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L is for the way you look at me,

---

It’s just another Tuesday afternoon, and it’s supposedly an easy target. Their person of interest is done up in tighty-whities, wings, and a stupid bow that just looks cheap–which is why when Uraraka hears Bakugo’s shout and twists to find the danger, it’s particularly pathetic that she gets hit.

15 minutes later when the situation’s been managed, he hauls her off the ground and shakes her like a polaroid. “Oi.” When she’s still unresponsive, Bakugo wraps an arm around her waist and lets her drape over it like a coat. 

Maybe it’s the discomfort of the position that wakes her up. Smacking her mouth and squirming around so that she’s no longer facing the floor, Uraraka blinks into consciousness, except it’s one eye after the other so she looks a bit like a reptile. “Bakugo?” She slurs, breathless. “Wha’penned?”

“You got hit by one of his arrows, idiot. He called it a Cupid quirk when he was monologuin’.” Bakugo says. Whatever it is his face does, it tickles Uraraka, because she smiles broad enough to fit an entire banana length-wise in her mouth, breaking into peals of laughter when Bakugo’s eye twitches. “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

“‘Monologuin’’,” Uraraka repeats on a titter, eyes half-lidded in a way they should only be after several shots of something strong. “s’Funny word. ‘Monologuin’.’ Why d’they always do that?” The color of her gaze is warm and molten, and when she raises her hands and sets one on his shoulder, Bakugo stills. Her other hand finds his cheek, knuckles brushing over it, and he swallows thickly.

Then she abruptly becomes stern, arms falling back to her sides. “Who’d we kill?”

Bakugo lurches back, jostling Uraraka and consequently unleashing another round of maniacal giggling. “We didn’t kill anybody!”

“Alright, alright,” she says. “Who’d we take down?”

He squints at her foggy smile, at the limp hand she’d just flapped at him, before realizing he’s somehow circled both his arms around her waist and she’s bent back in a dip. Bakugo drops her without warning, and Uraraka doesn’t even stumble as she straightens. “Some bastard callin’ himself ‘Love’s Hero’”–he can’t believe he manages to spit it out, it’s so dumb–“Cheesy ass name.”

“Says Lord Explosion Murder DynaMight.” Whatever cloud of stupor she’d been in before recedes–even the smog in her eyes clears, until all that’s left is that bright, intelligent brown.

GREAT EXPLOSION MURDER GOD DYNAMIGHT!” Bakugo’s spit flies. He knows she’s one of the few that can remember his name, she’s just comfortable enough to take shots at him now.

Chuckling, she waves him off dismissively and strolls over to the officers to provide them with her account of things. Bakugo observes her, looking for any signs that she’s been hit by a quirk neither of them understands.

But nothing is different. Not the way she converses genially with the officials or the way she moves her hands when talking. Not the way her expression composes itself when they let her know the next steps while she nods along, and not the way she waves goodbye to them, making sure they make it safely back to their vehicles before spinning to face Bakugo.

And certainly not the way his heart hammers in his chest when she beams at him before taking off towards their headquarters.

(It’s just another Tuesday afternoon, after all.)

---

It’s a large campus and they shouldn’t run into each other often, but they do. Today he’s storming back from a fight where the villain actually got a hit on him, the cut under his eye seeping blood like it’s got nothing better to do than advertise his failure. 

So of course he bumps into Uraraka, who of course happens to already have a first aid kit in hand. “Bakugo!” She gasps, immediately reaching out for him.

He evades her grasp, clapping a gloved hand over his injury like she isn’t already staring right at it. “What?!”

“You’re hurt!”

I’m not!

“You’re bleeding!”

“Get lost!”

“Sit,” she pats the spot on the bench next to her.

“Don’t tell me what to do,” he says from behind clenched teeth, but does as she says anyway while she clicks the box open and spins out some gauze, a roll of bandages, and an alcohol prep pad. Uraraka may be the only person in the world who can make him do exactly what he says he won’t. 

“Stay still,” she chides, and it only makes him vibrate more. 

Four years ago, Izuku pitched the idea of class A starting their own agency. Three years ago, it came to fruition. And in those three years, his relationships with each of his former classmates have developed in their own ways, but none quite like the one he has with Uraraka. Sure, everybody knows him–more than he likes–but they leave him up to his own devices. It’s disarming and alarming, though, the way Uraraka reads him and puts it into a plan of action.

She likes to get in his way. Case in point, her wrapping up the long gash on his forearm she couldn’t have seen but somehow had known he’d been hiding. Her thumbs meander along the sensitive skin as she winds the cloth up his arm, and when she’s done, she tears the material off the roll and presses it firmly into place, finishing up by grinning at him. Bakugo has no idea if his goosebumps are 'cause of her face or the line she'd just traced up him.

They’re quiet. The only sound he hears is an annoying pounding, and his head feels like somebody’s filled it with syrup. Uraraka whispers something, and it maneuvers through the viscosity in his brain. “Want me to kiss it better, too?”

The hell?!” He rips his arm out of her hold and feels the heat travel up his neck.

Laughing, she keeps him down on the seat with just a hand on his knee. “I’m just kidding! You’re too easy to rile up.”

“You wanna die?!” It’s a sign of personal growth, he thinks, that instead of threatening outright murder these days, he asks for consent first.

In an odd turn of events, her eyes become liquid just like that moment after she’d been hit by the quirk. A small hand comes up to cradle his jaw, and he stiffens. Padded fingers trail up to the bandage under his eye. “You’re so dramatic. It’s funny.”

It’s not the first time she’s said it to him, but her gaze is soft as fleece, and the warmth of her touch is unsettling. Bakugo has nothing to say. The moment is broken when she presses her thumb against the edge of the bandaid, ensuring it’s holding its place. “All done!” She pops off the bench, walking off with a short wave of her hand. “See ya later.”

---

O is for the only one i see,

---

“Later” is four hours later, in Todoroki’s office. He sits primly in his seat, the back of his armchair rising high above his head. He’s never had the physical presence his father did, but he makes up for it in that steady, unreadable gaze of his, which he seems to lay specifically on Bakugo. The latter feels that telltale tension in his jaw that means he’s about to disappoint his dentist.

“The interrogation unit got back to us on Love’s Hero,” Todoroki finally says, calm as the eye of a hurricane. Uraraka blushes like she knows where this is going. “He secretes a hormone he creates specially, and he can manipulate it once it enters the victim’s bloodstream after certain conditions are met. His arrows are loaded with the concoction.”

“Certain conditions?” Uraraka asks, grimacing.

“The first person you see when you regain consciousness activates the hormones,” Todoroki explains, and the high, nervous laugh Uraraka gives is uncanny.

“So he’s controlling them now?” Bakugo asks.

But Todoroki shakes his head. “After a certain distance, he has no control over it. You’re just loaded with some combination of pseudo-oxytocin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Kind of like your nitroglycerin,” he sends a short nod to Bakugo, who bristles at the implication that any part of him is less than authentic, even though it’s true. 

“So I’m not in danger,” Uraraka scratches the back of her head and frowns.

Todoroki shrugs. “Only as in danger as being highly in love is.” Steam blows out her ears, and Bakugo catches the way her eyes flit to him and then away. His bottom lip juts out stubbornly. “The hormones stay in your system forever, though, unless you deactivate them.”

She pales. “Forever?! How do you get rid of them?”

“True love’s kiss.” Todoroki watches her placidly as she grows faint. Bakugo feels a valve in his brain rupture and start squealing. “In most cases it hasn’t been the object of the quirk that cures it.” A beat follows. “I’m guessing you haven’t told him?”

What do you think?!” Uraraka turns to stomp to the door, then thinks better of it and spins back around. Todoroki watches Bakugo with that tiny twitch of a smile that he’s come to know as amusement. “Not like he’d reciprocate. True love has to reciprocate, doesn’t it?” She stares resignedly at the air right next to Todoroki’s shoulder.

Todoroki shrugs. "Not necessarily." Then he adds, "I'd just let it play out."

“What the hell is going on?!” Nobody likes being left in the dark, but Bakugo–like everything else in his life–is more passionate about that hatred than the rest of his peers.

Nothing!” Uraraka says at the same time that Todoroki says, “This’ll be fun.” She throws an incredulous and reproachful look in the other boy’s direction. Three years of non-stop shenanigans have wreaked havoc on Todoroki’s sense of humor.

“So what,” she blows hair out of her face. “Do some people just never get rid of it?”

When Todoroki nods, Uraraka looks like she might pass out. “It gets more and more severe with time, though time is subjective. Some people start throwing themselves in front of perceived dangers to save the object of affection before the three month mark. Some take years. We suspect it has something to do with how long they’ve already liked the target and their own predisposition towards emotions and handling them.”

The groan Uraraka gives would suggest the world was ending. “You have great self-control, Ochako. I don’t think you need to worry.” She groans again in response, face in her palms.

The harmless little smile Todoroki has on is terrifying. Bakugo jerks away from the disturbing picture to lock on to Uraraka. “We’re setting up a kissing booth. You’ll swap spit with every extra on the planet, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll start catchin’ frogs.” That may be the weirdest thing he’s ever said in his life, and he gets a headache just thinking about any of it. “If you throw yourself in front of a hit to save me, I’ll kill you.

“Great, thanks,” Uraraka deadpans.

Todoroki is still looking frighteningly cheery, what with his barely-there grin. “That’s all. You’re dismissed.”

You’re dismissed, bastard,” Bakugo says under his breath. When Uraraka laughs, he means to bare his teeth at her, but as he meets the quick little glance she shoots his way, he nearly stops mid-step at the intensity in her eyes. Her pupils are blown huge.

With a sound that would make wolves cower, he shoulders past her, heart pounding off-rhythm in his chest. This is gonna suck.

---

They’ve always worked well together (nevermind that she’s one of a handful of people he’ll willingly work with at all) probably because of that thing he mentioned earlier where Uraraka doesn’t let him just do what he wants. Funny, how these things work: the only thing more annoying than somebody who doesn’t let him walk all over them is somebody who can’t stand up to him.

Unfortunately, they’re currently in a situation where he’s really resenting that Uraraka won’t just let him have his way.

Kiss him, Cheeks!

“No!” She yowls, fighting away from Midoriya. “I won’t! You can’t make me!”

Bakugo, whose fingers are digging into Midoriya’s back so firmly they’re practically sinking through his flesh, gives the poor boy a shake that rattles the teeth right out of his skull. Midoriya moans at his plight. “You wanna stop the stupid quirk or not?!”

“It’s not Deku!” Uraraka says, sidestepping the Bakugo-Midoriya combo that’s blocking her exit from the kitchen. 

Bakugo follows her sidestep, holding Midoriya out to her so they’re nose-to-nose. “Then who is it?!”

“I don’t want”–she protests, craning her head to the left like a child shying away from a steamed vegetable. “Deku’s dating Todoroki!”

“Fuckin’ KISS HIM, CHEEKS!” 

“No!” She looks at Deku pleadingly. 

Deku just hangs there, red as a fire hydrant, panicked. “You haven’t told him?”

Exasperated, Uraraka says, “Why would I tell him?” 

Their mysterious exchange just serves to piss Bakugo off more. “It’s not the time for coded conversations! Get to kissing, idiots!”

“I’m not kissing Deku!” Uraraka retorts, giving Bakugo’s forearm a light smack so that he’ll release. Deku crumples to a heap, but before Uraraka can help him up, Bakugo yanks her out of the room. “What’re you doing?!”

He pins her to the wall just outside the door, then sees her pupils grow large and round and dangerous. The odd kick in his gut prompts him to release, and Uraraka slumps into the wall, breathing like she’s trying to catch her breath. Small hands clutch at her chest as if she’s trying to stuff her heart back inside her. When she looks up, Bakugo starts back just enough for Uraraka to notice. Her face down to her neck is flushed, and her eyes are hazy.

“Sorry,” she mumbles, sliding a palm over her forehead, her eyes, her nose, landing on her mouth. “It’s under control, I promise.” Sure enough, when her fingers come away, her pupils are back to normal. “Are you okay?” She asks, worried. “You’re red. Like, super red.”

Having it pointed out only makes it worse, apparently, because another surge of heat washes through him. “I’m fine.” Uraraka frowns, clearly not believing him. Irritation pounds between his eyes, and he presses his thumb and middle finger against his temples, squeezing his lids shut to ward off the incoming headache. 

Uraraka let’s it go, though. Impish humor stretches her lips wide, giving Bakugo a show of all her teeth, and she bumps him with her shoulder as she walks past him. “I’m hungry. Wanna grab dinner?”

Huffing, Bakugo side-eyes her but slows his pace down so that she can keep up. “If you get tempura for the fourth time this week, I’m gonna riot.”

“Mochi?”

“Mochi’s not dinner, idiot!”

“Fine,” Uraraka says on a sigh. “Udon. Just for you.”

“You say that every damn time and then change your mind to mochi at the last minute.”

“I promise.”

“You say that every time, too!”

“I’m serious this time!” Bakugo shoots her a fatal look, and she snickers. “I swear. I’m a saint!”

“You’re a god damn liar is what you are.”

Bakugo!” It’s supposed to be angry, he can tell, but she hits every note of laughter like it’s her solo in some choral piece, and it rings in his ears like Christmas.

---

V is very very extraordinary,

---

Count on Uraraka to evacuate every civilian in the perimeter, lift every building within a kilometer radius to shake out the target, drop everything neatly back in place without a scratch, and then do something completely nonsensical like dive in front of a hit meant for Bakugo.

Their target throws sticky balls! They’re not even half as effective as Mineta’s! There’s only one possible explanation.

“You’re kissing Shinsou tomorrow,” Bakugo rages, dragging her back to their building by the nape of her costume. 

“No,” Uraraka opines. “No more, please. My lips are so chapped, Bakugo.”

Like every time before that she’s refused, he says, “You wanna end this quirk or not?!”

“It’s not Shinsou!” She responds, quickening her steps to catch up to him. “We’re out of people in the agency, Bakugo, and I’m not kissing Mineta.” He looks at her disbelievingly, because even he has a heart and it’s outrageous she’d even suggest the nasty twerp. “There’s only one person left.” Uraraka purses her lips to the side and looks at him from the corner of her eye.

“Hysterical,” Bakugo deadpans, holding her back by her forehead as she breaks into laughter and reaches for him with grabby hands, lips puckered obscenely. She looks like an idiot, and his heart gives a stupid little spin.

When Uraraka grabs his arm and slips out of his grasp, she beams up at him, eyes curving into rainbows and the sparkle in them just as radiant. “I promise I’ll kiss Shinsou,” she declares, and the dumb thing in his chest stops spinning so that it can buckle instead. “But only if you promise”–

“You’d rather be a sap for the rest of your life?”

Uraraka holds up a finger, closing her eyes and becoming serious. “You didn’t let me finish.” Swirling her finger, she finishes the movement off by shoving the end of the digit into his chest. “Only if you promise to kiss me.”

Whatever snappy response he’d prepared dies on his tongue. His mouth hangs open, ashes of his impending syllables carried off by the breeze. Uraraka’s eyes are teasing and incandescent, warm and… dark. “Wha’d’ya say, Bakugo?” The timbre of her voice is new, her usual pep coated in something velvety. She rises to her toes.

His face makes rounds through his glossary of emotions. The weird thing about all of this is that Uraraka is no different from before the quirk, save for the color in her eyes. She’s always been annoyingly aware of him and his temper, to the point where she knows just how far she can stick her toe past the line and get away with it, pushing the boundary farther and farther in her favor.

Sure, she’s a little more flirtatious right now, but that makes sense, given that she’s under the impression that she’s in love with him. But she’s administered first aid to him near daily, they eat together all the time, bicker and banter, fight side-by-side…

He’s only noticing how weird she’s being because he has a reason to now. Otherwise, Uraraka is no different. 

She’s been nearing him steadily, slowly, and Bakugo turns away with a grimace, grabbing her by her shoulder to push her off. There’s an unmistakably awkward silence–Bakugo hopes his heart isn’t actually as loud as it sounds to him–but Uraraka steps back, clasping her hands behind her back and chuckling. “I’m just kidding. But you promise you’ll talk to Rachel?”

When he meets her gaze again, the depth is gone, replaced by a levity that sends a disconcerting rush of disappointment through him. Gritting his teeth, he sneers at her. “Rachel?”

Uraraka gives an exasperated sigh, spinning away on her heel. “I told you about her before I got hit. Rachel.” She looks at him expectantly, and when he gives her nothing, she wilts to the side. “Rachel Smith! I gave you her number! She was interested in you!”

“Sounds like an American,” Bakugo scoffs, keeping up with her. She’s walking unnecessarily quickly.

“Not that it matters, but she immigrated when she was three. She’s really only American in name and birthplace.” When Uraraka turns into the girl’s locker room, she throws a hand up in goodbye. “I think you’d really like her!”

Bakugo really doesn’t hear much of what she’s saying the entire time. More than anything, he’s waiting for Uraraka to actually look at him, which she doesn’t do at all. She doesn’t ask him out to dinner, either, and something irritated rises up in him.

He’s not given time to dwell on it though. Kendo walks out just a few seconds later, doing a double take when she sees Bakugo. “Todoroki was looking for you.”

Giving her an entirely unneeded snarl (Kendo only rolls her eyes), Bakugo walks into the men’s room to change before making his way to the office.

Like a fucking child, Todoroki is spinning around and around in his chair when Bakugo slams the door open. The idiot doesn’t even bother feigning dignity, just lets himself ease into a stop. As if he hasn’t just openly displayed his complete lack of professionalism, he folds his hands over his desk and peers plainly into Bakugo’s soul. “I heard what happened. I’ll be taking both of you off each other’s rosters until we can get this sorted out, which is unfortunate considering how short yours already is.” Todoroki disregards Bakugo’s glare. “Any other updates?”

“Nothing’s changed.” His mouth thins. “She’s not that different from how she was before she got hit, either.”

Todoroki stares at him for what feels like an eternity. Come to think of it… has Bakugo ever seen Todoroki blink? He’s starting to think he hasn’t. “Bakugo,” Todoroki says, tone entirely too accommodating. Bakugo’s hackles raise instantly. “You’re like a brick.”

“What? The fuck?” The bastard’s got one chance to say the right thing.

“Really dense.”

“I’m giving you a two second head start. Better fuckin’ scram, Half n’ Half.”

Todoroki does anything but. He literally stands, slides his hands into his pockets, and walks out with the grace and leisure afforded only to retired ballerinas. Judging by the way his voice floats in, he’s halfway down the hallway by the time Bakugo decides to head out. “They’re serving sukiyaki for dinner today.” 

Bakugo doesn’t accept his half-assed invitation. He’s waiting on the off-chance Ura... somebody else invites him anywhere else.

---

Uraraka is annoyingly glum as they make their way to the kitchen to meet her date-of-the-day. Shinso is waiting on the other side of the swinging door, sitting at one of the tables with his cheek on his fist. Bedroom eyes flicker to the pair of them as they walk in, and he sighs and stands to greet them with a lackluster wave at his waist.

Like a kid that’s being forced to play nice, Uraraka slouches up to him. “Hi, Shinso, it’s Uraraka.” Her complete disinterest amuses Shinso, and Bakugo, who’s never particularly disliked Shinso, suddenly finds the guy’s half-smile grating when Uraraka smiles back up at him, shaking her head in embarrassment.

Anger must smoke out from him in a tangible aura, because Shinso glances up at Bakugo, blinks, then looks back down at Uraraka. “Does he know?”

Apparently there’s some sort of secret that everybody in the fucking agency is in on except for him. Uraraka shakes her head, takes Shinso’s shoulder, and puckers her mouth with the enthusiasm of somebody watching paint dry. She doesn’t even rise to her tiptoes, which gives Bakugo a vicious jolt of satisfaction.

“I don’t know if that makes this better or worse,” Shinso chuckles, and Uraraka stops her fish-lipping to briefly exchange that laugh with him. 

It’s friendly and considerate, as far as kisses go. When Uraraka peels away, she smiles appreciatively at Shinso, who throws up both his thumbs and then heads out. 

“Well?” Bakugo fumes.

“I’m cured!” Uraraka says, voice dryer than chalk as she does jazz hands in the air. “I’ve been in love with Shinsou all this time! Didn’t see that coming, since we never talk, you know how it is, Uraraka just falling in love with night shift employees that she never talks to”–

“I’ll do it.”

–“‘Cause she’s got nothing better to do, not like she–huh?”

Bakugo steps up to her and grabs her by her collar. “I’ll do it. I’ll kiss you.” His blood starts pumping manically as soon as the words leave his mouth.

For all her assuredness just yesterday, the size of her eyes and the way she clutches Bakugo’s arm suggests she’s having second thoughts. “Uh,” she says stupidly. “Okay. Okay, uh, I don’t mind. Um, are you sure? You don’t have to, it’s not like”–

“Shut up.” 

Uraraka is stiff as stone when he slants his mouth against hers. Her fingers bite into him like he’s holding her over a ravine and not two centimeters off kitchen tile. That should be all the information he needs to put an end to this stupid situation, but for some dumb reason, his body doesn’t tear away. Instead, he feels sweat bloom across his palms, so he stoops and sets her back onto the floor, lips still on hers. 

He puts the ball in her court, lets her make the decision to stop this nonsense while his hands hover uncertainly over her waist. He doesn’t know why he does it–after all, it doesn’t need to be a passionate or long kiss, he’s certainly allowed to call it off if he wants, but he can’t bring himself to end it. 

He… doesn’t want to. 

Bakugo expects her to pull away, waits for the sharp cut of disenchantment to set in without questioning why he thinks he'd feel that way to begin with, but her freedom is apparently exactly what she needs to melt into it, arms sliding across his shoulders to reach her digits into his hair as her body presses tightly into his. His eyes blink open in surprise at the way she holds his head so securely to hers, and Bakugo sees the serious line between her brows like she’s concentrating on this kiss, of all things. So he shuts his eyes again and wraps one arm around her to secure her to him. His other hand settles between her shoulder blades to offer support.

All of her is warm and soft as they move against each other. The occasional little sigh slips out of her, and the satisfaction in the sound goes straight to his head. He feels one of her hands release from his hair, only to skim over his jaw and wrap behind his neck, leaving a burning trail behind as she tilts her head to deepen the kiss. It’s strange, but he thinks he could do this forever with her–

And only her.

The startling realization snaps his eyes open and makes him push her off him. Uraraka, to her credit, only stumbles back a little, and when Bakugo catches her gaze, it’s deep and dark and thick just like it’s been in every odd little moment they’ve recently shared. Disappointment pings sharply in his chest.

“Bakugo?” His name is just as airy and drunk as it was when she’d first woken from getting hit. 

Fuck. Fuck! Instinct he didn’t know he had takes over, years of Icy Hot’s influence coming to a head as Bakugo regards her coolly. “That what you wanted?”

Uraraka falters, dropping the hand she’d extended out to him. “Huh?”

His temper flares back to life and he gnashes his teeth. “You fixed or not?!”

The softness in Uraraka’s face disappears, her expression turning blank. Just as she readies to reply, the kitchen door opens. Todoroki walks in, only to stop just past the entryway. 

“Am I interrupting something?”

No!” Bakugo shouts, shoving Todoroki aside as he exits.

---

E is even more than anyone that you adore can,

---

Bakugo avoids her, but she doesn’t avoid him, which only chafes against his recent revelation all the more. Thankfully, she doesn’t bring up the kiss. In fact, she’s so absolutely normal that Bakugo’s beginning to wonder if it even happened at all.

Except one afternoon when he’s notified that Todoroki wants to see him, and Uraraka exits just as he reaches the door. She colors as she steps to the side to let him pass, but he does the same. They do that awkward dance for a bit until he takes her by the arms, lifts her, and sets her behind him. All she does is stare at him, clearly flustered.

Normally it’s the kind of thing that she’d laugh at, and he wonders what the hell Todoroki could’ve said to her to frazzle her like that. Then he reconsiders, because her embarrassment tells him all he needs to know about where they currently are in their friendship: fucked.

Banging the door shut behind him, Bakugo folds his arms and scowls down at Todoroki, whose level of disinterest competes with Bakugo's disdain. “Yamanaka’s got a family emergency, so he can’t stake out that underground weapons deal happening Thursday that we got a lead on. You up to take his shift?”

Hell yes he is! Bakugo clenches his fists, antipathy forgotten as adrenaline careens through his body, and he feels that energy stretch his mouth. “I’ll take that as a yes,” Todoroki says, clicking around on his computer and then turning back to Bakugo. “That was all.”

Bakugo doesn’t even eviscerate Todoroki for the short meeting that could’ve been an email. It’s been a shitty few weeks, and Thursday can’t come fast enough.

---

Thursdays suck. Bakugo officially hates Thursdays.

“Are you really going to ignore me the entire time?” Uraraka eyes him dubiously, crossing her arms. He’s truthfully a little grateful that she interrupts the quiet, because after 15 minutes of stiff silence, he’s starting to get a crick in his neck.

“Why are you even here?!” He seethes. “Todoroki took you off my roster!”

Uraraka shrugs. “Hagakure forgot she had a dentist appointment so they needed a role replacement. I was the only one free.”

“Who the hell has a dentist appointment at 9pm?!

“Y’know,” Uraraka says. “The dentists that specialize in hero teeth during hero hours.” 

For a second, Bakugo wonders why Uraraka is looking so diligently at his mouth before remembering she’s in love with him. But then she looks back up at him. “I guess you wouldn’t know, perfect teeth and all.”

He looks at her with astonishment and disgust. “You’re one to talk!”

“Aw,” she waves him off, grinning. “That’s sweet of you! I floss twice a day. Dentists love me.”

“Your teeth would fall out if you didn’t floss twice a day,” Bakugo says. “With all the damn sugar you inhale. Bet you eat sweets in your sleep.”

Uraraka doesn’t respond, just pins an amused little smile on him that makes his stomach do weird things. Suddenly, she leans right into his face, raising a hand to trace a finger along the scar under his eye. Bakugo nearly falls off the ledge they’re sitting on when he jerks back.

“It healed well,” Uraraka says, returning to her space. His blood thunders through him as he gawks at her, appalled, agitated, maybe a little bit confused even when he knows exactly what this is. She’s completely undisturbed, scanning the city beneath them when her expression pops into surprise. “Oh! That’s us!” 

All ten of her fingers light upon the shoulder he’s got closest to her, and the heat her touch leaves behind is like she’s welded her fingerprints into him. That plus the bright look she gives him is enough to have him reaching out to grab her by her arm, eyes on her mouth–

"Bakugo?" Uraraka tilts her head, glancing at his hold on her. "We have to go."

Snapping out of it, Bakugo leaps from the skyscraper. When he dives into the alley, he's fueled by frustration more than excitement.

Fortunately, there’s nothing quite like losing yourself in a fight. Bakugo can attest to that as he throws three of the criminals against concrete and completely forgets about the emotional turmoil of the past few weeks. Even as Uraraka zips around the hideout in streaks of pink and blue collecting the goods, completely unignorable, Bakugo finds that in the heat of chaos, his irritation with her and this debacle drains out, replaced with overwhelming respect. She’s always been a great hero.

Bakugo elbows one asshole into a wall before spraying down another group with his Auto Cannon, stopping their attempt at ambushing him. When one of their weapons sails towards him, he catches it without batting an eye, throwing it in the last place he saw Uraraka.

“Thanks,” she shouts from across the room, grinning at him. Bakugo spares her a short nod before turning towards another target. He barely catches the tail end of the way her smile drops, and the next thing he knows, he’s being shoved aside, soaring through the air. It happens so fast that he doesn’t even realize he’s weightless until he hits stone and the nausea sets in.

Ten meters from him, Uraraka is on her knees beside the knocked out body of some thug three times her size. Bakugo doesn’t recognize the man, hadn’t seen him when they’d crashed the party.

Her arms are wrapped tightly around her waist, and she’s looking down at herself like she knows something is very wrong. When her hand comes away, her entire palm and forearm are coated in a violent shade of red. She lifts her other arm off herself, and it’s equally as stained.

There’s a gash running straight across her, rib to rib and right above her navel. It doesn’t look lethally deep, though it’s more than a mess to be sure. Bakugo’s gaze darts to the beast she’s just slain, wires crossing in his brain as he digests all the information he's taking in, and it’s only then he notices the dagger cast out to his side. It’s blunt, not great for slicing of any kind–

“Poison!” Uraraka says, tapping her fingers together to release Bakugo from his aimless drifting before giggling sloppily and collapsing onto her side like a ragdoll.

---

Bakugo storms into Midoriya’s office, rage spilling over at Midoriya’s wide-eyed gaze. “You! And Icy Hot! You shouldn’t have put her on the fucking team! You should’ve made Hagakure reschedule her fucking appointment!”

“What’re you”–

Uraraka!

“She’s fine!”

“You knew she was pullin’ shit around me and you still put her on the team! What the hell is wrong with you?! You get off on your friends dying for each other”–

“Kacchan, what are you talking about”–

“She’s in the hospital because some stupid, fucked up quirk makes her self-sacrifice”–

“Kacchan.” Midoriya says, mouth pressing thin. “Uraraka was already out of the quirk when we asked her to replace Toru.”

Bakugo’s entire body glitches. 

“She’s been out of it.” Midoriya waits for him to speak, but moves on when it’s evident that Bakugo will be out of commission for a while. “We tested her over the past few days, and all the hormones are out of her system.”

Finally, Bakugo comes to his senses. “She took a hit for me!”

Midoriya’s lips wobble like he’s trying to hold back laughter. “Maybe you should talk to Uraraka? She’s awake now.”

Bakugo squints at him, then begins to back out of the office, holding up two specific fingers as he exits. He uses that vivacity to blow past hospital doors and into Uraraka’s room, where she looks up from her phone in surprise.

“You were just never gonna tell me, huh?!”

Uraraka doesn’t just turn red, she becomes it. “I didn’t… I–well… but! I thought! You–upset! You were so upset!”

“Why the hell would I be upset you were cured?!”

“You were so angry after!”

She’s not making any sense! Did they get all the poison out of her or not?! “After what?!

“After the kiss!” Uraraka raises her hands into the air, looking at Bakugo like what else could I mean?

What the fuck is she talking about?! “After the kiss?!” He repeats, like this is just a loud game of telephone and there are only two players. “What the fuck does that have to do with”–then it clicks.

Uraraka’s jaw drops slowly in realization. Their expressions match as they stare at each other. “W… what did you think?” Uraraka finally squeaks.

“I didn’t…” Bakugo swallows. “I wasn’t…” He wasn’t thinking, is what he wasn’t. Fucking shit crap hell damn! “Me?” He says, like he’s angry about it.

Her eyes dart to the space just beyond his shoulder, and the set of her mouth is pained. “Um…” The way her brown gaze flits to and away from him, Bakugo can tell she’s debating on whether to tell the truth or not. He narrows his eyes at her, and Uraraka sees his warning. “Yes?” She says, tapping her fingers together in discomfort.

As if it’s not already jarring enough to draw the conclusion himself, but hearing her admit to it? Bakugo doesn’t realize he hasn’t breathed in until his lungs give an unhappy squeeze. “Since when?

Uraraka purses her lips to the side. “I don’t know,” she says. “A long time. The first month after we started the agency?” She winces to herself while Bakugo’s brain turns to dust.

“You told me to text that girl!” Bakugo accuses.

“I want you to be happy, Bakugo.” She wiggles farther up against the header of the hospital bed, discomfited.

“I don’t need somebody else to be happy!” He says instead of why the fuck would I choose anybody over you!

“But you’re so happy when you’re with me,” Uraraka says, eyes round and brows drawn as she peers up at him. He gapes. “I don’t think you actually like being alone, Bakugo. And I didn’t think you liked me, so I figured I could help you find the same kinda thing with somebody else.”

“What, and leave you to rot?” He snorts. “You suck at being in love.”

She frowns. “I’d figure it out.” After a beat, she adds, “Being in love and loving someone are separate things, Bakugo.”

Bakugo cuts her a sharp look. She’d “figure it out?” He feels the muscle under his eye spasm, but he's not in the mood to lay out all his cards just yet, so he lets himself loom over her. “What the hell happened in the hideout?”

“Some guy with an invisibility quirk,” she says. “Wouldn’t it’ve been funny if Toru ended up taking the assignment? Two invisible people messin’ with each other.”

“Hilarious.” Bakugo pulls out the chair that’s up against the wall, spinning it on a leg so that when he drops into it, his thighs hug the back. He folds his arms across the top of the backrest and props his chin there, just watching her. 

She fidgets. “So... are you gonna text Rachel?”

He looks at her incredulously. “Why would I do that?!”

“She’s nice!” But Uraraka backpedals. “Not that that’s important. She’s tough, though! And really smart!”

Before Bakugo can get another word out, Todoroki walks into the room. Why is Todoroki always coming in at the most inconvenient moments? “You’re looking alive, Uraraka.”

“Feeling it, too,” she says, smiling.

With a short nod, Todoroki turns his attention to Bakugo. “You’re looking weird.”

“Fuck you!” Bakugo spits.

“Somebody’s excited,” the other boy hums. “Something interesting happen?”

“My girlfriend’s tryin’ to convince me to date someone else.”

From the corner of his eye, he sees Uraraka’s jaw drop for the second time that night.  When Todoroki takes a look at her, she rouges. “That’s nice,” Todoroki murmurs, already heading towards the door. “I’m relieved to know Uraraka recognizes how difficult you are and is already trying to pawn you off.”

You can shove a pole up your ass!” Unfortunately, Todoroki’s already out the door, one hand raised in farewell. Bakugo turns back around to Uraraka, resting his cheek on a fist as his heart pounds–and not because Todoroki’s just taken a jab at him. At this point, Todoroki is completely irrelevant. “So you love me, huh?”

Uraraka tenses, abashed. “I didn’t say that”–

Bakugo rises from his seat. “Yeah.” He sets one knee against the edge of the bed and wraps his fingers in the collar of her hospital gown, dragging her forward. “You implied it.” 

Her eyes are dark and warm and somehow still bright as they flutter shut, and instead of disappointment, he feels smug satisfaction bubble up in him. Her hands come up to his chest, fingers curling.

Just before his mouth lights on hers, he murmurs, “Feeling’s mutual, Cheeks,” and she smiles into him.

---

(Love was made for you and me–)

---