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you give it up (just like a spark)

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It begins the way it always does: with a text, random and imposing—a demand, if it’s Bakugou who sends it. And it always is. 

Meet here in 30, with a geomap to a discreet love hotel attached.

Shouto could say no—or, if he’s feeling particularly contrary, he could delete the message altogether and place his phone screen-down again on the sofa. Bakugou needs his ego bruised every once in a while, and Shouto needs some sense of self-preservation, even if it feels like little more than a charade—even if he feels a tinge of longing seep out from where he keeps it tightly sealed up, moving like honey through his veins as his thumb hovers over the text field.

It has been several weeks, and Shouto would be lying if he denied that he’s been waiting for this. Though he’s exhausted from an eventful afternoon patrol shift, he’s far from busy, slouched in front the TV that he’s long tuned out. After a moment’s consideration, he decides that self-preservation is something adequately tried for with the press of the call button.

The line rings once. Once and half.

“What?” Bakugou answers. He sounds irritated, which isn’t unusual—but also a little breathless, like he’s been running or jacking off. Shouto is inclined to ask where he is and what he’s doing because he’s not entirely certain Bakugou’s isn’t jacking off, but he did call for a reason, and making small talk is not advantageous.

“I don’t want to leave my apartment. Come here instead,” he says, like it’s a commonplace request—like he’s just told him to pick up something for dinner on the way. There’s a moment of silence at the other end, and Shouto can practically see Bakugou’s eyebrows raising, can hear the disbelief in his sharp intake of breath before his vocal chords catch up.

“No goddamn way, Half-n-Half.”

Shouto expected as much.

“Then find someone else to fuck.” 

It’s level, serious—not a bluff, but definitely a risk. Bakugou could, if he wanted. Shouto knows that as surely as he has Yoarashi’s number saved for situations like the one he’s setting himself up for: where Bakugou does find someone else to fuck because he’s being troublesome, and a body is a body, a hole is a hole, no better or worse than the one Shouto offers. 

Not that he’s had to reach out to Yoarashi except for when Bakugou takes too long to reach out to him. Shouto has needs, and while Yoarashi’s too gentle, too touchy, and always wants to talk —he lets Shouto rake angry welts down his back; doesn’t mind being a canvas for his frustration, his weakness for wanting. He’s not Bakugou, but he’s almost always available. He’s not Bakugou, but he’ll do.

“And what if I get spotted, hah? What would your Daddy say if we made headlines?”

“He’d congratulate me on my newfound friendship with a fellow hero.” 

What’s more likely is that he’d corner Shouto at the agency and berate him for the shame and embarrassment he’s bringing their family, for rolling around in bed not only with a man, but one who’s surpassed him by several rankings. He almost hopes Enji does find out, somehow—if enduring an earful from his father were all that would come of exposing their trysts, he’d have done it long ago just to see the look on his face.

Bakugou snorts derisively. “Friendship? ‘S that what this is?”

“If anyone asks. And I think the general public would be more inclined to believe it if you were photographed here instead of outside a love hotel. Don’t you agree?” 

The silence on the other end affirms that it’s a lousy excuse, because doing this is risky any way they look at it. One slip up, one stray photographer, and the time or place or truth of their meeting ceases to matter. Internet tabloids would have a field day with the mere idea of an affair between two top pros. 

It would be different if he and Bakugou were friends. If he were something akin to Bakugou’s hero partner, like Midoriya, or if they had the kind of relationship Bakugou has with Kirishima—the kind with candid instagram photos, lunches and outings immortalized by paparazzi, and respectively reluctant and exuberant affection that endears fans and editors alike—it would likely even be encouraged. A little speculation is inevitable, but ultimately harmless. The fans seem to eat it up.

But Bakugou, off-duty, caught slinking around Shouto’s luxury high rise at midnight? Shouto, who he shares his line of work and an alma mater with and supposedly not much else? He can hear his PR manager already: Inadvisable, Todoroki-san.

Shouto adds, “If it’s too big a risk for you…” 

He thinks he can hear Bakugou’s teeth grinding through the phone. He has half a mind to feel ashamed of himself for taunting Bakugou like a kid in a schoolyard, for calling him chicken, because he knows it’ll work—he hates that he knows that. Despite all the ways Bakugou’s changed through the years, choosing his battles is a lesson in tolerance he has yet to learn, and waving one in front of him is like signaling a fighting bull. All bluster, all full-speed-ahead, he barrels straight into the trap.

 “Fucking—fine. Send me the address,” he grits. And then, in a lower voice, a quiet hiss that must mean there are people within earshot, “Your ass better be ready when I get there.” 

The line beeps dead, and Shouto pulls his phone from his ear, blinking as Call Ended flashes across the screen. He wonders if Bakugou will realize what’s taken place when he’s already halfway to his apartment; when it will dawn on him that this change of scenery isn’t really about Shouto’s father, or the mess their PR teams would have to clean up in their wake—just like it’s not really a contest to prove who’s less afraid of those things. 

But maybe Bakugou already sees through him. Perhaps the unspoken agreement that their personal lives are never to mix with their symbiotic need to get off had all been in Shouto’s head; an assumption, a guess, like everything else between them. Maybe this power play is pointless, because maybe Shouto has been playing all by himself.

Of course, it’s far more likely that Bakugou just can’t be bothered with finding a nameless, faceless replacement to stick his dick into this very hour—and that proves nothing about him that Shouto didn’t already know. He presses his fingers to his temples; rubs slow, soothing circles before finally rising from the couch. Decidedly, if he’s going to go through with this, he needs a drink.

Prepping himself is routine, a chore, really, but he’s riding a buzz that has nothing to do with the glass of whisky he downed before stripping out of his clothes. There’s something more alluring about the prospect of having Bakugou in his bed rather than joining him in a strange one, even if all it means is that he’ll have to change his own sheets afterward, because it’s just sex; has been that from the start.

Even before the sex started, during their years at UA—when they sparred, when they argued, even when they spoke cordially—there was something terse in every last word, in every lingering gaze. An odd tension that Shouto always chalked up to rivalry, because he was no stranger to Bakugou’s brand of hostility, or the Pavlovian ice he consistently frosted it out with. 

It never occurred to him that the tension he felt might be sexual, not even when Bakugou began to meander into his fantasies, not even when it regularly became his hand Shouto pictured fisted around his cock as he jerked himself off in the dormitory showers—never Yaoyorozu’s, or Midoriya’s, or Yoarashi’s—because that was just a weird hormonal cocktail of frustration and budding sexuality. Bakugou was just…vivid. In his face. And he wasn’t bad to look at.

But Shouto’s…preoccupation did not wane in the three years following their graduation; it simply laid dormant. Contracted with different agencies, their paths rarely crossed except in city-wide emergencies, because Ground Zero didn’t do galas or events until his stagnating popularity polls forced him to finally take on a PR manager, and though pictures on Kirishima’s personal instagram proved Bakugou wasn’t a total recluse, their respective social circles rarely interloped.

The annual award gala just this year had been the first time every hero from their class was in the same room at once—the first time Shouto laid eyes on him and had more than a moment to watch. 

That night, Shouto discovered three things: that his desire had festered like everything else he’s ever tried to smother like flame, that Bakugou looks unfairly fuckable in a three-piece black suit, and that they were both just single, nostalgic, and daring enough to let all of it culminate in the single stall bathroom at the bar that Kirishima dragged them all out for drinks to afterward.

The echo of groans and curses off the grimy tile rings in Shouto’s ears even now, seven months and many escapades later. Bakugou’s still an itch he can’t scratch, a place inside himself that he can’t reach with his own fingers. 

There have been lulls in their arrangement, of course; stretches of time where Bakugou’s been too busy, or Shouto too aloof, or—hell, periods where one or both of them have been stuck in the hospital because of a close call. But Bakugou always seeks him out eventually, and Shouto always gives in, because between them exists the one thing that no one else has ever allowed him for long: an impenetrable distance.

When Bakugou announces his arrival through a text that requests his apartment number and demands he hurry up, Shouto takes his time. He leaves the plug he’d used to open himself up on in, pulls on his lounge pants and shrugs his button up on, forgoing its fastening and the underwear strung across his floor, and pours himself another drink. 

He feels warm and heavy, a little smug from getting his way, and he can’t help but smile against the rim of his glass when his phone starts to vibrate almost violently where he left it on his pillow. He lets it go to voicemail, but he doesn’t want Bakugou to leave—so when the vibrating starts up again, a call from the front desk this time, he quickly answers and verifies his visitor.

The sound of Bakugou’s entrance would carry across the open-space apartment even if he weren’t the noisiest person known to man, so Shouto perches himself on the edge of his bed to wait out the elevator ride. The plug in his ass feels a little odd now that he’s sitting on it, but not unpleasant. It feels good to know he’s ready, that Bakugou won’t have to work him open with the uncharacteristically gentle patience he displays for such a task. Safe. 

He takes slow kitten sips from the glass in his hand, making no move to greet his guest even when the ding of the elevator in the foyer is followed by familiar, perturbed grumbling, and the heavy clunk of boots as they’re fumbled off in the genkan.

“Todoroki!” Bakugou yells, sock-feet thumping as he stomps purposefully through the apartment. Shouto knocks back what’s left in his glass. “I swear to fuck—”

“In here,” Shouto calls, unhelpfully and probably not loudly enough for someone with an ever-worsening sense of hearing. Still, Bakugou’s footsteps get louder and closer, every nearing thump another spike in his pulse, a sharp zap to his skin. His ears prickle, and he licks his lips, tasting whisky and anticipation in the sweep.

And then Bakugou’s there, in his doorway, looking pissed enough to blow up the entire building. His outfit is nondescript: dark slim pants and a plain hoodie, a flu mask pulled down around his chin. He even has cap on, blonde tufts poking out from underneath. So he had made an effort to be covert. 

Shouto doesn’t know why that leaves a bad taste in his mouth.

“Sorry,” he deadpans, knowing he looks nothing of the sort, and that he probably wouldn’t look it, even if he was. Which he isn’t. “I’m assuming you weren’t seen?”

Bakugou’s eyes narrow. “By anyone except your doorman? I sure as fuck hope not. Had to make a goddamn scene to get him to call you without giving up your apartment number. I don’t think he would’ve if he hadn’t recognized me.” His voice grows taut. “You’re really pushin’ your luck tonight.”

He’d almost left, Shouto realizes. But he hadn’t. 

“I was just distracted…doing what you told me to do.” 

Shouto leans his weight back on one hand and tilts his chin up, displaying the line of his throat all the way down to the vee of his abdomen. He doesn’t need a mind-reading quirk to know what Bakugou is picturing as he takes him in, or that it’s dissolving his anger like salt in hot water. Shouto knows how he looks, disheveled and flushed from some haphazardly mixed cocktail of arousal and alcohol; how lidded his eyes must be to feel his own lashes brush his cheekbones when he blinks. 

“Anyway, the entire staff is under contractual obligation to keep their mouths shut. Publicizing our visitors is bad business for the building.” Shouto holds his empty glass up, the ghost of a smile on his lips. “Do you want a drink?”

In lieu of answering, Bakugou approaches. He moves across the room steadily, but with atypical caution, like he’s afraid Shouto will run; like he’ll scare him off if he moves too fast or too loud. And Shouto doesn’t know how to react to that—to being sized up like he’s some kind of wild animal, or the charged silence crackling between them as Bakugou takes the glass out of his hand and sets it so gingerly down on the nightstand that it hardly makes a sound against the wood. 

“I suppose that’s a no,” Shouto breathes.

Bakugou says nothing. It’s foreign, this quiet build—a first, possibly an only, and Shouto likes it. He doesn’t know what Bakugou’s thinking, or what’s coming next, and it has his heart pounding in his chest like a line drum. He can hear his own heartbeat roaring in his ears, feels the blood even in his right one begin to boil when Bakugou takes the taper of his jaw in one large hand.

Shouto swallows, faltering for a moment under the intensity of his gaze. Bakugou’s good at that, when he wants to be, when he shuts his mouth and lets his eyes do the talking. There’s no bravado, no vulgarity in the way they darken into wine. When Bakugou tugs up on his chin, Shouto stands without complaint. He’s still a few centimeters taller these days, able to stare aloofly down his nose at the man it does nothing anymore to fool—and he lets his eyes linger on Bakugou’s mouth, on the shape of his cupid’s bow, the gleam of his perfect teeth as it curls back into a sneer.

“Know what I think?” Bakugou asks, voice low. He leans in so close that he blurs in Shouto’s field of vision, breath fanning hot and promising against his lips. The grip on his jaw releases only to find a new home in the curve of his back, and Bakugou slips his hand inside Shouto’s open shirt to pull him in; digs into the flesh and muscle beneath his fingertips.

“Usually,” Shouto admits, letting his own hands settle atop a powerful trapezius; the nape of Bakugou’s neck, where the hairs are soft and short. “Though I’m sure you’ll tell me anyway. You like hearing yourself talk.” 

“Fuck you,” he says back, but it’s around an indignant laugh Shouto is almost certain he’s not supposed to hear or point out. It vibrates right against his lips, and he parts them on instinct, welcoming the soft, greeting press of their mouths; the hot slide of tongue that is both familiar and searching, tentative as Bakugou will ever let himself be. Shouto’s forehead knocks against the bill of his hat, and it falls to the floor, forgotten. 

Their mouths part, briefly—not far, and Shouto breathes in, warm and damp with Bakugou’s exhale before they come back together in a kiss that is altogether more demanding, messier, with teeth. Bakugou’s frustration has not quite subsided, though his cock grows hard against Shouto’s hip, and he yanks him flush by his backside, fingers digging in, encouraging the grind. It makes the plug shift, and Shouto moans into his mouth.

Their breaths come short and far between, stifled with heat and not nearly enough to sustain them. Shouto grapples at the loose material of Bakugou’s hoodie, feels the solid muscle beneath, the unnatural warmth that seems to emanate from his body. This is exactly what he wanted—this man, kissing him like the world’s about to end in the middle of his bedroom, like he’s got a day left to live. When Bakugou pulls away, it’s with Shouto’s bottom lip between his teeth.

“I think you wanna get us caught,” Bakugou pants, once it pops free, and for a horrible moment, Shouto freezes. Those words, easily denied on the grounds that it would prove to be equally as troublesome for his image, don’t sound as dreadful as he knows the reality would be. He tries to find his voice, but Bakugou’s face moves away, past his cheek, until his lips brush the cool shell of his ear. “I think you want everyone to know how much you love taking my cock.”

Shouto shudders, relief and abrupt arousal coursing through him as those words register. “And what if—” he gasps, as the hand on his ass squeezes almost painfully, his own grip tightening on Bakugou’s shoulder, “—what if I do?”

“Then we’ll give ‘em a show.”

Shouto doesn’t have more than a moment to process that, because one second he’s being groped and the next Bakugou’s dragging him by the wrist toward the giant bedroom window. It’s shrouded in a heavy black curtain that keeps the sunlight out—a necessity when Shouto’s been up all night on a shift and needs to sleep through the day—and Bakugou rips it along the rod without preamble, revealing a city that never sleeps beyond the seamless wall of glass.

Shouto is promptly shoved against it. He just barely manages to turn his head enough to meet the window with his cheek instead of his nose, hissing at the sudden chill against his scar. He tries to turn, to wrench himself free on instinct, but Bakugou’s hold is firm. His palms slide up Shouto’s back, keeping pressure, pinning him there.

“What are you—” 

He gasps when Bakugou’s lips seal hot to the nape of his neck, tongue sliding, fingers curling into his open collar before he drags Shouto’s shirt down, down, down between them. Shouto’s hands are braced against the window, so it doesn’t go far, but every inch of skin revealed is followed by Bakugou’s relentless, wetly-kissing mouth. The noises are lewd enough to leave goosebumps in their wake, and Shouto bites back a moan, breath fanning out in an icy huff.

“Thought y’wanted to be put on display,” Bakugou murmurs, nose skimming along his spine. “What, scared someone’ll really see?”

It is technically possible. Someone with a good vision quirk or a semi-decent smartphone on the ground could zoom in on Shouto’s thirty-third story bedroom window clearly enough to make out not just what’s going on, but who he is. It would be a PR nightmare—not to mention a personal one. Any photos would follow him for the rest of his career. His father would never let him live it down. No one would ever look at him the same way again. 

Inadvisable, Todoroki-san.

It’s unlikely, so very unlikely—but possible. Enough to make his cock jump in his loose pants, which is definitely not how he should be reacting. Enough for him to visualize grainy snapshots, how just discernible his hair would be, how his fucked-out expression might translate in a pixelated tabloid zoom-in, how people would talk about him, how they’d speculate about who could make pro-hero Shouto look like that—

“I’m not scared,” Shouto says, because it’s the truth, even if it makes him an idiot. His arms fall limp to his sides, and his button-up slides down them like a soft caress, fluttering to the ground.

“That’s more like it.” 

Bakugou’s hands return to him, flat and worshipping, sliding around to his front. His mouth comes back, too, kissing the juncture of his neck, up the side of it, licking behind his ear until Shouto squirms. He’s sensitive there, ticklish, and Bakugou seems to be very well aware of it. Shouto very nearly protests, face reddening from more than just arousal, but then Bakugou’s hand slides into his pants and wraps around his aching cock.

The words simply die on his lips. Bakugou strokes him slow, lazy, but his touch is sure, and it feels miles beyond anything Shouto could ever give himself. His thumb sweeps over the weeping head, rubbing tight, wet circles around the slit that make him hiss, while the other hand pulls at his waistband, tugging the pants down his hips until the loose material pools at their feet. 

It does dawn on Shouto that Bakugou’s still fully dressed while he stands stark naked before the window, but he has little time to concern himself with the disparity before Bakugou’s fingers are searching at the base of the plug.

“Holy shit,” he marvels, sounding genuinely awed, leaning away to look at it, to pull it out halfway, only to let it sink back in. “You actually listened. Kept yourself nice and open for me. How thoughtful.”

“I didn’t want to wait,” Shouto pants, emphasizing, always emphasizing that everything he does with regard to Bakugou is only for himself.

“Had no problem making me wait though, hah?” Bakugou punctuates that with a sharp tug at the base of the plug, lube gone sticky enough to make it frictuous as the whole thing pops out of him. Shouto makes a choked sort of noise, and Bakugou lets the silicon toy thunk to the floor; replaces it with his fingers, sliding two of them in to the third knuckle with so much ease. “Should make you fuckin’ beg for it, brat.” 

Shouto’s breath flutters as those fingers crook into him, eyes squeezed shut.“I won’t stop you from trying.” 

But ultimately, Bakugou doesn’t, because they both know Shouto won’t—not right now, not earnestly. He’s too stubborn, determined to prove a point even when he’s feeling desperate. It appears to be enough, anyway, to have him so exposed and vulnerable before the window. So Bakugou leaves him there to fetch the lube from where Shouto left it on the nightstand, mutters a gruff, “Don’t move.”

Shout wants to ask where he would go—but he wisely keeps his mouth shut, looking out the window as the distinct crinkle of an opening condom wrapper sounds behind him. He’s never requested one, would feel okay to go without if Bakugou wanted to, but he understands the precaution. Neither of them know where the other has been, and it makes him feel like something dirty and used up, regarded as the promiscuous thing he is. The thought makes him even harder.

The sky is overcast, taking on an eerie purple glow from Tokyo’s bright skyline. Pressed up against the glass like this, it feels a little like he’s hovering over the city; like he’s simply a part of the settling fog. It’s only when Bakugou’s hands find his hips that he comes back down to earth, that he’s back in his bedroom, back inside his own body. He lets his eyes flutter closed as the warm, slick, latex-covered head of Bakugou’s cock pushes at his ass and begins to sink inside.

“Fuck, fuck,” he gasps suddenly, attempts to jerk away from the overwhelming fullness, only to be met with resistance at Bakugou’s hands. He’s prepared himself very well, but the plug tapers at two ends; it isn’t a dick, and it’s so much all at once. “I—” 

“Take it,” he coaxes, fingers firm on his hips. “You like it when it hurts, you goddamn pain slut.” And Shouto does; pushes his ass back to encourage the rest of the slide. It burns the way the whisky did, hot and sharp, a taste just as faithfully acquired. One hand reaches back, finding Bakugou’s hair, yanking until he grunts and their mouths meet in a clumsy, uneven slot. Shouto chokes on a sound in his throat when Bakugou sinks all the way in, feels a wet smile slide across his cheekbone before he shifts his weight back onto the window. 

Shouto doesn’t deny it. He pants, into the glass, “Fuck me, already.”

It’s like spurring a horse. Bakugou doesn’t even ease into it, just sets to doing so so hard and fast that Shouto has to stand up on his tiptoes just to leverage himself against the slam of his hips. A garbled noise that he would have preferred to have kept inside rips its way out of his throat, and he hears Bakugou’s rough, answering laugh; feels the dig of blunt nails into his hips, and hones in on the hurt of it.

Bakugou’s not quiet, either. He moans in Shouto’s ear, murmurs filthy nonsense about people seeing and watching and Shouto has the horrible gall to hope for it, wants the entire world to see the way Bakugou fucks him into a bleary-eyed mess, the way his cock presses against the cold window, trapped between the glass and his body, the slide too smooth to be very relieving. When Bakugou’s mouth isn’t talking, it’s kissing, and Shouto’s grateful for those moments, for the warmth of his lips and his tongue against his skin.

His eyes start to lose focus after a time, the cityscape blurring into kaleidoscope color and blinding light, into Bakugou’s explosions the first time they ever faced off in battle, and the fire inside himself, the way he’d resolved to stamp it out after it had been ripped from his body time and time again. Shouto has to work to keep it in now, not to lose control of it as Bakugou pounds him mercilessly into the glass, cock dragging against his prostate, punching breath from his lungs. He’s burning up, blood coursing white-hot through his veins, and he can’t stop thinking about the way Bakugou had hissed, taunting, ‘where’s your fire, Todoroki?’ the first time he’d fucked him pliant into that dirty bathroom wall— 

“What the hell? Shouto—are you—”

The concern in Bakugou’s voice is sobering, and Shouto snaps back to himself just in time to realize that he’s frozen nearly the entire window solid. It crackles dangerously at the sudden temperature change, frosted at the very edges and wholly opaque where the ice radiates out from his shaking right hand. The tips of his fingers are blue, and he yanks them away from the glass, curling them into his palm.

“Shit,” he breathes, and Bakugou’s hands soothe up his sides as his hips still and come to rest against Shouto’s ass, a reassuring warmth as he gets his bearings back. He hadn’t even realized his senses had been lost until they start to fade in again, skin prickling, vision focusing, pulse pounding in his ears. It’s so much, all at once.

“Do you…” Bakugou tries, and that troubling concern is there again, those unfinished questions— Are you okay? Do you want to stop? It’s too tender, unbearably kind—Shouto wishes he’d just punish him instead. He’s good at that.

“I’m—regulating both sides of my body right now is a little—I think it’s the alcohol,” he says, unfurling his right hand, placing it over the one Bakugou is smoothing over his waist. He presses it further into his chilled skin, encouraging the grip. “Don’t stop.” It’s barely a whisper, more a plea than a request. “I’ll control it.”

It’s not just the alcohol, and they both know it; he’d had more to drink that very first night at the bar, and he’d held himself together…comparably well. He hadn’t activated his quirk, at least; hasn’t lost track of it like this since his father beat the concept of control into him nearly two decades ago.

But having Bakugou here at his request, being dangerously exposed and degraded by him and still feeling so powerful, like he could ask for anything and it would be freely given; and the pace, the angle, the temperature of the air, the time of night—it’s the perfect cocktail, one he doesn’t even know he could replicate.

“Not like this,” Bakugou decides after a moment. “You’re gonna shatter the window and kill some poor bastard on the sidewalk with the shards.”

“Then—” 

“Bed,” Bakugou says, pulling out. “Go lay down. On your back.”

Shouto’s too relieved to talk back. He walks over to the bed without looking back, legs feeling a little like jelly, and falls into the rumpled duvet with a sigh. The material is soft against his skin, and it calms him down a little, enough to look up and discover that Bakugou hadn’t even taken his pants all the way off—though he does so now, pulling his hoodie and shirt over his head as he approaches the bed. His skin is damp with sweat, overheated from the layers and the exertion, though Shouto can’t even make fun of him for it because it does nothing but accentuate the stupidly perfect lines of his physique.

“Can’t believe I fucked your quirk out of you,” Bakugou says, grinning like a madman, towering over him where he lays. Shouto tries to shove him away with his feet just for that, but Bakugou catches him by his ankle and his thigh and drags his ass to the edge of the bed, and any thought of protesting or struggling flies out the frozen window as Bakugou fills him back up with his cock.

“Yes,” Shouto moans, attempting to move his hips until Bagkuou growls his disapproval. He stands straight, propping Shouto’s calves up on his shoulders, hands winding around his thighs like a vice and lifting his ass off the bed enough that his efforts to fuck himself on the cock in his ass become futile. Shouto fights the urge to writhe, convinced that doing so will only rile Bakugou’s sadistic inclination to deprive them both of what they want. He stays patient, quiet, pleading only with his eyes. He doesn’t even try to touch himself.

And Bakugou does listen, then. He starts slow and gentle, nothing like the way he’d been pile-driving him into the window, keeping him suspended by his legs as he rolls his hips forward. It almost feels nice, this leisurely pace—relaxing and pleasurable, like sinking into an onsen or a pile of down pillows. Shouto’s eyes feel so heavy, but he doesn’t dare close them—doesn’t look away from the rapt expression on Bakugou’s face as he watches his cock move in and out of his hole.

He must feel Shouto’s eyes on him, though, because he looks up abruptly, irises nearly blacked out, expression raw and so beautifully honest. One of his hands trails up Shouto’s trembling leg, supporting his weight with one arm while he grabs Shouto around the ankle, and it’s obscene, the way Bakugou holds his gaze even as he turns his head and licks slowly along the edge of his heel.

It’s wet, hot, and the unexpectedness of it pulls a desperate noise out of Shouto’s throat. Bakugou doesn’t even have the presence of mind to act smug about it; he’s too focused on dragging his tongue up into the arch of his foot, between his toes, and a shiver shoots up Shouto’s spine. He can’t help writhing, then, though Bakugou doesn’t cease in his movement or his grip or his mouth.

Shouto just has to lie there and take it, and it should be illegal, the way Bakugou looks as his mouth closes around his toe, the way it feels when his tongue swirls around it like it’s a cockhead, the suction, the heat, the fucking noises he hears spilling out of his own mouth, traitorous.

Shouto wants to be disgusted, wants to hate it, but instead he finds himself arching even further off the bed, head tilting back, assaulted on all sides by sensation, breathing out a ragged, “Fuck, yes.”

Sex is always good with Bakugou, always intense, but this is—he’s never felt like this. Bakugou’s warm fingers curl around his foot, and the wet, ticklish slide of lips around his toe it just before it pops free makes his hips jerk. Shouto can’t help but find Bakugou’s eyes again as he presses a soft kiss to the sole and guides his leg back over his shoulder, vision blurry and cock leaking as he weakly fists it.

“Should see yourself right now,” Bakugou says, voice gravel, still moving so damn slowly. “Y’look wrecked.”

“Shut up,” Shouto moans, but he doesn’t mean it, means more, and Bakugou pushes his calves off  his shoulders to kneel onto the bed and lean down over him. Relief floods through Shouto’s tendons, and he suppresses the urge to dig his fingers into Bakugou’s back; keeps his hands fisted in the sheets where it’s safe to lose control, if it comes to that again. 

Bakugou doesn’t pick up the pace, but he does fuck into Shouto harder, the slap of his hips against his ass keeping rhythm with the creak of the bed frame.

“Like a fucking whore,” he rasps. It’s goading and dirty in his ear, and it makes Shouto’s left side flash hot as he closes his legs around Bakugou’s waist just to keep from being jostled up the bed by the force of his thrusts. His heels dig into his ass, encouraging, and Bakugou seems to be finished denying him, because he finally, finally, hoists himself up, hips pulling back and rocking into him with fast, practiced ease. Shouto looks down the narrow space between their bodies, over Bakugou’s sweat-slicked, flexing abdominal muscles, down to where his cock disappears over and over again inside his body.

Shouto’s legs are shaking at the height of things, and still he demands faster, harder, until Bakugou’s pounding into him into the mattress the way he wanted all along. Shouto really does have to focus on regulating, then—which is hard to juggle with the tension building in his abdomen, with the way the cock in his ass punches the sense out of him, and Bakugou’s filthy, degrading words that shouldn’t make him preen quite so much as they’re murmured against his skin.

It’s only when Bakugou gets quiet that Shouto knows he’s close, and he finds himself saying yeah, please, come inside me, wanna feel you even though there’s a latex barrier between them, and that makes it dirtier, for some reason, makes him more desperate for it, to feel the pulse of his cock through the rubber, to feel Bakugou shake and tremble as his ass wrings the orgasm out of him.

And it works, those rare words that ask for something other than what will simply benefit him, that express desire to see the culmination of Bakugou’s pleasure—because he makes a low, tortured sound, hips flush to Shouto’s ass, jerking minutely as he comes into the condom. Shouto does feel it, in every tensed part of him, every soundless gasp of pleasure as he rides it out.

When it’s over, all of the tension seems to melt out of his body, and Bakugou braces his weight on his forearms as he allows himself a moment to come back down to earth. Shotuo reaches for his cock—to quickly finish himself off before Bakugou can go soft—but his hand is snatched away and pinned to the bed. He nearly sobs as his impending orgasm fades back into obscurity, and he’s tempted to activate his quirk on purpose so Bakugou will just let go.

But Bakugou gruffs out, “I’m not done with you,” and Shouto goes slack beneath him, because he’s never been left wanting. Their breathing is loud, so prominent in the quiet, and Bakugou’s sweat-damp body feels like a brand against his right side. It’s a moment of stillness, a pause in the landslide, and Shouto’s glad his eyes are already closed when Bakugou leans down to kiss him, because he’s not sure he could stand to bear whatever might have been in his gaze.

It’s unhurried, deep; reverent in a way their kisses never are. One of Bakugou’s rough palms cradles Shouto’s face, thumb brushing the seam of this scar. It makes something in his chest ache, and he’s the first to break off, tilting away from the fingers that feel too much like a livewire against his cheek. 

Bakugou frowns, though he says nothing, and the warmth of his fingers disappear, soft cock slipping out of Shouto’s ass as he kneels off the bed to take care of the condom. The resounding silence makes Shouto feel guilty, and he busies himself with sliding up the bed properly, rustling around in the nightstand drawer until he finds what he’s looking for: a small, silver tin of cigarettes 

He doesn’t smoke often, but after a couple of drinks, he craves the bloodrush of it, and he’s so fucking keyed up now that he needs something to take the edge off or he really might freeze them both to the bed or burn a hole straight through it. He takes one out, ignoring the way his fingers tremble, and props himself up against the headboard as he brings it to his lips. 

Bakugou turns around just as he ignites it with the tip of his finger, and Shouto expects him to say something, like ‘gross’ or ‘put that out you nasty fuck’ or even an old-fashioned ‘those things’ll kill ya,’ but he doesn’t say any of that. He doesn’t say anything at all. Just looks him right in the eyes as he kneels back onto the bed, crawling toward him on all fours. Shouto’s half-hard cock twitches with renewed interest, and he takes the cigarette from between his lips, the first lungful of smoke swirling into the stagnant air of the apartment.

Bakugou really is beautiful, all things considered. From the handsome, fiercely angled lines of his face to the strong hills and contours of his body, he’s carved from something otherworldly—something ephemeral that Shouto could only hope to see or grasp briefly in his lifetime. He’s distracting at the best of times, overwhelming at the worst, and it’s almost too much, the way he looks, the way he moves, the way the muscle shifts lithely beneath the tanned skin of his shoulders as he kneels between Shouto’s parted legs.

Shouto takes another drag, breath scratchy on the intake when Bakugou mouths at his chest. He tongues at both of his pebbled nipples, razing his teeth, sucking briefly, too briefly, before trailing down his sternum. 

He’s so careful not to leave lasting marks. Shouto’s never asked it of him, but he figures it’s a courtesy, and it’s one he returns. The less questions people ask, the better for them both. 

Still, maybe…maybe he wants it there. A reminder that in this small, secret, quiet little hour, he has someone he belongs to. 

“I don’t mind if you…” Shouto tries. Bakugou looks up at him as he kisses the skin just below his navel, like he knows what he’s going to say, and it takes everything in Shouto not to look away in defiance. “Where people can’t see.”

“Y’want me to mark you up, pretty boy?” Bakugou’s smirk is absolutely, unrepentantly devilish. “All ya had to do was ask.”

“Don’t call me that,” Shouto says, though it’s more of a gasp because Bakugou’s mouth seals to the juncture of his hip and sucks so hard that it hurts. The skin is thin there, and he feels the teeth cut into it, feels it prickle and sing as Bakugou works at the bite. Shouto bites his swollen lip, twists his fingers in the sheets until his knuckles turn white and his cock jumps, precome wetting his abdomen. 

When Bakugou pulls away, there’s a deep, purple mark blooming across his skin, one that will take well over a week to fade. Shouto resolves to study it later, hand settling on the crown of Bakugou’s head, not gripping, just resting there as he nuzzles into the juncture of Shouto’s thigh. The hair between his fingers is soft and fine despite its wildness, something that seems so contradictory—but many things about Bakugou are like that. He’s easy to read, but not always to make sense of, and it’s frustrating to no end.

“You freeze my head and I’ll kill you.”

Shouto rolls his eyes, mouth opening to retort that getting his head frozen would likely kill him, but Bakugou’s lips wrap around his cock without warning, and a soft curse comes out instead.

Shouto ashes the cigarette in the empty whiskey glass, tilting his head back against the headboard. Smoke billows around them, melting into a blurry haze that stings his eyes, and the nicotine pumping through him feels good—strong, like he’s just dunked his head underwater or stepped out onto a windy ledge. It makes him feel a little less out of control, and he keeps a careful handle on his temperature as he trails his fingers down the contour of Bakugou’s cheek, the rough corner of his jaw; encouraging, petting, almost.

He’s the pretty one, Shouto thinks. And demanding, arrogant, absolutely insufferable man that he is—it’s moments like this that ruin Shouto for anyone else. Not the blowjob; not the wet heat and suction of Bakugou’s mouth, not the slow and steady build of it, or the way Bakugou takes him all the way down his throat like it’s nothing (though it is certainly a sight to behold, one that will get him off for days to come)—it’s everything else that makes his head spin.

It’s the way Bakugou looks up at him, pupils long blown wide, gauging what feels best because he sure as hell won’t ask. It’s the tenderness laced through the chaos, dedication where it counts, where they both know how to demonstrate it. It’s his guiding hand in Bakugou’s hair, and the way Bakugou’s smooth over his thighs, his stomach, calloused and warm and grounding. 

That’s how he is, Shouto’s discovered, that’s his nature—not the wildfire he wants the world to believe he is, nor the wire bomb he was once, but deep, damp earth; a solid place to sink down into. To call home, if Bakugou would allow it. 

If Shouto could ever convince himself to stay. 

He’s safe in a way he never is when he’s alone, in this bed, at his mercy. It’s terrifying in its own right, this realization, if not because it’s through sex that he’s experiencing it, then because it will end once he comes down Bakugou’s throat—which he is dangerously close to doing.

“Oh, fuck,” he breathes when two fingers push into his loose hole, pressing, searching, finding the spot that makes him nervous enough to excavate his own fingers from Bakugou’s head immediately. The cigarette hangs between his lips, smoke puffing out with every labored breath, and Bakugou pulls off of his cock to watch his face, wraps his hand around it before Shouto can protest.

“Fuckin’ come,” he rasps, hand pumping so tight and fast, squelching obscenely with the saliva that coats it. Shouto’s hips cant desperately, the muscles in his thighs spasming at he nears the edge. He’s prepared to come all over Bakugou’s fist and his own stomach, and his eyes shut, hand slapping back against the headboard as his whole body tightens up. 

“Gonna—I’m—” he manages, and at the very last second, Bakugou’s mouth returns to him, sucking at the head, swallowing down every spurt of cum Shouto gives him. His hand works him through it, slowing when Shouto starts to tremble from overstimulation, tongue lapping gently at his slit until he’s spent. And he is that—absolutely fucking exhausted from the exertion, from his workday, from feeling so goddamn much since Bakugou stormed him in the bedroom.

Bakugou pulls off and sits up with a satisfied grin, taking in his handiwork. He’s hard again, Shouto notices—just from sucking his cock. He seems unconcerned, though, content to steal Shouto’s cigarette right from between his lips and recline into a pillow with one arm behind his head. If Shouto weren’t shell-shocked and trying to breathe and wholly enamored with the graceful way he pulls it to his mouth, he might have thought to protest. 

Bakugou doesn’t even cough when he takes a long drag, something Shouto chalks up to him breathing the smoke from his quirk his entire life, because there’s just no way Bakugou’s ever allowed himself to even be near a cigarette before. He’s too rigid, too health-conscious, too smart to pick it up, even occasionally. Shouto’s surprised he isn’t putting it out in the wood of the nightstand in defiance.

But there he is, smoke pouring out of his nose, regarding Shouto in handsome, confounding silence. Just smoking like he’s been doing it for years, because he is inconceivably good at everything. The way he looks ought to be a crime, but Shouto hardly has time to appreciate it, because the way Bakugou is looking back at him makes him feel naked in a way that has nothing to do with his state of undress.

It’s intent and calculating, nearly the exact expression he wears when he’s sizing up an enemy, if it weren’t for the lack of heat. Even so, it’s piercing, and it reminds Shouto of how long it’s been since it was turned on him—since the last time they sparred. Hero work only ever requires them to work together; they haven’t gone head-to-head since their UA days—Shouto wonders who might come out on top now if they did.

His voice is hoarse when he hears himself ask, “What is it?”

Bakugou takes the cigarette from between his lips with two fingers. “Can’t ever tell what you’re thinking.” 

“You could ask,” Shouto reminds him.

Bakugou looks at him dubiously, but mutters, “Fine.” He puts the cigarette between his lips again, lets it hang there as he crosses his other arm behind his head. “What the hell am I doing here, Todoroki?”

Shouto blinks, utterly blindsided, and thankful that his face hardly moves despite his surprise. He'd fully intended to say that he’d been thinking about how good Bakugou looks, because it is at least partially the truth, and nothing shuts him up like a compliment. But that isn’t what Shouto’s been asked, and this, he does not have an answer for. Not one that feels honest or right. Not even a good lie.

“I don’t know,” he levels, back parting from the headboard, leaning over Bakugou’s lounging body. Whatever accusation is laced through his words, whatever he’s getting at, Shouto wants to hear him say it outright. “What are you doing here?”

It’s a stand-off. Those eyes stare back at him, unflinching, stained dark from the remnants of lust.  The cigarette ember glows, crackling when Bakugou hallows his cheeks, so much like the explosions that bloom from his palms—but instead of bursting forth in deafening noise and brilliant fire, it fades as it finally hits the filter. Bakugou scrunches his nose at the taste, and blows the smoke back in Shouto’s face. It stinks.

“I was having some pretty damn good sex,” he says. He sits up, then, ending their staring contest to drop the cigarette butt in the whiskey glass atop its ashes and look around the room. The knot in Shouto’s stomach does not unfurl, though he’s glad Bakugou doesn’t push. It turns out he’s not the only one avoiding the real questions.

“’S weird, I expected this place to be more…” Bakugou bites his bottom lip in thought. 

“Economical?” Shouto suggests. He takes after his mother in his reservation; is conscious not to flaunt, but frugality is not exactly a Todoroki legacy, and it’s no secret that being a hero pays well. Bakugou should know—Shouto’s certain that he pulls in an even higher income now that he’s breached the top ten, and the new brand deals and sponsorships befitting his explosive image are surely an extra cushion.

“Traditional,” Bakugou decides. “Like your old dorm room. Or just—something that feels lived in. Not so,” he makes a vague gesture with his hand, “fuck, I don’t know—sterile.”

Shouto blinks. Admittedly, yes, his modern high-rise apartment is a little catalogue-esque, and too big to make a mess of between his hectic schedule and the housekeeper’s weekly visits, and nothing like the traditional layout of the Todoroki house. He could explain why, but doing so seems unimportant in the face of the realization that Bakugou recalls his UA dorm room—a room he might have seen once or twice in passing, years ago.

“I…didn’t realize you put so much thought so much into what my home would be like,” Shouto says. It’s not meant to be teasing—it’s genuine surprise, but he realizes what it sounds like as soon as it leaves his mouth.

“I haven’t.” Bakugou scowls, a faint flush coloring the tops of his cheeks before he turns away completely. He leans down to gather his pants from the floor. “Was just a stupid assumption based on the past. Forget it.”

Shouto doesn’t really want to forget it, but he concedes as the iron gates around the possibility of conversation lower. His eyes linger on the flex of Bakugou’s shoulders, the shifting muscle on his back, the dimples above his ass—they’re cute, he decides. He wants to reach out and press his thumbs to them, to kiss the prominent knot of vertebrae at the base of his neck, to nuzzle into the crook of it.

It startles him. Those urges are innocuous enough on their own, but Shouto’s never really been a cuddler. It’s yet another way in which they’re compatible.

No. Shouto wants to do more than that, if he’s being honest with himself—something the whisky has certainly helped along. He wants to tell Bakugou about his apartment, to tell him that he chose it specifically because it is nothing like the home he grew up in, because it’s unfamiliar and entirely his own, and that he’s still deciding if it’s something he wants to keep.

He wants to explain that he’s discovered it's not always a bad thing to embrace what isn’t known or even liked, to grit his teeth through the initial discomfort, the innate wrongness , and come out the other side, at the very least, having learned something about himself. That it is worth the risk in some cases—in the case of hot soba, his living space, half of his quirk—and maybe, just maybe, in Bakugou’s case too.

“You can stay the night if you want,” he says, before he can think better of it. He’s glad he can’t see Bakugou’s face, because when his spine stiffens, Shouto almost loses his nerve. Belatedly, he tacks on, “It’s just—it’s not like we have to check out.”

Bakugou stands to pull his pants up and fasten them, still facing away. 

“Got early patrol,” he grunts, after a long pause. Shouto swallows, and when it becomes clear he isn’t going to comment, Bakugou adds, “'S easier if I go home now. And it’s worse if I’m spotted leaving this place at ass-o-clock the morning.”

“Right.”

 Shouto watches Bakugou finish dressing, moments in which something in his chest falls to pieces for a reason he can’t—doesn’t want to put words to. His throat gets tight, and he feels a little like he can’t breathe, and all at once he realizes how close he’s just come to destroying everything on a whim. 

Whether it’s to save face, or because for some ridiculous reason he feels he’s been rejected like a pining schoolgirl, Shouto says, “We probably shouldn’t make a habit of this.”

Bakugou snorts before pulling his hoodie over his head. “Little late for that.”

“You know what I mean.” 

Bakugou stares pointedly at him once he shoves his head through the neck hole, one blonde brow raised. His hair is mussed in a way that hardly resembles its usual chaos, many tufts flattened and tangled all over from Shouto’s hands, when he’d been—and it’s a little distracting, to see him dressed and still disheveled from their intimacy, and Shouto doesn’t understand why it makes him feel so unbearably upset all of a sudden. He can’t discern whether it’s anger, or sadness, or even if it’s directed at Bakugou or himself.

“I realize I’m the one who asked you to come here.”

“Yeah, I’d say asking’s a nice way of putting it.” Bakugou leans down to snatch his hat off the floor, tugging it down over the mess on his head. 

Shouto sighs. “I’m simply saying…it is…a risk. An unnecessary one. We should avoid those in the future.”

“Then don’t make shit complicated just to get a rise out of me,” Bakugou snaps. His brow twitches, scowl deepening in the way it must to avoid faltering altogether. He fumes for a few moments before he seems to placate himself, face settling into a more neutrally unpleasant frown. He says, tone unpinnable, foreign, “That’s all this was, right? Just a pointless fuckin’ test.”

Shouto doesn’t know why that takes him by surprise. Bakugou is sharp and observant, natural intuition honed to perfection over the years. It’s as good a weapon as his explosions. And yes, on some level, that had been the way Shouto had justified the ultimatum to himself—as a test of Bakugou’s resolve, his investment, his desire. 

What had he called it? A power play? Self-preservation? Funny, then, that he feels so utterly flayed open now. This isn’t what he wanted at all. And what he says next is absolutely not the truth.

“Yes. That’s all it was.”

Bakugou’s expression is…odd. Perplexed, like he hadn’t expected to be right. But he doesn’t move, and Shouto pulls another cigarette from the tin on the nightstand, just for something to do that isn’t watching Bakugou look like that.

 As he ignites it, his eyes flick toward the door. It’s wide open, having no one to shield from everything that’s taken place in this room, and it dawns on Shouto that he hadn’t really thought this big, expensive, minimally furnished apartment lonely until Bakugou had filled it up with his presence and then deigned to leave it. More than anything, he wants him to stay. With frightening, whole-hearted clarity, that’s what he wants.

But he doesn’t ask again. Instead, to his horror, he says, “You can find your own way out, I’m sure.”

Bakugou huffs a short, disbelieving laugh—a scoff, really. When Shouto looks at him again, his eyes are hard. 

“Yeah. Whatever,” he spits, turning to leave. Shouto can only stare after him, bound by shock. When Bakugou halts in the door frame, hope fills his chest—he longs to hear something that will make this all okay. A promise for next time, even if it’s layered in an insult. Shouto can decipher those in his sleep. 

Bakugou’s voice is absolutely scathing when he says, “Thanks for the fuck.”

Nausea rolls unexpectedly in Shouto’s stomach. His face heats, and his mouth opens, instinctively, to apologize, or retort, or say something that will make him feel like he isn’t the biggest tool on the planet—to stop Bakugou from leaving, at whatever cost to his own ego.

But all that pours out is smoke.

More than once, Shouto considers rushing from his bedroom stark-naked to stop Bakugou in the foyer. It’s a feeling that pushes, that sends adrenaline spiking through his limbs, that tells him to act, and yet he takes drag after nauseating drag of the cigarette, unmoving. Even if he managed to catch him, he wouldn’t know what to say to make things right.

Shouto takes pride in being nothing like his father, in handling those around him with care. But perhaps his father’s legacy is not so easy to avert as he would like to think. Perhaps treating Bakugou like he’s made of titanium instead of flesh is exactly the kind of thing his father would do.

Shouto knows that flesh burns easy. 

The tell-tale elevator ding rings loudly in the silence. Bakugou’s gone, and Shouto has a feeling he won’t be hearing from him—not for a while, anyway. Maybe it will take another three years and another drunken bathroom tryst to knock down the wall he’s just built between them. He feels it there, solid and immovable. Hot to the touch.

Throat and heart raw, he drops the half-burned cigarette in the whisky glass, and watches the ice melt from the window.