One Month Ago: Valentine’s Day
You’ve got this, Ochako, you’ve got this, Uraraka chanted in her head, the box of honmei-choco – chocolate of love – gripped in her hands. She had her back against the wall around the corner from the classroom she was sure she saw him go into earlier. She took a deep breath, her eyes fixed on the ceiling. What’s the worst that could happen?
With a wave of bravery she wasn’t entirely sure she felt, Uraraka went around the corner and came face to face – or, rather, face to chest – with someone. “Oof,” she huffed and rubbed her nose, peeking up at just who she ran into, an apology on her lips before her eyes landed on the set of crimson ones in front of her. Her eyes went wide. “B-Bakugou-kun!”
He looked down his nose at her, hands in his pockets, a grimace on his face. “Watch where you’re going, Uraraka,” he ground out, his voice low and gravelly.
“S-sorry,” she stammered, stepping aside to press her back to the wall once more. He clicked his tongue against his teeth, stepping around her. He never exploded on her anymore ever since their first sports festival two years ago, which was a nice feeling given the fact that she was going to give him the honmei-choco.
She looked down at the box in her hands, then back up and took a few steps forward. “Wait, Bakugou-kun!”
He stopped, his shoulders tensing slightly, and turned to look over his shoulder at her. “Hah?” He looked annoyed he’d been stopped from wherever he was going.
Uraraka swallowed, her nerves jittery, her stomach fluttering with butterflies, as she walked up to him, the box an anchor in her hands. His brows came together slightly as he watched her move closer and turned to face her more directly. She stopped a few feet away from him, her eyes on his, her cheeks very warm. He opened his mouth to say something, but she quickly bowed and thrust her hands with the box out toward him. “Happy Valentine’s Day! Please accept this!”
There was silence for a moment. No reaction came from the boy standing in front of her and she wondered if maybe he’d walked away. Her heart was hammering in her chest, but she managed to peek with one eye and could see his shoes still in front of her. Well, at least he didn’t run away, she thought, then straightened herself a bit more as her gaze slowly moved up to meet his again.
Wait. Was he… blushing?
Uraraka’s eyebrows quirked in curiosity at his expression, but just as fast as she’d seen it, it was gone. He looked down at the box, swiping it from her hands. She blinked down at the empty space then blinked back up at him.
He wasn’t meeting her gaze. “Whatever,” he mumbled, turning on his heel to walk in the direction he was headed before. He tucked the box under his arm, the soft pinks and whites of the paper standing out against the cool grey of his school uniform.
She watched him turn the corner before she remembered to breathe again, all the while a smile had spread across her face.
He had taken the chocolate from her. He hadn’t laughed, hadn’t yelled at her for the stupid idea of it, hadn’t done anything she had worried about the whole time. A bubble of warmth ran through her, and she let out a soft giggle, her cheeks warm.
She turned and started to head back to the classroom, hands behind her back as she practically skipped down the hallway.
Now all there was to do was wait and see if he’d accept the meaning she was trying to convey from the chocolate – and the note she had tucked inside with it.
Present Day: White Day
“Hey, man, got anyone you’re giving chocolate to?” Kirishima asked, his arms up next to his head, his hands laced together to support himself as he held onto the back of his neck.
“Hah?” He glared over at Kirishima. “What the hell kind of question is that?”
The red head laughed lightly. “It’s White Day! You know, the day you’re supposed to return a girl’s feelings if she gave you honmei-choco on Valentine’s Day? C’mon, dude, I know there’s someone you want to give something to,” he teased, his voice light as he looked at Bakugou.
Temper flared quick and hot in him, his hands pooling with sweat. “What?” How the fuck would he know that?
Kirishima’s left side hardened up, expecting an attack from Bakugou. He shrugged. “Look, I know you don’t want to admit it to anyone, but I saw Uraraka-san give you chocolates on Valentine’s Day.” Small explosions started to form in Bakugou’s hands as he stared at the red head. Kirishima held his hands up, his eyes widening slightly. “I wasn’t spying or anything! I had been asked to bring something to one of the teachers and saw her give them to you.” He grinned. “It was pretty cute, actually.”
Bakugou’s hands crackled more, his brows drawn low over his eyes, a wide, treacherous grin on his lips. “I’ll show you fucking cute,” he growled.
Kirishima hardened his whole body, holding his arms up. Just before Bakugou was about to unleash his annoyance at his friend, he quickly said, “And I know you like her, dude, so you have to do something in return for her.”
Bakugou’s eyes widened at the statement because… fuck, how the hell did he know? He’d kept that secret so deeply buried that no one would have known that he, Bakugou Katsuki, liked Uraraka Ochako as more than just a friend. He gritted his teeth before yelling his frustrations as he unleashed an explosion against Kirishima’s arms, his friend virtually unaffected by the explosion.
Bakugou didn’t even bother to stick around as the smoke cleared. He shoved his hands into his pockets and walked away, a murderous scowl on his face. Of course, an explosion wasn’t enough to deter Kirishima because the spiky haired idiot ran up to Bakugou and said, “Dude, I didn’t mean to make you mad.” Bakugou huffed at him. “But hey, you’re running out of daylight and I’m sure Uraraka-san is still waiting for your answer.”
Bakugou didn’t deign to answer. Why should he bother? He knew she was waiting for an answer from him – her letter had even fucking said so – so why was Kirishima so hell bent on getting Bakugou to do something for her?
They entered the dorm where a bunch of their classmates sat in the common room, Uraraka included. Bakugou’s gaze zoned in on her the moment he walked in. The class greeted the two boys, but Bakugou could only focus on Uraraka because she was staring right back at him.
He froze in place, the scowl on his face lessening as he looked at her. Something in his chest felt like it was… tickling? What the hell? He must have stared longer than intended because as the classmates went back to talking and Kirishima started to talk to Ashido, Uraraka’s cheeks turned a brighter shade of pink, her brown eyes widening a fraction before she looked down at the table in front of her.
He quickly glanced away and continued toward the elevator, pressing the button for their floor. He didn’t bother to wait for Kirishima as the doors closed him off from the rest of his classmates, his mind racing as his chest did weird shit. He beat his chest. “Knock it off,” he grumbled, but the feeling only ebbed away slightly.
Once the elevator doors opened, he walked to his room, shut the door behind him, and dropped his bag on the floor. He groaned. Fuck. Just because it was a certain day didn’t mean anything, he thought as he walked over to his desk and opened the top drawer to reveal the small pink note letter from Uraraka he’d received back on Valentine’s Day.
He picked it up and unfolded it, his eyes skimming over the words once more:
Happy Valentine’s Day! ^w^ I’m not sure if you’ve ever received chocolates before, but I’m sure you have since you’re such a cool guy.
So, I guess I just wanted to say thank you for all of the time you’ve put in training with me over the years, and I wanted to thank you for seeing me as an equal. You’ve grown up a lot, Bakugou-kun.
He blew a quick puff of air through his nose at that line in a laugh, but it was the next part that his heart already knew was coming because it started to beat hard again.
I also wanted to say that I hope we can become closer in the future – not just as friends, but maybe as something more.
I really like you, Bakugou-kun, and I hope that this note and these honmei-choco that I made help you to realize it.
I look forward to hearing your answer on White Day, whether it be a rejection or an acceptance of my feelings.
Enjoy the chocolates! <3
Bakugou sighed, folding the letter back up and putting it back in his drawer. His mind wouldn’t stop racing, asking questions like, What should I do? Should I respond to her? Who else knows she likes me? Who else knows I like her? Why the fuck does that even matter? I have to get her a fucking gift, but what?
He grumbled, frustrated, running his hands through his hair and gripping it as he looked around his room. Without another minute to think about it, he changed into more casual clothes, grabbed his wallet and phone, then headed out the door.
The voices of his classmates drifted into the elevator once the doors opened, but he didn’t really care what they had to say. He made a beeline for the door, but Kaminari called out, “Hey, Bakugou, where you going?”
He didn’t bother to answer as he stalked out the door, stuffing his hands in his pockets and walking briskly past the gates of the school to the streets. He took the subway two stops away to one of the main shopping districts, his eyes roaming the windows as he walked. There were shoe stores, clothing stores, department and convenience stores, but nothing was catching his eye.
What the hell kind of shit do girls like, anyway? He thought, a scowl forming on his face as he stopped in front of a candy shop. Boxes of white chocolate were on display in front of the doors, a small sign saying, “White Day Special: 10% Off!” in front of the boxes.
“Interested in buying some chocolates for your special someone, sir?” He glanced at the woman who stood in the doorway, a smile on her face, her purple hair pulled back into a bun on her head showing off her pointed ears and small horns. He glowered at her, but she seemed unfazed. “Or were you perhaps looking for something more special?”
He frowned, skeptical now, and bit out a “what?” in the process.
The woman giggled softly and said, “You look like you’re having trouble deciding what to get your special someone. If chocolates don’t interest you, and you don’t think they’d interest her, then what do you think she’d like?”
He stared at the woman, his eyebrows drawing even further down on his face. “The fuck should I know?”
She looked at him with an almost pitiful expression. “Well, you are in search of something for someone special on White Day, right?” He didn’t say anything, but he did tense slightly, which must have been enough of an answer for her, because she asked another question, “Then what is it about her that makes her special? What kinds of things does she like, or do you think she would appreciate the most?” The woman smiled brightly at him before she gasped, lowering her voice as she whispered, “You’re not rejecting her, are you?”
“Fuck no,” he growled, and it was those two words that gave him pause. It was the first time he’d admitted to anyone out loud – including himself – that he wasn’t rejecting Uraraka, that he actually wanted to let her know he reciprocated her feelings.
And it felt… good.
The woman sighed a breath of relief. “Oh good.” She giggled. “Well then, tell me about her and maybe I’ll be able to help you find something for her.”
Bakugou raised an eyebrow at her. “Why the hell do you want to help so bad?”
The woman laughed with a shrug. “I enjoy bringing people happiness, that’s all.”
A few people walked out of the candy shop and the woman thanked them for shopping there, giving Bakugou a second to think before he said, “She likes the color pink.” The woman turned her attention back to him expectantly then. He looked away from her, down the street to the other people roaming about, to the various couples that were happily strolling around. “She’s a great fighter, even though she still has a lot to improve on.” He paused, thinking. “She puts up with me, which is a fucking feat in itself, and she always does everything with a smile, even when it hurts her.”
How did he know so much about her? He normally didn’t care about others around him unless they did something to garner his respect – which she did a long time ago, but still, how was it that he’d been so observant of her? Maybe it was all of the times spent training with her? How more and more often she would pop up out of nowhere and be a more present feature in his life? Or maybe it was more selfish reasons, ones that he wasn’t ready to admit even to himself yet.
The woman smiled, leaning slightly toward him, drawing his attention back to her. “I think you should check out that shop over there,” she said softly, pointing at a small jewelry store peeking out from the corner. “They have items in all styles and price ranges, but if you don’t find anything for her, then come back here and I’ll try to help you again.”
Bakugou shrugged a shoulder, the closest he would get to a thank you, and walked toward the shop. Looking through the window he saw they had on display several necklaces of varying lengths and styles, different colored rings, and a few watches. It all looked very high end and pricey, but he grumbled and entered the store.
The shop was small and set up with display cases lining the walls, a few in the center to display different bracelets and earrings. It was all so… sparkly. Bakugou frowned as he looked around. What the hell could Uraraka even want from here?
“Hi there, may I help you?” He looked up to see an older man standing behind the counter, a smile under his moustache.
Why is everyone so smiley? Bakugou griped as he looked from the man to the case in front of him, unsure of what to say. He hated that. He hated feeling unsure about something, even something as simple as answer a simple question. Fuck, why was this whole thing so damn hard?
The man placed his hands together in front of him, resting them lightly on his stomach. “Are you looking for something for your special someone today?”
Why the hell do people keep saying it like that? It made Bakugou’s stomach flip and do weird shit when people kept saying “special someone.” He looked back at the man and grumbled out a short, “Yeah.”
The man smiled jubilantly. “Well, that’s wonderful, young man. And what do you think your special someone would be interested in?”
Bakugou glanced around the cases. Fuck if he knew. All of this stuff could be what girls are into.
That’s when two colors caught his eye. He honed in on a colorful display in a case with necklaces of varying types: pearls, semi-precious stones, simple chains, diamonds, hearts, et cetera. But when he walked toward the case, he was focused on one necklace in particular: it was a long, dainty silver chain, and at the end were two charms with semi-precious stones in them: one charm was shaped like a lotus blossom and was a soft blush color that reminded him a lot of Uraraka’s cheeks; the other was a sun, soft orange, much like his own uniform.
The man behind the counter walked up to the case and asked, “Which one caught your eye?”
Bakugou pointed. “The pink and orange one. How much is it?”
The clerk unlocked and opened the case, delicately taking the necklace out to display it to Bakugou. Bakugou picked it up carefully in his fingers, the light material so fragile, but also so sturdy, the charms shimmering softly in the display lights above. He grabbed the other end of the chain, his eyes widening just slightly: 15,000¥.
It was actually… cheaper than he thought, but still pretty high for what he had on him.
He glowered at the necklace, handing it back to the man. “I can’t afford it,” he grumbled, sounding more irritable than before.
The man looked from Bakugou to the necklace, then said, “We’re having a 10% discount across the store, plus I believe the semi-precious necklaces also have a tacked on 20% off, making the necklace a total of 30% off. That would bring it down to…” He walked over to the register, typing in some numbers into the computer. “10,447.53¥.”
Well, it was better, he guessed. He clicked his tongue against his teeth, looking away, annoyed. How the fuck was it so hard finding a gift for this girl? Did it have to be jewelry? He ran a hand through his hair, frustrated.
The door chimed as someone new walked in, but he didn’t bother to look, not until the very familiar voice caused him to freeze where he was and turn, locking eyes with none other than his mother. “Katsuki? What the hell are you doing here?”
Well shit. “Me? What the hell are you doing here?”
Bakugou Mitsuki was not a woman afraid to voice her opinion, and oh boy, was she ready. She walked right up to Bakugou and thwacked him upside the head, causing a swear to pop out of him. “I’m looking for something for your father, and don’t talk to your mother like that.” She turned toward the clerk behind the counter who was watching the whole altercation with slight amusement and bowed slightly. “I apologize if my son has been bothering you at all.”
The man waved his hand. “Not at all, ma’am. It appears the young man is just shopping for something for his special someone, is all.”
Really, old man? You have to rat me out to my mom like that? Bakugou turned his glare on the clerk.
“Special…?” His mom looked at the clerk with a perplexed expression before her eyes went wide and she turned toward Bakugou, a smile brightening her face. “You got a special someone? How?”
Bakugou gritted his teeth and clenched his hands at his side. “That’s none of your fucking business.”
“It is my business. I’m your mom.” She glared daggers at him, her own voice rising, hands resting on her hips. “Now,” she said, cracking a grin. “Tell me, who is she?” Bakugou glared back at his mom before huffing, looking away from her. Why should he tell her? She probably wouldn’t even know who she was, anyway. “Hmm,” his mom hummed, thinking. “It must be someone in your class, right?” He scowled at her, but she just looked triumphant. “Now if I remember correctly,” she said softly to herself, placing her index finger on her chin in thought as she looked up at the ceiling. Then with a gasp and a smile she said, “Was it that cute girl you fought at the sports festival your first year and last year?”
Bakugou’s eyes widened as he whipped his head to his mom. How in the world?
His mom grinned at him. “I’m smarter and more observant than you think, Katsuki. Where do you think you get it from?” She laughed before turning to look at what the clerk was still holding in his hands. “Was that what you were looking to get her?” She smiled at the clerk. “May I see it?” He handed over the necklace with a bow while Mitsuki observed it under the light.
“I don’t need your fucking help,” Bakugou ground out, annoyed she’d figured out with her first guess who it was that he was buying the necklace for.
“Shut up, Katsuki,” she said, not looking at him as she looked up at the clerk after her inspection and asked, “How much was it?”
“10,447.53¥ after all of the sales applied to it, ma’am,” the clerk said with a smile.
Mitsuki nodded. “I’ll take it.” She handed the necklace back to the clerk, who began to ring her out.
Bakugou stared at his mother, then at the clerk, then at the necklace, then back to his mother. “I don’t—”
“Katsuki,” she said softly, causing him to stop mid-sentence. She turned and smiled at him. “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think that not only did she deserve it, but you, too. I want you to understand that.”
Bakugou stared at her long and hard, his expression turning into a deep scowl, but that’s how it always was with his mom: she didn’t just hand things out to people unless she thought they truly needed it or deserved it, this included her own husband and son. It was surprising to him, really.
The clerk finished ringing up Mitsuki, who handed over her credit card, and the man handed the bag to Bakugou. “There you go, young man. I wish you the best in your response to your special someone.”
“I better hear all about it, Katsuki,” his mom practically sang as he took the bag from the clerk and grumbled out a “yeah, yeah,” and headed out the door.
The woman outside the candy shop was still there and smiled at him. “Good luck,” she cheered, waving at him as he walked by. The whole experience had been a strange one, but dammit, he had something he felt was worthy for Uraraka. He wouldn’t want to get her a piece of shit jewelry or just some candy that would be gone in a matter of days. No, he had to go all out, no matter what.
By the time he got back to the dorm it was past dinner time, but before curfew. He had managed to stuff the box with the necklace into his jacket pocket so that no one would be able to see it when he walked in. Luckily when he did, he found the common room mostly barren except for a few of his classmates sitting around and studying: Asui, Deku, Iida, and Uraraka.
He glared in their general direction. Of course she was with Deku. He walked into the room, ignoring the brimming annoyance with his long-time rival, to stop in front of the table they were all sitting at. “Oy, Uraraka.”
They all looked up at him then, but he was only focused on her. Her brown eyes went wide, the blush on her cheeks deepening just slightly, as she said with a smile, “What’s up, Bakugou-kun?”
“We need to talk,” he grumbled and turned on his heel, walking toward the main entrance again. He didn’t bother to see if she was coming – she would if she wanted to hear what he had to say in response.
“I-I’ll be right back,” he heard her say to her friends as she got up from her place at the table. He was out the door before he heard whatever the Frog girl said to her next, but when she came out, she was wrapped up in one of the blankets kept in the common room. It was March, after all, and still chilly. He was standing in the pathway to the door, watching and waiting for her to move closer, his heart beating hard. Why the hell was he so nervous? He was never nervous about anything. “What’s up, Bakugou-kun,” Uraraka asked once she stopped in front of him, holding the blanket tight around her to stay warm.
He looked at her for a long moment before bringing the bag out of his pocket and handing it to her. “Here,” he said quietly. What the hell, even his voice was going to betray him?
Uraraka peered up at him for a moment before looking at the package and taking it from him. “What is it,” she asked quietly, handling it delicately.
“Open it and see,” he said, still quiet. His fingers were twitching with nerves at his sides. He clenched his fists and shoved them back into his pockets as he watched her open the package carefully before staring at the jewelry box, her eyes going wide as she shakily opened the box, a gasp escaping her throat as she looked at what was inside.
“B-Bakugou-kun, what is—”
“Yes,” he ground out, low and quick.
She looked up at her, still in shock. “What?”
He took a step toward her and nodded to the necklace. “There’s my answer.”
She looked back down at the necklace, speechless. Fuck, his heart was pounding so hard. Why was it pounding so hard? He was just accepting Uraraka’s feelings, that was all. Bakugou swallowed, his hands clammy in his pockets.
And then something happened that made all of his nerves stop at once, but set off a different chain reaction: she smiled.
And not just any smile. It was the brightest smile he’d ever seen on a person, even her, one that exhibited so much joy he could feel it warm him through down to his bones.
It was the most beautiful fucking thing he’d ever seen.
She laughed then, another sound he found he liked hearing, and tears started to fill in the corners of her eyes. She quickly wiped at them and he said, “Oy, what’s with the tears?”
Uraraka laughed again and said, “I’m just so happy, Bakugou-kun.”
His face was warm. Really warm. He could feel it clawing all the way up his neck and into his face. Shit, why was she so damn cute?
Swallowing a lump in his throat, he walked up to her, closing the gap between them and took the necklace out of her hands and removed it from the box. He stuffed the box back in his pocket before he mumbled, “Turn around.”
Her eyes were wide with curiosity, but she did as he asked. He draped the necklace around her front and clasped it for her on the back. She turned back around, looking down at the necklace against her chest before smiling back up at him. “It’s beautiful, Bakugou-kun,” she whispered, her voice growing fainter as she spoke, their proximity causing her to blush even brighter.
Bakugou looked down at her, at the necklace around her neck, the pink and orange blending so well together as if the colors were meant to be together, before looking back up at her face. She was looking into his eyes as he looked into hers. He hadn’t realized just how easily he could get lost in them – and how much he wanted to. He’d been denying himself these feelings ever since he first felt them stirring months and months ago. He didn’t have time for all of this relationship crap, the dates, the gifts, the closeness of it all, but if it was Uraraka?
He’d make all of the fucking time in the world for her.
He had come to terms with that over the last few weeks, which was why there was no way he was going to give her something less than what she deserved. And fuck it, if that made him a sap, then so be it. No one else had to know other than just them, anyway.
“Bakugou-kun?” He snapped out of his thoughts, still staring at her. She smiled shyly, biting her lip lightly. Shit. Then she smiled and looked down at his hands at his sides. She reached out, hesitant at first, before she just went for it and took one of his hands in hers. The pads of her fingers were rough where the rest of her hands were soft, and it sent a shiver down his spine. She looked up at him, her eyes almost as bright as her smile. “Thank you.”
He stared at her for a moment before looking away briefly, muttering out, “Yeah, whatever.” She giggled softly and tugged on his hand, pulling him back toward the direction of the dorms. He stopped, though, which made her turn to look up at him questioningly. “I don’t want to sit with fucking Deku and the rest of them.”
Uraraka shook her head with a small roll of her eyes and teased, “Then what do you want to do, hmm?”
His hand tightened just enough around her hand and took a few steps toward her, her eyes wide as she watched him close the gap in between them. He bent down so his face was inches from hers, and whispered, “Spend time with my girlfriend.”
That caused a beautiful blush to spread across her face, which made him grin wide.
Oh yeah, he could definitely make all of the time in the world for Uraraka Ochako, hands down.