Lunchtimes at U.A were always buzzing with excitement. Smiles were plastered on student's faces with their bustling conversations and scrumptious lunch boxes. The low hum of chatter in the air felt warm, welcoming, and tasted a little sweet and innocent, like cotton candy. It was a time where the group of future heroes could unwind and slow down the pace of the day to something a little more relaxing, yet joyful. They were still teenagers after all, wanting a bit of fun with their friends and peers.
"In my defence, it was an accident!"
Kaminari furrowed his brows and narrowed his eyes, definitely not buying his argument.
"So, just to clarify: you guys were sparring and right as you got your ass beat, he pushed you to the ground and he was," Kaminari pinched his fingers and emphasised the microscopic gap between them, "this close to your face, then outta nowhere you said 'fuck me'???"
Although, not every lunchtime was like that.
Legend says that it was impossible for Kirishima to turn a thousand shades darker than his hair, but legends weren't exactly always full of truth, were they?
In an attempt to blurt out a coherent sentence, Kirishima's stutters translated to "i-it really was an acci-dent, hey, dude, stop laughing!"
Kaminari fanned himself to stop the heat from rising on his face but every time he reopened his eyes to look at his flustered friend, he'd burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter all over again.
Life was cruel to Kirishima sometimes, but this was karma taken to a new level. Why did he bother telling his friends anything in the first place?
Already done for the afternoon, he half-pouted and focused the rest of his energy in defending himself again.
"Really man, I wasn't thinking straight," the vividness of the adrenaline tickling his veins from earlier made his fingertips tremble. It was all so memorable. It wasn't the lack of distance between them that astounded Kirishima, but the way he looked above him, the way how he couldn't look at anything else but him and how he felt so alive, so shocked, so awed.
It went a little something like this.
Kirishima's last pocket of air was forced out of his chest and the threat of his heart bursting through his rib cage seemed incredibly plausible. Thin strands of Bakugou's ash blonde hair stuck to his forehead and a smirk tugged at the corner of his lips when he successfully pinned Kirishima against the gym mat. Once a growl of victory whirled in the base of his throat and his grip on Kirishima's wrists tightened with electricity, Kirishima accepted more than just defeat there and then. If anything, he had an epiphany.
No matter what sort of profanities he roared and the vigour of his actions, Kirishima's eyes always saw past the hard-boiled, brash exterior Bakugou trapped himself under and saw a hero in the making, a hero destined to wrap the entire galaxy around the palms of his hands, a hero worthy of greatness. There was no doubt that he was intense, a ticking time bomb with no indication of combustion, but he had this pizzaz, this astounding energy no other planets could match.
They've been through so much together and their bond was beyond dynamic, a relationship full of respect and admiration. Through the atrocities he endured from the middle school slime incident to being held hostage by the league of villains during first year alone, he was trapped in the eye of the darkest of storms, yet he exploded his way through the earth shattering winds and returned with a tougher resolve to be the number one hero.
He was amazing. Like, well and truly amazing.
The realisation couldn't have lasted any longer than a beat, but it was still enough for him to gathered the scattered bits and pieces of the puzzle and complete the image after 2 and a half years. It made so much sense afterwards, how did he not know this entire time?
Kirishima Eijirou was simply in love Bakugou Katsuki.
And when he came to this conclusion, breaths away from a kiss, the Gods had no quarrels with letting him embarrass himself and leave no trace of dignity for him.
By the time he realised why his heart palpitated at the sight of Bakugou, deeper thoughts pooling in his unconsciousness swam to the surface instead of staying put at the bottom. Next thing he knew, he didn't shut up like he should have, like how any other normal person should have.
He didn't realise a darker side of him thought of Bakugou like that too.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
"And then, he accidentally set off an explosion on your hands and screamed at your face."
Kirishima absentmindedly rubbed his wrists, tints of grey and black still engraved from the physical lesson earlier. Thank god for his hardening quirk, otherwise he'd have no hands left.
"Pretty much," he sighed. "What if I ruined it?"
Kaminari pushed the contents in his mouth to the side of his cheeks.
"Ruined what, my man?" he asked, looking like a chipmunk.
"Our friendship! It totally wasn't cool for me to say what I said, you know? What if I freaked him out?"
Kaminari shook his head and swallowed his food, "believe it or not Kirishima, he probably thought you were joking just to throw him off. I'll bet Jirou's love for me that he didn't take what you said seriously."
Okay, Kaminari had to get off his high horse for a second. But he annoyingly had a good point.
Kirishima placed his fingers under his chin in thought, like a detective close to cracking a case. He knew that Bakugou would be unaffected by the possibility of his opponents using dirty word play to take him down, regardless of the accuracy of their remarks. Pretty much 99.9% of the time, words thrown at him like daggers were dodged with ease and he'd even scoff at such a sly tactic.
Not this time though. What's worse was that Kirishima meant it too.
"Maybe?" Kirishima itched the side of his head. The gel in his hair was beginning to lose its strength, the tips of his spikes descending and turning into claws.
"It's more than a maybe - it's the truth!" for every word he accentuated, Kaminari waved his chopsticks towards Kirishima like a metronome.
"Bro, I think you're overestimating Jirou's feelings for you."
"But you know I'm not! I wouldn't worry about a thing if I were you. He's a massive klutz, man!"
"Who are you bitching about now, pikachu?"
The pair's eyes widened as their heads snapped towards the klutz in question as dropped his lunch plate on the table. Like looking into a mirror, Kirishima and Kaminari stole a quick glance and copied each other's movements down to the atomic level.
Shit, what do we say?
I don't know dude! He's the one who heard you, not me!
Don't look at me like that and help me out there!
As they panic-communicated with their pupils, Bakugou either was blissfully unaware of their interactions or chose to ignore it.
It was very likely to be the latter, given the deepening frown pulling his brows closer to his eyes. Just who exactly were the sort of people in his goddamn class?
"Hey hey, I wasn't bitching about anyone bakubro! Your ears just like to make up trouble," Kaminari flashed a grin full of teeth and directed his chopsticks at Bakugou before he could swat it away from his face.
"Shut up! You saying I make shit up?"
"And to think I can hear this mess from miles away," Sero sighed, entering the scene and sitting with the disastrous group.
"Blame Bakugou," Kirishima teased.
"Can't say I'm surprised."
The slight tension in Kirishima's shoulders dissipated as Bakugou became too preoccupied with getting riled up by his friends. Perhaps, Bakugou hadn't taken him seriously earlier and completely forgot about their spar already. At least Kirishima could relax for now and piece together more of his thoughts later when he sought refuge in his room. During then, he could internalise his feelings properly and finally put a name to all these sensations that were hitting him recently.
Like how the taste of honey soothed his tongue when his eyes would trail from the whiteboard to Bakugou a few seats away from him, as if he ate too many of Satou's baked treats. Or how his insides did so many flips and tricks, spinning round and round in his stomach like whenever Iida ran in circles during his warm ups. And this was how he felt on a normal, day to day setting, never mind the moments when U.A was under attack or during dangerous internship lessons where Bakugou showed no mercy to villains and proved exactly why he was a hero to look out for.
Huh, so all of this, this was love. It was indulging in warm chocolate until you had a terrible stomachache. Or giggles crescendoing to cackling until hiccups plagued the throat.
This was... crazy. So crazy, actually, but knowing how he now felt made him more manly and more in tune with himself; that was so important for a human being, let alone a future hero.
Love was really crazy! Love was-
"I hate you all, fuckin' suck my dick."
"Oh I know Kiri would."
Kaminari purposely mumbled quietly enough for only Kirishima to hear and when he almost choked to death on his food, Kaminari clutched his stomach and fell to the floor reaching new levels of laughter. The whole cafeteria was looking at them with mild amusement and raised eyebrows, and that very much included the blonde who he fell for.
And he was looking at him like he was the biggest fucking idiot in the world.
"Why me?" Kirishima laid against the polished floor, defeated.
Love was knowing that Kaminari was going to use every opportunity to tease Kirishima from now on.
Yep. For some reason, the Gods bestowed Kirishima with bad karma.