It didn’t take long for class 1A to learn something very important about Bakugo Kasuki: He did not like being touched.
Any form of physical contact seemed to send him off the deep end. Kaminari lightly punched Bakugo’s shoulder in a friendly manner one time, and was met with screaming and yelling. Mina tapped his shoulder to ask a question and was met with a low growl, his hands crackling with explosions. Even Todoroki’s casual hand on his shoulder to stop him from picking a fight with Midoryia only made matters worse.
Everyone learned the hard way to avoid Bakugo, not wanting to give him any reason to yell at them. They’ve grown used to it, and never gave much thought to their classmate’s distaste for physical contact.
Then, Kirishima came into play.
It was a casual gesture, something that they’ve all seen the red head do with countless other friends, a wide smile spread across his face. Everyone was acquainted with Kirishima’s physical affections, but everyone assumed that he stayed away from Bakugo like the rest of them.
It was during lunch that it happened. Everyone was digging in to their meals, chatting with their various friends about training and classes. The cafeteria was full of life as laughter blossomed from different tables, smiles on almost everyone’s faces. Bakugo was sitting with his usual “band of idiots,” as he liked to call them; Kirishima, Mina, Sero, and Kaminari. He wasn’t really involved in the conversation, leaning back in his chair as he ate, leafing through a book. At the mention of his name, he was drawn back to the topic at hand.
“Yeah, me and Bakugo have been working on strengthening my quirk together!” Kirishima says enthusiastically, draping an arm over Bakugo’s shoulders. “It’s really cool! I can just about withstand any blast he throws at me!” Kirishima continues, grinning toothily, but the other three people sitting at the table don’t really catch it. Instead, they’re staring at Kirishima and Bakugo, wondering why Bakugo hasn’t broken Kirishima’s arm yet for touching him so casually. The table is silent, trying to decipher the situation.
“What the fuck is wrong with you extras?” Bakugo growls, shrugging off Kirishima’s arm. And like that, the spell is broken.
Their plan to save Bakugo was completely based on chance. There were a lot of things that could go wrong, and if the villains had even the slightest opportunity to fight back, they’d be done for, not to mention the fact that Bakugo was as stubborn as a mule and probably wouldn’t even dream of accepting help from his friends, even though he clearly needed it.
Midoriya knew the risks, he just hoped that his plan would work.
“With Iida, Todoroki, and my quirk combined, we should be able to propel ourselves over the battle to give Kachaan an opening to escape without having to involve ourselves in the conflict. He’s used his blasts before to fly up into the air, so that shouldn’t be an issue. We just have to make sure we catch him.”
“Midoriya, I don’t mean to be rude, but do you really think Bakugo will accept our help? I mean you know how touchy he is with physical contact,” Yaoyorozu says, frowning at him. Midoriya nods, wringing his hands.
“It’s a chance we’re going to have to take, but I think he’d respond better to our rescue attempt if it wasn’t.... if it wasn’t me or Iida calling to him,” he says nervously, glancing over at Kirishima.
“What do you mean?” Todoroki says, furrowing his brow.
“Kachaan doesn’t really like it when people touch him. He’s been that way since we were kids but... but with Kirishima it’s different. Kirishima—“ he says, turning to the red haired boy. “I think if you’re the one to catch him, we might be able to pull this off. He trusts you.” Kirishima nods resolutely, eyes burning with passion.
“Let’s save Bakugo.”
Their plan worked like a charm. Bakugo held Kirishima’s hand tight as they moved away from the battle, and if anyone noticed the way they continued to hold hands, squeezing them tightly as they watched All-Might battle All for One, they never mentioned it.
Everyone at U.A. knew that Kirishima was the only one allowed to touch Bakugo. With everyone else, he growled and stomped his feet, setting of warning explosions in his palms, but with Kirishima he allowed it, sometimes even going as far as showing a small, soft smile when Kirishima gave him a tight side hug before he quickly masked it with an expression of mock annoyance.
It gave way to lots of speculation, especially as it happened more and more as class 1A moved into their second year at U.A.. It seemed like Kirishima was constantly finding time to touch Bakugo, by casually brushing his shoulder up against the blonde’s, or grasping him in a tight embrace. Bakugo never loosened up like he did with Kirishima around others. Sure, when someone accidentally touched him, he didn’t have as violent of a reaction as he did the previous year, but he never gave that soft smile to anyone other than Kirishima.
Almost half of the class had bets on whether or not they were dating, much to Iida’s dispar. They couldn’t seem to find any other explanation as to the physical affection between the blonde and the red head, and a lot of them began to accept it as fact that they were a couple. After all, they never took the two of them to be the type to make a big, public display over their changing relationship. They just assumed their gradual closeness was reason enough.
Like the one night, when the girls declared a movie night in the living room, everyone pulling together their stacks of DVDs to find something to watch. Todoroki, Midoryia, and Uraraka disappeared into the kitchen, popping an absurd amount of popcorn for the class as they settled on a Marvel movie.
The class all crowded around the TV, people bringing pillows and blankets from their room to lounge on the floor. The lucky ones managed to take over the couch, including Bakugo and Kirishima.
They flicked the lights off, the TV screen illuminating the class’s faces as they watched heroes fight villains, laughing at the funny parts, and sobbing at the gut wrenching parts. Friends shared bowls of popcorn, munching away as they all sat on the edge of their seats, caught up in the movie’s action.
Beside him, Kirishima yawns, stretching his arms out and leaning on Bakugo, his hair tickling Bakugo’s jaw. He grumbles, mumbling something under his breath before looping his arm around Kirishima’s waist.
It felt like an admission of sorts.
It became painstakingly clear that Kirishima and Bakugo were the clingy type of couple. The two of them never seemed to spend a moment apart, seeming even more inseparable as their second year at U.A. came to an end. The two were joined at the hip, having lunch together, training together, and always hanging out together in the dorms. It wasn’t uncommon to see them with arms thrown around each other’s shoulders or clasping hands tightly when they paired themselves off for training exercises.
Nobody minded, though. The two balanced each other out, not just with their quirks. Bakugo didn’t lose his temper as easily when Kirishima was around. Kirishima seemed stronger when Bakugo was there, as if his presence warded off any doubts he might have about his strength and power. Their banter, full of sarcasm and playfulness could make anyone laugh, and it was no mystery how much better off the two were with each other. It restored equilibrium in the world.
Which is why, when that equilibrium was thrown off course, it was like the whole universe had been thrown off-kilter.
It was a minor mistake, something to be expected in the hero world, especially with teenagers who were still learning how to find their way in society. Really, it wasn’t as if the injury was seriously life threatening, but still, a looming sense of dread hung over Kirishima as he was faced with Bakugo’s mortality.
It was a result of large injuries and gaping wounds that caused a little too much blood loss and an over exertion of power. It wasn’t anything that a few healing quirks and some intensive medical care couldn’t fix.
Except those four days Bakugo spent unconscious, lying in a hospital bed as his body worked tirelessly to recover from his injuries made it painstakingly awful. Four days felt like years to Kirishima. Four days of imagining over and over the image of Bakugo bleeding on the battlefield somewhere, fighting a foe that was even too powerful for him. Kirishima could’ve been there. He could’ve helped or…. or something .
Kirishima spent every single one of those four days next to his hospital bed, clenching the blonde’s hand in his own, feeling his pulse under his fingers and assuring himself that Bakugo was alive , and that he wouldn’t die. Not if Kirishima could help it.
Everyone could sense that something was wrong with Kirishima. His smiles where few and far in between, and every smile he did offer came off as weak and strained. He could hardly focus in any of his classes, and the moment they ended he was rushing off to the hospital to see if Bakugo’s condition improved. His friends tried desperately to rope him back into the things he enjoyed before the Bakugo mishap, playing video games with him and insisting that their friend would be fine and nobody had a doubt that he would be back to yelling at them until their war drums bled in a matter of days.
And Kirishima tried to present the person they wanted to see, he really did, but he just couldn’t. Every inch of his brain was occupied with worry for Bakugo, wanting nothing more than to see him back on his feet, grumbling and pouting like he always was. It took too much energy worrying about his friend and trying to maintain his usual upbeat demeanor, and it became frighteningly evident the more and more he withdrew from his peers.
Maybe Mr. Aizawa was a little too soft with his homeroom class this year. Maybe he’s seen the way Kirishima seemed to deflate with the absence of one of his closest friends and took pity on the poor boy. Maybe that explained why he pulled him out of English class on the fourth day, knowing that Kirishima would want to be the first to know of Bakugo’s recovery.
“Mr. Aizawa?” Kirishima said nervously once they were in the hallway. Everyone’s eyes followed him as he walked out of the room, and it did nothing to calm his nerves. Kirishima ran through a list of everything he’s ever done wrong, wondering if any of them were enough to get him in serious trouble (surely hiding snacks in his room wasn't a serious offense?).
“Follow me,” Aizawa grunted, turning away and walking down the hall. Kirishima scrambled to follow, getting even more wary as they passed dozens of classrooms, Aizawa not saying a single word. As they descended towards the lower level of U.A., Kirishima was finally given an explanation.
“I figured you’d want to be the first to know of Bakugo’s recovery. That, and the problem child was very adamant about seeing you. Immediately.” Kirishima’s heart stuttered in his chest.
“He’s okay?” Kirishima asks, his voice cracking slightly. Aizawa doesn’t say anything, just opens the door to Recovery Girl’s clinic, gesturing inside. Kirishima didn’t hesitate. He rushed inside, hearing his heart pound in his ears. His eyes connect with a familiar pair of red ones and all the tension that had been building within him the past four days suddenly comes rushing forward as he grins at his closest friend.
Aizawa stands in the doorway, watching the two interact. They remind him of himself and someone he loved long ago, when he was a young stupid teenager. He noticed the way they grasped each other tightly, full of desperation, and the way tears streamed down Kirishima’s face, full of relief, and the small smile that spread across Bakugo’s face, one that was so rare it almost looked foiegn on his lips. He began to wonder if the rumors spreading around the school like a wildfire about the two might have some merit.
It was a bad night. Training was rough, Kirishima felt more lost than ever in class, and the mission he went on for his work study just barely succeeded because of his rookie mistake. He was nearing his third year at U.A. and he figured he’d be past all this by now. Sure, he worked hard, and just because he got better doesn’t mean that there wasn't room for improvement, but today felt like a major setback. The same fears he had years ago crept up on him as the night grew darker and colder. Moonlight filtered through the window into his dark, messy room as Kirishima sat on his bed, legs tucked into his chest as he stared out into the inky blackness of the night. He tried to breathe, assure himself that he wasn’t useless, that he would be the best hero he can and save countless civilians in his lifetime, proving to the world that his hard work and determination wasn’t for nothing. But it wasn’t enough. He couldn’t keep the intrusive thoughts at bay, and he could feel the panic washing over him, clawing at his lungs as he struggled to draw in breaths.
He didn’t even think about it. His legs started to move without his mind telling them to, sliding out of bed and grabbing a pillow on his way out. As quietly as he could so he wouldn’t disturb the other students, he walked out of his room, soft footsteps padding on the hallway. He walked over to the room next to his, chewing his lip anxiously as he knocked on it.
Not long after, Bakugo answered the door, rubbing the last bits of sleep out of his eyes as he scowled at Kirishima. This wasn’t the first time Kirishima showed up at his doorstep like this, taking full advantage of the fact that Bakugo was a light sleeper.
“What do you want, Shitty Hair?” Bakugo grumbled, stifling a yawn. Kirishima took a watery breath, reaching out for his friend and pulling him into a tight hug. Bakugo sighs, his breath ruffling Kirishima’s hair and hugs back tightly, letting Kirishima bury his face in his shoulder.
“C’mon Ei,” he whispers, his voice dripping with sleepiness and affection. “I’m here.”
The door closed behind them as Bakugo pulled Kirishima into his room, both of them grasping each other tightly as they laid in Bakugo’s bed, mumbling incoherent words to each other until they eventually fell asleep.
Midoriya always woke up early, no matter what day of the week it was. He had an internal schedule, and even when he tried to sleep in he still found himself awake before the mildly decent hour of 7am. Today was no different as the sunlight began to filter in through his window. He sat up in his bed, stretching out his arms, still sore from the previous day’s training. He pulled the covers off himself and was met with cold air and he shivered, grabbing a hoodie before he headed out of his dorm for some breakfast.
As he emerged from his room, another figure came out of Bakugo’s room. Kirishima’s bright red hair was in complete and utter disarray, and he grinned sleepily at Midoriya, offering a small, “hi,” before heading into his own room.
Midoriya wasn’t sure he wanted an explanation.
“I am not playing truth or dare with you damn extras,” Bakugo grumbled as he played truth or dare with a sizable portion of class 1A. They were nearing the end of their years at U.A., and one of the countless of idiots in their class decided it would be a good idea to pry some secrets out of their classmates before they no longer were stupid teenagers messing around with their powers and were actual heroes that were part of agencies and had a genuine responsibility to fight villains. Everyone felt uncertain about their futures, but the same drive to be a hero existed within each of them, and each and every one of them wanted to ride out that desire as long as they were physically able.
Bakugo would’ve much rather studied for their upcoming test on Monday in his room, but Kirishima gave him a pleading look when the idea was suggested, and now he was sitting in a circle with the rest of their classmates as everyone tried to find embarrassing dares and juicy secrets to pry out of their friends and peers.
The game was pretty boring for the most part. There weren’t many secrets other than the obvious “who is your crush” or “who’s the hottest person in the room,” and class 1A was frighteningly unimaginative with their dares. Bakugo rolled his eyes every time someone dared someone else to do something stupid, although he will admit that some of them did stir up a couple of laughs from him. The game lasted for what felt like hours before someone finally had the gall to ask an… interesting question.
“Kirishima, Truth or Dare?” Mina asked, a grin on her face. Kirishima shifted in his seat, feeling uncomfortable with the glint in her eyes. He felt cornered, like if no matter what he chose, he would be in trouble.
“Uh… truth?” Bakugo scoffed from behind him and the glint in Mina’s eyes intensified.
“Kiri….” she said sweetly, smirking at her friend. That’s when Kirishima knew he made a big mistake. He held his breath, waiting for the hell she was about to bring upon him in front of their peers.
“Who’s the top?” The reaction is immediate. Midoriya sputters, choking on the water he was drinking, while various other students start bursting out in laughter. From the next room over, Iida (who refused to participate in their game) was shouting about how inappropriate the question was, and Todoroki proceeded to look confused.
“Excuse me?” Kirishima says, blinking at her. “What?”
“You know…. out of you and Bakugo. Who’s the top?”
“What the fuck are you talking about, Raccoon Eyes,” Bakugo growls menacingly.
“Well obviously you two have slept with each other considering the amount of time you spend in each other’s dorms. So, who’s the top?” Mina presses. Kirishima looks bewildered.
“Why the hell would we be fucking?” Bakugo says. Everyone stares at the two of them blankly.
“Because you’re dating?” Mina says, starting to question that statement along with everyone else. It was something that had been accepted as fact for such a long time but now—
Kirishima’s face was almost as red as his hair as he shook his head frantically.
“Oh, no, me and Bakugo are just friends we’re not—“ he grunts, “dating.” Bakugo growls in agreement.
“What the hell!” Kaminari says, jumping up from his spot on the floor. “You have to be pulling a prank on us, man. There’s no way you two aren’t dating.”
“We? Never were? I don’t know where you guys got that idea, man,” Kirishima says, running a hand through his hair.
“Are you kidding me? Look at yourselves,” Sero pipes in, gesturing to the two of them. They’re currently both seated on the floor, Kirishima sitting between Bakugo’s legs and leaning back on his chest with Bakugo’s arms draped over his shoulders protectively.
“You have to admit, Kirishima, you two are very affectionate towards each other,” Tsuyu says, putting a finger on her chin.
“I am not affectionate!” Bakugo growls, however he doesn’t move away from Kirishima.
“So wait… you two aren’t dating?” Midoriya asks questioningly, looking at Bakugo with wide eyes.
“Are you all idiots? Of course we aren’t, Deku,” Bakugo snarls. Kirishima’s embarrassed look turns into something more thoughtful. He turns his head, looking over at Bakugo.
“You know…. I wouldn’t actually mind having you as my boyfriend,” he hums, flashing Bakugo a sharp toothed grin. Bakugo’s eyes search his, a questioning tilt to his brow. A silent conversation seems to pass between them, like they had a way to communicate without words.
“You know what. Fuck it. Kirishima’s now my boyfriend, fuck off, all of you.”
Nobody really knew how to proceed from there, too stuck on the past five minutes, and how complete and utterly wrong they were on the status of their classmates’ relationship.