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The Small Hours

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Kirishima shifted his weight in the large bed, hearing Bakugou move as well. They’d started out on opposite ends; however, it hadn’t taken long for them to gradually shift closer. Gravity pulled their bodies toward the center of the bed, toward each other, and they were now lying back to back. Kirishima didn’t mind one bit. He was drawn to Bakugou’s warmth; despite the thick blanket, he felt a little shivery and uncomfortable. Bakugou felt solid against Kirishima. The weight and heat might have been soothing if only he could stop fixating on them. He was . . . super aware of Bakugou right now. This situation was comfortable but also totally distracting.

Some of the hotel room’s gaudy decorations evidently glowed in the dark; he could still see the hearts and garish color scheme without a single light on, and the room was cast in a soft purplish glow. The light was soothing, but since Kirishima normally slept in total darkness, it was way brighter than he was used to.

The bed was comfortable though kind of springy; when he’d thrown himself on it after his shower that evening, he’d bounced surprisingly high. He blushed at the memory--Bakugou had laughed at him, and that always made him feel warm, but Kirishima had also quickly imagined what else a springy bed would be good for. Honestly, with the room’s embarrassingly lovey-lovey theme, this choice of mattress must have been intentional! God, what was he doing here?!

There was a rustle against his shirt, and the mattress dipped as Bakugou shifted again behind him. His heart kicked at his chest. He couldn’t look over--if he saw Bakugou’s face, he was sure he would die--but every cell in his body screamed at him to look, just look, it’s no big deal, you’re just checking.

He glanced back. He didn’t see much, just Bakugou’s spiky hair, and he sighed in relief, letting himself stare longer. Bakugou’s weight sank heavily into the mattress, muscles in his arm and shoulder relaxed and smoothed out. He was tired, so was Kirishima. It had been a long night. The villain attack had been short but bad; even after fighting with every they’d had, they’d nearly lost. Even All Might had struggled. And then they’d spent hours getting patched up at a hospital and talking to police. As soon as they’d had the chance, he and Bakugou had found some takeout food and returned to the hotel for a bit of quiet while their bodies processed the rush of cortisol and adrenaline.

After their showers, and Kirishima’s humorous flop onto the bed, the mood had lightened again, and an easy conversation had finally flowed. They’d talked mostly about the events of the night, how crazy everything was, but also about their upcoming training camp. They’d concurred that the extra training would be good for the whole class; they both hated feeling caught off-guard by the attack. Kirishima had mentioned that, once again, he and Bakugou had worked well together. Bakugou had agreed, and--god, god, god!!!--that still made Kirishima smile. An excited breath escaped him. He was such a sap.

“Shitty Hair,” Bakugou called softly.

Kirishima startled. “Huh?”

“You awake?”

“Yeah, what’s up?” Kirishima turned his body toward Bakugou.

Bakugou exhaled sharply and rolled onto his back, glaring at Kirishima. “You keep sighing, it’s damn annoying.”

Kirishima smiled sheepishly. “Oh, sorry, man. Guess I can’t fall asleep.”

Bakugou shifted again, but to Kirishima’s surprise, he turned to face him, tucking his arm under his pillow. “Just stop thinking stupid things,” he muttered, closing his eyes. “Go to sleep.”

Kirishima let out a small, bright laugh. “I’ll try!”

He watched Bakugou’s face for a while. It was so close for some reason?! His face looked so peaceful, and his hand was curled so gently by his mouth! Aaaahhhh, he was cute!! His whole body looked soft--Kirishima could imagine the way his loose muscles would squish under his fingers; he always liked massaging his own arms and shoulders when he was relaxed for the pliant texture. Squishy but firm, sorta like a leather couch! But that was weird, he should stop.

Kirishima closed his eyes and took a deep, hopefully quiet, breath, still smiling and blushing for whatever reason; he didn’t care. He liked being happy around Bakugou. He liked Bakugou so much. . . .

Another blush hit his cheeks, and he knew it was hopeless. He rubbed his face into his pillow, half hoping to suffocate so that Bakugou wouldn’t notice his intense embarrassment.

“Stop moving, idiot,” grumbled Bakugou, a frown in his voice.

Kirishima groaned into his pillow. “I can’t help it. This room is too bright.”

Half his face still buried in the pillow, he peeked at Bakugou. His eyes were open now, glancing around the room before settling on Kirishima. His bottom lip jutted out, probably meant to be a frown but looking more like a pout since the rest of Bakugou’s face was pretty relaxed. So cute.

“The light is pretty obnoxious,” Bakugou conceded.

“Right?” Kirishima settled more comfortably on his side. Bakugou seemed more alert than Kirishima expected; his voice was clear and eyes bright. Kirishima wondered if he were having trouble winding down, too. “Hey, when we get back, we should go to the arcade near UA again.”

Bakugou’s eyebrows rose, disappearing behind his fluffy bangs. “Haah? We’ve been stuck together for two days, and you wanna spend more time together?”

Kirishima blinked, confused. “You’re the one who invited me!”

Now Bakugou looked confused and irritated about it. “So what?”

“Well, it’s not like I’m sick of ya!” Kirishima laughed. He didn’t know how else to respond, wasn’t even sure what Bakugou was mad about. “I’m always down to hang out!”

Bakugou rolled his eyes, but the angry crease between his eyebrows smoothed away. He grumbled a little, but Kirishima didn’t catch what he said. He scooted a tad closer, seeking Bakugou’s eyes.

“Hey, Bakugou?”

He grunted, meeting his gaze. His eyes looked pretty; the red irises appeared super dark and shiny in this light, like polished rubies. Kirishima liked the angularity of his eyes, too. They reminded Kirishima of a fox, and Bakugou always looked as shrewd as one, serious and cool.

“Do you like hanging out with me, too?”

“What the hell, idiot?” Bakugou growled, nose scrunching. “Why would you ask that?!”

Kirishima shrugged a shoulder, too distracted by Bakugou’s face to commit to a real answer. He was gay; he was so fucking gay; he was too gay for this situation!!

“Fuckin’ obviously,” Bakugou huffed, turning onto his back to glare at the ceiling. “I wouldn’t have invited you here if I didn’t. ‘S not like I would’ve been cool sharing a bed with anyone else.”

Kirishima smiled like a dope, paying only half attention. “But you’re always cool.”

A blush spread rapidly on Bakugou’s face, blooming over the visible part of his cheek and ear. Kirishima’s heart sped up. Whoa! So cute!!

Bakugou was apparently speechless for a moment; the only sounds that came out of him were wordless splutterings, and his shoulders shook. Whoops, Kirishima might’ve embarrassed him. But he’d spoken the truth! He really did think Bakugou was cool all the time.

Damn it. What the hell,” mumbled Bakugou as he shoved his arms under the blanket, pulling the comforter up to his mouth.

“It’s true!” Kirishima laughed again. Ahh, he did that a lot around Bakugou. It felt nice. “I bet lots of girls like you.”

Bakugou snorted loudly. “Whatever.”

Kirishima’s jaw dropped. “What do you mean?!” he exclaimed, indignant. “Why wouldn’t they?!”

Bakugou rolled his eyes again. “I don’t know, and I don’t care! Even if they do, they’re wasting their time. I’m not interested.”

Kirishima’s heart stopped. It actually stopped, and he was dead now. He couldn’t breathe. “Y-you’re not?”

“Nope. I’m too busy for that dating crap.”

“Oh.” Kirishima released a shaky exhale. The numbness in his face slowly melted, and he smiled stiffly. “Yeah, that’s true.”

Bakugou aimed a shrewd look at him, piercing him with his eyes. Kirishima swallowed. It wasn’t a suspicious look, but Kirishima definitely got the impression that Bakugou was figuring him out. After a long moment of intense eye contact, Bakugou turned away again, and Kirishima finally let himself breathe.

“Hey, Kirishima,” Bakugou spoke, unusually quiet.

Kirishima perked up. “Yeah?”

Bakugou hummed a little, contemplating. Kirishima’s skin began to prickle with nerves. This was different; Bakugou didn’t usually hesitate like this. He cleared his throat a little and asked, “Uh, what’s up?”

Tension gathered visibly in Bakugou’s chest, and he scowled. Kirishima probably shouldn’t have interrupted. For a second, Bakugou’s lip curled, and Kirishima expected him to snap something defensively. Instead, much to his surprise, Bakugou closed his mouth again, working his jaw until his face relaxed again.

“You . . .” Bakugou’s voice was still gruff with irritation. He sighed and tried again, voice softening. “You’re gay, right?”

Kirishima’s eyes widened. Time seemed to stop; he froze. Oh. Well, yeah. Had he not brought it up yet? Yes, he was gay; yes, he was fine with it; yes, he could say it; it was fine!!! He swallowed several times, just trying to get his throat and tongue working again. Bakugou wasn’t looking at him--god, was that a good or bad thing? He was fine, it was fine. Bakugou was his friend, and it was fine. He could say it now, no problem! No regrets!!

“Y-yeah.” He blushed, hating his stammer. Before he could stop himself, an awkward laugh stumbled out of him. His whole body was tense, his heart in his throat. “Uh, heh, w-why?”

Bakugou only nodded. Then, he shrugged. “Dunno. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

Kirishima frowned. “Why? It’s not a problem, right?”

“No,” he huffed, as if it were obvious. That one sound did wonders for Kirishima’s heart, though; he was suddenly soaring on a refreshing breeze of relief. “I guess I just wanted to know. I had a feeling but wasn’t sure.”

A feeling? Like, a gay feeling?? Because he’s gay?! No, he was getting ahead of himself. He didn’t need to project. Kirishima was probably just really obvious about his own preferences.

“Oh, yeah,” he wheezed. He breathed a small chuckle. “It’s not, like, a secret or anything.”

Bakugou nodded, meeting his eyes again. “Did you always know?” His expression was open; he appeared to be listening without judgment.

Kirishima’s chest instantly felt lighter, and another smile slowly bloomed on his face. “Pretty much. My friends in middle school knew, too, but we didn’t really talk about it.”

“It’s not that important, anyway,” Bakugou huffed. “You’ve got better things to focus on. Like keeping up with me until we become heroes.”

Pride surged in Kirishima’s chest. God, Bakugou had such a manly way of saying this stuff!! He was so determined and earnest about everything he did, and that was too cool! He saw the beginnings of a smirk play at Bakugou’s mouth, and he couldn’t help but grin back at him. “You bet! Man, I can’t wait! It would be cool if we worked in the same city. You want to go to Tokyo, right?”

“Yeah,” Bakugou agreed, turning his body toward him with a determined glint in his eyes. He was smiling. “That’s where the big-time villains are. And you better go too ‘cause you and me make a good team.”

Kirishima was definitely blushing again, but he ignored it in favor of getting swept up in Bakugou’s words. He bumped the back of his hand against the back of Bakugou’s. “Yeah! Man, imagine being real pros. Patrolling, taking down bad guys, protecting and helping people!” He was getting excited, ideas pouring out of him unstoppably. “Going solo! What kind of office do you think your future agency will have? Personally, I don’t need a fancy office, but it would be cool to someday have a small building in a residential area, something close to the community.”

They stayed up for a long time like that, talking excitedly, quietly, intimately. Hours must have passed. Kirishima’s smile never wavered, even when his throat started to feel sore and dry and his eyelids struggled to stay open. Bakugou was in no better shape: his voice was rough and cracky, and his responses grew shorter while his pauses grew longer, thicker with drowsiness. At some point, Bakugou’s five-second blinks stopped entirely, and his eyes stayed closed. His blond eyelashes looked soft on his cheek. Kirishima couldn’t help but force his own eyes open just a little longer to watch how his friend’s face, usually tense with some emotion, went slack.

“Good night, Bakugou,” he sighed. He was going to pass out any second.

Bakugou’s eyelids shifted, and a warm breath puffed across Kirishima’s face. There was a soft grunt of acknowledgement just as Kirishima’s eyelids slipped closed. And with that, he was out.