It's shortly after the second time they make out (if you don't count the very first kiss where Bakugou had essentially attacked Todoroki with his mouth and then ran) that Bakugou suddenly becomes more tactile with him in public.
Todoroki is not quite sure what to do when it happens, so he simply freezes and avoids eye contact with any of their shocked classmates around the room. That's pretty standard behavior for Todoroki anyway, so hopefully they aren't able to tell his heart is about to explode out of his chest when Bakugou takes him by surprise.
Earlier in the day, the spiky haired top student had turned down the rest of the class' offer to study for a big exam, sneering at them and grumbling that they 'would know this shit already if you paid your classes any fucking attention.'
The few of them who are studying together on that lazy Sunday afternoon are gathered in the dorm commons. Todoroki, feeling the tension in his shoulders from being hunched over the coffee table for hours, removes himself from the floor and stretches out on the empty sofa instead. Just as he gets a bit too comfortable, his eyes fluttering dangerously close to all-the-way shut, he feels his ankles being manhandled into the air and set down again, gently, in Bakugou's lap.
"Oi, peppermint stick. Wake up." Todoroki barely moves his arms in time to catch the textbook that Bakugou is trying to toss onto his stomach. He does catch it though, and stares blankly at his secret definitely-not-boyfriend-or-anything-like-that. Bakugou arches a judgmental eyebrow at him and discreetly rubs a thumb across Todoroki's ankle where one strong, soft hand has kept a tight hold since the explosive boy took a seat on the couch.
"Can I… Help you?" Todoroki frowns, heart beating wildly at the casual touch of skin.
"Yeah, right ." Bakugou smirks, gripping his ankle tighter briefly. " I'm here to help you . You can't even stay awake to study with everyone else, and you're absolute shit at this stuff. So c'mon… open the book, asshole. Can't let bad grades be your excuse for not being as good as me. I'm gonna beat you out as top hero one day, you Indonesian-Flag wannabe. I wanna beat the best when I become number one, even if I gotta help you gotta live up to that."
The seventeen-year-old blinks twice, and when Bakugou's hand starts to inch it's way from Todoroki's ankle into the hem of his sweatpants, he does as he's told, all while resolutely ignoring the five pairs of eyes that are burning a hole in the side of his head. He forces all his focus away from the soft thumb rubbing absently along his calf just out of the others' line of sight, and on to the harsh scolding words that try to teach him about the history of their country.
It happens again right after they all take the exam.
Todoroki passes with respectably high marks (definitely thanks to Bakugou), and he's in good spirits as Jirou and Yaoyorozu set up a little celebration for everyone. They don't get too carried away, since they're also planning a surprise birthday bash for Midoriya over the weekend.
Bakugou surprises everyone, especially Todoroki, by helping with food preparation and keeping the snide comments to a minimum.
Todoroki is chatting with Midoriya about plans for the upcoming break, when he feels a firm, yet soft hand circle his right wrist.
"Shut up with your rambling for a second, Deku." Bakugou snaps and pulls Todoroki away by said wrist. "I need to borrow the ice machine for making dessert."
This action could have been dismissed as manhandling, if not for the way that Bakugou didn't leave his side after barking directions on what he needed frozen. Instead, the hotheaded boy stays pressed up against his side, much closer than necessary, one hand resting on the small of Todoroki's back. It's hard not to heat up instead of freeze when the warm hand moves up his back to his ribs in a familiar motion from the last time he'd kissed his hopefully-maybe-boyfriend.
When the two-toned boy looks up, back at where they'd left Midoriya, he feels himself blush at the way the green haired student is grinning curiously at them.
It gets a bit less awkward as the days go on, but Todoroki still doesn't quite understand exactly what it means, or how he's supposed to react to the familiar touches, or if he's supposed to respond at all.
He's far too scared of ruining things to ask.
They're not really in front of anyone from school the next time, so it puts them both more at ease. Todoroki isn't sure Bakugou would have the same silly grin on his face if they were in the middle of commons or elsewhere on school grounds.
Then again, they wouldn't have had the opportunity to duck into an alley and kiss shamelessly until their lips are bruised if they were still on campus. Todoroki is positive he's wearing an almost identical silly grin.
The market isn't that crowded, and the food supplies they'd been sent out to get by their classmates for Midoriya's birthday are easy to obtain quickly.
The part of the trip that Todoroki finds hard is not pulling his possibly-kind-of-boyfriend in for constant kisses. Despite their clandestine detour on the way to the market, or maybe because of it, Todoroki craves the feeling of the blonde's lips against his own. It would be so easy to playfully yank the slightly shorter man into his arms using the smooth hand that Bakugou has had tangled in his own ever since they arrived. Everytime Bakugou glances up at him with that rare, joyful boyish grin, Todoroki has to physically restrain himself from either catching fire or claiming the other boy's mouth in front of all the market goers.
He's not sure which would set off Bakugou's temper more, if either , so he settles for simply squeezing the warm hand in his own.
The next time is definitely less subtle, and Todoroki squints in confusion when it happens.
All of class 3-A has practical outdoor quirk training on what feels like the hottest day of the year.
It's the first week of September, and Todoroki is watching the second half of the class spar, absently worrying about Bakugou, when he realizes that he's been in this exclusive not-really-except-sort-of-definitely-relationship with Bakugou for three months. They haven't talked much about it, but it's clear that they're both very happy with their time spent together in the privacy of their dorms or on the rare occasion that they can go out on a weekend.
Todoroki shakes his head in amazement at his own thoughts, a private smile falling across his features. He and the students who've already had their turn are hydrating on the shaded steps to the gymnasium, watching their classmates suffer like they just had through the humidity and blinding sun.
While he listens to Tsuyu and Kirishima talk about something funny that happened during their fight, Bakugou and Midoriya walk up to join them. The two had unsurprisingly been sent to Recovery Girl for a quick sprain fix and burn fix, respectively.
Midoriya sits down, exhausted, a couple feet to the right of Todoroki on the top of the steps, but Bakugou chooses to sit directly between Todoroki's legs, a step below him. He doesn't exactly lean into Todoroki, but since the taller boy has his arms propped up on his knees, he practically falls into Todoroki's embrace anyway.
To Tsuyu's benefit, she manages to seamlessly continue the story on her own when Kirishima practically chokes on his own tongue at his best friend's actions.
Bakugou however, doesn't seem too impressed. When Tsuyu finishes the story, he yells at Kirishima to " stop fucking staring or you'll get your hair blasted off like a big red firework." Kirishima instantly activates his quick, as if that'll save him, and cries out, "Not the hair, bro!"
Everyone laughs and seems to forget the casual intimate display between their two classmates, moving on to question Midoriya about the new move they all saw him try out while sparring with Bakugou. Todoroki can hardly focus as the blonde boy between his legs twists to face the group better, leaning further into the vee of his legs with the small movement.
"Your foot okay now?" Todoroki whispers lowly, his mouth close enough to Bakugou's temple that he knows the boy will hear.
Bakugou simply nods, not bothering to look up at Todoroki. But he does shift closer and rests a little of the weight of his shoulder against Todoroki's chest in acknowledgement. A gentle set of knuckles brush the inside of Todoroki's knee, a repeated comforting motion as the rest of this classmates go on with their conversation.
And as with most of the little things that Bakugou Katsuki does, it's enough to make Todoroki's heart beat harder.
The next time is such a tender moment already, that no one else is really paying much attention to the two kinda-sorta-maybe-dating third year UA students, but for Todoroki, it's the moment that changes everything.
They're at the wedding of young, new pro heroes Lemillion and Suneater.
The wedding is the biggest event in all the pro hero world, despite how young the two men are and how hidden from the media their romantic relationship had been prior to the wedding announcement.
Tamaki had become surprising close friends with Todoroki after graduating. He took a job with Fat Gum's agency and Todoroki had interned there at the same time. The long term couple invited all the third year UA students to the wedding, but Todoroki is part of the wedding party, so he's been at the event all day by the time he finally gets to talk to Bakugou.
They're not there together, obviously. No such thing had to be discussed, since they would both be going either way, Bakugou with the rest of the 3-A group and Todoroki with Tamaki.
But nevertheless, the blonde finds Todoroki during the reception as soon as the wedding party is relieved of their duties. He finds him outside, leaning against the railing of the enormous yacht. The couple had been granted the use of the luxurious boat by some obscenely rich man that Tamaki once saved.
"They look happy." Bakugou says, stepping up beside Todoroki and leaning his elbows against the railing.
Todoroki looks down at the man hunched over beside him and smiles. Bakugou's blonde hair is a bit neater than usual, still sticking up in a gravity defying feat of stubbornness that suits him well. His skin is tan from the summer season and contrasts nicely against the deep moss green suit he'd purchased just months ago for agency interviews.
"That's what love looks like, apparently." Todoroki answers, not taking his eyes off of Bakugou, and thinking to himself that he might be talking more about what's in front of him than the newlywed couple inside, having their first dance.
"Yeah?" Bakugou tilts his head and stares up at Todoroki before straightening and holding his hand out. The groomsman narrows his eyes at it and reaches out tentatively, not understanding. Bakugou huffs. He rolls his eyes and pulls Todoroki toward him. "Dance with me, just for a minute."
Todoroki lets himself be pulled in, wide eyed and stiff as one of his hands is placed on Bakugou's waist.
"I don't know how to dance." Todoroki whispers into Bakugou's temple, but starts moving along to the barely audible music anyway.
Bakugou doesn't say anything, just presses his nose to the hinge of Todoroki's jaw and guides them to the slow music.
It's over before Todoroki can relax into it. They hear the telltale clinking of glasses and make their way back to the hall, hand in hand. No one sees them standing in the back, squeezing each others fingers, the rest of the guests too busy crying over emotional toasts.
Todoroki can't stop looking at Bakugou and hoping with every fiber of his being that they'll last long enough to be here one day.
The first time Todoroki finally shows the same sort of shameless tactile affection to Bakugou in public, he just about gives himself a heart attack.
They don't get much sleep the night before, both of them up late cramming for their practical mathematics midterm. Todoroki had wanted to call it quits when they reached a concept he just wasn't getting, confident he'd getting a passing grade even without it, but Bakugou had sneered and insisted that he wasn't interested in a relationship with someone who gives up so easily.
Todoroki's heart had leapt into his throat at the word relationship and he swallowed it down, pulling Bakugou in for a firm kiss before trying the practice problem again.
They'd celebrated almost an hour later, after Todoroki finally solved enough problems to prove he understood the concept. The celebration was comprised of kissing and other very rewarding things until they were too tired to lift their heads anymore.
Todoroki had woken up just before dawn when Bakugou slipped out from under him. The older boy packed up his books and left with a grin before the sun could peek through the window, surely off for his morning jog.
Todoroki wakes again when his alarm blares. He stumbles near-blindly through getting ready, almost falling back to sleep again while standing in the empty showers. He grabs a pencil from his desk and tucks it into his pocket before dragging his feet all the way to the kitchen.
He's assaulted by a mouth watering aroma as soon as steps into the kitchen. He raises bleary eyes to the form of his pretty-much-boyfriend standing at the stovetop.
"Smells so fucking good , babe." Todoroki moans out tiredly as he closes the short distance to the blonde cook. He grabs Bakugou's hips gently and presses fully up against the boy's back before leaning down to nuzzle into the crook of his long neck where he'd left a small bruise the night before.
Bakugou stills instantly. He goes rigid at Todoroki's touch, and the younger boy realizes belatedly that there were definitely other people in the kitchen when he'd done a sleepy survey of the room.
The room is quiet aside from the sizzling of eggs and rice on the stove.
Todoroki is much more awake than a few moments before and mentally facepalms at his careless, casual PDA. They haven't discussed the way Bakugou touches him in public, but apparently it's been happening often enough that Todoroki has become comfortable with the public contact.
Too comfortable, maybe?
"You're fucking frigid, icyhot. Stop it before you freeze us together and fuck up my breakfast." Bakugou growls out. Todoroki instantly overheats in compensation, panicking that he's actually upset the other boy, which just makes Bakugou growl louder and finally shrug him off. "You tryna burn me, you bastard? Here, make yourself useful."
Bakugou turns from where he's making fried rice and rifles through the fridge.
Todoroki looks at the rest of the room out of the corner of his eye for the first time since he walked in.
Iida, Ochako, and Tsuyu are all gaping at him like pufferfish. Hagakure's outfit is frozen in place where she stands behind them. Kirishima and Kaminari are next to her, gripping each other's forearms as they stare in wide-eyed delight.
"Here." Bakugou's grunt pulls his attention back to the older boy. He lets Bakugou pull his left hand up by the wrist and place four small breakfast sausage in his palm. "Heat those up and I'll consider sharing my breakfast with you. Watching you eat just noodles every morning is starting to piss me off."
Todoroki stares at the four small pieces of cold meat in his hand and then back up at Bakugou. He blinks twice and gets a pair of bright red eyes rolled at him in return.
"You're always fucking useless in the mornings. Maybe I should start making you get up and run with me everyday. I'm way too nice to you, letting you sleep-in all the time." Bakugou grumbles before leaning up and capturing Todoroki's mouth in a tender, affectionate kiss. It's just as soft as the fond ones he gives Todoroki in the quiet of his dorm room just before they part ways before bed, or the smiling ones that Todoroki wakes to just before dawn after they've fallen asleep tangled up in each other's arms.
It's over before Todoroki can properly kiss back, and the tense silence of the room is broken by the loud crash of a mug shattering on the floor.
Everyone in the room turns to the entryway where Midoriya is standing above the broken ceramic, flushing bright red in embarrassment.
"Oi! Deku! Clean those shards up before I stab you with one!" Bakugou yells at his stuttering childhood friend and suddenly the room feels like there's air in it again. Everyone relaxes noticeably at their explosive classmate's change in demeanor, now positive that Bakugou hasn't been taken over by an alien parasite.
"Sorry, Kacchan." Midoriya beams up at Todoroki instead of the boy he's addressing, glowing with obvious excitement and pride. Todoroki flushes and looks down at his open palm again. He proceeds to heat up his left side, under the guise of doing as Bakugou had requested.
"Hey, half-and-half. Not too hot." Bakugou frowns over his shoulder as he adds cooked rice to the pan in front of him. "You dry out that sausage and I'll put my ghost pepper flakes in your portion of breakfast too."
"Sorry, Katsuki." Todoroki smiles fondly at the other boy's back and then fights to school his expression as he hears coos and gasps from their audience. Bakugou's shoulders tense and he turns to yell, but their class representative saves them at the last second.
"Let me help you clean that up, Midoriya!" Iida says loudly, clearing his throat. "You really should be more careful!"
The others jump up from their seats and hurry to at least pretend to help as well, and Bakugou visibly relaxes. Todoroki takes it as a win and presses his not-heated side against his definitely-actually-boyfriend.
"Have I told you how much I like you?" Todoroki whispers, extending his arm toward the plate Bakugou has set out for breakfast. He sets the thoroughly cooked sausages on the plate and grazes his lips against the shorter boy's ear.
"Fucking gross." Bakugou sneers. "Go wash your greasy hands, and grab a second plate, you sappy fuck. Hurry, before I forget why I even like your dumb face in the first place."
Todoroki does as his boyfriend says with a dopey smile on his face. Once he's grabbed a plate, he glances up and sees Midoriya smiling so big his eyes are full of tears. He holds back a laugh and simply rolls his eyes fondly at his friends.
"Alright, come get your food, you big dumb vanilla frosted red velvet cupcake!" Bakugou yells from behind him. "And don't you dare share any with that crybaby Deku or any of these other extras, or else I'm fucking dumping your lame ass!"