“The price tag is still attached to your shirt,” Kaminari said, reaching out towards Todoroki. “Let me grab that for you.”
Todoroki, engrossed in his book, made a hum of acquiescence. He felt a slight jerk as Kaminari yanked it off.
A few seconds later he heard Kaminari’s voice: “Holy shit.”
Todoroki looked up, mildly annoyed to be interrupted again, only to notice Kaminari was still gazing at the tag. “Did you get this full price?” he asked, wide-eyed. “Or was it on sale? -Or a gift?”
Though Todoroki had only bought that particular shirt a few days ago, he couldn’t remember how much it had cost. He wasn’t sure he’d even looked. “I don’t know if it was on sale,” he said, “and it wasn’t a gift. Although the money came from my father’s bank account, so, depending on how technical you want to be, I guess it kind of was.”
Kaminari stared at him, saying nothing. After a moment, Todoroki turned his gaze back down to his book, though he felt a prickle of nerves settle over him. Kaminari was quiet - too quiet. And, sure enough, he spoke again, not a minute later: “Your dad, he just lets you spend as much of his money as you want?”
Todoroki looked up again, irritated and confused in equal measure. He knew he had more money on hand than most of his classmates, but they all just avoided discussing it, meaning the topic rarely came up. Never before had anyone drawn so much attention to his wealth, and Todoroki had no idea how to react to this kind of bluntness. “Yes, I suppose so,” he said. “He doesn’t look over my purchases. Maybe if I bought something particularly exorbitant he would, but…” He shrugged. “I haven’t reached that point yet.”
“What would that even be?” Kaminari, asked, laughing nervously. “I have a feeling ‘exorbitant’ would mean something different for you than for me.”
“You know, something really large,” Todoroki said. “A car maybe.”
Todoroki went back to his book; but some part of his brain warned him to stay wary. The look in Kaminari’s eyes and the tone of his voice told Todoroki there would be more to this conversation, whether he wanted there to be or not.
To his credit, Kaminari waited a little while before approaching Todoroki again. Maybe it took him that long to plan out what he was going to say, or to work up the courage for it. In any event, he knocked on Todoroki’s door precisely one week after their previous conversation, grinning as he stepped inside.
“Kaminari,” Todoroki said slowly.
“Denki,” Kaminari said. “Call me Denki!”
Todoroki stared. There was no way he was going to do that. “What do you want?” he said, his voice flat. “Why did you come here?”
“Look, uh….” Kaminari looked embarrassed now, which, Todoroki thought, was the appropriate reaction; it was too bad Kaminari hadn’t been embarrassed enough to not have come here in the first place. “I’ll get right down to it. I need money.”
“Uh-huh. What for.”
“For lots of things!” Kaminari said. “New clothes. Going places - concerts and stuff. Video games. I mean, what do people normally spend money on? That’s what I need money for.”
“And the thing is,” Kaminari went on, actually stepping further into Todoroki’s room, “I don’t have that much spending money. In fact, my parents hardly give me any! Sometimes they buy me clothing, but it’s always the cheapest stuff, you know? No name brands… sometimes it’s even secondhand.”
“And anything more than that, they tell me to get for myself. Look, I had a job over the summer! I’m not lazy, I’m not spending my whole life leeching off of other people. But that money only got me so far. Now it’s gone, and I’m broke.”
“And… Look, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but, uh, is there anything you need help with?”
Todoroki gazed at him blankly, saying nothing.
“Like, haha, I get that you’re better in school than I am, so I know you don’t need me to like… write your essays and stuff. But, maybe you want someone to pick up your room for you? Fetch you meals from the cafeteria, or even cook for you? Run errands? Wash your clothes?”
“Denki!” Kaminari said again, still stupidly chipper. “Call me Denki. Look, is there anything like that you want me to do for you?” He glanced around. “Your room looks pretty nice now, but I bet it’s hard keeping it so clean and staying on top of schoolwork, huh?”
“Not… not really,” Todoroki said, frowning. “I’m a pretty neat person, actually.”
“Damn it,” Kaminari said. “Uhh, can you think of anything?”
Todoroki shook his head.
“So, uh, random question, but I hear you’re gay. Is that right, or…?”
The question took Todoroki entirely off guard; he could only stare. Kaminari laughed, the sound shrill and too loud. “Hey, sorry, don’t look at me like that! I just overheard Midoriya and Uraraka talking about it. I figured I should make sure. I’m just curious, you know.”
“Are you blackmailing me?” Todoroki asked, his heart pounding.
Kaminari’s mouth fell open in what seemed like a genuine display of shock. “No!” he said quickly. “Oh God, I didn’t think about how that sounds. No. I am not. Haha, no, I would not go that far for money.”
“Okay.” Todoroki crossed his arms. “So tell me why you brought it up.” He knew a lack of denial was as good as confirming it directly, but if Kaminari already knew he was gay, what good would denying it do? Todoroki made a mental note to talk to Midoriya about what confidential actually meant, but, he supposed, the damage had already been done.
“Because, uh…” Kaminari laughed stupidly. “Look, this is going to sound bad no matter how I say it, but, hey, I’m a cute guy! I know the value of my own looks, and I’m not afraid to say it. I’d be willing to do you a favor or two, if you know what I mean.” As if to make sure his point wasn’t missed, he winked. “How does that sound?”
“Are you… are you really saying what I think you are?”
“Absolutely!” Kaminari said. “Look, I want money! I don’t know if you think I’m attractive - maybe I’m your type, maybe not - but if you’re ever like, ‘Wow, I have so much extra money but it would be really nice if somebody would get me off right now,’ I’m your guy. Want my number? If the situation ever arises…”
Todoroki was not the most socially astute person, but he was savvy enough to know when someone was messing with him. “This is a joke, isn’t it.”
“Absolutely not,” Kaminari said. “I’m dead serious.”
“I know for a fact that you aren’t gay.”
“Well, yeah. I’m not gay - I do like girls,” Kaminari said. “But the truth is, I also like guys. Honestly, I just think about sex a lot. It doesn’t make a huge difference to me who it’s with. Hot people are hot.” He laughed and ran a hand through his hair; Todoroki could sense his nervousness. Maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t a prank after all. “It would be cool to get paid for something I’m so enthusiastic about anyway, that’s what I think.”
Todoroki stared at Kaminari for a long time, trying to gauge him. The situation was so bizarre that he didn’t have the faintest idea how to respond. “You’re… you’re actually prostituting yourself,” he said at last. “This isn’t a joke. This is a real thing you’re doing?”
“Look,” Kaminari said, “it sounds really bad when you put it that way, but you don’t know what it’s like to be short on money. Maybe I can’t make you understand where I’m coming from - but it’s not like I didn’t offer other things first, you know? Like, I didn’t start with this. I’m still willing to clean your room or whatever, if you’d prefer that.”
“Why are you asking me in particular?”
“One: you’re rich. Two: you’re hot. Three: I know you’re attracted to guys, if not me in particular. If I thought I had any chance of this working on Momo, I’d be knocking on her door instead.” He sighed overdramatically, and Todoroki could almost see the act coming on again, like a character Kaminari was continually slipping in and out of. “But, hey, I don’t love rejection, but I’ll accept it if that’s what I get. Just give it some thought, that’s all I ask. Do you have a pen and paper?”
As soon as Todoroki stepped towards his desk to get the requested items, he knew on some level he was sealing his fate. Kaminari was grinning as he wrote his number down, and presented it with a flourish. “I’ll be waiting, day or night,” he said, turning to leave. “See you in class tomorrow!”
As soon as Kaminari was gone, Todoroki stared at the paper in his hand. He didn’t tear it up or burn it, but he didn’t enter the number into his phone, either. He just set the paper on his desk and sat down weakly on the edge of his bed, suddenly fighting a headache.
Forgetting about the entire event would probably be the best course of action, but something told him it wouldn’t be that easy.
Todoroki liked the idea of himself as a stoic, cold person, even if it was patently untrue. It would be useful to live that way, to not care if he had friends or was alone.
But, no matter what misconceptions others had about him, he felt emotions just as acutely as anyone else. The Friday after Kaminari came knocking, Todoroki’s loneliness felt like a weight in the pit of his stomach. He could hear the low hum of voices all around him - others in the dorms, talking and laughing and having a good time, while sat alone on his bed, utterly removed from the rest of the world.
He sent an identical message to both Midoriya and Iida: Are you free? Would you like to hang out tonight?
Iida messaged first, only seconds later: I’m sorry, Todoroki! I am on my way home at the moment. I am spending the weekend at my parents’ house. Perhaps we could plan for another time?
It took Midoriya a few minutes longer to respond: Sorry, actually it’s me and Ochako’s anniversary, we’re going out to eat! Maybe tomorrow???
Todoroki sighed and did not reply to either. He felt more annoyed than was appropriate, and any response would probably come off as grumpy. It wasn’t their fault - choosing one’s family or girlfriend over a friend was to be expected. Not to mention, they’d both made plans in advance. It was not personal, was nothing against Todoroki himself. It still stung, but that was his problem, not theirs.
He tried to think of who else he could reach out to. He could make his way to the common areas and see if there was something going on he could join, although the idea of sitting off to the side observing the others like a creep didn’t particularly appeal to him. He could call up his sister, maybe, but that didn’t appeal to him either - she’d wonder why he was reaching out, and he didn’t feel like opening up to her, not at the moment. But Todoroki felt that if he didn’t do something - if he didn’t see another human being tonight - he might go crazy. He wasn’t sure what he’d do (probably just cry, maybe scream a little) but at that moment, someone else’s presence felt like a burning need, as painful as thirst or hunger.
So he picked up the paper with Kaminari’s phone number on it and stared it down. It had been five days since that incredibly awkward conversation, and it had never left the back of Todoroki’s mind the entire time. After Kaminari had brought it up, Todoroki had realized, well, yeah, the idea of someone else getting him off for once did sound kind of nice, actually. There was a scale in his brain that tipped back and forth between desperate and ashamed, but on this particular night the former firmly won out.
Todoroki let out a deep sigh and thought for ten minutes, staring at his clock. Then, at the end of his rope, he sent a text: Are you free?
After two minutes of silence, there was a knock on his door.
“I didn’t think you’d actually come,” Todoroki said, letting Kaminari in. “Thought you’d just text back.” He frowned. “How did you know it was me? Do you have my number?”
“I do now,” Kaminari said. “But, I mean, how many people have I given my number to lately? Just one. It wasn’t hard to guess.”
The two of them stood looking at each other for a moment. Then Todoroki realized he was the one who’d invited Kaminari here, and forced himself to speak. “Have you ever actually, uh, dated anyone?”
Kaminari looked surprised for a moment, then comprehension seemed to dawn on him. “Is this a job interview?”
“Maybe,” Todoroki said, and Kaminari grinned.
“Dated, no,” he said, and here was the character again, the slick salesman, even if Kaminari was selling nothing more than himself. “But that’s not relevant, is it? What you’re trying to ask is if I have experience.”
Todoroki nodded. “I guess you’re right.”
Kaminari smiled sheepishly. “The answer to that is also no. Not relevant experience, at least. Well, okay, I’m a good kisser, or so I’ve been told. I’ve made out with a few girls, and I’ve gotten to third base with one, not that that would be of any use to you.”
Todoroki frowned. “I never learned that bases thing.”
“It means that I’ve kissed someone, felt someone’s boobs, and fingered a girl. Nothing with any guys, but, being a man myself, I think I would have a good idea what makes-”
“You’ve done all that?” Todoroki said, frowning. “Was it with someone in our class?”
“That’s… no,” Kaminari said. “No, it was a girl from a different school. She doesn’t go here. Anyway, look, my point is, I’m sure I’ll be a quick learner. Even though I’m inexperienced with men, it won’t be bad for you.”
Todoroki did not actually care. He wouldn’t be able to tell if Kaminari was good at any of this, after all - his only baseline was masturbation. But Kaminari had mentioned kissing, and Todoroki was intrigued about getting to practice that. This was a decent way to get some experience, he figured, with no pressure to please his partner. He was bored, and lonely, and, well, money really was no object, so…
“How much?” Todoroki asked.
“Holy shit,” Kaminari said. “Really?”
Todoroki nodded. “How much?”
“Look, I didn’t think this through, because I didn’t think you’d accept. Uh…”
“¥5000?” The price his shirt had been - his curiosity afterwards had made him find the receipt and look. It was nothing to him, but obviously an amount to make Kaminari pause when he’d seen it.
“For, uh, for what?”
Todoroki shrugged. “Whatever. I was just suggesting a price. I don’t know.”
“¥5000 per, like, handjob? Blowjob?”
“I don’t know. Either. Both. Is it too low?”
“It’s fine,” Kaminari said quickly, in a way that made Todoroki quite sure he was being overcharged. Well, whatever; he didn’t care if his father’s money paid for Kaminari’s video games. Better than whatever his father would spend it on, anyway.
“But,” Todoroki said, “I want to make one thing clear: this is absolutely secret. All of it. The stuff we do, and the fact that it’s for money.”
Kaminari nodded. “Of course, dude. I wouldn’t dream of telling anyone. If anyone sees us spending time together, I’ll just say you’re helping me study.”
“Okay,” Todoroki said, wondering if people would even believe that story. Well, whatever. He was pretty sure even if their classmates thought it seemed weird, no one would guess the truth.
“So, uh,” Kaminari said, after a pause. “Since we’re in agreement, what do you want to, you know… do?”
Kaminari looked small and a little unsure of himself, standing in the middle of Todoroki’s room, rubbing one arm with his other hand. He wasn’t exactly Todoroki’s type, not really, but he was attractive - he had a cute face, and his hair looked soft.
“Kiss me,” Todoroki said.
Todoroki took a step towards him and closed his eyes, and a moment later he felt Kaminari’s lips on his. The first kiss was soft and quick, like a test. When he didn’t pull away, Kaminari kissed him again; Todoroki kissed back this time. He didn’t know what to do, so he just mimicked Kaminari, hoping he was doing it right. When Kaminari opened his mouth, Todoroki did too, and their tongues touched, which was… well, it was odd, not like any sensation Todoroki had felt before in his life, but certainly not unpleasant. Of course Todoroki couldn’t say if Kaminari was a good kisser or not, but it did seem like he knew what he was doing.
Kaminari pulled away after a few minutes, and Todoroki, beginning to enjoy himself quite a lot, tried to follow his lips, not wanting it to end.
He heard Kaminari chuckle. “See? It’s nice, isn’t it?”
Todoroki frowned, unsure if he was being mocked.
“I want to ask you,” (did Kaminari sound out of breath?) “if you want to do more than kissing today.”
“Hmm,” Todoroki said. He’d gotten so caught up in kissing he had forgotten what they’d discussed before it - what the agreement actually had been.
“What does that mean?” Kaminari asked. A pause - then to Todoroki’s shock Kaminari looked down at his crotch and giggled. “You’re hard already.”
“Excuse me?” Todoroki said, stepping back, but this time it was Kaminari chasing him, laughing and grabbing at his hands, which were trying to hide his body’s reaction.
“No, no, it’s a good thing!” Kaminari said. “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself. Look, do you want me to take care of that?”
Todoroki had never talked about sex so openly with anyone, ever, not even with his closest friends. He’d certainly never considered talking about it with Kaminari, but now, all of a sudden, he found himself tempted to. Something about Kaminari’s frankness made the idea of discussing it less awful - maybe even appealing, as strange as that seemed.
Suddenly, as Todoroki stared at him, something caught his eye. “You’re hard too.”
“Yeah! See, not a bad thing.” Kaminari grinned. “Look, I’m actually enjoying myself. Don’t think you’re forcing me or anything. And you don’t have to worry about getting me off - I’ll take care of myself.”
“Okay, so, take off your pants and sit on the bed,” Kaminari said. “I’m going to take mine off too, but just because they’re kind of tight, alright? Like I said, don’t feel like you need to get me off. I’m fine.”
He was speaking so quickly, so smoothly, that Todoroki had no doubt he’d planned this out in advance. “Yeah, just on the edge of the bed,” Kaminari went on, guiding him. “You can leave your boxers on, it’s fine.”
To his surprise, Kaminari sat on the bed behind him, one leg on either side of Todoroki’s hips, and reached his arm forward from around Todoroki’s side. “I figure it’ll be pretty much just like doing it to myself at this angle,” Kaminari said. His face was behind Todoroki’s head, his breath warm on his neck. Todoroki could feel Kaminari’s hard-on pressing into his lower back, and he appreciated it - he wasn’t sure he could have done this with a completely unaroused partner. It would have felt a lot more selfish that way; he liked the idea that Kaminari was getting something out of this besides just the money.
As Kaminari’s hand slipped beneath the waistband of his boxers, Todoroki sucked his breath in sharply. It was so startling to feel someone else’s hand there, even though he’d been expecting it. The touch was a little colder and rougher than he’d been anticipating, and Todoroki shivered; it felt more intense than using his own hand.
“Damn, you are hard,” Kaminari said. “Really fucking hard. You feel bigger than me, but I can’t tell.” He chuckled, and Todoroki wondered if he was nervous too - it certainly seemed that way, with all his inane comments and inexplicable laughter. “Don’t be afraid to order me around, alright? This is about your pleasure. If I do something wrong, tell me.”
How in the world Kaminari could say such embarrassing things aloud, Todoroki had no idea. Before he could form a reply, Kaminari’s hand began to move, and suddenly the physical sensation was the only thing on Todoroki’s mind.
Kaminari began with a few long, slow strokes, as if getting a feel for the motion. Then he sped up, setting a pace similar to Todoroki’s usual one. But Todoroki couldn’t forget he wasn’t alone, even for a moment; the whole position was so intimate, with Kaminari’s face pressed against his neck and Kaminari’s legs on either side of him. His chest was flush against Todoroki’s back, but the weight wasn’t too much, just enough to be comforting. Had Todoroki stopped to think critically about the situation, he might have chickened out and called the whole thing off - but it really did seem like Kaminari was taking care of him, in a way.
“Does it feel good?” Kaminari asked, his voice low. How in the world Kaminari of all people could sound so seductive, Todoroki had no idea. The hand not on Todoroki’s dick moved to his front and groped at his chest, maybe looking for his nipple but never quite making it. The touch still was successful in that it made Todoroki feel more aroused; he found himself enjoying the feeling of being embraced. The two of them were about the same height, but the position made Todoroki feel very small.
“You’re getting close, aren’t you?” Kaminari said. How had he known? Todoroki himself was barely aware. But yes, Todoroki realized, he was close, the pressure building higher every second. He tried to make a mental note to ask Kaminari how he was so astute in reading the signs, but it was hard to think like this, hard to think of anything besides the near-overwhelming feeling of his own pleasure. He tipped his head back to stare at the ceiling, feeling his hair brush against Kaminari’s face.
“You can let go,” Kaminari said. “Let it out. Just relax.” And (though of course he didn’t need an invitation, not really), it was the words that sent Todoroki over the edge - he gripped Kaminari’s calves as he came, taking great heaving breaths and feeling his back press against Kaminari’s chest with each inhale.
When he was finished, he felt Kaminari pull himself away. “Damn, dude, it seemed like that felt really good,” he said, getting to his feet. “Got anything for me to wipe this on, or should I use your bed?”
“Don’t use my bed,” Todoroki said quickly. Getting up was uncomfortable, and he grimaced as he crossed his room; most of his come had gotten on his boxers and skin. He grabbed a shirt out of the dirty laundry and handed it to Kaminari, who used it to wipe off his hand and tossed it on the floor when he was done.
“You probably want money,” Todoroki said. “Let me see if I have enough cash.”
“Thanks! If you don’t, you can give it to me Monday or whatever.”
Todoroki shot him a look. “There’s no way I’m giving it to you during school. The fewer people who have any idea we’re even interacting, the better.”
“Alright, alright,” Kaminari said, raising his hands palms-out. “No worries. That’s fine.”
Luckily Todoroki did have the money. He thrust the crumpled-up wad into Kaminari’s hand, and Kaminari shot him a grin. “Thanks very much. I’m outta here,” he said, throwing his pants back on. He was still hard, and Todoroki saw him wince as he buttoned himself up. “You’ve got my number if you want another round sometime. Have a good night!”
The silence that descended when the door closed felt very heavy. Todoroki sat there, unpleasantly damp, growing sticky, wallet lighter, the blood still pounding through his veins, and thought: What the fuck did I just do?