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Katsuki will admit that he was confronted by his sickeningly romantic feelings for Todoroki Shouto in the men’s wear section of a department store via goddamn fucking Deku over his cold, dead body.

It’s one thing to be forced out of the comfort of his own home on his single day off this week, and it’s another to have Deku materialize in his living room at 8 am like a fucking ghost after practically busting his front door off its hinges, bleating wildly about dress shirts and cufflinks.

It’s taken actual years for Katsuki to get over his Deku-related bullshit. Putting his pride behind him has been one of the hardest and most necessary things he’s ever had to do, but not a single day passes where he isn’t glad he did it.

He’s grit his teeth through multiple wildly fucking necessary apologies over the course of their still somewhat fragile but unrelenting friendship. He had a lot of shit to work through and even more shit to apologize for, and most days he can see past the light haze of their dumb as fuck childhood and teenagedom and appreciate who both he and Deku have become.

Far down in some deep, dark part of him, he can admit that being Deku’s friend makes him a better person. He’d even go so far as to say a better hero. Definitely much less of a raging fuckin’ dickhead. And in an even deeper, darker part of that already deep, dark part of himself, he can reluctantly admit that he has some sort of warped Stockholm syndrome-like fondness for the stupid not-so-little-anymore fucker.

He was never going to escape Deku’s friendship. It only took him like, six fucking years to realize he might as well lean in. He hasn’t looked back since.

But fondness only goes so fucking far when Deku uses his copy of Katsuki’s apartment key to show up crying actual tears about black tie dress codes with absolutely zero warning thirty minutes post sunrise.

He’ll be the first to admit that his personal style isn’t award ceremony friendly. He’ll energetically admit that Deku’s sense of style—consisting of the same pair of fucking blindingly red clown shoes he’s been buying one after the other since elementary school and t-shirts with shithead sayings on them—misses the mark entirely.

Both of them, begrudging and appreciative respectively, can admit that Todoroki maybe knows what he’s damn well talking about in terms of fancy dress clothes. Perks of growing up with like, a shit ton of money, he guesses.

Which is why he usually is the one that forces them into pretentious tailoring shops weeks before said award ceremonies. Too bad for Deku that the motherfucker has been wildly busy the last week. Even worse for Katsuki’s hopes of having a relaxing Wednesday he could use to catch up on his household chores and maybe that shitty stupid cooking show he likes so well that Deku needs a suit as soon as fucking possible.

It’s not his problem that Deku is winning some shitty hero award and has to look good for his acceptance speech. It’s especially not his fucking problem at 8:30 am five days before the awards ceremony.

Katsuki sticks his middle finger out in front of him, ignoring the scandalized face of an elderly woman with what appears to be her shitty grandson, and takes a blatant picture of Deku elbow deep in a circular rack of what might be the ugliest dress pants this planet has ever seen. They look like they’re made of plastic and he can almost feel the absolutely scandalized bare minimum of a facial expression Todoroki would make if he saw them.

It’s a fucking fantastic picture if he does say so himself. Perfect environmental storytelling. He immediately texts it to Todoroki.

He follows Deku around for a bit, letting whatever bullshit he’s chattering about phase right on through his brain. At this point, he’s had such a high level of exposure to Deku-mumble that it’s almost relaxing. Puts him in a light trance if it goes on for long enough.

He says Todoroki’s name twice in quick succession with a weirdly specific emphasis that causes Katsuki to eventually tune back in to whatever the hell he’s saying.

“I’m going to be honest with you, Kacchan. I think you should talk to him, maybe even ask him about it?”

Katsuki purposefully steps on the back of one of Deku’s shitty red shoes when he gets close enough, “What in the fuck are you talking about now?”

The bastard doesn’t even trip, he just keeps right on fucking trucking.

“It’ll be good to get it out in the open, honestly. I’m just worried that if I don’t step in and mention it, neither of you will ever talk about it,” Deku trails his fingers over every single fucking piece of clothing that hangs off the racks as he passes. He’s an actual child. “Between the two of you, you have half of the relevant social and conversational skills of a standard person. No offense! But you need a push, you both do.”

Katsuki closes his eyes and imagines a world where his friends aren’t allowed to talk to him before noon.

“Deku. Topic. Bring it back the fuck around.”

After slinging yet another of what seems to Katsuki to be a shirt uglier than sin into their cart, Deku finally turns back toward him.

“You and Todoroki-kun having romantic feelings for each other? I just think you might need to talk to him about it.”

He says it so casually that it takes Katsuki a cool five seconds before he even understands the content of what the stupid green bastard is saying.

And when he does, he chokes on an intake of breath so hard that he loses his footing and crashes sidelong into a hanging display of dress shirts with enough force that half of them go clattering to the floor.

He doesn’t immediately blow up the dress shirts. Which, you know what that is? Growth. They quite honestly would probably go up in fucking flame due to being made of like, shitty polyester anyway. He’s avoiding property damage fines. Character fuckin’ growth, assholes. Checkmate.

When he finally gets his wits back about him, Deku is two aisles ahead and hasn’t even noticed that Katsuki took a minor detour into the goddamn wall.

“What in the absolute ever loving fuck are you talking about?”

Deku stops rifling through a stack of tacky button up shirts to cast a quick beseeching look at him, “Kacchan, are you purposefully being dense as hell?”

Katsuki has a wildly complex relationship with Deku swearing. It’s jarring to hear any type of swear word come out of the same mouth that spent all of his childhood either cheerfully chirping at him or crying, and then all of his adolescence theatrically proclaiming things about heroism and still crying. But also, it’s really fucking funny for that exact same reason. Katsuki almost wishes he’d up his swear word usage, solely because it makes everything he says that much more fuckin’ interesting.

That isn’t really the concern right now, though.

“No the fuck I am not. Explain further, you idiot bastard!”

At this, Deku actually stops all of his continual fidgeting motion and looks him dead in the face, eyes narrowed in an expression he literally only uses on Katsuki.

Nobody else believes him when he says this shitty Deku expression exists.

“Kacchan, Todoroki has three close friends. Three! Two of them are you and I. Yaomomo counts only on a childhood friend technicality. Iida has never even been over to his house, and they’ve been meeting religiously every week for coffee at that weird place Iida likes for the last two years.” Deku turns back around to the full length mirror they’ve come upon and compares two shirts that in Katsuki’s opinion, are exactly the fucking same.

He makes a “which one?” gesture at Katsuki in the mirror, to which he blatantly ignores. He’s busy focusing on the issue at hand, which is Deku going out of his goddamned mind.

“He’s been my best friend for going on the better part of a decade, and he still doesn’t really touch me. I mean, he’ll give me hugs and sometimes I can get him to cuddle with me when I’m sick or having a really bad day, but he never initiates anything more intimate than that.” He gently places a pink polka dot shirt that frankly would look goddamn awful with his hair back on the rack and looks towards Katsuki again with irritatingly meaningful eye contact.

“He reaches for you, Kaachan. Over and over again. I’ve seen it, because he does it in front of me.”

Katsuki feels the heat rise up in his stupid face and can see his reflection in the mirror, so he takes one neat step to the side and rolls his eyes as hard as he can. Maybe if he does it hard enough he’ll black out and won’t have to have this bullshit conversation anymore.

Although, alright, maybe he’s got Katsuki there. The whole…touching thing. That may be a thing that fucking happens sometimes.

“That doesn’t mean shit, Deku.”

“He lets you sleep in his bed! Willingly! While he’s also in it! When I broke my collarbone that one time and needed someone to stay with, he slept on the couch for two weeks and let me take his bed. Mostly because he’s overly polite and weirdly hospitable and hates when I break my bones, but that bed is huge, Kacchan. We both could have fit!”

With each proclamation, Deku shakes the shirts he has in both hands menacingly at Katsuki across the racks. “Which brings me back to my initial point. You take naps! Regularly! Together!”

Unbidden, a perfectly clear memory from two days ago of waking up from a nap with Todoroki’s stupid hair practically like, in his fuckin’ mouth settles in like a cat at the forefront of Katsuki’s mind.

He has a wildly vivid recollection of the exact thought he’d had when he hit consciousness, too. About how stupidly warm he’d been waking up to Todoroki’s back pressed right up to his front.

So fucking what if they co-nap a lot. Their jobs are goddamn exhausting and they’re both predisposed to needing way more sleep than the average fuck. It’s efficient.

His phone vibrates in his hand and he looks at it to avoid the way Deku is intently staring at him, very obviously expecting some sort of romantic bullshit confession in response. Well, he ain’t gonna fuckin’ get it from anyone in this goddamn department store.

It’s a text from Todoroki that literally only says “/:” and nothing else.

For a second, Katsuki goes absolutely blind with panic, because if anyone could suddenly develop the telepathic ability to know what their friends were talking about from the other side of the city, it would be Todoroki.

He belatedly remembers the Fuck Off Deku picture he’d sent earlier and grits his teeth against a sigh of relief. Even talking about feelings tangentially turns him into an absolute maniac. This will not fucking stand.

“Are you texting him right now? Kacchan, are you texting Todoroki right this second? Let me see.”

Deku is lunging at his phone from across the racks so fast that Katsuki has to take a step back to avoid him. The odds of him using One for All in the middle of this motherfucking department store are slim to none, but he’s never gotten shit done by sitting around and underestimating Deku.

Another lunge and Katsuki grips the gnarled fingers of Deku’s right hand and squeezes as hard as he can before slapping them back, “Fuck off, Deku, you nosy piece of shit bastard.”

A second and then a third text come through while Katsuki’s dodging Deku’s prying hands. He stops their pissy slap fight as Deku rounds the rack to stand next to him by shoving an arm out in a half-assed block to keep him from reading the texts.

Shouto: Don’t let Izuku buy anything from that store
Shouto: The tailor kept his measurements from last time, I called him and something should be ready in time

Katsuki tips his head back and growls out loud. They don’t even need to fucking be here right now.

“Kacchan, his name in your phone is Shouto? Do you call him that in real life? Have you called him that ever?”

Deku’s eyes are wide and stunned in his face and Katsuki has to viciously temper the urge to slap him upside the fucking head.

No one has noticed or come up to them in this stupid fucking store so far because it’s fuck off early in the morning, but them getting into an actual fist fight will warrant way more attention than is necessary.

“Keep your huge ass freak eyes to your damn self. Time to go the fuck home and stop talking to me about my dumbass feelings.”

He about faces and pushes their cart hard enough into Deku’s ankles that he makes a pained grunt and immediately begins forcibly banishing this conversation and any subsequent emotional confrontations from his mind.

“And by go home, I mean you to your stupid apartment and me to mine, dickpunch.”

He’s just, never going to fucking think about this again, right? That’s the only conceivable way to deal with this. Emotions of any kind are absolutely stupid and also for weaklings. He’s wrangled a good deal of them away before with sheer willpower. He’ll do it again. This entire…thing is going to go the fuck away. Fuckin’ swear on it.

*

It doesn’t go away.

There’s no way that he’s fucking stupid enough not to have known he had feelings for Todoroki before Deku brought it up, right?

That can’t possibly be a fucking thing.

Like, yeah, maybe he sort of knew. Had a fucking hunch. Somewhere in the dusty, creaking corner of his mind that processes emotions like a regular person. But he was fine, content even with ignoring it. Everyone else in his life has enough civility not to ambush him with Feelings Talk while out in public, unlike goddamn Deku whose hero name should be Subtlety.

It’s a cool 24 hours after Deku broke into his house and he’s sitting in the nook of his kitchen after breakfast, dicking around before he has to go to work when he finally gives in to the burning desire to text Kirishima. With no precursor, he fires off the only thought he’s had in his brain for the last two days.

B: do you think I have feelings for todoroki?

He waits a bit, organizing his kitchen table and making sure there won’t be any dirty dishes to return home to tonight. Kirishima won’t judge him. Much.

K: Uh yeah totally dude. I didn’t realize we were talking about it now, but that’s like...been a thing. As they say, we been knew

B: well fuck me

K: Ask Todo bro

Katsuki makes a sound like a tea kettle whistling through his teeth and goes the fuck to work.

*

Admittedly, Katsuki and Todoroki might spend kind of like, a lot of fucking time together. It wasn’t like either of them chose to hang out so often, it just sort of happened that way. And then they didn’t do much to stop it after that.

After being absolute dumbasses and spending quite a bit of time with each other in the remedial course, their interactions had been...civil. Katsuki didn’t want to rip Todoroki’s throat out with his teeth anymore at least.

Which is saying something, for him.

Fast forward four years and a few hero agency changes, Katsuki, Todoroki, and Deku have all ended up in the same fuckin’ place. Which, whatever, he’ll admit, is fine. It’s decent to have people he trusts with his actual life watching his back, Katsuki supposes.

And it’s not like they decided it in advance or any dumb shit like that. There was no master plan. Deku was there first and badgered Katsuki into switching agencies after a year and a half of listening to Katsuki incessantly bitch about his old boss.

Todoroki took longer. Mostly because he’s a fucking stubborn jackass who has to feel like all of his personal decisions are made by himself and himself alone. He spent a lot of time ignoring Deku’s supportive, gentle suggestions and pretending like he couldn’t see Katsuki rolling his eyes into the back of his head after every work conversation they had.

Either way, they’ve been working together for a year or so at this point and while it’s still work of the most intense and life threatening kind, Katsuki will begrudgingly admit that it’s kind of a lot of fucking fun.

Obviously he’s still concerned with kicking ass, taking names, and saving lives on his route to becoming the number one fucking hero. But watching Deku accidentally Detroit Smash the support foundation of a building in a fight only for Todoroki to have to freeze it in place with the face of the long suffering not once but three separate times in the last two months makes it all fucking worth it.

Todoroki has a way better handle on the “let’s not accrue massive amounts of property damage fines for our agency” take than both Deku and Katsuki, obviously.

And maybe, if Katsuki’s apartment is the closest to their agency headquarters and Todoroki’s is the farthest, it’s just logic, plain and simple, for Todoroki to come home with him sometimes. Or for him to go to Todoroki’s if they’re out that way. It’s objectively the best thing to do when they’re both starving, tired, and beat the fuck up.

He can also admit, to himself when it’s dark late at night and he’s in bed alone and absolutely no other fucking time, that it’s kind of nice to have Todoroki around. Nice to have someone who he actively lets into his space, knowing they’ll respect it. Nice to be let into someone else’s space. Someone who gets it in a way that not everyone does, on a variety of levels.

Deku is busy all the fucking time, due to him closing in on the top 5 in hero rankings and also just being…like that. Picking up the slack that All Might left for him in terms of social service and community appearances. Under extreme duress, Katsuki can admit that Deku does a lot of good work. He still forces himself into Katsuki’s space frequently, eyes wild and mouth moving at a hundred miles an hour, but flits back out just as quickly.

Kirishima is there too, steady and comforting like he’s always been for Katsuki, but he lives farther outside of Tokyo and the commute can be a bit of a bitch for the casual unannounced hangouts that their friendship has always thrived on. They Facetime a few times a week, though.

He has other fucking friends, but they have real lives too. Outside of hero lives. And god, it’s not like Katsuki isn’t busy himself. Kaminari is preoccupied with that weird purple haired fuck and Mina spends a lot of time sliding in and out of Round Face and the frog girl’s relationship. They meet up once or twice a month at someone’s house to get drunk as hell and talk shit, just like high school.

But Todoroki is around, like, all the fucking time. He doesn’t do much family wise, due to his shithead dad, but hangs out with his sister and brother a few times a month. He visits his mom. He sleeps on Deku’s couch sometimes. He gets coffee with Iida.

They’re the only ones that aren’t insanely busy outside of hero work. Which just kind of means...that they hang out a lot.

It was, admittedly, really fucking weird at first. Katsuki as a rule doesn’t do small talk, and Todoroki has the social skills of a poorly adjusted house plant. They spent the entirety of the first time Katsuki let him come home with him on different couches in almost total silence, staring off into space in opposite directions. Until Katsuki turned on some bullshit show and practically punched a mug of tea into Todoroki’s hand.

Now Todoroki is addicted to reality television. And Katsuki is forced to suffer through conversations about the absolute dumbest shit.

If he knew Todoroki had opinions, and bad, weird ones at that, about legitimately everything and nothing he absolutely wouldn’t have let him into his apartment that first time.

Todoroki can and will argue for hours about fuck all nothing. Before the post-high school begrudging friendship of convenience stage of their knowing one another, Katsuki would have said hand on heart that Todoroki didn’t even have the capability to string more than ten words together at a time. Katsuki now spends every fucking day of his life wishing that was the case.

Todoroki won’t eat anything peach flavored and likes his water exactly room temperature. He won’t let Katsuki make their tea because “he does it wrong” even though he does it absolutely right. He once made Katsuki listen to voice recordings of one of his cats meowing at different times of the day to “see if it she sounded more melancholy earlier in the morning.” For being like, kind of jacked, his hips and shoulders and elbows are bony as fuck. He, as a rule, has to sleep on the right side of the bed or he can’t sleep at all. Katsuki fucking hates him.

And now previously empty corners of his brain are filled with all of this dumb shit about stupid Todoroki and he has to cart it around all the fuckin’ time.

It’s stupid as all hell but it’s not like he’s going to talk to anyone about it. Not to Deku, that’s for damn sure. And especially not to Todoroki. That idea as a concept can go fuck itself.

Thinking about anything near the realm of talking to Todoroki about his “feelings” makes him want to bounce his head off his own coffee table. Hard fucking pass on that one.

He got off of a relatively chill patrol an hour ago and is melting into the couch debating the merits of actually getting up to like, feed himself, when his front door snicks open and Todoroki lets himself in.

There are two light thunks in quick succession that Katsuki knows are Todoroki struggling to toe off the ugly as fuck moon boots that he wears with his hero outfit in the genkan. He lolls his head towards the door just in time to see Todoroki shuffle in.

For the most part, he looks whole and relatively unharmed. Which Katsuki can begrudgingly appreciate.

He’s also covered in a metric fuck ton of what looks to be powderized concrete. The blue of his tacky jumpsuit is almost indistinguishable until near his waist and his usual half down half up messy bun is absolutely fucking coated in white powder. The red of his left side is barely visible until where it barely brushes his collarbones.

“Fuck happened to you?”

Todoroki just makes a low grunt and tosses Katsuki a little carton of strawberry milk that’s clearly from the conbini downstairs.

With practiced hands, he takes off his dumb utility belt and makes a halfhearted attempt to toss it onto one of the high backed chairs at Katsuki’s kitchen island. It looks like it’ll stay for exactly one second before it falls to the floor with a loud clatter, like they both knew it would.

He disappears deeper into the apartment while Katsuki spears the straw into the milk and refocuses back on the cooking show he was previously engaged in.

He distantly notes that his shower is running but he’s a little more focused on the person trying to make an edible meal out of tofu, bean sprouts, cocoa beans, and tomatoes.

Maybe ten minutes later, Todoroki emerges from Katsuki’s bedroom and heavily drops onto the couch next to him. He’s wearing a pair of sweats that Katsuki maybe, fucking possibly bought a few months ago that are clearly too long for his own more compact body. He bought them mostly because he was tired of looking at Todoroki’s weird ankles all the damn time when he wore Katsuki’s pants.

There’s a drawer in one of his dressers filled with almost exclusively Todoroki’s stupid stuff, but he’s still dipping his shitty hands into Katsuki’s clean laundry on a regular basis. The sweatpants purchase was a last ditch effort to stop the thievery. It hasn’t worked.

Evidenced by how he’s also stolen an older Red Riot merch tee from the top of the stack of t-shirts Katsuki has yet to put away. The collar gapes a little bit and Katsuki has to forcibly turn his eyes back to the TV to not get distracted by his collarbones.

Todoroki angles the top half of his body closer to Katsuki so he can reach out with one of his long ass arms and take a selfie featuring the shirt. He doesn’t smile but his eyes crinkle a little bit in the corners and that’s pretty much the same damn thing.

His still wet hair smells faintly like Katsuki’s shampoo and it makes him grit his teeth so hard he can feel them creaking in his fucking mouth.

His dentist is going to have a field day.

The group chat he’s in with Deku, Kirishima, and Todoroki predictably blows up with what is likely Kirishima cry typing about his more aloof friends wearing his merch. He tosses his phone onto the coffee table and turns to face Todoroki.

“He’s never gonna shut the fuck up about that, you know.”

Todoroki rolls his eyes and makes grabby hands for the milk carton, “I’m aware but I also knew that he would like to see me in it. And as you know, I aim to please.”

Katsuki rolls his eyes into the back of his fucking head and passes him the milk. They both slump deeper into the couch in silence, the only sound filling the living room is the desperate cries of the fucks on the cooking show and Todoroki slurping his strawberry milk.

But the thing is, he fucking knows Todoroki. He knows him. He’s spent enough goddamn time with him in the first place, let alone on this god forsaken couch, to know that Todoroki resolutely believes that there is too much space between them right now. They’re about a good foot or so away from each other and Katsuki can swear on his motherfucking life that within the next three minutes that foot will diminish to centimeters. If they aren’t outright touching by then.

Todoroki’s like a fucking leech.

They spent actual years in high school hissing at and antagonizing one another to the point of knock-down, drag-out brawls. And yet the second Katsuki showed enough reluctant trust to let him into his apartment and onto his couch, Todoroki initiated the slow frog boil of physically attaching himself to Katsuki at literally every turn.

Nobody who hasn’t seen it firsthand would ever believe him, but Todoroki is tactile as fuck.

He’s always on Katsuki. Feet thrown over his lap or body tucked right up next to him on the couch. Cold fingers circled around his wrist and shitty half ‘n half hair spread out over his lap all the damn time. Shoulders brushing while they stand in the kitchen and knees pressed together under the table when they eat.

Katsuki can’t get away from him. Not that he...really wants to, he fucking guesses, but still.

He at least has the good sense to usually velcro himself to Katsuki on his warm side. It’s part of the reason they started falling a-fucking-sleep together all the damn time; that shit knocks Katsuki out like pretty much nothing else.

At first, the constant touching had made Katsuki go absolutely rigid, like a fucking plank of wood. He hadn’t been touched much, up through middle school and until a few years after high school. By no choice other than his own fuckin’ shining personality, truly.

He’s gotten a better hold on his tendency to absolutely obliterate anything that he doesn’t either completely understand or fully enjoy over the years, which is the only reason Todoroki didn’t get blasted through the apartment walls the first time he put his head on Katsuki’s shoulder.

Even Kirishima had taken a year or two to work up the balls to throw an arm around Katsuki’s shoulders in high school, which he won’t ever admit to liking but surely doesn’t mind.

Todoroki had a different approach, though. There wasn’t any wait time, relative to everyone else in Katsuki’s life. He’d started small but immediate, thighs pressed together on the train en route to whoever’s apartment they were going to that time. A warm palm on Katsuki’s shoulder to get his attention. His bare feet tucked up under Katsuki’s thighs because he has a fucking aversion to socks.

Then he’d blinked and Todoroki was plastering himself to Katsuki’s side two or three nights a week.

And Katsuki was just fuckin’...letting him.

There’s probably something wildly depressing to be said about the lack of affection Todoroki received as a child and the tenacity with which he adheres himself to Katsuki. But if he even thinks in that direction for too long it makes him want to bust his knuckles on Endeavor’s fucking teeth. And he already has enough reasons to do that, anyway.

He blinks a few times at the chef getting absolutely obliterated on the TV and doesn’t even have to check to see how close Todoroki is now, because he can feel him. His back is pressed up against Katsuki’s side, legs stretched out in front of him on the couch and feet tucked under the cushions on the far side.

“Your hair is drippin’ on me, stupid.”

His shoulder length hair is getting the sleeve of Katsuki’s shirt all damp. He nudges the arm that Todoroki’s head is resting on until he can get it out from behind his body and brings it to rest around Todoroki’s shoulders. The old t-shirt is soft and he can feel a hint of the just slightly unnatural coolness of Todoroki’s right side on the pads of his fingertips.

Todoroki doesn’t even fucking do anything. Just gets more comfortable and keeps playing whatever stupid iPhone game he’s obsessed with right now.

“Sorry.” He is so obviously not.

They sit in silence for a few minutes before Katsuki is narrowing his eyes at the TV, “You better not have left your fuckin’ dirty ass jumpsuit on the floor of the bathroom, you bastard.”

Todoroki hums and tips his head back onto Katsuki’s shoulder so they can make eye contact. Katsuki refuses to look anywhere near him.

“Didn’t. Put it in the hamper, specifically to avoid you yelling about it for half an hour.”

Katsuki shrugs his shoulder and makes Todoroki’s head bounce before they let the quiet of the evening surround them.

After the episode ends, he gets up to make them something real for dinner and Todoroki falls back flat on the couch with a loud and fuckin’ dramatic sigh and a completely boneless body.

As Katsuki makes dinner and moves about the kitchen, he catches little glimpses of Todoroki holding his phone directly above his face while still lying flat on the couch. The game he’s playing makes soft tinny little noises and it incrementally changes the expression on his face each time it happens.

He presses his lips together to crush an involuntary tiny smile once he realizes he’s still watching.

“If you drop that damn phone on your face again, don’t you dare come in here crying about it to me.” He calls out to the other room as he plates their dinner.

Todoroki mutters something that’s undoubtedly rude but too quiet to hear. He keeps his mouth shut when there’s food involved. He falls back all over onto Katsuki the second he’s sitting down again and they finish their food and watch Terrace House reruns until neither of them can keep their eyes open.

He doesn’t even have to ask if Todoroki is going to stay. The fact that he came to Katsuki’s apartment after his shift is answer enough. It’s nine thirty and they’re both exhausted and within twenty minutes he’ll let Todoroki wrap himself and his too long limbs around him like a temperature controlled octopus and fuck off to sleep.

They brush their teeth mostly in silence but grumble at each other over use of the sink. Todoroki’s elbows are pointy as hell and aim right for Katsuki’s solar plexus without fail. It makes Katsuki glance a punch off his shoulders that has absolutely no force behind it.

He puts on a different pair of comfortable clothes to sleep in, because he’s got priorities for fuck’s sake, and it makes Todoroki snicker quietly and roll his eyes.

Katsuki flops into bed with a bounce and promptly burritos himself in his copious amount of blankets. Todoroki slinks in after him. A lot of things about Todoroki drive him up the fucking wall, but he’s gotten used to sleeping with someone who makes the entire bedroom the perfect temperature.

He’s drifting in that sweet hazy space between awake and asleep, Todoroki’s body weight a comforting presence at his back, when the feel of Todoroki’s mouth pressed right up to the base of his neck sends electricity racing down his fucking spine.

“Are you wearin’ your mouth guard?” Being on the edge of sleep makes Todoroki’s typical monotone slower and a little slurred, coming out of his stupid mouth in a lazy drawl.

Spoken against the top of his spine as they are, Katsuki can barely fucking process the words. When he does so after a good few seconds, he groans out loud. Both because he’s going to have to get back up and because he absolutely hates Todoroki for reminding him.

He whips the covers back, slapping them into Todoroki’s motionless body and stalks back into his bathroom. He doesn’t even turn the lights on, just blindly and angrily fumbles for the stupid little case his mouth guard is in. It takes everything he has in him not to explode the shitty yellow plastic.

Perfect teeth run in his family, but Katsuki has a horrible fucking habit of clenching his teeth during the day and grinding them at night. Bad enough that his actual fucking dentist told him he had to start wearing a mouth guard at twenty three fucking years old, or else his teeth were going to be ground into dust by the time he’s thirty.

He does it, but he’s not fucking happy about it. It’s inherently unsexy and pisses him off a lot in a way he can’t quite articulate, but he’d like to be able to eat with his own teeth when he’s thirty five, thank you very fuckin’ much.

After jamming it into his mouth, he stomps back out of the bathroom, kicking the door open to his bedroom and tosses himself bodily back into bed. Todoroki is already asleep, the absolute bastard.

He makes himself comfortable and reaches behind him to tug one of Todoroki’s arms a little too forcefully over his waist. If he wakes up from Katsuki’s manhandling, that sounds like a personal problem.

It’s peaceful for maybe about a minute before the reality of how absurdly and utterly domestic that entire exchange was sends Katsuki’s heart rate through the roof. What the actual fuck.

How has he let this happen? How did he get here? Why the fuck is Todoroki in his bed right now, not even remotely worried about his well being while being in such close proximity to Katsuki, but caring about his fuckin’ dental health?

And then the worst thought of all crystallizes in the forefront of his mind and he almost blows up his bed with the both of them in it.

Deku was fucking right.

*

Despite panicking in circles for about an hour and a half before his brain forcibly shut itself off, Katsuki wakes up feeling good and ready to fuck shit up.

He’s always up before Todoroki, who waits until the last possible second to pour himself out of bed and showers at their office in the mornings.

If he does say so himself, his internal clock is beyond useful and he’s wide awake and absolutely raring to go by 6:30 every day. He’s lucky if Todoroki even opens his eyes on their walk to work by 8.

He showers and gets dressed and kicks Todoroki in the back a few times with his socked foot to at least get him started on waking up. He groans a little, dramatic for him, muffled from where his face is squished against the pillow and it makes Katsuki audibly snort.

Breakfast made and on the table, he hollers back towards his bedroom, “Todoroki, you stupid fuck! Come eat, you have ten fuckin’ minutes!”

Midway through shoveling his rice into his mouth, Todoroki finally makes his way into the kitchen. He’s sleep rumpled and soft, pillow prints marking his cheek and rubbing at his eyes like a little kid.

His eyes barely even look like they’re fucking open but he still manages to navigate himself into sitting right next to Katsuki at the breakfast nook table rather than across from him like a normal person.

He tucks his arm around the one Katsuki has propped up on the table and slumps against him, noticeably hiking the temperature a few degrees despite the sun pouring through the kitchen windows.

“Eat your breakfast, dumbass. You have five minutes, then I’m leavin’ with or without ya.”

Todoroki makes a little huffing sound in response that has Katsuki biting down on his chopsticks.

He’s so fucking soft in the morning that it makes Katsuki almost go completely feral. One of the most prolific heroes of this generation, an actual powerhouse of strength both quirk and otherwise, on par with Katsuki him fucking self, is sitting in his kitchen slumped over eating his breakfast with his eyes closed. It makes Katsuki want to kick his ass.

Eventually Todoroki gets his act together and they’re spilling out into the sunshine to start their walk to work.

There’s a light touch on his upper arm just below his t-shirt sleeve, cooler than the sun-warmed air by far, and he turns his head so Todoroki can make eye contact with him.

His expression is placid and his eyes are still a little crinkled from sleep, but his left one is so bright in the light that it almost looks see through.

Katsuki makes an impatient go on gesture and after a few seconds of feeling like Todoroki’s tired eyes are looking right through him, he mutters quiet but clear.

“Thank you for breakfast.”

He scoffs without thinking and nudges Todoroki with his shoulder a little bit harder than he intends to.

“Someone has to make damn sure you eat meals that are healthier than whatever the fuck you consume when left to your own shitty devices.”

It’s going to be a long day.

*

He doesn’t see Todoroki much after that. Or Deku, really. He’s holed up in his office perfectly filling out the mountain of paperwork that he’s avoided for a few days and waiting for something to happen.

It’s not like he wants anything to happen, per se. It’d be cool if crime was a thing that just all of a sudden stopped happening. It’s just that he’s always got a lot of fucking energy and it needs to be expended in some way or he’ll drive himself and everyone in the near vicinity up the fuckin’ walls.

The best way to tire himself out is and always has been kicking ass. The energy that constantly thrums in his palms and low in his stomach thrives on physicality.

He can, and frequently does, spar with Todoroki and Deku and sometimes their sidekicks and interns, but there’s something different about kicking the shit out of someone who’s actively trying to burn down Tokyo or whatever the fuck.

The adrenaline that comes from sparring and really, truly fighting is distinct. It feels wholly different. Runs through his body in a disparate way. Even though he chases that feeling a lot less in his young adulthood than he did as a teenager, sometimes he needs to let himself go a little wild out in the field.

If he’s going to be completely honest, being a pro hero is a lot of fucking paperwork. And admin. Way more fucking admin than he ever expected. Thinking back, he can’t ever remember if All Might or Aizawa ever even remotely mentioned how much mind numbing paperwork and bureaucratic bullshit plays into hero work. He supremely fucking doubts that All Might did his own paperwork.

But here fucking Katsuki is, waiting around and meticulously filling out a fuck ton of paperwork, because he physically cannot fill it out wrong or half ass it. It’s bullshit.

He spins around aimlessly in his desk chair a few times and considers going to find Deku to bug the shit out of him when the motherfucker himself bursts into Katsuki’s office like he’s been summoned.

Instantly he’s talking a mile a minute, something about villains downtown and maybe some fuck with an immobilizing quirk, a stinger or a gross tongue or tail or something. Katsuki tries to listen but also knows he doesn’t really need to. This is exactly what he needed today.

All Katsuki knows is that his blood is singing and his palms are thrumming and he knows he has that slightly unhinged batshit smile on his face that Todoroki always calls a grimace, because Deku’s face is mirroring it right back at him.

They forgo the elevator and race each other down the stairs, shoving and tripping and snagging collars like they’re fifteen again and fucking stupid.

It takes them no time at all to bust into the agency locker room and then they’re racing to see who can get into their hero outfit first.

Katsuki can’t even help slapping a hand onto his locker to pop it open with a little explosion and it makes Deku laugh his stupid slightly hysterical laugh like he always does before they go out.

Deku can pretend all damn day that he doesn’t live for a good fight, but Katsuki knows him. Katsuki has always known him and evidenced by just how many times in the last ten years that they’ve gone all out on each other, he knows that Deku loves this shit. Loves protecting people this way. Loves feeling useful with just his own fists and body.

He’s jumping around on one foot trying to get the lower half of his ugly green jumpsuit on when Katsuki asks, a little breathless, “Todoroki comin’?”

“Yes, he should—oh!” Deku loses his balance and thumps into the lockers just as Katsuki fleetingly casts his gaze back towards him.

“Why, did you miss me, Bakugou?”

Katsuki doesn’t even have to look at Todoroki to know the slightly smug way the corners of his mouth turn up. It makes him want to punch the expression off Todoroki’s face every time he sees it.

It also lights something up low inside of him, warmth curling up slow like smoke.

He fishes his gauntlets out of his locker and glances at Todoroki, who’s standing in between the first set of lockers and the doorway, partially clad in his hero outfit. He probably had a patrol this morning and didn’t change out when he got back, lazy fucking bastard.

“Not on your fuckin’ life.”

Without taking his eyes off Todoroki, he shoves his hands into his gauntlets up to his wrists and goes about clipping them on. They’re a little more understated than they were in high school, easier to manage and less unwieldy. He and crazy ass Hatsume had spent ages getting them just right and he’s finally settled on a design that he thinks he’ll keep for a while.

Todoroki looks...well, he looks good. Like he always fucking does. Even with the dumbass moon boots.

He’s got his jumpsuit peeled halfway off him, the arms tied right around where his waist tapers. The normal white t-shirt Katsuki knows that he wears under it is absent, probably because Todoroki was sweaty earlier and he hates to be sweaty because he’s a whiny little jackass.

That just means that he gets an absolute eyeful of the torso that’s helped Todoroki sit pretty in his spot of Hottest Male Hero for the last four years in a row.

It’s, ugh, it’s a good fucking look. Even Katsuki can admit it.

While he doesn’t really come close to Katsuki himself, or even Deku, in terms of sheer upper body muscle, Todoroki is still fucking built. He knows first hand, because he spends half his nights and a good bit of his naps each week pressed all up against him.

He rolls his eyes hard but it doesn’t do much to curb the light blush he can feel spread across his nose and cheeks.

As he turns away, he catches Deku’s eye and has to watch as he waggles his stupid ass green eyebrows in a decidedly unhelpful way. A little non-verbal oh look, you think that Todoroki is really fucking hot, how interesting that makes Katsuki want to punch a hole through his locker door.

It’s not just him that thinks Todoroki is good looking. It’s like, objectively the fucking truth. Everyone in the whole shitting world thinks Todoroki’s hot, it’s not like Katsuki’s an anomaly. Deku can piss right off.

They suit up hurriedly, Todoroki shrugging into another white t-shirt and getting all of his dumb accessories back on as Katsuki and Deku finish up.

There’s a few seconds of quiet before they’re all ready and standing in a loose circle. It’s dorky as hell and gets more embarrassing every fucking time, but Katsuki waits until Deku holds his fist up, first to Todoroki and then to Katsuki for a first bump. Then he stands with his hands on his hips, looking oddly like his mother, until Katsuki and Todoroki begrudgingly fist bump each other too.

Katsuki grins, flexes his fingers and makes for the door.

“Let’s go kick some ass.”

*

One of the best parts of working together is that all three of them can get pretty fucking airborn. Deku bounces around like a stupid pinball, Katsuki just blasts himself around like he’s always done, and when he wants to, Todoroki can use his ice in a way that’s pretty fuckin’ similar to surfing.

It’s the closest thing to fun that Katsuki will ever admit to having.

He’s always had a very cavalier attitude in the face of fighting most villains. He just truly doesn’t give a shit because he knows his own strengths and he knows that he can take just about anybody. And if he can’t, he knows someone who can.

Like yeah, sometimes he gets his shit absolutely rocked, but it’s nothing he hasn’t been able to handle. He’s been tossed off a few buildings in his six or so years of active hero duty, so fucking what. Sure, a few broken arms, a fractured clavicle or two, multiple concussions, and the subsequent house arrest and desk duty have made him fucking crazy a few times now, but he’s gonna stick around and kick it until he absolutely can’t anymore. He’s going to do the best work he can for as long as he can.

And that truth combined with the skills he’s been honing for as long as he can remember makes him almost unstoppable in the field.

It’s why he’s not too concerned when they’re first to get to the scene downtown and Deku starts up his villain quirk runthrough again as he does at every crime scene they go to. They do this same old song and dance every fuckin’ time.

He listens with half an ear, casts a challenging smirk to Todoroki over Deku’s head, who lightly rolls his eyes, and loudly proclaims he’ll go after the villain with the most challenging quirk. Business as fuckin’ usual.

There’s the fucker with the scorpion tail or whatever the hell, another guy who can change the state of matter at will of any item he can touch, a douchebag with a sensory distortion quirk, and some lady who can see visible paths of kinetic energy.

Fucking amateur hour out here, if he does say so himself. He doesn’t know what the fuck sensory distortion even means and judging by the face Deku makes when he says it, he’s not sure either.

Normally they stick together as much as they can to avoid being cornered or overwhelmed, but this shit seems like a piece of cake. At worst, he’s vaguely worried about the motherfucker with the insect body part, mostly because that sounds like some Discovery channel nightmare shit.

“You fuckers good with splitting up this time ‘round? I call the Intro to Chemistry shithead.” He puts his hands on his hips and considers the other two thirds of this little party. He knows Deku will probably go for the kinetic energy lady solely because he wants to see how that plays out in actuality. Note taking fodder at it’s finest.

After actual years of bitching, no one can say that Ground Zero isn’t a team player. At least he asks before just fucking off and doing things on his own.

Deku shrugs, “Sure, doesn’t bother me. I haven’t heard much about these guys, but that’s also probably for a reason.”

Leave it to Deku to be polite and not flat out say that these villains fucking blow.

“Not to bring up a sore subject but,” Todoroki starts, his voice deceptively even. He’s got that purposefully bland look on his face which means he’s going to say something that all three of them will come to regret very shortly.

Katsuki knows what he’s going to say next before he even opens his mouth, “Do you really want to split up after what happened last time?”

It takes all he has in him not to blast Todoroki off his fucking feet, because he had made them both swear up and fucking down to never bring that up again. And by swear, he means that he yelled and shouted and bitched and worked up a cloud of explosion smoke until Deku finally pinky promised to delete the picture of him strung upside down by his feet from a lamppost.

That stupid fucking woman he’d gone up against a few months ago had a shitting fuckin’ spider quirk and had caught him off guard when she’d started to pull a string of webs from under her tongue like an absolute maniac. The next thing he knew he was making controlled little blasts through a layer of silk two inches deep in order to get his phone out of his stupid pocket while hanging upside down seven feet in the air.

He’d had to call them on speaker from where his hands were stuck near his waist to come cut him the fuck down.

There had been an obscene amount of Deku covering his laughter behind his hands and Todoroki making bone dry comments and exactly one instance of picture taking before his feet had touched concrete again.

“If you bring that up even one more time for the rest of your shitty stupid life, I will end you.” He does nothing to stop the way that it comes out like a growl through his clenched teeth.

Todoroki just smirks a little and says he’ll take the scorpion guy and they can meet back up for the sensory quirk user after that, if someone doesn’t get to them first.

He says it like a challenge, like he’s the one that’ll bag the fourth villain without a doubt and it simultaneously makes Katsuki a little hot and a little pissed off. Like most things Todoroki does, honestly.

Before they part, they synch their comms and pick a place to meet up once they take care of their respective targets.

“Good fuckin’ luck, losers.” Katsuki doesn’t even wait for them to echo it back to him.

As he turns around to blast himself backwards off the roof they’ve stopped on, Todoroki catches his eye and smiles a little smile that only a stupid conniving bastard like him can manage.

“You’re one hundred percent sure this is a good idea?”

“I’m one hundred percent sure you’re a dickhead!”

*

It takes him about ten and a half minutes to wrangle the guy with the matter quirk.

Truly, it’s not even that fucking hard. He’s older than Katsuki by probably five years, but has a handle on his quirk that’s comparable to a goddamn kid. Plus trying to change the air that Katsuki’s breathing to water only works once before he can see what’s very obviously coming and just shifts a few feet out of the way.

Katsuki leaves him on his ass on the concrete, dazed from a non-explosive punch to the jaw and handcuffed to a lamppost with quirk suppressing cuffs. If another pro hero doesn’t come around soon enough, the cops will.

He blasts himself high enough up into the air to see if he can spot green lightning or fire and ice over the rooftops.

After a few minutes of aimless searching, he runs into Deku—fucking literally runs right into him—who looks mostly fine and is muttering under his breath exactly as Katsuki expected him to be doing.

“Went alright?” He asks, even though he doesn’t really care about how in depth he knows the answer is going to be.

Deku chatters at him steadily about the kinetic energy lady as they make their way to their predetermined meet up place. Katsuki makes vague noises of agreement every ten seconds before Deku snaps himself out of it.

“Have you seen Shouto? He hasn’t responded to me over the comms in awhile.” Deku looks concerned, brow furrowed and mouth twisted, but that’s his baseline both in fights and out of them.

“I’m not his fuckin’ keeper.” Katsuki says it without thinking, before realizing that...he kind of is. He makes breakfast and dinner for him at least three times a week. “You weren’t keeping track of him?”

Deku shakes his head no and makes a distressed noise in the back of his throat that has the lightest wisp of dread crawling up the back of Katsuki’s spine. It’s been maybe twenty five minutes since they’ve seen him last.

“Fucking chill, he’s a big boy. He knows what the hell he’s doing.” He says it outloud in a brazen attempt to reassure himself and to wipe that expression off of Deku’s face.

It doesn’t work. Like, not at fucking all, on either count.

It takes them a few more minutes to get to the agreed upon building and Katsuki lets Deku launch himself up first before following at a little more sedated of a pace. He casts one last searching look at the cityscape to see if he can spot anything Todoroki-related.

They round a corner, Katsuki bitching at Deku as always, when they both stutter to a stop, immediately falling silent. Something tense and stifling and horrible works its way through the both of them. Halfway across the roof, fifteen feet from the cuffed and unconscious body of the scorpion dude, is Todoroki.

The sensory distortion quirk user is a woman. She’s slight and unassuming, but the way that she has her hand fisted tight in Todoroki’s long hair isn’t.

He’s on his knees in front of her, tall enough that he comes up almost to her chest.

The hand that isn’t in his hair is pressing a truly stomach-droppingly large knife to Todoroki’s pale throat. It’s curved wickedly and when Todoroki breathes, it shifts against his neck and winks with little reflections from the sun.

It’s the biggest knife Katsuki’s ever seen in real life, something out of a hunting store, something out of a horror movie, something no one would ever be able to buy in downtown Tokyo.

Deku’s got his hands up in the air immediately, spread out in a conciliatory kind of way like she’s a lion he’s trying his best to tame. He lets his body go lax, trying not to hold any tension, attempting not to intimidate this woman into anything without deliberately meaning to.

For a few seconds, Katsuki’s brain goes absolutely silent, hushed in a way not unlike how his hearing gets right after his palms explode a little too close to his ears. Ringing simply from the absence of sound.

And then all of a sudden everything comes rushing back in and his mind is moving in a thousand different directions at once.

How did this fucking happen—how is Todoroki on his knees—he’s never seen Todoroki go to his knees for anyone, let alone this absolute nobody—what the fuck is a sensory distortion quirk, he racks his brain, shuffling back through from Deku’s debrief earlier to Aizawa’s class on quirk classifications years ago, trying to nail down what might be happening here, what she might be able to do, what the fuck—what they’ll be able to do to get him out of this, what the correct hostage situation protocols are, whether or not you can even stop the bleeding of a severed carotid artery—but his brain trips over each possibility without landing on any solid ground.

He’s skinning his fucking knees on every incomplete thought while Todoroki rests on his right in front of them.

“Come any closer and I’ll slit his throat.” She doesn’t say it like it’s a threat, she doesn’t say it like anything at all really. She says it simply, no intonation. Like she’s talking about the weather or the mochi stand that Todoroki and Deku like so well down the street. Direct and casual and careless.

It makes Deku’s hands shake, Katsuki can see it out of the corner of his eye. He has to clench his jaw tight to keep from yelling out for Todoroki.

The look on Todoroki’s face is so, so blank. Indifference like Katsuki’s never seen, hasn’t seen anything close to in years. He tries to make eye contact but Todoroki is looking toward Deku. There’s a cut sluggishly bleeding on his forehead that's dripping into Todoroki’s right eye. Looking at it makes Katsuki’s fingers pulse in time with his heartbeat.

“We won’t come any closer. Tell us what you need us to do. We can talk about it.”

He’s surprised that Deku’s voice doesn’t tremble when he speaks. He sounds genuine, truthful and earnest like he always fucking is.

Katsuki can feel a ragged shout building in his own throat. He doesn’t think that he can be still for much longer.

Deku’s always been good at situations like this, Katsuki thinks, grateful and hysterical in turn. Katsuki’s all heat of the moment strategy; he’s who you want for big dramatic finishing moves, for shit talking his entire way through a fight just to throw whoever he’s facing off, for thinking ahead just enough to get his opponents right where he wants them and then destroying them with reckless abandon.

Deku is a hidden well of endless patience and stalwart calm where Katsuki is just more fire and brimstone and explosions the further down you go. He is so blindingly thankful for Deku in this moment that he can barely breathe around it.

“Don’t say another word.”

It’s absolutely quiet for maybe twenty seconds. Still aside from the uneven, rapid breaths he and Deku are both taking.

Todoroki shifts his shoulders slightly and the woman tightens her grip in his hair, wrenching his head back just that much farther. He makes a soft noise in the back of his throat that Katsuki is going to hear for the rest of his fucking life.

He opens his mouth, head tilted back and eyes still on Deku, lips fitting around words that he absolutely shouldn’t be fucking saying. Katsuki can hear the sharp intake of breath Deku makes, tracks the way that he stretches his hands out in front of himself like he’s trying to stop Todoroki from speaking.

“It’s n—,” is all Todoroki is able to get out, low and quiet and raspy like he always is before the woman at his back is moving not at all then all at once.

She slides her arm in a motion so quick and graceful that it looks like she’s playing violin and—

They’re both screaming. He and Deku. Katsuki can’t hear it because the only sound in his head is his own heart beat pounding in his ears—metronomically counting out a death march in time to what he’s being forced to watch—but he can feel it in his throat.

He keeps his eyes wide open even if every single molecule of him, down to his bones, down to his core, wants desperately to close them. Todoroki’s body goes limp and lists to the side as the woman takes a half step away from him.

Deku’s moving, a pulse of One for All from his feet spidering the concrete of the rooftop. Katsuki can hear the clattering, crunching sound of the rubble from where he’s scrabbling across the roof as fast as he can.

(Later, it will be something Katsuki thinks about without doing so consciously, like worrying a loose tooth. The way they both moved at the same time, him for Shouto and Deku for the villain. They didn’t talk about it beforehand, there was no deliberation over which direction they would move in simultaneously. Deku just picked up the slack. Grabbed the other end of the rope that Katsuki had let go of without even thinking.

No matter how badly Deku himself wanted to go to Shouto, wanted to press his hands to Shouto’s throat to verify for himself, he moved in the other direction.

It stays with him. He doesn’t think it will ever go away. He keeps it close to him, tucked deep into his pocket like a stone he can’t help but worry.)

He’s still shouting when he drops to his knees in front of Todoroki. There’s a split second of hesitation where he doesn’t know what to do with his goddamn hands—what to do not to hurt more, it’s the only fucking thing he’s ever been good at—before he maneuvers Todoroki’s deadweight body back into an upright position, hands clenched tight in the fabric of his jumpsuit. His knuckles creak with the force of it.

He presses his fingers as light as he can to Todoroki’s throat—the sense memory of blood coating his fingertips, slick and warm, happening in reverse, to where he can already feel it before it happens.

But when he glances down to confirm, his fingers come away almost completely dry. There’s a little smear of blood on his middle finger. He has no fucking idea what’s going on.

His head spins with it, he thinks that he makes some sort of confused, desperate noise but he can’t hear it.

There’s no horrible, gaping nightmare gash, no blood on Todoroki’s collar, no sticky winedark wetness soaking the front of his jumpsuit—just a tiny little cut, more like a scape, all the way across the column of his throat, flushed a barely there angry red.

Todoroki’s eyes are open, clear blue and grey blinking at him, and his mouth is moving but Katsuki can’t fucking hear what he’s saying. Someone is taking these frantic, too fast breaths and it drowns everything else out.

Oh. Oh, it’s him. He’s breathing that way. He’s the one fucking hyperventilating.

It looks like it takes effort, too much effort for what it is, for Todoroki to bring both hands up and tangle them deep into Katsuki’s hair. He pulls, too tight, and shakes Katsuki just harshly enough for there to be a skip in his panic-stricken breathing.

“—sten to me, Bakugou, listen to me,”

Katsuki’s fingers flex in the material of Todoroki’s jumpsuit, the tips of his fingers gone numb.

He blinks dumbly and each time he opens his eyes Todoroki stays where he is, alive and breathing, mouth moving, making a facial expression that’s lightly tinged with desperation. Probably because Katsuki hasn’t taken a single breath out since they rounded the corner to see Todoroki on his goddamn knees.

“Katsuki! Listen to me, it—it wasn’t real, it was an illusion, that’s her quirk—high powered illusions, I’m fine—”

One of Todoroki’s palms scrapes around to the back of his head, cupping it as gently as possible, and he tips their foreheads together, a press that’s sticky with blood from his head wound and overwarm from their exertion. It might be the best thing Katsuki’s ever felt.

“Look at me, look—I’m fine, I’m alright, it wasn’t real.”

Todoroki pries one of Katsuki’s hands off the front of his jumpsuit and cups it to his own throat, pressing down with his chilled palm on top of it. He takes a deep breath and his chest rises with the movement. Katsuki has no other choice but to mimic it.

“I’m okay, I’m fine, it’s alright.” He keeps his litany of two word reassurances up, his voice its normal deep and slightly raspy—crackling wood underneath flames—until Katsuki can both breathe and hear again.

“Oh thank fuck. I thought she killed you, I thought she fucking killed you right there in fucking front of us—” his words come out too fast, a little slurred in their intensity.

Todoroki lifts his hand from on top of Katsuki’s—still pressed tightly against his throat, a physical reassurance that he can’t fucking bear to not have right now—and clumsily brushes at Katsuki’s cheeks. It comes away wet, because he’s been fucking crying.

Without glancing away from him, Todoroki calls to Deku.

“Izuku!” Clearly they’ve abandoned hero names, Katsuki thinks, vaguely hysterical. “It wasn’t real, I’m fine. She has an illusory quirk that needs at least a small basis in reality to function. All she had was a pocket knife. I’m okay.”

He can hear Deku try to restrain a sob from a few feet off and when he pulls a few inches back from Todoroki, he can see him hurrying over with the woman with said illusion quirk hoisted over his shoulder.

As gently as he can, because he’s still Deku even in the face of a goddamn attempted best friend real time live murder, he drops her unconscious, cuffed body next to the scorpion guy and lunges at Todoroki and Katsuki.

The impact is like getting hit with a small freight train and it makes them both grunt and rock to one side, but then Deku is wrapping both arms around Todoroki’s neck and sobbing wetly into the crook of his shoulder.

He lets Katsuki go and rubs both hands against Deku’s back, continuing to reassure that he in fact really is still alive and hasn’t had his head partially removed from his body.

They’re sitting in a little triangle, all three of them on their knees on the top of this godforsaken building. Todoroki keeps one hand on Deku’s back and reaches out, movements still oddly slow and graceless, to grip one of Katsuki’s hands.

Katsuki squeezes, hold a little tighter than it needs to be because his heart rate is still decelerating. Also because he’s never going to fucking let Todoroki out of his sight ever again.

Deku finally leans back, mopping his face with one of his gloves, “A lot of really horrible things have happened to me, but I can safely say that this experience has quickly jumped up the list to, like, at least number three.”

Todoroki winces, or as close to a wince as he can get.

“I tried to tell you both that it wasn’t real, but she got to the illusion bit a little faster than I anticipated.” His voice is steady, monotone even though his eyes are warm.

“I’m so glad you’re okay, oh my god.” Deku’s eyes are still shining with tears and his voice is all croaky.

What felt like hours was probably only like, four fucking minutes in total, but Katsuki can safely agree that this is one of the most trying and horrible things to ever happen to him. At least in the top five. And he’s been both fucking kidnapped and sucked inside a gelatinous slime monster.

He still feels a little fuckin’ shaky and oxygen deprived, judging by how he presses even closer to the both of them. The emotional pinwheeling has taken a lot out of him, even he can fucking admit it.

It’s quiet between them for a few minutes. Deku’s stopped actively crying and Katsuki can breathe evenly again when Todoroki speaks up.

“I know we’ve all just experienced something incredibly traumatic, and I don’t want to take away from the severity of that, but I am almost certainly paralyzed from the waist down.”

“For fuck’s sake!”

“I’m fairly sure that it’s moving up my arms now as well.”

*

They have to call for backup to get the other two villains off the roof.

Mostly because Deku won’t let go of Todoroki, refusing to do anything but piggyback him back to their agency’s med ward now that he’s lost feeling in both of his arms, like a fucking human version of a sleddog. And also because Katsuki cannot and fucking will not try to manouver a dude with an honest to fucking god scorpion tail anywhere.

And if he wants to stick close to Todoroki after everything that’s happened, the only person that needs to know that is his goddamn self.

When they finally make it back to their office, Todoroki is quickly shuttled away to the med ward with vague promises of when he’ll be free to leave. He has to get a tetanus shot because of the shitty little pocket knife the illusion lady used to try and off him.

It’ll also probably take them a little bit to work up an antidote for the scorpion guy’s paralyzing agent so Todoroki can use his goddamn limbs again.

He and Deku shower off and change into their civilian clothes, mostly quiet the entire time.

Deku’s stupid ass broccoli head pops through the neck of the t-shirt he’s putting on and Katsuki can already tell by the look on his damn face that he isn’t going to like where the conversation is about to go.

“You’re going to tell him right, Kacchan? I think after what just happened, you really need to let him know how you feel.”

“It’s none of your damn business what I’m gonna tell him, you fuckin’ dweeb.”

The way Katsuki’s cheeks heat up is enough of an answer for Deku, who smiles like he’s won the fucking lottery.

He leans over and nudges Katsuki, who audibly growls in response. Deku’s expression doesn’t even fucking change.

“Tell Todoroki-kun that I’ll stop by and feed his cats later, so he won’t worry!”

“I’d literally rather fuckin’ die than tell him that.”

“Anyway, good luck! I’m sure you won’t need it.” With that, he grabs his shitty backpack and high tails it out of the locker room.

Katsuki drags his feet against the scuffed up floor and takes his time getting all of his shit ready before he heads upstairs to lurk outside of the med ward like a fucking weirdo.

He’s leaned up against the wall across from the doorway, scrolling idly through the backlog of his group chat with his other idiot friends when the door finally opens and Todoroki slips out.

For being mostly paralyzed only like, half a fucking hour ago, he looks good. Hair tied in a messy knot at the back of his head and eyes tired, he’s a goddamn dream in track pants and a hoodie that Katsuki is pretty sure is his.

The cut at his hairline is patched over with gauze and there’s what is going to be an absolute bitch of a bruise high on one of his cheekbones. He still looks stupidly beautiful and it pisses Katsuki off in a way unlike anything else.

There’s a little All Might patterned bandaid at Todoroki’s throat where the cut from the pocket knife was likely the deepest. He can’t fucking believe that Deku conned their stupid agency into buying those, it’s gotta be the shitty huge doe eyes. Those are cancelled from now on.

“Nice bandaid, dumbass.” It comes out a less like an insult than Katsuki would like.

“Thank you.” Todoroki takes it like the fucking compliment it resolutely isn’t, his face perfectly benign.

He tosses the bag hitched over one of his shoulders at Katsuki, who takes it with little bitching, mostly because being hypothetically almost fucking offed on a routine villain round up warrants not carrying your own bag.

“Let’s go, I’d rather not be here any longer.”

They make their way down the stairs and out into the rapidly cooling night air, the sun not yet below the horizon.

Their walk together is silent until they get to the turn where Todoroki normally peels off to get to the station, headed back towards his apartment outside the city proper. He keeps going, keeping pace with Katsuki.

Neither of them say anything, and when Katsuki cuts a baffled glance at Todoroki out of the corner of his eye, he looks exactly how he always fucking does. Unruffled and unconcerned and staring off into space like a dipshit.

“Wait fuck, don’t you want to like—don’t you want to go back to your apartment?” His sudden outburst into the quiet has Todoroki turning to him. His mismatched eyes feel like a spotlight.

“I personally would prefer to come to yours, but if you’re busy or would like to be alone, I can go back to my own.”

“Fuck, no, I—” he trails off, muttering under his breath, shoulders rising towards his ears. They’ve stopped moving now, like fucking idiots.

Todoroki’s eyebrows go up, not by much, but enough that it’s noticeable, “What was that?”

They’re both silent for a solid five seconds, making stupidly unwavering eye contact. They’re standing way too close on this goddamn sidewalk. Katsuki is one second away from petitioning Todoroki to light him on fucking fire with his quirk.

“I want you to come with me.” It’s still on the wrong side of audible. He groans out fucking loud and tries again.

“Come—come the fuck home with me.”

Todoroki’s smile is small, but it’s there, and it warms up his whole face and crinkles the corners of his eyes. Katsuki wants to put his fucking mouth on it.

“Alright.”

That’s all he says, like that’s all there is to it. Probably because it is.

*

Todoroki is busy keeping up an absolutely riveting tale of the fuck all nothing he did on his patrol earlier this morning when Katsuki finally unlocks his fucking apartment door.

He dumps their bags in the genkan and flicks his boots as hard as he can at the wall. It’s time to sleep for a thousand fucking years. He can feel how exhausted he is, both physically and emotionally, in his actual bones.

As he sweeps into his living room, Todoroki is painstakingly untying his sneakers like an absolute fucking nerd, still explaining in excrutiating detail how he got caught at a crosswalk before lunch for over five minutes today by a little old lady who had a lot of questions.

Katsuki turns around and just stands there like a fucking idiot, watching him. Something he doesn’t really have a name for swells up in him, rising in his chest and leaving him feeling like he’s been stranded out at sea.

While he’s admittedly gotten just the slightest bit better at talking about and parsing through his feelings, he still fucking hates it. It leaves him bristling and achy and way too exposed all at once.

But there’s no mistaking the way that his eyes are welling up, just a little. He rubs at them furiously, scoffing at himself and how goddamn stupid he’s being. Todoroki’s fucking fine, he’s standing right there, being a dumbass as per usual.

He’s here in Katsuki’s damn apartment, whole and mostly unharmed, because he wants to be.

Before he can think better of it, he’s moving the few feet back to Todoroki and slotting himself neatly into his space. He locks both of his arms around Todoroki’s narrow waist and shoves his face into the hollow of his throat, his nose touching the stupid fucking All Might bandaid.

Todoroki makes a surprised little “oh” sound, stiff for only a second before he melts into Katsuki’s tense version of a hug. His stupid long ass arms wind around Katsuki’s shoulders and pull him in closer. When he exhales, it tickles the hair on the side of Katsuki’s head.

“Glad you’re not fucking dead.” It’s muffled between their bodies, petulant and sulky sounding because Katsuki’s never met an emotion he didn’t beat into the ground.

“I’m sorry that it scared you that badly.”

And that’s it. That’s the crux of it, of the whole damn thing. That Todoroki can hear what Katsuki isn’t saying out loud. That he can interpret the way Katsuki is feeling without needing a dictionary or a translator. That he can respond to what’s unsaid without drawing more attention than what’s necessary to it, to give Katsuki that little bit of space for his wild amount of pride. That he cares enough to do so.

Nothing about his apology makes Katsuki bitter or defensive, he means it through and through.

It makes him warm and prickly down to his fucking toes. He tries to surreptitiously wipe the sweat off his palms on the back of Todoroki’s pullover.

“Not your fault.”

Todoroki hums a little bit and rests his chin against Katsuki’s temple. They stand there like fucking idiots for a few more minutes before the siren call of his bed wins out.

Teeth brushed and solar plexus elbowed, they flop into bed in a way only the truly bone tired can. Katsuki, flat on his back with arms spread wide, breathes deep and waits for Todoroki to worm his way as close as possible.

Predictably, he does, tucking himself right up against Katsuki on his side, head resting on one of Katsuki’s flung out arms, breath tickling his chin. He knows without a damn doubt that his arm will fall asleep shortly after Todoroki does, and he’ll have to leave it there like some lovesick bastard even though Todoroki sleeps like the dead.

Todoroki smells a little like antiseptic and Katsuki’s shampoo and it makes him feel like there are hands spread wide inside his ribcage, half cold half hot.

He’s not going to be able to sleep without saying...saying at least something. But he resolutely does not want to. It’s not like he’s scared. He’s—he’s not fucking scared.

Katsuki stares up at the ceiling for a solid thirty seconds, willing his mouth to move and say goddamn anything. Todoroki’s breaths are starting to even out, he can feel them, humid and warm, on the side of his neck.

“I need to talk to you about—about somethin’.”

For a second, he thinks Todoroki is already asleep but then he nods a little and makes a contemplative humming noise into the spot behind Katsuki’s ear.

He grits his teeth and avoids a full body shiver. Because fuck that.

“Fuckin’ Deku brought it up a few days ago, and it’s not like I want to talk about Deku in my own goddamn bed, but it is what it is.” He starts. Todoroki’s left hand comes up to tuck around his shoulder, dips into Katsuki’s hair at the base of his neck.

“It’s dumb and it’s stupid and I hate you, and I feel like a fucking little kid, but I—”

His mouth clicks shut and he can feel his heartbeat in all of his limbs. This fucking sucks. How do people talk about this shit all the time? It’s excruciating. And stupid.

“You what?” Todoroki hums, still sounding like he’s about to fall asleep. Like Katsuki isn’t having a fucking breakdown over confessing his idiot feelings right next to him.

“Shut the fuck up. Goddamn, let me finish.”

Talking about shit like this makes him as close to nervous as he gets. And he’s always a bitch when he’s nervous.

“It’s just that—you’re always here. You’re always around and fuckin’ on me all the time. And I—I like it. Don’t get me fuckin’ wrong, I like it. I do. It’s just, it’s just a lot. For...for me.” He sounds so fucking stupid that he has to close his eyes to keep going.

Todoroki is silent next to him, dragging the tips of his fingers through Katsuki’s hair.

“And you talk about the stupidest shit all the time. Did you know that? The shit you say is legitimately dumb. And I’m so fucking stupid for listening!’

He doesn’t let Todoroki answer that, just keeps pushing forward or else he’ll lose momentum and stop.

“But I’m not going to stop listening. Or fucking feeding you, like that stupid stray cat you like so well in the alleyway by your apartment. That’s you, you dumbass. I’ve gotta take care of you, ‘cause lord knows that you ain’t smart enough to do it yourself. And after that bullshit that happened today, I—you need to know.”

He’s trailing off again, losing the narrative a little bit. Todoroki stays silent, unassuming and patient and waiting for him. It makes him fucking crazy.

“That fuckin’ maybe I might, ugh—god damn it! This is so fucking stupid. Love you. Possibly.”

Katsuki blurts it out into the silence of his bedroom, unrefined and crude like he always is, and resolutely does not say anything else. He clenches the fist at his side, the one not resting on Todoroki’s broad shoulder, and curses himself for being a human with stupid, pitiful emotions.

Todoroki doesn’t say anything for a few seconds, still tucked up against him along the length of their bodies.

He makes a satisfied little sound right before he rolls his entire body weight on top of Katsuki faster than he really knows what to do with.

Sitting on Katsuki’s hips like he is, he looks dumb as fuckin’ always. Dumb and gorgeous and stupid as a motherfucker. His hair is slipping out of the hair tie that’s holding it back, framing his cheekbones and tickling Katsuki’s face from where he’s leaning over him.

“Took you long enough.”

Todoroki’s voice is deep and warm and mirth-filled, because he’s an absolute stupid bastard.

Katsuki splutters, tries to get something rude out but can’t before Todoroki is cupping his face with both of his hands and leaning down to kiss him.

His palms are just this side of naturally cold and hot on Katsuki’s face. He kisses like he’s trying to figure Katsuki out, like he has a problem and Katsuki’s mouth is the answer. Focused and with so much intent behind it that it leaves him breathless.

He feels Todoroki’s chilly tongue swipe across the seam of his lips and Katsuki fucking folds, just opens for him like there’s nothing else he’d rather do. Todoroki takes to mapping out the inside of his mouth with a single mindedness that Katsuki’s seen in almost everything else he does.

They lose minutes like this, Katsuki’s hands tight on his waist and Todoroki’s weird cold tongue warmed up from exploring his goddamn mouth.

When Todoroki pulls back, Katsuki can just barely see how pink his cheeks are in the fading light. He looks self-satisfied, the cat that got the canary, sitting pretty on Katsuki’s hipbones after kissing him fucking stupid.

As soon as he gets his voice back, Katsuki’s scowling up at him, “What the fuck do you mean “took you long enough" you absolute jackass?”

A smirk pulls the edges of Todoroki’s mouth up, his lips kissed pink and shiny. It’s all Katsuki can do not to pull him down again. Put his lips to that stupid, shitty mouth and wipe that smirk away.

“I’ve had feelings for you for ages. I kept them to myself, mostly because I didn’t want to startle you.”

“You weren’t gonna fuckin’ startle me.” Katsuki can’t fucking believe this dickhead. “I don’t get startled. I’m a grown ass man, not a fuckin’ maiden.”

Todoroki shrugs, simple and sweet, and kisses him lightly on the side of his mouth.

“Your track record with anything involving emotions says differently. But either way, I’m glad we’ve got that figured out.”

Katsuki bucks his hips and dumps Todoroki off of him, ignoring the surprised huff he gets in response.

They fix the blankets and pillows and when they’re facing each other in bed, curled toward each other like magnets, Katsuki lets Todoroki take his fucking hand and press it to his mouth.

He presses sweet, cool little kisses to Katsuki’s gnarled and torn up knuckles and rough fingertips. More trailing down his wrists, curled around with scars from early and excessive quirk usage.

Against his pulse, Todoroki places another kiss, with just a hint of teeth that has Katsuki’s blood singing. With his mouth still against Katsuki’s wrist, he mutters something that Katsuki can’t hear.

“Speak up, dickhead.”

He can feel Todoroki’s smile against the skin of his wrist. It makes him simultaneously want to punch him and kiss him until neither of them can breathe.

“I said “love you too, maybe, possibly.'”

Katsuki screams, offended and embarrassed and pissed off, and lunges at Todoroki, tackling him off the bed.

It takes them a while to get to sleep after that.

*

Katsuki wakes up soft and slow, Todoroki wrapped around him like a fuckin’ blanket.

He groans a little bit, mostly because he has a few hours of patrol he has to get to today before he’s off later in the afternoon. Their agency had told Todoroki, in far more respectful terms than Katsuki had last night, that he’d better stay the fuck home today after what happened yesterday.

Unraveling himself from Todoroki is a process. Normally he just rips himself away from Todoroki like a bandaid, but this morning he looks sweet and warm and the hickey at the base of his throat, right below the All Might bandaid, makes heat settle low in Katsuki’s stomach.

He makes breakfast for himself after his shower, leaving a plate out for whenever the fuck Todoroki wakes his stupid ass up.

Slipping back into his bedroom, he watches Todoroki breathe for a while. He’s spread eagle in the middle of Katsuki’s bed, one of his feet poking out of the covers and hanging off the side of the mattress.

It’s easy, watching him and knowing that there’s more between them now than before. Emotions are still fucking stupid, though.

Katsuki smooths his fingers through the fucked up bedhead that Todoroki’s got goin’, pressing a little kiss against the part of his forehead uncovered by the gauze. He isn’t awake. Nobody will know.

Todoroki makes a little noise that should be absolutely fucking illegal and flops his hand onto Katsuki’s face. What a goddamn idiot.

He bites gently on one of Todoroki’s fingers and watches, pleased, when his eyes flutter open.

“Good morning, dumbass.”

“Mornin’.”

Todoroki’s voice is sleep deep and warm all the way through, it makes Katsuki’s toes curl a little. Absolute bullshit.

He’s going to be late if he keeps standing here like a jackass.

“Food’s on the counter for you whenever you get your dumb ass out of bed. I’ll be back later if you’re gonna stay here.”

Todoroki makes a noise of assent and sleepily runs his palm down Katsuki’s jaw.

“Don’t forget, we’ve got that thing later tonight. For Izuku.” Todoroki’s eyes are closed and he looks like he’s falling asleep again. How the fuck is he still talking?

Katsuki squints, “What fuckin’ thing?”

“The ceremony. Awards ceremony or whatever. We’re going for moral support, remember?”

God, fuck. He forgot about that. That sounds like the absolute last thing he wants to do after working a morning shift.

But, he helped Deku write his goddamn acceptance speech and he reluctantly enjoys seeing the fruits of his labor. So he’ll show the fuck up.

Plus, seeing Todoroki in a suit is an incentive all by its damn self.

“Ugh, yeah, whatever. See you later, shithead.”

Todoroki’s asleep before he’s even finished saying goodbye.

Idiots, the both of them.

*

He makes it through his shift without incident. Thank fuck for that.

At around noon, he gets a text from Todoroki that has him conspicuously checking his phone, hand cupped around it to see in the mid morning sun.

Shouto: I found the suit we got you from last time in the back of your closet
Shouto: It’s on your bed when you come home

Sent after that is a stupid little sticker of that one cartoon cat in a top hat and bowtie. Katsuki is going to kill him.

Katsuki: Stay out of my closet, fucker

He sends the sticker of the cartoon bear on fire back to him and goes on about his day.

When he gets home, he opens the door to the unexpected but pleasing sight of Todoroki stretched out across the length of his couch, already in his suit.

One of his long legs is flung over the back of the couch and his phone is in his hand on top of his chest. He’s passed the fuck out.

Katsuki bends over the arm of the couch and flicks Todoroki hard on the nose. It makes him jolt awake, phone clattering to the floor.

“How the fuck are you taking a nap right now? You literally woke up like three hours ago.”

“I was tired.” Yeah, no shit.

He leaves Todoroki to his own devices in his living room, showering quick and putting on his stupid suit. At least it fits him right.

Nudging open his bedroom door, he’s greeted with Todoroki flopped upside down in the armchair next to the TV. His head almost brushes the floor and his long legs lazily kick over the back. Katsuki hates how it makes his insides feel light.

“Izuku said he’ll be here in about five minutes to pick us up.”

Katsuki grunts in response and jabs Todoroki in the waist as he walks past, making his feet flop over his head.

“Wanna take bets on whether or not he’s already crying? I say no when we get in the car, but yes by the time we make it to the fuckin’ ceremony.”

Todoroki scoffs and rights himself, smoothing out his suit. His hair is all fucked up, messy from where he was hanging upside down.

Katsuki can’t help the way that his hands gravitate to fix it, tucking the pieces back into place. It’s pulled back into a little braid at the back of Todoroki’s head, out of his eyes and away from his face. Katsuki’s not a dumbass, even he can admit that it looks nice.

“At least you clean up nice, Icyhot.”

It dusts pink across Todoroki’s cheeks and he smiles that same smile that Katsuki knows from experience is gonna piss him off.

“You’d think I look nice in anything. Because you love me. Maybe. Possibly.”

Katsuki growls and shoves him away, his own cheeks heating up in response.

He wants to kiss that fuckin’ smug little smile off of Todoroki’s stupid perfect face. He blinks a little bit, and then does exactly that. Because he can fucking do that now.

If Katsuki backs him up until he hits the couch, and climbs into his lap afterwards to kiss him senseless, that’s his own damn prerogative. Because he’s allowed to do that too.

They’re still kissing, hot and slow, when the door to Katsuki’s apartment bursts open and bounces off the wall.

“Kacchan! I need you to go over the speech with me again! I don’t think the ending’s right, it sounds too, oh, I don’t know—oh, hello Todoroki-kun.”

Todoroki pulls away and peers around Katsuki’s body in his lap to wave a little at Deku. Katsuki thunks his head onto Todoroki’s shoulder, a little out of breath from all the kissing.

“Izuku, I think the speech is fine. You’ve been practicing it with me on the phone every night for the last week and it sounds good, in my opinion.” At least Todoroki has the moral support part of this evening down. “Also, your suit looks very nice.”

Katsuki detangles himself from Todoroki’s octopus arms around his waist and moves to put on his shoes, ruffling his hair back up as he goes.

“Deku, shut the fuck up. It’s fine. The speech is good and you damn well know it. You deserve this. We’re done talking about it now.”

Todoroki rises from the couch, slow and graceful, and Katsuki can’t help but track the movement with his eyes. It’s going to be yet another long evening.

“Let’s go and get this over with, you fucking jokers.”

Predictably, Deku works himself up in the car on the way there. Katsuki has to drive while Todoroki rubs Deku’s back with a cooled down hand until they get to the ceremony venue. He cries again at the end of his speech, which pro hero journalists everywhere spend actual fucking days fawning over for its sincerity and thoughtfulness.

After Deku gives his speech and disappears into the crowd to shake hands, Todoroki slips his own warm hand into Katsuki’s under the table, fingers nimble and delicate and strong. He smiles a little over the top of his champagne glass, eyes so, so clear and bright, and Katsuki feels like he’s going to fucking pass out in the face of all of it.

And later, if they spend fifteen minutes making out in one of the darkened hallways far away from the venue hall only to rush home and systematically take each other apart in Katsuki’s bed.

Well, that’s nobody’s problem but his.