Kirishima doesn’t know why he thought taking organic chemistry as an elective class was a good idea. Yaoyorozu had told him that it would help him with biology and God knows Kirishima did need help with his biology classes.
Nobody had told him that he’d need help with the chemistry classes as well.
For once, he couldn’t afford the absurdly expensive textbook, so he’s stuck with the only copy available in the library - a copy that can’t leave the building, for that matter. And then he can’t understand a single word of what’s being said in class. All that stuff about carbon and atomic numbers is straight up confusing and honestly too complicated. Nobody had told him that majoring in physical education would be so damn hard.
He considers himself a pretty optimistic guy. However, he’ll lose his sports scholarship if he fails any classes, elective or not. Kirishima starts to think he hit rock bottom when he finds himself scribbling “how do I make it balanced?” on the corner of a page.
The book doesn’t answer him, even though Kirishima is pretty sure the answer is in there somewhere. Written in that unholy language that is chemistry. Then he realizes he just wrote shit on a book that doesn’t belong to him and he panics.
“Crap…” He mutters and reaches for his eraser.
Regardless of how much he rubs it on the page, the words written by pen remain there, staring at him and reminding him of the giant failure that he is.
It takes him more than a few seconds to locate the origin of the familiar voice – a testimony to how Chemistry fried his brain – that happens to be Kaminari waving at him from the entrance. Kirishima hesitates and stares at the book he’s been trying to unravel for almost an hour and then at his friend waiting for him outside.
With a muffled groan, Kirishima closes the book and gathers his things to leave.
“Hey, man. You look like shit,” Kaminari says.
“Thanks. I’m happy to see you too.” Kirishima bumps their shoulders as they start to walk together.
Kaminari stumbles, and shoves him back nonetheless.
“It’s weird to see you studying so hard, dude.”
Kirishima sighs. He’s known Kaminari since high school and the two of them were always struggling with their grades back then. That changed a little when they started college: Kaminari might be stupid, but he loves electrical engineering more than anything, and Kirishima has always been great at P.E.
That is, until biology got involved.
And that damn elective chemistry class.
“I have to study, you know,” Kirishima says, pouting, “I’m gonna be in serious trouble if I fail any classes.”
“Yeah, I know, I know.” With a dismissive hand gesture, Kaminari rolls his eyes. “I’ll study with you later. Now we have to get ready for Ashido’s party.”
“Yeah, you forgot? She invited us last week!”
Kirishima didn't forget. He bites his lip. He loves Ashido’s parties. She has a super eclectic music taste, which guarantees that every single guest will listen to at least one song they love, and she is friends with probably all students in U.A. Her parties are always crowded and fun. And yet…
“I don’t know, man.” Kirishima scratches his own nape. “I really should study tonight…”
Kaminari gasps, “Are you kidding me? It’s an Ashido party! You know how many hot friends Ashido has? And don’t try to gay me now, because I’m pretty sure her male friends are hot too.”
Kirishima snorts and starts laughing.
“Don’t laugh! You know you need to get laid! Maybe in a party you will stop befriending everyone you meet and actually get some action.”
“I don’t befriend everyone I meet. Besides, why is that a bad thing?”
“Look, we have to go. All right? Yaoyorozu is going to be there. Hagakure is going to be there. Jirou is going to be there.”
Kirishima raises an eyebrow. “Uh… bro, isn’t Jirou, you know, a lesbian?”
“No, she isn’t,” Kaminari scoffs, “You are a lesbian.”
“If by that you mean that I’m also a homosexual, then yes, that is true.”
“Don’t label her because of her appearance! We don’t know that!” There is a pause. Kaminari mumbles: “Maybe she’s bi or something.”
While Kirishima rolls his eyes, Kaminari starts making a list of evidence that Jirou might, in fact, be attracted to boys. He lets his friend ramble, the words flying unheard above his head, as he starts thinking about his own problem. Kirishima tries to convince himself that it’s going to be okay even if he goes to the party while his small responsible part reprimands him. He struggles silently until his eyes stop on someone familiar.
Uraraka Ochako, another old friend of his, can be seen just a few meters ahead of them, in front of the science building. Her back is turned to them, but Kirishima would recognize that adorable round hair anywhere. What catches his attention, however, isn’t Uraraka herself, but the person she’s talking too: a hot, angry looking blond guy.
Everything about him is aggressive: from his spiky hair, to his gritted teeth, to his broad shoulders, to his strong hands balled in fists. Kirishima never thought someone would be able to look that hostile in front of a sweet pie like Uraraka.
Then he notices that her shoulders are tense as well.
Kirishima stops walking and grabs Kaminari’s arm.
“Look at that guy and Uraraka. They’re… fighting, right?”
Kaminari glances at them before raising a brow to Kirishima. “Dude, don’t meddle. For all we know, they’re just talking.”
“Kaminari. I think that guy is really hot.”
Kaminari looks confused for a second before realization dawns on his face. “Let’s help Uraraka.”
Kirishima is not happy about it, but he has a long history of bad romantic choices. So much that it became a joke-not-joke among his friends to label all the guys Kirishima finds attractive as giant douchebags. More than once he heard his friends saying things on the lines of “Don’t go out with him! Kirishima thinks he’s handsome, so there must be something wrong!” It got to the point Kirishima believes in that himself – and that must be the reason why he hasn’t dated anyone since forever, not because he befriends everyone – Anyway, when he sees a hot guy talking like that to Uraraka… Well, that means that guy is bad news, right?
He and Kaminari jog towards them.
“Uraraka-san!” Kaminari calls, waving.
Blond hot guy glares murderously at them, but that is to be expected. What they don’t expect is Uraraka to turn around, her pretty face twisted in fury, and to snarl:
Both Kirishima and Kaminari take a step back immediately. Uraraka recognizes them and her expression slowly turns back to normal, before turning embarrassed. The guy behind her relaxes a little and starts laughing.
“Oh my God! Kirishima-kun, Kaminari-kun, I’m sorry, I just… Stop laughing, Bakugou!” She turns back and shoves hot blond guy. “This is your fault!”
“How is it my fault that you snapped at your stupid friends?” He raises an eyebrow.
“You got me riled up! God, you’re so annoying!”
“Whatever, pancake face. Just leave me the fuck alone.” And hot blond guy shoves his hands in his pockets and turns to leave.
“This conversation isn’t over, Bakugou!”
He doesn’t bother looking at her again, but he makes sure all of them see when he raises his hand to show Uraraka his middle finger as he walks towards the library.
What a dick.
Kirishima so wants to get into his pants.
“Honestly.” Uraraka huffs. Then she remembers that Kirishima and Kaminari are still there and seems to panic a little. “Ah, hum, I’m so, so sorry, boys. About Bakugou and about my attitude.”
“It’s fine,” Kirishima finally manages to say, “but are you okay? We thought that guy was bothering you, so we came.”
That is the wrong thing to say. Uraraka looks unhappier at that and Kirishima knows exactly why. She hates being treated like a damsel in distress. Damn it. He and his big fat mouth.
“It’s fine. Bakugou is my… whatever,” she sighs, “As you could see, he’s a little unbearable, but it’s nothing, really. It’s just… My relationship with Bakugou is complicated.”
“Anyway… sorry, guys.” Uraraka bows. “But I have to meet Deku-kun and Iida-kun now. We see each other around?”
She waves at them and turns on her heels to leave.
“Are you kidding me?” Kaminari mutters, “Her relationship with him is complicated? You think Uraraka is dating that asshole?”
Kirishima doesn’t say anything. For once, because he’s worried about Uraraka. For seconds, because he’s feeling extra guilty about how insanely attracted he is to Uraraka’s boyfriend.
The best thing about Ashido is that she has magic powers. Maybe it’s the pink hair. Maybe it’s her bright, optimistic personality. Regardless, the thing is that whenever Kirishima is around her he forgets all of his problems. That’s why when he’s dancing with her in the middle of her crowded living room, he doesn’t think about the pile of homework that awaits him at his dorm.
He spins Ashido and she laughs and hugs him and it just feels like he’s living in a world where bad grades don’t exist.
“Oh, man, Kiri, you’re the best dancer ever!” She giggles holding onto his shoulders.
“I’ve been practicing just for you.” He wiggles his eyebrows.
“Stop it! I’ll fall in love with you!” Ashido laughs some more and slaps his chest. She might be a little bit more than tipsy. “Teach me your moves, red man, I’m using them on all the cute people here tonight!”
He’s laughing with her, happy and wholeheartedly, just because he’s glad to be her friend. And then, for the second time in less than 24 hours, his attention is caught by something that shouldn’t: in the middle of the dancing crowd, his eyes recognize an unruly mop of blond hair. Uraraka’s boyfriend walks across as if there is no one else in the room, his sharp eyes facing straight ahead, and he holds such confidence that even the drunk mob naturally opens a path for him. So damn manly…
Kirishima doesn’t have an excuse for what he does next except that he’s an impulsive son of a bitch.
“Ashido, I saw someone, I… hum… I see you later, okay?”
Ashido shrugs, unworried, and dances away from him. Kirishima thinks to himself that he loves that woman with all his heart before running towards where he last saw Bakugou.
He struggles and stumbles between two dancing couples and all but falls on a guy.
“Fuck- watch where you’re going, asshole!”
The guy he fell on is Bakugou himself.
“Ah, uh, sorry!” Kirishima feels oddly light, and he isn’t even drunk. Does he look drunk? He smiles drunkly nonetheless. “Hi. You’re Bakugou, right?”
Bakugou squints suspiciously at him for a second before recognition dawns on him.
“Yeah. And you’re one of angel face’s friends, right?”
Right. What kind of pet name is angel face, anyway? Kirishima thinks there is something bashful about Bakugou’s voice tone, but that might be just his hopes speaking up.
“I’m Kirishima Eijirou!” He hears himself blurting.
What is he doing?
“Okay.” Bakugou raises a thin eyebrow.
“Nice party, huh?”
“The fuck you want, shitty hair?”
“I just… I was just thinking… I, huh, can I get you a beer or something?”
What the fuck is he doing?
Bakugou blinks at him slowly, as if that is the last thing he expects to hear. As if Kirishima is stupid or something (maybe Kirishima is) and he doesn’t quite know how to respond.
“I don’t drink.” Bakugou finally says.
Wants to die.
“Bakugou! The hell is taking you so long?” A black haired boy struggles his way through people towards them, but he stops on his heels when he sees Kirishima there. “Oh, hey.”
Without giving Kirishima a chance to reply, Bakugou puts his black haired friend on a headlock and drags him away mumbling something on the lines of “C’mon, soy sauce.”
“What!” Black haired friend yelps. “Who’s your friend? I didn’t know you had friends besides me!”
Whatever he says next is muffled by another song by some Korean group that makes the entire apartment vibrate. Kirishima watches Bakugou and his soy sauce friend disappearing in the middle of the crowd.
He’s pretty sure that he just got completely shut down, but his delusional part insists that Bakugou’s ears were a little red when Kirishima offered him a drink.
But then it is pretty dark in there and that was probably his hopes getting too high again.
(It isn’t until many dejected hours later that Kirishima realizes that he actively attempted to flirt with his friend’s boyfriend.)
(As drunk as he is, Kaminari still manages to stop Kirishima when he tries to hurl himself out of the window.)
Kirishima doesn’t know when this whole I’m-only-attracted-to-assholes thing started.
It’s not that he likes being treated badly and pushed around. He doesn’t. Even though he does love a guy who can handle himself and maybe a couple of rough words don’t sound like a total turn-off (Kaminari can shut up, because it is not masochism, it’s just… a little roleplay), Kirishima does want to date somebody who loves and respects him. Somebody who cares for his well-being and is affectionate every now and then and all of that shit.
But there is something about the douchebag aesthetic. The way they impose themselves, the tough behavior, the strength… That kind of manliness is just too attractive to ignore.
To avoid any more unhealthy relationships, however, Kirishima has promised that he wouldn’t date anyone that isn’t actually cool. Most people wait for a knight in a shining armor. Kirishima Eijirou is 21 years old and he’s still waiting for the delinquent with a secret heart of gold that will aggressively care for him.
He doesn’t think he’s asking for much.
When Kirishima opens the textbook on the next day, feeling extra guilty and hangover, he’s more or less punishing himself.
(And not a fun punishment, for that matter, an actual punishment for being a giant, irresponsible asshole.)
He already got scolded by Kaminari for going full depressed drunk on him last night and he accepted the whole lecture without bothering to tell Kaminari that he barely drank anything at Ashido’s. He can’t bring himself to admit to his best friend that he’s an awful person who’s offered a beer to a taken man. He knows that eventually he’ll have to man up and take responsibility for his actions, but he decides to do that later when his head doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode. Damn, Kirishima cannot hold his liquor.
He opens the book on the same page as yesterday, where he disgracefully scribbled a plead for help to no one. Then he blinks, confused, when he finds a post-it note right beneath his pathetic words.
what the fuck this is high school level shit
every fucking body knows you just have to
add a fucking simple hydrogen bond to it
until it has four bonds
every fucking element has a number of
bonds needed and carbon needs four
Kirishima stares at the words roughly squeezed on the small post it. It’s obvious that whoever wrote that was angry because the last sentence is punctuated by a small hole as if they couldn’t bear Kirishima’s stupidity.
And that’s… one simple way to put things.
Kirishima looks at the paragraphs at the page and try to read them again. It seems like they say basically the same thing, but in a much more complicated way. However, now that Kirishima got the gist of it, it’s so much easy to translate the textbook into something comprehensible.
After taking notes and solving exercises that seemed impossible just a few minutes before, Kirishima stumbles on another doubt. He has the brightest idea.
He doesn’t have post-its, so he simply rips a whole page from his notebook and writes down on the top: “Neat. Now can you explain inorganic and organometallic compounds?” and he uses a heart sticker Ashido gave him a couple of days ago to fix the note to the book. Hopefully, the angry person will see it again.
Kirishima managed to study at U.A. for years without ever acknowledging the existence of Bakugou. Then he meets the asshole and starts freaking crushing on him even though he’s not supposed to and suddenly Bakugou is everywhere.
He’s going to have dinner at the cafeteria after a very productive afternoon of study, given the situation, but guess who the fuck is right in front of him in line. Guess. No, no… Just take a wild fucking guess.
“Bakugou.” The way his lips twitch into a smile is completely involuntary, but still wrong.
“The fuck? You again? Are you stalking me or something?”
“What? No! I live here!”
And if anything, he would like to avoid Bakugou until this stupid crush goes away, but his mouth doesn’t seem to have a connection to his brain, because he hears himself trying to establish a conversation anyway.
“You are the one I’ve never seen around.”
“That’s because I can fucking take care of myself,” Bakugou groans as he drops some food on his plate with a disgusted expression, “I usually don’t need this nasty goo.”
“Oh.” Kirishima stares at his own mashed potatoes, thinking to himself that there is nothing wrong with them. “Then why are you here today?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but my stove broke.”
Kirishima starts piling meat on his plate. So… by saying he knows how to take care of himself Bakugou means he can cook? Kirishima is assaulted by the mental image of Bakugou wearing a kerchief and an apron while he prepares some sort of dough. Kirishima doesn’t know why his cooking fantasy turned into a baking fantasy, but in his daydream there is flour on Bakugou’s face and he’s sleeves are rolled up so it’s possible to see his strong arms flexing as he works.
He wants to knock his head against the wall to erase those sinful thoughts.
“That sucks,” Kirishima says, trying to focus on the present, “but you could always use the communal kitchen, right?”
“No fucking way.” Bakugou moves to pay for his dinner. “That place is nasty and crowded all the time.”
Kirishima nods. He can’t even fry an egg, but he’s been to their kitchen once or twice and he knows that most people don’t clean up after themselves.
“So I guess you’re stuck with the cafeteria food,” Kirishima comments as they walk together to the nearest table, “but hey it’s not so bad. If you arrive early you get the better food. I can tell you what’s poisonous so you can avoid in the future.”
“I don’t intend on coming here often. And why the hell are you sitting with me?”
“What, I can’t?”
Around them, most tables are already occupied. And, unlike in the movies, people are just sitting whenever, except a few small groups of friends that are more concerned about their food than their company. However everything would be easier if Bakugou just kicked Kirishima out. Kirishima himself should just move somewhere, because, even if Bakugou wasn’t in a relationship with a friend of his, he would still be a giant jerk.
Bakugou just makes an annoyed noise and doesn’t say anything else to push Kirishima away. Kirishima sits in front of him. Crap.
Be cool, Eijirou, he tells himself, there is no reason you can’t get along with Bakugou without hitting on him. Befriend him. Fucking friendzone him.
“This shit is disgusting.” Bakugou complains, poking his food with the fork.
“It’s not that bad once you get used to it. And it’s cheap.”
“I don’t want to ever get used to this crap.”
“Well, it’s just until you get your stove fixed right? Do you live near the campus?”
“You were in my apartment just yesterday.”
Kirishima blinks, “No way! You’re Ashido’s roommate?”
What? When? How? Kirishima has been Ashido’s friend for almost a year now and he heard plenty about her roommate. Kirishima’s only been to Ashido’s place during really crowded parties, so it’s no surprise that he hasn’t met Bakugou in there before, but only now he realizes that he’s never heard Ashido’s roommate’s name before.
“Well, yeah, why else would I be in her lousy party?” Bakugou rolls his eyes. He finally tries some of the food and pulls a face. “God, this is gross.”
“If you dislike it that much, there is a place just outside the campus that sells better food,” Kirishima says, “I could take you there for dinner tomorrow, their food is… is…”
Kirishima trails off when he realizes what he’s doing. He’s inviting Bakugou for dinner. He’s invited his friend’s boyfriend for dinner. It’s like a date. Holy fuck.
He doesn’t stop to look at Bakugou’s reaction; he just desperately scans the room around for another place to sit. He can’t stay near Bakugou. He’s too dangerous. It seems that most tables are full by now, but he finds a familiar freckled face just paying for his dinner. Kirishima almost jumps out of his chair when he starts waving for Midoriya. Hopefully, if he has other friend around, he’ll stop.
Midoriya smiles and waves back. “Kirishima!”
Kirishima vaguely registers Bakugou tensing up in front of him when Midoriya's voice is heard.
“Hey, Kirishima,” Midoriya says as he sits by his side, “how are you… KACCHAN!”
Midoriya goes pale at the same time Bakugou goes red. Kirishima feels like he’s missing something.
“Deku.” Bakugou mumbles, his expression more disgusted than it was when he tasted the food.
Then Kirishima realizes. Midoriya is Uraraka’s best friend in the world. Of fucking course he’d know Bakugou.
(Anyway what is this tension between them?)
“Uh… Kacchan?” Kirishima repeats looking from a distressed boy to the other. “I thought your name was Bakugou.”
“Hm, it is,” Midoriya murmurs shyly, “Kacchan is from Katsuki.”
Bakugou makes a disgruntled noise, but Kirishima is very good at ignoring heavy moods and lightening them again. He asks with way more interest than he should have:
“Katsuki? That’s your first name? How is it written?”
“Huh?” Taken aback by the sudden question, Bakugou doesn’t remember to be aggressive. “With “Katsu”, like in “to win”, why do you care?”
Kirishima snorts, “No way! That name suits you way too much.”
Aaaand he’s flirting again even though Midoriya is sitting right next to him. God damn it.
“Ah! I remembered a thing!” Kirishima gets up suddenly.
“A thing! I gotta go! See you guys around!”
He is fully aware that he’s acting insane. He doesn’t need to hear Bakugou’s baffled “what is his deal?” to know that. Nevertheless that doesn’t stop him from leaving his barely touched dinner behind and running away from the cafeteria.
Kirishima tells himself that he’s going to be a good boy and he’s going to forget about anything related to Bakugou Katsuki. Hell, he’ll forget everything related to romance whatsoever. He tells himself that he’s only leaving his room for classes from then on.
(That doesn’t work well, because, on the very first night after the cafeteria incident, he has to go to a convenience store late at night to buy some food because he’s fucking starving. And on the next day he needs to go work out at the gym because he has so much pent up energy, but at least he doesn’t meet Bakugou in any of the occasions.)
He studies biology until his brain hurts and almost forgets to actually attend his classes on the next day. Most of his classes would go okay if he wasn’t feeling so damn guilty. Chemistry is torture, as always, but when he heads to the library to do his homework he finds that the notebook page he left behind was filled with a very aggressive, but very simplistic explanation about inorganic carbon compounds.
He thinks to himself that God might be helping him. Giving him a second chance or whatever. He’s also very sure that he doesn’t deserve such kindness considering he’s lusting after a forbidden man.
However, as guilty as he feels, he still leaves a thank you note and a couple of more questions between the book’s pages. This mysterious chemistry person has taught him more than any teacher or tutor ever managed to and he’s in no condition of refusing help.
(For the rest of that week, Kirishima manages to avoid Bakugou Katsuki. He focus on his studies and on his friends that don’t hang out with Bakugou and, for a while, everything works. Mysterious chemistry person still leaves him helpful angered notes. Maybe he won’t fail his classes, after all.)
Kirishima yawns on his way out of the dormitory building. Today he has no classes, but he has an awful amount of homework to do, so he decides to take a morning jog before getting to work. Exercise always puts him at ease. He’s determined to have a productive, responsible day.
So of course the first person he sees outside is Bakugou.
Kirishima panics, wanting to run away and to pretend he didn’t see him, but turns out that won’t be necessary. Bakugou seems to be on a very heated argument with no one less than the University’s star Todoroki Shouto (or, well, Bakugou is very heated while Todoroki stares at him as if he can’t wait to go to sleep.)
It is not Kirishima’s business. Last time he meddled in when Bakugou was in a fight with someone, he fucking fell in love at the first sight. So it is best if he turns away and goes on his morning jog without bothering with things that have nothing to do with him.
From where he is, he can’t hear what they are saying, but he sees something glinting within Todoroki’s eyes. Todoroki gets tense and Bakugou starts to raise his fists. Damn it, this is going to get nasty.
Kirishima starts running towards the fight and everything be damned. He can’t let a fight break out in front of him and do nothing – he’s a man, after all – so he runs and yells Bakugou’s name to stop him.
Neither Bakugou nor Todoroki pay any attention to Kirishima, because they’re already preparing themselves for a fist fight, so the unfolding of the situation is inevitable: somewhere, a girl screams. Bakugou raises his arm to throw a punch. Kirishima is already running and he can stop, so, even though he sees Bakugou’s elbow coming, he can’t do anything to dodge. Bakugou’s elbow hits him right on the jaw with impressive strength and the last thing Kirishima thinks before passing out is that Bakugou’s arms are the very definition of guns.
Kirishima wakes up with a groan. His body is comfortably tucked in a bed, but his whole head feels swollen. He tries to sit up, lifting his hand to his jaw, that is definitely throbbing by now.
“Oh, fucking finally,” an annoyed voice says.
Kirishima turns around. He’s in one of the beds of the infirmary. That much he can tell. Everything else is kind of confusing. He doesn’t remember why he’s there. He certainly doesn’t remember coming. He also doesn’t know why Bakugou Katsuki of all people is sitting by his bed side.
“Huh… Bakugou…?” He tries and then pulls a face, because opening his mouth hurts. “What happened?”
“What happened,” Bakugou says, putting aside the notebook that was resting on his lap, “is that you fucking ran into my elbow and knocked yourself out. What is your problem, hair for brains?”
“Oh…” He kind of remembers it now. Damn, that was stupid. “You were going to punch Todoroki.”
“So fucking what?” Bakugou growls. “You thought the half-and-half bastard needed aid? He can handle himself! And I could have handled him if you hadn’t fucking meddled.”
“What happened? You guys didn’t fight, did you?”
“Yes, dumbass, we fucking ignored you god damned unconscious body on the floor and threw ourselves at each other’s throats.” Bakugou’s sarcasm feels like venom. “What the fuck do you think happened?”
“Uh… You didn’t fight?”
“Of fucking course not, for fuck’s sake! That damn half-and-half bastard helped me to drag your fat ass here and fucking bailed.”
“And… and then you took care of me while I was out?”
Kirishima hates it, he hates how weak his voice sound when he asks that. But not more than he hates it how Bakugou’s pale cheeks dust with pink and he abruptly stands up to avoid Kirishima’s eyes.
“Idiot! I’m only here because that old hag isn’t!” He stomps away and starts scrambling around for something outside Kirishima’s view. “That damn witch nurse is never around when we need her.”
“Don’t call her an old hag,” Kirishima scowls and immediately regrets it when his jaw hurts, “she’s Recovery Girl.”
“That nickname is fucking stupid and it shouldn’t be given to a useless old woman like her.” Bakugou comes back holding an ice pack that he unceremoniously tosses to Kirishima.
He catches it easily – even in this miserable state, his reflexes won’t fail him – and then he looks at it and at Bakugou, surprised. Bakugou mistakes his astonished silence for confusion and explains impatiently:
“You’re supposed to hold that on your jaw, Kirishima. It’s swollen because you’re a fucking idiot.”
He obeys without thinking, because it is the first time Bakugou had ever called him by his actual name. Kirishima assumed that Bakugou had forgotten his name or simply never bothered learning it, but then he says it so casually as if they’re friends and Kirishima’s heart skips a beat.
No, he tells himself. This is the explosive guy with a potty mouth and a terrible attitude. Kirishima is done falling for those types.
But then hasn’t Bakugou brought Kirishima to the infirmary? Hasn't he stayed here this whole time? Isn’t he, in his own Bakugou-ish way, taking care of Kirishima?
Stop that. It is Bakugou’s fault that you’re here to begin with. Besides, he’s a taken man.
Kirishima bites his lower lip hard, his sharp teeth scratching the soft skin and making his jaw throb in pain. He lowers his gaze to the notebook Bakugou had left on the nightstand, trying to listen to his reasonable side, but something else distracts him.
Apparently, Bakugou has been doing his homework while he was waiting for Kirishima to wake up and he left his notebook open. The page facing Kirishima is filled with chemistry notes written in a rough familiar handwriting.
Suddenly, everything is too much.
“Bakugou,” Kirishima calls, his voice heavy, “Bakugou, I like you. I’m crushing on you hard.”
Silence lingers in the infirmary.
And then Bakugou tries to murder Kirishima.
Kirishima probably shouldn’t be running. His jaw is still pretty swollen and it’s been one hell of a day, so he should go to his room and rest. Instead, he finds himself rushing somewhere else as soon as the nurse lets him of the hook. His phone has been buzzing for a while – probably Kaminari wondering where the hell he went – but he doesn’t bother checking it. He keeps running until he reaches the girls dorms building. This went too far and Kirishima has to fix it or else he can’t be called a man.
He knocks on Uraraka’s door harder than he needs to, but it’s more out of nervousness than anything else.
When she opens the door, she first looks surprised to see Kirishima and then horrified.
“Oh my God, Kirishima-kun! Are you okay?”
There’s a knot in his throat. She’s worried about him. “Uraraka. I need to talk to you.”
“Come in, please!”
He comes inside and finds Midoriya sitting on the floor with a bucket of popcorn. Apparently he and Uraraka were about to watch a movie together. Damn it. His presence here doesn’t make things any easier.
“Is it Iida—Oh my God, Kirishima!” Midoriya jumps to his feet. “What happened to your face? Are you okay?”
“I, huh,” Kirishima mumbles, “I kinda ran into Bakugou’s elbow.”
“Kacchan elbowed you in the face?”
“No! I ran into his elbow.”
“That… seems very unlikely.” Uraraka gently puts her hand on his arm. “Why don’t you sit down and tells us what happened?”
He lets Uraraka guide him to her bed and sits down by her side. He wonders if this is the last time Uraraka is gentle with him. If she’ll punch him when she learns what he’s done. Maybe Midoriya will punch him too. He won’t fight back if they do. He deserves it.
“I’m sorry, Uraraka. I, huh, I like Bakugou. And I kind of confessed to him.”
“You did what?” She snaps at the same time Midoriya shouts: “You like Kacchan?”
“Oh my God, you confessed and Bakugou elbowed you in the face? What an asshole! I’m going to give him a piece of my mind…!”
“Wait! I told you the whole elbow thing was an accident and confessed to him after that.”
“Oh. Good. I think.” She exchanges a concerned look with Midoriya like she usually does. Kirishima thinks she and Midoriya talk telepathically sometimes. “Then… what happened?”
“What… you’re not angry?”
“No?” Uraraka puts her arm around Kirishima gently. “I mean… I’m surprised. It’s Bakugou, after all? I never heard of anybody liking him. In that way, at least.”
“C’mon, he isn’t that bad.” Midoriya frowns. “I mean, he does have anger issues… And he is kind of antisocial… And he can be rude most times…”
Midoriya goes on and on listing Bakugou’s several faults, but Kirishima is paying attention to Uraraka’s reaction. She doesn’t look angry. Or upset. What had she said again? My relationship with Bakugou is complicated. But had she mentioned the nature of their relationship? Did she say she was dating him? At all?
“…and he’s really arrogant. But! He’s smart! And he’s really brave and stuff! Though he’s kind of a bully…”
“Uraraka,” Kirishima calls, “what is your relationship with Bakugou?”
“Me? Well, I met him because he’s Deku-kun’s childhood friend. I don’t know if I’d call myself his friend, because I’m not sure if Bakugou has friends, but… Yeah. Why?”
God. Damn it.
“More important, will you tell us what happened,” Midoriya asks, “with your face and Kacchan and everything?”
“Well… Like I said… I ran into his elbow and that knocked me unconscious. Then he took me to the infirmary and stayed with me until I woke up.”
“That is unusually sweet for Bakugou,” Uraraka comments and Midoriya nods, “Go on.”
“He was there and we were talking and… Fuck, he is like that, you know?”
“I don’t think we do,” Midoriya looks somewhere between fascinated and terrified, “I mean, we know Kacchan is like that, but I don’t think our that means the same as yours.”
“I just blurted that I like him”
“Huh… Then he told me to stop fucking around and tried to smother me with a pillow.”
“Now that sounds like the Bakugou we know and love.”
“How are you still alive?”
“Well, it hurt my jaw, so I yelped. He stopped and yelled “ARE YOU FUCKING SORRY?” and then he just… kind of stood there. He was blushing a lot.”
“I think he tried to ask if you were okay or to say he’s fucking sorry,” Midoriya suggests. “Huh. He was probably panicking hard.”
“I’d give anything to be there,” Uraraka nods, grinning.
“Then the nurse went inside. She was probably wondering what was all that noise. After that, Bakugou fled.” There is a pause. “What do I do now?”
“Well… He didn’t give you an answer, did he?” Uraraka shrugs. “So… I guess what you have to do now is to wait.”
She… Is right. What was stopping him from chasing after Bakugou? First, he had a “girlfriend”. However, said girlfriend was nothing but a product of his fertile imagination. And second, Bakugou was a dick. Except that he’s not. Dicks don’t take care of hurt people and they certainly don’t explain complicated chemistry stuff to random faceless strangers.
So there is nothing. There is nothing stopping him from doing everything in his power to win Bakugou.
Kirishima grins so hard it hurts his jaw even more.
Kirishima belatedly on that night realizes he still has Bakugou’s notebook. After he returns to his own dorm, he flips through the pages mindlessly. The notes there are way more advanced than the scribbles and tips Bakugou had unknowingly left for Kirishima, complicated math and impossible formulas all over the place. Midoriya had said that Bakugou was smart and, judging by that notebook, he was not wrong.
But then Kirishima finds himself in a dilemma: he has to give the notebook back, but he doesn’t want to. On one hand, Bakugou’s advanced notes have no use to him and he might need his notebook. They don’t have each other’s numbers, so it’s not like Bakugou can text him and ask for it. It is Kirishima’s responsibility to give it back, since he knows where Bakugou lives and everything. On the other hand, he’s seriously nervous about meeting Bakugou. Not only will be the first time Kirishima meets him after he found out Bakugou is single and ready to mingle, he also freaking confessed to him during their last conversation. It is going to be so awkward! He wants to at least wait until his jaw returns to the regular size before seeing Bakugou again.
Except Bakugou has already seen Kirishima’s swollen face, so why does it matter?
However he could simply give the notebook to Ashido and ask her to give it to Bakugou.
Although it would be stupid to miss such a perfect chance to talk to Bakugou and break the tension between them.
Kirishima finds himself pacing back and forth inside his room and he can physically feel his brain burning. Thinking was never his forte and, since he missed his morning exercises, he has too much pent up energy to focus on anything. He decides it’s time for a visit to the gym.
Leaving Bakugou’s notebook on his desk, he yells to Kaminari where he’s going. Maybe a good run will put his head in place after the hectic day he just had.
Kirishima usually visits the gym near campus as soon as he wakes up – and that is really early – so he doesn’t recognize most of the people there, though he sees one or two of his classmates. He feels oddly at ease there, in spite of the unfamiliar faces and the sounds of people grunting as they lift weights. For Kirishima, the gym is some sort of second home. He stretches carefully, glad that at least exercise doesn’t make his face ache, like most things do now.
He heads straight to the treadmills and his stomach gives a complete twist when he spots a familiar blond head. The way his cheeks dust with red and he exclaims “Bakugou!” is mostly a pavlovian response by now.
Bakugou stumbles and almost falls from the treadmill, so he hits the stop button before he ends up being thrown away. The murderous look he gives to Kirishima is borderline lovely.
“The fuck are you doing here?”
“Working out. Isn’t that what people mostly do here?”
Bakugou stares at Kirishima for a long time. Maybe he’s wondering if he should believe Kirishima or not. Or, judging by the look on his face, considering if it would be worth it to elbow the other side of Kirishima’s face
“Whatever. Go do your exercises and don’t fucking bother me.”
And Bakugou turns the treadmill on again.
Fine. Kirishima didn’t want to confront him just yet. It’s better if they pretend nothing is happening for now. He starts the treadmill at a slow jog pace and he’s going to focus on the exercise and—
“You left your notebook with me.”
He simply can’t keep his mouth shut, can he?
Rather than telling him to shut up, Bakugou grunts.
“You’re really good at chemistry, huh?”
“Well, fuck, I better fucking be.” Bakugou steps up his pace. “I’m majoring in chemical engineering.”
“That explains a lot.” Kirishima starts to jog a little faster as well.
Bakugou glares at him. “The fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, right, I didn’t tell you! You know how someone would keep leaving questions on that text book? And you kept answering them?”
“That was you?” Bakugou looks surprised for a second, before his mean expression is back again. “I should have known. Who else would be that stupid? Of course it was you. What are you majoring in anyway?”
“The fuck were you studying chemistry for, then?”
“I took it as an elective class. It was a mistake, okay?”
Bakugou makes sure Kirishima sees when he rolls his eyes even though they’re almost running now.
“Why were you checking that book? There is nothing but introductory stuff and your level is way higher for what I’ve seen.”
Is it just Kirishima or Bakugou straightened his shoulders, as if feeling proud?
“I needed to quote that book on an article. Then I saw your stupid question and I couldn’t stand that level of dumbness. I had to answer.”
“Well, that explains the first time. What about the other four times you answered me?”
Bakugou’s ears start to get red.
“What have I told you about bothering me, shitty hair?”
“Shut up, my hair is super cool.”
“Why don’t you die already and shut the fuck up? Or do you always come to the gym to slack off?”
With that, Bakugou quickens his pace once more and turns his eyes away from Kirishima. Pouting a little, Kirishima accepts that as the end of their conversation.
He starts running seriously. He increases his pace every two minutes until he finds a comfortable one, not too fast or too slow, more or less at the same velocity Bakugou is running. Except that, not long after that, Bakugou glances at Kirishima by the corner of his eyes and starts to go even faster. Kirishima doesn’t think much of it, but it feels weird. Isn’t it strange that a chemistry nerd is running faster than he is? The core of his major is physical activities after all. Kirishima speeds up.
Bakugou has the nerve to scoff before going even faster. Kirishima’s bruised jaw drops. Bakugou is challenging him!
“You’re on, pretty boy.” Kirishima mutters and uses his full power to sprint.
The next thing he knows is that they’re both sweating profusely, out of breath and their shins ache, but they don’t stop. Stopping means losing and neither wants to give in. Even though they’re even, Kirishima knows Bakugou has been jogging since before Kirishima’s arrived and that’s why he’s so furious and determined to keep up. And that’s why it feels even sourer when he stumbles on his own feet and has to jump out of the treadmill.
With a victorious exclamation, Bakugou still manages two more painful steps before not so smoothly slipping back to firm ground.
“I want a rematch…!” Kirishima immediately croaks, completely breathless and leaning on his own knees to stay on his feet.
“Anytime, shitty hair.” Bakugou pants and he’s just as short-winded, but there is a large smirk fixed on his face.
And that cockiness is attractive, but, God, is it annoying.
“You asshole.” Kirishima mumbles, but he’s fighting not to smile at him back.
from: unkown number
[01:30AM] when do u want ur notebook back
to: red idiot
[1:49AM] who is this
from: red idiot
[1:50AM] what do u mean who dis
[1:50AM] who else has ur notebook
[1:50AM] its Kirishima
to: red idiot
[01:51AM] who is this
from: red idiot
[01:51AM] kirishima eijirou! the guy whose jaw you almost broke today!
[01:52AM] red hair, rly hot
[01:52AM] made you all sweaty and breathless like two hours ago
to: red idiot
[01:53AM] who is this
from: red idiot
[01:53AM] i’m shitty hair
to: red idiot
[01:54AM] who gave you my number
from: red idiot
to: red idiot
[01:55AM] brb ending her
from: red idiot
[01:55AM] dude nO
[01:55AM] leave her alone its not like im prank calling ur or wtv
[01:57AM] bakugou? were you serious? omg I just wanted to give back your notebook
[01:58AM] I SEE U READIN MY TEXTS ANSWER ME
[02:00AM] why r u like this man
[02:04AM] JOKES ON YOU I just texted ashido and shes not even home shes at hagakure’s
to: red idiot
[02:05AM] bring the notebook wednesday at 2pm to the library
[02:05AM] show up late and i will kill you
from: red idiot
[02:05AM] good night bakugou
—seen at 02:05AM
Kirishima doesn’t know how it gets spread, but people are looking at him funny all week. He doesn’t even imagine the reason until he gets the text.
[12:30PM] OMG is it true u have a thing for blasty mcsplode?
[12:31PM] i have a thing for what now
[12:31PM] bakugou katsuki? chemistry student? blond, hot and veeeeery short tempered?
[12:32PM] ringing any bells?
Kirishima really doesn’t think Uraraka and Midoriya would tell anyone. Bakugou much less, for that matter. But maybe Ashido deduced more than he’d expected her to when he asked her for Bakugou’s number. Maybe she managed to get Bakugou to spill something. (God knows that Ashido’s curiosity knows no boundaries and that, as much as she is a great friend, she’s terrible at keeping secrets.) The thing is that Kirishima is fairly well-known at the campus and apparently so is Bakugou.
By Wednesday noon, everyone at the University appears to have heard rumors about that P.E. major red haired kid and top chemistry student Bakugou Katsuki. Wherever he goes, people stare, some look baffled and some surprised. Kirishima guesses it is a big deal, since it’s the first time he’s ever got interested in someone since he enrolled in college, but he doesn’t understand why it is a big deal for anyone that isn’t himself.
Given the situation, he doesn’t feel surprised that Bakugou looks absolutely ferocious when they meet at the library.
“Fucking finally.” He grunts, even though Kirishima isn’t late. “Gimme the fucking notebook already.”
“Here.” Kirishima fishes it from his book bag, feeling a little like a kicked dog.
He never wanted to make Bakugou the center of rumors. Should he apologize?
Before he has the opportunity to, Bakugou turns around and enters the library.
Kirishima has no option other than to follow him.
“What do you want?” Bakugou hisses.
“What, I’m a student too! I can go in the library!”
“I’m going to the chemistry section.”
“So am I! I have a test next week.”
“Why are you taking this class anyway? You fucking suck at it. You said it was a mistake. You didn’t enroll by accident or something, did you? ”
“I know.” Kirishima groans. “Yaomomo told me that organic chemistry helps a lot with biology, so I took a shot.”
“That’s fucking dumb. Just drop it.”
“I can’t drop or fail any classes once I start them. I have a sports scholarship and I’ll lose it if I mess up.”
Not that he thinks about it, he’s been on the edge since the beginning, barely keeping his grades acceptable. It’s amazing that he got this far, really.
(Before he notices, he and Bakugou are sharing a table at the back of the library.)
“You could tutor me, Bakugou.”
“No, I fucking couldn’t. Piss off.”
“C’mon, man… Your notes helped me so much! You’re the best at this shit, so please…!”
“You can’t handle my tutoring.”
“Yes, I can! I’ll pay you back. Not in money, because I’m broke. Or in food, because I can’t cook. But I’ll think of something!”
“Fine! I’ll tutor ‘till you’re nothing but a puddle of blood, you annoying fuck.”
Kirishima’s face lightens up and he says, “For real? Then when do we start?”
“You…” Bakugou stops for a second, weighing the words. “You hella weird, has anyone ever told you that?”
“Yeah, yeah, once or twice,” Kirishima beams, “so… about tutoring…”
“Get your textbook.”
Bakugou is an impatient teacher, but turns out that it doesn’t matter because he’s a pretty good one. He takes long fancy concepts from the book and makes them so simple even Kirishima is able to grasp them easily.
They study together for a long time – for how long? Minutes? Hours? Kirishima can’t tell – and suddenly he starts to notice some things about Bakugou he couldn’t see until they’re just a couple of centimeters away from each other. First he sees how Bakugou’s eternal frown disappears when he talks about chemistry. He looks younger and calmer and even more handsome than usual, if that’s possible. He notices that Bakugou’s eyelashes are really long. That his eyes have a hint of red in them. That his neck is pale and strong. That his sandy hair looks spiky from afar, but really soft from where he is.
“Oi. Kirishima, are you listening? I swear to fuck, if you’re spacing out, I’ll—”
“Bakugou, go out with me.”
Bakugou’s eyes widen for a second and then he gets angry, “That shit again? What the fuck is your damage, Kirishima? You fucking—”
“Shhhhh!” Somebody makes from the bookshelves behind them.
Bakugou glares at the direction of the sound, as if he’s considering going there and fighting whoever dared to tell him to stay quiet at the library. He finally decides not to and turns back to Kirishima.
“Stop fucking around like that. It’s not funny.” He hisses.
“I’m not joking,” Kirishima exclaims, louder than he intended to and winces when another shhh is heard. He then murmurs, “I’m completely serious, dude. I was at the infirmary and I am now. I like you.”
“You—You just—What is your damage?” Bakugou repeats.
“What? Is it really that strange that I like you?” Kirishima pouts. “Is it because we’re both men?”
“It’s not something stupid like that.” Bakugou rolls his eyes.
“Then what is it? We can go out on a date first and see how it goes. I bet I can make you fall for me.”
“Jesus fucking Christ, I’m not going on a date with you!”
“Because!” Annoyed, Bakugou stands up and starts gathering his things. “I think you studied fucking enough for today. It fried your brain and everything. See you later, Kirishima.”
That hurts. Kirishima rests his head on the table, upset, and sulks for a while. If Bakugou doesn’t want to go out with him, there is nothing he can do. He’d have to respect his feelings and—
Kirishima’s head shoots up. Bakugou had never answered his feelings, had he? He explicitly said that he wouldn’t go on a date, but he didn’t say he disliked Kirishima, did he? And then he said “see you later” and called him by his actual name! Didn’t he?
For the second time, Kirishima lets his hopes up.
Kirishima is not sure about what’s happening between him and Bakugou.
Days pass after Kirishima’s impulsive confession and Bakugou doesn’t mention it even once. Kirishima doesn’t explicitly push the subject, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t flirt whenever he has the chance.
Sometimes, he can swear Bakugou is flirting back.
Bakugou tutors him on chemistry at least twice a week. They stop meeting at the library and start meeting at the common area at the dorms, so Bakugou can scream at will whenever Kirishima fucks up. Bakugou’s explanations are, as always, far less complicated than the book’s. Because of their tutoring sessions, Kirishima finds himself enjoying chemistry classes. They remind him of Bakugou. Sometimes he even understands the teacher because of something Bakugou said and, when he excitedly tells him that, Bakugou scoffs and tells him that it’s obvious that Kirishima is improving, after all Bakugou is the one teaching him. He means to sound arrogant, but there is some gentle pride in his eyes that melts Kirishima’s heart.
Kirishima treats Bakugou dinner, after a little struggle. Bakugou didn’t want to accept it, but Kirishima insisted that it was the least he could do to pay the tutoring lessons. They fought until Bakugou gave in and Kirishima took him to the place he had talked about so long ago. There was a promotion going on – something on the lines that if you eat enough meat you don’t have to pay for it, but you’ll pay double if you have leftovers – and of course Bakugou and Kirishima have to give it a try. They don’t give up until their plates are clean and they find themselves unable to move.
They text a lot. Usually it’s Kirishima who starts, but every now and then Bakugou humors him by sending stuff first. Bakugou’s texts are mostly he complaining about people – usually Midoriya or Ashido – or about things, like useless classes and annoying teachers. Kirishima’s are always about pointless information of his own day. Bakugou is bashful and sarcastic more often than not, but he always answers.
Kirishima purposefully changes his gym schedule and starts going at night, when he knows he’ll meet Bakugou. And it’s not even because he likes Bakugou or anything, it’s just that they have their treadmill competition and Kirishima won’t stop until he beats him. Bakugou hasn’t lost yet, but Kirishima is sure he’s getting there. Working out together becomes sort of a routine.
Rumor has it that Kirishima and Bakugou are dating. Kirishima is asked about it often. He laughs it off, not confirming or denying it, because he’s not sure himself. Sometimes he opens Bakugou’s texts and reads them, wondering if there is really something there or if they’re just friends and Kirishima is overthinking. More than once, he types “what are we” but he never hits send.
Kirishima is running. All these times on the past few weeks that he met Bakugou at the gym are really paying off, because now he can run as fast as light without even breaking a sweat (and later Iida, who is captain of the running club, would ask him if he wanted to join the team after seeing him sprinting across the campus) and he doesn’t stop or slows down until he’s in front of Bakugou and Ashido’s apartment.
It’s by pure chance that Bakugou and Ashido are about to walk inside together on the very moment Kirishima rushes towards them. Just seeing Bakugou makes Kirishima quicken his pace and widen his smile.
It’s by sheer impulse that Kirishima launches himself towards his friend to give him a surprise flying hug. Ashido lets out a startled squeal as Bakugou stumbles backwards under Kirishima’s weight, holding him in place.
“WHAT THE FUCK, KIRISHIMA?”
“Sorry!” Kirishima laughs and lets go of him at the same time Bakugou shoves him away. “I was just too excited! You won’t believe this! Look at this! Look at this!”
He shakes the papers in front of Bakugou’s face until he angrily takes them. Kirishima bites back another fit of laughter when Bakugou’s scowl slowly unfolds into a surprised expression.
“You… you got a perfect score in organic chemistry,” Bakugou marvels.
“What?” Ashido takes Kirishima’s tests from Bakugou’s hands. “That’s impossible. Even I failed this class and I’m majoring in chemistry!”
“I also almost got a perfect score for biology,” Kirishima announces proudly, “I guess chemistry did help! Mostly because biology seemed easier in comparison, but… But… huh…”
Kirishima trails off, because Bakugou is smiling at him. It is still crooked, still a little cocky, but it’s a smile nonetheless and he looks so inhumanly beautiful that Kirishima finds himself at loss of words.
“That is amazing, Kiri!” Ashido shoves him playfully. “But wait. Did you come all the way here just to tell us that?”
“Huh…” Kirishima begrudgingly stops looking at Bakugou to answer her. “What? I mean… yeah. Bakugou’s been tutoring me, so it’s only fair…”
“Bakugou has been tutoring you?” Ashido gasps. “What the hell, Bakugou? You don’t tutor me more than once per term and I’ve been your roomie and classmate since freshman year!”
Kirishima blinks, surprised. Bakugou’s ears start reddening.
“Shut your trap. If I don’t tutor you often is because you’re too stupid and it annoys me. And go home already, Kirishima, you still have one test to study for.”
He turns on his heel and walks inside.
“Bakugou, wait!” Ashido follows him and, before she closes the door, Kirishima hears: “What the hell, man! Is it because you liiiiike Kirishima? Is tutoring a code word for make out session?”
Then the door closes. Kirishima still hears stuff being thrown around and Ashido screaming. Kirishima is too busy hiding his face behind his hands to pay attention to it.
to: blasty mcsplode
[08:05AM] sorry dude cant meet today
from: blasty mcsplode
[08:07AM] k wtv
to: blasty mcsplode
[05:34PM] some days are just the worst
from: blasty mcsplode
[06:03PM] what do you mean
[06:13PM] shitty hair what do you mean by that?
[06:16PM] I know you’re reading my texts don’t ignore me on purpose you fuck
To: blasty mcsplode
[06:37PM] sorry it’s nothing forget I said anything
[06:37PM] I shouldn’t have anyway so forget it
From: blasty mcsplode
[06:37PM] what the fuck
[06:38PM] you can’t just say shit like that and tell me to forget
[06:55PM] fine be an asshole idgaf
To: blasty mcsplode
[03:37AM] sorry man i didnt mean to make u mad
[03:37AM] can i call u?
From: blasty mcsplode
[03:40AM] just call already
Kirishima is tucked in his bed when he dials the number he already knows by heart. His room is completely dark, except by his phone screen. Bakugou picks up on the first ring.
“Hey,” Kirishima answers and his voice sounds hoarse even to himself, “Sorry.”
“What are you even apologizing for? Also you sound like shit.”
“I’m apologizing for calling this late, dude. I have manners.”
“Don’t be rude!” Kirishima whines and then lets out a sigh. “But yeah… sorry. This is going to sound really stupid, but I couldn’t sleep, so I kinda wanted to hear your voice.”
There is pause. Kirishima can’t believe he just admitted that out loud. He hears some shuffling from the phone, as if Bakugou is also in bed. And then, finally:
“Nothing my ass. Something happened. What was it?”
Kirishima sighs. “My mom came to visit me. I spent the entire day with her.”
Another brief pause. “And? You don’t get along with her?”
“You could say that.”
“She doesn’t like me, all right? She pretends she does and it’s, like, torture for her and for me too, because she keeps trying to fix me and it’s tiresome.”
“To fix you?” Bakugou parrots and Kirishima notices a hint of anger he hasn’t heard in Bakugou’s voice since a while.
“Yeah! Stuff like why don’t you cut your hair properly, Eijirou? Or it’d be really nice if you changed your major and took over family business, Eijirou. And then there is the mandatory why don’t you meet a nice girl and marry her, Eijirou? It’s so—”
He trails off and bites his tongue. He didn’t mean to talk about that. Not with Bakugou. However it's so easy to talk to Bakugou about everything...
“Fuck…” Bakugou mutters. “What about your old man?”
Kirishima hesitates. Hesitates. Then he admits:
“He hasn’t talked to me since I came out.”
“Well, fuck that!” And Bakugou is mad again. Kirishima hears more noise and he imagines Bakugou getting up and walking angrily around his room. “What kind of… What sort of shitty parents do that? They can’t even call themselves parents, what the living fuck?”
“They’re… not great, true. They think they can somewhat fix me.”
“Stop,” Bakugou snaps, “saying the word fix. This is bullshit. You’re not broken. If anything, your parents need the fixing.”
“No, listen to me. Fuck that! You’re not a toy or a pet that is supposed to do whatever the fuck your parents want!” Kirishima hears wind on the background and Bakugou sounds a little breathless. Is he so furious he can’t breathe? “You’re your own fucking person. Living your own god damn life. They don’t get to choose what you do for a fucking living or what you do with your stupid fucking hair or who you fucking fuck.”
Kirishima laughs. His eyes are stinging. What Bakugou is saying is nothing new. Kirishima has read that in support websites, motivational pamphlets and in several self-help books he never finished. It’s okay to be gay, all of them say. You are supposed to live your own life.
But none of them uses the word fuck so often. Nor do they sound so personal. Bakugou isn’t giving a random pep talk. Bakugou is not currently worried about other people’s shit. Bakugou is telling him, Kirishima Eijirou, that it’s not selfish to decide things for himself. And he likes it.
“Bakugou, you’re so manly…” He croaks.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Come downstairs.”
“Did I fucking stutter? Come. Downstairs.”
And he hangs up.
Kirishima stares at his phone for a while, before getting out of bed and looking for his shoes. His hair is not styled and he’s wearing his oldest, comfiest Crimson Riot tank top, but he goes nonetheless.
Bakugou is waiting for him in the communal kitchen. He obviously just rushed there. His jacket is disheveled, his hair is messier than usual and there is a hint of sweat in his forehead that indicates that he literally ran there. It is true that Bakugou lives two blocks away from the dorms, but that doesn’t change the fact that he got out of bed and ran there at 3AM.
“Bakugou, what the—”
“Fucking finally. How long does it take you to climb down two stupid flights of stairs?” Bakugou turns to the cabinets and starts looking for stuff. “Ashido has a guest today and it was fucking impossible to stay there, so I came here to bake something. Since you’re also awake, you might as well help.”
Kirishima’s chest tightens.
“What are you making?”
“With chocolate syrup?”
“Yes, I will put the damn chocolate syrup.”
“That’s my favorite.”
“No shit. Just stop being useless and come help me.”
Kirishima grins and grabs the carrot Bakugou is handing to him.
To: blasty mcsplode
[06:38AM] bakugooou you were so manly yesterday
[06:39AM] so cool
[06:39AM] I think I fell for you again
[07:20AM] sorry did that make you uncomfortable?
[07:20AM] I didn’t mean to
[08:03AM] pls dont ignore me
From: blasty mcsplode
[10:41AM] dumbass im not ignoring you
[10:41AM] unlike you I don’t wake up at fuck o clock
[10:42AM] oh good
From: blasty mcsplode
To: blasty mcsplode
[10:43AM] why what
He doesn’t get an answer.
One day, their group go to a bar together. Tetsutetsu’s band is playing and he invites everyone. It’s a fun way to celebrate the end of the term now that everybody is free from finals. Kirishima enjoys hanging out with his friends well enough, but he can’t help but keep glancing at the entrance, waiting for someone. At some point, Uraraka just says:
“He isn’t coming.”
“Bakugou,” she says gently. “He never comes to our group outings. He only shows to Mina’s parties because he lives there.”
“That is true,” Midoriya nods, “even though Uraraka and Ashido always invite him. Sero sometimes tries to drag him to places, but… yeah.”
Kirishima pouts a little. “Has he always been like that?”
“Oh. Well… Not really. Kacchan… he’s hard to understand. When we were kids, he used to be the leader of our group, you know? Because he was always the bravest, the strongest…” Midoriya smiles softly, as if revisiting fond memories. “I’m not sure when that stopped being enough for him, but one day he just decided that he was better off alone, I guess. He’s not very patient or humble, you know. He started pushing people away.”
“And you stopped being friends then.” Kirishima notes.
“Well… You could say that.” Midoriya looks upset. “But that doesn’t mean I stopped admiring him! We don’t get along and, to be honest, I don’t… like him. But Kacchan’s strength… It was always a goal to me. He always tries to be the best. Like he’s really going to change the world. I aim to be like that.”
“But hey, Kirishima,” Uraraka says, “I’m glad Bakugou has you. Sometimes I worry about him being like that. Deku-kun does too. That’s why we’re really happy that you understand him.”
Kirishima is not sure if that’s true. If he really understands Bakugou, that is. Thankfully, though, Uraraka doesn’t wait for an answer. Instead, she asks Midoriya to dance with her, which is always fun to watch. Soon, Ashido asks Kirishima to dance as well and he leaves more complicated questions for later.
Once Kirishima doesn’t have chemistry tests to study for anymore, he doesn’t have an excuse to drag Bakugou with him anywhere. Thus, he simply shows up at Bakugou doorstep ready to hang out. Bakugou lets him in with only mild complaining and the two of them end up just chilling in the living room.
Bakugou sits on the couch and puts on one of All Might’s old movies on his laptop, as Kirishima lies down and fumbles with his phone, his feet resting on Bakugou’s lap. They exchange a couple of words every now and then, but nothing important. It feels nice.
After Bakugou loses interest in the movie and starts switching to different TV shows on Netflix – and never watching more than one minute of each – Kirishima gets a text from Kaminari asking about the schedule of an amusement park nearby. Kirishima remembers vaguely sending it to Bakugou a couple of days ago – in a vain hope that Bakugou would like to go with him, a hope that was quickly shut down – so he opens Bakugou’s texts to look for it. Their last conversation from three days ago stares at him, his last question still unanswered.
Something about it bugs Kirishima. It’s not weird for Bakugou to stop answering because he doesn’t have anything else to say. However it is not like him at all to just leave Kirishima hanging, especially when a direct question was made.
Kirishima has gotten pretty good at reading Bakugou. He knows when Bakugou is angry for real. He knows when Bakugou is just blowing off some steam. He knows when he’s supposed to stay quiet and when Bakugou isn’t saying anything because he’s okay with just listening to Kirishima for a while. Nevertheless, as much as he’s good at that, he still doesn’t know what to make of that particular exchange.
Maybe it’s not important. Maybe Kirishima is overthinking it. But he cannot let it go.
“What did you mean by “why”?”
“Last time we texted you asked me why something, but never explained what you meant.”
Bakugou’s confused expression becomes panicked in a matter of seconds. His ears get bright red and his shoulders get as stiffen as rock.
“No! I mean, I don’t remember, it doesn’t matter!”
Kirishima sits up, interest growing. “You don’t remember or it doesn’t matter, which one is it?”
“Aw, c’mon, Bakugou, I’m curious now.” Kirishima pulls his phone again. “If you won’t tell me, I’m rereading everything until I figure it out. Let’s see. Earlier, you were saying that you weren’t ignoring me, you just don’t wake up at a decent time, and before that…”
“Oh my God, shut up! Don’t read them out loud!”
“Then tell me what you meant!”
Bakugou groans, his ear tips looking definitely scarlet by now. “Fuck, you’re annoying. Has anyone ever told you that? Because you’re the most obnoxious piece of shit I had ever met.”
Kirishima waits, patiently. Bakugou lets out an irritated huff of air and turns his eyes away from Kirishima’s face.
“I… I asked why you keep saying that crap.”
“That crap!” Bakugou snaps. “About… about liking me and shit.”
Bakugou says “liking” as if the word hurts his lips by escaping. His face is bright crimson now. Kirishima gapes.
“Because I mean it? Oh my God, Bakugou, all this time you thought I was joking or—”
“No! I’m not fucking stupid! I know you don’t say shit you don’t mean!” He grits his teeth and it’s obvious that this whole conversation is painful to him. Bakugou refuses to look Kirishima in the eyes as he finally mumbles: “Because I know you mean it is that I asked why.”
“Why do I like you?” Kirishima frowns. “What, you want me to compliment you or… or…”
And he trails off as it dawns on him: Bakugou is insecure. The idea is so strange that it takes him a while to get his mind around it. Bakugou, who openly brags about being the best at everything. Bakugou who challenges a P.E. major almost daily at gym and is never surprised when he wins. Bakugou who cooks like a master chef, whose grades are the top of all his classes, who never hesitates before doing anything… This strong, arrogant Bakugou is confident about himself in almost every aspect.
Except, apparently, the romantic one.
Bakugou doesn’t understand – he can’t accept – that someone would simply like him. And, sure, his explosive personality might have contributed to push people away, but… that is just sad. For someone to think they’re unlovable… No, for Bakugou to think he’s unlovable… Kirishima feels a knot in his throat.
“Okay, so… first it was because I thought you were an asshole…”
“Oh wow, fuck you, shitty hair, you can eat—”
“Wait! That’s not everything!” Kirishima pleads and, surprisingly, Bakugou waits. He goes on: “So… I always had this thing… that I was attracted to guys who were kind of huge jerks. After a couple of awful relationships, I promised myself that I wasn’t going to get involved with anyone like that anymore. Then I met you and… You were there fighting Uraraka of all people and I though wow that guy is really hot but he sure looks like a dick.”
“Clench your teeth, I’m punching you in the face right now.”
“Let me finish, man! So… I tried to stay away from you. But I kept running into you all the time and I simply couldn’t help myself…? And then I tried to run away, but it never worked.”
“Is that the reason you acted like a psycho before? You were, what, physically unable to not flirt with me?”
“Hm… Let’s not talk about my behavior back then. Anyway I ended up learning more about you and when I found out the person you actually are, I kind of fell for you.”
“How can you say that with a straight face?”
“Babe, there is nothing straight about my face.”
Bakugou grabs one of the cushions and tries to smother Kirishima with it.
“WHY DO YOU TRY TO SUFFOCATE ME TO DEATH EVERY TIME I CONFESS TO YOU?” Kirishima wails, squirming as Bakugou pins him down to the couch and all he can do is to fight not to be murdered.
“WHAT PART OF THAT WAS A CONFESSION, YOU ASSHOLE? YOU BASICALLY JUST CALLED ME A GIANT JERK!”
“THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT! I AVOIDED YOU BECAUSE I THOUGHT YOU WERE A GIANT JERK! THEN I FELL FOR YOU BECAUSE I LEARNED YOU’RE NICE!”
Bakugou stops trying to push the cushion onto Kirishima’s face. Kirishima hurries to shove it away, which leaves him lying down on the couch with Bakugou on top of him. It’s his turn to feel his face warming up. Bakugou looks too surprised to care about how compromising their position is.
“What the hell? I’m not nice.”
“You get angry if I call you a jerk and then you refuse to be called nice.” Kirishima tries to sit up so his eyes get more or less on the same level as Bakugou’s. “What do you want from me, bro?”
“Don’t you bro me now, I want you to stop being stupid. I’m not some nice guy, I’m… I’m… not nice.”
“Dude.” Kirishima raises a brow. “You literally carried me to infirmary when I was knocked out.”
“That’s because I was the one who knocked you out! I was not being good, I was taking responsibility for my own shit!”
“What about the notes you left on that book answering the questions of a faceless stranger?”
“That—fuck you, I just couldn’t bear that level of stupidity!”
“Then what about three days ago when you ran all the way to the dorms to make me carrot cake just because I was sad and don’t lie,” Kirishima exclaims when Bakugou opens his mouth to protest, “I know you weren’t there when I called you.”
“Screw you! That was not because I’m nice or some shit like that, shut the fuck up! That was just because… because,” Bakugou’s voice slowly turns from an angry snarl to a soft mumble until it can be barely heard. Kirishima almost misses the last part when he mutters, “…because it was you.”
Kirishima’s heart soars at that.
(Bakugou is still on top of him)
Even though Kirishima can’t take his eyes from the boy in front of him, Bakugou refuses to look back and his face is adorably red. They are close, so close, Kirishima raises his hand hesitantly until it cups Bakugou’s face and his blushed cheeks feel warm beneath his fingers.
(Bakugou finally turns his gaze to him and his eyes stop at Kirishima’s lips before locking on Kirishima’s eyes.)
They lean into each other’s spaces until they’re a breath apart from each other. Kirishima could have counted Bakugou’s blond eyelashes.
(This is it. After all this time, it’s finally happening.)
“Bakugou, I’m home!”
Kirishima lets out a shameful yelp as he and Bakugou push each other away at the same time. Bakugou falls from the couch.
Ashido appears a few seconds later and looks from Bakugou, who’s still lying on the floor, to Kirishima, that looks as disheveled as someone who was almost smothered to death and as red as someone who was almost freaking kissed by the person they love. Fuck.
“Hm… Are you boys okay?” Ashido asks.
“Fucking peachy.” Bakugou croaks.
“Okay, good, and good thing you’re here, Kirishima, because Ochako is throwing a party tonight and you don’t seem to be answering her texts? Anyway she expects us to come, of course, before we all go on vacation…”
Ashido takes a seat and starts rambling about her plans, unaware that she’s interrupting something, which… is not fine, but it’s too late now. The romantic moment is over. As soon as Bakugou gets up from the floor, he leaves for his room without saying a word. Kirishima starts to think he hallucinated about their almost kiss.
“There he goes.” Ashido sighs. “He’s good friends with Ochako, but he never goes to her parties. I wonder why.”
Kirishima mumbles something in response, happy that Ashido doesn’t need too much incentive to keep talking. He doesn’t think he’ll be able to say anything coherent for a while.
From: blasty mcsplode
[05:05PM] u going to pancake face’s thing tonight?
To: blasty mcsplode
[05:07AM] you mean uraraka? sure
There are no more texts after that. Kirishima doesn’t send anything else either.
Uraraka’s parties are very different from Ashido’s. When Ashido throws a party, she makes sure every single person in the university gets an invite. She turns off the lights and turns on the speakers and everyone dances and drinks until they’re wasted.
When Uraraka throws a party, she invites her closest friends. The lights stay on and they order takeout food and watch movies or play video games. There are always one or two couples sitting on one another’s laps, always friends sharing personal space and cups and bowls of popcorn. It feels warm, hazy and comfortable. He watches as Uraraka puts on Just Dance and she and Yaoyorozu start dancing right away. He also watches as Ashido lets Jirou lie down on her lap, as Kendou sits between Tetsutetsu’s legs to comfortably watch the game, as Hagakure starts petting Ojiro’s hair mindlessly. Midoriya and Todoroki have escaped to talk on the porch. Everything is so familiar and fun. Kirishima never misses those get-togethers.
Ashido swears Uraraka and Bakugou have been friends for a long time, but Kirishima has never seen him there. He waits, nonetheless.
He never comes to Ochako’s parties, Ashido had said. But then, on that very same afternoon, he had texted Kirishima to ask if he was going.
He started pushing people away, Midoriya had told him. But Kirishima knew that he wasn’t bad. That he actually wanted to be admired. He didn’t want to be seen as some kind of villain. Kirishima wondered if he could help him with that in some way. Maybe Kirishima could give him some tips on how to fit in again, how to act nicer in a more explicit way.
Kirishima is sure. He’s so sure that, when someone knocks on the door, he doesn’t think it’s a belated Asui, like Uraraka suggests. When Iida opens the door and lets out an exclamation of surprise, Kirishima doesn’t need to turn back or to hear the soft grunt outside to know that he doesn’t need to wait anymore. When their friends stare, some dumbfounded, some awkwardly greeting him, Kirishima has to fight back a smile. He knows why Bakugou is there even before Bakugou sits on the armrest of the couch, right by Kirishima’s side.
“What are they even doing?” Bakugou asks and his voice sounds even, in spite of the dismissive words.
“They’re playing Just Dance,” Kirishima says and nudges him, “Wanna try? Uraraka has some pretty sweet songs. I’m not the best dancer, but I’m sure I could beat you.”
“Hah. You wish, hair for brains. You can’t beat me. At anything.”
Bakugou nudges him back and his arm just stays there. Their friends are again focused on their own business and pay them no mind. Not that Kirishima can tell. Right now there is some special tension between him and Bakugou, like they're the only ones in the room. He wonders if they’ll solve this tonight.
“Don’t get cocky.”
“I’m not cocky. I’m realistic.”
Kirishima rolls his eyes. “Hey, you know you can actually sit on the couch, right? Or are you trying to look cool by sitting there or something?”
“Don’t wanna sit there,” Bakugou groans, “roundface’s couch reeks like Deku.”
Kirishima doesn’t know if Bakugou’s being his annoying usual self or if he actually has such sharp Midoriya senses that he can actually tell Midoriya was there sitting just a couple of minutes ago. Kirishima should probably tell Bakugou to knock it off and lay off Midoriya’s back for a bit, but he thinks maybe it would be better to save that conversation for later. The tension hasn’t left them yet and Kirishima doesn’t think he’d be able to fix whatever the hell happened between Midoriya and Bakugou in one night.
Not this night, at least.
“You could always sit on my lap.”
Now he’s done it. He doesn’t even know why he said that. His mouth probably lost the connection to his brain at some point. It has always been a thin connection anyway.
He’s about to do some damage control and yell “kidding! Just kidding!” when Bakugou, after hesitating for half a second, mutters an inaudible “yeah” and easily slips from the armrest to Kirishima’s legs.
Kirishima’s heart might as well have stopped. He doesn’t notice anything else – if their friends are staring, if they’re too attentive to the game, a bomb could have been dropped right there and Kirishima wouldn’t notice – because this is what he’s been waiting for the whole night. He puts his arms around Bakugou’s waist for balance and it feels like he fits there perfectly.
“Well, aren’t you being proactive tonight, Blasty?” Kirishima grins.
“It’s ‘cause you look cute and fucking Ashido interrupted us and that pissed me off, and shut up.” Bakugou tries to sound harsh, but he seems to be fighting a smile himself. “If you bite me with those stupid teeth of yours, I’m breaking them.”
And Bakugou leans down to kiss him.
Suddenly, there is no tension anymore, just Kirishima feeling slightly surprised that Bakugou’s lips are hundreds of times softer than the words that leave them. That is, a few seconds before he gets too drunk on the taste to care about any of that poetic shit.
He’s fairly sure that people are whooping on the background and making witty comments. Kirishima is pretty sure that they’re the first couple to actually start making out at one of Uraraka’s parties, so he makes then a victory sign by raising two fingers – because it feels appropriate and, besides, he’s completely sure that Bakugou is flipping them off so he must do something to compensate – but he doesn’t stop kissing Bakugou. He deserves to enjoy the moment.
When they finally pull apart, there is chaos. Everybody is making weird sounds and laughing and yelling things like "you two are so cute" or "mind his teeth, Bakugou!" and,
with his forehead still touching Kirishima’s, Bakugou mumbles:
“Probably should have dragged you outside for that.” Before he turns to their friends and starts saying rude stuff.
Kirishima laughs, holding his new boyfriend firmly between his arms – half because he wants to, half because he’s scared Bakugou with launch himself on Tetsutetsu and start a fist fight –and he’s happy. With everything that happened, Kirishima is honestly happy. He’s happy that he’s got great friends. He’s happy that his life is alright and, about Bakugou, he couldn’t be happier. He’s not perfect, but neither is Kirishima, and he’ll accept Bakugou with everything he has because he’s in love. And love is all about that, isn’t it? Accepting and helping each other to grow.
Kirishima is still grinning when Bakugou escapes from his grip, yelling at Uraraka, just like on the day they met. He grins even wider when Uraraka yells back and somehow challenges Bakugou for a Just Dance competition. Bakugou doesn’t back down and Kirishima is completely delighted to pick the song himself.
It’s a work in progress.