“...there has still been no word from several agencies on whether or not operations will ever resume. Now that more than a month has passed since the delegation of heroes has disappeared, people are questioning if it is time to stop search and rescue efforts near Downtown Wharf and redouble the rebuilding attempts and villain prevention in the city proper…”
“Turn that shit off.” Bakugou spits, like the newscaster has personally offended him somehow.
The news has been droning all morning. Most days, it feels like the news has been droning on for a month straight. It’s not like the stuff it says ever changes. The heroes who were at the wharf are still missing, the city if still in ruins and nobody seems to know what to do about it.
Kirishima picks up the remote and does what Bakugou asks. He doesn’t want to listen to the same stuff every day either, but if he doesn’t it feels wrong somehow, like he’s admitting defeat.
Cause, really, he still hopes that all the heroes will be found alive somewhere. But, at this point, he’s really starting to doubt that’s gonna happen.
“Ugh, I am so fucking sick of this shit. Why can’t they just admit they don’t know what the fuck happened or what the fuck we’re gonna do now?”
Bakugou never believed they were alive in the first place. So Kirishima kinda understands why he’s so sick of watching the same old news.
“C’mon, man.” Kirishima kicks Bakugou’s ankle and ignores the glare it gets him. “They’re just trying to keep people’s hopes up. Nothing wrong with that.”
Bakugou lets out a disgusted huff and stands, kicking Kirishima’s leg as he does. Kirishima is used to Bakugou’s bitch-fits, so he’s not bothered by it.
“Hope is, whatever, fucking fine when there’s actually something to hope for.” Bakugou is saying as stomps to the kitchen. “But there fucking isn’t anymore. There never fucking was.” He’s banging around angrily, probably cooking lunch. That’s a relief because out of the four of them who live in the apartment, Bakugou is the only one who can cook anything even kinda edible.
Kirishima levers himself up off the couch, dragging a hand through his hair. Sometimes he thinks Bakugou would be so much easier to deal with if he just didn’t care. That’s Bakugou Katsuki’s problem, the way Kirishima sees it. He cares way too much.
“Hey.” Kirishima leans in the doorway, watching as Bakugou huffs and puff around their tiny, shitty, scorch-marked kitchen (the scorch-marks have all appeared since after they moved in and are one of many reasons they are definitely not getting the security deposit back).
“Shut the fuck up and leave me alone.” Bakugou says.
After three years of being classmates and one year of being roommates, Kirishima is more than fluent in Bakugou-speak. And that “shut the fuck up and leave me alone” actually translates into “stay here and help me, I am a lonely trashcan with too many feelings.”
Or something close to that. Kirishima may have taken a few creative liberties.
“Can I make the rice?” Kirishima asks. “I usually don’t fuck up the rice.”
Bakugou growls. Kirishima takes that as a yes.
For a little bit they work in silence. Then, Kirishima fucks up the rice and Bakugou chases him out of the kitchen with steaming palms. Kirishima just laughs. That trick has never worked well on him. He’s one of few people who can actually come away unscathed from Bakugou Katsuki’s fits of bad temper.
“Don’t get all splodey on me.” Kirishima says, hopping up on the table and watching as Bakugou finishes lunch. He’s never managed to understand how Bakugou can be so good at so many things. When he and Kaminari were in school, they used to joke that something had to go where genuine human emotions went in normal people. Instead of love and kindness, Bakugou has cooking skills, insane tactical instincts and grades that would make a nerd cry tears of envy.
“Fuck off.” Bakugou mutters.
Kirishima doesn’t make that joke much anymore.
“Are Kaminari and Jirou here?” Bakugou asks after a few more minutes.
“Jirou’s out.” Kirishima says, stretching. “Her agency is trying to get back up and running again.”
“Without their pro-hero?” Bakugou snorts. “Like that’ll fucking work.”
“I think it’s good that they’re trying.” Kirishima says. The agency where he and Bakugou worked shut down in the aftermath and has yet to reopen. He’s not sure if it ever will.
“Fucking waste of time.” Bakugou is saying under his breath. “Fucking dead heroes, fucking annoying sidekicks…”
Kirishima decides to go wake up Kaminari while Bakugou is busy with...whatever it is he’s doing. He heads down the hall, stepping over dropped clothes and misplaced electronics. None of them are particularly clean people, but in the last month of basically doing nothing but hanging at home, their apartment has gone from cluttered to “a bomb recently went off.” And Kirishima actually knows what that looks like.
“Hey, wake up man.” He raps on Jirou and Kaminari’s door with the back of his hand. “Bakugou made food.”
“Ugh.” He hears from inside the room. “Too early.”
“It’s like twelve, dumbass.” He counters. “Your girlfriend woke up and left like four hours ago.”
“S’cool for her.” Kaminari mumbles. “But I’m still sleepin…”
Kirishima opens the door. The room looks like multiple bombs went off. Wires and socks and (too Kirishima’s horror) bras are tangled all over the floor. Kaminari is still lying in bed, the spiky top of his hair poking out from under the blankets.
Kirishima picks up a balled up pair of socks and chucks it at his head. “Wake up, lazyass.” He says. “Or I’ll eat all your food.”
“Dude…” Kaminari peeks out. “So uncool.”
“You’re so uncool.”
“Your mom is so uncool.”
“My mom’s dead, Kaminari.”
“Shit, really? I’m so sorry, dude.”
“Nah, she’s fine.”
Kaminari glowers at him. Kirishima just grins.
“Just get up, you idiot.” Kirishima says. “Food’s a’waiting.” He throws another sock at Kaminari’s head.
“Fuck you.” Kaminari throws the sock back. Kirishima dodges, still grinning.
Kaminari grumbles, but starts to get out of bed. Kirishima leaves and heads back to the kitchen, pretty sure that Kaminari won’t go back to bed. Hopefully.
This is what life is for them now. Sleeping in and Bakugou cooking and the news going on and on and on. This is life.
Kirishima tries not to think about the agency where he used to work or the friends that he lost or the record number of villains roaming the streets or the way he can’t seem to do anything at all to help. He tries, but, well. He’s a hero. He pretty sure he’s got no choice but to think of all those things.
“You know, we should do something.” Kaminari says.
“What?” Kirishima asks.
Kaminari shrugs. “I dunno. Something.”
Beside him, Jirou sighs. “I could have picked a smart boyfriend. But instead, I picked you.”
“Hell yeah you did.”
They high-five. Kirishima tries not to be bitter about the fact that they’re happy together and he’s kinda all alone. He mostly succeeds.
They’re spending the night sitting out on the fire escape outside of the apartment, passing around a bottle of cheap vodka and talking about the times before everything went to shit. Below, the city is a patchwork of bright lights and loud noise. Usually, Kirishima loves looking down at the city in all of its glory. But right now it’s just making him tired.
“Seriously, though.” Kaminari looks down at the bottle like it holds all the answers to his questions. “Everything is awful. All of the agencies are shut down...heroes working alone are treated like vigilantes. It sucks.”
“Yeah.” Kirishima takes the bottle from him and takes a swig. It burns. He doesn’t mind. “But what are we supposed to do?” He hands the bottle to Jirou. “Is your agency making any progress?”
“Not really.” She admits. “We’re trying to get things started again...but none of us are very powerful alone and without a pro hero…” She shrugs. “There’s not much we can do, to be honest.”
“So what, we just give up?
There’s a moment where no one speaks.
“After what happened at the wharf…” Kirishima doesn’t know what to say after that. They all know about what happened at the wharf. They’ve seen the videos on the news, on YouTube. They’ve read the articles online. They’ve talked the subject to death by now. There isn’t a need to discuss what happened on that unusually cold day in October.
There’s another beat of silence.
“D’you think things will ever be normal ever again?” Kirishima says.
“Dude, we’ve got super powers.” Jirou has her arms folded and her eyes half-closed. “Things were never normal.”
“You know what he means.” Kaminari bumps her with a shoulder. “UA is still shut down...all the agencies are staying shut. If things keep up like this, villains will take over without us even fighting back.”
Jirou takes a long sip. She hands the bottle to Kirishima. He does the same.
“Why can’t we just go back to doing what we’re supposed to do?” Kirishima says. He’s a little drunk, yeah, but right now it seems so simple. They’re heroes. They’re supposed to save people and do the right thing. And sitting here on this fire escape, listening to police sirens is the distance, that doesn’t feel like the right thing at all.
“Just the three of us?” Kaminari says doubtfully. “We can’t really do much.”
“Well I doubt our old class is happy about this either.” Jirou muses. “We could always try and get the old gang back together, see if they can give us a hand.”
“And Bakugou.” Kirishima says. “We have Bakugou.”
Jirou laughs. “You say that like it’s a good thing.”
Kirishima pushes her, smiling. “C’mon...he’s our friend too.”
“Our asshole friend who hates all other people.”
“Still.” Kirishima says, leaning back to look up at the stars. They’re swimming, just a bit. Maybe he should cool it on the vodka. “I think we should do this, y’know. Get the class back together...see what we can do.”
“But not all of them will be there.” Kaminari says. He reaches out and takes the bottle from Kirishima’s limp grip. “You know that, yeah?”
“Yeah.” Kirishima says, voice catching just a bit. He doesn’t like thinking about the empty spaces in their class, the people who went down to the wharf and never came back. “I know that.”
“I miss them.” Jirou says and then shakes her head. “Sorry. It’s stupid, I just…”
Kaminari puts an arm around her and gathers her to his side. Kirishima feels cold and lonely all of the sudden. He’s never had what they have and it sucks.
“We all miss them.” Kaminari says gently.
“They’d want us to meet, though.” Kirishima looks down at his hands. “I think so, at least. They’d want us to try and put things right.”
“So…” Kirishima blinks. “We’re doing this?”
“We’re doing this.” Jirou says, wiping her eyes.
“Hell yeah, man.” Kaminari grins and bumps a fist against Kirishima’s shoulder.
They pass the bottle around once more.
“You think that Bakugou will help?” Kirishima says. “You think he’ll be up for this?”
Jirou suddenly grins, wide and wicked. “C’mon, Kirishima.” She raps his shoulder with the back of a hand. “I think Bakugou would be up for just about anything if you were the one asking.”
Oh, right. More things he doesn’t have.
Kirishima shoves her and she flops onto Kaminari, still grinning. “He looooooves you.” She sings the word and Kirishima takes another drink.
He isn’t drunk enough for this conversation. He doesn’t think he’ll ever be drunk enough for this conversation.
“All right, Kyouka. I think you’ve had enough. Let’s head in.” Kaminari says, helping Jirou to her feet. “It’s too cold, anyway. I can’t feel my fingers, man.”
“I think I’ll stay here for a little longer.” Kirishima raises the mostly empty bottle.
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
“Okay, dude.” Kaminari kicks his thigh lightly. “Don’t freeze to death.”
“I’ll do my best.”
Kaminari grins at him and helps his drunk girlfriend through the window and back into the apartment (“Come on, don’t trip…” “M’fine...don’t tell me what to do…” “Okay, okay…”)
Kirishima leans against the rough brick and looks up at the stars. They’re spinning, he thinks, rotating in place. They’re always moving, but not going anywhere. Neither is he. The thought feels important, maybe even profound.
Or maybe he’s just drunk.
He sighs and finishes the bottle of vodka.
Maybe tomorrow, he thinks muzzily. Maybe tomorrow he’ll start moving at last.
It takes a week to get responses from every member of the old Class 1-A. A couple can’t make the trip back to the city, but most of them still live there. They were members of pro agencies and once the agencies were shut down they just...stayed.
Ashido gets permission to use the coffee place where she works for their meeting after closing. Kirishima, Bakugou, Jirou and Kaminari set out a little after nine bundled in coats, hats and scarves. Bakugou has, just, an absurd number of them on.
“You cold, buddy?” Kirishima teases.
“Fuck off.” Bakugou sniffles. His nose is bright red. “This shitty weather is the fucking worst.”
“I like it.” Jirou says with a shrug. “I hope it snows.”
“You take that the fuck back.”
Kaminari and Kirishima snicker at them.
The walk to the coffee play is thankfully short and soon they’re opening the door and stepping inside. Most of the people who agreed to come are already there. Kirishima waves and says hello to them. He’s glad to see them. He’s missed his classmates since they graduated.
The group is smaller than it used to be. One or two are flung too far to make the trip on a few days notice, but most of their old classmates who are missing were there that day at the wharf. Deku, Shouto, Ingenium and Creatie, their heavyweights save Bakugou and Tokoyami, haven’t been seen in over a month.
It makes the room feel too big even though they all end up squished too close on too small couches. Kirishima is sandwiched between Bakugou and Kaminari. Jirou has wisely decided to sit on the floor.
“Hey, Kirishima!” Uraraka and Asui come through the door holding hands. Uraraka waves at him with a big smile. “It’s good to see you!”
“Hey Uraraka.” He waves back. “Long time.”
“Close to a year, I think.” She says, glancing over at Asui. “Is that right?”
“I think.” Asui says.
“It’s good of you to call this meeting.” Uraraka says, waving at Ashido and Sero who are sitting at the counter and smiling at Kouda and Tokoyami who are uncomfortably sharing one of the tiny couches.
“Yeah, well.” Kirishima shrugs, aware of people looking over at him. “I thought we should talk about the missing heroes and stuff.”
“So, do you think they’re dead?” It’s Asui who asks and Kirishima isn’t super surprised. She always say what she thinks, good or bad.
“I, uh, well…” He struggles for a moment, but Bakugou cuts him off.
“They’re fucking dead.” He growls. “They’ve been dead for a shitty month and a half, you fucksticks.”
“Hold on!” Ashido raises her hand like they’re still in class. “You don’t know that! We can’t know that! They never found any bodies and…”
“There are ways to kill somebody so that no body is left behind.” Tokoyami says. “The absence of bodies is not enough to prove survival.”
“They wouldn’t die!” Uraraka pipes up. “I know that they wouldn’t! Deku...and I-Iida-kun…”
“We can’t just go off of our feelings, though.” Jirou says.
Kaminari frowns at her. “You don’t think they’re alive?”
“I never said that, I just meant…”
“Surely, if they’re alive someone would have seen them.” Asui says.
Other people are talking too, speaking over each other to be heard. It’s turning into a mess.
Here is where Midoriya would speak up and inspire everyone. Here is where Yaoyoruzu would calmly give the right answer. Here is where Iida would take charge and force everyone to listen.
They need a leader.
And all of their leaders are gone.
“I don’t think it matters.”
Everybody turns to look at Kirishima.
“What do you mean?” Tokoyami’s eyes are narrowed.
“Like, ah,” Kirishima swallows. “It doesn’t matter if they’re dead or not. They’re not here. And we are.” He shrugs. “Everything is mess. Villains are everywhere, nobody knows what to do now, but, like, we’re still here. We’ve gotta live here. So I think we need to fix it. Or at least try to fix it.” They’re all staring at him still, even Bakugou.
Kirishima doesn’t recognize the expressions they’re wearing.
He laughs awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck. “Whatever, maybe I’m just being stupid.”
“No.” Uraraka is the first one to speak. “You’re right.”
“What?” He blinks, surprised.
“I said that you’re right, Kirishima.” She smiles at him and it’s a bit watery, but real. “Deku and the rest would be so mad at us right now! We let things get so bad…”
“Yeah, aren’t we supposed to be heroes?” Kaminari grins at him. “We should act like it!”
“I’m in!” Sero says.
“In for what?” Tokoyami folds his arms. “What exactly are you proposing, Kirishima?”
“Um…” Kirishima wasn’t proposing anything. He just said what he thought needed to be said. He didn’t have a plan or anything…
“A new hero agency.” Everyone turns to look when Bakugou speaks. He’s glowering, but it’s a more encouraging glower than usual. He looks kinda determined instead of just pissed off. “One where we say fuck the pros and do whatever the fuck we think needs to be done.”
“It’s not that easy.” Jirou is twirling one of her jacks around in her fingers. “We’d need a building, hero support, permits...all that stuff is expensive and none of us have the pull to get sponsors.”
“The government supports heroes…” Oijiro says.
“The government is a mess,” Jirou says. “After everything that happened it’ll take months for them to sponsor us. We’ll need start-up money.”
“We could rob a bank!”
“No, Mineta!” Kaminari hits him. “What the fuck?”
“It’s for a good cause, though! And we could be a like Ocean’s 11! All the guys could wear suits and all of the ladies could wear sexy dresses…”
Oijiro slaps him with his tail.
“Ow!” Mineta rubs the back of his head. “None of you guys are coming up with better ideas!”
It’s sadly true. They’re all young, less than a year out of school. Even all of them together don’t have enough money to just start their own agency...
“Ugh.” Bakugou lets out a loud, long-suffering sigh. “Fucking fine.”
“Bakugou?” Tokoyami says. “Do you have an idea?”
“I can get the stupid shitty money.” He growls. “Give me a couple of hours tomorrow morning.”
“Er, Bakugou…” Kirishima goes over to him and bends down so he can whisper in Bakugou’s ear without anyone hearing. “You’re not planning on going out and robbing a bank, right? Cause we weren’t kidding...that’s actually not an okay thing to do.”
“Fucking shut up.” Bakugou snaps and shoves him away. When Kirishima looks back at him, his cheeks are a little bit pink. It’s...kinda cute. “I’m not fucking robbing anyone.”
“I’ll go with you, then.” Kirishima says. “Make sure you don’t, erm, do anything illegal. By accident.”
“Fuck off!” Bakugou stands up and brushes off his pants. “It’s not illegal! Just embarrassing as shit.”
“Oooooo, did you say embarrassing?” Ashido says, very obviously eavesdropping. “I wanna see the embarrassing thing Bakugou has to do.”
“I admit that I too am curious.” Tokoyami says.
“We should probably all go.” Oijiro says. “Easier that way.”
“I fucking hate all of you.”
“Aw, we love you too Bakugou.”
“I will make you explode Kirishima, I swear to god.”
They leave bright and early the next morning.
In the end, they can’t all go because they can’t all fit in Jirou’s car. It’s super crappy and super tiny and Kirishima ends up in the backseat wedged between Ashido and Kaminari. It’s not his idea of a good time.
“Why do I have to sit in the back?” Kaminari complains. “You’re my girlfriend. I should get, like, eternal shotgun privileges.”
“Eternal shotgun privilege isn’t a thing, bro.” Kirishima argues. “That’s too much power for one person.”
“Shut up, you’re just jealous cause I have a really cool girlfriend with a car.”
“The coolest.” Jirou spreads a hand back for him to high five without looking away from the road.
“I am not jealous.” Kirishima says.
“You two are so fucking gross, oh my god.” Bakugou complains.
“I think it’s cute!” Ashido says.
“Fucking just shut the fuck up.” Bakugou says, kicking his feet up against the dashboard.
“Why does he get to sit up front?” Kaminari says. “He’s horrible.”
“This is his party.” Jirou says. “We’re just driving him there.”
“Fuck off.” Bakugou mutters, but his eyes are half closed and he’s leaning back into the seat, posture relaxed. “Just keep going on this road for a couple minutes then turn when I tell you.”
“Aye aye.” Jirou says.
The rest of the ride passes in bickering and lots of shoving. Kirishima is forced to use his quirk after Ashido elbows him in the side for like the ninth time. Her elbows are pointy. He’s willing to bet that’s a secondary quirk or something. Really, really pointy elbows.
He’s so busy with the Elbow Problem that he doesn’t even notice when they turn into a neighborhood.
“Whoa.” Kaminari is pressing his face against the window, his mouth hanging open like a total dork. “Look at the that.”
Kirishima finds that, a minute later, his mouth is hanging open like a total dork too. “Shit, man.” He agrees.
The houses they’re driving past as massive. They make the four bedroom house Kirishima grew up in look like a shed. They have massive plate-glass windows and columns and shiny, shiny sports cars sitting out front.
“Where even are we?” Ashido says, eyes wide in awe. “I wanna stay here forever.”
“I’m worried I’m gonna be pulled over for excessive crappiness in a non-crappy zone.” Jirou says. “This place is insane.”
“Er...Bakugou?” Kirishima taps him on the shoulder. “You do know that stealing from these houses would be illegal, right? And you promised to not do illegal stuff, remember?”
“Fuck off.” Bakugou waves him away. “I know what I’m doing.”
“That really doesn’t make us feel better, Bakugou.” Kaminari says seriously.
Bakugou ignores them. “Turn in here...yeah, the white one.”
They pull up a huge gravel drive and pull up in front of a massive white house. It might be the biggest one yet. Kirishima can see columns and balconies out from and what appears to be a small lake or a large pond out back.
“Why are we here.” Kaminari whispers. “We don’t belong here.”
“Stay in the motherfucking car, shitstains.” Bakugou says, opening the door and hopping out before they’ve even fully stopped.
Kirishima, Kaminari, Ashido and Jirou all look at each other and just kind of collectively shrug. “Are we going in after him?” Jirou asks.
“Hell yeah we’re going in after him.” Kaminari says before unbuckling his seatbelt and throwing the door open. “We can’t just sit here while Bakugou menaces some rich people into giving him money.”
“Yeah!” Ashido throws open the door on the other side. “We’re heroes! We can’t allow menacing!”
Kirishima is just happy they’ve stopped elbowing him.
“If Bakugou tries to kill us, I’m blaming this all on you.” Jirou says, poking Kaminari. Kaminari just shrugs.
“What if he really does have a plan, though?” Kirishima says, because he feels like someone should stick up for Bakugou and he’s pretty sure being Bakugou’s sort-of best friend means that that someone should be him. “Shouldn’t we wait and see?”
“What, wait and see if the building explodes?” Kaminari says.
“Bakugou’s not gonna make the building explode.” Kirishima says.
“Are you sure about that? Like, absolutely sure.”
Kirishima would say yes...but Bakugou exploding buildings is something that has happened in the past. Like, with worrying frequency. His mouth quirks into a frown. “All right, fine. We can go check on him.”
Ashido and Kaminari both laugh and Jirou rolls her eyes. Kirishima just hopes Bakugou is in a forgiving mood. Granted, Bakugou doesn’t really have forgiving moods…
Ashido rings the (massive and glitzy) doorbell.
Kirishima immediately regrets everything.
“Yes, hello?” A tall man with slick black hair and a tiny moustache wearing a crisp black suit has opened the door. “Did you need something?”
He is looking them over with barely-concealed disdain. Kirishima should probably feel mildly ashamed of his definitely ripped t-shirt and ratty jeans, but he’s too busy being amazed. Shit, a butler! This guy is a real-life butler! Kirishima thought they only existed in movies, but no here is one in the flesh.
“Er, yeah.” Kaminari says. “Our friend Bakugou, uh, he came up here a minute ago? And we wanted to make sure that he was...like, okay?” He says the whole statement like a question.
“Ah.” The bulter’s face pinches even further, like he just smelled something bad. “The young master Katsuki.”
“Er, I guess?” Kaminari says.
“He’s in the sitting room.” The butler turns away and begins to walk without waiting to see if they’re following. “This way.”
They all follow him, looking around the house in wonder. Kirishima has never seen so many weirdly ornate rugs. Or bizarrely glittery eggs. If he was a rich person, his house would be way cooler with fewer glitzy foodstuffs and more flatscreen tvs and monster trucks.
“Shit, man.” Kaminari hisses. “This place is dope.”
“If you could, please refrain from such language.” The butler says. Kirishima wonders if his quirk is some sort of super-hearing. He also wonders if by “such language” the butler meant the word “shit” or “dope.”
“Er, sorry man.”
The butler visibly flinches at being called “man.”
Ashido has a hand over her mouth, unsuccessfully covering her giggles.
“In here.” The butler opens a door stiffly and waves them inside. “Good day.”
“He didn’t even offer us tea.” Ashido laments after he closes the door behind him. “Worst butler ever.”
“If you really would like tea,” A soft voice says. “I can always call Horace back and have him make you some.”
“Horace…” She snickers. “That’s such a butler name.”
They all turn around to see three people sitting there.
“Uh, hi?” Kaminari says.
Kirishima has faced down some of the worst villains the world has to offer. He’s worked with people who have impossible quirks. He’s seen some truly strange things during his life. But what he’s looking at now has got to be the most bizarre thing he’s ever ever seen.
Bakugou Katsuki is sitting in a spindly chair holding a teeny-tiny teacup, his eyes wide with horror. Two people, a man and a woman in their sixties, are sitting across from him holding their own teeny-tiny teacups. “What…” He hisses, “The fffff...what are you nnnn….what are you doing here?”
Oh my god.
Bakugou is trying not to cuss. Bakugou is trying not to cuss and it is hilarious.
“Hey, Bakugou.” Kirishima grins. “We were worried you were taking so long, so we decided to come and check up on you.”
“You fffff...friends of mine can go wait in the motheeeer….in the car.” Kirishima can hear his teeth grinding from across the room. He’s going to pay for this later, they are all going to pay for this later, but right now he’s having such a good time he doesn’t even care.
“Are these friends of yours, Katsuki-chan?” The woman asks and Kirishima bites down hard on his bottom lip to keep from laughing. Katsuki-chan? Really?
“We’re former classmates.” Kaminari informs her. “How do you know Baku, ah, Katsuki-chan?”
Kirishima is pretty sure Bakugou is actually steaming with rage now.
The woman laughs. She’s pretty and well-manicured, not a hair out of place. “Katsuki is my grandson!” She says brightly. “I was ever so pleased that he came to visit.”
“Oh, have you been neglecting your poor grandparents?” Kaminari says. “Wow, you suck Katsuki-chan.”
“Wait. In. The. Car.” Bakugou hisses every word like steam escaping from a kettle.
“Oh, no!” The man, Bakugou’s grandfather apparently, says graciously. “Please, stay! We never get to see my boy Katsuki or hear about his friends. Tell me, are you all UA graduates, then?”
“Uh, yes sir.” Kirishima says before Kaminari can piss Bakugou off further. He’s kinda worried about Bakugou spontaneously combusting due to pure, unadulterated rage. “We were all in the same class.”
“Delightful!” He claps his hands. “Do have a seat.”
There are spindly chairs and poofy couches spread around the room. Kirishima opts for a couch, worried he might accidentally break one of those chairs. He’s actually impressed that Bakugou’s hasn’t caught fire yet.
“So are you all heroes now?”
“Uh…” Jirou fidgets. She, like Kirishima, picked a couch instead of a chair. “We were until the wharf disaster.”
“Humph.” Bakugou’s grandfather folds his arms. “I’ve seen that on the news. Classic example of overstatement. Surely it can’t be as bad as they say.”
“It’s pretty bad. Uh, sir.” Kaminari says.
“I don’t trust what the hero agencies tell us, to be honest.” Bakugou grandmother sighs. “They’re likely all hiding somewhere, skiving off work and living off of money that haven’t truly earned.”
“The heroes risk their lives…” Jirou starts, looking affronted.
“And those costumes...so vulgar!” She sips her tea, speaking Jirou didn’t say anything. “Women in leotards and men with no shirts...they ought to be charged with public indecency.
Kirishima, as someone who does not wear shirts while hero-ing, feels mildly offended. She shoots Bakugou a look. Bakugos is literally steaming.
Kirishima is starting to see why Bakugou wanted them to wait in the car so bad.
Cause it’s starting to get pretty obviously that someone is accidentally going to say something that causes a fight and then they’ll never get the money they need for the agency. So...maybe a strategic exit us in order.
“We should probably wait outside! Give Katsuki-chan some time with his grandparents...” Kirishima gets up and starts herding the others towards the door. “Come on, come on...it was to good to meet you both!”
“Yes, of course.” Bakugou’s grandmother says. “Do stay in touch…”
Bakugou gets up and slams the door shut before she can finish her offer.
“Shit man.” Jirou says as soon as they’re out of earshot. “Those guys were dicks. Also...Bakugou is loaded.”
“Right?” Kirishima says. "So weird."
“I don’t really get why this is surprise to you, man.” Kaminari says.
“Huh?” Kirishima looks back at him. “What do you mean?”
“Come on, Kirishima.” Ashido pouts at him. “Is this the sort of thing you’re supposed to know?”
“Uh. no?” Kirishima is mildly distracted by the wall of mirrors that they’re walking past. Kaminari is pulling faces at himself. Jirou has her phone out and is taking selfies. They’re a classy bunch.
“Well aren’t you super excited?” Ashido pulls on his arm.
“Why would I be excited?” Kirishima looks away from the mirrors and down at Ashido. She’s grinning at him.
“Because your boyfriend is totally loaded!”
Kirishima chokes, letting a strangled protest that makes Kaminari and Jirou abandon the mirrors to look at him curiously. “The fuck?” He says. “Are you talking about?”
“You and Bakugou, duh!” Ashido says. “You’ve been dating since, like, first year. So he’s probably pretty serious about you! You’ll definitely get some of his family’s money.”
“Bakugou and me…” Kirishima blinks hard. This is so weird. “We’re not dating.”
They all turn to look at him.
Kirishima stares at Jirou and Kaminari. “You live with us! How could you think that we were dating?”
“Uh,” Kaminari shrugs. “I dunno, dude. You two always kinda acted like it...I figured you were just embarrassed about PDA or whatever.”
“You two cuddle all the time.” Jirou points out. “And you never contradict us when we call you lovey dovey.”
“I thought you were kidding!” Kirishima has nothing to say about the cuddling. Cuddling is fucking awesome.
“Oh my god…” Ashido is staring at him with wide eyes. “I’m so sorry, Kirishima. If you’re not dating, then it must be hard to be in love with him.”
“I’m not…” He starts, but a door bangs open and all of them look around, startled.
“I got the fucking money.” Bakugou is holding up a check. “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
Kirishima is all too happy to agree.
“Uh, so…this says that adapter A should connect to port J…” Kirishima squints at the paper in his hand. “But what about connector B? I thought connector B was important…”
“Just let me take a look, dude.” Kaminari spreads out a hand.
“No!” Kirishima snatches both the directions and the electronics away. “You’ve shorted out like three computers!”
“I won’t this time. I promise.” Kaminari says.
“C’mon man, you’re hopeless at this.”
Kirishima hands Kaminari the directions. Kaminari proceeds to immediately short out the computer.
Kirishima lays down flat on the floor and screams.
It’s been a week since the Bakugous gave them enough money to start up a new hero agency. Kirishima has spent most of the time either screaming or being screamed at. It’s been fun.
“Why is he screaming again?” Ojiro looks curiously into the room. He’s got a few boxes balanced on his tail. “Did you do something, Kaminari?”
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
“Ojiro!” Kirishima levers himself off the floor.
“Um, yes?” He looks kind of alarmed. Kirishima can’t really blame him...his hair must look crazy from all the times he’s rubbed his hands through it in frustration.
“Can you do computers?”
“Do what to computers?”
“Just, like, do them.” Kirishima waves a hand at the mess of wires and modems he’s spent two days trying and failing to put together. “Like at all.”
“Er, not really…”
Kirishima presses his face into the carpet.
Kaminari pats his shoulder. “There, there.”
“Fuck off, computer killer.”
“Heh, that should be my new superhero name. Kaminari the computer killer.” Kaminari pats Kirishima’s shoulder again. “No offense, dude, but I don’t think we can do all of this ourselves. Maybe we should hire someone?”
“Who?” Kirishima sits up. “I thought about it, yeah, but I don’t know anyone who’s good enough with tech and stuff to do all of this.”
“I’ll ask the rest of the class, see if they’ve got any ideas.” Kaminari says.
“Thanks, man.” Kirishima drags a hand through his hair, trying to make it look less bad. “I’m gonna go help carry boxes downstairs.”
“Actually,” Ojiro says. “We can handle the boxes.”
“Oh.” Kirishima droops. “Okay.”
“It’s just, we need your help with something else.”
“What is it?”
“Well, see, Bakugou is the one with the money in his name, so he’s the one calling about permits and stuff…” Ojiro looks sheepish. “And we’ve got Uraraka trying to, uh, calm him down, but a lot of the time she starts yelling too and…”
“Right.” Kirishima says. “I’ll go handle it.”
“What do you need me to do?”
“Try not to murder any more innocent appliances.”
“Harsh, dude.” Kaminari points at him. “Totally uncalled for.”
Kirishima flips him off.
Kirishima walks down the halls of their new agency. It’s in a crappy building downtown, just a few blocks from the apartment Kirishima lives in. The rent was pretty good, though, and it was big enough for a couple of private offices for consultations and a big common area for desks and stuff.
Class 1-A is milling around, setting up desks and chairs. Mineta is hiding under a desk, texting. Someone should probably do something about that. And, honestly, it will probably have to be Kirishima.
The past week has been super stressful. For some reason, everyone seems to think that Kirishima is the one to go to with their problems. He’s not sure why. He’s not smart or strong in comparison to the rest of the class. He’s just a guy, but now they’re treating him like he’s important or something.
It’s the kinda thing that he always thought would be cool until it actually happened. In reality, it’s not cool at all. It’s stressful and intimidating and Kirishima is worried he’s going to lose his hair from the number of times he’s yanked on it in frustration.
“Hey, Kirishima!” Sero calls to him from across the room.
“What’s up?” He says.
“Are you going to see Bakugou?” Sero is putting stuff up on the wall using his tape. “We’re all a little worried about him blowing up the building.”
“He’s not gonna blow up the building.”
“Well, yeah, not after you talk to him.” Sero hangs up a sign talking about emergency exit procedures. “Calming him down is your job.”
“Why is that my job? Why can’t that be your job?”
“You’re his boyfriend, not me.” Sero doesn’t say it like a joke. He says it like it’s an accepted fact. It makes Kirishima feel a little sick.
“No he’s not, dude.” Kirishima says.
“Oh, really?” Sero frowns. “I coulda sworn you were dating. Sorry, man. My bad.”
That’s another reason this week has sucked. Since going to the Bakugou mansion, Kirishima has started to realize that literally every person he knows thought he was in a relationship Bakugou Katsuki.
Kirishima doesn’t like thinking about Bakugou and relationships at the same time. It puts his mind in places that he’s been very determined not to go.
It’s just not worth it.
Kirishima makes his way down to the basement. It’s going to be turned into a training space eventually, but right now they’re using it for calls because it’s quieter than the rest of the building. It’s not quiet right now, though.
Kirishima hears the screaming from like a floor up.
“FUCK YOU! YOU DON’T MOTHERFUCKING KNOW ANYTHING YOU SHITTY FUCKING NERD!”
Ah, well Bakugou’s down there.
“OH MY GOD STOP CALLING ME THAT, YOU ARE SO UNCREATIVE!”
And it seems Uraraka is down there as well.
“YOU WANT CREATIVE, I’LL GIVE YOU CREATIVE YOU ASS-FACED SHITTY PUKE-STAIN BASTARD…”
Kirishima opens the door.
“WHAT?” They shout in alarming unison.
“Uh, hey?” He says.
“Oh, hey Kirishima.” Uraraka says instead of shouts.
“Sup.” Bakugou mumbles and doesn’t look at him.
“How’re the phone calls going?” Kirishima goes over and sits on Bakugou’s desk.
“They’re…” Uraraka gives Bakugou a dirty look. “Unproductive.”
“No thanks to you, you stupid fuck.” Bakugou mumbles.
“Why, you…!” Uraraka starts up.
“Hey.” Kirishima says. “How bout you go help them set up the desks upstairs? They could really use your quirk.”
“Ugh, fine.” Uraraka says. “Have fun babysitting.”
“Fuck off!” Bakugou snarls.
Uraraka rolls her eyes and leaves. Kirishima waves and calls after her, “Thank you!” Then, he looks down at Bakugou. Who is glaring at the phone like he might make it explode. Cool. This is going to be fun.
“So...things aren’t going so hot?”
“Okay.” Kirishima says. “Tell me what’s going on.”
“We’ve got the permits we need for the building and shit.” Bakugou says. “But they’re being stupid fucking shits about the other stuff. We don’t have a fucking pro, so they won’t give us a license.”
“And we need one?”
“Shit yes, Kirishima.” Bakugou says. “Otherwise we don’t get paid. Fucking idiot.”
“Could we do hero stuff without a license?” Kirishima leans back on his hands and looks up at the ceiling. It’s gross and waterstained.
“We could, but we wouldn’t fucking get paid, moron.” Bakugou flicks the back of his hand.
“Well, yeah,” Kirishima blinks and focuses back on him. “But we could do hero stuff without getting paid for a little bit and once the city sees us doing that, they’ll start paying.”
“You think these fuckers will really stick around if we’re not getting paid?” Bakugou says and Kirishima is bizarrely happy that Bakugou isn’t including himself in that group, that Bakugou is staying no matter what.
“We could pay them a little bit.” Kirishima shrugs. “You did get a ton of money from your grandparents.”
“I guess.” He huffs. “But these permits and shit are expensive.”
“Still.” Kirishima says. “It was, like, a ridiculous amount of money dude.”
Bakugou crosses his arms and scowls.
“What’s even the deal with that?” Kirishima starts, hesitant. He doesn’t want to push Bakugou too far. When you go too far with him, he gets angry and shuts down. Kirishima knows that from painful experience.
“My grandparents are rich.” He says flatly. “That’s the fucking deal. “
“But, like, dude…” Kirishima says, “I’ve been to your house. It’s a nice house and everything, but it’s not...yeah. You know.”
Bakugou just glares for a minute and Kirishima thinks that he won’t answer. Then…”They didn’t like my mom. Like, my idiot fucking father got her pregnant and they were fucking pissed and shit. Told him to drop her and move fuck on.” He looks away. “He didn’t and so they cut him off.”
Kirishima just stares for a minute. He’s known Bakugou for four years now and that’s the most personal information he has ever gotten about Bakugou. Like, ever.
“Uhhh,” He starts hastily because he doesn’t want to make this weird. “That, uh, that sucks, man.”
“No fucking shit.” He rolls his eyes. “But they’ve gotten soft or whatever. Fucking contacted me when I got into UA. I don’t like the fuckers, they're total shitstains. But I let them buy me shit. And fund my heroic pursuits. Apparently.”
“Uh, okay.” Kirishima says. “Thanks for telling me.”
“Shut the fuck up.” Bakugou’s cheeks are pink. He’s gone back to staring at the desk.
“Really man.” Kirishima puts a hand on his shoulder and waits until he looks up. “Thanks.”
“Really man.” Bakugou says. “Shut the fuck up.”
Kirishima laughs. Bakugou turns away to hide what might be a smile.
And it’s stupid, like infinite amounts of stupid, but all of the sudden Kirishima wants to kiss him so bad. Like, he wants to the same way he wants to breathe. It feels like if he doesn’t do it, he might actually die.
Kirishima thought he was over it, thought he got over it years ago. But the way everyone apparently thought they were dating and the way Bakugou is just barely meeting his eyes is bringing up all sorts of things he thought he was over.
Kirishima closes his eyes for a moment. Don’t think it, don’t even think…not again, you idiot, not again.
“I’ll go upstairs, run the plan past everybody else.” Kirishima says and he knows his voice is too high but he doesn’t know how to fix it. “Okay?”
“Kirishima, fucking wait…”
Kirishima doesn’t wait.