“Thank you for coming in and picking up Kyouka’s shift tonight. I wish I could’ve sent you home sooner,” Kayama shook her head as she cleared the last couple of dishes.
Uraraka chuckled. “Don’t apologize! I also didn’t take into account that that today was a holiday. I possibly couldn’t have left you on your own during that rush,” she untied her apron and threw it over her arm. Kayama quickly turned back around before stepping into the kitchen. “If you bare to wait a little I can drive you back to your apartment, sweetheart.”
The girl hesitated before answering. She took her bag off the floor and took out her phone. Her eyes fell on the top notification and her smile grew wide. Uraraka held up her hand and slightly bowed her head. “I really need to get going so I’ll be on my way now!”
Kayama eyed the dim-lit streets outside the restaurant and tilted her head. “Tch…”
“Don’t worry miss, I’ll be fine,” Uraraka assured her as she took her coat from the coat rack.
Her boss shook her head and turned back to face the entrance of the kitchen. “Text me as soon as you reach your front door, okay?”
“Will do, see you tomorrow!” Uraraka yelled as she walked out of the restaurant. Outside she put on her coat she grabbed on the way out and nuzzled into the soft collar. With one hand she unlocked her phone and with her other, she rummaged her bag to look for her earphones. Desperately she pushed everything aside, struggling to find them in the mess that was her bag.
When Uraraka looked up out of her bag she bumped into a body. Uraraka stumbled but was quick to steady herself to tend to the person and apologize.
“Gosh, I am so sorry. I-Katashi! Oh my, are you okay?”
She helped up a young man who had fallen to the ground and tried to dust the dirt off his jeans.
“These really got stained, I’m-“
“-They were already dirty,” Katashi interrupted her. “Don’t mind.”
Uraraka sometimes wondered what the limit of Katashi kindness was. She saw him daily at the restaurant as a regular customer. They had become good friends due to that and they would talk as much as the circumstances allowed whenever he would come in. His eyes were always set so lovely, even when she would tease him, he wouldn’t glare at her. He would simply laugh, finish his food and then leave the table all set to be cleared.
“…Fine. I thought you would’ve been home by now. It’s been a while since you stepped out,” Uraraka mentioned.
Katashi put a hand in his pocket and looked over her shoulder at the restaurant’s sign. “I got home but then I realized I had forgotten something. I came back to look for it and luckily I have found it,” he grinned now focusing his gaze on her. He then didn’t care to elaborate. The silence was too long for Uraraka to handle.
“Well, I’m glad you found it! I’ll see you on Tuesday I guess?” She awkwardly shuffled around him and started walking away. She turned around once as she heard the restaurant’s door open. Uraraka saw her boss stepping out. She waved at her boss but she didn’t seem to acknowledge it. The girl shrugged went back to searching for her earphones again. The wireless ones she had seem to have forgotten at home. Uraraka did find some another pair though. But it was a shabby pair. One ear had stopped working but it would have to do. She plugged them into her phone and focused her eyes on her phone screen, that displayed a close up of a young man’s face. She looked around before upping the volume until she heard his voice loud and clear. It managed to instantly give her this feeling of excitement she had long since missed.
It had been a while since Pro Hero Bakugou Katsuki decided to go live on the hero streaming app. He used to not stream at all when he just started doing hero work professionally. But he got coaxed into it by his management team, who had been heavily concerned with the hero’s likeability that was being questioned after fans complained about the lack of social interaction between them and the hero. Bakugou made it obvious in his first few appearances on the app that it wasn’t a voluntary choice. He would do monthly scheduled streams, where he talked through the things he had been up, heavily sighing throughout the whole thing.
But during a busy period in his career, Bakugou actually found comfort in talking about what he was up to. He started to be more genuine. Actually held a conversation with his fans as he read out and replied to comments. In contrary to people’s fear, Bakugou kept going live even after the tough time had passed. He went on to talk about more than his work and shared bits of him as Bakugou Katsuki, the young adult in his twenties and not as Bakugou Katsuki, the Pro Hero. His live streams got a lot of traction. He would get over a hundred visitors a few seconds after opening the app and would already be on top of the trending page by the end of the stream.
Uraraka was one of the people who wished for that social interaction between her and one of her favorite heroes. She was the one that sat through his monthly scheduled lives, leaving comments in the hope he would break character. She was the one who encouraged him to tell her more when he opened up. She believed they would continue to see each other through the app for a long time. And she waited patiently as he suddenly stopped streaming for days, weeks, months.
Now after three months, Bakugou had decided to open up the app and again stream. Under no circumstances was she missing out on that. Uraraka came to a halt as he approached a red light, and leaned against a traffic pole. She plucked at the curly strands that always came behind her ear after a long shift with one hand and tapped a button increasing the number of likes with the other. Carefully Uraraka listened to Bakugou answer one of the questions asked in the comments.
“I haven’t caught up on that comic, I stopped reading during a drag of a chapter and it’s been hard to pick it up since. I don’t even know if I want to continue reading because the main character is pissing me off so much. See, this app has a stupid rule about using ‘offensive language’ during your streams, but I swear I wouldn’t care about getting banned if we keep talking about that character…”
Uraraka’s giggled at Bakugou’s frustration. Her laughter turned into a yelp as a sudden honk yanked her out of her immersion. She looked up at a car standing at a red light. Her light had turned green. The woman behind the wheel shook her head as Uraraka awkwardly bowed to her and crossed the street.
She checked her surroundings before continuing her walk back to her apartment. Uraraka slowed down her steps to type a question in the comments.
GROUNDZEROGRAV, 23:47 PM: Has Bakugou talked about where he’s been all these months? Can someone update me?
Her comment quickly got drowned out by other comments answering her. Apparently, Bakugou had taken in a couple of second years from hero school’s as interns and had been guiding them this semester. Uraraka kept herself updated on Bakugou’s activities but had not noticed him being accompanied by any high school students. She guessed it would be very much like him to let the teens stand from the sidelines and for them to then literally ‘watch and learn’.
Had he told stories about them already? Would he be allowed to?
Uraraka literally stopped in her tracks for a moment as she wondered.
Bakugou continued to ramble on about the comic, as it was highly popular, there were a lot of questions being asked about it.
“I don’t care about what’s ahead of me, the rain season arc was the best. That was the comic’s peak. And nothing fazes me. God himself could show up in front of my desk and I would greet him casually, but the way that arc unfolded got me jumping out my office chair.”
It seemed like he was doing good. Bakugou was still as passionate as ever. His eyes looked very much alive as he talked. Only a few dark circles as well. He had been busy but he had maintained his healthy.
GROUNDZEROGRAV, 23:56 PM: You look healthy!
Uraraka decided to comment.
“Alright, I’ve had enough talking about this comic for now. We can discuss until the end of time but all it does is unnecessarily raise my blood pressure. Let’s avoid that since someone just commented that I look healthy.“
The girl put a hand in front of her mouth. Had he really read her comment or did it get lost in a sea of many other saying similar things? The latter seemed more likely but her heart still fluttered. Bakugou wiped his hands over his face and squinted into the lens of the camera.
“I guess, I’ve looked worse.”
Endearingly, Uraraka tilted her head at the phone screen. When Bakugou started to ramble on again, she checked her surroundings again. Conveniently so as she was about to bump into a line of pylons set out on the road in front of her. Wouldn’t she have looked up sooner she would’ve been walked into a pit of sewer pipes. Uraraka considered that she might have been too careless walking around like that. She went back a few steps and wary of them as she just listened to the audio of the live stream with only her working earphone in.
The whole neighborhood was in shambles. In almost every street there was something being worked on. Uraraka happened to live in an older part of town which the local government recently decided to rebuild and renew. There were only a couple of streets that weren’t in too much construction and were a safe detour to take to Uraraka’s apartment.
Or so it seemed during the day.
Approaching those said streets, Uraraka noticed that most of the light poles had been taken out, most likely for them to be replaced the next day. There was a replacement light at the beginning and end of the streets but barely lit the entirety of them. Usually, Uraraka would let her dread power her walk and arrive home in a matter of minutes. But now she was frozen in fear as she had felt another presence ever since she started paying more attention to everything around her. If only it was the darkness enhancing her paranoia but she could feel eyes burning into her back.
What was the limit of Katashi’s kindness?
Uraraka wondered again.
A shiver went down her spine when after the slightest movement she heard the adjustment of feet.
It seemed to have no limit.
The sound came closer than she would’ve like to acknowledge and forced her into moving. Desperate to get home Uraraka kept increasing her speed. But every time she sharpened her ear, footsteps that didn’t line up with hers became louder. Anxiety started to swallow her whole and her rational sound of mind became muffled.
GROUNDZEROGRAV, 00:04 PM: Help.
She typed into the chat of Bakugou’s live stream.
GROUNDZEROGRAV, 00:04 PM: I’m being followed by someone and I don’t know what to do.
GROUNDZEROGRAV, 00:05 PM: Someone help me, please.
Uraraka watched her comment get drowned out once again.
“You’re being followed?” Bakugou suddenly answered. Silence followed. “Right, take out your earphones if they’re plugged in and increase the volume. Pretend you’re on a call.”
Uraraka frantically followed the hero’s instructions and pressed the phone close to her ear.
“Honey,” Bakugou yelled out. “Uhh…honey, are you almost home?”
Tears welled up in her eyes and caused her to choke up. She couldn’t breathe out a reply.
“I told you I won’t go to bed before you come home.”
“I’ll be home soon,” Uraraka sniffled softly. She shook the tears out of her eyes and then repeated herself louder. “I’ll be home very soon.” She heard Bakugou groaning to himself, thinking of how to continue.
“You should’ve let me pick you up. How many more times do I need to tell you I’m fine with picking up anytime?”
A heavy sigh of relief exited her body as she saw she had one more street to go until she reached her apartment complex. “I’ll let you come pick me up next time then.”
She pulled her phone away from her ear and heard that she had created a bit of distance between her and the footsteps.
“Tell me, what have you eaten today?”
Uraraka told Bakugou everything she ate that day. She told him how she especially enjoyed lunch and would like to share that same meal with him. Though it was beating exponentially, her heart found the time to skip a beat over the hero’s endearing question. Her body had a hard time reacting to the situation she was currently in. Uraraka couldn’t exactly tell if she was on the brink of fainting or swooning. Whatever her body was about to do, she hoped it would hold out until she reached her front door.
“What should we do tomorrow? Should we watch a movie? There are some great ones playing in the cinema currently.”
“I would love to watch a movie.”
For someone who seemed to had been reported to have never been in any romantic involvement, he sure knew how to talk the talk. Uraraka has had a couple of boyfriend’s in the past and none of them cared to ask if she had eaten. As she could see her door in the distance, she was able to crack a smile.
GROUNDZEROGRAV, 00:09 PM: Reaching my front door soon.
“I’ll come down to meet you,” Bakugou immediately responded.
“You’ll come down to meet me?” Uraraka repeated. “Can’t wait a minute, can’t you?” she scoffed.
They were silent until she reached the steps to her front door.
GROUNDZEROGRAV, 00:011 PM: I’m about to enter.
She pulled the phone away from her ear and looked at the screen. Bakugou sharp eyes had weirdly softened. The look in his eyes, she couldn’t describe other than pure.
He clenched and unclenched his jaw. “Okay, see you. Love you.”
“L-L-Love you too,” Uraraka sputtered before throwing her phone into her bag. She then plugged the earphones back in and then took out her key. Before putting the key in its lock, she listened closely.
Even after a minute.
Nothing. Complete silence.
She entered her and took climbed the stairs to her apartment. There, she immediately threw her bag on the floor, kicked off her shoes and walked to her room.
Uraraka fell back first into her mattress and looked at the ceiling.
“What the fuck just happened?”