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Roses, Katsuki.

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I.

             The first time it happens, Bakugou doesn't even realize it.

             All UA students had the day off and Bakugou was especially keen on not wasting it. The last time they had this opportunity, he was dragged along with the four people who referred to themselves as the "Bakusquad" to some karaoke place and was forced to listen as raccoon eyes, dunce face, tape dispenser, and shitty hair tried to sing way too many Disney songs and failed miserably. Considering he needed his ears to work properly, when the weekend rolled around again, he made sure to keep himself completely unavailable to any plans proposed by those idiots. And if that meant he had to spend the whole day with Kirishima Eijirou, then there was nothing he could really do. (It might have helped that he didn't actually mind the red-haired boy's company.)

             Bakugou wasn't one to be late, so he stepped into the hallway with a maybe-smaller scowl than usual. And if he hesitated before knocking on Kirishima's door, no one had to know. If he quickly looked himself over and then wiped his palms roughly on the baggy jeans he had hastily pulled on, his classmates were none the wiser.

             The door swung open and Kirishima's face popped out for a second. And of course, he was flashing Bakugou a smile so bright it could blind.

             "One second, Bakugou! Let me grab my shoes," The red head shouted through the half-opened door as he dug through a pile near the back of his room. Bakugou wondered absentmindedly how he managed to wear the right thing to school every day and grunted in response. Bakugou leans on the door frame and waits for his friend to shove a pair of shoes on. A year or two ago, he would be yelling at Kirishima to hurry up, but at this point he's learned to deal with his friend's consistent lateness. After a while, he had even thought to plan a few cushion minutes in for the red head to finish his hair, pick the right shirt, fish around for his favorite headband, or anything else he needed. After a moment though, the door swung all the way open and Bakugou was met with the same grin as always. Bakugou took in his sunny friend. He had opted for an oversized black sweater and shorts today. A window open in his room let the rising sun shine through and it created a light halo around Kirishima's hair, which flowed loosely above his shoulders. Bakugou thought it suited him. A quick glance down at his feet informed Bakugou of the reason Kirishima was running late. Heaving a heavy sigh, Bakugou's scowl settled deeper,

             "Fucking crocs, shitty hair?"

             Kirishima brushed past the blonde, shutting his door behind him. He swung an arm around Bakugou's shoulders, completely unfazed,

             "Yep. Ready to go?"

             "Whatever."

             One half an hour later, they were stopped in front of their usual café. Bakugou stepped in front of the red head and pushed the door open for them, sparing only a quiet hum in response to Kirishima's thanks. Right as he was about to step inside with him, he felt a tug at his left jean leg. He turned, still holding the door open, and looked down to the left of him. A little girl stood in front of him, holding several red carnations. Before saying anything, Bakugou glanced inside and gestured at a confused Kirishima to get them a table. He didn't get to see his reaction as he let the door close and turned his full attention to this girl who couldn't be older than 7. He crossed his arms and looked down at her,

             "Yeah?"

             She seemed determined as she puffed her cheeks and thrust the flowers in front of her. Bakugou tensed but waited until she spoke,

             "Baku-chan! You are my favorite hero! Please take these flowers from my family's shop!" Bakugou's eyes widened and a glance behind the girl revealed what he presumed to be her mother, staring intently at him. Bakugou wanted to sigh, wanted to curse his luck, but he swallowed his pride and crouched down to her level, accepting the flowers into his own hands.

             "Thanks for the fuc-flowers, kid. They're uh... nice."

             The girl beamed, revealing two missing teeth front and center. It was cute. God dammit. Since when did Bakugou find some annoying brat bugging him on his day off cute?

             "Thank you! I want to be just like you someday Baku-chan!" Bakugou stared for a second then smirked,

             "Go for it, kid."

             She grinned, eyes wide and waved quickly before running back to her mom.

             Bakugou examined the flowers in his hand for a second, noting the similarity in color to red hair waiting for him just inside the doors. The ghost of a smile passed through his features but left as soon as it came as he opened the door once more. He spotted Kirishima easily and walked briskly over to their usual table by the window. Kirishima grinned when he spotted Bakugou and spoke,

             "I ordered for you. What did the little girl want?" Bakugou all but fell into his chair and raised the carnations into the redhead's view. Kirishima's eyes widened and he extended a hand to brush against a petal.

             "Wow. They're so pretty," Kirishima spoke, almost as if the words slipped out of his mouth without him knowing. Bakugou lowered the flowers to regard Kirishima. His scarlet eyes shone in wonder and a smile was left permanently stained on his face. Already smile lines were starting to form under his eyes. After another moment, Kirishima seemed to notice the blonde staring because he glanced up with an eyebrow quirked. Bakugou grunted and then held the carnations closer to the redhead sitting across from him.

             "Take them, shitty hair." Kirishima blanched but caught himself after a second. Even then, a pink blush dusted his cheeks as he spoke,

             "Oh, I couldn't! I mean--they're yours-" Bakugou shook his head and frowned,

             "You obviously want them more than me. Plus, they're the same color as your shitty eyes. Just take them, Kirishima."

             Said red eyes widened in shock and slowly crinkled as Kirishima beamed.

             Bakugou figured this wasn't the worst his day off could be going.

 

II.

             The second time he does it, it’s for the last reason he would want to.

             Bakugou figures he shouldn't be as shocked as he is. After all, even Kirishima isn't completely invincible. But he is shocked. Completely caught off guard. Scared, and he doesn't know what to do with himself.

             He had gotten the call earlier this morning, and almost didn't pick up when it was fucking Deku's name that popped up. But he did, begrudgingly so, and was quickly told of how his idiot had saved a whole family from a collapsed building that same morning and had sustained some pretty bad injuries.

             He had hung up immediately, cutting off Deku's attempt to calm him down. His clothes were thrown on in a flurry of colors and yells from his mom trying to figure out the situation. He ignored them, ignored everything, except the thoughts racing through his head.

             The idiot. Of course, he had stepped up and protected innocent people even though it wasn't yet his responsibility. Of fucking course, he had.

             Bakugou growled at his mother to shut the fuck up and raced out of the house, just barely remembering to grab his jacket.

             It was raining as he ran down the streets leading to the hospital Kirishima was being tended to in. Cursing his feet for not going fast enough, cursing his breath for coming up in short huffs, cursing this damn world for damaging the one good thing in Bakugou's life. Bakugou wanted to shout, wanted to scream at the unfairness of the situation. Wanted to yell at the irresponsible pros who were supposed to handle this until his throat burned. But instead he ran. He ran, barely keeping from slipping on the water splashing around his footfalls. He ran, ignoring the burn in his lungs and heart. He ran until finally he did slip, barely catching himself with his hands. He pushes himself up, because that's what heroes do. He pushes himself to his feet and catches his breath, taking in his surroundings. That's when a patch of familiar red catches his eye. He wipes his hands on his pants and walks over to the flower shop across the street. He takes one deep breath to calm himself and walks inside, clothes dripping from the storm outside.

             As he walks in, the woman behind the counter takes him in and he hears a gasp.

             "Oh my, are you okay?"

            Bakugou gives her a once over and responds gruffly,

             "Fine. I need flowers."

             She looks skeptical but sighs deeply and regards him,

             "Alright then. Do you know what kind?"

             Bakugou curses. He didn't think this far.

             The clerk huffs a short laugh and turns away from him to the array of flowers behind her. As she reaches for a small bundle of white flowers, he remembers something. Kirishima's bright eyes and soft hair flash through his memory.

             "Red," He blurts, and she gives him a look, "Uh, make them red. I guess..." He trails off at the end and she stares at him for another second with her arms crossed.

             Bakugou leaves five minutes later and the sky has cleared. He leaves with a trio of what the clerk said were red chrysanthemums. He doesn't know the meaning, but the clerk had looked sympathetic and had even said she hoped "they" felt better.

             Bakugou now walks to the hospital, albeit quickly and with long strides. He gets there in just under 10 minutes, flowers a bit dismayed but still with the preexisting number of petals.

             When he walks in, he remembers immediately why he doesn't like hospitals. The smell leaves a sense of discomfort in his throat and the atmosphere is so tense he could cut it in half.

             He finds out where Kirishima is being kept, not without scaring the shit out of the man at the front desk. He makes his way to the elevator and repeats the room number over and over in his head, memorizing it instantly.

             501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501 501--

             Ding!

             The sound makes him jump and he hurries out of the small metal room to be met with a long corridor with numbers along the wall.

             After what’s only three doors down but feels like thousands to Bakugou, he reads 501 and stops short in front of the open door.

             Taking a deep breath that weighs heavily in his lungs and settles into a pit in his stomach, Bakugou realizes he has no idea what to do. He feels overwhelmed but mentally smacks himself. This isn’t about him. He needs to be calm. Calm for Kirishima. He scowls and peeks his head in the door.

             Kirishima is sitting up in his hospital bed, eating red Jell-O out of a small Styrofoam cup with his eyes glued to a TV in the corner of his room. He looks focused on whatever the news reporter is saying on said TV, eyebrows pulled together. Bakugou decides he doesn’t like this look on his face. He puts the flowers behind his back and slams his fist against the door.

             “Oi. Shitty hair,” He says as an introduction and walks over to the side of the bed.

             “Bakugou! Hey bro,” He looks around him questioningly, “How did you get here? You don’t live close at all.”

             Bakugou looks away and spots the headline on the TV. Turns out it’s an interview with the family Kirishima had saved merely hours ago. He drops his head a little and stares at his hands.

             “Why’d you do it? And don’t say that they needed fucking help because you knew there were pros around. Just… that was so damn stupid Kiri…” Bakugou trails off, sifting the beautiful red bursts of color around in his hands. He hears creaking as Kirishima presumably shifts to face him.

             "I’m sorry,” Is all he offers. It’s unspoken but they both know he means it.

             “Just don’t do dumb shit like that again, shark week…” Bakugou breathes out, looking anywhere but at the red head. Kirishima sighs and Bakugou feels a surprisingly soft hand over one of his own. After a moment of silence, Kirishima speaks up again,

             “Are those for me?” Bakugou looks up, expecting to be teased mercilessly, but instead he’s on the receiving end of one of the softest and most adoring looks he’d seen.

             Bakugou blinks, eyes wide and feels a light blush,

             “Yes.”

 

III.

             The third time he does it, it’s not in person.

             Bakugou might not be the friendliest teen, but he’ll be damned if he’s not observant. So, he doesn’t need fucking Pikachu to tell him that Kirishima’s having a bad week.

             He knows. He knows by the muffled sniffling he hears at midnight two days in a row. He knows by the black roots growing longer and longer in his hair. He knows by the lack of his presence in the work out room. He knows because it’s Kirishima.

He's already formulating a plan to get his friend back on his feet when he stumbles across the same flower shop as months before. A plan materializes in his mind and he walks into the store. He will make Kirishima feel better.

             A few days later, Bakugou's plan is put into action. The first batch of flowers is dropped off at the entrance of the dorms just like all mail and the girls all fawn over how sweet someone's boyfriend must be. Bakugou sits on a stool in the kitchen, just a few meters away from the action. Finally, Yaoyorozu speaks up--ever the voice of reason.

             "We should check for a card and deliver it to the actual recipient." Bakugou internally thanks her. After a moment, the girls go silent and Bakugou side-eyes them. They are all varying amounts of shocked and after a moment, Ashido stands up from their huddle and looks around. Her eyes land on Kirishima and she yells to him,

             “Kirishima! You’ve got a package…” Bakugou watches Kirishima’s face as he carefully strolls over to the girls and they point to the flowers. It’s a bouquet of Amaryllis, red as always, and tied together carefully with a black ribbon. There’s a note attached that Kirishima reads quickly.

             'stop being sad or i’ll have to fucking hug you or some other dumb shit'

             (Truth be told: Bakugou didn’t think hugging was dumb, as long as it was with Kirishima)

             When Kirishima finally picks up the flowers, he glances to Bakugou, and the blonde stares back at him for a second. Breaking eye contact, he quickly gets up and leaves to train by himself. And if Kirishima greets him with a small smile when they pass in the corridor later that night, maybe Bakugou smiles back.

             This continues for a week, a new bouquet of flowers ending up in Kirishima’s hands every day—always red. This continues for a week until Bakugou is lifting weights in the workout room. He is focused on what he’s doing, until the door swings open and hits the wall with a thud. Bakugou places his weights down carefully and looks up to see Kirishima walk in with the usual spring in his step. His hair is fully red and styled into its usual spikes and the bags under his eyes have mostly dispersed.

             “Hey Bakubro!” Kirishima greets as he sets up on the machine next to the blonde.

             After a moment, Bakugou picks his weights back up.

             “Hey, shitty hair.”

 

I.

             Kirishima is nervous.

             He so badly wants to back out of this awful plan, but the cashier is giving him such a knowing look, he feels too uncomfortable to leave. As soon as he walks in, she’s staring at his hair and he tugs on the ends with uncertainty.

             He wants to say he doesn’t know why he’s here, that he accidentally walked into this beautiful flower shop on the corner three blocks outside of the dorms.

             But that would be a lie, and Kirishima doesn’t think lying is very manly.

             So, he takes another few steps until he’s right in front of the cashier giving him a look.

             “Hello, I’d like to buy a few flowers.”

~

             Bakugou gets the text at 10:47 a.m.

             At first, he doesn’t understand why Kirishima is even awake. It’s a Saturday and the students were all sleeping in an attempt to recover from this week’s particular brutality. Nevertheless, he groans and stands from the metal chair he’s currently sitting in. He had set up shop in a nearby cafe to finish homework for English after his morning run. This particular one was covered wall to wall in All Might posters.

             Of course, Bakugou isn’t obsessed with Kirishima, so he hasn’t been checking his phone all day for a text. And he sure as hell isn’t going to the top of their favorite mountain at 11:30 because the red-head asked him to meet him there.

             At 11:30 exactly (Bakugou isn’t here to meet Kirishima, but if he was—which he isn’t—then he’s not one to be late) Bakugou shoves the last branch out of the way and steps onto a rock just in front of the clearing. He thinks back to the last time he was here, head down and about to shuffle to the grassy area and sees him and Kirishima sitting on an obnoxious hot pink the shark-toothed boy had brought along, much to Bakugou’s chagrin.

             The first thing he sees when he looks up is red.

             Kirishima is nowhere to be seen, although there are red and cream flowers making a winding path down the hill opposite to him.

             “What the fuck, shitty hair…” Bakugou mumbles to himself, shaking his head at the display. His heart races. He stomps over to the path, miraculously without any attempt not stepping on any of the flowers. He steps carefully down the winding path lined with what Bakugou thinks are red hyacinths and white calla lilies.  To his dismay, the past few months have taught him to recognize flowers much faster than before.

             After a few more moments of walking down the path, Bakugou hears a twig snap and looks up from the lined road to see Kirishima, the damn idiot, patting down his red spikes, which lay gently on his shoulders.

             Fuck, he looks beautiful.

             Bakugou feels himself jump down from the last boulder. Kirishima turns in surprise and then straightens up at the sight of the blonde.

             “Bakugou,” He states, as if surprised that he is the one that showed up, and not someone else. Maybe it would be better if it was someone else. Maybe someone who wasn’t as emotionally constipated as Katsuki. Because, right now, Bakugou can’t decide if he wants to pin Kirishima against a tree and punch the shit out of him or make out with him. He’s a little frightened when the voice in the back of his head answers his unspoken question easily, and it’s not to beat the shark-toothed redhead standing in front of him in a state of pure panic. It scares him even more, to the point of him jumping a little, when Kirishima takes a step towards him. He’s got a hand behind his back and Bakugou finds himself wanting to know what it is. Hoping, even, that it has something to do with this surprisingly romantic scene Kirishima had obviously laid out—holy shit—for him.

             “I—um… hi, Bakugou,” Kirishima spreads his free arm out to gesture at the flowers, “Do you like it?”

             It takes Bakugou a moment to register the question and has to snap himself out of the trance he’s in, kicking a rock and then responding,

             “Whatever, shitty hair. It’s like, pretty and shit…” He trails off at the end, not really knowing how to finish that thought.

             Kirishima perks up a little, and hesitates before speaking,

             “It’s for you. It all is.”

             Bakugou’s eyes widen and he looks up from a lily to stare into the intense crimson of Kirishima’s eyes. He can’t stop himself before he speaks,

             “Kiri… I—”

             “Wait. Before you say anything, just… Just let me get it off my chest.”

             Bakugou steps forward and reaches out slightly, but Kirishima speaks before he can,

             “Katsuki.” The blonde’s eyes widen again and drops his hand and stuffs it in his pocket, looking at Kirishima questioningly. The red head sighs before speaking,

             “I know it was you. The letters, and the bouquets.”

             He looks at Bakugou and the blonde shrugs.

             “I—God, Katsuki, I just have to say it, don’t I? You’re gonna make me say it. I suppose it’s the manly thing to do, right? You know, I think I’m gonna do it—”

             Bakugou can’t stop the small grin that forms on his lips when he interrupts,

             “Spit it out, Eijirou.”

             Kirishima stops, slowly smiles and then it turns into a blinding beam.

             “Roses, Katsuki. Roses.”

             Bakugou rolls his eyes,

             “Can’t even say it, Kirishima? Not very manly, is it—”

             Kirishima takes another step to close to the gap between them and pulls Bakugou close with a hand around his waist. Bakugou closes his eyes and places his own hands on Kirishima’s firm chest.

             “I love you, Katsuki.”

             Bakugou shivers at the puff of hot air breathed down his neck at the statement and opens his eyes to look fully at the red head. A wide grin spreads across his face and Bakugou lets it happen. His eyes flicker down to Kirishima’s waiting lips and he finally, finally closes the distance.

             Their lips touch, and Bakugou understands what his enemies experience now. Explosions course through his body, but they aren’t caused by him. Rather, the boy in front of him. Kirishima pulls their bodies flush, and Bakugou leans into him, running his hands through the crimson locks like he’s always imagined doing. And fuck they’re just as soft, if not more, than he had imagined. Kirishima wraps his other hand around his back for support. After a few moments, Bakugou has to breath, and pulls away softly. Kirishima’s hand shifts from his back to his cheek, and Bakugou doesn’t even try to hide the way he leans into it.

             “I love you, Eijirou. So fucking much,” Katsuki whispers to the gorgeous boy holding him and his heart.

             He gets a smile back, and then a kiss on the cheek, and—fuck it—he won’t deny that he giggles in response.

~

             Bakugou has always liked the view from the top of this mountain when the sun goes down, but he enjoys it more when red blocks his vision in the form of Kirishima Eijirou.