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Guillotine

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Sleep on me, feel the rhythm in my chest, just breathe

Today had not been a good day for Bakugou. That much was obvious. From the moment [Name] had entered the explosive hero's apartment with the key he had begrudgingly gifted her for their one month anniversary, he had been too busy brooding to really acknowledge her. Every time she tried to ask him about what was weighing on his mind, he denied being bothered and then would fall into silence. The silence would last for about 30 minutes before the cursing started up. Rinse and repeat. From what she could gather, it was work related. That made the most sense, seeing as they had a pact to avoid talking about work when they were off. Life as pro heroes was stressful enough as it was.

[Name] sighed softly, closing her book and setting it on the arm of the couch. Bakugou had escalated to taking his frustrations out on dinner, pounding what used to be a nice cut of steak into a pancake.

"Katsuki," [Name] called over her shoulder. She sighed again when the sound of the tenderizer continued. "Katsuki!"

"What?" the man grunted, not ceasing his assault on the meat. "Can't you see I'm busy?"

"Take a break," she says, "any more tenderizing and it'll be ground beef." She hears him curse again, but this time from surveying the status of the beef. [Name] releases the breath she'd been holding and turns in her seat to look at him. She hooks her arms over the back of the couch and rests her chin on top of her limbs.

"Come sit with me," she requests, tilting her head for added effect, "please. Just for a little bit."

There's a moment where Bakugou just watches her, tenderizer clutched in hand and just slightly spattered with blood. The spell is broken when he clicks his tongue and averts his gaze. He drops the tenderizer in the sink and snags a dish towel on his way to the couch.

[Name] smiles smugly, basking in her little victory. She rearranges herself into a normal sitting position, patting the cushion beside her when Bakugou approaches. He bristles at her expression, but otherwise takes the seat without complaint. He surprises her when he leans in to rest his head on her chest, powerful arms coiling around her waist. Her smirk softens and she shifts to accommodate his weight more comfortably, opting to lay out beside him on the couch. Almost of its own accord, her hand begins combing through his unruly locks.

She feels more than sees the tension leave his body. He turns towards her hand, letting his ear press fully against her chest. He's calmer than she's seen him over the last few hours as he simply feels the gentle rise and fall of her chest, listening to the steady rhythm of her heart.

[Name] waits patiently, willing to let him take his time. She doesn't have to wait long, as he sighs in defeat and takes her unoccupied hand.

"I messed up today," he admits, "A villain got away because I underestimated him."

Her hand stills in his hair as she collects her thoughts. "Was this the incident at Hosu mall?" He makes a noise of affirmation. "Oh, I got the call for that one too, but I was busy with another scene." She pauses when his grip on her fingers tightens. "I'm sorry that happened."

"I'm not a rookie any more. I'm a god damn pro!" he growls, more to himself than anyone else. "I can't make mistakes."

[Name] balks at that, sitting up so that he has to move off of her. He glowers at her, already sure that he won't like what she has to say.

She stands firm under his intense gaze, impassive as she reaches up to cradle his face in her palms.

"Katsuki," she says solemnly, "that's bullshit." She ignores the way his jaw clenches under her touch and continues. "Hero or not, you're still human. Mistakes happen. That's just how it is. What's important is that no one got hurt." She catches the way the deep crease in his brow relaxes and knows that she's won. "You made a mistake, but you've learned from it. In the end, this will only make you stronger."

Bakugou lifts his head out of her grasp, tilting it back as he takes in a deep breath. When he opens his eyes, [Name] is smiling gently at him.

"Better?"

He nods, feeling subdued from all of the emotional strain. He tips forward, pressing his forehead into [Name]'s shoulder. She complies with his silent request and leans back to resume the previous position.

"Are you staying tonight?" Bakugou asks tiredly, dinner preparations all but forgotten.

[Name] hums and thinks of the drawer that he's cleared out for her. "If you want me to."

The tightening of his arms around her torso is all the answer that she needs.

I will stay so the lantern in your heart won't fade