Just about everyone had heard of the infamous Bakugou Katsuki; the Pro Hero: DYNAMIGHT. The middle schooler who bravely fought for his life during the Sludge Villain Incident (actually read: was forced to make up for the incompetence of several trained Heroes because his life was on the line and they were fucking useless). The few people who had the audacity to mock him for being stronger than they will ever be in their entire lives. The winner of the UA Sports Festival, who was so unstable, he had to be tied up (actually read: who was once again reminded at the emotional incompetence of Pro Heroes who forced him to accept a reward he did not think he earned, but still had the audacity to applaud themselves). The student who was kidnapped by the League Of Villains, either for displaying villainous tendencies or for the actual reason which was due to Hero negligence. Few had the audacity to claim he was the end of All Might when it was actually due to the Hero’s piss poor planning that he was, not only kidnapped to begin with, but allowed to be transported to a secondary location. Both instances which professionally trained Heroes should have accounted for.
However to Midoriya Izuku, he was best known as Kacchan. Someone who worked hard no matter the circumstances, a shining light in the darkness, and someone who was closer to him than even All Might. Midoriya genuinely admired Bakugou for his strengths and his weaknesses, because he never gave up. He was given every reason to lose faith in Hero Society, every reason to turn against the people who pushed him to do his best, and then punished him when he succeeded.
Regardless of how Midoriya always sought to see the real Bakugou, they still had issues that weren’t pretty by any means, but they were never enough to make him give up on the explosive Hero completely, and, of course, it paid off. They were Japan’s greatest duo, conquering hearts by the dozens.They still had issues. Midoriya was too reckless. Bakugou was ever unwilling to give up his personality to please superficial people.
Sometimes, they had rough weeks, both in Hero work and with the… responses to Hero work. Bakugou would never admit it, because he was still wary of exiting his shell and trusting people after tough times, but he had a bad week.
He didn’t need to say anything. Midoriya knew that he wasn’t feeling his best just because of the years that they had spent by each other’s sides. He knew that Bakugou was closing himself off to protect his soft interior, which was why the first haired Hero was meticulously dirtying up his kitchen.
Making careful work of his fridge, he scooped up all of the dishes that he could live without or were getting closer than he liked to their expiration date and carefully sorted them. A few of them, he dumped into the trash and put the dirty dishes in the sink, and the rest of them he slid into tupperware containers to give to his neighbors or the homeless people he sometimes saw. Again, he put the dirty dishes into the sink and hid all of the evidence. With remnants of the dishes that didn’t make it into the containers, Midoriya carefully positioned some of the food along the corners of his oven, cutting it on and carefully watching to make sure that he didn’t accidentally burn down his house doing so. After that, he gathered every rug that he hadn’t beat out and sook them all over the rest of the kitchen.
A dusty kitchen? Check. An empty fridge? Check. Gross dishes that looked like they hadn’t been washed all week? Check. A crusty oven? Check.
Mentally patting himself on the back, Midoriya set up a phone call as he dug in the closet for the old CD player and the CDs that went with it.
Beeeeep. Beeeep. Beep. Click.
“The fuck do you need?”
It was relieving to hear Bakugou’s voice, even if they had spoken the other day, and it was good to know that the blond wasn’t already coping with his emotions by training or something worse. Should he have been doing that, the forest haired Hero would have switched up his strategy and just treated him to dinner.
“Hey, Shitty Deku. Answer the question.” As blunt as ever, it was refreshing to know that he didn’t change. Midoriya couldn’t help but giggle a bit at that comment.
“I was just wondering if you could help me make dinner tonight,” Midoriya chirped, pretending like he was the one having a bad day. Bakugou would never admit it, but it helping others made him feel appreciated. He had a hard time accepting compliments that he didn’t think he earned, so making him “work for compliments” was actually one of the best strategies to make him feel better.
“And why would I do that?” Bakugou mused, smirking behind the phone as if he wasn’t already getting ready to come over and cook Midoriya dinner.
“I’m tired of take out,” he fibbed.
“And how is that my problem?”
“Because you’re cooking is amazing, Kacchan! It’s so flavorful and delicious and mouthwatering!” Midoriya was honest with his praises, and maybe imagining Bakugou on the other side, flushed in the cheeks but still acting like he wasn’t affected helped.
“Tell me something I don’t know, nerd,” his voice gave away the smile he was trying to hide, “But what’s in it for me, hah?”
Midoriya could have said a rock he found on the street, and Bakugou would still come over. “I can give you a massage? My physical therapists have told me that I’m getting much better at it!” Actually, they told him that, if he had more control over his joints, he could open up his own mesus shop and it would become famous. However, Bakugou already knew that.
“Fine,” Bakugou tch’ed as if he didn’t already have his coat and shoes on, ready to walk out the door, “But it better be the best damn massage you’ve ever given, shitty nerd!”
Even if Midoriya didn’t know Bakugou that well, the fact that his door could be heard opening immediately after that comment was a sign enough that Bakugou wasn’t as “unwilling” as he liked to pretend to be. Of course, he still hung up without saying goodbye, but, if they were going to see each other in ten, fifteen minutes, why waste the breath?
The forest haired Hero still grinned, digging through the closet to get into clothes he didn’t mind cleaning up the mess he made in- ones that weren’t already dusty. He didn’t want to give himself away that easily.
From there it was just a matter of waiting until Bakugou knocked on the door with three heavy, but swift thuds and an, “Open up, shitty nerd!”
“Coming, Kacchan!” he called gleefully, walking down the hallway as he tied his apron behind him. Upon opening the door, he was blessed by the God of the Gays. Bakugou stood in the doorway with a jacket loosely draped over his deliciously broad shoulders, the messiness revealing the sleeveless tank top he wore under the hastily zipped jacket. The frazzledness of the whole picture was cute. Bakugou tried to hide the fact that he had, no doubt, jogged the way over, probably at a faster pase than normal given the way his breaths strained ever so slightly.
“Are ya’ going to let me in or are ya’ gonna keep gawking at me, nerd?” Ah. He was embarrassed. Cute.
“I’m not sure, Kacchan. I kind of like this view,” Midoriya teased, but he wasn’t lying. Bakugou had one arm raised, leaning on the doorway. His jacket was zipped up halfway, covering his abs, but exposing his chest and the shirt that was trying to hard not to stretch around his broad pecs. His powerful shoulders were just barely in view, like a whisper of what was being hidden. It was electrifying.
“Yeah, yeah, move out of the way or I’m leaving,” Bakugou rolled his eyes as if he wasn’t pushing Midoriya to the side and walking in.
“You’re very convincing, Kacchan,” the forest haired Hero mumbled under his breath as he generously watched the blond walk away. Shutting the door, he still let out a fond sigh as Bakugou took off his jacket.
“So, where’s my hoodie?” Normally, a sentence like that would come because Midoriya was, in fact, a dirty hoodie thief- not that he was ever going to admit that. However, Bakugou was looking for a specific type of hoodie.
“Hoodie?” Midoriya repeated, pretending that he had no clue what the blond was talking about.
“Yeah, or a tee shirt or some shit. I’m not cleaning your fucking kitchen in my tank top. This shit is high quality. You still get your shirts from the shitty department store. Give me one,” he demanded, graceful as ever.
“C-clean?” Heroism had, thankfully, improved his acting skills, “Kacchan, you don’t have to clean my kitchen! I just asked you to make dinner!”
“So you want me to make dinner in a gross ass kitchen?”
“My kitchen’s not that bad!” It was. He had made sure of that.
“You call this not bad? Deku, this is dust as fuck. We’re cleaning it, and that’s fucking final. Now get me one of your shitty nerd shirts so that I don’t get dirt on the shirt that I’m making food in.”
“Whatever, Kacchan,” Midoriya rolled his eyes fondly, knowing this would happen, He even set aside a baggy, grey shirt that may or may not have said “Boyfriend Material,” just to make Bakugou laugh.
Handing over the shirt and getting a pretending-to-be-unamused, ‘really?’ look, Midoriya faked a pout, “It’s the best I’ve got,” he said as if this wasn’t nearly a routine thing. Last time, it was a shirt that said, “Dynamite Guy,” because there was no way he could resist buying that even if it was from an online shop.
Bakugou just shook his head and peeled off his tank to put on the baggy shirt. That was Midoriya’s treat during the ordeal: he got to see Bakugou wearing some of his shirts. Of course, he also got to eat Bakugou’s amazing cooking- which was something beyond compare, but spending hours of quality time with Bakugou who was also in one of Midoriya’s (almost never worn) shirts was super endearing.
“Stop dawdling, and hurry over here!” Bakugou snapped, but it lacked malice and merely made Midoriya smile, “Yes, yes, coming Kacchan~!: He chirped in response, skipping over without a second thought.
“Okay, little shit,” the blond pretended like their five centimeter difference was fifty, “We’re going to teach you how to clean out your nasty ass oven first.” They always did that. Really, the reason Bakugou kept “falling for” Midoriya’s little ploy was because he knew about it all along.
Every time, they would start by putting the cleaner in the oven; then soak the dishes; and, while those were waiting, Midoriya would sweep while Bakugou wiped down the counter because “food was going on it and there was no way (his) clumsy ass was going to leave shit behind.” Midoriya would put on one of their mom’s old CDs, claiming that it helped him work.
It always started with Midoriya- whether he meant to or not- he started singing along while sweeping. Bakugou sometimes would comment or ‘insult’ him, but, this time, he just smiled. Emerald eyes nearly missed it as he spun around the kitchen.
“You’re kicking up dust, nerd,” Bakugou laughed.
Midoriya just kept singing, drawing closer and closer to the blond as the chorus was approaching. Scarlet eyes gave their best, ‘I’m not doing it,’ look, but, when Midoriya’s freckled nose scrunched up in a grin, Bakugou gave in. A little bit at first, mumbling the words. He started tapping along to the beat.
By the time the next chorus came along, they were both belting the lyrics to each other dramatically and moving along to the beat. Midoriya saw Bakugou’s shoulders completely relax as he moved to wipe all of the dirt off the counter. It felt like they were kids again, and the broom was taller than Midoriya was. Bakugou was standing on a chair. Half crawling onto the counter to wipe all of the dirt around.
It was unbearable how he used to wipe the dirt off of the counter onto the floor, and he’d always yell at Midoriya for “forgetting a spot.” Midoriya would always cry, and the blond would panic, waving his arm and saying that they could just clean it up together.
“You’re such a dork, you know that, right?” Bakugou scoffed, setting down his rag.
“Well, Kacchan, you never let me forget it,” Midoriya batted his long eyelashes innocently before they both burst into laughter.
“Because it’s true. Now get your ass over here and help me with these dishes, and don’t fucking drop anything this time.”
Last time, Midoriya had made the mistake of trying to be ‘bad at’ doing dishes, and, in trying, he did succeed! He was very bad at them! It’s interesting, really, how difficult it is to be bad at doing the dishes. Unless someone like a parent or coworker is rushing you to get them done, causing you to leave behind dirt and food that you could have gotten if you just had two more seconds- it is rather difficult to purposely fuck up such a simple task. Needless to say, he kept dropping the soap, the silverware, the dishes. It was a mess. There was water all over the floor, over him, over Bakugou, over the counter; there was water everywhere.
Midoriya did not live that down for the next week. Well, technically he still hadn’t lived it down, but Bakugou mentioned it nonstop for the next week. ‘Oh, you’re going on patrol? You can’t even do dishes properly.’ ‘Is your zipper as slippery as those dishes were?’ ‘You brought your wallet, right? If we have to do dishes, we’ll never pay off our tab.’
Of course, he was careful to make sure that Midoriya wasn’t actually having any issues with his hands. Just about every time, he would grab the Hero’s hand and massage his old scars, loosening up the tense muscle and calming Midoriya down. Actually, that was how everything started.
Even as far into their relationship as they were, Midoriya was still hesitant to ask Bakugou for help. The blond wasn’t much better, either. They had amended and become friends, again- the best of friends, again. It was just like they had been before their quirks had changed everything. It still didn’t help that they both had scars over their hearts. Bakugou still had problems with trust and intimacy; conditioning was scary, and being forced to be strong for so long made it hard to feel weak. Midoriya wasn’t much better. He still felt the same inferiority, over and over. Opposite of Bakugou, he had always been conditioned to feel weak, to feel lesser than, to feel like he was useless. Even when he fought Muscular, Stain, Overhaul, Shigaraki- Midoriya always felt helpless, like the quirkless little boy that he once was.
After all of those battles, after being so harsh to his body during high school, Midoriya would still have issues with his joints and connective tissues. Sometimes he didn’t have the grip strength to curl his fingers into a fist. His arms would flare up with an intense, burning pain, and all he could do was cry into his pillow, hoping that it went away.
One day, Bakugou had walked in during a flare up. At first, he had planned on yelling at Midoriya for the sorry state of his house. There were broken plates on the floor- well, there was a lot of shit on the floor, actually, because he would try to pick things up only to be met with a stabbing pain. Until he saw Midoriya clutching his arm so hard it nearly cut off the circulation. When Bakugou moved to stop him from doing so, the forest haired Hero let out a round of choking sobs of pure pain.
Bakugou massaged both of his arms, gently using his quirk to heat up his palms, and applying pressure to the tender muscle. As soon as Midoriya fell asleep, the hotheaded Hero all but deep cleaned the house, even making dinner for his partner as he waited for Midoriya to wake up.
Of course, Midoriya ended up crying more after realizing that, confessing to Bakugou that he felt like such a burden. He felt useless, being taken out of commission from a simple lighting quirk user. The electricity had messed up his nerves and, when in conjunction with all of his old issues, made everyday functions nearly impossible. He had to go back to physical therapy again, and the flare ups became more common.
Shortly after catching Midoriya in such a state, Bakugou had called him very ambiguously, “Can you control your hands right now?” Thankfully he could, and he said as much.
Not but a few minutes later, Bakugou had kicked his door in the same way he usually knocked. Well, Midoriya didn’t actually know that he was kicking the door until it swung open and the explosive blond was standing there with both of his hands away from his body. They were both bloody and raw- no doubt from quirk overuse. His voice was hoarse, hesitant, and almost scared as he whispered, “Can you patch me up?”
Midoriya, naturally, said yes within a heartbeat, grabbing the blond by the forearms where he didn’t see any damage. After extensive and careful treatment, he had Bakugou’s arms bandaged up. Since he couldn’t cook well, the forest haired Hero called for delivery, but he still helped Bakugou eat, in the same way that the blond had helped him when his arms were out of commission.
They didn’t talk much, but it really hit Midoriya when Bakugou mumbled, “I usually do this myself.” He found it easier to rely on people when they relied on him first, easier to show them his weakness when he had been shown theirs.
Bakugou was like a feral cat. Midoriya fed him day after day, and, one day, he came home wounded. Midoriya still couldn’t pet him, couldn’t cherish him like a housecat, but he was trusted enough to help Bakugou out when he was at his lowest.
Their relationship didn’t get immediately better after that, but that still sparked a change for the better. Midoriya kept feeding the stray cat, kept promising warmth and solidarity, and over time it worked. They kept leaning on each other. At first, Bakugou refused to come to Midoriya first, to do anything that Midoriya hadn’t done before. When Midoriya would call because of a flare up, Bakugou would come over for overuse. Of course, it wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty much a one to one ratio, as if the blond was counting how many times he went over and why.
Now, their relationship still wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t have to be.
Of course, now they were racing to see who could clean more dishes. Bakugou was obviously winning, but this was something that Midoriya genuinely had to put his all into. He was, roughly, a dish or two behind Bakugou at all times. It was Midoriya’s fault for saying that he wasn’t that bad at dishes.
“Uh-huh, yeah, sure, nerd. We can act like you didn’t almost break half of your plates on a good day,” Bakugou rolled his eyes.
“It was so not almost half! And they were just slippery, Kacchan!” Midoriya defended weakly.
Slowly- well, as slow as any challenge between the world’s most hardheaded Heroes did- it escalated until they were both racing against each other trying to get as many dishes done as possible. Afterwards, they would have to go over their opponent’s dishes to find any blemishes or left behind bits. That should have been Midoriya’s cue to back down, because Bakugou was ruthless when it came to finding faults, specifically in dishes. However, he was nothing if not dedicated, and there was nothing Bakugou loved more than a challenge. Midoriya foolishly said yes, and thus began their race.
Naturally, Bakugou came out on top, both in speed and in efficiency. On the other hand, Midoriya definitely won, because the hotheaded blond did admit, “Yeah, you can do shit when you put your mind to it.”
Two seconds later, he was already off the praise train and back onto, “Now, little shit, we’re going to clean out your gross ass oven. What the fuck is even in here?”
“Food, Kacchan. You know, what the oven is used for,” Midoriya deflected, since he wasn’t actually sure which dishes he had smeared around in there.
“Ha, ha. Could have fooled me. Are these fucking noodles? How the fuck do you get noodles on the bottom of your oven?”
“I don’t know, Kacchan!”
Since the oven wasn’t big enough for them both to fit through the opening, they both took turns pushing into the tight space and scrubbing the shit out of the walls. Bakugou was very vocal about how bad the cleaning was, previously, and how that shit would never stand in his house. Midoriya always rebuttaled that Bakugou was exaggerating and this wasn’t his house.
Once they were done with that, they both cleaned themselves up, and changed into different clothes. Midoriya sat on the countertop, giving Bakugou as much space as possible while still watching over him fondly.
“Let me guess, you want Katsudon?”
“Can I?” emerald eyes beamed. Of course, the reason he liked katsudon to begin with was right in front of him, wearing an apron with the words: ‘if you can read this, get out of my kitchen,’ embroidered on the fabric. With the amount of times Midoriya had requested katsudon, it became something of a comfort food for both of them. Otherwise, he would have switched it up and asked for something different.
Bakugou scoffed, “You need to eat more than that unhealthy shit, you know.”
“Oh, come on, you like it, too, Kacchan! Don’t lie!”
“Yeah, I like it. You’re obsessed with it,” he complained, but the soft look on his face gave the blond away, “Katsudon this, katsudon that. You remind me of when we were kids.” Technically when they were kids, it sounded much more like, “Kacchan this, Kacchan that,” and they both knew it. Neither of them were going to say that, though; it was embarrassing as shit. Plus, it was like admitting that Midoriya was obsessed with Bakugou. Which he was, admittedly, in a way, but there was no way he was going to say that out loud.
“And yet you’re still making it!” Midoriya chirped instead.
“Doesn’t mean I won’t fucking complain about it, nerd,” Bakugou fought back.
The rest of the process was spent mostly in silence, just enjoying each other’s company. It took Midoriya a long time to realize that the space between them- really, between him and anyone- didn’t have to be filled. After years of always being treated differently from everyone else, silence was scary; silence was thinking of a punishment, was him being boring, was him being left behind, again. Even back then, at least Bakugou gave Midoriya a chance. Every time, he would wait just to see if Midoriya could do it- skipping stones, bouncing the ball, kicking the can; he would watch Midoriya try and try again. Of course, he made fun of him when he failed, and that did hurt. However, he always gave Midoriya a chance.
Most kids pushed Midoriya away, said he wasn’t welcome; or, worse, they treated him like he was breakable, like a doll. Of course, Bakugou’s actions weren’t good by any means, but, even in being put down or bullied, Bakugou was one of the only people who treated Midoriya like he was more than just his quirklessness- that just so happened to be because he was shit at everything else, too, but… Bakugou treated him just like any other kid.
He didn’t lie to Midoriya’s face. Unlike the other kids who would suddenly stop cheering when Midoriya did something wrong. “It’s not actually that cool.” “That was super hard.” “You can do it next time…” Those always turned into: “Way to ruin the fun,” “Of course, he messed it up, again,” or, “Good luck next time,” with a sneer.
“Better” was an objective term, but it was different from Bakugou, who would outright say: “Wow, Deku, that was really bad!”
Midoriya couldn’t help but laugh as he thought about how forward Bakugou had always been.
“The fuck are you laughing at?” Bakugou tried to snap, but his confusion rang loud and clear, “You think you can cut the vegetables this fucking cleanly?”
“No, of course not, Kacchan,” Midoriya mused, “I’m just thinking about how nice it is that you haven’t changed. You’ve always been so strong and confident. Whenever you’re there, it always feels like everything is okay: we’ll always win, because Kacchan is with us.”
“So you’re saying it’s my fucking fault you’re so reckless?” the blond looked away, clearly embarrassed with just how honest Midoriya could be at times, “That’s such a cheap cop-out and you fucking know it.”
“Hmmm, is it?” the forest haired Hero pretended to dwell on Bakugou’s words, “I think it’s nice, Kacchan. It’s proof that you’ve always been a Hero.”
“Get out of my fucking kitchen, you sappy asshole! You’re gonna make the food taste like shit!” Bakugou wasted no time pushing Midoriya off the counter and out of the kitchen.
“It’s my kitchen, actually-” he tried to defend, but when someone who was pretty much a Pro-level chef says, “Not when I’m cooking, it’s not,” it is rather hard to disagree.
Regardless, Midoriya let himself be kicked out of his own kitchen. It gave him the time that he needed to set up the living room. He made a space for Bakugou to sit comfortably while he got a massage, almost making half a pillow fort just for the two of them. The table had a towel over it, since he didn’t have a tablecloth that small. There were coasters set up, so that the blond didn’t pitch a fit. He even decided to grab a few oils to make the massage even better. They were unscented, so that it didn’t bother their dinner- something he figured Bakugou would appreciate.
“It’s done. Behave, or I’ll take it away,” the explosive Hero threatened, carrying out two plates of katsudon.
“Yessir!” Midoriya chirped, taking a bite as soon as the plate was set down in front of him. Of course, it was hot, so he instantly regretted it. Bakugou laughed as the forest haired dumbass breathed out like a dragon, whispering, “Hot,” over and over while fanning his mouth.
“It’s freshly fucking made, what did you expect?”
“Bu’ i’ tas’s s’ ‘od!” he slurred a very poor rendition of, ‘but it tastes so good.’
“Of fucking course it tastes so good! Who do you think fucking made it?” the blond boasted before swatting Midoriya’s hand away from his bowl, “And it will taste good in a fucking minute, Deku, let it cool the fuck off first!”
After taking a few more bites- once it had cooled off- Midoriya got to work with Bakugou’s shoulders. It helped with his physical therapy to move his fingers, and it helped the blond get the knots out of his muscles. Even better, the forest haired Hero felt his companion relax beneath his touch.
It was so quiet, Midoriya almost missed it. Bakugou whispered, his breath coming out in puffs as he continued to eat his dinner.
“It’s only payback for helping me out, Kacchan.”
Midoriya felt his hands slow, moving purely on muscle memory, and he opened his mouth, only to shut it again.
Again, it was low and quiet, “I know you clean your kitchen regularly. This was just an excuse to get me to come over and shit, wasn’t it? To make me feel better.”
“What makes you say that?” Midoriya challenged, picking up his work. He couldn’t help but smile fondly; of course, Bakugou saw right through him. He saw right through Midoriya’s ploy to make him feel better, but, more than that, he stayed. He knew he was being tricked, and he stayed, anyway.
“There were noodles in your oven-” “Things happen, Kacchan.”
“There were bits of rock on your countertops-” “I’m short, and sometimes I step on them so that I can reach the top shelf.”
“There’s never any dust behind your fridge, or on top of it for that matter. Even if I did believe your ridiculous reasoning, there’s no way you could get dust on your floors and countertops without getting dust behind the fridge.” Ah, Midoriya was caught.
“And?” he all but mumbled back, retreating his hands hesitantly.
Bakugou leaned back, slumping downward until he was resting his head in Midoriya’s lap, “And it means I like spending time with you, too, dumbass.” He stated plain and simple, before peeking open an eye and adding a cheeky, “And it means I’m staying the night, so you have to lend me some shit to sleep in.”
Midoriya laughed wetly, wiping his hands on the towel so that he could address the tears rolling down his cheeks.
“Are you crying?” the blond nearly got up from Midoriya’s lap, but he let himself be coaxed down by scarred fingers running through his hair.
“I’m just really happy, Kacchan.”
“You’re such a crybaby, Izuku.”
Midoriya froze for a minute before laughing, “Please, I don’t think my heart can handle that right now.”
“Only compared to you, Kacchan.”