The air is filled with smoke and dust, so thick that each gasped breath chokes Izuku and he coughs as quietly as he can. The sounds of the battle rage around him as he tries to form some kind of strategy. The crumbling wall behind him offers little cover, but he’s aching and wounded and just needs a moment, just one, to come up with something.
Nearby Izuku can hear him moving around. The reason the hero is here now; one hand smashed, curled protectively against his chest, and more leaking cuts than he wants to count littered across his torn body.
“Come out, Midoriya,” All For One taunts, kicking rubble as he steps through the remains of a building to Izuku’s left. In the distance there’s an explosion that shakes the ground and a blast of heat sets the smoke to churn furiously.
Izuku is so tired. He’s overused his quirk and he’s separated from the other heroes. He knows he’s so far past his limits, but there’s a whisper in his heart that knows this has to be it. This is his chance to end everything, to finally bring the villain down. There is no other option.
He has to come up with a plan but his mind is static noise. Like so many times over the last few years Izuku wishes All Might was still around to guide him, he’s the Symbol of Peace but he feels like a child looking for protection in the dark.
Something hits the wall to his right and his head whips up. It’s Bakugou, covered in soot and a cut near his temple drips freely down his face. Mouth twists in a snarl as his eyes dart over the marred landscape. It had been a tight row of rising apartment buildings once, hours ago when this had all started. When Izuku had just been responding to a call and walks into a trap. Still under construction, there was blessedly few people around. Now glass and shattered concrete covers the streets and fire licks its way higher into the sky.
“Deku I fucking hope you got a strategy here,” the other hero spits, gaze flickering over Izuku’s worn face and not liking the exhaustion he sees there. Katsuki has only just arrived, had searched wildly for a sign of his friend. He flew past Uraraka as she frantically points him towards the wrenching sounds of Izuku’s fight with fear low in his gut.
It’s okay, it’s going to be okay. Because even though Izuku is All Might’s chosen successor, he’s infinitely stronger with Katsuki at his side.
Izuku gives a weak grin, “Working on it.”
The worn hero closes his eyes for a moment, feels safe in the knowledge he’s being watched over. Lets himself breathe in the familiar scent of sweet nitroglycerin and sweat as his mind races.
All For One regenerates too quickly, there’s got to be a limit to it but I can’t reach it. I’ve got to hit him with something too big to regenerate from, he thinks. One For All isn’t enough on its own though, he’s been hitting the villain with everything he has and it's not enough.
The wall is rough at his back, Katsuki is a soothing warmth at his side, and Izuku is ready for this fight to be over. An end, once and for all.
“Shitty Deku, you can’t win without me,” Bakugou interrupts his mumbling thoughts, shoving a bare arm into his dirt covered side. He forces Izuku to meet his eyes. “So fucking use me, idiot.”
Here’s the thing though. Izuku can see exactly how this is going to end. There’s a million scenarios running through his head and they all end one of two ways. There’s only one path he can take and he knows Katsuki isn’t going to like it. So he smiles and reaches out to brush his good hand against the man’s arm.
He doesn’t say that his friend is both right and wrong, merely murmurs "you're the best, Kacchan," and means it with all his heart. Izuku grips the warm skin beneath his fingertips and tries to lock the sensation in his mind. "I need to get to that building on the corner."
There's a mostly finished apartment building across the street and Izuku has a plan. It's rough and he doesn't know if it'll work, but he’s praying that All Might is looking over him and he has to try. Katsuki pulls him staggering to his feet, looks around, and then he’s dragging them out of cover and across the cracked pavement through the empty door frame.
The devastated lobby is dark with showers of sparks coming from exposed wires in bright eruptions. For the most part, damage is limited to the ground floor as they head up a flight of stairs. Izuku stops the other when they're about halfway across the second floor balcony. He needs a clear line of sight, both below and to his left.
Izuku moves his hand to rest on the back of Katsuki's neck and nods at the questioning look he receives. "I need a firecracker, five second burst." He can see that the edges of wary understanding are creeping up on his friend, but the man lets of a noisy crackle anyways. Izuku is infinitely grateful for the trust he can see in Bakugou's concerned eyes.
The screeching grate of twisting metal comes from the building they’d left behind and a rumbling shakes their bones. Heavy footsteps sound outside and they both look towards the destroyed entrance. A shadow moves in the fading light on the other side of the windows. It's time.
"What next?" Katsuki asks as the gaunt form of All For One steps inside. In another world Izuku would possibly admire the grace with which the man who always looks half in the grave strides across the ruined floor. In this world, however, all he can think of was how much the reflected pale glow of sunset dancing over them brings out the gold streaks in Katsuki’s eyes. How much he’s going to miss that.
All For One steps across the floor and Izuku looks up at the ceiling.
The man stares at him and he can see the way the pieces fall into place in that brilliant mind as the panic starts to rise in his face.
“Thanks for everything, I never wanted to do this with anyone else.”
Izuku uses the hand still wrapped around the base of Katsuki’s neck to pull him quickly against him, pressing a kiss into the matted hair. He wants to drag the moment out, wants to make it last forever. But knows he can’t, All For One is below them and there’s no more time.
He takes hold of Bakugou’s uniform and activates his quirk as he throws the man as hard as he can out the window.
Katsuki screams his name as he crashes through the glass, curses the self-sacrificial idiot as he hits the ground hard and rolls. Starts running back when, from deep within the building he’s just exited, the bright green lightning that signals One For All at full power shatters the remaining windows on the bottom floors and a sonic boom knocks him to his knees.
The man watches in absolute horror as the electric glow races up the building. Cracks appear in the windows, in the foundations, the sounds of internal collapse roaring in his ears. He’s frozen in the street and the whole building slams into the earth in slow motion.
Katsuki is screaming for Izuku when the other heroes appear from the wall of dust, clawing desperately at the wreckage. Hands bloody and burned from the heated debris, face streaked with soot and tears. He’s still screaming and digging when a filmy purple haze invades his vision and the world grows dark around him.
It can’t get any darker though. The sun has already gone out.
Izuku floats for a long time; how long he can’t say because he’s dead, time has no meaning in this place. It’s quiet and calm and dark. It’s like he’s only just slipped under the waves, he’s sitting just below the surface.
It would be so easy to sink. He’s so tired, he wants nothing more than to let go. But there's a murmuring in his ear that’s familiar and soothing. It ties him to shore, and though he can’t hear the words he knows the tone, knows there is no other option than to follow it wherever it may lead. He’s so tired, but he swims. Every time he feels he can’t go on the whispers grow loud and he takes one more stroke because he has to find the source. He keeps taking one more stroke. Somewhere out there a person is talking to him and he has to find them.
Izuku floats for a long time.
There’s a constant, insistent beeping somewhere near his head, a faint sound that retreats and advances with no particular rhythm. It takes an eternity for Izuku to come back to himself, slowly drifting in and out of awareness. Each time he comes back it's a little further along. The first time he only hears the beeping, the second time he’s aware of his hands and the ache in them.
The third time he’s aware of something in his hand.
A silvery light dusts across Izuku’s closed eyelids. He can smell alcohol and flowers, feels a slightly rough texture against his cheek. His legs and body are so sore and that doesn’t make much sense to him. It’s not really all that fair to die and still feel your mortal wounds. He groans softly and tries to move his hand to rub at his stiff face but finds it pinned by something heavy and warm.
“I’m going to fucking destroy you,” an exhausted and beautifully recognizable voice growls from his right. Izuku doesn’t need to look to know that voice, he’s been chasing after it all his life.
“Kacchan,” he croaks and hears movement, feels the weight shift on the bed and something small poke against his lips. Automatically he parts his lips and accepts the cool water that soothes his dry throat. Before he can finish the water is pulled away and he groans.
“Nah, you’re too stupid to pace yourself, you can have some more in a second.”
The weight doesn’t leave his side and the hand in his—Izuku is awake enough now to know that particular kind of heat. The way Katsuki clutches at it is new, but Izuku’s still pretty hazy and doesn’t question it.
“Yeah,” Katsuki interrupts and his tone is so weary. “Yeah you got him. There’s no way he’s coming back from that.”
There is something in the way he says it that Izuku can’t immediately process over the relief that floods him. It’s done, it’s finally finished. A few tears slip from between his lashes but he feels he can be forgiven for it this once.
“Shitass, I need you to open your eyes for a sec,” Bakugou asks and Izuku’s never been able to resist the man so he tries. It takes a moment to remember where his face is, how to work his eyelids. He gets them forced open slowly and he’s greeted by red irises filled with rage and agony.
“If you ever pull that kind of bullshit again I’m going to follow you over just to kick your ass into the sun.” The threat is real, but the way that Katsuki’s voice wavers when he says it doesn’t fill Izuku with fear. Instead he is suddenly so sad to see the open vulnerability in his friend’s face.
“I’m not sorry,” he says after a moment in the quiet. “If it comes down to you or me, I’m going to save you every time and I'll never regret that.”
A pained sound tears its way out of Bakugou’s throat and he presses their joined hands to his forehead.
“You fucking asshole, you don’t get it!” he snaps and he can’t meet Izuku’s eyes. “Do you even understand what happened? You tried to leave me behind when my dumb ass needs you! I watched you try to kill yourself and you fucking succeeded!”
There’s dead silence in the room, the only noises coming from the monitors Izuku’s hooked up to and Katsuki’s harsh breathing. The injured man squeezes the hand in his, it draws Katsuki’s eyes back to him.
“It took them over eight hours to get you out of the rubble, Round Face almost had a breakdown when they saw the mess of that bastard and thought it was you. If that happened to him, what hope could there be you’d made it?”
His gaze goes distant and it's almost like Izuku can see the memory play out behind it.
“Do you know how you’re even here right now? The sheer dumb luck that protected you from getting crushed completely? You got impaled when the building came down, want to know how many fucking millimeters it missed your vital organs by? Because I can’t forget!”
Tears start to seep past Katsuki’s iron control and it breaks Izuku’s heart clear in half. He weakly tugs on the man’s hand, wanting to assure him in some way. It rips something open in Katsuki because suddenly he’s climbing full into the bed and his hands are latched into Izuku’s gown as he tries to bring his breathing back from the edge of sobs.
“You died twice on the way here and I couldn’t do shit. They wouldn’t let me help dig you out, they wouldn’t let me in here until they stabilized you. You died and all I could think about was your stupid fucking smile as you threw me out the fucking window.”
Izuku brings his hand up to run soothingly over the man’s back and feels his own tears start to fall in earnest. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do if Katsuki asked it, anything except to not protect him.
“I’m not sorry I saved you,” he admits and he feels the fists in his gown tighten. “But I’m sorry I hurt you by doing it. I’m glad I didn’t die. I’m glad I get to hear you yell at me again.”
He apologizes in the only way he knows how. They both know that Izuku will always throw himself in the path of danger and they both know Katsuki will always do the same, given half the chance. There is no denying their natures.
There’s a wet chuckle from his chest and Izuku looks down to see those red eyes glaring up at him.
“You’re so fucking stupid, I have no freaking clue why I love your bitch ass.”
The world freezes, or at least for Izuku it does. Katsuki’s looking up at him with his fears and his hopes telegraphing from his entire body and it takes a second for Izuku’s drug-filled brain to catch up.
“Did I actually die? Am I dreaming?” he asks incredulously and Katsuki scowls as he pinches him roughly.
“Fuck you, Deku—”
“I’m sorry but—”
“Oh now you’re sorry!”
It looks like Katsuki wants to bolt; his gaze darts around the room but his hands are still fisted tightly against Izuku as if it’s the only thing keeping him grounded. It’s certainly the only thing keeping the injured man tethered to consciousness as the exhaustion that comes with healing tries to drag him back under.
“I love you too,” he whispers, his hand coming up to lightly pat the fists on his chest. “We’ll figure it out when I get out of here.”
Katsuki doesn’t move away as the darkness starts to come around for Izuku again, but as his eyes slip closed again he can feel the man whisper against his chest. He can’t make out the words, but the rumble sinks tenderly into his battered soul and Izuku falls asleep feeling more at ease than he can remember feeling in a very long time.
One week passes, then another trickles mind-numbingly slow by as Izuku recovers. Katsuki hadn’t been exaggerating his injuries: rebar had punched through his left thigh and his right side next to his kidney. A broken rib had punctured his lung and broken bones in his legs and arms again. He’d lost a lot of blood while they’d dug him out, his heart had stopped twice on the way in and once in surgery. He’d been so covered in wounds from the battle and the building collapse that it had taken several rounds with a healing quirk to just get to the point of consciousness.
Izuku still feels shaky on his mostly recovered legs for long stretches of time, but the sun is shining and he can tell it’s warm outside and he is finally, finally going home.
He sits on the edge of his hospital bed in his own clothes for the first time in weeks as he waits for the final discharge. One foot bounces anxiously and he’s been mumbling to himself since the last nurse left. The TV is on quietly in the background but he hasn’t been paying attention to it. He’s so ready to get out of there and sleep in his own damn bed again.
After a while his doctor comes in and Izuku shoots him a smile out of habit. The man returns it and starts to go over his notes, telling Izuku what he can and cannot do while still in recovery. He nods absently, only half listening. He’s been through this before, he knows what his limits are.
The doctor eventually signs the discharge and hands it to Izuku along with a packet of instructions. He takes it and gratefully stands, stretches a little before he takes the elevator down to the ground floor. Nurses wave at him as he heads to the exit but his mind is already outside. He pauses on the other side of the doors, feeling the warmth of the morning sun on his face.
Izuku looks to the side and sees Katsuki standing there next to his beat up piece of crap car. It’s rarely used in the city, more for spontaneous trips out into the country when insomnia hits or he gets a surprise day off. Izuku is suddenly so glad he’s not going to have to deal with the train that he holds any comments he’d normally have about the vehicle. Instead he smiles brightly at Katsuki and reaches out to him as he gets closer.
“Thanks, Kacchan, I wasn’t looking forward to the crowds,” he says as he wraps an arm around the man’s shoulders in a quick side hug. Bakugou returns it with a shrug before opening the passenger door.
“I know you. you’d try and stop a robbery on your way home and end right back here if I didn’t come babysit your ass.”
Izuku hears the concern hiding behind the words and shakes his head ruefully.
“I can’t say you’re wrong.”
“Of fucking course I’m not. Get in.”
The ride is peacefully quiet as Katsuki drives. The radio is on but they don’t speak as they pass the agency, turn right onto a small side street. Izuku does frown at that, this route is familiar but it’s definitely not taking them to his house.
“You think I’m letting you sit in your shitty apartment alone with no one around waiting for you to trip and fall flat on your face when you have the spatial awareness of a goddamn infant on the best of days?” he interrupts as they make a corner and rolls to a stop in a small parking lot. “No way in hell, you’re staying with me.”
There’s no leeway in his tone to argue, but that’s the last thing on Izuku’s mind. So he just smiles again at his friend and thanks him. Katsuki grunts and climbs out of the car, comes around the other side to open Izuku’s before leading him inside the apartment.
He’s been here before, but not in a while. Izuku thinks back to when he’d helped move Katsuki into the place, chuckling as he remembers them trying to get the kitchen table up the narrow stairs. The man is a step behind him and he knows it’s because the man is watching his every move, looking for the point where he might have to catch him. Izuku makes it up the stairs unaided, but the comforting presence at his back brings the faint feeling of teary pressure to his eyes.
Wordlessly Katsuki pushes him onto the couch when they enter, grabbing his bag as he sits and setting it by the coffee table. The apartment is sparsely furnished but everything within it has a purpose or a memory. The small end table next to the door had been in Katsuki’s mother’s office since before they were born, the bookshelf next to the TV holds the remains of a childhood obsession with intricate wood carvings, the blanket on the back of the couch knitted by Izuku’s mother when they had been so small and her son had been so wrapped up in the other boy.
Not much is said as Katsuki moves around the apartment, goes from covering Izuku with the blanket to gathering ingredients for lunch. Izuku turns on the news and mutes it, occasionally reads the subtitles but for the most part is happy to watch his friend from his position in the living room. His eyes grow heavy.
Katsuki had gone grocery shopping that morning before heading over to the hospital. Now he sets a pot of stock to boil on the stove starts chopping vegetables, throwing them in and covering the pot once everything is added. Setting it to a low simmer, he turns towards the couch to ask Izuku something. The question dies on his lips as he takes in the sleeping man.
The deathly pallor that had clung to him in those first days after the fight is gone, but the skin is still pulled a little too tightly across his bulky frame and the weariness that he was still trying to overcome was apparent in the corners of his closed eyes. Katsuki watches carefully as his chest rises and falls softly. There’s still a lingering sense of panic somewhere deep in the pit of his stomach that the man tries to ignore. He’s afraid to blink, certain that in that split second that he’s not looking something will happen to take Izuku away.
Quietly, he walks up behind the couch and leans on the back of it to look down at the occupant. Absolutely no sense of self-preservation, the idiot doesn’t flinch at the presence coming close to him. Katsuki wants to shake him until he understands that he can’t throw his life away, wants to pin him down and force him to see how much the world needs him.
How much Katsuki needs him.
A flicker of discomfort flashes across Izuku’s lax face and he turns into the back of the couch, face pressed into the cushion.
“No, Kacchan,” he mumbles as his hand flails against the fabric. Katsuki doesn’t think, he reaches down to let the searching fingers find his own and Izuku grips them like a lifeline. The lines of his face smooth out and he settles again, but Bakugou’s heart is breaking at how young the Symbol of Peace looks. How much weight rests on those shoulders.
How does he get it through that thick skull of Izuku’s that he doesn’t have to do this alone? That it’s never been just Izuku, it’s always been and always will be Izuku and Katsuki.
“Don’t leave me behind, asshole,” he whispers so low he almost can’t hear himself. “Don’t go where I can’t kick your ass.”
Katsuki stands there for a long time, listening to Izuku breathe and taking any comfort he can from the fact that he can feel a strong pulse in the wrist his fingertips brush against. He can feel and see and hear the life moving through the man, and he hopes it will be enough.
The clock chimes two in the afternoon when he rouses Izuku, drags him to the table and shoves a steaming bowl in his face. He doesn’t acknowledge the happy smile as the bowl is rapidly emptied, but it calms something in Katsuki and he can feel himself relax a little. When they finish eating he tosses the dishes in the sink and leads Izuku further into the apartment.
Katsuki’s room is mostly dark thanks to the thick curtains his mother had insisted on putting up and for which he’d never thanked her for, but is grateful for every early morning he returns from patrol and collapses into immediate slumber. He motions Izuku towards the bed as he walks over to his dresser, pulls out a worn shirt that he throws at the man.
Izuku doesn’t mention that he has pajamas in his bag, the bag that Katsuki had brought to him while in the hospital. He watches as his friend heads into the bathroom and takes a moment to press the shirt to his nose. Pine incense mixed with the ever present scent of burnt sugar, such a specific combination that he could track it to its source every time and never doubt where it came from. Nothing else in the world smelled like Katsuki.
“You’re supposed to be putting them on, not sniffing it like a freaking bloodhound, moron.” The blond is standing in the bathroom door looking at Izuku and smirking, but there’s something hidden in the slight tension at the corners of his lips that Izuku wants to wipe away forever. He says nothing of it though, locks eyes with the other man as he tugs off his shirt.
A hunger sparks in Bakugou’s gaze as he takes in the broad chest now suddenly exposed to him. Unconsciously he steps forward with a hand reaching out, but he stops himself at the end of the bed and makes no move to push forward. For once in his life, it seems Katsuki is afraid to make the first move. Izuku doesn’t know what comes next, but he knows what he wants in this moment.
He drops the shirt on the bed and stretches a hand towards Katsuki. It takes a second for him to react, but he hesitantly threads their fingers together and his head drops. Suddenly so tired of the space still between them, Izuku pulls hard on their joined hands and laughs at the surprise on Katsuki’s face as he hits the bed next to him. Before the man can say anything Izuku is there, pushing his way into strong arms and letting his head rest on his chest. He feels as Bakugou wraps his arms around his shoulders, relishes the pressure as he’s crushed against him.
They lay there for a long time, the comfort of being tangled in each other soothing away the turmoil of the past weeks. Izuku can feel the weariness trying to claim him but he’s spent too much time sleeping recently and he wants to live in this moment for the rest of his life. He can feel Katsuki’s breath lightly brushing against the top of his head, lets himself take every inch provided to him.
Bakugou is the first to break the silence. The late afternoon sun trickles golden through the cracks in the curtains and he’s absently running a hand up and down Izuku’s bare back.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.”
If it had not been so quiet in the room, if Izuku didn’t have an ear pressed against the chest under him, he probably wouldn’t have heard Katsuki. His voice is a ghost in Izuku’s ear and his words haunt him. He sits up enough to lean on his elbow and studies the shadowed face.
He should have, but doesn’t expect the guilt he sees there. Guilt mixed with reverence and fear. There’s an expression lingering like he can’t believe that Izuku’s here, like he’s terrified he’ll disappear if he looks away.
“Kacchan,” he starts softly, pauses when he struggles to get the words he wants past the emotion choking his throat. “Kacchan, you did save me.”
Izuku reaches up to let his hand curl around Katsuki’s cheek. There are tears hiding in those red eyes and part of Izuku hates himself for putting them there. He would never stop trying to protect him, but it hadn’t occurred to him what he might leave behind if he didn’t make it.
“I didn’t do shit, Deku. They fucking had Midnight knock me out before I could—”
“I don’t remember dying, but I remember your voice in the dark.” Katsuki’s mouth closes with an audible click and he looks seconds away from breaking down.
“I wouldn’t have been able to come back if I didn’t have you to lead me home.” Izuku’s crying now as he thinks back to the days after the fight. “I couldn’t tell who was talking or what you were saying, but I knew that I had to follow that voice. I knew it would take care of me, that it was the only option. Then I woke up and realized it was you the entire time. It’s always been you.”
Katsuki snarls like a wounded animal and surges up, flipping them so Izuku is pushed into the bed. Then he’s on him and he’s frantically shoving his tongue in Izuku’s mouth.
Katsuki’s hands rake over his exposed chest, run up his sides, clutch and release every inch of available skin. Their breaths come in short gasps as Izuku wraps his arms around the man’s back, pulls them impossibly closer together. Kisses him deeply because this is a part of Katsuki he’s never been able to explore and he needs to know everything. Needs to commit to memory every secret spot that makes those little noises escape. The heat that radiates from the body above him feels like coming home.
There’s still too much between them and Izuku is unable to form the words he wants to change it. So he shoves at Katsuki’s shoulders, chases after him as he rips the shirt off him. Immediately he dives forward to taste the sweat that’s collected in the hollow of his collarbones.
Katsuki curses as he clenches his hands around trim hips. He continues to curse as Izuku nips at the sensitive skin of his neck, works a bruise into his chest. When the sensation becomes too much he intertwines their fingers and uses the leverage to force the other man onto his back.
Katsuki loves the way Izuku’s breath shakes a little as he pins their hands above his head. There’s no doubt in his mind that even in the hero’s weakened state he’s still stronger, could throw him off if he wanted. But Izuku is pliant beneath him, lips swollen and a bright flush stretching from his face down to his stomach—oh god damn, he thinks as he watches as a shiver run across the skin there, I’m so fucked.
“I’m going to ruin you,” he says with a grin, white teeth flashing in the dim light. Leaning forward, he bites at the straining tendon in Izuku’s neck. “You’re never going to be able to think of anyone else when I’m done.”
Izuku whimpers and the sound is so sweet in Katsuki’s ears. He wants so much more.
“There’s never been anyone else. Hard to erase something that isn’t there.”
Katsuki stares at him for a second, how does the bastard always know what the fuck to say that just hits him and leaves him reeling? He tries to catch some thread of thought, but there’s nothing to find except a litany of I love you so fucking much, please never leave me.
Right now that second part is too raw to raise; the memory of a bloody and beaten Izuku too close to the surface. Instead he focuses on kissing the man senseless and trying to impress into him somehow why he needs him to stay alive.
“I love you so fucking much, idiot,” he whispers into Izuku’s mouth, relishes in the taste of the groan that meets the words.
Katsuki’s first language has always been physicality and he will press and bite and touch every part of the other man’s scarred, perfect body until it is understood just exactly how much the hero means to him. Pushing slightly against their clasped hands, a silent command to keep still, he lets go and begins to nip a trail down Izuku’s neck and sternum.
A sharp, keening cry is bit down as he writhes beneath Katsuki. When he mouths hot against his dick it’s all too much and not enough with their jeans still separating them.
“Fuck, Kacchan,” he chokes as fine shivers rush up nerve endings. Inhales sharp and loud in the quiet of the apartment. “If you don’t get us naked right fucking now I’m actually going to explode.”
Katsuki has to laugh at the thready desperation in his voice. “So impatient. And here I thought you’d be all about the foreplay.”
He gets an eye roll for that. “Everything since high school has been foreplay, right now I need you to fuck me."
A groan is past his lips before he can catch it. Izuku is an adult now and definitely talks like one, but no matter how commonplace it is now, the effect it has on Katsuki is unchanged.
“Damn it, Deku,” he croaks, throat tight with desire. He crawls back up to kiss the man passionately and within seconds he has Izuku’s zipper down. Breaking away, he quickly grabs the waistbands of both pants and boxers, dragging them off in one smooth movement. Katsuki doesn’t immediately look at the exposed body laying on the bed while he removes his own off because right now? He’s two seconds away from coming in his pants like a damn teenager and he needs to get himself under control.
When Katsuki feels the edge of arousal creep away enough to think he lets his eyes cast over Izuku’s stretched out form. Even still healing, even with the weight lost during his time in the hospital, the man is fucking gorgeous. There’s no controlling his hands as they grip at those hips, thumb running over the sharp cut of his iliac. Izuku hisses at the touch and he pushes up into it.
“Katsuki, please—" he pleads in a strung out moan, eyes glazed as they peer helplessly up at him. It won’t take much to pull him apart but that’s okay. They have time. For now Katsuki is of the same mind; he needs to have every inch he can take and claim it this second.
He let’s go and Izuku groans weakly at the loss, but falls silent as the nightstand drawer is opened and he pulls out lube and a condom. Settled between splayed legs, he leans to trail burning kisses from stomach to thigh. The small bottle is flicked open as he moves and he coats it along his fingers.
Katsuki almost loses it as the first one slides into Izuku so easily, the way the other man clenches and then relaxes around him. It sounds like the air is punched out of him each time the digit slowly draws in and out.
He works Izuku open steadily. The sudden cry that is released when he finds his prostate is the most beautiful thing Katsuki’s ever heard. He aims relentlessly for it until the body beneath him thrashes wildly with euphoria hiccuping from his throat. He stretches and teases and revels in learning how absolutely insane he’s able to make Izuku.
When hands reach down to twist in his hair, Katsuki pauses to look at him.
“I’m not going to make it if you keep screwing around.” He’s gone breathy as he pants and there’s a certain pride that lights in Katsuki because he did that. It’s because of him that Izuku is flushed all over and looks like a Best Of tour inside the many fantasies he’s dreamed over the years.
He has to kiss him. Not wants—though he does, absolutely fucking does—but needs to with a frantic urgency that propels him up to clamp his palms around Izuku’s face and devour him. Shivers race up his spine as nails scratch along his back, leaving fire in their wake. Then a rough hand takes hold of his dick and strokes firmly.
Katsuki breaks away with a growled curse that’s met with a smirk. “Get a fucking move on, Kacchan.”
There’s no response but his arm shoots out to grab the condom, has it open and on in no time at all. He lets Izuku grab at him because he understands the instinct the man has to touch him to affirm he’s awake. To confirm he’s alive. It’s what Katsuki’s doing as his lips brush against Izuku’s shoulder, allows a small noise of pleasure to sink into the flesh there when the hand is back to guide him.
It’s like everything falls into place as he slowly enters. Izuku passes beyond being able to produce sound and his mouth hangs open, breathing ragged. His feet come to rest on Katsuki’s lower back as he bottoms out and stills for a moment. Inhales deeply the smell of sweat and the lingering remains of rubbing alcohol. Then it’s too much to stand still so he pulls back and snaps forward lightning fast.
Izuku damn near screams, hands scrabbling across his chest looking for purchase. Once Katsuki starts there’s no way he can stop, not that he ever fucking wants to. He sets a ferocious pace with hands fisted into the sheets on either side of the man’s head. Bites at the corners of the sobs that quake through Izuku as he drives over and over into the knot of nerves and loves the taste of them.
As the tension builds all Izuku can do is lie there and take it. The air between them is hot and heavy with the slick sounds of Katsuki slamming into him relentlessly. The most delicious noises bubble up through Izuku’s lax lips and he has to lean down to swallow them whole.
Like he had much expected, it doesn’t take long for them to reach the precipice. Izuku’s name falls like a repeated prayer from Katsuki’s tongue and the hard grasp the man has on his hips will certainly bruise. He will later run his fingers over the marks and admire the reminder of the reality of this moment. But as they race to the edge, those hands ground Katsuki.
When his movements start to become erratic he reaches between them to take Izuku’s neglected dick in hand, matches the rhythm of his thrusts. There is no containing the cries that come from the man. He babbles and begs and tears leak from the corners of his eyes that are looking right through Katsuki as he takes everything given.
It hits them like a wave and Izuku’s back comes off the bed as he comes. Every nerve is alight and he’s holding onto Katsuki like the world is ending. He drags him under and the strokes stutter at the release, but continues to attack Izuku’s prostate. Keeps going until the overstimulation makes him unable to breathe and hands push weakly at him. Only then does he stop.
The only sound in the darkened room is two sets of lungs trying to recall what oxygen is. Before he lets himself curl up in the twisted sheets, Katsuki removes the condom and throws it out in the bathroom trash, comes back to bed with a damp cloth. He takes care as he cleans first Izuku and then himself. Tosses the cloth in the general direction of the hamper with a soft smile he will deny if ever questioned about on his face. Can’t help it with the weary grabby hands Izuku is making at him and the blissful happiness shining from him.
Katsuki flops down bonelessly and the man is latched to him in an instant, nuzzles against his neck. “Why is Kacchan amazing at everything he does?” he mumbles, the man’s breath puffing against his jaw and Katsuki laughs. He doesn’t respond as he wrangles the sheets over their cooling skin. They lay intertwined in the quiet and it feels like heaven.
“I love you,” Katsuki whispers after some time because the dim light makes the vulnerability the slightest bit easier. “I’ve loved you longer than I fucking knew what it was. I—”
God he fucking hates talking about emotional bullshit. He’s never been good at words but that’s the only way he can show the complex war happening in his heart every time he looks at the fucker.
“You have to get it, what your life fucking means. There’s a cost if you get killed.” He shoves his nose in Izuku’s hair, breathes deep. “Don’t stick me with the bill.”
A low whine catches in the man’s throat and he crawls up to lay on Katsuki’s chest, hands framing his face as he peppers soft kisses across it. “I’m sorry, I love you, Kacchan, Kacchan,” coming across in whispering warm bursts. Katsuki brings his arms up to crush Izuku against him, drowns in the way the weight of him means he’s there and he’s alive. It’s all he’s ever needed and Katsuki clings to it.
The moon is dark and the sounds of cars slowly slide past the open window. Inside the apartment, Katsuki is wrapped tightly around Izuku’s sleeping form. One hand idly twirls a curl around his finger, lets it go before repeating the motion. He’s touched the surprisingly soft hair before, but only in passing and never for as long as he would like. Now he has permission to touch as much as he wants, and oh how he wants. He wants to mark every inch of the man, claim him so the world knows exactly who he belongs to. Wants to leave a reminder so Izuku knows exactly who he belongs to and the responsibility he has to Katsuki.
There is the beginning of an understanding now between them, an acknowledgement of the debt they owe each other. There is no denying their natures; Izuku will always throw himself in the path of danger and Katsuki will too, given half the chance. But no man is an island and with any death there is collateral damage.
Katsuki doesn't sleep that night. He keeps watch, eyes only leaving Izuku in periodic glances of habitual perimeter checks. The feeling of the rise and fall of steady breathing as he lays with his back tucked against Katsuki's chest. When a nightmare begins to creep and Izuku's brow furrows he takes a rough hand in his, holds on tight as he whispers whatever words of comfort he can find. Waits until the tension fades and peace settles again.
There will be many nights and in those he will lay next to Izuku and sleep through it. But in the first night, after everything that’s happened, he can't. Katsuki lays there in the dark and catalogs the way Izuku's skin smells right now, the way it's cool against him but not cold. Listens and mentally records the exact sound of soft inhale, soft exhale with the gentle hum of a fan turning slowly nearby. The occasional reminders of the outside world floating in through the window.
He keeps watch. Just to remember that they're both alive for now, that they've made it through the worst. To finally be able to revel in the fact that Izuku actually won against All For One. In the week after the battle Katsuki hadn't been able to think about it, waiting for his partner to pull through and then to wake up. Didn’t really take much time to think anything other than thank god, thank fucking god, throughout his recovery. Now he lay there in awe of the sheer strength it had taken for Izuku to push so far past his limits, then survive a building coming down on him. It's unfathomable.
In the morning Katsuki will slip from the bed without waking Izuku, will chuckle to himself at how deeply asleep he is, and make breakfast. He'll bring tea back to bed and use it to lure him awake. They'll spend the day in bed; talking and laughing and, once or twice, crying as they lay tightly entwined.
They'll leave to stretch their legs and get dinner from down the street. They'll come back and eat on the floor in the living room with the coffee table covered in food. Nothing will be on TV but it won't matter because they will get distracted and trip over each other on the way back to bed.
But for tonight, Katsuki let's the quiet moments tick by and he keeps the watch.