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Persuasive Explosions

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Katsuki rushed down the back alleyways of Tokyo city. It was dark out, and he kicked the first in front of him, his hands in his pockets to protect himself from the cold. He kept an eye out for cops on patrol though, being late for curfew was never good news... He was walking in the opposite direction of his house, replaying the fight he had with the hag in his head with a frown on his face. It had been a number of years since quirks had surfaced. Only 20% of the population had them, and the government was quick to react to these 'abnormal' human beings. Tighter restrictions were placed upon quirk users; they had to wear a special identification bracelet and had a curfew to be home by ten PM to ensure those with night-prone abilities couldn't use them. Public quirk use was not allowed of course. They were treated with far more caution in public places, to boot. It frustrated Katsuki, he could never pass as ‘normal’ because of his loud quirk, he was constantly sparking off and picking fights which got him in trouble a lot of the time. He’d had his fair share of police fights, and quirk restraints forced on. Curfew, however, was the number one rule to never break. If he was caught being out past 10, he would be heavily fined. He wasn’t too worried, having spent most nights disobeying the curfew rule he was pretty good at avoiding fines and punishments. He turned and caught a glance of a moving ray of light, a flashlight. No doubt an officer- fuck! While her gaze was behind his back, he couldn't see where he was heading. Turning a snap corner he collided with another body. The impact was great enough to cause the other person to trip. He managed to catch himself and looked down at the person about to yell at them to watch where they were going before his eyes landed on a bracelet akin to his own. Were they a quirk owner out past curfew too?

Purple eyes looked up at him, wide and afraid, hair just as violently violet standing up as if he had been electrocuted. Hearing the officer coming, the boy, taller than Bakugou, grabbed his wrist, pulling him into a side alley and behind a dumpster.

"The fuck are you-" he was cut short as the guy pushed him into a brick wall. He bit his tongue to keep from yelling at the guy or blowing his hand off. They had to be quiet if they wanted to lose the officer and if they made a noise then they had to fight him, and he wasn't in the mood for that. He grabbed the arm of the guy that was holding his wrist and set off a small explosion. It was silent, muffled by the arm, but it was enough for the guy to take his hand off Katsuki's wrist.

"Sorry," The other hissed, letting Bakugou go, rubbing his now slightly burned wrist, crouching.

He glared at the guy to keep quiet and watched as the flashlight scanned the alleyway. Once the footsteps faded away he stood up.

The purple stood as well, using the dumpster as a launching point to grab a nearby fire escape, climbing up like a cat, then leaning down to offer the blond a hand up.

He watched him with his eyes narrowed, confused. He looked at the hand held out to him and started to walk away.

"It'll be safer on the roofs," Shinsou hissed, "Trust me,"

"I'm good, Eyebags" he looked out the alleyway and leaned against the wall with his arms crossed. "Get lost" he turned to walk out.

The purple-haired boy snortws, sitting back, watching the blond, "That's what I get for saving your neck back there,"

"I was fine till you ran into me" he turned back around to face him.

The other boy planted his elbows on his knees, looking down at him, "Not from how I see it, you froze when you ran into me, I had to drag you out of there,"

"You always a dick, Eyebags?" he asked, putting his hands in his pockets to keep out of the cold and looking at the guy.

The other shrugged with a slight smile, "You're easy to rile. Come on, no one patrols the roofs." He offered his hand again, "One quirked fuck up to another,"

He narrowed his eyes and looked at the hand one more time. Hesitating slightly before walking up and shoving it away before climbing the fire escape himself, "keep moving."

"Yes, sir," The purple boy smirked, getting up and climbing to the top, turning back to wait for the other with a smirk on his face, hands in his pockets.

He reached the top a little after the guy, ignoring the smug look on his face and walking past him. "you gonna stand there all night or you gonna move?"

"Just waiting for you," The other said, starting to walk away, hands still in his pockets.

"Whatever" he let the guy pass him, not sure where he was going or even what his name was. He watched as he walked a few steps, contemplating in his head if he should follow or walk in another direction.

The purple-haired boy turned on his heel, continuing to move backward as he raised a brow at the blond, "Your words to me, a repeat back to you,"

"fuck off, Eyebags" he turned and started walking in the opposite, random direction.

The taller laughed, "I'd ask where you were heading, but I know, and I don't think it's right,"

"Thought I told you to fuck off" he kept walking, talking slightly louder now due to the distance between them.

"You did, but I'm an annoying bastard tonight, and want to see you get home safe,"

"You're right about the first part, Eyebags" he jumped to a lower ledge, not looking back to know if the guy was following him.

Bakugou's collar was snagged and he was pulled back up to the top as an officer rounded that corner, flashlight pointed up. Once he was back, the purple pulled him to his feet and let him go before he could be exploded again.

Katsuki chose to ignore the officer the guy saving him from and took a step back, holding his arm behind him and clenching his fists to hide the small explosions he couldn't help but set off. "You can't just leave me alone can you?"

"No," the other hisses, "not tonight. Now, I am your problem,"

He rolled his eyes and turned around, checking around the corner before walking. "Wherever you were going on that rooftop, go there."

"Not till you're home safe,"

He continued walking, "Well that's not gonna happen tonight so get lost"

"Your parents are normal," He's careful not to inflect it as a question.

He turned around sharply and grabbed the other guy’s wrist, pulling him close and sparking off his hand to burn the guy. "Fuck off, Eyebags" he let him go and continued walking.

He grabs him back, not letting the blond get any further, "You need a place to stay for the night,"

"I need you to go away" he pulled his hand back.

The purple let his quirk activate, "What are you going to do if I don't?"

He felt his body go numb and started talking without being able to stop, "Eventually follow you"

"What's your quirk? Just the explosions from your hands, or is there more?"

He managed to hesitate for almost a second before he spoke again, "sweating nitroglycerin and setting it off"

This earns a nod, "Are you safe at home?"

He was able to close his eyes and tighten his grip on the guy’s wrist that he'd grabbed earlier, he struggled out a "F-fuck you"

Shinsou sighed, releasing the boy, mentally and physically, "I thought as much. Sorry,"

The second he could move his body again he grabbed the boy by the throat, pushing him back against the wall. "Never fucking do that again." his hands warmed up to explode the guy’s neck before he realized it would seriously injure him and dropping him.

The purple nodded, "I don't intend to," He said, rubbing his neck as he looked up at the blond from where he'd fallen, "Don't particularly like it,"

He scoffed, "you're full of shit, Eyebags" he started walking away again, shaking his hand off.

"My offer of a place remains," He said softly, getting up again and heading in the direction of his home.

He stopped, thinking about following for a moment before rolling his eyes for the brief moment he thought about it and kept walking.

Shinsou jumped easily from rooftop to rooftop, years of training coming in handy as he moved lightly, pulling a few more people out of officer's lights before they were caught, send them safely away, before continuing on again.

He turned a corner coming face to face with a cop. Before the cop could reach for the radio or shout Katsuki landed a punch to his face making him fall and hit his head on the ground. Not caring if he was dead or unconscious he stepped over him and kept walking. Unknowingly going the same way as Shinsou.

Shinsou stepped down when he reached his destination, landing lightly in the street below, opening his door just as a cop came around the corner.

Katsuki looked ahead of the street and saw the purple-haired guy from earlier opening a door. He was about the turn the other way when a cop turned a corner from a street in between them. He ran up behind him and grabbed the hand that was reaching for the radio, or the handcuffs. Using his other hand to punch the guy unconscious.

Shinsou leaned back, looking at the angry blond, "hello again,"

“Fuck off again” he grabbed his knuckles that split from punching two officers and setting off multiple explosions and turned away.

Shinsou chuckles, pulled the key from his door, tossing it to the blond, "lock the door behind you,"

He caught the key and scoffed. Holding it for a moment before walking inside and locking the door.

Shinsou had kicked his boots off at the door and headed to the kitchen, setting some water to boil.

He stood by the door not sure what to do. He kicked his shoes off and used his foot to push them next to the others. Crossing his arms awkwardly.

"You can come in," Shinsou said, spotting him as he moved to the bathroom for some washcloths, "head to the kitchen, help yourself to some food,"

“I don’t need your food, Eyebags” he walked to the kitchen and watched him grab towels and re-enter the room. He looked around, “who’d you live with?”

"My uncles," Shinsou said, setting the towels on the table and getting the now boiling water, pouring it into a bowl and dropping one of the towels in, soaking it. He sat in the chair across from the blond, holding out his hand.

He looked at the hand confused by what he wanted. He sighed when he realized, “you could a just asked for them” he dropped the keys in the open hand and sat back, waiting for him to take them.

"No, your hand," Shinsou said, dropping the keys to the table and holding out his hand again.

“Why?” He crossed his arms again, hiding his hand in his sleeve.

"Please let me see your hand,"

He looked skeptically at the hand before hesitantly holding his own.

Shinsou carefully took the hand, wiping away the blood and torn skin as gently as possible, "I'm Shinsou Hitoshi," he said as he worked.

“I don’t care,” he said out of instinct. Biting back a wince at his hand but his face started completely neutral.

"I know you don't," Shinsou replies, dipping the cloth again, "still, thought I'd tell you,"

“Still, don’t care” he looked at his hand. Waiting for it to be wrapped so he could pull it away.

"There's no use in wrapping it, you'll just explode it," Shinsou said, wiping away the water with a clean towel, then letting the other have it back, "thanks for the save, but I honestly had it handled,"

“I could see that” he raised his eyebrow remembering his turned back as the cop reached to his belt.

Shinsou shrugged, "I was just a big brother on a tampon run for his sister. At least, that's what the story is,"

“The stories gonna get you far,” he said sarcastically. Knowing from personal experience you can’t get one word out before they taser or attack you.

Shinsou shrugged, "it's worked before. The cops that patrol this area know us. My family, that is,"

He sat back. “Lucky you.” There weren’t any pictures that he could see around the house or any personal items he could point out. “So your uncles here?”

Shinsou shook his head, "Sho's out patrolling for lost souls, Zashi has a permit and a night job,"

“Those names mean nothing to me”

"They don't have to mean anything to you,"

“Are you ever going to say something that doesn’t make me want to kill you?” He asked.

"Doubtful. I can't ask questions, and I've been raised by a pair of smart asses. It rubs off,"

He hid his confusion by raising his eyebrow. “You can’t ask questions?”

"My quirk is activated by you answering my questions. I can't always control it, so I just don't ask questions."

He rolled his eyes. “Learn to control your quirk then, Eyebags.”

Shinsou raised his own brow, "Like you control yours?"

He narrowed his eyes, “I meant every burn”

"Against me, I'm sure. Your popping still almost gave you away,"

“At least I’m not scared of my quirk, Eyebags. And don’t just use it when u want something.”

"You have a better suggestion,"

“yeah.” Gave him a pointed look. “Practice.”

"On who?" Shinsou asks, incredulous, "people don't exactly line up to get mind raped,"

“On Snow and Sashi or whatever the fuck their names were.” He’d always been shit at remembering names. Mostly cause he didn’t care to remember them and partly cause he sucked at it.

"Sho and Zashi, Shota Aizawa and Hizashi Yamada,"

“Yeah, whoever and whatever the fuck. Ask them” he leaned back in the chair.

"I'm not defending myself against you for this,"

“For using your quirk?” He asked, confused.

Shinsou nodded.

He sighed. “I really don’t see what’s so dangerous about it, Eyebags”

"Your quirk is flashy, has an upside, mine's not good for anything but silent evil. I'm what's wrong with these new powers,"

“Even listening to you is exhausting,” he muttered. Rubbing his hand down his face. “You're not a silent evil, Eyebags, you’d have a strong quirk if you cared enough to practice but instead you bitch and whine about being dangerous. Then ultimately giving up on that the second you need something from someone.” He huffed in frustration. “And don’t think for a fucking second my quirk being flashy is an upside. Unlike you, I’m not buddy buddy with the fuckin’ cops.”

Shinsou snorted, "I think that's less your quirk, more your personality,"

“Same goes to you, Eyebags”

"Fine," Shinsou said, taking the bloody bowl and towels as he stood up, "you can have the couch or the room down the hall to the right,"

“Which is the furthest from you?” He asked, half-seriously.

"Probably the couch, though the room has a lock," Shinsou said, pouting the water in the sink, then rinsing out the cloths.

He stood up and walked towards the room, shutting it louder than he needed to, locking it too. He sighed for a moment before looking around the room.

It was a pretty bare room, a bed, mirror, side table, lamp. All the furniture was sturdy oak, lamp steel. The walls were a soft grey.

He traced the edge of the bed before rolling his eyes and getting in. Planning to wake up early and leave.

Shinsou finishes cleaning up, putting the towels in the laundry to wash later, washing the bowl, then starting to cook, brain too active for sleep, thinking about the blond and what he'd said.

Katsuki stared at the ceiling on top of the bed, not bothering to go under the blankets or anything. Apparently, Eyebags knew the officers, Katsuki wondered how many people he helped tonight and how many he sold out. He shook his head and turned to sleep.

Shinsou headed to his own bed a couple hours later, the table now covered in cooling pastries for anyone to take in the morning. His room was right next to the spare bedroom, and he passed out as soon as he faceplanted into his pillows.

Katsuki’s body clock woke him out at 5 am as usual. It took him a minute to remember where he was and when he did he remembered why he wanted to get out. He opened the spare room door and walked to the front, not expecting to see anyone.

There was a dark-haired man sitting in the kitchen, sipping a cup of coffee, "morning," he bids softly. 

He let off a small explosion in surprise and jumped back. It was early and his brain told him it was the same guy as last night. “Make a fuckin’ noise, Eyebags”

The man laughed, "take a danish with you,"

He looked up in surprise when a snarky reply didn’t come. “Oh, your Shoe or Lizard” he picked up one of his shoes and started putting it on.

Another tired laugh, "Yes, I'm Shoe. That's my name. Zashi's going to have a field day with that," he finishes in a mutter.

“Have fun with that,” he stood up and opened the door, still half asleep he rested his hand on the doorknob and closed his eyes, standing there for a few seconds.

"Kid," Aizawa sighed, setting his coffee down and going to lay a hand on the boy's shoulder, quirk activated just in case.

He jumped back hitting his back against the wall, “shit” he grabbed the back of his head, closing his eyes. “Thought I said make a noise,” he said through gritted teeth.

"I wasn't being stealthy, you're just unobservant," the man said.

“I see where, Eyebags got it” he pushed the older guy away weakly, eyes still closed as he reached for the door handle again.

Chapter Text

Aizawa grabs the boys shoulder and steers him around, "You're not awake, kid,"

He pushed the guy's hand off his shoulder and opens his eyes to look him in the face. “Let go, I’m fine.”

Aizawa raised a skeptical brow, "pardon my disbelief," he drawls, "curfew ends in half an hour. Wake up, then I'll let you leave,"

“I have to get back now” he turned around and reached for the handle.

Seeing that the boy looked to be more alert, Aizawa let him go this time, "be careful out there, kid," he bids.

“Whatever” he pushed the door shut behind him and it closed when he was already five meters away.

No one follows him.

He turned and walked back the path he came from, walking past the place he punched the cop. The man gone and a small bloodstain on the floor. “Fuckin’, Eyebags” he mumbled.

A tall man wearing chunky headphones passes him with a smile and a nod.

He stood back and waited for him to pass, looking confused at his hair and hiding his bracelet in his pocket.

The man has a similar bracelet on his wrist, though with a twist of white with it. He slipped his headphones off, music playing as he walked backwards, "Better hurry, patrol will be here in five minutes,"

He stared at him before starting to walk away. “I don’t need you fucking help cockatoo”

The man laughed, but turns as he steps, and keeps heading toward his destination.

He looks back, something about him feels familiar. “Are you-“ he stops himself and turns.

The blond doesn't hear as he slips his headphones back on, and so doesn't look back.

He looked back over his shoulder at the man, looking curiously at the guy's bracelet.

Paying more attention to his music, the man started awkward white dude dancing before knocking on the door Bakugou had exited from, the bracelet flashing as it caught the sun.

Huh, he was Sazie. He cringed at the man's dancing, leaning back against the wall tiredly and watching what he was doing.

The door opened and the blond pulled the dark-haired man out to spin him around on the sidewalk, making the dour man laugh slightly before managing to pull him back through the door.

He watched confused, narrowing his eyes and laying fully back against the wall closing his eyes. They were loud, especially the blond, and he slid down the wall, bringing his knees to his chest and covering his ears.

Aizawa dragged Hizashi back into their house, locking the door behind them, "You saw the kid?"

"He looked a little tired, but fine," The blond said, following Aizawa into the kitchen, picking up the prepared cup of coffee.

He looked up when he heard the door shut and sighed, standing up shakily and walking back to his house.

Katsuki only got a few steps before he leaned against the wall with his eyes closed. He knelt down and leaned back against it and slow breathing became light snores.

Shinsou woke up a little while after Hizashi got back, and collected a travel mug of coffee Aizawa had left out for him before the men had gone to bed. It was a common thing for Shinsou to go out in the mornings to wander with his morning caffeine.

He noticed the sandy hair as he turned the corner around the block from the house and crouched in front of the boy who still hadn't told him his name. He lightly pressed his fingers to the boy's neck, checking his pulse just in case.

He grabbed the hand on his neck and set off a loud explosion, pushing whoever it was against the brick wall face first. He blinked a few times to see who it was but all he could make out was purple hair.

Shinsou groans, but doesn't fight back.

He pulled him back and when he recognized the face he dropped his hands. “Fuck, Eyebags. Make a noise.” He remembered saying that to the guy from earlier.

Shinsou chuckled, rubbing his face, "You were asleep,"

“Whatever,” he stood up, simultaneously stretching.

Shinsou looked up at him, "Is there a reason you decided to take a nap on the sidewalk?"

“None of your business. Go fix your face, Eyebags” he gestured to the blood dripping from the top of his head.

"You're the one that broke my face," Shinsou mutters, standing as well.

“So?” He raised an eyebrow and held his hand that he’d exploded back open.

"Nothing. Still wondering why you were sleeping on the sidewalk,"

“Go home to your crazy uncle’s, Eyebags.” He gave an annoyed look and crossed his arms.

Shinsou leaned down to collect his half spilled coffee from the ground, "No,"

He gave a tired sigh “You’re bleeding.” he pointed out obviously.

"We already established that," Shinsou deadpanned.

“Then go home.”

"No."

Katsuki took him by the arms and started walking back to the house. He knocked on the door, still holding on tightly.

Shinsou grabbed his wrist, "stop," he hisses before the sandy blond could knock again.

He gave him a glare before using his foot to knock on the door. “Get one of your uncles to fix you up. You’re not my problem.”

"Stop, they're asleep," Shinsou growls, getting between the boy and the door so he'd stop banging, "and I never said I *was* your problem with this,"

“Fine, walk around looking like a murder and leave me alone.” He dropped his hand and walked down the steps.

Shinsou followed, but only because they happened to be heading the same direction, occasionally sipping his coffee.

He turned around to face him. “Can you just fuck off?”

Shinsou kept walking, stepping around him, "I can,"

He rolled his eyes and walked behind him, curious where he was going.

Shinsou smirked slightly at this but doesn't acknowledge his angry shadow. Shinsou didn't really have a set destination, just walk until he decided he should head back home again in a few hours.

Katsuki watched the guy continue walking ahead and turned down another street to his house.

Shinsou lets him go, turning down a different road he knew a homeless quirked hid in and wanted to check how they'd faired.

He reached his house and groaned when he saw the light was on, it meant they were up. He jumped the back fence and climbed a tree to get through his window into his room and avoid them.

Shinsou's friend was still asleep but had no visible injuries, so he just left him and continued on his way, scaling another fire escape and walking the roofs again.

He dumped his bag and listened to the yelling for a while before climbing back out and sitting on the roof of his house.

Shinsou doesn't notice as he chooses a roof a few over and sits on the edge, looking out over the sitting, finishing his coffee and fiddling with his bracelet. Catching his reflection in the top and wiping away the blood as best he could. Maybe he should have gone home and cleaned it.

Katsuki notices him trying to wipe away the blood. He jumps a few rooftops and walks up behind him. “Get up, Eyebags before you pass out.” If he’s not gonna bandage himself Katsuki may as well do it. It was his fault anyway.

Shinsou snorts, "I'm not going to pass out. Headwounds always bleed more than they should," He mumbled but gets up anyway.

“I meant from over caffeination” he walked onto his rooftop, the yelling already audible. “Be quiet” he climbed through the window.

Shinsou nodded, following.

He walked into the bathroom connected to his room and grabbed a first aid kit.

Shinsou sat in the chair at the other's desk, waiting.

He spun the chair around so he was looking at the side of his head and started cleaning the blood off.

Shinsou tilted his head so the other could have better access, eyes closing at the touch.

He threw the bloody cloth to the side and put gauze on it, wrapping a bandage around his head.

"Thank you," Shinsou murmurs.

“Whatever, go back to your weird uncles now.”

Shinsou opens an eye, "No,"

“Why?” He threw the kit on the bed.

Shinsou stands up, "Because I don't want to go home right now," He said, heading back toward the window, "Thank you for the patch up,"

“Whatever” he grabbed the bloody cloth from the ground when a glass smashed downstairs. He walked to the door and locked it before continuing to clean up.

"Is this a common occurrence?" Shinsou asks softly.

“Thought you were leaving,” he started putting his shoes on.

"I am," Shinsou said, stepping onto the other's windowsill.

He grabbed a book and waited for him to step out before stepping out as well. Sitting on the roof and reading.

Shinsou collects his coffee mug from where he'd left it a few roofs over, and continued walking.

A few hours pass and he can hear his mother yelling at him from outside his locked door. He ignored it until he heard his door get kicked open. He stood up immediately and ran.

Chapter Text

Shinsou had returned to his house by this point, making food for his uncles for when they woke up.

He ended up around the same area as last night, it was getting dark and he was too tired to find a place to sleep so he sat down in an alleyway and closed his eyes to think.

Shinsou was just heading out for his 'patrols' with Aizawa again when he saw the sandy boy. Smiling slightly, he stood over him, "Fancy seeing you here again,"

He groaned recognizing the voice and looked up. “How many times are you going to bother me?”

Shinsou chuckled, "So many,"

He groaned again and closed his eyes.

Shinsou nudges the other with his foot, "You should stop sleeping in alleys,"

“You should fuck off” he mumbled. Not noticing the older man.

Shinsou chuckles, nudging him again, "Stop sleeping in alleyways," He said, walking off again.

Katsuki grabbed his arm before he could get away, “Don’t tell me what to do.” He let go.

"You still shouldn't sleep out here."

“Why do you care?”

Shinsou shrugged.

“If you don’t care why can’t you just leave me alone?”

"Because..." He shrugged, "Nothing. Stop sleeping in alleys,"

“Why does it bother you so much?”

"Because it's not healthy,"

“Why do you care so much?” He repeats.

"Because I lived on the streets and I don't like seeing others doing it,"

“Well suck it up, ‘sides I don’t live on the streets.” He lowers his head again and closes his eyes.

"Do you want a place to stay for the night?"

He didn’t bother looking up. “I don’t need your pity, Eyebags.”

"It's not pity,"

“Then I don’t need your judgment.”

"Not judging,"

“Then what the fuck are you doing?”

"Offering a place to stay for the night if you need it, with nothing expected from you,"

He was silent for a while before a quiet man's grumbled, “fine.”

Shinsou nodded, holding his key out to the other, "I lied, one expectation,"

He looked at the key but didn’t take it, “what?”

"I don't know your name,"

“That sucks, Eyebags.” He said dryly.

"Tell me your name or don't, just take the key,"

He took it but didn’t stand up. Waiting for the guy to leave first.

Shinsou nodded, heading off on his patrol.

He walks to the house he’d left this morning, opening and closing the door loudly and kicking off his shoes, expecting an empty house.

"Sho? 'Toshi? Forget something?" The blond asks from the kitchen.

He stood in the doorway for a second before walking out. “Eyebags and whoever the fuck are out.”

Hizashi turns, looking at the boy, "Oh, it's you. Hello again," He smiled slightly, "Thanks for telling me, kid,"

“Sure” he looked into the kitchen to see what he was doing.

Hizashi had been doing dishes, food sitting on the counter in tupperware. "Help yourself if you want," he said.

He didn’t walk into the kitchen but took a step closer. “What is it?”

"It's just some leftover sukiyaki,"

He shrugged and took the bowl, eating a bite before almost choking in it. “What did you put in this?” He said mouth full of food and putting the bowl on the table. “Did you drown it with sugar?”

Hizashi's brows furrowed, "I don't think 'Toshi put any sugar in it,"

He swallowed and coughed, pushing it away. “Then, Eyebags poisoned it.”

Hizashi laughed, going back to cleaning up, "How so?"

“Probably fucked up the sauce or something, tastes like he just dumped whatever he wanted in it.” He put the remaining food in a container and started cleaning the bowl.

"Alright," Hizashi nodded, drying his hands on a towel as he finishes up, "I have to get ready for work, but feel free to make yourself something you'd like if you're hungry."

He stops cleaning to look at him directly. “Do you work with the police?”

Hizashi laughed, shaking his head, "Nothing nearly that glamorous. I'm just a talk show host. Hands Up Radio."

“What about the other one, outgrown hair and walking dead?” He shifted uncomfortably.

"What difference would it make either way?" Hizashi asked curiously.

He opened his mouth to tell him before hesitating. “Doesn’t matter. Go to your job cockatoo.” He walked out of the room.

Hizashi laughed slightly at the name, heading toward his own room.

He fell onto the couch thinking. By the way the blond answered the other one was surely somewhat involved with the police. Plus, Eyebags comment he was close to the cops around here. Which just meant Katsuki had to avoid him at all costs.

Hizashi stuck his head in the living room an hour later, "Just checking in before heading out. If I don't see you in the morning again, have a good night,"

Katsuki gave a slight wave for him to leave and brought his knees to his chest on the couch. When he heard the door close he took off the hoodie he’d been wearing for the past two days and inspected the bruises on his arms. They were large and all over from where she’d grabbed him but faded. He closed his eyes to think but fell asleep.

Shinsou got in a few hours later, not turning on any lights as he walked in, stealing a piece of pork from the leftover sukiyaki from the fridge and a bottle of water. Wandering into the living room, Shinsou noticed the other asleep on the couch and tossed a blanket over him before heading to bed himself.

He woke up to someone sounding like they were running through the house and slamming all the doors. “Just scream why don’t ya?” He mumbled tiredly but loudly.

Shinsou woke to the sound as well, confused at what could possibly be going on and why anyone would be doing that.

He turned on the couch, pushing the blanket off him. It was pitch black in the house and he was still half asleep. “Geez no comeback, Eyebags?” He was reaching for the light.

Shinsou slunk into the living room, sticking to the shadows, "That wasn't me," he said softly.

Katsuki turned to the voice and blinked, making out the faint outline of him. He looked back at the kitchen where the last noise had come from, help up his hand, and set off a large explosion. Causing a second of light to fill the room.

The brief flash of light was enough to show a woman. She was in all black and Katsuki didn’t see any bracelet on her. In her hand, she held a backpack, and the second she heard the explosion she bolted for the door. He ran and grabbed her by the arm, setting off a hot explosion to her skin and making her drop the bag, he pushed her against the couch and looked over to Shinsou. “Turn the lights on, Eyebags.”

Shinsou did as he was told, grabbing the bags she had dropped in the process.

He ignored the girl's whimpers of pain. “What’s in ‘em?”

"Dinner," he said checking one, "and..." he opened the other, "Shota's things,"

He looked at the girl and brought his hand to her face, about to spark it off and blow off at her face.

Shinsou grabbed his wrist, "Don't."

He pulled his wrist back, “it’s not gonna kill her, Eyebags.”

"Fine," Shinsou said, letting him go. He turned to the woman, activating his quirk, "Why are you here?"

She spoke panicked and scared “I-I just needed a few t-things. I-I’m sorry.”

He dropped his quirk, "Why this stuff?" He asks, holding up the bag that wasn't food.

“T-to sell. Please let me go.” Her voice got quiet and quick.

"After you tell us a few more things," He said, hands raised soothingly, "sit down,"

Katsuki sighed and tightened the grip on her arm, pulling her up. “Can’t we just kick her out?”

"I want to know something before she goes. Shouldn't take more than ten minutes,"

“Fine, Eyebags” he pushed her onto the couch and left to sit on the counter in the kitchen.

"Why did you come here?" Shinsou asks her, "This specific house?"

She looked down. “I-I thought nobody was home. I didn’t realize he lived here.” She cast a small glare to Katsuki before looking at the floor.

"He's a friend staying the night. Do you know who lives here?"

“I’ve been watching it for a few days...”

"Staking out the place for schedules?"

“Kind of?”

"Just to rob it?"

“I needed the money and the food. I’m sorry” she didn’t look up.

He hands her the bag of food after pulling her to her feet, "go,"

“T-thanks” she all but ran out of the house. It was silent for a moment before Katsuki spoke up. “You should learn to lock the door”

Shinsou nodded, "If I thought I hadn't, I would have,"

“Right.” He walked to the couch and put on his hoodie, “go back to bed, Eyebags. Seriously.”

"You should head to the guest bed, too. Gotta be more comfortable than the couch," Shinsou said, glancing at Bakugou's arms, but not mentioning the marks.

“Whatever, Eyebags, go to bed before you pass out from exhaustion.”

"Yea, yea," Shisnou sighed, waving him off, eyes closed as he weaves his way expertly back to his room, dropping the other bag in his uncles' room on the way.

He fell onto the bed and fell asleep immediately.

Shinsou slept easily as well.

He woke up early again and took off the hoodie, overheated. He walked down the staircase and to the door again. This time expecting someone to surprise him.

As expected, Shota was sitting in the kitchen with his coffee, waving to the boy as he came in, "morning, kid,"

He hummed quickly and went to the door without a glance. Grabbing his shoes in his hands and reaching for the door handle.

"You don't have to run out like that, kid," he calls.

He paused and scoffed, opening the door.

"Where's your hoodie?"

“Fuck off” he covered his arms with his hands and walked out.

Shota sighed, but let him go.

He walks out the door and turns a corner. Running straight into someone.

Hizashi laughed, catching Bakugou by the shoulders so neither of them went down, "you okay, kid?"

He pushed him off, shot off an explosion before realizing who it was. “Yeah. I’m fine” he tries to pass him.

"Okay," Hizashi said, letting him go, "good luck getting home, kid,"

He walked past before turning, “Don’t tell the walking dead about bumping into me okay.” He walked away.

Hizashi raised a brow, but let him go, heading home himself.

He climbed through the window and looked around his room. The lock on the doorframe has been ripped off the wall and a large dent was in the wall from where the door slammed into it. His room was trashed and he sighed, pushing a drawer in front of the door to keep it closed and started cleaning.

Shinsou was on the roof about noon, a bag on his shoulder, a book in his hand.

The door was pushed and stopped by the drawer. He sat on the bed and opened a book, opening to a middle page and staring at the words. The door was smashed open and the drawer fell on the floor. He looked up to see his mother. “Where have you been?” He rolled his eyes. “You’re the one that kicked me out hag.” She walked over. “Two days ago brat, where were you?” She grabbed his hair and dragging him off the bed. “Get off me ha-“ he was cut off by a hand around his neck. “Answer the question brat.” “Ican’tbreathe” she let go and walked to the door, “Don’t tell me. And don’t bother coming for dinner” he was gasping for his breath back and climbed into the roof.

Shinsou smiled slightly, holding up the bag before his arm and smile dropped, rushing over, tilting the other's head back to see the forming bruise around his throat, "you okay?" he asks softly.

Katsuki pushed him away. “Fuck off” his throat was hoarse and it hurt to speak.

"Don't make me force you to let me look you over," Shinsou growls, not backing down, eyes still examining.

Unable to talk he instead set an explosion off in his face to make him back off. Still trying to catch his breath.

Shinsou took a step back, ducking out of the way of the explosion, reaching into his bag.

“What are you-“ he cleared his throat and gulped “-doing?”

Shinsou pulled out a sealed water bottle, holding it out, "Cold drink might soothe your throat,"

He hesitated before taking it and gulping it down. Ignoring the choking and nauseating feeling it gave him.

Shinsou watched the other and the way his face crumpled as he fought his gag reflex, "You don't have to force yourself,"

He pulled the bottle down, coughing lightly. “Shut up, Eyebags”

Shinsou raised an eyebrow but said nothing, peering at the other's throat again, a look of concern in his eyes.

He narrowed his eyes at his gaze and stood up, turning to the side. “Stop that” his voice was quiet and strained.

"Stop what?" Shinsou asked, confused, eyes flickering up to lock with crimson.

He gave an unimpressed face. “That look”

"What look?" He asked, just as confused.

He groaned in frustration, which quickly turned to pain. “Like you're worried, Eyebags.”

"I-" Shinsou sighed, "do you know sign language?"

He gritted his teeth. ‘Why?’ He signed.

'Don't hurt throat more.' Shinsou signed back.

‘Why do you know sign language?’

'Loud Dad.' Shinsou's eyes widened, 'SHIT! UNCLE! NOT DAD!'

He raised an eyebrow before shaking his head and clearing his throat. ‘Go home e-y-e-b-a-g-s.’

'Come home with me.'

‘No.’

'Please.'

‘Go. Home’

'Come with me.'

He paused. ‘Why?’

'Your throat needs attention.'

‘I’m fine.’

'You can barely swallow or talk.'

He sighed. ‘Will you leave me alone if I go?’

'Yes.'

‘Fine.’

Shinsou smiled, nodding, "Thank you,"

‘Whatever.’ He waited for him to move so he could follow

Shinsou took back the bottle, slipping it into his bag, before shouldering it again and heading off back to his home again.

He followed him back to the house. Stopping every few minutes to get a deep breath in and starting again.

Shinsou paused as needed, "We can take it slower if you need."

‘Keep moving e-y-e-b” he cut the nickname off, not bothered to finish it.

Shinsou smiled, "you could just make my name a rude face and be done with it."

“Keep moving.” he strained out.

"Alright, alright." Shinsou laughed, continuing on, glancing back occasionally.

They kept going until they reached the house. The largest bruise was on his throat but the other faded ones still littered his arms.

Shinsou sat Bakugou in the kitchen before going to get some stuff.

He looked up the stairs and wondered if his uncles were come and asleep. Or his dads, either.

Shinsou came back a couple minutes later with Aizawa following him, both talking in low voices. Aizawa looked thoroughly exhausted, but awake and hating the world. He sighed, looking at Shinsou, "get him a towel and the ice pack from the freezer,"

Shinsou nodded, following the orders.

Katsuki looked in the direction of the voices, immediately recognizing two of them. It was the older one he was concerned about and he stood up, walking hastily towards the door to leave.

Shinsou dashed forward, getting between him and the door, "Let us help,"

“Move” he tried to say, losing his voice in the middle of the word.

"No." Shinsou growled, "You can't talk, can't swallow, can barely breathe. Let us treat you,"

His heart rate picked up and he tried to forcibly move past him and to the door. Mouthing no.

Shinsou stood his ground, "Tell me why not and I'll let you go. Give me a good reason," He knew this wasn't the proper way to go about this, but he needed to know.

He paused and thought about an answer opening his mouth, trying to talk, and closing it again. ‘Move’

"No," Shinsou said again.

‘Move‘ he sighed again, looking over his shoulder. ‘Move’

"...are you afraid of him?"

He stilled. “Move”

Shinsou shook his head, "Are you afraid of Aizawa?" he asked again.

He set off an explosion by accident. Pushing his hand into his arm to cover it. “I swear-“ his voice died and he cleared his throat. “Move”

"If I send him back to bed, will you stay?"

He gritted his teeth. ‘Fine’

Shinsou gently linked their hands, pulling the other back to the kitchen again, "Sorry, dad, he...you need to go." He said.

The dark-haired man looked like he wanted to argue for a minute before nodding, "Would you prefer Hizashi helps you?" he asks the skittish blond.

He stared at the man and kept his bracelet behind his back, trying to steady his breathing. He held onto Shinsou’s hand, squeezing it when Hizashi’s name came up.

"wait..." Shinsou said, "Are you afraid of him because of your quirk?"

He gave a betrayed look at Shinsou. Holding his hand close and setting off an explosion not letting him go.

Shinsou laughed, "That's what the problem is?" He asked incredulously. "You think he's quirkless,"

He held back from rolling his eyes. ‘I know he’s not quirkless. He took away my-‘ he looked around, letting go of Shinsou’s hand and holding both his off to set off tiny explosions.

"Alright. Alright," Shinsou said, still trying to understand, "Sho is the best field medic in the house, so he'd be best at helping you, but I can help instead if you really don't want him here."

He didn’t want to give the older man who was still watching the satisfaction of nodding. So he just stood there at stares at Shinsou, hoping he got the idea.

Aizawa sighed, patting Shinsou's shoulders, "You'll be fine," he said with a yawn before shambling off like the zombie he was almost.

Shinsou nodded, accepting the responsibility, "Alright,"

He watched him leave and listened to him walking up the stairs. He didn’t look away from the staircase till he heard an upside-down door close and silence. He turned back to Shinsou.

Shinsou sighed, a little nervous now, "please go sit again," he said, running a hand through his hair.

He sits in the closest chair still half-listening to upstairs. The last thing he wants is for Shinsou’s edgy uncle/dad to call the police on him.

"Why are you so afraid of sleepy dad?" Shinsou asks, coming back over with an ice pack wrapped in a dishtowel.

He frowns, “I’m not-“ ‘I’m not afraid of him’

"'Why does he bother you', then."

He looked at the Ice towel in his hand. ‘You gonna do anything with that?’

Shinsou handed it over, "I don't think you want me near your throat,"

He took it and held it against his throat. Making a breath at how good it felt. ‘Where, other?” He only had one hand to sign so he hoped Shinsou understood the question.

"Hizashi? He's asleep still,"

He looked confused. “Work? meet, outside, morning.” He wrapped the towel further around his neck.

"He works at night. You’ll meet him when he gets home,"

He put the towel on his knees, ‘When does he leave?’

"About seven, usually,"

‘What about the other one?’

"Aizawa?"

He nodded and put the towel back on his neck.

"he's former military, honorably discharged after being injured,"

He gave a deadpan expression, dropping the towel again. ‘Stop hyping him up and tell me what time he leaves.’

"I'm not hyping, just stating his job. We go out on patrol after curfew, he stays out all night, I come back about midnight,"

‘Explains the -“ he pointed to the bags under Shinsou’s eyes and held the towel back on his neck. “Time. Leave?”

"Sorry, didn't get that one,"

‘What, time, leave?’

"Again, not quite following. Who?"

He paused. “S-H-“ he shook his head, not remembering the rest. “Black hair” he mumbled.

"We go out when curfew starts," Shinsou repeats.

He rolls his eyes, cause they know the officers he reminds himself. So he just had to leave before 7 pm, he looked at the clock. It was 10:30 am, he had ages.

"I'm thinking you have no idea what we do," Shinsou murmurs.

He looked at him, he had a rough idea but nothing exact. He didn’t shake his head but didn’t nod either. Just waiting for Shinsou to tell him.

"We keep people from getting discovered when they go out after curfew so they don't get caught and beaten or fined for just existing. We do what we can to help others,"

He wasn’t exactly shocked or taken aback. Technically he knew that the man wasn’t going to hurt him. But a voice in his head tells him it’ll be safer to stay away. He nodded, “Thanks”.

Shinsou smiled, "Of course," He nodded, "want to try drinking again?"

Katsuki gave him a glare. ‘I was fine last time’

"Of course you were. Would you like another drink?"

He doesn’t want to humiliate himself more by nodding his head so he just grumbles, “sure”

Shinsou gets him a glass of water, handing it over, "you know it's almost impossible for me to judge you about any of this, right?"

He ignores the comment and starts drinking the water. Drinking hurting his throat but sucking it up. He lowers it, “thanks”

"You're welcome," Shinsou said, moving to pull the food he'd packed out of his bag, mostly consisting of a few sandwiches and extra bottles of water, putting them in the fridge.

He looked on curiously. “What’s-“ his voice stopped after the first word. Gave didn’t both signing, Shinsou’s back was to him anyways.

"I guessed I'd find you on the roof again, so I was coming to visit with lunch," Shinsou admits, a note of embarrassment in his voice

Shinsou wasn’t fully facing him. But in case he would look over Katsuki sighed ‘you made lunch for me?’

Shinsou glanced over, blushing, "And if I did?"

Katsuki shrugged, thinking back. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten. Probably the morning he’d bumped into Shinsou.

Shinsou nodded, blushing again, "That's what I thought. Sorry, should have known you'd have hated the idea,"

He shook his head, “no.”

"Exactly," the purple-haired boy mumbled.

Katsuki looked confused. He opened his mouth but closed it, clearing his throat. ‘What?’

"You'd have said no,"

He frowned, ‘no.’

"exactly,"

He sighed. “You’re a fuckin’ idiot” he coughed harshly. He pointed to the food, ‘yes’

Shinsou glanced at the food he gestured to, "That's going to hurt," he warns.

He shrugged, looking up thinking. ‘Three days’

"Since you last at?"

He gave a blank stare. Not sure whether to nod his head or sign yes.

Shinsou lets out a low whistle, passing him one of the sandwiches, "Sorry in advance, it's not gonna be the greatest thing,"

He took it and took a bite, he tried chewing till it was small but swallowing still hurt. A lot. He dropped the sandwich and grabbed at his throat, taking deep breaths.

Shinsou sighed, "Soup would probably be a better choice,"

He took a deep breath, “yeah.”

"Any preferences?"

He shook his head, standing up and grabbing the towel, holding it to his neck, and walking up to Shinsou.

"Mind if I try something? I promise I won't try to make it hurt,"

He hesitated before shrugging.

Shinsou dashed off before coming back with a scarf from by the front door, looping it around the blond's neck, pressing the towel wrapped ice against it gently but securely, allowing the other access to both his hands.

He stepped back when Shinsou first approached him but let him do what he wanted. ‘Thanks’ he looked away embarrassed that he had to be helped.

"You're welcome," Shinsou nodded with a smile.

He stood back and waited for Shinsou to do something or grab something.

Shinsou moved over to the fridge to collect veggies, setting them on the counter.

Katsuki began to cut them on a cutting board while Shinsou grabbed the other things.

Shinsou smiled, humming as he collected the sliced onions and carrots into a pan with some olive oil and setting it on the stove to lightly cook.

After cutting the vegetables he walked to the pot, putting his fingers in the water to check if it was boiling. When he realized it was he put the other vegetables in.

Shinsou smiled, adding broth and a lid and turning the temperature down to simmer, "And we let it sit,"

‘I know how to make soup e-y-e-b-a-g-s”

Shinsou chuckles, "I know, I know. More of a general comment than actual instructions,"

He shrugged. Sitting down to hide the stomach ache and nausea from not eating. ‘You eating?’

Shinsou shrugged, "I don't tend to eat more than once a day or I get sick,"

He looks confused, ‘why?’

Another shrug, "I was raised with very little food, it's just a habit I've kept. 'Spawn of Hell doesn't deserve food' and all that,"

He gave a concerned look but didn’t press it. He looked back up the stairs in a habit.

"Do you have a place to stay tonight?" Shinsou asks, changing the subject again.

‘Have to go back, can’t let them know I’m out.’

"I thought she didn't want you home,"

He shook his head. ‘Dinner’

"oh, okay,"

He gave a defeated nod, he hated not talking, I’d be so much easier to give short, snappy answers. He touched his neck. ‘How bad?’

"You're throat? From what I can tell, you're lucky you're alive,"

He paused, she wouldn’t have killed him and it’s not permanent so it wasn’t too bad. He gave a small smile to himself.

"There might be some lasting damage, but I can't say for sure. You really should let dad check you over,"

He sighed, looking at Shinsou for a minute straight in the eye. Before ‘fine’

Shinsou smiled, "Thank you," He said, going over to the fridge and pulling out a smoothie pouch, tossing it to the blond, "Something to settle your stomach,"

He grabbed it and drank it quickly, starving for the soup but taking what he could get.

"Want another or wait til soup?"

‘Soup’

"Okay,"

He sat down and pulled off the scarf ice pack thing Shinsou had put on him, waiting to hear the door open or the stairs creak.

Shinsou took it, returning the ice pack to the freezer, towel settling on the counter, and the scarf going around his own neck loosely, "Better?"

“Sure” his voice still sounded like it went through a cheese grater and it hurt to talk but at least he could breathe easier.

"Good," Shinsou nodded, going over and tasting the soup, humming.

He sat back, not exactly in a place to ask if it was done or good.

"You can check if you want, I think the carrots need a few more minutes,"

He stands up, ‘you’re supposed to heat carrots then run them under cold water to make them soft. Don’t overheat them’

"Then I messed up. How do I fix it?"

‘It’s not gonna kill us, just take it off the boil’

Shinsou moved the pot to a cold burner, turning off the heat.

He grabbed two bowls and set them on the counter.

Shinsou pulled out a ladle and a couple spoons, filling the bowls and handing one with a spoon to the other.

He took it and sat down. Hesitating to eat it, he looked at Shinsou to see if he thought it was good.

“‘Zashi told me you hated the sukitaki, not sure you really want my opinion," Shinsou said, sipping at the liquid, lightly burning his tongue.

He shrugged and ditched the spoon, taking a large sip. The hot liquid burned but he was expecting that. ‘Not bad’

"Glad you approve,"

He pushed it around with his soon. ‘Are you gonna get your dad?’

"I wasn't going to for a few more hours, let your throat calm down more and him sleep,"

He nodded, taking another sip. He’d just have to not back out of it within the next few hours.

"You can take a nap if you like after you eat, I mean. Or, whatever, really,"

He gave a tired laugh, ‘okay, I need a simpler nickname for you’

"Again, a rude face would work,"

He gave a face and flipped him off. Resting his hand in his cheek tiredly.

Shinsou laughed, "there's my name,"

He closed his eyes and leaned his head on the table, enjoying the cool surface on his face. “Shut it”

Shinsou laughed again, blowing on his soup.

He falls asleep, the spoon falling out of the bool and making the soup spill slightly.

Shinsou cleaned up the mess, moving the bowl away and considering his options. On one hand, he could leave him there, but then he'd wake up sore, on the other hand....he wondered how much the boy weighed.

He was dead asleep; completely out of it. Nothing would wake him up even though he was a light sleeper, except of course police sirens.

Deciding he could only die once, Shinsou moved over and scooped Bakugou into his arms, carrying him into the living room and setting him on the couch.

Katsuki stayed asleep, wrapping his arm around Shinsou, and keeping him there.

Shinsou chuckled, "how much death if I took you to bed with me?" He murmurs, a hand coming up to run through sandy hair.

He murmured, his face twisting at the discomfort it brought his throat, even asleep.

"Well, we're going to find out, aren't we," Shinsou mumbled, standing again and heading to his room. Because if he was going to end up cuddling with this boy who still hadn't given his name, he was going to do it in his bed.

Careful not to jostle him too much, the taller boy arrived at his room and settled onto his bed, the other in his lap, before he managed to situate themselves next to each other.

Bakugou hugged the pillow as a reflex, pressing his face into it and squishing his cheek.

Shinsou smiled because it was adorable. After a little while, he drifted back to sleep as well.

Katsuki woke up to a door opening, he shot up looking around. He was in a bedroom? He set off an explosion and in the flash saw Shinsou’s face. He sighed and shook him, unable to wake him by calling his name.

"What?" Shinsou asks groggily, yawning.

He opened his mouth but it was useless, unlike earlier his throat had completely given out and he couldn’t make more than a strained choke. He just kept shaking him.

Shinsou flapped his hand, eyes opening "okay, okay." He looks at the other, "sign language it is okay ."

Katsuki did not know how the other boy could see in the dark. He certainly couldn’t, none the less he sighed, ‘he’s up’

"Who?" Shinsou groaned, confused to the threat.

Katsuki sighed, he doesn’t know his name. ‘Uncle, black hair.’

Shinsou nodded, "what about him?"

Katsuki points to his neck.

Shinsou nodded, "we can go see him," He mumbled.

He didn’t really want to ask him for help but he could barely open his mouth or gulp. He got up from the bed.

Shinsou smiled slightly as he gets up as well, stretching with a yawn, "Thank you for not murdering me,"

He narrowed his eyes. ‘Don’t do it again.’

Shinsou shrugged, "Didn't want you to wake up worse, then you fell asleep. Let's head down to see Sho,"

He frowned to keep himself from smiling at the comment, following Shinsou down the stairs.

Aizawa was sitting in the kitchen, drinking a cup of coffee. He raised a brow when he saw the boys come in, "Should I disappear again?" He asks the sandy-haired boy.

He didn’t move and kept eye contact. ‘It’s your house.’ He didn’t know if he knew sign language but it was better than nothing.

Aizawa smiled slightly, "Want me to check your neck?" he asks, setting his mug aside.

He stared at the guy, too humiliated to nod or shake his head so he just took a step forward.

Aizawa pulled a chair over with his foot, "Have a seat. Can you talk?"

He took Shinsou’s arm and pulled him over to the stool with him, shaking his head.

Aizawa's face sours, if that was possible, "Would you be alright if 'Toshi ran to get some things or would you prefer he stays? One or two."

‘I don’t care’ he sighed, he really didn’t, as long as Shinsou stayed he didn’t care who did what.

Shinsou lightly squeezes his shoulder, "I'll be right back," He said, "need the kit?"

"Please," the dark-haired man said.

Katsuki pulled his knees to his chest, hiding his bracelet behind his legs and watching in case the man moved.

Shinsou came back a couple minutes later with a well-stocked first aid kit, setting it on the table between the pair before moving to stand behind the blond again.

He trusted Shinsou not to hurt him so Katsuki let him walk behind him. He kept his eyes on the older man, waiting for him to do something.

Aizawa pulled the case over, pulling out a tongue depressor, "I need to see in your mouth,"

Katsuki kept his mouth shut before hesitantly opening it. And looking away, it was too humiliating to look him in the eyes.

Aizawa quickly but efficiently checked for any visible swelling within, or other damages before pulling back and tossing the stick in the trash, "you'll heal,"

‘I knew that.’ he signed, sitting back immediately.

Chapter Text

Shinsou lay a comforting hand on the blond's shoulder.

Aizawa sighed, "Mother?" he asks.

His chest tightened, muffling explosions in his arms. ‘You don’t know anything about me’

"The marks are from a woman, and you don't seem like the kind who's let your girlfriend do that to you," Aizawa explains, "how long has it been like this?"

‘Nothing’s happening” he signed, pushing the chair back to get more distance between them.

"Alright. No more questions, fine. Need ice again?"

His throat ached for ice but he wasn’t taking anything from him. ‘No’

Shinsou sighed, stepping between them, raising a brow as Aizawa turned back to his coffee.

Katsuki was about to walk back upstairs when his eyes landed on Aizawa’s coffee. He froze, ‘what’s the time?’

Shinsou looked at the clock, "six,"

‘A-M?’

Shinsou chuckles, shaking his head, "Hour to curfew, I know you wanted to be back by then,"

He stood still for a moment, ‘I have to go’ he walked to the door and grabbed the shoes by the door.

"Need a friend?" Shinsou asks, "Not that I'm a friend, but...you get what I mean,"

‘No, you’d make it wro-“he was signing without thinking, freezing and dropping his hands again. ‘No’

Shinsou nodded, "Alright. Want the leftover soup?"

He shook his head, he couldn’t stomach anything right now. ‘Where’s my hoodie?’

"Should be in the drier," Aizawa said.

Shinsou nodded, leading the blond to the laundry room.

He followed him and leaned against the doorframe. ‘Why’d you wash it?’

Shinsou shrugged, "we just did, no particular reason,"

‘Don’t. Waste of money.’ he took the hoodie from the dryer and pulled it over him.

Shinsou shrugged, "It was just part of a load, nothing significant,"

‘Whatever.’ He took there silent for a long moment before signing a quick ‘thanks’ and leaving.

"Bomb-boy, one sec," Shinsou said, dashing after him.

He stopped, raising an eyebrow at the name.

"Don't give me that face, I still don't know yours. Beside the point," He presses a key into the other's palm, "keep it,"

He looked at him confused, ‘why?’

"Do I really need to say why?" Shinsou blushed slightly, "The room is yours if you need it,"

He shook his head. Shinsou didn’t get the question, ‘why me?’

"Because...I don't have a reason,"

He frowned, ‘you do.’

Shinsou nodded, "Yes, I have a reason, no, I don't want to admit it,"

‘Why?’ He signed again, he couldn’t think of any reason why Shinsou would want him around. He’d been nothing but trouble and a nuisance.

Shinsou groans, eyes falling closed, "Because you're going to break my face again,"

He looked at Shinsou’s forehead where a dull mark was there. He smiled and turned. ‘Okay then’

"See you later, bomb-boy,"

He wanted to answer back with, ‘you suck at nicknames’ but it was too much work. He spared one more look into the kitchen before walking out the front door.

Shinsou heads back to the kitchen with his own change of clothes for the night, collecting a cup of coffee.

Katsuki walked back to his house, pulling the collar of his hoodie up, unsuccessfully trying to hide the bruise. He couldn’t walk through the front door cause it was as good as asking to be killed, so climbing to his window was the only option.

An hour later, Aizawa and Shinsou headed out on patrol, splitting up a couple streets over.

Katsuki sat on the roof. He couldn’t go inside for dinner and he couldn’t risk staying in his room since the hag broke the door. He’d grabbed a book and flashlight and been reading for hours.

Shinsou made his way over another couple hours later, being discretely loud, so he didn't scare the other, "any better?"

He held one hand in the air, signing a quickly ‘sure’ without taking his eyes off the book.

Shinsou nodded with a hum, walking away again to look for anyone who needed help, staying within a six roof radius.

Katsuki listened to him walk away, looking up to watch him once he passed him. Katsuki smiled before going back to his book. And before he heard a loud, “get down from the fuckin’ roof brat.”

He sighed and puts the book down, only having his feet through the door before she grabbed them and pulled him in, making him hit his head in the window sill and land on the floor. “What the fuck were you doing up there.” Katsuki couldn’t answer, she grabbed his hair and tugged. “Talk brat” he could only let out a strained whine.

Shinsou sprinted over at the crack, slipping through the window with practiced ease, activating his quirk, "What does it matter?"

She turned her face to him in confusion that quickly led to anger, “he’s my son, I should know why he goes where he does. But he’s so fuckin’ pathetic about everything it drives me insane.” She gripped Katsuki’s hair tighter and Kastuki signed a quick, ‘go’

"Let him go," Shinsou orders, standing his ground.

She drops him and gives Shinsou a threatening glare. “Get the fuck out of my house if you don’t want the police called.”

"I'm sure they'd love to see the state of this house," he smirks, "fairly certain abuse and attempted murder is a higher charge, lady,"

She smirked, “Please, the brat has been arrested so many times they won’t blink an eye if I say it was self-defense.” Katsuki grabbed Shinsou’s arms and started dragging him out of the room.

"How much is he worth to you?" Shinsou asks, moving with the other as he pulled him along.

Katsuki set off a giant explosion before the hag could answer. He pulled Shinsou out of the room and a few steps down the hallway before turning and looking him in the face. ‘Stop’

'what?' Shinsou signed back.

‘Stop. Leave’ he kept a grip on Shinsou’s arm so he couldn’t go back into the room.

'Come with me. don't come back here again. you aren't safe.'

He shook his head, ‘Can’t. Leave.”

'Why not?'

He paused. He didn’t exactly have a reason but he knew running away would solve anything. They had legal control of him, everything he does, and everything he owns. He can’t run away from them. ‘Can’t.’

Acting without thought, Shinsou pulled his arm from the blond's hand and pressed a kiss to his forehead, "You know where you can go. Stay safe. I need an exit,"

Katsuki stared at him for a while, before clearing his throat and stepping back, ‘Front door.’

Shinsou nodded and ran.

He noticed his dad in the living room watch Shinsou run out the door. Katsuki looked at him, his dad ignored it, and Katsuki. He looked to the door again, for a brief second considering following him. He walked back to his room.

Shinsou moved back up to the roof again, staying to the shadows. He should leave well enough alone, but he couldn't, and it might just be the death of him tonight.

His mother had left the room when he got there, almost everything was broken, including his window that had been smashed and some clothes that looked like they’d been ripped. He rubbed the back of his head and started cleaning.

Shinsou sat on the edge of the roof next door. He couldn't make himself continue on his patrols when he felt like he needed to watch over the other.

He grabbed the pieces of glass on his floor, most of it had gone outside, Katsuki presumes his mum punched it if through something at it from the inside. He dumped them in the bin, cutting his hand in the process and ignoring it. He leaned out the window, looking to see if Shinsou was still near.

Shinsou whistled, waving when he saw the other looking.

He frowned at the whistle and looked back into his room to see if anyone heard. When no one came he looked out the window again and signed ‘go home’

Shinsou shrugged but didn't move.

He sighed signing slower ‘go, home e-y-e-b-a-g-s’

'n-o'

He sighed, checking behind him again before ‘come here’

Shinsou collected the other's book from the roof before moving over to sit on the windowsill.

He took a breath before an almost silent “go home”

Shinsou smiled, holding out the book, 'she's always like that?'

He shrugged taking the book. Throwing it on the floor with the other smashed items. ‘Go home’

'You really don't like me,' he signed with a smile.

‘I don’t want you to get arrested. You may know the cops but she’ll buy them over.’

'You're a rich family? Didn't guess that,'

‘Model, fashion designer,” he pulled Shinsou in from the window sill

'You weren't part of the family business? You're pretty enough,' Shinsou signed, letting himself be pulled.

‘I am.’ he signed, pushing the drawer in front of the door again to keep it closed.

'A busted up model won't make much money,'

He laughed at the irony of it. His mother would hit him for having bruises and not being about to do photoshoots. ‘You don’t need to sign, just be quiet’

Shinsou nodded, 'want me to stay?'

Katsuki looks to the door and back at Shinsou. ‘No.’ He grabs a hoodie that hadn’t been ripped. ‘Let’s go’

Shinsou nodded, climbing out again and offering a hand down to pull him up onto the roof with him.

Katsuki thought back to the night they met and takes his hand.

Shinsou looks at the blood that dripped onto the roof, "How's your hand?"

He put the hand out of Shinsou’s view to stop him from looking at it. It wasn’t bad and Katsuki didn’t want to make a big deal of it. ‘Fine’.

"I'll clean it when we get home, but it looks fine in the meantime," Shinsou said, "shall we continue on, pretty boy?"

He grabbed Shinsous arm and turned him to make sure he was what Katsuki said ‘Don’t call me that’

Shinsou smiled, "alright, what do you want me to call you?"

He frowned, ‘not that’, and kept walking, knowing the route to the house.

Shinsou chuckles, following.

He reached the front door, waiting for Shinsou to walk in first before going inside.

Shinsou headed in, making sure to lock the door behind them, "Food?"

He shrugged. Kicking his shoes off.

"Alright," Shinsou said, pulling off his own shoes, "I'll go get the first aid kit again,"

He didn’t bother signing seeing as Shinsou was out of the room. He figured he’d tell him his name soon. But part of him liked the nicknames he made up.

Shinsou came back with the box, setting it on the counter before setting the percolator to boil again.

Katsuki opened the kit himself, he rubbed antibiotics on with a cotton bud and wrapped it. It was easy and bandaging a cut was like a second language to him. He did feel bad for how many things he was making them waste. Medical supplies, food, whatever else. He looked to Shinsou.

Shinsou was pulling things out for tea, something soothing, letting the other take care of himself, since he seemed to have everything in hand.

Katsuki walked next to him and leaned his back on the counter, 'what are you making?'

"Tea, might see if it can soothe your throat." Shinsou said with a shrug, "I don't know what I'm doing, really,"

he looked at the boiling percolator and shrugged, 'move' he reached for the drawer Shinsou was standing in front of and took out two mugs.

Shinsou smiled, stepping aside, letting the other have free reign.

he picked up the tea bags Shinsou had put on the counter and dropped one in each mug, pouring the boiling tea in soon after. Katsuki usually drank his tea like that but he was sure Shinsou would drown his in milk and sugar, despite how much coffee he drinks and considering the sukiyaki he'd tasted a few days ago. He mixed in sugar and milk and pushed the mug to Shinsou.

"Thanks," Shinsou said, sipping it, "why'd you decide I take sugar?"

"Sukiyaki." he said simply, his voice hoarse and sore before taking a large sip of the tea

"fair enough," Shinsou concedes.

Katsuki looked at the clock, it was11 pm, past curfew meaning he couldn't go home. Not that curfew had ever stopped him before, or he wanted to go back. He took his tea and sat on the couch.

Shinsou picks up his mug, "you know your room if you want it, or mine. Wherever you want, I'll be upstairs,"

He watched him walk up the stairs and lay back on the couch, bringing his knees to his chest again and scratching at his bracelet. After a minute he walked up the stairs to Shinsou's room and walked in.

Shinsou had his back to the door as he looked for a change of clothes in his closet, shirt off, showing a mess of scars

Katsuki looked at his back, face unchanged by the scars but angry at them being there. He knocked on the open door to get his attention.

Shinsou spun fast, hands coming up on instinct before dropping them again, "sorry, didn't expect you up so soon," he blushed slightly.

He held up his hand to sign an apology but dropped it and avoided looking at the scars. He walked to the closet and picked out a shirt, throwing it at him.

Shinsou slid it on quickly, "thanks," he mumbled.

He shrugged and sits on the bed looking around the room.

It was rather standard, if a little bare, a bookcase filled with old paperbacks, a sound system that was about a decade old, a desk filled with notebooks and textbooks, a pile of laundry by the closet.

He sat back on the bed, leaning against the wall and taking another large sip of tea. Waiting to see if Shinsou would sit next to him.

Shinsou moved over to the other side of his bed, sitting on it, propped up against the headboard, picking up his drink from the bedside table.

'don't you have patrol?'

"I'm done for tonight, calling in early,"

He nodded and sat back, thinking about how Shinsou kissed his forehead

Shinsou sighed, finishing what was left in his mug, setting it back on the bedside again, and sinking into the bed, hands folded on his stomach.

Katsuki finished his drink and leaned over Shinsou to put it on the nightstand, pausing briefly before laying back down

"help yourself to any of my books if you want, you seemed to like whatever you were reading," Shinsou murmurs, eyes sliding shut.

He looked to the bookcase and walked over to it, 'anything good?' he didn't look back when he signed, not sure if Shinsou even saw it.

Shinsou had opened an eye to watch him go when he felt the bed move, "most of them are in English, from when 'Zashi was a professor," he mumbled, "depends how literate you are,"

He grabbed one of them and sat on the bed, laying on his stomach he held the pillow and rested his head on it, reading the book.

"Which one you choose?" Shinsou asked, curious.

He held up a small but wide book, 'the turning'.

Shinsou hummed, "enjoy that," he mumbled, eyes sliding shut again as he rolled over.

"Sleeping?"

"Sleep is nice," Shinsou mumbled, nodding.

He hummed, lighting small sparks in his hand so he could read the pages. He knew a lot of the words in the book and could understand the story, but some of them were completely unknown to him.

Shinsou's breathing evened out as he fell asleep, one hand under his head, other moving to drape over Bakugou's waist.

Katsuki set off an explosion in surprise. He put the book down and for a while just stared at the ceiling in silence. After a few hours had passed and he also fell asleep his arm was around Shinsou's shoulder and his chin rested on Shinsou's head.

Shinsou shifted closer to the warm body beside him as he started waking up, sighing softly through his nose.

Katsuki wrapped one of his legs around Shinsou's waist and pulled him closer.

Shinsou chuckles, hand shifting down to move the other's leg down, "Tell me your name first," he murmurs, not moving away.

Katsuki smiled, "No"

Shinsou hums, "Alright, blond bombshell, have it your way,"

He pulled back slightly, smiling at the nickname

Another hum, "Like that one?"

He shook his head slightly, eyes closed.

"Fine," Shinsou sighed, arm moving to the other's waist again, "thank you,"

"Why?"

"Not exploding me." Shinsou mumbled, burying his face in the other's chest again, "And cuddling,"

He hummed, "Shut up." and shifted closer to him again.

"Fine." Another hum.

Katsuki fell asleep.

Shinsou looked up as the door opened. Aizawa motioned him out, and Shinsou nodded, slipping out of the hold he was in with a bit of work.

Katsuki woke to Shinsou leaving the room, when he left, Katsuki grabbed the pillow and hugged it in his arms.

Shinsou came back an hour later, slipping back into bed, brushing some hair out of Bakugou's eyes from where it had settled in his sleep, "Pretty boy," he murmurs with a half-smile.

"Where'd you go?" he asked tiredly, voice strained still.

"I just got a new sister, Sleepy Dad wanted me to help settle her in for the morning since I'm less intimidating looking,"

He half laughed and leaned back, sitting up. 'what’s the time?'

"Almost 8,"

'a-m?' he signed with one hand, using the other to rub his eyes

"Yea,"

He mumbled and stood up stretching

"Breakfast?"

'sure', he took off the hoodie he'd slept in and threw it on the bed.

"How’s your hand? And throat."

'fine e-y-e-b-a-g-s" he turned his head to yawn and kept his eyes closed as he walked to the door, 'get up'

"Right behind you, pretty boy," he chuckled, getting up and following.

'stop saying that' he signed without looking behind him and walked down the steps.

"I need to call you something,"

'get creative'

"Yes, because calling you an Angry Pomeranian seems so safe," Shinsou smirks.

He held up his middle finger before signing, 'f-u-c-k-y-o-u' reaching the bottom of the stairs he turned into the kitchen.

"Careful, there's a kid in the house now," Aizawa chuckled, "sleep well, boys?"

'sure' he stood just inside the kitchen but waited for Shinsou to pass him.

Shinsou went over and poured himself some coffee, "want one?" He asked the other, gesturing with a mug.

'don't put in sugar'

Shinsou poured another cup, adding a dash of cream before handing it over.

He raised an eyebrow at the mixed-in cream but signed a quick, 'thanks' and drank half the cup.

"You didn't say black. And you're welcome,"

He took another sip, his eyes closed and trying to wake up.

Shinsou started going about making pancakes, occasionally drinking his coffee.

After he finished the coffee he looked at the clock on the wall, Shinsou's back was to him and he didn't feel like talking so he signed to the other man in the room, 's-h-i-n-s-o-u'.

Aizawa raised a brow, "What about him?"

He deadpanned and shook his head trying again, 'turn around'

"’Toshi, blondie wants you,"

Shinsou turned with a hum, cradling the bowl of batter as he stirred.

'I need to go'

Shinsou sighed, setting the bowl aside, "sorry, apparently I'm not finishing breakfast," he tells the dark-haired man, "tell Eri I'll be back in a little while if she wants me,"

Aizawa nodded, rising and taking over the batter.

he looked at Shinsou confused but shrugged, figuring he was going out or something and it was none of Katsuki's business. He put on his shoes and walked out the door, closing it behind him.

Shinsou dashed after him, "Mr. Bombastic," he calls, smiling as he caught up and walked beside him, "heading back to the mess?"

'better sooner than later' he looked at Shinsou, 'how about you?'

"Risking you thinking I'm a stalker," he shrugged.

'Where are you going?' he asked, having a sneaking suspicion.

"With you, then I'm gonna get Eri some new clothes," another shrug.

'You're not coming with me,' he kept walking

"Not all the way," Shinsou nodded, "oh, in case you haven't figured it out, there's no longer a spare bedroom,"

"No shit" he gave a pointed look.

Shinsou chuckled, "I know, I know, just felt I should actually say it,"

He hummed, turning the corner. 'get lost e-y-e-b-a-g-s'

"We really need to find a name so you don't have to spell that every time,"

'my hand's adjusted to it' he smiled 'e-y-e-b-a-g-s-e-y-e-b-a-g-s-e-y-e-b-a-g-s' he spelt the letters out rapidly.

Shinsou laughed, "fine, fine, whatever floats your goat,"

He stopped before turning into his street and faced Shinsou, 'get lost'

"Yea, yea," Shinsou smiled, stepping closer and pressing a kiss to the other's forehead again, "don't die,"

'Why do you keep doing that?'

This earned a blush, "Same reason I keep bringing you home and checking on you,"

He smiled, 'see you later e-y-e-b-a-g-s'

"You have the key?"

He pulled the key out of his pocket and held it up.

Shinsou nodded. "See you later, atomic blond,"

He gave a smile and walked towards the house.

Shinsou turned and headed toward the shopping district.

He walked through the front door and no one was there, he sighed in relief and picked up a note on the counter. 'we're in New York for a few weeks maybe longer, money's on the counter. Don't ask for more.' he ripped it and threw it in the bin before going to his room.

Shinsou did some shopping.

The purple-haired boy went back home about noon, several bags on his arms of clothes and toys.

He walked to his room, his window saw still smashed and his door didn't close. He couldn't do anything about it now, but he'd have to fix it later.

Shinsou went up to the former guest room and poked his head in, finding the white-haired girl curled up asleep in bed. He smiled, sneaking in to leave the bags for her against the wall and sneaking out again. He was the only one awake in the house, he went back down to clean up any dishes from breakfast that were left, finding a plate of pancakes left for him with a smiley face in chocolate, making him chuckle at his other dad's quirkiness.

Katsuki opened the fridge finding nothing, his parents had either eaten everything or trashed everything before he got home. He'd have to buy groceries, he checked the money his parents left. Running the numbers they'd given him enough for the basic bills and that was it. He sighed, going to grab his own money to buy food.

Looking through the fridge and counting days, Shinsou decided he should probably go shopping for food after he ate breakfast. They should actually get some real food. He shrugged, tucking into fluffy food and rich chocolate.

He walked into the store keeping his head down, he'd already drawn attention to himself because of the bracelet and bruise. He just needed people to ignore him,

A tall figure with eggplant hair walked up behind him, recognizing the sandy hair, and took his basket as he shopped, "Fancy seeing you here, stranger."

He didn't need to turn around to know who was there, he grabbed half-off bread and put it in his basket, turning to face Shinsou.

"They send you out to do the shopping, Cinderella?" Shinsou asks, arm not holding the basket looping around the smaller's waist.

'Not home' he signed, letting him hold onto his waist but moving further through the isle.

"For how long?" He asks, adding a jar of sauce to the basket with a couple packages of noodles.

He shrugged, grabbing pasta and throwing it in. He didn't want to deal with telling Shinsou right now.

"Fair enough,"

'Why are you here?'

It was Shinsou's turn to shrug, "We hadn't gone shopping in a couple weeks and there's a fourth and possible fifth mouth in the house,"

'Fourth' Katsuki signed firmly.

"And a bit."

He turned and held his hand in Shinsou's face 'four'

"Four." Shinsou sighed, "With them gone, I guess you won't be coming back for a while,"

He shrugged again, 'probably' he turned into a different aisle and took Shinsou by the hand, making sure he followed. He reached for milk with one hand, signing vague words to the other hoping he understood, 'she, small?'

"Tiny," Shinsou agreed.

‘Name?’ He turned to face him.

"Eri,"

He nodded and started walking, looking back to see if Shinsou was following.

Shinsou followed, still carrying the basket, and added a jar of strawberry jelly.

He looked at the basket in his hand. It didn’t have too much, milk, bread, pasta, meat, but he didn’t have much money on him. ‘See you around e-y-e-b-a-g-s.’

Shinsou sighed, "Bye, Bombshell."

He rolled his eyes and gave the items to the cashier, twisting the card in his hand. “Cash or card?” He held up the card and the cashier saw the bracelet. “Oh, your one of those things” he took the card and scanned it.

Chapter Text

Shinsou checked out about twenty minutes after the other, basket overflowing.

Katsuki waited outside for Shinso. He wasn’t exactly sure why but he wasn’t in a rush to get home so he figured why not.

Shinsou paid and ignored anything the cashier said, bagging up his things and heading out. He already knew everything the man said, he heard it every day in his head at the very least.

His eyes were cast down as he walked out, only paying enough attention to not run into anyone, but no idea who.

He looked as he walked out and didn’t spot him. He wasn’t one to yell out to someone but he didn’t feel like going back home or somewhere else. “Eyebags” he yelled hoarsely, immediately regretting it as his throat stung and he coughed painfully.

Shinsou jumped slightly, looking over, forcing a smile, "Bombshell," He greeted back, heading over, "I didn't expect you to still be here,"

He shrugged and walked with him. ‘Don’t feel like going back.’

"That's fine," Shinsou said, "I have to go back home, I have perishables, but you can come back with me,"

He shrugged. ‘She home?’ He thought about what the girl could be like. All he got so far was she was small. Not exactly a shocker.

Shinsou nodded, "Dad brought her home this morning,"

‘Dad?’ He smirked at another of Shinsou's slip-ups.

Shinsou nodded, not even phased.

He smiled. ‘Name?’ He was sure Shinsou had told him at some point. But he was always shit at remembering names.

Shinsou laughed, "I could tell you her name is Shiro and you'd believe me,"

‘Her name isn’t Shiro’ he narrowed his eyes with a pointed look and kept walking.

"I'll tell you when we get there,"

Half of Katsuki didn’t believe that but he didn’t feel like pushing it so he just dropped the topic of her name. ‘Have you met her?’

Another nod, "Yea,"

He stopped signing when he realized Shinsou was giving ending answers. They walked in silence till they reached the house.

Shinsou opened the door and let the other go in first, "I'll answer better when we're inside," he said quietly.

He didn’t bother answering him and walked in, kicking his shoes off in the familiar doorway and putting the bags on the counter.

Shinsou did the same, following and started to empty the bags into the fridge, "Her name is Eri."

‘Won’t believe it till she tells me.’ he said with a look and waited for him to get her, it for her to walk in. Katsuki has never met her, he wasn’t sure what she was like or if she liked strangers, he assumed he’d find out soon.

"I'll get her if you promise not to be loud," Shinsou said, continuing to unpack.

He raised an eyebrow and signed again ‘Shouldn’t be a problem e-y-e-b-a-g-s.’

"Right, sorry. I meant don't explode shit."

He didn’t sign or nod his head, just leaned against the counter with a tired look.

Shinsou sighs, "I'll see if she wants to come out, maybe make her some lunch," He said, wandering off.

‘Me?’ He asked. Hoping Shinsou wasn’t suggesting that he make lunch. Katsuki would much rather make something and enjoy it than eat whatever Shinsou made.

"If you want to cook, go ahead. If not, I'll make food when I get back."

‘Don’t Make food’ he signed, already turning away to grab a pan.

Shinsou didn't respond, having missed that because he was halfway up the stairs.

He cracked three eggs and whisked them, pouring them into a pan. Putting bacon and sausages in another pan. He stood there for a minute before rolling the egg over on itself. After a while, he cut everything up and had three plates of rolled egg, bacon strips, and smoked sausage.

Shinsou came back down with a little white-haired girl on his hip, smiling and talking softly to her as she giggled back, face buried in his shoulder.

‘Tiny.’ he had already begun to eat. He hadn’t in a while and he was starving.

Shinsou chuckled quietly, "I told you she was."

He shrugged and pushed the other two plates across the counter.

Shinsou sat on one of the bar stools, the girl in his lap, pulling the plate closer and handing her a fork.

‘Does she talk?’ He asked, taking another bite of egg and looking at her.

The girl looked up at Shinsou, confused.

"He just wants to know if you can talk," Shinsou explained, "He got hurt recently and can't talk much right now."

Eri nodded slowly, "Hello." she said quietly.

Figuring she couldn’t understand sign language he did a simple wave and looked back at Shinsou. ‘You gonna eat?’

"Thank you for the food," Shinsou said, lifting his fork and starting to eat as well.

‘Didn’t make it for you.’ he smiled and looked back at the girl. ‘How old are you?’ He figured Shinsou could translate for him.

"He wants to know how old you are, Eri." Shinsou relayed.

"Six," she said meekly, eating another small piece of egg.

He nodded. Not sure what else to ask. He’d never really talked with anyone let alone a six-year-old. ‘What happened?’ He asked Shinso. It probably wasn’t an appropriate time to ask why she’d been adopted but the silence was getting too uncomfortable and he figured Shinsou was smart enough not to tell her what he’d asked.

"Dad didn't tell me much, just that we need to keep her safe. Her last home was...less than pleasant," Shinsou didn't feel bad saying this in front of Eri, it was likely far worse than his vague words.

He nodded, she had bandages visible under her dress on his arms and legs. Plus a horn from her head. ‘Mutant quirk?’ He asked. Wondering if she was treated like shit for having a physical difference.

Shinsou shrugged, "I don't know,"

He looked at the girl again. She was looking confused between the two of them and kept glancing at him then looking away. ‘She like it here?’ He asked, mostly to her but he needed Shinsou to translate.

"He wants to know if you're happy here," Shinsou said to the girl softly.

She nodded, "It's nice,"

He looked at her wrist that held the bracelet. It was pretty basic like all the other ones but he couldn’t help but noticed it was scratched. He put the thought to the side and picked up his plate. Putting it in the sink. ‘See you later e-y-e-b-a-g-s. tell her I said bye.’

"Bye-bye," Eri said before Shinsou could translate for her.

"Goodbye, Bombastic. See you tonight?"

‘Sure. My room’s the one with the broken window.’ he signed with a smirked before leaving.

Shinsou rolled his eyes with a fond smile, going back to eating, chatting with Eri softly again.

He walked back into the house and put the few groceries away. He didn’t need to make any food so he went to his room and started cleaning. He grabbed the book he’d dropped ages ago, the one Shinsou had returned to him and put it on the bed, starting to vacuum the floor.

After they'd finished their food, or eaten about half in Eri's case, Shinsou started washing the dishes.

He sat on the bed thinking back to what Shinsou said about seeing him later. He still didn’t know if he’d meant Katsuki should come over or he’d come over. It didn’t matter, either way, they’d still see each other tonight.

After he'd finished cleaning, Shinsou took Eri back to her room and helped her put her knew things away that he'd gotten for her that morning. It was nice.

He went downstairs and brought the envelope of money back to his room. He later it out in front of him. It was all in cash so he’d have to send it off to pay off bills and couldn’t just sign the paper. He sighed and split it on the bed into the different piles.

As the sun set, Shinsou and Aizawa headed out on their patrols for the night, splitting up at the front door tonight, heading opposite directions. Shinsou didn't head toward the bombshell's for a few more hours.

Bakugou was laying starting at the ceiling. The money was laid out on the floor, each pile with a note on it saying the different bill. He kept thinking over in his head of ways to ask for more. He barely had enough to cover the rent and water. He was short on the electrical bill and he needed to replace the window with something. He sighed, closing his eyes.

About 11:30, Shinsou swung down to perch on his windowsill, "Looks much better," he said softly.

He hummed and turned to the window. ‘Time?’

"Late, but not too late," Shinsou replies with a smirk, "Not quite done yet,"

‘Then why are you here?’ He asks. Getting up from the bed and walking over.

This earned a shrug, "Thought I'd stop in,"

‘How nice’ he turned and started picking up the cash on the floor, signing behind him. ‘Finish and come back in half an hour.’

Shinsou smiled, "alright, be back soon,"

He waved him off and turned to smile.

Shinsou heads out to send a few people safety on their way and do a couple laps of a five-block radius before heading back again, a little after midnight, sitting on the edge of the roof across the way.

He looked out the window after a while. Seeing Shinsou sitting across and staring at him. He leaned out the window. ‘What are you doing?’

"That is a very good question,"

He raised an eyebrow. ‘Give me a sec’ he grabbed his phone and climbed out. Sitting on a rooftop across from him.

"You got everything worth stealing?"

‘Yep.’ he stood up and walked across the rooftops till he reached Shinsou's side.

Shinsou stood, "Want to stay here tonight or back to my bed?"

‘Not here’ he started walking backwards in the direction of Shinsou's place.

Shinsou chuckled, following after the blond, "As you wish,"

He waited for him to catch up and looked at his hand, before looking away and turning around, starting to walk normally.

Shinsou caught up easily, walking casually, hands in his pockets.

‘Is it okay to leave her alone?’ He asked. Realizing that from the time Shinsou and his emo dad left there was no one in the house.

"...It would have made more sense to leave someone home with her, you're right,"

He sighed. He didn’t know how to sign what he was about to say so he stopped and turned to Shinso. “You run on a different clock than the world.” he was talking about all three of them. His dads slept through the day and he wasn’t even sure if Shinsou slept. Based on the eyebags, no.

Shinsou laughed, "I have an offer for you, then."

He hummed.

"I saw the money. Stay with us, watch over my new sister while I'm patrolling, and we'll pay you in food," Shinsou offered.

He shook his head immediately. Though he liked the idea of staying at their house and he’d take it in a heartbeat, his parents were unpredictable. They could come back in a month or they could come back tomorrow. He tried to find a single word to explain that to Shinsou. ‘Dangerous.‘ he settled on.

"Stop by for meals, and stay while I'm on patrol," Shinsou said in response, "it'll help with your funds."

"and it keeps them from really noticing your gone,"

‘Paying me in food with help with my funds?’ He shook his head with a smirk and looked Shinsou in the face, he was dead serious. After a while, he sighed. ‘Fine.’

"It helps in that you don't have to buy more food," Shinsou pointed out, stepping off the roof and landing in a crouch below.

He jumped after him with a smile. ‘Whatever e-y-e-b-a-g-s’

"Thank you," Shinsou smiled back, "Dinner?"

‘Sure’ he shrugged and opened the door quietly, figuring Eri was probably asleep.

"Can I ask you something?" Shinsou asks, following the other in.

‘What?’ he wasn’t looking at him, instead taking off his shoes.

"Why do you hate my cooking so much?" Shinsou asked with a laugh.

He shivered. ‘It’s too sweet’ he turns to face him. ‘Which is the opposite I’d expect from you’ he signed with a smile.

"Fair enough," Shinsou laughed, "kitchen's yours,"

He smiled and opened the fridge, pulling out chicken, ‘you hungry?’

"I can eat,"

‘Okay.’ he turned around and turned on the stove.

Soon enough he’d made two plates of Yakitori and rice. Sliding one over to Shinso.

"Thank you," Shinsou hums, starting to eat his.

He was already eating when Shinsou thanked him. ‘Sure’. He looked up the stairs. ‘She asleep?’

"She should be, it is after midnight,"

He shrugged. ‘You never know’ he thought about the dark and empty room he’d slept in on the first night. Maybe when watching her they can paint it or something, she’s a kid right she likes blues and pinks? He looked at Shinsou's plate. ‘You done?’

"Yea," Shinsou said, finishing his last mouthful and taking their plates to the sink to do them in the morning.

He looked at him confused when he dumped the plates and started to walk away. He sighed and took Shinsou's hand as he passed him. Turning him back around and walking back to the kitchen. He pushed a towel in Shinsou's hand, ‘its two plates e-y-e-b-a-g-s’ he grabbed a sponge and turned on the tap.

"And the pans,"

“One pan.” he said strained, he couldn’t use his hands to sign because he was using them to wash the dishes. He spoke quietly but he was sure Shinsou heard it.

Shinsou sighed, but took the dishes as they were washed, drying them and putting them away.

After the three things were cleaned and put away Katsuki turned to Shinso, ‘was that so hard?’

"No," Shinsou sighs, playing on the dramatics but smiling slightly.

‘How do you make it through one day?’ He asks curiously, a smile on his lips and starting to walk to the stairs.

"What do you mean?"

‘You can barely function e-y-e-b-a-g-s.’ he pointed at the bags under his eyes for emphasis. ‘I don’t know how you haven’t collapsed from exhaustion.’

Shinsou looked at him confused, "I get eight hours a couple times a week,"

‘You should be getting 8 hours a night’

Shinsou's nose wrinkled, "So much wasted time,"

‘Your gonna die early’ he signed, turning away and walking up the stairs.

Shinsou shrugged, "qu'est sera sera,"

‘You’ll be dead’

"fine, you can make sure I sleep,"

He opened the door to the room. ‘Sure thing, e-y-e-b-a-g-s.’

"Good," Shinsou agreed, "because I can honestly say, I've slept more, and better, than last 3 days than I have all year,"

He smirked at him before taking his hoodie off. ‘Whatever you say.’ he got into the bed and closed his eyes.

Shinsou went and got some sleep clothes from his closet, tossing a set to Bakugou if he wanted them, and changed.

Katsuki’s eyes were closed when clothes hit him. He sighed and stood up, changing his pants then sitting back in the bed, changing his shirt. ‘Bed.’

"I'm coming," Shinsou murmured, playfully flopping on top of the explosive blond.

He winced when Shinsou fell on top of him. He grabbed him around the waist and turned to the side. “Sleep, Eyebags.”

"Sorry," Shinsou mumbled, curling up beside the other.

“Shhh.” He pulled Shinsou close and closed his eyes, resting his forehead in Shinsou's messy hair.

Shinsou sighed, content, letting his eyes fall shut as he nuzzled a little closer, face resting against the multi-colored bruises on the other's throat unconsciously.

He winced and shifted back, lowered his head uncomfortably, and closed his eyes tighter. He let go of Shinsou's waist to sign ‘Don’t do that.’ before putting his arm over Shinsou’s shoulder and pulling Shinsou's head into his chest.

"Sorry," Shinsou muttered again, blushing as he relaxed, ear over the other's heart instead, arms wrapping around his chest like he was a pillow.

Katsuki fell asleep instantly. Something about this house, or this room, made him feel good. And he’d never admit it to Shinsou but something about himself safe. He laughed remembering Shinsou didn’t even know his name.

Shinsou fell asleep soon after, the warmth of the other boy pleasant and relaxing and...he really liked this boy. He couldn't explain why, but he just did. Loud blond for the win.

Katsuki woke up early again. Slipping out of the bed and going downstairs. Shinsou's shirt was big on him for whatever reason and it was comfortable.

Shinsou continued to sleep, Aizawa and Hizashi were standing next to each other by the counter in the kitchen, drinking coffee and chatting happily about their nights,

Katsuki stumbled into the kitchen and pulled out a pan. Eyes closed he opened the fridge, grabbing eggs, bacon, and parsley completely oblivious to the other people in the room.

The two men fell silent, watching him for a minute, before trying to inconspicuously head upstairs to leave the boy to his cooking, since he didn't seem to like Aizawa

He tilted his head when he heard the floorboard creaking and opened his eyes, seeing the two men sneak out. He didn’t say anything and stared at them.

Hizashi, noticing his gaze, smiled, blushed, mouthed back 'sorry', and continued on behind the dark-haired man.

Katsuki had subconsiously put his hand behind his back, once they were out of the room he continued making omelets for all five people in the house.

Shinsou slept on, hugging the blond's pillow, the men went to their room with their coffees, and Eri sat in her room, not sure what to do.

He grabbed heard shifting in the room Eri was in. He’d finished making the omelets and taken two plates up to her room. He knocked on the door.

She squeaked, curling up on her bed, afraid that the 'bad men' were back to take her away. Although, they didn't knock in the past.

He couldn’t exactly speak so he knocked again, softer and with a fun tune he remembered from an old song.

"C-come in," She called softly when she realized that they weren't going to just come in, so they must not be about to take her back, because they wouldn't have knocked if they were taking her back....right?

He opened the door. She was half-sitting under the covers, only her eyes visible. He figured she was semi-scared because of the dark. Or it was enhancing her fear of him. He flicked on the light and held one of the plates up to her.

She slowly lowered the blanket, cautiously taking the plate and accompanying fork, placing it in her lap, "Thank you," she murmurs, not starting to eat yet.

He ate some of it first and swallowed the bite. He looked around the room. The walls were a dark grey and there wasn’t really anything personalized in here. He looked back at her, trying to figure out if he should stay or leave.

She nibbled at her food, eyes focused on her plate. She wasn't doing well that morning.

He cleared his throat before asking, “Nightmare?”

She nodded, eating another bite.

Fuck, he didn’t expect her to actually answer. “Huh.” He opened his arms awkwardly, waiting to see if she wanted a hug or not.

She looked at him, confused. What was he doing?

“Hug?” He asked, his throat hurting from both the bruises and not talking for days.

"What's a hug?"

He didn’t feel like explaining it so he slowly took the plate from her and put it to the side, along with his own. He moved closed and put his arm around her, doing so in a way where she’d be able to immediately get out if she wanted to.

She stiffened when he first started...whatever this was, but gradually started to relax into it when she realized there wasn't any new pain. Slowly, her arms came up to hug him back a little awkwardly, since he was so large and she didn't know if this was right.

She was now fully in his lap, her arms weren’t long but they went around his waist easily. He hugged her lightly back. Waiting for her grip to loosen and the hug to end.

After an awkwardly long hug (a good five minutes), she let him go, "Was that right?" she asked softly.

He didn’t know, he’d only hugged Shinsou and he didn’t trust that he knew how to hug either. “Yeah.” he handed her back the plate. “Eat, then come downstairs,” his voice broke at the end and he coughed a bit, standing up and walking to the door.

Her hand caught the edge of his shirt before he could leave, looking up at his with wide eyes, "Are you hurt?"

His throat hurt too much to answer verbally so he just nodded.

She looked at him sadly, letting him go, "I'm sorry,"

He shrugged, taking his plate and offering to take hers. Both were only half-eaten but he was sure he couldn’t swallow at this point and he knew she probably was full.

She let him take the plate, pleasantly full, curling back up under her blanket, "feel better," she calls softly.

He hummed and took the plates back downstairs. Putting them on the counter in case anyone wanted to eat them later. He rested his arms on the counter and his head in his arms.

Shinsou had made his way downstairs, picking up the mug that had been left for him. He moved to stand next to the blond, rubbing gently between his shoulder blades, trying for silent comfort.

When he felt someone in his shoulder he shot up in surprise and set off two explosions. When he realized it was Shinsou he signed a quick ‘sorry’ and slid his plate over to him.

"It's fine, sorry for spooking you," Shinsou smiled slightly, taking the food, "thank you for making breakfast,"

He hummed and went back to resting his head. Without looking up he asked. ‘What do you know about e-r-i?’

"Dad kidnapped her from some bad guy he's been after for a while. He was experimenting on her, I think."

He sat there in silence for a while before looking up. ‘I meant favorite color dipshit’

"...Oh," Shinsou blushed, "She doesn't know yet. She just doesn't like red much,"

That’s great. The color she doesn’t like is the color of his eyes. ‘Whatever, doesn’t matter.’ He put his head back down and sighed. ‘How’s the food?’

"Food's good," Shinsou smiled, noting the other's irritation at the color red. "Regarding red, maybe she can come to associate it with something nice from being around you."

‘Her eyes are red too.’ he stood up and walked close to Shinso. Hugging him from behind and leaning his forehead against his shoulder. It was early and he didn’t know what he was doing. He just wanted to be warm.

"I'm not sure she knows that," Shinsou murmured, setting his coffee down and holding the other's hands where they rested on his chest, "I'm not sure she'd ever seen a mirror."

He moved his hold from Shinsou's hands so he could sign ‘That’s gonna be a fun realization.’ he then held Shinsou's hands again. resting them on his chest.

Shinsou let go of his hands again, turning in the hold, "you cold?" he asks softly, looking down at the other.

Shinsou was too tall for his liking. Katsuki was only a few inches smaller than him but Shinsou was towering over him. He was freezing which was unusual for him because of his quirk. He didn’t nod or shake his head though, too tired and embarrassed to do so.

Shinsou smiled, "Come on." he said softly, wrapping an arm around the other's waist, leading him into the living room and grabbing a throw blanket before sitting on the couch.

Katsuki leaned against the couch arm, ‘What is wrong with your house?’ He asked, it was freezing and he didn’t know why.

Shinsou pulled the other boy into his lap, tossing the blanket over his lap, arms around his waist, "Cheaper not to heat the whole house, so the heat is in the bedrooms."

‘That’s dumb’ he leaned further back into Shinso. He grabbed the blanket and pulled it further over his shoulders. ‘How are you not freezing?’

"I have you," Shinsou said softly, rubbing his cheek against the other's hair, "I'm also just used to it,"

Katsuki figured he was probably just more affected because of his quirk and being cold was weird for his body. He had to do something to get his blood pumping. Like running or something. ‘Let’s do something.’

"Like what?"

He shrugged. ‘Running, walking, whatever.”

"Alright," Shinsou sighs, "tell me where we're going and I'll go beside you,"

He stood up, taking the blanket with him and going back up to Shinsou's room to grab a jacket.

Shinsou followed to get dressed in normal clothes

He went back down and put his shoes on. Waiting for Shinsou to close the door before starting the run.

Shinsou jogged beside the smaller boy, thankful for his longer legs because that was the only thing letting him keep up with the other.

Katsuki did a few kilometers before stopping and looking at Shinso. The older boy looked tired, not too exhausted but looks like he didn’t want to go much further. ‘Go back and I’ll meet you at home.’ Katsuki still wanted to run further before going back.

Shinsou nodded, glad for the dismissal, absently kissed his cheek, then climbed to the roofs to parkour his way back.

He watched him climb the rooftops before smiling to himself. He ran a few more km before going back and walking through the door.

Shinsou.....was asleep on the couch.

He pulled the blanket over him and went to the bathroom to shower. He changed into some of Shinsou's clothes and went back downstairs. His hair was damp and made it even more poofy than usual.

Eri had found her way downstairs and had wormed herself into Shinsou's loose grasp, face buried in his chest.

He smiled and walked to the kitchen for water. Hearing someone move above him, he looked up.

He heard two voices upstairs. He assumed it was the two older guys. He was confused what they were still doing up. One of them walked down the stairs.

Hizashi came down, smiling slightly to the boy, "Morning,"

He hummed and pushed the plate Katsuki made for him towards. It was probably a little cold by now but it would be fine.

"Thanks, kid!" The man grinned, picking up the plate and starting to eat, "this is delicious,"

He shrugged and leaned forwards on the counter to look at the staircase, seeing if the other man was coming.

"Sho's not coming down," Hizashi said, noticing where the boy was looking.

He frowned, either he wasn’t coming down because he was sleeping or he wasn’t coming down because Katsuki was there. Considering both men were up and now the blond was down here, Katsuki assumed it was the latter. ‘I’ll go’ he sighed and started to walk towards the front door.

"You don't have to leave," Hizashi called, "Sho didn't want to upset you. He knows you don't like him,"

He paused and turned back around to face the guy, looking at his bracelet before back at his face. ‘E-y-e-b-a-g-s told me he was a veteran.’ his face gave away that he was curious if that was true.

Hizashi nodded, "He was."

He narrowed his eyes. He didn’t trust anyone that associated with cops. And the fact that he is close with them to the point the entire family knows them unsettles him. ‘What does he do? Actually?’

"Work to help those who can't help themselves," It's a practiced answer.

He sighed. Of course he’d make the answer vague. ‘What does he do? Actually?’ He repeated, walking closer.

"He's a vigilante," Hizashi said quietly, "He works with the police to go undercover and work to help people,"

Katsuki nodded, so he worked with the police. Katsuki’s eyes lifted to look into his eyes. ‘What about you?’

"I help occasionally, but I work mostly as a radio DJ. But, if Sho’ needs backup, I help."

‘How often?’ He was out almost every night. He also had the white strip of his bracelet, what did that mean?

"Couple times a month, maybe. Can go a month and a half between cases."

He narrowed his eyes before his eyes trailed to the bracelet, ‘White stripe?’

"Permission to be out at night to get to the studio."

He loosened his shoulder and sighed with his teeth gritted. ‘Okay.’

"You met Eri?" Hizashi asked, trying to change the subject to something better.

He looked over to the two people sleeping on the couch. ‘Yeah, she hugs for way too long’ he signed. Not knowing what else to say.

"Awww, you got a hug? That's sweet."

He stepped back, uncomfortable by the comment. He assumed telling him to fuck off was too far so he just asked ‘You haven’t?’

Hizashi shook her head, "No, I'm too loud for her. She doesn't really like me, always hides behind 'Toshi when I'm nearby,"

He understood that much. He looked over to him with a questioning look. ‘What do you know about her?’ He asked the same question he’d asked Shinsou earlier.

"Very little, nothing personal,"

‘Her dad‘ he paused, not knowing the word. ‘e-p-e-r-i-m-e-n-t-e-d on her?’

"We don't know who her father is. But the man who had her did experiments, yes."

‘Is that why she has a horn. Or is she a quirk holder?’ He had walked closer again, now only an arms distance from the other man.

"The horn seems to be related to her quirk, though we don't know what it is yet,"

Katsuki nodded, not sure what else to say he just turned fully to face him. ‘Tell Walking Dead to come down and eat.’ he looked at the omelet. It was stupid to waste it and it would still be semi-warm at this point.

"Did you just call my husband 'Walking Dead'?"

‘Don’t know his name’ he shrugged. Wait, Katsuki remembered he made a joke when they first met. ‘Shoe or something?’

"Fair enough, what's my name?"

‘Cockatoo’ he signed quickly.

"And 'Toshi is...Eyebags?"

‘Yep.’

"Walking Dead, Cockatoo, and, Eyebags," Hizashi laughed, "Got a name for Eri?"

He shook his head, he had thought of a few but he didn’t know what her triggers were yet. He didn’t want to get set on something till he knew what she was okay with.

"Fair enough, I'll go see if the Walking Dead wants some food." Hizashi nodded, heading upstairs.

He didn’t bother nodding as the blond turned away and went to sit in front of the couch. Laying his head back on Shinsou's arm.

Shinsou hummed, moving his arm to drape it across the new source of warmth's chest.

He smiled and leaned further back into the couch. Eri’s hair was falling over his shoulder and he could feel her shift so her hand was on his hair.

"Welcome back," Shinsou murmured, shifting onto his side, hand carding through Eri's hair, thumb of the other rubbing at the blond's chest absently.

‘Didn’t go anywhere.’ he signed, knowing Shinsou wouldn’t see it because both their eyes were closed. He leaned into the touch.

"Have a good run?"

He nodded his head and sighed, turning so he could rest his arm on the couch and lay his head on his arm.

Chapter Text

"That's good," He murmured, eyes sliding open to look at the other lazily, hand having come up to rest on the blond's shoulder when he turned around.

Katsuki leaned back a bit so he could sign where Shinsou could see. ‘Did you tell your dads about me watching Eri?’

"Haven't had the chance yet."

‘Okay.’ he leaned back in and rested against the side of the couch.

"Your hair is damp."

He nodded. “Shower.”

"Thought it might have been rain. My clothes?"

“Yeah.” he put his hand over Shinso’s mouth to make him stop talking. The more Shinsou asked questions the more Kastuki had to talk.

Shinsou licked his palm.

He pulled it away, smiling because he knew his hand would taste overly sweet or caramelly.

Shinsou laughed, "A) you taste good. B) Glad you find my clothes comfy. You don't have to answer."

He nodded, feeling Eri shift on his head again. He looked up and saw her eyes open looking at him.

Aizawa and Hizashi made their way back down the stairs and looked into the living room on their way to the kitchen, "Well, kids look happy," The scruffy man commented.

When Kastuki heard his voice he leaned further into Shinsou and ran his fingers through Eri’s hair, she smiled and closed her eyes again.

Aizawa headed into the kitchen, Hizashi came over and draped another blanket over the blond boy's back before moving to sit in an armchair.

Katsuki pulled the blanket over his shoulder and closed his eyes. Listening to the dark-haired man in the kitchen. He could hear him moving around and lift the plate.

Aizawa came back in with his breakfast and sat on the floor next to the armchair, starting to eat.

"Whole family in one room," Shinsou murmured, "happy, happy day."

He muffled a laugh into the couch at Shinsou’s tired chant.

"Dad, Bombshell wants to look after Eri while we're away." Shinsou said.

Aizawa raised a brow, "Does the 'Bombshell' have a name?"

Katsuki smiled, his face hidden in the couch. In all honesty, he’d planned to tell Shinsou his name by now. It was fun though, to hear the names he came up with.

"Not that he's sharing."

"And what is Bombshell getting out of this deal?" Aizawa asked with a raised brow.

"Access to our kitchen, and some money."

"Bombshell, if you use our kitchen, are you preparing food for everyone?"

He held his hand above his head, ‘Sure.’

Aizawa nodded, "Don't break anything."

“I’m probably the most experienced with cooking in this room.” despite how much it hurt to say he couldn’t resist retorting to the comment.

Shinsou laughed, "He just told you you could stay."

He shrugged. And lay back down, continuing to brush through Eri’s hair.

Shinsou let his eyes slide shut again and he melted into the couch.

Aizawa smiled slightly, eating his, now fully cold, breakfast.

Katsuki was watching the dark-haired man from the corner of his eye. He knew he wouldn’t hurt him, the guy had married and adopted quirk holders and he was one as well. But Kastuki has always been on edge about the police and whoever worked with them.

Hizashi dropped a hand into tangled dark hair, "How many kids is too many, Sho?"

"We just brought Eri home, give it 'til next week," Aizawa responded gruffly.

He looked up at Shinsou at the mention of getting more kids.

Shinsou opened one eye and shrugged, "Don't know,"

‘I’m not babysitting more than one at a time’

"I think you're the kid in that conversation,"

He looked at him confused before closing his eyes. ‘Then you’re an idiot.’

Shinsou snorted a laugh.

He opened his eyes again. ‘What?’

"Nothing, Mr. Bombastic."

He held his middle finger up before laying down again.

Shinsou scrubbed a hand through sandy hair, "You love me and you know it."

He scoffed but leaned into the touch. ‘You wish.’

"Maybe a little." Shinsou murmured.

‘That why you keep kissing me?’ He asked without looking up.

Shinsou blushed, "Yes."

Katsuki looked up with a smile. ‘You’re weird, e-y-e-b-a-g-s’

"I know, I know."

He raised his hand that was resting next to him and reached it over to hold Shinsou’s free one.

Shinsou squeezed the other's hand lightly.

He smiled and buried his head back in the couch. He wasn’t tired but he was comfortable where he was.

Aizawa finished his food and stood up, "I have to finish my report." He told the others before going to drop his plate in the sink and heading back upstairs.

Katsuki didn’t react to him, but when he heard him stand up he tightened his grip on Shinsou’s hand.

Shinsou squeezed back reassuringly, thumb rubbing the other's, not saying anything.

Once he heard a door close upstairs he loosened the hold and release a deep breath.

Shinsou gave another squeeze before taking his hand back and sitting up with a stretch and a yawn, still half curled around the little girl, who giggled slightly.

As Eri giggled her arm on his hair moved, tickling his head. He moved his head back and gave her a small smile.

She attempted a smile back but didn't quite manage.

He ruffled her hair at the attempted smile and stood up stretching.

Shinsou sat cross-legged on the couch, shifting Eri to sit in the space it left, arms lightly around her waist, "Tell me if you don't like something," He tells her.

She nodded, leaning back against him.

Katsuki sat next to them on the couch, leaning his back against the arm of the couch. One of his knees was bent and the other was on the ground. ‘Was she asleep?’

"I don't think so."

He thought back to this morning when she had a nightmare, had she slept at all? He shrugged it off and moved his leg so it was touching Shinsou.

Shinsou glanced at the leg, "You don't have to sit all the way over there," He said playfully.

He held his arm out and it touched Shinsou’s shoulder. ‘I’m an arm’s length away e-y-e-b-a-g-s’

Shinsou nodded with a smile, playing with Eri's hair.

He watched Shinsou play with Eri’s hair. ‘Can you braid?’

"Only a basic 3-strand,"

‘Has she ever had it braided?’ He doubted anyone would have done it before she arrived here, and the only one who looked like he owned a hairbrush was the blond and Eri was scared of him.

"I don't think so." Shinsou said, then ducks down to Eri's level, "my friend would like to do your hair, would you like that?"

She looked between the two teens before slowly nodding.

Eri crawled across the couch and into Katsuki’s lap. He didn’t have a comb or a brush and her hair was slightly knotty from laying down but he had done this plenty of times when helping out at photoshoots. Whenever the younger girl seemed to be in pain he stopped and waited before continuing.

Shinsou softly slunk away upstairs, coming back with a hairbrush, comb, and several sizes of elastics, "I come bearing gifts,"

He looked at the brushes, knowing they weren’t Shinso’s but he took them anyway. It would hurt much less now. He finished the braids, having two separate ones so she could see them, and tied them with blue hair ties, seeing if she liked the color.

Her face brightened a little, and she managed a tiny quirk of the lip.

He put the braids over her shoulder so she could see them and looked at Shinsou. ‘Jealous?’ He smirked.

He snorts, "Of what?"

He wrapped his arms over Eri’s shoulders and pulled her back into a hug, she giggled at it and looked down at the braids. ‘I’m the favorite.’

Shinsou laughed, "I'm not jealous."

‘Okay.’ he smirked and let go of Eri so she could stand up if she wanted to.

She didn't move away, "Thank you." she said softly.

‘No problem’ he signed. Once again expecting Shinsou to translate for him. He looked over at the multiple hair ties Shinsou had brought, wondering why they owned bright pink scrunches. He looked at Shinsou curiously.

"He says it wasn't any trouble," Shinsou relayed. "The pink scrunchie came in a pack, it's the only one I didn't use before,"

He leaned further back in the couch. ‘Which one do you use?’

"Rephrase."

‘Which hair ties have you used?’

"When my hair was longer, I'd just use what I could grab to pull it back. Now I just wear it gelled,"

He looked at Shinso’s hair. He couldn’t tell if it was gelled or just messy from laying down, he could see large knots in it from here. ‘Come here’ he shifted back so he was sitting in the arm of the couch and the spot he was was free.

Shinsou chuckled, "Apologies if I start purring." he smirked, moving to sit between the other's legs.

He pushed the comment aside and started brushing through Shinsou’s hair. It hadn’t been gelled this morning, that was obvious. But it had been recently and Shinsou hadn’t washed it out. His hair was short but he could put small braids and clips in to hold them in place.

Shinsou hummed, enjoying the feel of fingers on his scalp.

He braided what he could and the other parts of his hair fluffed out in an uncontrollable mess. He’d used whatever hair ties that were in reach making the bright pinks and blues stand out against his dark hair. There was one strawberry hair clip that held the front of his hair back that Kastuki didn’t bother taking out.

"Blackmail?" the eggplant asked the not currently banana.

"You know it." the other cackled.

Katsuki pushed Shinsou’s back with his foot, prompting him to move so he could sit back down.

Shinsou shifted away, letting the other have his seat back.

He sat back down and pushed the few hair things off of the couch so he could lay his leg down it.

Shinsou pulled the other's legs into his lap and Katsuki slipped down in the couch at the motion. He lifted his head to give a confused face before laying it back down and just letting it happen.

Shinsou's fingers lightly drummed on the sandy-haired boy's shin, tapping along to a tune in his head.

He looked up again confused and propped himself up on his elbows. ‘Weirdo,’

"Always."

Turned to the side to hide his smile and looked at Eri instead.

Chapter Text

Eri was playing with her braids, looking at the elastics in wonder.

She didn’t seem to have a negative reaction to the blue. ‘She likes blue?’

Shinsou smiled, watching her, "She seems to."

He nodded and looked at Shinsou's hair again. Hiding a laugh behind his hand.

"You're laughing at me." Shinsou glared lightly.

He lowered his hand to sign, showing a smile on his face. ‘You look like an idiot.’

"Thank you for making me look like you, then."

‘Thought you said I was pretty?’ He smiled and leaned back, remembering yesterday morning.

"They aren't exclusive. Loud dad is very pretty too, and he's a complete," 'dumbass'.

Katsuki smiled when Shinsou signed the word dumbass because Eri was in the room. Looking over at the blond who was still in the room to see what he thought of what Shinsou said.

Hizashi shrugged, "He probably got that from Sho,"

‘He got a lot of things from him.’ he signed, looking at Shinsou's bags and overall disastrous-ness.

Hizashi and Shinsou laughed, "It's probably genetic." the blond said.

So they were actually related, Katsuki sat back. ‘He’s your biological uncle?’

Shinsou nodded, "He was my mom's brother."

Katsuki nodded, ‘Makes sense.’ He looked over at Eri again.

She was now sitting prettily, hands folded in her lap and looking at them.

He frowned at her remembering her room before looking up, ‘Did she bring anything with her?’

"There wasn't time." Hizashi sighed, "We just got her out of there as safely as we could."

Explains the room. He thought back to her hiding under the covers and frowned. Katsuki knew she didn’t know sign language and didn’t know if they knew about her nightmares so he signed, ‘Talk to her about nightmares.’

"Nightmares?" Shinsou asked, concerned, "Eri, did you sleep last night?" he asked the little girl gently.

She looked nervous before shaking her head.

Katsuki used his foot to kick Shinsou in his side. ‘Don’t ask her that you dumbass.’

"Sorry." Shinsou mumbled, abashed.

He sighed and looked back at Eri who was still nervously looking around. He looked at Shinsou to say something.

"Another thing I got from Sho, I have no idea how to comfort children," Shinsou admitted, blushing.

‘You’re useless.’ he said with a blank face before shifting in his spot so there was room for Eri to sit in his lap before motioning her over.

She nervously moves over to sit in his lap, playing with her dress.

‘It’s not that hard, just don’t force them to answer questions.’ he signed, putting his arms on either side of her but not touching her.

Shinsou nodded, "Makes sense."

‘What did you buy for her?’ He asked, remembering he went out and bought her things.

"Some new clothes, a few stuffed animals, the usual toiletries." Shinsou said thoughtfully, "I still need to get her things to decorate her room, but didn't know what she'd like yet,"

He felt her relax more in his lap, ‘Take her with you and see what she looks at, she won’t tell you.’

"We can't afford that right now," Hizashi said softly.

‘I meant-‘ he stopped in the middle of his sentence realizing he was about to say shoplifting. ‘Forget it.’

Hizashi shook his head, "The man who had her is still out there, we haven't gotten him yet."

‘Real comforting.’ he signed, realizing that’s why Eri was scared that morning. She thought he was there to take her.

'She can't leave the house yet,' Hizashi signed, 'we'll take her out as soon as we're sure it's safe.'

‘I figured.’ Once he was sure Eri was comfortable with touch he put his arms over her shoulder in a half hug.

She pressed closer to him, little hands moving to hold his other arm.

He looked to Shinsou, ‘What time do you and Walking Dead leave?’

"Nine-thirty, ten."

He looked at the clock, 6:30. ‘Then you can help make food.’ he stood up and lifted Eri with him. Carrying her to the kitchen and sitting her on top of the counter.

Shinsou laughed, following them, "Alright, Chef, direct me."

He opened the fridge, pulling out chicken and setting it on the counter. ‘Just slice it without fucking it up.’

Shinsou went and pulled the chef's knife from the block, "Standard sectioning? Legs, thighs, wings, breasts, carcass?"

‘Thighs, four-centimeter strips, equal thickness’ he grabbed two eggs and an onion.

"Ah, alright," Shinsou nodded, grabbing a plastic cutting board and starting his task.

He placed the onion down next to the cutting board. ‘Slice half’ before cracking the egg into a bowl and whisking it.

"Sorry, I need that one rephrased."

He pointed to the onion, ‘slice half of the onion’.

Shinsou did so, "That it?"

He looked back, checking the chicken and onion was done right, it was, ‘Yes. get out of the kitchen.’

"Fine, fine." Shinsou said, washing his hands and walking out of the kitchen with a slight laugh.

He handed a measuring cup with dashi, mirin, sake, and soy sauce with dissolved sugar to Eri who still sat on the counter. “Don’t let him touch this.”.

She looked at it a little confused but nodded.

He put the onion in a pan and looked at Eri. He cleared his throat before speaking, “Pour some in.” he put his hand on the bottom to help support the measuring cup.

She nodded, using both hands to lift and pour some of the contents into the pan.

He waited until the onions were covered and tilted it up so it stopped pouring. Once he knew she had a hold on the measuring cup he took the pan and put half the chicken on it.

She set the measuring cup on the counter beside her, watching as the sandy-haired boy worked.

Katsuki boiled it for a while before adding the rest of the chicken, holding the pan towards her so she could pour the rest of the mixture in, which she did carefully, shaking the cup slightly to make sure all of the liquid came out that would.

The pan was heavy and he put his hand on the bottom to hold it while she held the cup over it. Once she was done he boiled it again and put the other egg on top. He put it in bowls and gave one to Eri with chopsticks.

She was a little clumsy with the chopsticks, as any child her age is, as she ate the chicken slowly, "Thank you,"

He signed a ‘sure’ without thinking. He leaned closer to her so she could hear his quiet and strained, “Get the others.”

"Can you help me down?" She asked quietly, setting her bowl and chopsticks on the counter.

He held her under her arms and lowered her to the floor. Handing her the bowl again, ‘Don’t spill’ he signed, knowing she didn’t understand.

She nodded, a little confused, but went to get the others.

Shinsou was the first to return, then the men, Aizawa carrying her back, carefully holding her so that the bowl didn't spill.

He took a glass of water and drank it to help his throat before taking his own bowl.

"Is it any better?" Shinsou asked, coming over to collect bowls of food, handing them to his uncles, "Your throat, I mean."

“It’s fine.” he took another sip of water before grabbing his own plate. ‘Takes two weeks.’

Shinsou hummed, nodding, "Thank you for dinner."

‘Whatever.’ he sat down and started eating.

The others sat as well, joining him, eating silently.

Katsuki had never eaten with them before so he wasn’t sure if not talking was normal and he wasn’t going to speak up to find out so he just kept his eyes down.

Hizashi made it five minutes before he gave up, "What kind of music do you like, kid?" he finally asked.

He looked up surprised at the sudden question before shrugging. ‘Rock’ he answered unsurely.

Hizashi grinned, "I love rock!"

He closed his eyes at the loud yell and turned his head slightly away, he figured it had something to do with the man's quirk but he was loud.

Aizawa glared at Hizashi, and the blond's volume dropped.

To avoid the embarrassment of getting surprised he signed, ‘You don’t seem like you’d like rock.’

With Aizawa still blocking the blond's quirk, he was quieter when he answered, "What gave you that impression?"

Katsuki glanced up and looked at him up and down. He was wearing different clothes to the one he saw when he first met him. ‘You looked punk’ he shrugged.

Hizashi paused, then shrugged, "They're not too different."

He thought about the fingerless gloves and metal shoulder pads and shook his head with a smile and kept eating.

Hizashi was the first to finish, standing and going to rinse his bowl in the sink before kissing Aizawa's cheek, "Heading out, I'll see you all in the morning," He said smiling to the others as he headed toward the door. "Thank you for the food again, kid."

He kept his head down and gave a simple hum of acknowledgment when the blond walked out the door. He hadn’t finished his plate but swallowing hurt like shit so he waited for everyone else to finish.

Shinsou noticed, and sighed, "Question, would something cold and smooth be better on your throat?"

He shot a glare at him across the table, ‘I told you my throat is fine e-y-e-b-a-g-s’.

"Forgive me if I don't believe you, bombastic,"

“Fuck you.” he muttered, biting his jaw together and scowling.

Aizawa raised a brow at that, but said nothing, finishing off his dinner and heading over to rinse his bowl out. He headed toward the door without a word.

Shinsou sighed, "I'm just trying to help," he said softly.

Katsuki looked over at him “I don’t need your help” his voice gave out on the last word and he looked away.

Shinsou nodded, standing up as well, "I'll see you later," he mumbled.

He stayed quiet and waited for him to leave before taking the plates and starting to wash them.

Eri came to try to help him.

He noticed her looking at him and looked at her confused. He mouthed ‘what?’

"Can I help?"

He sighed and looked at the dishes that needed to be dried. He picked her up and put her on the counter next to the dishes and handed her a towel, before going back to washing the dirty dishes.

She quietly did what she could to help, enjoying being able to do something that didn't hurt.

Once he’d washed all the dishes he started putting away the ones she’d dried. She worked slowly so he pretended not to know where things were to buy her time to dry them at her own pace.

"Mister," She said quietly.

He looked up at her.

"Can...can I ask you a question?"

He stood up straight to give her his full attention.

"Can...do you...what can I call you?"

He thought about it telling her his name for a moment before walking over and whispering “Bakugou.”

"Ba-ku-go?" She tried out.

He nodded and stood back again, waiting for her question.

She nodded, going back to drying.

He shrugged, figuring her question was his name and going back to putting away the dishes.

Once she finished drying the plates he put them away hastily and looked at her, asking what she wanted to do.

She didn't know what she wanted to do, never having the option before.

He sighed, thinking back to things he used to like doing. Drawing came to mind but he didn’t know where any of the art things were, cooking too but it was too late. Movies? He walked over to her and paused before picking her up, making sure she was okay with it.

She carefully put her arms around his neck, "I'm okay." she said quietly.

He didn’t like the feeling of her arms around his neck but with nowhere else to hold onto he let her do it and he carried her to the couch, figuring they could both catch up on some Disney.

She let him go pretty quickly when they sat down, "Sorry." she said quietly, noticing his discomfort at her arms around his neck.

‘Doesn’t matter.’ he signed, only half paying attention while he looked for the remote. He found it and put on the first movie he saw, Lilo and Stitch.

Eri curled up in his lap, head on her chest as she watched the movie with him.

He wrapped his arms loosely around her and lay back on the couch.

About halfway through, she fell asleep against him, lightly gripping his arms, holding on to him.

He leaned forwards to make sure she was sleeping before turning off the movie. He thought about taking her to her bed but remembering this morning he decided just to lay a blanket over her and let her sleep.

Shinsou got back home at about half-past midnight with a fast-food cup, "Don't yell at me," he said, handing it to the explosive blond.

He looked at it tiredly and took it, resting his hand on the couch. He thought about mentioning that Shinsou was half an hour over his usual curfew but couldn’t be bothered, unsteady just stayed quiet and waited to see if Shinsou would sit.

"Want me to sit with you?" He asked softly.

‘I don’t care.’ he shifted slightly so he could eat the food cup without disturbing Eri. It was a chocolate shake with chili pepper flakes.

Shinsou sat at the opposite end of the couch, a little stiffly.

It was sweet but also spicy so Katsuki didn’t mind too much. He looked at Shinsou, noticing his posture. ‘What?’ He figured something must have happened on patrol or something for him to act like this.

"It's nothing." Shinsou waved him off with a slight wince.

‘Bullshit.’ he signed, putting down the cup so he could talk to Shinsou.

"It's nothing. Really."

He frowned but didn’t push it. Forcing him to answer would only make him more closed off. He looked at Eri, before lifting her up so he could stand. He lay her on Shinsou's lap. ‘Don’t let her sleep alone.’

Shinsou smoothed a hand over her hair, smiling softly, "Relegating me to the couch, Explosions?"

He looked at him confused. ‘I’m going home’ he thought that was the arrangement? He would watch her in exchange for food, not sleeping there?

"Oh, sorry, forgot." Shinsou laughed slightly, "Good night, Explosions,"

He walks away to hide his smile, throwing his empty food cup in the trash before walking out the door.

"Stay safe."

He hummed and pulled his jacket further over him in the cold weather, with that he started walking. Part of him wanted to go back to the house but he didn’t.

A while later, Shinsou managed to drag himself back to standing, Eri carefully in his arms as he carried her up to bed, laying down beside her and going to sleep.

He walked in the pitch black in certain areas, hiding from the cops and other random people.

He reached his house remembering his bedroom door was locked so he’d have to climb the window. He did and lay in bed, thinking about what was wrong with Shinsou.

Eri woke up at three and was scared by the strange boy asleep next to her.

Her surprised squeak woke him up, and he winced as he sat up, "Sorry." He mumbled, grimacing.

"Sorry." She squeaked back, curling up away from him.

He blinked a few times before shaking his head, "No, no. It's nothing you should be sorry for," he tried to reassure. "Would you like to stay here or back in your own room down the hall?" He asked quietly.

"Here, please." she said quietly.

He nodded, "Okay, okay. Want me to stay or leave?"

She stayed quiet but looked away.

He nodded, getting up, "I'll be downstairs if you want me," He said quietly, leaving his room and going to sleep on the couch.

Katsuki sat up and grabbed the money that he’d thrown to the side last night and put it in a drawer. He threw a blanket over his open window and lay in bed, wishing Shinsou was with him. He sighed and turned, grabbing a pillow and hugging it to fall asleep.

Shinsou curled up on the couch, careful not to put any weight on his back as he did so, curling up under one of the throw blankets, wishing the blond was there to help him with Eri, tell him what he should do, and just to hold him as they fell asleep.

Katsuki woke up the next morning feeling like shit. It was past 7 when he woke up which was always a warning flag but he also had a headache. He walked down to the kitchen to grab some Advil before walking into his dad's study to grab a few things from the closet from his childhood, painting and drawing things that Eri might like, as well as some old toys he never used. He was looking for a specific blue stuffed bear he got when he was 4 and was taken away instantly.

Shinsou was unconscious on the couch, Eri curled up in his bed, sleeping a little bit, waking up as the house creaked, but nothing of bad dreams, Aizawa was walking the roofs, and Hizashi was still at the studio.

He grabbed a few things and put them in a bag, rubbing his eyes tiredly before grabbing keys and walking out the door, he didn’t have anything to do at his house so he may as well drop the things off. He walked through the city and opened the door with the key Shinsou had given him. Smiling when he saw him on the couch and walked to Eri’s room. She wasn’t there so he checked Shinsou's.

She was awake again, and jumped, a little scared by the door opening, but attempted a smile when she recognized him, "Bakugou," she said happily.

He put the bag down and pulled out the bear, holding it out to her and waiting for her to take it.

She took it, curious, "What is it?"

He sat down on the bed shrugged, watching her take it. “A toy.” he’d never named it so that part would be up to her.

"Oh," she said, looking at it, hands gently squeezing it, testing how soft it was, "thank you."

He lifted the beg onto the bed and opened it slightly, it wasn’t too heavy but she probably wouldn’t be able to carry it. “That’s for you. Look through it.”

She carefully set the bear aside so she could look through the contents, not recognizing most of it. But, still, she was polite, because that didn't bring pain, "Thank you, mister Bakugou."

He nodded his head and rubbed his eyes tiredly, looking around realizing she was alone again. “Stay?” He asked. His throat was too sore to say full sentences now but he was wondering if she wanted him to go or not.

She looked at him confused.

He sighed, taking a breath before asking. “Do you want me to stay?”

Her face lit up in understanding and she nodded, "Please."

He nodded, moving the bag to the floor again and sitting next to her on the bed, he waited to see if she’d lean against him on not.

She climbed into his lap again, hugging one of his arms, "Thank you, mister Bakugou." she whispered again.

“Don’t call me mister.” he said tiredly, wrapping his arm around her and pulling the blanket further over her.

"Sorry." she whispered tiredly, leaning against him.

He shook his head and shifted so his back was against the wall and she was laying between his legs, lying back in his chest.

One of her hands gently curled in his shirt as she shifted, falling asleep again, comforted by his presence.

He couldn’t fall asleep with his headache but closed his eyes and lay there for ages. He didn’t know how much time passed till someone else entered the room.

Aizawa had stopped in to check on them, only coming in to adjust the fallen blanket.

He opened his eyes when someone touched the blanket, he couldn’t see who it was because of the darkness but he assumed it was Shinso. “Eyebags?” He mumbled tiredly.

The other chuckled slightly, tucking the pair in, "Walking dead." he corrected, "'Eyebags' is still passed out on the couch."

“Oh.” he closed his eyes again, listening to the man, leaning back when he touched the blanket too close to him.

"Sorry." he whispered, leaving again.

He felt more stupid the longer he was scared of the guy but he couldn’t help it. It was basically a reflex to avoid cops and especially in his tired state he couldn’t fight it. He held the girl tighter in his arms and tried to fall asleep again.

She wriggled a little at the tightening.

He released her immediately, sitting back and opening his eyes to see what was wrong.

She relaxed again the moment the hold loosened, still pressing against his chest.

He lay his arm back over her and closed his eyes, this time falling asleep with her.

Shinsou woke up at almost noon and cried out softly in pain as he tried to get up off the couch, ending up flopping onto the floor like a puppet with its strings cut.

Katsuki woke up again at midday. Not wanting to leave Eri he got out and picked her up, planning to put her on the couch. When he walked downstairs he saw Shinsou on the ground. He walked over confused. “Eyebags?”

Eri continued to sleep.

Shinsou looked up at the sandy-haired boy with a slight blush, "Morning, bomb boy."

He could hear the lingering pain in Shinsou's voice. He put Eri in the armchair and threw the blanket over her before bending down and looking at Shinsou, ‘What did you do?’

"I can't move." Shinsou admitted, eyes not able to look at the other.

He looked at him confused before looking at the way he was positioned. He was walking around last night so it wasn’t a spine injury but Katsuki couldn’t risk moving him in case it was something to do with his back, ‘Where? What happened?’

"My entire back, lift my shirt. I fell trying to help someone, hit my back on a dumpster. I think it's just massive bruising,"

He sighed and ripped the back of his shirt to reveal his back. There was bruising, a lot of it. He positioned his hands on Shinsou's back and gave him less than a second of warning before feeling the bones for breaks or fractures.

Shinsou hissed slightly, gritting his teeth through it, but there wasn't any lasting damage.

Once Katsuki knew it was just bruising he held his hand to Shinsou to help him stand, ready to support most if not all of his weight.

Shinsou took his forearm for more support, pulling himself to his feet with another cry he tried to stifle, biting his lip bloody, "Thanks." he groaned once he was standing.

Katsuki lifted Shinsou's arm over his shoulder to support his full weight and lay him on the couch. The bedroom was up the stairs and too far, and the couch would be more comfortable than the floor. He wasn’t sure if Shinsou could see him but he signed ‘stay’ before leaving to get ice.

Shinsou rolled uncomfortably onto his stomach, head pillowed on his hands as he waited for the other to return again.

He grabbed ice and put it in bags, wrapping them in towels so Shinsou wouldn’t get frostbite. It was going to hurt but Katsuki figured it was better not to tell him that before he started icing his back.

Shinsou groaned, seeing the bags, "Give me a pillow first," he near begged.

Katsuki grabbed a pillow along with another towel. He hands Shinsou the pillow and wipes the blood from his lip, ‘Don’t bite it.’ he said. Waiting until the other gave a sign that he was ready before he started.

"I'm going to bite the pillow," he mumbled, "That's why I asked for it," he hugged the pillow, chin resting on it, and relaxed as best he could before giving a curt nod that he was ready.

Katsuki began icing his back, pressing the ice bags wrapped his towels as loosely as he could to minimize the pain, but hard enough for it to reduce the amount of blood flow and help heal it.

Shinsou cried out, burying his face in the pillow. He wasn't going to deny it, his pain tolerance was shit when it came to his back.

Katsuki used one of his hands to brush through Shinsou's hair. It wouldn’t do much but it was something else to focus on. He continued to ice his back in different areas.

Shinsou gasped sharply when the other reached the small of his back, flinching and cursing softly.

Katsuki stayed quiet, mostly because he couldn’t speak after talking with Eri and partly because he couldn’t think of anything to say. His back would have to be iced for hours if the bruise was going to go down and he could keep changing it every few seconds. Which meant he’d have to get more ice and ice the entire back at the same time.

"Frozen veggies, they're in the chest freezer next to and over the fridge," Shinsou managed, lifting his head and turning it toward the sandy boy.

He met his gaze for less than a second before standing up to get all the frozen peas and vegetables he could find. He brought them all back to the table and waited for Shinsou to give a signal again.

"The small of my back isn't a bruise, it's a pinched nerve, so...yeah..." he buried his face again before giving a thumbs up.

Knowing this was going to hurt Katsuki was prepared to hold him down. He just needed to be sure Shinsou knew that. “I might have” he cleared his throat. “to hold you down.” He started putting the frozen bags on the bruise leaving the small of his back for last. He ran his hand through Shinsou's hair again as he put the ice bag down on the small of his back, applying slight pressure.

Shinsou nodded his understanding but still wasn't prepared enough for the last part, moaning pitifully into the pillow, hands clutching it for a minute before he went limp.

Katsuki pulled away when Shinsou went limp, turning his face to check his face and feeling his pulse. It was a little fast but not worryingly so. “Eyebags?” He asked to get a reaction, although his voice was so quiet he doubted Shinsou would have heard it if he was fully awake.

Shinsou sighs, eyes fluttering open, "Sorry," he mumbled, "lots of pain, then numb, I'm fine." he reached out for one of the other's hands, bringing it to his lips and kissing his knuckles, "Thank you, bombshell."

He let him hold his hand and knelt on the floor next to him to wait. It would have to be 20 minutes of the ice before a break, and then likely another few rounds. He used his one free hand to sign, ‘Why... not... tell... last night?’

Shinsou chuckled guilty, thumb rubbing the other's hand, "I didn't think it would be that bad." he admitted.

He paused, before signing ‘dumbass’ and using his hand to brush through Shinsou's hair again.

Shinsou nodded, "I know, I know," he agreed, eyes falling shut at the touch, "thank you."

Since his eyes were closed he didn’t bother even trying to sign or talk, just kept brushing through the knots softly and letting Shinsou hold onto his hand. He looked at the clock for how much longer, 10 minutes.

Shinsou hummed, content, his back now a dull roar of pained discomfort he could almost ignore, fully focused on the hands.

10 minutes passed excruciatingly slowly and Katsuki could finally take the ice bags off. He carefully removed his hands from Shinsou and put the packs back in the fridge and freezer. He took off the hoodie he was wearing and exchanged it for the blanket he’d thrown over Eri, now putting it lightly over Shinso. ‘Does Walking Dead know?’

Shinsou sat up stiffly, shaking his head, feeling much better than before, "No."

He helped him sit up and move, it was better to make sure he could move his back but he knew sooner or later they’d have to ice it all again. ‘Tell him, or blond’

"I will, can't exactly hide it. I haven't seen them since last night,"

He thought back to last night, not remembering if Aizawa came into the room then or this morning. It was after he went home this morning, so he must’ve just passed Shinsou and not noticed. Then he remembered, ‘You came back late.’

"I was getting your milkshake. And I've been early most days I'm with you. I wasn't much later than normal. I usually get home between midnight and one, depending on what happens."

He turned to look at him confused. ‘My milkshake?’

"I brought you home a milkshake last night, chocolate and chili. You didn't eat much dinner, so I thought it might suit you better."

Oh yeah, he didn’t remember finishing that but it was nice. Something else came to mind though, ‘Thought I said not to help me?’ His face wasn’t angry or annoyed but genuine confusion, he didn’t understand why Shinsou would buy him that after what he said.

Shinsou smiled with a shrug, "I ignored it because I genuinely thought you were in pain."

‘I was fine.’ he signed. Honestly talking with Eri wasn’t helping, but it’s the only way to communicate with her so he’d just have to suck it up. He looked at the clock and sighed. ‘Lay down.’

"Another round of ice?" Shinsou sighed, moving back to laying on his stomach, head on the pillow again.

He grabbed the bags from the freezer again and starts laying them down on his back, having to go back to grab more and leave Shinsou alone. Once they’re all placed on his back he gives him his hands again.

Shinsou sighed, not responding nearly as badly this time, watching the other work with the ice before holding his hands, warming up the chilled digits, breathing on them before trying to heat both with one hand, a task that an outside observer might find amusing.

He didn’t ask what he was doing, just watching to see if he was holding out alright. The 20 minutes passed again and he slowly took his hands out of Shinsou's putting the ice back in the freezer. He took the moment where Shinsou was sitting up to look at any other injuries. He wasn’t leaning weirdly or avoiding leaning on an arm or leg but they are still most likely bruising internally or externally. ‘Anywhere else?’

"Slight tenderness at the back of the skull, but no concussion. Or mild enough it doesn't affect me enough to notice." Shinsou answered easily. Really, the most significant pain had been the pinched nerve he woke up with.

As much as he wanted to trust Shinsou that he didn’t have a concussion, he also fell asleep without telling anyone that happened so Katsuki would do his own test. His pupils weren’t displayed and he seemed to have a good sense of what happened, he’s speech was tired but not slurred the only thing left to check was his vision. He pointed to the clock that was decently far away. ‘Count the seconds out loud’

Shinsou groaned, head dropping, "I can't,"

He narrowed his eyes and lifted his chin with a hand, using his other to sign ‘why?’

"I can't see the second hand,"

‘Why,’ he asked again, he needs to know if it’s because it’s blurry or he can’t focus or anything else.

"It's not a new thing, I haven't been able to see details that small from further than five meters in years."

His shoulders relaxed immediately and he sighed, ‘Glasses?’ He asked.

"Probably, but I've never gotten any,"

‘Why?’ He pulled the blanket over Shinsou's chest to keep him warm.

A shrug, "Don't really need them."

‘You patrol every night in the dark.’

"Yes..." Shinsou didn't know what he was getting at.

‘And you already have decreasing vision.’

"...yes." another slow nod.

He paused and waited for it to click. When it didn’t he sighed, ‘Your vision will get worse.’

"...yes, that is how it tends to work."

‘Stop going on patrol’

"No."

He sighed again. Knowing he could talk Shinsou out of it or tell him the alternatives. He wouldn’t listen. He was curious though ‘Why?’

"Because it doesn't matter whether I patrol at night or not, my eyes will get worse. Qu'est sera sera?"

‘Stop saying that.’

Shinsou's lip twitched in a slight smile, "Why should I? They're perfectly fair words to live by."

Katsuki rolled his eyes, if Shinsou didn’t understand now while he was basically spelling it out for him, he never would. Shinsou was sitting with a bruised back and losing his eyesight despite there being ways to slow down that process and he’s just letting it happen. He didn’t say anything about his injury until Katsuki found out by himself. If it was something else, a spinal injury or a fracture he could have died. ‘Stop saying it.’

"Alright," Shinsou sighs, "you think my eyesight caused my injury now, don't you?"

‘No.’ he paused. ‘But I think you’re going to keep getting hurt.‘

"I'd get hurt, even with perfect vision. And it’s barely prescribable, it's not worth it,"

‘I’m not talking about your vision.’ he sighed.

"You want me to stop trying to help people." Shinsou guessed sadly.

He shook his head ‘I want you to stop hiding injuries like this.’

"You were tired and wanted to go home, I see fine. And it really was mostly sleeping on the couch that did me in."

He looked at him blankly, shaking his head. ‘That’s exactly what I’m talking about.’

"I don't understand."

‘You should have stopped me from leaving.’

"I wasn't going to keep you if you didn't want to be here, but you were free to stay if you had wanted to."

‘You could have died.’ he signed and stared at him. ‘If you’d fallen in a different way you could have died.’

"I am aware of this fact, but it doesn't change the fact I didn't."

‘Doesn’t change the fact that you could have.’

"Would you have cared? Honestly."

Katsuki hesitated with his answer, ‘Yes.’

Shinsou snorted, looking away, eye downcast. He pushed himself to his feet, wincing for a moment as his spine readjusted before walking into the kitchen without a word.

He followed him, the idiot could collapse or hurt himself further. He shouldn’t even be walking.

After a few shaky steps, Shinsou got steadier with each step until he was walking completely normal, reaching up to get a glass before filling it with water.

He watched him fill the glass of water and drink it, leaning his weight on the counter. It was probably useless because he’d ignore him but Katsuki signed, ‘ice your back’

Shinsou nodded, slowly nursing his glass of water before heading back to faceplant on the couch again, ready for the next round.

He grabbed the ice bags and started laying them on his back, putting his hand in Shinsou's reach so he could grab it if he wanted to.

Shinsou took his hand again, just to hold, not because he needed a place to focus to distract from the discomfort. He was used to this by now, it was just a shock the first couple times.

He put his other hand back in Shinsou's hair, not brushing through it this time but twirling small strands around his finger. He rubbed his thumb of the hand Shinsou was holding against Shinsou's knuckle.

Shinsou smiled, "Am I forgiven for being a suicidal dumbass?" he asked softly.

His hand faltered in Shinsou’s hair and after a moment gave a half shrug. He took his hand from Shinsou's, signing ‘Don’t do again.’ before holding it again.

"I'll try not to," Shinsou quirked a slight smile, "but no promises."

Figuring he wasn’t going to get the answer he wanted he didn’t reply, now brushing fully through Shinsou's hair again.

Shinsou hummed at the fingers, "You're really nice, Mr. Bombastic."

He frowned, hands freezing before slowly pulling away and starting to take the ice bags off.

Shinsou sighed, "Sorry." he mumbled.

He picked up the bags and walks to the kitchen, putting them back in the freezer and procrastinating going back by closing the door slowly.

Shinsou rolled onto his side, curling up slightly, hugging the pillow to his chest. He'd fucked up, and he couldn't fix it because that would go against his purpose in life.

Chapter Text

Katsuki waited in the kitchen for a few minutes, the longer he waited the more humiliating it would be to go back. He wasn't even sure why Shinsou saying he was nice made him feel like he couldn’t breathe. He sighed, scratching at his hand before going back and sitting between Shinsou and Eri.

Shinsou glanced at the other boy, chewing softly on his damaged lip as he stayed silent.

Katsuki took the towel from earlier and rubbed the blood from Shinsou's bottom lip. He stared at him with a frown. ‘Don’t do that.’

"Sorry," Shinsou mumbled again, worrying it again nervously. This was just a self-fulfilling prophecy of a bloody mess.

‘Whatever.’ he avoided eye contact by looking at Eri. He couldn’t believe she’d slept through all the noise.

The only reason she'd slept through it was because she was used to the sounds, it was almost white noise to the little girl now.

He could tell she was awake by the way her eyelids twitched and moved about. He sighed and spared another look at Shinsou, his face was half-hidden by the couch and he was curled up. He poked him in the side. ‘Don’t fall asleep.’

"I'm not going to fall asleep, I slept too long the first time," Shinsou replied.

He hummed and looked forward again. Needing something to distract himself, he picked up the remote and switched on the tv. The movie he and Eri were watching was still there.

Shinsou flipped himself over on the couch, head now moving to rest next to the blond's thigh, "Best age of animation," he said softly.

‘You’ve watched it?’ he asked, looking down at the taller guy curiously.

Shinsou nodded.  "Favorite four years of animation, when the big companies were switching from hand-drawn to CGI and were trying to figure out what would sell."

He looked at the screen for a while, he hadn’t watched many movies, Disney and not Disney so he really had no idea about the different styles. ‘Whatever you say e-y-e-b-a-g-s’

"Sorry, I thought it was interesting," The purple-haired boy mumbled.

He sighed, of course he’d make Shinsou upset. ‘No,’ he paused trying to find the right words. ‘I don’t know?’ He tried, already knowing it made no sense.

Shinsou took his hand, silencing the other by, "Don't worry about it, my social skills are shit, I'm just rambling what I think are interesting facts. Let's just focus on the adorable blue alien."

He looked back at the screen before looking at Eri. Katsuki was sure she was awake so she must have been watching the movie. He shifted one of his legs so she would be able to crawl into his lap and started playing with Shinsou's hair with his hand.

Shinsou wanted to ask the other boy questions but decided he'd interrupted the movie enough with his chatter and it could wait.

Eri crawled carefully into Mr. Bakugou's lap again, resting against his chest again.

The movie went on and Katsuki looked over his shoulder a few times, feeling eyes on his back but no one was there. It finished and Eri seemed to like it well enough, the blue bear in her hands clutched tightly as she stared in awe at the screen. Once the credits started rolling, he felt like he should turn the tv off or put something else on but he was trapped between the two other people.

Shinsou chuckled, reaching over for the remote, "Will you explode my head if I put on a musical?" he asked playfully.

He bit back a groan and gave him a pointed look. Taking his hand off his head he signed, ‘don’t, bad.’ He actually didn’t hate musicals that much but his headache had come back and he couldn’t handle people breaking into song right now.

Shinsou hummed, his choice did have rather epic music and would only probably rattle their skulls too much. And thinking about the themes of it, it probably wasn't a good idea for Eri to watch right now.

He handed the remote to the blond, "Up to you, then."

He took it and started flicking through the movies, pausing on each and letting the preview play before going to the next one.  About four movies in, Eri made a noise of interest and leaned forward a bit, so he clicked into it and put the remote back down, resting his arm back over Shinsou.

Shinsou smiled at the girl’s interest, sitting up, letting the blond's hand slide from him as he moved to stand, "I'm gonna make a bowl of popcorn, want a sundae?"

He gave him one look before lifting Eri and putting her in Shinsou's lap. He stood up, signing ‘don’t walk around’ before making his way to the kitchen.

Eri and Shinsou looked at each other confused but didn't argue with the blond as he went off. Shinsou paused the movie, setting it to restart when the other got back.

Remembering the guy stumbling in pain the last time he was walking about. He opened the cupboard and almost felt the need to throw something at Shinsou's head. When he found the popcorn, it was microwaveable. He threw it in and set the timer for 2 and a half minutes and grabbed a drink of water instead of a sundae. He grabbed the popcorn and put it in a bowl. Taking one of the kennels that hadn’t popped, he set off a small explosion in his hand before eating it.

Shinsou looked over the back of the couch at the explosions, "Everything okay?" he asked, concerned.

He handed the bowl to Shinsou, taking another unpopped kennel and exploding it to make it into an actual popcorn puff, throwing it in his mouth with a smile.

Shinsou laughed at that, "Personal popcorn maker." he teased.

‘Not for you.’ he lay back again, feeling Eri crawl back in his lap and he looked at the screen, wondering why it was paused on the beginning scene.

Shinsou chuckled, restarting the movie, leaning into the blond's side, munching on a handful, piece by piece, eyes focused on the movie.

Katsuki sat back and tried to focus on the movie, ignoring the guilt that hit him when he realized they’d been waiting for him. He turned his body to get more comfortable but every position made him feel stiff and he couldn’t focus on anything besides the discomfort. 

Shinsou sensed his self-hate and linked their hands again, thumb rubbing over the blond's knuckles, "You didn't do anything wrong." he whispered in the other's ear.

Katsuki instantly moved his hand away. “The fuck are you talking about?” It hurt to talk but he couldn’t sign that. He just needed Shinsou off his back. “I know that.”

Shinsou instantly drew back as if he had been burned, "I didn't mean it like that." he mumbled, moving to lean against the other arm of the couch, leaving the popcorn to Eri.

He leaned in the opposite direction, turning his gaze on Shinsou's face. His body flinched beneath him, arms twitching to grab something. Eri remained sitting quietly on his lap and he, instead, fidgeted with the arm of the couch, closing his fist to muffle the sparks he was setting off.

Shinsou tapped the other with his foot before signing, 'Pass her over, it's fine.'

Katsuki wanted to punch away the look Shinsou was giving him, it would be so much easier if he could yell at him. He picked Eri up and put her in Shinsou’s lap. Signing an ‘I’ll be back.’ before going up the stairs to Shinsou's room and sitting on the floor, his back against the bed. He held his hands to his inner arms and set off the remaining explosions.

Shinsou sighed sadly when he heard the explosions from his bedroom, but that was the only reaction he let show, situating Eri and the popcorn in his lap to continue the movie.

Katsuki didn’t understand Shinsou. Katsuki held him up, was rude to him, and was the reason Shinsou was injured. He looked around the room for something to grab or punch. When he saw nothing he grabbed a pillow and threw it against the wall as hard as he could. It fell in a matter of moments and he stared at it on the floor.

When the movie was over, Shinsou put the sequel on and settled in to continue, the bowl only half empty between him and Eri.

Katsuki eventually blinked himself back into focus and stood up. The sweet caramel smell in the room made him gag as he left. He didn’t look at either of them as he returned to the couch and instead focused on the screen.

Shinsou wanted to ask if he was okay, even got as far as lifting a hand to lay it comfortingly on the blond's arm, but let it fall back to his lap with Eri again, not daring to poke that sleeping dragon.

Katsuki pretended not to notice the hesitation and signed below his lap, ‘m-y-f-a-u-l-t.’

Shinsou sighed, nodding unseen. He wasn't going to argue, it wasn't worth it.

The movie dragged on and Katsuki zoned out for most of it, more focussed on the small details of the carpet than the actual movie. The screen only got his attention when it was turned off and the noise stopped.

Shinsou quietly sent Eri to go wash her hands as he stood up as well, stiffly taking the popcorn bowl back to the kitchen, eyes carefully not looking at the other as he went by, not wanting to anger him again.

Not sure what else to do, he stayed on the couch and set off small, almost silent explosions. He hadn’t used his quirk in a while and using it today he remembered how good it felt. He looked up when Eri walked back into the room.

"Is that you're quirk, Mr. Bakugou?" she asked curiously, "the popping?"

Oh yeah, she hadn’t seen his quirk before. He opened his mouth to reply but it felt dry and raw and he didn’t want to talk. He took a pen off the side table along with a sticky note and wrote ‘explosion’.

She took the note, tongue sticking out as she tried to read it, "Ex-plos-ion...exploshon?" she asked, looking up to him.

Katsuki held up his hand again, setting a large one off. It was no bigger than the size of a tennis ball and relatively quiet.

She squeaked, still jumping slightly at the small flash-bang, but she wasn't afraid.

She wasn’t smiling but her eyes were wide with curiosity and excitement, so he let her walk up to him and take his hand to examine it.

Shinsou smiled, watching from the doorway to the kitchen, leaning a little less than casually against the frame. His back was starting to hurt again.

Katsuki looked up at the small wince he heard. He took one look at how Shinsou was standing and raised an eyebrow. ‘Sit down’

"Can I lay on the floor without you yelling at me? Trust me on this one." he said, walking stiffly closer.

He rolled his eyes and stood up on the couch so Shinsou could lay on it.

Shinsou shook his head, "I'd really prefer the floor."

‘Why?’

"The couch is too soft. I need the flat, solid surface of the floor to realign again."

‘Fine. But lay near the couch, not where Walking Dead will trip over you’

Shinsou chuckled, letting the blond help him down, laying a little in front of the couch, allowing enough room so the others could walk and not step on him.

He knelt in front of him and lifted his head, placing a pillow under it and signing ‘ice?’

Shinsou nodded, "Please."

He stood up and held out his hand for Eri to take so she could help him carry ice bags.

Shinsou smiled as he watched them go.

He put the ice bags in a towel so it wouldn’t be too cold for her to hold. They walked back over and started putting them on Shinsou's back.

Shinsou whimpered slightly with the first bag, sensitive to the cold again, but quickly settled back into it again, sighing in relief.

Katsuki held both Shinsou and Eri’s hands and sat on the floor.

Shinsou squeezed his hand, "You don't have to stay with me, you can sit on the couch."

He didn’t answer him, instead squeezing his hand back.

Shinsou hummed softly as he let his eyes fall shut, letting himself fall into a light sleep this time, expecting the other to wake him up when he removed the ice packs.

He felt Shinsou's hand loosen and slip out of his grip. He let go and sat back slightly, pulling Eri so she was sitting in his lap.

Shinsou didn't dream of anything.

Eri asked to see more of the popping.

He set off smaller explosions, marble-sized so that she could touch them and only feel a tingle. It kept her interested while he waited for the 20 minutes to pass.

Shinsou unconsciously curled his arms under his chest as he slept, dislodging one of the bags onto the floor.

He sighed and leaned over, grabbing the bag and putting it lightly back on his back, taking his arms from under his chest and holding them

Shinsou mumbled in his sleep, eyes fluttering, but not awake.

He looked at the clock again and started to stand up, moving Eri off his lap first, then taking the bags off Shinsou's back. Unsure how to wake him he started brushing through his hair and turned his face upwards.

Shinsou's face crinkled in a wince as he looked blankly up at the other, "careful with the twist," he mumbled.

He nodded and lowered his face, brushing through his hair and waiting for him to stand up.

Shinsou rolled onto his back, careful not to twist as he did, ending up half laying in the other's lap.

He frowned when Shinsou rolled onto his back, he’d always avoided laying on his back. ‘Sit up’ he signed, so that Shinsou could lay on him and there would be less pressure on his back.

Shinsou did so, a hand coming up to grip the blond's bicep to pull himself up, wincing a bit as he put more pressure on his back.

Katsuki helped him sit up and wrapped his arms loosely around his waist. ‘Okay?’

Shinsou nodded, "I'm okay," he reassured, squeezing his bicep lightly with a slight smile, "Thank you."

Not knowing how to respond, he just stayed quiet. The other boy was much taller than him so his head was on Shinsou's back. He wasn’t leaning against it but his hair was touching it.

"How's your throat?" Shinsou asked, leaning around to look at the bruises again.

He shrugged; he was probably slowing down the healing process by talking to Eri for the past few days and not icing it, but he couldn’t change that now so there was no point mentioning it. ‘Fine’

Shinsou nodded, accepting the other's answer, sitting up again to stop putting pressure on the blond.

He closed his eyes and unwrapped his hands from Shinsou's waist, laying back. ‘About before’ he signed, pausing, not sure how to say what he wanted.

Shinsou caught his hands, "You don't have to say anything, I made assumptions and I'm sorry."

He frowned again and opened his eyes, ‘why don’t you yell at me?’

Shinsou shrugs, "I don't yell. I'm rather submissive, you might have noticed. I tend to think I'm at fault, just tends to cut out most of the fighting."

Katsuki looked at the ceiling, wondering how the fuck Shinsou could just say that out loud. It almost made him angry, but he couldn't help but feel jealous. He raised his hand to sign something before dropping it.

Shinsou felt the other's anger boiling under the surface and moved to sit next to him, hands folded in his lap, eyes focused on them.

Katsuki stared at the ceiling for a while longer before asking, ‘Why were you living on the streets?’ Remembering what Shinsou said to him the second time they met.

Shinsou hummed, trying to figure out how to phrase his story.

He didn’t look at him but held one of his hands loosely and rubbed his thumb in a circle around Shinsou's knuckle.

Shinsou glanced at Eri, "When I was about Eri's age, mom died. She'd been sick for as long as I can remember, but when she died, there wasn't anything left for me. No one who wanted me, and being quirked, no orphanage wanted me, so I slipped through the cracks, ended up living in an alley that first winter, barely made it. Caught pneumonia, broke into someone's basement so I didn't freeze to death. I came across dad completely by accident when I was running from a store, having stolen some fruit."

‘coincidence he’s blood?’ Katsuki asked.

"I never knew I had any other family, mom never mentioned it. Hell, he might not actually be my uncle, but I thought he was when he said he knew my mom, so he was," Shinsou shrugged, "Doesn't matter now."

Katsuki didn’t see the logic in it but it clearly meant something to Shinsou so he nodded, ‘I’ll grab you a shirt, don’t move around too much'.  He started walking up the stairs.

Shinsou sighed, nodding, "Thank you, I won't."

He reached the room and walked in; it still smelt heavily sweet but Katsuki ignored it and grabbed a thin but long-sleeved shirt, turning before walking back downstairs.

Shinsou...had flopped. He was laying on the floor on his back, once again, wiggling like a fish.

He watched, confused for a moment before looking at Eri for her to explain.

She had no idea.

Shinsou noticed the crimson gaze, "The likelihood of you giving me a back massage is slim to none, and I'm too damaged to try to convince Eri to walk on me right now."

He sat in front of him and pulled him up by his shoulders, careful to not touch his back and doing it slowly; he was using his hands to hold him up so he just mouthed, ‘the fuck are you doing?’

"That pinched nerve is still there, and I really need to pop my back, but I can't twist to alleviate it," he said like it was the obvious answer.

He sighed and turned him onto his stomach. Grabbing and pen and writing on another sticky note ‘ice’ for Eri. He gave it to her and started to massage Shinsou's back.

"Sorry," Shinsou hummed, settling with his head in his arms.

Eri ran off to get a few bags of veggies, setting them beside the boys.

He took the bag of veggies with a smile and without warning popped Shinsou's back and pressed the bag against it.

Shinsou gasped then sighed in relief, "Fuck, that felt good," he murmured, forgetting Eri was there.

He took the bag off, and stood up, walking to the kitchen to put it away while Shinsou sat up.

Shinsou got up, wincing slightly, but fine enough, rolling his shoulders, "Thank you, thank you, thank you," he chirped, rather un-Shinsou like.

He put his hand over Shinsou's mouth to get him to shut up. ‘Advil?’ he asked, his headache coming back.

"Cabinet over the sink in the bathroom," Shinsou said softly, pushing the other's hand away gently.

He stood up and walked to the bathroom, dry swallowing a pill and rubbing his eyes before walking back.

Shinsou lightly cupped his face with one hand, looking into the other's eyes, "Did you sleep last night?" he asked softly.

Katsuki pushed him away. ‘I’m fine e-y-e-b-a-g-s’. He’d overslept for whatever reason and felt like complete shit for most of the day. ‘Worry about yourself.’

Shinsou stepped back with a nod, "Right. You don't have to stay today if you don't want to."

He sat back, in all honesty, he didn’t want to go. ‘I said I’m fuckin’ fine’.

"That doesn't have anything to do with what I just said,"

He narrowed his eyes. ‘I’ll stay.’  It was the better option anyway, he’d left for two seconds before and Shinsou was flopping around like a fish out of water.

Shinsou nodded again, walking into the kitchen to clean up the dripped water from the other going back and forth with the ice packs.

Katsuki looked at Eri who had been quiet for a while. He remembered the bag he’d brought this morning, wondering if she’d tried anything from it yet. He grabbed a sticky note, ‘bag?’

She looked at the note confused, "Bag?" she asked.

He wrote on the back, ‘The one I brought’.

She shook her head, "I haven't touched it since you gave it to me, Mister."

He stood up and reached out for her hand again to make sure she’d come with him and walked up to her room to grab the bag.

She followed behind him, Shinsou finished his task and made a few sandwiches and a pot of tea to take up to his Dads' room.

He sat on the bed with her and grabbed the bag again. He handed her another note ‘These are yours’.

She looked at the note, then at him, then the bag, and back again, not understanding.

He sighed and looked around, her room was basically empty so he couldn’t put it with her things. He pulled a coloring book out from inside the bag and different colored markers, hoping she’d understand if she actually did something.

She watched his actions, still confused.

He opened the book to a random page of a flower and showered her a choice of makers. ‘Choose’.

She looked up at him in thought before tentatively reaching for the red, but switching to the yellow at the last minute.

He let her choose the yellow and opened the lid for her, starting to color the flower then hand the marker to her for her to do it.

She carefully took the marker and copied his action, occasionally looking to him for approval that she was doing this right, not wanting to upset him.

He smiled at her and held up the markers again to see if she wanted a different color.

She handed him back the yellow, choosing the red this time.

He waited to see what she would do with the red, holding the other markers ready in case she wanted to change it.

She had left one of the petals at the bottom blank and filled it with the red, before going back to her yellow petals, tracing the bottom edge of each in the same red.

He let her keep going until she’d finished the entire flower. Then he flipped to another page, a butterfly, and waited for her to choose a marker again.

"What is it?" she asked, handing him back the red marker.

He looked around for another note but he didn’t see any, so he grabbed an orange marker and wrote, ‘butterfly’ on his hand for her to read.

"Butter...fly?" she asked.

He nodded and sat back, watching her color in the book. He wondered why his parents even bought him the book if they weren’t going to let him use it.

She picked up the orange marker he'd written on his hand with and started filling in the wings with that.

He looked in the bag for other things he'd brought. It was mostly his dad's bag, old fashion and design school stuff they used to use but it was better than nothing. There were paints, pencils, brushes, makeup, etc he started taking them out of the bag and just placing them around the room. At the bottom was a string of fairy lights he’d stolen for a treehouse when he was 9 but never used. He figured she’d like them.

Shinsou knocked lightly on the door as he leaned his head in, "Need anything while I'm wandering around?"

Katsuki looked at Eri.

She shook her head.

‘We’re good, sit down before I have to pop your back again.’

Shinsou laughed quietly, shaking his head, "I'm going to lay down again." he said.

‘Good.’ he sighed, before looking at the drawing of the butterfly and giving her a thumbs up.

Shinsou headed to his own room, face planting onto his bed with a sigh, then a groan, "Bombastic," he called softly.

He heard Shinsou's groan from the next room over and gave Eri an eye roll before standing up and walking to the door, ruffling her hair as he passed her.

Shinsou glared lightly at the other boy, "You could have opened the window after you exploded my room," he whined, the smell of burnt sugar still heavy in the air.

‘Open your own window.’ he said and closed the door.

Shinsou huffed, but got up and did so, then threw a few more blankets on his bed and climbed under the pile.

Eri had moved onto a new page, a bird this time, and was coloring it yellow again.

He walked back into Eri’s room and saw she was using yellow again. He handed her a green to see if she’d like it.

She took the green, staring at it, and then her half yellow bird, before handing it back again.

So she didn’t like green, he tried purple next.

She continued with the yellow until the entire thing was one large yellow blob. When she was done, she looked at the other colors again, taking the green back again and edging the wings.

He left her to the work and took out an empty sketchbook so he could talk with her. ‘You have nightmares, right?’

She looked over, "N-night...mary?"

He wrote the word night with a crescent moon next to it, followed by mares with a sad face next to it. Seeing if pictures make it easier.

"Night...mares?"

He nodded and pointed to her.

She nodded, "Yes, the bad dreams were back again."

He nodded, writing on the page again. ‘Does light help them go away?’

She shook her head, "Nothing helps,"

‘There is,’ she just hadn’t found it yet. ‘Have you gone to the others?’

She shook her head, "Not anymore, only pain."

‘Pain?’ He looked at her confused.

"They hurt me when I leave my room without permission,"

He looked at the door, ‘here?’

"No, no pain here yet."

He bit back a sigh of relief and immediately relaxed. When she went to sleep, Blondie and Walking Dead were out. So Shinsou was the last option. ‘You know Shinsou?’ He just wanted to check.

She nodded slowly, "He let me sleep in his bed last night. He left because I was afraid of him and slept on the couch downstairs."

‘He doesn’t like sleeping alone. So if you wake up you can go to him,’ part of him thought that he should have told Shinsou before saying this but he also didn’t care.

She looked at him wide-eyed, "Really?"

He nodded, ‘He’d really like it if you did that.’

She nodded slowly, "O-okay."

He nodded, looking at the fairy lights still in the bag; he pulled them out to see what she thought of them and if she wanted them.

She looked at them, confused. "What are they?"

He looked for an outlet in the wall and plugged it in, he turned the switch and they all lit up in the messy tangle.

She looked at the tangle with wide, excited eyes.

'can you help me put them up?' he asked, turning it off so he could arrange them over her bed.

She nodded, waiting for instructions.

He looked up at the walls, she had a window and curtains so he could loop them around, he gave the lights to Eri and held her up so she could hang them wherever she wanted.

She tried to loop them around the curtain, but they kept falling. On about the eighth attempt, they stayed and she happily moved on to the other side.

His arms were getting tired, so he lifted her onto his shoulders and walked in whichever direction she held up her hands trying to reach.

After a little while, she had placed the lights where she wanted them and let her hands fall to play with his hair, looking at how spikey yet different from Shinsou's it was.

He bent down with her still on his shoulders to plug the cord in and turn it on; the lights switched on and lit up the room, and Katsuki turned the main lights off so the room was purely lit by the fairy lights.

She squealed happily, "Thank you, Mister Bakugou!"

He pulled her over his head and put her back down on her bed, the room looked more like a room now, with coloring things on the bed and small decor. He grabbed the book again and began writing, 'do you like anything else?'

She tried to answer, starting and stopping, before finally asking, "What do you mean?”

He thought it'd be best to start simple; he looked at her basic grey bed covers, he held them in his hand, 'if this could be any color, what would you want?'

She looked up at him and then pointed at him.

He looked confused at her, 'me?'

She nodded, "Yellow, like you,"

Oh, she meant his hair. So she liked yellow. He held up a pillow, 'if this could be any shape what would you like?'

She shook her head, "I like those,"

'these would stay, you would have more' he explained that they wouldn't be replaced.

She shook her head, taking the pillow and hugging it, half-hidden behind it, "Safe,"

She still didn't understand, he grabbed his phone from his pocket and pulled up pictures of beds with lots of pillows, as well as a yellow rabbit pillow.

She shook her head, still hugging the pillow. "I like this pillow, it makes me feel safe," she repeated softly.

He nodded, the pillow stayed. He pulled up more pictures of bedrooms, seeing if she pointed out anything she liked, different curtains, toys, or just random things.

She looked at the pictures but didn't point at anything, still half-hiding behind her pillow, blinking sleepily.

He put the phone down when she started getting tired and picked her up, carrying her out of her room and towards Shinsou's.

Shinsou's room was cold, but he was comfortable under his cocooning pile of blankets; content, comfy, and almost cremation warm.

He knew Shinsou would probably wake up if he got into the bed, so instead, he opened the blanket slightly and lay Eri in so her head was near his chest, pulling the blanket back over her.

Shinsou opened an eye as the cold air hit him and looked at the white-haired little girl and then the red-eyed boy.  "Heading home?" he asked, maybe a touch sadly.

He sighed. He really didn't want to. He was tired and strangely sore, his body ached in uncomfortable ways and he felt like he was about to pass out where he stood. 'Yeah'.

Shinsou wanted to pull the other into the bed with him but didn't want to press his luck, it had already been a fucked up day between the two of them. So, instead of unburying his arm and reaching out for the other, he just nodded. "Okay, stay safe," he said softly. "Remember, you can stay if you want." Please stay, he wanted to say, don't leave me alone again. But he didn't.

He wanted to stay, but not tonight, Eri needed Shinsou more than Katsuki needed him. She was the one that lived here. He left the room and started walking down the stairs, getting lightheaded in the middle of the staircase and feeling nauseous, bending down and gripping his stomach.

Shinsou watched him go but didn't follow, instead draping an arm over Eri, hoping to warm her up and make her more comfortable with him. He was careful to try not to make her feel trapped.

He stood up and blinked away the dizziness, but only getting to the bottom before he sat down again. If he knew someone was watching his failed attempts, he'd be much more embarrassed.

Aizawa came down the stairs balancing two plates and mugs in his hands, glancing to the sandy-haired boy sat at the bottom of the stairs, but passed him, having missed the dizzy act and thinking he was just sitting there by choice. He'd found Shinsou reading in weirder places, so didn't even blink.

Katsuki was too out of it to realize someone had walked past him; he stood up with his eyes closed and took a step in the direction he thought was the door, instead he hit the couch with his leg.

Aizawa did notice this on his way back and watched him in case he needed to step in.

Katsuki opened his eyes and looked towards the door, taking a single step before faltering slightly and having to catch himself on the couch.

Aizawa moved to stand in front of him, steadying him. "I know you don't like or trust me, but suck it up. What's wrong?" he asked, voice not allowing room for argument.

Katsuki groaned at the voice, he'd argued in much worse situations, "Noth'n" he slurred slightly before coughing. God, he was tired.

Aizawa shook his head, "Come on, kid, I can't help if you don't tell me shit."

"Fuck off." He managed to look Aizawa in the eyes for a second before they grew heavy and he had to close them again. He frowned, knowing he looked pathetic and this was a losing argument; he knelt down. "Tired, headache."

Aizawa helped him around to sit on the couch, kneeling in front of him, gently taking one of his hands to press a couple fingers to his wrist, "You look like shit, kid. Nausea?

Katsuki nodded, just wanting to go to sleep. Against his better judgment he leaned into Aizawa's touch, his hands were cold and it felt nice.

"Want me to help you up to Hitoshi's room?" the gruff man asked, pressing a hand to the boy's forehead.

He shook his head thinking of Eri sleeping in Shinsou's room. She’d been having nightmares every night and he wasn’t going to add more stress to that. He once again leaned into the touch on his forehead.

Aizawa looked at his phone, checking the time, "'Zashi'll be up in five minutes, you can have our bed," he said.

He hummed, not really listening and completely leaning forward into Aizawa's touch.

Aizawa smiled slightly, "I'm going to let 'Zashi dye your hair bright purple while you sleep."

He didn’t make a noise but shifted slightly.

Aizawa sighed, shifting the boy up into his arms. After adjusting his hold, he stood and made his way up the stairs.

Katsuki let himself be completely limp in his arms, leaning his head into his chest.

Aizawa walked into Shinsou's room, the purple boy looking up at the sight, but wisely kept his mouth shut. Shinsou shifted over to allow the blond to be set down next to him comfortably, flipping the blankets back.

Aizawa gave Shinsou the blond, tucking them in.

Eri was asleep.

Katsuki was already asleep by the time they entered the room, unconsciously wrapping his arms around Shinsou when he lay next to him.

Aizawa took in the sight of his children all asleep together; yes, the blond was his now, and he would fight for that claim even if he didn't know who the kid was. He pressed a kiss to each of their foreheads, closed the window, drew the curtains, and left, closing the door behind him.

Shinsou moved Eri to lay half between, half on top of the boys, knowing she'd sleep easier closer to the blond, because she liked him more, and then went back to sleep as well.

Katsuki woke up when the sun wasn’t up yet, Shinsou was next to him and Eri was between them. He couldn’t focus on that for long as a headache came and he tiredly got out of the bed, walking to the bathroom on the bottom floor and grabbing another Advil.

Eri woke up as half of her warmth disappeared, once again confused and scared by the purple-haired man sleeping next to her.

Katsuki just wanted to be asleep again but he didn’t want to go back to Shinsou's bedroom. So instead he just walked back up the stairs and lay outside the door, bringing his knees to his chest and closing his eyes.

Shinsou was woken once again by her feared gasp and sighed, "Want me to leave?" He asked her again quietly.

She nodded, looking at him with wide eyes.

He sighed, getting up and stealing a couple of the blankets from the bed, still leaving a tiny mountain, and headed to the door. He saw the blond and sighed, stepping carefully over him and dropping the blankets to cover his form, minus head, before heading back to sleep on the couch again. Or maybe he'd sleep on the floor too.

Katsuki woke up when he heard someone walking down the stairs. He saw a flash of purple hair and was about to go after him until he thought about Eri. He knocked on the door with the same tune from yesterday.

"Come in?" she asked quietly, not sure if that's what she was supposed to say.

Chapter Text

He walked in and grabbed a pen from his desk, writing on his arm before sitting on the bed. ‘okay?’

She nodded, "I'm okay," She said quietly.

He put the cap of the pen on the bedside table and sat down next to her, ‘nightmare tonight?’

She shook her head, "No dreams."

Good. He leaned forwards, checking her face to see if she was okay with him being so close.

She didn't pull back, instead moving to sit in his lap, hugging him.

He put his arms over her shoulders, half hugging her back. His headache was now more of a dull pounding so he lifted her chin and wrote on his arm, ‘Breakfast?’ he wrote, remembering they hadn’t eaten last night.

She nodded. "Okay,"

He picked her up, making sure he was steady on his feet before walking out of the room. He put her down at the staircase to be safe, though.

She looked up at him in concern, "Are you okay, Mr. Bakugou?"

He nodded his head and walked down the steps taking longer than he was going to admit to himself and walked to the kitchen, picking her up again and putting her on the counter. He pulled out the pen from his pocket, ‘What do you want?’

"I don't know."

He figured as much and had already begun grabbing spring onions from the fridge, he also pulled out two eggs and a bowl, placing them next to Eri. He kicked cracking them to her to see if she knew how to.

She had never helped in a kitchen before, so had no idea what to do with eggs.

He held up an egg for her to hold.

She took it carefully.

He put his hand around hers, cracking the egg into the bowl and raising her hands for the last of the egg white to get out before letting go of her hands and taking the cracked eggshell, throwing it out. He held up the next one.

She took it and tried to replicate the action, smacking the egg on the side of the bowl a little too softly, not breaking it. Second try, she hit too hard and split the egg in half, a few shell shards falling in.

He watched her jump back slightly when she smashed the egg onto the bowl, cracking it all in. He got a small spoon and, fishing the small pieces out, he gave her the bowl to get rid of the big ones while he cut the onions.

She did the same, clumsily trying to get the pieces out too, feeling a little guilty she'd messed up.

After he cut the spring onion he dumped a small portion into the bowl, grabbing a fork and whisking for a few seconds before handing the bowl and fork to Eri to her to try.

She took it and tried mixing. It didn't go too badly, not properly stirred, but what you'd expect from a child helping.

He let her keep whisking while he grabbed the pan and turned on the stove. He took the bowl back and whisked it one last time before pouring it in and making an omelet. He grabbed a plate and slid the egg onto it, handing the plate to Eri and going back to make the other ones.

She looked at the omelet, having never had one before, the heat of the food warming her hands through the plate. She was happy to just hold it for now.

He had made two more before turning to look at her. Seeing she ate nothing he narrowed his eyes in confusion, handing her a clean fork and putting it next to her for her to eat.

"It's warm," she said, still holding it, seeing his confused expression.

He hummed and made the last two, turning off the stove and setting the pan aside. He walked to the counter next to Eri and lay his forehead on it, it was cold and felt nice.

She looked at him concerned, "Are you okay?" she asked again.

He sighed and leaned his head up again, rubbing his eyes, "Fine."

She didn't believe him but didn't say anything, starting to eat her omelet.

He stood up fully and took a plate from the counter, walking to the couch to give it to Shinsou.

Shinsou looked up at the sandy-haired boy, sitting up slowly, "Omelets for breakfast?" he asked with a smile, "Thank you, Bombshell."

He hummed and grabbed his own plate, setting Eri on the ground first so she could move around and started moving his food around on his plate.

Shinsou started to eat his food as well, not liking how ashy the blond was, but afraid he'd get blown up if he asked.

He used his fork to cut off a bit of the omelet, the smell was enough to make him nauseous and he hesitated slightly, before eating it. 'your back okay?' he asked without looking up.

"Much better this morning, thank you." Shinsou smiled slightly, "I want to ask a question, and I want you to answer me honestly, Bombshell," he said after a little bit.

He looked up at him with a blank face, it was as much of a reaction as he was going to give.

"Are you all right?  You look really sick," Shinsou said. "Please, I know you don't want pity, and this isn't pity. Do you know what's wrong?"

Katsuki didn't know in all honesty. He never really got sick, and when he did. he never paid it too much attention, just took some medication and kept going until it went away. He shrugged and ate another bite.

Shinsou sighed, but nodded, "Okay."

He put the plate down, deciding there was no way he was finishing it. He scowled at himself, annoyed he forgot to make dinner even though that was last night.

Shinsou finished his breakfast, walking into the kitchen to collect his dads' and taking them upstairs.

Katsuki dumped his plate in the trash, cleaning the dishes he'd made and getting Eri to help dry them.

Shinsou came back down a few minutes later and sat at the counter, watching the pair do the dishes.

After a few seconds, he turned around to face him, 'help out, dipshit', and went back to the dishes.

Shinsou got up and took the dried dishes from Eri, putting them away as she finished with them.

Once he finished them, he walked up behind Shinsou and pressed a hand against his back. Depending on what reaction he would have, Katsuki would continue to let him help out or make him sit down.

Shinsou winced slightly, but that's what happens when you press on a bruise. He moved away from the pressure but moved fairly easily.

He could move away easily enough and it didn’t affect his legs or neck, the bruises should hurt for a while but no permanent injury, he hoped Shinsou didn’t just take away from this that he could injure himself and it didn't matter. He moved away to grab Eri off the counter.

"Pleased with your findings, Doctor Explodey?" Shinsou asked, putting away the last item and getting a glass of water.

He gave him a pointed look, sparking off in Shinsou's face when he passed him.

Shinsou snorted, fighting the urge to do something stupid as he drank his water.

He dropped Eri on the couch, high enough that she bounced a little but not enough to hurt. He turned back to Shinsou; he looked creepy standing there and watching, ‘creep’

"That's why she doesn't like me," Shinsou shrugs.

‘Then don’t be creepy, dumbass’

"Eri, do you mind if I come over there?" he asked the little girl.

She shook her head slowly, eyes scared.

Shinsou gave the blond a pointed look.

‘Cause you're creepy about it,’ he sat on the couch next to Eri and let her crawl in his lap, he motioned for Shinsou to sit next to them.

Shinsou did so cautiously, curling up next to the blond.

Katsuki knew he couldn’t force Eri to like Shinsou, or even be calm around him, she’d have to do that herself. Right now Shinsou was just sitting there silently. ‘Ask her something’

Shinsou hummed, "Do you like it here, Eri?" he asked, not sure what he should say.

She nodded against Bakugou's chest, looking at Shinsou.

He moved his hands behind Eri’s head even though she wouldn’t understand anyway. ‘The fuck kinda question was that?’

"I'm sorry, I panicked," Shinsou said to the blond, rolling his eyes.

Eri giggled a little at that.

‘Just tell her something then’.  Apparently, a question was too much to ask of him.

'But what?' Shinsou signed.

‘Anything’.  His favorite color, favorite food, a memory from a year ago, Eri needed something else to associate Shinsou with other than him being creepy or she’d keep getting scared.

"When I was a child, I wanted to be a police officer," Shinsou said, looking at the blond, "I always wanted to help people, be there for others, even if no one was there for me. I always saw them catching the bad guys, saving the day, I thought they could do anything."

Katsuki wondered if he could punch Shinsou from where he sat. The police were already a bad subject to begin with. Eri needed a non-violent thing to associate with Shinsou, ‘Mister he likes purple’ or ‘Mr he fell down the stairs’ not ‘I want to be part of the police force even though they are known to abuse their rights with quirk holders.’ Katsuki wasn’t sure what Eri associated with him but it was likely something like ‘he cooks’ or ‘he put up fairy lights’. That’s the reason Eri wasn’t afraid when he used his quirk or moved close to her.

Eri looked up at Shinsou, "Is Mr. Aizawa a police officer?" she asked, curious.

"In a way," Shinsou smiled with a nod.

Eri tried to return the smile, "Was it the police who were there when..."

Shinsou nodded.  "From what Dad told me, yes."

"I think...I think I like the police, too," she agreed.

Katsuki shifted uncomfortably, he couldn’t understand why any quirk user would like the police. If she liked them now, she’d be in for a surprise later, but it was working well enough so he didn’t interrupt, prompting Shinsou to keep going.

"Is Mr. Aizawa close to catching Kai?" she asked the purple-haired boy.

"I don't know," Shinsou sighed.

"Will I need to go back to that basement?"

"Never," Shinsou promised, "We won't let that happen, will we Bombshell?" He looked up to the blond with a smile, calming down as he talked.

He nodded and brushed through Eri’s hair, the braids had been taken out and her even more wavy hair was soft.

Shinsou really wanted to do something stupid, but instead, he focused on Eri again, "See, we're here for you, Eri."

The little girl nodded.

Katsuki stood up, moving Eri off his lap. ‘Keep talking’ he signed, going to grab water and another Advil. He figured leaving them alone would be good, Eri would really see that Shinsou wouldn’t hurt her and they could grow more comfortable around only each other. He waited for a few minutes in the hallway, rubbing his eyes again before walking back.

Shinsou and Eri were sitting on the couch, facing each other. Shinsou would ask her a question, most of the time she would say she didn't know, he'd say it was okay and answer the question about himself.

When the blond returned, Shinsou was telling Eri about his favorite food, an American-Italian dish involving 3 kinds of cheese and noodles.

‘That sounds disgusting’ he signed, coming back halfway through. He sat down on the couch again and half looked to Eri, seeing if she’d sit in his lap again or was comfortable where she was.

Eri climbed back into Bakugou's lap again while Shinsou looked offended, "Cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream, what's not to love?" he asked the blond.

‘Everything’ he wrinkled his nose in disgust. The cheeses by themselves before were fine but together made Katsuki want to puke. He wrapped his arms loosely around Eri again, he took the cap off the pen he’d grabbed and wrote on the inside of his wrist. ‘Like any cheeses?’

"I don't know," she said, getting more comfortable saying that.

‘Want to try?’ he wrote farther down.

She nodded, "Please."

He looked to Shinsou to get a nod of approval.

Shinsou smiled, "The kitchen is your domain, Bombshell."

Katsuki picked up Eri before standing, sitting her on his shoulders so he had hands, he opened the fridge and grabbed brie, the first cheese he saw; along with it, he grabbed a strawberry. He closed the fridge with his foot and placed her down on the counter, cutting off some brie and giving it to her to try.

Her nose wrinkled for a minute before her face smoothed out again.

He thought as much, brie was a strong taste that stayed in your mouth. He handed her the strawberry to get rid of the after taste and replace it with a sweet taste.

She took the red berry and nibbled on it, brightening at the sweet flavor, "I like this," she said, holding up the half-eaten strawberry.

He opened the fridge, handing her another strawberry before putting back the brie and picking out more cheeses. He grabbed cheddar cheese, it was a sweet cheese that he figured she'd like. He cut off a piece and offered it to her.

She took the pale orange slice, tentative after the last one, nibbling it thoughtfully, before eating it with the strawberry, enjoying the mix of the two flavors.

He looked over at Shinsou, 'she's a weirdo like you' he signed at him, both fuckin' sweet-tooths.

"Why do you say that?" Shinsou asks.

He held up a strawberry before giving it to her, as well as the cheese. 'you're both lost causes'

"Oh, ye of little faith, let the girl enjoy her food for the first time," Shinsou laughed.

'You do it' he threw the cheese at Shinsou for him to put away and stood next to Eri by the counter.

Shinsou caught the cheese, coming over and slicing off a piece for himself, "Do what, exactly?"

'anything' he shrugged, wondering what Shinsou would do without Katsuki giving him prompts.

Shinsou snorted, chopping up the rest of the block, the slice he'd already started eating sticking out of his mouth.

Katsuki turned, grabbed two cups, and filled them with water, handing one to Eri and keeping the other for himself. Even though it didn't taste like it, cheese had salt and dehydrated you.

"Like the cheddar?" Shinsou asked, finishing his piece.

Eri nodded, taking another piece.

'you're a bad influence' Katsuki signed, finishing his water and placing the front of his hand on his forehead, it was cold against it and felt nice.

"The worst," Shinsou agreed, "Want some ice to cool down?"

Though his immediate reaction was to tell Shinsou he was fine, ice sounded really good and he nodded his head, closing his eyes.

Shinsou nodded, going over to the freezer, pulling out a chunk of ice, wrapping it in a towel, and handing it to the blond, pressing a kiss to his temple before pausing, "You're burning up," he murmured.

Katsuki pressed the ice to his forehead. His eyes stung as he closed them and he gave a faint hum to answer Shinso. He opened his eyes tiredly, he couldn't use his hands, so he mumbled a painful, "It's fine."

"I'd say you should lay down, but you won't listen to me," Shinsou murmured, walking back to Eri again, "Want to try another type of cheese?"

She nodded, still nibbling on her second piece.

He was right about that, he leaned further back on the counter, resting his full weight against it. Watching to see which cheese Shinsou would choose next.

Shinsou went to the fridge and pulled out some mozzarella, opening it and ripping off a chunk, handing it to her.

She took the soft, sticky cheese, ripping it apart and putting some in her mouth.

He felt sick watching Shinsou rip the cheese with his hand, he looked away and turned completely on the counter.

Eri was confused by the texture of this cheese but didn't hate it, though she didn't eat any more of it either.

'How much cheese do you own?' Katsuki asked after seeing Shinsou go back to the fridge to get more.

"Mozzarella, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Brie, apparently, Parmesan, and Colby-Jack," Shinsou said, "I think."

He looked at Shinsou confused, 'why?' was the only question that came to mind.

"Why not?"

'cause it's dumb'

"Says you."

'i've made every meal here for the past three days. That much cheese is fuckin' dumb'

Shinsou raised a brow, "I argue that you're wrong."

'when was the last time you ate that cheese? you didn't even know you had brie'

"I didn't know we had brie because I thought it was gone. I put cheese on sandwiches last night, cheddar for Sleepy Dad and Colby on Loud Dad's."

He raised an eyebrow at the nicknames but shook his head, 'you're all disasters'.

Shinsou laughed, "I think we know that."

'good' he closed his eyes again. 'stop eating cheese, you're gonna make me sick'.

Shinsou looked at him, concerned. "Don't like cheese?" he asked, eating another slice of cheddar and putting the rest away.

'Not when I feel like throwing it up.' he frowned, having to lower the ice bag to sign, quickly pressing it back against his forehead.

Shinsou sighed, "You should lay down."

He took a few breaths before standing up, 'it's fine e-y-e-b' he gave up on the nickname halfway through, his throat felt dry and painful.

"It really isn't, don't make me compel you."

His throat felt sick, like any movement would end in throwing up. He took another breath and slid his back down the counter so he was sitting.

"Stay," Shinsou ordered the other boy, lifting Eri from the counter, "Sorry Eri, but we need to leave him alone for a little bit," he told the little girl as he dashed up the stairs with her, setting her in her room, then running back to the kitchen with the empty trash can from his room.

It was getting harder to breathe because every breath out only increased his nausea, he held his breath and did short exhales cut off by large gasps to try to keep himself from puking.

Shinsou handed the blond the receptacle.

He grabbed it and held the sides tightly so his knuckles turned white. He gagged on a breath and the first round of throwing up started. He tried to get a breath in, choking on a gasp and setting it off again.

Shinsou rubbed his back though, not able to do anything else for him.

He started coughing, throwing up bile at this point. His throat felt like someone cut a hundred slits with a knife, he grabbed Shinsou's arm, "Water."

Shinsou nodded, moving to get him a glass of water, handing it over quickly.

He drank it quickly, something he realized immediately was a stupid idea when he started throwing it up again. "Fuck," he coughed. He leaned back, pretty sure he was done.

Shinsou took the trashcan and went to dump it down the toilet and rinse it out.

Katsuki felt like shit, he sat on the ground completely exhausted.

Shinsou came back when he finished his self-appointed task, setting the trash can beside the blond and moving to get him another glass of water.

Katsuki was too tired to open his eyes and look at what Shinsou was doing.

Shinsou crouched beside the blond, "I have some water for you if you want to rinse your mouth."

He took it and took a sip, swallowing it. It tasted disgusting, the water mixing with puke in his mouth and down his throat. It felt nice though, and he took another sip.

Shinsou sat next to him, rubbing his back gently. "Feeling any better?"

He sighed and nodded, laying his head tiredly on Shinsou's shoulder.

Shinsou leaned his cheek against the other, just holding him gently, offering comfort as he could.

He took a few larger breaths before gasping out a raspy, "Sorry."

"Nothing to apologize for," Shinsou reassured, "We all get sick sometimes, it just happens."

He took a shaky breath, shaking his head, "Just yell at me."

Shinsou paused in confusion, "For what?"

"Being disgusting."

"You're sick, Bomby, there's nothing you could have done about it."

It was weird having someone not hate him for being sick, he was useless like this, why didn't Shinsou see that? He kept shaking his head.

Shinsou lifted a hand, laying it softly on the blond's cheek to stop his movement, pressing his forehead against the other's temple, "You're only going to make yourself sick again if you keep shaking your head like that."

He flinched slightly at the touch on his cheek, "M'sorry." he mumbled, it was beyond painful to speak.

"Shh," Shinsou whispered, "It's okay," his thumb rubbed gently at the other's cheek, "It's going to be okay."

He let out stuttering gasps, biting his bottom lip and holding his breath to try and silence them.

Shinsou softly kept trying to reassure and calm him.

"Sorry," he kept mumbling, despite how much it hurt. "Sorry," he was being such a burden on everyone, "Sorry."

Shinsou moved slightly and kissed him, the most efficient way he could think to stop the other's mumbled words.

Katsuki stopped talking, sitting still in confusion.

Shinsou pulled back, "Stop apologizing for something you can't help."

"Katsuki." he said without hesitation

"What?" Shinsou asked, confused and surprised.

"My name." he said.

"Katsuki," Shinsou repeated, smiling slightly before leaning forward to kiss him again, ignoring the lingering taste of sick.

Katsuki leaned forwards too, his body moving with him and he kissed Shinsou back.

Shinsou pulled back after a little bit, "As much as I'd like to continue this," he said softly, "It would be better if we did this after you were healthy again."

Katsuki agreed, closing his eyes again and resting his head on Shinsou's lap, "Sorry."

Shinsou stroked his hair softly, "You're forgiven despite doing nothing wrong."

He shook his head, "Kissed you."

Shinsou smiled, "Yes, yes you did," he agreed with a slight laugh, thumb brushing his forehead with each pass.

"Sh'dn't h've." he slurred tiredly.

"Do you think you'll be sick if I carried you upstairs?" Shinsou asked instead.

He shrugged unsurely; nonetheless, he grabbed and clung to Shinsou.

Shinsou pulled Katsuki higher up his lap, one arm around his back, the other moving to hook under the blond's legs. Shinsou stood up a little awkwardly with a groan of pain, but once he was standing and had the other situated, he started toward the stairs.

Katsuki heard the groan and started to try to get out of the hold, pulling his hand off Shinsou's back, "Stop." he rasped, almost silently.

"I'm fine," Shinsou reassured, continuing to walk, "just a little sore."

Fearing he'd make Shinsou worse he pulled his hands off Katsuki, catching himself on his feet before falling to the ground, "Fuck."

Shinsou caught Katsuki around the waist as his knees gave out, holding him up, "You okay?"

He shook his head, taking a deeper breath and holding his hand to his throat, his voice didn't work anymore and he just mouthed 'stop'.

"Okay," Shinsou said, slowly lowering him to the floor, "I'll stop, we won't go any further, we can just stay here for now."

He nodded. Breathing hurt, moving hurt, everything hurt, he grabbed at Shinsou's hands and held them tightly, unintentionally setting off small sparks.

Shinsou squeezed Katsuki's hands in reassurance, ignoring the tickling pain.

After a while, the ragged breaths got too humiliating and painful and he held his breath to make it stop.

Shinsou let go of Katsuki, standing up and leaving him on the floor, moving away.

Katsuki let go of Shinso; he knew sooner or later he'd have had enough of him, and he didn't want to seem any more pathetic than he already did.

Shinsou went to get another ice bag, wrapping it in a towel, another in hand, and crouched in front of Bakugou again, "Can I touch your neck?" he asked gently.

He shook his head, he didn't want anything touching his neck, not right now. 'give. a minute' he signed shakily. After he calmed down a little more he went completely slack and waited for Shinsou to do what he wanted.

Once Katsuki was ready, Shinsou gently pressed the wrapped ice pack to his throat.

Katsuki sucked in a slow shaky breath, closing his eyes, he mouthed a barely visible 'Thanks'.

Shinsou pressed a kiss to his forehead, using the second towel to secure the ice pack in place, "You're welcome, 'Suki,"

He leaned closer in, resting his head on Shinsou's collarbone. He put his hand on Shinsou's leg, using it to push himself up so he could shakily stand.

Shinsou's hands sat gently on Katsuki's waist as he stood, looking up at him, "You okay? Nod or shake, don't speak."

He nodded, starting to walk towards the staircase, leaning more of his weight on Shinsou than he cared to admit.

Shinsou took the weight happily, pulling one of his arms across his shoulder. "I got you," he said softly, "I won't let you go."

He hated relying so much on Shinsou, especially since he was injured, because of him. And now he was sick and forcing Shinsou to help him. He pushed Shinsou away slightly, leaning on the stair banister instead.

Shinsou sighed, letting him go, choosing to follow a couple steps behind, in case his help was needed.

He reached the top of the staircase, realizing he had no plan from here, going to Shinsou's room was pathetic, going to his dads’ was out of the question, same as Eri.

Shinsou took control here, guiding Katsuki into his room again, "Don't argue, I want you here," he told the other. "Please."

He gritted his teeth but didn't put up any sort of fight, he was too tired anyway.

Shinsou helped him into the bed, tucking him in unconsciously, "Want me to stay with you?" he asked, carding a hand through sandy hair.

He didn't bother nodding, just grabbing his arm and pulling him in, hugging him close.

Shinsou tapped him slightly, "Let me up for a second," he said softly.

He let go, closing his eyes, and waited for him to come back.

Shinsou moved away, but only enough to go around to the other side of the bed and climb in beside Katsuki, holding him gently, "I'm back, have at me." he said teasingly.

Shinsou was lying behind him and Kastsuki pulled his arms around Katsuki's waist.

Shinsou pulled him a little closer, trying not to squeeze his stomach, and pressed a kiss to the back of his neck, "That okay?"

He shivered at the kiss using his hand to wipe it away and curled in on himself, 'Don't,' he mouthed, though it wasn't like Shinsou could see that.

"I'll take that as a no," Shinsou said, not sure where he was to put his head in this position now, eventually just laying it slightly behind Katsuki's, a little awkward, but fine. He hummed slightly, eyes falling closed himself, "Comfortable?"

He moved to the back of his head was resting against Shinsou's collarbone and Shinsou's chin on his head. He nodded.

Shinsou smiled, "I'm glad."

Katsuki quickly fell asleep, his exhaustion taking over.

Shinsou was relieved by this, sighing softly as he felt the other relax against him, hoping he'd feel better when he woke up, wondering what was wrong.

Katsuki woke up in the middle of the night, his stomach in pain, he bent over on himself.

Shinsou woke up at the sudden motion, confused before realizing what was happening, and sprung out of bed, overjoyed to see the trashcan next to his bed. He picked it up in case, "Suki? 'Suki, it's okay, I'm here," Shinsou murmured.

He leaned over, a gasp turned into a gurgling cough as he threw up bile, it getting stuck in his throat and causing him to cough roughly.

Shinsou pulled Katsuki closer to the edge of the bed, positioning the trashcan next to his head. "It's okay, go ahead."

He threw up for a few minutes with rasping, painful gasps in between. When he was done, he pushed the trashcan away in disgust.

Shinsou went to the bathroom to empty it again.

Katsuki felt like shit, partly from throwing up, but also for making Shinsou clean it up again; he was disgusting.  Shinsou should be screaming at him.

Shinsou came back ten minutes later with a fully washed trashcan, setting it beside the bed, and a glass of water. "Do you want to brush your teeth, get the taste out of your mouth?" Shinsou offered.

He was dead on his feet, but Shinsou probably hated sleeping beside him like this, so he may as well. He nodded and stood up.

Shinsou walked beside him, careful not to seem like he was worried, ready to catch him if the need arose.

He made his way to the bathroom, looking around the cupboards and drawers for an extra toothbrush.

Shinsou grabs a still packaged one from a shelf with the towels.

He brushed his teeth and tongue, almost falling asleep and collapsing.

Shinsou smiled at his exhaustion, finding it slightly adorable, moving to softly hold him up.

Shinsou rubbed gently at his back, "Rinse, spit, then we can head back to bed," he said, turning the tap on.

Chapter Text

He nodded and followed Shinsou's steps, turning back towards the bed when he was done.

Shinsou walked beside him, arm at the small of his back. Once they got back to bed, Shinsou helped him in and went to get him water again.

Katsuki grabbed Shinsou's arm as he started walking away, dropping it when he realized how dumb he was being, and turned away slightly.

Shinsou paused at the touch, turning back to press a kiss to his temple, "Be right back."

He gave an almost silent hum, sliding his eyes tiredly and facing the ceiling.

Shinsou left again for the water, coming back five minutes later with another cup of water, bringing an entire jug as well that he set on the bedside table, "Can you drink again?" he asked softly, running a hand through Katsuki's hair.

He shook his head. His throat was dry and felt like it’d been ripped to shreds, and even breathing made him feel nauseous.

Shinsou nodded.  "Okay, ready to go back to sleep again?"

He nodded again, tiredly grabbing for Shinsou.

Shinsou chuckled, moving away again, but only enough to move to the other side of the bed again so he could climb in without squishing the sick boy.

Katsuki felt dumb for doing so but latched onto Shinsou like a life support, not letting go of him and pushing his face into Shinsou's neck.

Shinsou chuckled again, blushing as he held the other close, a hand stroking through his hair gently. "I'm here, 'Suki, I'm not going anywhere," he reassured.

Katsuki highly doubted that, but for the sake of his throat and headache, he stayed quiet and let himself believe it.

Shinsou held the other as he fell back to sleep, grip loosening as he drifted off again.

Katsuki stayed awake this time. His eyes were heavy, and he was too tired to open them, but the thought of sleeping made him uneasy; he didn't want to wake up needing to throw up again, or to throw up in his sleep.

Around two in the morning, the bedroom door opened slowly, a little silver-haired girl poking her head in cautiously.

Katsuki heard the door open, and even with his eyes closed, he squinted his eyes at the strip of light it let in. He held his hand up so she knew he was awake and then put it down.

She padded in and clambered onto the bed to lay on his stomach, "Can I stay with you again?" she asked quietly.

He turned in on himself when she sat on his stomach and rolled over so she would be off of him. He took a deep breath and nodded to her, lying her between Shinsou and him in case he needed to throw up again.

She looked up at him, confused and concerned, but accepted the position she'd been put in, curling up where she was, closing her eyes but not falling asleep.

He didn't fall asleep either, putting his hand over Eri and holding onto Shinso, his other hand going under Eri and playing with her hair.

She smiled slightly, rubbing her head against his hand, yawning.

He moved closer as Eri curled against him. He took another shaky breath, his throat sore.

"Good night, Mr. Bakugou," she said quietly, falling asleep.

He hummed, closing his eyes and taking a small sip of the water Shinsou had left out.

The night passed and Katsuki wanted to stand up. Not necessarily walk around but he was tired of staying in one place.

Shinsou woke up, having slept too much in the last few days already. He blinked up at the other boy, smiling slightly, "Feeling any better?"

His throat felt like sandpaper and a grater combined to attack him and the distant nausea still hung in the back of his throat. He nodded anyway.

Shinsou leaned up to kiss the corner of his mouth gently, not expecting anything in return for it, "You want something."

He didn't reply, shocked Shinsou had kissed him. He'd assumed last night was either his memory playing tricks on him or Shinsou felt so humiliated for Katsuki he'd kissed him to take the attention away from his puking. He didn't expect him to kiss him again this morning though.

Shinsou drew back slowly, brows furrowed, worry twisting his stomach. "Sorry, you probably didn't want me to do that again," he mumbled, looking down and noticing the sleeping girl between them, a hand moving to gently stroke her hair.

He blinked, coming back, too, and looking at him brush through Eri's hair. 'whatever' he signed; he liked Shinsou kissing him. But he would take that to his grave.

Shinsou nodded, "Right, back to not liking me," he got up, letting go of the still sleeping Eri, "Sorry,"

Katsuki ignored the way his heart felt stuck in his throat. He felt sick, and couldn't tell if it was because of the nausea or what Shinsou had said. He tried to take a quiet breath but it came out stuttered and choked.

Shinsou paused, wanting to help him, but figured it would really only do more damage. Eyes downcast, he nudged the trashcan closer to the side of the bed, refilled the glass with water from the jug he'd brought, and moved on.

He was determined to not make himself more of a burden than he already was. Biting his tongue and holding his breath to keep from gagging. For a brief moment, the thought of holding onto Shinsou's hand came to mind but he pushed it away.

Shinsou moved on to straighten up his room, picking up his laundry basket to go put it in the wash and let Bakugou be.

His stomach hurt from holding back and he gave up, letting himself gag and throw up into the trashcan. Though there wasn’t much to throw up and it’s was mostly bile, after a while he was pressed against the back of the bed with the trashcan between his bent knees dry heaving.

Eri woke at the sound, one she was unfamiliar with, and tentatively tried to rub soothingly at his back.

As nice as the gesture was he didn’t want anyone touching him right then and shifted away.

Eri drew back, "Sorry," she said.

He shook his head, laying it back against the wall and taking more deep breaths. He didn’t have a pen with him so he used his finger to trace the blanket, making small indents spelling ‘sorry'.

She read the letters, "It's okay." She smiled slightly. "I don't like being touched sometimes, too,"

He nodded and paused before standing up, his bones cracking as he stood and taking the trashcan with him. He ruffled Eri’s hair before leaving for the bathroom to clean out the trashcan.

Eri wanted to follow him, but decided to stay in the bed until someone came back for her.

Shinsou was starting breakfast downstairs, even if Katsuki wouldn't be able to eat it, the others would.

He cleaned it out and brushed his teeth again, Splashed water in his face and took an Advil. Walking back into Shinsou's room, he dropped the trashcan where it was and pushed Eri up from the bed, not carrying her but pulling her on the floor so they could walk downstairs.

Eri happily followed him where he led.

Shinsou was measuring sugar into a bowl of flour when the two arrived.

Katsuki lifted Eri onto the counter so she could be level with them. He raised his hands to sign to Shinsou but dropped them.

"Good morning," Shinsou smiled at the pair, perhaps a little forced as he added some baking powder and salt.

Katsuki hummed in response. It was painful but he couldn’t think of anything to say, especially if Shinsou was forcing a smile just because Eri was there. He rested his arms on the counter and rubbed his eyes, watching Shinsou make the food.

"'Suki, can you melt half a stick of butter for me?" Shinsou asked, pulling out some butter, milk, and a few eggs from the fridge.

He took it and cut off half, putting the other back in the fridge. He cut them into smaller pieces and put them in the microwave to melt, when the majority of it was melted he let the remaining bits melt in the warm butter.

Shinsou smiled, measuring milk before moving to separate the eggs into a pair of smaller bowls, adding one of the yolks to the milk. He brushed a kiss to Katsuki's cheek in thanks when he took the butter to add it as well, mixing them.

He faltered for a moment before turning back to Eri, leaning on the counter next to her and biting back a smile.

Shinsou added some cream of tartar to the egg whites, and pulled out a handheld electric mixer, "'Suki, can you help Eri whip the egg? If it won't cause you more of a headache, I mean,"

'It's fine.' he signed, taking the mixer and bowl, handing the mixer to Eri after plugging it in. She started mixing with the bowl in Katsuki's hand; he was glad he'd taken Advil before he'd come downstairs.

While they were doing that, Shinsou added the liquids to the dry mix, stirring until almost smooth, then watched the pair.

After the first few seconds and getting hit in the face by the meringue, he'd put the bowl between her legs so she could use the mixer directly on top of it and helped her hold the mixer so it wasn't too heavy.

Shinsou smiled, setting the dishtowel on Katsuki's shoulder, "Thank you."

He used the towel to wipe the egg white off his cheek and eyebrow before throwing it on Shinsou's head. 'what are you making?'

"Pancakes," Shinsou laughed, pulling the towel off his head. "which you probably won't be able to swallow. Sorry,"

He shrugged, 'not hungry' and walked to the pantry, taking out two tea bags before looking at Shinsou, seeing if he wanted tea. It was an obvious gesture he didn't feel the need to sign.

"No, thank you 'Suki," he smiled, taking the finished eggs. "Thank you, Eri," he said, smiling at the girl.

She tried to return it, nodding enthusiastically, "You're welcome Mr. Shinsou!"

Katsuki put back the teabag. His back was towards the interaction but he still smiled at it, his face hidden from where he was standing. He dropped the smile and turned back around, putting the full kettle on the stove to boil and grabbing a mug.

Shinsou moved back to the mixture, stirring in about a third of the eggs, then folding in the rest.

Once he was done with that, he moved to the stove, heating up a skillet.

He poured the boiling water into the mug, stirring it and walking back to Eri. He stepped back to watch Shinsou work. Katsuki noted he followed a lot of instructions and measured things out.  Katsuki found it cute that Shinsou measured the ingredients, his face would concentrate on getting it exactly right and his nose would scrunch up. He took a sip, almost verbally reacting at how good it felt going down his throat.

Once the skillet was hot, Shinsou took the half stick of butter back out of the fridge and greased the surface before measuring out some batter to cook.

Katsuki shook his head with a smile and turned to Eri.  He opened a drawer and grabbed a marker. 'How'd you sleep?' he wrote on his arm, over the smaller writing of yesterday.

"It was..." She trailed off, trying to think of a word to describe it.

He waited for her to find the word, taking another sip of his drink. She'd come into the room last night which could mean one of two things, she had a nightmare, or she remembered Katsuki said Shinsou doesn't like sleeping alone. Both were good because if it was the first she was beginning to trust and ask for help and if it was the second she was getting more comfortable around Shinsou.

"Better," she finally said.

Katsuki nodded, wiping meringue off her forehead with his finger and using the back of Shinsou’s shirt to clean it off.

Shinsou jumped, whirling around, trying to smack his attacker with the spatula he'd just picked up.

He stepped back, surprised, but hid it with a smile.

"Sorry," Shinsou smiled in return, "you surprised me." His eye flicked to a speck of meringue on his cheek, and he reached up to wipe it away with a thumb.

Katsuki’s cheeks burned as the thumb ran over his cheek, he blinked and stepped back. Sipping again at his tea.

Shinsou let his hand and shoulders drop, turning back to the stove, spinning the spatula in his hand, and flipped the pancakes.

Katsuki finished the tea in a single sip, avoiding eye contact and pulling out his phone instead. It lit up with missed call notifications from the past few days, some as recent as a few hours ago. His mother. He shut it off with a sigh and put it face down on the counter.

Shinsou hummed softly to himself, rolling his shoulders and straightening again. He checked the pancakes before plating them, setting up another batch.

Katsuki noticed his fidgeting and walked up behind him. In thought he places a single hand onto his back, not noticing the reaction it got out of the taller boy. Feeling the traces of scars he lifted the back of his shirt.

Shinsou's humming cut off with an abrupt gasp at the feeling, tensing up.

He dropped the shirt immediately, stepping back, “Eyebags? What’s wrong?” his voice came out quiet and broken, but he was sure Shinsou heard them

Shinsou's heart was racing from the unexpected touch, calming again now that the shirt was back in place. He was safe, everything was all right.

He half-understood Katsuki's words, enough to turn off the stove. He couldn't persuade his legs to move, and so just sank to the floor where he was, eyes closed, taking measured breaths.

Katsuki sat beside the boy who had knelt to his knees. Unsure if touch would set him off or not, he held his hand out, open, in case Shinsou wanted to hold it.

Shinsou's breath caught for a moment, choking on air. 'He was fine,' he told himself, 'he was okay, he was SAFE.' but it wasn't working. Fuck, why was he panicking? His breathing started to pick up again, he was hyperventilating.

When the breathing worsened Katsuki interfered, taking Shinsou’s hand and turning him to his back was against the counter. He kept a firm grip on him, ignoring the protesting scratches he was getting from the boy, and set his hand on his chest for Shinsou to copy. 

Shinsou tried to struggle against his hold, eyes open but unseeing, filled with terror.

Katsuki couldn't do much but keep Shinsou from hurting himself, he couldn't ask Eri for help, even if he could Eri wouldn't be able to get off the counter. He took a breath before making a stupid decision; he let go of Shinsou's hands and hugged him, brushing through his hair and trying to calm him. If Shinsou couldn't see, then it was a better option to hug him than to hold his hands down, as risky as that was.

Shinsou fought for a few seconds, seemed to realize that this wasn't an attack, blinking, confused, eyes focusing again, a hand coming up to rest over the other's heart, eyes falling closed as he laid his head on his shoulder, blind, focusing on the rise and fall of the other's chest, trying to match his own to it, shoulders shaking.

He wasn't attacking anymore, that was good. He also didn't pass out, that was better. Katsuki was in the process of calming down himself, trying to get his heartbeat and breathing to the speed he wanted Shinsou to copy. It was pure luck that it had worked, Katsuki figured there was a low chance Shinsou wouldn't pass out and continued brushing through his hair, loosening the hug now that he wasn't in danger of hurting anyone.

Shinsou kept his hand over the other's heart, eyes still closed, "Don't lift my shirt without warning," he said softly between shuddering breaths.

Katsuki nodded, not sure what else he could do. He pulled back after a while, hoping he was hiding his expression as best he could, he signed 'sorry'.

Shinsou laughed wetly, "It's fine. I should have warned you that might happen, just didn't expect you to have a reason to do that and forgot to mention it between my back pains and you being sick."

Katsuki didn't nod his head but stood up, figuring asking why that happened was wrong for so many reasons. Besides, Katsuki just worked him into a panic attack, Shinsou probably wanted his distance. 'I'll get Things one and two, finish breakfast' he said, wanting to find an excuse to get out of the room.

Shinsou nodded, pulling himself up to his feet as well, "Sorry I'm so pathetic," he whispered.

He frowned, turning to Eri and writing, 'go get your dads for breakfast' before lowering her to the floor. When she ran out of view he turned to Shinsou, 'the fuck are you talking about?'

Shinsou didn't say anything, turning the stove back on, greasing the skillet.

Katsuki grabbed Shinsou's arm to make him face him, 'Talk'

"What do you want me to say?" he asked softly.

'I want you to explain why you think you're pathetic.’

"Because I'm a useless mess who's set off just by someone touching my shirt when I don't expect it," Shinsou said, eyes pointedly not focused on Katsuki.

Katsuki resisted the urge to slap Shinsou in the face. He sighed; he sucked at this emotional stuff. 'That doesn't make you pathetic.'

Shinsou laughed ruefully, "Doesn't it? I have no reason to react like that, I barely remember why anymore. I shouldn't react like that!" Angry tears slid down his cheeks, a hand coming up to claw at his shoulder, "I don't even remember what it looked like, only how it felt."

Fuck, Katsuki would love to have his voice right about now, he walked up to him and took Shinsou's arm off his shoulder, now he only had one hand and his vocabulary was even more limited. 'don't'. He couldn't explain that’s how the brain works, it blocks out bad memories but keeps us on edge so it doesn't happen again, it's what your body should be doing. 'you're...' he struggled to find the right word, 'good,' he paused. 'Normal'.

Shinsou took a step back when Katsuki grabbed his arm, the other moving back to catch himself, feeling like he might trip, hand coming down on the skillet, like an idiot.

All he could do was laugh at the pain as his hand grilled.

Katsuki just kept fucking up, he kept scaring Shinsou into hurting himself. Now with two free hands, he could sign sentences 'run that under water, I'll finish breakfast.’

Shinsou nodded, stepping aside, looking down at his palm in disjointed interest. Huh, was his hand supposed to be that shiny? It was probably just the butter. Would it taste good if he licked it?

Katsuki noticed the other hadn’t moved and gave him a slight nudge to get him to walk, he needed some time to fix what happened in the kitchen, some of the stuff was starting to burn.

Shinsou started walking the way he was sent, still looking at his hand, before licking it. Pork chop. Not bad. Still didn't answer the shiny question.

He ran the water as cold as it would go, before putting his hand under the faucet. After a minute, he grabbed the salt from the counter and poured it on his palm.

He turned his head at the sound of the salt shaker, seeing Shinsou was pouring salt in his palm. He grabbed the salt from him, his confused and judgemental expression asking the question itself.

"Osmosis. Hurts like a bitch, but it helps,"

'Go to the bathroom and get the normal shit,' he put the salt back and continued making the food.

Shinsou rinsed his hand of the salt, letting the water trickle over his hand to remove the salt before going to get the first aid kit.

Katsuki finished the pancakes, putting them on different plates and grabbing whatever toppings he could see.

Shinsou returned with the kit balanced on a hip, held with one hand. "Thank you for finishing breakfast, 'Suki,"

He nodded, holding back a smile at the nickname and putting the dishes on the table. He looked up at Shinsou's burn, it wasn't too bad, it would heal quickly.

"Why did you want me to get the kit?" Shinsou asked, sitting with it in his lap.

He grabbed it and took out a bandage. After years of wrapping his hands, he was able to wrap Shinsou's within seconds. 'Protects skin', he signed and closed the kit.

Shinsou looked at it, concerned, but nodded, "Thank you, 'Suki."

Katsuki pushed the kit to the side and started cleaning the kitchen, 'Eat.'

"Sorry to make you do the dishes."

'Eat' he signed again, placing the first clean dish down.

Shinsou nodded, picking up one of the pancakes with his healthy hand, nibbling on it.

Hizashi came downstairs, looked at what was going on, and headed back upstairs again without a word.

Katsuki heard the blond walk down the stairs, not turning, expecting him to come over. But when he went back upstairs without a word Katsuki looked up before looking at Shinsou, 'What's up with him?'

"He was checking on us," Shinsou said, "They'll be down in a minute,"

'Checking on you,' he corrected. Washing the last dish and draining the sink, grabbing the towel to start drying them.

"Me," Shinsou conceded, "Since I was the one in more immediate danger at the moment. Had the roles been reversed, they'd have still come down to check,"

He wasn't going to even pretend he believed that, scoffing and putting a stack of plates away.

Aizawa came down with Eri clinging to his neck, Hizashi behind him. Setting the girl into one of the seats, the dark-haired man looked at Shinsou, "You're all right?"

"I'm fine, Dad," Shinsou smiled, "It was stupid. Eat your breakfast Katsuki made for us,"

'I don't want credit for your shit food' he signed, putting the towel back down. He grabbed his phone, switching it back on to check. 5 more calls. He sighed and walked out of the room, 'I'll be back.’ He walked out the front to call her back.

Shinsou nodded, "All right," he said as he started eating another pancake.

There was no point in putting it off any longer, he pressed call, and before it could even ring, or Katsuki could even bring the phone to his ear, she answered "-Katsuki where the fuck have you been?!" he couldn't answer so he just listened, "don't give me your silent treatment bullshit." He kept the phone away from his ear, he could hear it fine. "I swear to god Katsuki this is ridiculous!" she was getting sick of his silence, he could tell.

"Fine, I'll bite. When we get home all the money still better be there or I'm changing the locks and you can sleep on the streets, see if I give a fuck if the cops try something."

She ended the call and he shut off his phone again, walking back in.

Shinsou wanted to mention what they couldn't help to hear through the yelling from the phone, but it wasn't worth asking, Katsuki wouldn't answer.

Instead, Shinsou caught his hand when he returned, "Y'okay?"

'Fine' he signed pulling his hand away, he didn't need to worry about it. He hadn't used any of the money because he hadn't been at the house. It was all still there, but he knew that wasn't going to matter in the long run.

"All right," Shinsou agreed reluctantly.

He looked at Shinsou's plate, 'Done?' he signed, his hands fidgeting and sparking. He pressed them into his arms.

"Yeah," Shinsou said, "Anything I can do to help?"

Katsuki shook his head, taking Shinsou by the arm and walking out of the house, not bothering with shoes for either of them.

Shinsou followed Katsuki, concerned about the other.

He walked them to the forest, dropping Shisnou’s hand when he walked past the first tree and continued until a clearing. Without a word he punched the first tree he saw, setting off an explosion that burnt away a few dead leaves.

Shinsou took a step back at the sudden wave of heat, a hand raised against it, but that was his only reaction.

He then turned to face Shinsou, his head tilted and eyes narrowing. His hands itched to punch something else, something more, human. Without another thought he set off an explosion that shot him into the air and landed behind Shinsou, kicking him from the back.

Shinsou turned, eyes remaining on Katsuki as he moved, arms coming up to block the leg.

Katsuki tried a few more times but when Shinsou remained on defense and didn’t fight back he dropped his hands, turning again to punch another tree,

Shinsou stepped between him and a tree, catching his hands. "Katsuki, Katsuki stop,"

When his fist was caught Katsuki grabbed onto it, twisting the arm and pushing Shinsou to the ground.

Shinsou wrapped a leg around one of Katsuki's as he went down, trying to take him down as well.

Katsuki fell to the ground with Shinsou, releasing him from his grip, he went to grab his wrist when he remembered earlier and stopped, hands frozen, reaching out, before dropping them, and he fell to the floor.

Katsuki fell with him, releasing his grip and going to grab the wrist. In doing so he notices the marks from earlier that morning that lingered on Shisnou’s exposed skin. Katsuki’s hand froze. He stopped fighting as he stared at the scratches, reaching out slowly to touch them before blinking and stopping, his arms dropping beside him.

Shinsou stood up, grabbing Katsuki's arm and pulling him up as well. "You do know I'm not afraid of you, right?"

Katsuki couldn't help but remember Shinsou's eyes from this morning, terrified. And all the times Shinsou kept to himself because he was scared of Katsuki's reaction.

Shinsou sighed, stepping closer, holding both of Katsuki's hands in his own, "I've never been afraid you'd hurt me when I've been in my right mind," he corrected.

Katsuki didn’t reply with anything. He knew Shinou was telling the truth, but he also knew Shinsou didn’t know him as well as he thought he did. And that if he knew, he wouldn’t be saying that.

Shinsou softly ran his hand up the other’s arm to hold lightly at the top of his arm, "You've never hurt me, and I don't believe you will," he said, completely ignoring the fading black eye.

Katsuki scoffed and opened his mouth to retort, closing it when nothing came out and pulling away. He didn't manage to get out of the grip but had fully turned away. 'Let's go back.'

Shinsou let him go, "Am I allowed to hate your mother?" he asked as they walked back.

Katsuki repressed a shrug, the hag wasn’t at fault for what happened he didn’t blame her for what she did. She was doing what she thought was right. And despite him hating to admit it, he owed her a lot.

Shinsou hummed at the silence, softly taking one of Katsuki's hands, entwining their fingers, "I don't want to let you go back."

'That's not up to you.' he used his hands to sign despite Shinsou holding them.

Shinsou smiled, "I know, but I just thought you might appreciate the sentiment, that you have somewhere else to be if you want it."

A nod. But Katsuki knew he couldn’t hide out forever, if anything it only proved his mother's point. Looking down, he noticed the blood on his hands that had started to stain Shinsou’s as he held them; he let go.

"Let me clean your hands when we get back, for not sparring with you,"

He shook his head, though not to reject the offer, ‘You should have sparred.’

Shinsou laughed to himself, "I'm not sure my face would have survived it," he said, smiling to Katsuki, trying to let him know it was a joke.

Despite the laugh, Katsuki still frowned. He thought of what Shinsou's Dads would do when they saw, he had no excuse. He deserved the shit his hag did to him, giving him a piece of his own medicine.

Shinsou sighed, "I'm fucking this up real good, aren't I, Suki?"

Katsuki shrugged, 'You're fine.' I'm the one who's fucking everything up.

Shinsou smiled in return, ducking to press a kiss to his cheek before straightening again.

Katsuki bit his jaw to hide a smile and held Shinsou's hand again, 'Sorry.' He paused, 'About the eye'.

Shinsou laughed, "It's fine, forgiven near as soon as you gave it to me,"

'You shouldn't have.' The house was in view, and he stopped.

Shinsou shrugged, "You broke my face, I hit you with a spatula, we both snuck up on the other and got hit for it."

'That's different.' Shinsou was the only one who got hurt, because of him.

"Explain."

'You keep getting hurt.'

"It's my own fault for making mistakes. You aren't to blame. Aren't, weren't....none of this was your fault."

'I punched you in the face, fully knowing what I was doing.’

"I woke you up while you were sleeping in an alleyway the day after we met. It was a pretty dumbass move, therefore, I deserved it."

'I worked you into a panic attack' he continued.

"By accident, you meant well,"

'I meant ” Katsuki paused, “to check a bruise that I caused'

"I have no idea why you think my back is your fault."

'Cause and effect. I didn't eat, you got the shake which distracted you and you got hurt' he explained. 'When you got back you didn't do anything about it because I was there, I knew something was wrong but didn't say anything.'

"I got the bruise before I went for the shake, and if you hadn't been there, I'd have gone straight to bed and ignored it."

'Then you worsened your injury by getting the shake and I should have said something,' he argued.

"It's just a bruise."

'Luckily. You could have snapped your spine or neck'

"Which you still wouldn't have caused."

Katsuki wondered if he'd hit Shinsou's head when he’d attacked him, but he didn't fight it anymore.

"Just accept the fact that I'm a worthless quirked disaster who doesn't have enough self-worth to care about their own wellbeing, and that's why I'm falling in love with you."

He scoffed, ‘You’re ridiculous.’

Shinsou's own brain was trying to comprehend what he'd said "...Fuck, I said that out loud, didn't I?"

'Yep,' he frowned, 'You're not worthless.’

"I know," Shinsou answered absently, "just worth very little, where I'm kept more for sentiment than actual use."

He held his hand a little lighter, 'You're not.'

Shinsou smiled, "Even worth that much? Thanks, 'Suki," he teased, cupping his cheek and kissing him before moving back again, not letting Katsuki react.

Katsuki took his hand and pushed open the front door, eyeing the first aid kit he’d pushed away earlier.

Shinsou took the lead once they were in the house, leading Bakugou to a seat at the now vacant counter and setting some water to boil before starting to pull things out of the kit.

Katsuki tried to keep from dripping blood on the floor.

The water boiled quickly and Shinsou poured it into a large bowl, setting more to boil in case he needed it, and set the bowl in front of Katsuki, "Hands in, please."

He held up his hand, not wanting to look. He could feel the rips on his knuckles where his skin had torn open from the bark.

Shinsou gently started cleaning the wounds, apologizing softly as scabs fell off or reopened, tinging the water more. After that, he picked up a pair of tweezers and started pulling out splinters.

He used his other hand to sign 'thanks', paying attention to Shinsou's face more than anything else.

Shinsou's eyes flicked up as the other hand moved. "Very welcome," he smiled, trying to get a heavily buried piece without more damage.

Katsuki, without anything else to say, let his mind wander. He focused on the pain in his hand, its overall pounding ache as well as stinging pain on both of his hands. He clenched and unclenched the hand Shinsou wasn't working on, feeling the pain as he opened and closed the cuts.

Once Shinsou was satisfied with his splinter work, he dabbed alcohol on the wounds and started to bind Katsuki's hands as a fighter would, keeping the knuckles protected but hand still able to work.

Katsuki sighed, he could do this part and Shinsou had done enough. He used his other hand to take the bandage from him and wrap it; it only took a few seconds, and he cut the bandage off the roll and tucked it in, holding out his other hand for Shinsou to clean.

Shinsou was slightly thrown from his task by the loss of it, but after shaking his head for a mental reset, he began on the other as well.

He hissed slightly when Shinsou started, but bit his lip to prevent from making any more noise.

"Will you check my back after we finish this?" Shinsou asked softly, dabbing more alcohol.

He hummed, his eyes closed, trying to keep his attention off the pain.  After a particularly embedded splinter was pulled out, he grabbed his hand back with a small hiss, before shaking it and giving it back.

"Sorry," Shinsou mumbled, very gently taking the hand again.

'Not your fault' he signed, shaking off his other hand and keeping his eyes on Shinsou.

Shinsou finished with the second hand and started wrapping it as well, letting Katsuki continue once he had it secured.

Katsuki took the bandage and wrapped his second hand. Once he cut and tucked it in, he pushed both his knuckles against his knees to test them. It still hurt but he was expecting that, it was fine. He shook off his hands again and stood up, ‘floor’ he signed, heading to the freezer.

Shinsou laughed, standing and pulling off his shirt, "I'll be in the living room," he said, moving off.

He grabbed a few ice bags, carrying them to the kitchen and laying them beside Shinsou. He was a lot more careful this time, especially after this morning. Shinsou had his head in a pillow and Katsuki waited for a signal.

"I'm fine, 'Suki," he hummed, arms folded under his cheek, "Go for it."

He started putting the ice bags on the bruise, Shinsou's back rising from a small gasp before settling down again. The bruises looked better than before, it had changed from the deep purple to a green-blue, the outline with faded red. It should be gone within the week. He held out his hand for Shinsou to take.

Shinsou took the hand, squeezing lightly, "Thank you for caring."

Katsuki started brushing through his hair as an answer, leaning back against the couch and looking at the clock to time it. He looked back at Shinsou and rubbed his cheek with his thumb.

Shinsou smiled, pressing into the touch with a content hum.

He stayed like that for a while before Katsuki sighed at his headache and pulled his hands away, ‘hang on.’ He didn’t wait to see Shinsou's answer before going to the bathroom and dry swallowing another Advi, splashing his face with water, making his hair damp, before going back.

Shinsou closed his eyes when the other left, waiting for him to return.

He came back and this time lay on his back next to Shinsou, holding his hand and closing his eyes.

When the time was up, Shinsou rolled over so the ice bags fell from his back, then picked them up to take them back to the freezer before coming back to lay with Katsuki, softly face planting into his pillow and tossing an arm over the blond.

He kept his eyes closed and signed ‘I would have done that’

"I know," Shinsou murmured, "but it was just as easy for me to do it."

Katsuki sat up but still held onto Shinsou's hand, legs crossed. ‘You okay?’

"M'fine," Shinsou said sitting up as well, wincing slightly as he bent backwards, "why wouldn't I be?"

So many reasons. Katsuki gave a pointed look before pulling Shinsou closer.

Shinsou let himself be moved, leaning against the other, "Which part were you asking about?"

Katsuki shrugged again, his eyes never leaving Shinsou, ‘All of it.’

Shinsou huffed, "Real specific."

He sighed, starting with the first thing he thought of ‘Eri’. There was a change now that she was here, both good and bad and Shinsou never talked about it.

Shinsou looked at him confused, "Eri," he repeated back.

‘How do you feel about her being here?’ He tried to explain. ‘Beyond, just happy she’s safe’.

Shinsou thought about that, shifting to rest in the other's lap, back not appreciating the angle he'd been in, "indifferent isn't quite the right word," he said after a while, "q'est sera sera."

Katsuki frowned at the quote used again but didn’t say anything. He moved onto the next thing, ‘Your eye’

"It's just another hazard of the job."

‘Your hand’

Shinsou looked at his own bandaged hand, "Itches."

‘Back’

"A little stiff, can't bend backwards for very long right now, compresses too much, but functional."

He nodded, brushing his fingers through Shinsou's hair. ‘This morning.’

"Rephrase?"

‘How are you?’ he paused, ‘After this morning?’

Shinsou looked up at him, "Specify, please."

‘Panic attack.’

"A little shaken, it's been a while since it's been triggered, even longer since I shut down that badly, but I'm fine," a pause, "I will be fine."

Katsuki nodded, pushing back the guilt. ‘The fight, in the park’.  It wasn’t much of a fight but he hoped Shinsou knew what he meant.

"I'm sorry I didn't spar with you and you decided to try to destroy your hands."

Katsuki frowned but let it go, rubbing his face with his hand. ‘Okay, that’s it’

Shinsou sat up, sitting cross-legged a little diagonal to Katsuki, right knees touching, "I'd like to do something stupid again if you'll let me,"

He lowered his hand to look at him ‘What?’

"This," Shinsou said softly, leaning forward to kiss him again, hand moving to hold the one that had been covering his face.

Katsuki leaned back surprised.

Shinsou drew back as well, "Sorry, should have realized it was just your exhaustion last night."

Katsuki looked at him confused. He didn’t imagine that last night? He leaned forwards and kissed him back.

Shinsou was surprised, though he probably shouldn't have been. He smiled, moving closer, hand moving up to cup the back of the blond's head, returning the kiss happily.

He didn’t grab the back of Shinsou's neck or back, worried it might set him off again but moved towards and sat up, continuing the kiss.

Shinsou drew back slightly, just enough to speak, "I'm not going to break."

He was breathing heavier and nodded with a smile. Pulling him in by wrapping his arms around his back.

Shinsou hummed, melting into the warmth of the kiss, reconnecting it again, other hand coming to rest lightly on Katsuki's waist.

Katsuki moved forwards so his knees were in Shinsou's lap and he was leaning onto him. He broke off slightly to catch his breath before closing the kiss again.

Shinsou broke the kiss again, laying his head on Katsuki's shoulder, "Thanks for not killing me for that."

Katsuki laughed, shaking his head and bit his lip, failing to hold back a smile. ‘Sure thing e-y-e-b-a-g-s’

Shinsou chuckled in response.  "You should smile more," he murmured.

At those words, Katsuki’s shoulders tensed and chest tightened. He pushed Shinsou off him and sat away with a fast, ‘Don’t say that.’

Shinsou looked at him, confused and concerned, but leaned back to give Katsuki some space.

Katsuki stared at the floor for a moment before standing up, ‘Forget that.’

Shinsou nodded, not wanting to say anything.

Katsuki sighed and without looking at Shinsou signed, ‘I have to go back soon.’

"They're coming home soon?"

He nodded.

"How old are you, 'Suki?" He asked, looking up at the other.

Katsuki stopped to think for a moment, ‘Sixteen.’

"That seems like a lie."

‘I know how old I am e-y-e-b-a-g-s.’

"Then why did you pause?"

‘I don’t keep track,’ he admitted, birthdays had never been a big thing in family and there was no other reason to keep track of his age. If he ever needed it he had the date and year to figure it out.

"Oh, sorry."

‘Why did you ask?’

"Age of emancipation, when you could just leave."

Katsuki shook his head, ‘That’s a legal process.’ he would have to take it to court.

"You're younger than you seem, was all. You can come here if you ever need an escape."

Katsuki frowned, ‘If you’re saying I look younger cause you’re a fucking giant I’ll kill you.”

Shinsou frowned, “What?”

‘You said I look younger than I am.’

“No. Seem. I thought you were older.”

Oh. Katsuki turned and tilted his head at Shinsou, ‘how old are you?’

"Seventeen," Shinsou answered, "...I think."

Katsuki nodded. Crossing his arms around his waist and rocking on his feet, ‘Sorry’

"For?"

‘Earlier,’  He exactly wasn’t sure what moment he was apologizing for, there were a lot of them.

"Well, whichever it is, you're forgiven."

Katsuki looked at him, ‘Why do you-‘ he stopped himself. ‘Never mind’

Shinsou stood. "No, finish that question."

‘Why did you react like that? When I lifted your shirt.’

Chapter Text

Shinsou hummed in thought, looking away, "I...I'm not sure."'

Katsuki nodded again. Figuring either he didn’t remember or didn’t want to remember. ‘Okay.’

His hand came up to touch his shoulder, "I just remember it's why I have most of these scars."

Katsuki had seen the scars on his back every time he iced it. ‘We don’t have to talk about it’

Shinsou nodded, "I know.  Just...don't sneak up on me and lift my shirt. If I know you're there, it's fine, just....yeah."

‘Sure,’ Katsuki sat back down on the couch, pulling his knees to his chest.

Shinsou moved to sit on the floor in front of the couch, leaning his arms on a cushion.  "Y'okay?"

Katsuki wasn’t sure, so just nodded his head. ‘Fine e-y-e-b-a-g-s’.

Shinsou reached over and squeezed one of his ankles in reassurance before drawing back again, "All right."

The pressure on his ankle grounded him and he held Shinsou's hand when he pulled it away. ‘Okay on the floor?’

Shinsou nodded, "I'm all right here, I'll come up if I get uncomfortable," he smiled.

Katsuki nodded, squeezing Shinsou's hand before letting go with a sigh. ‘What was your mum like?’ He remembered Shinsou talking about her.

"I don't remember."

Katsuki held up his hands to ask about his dad, before stopping, for a few seconds doing nothing before signing, ‘I don’t want to go back.’

"I don't blame you," Shinsou sighed, hand moving to squeeze his ankle again, "I wouldn't either if given the choice in your situation."

‘I have to though’ he signed his gaze on the floor.

"And you can always come here when you can sneak away."

He wanted to smile at the offer but he couldn’t keep running away. ‘It’ll be fine.’

"I know, doesn't mean Eri won't want to see you sometimes."

He nodded, ‘Who’s going to stay with her when everyone’s out?’ he asked.

Shinsou shrugged, "No one, I suppose."

‘I shouldn’t have to tell you how terrible an idea that is’

"I know, I know. I won't be going out again for a little while."

‘Good.’

"At least until her old handler is caught."

He looked down at Shinso, ‘When?’ Did it just happen now?

"When what?"

‘Did he get caught?’

"Not yet,"

Katsuki looked at him confused. ‘You said her old handler was caught’

"No, I said I'm staying home until at least then,"

Katsuki buried his head in his knees. ‘Right.’  Why did he keep fucking up today?

Shinsou looked at him, "I have my theory, but why do you know sign language, 'Suki?"

He looked up, confused, and shrugged. ‘Was taught when I was young.’ The basics from a woman who took care of him when he still traveled with his parents, he remembered she’d homeschooled him before he convinced his father to let him stay home alone and attend an actual school. Then he’d learned more when he met ma’am, it was the only way to communicate with that old bitch.

"Before or after your quirk developed?"

‘Both.’

Shinsou nodded, "Okay."

He looked at Shinsou for a while in silence. ‘You gonna tell me your theory e-y-e-b-a-g-s?’

"I thought it might have been for a similar reason I learned it. Because your quirk damages your ears."

Katsuki frowned and let go of Shinsou's hand that he was holding. ‘My quirk has nothing to do with this.’

Shinsou shrugged, "As I said, it was just a theory."

‘Whatever.’

Shinsou nodded, pushing himself to his feet.

His eyes were closed and he listened to Shinsou standing up, wondering if he was going to sit on the couch or walk off.

Shinsou walked into the kitchen to get them each something to drink, coming back with a glass of water and a glass of orange juice, offering both.

He took the water, confused, and put it down on the floor below him.

Shinsou sipped at the orange juice, "You should drink, 'Suki," he said softly, sitting on the couch next to him.

Katsuki picked up the water and took a sip. He hadn't eaten solid food in two days, maybe longer, he couldn’t remember. The water felt thick down his throat and made him nauseous, so he put it down again without a word.

Shinsou sighed, lifting a hand toward the other before dropping it again.

Katsuki looked at him confused again, ‘what?’

"Nothing,"

He frowned. ‘Bullshit, what is it?’

"It's nothing, really,"

He glared for a few moments before looking away, ‘Fine’ it was hypocritical for him to push about that stuff anyway.

Shinsou sighed, "Sorry."

‘For what?’

"Just....being awkward."

Katsuki shrugged, ‘you’re always fuckin’ awkward’ he smiled, it was kind of cute.

Shinsou snorted, "Love you too," he mumbled, rolling his eyes.

Katsuki hummed. ‘So what is it?’

"What's what?"

‘Before, when you reached out.’

"I was going to rub your back, comfort you. You looked uncomfortable after you drank the water. Then I thought better of it."

 Katsuki hummed, ‘You do that a lot.’ 

Shinsou nods, "I've noticed."

‘Why?’

"Because I don't want to upset you."

‘Why?’ he asked before he could stop himself, sitting up to look at Shinso.

"Because I kind of like my face where it is and I don't want you to be upset."

A smile crossed his face and Katsuki sat back, ‘Your fuckin’ weird e-y-e-b-a-g-s’

"I'm fairly certain we had established that," Shinsou laughed in return.

'Just thought I'd remind you.'

"Well, thank you, then."

'You're welcome' he smiled, reaching for his cup of water and hesitating before taking another sip.

Shinsou scooted closer, rubbing gently at Katsuki's back this time.

For half a second Katsuki wondered if Shinsou put anything in the water, it tasted like shit even though it was water. 'How's your orange juice?' He asked.

"Orange-y."

'Descriptive.’

"You should probably try to eat something," Shinsou sighed, "It might help you feel better."

His smile dropped and he sighed.  Shinsou was right, and not eating was only going to make things worse. ‘i'm fine e-y-e-b-a-g-s.'

"When was the last time you ate a full meal?"

He would have lied and said last night, but Shinsou had been with him for two days straight and knew it wasn't true. 'Had dinner the night before last' he lied, and honestly, he couldn't remember.

"And it was..."

'Yakitori'

"The Yakitori you didn't eat and I brought you a milkshake home to replace?"

'Ate some when you left, that's why my plate was gone.’

"You should eat some ice cream or something like that, you need the calories."

'I just said I was fine.'  The thought of eating right now made him feel sick, especially ice cream like Shinsou suggested, the thought of cold and slimy sweet sludge going down his throat almost made him gag.

Shinsou sighed, "Any idea why you're sick?"

'I’m not.’ Katsuki signed definitely. 

Shinsou sighed, "Okay."

'What’s the time?'

"Little before two," Shinsou said, looking over at the clock.

Katsuki hummed, before going quiet and thinking. ‘What did you do? Before.'

"Before?"

'Before... Me'.  It felt weird saying that, but couldn't think of another way to phrase it.

"Meal prep, study, help my dads if they need it," Shinsou shrugged, "Housework."

'Do you have a job?'

"No."

'Ever thought of getting one?'

"I've thought about it, but you'd hate what that was."

'Why?' he sat back, 'What was it?'

Shinsou looks at him, "You already know."

'No, I-' Katsuki’s hands twitched and he stopped, realizing what Shinsou meant.

Shinsou gave him a sad smile, "I told you."

Katsuki didn't say anything for a while, 'Why do you like them so much?'

"The same reason you hate the ones you know. Exposure. All the ones I know are great people. I know there are terrible people in every group who are just there to abuse their power. I want to show that we're not worthless,"

Katsuki huffed, 'They know we're not worthless. That's why they treat us like we are.'

Shinsou smiled slightly, "I want to help my Dad save people," he said, "Thankless work, but fulfilling."

Katsuki frowned, he couldn't understand why Shinsou thought that way. 'I'll go out tonight.'

"What?" Shinsou asked, surprised.

'You can't go out on your patrol thing anyway. So I'll go.' That way he could see what Shinsou was talking about when he said he saved people. Katsuki had never seen the police save anyone.

Shinsou looked him over. "No."

'If it's so great then why can't I go?' Katsuki signed, his face making it clear he's being sarcastic.

"Not without conditions."

Katsuki raised an eyebrow, waiting for the conditions.

"Not while you're sick. Not while you haven't eaten in days. Not while you're at less than peak performance."

'You continued patrolling after an injury that could have shattered your spine.' Katsuki pointed out the hypocrisy before he stood up, 'I'll eat.'

"I don't patrol when I'm debilitatingly sick, though. You were still vomiting this morning. I will willingly let you go if you haven't thrown up within 24 hours. I'll let you go tomorrow night."

Katsuki had to bite back his comment that dry heaving wasn't vomiting, it wouldn't have helped his case anyway. Whatever, help me make dinner.' Katsuki knew Shinsou wouldn’t budge right now, so he’d drop it and bide his time. 

Shinsou nodded, "Of course."

He got to the kitchen, mind blanking and not wanting to think of cooking so he looked at Shinsou for ideas.

Shinsou thought for a moment, then smirked, "I'm going to make something you thought was disgusting."

Katsuki turned. 'We’re not eating ice cream for dinner e-y-e-b-a-g-s'

Shinsou laughed, "Not ice cream, 'Suki, the Italian dish with all the cheeses."

The thought alone made him gag and he leaned on the counter, 'I will fuckin' kill you'.

Shinsou laughed, "Why do you hate it so much?"

He shook his head, not wanting to think about that right now. Last time he was thinking about cheese, he threw up, a lot. 'Make something else.'

Shinsou hummed, going to the fridge, looking in, "Katsudon?"

'Sure' he answered, even though Shinsou's back was to him. 

Shinsou passed Katsuki the pork from the fridge, "Smash this," he smiled.

He took it, along with a meat pounder. Sprinkling salt and pepper on one side before tenderizing it.

Shinsou pulled out the eggs for the bath, then started on the rest.

Katsuki grabbed an onion and started slicing it, putting it in a pan and letting it caramelize.

Shinsou beat the eggs, then mixed the panko mix to dip the pork chops in.

Katsuki stood to the side after putting the onion in the pan, going to the cupboard, and making tea while Shinsou finished the food.

Shinsou heated a pan of oil and breaded the chops before lightly frying them.

Katsuki poured boiling tea into a mug and stirred it, taking a sip and walking behind Shinsou to see how he was doing.

Shinsou flipped the pork, and turned to start the rice, stepping around the blond with ease.

Katsuki frowned at the sight of the food but watched it to make sure it wasn't overcooked, nonetheless.

"Something wrong?" Shinsou asked, pressing a kiss to Katsuki's cheek as he passed to check the food.

'No,' he signed and turned around, the smell of food made his stomach and throat unsettled. He took a sip of tea and ignored it, walking out of the kitchen to give Shinsou free rein.

Shinsou watched him go sadly, before going back to working on the food.

Katsuki stood in the living room looking into the kitchen, the air was much clearer and he could take deep breaths without the threatening nausea. He took another sip of tea, watching Shinsou work.

Shinsou sang softly to himself as the food cooked, moving to set another pot of water to boil, pulling out a mug and teabag for himself.

Katsuki turned to look at the clock, just after 5.

"Another cup?" Shinsou asked, turning to him and holding up the pot of water when it was done.

Katsuki looked down at his almost empty mug, he drank the last of it and walked back over, putting the mug down next to Shinsou's.

Shinsou tossed a bag in each cup before pouring the water in, "Is it helping at all?"

He looked up, confused. 'Helping?'

"How do you feel, and don't lie. Please."

Katsuki was surprised at the question, the answer was he felt like shit. Nauseous, his throat in constant pain and not being able to talk from vomiting. His hands were numb and bloody and he had a pounding headache, but he couldn't tell Shinsou that or he wouldn't let him go out. He shrugged, 'It's helping'

Shinsou activated his quirk with a sigh, "Can I hear how your voice is?"

Katsuki opened his mouth to talk, but at the first strained noise his breath caught on the word and he choked on it. He took a gasp and several ragged coughs that stung his throat more, he leaned over towards the ground to try and catch his breath as the coughing fit racked him.

It was enough, or would have been if he hadn't had the attack. Shinsou quickly turned off the stove and rushed to Katsuki's side, wrapping an arm around his waist and guiding him to sit on the floor, head between his knees, "Just breath, if you can."

At the touch on his waist Katsuki let out an involuntary whimper and he pushed away the hand, a hand covering his mouth to muffle the stuttered breaths. He wanted to tell Shinou to stop but he couldn’t talk.

Shinsou crouched in front of him, hands rubbing gently at his knees, trying to reassure, "It's going to be okay, we'll get through this," he murmured.

Katsuki used his legs to kick Shinsou back, the breathing was torture on his throat, so he held his breath, face flinching when a large explosion went off directly in front of it.

Shinsou caught the kicks, pushing his legs back down, "You aren't getting rid of me that easily, 'Splodey. I need you to calm down for me," he said softly.

Katsuki just needed the touch to stop, his body felt hot and his throat and wherever the hands had touched stung. It reminded too much of something else, he shook the thoughts away. He grabbed onto the wrists and set off explosions. When they drew back Katsuki finally took a full breath.

Shinsou hissed, drawing back, patting out the flame on his bandage.

Katsuki stood, looking at Shinsou on the floor and the marks on the carpet. Not a second later he’d run out the front and closed the door, pressing his back against it and sinking down till he sat with his head resting against his bent knees. With the adrenaline wearing off the burning became more intense and one look confirmed that he'd blown apart the bandages, the cuts torn open and bleeding down his arms.

Shinsou let him go, moving to clean up the shattered mugs instead. He looked up when Aizawa came down the stairs, capture weapon in hand, eyes questioning. "I don't know."

Katsuki stayed sitting outside longer than he thought he would. Every time standing and walking came to mind his arms burned harsher and his hands stung more to remind him. He stared at the sky until it turned dark and the cold wind numbed his body. Every now and again his fingers would twitch and he’d feel a shock of agonizing pain before it died back down to numbness.

A while later, Hizashi opened the door and looked down at the other blond where he was, "He's worried about you, kid," he said, eyes a little sad, not telling him the full truth, but what he'd said was true.

Katsuki wasn’t present enough to notice the man.

Hizashi crouched, touching his shoulder, ready in case the other lashed out, Aizawa watching from inside, hair raised in preparation as well.

Katsuki’s finger twitched when the hand touched his shoulder and his nose scrunched at the pain but no response came.

"Sho, I got to get to work," he called over his shoulder, "I'm sorry kid, but I have to run. They really do care," he stood, sprinting away.

Aizawa came forward, stepping over the boy and crouching in front of him, "Kid, can you hear me?" he asked.

Katsuki stared ahead blankly at the noise.

"I'm going to touch you. I've taken away your quirk, so you won't be able to do more damage to yourself," he said, reaching out and putting his hands on his upper arms, grip loose for the moment.

Katsuki's eyes looked down when he felt something touch his arm. He didn't move it, just stared down at where he assumed it was.

Seeing no adverse reaction, Aizawa tightened his grip.

Katsuki sucked a breath in as it tightened and his arm twitched painfully, his head tilted down slightly.

"Kid, I want you to try to use your quirk," Aizawa ordered, releasing his own.

No response.

Aizawa sighed, standing, pulling the other boy up with him.

"'Toshi, go run a bath," Aizawa ordered, leading the blond boy further into the house, closing the door behind them.

Shinsou ran ahead up the stairs, taking them three at a time.

Aizawa walked up the stairs much slower, guiding the boy beside him, "If you can hear me, I want you to set off a small explosion," he said again.

Katsuki was following mindlessly, his eyes blankly open and his arm twitched as it pulled back.

Aizawa paused at the tug, "What do you want?" he asked gently.

Katsuki’s head tilted again, his eyes focusing and unfocusing as he tried to ground himself.

Aizawa blinked, fingers loosening, smiling slightly, "There are those eyes, starting to see again. Good, Shall we keep going?"

The grip loosened and Katsuki grabbed onto it, he needed to hold something or he was going to space out again.

Aizawa tightened his grip again, and pushed the kid up the stairs slightly, to see if he'd keep walking.

Katsuki did.

"Good," Aizawa said, guiding him up the stairs again, "Just like that."

Katsuki’s grip on the arm loosened and it dropped back beside him, his eyes unfocused again.

When he stopped this time, Aizawa stepped ahead of him, leaning down slightly so they were at the same level, "Blink twice if you can understand me," he said.

Katsuki did, following the voice and staring ahead.

Aizawa held his shoulders and took a step backwards, black eyes never leaving red.

"Hitoshi, how's it coming?" Aizawa asked, eyes never leaving the kid as he finally reached the landing, taking a few more steps back and waiting.

"Tub's half full," Shinsou called back.

"That's enough water. Kid, can you hear me?" he asked again. He'd keep asking until he got a proper answer.

He furrowed his eyes. The voice was saying words but he couldn’t understand them. It was like hearing another language you couldn’t speak.

Katsuki’s eyes lifted from the floor and his head tilted lazily.

Another no, Aizawa could work with that. He rested a hand on the boy's shoulder and continued walking backwards toward the bathroom, "Hitoshi, I need you to direct me in here as I pass," he ordered.

"Right," Shinsou said, standing in the doorway, watching them move.

Aizawa continued backwards, Shinsou touching his arm when he was close enough, gently pulling him, and by extension Katsuki, into the bathroom.

"Kid," Aizawa asked, letting go, "Where are you?"

Katsuki’s body shivered as the numbness faded, replaced by a warmth that shook his body.

Shinsou moved forward, past Aizawa, and knelt in front of Katsuki, "'Suki?" he asked softly, taking one of his bloodied hands, "Y'okay?" It was a stupid question, he obviously wasn't, but he wasn't expecting an answer anyway.

There was pressure on his hand and Katsuki mindlessly tightened his grip around it.

Shinsou smiled at the grip, other hand moving up to gently cup his cheek, "You're doing so good, 'Suki," he said softly, "Is this okay?"

Katsuki’s breathing picked up and he flinched at the touch.

Shinsou noticed and removed his hand, catching the other, "Okay, I won't touch your face," he said reassuringly, "only a little further, can you move a little further for me?"

Shinsou stood, pulling Katsuki gently to his feet again, and stepped toward the tub.

Katsuki followed.

Shinsou reached the edge of the tub and sat Katsuki on it,

Shinsou took his arm and a cup and carefully poured water over his hand, destroyed bandage and all.

Katsuki’s hand twitched convulsively at the water.

Seeing no reaction, Shinsou let the cup fall into the tub with a splash and pulled the hand closer, starting to undo the bandages in pieces, dropping the pieces onto the rug.

Katsuki sucked in a quick breath. He blinked before blinking again harsher, his eyes squeezed closed for several seconds as he exhaled with a groan, using his hands to rub his eyes. He opened them again, the world coming back into focus and he squinted, past the harsh lights he could make out, ‘Eyebags?’

Shinsou laughed, "Welcome back to the world of the living, please give me back your hand, 'Suki,"

Katsuki dropped his hand without much of a fight, he sat back exhausted and groaned again.

Shinsou continued his work, removing the bandages, then washing his entire arm, "Mind if I take your shirt off? You look exhausted so you can just nod or shake and I'll do it for you,"

His head barely moved with a nod. He could feel his body now, the numbness replaced with hot burns and stings on his hands and cheeks.

Shinsou quickly divested him of his shirt, tossing it aside, then moved to roll up his pant legs to above his knees, "Can you turn around into the tub for me?"

Katsuki turned, his feet dipping into the water. It prickled his legs a little with a strange chill.

Shinsou pressed a kiss to his forehead, "Thank you, 'Suki," he murmured, moving to his other side and working on the other arm.

Katsuki noted that his arms were sticky, presumingly from the blood that the water of the tub was mixing with.

Shinsou finished with the second arm, stood, taking a roll of bandages and two silver bangles from the cabinet, sliding them both onto his own wrist for safekeeping before starting to bandage Kastsuki's hands.

Katsuki closed his eyes, his body tipping forwards from exhaustion. His elbows rested above his knees and his head ducked down tiredly.

After he was done bandaging, Shinsou transferred the suppression cuffs to Bakugou's wrists, then lifted the slightly smaller boy into his arms, cradling him against his chest.

Katsuki couldn’t see past his closed eyes but felt something over his wrists. He raised his hands again. ‘What’s on my hands?’

"They're for your own safety for tonight, so you don't accidentally open your wounds again," Shinsou said, starting to walk towards his bedroom.

That didn’t help him, he didn’t need to know that. ‘What are they?’

"Quirk suppressing cuffs, police-grade, modified for home use."

Of course, they didn’t trust him. If Katsuki had the energy he would have either knocked Shinsou over the head with them or ripped off his hands trying to get them off.

Shinsou set Katsuki in his bed, then went to find the burn cream to apply it to his face. Shinsou hoped it healed nicely, or Katsuki might not survive seeing his parents again.

Despite being asleep, Katsuki's nose crinkled and he turned his head so it pressed into the pillow.

Shinsou laughed quietly.

When he came back with the cream, he carefully started putting it on the burns, wincing in response to Katsuki's reaction.

He whimpered when Shinsou was touching his cheeks and over his mouth to treat the burns. The sounds were strained and painful, cut off by his voice breaking.

Shinsou worked quickly so Katsuki didn't have to deal with it any longer than was truly necessary. When he was done, Shinsou wiped his hands with a tissue, put the burn cream on the bedside table, and crawled into bed with Katsuki, an arm around his waist.

The second the hands weren’t on his face anymore, Katsuki latched himself onto whatever grabbed him by the waist, pulling whatever it was closer so that he was pressed completely against it.

Shinsou chuckled as he was pulled closer, laying his head on Katsuki's chest again.

Katsuki woke up earlier than he expected. It was pitch black outside, one look at the clock confirmed it was too early to be up, not even past 5 in the morning yet. Shinsou was tucked into his chest. Sighing, he got out of the grip and left of the room. Everything aching as he went to get water from the kitchen.

Shinsou curled up in a ball when Bakugou left, his source of heat now gone.

After pouring himself a glass he walked to the bathroom.

Aizawa had cleaned up the bathroom after the boys had gone to bed, deciding to stay home with paperwork instead of going out tonight.

Katsuki didn’t notice the man as he passed him sitting at the table, instead walking directly into the bathroom and closing the door loudly. He didn’t bother looking in the mirror, the burning was familiar enough that he already knew what it would look like. He took an Advil and Panadol, just wanting the pain to dull.

Shinsou woke with the bang, jumping in bed, curling tighter. He really needed to get better with sudden loud noises.

Katsuki walked out, rubbing his eyes and blinking before noticing Aizawa in the dark. He froze and stared at him.

Aizawa blinked back slowly like an oversized cat.

Katsuki met the man's gaze. In the silence he noticed a heavy feeling on his wrists, it was different from the aching that covered the rest of him, and looking down he remembered, oh yeah, the cuffs.

"Which pills?" the man asked, face blank.

Katsuki looked up, shrugging, 'Advil, Panadol.'

The man nodded, "You should drink more water."

‘Just did' Katsuki’s arms crossed over his stomach.

A slight twitch of his lip, "More than you did, you're dehydrated."

'I’m fine.' Katsuki paused, before adding 'I'm patrolling with you tonight' and he left for Shinsou’s room.

Aizawa let him go; if worse came to worst later, he'd just tie the boy up somewhere.

Reentering the bedroom, he lay back down and gaze at the ceiling.

"Are you aware," Shinsou said softly, "that you are a very loud, very angry pomeranian?"

Katsuki pushed a pillow in Shinsou's face.

Shinsou struggled against the pillow, not having expected that.

Katsuki moved the pillow to sign 'you're an annoying raccoon’ before pressing back.

It took everything in Shinsou not to lose himself in a memory, the pillow pressing on his face. "Suki, you need to stop," his voice was maybe a little higher than it had started.

Katsuki pulled the pillow away and dropped it beside the other, ‘what's wrong?'

Shinsou latched onto his hand, not caring about the bandages under his fingers at that moment, and pressed the knuckles to his forehead, curling around it, grounding himself, breathing smoothing out again, heart slowing.  "Memories..." he said softly, "that I didn't know existed."

Katsuki didn’t answer, biting back a wince at the pain and staying silent.

About ten minutes passed and Shinsou felt calm enough to uncurl, letting go of Katsuki's hands.  "Sorry....again."

'It's fine,' his hand had numbed after the first few minutes anyway. 'What happened?'

"Someone tried to kill me," the answer was blunt, unfeeling.

Katsuki nodded, sitting awkwardly before standing, 'Breakfast.' He signed, despite the time just being past 5.

Shinsou couldn't help the snort that left him. "There's a transition in subjects," the smile that had been shocked onto his face faded, "Can...can it wait a little longer?" There was a note of terrified hope in his voice, like he knew the answer, but desperately wished it were wrong.

 ‘Okay,’ Katsuki fell back onto the bed and lay down again.

"Sorry," Shinsou murmured, inching closer to the other, "I just..." he sighed, drawing into himself again.

Katsuki looked over at Shinsou, pulling him into a loose hug he'd be able to get out of and brushed through his hair.

Shinsou took a shuddering breath and pressed closer, face buried in Katsuki's collar bone, "Thank you."

Unable to respond at the angle he was on, Katsuki just nodded his head.

Shinsou nodded in return, "You only have to do this until it's light," he said, into the other's chest.

Katsuki didn't bother opening his eyes, he knew it wouldn't be light for a while. He wondered why Aizawa was downstairs working though. He'd never done that before. He supposed it didn't matter, he'd figure it out tonight when Katsuki went with him. He just needed to convince Shinsou he was fine. He pulled Shinsou closer.

Shinsou liked being held, it was nice. Especially when he needed it. The faint scent of burned sugar was just a bonus. He turned his head as he was pulled closer again, snaking his arms out to wrap around the other's waist, "Sorry I'm a raccoon."

'Annoying raccoon he corrected. His eyelids were heavy and he could feel himself falling asleep, loosening his hold on Shinsou as his body relaxed.

Shinsou listened to the other's heartbeat slow, turning in the hold, crossing Katsuki's arms over his chest, kissing his bandaged knuckles, "Get some more sleep, Bombshell."

Katsuki pressed his head against the top of Shinsou's back, avoiding the bruises. 'Wake me when you want breakfast.'

"I will," Shinsou promised, lightly squeezing Katsuki's arms.

Katsuki fell asleep again, the past two nights were tiring and he hadn't been able to properly sleep in a while.

Shinsou sighed, removing the cuffs, slipping them onto his own wrists again, the familiar weight settling where it once belonged. He soon fell asleep as well, curled together.

Unsurprisingly, Katsuki was up first again, waking to the sound of the front door opening and closing. With nothing else to do, he listened to whoever walked in make their way to the kitchen, their footsteps were loud and annoying. Katsuki buried his face in Shinsou's hair.

Shinsou smiled, rubbing his arm gently.

Opening his eyes, he saw the bright light shining through Shinsou's open curtains, got out of bed and shut the curtains, then crawled back into bed and closed his eyes to go to sleep again.

Shinsou turned back over again to see Katsuki as he came back, arms moving to wrap around his shoulders. "I think I love you," he murmured.

Katsuki opened his eyes, tensing at the words. He didn't pull back but pretended he didn't hear.

Shinsou didn't care if Katsuki responded or not, hugging him and just existing, mostly asleep.

Despite the exhaustion, he couldn’t fall back to sleep, his mind in overdrive. Why would Shinsou say that? He loves him? He can’t love him. He’s just tired.

Shinsou snuggled closer again, going back to sleep again. He was starting to feel sick too.

Despite taking the pills, Katsuki's head was pounding. He bit back the familiar feeling of nausea in his throat and tried to stay where he was.

Shinsou groaned in his sleep, face twisting slightly in pain, a hand moving to his own stomach. He woke up slightly, still out of it, but if he needed to make a run for it, he could.

Katsuki sat up, too in pain to be laying straight down and curled in on himself, hands pressed into his stomach. From the corner of his eye, he could see Shinsou in the same pain.

"We fucked up," Shinsou mumbled with a weak smile, feeling Katsuki sit up.

He needed to stand up but he couldn’t move. He saw Shinsou slightly shifting in the bed, he nudged him with his foot to make him stand up.

Shinsou laughed, "Kicking me out like a cheap one-night stand, Bombastic?" he let himself be pushed from the bed anyway, standing up, "what did you need?"

Katsuki couldn’t move his hands from his stomach to sign so he just curled up further. He couldn’t throw up now or Shinsou wouldn’t let him leave, that was the deal so he tried to take deep breaths and work through the pain.

"I'm going to go curl up on the bathroom floor," Shinsou said, stumbling toward the door, catching himself on the frame.

He nodded, leaning his head back against the bed frame and taking a deep shuddering breath. The nausea was still overwhelming but Katsuki knew there was nothing he could throw up, so he just had to calm down, then help Shinsou.

Shinsou leaned against the wall as he moved down the hall, eyes closed, knowing his way. After what felt like a millennium, but was more like 20 seconds, he found the bathroom and almost fell in.

Groaning, he sank to the floor, head resting on the cool tile.

After a while, Katsuki could stand. He walked to the bathroom where Shinsou was and turned on the fan to clear the air. He propped Shinsou up against the bathtub and grabbed a cup, filling it with cold water, and pressed his finger lightly on Shinsou's chin to make his mouth open. He poured a small amount of water in and waited for Shinsou to swallow it before doing it again.

Shinsou laughed when he went to refill the cup, "If I tried to do this for you, you would have exploded my ass yesterday."

He shrugged, grabbing a towel and running it under cold water, squeezing it out before folding it and holding it to Shinsou's head.

Shinsou sighed happily at the feeling, "Thank you, Suki,"

He took Shinsou's hand and pressed it against the cloth so he was holding it before standing up and refilling the cup, this time taking a sip for himself and grabbing a Panadol. Even though he already took one, he took another and handed one to Shinsou for the stomach pain, along with the cup of half-drunk water.

Shinsou swallowed the pill dry, then sipped at the water.  "Thanks."

He sat down next to Shinsou, pulling his knees to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. ‘Did you throw up?’

"Not yet, but it's inevitable at this point," Shinsou shrugs, tilting his head back and looking at the ceiling.

He nodded, looking over at the toilet before back at Shinso, ‘want me to stay or go?’

Shinsou shrugs, "Whichever you're comfortable with. It's nice to have comfort, but I've done this alone enough times to function."

Katsuki frowned but didn't make any other reaction. He leaned back on the bathtub and closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable to happen.

Shinsou slumped over sideways again, curling up on the little rug in front of the sink, just waiting.

Katsuki stood up and walked up to the boy, he put his hands on his shoulders before moving them to his back and rubbing slow circles.

Shinsou hummed, "You feeling better today?"

No. 'yeah'

Shinsou nodded, sitting up slightly, leaning into Katsuki, "I'm glad."

Katsuki felt guilty, he couldn't decide why though. It could be for lying to Shinsou, saying he felt better just so he could go out. Or from giving him whatever sickness he'd had, or the numerous injuries Katsuki had given him. He didn't say anything, though, and continued to rub Shinsou's back.

Half an hour later, his stomach finally made up its mind that he was sick, and he was kneeling at the toilet, emptying his stomach.

Katsuki rubbed his back while Shinsou was taking uneven gasps, holding a cup of water beside him if Shinsou needed it. The smell of vomit made him even more nauseous and part of him wanted to just walk over and throw up in the tub, but he held it in and stayed near Shinsou.

After a couple minutes, Shinsou reached up to flush away the mess and leaned back again. "This never gets easier."

Chapter Text

Katsuki held the cup out to him, being cautious of Shinsou in his tired state.

Shinsou took it, swished it around his mouth, and spat it into the toilet before getting up and brushing his teeth for what was sure to be the first of many times over the next day.

Katsuki stayed on the floor and watched Shinsou stand up. He took a deep breath and followed, leaning heavily on the wall to help himself stand.

Shinsou leaned on the counter as he brushed his teeth, "I don't think you should go out tonight," he said around a mouthful of foam.

He frowned, ‘I’m fine. How’s your back’ he asked to change the subject, also remembering how Shinsou was leaning over the toilet.

Shinsou spat and rinsed it down the drain, "Unnoticeable."

He nodded, ‘you should eat’ he sighed, walking out of the bathroom.

Shinsou snorted, following, "Hypocrite."

‘You just threw up e-y-e-b-a-g-s’ he started walking down the stairs, hiding the nausea in his stomach and throat.

"And you were sick all yesterday, what's your point?" Shinsou asked, not even looking like it was affecting him anymore at the moment.

‘Yeah. Yesterday’.  He rolled his eyes, reaching the bottom of the staircase and turning away from Shinsou to walk to the kitchen.

"And you still won't eat," Shinsou mumbled, sitting at the counter.

He heard Shinsou mumble but with nothing to say back, he pretended he hadn’t heard it. He didn’t know what happened to the food from last night so he just took out rice, figuring it would be easy to eat, and put it in the rice cooker.

"Thank you for the food," Shinsou said honestly, planting his chin in his hands.

He didn’t respond and kept his back to Shinsou. When the rice was finished he put it in two bowls, passing one to Shinsou and taking the other for himself.

Shinsou ate his rice slowly, not wanting to eat, but knowing he should.

Katsuki pushed his rice around in the bowl, pushing it to one side so half the bowl looked eaten. He knew Shinsou could see him doing it but it was more to get himself to eat than anything else.

Aizawa came into the kitchen to refill his cup of coffee and saw the pair, and his lip twitched, "And what did we learn?" he asked, back to them.

Shinsou sighed, "Don't kiss someone who's sick," he mumbled.

"Exactly," He came over and set a shot of clear orange liquid on the counter next to each of their bowls of rice. "Drink."

Shinsou picked it up almost gratefully, drinking it easily.

Katsuki looked at it skeptically, avoiding looking at Aizawa; instead, he looked at Shinsou who had almost finished it in the few seconds he’d been given it. ‘What is it?’

"Just drink it, we need the electrolytes," Shinsou said, setting his glass down again.

‘What is it?’ he asked again, not drinking it until he knew what it was.

"It's just some Gatorade (or whatever an equivalent would be)."

Katsuki had no clue what that was but at least he had a name for it. He brought the cup to his lips and drank about a fourth of it. He put it down with a disgusted face, it tasted like a sweet, watered-down cordial.

Shinsou sighed but didn't badger him about it.

Katsuki noticed Shinsou giving him a sigh and a look he couldn’t place. ‘What?’

"You drink that, or I might be able to persuade Dad to let you do a tequila shot, just so you get some salt into you."

‘Which dad?’ He signed back, most joking but also curious which one would ever let him do that.

"Well, Sleepy Dad is here."

‘Right.’ Katsuki signed back, not exactly sure what that meant, but he took another sip of the orange drink.

"We don't have any more tequila," Aizawa said, taking Shinsou's glass, "Or anything else, for that matter."

"Boring," Shinsou sighed.

‘Did you drink it all?’ Katsuki signed under the table, not really meaning for anyone to see and more like a sarcastic comment.

"Hitoshi, I think he thinks you're a drunk now," Aizawa laughed.

"I figured," Shinsou shrugged, swiping his dad's coffee, taking a sip of the black liquid, instantly regretting it.

Katsuki focused on Shinsou taking a sip of black coffee. Already knowing it wouldn’t turn out well, he took a sip of the drink again and watched.

Shinsou's face scrunched and he sprinted up the stairs.

Katsuki gave a tired sigh and stood up, taking the drink with him and following.

Shinsou had already finished emptying his stomach again when Katsuki arrived, getting up again when the other arrived, "Don't rub it in," he groaned.

‘I didn’t say anything.’ he said, taking another sip. He waited for Shinsou to clean his mouth before offering the drink to him.

Shinsou brushed his teeth again, and took the drink when he was done, grimacing at the fake orange mixing with the mint, "Thanks."

He stared at Shinsou for one more second to check if he was really okay before turning around and going back downstairs. ‘Don’t be an idiot next time’

"I forgot I can't drink coffee when I'm sick!" Shinsou called after him, vaguely trying to explain his stupidity.

‘Clearly’.  He turned back to give Shinsou a pointed look before grabbing his bowl again, picking up the chopsticks, and finally taking a bite.

Shinsou huffed, sitting, Aizawa hit him lightly. "Idiot."

Shinsou rubbed his head, smiling, "I know, I know, I'm a problem child."

He looked down, hiding his smile with his hand, wincing when he put pressure on his mouth. He dropped the chopsticks in surprise, he felt his face again and remembered the burns. He sighed, picking up the chopsticks again, and took another small bite of the rice.

Aizawa turned to the blond, "How are your injuries this morning?" he asked, eyes soft and concerned.

He looked up and met his eyes, he dropped all emotion in his face to hide the stinging pain and signed ‘they’re fine. Barely even notice them’.

Aizawa raised a disbelieving eyebrow, turning back to Shinsou, "He's just as bad as you."

Shinsou laughed.

Katsuki looked back down at his plate, it was still full but he’d completely lost his appetite. He put the chopsticks down and sat back on the chair.

Shinsou finished his own bowl of rice, knowing he needed to eat something.

He saw Shinsou's empty bowl and bit back a groan. He didn’t understand how Shinsou could eat anything. Then again Katsuki’s throat and mouth were injured so that probably made it harder. He sighed and rested his head in his arms on the table.

"Go back to bed, kid," Aizawa said, not expecting him to listen.

'I'm fine.' he signed, standing up and walking into the kitchen, 'you need to eat something else,' he looked at Shinsou and opened the cupboard, grabbing an apple and throwing it at Shinsou, 'eat'

Shinsou caught it, and a knife Aizawa flicked toward him, used to his dad's behavior, "Want half?"

He didn't, but saying no would be like holding a sign saying 'I'm feeling sick, pity me.' So he signed, 'Sure', having no intentions of actually eating the apple.

Shinsou gave him a deadpan look, slicing the apple into sections, "You don't need to say yes if you're not going to touch it."

'i'll eat it' he glared back, hating his hands for working faster than his mind. He just kept digging himself in a deeper hole.

Shinsou handed him a quarter, "Don't force yourself."

'i'm not' he took it and held it in his hand, he could already smell the sweetness and he begrudgingly took a small bite, he closed his eyes in pain as he swallowed it, unlike the rice it was hard and the edges were pointy, it hurt like hell going down his throat.

Aizawa and Shinsou both looked at him unimpressed, "Don't hurt yourself just to prove something we already know."

'Didn't expect that.' he answered honestly. If he knew it would hurt that much he would have taken a smaller bite, or not just swallowed it. He walked back over to grab the orange drink he gave to Shinso, taking a sip before eating another small bite.

Shinsou rolled his eyes, slicing one of his pieces absently smaller, popping bits into his mouth as he went.

'you're acting like you didn't just try to drink coffee then threw up' Katsuki signed when he saw Shinsou roll his eyes.

"How'd you know it was going to go wrong?"

He shrugged, not about to tell Shinsou with Aizawa standing right there that it took him years to figure out that coffee was making him nauseous when he was younger and sick.

"Fair enough," Shinsou sighed, finishing half the apple, "do you want anymore?"

He looked down at the apple he'd pathetically only taken two small bites out of and threw it at Shinsou to catch, drinking the last of the orange drink.

Shinsou caught the apple, decided he already had the other's germs, and ate it too.

Katsuki sat down again, resting his head in his hands, ignoring the stinging to the burns, and closed his eyes. He wasn't delusional enough to think Shinsou or Aizawa would let him go out tonight, so there was no real point in hiding it.

After finishing his apple, Shinsou stood again, "I'll be upstairs, sorry to commandeer the bathroom again."

Aizawa waved him off, "We have the second."

Katsuki wasn’t sure if Shinsou wanted him to follow, so he stayed where he was.

Shinsou headed upstairs to his room, grabbing his waterproof tablet for incidents like this, and went to curl up in the bathtub with his comforter and a pillow for the next attack. He probably had about another half hour.

Katsuki heard the bathroom door close and the retching start. He felt guilty for kissing Shinsou, both on the night he was sick and yesterday. He groaned, putting his head in his hands and rubbing his eyes to get rid of the headache.

"If you're feeling guilty about Hitoshi, don't be, the idiot knew what he was doing," Aizawa said softly, taking his son's vacant seat, looking at the blond with dead eyes.

‘Still my fault’ Katsuki signed, not looking up.

"Why?"

His hands faltered for the answer when he couldn’t find the way to put it into words he just signed ‘my fault’ again.

"I doubt that, kid."

He sighed. Shinsou had only kissed him once and then backed away, Katsuki was the one who kept kissing him. ‘My fault’ he signed again, not sure what other way to put it.

"If Hitoshi hadn't wanted to kiss you, you'd have known it," Aizawa smiled slightly.

He wasn’t going to win this argument with Aizawa and honestly he wasn’t really trying to, so he just dropped his hands and pressed his palm into his forehead, enjoying the cool skin against it.

"Why did you want to patrol with me?"

He looked up at that, not even thinking before signing ‘I want to see it for myself.’

"Which part? Because I hope NOT to almost die tonight."

‘Good cops’

Aizawa nodded, sipping his third cup of coffee since the boys had come downstairs, "I don't plan to meet with anyone, haven't had any breaks in any cases recently, but we might be able to find you something."

He shook his head. ‘Not to meet, to see’, he tried to explain.

"I figured as much," Another nod.

He paused before asking, ‘Why do you work with them?’

"Because sometimes you need to do something legally to get it done right."

‘What are you trying to do?’

"I don't quite understand your question."

‘You said, sometimes you need to do something legally to get it done right, what are you trying to do?’

"Currently, protect Eri and take down a rising gang led by a misuse of an extremely strong quirk. Day to day, help people, set them back on the right path."

He nodded. ‘And the other cops. What are they trying to do?’

"The ones I work with want to protect their people, mundane and otherwise."

‘And the ones you don’t work with?’ He already knew the answer to the question, but he wanted Aizawa to say it.

"Some are like mine, some are there simply for the power, not caring about anyone else, and some are there to try to find and fuck up less than 'prime specimens' of the species, taking it out on anyone they don't think is normal, whether it be race, sexuality, mental ability, or quirk."

Katsuki wanted Aizawa to say it, but now that he had, he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear it anymore. He nodded, sitting back on the chair and raising his knees to his chest, wanting to set off explosions to get rid of whatever he was feeling but he didn’t want to risk ripping up his hands again. So he just scratched his legs instead, pressing his nails into the skin.

Aizawa sighed, standing and heading upstairs without a word, leaving his coffee cup behind.

He stayed where he was, looking at the bowl of rice he’d given up on ages ago. Eventually, he stood up and threw it out, washing the bowl and soaking his bandages in the process.

Aizawa came back down with the first aid kit, and a pair of gloves, "Come here, kid,"

Katsuki turned around confused, looking at the first aid kit. Why did he come back? Katsuki thought he left. He walked over, confused, and stood in front of him awkwardly.

"Sit," Aizawa said, sitting and pulling the other chair closer with his foot.

He looked at the chair, ‘why?’

"Because I'm going to deal with your hands. I want to see the damage and offer my suggestion as to how you can use your quirk, blow up some things, without hurting yourself again."

Katsuki didn’t sit down on the chair but held his hands out to Aizawa, waiting for him to do something.

Aizawa sighed, but turned in his seat to better access the offered hands, kicking the chair away. Carefully, he started to unwind the bandages, revealing the damage underneath.

He winced when the bandages were pulled away, the skin sticking and peeling off his hands. He bit the inside of his mouth to stop from reacting physically but his eyebrows furrowed in pain.

Aizawa sighed, "You really did a number on these," he muttered, setting the now worthless bandages on the counter, "Set off a small explosion for me."

He immediately set off an explosion; it stung and made small tears in the cuts that hadn’t healed yet, and his hands were burnt red.

Aizawa looked at the burns in confusion, "Wasn't expecting that," he said, dabbing at the blood.

He took the hand that Aizawa wasn’t cleaning and loosely signed. ‘Expecting, what?’

"The burns."

He looked at him confused. ‘Why?’

"I would have expected you'd have been born to withstand the effects of your quirk, for the most part, more heat resistant."

He shrugged, ‘better, now, than, younger’ he tried to make an understandable sentence with one hand.

Aizawa nodded, handing the kid one of the gloves, "try this on,".

The boy would find it tight, but comfortable, leaving his palm exposed but the rest of his hand covered and compressed to hopefully minimize damage.

He took it but didn’t put it on, ‘what is it?’

"Equipment to help you with your quirk, I asked a contact to make something that might help, given your quirk."

Katsuki held the glove tighter so Aizawa wouldn’t be able to take it back and force it on his hands, his body in a full defensive mode. ‘What does it do?’

Aizawa's lip quirked in a smile, "Absolutely nothing special, it's really just a compression sock for your hand. It should limit the recoil on your own hand, lessen the damage. I hope it will slow the reopening of your injuries while you let off some steam, so to speak."

He didn’t think about it before he began to spark an exploration to blow up the gloves. It probably wasn’t the best decision to make, but he wasn’t going to trust whatever Aizawa said, and he wasn’t stupid enough to try it, in case it was anything else. Some “contact” of Aizawa's knew about him and his quirk and had designed something for it. The last thing Katsuki needed was for this to be a trick and the gloves to be quirk repressors like the ones they put on him last night and thought he wouldn’t notice.

His quirk was unimpeded, going off just as he wanted, not feeling as much of it in his knuckles.

He ignored the stinging and looked at the gloves which were still there, of course they were fucking fireproof. He didn’t want to give the gloves back in case Aizawa would force them on, but he didn’t want to hold onto them.

"How did it feel?"

He ignored the question. ‘take your fuckin’ gloves back’.  He threw them at Aizawa's chest.

Aizawa caught them easily, folding them up, and setting them aside, "I'll tell David," he said simply, moving to pull a fresh roll of bandages from the first aid kit, "Want to do this yourself?"

He grabbed the bandages and started walking back to the staircase, ‘Tell David to fuck himself’.  He went up the stairs, knowing he should have grabbed cream for the burns or something for the cuts but he just wanted to get out of there. He went to Shinsou's room and sat on the floor in front of the bed crossed-legged and started wrapping his hands again.

Aizawa threw out the spent bandages, grabbed a water bottle, and headed back upstairs to the bathroom to return the kit, finding Hitoshi just crawling out of the tub and heading toward the toilet to throw up again.

The man put the box away while the boy was sick, coming over to rub his back after, smoothing back his hair and clipping it wordlessly.

When he was done, Hitoshi stood, flushing it away, and moved to the sink, as the routine went. He noticed the gloves in the mirror and raised a brow.

"David sent them over with the new things, they're for your boy, but he's pissed about something and doesn't want them."

Hitoshi sighed around the toothbrush, spat, and rinsed, "David sent new things?" There was a note of excitement, it wasn't worth worrying about Katsuki's mood right now.

"You'll see tomorrow," Aizawa smirked, patting his head.

Katsuki lay his head back against the bed, pushing his nails into his legs again. Logically he knew Aizawa wouldn’t hurt him, and if he wanted to, he wouldn’t because of Shinsou. But it was something about cuffing him in his sleep and telling someone about him and his quirk to get custom gloves without asking Katsuki that made him unsettled. The gloves did exactly what Aizawa said they would but Katsuki wasn’t going to wear them, the same way he’d never wear anything too close to his neck or over his mouth.

Shinsou scooped up his tablet and headed toward his room, the battery had died. "Did you give him my modulator to fix?" he asked.

"He said it was old tech and needed an upgrade," Aizawa sighed, "He's sent prototypes for you to choose from."

"Can't exactly head out to see him for fittings, can we," Shinsou sighed in response and stepped into the room, stopping.  "I wish you'd stop hurting yourself," he told Bakugou, looking down at where he sat.

He looked up, ‘The fuck are you talking about?’

"What?"

‘I’m not hurting myself.’

"Your leg is bleeding."

He looked down and frowned, wiping the blood off his leg messily. It didn’t accomplish anything, only made his hand bloody where he wiped it. ‘barely’

"Point still exists," Shinsou said, tossing the blond the box of tissues, and he moved to plug in his tablet.

He caught the box, putting it on the floor, and pulled out a tissue to wipe the blood off his legs and hand. When they just kept bleeding he grabbed the bandage roll from earlier that he hadn’t finished and wrapped his legs.  Turning to look at Shinsou, he knocked on the floor to get his attention before signing, ‘you okay?’

"You mean the stomach issue? I'll be fine for a few more minutes."

He nodded, sitting in silence for a while before asking, ‘do you know who David is?’

Shinsou smiled, nodding, "David's our mechanic, so to speak. He designs and makes equipment to help use our quirks efficiently. Most of his quirk related products are black market, but Shield Enterprises is a fairly household name in the tech industry,"

So he wasn’t a cop. Still, it unsettled him. He nodded.

"Anything else you'd like to know?"

‘Not now’ he stood up, shaking off his legs and walking over to him.

Shinsou nodded, "All right," he stopped his movements and grabbed his head, "I hate this so much."

He smiled and lay on the bed waiting for Shinsou to lay next to him. ‘Did you take something?’

Shinsou shook his head and groaned at the dizziness it caused.

He tugged at his hand and pulled him onto the bed. ‘Don’t throw up’ he signed, standing and exiting the room to get painkillers from the bathroom. He grabbed a cup of water along with it, swallowed his own pill, and walked back into the bedroom, holding the other pill out to Shinsou.

Shinsou sat on the edge of the bed, head between his knees, breathing hard. The world was spinning.

Katsuki rubbed his hair out of his face and put his hand against his forehead, the bandages weren’t cold but they were cooler than Shinsou's forehead. He handed him the pill and held the glass for him.

Shinsou swallowed the pill, tried to drink the water, and gagged, coughing most of it back into his lap. He sighed, pressing the glass against his cheek, loving the chill.

He patted his back and rubbed through his hair.  He saw the glass against Shinsou's head still had a little water in it. He knew Shinsou wasn't looking at him and couldn't read sign language so he took the cup away, ignoring Shinsou's protests and poured a small bit in his mouth, after Shinsou swallowed it he kept going until the glass was empty, then he let Shinsou take the glass again and hold it against his forehead.

Shinsou sighed, leaning into Katsuki's side.  "Fuck you," he murmured, no force behind the words, "and fuck my lack of self-control. And fuck your parents for hurting you."

He didn’t react, trying not to focus on the words and just stay still for Shinsou. Brushing through Shinsou's hair, he used his other hand to reach for the trash bucket he’d used a while ago and held it in front of Shinsou in case he would need it.

"And fuck ducks, they're up to something. Always conspiring about something," he muttered, fiddling with the quirk suppression bracelet he still had on.

He smiled at Shinsou's mumbling and took the glass off his forehead. ‘Get off the floor’ he signed and stood up to sit on the bed.

"That's what ducks want you to think," Shinsou muttered, but did as he was told.

He smiled ‘sure thing e-y-e-b-a-g-s’.   He looked at the clip holding Shinsou's hair up and smiled, figuring someone put it there.

"Ducks are evil bastards," Shinsou hissed, leaning on Bakugou, "Manipulative assholes."

‘I’ll take your word for it.’  He winced slightly as Shinsou's head pressed into his cheek, but didn’t move or flinch.

"Don't trust a bird with teeth,"

He looked at him strangely.  'okay.' he paused, 'anything else?'

"Australia lost a war against Emus."

He laughed, 'yep. so don't trust emus?'

"Do trust emus," Shinsou nodded.

'Makes sense, they're birds that don’t have teeth.'

"Fucking fuck Cassawarys, too."

He smiled, 'how many birds do you know?'

"Harpy eagles pull sheep off mountains and monkeys out of trees, drop them, then eat the shattered remains."

'you know this because...?'

"Nature is scary."

It didn't answer the question, but Katsuki smiled nonetheless, 'you okay now?'

Shinsou chuckled, "For the moment."

Katsuki smiled, 'good'. He lay back on the bed, groaning at his hands and face, 'your back okay?'

Shinsou carefully laid down beside him, setting the trashcan on the floor again, "Little stiff from laying in the bathtub, but I'll be fine."

'want me to ice it?' he asked without opening his eyes.

"No, I'm simultaneously freezing and dying of heat right now, I don't need a temp shock right now."

He shook his head with a smile, 'okay drama queen' he looked at Shinsou before his eyes caught something shiny, the cuffs on Shinsou's wrist, the same he was wearing last night, 'why are you wearing those?'

Shinsou looked at the cuffs, "They're comforting," he said, "and I forgot they were there."

'How the fuck are they comforting?' he sat up, looking down at Shinsou.

"I don't have to worry about accidentally brainwashing people. They're like a childhood toy for me, a comfort. Training wheels."

Katsuki shuddered, repressing the memories that were coming to mind and laying back down, facing away from Shinsou so he wouldn't see the cuffs.

Shinsou sighed, taking them off and slipping them under the mattress.  "Sorry."

He was still facing away, eyes closed and only half-listening. ‘About what?’

"Upsetting you."

He paused, ‘I’m fine.’

"I know, but...yeah," Shinsou sighed, laying down, back to him as well.

‘But yeah?’ He turned his head to see Shinsou facing away from him. He turned back around and rubbed his eyes again, the fucking headache just wouldn’t go away.

Shinsou didn't see and laid there, curled slightly, arms tucked into his chest.

Katsuki sat up on the bed, resting his face on his knees. He wasn’t sure why he was thinking it, maybe because Shinsou brought it up, but he’d have to go back home soon, he groaned into his knees, pressing his hands into his stomach.

"Don't puke on me," Shinsou murmured, knowing he wouldn't, but still saying it.

Shinsou wasn’t looking, so Katsuki didn’t bother signing back, just pushed him lightly with his foot.

Shinsou laughed, twisting to smile back at him. Hand lifting toward him, then falling again.

Shinsou did the thing again, lifted his hand to comfort him but didn’t want to. What was Katsuki doing wrong? He thought he was doing okay, helping Shinsou, bringing Shinsou things, being nice. And Shinsou still didn’t trust him or care enough about him to trust him. Katsuki’s mind was spiraling at this point.

Shinsou shook his head, "no, 'Suki, it's not like that," he said softly, hand moving to take the blond's gently, "I didn't want to hurt you. I was going to touch your face, then couldn't figure out the better option."

Of course he was freaking out over nothing. How fuckin’ pathetic was he that was set off by a pair of handcuffs. He closed his eyes and curled in on himself. He tried to push his nails into his legs but the bandages got in the way.

Shinsou pulled Katsuki's hands from his legs, setting them on his own forearm.

He flinched back when Shinsou grabbed his hands, pulling them close to him. For whatever reason, in his mind, Katsuki thought Shinsou was putting the cuffs on. Katsuki’s hands were shaking too much to sign so he just shook his head.

Shinsou rolled completely over to face him, eyes closing with a quiet groan, taking slow, measured breaths before looking to Katsuki again, "I'm sorry."

He tried to stand up off the bed but lost his footing, slipping onto the floor and curling in on himself again; god, he just needed Shinsou to stop looking at him and touching him.

Shinsou stood quickly to help him, regretted it, and sprinted back to the bathroom again.

When he heard the bathroom door shut after Shinsou ran in,  he pulled at the bandages on his legs. He couldn’t set off explosions so he’d have to go for the next best thing, he pressed them into his legs, focusing on the stinging and how they numbed after a while. His breathing evened out, and sooner or later he could think straight again.

Shinsou curled up in his bathtub again after he cleaned up. He settled into his nest and started to fall asleep.

He sighed, taking his hands back and cringing as he felt him pull his nails out from inside his legs. He looked down, his leg bleeding but not heavily. He rewrapped them and stood up, shaking them off before searching for the handcuffs. He found them under the mattress and held them tightly, they made his breathing uneven but Shinsou liked them, so he knocked on the bathroom door to give them to him.

Shinsou woke with a start, banging his ankle on the faucet with a cry of pain and a curse.

He opened the door when he heard Shinsou yell in pain, seeing him hold his ankle he rolled his eyes, throwing the cuffs on the ground in front of Shinsou.  Grabbing an ice pack, he walked over and held it to his skin

"Thanks," Shinsou said, letting Bakugou ice the lovely dumbass scuff in his ankle.

Katsuki held the ice to Shinsou's ankle with one hand, while with the other signing, ‘sorry’.

"No."

‘No?’

"You don't get to be sorry for something you didn't do."

His brows furrowed, ‘Yeah, that’s why I’m apologizing.’ not understanding what Shinsou was trying to say.

Shinsou sighed, "I can't phrase this right without asking. What are you sorry for?"

‘Freaking out, pushing you back, being a spaz.’ he started counting off the list.

"Can I touch you?" Shinsou asked.

He froze, thinking about it before shaking his head, ‘Not yet.’ He really didn’t want him touching his arms or legs, his chest either, or his back, and there was no way his neck or head.

Shinsou nodded, laying back again, "All right."

He sat back too, continuing to ice Shinsou's foot. He looked around the room confused, ‘were you going to sleep in here?’

Shinsou raised a brow, "You as good as threw me out, so yeah."

He froze and leaned back, of course, he also kicked Shinsou out, and by proxy led to his ankle being hurt. He looked at Shinsou again, wondering why he still talked to him or was even okay being in the same room as him.

Shinsou hummed, head leaning back against the wall, face smoothing out again, "I'm not upset with you, I get it. I was going to sleep in here, anyway, for everyone's comfort."

Chapter Text

He pressed the ice back on Shinsou's ankle, not looking up asking ‘Everyone’s comfort?’

"I tend to steal the bathroom when I'm sick like this, it's easier to clean if I'm not fast enough."

‘There’s a trashcan in your room?’ he signed, confused.

"Still the risk with the carpet and bed that I might miss, and that's never a fun mess." Shinsou shrugged, "And the sink is here, so I have to come here anyway, might as well stay here,"

Katsuki looked at the cold floor before standing and walking out of the room, back to Shinsou's room. He grabbed a pillow and throw blanket, walking back into the bathroom and throwing them at Shinsou, ‘if you’re going to be stupid at least don’t hurt your back.’

Shinsou laughed, tossing them back to the blond, "I made my nest earlier. You can use them if you want to stay with me."

Katsuki dropped the pillows on the ground again and sat down next to Shinso, laying against the wall and closing his eyes.

Shinsou tentatively moved an arm to brush at the other's back, "This okay?"

Katsuki kept his eyes closed for a moment, testing it before moving closer and signing ‘It’s fine.’

Shinsou nodded, arm moving to rest more securely around the other's waist, pulling him gently into his side. "Tell me if I do anything wrong."

‘You too’ he signed, turning and leaning his head against Shinso.

"Of course," Shinsou murmured, softly pressing a kiss to Katsuki's forehead, then resting his cheek on the other's hair.

He sighed, tilting his head back so it leaned against the wall but also still on Shinsou’s shoulder. He wasn’t going to go out for a while, so there was no point hiding his nausea and headaches, his face changed to a face of discomfort and he rubbed his eyes to try to make the headache recede.

Shinsou let his eyes drift shut in exhaustion again, shoulders slumping comfortably.

He grabbed the blanket up and pulled it over Shinsou's shoulders, beginning to fall asleep.

Shinsou hummed his thanks, already half out again.

Katsuki hummed and turned, pulling Shinsou closer and wrapping his arms over his chest.

Shinsou let himself be manipulated however the other wanted him, comfortable.

Katsuki fell asleep with his head resting on Shinsou's neck, half of his body under the blanket.

Shinsou woke sick again and tried to quickly and carefully move away. All he had left was bile and a little water, but he'd still feel better NOT coughing it up on the blond. He ran the water in the sink and spat, head bowed over it and breathing hard for a minute.

Katsuki woke up to the sound of movement. He didn’t need to look up to know that Shinsou had gotten up and run to the sink. Katsuki didn’t hear him gagging or throwing up, so he didn’t stand up with him, but did open his eyes and sign ‘okay?’

Shinsou nodded, wiping his mouth, "M'fine," he managed, wetting a cloth and wiping his face and neck, "I'll be back with you quickly."

Katsuki nodded and pressed his hands into his stomach, it wasn't hurting enough for Katsuki to be worried or even move closer to the sink but it was uncomfortable if he didn't press something against it.

After another minute of cooling himself down, Shinsou stood straight again. "Want some water?"

He raised his head before removing one hand from his stomach to sign 'no'.

Shinsou nodded, coming back over and lowering himself next to the blond again.

'better?' he signed, 'worse?'

"Little better, but I'm not going to be doing much more than moving between my bedroom and here for the next couple days, still," Shinsou shrugged.

He nodded, feeling guilty still for kissing Shinso. Katsuki had learned how to hide and ignore his symptoms his whole life, but it seemed like Shinsou was much less immune. He rubbed his eyes again and pulled Shinsou back the way he was, laying his head on the nape of Shinsou's neck to go back to sleep.

Shinsou instinctively raised a hand to run soothingly through Katsuki's hair, eyes falling shut again as well.

Katsuki didn't wake up again till much later, but he could tell it was still dark out even though he didn't open his eyes. His head was pounding, so much he could feel it in his throat. He let go of whatever he was holding to rub the bridge of his nose, leaning back and groaning. He knew it was from the lack of food, he had to eat something sooner or later or he would die. He gagged and held his head, taking deep breaths.

Shinsou shifted against him, coming back to consciousness again slowly, "'Suki?"

Katsuki heard his name being called but it only worsened the ever-growing headache. He could feel the nausea building up from pain but couldn't focus on that right now, he let one of his hands out in front of him. Not looking up or opening his eyes to see if Shinsou could see before signing, 'quiet'.

Shinsou nodded, standing and moving from Katsuki again, getting a glass of water and another painkiller for him, pressing them into the other's hands wordlessly.

He took the pill instantly, holding the cup in his hands hesitantly before attempting to take a sip. He choked on it pathetically and buried his head into his knees, muffling his coughs, only making him cough more.

Shinsou rubbed his back gently, taking the cup back.

Katsuki got his breathing back under control, taking Shinsou's hand off his back and moving it to his knee. He couldn't have someone touching behind him right now, in front was fine. His throat felt like shit, so he took the cup back, taking another sip and this time managing to swallow it.

Accepting the movement of his hand, Shinsou rubbed his thumb comfortingly on his knee, staying silent, hoping his presence was actually accepted.

The headache was dying down, he knew it would come back but for now, he lowered his hands and leaned back, turning to press his forehead into the cool tiled walls.

Shinsou stood again, getting the wet washcloth, refreshing it, and offering it to the other.

Katsuki felt something press against his arm; he opened his eyes tiredly and saw a washcloth in Shinsou's hand. He sighed and took it, 'thanks', and pressed it to his forehead, 'sorry'.

"For?" Shinsou asked quietly, not moving to sit in case the other needed something else.

'waking you'

"It's fine, glad I can help."

He shook his head slightly, closing his eyes again. Now that the headache was gone the nausea was more noticeable, his face twisted in discomfort.

"Want help over?"

He shook his head, ‘don’t touch me.’ Katsuki stood up on his own and walked to the toilet, leaning onto it and gagging, bile falling from his mouth.

Shinsou moved away to let him go, sitting back in the tub to wait it out.

The bile lasted only a few minutes, and he painfully dry heaved for a while after that before sitting back, flushing it and emptying the bile from the toilet, and standing up to wash his mouth.

Shinsou sat, cheek on his knee, eyes closed.

Katsuki walked back over to Shinsou, sitting next to him with a thud and taking the cloth back but this time putting it on his throat.

Shinsou opened his eyes when the other returned, resting his hand on the edge of the tub, offering it if Katsuki wanted, eyes lingering on his throat for a moment.

Katsuki noticed Shinsou's hand in the corner of his eye, the same way he noticed his look, he turned to face him, ‘what?’

Shinsou shrugged, not moving.

He narrowed his eyes but didn’t push it any further, taking Shinsou's hand and leaning his head back against the tub.

Shinsou rubbed a thumb against the bandages softly, a small smile on his lips.

Katsuki sighed and pulled Shinsou closer, wrapping his arms around his waist and burying his face in Shinsou's back.

Shinsou patted his hands, smiling at being held like this, even if he didn't really offer much in return.

Katsuki fell asleep again, the cloth slipping from his neck into the floor next to Shinsou.

Shinsou picked up the cloth, tossing it into the sink, and sat there, thinking.

Katsuki unconsciously tightened his grip when Shinsou moved, twisting his face so his cheek was pressed into Shinsou's back.

Shinsou smiled, "Just sleep, 'Suki," he murmured.

He lightly nodded, loosening his grip with a stifled yawn.

Shinsou lifted one of Katsuki's hands to brush a kiss over it, "I won't go anywhere, you're safe."

He nodded again tiredly. Signing a ‘sleep’ to Shinsou's chest.

A nod, "I will."

‘Good’

"You okay if I lean back against you?"

He nodded. ‘Don’t touch neck’

"I'll try not to," Shinsou said, shifting forward slightly before leaning back so his head rested on the other's chest, "okay?"

He nodded, resting his head on Shinsou's hair.

Shinsou nodded in return, letting his eyes drift shut again, hands folded on his own stomach, long legs folded a little awkwardly to fit in the tub.

He opened his eyes, ‘uncomfortable?’

Shinsou shook his head, "I'm fine,"

He looked at Shinsou's legs, ‘sure?’

Shinsou smiled, tilting his head back, "despite being an asshole sometimes, you're really a nice guy. I'll be fine,"

He pushed Shinsou's head forward. ‘Just making sure you’re not dumb enough to ruin your back and make me take care of it.’

Shinsou chuckled, settling in, "My back will be fine."

He closed his eyes, ‘Don’t complain to me tomorrow then e-y-e-b-a-g-s’.

Shinsou snorted, "Did I actually complain last time?"

He couldn’t remember, ‘Doesn’t matter. Sleep’ he bounced his knee to jolt Shinsou when he said sleep.

Shinsou winced at the knee jab, but nodded, "You too."

He hummed and lay his head back, stifling another yawn to be quiet, and fell asleep.

Shinsou smiled as he fell asleep as well, a hand coming around to twine with one of Katsuki's.

Katsuki woke up, the first thing he noticed was his headache. “Fuck, go away,” he mumbled forgetting his throat and wincing at the pain. He tried to pull his knees up but soon realized he couldn’t when he saw Shinsou laying on him. His headache pounded and he didn’t think straight when he bounced his knee to wake Shinsou up.

Shinsou woke with a start, lurching forward with a cough, softly crying out when his ankle protested.

With Shinsou off him, he stood up and got out of the tub, running to the sink and throwing up into it.

"You had anything left?" Shinsou asked, standing awkwardly on one foot, massaging the other.

Katsuki didn’t know, so he didn’t say anything. He opened a drawer and grabbed painkillers, he took one and looked at Shinso, massaging his foot, and took out another one. Throwing the bottle of painkillers back in the drawer, he dry swallowed one and walked over to give the other to Shinsou.

Shinsou pocketed the pill. "My leg's asleep, I don't need pills."

He watched him pocket it before closing his eyes, sitting against the tub and rubbing his face, ‘Quiet’

Shinsou nodded, walking away and out of the bathroom to get another glass of Gatorade for himself, and some ice for the other to eat and chill himself with.

When he heard Shinsou leave the room he slid down the side of the tub and sat on the floor. His ears stung like he’d exploded right into them and his entire face ached.

Shinsou came back with a bowl of ice, and set it before the other so he could do with it what he liked, horribly out of his depth.

Katsuki looked at the bowl for a few long seconds before looking up to Shinso, ‘what the fuck am I suppose to do with this?’

"Eat?" Shinsou shrugs, "put it on your face to cool down or the back of your neck? Just thought it might be nice."

He looked at him for a few seconds before gesturing for him to come closer.

Shinsou stepped closer, cringing slightly, expecting the other to do something rash, given his response to the ice.

He grabbed a handful of the ice and put it down the front of Shinsou's shirt. Leaning back with the same expression still on his face.

Shinsou let out a shriek, flapping his shirt so the ice fell to the floor.

He pressed his hand back to his face again, standing up using the tub as support.

Shinsou stepped forward again, holding a hand out to help the other if he wanted it.

He didn’t take his hand, embarrassed Shinsou even thought he needed help. He grabbed the ice bowl that was still on the floor and put it on the sink, pouring it out. He turned back to Shinsou, ‘breakfast.’

Shinsou nodded.

Katsuki took the bowl with him and walked past Shinsou out of the room, down the stairs, and to the kitchen. He put the bowl down near the sink before looking to Shinsou for suggestions.

Shinsou shrugged. "Soup?" he offered.

Katsuki looked at him for a moment before looking away, he nodded after a while and walked out of the kitchen so Shinsou could go in. Despite knowing his way around a kitchen he'd never made soup, ever.

Shinsou watched him go, very confused, but started by heating up a pot of chicken broth, "'Suki, can you chop some celery, onions, and carrots?" he asked the other softly.

Cutting vegetables was easy; he grabbed a knife and in only a few minutes he had a chopping board full of diced vegetables. He turned back to Shinsou, expecting more instructions.

Shinsou had pulled a couple chicken breasts out of the fridge and was cooking them in a pan, "sweat the veggies, please. And make sure the chicken doesn't burn, if you don't mind," he smiled.

He grabbed a pan and poured some oil in, putting in the vegetables and stirring slowly, keeping an eye on the chicken.

Shinsou went upstairs to see if anyone else was home or wanted food. Hizashi was in his room reading, Eri curled up next to him, asleep.

The blond man smiled when he noticed the other. "Sho went out to patrol," he said softly, "I'm taking the night off to watch over my sick children."

"Eri too?" Shinsou asked guiltily.

"Poor dear's caught your stomach bug too," he confirmed.

"Suki and I are making some chicken soup, I'll bring you both up bowls."

"Thank you, Toshi."

Shinsou smiled, heading back downstairs again.

Katsuki looked up when Shinsou got back, he wasn't sure how cooked everything should be if it's soup so he hoped Shinsou would come over and look because Katsuki wasn't going to ask.

Shinsou came over, turned off the veggies, and put the chicken into a bowl, handing it to the other boy. "Shred."

He took it, and after a few minutes, handed Shinsou back a bowl of shredded chicken.

Shinsou took all the parts and put them in the broth, setting it to simmer, then added some noodles and put on the lid.

Katsuki looked at Shinsou not knowing what to do next. Figuring they just had to wait, Katsuki grabbed a teabag looking at Shinsou to see if he wanted one too.

Shinsou nodded, "Please and thank you."

He grabbed two cups, putting one tea bag in each and a teaspoon of sugar in Shinsou's, stepping back, waiting for the water to boil.

Shinsou clicked his tongue before signing, 'how are your injuries?'

'fine' he shrugged, keeping his face turned away from Shinso. 'you?'

'fine,'

He nodded.  The kettle went off and he poured the water into the mugs, giving Shinsou a spoon with his to stir the sugar in. 'who's home?'

'loud and small,' Shinsou signed, then took his cup and spoon with a grateful nod, and stirred his tea before taking a sip.

He looked at the clock, Aizawa was usually home by this time sleeping or doing whatever the fuck he does, 'where's walking dead?'

Shinsou shrugs, moving to take down some bowls for the soup.

Katsuki stood back and watched him, not really sure what else he could do to help.

Shinsou stirred the pot with a ladle, plucking out a noodle, ate it, then plucked one out for the other.

Katsuki took the noodle and ate it, not sure what reaction Shinsou wanted. He just gave a small smile and stood to the side.

Shinsou nodded, serving out the soup into bowls, handing two to Katsuki, collected spoons, then grabbed the other two bowls, heading upstairs.

Katsuki figured Shinsou was taking the other bowls to the two upstairs. He looked at his broth and put half of it back into the pot, knowing there was no way he'd finish all of it.

Shinsou went up and set the bowls on Hizashi's bedside table for him and the girl, ran a sympathetic hand through Eri's hair, and went back down.

Katsuki passed Shinsou his bowl when he came down, looking up the staircase, 'they're awake?' he asked, he'd assumed they were sleeping.

Shinsou nodded, 'Loud's watching small. Sick'

Katsuki faltered. Eri got sick? He tried to push the guilt down and looked at his plate, 'eat, or it will get cold'

Shinsou smiled, taking his bowl and raising it to his lips to drink some of the broth.

He followed Shinsou's lead and drank the broth, sitting at the table and waiting for Shinsou to sit with him.

Shinsou sat next to him, sipping some more broth.

Katsuki watched him for a moment before putting his bowl down, 'you feeling okay?'

'What you mean?'

'you're sick dumbass'

'You wouldn't let me do anything if I said no,'

'doesn't answer my question e-y-e-b-a-g-s'

Shinsou sighed, hands dropping, "I feel like shit. I'm dizzy as fuck, but at least I'm not going to puke right now."

He nodded, taking another sip of the soup.

Shinsou picked up his spoon and ate some chicken.

Katsuki sat in silence for a while before signing, 'i need to go home tomorrow night'

"Is that more or less than 24 hours?"

'more'

Shinsou nodded, "All right."

'why?' he finished the bowl, setting it down and looking over at Shinsou.

A shrug, "I'm terrible with time, trying to figure out if you'll be able to patrol with dad or not."

'so you're letting me?' he smirked, picking up the bowl and standing up and putting it in the sink.

"If you're healthy enough, which at this rate is a probable no."

He frowned, 'i ate the entire bowl e-y-e-b-a-g-s' going over the list Shinsou made before in his head.

"You're still vomiting."

'cause I hadn't eaten,' he pointed out.

"Not the point."

'so what is your point?'

"I still think you're sick."

He waited, when he realized that was Shinsou's whole point he looked at him confused, 'and?'

"And I don't think it would be safe right now, for you or anyone else."

He rolled his eyes, 'It's fine e-y-e-b-a-g-s.'

"It's not when you're risking your life, my dad's, and anyone you might try to help."

'I'm not going out to help.' he signed.

"If you can't keep up with dad, you're still a risk."

'I can keep up with him e-y-e-b-a-g-s.'

"You can't if you're vomiting."

'I've done it before.' he signed without thinking, not talking about Aizawa and more just running in general.

Shinsou sighed, "Persuade dad to take you and I won't stop you."

He figured that was good enough, he looked at Shinsou's bowl, 'you done?'

"I guess," Shinsou sighed, pushing it away.

Katsuki took it and also put it in the sink; he passed Shinsou and walked up the stairs to get the other dishes so he could wash them. He knocked on the bedroom door.

Hizashi met him at the door with the bowls, one empty, one full, "Thank you," he said quietly.

He nodded, taking the bowls and walking back down, putting them in the sink and throwing a towel at Shinsou. ‘Dry’

Shinsou rolled his eyes as he caught it, "Fine."

He turned on the tap and flicked it to hot, he was about to feel the water and check when he remembered the bandages. He frowned, taking the towel from Shinsou. ‘I’ll dry’

Shinsou glanced at his hands, then opened the cabinet under the sink and pulled out a pair of ghastly banana yellow gloves, "If you'd wanted," he said, holding out the towel in one hand, gloves in the other.

He took the towel and stepped aside for Shinsou to step past him.

Shinsou returned the gloves to their place under the sink and started on the dishes, passing the clean dishes to the other.

Katsuki took the dishes as Shinsou gave them, drying them and if he had time, putting them away. If not he just stacked them on the counter to put away at the end.

Shinsou hummed quietly to himself as he worked, eventually just sighing when he was done and heading back upstairs wordlessly.

Shinsou left as he finished drying the last plate. Katsuki stayed in the kitchen and continued to put away the dry dishes before sitting back at the table, resting his head in his arms tiredly.

Shinsou went up to his room, leaving the door open, and curled on top of his bed.

Katsuki assumed Shinsou didn’t want him to follow or didn’t want to talk to him so he stayed downstairs.

Shinsou eventually fell asleep in his odd position, sleeping restlessly.

Katsuki couldn’t manage to fall asleep, and eventually, his headache came back. Katsuki sighed, knowing that meant a couple of hours had passed, and he went to the bathroom to get another painkiller.

Shinsou was still unconscious.

He walked in and opened the drawer, grabbing the bottle he’d thrown in there earlier. He took one and his eyes landed on a heating pad at the bottom. He grabbed it and went back downstairs to fill it, figuring Eri might want it.

Hizashi was reading quietly to the sleeping girl, a hand brushing through her hair.

He remembered the first and second day were when he hit the most stomach pain, he felt guilty for giving Eri the sickness. Once it was filled he carried it up to the bedroom and knocked on the door again.

"Come in, kid," Hizashi called quietly, hand still stroking.

Katsuki walked in but stood in the doorway, keeping the door open. ‘Thought she might like one’ he said, putting the hot water bottle on the bed where Hizashi could easily reach it before starting to walk out.

"Thanks, kid," the blond man said, pulling it closer and testing the temp, finding it pleasant, and slipping it into the girl's arms for her to hug.

Katsuki walked out and closed the door. Standing in the hallway for a moment before noticing Shinsou's door was open, he rolled his eyes and walked up to it, not looking inside before closing it quietly and going downstairs.

When he got to the bottom he realized how weird it was, him being here. He was really just inconveniencing people and making their lives harder. He frowned and grabbed his phone before walking to the front door to leave.

Shinsou woke again to be sick, this time into his garbage can, and just flopped, not caring anymore at the moment, feeling like trash and wishing someone was there. Fuck, he was needy.

He groaned, wiping his mouth with a tissue, and rolled over.

Before he could reach for the handle he heard a crash from upstairs. He contemplated just leaving but in a few seconds, he was at the staircase. He got to Shinsou's door and opened it.

Shinsou looked at him, bleary eyes barely opening, not even attempting to focus.

Katsuki sighed, leaving the room with the door open and going to the bedroom. He pulled out a wet cloth and another painkiller with a cup of water before going back and putting them next to Shinsou for him to use if he needed and sitting across from him.

"Splodey," Shinsou murmured, "thought I made you angry."

Katsuki frowned, he’d thought the opposite. He sat closer and brushed through his hair, pulling his bangs off his forehead and putting the wet cloth against it.

Shinsou shifted closer, resting his chin on the other's thigh, eyes falling shut, "Thank you for not being angry. I want the people I love safe."

Katsuki wasn’t sure what he was talking about. Everyone was safe? He ignored that and nodded though, for the sake of Shinsou.

Shinsou let his eyes drift shut again, shivering slightly.

Katsuki stopped brushing through Shinsou's hair and waited a few seconds, before standing up and carrying him back onto the bed. He lay Shinsou under the covers and stood awkwardly; not sure whether to stay or go, he started to walk out of the room.

Shinsou forced his eyes open again, "I'm sorry,' he murmured.

He stopped and turned back around. ‘For what?’

"You don't want to be here," Shinsou said, "I'm sorry I made you come."

Katsuki froze, raising his hands to sign an answer but unsure what to say. He lowered them and walked back over to Shinso, sitting on the bed next to him and brushing his hand through his hair.

Shinsou pressed into the hand, sighing, "I'm sorry I kissed you," he knew the other was regretting that, so he'd take the blame, even if he didn't regret any of it.

Katsuki bit his lip, knowing that Shinsou would regret kissing him, he probably regrets helping him the day they met, Katsuki had only made things worse. ‘I know’

"I'm sorry I keep trying to help and only make things worse."

‘You’re not’

Shinsou laughed wetly, "Aren't I?"

He shook his head so he could use his hands to run through Shinsou's hair again.

Another huffed a self-hating laugh, "I'm sorry you destroyed your hands because I upset you."

‘I hurt your arms, and your eye’

"I'm sorry I surprised you and made you punch me."

‘Not your fault’ he signed, getting tired of Shinsou’s self-deprecating comments. He was sick, tired, and probably delirious. He put his hand over Shinsou's mouth.

Shinsou raised a brow, a hand coming up to wrap lightly around Katsuki's wrist, pulling it away, entwining their fingers, "I'm sorry we couldn't have gotten to know each other under better conditions."

He pulled Shinsou's hand with him as he signed, ‘stop blaming yourself for shit that isn’t your fault.’

Shinsou pulled him closer, "Please come back to bed," he said softly.

Katsuki hesitated before laying down next to him, resting his head against Shinsou's shoulder.

"Thank you," Shinsou said softly, keeping hold of Katsuki's hand.

Katsuki nodded, knowing Shinsou could feel it. He moved closer into him and wrapped his arms around.

"I'm sorry for what I'm about to do," Shinsou said, holding Katsuki's wrists in gentle hands.

Katsuki sat back a little, half confused and half cautious.

Shinsou rolled over to face the blond again, rested a hand on his chest, and kissed him again, fearing the other's reaction.

Katsuki kept his eyes open in surprise, letting Shinsou kiss him but not kissing back.

After a few moments, Shinsou pulled back, ducking his head, "Sorry."

Katsuki raised Shinsou's chin with one of his hands before signing confused, ‘thought you said you regretted kissing me?’

"Only because I know you don't like it."

Katsuki couldn’t really explain it, he didn’t really mind kissing, but he liked Shinsou. He leaned forwards and kissed Shinsou again.

Shinsou melted into it, fingers lightly curling into Katsuki's shirt. He felt safe, and warm, and...better.

 

Chapter Text

Katsuki broke the kiss and leaned back, Shinsou was clearly tired and not thinking straight. ‘Go to sleep’
Shinsou hummed, "Stay. Please," he said softly, fingers not loosening on his shirt,
Katsuki nodded and leaned back in, brushing through Shinsou's hair.
Shinsou leaned in, burying his face in Katsuki's chest, "Thank you."
He nodded again, signing ‘sleep’ into Shinsou’s chest.
Shinsou nodded, letting his grasp on consciousness slip, falling asleep between one breath and the next.
Katsuki waited till he was sure Shinsou was asleep before stopping his hand brushing through his hair. He knew he probably wouldn’t sleep tonight and his brain was shouting at him to move. He sat back slightly and sat up against the bed frame, knees pulled to his chest but still holding Shinsou's hand.
Shinsou curled up next to him, head resting in his lap now with the movement.
Katsuki leaned his head back, brushing Shinsou's cheek with his thumb unconsciously.
Shinsou hummed unconsciously at the touch, snuggling closer, curling around his feet.
Katsuki looked down after a while, realizing Shinsou was almost completely on top of him, he moved one of his legs away but knew it was useless to try to move the other so he just left it.
Shinsou mumbled unintelligibly in his sleep, shifting slightly, hand clutching and releasing from Katsuki's.
It hurt when Shinsou kept tightening into Katsuki’s. Katsuki bit his tongue to distract himself from the sting of pain whenever Shinsou did so.
Aizawa poked his head in about 5 in the morning, three hours before he'd usually be home. He tapped lightly on the door, seeing the kid awake, 'how is he?'
Katsuki looked down at Shinsou who was now clutching his numb hand and shrugged, using one hand to sign ‘better’
Aizawa nods, 'and you?'
Katsuki pause for a second, confused why Aizawa would ask before signing ‘fine’.
Another nod, 'Thanks for dinner.'
Katsuki frowned, not remembering making dinner before remembering the soup, and shook his head, ‘wasn’t me’
'T doesn't cut vegetables like that,' Aizawa signs, 'Think you can patrol tonight?'
Katsuki nodded, ignoring the memory of Shinsou telling him not to.
Aizawa nodded, 'I have a lead on Kai I'd like help with, if you're up for it,'
Katsuki wasn’t sure who Kai was but moved his hand out of Shinsou's grip to sign ‘I already said yes’.
'Just telling you what was happening. See you in 12 hours,' he bid in farewell, closing the door behind him as he left.
Katsuki let Aizawa leave and close the door, pushing his hand against Shinsou's arm to wake him up.
Shinsou groaned, but woke up, looking up at him, "You rang?" he drawled.
‘Who’s Kai?’ he asked.
"Chisaki, who Dad took Eri from."
He nodded, ‘Was he biologically related to her?’
"Don't know."
While Shinsou was awake, Katsuki took the opportunity to move his leg; once he did, he signed ‘go back to sleep.’
Shinsou nodded, yawning, and rolled over, head still in the other's lap.
Katsuki waited for the other to fall asleep before moving Shinsou's head to a pillow. He got up and walked downstairs, figuring if he was awake he may as well make breakfast.
Katsuki went step by step remembering Shinsou's soup recipe and changed it slightly, making it less sweet and with pumpkin and celery. He poured it in five different bowls, putting three in the fridge and bringing two back up to Shinsou's room.
Shinsou was hugging his pillow, shivering slightly even though he was sweating, but still asleep.
Katsuki opened the door with his leg and put the bowls on the bedside table. He could tell Shinsou was sweating so he used the bandages on his arms to wipe it off and rubbed him below his eye to wake him up.
Shinsou pressed into the touch, "'Suki?" he mumbled questioningly.
Katsuki hummed back, helping Shinsou sit up and wiping his neck with the blanket. ‘Don’t move’ he said, standing up to get water.
Shinsou nodded, the motion making him dizzy and flop over onto the bed again.
He rolled his eyes and helped him back up, ‘I said don’t fucking move’.
Shinsou chuckled roughly, turning to a cough, "I know."
‘Then don’t be a dumbass and move’ Katsuki signed, walking out and grabbing water. When he came back in, he handed it to Shinsou but didn’t let go in case Shinsou decided to try to chug it like an idiot.
Shinsou sipped the water, stopping to breathe after each swallow. He only got through half the glass before he tried pushing it away.
Katsuki let him push the glass away and put it on the table, holding up the soup instead. He had put a lot in there and didn’t expect Shinsou to eat past half, but figured Shinsou would have only eaten half anyway if he put less in, this way he might eat more.
Shinsou looked balefully at the soup, but took it, the bowl warming his hands. He brought his knees up to his chest and settled the bowl there, curled over it, breathing in the steam.
Katsuki didn’t push it, instead just grabbing his own bowl and eating. He felt sick the second he ate a bite, but that was a guarantee after not eating for so long, so he ignored it.
Shinsou slowly started to eat his own, nose wrinkling at the sweetness of the pumpkin, but pushed through it, not wanting to upset the other.
‘Don’t eat it if you don’t want to’ Katsuki signed, not needing to look at Shinsou to feel him tending beside him.
Shinsou shook his head, "I need the calories," he murmured, eating another spoonful.
Shinsou needed the vitamin C more than he needed the calories but Katsuki didn’t feel like pointing that out, just continuing to eat.
Shinsou got a quarter of the way through before he dropped his spoon into the bowl, and just rested for a bit.
Katsuki looked over at the loud clank it made and saw Shinsou closing his eyes, the bowl was tilted and about to spill over onto the blanket, so he took it and put it on the bedside table next to his. Katsuki had eaten about half and seeing that Shinsou had eaten less didn’t surprise him, so he just let it go and wiped the sweat off his forehead again.
"Sorry," Shinsou hummed, head falling to the side to look at the other, eyes glazed.
‘Stop talking’ he signed, pulling the blanket up further and wiping under Shinsou's chin before feeling his forehead.
Shinsou had a fever now and was still shivering.
Katsuki knew this would be the worst part of the fever, sweating it out but it was really the only way to get through it. Katsuki was lucky enough to skip this stage, sweating nitroglycerin had its perks when it came to illnesses. Shinsou however would have to wait it out.
"Water. please," Shinsou murmured, blinking slowly.
Katsuki grabbed the half-full glass of water and handed it to Shinsou, watching carefully to make sure he wouldn’t drop it.
Shinsou lifted it with both hands, sipping slowly until it was empty, then handed it back, eyes falling shut.
Katsuki took the cup and stood up to refill it.
Shinsou sank lower into the bed again, blanket settling on the bridge of his nose.
He came back and put the cup beside the bed, lowering the blanket to Shinsou's neck so he wouldn’t overheat and played with his hair, it was greasy and sweaty but Katsuki knew Shinsou liked it, so he didn’t stop.
Shinsou hummed, content with the touch, breath coming in little pants. At least the vomiting had passed.
They both stayed in that rhythm for a while, drinking water, filling it up, waiting. Katsuki really wasn’t in the mood to do anything so he was content enough just letting Shinsou sleep and relax while he did nothing. On what felt like the millionth time standing up he noticed it had gotten darker outside and a look at his phone confirmed it was almost 7.
Hizashi came and poked his head in, sighing at the sight, "Poor baby," he cooed, "Thank you for watching over him."
'didn't do anything' he shrugged truthfully. Well not exactly, Katsuki was the reason he was sick.
"You stayed with him," Hizashi corrected, "Eri's feeling better, her fever broke a few hours ago."
Katsuki nodded, looking down he could tell Shinsou was asleep. Breathing heavily but not worryingly so, so Katsuki slowly pulled his hand away and got up from the bed, rubbing his headache away and blinking a few times.
"How are you feeling?" Hizashi asked, an arm falling around Bakugou's shoulder once he was closer enough.
Katsuki pushed the arm off, not because it made him uncomfortable but he'd been sitting weird and it hurt a little. 'fine' he signed, repeating what he'd told Aizawa.
"Throat any better?"
Katsuki looks at the ground for a moment, focusing on his throat. He shook his head, 'not after-' he cut himself off, realizing he was about to throw Shinsou under the bus, '-before.'
Hizashi raised a brow, hands in his pockets, "What did 'Toshi do?"
'nothing' he lied, knowing he sounded believable but there's no way the other blond would actually believe him.
"Bullshit, kid. He's the only reason you wouldn't finish that sentence,"
He wouldn't get anywhere denying it so he had to change tactics, 'wasn't that bad, I’m fine.'
"Is it the same reason I found you curled up against the front door?"
Katsuki didn't have an excuse at the top of his head so he didn't answer. He didn't look away though, instead kept looking at the man with a blank expression.
Hizashi sighed, "You should wear something else for patrol."
Katsuki looked down at what he was wearing, it was some of Shinsou's clothes he'd borrowed a few days ago and never changed out of. He looked up and signed, 'don't have anything else.'
Hizashi nodded, "You're closer to Sho's size, come on,"
Katsuki nodded, looking back at Shinsou again before following him out of the room.
Hizashi led the kid back to his room, Aizawa sitting with Eri, who was asleep in his lap. He waved slightly to them.
Hizashi went to the wardrobe, looking through the shirts that seemed to sit away from the others, pulling out a dark grey henley and holding it up for the other's approval.
Katsuki never really cared what he wore so when the loud one held up the shirt he didn’t react and just looked at him, wondering if he wanted Katsuki to take it or do something else with it.
Seeing no adverse reaction, Hizashi tossed him the shirt, moving to look at pants.
Katsuki caught it and watched him go through the cupboard for something else, trying to keep his eyes off the other people in the room.
Aizawa moved Eri onto the bed, and came over, grabbed a pair of slightly baggy, faded black pants, handing them to the kid.
He took them and stood for a few more seconds, waiting to see if they wanted to give him anything else or he could leave.
"How good is the traction of your shoes?"
'good' he signed, confident they'd be fine. He'd run from cops in the rain easily with his shoes, so he wasn't too worried.
The man nodded, "Go get dressed, I'll see what equipment I can lend you."
He turned and walked out, closing the door to Shinsou's room and changing.
Aizawa got dressed as well and set out the spare equipment he had on the foot of the bed. A few capture weapons that he'd replaced over the years, some gloves and bracers he'd decided were too restrictive, though maybe the kid would appreciate them with his quirk. He slipped a few knives into various sheaths around his body, including a strap on his thigh and a couple in his boots. Never be too careful, after all.
He ignored the new arrivals from David, since those were for voice-related quirks.
Katsuki walked back into the room, weirdly comforted when he saw the knives. He picked one up and tested it, twisting it around his fingers before feeling its grip. He put it back down and waited for Aizawa to give him a sheath or something else.
Aizawa handed him back the same gloves he'd had the boy try on before, then a pair of the gauntlets to try.
Katsuki took the gloves without batting an eye this time, he knew what they were but considering he was going on a patrol he figured it would be best just to listen to Aizawa. He took the gauntlets after, raising an eyebrow at why he had them but putting them on nonetheless.
"How do they feel?" The dark man asked low.
It was much harder to sign, and Katsuki knew, impossible to sign certain words, 'fine'.
Aizawa looked at him blankly, "If you don't like them, take them off," he said tiredly.
He took off the gauntlets, they would probably be more of a hindrance anyway but kept on the gloves, knowing he'd have less control with them on but it would be easier to manage.
"Take what you think you can use but won't be a hindrance," Aizawa said, gesturing to the bed.
Katsuki looked at the bed and took two knife sheaths, putting one on both his legs before grabbing some other practical things that could come in handy. He looked back at Aizawa waiting.
Aizawa nodded, looking him over, "Good?"
He felt more relaxed now that he could use his hands. ‘sure’
"Good, go put on your shoes, I'll be right down." He nodded, turning to his husband.
Katsuki felt like a child but did it anyway, leaving the room and coming back in less than a minute. He stopped at Shinsou's door on the way back, checking he was asleep one last time and closing the door.
Aizawa and Hizashi shared a soft moment, since this was more dangerous than a usual patrol night. He'd come home safe, he always did, but there was still the worry and Hizashi wanted to hold him one last time, just in case.
A lingering kiss and Aizawa headed downstairs to pick up his ward for the night to head out.
Katsuki had waited outside the bedroom door but he wasn’t dumb enough to not know they kissed. He followed the older man out the door, confident he could keep up so he stayed quiet.
Aizawa glanced over his shoulder at the kid, "Do you have a name, kid? Something I can call you, so I'm not just calling you 'kid' all night. Doesn't have to be your actual name."
‘B-a-k-u-g-o-u’ he spelled out, not even sure if Shinsou knew that, he wasn’t going to give him his first name though.
"Bakugou Katsuki," Aizawa nodded, offering his hand to shake, "Aizawa Shota, but you know that already. I'll be known as Eraser out there."
Katsuki didn’t look at the hand let alone shake it. He instead walked past him before waiting for him to keep moving.
Aizawa followed, locking the door behind them as they got onto the street, "We're taking the roofs."
He nodded, jumping up the fire escape he saw and climbing it to the rooftop. He’d gotten a lot fast since he met Shinsou.
Aizawa raised a brow, following quickly once the other reached the roof, then started across the roofs, jumping between the gaps of the buildings, turning to watch the other at larger gaps, just in case.
Katsuki had never jumped across rooftops before, usually tending to stick to the streets and old alleyways and secret paths which is where his good memory came from. But he was able to use his quirk to get over the especially large gaps and, thanks to the gloves, they were quieter.
After a couple times of this, Aizawa stopped checking, then stopped and waited at the edge of a building, the street below lit with streetlights, headlights, and some floodlights from the courthouse.
Katsuki stopped behind the man, waiting a few moments to see if he was going to run off or make a sudden movement but when he didn’t, he walked silently next to him.
"You can stay up here and wait or follow me now," Aizawa said.
‘Follow you’ he signed, seriously wondering if Aizawa ever thought he’d just wait.
"All right," Aizawa said, jumping down, using his scarf to slow his descent, before landing lightly below. A flick, and it unhooked from whatever support he'd found, wrapping it around his neck again.
Katsuki didn’t have the tools to parkour his way down but he could make it in a single jump and blast himself up before hitting the floor. Which he did and landed next to Aizawa; it was quiet because of the gloves but still loud enough that someone down the road would hear it.
Aizawa huffed, smiling slightly, and headed toward the man in the brown coat who was watching them curiously.
He opted to stay behind Aizawa for this, not because he was afraid but he didn't know who the person was or if they knew who he was, and that could ruin whatever Aizawa needed to do. He stayed about an arm's distance away from Aizawa as they approached the man.
"Eraser," the man greeted with a nod.
"Detective Tsukauchi," Aizawa nodded back.
"Who's the kid? Where's MindWipe?"
"Mindwipe is bedridden with an infection, BombTech has opted to take his place." It wasn't a lie, so it wouldn't set the other off.
Naomasa narrowed his eyes, taking a step closer, "What's his story?"
"Unofficially, he's from an abusive household, parents have quirk hating police friends, he doesn't trust the police and wanted proof you're not all bad. Officially, he's here on trial as my new protégé," Aizawa answered.
Katsuki could only make out parts of what Aizawa was saying, which in turn pissed him off, especially when the ones he did hear were 'abusive household' and ' new protégé'. He rolled his eyes at what Aizawa thought this was going to change, he wasn't going to trust anyone till he knew how they acted without someone watching them.
He stayed quiet though, not signing anything, even a remark at the nicknames, or codenames? Aizawa had said. He had raised an eyebrow at MindWipe and bit back a smile at BombTech, smirking at the dumb names.
Tsukauchi looked to the boy and nodded, "If you trust him to be here, I won't argue with the 'official' story," he said a little louder, back to a normal tone. "Did you get my last update?"
Aizawa shook his head, "No, Snow is sick as well, so Mic and I have been taking care of her while BombTech helped MindWipe. I haven't had the chance to brief him yet, either."
Trenchcoat sighed, "A small group of quirked extremists wrecked the nest earlier today, they're scattered to the wind. Chisaki and his second have escaped, the nest is destroyed, we're questioning lower-ranking members of his organization for any details we can get from them," he filled in.
Katsuki frowned at the story, thinking of how familiar it sounded but he couldn't place where from. He didn't think it was his place to speak up when he had no real evidence or speculation so he waited for him to say something.
"I can hear you thinking," Aizawa muttered, glancing back at him, "Get up here, kid."
Katsuki walked closer, cautious of the man in the brown coat and Aizawa; he didn't completely trust either of them but Aizawa was miles ahead so Katsuki stood by his side.
"You have thoughts," the detective said, not moving.
'yes', Katsuki signed, not really keen to share them with him though.
"Will you share them with Eraser? My sign language is rather limited, I'm afraid," the detective said pleasantly.
Katsuki really didn't see the point in sharing, he could barely place why it sounded familiar let alone give them anything that would help, but they may not get off his back if he didn't cooperate or cuff him till he answered, 'just sounded familiar,' he signed to Aizawa.
'All right,' Aizawa answered in response, 'if you think of anything that might help, new eyes can be helpful, so don't hesitate,' he told the boy, then turned back to the detective, "Anything else to follow up on?"
The detective nodded, "Since you missed the email, let me grab you a hard copy of the files and report from the incident."
Aizawa nodded, and the detective walked away, back towards the uniformed police.
When the detective started walking away, Katsuki caught a glimpse of his handcuff under his coat and suddenly it clicked. When he was kidnapped, that's what it reminded him of.
"How are your hands? Reopen your knuckles again?" Aizawa asked as they waited.
His attention was brought back and he looked at his hands. ‘they’re fine.’ They really were, a little bloody but that was expected.
Aizawa nodded in acceptance.
The detective returned with a pair of manila folders, handing one to each of them. "We have a few men stationed at ground zero in case anyone returns and to keep anyone from exploring the wreckage."
"Good," Aizawa nodded, opening his copy and flipping through the pictures and reports.
Katsuki only skimmed through the files, ‘Overhaul?’ Looked up and asked Aizawa. He’d heard of the name before, it was never for anything like this though, just small things here and there.
"Chisaki," Aizawa supplies, stepping closer to a light, examining an image closely, "did they find the lab?"
Tsukauchi shook his head, "we haven't searched all the rubble yet. The basement's collapsed."
‘They wouldn’t go back there, they have many bases to fall back on. There's no reason to go anywhere where cops would be’ he signed, knowing that was common knowledge but feeling like he should say it anyways.
"From what we knew, their main operation was out of the main house with Snow," Aizawa responds, "their main stock of equipment was with her, though by now they may have emptied already, following the raid."
Katsuki shook his head, ‘even if they didn’t it’s gone by now. If they allied with the league you won’t find anything, they’ve got teleporters and people who can burn things to the ground.’
"The league was the other involved, they brought it to the ground," Tsukauchi said, recognizing the gesture for 'league'.
"Why do you know the league, kid?" Aizawa asked.
Katsuki looked at the detective they were with and said nothing, going back to reading the file, this time paying closer attention to the details.
"Tenko was there?" Aizawa sighed, "that complicates matters more. Are we sure OverHaul is still alive?"
"Not necessarily, but we haven't found evidence otherwise."
‘He’s alive’ he signed, confident in his assumption.
"What you find?" Aizawa said, coming to look at what Bakugou found in his file.
He shook his head, ‘The blue-haired one, Tenko?’ He looked at Aizawa to see if that was the right person before continuing ‘Wouldn’t let him die. He wants him dead but he wants to do it.’
"That's why I suspect he's dead already," Aizawa said, "if we've lost him, Tenko could have already caught up with him and finished what he started."
Katsuki shook his head again. ‘You would know for sure if he was dead.’
"How do you know him?" Aizawa asked, finding the kid's knowledge on this a little suspicious, but not dangerous yet.
‘Don’t repeat out loud’ he sighed before signing rapidly fast so the detective wouldn’t be able to keep up if he tried, ‘was kidnapped by them to join’.
Aizawa snorted with a raised brow, 'is he any better at convincing than when he tried to recruit me?'
‘No. He let me out,’ he signed, ‘but they like to do things just to show they can do them. If they killed Overhaul you would know by now.’
Aizawa shook his head, 'he's pissed about experiments with Snow. He wouldn't think straight. Might not think to showcase.'
‘He’s not the only one in the league and he’s not the only one who wants Overhaul dead.’ He thought back to everyone in the bar, he couldn’t picture any of them killing one of the biggest underground villains and just keeping quiet about it.
Aizawa nodded again, "Fair enough," he closed his own file, handing it back to the detective, "we'll meet you at the base," he told Tsukauchi.
Katsuki handed back his file as well, following Aizawa to the base, he assumed.
Aizawa scaled the building again easily, pausing a moment to wait for his companion.
Katsuki hesitated before grabbing onto the fire escape and pulling himself up, he felt his hands tear slightly as he pulled himself up but ignored it to follow the man.
Aizawa noted the drips of red that fell from the tips of the glove, seeping through the open palm. It was going to be a slasher film to remove them later. "Sure you're okay, kid?"
Katsuki gave a pointed look before signing, ‘im fine keep moving’, clenching his hand to stop the blood from dripping.
Aizawa nodded, running again, heading east this time, straight from the house, toward a rising moon.
They moved for fifteen minutes at this pace before Aizawa sharply missed a jump, landing in a crouch in an alley five floors below.
Katsuki was taken off guard when Aizawa suddenly jumped down five stories. He looked and considered whether he should follow or just try to cross the jump. He walked backwards and ran forwards, using his quirk to cross the jump, and looked back down at Aizawa, waiting for him to climb back up.
Aizawa walked out of the alleyway, moving down the sidewalk toward what might have once been an estate, but was now just rubble, waiting for the other to catch up.

Chapter Text

When he didn’t climb,  he figured that was the way they were supposed to go, but Katsuki knew he wouldn’t be able to make that jump, especially with his hand. So he jumped down to the fire escape and made his way down, soon catching up to Aizawa.

The gruff man nodded as the boy caught up, moving on toward the rubble again. "We're looking for clues to where he would have headed or a way into the basement. Try not to destroy anything useful," in other words, see what he could find, Aizawa wasn't going to stop him.

Katsuki held back on signing a 'fuck you' to the man and walked past him into the estate. It was large and dark, the kinda place in horror movies where it hasn't been used for years. There was dust everywhere and the place was falling apart, part of the banister had cracked off and fallen to the floor. His eyes were immediately drawn to the corner of the room, there were strange scratches on the floor. Not by humans though, not by animals either.

Aizawa was stalking the perimeter outside, doing a check for people or things that might have been dislodged in the attack, not that he truly expected anything of the latter, but it wasn't uncommon for idiots to make.

Katsuki walked to the corner and bent to the ground, tracing the scratches with his finger. They were smooth, like something had scratched multiple times in the same place, over and over and over in the same quarter of a circle shape in the corner. He frowned.

Aizawa found what might have been a secret door before the wall had collapsed, the frame having buckled. He noted it, but continued on to complete his circle before re-entering again to see if the kid had found anything, and if not, get his opinion on the door.

He looked up at the wall, noticing the wood had been chipped away. He brushed his fingers against it, pushing lightly. He furrowed his eyes curiously when one plank shifted but didn't creak. He was about to push against it when he heard footsteps from behind him. He turned around sharply, his heartbeat returning to normal when he saw Aizawa. He stood up and dropped his hands to his side with a look on his face that was easy enough to interpret as 'what?'

Aizawa smirked slightly, "Good instinct. Find anything?"

'Maybe, I'll have to break something to find out though' he signed, remembering Aizawa's one rule.

Aizawa quirked a brow, smirked a little wider, and waved him on, "Go ahead."

Katsuki turned back to the wall, placing his hand against the slab of wood next to the one from before that didn’t creak, pushing against it roughly. It was old and chipped away, so it broke easily, he wrapped his hand behind the slab from before and pulled it, it opened a small door half the side of him, the bottom skid across the floor with an unsettling screeching sound of metal being dragged against wood, following the exact lines of the scratches. The door opened a small and dark passage and Katsuki bent his knees to look through it, setting off a small explosion to get some light. The brief flash however didn’t reveal anything except a dusty, cobweb-filled tunnel-like passage.

Aizawa raised a brow, glancing down the passage as well. "You found something," he agreed. "I found what might be another door as well. Shall we search yours first?"

Katsuki didn't bother answering, instead, he crawled through the entrance. Once he was inside he could stand up properly, he set off small but constant sparks, enough to light up the room, but small and quiet.

Aizawa followed close behind, swiping his arm through cobwebs grimacing, looking around, taking in everything, a hand in his scarf just in case.

Katsuki bit down on his jaw, ignoring the pain of the sparks cauterizing the cuts he got from the fire escape. He could feel the dried blood inside the gloves and it burned immensely but his face was turned away from Aizawa so he didn’t worry about the man seeing. The passage reached a fork and he stopped, looking to the left before back at Aizawa, using both hands to sign ‘separate?’

Aizawa paused, glancing at him.  "If you find trouble, don't fight unless you have to, just run. If you can manage an aimed explosion to partially collapse the tunnel to escape, you have permission. You may break down a door if you need to, but try not to destroy too much. Meet back here in about twenty minutes," he said after some thought.

Katsuki nodded and walked down the left path. It was different from the passage he’d been walking through, the dirty abandoned feel was gone and the walls were cleaner. Smooth concrete on the walls, ceiling, and floor. He kept sparking his hands as he couldn’t see more than a few feet ahead of him.

Chapter Text

Aizawa's hall was...not a healthy shade of brown. He had a small flashlight in his pocket that he hadn't brought out because the kid would probably have been pissed at an assumed weakness. He was going to have to deal with his self-inflicted injuries when he got home, but for now, more important things at hand than a teen's self-destructive tendencies.
The brown wasn't earthy, but flakey, and smelled strongly of iron. It was splashed across the walls in layers, built over years, and the man didn't need to look closer to know it most likely not of an animal source. He buried his nose in his scarf and kept walking. Maybe this was a reason for the plague mask
Katsuki stopped moving, his hand stopping from setting off explosions in confusion. He set one off again, looking at the caved-in roof in front of him. It looked like someone had fallen through the ceiling and made a large dent in the floor, debris on the ground. The walls on either side had burn marks along with dirty handprints, he took note of it in his head and stepped over, continuing to walk.
Aizawa continued on a little further, the smell starting to permeate through his makeshift mask until it became too overwhelming and he had to turn back. The smell of death and meat was too much, even for him.
He turned and headed back to the meeting point, breathing a sigh of relief as fresher air hit his lungs as he leaned against the wall, waiting for his charge to return.
Katsuki's hands were getting tired now and he couldn't make explosions without grunting from the pain. Which meant he had to turn back whether he liked it or not. The passage was going on forever and he wasn't going to be any help if he kept going. He stopped making explosions and walked back in the dark, hands on either side of the walls so could steady himself. When he saw the light from the front of the passage he walked faster.
Aizawa tensed when he saw the figure moving closer, but relaxed when he caught sight of the pale blond hair, brows furrowing when he saw the red on the boy's palms. "Something go wrong?"
'No' he signed in habit, he looked into Aizawa's tunnel, noticing the difference between it and his own. 'find anything?'
"Blood and other, similar matter," he informed vaguely. "I'm going to have to ask Tsukauchi to send a full hazmat team to check."
Katsuki nodded, still looking into Aizawas tunnel. 'Some idiot fell through the roof''.
"While you were there?" Aizawa asked, confused.
'No. Recently though', he signed, thinking back to the burn marks and how new they looked.
"How far in?"
'few hundred meters?' he guessed
Aizawa nodded, "How are your hands?"
Katsuki frowned, 'fine'
"You weren't lighting your way on the way back."
'I know'
"You're bleeding."
'Are we going to keep going?' Katsuki asked to change the topic.
"One last question, and no bullshit, do your hands hurt more or less than when we cleaned them?"
Katsuki knew he was just going to keep asking, so he signed and sighed, 'more' quickly adding, 'now answer my question'.
"If a fight starts, you're finding the first officer you can to take you back home," Aizawa said, and started down Bakugou's tunnel, flashlight scanning from side to side.
Katsuki rolled his eyes but didn't bother answering as Aizawa's back was to him. He started following him through the tunnel, not paying too close attention.
The pair quickly reached the collapsed ceiling and singe marks, "Recognize the marks?" he asked, wanting to test the other's knowledge.
Katsuki didn't recognize them, but he could gather a pretty good idea of what happened. The burns were darker at the top in a vague hand-shaped mark, moving down and fading. It wasn't a sudden or head-on explosion to the walls, it was moving and losing heat. Whoever came from the ceiling probably had some type of fire quirk and grabbed the walls when coming down, running their hands down the wall. 'Tried to use the walls when they came down,' he signed, not able to go into the detail with only sign language.
Aizawa nodded, "Do you think they were trying to go through the ceiling when they came down or it was an aftereffect of a fight?"
'go through' Katsuki signed quickly. ‘Someone had purposefully come down here, it wasn't some aftereffect in a fight. If it was, then the rest of the passage would show signs of a fight or a struggle, other than the burn marks and ceiling itself, the passage was spotless. Whoever it was planned to come down here, and was careful about what they did next.’
Aizawa hummed, nodding, "you have a point, kid," he agreed, continuing further down the passage, pace quickening.
Katsuki took another glance at the burn marks, there were no fingerprints, which was to be expected, but the person clearly made a mistake by burning the walls in the first place. Did he just make them and figure they'd leave them? He shook his head and ran a little to catch up to Aizawa who was already much further ahead.
There was a crash and a curse from the end of the passage, then a bright flash of something igniting, and more cursing.
Aizawa was sprinting now, not bothering to keep the light steady or look around.
Katsuki didn't hesitate before following, despite what Aizawa said about running away. Nobody was actually fighting yet so technically he was following Aizawa's rule. He kept his footsteps quiet, and he caught up.
"Fucking FUCK," the man in the middle of the room cursed, appearing to have knocked over a beaker of some chemical or solution onto the floor and igniting it, the edge of his coat softly burning as well.
Aizawa located a small reserve of a dozen fire extinguishers and threw one to the man, who caught it with a surprised oof, quickly pulling the pin and starting to spray the floor, putting it out.
A minute later, Aizawa shone the light in his face, "Dabi," he said tiredly.
"Eraser," the staple-faced man said just as flatly in return, a small ball of blue fire igniting in an open palm, illuminating the room in dancing shadows, then saw the other, "and not Mindfuck."
Katsuki remembered the guy instantly, he was a pretty unforgettable face. It was pretty simple to put together the pieces and figure out Dabi was the one who fell from the ceiling. He couldn't respond back with a snappy remark and he didn't feel like it was smart to give away that he couldn't talk so he just narrowed his eyes at the man and held his hands in a way that signaled he could set off an explosion whenever he wanted.
Dabi snorted. "He's got bite," he commented, nodding to the blond, "Bastard's not here," he said, attention focusing back on Aizawa.
"Figured that much out," the tired man said, clicking off the flashlight and slipping it back into his pocket, "Found his research?"
A shake of spiky black hair, "Was hiding from Sparky over there, then almost set the whole place alight when I started going through papers."
"Tomura here?"
A snort, "You think I'd be here if he was? No, he had something he needed to do personally."
"You shouldn't be here."
"Aww, what are you gonna do, Eraser?" A smirk spread across scarred skin, "Arrest me for breaking and entering?"
"Destruction of evidence." A returning smirk.
"That was a shitty accident," the menace groaned. "Help me search. Boss doesn't care as long as it's found and beaky doesn't get it back," he said, holding his hand over the work table and the spread of papers and beakers.
Katsuki was trying to put the pieces together in his head, the two obviously weren't going to fight one another but they weren't on good terms either. Katsuki assumed it had something to do with the league wanting Aizawa to join, at least that's what Aizawa said. He dropped his hands seeing as there was no point in being on the offense or defense. Whatever Dabi was looking for, it was for Overhaul, which meant he was still alive. Katsuki figured that, but it was still confirmation nonetheless. Katsuki didn't know what they were looking for, though, and against his better judgment, he walked forward and grabbed one of the papers to see what Dabi was trying to do.
The paper was filled with all manner of science jargon. "The subject," was a common enough phrase between pages, observations of the effects of something on several people, it seemed. Though, he did eventually find a file with the line, "The girl is unresponsive again. We found the experiments work best when the source is conscious and cognizant of her surroundings".
Katsuki assumed the subject was Eri, or at least the main one. From the notes, it seemed like they were experimenting on multiple people. He didn't feel the need to hide that he couldn't talk from Dabi anymore so he signed at Aizawa, 'When she was found, was there anyone else?' he tried to keep it vague, not knowing how much Dabi knew so he didn't give away who the she was or if she was alive still.
"Anyone else?" Aizawa asked, needing clarification.
'People, children, animals.' Katsuki put the paper down to start listing things that could be the subjects described in the papers.
Aizawa shook his head, "No, she was alone. There was no evidence of anyone else in her room."
'What about the other rooms?'
"We didn't find anyone who wasn't part of Overhaul's people."
Katsuki looked at the papers again, it clearly showed the different effects it had on multiple people. He frowned, were they not rescued? Maybe they were relocated? Were they... dead? Katsuki put the paper down and picked up a pile, scanning through them to try and find any information on the other people.
Aizawa read over the page Bakugou had set down, " 'Subject' wasn't Eri, she was an ingredient. Know anything, Dabi?"
"The beaked bastard was looking for capital to fund research to get rid of quirks, some kind of bullet, I don't know how it worked."
'What's his quirk?' Katsuki asked of either of them, eyes still focused on a sheet of paper.
"You need to be more specific, kid."
'Overhaul.'
"Also his quirk. He's like... living cancer. Manipulates the growth of cells."
Katsuki nodded. So that's what he did to Eri, destroyed and regrew her cells. The pages were just data though, nothing Overhaul would desperately need, so why would Tomura not want Overhaul to get a hold of it? Surely there would be other copies or they'd remember what happened. He put the sheets down, now focussing his attention on the chemicals and beakers.
Dabi opened a file, "Found it," he sighed, passing it to the eldest, who took it, reading by the offered handful of light.
Aizawa flipped through pages of numbers and formulas, before snapping it shut, "You found it."
If Katsuki was being honest, he didn't really care what they'd found. This wasn't his case, nor was it ever going to be. If it helped in making Eri safer and catch the guy that was looking for her, then it's good information to have, but he wasn't too curious about what it was Dabi found. He walked to one of the beakers Dabi hadn't spilled and looked at it, ignoring whatever was going on between Aizawa and Dabi.
"Burn it," Aizawa said, handing it back to the scarred man.
"With pleasure," Dabi grinned wickedly, torching the file, "You and the kid get out of here."
Katsuki looked up at the mention of him and walked back next to Aizawa.
"Careful not to get yourself killed with recklessness, Dabi." Aizawa said, nodded shortly to the other man, before walking away, "Give us ten minutes to get out."
"You have five. Run," The scarred man smirked.
Katsuki followed Aizawa but didn’t run like Dabi told them to. He’d spend the majority of their encounter avoiding him and he wasn’t going to start listening to him now. He just followed Aizawa's lead.
Aizawa's pace was a little faster than usual, but he was tense, listening, eyes scanning.
Katsuki looked behind him in the direction they’d just come from; though he couldn’t see anything in the darkness he still narrowed his eyes at it.
Five minutes later, as promised, there was a muffled boom of the lab exploding, and running footsteps behind them.
Katsuki was smart enough to know he couldn’t fight with his hands as they were, he’d be a liability to Aizawa. They were almost out, so he took the easier option of instead running past Aizawa for the exit, assuming Aizawa would follow him.
Aizawa did, and chuckled slightly as Dabi soon caught up, cursing.

Chapter Text

Katsuki spared a glance at Aizawa, deciding to ignore the rules he’d given him. He waited to see how Aizawa would react; after all, Katsuki hadn’t seen Aizawa’s quirk in action yet.
Dabi turned back to look the way they'd come, and laughed, a hint of insanity in his voice. "That was fun!"
Aizawa rolled his eyes, "Get lost before we both have to do something you'll regret."
Dabi continued to laugh as he walked away.
Aizawa followed, but only because that was the way they'd all come in.
Katsuki followed Aizawa, walking next to him instead of behind him and keeping his eyes on Dabi for any sudden movements.
"How controlled is the damage going to be?" Aizawa asked the other.
"The blaze shouldn't leave the laboratory," Dabi answered, hands in his pockets, "The rest of your precious evidence will be safe, don't worry."
"With the amount of shit that leaves your mouth, pardon me for not believing you."
Katsuki bit back a smile and let his eyes leave Dabi's back. Now that it was clear Dabi wouldn't randomly attack them, he let his guard down a little. Beyond Dabi, he could see the exit of the house.
"Give MindFuck my love," Dabi said, waving over his shoulder and stepping into a swirl of shadows that opened before him and closed behind him.
Katsuki rolled his eyes and looked at the skyline, narrowing his eyes at the slight light that was coming over the horizon, he turned back to Aizawa, 'What's the time?'
"I'd say a little after seven," The scruffy man said, glancing toward the sun.
Katsuki's eyes widened and he immediately started sprinting in the direction of his house. His parents were getting home the night before, he'd assumed he'd go on the patrol, watch for a while then leave, not stay all night.
Katsuki cursed himself and without warning, ran. He didn’t think this would take as long as it did, he should be home. He needed to be home.
Aizawa took off after him, cursing.
Katsuki couldn’t climb the building to run on the rooftops, he instead ran along them and followed the same route but from the street. Periodically he’d glance at the skyline to see if it'd gotten any brighter. Not that it mattered, they would be waiting for him.
Katsuki ignored his hands when he grabbed at the bark of the tree, biting into his cheek at the stinging. He pulled at the window, it didn’t budge. A curtain had been put up and closed, hiding the view into his bedroom behind the newly latched window.
Aizawa drew one of his knives and slid it into the window, jostling the window open and up, "Keep your weapons hidden," he said softly. "Come find us if you need to."
The window shut in Aizawa’s face and the curtains hissed as Katsuki pulled them closed. His room was spotless, the sheets changed and surfaces dusted. The enveloped money was missing and Katsuki slid down the wall with a groan. This was his mother’s doing.
Aizawa watched him for a few moments before swinging back onto the roof above, deciding to wait a half-hour, instinct telling him to wait, watch, and listen.
Katsuki stood after a long minute of debate and made his way to the kitchen where he could hear the clinks of glasses and cutlery. His parents were at either end of the table with their respective food in front of them. His father looked at him as he walked down with a conflicted expression. His mother turned to face him when he reached the bottom, her face had him take a step back.
"The whole point of us leaving money was for you to pay the fuckin' bills, how worthless are you?" Her fingers tapped the table, long nails making rhythmic tapping noises as she did so.
To his silence she rolled her eyes and stood, eyeing him up and down. “What’s with the get-up?”
He raised his hands to give her an answer but she quickly grabbed them, her face twisting into a scowl.
"Cut that out. I don’t have time to deal with your shit anymore, next time pay the fuckin' bills so when I get back I have running water."
She let go, her nails pulling out from where they’d dug into his skin and he rubbed his wrists. Even with the gloves on, his mother's sharp manicured nails still managed to hurt. She took her plate and placed it loudly in the sink along with her glass before walking towards her room and slamming the door.
"Are you all right?” Katsuki looked up to be met by his dad's sad expression.
Katsuki managed to scoff, “Like you give a shit,” his voice was painfully strained as it came out and Katsuki wasn’t even sure if his dad could hear him from across the room.
He heard a sigh, “I do care, Katsuki,” his father pushed back his chair and made his way over to him, taking his wrists gently and rubbing small circles with his thumb. “And you know she does too.”
Katsuki pulled his hands away and his dad sighed again, walking back to put his dishes away and following his mother back to their room.
“I made your favorite, it’s in the fridge.”
Katsuki waited until he heard the door closed before walking to the fridge and opening it. Inside, he saw salmon with rice, the food Katsuki ate every morning when he was 3 because it’s all his dad could make and the food Katsuki pretended to love to not make him feel bad. He closed it and made his way back up to his room.
Aizawa had heard the commotion and had fiddled the window open again, slipping in and hiding behind the door to listen better, in case he was needed. When he heard the voices quiet down and the pair of feet that made their way up the stairs, he breathed a sigh of relief and slipped back out again, leaving the bandages he always carried with him on the bed on his way.
Upon entering the room Katsuki narrowed his eyes at the bandages that lay on the bed and sighed. He took them, along with the kit he kept under his bed, to the bathroom and braced himself before taking the gloves off.
They peeled off some of his skin that had stuck due to the dried blood and gagged. The explosions had made the skin cauterize. He washed it off, rewrapping it before taking out the tweezers, and started taking out the bits of glass on his arms, legs, and feet, wrapping those as well.
Aizawa tapped lightly on the window, hanging down by his scarf, staying out of sight in case someone else looked in.
Katsuki heard the knock from the bathroom, looking out and rolling his eyes. ‘Go home’ he signed, getting déjà vu from Shinsou.
'Just checking, kid.' Aizawa signed back, crouching on the sill, 'okay?'
‘Go away.’ he repeated. Closing the bathroom door to keep him from seeing the bandages.
Aizawa smiled slightly, but climbed his scarf and headed back home himself. The boy would come if he needed to.
Katsuki waited for a while to be sure Aizawa left. When he went back out to his room, he taped a blanket over the window and lay on his bed.
Shinsou was laying on the couch when Aizawa got home and raised his head when the door opened. "How'd it go?" he croaked.
Aizawa took off his boots and scarf before walking over, "Inconclusive. How are you feeling?"
"Better, but still shit."
Aizawa chuckled, pulling him up, "Get back to bed, brat."
Now that it was day, his room was light. His parents were asleep because of the jet lag and Katsuki couldn’t help but fall asleep as well after being up for a few days straight. Taking care of Shinsou, then going out with Aizawa.
Shinsou went back to bed again as Aizawa instructed, barely making it before he fell unconscious again.
Katsuki woke up, still in the clothes Aizawa had given him. He took them off and put on new comfortable clothes that weren’t covered in dirt, then slept again.
Aizawa headed to bed as well, curling up with his husband and their daughter, carding a hand gently through her hair. At least the recipe was gone now.
"Where's the boy?" Hizashi asked softly, shifting closer to the other man.
"He went home, he was supposed to return last night but patrolled with me. We just finished."
Katsuki guessed his mother would be sleeping off the jet lag to attend some sort of event tonight. His face fell into the pillow with a huff and he stretched his arms, they burned with a satisfying pain and he rolled over to his back, reaching in his pocket for his phone. He sat up when he felt it was empty. Patting himself down he quickly came to the realization he’d left it at Shinsou’s house. With a groan and look to his door, he pulled back the curtains and opened the window.
The household was asleep, except for one little girl, who had migrated down to the living room floor with the coloring book and crayons that Mr. Bakugou had gifted her with.
Thinking everyone would be asleep, he didn’t bother knocking. Using his key he pushed the door open with his arm and kicked off his shoes.
Eri was sitting on the couch; she smiled and moved to hug him, "Welcome back, Mr. Bakugou," she said into his stomach.
Katsuki winced at the pressure she put against his stomach and leaned down to pick her up.
She giggled, hugging his neck, happy to see him.
Katsuki let her go above the couch, watching her bounce before picking up a colored pen from the floor and writing on white bandages on his arm. ‘Are you the only one up?’
She nodded, looking up at him.
Katsuki nodded, brushing the back of his hand past her hair to her forehead. ‘You got sick?’ He wrote in a different part.
She nodded again, "I'm better now."
Katsuki nodded, writing on his palm this time, ‘Don’t tell them I was here okay?’ He wasn’t trying to hide the fact he was here, he just needed to get something and leave and he didn’t want to deal with questions.
Her face scrunched in confusion, "Will you come back?"
Katsuki thought about it for a moment. After Shinsou got better, she’d be alone in the house again; he could look after her, then sneak back in. ‘Soon’ he wrote, not giving any date.
She nodded, "Okay."
He handed her back the pen, ruffling her hair as he stood, and walking up the stairs to Shinsou's room, quietly taking his phone and gathering up the clothes that he’d left there.
"Sneaking around?" Shinsou murmured.
Katsuki walked over to the bed, pulling the blanket over Shinsou's head completely.
He laughed slightly, feebly trying to beat it off with an arm.
Katsuki let go of the blanket, letting Shinsou pull it off himself after remembering what happened last time with the pillow.
"I was fine, but thank you for remembering," Shinsou said softly when his face was uncovered.
He shifted the clothes in his hand so he could sign, ‘Still sick?’
"Just exhausted and stiff now."
Katsuki leaned forward, pressing the back of his hand to Shinsou's forehead; when he didn’t feel anything through the bandage, he moved his hand so his fingers pressed against it, using his other hand to sign ‘Water?’
"If it's no trouble," Shinsou said with a weak smile, pushing himself up to lean against the headboard.
Katsuki put the clothes and phone at the end of the bed. Walking back downstairs and filling up two glasses, handing one to Eri before he went back upstairs to give the other to Shinsou.
"Thank you," Shinsou said softly, taking the glass and sipping it slowly. After a few swallows, he licked his dry lips.
Katsuki watched for a moment, then picked his clothes back up, walking towards the door.
"Can I get one last thing before you go?" Shinsou called quietly after him.
Katsuki stopped and turned slightly, waiting for Shinsou to talk.
"Come back here for a second."
He walked back over, freeing his hand to take the glass back which he assumed Shinsou was going to ask for.
Shinsou grabbed his wrist, pulling him gently closer.
Katsuki frowned a little, discomforted by Shinsou grabbing his wrist. He shook it out and kissed Shinsou on the forehead, pulling back ‘I’m not getting sick again’ he signed, thinking about how Shinsou got sick from kissing Katsuki.
Shinsou let him go, eyes sad, "Stay safe, my Beautiful Bombshell," he wished for the other. He hadn't gotten what he'd wanted, but he should have known he wouldn't.
Katsuki didn’t notice the sad look, so he turned and walked back down the stairs, seeing Eri again. He frowned, looking at her, and walked over and picked up another pen, ‘Have you eaten?’
She shook her head. "Not yet," she said quietly.
He looked at the clock again, it was way past noon now. He sighed and kept the pen with him, ‘Teba Shio?’ he wrote.
"What's that?" she asked, eyebrows scrunched.
‘Chicken wings’
Her nose scrunched, "I don't want to eat a pillow,"
He shook his head, putting the clothes on the couch and pulling up a photo of teba shio, showing it to Eri.
She looked at the picture, "Does it taste good?" she asked him.
‘When I make it’, he smiled, switching his phone off.
"Oh," she said, "Okay."
‘Want to help?’
"How?"
‘You can help me make it.’
"How?"
‘You can put the salt and pepper on.’
"Okay," she smiled.
Katsuki threw his phone onto the couch next to his clothes and held his hands out for Eri to climb into so he could pick her up.
She took the offer, wrapping her arms around his neck happily.
Katsuki used his shoulders to move her arms so they were around his shoulders instead and walked to the kitchen. He shifted his hold on her so she was resting on his left arm and opened the freezer with his right, handing the chicken wings to her to hold.
She held the cold package of arm-looking things.
He closed the freezer and sat Eri down on the counter, ‘open it and take out how many you want’ he wrote on a loose piece of paper.
She tried, but the bag was too strong as she wrestled with it.
He took a knife and cut open the package for her, putting the knife in the sink.
"Thank you, Mr. Bakugou," she said quietly, reaching in and pulling out a couple handfuls of wings, "now what?"
Katsuki took the wings she’d taken out and put them in 1 and 1/2 cups of sake. Taking out the salt and pepper from the cupboard, he handed her the shakers and wrote on the paper again, ‘it’s going to take 15 mins’.
"Okay," she said, holding the shakers to her chest like a pair of maracas, not that she had any clue what those were.
The 15 minutes passed and he took out the wings, patting them dry and putting them on a baking tray, holding it up to Eri so she could season them.
"How do I do this?" she asked.
Katsuki put the tray next to her and put his hand around hers on the salt shaker, twisting it. When the salt came out he took his hands away so she could do it herself.
She continued with the salt, looking up to him for approval.
He smiled and nodded his head, putting his hand over the salt and lowering it, and handing her the pepper.
She did the same with this new grinder, tongue sticking out in concentration.
Katsuki smiled, and after a few over-exaggerated grinds he picked up the tray and put it in the oven.
She put down the grinder on the counter beside her, watching him, "When are you leaving?"
He picked up the piece of paper, writing against a wall and handing it to her, and putting the grinders away. ‘After you eat’.
"Oh," she said sadly after she read the words, "okay."
He gave her a strange look at her sad tone. ‘what?’
"Nothing," she said quickly, "Sorry, sir."
‘Katsuki’ he wrote on the paper before taking the tray out of the oven and grabbing a plate.
"Cat...Sue...key?" She read slowly, sounding it out.
He smiled, patting her head and putting the wings on the plate, picking it up with one hand and holding his other arm open for her to crawl into.
She did, looking up at him, "What is it?"
Katsuki didn’t have the hands to write down that he’d carry her, so instead, he leaned forwards and picked her up, walking to the couch and putting her down, holding out the plate for her.
She took the plate, "Thank you for the food, Mr. Bakugou."
He nodded, sitting next to her to wait for her to finish so he could clean the plate. He looked at the drawings on the ground and picked up the one Eri was coloring in.
It was a poor rendition of a stick figure family, all five based in beige, and left to right it went black messy hair, purple spikey, white scribble, yellow spiky then yellow scribble.
He smiled grabbing a green pen from the floor and writing, ‘you’re good’.
She smiled up at him happily.
He started flipping through; the childish pictures reminded him far too much of the other ones he’d seen. He blinked away memories of loud evenings in a small living room, yelling at a raven and complaining to a ginger who watched on with a smile. He supposed he could find those old pictures if he wanted. They likely hadn’t moved in years. Sitting still at the bottom of an old bag.
Katsuki looked at all the other drawings she’d done. ‘What are you going to draw next?’
"I don't know," she told him quietly.
Katsuki ran out of room on his arms, so he rolled up his pant leg and started to write on the bandages there. ‘I can bring my sketchbooks next time if you want?’
"Okay," she said, not understanding the last word, but knowing he was bringing something, and everything he brought was good.
He looked at her plate, she was holding the last wing in her hand, the rest eaten. ‘Finished?’ He pointed at the plate.
She finished the last wing and handed the plate to him, "Thank you."
He exchanged the plate for the coloring book. Letting her get back to drawing while he cleaned the dishes. When he was done he picked up the clothes and his phone from the couch, walking to the door to put his shoes back on.
She watched him go sadly but didn't say anything.
He closed the door quietly, so as not to wake anyone who was asleep and walked back to his house, entering back through the window he’d kept open with a book.
Eri abandoned the coloring book as soon as he was gone, sad now, and just sat on the couch.
Katsuki could hear his father walking around downstairs; the mixture of deep quiet humming and loud keyboard clicks made him put on headphones and drown out the noise with his own music. He didn't feel like talking to him. Instead, he pulled out his own sketchbook and drew a portrait of Eri.
A few hours later, Shinsou wandered downstairs and fell onto the couch beside her, blobbing, "he's gone, isn't he?" he asked quietly.
She nodded, coloring a cat in purple.
Katsuki drew well into the afternoon, blinking lazily at the clock. It was a little past 9, his parents would be gone now, evening events usually started early afternoon so they could host the guests for dinner. He tiredly stood from the bed and made his way to the kitchen.
Eri was curled up with a lightly snoozing Hizashi, and Shinsou was laying on a familiar roof, staring at the stars in a sleeping bag.
Katsuki found a note on the table while making his way through the kitchen, it read: Don’t waste food Katsuki. Eat the fish you didn’t for breakfast. He trashed the note and took the fish from the fridge. It was raw -he brought it to his nose to smell before gagging- and off. Without thinking he trashed it and made toast, scrambling an egg along with it and sitting down to eat.
The wooden floor was cold to the touch and Katsuki pulled his sleeves further over his hands, he guessed his parents had turned off the heat before leaving. He leaned his cheek against his palm and looked out the window. Even at night, the sky was cloudy and Katsuki wondered if Shinsou would be patrolling.
Shinsou lay on the roof, wondering if his blond was going to come out tonight. If not, he'd just watch for meteors. It was a nice night and he was a cozy burrito.
The slamming of the front door awakened Katsuki in the early hours of the morning.
“... drives me fuckin’ crazy!”
Katsuki’s father mumbled something too quiet for Katsuki to catch.
“You’re right,” a pause, before a long sigh. “I’m too tired to deal with this shit, Katsuki’s sleeping right?”
Another murmured reply.
“Hm, lazy brat.” There’s humor in her tone that makes Katsuki’s stomach clench, he can picture her looking up the staircase at his closed door.
Footsteps start down the hallway with quieter conversation he can’t hear until eventually the noise disappears behind their bedroom door and the house falls back into silence.
Katsuki leaned back against his bed frame, blanket pulled over his shoulders, and reached to flick the lamp beside him before picking up the sketching things he’d dropped when he’d fallen asleep.

Chapter Text

Shinsou was surprised out of his half-asleep state by the bang, sitting up. When the figure sat up and the light turned on, he smiled slightly, though it faded at the sight of new bandages.
Slipping from the bag, Shinsou held it under one arm as he made his way over, climbing in through the window and crouching on the sill. "Mind if I join you?" he asked softly.
Katsuki looked up and gave a tired smile, lifting his arm and the blanket so Shinsou could sit next to him. He closed the sketchbook and put it under his knee to sign, ‘you better not be patrolling e-y-e-b-a-g-s’.
Shinsou curled up, leaning into Katsuki's shoulder softly. "Not patrolling. Loud Dad told me there was supposed to be a small meteor shower, so Sleepy Dad gave me his sleeping bag and helped me up here."
He nodded, looking upward at the sky through the open window. It was hard to see because of the bright light of the lamp beside him, so he switched it off and looked up again. Outside his window, he could clearly see the stars. The meteors falling from the sky, mimicking shooting stars. His head rested tiredly on Shinsou's shoulder as he watched through half-lidded eyes.
Shinsou smiled, gaze moving between the stars and the boy next to him, flicking back and forth, with a small smile on his face, a hand slowly moving to rest over one of Katsuki's.
Katsuki could only guess how long Shinsou had been outside; whether he realized it or not, his body shivered and his hand was freezing in Katsuki’s grip. Katsuki frowned in disappointment; he’d just recovered from being sick and gone outside in the cold. The sleeping blanket he brought was good but ultimately would do nothing against the freezing temperature. He pulled the blanket over Shinsou, ‘Cold?’
Shinsou shook his head slightly, "No, I'm comfy," he smiled, head turned to look at the blond, "Thank you."
Katsuki met Shinsou's eyes for a moment, searching for any type of lie. After a while he just nodded, laying his head under Shinsou's chin and looking at the sky; the meteors were still falling, 'how long's it going to last?'
Shinsou looked up at the sky, "I think this is peak, so another hour, give or take," he said softly.
Katsuki nodded, watching peacefully. Downstairs his mother's voice rose and something slammed. He lifted his head slightly and looked to the door, listening for any other noises before looking at Shinsou, 'what's the time?'
Shinsou had to think for a moment, "Close to two, I think," he finally answered.
The voices continued, his mother’s voice wasn’t irritated anymore. She was angry, his dad must have said something to piss her off. He sighed, they likely wouldn’t stop for hours and he didn’t want to listen. He stood, tossing a book and his phone in a bag before signing to Shinsou, ‘Get up.’
Shinsou did as ordered, blanket now around his shoulders, hugging the sleeping bag to his chest.
Katsuki climbed out the window first, grabbing the branches of the tree that he’d memorized to climb it safely in the dark.
Shinsou followed, still hugging the sleeping bag, but stayed quiet, watching the other.
Katsuki jumped from the branch to the roof, his legs slightly buckling beneath him when he landed before he shakily stood and began walking.
Shinsou jumped too, landing softly in a crouch beside him before rising again and following, "Y'okay?" he asked softly.
'Fine' he signed. He looked over the edge of the building, below him he could see the flashlights of officers as they patrolled.
Shinsou fell into step beside him, "Okay," he said, not really believing the other boy, but accepting that he wouldn't ever say when he wasn't.
Katsuki’s legs continued to ache while they walked, he hadn’t thought to put any more layers on and the air had stiffened them. Looking down to the streets, he really didn’t want to jump. A few silent minutes passed and Shinsou’s house came into view.
Shinsou softly grabbed Katsuki's wrist and pulled him in another direction, away from the edge of this roof.
Katsuki pulled his hand back but not out of Shinsou's grip, grabbing his attention and signing, 'wrong way.'
Shinsou shook his head, "Stairs," he said simply.
Right, buildings had stairs. Katsuki looked away to hide his embarrassment, trying to twist his wrist out of Shinsou's hold.
Shinsou chuckled softly, letting him go, "I don't trust my balance for a roof to ground drop right now," he told the other, "next roof over has a staircase for the tenants upstairs so they don't have to go through the front door."
Katsuki nodded again, rubbed his wrist as Shinsou’s hold irritated the new marks he had there. He walked down the staircase with his sketchbook under his arm, his hand now held by Shinsou, who was guiding him down the steps.
Shinsou walked over to his front door and opened it, kicking his shoes to the side, "Welcome home," he said softly.
Katsuki tiredly put his hand over Shinsou’s mouth before dragging it along his face as he dropped it. The house was warm and it seemingly melted the icy tension in his joints from the cold. He collapsed onto the couch, laying along it with his knees over the arm and a hand reaching out for Shinsou.
Shinsou swished the blanket off his shoulders and draped it over Katsuki, thinking that was what he wanted because the other had never initiated contact before.
Katsuki tilted the blanket so it fell and grabbed the hand, tugging it forwards and pulling Shinsou on top of him.
Shinsou let out a surprised laugh but adjusted so he wasn't crushing the other, ending up slightly straddling the other in the process, blushing.
Katsuki opened his eyes and looked at the position they were in, he closed his eyes again and comfortably relaxed against him, a faint blush dusting his cheeks.
Shinsou smiled in return, "I'll be right back," he said quietly, moving to get off the other again.
Katsuki reluctantly let go with a grunt, turning on his side and hugging the blanket Shinsou had thrown over him.
Shinsou went and got another blanket from upstairs, larger and heavier, and came back, tossing it over Katuki before curling up beside him on the couch, arms around his waist to maximize the small amount of room available for them both. He wanted to kiss the other softly but wasn't sure where it was safe, so didn't.
Katsuki shifted at the heavyweight that fell on top of him, not opening his eyes until he felt the body of another person climbing on top of him and wrap an arm around his waist. He pushed back immediately and opened his eyes, the burst of adrenaline momentarily taking over his tiredness as his vision focussed on the person. Oh, it was Shinsou. He relaxed back into the couch and buried his head in the mess of purple hair. "Night," he whispered, hollowly and almost inaudibly into it.
Shinsou smiled, hugging him gently tighter for a moment. "Good night, 'Suki," he replied equally quietly, nuzzling his face gently into the blond's chest.
Katsuki fell asleep instantly, the warmth of the couch so different from the coldness of his room. His eyes burned slightly as they were closed, his tiredness forcing them to stay shut.
Shinsou lay awake a little longer, having been asleep most of the last couple days, and just basked in the other letting him stay close. Wanting him. It was nice.
Eventually, he did slip into a light sleep beside the other.
The closing of the front door woke Katsuki and he tried to sit up, only to be stopped by a weight over his body. Opening his eyes he saw Shinsou’s face inches from his own, he sighed and waited until his breathing evened out before sliding backwards in the hold and turning to look at who walked in.
Aizawa raised a brow at the pair, "Is there a particular reason you chose the couch over a bed?" he asked low.
Katsuki’s hands were stuck under Shinsou so he gave a strained “Tired” that he wasn’t sure Aizawa would even be able to hear.
Aizawa sighed, "Shake or nod, would you prefer to actually be in bed?"
Katsuki was comfortable where he was, laying in the same position all night had created a nice warmth on the couch that he didn’t want to leave. But seeing how Shinsou’s legs were awkwardly and uncomfortably bent he nodded his head.
Aizawa nodded in return and came closer, softly shaking Shinsou, "Problem child, go to bed." he said softly.
Shinsou whined, but sat up, 95% asleep, and headed up the stairs. Aizawa smiled after him for a moment before scooping up the blond carefully and following after his son.
Upon Aizawa’s touch, Katsuki kicked him to be let back down, pushing his chest roughly to stop the contact, “Stop.”
Aizawa carefully set him down, "Go to bed."
Katsuki rubbed his skin where Aizawa had held him to stop the uncomfortable tingling and pushed open the door to Shinsou’s room, using his leg to close it behind him and sliding in beside Shinsou in the bed, pressing his face into the older boy's chest rather than his hair.
Shinsou's arms came around his shoulders instinctively with a hum, "Welcome back."
Katsuki sat back again and pushed his hand to Shinsou's mouth, wrapping his legs around Shinsou under the blanket for warmth.
Shinsou chuckled, "Fine." he murmured, twisting his face away from the hand before turning back again when it was gone.
Katsuki fell asleep again, his hands curled around the back of Shinsou's shirt.
Shinsou lay there, staring at where the wall met the ceiling, brain playing out so many things it shouldn't be making connections between.
Katsuki mumbled in his sleep, incoherent words and releasing his hold on Shinsou's shirt, moving his hand to Shinsou's waist.
Shinsou glanced down at him, smiling slightly. Maybe they were okay. He gently ran a hand through Katsuki's hair, falling into thoughts again.
Katsuki instinctively flinched back from the touch, his eyes opening widely before they changed to recognition, quickly they became unfocussed and hazy and after a few silent seconds they closed and he melted into the touch.
Shinsou hummed quietly, continuing to pet the other after he quieted.
After a while, he drifted off the sleep again as well, hand still resting in fluffy hair.
Katsuki woke up tiredly, struggling to open his eyes. His arm was numb under Shinsou's body and he couldn't move it so he turned and lay on his back, looking at the ceiling and waiting for Shinsou to wake up.
Shinsou woke from the movement, blinking his eyes open, the exhaustion that came with too much sleep digging its claws into his brain. He was laying on something and rolled away from it to relieve the pressure.
Katsuki groaned when Shinsou rolled off his arm, the cuts and bruises under the bandage beginning to ache the second the pressure was off it.
Shinsou turned back but didn't lay back on the thing again, drowsiness clouding his brain for a minute. "Can I help you?" he drawled.
Katsuki frowned and sat up, shaking his arm out and holding it. He signed and stood up from the bed, 'breakfast?'
"You don't have to do that," Shinsou said with a yawn, sitting up.
'Get up soon' Katsuki ignored Shinsou's comment, rubbing his eyes and letting go of his arms, walking out the door and down the stairs to the kitchen.
Shinsou followed about fifteen minutes later, dressed in fresh clothes and carrying the sheets to put in the wash.
A pot of rice and a pan of chicken were sitting atop the stove, both with steam rising and emitting heat to anyone who was close. Katsuki sat with his eyes closed at the table; he’d opened one when Shinsou walked in but had shut them both with his cheek resting on his palm.
After starting the wash, Shinsou moved to sit across from Katsuki, taking a bowl of the food and sitting beside him. "Thank you for the food," he said softly.
Katsuki hummed and opened his eyes to look at his own bowl. It was half-eaten but he didn’t feel like finishing it, he pinched at his arms and the fat that was there with a slight scowl before setting his bowl on the counter. He grabbed the bag from last night that sat below the couch and took out the sketchbook, placing it in front of Shinsou at the table. 'Give that to Eri,' he signed.
Shinsou nodded, "I will. You're heading out?"
Katsuki nodded, leaning towards Shinsou’s face slightly before stopping, thinking for a moment, and then pulling back. 'See you e-y-e-b-a-g-s'
Shinsou sighed, abandoning his food for a minute and standing, moving closer to the other, hugging him carefully, "Stay safe, 'Suki," he murmured.
Katsuki didn't hug him back but let Shinsou hug him for a while, slightly pushing him off and signing a quick, 'Sure,' before turning to leave.
Shinsou let him go, sitting back down for his breakfast. "You don't need to hesitate if I know you're there," he said quietly.
Katsuki shut the door with a tired yawn, digging out his phone as he walked out into the empty streets. It was a little past seven, and he blinked as he switched it on and waited for his vision to focus on the missed call from- his dad? He switched it off and tossed it back in the bag, hoping he could just get home without bumping into anyone.
Shinsou finished his breakfast, put his dishes in the sink, then made three more bowls, taking two up to set in his dads' room for when they woke up.
The cops couldn’t make curfew arrests this late in the morning but a few still stayed out, mostly to see if there were any hiding places that people used to avoid the police but since Katsuki came from a house they didn’t do much more than give him dirty looks.
He untied his shoes and slipped them off, at the same time taking the bag off his shoulder before-
"You weren't home last night." He looked up to see his dad.
'Woke up early, went for a run,' his dad ignored the signs and didn’t take his gaze off Katsuki’s face. It was unnerving, but Katsuki knew his dad still knew what he was saying based on the tired look and sigh he gave.
"Just give us a warning next time. If not your mother, then at least me," his father stood up to put his hand on Katsuki’s shoulder but Katsuki stepped back before he got within arm's reach.
“Sure,” he signed quickly and walked off to his room.
Shinsou went back to his room and saw that Bakugou hadn't taken his blanket back with him. It would be awkward to follow him now, he'd go and drop it off later in the afternoon.
Sitting on his bed while the sheets went through their cycle, Shinsou picked up the book he hadn't had the chance to read in a little while and tried to pick up where he'd left off.
Katsuki threw his shoes in his cupboard, showering, and re-bandaging before putting on a loose shirt and sweat pants. He was about to reach for his sketching book but then remembered it was still with Shinsou, instead he reached for his spare math book and started to do some exercises.
Katsuki traced the colorful words written on the bandages that he’d written for Eri before he showered and took them off, tossing them in the trash and replacing them with new ones.
Katsuki relaxed for the rest of the day, the hag was out with some friends while his dad was at a meeting, he enjoyed the peace in the house when he could get it. He cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen, weighing himself before decidedly making a small lunch and going back to his room.
Around three in the afternoon, there was a knock on the front door of the Bakugou household.
Katsuki stuck a bookmark between the pages of his book and walked down the stairs to look through the peephole at who it was.
Waiting at the door was the trench-coat man Aizawa had talked with about the case two nights prior and a uniformed officer.
Katsuki frowned, opening the door but not taking off the chain that would allow it to go further than a few centimeters. ‘What do you want?’
"Hello," the man in the trench coat said, "I'm Tsukauchi Naomasa," he said completely professionally, not showing any inclination they'd met, "I'd like to talk to you about an incident that happened yesterday morning. My friend here will be helping me since he is fluent in sign."
'Hello,' the other signed, 'We need to debrief you about the other night. We're sorry to bother you at home.'
Katsuki reached for his hoodie and pulled it over the bandages before stepping outside, keeping an eye on all three of them. ‘Fine, be quick,’ he signed, keeping a hand on the handle.
Tsukauchi raised a brow at this, but didn't respond further, "you wouldn't prefer to do this inside?"
The officer glared at him, "You'd think with your quirk you'd be better at reading people," she mumbled before signing, 'Eraser hasn't checked in since you ran, were there any other injuries or incidents at the manor that might have caused him to be held up in recovery that you know of?'
‘I’m not deaf fuckhead,’ Katsuki signed aggressively towards the woman, ‘why the hell would he be in recovery?’ He seemed fine last night, a little more tired than usual but from the glance he’d gotten of the man he didn’t look injured.
“We don't know that anything's wrong, we just want to know if you can think of a reason he hasn't checked in. Did anything happen in the search?”
'No.' Katsuki didn't know why Aizawa wasn't checking in, or where he was last night when he wasn't patrolling but it wasn't any of Katsuki's business. ‘Go away.’
"If you see him again, remind him to check in," Naomasa said, then offered his hand to shake.
Katsuki’s face dropped into an annoyed expression, ‘Leave now.’ He closed the door in their faces before they could reply.
"Well," the officer said, turning to the other, "that was fun. Get what you need?"
Naomasa sighed, walking away, "Exactly what he said. I was hoping he'd be wrong."
This earned a snort, as she followed, walking away, "You'd have known if he was."
Katsuki waited on the other side of the door until he heard the car back out and drive away before he returned to his room.
When he got back to his room, Shinsou was sitting on his window sill, blanket in his lap. 'I'm sorry about the lie detector,' he signed.
Katsuki hummed, 'what was it all about?' he looked up, raising an eyebrow, 'are you going to come in or sit there like a freak?'
Shinsou's shoulders shook with silent laughter, slipping in and closing the window behind himself before sitting on the bed, 'Dad may have...found out about your fights with your mom and been concerned about the new bandages on your wrists. He thought lie detector was a safer option than checking in on you again himself.'
Katsuki frowned, tightening his grip on the pencil. ‘Fuck that’ that was the most elaborate way of getting around a question. Katsuki was fine, ‘that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.’
'Also gives lie detector the chance to send someone of his next time your mom calls the cops on you without being questioned.'
‘I don’t need anyone saving me’ he signed, putting the book down and moving his feet up on the bed so Shinsou could sit down.

Chapter Text

'Never said you did,' Shinsou signed slowly, timidly as he sat down, moving Katsuki's legs straight again and into his lap, 'but it's nice being able to trust someone else'.

'It's nice when people stay out of other people's business.' he signed back, a slight frown on his face, but still letting Shinsou sit between his legs.

Shinsou bit his lip, looking away as he signed, 'sorry.'

Katsuki sighed, resting his head on the back of Shinsou's neck, 'don't apologize'. It wasn't Shinsou's fault Katsuki was being an asshole.

Shinsou sighed in return, raising a hand to awkwardly run it through sandy hair behind him.  "I care about you, more than you want me to," he whispered.

Katsuki scoffed lightly into Shinsou's neck, moving his head to Shinsou's shoulder so he could rest his chin on it, 'any blind person could see that e-y-e-b-a-g-s'.

Shinsou chuckled softly, "I know," he murmured, "discretion is not one of my strong suits."

Katsuki smiled and lifted his head, resting it back against the bed frame and closing his eyes. 'you going to stay?' he asked to change the subject.

"Do you want me to?" Shinsou asked in return, not moving.

'I don't care' Katsuki answered untruthfully.

Shinsou chuckled, moving to curl up next to the other, head still tilted up to look at him, "You care more than you want to let on."

'you're not a mind reader dumbass'.  He pushed Shinsou's head so it was tilted down to the floor.

Shinsou chuckled again.  "Don't need to be, you wear your heart on your sleeve."

'Are you going to answer my question?' Katsuki signed, hiding his blushing face from embarrassment by turning his head away from Shinsou.

"What question was that, again?"

'Are you leaving?'

Shinsou looked at the bed he was laying on, "I'm not exactly vertical anymore,"

Katsuki looked at him confused, 'The fuck are you talking about e-y-e-b-a-g-s?'

"... I'm laying down?"

'So you're not leaving?' he asked confused, trying to figure out what laying down had to do with whether he was leaving.

"If I was going to leave, why would I be laying here?"

Katsuki sighed, 'I don't know' he relaxed into the bed again, resting his arms over Shinsou's chest.

Shinsou smiled, shifting closer to the other, letting his eyes drift to the sketch the other was doing. "What were you working on?"

Katsuki looked over at the book. It had once been used to write math notes but the latest pages were filled with sketches. 'Random stuff' he answered.

Shinsou nodded in acceptance of this. "How are your hands again?"

'Fine,' he couldn't tell Shinsou they were good, the bandages on them were proof enough that they were worse after the patrol.

"Want me to change your bandages again?" the other asked, sitting up again.

Katsuki sat up with him, 'I'm not incapable e-y-e-b-a-g-s'.

"I didn't say you were," Shinsou sighed softly, "Just because I offer to help doesn't mean I don't think you can do it yourself."

Katsuki waited for a few seconds, laying back slightly and avoiding eye contact, 'Fine'.

Shinsou got up to collect the kit from the attached bathroom he could see through the half-open door, coming back and sitting between Katsuki's legs again, facing him this time, "My compassion is not a threat or mockery," he said, voice a little bitter, face weary as he held out a hand for one of the blond's.

Katsuki didn't answer, eyes looking down at Shinsou's hand and a frown on his face. He held up his left hand for Shinsou to take, already bracing himself. He could feel how the bandage stuck to his skin and already knew it would be painful to take off, 'just be quick'.

Shinsou nodded, starting to unwrap it, but when it got to sticking, he pulled Katsuki off balance and into a distracting kiss as he finished with the bandages on that one.

Katsuki's brows furrowed in confusion at the kiss but before he could ask he pulled back with a strangled yell. He grabbed his unbandaged hand and pressed against it to numb the sting. ‘Use scissors' he glared at Shinsou.

Shinsou chuckled slightly, "I'll keep that in mind next time," he said, cupping the hand and adding his own pressure, "Sorry."

Katsuki let him take the hand, 'haven't you ever-' he stopped, thinking for a moment before taking his hand out of Shinsou's hold and grabbing small scissors from the kit. The bandage Shisnou had pulled hadn’t fully come off, Shsinou’s fingers had clearly slipped and the part that had been pulled off had bits of skin sticking to it that had been ripped off. Katsuki cut away the remaining bandage, slowly peeling it back, being careful not to rip off any more skin.

"I don't generally bandage my injuries," Shinsou admitted, "I know the theory. And you said be quick. I thought it was like a band-aid."

Katsuki looked up with an eyebrow raised, 'that's just a phrase e-y-e-b-a-g-s,' he shook off his hand and balled the bandages together, putting them on the bed next to him. He looked down at his hands, frowning at the skin that had tried to fuse and close the cuts from the explosions and held his hand back out to Shinsou.

Shinsou looked at the injuries sadly, gently taking the hand back, "Sorry," he mumbled, grabbing a cotton ball and iodine from the kit, applying it to the particularly angry patches before starting to wrap it again, slowly and carefully, trying to be tight enough to put a pleasant amount of pressure, but not cut off circulation.

With Shinsou holding them, Katsuki couldn't use his hands to sign back so he just gave a small nod, crossing one of his knees and resting his elbow on it. He stopped watching the hand and watched his face instead, the cute way he was concentrating so intensely on wrapping Katsuki's hand.

When he was done, Shinsou pressed a kiss to his wrapped knuckles before setting it back in Katsuki's lap. Cautiously, he started on removing the bandages from the other, cutting them away as needed, never making eye contact. He hoped he was doing this right.

Katsuki smiled at how slow and careful Shinsou was being, trying not to hurt Katsuki in the process of cutting off the bandage. 'You're not going to hurt me e-y-e--b-a-g-s'.

"I already did," was the immediate answer, peeling the fabric away, adding it to the bandage ball.

Katsuki smiled, rolling his eyes, 'That was before I told you what to do.'

"Point still remains," Shinsou sighed, adding iodine to these as well before starting with clean bandages again.

Figuring Shinsou wasn't going to believe him no matter what Katsuki said, he didn't reply, laying back and watching Shinsou bandage his hand.

When he was done with this as well, Shinsou collected the materials, packing away the unused, getting up to put the kit on Katsuki's desk and throw away the bloodied cotton, "Where are the gloves?"

Katsuki looked up from clenching and unclenching his hand when he heard Shinsou speak, 'at your place'.

"Oh, didn't realize you returned them last night," Shinsou murmured, sitting on the edge of the bed again.

'You were half asleep'. He smiled, standing up from the bed and grabbing the kit from the desk, crouching down to push it under his bed.

"Sorry."

Katsuki raised his shoulders to shrug it off but stopped and turned to Shinsou in curiosity, ‘for what?’

Shinsou shrugged, "your hands, not being awake for you, not putting the kit away properly, take your pick."

Katsuki stared for a moment, furrowing his eyebrows at Shinsou's stupidity. ‘that’s the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard.’

"Impressive."

'no, stupid' he sat on the bed, 'why are you so insistent on blaming yourself for everything?'

Another shrug, "Someone needs to be a scapegoat."

'Why you?' he asked.

Shinsou snapped out of his mind, shaking his head, straightening, sitting taller, "Sorry, habit. When you have a villainous quirk, it's even worse than passive or flashy like yours. I was always at fault, so I started taking the blame before fingers were even pointed."  He smiled a little self-deprecatingly, "Saved a few lives like that."

‘That's shitty reasoning,' Katsuki frowned, ‘stop apologizing,’ he added and sat back against the bed frame, keeping his eyes on Shinsou's face.

"I'm aware," Shinsou murmured, slumping again, "But old habits and all that."  He turned his head toward the blond, "I'm still the reason you fucked up your hands, though."

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed, ‘Quit whatever shit you’re telling yourself. You didn’t do anything.’

Shinsou smiled slightly at the angry motions, "I caused the situation that gave you those injuries you keep reopening."

In all honesty, Katsuki couldn't remember what injured his hands in the first place, but he was sure Shinsou was making it out to be worse than it was. 'which was?'

"I had a panic attack, you punched a tree. It's a little blurry, to be honest."

Katsuki rolled his eyes and lay back, confused as to why Shinsou would blame himself for that.

"I didn't give you a safer target by not fighting you. Therefore, it's my fault you had to take your stress out on something else."

'I punched the tree before you got there,' Katskui reasoned.

"Actually, you dragged me there, then punched the tree," he laughed.

'I let go of you to walk ahead into the forest, then I tried to fight you.'

Shinsou nodded, "Yeah," he yawned, hunching his back in a stretch, "Mind if I lean against you?"

'Whatever' he leaned back as well, waiting for Shinsou to lean against him.

Shinsou moved to sit between his legs, leaning back against his chest, " This okay?"

'It was 10 minutes ago, why wouldn't it be now?' he signed before resting one of his hands on Shinsou’s stomach, the other playing with Shinsou's hair and curling it around his fingers.

A smaller shrug as he lay his head back on Katsuki's shoulder, "You could have changed your mind."

'Well I didn't' he momentarily stopped playing with Shinsou's hair to sign before rubbing his hands through it again.

Shinsou smiled, tilting his face toward Katsuki's again, "Can I touch you?" he asked softly.

Katsuki looked down at Shinsou confused, ‘Okay?'

Shinsou slowly raised a hand to Katsuki's burned cheek, gently turning his head so Shinsou could kiss him a little awkwardly, given the angle.

Katsuki shifted his position and leaned in further, holding the kiss longer.

Shinsou smiled, pressing up into it, hand still lightly resting on Katsuki's cheek. It was nice.

Katsuki broke away, leaning back and turning his head to hide the deep blush on his cheeks.

Shinsou chuckled slightly, catching a glimpse before leaning back again as well, linking his fingers with the hand resting on his stomach. "Just so you know," he said softly, "you don't need to ask my permission if you ever want to initiate."

Katsuki smiled, raising both his hands to sign 'You too' pulling Shinsou's hand along and not letting go of it.

Shinsou smiled, kissing the corner of his mouth, "I'll try to remember that," he whispered, "How's your throat feel?"

“Better,” he said aloud, his voice sounding dry and strained but that would improve as long as he continued to talk. ‘What about your back?’

"Barely tell anything happened," Shinsou said in return. "It'll be nice to hear you curse me out again, Bomb Boy."

"What would you want me to say?” he asked sarcastically, "Dumbass?"

Shinsou snickered, pulling his knees toward his chest, free arm wrapping around them, "What I want you to say, I can't ask of you," Shinsou said simply, "but I do miss your voice."

Katsuki smiled and ran his fingers through Shinsou's hair again, he looked outside the window, the sky was darker than it was a while ago but the sun hadn't set yet, casting an orange glow into the room, 'patrolling tonight?'

Shinsou shook his head, "Not for a couple more days. I don't trust myself yet. Are you trying to get rid of me?"

Katsuki smiled and shook his head, 'but you should go soon, I don't know when the hag gets back and I've got to make dinner'.

"Are you coming home again tonight?" Shinsou asked, sitting up and turning to the other.

'i'm already at home.’

Shinsou smiled, "That would be romantic if I didn't know it wasn't," he said, leaning forward to kiss Katsuki's forehead, "I meant, should I expect you in my bed again tonight?"

Katsuki clicked his tongue and stood up, 'don't get your hopes up e-y-e-b-a-g-s'.

Shinsou nodded, "You spoil me," he agreed, "Didn't realize how much I'd miss having someone next to me."

'clingy bastard' Katsuki smiled, 'Eri is right down the hall,' he stood up and looked at Shinsou on the bed.

"Not the same," Shinsou whined softly, looking up at him, grinning, "One last kiss before I go?"

Katsuki rolled his eyes and pulled Shinsou forwards by his collar. After a few seconds he pushed him back, ‘now get off my bed.’

Shinsou laughed at the order, standing and moving toward the window again, "Did I ever give you my number?"

'no, there's another thing to blame yourself for' he gave a half-serious look.

Shinsou chuckled, picking up a pencil from the desk, spinning it in his fingers, "Would you like it?"

‘Knock yourself out,’ downstairs Katsuki heard the sound of a door closing.

Shinsou jotted his number in the margin of the open notebook before opening the window and slipping out, closing it behind him.

Katsuki watched him leave, pulling the curtains closed and ripping out the number from the notebook, hiding it in the drawer. He made his way downstairs where his mother was taking her heels off, “Where’s dinner?”

“Haven’t started.”

She scoffed, "So you've been slacking off all day.” She tilted the heel in her hand towards him, “I don't ask much from you but I thought you could at least make dinner for me when I get back."

"I don’t know your schedule, how was I supposed to know when you got back?” 

“Don’t be smart with me brat,” His head was knocked forwards as she used the heel to hit it while she walked past, “Stop it with the voice too, you’re basically begging for pity.”

Katsuki bit his tongue and watched her walk to her room.

Shinsou headed back home again, not glancing back as he moved, only a little less smooth than he normally would be.

He got home and fixed his own dinner, making some mild curry.

Katsuki’s father had gotten home as he was setting the food on the table, he gave a grateful smile as he set his things down and threw his jacket over his chair.

Dinner was a headache as his mother was going on about something one of her friends had said, Katsuki paid her no mind as his father nodded along to her complaints with quiet comments of input. He pushed his chair back but was stopped from standing by a tight grip on his wrist,

“Where are you going?”

Katsuki winced against the tight grip, “To my room.”

His wrist was tugged and he fell back into the chair, his elbow hitting the table harshly. “It’s polite to wait until everyone is finished, Katsuki, honestly, you’ve lost any redeeming qualities I’ve taught you.”

“What your mother means,” his dad cut in with an anxious smile, “is you should have better manners.”

Katsuki frowned and sat back in his chair, “Yeah, whatever.” He pulled his wrist away when his mother released it and rubbed it under the table out of her view.

Shinsou sets out bowls of food for each of them, eating quietly, waving his dads goodbye when they left for the night, and set the dishes in the sink to do later. He quietly told Eri she could pick out a movie for them to watch together, and she started looking through the collection the men had amassed over the years.

“You can do the dishes Katsuki, your father and I have some work to take care of.”

Katsuki didn’t reply as his mother dropped her dishes near the sink with a loud clunk. His father put a hand on his shoulder as he passed, “Thanks, Son.”

He left without another word and Katsuki rose to his feet, collecting the rest of the dishes and filling the sink.

Eventually, Eri chose Tangled and Shinsou put it in the player before sitting on the couch, arms open in an offer for Eri to sit in his lap. After a few moments, she did, cautiously sitting back against him.

Katsuki walked up to his room, pushing the bureau back over the door. He grabbed the first aid kit again, feeling guilt as he cut the bandages Shinsou had put on less than three hours ago off. He threw the soaked bandages from the sink aside and rewrapped them, contemplating whether he could get away with staying the night with Shinsou.

Eri fell asleep about halfway through the movie, so Shinsou turned it off and carefully carried the girl up to her room, tucking her in before going back down to do dishes. And maybe some stress baking.

Katsuki waited until the talk downstairs had died down and it was dark enough to go unnoticed on the rooftops before he slipped out. Remembering what Shinsou said about Aizawa noticing his injuries he made sure to cover his entire body.

Shinsou was in the kitchen when the other arrived, cracking eggs and separating them into bowls, phone playing music on the counter.

Katsuki closed the front door, tilting his head to watch Shinsou in the kitchen while he kicked his shoes off before wrapping his arms around the taller boy's stomach and looking over his shoulder, ‘cake?’

Shinsou nodded, turning his head to kiss the other in greeting before adding some sugar to the whites.

Katsuki bit a little at Shinsou’s bottom lip with a smile before he looked at the door. “Things one and two out?”

"Left a few hours ago. Eri's asleep upstairs. It's just us again."

Katsuki nodded before looking at the ingredients laid out on the counter.

Shinsou smiled, "You don't need to help," he said, "it's just something to keep my hands busy, calm down," he explained, "I couldn't tell you what to do, anyway. I'm running mostly on autopilot."

Chapter Text

Katsuki hummed, ‘what type are you making?’ He looked at the ingredients one more time before walking back to lean against the counter.

Shinsou looked at what he had, "um, I think angel food cake and an eight plait bread...." he said after a minute.

Katsuki smiled and shook his head to the floor. ‘Fancy bitch’ he didn’t bother to ask why Shinsou could bake those on muscle memory alone. Though it did make him wonder how many nights Shinsou stayed up baking, he chose to ask another question. ‘Why are you trying to calm down?’

"Because I'm not out there. Helping people," Shinsou answered absently, starting to measure ingredients again.

“Because you can't” Katsuki replied, with little thought or hesitation.

"I know. Still feel guilty," Shinsou mumbled, adding a spoonful of yeast to the 'food', and setting it aside to activate.

Katsuki hummed, he knew at this point there wasn’t going to be much he could say to change Shinsou's mind. So he wasn’t going to bother trying to persuade him otherwise and instead changed the topic, ‘baked this before?’ he asked.

Shinsou nodded, returning to the eggs, whipping them into a stiff meringue.

Katsuki nodded back despite Shinsou facing away from him, his eyes lowered to Shinsou’s back and his mind wandered, thinking about the scars that were hidden underneath.

Folding the eggs into the rest of the ingredients, Shinsou poured it into a pan and put it in the oven to bake, setting a timer and started cleaning up the counter of ingredients, "Help me put stuff away?" he asked softly, sensing the other's nervous energy. "Leave out the flour."

Katsuki took a moment to realize Shinsou was talking to him, looking up at his face in surprise then dropping the expression to a blank one. He grabbed the ingredients left out on the counter and put them in the cupboard. Walking over to the sink, he flicked on the tap to wash the other things laying around that Shinsou had used.

Shinsou stole the water for a minute to wash his hands before hugging Katsuki from behind, head resting on his shoulder. "Thank you."

Katsuki tensed for a moment at the touch but quickly relaxed into it. “It’s fine,” he said, unable to use his hands to sign. He placed the first dish to the side and grabbed another.

Shinsou gently pressed a kiss to an unmarred patch of skin on his cheek by his ear, then moved to dry the dishes.

Katsuki let himself smile, pulling the plug in the sink and letting the water drain. He raised his hands from the soapy water and squeezed against the bandages on his hand, water came out of them and he shook it off.

Shinsou sighed, "I would have given you the gloves before you soaked your bandages," he said, taking the bowl he'd mixed the cake in.  "Should probably change them again."

‘It’s not a big deal e-y-e-b-a-g-s, I had to do it earlier, too.’ He opened a drawer and grabbed a  pair of scissors, cutting up from the bottom to his palms before pulling it off.

Shinsou nodded, going to grab the kit for him to fix himself up as he wanted, reluctant to overstep his welcome again.

Katsuki threw the bandage in the bin, looking at his hands while he waited for Shinsou to come back. The cuts were red and puffy from the multiple exposures to chemicals via soap. They were healing, though, and weren’t going to bleed anymore. He didn’t worry about how they’d heal; as long as he waited, they’d go away without any sign of ever being injured, due to inheriting the hag's glycerin quirk.

Shinsou set the box on the counter, away from where he'd be doing more food prep, "Y'okay?" he asked softly. It wasn't that he thought the other was weak, or anything, just... It was nice to check in. Even if it did earn him an explosion to the face for being nosey.

Katsuki clenched his hand, when it stung to move he frowned, he didn’t want to irritate them further by signing, “Fine.” He took the bandages and began wrapping his hands.

Shinsou nodded in return and watched him work, wanting to help, but... He sighed. Fuck, why did that have to resurface now of all times? He turned away slightly, leaning against the counter, head bowed as he softly counted to himself, breaths measured.

Katsuki looked up at the sudden heavy breathing, when he saw Shinsou leaning over the counter he walked up behind him. Hand reaching out but pausing, once again looking at his back. He walked around and bent down slightly, he took Shinsou's hands gently, waiting for Shinsou to either tighten the hold or push him away. He would decide what to do depending on what reaction Shinsou gave him.

Shinsou gently squeezed the hands, continuing his breathing exercise, eyes closed, trying to calm down again. It was stupid, he was stupid for reacting like this.

Katsuki took Shinsou's hand fully, turning him and helping him slide down the counter and sit on the floor. It would be easier to breathe, compared to leaning over the counter. He sat in front of him, still holding his hands but now pressed against Katsuki’s chest as he took steady breaths, hoping Shinsou would try and copy them.

Shinsou chuckled, smiling slightly, "It's not the same kind of panic attack as before, 'Suki," he murmured, "I know I'm safe, I know I'm home," he still didn't open his eyes, "it's... Something else."

It didn’t matter what kind of panic attack it was, Shinsou still needed to calm his breathing. Shinsou's eyes were closed so he was going to have to talk. “What... set it off?”He cleared his throat after, swallowing back the pain it caused.

Shinsou bit his lip, letting his hands drop to his lap, "It's stupid," he mumbled, "like, so fucking idiotic you might hit me for it."

Katsuki frowned, letting Shinsou let go of his hand and waiting for a moment, before slapping his cheek.  There. Now, even if it was dumb Shinsou could tell him. “What was it?”

"You," Shinsou said softly, opening his eyes, glancing up, "It was you, just being fucking amazing. It's stupid, but I was afraid...afraid you only tolerate me. Afraid I was being too needy or mothering and you'd push me away. I'm terrified I'm not worth your time," he closed his eyes again. "Sorry."

Katsuki stared at him, his expression shifting between confusion and disappointment. He didn’t know if he was disappointed in Shinsou or himself, probably both. Of course Katsuki was so awful to him, Shinsou didn’t know if he liked him. “I’m in your house, Dumbass,” he said, quiet and strained but he wanted Shinsou to hear it. “I came here because I wanted to, not because you made me.“ Katsuki hoped Shinsou understood the meaning behind what he said because he wasn’t going to repeat himself, and he probably couldn’t.

Shinsou nodded, "I know, I said it was stupid," he drew his knees up, hugging them, burying his face, shoulders shaking.  "I'm sorry I'm such a fucking mess. Thank you for coming back," his voice cracked a few times, shoulders hunching up around his ears. Fuck, why was he so pathetic?

Now Katsuki was at a complete loss as to what to do. So far since coming here he’d sent Shinsou into a panic attack, made him feel like shit, and cry.  With no real other options, he reached forwards, gently pulling Shinsou's hands off his knees and pulling Shinsou into his lap, hugging around his waist.

Shinsou leaned into him, burying his face in his shoulder, hands clenching in the front of Katsuki's shirt. He was going to regret this so much when he calmed down, but right now, he just felt like shit.

Minutes passed and Katsuki wondered how long this would last. He could feel the slightly ragged breaths from Shinsou’s back against his chest and the tears that had slipped off his cheeks landed and ran down his arm. He removed one hand from the hold and brushed it through Shinsou’s matted hair.

After a while longer, he managed to start pulling himself together again, focusing on the hand in his hair, starting his count again softly, not moving away from the other. If he could just calm the fuck down, maybe he'd be okay. Probably not. "Why?" He asked in barely more than a broken whisper, lifting his head to look the other in the eye.

“Why what?” Katsuki muttered back, loosening his hold as Shinsou started shifting.

"Why are you here? With me? Why do you let me near you? Why...why haven't you told me to never see you again?" He couldn't properly form his question, couldn't figure out how. "Why are you helping me? Why do you care?" He dropped his head again, "I'm not worth any of it. Why do you put up with me?"

Pain ran through Katsuki’s throat as he tried to answer and he coughed lightly. He clenched his hands, quickly realizing they were stiff and useless. Without any way to properly answer Katsuki grunted an almost inaudible, “No.”

Shinsou's heart stuttered in his chest. 'No'. Fuck, he was an idiot. He bit his lip harshly to stop the rising sob from breaking through again, the taste of iron filling his mouth. He should have known better than to think he was worth it. To get his hopes up. He was worthless, and now that he couldn't go out and patrol, he was worse than useless. He was a parasite, taking resources others needed. Why was Katsuki even bothering to feign comfort? He must be revolted to even touch him. Fucking villain. Would never be good for anything. His fingers curled tighter, knuckles white, nail digging into his own palm through the shirt.

Katsuki bit his cheek and cursed himself as Shinsou started to shake in his hold, he grabbed onto Shinsou’s hands and held them, “Whatever you’re thinking, you’re wrong,” he paused again. “You’re so fucking wrong, Eyebags.”

Shinsou laughed harshly, not able to hold back the sob. It hurt, so much. He felt like he was breaking. Fuck, he hadn't been this bad in years. He knew it was just the demons in his head, but they were so convincing, especially when he couldn't do anything to stop them.

Katsuki sat back against the corner, officially out of ideas. He continued to brush through Shinsou’s hair, at a loss, as the taller boy sobbed into his shoulder. 

When he felt the other draw away Shinsou let him go, drawing into himself again. He'd done it, Katsuki had decided he wasn't worth the trouble. Like the others had before. Like Hizashi and Shota were sure to do. He moved away, tears falling silently, "I'm sorry," he whispered, hands curling in his own shirt. I'm sorry I'm so fucked up you can't possibly want me. I'm sorry I ruined any chance I might have had. I'm sorry you feel the need to help me, even though I disgust you. I'm sorry I'm a burden. So many sorrys, so few words.

Upon seeing Shinsou’s tear-stained face, an idea came to mind. He didn’t like it and would willingly take any other option but it was all that came to mind. He pressed a kiss to Shinsou's tear-streaked cheek before standing. Taking the cake and bread out of the oven, turning off the oven and alarm. He then left up the stairs, drawing a bath and setting aside some clothes before returning to Shinsou and lifting him in his arms up to the steaming bathroom. He slowly lowered him into the tub and began wiping the tears on his cheeks that ran to his neck.

And he was leaving, just like Shinsou knew he would, of course he was. He sighed, curling into himself as he laid on the floor like a fucking invalid. He barely registered when hands lifted him into strong arms, he didn't have the strength to even fight if he'd wanted to.

He leaned into the palm on his cheek, "He's gone, Papa," he whispered, guessing it was Hizashi, "I drove him away, like everyone else."

Taking a deep breath, he let himself sink under the water, surrendering to its control before rising for air again, leaning his head against the wall. "I'm sorry I'm such a burden on you guys."

Katsuki ran a thumb over Shinsou’s puffy eyes and cheeks, washing through his hair before attempting to take off the shirt that now clung to his chest.

Shinsou huffed, smiling slightly, "I'm not incapable," he murmured but didn't fight him, opening one eye to look at him before dunking under again, smoothing back his hair when he sat up again, "I didn't think you'd still be here," he said, soft but stronger. His eyes were red, but with the steam and rinse from the dunk, there weren't any other traces on his face of his breakdown, "I'm sorry you had to deal with me."

Katsuki didn’t answer besides shaking his head and sitting back, keeping an eye on Shinsou making sure he wouldn’t pass out under the water. He began unwrapping the familiarly soaked bandages.

Shinsou smiled slightly, settling in for a bit of an awkward soak, slumping against the wall again. "Thank you, 'Suki," he murmured; blushing slightly, he glanced at Katsuki's hands and cursed. "Fuck, I ruined your bandages again."

Katsuki hummed, using scissors to cut them off and ignoring how his skin puffed up and stung with each movement he made.

Shinsou softly took his hands, holding them. "Stop hurting yourself," he whispered, pressing his forehead to them, "Thank you."

Katsuki winced at Shinsou holding his hands but let him take them anyway, waiting for a few seconds before pulling them back. He pulled the plug and rewrapped the bandages whilst the water drained before holding a hand out to Shinsou.

Shinsou grabbed his forearm, pulling himself up, moving to hug him, and paused, "Okay?"

Katsuki looked at him confused, he was about to hit Shinsou again if he just asked if Katsuki was okay. Maybe that would knock some sense into him. None the less he pulled Shinsou over the tub and into a hug.

Shinsou sighed, melting into the hug, arms around his chest. "Okay," he hummed with a nod, "Thank you. One last journey tonight. For me, at least,"

Katsuki pulled back confused, looking directly into Shinsou's eyes. “What do you mean?” he mouthed.

"I should go to bed. You can stay, if you want, or leave. I won't stop you, whichever you choose," he murmured into sandy spiked hair.

Like hell Katsuki was going to leave after what he just saw, fuck the consequences. He didn’t bother shaking his head before throwing a towel over Shinsou, scrubbing dry his hair before stepping back to let him do the rest and leaving to change his own wet clothes.

Shinsou sighed, getting changed and into the dry clothes Katsuki had given him, mentally thanking him, and slowly made his way to his room by himself. He'd bothered Katsuki enough and he'd already left, so it wasn't worth calling for him back. He'd made his choice, Shinsou would respect it. Though, the kiss had been odd. Maybe it was pitying goodbye. Shinsou sighed, leaning against the wall. Pathetic.

Katsuki threw his clothes on the drawer and left for the kitchen to pack everything away before returning to the bedroom.

Shinsou was curled up in bed, staring sightlessly at the wall, trying to make his mind go blank.

Katsuki looked at him in the bed, he seemed to be completely zoned out, but Katsuki figured he should drink something after crying like that. He touched his hand first to see what reaction he’d get.

Shinsou drew his hand back, blinking until his eyes focused, trying to make out the figure in the dark, "'Suki?" he mumbled, confused. Well, fuck, now he was hallucinating.

The touch on the hand seemed to help a little but Shinsou was nowhere near as conscious as Katsuki needed him to be. Next, Katsuki held his cheek, running a hand through his hair.

Shinsou sighed, leaning into the touch, hand coming up to hold it there, a small smile on his lips. If his brain decided to create this illusion, he'd take what he could get.

It wasn’t working as well as Katsuki wanted it to but it was good enough. He removed the hand on Shinsou’s cheek and took one of the glasses of water he’d brought up with him, pushing it into Shinsou's hand before making sure Shinsou was holding the cup with both hands.

"No," Shinsou said softly, pushing the water back at whoever was trying to give it to him. He needed his hands, didn't want to pour the water on the bed and himself, "Not now."

Katsuki rolled his eyes at Shinsou's tired stubbornness; he took the cup back nonetheless and the hand that was in Shinsou’s hair moved to the back of his head, supporting it before he brought the cup to Shinsou's lips to pour it himself.

Shinsou chuckled softly, pushing himself up to sit against the headboard, actually taking the water glass himself, sipping it slowly, eyes falling closed as he drank.

Katsuki couldn’t help but laugh at him, watching carefully to make sure he wasn’t going to choke on the water.

"Am I that amusing?" he mumbled, setting the half-drunk glass on his knee.

Katsuki gave a small shrug.

Shinsou sighed, finishing the glass in two swallows and rolled over, setting it on the floor before sinking into the bed, back to the other, "Glad you find it funny."

Well, Katsuki messed that up. Nonetheless, he was next to Shinsou, taking his hand and holding it to see if Shinsou was okay with touch or if Katsuki should back off for tonight.

Shinsou held the hand tightly, pulling it to hug against his chest, back still to the other. He couldn't face him right now, but he needed the comfort.

Katsuki wrapped his arm over Shinsou's stomach and held the hand tightly, his other hand brushing through Shinsou's hair. Katsuki’s head rested on Shinsou's shoulder and he was on the verge of falling asleep.

Shinsou hummed softly, hoping to lull the other to sleep, settling. He was exhausted as well, and with the weight of the body against him, his mind pleasantly blank now.

Katsuki fell asleep, his head leaning over Shinsou's shoulder and his hand loosening its hold on Shinsou's. He unconsciously moved closer to him, though, and rubbed his face into the side of Shinsou's.

Shinsou smiled, falling asleep as well, breathing finally evening out.

Katsuki woke up to the door closing downstairs, he didn’t pay it too much mind but took it as his queue to leave. He pressed a kiss to the side of Shinsou's head as he got out of the bed, careful to not wake Shinsou in the process, and left his clothes to get another time. He stepped out the bedroom door and started walking down the stairs.

Aizawa was in the kitchen making coffee when the boy arrived and didn't give him more than a glance.

Katsuki didn’t bother to look who it was that came home, he grabbed a pen and wrote a quick, ‘check on Shinsou, putting it on the couch where whoever it was could see it, and grabbed his shoes, walking out the door.

Aizawa watched him go, but said nothing, taking his coffee and heading upstairs to bed.

Katsuki walked back to his house, he had no clue what the time was, or if curfew was even up. To be cautious he checked the corners of streets before turning them and was quiet but he seemed to be in the clear.

Shinsou woke a few hours later, sighing when he found the bed empty, sheets cold. He knew it'd been a dream. He sat up and bowed his head between his knees. Fuck.

Katsuki opened the door to his house, twisting his keys around his finger as he pushed the door open and dropped them in the key bowl. He leaned his head back, stretching his neck and shoulders, and headed towards his bedroom.

“Where have you been?”

Katsuki stops on the bottom step. Dread washing up from his feet as he turns to face his mother, who stares at him past her black reading glasses.

“Doesn’t matter, I’m going to my room.”

“That’s bullshit Katsuki,” she takes her glasses from her face and lowers them onto the counter, “Give me an actual answer.”

“Why? It’s not like you actually care.” Stop talking, go upstairs.

Mitsuki scoffed, “Don’t start with that, brat.”

“I was out then,” Katsuki rolled his eyes, already knowing his mother wouldn’t be satisfied with the answer.

“Out where?”

“Why does it matter?”

“It matters,” she stood, “because I give you freedom and privacy and you repay it with a cop knocking at my door to tell me they’re taking you in.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes again but stepped off the staircase.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me.”

His cheek stings with a fast hit but he doesn’t reply, not yet.

“I can’t trust you to leave without me knowing, not with your track record.”

“That was years ago,” Katsuki snapped, earning a smack to the back of his head.

“And I’m the one who had to pay,” Mitsuki rubbed her palm with her other hand. “I can’t have you running off for days without me knowing.

“I’m not doing anything bad.” Katsuki pauses, “I’m just with a friend.”

“A friend? Is that friends the reason we had police show up at our door?”

Katsuki’s jaw twitched, “How do you even know about that?”

“So it was the reason.”

Katsuki gritted his teeth and took a moment before responding. “His dad’s an officer, they just asked about him. Nothing about me.”

Katsuki watched as his mother took in what he’d told her, she’d stepped back and narrowed her eyes.

“So you’ve been off at some cop’s house?” Her voice is quiet, slow. She’s unsure, trying to get more out of him.

“Why? Scared that I'll spill something?”

Katsuki falls forwards as his collar is snagged and his mother’s face inches from his, “Don’t joke about that Katsuki.”

“Fine, get off me,” he tries to step back but her grip is strong and the most he manages is extending her arm to give him a few centimeters more space.

“Why are you so fuckin’ worried? It doesn’t have anything to do with you.”

He stumbled forwards again, unprepared for her to tug him harshly.

“I’m the one who cleans up your messes! How do you think it’ll look if a cop finds out I’ve been paying off the police to let you go. You think that’ll play over nicely for you?”

Katsuki’s breathing falters as he tries to push her away.

“You think any other mother would do what I did for you?” She drops his collar and Katsuki steps back while she rubs the bridge of her nose. 

Katsuki rubbed at the back of his neck where his shirt had dug into and gulped against the feeling of choking, “Half the time you were the one who called them to take me in!”

“And that cop that you’ve been staying with would do the same!” Mitsuki threw her hand up and he flinched, “Don’t lie to yourself Katsuki. He’d throw you in jail faster than I would.”

Katsuki gulped again and took a steadying breath.

Mitsuki sighed, gently cupping his cheek in her hand, “I want to protect you Katsuki, I’ve shown that time and time again. And I’ll keep showing you.”

Katsuki trembled in her hold, his hands shaking at his sides and she sighed again. “You can go to your room now.”

He didn’t waste time as he bolted up the stairs.

Shinsou dragged himself from bed and went downstairs. Opening the fridge, he saw the cake and bread, and just dumped them in the trash. Neither were salvageable.

Katsuki had managed to shower and change, he had a towel around his neck to dry his hair as he walked back down the staircase towards the kitchen when a knock came at the front door.

He looked down the hallway at his mother’s room, she didn’t make any move or noise to answer the door so Katsuki opened it himself, only able to unlock it and twist the knob before it was pushed open from the other side.

He blinked, eyes closing from the explosion he let out in surprise. He felt hands clamp around his, and fingers wrapping around his arm. “Katsuki Bakugou you are under arrest, anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law.”

Katsuki set off another explosion which did nothing to loosen the tight grip around him, he was instead pulled out of the house and onto the street where he could feel a knee press into his back, keeping him on the ground while metal cuffs were placed around his wrists.

Hizashi came around the corner on his way home and saw the situation, "The fuck is going on here?" he asked no one in particular.

Katsuki’s cheek met the road as he tried to look up and a hand pushed against the back of his head forcing it back down. Something slipped around his mouth and tightened, cutting into the sides of his face painfully.

A cop had walked over to Hizashi, standing in front blocking what he could of the scene, “We got an anonymous report of assault and failure to follow curfew.”

Hizashi glared. "He's been staying with Eraser and me. We've been taking care of his injuries since no one else had the balls to do so. With orders from Naomasa."

The name seemed to trigger some sort of reaction and with a quick, “Let this one go.” The pressure holding Katsuki down disappeared and he was able to sit up. He sat with his legs bent using his knees to try to push off the muzzle from his mouth.

A hand wrapped around the back of his neck and he went stiff with a choked breath. Something clicked behind him and the muzzle fell off, being caught by an officer who pulled off the cuff and pushed him forward towards Hizashi.

Hizashi caught him, pushing him behind him. "I appreciate your cooperation," he spat, watching the officers walk away.

Katsuki’s breath hitched as he pushed himself out of whoever’s arms he was in, the touch remained firm on his shoulders and Katsuki gagged as he could feel skin touch skin. He pushed harder and fell onto his back, catching himself with his hands. They weren’t cuffed anymore? He frantically looked up to meet Hizashi’s face and froze. 

"Y'okay kid?" Hizashi asked softly, looking with him.

Katsuki looked up, pushed out of the blonde’s grip, and turned his head to the door. It was closed, the curtains of his house pulled shut, his mother had been watching. He stood quickly, stepping back and spinning on his heel to walk away.

Hizashi moved to walk beside him, just being a presence, trying for reassuring.

Katsuki turned to Hizashi, opening his mouth to immediately close it with a scowl. He raised his hand, punching Hizashi’s chest.

Hizashi chuckled softly, letting him, "You didn't want help, did you?" He'd settle for yes or no questions.

Katsuki groaned and he rubbed at his wrist, closing his eyes as he walked.

Hizashi sighed, "Is this going to hurt you?"

Katsuki didn’t answer, he hid his face from Hizashi instead and clenched his hands, his fingers itching to punch something.

Hizashi didn't know how to help and was afraid to only make it worse, "Can you go home?"

Katsuki’s head snapped towards Hizashi, narrowed eyes and quiet explosions from his hands were enough for him to get the message.

Hizashi raised his hands in consolation, "I'm not going to force you to do anything," He reassured, "I won't make you go back if that's not what you want. Do you want to go back and curl up with 'Toshi?"

Katsuki scoffed, rolling his eyes. He shook his head slightly looking at the ground before gesturing a pen to see if Hiazshi had anything he could write on.

Hizashi nodded, settling a hand on his back, and started leading him on, "It's going to be okay," he tried to console, misreading the other's actions.

Katsuki pushed the hand off his back, giving Hizashi an annoyed look. He held up his hands instead, ‘don't tell,’ he signed.

"I have to tell Sho, but 'Toshi doesn't need to know," Hizashi said, "That's the best I can do for that, kid."

Katsuki frowned, repeating the words with more aggression.

"I can't do that kid. He's going to find out, it's better if he hears it from me than being caught off guard later when they question him about it,"

Katsuki stared at him, confused. Why would they question Aizawa? There was no reason they- oh, Hizashi said he was living with them. Katsuki rubbed his hands as they ached from signing, 'why did you lie?'

Hizashi pulled his show notes and a pencil from a pocket, handing them to the other, "I didn't lie."

'I'm not staying with you', he wrote on the paper, holding it out to Hizashi, embarrassed that he couldn't even sign.

"You were, just not permanently," Hizashi argued, smiling slightly, "Naomaasa's name has some weight, and it helped, so that's all you needed."

Katsuki gave him a dead look, obviously the man wasn't understanding what Katsuki was trying to say, 'Can’t go against her.'

"I still don't understand that part. Explain when we get home and I find you something better to write on," the canary-haired man said.

Katsuki frowned, looking back at the house. From the angle he was on, he knew the hag couldn't see him, but he still had the unsettling feeling she was somehow watching. He pushed his unease down and handed Hizashi back the items.

Hizashi walked beside him but didn't say anything, trying to figure out how he was going to explain to his husband he'd fucked up. He was going to have to warn Naomasa he'd used his name in this incident as well. He sighed, he wouldn't be sleeping today.

Katsuki looked at his arm while he walked, the glass cuts had almost healed but the scratches he'd made on his arms had ripped off some of the scabs. He wrapped it back up and looked at Hizashi, signaling for the pen again.

Hizashi handed it to him wordlessly, pausing to let him write again.

'Who was that person?' he wrote on the bandage.

"Who was who?"

'The name' he paused, 'nemosa' he wrote, certain he'd spelled it wrong.

"Naomasa?" Hizashi asked to clarify.

Katsuki nodded, lowering the pen and looking at Hizashi for an answer.

"You might know him as Tsukauchi. He's the detective Sho works with,"

Katsuki remembered him, the one in the coat. 'why did you say his name?' If Hizashi used his name and the cops let Katsuki go, that means he had to be important, right?

"Because he's stated an interest in you professionally," Hizashi said.

Katsuki fully turned to him, eyes narrowed as he wrote on his hand, 'he what?'

"He likes you, that's all. And he knows Sho likes you, so he's interested in you. Nothing dangerous,"

'Why?'

"Why?"

'What is he doing?' Katsuki wrote, why was Naomasa interested in him? What did he want?

"So far, he's just been reading your file as far as I know," Hizashi shrugged.

To arrest him? Shit, that's bad news. He went silent, biting his lip about what Naomasa could find if he dug deep enough. He was sure the hag paid enough people off to keep certain things off his file but a private investigation could reveal a lot of shit he thought was done and buried.

"I need to find our copy of 'Toshi's rap sheet," Hizashi chuckled, "Or mine. Mine's pretty good. Lots of 'disturbing the peace' on mine. Come on, let's go, I'm craving eggs," he said, starting home again, expecting the boy to follow.

Katsuki didn't know how much he wanted to follow the blond; if he went he would only be making things worse. His mother would be informed eventually about where he was and she'd no doubt be furious. But if he didn't follow Hizashi he had nowhere else to go but back. And if his mother did see Hizashi stop the cops from arresting him, she'd have things to say about it. He bit his pride and followed the blond.

Shinsou forced a smile when Hizashi came home, "Morning, Papa," he greeted softly before it turned to a grimace when he saw Katsuki, turning away from him, afraid of his reaction. He'd found the note on the couch and had thrown it away. They didn't need to know he'd had another attack last night, so they didn't need to know they should check up on him. He was working on another loaf of bread, kneading the dough on the counter.

Katsuki frowned at Shinsou, he saw the note missing from the couch and put two and two together. He would let it go, for now, an eye for an eye, Shinsou didn't need to know about Katsuki and Shouta and Hizashi didn't need to know about Shinsou. The sides of Katsuki’s mouth ached from the muzzle, his jaw burning from it being ripped off.

Shinsou watched him out of the corner of his eye, continuing to knead and roll the dough, working the gluten.

Hizashi moved on to heat up a pan and drop a couple eggs in, not going to comment on whatever was going on between the boys.

The bathroom door closed and Katsuki slid to the ground, his eyes burnt with his jaw and he pressed his face to his knees as his breath caught and he unwillingly let out a strangled sob.

Shinsou heard the body hit the floor and sighed. Fucking fuckity fuck. He set the dough in the warm oven again for another proof before going to grab a notepad and a couple pens; he softly sat against the other side of the door and wrote before sliding the pad and one of the pens under the door.

**I'm sorry about last night, I don't really know what happened. I shouldn't have made you go through that. I don't blame you for it. The same thing happens with my dads occasionally. Downside is it's kinda like a grease fire; you need to know how to deal with it or it'll just get worse.**

**Anything I can do to help?**

He used the handle of the door to pick himself up and kicked the paper back under, his foot hitting the door with a thud. His eyes were red-rimmed in the mirror, tiredly staring back at him as he lifted his hand to the corner of his mouth and traced the bruise that ran across his face and disappeared behind his ear. 

He splashed his face with water, rubbing his eyes and waiting for his reddened cheeks and nose to return to their original color. He found his breath stuttering as he inhaled and shaking as he exhaled, the minutes dragged on and it evened out.

**take your time** Shinsou wrote in larger letters on the bottom when he heard the hiccupping sobs, pushing it back again, and moved to lean against the wall next to the bathroom instead to wait, heart breaking. It was probably his fault, somehow.

Katsuki looked down at the message slid under the door, his stomach twisting and aching as he read it. He dropped to his knees in front of the door. **fuck off**, he slid it under with another loud thud as this time his hand hit the door.

Shinsou snorted slightly at the thud, recognizing the sound of an accidental punch, and knew the other would be cursing if he could talk. It was a good sound. He smiled when he saw the words written in response. At least there was an answer.

**I'm not going anywhere, Bombshell. You're stuck with me** he sent back with a little smiley face before returning to the wall again.

He frowned at the paper, quickly writing back **lean on the door**.

Shinsou read it and did so, tensed for an attack as he sent back **thank you for last night if it was real**.

Katsuki read the note, he wrote on the entire page, going over the previous words and wrote out **fuck you**, he didn't send it yet. First, he waited to feel Shinsou sit against the door, then he drew back and kicked at it. Once he heard Shinsou get knocked over on the other side he slid the paper under.

Shinsou laughed, "Fuck me yourself, coward," he called back, wanting to get a better reaction.

Katsuki wasn't in the mood to laugh, he knew Shinsou was trying to make the best of this but Katsuki was too tired to be thinking about what Shinsou was doing. He curled up by the door again, quiet tears running down his cheeks as the energy drained from his body, replaced by exhaustion.

"'Suki," he called softly, "Open the door."

Katsuki tilted his head back to look at the door handle but didn't reach for it.

"I'm going to open the door," Shinsou warned, using the end of the pen to unlock it before carefully pushing it open, gently adding more pressure when he met the resistance of the other laying on the floor.

Katsuki stared at the other as he entered.

Shinsou closed the door again after he'd slipped inside crouching next to the other, "Are you okay if I touch you?" he asked softly.

Katsuki scoffed, looking at Shinsou’s hesitantly extended hand and pulling it so he fell on top of him in a hug.

Shinsou chuckled slightly in surprise, but held him, softly rubbing his back, "It's okay," he said softly, "I'm here, I've got you."

The tears had stopped but Katsuki’s cheeks felt sticky and cold, the trails of dried tears that ran down his neck, and his eyes and throat stung. He stayed in Shinsou's arms still, holding him tightly.

Shinsou let him go with one hand and gently wiped away the tears that still lingered on his cheeks, "Want me to take you back to bed?" he asked quietly.

Katsuki stared at Shinsou blankly as he felt the urge to push him away. He wasn’t pathetic enough that he couldn’t stand up. While his annoyance grew, he forgot to answer.

"I'm going to pick you up, is that okay?" he asked softly, still gently stroking his cheek.

Katsuki pushed the hand off his cheek and tried to lift himself. He managed to stand and lean against the wall before his brain caught up to the weight of his body and his knees buckled from under him.

Shinsou lifted him up into his arms, guiding Katsuki's head to rest on his shoulder. He fumbled with the doorknob for a moment before they were out and Shinsou was making his way up to his room to put the exhausted blond to bed, humming softly, rubbing at his back as he walked.

Katsuki frowned but was too tired to fight back, he fell asleep before they even reached Shinsou's room.

Shinsou set him in bed softly, tucking him in and pressing a kiss to his forehead before going to get a washcloth to wash away the tears again. Maybe the cool water would help him calm down as well.

Katsuki knew he was dreaming, it felt too hazy to be real. He sat alone in an empty room in darkness, a light passing by his face every now and again. 

Shinsou sat on the bed beside his...what was Katsuki to him? Shinsou sat beside Katsuki, gently wiping his face and throat down to his clavicles where tears had pooled, before tossing it aside and running a hand through sandy hair, hoping it was soothing.

The light touch landed on his cheek, Katsuki could see the outline of his body as it stuck to him and started making its way across his face and down his neck. Katsuki thought he hated this feeling. The feeling of someone touching him, in the dark, when he couldn’t fight back. But this was different, he reached out to touch the light.

Shinsou caught the grasping hand, pressing a kiss to the bandages, "I'm here, 'Suki."

It engulfed his hand as he touched it; he pulled it to his chest.

Shinsou let him pull his hand, squeezing slightly. He had time.

The light got dimmed, Katsuki closed his eyes. He knew it’d spluttered out, and opening his eyes would do nothing. The darkness would be there if he opened them. For now he’d pretend the light was still there, surrounding him in safety. 

A little while later, Shinsou gently pulled his hand back and went downstairs to finish his bread, kneading it again before separating, rolling, and braiding the dough into its desired form, setting it in the oven to bake, setting a timer on his phone and going back to Katsuki.

Katsuki’s eyes opened to a touch on his cheek, a cold finger stroked it slowly. The thumb ran to his lips, parting them. He felt his mouth grow heavy, his throat choked on something. The hand was gripping tighter to his skin, melting into it, sludge-filled his lungs as he could feel skin wrap around his arms possessively, it moved down to his chest and inner thighs. He squirmed as he felt fingers trace his skin.

Shinsou settled on the bed beside him again, murmuring softly when he saw the crease in Katsuki's eyebrows, running a hand through spiky hair again, trying to reassure.

Something touched his jaw and lifted his head, he felt a warm hand cup his face and clear the suffocating cold from before. He pulled the hand, it fell into his arms in the glowing shape of a person he couldn’t place.

"I'm sorry," Shinsou said, "I didn't want to lose another loaf of bread. Promise I'll only leave you one more time." He let the other take his hand, thumb rubbing his knuckles through the bandages. "Then, I'm all yours."

It disappeared the second he pulled it close. How ironic. He let it go.

Shinsou sat next to him, hand moving back to stroke his hair again when he let go of his hand, moving away only when his alarm went off to check the bread and pull it out of the oven. One of his dads could put it away when it was cool enough. He went back to bed again, laying next to Katsuki this time, and pulled him to lay on his chest, arms around his waist.

It returned slowly, the light entering from his left side and dancing around him. Katsuki didn’t trust it but it didn’t stop it as it came closer.

Shinsou just held him, pressing a soft kiss to his hair before laying back again. He liked his personal weighted blanket. Who said 110% of your weight isn't the right number?

It moved slowly, circling him while Katsuki watched. He was paralyzed, his arms and legs weighed on his body heavily and he couldn't find the energy to lift them, so instead he leaned into the light.

Shinsou slowly drifted off again, still emotionally exhausted from the night before. If anyone needed him, they could wake him up themselves.

Katsuki cautiously touched the light, it pushed back slightly but didn’t pull away. Instead, it moved around his hand, blanketing it in warmth before spreading around to the rest of his body.

The last thing Shinsou did before he was completely out was gently lift Katsuki's face to kiss him softly on the lips before lowering it back to rest in his neck again, fingers lightly playing with his hair on the back of his neck.  "Feel better, 'Suki."

It landed on his face, brushing his cheeks and across his lips before going through his hair. The strands pushed aside while it worked its way through. He smiled.

Shinsou woke again in the early afternoon, comfortable and pleasantly confused by the weight.

Katsuki’s eyes struggled to open and he immediately wished to be back asleep. He pulled the blanket over his head and pushed against it, everything hurt.

Shinsou glanced down at him and his arms came back up to hug him again, guiding his face to hide in his neck again, pulling the blanket a little more securely over him.

Katsuki raised his head, the feeling was back. That warm, safe feeling that wrapped around him. Shinsou?

Shinsou had his head tilted back again, looking up at the ceiling as his hand lightly ran through the pale hair, not noticing the gaze.

So it was Shinsou... how embarrassing. Katsuki looked away. He seriously needed someone else to make him feel safe from dumb shadows and the dark. He laughed.

Shinsou lifted his head again to look at the other, smiling slightly, "Feeling any better?" he asked softly.

He nodded, looking into Shinsou's eyes for a moment before sitting up on the bed, the blanket falling as he brought his knees up and crossed his legs. He put one hand in Shinsou's hair, resting it there but not doing anything else.

Shinsou smiled at him, "I'm glad," he said, not moving away. Breathing was a little difficult with the weight resting on his diaphragm, but it was manageable.

Katsuki didn't move for a long time, he didn't want to get out of bed or leave the room. Somewhere in the house was Aizawa, who would have been informed about his almost arrest, who is working with a detective that is looking into him. Outside the house are the cops, and the hag. He didn't want to be awake, he wanted to sleep forever. He looked out Shinsou's window. They were on the second floor, right?  Would it be high enough to... he shook his head, hand unconsciously gripping Shinsou's hair.

Shinsou winced slightly at the pain, but said nothing, hands moving up to rest on his waist, "'Suki?" he called softly, "You with me?"

Katsuki looked down at the voice, fuck. He let go of Shinsou and sat back a little, holding his hands in his lap. "Sorry," he tried to say, but all that came out was a crackled o sound.

Shinsou leaned up, a hand rising to cup his face, "Hey, it's okay," he smiled. "You didn't do anything wrong, I'm fine," he promised. "I got you, I won't let anything happen to you."

Fuck this was pathetic, he scoffed at himself and pushed Shinsou's hand away.

Shinsou dropped his hand back to his waist, "Want me to get a notebook?"

Katsuki had nothing to write, but he figured it would be good to have one on him anyway. He nodded his head.

Shinsou softly guided Katsuki to sit on the bed next to him and got up to grab a fresh notebook from his desk and a couple pens before climbing back into bed again.

Katsuki took the pens, putting all but one of them on the floor and holding the notebook close in his hands. He sighed, taking a deep breath and writing at the top of the first page, **food?**

Shinsou looked at it, "You hungry?"

Katsuki shrugged, he couldn't remember the last time he ate, **let's make something**

Shinsou smiled, "If you want," he agreed.

Katsuki stood up and took the notebook with him, shutting it and walking to the door.

Shinsou made his bed and followed. "Food's your choice," he said, a couple steps behind.

Katsuki walked out of the room down to the kitchen.  He decided to make a simple rice and curry. He set the book down and the pencil on top.

Shinsou went to the cool loaf that was still on the counter and sliced off the end, tearing it apart and chewing on a section. It was nice and soft. "Want to try?" he asked, offering some for Katsuki to have if he wanted.

Katsuki looked over at Shinsou then at the corner of the bread in his hand. Katsuki took it and ate it. He wrote in the notebook and walking away to make some actual food, leaving the book open for Shinsou to read, **not terrible**

Shinsou chuckled, moving to kiss his cheek, hugging him from behind, "Glad you approve, Bombshell."

Katsuki put the cut-up vegetables, spice, and chicken in the pan, letting them cook, before starting on the rice and looking over at Shinsou expectantly.

Shinsou brought him the notebook and pencil, "Your orders, Master," he said, offering the items with a bow.

Katsuki raised an eyebrow and ripped out a page of the notebook, scribbling down something and pressing it into Shinsou's hand, walking back to the pan. **get out of my kitchen, Eyebags**

Chapter Text

Shinsou took the page and sighed, before leaving, heading up to check on Eri.

Katsuki finished making the food, putting it in five bowls as per usual, balancing a few on the notebook, and taking everything upstairs. First, he knocked with his elbow on Shouta and Hizashi's door; he saw Shinsou take them food every time he'd been here, so he assumed it would be okay to do; he stood silently outside the door waiting for someone to answer.

Aizawa opened the door, covering his mouth with a hand as he yawned, blinking in confusion at the boy before seeing the food.  He took two of the bowls, "Thanks," he said gruffly, more tired than anything else.

Katsuki nodded, grabbing some of the bowls balanced on the notebook to make it easier to hold, and walked to Eri's room where he heard Shinsou walk in earlier; he ignored Aizawa behind him.

Aizawa closed the door as the boy left, going back to bed, presumably.

Shinsou and Eri were sitting on her bed, looking through the sketchbook Katsuki had left for Eri the day prior, talking about how pretty the pictures were.

Katsuki stood by the door looking at the two for a moment before noticing the sketchbook. He carried the bowls over, handing Shinsou one since he wasn’t holding the book and holding Eri’s while she was still flipping through the pages.

"Thanks, 'Suki," Shinsou said, smiling at him before turning to Eri. "Okay Eri Berry, time to put the pretty pictures away, food's here," he told her, brushing her hair out of her eyes and gently taking the sketchbook, closing it with a flick of his wrist and setting it aside to safety.

Katsuki glanced at the notebook before Shinsou closed it. It was open on a really shitty drawing he’d done when he first started out. The shading was wrong and the pencil steaks were too heavy and harsh. It looked awful. He hadn’t expected Shinsou to look at it, he really only gave it to Eri to see if she wanted it. He sat down on the bed next to Shinsou, brushing Eri’s hair as he passed her.

Eri climbed into his lap to eat, holding the bowl in her hands and trying to manage the chopsticks.

Shinsou smiled, watching her.

Katsuki winced slightly at the pressure against him but didn’t make any signs she should move, instead, he rested his chin on her head and started eating.

Shinsou ate slowly, watching them happily as they enjoyed their food. Fuck, he was falling for this boy hard.

Katsuki looked up at Shinsou, his dumb face showed he was happy about something.

Shinsou set down his spoon, opened his mouth to say something, blushed, ducked his head, and started eating again.

Katsuki looked at Shinsou, confused when he shut his mouth. He looked around for his notebook to ask but gave up on the idea and mouthed ‘what?’ With a slight smile.

Shinsou smiled, blushing again, "Was going to say something, but lost my nerve again," he admitted softly. "Might tell you later."

Katsuki gave him an unimpressed look and rolled his eyes, the smile still on his face before he took a bite. His mouth immediately rejected it and he couldn’t swallow it. He kept it in his mouth, his jaw refusing to even chew on the food. He managed to swallow it after a large amount of yelling at himself and reached over Eri to grab the notebook, raising his knee to lean the book against it as he wrote. **not going back today, just thought you should know**

Shinsou's smile widened slightly at the words, then his eyes grew concerned. He set down his bowl in his lap to free his hands, 'anything to do with the new bruises and earlier?'

Katsuki expected this question, so he had an answer prepared. First, he gave a tired look and slight shrug, writing again in the notebook, **something like that**.

Shinsou nodded, accepting the answer and picking up his food again, "All right."

Katsuki turned a new page in the book so Eri would see the previous writing and wrote more, putting it down in front of Eri and picking up his food again to eat. **like the sketchbook?**

Her face scrunched in concentration as she read his words, before she looked up to him with a small smile and a nod, "It's pretty."

Katsuki smiled and ruffled her hair a bit as a thank you before brushing it out again. He put his bowl aside and crossed his legs around Eri, wrapping his arms over her shoulders and with nowhere else to look, looked at Shinsou. His head was tilted slightly, resting on top of Eri’s and he gave a small smile.

Shinsou ate about half before setting it aside, he'd maybe finish it later. 'Do you have any siblings? You seem like you'd be an amazing big brother'.

Katsuki sucked in a sharp breath of air and froze, arms tensing around the small girl. He looked down at her, frowning to himself as he saw a flash of black hair and blue eyes before he remembered he was sitting with Eri, not her. Katsuki shook his head and sat back.

Shinsou looked concerned at the response his question had caused, "You don't think you would?" He wouldn’t push for more details yet.

Katsuki tapped his fingers on the floor and just shrugged.

'I think Eri loves you, and I dare say you care about her,' Shinsou returned to sign language for this question.

Katsuki frowned and wrote quickly in the notebook, turning it so Shinsou could read it. **that’s not what I was unsure about**.

Shinsou nodded, 'Wouldn't want anyone else to come from your homelife.' he signed in understanding.

Katsuki stared for a moment before nodding. Shinsou misunderstood him and Katsuki wanted to forget. He brought the book back to him, closing it around the pen to keep his page.

Shinsou fell silent, out of things to say, and just watched the other boy with the lapful of girl. 'I think I love you', he signed fast, hoping the other wouldn't notice but needing to say it anyway.

Katsuki looked up at the fast movement, he didn’t catch it but he got the idea that maybe he wasn’t meant to. He gave a confused look and mouthed ‘weirdo', a huffed laugh at the end.

Shinsou blushed, gaze dropping. Well, fuck... that's not the reaction he'd expected, even if the other wasn't supposed to have seen it.

The other boy's reaction makes him smile. Katsuki watched as Shinsou looked down at the floor, he could feel his cheeks slightly burning and dropped the smile, but his face still felt overheated slightly, his chest panging. He ignored it.

Chapter Text

A couple minutes later, Shinsou lifted his gaze again with a sigh. He was just being an idiot, nothing to freak out about... right?

Katsuki had looked away by the time Shinsou looked up again. He’d lifted Eri up and turned her around so she was facing him, sitting between his crossed legs. He had the notebook in his hands again and was writing, **can you write?** he asked Eri, he could tell she struggled to read and he’s guessing she wasn’t being homeschooled.

She took the pen and notebook to scratch back in the awkward font of children **a litle**

Katsuki took the pen back, looking for a few seconds at the words before realizing what she wrote. He smiled and wrote back **Do you want to practice?**

Eri nodded, not knowing how to write her answer, "Please."

Katsuki looked round the room, eyes landing on a pencil on the bed next to a drawing book he assumed she was using. He leaned over and grabbed it, writing a bunch of words in his notebook with the pencil; their names, basic yes and no, some sentences, and more. He handed the book and pen to her so she could write over the pencil with a pen.

She took them, tracing what he'd written slowly, reading each aloud as she did. She stumbled a few times, but managed.

Shinsou smiled, watching them.

Katsuki smiled at her and leaned back to give her more space to write. He looked up at Shinsou, looking away immediately and blushing at the smile on his face.

Shinsou chuckled softly, getting up and taking their bowls down to the kitchen to clean up.

Katsuki didn’t watch him leave, eyes staying on Eri with a small smile still present on his face. He shook it off and took the book back when Eri was finished, this time writing some words, then writing what they mean next to it, still in pencil so she could write over it. At the top he wrote, **ask if you don’t understand (understand = to know)**.

"Thank you," she said softly before starting her task again.

Katsuki smiled and lifted her again, she took the pen off the paper as he turned her again and sat her back down in his lap. Then she placed the notebook on the bed in front of them, leaning over to carefully write in it while he ran his fingers through her hair and watched.

She got halfway through her new list before she set down the pen, "Hurts," she said softly.

Katsuki leaned over her and picked up the pen she’d put down, **what hurts?**

"Hand," she said once she'd read his words, "Here," she rubbed just below her knuckles. She'd been using too much pressure as she wrote.

Katsuki smiled and shook his head in a silent laugh, holding out his hand to her.

She set her hand in his much larger one, pressing their palms together, marveling at it, trusting him.

Katsuki turned her hand so the palm was turned upwards and used both his thumbs to massage it, starting at the center and moving out to the sides in circles.

She watched his actions, confused and amazed at how nice it felt, "Thank you."

Katsuki continued doing it for a few minutes before pausing and holding his hand out to her other hand with a slight eyebrow raise, seeing if she also wanted that one massaged.

She gave him her other hand as well.

Katsuki massaged it the same way he had the first hand, then, taking the hand she’d been using to write and massaging the wrist.

She smiled timidly as she watched him, "Feels nice."

He nodded at her, letting her hands go and shaking off his wrists. **better?** he wrote in the notebook.

She read his words, then nodded, "Better. Do I have to keep writing?"

**if you want to** Katsuki wrote before light massaging his own wrist, stopping after only a second.

She took his wrist and awkwardly tried to return the favor of massaging his wrist.

The sudden touch had Katsuki pulling his hand away immediately, he blinked at her and shook his wrist off, shaking his head at her.

She dropped her hands back to her lap, not letting her face betray her, something she'd learned in that awful place, "Sorry Mr. Bakugou."

Katsuki’s guilt came back and he sighed, reaching over for the notebook and writing **hurts** before unwrapping part of the bandage to show her the bruises on his wrist. **did nothing wrong** he added.

She frowned at the marks, "Did I do that?"

Katsuki shook his head, already making up his mind he wouldn’t tell her where he got the bruises. Right now it was better that she believed every officer was good rather than most cops hurt quirk users.

"Can I try something?" she asked quietly, eyes on her fiddling hands.

Katsuki didn’t bother writing in the notebook, just raised his eyebrows with a small nod and waited for her to do what she wanted to try.

She softly took his hand, trying to unwrap the rest of the bandages.

Katsuki let her continue, moving his hand to let her unwrap the bandage around his hand, not sure how much of the bandages she wanted to remove.

Her face scrunched as she kept unwrapping, revealing more hurt as she went.

She finished unwrapping the bandages around his hand and Katsuki wondered if she was going to take off the one on his arm too. Or the ones on his legs and face. He gave her a small smile nonetheless to make sure she knew he wasn’t angry.

When she was done, she looked at him sadly, taking his injured hand between hers. She then bowed her head and started glowing slightly, the horn on her head growing as she used her quirk. Slowly, but gaining speed, the injuries started to reopen, bruises darkening again before suddenly just disappearing. Looking up at him, she stopped when the marks around his throat were gone, not wanting to risk any further. She trembled softly as she let him go, still glowing as she curled in on herself.

Shinsou had come in midway and ran to get Aizawa. When she drew away from Katsuki, Aizawa activated his quirk, shutting hers off and she relaxed.

The tired man came in, scooping her up, "Thank you," she said, hugging onto him.

"That was very dangerous," he said to her softly, running his fingers through her hair.

Shinsou moved to Katsuki, "Y'okay?"

“The fuck just happened?” Katsuki asked, his hand pressing against his throat in complete confusion.

"Her quirk is Rewind," Aizawa said, "she rewound you, took away your injuries."

Katsuki looked at her, face shifting from confusion to disappointment to guilt. He let his hand drop and looked at Shinsou, “And what was the plan? Just take back them all?” he said, more to himself than to Eri or Shinsou.

"I think she just wanted to take away your pain," Shinsou said softly.

Katsuki glanced at Eri, before sighing and picking the bandages back up and starting to rewrap his arms, “Fuckin’ hell.” he muttered, he shouldn’t have let her unwrap them.

Eri shrunk away from him, afraid of what he might do now that he knew, what any of them would do. She didn't want to hurt again.

Aizawa sighed, turning and taking her with him. She wasn't reacting well to Bakugou's response.

Katsuki flinched as Aizawa passed him, moving to sit on the bed when they were out of the room. He figured eventually, likely after Katsuki could speak again, he wouldn’t be allowed near her; he just didn’t expect that to happen this fast. The bandages were pulled thin and hard to re-tie. They fell off his arms and he gave a groan of frustration, giving up on them and letting them fall to the floor.

Shinsou sat beside him, offering silent support.

Katsuki leaned back, putting his hands over his face. It wasn’t that he was ungrateful for what Eri did, but now there was no way he’d be trusted near Eri again. He dropped his hands, he was acting ridiculous, he looked stupid. “I’ll be back,” he muttered as he stood up to grab more bandages and cover the ugly bruises and cuts on his arms. He hesitated before leaving the room, unsure if Aizawa would let him.

Shinsou nodded, letting him go, and started putting some things away, before going back to his own room.

Katsuki stopped at the top of the stairs, eventually rolling his eyes at his paranoia. Going down the stairs and straight into the bathroom, closing the door. He avoided looking in the mirror, quickly wrapping his arms, not caring if it was too tight, just wanting to be done quickly. He left the bathroom and went back upstairs to Shinsou's room.

Shinsou sat at the foot of his bed as he waited, smiling slightly when the other came back, "I thought you might have been running away," he admitted softly.

“Nowhere to go, unless I want to undo Eri’s work” Katsuki sat back down next to Shinsou. Half of him worried now that he could talk again, Shinsou would think of him differently, that he wouldn’t like him anymore. He lay back on the bed and looked at the ceiling. “I didn’t know she’d do that,” he said, not really expecting but hoping Shinsou would believe him.

Shinsou smiled, "I didn't know she would either or I would have warned you," he admitted, "I didn't really know what her quirk was until she used it on you. How do you feel?"

Katsuki couldn’t place it, exactly how he felt, after a minute of silence he settled with “Weird”. He paused before adding, “and shit”. He sighed.

Shinsou chuckled, laying down beside him, "But relatively better?"

“I can talk if that’s what you mean.” Katsuki turned his head to look at him.

"I can hear that," Shinsou teased, smiling slightly.

“Good for you, Eyebags.” God he missed talking, talking back because he could, muttering to himself all that other stuff. A small smile formed on his face and he bit it away, looking at the ceiling, “She can’t control it. That’s why it’s dangerous?” he asked for confirmation.

Shinsou nodded, rolling onto his side to look at the other, "Dad warned me to get him if I ever saw her use it. It's really strong, and you know how hard it is to control your quirk when you're young."

Katsuki hummed, hand unconsciously going to his throat, his fingers tracing his neck before feeling along his arms. “She didn’t heal me right away. I don’t know what she did,” he admitted, “it fuckin’ hurt”.

Shinsou hummed in interest, "You okay if I touch you?" he asked softly.

“Do whatever, Eyebags.” he closed his eyes. 

Shinsou shifted closer, arm around Katsuki's waist, "No one blames you."

“Wasn’t worried about that” he could hear the lie in his own voice, it’d take a while before he got used to lying again. He moved his arm over Shinsou and turned to face him.

"Your anxiety was palpable," Shinsou smiled.

Katsuki used his knee to kick Shinsou in the stomach.

Shinsou coughed a laugh, smacking him lightly in return, "Don't like hearing the truth?"

“Don’t like your voice, Eyebags” he muttered, catching Shinsou's hand that slapped him and holding it.

Shinsou smiled, but nodded his surrender, falling silent, eyes roaming his face and neck, appreciating the unmarred skin. He softly reached up with his free hand and cupped his cheek.

Katsuki opened his eyes, looking at Shinsou confused. “What are you doing?” As he talked his cheek squished against Shinsou's hand.

"I couldn't touch you without hurting you before," Shinsou said softly.

“Yet you still did,” he mumbled, closing his eyes again.

Shinsou's heart sank, pulling his hand away and mumbling, "Sorry."

Katsuki opened his eyes again, leaning forwards and kissing Shinsou briefly. He pulled back for a second before kissing him deeper, using his lips to open Shinsou's mouth. After a few moments, he lay back, “ Do what you want, Eyebags.”

Shinsou blushed darkly at that, but smiled, leaning in to kiss the other again, hand cupping his cheek again. It wasn't as strong or dramatic as Katsuki's, but it wasn't timid either. After another minute, he drew back, "Don't ruin your hands again at what I'm about to say." he said softly.

Katsuki opened his eyes, looking at Shinsou with a questioning look.

"I think I'm falling in love with you," Shinsou said softly, eyes downcast.

“What?” Katsuki sat up, scoffed, and lay back down looking at the ceiling with a doubting smile ”You’re full of shit, Eyebags”

Shinsou's brows furrowed in confusion, "Why do you say that?"

“You’re kidding, right?” He turned his head to the side.

Shinsou shook his head, "I wouldn't lie about something like this."

Katsuki waited a few seconds in silence, once it dragged out to a minute, he lay back down. “You don’t have to use that bullshit to justify kissing me, Eyebags. I already said you could do what you want.”

Shinsou sighed, "'Suki," he said softly, "you deserve to be loved."

Immediately his chest tightened and he turned to Shinsou, “Just stop. Okay?”

Shinsou nodded, "Still okay if I touch you?"

Wasn’t that why he was putting up with Katsuki? To touch and kiss him? “I already said, do whatever Eyebags. I don’t care.”

Shinsou gently wrapped his arms around him again, "You don't need to let me do everything I ask," he said softly, "I'm sorry I upset you again."

“You didn’t upset me, Eyebags” Katsuki sighed and leaned into Shinsou's chest. “Your just fuckin’ confusing sometimes,” he muttered.

"How so?" Shinsou asked softly, rubbing his back.

Katsuki shook his head, “You keep doing stuff that doesn’t make sense.”

"What, not assuming anything about you and letting you decide what you want?"

“No,” he removed his head from Shinsou's chest, looking up at him in a mixture of annoyance and confusion. “I don’t fuckin’ get it, what do you want?”

"I want you to be happy," Shinsou said, semi-surprised by the question.

“Yeah, right.” He scoffed. Shinsou wouldn’t be able to act forever, eventually Katsuki would know what he wanted. Someone always wanted something from him. That weird sludge thing from years back wanted his quirk. The league wanted him to join. Shinsou was no different.

Shinsou huffed into his hair as he kissed it, "I want to spend forever with you in my arms, as long as you're comfortable with it, I want to kiss you until the sun goes out, as long as you will have me, and I want you to continue helping Eri, because she may not know the words yet, but she thinks of you as a big brother."

For a moment Katsuki believed him. He curled deeper into Shinsou's arms “Sure”. Then he remembered all the other times he was dumb enough to believe that. “I believe you, Eyebags.”  He could pretend it was real though, at least until he found out what Shinsou wanted.

Shinsou chuckled softly, squeezing him lightly for a moment, "You're lying again, 'Suki."

“So were you,” he shrugged back.

"I promise I wasn't," Shinsou murmured, resting his cheek on Katsuki's spiky hair, "mostly. That's not everything I want, but it's the most achievable right now."

“The most achievable thing you can think of is kissing me?” He smiled. “We just kissed three times, Eyebags, how many times do you want to?”

Shinsou smiled, "As many as I can get."

“Greedy fuck” he smiled, turning slightly so he was looking at the ceiling.

"So I've been told."

Katsuki sighed, stretching his arms out and groaning at the ache of his arms. He sat up and sighed, shaking them out.

Shinsou sat up with him, "More injuries?"

“She reversed them, but didn’t get anything besides my neck.” Katsuki explained, “It’s fine, they just need to heal again.”

Shinsou's brows furrowed, "Need me to dress them again?"

Katsuki shook his head, “Just leave it, they’re fine”

Shinsou nodded, "All right. I know you aren't the type to lay around, so what do you want to do?"

Katsuki thought about it, they really couldn’t do much. He doubted he was allowed near Eri so that canceled out her room and the lounge and kitchen. The cops were probably still going to arrest him if he went outside even after Hizashi and he still didn’t want Shinsou knowing about that. He turned to Shinsou, “You pick.”

"We could spar," Shinsou suggested, "basement's a gym."

Katsuki looked at him for a few seconds, “This place has a fuckin’ basement?”

Shinsou laughed, "This place has a fuckin’ basement."

“And you were going to wait how long before telling me?”

"No idea," Shinsou shrugged, "Probably once your hands were healed."

Fuck that. “Get up, Eyebags” he stood walking to the door, not looking back at Shinsou.

Shinsou followed, "One new rule."

“Which is?” He asked, already out of the room.

"Try to limit your swearing in front of Eri."

Katsuki rolled his eyes with a smile, “Sure.” He walked to the stairs and stopped to let Shinsou take over.

Shinsou led the way down, then into the living room before pushing the bookcase, making it swing back to reveal a landing and another staircase that he headed down as well, hitting a switch in the wall to turn on the lights.

“Thought this was a gym, not the Bat Cave,” he said, following Shinsou down the steps and waiting for his eyes to adjust to the light.

Shinsou chuckled, "Gym, emergency surgery if dad or I gets too hurt, though usually it's me, since I'm still new to the whole thing, and emergency shelter in the winter for those who lose their jobs or homes due to quirks or abuse. Generally, it's a catch-all."

“That sounds like some dark knight shit,” Katsuki smiled and walked further into the cave; it was almost spotless. “So it’s new or you just never used it?”

Shinsou looked around as well, "No, we just maintain it well."  It looked almost new, unless you knew where to look. There was a slightly lived-in feel to the place.

“Huh, so where’s the gym?” he asked.

"You're in it." Shinsou said, tapping his foot against the matted floor, "We don't have much in terms of equipment, a few free weights, and a punching bag, really. Mostly, I'm training in form and fighting techniques."

Katsuki turned to face Shinso, “Okay then, show me” he waited expectantly.

"Show you?"

“Your fighting techniques, Eyebags.”

Shinsou nodded and launched at him, staying low so his height wasn't used against him, dropping to try to sweep Katsuki's legs out from under him.

Katsuki jumped over him, ducking when he landed and swinging his leg back kicking Shinsou forwards.

Shinsou stumbled forward a bit before turning and catching Katsuki's ankle, lifting it up, going again for an unbalance.

Katsuki only had a moment to think, Shinsou's fighting style wasn’t based on strength and seemed to be more about getting his opponent down. Right now he was going to get Katsuki on the ground no matter what Katsuki did, so he’d just have to work with that. Once on the floor, Katsuki used his free leg to kick himself up, twisting the leg Shinsou was holding - weakening Shinsou's hold on it in the process - and pulling it forwards so it was out of Shinsou's grip. Now they were on equal playing fields again.

Shinsou sighed, falling back for an attack. He was at a disadvantage, being weaker and less bulky than the other boy, and without his usual weapon. Shinsou could fight, wasn't terrible at it, but he was all sneak attacks and quick fights. And he didn't want to hurt the other, with his wounds not only not healed, but back to how they'd been day one.

Shinsou was holding back, probably because Katsuki was injured. Katsuki frowned; it gave him an advantage that he didn’t fuckin’ need. He assumed quirks were off the table, not only would that be completely unfair in Katsuki’s favor but he also didn’t want to ruin the basement with scorch marks, or completely rip his hands open. It was clear Shinsou was about to attack so Katsuki ran forward first to change it up.

Shinsou watched the attack, more comfortable with this turn of events.

Katsuki reached forward with his fist in a punch, waiting for Shinsou to outstretch his hands to catch them. When Shinsou did, Katsuki immediately pulled his hands back and kicked Shinsou in the stomach instead.

Shinsou coughed, folding in on himself, but used the movement to wrap his arms around the other's waist, pushing him toward the mat.

It was easy enough for Katsuki to regain his balance, he stood up straight and wasted no time before running at Shinso. He ducked forwards, grabbing Shinsou by the arm, and with Shinsou being hunched over it was easy to pull Shinsou over his back and hold him to the ground.

Shinsou let out an "oof" as he hit the ground and just laid there, resigned to his fate. Dad was going to kill him.

With Shinsou pinned down, Katsuki really didn’t have anything else to do other than hold him there. It wasn’t a fight and he wasn’t looking to really injure Shinsou so expecting Shinsou to fight back, Katsuki leaned his weight to one side so Shinsou couldn’t roll him off.

Shinsou lifted his head, looking at the blond, then dropped it again with a dull thud.

Katsuki took that as a surrender and got off of him, standing up and offering Shinsou his hand, “Come on, Eyebags. Round two.”

Shinsou grasped his forearm and pulled himself up, pecking him on the lips before skipping back a few paces, falling into position again.

Katsuki smiled. Dropping into a fight stance and running forwards again. He couldn’t use the same trick twice so this time he had something else planned, he kept running and waited for Shinsou to make any move.

Shinsou waited for Katsuki's approach, and much like a matador, stepped aside at the last moment, letting him pass. If he'd had his weapon, he'd have looped it around his neck.

Smart move, but once Katsuki was in a width of a meter and Shinsou hadn’t made any move to attack, Katsuki had predicted he’d just move aside. He dropped immediately after passing Shinso, using momentum to swing his leg down and sweep Shinso.

Shinsou jumped at the sweep, hand moving to use Katsuki's back as a turning point, and looped a leg around his throat, going for a chokehold.

Katsuki was able to get his hands between Shinsou's leg and his neck before Shinsou got a real hold on it. Which in hindsight was way better than what would have happened if Shinsou had succeeded in a chokehold, though from the angle Katsuki was at, he wouldn’t be able to get Shinsou's leg off, so he’d have to get Shinsou to do it himself. Katsuki used his elbow and punched it into Shinsou's chest. It was much more effective than the stomach and Shinsou's leg loosened around Katsuki's neck, making it easy for Katsuki to slip out.

Shinsou rolled away back onto his feet again, crouching, arms raised slightly. He was breathing hard, ribs aching with each inhale, and waiting for the next attack.

Noticing Shinsou's breathing, Katsuki decided not to attack the chest anymore. His best bet would be for Shinsou to get tired and with Shinsou's preferred fighting technique being quick attacks, it wouldn’t take long. Katsuki got out of his fighting stance and stood up straight in a non -intimidating way so Shinsou would attack him.

Shinsou stayed where he was, eyes never leaving his opponent as he recovered. He knew this wasn't over.

If Shinsou wasn’t going to attack him Katsuki would have to make him. He charged directly at Shinsou, fist out in a weak punch that he fully intended Shinsou to grab. There wasn’t enough time for Shinsou to step aside and if he didn’t grab the punch it would land directly into his face; even though the punch was weak it could still break his nose.

Shinsou knocked the blow aside rather than catching it, ducking his head so Katsuki would trip over him as he tried to adjust the change in momentum.

Katsuki fell over Shinsou's body, one of the possibilities but not the one Katsuki was expecting, none the less he’d prepared for it and with Shinsou hunched over and Katsuki over him, Katsuki was able to grab onto Shinsou as he fell, twisting him so that Katsuki landed on top of him with Shinsou on the floor again, like before being pinned down and Katsuki leaning on one side to prevent Shinsou from rolling out of the hold and Katsuki holding both of Shinsou's hands down.

Shinsou groaned into the mat, not even trying to move this time.  "Feeling better?" he mumbled, face crunched.

“Beating you is entertaining,” he said, putting emphasis on the ‘is’ and waiting for Shinsou to tap out before letting go.

" Dad's gonna have my hide for not giving you enough of a fight," Shinsou said, sitting up when Katsuki allowed him to roll over. 

“Don’t hold back cause I’m injured, Eyebags, round three?” he asked this time, seeing as Shinsou's breathing was shallow, Katsuki was sure he’d left a rather nasty bruise on Shinsou's chest.

"I'm not, really. I've just become too complicit that I'm off balance without my weapon," Shinsou said, taking the offered hand.

Katsuki hummed, “Get creative then, Eyebags.” He walked a few feet away and turned back to look at Shinsou. “Ready?”

Shinsou sighed, but nodded and tried for another attack, starting by trying to sweep his legs again, ready for Katsuki to try and grab him.

Katsuki jumped over the sweep, kicking Shinsou's back but not enough for him to completely fall over. He stood up and waited for Shinsou to do the same.

Shinsou was ready and once again caught the leg, standing under it this time as rose with it on his shoulder.

Katsuki was now over his shoulders. He took Shinsou's neck in a chokehold and pulled him back so they both fell on the floor. With Katsuki knowing what was going to happen he had an advantage and was able to flip his body over Shinsou and land on top of him. Shinsou was still holding his leg but now they were both on the floor and Shinsou was still in a chokehold.

Shinsou growled, working his shoulder into the hold, then an entire arm. Ah, the joys of being wiry. He gained himself room to breathe, which honestly was all he'd need in a standard fight.

Katsuki got off him, not wanting the match to end so quickly, and gave Shinsou a little more of an advantage. He walked to a table and grabbed a rope off it, throwing it at Shinsou. “I said get creative, Eyebags.”  He dropped back into a fight stance.

Shinsou caught it, looping it around his hand loosely.  "Didn't think you meant 'find a backup weapon'."

“Use your surroundings.”  He watched the rope carefully.

"Right, sorry," Shinsou said, testing the rope's weight, hefting it slightly. He'd be a bit off-balance, but advantages surpassed disadvantages and he dashed forward, rope now ending in a slip knot.

Shinsou was clearly going to tie something around the knot, likely him. He stayed back this time waiting for Shinsou to make his move, he still stayed in a fighting stance.

Shinsou started again with a sweep, knowing it was predictable.

This time Katsuki ducked down and grabbed Shinsou's leg, twisting it so Shinsou landed on his back.

Shinsou used the momentum of the drop to supplement his next kick, making Katsuki release him.

Katsuki let go, looking at the rope in Shinsou's hand and putting his fingers through the knot, and pulling Shinsou forwards and off-balance. He pulled his hand out, hissing at the rope burn on the fresh cuts, and kicked Shinsou so he completely fell forwards.

Shinsou wrapped the loop around his own wrist, wrapping the full length around Katsuki's arm, pulling the arm with him as he fell.

Katsuki fell forwards onto Shinsou, his arm was stuck in the knot but he still pinned Shinsou all the same, his elbow pressing into Shinsou's neck, enough for it to slightly hurt but not enough to cause any real damage.

Shinsou released the rope and pushed at him. "I yield, get off."

Katsuki got off him immediately, Shinsou wouldn’t give up so quickly unless something was wrong. He held out his hand, “You okay?”

Shinsou sat up, breath calming, "If it hadn't been you, I'd have coldcocked you," he murmured, not taking the hand, but only because he didn't trust his legs at the moment.

Katsuki knelt down and took the rope. Carefully undoing Shinsou's hold before standing up and looking for any signs of blood and wrapping it up while walking back over to the table. Finding nothing, Katsuki put the rope back down and walked back over to Shinsou. “You injured?”

Shinsou shook his head, "I'm fine," he reassured, "Don't worry about it."

“Get up then, Eyebags,” Katsuki tested him to see if he could actually stand.

Shinsou pushed himself to his feet, barely swaying.  "Happy?"

“Ecstatic. Round four then. If you’re fine ,” Katsuki put a heavy emphasis on fine and stood back.

Shinsou shook his head, "Not that fine, sorry."

Katsuki walked up to him, one hand going around Shinsou's waist and the other holding Shinsou's arm over Katsuki’s shoulder. “Got a medkit down here?”

"It's a surgery, 'Suki, we're a small hospital." Shinsou sighed, leaning into him, "Physically, I'm fine."

Katsuki hummed, not going to admit he was more looking for a medkit for himself than he was for Shinso. “I can’t carry your stupid ass so I need you to work with me,” Katsuki said, walking towards a chair and carrying the majority of Shinsou's weight.

Shinsou chuckled, forcing himself to straighten and walk himself to the chair, sinking into his gratefully and noting the red dotting the white of the bandages, "the metal cabinet, gauze, and bandages are on the second shelf from the top on the right."

“What do you need?” Katsuki asked over his shoulder, opening the cabinet with the gauze and reaching for the bandages.

"Fourth down on the left is ice packs, bring me two,"

Katsuki grabbed two of the packs, they were the kind of ice packs that you had to crush to freeze so he bent them and hit them against the metal cabinet, it let out a sudden and loud clang before walking back to Shinsou.

Shinsou leaned back in his chair, slipping the ice packs under his shirt and hissing a sigh, "Need directions to anything else?"

“Should be fine” he sat on a chair near Shinsou and put the gauze and bandages down. Tearing off the bandages, he bit back a wince. The cuts were bloody and completely ripped from the rope, the back of his hands looked shredded and the bruises that had compiled over the past few days were dark against his skin. He frowned at the gauze, it wasn’t big enough for the cuts. “Got anything bigger?” He looked over at Shinso.

Shinsou tilted his head up, lips quirking with a slight smile, "Why did you grab the smallest one in the box?"

Katsuki held up his hand, showing the back to Shinso. The blood ran down his arm and dropped from his elbow onto the floor. “Just need a bigger one.”

Shinsou groaned as he stood up, but grabbed the back of Bakugou's wheely chair and pulled him over, stopping him with a foot, and started pulling supplies from the cabinet, laying them on the table before getting a kidney dish of water and a rag to wash his arm.

“Sit down, Eyebags, you’re on the verge of passing out and I don’t feel like dealing with that right now.” Katsuki stood up and gently pushed Shinsou back into his seat; he took the rag and dunked it in the water, cleaning his arm and patting his hands clean.

Shinsou tilted his head back. "Sorry," he mumbled, looking up at the ceiling.

"What did you need the ice for?"  he asked, opening a large gauze and pressing it against the back of his hand, walking back to his chair, and starting to wrap the bandage around it.

"Your kicks are very solid," Shinsou said tonelessly, eyes barely focused as he zoned out.

Katsuki paused and looked forward, "Right." He looked over.  "You sure you're okay?" He finished wrapping his first hand and moved on to the second, ripping open the old bandage.

"Peachy," Shinsou hummed.

"Mm," Katsuki hummed, "You're just going to fall asleep, should I actually be concerned?" He walked back to the dish of water and cleaned his hand.

Shinsou lifted his head, "I'm fine, honestly, I'm just being dramatic."

"Then be dramatic quieter" Katsuki hissed slightly, putting too much pressure on one of the cuts, "fuck."

"You're the one asking questions," Shinsou mumbled, standing up again, only to lay on the mats where they just fought.

"Wasn't talking about asking questions, Eyebags" Katsuki stepped over Shinsou's arm and started wrapping his other hand, frowning that the cuts on his upper arms and legs from the glass would also reset and now he was going to have to re-bandage them. He slipped off his sweatpants and shirt and began unwrapping the bandages.

Shinsou looked him over appreciatively, "What kind of modeling did you do?" he asked, curious.

"Hm?" Katsuki looked at Shinsou on the floor, he looked back at his leg continuing to bandage it, "Why?"

Shinsou shrugged, "You look good." he said as explanation.

Katsuki blushed, despite a wave of discomfort flooding him. It was a strange, stinging feeling and he knelt down next to him. "You look like shit," he retorted. He sat and bent his other leg and started to unwrap and rewrap it.

Chapter Text

Shinsou chuckled, ‘I know,' he signed, head flopping back again.

Katsuki picked up on the signing and hummed, putting both his legs down and sweatpants back on. He thought about the question Shinsou had asked, “Nothing fancy, Eyebags” he started unwrapping his left arm bandage, half watching Shinsou on the floor.

Shinsou shrugged, "Guess it doesn't matter, was just curious," he said, eyes drifting shut.

“You can’t legally do anything past clothing modeling till you’re 17 if that’s why you’re asking,” Katsuki said calmly, rewrapping his arm.

Shinsou hummed, "I remembered child porn laws after I said it," he admitted, "and realized it was a really stupid question."

“Not that stupid” Katsuki admits. “There’s a lotta fuckin’ creeps out there who get younger models to show more than they should.” 

Shinsou nodded, "Always true. In anything, really. Where there's money, there's assholes."

“Mm,” he paused when he got to his right arm. His left couldn’t reach to wrap it without hurting because of the sparring. “Hey, Eyebags can you wrap this?”

"One sec," Shinsou said, sitting up slowly before standing and walking back over again to help. Despite how out of it his movements had been, he was sure with the wrapping, never faltering, "Good?"

Katsuki moved his arm slightly before nodding, “Yeah.” Without another word, he pulled Shinsou on top of him in the chair.

Shinsou hummed, settling in his lap, head falling onto his shoulder softly, breathing still a little shallower than it should have been, but better.

“You’re breathing too heavily for someone who’s just fine, Eyebags,” Katsuki said, looking forward and feeling Shinsou's breath against his chest.

"Hmmm?" Shinsou hummed, lifting his head and looking at the other confused, not having noticed.

“Okay I’m not ignoring this anymore,” Katsuki pushed Shinsou slightly back so he could see his face. “What’s wrong with you?”

"I don't know what you're talking about," Shinsou said honestly.

“Yesterday was exhausting, did you sleep after?” Katsuki asked, not wanting to go into too much detail in case someone could overhear them.

"Yesterday...when I was stress baking?" Shinsou asked, needing a little clarification as to what Katsuki was referring to.

“When you completely broke down, Eyebags.”

"I slept some after that, I think you took me to bed, then a little when you broke down, maybe. But not really, no."

“Go back to bed then dumbass,” Katsuki said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"How are you after your own breakdown, then the shock with Eri's quirk?" Shinsou asked, because he wasn't just going to say 'I don't want to sleep alone, right now.'

“I’m unable to carry your sorry ass back to bed, so get up before you pass out and I’m stuck here,” Katsuki said, looking Shinsou in the eyes.

Shinsou nodded, stood up, and offered his hand to pull the other up as well.

Katsuki took his hand but stood up by himself, Shinsou already was shaking so Katsuki didn’t need to add any unnecessary weight to him.

Shinsou nodded, softly kissing Bakugou before letting him go and leading the way back upstairs, hitting the lights again as he went, pausing in the living room to close the door behind them, failing to notice the man sitting on the couch, tearing off chunks of bread from the loaf and chewing on them.

Katsuki avoided the older man’s eye, after this morning he was sure he couldn’t be trusted anymore. To make matters worse, he was looking into Katsuki’s file, if he found anything Katsuki was fucked. He continued to hold Shinsou as the other boy looked like he was a breeze away from falling over.

Aizawa sighed, sliding the loaf back into a bread bag and setting it on the couch to deal with after he dealt with his problem children, "You're going to be the death of me, problem children," he chided softly, moving to Shinsou's other side to help support him, not liking the bandages on Bakugou's arms, "What happened?" he asked the blond.

“What do you mean?” Katsuki asked defensively but also genuinely. He didn’t know what Aizawa was talking about.

"He's exhausted, your bandages are new." the man said tiredly, "There's also blood on your foot."

Katsuki frowned, “That’s been there for-- doesn’t matter.” He said, shaking his head and rubbing the top of his foot against the back of his leg to get the blood off. It probably just dripped into it when he was cleaning it. Speaking of which, they hadn't cleaned up, he sighed. “Eyebags, open the door then go to bed.”

"Both of you go to bed, I'll clean up," Aizawa softly ordered, lightly pushing them toward the stairs, "I don't want to see either of you until at least dinner time if at all today."

Didn’t that sound fuckin’ familiar. Katsuki bit back the irony with a bite to his bottom lip and chose to instead focus his attention on the purple-haired mess beside him. “Come on, I can’t carry you, you're going to have to walk.”  He tugged Shinsou lightly to get him to walk.

Shinsou nodded, starting to walk.

Aizawa affectionately ruffled both their hair as they moved off before heading down to see what kind of mess he'd have to deal with. Bakugou was a good kid.

Katsuki flinched at the contact and he muttered out a “hands off” as he led Shinsou up the stairs. It took longer than he would have liked and his muscles ached from holding his arms out for Shinsou. He opened the door and he didn’t bother flicking the light on, pushing the other onto the bed when he was close enough and throwing a blanket over him. He lay down next to him with a thump but not going to sleep. He sighed deeply, moving his hand to intertwine it with Shisnou’s.

Shinsou shifted closer to the other unconsciously, octopusing. He wrapped all his limbs around the other, burying his face in the other's neck, mostly asleep already.

Katsuki winced a little at the pain in his legs, the cuts from glass feeling fresh again. He settled down however and wrapped an arm around the other’s back, listening to the sounds outside the room, expecting Aizawa to come up any second and yell at him about the mess.

Aizawa was pleasantly surprised by the lack of mess in the basement and had everything cleaned up and sanitized in a little over half an hour. He poked his head in on the boys when he went back upstairs, a slight smile quirking his lips at the sight.

There it was, someone was coming up the stairs. Too fast to be Eri and too quiet to be the blond, which left Aizawa. He heard him stop outside the door and lay back looking at the ceiling. Then the door quietly cracked open, then a pause, then it closed. Katsuki listened to him go back downstairs, sitting up slightly with a frown on his face. His face changed to realization when he saw that Shinsou was asleep. Right, of course Aizawa wasn't going to yell at him and wake Shinsou up, he'd probably do it at dinner or some other time when everybody could watch. Katsuki lay back down and curled closer to Shinsou.

Shinsou slept deeply for a couple hours, barely moving other than the slight rise and fall of his chest, before he started twitching.

Katsuki had fallen asleep after an hour or so. Whether he'd admit it or not, last night and this morning had taken its toll on him. And like it or not, he took it out on Shinsou. He was more aggressive than he should have been. He woke up when Shinsou twitched, groaning and rolling over.

Shinsou had unwrapped himself from the other while they slept, and the twitch was mostly a muscle in his shoulder jumping, making the rest of his form tense.

Katsuki had rolled onto his stomach and was pressing his face into the pillow, mumbling tiredly into it before pushing the top half of him up to stretch his back and falling back down with a thump that shook the bed.

Shinsou jumped at the thump, eyes wide and searching as he sat up, breathing fast. After a minute, he relaxed back again. Thank fuck, it had only been a dream.

Katsuki turned his head when Shinsou shot up, when he saw the boy relax he reached out a hand to Shinsou's cheek and softly pulled him back down.

Shinsou tensed slightly at the touch but allowed himself to be pulled back down when he saw who it was. "I'm glad you're safe," he murmured, leaning in to kiss him before settling into his pillow, eyes fluttering shut again.

Katsuki kept his eyes open, shifting closer to Shinsou so his head was resting against his chest. Shinsou's breathing had evened out and he seemed much more awake, though that may just be from the sudden jump. Katsuki's phone lay on the floor next to the bed. He didn't want to look at it, knowing what messages he would be greeted with if he did. "Where's your phone, Eyebags?"

Shinsou hummed, brow scrunching in thought, "Here or kitchen?" It came out more like a question. He honestly didn't remember.

Katsuki hummed, he didn't feel like standing up and looking for it, so he just looked out the window. It was dark outside but not too dark, he was sure curfew wouldn't be over yet. "What time do you eat dinner?"

"Dinner time," was the intelligent answer.

“Thanks for the help” Katsuki muttered, waiting a second before sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. “Get up, Eyebags.”

Shinsou grumbled, but did as he was told, rubbing at his eyes and the bridge of his nose, wincing, "Why?" he asked no one in particular.

“Dinner time,” Katsuki repeated back to Shinsou, standing and waiting for Shinsou to do the same.

Shinsou shook his head, sitting on the edge of his bed, "Why does my face hurt," he clarified his question, looking up at Katsuki for answers. His nose was red, shadows under his eyes too dark to be sleep-related.

“Fuckin’ hell” Katsuki sighed to himself, he pushed back Shinsou's bangs with his hand and felt Shinsou's forehead. “Well you’re not running a fever,” he commented.

"Don't feel sick," Shinsou mumbled. He wasn't any warmer than he'd usually be. He went to scrunch his nose and winced.

Katsuki frowned. “Can you breathe?”

"Mostly. It just hurts. Did I run into a door frame or something?"

“Not that I noticed,” Katsuki lifted Shinsou's chin to get a better look at his face, “did you hit it while sparring?”

"Match two," Shinsou nodded, starting to remember.

“Did it bleed?” Katsuki asked.

"Don't remember having a bloody nose."

“Okay. Okay just--” he paused and looked at Shinsou, “--stay there. And don’t touch your face or fall asleep.”

"Okay," Shinsou nodded, "Can I close my eyes?"

“Yes, just don’t touch them.” Katsuki ran his thumb along Shinsou’s cheek before he left the room. Walking down the steps and turning to the kitchen, “Eyebags needs your help”

Aizawa raised a brow, "What did the problem child do now?" he asked, setting down the package of sliced meat he was turning into a sandwich.

“Bruised nose,” Katsuki said. It clearly wasn’t broken or fractured or Shinsou wouldn’t be able to breathe and it would be bleeding, though he felt it was better to tell Aizawa than to hide it from him. He stood still, waiting for the inevitable slap or punch that he was about to get. They were alone so Aizawa would probably yell and kick him out too.

"And he needs my help because...?" Aizawa asked, "Just take him a bag of peas and tell him not to be stupid just because he has a crush."

Katsuki looked confused at him. So he wasn’t going to kick Katsuki out? Did he need someone to help Shinsou first? Maybe because he wanted to kick Katsuki out in front of everyone? He stared at Aizawa confused for a little too long.

"Spit it out, kid, or go back to Hitoshi," Aizawa said, "What's wrong?"

“If you’re going to kick me out just do it now.” Katsuki dropped the confused face and replaced it with a blank one.

"Who said anything about kicking you out?" Aizawa asked, "If I didn't want you here, you'd already be gone. Or at the very least, restrained as you healed."

Katsuki stared at him with more confusion, before walking forwards to the fridge and grabbing a bag of peas. He walked back up to Shinsou's room and closed the door. “Your family’s so fuckin’ weird,” he muttered, pressing the bag to Shinsou's nose.

Shinsou laughed, "You saw 'Zashi's patrol costume?" he assumed.

“I saw it the day I met him.” Katsuki frowned, half of his mind replaying the conversation with Aizawa, trying to figure out what he wanted and the other half remembering running into Hizashi the first morning after staying here.

"Do do~ do do do, banana hair," Shinsou sang softly, holding the peas to his face, "What happened?"

“Your two personalities are clashing,” Katsuki said, sitting back. It was funny to watch Shinsou sing one second and look serious the next.

"I have multiple personalities? Do they have names?"

“Dumb and Dumber,” Katsuki sighed.

Shinsou shrugged, "Que sera sera,"

“Are those the only Spanish words you know?” Katsuki sat back.

"It's Italian, I think, but close enough. Honestly, all I know in Spanish is how to order a beer."

“Any reason why?”

A shrug, "Seemed useful at the time," Shinsou shook his head, "Honestly, I don't know why that stuck."

“Well, I hope you had fun with that. If you're going to learn a language you may as well put in the effort to learn more than how to order a beer.”

"What more useful phrase is there?"

Katsuki shrugged, thinking for a moment before speaking in slightly broken English “~What’s your name? Where am I? How are you? What’s the time?~” he switched back, “anything that’s actually helpful.”

"~Where is the nearest McDonald's?~" Shinsou said, accent barely noticeable as he adopted an American accent.

“You can’t think of anything actually useful to say?” Katsuki said, leaning forwards to push the pack of peas back onto Shinsou's nose as Shinsou had slowly lowered it over time and it was now pressed against his chin.

Shinsou winced at the returned pressure, "~Know the culture and you know what's useful,~" Shinsou argued back.

Katsuki rolled his eyes “How are you feeling?”

"Tired and my nose hurts."

“Figured,” Katsuki rubbed his thumb over the bags under Shinsou's eyes. “Go back to sleep, Eyebags.”

"You're the one who wanted me up." Shinsou yawned.

“Cause I didn’t think you were dumb enough to ignore an injury.”

Shinsou raised a brow, "Did we forget my back?"

“I made the mistake of thinking you’d learn from that, now go to sleep.“

Shinsou settled back, "What are you going to do?"

Katsuki pulled the blanket over Shinsou's head, “Finally get a moment of peace.”

Shinsou hummed, snuggling lower. "Have fun."

Katsuki hummed, running his hand through Shinsou's hair till he fell asleep. Once he was sure Shinsou was sleeping, he stood up and walked out the door to find Hizashi to actually get some answers he could work with.

Hizashi was finishing getting dressed in his room with Eri sitting on the bed, a suppressing cuff on his wrist as he chatted at the girl, telling her some story or other.

Katsuki walked through the house for a while, going first to the main bedroom before going to Eri’s in search of the blonde. He didn’t knock on the door when he came in but he didn’t do it fast enough or aggressive enough to need to do so. Katsuki's face showed that something was wrong when he looked at Hizashi, barely sparing a glance at Eri.

Hizashi looked at him concerned, "Something wrong, Kid?"

Katsuki frowned at him, eyeing Eri before looking back at the man again, “I need to talk to you.”

"Of course," Hizashi nodded, turning to give the boy his complete attention, "What can I do for you?"

“Alone,” Katsuki added, holding back curse words in front of Eri.

"'Toshi awake?" Hizashi asked, picking up the girl.

“No, the idiot bruised his nose and fell asleep?”

Hizashi hummed, "Want to curl up with 'Toshi for a bit while Little Listener here and I talk?" he asked the girl softly.

She nodded, holding onto his neck.

"Be right back, Kid," he told the boy as he walked out, returning a few minutes later, sans girl. "Okay, what do you need?" he asked with a friendly smile.

Katsuki didn’t hesitate before starting to talk, “What do you want from me?”

Hizashi looked at him confused, "Nothing."

Katsuki narrowed his eyes “Bullshit. I figured you’d at least give me some type of answer,” he muttered. “Walking Dead and Eyebags both gave that shitty answer, I’m not fuckin’ dumb. Is it to take care of Shinsou when you don’t want to?” he guessed.

"The hell are you talking about, kid? Why would you think that?"

“Because I’m not a fuckin’ idiot. What other reason is there, pity? Or to keep an eye on me before you arrest me?” He started listing things to see Hizashi's reaction, trying to figure out which one it was.

"Why would we want you to get arrested?"

Katsuki looked at him in confusion for a few seconds, trying to figure out if he was being serious. “I’m not pointing out the obvious for you.” His own mother saw it fit to arrest him to teach him a lesson. And if his father cared he was too much of a coward to go against her. Aizawa and the detective were looking into his file. There were so many reasons that Katsuki wasn’t going to give Hizashi the satisfaction of listing them.

"There is no obvious, kid. I really have no idea why you think we'd want you arrested."

“Fine, don’t tell me.” 

Hizashi was a lost cause, Katsuki decided. He started to walk out of the room. “Don’t tell them about this.”

Hizashi laughed, "Tell them what? That you asked me questions that I don't have answers to because there is no answer you're looking for?"

“Stop fuckin’ lying,” Katsuki muttered, not really loud enough for Hizashi to hear. “Just don’t tell them I asked you that.”

"No one's lying," Hizashi said, as confused as he had been this whole time, "Eri wants to see you."

“That’s stupid, the last thing she needs right now is to fuck something up--” Katsuki paused when another thought came to mind. “You want me to take care of both of them?” He guessed.

"Top priority is for you to take care of yourself," Hizashi sighed, "And you aren't going to fuck anything up with Eri, she adores you."

“Fuckin’ hell, I don’t get you,” Katsuki’s voice raised a little louder than normal.

"Please, I'd love to enlighten you," Hizashi motioned him to continue, "What don't you understand?"

“Why can’t you just tell me what you want? It’s getting annoying.”

"I have told you. I don't want anything from you. None of us do."

“Fine. I get it, you won’t tell me.” Katsuki looked at Hizashi, trying to get rid of the look of defeated on his face, and walked out of the room.

Hizashi sighed in defeat, but let him go without another word.

Whatever, he’d find out soon enough what they wanted. Likely at dinner if they do end up kicking him out. That’s probably why they keep refusing to tell him the real answer, to try to shock Katsuki. Fuck them, he wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction. He went back into Shinsou's room, laying down on the bed and sighing loudly, rubbing a hand down his face.

Eri poked her head out of the blanket, tucked under Shinsou's arm, and smiled slightly at him, "Hello, Mr. Bakugou," she said softly.

“Shit!” Katsuki yelled in alarm, completely off guard and forgetting Eri was in here. “Fuck, you- I forgot you were there, Tiny.”  He lay back down.

She giggled slightly, crawling out from under Shinsou's arm and lay between them, "Sorry I scared you," she said, looking up at him with wide eyes.

“Yeah, yeah. Are you sleeping?” he mumbled, lying further into the bed.

She shook her head.

Katsuki nodded and opened his arms for her to crawl into, briefly looking at Shinsou to make sure the pack was still on his face and hadn’t fallen off.

She curled up on his chest, head tucked under his chin.

Katsuki sucked in a quick breath at the ache when she lay against his arm but hid it with a cough. “About earlier, that was my fault,” he said quietly, running his hand through her hair.

"Why?" she asked, confused.

“I shouldn’t have shown you the bruises, are you hurt?” he asked, thinking about how her horn grew, wondering what that meant.

She shook her head again, "No. No hurt."

“Good. Are you tired or do you want to stay up?”

"Stay up," she said softly.

Katsuki shifted slightly so he was lying partly on his back and could look at her, “Okay. Would you like to talk or just be quiet?”

"Talking is nice."

“Okay,” he paused for a moment. What was he supposed to talk about with a five-year-old? Some ideas came to mind but Katsuki had to remind himself that Eri wasn’t like Tomoko, he couldn’t talk about the same things he did with her to Eri. “About what?”

"I...I don't know," she admitted.

“How about you ask a question then?” Katsuki asked, “Anything you’re curious about.”

She nodded, "Why are you sad?"

Katsuki refrained himself from moving backwards or sighing, “You’re getting me mixed up with your disaster of a brother,” he said.

She shook her head, "You were sad when you came back from talking with Loud Dad,"

Katsuki’s frowned, “You heard that?”

She nodded shyly, "You were yelling."

Katsuki didn’t nod, or agree in any way. “Ask something else.”

She thought for a minute before asking, "Do you like me?"

“Wouldn’t be here if I didn't,” Katsuki answered honestly.

She smiled at that, hugging him, "I like you, too."

Katsuki was a little taken aback by the sudden hug, opening his eyes and his hands. stopping from brushing through her hair. He smiled. “Don’t move too much, okay? I don’t want to deal with a whining, tired Shinsou right now.”

She giggled, "Okay, Blasty."

Katsuki smiled, “Hear that from your brother?”

She nodded, "Why does he call you that?"

“My quirk,” Katsuki shrugs. “The bastard’s not very creative.”

She giggled, and Shinsou rolled over, arm flopping over the pair of them, moving to bury his face in Katsuki's side.

Katsuki laughed at Shinsou's attempt, Eri was in the way so he wouldn’t be able to get any closer without crushing her. He leaned over and grabbed the ice pack that fell when he turned, “Keep that on, Eyebags.”

"It's cold," Shinsou mumbled in return, "You're warm."

Eri giggled.

“And you’re injured, keep that bag on your nose,” he used his hand to push Shinsou's face to the side so it was facing Katsuki, he brushed the hair out of Shinsou's face and put the ice pack against Shinsou's nose. “Stay put.”

Shinsou whined, but kept it there, "She should ask you why you're so mean to me," he said playfully.

Katsuki slapped the side of Shinsou's head, “You were awake!? Make a fuckin’ noise or something, don’t listen in on other people's conversations.”

"If I'd let you know I was awake, would you have stayed?" Shinsou asked, removing the bag of peas from his nose and leaning up to look at him, "I should also take a break from the ice pack for risk of frostbite."

“What do you mean ‘would I have stayed’, Eyebags?” Katsuki took the bag of peas, feeling it in his hands, it wasn’t even cold anymore so there was no real point of Shinsou holding onto it. He tossed it on the floor.

"You, my explosive, caramel-smelling bombshell, have trust issues. And I am vaguely under the impression you don't trust anyone in this house over the age of ten right now."

Katsuki hummed sarcastically, “And how long did it take you to come to your grand realization?”

"I've known the whole time, you're just angrier right now, so I didn't expect you to be back so soon."

Katsuki lay back, “Don’t exactly have anywhere else to go, Eyebags.” He continued brushing through Eri’s hair. “Just drop it.”

"I meant, I didn't expect you to come back to my bed," Shinsou sighed softly, flopping back down again, "Not that I don't want you here, it's just surprising."

“Where’d you think I was going to go? I can’t exactly go outside.”

"Why did you accuse dad of trying to get you arrested?"

Katsuki sighed, “I didn’t, I asked if he was going to arrest me.”

"Is there a reason you SHOULD be arrested?"

Katsuki went quiet. “Forget it.”

Shinsou sighed, getting up and going over to the desk. He opened the top drawer and pulled out a police file, holding it out to Katsuki. The label read Shinsou, Hitoshi (17). It was thick.

“The fuck is-“ Katsuki looks at Eri, “What’s this suppose to prove?” He took the file.

"479 incident reports, 47 arrests, as of my last birthday. I get a new, updated copy each year from Naomasa, I think he thinks it's funny. It kind of is," Shinsou smiled, "And mine's the smallest here. I can find you my dads' if you want," he sat on the bed again, "No one is going to arrest you here unless you do something that endangers her directly."

Katsuki didn’t bother opening the file, he instead put it on the floor next to the bed, “Good job on being a bad boy,” he said lying back, “now get another ice pack.” He couldn’t care less about how many times Shinsou had been reported or arrested. It wasn’t Aizawa or the detective reading his file he was worried about, it’s them finding out what his parents had paid to keep off it that concerned him.

Shinsou sighed, "Want anything to eat while I'm up?"

“No,” Katsuki looked at Eri. “Your dumbass brother is going downstairs, want something?”

"What did I say about swearing, 'Suki?"

“You’ve got a five-year-old’s vocabulary if you think that’s a swear word”

"...Fair enough," Shinsou conceded, "but she is five, so."

“And as we all know, she’s a completely ordinary five-year-old,” Katsuki said back, a slight smile on his face.

"Don't need her swearing like you by the end of the night," Shinsou smiled in return, coming back to press a kiss to Katsuki's lips softly, and lifting Eri into his arms, "We'll be back,"

Katsuki swung his legs off the bed and grabbed the now unfrozen peas, “Take this with you.”

Shinsou plucked the bag of mostly melted peas from the blond and set it on top of his head so his hands were free as he carried the girl.

Katsuki gave him an unimpressed look as they left and waited until he heard them reach the bottom of the stairs before standing up and flicking through the file he’d put on the ground. There was the basic stuff he expected, after curfew, assault with a deadly weapon. Nothing too surprising or confusing. He put it back where Shinsou had gotten it from and grabbed his phone, sitting back against the bed frame and switching it on.

Shinsou set Eri on the counter and Aizawa ruffled her hair as he headed out for the night.

Eri smiled and watched as Shinsou bustled around the kitchen, cooking.

Katsuki was immediately met with texts and calls. Unsurprisingly from the hag, some from the old man, a few from an unknown number. He unlocked the phone and started reading through the messages. He skipped the hag's and focused on the paragraph his father sent, [Katsuki, Please answer our calls or come home so we can talk about this. We’re concerned about where you are or if you’re safe. You can always come to us son. Much love.] Katsuki rolled his eyes, he wasn’t dumb enough to think they’d talk it out. He switched the phone off and tossed it on the bed, walking out of the room and down to the kitchen.

Since the peas were defrosted, it would be best to eat them with dinner, so Shinsou decided to try something western, and decided on chicken in a white sauce.

Katsuki entered the kitchen, standing next to Eri by the counter and looking at Shinsou to see what he was making.

"Chicken a la king," Shinsou informed the other, chopping chicken to pan sear.

Katsuki hummed, turning to Eri, “Make sure he doesn’t burn the kitchen down,” before starting to walk out of the kitchen.

She giggled, "Okay."

Shinsou sent him a stink eye, "I'll have you know I haven't burnt anything in years."

“Whatever you say, Eyebags,” Katsuki called over his shoulder, walking to the bathroom to grab the medkit and wrap his hands.

Shinsou set the chicken to cook lightly and made the white sauce, stirring the pan occasionally.

Katsuki rinsed the blood off his hands in the sink, bandaging everything. He reached his left arm and grabbed gauze and cut a strip of bandage, packing everything else up. He walked out to the kitchen, and held it up to Shinsou, silently asking for a hand.

"Keep an eye on the chicken," Shinsou said in response, going to wash his hands, then coming back to take care of the bandage for him.

Katsuki kept his eye on the pan, stirring it with his left hand periodically and holding out his right arm for Shinso. When he was done, he pressed a kiss to Shinsou's lips, “Thanks.”

Shinsou smiled, taking back over. "Of course."

“Need help?” Katsuki asked, walking back to Eri and ruffling her hair before turning and leaning against the counter.

"Do you know if there's any lunch left from lunch?"

“What was for lunch?” Katsuki asked, walking over to the fridge and opening it.

"Rice," Shinsou laughed, "I meant is there any rice left?"

Katsuki pulled out a container filled with rice, “Who’s eating?” He asked to see how much he should reheat.

"Eri and I, at least," Shinsou said, adding some of the peas to the white sauce, stirring it.

Katsuki didn’t heat up much, he knew Eri wouldn’t eat a lot, same with Shinsou and he didn’t plan to really eat at all. He felt his stomach silently grumble at the sight of Shinsou cooking but he didn’t feel like eating much. He put the container in the microwave and set it for a little under a minute.

Shinsou added the chicken and waited for the rice to be portioned before finishing serving.

Katsuki put the rice in three bowls, the first filling it about 1/3, the second 1/2, and the third 1/4. He put the remaining rice back in the fridge and grabbed chopsticks, starting to eat from the 1/4 bowl.

Shinsou offered Eri the other two bowls, and she took the 1/3, leaving Shinsou to eat the 1/2, leaning against the counter himself.

Katsuki looked outside, it was dark but not late enough for it to be past curfew, but it was also dark enough that he probably wouldn’t be spotted if he went out with a hood on. He needed to shake off the adrenaline he had, he put his bowl down, “I’m going for a run.”

"Want a friend?" Shinsou offered, glancing out as well.

Katsuki shook his head, “I’ll be fine” he walked to the door and put his shoes on.

"Have your phone, just in case? You can take mine if you want instead."

“I’ll be fine” he reiterated, opening the door and walking out.

Shinsou let him go, continuing to eat.

Katsuki pulled his hood over his head, despite Shinsou claiming the cops in this neighborhood wouldn’t hurt him, his instincts still kicked in. He ran for around half an hour before stopping, wondering if he should turn back or not.

After eating and cleaning up, Shinsou and Eri were sitting on the couch, finishing the movie they'd started before.

Katsuki only ran a few meters before he noticed someone was following him. He groaned, he wasn’t in the mood. He turned a corner and stopped, waiting for whoever it was to turn as well.

Eri fell asleep before the movie ended again, but Shinsou kept watching, a hand running through her hair soothingly.

Katsuki waited for a few minutes, waiting for whoever it was to follow. Nothing. He looked around the corner and no one was there. “Fuckin’ hell” he muttered, now he’s paranoid, great. He kept running back.

Dabi chuckled from the shadows, watching the boy go. Good instincts on that one, shame they couldn't catch him.

When Katsuki got back inside the house he didn't bother taking his shoes off before rushing to closing all the windows and curtains that were still open. He knew he was acting like a paranoid idiot, but over the years, he’d learned to be careful. Better safe than sorry and all that. He walked back to the door, double-checking it was locked before taking his shoes off.

Shinsou watched him and stood with Eri in his arms again, "Everything okay, 'Suki?"

"It's fine," he said, out of breath from running back all the way with no breaks. He noticed Eri asleep in Shinsou's arms and walked past them, "just go to bed, Eri can sleep with us, too, tonight."

"You coming soon?" Shinsou asked softly, heading toward the stairs.

"Yeah, just give me a few minutes." He walked into the bathroom, showering and rewrapping his bandages. They were starting to run out, so he made a mental note to buy more and went upstairs.

Shinsou had changed Eri and himself into new clothes, and they were curled up in bed together, lights low. Shinsou lifted his head when he heard Katsuki approach, and flipped back the blankets for him to slip in.

Katsuki carefully got into the bed, making sure not to wake up Eri. He rested his head in Shinsou's neck, his hair still slightly damp and small drips falling down his neck.

Shinsou wrapped an arm around his shoulders, and pressed a kiss to his hair, "Go to sleep."

"S'what I was doing, Eyebags," Katsuki put one of his legs over Shinsou.

"Good boy," Shinsou hummed, resting his cheek on Katsuki's head.

"Don't say that," Katsuki frowned, shivering slightly.

"Just sleep," Shinsou sighed.

Katsuki's brain was pulling him left and right. He was tired, both from his run and from this morning, and really the entire day. But he was also awake and alert, the message from his dad in his head and despite no one being there, he couldn't shake the feeling somebody had been following him. "Night."

"Did something happen on your run?" he asked softly, rubbing his shoulder.

Katsuki tiredly responded, "No."

"All right," Shinsou agreed, squeezing him softly.

Katsuki let Shinsou fall asleep first, staying up and listening for what he assumed was a few hours before he fell asleep.

At around three in the morning, there was a thud, a crash, then a curse from downstairs.

Katsuki shot up, palms sparking off, and to avoid setting the bed on fire he pushed his hands into his legs. He kept looking at the door before looking to Shinsou to see if he was awake.

Shinsou rolled over with a groan, burying his head under his pillow, "Fucking fuck," he grumbled.

Katsuki wasn't worried about the crash downstairs but he was concerned, he got out of the bed tiredly and walked to the door, rubbing his eyes and yawning.

"'Suki, don't do it, just let him ransack the kitchen."

Katsuki didn't catch what Shinsou said, hearing only tired mumbles. He’d turned to look at him but when Shinsou didn't say anything else Katsuki just blamed it on 'just waking up' and opened the door, walking to the staircase to look down into the kitchen.

The man was half-kneeling on the floor, lightly cursing as he collected the shards of a broken bowl off the floor and tossing them into the trash.

Katsuki couldn't see who it was from where he was so he walked down a few steps and sat down, resting his head against the railing and watching.

After finishing cleaning up his mess, the man stood, long coat falling to mid-calf, hair dark and explosive. "Come on, kid," he murmured, "Where did you put it," He opened the fridge, light reflecting off his face. "There you are beautiful," he said, pleased, pulling out some bread.

Katsuki weirdly didn't feel panicked. Perhaps it was the exhaustion talking but he just felt tired and watched from the staircase. He was completely hidden in the darkness and unless whoever the man was walked up to him or shone a flashlight at him there was no real way to know he was there.

"I can feel you watching me," he called, voice slightly louder so his watcher could hear him. If Katsuki thought about it, he'd have recognized the voice, "And I know you aren't Mindfuck. Go back to bed, or come out."

Katsuki had a feeling whoever it was wouldn’t attack him, or at least not seriously. In his tired state, he didn't feel like moving so he set off a spark, it was quiet and not too big but for a moment it lit up his face, and Katsuki was sure whoever it was saw him.

There was humor in the man's voice when he saw Katsuki's face, "If it isn't the little explosion boy," he chuckled, "Go back to bed, Bakugou."

Katsuki finally placed the voice in his head: Dabi. He smiled, "You're stealing bread?"

Dabi chuckled, "And if I am? Does it matter?"

"Bread is a dollar, beg on the side of the road, don't wake people up like a hyperactive squirrel." Katsuki was just speaking what came to mind, not filtering what he was thinking, he stood up to go back to bed.

Shinsou met him a few steps from the top on his way down, "I'm sorry, I should have warned you." he said softly.

"Mindfuck, is this really all that's left of the loaf?" Dabi called up to them, leaning against the banister.

"That's all that's left, now go away," Shinsou glared down at him.

Katsuki looked past Dabi at the door, it was smashed open and pieces of glass littered the floor. He couldn't help but laugh at the similarity between the door and the ceiling in the tunnel. Katsuki walked past Shinsou and back into the bedroom.

A final glare to Dabi, and Shinsou followed him back as well, locking the bedroom door behind them.

"That happen a lot?" Katsuki asked, sitting up on the bed and rubbing circles into Eri's shoulder with his thumb.

"He stops by once a month to pillage the kitchen," Shinsou sighed, "Usually he steals a loaf of bread or a cake."

Katsuki narrowed his eyes but hummed, giving a dismissive sigh and pulling Shinsou in by his arm to get him into the bed.

Shinsou allowed himself to be pulled back to bed as well and wrapped his arms in Katsuki again.

The faint clicking downstairs eventually died down and Katsuki let himself start to fall asleep again.

Shinsou fell back to sleep easily, used to this kind of behavior from the stapled man. His face was buried in still slightly damp blond hair.

Katsuki once again woke up at 6. No matter what time he went to sleep or how many or few hours he got his body clock always woke him up. He shook off the tiredness and achiness and got up, running a hand through Shinsou's hair before walking downstairs.

Aside from the door, there was no sign that Dabi had ever been there.

Katsuki looked at the glass on the floor, he bent down to sweep it into his hands. When he held his hands out he realized large burn holes in the bandages on his palms. "Shit," he muttered, he'd forgotten he couldn't set off explosions while he had cuts, especially now they were new again. He took the bandages off, sweeping the glass into his hands and throwing both in the trash before going to the kitchen sink to wash off the dry and new blood.

There was a sigh behind him, "Damn it, Dabi, just use the key," Aizawa groaned, stepping in, "Anyone awake?" He called a little louder, only half expecting a response.

"Stop yelling," Katsuki groaned, from the sink. still washing his hands, and scrubbing at the dried blood on his arms that had run in the night.

Aizawa turned to him, "Anything happen beyond the obvious?" he asked, stepping into the kitchen.

"No." he grabbed the towel and started drying his hands.

Aizawa nodded, starting on making coffee, "You going to want any?"

Katsuki began to shake his head before stopping, "Sure."

Aizawa added another scoop of coffee to the maker and more water, "Four cups, please."

Katsuki took out four mugs, setting them out in a line before sighing, opening his mouth to ask something before closing it.

"Just ask," Aizawa said, pulling the creamer out of the fridge.

Katsuki stood, staring blankly at the counter battling with his instincts. He needed more bandages, but he couldn’t go out in public just yet. Besides he had no money, everything except his phone was back at his house. “I need-” He bit his tongue, “Never mind”

Aizawa looked over, and his still slightly red hands, "You've used all the bandages in the kit?"

“Yeah,” he admitted, moving back a little, expecting some sort of outrage; he kept an eye on the mugs which Aizawa could easily pick up and throw.

"Did you use all the bandages from downstairs?"

“No, but I don’t know how to get down there.” he shrugged, taking this opportunity to walk back from the man and lean against the counter, feeling less tense the second he got away from the man’s arm range.

"Just push on the bookcase in the living room, the door is on a hinge," Aizawa instructed, still setting up the mugs, "How do you take your coffee?"

“Just black,” he said, walking to the bookcase. He pushed it with about the same pressure he saw Shinsou use the day prior. It opened and he walked down, it was cleaned up and Katsuki went to get the bandages.

Shinsou came downstairs, yawning, as Aizawa poured the cups, handing one off easily to the lilac boy, who took it gratefully, hoisting himself up to sit on the counter.

Katsuki finished and brought the gauze and strip of bandage for his right arm up with him. When he saw Shinsou sitting on the table he wordlessly put them next to him, hoping he’d help out.

Shinsou hummed, blinking, as he sipped his cup, "Give me a minute, 'Suki," he mumbled, "I'd probably only hurt you right now."

“Sure,” Katsuki mumbled. Looking at the mugs, grabbing a random one, they all looked the same and Katsuki didn’t think Aizawa was a guy who drank coffee with sugar so he figured it would be okay.

After finishing his cup, Shinsou picked up the bandages, and silently held his hand out to Katsuki when he was ready.

Katsuki walked over to him, holding his arm up and holding the coffee in his other hand.

Shinsou quickly and carefully wrapped his arm. When he was done, he pressed a kiss to Katsuki's wrist and held the bandaged hand between his two unscathed ones.

Katsuki looked at the wrist Shinsou kissed and pulled it away, “It’s too early, Eyebags.”

"He's still asleep," Aizawa said softly, reaching over to ruffle the pale purple locks, earning a feeble thwap in response and a whine.

Katsuki hummed, stretching his arm out and narrowing his eyes at the ache. He shook it off without too much thought and went back to the coffee.

"Hitoshi, go to bed," Aizawa ordered, and like clockwork, or his own quirk had been used against him, Shinsou slid from the counter, placed his mug in the sink, and wandered to collapse on the couch.

Katsuki watched him, half impressed and half concerned. He finished his own drink, looking at the front door he’d usually walk out of at this time to go home, and looked away, walking to the fridge to make breakfast.

"You don't need to cook," Aizawa told the boy, watching him expertly navigate the kitchen, drinking his second cup of coffee.

Katsuki didn’t hear him in his tired state, “What?”

"We appreciate you cooking, but you don't need to," Aizawa said again.

Was he not allowed to cook?  He was hungry, but he’d already eaten here a lot. He stepped back from the fridge, sitting down at the counter.

Aizawa took over the cooking, setting a rolled omelet before the boy a little later.

Katsuki blinked when something was put in front of him. He looked up in confusion. “I could have done it myself.”

"Just because you can doesn't mean you have to."

“No, it means I should,” he muttered, taking a bite of the omelet.

"Why?"

“Why wouldn’t I?”

"Would and should are very different."

“Why shouldn’t I?” he said back, emphasizing on the shouldn't.

"Why should you?" Aizawa asked in return.

“Because it’s for me. Why should someone else have to do something for me when I can?” Katsuki wasn’t sure where Aizawa was trying to go with this conversation.

Chapter Text

Aizawa hummed, "Apply that logic back. Hizashi and I have been perfectly capable of making our own meals, and yet YOU have been making them for us. Should we NOT have eaten the food you made?"

Katsuki frowned, “I made that food for everyone, you made this one meal when I was already making it.”

"No, I just served you first," Aizawa said, setting another finished omelet on the table, "No use in letting food get cold when someone can eat it."

The confusion dropped from Katsuki’s face when he realized what Aizawa was trying to say, his face dropping back to a blank expression. “If you don’t want me in the kitchen anymore you can just say it instead of making up all the bullshit.”

"You can have the kitchen back after this. I just felt guilty making a kid cook us breakfast when he doesn't even live here."

Some part of Katsuki hurt when he heard Aizawa say that, it was satisfying to see him say it though, better than blondie lying to the cops saying he was staying here. “Whatever,” he said, looking back at his plate and eating another bite, tapping his hand under the table.

A third omelet and Aizawa sat across from him, "What are your intentions with my son?"

Katsuki looked up at him with an eyebrow raised, he shrugged. “Nothing.” he answered honestly. He couldn’t exactly tell Aizawa about what Shinsou and his relationship really was, but Katsuki had no intentions to do anything with Shinsou.

Aizawa appraised him for a moment before nodding, "All right."

Katsuki kept tapping below the table, desperate to blow something up but he couldn’t. He closed his eyes and pressed his nails into his leg, sighing before continuing to eat the omelet.

"It's odd she didn't heal your hands," Aizawa murmured, eyes on his own omelet.

“Nothing healed apart from my neck,” Katsuki said back.

"Which confuses me," Aizawa nodded, "from what I understood of her quirk, she rewinds the entire individual, and your hands were after your throat."

“The back was after,'' he kept his face on his plate, pushing the omelet with his fork. “The palms were-“ Katsuki paused to think, “during, or right after,” he wasn’t sure if it was information Aizawa needed to know but Katsuki didn’t lose anything telling him.

"You weren't bandaged the first time we met, there weren't any open wounds. You didn't bleed until after you couldn't talk,"

“I know when I got hurt.” Katsuki stopped himself from saying asshole at the end. He unwrapped his hand, facing the palms to Aizawa. “That’s from the night my throat was injured.” he flipped his hands, “This is from the tree.” Just to prove his point Katsuki kept going. He pointed to his cheek, “This is from my explosion,” he pointed to his legs and upper arms, “from falling onto glass.” He started rewrapping the bandages, looking down as he kept talking. “The bruises on my wrist and face are from yesterday morning.”

"The majority of that should still have been removed in the rewind," Aizawa reiterated.

“Well, I’m sorry it’s not.” Katsuki snapped back, frowning and still looking down, wrapping the bandage.

"Need help rewrapping the right arm?"

“Fuck off,” Katsuki said out of instinct, raising his head slightly when he realized what he'd said before looking back down, saying a quieter, “No.”

"I understand why your record looks the way it does." Aizawa chuckled, finishing his breakfast and depositing his plate in the sink before going to take Hizashi his breakfast.

Katsuki ignored the comment. He fully understood Aizawa could have him arrested at any time, he didn’t need him holding it over Katsuki’s head and teasing him like this. He looked back to Shinsou who was still on the couch; he was still fully asleep so Katsuki passed him and walked back up to Eri instead.

Eri was still curled up in their bed, buried under the blankets, only given away by some of her hair poking out and a gentle rise and fall with each breath.

He opened the door and looked in, the fairy lights still hung on the walls and some drawing things were littered out across the bed, but the room was still bare. I didn’t feel like a bedroom let alone a child’s bedroom. He opened the door fully, looking around before his eyes fell on the bag on the floor. He shrugged his shoulders in a ‘got nothing better to do anyway’ and walked to Aizawa and Hizashi’s bedroom to ask for permission to paint on the walls.

Aizawa opened it quickly and stepped out, closing the door behind him, "Come to argue again?"

“I’ve come to ask if I can paint on the walls in Eri’s room.” He wasn’t in the mood to talk to Aizawa for longer than he had to. If the man said no, Katsuki would probably just do it anyways but Katsuki figured he should at least ask, despite the answer.

Aizawa disappeared into the room again.

Katsuki’s face didn’t change from the blank one from before. He assumed it meant it was fine and walked back to Eri’s room, switching on the light and pulling back the curtains.

Aizawa returned and handed him his wallet, "You're going to need more paint, get Hitoshi out of the house."

Katsuki looked at the wallet. He wasn’t planning on painting the entire wall but now with the option, he figured he could get white to make it less of a gross dull grey color. He took it without a word and walked past the man, going down the stairs to the front door.

Aizawa raised a brow at the response, but said nothing, going back to bed himself.

Katsuki walked up to the sleeping boy on the couch, he ran his hand through his hair and pulled his head up slightly, “Get up, Eyebags.”

Shinsou's eyes scrunched, "Why are you pulling my hair, 'Suki?" he mumbled.

“I’m not, now get up.” he let go of Shinsou's head and let it fall back down onto the couch. He stood back and waited.

Shinsou opened his eyes with a raised brow, swinging his feet over the edge as he sat up slowly, "You're in a mood."

“Forget it.” Katsuki rolled his eyes and turned to leave the house. He realized he was only confirming Shinsou’s comment but he wasn’t in the mood to talk, it was better he go by himself.

Shinsou followed a dozen paces behind and said nothing else.

Katsuki felt Shinsou walking behind him; he groaned but didn’t comment, just kept walking till he reached a Home Depot store, figuring it’d probably have paint and rollers.

Shinsou stepped closer, "You don't need to tell me what's going on, just tell me what we're here to get so I can help,"

“I told you to forget it, go home or stay, I don’t care, just be quiet.” Katsuki scowled at the last words, they reminded him far too much of his mother. Turning on his heel he searched for the white paint samples.

Seeing what Katsuki was after, Shinsou went to find a paint tray and roller, as well as a set of various thickness brushes.

Assuming Shinsou left, Katsuki went on by himself. He frowned at all the different shades, “How many fuckin’ whites are there?” Most of them weren’t even white, they were a gross dull yellow or brown. He grabbed one with a dumb name, something something porcelain, and walked off to get a paintbrush.

Shinsou smiled, handing him his finding, then pressed a kiss to his forehead, "Whatever's going on, I'll see you back at the house, right?"

Katsuki let the kiss go, he waited for Shinsou to be out of sight before returning the majority of the bushes. He already had brushes and other paints in the bag he’d brought Eri. He grabbed a roll of painter's tape on the way to the cashier.

Shinsou headed back to the house, and didn't even spare him a glance when Dabi fell into step beside him, "I don't like your new boy-toy, MindFuck."

Shinsou raised a brow, "Do you really think I want your approval, Stapleface?"

Dabi chuckled, "You always want approval, MindFuck."

Shinsou sighed, "Go away."

"You owe me bread."

"I'll make you a new loaf later, now shoo." Shinsou pushed him away, making the older laugh.

"I'll hold that against you."

"Go the fuck away, Dabi."

"I'm going, make me bread." He waved over his shoulder, breaking away a couple blocks from the house.

Katsuki tapped his fingers, waiting for Aizawa’s card to be approved so he could leave, he could feel people's eyes on his bracelet and the back of his head. The employee made it no easier by giving an audible “oh” when Katsuki had given the items.

“I’m sorry, but you can’t purchase these items.”  Katsuki looked up at the clerk who looked back with a bored face

“Why?”

“This isn’t your card.”

This was bullshit, “So what?”

His eyes went to Aizawa’s wallet in Katsuki’s hand. “You can show me id or else I’m afraid you’ll have to leave or I’ll call the police for theft.”

Katsuki scoffed, “I didn’t fuckin’ steal this.”

The man reached for the phone to call security who were already standing nearby at the exit, giving Katsuki sharp stares. Realizing quickly it was a losing fight and he shouldn’t get in any more trouble than he already was, he snatched the card back with a growl and walked out, ignoring the looks people gave him and how they stepped out of his way.

Chapter Text

“Hey.” 

Katsuki turned, his face already in a scowl and he expected to turn to a security guard. Instead, an older lady was approaching him with a small jog, holding her bag tightly so it didn’t fall off her shoulder. 

He stopped walking. “What do you want?”

The smile stayed on her face as she slowed down, “I was just wondering if you wanted some help, to buy the stuff inside.”

He looked behind her at the store before the woman, she didn’t look threatening. She looked around his mother’s age, her cheeks had faint wrinkles and dimples when she smiled. “What do you mean?” He turned to face her.

“I can buy the paint for you, it’s not too much”

Katsuki looked at her blankly, she couldn’t be serious.

“Gotta look out for each other yeah?” She held up her hand, letting her sleeve fall down her arm. On her wrist was a bracelet. Oh.

“...Fine”

“Perfect! Stay here”

Katsuki waited outside the shop, tapping his knuckle arrhythmically against the wall he leaned on. She returned after only a few minutes, carrying a bag of paint beside her, along with another bag that seemed to be full of her own personal purchased items.

“Be safe out there, yeah?” She bid cheerfully.

He mumbled a “Thanks” and walked back, his mind distracting him all the way back to the house and he opened the door.

Shinsou was drinking another cup of coffee gloomily when Katsuki returned and offered him a half-smile before it fell and he turned back to his coffee. Dealing with Dabi in any amount left him drained.

Katsuki walked over to him, putting his hand over the top of the mug and pushing it down away from Shinsou's face. He pressed a light kiss to his lips before stepping back and giving a dull, and probably ill-timed, “morning” before making his way up to Eri’s room.

Shinsou smiled, laughing slightly, "Good morning to you too," he said softly, before drinking again.

Katsuki closed Eri’s door once he was in the room, putting the bag down and opening the window, letting bright light fill the room. He pushed the bed to the middle of the room and began putting the painter’s tape on the wall so he wouldn’t accidentally paint the floor or ceiling. Once he was done, he opened the can of paint, rolled it a few time’s into the paint tray, and began painting the wall a porcelain white.

A little while later, Eri tentatively opened the door and looked inside, nose wrinkling at the smell of fresh paint.

Katsuki had painted all four walls by that point. The first one had dried and he’d sketched out a few butterflies like the ones in the book Eri had colored in, they littered the wall in different positions and heights, some mid-flight and some on side angles. He was in the process of painting them yellow, remembering that was the color Eri liked to use. He didn’t pay her too much mind as she walked in, sparing a small glance before going back to painting.

"What are you doing, Mr. Bakugou?" she asked quietly, moving to stand beside him, looking up at the pretty winged things.

“Painting butterflies, like in your book.”  He stopped painting and bent down to grab the book off the floor which was open to the page she’d colored in a while ago, he’d been copying the pattern of the wings. He handed it to her, continuing to paint.

"Oh," she said softly, looking between the wall and the coloring book, then, as if she'd thought of something, she smiled and squealed a more excited, "Oh!"

Katsuki was startled by the sudden squeal, his hand jerking and the paintbrush making a sharp yellow line across the wall where it wasn’t supposed to go. “Shit,” he muttered, rubbing it off. “What’s up, Tiny?” he asked.

Chapter Text

She blushed, "Sorry, Mr. Bakugou, sir," she said apologetically.

Katsuki looked down at her, “For what?” he asked, reaching for some leftover white paint to cover the yellow.

"I scared you and you made a mistake," she answered innocently.

"Who cares?" he said simply, not really asking for an answer. "Want anything else other than butterflies?" he asked, looking at the book again.

She looked at the book as well, holding up the bird. "Blue?" she asked tentatively.

Katsuki picked up the book, looking around the room before his eyes landed on the opposite wall. He gave it back to her, "You’ll have to help then, Tiny."

She nodded, wide-eyed.

"In the bag, pick out the blue you want," he said, finishing the final butterfly.

"Okay," she nodded, going over and pulling a few shades of blue ranging from a sky to a navy to deep royal. She handed him the sky.

Katsuki took it with a small smile before handing it back, "Good choice." He looked at the bird in the book before walking to the other wall, starting to sketch it out. He used his foot to push a wooden palette towards the girl, "Put some in there, not too much."

Eri poured a little bit of the paint onto the pallet, then looked up to the older boy for assurance that she'd done well.

Katsuki wasn't paying attention.

"Mr. Bakugou, sir. Is this enough paint?" she asked, holding the pallet up to him.

Katsuki looked back, "Depends, how many birds do you want?"

"Two?" she asked tentatively, holding up two fingers.

"That should be enough, then," he said. Finishing the first sketch he handed her the book, "Just blue, or do you want another color with it?"

She shook her head and went to grab a picture book from under the pillow, opening it to show a bluebird and a cardinal perched together on a tree branch, "and red," she said quietly.

"So you want those two?" he asked, taking the book from her and looking at the cardinal.

Chapter Text

She nodded, "Yes, please," she said softly.

Katsuki nodded his head. He sketched the birds and zoned out, taking his time to paint them before stepping back to let them dry. He started packing up the paint.

Eri sat on the floor and watched him with wide, wonder-filled eyes.

Katsuki was sitting with his legs crossed on the floor, putting the paint back in the bag. He looked over his shoulder at her, “Going to help me clean or stay here?”

"I'll help," she said, standing up and walking over to him.

He handed her the small paintbrushes he’d used; picking up the roller and paint tray for himself, he walked to the door, holding it open with his leg for Eri.

She followed close behind, clutching the little brushes in her hands.

Katsuki put everything on the bathroom sink, thoroughly washing them before holding his hand out to Eri for the brushes.

She handed them over without a word.

Katsuki washed them and set them aside to dry with all the other things. He stared at his hands for a while and took off the wet bandages, not replacing them with new ones to let them air out for a bit. He looked at Eri to see what she wanted to do next.

She looked at his hands, "did I do that?" she asked guiltily.

“No, I hurt them more when I trained with your brother,” Katsuki lied effortlessly, “it’s gonna be a few hours before I can put your room back how it was, so what do you want to do?”

She looked thoughtful, "Will you and 'Toshi play with me?" she asked, shy.

“Sure,” he said, walking out of the bathroom to the kitchen, “Hey, Eyebags-“ he said, turning the corner. When he saw Shinsou, he couldn’t help but think something wasn’t right. “What’s wrong with you?”

Shinsou looked over, brows furrowed, "What do you mean, 'Splodey?"

Katsuki ignored the nickname and temporarily ignored the feeling. “Forget it, Eri wants you to play with her.”

Shinsou left the notebook he'd been jotting things down in on the counter and came over, crouching down in front of Eri, smiling.  "You want to do something together?" he asked.

She nodded, "Please."

He nodded, softly running a hand through her hair, "Of course. What do you want to do?"

She looked conflicted at the question.

Katsuki’s eyes lingered on the notebook for a moment before he looked back at Eri and Shinsou.

Shinsou hummed, "I think we might have some games tucked away," he looked up to Katsuki, "Suki, mind helping me look? Eri, why don't you go sit in the living room, we'll be with you soon."

Katsuki didn’t say anything, pushing himself off the counter he was leaning against and following Shinsou. “What games?” he asked.

"We have some board games in the basement. You're better at this kind of thing, I need your help,"

“Board games, like chess and shit?” he asked, now that he knew where they were going he started walking slightly in front of Shinsou rather than slightly behind him.

"Monopoly, chess, checkers, that kind of thing, yeah," Shinsou nodded, following, though stepping ahead to push the bookcase aside for him.

Katsuki started walking down the stairs, talking over his shoulder, “Let’s do Monopoly considering the others only two people can play.”

Shinsou nodded, "All right," he said, walking over to a corner cabinet, not in the medical section. It was filled with blankets and pillows on one side, a shelf of various games on the other. Adjusting them, he pulled out the Monopoly box. "Do you want me to grab you some more bandages for later?"

“I’ll get them,” Katsuki said, walking over to the medical section and taking out the medkit, opening it. He grabbed a roll of bandages and put it in his pocket before closing the kit and putting it away. He looked back over to Shinsou, “Need anything?”

Shinsou shook his head, "I'm fine. Why did you ask what was wrong with me when you came down with Eri?"

“You're acting weird.” Katsuki paused, “Weirder than normal.” He turned his entire body so he was facing Shinsou straight on, “I’m assuming it happened some time from when you left the store and I got back, so what is it?”

Shinsou shrugged, "Ran into the staple-faced bastard. Nothing happened, just... Now that he's with the league, it's just a headache. Sorry, I'll try not to let it show as much."

Katsuki narrowed his eyes at Shinsou before sighing, “Stop it with the ‘I won’t let it show’ bullshit. You can go sleep the headache off if you want, Eri would understand” he turned around and started scanning the shelves for painkillers. When he found them he grabbed two, taking one himself for his hands and walking back over to Shinso, holding it out to him.

"It was a mostly figurative headache," Shinsou murmured, dry swallowing the pill, "I'm fine, really."

“Really?” Katsuki asked, easing an eyebrow and very clearly not talking about the headache.

Shinsou chuckled, pressing a kiss to Katsuki's forehead, "I'm all right, I promise. Don't worry about me."

“That’s impossible, Eyebags, you're a walking disaster.” Katsuki looked up slightly at Shinsou and frowned before walking past him back to the stairs. “Hurry up, Eri’s waiting.”

Shinsou laughed slightly, following behind and closing the bookcase behind them. He smiled, setting down the box and sitting on the floor, starting to set it up.



 “Winners luck,” Katsuki smiled after Eri, handing her the last of his money. He looked over at Shinsou who had lost a while ago, “Guess we both suck at this game huh?”

Shinsou chuckled, "It was you getting oranges early that killed me," he smiled, "but, yeah, we're terrible," he flopped backwards onto the floor, Eri giggling at him.

Katsuki raised an eyebrow at him before starting to pack up the board. “If you don’t help me pack up you won’t be getting up from the floor.”

Shinsou raised a brow, "Is that supposed to encourage me?"

“Sure, why not,” he threw the money on Shinsou's stomach while gathering the tokens and deed cards.

Shinsou organized the money, setting it in its little rack in the box, and returned to just laying there.

Katsuki smiled when he was sure Shinsou wouldn't see it and packed up the board, putting everything back in the box. “Wanna put this away with me or stay with him?” Katsuki asked Eri, pointing backwards at Shinsou.

Eri looked between the two before moving to lay on Shinsou. 

The lilac boy gave an exaggerated grunt, arms moving to loosely hug her, ready to let her go if she showed any sign of distress.

Katsuki looked at the two of them for a long moment, saving the picture in his head. He stood up, playing with Eri’s hair while he did, and walked to the bookcase, opening it and walking down to the basement.

Shinsou watched him go, hand softly running down Eri's back as they just sat and waited for their loud blond together.

Katsuki put the box back and closed the bookcase, walking back to the two on the floor, hesitating for a moment before laying down next to Shinsou.

"Come, oh Lord Explosions," Shinsou said playfully, arm extended to Bakugou, "join us in snuggles." 

Eri giggled.

Katsuki pushed Shinsou's face away but moved in next to him. “You’re fuckin’ stupid, Eye Bags.”

Shinsou chuckled, leaning over to kiss him and whisper, “Language, Love.”

Katsuki sighed, “You care too much about that shit.”

"And you curse too much in front of small children," Shinsou retorted, kissing his cheek this time.

“S’not like she’ll never learn,” he said, closing his eyes and relaxing into the older boy. “Just teach her how to have a filter and she’ll be fine.”

Shinsou hummed, smiling. "Agreed."

Katsuki wrapped his arm around Shinsou, his hand resting on his back. Through the thin shirt, he could feel the small bumps of scars on Shinsou's back that Katsuki had only gotten a brief glance of before he’d looked away. He began tracing his finger along them curiously, running them across his back and completely abandoning the soothing rubs he’d been doing prior.

Shinsou melted into the touch for a minute before realizing what Katsuki was doing and shifting away, "Sorry, they're....you shouldn't have to deal with them," he said softly.

Katsuki removed his hand and the second he’d moved away, stared at him with a questioning look. He didn’t want to have this conversation in front of Eri so he decided to drop it. For now. “We’ll talk later.”

Shinsou nodded, catching the front of his shirt and pulling him in for a quick kiss, "Of course," he smiled slightly.

Katsuki frowned at the hasty kiss and leaned back in for a longer one. He pulled back after a few seconds and stood to get water.

Shinsou smiled after him, hugging Eri a little tighter, face buried in her hair, making her giggle.

Katsuki smiled at the sound of Eri’s laughter. He ran his fingers along the rim of the cup before looking upstairs. He sighed, setting the cup down the sink before walking back into the living room and laying down again, this time next to Eri and putting his hand over her so he was also wrapping it around Shinsou.

Shinsou hummed happily, hand coming up to cover Katsuki's, squeezing lightly. He wanted to say something but didn't want to upset the other, so settled to just have him close.

Chapter Text

Katsuki’s second hand twisted Eri’s hair into a spiral around his fingers. They sat in silence until the light outside died down and the living room dimmed, Katsuki leaned his head back to look at the clock before moving to stand, “I’ll make dinner.”

"Can I help?" Eri asked, sitting up on Shinsou's stomach, looking up at the explosive blond.

He knelt down to pick her up and rested her on his hip before looking down at Shinsou, “Are you staying on the floor?”

"If I stay on the floor, am I still allowed to pilfer food?"

“Just eat what I give you,” Katsuki sighed, and left Shinsou on the ground while he walked to the kitchen.

Shinsou nodded, "I can do that," he mumbled, eyes closed.

Katsuki couldn’t hear what he said from the kitchen but hummed as a response. He couldn't be bothered making something, so he settled on ramen soup, adding extra things like boiled eggs to the side. He made five plates in total. Putting two in the fridge and taking two to the living room, Eri followed behind him with her own plate. “Get up, Eyebags,” Katsuki used his foot to nudge Shinsou and sat down.

Shinsou opened an eye and raised an eyebrow at the nudge, then his brain caught up to what he heard and he sat up, leaning against the couch and accepting his bowl with a smile.

“You’re tired”, Katsuki commented, watching Shinsou's face change in a sluggish delayed way. He stared at him questioningly, already starting to eat the food.

"A little," Shinsou conceded, nodding as he started to eat as well, "I need to cook before I can sleep, though," he sighed.

“Cook?” Katsuki asked, shifting his plate and legs so Eri could sit in his lap.

"Stapleface is angry and craving carbs."

“Hmm, you knew him before he joined that group of idiots, right?”

Shinsou nodded again. "We...were close....once."

Katsuki nodded, “Why do you keep making shit for him?” he asked curiously.

Shinsou shrugged, "I'm sentimental?"

“About what?” Katsuki asked curiously. From what he’d seen of Dabi he seemed more annoying than anything.

Another shrug, "I needed someone to cling to, he let me. I don't really know."

Katsuki raised an eye. He couldn’t understand why Shinsou would want to hold on so tightly to something that was over, though he assumed his situation was different from Katsuki’s. When Katsuki was given the chance to cut everyone off and go his own way, he’d gladly taken it. “Eat dinner. Then show me how to make bread,” he said, eating the last bite and placing his plate down beside him.

Shinsou laughed quietly and nodded, tucking back into his food.

Katsuki watched Shinsou for a moment before turning his attention to Eri, she looked tired but that was to be expected. “Go to bed, Tiny.”

She ate about half her food before giving up and going to bed. 

Shinsou finished his own bowl a little after her. He stood with a mild grunt of displeasure at being vertical again and took their bowls back to the kitchen.

Katsuki followed him to the kitchen, watching him to make sure he didn’t hurt or burn himself in his tired state.

Shinsou chuckled, blinking slowly, "the worse I'm going to do is punch the counter,"

“You bruised your nose sparring and didn’t realize,” Katsuki reminded him, eyes narrowing before he sighed. “So, when did you get them?” He walked next to Shinsou and leaned back against the counter to look at him head-on.

"I don't remember all of them," Shinsou admitted, collecting ingredients, "but most are from before I came here. And I really meant it.  Before the oven, I'm not dealing with anything sharp."

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed slightly on Shinsou's face before focusing on his back. “Is that why when I lifted your shirt a while ago, you... freaked out?” he asked.

"I said I don't remember them all, but I remember enough. I remember that clothes were worth more than my flesh, and if someone is pulling off my shirt, they're going to try to flay me," he said emotionlessly, starting to measure ingredients into a bowl again, "so, yes. That's why I didn't react well."

Katsuki paused to think over what Shinsou said, “Worth more?”

"My clothes were too good to get my blood on," Shinsou shrugged, flicking some flour he'd gotten on his hands at the blond, "so they always took my shirt off to beat me. I don't remember who."

Katsuki closed his eyes and turned his face away at the flour before smiling. “Okay, Eyebags, changing topics.” He looked at Shinsou's hands. “What are you making?”

"Bread," Shinsou smirked.

“No shit, any specific type?”

"Bready bread?"

“Boring,” he smiled and flicked flour back at him. “It’s still early so A and B won’t be up for a while,” he said, thinking out loud, more to himself than to start a conversation.

Shinsou nodded, humming, "Want some sourdough bread while I'm doing this?"

“No. I’ll start cleaning the plates,” he said, passing Shinsou and filling the sink.

"Before you do something stupid," Shinsou said, nudging Bakugou out of the way and pulling a pair of long yellow rubber gloves from under the sink, "so you don't have to change your bandages again so soon."

He took them with a brief kiss and started gathering the scattered dishes, washing them while keeping an eye on Shinsou.

Shinsou mixed the flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl, then poured in some olive oil and stole some hot water from the tap, pouring most of it in the mix for now and started working by hand.

Katsuki flicked him with water when he was done and walked up behind him, wrapping his arms around Shinsou's waist and looking over his shoulder. “Need me to do anything?”

Shinsou handed him the bowl of dough, "put this in the oven on low, please," he murmured, kissing Katsuki's cheek.

Katsuki hummed quietly and walked over to the oven, turning it on before putting the bowl in. “How long have you been making bread?” The, for him, went unsaid.

Shinsou hummed, setting a timer on his phone for an hour, wrinkling his nose in thought, "five-ish years, maybe?"

“That’s a lot of bread,” Katsuki muttered to himself before turning his attention back to Shinsou. “You’re half asleep, Eyebags, sit down on the couch before you fall over.”

"It's a lot of anything," Shinsou murmured, catching Katsuki's wrist and pulling him with him to the couch.

“What are you doing?” he asked blankly, not opposing Shinsou's pull, but still hesitant.

"Using you as a pillow," Shinsou mumbled, pushing Katsuki down on the couch, then flopping down, legs over the arm of the couch, head on the other's knees.

“Fuckin’ clingy,” Katsuki muttered, adjusting his position so he lay along the couch with Shinsos head resting on his stomach instead of his knees. He looked at the ceiling, lightly brushing through Shinsou's hair.

Shinsou chuckled slightly at the muttering, rolling onto his side in a loose fetal position, cheek on Katsuki's diaphragm, "Thank you for allowing me to use you as a pillow," he said, kind of sing-songy, pausing slightly every third syllable, voice getting a bit lower with each pause.

Katsuki paused his hand in Shinsou's hair, and playfully pushed Shinsou's face away from him. “Shut up,” he mumbled, moving his hand on Shinsou's back and rubbing it like he was doing before on the floor.

Shinsou laughed as he was pushed away, then just hummed contentedly as his back was rubbed, arm coming up to hug Katsuki lightly, more just draping over him.

“Is there a reason you’re so tired, or just years of lack of sleep catching up to you.”

Shinsou shrugged, "A mix of things. Ability to relax, over-exhaustion from being sick, maybe years of not sleeping great."

“You’re a mess, Eyebags,” Katsuki smiled. “Sleep, finish the bread, then actually go to bed.”

Shinsou nodded, "After he comes to get it," he murmured.

Katsuki frowned, “Fine. But after he comes, sleep.” He paused before adding, “In an actual fuckin’ bed.”

Shinsou nodded, lifting his head slightly, "If you come with me."

Katsuki pushed his head back down, ignoring Shinsou's comment, “Sleep now, Eyebags.”

"I'll make a deal with you," Shinsou yawned, "I'll go to bed in an hour if you bake the bread for me in two. I'll write shit down," he closed his eyes.

“Deal,” Katsuki agreed. “Now let me move my damn arm before it goes numb.” He pulled his arm from under Shinsou with a quick pull and started to extend his fingers to get the blood moving again.

"Hmmm, sorry," Shinsou murmured, curling tighter against him, eyes fluttering open again, "Didn't reopen it, did I?"

“It was already open from sparring” he muttered, putting his hand down and wrapping Shinsou in a loose hug sort of position. “It’s fine.”

Shinsou nodded, eyes closing again, "Sorry."

“About what?”

Another shrug, "Too much brain to remember," he murmured.

“You’re too stupid to talk right now,” he said, pushing back Shinsou's hair so he could see his face. “Just write the instructions and go to bed already. You’re already half asleep.”

Shinsou shook his head, "I need to knead the dough again before I brain it, then it needs to rise another hour before baking," He paused, "BRAID."

Katsuki was completely lost, he shook his head and sighed. “Just go to sleep, Eyebags. I’ll deal with that.”

Another shake of his head, "Don't want to hurt your hands again,"

Katsuki couldn’t think of anything to say back so he just nodded, “Fine.” He started playing with Shinsou's hair, running his nails lightly against his scalp.

Shinsou let out another content hum, melting again, "You're the fucking best," he smiled.

“You’re annoying,” Katsuki said back, his thumb rubbing against the nape of Shinsou's neck.

"You love me and you know it," Shinsou said teasingly, not thinking about his words.

“In your dreams,” Katsuki teased back, closing his eyes and relaxing more into the couch.

Shinsou hummed another contented sigh, falling into a light sleep.

When Katsuki was sure Shinsou was asleep he stopped playing with his hair, instead letting his hands and arms relax on Shinsou's back. “I seriously don’t get you, Eyebags.”

Forty minutes later, the timer went off and Shinsou pushed himself up, blinking slowly, but awake enough for the mindless work he was about to do. 

He headed into the kitchen again, lightly flouring the counter and grabbing a scraper from a drawer before turning to grab the risen dough from the oven, not bothering to turn off the heat.

Katsuki followed him when Shinsou walked into the kitchen and watched him quietly, studying what Shinsou was doing and locking it in his memory for another time. When he saw Shinsou open the oven and reach in he walked over and grabbed his wrist before he could grab the bowl. “You’re gonna burn your hand,” he said, using his other hand to grab the bowl and setting it on the countertop, only letting go of Shinsou's hand after he closed the oven.

Shinsou hummed, nodding, "Thanks, 'Suki," he murmured, grabbing a towel and tipping the bowl with one hand, scraping the dough out with the other. Once he was done, he set the bowl over by the sink and started kneading it, humming at the pleasant warmth squishing between his fingers, losing himself in the motion.

Katsuki was watching Shinsou from less of a distance this time, in case the idiot decided to try to burn his hand off again. Katsuki sighed and rubbed his eyes before focusing back on Shinsou.

Ten minutes later, Shinsou rolled the dough into a ball and split it with the scraper into eight pieces, rolling each out, "Get me a baking sheet, please," he murmured as he arranged the strands.

Katsuki hummed and opened the cupboard, pulling out an average-sized sheet and handing it to Shinsou. “Braid it or bake it?” he asked, purely going off the confusing words Shinsou had said earlier.

"Braid, rise, wash, bake," Shinsou said, "... What's that?"

“What?” Katsuki asked.

"This," Shinsou said, abandoning the bread for a moment and holding up whatever Katsuki handed him, "what is this?"

It took a moment before it clicked in Katsuki’s head and he laughed to himself. He took it back from Shinsou's hand, “Right, a sheet pan. Not baking paper. I was wondering why you’d need this.” He threw the baking paper in the bin and grabbed a sheet pan, holding it up for Shinsou to take.

Shinsou set it aside, returning to braiding the bread, then tucked the ends and set it on the sheet, handing it back to Katsuki to put in the oven, then washed his hands and the counter. Finding the recipe in a drawer, he left it on the now cleaned counter for the other.

Katsuki smiled as he watched Shinsou move around quietly and went through the motions while in his own world. It was cute. Katsuki took the pan when it was handed to him and put it in the oven, taking the recipe from the counter and looked towards Shinso. “Go to sleep, in your bed.”

Shinsou hummed, ducking to kiss him lightly, "He should be here by midnight, though you could probably leave it on the doorstep for him when it's done and it would be fine. Bread bags are in the third drawer down next to the sink," he yawned again, eyes sliding shut, "...I feel like I'm forgetting something,"

“Yeah, going to sleep,” Katsuki said, turning Shinsou's face in the direction of the staircase and pushing him a little. “Your dad will be leaving soon anyway, if anything goes wrong they’ll see. Now go to fuckin’ bed.”

Shinsou shook his head, "That wasn't it," he mumbled, just standing there, thinking.

Katsuki stood for a second before sighing, “You’ll remember when you wake up,” he said, walking back to the kitchen to look at the list.

"I'll remember when I get in bed and don't want to get up," he corrected, laughing slightly as he started walking, "wake me up if you need me," he said, looking at Katsuki.

“Sure” Katsuki called, not looking up from the list and scanning it. He had no clue what some of the words meant but his phone was switched off and upstairs and he really wasn’t in the mood to get it and look it up. After a while he had finished about half of the list.

Shinsou got halfway up the stairs and turned, "timer, I forgot the timer. In an hour, take the dough out of the oven and egg wash. It's in the recipe, but set the hour timer," he called slightly.

Katsuki sighed and walked up to Shinsou, “Give me your phone.” He held his hand out.

Shinsou handed over his phone without argument.

Katsuki took it and pulled Shinsou in to kiss him on the cheek. He turned and walked down the stairs again, at the bottom he mumbled a quiet, “Night.”

"Night, 'Suki," Shinsou called softly after him, disappearing into the bathroom.

Katsuki continued with the recipe. After a few hours, he grabbed the bread and put it in a bread bag that Shinsou had told him about, leaving it out on the doorstep before starting to clean the dishes and countertops that were dusted in flour.

Aizawa and Hizashi had both passed through on their way out for the night, thanking him for the food. Aizawa pulled out the digital thermometer from a drawer to check the internal temperature of the bread so Bakugou could check it was done, but all around left him alone. 

Shinsou had come back down for some water as Katsuki started cleaning, reminding him about the gloves as he grabbed a glass, kissing his cheek in thanks again as he left.

Katsuki mostly ignored everyone walking past, humming whenever someone said something to him and walking back upstairs when the kitchen was cleaned. He hesitated at the door before walking in and laying next to Shinsou, wrapping an arm over him and falling asleep quickly.

Shinsou woke up again when Katsuki joined him in bed, tucking closer, but not able to fall back asleep again for a while, staring at the window, eyes unseeing but awake.

Katsuki woke up early in the morning, he couldn’t tell what time it was, but something told him it was early. He rolled over in the bed and looked at his phone on the ground before looking at the ceiling.

"You're awake," Shinsou murmured, blinking a little quicker as his eyes refocused as he turned, resting his head on Katsuki's chest as he looked up at the ceiling as well.

“No shit,” he said with no real malice or emotion behind it. “Go back to sleep, Eyebags, it’s still early.”

Shinsou shook his head slightly, "Can't sleep, haven't all night, don't know why."

Probably because he'd slept during the day, Katsuki sighed, “If you get up, then don’t fall asleep during the day, you won’t sleep at night.”

"I work at night, usually," Shinsou murmured, shifting closer and sighed, drawing back just far enough so he could angle to nuzzle under Katsuki's arm, face smashed into his shoulder, "Gonna try this," he murmured.

Katsuki wasn’t looking at what Shinsouwas doing but he could feel his arm being pushed against something. “Try what?”

"Just a new position," Shinsou murmured, sighing contentedly. "Might fall back to sleep if I can. Take your advice," he wrapped an arm around Katsuki's chest. "Don't mind me."

“Little hard, Eyebags” he smiled and shifted slightly, wrapping an arm loosely over Shinsou, resting his chin on Shinsou's hair and looking past him at the wall.

Shinsou shifted in the new position, pressing his face into Katsuki's neck, and sighed, eyes closing, "You smell like candy," he murmured.

“Really?” he said sarcastically, dragging the word out. “Stop talking and sleep, Eyebags,” he ran his nails softly through Shinsou's hair and continued looking at the wall.

Chapter Text

Shinsou nodded and tried to fall back to sleep again, brain finally silencing at the pleasant touch and falling back to a dreamless sleep.

Katsuki continued while Shinsou was asleep, letting his instincts take over and move his hand while his mind ran. Eventually he blinked and closed his eyes, feeling them sting and stopped playing with Shinsou's hair. Instead, just trying to fall asleep again.

Shinsou woke when Eri tried to crawl between them again when the sun began to rise, chuckling softly when he realized what was going on, letting her in and drifting to sleep again.

Katsuki opened his eyes when Shinsou started moving away and something else appeared next to him. It didn’t take him long to figure out when he saw the pale hair and he sat up against the bed frame, grabbing his phone and switching it on. With one hand he scrolled through the messages, too quickly to read any of them, and with the other he played with Eri’s hair.

Eri leaned into his touch happily, going back to sleep as well, head on Katsuki's hip, Shinsou's arm over her and Katsuki's thighs.

Katsuki looked down at her and paused when she moved but when he saw she was just moving closer he continued. A lot of vague threats that he knew she was being serious about and a few messages from his dad telling him to come home. He flicked his phone off again and threw it on the ground. There was a quiet but hard thump as it hit the carpet and he closed his eyes.

Shinsou lightly squeezed Katsuki's thigh reassuringly, "You're safe," he murmured, "Get some more sleep."

“I know,” he said a little harder than he meant to. “Go back to sleep,” he said calmer, and he lay down next to Eri, resting his hand on her head rather than playing with her hair.

Shinsou nodded in agreement, going back to sleep again.

Katsuki stared at the ceiling for the next few hours, running the options he had in his head, which weren’t a lot. Eventually he came to the conclusion that the longer he put it off, the worse it would be. He sighed and rubbed his eyes in exasperation before getting out of the bed.

Shinsou slept on, curled up with Eri.

Katsuki grabbed his phone and jacket that he’d thrown on the floor a while ago and walked down the stairs straight to the front door.

"Heading somewhere?" Aizawa asked from the kitchen, sipping some coffee.

Katsuki jumped back into the door with a thud, he didn’t expect anyone to be home yet. “A run,” he said, rubbing the side of his arm where he'd hit it and opening the door.

Aizawa sighed, getting up and walking closer, "Be careful," the scruffy man said, patting his shoulder, "they're still looking for you," not that the sandy blond didn't know that. "Take care of yourself," he knew Bakugou wasn't planning to come back. "Door's open for you," he smiled slightly, patted his shoulder once more; and stepped out of his personal space again.

Katsuki didn’t expect the man to believe him and he clearly didn’t but he wasn’t going to stop him either. Katsuki narrowed his eyes at the man when he walked closer and took a step back when he got within arms reach. He didn’t say anything, instead just turned around and started walking down the street, there was no point in faking a run, anyway.

Aizawa let him go. He'd run damage control at home, emotional for Shinsou and political everywhere else.

Katsuki couldn’t be bothered even trying to be quiet, when he walked in the house he made it very clear he was home, even shouting an “I’m back, Hag,” through the house after taking his shoes off.

Shinsou wasn't really surprised when Katsuki wasn't there when he woke up. He just sighed and laid there, holding Eri.

Katsuki couldn't see anything as he sat in the dark, he knew he wouldn't for a while either. Even if light came through from the bottom of the door it was never enough to light up the dark closet. He knew his nose was bleeding, he'd reset it the first few minutes of being in here. But he had no clue about the rest of him, so far he just knew everything ached. He sat on the floor and waited, knowing it'd likely be days before the door would open again.

For the next few days, Shinsou would perk up whenever he heard the door open, hoping it was an explosive blond, but was always disappointed. He'd sigh and go back to entertaining Eri. He'd gotten a bit better with her and she'd come to him without hesitstion, but he'd always feel like his heart was being twisted when she asked about 'Mr. Bakugou' and when he was coming back. He'd just say he didn't know. Because, he didn't.

Days passed and the door clicked open. Unsurprisingly, his dad stood on the other side. They didn't say anything to each other as Katsuki went directly to his room and pushed the drawer in front of the door. He was starving, but first he showered to get the dried blood off him. He had large splotchy bruises across on his arms, front and back. His ear was almost completely bruised from her pulling it. He opted against going back to Shinsou, although he wanted to, but he couldn't go back anyways. The threats on his phone were nothing new, he knew to take them seriously but he mostly ignored them. But when he saw her threats about calling the police for kidnapping against Aizawa and Hizashi, he knew it would be bad. Katsuki was sure he was on thin ice with Aizawa and he had no clue where he stood with Hizashi, though he knew he could risk staying with them.

After a week, there was a break in the case regarding Overhaul and Eri. It was worse than they thought. 

Naomasa was back at the front door of the Bakugou household with his partner. He knocked and waited for an answer.

Katsuki let his father open the door. 

Masaru opened the door with a smile, when he saw that they were officers, the smile became forced and he held onto the door, not opening it fully. "Hello officers, is there a problem?"

Naomasa smiled in greeting, nodding slightly, "Hello, sir. Is Bakugou Katsuki here, we'd like to speak with him. He's not in any trouble, but we were hoping he might be able to help us,"

"Ah no, I think my son’s staying with a friend. I wouldn't be able to tell you which one, he doesn't tell me or his mother where he gets to sometimes. I can call you and let you know when he gets back?"

Naomasa kept his smile calm, even though he knew the end was a lie. He handed Masaru his card, "When you see him, tell him Snow is almost safe but Kai was more prepared than they expected."

Masaru smiled and took the card, giving a kind "of course" before closing the door and relaying the message to his son, along with giving him the card. 

Katsuki sighed and looked at the card, waiting two days before he called the number.

"Hello, Detective Tsukauchi speaking," the human lie detector said.

Katsuki hated the formality, “You had questions?” he asked bluntly, cutting to the chase.

"No, no questions, Bakugou," Naomasa sounded relieved to hear from the boy, "We were looking for you to help us take down Overhaul," he informed before he said something to someone away from the phone, instructions on where to take someone before coming back, "You can come help with the clean up, we caught him last night."

Katsuki bit his tongue to keep from telling him he’d be right there. He was already pushing his mother enough, he barely survived the last few times. There was obvious hesitance in his voice when he said, “I can’t.”

Naomasa barked a couple more orders to others around and came back, "That's fine. Can you answer a couple questions before I let you go?"

“S’why I called you,” Katsuki muttered loud enough that he was sure he would hear it on the other end of the line.

"Are you all right?"

Katsuki was completely taken off guard by the question.  “Why wouldn’t I be?” was the first thing that came to mind.

"We've seen your records and Eraser told me about the last time you went home. So, I ask again, are you okay?"

“Fine, I went to see a friend.” He lied, knowing it didn’t matter that it sounded legitimate. “Don’t you have a criminal to be worrying about?”

"Overhaul is already in prison, we're just doing clean up. And you haven't left your house."

“What, have you got people watching me?” he joked. Though he still tilted his head to look out his bedroom window skeptically before drawing the curtain.

Naomasa laughed, "No, no. No one is watching you, Bakugou. I'm just really good at telling when someone is lying to me."

Katsuki picked his words carefully. “I’m not lying, I was out.” Technically he had been out so he was telling the truth, the detective didn’t need to know when he was out.

Naomasa hummed, "All right, kid. If you need anything, don't hesitate to call."

Katsuki hung up while the detective was still talking, not needing to hear the rest of what he was saying. He sighed and set off an explosion to burn the card, not wanting his mother to find it.

"He's home and claims he's fine," Naomasa told Shinsou where he'd been standing, listening in before heading off to help again. 

Shinsou sighed, but took the information he was given and went back to work as more people came to relay they'd finished tasks and gain direction on where help was still needed.

Katsuki seriously considered going out and helping, he had both his feet hanging out the window. After a few minutes of debating it in his head, he impulsively jumped out. “Fuck it” he muttered, starting to walk.

Shinsou was working with Aizawa to unbury some criminals that had been buried in the commotion of the attack, calling over paramedics when they were alive, or pulling out bodies and setting them aside. He kept his mind blank, not thinking about any of it now. He'd have nightmares for at least a month after.

Katsuki really had no clue where he was going, in the back of his mind he knew if they weren’t at the police station he was fucked. Because the police were looking for him. Maybe they gave up? He didn’t care too much as he walked into the precinct, a hood over his head and walking up to whoever was at the desk. “I’m looking for some detective, black hair, really basic, lie detector quirk.”

They looked up at him, confused, "Detective Tsukauchi?" he asked, confused. 

A cop that was passing by paused as he carried files, "You're the exploding kid, right?"

Katsuki turned to look at the cop, faking confusion on his face, “Who?” He didn’t have the time or effort to get arrested right then, so he turned back to the desk person, “Yeah, where is he?”

The file cop was the one that answered, "He's spearheading the Chisaki estate recovery with Eraserhead and MindWipe. He called you...." The cop snapped his fingers thinking, "BombTech. You were the BombTech boy, right?"

“Your naming system sucks,” he muttered loud enough for them to hear. But now that he was sure the cop wasn’t going to arrest him, he turned to face him fully. “He told me to come down, clean up or some shit.”

"Let me drop these files at my desk and I'll take you over."

Katsuki stood to the side and motioned for the officer to go so he could follow.

About ten minutes later, the cop went to his car, opening the passenger door for him, "It's a bit of a drive."

Katsuki looked at the car, his trust in the officer was little to nothing, so he gave him a look. "Just tell me where it is."

"Two towns over, it would really be much faster if you let me drive you over."

"I'll take a bus."

"Kid..."

Katsuki figured he wasn't going to give him an exact answer to where the detective guy was. He'd given him a few clues though, the Chisaki estate. "If you're not going to tell me then fuck off."  He started walking away, already thinking of ways to find out where the hell the estate was.

The cop sighed, "Kid, come back. It's a twenty minute drive."

Katsuki stopped a few meters away, gritting his teeth before turning back, "Fine." He got into the car and slammed the door harder than he needed to. He kept a hand on the handle, ready to open it and the other hand ready to set explosions off at the cop if he needed to.

"Thank you," the cop smiled slightly, getting in as well and starting to drive.

Katuski kept his eyes on the road, memorizing the turns they were taking and streets they were going down, he looked over at the cop every now and again, making sure he wasn't going to try anything.

The cop smiled slightly at the boy’s watchful gaze. It was good that he wasn't just accepting everything at face value.

Katsuki's grip on the door tightened at the cop's smile and he moved a little further away. He kept an eye on the clock to see how much time was left.

The cop chuckled a little as he took a turn, "Sorry," he tried to smooth his face, "Promise, I'm not a threat to you. Whoever you are." Another chuckle, "Sorry."

"Believe me I know you’re not a threat," Katsuki frowned, watching the cop's face now.

Another smile as he kept driving, completely relaxed. He didn't say anything else.

They were driving for a while longer until Katsuki could tell they were close. The road was closed and police tape was outside the house. He kept his face on the cop still, not turning his back on him.

The cop stopped with the rest of the police cars, turning off the engine and getting out.

Katsuki got out, not glancing back before he walked up to the house. He didn't know if the cop was going to follow him or leave him be, but in all honesty, he didn't care.

A paramedic caught his arm. "Kid, were you here during the attack?" She was incredibly concerned, eyes pausing and inventorying his bruises and injuries.

Her grip was gentle on Katsuki's arm but on instinct he flipped her over his shoulder and stepped back. He was shocked for only a moment before her question registered, "No, Detective Tsukasomething told me to come."

She looked up at him from the ground with wide eyes, coughing slightly. She wasn't hurt, or really afraid, just surprised. After a few moments and a bit of blinking, her brain registered his words, "Detective Tsukauchi. Brown coat. Over there," she raised an arm and pointed toward the detective, who was directing a paramedic with a body bag on a gurney.

Katsuki looked in the direction she pointed and walked over to him, his body now on edge and high alert after his arm was grabbed. He walked up behind the detective.

Naomasa turned as he felt the approach of another person, expecting another worker, but smiling when he saw the boy, "Bakugou, you came, I'm surprised," he greeted.

"You asked me to come?" Katsuki asked. The question more asking why Tsukauchi asked Katsuki to come and not confused that Tsukauchi was surprised Katsuki came.

Naomasa looked at him confused, "I said you can." He reiterated, "I thought it would make you feel better to know we really got him."

It did, but Katsuki wanted to see for himself. "How'd you find him?" He looked at the body bags, absentmindedly wondering if they were cops or villains.

"We got a tip from an undisclosed person," Naomasa smiled slightly, "sorry, not my place to say who it was. Eraser and MindWipe vouched for them on this, though, and it paid off. Chisaki didn't know we were coming."

Dabi, or another league member, Katsuki figured. "Where is he?" was one of the two questions he had left.

"Chisaki is on his way to a high security facility, Eraser and MindWipe are aiding in search and recovery," Naomasa wasn't sure who Bakugou was asking for.

Katsuki really didn't want to think about Shinsou right now. "What do I do?" He turned fully to Tsukauchi to ask the question.

"How focused can you direct your explosions?"

"It depends on distance and what I'm trying to hit."

"Mostly rubble so it can be more easily moved for recovery."

That's it? That was simpler than Katsuki expected. "Sure," he said, walking off.

Aizawa was setting another body in a bag for movement with Shinsou's help, both their faces blank, hands bloody.

Katsuki didn't see them at first, instead walking to the first bit of rubble he saw and placing both hands at it. Taking into consideration that there might be bodies underneath he set off an explosion somewhat under the rubble to blast it off but not enough to disintegrate or burn any potential bodies. When the dust and rubble cleared he went again.

Shinsou jumped at the loud noise, dropping the feet of the body they were moving, spinning around. He took a step toward the sandy blond before stopping. It was stupid, we was imagining things. He turned back to Aizawa, lifting the body again, apologizing quietly.

Katsuki found what he was expecting after the second explosion, a body, or at least the remains of one. Unrecognizable, and Katsuki may not have been able to place that it was a human if he didn't know the situation. He pulled it out carefully and handed it off to a woman before wiping the blood onto his shirt and going back.

Shinsou headed back in again to continue searching, Aizawa now joined by a paramedic to load it for the morgue before going back in as well.

Katsuki was pulling another body out of the rubble and looking around for a paramedic or anyone when he saw Shinsou. He sighed, seeing a paramedic with them and walking towards them.

The paramedic noticed him as the other two headed off. "Need something?" they asked.

"Take it-- them" Katsuki corrected himself, handing over the body.

The paramedic was surprised by the bodies, but loaded them up as well.

When Katsuki saw they had it handled he walked to another pile of rubble in another direction, this time setting off a bigger one as it was larger and likely deeper.

After another few hours, Aizawa sighed, "'Toshi, you're exhausted, you should go home. I have everything handled here." 

Shinsou shook his head, blinking slowly, "I can't leave until we're done," he yawned, continuing moving chunks of wall.

Katsuki's hands were numb from explosions, he stood on top of another pile of rubble and started counting how many were left. There were 5, which meant a few more hours if he was quick. He kept going.  In the back of his mind he knew he was avoiding everywhere Shinsou and Aizawa went.

Chapter Text

After carrying another body out, Shinsou mostly collapsed onto a pile of discarded debris and passed out. The paramedic who was collecting the corpse rushed over to check him before wrapping a shock blanket around his shoulders and letting him sleep.

Katsuki turned when he heard a commotion, seeing Shinsou on the floor, he started to run towards him before pausing and watching. Shinsou seemed to be fine other than exhaustion and possibly dehydration. He reluctantly went back to what he was doing.

"Kid," Aizawa said, finally approaching Bakugou, having noticed him earlier but saying nothing.

Katsuki ignored him, drowning out his voice with more loud explosions.

Aizawa canceled his quirk, "Kid, stop exploding shit and listen to me for a minute,"

"What?" Katsuki asked impatiently, wanting Aizawa to say whatever it was he wanted then leave him alone.

Aizawa stepped around him and handed him a sealed bottle of water, "your quirk is in your sweat.  Drink."

Katsuki took the bottle, checked to make sure it was sealed before opening and drinking some of it. Handing it back to Aizawa before trying to spark off, seeing if Aizawa was still using his quirk on him.

Aizawa gave him a disapproving look, eyes still red and unblinking, "Kid, you've been working for hours. Even if it wasn't quirk-related, you should still drink most of it," He blinked after finishing the sentence, trusting the boy to have at least a modicum more self-preservation instinct than Shinsou.

The second Katsuki got his quirk back he sent a small explosion off in Aizawa's face to make the man back off and took the water bottle, not drinking it yet but holding it with him as he walked off to the next rubble pile.

Aizawa dodged easily and chuckled slightly as Bakugou walked away, "Loud blonds, huh 'Toshi," he murmured, smiling and heading back to his own work, returning to his somber mood.

Katsuki destroyed as much of the rubble as he could and uncovered all the bodies he found. By the end of the next few hours, he was covered in blood, dust, and rubble and figured he should head back home. He started walking to the exit.

No-one stopped him.

Katsuki made it outside, it was almost dark, definitely past curfew. He sighed and started walking down the sidewalk remembering the streets from the car ride.

Half an hour later, a car pulled to a near stop beside him, window rolled down as it drove beside him, "Kid, you aren't going to get home before morning if you walk," Aizawa sighed, "get in.  Hitoshi's asleep in the back. I'll drop you off a couple of blocks from your house and you can sneak back through your window."

Katsuki looked at the endless road ahead. The sun was almost set, the final shred of light hanging over the horizon. He looked back at the car, through the windows at Aizawa’s face, and back at the sleeping form. Without a word, he slipped into the front seat beside Aizawa.

Aizawa drove in silence, the radio softly playing Hizashi's show as they went. He only spoke once, "Do you want to go home or do you want to clean up first?"

"They won't notice," Katsuki said, "just take me back."

Aizawa nodded, and kept driving, dropping him off at an alley with easy roof access two streets over from his house. "Stay safe, Kid."

The door slammed closed without a word and Katsuki climbed his way up the tree. The bark stung the palms of his hands as he pulled himself up on the raw skin. 

Aizawa drove back to their own house and carried Shinsou into the house. He woke the boy up to tell him to get cleaned up and then he could go to bed, dropping clothes off for him, then went and showered himself, them all passing out within the hour.

Katsuki didn’t leave his bed for the next few days, the warmth under the covers was enough to convince him to stay and the voices of his parents only made him more willing to lock himself up in his room. After a while, he couldn’t ignore the rotting smell of blood and soot that covered him and he left his safe haven to clean himself. At nights he’d look at the shadows cast on the window, staying alert for anyone who may stop by to look in.

Shinsou wasn't sleeping well, and as a result, was doing a lot of other things that weren't patrolling. He'd made a deal with himself long ago that he wouldn't patrol on less than five hours total sleep, and he'd had maybe five hours the last few days combined. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the bodies. When it was especially bad, he'd see Aizawa's and Hizashi's faces in the rubble, or Katsuki's. He was running on spite, too much coffee, and adrenaline, spurring his mind with far too many baked goods. He'd have to send these somewhere. Maybe Tsukauchi and the station. He fought back another yawn as he traded another rack.

Katsuki hadn’t gotten up since he’d dragged himself back into bed two days ago, he didn’t have the energy to do anything other than sleep. He’d fucked up his schedule which led to him now lying awake in the dead of night, staring blankly out the window. It had been silent for the past two days, he assumed his parents had either left on another trip or were out at their office, he didn’t care to ask. The tapping of the tree hitting his window blinked him out of his daze and his eyes began to focus on the shadow that swayed on the floor of his bedroom. With a deep breath, he drew the blankers and slipped out. Walking slowly to his window and looking out before sliding it open and climbing to the rooftop. He began walking the route to Shinsou’s house. He had multiple reasons for doing so, all of them terrible but still reasons. He used his key to unlock and push open the door.

Shinsou sighed when he heard the door open, "Thank you for using the key this time. I don't have any bread, settle for cookies. Take what you want, I don't give a fuck right now. I'm fine. Yes, I'm fine. Yes, that's bullshit. No, I'm not going to talk about it with you, you staple-faced bastard," he growled, continuing to slide cookies off the sheet onto a cooling rack so he could put more on again.

Katsuki frowned at the voice, as nice as it was to hear, the older boy clearly wasn’t fine, “You’ve got too much faith in him if you think he’ll use a key, Eyebags.”

Shinsou dropped the cookie sheet onto the counter in surprise, spinning around, a myriad of emotions crossing his face before it went blank again, "You came back."

That hurt. “Something’s bothering you,” Katsuki noted, knowing that the freshly baked cookies meant Shinsou had something eating at his mind.

Shinsou shook his head, closing his eyes as he did, before quickly forcing them open again, pained, "I don't want to talk about it," he said again. He didn't need the other thinking he was weaker than he was, even if it might be true, and he didn't want to look like he was searching for pity.

Katsuki stepped back to study the taller boy. Even in the limited light, his eyebags were darker, so he’d been losing sleep. His movements were sluggish, he was baking despite being tired, actively avoiding sleep. He was fidgeting, his expression screamed anxious. “Nightmares,” he guessed.

Shinsou nodded easily, "Yeah," he admitted, then paused, "Almost. I can't even blink."

"About what?" he asked, leading Shinsou away from the kitchen and starting to pack away what he'd made.

"The raid of Overhaul's safehouse was earlier this week. I helped clean up after."

"I know, you were stupid enough to exhaust yourself and pass out. Which you're going to do again if you keep this up." Katsuki was faced away from Shinsou as he began packing away the cookies.

"So you were there," Shinsou murmured, voice a mix of relief and hurt before he sighed again.  It didn't matter. "If I pass out from exhaustion, I won't dream."

“You’ll also put yourself at risk of heart disease, heart failure or a stroke, depression.” Katsuki turned as he continued listing, “memory loss, a weakened immune system, cancer-”

"I'll worry about that if I live long enough," Shinsou murmured, cutting the other off and pointedly looking away.

Katsuki sighed, "Go to sleep, Eyebags."

"No."

"Go to sleep, and I'll join you."

Katsuki notes how Shinsou’s body swayed with him as he shook his head, his motions were beyond just being tired and he drew the final straw at Shinsou snapping himself awake as he opened his eyes after a long blink. Katsuki walked up to him and swept his legs off the floor, carrying him up the stairs with little trouble.

Shinsou dropped his head onto Katsuki's shoulder, arms around his neck, "Why did you come back?" he whispered, pained.

Katsuki didn't have an answer Shinsou would like, so instead, he said, "Go to sleep, I'll be here when you wake up, then we can talk."

"You won't," Shinsou murmured, hugging his neck tighter, "You weren't."

Katsuki lowered him into the bed, then headed back downstairs to leave out what he assumed Shinsou’s had baked for Dabi before returning to the bedroom. He sat awake in the bed for hours until exhaustion caught up with him and he fell asleep with an arm over Shinsou’s waist.

Shinsou fought sleep as long as he could, seeing figures in the shadows, telling him it was his fault. He couldn't breathe, he was drowning in the dark. Maybe it was his fault. Maybe he shouldn't have even tried.

Katsuki woke up to the choked attempts of someone trying to breathe. He sat up and ran a hand through Shinsou’s hair to push it off his face, “Hey, it’s okay, you’re okay.”

Shinsou shook his head, hands on the other's chest, "I shouldn't be here," he rasped, "I shouldn't...I should...it should have been me," his voice broke, "they're right, it should have been me."

Katsuki pressed the back of his hand to Shinsou’s cheek to get him a little more responsive, “They’re not here okay. Breathe with me.”

Shinsou leaned forward, pressing his forehead to Katsuki's, trying to focus on his breathing, but he only saw bloody faces covered in dust and debris when his eyes closed, causing him to start hyperventilating again.

Katsuki pushed Shinsou's head back lightly, using his thumb to wipe away the tears that had started falling down his cheeks, "You’re with me Eyebags. Just me, no one else. It's okay."

"I can't close my eyes," Shinsou murmured, "please, don't make me sleep," his fingers curled in Katsuki's hoodie, "Please, I can't."

“Then don’t,” Katsuki moved his hand away from Shinsou’s face.

Shinsou looked up and into Katsuki's eyes, his own mostly glazed with tears and terror as he continued to try to calm his breathing.

Katsuki pulled Shinsou into a hug, something he usually wouldn’t do but he didn’t know what else to do. He glared at the door, wondering why Aizawa would take Shinsou to the site if he was going to react like this.

Shinsou shuddered against him, "Too dark," he whimpered.

Katsuki pulled away and instead reached for the laptop that lay on the floor next to them. He turned it on and the screen lit up the room, he scrolled for a few minutes before settling on a quiet movie and setting the laptop to the side.

Shinsou curled against him, watching the movie, humming softly along to the soundtrack, one hand curled in his hoodie again, the other twining with Bakugou's, breathing still worse than normal.

Despite Shinsou being awake, Katsuki couldn't help but fall asleep again during the movie. About halfway through, his hand dropped from Shinsou's head over his shoulder and his head rested on Shinsou's hair.

Shinsou shifted Bakugou to lay in his lap, hand running through the sandy locks softly, still watching the movie, switching to another as it finished, accepting the new distraction.

Katsuki woke up to the sound of voices, he opened his eyes and when he was met with intense brightness he turned his head and curled up against the thing that was behind him, he assumed it was a pillow as he pressed his face into it and hugged it tighter.

Shinsou laughed slightly, brushing through his hair again and rubbing behind his ear, "Sleep, 'Suki," he murmured, leaning forward to lower the volume and brightness.

Katsuki slept for another hour before actually waking up, he looked up to see Shinsou's face focused on the movie and sat up, kissing him briefly before stretching his arms.

Shinsou smiled as he watched the other stretch, "Sleep well?"

"Sure," he yawned and turned to look at Shinsou, frowning, seeing the bags were even worse and his eyes were slightly red. "Don't drink coffee, okay?"

"All right," Shinsou agreed easily.

"Good, get up." Katsuki stood and pulled the covers off Shinsou.

Shinsou raised a brow but did as he was told.

"Get dressed, we're going to take Eri out." he hoped that since Overhaul's arrest they'd taken her out at some point. Then again, the two adults slept through the day and Shinsou could barely take care of himself.

"All right," Shinsou agreed, finding a change of clothes, “be right back. You know where food is.”

Katsuki didn't have a change of clothes so he walked downstairs to make himself coffee. His body was still asleep and he wanted to go for a run to wake himself up but didn't want to leave Shinsou.

Shinsou came down a little while after in fresh clothes, Eri on his hip, still half asleep, "Hypocrite," he laughed, smiling.

"I slept last night," Katsuki smiled, "should I make something or do you want to eat out?" he asked Shinsou, looking at Eri.

"Cook," Shinsou answered, setting Eri down, then signing with free hands, 'we got most but not all. Safe to go out, but still might need to run.'

“Sure,” Katsuki answered to both of Shinsou's points. He made a simple egg and rice breakfast and handed a plate to both Shinsou and Eri before starting to clean.

Eri ate what she could, still tired and small, while Shinsou really just nibbled at his, stomach roiling. 

Katsuki didn’t expect either of them to eat too much but the amount they ate was still disappointing. He took the plates and packed away the remaining food, picked up Eri, and walked to the door. “Come on, Eyebags.”

Shinsou smiled slightly, following him. He had his phone and wallet, as well as his quirk license if they needed it. He slipped on his shoes, "Any ideas where you're taking us?"

“I’m not gonna get lost if that's what you’re asking,” Katsuki moved Eri from his hip to his shoulder. “Kids like parks right? We’ll just take her there.”

"Parks are good," Shinsou agreed, "and I didn't think you'd get us lost, 'Suki."

“Good,” Katsuki said. He took Shinsou's hand when he saw Shinsou tiredly walking next to him.

Shinsou looked down at their hands, surprised. He couldn't remember if he should be or not. He needed sleep. He should sleep. He allowed a long blink, the sunlight penetrating his eyelids and he sighed, there were no faces. He smiled, squeezing Bakugou's hand, "Let's go, Bombshell."

“We’ve been going for five minutes, Eyebags,” Katsuki teased, walking till they reached a park, and he lowered Eri off his shoulders.

Shinsou laughed quietly, a little embarrassed, "Sorry, I forgot."

Katsuki hummed, letting go of Shinsou's hand now that they were at the park. “There, you can run and stuff,” he told Eri. He wasn’t really sure what kids did at parks. Tomoko had never been the biggest fan, she preferred forests and more isolated places. Away from other children and spying eyes. He watched to see if Eri felt similarly. 

Eri kind of looked around in wonder, starting to wander a bit.

"You don't have to always see us," Shinsou called slightly after her, "but be able to." That wasn't a sentence...

Katsuki definitely wasn’t going to let his eyes off of her for longer than a few seconds. He and Shinsou sat in silence. Katsuki could tell they both had questions and things to say but didn’t want to bring it up.

Shinsou had questions, but couldn't remember them. Or really much of anything. His brain was a mess right now. He let his eyes close, the bright sunlight keeping the voices away.

Katsuki noticed Shinsou half asleep, he moved his head onto his shoulder so it wouldn’t be sore and let him rest. Even if he wasn’t sleeping, it was better than nothing. He kept an eye on Eri in the meantime.

Twenty minutes later, Shinsou groaned, "Shig..." there was a note of annoyed warning to his tone.

Katsuki didn’t know who that was, but Shinsou still seemed to be asleep so he let him be, going back to watching Eri and tapping the bench.

There was a dry, raspy laugh just behind their bench and Shinsou lifted his head to glare at the boy in the worn black hoodie.

Katsuki immediately recognized him. The guy with blue hair and the hands, part of the LoV. “Fuck off, Chapstick.”

Another laugh, three gloved fingers coming to drum on Shinsou's forehead when he let his head drop again, "What gave me away."

"You're the only person I've ever met who smells like a vacuum used to clean out mouse nests," Shinsou murmured, too tired to care about the fingers.

Katsuki grabbed at the cuff of the hoodie around the man’s wrist and pulled it off Shinsou's head. “Is there a fuckin’ reason you’re here?”

"Eri," Shinsou and Shigaraki answered together.

Katsuki looked at Shinsou before letting go of Shigaraki’s wrist, waiting for someone to explain.

"He was the informant," Shinsou murmured.

"And not even a thanks for my troubles." Shigaraki huffed with a smirk, fingers drumming on Shinsou's forehead again.

"Stop drumming and I'll give you a metric fuckton of cookies," Shinsou said, opening an eye to glare up into insane crimson ones, "Thank you for helping us catch him."

Shigaraki being the informant was a little surprising, though Katsuki wasn’t too shocked that Dabi had been no help. “Now, go be creepy somewhere else.” Katsuki said after Shinsou.

Shigaraki laughed again, folding his arms on the back of the bench, leaning down, "You watch what's yours, I'll watch what's mine."

Out in the green of the park, Eri was talking with a blond girl closer to the boys' ages.

"Let the only one of us with a normal childhood and children skills handle her. Nothing will happen to her today," the criminal mastermind said.

Katsuki gave a judgemental look more to himself than Shigaraki at his choice of words but didn’t say anything, waiting for him to just leave.

"Shig, he wants you gone-"

"I can tell, 'Shi,"

"So please go find a different fucking bench to perch on weirdly so I can go back to sleep," the exhausted brainwasher growled, settling his head back on Katsuki's shoulder, signaling the end of his input into this whole thing.

Katsuki held onto Shinsou's hand this time, playing with it and running his fingers around the back in boredom. “Go home if you want to sleep, Eyebags.”

Shinsou tensed at that, shaking his head, "They'll come back,"

“Why’d you go if you knew this was going to happen?”

"I didn't think it would be this bad," Shinsou admitted in a small voice.

“Doesn’t matter how bad you thought it was going to be. You’re an idiot for going.” Katsuki said bluntly, not trying to hurt Shinsou but needing to get the point across.

Shinsou sighed, sitting up again, taking his hand back.  "It doesn't matter," he murmured, head bowed. It doesn't matter, there shouldn't have been any casualties. If he'd been stronger, faster, BETTER... his nails dug into his forearms. It was his fault.

“Stop that,” Katsuki took Shinsou's hands off his arms and held them. “Whatever you’re thinking, it's wrong.”

"It isn't," Shinsou murmured, hands limp.

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “You’re too hard on yourself, Eyebags, not everything bad in the world is your fault because you didn’t prevent it.” He moved his grip on Shinsou's hands to be looser and more of a handhold. “You’re going to make mistakes, it’s just part of life. But if you sit around blaming yourself for everything and telling yourself you’re terrible you’ll never get anywhere.”

Shinsou knew that, fuck, did he know that, but it didn't stop the screaming echoing in his head, the smell of iron and copper filling his nose, taste of dust on his tongue. He could feel pulses stuttering out in his fingertips. He adjusted the hold of one of Katsuki's hands, fingers pressed into his wrist a little down from his thumb, and just counted the strong beat under his breath.

Katsuki pulled Shinsou's fingers away again, moving them onto his palms instead, they were numb so he wouldn’t feel it. He waited a while for Shinsou to catch his breath before speaking again, “Get up, Eyebags, we’re going home.”

Shinsou looked up at him, eyes panicked. He was leaving again. Fuck, he knew he would. He said nothing as he stood, gaze dropped and pointedly away from the blond, "I'm sorry," he whispered. I'm sorry I'm a mess. I'm sorry I'm not worth your time. I'm sorry you feel the need to help when you don't want to. So many sorries.

Katsuki looked at him confused, “Just stay there” he squeezed Shinsou's hand and let go, finding Eri and bending down so she could climb onto his shoulders before walking back and taking Shinsou's hand to start walking. “You’re both kindergarteners, and only one of you has the excuse of being five.” he muttered.

Eri and Toga waved goodbye to each other happily as Bakugou walked away with the small girl.

Shinsou laughed wetly, squeezing Katsuki's hand, pressing a kiss to his knuckles as they walked.

When they made it back to the house, Katsuki put Eri down. Letting go of Shinsou’s hand. “Don’t sleep now, wait till night. Eat small and no later than 8 and don’t fuckin’ drink coffee,” he said, pressing the key back into Shinsou's hand.

Shinsou clutched the key, "You aren't coming back," he murmured.

Katsuki paused, “I came back last night.”

"Why did you come back?"

“Cause you’re hopeless,” Katsuki said, “I left for a week and you were passing out in crime scenes.”

"You wouldn't have had any effect on that."

“I would have told you not to go to do clean up,” Katsuki pointed out. “Just take the key, if it makes you feel any better I’m planning to take it back.”

Shinsou smiled at that, clutching it tighter, "Very." he laughed, "I'm sorry I'm such a disaster."

“I know,” he paused. “Sleep with the light on tonight if sunlight works, I’ll see if I can come back.” He pulled Shinsou's shirt for a kiss before turning away.

Shinsou smiled after him. Katsuki would come back if he could. He hadn't fucked shit up irreparably.

He went back to the kitchen again. He had to take care of the monstrous number of cookies still scattered about.

Katsuki wasn’t surprised to see her waiting when he reentered the house. He raised an eyebrow at her outfit, however. It wasn’t any later than midday and his mother adorned a striking red dress and tall heels. She stared into a small mirror that sat on a bookcase, applying a matching red onto her lips. She didn’t stop upon his entry, “Where have you been?” 

“Out.” He replied. 

She closed the lipstick and dropped it into her purse, turning to face him. With the heels, she looked down as he kicked his shoes off. “Out where?” 

“Why do you need to know that?” 

“Cause I’m your mother, Katsuki. You can’t just leave without telling us.” Her arms crossed. 

Katsuki shrugged, “I thought you’d fucking left on another trip.” 

“And what? That makes it okay. What the fuck even is your mindset? You can go behind our backs and do whatever the hell you want as long as we don’t find out?” 

“I didn’t say that.” 

“It sure as hell sounds that way. Just tell me where you were.” 

“Fuckin-- fine.” Katsuki growled, “I was with a friend.” 

Her head tilted, “You mean those men and their freak son?” 

Katsuki stopped. He knew she was aware he was staying with people part of law enforcement, but Katsuki had never mentioned anything about Shinsou. 

“You could have just told me but no. Now I’ve had to go out of my way to find out who these people are.” She walked past him to the kitchen table where a small file lay closed. She picked it up and tilted it towards him. 

“You didn’t have to-” 

“I didn’t? Do I not have a right to know who my son is with? Is it not my responsibility as a parent to make sure my child isn’t spending days on end with a friend with a track record of violent assaults and consistent legal charges?” 

Katsuki paused and his eyes finally studied the file. It wasn’t large but from what he saw there were multiple sticky notes that sectioned off three individual people. Each one that stuck out of the closed file had its own name; Aizawa Shouta; Hizashi Yamada; Shinsou Hitoshi. “Who’d you pay off for that?” 

“You think this is funny?” 

“I think you’re acting ridiculous.” Katsuki snapped back. Her grip tightened around the file and she dropped it back down on the table. She couldn’t touch him, not tonight. Clearly, she was going somewhere and she couldn’t risk any part of her getting a scratch. “They’ve never done anything to hurt me.” 

“Yet.” Her finger flew to his face. “You can’t just assume the best in people.” 

“I don’t-” 

A slap crossed his face and he stepped back surprised, clutching his cheek. Never mind the whole, she couldn’t touch him bullshit. Katsuki must have really pissed her off. 

“You need to grow the fuck up and get a brain.” 

Katsuki didn’t answer. 

“Your father and I have an event tonight.” She rubbed her hand, fixing her purse on her shoulder and checking her makeup one last time. Touching below her eye when she realized some of the mascara had run. “There’s some curry for dinner in the fridge.”

Shinsou collected three-quarters of the cookies he'd made the last few days and put them together for the league as a thank you for the chance at Chisaki.

Katsuki checked the fridge later and found it empty. With a glance at the clock, he released that at this hour he wouldn’t need to worry about his parents. If they came home tonight, they’d be drunk and too wasted to realize he wasn’t there. There was no point in staying so he slipped out and headed back to Shinsou’s.

Shinsou was baking again.

“Go to sleep, Eyebags,” Katsuki said from the doorway.

"In my defense," Shinsou laughed, "we actually needed bread, and it'll be done in about ten minutes," he said, still obviously exhausted but happier as he cleaned up. Whether it was because he was on an adrenaline high again or genuinely content, no one knew.

“Fine, bread then sleep.” He walked behind him and hugged around his waist.

Shinsou hummed happily, leaning back against him for a minute, turning his head to press a gentle kiss to his cheek before returning to cleaning, pausing to break a chocolate chip cookie in half and offering one part to the blond as he munched the other.

Katsuki took it, he hadn’t eaten that day and he was starving. “Bed,” he said, still eating the half of the cookie.

"Five more minutes," Shinsou said, smiling.

Katsuki tightened his grip around Shinsou's waist but didn’t say anything, just waiting for him to finish.

When the timer went off, Shinsou extricated himself and checked the bread before giving it another two minutes, "Another cookie?"

“Bed,” Katsuki answered back, slightly pulling Shinsou backward.

"It's not finished," Shinsou laughed, "I will go to bed right after the bread is done and the oven is off."

“It’s two minutes, just take it out”

"No." Shinsou chuckled, kissing him, a hand on Katsuki's chest.

Katsuki knew it was a losing argument, besides he really didn’t mind waiting longer; he just wanted Shinsou to go to sleep. “You’re an asshole.”

Shinsou nodded, "I know, but the center of the loaf wasn't cooked," he said, pulling away again. In thirty seconds the bread was checked, set on the counter, and the oven was off. "Okay, NOW bed," he grinned.

“Finally,” he let go of Shinsou and started dragging him towards the bedroom, pushing him down in the bed and laying almost on top of him.

Shinsou laughed, hugging him, "You didn't have to wait for me, 'Suki," he murmured, a hand in sandy hair again.

“Yeah, I did, cause you’d forget and start making cookies or some shit.”

Shinsou shook his head, eyes sliding closed, "That was a three-proof bread, minimum four hours. If I'd wanted to make cookies as well, there would have been time to make dough between proofs. I was honestly heading to bed after that bread was out."

“And actually sleep or just go to bed?”

Shinsou reached over for a pair of headphones on his bedside table, "Loud dad's show and lights on, I'd have tried to actually sleep," he said before setting them aside again.

“Good, shut up and sleep.” Katsuki put his hand over Shinsou's mouth for a second before moving it over his shoulder.

"I'm sorry if I wake you," Shinsou apologized, pulling Katsuki closer, one arm across his waist, hand resting on his hip, other over his shoulders to end with fingers lost in an explosion of hair, "this okay?"

Katsuki moved the hand off his hip and moved it higher on his back, leaning forwards to kiss Shinsou. “Sleep.”

Shinsou hummed, kissing him back, "See you in the morning?" the 'will I,' was left unsaid.

“Yeah,” he smiled and fell asleep almost instantly, his face pressed into Shinsou's chest.

Shinsou fell asleep a little bit after with only a couple minor hiccups, reassured by the sleeping, breathing , body pressed against his.

He made it a couple hours before his dreams forced him conscious again, gasping.

Katsuki woke up, his head and body moving up and down with Shinsou's heavy, irregular breaths. He got off and brushed Shinsou's hair back, pulling his hand to his chest, “Follow my breathing, come on, Eyebags, I know you can do it.”

Shinsou did for a bit, then slowed further still to a five five five count. Once he was calm, he lay back again, holding Katsuki, "Thank you, Suki," he said honestly.

A few hours had passed, not as much as Katsuki would have liked, but it was a start. “Go back to sleep or watch something?” he asked, laying back down on Shinsou.

Shinsou pulled Katsuki to lay back down onto his chest again, "Sleep, please," he requested.

Katsuki looked up at Shinsou's face in surprise before closing his eyes again. “Go to sleep then, Eyebags.” He wrapped his arms around Shinsou loosely and waited.

Shinsou nodded, hands curled in the back of Katsuki's shirt. He fell asleep again slowly, fingers not loosening.

Katsuki woke up a few hours later and got up carefully, not wanting to wake Shinsou. He pressed a kiss to Shinsou's lips before walking down the stairs.

Shinsou frowned as Katsuki left, murmuring something indistinguishable and curling into himself, but not waking up.

No one was downstairs when Katsuki arrived, and he left quietly out the front door.

When Shinsou woke a few hours later to a cold, empty bed, he sighed; he should have known Katsuki wouldn't stay. At least he'd gotten some relatively restful sleep.

Almost a week passed before Katsuki could leave again. The fresh air was welcomed when he stepped outside and he knocked against the large door of Shinsou’s house.

It was a tired-looking Hizashi who answered, hair tied into a messy bun, that answered the door with a yawn, "Oh, you." he murmured, stepping aside to let the boy walk in.

Katsuki walked directly to the kitchen to drink a cup of water; while filling the cup again he asked Hizashi, “Did I wake you?”

Hizashi shook his head, "I had just come down to get 'Toshi a drink before going back to try to help him sleep again,"

Katsuki finished his fourth cup before asking, “Is he actually sleeping?”

Another shake of Hizashi's head, "Not well."

“That explains why he’s sleeping during the day,” Katsuki muttered, he looked up at Hizashi, “have you given him the drink yet?”

Hizashi held up the bottle in his hand, "Not yet."

“I’ll take it,” he said, taking the bottle as he walked past. “You should also sleep, before you fall over.” He started walking up the stairs and into Shinsou's room.

Shinsou was curled on his side, eyes closed and twitching, whimpering. He'd passed out again and was having another nightmare.

Katsuki knelt in front of him and ran his hand through Shinsou's hair. “Hey, Eyebags.” he started to rub his thumb against Shinsou's cheek and slightly open his eyes.

Shinsou's face relaxed slightly, pressing into the touch, hand coming up to cover the other on his face, eyes opening but still slightly unfocused.

“Sit up, I don’t want you choking on water,” Katsuki said as he moved to sit on the edge of the bed, he held the bottle in his other hand. “You’re gonna drink some of this, then go back to sleep.”

Shinsou blinked at him, "You're not here," he murmured, "I'm just hallucinating again."

Katsuki helped him sit up slightly and started pouring the water into his mouth. “You better not spit this at me.” He lowered the bottle when a third of it was gone and set it down on the floor. “Go to sleep, Eyebags.”

Shinsou squinted at him, "You're a very solid hallucination," he murmured, hand coming up to cup Katsuki's cheek after the bottle was gone from sight.

“S’cause I’m not one,” Katsuki pushed Shinsou's hand off his cheek after a few seconds and held it instead.

Shinsou smiled slightly. "You keep disappearing," he murmured, laying back down, hand still holding Katsuki's, pulling slightly, "I wonder when you'll leave again,"

“I don’t live here, Eyebags, I can’t stay here.” Katsuki knew Shinsou wouldn’t see the reason in that, especially in his tired state.

Shinsou nodded, yawning again, "How long can you stay this time?" he asked, completely awake again.

Katsuki sighed, “I don’t know, I can’t keep pushing them like this. It’s not going to end well.”

"Stay for a couple hours, then you should head back again," Shinsou said, gently pulling, "please."

After a long moment, Katsuki sighed, “Move over,” and started to get into the bed half on top of Shinsou.

Shinsou smiled, shifting for Katsuki to have more room, but still held him close.

Katsuki curled up against Shinsou and brushed through his hair, waiting for him to fall asleep.

Shinsou buried his face in Katsuki's hair, breathing deep and relaxing against him. A few minutes later he slipped into sleep again.

Katsuki stayed there for what felt like hours, long enough for his arm to numb, unnumb, and numb again. He slowly got up, waiting for a moment to make sure he didn’t wake Shinsou, and walked out, checking on Eri on the way.

Eri was coloring in a new book and smiled when she saw him, "Mr. Bakugou!"

Katsuki smiled, “Hey, Tiny, what are you doing?” He walked over to her and sat behind her, looking over her shoulder to see the coloring book.

She showed him the picture of a kitten and a puppy playing together.

“Good job.” He sat back and let her continue coloring for a while, before standing up and ruffling her hair, starting to walk out.

She kept coloring as he left.

 

Chapter Text

After not eating for a few days Katsuki took an apple from the kitchen before walking out and back to his house.

Shinsou's sleep only lasted another half an hour after Katsuki left, and the purple-haired boy gave up trying. He forced himself up, blinking away the dots hard, and headed down to the kitchen.

Katsuki ate dinner with his parents, every now and then the hag would make a comment and he’d fire back with an insult but his father kept it tame, mostly. Until she brought up the bruises.

“They’re disgusting to look at.”

“You’re the one that gave me them, Hag.”

“Maybe follow the fuckin’ rules next time and I wouldn’t have to punish you!”

“Your punishments are bullshit! My son snuck out so I’ll beat and starve him !” He imitated his mother.

After a few more insults thrown from both sides, his father managed to calm both of them.

“You’re set up for a shoot on Tuesday, fix yourself by then” she stood up and left the table.

“I wish you wouldn’t push her so much.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes at his father’s words, “You’re a coward.”

They ate in silence till eventually his father also stood up and left and Katsuki cleaned.

After making meals for the next couple of days and writing a note explaining how to reheat and the situation, Shinsou slipped out into the dying light of sunset. It would be night by the time he arrived.

Members of the league had been keeping guard of the house via nearby roofs and alleys. It didn't take long to find who he was looking for.

"Fuck, kid," Dabi murmured, catching Shinsou as he stumbled, "when was the last time you slept?"

Shinsou could be an ass and say he just woke up, but it wouldn't help anything, "Days," he rasped, doing a fair impression of Shigaraki.

"And before that?"

"Days," the teen rasped again, fighting his eyes to stay open, "I've slept once since we caught him."

"Fuck, kid," Dabi murmured in sympathy, carefully lowering Shinsou to the ground as his legs collapsed from under him.

"A few days, for old times sake," Shinsou murmured, "please."

"We'll see," Dabi said, standing and leaving him there for now.

Katsuki didn’t really have much to do. He had till Tuesday to get rid of the bruises and cuts and he knew that there wasn’t going to be enough time for them to heal naturally. So he did what he always resorted to. Concealer.

The bruises were different shades of purple and red so he’d need to buy different shades of concealer to match his actual skin tone:  one a little more yellow for the purple and one a little more green for the red. And then, of course, a normal lighter one to balance it out and make it look like natural skin.

He gave the concealers to the cashier and at first they gave him a comforting yet concerned look, then they saw the bracelet and it changed to understanding and an underlying tone of satisfaction.

“In a bag?”

“Sure.”

They carelessly put them in a bag, throwing it a bit to the side and muttering, “You deserve it, you freak.”

He took the bag with a “Fuck you too, asshole,” and started walking back home.

Dabi came back a few minutes later, lifting the exhausted teen into his arms carefully. "We're kidnapping you for the week, kid," he informed, "you can't know where you're going to stay, security reasons, and you can't call or text anyone while you're there, Shiggy's orders. Not without someone reading over your shoulder."

Shinsou was too relieved by the strong smell of smoke, musk, and less strong was the smell of cooking pork, to really care about the rules. He'd be asleep before they got anywhere at this rate. He sighed, face buried in a scarred neck.

He was asleep before Dabi even started to move.

Katsuki’s father sat on an armchair in the living room when he returned, a steaming mug on the table beside him and a book open in his hand. He looked up past his glasses with a warm smile that brought Katsuki no comfort. “What have you been up to?” 

He asked, eyeing the bag in Katsuki’s hand. “Just buying some things,” Katsuki answered. “For Tuesday.” 

His father’s smile grew, “I’m glad. And your mother would be too. Why not go thank her for setting up a shoot for you? It’s been a while.” 

Katsuki scoffed, “Sure old man.” He returned to his room - there was no fucking way he was thanking the hag for anything - and took out the bottles of concealer, along with a brush, and started working on the bruises, testing how much to use to make it look natural.

The days passed and Katsuki had apparently ticked his mother off about something or another. As per usual, the argument started from nothing, a few passive comments that they both took too far. Katsuki couldn’t even remember why they’d started in the first place.

“I’m your mother,” her voice was dangerously low and it instantly made Katsuki’s jaw snap shut. “I raised you from a whiny brat to a strong person. Look at you now, everything you are is because of me.” 

Katsuki growled, “You’re the reason I-” 

“Don’t cut me off Katsuki!” She glared at him. “You’re strong because I taught you how to be. I taught you how to take hits and how to yell back. I taught you how to deal with all the shit that happens to freaks like you. You survived because of me.” 

Katsuki bit his inner cheek until a metallic taste filled his mouth. “You” his tongue caught the word and he took a sharp breath before starting again. “You-” 

“I what?” 

“Stop cutting me off!” 

“Then say what you want to say, stop stuttering like a retard, and talk like a person.”

“Shut the fuck up, if you’re so fucking mad then go yell at your boss. He’d be smart to fire you for someone who isn’t such a bitch.”

Katsuki knew it was a low blow, he’d overheard the hag complaining to his dad about a younger model they’d recently hired. How she’d worked well in the environment and there was talk about another model being fired so the new one could take her place. Apparently, it was a sore spot for his mother, and her fingers wrapped around his wrist. 

She tugged him from where he stood in his bedroom doorway and he fell forwards against the staircase banister. 

“What the fuck did I do to end up with such a fucking cunt son like you. God, why couldn’t you be someone else’s kid.”

“Too fucking bad hag. You’re a fuckin mother, get over it.”

“It’s not being a mother brat. It’s fucking being yours.”

Katsuki frowned, “You deserve it for being a bitch.”

He felt the familiar touch of someone's fingers running through his hair. He’d somewhat grown accustomed to the touch after being around Shinsou but this was anything but gentle. Katsuki flinched as the grip tightened and his head was pulled up as he was forced to stand. His mother pushed him into the wall and his footing slipped, causing his body to fall heavily down the steps of the staircase. 

His head fell back painfully into a surface Katsuki couldn’t place, and when he reached to grab it he quickly realized his hands were warm and sticky with a wet substance. His ears ran loudly but he heard his mother walk away, the faint sound of a door slamming closed echoed and Katsuki painfully sat up from his place on the floor.

Nausea built in his throat and he let go of his head to roll over on the cold ground, letting blood spill down the back of his neck as he gasped painfully dry breaths, trying to blink away the blurriness from his eyes.

As he blinked he felt something else in his eyes, tears. They prickled the corners of his eyes and he unconsciously sobbed as he curled into himself. 

He couldn’t stay here on the floor, he realized. He had to move. Pushing himself up he looked at the door. His hands shook beneath him, barely steady enough to support his weight as he stood. He needed help.

Biting back his hesitance he pushed himself towards the door and stepped outside, making his way as fast as he could to Shinsou’s house.

His exhaustion hit the second he left the house, each step was heavy and his eyes closed long enough that he would change directions. He passed a few pedestrians. If he’d paid attention he would have seen their disgusted faces, heard their snickering, and watched them point and stare. 

Not soon enough he made it to the house, collapsing onto the doorstep. His back was soaked with blood that ran over his shoulders and trailed down his arms. His eyelids were too heavy to keep open and he weakly raised a fist and slammed it as hard as he could against the oak door.

Aizawa answered the door this time, much more awake than his husband had been, but he always looked tired, so one never could really tell. One look, and he pulled one of the boy's arms over his shoulder, looping an arm around his waist and led him in, heading down to the basement, "the fuck happened, kid?"

Katsuki let himself be taken, his sweat mixed with the blood and he mumbled as his hand pulled at his collar, “I’s fine” his words slurred tiredly. “Ju’s n’d…”

Aizawa lowered him carefully into a chair, then helped the boy remove his hoodie, tossing it into a sink to at least get rinsed. Turning on a closer light to work under, the man pulled out a penlight to check his pupils.

Katsuki didn’t like the brightness of it and let his head roll to the side, “St’p. Br’t.”

Aizawa chuckled quietly, "Sorry kid, it'll be over soon," he promised. The kid had a concussion. He turned the penlight off and set it aside, then moved to gently press his fingers into the boy's scalp, watching his reaction as he moved along.

The nausea in his throat built, he held his breath and squeezed his eyes closed to try and stop from crying. It didn’t work as tears ran down his cheeks, dripped into his lap and onto the floor. He gasped before saying a rushed and quiet, “St’p.”

Aizawa pulled away gently, moving to grab a trashcan and a box of tissues. The boy was looking a little green around the edges. He set the box in the boy's lap and the can next to the chair.

Katsuki pushed the box off, looking up vaguely where he thought Aizawa was.  “F’ck you. Dn’t n’d th’s.”

Aizawa chuckled again, "You look like you're going to be sick, kid. They're nasty, but they still work as wipes.

Katsuki was too tired to respond, he brought his knees to his chest so he could lay his arms and head on them and closed his eyes, just wanting to fall asleep.

Aizawa snapped his fingers in front of Bakugou's face, "You can't sleep, kid," he said sharply.

“M’not sl’p’n” he mumbled, turning his face more into his legs.

Aizawa sighed, "I'm going to wash your hair," he told the boy.

Katsuki didn’t react.

Aizawa lifted the boy out of the chair and carried him toward the sink, laying him on the counter, head in the basin, tossing the sweatshirt aside again as he turned on more lights.

Katsuki tried to turn out of the direction of the light by rolling to his side, “too br’g’t” he mumbled.

"Can you lay on your side comfortably?" Aizawa asked, helping him turn.

Katsuki wasn’t paying attention to the actual words Aizawa said but he was helping him turn over so he slurred a “y’s.”

With one hand supporting Bakugou's head, Aizawa started rinsing his hair, looking for the offending injury.

Katsuki let Aizawa feel around his head. When he wasn’t pressing on the injury it was comforting and felt nice. He started to relax.

"No sleeping," Aizawa said again, finding the gash. Lightly picking out the hair that had been stuck in the wound, Aizawa pressed a cloth to it, "I need to move you back to the chair again."

“H’rts” he mumbled, reaching a hand up to hold the injury.

"I'll get you some pills for that if you hold the cloth on," Aizawa compromised, moving Bakugou's hand to replace his own. The pressure wouldn't be great, but the cold water of the cloth would be soothing.

Katsuki held his hand against it as he felt the majority of the pressure leave. The cold was good but he could barely feel it against how warm he felt.

Aizawa returned with a couple pills and a cup of water, holding them out and taking the cloth away. It had stopped bleeding and would need stitches only because of the location.

Katsuki reached for the cloth back, without the cold the only thing he could focus on was the burning pain of it.

Aizawa refreshed the water and placed it on Bakugou's forehead this time, "Better?"

“Y’h” he leaned into it and started to drift off again.

"I'm going to have to keep waking you up," Aizawa warned, "but I'm going to stitch you up,"

Katsuki didn’t react.

Aizawa collected the necessary implements of pain from the medical cabinet and washed his hands again before starting to clean and dress Bakogou's head.

Katsuki mumbled as the person came back and started brushing through his hair, carefully moving his hands. Tiredly, and probably stupidly, he asked, “m’um?”

Aizawa laughed slightly, "Not your mother, Kid," he said, carefully cleaning him up.

Katsuki sighed, then laughed at himself.

"What happened?"

“N’thn.”

"That's bullshit, Kid, and you know it," Aizawa reprimanded, tying off the thread and snipping it.

“I f’ll”

"Pardon me if I don't believe you," Aizawa snorted, wrapping a bandage around his head, "Ice pack?"

“Y’ss” he smiled at the thought of something cold.

Aizawa smiled, "Would you like to lay down?" he offered softly, "bed or couch?"

“B’d” he reached out, looking for something to grab onto.

Aizawa put Bakugou's arms around his neck and lifted him into his arms, "Problem child," he murmured teasingly, "I'll wake you up again in 15 minutes,"

“M’kay” he mumbled, finally falling asleep.

Aizawa took him up to Shinsou's bed, laying him down and tucking him in nicely, before going to get the ice packs from the freezer, waking Bakugou up when he came back, just so he didn't slip into a coma. "Problem child," he murmured.

“W’t?” He asked with an annoyed pout.

"Just making sure you're alive," Aizawa smiled, "I have the ice packs."

Wordlessly he took the ice and pushed it to his head.

Aizawa sat on the edge of the bed beside him, pressing the ice closer to the affected areas, "Did you really fall down the stairs, Kid," he asked softly, brushing some hair out of the boy's face, like he would for Shinsou.

“I f’ll” he said simply.

Aizawa sighed again, continuing to lightly brush his hair aside, "Anything else?"

“No.”

"I'll wake you up in another half an hour," Aizawa said quietly, patting his shoulder as he stood up.

Katsuki went to reach out so he wouldn’t leave but stopped quickly, bringing his hand back in and turning around.

"Want me to stay?"

“Y’can go,” he said tiredly.

"I can stay," Aizawa said, returning to the bed, "I don't need to be anywhere."

Katsuki didn’t respond, but he reached his hand out to feel if Aizawa had left or stayed.

Aizawa gently took the searching hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. "I'm here, kid," he said softly, "You aren't alone."

It felt weird for someone to be there for him while he slept. He unconsciously held on tighter to the hand.

"You're safe, kid," Aizawa murmured, smoothing his hair again, "Nothing's gonna happen to you here."

“I d’n’t mean to,” he mumbled.

"Course not, kid," Aizawa reassured, "it's okay,"

“Sh’s g’nna be m’d.”

Aizawa chuckled. "They always are," he murmured.

“Sh’s g’nna k’ll me,” he mumbled. 

"We could take you into protective custody," Aizawa suggested, "Arrest you, keep her away from you."

He shook his head, “T’sday. I n’d to be th’r on T’sday.”

"I'll tell Naomasa to record you in custody for questioning and consultation in the meantime," Aizawa told him, "Just so she can't track you."

Katsuki looked up surprised, then skeptically. “Why?” Why would Aizawa do that for him?

"Why what?"

“Why’d y’u do th’t f’r me?”

"Why wouldn't I?" Aizawa asked in return, "You shouldn't have to stay in that kind of situation. I'll offer whatever help you'll let me."

Katsuki lay back down, he didn’t know yet what Aizawa wanted in return but he’d accept what was given and worry about the rest later. “Ok’y.”

Aizawa smiled slightly, "Get some rest, I'll check back on you after I talk to Naomasa," He squeezed Bakugou's hand before letting go.

Katsuki hesitantly let go and let him leave, pressing the ice back to his head and falling asleep.

Aizawa went and told Hizashi of the situation, and called Naomasa to tell him as well. He returned to Bakugou and woke him again a little over half an hour later.

“Hmm,” he woke up and turned to face Aizawa. “M’I arr’ssed?”

Aizawa laughed quietly, replacing the ice, "Yeah, kid, you're arrested, you aren't allowed to leave until Monday."

“Th’ks,” he mumbled, leaning into the ice.

"You're welcome."

Katsuki didn't know if he was supposed to stay awake or if he could fall back asleep. He figured he'd go with the safer option to just sit up. He looked around, "Sh'nso's r'm?"

Aizawa nodded, "Yeah, figured you'd like to be somewhere familiar."

"W'rs Sh'nso?" he asked, laying back and closing his eyes.

"He left."  There was no point in lying.

"l'ft?" Katsuki opened his eyes sluggishly, looking in the direction Aizawa was.

Aizawa nodded, "After you left this morning, he did meal prep and left a note."

Katsuki nodded.  The nausea crept back up on him as did the headache. "F'ck ev'ryth'n" he sighed as he lay back down.

"That's the concussion," Aizawa chuckled, pulling the trash can closer.

He hummed, a big mistake when the vibration in his throat made him gag and he reached for the trashcan, promptly vomiting into it.

Aizawa rubbed his back comfortingly.

He flinched away from the touch at first, before sighing, "M'fine. Y'can go sl'p if y'w'nt."

"Can't do that, kid,"

"C'n't wh't?" Katsuki asked confused.

"You shouldn't be alone."

Katsuki squinted up at him, confused, before his eyebrows narrowed, "'M n't a f'ck'n ch'ld."

"No," Aizawa smiled, "You're human."

Now Katsuki understood why he didn't understand Shinsou half the time. He didn't get why Aizawa acted the way that he did. "Y'r all w'rd" he said before gagging more bile into the trash can.

Aizawa rubbed his back again, "We are," he agreed.

Katsuki didn't have anything to say in return, he was exhausted and since Aizawa's hand was on his back, he lay to the side, his grip on the trashcan loosening.

Aizawa took the can, "I'll clean this up, you can go back to sleep, I'll wake you up in another half an hour."

"W'y?" He just wanted to sleep without getting woken up.

"Don't want you dying on us."

"D'n't w'n't to be fr'med f'r m'rd'r?" he mumbled into a pillow.

"Don't want to break Hitoshi's heart," Aizawa said, standing.

"R'ght" Katsuki muttered, falling back to sleep.

Aizawa went and took care of the sick, dropping the trash can off bedside before going to get the boy some water and a new ice pack. When he came back to watch over the boy again, he brought some paperwork to take care of as well.

Katsuki woke up to the bed creaking and lowering with the weight of another person, he turned and leaned closer to whoever it was, falling back asleep.

Aizawa was surprised by this, but didn't say anything, hand brushing through the explosive hair as he used the other to turn pages as he read through the file.

Katsuki made a choked noise unconsciously when Aizawa's hand went in his hair. It wasn't in discomfort or distress but a more surprised, happy sound.

Aizawa smiled and kept petting. When he finished with the file, he closed it and set it aside, "Okay, kid, time to wake up again," he said quietly.

"Shh," Katsuki shushed whoever was talking and turned to bury his face into the pillow.

Aizawa chuckled, "You need to rehydrate."

Katsuki rolled onto his back with a groan and sat up; immediately everything went black and he hunched over and grabbed at his head.  "Fuck."

Aizawa slipped an arm around his waist, hand coming up to rub at Bakugou's temples, "breath, it's going to be okay," he reassured.

Katsuki pushed Aizawa off him, "F’ck off, 'm fine. Just sat up too quickly."

Aizawa let himself be pushed away, "I realize that."

"Wh’t did you w’nt?" Katsuki asked, so he could do it and just go back to sleep.

Aizawa grabbed a bottle of water, "You need to rehydrate,"

Katsuki looked at the bottle of water, knowing if he drank it he'd likely throw it up again. He stared at it for a long while before it kicked in that he should take it and he reached for it, holding it in his hands.

Aizawa smiled slightly at that, "I know you're going to be sick again after, but you need the liquid as long as you can keep it down."

Katsuki shot him a look before opening the cap and drinking it slowly. He made a disgusted face at how it felt as it ran down his throat and coughed slightly. When half the bottle was gone, he put the lid back on and just dropped it on the bed next to him, laying back down, “There.”

"Good, now you can go back to sleep," Aizawa said, putting the bottle back on the bedside table.

Katsuki was already asleep when Aizawa spoke. Again, he unconsciously moved closer as he slept.

Aizawa returned to stroking his hair, just sitting with him.

Katsuki woke up a while later, confused by the feeling in his hair and reaching up to touch it. When he felt it was fingers he grabbed the hand and pulled away suddenly. “What are you doing?” he asked, confused and slightly on alert.

Aizawa froze, "I thought it might be comforting," the man said.

Katsuki slowly let go of the hand, still confused but he let it go. He changed the topic, “Why are you still in here?”

Aizawa shrugged, "Habit."

“You didn’t have to stay, it’s weird.” Wasn’t it weird? Katsuki wasn’t his kid and Aizawa had no reason to take care of him.

Aizawa chuckled but said nothing.

It looked like Aizawa wasn’t leaving so Katsuki figured he should. Then he stood up it dawned on him that he’d been stupid enough to agree to be arrested. “Fuck,” he knelt down and held his face in his hands, repeating the word to himself.

Aizawa knelt in front of him, "Kid, calm down. What happened?" He sounded concerned, tone urgent.

“Fuck, that was such a stupid idea. Holy shit.” He looked up at Aizawa. “How long am I arrested for?”

"Until Monday," Aizawa told him, "You're staying here until you're at least semi-healed."

“I take it back,” Katsuki said urgently. “If she finds out she’ll-- Take it back.”

"What will she do?" Aizawa asked, helping Bakugou to sit on the edge of the bed.

“Just take it back. Take it back.” He begged.

"We won't tell her you’re arrested, but I can't let you go back yet. Kid, she's hurting you. At the very least, with your interactions with the league, Dabi, and the recent capture of Overhaul, we can tell her it's for your safety. "

“I told you I fuckin’ fell what isn’t there to understand?” He would have yelled louder if he could stop shaking and get a grip. “She’ll find out, she’s not fuckin’ stupid.”

"You forget, I've seen her attack you."

“When?”

"When you left after we searched Chisaki's estate. I followed to check on you."

Katsuki frowned, “She didn’t hurt me, I was already injured.” He lied instinctively, knowing Aizawa wouldn’t believe it.

"Bullshit, kid."

“You didn’t see her hurt me, you were at my bedroom window and I walked in.”

"I listened at your bedroom door. I heard the crash,"

Katsuki was about to say he fell when he realized he’d already said that one, “I bumped a table and some things fell. Big fuckin’ deal.” He wasn’t trying to convince Aizawa, he knew he couldn’t. But he wasn’t going to back down either.

"We both know that's bullshit."

"Why won't you just drop it?" Katsuki shot back.

"Because you're being hurt,"

"It's just bruises," he muttered.

"And this?" Aizawa pulled the old ice pack away.

"How many times do I have to fuckin' say it. I fell. It has nothing to do with her."

Aizawa sighed, handing him a new ice pack, "I'll take you back tomorrow."

"Fine" He took the new ice pack almost instantly, pressing it against his head and sitting back against the bed frame, avoiding Aizawa's eye.

"Drink more water," Aizawa said, handing him back the bottle.

Katsuki waited a moment before taking it. "Are you going to leave now?" he asked, more asking if he wanted to leave than asking him to leave.

"Do you want me to leave?"

"Why does that matter?" he was getting tired of Aizawa asking questions that didn't make sense.

"Because it doesn't matter if I want to stay or not, it matters if you want me here."

"What the fuck is wrong with you people, are you staying or going? That was my question. Why is everything always about people’s fucking feelings?"

"Because I can stay or I can go. I don't care, either way, so the choice is yours."

Katsuki waited for a moment before saying, "Do what you want." He didn't care if Aizawa left but he also didn't want to be alone, he was just tired.

Aizawa stood there a moment before nodding, collecting the file, and leaving to put it back in his room.

Katsuki took another sip of the water when Aizawa left, he wasn't exactly surprised but it still hurt a little. It was hypocritical though, he told him he didn't care so Aizawa left. He closed his eyes and lay back down to fall back to sleep.

Aizawa returned quietly after putting his work away and took a book from Shinsou's shelf, returning to the bed again. He knew the boy didn't want to be alone, he could see it in his eyes.

Katsuki briefly opened his eyes when Aizawa walked back in, "I told you you didn't have to stay," he said, though there was no real emotion behind it and he moved closer to him on the bed.

"I know," Aizawa said softly, holding an arm out to him, "but your eyes said otherwise."

Katsuki looked at the arm before turning over so he wasn't looking at Aizawa, "You're full of shit."

Aizawa dropped his arm, "I promise I haven't lied to you," he said softly, "Would you like the lights off?"

"You want to read, don't you? Leave them on," he said, eyes closed and almost asleep until Aizawa started talking.

"All right," Aizawa murmured.

Katsuki fell asleep, once again curled up against the man.

Once Bakugou was asleep, Aizawa started running his fingers through the blond hair again, quietly reading aloud, soft enough that he wouldn't wake the boy.

Katsuki relaxed more while Aizawa was talking, leaning his head against his hip.

Aizawa smiled, the boy needed rest, he only wished he didn't need to worry about him so much.

Katsuki woke up to an intense feeling of nausea, he curled up and tensed with a slight groan, breathing heavily to steady himself.

Aizawa stopped reading, setting the book aside for the moment to rub soothingly at his back again.

Katsuki flinched back when something touched his back suddenly and shot up. When he saw it was Aizawa he frowned, "Don't-" he cut himself off as talking seemed to make it worse. "Warn me before you do that," he said slowly.

Aizawa nodded, "Need the trash can?" he asked, changing the subject. That was a can of worms for another day.

Katsuki nodded his head, pressing one hand to his mouth and another to his stomach.

Aizawa grabbed the trash can, settling it in Bakugou's lap, and returned to rub his back soothingly again.

Katsuki promptly threw up, holding the sides of the trashcan so his palms were white, "Why does a fuckin' head injury make me sick?" he groaned.

"Your brain is overcompensating from the pain, sending out messages to other parts of your body, trying to fix the problem it can't find," the man said, "It's confused in the shake-up."

"Shut up, you're giving me a headache." Katsuki’s throat rumbled and he dry heaved into the can, his throat felt scraped raw and he groaned "Fuck, ow.” He reached for the water.

"Rinse," Aizawa instructed, handing him the bottle, a new one in hand if he needed more after.

Katsuki groaned before rinsing his mouth out and spitting the water into the trash can. He drank some more before closing the cap and moving the can onto the floor.

Aizawa got up to clean out the can again, squeezing Bakugou's shoulder consolingly before he moved off again.

When Aizawa came back in, he frowned at him. "I could have done that."

"You could," Aizawa agreed, placing it down and returning to the bed, "but it's more convenient that I did it now."

"How was that convenient for you? You went out of your way to do it." He frowned, laying back down on the bed.

"You're in no condition to do it yourself, and it keeps the smell from seeping into the room. You stay comfortable and heal, as best you can, I help where it's needed."

Katsuki still didn't understand why Aizawa was helping, but he wasn't going to ask or question it in case he stopped. "Okay." He said skeptically and this time leaned into Aizawa before he fell asleep, leaning his forehead onto Aizawa's side.

Aizawa returned to his offered comfort, continuing where he left off in the book.

Katsuki couldn't sleep this time, he sighed and moved around a bit every few minutes until he gave up and opened his eyes, "What are you reading?"

"The Cat Who..." Aizawa flipped the book closed to the cover, "Saw Stars." he read. "They're a murder mysteries series that I used to read to Hitoshi when he was sick. I haven't read it in a long time."

"You read books to Eyebags when he was sick?" he asked, looking at the cover of the book.

Aizawa nodded, "Or when he was having an especially bad day with his quirk. He'd curl up in bed and I'd come read to him until he calmed down."  He handed Bakugou the small paperback.

"That's dumb." Katsuki let slip unintentionally.

Aizawa chuckled, "The plot or reading to him?"

"Reading to him." He knew Aizawa likely would get mad at him for speaking his mind so he explained. "Getting sick won't be healed by someone reading to you, if anything it'll just get the other person sick."

Aizawa smiled, "Psychological health is as important as physical. And I just want him to be happy. I don't like to see him sick."

Katsuki agreed to that; last time Shinsou was sick was pretty bad. He couldn’t help but think about his parents, how they never once sat by him while he was sick, let alone read to him. And painfully, Katsuki wasn’t surprised.

Aizawa took the book back, "Does the reading bother you?"

“No.” He muttered.

"Would you like me to continue?" the man asked, brushing sandy hair back again.

Katsuki flinched at the sudden touch before relaxing into it. “I don’t care about your dumb book. Read it however you want to.”

Aizawa returned to reading the book aloud, hand once again in Bakugou's hair.

Chapter Text

Katsuki leaned into the touch, humming slightly and vaguely listening to the sound of Aizawa's voice.

Aizawa smiled as he read, glad the boy wasn't pushing him away. He was a good kid.

Katsuki eventually fell asleep, hand slightly holding Aizawa's sleeve and leaning closer to him.

Aizawa let him, eventually falling asleep himself, book falling to rest in his lap.

Katsuki didn't wake up, instead, he curled up next to Aizawa and held onto him.

Aizawa woke a few hours later and got up, tucking the boy in again and taking the spent ice pack down with him when he went to find dinner.

Katsuki woke up when Aizawa stood up. When he was going, Katsuki sighed and pulled the covers over his head.

Aizawa returned with a sandwich for himself to check on the boy again, "Kid," he called softly.

“What?” He muttered from under the blanket.

"You need calories, think you can stomach some food?"

“I couldn’t stomach the water so take a wild fuckin’ guess,” he said under his breath before saying, “Course I can.” and pushing the covers off himself and standing up.

"I didn't say you had to get up."

Katsuki was confused about what Aizawa wanted. “Thought you wanted me to eat?”

"I was going to bring you food if you wanted any," Aizawa chuckled.

“To eat here?”

"To eat here," Aizawa confirmed.

“In the bed?”

"In the bed.”

Katsuki gave him a confused look for a few seconds, waiting for him to say something else or say he was joking. “Why?”

"Why not?"

“Because it gets crumbs which get rodents like rats, it can get cockroaches, ants.” He paused, “I’m capable of walking down some fuckin’ stairs.”

"Just because you can doesn't mean you have to."

Katsuki took the plate from Aizawa, “It means I should.” He took one step and stopped as his vision went black again. He stepped back unbalanced and caught himself.

Aizawa took back the plate, "This wasn't for you, kid. Even I'm not enough of a bastard to try to feed you a sandwich right now." He led Bakugou back to the bed, setting the plate on the table.

Katsuki pushed Aizawa off him again, blinking back his vision. “Stop fuckin’ touching me. I’m fine.”

"You were about to fall over, kid." Aizawa sighed, "We don't need to make your concussion worse."

“I’m not stupid enough to fuckin’ fall over and hit my head,” he snapped.

"You don't need to be stupid, your balance is fucked up from the concussion, then the vomiting."

“Did you need something?” Katsuki asked impatiently, wanting to change the subject.

"Just wanted to know if you wanted food."

“I’m fine.”

"All right."

Katsuki was waiting for Aizawa to leave before he got back into the bed.

Aizawa did not leave, rather, taking the food over to the desk to eat, stealing one of the water bottles he'd brought up before.

Since Aizawa didn’t leave, Katsuki didn’t get back into the bed, instead, he just sat on top of it and crossed his legs, waiting for the man to get bored.

"You want me gone, don't you?" Aizawa asked when he finished eating, turning to the boy.

Katsuki shrugged. He wanted to sleep but he couldn’t do that with Aizawa just staring at him from across the room. It was fine when he was reading and just sitting in the bed but the image of Aizawa staring at him unsettled him. He unconsciously shot off a few small explosions. “I’m going to sleep,” he said as a reply and once again threw the covers over himself.

Aizawa chuckled, moving back to the bed again, "You're more of a child than Eri is, sometimes." he said teasingly, sitting back down again with the book, finding the page he left off on, and continuing.

Katsuki frowned at the comment but was relieved when he heard Aizawa start reading again, he pulled his head out of the covers and turned to face him. Listening to the voice more so than the words.

Aizawa kept reading well into the night until he finished the book and closed it, looking at the boy beside him.

Katsuki had fallen asleep hours ago, his hand slightly reaching out towards Aizawa and his face relaxed in a tired expression.

Aizawa slipped from the bed to grab another book from the series before returning and taking the hand as he opened the book with his other.

Katsuki immediately pulled his hand away and shot up, almost falling off the bed as he jumped backwards and an explosion shooting from his palms. When he saw it was Aizawa his face relaxed back from the surprise and panic from a moment ago and he lay back down, almost instantly falling asleep again.

Aizawa laughed slightly before he started to read the new book.

Katsuki had laid his hand back over Aizawa's and slightly tightened his grip in his sleep.

Aizawa lightly squeezed back, continuing to read until he fell asleep again.

Katsuki woke up when he tried to turn over and was stopped by something holding onto his hand, he tiredly pulled at it to free himself and turned around to stand up.

Aizawa let him go, grip loosening in his sleep, chin on his chest as he slept.

Katsuki stood up and stretched his arms, frowning and looking at his left arm. Small crescent-shaped cuts littered it and he sighed, walking out of the room to get his hoodie from the basement.

The hoodie was crumpled on the floor where Aizawa had left it while fixing him up.

Katsuki grabbed it and closed the bookcase, walking out of the front door and back to his house.

Aizawa woke when he heard the front door close. When he heard no one in the house, he knew the boy had left. Sighing, he got up and followed from the rooftops.

Katsuki tried not to stumble for the majority of the walk back but failed a few times, having to use the wall for support. Eventually, he got back. Without a key and knowing there was no way he could climb through a window he knocked on the front door.

The door opened and his mother looked down at him, leaving Katsuki to lock up as she walked back over to the kitchen and sat at the table, a cup of coffee in front of her. She looked beyond exhausted, her mascara smudged beneath her eyes where she’d rubbed them, “You’re a fucking headache.” 

He walked up beside her, looking at the top of her mattered head where it lay in her arms on the dining table. The steam from the coffee rose in the poorly lit room, the only light being from the window which set the room in a golden glow. The cup hit the table with a loud clink as she lowered it. 

“I didn’t-” 

He flinched as her hand raised, stepping back. 

“Don’t talk.” She sighed, “Why are you always causing so much trouble Katsuki? All you do is bring out the worst in me.”

Katsuki shrunk at the words, grateful she was too tired to catch the embarrassing act. “Whatever, I’ll be in my room.” 

She hummed, the sound echoing off the mug as she took another long drink. And Katsuki walked quickly up the staircase, stepping over the blood splatter on the corner of one of the steps.

Aizawa slipped the window lock open again, "Kid," he sighed quietly, perched on the sill.

Katsuki looked up tiredly. "Did you follow me?"

"Yes."

"Go away." He fell down on the bed and faced away from the older man.

Aizawa chuckled, "Want me to throw more ice at you for your face?"

"I want to sleep." he muttered, his head slightly foggy and aching.

"Two completely different things, kid." Aizawa smiled.

"Fuck off, I just want to sleep off this headache."

Aizawa nodded, "You know our door is open. And I'm telling Naomasa," There was no room for argument in his tone as he leaned back, closing the window behind him before heading back home to get some actual sleep.

Katsuki had turned around to ask him what he was going to tell Naomasa but he was already gone. He shrugged and turned to fall back asleep.

Aizawa wrote down the incident he'd witnessed with the Bakugou matriarch and her son to give to Naomasa later, and went to sleep, joined soon after by his husband when he got home from work.

Katsuki woke up hours late to a dry throat and empty house, he breathed a sigh of relief at the quiet. A smile growing across his face.

Each day that passed cleared up another and another of Katsuki’s troubles. The nausea left on the second day and the headaches not long after. 

Aizawa woke up around five, reported the incident to  Naomasa who had finished his day already, to add to the file they were making against Bakugou Mitsuki, and made dinner for Eri, Hizashi, and himself.

Katsuki stared at the plate in front of him, the meat looked wet as it folded over itself and soaked into the rice. “Fuck,” He groans. “Goddam it not now.” His complaints didn’t make the meal any more appetizing and he sat back in the chair. As if waiting a few minutes would somehow change his appetite. It didn’t. 

Minutes passed and when Katsuki had been sitting long enough that his legs were numb he gave up on the idea of eating the plate. Wrapping it and throwing it in the fridge in hope that later on he may make a meal of it. Of course, this had to start again. The lack of hunger, the nausea. It came in waves for Katsuki, and through each calm period he thought I’d be over forever. But it always came back. 

This throat would close and the thought of eating was sickening to him. His stomach churned and refused any food that Katsuki ate. His head ached with a tiredness that didn’t seem to fade. He hated it, but he couldn’t stop it.

Aizawa quietly read his book as he stirred the food on the stove, needing to not think about his boys at the moment.

The next few days passed and Katsuki forced himself to eat when he became out of breath walking the stairs. However, his body painfully protested and he found himself hunched over the toilet, emptying out his lunch whilst stinging tears fell down his cheeks.

His mother watched from the doorway. “Nobody likes a fat model.” She reminded him.

When he heard her leave down the stairs Katsuki whimpered, resting his forehead against the bowl as his breath shuddered.

Shinsou came back home after about a week, much more rested than he had been before he left, and hair a little bit singed, smelling of smoke and tobacco. He slipped back into his routine when he got home, starting with a shower, then starting to cook.

The shoot came and went as quickly as he was expecting. He was grateful for the lays of contour applied to his bruised skin as the intense lights shone down on him, the camera’s picking up every imperfection that the photographers were all too happy calling him out on.

“Cheeks too fat” “Nose is too pointed” “There has to be another model available, one more attractive”

When Katsuki got home his stomach ached for food, begged for even a granola bar. But Katsuki was tired, and upon arriving he collapsed into his bed. Only for a minute though as he was woken by a loud knock. 

“Get up, Brat.” His mother?

Katsuki raised his head from the pillows and looked towards the door. “What do you want?”

“Don’t speak to me like that! I made you dinner, the least you can do is sound grateful.”

What? Katsuki stood up and opened the door. And true to her word, his mother was holding a plate of food.

“You did good these last few days,” She praised. “Now eat this and clean up.” 

He took the plate that she shoved into his hand and watched blankly as she walked back to her room. He took it and walked to the kitchen. It was rare that she did this, congratulate him. He wasn’t exactly sure why she was doing it but he took the meal gratefully.

After setting another loaf of bread to bake for the league, and dinner was eaten, Shinsou got ready to do a patrol, the first since he'd injured his back.

Katsuki cleaned the dish and went to sleep tiredly.

Shinsou didn't stop by Katsuki's house that night, he didn't think the other would want to see him, and he hadn't done very well as a guard even before he took the time off.

Katsuki slept through the night.

Shinsou was greeted by Dabi at his front door when he returned after his patrol, and the arsonist left soon after the bread was in his hand. Afterwards, Shinsou headed to bed, and was soon joined by the snowy-haired girl.

Katsuki woke up to a dreaded feeling in his stomach. He wasn’t surprised, he’d expected it. He needed to get the stitches out and it was stupid to think he could do it himself, so he begrudgingly got up and walked to the house in search of Aizawa.

Shinsou opened the door this time, Aizawa in bed from his own patrol or writing up his nightly report. "Oh, hello again 'Suki," Shinsou murmured, letting him in.

Katsuki blinked, surprised, before his face fell back into a neutral expression. “Good to know you're back, Eyebags. Where’s your dad, the tired one?” He really didn’t feel like explaining to Shinsou why he had stitches.

"He's in his room, asleep or doing work," Shinsou said.

“Thanks,” he said quickly, passing him and walking up the stairs, and knocking on the door of Aizawa’s room.

Aizawa blinked at him when he opened the bedroom door, yawning, "You're back and not bleeding," he murmured.

“Yeah, wake up I need you to take the stitches out.”

"Hitoshi could," he yawned again, "But I can if you'd really prefer."

“I really would,” he said, waiting for Aizawa to wake up a little more.

"Basement?" Another yawn.

“Yeah.” He felt guilty for waking the older man but he needed to get this done quickly and get back before anyone noticed. He only had a small passage of time before she’d notice his absence.

Aizawa nodded, "I'll be there in five minutes, get the small needle nose scissors out of the med cabinet for me," he said as he passed to go into the bathroom and splash some water in his face to wake up.

Katsuki gathered the things and sat bored in the basement. He waited, tapping his fingers together to pass the time.

Aizawa came down soon after, washed his hands again, and gently parted his hair to find the stitches, and started carefully removing them, "Feeling better?" he asked quietly as he worked.

“I’ll feel better when I finally eat a proper meal,” he said. It wasn’t that he was ungrateful for the dinner the hag had made him but it was barely enough and his stomach growled in hunger.

"Still can't stomach anything?"

“It’s fine, I’ll eat when I get back.”

Aizawa grunted disbelievingly at this, but didn't say anything, finishing up, gently wiping away the little blood that came out.

“S’done?” he asked, making sure the man was finished before he moved.

"It's done, you can leave." Aizawa sighed, moving to wash his hands again.

“Thanks,” he mumbled, standing up and leaving. He walked out the door and started running home, hoping nobody would notice as he left.

Shinsou watched him pass and sighed when Aizawa came back up a bit behind him. "He was hurt again." It wasn't a question, and Aizawa just nodded as he headed up to go back to bed.

Chapter Text

After arriving home, Katsuki spent a good portion of time making a large meal. His stomach cramped from starvation, resulting in him taking multiple breaks to sit down against one of the cabinets to clutch his stomach in pain before he could continue. But in the end, he sat down at the table and started eating his prepared food. 

He got halfway through before his mother wandered into the room. Looking first at the table, cluttered with bowls, before him, a mixed look of disgust and disappointment dawning on her face. “What’s with the setup?” She asked. 

Katsuki watched her fill a glass of water and sip at it, observing him swallow a bite. “I have to eat to survive hag.” He snarled. 

“You don’t have to be a pig.” His mother's lip curled into a frown and she set her cup down beside her. Grabbing the empty bowl of rice and taking it to the sink. “Jesus Katsuki you’re a model, you can’t be stuffing yourself like this. This week's progress was useless, look. You’ve gained back all the weight you lost and added on more.” 

She walked back over to grab another plate, pinching Katsuki’s cheek as she did so. “You’ve always had fat cheeks, you need to be mindful of your stomach too.” She sighed, staring at him as if she was debating something over in her head. “The bathroom’s empty.” She said finally. “Go fix yourself up and I’ll deal with… this.” Her hand waved over the remaining plates. 

Katsuki could feel the familiar insecurity crawl its way back into his head. The nausea set in and he suddenly became aware of every fold of skin on his body as he sat in the chair. Mitsuki took the chopsticks from his hand and tutted with her tongue. “Get going. If you keep this up, nobody in their right mind is going to want to even look at you.” 

Katsuki stood quickly, his chair screeching back and a soft smile settling on his mother's face as he did so. Her hand patted his shoulder as he passed. “Clean it up once you’re done. I don’t want the bathroom smelling like crap because of this.” 

As he entered the bathroom, he flicked the light on. Resting his knees on the cold tiled floor and lifting the lid of the toilet with one hand, his other, reaching into his mouth.

Shinsou continued making himself and Eri lunch, a bit out of it dwelling on Katsuki's actions. He wondered what happened while he was away.

The guilt of ignoring Shinsou returned, now mixed in with the words from his mother. If you keep this up, nobody in their right mind is going to want to even look at you. Pulling a sweater over himself he couldn’t help but think he was just bothering Shinsou. The other boy rarely, if ever, came to see him. It was always Katsuki going to see him, he didn’t even tell Katsuki he would be leaving for a week.

When night fell, the men of the house had Eri tucked into bed with a panic button to Shinsou and Aizawa if anything happened while they were gone, and a reminder Shinsou would be home about midnight and she could sleep in his bed if she had a nightmare.

Shinsou did his usual patrol and paused on the roof next to Katsuki's building at about 11.

Looking in through the windows, nothing was visible inside the house. The curtains were pulled closed and the lights in the upstairs of the house were off, implying the blonde was either asleep or not there.

Shinsou sighed and continued on. Katsuki didn't want him there, anyway. Or near him at all. Hopefully, it was just something he was going through. Or maybe Shinsou was the phase.

Katsuki had his head leant on the banister at the top of the staircase, his legs resting on the step lower to the one he was sitting on. He watched the pacing shadows from upstairs. His eyes trailing his mothers particularly, as she screamed and strolled about, her arms waving beside her.

“He’s not my responsibility Masaru! He’s fucking sixteen years old, I’m not going to baby him. He wants to be treated like an adult, I’m treating him like an adult.”

“I’m sure he isn’t intending to hurt you. Perhaps we can try to go out together sometime and see this from his perspective as well-”

“Stop taking his side! We’re supposed to be a team.”

“We are. But I don’t want him resenting us for the rest of his life.”

“For what? We work our asses off for him to have a fantastic fucking life. He was headed down the right path until you decided he could come back and live here.” 

“His education was important. He and I both agreed it’d be best to stop being homeschooled and settle in one place until he graduated.” 

“He was five, what did he know about good life decisions? No, this is you caving in every time he asks something from you.” 

Katsuki heard his father sigh 

“He acts like this because you let him." His mother continued. "You’ve got to realise by now that his attitude has gotten him nowhere.” 

“He doesn’t mean to be difficult.” 

“What about me then? What the hell did I do to deserve a son like him, Huh?”

Katsuki closed his eyes, the voices becoming quieter as they travelled farther away from him. And eventually, he gave up listening altogether. Standing up and closing his bedroom door, dulling the noises.

Shinsou returned home for the night and fell into bed, capture weapon discarded on the floor. A few minutes later, Eri crawled into bed with him, slipping under his arm. He sighed, curling around her, and went to sleep.

Katsuki went through the motions for the next few days, staying out of trouble, not picking fights. Every day that he didn’t see Shinsou only confirmed to him that he really was just bothering him every time he went over. He sat on his rooftop reading a book trying to block everything else out.

Shinsou sighed, sitting beside him, " 'Suki, we need to talk," he murmured, carefully not touching the other.

“Surprised you’re not asleep.” Katsuki ignored Shinsou’s comment and flipped a page of the book.

Shinsou huffed slightly through his nose. "I'm back to my normal sleep schedule, studying during the day. And I have Eri to help teach, so there's that, too."

“Nice of you to take time out of your schedule to talk to me.” He closed the book to look at Shinsou.

"You're the one who's been avoiding me,"

“You left for a week without a word. But sure, I’m avoiding you.” He rolled his eyes.

Shinsou sighed, "I'm sorry I ran away, I wasn't...sorry." he dropped his gaze to his hands.

“Is that why you’re here? To say sorry and feel better about yourself?  'Cause if you are, you can shove your apology up your ass and fuck off.”

"No, I'm not here to say sorry. I want to know what I did wrong. I want to know...I want to know why you were avoiding me before. I want to know what happened, why you stopped coming back."

Katsuki was quiet for a while, before “What the fuck is your problem? We both know why I stopped coming. Do you get some sick pleasure in hearing me say it?”

Shinsou raised a confused eyebrow, "Fine, I'm an asshole. Yes, tell me,"

Katsuki sighed. “I get it, I’ll stop, okay. Just fuck off.”

Shinsou growled slightly, annoyed, "Damn it, Katsuki," he grumbled, "Please, just tell me what I did wrong. Or punch me. Honestly, just be honest, please."

Before the boy could even finish his sentence, Katsuki's fist collided with Shinsou's stomach, making the taller boy double over. “There," Katsuki huffed. "Now you can leave me the fuck alone.”

Shinsou coughed, curling in on himself, and laid on the roof, laughing slightly, "Well, you're still you." he said, smiling.

Katsuki ignored him. Abandoning his book and climbing back down to his window, slipping into his room.

Shinsou rolled his eyes, picked up the book, and straightened, wincing slightly. He climbed down and crouched on his window sill, "I'm sorry that I pissed you off, 'Suki, but I'd like it if you came back when you need to."

“I don’t understand you, Eyebags,” Katsuki said, turning to look at him. “What do you want?”

"I wanted to see you," Shinsou sat on the sill rather than crouching, "I...I miss you," his fingers nervously tapped on his knee, "I..." he sighed, "It doesn't matter, you won't listen."

“No. Out of this,” he pointed to Shinsou before himself. “What do you want out of this?”

"I...I want you," Shinsou murmured, "I want you to be happy and healthy. I want to see you smile. Even if I'm not the one who causes it. I want to be near you, even if it's just friends."

Katsuki scoffed. “Bullshit. What do you actually want?”

Shinsou sighed, "If I touch you, are you going to punch me again?"

“Depends.” He shrugged.

"On?" Shinsou asked, standing.

“How I feel when you do.”

Shinsou sighed, taking a step forward, "Don't break my nose this time."

“Fine,” Katsuki said, body tense as he was unsure what Shinsou was going to do.

Shinsou raised a hand, then paused, "I'm not going to hurt you, am I?"

“Why are you asking me that? Just hurry up and do what you want to do.”

Shinsou nodded, cupped Katsuki's jaw, and kissed him softly.

Katsuki stepped back from the kiss after a while. Frowning, he said, “That’s what you wanted, you could have just said that you wanted to kiss.”

Shinsou laughed softly, leaning their foreheads together, "Because I thought you'd tell me no."

Katsuki’s face scrunched in confusion. “Why does that matter?” 

Shinsou blinked at him, pulling back, confused, "Why does what matter?"

“If I didn’t- never mind. Did you get what you wanted?”

Shinsou shook his head, "Not yet."

Katsuki raised his eyebrow, “What else did you need?”

"You haven't told me what I did wrong."

“You don’t have to lie, Eyebags, I hear every day how much of a shit person I am. You seriously think I wouldn’t realize?”

Shinsou sighed, "Okay, Bombshell, I need you to do me a favor."

Katsuki raised an eyebrow, “If you ask me to kiss you again I’m gonna break your face.”

Shinsou laughed, "No, I want you to talk to me like I'm a child. Or an idiot. I need you to explain shit to me like I don't know what you're talking about, because I have no idea what's going on in your head right now,"

“You are an idiot." Katsuki pointed out before pausing. “You don’t like me. It’s not too hard to put together.”

"What have I done to make you think I don't like you?"

“I already fuckin’ said it,” Katsuki growled. “Here, I’ll say it again. I’m a shit person.”

Shinsou sighed again, raised his hand to touch him again, thought better of it, and dropped his hand again. " 'Suki..." another sigh, "why didn't you come back?"

“Jesus Christ what the fuck is wrong with you. I’m not saying it again, so fuck off.”

"But I don't want to 'fuck off'," Shinsou sat on the sill again, "I'm clingy, you know that. But I haven't really seen you in almost a month," a self-deprecating smile twitched the corner of his mouth. "I miss my beautiful bombshell asshole friend."

“Fuckin’ hell,” Katsuki muttered. “If you’re that desperate I’ll visit tonight.”

Shinsou smiled, darted forward to kiss his forehead, then was crouched on the window sill again, "Thank you."

Katsuki pushed him lightly out the window, and watched him catch himself before leaving.

Shinsou laughed, but left, feeling better than he had since coming back.

Katsuki sighed, closing his window and turning around to lean back against the banister. He counted the seconds in his head. One. Two. Three. Four.

His door swung open, his mother looking into his room. "Was someone in here?"

When Katsuki originally agreed to stop by to visit, he'd planned to arrive at the house around midnight, when he knew Shinsou's patrol would end. Instead, however, he found himself out front closer to ten pm, trying the handle to see if it was unlocked.

"If you're going to try the door," a scruffy blond said, head hanging out the upstairs window, grinning down at him. "You could knock. Or ask for your key back,"

“Seeing if he was dumb enough to leave it unlocked,” Katsuki answered back, shrugging before knocking whilst staring up at the man.

Hizashi laughed, "I'll be right down, let me finish this thought," he pulled his head back in.

Katsuki considered climbing through the window for a moment before deciding to just wait for the blond to open the door for him.

Hizashi opened the door a couple minutes later, a yellow legal pad in his hand, pencil behind his ear. He grinned and let the boy in, "I was wondering when you'd come back."

Chapter Text

“Blame Eyebags,” Katsuki walked past him into the house. “Don’t you work now?” he asked curiously.

"Took the night off," he held up the notepad, "I'm working on lesson plans for Eri and Shinsou."

“Lesson plans?”

"Well, lesson plans for Shinsou, what he should read over, and notes, or rather suggestions, of concepts he brings up during the day with Eri."

“Sounds fun,” Katsuki commented. “What’s tonight’s lesson plan?”

Hizashi laughed slightly, "I'm still working on Eri, she's more just a checklist at the moment, still. I have that Shinsou should look over the next part of his math lessons, it'll help him, and physics."

“Why not just enroll her in a school?  She’s five, isn’t she?” he asked curiously, though he assumed why schools wouldn’t want her enrolled. Katsuki was lucky enough to attend good schools with his parents' money, that didn’t mean he didn’t have to deal with the annoying side effects of being a quirk user though. He was glad he was finished with that shit and would never have to see those people again.

"We're going to home school her for a year, for safety reasons and trauma, of course. There are still a few of Overhaul's men out there, but with him caught, she's safe to go out with close supervision."

Katsuki hummed before looking back at the fridge in the kitchen. “Do you have ice?”

"Yeah," Hizashi moved to the freezer, "Right, how's your head? Sho told me he gave you stitches and treated you for a concussion."

“Fine,” replied as he took an ice pack, holding it to the back of his head for a few seconds before sliding it under his hoodie as he sat back on the couch. “She still learning how to write?”

Hizashi looked sheepish, "Sorry, I didn't know she was in the first place, though she is trying to read, we did notice that."

“Books?” Katsuki asked, confused.

Hizashi laughed, "she was trying to read one of  'Toshi's textbooks. It was adorable. We've given her one of his books for now, but we still need to get her some picture books meant for her."

“Why?” Katsuki asked, confused again. Looking at Hizashi with his head tilted.

"Why?" The blond cocked his head.

“Why picture books, not just normal ones?”

"She's a child," Hizashi said, sitting on the floor cross legged across the living room from the boy, "Your parents didn't give you any?"

“No, why would they? Normal books are exactly the same. It’s a waste of money.”

"Professionally speaking, that's utter shit."

“No it’s not. The words are smaller and more on each page. That’s the only difference.”

"No, that's not the only difference. Picture books are better directed toward children, easier concepts for them to understand, better explained. With the addition of the pretty pictures to keep their attention."

“How are they supposed to get over themselves and learn to be bored then?”

Hizashi sighed, "This is an argument neither of us are going to budge on."

Katsuki didn’t say anything in return, instead he asked. “Weren’t you a teacher or something?”

Hizashi nodded, "I am."

Katsuki looked at him confused, “Thought you were a dj, and helped the cops?”

"Yes," Hizashi nodded again.

Katsuki gave up asking questions when Hizashi didn’t bother explaining. Instead he flipped the ice onto the colder side.

Hizashi laughed, "Sorry, that wasn't helpful. Sho and I still teach, in addition to his vigilante work and my dj'ing," he filled in.

“Walking dead teaches?” Katsuki sat up slightly, eyes widening in surprise.

"Mhm," Hizashi hummed.

“Huh, never would have guessed.” Katsuki mumbled to himself.

Hizashi chuckled, "Yeah, he doesn't look like much when he's working."

“I just thought he didn’t like kids,” Katsuki admitted.

"My husband is a grump."

“I guessed.” A pause. “So, she hasn’t written?”

"Not that Sho or I have noticed. Toshi might have seen something, but hasn't mentioned it."

“She didn’t really like it,” Katsuki recalled, remembering her complaints about sore wrists. “She probably won’t do it again till someone brings it up.”

"Thanks, kid. I'll keep that in mind."

Katsuki didn’t really have any other questions to ask the blond so he started picking at one of the scabs on his arm in boredom.

"Stop that,"

“Hmm?” Katsuki looked up at him. “It’s fine, calm down.”

"I am calm," Hozashi muttered grumpily.

“Sure,” Katsuki went back to picking at it.

Hizashi tore out a blank page, crumpled it up and bounced it off spikey blond hair, "Don't do that."

“Don’t waste paper for no reason,” Katsuki frowned.

The man bounced another paper ball off the boy with a laugh.

Katsuki picked the paper off the ground and threw it back at him harshly, smiling as it made a loud sound when it hit him.

Hizashi grunted at the hit, falling back a bit before laughing again, throwing it back again.

Katsuki smiled when he grabbed the ball of paper before grabbing the other one next to him, throwing them both, the first high in the air and when Hizashi looked up at it, Katsuki threw the other directly in his face.

Hizashi made a few more paper projectiles, grinning as he threw them as well. He was having fun.

Katsuki turned to his side as a few paper balls hit him. He threw them back. Softer than the first time but still enough for the impact to sting slightly.

"Are you much of a reader, kid?" Hizashi asked, still tossing the paper balls back.

The question caught him off guard and a few of the balls hit him. He threw them back, “I guess, not much else to do.”

"Have a favorite book?"

Katsuki thought about it for a moment, “The White Tiger, it’s about some murderer or something. I read it a while ago, though, so it might be shit.”

Hazishi hummed in interest, "Fair enough,"

“You?”

"I'm a stereotype. English lit prof who loves Sherlock Holmes. Though the Cat Who series is a guilty pleasure,"

“The cat who?”

"I heard Sho reading it to you when he made you stay with that concussion."

“I wasn’t listening to the book,” Katsuki admitted.

Hizashi laughed, "I don't really blame you."

Katsuki had stopped throwing the paper at that point, instead just rolling it in his hand. “It won’t scar, if that’s why you told me not to pick at it.”

Hizashi nodded, "It was."

“Then don’t freak out over it.”

"I wasn't freaking out."

Katsuki threw the paper back at him, “Sure.”

Hizashi caught it, dropping it onto the floor beside him and standing, "Want some ice cream?"

“I’m not hungry,” Katsuki said, “but I’ll take another ice pack.”

"Can do," Hizashi said, taking the ice pack the boy had with him, tossing a new one back before scooping two bowls worth of ice cream.

Katsuki took the ice pack, removing his shirt so he could see the bruise before pressing it to his side. He winced at first before relaxing.

Hizashi came back with one of the bowls and winced in sympathy at the bruise, "That's gotta hurt. Fist or explosion?"

“Table corner,” Katsuki answered truthfully. “I fell,” that was less true.

Hizashi winced again, laughing slightly, "Yeah, table corners are bitches."

Katsuki noticed the large pile of ice cream, almost gagging at how sweet it looked. “That’s so much.”

"What...?" He looked down, laughing, "Oh, I'm not eating all of this."

“Shinsou?” Katsuki guessed, still looking disgusted at the bowl.

"Shinsou."

“How can you eat that? It looks gross,” Katsuki looked away from the slimy, overly sweet, freezing cold mess.

"Because it tastes delicious," Hizashi answered honestly.

“I’m sure it doesn’t. But I’ve never eaten it so I can’t say.”

Hizashi hummed, "Fine. You hate the idea of ice cream, I hate the idea of sea urchins,"

“That’s fair.” Katsuki hummed. “But you don’t eat those.”

"Correct."

Katsuki sighed, “You’re all weird,” he muttered.

Hizashi smiled, "I guess we are."

“What does Shinsou actually want with me?” Katsuki asked bluntly, seeing if he could figure anything out with Hizashi's reaction.

"He misses you. We all miss having you around," the man said honestly, "beyond that, it's not my place to say." There was a playful glint in his eye.

Katsuki was more focused on the first part to notice the look in Hizashi's eye. “Why?” he asked in genuine confusion.

"Not my place to say," the man said again, "He'll tell you when he's ready."

“Whatever, eat your gross shit,” Katsuki said, standing up to get some water. “Want anything?”

"No, thank you."

Katsuki took a glass and sat back down, icing his side again.

Shinsou came in a little bit later, and Hizashi handed the half eaten bowl over to the lilac boy as he passed, "Sparky is here."

Shinsou chuckled, "I can see that."

“You’re both gross,” he commented, watching Shinsou take the bowl.

"I seem to pull that emotion out of you a lot," Shinsou said slightly bitterly, eating a spoonful of the slightly melted, creamy comfort.

“At least pretend to be happy I’m here.” Katsuki joked, reaching to put his shirt back on.

Shinsou smiled, "I'm delighted to see you, 'Suki, truly."

“I feel the love,” he bit back a groan, putting the shirt on before standing up to put the ice pack back and walking back to the couch. “How was patrol?”

"Naomasa gets to deal with three muggers and an attempted rapist who have suddenly gained a conscience and went to report themselves to the police," Shinsou laughed slightly, going and putting the bowl of ice cream in the freezer, "And I really am happy you came."

“I get it.” Katsuki smiled, teasing the other boy. “You’re ecstatic.” He smiled and the room dropped back into silence as neither of the two knew what to say. It was strange returning to the house after almost a month. It felt, in an unnatural way, surreal.

When Katsuki would come back to his house after long periods of time, nothing ever changed. The house went unused until he returned to it, everything sitting in its place waiting for his arrival. But here, life had continued on without him. Updated photos lined the bookshelves and childish artwork was hung on the fridge. The atmosphere had changed as well, shifted to accommodate the young girl to make her feel comfortable.

It was, painfully unsettling.

Of course, Katsuki didn’t want Eri feeling uncomfortable in any sense of the word. The girl had been through enough to warrant at least safe home and place she felt welcomed in. But nonetheless, it put Katsuki on edge. Because every house had a certain atmosphere. And in that sense, this house was different. It constantly changed. Adapted, to any new person that arrived there. It changed when Katsuki first visited, it changed when Eri arrived.

The house changed to fit the needs and desired of anyone that entered it. To make them feel at home. To another person that wouldn’t be a problem. Safety was important when it came to feeling at peace. But to Katsuki, it felt like a web.

A web that he’d fallen into and couldn’t escape. A web that kept him stuck, his attention focussed on one point while something approached from behind. A web that disguised itself behind warmth and comfort, but ultimately, it was sucking him in. Offering the promise of anything he could ever want, only to trap him within its walls.

Shinsou sighed, offering a hand up to him, "Are you coming to bed or running away again?"

“Can’t go back for a while anyway,” he took Shinsou’s hand and stood up.

Shinsou smiled, squeezing his hand. "Thank you," he murmured.

Hizashi laughed, "Have fun, you two," he teased.

Katsuki considered flipping him off but ended up just walking faster and pulling Shinsou along.

Shinsou laughed, quickening his pace, "Thank you for coming back. I needed you here," he murmured, mood dropping.

Katsuki raised an eye at the sudden mood drop and pulled him into the bedroom, pushing him against the bed. “Gonna explain or no?”  He posed the question so Shinsou could answer either way.

"I had to report a murder as well tonight," Shinsou said, tossing his scarf toward the desk as he sat down.

Katsuki sat on the bed, back against the wall and pulling Shinsou in lightly to lay back onto his chest. “You want to sleep or talk about it?”

"I'm okay, just... sad," Shinsou said honestly, linking their fingers, pulling it to wrap around him, "just...hold me, please. I know it's pathetic but..." he leant back, careful to avoid the bruising he'd noticed, "thank you."

“It’s not pathetic,” Katsuki said quietly so Shinsou could hear. He started running his nails along Shinsou’s scalp and pressed a kiss into his hair.

Shinsou smiled slightly at that, eyes closing. "Thank you," he murmured again, tilting his head up to press a kiss to the underside of his jaw.

“Going to sleep?”

Shinsou nodded, "Yeah," he yawned, jaw cracking, "You keep disappearing when I sleep," he murmured.

Katsuki laughed slightly, “Not tonight.” He pulled the blanket over Shinso’s shoulders with his other hand. “Sleep tonight, I’ll be here when you wake up.”

"I won't hold my breath," Shinsou whispered, twisting to kiss him properly.

Katsuki didn’t answer him but returned the kiss, then waited for Shinsou to fall asleep before sleeping himself.

Shinsou sank lower in the bed, pulling Katsuki down with him, head resting on the blond's chest, a hand on his shoulder as he slept, holding slightly, but easily slipped out off.

Katsuki readjusted the position of his arm, brushing Shinsous hair with one of his hands and holding around his waist with the other.

Shinsou slept deeply, snoring slightly, shifting in his sleep to nuzzle gently into him, murmuring a soft 'I love you'.

Katsuki’s phone binged early the next morning. It didn’t wake the purple haired teen as the exhaustion had taken its toll on his body and only the blonde stirred awake. He blinked for a few moments, first in the darkness and then against the beaming light on his phone.

Kasuki groaned deeply in his throat, rolling away from Shinsou and prying away the arms that clung around his waist.

Shinsou woke slightly when his pillow decided to get up, and gently caught his hand, letting out a low whine, "'Suki?'

“Go back to sleep Eyebags.” Katsuki pressed the hand to Shinsou’s chest, before lifting the boy's chin to kiss him lightly. It was barely a kiss, more that their lips just grazed over each other but the other boys seemed to settle down and mumble. “I’ll be back.” Katsuki whispered.

Shinsou nodded, grabbing his hand again to kiss his knuckles, then let him go and rolled over, pulling the blanket over his head. He was asleep again before Katsuki had even left.

Katsuki wasn’t too worried about sneaking out. Blondie didn’t seem like the type to confront him and Walking Dead wouldn’t even be back from his work yet. He slipped out, pulling a sweater over his arms before shivering against the cold. The sun wouldn’t rise for at least another five hours, he had plenty of time to get this over with. He checked the address sent to him a second time before punching it into maps, following the path it showed.

He returned a few hours later, a thin gash across his palm the only inconvenience he received. He didn’t bother to wrap it, cleaning it out and letting it breath was enough for it to heal, and with the nitroglycerin running through his veins, Katsuki assumed it would be healed before the evening.

Shinsou was still asleep, tangled up in the sheets comfortably when Katsuki returned.

Katsuki smiled at the sight before heading downstairs to the kitchen. His hunger encouraged him to make a big breakfast, and after an hour he had made various plates of rice balls with different fillings, rice, fish, miso soup, rolled egg and salad. He reached to make himself a plate before pausing, his hand resting on his stomach before moving to his cheek. He put the plate down and instead went to retrieve the sleeping boy upstairs. He pulled off the blanket, “Get up Eyebags.”

Shinsou jumped slightly when his blanket was pulled away, not having expected it, a small maroon paperback book half open in his hand, "wha-oh, 'Suki," he sighed, relaxing.  "You're still here," he smiled up at the explosive blond, "or I'm dreaming," he mumbled.

“Come on, you gotta eat something.” Katsuki said, moving to close the book and take Shinsou’s hand.

Shinsou nodded, setting his book on his pillow and getting up, still in his black clothes from patrolling the night before, "What did you make?"

“A few different things,” Katsuki answered, sparing a glance at Shinso’s clothes before letting him walk out of the room.

Shinsou hummed, pecking him on the lips as he passed to sit down, "Coffee?"

“No, you addict, I didn’t make coffee,” Katsuki smiled, “Eat something, then I’ll make you some.”

Shinsou sighed grumpily, but went to the kitchen anyway and grabbed some of the salad and a glass of water.

Katsuki made a large cup of coffee and walked to Shinso. “Eat some actual food, and you can have this.”

Shinsou laughed, "What constitutes 'actual food'?" The insomniac lilac asked, sipping his water.

Katsuki took a plate and put a few rice balls and rolled egg slices on it. “Eat that, at least.”

Shinsou wrinkled his nose at it, but grudgingly ate his way through, getting up to get more salad as well, and another glass of water, displacing the taste of eggs.

Once Katsuki saw that Shinsou ate the food, he took the plate and pressed the cup of coffee into his hands.

Shinsou took a sip and savored it with a happy sigh, "Thanks, 'Suki," he murmured, eyes closed, "Needed this."

“As much as you need food,” Katsuki muttered, pressing a kiss to Shinso’s lips, “Eat something else if you want a second cup, Eyebags, you can’t just drink coffee.”

Shinsou wrinkled his nose, "I'll take another rice ball, but please, no egg."

“Sure.  You can just eat some rice, though,” Katsuki pointed to a plate of rice while walking to make a second cup.

Shinsou nodded, "I can do that," he said softly, pulling the rice plate over and started to munch on it.

Katsuki put the second cup near him, even though he hadn’t finished eating yet. He stood back and asked, “How are you, actually, after last night?”

"Better," Shinsou nodded, sipping his first cup again, "I'm better,"

Katsuki didn’t know how to answer back so he just nodded and grabbed a plate for himself, starting to eat some of the rice balls and fish.

"You're still here," Shinsou murmured, the phrase holding a myriad of questions.

“I told you I would be. Why are you so weird about it?” He turned to face Shinsou.

Shinsou shrugged, "You've been running out early the last few times. I'm just surprised you didn't have to this time. I'm guessing there was another fight,"

Katsuki huffed a laugh and rubbed at his eyes, “Yeah, the hag heard us.” He looked at Shinsou, “You done with breakfast?”

"I'm done," Shinsou confirmed, hands wrapped around his cup. "Thank you."

“Good, now help me pack this up and then we can teach Eri or whatever the fuck you’ve been doing.”

Shinsou chuckled, but abandoned his coffee to help put the food stuff away and wash some dishes, reminding him, "How are your hands?"

“That was a month ago, Eyebags, they’re fine.” He held up his hands, clear of any injuries or scars.

Shinsou nodded.  "Glad you're okay," he smiled, cleaning.

“Course I’m okay, it was a few cuts,” Katsuki started drying the dishes Shinsou washed and put them away. “I wasn’t dying.”

Shinsou hummed, continuing. He didn't know what to say.

Eventually the dishes were done and the food was put away, Katsuki started to walk in the direction of the stairs. “Set up whatever and I’ll wake her up.” He said.

Shinsou nodded, following Katsuki up the stairs and slipped into his room for the books he'd been working with.

Katsuki knocked on the bedroom door before walking into Eri’s and sitting on the bed. “Come on, Tiny, Eyebags is gonna teach you something.”

She blinked up at him, squealed, and wrapped her arms around his neck in a hug.

“You’re much more enthusiastic than you’re brother.” Katsuki smiled and hugged her back, picking her up in the process. “That dumbass been teaching you right?”

"....He has?" she asked quietly.

“Math and shit?” He started walking out of the room with her on his hip. “Y’know, numbers, two plus two? Or is he doing something else?”

"Four," she answered, "We've been doing numbers," she nodded. "A squared plus b squared equals c squared," she rattled off.

"That dumbass is teaching you algebra?" he asked, more confused than surprised. "So you know how to multiply and divide?"

"I don't know," she said, confused.

"In my defense," Shinsou said from the doorway, "I was mumbling that the last few days, she just heard me. I tried to explain some of the basics of it yesterday, but I don't expect her to fully understand for a bit."

"Considering she's five and you tried to teach her the Pythagorean theorem after mumbling through multiplication, of course she'd not going to fully understand." Katsuki put Eri down on the ground.

Shinsou sighed, picking her up instead, "I'm rerunning the math for swings, parabolas, force vectors, just checking that I know what I need to work on."

"Sure thing, Eyebags, you do that and I'll actually fuckin' teach her the times tables and division so when she gets to that stuff she'll know know what a factor is." Katsuki smiled.

"She's still on addition, give it a week before we get to the times table," Shinsou argued.

"Glad you told me, I was about to teach her long division and logarithms," Katsuki smiled, "Does she have any books that she's been using?"

"Logs...'Suki, I only learned logs last year."

"You're slow then. Has she got books?" Katsuki asked again.

Shinsou pouted, "I'm not that slow," he mumbled playfully, then louder, "We've been using money to count,"

"How hygienic," Katsuki muttered, "Your dad wasted eight pages of paper to throw them at me but you couldn't cut one page into strips to use?"

"Using change is more effective," Shinsou shrugged, "also teaches her money. Was loud dad bouncing paper balls off your hair?"

"He was annoying the hell out of me," Katsuki frowned. "You gonna let me teach her basic math now?" He held his hands out to take the young girl.

"Yes, you can teach her basic math," Shinsou passed her back over again, making her giggle at being handed off again.

Katsuki took her, and looked at Shinsou expectantly.

Shinsou started downstairs again, books in one arm, "You're really gonna start teaching her calc?" He asked disbelievingly.

Katsuki followed him with a slight smirk, "I'm gonna teach her addition and subtraction, and not just mumble my way through it."

"I was mumbling my way through my own math," he muttered grumpily.

"So you weren't teaching her?" Katsuki asked, genuinely confused as to what Eri was already taught and what she needed to learn.

"I taught her some, mostly counting and some helping with baking, mostly letting her do measuring. Counting and a little bit of fractions."

"You taught her some fractions, but she's still on addition," Katsuki said slowly, quoting Shinsou from earlier. He looked at Eri, "do you understand any of what your dumbass brother taught you?"

She nodded, "fractions are parts of bigger numbers, between them. The big number on the bottom is how many it takes to make another whole."

"Smart girl," he ruffled her hair. "Now, put that to the side so you can finish learning addition before you continue."

"Okay, Mr. Bakugou," she agreed.

Katsuki looked back up to Shinsou, "you gonna help teach her or do your own work?" he asked, pausing where he was standing.

"...would you prefer to teach her?"

"Don't answer my question with a question, Eyebags." Katsuki shifted Eri on his hip. "Are you going to help, or would you like to do your own maths?" He said the second part slower.

"I'm not an idiot.  I was wondering what you'd rather do if I didn't make you teach her," Shinsou sighed.

Katsuki sighed, "What else would I do, Eyebags?"

"That's what I was wondering. Please, teach Eri. You're the better choice of teacher."

“You’re a good teacher, Eyebags, you just didn’t teach in the right order.” Katsuki started to walk into the kitchen. “I’ll give Eri something to eat and then we’ll start. Join us if you want.”

Shinsou pecked Katsuki on the lips and pressed a kiss to Eri's hair, "I'll come down when I finish the reading Loud Dad assigned. I've got some physics concepts I can work on after."

“Sounds good,” Katsuki answered back. Eri took a few minutes to eat, Katsuki cleaned and then they started. “So what do you know so far, Tiny?”

She recited a basic sequence, then by two to fifty, and fives to a hundred.

“So you’ve got some of the multiplication down. Do you know why those are the answers or how you got to those answers?”

She looked at him, head tilted, "Multiplication? Those were patterns."

“Yes, but do you know why those were the answers? Why does 5 times 8 equal 40?”

"I don't know what that means," she said honestly.

He sighed, looking around for something to write in. “Let’s start with addition, I don’t know why Shinsou tried to teach you multiplication before that.” He took a random notebook and pen from the table and flipped to a new page, starting to write five simple addition equations. “Tell me what you know about this.”

She looked at the equations and after a little thought, answered each of them, counting on her fingers for the bigger one.

“Okay, so you get the basic concept of it.” Next he wrote 214+145 on two seperate rows with a line beneath both. “Did he teach you how to do this?”

"I add the numbers together in each uppy down, starting over here. If it adds up to more than 9, I take the tens from the new number and add it to the next uppy downy until I run out of uppy downies. Since there aren't any over, it's...three hundreds and fifty-nine,"

“Good, he taught you that. How much do you know about subtraction, taking numbers away from other numbers.”

"Do it backwards?" she guessed.

“Not quite.” Katsuki ripped out another page, tearing off 10 small pieces and putting them on the floor. He wrote 10-4 in the notebook.” That’s 10 cookies, he said, pointing to the ripped paper on the floor in front of the girl. “If I take away 4 how many will be left?” He motioned for her to take four away.

She did and counted, "Six."

“So 10, subtract 4 would be...” he handed her the pen to write it in the book.

"Six?" She guessed, based on what he'd just said.

“Good.” He gathered the pieces again and ripped some more to make it a harder number. “There are 24 cookies here, 18 are eaten. How many are left?”

"Six," she said, counting up from 18 to 24, ignoring the pieces of paper.

Chapter Text

Katsuki started to make a mental checklist in his head of what the younger girl seemed confident in. He wrote 476-125 on his page and showed it to her. “If you know how to work this out, write it,” he said, handing her the pen.

Eri looked at the numbers, mouth moving as she figured it out, "...three hundred, fifty-one," she said slowly.

“Talk it out, tell me the steps you took.” Katsuki needed to figure out which way she was subtracting to know how to teach her.

She nodded, writing the numbers again a little sloppily compared to his, "six is bigger than five by one, seven is bigger than two by five, and four is bigger than one by three," she said, pointing to each number as she spoke, rewriting as she stated the difference.

“Good,” he wrote 274-396. “Do you know how to do this?”

She looked at it for a while, "That's backwards."

“You’ll get a negative number, a number lower than zero. The numbers will start going backwards.” He spoke while writing a number line. “Two minus three will give you negative or minus one”. He waited for her to get it.

She nodded slowly, "Okay."

“Try this one” he brought back the larger equation. “You can make it easier by flipping the numbers and adding the minus later. So take away four from six .” He said slowly.

She paused in thought, "...Two."

“Yep. Now seven from nine”

She was a little faster this time, "Two."

“Yep. And two from three.”

Her nose wrinkled, "....one?" she said tentatively.

“Perfect. Now adding back on the negative the answer is negative 122. Get it?” He lowered the book and looked at her, waiting for confirmation or to ask any other question so she understood it better.

"...Not really," she said tentatively, flinching away as if expecting him to strike out.

Katsuki didn’t miss the flinch but decided not to draw attention to it.  He hummed. “Keep practicing and it’ll get easier.” He passed the book to her.  “Write one out the way I did, so the top number is smaller than the lower one, and we can try again.”

"I have a question, Mr. Bakugou," she murmured, "about negatives."

“Yeah?”

"Two minus three equals negative one," she says, "and three minus two equals one."

“Yes.” Bakugou said, wondering if that was the question or if there was more to it.

"Does it matter which number I take away from which?"

“You have to take away the right amount from the right number or you’ll get the wrong answer.”

"Why?" She asked honestly.

Katsuki sighed and bit the inside of his mouth. “Math has rules so it makes sense.If you want the correct answer you have to follow the equation.”

"Three and four," she does the math, "but if I do this," she wrote 362-137 "and this," 137-362, "is there a difference except the negative?"

“No. But if you need to be careful. If you subtract 137 from 362, but you do 137-362 you’ll get the wrong answer.”

She looked at him with a cocked head.

Suddenly an idea came to him and he smiled, “Ask your brother when we’re done, he’ll explain it to you.”

"What am I explaining, exactly?" Shinsou asked, coming down with a notebook and his physics textbook which he dropped on the counter, before wrapping his arms around Katsuki from behind, chin on his shoulder.

“All of her questions that I don’t feel like answering,” Katsuki smirked back.

"Of course," Shinsou chuckled, turning to press a kiss under his ear, "I'll take care of it, Mr Grumpy," he teased, letting him go. "Did you lose weight?"

Katsuki frowned at the question, he thought he’d gained weight? “No, why?”

"You feel...off. Sharper...I'm probably imagining it,"

“You’re destroying your brain with the lack of sleep you get mixed with the overdoses of coffee you drink,” Katsuki forced a smile. “Good news is, you’re a good teacher to Tiny, confusing but good..” he said to change the topic.

"You're a good teacher too, Mr. Bakugou," the little girl tried to reassure, sensing he was upset and thinking it was her fault.

“I know that. I was just making sure your idiot of a brother doesn’t get depressed.” He smiled at the girl. “How was your physics?”

"Haven't started yet, thought I'd check on my favorite people," he said honestly. "Dad's set me to reread a section of the law, just a refresher, really. But I'd forgotten some subsections, so it was useful,"

“Sounds fun.” Katsuki’s mind ran for a few seconds before asking out of the blue. “Is she training her quirk?”

Shinsou and Eri shared a look, and she shook her head, "No, we aren't touching that yet."

“Well when you do. According to Walking Dead, she healed me wrong. Or weird?” He couldn’t remember exactly what Aizawa said but she had only healed his throat and left his other injuries alone.

Shinsou nodded. "She rewinds the whole object of her quirk, not just a part. So she should have erased every injury you had gotten after your throat."

“Mm,” Katsuki hummed before changing the topic again. “So did your dads school you?” he asked Shinsou.

"After I arrived, for a bit, then I went to actual school, until I had an accident and quirked the teacher, and I came back to be homeschooled again."

Katsuki smiled, laughing as he asked “You quirked a teacher?”

Shinsou nodded, blushing slightly, "I got over excited asking a question and accidentally activated my quirk," he flinched at the memory, "Different topic, please."

Katsuki let it go, but the smile stayed present on his face. “Why do you know so many languages?” He asked, sitting back and tucking his head into Shinsou’s neck. “I know your dad teaches English but why the others?”

Shinsou looked at him with a raised brow, "I don't quite follow."

“Why do you know so many languages?”

"I don't, beyond English and Japanese," Shinsou said, still confused.

“You spoke Spanish to me a while ago,” Katsuki remembered. “Or do you just know a few phrases?”

"Que sera sera."

“You’re like a broken record, Eyebags.” Katsuki smiled, looking up at him.

Shinsou laughed, "No, that's not what I meant. That's a song."

Katsuki hummed, leaning his head to the side so his cheek pressed into Shinsou’s sweater. “What’s the song about?” He asked.

Shinsou thought for a moment, "Life, I suppose," he said eventually, collapsing into a dignified mass of limbs on the floor. "I remember most of the lyrics, I think."

Katsuki sat up as the other boy sunk into the floor. “You think? What’s a lyric from it?” He smiled tentatively.

Shinsou hummed, "This is sung by a woman, so take it with a grain of salt," he warned before softly singing.

~When I grew up and fell in love, I asked my sweetheart, what lies ahead. Will we have rainbows, day after day, here's what my sweetheart said. Que sera sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. Que sera sera. What will be, will be.~

He blushed as he finished the verse, "It's cheesy, I know. And I probably butchered it, but you get the point."

Katsuki had been staring at the singing boy, a blush growing steadily on his cheeks. “Sounds like a song you’d like eyebags.” He said. “Where’d you learn it?”

"Loud Dad has his quieter music when we all just need a calming night. Or they're just being sickeningly romantic, usually the week of their anniversary."

Katsuki scrunched his nose. “Gross.” He commented, shifting in his spot and pulling Eri to sit in his lap. “Sounds annoying.”

Shinsou laughed, "It has its moments," he admitted, "but it's nice in small amounts. Just seeing them happy, and in love," he smiled a little wistfully.

“I’ll take your word for it.” Katsuki said. He couldn’t speak from experience what Shinsou was describing, but he didn’t doubt Blondie and Walking Dead had their moments. “Have you got a favourite song Tiny?” He asked, turning his attention to the younger girl in his lap.

"There was a song," She said quietly, tucking in closer to Katsuki, "When Kai would play it, I knew I wasn't going to hurt that day,"

Katsuki nodded his head, unsure of how to answer that. Nonetheless he dropped the question. “Blondie’s got endless song requests, I’m sure he’s practically dying to introduce you to some band or shit. You’ll find something you’ll like.”

Shinsou leant forward, softly squeezing her ankle, "We'll find something you'll like eventually," he reassured, "don't worry."

She nodded slowly, hands tight on Katsuki's arms.

“Do you listen to your dad's music thing? It’s at night, so you can play it when you go to sleep.” And it may help if you wake up from nightmares, Katsuki thought.

Eri shook her head and Shinsou slightly shook his head, 'callers not always family friendly' he signed.

Katsuki had no clue what the boy was trying to imply, he’d assumed it was just songs but apparently not. He left it alone. “Whatever. He’s definitely got something to recommend.”

She nodded in acceptance of that, "Do you have a favorite song, Mr. Bakugou?"

Katsuki shrugged. “Anything that’s not that shit waiting music or crappy pop songs is fine.” 

Shinsou hummed, "so...almost everything that's new," he summarized.

“Not necessarily.” He retorted. “They just played that shit on repeat at almost every shoot. It got fucking annoying.”

Shinsou laughed, "You just hate what you hear on repeat," he said understandingly.

“Sure.” He shrugged, not feeling the need to explain his reasoning behind it. “So are you teaching her maths tomorrow as well. Or moving on?”

"We'll retouch it," Shinsou said, "see what happens tomorrow."

One day at a time then, seemed appropriate. “Anything you want to learn?” He asked the girl, turing his attention to her.

"I don't know," she said timidly.

Katsuki fought to keep the smile on his face, he tried a different approach. “Well if you could do anything, what would it be?”

"...I want to go to the park again. See that girl and her funny hurt friend," she said, looking up at him, head tilted back.

'Toga and Shig'

Katsuki laughed at the nickname. “So you like being outside?” He asked.

She nodded, "Outside is nice," she agreed.

“Outside is nice.” He repeated, before another question came to mind. “How often do you go outside?” He asked. Katsuki was aware people were still looking for her, but he was curious.

"We've gone to the park a few more times since..." Shinsou let the sentence fade, "Anyway, he's keeping an eye on us, there's usually three of them there a little after we arrive,"

“The cops or the League?” Katsuki asked, unsure of who Shinsou meant.

"League. Shiggy likes her, she adores him. But she adores anyone who's nice to her," Shinsou smiled slightly. "He doesn't like seeing children hurt."

“Figures.” Katsuki said, nobody joins a group like that unless they have some serious childhood baggage. 

It reminded him too much of someone else, the way Hayato also insisted on leaving in a group of three when going out. Paranoid bastard but, Katsuki admits he had good reason for his concern.

The three sat in silence for a few seconds, Shinsou seemed to have layed back down and was staring blankly at the ceiling. Eri was playing with her hands. Katsuki sighed, and clapped his hands together, causing the young girl to look up at him in confusion. “All right. Tiny, you’re gonna help me make a decision.” He said.

"Okay," she said, nodding.

“Should we eat a late lunch, or early dinner?”

She looked up at him confused.

He smiled at the look on her face. “It’s too late for lunch, midday was hours ago. So we can make a small lunch. Or an early dinner.”

"What's the difference?"

“Not much really. Lunch would be quicker to make and we’d probably finished quicker. So, when do you want to eat?” Katsuki asked.

"....Now?" She suggested.

“Okay the.” Katsuki stood, moving her so she sat on the floor in front of him. “Do you want to help?” 

She nodded enthusiastically.

Katsuki nodded and looked down to Shinsou, who was still laying in a pile on the ground. “How about you, Eyebags? Help or study?”

"I can not study," Shinsou said, standing and leaving his book where he'd dropped it.

“Got any preferences then?” Katsuki asked towards either of them.

"Not fish," Shinsou requested, face scrunched, "Please."

Katsuki crossed fish and egg off his mental checklist, remembering that morning. “How about you Tiny. Any requests?” He placed her down on top of the counter.

She shook her head, "I don't know."

Shinsou hummed, thinking, "I'm craving...cheese, which you hate the idea of, so never mind," he sighed.

Katsuki thought. “If you have what’s needed to make tonkatsu, we can make cheese katsu.”

"We might," Shinsou mumbled, "I'm not sure."

Katsuki walked around the kitchen for a few minutes. Pork, check. Bread crumbs, check. Cheese, check. “The basics are here, that’s really all you need.” He passed Eri the pork. “Hold this and you can help me cut it.” He looked to Shinsou, “You good to make the rice?”

"I can make rice," Shinsou confirmed.

Katsuki pressed a kiss to Shinsou’s lips in passing before walking to Eri. He put the bread crumbs in a bowl and opened the meat, placing it on a cutting mat. He handed the knife to Eri and put his hands over hers. “Cut down, not back and forth. Make sure to put a lot of pressure.”

Had it been anyone else, Shinsou would have been concerned and angry that Eri had been handed a knife.

She tried to follow Katsuki's instructions, not quite managing it properly.

Katsuki applied extra pressure to make sure at least most of the cuts went through. When they had enough evenish cuts he took the knife back. “Perfect,” he told her. A while later, after Eri had put the meat in breadcrumbs, Katsuki had added mozzarella, and they’d been deep fried, they had four plates of cheese katsus. He put two in the fridge and went to Shinsou to get the rice.

Shinsou served up two portions of rice, then looked confused when there wasn't a third plate, "you aren't eating?"

Katsuki shrugged. “You two never finish your food. I’ll eat whatever you don’t, there’s no point in wasting food.” He reasoned.

Shinsou hummed, but accepted his reasoning, "All right," he murmured.

Katsuki ignored the look and held onto one of the plates, leaving the other with Shinsou. He walked back to Eri, picked her up and walked her to the table before handing her a plate.

Shinsou followed, sitting across from them, and started to eat. "Thanks for making dinner, you two."

“You also made dinner Eyebags.” Katsuki motioned to the rice. “Now shut up and eat, you said you wanted something cheesy, there it is.”

Shinsou chuckled, but did as he was told, pushing his plate over when he'd gotten through three quarters of it.

Eri stopped about halfway through her own plate.

Katsuki ate Eri’s plate before packing away Shinsou’s into a container and leaving it in the fridge with the other two. “Do whatever you want while I clean,” he told both of them, flicking on the tap.

Eri went off to do something while Shinsou collected his book and sat at the table to work on his hypotheticals and chat with the explosive boy as he ran the math.

“You’re not as bad a teacher as I thought, Eyebags.” Katsuki said, subsequently placing another washed dish to the side. “She was confused but learnt a lot from you.”

Shinsou hummed, abandoning his math and instead deciding to dry the dishes, "I tried," he said softly.

“So what’s your plan? Teach her one subject at a time, or vary the options?”

"Vary, not overwhelm her with one thing at a time. Teach her more through life than useless concepts,"

“Teach her how to write. She hates it, but she’s gotta learn.” Katsuki put the last dish to the side and drained the sink, “Want help drying?” He asked.

"I will, don't worry," Shinsou sighed, "and no, I got these."

Katsuki hummed and walked behind Shinsou, wrapping his arms loosely around the other's chest. His eyes closed as his head rested on Shinsou’s shoulder and he groaned. “I don’t know how the fuck you function with no sleep, Eyebags.”

Shinsou hummed questioningly, pausing his movements to not dislodge the other.

“It’s not healthy.” Katsuki continued with a slight frown.

Another hum. Shinsou set aside the chopsticks he'd been drying and dropped the towel on the counter, turning to put his arms around Katsuki's waist lightly.  "If you're tired, you can go to bed," he said softly.

“You don’t join me till midnight, what’s the point?” Katsuki asked, smirking sarcastically. He pressed a kiss to Shinsou’s lips before breaking out of the hold. “I’m going to bed, try to eat the rest of your food if you can.”

Shinsou sighed, but went back to the dishes, "I'll try," he promised, "but might not manage it until I get home," his stomach twisted at the idea of more food right now. He looked at the clock, "it's five more hours until I go to bed, you should get some rest in the meantime."

“Eat or don’t eat when you want, Eyebags.” Katsuki paused for a long moment before turning. “Don’t die out there tonight,” he ended up saying while walking up the stairs.

"I try not to," Shinsou called softly after him.

Katsuki waved him off, entering the bedroom and collapsing onto the blankets. He pressed a hand to his hip where a bruise was formed. Even in the dark, he could make out the ugly shade of purple it was as it spread around the side of his waist. He groaned low in his throat before turning to the side and burying himself in the messy blankets, drifting off to sleep.

Shinsou took the other two plates out of the fridge and heated them up slightly, setting them out for his dads and went to get ready for his patrol, quietly moving around his room for fresh clothes and to get his scarf.

Kastuki woke up at the moment, shifting his position so he was facing away from the noise and pulling the blanket further up over his head.

"Sorry," Shinsou murmured, quickly changing and heading out again, softly shutting the door behind him.

Katsuki sat up and yawned. Rubbing his eyes as he pushed the blanket off of him. The lack of light shining from the window confirmed it was late, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep for a while. So instead he decided to wander the house, knocking lightly on Eri’s door seeing that the lights were on.

Eri was curled up in bed with a notebook and crayons, scribbling away at something but tried to quickly hide them when someone stepped into her room.

Katsuki caught the book being hidden but decided not to press on it for now, “You going to Tiny?” he asked her.

She looked at him confused, "...Yes?"

Katsuki smiled, “Course you were.” He walked to sit next to her on the bed, “Gonna show me what you were drawing?”

"Wasn't drawing," she said quietly, scooting over to let him sit better on the bed.

“Colouring?” he guessed again.

Another shake of her head as she pulled out the notebook. It was covered in scrawled words written in childish handwriting.

Katsuki did a double take on the page before smiling and ruffling Eri’s hair, “You never cease to surprise me Tiny.” He tilted the book to get a better look at it. “Writing anything in particular?”

She shook her head, "Just words."

Katsuki hummed, sitting back. “Why are you hiding it?”

She shrugged, "Not ready."

He nodded, before pausing. “Do you want to learn anything in particular?”

She nodded. "I want to tell Mr. Aizawa thank you," she said quietly.

“In a card or letter?”

"Letter," she confirmed with another nod. "Don't tell the others."

“I won’t,” Katsuki smiled. “You can make a letter. What do you want it to say?”

"I...I don't know," she said shyly.

“That’s okay, you can just say thanks and add more if you think of it.” A pause. “Hand me a page, Kid.”

She handed him the whole notebook.

Katsuki ripped a page out, handing the book back to Eri. He folded it twice so it was in thirds and drew faint lines with pencil. “Practice on that, write what you feel.”

She held a crayon in her hand, confused at what she was supposed to write, just staring at the paper, "I don't know," she said quietly again, "Sorry,"

“Don’t be, I’m shit at letters, too.” He took the pencil again and lightly wrote ‘dear’ on the top before stopping, “what do you call him? Dad or something?”

She shook her head, "Mr. Aizawa," she said again.

Katsuki laughed at the formality of it and faintly wrote, ‘Mr. Aizawa’ next to dear with a comma and then started on the next line. “What do you want to say, Kid, just talk and I’ll worry about writing it down.”

She curled into his side, "I want to say that I like it here. I like not hurting. I like..learning. I like going outside. I like choosing," she was rambling in thought. "I want to thank him for letting me stay here with him, and loud banana, and Shi,"

“Shi?” he asked while writing out the letter.

"Mhm," she nodded.

“Cute” he mumbled. After a few minutes he gave her the note back. It was long but spaced out. “Trace it with whatever you want to use, then write your name at the bottom.”

She nodded, taking it and copying what he wrote with a pencil, handing it back to him when she was done.

“It’s not for me, Tiny. Give it to Walking Dead when you see him. Now go to bed.”

She nodded, "Okay."  She put the letter in her notebook, closing it and hiding it under her pillow again.

“Night, Kid” he stood up and pulled the blanket over her, flipping off the light when he left the room, walking back to Shinsou’s, and falling asleep immediately.

Shinsou came back a little past midnight and quietly gathered fresh sleep clothes in the dark before slipping out again to shower.

Katsuki woke to the sounds of Shinsou entering the room but stayed where he was, sitting up and yawning when he left.

Half an hour later, Shinsou returned in some sleep pants, hair still slightly dripping onto his shoulders as he dropped the dirty laundry by the closet and slid into bed, arm gently wrapping around Katsuki's waist.

“Dry your hair you lazy shit,” Katsuki muttered, as his shirt began to soak up the water from Shinsou’s hair. “You’re gonna get sick again.”

Shinsou chuckled, but slid out again, "Fine. Anything else while we're both awake?"

“Just be quick,” Katsuki muttered, sitting up and taking his shirt off to replace it with a dry one.

Shinsou scrubbed at his hair with a towel before coming back. "Happy now, bombshell?" he asked, climbing in with him again.

The hair was still damp but Katsuki was too tired to care; he pulled Shinsou in closer and mumbled a “Go to sleep” into his shoulder.

Shinsou laughed slightly, tangling their legs and hugging him, "You too, 'Suki,"

Katsuki woke up earlier than he would have liked. He untangled himself from Shinsou and sat up in the bed, swinging his legs off the side.

Shinsou slept on, hugging Katsuki's pillow instead.

Katsuki made his way downstairs. Eating a rice ball from the previous morning and drinking a coffee to wake himself up, he doubted either of Shinsou’s dads would be home yet.

Eri woke early too, heading downstairs when she heard movement.

“What are you doing up,Tiny?” Katsuki looked over at the staircase.

"The dreams again," she said quietly.

Katsuki hummed, walking over and picking her up. He sat both of them on the couch. “Wanna try listening to music?” he asked, remembering the conversation from yesterday.

She nodded against his shoulder.

Katsuki pulled out his phone from his pocket and started playing La Madonna. It didn’t have any words but he figured it would help her calm down before she tried to go to sleep again.

She leant against him, listening to the sharp notes of the electric guitar, but said nothing, just listening.

He set up a few more songs before playing one with lyrics. Medhel an Gwyns, was the first to come to mind, so he played it and started brushing through her hair the same way he did to Shinsou.

She smiled at that one, quietly humming along when she picked up the tune. Her eyelids were getting heavier, falling back to sleep again.

Katsuki let the songs play out and continued to play with her hair. After a while he’d braided it and was just twisting it in his fingers. A few hours passed and he was staring at the ceiling, his leg now numb from how she was sitting.

Shinsou quietly came down the stairs and ran a hand through Katsuki's hair. He gently tilted the blond's head back to press a kiss to his forehead, "Morning, Beautiful," he murmured, "Sunshine and snow."

“You’re cheesy in the morning,” Katsuki smiled, leaning his head backwards on the couch to look at Shinsou.

"I'm always cheesy," Shinsou smirked, leaning over him more to peck him on the lips, "You just have to deal with it in the mornings."

“I never said it was bad,” Katsuki smiled, he looked back down at Eri who was still dead asleep. “Be quiet though, she’s still out.”

Shinsou nodded, a finger pressed to his lips, and moved into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee and heat some water.

“Eat first, Eyebags,” Katsuki called quietly over his shoulder.

"Not hungry, in a little while," he quietly argued back, making himself a cup of hot morning wake up, and sat on the floor in front of Katsuki again, sipping at his mug.

“Fine, but eat later.” Katsuki negotiated. “Coffee isn’t breakfast.”

He nodded, just breathing in the strong aroma of mint from the tea warming his hands.

“Anything happen last night?” Katsuki asked, still playing with Eri’s plait.

Shinsou shook his head, "Normal patrols. Just another mild panic attack this morning, I'm fine now."

“What happened?” he asked, trying to stay calm for all three of their benefits.

Shinsou took another sip. "Just the nightmares again. Digging. I'm still pathetic."

“Don’t say that.” Katsuki kicked him slightly with his leg, “Why didn’t you wake me?”

"You were already gone."

“I was just down the stairs,” he muttered guiltily.

"It's fine," Shinsou reassured, "I've dealt with them before, I'll have to do it again in the future. I didn't want to bother you, or scare Eri,"

“You wouldn’t have bothered either of us. Or scared her, the same thing happened to her.”

Shinsou hummed sadly, scooting forward to brush a stray strand of hair off her face, "I wish she didn't have those yet." he murmured.

“You’re both likely going to keep having them. At least she understands she doesn’t have to go through it alone.” Katsuki said sternly.

"I know I don't have to, but I don't want to be a bother."

Katsuki sighed, “Get up on the couch, Eyebags.” He shifted slightly to make more room.

Shinsou did as he was told, quietly murmuring, "I couldn't have come if I wanted to."

“What do you mean?” Katsuki asked, pulling Shinsou in so he was laying on his chest.

"I couldn't move, couldn't call for anyone, not that I would have. Full body paralysis, psychosomatic. It's all in my head, takes a bit to get out of it."

Katsuki started brushing through Shinsou’s hair as well; unsure of what to say, he stayed quiet.

Shinsou softly nuzzled into Katsuki's chest, "Told you it wasn't your fault," he murmured, "I'm fine, really. Just needed to breathe."

“Do you know what triggered it?”

"Hmm?" Shinsou hummed curiously, tilting his head back to look up at Katsuki.

“I’m asking you, Eyebags,” Katsuki sighed. “Never mind. Try to go back to sleep for a while.”

"I needed you to clarify," Shinsou murmured, "and I really shouldn't sleep,"

“Why not?”

"I've already slept enough,"

“No you haven’t. Just sleep till Thing One or Two comes home.”

"They'll be home any minute, that's why I made coffee,"

“So it won’t matter if you try and sleep, at least close your eyes. If you won’t sleep, rest.”

"You're persistent," Shinsou smiled, nuzzling into his chest again, ear against his heart, eyes closing, "Love you, Bombshell," he said in little more than a whisper.

Katsuki hummed.  After a while, he stopped brushing through both their hair and relaxed into the couch.

Aizawa and Hizashi entered together about ten minutes later. The loud blond smiled and waved to the explosive boy and his cuddle bug while the grumpy man went and poured them both coffee.

Katsuki didn’t wave back but he watched as the two entered the house. He reached for his phone to turn the music off and relaxed back down.

Shinsou whined slightly at that, but didn't make any other movement.

With mugs in hand, Aizawa led his husband upstairs, leaving the kids to their pile.

Katsuki let the other two lay on him for a while longer, before he lightly pushed Shinsou off him and put Eri in his lap; unsure if Shinsou was awake, he whispered into his ear, “Just grabbing something.”

Shinsou nodded slightly, leaning the other direction, gently holding the sleeping girl.

Katsuki grabbed some ice for his hip and sat back down with Shinsou, wrapping an arm around his waist and leaning in.

Shinsou smiled, opening his eyes and leaning down to catch him in a gentle, savoring kiss.

Katsuki returned it and leaned back after a few seconds, “So, you are awake.”

"Mhm," Shinsou nodded, "Never was asleep."

“It was still good you rested,” Katsuki pointed out. “You ready to eat something?”

Another low whine.

“Is that a no or a I’m gonna bitch about it but eat?”

Shinsou chuckled quietly, "I'll eat, if I have to."

“Eat some rice now and I’ll make soup,” Katsuki posed, sitting up slightly.

Another disgruntled sigh, "Fine."

Katsuki stood up and brought Shinsou a small bowl of rice; he filled it more than he knew Shinsou could eat. “Any soup preferences?”

"Is there any of the Miso left?"

“Yeah,” Katsuki heated it up and brought him a bowl, holding it while Shinsou ate the rice.

"Switch," Shinsou murmured, holding out the rice.

Katsuki smiled, taking the rice and putting it on the floor. “Don’t spill on her,” he warned.

"I won't," Shinsou chuckled, drinking the broth, "I'll take the rice back again,"

Katsuki handed back the rice, watching carefully in case Shinsou struggled to hold something or began to spill.

Shinsou returned the soup to Katsuki, for safety, and continued eating the rice.

“Do you want me to take her?” he asked, watching as Shinsou ate around Eri.

"I'm fine," Shinsou said honestly, then looked down, "...on second thought, please,"

Katsuki had already put the bowl of soup down in anticipation and took the girl into his lap. “The soup's on the floor for you.”

Shinsou nodded, "Thank you, 'Suki,"

“You don’t have to finish it, I don’t want you forcing it down and throwing it back up.” Katsuki readjusted the girl so she wasn’t lying against the ice pack.

"I know my own body," Shinsou reassured.

Katsuki hummed, giving Shinsou enough space to eat but still laying on him, Katsuki’s leg tangled in Shinsou’s.

Shinsou smiled, finishing the bowl of rice and reaching down for the soup, "Staying the whole day again?"

“I’ll see. If she starts blowing up my phone I’ll go back.” Katsuki looked down at Eri. “I should wake her up so she doesn’t adapt your awful fuckin’ sleeping schedule .”

Shinsou laughed again, "My schedule isn't as terrible as you think,"

“You‘re awake the majority of the night and all the day, it’s unhealthy.”

"I get six hours....usually,"

“You should be getting eight to ten.” He frowned and started lightly shaking Eri, “Hey, Tiny. Time to get up.”

Eri woke up slowly before hugging on to him, burying her face in his neck.

“You’re both affectionate when you wake up,” Katsuki mumbled. “Come on, Tiny. Eat some breakfast, then you can cuddle with Eyebags as well.”

Shinsou smiled, "You want to get her food or me?"

“I’ll get it,” Katsuki said, standing up. “Are you finished?” he asked, looking at Shinsou’s dishes.

Shinsou nodded, trading his dishes for Eri in his lap, "Thank you, 'Suki,"

Katsuki hummed, kissing Shinsou’s forehead while passing and bringing Eri back some rice balls and miso soup. “Here you go, Tiny.”

Eri ate without argument, curling around her dishes, leaning into Shinsou's chest.

Katsuki watched her for a while before speaking again, “Once you're done, do you want to give your dad the thing from last night?” he asked.

Eri shrank, shaking her head, and Shinsou looked between the two, curious.

“That’s okay,” Katsuki said, figuring she wasn’t ready. “But don’t be scared, I’m sure he’ll love it.” He looked back at Shinsou, “Gonna teach her maths today?”

"You want to learn more math today?" Shinsou asked the little girl who shook her head. "I guess not," He hummed. "Eri, do you want to help me make something tasty?" he asked her next.

She nodded, smiling.

Katsuki smiled at her enthusiasm and took her finished plates. “What do you want to make?” he asked, standing up.

Chapter Text

"Can we make something for the girl and her funny, hurt friend?" Eri asked innocently.

Katsuki looked at Shinso, “You’re the expert on them, Eyebags, what would they want?”

"Shig likes sweets, worse than any of us here. I don't make them often, they're powerful in large amounts, but we could make seven layer bars."

Katsuki scrunched his nose in disgust at the mention of anything sweet, “Fuckin’ psychopath,” he muttered, “What about the other one?”

Shinsou shrugged, "I don't know much about Toga beyond a blood based quirk. Dabi might have mentioned she likes strawberries? I really don't remember,"

“I don’t know shit about baking so this is up to you,” Katsuki said, walking to the kitchen to clean Eri and Shinsou’s dishes.

Shinsou laughed, standing with Eri on his hip, "You can cook, I bake, together we're unstoppable," he said, pressing a kiss to Katsuki's temple, "I'll leave the oven to you so us mere mortals don't burn,"

“As long as I don’t have to taste test whatever diabetes mess you make.” Katsuki said, drying and putting away the plates.

"You don't have to eat any of the bars," Shinsou laughed, "but you're free to steal ingredients as we work,"

Katsuki’s face scrunched into disgust. “I’m not eating any of that sugar trash. I don’t know how anyone can stomach that shit.:

Shinsou sighed, going to heat the oven, "You don't have to, 'Suki," he repeated.

“Good,” he walked next to Eri, “Any idea what you’re making?” he asked either of them.

Shinsou threw two bags of baking chips and a package of graham crackers to the explosive boy, "turn those crackers to crumbs."

Katsuki caught the bags, and started doing what Shinsou told him.

Coming back with a can of condensed milk and a bag of coconut, Shinsou set them on the counter, "Eri, do you remember where we keep the measuring cups?" he asked the girl.

She nodded, getting them and handing them over, earning an affectionate hair rub.

Katsuki watched from the side with a slight smile before going back to crushing the crackers.

"'Suki, when you finish the graham crackers, can you melt a stick of butter into a nine by thirteen dish for me?" Shinsou asked as the oven beeped that it was up to temp. He was cutting open the corners of the baking chip bags for Eri to measure out.

“Salted or unsalted?” Katsuki asked, looking up.

"Unsalted, please, and thank you," Shinsou said, setting Eri to her task and looking at Katsuki's, "Those look good."

Katsuki hummed, taking out the dish and butter. “So what are you making?”

"Diabetes in a bar," Shinsou laughed, moving to start chopping walnuts, "Seven layer bars. Graham crackers, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, walnuts, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, in that order."

“Whoever eats that is going to get heart failure,” he muttered, heating the butter.

Shinsou laughed, "Then we'll be doing the public a service."

“The public, sure, but I don’t feel like being kidnapped and chained by the league for a second time for murdering their leader.” Katsuki smiled.

"If that happens, I'll just have to barter for you back." Shinsou hip checked him lightly, grabbing the hand-held can opener. "How many cakes do you think you're worth?"

“To them, one. Next step?” he asked after finishing buttering the dish.

"Press the cracker crumbs in, make a nice, even crust," Shinsou handed the crumbs over, "How hot is the dish?"

Katsuki two fingers of his hand to the side, furrowing his brows. “Pretty hot. Don’t touch it if you don’t want burns.” he warned.

"I'll leave that to you, then. ...You don't burn, right?" Shinsou asked, "with your quirk, I mean."

“Of course I burn.” Katsui scoffs, rinsing the fingers under cold water before drying them against a kitchen towel. “I’ve built a tolerance to heat, I didn’t adapt to it. My skin ain’t fireproof, it’s like yours. Only difference is I can’t get permanently damaged or lasting injuries.”

"Sorry, it was just the way you react to it, I assumed wrong. I also may have confused the details of your quirk.  Sorry,"

Katsuki hummed. “High pain tolerance will do that.” He says, starting on the tasks the other boy had instructed to him. “My quirk isn’t explosions- not directly anyway, that’s probably what’s confusing you. It’s more like a side effect.”

"Oh," Shinsou murmured in sheepish surprise.

“Hmn,” Katsuki hummed again. He looked up and looked towards Eri before back at Shinsou. “I’m good here. Help her out and I’ll tell you when I’m ready for the next step.”

Shinsou nodded, kissing his cheek, "Thank you, 'Suki," he said softly, then went over to check on how Eri was doing measuring the chips. When they decided that she'd measure correctly, and discussed the different measurements, getting some math lessons in for her in the fun, he handed her the can of condensed milk and the can opener, letting her have a try at it.

“Don’t let her cut herself on the can,” Katsuki warned, watching the two.

"I'm watching her," Shinsou reassured.

She had some trouble, but the lid bent down as she cut through it, so there was no danger there. Shinsou took it back when she was most of the way around and wiggled it off, scrapping the excess milk back into the can.

Katsuki finished the crust. A familiar unsettling feeling crawled to his throat but he ignored it and turned towards Shisnou. “Next step?” he asked.

"Is it cool enough for Eri to touch it safely?"

“Should be.” Kastuki shrugged. “Just try it first.”

Shinsou carefully brushed his fingertips over the edge of the glass, then cupped it with his whole hand. When he was satisfied, he brought it over to the counter for Eri to reach, "Okay, Eri, sprinkle the chips in the dish, then the nuts," he instructed, moving to get rid of the knife and get a scraper for the can.

After she'd spread the three ingredients, Shinsou poured the milk in over them, then handed her the coconut, "Sprinkle this on top, and then 'Suki can put it in the oven,"

Kastuki waited for Eri to be finished before putting it in the oven, closing the oven door and turning back. "Wash or dry?" he asked Shinsou.

"I'll wash," Shinsou said, collecting the used measuring cups and dropping them in the sink, "I want to hear more about your quirk. And if that's why you taste like caramel."

Katsuki snatched a towel from the counter and watched Shinou flick on the tap. “I sweat nitroglycerin, that’s what smells and tastes like caramel. You shouldn’t be swallowing it though, it’ll make you sick.” He explained. “It’s pretty useless by itself, creates strange side effects but that’s really it. The explosions are- a combination I guess is the best way to describe it. The old man's quirk is some acidic sweat that can be ignited. That, and the nitroglycerin creates explosions.”

Shinsou nodded, "How much is deadly?"

Katsuki looked up in thought, mindlessly stacking dishes to his side. “I know doctors and shit won’t put anyone past 200mg. But there are cases of people surviving up to 1200.” He shook his head slowly. "It's not exactly a measurable thing. You can be exposed to it, but the intake can be dangerous. If you’re not intolerant to it, it can be lethal."

Shinsou handed him some things to dry, "But, relatively speaking, I'd be safe with what we've been like so far," Shinsou said, just for clarification.

Well you’re not dead, are you Eyebags?” Katsuki goaded, shooting him a smirk as an answer. “So I’d say you’re safe. Just don’t lick me or anything, it shouldn't be too hard.”

"I don't know," Shinsou teased, leaning over to kiss him, "You're pretty tempting. I might not be able to control myself."

Katsuki pulled out of the kiss to make a face, “You’re disgusting.” He commented before continuing. “But no, you’ll be fine. I don’t plan on killing or hospitalising you any time soon.”

"You love me and my disgusting face, and you know it," Shinsou laughed, handing over the last item to dry and going to check the bars.

The corners of Katsuki’s mouth twitched up in a smile. “Keep telling yourself that.” He said. Placing the final dish atop the tall pile and walking behind Shinsou, wrapping his arms around his waist and looking over his shoulder at the oven, “How are they?”

"Not quite brown enough yet," Shinsou said, turning back to him, "And I will keep telling myself that until I'm convinced I'm wrong. By then, I'm not sure what I'll do,"

"Your logic is flawed." Katsuki rolled his eyes with a teasing smile. He moved away to sit on the counter of the kitchen island, using his legs to pull Shinsou closer. “And how long will that take?” 

Shinsou lightly wrapped his arms around Katsuki's waist, glancing at the clock, "I'll check again in five minutes,"

Katsuki hummed, looking at Shisnou’s chest before raising his eyes to meet the boy's face. "Where'd you learn to bake, anyway?" He asked, curious.

"TV," Shinsou admitted with a blush, "And they're cheaper to make than buy, usually, and tastier, not to mention healthier,"

“I guess.” Katsuki shrugs, “I don’t bake, so I wouldn’t know.”

"No, you cook, just as important, if less precise," Shinsou smiled, stepping closer, between his legs, "Why do you cook?"

"To eat?" Katsuki answered, unsure of where Shinsou was going with the question.

Shinsou hummed, "How long have you been the one cooking for your family?"

Katsuki looked at the ceiling in thought. “The old man used to teach me before I moved to live here. But that was just toast and shit, he wasn’t too big on cooking or anything.” Katsuki shrugged, when he’d moved to live in Musutafu permanently he would have been around five. But he remembers being to shit scared to even touch the oven until he was around seven. “I just taught myself, I guess?” He wasn’t too sure, he just remembered one day he’d never eaten anything that wasn’t pre-packaged. And the next he was changing details of a recipe to cater to his own preferences.

Shinsou hummed, nodding, "You taught yourself well,"

"I know," Katsuki smiled, crossing one of his legs around Shinsou’s calf to make him step closer.

Shinsou smiled, letting go of Katsuki's waist to pat his thigh, "Comfortable, or would you like me closer still?"

Katsuki shrugged. "Just wanted to see what you'd do." He answered, wrapping his arms around Shinsou’s waist to hold him. 

Shinsou smiled, hand coming up to cup Katsuki's jaw and kissed him tenderly, lingeringly, before moving back to check the oven again.

Katsuki groaned when he felt Shisnou pull away, and opened his eyes with a sullen look. He tilted his head to look into the oven. "What do your ingenious instincts say?" he asked sarcastically, smile evident through his voice. "Leave them in or take them out?"

Shinsou laughed, "I'd barely call them 'ingenious'," he closed the oven again, checking the temperature setting and internal thermometer, "Another five."

“Mhm,” Katsuki smiled, reaching a hand out to grab Shinsou’s arm and pull him back in. One hand settled around his waist whilst the other wrapped around his shoulder, pulling the tallter boy’s face down.

Shinsou stumbled into him with a laugh, catching himself with one hand on the counter, the other landing accidentally on Katsuki's bruised hip.

Katsuki winced loudly, head snapping down as he pressed a hand against his side, “ow fuck.” His eyes closed harshly and he gritted his teeth to wait out the sudden burst of pain.

Shinsou stepped away immediately, hands raised, "I'm sorry!" he said immediately, "I forgot."

Katsuki shook his head, exhaling slightly shakily, "It's fine, Eyebags." Katsuki said. Sliding off the counter to stand up and hold it lightly. “Just surprised me.”

"Want an ice pack?" Shinsou asked, feeling useless and guilty.

Katsuki frowned at the boy's expression, feeling the guilt practically drawl off him. “Wipe that look off your face. I’m not dying.” He took it upon himself to retrieve an ice pack from the fridge, holding it beneath his shirt was a loose grip.

Shinsou sighed, grabbing a hot pad and pulling the dish of bars out and setting it on the stove before turning off the oven completely and tossing the piece of cloth aside, leaning back against the sink, "I still hurt you."

“You’re overthinking it.” Katsuki commented, following his movements with watchful eyes. "Stop being dramatic. You didn't hurt me- I was already injured."

Shinsou sighed, "Still ruined a moment."

Katsuki rolled his eyes, walking over and tracing the edge of Shinsou’s collar before snagging it slightly and pulling him in. Pressing a kiss to the corner of his lips before smiling and going deeper. Letting the moment simmer for a few seconds before stepping away. “There,” he said, satisfied. “Now you can stop pouting.

Shinsou hummed, "If I keep pouting, will you kiss me again?"

Before Katsuki could respond, Aizawa sighed, "Boys, stop making out in front of your sister," he reprimanded, moving them out of the way so he could wash the coffee cups he was carrying.

Katsuki stepped back quietly at the voice, eyes faltering and he wincing through a tight groan as he placed his weight on his hip. He cleared his throat, looking over at Eri on the counter. “You’ll have to lower her Eyebags.” He said, already knowing he wouldn’t be able to do it himself.

Shinsou nodded, scooping her up and setting her down, "How about you find something, we'll come get you when we're ready to go to the park,"

She nodded, running off.

Katsuki settled back against one of the cabinets, pressing his weight on one leg and tightening his face in discomfort as he stretched his leg out, effectively moving his hip. It hurt more than he expected and he flipped the ice pack to the cooler side.

"Another fight?" Aizawa asked, back to the boy.

Katsuki didn’t look at him before answering. “No.”

"Should I even bother offering to check you over?" The man sighed, setting the mugs aside to dry.

“There’s nothing else to check over,” Katsuki said confidently. “I just hit my hip on a corner.”

"Zashi suggested it was on your side, not your hip," the man said absently, moving over to look at the bars and then grabbing a bottle from the fridge. "Stop making out in front of your sister," he commanded again, gesturing to each of them with his drink, "Katsuki...stop hiding your injuries. Hitoshi," he sighed, "...why the fuck did you have to follow in my footsteps."

He turned and headed back up the stairs.

"Why the fuck does he care?" Katsuki muttered once the man was far enough away.

Shinsou laughed, kissing his temple, "Because he's an asshole, but he cares."

Katsuki waited for Shisnou to pull away before speaking, looking in his eyes with an exasperated look. “Unlike you Eyebags, I’m not his kid.” He said lowly, pushing off the counter and returning the ice pack to the fridge. “Your thing should be cool now, you can go cut it up.”

Shinsou went and lay his palm flat on the top of the bars, and shook his hand when he pulled it away, chocolate on his hand. "Not yet," he said, licking it off.

Katsuki raised an eyebrow. “How sanitary.” He remarked, a smile pulling at his lips.

Shinsou chuckled, "No point in wasting good chocolate."

Katsuki shook his head with a strangled sound from his throat. “God don’t say that.” He laughed, stepping closer and wrapping his arms around the boy’s waist. “You disgust me.” He smirked, pulling the taller boy in closer to kiss him. Their lips pressed together tentatively. Katsuki smiled as he melted into the warmth of the embrace and. He parted his lips slightly, allowing his tongue to slip inside and biting lightly on Shisnou’s bottom lip, tasting the sweet chocolate that lingered there. Katsuki pulled away, face scrunched in disgust as he let his tongue hang from his mouth, “Ugh, it’s gross.”

Shinsou shrugged, licking his own lips, "Tastes like chocolate covered caramels to me."

“That's your head talking dumbass,” Katsuki knocked the side of Shinsou’s forehead with his hand, rolling his eyes. “It's my sweat that tastes like caramel, not my saliva.”

"I can wish," Shinsou pouted, moving to wash his hands. "Can we canoodle disgustingly sweetly on the couch?"

“As long as you never say that again.” Katsuki shuddered at the wording. Letting Shinsou go and walking towards the couch, falling back on it over the armrest.

Shinsou laughed, drying his hands, "I hated it almost as much as you, but I couldn't think of another word." He walked over and carefully laid down with him, tangling them both together in the tight space.

Katsuki smiled, lifting his hips to push against the other boy's body and closing the small space between them. His mouth twitched into a smirk as he brought his lips to Shisnou’s.

Shinsou pressed closer, arm on Katsuki's shoulder, hand cupping his jaw and he kissed back, a little deeper, but still relatively innocent.

Katsuki grimaced against Shinsou’s mouth, pulling his chin up. “Not there,” he said breathly, turning to face the arm on his shoulder. 

It was obvious to Katsuki that Shinsou had a lot less experience than he did. The older boy’s arms moved in uncertain ways as if he was unsure what to do with them or where to put them. But Katsuki didn’t mind. He adjusted Shisnou’s arm so it leant against the couch cushion instead and closed the kiss again. Pressing his tongue between closed lips to part them.

Shinsou groaned slightly into the kiss, not displeased at all by this. He melted against the other, letting Katsuki take control, guide where this went. His hand moved from cupping the blonds jaw to tangling slightly in his hair.

Katsuki wrapped his arm around Shinsou’s waist, pulling their bodies closer. The boy’s shirt rose and Katsuki slipped his hand across the flushed skin. He pulled away only slightly, their lips still connected as he caught his breath and smiled. Pressing a lighter kiss to the corner of the boy’s mouth.

Shinsou half hovered over Katsuki, a knee on the couch beside the blond holding most of his weight, one of Katsuki's legs still wrapped around his. He blushed and moved it, standing from the couch, "Sorry, I just..." he looked away, "need a minute," he sits on the floor, back against the couch, taking measured breaths.

Katsuki sat up, watching the boy sink to the floor. He leant on his elbows, bending one leg up. “You alright?” He asked.

Shinsou nodded, "Sorry, I got overwhelmed. I'll be fine in a minute," he informed, "Sorry."

“It’s okay.” Katsuki assured, swinging his legs around, “We can stop.” He noted the slight panting from below him and stood. “I’ll get you some water.”

Another nod, "Thank you," Shinsous said softly, legs straightening again as he calmed down.

Katsuki brought back two cups of water and a small bowl of rice he'd quickly heated up. He put the cups on the floor before picking up rice with chopsticks, blowing on it lightly and eating it. "Here. Try and eat some of this when you're ready."

Shinsou nodded, holding the water cup in both hands and sipping it, "Thank you," he murmured again, like a broken record.

Katsuki let them sit in silence for a while, continuing to eat the rice before blowing lightly on a smaller bit and holding it out to Shinsou. He was clearly out of it, not exactly dissociating but with the glazed look over his eyes, Katsuki could tell he wasn’t fully there. "Eat." 

"Hm?" Shinsou blinked the world back into focus.  "Oh, thank you."  He leant in to accept the food offered to him. It was rice; plain, simple, and soothing. He sighed, content with it.

Katsuki smiled slightly at the small victory. Eating another few small bites for himself before offering it to Shinsou again, staying in that rotation until the bowl was empty.

When it was done, Shinsou leant over to softly kiss him in thanks before leaning his forehead into Katsuki's chest, "Sorry," he murmured.

"Don't be," Katsuki brushed through his hair, taking a sip of his own glass of water. He hadn’t expected that type of reaction, and he was curious what elicited it. But the boy leaning against him was clearly exhausted, whatever just happened had taken a lot out of him, so he asked instead, "Feeling better?"

Shinsou nodded against him.

Katsuki nodded, "Put something on and I'll cut up the thing." He kissed Shinsou's forehead before standing.

"Put something on?" Shinsou repeated, brain still a little fuzzy.

"A movie," Katsuki hoped watching something would ground him more. 

Cutting the desert took longer than he hoped. Embarrassingly enough he had to stop a few times to sit down and take measured breaths against the sweetness of the slice. The smell was overpowering, nauseatingly so, and a headache grew before he finished. Returning, he brought a small piece and held it out to Shinsou. "Nibble on that," he said, sitting back down next to him.

Shinsou was watching an episode of some tv show when Katsuki returned, and leaned into his side when he was handed the sweet, murmuring his thanks as he tuned out the show again. Tuning everything out except the taste of the butterscotch and the feel of the firm body beside him.

Katsuki let himself relax as the episode ran, feeling the familiar numbness in his fingers as they tensed and closed. He wasn’t sure why he decided now was a good time to do this, but the feeling of detachment from his body was welcome after Shinsou’s- episode? 

Eventually, the screen faded to black, and the countdown for the next episode to run began. Slowly, Katsuki drew in deeper breaths, his legs stung with small pricks as he moved them. He looked towards Shinsou, seeing the other boy had a similar idea and was facing forwards mindlessly. He spoke gently, “You here Eyebags?” 

Shinsou didn't respond, eyes closed and half eaten bar in a loose hand in his lap as he slept slightly, only deep enough not to hear.

Katsuki took the bar and tossed it onto the table in front of them. Moving so Shinsou lay more comfortably on his chest.

Shinsou murmured slightly at the change of position, moving to curl up closer to his breathing pillow, arms moving to hug one of Katsuki's.

Katsuki looked down at Shinsou before laying his head back on the couch, looking at the ceiling. He turned the tv off and closed his eyes.

A little while later, Shinsou murmured loud enough to be distinguishable from his sleepy mumbles, "Why did you let me fall asleep?"

“You were already asleep,” Katsuki countered, tilting his head down.

Shinsou nuzzled into his chest, still a little asleep, "You should have woken me."

“I tried,” Katsuki said. “Brought you food, told you to watch a show. But your stubborn ass still fell asleep.”

Shinsou sighed, collapsing against him again, "Sorry."

“Stop saying that.” Katsuki frowned.

"...You want me to stop apologizing when I do something wrong?"

“You didn’t do anything wrong. Actually,” he shifted his position so Shinsou was no longer lying on his hip, “Now you didn’t do anything wrong.”

Shinsou chuckled, shifting to sit between Katsuki's legs and lean against him, head on his chest again, "This safe?"

“It’s fine, Eyebags. Now stop blaming yourself for nothing and drink some more water.” Katsuki held up the unfinished cup.

Shinsou took it, drinking it quickly but haltingly, careful to not cause himself discomfort. When he was done, he handed it back and leant into Katsuki's chest again.

Katsuki took it without a word and leant his head back again. “You slept for a little over an hour.” He said, looking towards the clock. “So we can still take Eri out if you’re up to it.”

Shinsou thought about it for a minute before forcing himself to stand, "We don't want to disappoint her."

“You’re not going to disappoint her if you’re not up for it. You can go tomorrow or the day after or any other fuckin’ day.”

"Should still go, keep a promise I made." he yawned widely.

“Fine. But I’m leaving your dumbass on the sidewalk if you pass out,” Katsuki frowned.

Shinsou chuckled. "All right," he agreed, offering his hand up.

Katsuki took it and stood up, walking up the stairs to Eri’s room. “Hey Tiny, we’re going to take you to the park so you can give those freaks your candy, come on.”

She cringed slightly at his words, but hid it quickly and nodded, getting up to follow him down.

Katsuki sighed as he noticed the girl's moment of hesitance and took a quick breath. “Go say hi your brother,” he said softer. “He just woke up.”

She nodded, silently going down, and Shinsou picked her up. She hugged his neck and he hummed curiously, "Y'okay?"  She nodded into his neck. "Ready to go see your friends?" Another nod. He looked to Katsuki, "Grab the bars, please?"

Katsuki nodded from the staircase and packed up the bars before walking to the front door, swinging it open and walking out.

Shinsou followed with Eri, locking the door behind them. "Let's go, Snow," he said cheerfully.

Katsuki slowed and walked slightly behind the two, keeping an eye on Shinsou to make sure he wasn’t going to fall over holding Eri.

They made it to the park without incident, and upon seeing her friend, the little girl wriggled down to run off into the green.

Shinsou let her go and sat on the bench he always occupied while here, pulling Katsuki down with him.

Katsuki let himself be pulled down and set the container of bars aside. He continued to watch the girl as he asked, “Still going out tonight?”

Shinsou nodded, "Yeah, I'll be fine by nightfall."

“I can’t stop you. So just take it easy, okay?”

"I'll be careful," Shinsou promised, leaning his head on Katsuki's shoulder.

“Good” Katsuki muttered. After an hour or so, when Eri was a little closer, Katsuki called out to her and held out the bars. “Give ‘em to her now,” he said quieter, “Then we can go back.”

Eri nodded and took the plate of diabetes to the blond girl, hugged her and her 'hurt friend', earning perhaps the single most awkward hug in history, then came back to her boys.

Katsuki leant forwards, picking up Eri and standing up. “Get up, Eyebags,” he said, starting to walk.

Shinsou had zoned out again, but blinked back to the real world when his pillow stood up. He shook his head to clear it and stood, "Right, sorry, let's go. Want me to take her?"

“It’s fine, I don’t want you to drop her,” he answered. He balanced Eri on his hip and held his hand out for Shinsou to take. “Hurry up.”

Shinsou linked their hands, giving it a gentle squeeze, "Will you still be there when I get home?"

“Probably not. Two nights should have done it.” Katsuki slightly pulled Shinsou along.

Shinsou nodded, "Does she know you're here?"

“Of course not.” Katsuki laughed, “She can guess, but I highly doubt she cares.”

Shinsou hummed sadly, "if she doesn't care, why do you have to go back?"

“She doesn’t care . Not, doesn’t notice,” Katsuki frowns. “It’s easier for her to keep track of me I guess.”

Another hum, "You could have your key back."

“Not yet, a few more days.”

Shinsou nodded in acceptance, "I could leave a key out if you need it and we aren't home."

“Sounds good,” Katsuki squeezed his hand a little tighter and turned to walk towards the house.

Shinsou gently leant into his side, humming quietly again, a soft melody.

Katsuki let go of Shinsou’s hand, taking the key from his pocket and opening the door with his foot. “Put these on the counter for me,” he said to Eri, putting her down and handing her the keys.

She ran off to do as she was told and Shinsou looked after her, confused, "Did you steal dad's keys?"

“I took the one you used to lock up.”

Shinsou thought back. "Huh. I stole Dad's keys. Oops."

“They're on the counter now,” Katsuki shrugged. “You still tired?”

Shinsou reluctantly nodded, "Yeah."

“Stay home tonight and sleep,” Katsuki insisted, his voice taking on a much more concerned tone than harsh like he’d meant to. “You had two panic attacks today. You’re not in the right headspace to be jumping around.”

Shinsou nodded, "The second wasn't a panic attack, but you're right," he sighed.

Katsuki kissed Shinsou’s cheek as he passed and grabbed a cup of water, drinking from it before refilling it and handing it to Shinsou.

Shinsou drank as well. When the cup was empty, he set it aside and pulled Katsuki close again, pulling lightly at the front of his shirt, "Take me to bed, pretty boy?" he asked softly.

Katsuki’s smile fell at the nickname. “Don’t call me-” Katsuki’s throat closed around the word, as if physically rejecting it, “-that. Never call me that. Ever.” Nonetheless, he lifted Shinsou’s legs and carried him towards the staircase.

Shinsou frowned in response, resting his head on Bakugou's shoulder, "Sorry."

“Stop being sorry for dumb shit,” Katsuki sighed, pushing the bedroom door open against his back and dropping him on the bed.

Shinsou let himself flop, "I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable," he said, looking up at the other.

Katsuki grabbed a pillow and threw it on Shinsou’s head to avoid looking at him, “Forget it, Eyebags.” It wasn’t Shinsou’s fault, Katsuki knew that. Still. Those words, those fucking pet names, brought up more than Katsuki ever wanted to remember.

Shinsou laughed slightly, hugging the pillow.

Katsuki smiled at the sound, and suddenly evening felt at ease again, as if a switch turned off every doubt and sense of uncomfort in his head. Turning around, he lay atop the boy, a leg on either side of his waist as he lowered himself. He paused there for a few quiet seconds, inches away from his, before pressing a kiss to his temple and slipping off the bed. “Go to sleep,” Katsuki said.

Shinsou gently caught his wrist, tracing up his arm before grabbing his shirt and pulling him in, "Just for a bit. Please, 'Suki."

Katsuki hesitantly relaxed into the hold, eventually laying with his face on the boy's collarbone.

Shinsou softly hugged him, tangling their legs, hand instinctively returning to play with the hair at the back of his neck, "Thank you."

Katsuki hummed deeply, speaking against Shinsou’s neck, “Just go to sleep.”

"How can I sleep when I know you won't be here when I wake? Or know you're safe," Shinsou murmured. "Stay safe, please."

“Pretty hypocritical when you go out every night,” Katsuki mumbled. He tilted his head up and pressed a kiss to Shinsou’s jaw, “I’ll be fine.”

"But I always come home," Shinsou sighed, tilting his head back further, "And I have people who'd look for me."

“You saying I have no one looking out for me?” Katsuki teased, pushing himself up on his elbows to look down at Shinsou with a smirk.

Shinsou raised a brow, returning the smirk, "You have me, but I don't know when or if you'll come back. I can't look for you, and from what you said, the police won't help you." He leant up on his elbows, "Please, 'Suki. Come back safe, if you can't make it whole," he whispered, kissing him.

Katsuki smiled, laying down again, this time half on top of Shinsou. “Already said I’ll be fine. I intend to keep that promise. Now, go to sleep.”

Shinsou laughed quietly, pulling him in for another kiss, languid, slow, not looking for any more, but just wanting to be close to the other.

Katsuki kissed him back and wrapped his arms around Shinsou’s neck but didn’t go any further, remembering the events from earlier.

After a few minutes, Shinsou broke the kiss, panting hard again with a light blush across his cheeks. He tilted his head back to kiss Katsuki's forehead as he laid back, "Love you, Bombshell," he murmured, eyes sliding shut.

Katsuki blushed at Shinsou’s face, biting the smile that crawled onto his face. “Night dumbass.” He said, pressing a final kiss to Shinsou’s neck before standing.

"Good night, 'Suki," Shinsou murmured, crawling under his covers and curling up, "Come back soon, but don't...just, stay safe."

Katsuki hummed, shutting the bedroom door.

He carried Eri from her room and she helped make a simple dinner for the family. Katsuki showed her a few cutting techniques with the knife that she adorably struggled with before sending her off to fetch thing one and two, and shutting the door behind him. 

Aizawa and Hizashi ate dinner with her before getting her ready for bed and tucking her in. They checked on their other son, not particularly surprised to find him asleep, since he wasn't downstairs for dinner, and concluded the explosive boy must have left again as well.

Katsuki returned to his house later in the evening when the suns setting, hoping his mother was taking an early night or she’d gone off on some other trip. The house was empty when he entered it, the lights switched off and everything set in its usual place. He kicked off his shoes and opened the fridge, spotting a small plastic container immediately from the note that was taped to the side. 

Hey Kat, You’re mother and I ordered food last night. We thought we’d buy you something as well. Eat up! Love Dad. 

Katsuki took the small container, tearing the note off and tossing it in the bin. The food was good, and he made a mental note to thank his father when he saw him next.

Chapter Text

[[BREAK 1 week]]

Shinsou...had fucked up. He limped his way to Katsuki's building, clutching at his side. Red dripped between his fingers. He grimaced, but dragged himself up to the roof and knocked on his window, leaving a smear of blood on the glass.

Katsuki looked up from his desk, pulling the book in his hands down to his lap. He stood, instantly on guard at the bloody fingerprints on his window and pushed to harshly open. “Fucking Christ eyebags.” He ushered the boy inside, “What the hell happened?”

Shinsou fell into the room against him, biting back a cry, fingers tightening on his side, "Shot," he gasped.

Katsuki lifted him to his bed, laying him back against the headrest and running to the bathroom for a first aid kit. Running back to his side he slowly lifted the shirt, gently prying away the hands grabbing at his stomach.

"Just a graze, but hurts like a bitch," Shinsou grated out.

Finally locating the wound just above Shinsou’s right abdomen, Katsuki cleaned it with disinfectant, ripping open a gauze packet. “Keep talking eyebags. And if you close your eyes I swear I will hit you awake.”

Shinsou laughed quietly, "Don't want your parents to notice me," he said quietly, "don't want to get you in trouble.

“I’ll be in deeper shit if I let you die in my room.” Katsuki argued, pushing the corner of a blanket into Shinsou’s mouth to bite down on while he tightened a bandage around him. “Sing, or-or talking or something. Just- stay awake, okay?” 

Shinsou laughed quietly, wincing as the bandage was pulled tight. His fingers tapped agitatedly against the mattress, the song that left his lips broken by winces, but calmer.

~Lay down your head, and I'll sing you a lullaby. Back through the years, of loo li lai lay~

Katsuki turned to the door in expectation, waiting for the other shoe to drop. “How much blood did you lose?” He asked, pulling Shinsou’s arm over his shoulder and helping him stand.

"I can walk if that's what you're asking. I can probably make it home."

Katsuki scoffed, “Walking dead would have my head if I sent you stumbling back home with a bullet wound.” He helped Shinsou hop towards the door before realising it was too slow. “Here, get on my back. It’ll be faster.”

"How're your own bruises?"

“They’re gone, now get on,” Katsuki said impatiently.

Satisfied with this answer, Shinsou moved to Katsuki's back, wrapping his arms around his shoulders, laying his head against his spine.

Katsuki was careful walking down the stairs, and passing the living room he got a clear view of his father sitting in his usual armchair. A steaming tea beside him and a book in his hand as he looked up.

And just in that moment he could read the man perfectly.

His father studied Shinsou on his back. Noting the blood that stained both their clothes and dripped onto the floorboards. His book lowered, eyes widened behind the glasses: uncertain, confused, concerned. And then, they returned to his book.

Katsuki didn’t have time to say anything (he didn’t have anything to say). And he left out the front door, letting it slam closed behind him. “Got a key?” He asked once they arrived out front of Shinsou’s house.

Shinsou slipped from his back, pulling his keys from his pocket, opening the door. "I'm...relatively fine. Now. Thank you," his voice was slightly slurred, despite how hard he tried to hide it.

“Don’t bother with that,” Katsuki frowned, opening the door and going straight to the basement. Katsuki elevated Shinsou’s legs when he laid him down and poked his cheek. “Don’t move, and stay awake, I’ll be right back,” he said before leaving.

Shinsou laid where he was put, fingers tapping again. He stared up at the ceiling, fighting sleep, but not completely succeeding.

Katsuki came back down with a plate of apple slices, a sports drink and a spare shirt. He lightly tapped Shinsou’s cheek. “Eyebags,” he tapped Shinsou’s cheek. “Open your eyes,” the boy didn’t. Katsuki grumbled and stuck a piece of apple into his mouth.

Shinsou coughed at the sudden intrusion, eyes widening as he twisted away, spitting it out. After a tense few seconds he laid back again, "Well, I'm awake now," he said with a slight smile. "Help me sit up to drink."

Katsuki sagged in relief, handing him the glass and grabbing a damp towel. He squeezed it out into a bucket he placed beside the body and started cleaning the sticky blood from his skin. He shook his head, “Now I know how walking dead feels, holy fuck. You’re a nightmare Eyebags.”

Shinsou chuckled, stealing a new piece of apple to munch on, "I live to mess with you."

Katsuki pushed Shinsou’s face away with a smile and dropped the towel in the bucket with a slight splash. “Put on this shirt, finish the drink and I’ll let you sleep,” Katsuki said.

Shinsou took the shirt, slipping it on, and sat cross legged to eat the rest of the apple and finish the bottle, "Am I allowed to actually go to bed or are we keeping me down here all night?"

“I’ll carry you to bed if you just go to sleep,” Katsuki said, already rubbing his eyes from the tiredness after the initial panic wore off.

Shinsou chuckled, pushing himself to his feet, "I'll pass out as soon as I hit the bed," he promised.

Katsuki caught him as he stood up, “You’re gonna kill me one of these days.  Or yourself.” Walking up and placing Shinsou on the bed, he lay down next to him.

Shinsou shifted closer, laying his head on Katsuki's chest, arm softly draped over his stomach. Once he had settled in, he let his eyes drift shut and started drifting off.

Katsuki didn’t move. He doubted his body would even let him. His heart still beat painfully against his chest and he buried his face in his hands, groaning deeply.

Thoughts pounded against his skull of all the mistakes he’d made, all the things he could have fucked up. If he wasn’t careful, he could wake up next to a corpse. That thought kept him awake even longer. Not to mention what he’d have to deal with when he got back home.

His body twitched, hand spazzing on his face as he already knew they’d be consequences. Big fucking consequences.

He took Shinsou’s hand in his, relaxing as he felt the deep breaths coming from the other boy, reminding Katsuki that he was alive, he would be okay. Slowly, he fell asleep, watching the steady rise and fall of Shinsou’s chest.

Aizawa got the call from Naomasa a couple hours after the shots were fired and rushed home. He followed the trail of blood down to the basement, and seeing that his son wasn't there, he sighed, calming down, and cleaned up the mess, before shutting off the lights and sliding the door back into place again.

He walked upstairs quietly and ducked his head into the boy's room. He sighed again at his view of the two, smiling. They were safe.

Katsuki snapped at the opening of the door, he was sat up on his elbows, blinking at the door. Watching the blurry figure clear into an exhausted man. “Wh’t’re you doing?” he mumbled tiredly.

"Naomasa got a report of a purple haired teen getting shot," the tired man said quietly, stepping into the room completely, "I came home as soon as I heard. Thank you for cleaning him up," he murmured sincerely, running a hand through lilac hair.

Shinsou groaned slightly, shifting at the touch, burying his face into Katsuki's chest.

Katsuki watched, settling back down. “Well, now I don’t owe you,” he yawned against Shinsou’s untamed hair, quickly settling back into unconsciousness.

Aizawa carefully tucked them both in, affectionately brushing a hand through Shinsou's hair again, and left to get them more liquid for when they woke up.

Katsuki woke up first, pinching his nose against an already growing headache. He bumped Shinsou awake with his arm while reaching over to grab the waters. Holding one out to him when the other teen stirred away.

Shinsou blinked awake grumpily, jaw cracking in a yawn. He lifted his head and accepted the bottle and drank about half its contents before letting his head fall back to Katsuki's chest with a soft groan.

Katsuki brushed through his hair unconsciously, staring dully at the ceiling for the next few hours until Shinsou woke up again.

Shinsou woke with the sun, the dark circles under his eyes darkly defined despite his rest. He blinked up at Katsuki with a lazy smile, hand moving to rest on Katsuki's cheek, "Morning, beautiful," he murmured.

Katsuki flinched at the sudden touch, “Oh, you’re up,” he muttered, stretching his arms above his head with a yawn. “How’d you fell?”

"Tired, it hurts, but I'll live," Shinsou smiled.  "Get much sleep?"

Katsuki nodded his head, pulling his legs to his chest before pushing the blanket off him and standing, “‘m gonna make some breakfast.” 

Shinsou sat up as well with the motion, and stretched up to kiss him softly as he nodded, before moving to lean against the headboard, "Thank you, 'Suki."

Katsuki brought up a heated bowl of rice and another apple, holding a small knife carefully in his hand. He pushed the bowl towards Shinsou and began cutting the apple, biting on a slice himself before slicing one for the other boy. “Don’t burn yourself,” he warned.

Shinsou wrapped his hand in the blanket to hold the bowl, blowing on the rice as he ate it, "Thank you," he murmured again.

Katsuki sat in a chair that he’d pulled towards the bed, legs crossed with the apple held low in his lap while he cut away from himself. “What happened?” He asked, holding out an apple slice to Shinsou.

"I tried to play the hero," Shinsou shrugged, leaning forward to take the slice of apple between his teeth, tilting his head back to eat it.

“In what way?” He asked, cutting another slice.

"A creep threatening a few girls on the way home from a night out. I got in the way," Shinsou answered before doing the same with this second slice.

Katsuki’s jaw tensed and he didn’t look up from the apple. He pushed the knife harder than he meant to and it quickly sliced off a large chunk, surprising him. “Did they get away?” he asked, bringing the piece up to his mouth.

Shinsou nodded as he chewed.

Katsuki nodded, then sighed. Setting down the knife and apple. “I’ll be right back,” he said, walking to the bathroom and returning with two Advil in his hand.

Shinsou downed them quickly with the rest of the water in the bottle, then went back to the rice.

“Glad to see getting shot doesn’t ruin your appetite,” Katsuki smiled, standing by the bed.

Shinsou shrugged, "I've had worse," he smiled, "Heading back home?"

Katsuki shook his head. “The old man saw us. Which is good cause it means he’ll clean the shitty blood outta the carpet. He doesn’t want to piss off the hag anymore than he doesn’t want me to.” He sat back down with a wide smile, “Which means I’m covered for at least a few days.”

Shinsou continued eating, smiling slightly, "Does it make me an asshole for being happy to hear that?"

“Yes,” Katsuki smiled. “Hurt anywhere else?” he asked.

Shinsou shook his head, setting aside his empty dishes and pulled Katsuki into the bed, curling into his side, "Just the bullet wound and burn and the resulting headache."

Katsuki smiled, “You’re extra clingy when you’re injured.” He noted, entangling his leg between Shinsou’s, “This okay?”

Shinsou nodded, "I know you're here, I trust you. I'll be fine."

“You put too much faith in people, Eyebags,” Katsuki said, shifting.

"I meant," Shinsou shifted closer, resting his forehead in the hollow of Katsuki's throat, "that you shouldn't cause another attack, if that's what you're worried about,"

Katsuki scoffed, moving upwards so the pressure was moved to his collarbone. “Go back to sleep Eyebags. You’re exhausted.” He mumbled into his hair, pressing a kiss into it and wrapping an arm around his shoulder.

Shinsou hummed a purr, nodding, "Okay," he murmured, melting, "wake me up around noon to change the bandages."

Katsuki looked nervously towards the wall, he could feel the too familiar feeling sink from his throat to his chest, the numbness behind his eyes only grew more noticeable. He sighed, “Where’s your phone?” he asked.

Shinsou's brows furrowed, "I...I don't know."

Katsuki bit the corner of his lip, “Do you have anything I can set a timer on?”

Another shake of his head, "Doesn't need to be exact," Shinsou said, "just...whatever feels like a few hours. Stay with me and don't worry about it."

Katsuki frowned, not wanting to worry Shinsou with his answer. “Sure,” he said, burying his face further into the thick violet locks, “Go to sleep now.”

"Good," Shinsou agreed, kissing his collar bone, "You should get more sleep too."

“Sleep,” Katsuki said again.

Another nod, and Shinsou's breathing slowly evened out, softly brushing over Katsuki's skin in gentle snores.

Katsuki felt Shinsou crash against him, his shoulders dropped as he slept and his mind allowed him to forget the seething pain at least for a small while. Katsuki felt it expand past his eyes and spread across his face, like water fills a glass he feels his head drown beneath a sense of numbness. The world became distant and vacant, as if he was watching past a blurred screen that was far across the room. He felt the disconnect. And then, he felt nothing.

He stayed that way until something creaked the door open, and a small sliver of light from the hallway hit his eyes. He blinked, shifting his head slowly. Fuck his neck hurt.

That something was Hizashi coming to check on them as well, eyes frantic.

Katsuki’s shoulder twitches violently, the only reaction his body could make while the rest of him was suddenly buzzing.

"Sorry," Hizashi said in a loud whisper, quirk activating in his terrified state, "He okay? You okay? Everyone okay?"

Katsuki pushed a hand against his ear, pushing his face into the pillow. “Shut up,” he groaned.

Aizawa caught his husband’s shoulder, pulling him back with a sigh, closing the door again with a sharp click.

Katsuki waited until the door closed (and until he could move his body again) before pushing himself up and pushing lightly on Shinsou’s shoulder, “Get up Eyebags. You gotta change the bandages.”

Shinsou reluctantly woke up, burying his face into Katsuki's chest more, pulling the blanket over his head.

Katsuki groaned, “Are you fuckin- whatever fine. Just stay here.” Katsuki stood, rubbing his eyes as he exited the room and walked down to the basement.

The men watched him go before stepping into the bedroom to check on their son who just whined and hid under the blankets more. He was fine.

Katsuki sat on the bottom step for a while, letting the cold air hit his body which was damp with sweat. He pushed his hair out of his face, catching his breath as he always did after one of his… episodes? He didn’t know what to call them, but he was always fucking exhausted when he got out of them. 

He stared far too long at the bandages before actually taking them. Bring a small supply of things back with him to the room.

Shinsou had fallen back to sleep again, curled into a ball, reopening his injury.

Katsuki sat him up slowly, holding his face for a few seconds trying to gently wake him before giving up and smacking him behind the head to get the guy to just open his eyes. It thankfully worked (albeit with a loud groan and some complaints) but Katsuki finally set to work on the wound.

Shinsou tried to stay as still as he could, as vertically as he could, but he just wanted to sleep. Even he knew that wasn't right, but his brain was too dizzy with the cry for sleep to consider anything else as important. Especially with the scent of burnt sugar so close.

Katsuki finished a while before Shinsou lay back down. The teen was too out of it to realise Katsuki had pulled away and the blonde had just sat back and smiled, taking a few moments just to watch the idiot nod off before pulling his head back up in a way that proved he was still awake, all with his eyes closed. He helped the teen lay back down and pressed a kiss to his forehead, “There, you can sleep now.” He smiled, shaking his head, “Idiot.”

Shinsou just barely nodded, fingers curling into whatever fabric they caught, blanket or shirt, and clung.

Katsuki immediately froze when the hand wrapped around the collar of his shirt, pulling in forwards with a tight grip.

Shinsou was too unconscious to notice the other's discomfort as he pulled him closer, hand only stopping when it was pressed to his own chest

Katsuki gulped, trying to pull himself away without waking the boy. “Eyebags,” he said slowly, prying the fingers off his shirt, “Let me go.”

Shinsou's fingers slightly relaxed, letting his victim go, and rolled over, facing away from Katsuki.

Katsuki sighed, loosely holding a hand over his neck and sitting forwards on the chair. “Jesus Christ you're seriously pouty about that.” He lowered his hand and slipped into the bed beside him.

Shinsou slept on, hand now tucked under his cheek.

Katsuki fell asleep this time, chest pressed into Shinsou’s back and arm around his waist.

Shinsou shifted back against him, other hand covering Katsuki's subconsciously.

Katsuki slept for a few more hours, curling slightly in.

When Katsuki curled up, Shinsou turned so they were face to face and nuzzled into his neck again to sleep, legs tangled, arms around his shoulders. All in all, very much playing the sleepy octopus he dreamed to be.

It was much later in the day and Katsuki was well aware that he should get up, but in the moment, he was too tired to care and pressed himself further into Shinsou, tangling their legs and wrapping his arms over Shinsou’s waist.

Shinsou hummed happily at this, though he did have to move Katsuki's arm off of the bandages, "'Suki," he murmured, little more than a sleepy whisper.

“Mhm?” Katsuki hummed tiredly into Shinsou’s neck, raising his head slightly.

"Have you eaten today?"

“Later,” Katsuki groaned, burying his head back into Shinsou’s neck and hoping he’d drop it and just let him go back to sleep.

Shinsou nodded in acceptance, and rolled then, so Katsuki was on his back with Shinsou half kneeling over him, "Stay,"

“That was the plan, Eyebags.” Katsuki started brushing through Shinsou’s hair, “go back to sleep, you’re exhausted.”

"I'll be right back," Shinsou promised, ducking to kiss him before climbing off the bed.

“You’ll be okay walking around?” Katsuki lightly grabbed the bottom of Shinsou’s shirt to stop him from leaving and raised his head, rubbing his eyes.

"I'm fine," Shinsou reassured, "If I'm not back in ten minutes, you can come look for me,"

Katsuki paused for a moment before letting go and lying back down, “Fine, just don’t fall down the stairs.”

"If I do, you'll hear it," Shinsou smiled, kissing his cheek. "Thank you for taking care of me."

Katsuki hummed and turned his face into the pillow, “Don’t reopen your wound either,” he mumbled.

"I'll try not to," Shinsou pulled the blanket over Katsuki and headed downstairs. Twelve minutes later, he was back with an arm full of drinks, both water and sports, and breath distinctly mintier and hair slightly damp around the edges. Setting the drinks on the bedside table and moving the dishes that were accumulating there to the doorway to take later, he flopped onto the bed, laying on top of the blankets.

Katsuki had fallen asleep and was woken by the sudden jump on the bed. He shot up in surprise before sighing, “Get in the bed, Eyebags.”

"I'm comfy," Shinsou murmured into his pillow.

“No you’re not, stop being lazy and just get in.”

Shinsou let out a low whine, but didn't move. Honestly, he was comfortable, and needed to cool down some before returning to cuddling again.

Seeing that Shinsou wasn’t moving Katsuki slowly pulled the blanket from under them and threw it over Shinsou.

Shinsou threw it back instantly.

Katsuki was surprised and sat up slightly. “Fine,” he muttered, laying back down, too tired to ask.

"Sorry, too hot," Shinsou murmured, turning onto his side to face the other.

Katsuki pressed a hand to Shinsou’s forehead before his own, it wasn’t overly warm but Katsuki still said, “Drink water then go back to sleep.”

Shinsou nodded, turned to grab one of the new bottles, drank a quarter, then pressed it to his forehead.

Katsuki ignored him for the most part until he saw Shinsou press it to his forehead. He slipped out of the bed and took the plates downstairs to the kitchen, returning with a soaked towel and pressing it to Shinsou’s forehead.  “There. Now sleep,” he said, taking the water and putting it on the floor.

Shinsou sighed at the refreshing coolness and slipped under the covers. "Thank you, 'Suki."

Katsuki hummed and sat up on the bed. He wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep now. He slightly pulled Shinsou so his head was on his lap and started brushing through his hair.

Shinsou hummed happily, occasionally catching his hand to press a kiss to his wrist or knuckles, wherever he decided that time.

Katsuki let Shinsou do whatever to his hand with little to no resistance and after a while flipped the towel on Shinsou’s head to the other side before zoning out again.

At six, Aizawa returned again, this time with two bowls of soup in hand, "Okay, boys, up."

Katsuki blinked at the man’s entrance, slightly dazed. He looked at the bowls and raised his knee and let Shinsou’s head fall a little to wake him up.

Shinsou woke with a groan, lifting his head, "What?"

Katsuki pointed to Aizawa, rubbing his own eyes which were dry and stinging.

"You need to eat," Aiziwa said flatly, "Up."

Shinsou let out a playful whine, but sat up with Katsuki's help, "Thanks, Dad."

"Problem children, both of you," he grouched, "You okay tonight?" He asked the question to both, but looked to the blond to answer.

Katsuki narrowed his eyes at the man's gaze, “Fine.” He didn’t understand why Aizawa was asking, but he didn’t like how he was looking at him.

"We'll be fine," Shinsou said, inhaling the steam from his soup, not noticing the other two's tense interaction.

Katsuki took his own soup and held it in his hand, not making an attempt to eat it or put it down while still staring at Aizawa.

'Eat, kid. Can you handle him?' Aizawa said to Katsuki.

"Dad," Shinsou murmured, "you don't need to threaten him," he didn't look up, only vaguely seeing the motion out of the corner of his eye and misreading them, "you don't need to give him a shovel talk," he sipped his broth.

“You’re an idiot, Eyebags,” Katsuki sighed and broke the eye contact to close his eyes. “He’s fine” he said to Aizawa, looking back up to tell him he’ll take care of Shinsou.

Aizawa nodded, "Need anything else?" he asked them both.

Shinsou shook his head.

“No,” Katsuki said, simultaneously putting the soup on the side table.

"Eat, kid," Aizawa reiterated, glaring lightly at Katsuki.

“I will when I’m not covered in blood,” Katsuki said back, standing up to shower and finally scrub away the blood that had dried to him in the past few hours.

Aizawa let him pass and went to get ready for his night as well.

Shinsou finished his dinner, set it aside, rolled over and tried to go back to sleep again.

Katsuki returned, stealing some loose pants and a large shirt from Shinsou’s drawer before climbing back into the bed, eating around half the bowl before setting it to the side to fall asleep.

Shinsou sighed, slipping from the bed again to look through his bookcase before coming back with a small but thick paperback and a small flashlight. He laid down again on his side and started reading, flashlight held in his teeth.

Katsuki’s face scrunched against the sudden light, and he buried it into Shinsou’s side.

"Sorry," Shinsou murmured around the light.

Katsuki looked up and somehow gave an even more tired look to the teen. “You’re not a dog Eyebags. Don’t use your mouth to hold shit.”

Shinsou chuckled, taking it back, "It's fine, honestly 'Suki. It works better than the alternative."

“I don’t want to know what the alternative is,” he said, rolling over to look away from the light. “Do what you want, just don’t complain to me later about being in pain.”

"The only pain is going to be my side," Shinsou murmured, going back to his book.

Katsuki muttered, “Sure,” before falling asleep.

After a few hours and a hundred pages, Shinsou turned out his light and tucked his things under his pillow before turning over and spooning up behind Katsuki, arm resting lightly across his chest, face buried in the back of his neck.

Katsuki stirred at the sudden touch on his neck, leaning forwards and away from whatever it was. “Don’t.”

Shinsou shifted lower, forehead against his shoulder blade instead, "Better?"

Katsuki hummed and slipped his hand into Shinsou’s.

Shinsou relaxed against him, falling asleep again soon after.

Katsuki woke up first to realize he’d turned onto his back and Shinsou’s face was only inches from his own. He smiled, turning so they were facing and holding him in a hug so his chin was rested on Shinsou’s hair.

Shinsou's face once again nuzzled into his neck with a slight sleepy chuckle, "Who's the clingy one?"

“Still you, Eyebags,” Katsuki said, slightly discomforted by the pressure on his neck but ignoring it. “How’s the wound?”

"Better," Shinsou informed, lightly kissing his pulse point and pulling back again, "Sorry, neck's warm," he blushed.

Katsuki shrugged, “All of me is warm. You getting up now or staying in bed?” He pulled back slightly to look at Shinsou’s face.

"Why am I getting out of bed?"

“Because you’ve been staying still for the past few hours and moving around is healthy and good for you.”

Shinsou nodded, "I should get up," he admitted. "Can we go for a walk in a few hours?"

“Sure, just drink some water before then.”

Shinsou nodded, "Water is good," he murmured.

Katsuki passed him a water bottle and helped him sit up. “Did you eat the soup?”

Shinsou nodded, "It's gone," he confirmed, slowly sipping the water, "How about yours?"

“Ate most of it,” he said, picking up his own water and starting to drink it.

Shinsou nodded again, put the top back on his bottle, set it back on the floor and burrowed into Katsuki's side again.

Katsuki let him and continued drinking the water until it was finished. “I can take the key back now.” He said, setting the empty bottle aside.

"Remind me when we get up," Shinsou said with a yawn.

“Then I’ll ask my question again. Are you getting up or going back to sleep?”

"I'm going back to sleep now and getting up in a few hours," Shinsou rephrased.

“Well I’m getting up,” Katsuki said, pushing himself up and collecting the scattered dishes. “I might be out when you wake up,” he said while closing the bedroom door.

Shinsou gave him a thumbs up before burritoing himself again.

Katsuki washed the dishes and went for a walk, showering again before waking Shinsou. “Wake up, Eyebags,” he said, opening the curtains to flood the room with light.

"You know," Shinsou said, muffled by the pillow he'd pulled over his head, "That is the second most asshole way to wake someone."

“What number’s this?” Katsuki asked with a smirk, pulling the blanket off Shinsou’s body.

"Fuck, that might be number two," Shinsou cursed.

“You already said the other one was two, Eyebags.” Katsuki gripped the corner of the pillow Shinsou’s head was resting upon and dragged it. Not enough to pull it from under him, but effectively turning the taller boy’s head to the side so he could press a kiss to his lips. He pulled away, “Now stop pouting.”

Shinsou laughed, kissing him back, arms lightly wrapping around his neck, "And that's one of the best," he murmured against the other's lips.

Katsuki pulled away to pick him up, holding him under his thighs. “Now it’s time to get up.”

Shinsou laughed again, wrapping his legs around Katsuki's waist, "You're going to take me downstairs like this?"

“Why, you want me to put you down?” Katsuki smirked, walking down the stairs, careful not to drop him.

"Not even close," Shinsou smiled, hugging him slightly tighter, burying his face in the damp hair, "Did you use Loud Dad's shampoo? You smell like strawberries."

“It’s weird you know that, Eyebags.” Katsuki shrugged, “Your dumbass got blood on my hair. Speaking of which, we should change your sheets.” He said the last bit more to himself.

"We'll take care of that after we get back," Shinsou murmured into hair, "Caramel strawberries is a very weird mix,"

“I’m sure it is,” Katsuki smiled, momentarily throwing Shinsou up and catching him to get a better grip. “We’re not walking like this, though.  Go put shoes on.”

"How do you expect me to put on shoes when I'm a koala?"

“I was going to walk you to the couch and put you down, but here.” Katsuki slowly put him on the floor and walked away. “Put your shoes on.”

Shinsou laughed, getting up to go get his shoes, "Dork."

“Idiot,” Katsuki said back, filling a water bottle.

Shinsou smiled, pulling his shoes on and typing them up, "Bring me an apple, 'Suki?"

Katsuki hummed, grabbing one before walking back to Shinsou, sliding on shoes and opening the front door. “Carry your own apple.” he said, tossing it to Shinsou’s chest.

Shinsou caught it easily, laughing, "But it's so heavy, how will I ever manage?"

“You’re annoying,” Katsuki said, closing the door that he was holding open for Shinsou in his face.

Shinsou stared at the door for a minute, "...Does this mean I can go back to bed?"

“If you want,” Katsuki said through the door. “But if you come for a walk now I’ll kiss you.”

"While that is tempting," Shinsou said, voice getting fainter as he walked away.

Katsuki rolled his eyes and walked back inside, picking Shinsou up from behind and walking him out the door. “No kisses for a week,” he said, closing the door and continuing to walk with Shinsou in his arms.

Shinsou laughed, "I was getting my keys. Put me down,"

Katsuki put him down, “The doors unlocked.”

"I was going to lock it behind us, like a responsible person. Because I need to actually remember to do that when I go out,"

“Don’t call yourself responsible,” Katsuki smirked. “It’s a disgrace to actual responsible people.”

"You, sir, are an asshole," Shinsou said good naturedly, linking their hands.

“Thanks for the new information, Eyebags.”

"Glad I could be helpful," Shinsou smiled, kissing his knuckles, "I really was coming back."

“I don’t doubt it,” Katsuki smiled, pulling Shinsou in to kiss him.

Chapter Text

Shinsou smiled, a little surprised, "I thought I wasn't getting any more for a week?"

“You came out for the walk. But if you don’t want any more, I can stop.” He pulled away and kept his face forward as he walked.

Shinsou stopped, spinning Katsuki around and into his chest, "Don't for a second think I don't want more," he growled slightly.

“And you said I was the clingy one.” Katsuki spoke, leaning his face in till they were inches apart. And as Shinsou began leaning in, Katsuki pulled away. “Come on.” He smirked, “I thought you wanted to walk.”

"Slavedriver,"

Katsuki laughed, “Dramatic shit.”

"You love me," Shinsou teased, pecking his cheek, but not breaking pace.

“Don’t put words in my mouth, Eyebags.”

"You'll admit it eventually," Shinsou whispered conspiratorially, "Don't care how long it takes."

“I’m sure you’re twiddling your thumbs waiting for me to say it.” Katsuki smiled, tightening his hand around Shinsou’s.

"What can I say?" Shinsou laughed, not looking at Katsuki, "I'm an impatient bastard."

“Believe me, I know,” Katsuki closed his eyes to sigh, a grin spread across his face. “How much longer do you want to go on for?”

Shinsou hummed, "Ten more minutes? Two blocks up, one block over, then finish the loop back."

“Sounds good.” A pause. “Were you planning on eating that apple?” he asked, looking at it in Shinsou’s other hand.

"No, it's my pet, I'm taking it for a walk."

“You’re hilarious, Eyebags,” Katsuki frowned, focusing forwards. “If you won’t eat it, I will.”

"My friend!" Shinsou cried, letting go of Katsuki's hand, laughing. Holding the apple with both hands, he gave them a sharp twist and handed the blond half, "Here."

Katsuki took the half and bit into it, “Your friend tastes delicious,” he smiled, taking Shinsou’s hand back in his own.

Shinsou hit his shoulder lightly, "Meanie."

Katsuki smiled, taking another overly dramatic bite before freezing in his spot. In only a moment he grabbed Shinsou’s hand back and pulled him around a corner.

Shinsou let himself be dragged, turning serious but staying silent, just in case.

After a few seconds Katsuki looked at Shinsou, “Fuck, did I hurt you?”

Shinsou shook his head, "I'm fine,"he said quietly.

Katsuki stared at him skeptically before sighing, “Let’s go back,” he said, starting back the way they came, dragging Shinsou by the hand.

Shinsou jogged slightly to keep up, "Would you prefer to get back sooner?"

“Doesn’t matter. Just don’t go back that way,” he said, slowing down when he realized Shinsou was struggling to keep up.

"Mother?"

“Yeah.”

Shinsou let go of his hand, "Go, I'll keep up," he said, nudging the blond to go faster again, "I promise."

“Nope.” Katsuki grabbed onto his arm, well aware of how tightly he was holding on but pulling Shinsou on anyway. “Keep walking, Eyebags.”

"I am walking. I'm telling you to run."

“I’m not fuckin’ running, just walk with me.”

"Fine, fine," Shinsou walked a little faster anyway, linking their hands again, "What would she do if she saw us?"

“I just-” Katsuki's eyes closed harshly and he let out a deep sigh, dropping his shoulders.  “I don’t want to deal with that right now.” He said, “I disappeared loudly , in the middle of the night, and left my room a bloody mess. She’s pissed.”

Shinsou winced, "Sorry,"

“Don’t be,” Katsuki frowned, “Just forget about it.”

Shinsou nodded, "All right."

“You sure you’re okay? I don’t want to learn that your wound reopened from you bleeding out.”

"I won't bleed out."

“That’s not what I asked.”

Shinsou smiled nervously, "But that's all I can say."

“So you don’t know?” Katsuki sighed, turning and stopping in front of Shinsou.

"I'm fine. I'm not going to bleed out."

“So you’ve said,” Katsuki reached to touch Shinsou’s wound to see how he would react. He pushed against it, not hard but hard enough.

Shinsou winced slightly, edging away, "You opened it when you carried me out the door." he sighed.

“And you just stayed quiet about it?” Katsuki yelled, “God, are you’re stupid?”

"I'm fine, really," Shinsou reassured, slapping a hand over Katsuki's mouth, "Do you want your mom finding us?"

Katsuki took Shinsou’s hand off his mouth to reveal a frown. “You’re fuckin’ stupid” he repeated, lower this time. He grabbed Shinsou’s wrist and began dragging him back in the direction of the house.

"I am aware," Shinsou affirmed, matching pace, "You can examine me all you like when we get home, Doctor."

“Just- stop talking,” Katsuki said sharply. Wanting to think for a moment and regain himself before he held a conversation.

Shinsou laughed slightly, but didn't say anything else, letting go of Katsuki's hand and taking the lead to open the front door when they were back on his street. Once inside, he crouched to remove his shoes, then continued to the kitchen for a glass of water.

Katsuki went to the basement after taking his shoes off and grabbed anything they’d need. He walked back up, “Just sit on the couch, Eyebags.”

Shinsou pulled off his shirt, but did as he was told. The bandage was only a little spotty with blood, most of it dry by now.

Katsuki frowned, “Not everything is a joke, Eyebags. That could have been dangerous.”

Shinsou nodded, "I know, but it wasn't, therefore I can joke," the lilac boy said, looking up at him. He unwound the bandages, curling them in his hand, "I'm fine, I promise."

“It doesn’t matter if you’re fine. You could have just as easily been not fine.” He paused as he started to wrap the bandages. “It would have taken a minute to rewrap, why didn’t you just tell me?”

"I didn't want to trouble you," Shinsou said quietly, eyes dropping to his lap, "I knew it wasn't serious, that it would stop after a few minutes. I honestly wasn't going to tell you, but then you asked, and I couldn't lie,"

“Stop it with the ‘I trouble people by being injured’. Cause it’s bullshit.”

Shinsou shrank but said nothing.

Katsuki frowned, continuing, “I get that you want to hide away and take care of everything on your own but you have people who want to help you. Stop thinking that we don’t.”

"I know you care," the older boy said meekly, "But if I'm too much of a burden, it'll outweigh that and you'll leave."

“Shinsou,” Katsuki stopped and looked Shinsou in the eyes. “You’re not going to burden anyone and we’re not going to leave.”

"You don't know that." Shinsou's voice was little more than a wet breath.

“People who care about you won’t leave you.” He continued to wrap the bandage.

Shinsou bit his lip. Katsuki was wrong. He had to be, it was the only thing that made sense. It had to, otherwise...

He sighed, it didn't matter.

“I know you don’t believe me. I don’t know why, but whatever the reason, it’s bullshit.”

Shinsou nodded, acknowledging the words but not accepting them. His fingers curled into the couch cushion.

Katsuki finished wrapping the bandage and stood. “Don’t leave the couch. I’m washing my hands. Then we’re fuckin’ talking.”

Shinsou nodded again, curling up into the corner of the couch hugging his knees slightly.

Katsuki came back and sat on the couch next to him. He paused for a moment, studying Shinsou’s closed off expression, “What’s going through your head right now?”

"It's just buzzing, like cicadas in the summer," Shinsou said emotionlessly.

Katsuki nodded. “Why do you think people will leave you?”

"Because I'm not worth being around. Because it's happened before. Because...people are mean." It was childish, he knew, but fear wasn't rational.

He cautiously reached out to Shinsou’s hand, “Explain.”

"What is there to explain?" His voice was broken again.

“Whatever you want. I’m here to listen, and I’m not leaving.”

"If I talk I'm just going to end up sobbing into your chest, then I'll just be even more pathetic, and you'll hate me more, and the cycle will just keep going until I pass out."

“I’m not going to hate you for crying.” Katsuki assured.

Shinsou chuckled wetly, letting his knees unfold and leant over into Katsuki's personal space, laying his head on his chest, "Bullshit."

“Talk or don’t, but you’re not pathetic.”

Shinsou lightly clung to Katsuki's shirt with his free hand, "Bullshit again,"

Katsuki stopped to think of a different approach, "Why do you think that it's bullshit?"

"Why wouldn't it be? Every time you've stayed with me I've either cried or been sick. You're always taking care of me."

"So you think I'm pathetic?" Katsuki asked bluntly.

Shinsou looked at him confused, "No, why would you think that?"

"Every time I'm here, you're taking care of me." Katsuki looked at him with a blank face, "So according to you, I'm pathetic."

"No, of course not," Shinsou said, horrified by the idea, "You can't control your mother, or how she treats you, and you can't fight back, from the circumstances you've told me about."

"So why is it different for you? You can't control the things that happened to you, and you're not guilty of them either. From where I’m stand