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Bitter and Sweet

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Today is Valentine’s day.

Katsuki muses as he switches through the channels, slouching on the couch while sipping a cup of coffee at ten in the morning. There isn’t much to do today, as the agency he worked at had declared a non-hero-working holiday. He was all by himself, boringly so.

Half of his friends, by friends he meant Kirishima, are too busy making plans for their supposed dates for the holiday.

Katsuki titled his gaze at the ceiling and sighed in annoyance. This Holiday was one of the few dates he hates the most. Just seeing people being lovely-dovely on the sidewalks, malls or anywhere near him makes his temper risen. It’s not that he has no one to bear the holiday with, is just that, it reminded him the all about the chances he could have done to that certain someone he had feelings with since he graduated.

Whatever, it’s not like I’ll see that fucker again.

Katsuki let out a hiss, he switched his gaze back at the TV while rolling out the stiffness of his shoulders. He grabbed the remote and turned off the TV. He shouldn’t let himself be locked up in his apartment, no Holiday should ever halt Bakugou Katsuki’s day, despite feeling that lonesome emotion he’s been building up ever since the reunion of Class 1-A.

That was three years ago. Stop thinking about that, damn it.

Bothered by the thoughts he’s having, Katsuki stood up from the couch and slowly walked towards the kitchen’s sink. He poured the remaining contents of his coffee and placed the empty mug on the sink.

A minute passed and Katsuki remained from where he is. He was contemplating whether he should embrace the bright shining weather outside or stay inside, away from the sparkles and sunshine of the Holiday cheer.

“Why the hell do I care?” He asked himself, letting out a snarl.

Honestly, he wasn’t sure why it bothered him, maybe seeing too many having a good time angered him? Maybe he secretly wants to do those Valentine rituals of giving flowers or something?

“This is ridiculous,” he muttered to himself, “I fucking don’t need anyone.”

Annoyed at himself for even thinking about these things, Katsuki walked towards his room, changed into a black tank top, sweat pants and a pair of shoes. He then went back to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator, grabbing a water bottle then putting it inside the shoulder bag he took from his room. A jog would certainly lessen these stupid ideas he’s currently having. He is by no means bothered by these thoughts at all.

Sure… you aren’t. A faint voice echoed.

“What the hell?” Katsuki looked around. Where the fuck? He let out a huff of annoyance when he noticed that he was alone.

“Whatever.” He muttered as he walked towards the door of his apartment. He does need to get out of this confined space.

-

 

An hour passed after Katsuki left his apartment and he was met with the blinding showcase of couples doing Valentine’s designated occurrences. You know, besides stuffing themselves with sweets and cakes until they get a cavity or two.

He was a little annoyed but continued to jog around the streets of where he lived. Despite being a Holiday, Katuski still saw some petty thieves, thugs and among the likes doing stuff they love the most, terrorizing people and doing their pathetic acts of crime.

To Katsuki, that was all he needed to unwind the occupied thoughts of his mind.

After beating them up without his quirk while greatly scaring the living shits out of them, Katsuki left them on the ground, he’s sure some bystanders were watching and are already calling the police to come and pick the unconscious shits up.

Katsuki continued to jog on the sidewalks. Hopefully, the spectacle he just did wouldn’t catch the attention of the on-lookers to recognize face. He likes his civilian identity undisturbed and private, mind you.

A few minutes passed. Katsuki rummaged his bag and took out his water bottle; taking in a few sips as he takes a right turn, heading towards the park he used to go as a kid. This was always his routine path every time he does his morning jogs, he wasn’t sure why it compelled him to do so, but it had that strange pull of familiarity and warmth.

Katsuki squinted his eyes, stopping on his tracks when he saw the old playground he used to play as a kid. It had always looked rundown and unmaintained, most kids these days don’t bother to go out anymore, all still seemingly occupied with the wonders of colorful cartoons and free-spirit nature of Hero ideals.

Tsk, what a waste. He noted, walking nearer towards the rusted swing sets. He patted away the dust and dirt on one of the seats and sat down, dropping his bag on the ground.

Katsuki never thought he’d be one of those people who thinks about his past deeds. He was a go-to kind of guy, after all. One who answers his questions with blunt force and smug hostility.

Thinking back about how All-Might defeated All for One, he knew in that moment of dark times, he needed to change. Well, not wholly but maybe a few tweaks and some after school sessions with his home-room teacher who suggested he needed the makeover.

Katsuki knew if he didn’t work on his shit tier attitude and the luggage of constipated emotions, he’d go back to ground zero, wasting all his thought-out plans and potential of the future he made in his head.

It didn’t help when Katsuki found out that Deku, of all people, had inherited All-Might’s quirk.

At that point, everything Katsuki knew about the used-to-be worthless bastard was thrown out, shoved right back in for good measure, then permanently embed to his mind. After his confrontation with Deku, the fear, the denial and all the baggage he carried on his back were thrown aside.

Well, not all of it. Katsuki still has that unresolved complex of his and the need to be number one.

Years passed in his U.A days and Katsuki has somewhat mellowed out. He became approachable in way he won’t immediately fire swears or throw explosive punches. His classmates were able to talk to him but not without facing his biting words and fighting spirit. Even tolerable enough for the teachers up until Graduation.

Yeah, right. Katsuki leaned back, grasping both the metal chains of the swing set. They saw my potential, but disregard my shitty attitude. He dug his heels on the ground and push it backward, making the swing move.

To be fair, his homeroom teacher; Aizawa Shouta, was the reason why he worked on himself in the first place. The ones he was talking about were the other general subject teachers who gave him shit for being, as quoted a disrespect and disobedient brat.

“Tsk, they weren’t wrong…” he uttered to himself, halting the movement of the swing.

Katsuki is feeling a little tempered now. He told himself he should forget them. He’s twenty-five now. He worked through the flaws, studied to his extent and graduated, then applied to the previous workplace he chosen when he was in-field training.

He’s doing alright, he doesn’t need those passing opinions anymore, he doesn’t need to prove himself. Katsuki’s perfectly satisfied with where he is right now. Granted, he didn’t reach number one yet, but he’s close enough for the taking. All he needed to do is surpass Midoriya.

“Of-fucking-course.” He sneered, clearly still sour with his relationship with Deku.

After graduation, Deku disappeared. Not in a captive way, but from the sights of the media. Katsuki knew he was training with All-Might, enhancing his quirk or whatever. What bothers him about the freckled bastard was that they never really had a proper conversation throughout their U.A. lives.

The confrontation they had was supposed to be the bridge that could have slowly mended their issues with each other, but the chance to talk didn’t happen. The brief outburst they had gone by as fast as their fight ended.

Wait, why the hell am I thinking about him? I don’t care! I’ll never will. He mentally scolds himself.

It would be best if he forgets about Deku instead. He doesn’t need to think about what could’ve happened. He didn’t bother to work it out with Midoriya in his U.A years, so it shouldn’t bother him to feel inclined to do it up until now. That was supposed to be Deku’s job, not his.

You sound a bit hang up, though. A voice tells him. Especially since you’ve been wondering about it since the reunion three years ago!  It continued.

“SHUT UP,” Katsuki shouted, causing a few on-lookers to venture their attention to him. He too, looked back at them, daring anyone to snort in amusement with humor in their eyes. He’s fucking glad no one knows his face without his mask, if they did, they’ll crowd him like those bands in a concert. It’d be pretty infuriating to be screamed at when in close distance.

When they understood the hint in his maddening gaze, the bystanders whose attention was caught, quickly scrambled their staring and continued onwards to what they were doing.

Pleased when he saw they weren’t looking at him anymore, Katuski went back to his thoughts, which seems to be arguing with him. True, he did question himself why he kept thinking about that freckled idiot, but he never had a clear answer. He always brushed it off immediately when he deemed he was overthinking it.

Why was he even asking?

Why are his thoughts always go back to Deku?

He wasn’t sure when the unconscious feelings wandered in, but if he had a guess, it’d be from that class reunion of theirs. Though he remembered only small details about it, that day was the first real indication he had a low tolerance to alcohol.

Yes, you guessed it. He got drunk, to the point where he thought jumping from a two-story balcony into the deep pool of Iida’s home, no wait Mansion, was a good idea.

The next morning, he was greeted with something bright, not the sun perse, but a sight of two bright emeralds and an overcast of seaweed-colored hair, along with a voice that was dripped with softness and earnest. He wasn’t sure what or who it was, but the moment he opened his eyes, he pushed the person out of the way, gently, and ran to one of the guest’s bedroom’s bathroom. He didn’t come out until Iida told Kirishima to escort him home.

Ugh. Katsuki quickly shook the memories out of his head, he kept telling himself over and over that he should forget about his passing show of vulnerability.

I’m never gonna drink again nor am I going to fucking reunions. Fuck that, fuck Kirishima and his persuasive ideals of friendship bonding.

After that incident, Katsuki stopped going to Class I-A’s reunion parties. There are still a lot of invitations being sent to him, even personal ones from that certain someone, but since Katsuki is a prideful and stubborn person, he declined every single one of them. For two years to be exact.

It would’ve been quite a record if he could’ve held off the bubbling emotions he has been feeling for the passing three, hellish, years. Like he previously thought, Katsuki doesn’t know the exact source of his budding chest pains. What he only knows is that a certain green-haired, freckled face individual has been occupying his thoughts nonstop.

It doesn’t help that the news keeps a track record of him when he’s out doing heroic works. Hell, Kirishima constantly brought him up as a conversation starter every time they hang out.

Katsuki’s inclined to believe that his dumbass haired best friend is plotting behind his back, but the red-haired bastard never does anything aside from talking about him. It made Katsuki, dare he say it, curious.

Which leads to the current time. Him, Bakugou Katuski, thinking about Deku, of all things.

If this was the old me, I’d probably slammed myself to a wall of bricks for even thinking he’s worth on any thoughts at all.

When Katsuki realized, he was contradicting himself. He slapped both his cheeks with much force and stood abruptly from the swing set. It won’t do him good if he keeps thinking about him. He doesn’t care, he won’t care and he’ll forget about him.

Just like he does every day.

Every time, every second and every day of his damned life.

-

 

“One in the fucking afternoon?” Katsuki noted in disbelief, looking at his watch with disdain. How long was he in the park? How long did he think about him?

“Whatever, I can still get lunch.” He angrily muttered to himself, trying to ignore today’s unwanted memories and emotions he remembered, yet again.

Grabbing his shoulder bag from the ground, Katsuki began to walk towards the exit of the park. Today was just a rollercoaster of self-evaluation. This was nothing, all he was contemplating about was nothing. 

Tomorrow will be just like any day. Wake up at 5 AM, eat, shower, dress, fight some bastards then go home. This was how his passing three years went. Nothing will change, nothing will make him go back repeating the same mistakes.

Finally nearing the exit, Katsuki, rummaged his bag again, feeling a bit thirsty for staying in one place at direct sunlight. When the opened bottle touched his lips, he felt a sudden force collided in front of him, making Katsuki drop the bottle when he unwillingly catches the person who bumped into him.

“Just, fucking, great.” Katsuki snarled quietly, still looking at the wasted content of his bottle. “Can’t you fucking see where you’re going, you asshole?”

“I’m sorry!”  

Hold up.

What.

That voice.

When Katsuki finally switched his gaze to the offending person, his throat felt drier, his eyes went wild and his thoughts back paddled to the same shit he has been trying to forget for the last three fucking years.

The confuse bright green eyes met his smoldering amber gaze. Same plastered freckles on his cheeks

No, why was the fuck, was he here? Last time Katsuki heard of him. He has left with All-Might to venture out to foreign countries. Why the hell is he back?

When he spoke, Katsuki’s all so locked and secured bubble popped harshly in front of him. Made him face reality and opened a lot of doors that he hoped, he would never try to reopen.

“…Kacchan? Is that you?” Izuku’s gentle voice spoke.

Well.

Shit.

Chapter Text

It’s Valentine’s day.

Izuku thought, shielding his eyes lazily with his right arm while stirring his body away from the bright covers of the window of his own apartment. Two years after graduation, he was asked by Naomasa Tsukauchi, a friend of All Might, to assist him in detective work.

Izuku at first, was confused why Mr. Naomasa asked him, but the Detective mentioned about profiling criminals and Izuku seemed to have a tack on analysing and gathering data. Not to mention, he still has the old habit of collecting information about certain Heroes that he met day by day.

I really do need to stop doing that, though. He muses, sitting straight on his bed while stretching his numbed limbs.

Izuku looked at the clock of his nightstand, it reads 8:30 AM. He smiles to himself, glad for once he managed to sleep for atleast six hours.

He rarely gets a break nowadays. After graduating in U.A., he applied to the agency All Might suggested to him when they were training in his school days. His old mentor mentioned that new Heroes should learn the basic grasps of law and authority.

Izuku stood slowly from the bed and walked to his desk, tapping the on button of his laptop. He was now balancing two responsibilities; being a hero while also being an informant. Truth to be told, it was hectic. He ran on caffeine almost every day and was rarely around the agency he works at because of his schedule.

Despite that, he still tries to find time to talk or hang around with his olds classmates. Class 1-A had a proposition when they graduated, they agreed that they should meet every year to maintain their relationship even though they separated their ways.

He attended the annual reunion last year, talking and discussing their current lives over a few drinks and food. Some of his classmates works abroad while others stayed, either working as a solo or in an agency.

However, there was one person who he never sees anymore. That event from three years ago left him confused and strangely, discontented. But he guessed, it was just a one-time thing. He knew he shouldn’t dwell on it.

Izuku sighed and shook his head, Yes, just a one-time thing. Nothing more. He was drunk, so I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean anything about it, he snapped at himself, focusing on scrolling down through emails to distract himself.

When he saw an email from the agency, Izuku opened it and began reading it. His eyes glints in surprised when he read the content of the letter.

~

[February 14. 5:30 AM.]

To: Midoriya Izuku

From: Secretary, Ibashi Nando

          

Good day, Midoriya.

You are hereby granted a one week on-leave proposal due to the results of your relentless hardwork in the agency.

If you wish to decline, please reply before the designated date listed below.

We wish you a happy, mini vacation. Thank you!

~

Izuku’s eyes widen in disbelief. A one-week absence after years of heroic works? Sounds like heaven, but Izuku still pondered, what if his needed? What if something bad happens when his away? It may be hectic to him, but he still feels the need to always help no matter the state his in.

Unsatisfied and partially anxious, Izuku tapped on his phone and called the agency. It rang, two times before a voice of a cheerful secretary greeted him with a bright good morning!

“Um, hello. Ibashi-chan?” He said carefully, his tone polite.

“Yes? Oh, is that you Midoriya-sama?” The girl replied, he can hear the slight chuckle on the other line.

“Yes, I uh… wanna talk about the letter you sent me?”

“Don’t tell me…you’re worried, aren’t you?” Who knew Izuku was that easy to figure out.

“No, I---” He tried to voice out but was cut off instead.

“Before you say anything. Someone already took your shift, so there’s no excuse for you to say no.” The secretary continued, “You have work nonstop ever since you started here, so yes, you deserve a break. Ooh, I need to hang up now, I’m expecting a call in about three minutes. See you next week!”

With that, Izuku was left hearing the dial tone of the phone. He chuckled worriedly but felt relief at the confirmation of the secretary.

Izuku placed his phone beside the laptop, he looked at the calendar and squinted in wonder.

“One week, huh?” He questioned, slowly getting up from his seat and walking over to the bathroom door.

“I wonder what I should do for the passing week...” He muttered confusingly.

-

 

Izuku walked through the streets, feeling the fresh air and sunny tingling in his skin. When he mentioned it was rare for him to have a break, he meant that he never has the chance to relax and breathe in the homely atmosphere of the city he lives in.

Not that work was to blame, he himself told the agency that he was willing to have no breaks. That was such a naïve thing to say when he first applied but, lesson learned. Though, he wouldn’t complain about it, since he is after all, a hero that vowed to protect the citizens from harm or any sort of danger.

Smiling to himself, Izuku continued walking without any designation. Like he said, it’s rare for him to have a break, so its fine to let his two feet lead him to anywhere or any location. Until he stumbled onto a small sign located outside of what he assumes is, a bakeshop.

Curious, he gazes at the large window, looking at the beautifully decorated cakes and chocolates on display.

Since today is Valentine’s day, he should buy a few gifts for his Mother. It’s been months since he last saw her, not counting the few occasions where they can talk on the phone. With that in mind, Izuku walked through the door, hearing the bell chiming which cause the person on the counter to look at him with a smile.

“Morning!” She said to him with a nod.

“Good morning you too.” Izuku replied with a smile in return. He walked towards the counter, looking at the other displayed chocolates or sweets on the glass.

Most displayed were roundly covered chocolates and rectangular shaped cakes; colours and flavours of all known tastes were neatly aligned side by side. What caught Izuku’s eye was the vibrant colours of red, blue and gold, plastered on what looks like a pastry version of All Might.

Chuckling, Izuku called the attention of the girl, who seems to have been starting at him ever since he walked closer to the glass display.

He blushed at that, still not use to the attention ever since he began his hero work. Before he could ask something, the girl already beat him first.

“You’re Deku, aren’t you?” She questions, a large grin on her features.

“Oh, um. Yes?” Izuku replied, he never did bother to hide his civilian identity. Most of the time when he goes out without his hero costume, People recognize him due to his signature crazed hair and dare he say it, dazzling smile.

“Oh my, so even the Hero Deku has time for romance, yes?” She said jokingly, giggling slightly at Izuku’s sudden flushed cheeks.

“Oh, no no no. It’s not for a date.” He quickly mentioned, trying to compose himself.

“Sure, it isn’t.” She continued, not convinced, “But anyway, caught something you like?” She pointed at the sweets displayed.

“Ah, r-right.” He stuttered a bit, “Um, can you tell me about that All Might pastry?”

The person behind the counter walked behind the display Izuku mentioned and stood infront of him, crouching down to take the pastry he pointed and showing it to him.

“We started making this way before All Might’s retirement. This bakeshop makes all kinds of pastry and sweets. We thought we should expand our choices and start doing crafty things.” Her voice was quiet when she mentioned All Might’s retirement but her tone continued to be cheery, at least.

“Anyway, what cha’ gonna buy?” She asked.

-

 

Izuku bought the All Might pastry, along with a few boxes of chocolates. He hands the money to the girl and thanked her, leaving the shop as the bell chimed once more.

He promises All Might he shouldn’t dwell on that memory anymore, his ex-mentor is still here, teaching at U.A. He many have reached old age, but he can still see the strong-willed gaze of his idol.

This is a good time to visit him. He thought while fairing for a cab. It’s been a while since I saw him. I should visit Ochako and the others too. He continued, entering the cab as it moves towards U.A., the place where it all started.

-

 

Memories of the old days passed through him every time he takes a step through the hallway of his previous school. It left him both feeling happy and sad. There were tons of recollections he thought he forgotten; memories of his first day, the sports festival, and the events that led to disastrous and meaningful experiences of his life.

The memories of conflicts and misfortunes may be daunting to others, but to Izuku, it left a questionable mark to him; fresh yet ancient.

Nearing the teachers’ lounge, he raised his unused hand and knocked on the door twice. He can hear the slight shuffling of seats from the other side and the jumbled sound of the door knob being opened.

When it opened, Izuku was greeted with his mentor’s smile. Toshinori Yagi looked the same as ever, besides the white lines amongst the golden hair and the subtle crow’s feet on the corner of each eye. His posture may seem hunched and bristled, but he still carries the stance of a former hero; old but gaze still sturdy.

“Morning, All Might!” Izuku greeted, his voice echoing as he returns the smile at his mentor.

“Ah, Midoriya.” Toshinori said, widening the door for his former student. “Morning to you too,” He closed the door when Izuku walked through.

“What brings you here?” His former mentor asked, returning to his desk while Izuku followed after him. He was grading papers when Izuku knocked on the door.

“Oh, I have a present for you.” Izuku shortly replied, grabbing the box of sweets from his right arm and handing it in front of Toshinori. “Happy Valentine’s day, All Might.”

When Toshinori saw the designs of the chocolate, he chuckled hoarsely, it contained the color of his signature outfit; the vibrant shade of red, blue and gold, wrapped in spirals around the milky chocolates.

“You shouldn’t have, thank you.” The former hero replied, taking the box from Izuku’s grasps. “I’d give you one back but unfortunately I didn’t buy one yet.” He continued, placing the box on his desk.

“Oh, there’s no need, All Might.” Izuku responded. “Just embracing the holiday cheer.”

“Right, well. I appreciate that you have time to visit me. But you shouldn’t you be somewhere else?” He asked, raising his eyebrow at the confused stare of his former student.

“Huh, where?” Izuku asked, wondering what he meant.

The ex-hero gave Izuku a deadpan look, “Midoriya, my boy. Today’s is Valentine’s day; don’t you have a date?”

The onset of flushed cheeks and stammering probably made Toshinori worry if he didn’t know the boy well enough. At age twenty-five, Izuku is still the same modest and earnest man he once knew. Although, he’s not afraid to show his brash side anymore, he was still selfless and understanding.

Izuku tried to compose himself once again, first the girl at the bakery, now his mentor too?

“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, young man.” His mentor said, Izuku can hear the slight amusement from his idol’s tone.

“I asked, because it’s been three years, young Midoriya.” His mentor continued, obviously talking about that certain memory he really wishes he shouldn’t be reminded of.

Izuku sighed when he saw All Might’s concerned stare, “All Might, what happened was just a fluke. I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it.” He replied quietly, the embarrassment from before replaced with apprehension. “Besides, I had these way before it even started in U.A... I had managed to keep to myself from then, I can certainly keep it in for years.”

“It’s fine for you, indeed. But let me give you a hint, young man.” All Might responded, voice even and careful. “A wise man once told me, knowing is better than wondering.”

Feeling the look of his Mentor, Izuku sighed, “I know what you’re trying to say, Sensei. But, I think we’re way pass that certain point. It’s been years.” He replied, placing his hand on the back of his neck, he slightly moved his head to the side, looking away at the look of his mentor.

“Also, the last time he and I talked was during our 2nd Year. We were too busy with the Internship and training that I never had the chance to approach him.”

“You did mention some time ago that he tried to talk to you, once?”

“Yes, if I remember correctly. I was talking with Ochako and…” Izuku looked away from his mentor’s stare.

He can still remember that memory. The day he was confessed, by his best friend nonetheless. It was in their classroom. When he gathered his things, Ochako approached him and told him to stay, that she needed to tell him something.

Izuku wasn’t sure why Ochako told him to stay, they could’ve talked in the cafetaria, but he was still oblivious that time. It was strange seeing the usual grinning Ochako, with an unreadable expression.

When they were left alone. She told him he liked him, since first year to be exact. He wasn’t sure what to do that time, before he could even say something, Ochako hugged him, he felt the tears that were soaking on his shoulders as she cried.

“I know what you’re going to say.” She drawled, her head still on his shoulder, “I know you’re not going to say it.” She sniffled, her tears finally stopping. When she looked up to meet his gaze. He didn’t know how to react to that.

He was confessed to, he was waiting for that bubbling feeling that you’ll feel when you know you’re inlove but it didn’t come. There was no tightness in his chest, no strange sensations.

The hurt on Ochako’s gaze was the only thing he knows, he knows how it felt. Because he felt it too.

It hurts so much.

 

“Midoriya.”

The voice of his ex-mentor startled him back to reality, Izuku looked at his mentor, gaze cloudy and unsettling. He told himself he should forget about, but, how can he?

“Ah, All Might. I’m sorry, lost myself a little.” Izuku recovered wearily, mentally pushing away the memories.

All Might’s concerned look didn’t get unnoticed by Izuku, however, he was glad his sensei didn’t push him.

“I’m not going to tell you what you already know, young Midoriya. But, you’ll find that even one pair of key, can opened numerous doors.”

Izuku raised an eyebrow at his mentor, “So, I just need to find the key?” he let out a friendly snort at his former mentor’s smile.

“If you can find it, that is.” All Might chuckled, looking at Izuku’s annoyed but joking expression.

“How can I find it, if I already lost the key?”

“You really need to have faith, young man.”

Izuku chuckled at that, “Yes, All Might.”

“And you need to stop calling me that.” All Might notes, walking back to his desk then grabbing both the pen and the test scores he previously checked.

“It’s alright, All Might. You’ll always be my hero, as childish as that sounds.” Izuku said thoughtfully, but still a little embarrassed.

“Don’t make me an even more sentimental man, Midoriya.” He said jokingly. “Anyways, It’s almost 1 PM. Some of the teachers are gonna show up soon.” 

Izuku nodded, standing up the from the chair and bowing slightly to his idol “Yeah, I’ll see you around.” He bid, walking towards the door and grasping the door knob and opening it, but before he leaves, he glances back at the stall of his former mentor.

“Oh and, All Might.”

“Yes, Midoriya?”

“Thank you.”

As Izuku closes door, he did not see the all to sincere smile that graced on his former mentor’s lips.

-

 

Today felt strangely exhausting. Not physically, but mentally.

When Izuku left the school. He chose to walk instead. Heading towards the home of his mother. It won’t take long for him to get there. Probably an hour walk, if he passes by the old playground he used to play at.

Izuku’s mind began to wonder back to the memory he and All Might have just talked about.

“Ochako, I---.” He muttered, slightly wiping the tears at the corner of her eye, “I’m sorry.” He whispered.

Ochako gave him a smile, to others it may look forced, but to him. It was as genuine as she is. She knew he didn’t like him back, but if this stayed unresolved, she’ll probably be left thinking about it till the day she wonders ‘what ifs and what not.’

“You don’t need to apologize, you know.” She spoke quietly, unwrapping her arms around him. Ochako wiped away the remaining tears on her cheeks.

“I know this may sound stupid but… we’re still best friends, right?” She asked.

Izuku can hear the faint crack in her voice, but the look she has; was not fear anymore, but sturdiness. It’s like a wall, but it isn’t made of steel, it was fragile and required threading carefully.

“Ofcourse, Ochako. We will always be best friends.” He answered, voice unwavered.

Ochako smiled, hugging him once again; brief and chaste.

“I’m glad.”

After that, he remembered asking Ochako if they should go to the cafeteria, but she replied she wasn’t feeling up for it and told him he should go first. Izuku didn’t press, he knew despite what happened, she still needed to contemplate and accept it, all her own.

Heading towards the classroom’s door, when he opened it slightly, he was met with a pair of fierce yet questionably hurt amber gaze of his ex-childhood friend.

Izuku wasn’t sure what happened afterwards, but he remembered Katsuki have never tried to approach him ever again, up until graduation.

He sighed, strangely peeved. After that, it made Izuku curious, who could make Katsuki look that way? He wasn’t use to that look, nor will he ever accept the fact that Katsuki of all people, looked hurt.

To this day, it made him wonder. The few years of his life, he was left with wondering what he thought he'd wouldn't experience; an unfinished and hallow memory, ifs and hows.

Pathetic, he thought to himself, nearing the entrance of the playground. I shouldn’t dwell on it, but it can’t be helped. I brought this to myself. Clearly, I’m being punished for it. If only I had the courage to actually do something. If only I could’ve… ask.

Ask what exactly? He thought bitterly, only thing he knows is the budding feelings he’s been having for years, there’s no end to this. There’s no----

Izuku felt a hard surface bumped into, shaking him out of his thoughts and into a pair of arms. He hears a few muttered curses.

“Can’t you fucking see where you’re going, you asshole?” It’s voice deep, coated in anger but tamed enough to not make him flinch away from the man.

“I’m sorry!” Izuku voiced out, slightly annoyed that he wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings yet again. He really needs to break that habit of his.

Izuku felt the sudden stiffness of the body. Confused, he looked up and met the same old ambers he remembered back in the day, back when he opened the door.

“…Kaachan? Is that you?” He forcefully but gently, voiced out. It can’t be him, it’s just can’t. It’s been years.

But nothing can change that amber gaze, not even as years passed by.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was undeniably panicking in the inside.

The one person who he hoped not to see again was suddenly in his face, within his grasp nonetheless. It made his chest flutter all too knowingly, which made him bared his teeth and tightened his grip on the green-haired shit who flinched in response.

Of all the days…

It felt too convenient, like those pathetic scenes he kept seeing in shoujo manga where the girl met the guy in the stupidest and cheesiest moment along with the love at first sight bullshit.

Not that he read those, he blames Kirishima for that, guy has a weird obsession with romantic ideals.

Katsuki groaned, glad for that passing thought of distraction but still can’t dismiss the tingling sensation he was getting from the man that he wished he didn’t had warm and soft skin along with those freckles dusting on his cheeks; still making him look adorable and—

Katsuki mentally shook himself, I did not just fucking think that.

This was making him confuse again, and gradually making him mad. He already told himself that these thoughts will stay locked up. He doesn’t know for how long but all he cares is that it’ll stay quiet, away from the press, his classmates, and most especially the guy who was giving him those look of outmost uncertainty and weariness.

Which also reminded Katsuki that he has been holding Izuku for about a minute now and it was making the latter uncomfortable, and noticeably stiff as a board in his arms.

Damn it. Katsuki was about to push the guy when the freckled bastard suddenly jumped away from him. He can feel the warm skin leaving his arms and the cold following through along with a slight ache on his heart.

Katsuki mentally scolded himself again, this was getting ridiculous. He was glad that Izuku chose to move, he could have saw the small tint of red on his cheeks and probably the steady rising of his heart beat. He really doesn’t want to deal with that yet.

Regaining a little bit of composure and mental state, Katsuki gave Izuku a scowl and a look of intent, if he scared him enough, he’d probably run, right? It’d be enough to make Izuku think twice on meeting each other again, then his life would return to his usual, daily routine of Hero work and avoiding press.

With that in mind, Katsuki snarled; baring his teeth, he was about to utter a curse fuelled sentence in his hotly fashion when he was cut off by flailed hands and rapid sessions of apologies.

“Sorry! Sorry!” Izuku yelped, bowing slightly while trying to keep his hands to his side to avoid hitting Katsuki’s face again.

Barely missing Izuku’s head, Katsuki took a step back when the man bowed. He can still hear the onset of apologies and muttering of sentences coming along from the green-haired guy, which was grating on Katsuki’s nerves to be honest. Has the guy not changed at all? It’s been more than a couple of years since graduation and the trembling fuckmunch still had that same attitude even now?

Not that I’m fucking complaining, He mused while looking at Izuku, I’m supposed to scare the shit outta him.

Supposed he shouldn’t judge since he hasn’t seen Izuku in years but he remembered the guy once shown him that brash side of his; the underlying emotions and the pent-up frustrations. Katsuki can still vividly recall those events.

It surprised him when he learned about Izuku’s inheritance and it surprised him even more when he let out a few cents of thoughts about Izuku.

What’s worse than thinking about the guy of all people, was when he returned to class after his three-day suspension.

He thought it was a good idea to return when the others were out for a quick break. He was hoping he’d be alone, to contemplate of the things he and Izuku just fought for, but before he could walk through the door, he witnessed something he shouldn’t have and gained something he knows he shouldn’t be feeling.

Ugh, shut up. Shut up. Katsuki gnarled slightly, feeling a slight headache coming in. Why am I still remembering that shit? That was nothing, what I felt was nothing, damn it. 

To prove his point, Katsuki took a step forward making Izuku tone down his muttering. He hunched his shoulders, scowl still visible on his face, then roughly place his hand on Izuku’s shoulder, making the man stop trembling and recoil slightly at the pressure on his shoulder.

“Deku,” Katsuki growled, hardening his grip which made green eyes look at him in apprehension. “Been a real long fucking time, haven’t it?” He gave Izuku his signature sneer. “Why are you here?”

Katsuki can feel the dread rolling off unto Izuku’s shoulder to loosen his hold, “I’m visiting someone.” He heard him say, gaze down on the ground, “Can you uh… let go of my shoulder, please?”  

Noticing the displease tone on Izuku’s voice, Katsuki argued whether he should. If he could scare him off now, then it’ll be easy to go home without worrying about seeing him again.

“No, you listen here, Deku.” This is it, he’s just going to say a few insults then walk away. If this goes smoothly then he can say goodbye to all the fluttery thoughts and the man’s memorable features, “I—”

Before he could even utter another sentence. He heard the most infuriating and maddening sounds that made him sealed a renew his civilian identity in the first face.

“DEKU!” “THERE HE IS!” “OVER HERE.”

The sounds of cackling hyenas of reporters and cameras going off.

Fuck, me. Katsuki facepalmed, letting out a hiss. His hold on Izuku’s shoulder was broken abruptly as the man stood up, looking behind him as he heard his name being called.

This was not part of the plan. If he was seen with Izuku then he was sure his identify will be poked and prod again just like last year. He’d had enough of that for years, he was not going to waste his time on making a new identity yet again.

“Why the HELL.” He said with a snarl, hearing the footsteps getting closer.

Katsuki grinded his teeth in anger, directing his fury fueled gaze at Izuku who was muttering again with his hand under his chin and one arm crossed over his chest. He hoped the nerd has a plan because he does not want to face these vultures on his one-time break.

“Oi, Deku!” He yelled, breaking Izuku out of his strance and gaining his attention, “You gonna talk to them or what?” Katsuku pointed angrily at the back. “Because I fucking won’t.”

Honestly, forget scarring Izuku out of his life, this was the perfect opportunity to ditch the bastard and be done with it. After all, Izuku did mention he was only visiting, maybe it’s just a one-time thing, hopefully.

Katsuki slowly took a step back then started walking to the direction he previously passed through. If he could just head out through the park, then he can say good riddance to Izuku and into his loving apartment of safe space.

Perfect. He cheered mentally but before Katsuki can feel relief, his mini victory was cut off when he noticed a crowd of bystanders blocking his passage towards the other park’s gate. They were all looking at the commotion, completely hindering his way.

For the love of—FUCK. He halted his steps, eyes twitching and palms sweating, letting out small specs of smoke among his wake. Katsuki’s anger was evident in his state of posture, his gaze was on fire. Here he was trying to avoid attention towards his tranquil life and yet, fate just love playing and poking him until he drops, huh.

Katsuki wails angrily in his thoughts, the noises behind him was getting louder by the minute, completely filling his only space around him with the bystanders in front and the nosey reporters at the back.

“I should’ve just stayed the fuck home.” Just as he was about to blow some fireworks, he felt a hand tugging on his right arm, pulling him behind through the pesky reporters who were still asking questions and flashing off their cameras.

He felt Izuku’s hand sliding down his arm and into his hand, making that feeling on his skin return; warmth and tingle embedding through. Katsuki couldn’t properly meet Izuku’s gaze at this point, the man was looking down on the ground, while he pulled Katsuki through the crowd, causing stupid questions popping out of these whiney-ass reporter’s mouths.

Katsuki didn’t question the sudden action of Izuku nor did he try to pull his hand at first. They were right on the sidewalk, towards the direction Izuku has passed through before. Their hands were still tied together as they both began to hastily ran away from the crowd, which honestly costed a scene where he can see the exaggerated titles.

Since it was fucking Valentines, ofcourse these hyenas were going to headline this on today’s bullshit yet somewhat truthful news.

Wait, no. Nonet of these is fucking true. Stick to your shit, Katsuki.

This was making Katsuki remember those old questions again, which made him stop on his tracks, making Izuku momentarily stumble forward at the sudden halt.

“Let go of my fucking hand, Deku.” He growled, tugging his hand while but it made the latter questionably, tightened his hold on Katsuki’s hand. Katsuki’s brows scrunched in surprised and maybe in disbelief at the freckled-face’s response.

What the hell.

Katsuki tried to pull his hand harshly again, but it only made Izuku stagger towards him. When Izuku was near enough, Katsuki used his other unoccupied hand to pun Izuku around, breaking the latter’s hold at the same time as showing his angry expression at Izuku.

The look of nervousness was evident on the man’s frame but he can see a glint of steadiness on Izuku’s eyes, which honestly straight out made Katsuki curious and heightened his panicked nerves at the thought that he, doesn’t know how to deal with this Izuku.

“What the fuck are you doing.” Katsuki grunted, voice dangerously low. He placed a smoldering hand, that Izuku was holding before, and clutched it on the distracted man’s shoulder, earning a yelp from him.

“I— wait, Kaachan!”

“WHAT.” He yelled but was cut off by Izuku’s frantic voice who was looking passed him.

“Now’s not the time!”  

Startled, Katsuki’s looked behind his shoulder with an irritated look, his eyes squinted when noticed a few people who were definitely hot on their tail. He can see their flash of cameras from the distance and the faint sound of footsteps getting louder by the second.

These fucking vultures.

He was about to yell curses to leave him alone when he felt his hand being grabbed and pulled again by none other than Izuku, who began to move forward, his steps hastened as the crowd behind them quickened their steps too.

“Fuck Deku! Let go.” He snarled through gritted teeth as Izuku continuously pulled him towards whatever direction the nerd came from.  

Izuku didn’t reply, only the padding sounds of feet and their breath in the air answered Katsuki’s question, which irritated him to the max. He was about to release a few sparks on Izuku’s holding hand when the man suddenly gave him a look of worry, mixed with same earnest gaze Katsuki remembered all those years ago.

Please.

Katsuki almost stopped in his tracks, why the hell was he giving him that look? Does Izuku not know who’s lingering, roughed hands he was holding?

He withhold his thoughts, seeing as there was no point on addressing about it now, not with prying eyes and cackling hyenas following after them.

Katsuki clicked his tongue and remained cooperative. He doesn’t have a choice but to follow Izuku for now, he was already exposed enough and yelling curses at the hyenas would just feed them and aggravate the situation even more and even if he didn’t follow Izuku, his identity will still be prod persistently, anways.

So, with that, Katsuki followed without a struggle while ignoring steady increase of fluttering in his stomach as the man he used to hate, grasped his hand tightly, not letting him go.

-

 

The bell chimed when the two entered the bakeshop.

Both of them was gasping for air when they entered. Katsuki wiped the sweat away from forehead, looking around the shop. They managed to ditch the reporters, but he knows they were still following them. If the fuckmunch was planning on using the back door of the shop, then they should go now.

“Good afternoon! Wel— Oh.” A petite voice greeted, right behind the counter. She was staring at them with a raised eyebrow. “Mr. Deku?”

“I am so sorry,” He heard Izuku quickly say, “but can we please pass through the back?” he continued, voice ruffled but still clear enough to be heard.

The black-haired girl gave Izuku a bewildered look. She was just about to ask why when Izuku and Katsuki heard the impending footsteps stumping on the sidewalk. It was nearing the shop, as increasingly as it was, making Izuku agitated beside an annoyed Katsuki who’s face scrunched into a deep scowl, clearly not pleased with the situation he was in.

“I don’t have time to explain, Miss. But we really need to—” Izuku’s voice was tired and pleading, which Katsuki rolled his eyes briefly, why the hell does he need to tell her? He’s a Hero for fuck’sakes.

“No, no no. It’s okay, Mr. Deku. You can use it!” The girl replied, “Just be careful with the stocks, I just refilled the shelves with some bags of flour.”

Katsuki can hear Izuku’s sigh of relief, “Thank you, we will!”

“The hell are—” Katsuki was about to question when Izuku; who’s hand still clearly attached to his, pulled him towards the direction of the backdoor, passing through the counter and the cashier who was quietly chuckling at their predicament.

“Slow the fuck down, Deku!” He shouted, stumbling on boxes and carts along the way. His shouts fell deaf on Izuku’s ears when the man still insistently pulls Katsuki’s hand as he guides them out of the bakeshop.

The ash blonde man was glad that there weren’t any other people here, it’d be embarrassing if he was seen with Izuku with their photos plastered on the fucking internet, he knows quite enough how insane people are on social media, mind you.

When they saw the back door, Izuku quietly cheered while Katsuki sighed impatiently in relief. Finally, this maddening day would be over. He’d be back to his apartment, forgetting this day ever happened and hopefully, forgetting the flushed of heat over his cheeks when Izuku gave him a small smile.

Just as Izuku was about to reach the doorknob, time stopped slowly as the freckled man bumped his foot on one of a sack of ingredients and comically fell, letting go of Katsuki’s hand while Izuku reached out in front of him, hoping to clutch on something to hasten his fall.

What Izuku grabbed though, was a nearby shelf beside the back door, the rows filled with small bags of flour. Izuku managed to clung his hand on one of the rows but instead of helping to stop his fall, the shelf shook dangerously and broke down, the bags falling right after.

If Katsuki could see Izuku’s face, he’d see that the man was probably contemplating on whether he should save his face first or his head, either way, he’s both screwed and will probably pay for that.

Shit, they both thought.

Instead of Izuku being the only one floured into existence, Katsuki; who was running a minute after Izuku fell, was covered in flour too, hand placed near the back door whilst his head was lowered on the ground. It appeared he stumbled forward when the freckled-shit fell ungracefully below.

Katsuki’s body was covered in flour, from his hair to his sweatpants while Izuku’s hair was graced with small tuff of flour and maybe blood dripping idly through his nose, that fall was really hard on a tiled surface.

Katsuki’s hand on the wall was started to tremble, the anger he kept at bay just to end this fuck up day, exploded into smithereens as curses flew from his mouth, while he rumpled his hair wildly, trying to remove all the flour off his head, which added to Izuku’s body; who still hadn’t gotten up from his position on the cold tiles.

Izuku would have chuckled at the predicament if he wasn’t reeling slightly at the pain on his face and knees and he probably felt a bit surprised when Katsuki didn’t directly blamed and cursed at him.

Huh.

“I fucking swear…” Nevermid, Izuku thought. Katsuki growled dangerously, looking at Izuku who flinched on the ground while slowly meeting Katsuki’s fuming gaze.

Izuku would have probably laugh at both of their predicaments right now if he didn’t fear for his life from a rampaging clown-face Katsuki.

“If you utter one sound or even silently laugh, I will fucking deck your ass.” Katsuki’s voice was low and shallow.

Izuku kept his mouth shut.

-

 

How can one fucking day, be this fucking unfortunate?

After they manage to entirely ditch the reporters through the bakeshop; a flour-covered, seething Katsuki and a tired, bleeding Izuku were walking along the sidewalk, a few feet away from each other. The fuming man’s hand was in his pants pocket while Izuku’s arms were crossed loosely on his chest, fumbling slightly at his elbows and sometimes at his hopefully not broken nose.

They have been walking for about thirty-minutes and they haven’t utter one sound at each other. The air was thick too start a conversation and for Katsuki, he was glad for that.

Exhaustion was both evident on the two men but they both silently agreed to themselves to head towards the direction of the park. Katsuku hoped there were no reporters left on the entrance, he really just wanted to head home, shower and sleep until he forgets the shit he just been through today.

Katsuki heard a faint sigh beside him, his gaze briefly wandered to Izuku, who’s gaze was lidded partially, lips quivering as he muttered thoroughly without paying attention to Katsuki’s raised eyebrow. If the bastard was planning to actually talk after the awkward silence of nearly an hour, then no, not today. He’ll run if he had to.

Not that he’s afraid of it, it was just a tactile retreat for today and hopefully the last.

Katsuki wasn’t even sure why they were walking together, just about a while ago, he was dead-straight on avoiding Izuku, but after today’s stunt, he was probably either too drained to care or there was a tiny bit of hope inside him who was thinking these messed up emotions he felt, could maybe, be addressed… after six years.

Yeah… not fucking happening.

Katsuki would choke himself first before letting Izuku back to his circle of stormy beginnings and turmoiled thoughts. He is fine the way he is.

Really, fucking fine.

-

 

At long last, they reached the park’s entrance. Katsuki sighed heavily when he noticed there were no vultures in presence. Katsuki groaned, eye twitching slightly from the small aches of his limbs and the stickiness of his body; sweat and flour definitely don’t mix.

He was about to head straight-home when he noticed Izuku slowly walking to one of the bench near the old playground. Strangely, he followed Izuku towards the bench but he didn’t sit down yet, he can hear the freckled-face let out a sigh of relief when he sat on the bench, back aching and limbs stretched.

Katsuki noticed the muttered lips from before turned into a flat line as Izuku’s face turned towards him. He felt an unwanted chill itching on his skin when Izuku’s gaze met his, the latter’s hand placed on the seat beside him.

Katsuki mulled over the thought of them having a decent conversation after their last confrontation. He wasn’t sure whether to walk out of this or to finally, after years of silently avoiding anything related to the green-haired man, welcome the notion.

Obviously, he should say no. Say a few hateful words to Izuku and leave it like that. Certainly, the freckled-shit would leave him alone.

That fiasco they pulled led to a heated afternoon on 3 PM, passed his today’s agenda of a small break, that he was only given to once a month. He wasted the whole day, thinking and actually spending time, with the green-eyed nerd who was still looking at him, expecting Katsuki to sit down beside him.

The nerve of him thinking Katsuki would just idly follow his request. He scoffed at the thought and plastered a sneer on his features. He should just leave, just like he always does. They don’t need this, he of all people doesn’t need this. Even if he told this to himself a hundred times already.

Sigh…

Honestly, this was getting old if he says so himself. Noone really pointed this out to him, not even Kirishima who loves prying on his life every chance the bastard can get. 

Katsuki knows, already and clearly knows, what he was feeling wasn’t rage or disgust but since he can’t act upon it knowing the consequences, he denied it instead, gratingly so until years had passed, leaving a bad after taste.

Raising a hand to his neck covered flour, he switched his gaze to the ground and silently in dismay. Katsuki wasn’t sure if he should do it, he still remembers the fucked-up things he did to Izuku. He doesn’t want another repeat of that nor does he want to face the reality of the notion that yes.

He likes him.

He’s not going to use the other L word yet, because he also knows that Izuku does not like him that way and will only see the old him who taunted and jeered at him since Middle school.

The ache was evident in chest, but what can he fucking do? He screwed up, and he’ll continue to do so up until he’s an old bastard who curses at kids in his lawn.

Katsuki stopped, he stopped thinking and let out a hiss, he was ready leave, already moving his foot towards the other direction when he heard a faint but crystal clear voice of the man who was still waiting for him.

“Kaachan.” He voiced out. “Don’t leave.”

Katsuki halted, slowly looking behind his shoulder, meeting Izuku’s piercing green eyes as it stared in his amber-like ones.

“What.” Katsuki groaned out, looking away.

“Can… can we talk?” His voice sounded soft, enticing Katsuki lightly.

The ache was building up inside; he should yell, shout out, anything to stop the beating on his chest but he didn’t trust his voice, not after considering that he sees Izuku differently now, in a much more lighter tone.

He grunted a response to Izuku questions which made the trembling man utter another request.

“Do you want to sit down?”

Katsuki didn’t nod but moved towards the bench Izuku was sitting on, etching a surprised relief at Izuku’s delicate yet matured features, his hands were on his knees, the bag of sweets he was holding before was placed near the bench.

Katsuki inclined his posture towards Izuku, giving him a signal that he was going to listen to what he had to say, despite showing a stony expression. “What do you want to talk about.”

The grinding of teeth and drawled out tone was clear in Katsuki voice, but Izuku didn’t mind, he replied, still as passive as he was before. “About… the reunion. Do you remember?”

Reunion? Katsuki’s confused stare was plastered on his expression. He did not expect that. He was thinking among memories of that one scene he wished he could forget, the day he felt jealousy and envy towards anyone at all.

“What about it?” If that’s where the topic is headed to, then he’s all aboard for that. Glad that this wasn’t the day he needs to completely admit anything to Izuku.

“Well, everything. Okay, maybe not everything but even the tiniest little bit, like the time you arrive, you were with Kirishima, invited to Iida’s home, being undeniably pissed off drunk or—”

“You’re being vague as fuck, Deku. The fuck do you mean?” Okay, Katsuki was a little caught off guard at that and felt a little peeved at Izuku’s question.

“Just anything, really! Don’t you remember something really, important happening?” Izuku tried again, voice strained but the still maintaining the calm look in his eyes.

Despite feeling angry, Katsuki closed his eyes and breathe through his snares, he pondered at Izuku’s strange question.

No, he doesn’t remember anything important. He remembered being left alone by Kirishima when they arrived, leaving him to fend off from the onset questions of his former classmates; asking how’d he been, where’d he worked at, the standard interrogation. It was Katsuki’s first and last reunion with his old classmates.

Then, came the drinks. Iida actually had a collection of fine alcohol and wines that was given by his father, Katsuki tuned out most of the origin stories and proceeded to take the bottle Iida was explaining to them, opening it and pouring a bottle for himself, along with the others following after as they placed their glass towards him for a drink.

Everything was a blur after that, he remembered the yelling; Kirishima’s persistent whining and Iida’s bellowing screams, he hazily recalls Sero plastered on the wall with his own quirk, Denki being the same dumb shit and the others doing generally party related things, either to each other or to Iida’s property. Either way, it was clear he was wasted.

But, there was an instance where he felt something too familiar, something warm and soft. He remembered wrapping his arms around it, lazily rubbing his hands behind it, liking the presence and the comfort he felt when he continued to plaster his face on the unknown company, saying things he doesn’t recall until he felt the soft company stiffen.

Then, morning came. Everything felt like shit but the unknown presence was still in his grasps, he felt it stir, feeling a warm placed on his head as he continued to cover his gaze by nuzzling his face on the warmth. Katsuki was about to completely open his eyes when he felt the sudden urge to belch.

Katsuki stood up, pushing himself away from the unknown comfort and ran to the bathroom, arching and lurching the empty mess of his bowels until Kirishima found him, and proceeded to laugh at him at his predicament.

Well, he does remember giving Kirishima a sharp punch to the face but after that, there was nothing important.

Though, he did wonder about that vague presence but he paid no mind to it.

Satisfied with his pondering, he answered Izuku, “No. I don’t recall anything specific. I was piss off drunk. I only remember the fucking hangover I’ve got.” He hissed out, Katsuki was hoping no one knew that, besides Kirishima that is.

“Did that answer your weird-ass question?” Katsuki voiced out, now looking at Izuku’s direction but the man’s gaze was somewhere else.

The look of attention and patience on Izuku’s face turned into a frown with scrunched brows, his hand was below his chin, muttering as his lips quiver into inexistence as he looked pass through Katsuki.

Katsuki, who still hates being dismiss even slightly, especially from someone he considers having at least a grounded connection with him, snapped his fingers at Izuku’s face, forcing the man out of his stupor.

“Huh?”

“I said,” Katsuki snarled, “Did that answer your damn question?”

Izuku’s gaze switched away from him again, Katsuki can see the puzzled glint on Izuku’s wondering eyes. He was just about to snap at him again when Izuku abruptly switched his gaze to his amber eyes, surprising Katsuki partially.

“Oh, yeah. It uh, did.” Izuku quietly replied, his brows still creased.

Something told Katsuki that there was more to that weird-ass question that Izuku had intended, his gaze look so full of questions but he held out, confusing Katsuki a bit since he remembers that Izuku will never stop prying until he knows the exact information.

Katsuki guessed he himself shouldn’t interfere with Izuku’s onset pondering, he’d be lost way before he knows what Izuku’s thinking.

When the man didn’t ask him a follow up question, Katsuki concluded that it was his turn to ask.

“Deku.” He said weakly, grabbing Izuku’s attention away from his thoughts, “Why did you asked that?”

Katsuki couldn’t say he wasn’t curious when Izuku asked him that, maybe he knew things he didn’t when he was at the reunion. Also, he was curious to how Izuku was there since he didn’t see him at all, or maybe he forced himself not to see him.

“Oh, well. I uh, happened to recall something funny about it, haha.” Izuku’s laugh was nervous and so evidently fake that Katsuki had to squint his eyes annoyingly at Izuku’s face.

Still vague as shit, huh? Katsuki clicked his tongue, if Izuku’s not going to graced him with a straight answer then he guessed he shouldn’t question further. He knows he hasn’t earned the right do that.

With a heavy sigh, he moved his body and proceed to grace his back with the cold-wooden bench, arms placed behind his head as he looked away from Izuku. The questions sounded force to Katsuki’s ears, here he was using his time to actually listen for once after years of denying these bloated feelings and yet, he still can’t tell Izuku something he should have said all those years ago. He supposed today’s not the right time.

Not the right time, my ass. It was irritating for Katsuki to think through this, he was usually blunt and straight-forward, hoping after the mess he made, he can clean through it with gritted teeth but with a compensation of relief.

This however, made him unsure and passively anxious. To Katsuki, Izuku was as predictable yet flexible. He was sure he knows Izuku’s intentions at some point, but he lost that right after he found out Izuku’s true intentions from the fight they had back in their U.A days.

Which lead to this day, this confrontation, along with these emotions he kept locked at bay.

“Hey, Kaachan?” Izuku rang out again. Katsuki’s eye fleetingly wandered at Izuku.

“What.”

Katsuki can see Izuku was struggling to find the right words; eyes wandering, teeth biting the inside of his cheeks and the occasional fidgeting thumbs and fingers. Typical Deku behavior.

...Cute.

Katsuki couldn't find the energy to correct himself, he removed his arms behind his neck and lounged one arm to the bench’s upper surface.

“I always wondered but you… well, why did you avoided me back when we were in U.A?” Izuku droned, voice soft and slow, hoping not to offend Katsuki in anyway. 

Now there’s the question Katsuki was waiting for, the loaded question, the start of it all. The one question he was prepared for ever since they both sat down to have a partially decent conversation. Well, after denying and pondering shit but yes, prepared for.

Katsuki closed his eyes, using his other hand to wipe his face as he groans which made Izuku tilt his head to the side slightly, causing a few mumbling words, “B-but, you don’t have to answer that. I know it’s been years since our old days but it made me curious, was it something I did? Did I do something to upset you? I thought after I told you about All Might we could’ve have a middle ground but maybe I guessed wrong and you were—”

Izuku voice was prominent, the slight softness turned clear and loud as he continues mumbling his question in his Deku fashion. Katsuki raised his wiped hand at the front of Izuku’s face, stopping the onset of continued phrases and questions.

“No. You didn’t anything wrong. I’m not fucking upset.” Katsuki grinded out, voice fair. “It’s not about fucking Al Might, either.” He looked at Izuku now, amber eyes clear as he stared at Izuku’s confuse green eyes.

“And you… you didn’t guess wrong, Deku.”

When Izuku didn’t utter a sound, or change his expression, Katsuki guessed he was waiting for a flimsy and short explanation.

Katsuki answered, not vague like Izuku, because he knows the man wouldn’t take a hint if the outcome is at his face, shining brightly at his pondering green orbs.

“What happened back then made me think, okay? That you were a successor, to All-fucking-Might nonetheless. Ofcourse, being the little shit that I was, I’d be upset. But do fucking remember that we did talk, not always since we’re both fucking busy half of that time, also, I didn’t fucking need your comfort.  What happened back then, change me, which I can’t explain to you, not right now away. So, before you continue to keep blaming yourself, let me make this clear. It’s my fucking fault, not yours.

Katsuki inhaled sharply, then let out a hiss. He felt a little relieve when he said that, albeit he kept some parts of it vague but Izuku doesn’t need to know that yet.

Izuku doesn’t need to know the change that he meant.

-

 

Izuku was hoping Katsuki explain more, the curious thrill that he has still wasn’t satiated, like there was something missing that he should know about but since this is Katsuki, he knows he shouldn’t pry further until was told to, a signal of sort.

But Katsuki was always hard to predict which made Izuku consider a few biting questions he needed badly to ask but before he could scrutinize his thoughts, Katsuki stood steadly from the bench, flexing his arms and torso, a few tuffs of crumbled flour fell from his hair and clothes.

He forgot that they were just chased by reporters an hour ago, forgetting that they were covered flour and still feeling the fatigue from all the cardio they did just to ditch the crowd. Though, he felt bad for avoiding the press but he supposed, some of them were a tad bit… ludicrous.

Continuing, Izuku was about to ask Katsuki something unrelated to what he said when the man’s fiery gaze sharply switched to his.

“Shut up.” Katsuki gritted out, making Izuku hunch his shoulders at his tone, “I smell like burned pastries so keep your questions for another time, you shit.” Katsuki rummaged his shoulder bag, hoping to find something to wipe some of the flour out of his face but he remembered the water bottle thrown to the ground.

“Tsk.” He bit out, annoyed and feeling like shit. Katsuki grabbed the front of his shirt and used it to wipe some of the flour covering his cheeks that wasn’t removed when he used his hand, he can feel the slight breeze passing through his abdomen. He didn’t bother with it, he was going to go home anyways.

When he was done, he patted his black tank top lightly then moving his look to a stiffened Izuku, who’s eyebrows were creased with a red tint visible on his ears. The shit’s probably feeling a bit heated, it was nearing 4 PM and they were still in the park, being shone by the rays of the sun.

“Oi, Deku.” Katsuki yelled evenly, face embedded to his signature scowl, “I’m heading home.” He realigned his shoulder bag properly and started to walk, passing Izuku who looked like he was going to ask something again. That only made Katsuki to walk faster.

When he was a few feet away from Izuku, he heard a shout from behind, making him sigh with snarl. He turned to look behind him, and there he guessed, Izuku running at him, a bag on his hand and a look of his usual determined face.

“Wait, Kaachan!”

Katsuki didn’t stop, but slowed his stride. When Izuku was near, he felt a light tap on his right shoulder. Katsuki turned around then jumped back as the man bowed slightly to catch a breath then rose sharply.

Katsuki gave Izuku a questioning gaze and the same unmoving scowl.

Acknowledging the sharp gaze Katsuki gave him, Izuku asked with a bright smile, “You said… another time, right?” Katsuki can see the strange glint in Izuku’s green eyes, “Does that mean we can meet again?”

Realization hit like a ton of bright bricks on Katsuki. He screwed up, once again.

So much for avoiding him like the plague. Fuck.

Katsuki, who was momentarily not functioning at the moment, mentally scolded himself at the mistake. No, there was still a chance to decline, Izuku was just offering. Katsuki has the right to say no.

Today was just a small show of vulnerability, a little sip for Izuku who has an unhealthy thirst for curiosity. If he says no, then he was sure Izuku would back out, right?

Katsuki groaned.

You know, what. Fuck this. Who the fuck was he kidding, he fucking needed this closure, just a moment ago he accepted, not wholly but partially, of the feelings he’d been avoiding since U.A. years.

Though, he doesn’t think this could escalate into more than fair acquaintances, he supposed this is probably the first step to rekindled a very broken friendship; a fragile and a slow one, that requires patience and perseverance.

Except for patience, he’s shit at that. He isn’t patient right now, is he?

Remembering that he was supposed to answer to an actual saint, Katsuki rummaged his bag again, searching for that metal-wired cellphone and slowly handing it to an expectant Izuku, who’s bright smile hasn’t wavered, at all.

Izuku tentatively grabbed the phone, not wanting to waste this opportunity that Katsuki gave him, he idly tapped through the screen, adding his number and saving his contact and name to it. He handed it back to Katsuki’s awaiting hand, placing it slowly, thumbs brushing briefly as he retraced back his hand with a grin.

“Can you… text me so I could save your number?” He heard Izuku mumbled quietly.

Katsuki squinted his gaze at Izuku but did what the nerd asked. He sends a blank text, hearing a small chime notification tone from Izuku.

“There, can I fucking go now?” Katsuki snarled, his right foot tapping impatiently.

“Yeah, sure. Thanks, Kaachan!”

“Whatever.” Katsuki replied, turning around once again and headed to the passage of the park, away from the still brightly radiant Izuku and his contagious smile. He hunched his shoulders and placed his hand on his pockets again, ignoring the pass glances of the bystanders, he didn’t dare look back.

Katsuki hopefully, didn’t made a bad choice here. It wasn’t like something’s going to happen between them. This was just a temporarily formed truce between him and Izuku, even if it had been more than five years since it passed.

His chest was beating harshly by the time he was back in his apartment. Katsuki was not nervous, he wasn’t thinking about Izuku, even if the lingering touches were still prominent on his skin, despite the flour covered bearings.

Katsuki growled as he broods. Izuku, being the initiator he is, would probably text him first even if Katsuki wouldn’t text at all. This was Izuku’s idea after all, why should he feel obliged first? Why was he feeling anxious towards Izuku of all people?

Shaking the thoughts out of his head, Katsuki grabbed a clean towel and headed towards the bathroom. Clearly, an actual cleansing would help organize his thoughts after today’s events.

-

 

It didn’t help.

Katsuki was slouched on his couch, a cup of coffee on his hand at 5 PM in the afternoon. The TV was on, its volume blasted to full to annoy the neighbors and to replace the thoughts that was embedded on his memory. Izuku’s warmth and lingering smile kept popping back to his consciousness, making him bared his teeth in frustration.

He guessed after accepting partially of the shit he kept locked up, it would also give him a free sample of the feelings he was about to witness if he wholly accepted all the thoughts and emotions he had on a certain green-haired fuckmunch.

If I’m already this preoccupied, the fuck will I do if I actually say it to him?

Katsuki groaned, it wouldn’t come to that. He placed the half-emptied coffee on his coffee table, grabbing the remote and lowering the volume enough to make a phone call. He dialed the number, placing the phone on his ear as it rang three times.

The voice at other line cheered happily when he heard Katsuki’s voice.

“Yo, Bakugou. Haven’t heard anything from you in a while. How are ya?” Kirishima’s voice echoed through the call, his voice loud as ever, making Katsuki flinched away from the speaker.

“Are you this fucking loud everytime I make a damn call?” Katsuki replied, voice clearly annoyed.

“Dude, you wound me. Aren’t you used to my booming voice of manliness?” His friend did a mock cry at the end of the line, making Katsuki growl in irritation but the same time, causing a slight smirk to the corner of his lips.

“I need you to shut up and listen, not damage my eardrums.” Katsuki retorted, twitching slightly as he tries to find the right words.

“You, actually saying something that doesn’t involve swearing 24/7? That’s a miracle! I should tell Denki.”

“Fuck you. If you utter one more stupid shit, I’ll—” He growled.

“Okay, okay, geez. I’ll stop.” Katsuki can hear the shuffling of movements on the line and then a loud thud of what sounded like a matress.

“Well then, Great Bakugou, I’m listening.”

Katsuki inhaled, clutching the phone tightly for what he was about to say. His pride was a real piece of work. “I… need help.” He grinded out, voice low. Partially hoping Kirishima didn’t hear it just so he could retrace back and end the call.

Katsuki can hear the sudden shifting of the mattress, and the sharp intake of breath from Kirishima. If Katsuki wasn’t desperate for advice, he’d probably blew up his 10th phone because Kirishima was legit, maniacally laughing at the other side.

“Are you… are you serious!?” Kirishima’s booming voice was back again mixed with his cheery laughter.

“Yes.” Katsuki ignored the insistent snorting at the other side, his voice was fuming in rage as he said it out loud, “And I’ll seriously maim you if you don’t. fucking. stop, shit-for-brains.”

“Okay, I’m okay. I stopped see?” Katsuki can hear a wheeze and then another intake of breath, giggles dying out. "I'm listening."

Chapter Text

After his meeting with Katsuki. Izuku immediately sprinted towards Ochako’s old home. He remembered her mentioning he should visit when his around the area, she was housesitting while her parents were in a vacation, bought by hers truly.

Knocking frantically on Ochako’s door, Izuku catches his breath. He doesn’t exactly know why he was panicking at that moment nor. Maybe he was secretly in denial. He isn’t sure what he was denying about but maybe after he and Ochako talk, some things might clear up his hazy mind.

Or come back, he really wished it wouldn’t come back.

The door opens, revealing Ochako with her bright brown eyes and long length hair. She’s just the same as Izuku remember her, all smile and happiness. Well, side’s the bag under her eyes. She did say that she always took the night shift.

Mind racing, Izuku shook the distracting thoughts away, “Hey, Ochako.” He gave her his winning smile, but it felt a little forced.

Ochako didn’t notice, replying with a tune, “Izuku! It’s been what, a month since we last saw each other?”

Widening the door, Ochako gave him a hug, “Didn’t I told you to call?” her voice was a little bit grinded, her hug turned into a tight squeeze.

Izuku let out a soft wheeze, “Yes, yes you did. S-sorry! Was too uh…” he patted Ochako’s shoulder, letting her know his dying out of air, “busy.”

Ochako leaned back from the hug, giving Izuku a quizzical look and let go. “Okay, you’re forgiven.” She giggled as Izuku tries to take in another breather.

“So, is this a work visit or an actual visit.” She taunted Izuku.

Izuku replied with a tight smile, “More of a ‘help me’ kind of visit than ‘tea and pastries.’”

“Oh! Come in, then.” Ochako let Izuku in, she closed the door while he walked to her coach and sat down.

“So, tell me. What’s up with you?” she worryingly asked, sitting next to him. “Is it the nosey press again? Are they bothering you? Are they following you—”

“Ochako, please. One at a time!” Izuku said hastily, shaking his head, “It’s not the press…”

“Okay, then. Who or what is it that’s bothering you?”

Izuku looked at Ochako’s concerned eyes, he took a deep breath and told her all about it. How he met Katsuki, the flour incident, which made Ochako giggle, and when Katsuki ‘allowed’ him to have his number.

Ochako listened intently until Izuku’s done with his half-mumbling and half-comprehensible story.

“Huh, that explains why your hair has small specks of white but more IMPORTANTLY.” Ochako placed her hands on Izuku’s shoulder, “You met Bakugo!”

Izuku couldn’t exactly pinpoint Ochako’s emotions at the moment, she was being ecstatic but anxious, like you just figured out a plot twist of a dramatic movie.

“I heard he left Tokyo.” She looked away from Izuku’s gaze and scrunched her brows in thought, “but then again, Kirishima told me he works with him. Then why hasn’t he been in any of our annual reunions?”

Before Ochako could lose all sense and thought, Izuku placed his hand on her shoulders and shook her gently, “Ochako!”

That seemed to have broken Ochako’s stupor, “Oh! Sorry Izuku, was thinking too hard.” she chuckled distractingly.

Izuku gave her a disbelief look, “Aren’t you taking this a little too well?”

Ochako’s smile didn’t waver, but her gaze says it all. “Taking it well? Yes, ofcourse. Also, mildly panicking for you in the inside. You and some of us barely saw Bakugo after graduation. He cut all ties, just like that. Honestly, the nerve of that guy.”

Izuku was just about to question her when she suddenly piped up, “Is that why you’re troubled? Is he actually being a big dick to you again?”

He quickly shook his head, “No, no! That’s not why… I mean, he is the source of the problem. But it’s not indirectly him causing the problem. He could possibly be the cause, yes. But it’s more complicated than that. It’s more of what I’m feeling in the inside than him affecting me. He probably doesn’t think of me that way, though. Maybe I’m just overanalyzing this, maybe I just—”

“IZUKU!”

Izuku snapped out of his mumbling. Ochako looked at him, her worried look all the more showing, “Are you telling me you still like him? I thought you gave that up years ago.”

He dropped his gaze, looking at his hand. “I… I don’t know.” Izuku’s voice was slow but clear enough for Ochako to listen, “I wasn’t sure years ago, not even now, it seems…”

“Look, Izuku.” She placed a hand on his shoulder and squeeze. “You didn’t managed to do it back in U.A, right? Maybe this is another chance for you.”

“I…” his face was crestfallen, “No. I don’t think this is the right time.” Izuku finally looked up at Ochako’s clutched gaze, “I want to be friends with him. Like actual friends.” He straightened his stance and smiled, making Ochako confused.

“He actually listened to me and gave me his number. I’m sure he and I can have an agreement now.”

Ochako’s look didn’t change, “Are you sure about this?”

Izuku nodded, “Yes, I am.” He then took out his phone, “I know you’re worried but maybe it’s time to think of another path. Friendship’s better than none, right?”

Before Izuku could check his phone, Ochako’s placed her hand on the phone. “Alright, if this is what you want. I’m happy for you.” She said encouragingly, “but if you REALLY think he matured for the best, then you’re not texting him first.”

Izuku gave her a puzzled look, “but shouldn’t I text first? I mean, I was the one who asked for his number. You know how he is.”

Ochako took notice of Izuku’s hand, its wrapped around his phone, ready to pull it. “No! Like you said,” Ochako pulled Izuku’s hand, “He matured, yeah? Then if he thinks this ‘friendship’ is worth it, then he’d be the first to text you.”

“I-I don’t think that’s a good idea, Ochako.” Izuku let his phone taken away. Ochako surprisingly has a good grip.

“Trust me on this. You and Bakugo have not talked in years, what’s to say that didn’t change?”

Izuku didn’t argue, he knows he shouldn’t add gas to an open flame, but if this is a way to know if Katsuki thinks he’s worth it, then it doesn’t hurt to try it out.

Right?

-

 

Back to Bakugo’s and Kirishima’s incident.

Katsuki’s on and off friend has listened to whatever his fiery friend had to say. Filtering through the curse words, insults and the occasional shouting. Kirishima finally had the grasped of what he’s friend was talking about.

“So, what I’m getting here is that you ‘like’’ them.” Kirishima slightly chuckled at that, hoping Katsuki at the otherside wouldn’t hear him, “You, of all people. That’s a first.”

He flinched away from the speaker when the shouting came again, “Alright, chill. I get it somewhat, but what I don’t understand is that you didn’t act up on it. Come on, man.”

Kirishima listened to Katsuki’s reply, it was slow and aggravating, hearing his usually no-share and calm Katsuki talking about feelings? He’d cross that off his bucket list.

“You didn’t tell them because, what. You were confused? Well, I mean, that’s understandable, first time and shit but you’re Bakugo! Guy who always speak out of his mind, hell you even told me you think before you shout.”

There was murmuring on the phone, then silence. It made Kirishima scratched the back of his head. He’s really wondering who made Bakugo into this. He’s proud that Bakugo finally found someone, he’d been trying to hook him up ever since he found out they work at the same agency. They hang out occasionally, inviting Jiro or Denki at Bakugo’s place.

When he heard Bakugo talking again, he interrupted him. “Look. You say you want to tell them, but then you say you don’t. Make up your mind. It’s not like a rejection can bite you in the ass in the afterlife?”

Bakugo began insulting him again, “Jeez! Sorry for giving you ‘advice’, pfft.”

Kirishima looked at his wrist watch, it was 8 PM. He should be cooking dinner by now. He placed his phone on between his cheek and his shoulder and went to his kitchen. “Yeesh, sounds like you can’t get over it.” He replied while grabbing a few eggs from his fridge and taking out the frying pan.

“Here’s a word of advice. An actual advice! Don’t worry.” Kirishima placed the pan on the stove and grabbed the oil. “You’ve got their number, right? Knowing you, you’d probably wait for them to text YOU first. If you really want to try this out, then text them first, Bakugo.”

Kirishima heated the pan and poured the oil, “I’m serious, man. So, what if you liked them before and got over it. It’s not the end of story if there wasn’t an actual ending.” He then poured the eggs, he was thinking of a sunnyside up for the evening. “You’re questioning yourself, huh? That just mean, you care.”

When the eggs were fried to perfection, he placed the eggs on the plate. Leaving the pan on stove as he grabbed his plate and walked over to the balcony, placing the plate on his makeshift table.

“Did you make up your mind?” He asked, while munching on his eggs, “Just text them, first. Jesus, you’re being stubborn than usual, dude. Just think of a place to hang out.”

Kirishima was close to finishing his eggs when he smells smoke coming from his kitchen. “Aaah, crap.”

“Listen, I uh, forgot the stove on.” He dashed to his stove, hoping the pan didn’t spike in flames. “Call me later and remember, text first. See ya at work!”

Kirishima silently cursed when the smoke detector wailed.

-

 

Katsuki clutched the phone tightly and walked to the balcony, he sighed angrily and looked at his phone.

“Text first, he says.” He opened his phone and scrolled through the contacts, stopping at Deku’s name. A look of contemplation was plastered on his features, he opened the message interface and slowly but steadily placed his thumbs on the keypads.

What does he even say to him? Blurt out his feelings or some shit? That’s a waste of time. He already told himself he’s fine with how they are.

Maybe as friends.

Katsuki grinded his teeth and huffed out. “I’ll try some other time.” He’s not being a hard-headed coward, perse. Just a tactical retreat, plan things out and see what path it’ll lead him.

Katsuki went back to his living room, ignoring the cold breeze of the night. It was close to 9 PM. Time for his second cup of coffee of the day.

 

Chapter Text

The phone buzzes softly near Katsuki's head, making him awake. His limbs where wrapped around in a blanket, constricting his hand. Katsuki huffs in annoyance, drowsily untangling his hand before grabbing the phone and unlocking it. 

It was a text from Kirishima. They're up for patrol in about an hour, a few blocks near Hosu General Hospital and a shopping district. Katsuki frowned, slightly disappointed it wasn't a certain freckled face who texted him.  

Wait, he realizes; now sitting up straight on his bed, fully awake. Why the hell do I feel upset?

Katsuki scolds himself, shaking the thoughts away. Calm down, Katsuki. It's only been a day. You're not that desperate. He muses, standing up and walking out of his room. He heads towards his kitchen then brews his usual black coffee in the morning, along with a slice of toasted bread.  

Like he said, it's been a day. Izuku's probably busy, patrolling just like him in District 1. Away from his thoughts, his humble adobe and most importantly, from him. Maybe Kirishima's advice he shouldn’t follow through.

Katsuki looks up from his finished plate and to his phone, a few inches away from his brewed coffee. It just sits there within his reach, making him grind his teeth in irritation. Katsuki knows, he’s just playing himself. He was never a patient man to begin with, he knows that if he wants this to work out, he should be the one to start it.

“Tsk.” Katsuki sat up, he grabs the plate and cup and put it in the sink. He grabs a towel from his room and heads to the bathroom. Now’s not the time to be stubborn. He can think about Kirishima’s advice after patrol.

-

“Bout’ time you show up, Bakugo.” Kirishima greets him with a smile and a wave. His (best)friend was already in his hero outfit, standing in front of the shopping district’s entrance. From Katsuki’s view, the stores or cafes were all lined-up to the left and the right, a grand wide sidewalk in the middle. As usual, it was crowded with a lot of people.

“You know, you should’ve attended the briefing.” Kirishima chides, stretching his limbs. Katsuki walks to Kirishima’s side and looks around, checking the area.

“Briefings are useless,” Katsuki replies with a scoff, his gaze now to Kirishima. “They already informed us where we’re headed, why should I waste my time?”

“Probably because its important?” Kirishima replies, hand rummaging his pocket. He grabs two ear pieces, courtesy of the agency. It was made to make communication and news from the agency faster to those who are patrolling the streets.

Katsuki waves him off, grabbing the ear piece and putting it on, “Getting shit done is more important than listening to some snobs.”

“You’re just mad they kept telling you to be careful about damage control.” Kirishima retorts with a smile, putting on the ear piece and turning it on. An automatic voice informs him they’re online.

“Shut up,” Katsuki glares at Kirishima plastered smirk, “I know how to control my fucking quirk.”

“Yeah, I know, man.” Kirishima replied, “So, do you wanna round up the area? I could check the outside entrance for a while.”

Katsuki nods, “I’ll check the corners.”

He heads towards the shopping district, bumping through the crowd and checking each store from a distance, looking for any signs of activity. Bystanders were beginning to look at him, staring in awe with their phones up and cameras flashing. Few children followed him around, talking to him, poking him—bothering him—until they were shushed away by their mothers, pulling them and giving Katsuki a apologetic look.

“I hate crowds.” Katsuki bared his teeth, stride menacing and posture hunched as he walks. His aura was starting to frighten the onlookers, making them back away a few meters from him.

He better hopes there wasn’t any shit going on.

-

“YOU SON OF A—” Before Katsuki could finish, a large hand slams in front of chest, throwing him back first on the wall. A small crater formed around him but he only felt a slight sting at the back of his neck. He moves his limbs and stood up, facing the giant thug with a grin.

“Is that the best thing you can do.” Katsuki sneers, slightly cracking his neck to the side.

Katsuki spotted the goon from the crowd, his back was slouched and he appeared to be looking for something. Katsuki followed him, until the guy hid behind a small two-floored café and began turning into a stoned giant.

The thug was 7ft. high, towering Katsuki’s 5’11” height. His head and shoulders down to his torso were covered in grey stone scales, protecting him from Katsuki’s onslaught of punches and kicks. Their fight escalated inside the small café, shards of glasses are scattered everywhere, and most of the furniture were broken.

Katsuki grits his teeth knowing he’s going to get lectured again about damage control. He needs to take this fight outside. It should be easy for him to use his quirk.

“Here’s something for ya!” The hooligan yells grabbing a large piano—that was worth more than a thousand bucks— to Katsuki, who managed to move out of the way. The instrument bursts through window, dropping feet below with a loud crash.

“For fuck’s sake.” Katsuki growls, he ran up to the thug and aimed his fist full of explosion on his head. It hits, making the giant stagger backwards, a cloud of smoke materializes around the thug’s vision. Katsuki uses this time swivel behind him and deliver a sharp kick to the back of the goon’s knees. The pebbled-prick knelt in pain, but not enough to put him down.

Katsuki place a hand on his ear piece and yells, “Are you done getting the crowd to safety?”

“Yep! Where are you?” Kirishima’s static voice passes through Katsuki’s ear piece, he was running through the sidewalk, looking around.

“Head to the end, there’s a café’ there.” Katsuki replied, frustration evident in his voice, “and a damn piano outside.”

And the villain?” He hears Kirishima say before he places his hand behind the thug, his fist charged up with his quirk.

“Look up.”

-

Kirishima whistles. He was standing in front of the villain, face first in the ground. He was buck naked from the top and below and unconscious. Kirishima laughs quietly, he stirs away from the villain and looks up, he notices Katsuki near the window up the second floor, fiddling his phone. Kirishima grinned playfully went inside, ascending the stairs.

Katsuki groans, slightly peeve that he can’t think up a way to ask Deku to hang out with him. Since he was done for the day, he thought he’d finally get over his unnecessary bullheadedness and text Deku.

Now the only problem was, how? He was sure Deku seemed interested to talk with him, he really thought the guy would start first.

“Fuck, this is stupid.” Katsuki murmurs, crease beginning form between his brows.

From a distance, he hears the loud wail of the police sirens, soon this place would be crowded again. He really doesn’t want to deal with the questioning and the ugh, paparazzi.

Katsuki inhaled, then started fumbling the keypads. The old playground doesn’t seem like a bad place to start, both him and Deku met there, probably easy for him to talk about. Katsuki growls quietly, he’s like a damn school girl, asking out his crush.

Just as he was close to finishing, a hand suddenly latches on his right shoulder, bumping his stance. Katsuki’s phone slips out of his grasps, it—magically—flew through the window, dropping slowly, and surely, to the ground below. An echoing sound of crash confirms him that, yes, his phone broke.

“Hey, Bakugo, was wondering if ya followed my—” Kirishima says with a grin. His smile turns puzzled when he notices Katsuki’s blank stare to the ground below. Kirishima leans through the window and look down, a broken phone lays below. He began to back away from the fuming Katsuki.

“Uh…I am so sorry.” Kirishima continues to back away from his about to raise hell friend.

“That… that was my last phone for this month.” Katsuki growls, his head turns slowly away from the window, one hand curled to a fist with smoke emitting as he looks at Kirishima with a wicked grin.

“Really? That’s your fifth phone this week?” Kirishima nervously laughs, backpedaling to the stairs, his stance ready to bolt, “You really need to take care of your things, bro!” He shouted before running down the stairs for his life.

“GET BACK HERE!” Katsuki yells, letting out a blast towards Kirishima’s direction, it blows through the roof, the scorching haze vivid for anyone to see.

-

Back to Ochako’s Apartment…

Izuku yawns, flexing his limbs when he got out of the guest’s rooms bathroom. Since it was way pass walking hours that last night, Ochako told him he should stay for the night. Izuku grinned, agreeing. He supposes he could pick up some clothes from his Mother’s apartment, it was only a few meters away, just pass the shopping district.

He walks out of the guest room, passing through the hallways and into the kitchen, where Ochako was busy placing bowls and utensils on the table, pouring milk and a box of cereal afterwards.

She greets to Izuku with a grin, “Morning, Izuku.”

“Morning, Ochako. Thanks for letting me stay the night.” Izuku replies coolly as he sat down from one of the chairs. She nods, sitting down too. “No problem. You got plans for the day? It’s almost pass 12PM.”

“Yeah, actually. Heard Tsuyu was coming for a visit. Got a text from her a few weeks ago.”

Ochako’s eyes widen when she heard, “Really!?” she almost jumped, shaking the table. Izuku carefully raises his bowl while he eats, hoping the contents of his food won’t jump too, “that’s great! I miss her. I’ll see if I can visit her apartment soon. I’m about to head out, patrol’s about to start.”

Izuku nods, noticing Ochako’s ear piece on while she finishes her breakfast. “Oh, take care, then. Just going to head to my Mother’s place first to pick up some clothes. I’m still wearing yesterday’s clothes.” He finishes his breakfast and place the bowl and spoon in the sink. He heads towards the door, about to leave.

“Ah, see you later then!” Ochako replies before Izuku passes through her door, hand raise as he exits her apartment.

-

Izuku passes through a few blocks and corners. He was just a few meters away from the shopping district when he notices some onlookers heading towards the entrance of the shopping district, scurrying to see what the fuss was about.

He was glad he wore his hoodie yesterday, most of them didn’t paid mind to him as they pass through. Their phones were up, recording the commotion, he heard someone murmuring to his phone, calling the police. Huh, probably a villain? Seems to be over, though. He shrugs his shoulders.

Just as he was about to leave, a large resounding blast wavers up the sky.

Kaachan? His eyes widen, he only knows one person who can shot up that amount of firepower. Izuku hears the police sirens from the inside, they probably have cuffed the villain, ready for transport. Maybe he can spare some time and talk to Katsuki a bit. It’s not like Ochako told him that he can’t ask him out first?

Izuku shakes his head, determined as he walks towards the district’s entrance.

He passes through with ease since most of the onlookers left the scene. The police car was about to head out too, it drives out of the scene and away from the district.

He walks closer to the area, heading straight to the end of the district, he saw a piano along the way and a very, partially singed Kirishima, who looks like his pacifying Katsuki, who was sitting down, facing the other way but he can see a miserable frown on his face.

Kirishima notices Izuku easily, his nervous frown turned upside down. “Ah, hey! Izuku.”

“Hey, Eijiro.” Izuku greets with a wave. “What uh…” he questions, gaze pointing at a brooding and strangely pouting Katsuki, “happened to Kaachan?”

“I um, broke his phone?” Kirishima whispers, hoping Katsuki won’t get mad at him again.

“Oh, that’s unfortunate.”

“Yeah, I know. I already said sorry,” His spikey friend looks at Katsuki then moves closer to Izuku, “honestly, didn’t think he’d be that mad. Probably because of this person that he likes.”

Izuku backtracks at that, confusion evident in his eyes. “What?”

“Told him some advice to text them but… you know, broken phone.” Kirishima shrugs his shoulders, not noticing Izuku’s slowly and half-hurt, disappointed look. You already said you’d be friends, stop it.

“Anyways, I’m gonna head out.” Kirishima grins at him then turns to look at Katsuki, “Yo, Bakugo. I’m going home.” He sprints pass Izuku, heading towards the exit.

“Wait the fuck up you—” Katsuki says, but before he could fire a few curse words at Kirishima, he chokes up, just noticing Izuku standing there, “Deku?” he stands up abruptly almost too enthusiastically as strides towards Izuku, who looks at him with a forced smile. Katsuki didn’t question it but continued.

“Uh, hey…” Katsuki almost bites himself for that. Really, that’s the best thing you can do?

Fortunately for him, Izuku didn’t mind.

“Hi.” Izuku greets back, his gaze not meeting Katsuki’s. “So, got a villain captured, huh?”

Katsuki noded, “Yeah, the bastard thought he could rally up a few souvenirs from this weird antique café shop.” He then walks towards the piano and slightly kicks it. It sounds echoes in dismay, there’s no salvaging it.

“They better fucking pay me.” Katsuki rambles.

Izuku chuckles quietly, hoping Katsuki wouldn’t get mad at him for laughing. “It didn’t cost a fortune, did it?”

Katsuki replies with a deadpan look, “It costed my damn pay, actually.” Izuku can hear the growl from his, “Fucking pansies and their damage control.”

“Well, sorry to hear that. Hopefully they'll just deduct.” Izuku tells him, trying to cheer him up. He walks forward while Katsuki’s still looking at the piano with resent.

“Yeah, I fucking hope.” Katsuki answers, glad that it was easy to talk to Izuku. Maybe he can finally ask him ou—ask him to hang out. Good thing he can buy another phone.

“Hey, Deku.” He starts, exhaling deep to what feels like a fucking exam, he can feel his mind slightly panicking. His hand was dancing to his sides, “Do you want to—”

“Forgot to tell ya!” Someone slouches a hand on Katsuki’s shoulders again. It was Kirishima, with his steady grin, void of nervousness from a few moments ago. Katsuki can feel anger building up again, he noticed Izuku jumping back a bit, startled. He didn’t even notice Kirishima preying from behind.

“The fuck you talking about?” Katsuki grits out, making Kirishima move his hand away from him as he flinch back.

“Look, I’m sorry about the phone,” Katsuki glares at him in response, “but you up for some drinks tonight? Jirou invited us down her bar. Denki’s gonna be there too.”

Katsuki was near seconds to decking Kirishima, but he didn’t went for it. It was 6 PM, he’s hoping he’d try to hang out with Deku tonight. Just a few strolls round the park, head to an and then back to his apartment, to do… some things, like dinner and movies. Typical friend-ish things to do.

Wow, he’s crap at making pans but still, they’re hanging soon, preferably today. Katsuki answers Kirishima with a shake of his head, “I’m not—”

“Oh, right. Izuku! You should join us too, been a while since the two saw you.”

Shit.

Katsuki looks at Kirishima, composure gone. His gaze yells hell. You motherfucker.

Please, for fuck's sake. Say no.

Izuku looks between them, unsure whether he should join them. It’s not like he’s not up for it, he just, feels a little down from what he heard a few moments ago. Though with reason, he really does want to be friends with Katsuki, this is a perfect time to hang out, he guessed.

He nodded, agreeing. Kirishima smiled with delight, “You can bring someone too if you want.” he turns to face a fuming Katsuki, a bit startled, not knowing what he’d done, again.

“Whoa, easy there.” Kirishima pacifies, giving Katsuki a look. “So, you coming or what?”

Katsuki forces himself to answer, a calm before the storm expression on his face, his smile was menacing. “Sure.”

“Great! I’ll text you the location, Izuku. See you two at 8.” And with that, Kirishima finally leaves, waving both goodbye at the two.

The homey atmosphere the two have a few moments ago turned tense, Izuku still haven’t look directly in Katsuki’s eyes. His menacing aura dwindles when he looks at Izuku’s freckled face, almost half forgetting Kirishima’s intrusion.

“I’ll, uh… see you tonight, then?” Izuku says softly.

“Yeah,” Katsuki sighs, no use to being angry about it, he ponders. He gathers up what's left of his composure, "Bye, then."

Izuku smiles slightly at him and walks away. They both had to different directions, leaving a small tattered tension in the air.

-

Izuku can see the old apartment in view, he smiles to himself, jogging to the stairs. It’s been a while since he saw his Mother, their last conversation was about moving. Izuku was planning to get an actual house for his Mother, a few streets away from his apartment building. Though, Izuku’s Mom still refuses him, telling him that she’s fine where she is.

He was near the apartment door when he remembers he still need to contact Tsuyu, they still could meet today, maybe she’ll join him with others. Izuku opens his phone, looking for Tsuyu’s contact. His sends a hasty text, hand on the phone while the other knocking on the door.

He could hear a soft yell, one moment, behind the door before the it opens slowly, revealing his Mom, wearing the weariness yet happiest of smiles.

“Ah! Izuku." Inko says, walking closer to him.

“Hello, Mom.” Izuku greets her with a tight hug.

“I miss you, sweetie. Come in, come in. I was just about to make dinner.” Inko says with a smile, ushering him inside.

 

Chapter Text

The crisp wind of the evening made Izuku shudder, he was cladded in comfortable clothing; an old and worn out green hoodie and jeans, with his signature red shoes. He hugs arms, rubbing slightly, he could never get used to the city’s nightly atmosphere, he’d prefers to stroll when its sunrise, feeling the warmth rays of the sun as it caresses his skin.

He looked at his watch, it was nearly 8PM. Izuku looks around, hoping to find the place Kirishima texted him. He said that it was right around Yoru Avenue. The bar was supposed to be located near the first block and so far, he could only spot some small café and diners, their neon light signs made Izuku squint at the brightness.

Izuku looks to his phone again, he was just about to text Kirishima when he bumps to someone, stopping in his tracks.

“Ah, sorry.” Izuku says, glancing up. He flushed when he saw it was Katsuki who he bumped into, again.

Katsuki looks at him, a surprised but subtle gaze in his amber eyes. He grunts in acknowledgement, gaze switched to the path ahead of them. “You’re too early. Kyoka usually doesn’t open until she’s done cleaning the place.”

Izuku blinks, head tilt at the sudden information, “Oh, uh. Kirishima didn’t told me what the bar’s name was so I thought I’d be early.” He replies sheepishly.

Katsuki didn’t bother to reply, he raised his chin and looked ahead, scanning the place before his eyes perked, spotting the bar. He looks at Izuku with furrowed eyebrows, “Follow me,” he murmurs, walking towards the bar.

“Uh, okay.” Izuku replies quickly, a haste in his gait as he followed Katsuki, pavements echoing from each step.

-

Izuku stares at the bar ahead, expression intrigued and curious. It’s rare for him to see this side of his old classmate’s whereabouts. He knew that others chose to work independently, void of agency benefits, like enhanced gears, privacy and P.R stuff. He did question some of them and their replies where almost the same, they want to try something else. That, honestly taken him back, for others to be so devoted from the start, just to realized that there were other options, waiting for them to try and see if this was what they wanted all along. Still, Izuku was happy for them, he already knew what he wanted. He achieved it with the greatest of smiles.

“Oi, Deku. Earth to fuckmunch.” Katsuki’s sharp tone cuts Izuku’s train of thoughts, he blinks looking at the annoyed expression of Katsuki’s face, as if he offended him in some way. Izuku hopes he wasn’t talking when he was daydreaming, that be a great start for their friendship.

“Sorry, Kaachan. Were you saying something?” Izuku asks politely, hoping to salvage the topic.

Katsuki squints, debating whether he should tell him. The look of patient interest was evident on Izuku’s freckled face, making him relinquish his scowl, he looks at the bar’s front instead, “It’s nothing. We’re here.” 

Izuku followed Katsuki’s gaze, eyes mirth with shocked awe.

The bar’s front view was designed in dark purple tiled walls, moon’s light reflecting the cool tiles, giving off a techy modern look. The place looked large enough for a nightclub, but still relatively small, fitting for a bar. The windows were casted in abstract patterns, Izuku can see some lined lights attached to it, but they weren’t turned on yet. He looks up, finally seeing the turned off neon sign; it says Retro Jack with the letter J, designed into an earphone. Izuku smiles faintly, it screams music and relaxation, two traits he knows that Jiro has.

Izuku was just about to finish admiring the place when he heard a fist colliding metal door with an all to knowing grunt of his (still not) friend, Katsuki. He was trying to push it open which didn’t seemed to budge.

“The hell, are they still not done?” Katsuki murmurs with frustration, clearly peeve.

“They? Are Denki and Kirishima already here?” Izuku asks, checking his phone to see if Kirishima texted him.

Katsuki shakes his head, letting out a growl. “No, just Denki. He lives with her.”

Before Izuku could ask again—they live together!?—Katsuki cuts him off, looking to his right; there’s an alleyway just near the bar, it looks like it was headed to the back, “We’re using the backdoor, come on.” Katsuki practically commands while walking away, pulling Izuku out of his stupor of confusion.

“Wait, Kaachan!” Izuku yelps, following Katsuki’s stride. He was silently walking behind him, first time noticing Katsuki’s choice of clothing. He was clothed in a simple black t-shirt with a skull logo, his jeans baggy, he was also wearing a pair of black converse. His ear was pierced, adorning a black earring.

Izuku was too lost in thought, barely managing to stop himself when Katsuki halted, looking at him with another unreadable expression. His face was in a look of contemplation.

“What is it?” Izuku questions, arms in a tight hug, rubbing for heat. The evening breeze was unforgiving.

“You cold?” Katsuki deadpans.

“Oh, yeah. A little bit?” Izuku replies, unhooking one hand to hide in his hoodie’s pocket, “My jacket only has one pocket, haha…” He chuckles quietly but stopped when he noticed Katsuki’s face, thin line formed into a scowl. “Did I do something—”

“Give me your hand.”

Izuku’s confuse look almost made Katsuki retract his words, his scowl deepens, now looking away from him. His cheeks were feeling a little warm, “Just for a fucking minute, we’re almost near the bar, anyways.”

“Okay?” Izuku whispers, looking at Katsuki’s awaiting hand in worry. Relax, friends do this all the time, he mentally scolds, hand clasping Katsuki’s with a tight hold. He heard his old classmate grunt in acknowledgement, he continues to walk towards the back of the door, shoulders hunched.

Izuku didn’t say anything else, still enjoying the warm feeling in Katsuki’s grasp.

-

Katsuki knocks on the door, each sound resounding loudly. Izuku stood behind him, a timid expression on his freckled cheeks, they weren’t holding hands anymore. He hoped the shop neighbors won’t complain at the loud racket. Katsuki still has the tendency to curse deafeningly.

“Kyoka! It’s 5 minutes til’ Open time and you’re still not done!?” Katsuki yells, his knocking continues. It looks like the door was about to give away.

“Um, Kaachan, maybe you should—” Izuku says, but was interrupted when the door opened suddenly, revealing blonde hair with its black, signature stroke of lightning. Katsuki’s raised fist hits him on the forehead, making the man stumble back with a low ‘oof!’

“Ow! Jesus, we haven’t seen each other in ages and the first thing you do is hit me?” Denki places a hand on his forehead, rubbing it lightly to ease the pain.

Katsuki’s scowl worsened, giving Denki a glare. “Not my fucking fault you suddenly open the door, numbnuts.” He walks in, bumping through Denki, he turns his head behind and looked at Izuku’s awkward stance, “Come on, already,” Katsuki says, tone neutral.

“What, who?” Denki inquiries, pushing pass a disgruntled Katsuki, heading out the door.

“Hey, Denki.” Izuku greets, nodding slightly.

“Deku! Is that you—” Denki hears low yet resounding sound of a growl. He gulps, knowing who made that sound. He didn’t dare look behind and turn his back, “I mean—Izuku,” He saves himself from impending peril, “I haven’t seen you, since what, months ago?”

“Yeah, I’ve been busy, the office gave me a one-week break, still have four days left.” Izuku replies with a grin, he notices Katsuki looking at him from the back but he couldn’t see his expression, his ex-childhood friend huffs, hands in his pocket as he disappears from Izuku’s view, entering the bar.

“Man, that’s great. Wish they’d gave me a break.” Denki pouts slightly, arms crossed. “They keep shifting me down the power plants, pretty boring if ya ask me.”

“Probably because you’re a lazy ass who they’d just use as a generator instead.” Katsuki quips from the back.

“Excuse me, I’ll have you know I’ve been doing tons of Hero work for the last month!” Denki argues, head turned towards Katsuki. “Besides, I take the morning patrol. Been tending the bar since then.” He glances at Izuku, who still haven’t move from the spot, Denki scolds himself. “Right! Sorry, come in.”

Izuku nods and enters and the bar. “Thanks, Denki.”

The backdoor had a narrowed hallway, walls graced in black paint. Light was coming out at the end, on the right side. He followed through, hearing the backdoor closed shut, along with Denki’s padded footstep.

“Go ahead, gonna check the storage room before Jiro comes back.” Denki murmurs, already walking ahead of Izuku, steering to the left side of the hallway.

Izuku walks, heading towards the right direction. He can see light coming from the end. He hastens his footsteps until he finally reaches the arched passage. What’s before him made Izuku smile.

Most of the wall décor’ was shade in black. A light colored, see through fabric was hanging loosely, surrounding the area where the small stage and a row of tables and chairs were placed. The stage has a small DJ equipment at the back and a microphone at the center. Izuku looks to his left, there was a bar near the entrance door. To the door’s side, two to four arcade machines were placed, there were loveseats just ahead of the arcade side, facing the stage.

Izuku walks further to the bar, seeing Katsuki perch on the barstool, hands clasps and placed to the counter, seemingly fidgeting which made Izuku question who he’s worrying about. Not wanting to startle Katsuki, he let out a small ‘hey’.

“Can I sit with you?” Izuku asks.

Katsuki looks at him and nods.

He sits, one stool in between them, he thought he should respect Katsuki’s space. It was subtle for Izuku but saw hint of annoyance in Katsuki's gaze. He was about to ask what’s wrong when those amber eyes look to the left, checking the backdoor. Katsuki returns to what his doing; admiring the décor’ of the bar, the shelf was made with thick wood, colored in white. The counter, designed in dark glossy tiles, from the front to the top, it felt smooth and cold on Katsuki’s hands and elbows.

Izuku glances around, looking for Jiro. It looks like she wasn’t here yet which made the solemn silence unbearable. It troubles him, feeling like he’s at fault. Katsuki doesn’t seem to want to talk to him, even though a few hours ago they were talking casually. Admittingly, he could sense the tension in the air, worrying him slightly at what he’s done wrong. He looks at Katsuki, hoping his (not)friend would tell him, but Izuku squeak instead.

He caught Katsuki’s glance.

The latter looked startle too, but he hid it quickly, a scowl etching on his face when turned to look away from Izuku.

This made Izuku regret his choice. Katsuki wasn’t telling him anything. Izuku knows, he should start. He’s great at those, asking questions, moving the topic. But he remembers Ochako’s advice.

Let him initiate, it shouldn’t be always you, He hears her scolding voice. But if push comes to shove, then fine. It’s your choice. But remember, he needs to know you’re worth it.

A voice startles Izuku again, pushing him out of his thoughts. He looks up. Katsuki was looking at him, the same scowl still lingering. Izuku scolds himself, he done it again. What is it with him and getting distracted? He’s usually attentive when people talk to him but something from Katuski made Izuku’s focus haywire.

“Ah! Sorry, Kaachan.” Izuku says, hands clasp together in an apologetic sign. “I’m usually not this easy to distract, I’m sorry.”

Katsuki looks at him with a raised eyebrow, “Relax, idiot.” He glances at the shelf’s content. “I was just asking if you want a drink.”

Izuku shrinks in his seat, Jesus, Izuku. Keep it together. He gives Katsuki a nervous smile. “Yeah, sure. A Koshu would be nice.” He manages to say, maybe the drink can lessen his nerves.

Katsuki sat up from the stool, he walks behind the counter and looks at the shelf, he grabs the wine labelled Koshu and place a glass in front of Izuku, pouring the wine’s content. Izuku thanks him while he opened the mini fridge below the counter, grabbing a bottle of milk and pouring himself a glass.

Izuku’s curious stare lingered, he debated whether he should ask if Katsuki’s still has low tolerance for alcohol, he guessed he’d be cursed at but as long as the tension in the air stops, he’s okay with it.

“Hey, uh. Kaachan,” Katsuki glances at him, finishing his glass of milk. “Can you still not handle your liquor?” Izuku bit the inside of his cheek, slightly regretting his question when Katsuki looks at him with a glare.

“I can handle them just fucking fine, Deku.” Katsuki growls. “I just don’t want to get shitfaced when the other's around." Especially you.

Izuku would have asked why but he could see that Katsuku doesn't want to talk about it, he decides to ask something else instead. “So, how long have Jiro been working here?”

“She doesn’t work here. She owns the place.” Katsuki answers quickly, putting the wine bottle and milk back to where he took them, he continued when he saw Izuku’s curious gaze. “She started investing on this two years ago, building from scratch since the place was unnecessarily expensive for a fucking small space.” Katsuki growls, Izuku a heard a quiet—goddamn investors—before Katsuki continues. “This bar place opened a year ago.”

“It’s probably because it was near Yoru Avenue. They do tend to have expensive prices for such a busy street.” Izuki replies with a thought.

Katsuki didn’t reply, he walks out of the counter and sits beside Izuku again. No spaces between them. It startled Izuku slightly but he continues to listen.

“I almost fucking kicked their asses, though. Those pricks wouldn’t give it to her because she hadn’t fully paid even when they had a contract biding,” Izuku ears perk at this. “They had the gull’ to exterminate the biding until I threatened them to push through their agreement.” 

Izuku squints in question. “You weren’t arrested, were you?”

Katsuki laughs at this, a smirk on his lips. Izuku looks a bit taken back, it was rare for him to see this side of Katsuki. Someone who cares for his friends even if he doesn’t show it.

“Fuck no. They didn’t have the guts to,” Katsuku stops laughing. "Sides’, those idiots have been shitting on people’s business near these parts of the avenue. I'd say they fucking deserve it."

Izuku smiles at Katsuki's tale. For once, they have a decent conversation, deprived of insults, glares and scarring. He could get used to this. He only wished his heart agreed with it.

"Good for her." Izuku says, a smile quipped on face. “By the way, how did Denki and Jiro got together?”

“They’re not together.” Katsuki scoffs which made Izuku give him a look. “They just ‘live’ together. Denki moved out of his parent’s so he tried to look an apartment in Yoru.”

“Aren't apartments expensive here?" Izuku questions.

“They fucking are. It's the reason Denki went to look for Kyoka's place. The fucker couldn't afford shit so Jiro took him in."

Izuku chuckles at this, finding the tale amusing but still feeling bad for Denki. “This happened years ago, right?” Katsuki nods, a grin on his unusually scowled face. “Then how come he still hasn’t found a place of his?”

“Because he’s an annoying whelp that still needs to be taken care of.” A sharp voice yet rosy voice shot out from their conversation, they turn their heads for the source, just near the back entrance of the bar.

Jiro walks steadily towards them, hands carrying a small blue cooler. She was wearing a black leather jacket and a white tank top with comfortable black jeans. Izuku notices that her hair was tied in a ponytail, old bangs still covering her forehead while her jacks hang loose to her sides.

“Hey, Bakguo.” She greets, placing the cooler with a thud. She takes off her jacket and ties in to her waist.  

“Kyoka.” Katsuki replies.

Her eyes mirth in surprise when she sees Izuku. “Wow, look at you. Haven’t heard from you in years.” She says, grabbing a small towel. She begins to wipe the glasses on the counter.

“Years?” Izuku questions.

Jiro stops, looking attentively at Izuku. “Well, it’s not like I watch the news all day. Last I heard, you were battling someone near District 2.”

“Oh, uh. The office usually doesn’t give me off times.” Jiro gives him a stink eye. “Yeah, no shit. Kinda glad you’re here, means you’re what, on a break?” Izuku nods in agreement. "Yeah, for a week." 

Jiro nods at this and continues cleaning until her eyes turns to Katski. “Bout’ you? Last time you were here, you left Kirishima with your damned tab. What gives?"

“None of your business.” Katsuki replies coolly.

The look on Jiro's face was unforgiving, however. Katsuki grits his teeth and replies. "Penalty jobs."

Again? You did this like, five times now. What are you doing."

“Not my fucking fault those shithead's out to get me,” Katsuki replies, growling. "They even relocated me near the forest district! Bunch of shits."

“When are you going to learn that not everything needs to be burned?" Jiro replies with a mock yet scolding tone.

"When you stop being such a bitch.” Katsuki jeers.

“Hmm, nah.” Jiro replies, her expression unchangeable. “Go unbolt my front door, will you?"

Katsuki almost yells at her, but obliges. He stands up from the stool muttering, I don’t fucking work here, as he walks towards the front entrance and unlocking the bolts.

Izuku glances subtly at Katsuki's form. That was what they call banters, huh. Seems like both Katsuki and Jiro have a great friendship despite being complete opposites.

Not like what you have. A nagging voice echoes, making Izuku frown. No, he knows what he wants. It was different at first, but he came in terms with it. He’s determined to make this work.

-

Katsuki have been feeling—dare he says it—nervous, all day.

When Kirishima left, back at the shopping district, he sensed that his hardheaded friend knows. He feels that Kirishima knows who’s his interested in. It unnerves Katsuki, knowing his friend was playing matchmaker.

How did Katsuki know?

Because Kirishima send him a text, even though he told him not to. Before Katsuki went home, Kirishima insisted he buys a phone. He growls at this, the fucker broke his phone, spoiled his plans and how he wants to help?

Katsuki sighs.

He read the text informing him that Kirishima knew, the moment he spotted them talking together, he found Katsuki’s secret interest.

They talk for like five minutes. What is he, the fucking cupid?

Katsuki didn’t push the topic. He accepted it. It’s Kirishima after all, the fucker was bound to know, especially since he has been actively making his empty love life into a fairytale. Katsuki really needs to burn those shojo books, it’s making his spikey friend delusional.

The first advice that Kirishima texted was, be early. Katsuki mentally scoffs at that. Kirishima told him that since the bar won’t be open, he and Izuku would have some time to talk, knowing Izuku’s always arrive early, the saint that he is.

Katsuki sighs. Yes, they did talk. One-sided, that is. He did bring out a few topics, namely hero work and his agency. He stopped trying when Izuku kept getting distracted, he wasn’t sure why but maybe the freckle bastard was too tired.

The next advice from Kirishima was to show some… care. Care for what? The idiot’s still untamed hair or the audacity of his selfless behavior? Katsuki hoped it was both but he knew it was way pass his right. He still hasn’t asked for… well, that’s a thought for another time.

When Katsuki texted Kirishima to be fucking specific, he replied that he needs to show a little affection. That, well. It made Katsuki mentally screech, but he managed it and the reward was a flushed cheek and a curious Izuku walking beside him, hand in hand.

Izuku’s hand was cold, but the warmth from Katsuki tamed it, it felt pleasant.

That’s were Kirishima ended his advice. Not voluntarily since Katsuki called him up and told him to stop texting, he met Izuku afterwards.

This is where they are now, in the bar. Waiting for their friends to arrive. Izuku was still perch on the stool, chatting vividly with Jiro with a smile on his face. He walks towards them, already finishing unraveling the door and turning on the sign.

“Thanks, Bakugo.” Jiro says, done cleaning the glasses and counter. Her tame mood shattered when she heard clatter in the storage room.

Her eye twitches, “Denki!” she yells, a resounding sound of fallen objects graces her ears. Jiro scowls and throws the cleaning cloth under the bar, “Ugh, I swear if he broke another bottle.” She stomps towards the storage.

“Um… should we help?” Izuku asks when Katsuki sat beside him.

A few yells and a crash were heard. Katsuki answers him with a wicked grin, “Nah, let him suffer.”

Moments pass, the storage door’s slide open. Jiro walks out, holding Denki by the collar, he looked okay, besides the dead gaze he has when he was forced to sit down on stool, next to Izuku’s side. He slumps his head on the counter while Jiro returns to the back of the bar.

“What did he do.” Katsuki asks, not caring about Denki situation but rather, the punishment.

“He broke a bottle of red wine from Iwahonara and two bottles of Irish cream, which were expensive as hell.” Jiro replies, gaze stern. "He's on bathroom duty til' I say otherwise."

Denki muffled whines can he be heard. Katsuki smirks at his misfortune. “Next time, stay out of the storage. You know how the fuck she is.”

Izuku slightly pats Denki's shoulders, kind of feeling bad for him. He looks around after a while until he turns to Jiro.

"Hey, um. Where’s the restroom?” Izuku asks, getting off the stool.

“Just behind the bar.” Jiro answers, pointing her thumb to the back.

“Thanks.” Izuku replies, heading to the left, passing the bar.

Katsuki’s gaze lingered a little too long on Izuku’s form. This wasn’t what he had in mind when he thought he’d ask Izuku out, but it wasn’t unpleasant either. They were surrounded by people they know, making it easier for them to loosen up. Well, for Izuku to loosen up, Katsuki has long guarded himself, despite being friends for a long time, they don’t always know everything about him.

“Hey, Bakugo.” Katsuki’s train of thought was interrupted, Jiro was looking at him, a smirk plastered on her features. He doesn’t like what that look means.

“What.” Katsuki graces her with a reply.

“You have that strange glint in your eyes. You know, the constipated look where you don’t know what you’re doing but you’re trying to, anyways?”

“How the fuck did you get that from one look?”

“Because, I’ve been there.” Jiro’s reply was instant, a raise brow and a knowing expression. That sort of, pissed Katsuki off. First Kirishima, now Jiro. Was he that too obvious that people can pick up what he’s thinking.

“Yes, you’re pretty obvious.”

Katsuki glares at her, seething quietly.

“Now, now. Don’t get mad, Bakugo. I’m trying to help.” She says with an understanding tone.

“I don’t need your fucking help.” Katsuki replies, almost too hastily.

Jiro shakes her head, looking at Katsuki like he’s a child, playing too rough with the neighborhood kids. She saw this phase before and that was over seven years ago, back when U.A. was everything. Dangerous and exciting.

“Look, I don’t exactly know the situation, since I was never that close to Izuku and you don’t tell me anything. What I do know is that, avoiding the issue, letting bygones be bygones, isn’t going to do you good.” Jiro explains.

Katsuki huffs, “I know that, already. What do you think I’m doing right now? Avoiding it?”

“You’re not avoiding it, but you’re not acknowledging it either.”

“The hell do you mean? I’ve already come in terms with it.”

“Are you sure? Because I know you don’t accept it just easily.”

Katsuki couldn't deny that.

“Your face says it all.” Jiro sighs, she moves from the counter, her posture erect and arms on her hips. “I’ll never understand how you feel, but I’ve been given the same choice.”

“Tsk,” Katsuki sighs in annoyance, arms crossed looking away from her gaze, “I know, I remember what happened.” He turns to look at her, “Are you still talking to her?”

Jiro looks at him somberly but answers, “Yeah, we talk sometimes but she’s in the U.S. That quirk of hers always manages to impress the science department there.” Her tone was solemn when she finished but she shakes her head, forgetting that it’s Katsuki she’s talking about, “Alright, enough of that. Do you know what to do?”

“I know what to do.” He gave her a tight response.

“Good, now off the counter. I’ve got paying customers coming in.” She shoos Katsuki, a smile on her features, but it looks half-hearted. Katsuki didn’t point it out. Instead, he heads to the bathroom, hoping to catch Izuku before the bar gets crowded. He was just centimeters ahead when the door from the back opens with a loud crash.

“I’m here!” Kirishima shouts, arms waving with an excited look on his face.

“Yo, Eijiro. Sup’ man?” Denki ventures from the dark, just done cleaning the stage. He was walking near the bar when the backdoor opened.

“Oh, hey Eijiro.” Izuku greets, walking out of the bathroom and heading to the bar, he slows his steps when he noticed Katsuki standing, gaze at the end of exit, “Hey, Kaachan. What’s wrong?”

“Right, look who I found wandering the streets.” Kirishima moves to make a room, letting two people pass before him.

Two soft padded footsteps enter the bar, a small and slim person walks towards them, gaze vacant but has a pointed smile. Her teal hair shines from the light, her voice was clear and monotone when she spoke.

“Hello, it’s been a while.” Tsuyu spoke with respect, polite as ever.

“Tsuyu, that you? Haven’t heard that voice in a long time.” Jiro yells from the back, already walking to the backdoor to see the what commotion is about.

The place was buzzing with greets and returned hugs. Izuku grins, happy that they could talk to each other again. However, Tsuyu was not alone. Accompanied by her was Ochako, who was still wearing the same clothes he saw when he left in the morning. She smiled when she notices him, done greeting the others before she rans to him, hugging him in a quick embrace.

“Izuku, I managed to finish my shift early just to visit Asui, who knew I’d meet her in Yoru, invited by you nonetheless!” Ochako giggles.

Izuku nods, glad that they could talk. “Yeah, I know. It’s great.”

Ochako nods, walking back to Tsuyu, avidly talking to her. Izuku sighs contently, this is going to turn into a fun night, he knows it. He was about to ask Katsuki to join him when he noticed the man disappeared. He was, nowhere in sight. Izuku turns to look at Jiro, who was back in the counter, serving her friends some drinks.

Jiro notices his glances and turns to him. She looks around when Katsuki wasn’t with him. She sighs, seriously, after what she just told him? Jiro gestures for Izuku to come over.

“Did you see him? I thought for sure he was standing right next to me.” Izuku says, voice low and clear.

“Yeah, I saw.” She points to the staircase encased by the fabrics, just around storage area. “Just walk through there and you’ll find the stairs. He’s probably on the roof.”

“Thanks.” Izuku replies, he was just about to leave when Ochako called him out, seated on the bar while chatting enthusiastically with Denki, Kirishima and Tsuyu.

“Where you going?” She asks, a smile graced on her lips.

“Oh, just upstairs. I’ll be back, don’t worry.” Izuku says, waving a hand at them before heading towards the stairs.

Ochako looks back at his retreating form, her gaze worried.

-

The rooftop was freezing, air chilled and moist. Izuku places his hand on his pocket, forgetting that he only has one. He flushed at the memory, just before they entered the back. No, no. He shakes his head, trying to reason himself. That was nothing, he was only being friendly. He hugs himself instead, hoping some heat returns to his body. It didn’t help, unfortunately. But he wasn’t going back without Katsuki.

Izuku sees a figure near the rails, head held high, watching the nightly sky above. He approached him slowly, still rubbing his arms.

“Shouldn’t you be downstairs?” Katsuki grits out, voice low.

Honestly, that startled Izuku, but he recovered. Before he answers Katsuki, he walks closer, standing beside him, looking at the sky with admiration. He didn’t dare look anywhere else, especially the heating gaze beside him from his fiery childhood friend.

“I would be, but you weren’t there, so I uh… thought you needed company.” He answers quickly, almost sounding like a question. That was a bold statement and it made Izuku’s side tingle from nervousness. He always was careful with him. Trying not to anger or upset him in the old days. Yet, here he was. Throwing caution out in the wind like it was nothing.

“I don’t need your company.” He expected that, didn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. “Not right now, anyways.” Izuku perks at that, surprise evident on his wide-eyed green orbs. Katsuki was looking straight at him, gaze content and calm, one of his known rare expression to give.

“What… do you mean?” Izuku asks in confusion.

Katsuki look away from him, now staring at the nocturnal rays, from the city lights and the starts above.

“Haven’t you ever considered what I’ve done to you?”

“What? I—of course, I did!” Izuku almost shouted, half angry-half upset. “I consider a lot of things, but I will never let pass what you’ve done to me back in the days.” He looks at Katsuki, his gaze still the same but he knows he’s listening, “not a day goes by that I don’t think about it.” Izuku breathes deeply, regaining his composure, “I… sorry, that was out of… I didn’t—”

“Don’t fucking apologize.” The biting tone of Katsuki’s cuts through, his calm demeanor turned sour, “You have every right to be mad at me, there’s no dancing around that.” Izuku didn’t interrupt, he listened in return. “What I fucking did to you was no joke. It’s been, three? Seven years? I tried nothing, I avoided you like the plague until I met you at the park. Even now? I haven’t done shit.” Katsuki refused to look at Izuku, his heated gaze looking at the city’s bustling streets.

“Are you… saying what I think you’re saying?” Izuku quietly says, his full attention to Katsuki.

“I’m… shit, yeah. I’m sorry.” Katsuki’s voice was careful. He turns his head to glance at Izuku’s frame, green orbs looking at amber.

“I,” Izuku’s voice croak, he clears his throat for a second, “don’t forgive you.”

Katsuki’s eyes widen at that, but he hid it quickly. He knew, deep down he knew. That he’ll never be forgiven. “Okay.” His voice sound somber, he pushes himself off the rails, walking pass Izuku’s confuse wide-eyed look. He was almost near the stairs when he felt a hand on his wrist, pulling him back.

“Hey! Wait.” Izuku’s voice sounded clear, almost happy, “you didn’t let me finish!” His tone of voice was pleased. Katsuki guessed he had the right to be, doesn’t mean he needs to take it. He took his hand from Izuku, making the freckled-idiot flinch from the sudden pull.

“What.” Katsuki looks away from him.

Izuku gives him a peeve look, trying to gain Katsuki’s attention to him.

“I didn’t forgive you, because you haven’t earned it.”

This made Katsuki look at him. There was a glint in Izuku’s gaze, it was mirth with joy. The hell is he happy about?

“Do you know what this means?”

“No, I fucking don’t.”

“Come on, don’t start now.” Izuku says with a smile, “what’s the best way earn forgiveness?” 

Katsuki looks at him like he’s being tested, but he obliges an answer, “Not seeing each other for seven years?”

Izuku gives him a look, “Kaachan.”

“Fuck, I don’t know! What?”

Izuku sighs, but grace him with an answer, “Making up, being friends.” He ignores the slight twinge in his chest but he continues, “what we did right now is talk it out and trying to be friends, right? This is the easiest way to earn it.”

For a long moment, Katsuki didn’t respond. This wasn’t what he expected but, if this is what Izuku wants, who’s he to say no?

“Fine, whatever.” He finally answers, calming Izuku’s haywire nerves.

“Good,” Izuku felt ecstatic, “Great!”

“Fuck, yell it louder, why don’t you?”

“I could, but then again. They’d probably think someone’s dying.” Izuku replies, not caring if he sounds blunt or impolite. “Oh, right. We should head down, they’re probably looking for us.” He uses the stairs first, slowly ascending down, leaving Katsuki behind with a look of astonishment.

He was, taken back from the sudden change of demeanor. Izuku was always been attentive to him when he’s talking, now he just says what he feels like. Katsuki sighs, maybe this was how it should have been?

It's not what he wanted but it's better than nothing.

 

Chapter Text

When Izuku went up the stairs, Ochako felt frantic.

They’re all seated in front of the bar; Tsuyu sat in the middle, Ochako seated to her left side while Kirishima and Denki are seated to the right. Jiro was pouring them drinks, asking Tsuyu how she is, the usual questions.

Ochako had the faint suspicion that Izuku went after Katsuki. She almost followed him, feeling that Izuku might be in danger in some way. But deep down, she knows, this wasn’t the same Bakugo Katsuki from before. Well, from what Izuku told her. She can still remember the genuine smile on his face when he talks about Katsuki.

“Is there something wrong, Ochako?” Tsuyu asks, voice piercing Ochako’s thoughts.

Ochako squeaks feebly, “Oh, it’s nothing, haha…” she raises her hand, dismissing her train of thoughts.

“Are you sure? You’ve been looking at the stairs for a minute now.” Tsuyu insisted. 

Ochako flushes in embarrassment, how obvious was she?

“Yeah, I noticed too.” Kirishima interjects, his face worried, “You wanna talk about it?”

“No, no. It’s not my place to talk about it.” Ochako replies quickly, shaking her head, trying to dismiss her friend’s concerned looks. 

“Come on, Ochako.” Denki pipes in, feeling left out and curious, “It’s been a while since we all chat amongst friends. It’s the perfect time to help each other out.”

Ochako sighs exasperatedly. It’s not like Izuku forbid her to tell their friends, it’s just that he was worried that a certain ash-blonde brute would find out. She doesn’t want to make Izuku’s choices harder than it is. But, seeing him all smiles and laughter from the outside while secretly hurting from the inside makes her upset and worry. She’s the best friend, if this could solve his problem then she’d do it in a heartbeat.

“Alright, I’ll tell you guys.” She whispers with a serious expression, “but you have to promise me not to tell anyone.” 

“Of course, Ochako.” Tsuyu replies. The others nodded in agreement.

Ochako looks up, glancing around the bar. It’s starting to get crowded. Patrons were all, mostly seated in front of the stage, talking vigorously; their hands wrapped around with drinks while they talk. A smooth background music plays over the loud yet tamed atmosphere.

“Hey, Jiro.” Ochako calls out. Jiro turns to her, she was pouring a drink to a patron. “Yeah, what is it?”

“Do you mind if we can talk somewhere else?” She sheepishly asks, gesturing to the crowded bar.

Jiro takes the hint, pointing her finger towards the back, “there’s cushioned sofas at the back, it’s far away from the stage, you can use it.”

Ochako nods, “thanks Jiro.”

Tsuyu sat up and so did Kirishima. Denki was about to do the same when Jiro tuts at him, shaking her head, “No, you stay here. Need you to cover my place if they request for me.”

“But—” Denki almost complains but the stern look from Jiro made him backpedal, he sighs and complies, “Okay, okay.”

Ochako gave him a sorry look before they move from the bar, heading to the back. The three settled down on the sofa. It was a curved loveseat, making it easier for Ochako to face them while talking. She’s glad that no one was occupying the other backseats.

She looks once more to the stairs near the storage then turned to Tsuyu and Kirishima’s expectant gazes.

“It’s about Izuku.” Ochako starts, observing their expressions, “He’s dealing with a lot, lately. About a certain someone,” she pauses for a moment, waiting for them to interrupt. Tsuyu’s eyes were patient, signaling her to continue, “I want to help him but I already gave him a bad advice and it seems like they’re not getting along.”

“A bad advice, how?” Kirishima questions.

“I told him to wait, to let the guy acknowledgement him first.” Ochako explains, doubt recurring to her soft features, “it’s not obvious from his face but he’s been anxious ever since.”

Ochako looks at Tsuyu, her friend was pondering, looking up the ceiling with her finger pointing to her chin. Kirishima on the hand, had a wide-eyed look, mouth agape.

“You’re talking about Bakugo, aren’t you?” He whispers, a crease between his brows.

Ochako panicks, shock evident from in her gaze, “How’d you know?”

“Because he’s dealing with the same thing!” Kirishima almost shouted, Ochako gives him a pointed look, “Sorry, sorry. I’ve been telling him advices, too. I mean, it wasn’t obvious at first because he won’t tell me who it is,” he straightens his back, “but I found out after Bakugo and I went to buy a phone,” Kirishima smiles guiltily, “I kind of…. broke his but anyways! I think he was about to text Deku.”

“When was this?” Tsuyu asks, she’s been listening intently on the conversation.

“Today, this afternoon.” Kirishima answers, “Bakugo was… strangely calm afterwards. Hell, he even brought me food without a fuss.”

“Are you telling me that Bakugo feels the same?” Ochako quickly asks.

“Well, I’m not Bakugo but it’s kinda of obvious?” Kirishima considers.

Ochako stood up suddenly, startling both Tsuyu and Kirishima. “I should tell Izuku.”

“I don’t think it’s your place to say.” Tsuyu counters, placing a hand on Ochako’s, not letting her leave.

“Yeah, I’m siding with Tsuyu on this.” Kirishima answers.

“But they like each other. Izuku has already gave up about this.”

“What do you mean?” Tsuyu asks.

“Just an hour before Kirishima found us, he texted me that he’s giving up. Explaining that Bakugo likes someone else.”

Kirishima paled when he heard Ochako’s reply. He scratches the back of head. “That’s my fault, I didn’t know Bakugo meant Izuku at that time, sorry.”

“See? There’s already been a misunderstanding. We should tell them.” Ochako says with a stern voice.

Tsuyu shakes her head, “Ochako, please. It’s really not your place to tell.” Ochako was about to argue but Tsuyu continues, “I’m not saying we shouldn’t help them. What I had in mind is subtlety.”

Tsuyu looks at their attentive faces, she continues, “Izuku already reasoned himself that Bakugo likes someone else. We can’t do anything about that since he made up his mind. Bakugo on the other hand,” Tsuyu trails off, she looks at Kirishima, “we’re still not sure what’s he’s thinking. Tell me, Eijiro. Did Bakugo ever mention anything?”

“No, nadda. I’m his best friend but he barely tells me anything,” Kirishima ponders for a minute, thinking hard. Ochako’s about to tell him it was fine when he suddenly pipes up, sitting up straight. “I remembered something!”

He looks at them with a beaming smile, “I wasn’t sure what Bakugo meant at first but he mentioned you, Ochako.”

“Me? About what?” Ochako asks.

“When we were still in U.A., I saw him walking back to the classroom. I was just about to ask him if he wants to eat together when he stopped suddenly. I wasn’t sure what he saw, I didn’t even ask him since he was seething with anger, but I did hear him saying about you and Izuku being together.”

“Oh, no.” Ochako flushes in a shade of red, “He saw us.”

“Huh?” Kirishima asks confusingly.

“It’s embarrassing but I… confessed to Izuku that day. He rejected me and hugged me, then gave me space, I think therer’s were Bakugo misunderstood the situation?”

“That explains why Bakugo avoided Izuku afterwards,” Tsuyu says, “and why he was glaring at you the moment you entered the bar.”

Ochako pales, “What?”

“So, what. He still thinks they’re together? But it’s been years!” Kirishima exclaims.

“This is Bakugo we’re talking about, he’s quick to judge.” Tsuyu replies.

“So, what’s the plan?” Ochako muses.

“Like I said before, subtlety. We need to clear the misunderstandings without telling them they like each other.”

“That’s… easy enough.” Kirishima says with a smile.

“So, Operation Cupid, set in motion?” Ochako asks with a giggle.

Tsuyu nods, looking at the direction of the stairs. It’s going to be a long night.

 

Chapter Text

The smell of smoke in the air and loud chattering did not help Katsuki’s sour mood.

When he looked around, almost all the tables were booked. His slant eyes glances to the bar, it wasn’t as crowded as the center tables in front of the stage but it still had a few costumers lurking about, their insistent gossiping unnerves Katsuki’s ears when he walks closer.

It was Denki who’s behind the counter, face looking annoyed each time a customer signals him over for a drink. Katsuki walks over to the bar, startling Denki when he sat down suddenly. The nervous blonde greets him with a wave.

“So, what got you all mad and twisted. Something happened?” Denki asks when he looks at Katsuki.

Katsuki glares at him, a scowl on his face. “Something happened, alright,” he glances behind him, eyes furrowed when it settled towards the back space, “a stupid, pathetic thing happened.” Izuku was seated with Ochako and Tsuyu, talking to them with a wide grin on his freckled face. It made his temper risen, knowing that they were in such better terms with Izuku than he is but he couldn’t dwell on that now.

Katsuki looks at Denki’s confuse expression, then around the bar, “Where’s Jiro?”

“She’s preparing the stage,” Denki answers, handing a drink to a patron. “She got requested to sing.”

“Again?” Katsuki asks with a dull tone, looking at the stage. A faint spotlight was centered on it with a microphone and a chair in the middle, “I thought she stopped doing those.”

“Probably a special occasion?” Denki shrugs.

“It’s because you’re not paying your damn rent.” Katsuki scoffs.

“Wha—I am paying my rent,” Denki’s gaze shifts guiltily from side to side, “just not in time.”

Katsuki waves him off, now paying attention to the stage when he noticed the background music of the bar has stopped, replaced by a slow and steady strum of a guitar followed by faint beats.

Jiro sits on the chair, a hand place on the microphone, her posture hunch and her eyes looking at the crowd in front of her. She began to sing, her tune soft and soothing, setting the mood of the patrons as she continues to sing. By the time she was done, a faint applause from the crowd greets her ears, making her smile. She nodded in thanks for the attention then got off the stage. The usual background tune of the bar was played again.

Denki greets her with a smile when she walks back to the bar, swapping in his place.

“Seriously, though. Why didn’t you tried singing instead?” Denki asks.

“Because I’m still a licensed Hero who wants to help people?” Jiro replies, rolling her eyes. “Now move.”

Denki laughs, walking out of the bar. He heads towards Izuku’s seat, joining the three.

“Didn’t know you were secretly a fucking sap.” Katsuki sneers.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Jiro replies with a mock tone.

“You sounded like a lovestruck teenager.”

“Yeah, I was.” Jiro laughs, giving Katsuki an amused expression. “That song wasn’t for you, though.”

Before Katsuki could ask, Kirishima interrupts him, sitting next to Katsuki with a shit-eating grin plastered on his face. He has one arm place on Katsuki’s shoulder, who appeared to be contemplating if he should blast that beaming grin of his or punch it.

“Hey, Bakubro!”

“What do you want.” Katsuki asks calmly, his left eye twitching.

“Overheard you and Jiro talking about something.” Kirishima replies, his grin unwavering from Katsuki’s glowered features. “So, what cha’ talking about?”

“None of your fucking bus—”

“It’s about you know who, Eijiro.” Jiro interjects, laughing silently when Katsuki glared at her for interrupting him. She raises her hand to appease him before the costumers began to call her for their drinks.

Katsuki glances at Jiro’s retreating form before returning his gaze at Kirishima’s eager expression.

“I’m not telling you anything, so fuck off.” Katsuki stubbornly says.

“Hmm,” Kirishima jokingly ponders, gazing at the ceiling like he’s thinking hard, “based on your tone of voice, it’s probably about Izuku.” He concludes with the same grin from before.

Katsuki didn’t gave him a reply.

“Look, man. I just wanna help,” Kirishima explains with a troubled look, “and I know you don’t want to talk about it but if you’re just gonna sit there and give up then I’m here to—”

“Who the fuck says I’m giving up?” Katsuki answers without a beat.

Kirishima blinks, eyes confuse, “Wait, I thought you were rejected?” he asks with a frown.

Katsuki looks at him like he lost his head, “I didn’t even confess yet, shitbag. We were just talking.”

“Seriously? You two were, what, almost half an hour on the rooftop and you didn’t tell him?”

Katsuki grabs Kirishima’s shoulder with a tight grip, shaking him slightly. He glances towards Izuku’s direction before he looks back at Kirishima with a scowl, “You need to shut up, I’m doing this on my goddamn own and If you get in the way, so fucking help me, I’ll dig a ditch and bury you in it.”

“Okay, okay. Easy with the rant.” Kirishima says with a nervous yet soft look on his gaze, still feeling glad for his friend even if said friend was threatening him. “I still gotta tell you something.”

“Ugh, what?” Katsuki questions, hearing him out.

“They’re not together,” Kirishima explains, looking at Katsuki’s surprise gaze.

The air in the bar felt still when Katsuki heard what he said, “What the fuck do you mean?” He actually does know what his friend meant. He just needed to… clarify.

“You know who I’m talking about,” His friend retorts, smiling eagerly. “They weren’t even together since U.A.”

Katsuki looks away from Krishima. He isn’t quite sure how to process this tiny little information that’s been bugging him for years on end. That moment in U.A. was the reason why he even felt something like this. And here’s Kirishima telling him that they weren’t together since the beginning. He saw them hugged, but he didn’t hear their conversation. Ochako was crying and Izuku left her, so that means she probably got—

Rejected.

Shit.

“I’m getting a goddamn drink.” Katsuki muses, feeling a headache coming on.

“I don’t think a drink’s gonna help you solve this.” Kirishima argues.

“Shut, up. I am not dealing with this shit right now,” Katsuki gestures for Jiro, who was giving him an odd look before walking towards them.

“Okay, what happened?” Jiro asks with a pointed look.

“Shit happened. I need a drink.” Katsuki answers.

“Um, no? Alcohol and you don’t mix, remember?”

“Fuck, just give me something light. I need to clear my fucking head.”

Jiro and Kirishima shared a worried look together, clearly this isn’t what they had in mind for Bakugo to finally accept what he’s feeling. With a quiet sigh, Jiro walks to the shelf, she grabs a glass and slides it over to Katsuki then poured his glass.

Kirishima leans over to Jiro, his voice whispering when Katsuki grabbed the drink and gulps it down. “That doesn’t have alcohol, right?”

“Relax, that drink’s barely strong enough to make a man pass out, he’ll be fine.” Jiro answers, crossing her arms.

Their conversation falls deaf on Katsuki’s ears. He’s definitely not giving up on this. He had fully accepted the baggage that he knows will be thrown to him, making his life hell or pleasant.

Katsuki looks at the empty glass on his hand before he places it on the counter. He may be fine with being friends with Izuku but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting.

-

When Izuku sat down between Ochako and Tsuyu, he didn’t expect to be bombarded with questions about his love life.

The two were happily talking around him, sometimes calling for a drink and ordering snacks. Izuku hadn’t ordered himself a drink, not wanting to have a hangover in the morning by the time this day’s done.

He looks around, sighing quietly when his gaze lands on Katsuki, sitting in front of the bar, talking with the others. He was hoping his new friend followed him to the seats but he guessed Katsuki won’t always talk to him even if they just had an agreement an hour ago.

“You look troubled, Izuku.” Tsuyu points out, placing her sofa down on the table.

His face flushed, shrinking a little a bit. Was he obvious? Izuku shakes his head, giving Tsuyu one his signature smile, “Oh, no. I’m fine.” No, you’re not. “Just uh, thinking about something.”

“May I ask what it is?” Tsuyu asks, her gaze meeting his nervous ones.

“It’s nothing really. Nothing to worry about.” Izuku insists, his smile slowly dropping.

Tsuyu gives him a stop lying look. Ochako, who had been paying attention to the stage, turns to look at the two, a frown on her face. “What are you two talking about?”

“Izuku feels conflicted, it seems.” Tsuyu deadpans.

Ochako turns her gaze to a guilty Izuku.

“Seriously, Izuku. What’s the matter?” Ochako asks.

Izuku sighs, completely taken from their merciless prodding, “I feel like I did something wrong.”

“Befriending Bakugo, you mean?” Tsuyu says.

“No, no. Befriending Kaachan was the right thing to do.” Izuku explains, his expression determined. “I feel like there’s something else, I just don’t know how to pinpoint it.” He ponders with furrowed eyebrows.

“Izuku.” Ochako says slowly, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Maybe because it’s about… you know. What you’re feeling?”

Izuku flinches back, making Ochako drop her hand from his shoulders, his gaze was displeasing when he turns to look at her. “Ochako, please. I already told you, that was nothing. Will you please forget about it?”

“Come on, Izuku.” Ochako gives him a worried smile. “You haven’t even told him.”

“Then what? Risk what we’ve started just a moment ago? I don’t think so.” Izuku answers with conviction.

“You have a point but don’t you want to find out?” Tsuyu notes, drinking her soda.

“I do want to know but I don’t think it’s the right time,” Izuku sighs, his shoulders hunch. “We just started being friends.”

“Then when are you going to ask? After he finds someone else?” Ochako says, feeling a little annoyed. But she does understand Izuku’s side on this. After all, she had the same anxious thoughts as Izuku when she first confessed.

“Ochako, please.” Izuku asks with a quiet tone.

She gives him a stern look before sighing, “fine.”

Izuku nods thanks at her for dropping the subject. He turns to glance at Tsuyu’s who had a surprise expression on her face. “What?”

“If you’re sure on what you’re doing, then I won’t push you.” Tsuyu answers with a shrug.

“Yes, I’m sure.” Izuku quietly answers, his tone slightly hesitant.

“As long as you’re happy.” Tsuyu says with a smile of understanding. She turns her gaze towards the center stage. “Oh, look. Jiro’s about to sing.”

Izuku’s thankful for the shift of topic, the air still felt a little tense but he didn’t any mind, he turns to the stage, listening to the song with curiosity, away from Ochako’s hardened look.

-

The bar continues to run its course with several customers dwindling down, few people were occupying the tables, still drinking amongst themselves as the slow tune of jazz plays in the background.

The song Jiro sang was a little too close to home. Here he was trying not to overstep his boundaries with Katsuki and yet his friends still push him. He already convinced himself that’s he’s fine with the arrangement. He continues talking to the others, including Katsuki, who by the look of it, is close to losing his temper. Judging by the glasses set on the counter, Katsuki had probably drank his 10th cup. Izuku isn’t sure whether to feel impress or worry.

He sits down beside him, slightly maintaining a short distance from Katsuki in case he gets shouted on or thrown a glass.

“Hey, uh. Kaachan?” Izuku starts, expression pleased as he quietly chuckles. “I thought didn't want to get shitfaced.

“I’m not fucking drunk.” Katsuki replies, hand trying to grasp the glass in front of him, he hisses when he felt nothing.

“Uh huh, sure.” Izuku complies, slowly grabbing the bottle out of Katsuki’s sight. “I think you had enough.”

“No, hands off—you shitty bastard.” Katsuki reaches for the bottle but Izuku manages to get off the seat, standing away from a fuming Katsuki, “Gimme it!”

Izuku ran, fearing for his life when Katsuki chased him around the bar.

-

It lasted for a while, until Jiro grabs the bottle from Izuku’s hand, hiding it from Katsuki. “How much did you drink? It’s almost empty.” Jiro scolds to Katsuki who was eyeing the bottle. Katsuki let out a huff when she hid it back to the shelf.

“Let’s just do something else.” Izuku says beside Katsuki. “Come on, don’t look like at me like that. Let’s um, try the arcade?”

He pushes the seething Katsuki in front of the arcade.

-

Hours pass and Izuku’s seated among his friends, they were the only ones left on the bar, chatting the night away while Jiro continues to pour them drinks. Ochako seemed to have pass out beside him, hearing the quiet snores of his bestfriend, making him chuckle. Kirishima was telling them stories from his work, his wide grin infecting the others as he exaggeratedly gestures his movements.

“So, there was I, face to face. Waiting for the guy to hit me first, when suddenly BAM! Bakugo appears out of nowhere, scaring the poor guy shitless. He fainted so easily.”

“Who wouldn’t be?” Denki quips with a laugh. “He’s got a reputation.”

“Indeed. Criminals tend to cower into hiding when he’s on patrol.” Tsuyu adds.

“Well, they can rest easy,” Jiro points her gaze to the end of the counter. “Bakugo’s pass out.”

“Man, he really needs to work on that, he only had a few drinks from those and it’s not even 100% alcohol!” Kirishima says, walking over to Katsuki who had his face covered by the cold surface of the counter, patting his shoulder.

“Why was he drinking, anyways?” Denki asks, a hand under his chin with his elbows on the counter.

“Probably because of a certain somebody.” Jiro casually says, grabbing their empty glasses and placing them on tray, heading to the storage room to clean them.

“No, way! He has someone he likes?” Denki exclaims. “Didn’t think he’s capable.”

Izuku ears perk at this, listening on the conversation.

“Oh, he’s capable, alright.” Kirishima answers, back to his seat. “but no, he doesn’t like someone at the moment.

Izuku looks down, not entirely sure why he felt relieved when he heard that. He rolls up the sleeve of his jacket and look at his watch. It was close to midnight, which explains the quiet noice outside, devoid of its usual bustling flair. The soothing background tune continues plays till' the last costumers left the table, bidding farewells to Jiro.

“Well, that’s the last of them.” Jiro came back from the storage room, standing again behind the counter with her hand on her hips.

“Looks like it’s closing time.” Denki says, yawning slightly while he stretches his back. “Want me to the check the stalls?”

“Yeah, don’t want to find someone pass out on the floor.” Jiro replies as Denki gets off the stool, heading towards the back of the shelf.

“Need help cleaning up?” Kirishima offers, slightly fixing his clothes as he got off the stool.

“Nah, I have Denki for that.” Jiro can hear Denki’s dismayed noise in the background.

Tsuyu stood beside a sleeping Ochako. She shakes her shoulder gently, rousing her from her sleep, “Wake up, Ochako.”

Ochako mumbles quietly, eyes opening with a squint. Her hands flails lazily until Tsuyu grabs one of her arms, placing it on her shoulder. “Is there still a cab nearby?”

“Not sure, but I could give you two a ride.” Kirishima asks, also helping Katsuki to his feet while the man retaliates with a few curse words. “It’s a motorbike, though.”

“Then what about Bakugo?” Tsuyu asks.

“Um… I could take him?” Izuku offers with a nagging doubt crossing his mind, but he paid no attention to it.

“Yeah, sure. That could work.” Kirishima says, walking towards him as slowly passes Katsuki to Izuku’s shoulders. “He’s not heavy, is he?” He teases when Izuku slightly fumbles forward from the weight.

“No, I’m good.” Izuku replies with a faint smile.

“Alright, then. Here’s the address.” Kirishima told Izuku.

-

They all said goodbye to Jiro as she closes her bar.

They’re surrounded again by the cold breeze of the night. People were still coming and going, their footsteps rebounding in the air as Kirishima, Tsuyu and Izuku head towards his parked vehicle, their half-asleep friends still on their shoulders.

Kirishima sat first before Tsuyu gently places Ochako in the middle of them.

“You two gonna be fine?” Kirishima asks, reviving the engine of his bike, preparing to leave.

“Yeah, I saw a cab just a few meters from here.” Izuku replies, firming his hold on Katsuki’s arm.

“Be careful, it looks like it’s about to rain.” Tsuyu notes, giving Izuku a content look.

“You too, guys. Take care.” Izuku says, watching them leave with a wave. He sighs quietly to himself, glancing at Katsuki’s drowsy expression. He felt undeniably regretful.

-

A thunderous sound welcomes Izuku’s ears when he arrived.

He quickly pays the driver, grabbing Katsuki’s arm and hauling him out of the taxi cab. The car droves off, leaving Izuku in front of the apartment complex. The sound from before continues as tiny drops of rain touches his cheeks. He carefully dashes to the stairs, remembering that Katsuki’s apartment is on the third floor.

When he reaches the floor, Izuku breathes deeply, his friend really was heavier than him. He fixs his posture before continuing through, looking at each door’s room number before he finally found Katsuki’s.

Right, the keys. Izuku thinks, now looking at Katsuki with a nervous expression. He raises his unused hand and gently pats Katsuki’s cheek, stirring him awake.

“What,” Katsuki murmurs, eyes half-lidded; gaze towards Izuku’s apologetic eyes.

“Sorry to wake you but I uh, need your keys?” Izuku asks sheepishly.

Katsuki move slightly, head turning lazily to look at him with a deadpan expression. “Front pocket,” he replies before lowering his head on Izuku’s slightly trembling shoulders.

Izuku made a small sound when he felt the tip of Katsuki’s hair brush his cheek. The close proximity did not help his chaotic thoughts. He doesn’t regret this choice, however. Just the, inflicted feelings he’s currently having that keeps coming back every time he reasons himself.

Exasperated, Izuku uses his right hand to pat Katsuki’s rightside pocket, he hopes that the key was there since he really doesn’t want his fiery friend waking up. He lets out an annoyed huff when he felt nothing.

“Guess we’re doing this the hard way.” Izuku mutters.

Since Katsuki’s on the right side on his shoulder, he has to maneuver him to the left carefully without dropping him, which entails he needs to stand chest to chest in front of Katsuki while he checks the pocket.

A look of dismay is evident on his face but he shakes the thoughts away.

Stop it, you’re here to help. Izuku thought, arguing with himself. He grabs Katsuki’s left’s arm and places it on his forearm, steering him to his front view. He has no choice but to hold him firmly in front of him, an arm placed on Katsuki’s back while his right hand pats the pocket.

Izuku lets out a sigh of relief when he felt the keys, he grabs it hastily. He looks up smiling only to drop it seconds later when he met the amber gaze of Katsuki, who has still had the same drowsy look from before.

“Um,” Izuku stammers, looking away. “Sorry to wake you, I had to get the keys and since you were sleeping peacefully, I thought I shouldn’t disturb you so I—”

“Shut up.” Katsuki interrupts with a growl, eyes unfocused.

Izuku isn’t sure if he should move right now but since Katsuki’s a little preoccupied with his predicament, he uses this time to turn around and place the key on the lock, opening the apartment door.

“We’re here, Kaachan.” Izuku says. He turns to grab for Katsuki’s arm only to be envelope by broad arms, circling around his waist. The hold was tightening, making Izuku’s body flush in heat. It didn’t help that Katsuki lounges his head again on Izuku’s shoulders, feeling the warm breath caressing his senses.

“Kaachan, I can’t move.” Izuku whispers carefully, moving slightly to wake Katsuki’s stupor but what he got in reply was a low growl.

“You’re being loud.” Katsuki replies.

“Kaachan, please.” Izuku says, attempting to move only to stop after a few seconds. “You need to rest.”

“Don’t wanna.” Izuku hears him say but it seems what he said has followed through. The tightening hold on his waist has loosen but he can still feel Katsuki’s clinging arms.

Izuku sighs, moving towards the bedroom with Katsuki in tow. He didn’t bother to turn on the lights since the moon’s nightly rays from the outside passes through the windows, giving the room a dim candled look.

He’s about to carefully place Katsuki on the bed, only to be pulled by the weight. They both landed on the soft bed. Katsuki arms were still hook on his waist. Izuku hurries to untangle them but it seems to have tightened further, making him squeak.

“Kaachan, let go.” Izuku mumbles, moving his hips.

“No.” Katsuki replies.

It’s happening again, Izuku thought. He gave up moving, laying their quietly, looking up the ceiling while hearing Katsuki’s labored breaths. This happened once, three years ago. He vowed to forget that because he knows, he’s only going to get hurt. The warmth he’s feeling right now, the crazy thoughts he’s having? It’s all from a forgotten memory, caused by this man beside him.

Izuku finally manages to unhook the tightening hold on his waist, making Katsuki grunt in response. Izuku turns to look at him. He finally manages to talk properly with Katsuki and became his friend and yet it feels like he needs something else, something that he’s been wanting for years.

“What…” Katsuki mutters, hands moving to find the warmth again.

Maybe, he could… No, it’ll all be meaningless. Just like last time. He shouldn’t do it, but when he looked at those amber eyes in front of him, it made him lose all rational thought.

Izuku leans forward.

He could feel his heart fluttering when soft lips met rough ones. The warm taste he felt sends a tingle down his spine. It was chaste and sweet but it left a reminder on Izuku’s lips, a feeling of familiarity, a feeling of want.

“Deku?” He hears him say.

And with one word, he snaps out of it. Remembering where he has and who he’s with. Forgetting it was Katsuki who’s in front of him. Forgetting that his thoughts on love, were full of shit.

With a push, Izuku gets off the bed, stance stiffened with a feeling of sudden tiredness. He was almost near the door when he stops himself to look behind him. Katsuki’s gaze was still unfocused but his eyes yelled confusion. Izuku left the room, leaving the keys on the nightstand and locking the door on his way out.

His wet padded footsteps echo along the sidewalks. The heavy drops of rain completely engulfing his clothing as he continues to walk away from the apartment.

You’re an idiot, Izuku muses to himself, ignoring the thunderous roar above him. You denied this ever since you found out about it and yet, you’ve still done the inevitable.

Izuku doesn’t want another heartbreak. Especially if it will happen twice with the same result. The thing that happened three years ago in the reunion? Was nothing. He waited for years before he finally surrenders and gives up.

He knows it’ll end the same, even if his heart says otherwise.

 

Chapter Text

Katsuki dreams being surrounded by old classmates, another annual reunion that Kirishima keeps pestering him about. He remembers saying no at first, kicking Kirishima out of his apartment but his friend kept coming back, dawdling on and on about the reunion until he finally said fuck it.

Alcohol and he were never friends. He tried one, it didn’t do anything. He tried twice, his body felt wobbling, and on the third try, he passes out; lying on the guestroom’s bed with his legs dangling on the edge of the bed.

He didn’t notice there was a lumped form on the other side, blanket covering most of what he can see. Katsuki wasn’t sure what to do at first but when he felt cold air he snuggles in, startling them when he nuzzled his face to the heat. He didn’t care who it was.  He was tired, sleepy and angry. It was Kirishima’s fault why he’s here.

When the figure spoke, Katsuki didn’t hear him. When they moved, Katsuki tightened his grip.

“Quit moving.” He mutters.

They did stop but he could feel them moving again, a hand gently petting his head.

It was comforting for Katsuki.

“Kaachan.” The voice says, lulling him to sleep.

-

Katsuki wakes up with a start.

He Hears the heavy sound of rain drops from the outside. His clock reads 1AM, he doesn’t remember who got him home. It was safe to say it was Kirishima but somehow, he needs to confirm it.

He was lying on his bed face down, slant gaze staring at his opened window. He should be feeling the cold by now, but surprisingly he feels cozy. He raises himself off the bed and sits upright.

He felt a little woozy but still capable enough to think straight. It’s only been an hour and a half. He wasn’t unconscious when they left the bar but that doesn’t mean he knows what happened. Katsuki could remember the blurred lights, the sound of an engine and hands caressing his skin, he feels a sense of familiarity.

Katsuki isn’t sure why it bothers him that he can’t remember but there’s a nagging feeling inside his head and he knows it’s not a headache. He grabs his phone from his pocket and opened it. He hisses from the small light and readjusts his sight. He opens the chat box.

 

[1:15 AM] Bakugo: Oi, pinhead.

[1:17 AM] Kirishima: Wow, you’re still awake? Thought you’d be pass out.

[1:18 AM] Bakugo: Shut up, I’m not that easy to pass out, you fucker. Did you take me home?

[1:20 AM] Kirishima: Nope, I helped Asui and Ochako home. Used the motorbike.

[1:22 AM] Bakugo: Then who?

[1:23 AM] Kirishima: Izuku took you home. Why you asking? Did something happen?

 

Katsuki didn’t bother to reply. He closes his phone and slowly stands up, steadily walking towards the window pane to close it shut. It was still heavily raining outside, which questioned Katuski if the freckled idiot has gotten home. He remembers Izuku mentioning that he takes a train to get home but how? At this hour? While it’s raining?

Katsuki grits his teeth. He knows something happened but doesn’t know what he’d done. The dream just a moment ago was a memory.

A memory that he thinks it happened twice.

“Shit.” Katsuki mutters, walking out of his bedroom to the kitchen. He grabs a glass of water and gulps it down. His mind’s a little hazy, but it’s all coming back to him.

He remembers little bits of Izuku taking him home, placing him on his bed. The look of nervousness evident on his face when Katsuki’s unfocused eyes turns to him. The feeling of warmth when he holds Izuku in place and the panic driven stare that he saw on the Izuku’s freckled face when he…

“That idiot.” Katsuki growls, he went back to the bedroom and grabs an umbrella. He dashes to the door.

No wonder he felt a tingle on his lips.

-

The rain continues, along with Katsuki’s heavy padded footsteps on the sidewalks.

He’s been out for a while, walking a few meters away from his apartment. The lights from the lamp posts helping him see through the dark corners. There were no cabs but convenience stores were still opened. He checked each store that was nearest to his apartment but didn’t find Izuku.

“Where the hell is he.” Katsuki mutters, walking out of the last store.

It’s possible that Izuku already gotten home but the last train to district one left two hours ago. No cabs are out at this time of the day so Izuku couldn’t have took one home. Katsuki grinds his teeth, damn that bastard for making him worry. A small twinge of guilt is ebbed on his mind for the passing minutes now and he’s not sure why.

“I’m gonna find him and when I do...” Katsuki huffs under his breath.

He tries to remember, memories passing through his head. When they were kids, they always hang out to the same place. Izuku by his side, watching him with awe and glee. Izuku grasping his hand, heading to the playground. Izuku cheerfully talking to him, sitting beside him on a swing set.

The corner of Katsuki’s lips perks slightly at the old memories. Everything felt simple back then. No quirks, no fighting, only childhood revelations.

And that’s when he remembered…

“Fucking Deku.” Katsuki curses, he sprints back to where he came from.

…The old park was just a meter away from his apartment.

-

“You better be here.” Katsuki says while he catches his breath.

He always passes through this park when he jogs. It looks the same as it was a couple of years ago, besides the added width and park benches. He walks through, holding the umbrella with a tight grip. Katsuki remembers feeling the world bowing to his feet, showing off his quirks to other kids, telling them what to do. It was his prime time, everything was all about him.

But he learned, that not everything goes his ways. He had to fight tooth and nail just to get to where he is. To prove that he’s more than just a man with a powerful quirk. He’s hero, damn it. Not everything should always be about him, because right now.

It’s about Izuku.

Outdoor lights help his away as he passes through, all perked on stone fences. It’s still raining but it wasn’t as heavy as it was a few moments ago. With a hasty gait, Katsuki continues looking until he finally saw a familiar shade of a green.

Izuku was facing away from him, hands holding the chain of the swing set while he idly moves. His hood was up, a fruitless attempt at protecting himself since he’s already drenched from the rain.

“Deku!” Katsuki yells, he saw the man stiffened from the tone of his voice.

“Kaachan?” Izuku glances to his way, a look of surprise evident on his features. “What are you doing here?”

“I could as you the same thing. It’s raining and you’re out here, embracing the cold like a damn hobo.” Katsuki scoffs.

He saw Izuku flinches at his words, he scowls all too knowingly. Well, that was insulting. Katsuki scolds mentally, he scratches the back of his head and growls quietly, “What I meant to say—”

“I get what you mean,” Izuku replies with a small smile, interjecting Katsuki’s words. “I’m fine, Kaachan. You should go home.”

Katsuki’s bared his teeth. He looked for Izuku for about an hour now, no way in hell is he leaving him in the rain. He looked like a drowned puppy.

“You’re coming with me.” Katsuki snarls, grabbing one of Izuku’s cold hands.

“Kaachan, wait!” Izuku’s eyes widen when he felt warm hand touches his. “I’m fine, really.”

“You wanna catch hypothermia or some shit? Come on.” Katsuki pulls him off the swing set, still clutching Izuku’s hand.

“Kaachan, please. I—” Izuku says quietly. “I really… don’t want to see you right now.”

Katsuki tenses, his clutched hand loosening his grip on Izuku’s. He has no right to feel hurt but he forces out a question. “Why?”

“Because… I might do something selfish.” Izuku replies, his gaze away from Katsuki’s.

Katsuki squints. What the hell does he mean, he couldn’t help but think. Izuku had always been selfless in Katsuki’s eyes, always helping others before him, always forgetting himself. Always looking at Katsuki with the same light. He doesn’t understand what he means by being selfish, all he knows is that Katsuki’s the one being selfish right now.

“That makes two of us.” Katsuki retorts. He tightened his grip on Izuku’s hand again, pulling him out of his daze stupor.

“What?” Izuku queries, panic noticeable from his voice.

“I’m saying,” Katsuki says, shoulders hunched. He glances behind Izuku, meeting his confuse look. “I feel the same.”

-

The walk towards his apartment was unexpectedly reassuring.

Izuku didn’t ask anything yet and Katsuki was glad for that. If they he’s going to tell him about the things he’d been hiding, then it’s better if it’s in the comfort of his own home. Away from the brisk wind and cold rain.

When they reached his door, he let go of Izuku’s hand and opened the door. He notices Izuku took a moment of hesitance before he silently enters the apartment. Katsuki told him to sit on the couch. He heads to his bedroom closet and grabs a towel then went to his kitchen to brew coffee for the both of them.

Izuku glances around his surroundings. He didn’t manage to have a good look at it when he left quickly a few minutes ago. The walls are painted in standard white, from the living room to the kitchen. The balcony door is slightly ajar, causing the living room to feel fresh. To its side was the kitchen, counters, stove and a fridge attached to the wall.

Katsuki was near the counter, finishing the pot of coffee. He changed into a tank top and comfortable jeans. A towel and two pairs of clothing is on his shoulders, probably for Izuku’s soaked ones.

“Kaachan?” Izuku asks, voice slow.

“Not now,” Katsuki replies quickly. He held two mugs, one for him and Izuku. He places them on the center table then threw the towel and pair of clothing to Izuku, eyes glaring but not aimed at Izuku’s green ones. “Go take a bath.”

“Oh,” Izuku says nervously, “Okay.” He gets up from the couch and heads to the bathroom.

Katsuki’s amber eyes follows Izuku’s retreating form until he hears the bathroom door shut. He groans in frustration, feeling the tension leave his shoulders.

“Damn it.” Katsuki curses, staring at the ceiling with a frown.

Was this the right time to tell him? Just after their so-called friendship talk a few hours ago?

What the hell did I meant? Katsuki ponders. That’s he’s selfish for keeping it to himself? He’s selfish for being impatient around Izuku? No, there’s more to that. He’s selfish for wanting more, the feeling of yearning. He’s selfish because despite having this messed up feelings for the passing seven years, he avoided Izuku until the day they finally separated their ways.

When he thinks about it, he was glad he wasn’t forgiven back in the bar. If he asked Izuku in the old days, he’d be easily forgiven without much thought with those green eyes always full of selflessness. It would have been easy and Katsuki doesn’t want that.

-

Izuku sighs in relief, his skin flushed in hot water.

It relaxes the tensioned muscles around his body, stopping his mind from combusting from the wild thoughts he’s currently having.

He’s back in the apartment again, despite taking advantage of Katsuki an hour ago. It was a poor choice in his part. He knew it would happen again yet he let his buried feelings take the wheel.

Ever since he proposed to Katsuki about being friends, his mind kept wondering on the what ifs. Like maybe, he could try something else, maybe there’s more to this than he thinks, maybe there’s a possibility… that Katsuki feels the same.

“Why do I keep thinking about that.” Izuku says, lowering himself further from the heat of the bath.

He insists on hiding it but deep down, he wants Katsuki to know.

Izuku rubbed his temples, this was more complicated that I thought. He raises himself from the bathtub and got out, cool air graces his soak skin as he steps on the cold tiles. Izuku shivers slightly, grabbing the towel and tapping himself dry.

I need to tell him, Izuku thought while he dresses from the clothes giving to him. He did say he felt the same, right? Maybe there’s more to it.

Izuku sighs, shaking the thoughts away. You’re fooling yourself. He was a mere moment away from telling Katsuki something before he was told to take a bath. For that, he’s slightly grateful for the interruption.

He straightened his clothes, the sleeves were a little bit long but he could work with that. He folds the end of the pants then dumps the towel on the damper before opening the door.

The clothes were warm and familiar.

Just like Kaachan. Izuku thought with a dry smile.

-

Katsuki straightened himself when he heard the bathroom door open. He grabs his mug and sips, tasting the usual sharp taste of the coffee. He pretended to be busy, turning on the tv while lowering the volume. Izuku sits beside him, the background noise of the tv occupying the living space.

The tension’s in the air, making Katsuki doubt what he wants to say. Oi, I need to tell you something but I’ll probably end up avoiding you again.

Fuck no, that’s not it. Katsuki muses with grit teeth.

I kind of like you, but I’m not sure how and when I like, like you.

Katsuki mentally screeches. He was so busy with himself that he forgot Izuku has sat beside him, observing out of the corner of his eye.

Izuku can see that Katsuki was trying say something but he doesn’t want to interrupt out of courtesy, even though he can feel his skin tingling in fear to what he thinks is rejection. He shakes his head, deciding to take a sip from the coffee made by Katsuki instead of thinking about that. He regrets his decision when he let out a small yelp, not used to the pure taste of coffee.

Katsuki takes notice, stopping his onslaught of mental stress to look at Izuku’s grim look.

“Is it bad?” Katsuki questions with a raise brow.

“Oh, no. It’s just that,” Izuku shrinks from his eat, still holding the mug with both his hands. “I usually put cream and sugar whenever I make one.” He looks up, noticing Katsuki’s slant gaze, directly aimed at him, Izuku sputters out a reply. “B-but It’s fine, though. I don’t mind the taste.”

“Wait,” Katsuki says, standing up from the couch. He walks over to kitchen counters and opens a cabinet, making Izuku look at him with a nervous look. Katsuki grabs a sugar packet and closes the cabinet, he walks back to the couch and sits down beside the bewildered Izuku, grabbing his hand.

“Here,” Katsuki says without taking a glance at Izuku. His hands were warm, just like it always been. He lets go, composure tight as he hisses out quickly, “I don’t have cream but sugar’s fine, right?”

“Yeah,” He hears Izuku say, his voice gentle. “Thanks.”

Katsuki mumbles, he could hear the soft rip of the packet and the satisfied sound of Izuku. Everything felt calm even if the tension keeps itching in their skin. The background noise of the tv didn’t help Katsuki’s ongoing thoughts. He felt the cushion seat shifts it weight, Izuku’s shoulder bumping to his. Katsuki still hasn’t turn to look at him, favoring the terrible commercial airing on the tv. When he felt something brushed his cheek, he glances at the source.

Izuku’s head has rest comfortably on his shoulder. Both hands wrapping on the mug while he takes small sips, he seems to be enjoying the comfortable silence, his lips smiling faintly.

Katsuki doesn’t feel comfortable. It made his stomach churn, heartbeat rising steadily. His cheeks felt hot and he knows he’s flushed in embarrassment. The silence didn’t help, making him feel suffocating, egging him on of what he was supposed to do. When he had enough, he finally looks at Izuku.

“Hey, Deku.” Katsuki says quietly. “I need to ask you something.” Take it easy.

Izuku didn’t move from his spot, he glances upward, meeting Katsuki’s gaze. At first Izuku didn’t say anything, making Katsuki’s spine shudder in anticipation.

“Yes?” Izuku replies.

“Do you…” Katsuki throat felt dry, but he’s determined to see this through, “see me as a friend?”

Katsuki felt the weight on his shoulder leave. Izuku has sat up straight, his eyes look uncertain and confuse, he gapes and mumbles for a bit, straining Katsuki’s ears to hear what he’s saying. He follows Izuku’s movement when he steadily places the mug on the table, his body turned fully towards Katsuki’s.

“I don’t—” Izuku averts his eyes. “I do see you that way…”

That stings, Katsuki croaks mentally but he continues to listen, expression unchanged.

“… remember back then? I tried so hard to be your friend. I saw you differently than others. You were a reminder, a role model, someone I have looked up to…” Izuku grasp his hands together, voice shaking but clear, “but that all faded when I finally saw you for who you are. How ruthless and reckless you were to the point of endangering yourself, how your pride was so high up, you didn’t need anyone but yourself… a person who, I was supposed to hate.”

Shit. Katsuki doesn’t know what to say, he places his own mug to the table quickly, his voice strained. “Deku, I—”

“I’m not finished.” Izuku cuts off, his tone soft and his body relaxed. “Do you want to know why I don’t hate you?”

Katsuki shakes his head, not thrusting his words.

“It’s because,” Izuku looks at him with admirable gaze, his hand sneaking towards Katsuki’s tentative hands, grasping them gently. “I finally understood you.”

“What?” Katsuki manages to say from the tense atmosphere.

“You changed, Kaachan.” Izuku says with a smile, fully grasping Katsuki’s hands with a tight hold. “Until we graduated. I have never let my eyes off you,” Izuku blushes slightly. “Yes, I know. That uh, sounded stalker-ish but throughout the years, you changed into the most well-endowed hero that I know.” He chuckles uncertainly, voice trailing off. “I continued to admire you, until I realize that it was more than that.

Katsuki looks at him with unreadable gaze, encouraging Izuku to continue.

“I found out after I realized that you were avoiding me,” Izuku snorts quietly. “I was jealous in a way, like I wasn’t part of your life anymore. Sounds lame, right?” He shakes his head with a frown. “I watched you from a far, then on. Burying what I thought was things that I shouldn’t have.”

When Izuku stopped talking, his stance looks guarded, expecting something in response. Katsuki doesn’t know how to proceed. Izuku basically confessed to him.

“You don’t have to say anything!” Izuku forces out, interjecting through Katsuki’s thoughts. “I’m fine if you don’t feel the same way—Just… let me have this moment, please.”

The silence returns tenfold. Izuku’s last words echoes grudgingly in the air. Katsuki can feel Izuku’s grasped hand trembling.

All those times, Izuku already felt something for him? Katsuki wasn’t even sure of what he was feeling back then. Mixed feeling bombarded him constantly throughout his school days. Was it hatred, love or resentment? It didn’t help that his heart ached when he found Izuku and Ochako back in the classroom.

It took him years to settle with what he’s feeling right now, but here’s Izuku, already set himself a stone, waiting quietly for him.

That just pisses him off.

“Damn it.” Katsuki hisses, pulling Izuku’s hand towards him. He heard the man yelp, body colliding to his. He wraps his arm around his Izuku’s shoulders, hugging him tightly. He let out a huff of breath before speaking. “Deku, you idiot.”

Why did you wait for me?

“Kaachan,” Izuku says, body struggling from the hold. “What are you—”

“Shut up, shut up.” Katsuki grits out. “I’m—shit— I’m…sorry.”

Izuku has stopped struggling under Katsuki’s arms. Katsuki could feel his heartbeat escalating, thumping soundly from his chest. He knows Izuku could hear it too, could feel the man clutch tightly behind his back.

“I’m sorry… for making you wait.” Katsuki says, his voice low.

Katsuki felt Izuku loosen his hold, he wasn’t struggling and neither was he shaking. He pushes Izuku gently, their bodies chest to chest. Izuku slowly turns to him, meeting his amber orbs.

He was graced with Izuku’s warmest of smiles, green eyes glistening from the television’s light. Izuku hands slowly treads to his cheeks, gently petting, pulling Katsuki towards him. He could feel Izuku’s breath hovering, their distance close.

“I... love you,” Katsuki hears Izuku say softly.

They slowly filled the distance, his lips meeting his. Katsuki could feel the sweet taste; soft and familiar, just enough to leave a permanent taste on his lips. Izuku chuckles softly as he pulls back slightly, admiring Katsuki's blissful expression. Izuku places his hands behind Katsuki's neck and pulled him closer for a hug.

“You tasted bitter, Kaachan.” Izuku says with a smile, arms resting around his shoulders.

“Yeah, well.” Katsuki rests his head near Izuku's cheek. “You’re too sweet."