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Eijirou is aware of two things.

 

  1. Bakugou Katsuki has a Tinder profile.
  2. Bakugou Katsuki’s Tinder profile lists him as a gay man.

 

Staring open mouthed at his phone screen, Eijirou attempts to process this sudden information. He promptly gives up and turns to Kaminari, who is the only other person present in the 3A common room area at two in the morning, currently planting trees in his Animal Crossing town with an aggressive amount of focus.

 

“Bro.” Eijirou begins. Kaminari nods, sighing when he plants a tree in the wrong spot and has to eat another one of his apples just to dig it back up again. “Did you know Bakugou is gay?”

 

Kaminari nods. “You didn’t?”

 

Eijirou swipes through Bakugou’s profile. His first picture is a mirror selfie, taken in his dorm bathroom. He’s wearing his black tank top. Eijirou sweats. He takes a small breath to push down his minor gay panic and swipes to the next picture. Eijirou isn’t one for dramatics, but he swears that his heart literally explodes right then and there. Bakugou is pictured, shirtless, lying with a tiny white Pomeranian. A fucking Pomeranian. Eijirou didn’t even know Bakugou owned a dog.

 

He gives himself a moment to collect his thoughts. Kaminari groans as Tom Nook announces his next mortgage of five-hundred and forty-eight thousand bells. He doesn’t even need a left room that badly. Eijirou peeks over at his friend, sees that he is still fully engrossed in his game and is blissfully unaware of the homosexual crisis occurring right next to him on the couch, and braves another swipe on his profile.

 

He instantly wishes he hadn’t. Eijirou doesn’t know how much more he can take.

 

It appears to be from a wedding, or some other formal event. Bakugou is wearing a white button up shirt with the top few buttons undone, his sleeves rolled up and his jacket and tie absent. The picture is suspiciously cropped to erase whoever else was in the image with him, but a glance at Bakugou’s annoyed expression and the tiny tuft of green hair in the corner of the image makes it obvious that it is Midoriya. Eijirou briefly wonders how many family events Midoriya and Bakugou have attended together, before his attention is immediately brought back to the forearms on display in the picture. Also, how good his collarbones look under his shirt. Bakugou wearing a shirt. The way his shirt is tucked into his slim fitting pants. How good he would look without either-

 

Kaminari lets out a quiet sob. “Goldie just asked to leave my island. Is it that bad? Have I not provided her with comfort and love? I’m working my ass off to make this island better. I even made a heart shaped lake. Heart shaped! Nothing I do is enough. I am unworthy of Goldie’s love.” Eijirou pats him on the arm with his hand that isn’t currently holding the Tinder profile of his long-term crush and best friend. He unfortunately can’t spare a glance in Kaminari’s direction, as that would mean looking away from literally the most perfect image Eijirou has seen in his eighteen years of living.

 

He sees that there are two more images left to go. If his pictures so far have given Eijirou any indication of what to expect, he knows to mentally prepare himself for a complete system failure and to potentially never look at Bakugou in person again. Oh fuck. Eijirou thinks. I have to see him in person again.

 

Eijirou doesn’t allow himself the luxury of a comprehensible thought further than that. He soldiers on, allowing his eyes to move from his best friend’s forearms to click the next image. He nearly combusts right there on the couch.

 

Since when does Bakugou own glasses. Are they even real? Eijirou doesn’t care. What he does care about, however, is how well they suit him. He’s going to be seeing glasses Bakugou in his dreams for at least the next four months. Eijirou’s never had a thing for glasses before, but he decides that that changes starting now. He lives and breathes exclusively for glasses Bakugou.

 

Eijirou attempts to zoom in to the picture, but swipes onto the last picture by mistake. He can’t help the tiny gasp that escapes his mouth, but Kaminari pays him no notice.

 

It’s instantly recognisable to him – a picture of their little squad from their first week of third year. Midoriya had offered to take a few, and with some slightly violent persuasion from everyone else, Bakugou had reluctantly agreed to be in them.

 

Eijirou can tell you the set-up of the picture from memory, mostly due to the fact that he has it framed on his bedside table. Kaminari, Sero and Ashida are crouching at the front of the photo, while he and Bakugou are behind them. However. What he could tell you about the picture in his room is that everyone other than Bakugou is smiling. It isn’t quite a grimace, but Bakugou’s signature frown is the highlight of the image, surrounded by his closest friends.

 

Glasses, dog-loving, suit-wearing Tinder Bakugo, however, has the tiniest smile on his face in his version of the photo. Eijirou knows he has never seen this photo before. He would remember. He would have it framed and stuck to his ceiling so it could be the last thing he sees before he falls asleep and the first thing he sees when he wakes up. He wonders where Bakugou got this photo from, and where he has kept it hidden so nobody else in their group would find it. The pictures sent to their little group chat consisted of around twenty photos – most of them the same but a few a little blurry due to Midoriya’s excitement when trying to get them all in the frame. Despite this, Eijirou knows he’s never seen a picture of Bakugou smiling. It squeezes at his heart.

 

Gripping his phone a little tighter so as not to lose the image on his screen, Eijirou experiences a brief flash of unreasonable jealousy, that some random stranger on a dating app would see this side of Bakugou before even his best friend. He considers screenshotting the photo but decides against it. He can ask Bakugou when he eventually mentions that he’s seen his Tinder profile.

 

Eijirou’s stomach sinks. At some point in the near future (although he resolves to make it as far of a future as he possibly can), he’s going to have to bring this up. He can’t, with good conscience and as the manliest person he knows, pretend that he hasn’t seen this whole other side of Bakugou.

 

This side of Bakugou, where, apparently, he’s a completely different person. If Eijirou didn’t know him before seeing his profile, he would have no idea of his short temper, his fierce loyalty or even his quirk.

 

“You gonna swipe right on him, then?” Kaminari asks. Eijirou bolts upright, only just noticing that his friend put down his switch a few minutes ago and has been witnessing the tail end of his meltdown.

 

This is the moment that Eijirou enters his biggest conundrum yet.

 

He weighs his options.

 

  1. He swipes right on Bakugou. Bakugou swipes left. They don’t match. They don’t talk about it. Eijirou’s dreams are crushed, but at least there’s no awkward conversation.
  2. Eijirou swipes left on Bakugou. He never knows if Bakugou did the same. It avoids the awkward rejection from his best friend, but it also avoids the awkward chat.
  3. Eijirou swipes right. Bakugou swipes right. They match. They chat. They have to talk about it somehow, but hey, they matched! Hope ignites in Eijirou’s chest. He hastily pushes it back down.
  4. Eijirou just closes the app and leaves himself in this awkward limbo of never knowing what Bakugou would choose to do.

 

Number four is the most appealing. He closes the app, properly shuts it off for good measure, locks his phone and then turns to look at Kaminari.

 

“No.” He responds, a few minutes too late. Kaminari has opened his phone and is hastily scrolling through tweets related to turnip prices.

 

“Bro, why not? You’d have such pretty kids. Imagine their eyes.”

 

Eijirou keeps his gaze pointed at the table.

 

“Also, Ei, you’ve liked him for so long and it hurts me, as your closest platonic boyfriend, to see you pine this bad.” Kaminari says, his expression soft.

 

“I didn’t even know he liked guys until today, Kami.” Eijirou sighs. “How did you know?”

 

Kaminari pauses to think. “He told us, I think? Maybe in the common room one time when we were discussing relationships. I think he just kinda said that he’s never liked girls and maybe threatened to blow us up if we tried to ask him any questions.”

 

Eijirou feels a small pang of jealousy at that. Bakugou knows that Eijirou is gay – it’s no secret to 3A and it hasn’t been for a long time. Not that Eijirou feels obligated to know his friend’s sexuality, he understands how hard it can be to come out and knows that Bakugo isn’t one to openly discuss his emotions. It’s just. Bakugou is Eijirou’s best friend. Why does the rest of their group know before him?

 

He frowns at his own thoughts. Obviously, Bakugou didn’t think it was a big deal, and it’s not Eijirou’s place to be upset over something like this.

 

“Honestly, Ei, I don’t think he really cares who knows. I can see your thought process right now and the bad vibes are literally suffocating me, bro. It’s not personal, I just think he thought you knew.” Kaminari reassures him. Eijirou nods, giving him a small smile. Kaminari’s right, he knows it. But it doesn’t stop the tiny amount of jealousy resting in the back of his mind.

 

Kaminari sits up, turns his body so that he is lying on the couch, places his head into the redhead’s lap and grabs Eijirou’s free hand, forcing it into his hair so that he can card it through the blond strands. He grabs his switch from his lap, reopens his game, and together he and Eijirou spend the remainder of their evening attempting to kick Kaminari’s least favourite villager off his island.

 

 

 

Back in his dorm, Eijirou is seconds away from drifting off before he sits upright, eyes wide. He has to face Bakugou tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Class starts the way it always does, Iida attempting to calm down his classmates (Sero and Ashido are trying to educate Todoroki on the Spice Girls. “Scary, Sporty, Ginger, Baby and Posh.” Repeats Ashido, for the third time in the past minute. “But they aren’t spices.” Todoroki repeats, also for the third time in the past minute. Sero sings his own rendition of Wannabe, and he sees Jirou physically recoil in horror. Midoriya has trapped Tokoyami at his desk, swiping through a collection of pictures of All Might, asking which one would look the best as his lock screen. Tokoyami catches Eijirou’s eye across the classroom, silently begging for help. Eijirou wishes he could help, but there’s no saving him now. Before Iida yells, Eijirou catches Kaminari flicking small bits of his strawberry milk at Hagakure, who is asleep across her desk.) and Bakugou arriving a few seconds before the bell rings.

 

Eijirou stares at his desk, pretending that their advanced statistics is the most intriguing thing he’s seen in the last twenty-four hours as if he hasn’t seen Bakugou fucking SMILING.

 

The rest of morning classes passes mostly uneventfully (save for Midoriya breaking two pencils with his quirk at the excitement of finally understanding binomial distribution) and Eijirou manages to focus on his work more than he was expecting.

 

When Ectoplasm dismisses them for lunch, Eijirou doesn’t move from his seat. He looks around for Kaminari somewhat desperately, hoping he can escape with someone before he combusts into a big gay disaster.

 

“Oi, Kirishima.” Eijirou’s heart rate involuntarily picks up at the sound of the boy he’s been avoiding.  “Let’s eat. I’m fucking starving.”

 

“Y-yeah.” Eijirou replies unintelligibly. He stands up from his chair, cringes at the scrape it makes against the floor and follows Bakugou’s already retreating figure out of the door.

 

They join Sero, Ashido and Kaminari at their usual table. The only two seats left are facing each other, and Eijirou locks eyes with Kaminari as he wiggles his eyebrows.

 

He sits down opposite Bakugou, taking out his lunch and avoiding eye contact.

 

There are currently four gays at this table, Eijirou thinks. He eyes Ashido warily. Four that I’m aware of. And Bakugou is one of them.

 

For the first time since the Tinder Incident™, he allows himself to look at Bakugou.

 

He regrets it instantly. Bakugou is eating his rice with the most focus and dedication Eijirou thinks he has ever seen him display outside of schoolwork. Why the fuck am I getting jealous over some rice, Eijirou thinks. Rice can’t match with him on Tinder.

 

He pointedly ignores Kaminari’s glances from across the table, digging into his own lunch.

 

“So. I know we all passed this off as one of our class jokes. But, I have a conspiracy theory we need to discuss.” Ashido begins. Bakugou’s expression goes from his usual pissed-off expression to his even-more-pissed-off expression. Sero groans. “All Might and Midoriya. Father and son?”

 

“I mean. We’d be stupid to ignore the similarities in their quirks.” Kaminari says with a shrug.

 

‘I kinda see it. They have the same vibes. Like, ridiculously motivational vibes.” Sero contributes.

 

“Obviously not, dipshits.” says Bakugou. “Would you have that many pictures of your dad up in your room? And all those fucking statues? Would you have your dad on your shitty bedsheets?”

 

“Well, I mean, if my dad was All Might…” Ashido begins.

 

“I grew up with that shitty nerd. They aren’t related.” Bakugou states, with an air of finality.

 

Which reminds Eijirou of what he’d been firmly pushing down all day. That picture of the two of them in suits.

 

“What was growing up with Midoriya like?” Kaminari asks, leaning into Bakugou’s space ever so slightly. Eijirou watches Bakugou lean backwards to escape with a grimace.

 

“What do you mean, what was it like? We literally just grew up together.”

 

“Yeah, but don’t you have like, shared memories and shit? Surely you had like, family events together.”

 

“Like weddings?” Eijirou supplies, before clamping his mouth shut. He bites his tongue and quickly tastes blood. Good. He thinks. That’s what you get for being an absolute dumbass.

 

“He speaks!” Sero chimes happily. “You’ve been so quiet today, what’s up bro?”

 

Eijirou wishes he could borrow Sero’s quirk for roughly the time it would take to tape his fucking mouth shut. Bakugou raises an eyebrow.

 

“Sorry, I didn’t sleep great last night.” Eijirou replies, rubbing his neck awkwardly. It’s not a lie, he woke up after about an hour of probably the worst sleep he’s ever had, following the biggest gay panic he’s had since he realised his crush on Bakugou.

 

“It was super hot last night. I was tempted to ask Todoroki to come and freeze me, but then I realised that’s probably weird.” Kaminari says. Eijirou is thankful for the slight change in conversation.

 

He turns to face his food again, only to realise that he is being stared at by Bakugou.

 

In a quiet voice, Bakugou says “Have a nap before dinner, shitty hair.” A warmth spreads throughout Eijirou’s chest. During his panic, he’s somehow managed to forget that Bakugou is his closest friend for a reason. Despite his fiery temper, Bakugou is capable of caring for Eijirou and actually showing it. He just usually tries to coat it to make himself less vulnerable. “We’re studying later, I need you awake for that or I’ll end up asking fucking Deku.” There it is. Eijirou smiles.

 

“Don’t worry, I will.”

 

 

 

 

Because he is a man of his word (and because he’s fucking whipped for Bakugou), Eijirou does nap after class. He wakes up feeling a little sweaty and confused, but mostly better than before.

 

He looks at the time and sees it’s just after seven. That gives him about an hour to get dressed and grab some food before studying with Bakugou.

 

In the common room, he sits in a friendly silence with Todoroki as they eat. He nods goodbye and returns to his dorm, pointedly avoiding thoughts of stupid fucking Pomeranians or glasses –

 

And Bakugou is already in his room.

 

He didn’t even know that he hadn’t locked his door.

 

“You’re late, shitty hair.”

 

Eijirou checks his phone.

 

“By like four minutes, Bakubro. My bad.”

 

“Dinner that exciting?”

 

“If you call eating cold soba with Todoroki in silence exciting, then sure.”

 

Eijirou spots the hint of a smile on Bakugou’s face.

 

“Get your books out then, I don’t have all day.”

 

They study in silence for close to an hour, only occasionally asking each other for help. Eijirou nearly manages to forget about his discovery. Nearly being the operative word.

 

He finishes a question and looks around his room, for the sole reason of just needing to treat his eyes to something other than an equation. As if on autopilot, his gaze lands on the framed picture on his bedside table. The one that Bakugou kept. He tears his eyes away and back to his textbook.

 

At the same time, Bakugou groans and stretches his arms up behind his head, grimacing when his body sounds like all two-hundred and six of his bones have cracked simultaneously.

 

“Wanna go get some snacks?” Eijirou asks. Bakugou nods in response.

 

They head to the common area, where they find Kaminari once again getting increasingly frustrated with the layout of his island, however this time his head is on Shinsou’s lap. It appears he is also a victim of Kaminari’s insistence on head scratches, and with his free hand he gives them a tiny wave.

 

(As tired as Shinsou looks, Eijirou would be stupid if he didn’t notice the small hint of fondness in his eyes when he looks down at the blond. Eijirou wonders if he looks like that at Bakugou.)

 

Eijirou smiles and Bakugou gives a brief nod of his head in return before they head into the kitchen area.

 

“They’re cute, aren’t they.” Eijirou says, grabbing some mugs to make hot chocolate.

 

“No.” Bakugou replies, but his voice is a little softer than normal and is about as close to fond as he will probably ever get.

 

All Eijirou wants is that soft tone of voice to one day be directed at him. And maybe a rare smile. But for now, he’ll take them falling into their practiced routine of making a bag of popcorn and pretend arguing over whether they want it sweet or salty. (Bakugou says he wants salty, but Eijirou knows that he secretly prefers sweet. He doesn’t miss the way Bakugou eats the whole bag every time, despite his protests.)

 

When they return to Eijirou’s dorm, the mood has changed altogether. Without saying a word, they both agree that they’re done studying and instead they sit on Eijirou’s bed as Bakugou chooses a film to watch on his TV.

 

Eijirou is careful to not lean too far into Bakugou’s space – it’s not like they usually cuddle or anything, but he’s super aware of his every movement just in case Bakugou has somehow developed a telepathy quirk and is going to figure out that Eijirou knows about his stupid Tinder profile.

 

Bakugou notices this, of course. He notices everything.

 

“Oi. You’re gonna fall off the bed if you move any further, shithead.”

 

“Ah, sorry!” Eijirou says, awkwardly shuffling himself back onto the bed.

 

From his new position, he can see the photo next to his bed again. A small pain thuds in his stomach.

 

He then notices Bakugou squinting a little. Eijirou’s always just assumed it was his permanent frown making him do so, but after seeing that photo of him wearing glasses, he has substantial evidence to assume it’s more a lack of good vision.

 

“Are you short-sighted?” Eijirou asks. He’s asking purely because he’s a good friend. That’s the only reason.

 

Bakugou turns to stare at him.

 

“What’s it matter to you?” So, a yes, then.

 

“Why don’t you get glasses?” Eijirou is really pushing it. He knows he’s pushing it. It’s like he craves being exploded by his best friend. Although, upon a brief reflection, he guesses it wouldn’t be the worst way to go out.

 

“I do, shitface. I just don’t need them.”

 

Eijirou begs to differ. Even if Bakugou himself doesn’t need them, Eijirou needs them. He needed them like, yesterday. If Bakugou were to exclusively wear his glasses every day for the rest of his life, Eijirou would have absolutely zero complaints. None.

 

“But dude, you’re like, squinting right now. And it’s not even that far away.”

 

“Does it look like I normally need glasses, dickhead? I do perfectly fine in class without them. I only wear them if I need to.” Bakugou grumbles.

 

“Can I see them?” Eijirou mentally slaps himself. And he considers doing it physically too. Why must he crave death this much?

 

“Can you fuck.”

 

Eijirou pouts.

 

 

At some point throughout the film, Eijirou falls asleep. He doesn’t remember when he started to feel tired, but he wakes up under his blanket, the TV turned off and his room dark.

 

He looks at his clock. It’s a little past six in the morning.

 

At what point did Bakugou leave? Did he put the blanket on him? Eijirou’s face flushes a little at the idea of Bakugou caring for him.

 

Before he can start envisioning a future where he becomes Bakugou Eijirou, he gets dressed for class and heads down to the common area to grab some breakfast.

 

For the first time since he’s seen that stupid Tinder profile, Eijirou is actually feeling pretty happy. Butterflies fill his chest when he imagines seeing Bakugou today, something that hasn’t happened to him in a few days. He thinks, for the first time, that perhaps he can move past it and pretend it never happened.

 

And then, Eijirou’s world crumbles around him. Maybe a better word would be crashes, as he doesn’t think he’s ever felt his heart drop out of his ass quite as quick as it does the second he steps into the 3A classroom.

 

First of all, Eijirou is early. And so is the only other person in the room – Bakugou Katsuki. Which is a little bit of a surprise as Eijirou doesn’t think he’s ever seen him in the general area of the classes more than ten minutes before class starts. The second thing Eijirou notices is the part that literally destroys his entire resolve, makes him consider writing a resignation from Yuuei and book a one-way flight to a different continent.

 

Bakugou Katsuki is wearing glasses.

 

THE glasses. The ones from his profile. They’re a little rounded and a bit too large for his face but they suit him so well and oh my God Eijirou hasn’t needed his inhaler since he was a kid but he really thinks he might need to phone his mother to bring it in for him-

 

“What the fuck are you doing here so early, shithead?”

 

Eijirou is so preoccupied with his internal panic that he hasn’t even noticed the door slamming closed behind him. Bakugou stares at him from his seat – he’s got some of their homework on his desk. The homework that he mustn’t have finished last night, because Eijirou fell asleep. He feels a little guilty for that, but his mind doesn’t let him experience any other emotion than Intense Attraction for more than two seconds at a time, as he is instantly drawn back to the new addition to Bakugou’s daily outfit.

 

“Uh.” Eijirou replies. “You’re wearing your glasses.”

 

“Shit.” Bakugou all but rips the glasses off his face. Eijirou is surprised he didn’t just explode them off.  

 

“No!” Eijirou shouts in response, slapping a hand over his mouth just a second too late. “I mean. No, they suit you, man! I just didn’t expect to see you wearing them, like, ever.”

 

“Well, yeah, fuckface. That was the plan.” Bakugou growls, angrily shoving his frames into a cute little glasses box that he must have had personalised as it has little flames across its sides. Just picturing Bakugou at the optician asking for a fiery glasses box is the sweetest thing Eijirou has ever thought of. Fuck, he thinks. I’m so in love. I need to tell him.

 

“Bakugou, I-”

 

At that same moment, Iida decides now would be a fantastic time to enter the classroom. Eijirou feels his entire face flush. I can’t believe I nearly did that.

 

“Wow! You’re both so early to class. I’m so glad you’re so ready to learn!” The class president says, moving past Eijirou to take a seat at his desk.

 

“Shut up, Shitty Glasses.” Bakugou says, and Eijirou bites his tongue to stop himself from pointing out that Bakugou literally put away his own glasses about twenty seconds ago.

 

Iida huffs and takes out a book, starting to read about engines or whatever the fuck it is he does at this time in the morning.

 

“Were you saying something, fuckface?”

 

“Uh, no, it doesn’t matter!” Eijirou replies way too quickly, moving to his seat, thankfully behind Bakugou. There, he sits and contemplates his entire existence while pretending to complete the homework that he also did not manage to finish.

 

He needs to tell Bakugou. That’s the thought at the forefront of his mind. Can he really call himself Bakugou’s best friend if he’s keeping secrets from him? But then, Bakugou has never explicitly hinted at any attraction towards Eijirou, and like, Eijirou needs it to be explicit. He wouldn’t want to make Bakugou feel uncomfortable by telling him that he would like to hold his hand for longer than just a rescue mission, cuddle him during their homework sessions and make out after a sparring session. He also doesn’t want Bakugou to think he only has these feelings after seeing his sexuality on Tinder.

 

Which then opens up an entirely new train of thought in Eijirou’s mind.

 

He has to tell Bakugou about seeing his Tinder profile. Eijirou’s not sure whether that will be easier or exponentially worse than confessing his not-so-friendly feelings. But he can’t lie forever. He slams his face on the desk (quietly, he doesn’t want to disturb Iida’s engine time) and decides he has to tell Bakugou by the end of the month at the latest.

 

It turns out he nodded off a little, despite the discomfort of his nose being squashed against the cold surface of the desk. He wakes to the sound of the rest of his classmates entering. When he looks up, Kaminari has turned to face him. He looks worried.

 

“You good bro?” The blond asks.

 

“Yeah, I just didn’t get much sleep last night.” Which is an absolute lie. And Bakugou knows and obviously heard, as he turns to give Eijirou a sharp look. He keeps his eye contact with Kaminari, changing the subject quickly to Animal Crossing in order to avoid confrontation from Bakugou, who is still fixing him with a confused glare.

 

“Bro. Did you know that you can’t get Tom Nook to move off your island? I was up ‘til four this morning hitting him with a net. I trapped him inside his own store. I tried fucking everything. It wasn’t until Hitoshi told me that he’s permanent that I realised I’ve been wasting precious game time.”

 

The use of Shinsou’s first name does not slip Eijirou’s attention. He raises his eyebrow in question, and a blush rises to Kaminari’s cheeks.

 

“Uh, I mean-”

 

“Morning.” Aizawa says, effectively cutting off what Eijirou imagines was going to be an impressive ramble from Kaminari.

 

Class works as a distraction for Eijirou. It’s only when he’s mindlessly walking back to his dorm, in some sort of daze, that he realises how out of it he’s been today. He didn’t take any notes. In fact, he couldn’t even tell you what the class was on.

 

His mind is such a mess. A Bakugou-filled mess, so it’s not too bad, but a mess nonetheless. He has exams approaching. It’s his third year. He can’t go on like this, especially if he has to see Bakugou every day.

 

With this in mind, he stops directly in front of Bakugou’s door. With a rush of confidence that he definitely should not have received in this particular moment, he reaches out and opens Bakugou’s door.

 

Bakugou is stood in the centre of the room, midway through removing his blazer and staring directly into Eijirou’s soul. He imagines that he’s seconds away from being exploded, so he begins speaking. Or, he tries, anyway.

 

“Listen.” Eijirou says. And then his mouth goes impossibly dry. And he pulls the door shut. Then he walks straight to the elevator and gets in it, pressing the button for the fifth floor and staring at his own reflection in the shiny doors. He doesn’t allow himself time to think about whatever the fuck it is he just did, instead counting the seconds it takes for the lift to go up one floor.

 

Fifteen, he counts, before exiting and walking straight to Sero’s door. Unlike before, he actually knocks.

 

“Come in!” he hears Sero call, so he does.

 

“Hey Ei! You okay, dude?” he says from where he’s sat on his bed, kneeling over his bedside table and shaking a packet of powder in what appears to be a tiny tank of Sea Monkeys. Eijirou isn’t sure how the fuck Sero managed to get Sea Monkeys into the dorms, but he doesn’t have time to question that right now, he’s in the biggest state of gay panic that he thinks he’s ever entered in his life. In fact, it’s such a royal fuck-up that he considers writing home about it. He’d request that it be specially framed on the living room wall, so they never forget the day that Eijirou managed to fuck up an entire friendship by doing literally nothing.

 

Eijirou, not for the first time today, finds himself frozen in the doorway of a classmate’s dorm. Sero halts his Sea Monkey feeding time to drag him further into the room and shut the door.

 

“Ei. You’re shaking. What’s up, man? Sit down.” Sero guides him to his bed and forcibly pushes him down. Eijirou locks eyes with a Sea Monkey (do they even have eyes? What the fuck is a Sea Monkey. He makes a mental note to Google them later. Are they even real?) and forces his body to calm down.

 

“Ei.” Sero says again, pulling him into his chest and rubbing his back soothingly. “Do you wanna talk about it?”

 

“I fucked up, man.” is the only thing Eijirou can say. He doesn’t even know where to begin.

 

“With what? I noticed you’ve been a bit quiet recently, but I just assumed Denki had kept you up too late crying over Shinsou. Have you noticed that they’re definitely dating and trying to hide it from us? They’re so obvious it’s ridiculous.” Sero says, still stroking his back.

 

“He called him by his first name to me today, then blushed.” Eijirou supplies into Sero’s school shirt.

 

“They’re so cute. I love it. Shit man, this isn’t about them. Are you okay? I’ve never seen you freeze up like that, like, ever.” There’s a brief pause, where Eijirou racks his brain for a response. Does he tell Sero everything? He’s one of his best friends, aside from Bakugou, but he also doesn’t want to expose himself as a massive gay failure. “Wait. Is this about Bakugou?”

 

Eijirou’s breath catches in his throat.

 

“Oh. So it is. Okay, well if it helps, we’ve all noticed the ridiculous unresolved sexual tension between you both. We just assumed you were like, entering a friends with benefits stage or something and that’s why you were being a little awkward.”

 

“Wait, what the fuck?” Eijirou splutters, choking on his own saliva.

 

“So you aren’t at FWB status?”

 

“No!”

 

“Oh. Right, well.” Sero says, grabbing his phone.

 

“Don’t text Mina!” Eijirou says, ripping the phone from his grip.

 

“But she needs to know!” Sero replies, making grabby hands to get it back.

 

“Not right now, she doesn’t.”

 

“Fine. Well, if you aren’t going heels to Jesus with him, what’s happened?”

 

“Heels to Jesus. Why am I even friends with you?”

 

“Because I’m fucking incredible. Fine, we’ll call it an aggressive cuddle.”

 

Eijirou sighs. And then he tells as much as he can to Sero, who for the most part, actually listens. To his credit, his eyes only drift off when Eijirou accidentally begins waxing lyrical about the first time he realised he had fallen for Bakugou, and then the second and the third. When he approaches Tinder Territory, Sero’s ears visibly perk up, kind of like a dog. Eijirou would call it cute, if it didn’t instantly remind him of the random Pomeranian in Bakugou’s profile, and the cause of Eijirou’s breakdowns in the shower for the past day and a half.

 

“So. You found out Bakugou was gay because you found his Tinder. I’m actually struggling more with the part where Bakugou actually has apps on his phone. I’ve only ever seen him playing Subway Surfers and exploding his phone case when he runs into a train. Can I see his profile?”

 

“Uh. I guess.”

 

Eijirou opens his phone and hesitantly presses the little flame icon. It opens on exactly the same page it was last time he looked. Bakugou Katsuki, 18, Yuuei. Gay man, glasses, Pomeranian, suit picture. Sero gapes. He pointedly avoids showing him the final picture with Bakugou smiling. He wants to keep that to himself. And the rest of the Tinder community within 25 miles.

 

“Woah. He must be getting so much fucking dick with this profile. He doesn’t look like he fantasises exploding his friend’s heads for a good time. Even I would fuck him. What the fuck bro, can I see your profile?”

 

“No, you literally cannot. And you never will.”

 

Sero pouts. And then, he reaches over, and with the quickest movement Eijirou has literally ever seen, he swipes right on Bakugou’s profile.

 

Eijirou’s heart falls out of his ass.

 

“What the fuck, you idiot? Why the fuck would you do that?” Eijirou yells, locking his phone and throwing it across the bed for good measure. As if that would erase the permanent damage that has been done to both his dignity and his will to live.

 

“Why not? You’re in love with him, he’s in love with you. I’m just speeding up the process!” Sero replies, leaning over Eijirou to pick up the Sea Monkeys food on the table.

 

“No. You do not get to carry on existing normally after doing this to me. You didn’t listen to the rest of my story.”

 

“What is there to hear? You’ve pined over him since first year, and now you’re probably going to get together. And now you’re both legal, so you can jam the clam guilt free!”

 

“That’s gross, Sero. Not that it changes anything now, but literally a minute before I came here, I almost confessed to Bakugou. I genuinely entered his room, forgot how to speak, and then walked back out and came here. He thinks I’m a fucking idiot, and now I’ve fucking liked him on Tinder and if he finds out he’s gonna think I’m absolutely insane.”

 

Sero ponders this for a brief moment.

 

“Yeah, but he’ll only find out if he swipes right on you back.”

 

“But I didn’t want to know if he would swipe right! I wanted to just never know. I can’t get hurt if I don’t find out!”

 

“Well, let’s see!” Sero uses his tape to pull Eijirou’s phone towards them. “Do you want to look first? Or should I?”

 

“What if I just crush the entire phone in my hands?”

 

“Well, that would be impractical. Mostly for me, I need someone to send my sleep-talking audios to.”

 

“Can I not just delete the app?”

 

“Nope. He likes you back. There’s no way he’s gonna pass up on this.”

 

“He does not like me back.”

 

“Right. Of course, he doesn’t.” Sero says, launching the phone into Eijirou’s lap. When he looks down, Sero has somehow managed to unlock his phone (since when did he know his password?) and has it opened on a chat page. A chat page that only opens when you’ve both swiped right.

 

Eijirou feels his brain short-circuit.

 

Bakugou Katsuki, 18, Yuuei, has liked him back.

 

“I told you.” Sero says, after Eijirou has opened and closed his mouth about eight times.

 

“B-but. What if he’s only swiped right to tell me to get the fuck off his Tinder?” Eijirou asks, doubt still piling up in his mind.

 

“Would Bakugou go to that extent just to do that? Also, not sure if you’ve noticed, but you’re literally the only person he’s nice to in the entirety of Yuuei. He only tolerates the rest of us.”

 

Eijirou head feels like a tornado. Thoughts are flying fucking everywhere. He doesn’t know how to deal with it.

 

“Go be a manly man, Ei. Ask him about it. I’m pretty sure I’m right, but you won’t know for sure until you talk to him.” And damn it, Sero’s right. The only way Eijirou will be able to fix this is if he stops being a coward and actually deals with this head on. He isn’t the Sturdy Hero for nothing.

 

“Okay.” Eijirou says, standing up from Sero’s bed.

 

Sero stands up too, pulling him into a hug.

 

“I love you, Ei. I promise it will all work out fine. I wouldn’t have done anything if I didn’t think it was mutual. You’ll be shooting the meat rocket into the sausage wallet in no time, I swear.”

 

“Sero, I hate you and your stupid euphemisms.” Eijirou cringes, sinking into Sero’s embrace. “Thank you. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

 

With a supportive grin from Sero, Eijirou steels himself and leaves the bedroom, bidding a farewell to the Sea Monkeys as Sero insists it’s ‘only polite’.

 

He presses the button for the lift, wondering why he keeps wasting Yuuei’s electricity when the stairs are literally right there. But he has no time for other thoughts, he has a confession to make.

 

The lift only takes twelve seconds this time, and Eijirou curses whoever decided to give him three seconds less to plan a cohesive sentence.

 

When he steps out of the lift, his heart stutters.

 

Bakugou is sat in front of his door, legs folded up to his chest, waiting for Eijirou to return.

 

They both look at each other in silence. The elevator doors ding closed behind him, and Eijirou cringes at the noise.

 

“So.” Eijirou starts, looking down at his hands and picking at his nails.

 

“What’s up with you, Kirishima?” Bakugou asks. The use of his actual name rather than one of his usual insults catches his attention instantly, making him lock contact with scarlet eyes.

 

“Can we talk about this somewhere else?” Eijirou asks quietly, nodding towards his room. Bakugou stands up and moves out of the way so that Eijirou can unlock his door.

 

It takes him three attempts to shove the key into the lock, mostly due to his hands shaking. Sturdy Hero, my ass.

 

When they finally enter, Bakugou follows behind him and sits on his desk chair.

 

“So. You say nothing to me. All day.”

 

“Well, technically, I did-” Eijirou starts. Bakugou glares.

 

“You say nothing to me. And then, you enter my room, walk back out, match with me on Tinder, and don’t even fucking message me.”

 

Eijirou’s head is spinning. “Wait. That’s what you’re worried about?” Not that he’s found his Tinder profile, not that he knows Bakugou is gay. But that he didn’t message him first?

 

“You’ve been off with me for a few days. I was worried I’d done something to actually piss you off.” Bakugou almost looks upset, which is the first time Eijirou has seen anything like that outside of a hero environment.

 

“Um. Well. I found your Tinder.”

 

“Obviously, dumbass.”

 

“Right. Well.” Eijirou swallows thickly. It’s now or never. “I saw your Tinder. I didn’t know you were gay, I assumed any chance of hope I had was completely off the table. Your pictures make you look like a completely different person, it was so weird to see a different side of you. Also, when the fuck did you get a dog? Anyway, uh, I’ve kind of been in love with you since first year, and I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of hiding it and just being your friend. But, finding this kind of maybe changed my entire life.” He’s staring at his feet, his face as red as his hair. He can’t believe he just told Bakugou that he’s in love with him. He didn’t even sugar-coat it as ‘like-like’. He really went in there head-first.

 

Fuck, if Bakugou doesn’t feel the same, he’s gonna be exploded into next week.

 

“You’re fucking kidding.” Is not quite the reaction Eijirou expected, but it’s better than instant death. He imagines it’s coming soon, though.

 

“Unfortunately, not. Listen, I’m sorry, I didn’t want this to get in the way but all I’ve done this week is think about you. Fuck, that sounds cheesy. I guess it is. I didn’t take a single note today.  I don’t even know what the class was on. Sero swiped right on you, but it’s only because he knows how I feel. I’m sorry, Bakugou. I hope you’re not uncomfortable around me-”

 

‘Will you stop apologising for one second, you dumb fuck? You’re starting to sound like Deku.”

 

Eijirou snaps his head up, looking at Bakugou for the first time since he entered the room. He doesn’t look mad, which he guesses is a good sign. Or he could be so mad that he is past displaying it on his face, which is the worst outcome Eijirou can think of.

 

“Izuku set up my profile.” Which answers a lot of Eijirou’s questions, namely about the pictures, but also doesn’t answer anything he’s said out loud in the last three minutes. “I have no idea how to use it. He told me it would be good to meet some new people outside of Yuuei and go on dates, or whatever, but everyone I saw pissed me off, so I didn’t actually end up swiping on anyone.”

 

Eijirou imagines Bakugou receiving cheesy pick-up lines from strangers. He would laugh, if his ability to process emotions hadn’t been blocked the second he left the elevator.

 

“Anyone, apart from you, anyway.” Is that a blush on Bakugou’s face? Surely not. “I thought you knew I was gay, I assumed fucking Pikachu would’ve told you by now. It wasn’t a secret, or whatever. It just isn’t a big deal to me.” He pushes his hair back from his forehead, which was pretty much pointless as it springs directly back to where it was. It’s ridiculously endearing.

 

“I hate fucking feelings. I’m shit with them. You know I am. But, I feel the same. As you do. That’s why I stopped using that stupid app once I saw your profile.”

 

“Wait, what?” Eijirou replies, stupidly. This was not how he imagined this going at all. His brain can’t quite keep up with the life-changing information he’s just received.

 

“Don’t make me repeat myself, Shitty Hair.” Okay, it’s definitely a blush. Eijirou imagines that his own face probably is the exact same shade as his hair.

 

“Wait. You like me back?” Eijirou says again, dumbfounded. This can’t be real.

 

“Yes, you fucking-” Bakugou growls, standing up from the chair and approaching Eijirou in two strides. “Stop being a fucking idiot.”

 

Before Eijirou can even catch up to the current situation, his cheeks are being grabbed in between Bakugou’s warm hands and lips are pressed to his.

 

He short circuits. And then, it occurs to him that he should probably kiss him back, or this situation will get much worse than it needs to be.

 

So he does. It’s dry and awkward and it’s obvious that neither of them have a clue what they’re doing, but it’s also perfect and everything Eijirou had ever hoped for and more.

 

Bakugou’s hands move to slide into his hair, so Eijirou gives in and loops his arms around his waist, something he’s been dreaming of for over two years.

 

Eijirou feels a small spike of confidence when Bakugou scratches lightly at his scalp, and he turns his head a little so that their noses don’t bump, and they can move their lips lightly against each other. It’s so sweet and so un-Bakugou-like that Eijirou has to break from the kiss because he starts giggling.

 

“What the fuck are you laughing at, shithead?” Bakugou says, but his entire face is flushed red and it’s the cutest thing Eijirou has seen in his entire life.

 

“I never thought this would happen. Can you blame me for being happy?” Eijirou replies, cuddling Bakugou tightly and shoving his face into his chest. Bakugou’s heart is racing and it’s the best thing Eijirou has ever heard.

 

“Shut up.” Bakugou says, but he buries his face into Eijirou’s hair and strokes his back anyway. It’s the gentlest Eijirou has ever seen Bakugou be with anyone. Ever. And he can’t believe he’s on the receiving end of it.

 

 

They’re cuddling. Which is already more intimacy than Eijirou ever expected from Bakugou. And then he spots the picture on his desk.

 

“Katsuki.” Eijirou says, butterflies flooding his stomach because he’s allowed to use his first name now and it sounds so nice.

 

“Hm?” Bakugou replies, muffled from where he’s got his face pressed in Eijirou’s shirt.

 

“Since when did you have a Pomeranian?”

 

Bakugou snorts. “I don’t. It’s my aunt’s. I think we were looking after it when I took that picture. The little shit ripped up three of my t-shirts.”

 

“Is that why you were shirtless in the picture?”

 

“Nah, I just looked good.”

 

Eijirou laughs. “Okay. Then, what about the picture where you’re in a suit? I’m pretty sure it’s Izuku next to you, but you cropped him out of it.”

 

“Yeah, of course I did. I didn’t want that shitty nerd ruining my profile. It’s from a wedding we went to a while back – wait.” Bakugou pauses in thought. “This is why you brought up fucking weddings when we were eating lunch.”

 

“Have you seen yourself in that picture?” Eijirou says, blood rushing to his cheeks. “I tried to forget it, but it was on my mind all day, dude. I was not responsible for anything that came out of my mouth that day, I was so out of it.”

 

“If I’d known it would take some fucking pictures of me for you to confess, I would have just sent them to you directly.”

 

“You could have just confessed first!”

 

“At least I had the balls to fucking swipe right on you. You just let it sit on your phone for days, you moron.”

 

Eijirou laughs. And then he remembers the motivation behind his questions.

 

“Oh! So. First of all, you have to send me every photo you have where you’re either with a dog, wearing your glasses or in a suit.”

 

“What the fuck for?” Bakugou replies, lifting up his head to fix him with a glare (except Eijirou recognises this as one of his gentle glares. Because they’re a thing now).

 

“Science purposes. Also, I want the last picture.”

 

“What last picture?”

 

Eijirou reaches over to grab the photo from his nightstand.

 

“You have a version of this photo that none of us do. It’s exactly the same, except you’re actually smiling in it. How the fuck did you hide it from us?”

 

“I sent it to myself and then deleted it from existence. How else do you think?”

 

“You know we all know you’re a big softie, Katsuki. You don’t have to lie to us anymore.” Eijirou says, ruffling Bakugou’s hair.

 

Bakugou shoves his arms around Eijirou’s waist and hides his face in his stomach. He mumbles something, and the little vibrations it gives makes Eijirou giggle.

 

“What did you say?”

 

Bakugou lifts his head the tiniest amount, and then he says, in the quietest voice Eijirou thinks he’s ever heard:

 

“It’s the day I realised I liked you.”

 

And then he shoves his head back down, and he can definitely hear how fast Eijirou’s heart is racing.

 

“Are you gonna send it me?” Eijirou asks, a smile playing at his lips.

 

“Ugh. Fine. But if fucking Pikachu or Tape Face end up with this, I’m never speaking to you again.”

 

Eijirou picks up his phone to save the image as his wallpaper when he receives it. While he’s there, he renames Bakugou’s contact to Katsuki with a cute heart emoji, just to be extra gross.

 

He sees he has an unread message from Sero, and instantly regrets reading it the second he opens the tab.

 

FROM SERO: u’ve been gone a while so i srsly hope u 2 are going plus ultra right now. Pls bear in mind that baku might set off explosions if its too much. Love u bro xx

 

TO SERO: fuck off. Love you too x