, he’s been there since this morning,” Kaminari sighed, a little overdramatically.  “I was hoping he could help me out with the game that I’m stuck on.  I just wanna move on already,” he whined.

                “Dude, you still have a week to finish up your game before school picks up.  I’m sure you’ll finish it by then.”  He gave a supporting pat on Kaminari’s back, “What part is it that you’re stuck on?”

                “The final fight with Sepheroth,” he sighed again, “I just can’t figure out how to beat him, even with looking up walkthroughs and using every online guide I can find!  They always make it seem a lot easier than it is.”

                Kirishima laughed slightly, “That’s what you get for having to play on expert mode.  Of course it’s going to be really hard.”  

                Kaminari pouted and socked Kirishima in the arm, “I just wanna be good at video games like Sero is, but I feel like I’m never going to get there.”  He stuck out his bottom lip.

                “Dude, you’ll get there eventually, it just takes time,” he placed a hand on his shoulder.  “You think Sero was always the ‘God of video games’?”

                “Yes,” Kaminari muttered and was met with Kirishima’s laughter.  “It’s true!” he shouted up at him.  “He’s been amazing ever since he was a kid!”  He threw his arms up in the air, “I heard he won a Smash tournament against grown ass adults when he was like seven!”

                “Okay, you got me there,” Kirishima snickered.  They pushed through the main doors to the dorms and were met with lots of familiar faces.  Kirishima smiled and waved at some of his classmates, before heading to the elevators with Kaminari.  He and Sero were rooming with each other for the rest of this year.  They had met at an after school soccer game when the blond had been plowed right in the face by a ball that Sero had kicked.  It had knocked him clean out, leaving the most hilarious look on his face.  Sero took him to the nurses’ office and stayed with him until he regained consciousness, apologizing profusely.  Kaminari was still so out of it when he woke up; he kept muttering something about Sero being the angel to take him to the afterlife.  Sero had laughed so hard from Kaminari’s statement, that he fell over backwards and was in tears.  They became fast friends pretty quickly after that.

                “You going to the gym?” Kaminari asked, pressing the button for his floor.

                “Yeah,” Kirishima replied, pressing the button above the one blond had pressed, “the usual.”  He slumped back against the wall of the elevator.  “You wanna tag along?” he asked.

                Kaminari jokingly slapped his knee and laughed, “Me?  Work out?  Ha!  Did you forget who I am?” He had never been the type to volunteer to be active.  He would much rather play video games over going out and getting all sweaty.

                “No, just figured I’d ask,” he smirked.  “There’s lots of cute girls at the gym though.  You’re seriously missing out man,” he poked Kaminari in the ribs with his elbow and wiggled his eyebrows.

                “Ha, like I’d be able to pick up a chick at the gym!” Kaminari smiled, but looked a bit hurt at his own statement.  “Girls don’t like scrawny geeks like me.  They’d probably date me out of pity more than anything.”  Kirishima was about to comfort him when the elevator beeped and stopped on Kaminari’s floor.  “Well,” he stepped out of the elevator, “have fun anyway.”  He was smiling, but Kirishima was still worried.

                Kaminari never talked confidently about himself, but seemed even more down lately.  He wasn’t super tall or active, but he had a pretty face and Kirishima noticed when girls would giggle and say things about how cute he was.  He didn’t seem to see that they were trying to flirt.  He always assumed they were talking shit instead.  Kirishima knew exactly how he felt.  When Kirishima was back in middle school, he used to be extremely self-conscious and hated himself for a long time.  He hoped that one day he and Sero would be able to get Kaminari to feel more confident about himself.

                Kirishima arrived at his floor and headed to his room, ready to change out of his tight slacks.  He went to unlock the door but stopped.  He softly knocked and waited a few seconds before inserting his key into the door.  He didn’t know if his roommate, if he had one at all, had arrived yet, but didn’t want to surprise him, just in case.  He slowly opened the door and flicked on the lights.  To his surprise, there were suitcases on the bed across the room from his!  He was going to have a roommate!  He gently closed the door behind him. 

                He headed over to the small kitchen area.  They had a counter, microwave, a half sized fridge, along with cupboards lining above and below the space, the lower ones ending where the refrigerator sat.  They had a communal kitchen down in the main lobby, but Kirishima always had snacks and instant meals stashed in his room for the nights when he didn’t want to fight with the other students for kitchen space.

                He put the ice cream into the top freezer compartment, and the beer in the refrigerator compartment.  He bent down and stocked the lower cupboards with his chips and other junk food.  He pulled a large bowl out of an upper cabinet, where he had other bowls, plates, and glasses stashed, and placed the fruit in there, taking it over and setting it onto the small coffee table, in front of the couch.  He stuck his hands on his hips; this place was finally starting to feel like home again.

                After Sero had decided to room with Kaminari, he felt pretty lonely.  The blond’s old roommate had to return back home for a family emergency, and Sero had decided that he wanted to stay with him.  Ever since they had met, they became really close, and Kirishima wanted them both to be happy.  Plus, even when Kaminari’s roommate was still here, the three of them spent a lot more time together in their room, rather than hanging out in Kirishima’s.

                He shelled off his uniform and changed into his workout clothes, which consisted of a tank top and some basketball shorts.  He eyed the strangers’ things.  He only had a few bags and hadn’t unpacked at all yet.  Kirishima placed his uniform into his hamper with the rest of his dirty clothes.  He straightened up his side of the room; a little embarrassed it wasn’t perfect when his roommate had arrived.  Hopefully he didn’t leave a bad first impression with his slight clutter.  He grabbed an extra set of clothes and shoved them into his duffle bag, along with his water bottle.  He flipped off the lights and exited the room, locking the door behind him.

 

                Kirishima wiped an arm across his brow and took a swig from his water bottle.  He had been working out for just over two hours now and figured that was enough for tonight.  He stretched out his muscles once more before heading to the public showers. A group of girls over by the yoga mats giggled as he walked by and he winked at them in response, causing one to shriek slightly. 

                Kirishima pulled his hair out of the small bun he had atop his head and shook it out, before stripping off his sweaty clothes.  He headed into the showers and turned the knob, letting the cool water beat on his sore body for a bit.  He heard a few guys enter the locker room as well.  He could only pick up a few words from their conversation, over the beat of water on tile, but definitely knew they were talking about sex.  He sighed and squirted some shampoo into his hair, scrubbing his scalp aggressively.  He always hated when guys would brag about how much sex they were getting from so many different girls.  It seemed none of them actually wanted a relationship anymore, just someone to ‘fuck’ and forget about the next day. He began to rinse off, trying to block out the rest of their conversation.  He had never had a girlfriend before, just really good female friends.  It wasn’t like he was avoiding a relationship; he just felt he hadn’t found the right one yet.

                He turned the knob and squeezed the water out of his hair, before reaching over the door to grab the dry towel hanging outside of it.  He threw the towel over his head and began to slightly dry his hair.  Once he was mostly dry, he tied the towel around his waist and stepped out of the shower, avoiding eye contact with the group of guys.  He threw a red tank top over his head and slipped on his boxers, under his towel, before removing it and placing it on the bench.  He pulled on a pair of grey sweats and sat on the bench to put on his socks and shoes.  The group of guys had quieted down a bit, now that the shower wasn’t running, but were still talking just as crude as Kirishima had thought.  He shook the towel over his wet hair once more, trying to get out as much water as he could, before hanging it on a the dirty towel rack.  He slung his duffle bag over his shoulder, before exiting the locker room, slightly nodding at the other guys, who were now heading to the showers.

                He walked past the same group of girls and smiled sweetly at them.  Hopefully none of them would get tricked into a one night stand with someone like the assholes in the showers.  Treating a girl like an item was so uncool, and anyone who felt that way was no real man to him.  He exited the gym and walked into the main entrance of the dorms, seeing that snow was softly falling outside.  He hoped that Bakugo made it back to the dorms before it started snowing.  He clicked the elevator button and waited for it to come down to the lobby.  The elevator arrived pretty quick, dumping out a group of guys out in front of him.  Kirishima smiled at them as he stepped into the elevator, pressing the button for his floor.  The doors slid shut and he began his ascension.

                Once the elevator beeped and the doors opened his stepped out and headed to his room.  He was tired and ready to sleep, but should get some studying and a small meal in before that.  He looked at the screen on his phone; it was only 7 o’clock after all.

                He reached his room and inserted the key into the lock, turning it; it was already unlocked.  He promptly entered the room and held up a hand to greet his new roommate.  He opened his mouth and was about to introduce himself when he was met with a familiar face. 

                “Oh my god, Bakugo?” he almost shouted as he was greeted with a scowl.  The blond was bent over one of his bags, unpacking his things into his dresser.  “I can’t believe this, what are the odds!”  He closed the door behind him and set his duffle bag down at the end of his own bed.  He shuffled over to the blond and held out his hand; “I look forward to our semester together, man!” he smiled, waiting for the other man’s hand. 

                He was met with a cold stare before Bakugo tossed the clean slacks in Kirishima’s outstretched hand, “Thanks. Here.”  He turned back to his suitcase, and continued to stock the draws of his dresser with his clothes.

                Kirishima stood there for a second, kind of confused.  He placed the slacks on his bed and returned to his duffle bag, removing his dirty clothes and tossing them into his hamper.  He wanted to strike up a conversation, but figured he would give the guy some space to get settled.  “Hey,” he said softly, “you don’t mind if I warm up some food, right?”  Bakugo shrugged as he tucked his first empty suitcase under his bed, opening the second bag.  Kirishima headed over to the small kitchen space they had and pulled an instant ramen packet from a cupboard below the microwave. 

                After his food was finished cooking, he headed over to his side of the room and set his food down on the nightstand next to him.  He finagled himself onto the bed and got comfortable, before reaching down in between his bed and the nightstand and pulling out his laptop.  He flipped it open and turned it on, before grabbing his dinner, inhaling a few, very hot bites.  He set it back down grabbed a headband from his nightstand drawer and pushed his still damp hair out of his face. 

                He turned to Bakugo again, “I bought some snacks and some beer at the store.  You’re free to help yourself.  The blond grunted in thanks.

                The rest of the night was pretty quiet, with Kirishima silently studying and Bakugo stretched out on their small couch, scrolling through his phone. 

 

                Once it was about 10, Bakugo rose from the couch and headed into the bathroom.  He came back out a few minutes later and headed to his bed, shelling off his shirt and pants.  For his stature, he was quite muscular and Kirishima couldn’t help but look.  Maybe he could finally have a work out partner.  He tossed his clothes onto the end of his bed and crawled under the sheets.  “Night,” he said, before turning over to face the wall, throwing his blanket over himself.

                “A-ah,” Kirishima turned the knob on his lamp, before he quickly got up from his bed.  He headed to the small kitchen space that they had placed his bowl into the sink and his fork in a glass, where it clinked against a few other utensils.  Ah, he was so focused on what food he should get, that he had forgotten to by dish soap again.  He headed over to the entryway of the room and flicked off the overhead room light, “goodnight!”

                Bakugo turned his head to face Kirishima as he headed toward the bathroom, “You don’t have to turn off the light.”  Kirishima cocked his head to the side, slightly confused.  “It’s fine if you are staying up longer, I don’t care.”

                “Ah, no, I should get some sleep too,” Kirishima admitted and smiled, before closing the bathroom door behind him.  He brushed his teeth and checked his roots.  He could see a bit of black poking through his bright red hair.  He would have to go get it re-dyed soon, before it grew out too much and created a noticeable black stripe.  He left the bathroom and returned to his bed stashing his laptop in its home beside his nightstand. He climbing into bed and glanced over at his new roommate.  Bakugo had his back to him again.  Kirishima removed his headband and placed it back in the drawer.  He reached up towards his lamp, “Goodnight Bakugo,” he whispered before turning the knob, filling their room with blackness.  The only light was coming from the slight cracks in the blinds, where the snow outside was still softly falling.

Chapter Text

                Kirishima didn’t sleep well that night.  He kept randomly waking up in a cold sweat, not remembering what had been repeatedly startling him in his dreams.  After lying awake for a while, he heard his roommate rustle across the room from him.  The blond slowly sat up and looked around the room, a confused look on his face.  “You okay?” Kirishima asked, causing the blond to jump slightly.  “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

                Bakugo squinted at him in the dark and rubbed his eyes.  “S’fine,” he muttered, throwing the blanket off of himself before getting up and walking across the room.  “Got any cups?” he sleepily asked.

                “Oh yeah,” Kirishima flipped on his lamp and got out of bed too, “sorry.”  He walked over to their dining space and opened a cupboard above the sink, grabbing down a glass.  “Guess I should’ve given you a rundown of where I stashed everything,” he scratched the back of his head and flashed embarrassed smile.

                “S’fine,” Bakugo said again and filled it with tap water, “thanks.” 

                Kirishima closed his eyes and stretched his arms above his head, a satisfying pop rippling its way up his spine.  He opened his eyes again to see Bakugo standing there, cup to his lips, examining the redhead in the faint light of the lamp.  He felt his face flush a bit; his sweat pants were riding a bit low on his hips, exposing the waistband of his briefs.  Taking advantage of the moment, he decided to try let a bit of his friendly self out.  He placed one hand on his hip, with the other fanned out under his chin.  “Like what you see?” he whispered in a low, raspy voice, seductively wiggling his eyebrows like had Sero taught him.

                Bakugo sputtered into his cup, and exploded into laughter, splashing water down the front of his bare chest.  Kirishima hadn’t expected that extreme of a reaction from this type of guy, be he nervously laughed along too, partially happy that he hadn’t reacted violently like earlier—well, technically yesterday, since it was well past midnight at this point.  The blond smirked and wiped the water off of his well-toned chest with his free hand. 

                Kirishima flushed again; this guy was really attractive in a completely different way when he smiled.  Instead of being an intense and scary type of handsome with that usual scowl of his; he was a soft and kind type of handsome.  It was the kind that would hold you, and stroke your hair when you had come back after a bad day.  The kind that would give you a soft kiss on your forehead as you fell asleep in his arms.  The kind that would—

                Kirishima felt a flush spread across his face and looked away.  Why was he thinking these things about this guy he just met?  “A-anyway, I’m going to try and head back to sleep now,” Kirishima blurted out, “g-goodnight.”  He turned and scuttled back to his bed, pulling the covers up to his chin and turning toward the wall.  God, why did he do that?  He just met this guy and was probably weirding him out.

                He heard the tap turn on in the kitchen area again, followed by footsteps toward their beds.  He heard the glass being set down on his roommates’ nightstand, followed by silence.  Kirishima suddenly felt a presence behind him and warm breath on his neck, “What’s the matter, cocky,” Bakugo breathed onto the back of Kirishima’s neck, causing a chill to run down the redhead’s spine.  “What if I do like what I see?” he whispered, placing a hand firmly on Kirishima’s side.

                Kirishima jolted upright in bed and turned to face the blond, who was only inches away from his face.  Bakugo curled his lip into a twisted smile, backing up a bit and crossing his arms.  The intense and scary look was back and staring down at Kirishima, who was extremely flustered at this point, not sure what to think.

                Bakugo snickered, “Dude, I’m kidding.”  His smirk quickly turned downward into a scowl, “I hope you were too cause I ‘aint rooming with some fuckin’ queer.”

                Kirishima’s blush quickly turned into cold sweat.  It was like he was talking to a completely different person.  ‘Shit, this guy is really scary,’ he thought to himself.  “Y-yeah,” he stuttered out, “I-I was just trying to open up; make things less awkward.”

                The blond snarled, “Well great fuckin’ job with that,” he spat, sarcastically. He returned to his own bed and tucked himself in, turning away from Kirishima again.  “And turn of that damn light, I’m done with looking at your stupid face.”

                Kirishima felt a sharp pain in his chest.  Shit.  He should not have crossed that line.  Shit!  He reached out and turned the knob on his lamp, filling the room with darkness again.  “Sorry,” he whispered, before turning his back as well.

 

                Kirishima’s phone quietly buzzing next to his ear hit him like a ton of bricks.  He never did fall back asleep, too embarrassed to let himself relax.  He could feel the weight of the bags under his eyes.  He reached over and squinted at the screen; it was Sero.  His roommate was still in bed, softly snoring.  He swiped to answer the call.  “What’s up,” he whispered, feeling his voice crack and leaned away to quietly clear his throat.

                ”Hey man, you sound terrible.  Please don’t tell me you’re sick too?”  Sero’s worried voice asked over the line.

                “Nah,” Kirishima replied, sitting himself up in bed, glancing over at Bakugo, making sure he didn’t wake him, “just didn’t sleep well.”  He rubbed his eyes, “What’s up?”

                “I know it’s your day off, but I would really appreciate it if you could come in, just for a little bit and help me out.  Whatever Mina had, Todoroki has it now too.  Midoriya said he was throwing up all night.”

                Crap.   “Yeah, I can come in.  Just give me a few minutes to wake up and get ready.”

                “Oh my god, you’re the best dude!” Sero shouted, a little too loud, causing Kirishima to hold the phone away from his ear.  “I seriously owe you one.  See you in a bit!”  The call ended, flashing the time of 7:16am.

                Kirishima groaned and dragged himself out of bed and into the bathroom.  He softly closed the door behind him and released his morning stream.  He sighed, thinking about the events between him and Bakugo.  Hopefully he could make it up to him, and properly apologize for making things awkward.  He flushed and washed his hands, splashing cold water on his face to try and wake him up a bit more.  It was a good thing he worked in a coffee shop because he was going to need the caffeine today. 

                He flipped off the light and quietly left the bathroom, heading over to the closet where he had his work clothes and winter coats hanging.  He noticed some other clothes in there as well, and assumed they were Bakugo’s.  He grabbed out a white dress shirt, and a pair of freshly pressed slacks.  He tiptoed over to his nightstand and pulled out a clean, white undershirt.  He quickly dressed himself, slipping on a pair black socks.  He pulled his hair up into a very messy bun, not having the energy to actually make his it look nice. 

                Before leaving, he softly ripped a piece of paper out of a notebook and wrote out a quick note for his roommate, apologizing for last night, telling him he would be out most of the day, with a list of where things were stashed in the room, and his phone number.  He was about to place it onto the blonde’s nightstand, but stopped.  He crumpled it up instead and tossed it into the trash can, grabbing the clean slacks that Bakugo had borrowed.  He looked back once more; his roommate was still snoring.  Kirishima was grateful he was such a deep sleeper because he could guess that Bakugo would be pretty pissed off if suddenly woken up.  He slipped on his shoes and quietly snuck out of the room.

 

                It was definitely a Monday morning; the coffee shop was completely packed with bodies by 9:00am.  Sero and Kirishima had been making drinks non-stop for a little over an hour and a half now and were both starting to feel worn down.  Dishes were piling up because neither had time to touch them, and if this rush kept up, they were going to be out of clean cups in no time. 

                In the middle of the craziness, two bubbly faces walked into the shop and raced straight behind the counter, throwing on the extra aprons that were hanging on the rack.  “We’re here!” the girl with a short, brown bob shouted, tying her apron around her waist.

                “Sorry it took us a minute, I was with Shouto-kun,” the other replied, pinning his thick, green bangs out of his face.  “I wanted to make sure he was comfortable before I left,” he sighed.

                Sero, on the verge of tears, wrapped his arms around them both, completely disregarding the customers at the register.  “Oh my god, I’m so glad you guys could come!”  He pulled away and directed them on what they could do to help.  “Uraraka, can I have you on register, and” he turned to the other, “Midoriya, can you go and wipe down tables?”  They both saluted and headed to their assignments.  “And I’m going to get these dishes cleaned!”  Sero rolled up his sleeve and started scrubbing the dirty dishes as fast as he could.

 

                After another two hours, the café was finally empty for the first time that day.  Uraraka stretched her arms above her head, while Midoriya was out sweeping the floor. 

                Uraraka Ochako was Mina’s roommate and often came in to help when she was free, even though she didn’t technically work there.  But Mina trusted her and paid her whenever she could come in, especially since Uraraka was always looking for some extra cash from whatever odd jobs she could pick up. 

                Midoriya Izuku was a fairly timid guy and had been roommates with Todoroki for the past two years.  He had only been working part-time at the café for a few months now, but was one of the hardest workers Kirishima had ever seen.  Plus, he was always super sweet and fun to be around.

                “Go sit down in the back and take a break guys,” Uraraka waved at them.  “I think we can handle the floor for a bit if anyone comes in.”

                Grateful for her offer, Kirishima poured himself a shot of straight black coffee and downed it all in one gulp.  “Jeez dude,” Sero sighed and patted Kirishima on the back, as they headed to the break room, “what happed last night?  You look like you were hit by a bus.”

                Uh, Kirishima really didn’t want to remember the embarrassment of last night, but decided he should tell his friend anyway.  “So, I finally met my roommate,” he squeezed the bridge of his nose.  “You won’t believe who he is.”

                Sero immediately knew, just from Kirishima’s attitude.  “No way, it’s the guy from yesterday, isn’t it?”  Kirishima groaned and threw himself in a chair.  His head lolled back, thick faux red hair slipping free from its messy bun.  Sero, feeling bad for how exhausted his friend was, went behind the redhead and picked up his hairband, fixing up his hair for him.  “Lean forward,” he instructed and began to rub Kirishima’s neck.  “How bad is he?”

                “It’s not him man,” Kirishima rolled his head slightly to the side, leaning into Sero’s hands, “he was actually kinda pleasant until I fucked everything up.”  He sighed and explained what happed earlier that morning and how he felt they were really getting along until he tried to be a little too friendly.  This guy wasn’t like Sero; he didn’t seem like he knew how to take a joke.

                “Fuck him, man,” Sero dug his sharp elbow into Kirishima’s upper back, rubbing it in small circles, making him melt into the touch.  Sero had been training as a massage therapist for a while now and gave the world’s best messages.  “You can always stay with me and Denki, if it gets too much to handle.  We don’t mind.”

                Kirishima smiled, “Thanks man, you’re the fuckin’ best.”  Sero stopped the massage and sat down next to him, looking a bit serious.  “What’s up?” Kirishima asked.

                Sero ran a hand through his jet black hair, rubbing his own neck, “Speaking of Kaminari, I’m really worried about him.”  Kirishima sat up and gave him his full attention.  “I think he had been crying when I got back to the room last night.”  Kirishima thought back to how their friend was acting in the elevator yesterday.  “It’s not the first time I’ve come back and he’s been like that.  I don’t know what’s going on with him man, and I’m kinda scared to ask.”  He laced both hands on the back of his neck, “I want him to know he can talk to me, but I don’t want him to think I’m trying to worm my way into his personal stuff.”

                Kirishima rested a firm hand on his shoulder, “Maybe you do need to worm into his personal stuff.”  Sero looked at him and raised an eyebrow.  “I talked to him a bit yesterday, and he seemed down to me too.”  Sero’s eyes widened, dropping his hands to his lap, glad that he wasn’t the only one who noticed something was off.  “He was talking down about himself, saying that he’ll never get a girlfriend and that he was unattractive.”

                “Dude, that’s crazy!” Sero shouted.  “He’s gorgeous, how can he not see that?” he asked, face flushing a little at calling his friend attractive.

                Kirishima nodded, “I know, I agree with you.  He looks like someone you’d see on a teen heart-throb magazine.  I think he’s just having some self-esteem issues.  As his friend and his roommate, I think he needs you to be there for him.  I tried, but he didn’t seem like he wanted to talk about it with me.” 

                Sero cocked his head to the side, “How am I supposed to do that?  I have to work so much, since Mina’s not here, so I barely ever see him anymore.”  He looked down.  “And now that Todoroki is out sick too, I have to try and find a way to cover his shifts as well.”  He laced his fingers together in his lap, “I don’t know what I can do for him.”

                “Well, for one,” Kirishima stood and Sero glanced up at him, “don’t bring it up randomly.  But if you find him upset again, just try to comfort him.  You don’t even have to ask him what’s wrong.  Just sit down on the edge of his bed and put your hand on him.  Just let him know that you’re there for him and he can talk to you, if he wants.”

                Sero stood and pulled Kirishima into a hug, “Thanks man, I’ll do that.”  Kirishima patted him on the back.  They were about to sit back down, when they heard a shriek from Uraraka out front.

                They both pushed through the back door to see Midoriya on the floor, holding the broom protectively in front of his body; eyes wide and staring up at someone in a black hoodie.  Uraraka was behind the counter with her phone in her hand, ready to dial the police. 

                “Oi, back off!” Sero shouted aggressively, surprising Kirishima.  The man turned and they saw his face.

                “Bakugo? What the hell?” Kirishima shouted and stormed up to block him from Midoriya.  He had never seen his friend so scared before.

                “Tch,” he scoffed, “fuckin’ Deku works here?”  He glared past Kirishima, to where Midoriya was shaking.  He looked back up and locked eyes with Kirishima.  “Don’t look at me like that; I didn’t even do anything.  I just walked in here and he freaked out.” 

                “He has every right to be afraid of you, Bakugo!” Uraraka shouted, hiding behind the safety of the counter.  “Izuku told me about you!”

                Bakugo scoffed, “Of course he did.  Who doesn’t fucking know?”  He turned and stormed out of the café, letting the door slam shut behind him.

                Kirishima turned and crouched down in front of Midoriya, as Uraraka and Sero bolted over as well.  The smaller man was shaking like a leaf.  Kirishima gently reached a hand out to Midoriya and softly grasped his shoulder, “Come one Izu, let’s get you in the back.”  He helped him to his feet and walked him into the break room. 

                He set him down at their break table and offered him a glass of water.  “Do you want me to walk you back to your dorm?” he asked.  Midoriya softly shook his head, his hands still shaking as he grasped the water.  “Are you hurt anywhere?”  The green haired man shook his head again.  “Okay, take all the time you need to calm down.  You can talk to me or Sero if you want either of us to take you back to the dorms at all.”  Izuku nodded, tears starting to well in his eyes.  Kirishima gently rubbed his back before heading back out to Uraraka and Sero.

                “Is he okay,” Sero asked, “did that guy hurt him?”

                Kirishima shook his head, “Nah, he’s just shaken up.”  He turned his head to Uraraka, “Midoriya knows him?” he asked her, eyebrows knitted together in concern.

                She clenched hands together, “Izuku told me that they used to be friends, until they were in middle school.”  She looked away, “He told me that he bullied Izuku really bad, and he had to move away because of it.”  Uraraka’s eyes were glossy, trying to hold back her frustrated tears, “He seems like a real—” she took a deep breath in through her nose and released it through her mouth, trying to calm herself, “a real asshole, from what he’s told me.”

                Kirishima placed a hand on her shoulder, “You want to go try to talk to him?” he asked.  The brunette nodded and disappeared into the back room.  “Jesus,” Kirishima pinched the bridge of his nose, grateful that no customers had been in the café to witness what just happened, “this guy is gonna be the death of me.”

                Sero sighed and rested a hand on Kirishima’s shoulder for support.  “After-work nap at my place?” he asked and Kirishima nodded, still holding his nose. 

               

                Uraraka was able to get their friend to calm down after a good hugging and crying session.  His face was slightly puffy for the rest of the day, but he seemed to be in better spirits after getting his emotions out.  Once 3 o’clock rolled around, and the closing crew had settled in, Sero and Kirishima hung up their aprons and waved goodbye to the café.  The walk back to the dorms was slow and quiet, both men too exhausted to talk. 

                Once they were in front of Sero’s door, they both stopped.  Sero leaned in, listening if Kaminari was there.  He couldn’t hear anything, so he quietly opened the door, in case the blond was taking a nap.  But the room was completely empty.  “Must be out,” Sero sighed, locking the door behind them.  “I’m glad he’s out and not cooped up in here all day.”  Both men stripped off their uniforms and Kirishima flopped into Kaminari’s bed.  They were both out in a matter of minutes.

               

                Kirishima awoke to see a low light in the dark room.  The sun had set, but someone was over on the couch, video game in hand.  He looked over at the other bed to see Sero sprawled out, leg climbing up the wall, arms and head almost resting on the floor.  “Kaminari?” Kirishima whispered, shifting so he could see the blond.  He didn’t look up from his game, but nodded, acknowledging that he heard the redhead.  Kirishima sat up and stretched his arms, before rising from the bed.  “Sorry for stealing your bed,” he said, sauntering over to the couch.  He leaned over Kaminari’s shoulder to see that he was still trying, and well, failing, at fighting Sepheroth. 

                The ‘game over’ screen flashed across and Kaminari threw his head back in annoyance.  “Ahh,” he whined, “why is this so hard?”

                “Let me try.”  Kirishima squoze himself onto the couch and Kaminari passed the game over to him.  Kirishima only really played multiplayer or fighting games with his friends and almost never played a solo game by himself.  But how different could it be.  It was just like fighting a ‘CPU’ right?

                He was dead in less than a minute.  “See, it is hard!”  Kaminari took the system back to try again.  “I told you he’s the hardest boss ever!”  He was shouting a little too loud at this point, frustration definitely rearing its head.

                “Denki, daddy’s trying to sleep~” Sero whined, pulling himself back onto the bed and rolling over to face the wall, tossing his blanket over his head.

                “Sorry, daddy,” Kaminari said in a sexy tone, trying so hard to hold back his laughter, “I’d be quieter if you would help me beat Sepheroth already.”  He landed a really good hit, which caused him to lean forward in concentration, only to die a few seconds later.

                Kirishima slapped him on the back, “You’re getting better dude!”  He turned to see Sero looking at them with a sleepy, confused look on his face.

                “You’re still trying to beat him,” Sero rose from the bed and stumbled over to the couch, trying to sit in between Kaminari and Kirishima, even though the sofa was only meant to hold two people.  Kaminari stood to let Sero sit, then sprawled himself across both of their laps, head on the armrest by Sero.  “Ah—” Sero winced, “your ass is so boney!”  He shifted so the blond was sitting in between his legs, practically being cradling in his lap.  Kirishima smirked; Kaminari’s face was almost as red as his dyed hair.  “Now watch closely.”

                Kaminari focused his attention on the screen, cheeks still flushed, as Sero started the battle.  Kirishima leaned in too; excited to see the ‘pro’ finally beat this boss.  He couldn’t help but sneak looks at Sero though.  His ‘game face’ was so serious, so different from his normal cheesy smile.  His lips were drawn in a tight line and his eyebrows were almost touching.  He was so focused; he blinked maybe twice during the whole fight.  But he beat him, in only 5 minutes. 

                Kaminari’s mouth was practically in his lap.  “You made it look so easy!” he shouted, “H-how?”

                Sero gently bopped him on the head and reloaded the last save, throwing him to the beginning of the battle once more, “Watch me again,” he said as he entered the fight.  “He has the advantage of speed and distance over you and he hits really hard.”  Kaminari nodded, taking all of the information in.  “You were right to have Barrier and Curaga equipped because you’ll definitely lose a lot of damage from his attacks when he does hit you.  You also want long distance magic attacks.”  He paused for a second, creating space between the characters in the game.  “Don’t let him get too close to you, so try to rely on attacking from far away.”  He dodged an attack and created some more distance, “Firaga was a good choice.  It’s your best bet for doing the most amount of damage, while keeping your distance.”  He focused back on the game, not speaking until Sepheroth was down again.  “Just like that,” he broke his concentration face and smiled, handing the handheld back to Kaminari, “now you try.”

                Kaminari nodded and reloaded the save as Kirishima stood from the couch and stretched again.  “Good luck man, I think I’m going to head back to my room now and grab something to eat.”  Kaminari, still in Sero’s lap, had already started the battle and was trying to make the same face Sero had made, thinking it was part of the strategy.  Sero smiled and waved him goodnight. 

                Kirishima quickly threw on his slacks and shoes, not caring about being fully dressed in the dorms.  He closed the door behind him and heard a loud yell, followed by a soft, “Try again,” from Sero.  Kirishima smiled and headed toward the elevator. 

Chapter Text

                Kirishima reached his room and paused before opening the door.  He didn’t even know what to say to Bakugo.  Between last night and the incident at the café, he didn’t want to even see him right now, partially out of frustration, partially still out of embarrassment.  But he inhaled deeply and unlocked his dorm. 

                It was dark.  He strained his eyes, but couldn’t see anyone in the neighboring bed, so he flicked on the lights.  There was no sign of the blond anywhere.  He sighed, relieved that he didn’t have to see him right now.  He removed his shoes and slacks, leaving his undershirt on, and pulled on his sweat pants.  He glanced at his phone, it was almost 8. He opened up the cupboard for his food stash and pulled out another microwaveable dinner; a yakisoba for tonight. 

                Once the food was heated and ready, he took it over the couch and set it down on the coffee table.  He fetched his laptop from its little nook and brought it over to the couch with him.  He flipped it open and started up Netflix.  He decided on a new crime documentary and sat back to eat his dinner.

               

                It was getting late and Bakugo wasn’t back yet.  Even though he didn’t want to, he felt a bit worried.  He went to the kitchen to dispose of the empty container and noticed there was dish soap at the sink, along with a fresh sponge.  Kirishima smiled slightly, feeling like adult Bakugo might be a better guy than the middle school version that Uraraka had partially explained to him.  Maybe he could patch things up between him and Modoriya.  He cleaned up the dirty dishes in the sink and dried them off, putting them away in the cupboard.

                After brushing his teeth and doing a bit of stretching, since he didn’t get in a workout today, he flipped off the lights and nestled into bed.  He was about to head to sleep when he heard someone lean against the door to the room, spotting a shadow under the crack.  He could hear the sound of keys and knew it was probably Bakugo.  He closed his eyes most of the way, pretending to be asleep.  The door slowly opened and his roommate entered, softly shutting and locking it behind him.  Kirishima could barely make out his figure, with only the dim moonlight reflecting off of him.  The blond turned and slumped against the wall of the entry way.  He slid down and settled on the ground by the door.  He sounded like he was breathing heavy.  Something was wrong.  Kirishima immediately sat up in bed, “You okay?” he asked quietly.

                The blond bolted to his feet and moved himself around the corner and into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.  Something was definitely wrong.  Kirishima rose from the bed and headed to the bathroom.  He softly knocked, “I didn’t mean to startle you.”  He couldn’t hear any noise inside of the bathroom.  “You alright?” he asked, hoping he would get some sort of answer.  He shifted and crossed his arms, “If this is about earlier—”

                “S-shut up!” Bakugo shouted through the door, his voice shaking.  Kirishima tried to turn the knob, but it was locked.  “Fuck o-off!” his voice cracked half way through his sentence.  The redhead sat down next the bathroom door and pulled his knees up to his chest.  He crossed his arms and rested his chin on them. 

                He sat there for what seemed like forever before he heard a noise in the bathroom.  It sounded like a soft groan.  Kirishima’s face flushed and he really hoped he wasn’t listening to his roommate jacking off.  He wished that he would’ve just stayed in Sero and Kaminari’s room. 

                He was about to sneak back to his bed, not wanting to be caught listening, when he heard a shaky whimper.  It sounded like his roommate was softly crying.  Kirishima reached toward the knob once more, but paused.  He waited a few seconds before softly knocking on the door again, pretending that he had just gotten up from bed.  “Bakugo,” he said softly, trying to sound as sleepy as he could, throwing in a fake yawn, “are you still in there?”  He received no response.  “Come on man, you need to come out eventually, I have to pee,” he lied.  He heard movement from the other room, but the door remained shut. 

                He decided to try out what he had told to Sero earlier that day.  “Hey, I don’t know what you’re going through, but I just want you to know, you can talk to me.”  He paused for a minute to see if he would get a response.  When there wasn’t one, he continued, “I know I haven’t known you for long, and things haven’t been great between us so far, but if there’s something going on, I want to know.”  He paused again, “So please, Katsuki,” Kirishima took a dare, using Bakugo’s first name, “talk to me.”  He heard movement from inside the bathroom, before a small click of the door being unlocked.  Success.  Kirishima hesitated for a moment, seeing if Bakugo was coming out, before he slowly turned the handle.  He opened the door and felt his heart drop into his stomach. 

                Bakugo was sitting on the floor in only his underwear; his entire body was covered in large, red bruises and gashes. His legs had fresh sores mostly centered on the ankles and thighs, while his arms were mostly bruised around his wrists.  His torso had seen a lot of damaged, directed at his ribs and stomach.  His right eye was swollen and bloodshot, and his nose was crooked, the blood from it dripping down and becoming one with the crimson leaking from his torn lips. 

                “Oh my god—” Kirishima collapsed onto the ground in front of Bakugo, “who—?”  He bolted back to his feet and grabbed a clean towel from the cupboard, running it under the cold tap.  He rung out the excess water and kneeled back down in front of Bakugo, gently pressing the cloth on his broken face, causing the blond to wince.  “Who the hell did this to you?” he barked, anger taking over.  “Who the fuck—” Kirishima paused when he saw new tears begin to roll down Bakugo’s cheeks.  He raised his other hand to softly hold Bakugo’s battered face, wiping away a tear with his thumb.  Kirishima moved so he was as close to Bakugo as he could be without hurting him, and gently pulled the blonde’s head to rest against his chest.  Kirishima held the other close as Bakugo softly wept into his shirt. 

                Kirishima felt tears of sadness mixed with anger welling up in his own eyes.  How could someone do this to him; and who, for that matter?  Unable to hold them back, he let them escape and roll down his cheeks.  Bakugo looked up at him and asked with a stern voice, “Why the fuck are you crying?”

 

                Kirishima was violently ripped awake by Bakugo’s voice.  He looked around frantically; Bakugo was standing in front of him, hands holding grocery bags with an eyebrow raised.  His laptop showed the message ‘Are you still watching’ over a paused scene of a body, covered in a cloth, and the time in the corner of the screen read 11:10.  Kirishima reached up and touched his face; it was wet with fresh tears.  “The fuck is wrong with you?” Bakugo asked, sounding a little annoyed. 

                Kirishima bolted up off of the sofa, rubbing his arm across his eyes, “J-just a bad dream.”  He leaned down and picked up the trash from his dinner.  The dirty dishes were still in the sink, and there was no dish soap to be found.

                “Here,” Bakugo brushed past him and set a bottle of soap on the counter, along with a brush.  “Figured someone had to buy some,” he scoffed before he began to put the rest of his groceries away.

                “Sorry, thanks,” Kirishima plopped his fork into the cup housing the other dirty utensils and retreated into the bathroom.  He leaned against the door, pushing it closed with his back, and slid down until he was sitting on the floor.  ‘It was just a dream,’ he thought to himself and exhaled, extremely relieved.  Why though?  Why did he have such a terrible dream—well, nightmare was more like it.  He grabbed his face and held it between his knees.  He was thinking he should maybe take a break from those crime shows.

                He stood and dragged himself over to the sink.  He splashed cold water on his face and slowly brushed his teeth, wanting to take as much time as he could to compose himself before having to return to the room.  Once he was finished, he flipped off the light and headed back to the kitchen area.  He cleaned his dirty utensils and other dining wear.  Once they were fully dried and stowed in their respective places, he made his way toward his bed, scooping up his laptop from the coffee table along the way. 

                “You like that kinda shit?” Bakugo asked, gesturing to the laptop.  He must’ve seen the still image of the dead body.

                “True crime?  Yeah, I guess so.”  He paused trying to find a better way to word it.  “I like trying to solve them before the characters can in the show.  It’s something I did a lot when I was younger too.” he stashed his laptop and climbed into bed.

                “Weird,” Bakugo stated, scrolling through his phone.

                “Hey, about today,” Bakugo glanced over, cocking an eyebrow, “I’m sorry about jumping at you like that, assuming you had done something to Midoriya—” 

                “Deku,” Bakugo scoffed, cutting him off.

                Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck.  What the heck was with that nickname?  “You used to know him in middle school right?”  A look of rage flashed across the blonde’s face, “What happen—?”

                “Shut up!” Bakugo snapped defensively.  He jumped out of bed and flew into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind him.  Kirishima felt a chill creep up his spine, along with a feeling of déjà vu.

Chapter Text

                Kirishima’s eyes fluttered open.  He glanced at his phone, seeing the time of 5:42.  He rolled onto his back and tossed an arm over his eyes.  Because of the two naps he had, he wasn’t surprised that he couldn’t sleep now.  He decided he might as well get up and get an early start to his day.  He quietly rose from his bed and swapped his sweatpants for shorts, and his t-shirt for a tank top.  He grabbed his duffle bag, tossing in a change of clothes and his water bottle.  He shoved his headphones and phone into his pocket and slipped on his tennis shoes before silently leaving the room. 

 

                The gym was pretty quiet in the mornings, especially this early.  He tossed down his bag and jammed his headphones into his ears, while he warmed up on the treadmill.  He couldn’t stop thinking about that dream from last night.  It seemed so real.  He tried to distract himself, wanting to think about anything else.  He gazed in the mirror in front of the line of treadmills, watching himself run.  He looked tired, despite all of the sleep he got. 

                He broke eye contact with his reflection when he saw a familiar face walk into the gym.  He flipped himself around, standing on the sides of the treadmill and pulled out an earbud.  “Oi, Midoriya!” he shouted, waving him over.

                “Kirishima-kun?” Midoriya looked surprised to see his friend, “what are you doing up this early?” he asked, hopping onto the treadmill next to Kirishima.

                “Sero and I took a really long nap after work yesterday and it kinda threw off my sleeping schedule,” he smiled and resumed jogging.  “Same goes to you.  What are you doing up so early?”

                Midoriya set the incline on his on machine and started with a gradual speed walk, “I always get up for my workout around this time.”  The speed picked up enough to start a slow jog.

                “Ah,” Kirishima had never worked out in the mornings, so it made sense he didn’t know Midoriya’s gym schedule.  “I usually come here at night, after work.  It’s a way for me to relax really.”  He turned off his music and removed the other earbud, stuffing them into his pocket, “But since I didn’t get in a workout last night, I figured I would come here in the morning instead.”  The two of them jogged in silence for a little while.

                Kirishima slowed his machine down a bit, deciding now was a better time than never, “If you don’t mind me asking, what exactly happened between you and Bakugo?”

                Kirishima turned his head to make eye contact, but Midoriya was staring straight ahead, a serious look on his face.  “K-Kacchan and I used to be really good friends when we were younger.   I used to look up to him a lot.”  His eyes shifted down slightly, “But when we entered middle school, something in him changed.  He got really mean.”  Midoriya stepped up onto the sides of the machine to take a drink of water, before continuing his jog.  “I mean, he was always kind of a jerk to me when we were kids, but something in him,” he paused, trying to find the right word, “snapped.”  He slowed his pace down to a speed walk again, “He started to push everyone away.  But I was stubborn and tried to be there for him, no matter how much said that he hated me.  I kept trying to tell him that I was still his friend, and eventually I pushed him too far.  I found him hanging out behind the school and tried to talk to him again during our lunch break, and he beat the shit out of me.”  Kirishima had stopped running and was standing on the sides of his own machine.  “After I didn’t go back to class, the teachers in our grade went to look for me.  When they found me and asked who beat me up, I lied and said I didn’t recognize the guy who did it.”

                Midoriya slowed into a regular walking pace, “After that, I gave him some space, hoping he would still want to be friends after he had calmed down.  Neither of our parents knew what was going on between us.”  He turned his machine off, finding that walking and talking at the same time was difficult.  His hands gripped the handles of the machine.  “One day, my mom dropped me off at his place, while she and Mrs. Bakugo went to lunch.”  He was still staring straight ahead, eyes locked with his reflection.  “I tried to ask him what was going on with him, and he just told me to leave him alone, and locked himself in his room.  I sat outside his door for a while before, and told him what I was going through, trying to get him to open up about himself.”  He fists tightened, knuckles turning white, “I was stupid and told him that I had a crush on a fellow classmate; a male classmate.”  Kirishima’s eyes widened and Midoriya’s face reddened; he had no idea he was into guys.  “He never talked to me, and he never came out of his room.  I left once my mom got back; just saying that Kacchan was tired and didn’t want to hang out.” 

                “The next day at lunch, after the teacher had left to go to the office,” he paused for a moment and took a deep breath, “he told the whole class that I was gay and outed me to the guy I had a crush on.”  He crossed his arms on the treadmill and rested his chin on them.  “I was so embarrassed; I hid in the bathroom until the day was over and then ran home as fast as I could.  I didn’t want to see anyone from my class.”  He sniffed and turned his face away slightly, eyes hiding under his bangs, “My mom was out at the grocery store when I got home, and I was glad that I was able to be alone to sort out what the heck I was going to do at school tomorrow.  I was in my room and heard the doorbell ring.  I figured it was my mom and her arms were full, so I opened the door without looking to see who it was first.”  He hid his face in his arms, “I-it was the guy that guy from our class.  I was about to slam the door in his face, but he stopped it and said he wanted to talk.”  Kirishima could see Midoriya’s body started to shake, “I let him in and as soon as the door was closed,” he let out a small whimper and started crying, “h-he forced himself on me Ei-chan.” 

                Kirishima turned off his own machine and hopped onto Midoriya’s, pulling him into a gentle hug.  He softly stroked his soft green hair as the smaller man sobbed into his chest.  He sniffed and wiped his eyes, “I never told my mom about what happened, j-just that I was being bullied and wanted to transfer schools.”  Kirishima walked him over to a bench and sat them both down, still holding an arm around him, gently rubbing his back.  “She let me stay home from school the next day a-and I stayed in bed most of the day.”  He began to cry harder and buried his face in Kirishima’s shirt.  “I got a text from Kacchan asking i-if I ‘had fun’ after school a-and a ‘you’re welcome.’”  Kirishima felt his face flush in anger.  “T-that guy, he told the whole class what he did to me, a-and Kacchan thought it was funny.”  He was fulling sobbing at this point, “I-I swallowed a whole bottle of pills, a-and my mom found me, a-and I was in the hospital for almost a week.”  Midoriya couldn’t continue at this point, tightly grasping the back of Kirishima’s shirt.

                Kirishima softly cooed him and held him close, staring at their reflections in the mirror; he couldn’t believe how heartless someone could be.  “Hey,” he hushed, softly, “let’s get you cleaned up.”  Kirishima gently wiped a few more tears from his freckled cheeks.  More people were starting to file into the gym at this point, and he didn’t want Midoriya to have to deal with them right now.  He helped his friend to his feet and protectively walked him to the shower rooms.  He sat Midoriya down on a bench, facing away from the door.  He got a cold towel and kneeled down in front of him, pressing it against his face, trying to keep the swelling from his crying down.  “I’m sorry I made you bring up those memories,” he hugged Midoriya again gently rubbing his back.  “I didn’t—I shouldn’t have—I’m so sorry Izuku.”  They held each other until Midoriya was ready to let go, saying he wanted to shower.  Kirishima hopped into the shower next to him, and they both washed themselves in silence. 

                Afterwards, Kirishima walked with Midoriya back to his room.  Todoroki was reclining in bed, a box of tissues and a mug of now, cold tea, on his nightstand.  When he saw Midoriya, he immediately sat upright, knowing that something was wrong.  “Midoriya, what’s wrong?  What happened?”  He began to get out of bed when Midoriya just raced over and threw himself onto his roommate, starting to cry again.  “You’re going to get sick if you cling to me like that,” Todoroki said, but wrapped him up close and softly stroked his damp olive hair.  He looked up and made eye contact with Kirishima, who was setting down Midoriya’s gym bag, and nodded, silently thanking him for bringing Midoriya back.  Kirishima nodded in return and headed out into the hall, softly closing the door behind him. 

 

                Once he was back to his room, he couldn’t hold in his anger any more.  He threw open the door and slammed it behind him, abruptly waking Bakugo.  “Dude, what the fuck?” the blond shouted and shielded his eyes as Kirishima flipped on the light.  Kirishima threw his bag onto his side of the room and marched up to the blond, grasping the front of his shirt in his fist, lifting him up slightly.  “What the fuck is wrong with you?” Bakugo squirmed.  “Let me go!”  He had scared look on his face, terrified of this new side of Kirishima.

                The redhead shoved him back onto the bed, and stared down at him, “You stay away from Midoriya you piece of shit.  And you stay away from my friends too.”

                Bakugo was staring at him wide-eyed, before he finally realized what was going on.  “He told you about what happened, didn’t he?” he asked, looking away. 

                “Yeah he did.  I can’t fucking believe what a shithead you are!”  Kirishima balled up his fists and stared him down, “He almost died because of you.”

                Bakugo jumped up from his bed, “Shut up!  You don’t think I fucking know that?” he screamed, his face flushed in anger. 

                “If you even look at him, I’ll beat the shit out of you.  You hear me!” Kirishima screamed.  Bakugo scowled and looked away.  “Stay away from him and stay away from me!”

                “Fuck!”  Bakugo screamed before throwing on his sweats and storming out of the dorm.

                Kirishima slumped on his bed, aggressively slamming a fist into the mattress.  Why?  Why did that asshole have to transfer here?  Why did he have to be roommates with him?  He was so pissed off, he began to cry.  He let the tears silently roll down his cheeks until his eyes stopped leaking.  He curled back up under the covers and almost immediately fell back asleep.

 

                A loud knock woke him up.  “Oi, Eiji!” it was Sero.  “You up yet man?”  Kirishima didn’t want to see people now.  He pulled the covers over his head.  There was another knock, “If you don’t open the door, I’m going to force myself in there.”  He heard the doorknob wiggle and the door creak open.  “Ah, guess you didn’t lock it.”  He felt two heavy bodies flop on top of him, “Come on man!”

                “I’m not in the mood,” Kirishima barked out.  No, he couldn’t take this out on his friends.  He took a deep breath, “I’m just really tired man.”

                “How; you guys slept for like 10 years,” Kaminari grabbed around the blanket by Kirishima’s head, trying to find a way underneath.  “We’re going to the grocery store so we can make a big dinner on Saturday!” 

                Kirishima sighed, “Fine, I’ll come.  Just leave so I can get dressed               .”

                Sero wrapped his arms around Kirishima’s waist, through the blanket, “Why do we have to leave for you to do that?  Are you naked under there?” he asked with a seductive sound to his voice.

                “Ah—Sero,” Kaminari sounded embarrassed and he heard Sero laugh.

                Kirishima didn’t budge, but he felt the weight lift off of him.  “Alright, we’ll wait downstairs in the lobby.”  Sero’s voice and their footsteps started to trail off and sound further away, “Meet us down there when you’re ready!”  He heard the door close behind them.

                He waited a minute before removing the blanket, making sure they were really gone.  He dragged himself into the bathroom and washed his face.  His eyes were a tad red from crying, but not super noticeable.  Kirishima let his hair free from its hair tie and left the bathroom.  He tossed on a random hoodie and pair of pants, glaring over at Bakugo’s bed.  Maybe he would have to stay in his friend’s room for the rest of this school year.

 

                He met with the guys and they headed on their way to the grocery store.  He desperately wanted to tell them, especially Sero, what Midoriya had told him about Bakugo.  But he felt it wasn’t his place to do so.  Hell, he didn’t even know if he went into that much detail with Uraraka.  Based on what she told them, he didn’t think so.  Was he the only one who knew then?  He pulled out his phone and sent a quick text to Midoriya, asking how he was doing and not to worry about coming in tonight, if he wasn’t feeling up to it.  The green haired man had offered to work Todoroki’s shifts, until the guy was back on his feet, but Kirishima just wanted him to relax for now.  Having to think about those memories was probably really hard on him.

                Sero, leaned over, “Who ya textin’?” he asked and Kirishima quickly turned off his screen.

                “J-just Midoriya,” he shoved his phone in his pocket and decided to tell a half-lie.  “I went to the gym to work out this morning and bumped into him there.  He seemed under the weather and I was just checking in with him.”

                 “Is he okay? Kaminari chimed in.  “After you left, Sero told me what happed between him and that ‘Bakugo’ guy yesterday.  Is it about that?”

                “Yeah,” Kirishima admitted, “just brought up bad memories.”  He felt the phone buzz in his pocket, but decided to wait to answer until his friends weren’t breathing down his neck.  “Try not to bring it up to him,” he asked, and they both nodded.

                Once they were in the store, Sero headed to the deli to get some meat for their dinner, while Kaminari was on snack duty.  Kirishima said he’d grab some drinks and they’d meet up at the front when they were finished. 

                Once he was alone, he pulled his phone out of his pocket.  He was surprised to a text from Todoroki.  ‘Hello, Kirishima.  Midoriya is resting right now, but I believe he is still planning on attending work tonight, in my place.  Thank you for bringing him back to our dorm room.  He told me that you and he discussed the events that happened in his middle school.  I am extremely concerned about his safely, knowing that Bakugo Katsuki is attending our school and wish that you will help me to look out for Midoriya when I cannot.  –Todoroki Shouto’

                Even in texts, this guy sounded like a prince.  He quickly texted back, letting him know that he would be there for their friend.  He sent the text and fisted the phone back into his pocket.  He grabbed a few cases of soda and some wine coolers.  This was meant to be a celebration of another year together, so of course there would need to be alcohol.  He felt his phone buzz again, but his hands were full at this point.  He headed up toward the front, where he saw Kaminari and Sero waiting for him.

                “What took you so long?” Sero asked as they headed to the checkout.  “Yours should’ve been the fastest to grab.”

                Kirishima shrugged, “I didn’t know what to pick.  I tried to get something everyone would like.”  Sero smiled, eyeing the orange soda he had picked out, knowing that was meant for him.  “What exactly are you guys making?” he asked. 

                “We’re going to be making hamburger!” Kaminari shouted, holding up the hamburger buns he had grabbed.  “And Sero said he wanted to make brownies too,” he winked.  Ahh, that’s right, Sero made pot brownies for their party last year too.  Kirishima had tried one and decided that the feeling wasn’t for him.  Kaminari and Sero used to occasionally get high together and hang out for hours in Kaminari’s room.  The blonde’s old roommate also smoked marijuana, so they usually got high and the three of them hung out together.  That was actually one of their reasons for wanting to room together. 

                Sero smirked, “And I’ve got some really good stuff this time,” he whispered, trying to hush the fact they were talking about drugs.  “They’ll be way better than the ones last year.”  Kaminari vibrated, excitedly and Kirishima smirked, shaking his head as they bagged up their groceries.  He would have to supervise them if this stuff was a lot stronger, just in case Sero wanted to pretend to be Spiderman and try to jump off of the balcony again.  Even though that was technically alcohol, but you could never be too careful.  The three exited the store, making their way back to the campus.

                “Ah,” Kirishima just realized something, “Sero, I thought you opened this morning?”

                Sero smiled, “Mina texted me last night; she was feeling well enough to work today!” 

                Kirishima felt another series of buzzes in his pocket, but waited to answer them.  “Oh, awesome; I’m glad she’s doing better!”

                “Me too,” Sero blushed and scratched the back of his head.  “To be honest, we stayed up way too late last night—”

                “—But I finally beat Sepheroth!” Kaminari cut him off, smile as wide as the sky.

                “Oh, nice dude!” he gave the blond a slight high-five, trying to also juggle the drinks.

                The three guys continued their walk back to the dorms, excitedly talking about the new year together and what they should plan for this year. 

                Once Sero and Kaminari were deep in a discussion about possibly going to a gaming expo during their summer break, Kirishima pulled out his phone.  He had another text from Todoroki; a short, ‘Thank you for being a good friend.  –Todoroki Shouto’  

                He smiled and flipped to the texts from Midoriya.  ‘Ah, sorry I didn’t see your text.  I kinda fell asleep, haha!’  Followed by, ‘I’m feeling a lot better now.  Shouto talked with me after you left and told me that things would be okay because I have friends with me now.’  Kirishima was glad he felt safe.  ‘Shouto is the only other person who knows.  Ochako-chan knows he bullied me, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her the whole story.’  He had assumed correctly on that part.  ‘Anyways, sorry for all of the texts, I’ll see you tonight!’  Kirishima sent a quick reply and stashed his phone into his pocket again.

                Once at the dorms, the three of them headed up to Sero and Kaminari’s room to stash the food for the weekend.  They all hung out together, eating a light lunch and discussing what they wanted to do at their party.  Once it was about 2, Kirishima excused himself to get ready for work.  He waved them goodbye before leaving and heading to his room to change into his uniform.

                He headed to the next floor up, praying that Bakugo wasn’t in their room.  He softly unlocked the door and entered into the, luckily, empty room.  He was relieved, yet again, that he wouldn’t have to see him again today.  He contemplated staying in his friend’s room tonight, and decided he would shoot them a text after work.  He made himself up and redid his hair.

                Remembering what Todoroki had asked him, he shot a quick text to Midoriya, asking if he had left yet and if he wanted to walk with him.  The other replied, saying that he was heading to the lobby now and that he would wait for him there.  Kirishima quickly slipped on his shoes and headed downstairs.

                “Ah, Ei-chan!” Midoriya waved at him as he stepped out of the elevator.  The redhead smiled back, glad to see the smile back on his friend’s face.

                “Hey Izuku!” they began to walk together.  “How are you doing?”

                Midoriya nodded, “Mmh, doing better now,” he smiled at Kirishima.  “I-it’s actually a little relieving to talk about it.  Lifts a weight off of your chest,” he said as he puffed his chest out like a small bird.  Kirishima giggled and felt glad that he was back to his normal, happy self.  “Are you excited to start school next week?” Midoriya asked.

                “Yeah, I’m totally pumped,” Kirishima grasped the air, excitedly.  “I can’t wait!” 

Chapter Text

                The night went by pretty fast, despite it not being super busy.  Once 10 rolled around, they kindly shooed the last few lingering guests out into the night.  “Good job tonight Izuku!” Kirishima shot him a ‘thumbs up’ and the smaller man blushed and returned the gesture.  It had just been the two of them tonight and Midoriya did an awesome job of helping customers and keeping the floor and tables clean all night, while Kirishima had focused on dishes and drink making.  While Kirishima finished closing down the registers, Midoriya went over each table again, making sure they were spotless.  The redhead smiled; this guy really was a hard worker.

                Once the shop was in perfect shape, the two of them bundled up and headed out into the cold.  It had just started to softly snow again.  Midoriya pulled out his phone, “Ah crap, it’s almost 11!”  He started to run and Kirishima bolted after him.  “I have to go the store and get more ingredients for soup for Shouto!”  The two raced as fast as they could.  The store was only a few blocks away and they had about 10 minutes to get there. 

                Kirishima picked up his pace and started sprinting, zipping past Midoriya.  “I’ll make sure they don’t lock you out!” he shouted back and took large strides, trying to cover as much ground as he could. 

                He made it to the store with 4 minutes to spare.  He hunched over, trying to catch his breath.  He turned to see Midoriya clumsily sprinting through the parking lot, skidding on the occasional patch of ice.  He shot him a thumbs up and they met by the doors.  They entered the store, both breathing heavily.  Kirishima glanced at the store clerk who looked really annoyed they were coming in now.  “We’ll be quick, we promise,” he smiled at her and she rolled her eyes and looked away, pulling out her phone.

                The two men split up to gather the ingredients Midoriya needed; boxed broth, fresh vegetables, chicken, along with some medicine and more tea.  They were out of the store at exactly 11.  “Ah, that was way too close,” Midoriya sighed.  “Thanks for running ahead.”

                “No problem man,” Kirishima smiled.  Did you need to still make this tonight?” he asked.

                “Yeah,” Midoriya admitted, scratching the back of his head.  “Shouto’s appetite came back and he finished the last batch faster than I thought he would.”

                They started their walk back to the dorms.  “I can stay up and help you,” Kirishima offered.

                “Ah, really?” Midoriya asked, bright green eyes glistening.  “I would really appreciate it!”

                Kirishima was in no rush to get back to his room, “It’s no problem man; I don’t have any plans tonight.”  He was going to head to the gym, but he was fine skipping it for tonight.  This was definitely more important than a workout.  Plus, he wanted to keep his promise of being with Midoriya when Todoroki couldn’t.

                “You really are the best Ei-chan!” Midoriya stopped and squeezed his taller friend.  Kirishima smiled down at him, glad that he seemed back to his bubbly self.  He softly stroked Midoriya’s hair, brushing away the soft flakes that had nestled there.  How anyone could ever hurt him absolutely baffled him.  Midoriya looked up at him and smiled, nose red from the cold.

                “Let’s get back and make him the best damn soup he’s ever had!”  They both fist pumped the air and continued their walk, softly chatting through the snow.

 

                They headed to the communal kitchen, which, by no surprise, was empty.  Not many people cooked meals this late on a Tuesday night.  They whipped up a large batch of the soup, which Midoriya said was his mothers’ base recipe, with a few added ingredients that Todoroki liked.  After the soup had finished cooking, Kirishima stole a sip.  It was really good!  “Man, Todoroki’s a lucky guy.”
                Midoriya’s face turned completely red, “W-whaddya mean by that?” he stuttered, completely flustered out of nowhere.

                “Well, the soup is really good man.”  Could it be?  “You’re a great cook.”

                “A-ah well it’s just following a recipe, nothing special.”  The blush dispersed, mostly settling along his cheeks.

                “You sure?” he teased.  “It seems like there’s something in here that I haven’t tasted before.”

                “Like what?” Midoriya asked, genuinely curious, and falling right into Kirishima’s trap.

                “Love,” he teased, causing Midoriya to turn completely red again.  “Hey,” he turned serious, placing a hand on the other man’s shoulder, “it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.  He’s a super cool dude, and really handsome.”  Midoriya looked away.  “But honestly, him scoring you would make him the lucky one,” he admitted, grabbing the other’s attention back again.  “You’re such an awesome guy Midoriya.  Anyone would be lucky to have you.” 

                Midoriya’s eyes watered and he smiled, “Ei-chan.”

                A tear slid out and Kirishima softly swiped it away with his thumb.  “You need to tell him how you feel Izuku.  I think he cares for you a lot too.” 

                Midoriya giggled softly and sniffed back the rest of his tears.  “Thank you Ei-chan,” they hugged for a moment before Midoriya wiped his eyes and turned back to the soup.  “I should get this up to him,” he said, carefully grabbing the large pot off of the stove.

                “You sure you got it okay?” Kirishima asked.

                “Yeah, I wanna make sure he gets a fresh bowl.”  He smiled and looked so happy just thinking about Todoroki.

                Kirishima was happy too.  Happy that this guy, who had been through so much hardship was finally able to find love again.  And he knew that it was with a genuinely nice guy.  “You take it up to him.  I’ll get this cleaned up for you.”  Midoriya smiled, as thanks, and headed out of the kitchen.  He really hoped that Todoroki would be able to help Midoriya heal and move on from his ugly past. 

                Once the kitchen was spotless, Kirishima decided it was time to go to sleep.  It was well past one in the morning now and he was feeling pretty beat.  As he stepped into the elevator he paused over the buttons, trying to decide if he should go to Sero and Kaminari’s room or his own.  He never did text them to ask if he could spend the night and was worried they were already asleep by now, since Sero had to work in the morning.  Deciding to bite the bullet, he pressed the button for his own floor, taking a deep breath in as the elevator ascended.  Bakugo was probably asleep now anyways, so he hopefully wouldn’t have to talk to him.  The elevator beeped and he stepped out turning down the hall to his room.  As he approached the door, he could see a soft glow of light coming from underneath it; he was still up.  Kirishima sighed, not wanting to ruin a good night with another argument with his roommate.  He puffed up his chest and gently pushed his key into the lock.  But the door was already unlocked.  He took another breath and softly swung open the door. 

                His roommate’s side of their room was a disaster.  Bakugo had ripped all of the drawers out of his dresser, black clothes littering the room.  His bed had been completely stripped, sheets and pillows on the floor.  His lamp lay on the ground, beside his bed, which was the source of the light Kirishima had seen under the door.  The window was open and snow had softly piled up on the windowsill. 

                Kirishima blood went cold as raced over to the window that Sero had tried to jump from before, scared of what he might find.  He shoved his head through and sighed in relief, then felt his face almost immediately flush in anger.  Bakugo was lying in the small space of their balcony, in only a tank top and sweatpants, three empty beer cans nestled in the snow around him.  Kirishima squoze his upper half through the window, “What the hell are you doing?” he angrily whispered, more concern in his voice than anger.  Bakugo didn’t answer, his eyes were glued shut and his body was slightly shaking from being out in the cold.  Kirishima reached down and tried to lift Bakugo, but he was too heavy at this angle. 

                He slid the window up as far as it would go and fully climbed through, carefully watching where he stepped.  He knelt down in the snow and gently shook the blond, “Bakugo, wake up.”  He still received no response.  He sat Bakugo up a bit and hoisted him up onto his back, so the blonde’s arms were wrapped around his neck and legs around his waist.  He clumsily climbed back through the small space, trying to be mindful of where Bakugo’s limp limbs and head lolled off too.

                Once they were back in the room, Kirishima gently rested the blond down onto his own bed and pulled the blanket up to his waist.  He didn’t know how long he had been lying in the snow and didn’t want to send his body into shock by warming up too fast.  He turned and brushed the majority of the snow back outside and pulled the window shut.  He then began to clean up the blonde’s side of the room, starting with making his bed.

                Once everything was back to normal, he sat on his bed next the Bakugo.  Kirishima reached down and rested a hand on his roommate’s forehead; it was burning and he didn’t know if it was from the alcohol or from being out in the cold.  “Dammit you idiot,” he cursed, under his breath. 

                Kirishima rose from the bed and fetched a washcloth from the bathroom.  He ran it under the cold water, but left it fairly damp.  He returned to the blond and pulled the blanket down some more, so it was only covering up to his knees.  He pushed up the Bakugo’s bangs back and softly pressed the cloth around his face and neck, trying to help cool him down.  After a while, he rested the washcloth there on his forehead and stood once more, heading over to the kitchen.  He grabbed a glass of water and some aspirin from the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  He was going to have one hell of a hangover in the morning if he didn’t take something. 

                When he returned to the bed again, Bakugo’s eyes were slightly open, just glaring up at the ceiling, not focused on anything.  Kirishima set the glass and pills down and got into the blonde’s line of sight, but he just stared right through him.  “Hey,” Kirishima waved a hand in front of his glossy red eyes, grabbing his attention.

                “Wha—” Bakugo blinked a few times and reached up toward the washcloth on his forehead, “What the hell?”

                Kirishima clenched a fist, “I’m the one who should be saying, ‘What the hell?’ not you.  What the hell were you doing outside like this?” he barked. 

                Bakugo stuck out a lip and turned his head to look away from Kirishima, “Just leave me alone.” 

                “That’s a little hard to do when I come back and the room is upside-down!” he shouted.  “I would’ve just ignored you if you would’ve been asleep, or hell, anywhere else but here!”  He slammed a fist down next to Bakugo’s head, but the blond didn’t even flinch.  “And making me have to take care of your drunken ass after having learned how much of a shithead you really are.”  Kirishima pushed himself away from the bed and walked over to the window, staring out into the snowy night.  “Why do I have to deal with this?”

                “You’re right,” Bakugo shifted into an upright position, letting the cloth fall onto his lap, “no one should have to deal with me.  I’m a fucking mess.”  He pulled up a knee and rested his head onto it, “So go ahead.  Kick me out.  I don’t care anymore.”

                Kirishima turned, balling up his fists again, “Don’t you dare try to play the pity card on me.  Not after what you made Midoriya go through!”

                Bakugo whipped his head, locking eyes with Kirishima, “That asshole told our class that he went over to Midoriya’s and confessed to him!” he screamed at a wide-eyed Kirishima.  “You don’t think I have to carry the blame for what happened to him every fucking day of my god damn life?”  His whole body shifted so he was fully facing the redhead.  “His mom called mine after school that day and said that he was in the hospital from an overdose and I didn’t understand why he would try to kill himself after having his crush confess to him.”  His red eyes glistened with tears.  “We didn’t find out until later that he raped him!”  Bakugo whipped his head away, facing away from Kirishima.  “His mom had seen the bruising on his body, but thought it was from him being beat up at school.  It wasn’t until the doctor saw the other damage that they put two and two together.”  He angrily wiped his face, “I never thought he would do that to him.”  He clenched his fists in his lap, “After he was discharged, I tried to text him and call him, but his cellphone wasn’t active any more.  They moved before I could tell him that I didn’t mean for things to get this bad.  I—” he stopped suddenly, shuddering as the tears rolled down his cheeks.

                Kirishima returned to the bed and sat on the edge of his mattress.  “So he doesn’t know, then?” 

                Bakugo shook his head, looking down at his open palms.  “Everyone was so shocked when they found out what actually happened.  That shithead was expelled and everyone turned to blaming me, because I was the one who told him that Midoriya had a crush on him.  He never deserved for this to happen to him.”  He pulled his knees up to his chest and stared ahead, blankly.  He looked so small like this, “I switched middle schools too.  I was too embarrassed to go back there after what I caused.  But when high school came around, I ran into people from our school again and they went back to blaming me for what happened.”  Kirishima reached out a hand and softly rested it on the bed next to Bakugo.  “People I used to consider to be my best friends told everyone at our new high school what had happened, and the story turned from, ‘I caused him to get raped,’ into, ‘I was the one who raped him.’  So I stuck with the bad guy roll, knowing no matter what I did, it would always be my fault.”  He crossed his arms, burring his face in them.  “I didn’t know he went to school here, otherwise I never would’ve transferred.” 

                Kirishima brought his hand up, resting it on Bakugo’s shoulder, “You need to tell him.”

                The blond scoffed at this comment, sad red eyes meeting with Kirishima again, “You and I both know how he reacts to just seeing me.”  He sniffed back the rest of his tears, “You think he would really sit and listen to me?”  He was right; Midoriya had collapsed in fear at the sight of him before.  “He would probably listen to you though,” Bakugo admitted, wiping away a few more tears.

                 “You want me to tell him?” Kirishima asked and the blond nodded slightly.  Kirishima felt Midoriya would most likely listen to him.  After all, he did fully open up about his past with him before.  He trusted him.  “Okay, I’ll pass it on to him.”  Kirishima gently patted his roommate’s shoulder and stood, heading toward the bathroom, “I’m getting ready for bed.  You should take that aspirin and drink some water before going back to sleep,” he softly whispered before closing the door, leaving it open a crack.

                He slowly brushed his teeth and washed his face.  He gripped the sides of the sink and stared at his exhausted reflection, feeling so many different emotions at once; fear of talking with Midoriya, frustration from his fight earlier, sadness over what Bakugo had gone through as well, happiness thinking of Midoriya and Todoroki’s possible future.  He pulled his hair from its up do, letting the red locks fall over his tired face.  He had gone into this semester so excited to be with his friends again, but now he was so worried about keeping all of his friends happy, he had forgotten to look out for himself too.

                He took a deep breath and broke eye contact with his reflection, flicking off the light, before returning to the room.  The aspirin was gone and Bakugo was curled up on Kirishima’s bed, breathing rhythmically.  Kirishima reached down and gently, brushed Bakugo’s bangs out of his face, pressing the back of his hand against his flushed forehead; he still felt a little warm, but his fever had gone down.  Kirishima picked up the still damp washcloth and took it back into the bathroom, tossing it on the edge of the sink.  He returned to his bed and gently pulled the blankets over Bakugo’s resting body.  “Goodnight,” he softly whispered before flicking off the lamp.  He made his way over to the couch, not feeling right to take his roommate’s bed.  He reclined, his legs hanging off of the arm of the small sofa.  Right now, he just wanted to sleep.

 

                Despite sleeping on the couch, Kirishima awoke to find himself pretty well rested.  And warm.  He opened his eyes to see his blanket draped over his body.  He craned his neck and glanced at his bed.  It was empty.  He glanced down at his phone screen and saw that it was a little past ten.  He uncovered himself and stood from the couch, heading to the kitchen area to grab a light breakfast. 

                He plopped back down on the sofa with a granola bar in hand, going over last night’s events again in his head.  He remembered how sad and small Bakugo looked.  He had wanted to reach out and hug him for comfort, like he always did with his friends, but worried it would have been crossing the line.  He thought about those intense red eyes, soft tears pouring out of them.  He had a weird feeling in his chest; a tight, clenching feeling.  The feeling dipped down into his stomach, causing a slight blush to spread across his face. 

                Kirishima shook the feeling away, thinking of Midoriya instead.  He needed to know.  He finished up his meal, if you could even call it that, and made himself look presentable.  He swiftly exited the room, heading to the elevator.  He went over the scenario in his head, contemplating how exactly to go over last night’s events with Midoriya.

                The next thing he knew, he found himself standing outside of Midoriya and Todoroki’s room.  He was frozen in place.  He rolled his shoulders and exhaled, softly knocking on the door.  He heard a soft thud and a few seconds later, the door unlocked and slid open, the green-haired man sleepily looking up at him.  “H-hi Ei-chan,” Midoriya stuttered, his face had a red imprint, from his arm most likely, and his hair was standing up funny.  Kirishima guessed he had just woken up from a post workout nap.

                “You okay?” he asked.

                Midoriya moved out into the hallway and softly closed the door behind him, “Y-yeah, you just caught me off guard.”  He leaned against the door, rubbing his eye, “What’s up?” he asked.

                “I—” Kirishima paused, “could we possibly talk in private?”  Midoriya noticed the serious look on Kirishima’s face and nodded.  “I’m assuming Todoroki is in there, is my room okay?” he asked.

                Midoriya nodded again, “Let me get my slippers,” he quickly popped into the room and told Todoroki he would be back in a bit, shoving his feet into his slippers.  He softly closed the door and followed Kirishima to the elevator. 

                Once they were in Kirishima’s room, Midoriya settled himself on the couch, while the redhead grabbed water for the both of them.  He nudged the fruit bowl to the side and sat on the coffee table so he could seat himself in front of the other man.  Midoriya looked around the room and noticed the suitcases tucked away under the second bed.  “Ah, your roommate showed up!  What’s he like?” he asked.

                Kirishima was blunt and straight to the point, “He’s Bakugo Katsuki.”  Midoriya turned pale and frantically looked around the room to see if the blond was hiding somewhere.   Kirishima reached out and grasped the smaller man’s hands, pulling his attention back to him, “He’s not here,” he assured him.

                “I-is he going to be back soon?” he asked, still on edge.

                “Honestly, I don’t think so.  I came back last night and kinda lost my cool with him.”  He omitted the part about Bakugo being completely wasted.  Midoriya tensed up and Kirishima softly squeezed his hands.  “He wanted me to tell you that he’s sorry.”  The shorter man shot him a surprised look.  “When he found out you were in the hospital,” he paused, “Bakugo was so worried about you.  He wanted to reach out and apologize for what happened, but he couldn’t get ahold of you.”  The smaller man began to shake and Kirishima rubbed his thumbs over the backs of Midoriya’s hands.  “He told me that your classmate had lied to everyone.  He had told your class that he had gone over and confessed to you, that you were a couple now.”  Tears were beginning to form in the smaller man’s eyes.  “Bakugo thought he had hooked you two up.  That’s why he sent that text.”  Large tears rolled down Midoriya’s cheeks and Kirishima moved his hands to up to his freckled face, gently wiping them away. “He didn’t know what had actually happened until after you were in the hospital, when the doctors had examined you.”  Kirishima pulled him in for a big hug and felt warm tears splash on his neck.  “All these years, he’s wanted to apologize for causing this to happen to you.  He just didn’t know how to find you.”  He rubbed Midoriya’s back, “He feels awful Izuku.”

                “K-Kacchan,” Midoriya whimpered out, shaking hands tightly grasping onto Kirishima’s upper back. 

                “I didn’t know when the best time to tell you would be, but I didn’t want to keep it from you.”  He squeezed Midoriya, “Things don’t have to go back to normal between you two, but,” he softly pried him away and cupped the round freckled face in his hands, looking into his large jade eyes, “he just wanted you to know that he’s so sorry for what he caused.”  He gently wiped away tears that were resting on his cheeks.

                Midoriya sniffed and leaned into Kirishima’s hands, reaching his own hands up to softly hold onto the redhead’s.  “I-I,” he couldn’t get out any words and just continued to cry.  Kirishima climbed onto the couch next to him and pulled him into another hug.  Midoriya leaned his body into the redhead’s, his arms tightly gripping Kirishima’s shirt.  Kirishima just held him and softly rubbed out the tears. 

                After a good while, the crying began to slow down.  The two had moved so that Kirishima was lying on the couch with Midoriya resting on top of his friend, face buried in his chest.  Kirishima gently stroked his hair, “How ya doin’?” he asked.

                Midoriya sat up slightly and rubbed an arm over his eyes, “I wanna see Kacchan,” he sniffed.  “I wanna tell him I’m sorry.”

                Kirishima gently moved Midoriya’s arm away from his face and smiled sweetly, “What do you have to be sorry for?”

                “F-for everything that happened to him too,” he said quietly.

                The redheads’ eyes widened, he didn’t tell him about Bakugo receiving the blame for what happened.  “You know he was bullied after?” Kirishima asked.

                Midoriya looked at him horror-filled green eyes, “H-he wasn’t just bullied Ei-chan.”  The two sat themselves up, Midoriya’s gaze resting on his lap.  “When I was in my second year of high school, I overheard my mom on the phone one night, talking to my therapist.  Apparently, h-he had been jumped by a group of guys on his way home from school.”  He curled his knees up to his chest and Kirishima stared, wide eyed.  “They—all five of them—they—” he struggled to get the words out and Kirishima gulped, knowing exactly what he was talking about, “—they hurt him, Ei-chan.  They hurt him really bad.”  He let a few more tears fall, “T-they filmed it all too, a-and they posted it online.”  

                Kirishima felt the color drain from his face as he remembered seeing the news back in high school, desperately searching for the men who attacked the unnamed school boy a few cities away.  They had shown censored footage, only framing the men’s faces and police photos of the bruising on the victim.  A quick search online and he quickly found out who the boy was; a student who was the in the same grade as him named Bakugo Katsuki.  That nightmare he had a few nights back, it was his brain trying to help him remember that he had seen this man before.

                Midoriya reached forward for his glass of water and took a small sip, holding it close to his chest after.  “My mom said it was karma,” he shuddered at the word, “for what I had to go through.  She blamed him for what happened to me too, just like everyone else.”  He paused and took another sip.  “B-but I felt like he went through worse things that I did.  I felt terrible.  I should’ve reached out to him.”  He rubbed his thumbs on the glass.  “I guess I was still kinda scared to talk to him again.”  He sniffed back the rest of his tears, “But I should have.  He shouldn’t have had to go through all of that alone.  I should’ve been there for him.”

                The two sat there in silence for a while, neither quite sure what to say.  Kirishima felt absolutely horrified knowing that his roommate was the same guy who had been attacked those few years ago.  He felt the guilt burning hot on the back of his neck from snapping at him before, not knowing the full story until now.  Midoriya broke his thoughts, excusing himself to the bathroom to wash his face. 

                Kirishima sat for a moment, before he heard a soft knock on the door.  He unlocked it and was surprised to see the man they had just been talking about.

                Bakugo stood there, looking into the room behind Kirishima.  He was all made up; eyes lined and shadowed with black, slacks and dress shoes, most likely a dress shirt under his black peacoat and dark grey scarf.  He locked eyes with Kirishima.  “He in the bathroom?” he asked quietly.

                Kirishima nodded and Bakugo nudged past him and into the dorm.  He approached the bathroom and rapped his knuckles on the door, “Oi Deku,” his voice was harsh, but had a soft undertone to it, “you don’t have to talk to me, but I just wanted to say—” he paused, trying to find his words, “you’re still a fuckin’ nerd.”  Those weren’t the words Kirishima was expecting.

                The bathroom door creaked open and Midoriya peeked out, “K-Kacchan,” he was smiling through the crack, tears pooling up in his eyes again.  He opened the door all the way and flung himself onto Bakugo, making the blond stumble backwards as he clumsily caught the smaller man.  “I’m sorry Kacchan.  I’m so sorry.  I want to make things right.  I’ve wanted to for a long time.”  The blond was scowling, but he wasn’t pushing Midoriya away.  “I don’t hate you Kacchan.  I want us to be friends again.” 

                Bakugo finally returned the hug, softly thumping Midoriya on the back of the head, “Stop crying you fucking baby.”  Midoriya pulled away and wiped his eyes, face bright with joy and Kirishima was sure he could see a small smile on Bakugo’s lips. 

                They sat for a while and chatted.  Well, Midoriya and Kirishima did.  Bakugo had come back for only a moment, saying that he forgot something.  He nodded one last time before leaving the dorm.  Midoriya excused himself from the room shortly after, saying he wanted to share the news with Todoroki.  Kirishima gave him one last warm hug, before waving him off.  He softly shut the door behind him and Kirishima glanced at his phone.  It was about noon now. 

                Kirishima’s chest felt warm.  He wanted to see his friends and tell them, without going into full detail of course, that Bakugo and Midoriya had made up.  He tossed on a jacket and his shoes and practically skipped do the Spice Spoon.

Chapter Text

                “Dude, that’s great!” Sero shouted.  It was rather slow at the café, so when Kirishima had burst through the doors with such a huge smile on his face, it made everyone around him instantly smile along with him.  He excitedly told his friends, including Uraraka who was in again today, and Kaminari, who was silently piecing away at a muffin, that Midoriya and Bakugo were friends again.  

                Uraraka didn’t like the idea though.  “I don’t know Kiri,” she muttered, finishing up an order and passing it to Sero, who left to take it to the customer.  “He was a really big jerk, and I just worry that he’ll be mean to Izuku again,” she pouted and played with one of the display cups.

                Kirishima so desperately wanted to tell her the full truth; that even though Bakugo did initially start things by blabbering about Midoriya’s crush, that what happened after was out of his control.  He wanted to tell her that Bakugo felt so horrible and wanted to fix things, but couldn’t.  But that wasn’t the kind of info he could just share with them.  It was personal, and really sad.

                “Bakugo has really changed Uraraka,” he said, as Sero re-joined them.  “Even Midoriya thinks so.  Plus,” he rubbed the back of his head, trying his best to beat around the bush, “after hearing both sides of their stories, we were able to figure out that it was a huge misunderstanding.”  Sero and Uraraka both leaned in, wanting to know the details, but Kirishima put up his hand to stop their questions.  “It’s their private matters, I’m not spilling.”

                Kaminari glanced down at his phone before standing and excusing himself, heading toward the doors of the café.  He swiped to answer as stepped outside to take the phone call.  As soon as the door was closed, Sero turned to Kirishima.  “Hey, can we talk for a sec?” he asked.  The redhead nodded and the two went to sit at a table in the back corner of the café. 

                “Is everything okay?” Kirishima asked as they sat down.

                Sero sighed, resting his elbow on the table, face leaning onto his knuckles, “Denki seems, off, today.”  Kirishima leaned in, giving his friend all of his attention.  “Like he’s normally on his phone a lot, but he’s been on it a lot.”  He shifted and rubbed the back of his head, clearly having trouble getting the words out.

                “So—?” Kirishima questioned, waiting for his friend to get to the point.  Why did he seem so nervous?

                “He keeps getting phone calls too,” he slouched uncomfortably in his seat.

                “Do you think he got a girlfriend?”  Kirishima asked and before Sero could answer, the redhead continued.  “Dude, are you jealous?” he teased.

                “No, man!” Sero shouted, followed by taking a deep breath before settling back down.  “Whatever calls he getting, they’re not good.”  Kirishima raised an eyebrow, and Sero continued, “He looks really, sad, drained,” he listed off a few other words, trying to find the right one, “depressed, after every phone call.  I tried what you told me the other night, but he still won’t talk to me about it.”  Sero dropped his face to his hands, “He just smiles with that stupid cute face of his and acts like nothing is wrong.  I hate that he won’t talk to me!”

                “Cute?” Kirishima teased, trying to lighten the mood.

                Sero flushed, realizing what he had just said and smacked him in the arm.  “I’m serious dude!  Stop joking around!”  He had never seen his friend this upset before. 

                “Sorry,” Kirishima whispered, knitting his brows together.

                Sadness filled Sero’s eyes, “Why won’t he talk to me?  I thought he trusted me.”

                “Look,” Kirishima rested a hand on Sero’s tense shoulder, “maybe he’s just not ready to tell you.”  Sero sighed, glancing away.  “I know it’s hard, but maybe try to let him come to you.”  Sero shot him a look at the request to do the complete opposite of what he was originally told to do.

                Kirishima glanced toward the door, seeing Kaminari leaning to the side of it, still on his phone.  “Look, you’re his best friend right now; he’ll open up to you eventually.”  Sero glanced at the door too.  “Hey, maybe take him out somewhere tonight to get his mind off of whatever he’s going through.  Maybe if you do something fun and let loose, he’ll cheer up.”  Sero turned his attention back, raising a brow.  “Might even tell you what’s going on.”

                Sero sighed, “Alright, I’ll give it a shot.”  Kirishima shot him another smile as they both stood from the table and headed back toward the counter, where Uraraka was curiously eying them.

                “Is everything okay?” she asked, looking at Sero when she did.  He nodded and popped into the back to use the restroom.  “Is everything really okay?” she asked again, once he was out of earshot, directing it at the Kirishima this time.

                “Yeah, he’s just worrying too much,” he told her, causing her to raise an eyebrow.  “I’m sure everything will be fine,” he assured her. 

                Kaminari popped back into the café, his nose red and eyes watery from the cold air outside.  He blew warmth onto his hands and rubbed them together.  “Where’s Sero?” he asked, noticing his friend was absent.

                “Bathroom,” Kirishima told him.  The blond did look kinda down from his usual preppy self, but still was smiling through it.  Even though he had teased Sero, Kaminari did have a cute smile.  “Have you ever thought about modeling,” Kirishima asked him, out of nowhere.

                Kaminari turned and shot him a confused look.  “Hah?”

                Uraraka joined in, “Ooh, you totally should!” she shouted, placing her hands together.  “Mina knows a few agencies from when she used to model in high school.”

                “N-no—” Kaminari waved his hands around spastically, “I mean, I used to model when I was a kid, but—”

                “Oh my God, you did?” the brunette asked, excitedly.  “You have to show us some time!”  Her hands squeezed her cheeks.  “You were probably so cute!”  She and Kirishima both imagined their own versions of a tiny Kaminari.

                “I—” Kaminari tried to speak but stopped short, making eye contact with Sero, who had just popped out from the back.

                Sero raised an eyebrow, “What the heck is going on?” he asked, just joining in on the conversation.

                “Did you know that Kaminari used to model?” Uraraka asked him.

                Sero smiled at Kaminari, “What, no way!” he shouted and the blond hid his face in his hands.  “That’s really cool dude,” he told him, causing Kaminari’s golden irises to peak back up.  “I’m surprised you don’t model anymore,” he admitted.  “You’ve got the perfect face and personality for it.”  He winked, “Plus, you can get all the ladies.”

                Kaminari flushed, before his expression dropped.  “I-I just don’t anymore okay?” he said quietly, turning away.  “Please stop pestering me about it.”

                Sero raised his hands in defense, a hurt look on his face, “Alright, alright, I’ll drop it.”  The other two agreed as well.  “Sorry.”

                Kaminari finally looked at them again.  His eyes were still sad, but he flashed another smile.  “Thank you.”  Kirishima could tell that Sero could see right through the fake smile, his hurt expression turning to worry and spreading across his face.  “I think I’m going to head back to the dorms; I’m really tired,” he told them.

                “Ah, it’s almost 3,” Sero told him.  “If you’re cool with waiting a little longer, I’ll walk with you.”  The blond nodded and went to sit back at his table, taking another small bite of the muffin before pulling out his cellphone again, typing away.

                “Do you think he hated modeling,” Uraraka asked them in a hushed tone, suddenly feeling bad.  “I didn’t even think it might have been a bad experience.  Ah, I hope he’s not mad at me!”  She blushed out of embarrassment, hands covering her face.

                “Nah, he’s just been kinda down lately,” Sero told her.  “You’re fine.”  She smiled in relief.

                Once it was around ten-to-three, a mess of curly pink hair popped through the doors.  “Mina!” Kirishima shouted and ran over to embrace her, lifting her off of the ground slightly.  It felt like it had been forever since he had seen her.

                She screamed at being literally swept off of her feet and giggled as she was spun in a circle.  “Hi babe, how are you?” she asked after being set back down, giving him a friendly kiss on the cheek.

                “I’m great; how are you?” Kirishima asked, glad to see her healthy and back on her feet again.

                She rolled her eyes, “Oh my God I hate being sick,” she made a disgusted face.  “It’s seriously the worst.”  She went over and hugged Sero, planting a kiss on his cheek as well. 

                Ashido Mina was always super friendly and hands-on with everyone that she knew.  The first time Kirishima had met her was when Sero had brought him in, looking for a job.  She immediately hugged him and insisted that she be called by her first name if they were to work together. 

                She wrapped her arms around Uraraka from behind and squeezed her, causing the brunette to shriek and bust into a fit of laughter.  “Ah I missed you guys,” she giggled, still keeping Uraraka in a tight hold.

                “We missed you too, Mina,” Sero smiled and went to remove his apron.  “You okay if I head out now.”

                “Oh yeah, for sure!” she smiled back and gave Uraraka a huge kiss on the cheek before finally letting her go.  “I owe you for how much you had to work for me the past week.”  She winked at him, “Let me know if there’s anything at all I can do for ya hon.”

                Sero smiled and glanced over at Kaminari, who was heading over to the counter, fake smile on his face as he waved.  Mina lit up and tackled him, covering his face in kisses.  “Ah Mina!” he giggled and playfully tried to push her away.

                She gave him one more kiss before releasing him.  “You look down hon.  Is everything okay?” she asked, immediately seeing through his fake smile.  She cupped a manicured hand on his face and tucked some hair behind his ear, worry filling her eyes.

                “Y-yeah, I’m fine,” he said, trying not to make eye contact with her.

                “You best not be lying to me,” she said with a stern tone to her voice.  “If anything or anyone is bothering you, you let mama know.”  She gave him one last kiss on his forehead before letting go of his face.  “I hate seeing my baby boy sad.”

                Kaminari blushed, “Dude, we’re the same age.  In fact,” he crossed his arms, “I’m technically older than you.”  He stuck out his tongue and Mina giggled.

                “Just barely,” she stuck out her own tongue and the five of them laughed together.  “Alright cuties, get out of here,” she playfully shoed the three boys away and they promptly left the café.

                “Man, I really missed having Mina around,” Kirishima smiled to himself, shivering at being in the cold air rather than the cozy café.

                “Same here,” Sero added, fisting his hands in his pockets.  “She’s the best.”

                Kaminari wiped at his face with his sleeve.  “Man, why does she treat me like such a baby?” he pouted.

                “You like the attention,” Sero teased him, playfully shoving an elbow into his arm.

                Kaminari blushed and shoved Sero, “Shut up.”  The other two laughed and the blond pouted.  “Why do you guys have to tease me so much?” he yelled.

                Sero hooked an arm around the blond, cheeks dusted pink, “Cause you’re super cute when you’re embarrassed.”  Kaminari’s face flashed red.  “You know we love you Sparky.” 

                Kaminari’s face turned his face pouted, “Whatever.”  His eyes focused on his shoes as they walked down the sidewalk.

                “Sparky?” Kirishima questioned the nickname.

                “Yeah, you know, ‘Denki,’” Sero said, flicking at the black lightning bolt he had dyed into his hair.  Kirishima connected the dots and let out a hearty laugh.

                Kaminari ducked to get out of Sero’s grasp and walked ahead of them.  “I’m going to the store.  I’ll see you guys later.”

                Sero jogged up to his side.  “I thought you were tired?” he asked.

                Kaminari shrugged and stopped at the corner, waiting for the light to change.

                Sero looked back at Kirishima and cocked an eyebrow.  The redhead shrugged his shoulders and silently mouthed ‘talk to him.’  But Sero just looked away and stayed quiet.  “Well,” Kirishima felt like maybe they needed to be alone for Sero to talk to him, “I gotta do laundry, so I’ll see you guys later.”  As he began to cross the street heading toward the dorms, he shouted back, mostly reminding Sero, “You guys should go out and do something fun tonight!”  He waved and made his way back to the dorms.

 

                Kirishima was sitting in a chair at the laundromat.  He felt his stomach growl and checked his phone.  He had a small snack at the café, but that was a few hours ago.  Plus, he only had that granola bar for breakfast, so it was no surprise he was hungry now, seeing as it was rolling on five o’clock.  He leaned his head back and closed his eyes.  He felt himself drifting off into sleep when I sudden buzz in his pocket caused him to jolt upright in his chair.  He pulled out his phone to see a ‘Where are you?’ text from an unsaved number.  He ignored the message, assuming it was just a misdial and fisted the phone back into his pocket.

                The dryer buzzed and he stood, making his way over to it.  He pulled out his laundry and folded it neatly into a large bag to take with him back to the dorms.  Times like this, it would be really nice to have a car, but it wouldn’t be worth it just to move laundry back and forth from his room.  He felt his phone vibrate again and checked the screen to see another text from the unknown number.  ‘Hey shitty hair, answer me!’ 

                ‘Shitty hair?’ he thought to himself, ‘that’s an interesting way to address someone.’  He returned the phone to his pocket, just for it to instantly buzz again.  This time it was a phone call.  Kirishima sighed and answered the phone, “Hey, sorry, I think you have the wrong number—”

                “Bullshit asshole,” Bakugo’s voice shouted through the speaker, “I know exactly who I’m calling.”

                Kirishima felt himself blush, “Oh, sorry Bakugo.  I don’t have your number saved, so I didn’t know it was you.”  Wait a minute.  “How did you get my number?”

                “That dumb note you left for me in the ‘garbage,’” he barked on the other end, the sound of sarcasm dripping from his voice.

                Kirishima laughed, “You dug through the garbage?”

                “No dipshit, the bag tore when I went to take it out earlier!” Bakugo snapped.  “You sure do eat a lot of shit food.”

                “Eh,” Kirishima agreed with him on that, “I just never have the energy to cook,” he admitted.

                “You’re going to get fat,” Bakugo murmured and Kirishima just laughed.  “You still haven’t answered my question.”

                “Oh yeah, I’m just doing laundry,” he told him and continued to fold his shirts.  “I’m just finishing up now though.”

                “Okay, well hurry it up,” the blond barked.

                “Why are you in such a rush for me to get back?” Kirishima asked.  He was met with a click on the other end, ending the phone call.  ‘Weird,’ he thought.  “Ah,” he pouted to himself, suddenly offended, “why the heck did he call me ‘shitty hair?’”

Chapter Text

 

                Kirishima returned to the dorms, fresh laundry in hand—well bag.  As he stepped out of the elevator, he saw Bakugo standing outside of the dorm, leaning up against the frame on his phone.  He was wearing sweats and a tank top, hair slightly damp.  The blond glanced up at him and scowled, “Took you long enough.”

                “Sorry?” Kirishima questioned, wondering why he was waiting outside the dorm.  “Did you forget your key?” he asked.

                “Tsk,” Bakugo scoffed and thumped his foot. 

                Kirishima laughed; he did forget his key.  “Here,” the redhead slipped his own key into the lock and opened the dorm for them both.  Bakugo entered first and Kirishima followed, closing the door behind them.  Kirishima went to his side of the room and began to put away his clean laundry. 

                Bakugo opened the window and leaned out; picking up the beer cans from the night before.  He collected them in his arms and slid the window shut once more.  He passed Kirishima, as the redhead was heading over to the couch, and tossed them into the recycling bin in their kitchen.  The redhead glanced over and was met with a curious look from Bakugo.  Kirishima broke eye contact and plopped himself down on the sofa, feeling his body relax as his eyes slid shut.

                He felt the couch dip down next to him and opened his eyes to see Bakugo sitting next to him, their knees almost touching.  Kirishima slid his leg over to give him some more space, as he stole a side glance at the blond.  “Were you down at the gym?” he asked, referring to his athletic clothes that had replaced his formal ones that he had been wearing earlier that morning.

                Bakugo nodded, glancing at the retreating knee.  “Yeah, I work out some times.”

                Kirishima smiled at him.  “You should work out with me and Midoriya—”

                “Tsk,” he was cut off by a scoff as Bakugo tossed an ankle over his knee, crossing his legs, “like I’d want to work out with that nerd.”

                Kirishima frowned, “I thought you guys were friends now?”

                He scoffed again, “We’re not friends.  I don’t do friends.  We’re just speaking again, that’s all.”  At this he stood from the couch and Kirishima stood along with him.

                “S-sorry,” Kirishima whispered, causing Bakugo to turn back to him.

                “The fuck do you have to be sorry for?” he asked.

                Kirishima shifted on his feet, before embracing Bakugo, pulling him into a strong hug.  “Midoriya told me everything.”  He could feel the other tense up in his embrace.  “I want you to know that if you ever need to talk, that I’m here.”  His heart was pounding in his ears.  “You won’t be alone anymore.”  Kirishima gently released the blond and was met with a scowl again.

                “Whatever,” he scoffed, “don’t fucking hug me again.”  Kirishima could see a blush spread across his roommates face and felt one creeping onto his as well.  Bakugo pursed his lips and exhaled through his nose.  His lips looked so soft.  The tightness increased in his chest.  He turned away and felt the sensation creep to his stomach.  It felt like—

                Kirishima’s stomach growled and he felt the tightness fade away.  Ah, he was just hungry.  Right?  It gurgled again, slightly louder this time and he felt eyes on him.  He turned back to Bakugo to see his beautiful crimson eyes staring at him.  The squeezing returned and he felt himself blush.  “Hungry?” Bakugo asked, cocking a perfectly shaped brow, those intense eyes burning through him. 

                “Y-yep!” Kirishima shouted. Why did he shout?  “Gonna go to the bathroom,” he said, pointing his thumbs in the direction of the toilet, “then I’ll grab something.”  He hurried himself into the bathroom and shut the door behind him.  His heart was pounding in his chest and he didn’t know why.  What the heck was wrong with him?  His brain reminded him of Bakugo’s strong back the first night in the dorm.  He felt hot.  He splashed cold water on his face, trying his best to calm down.  His brain reminded him of those lips.  He wondered what they would feel like, pressed into his own.  He tried to shake the thoughts, but his mind created a scene of Bakugo gently leaning forward lips slightly parted, soft blond eyelashes gently resting on his face.  Kirishima pressed his head against the wall, trying to knock the thoughts from his head.  What the hell was wrong with him? 

                His body crumpled to the floor, hot and confused.  He had never thought about another person this way before.  Could this be—did he have feelings for Bakugo?  Kirishima stayed huddled up on the bathroom floor for a while, ignoring his stomach’s requests for food.  He rubbed his face on his knee, trying not to think of Bakugo.  His mind and heart were both so confused on what he was feeling. 

                As he was finally starting to calm down, he was startled by a loud fist on the bathroom door.  “Oi,” it was Bakugo, “you going to come out any time soon?” his voice sounded strangely calm.  Kirishima let out a deep breath before he stood, opening the door.  Bakugo gently brushed past him, heading to the sink.  He grabbed down a bag from the cupboard and pulled out a thin black item.  He popped the lid off and pulled out a small mirror as well.  Kirishima watched as Bakugo lined his deep red eyes in black.  He then pulled out cylindrical tube, mascara, and ran it over his long lashes a few times.

                The reflection of his eyes in the compact mirror made contact with Kirishima.  He looked back at his own reflection again, “You planning on going out like that?” he asked. 

                “O-out?” the redhead asked, confused by the question.  “Where are we going?”

                Bakugo sighed, “You’re hungry.  I figured we could go to get something to eat.”

                “A-ah,” Kirishima felt his face flush and left the bathroom, heading to his side of the dorm.

                “Wear something nice,” he heard from the other room.  “There’s a specific place I wanna take you.”

                The blush spread across his face and turned on his heel and headed toward the closet, “The nicest thing I have is my work uniform,” he admitted.

                “That’s fine,” Bakugo shouted back.

                Kirishima pulled down a white shirt and a pair of slacks.  He took them over to his bed and began to strip off his leisure clothes.  His brain was loudly shouting ‘date,’ but he shook the word away, trying to clear the blush across his face.  This was just dinner; just a normal dinner with his roommate.  He stood in his underwear and could feel the tightness welling up in his chest again.  He tossed on his undershirt and began to button up dress shirt trying to ignore the feeling.  He pulled up his trousers, tucking both white shirts into them.

                Bakugo exited from the bathroom and headed to the closet to grab out his own formal clothes as well, both black.  He turned his back to Kirishima and began to change.  The redhead immediately turned away, heading back into the vacant bathroom.  He combed his hair back and styled it half up into a bun, half down, resting at his shoulders. 

                He turned to see Bakugo meeting him in the bathroom, black tie in hand.  The blond had fastened a red one around his neck.  “Here,” he handed the tie to Kirishima.

                The redhead flushed, “I-I don’t know how to tie a tie off hand,” he admitted, embarrassed by how uncool that probably sounded.

                Bakugo rolled his eyes and flipped up Kirishima’s collar, tossing the tie around it.  He tied it for him, sliding it up to rest against his throat.  The blonde’s hands stayed there for a moment, before he pulled them back and turned around, leaving the collar up.  “Hurry it up,” he muttered as he exited the bathroom.

                The two walked to the elevator in silence.  Kirishima still didn’t know what to think.  Bakugo’s words and actions were confusing him so much.  They climbed in and the blond hit the button for the underground parking lot.  “You have a car?” Kirishima asked.

                Bakugo half smirked, “Sure.”  Kirishima was left confused by what he meant.  You can’t answer a yes or no question with a ‘sure.’  The elevator beeped and spit them into the parking garage.  Kirishima followed him over to a line motorcycles and mopeds.  He stopped at a rather large and expensive looking black bike, grabbing the helmet and tossing it to the redhead.

                “This is your bike?” he shouted, surprised a college student could afford such a nice vehicle.  Bakugo smirked again and jumped on as Kirishima fastened the helmet, squishing his bun flat against his skull.  “Don’t you have another helmet?” he asked.

                “Nah, I’m fine,” he said, slipping a pair of goggles over his eyes, being mindful not to smudge his eye makeup.

                “Y-you sure?” Kirishima asked and was met with Bakugo’s hand, silencing him.  He climbed onto the back of the bike, trying to keep himself from pressing against the blonde’s back.  He didn’t want to make him uncomfortable.

                Bakugo jolted the bike forward, causing Kirishima to slide right into his back, “Hold on, or you’re going to fly right off,” he told him, and Kirishima did as he was told, wrapping his arms around Bakugo’s torso, hoping the blond couldn’t feel the rapid pounding in his chest.

                After driving for a few miles, they arrived at a rather fancy looking Italian restaurant.  No wonder he asked him to dress nicely.  It was an all brick building with vines and ivy so dense, you could barely see the stone.  Although the plants were dusted with snow, he could guess that his place looked absolutely stunning in the summer.

                Bakugo parked the bike and shifted it off.  Kirishima climbed off and removed the helmet, stowing it away in the saddle bag on the bike.  He pulled off his hair tie, shaking it loose, before tying it back up into a neater bun.  The blond removed his goggles and checked his makeup in the reflection on his phone screen.  Bakugo turned and headed to the entrance, with the Kirishima quickly following behind him.

                Bakugo pushed open doors and began to remove his coat, hanging it onto a hook by the door.  Kirishima did the same, taking in the breathtaking inside too.  It was a lot larger than it looked from the front.  The whole place was dimly lit, as the sun was setting outside, with soft yellow lighting throughout the space.  It had an exposed ceiling, showing off the wooden detailing in the rafters.  Vines were creeping along the walls inside too, though Kirishima was fairly certain that they were just decoration and not real plants.  There was a large stone fireplace, softly crackling along with the classic Italian music playing through the speakers.

                The Hostess, a rather tall woman with her black hair tied into an up do approached them.  “Ah, Bakugo, I have your table ready,” she smiled at him and glanced back at Kirishima, flashing him a kind smile as well.  “Right this way please,” she held out a hand and walked the two through the restaurant, passing by the various other patrons.  Kirishima gazed at the food on their tables; everything was artistic, from the garnish to the sauce patterning, giving an elegant touch to every plate.

                They passed through another room, a section with another stone fireplace and spacious round tables, and into a smaller sub room with two tables, enough to seat a maximum of ten people comfortably.  She seated them at one of the tables, which had the extra chairs stacked to the side, and was set up for two people.  They both sat and she handed each a menu.  She turned to Kirishima and bowed, introducing herself, “My name is Yaoyozoru and I will be serving you tonight.  Can I get you any drinks to start with?” she asked, standing back at attention.

                Kirishima flipped the menu over and glanced at the drinks.  They were primarily wine choices.  “I’ll just have an ice water, please,” he told her. 

                Bakugo nodded, ordering the same and she smiled at them.  “Alright, I’ll give you some time to look over the menu and will be back in a moment with your waters.”  She turned and walked out of the room.

                “So,” Kirishima shifted in his seat, glancing around the small space.  It was really cozy with just the two of them.  “How do you know her?” he asked.

                Bakugo slouched in his seat, a light pink dusting his cheeks, “I work here dumbass.”  Kirishima shot him a huge smile and the blond scoffed.

                Ah, Bakugo was majoring in culinary arts.  It would make sense that he worked in a nice place like this.  “I would love to try your cooking sometime,” the redhead admitted, making Bakugo blush an even deeper shade of red.

                “Maybe, whatever,” he lifted the menu up, hiding his face behind it. 

                Kirishima glanced inside the menu too and felt his heart try to jump out of his throat at the first thing he saw; a ¥7000 steak. ‘Holy shit this place is expensive!’  He figured it would be, based on how nice the whole place was, but still!  He dropped his menu down, “This stuff is really expensive,” he whispered and Bakugo glanced over the top of his own menu.

                “No shit hair for brains, I do work here,” he spat, sarcastically.  “Don’t worry about the damn prices, just order whatever you want.  I’m buying anyway.”

                “Oh no, you are not paying for me dude.”  Kirishima was met with a growl from the other man. 

                Yaoyozoru returned to the table with the water glasses, each garnished with a lemon slice, and pulled out her notebook and pen, “Can I get you any appetizers to start with?” she asked them.

                Bakugo placed his menu on the table, “Bruschetta and some fried calamari.  You know how I like them.”  She glanced at Kirishima, but the blond answered for him, knowing he wouldn’t order anything, “That should be fine to start.”

                “Alright, I’ll get these started.”  She moved farther down on her notepad, “Do you know what you would like for your entrée tonight?”

                “I-I still need a minute,” Kirishima piped up.

                She nodded, “Alright, I’ll be back in a bit with those appetizers.”  She left the room, returning to the kitchen.

                Kirishima glanced at the salads, they weren’t too expensive.  Maybe he could just order one of those.  “You better not order a salad,” Bakugo sneered, knowing exactly what the redhead was looking at in the menu.  Kirishima pouted and shot him a look.  “If you even try to order something cheap, I will order you the Wagyu steak,” he smirked and the redhead gulped.  That was the ¥7000 steak he had seen first.

                “Fine,” Kirishima groaned, “what do you recommend then?” he asked.

                Bakugo leaned forward and pointed to a few different options in the menu.  “The Chicken Piccata is pretty good.  The rigatoni and ravioli are also popular.” 

                Kirishima looked at the options he had suggested; the Chicken Piccata was a dish with chicken, olive oil whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus, drizzled in a lemon caper sauce.  The Lemon Rigatoni came with a lemon glazed chicken breast and San Marzano tomatoes, with a basil creame sauce, topped with ground pine nuts.  The Ravioli was a four cheese variety, consisting of goat cheese, parmesan, mozzarella, and fontina, with a sage Pomodoro sauce mixed in.  They all sounded amazing.

                Bakugo pointed to one and tapped his finger, “This one is my favorite.”  Kirishima glanced at it; Puttanesca, a spicy spaghetti-type dish, with fresh fish, mussels, clams, shrimp, capers, and Kalamata olives.  That was a little, much, for Kirishima’s taste buds, he decided.  “Or you can be boring at get the regular spaghetti,” he murmured, leaning back in his chair.  “Not many people like the overwhelming and complex flavors in the Puttanesca.” 

                Kirishima picked up a resting wine glass on the table and swirled it around in his palm.  “Is it, too exquisite for commoner taste buds,” he said, in a posh tone, causing Bakugo to sputter and try not to explode in laughter.

                “Basically,” Bakugo smirked and took a sip of his water, “I really like the mix of flavors in it.  Something you don’t find anywhere else.”  He glanced at the wine glass still in Kirishima’s hand, “Did you want some wine?”

                “Ah,” Kirishima returned the glass to its original position, “no, I’m okay.  I don’t drink much.”

                “Tsk,” Bakugo scoffed, a small smirk on his lips, “says the guy who has beer in our fridge.”

                Touché.  “I don’t drink much,” he enunciated the word this time.  “Only when it’s a special occasion, or when I’m hanging out with friends,” he said.

                Yaoyozoru sauntered up to their table with the bread and Calamari that Bakugo had ordered.  She placed them in the center and turned to Kirishima, “Are you ready to order, sir?” she asked.

                The redhead nodded and flipped the menu open, “I think I’ll try the Chicken Piccata,” he told her, handing over the menu.

                “Perfect!” she turned to Bakugo.  “And, let me guess, Puttanesca for you, sir?” 

                He smirked, “You know it, ma’am,” he gave her his menu.  “And make sure Shouji does it how I like.”  She nodded and took his menu, walking back out of the room to put in the orders.  Bakugo took a piece of calamari and dipped it into the red sauce that came with it.  “Try some,” he said as he took a bite.

                Kirishima had never had calamari before and wasn’t too fond of anything from the mollusk family.  But, he didn’t want to seem rude, declining the food that Bakugo was paying for.  He grabbed a smaller one and went to take a bite before Bakugo stopped him.  “Oh come on, you have to have it with the sauce.  It’s honestly the best part.”  He nudged the sauce dish toward him and Kirishima dipped the tendril into the sauce, scooping up a copious amount.  He brought it back to his mouth and popped the whole thing in.  The texture was surprisingly tender for a squid and actually quite enjoyable. 

                Then the spice hit him.  His eyes watered and he covered his mouth trying to get the food down so he could drink his water.  Bakugo was a roaring in laughter at Kirishima’s reaction to the sauce.  “What’s the matter, don’t like spicy food?”  He teased and was met with an evil glare from the redhead.  Kirishima finally swallowed the food and gulped down half of his water, desperately trying to cool his mouth.  Bakugo took a slice of bruschetta, topped with diced and sauced tomato and handed it to Kirishima, “Here, the tomato will help with counteracting the spice.”  Kirishima snatched the bread and bit into it, sauce side against his tongue.  It did help relieve some of the intensity.

                Kirishima swallowed the bread and exhaled loudly.  “What the hell dude?” he growled.

                Bakugo reclined in his chair and put his hands up in defense, “Hey, I told you to try the sauce, not drown it in it.”  Kirishima scowled and the blond took another piece of the calamari, popping it into his mouth.  “S’good though, right?”

                “Yeah,” Kirishima nodded.  If it weren’t for the sauce, he definitely would have enjoyed it more.  He grabbed another piece and added just a little sauce this time; it was still spicy, but much better than the first bite.  “What’s in the sauce anyways?”

                Bakugo listed off the ingredients, “Mayonnaise, olive oil, red peppers, garlic, tabasco sauce, basil; I get it with extra tabasco and garlic though, it’s too bland on its own,” he shrugged.

                The two pieced on the appetizers until Yaoyozoru brought out their meals.  Both plates smelled and looked absolutely amazing.  “Here you are,” she placed the plates down on the table.

                Kirishima could feel his mouth watering.  “Thank you so much,” he beamed.

                She smiled back and giggled.  “Let me know if I can grab anything else for you.”  She bowed and left the two men to eat. 

                Kirishima grabbed his fork and knife, cutting into the chicken.  It was so tender; he technically didn’t even need the knife.  He took a bite and felt it practically melt in his mouth.  His eyes slid shut and exhaled through his nose; it was so amazing.  He opened his eyes to see Bakugo smirking at him, light blush across his cheeks, before the blond took a bite of his own food.  “It’s good, huh?” he said.

                Kirishima took another big mouthful and nodded.  “Yeah,” he leaned back in his chair, savoring every bite.

                Bakugo pointed his fork at Kirishima’s plate, “S’cause it’s my recipe.”

                “Wha—no way!” he took another huge bite.  “You’re amazing man.”  The blonde’s face turned a deeper shade of red.  “You’d make an amazing wife one day,” he winked and teased Bakugo, making him scowl.

                “Tsk,” Bakugo scoffed, “in what world does me being good at cooking, automatically make me a wife?”  He took another bite, “That’s sexist.”

                Kirishima shrugged, he had never thought about it that way before.  “I suppose you’re right; a good husband then.”  The redhead winked, “Maybe even my husband.”  Bakugo’s face flushed, but before he could fully react, Kirishima put up his hands, “I’m only joking dude.  I know that you’re not into guys.  I just,” he rubbed the back of his head, “it’s how my friend’s and I joke with each other.” 

                The blond settled back down and shoved a fistful of pasta into his mouth.  “Whatever; just eat your food before it gets cold.”  Kirishima smiled and did as he was told, going for his mound of potatoes next.  They were just as amazing.

                After the two had cleared their plates, Yaoyozoru came back around to clean their table.  “Would you like any desserts tonight?” she asked.

                Kirishima was reclining in his seat and patted his stomach, “I’m so full, but thank you.”

                She turned to Bakugo who waved his hand, “Nah, I’m good too.”

                “Okay, I’ll get the checks for you—”

                “Check,” Bakugo corrected her, “I’m treating him.”

                Yaoyozoru flashed a curious smile at the blond, “Alright, I’ll be back in a moment.”

                As she walked away, Kirishima bowed forward, “T-thank you Bakugo.  I’ll pay next time.”  Ah—he felt his face flush.  Next time?  Would there be a next time? 

                “Sure.”  He looked up to see Bakugo pulling out a breath mint, popping it into his mouth.  The blond gazed over and Kirishima and shook the container.  “Want one?” he asked.

                “Ah—sure,” Kirishima took a mint and popped it into his mouth.  He was expecting spearmint, but it was a very strong, and hot, cinnamon flavor.  He rolled it into his cheek.  “You really like hot stuff, don’t you?” he asked and Bakugo smirked, shrugged his shoulders. 

                Yaoyozoru brought the check and Bakugo glanced over it before handing her a crisp ¥10000 from his wallet.  “Split the rest between you and Shouji.”

                “Oh no, Bakugo, that’s too much,” she told him and he glared at her.

                “No it’s not; Kirishima enjoyed it, which is what matters.”  Was that a blush on his cheeks?

                Yaoyozoru bowed, face dipping past her knees, “Thank you so much Bakugo.”  She walked them both to the doors.  As they put their coats back on, she bowed again.  “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she smiled and Bakugo waved as he and Kirishima headed out.

                The sun had set now, and the air was extremely cold.  Kirishima shivered and rubbed his arms, wishing he had a thicker coat.  Bakugo hopped onto his motorcycle and Kirishima got on behind him, and was handed the helmet again.  He pushed it back, “You wear it this time,” he insisted. 

                Bakugo rotated his torso around and slammed the helmet on Kirishima’s head, fastening the buckle under his chin.  His intense red eyes stared at Kirishima’s through the black visor, and Kirishima gulped.  “You will wear it.  I’ll be fine.”  The blond turned his body back around and slipped the goggles on his head.  Kirishima wrapped his arms around the other’s torso, resting his head against Bakugo’s strong back as he started up the bike.