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Bakugou Katsuki sleeps on the floor.

Not like, once in a while.  Not even when it’s the weekend and everyone’s downstairs doing things, so people tend to pass out where they lay as the night creeps into early morning.  No, Bakugou purposefully seeks out floorspace to crash onto and sleep.  He brings his own blankets.  His comforter is the ridiculous kind of puffy, like the sort they would put on people who are almost frozen solid and they want them to feel one last bit of the world’s kindness before death takes them.

“Dude,” Kirishima says to a fluffy mound of blankets one evening, “why are you sleeping on the floor?  You have a room.”

“My room is too fucking cold, it’s warmer down here,” growls the blankets.

“Get a space heater?”

“Mind your own fucking business.”

Bakugou sleeping in the common areas like it’s no big deal seems to give everyone else permission to be just as bizarre, and little by little Kirishima starts learning things about his classmates he never knew.  Sometimes never wanted to know.

Uraraka goes berserk whenever someone lets the water run instead of filling up the sink to do dishes.  “It’s wasteful!” she’ll argue, to anyone who will or will not listen, and when told that they’re not the ones paying the water bill so who cares she goes on this tirade about water conservation and this is why utilities prices go up and on and on. Kirishima becomes so familiar with the modern water industry that he’s pretty sure he could write a book about it.

Aoyama does not like coffee.  He actually hates coffee; when people make coffee, he sneers at the machine as he passes by for his French whatever-whatever teas with little pieces of actual flowers floating in them.  Kirishima asked him once what was wrong with plain old green tea and Aoyama had given him that ridiculously coy smile before pulling down more boxes of tea than Kirishima knew could fit in that cabinet.  “I don’t even understand French,” Kirishima had told him in exasperation to get him to stop.

“Isn’t a French press a thing?  A coffee thing?”  Sero, the voice of reason, saves Kirishima probably so he can cash in on a favor at a later time.  “Aren’t you into French stuff?”

Aoyama nearly has an aneurism, repeating, “Non non non,” six times in a row before Kirishima can escape.

Ashido hates getting dressed right out of the bath so sometimes she walks back to her room in a towel.  “You’re gay, protect me from Mineta,” she demands of Kirishima one day.

“I’m bi actually,” Kirishima says, “and aren’t you friends with literally all the other girls?  Wouldn’t you rather them protect you instead of a guy?”

“Mineta would just prey on all of us, he’s so gross.  I’m not gonna make them go through that!” 

Kirishima’s not sure why Ashido thinks he’s any better than the other boys in their class.  It’s not like his heart doesn’t pound when he sees how the towel squeezes her boobs and how pretty and long her legs are since said towel only reaches mid-thigh, but apparently he’s been labeled safe space so he walks her to her room because he’s not about to be a jerk and tell her no.  He’ll just have to make sure to keep his eyes forward.  “Why don’t you get dressed after your bath?”

“It’s all steamy in there!  I don’t get totally dry.  And you know, you’re supposed to let your skin air-dry, it’s better for it.”  Kirishima never knew so much about skin, either.

Sero eats peanut butter and Nutella and other spreads right out of the jar.

Jirou leaves her socks all over the place.

Iida will literally dump out people’s drinks if they don’t use the coasters he’s placed strategically in neat stacks upon every single wooden surface.

Tokoyami drops feathers in the baths, like the little down ones that are impossible to pick up.

Kouda is so quiet that he can, has, and will continue to inadvertently sneak up on people and scare the living daylights out of them.

Satou bakes like crazy and leaves the dishes for someone else to do.

Yaoyorozu likes weird foods that stink up the fridge.

Todoroki didn’t even know how to take trash outside.  Kirishima had to show him.

“Okay,” Kaminari tells Kirishima one day when most of them are lounging around on the couches after a particularly grueling exercise day, “aside from the fact that you get to see Ashido in a towel like five times a week-”

“Dude, I didn’t ask for that-”

“-we’ve all decided that you’re a good guy.  So you’re the den mother now.”

Kirishima looks over the collection of his classmates, minus a few key players.  He settles on Tsuyu because she’s usually reasonable, good head on her shoulders, doesn’t often shift responsibility onto others like Kaminari is currently doing.  “What’s this about?”

“You’re our den mother, ribbit.”

“I’m not gonna be anybody’s moth- wouldn’t Iida be a better den mother?!  He’s the class president!”

Through laborious discussion, the students of 1-A come to a near unanimous decision that Iida, as class president, already has too much on his plate and therefore cannot possibly be their den mother.  He would create even more rules, and then enforce them.  Unacceptable.

“I don’t even know what a den mother does.”

“It’s cool man, you’re already doing it.”

While Kirishima does put Kaminari into a headlock for about five oppressively sweaty minutes, upon further reflection he has to admit that he is.  He is already doing it, damn it.

 


 

When nothing really changes after the announcement, Kirishima lets it go.  He has his own studies to focus on after all, and finals do not suddenly halt their terrifying approach just because his classmates-slash-roommates are really weird, really eccentric people.  Nobody asks anything more or less of him than usual. Maybe a few favors once in a while, but Kirishima’s never had a problem lending a helping hand.  It’s actually comfortingly familiar; his days back home were filled with hours and hours of looking after his little sisters and he’d really started to miss doing that since moving into the dorms.

Until today.

“Kirishima!  Monsieur Kirishima.”

He puts down his dumbbell and looks at Aoyama, who has propped himself up in his bedroom doorway dramatically.  He doesn’t move until Kirishima asks, “Uh, what?”

“There is a fight.  Downstairs.  Sweet Uraraka and lovely Yaoyorozu are having a squabble.”

“What?”

“A tiff!  A row!  A disagreement, monsieur!”

“I- so what?  Are they like, punching each other?”

“Non non non.”  Aoyama seems unable to enter Kirishima’s room.  He hovers stiffly in the doorway, a sparkly vampire fended off by the stink of sweat and the lack of disco.

It takes a moment, but when it suddenly dawns on Kirishima why he’s being informed he waves his hands. “Oh wow, no, no no.  I’m not- dude, no.”

“You must!”

“I’m not gonna to go break up an argument just because-”

“You are our mother-”

“I’m not a mom!”

Den mother,” Aoyama corrects himself with a sniff.  “Come!  It’s not beautiful for ladies to fight.”

“You really entered the wrong profession,” Kirishima sighs, but obediently gets up and follows him.  Aoyama holds his nose because Kirishima has been working out in his room for the last hour; maybe his stench alone will reorganize their priorities.

When he gets there he sees half the class perched on various kitchen chairs and stools, watching Yaoyorozu and Uraraka debating heatedly over-

“Pro wrestling,” Kirishima says, disbelief wafting from his voice even more potent than the BO wafting from his pits.  Two even sweatier men in tiny costumes bounce off of the ring ropes on the TV behind them.  “You’re kidding me.”

Uraraka whirls and points at Aoyama with a fury only seldom seen.  “Aoyama, you rat!”

Aoyama absconds toward the elevators, leaving Kirishima there to die.

“Uhh…he said you guys were fighting, so…”

“We’re not fighting,” Yaoyorozu sniffs, crossing her legs delicately.  “I’m simply informing Ochako of the misunderstandings surrounding the current belt champion’s ascent from total obscurity-”

“Put yer fancy words away, Momo!  We’re talking real talk right now!”

Kirishima figures he should get a sports drink if he’s going to be down here anyway.  He heads for the kitchen and wriggles past the crowd of classmates and finds, of all people, Bakugou sitting on the counter of the kitchen, drinking chocolate milk. 

Chocolate milk!  Bakugou!  The novelty of it is staggering.

“What,” Bakugou asks, glaring down at Kirishima over his chocolate milk mustache.

Kirishima grabs his drink from the fridge.  “Nothing.”  He debates for a moment, for as long as it takes to twist open the seal on the bottle before deciding he might as well and hops up onto the counter next to him.

Bakugou wipes his mouth with the collar of his shirt.

Uraraka seizes Ashido’s much more advanced smartphone and beings to frantically fact-check while yelling about gym loyalties.

“You fucking reek,” Bakugou says conversationally, capping his chocolate milk bottle to shake it back up.

Such an objective statement requires no comment.  “How long have they been fighting?”

“At least twenty minutes.”  This time Bakugou puts his whole mouth over the bottle’s opening instead of sipping his drink like a civilized person and Kirishima has to swallow hard and look away.  “Chicks are fucking weird.”

“Everybody in this class is weird,” Kirishima points out, because it’s true.  Not a one of them is innocent.

 


 

For two weeks Kirishima has no hair gel, and he feels like a complete fool.

Kaminari doesn’t understand.  Kaminari, with his unique hair streaks and his supermodel locks, he doesn’t understand a damn thing about what the working class has to go through.  “Just go to the store and get some hair gel,” he tells Kirishima, like it’s that simple.

“Dude, look at my hair.”  Kirishima holds up a chunk of it.  “It’s thick.  It’s powerful.  I can’t get it to stand up right if I don’t use the stuff I order.  It’ll just flop over like two hours later.”

Sero has the nerve to say, “We always thought you were like, using your quirk to make it stand up or something.”

“It doesn’t work like that!  My quirk makes it like rock hard, I can’t like, it doesn’t just make it stand up-”

Kaminari sips his water.  “Can’t you just train?  Y’know, git gud?”

“How can I git gud?!  My hair’s dead, it doesn’t have any muscles!”

“Hair isn’t dead dude, it grows from your skull doesn’t it?”

“Yeah but it’s dead when it leaves your scalp!”

“What?”

“It’s dead!  My hair is dead!”

Kirishima is trying to explain to Kaminari why hair doesn’t just ‘go up’ like he’s suggesting hair should do when Bakugou walks by and grabs Kirishima’s hair.

No- he doesn’t just grab his hair.  He stops, gives it a long, severe, considering look before shoving both hands into it.  Kirishima wracks his memory to see if he’d done anything to warrant death because usually when Bakugou just grabs things it’s either because he wants them, or he wants to kill them.  “Uh, my dude,” says Kirishima when he can’t recall having insulted Bakugou’s favorite idol-heavymetal fusion band or having (recently) taken some of his food when he wasn’t looking, “everything okay?”

“You need to cut it,” growls Bakugou, the world’s most aggressive good Samaritan.

Maybe Kirishima should stop concentrating on how good it feels to have Bakugou’s fingers in his hair and instead listen to the guy with explosive hands cradling his crackable eggshell skull.  “Huh?”

“You need to cut,” and here he pulls, ignoring Kirishima’s yelps and swatting hands, “your stupid hair.  You can’t keep using that heavy duty shit, it contributes to hair loss.  And you got goddamn split ends anyway, cut your hair.”

“Dude, you’re gonna contribute to my hair loss, leggo!”  Kirishima finally manages to extract himself from Bakugou’s grasp, tenderly holding his abused scalp.  “What are you talking about?”

Bakugou tells them some weird thing about shiny-scalped bald people and dead skin cells and pores and follicles that sounds completely gross, but very informed.  Of course, Bakugou is one of those people who could sound confident reciting just about anything.  He could rattle off a prediction to tomorrow’s lottery numbers and sell a hundred tickets on it.

“You just have to use the right shit.  Which is not that hair cement crap you slap into your hair every fucking day.”

Kaminari is not convinced, but only on principle.  Kirishima hypothesizes it’s because Kaminari likes to be one of the few people in class who will bother contesting what Bakugou claims, like the neighborhood boy brave enough to pull on the mean dog’s tail.  “How do you know?”

Bakugou sneers.  “My mom’s a personal stylist.”

Kirishima can feel the attitude between the three of them shift; he can tell, through some incredible higher-level shared synaptic responses shit, that he, Sero and Kaminari are all wondering the same thing:

Does she practice on Bakugou?

It’s hard to tell sometimes if Bakugou is attractive; his face is perpetually scrunched up in disgust for the peasants he has to associate with in daily life, brows drawn down and wrinkled, lip curled.  He looks like yakuza, but like one of the low-tier guys, Uraraka had once idly observed, watching Bakugou squat on some fake rubble during an exercise.  Look at that.  Give him a dragon tattoo and he’d fit right in.

(During lunch Kirishima asked Bakugou if he would like to get a dragon tattoo one day, to which Bakugou responded shit, that’d be wicked, thusly enduring everybody’s choked laughter in furious confusion for nearly a full minute before trying to upend the table.)

“Y’know, your ass is weird too.”

Kirishima returns from his out-of-body mindsharing experience.  “Huh?”

“You.”  Bakugou’s eyes are like two little stoplights, two blots of ‘do not cross’ as he glares at Kirishima like he can tell they were remembering embarrassing shit about him.  “You’re just as weird as the rest of them.”

“Yeah, I know,” Kirishima says in confusion, because one does not purchase a clock with flexing arms on it unless one is perfectly comfortable with his own oddities.

Bakugou leaves Kaminari and Sero looking just as befuddled as Kirishima feels.  “What the hell was that?” Sero wonders aloud. “Did you piss him off?”

“Maybe he seriously hates your hair,” Kaminari suggests, ever unhelpful.

Still, Kirishima can understand that.  Right now, he seriously hates his hair too.

 


 

Tokoyami drops something out of his locker one day when they’re changing for gym.

“Yo,” Kirishima says, stooping to scoop it up.  It’s some crazy necklace with a pendant, this upside-down cross coming out of the eyes and mouth of the skull and-

“You see nothing,” Tokoyami hisses as he snatches it and stuffs it back into his locker.  He must feel bad though, because despite the blush Kirishima can see creeping down the back of his neck he turns just enough to flick a look at Kirishima over his shoulder.  “…thank you.”

Kirishima barely manages to get in a hesitant, “Sure,” before Tokoyami is already struggling into his cloak and hurrying off so he decides then and there, this is something to investigate.

He jumps Tokoyami after class.  “Hey can we talk?”

Tokoyami looks at him down his nose- beak- the front of his face.  Which is a long way to look because there’s a lot of it, but he finally nods and sighs and unhooks Kirishima’s arm from around his shoulders.  “Come,” he says wearily, leading the way back around one of the practice gyms. 

The wind is consistently strong enough on the gym side of the building that all the trees grow their branches into its wake; it makes the hill, bereft of the afternoon sun, unreasonably cold from noon to night.  Kirishima watches in amazement as Tokoyami’s feathers auto-poof to retain heat.  At least, he thinks that’s what it is.  Birds do that to retain heat, or to look bigger and thus more intimidating but Tokoyami isn’t a bird so he can’t possibly be trying to intimidate Kirishima or anything.

“You wished to speak to me,” Tokoyami states in a tone of voice that leads Kirishima to believe he’s had to redirect people’s attention away from his poofy feathers more than once.

“Yeah, like, I just wanted to ask what’s up…?”  He doesn’t even need to see Tokoyami’s deadpan expression to know how lame that sounded so he clears his throat and tries again.  “I mean, not in a general way obviously.  But like, you always get so cagey and stuff when people notice the punk thing-”

Goth,” Tokoyami mutters, shoving his hands into his pockets.

“Goth thing,” Kirishima corrects himself.  “I’m just saying, how come you’re embarrassed?  It’s stuff you like, right?”

Tokoyami leans back against the wall, staring somewhere around Kirishima’s knees.  “I’m…not accustomed to people simply accepting it as something I like.”

Kirishima decides to go for it and leans against the wall next to Tokoyami before just sinking down into a crouch.  Can’t look down and away if that’s where his eyes are!  “What, because of your quirk?”  Kirishima tilts his head thoughtfully.  “Did you get picked on in middle school or something?”

Tokoyami manages to find a place to look away, the bastard.

“Gotcha.”  Kirishima nods.  “Okay, I’ll cool it with the questions.  Goth stuff is on the DL.  Nobody has to know, I didn’t see nothin’.”

Tokoyami eyeballs him hard enough that Kirishima feels kind of like a mouse lecturing a hawk.  “You’re a curious person,” Tokoyami mumbles, which isn’t at all what Kirishima expected after a look like that.

“Sure, I like to know stuff as much as the next guy.”

“That’s not what I mean.”

What the heck else could he have meant?  But Tokoyami doesn’t seem inclined to elaborate so Kirishima just pushes himself up to stand properly, stretching his arms over his head.  “Anyway, try not to be so embarrassed!  It took me a while too but this place isn’t like other schools.  I don’t think you’ll catch a lot of crap for things like that here.”

“I will take that wisdom under advisement,” promises Tokoyami, still giving him that weird look.  It’s probably the best he’s going to get.

 


 

Because they are children and because they are stupid, Kirishima stays up late one night with Kaminari, Jirou, Ashido, Sero, Hagakure, Ojirou and Todoroki (of all people, Todoroki) playing Truth or Dare by candlelight.

“Why candles?” Kirishima asks, watching Todoroki very carefully touch his fingers to the wicks to light them.  He’d burned the first couple down by a third before he got the hang of it.

“It’s atmospheric!”  Hagakure clutches a pillow. 

“I thought that was for ghost stories.”

“People are more honest in the dark,” Ojirou supplies supportively.  “I read a study on it, something about vulnerability or…something.”

“It smells like a funeral home in here.”  Sero pinches his nose shut.  “Todoroki, why’d you have to torch the only scented one?”

“My bad.”  Todoroki places the last candle down and sits within the circle, looking every inch as uncomfortable as ever.  Kirishima reaches over to thump him on the back because while he doesn’t observe the same level as aloofness as Bakugou, Todoroki is a rare sight when it comes to hanging out.  Kirishima suspects that unlike Bakugou, however, it’s more a matter of him having no idea how to assimilate himself within a herd of like-minded people rather than due to any abject disgust for socialization.

“Okay,” Kaminari says loudly, assuming the role of ringleader by virtue of being the one to suggest the game, “we all ready?  Let us determine who begins with ye olde bottle spin.”  He holds out his hand toward Jirou, who lowers her Coke.

“What?  Use an empty bottle!  It’s gonna go flat!”

“Do you see an empty bottle here?  C’mon, hand it over, I’ll buy you a new one.”

Jirou screws the cap on, grumbling.

The bottle lands on Ashido, which Kirishima personally thinks was a good cosmic choice given that Ashido is enthusiastic about anything and everything to a degree that makes him feel a little repressed.  “Dare!  I want to do a dare!  Come up with a good one, Kaminari- and nothing gross!  I’m not kissing anybody.”

Kirishima has to hand it to Hagakure and Ojirou.  The candles do make things atmospheric.  It’s nice, learning about his classmates this way instead of through peculiar habits and irritating routines.  It’s nice to look across the circle and watch Jirou stutter her way through her answer to Do you like anybody in our year?  It’s nice, learning about each other normally sometimes. 

The heroism, the danger, the thrill of pushing ones boundaries- Kirishima would be lying if he said he didn’t like that, but sometimes the danger can be too much.  It’s in the different ways it tastes.  And while he can look around the circle at the faces of his classmates and see in each of them something changed from when they’d first began, Kirishima can’t help but find it a little bittersweet.

Games like these, they just don’t have the same innocence to them.  Todoroki catches him staring and Kirishima knows he knows, maybe even better than he does; this world is full of big, terrifying things, and one day they’re going to go out there and look them in the eye.

Todoroki’s maybe been looking at big scary things in the eye longer than any of them.  There are rumors and all.

“You okay?” Todoroki murmurs.

Kirishima nods.

During the course of the night Sero gets a full face of makeup, Hagakure eats some of Bakugou’s (totally off-limits) super spicy curry from the fridge and cries, Ojirou stands outside on the roof in his boxers and does an alien-invitation chant while Kaminari films it and they all learn about the time Sero climbed out of an amusement park boat ride and nearly drowned because the animatronics had scared him.

Todoroki spins the bottle as Ashido details the nails on his left hand and it lands squarely on Kirishima.  “Truth me, bro.”

The air in the room is electric.  What would Todoroki ask for?  What enigmatic-

“Who do you have a crush on,” Todoroki deadpans.

“Todoroki!”  Hagakure hits him with her cushion.  “You just copied my question from earlier!”

Todoroki blows on his nails when Ashido instructs him to do so.  “I didn’t know what else to ask.”

This is good.  This confusion is good because Kirishima is positive that it shows on his face, that the answer is undoubtedly a resounding and spirited you know who.   “Uh, I switch to dare.”

“You can’t do that!”

“No no, we should let him,” Kaminari interjects, which cannot be a good thing.  Kaminari is not a benevolent god of forgiveness and mercy, he is a demonic troll king who revels in the suffering of his subjects.  “Todoroki?  Go on, man.  Dare him.”

Todoroki sighs and Kirishima feels kind of bad.  The guy’s already made it clear he’s not used to this kind of thing.  He’d probably already tried hard enough just coming up with-

“Go confess to your crush.”

Fuck Todoroki.  “Dude!”

Kaminari, the bastard, is rolling around on the ground laughing his ass off.  “You asked for a dare and the man gave you a dare!  Oh shit I knew it would be good, I didn’t know it’d be that good.”

There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to determine where to draw the line.  He could sit here and be a little pissbucket about this, refuse to do the dare and take a penalty, or he could fortify and prove his courage and bravery extends past the battlefield.  He could make a stand, here and now, and show this small group of people the strength of his spirit before debuting it to the entire world.  That’s right; this is just training.  He’s not about to go confess to his crush; he’s about to do some serious reps with the most important muscle of all!  His heart.

They all pile into the elevator and Ashido whispers, “I bet it’s Bakugou,” before Kirishima even punches in the floor number.

“Could you not ruin it please?” Kirishima asks. 

“Please.”  Jirou is brutal, and presses the button for him.  “Like we didn’t know who it was.”

That could be a good sign.  Maybe the fact that Kirishima is so humiliatingly obvious is a good sign, because that means Bakugou must know too because he’s super observant, and if he knows then this won’t be a confession so much as-

-Jesus, as a firing squad.  If Bakugou already knows and hasn’t done anything, then he must not like Kirishima.

“I can’t do this,” Kirishima moans, thunking his head against the wall.  Immediately Ashido and Hagakure flock to him, rubbing his back and cooing and it’s kind of nice but also kind of not nice, because he doesn’t need to be babied, he just needs to be rescued from his own backpedaling brain.

“Kirishima,” Kaminari says seriously, trapping him there against the wall with both his hands, all kabedon and shit.  “I’m going to talk to you now, as your truest bro.  Are you ready for this?  Prepare your spirit.”

Kirishima closes his eyes and breathes deep.  “Okay.”

Kaminari smacks the wall.  “You. Gotta. Go. Get. That. Dick.”  Jirou slaps the back of his head but he continues on, doggedly, “I’m serious.  You are one of the chillingest guys I know but sometimes, my dude, you’re as stubborn as a mountain.  Bakugou will literally never in his lifetime bring something like this up, because it’s not in his aesthetic.  I can feel it, as a stylish person.”

“Okay,” laughs Sero.

“I mean it!”  Kaminari leans out of his space, but points to his eyes.  “Eyes on the prize.  You can not only do this, you’ve been doing it since day one.  Kirishima!  Tell me what you like!”

Kaminari, damn him to hell, is right.  “Manliness and beef.”

“And what does Bakugou have, despite lacking all the other desirable qualities that normal people not as weird as you might appreciate in a partner!”

“Manliness…and beef, dude, that was a little harsh.”

“Focus for me, Kirishima.  Now.”  Kaminari leans in.  “What are you gonna go get.

His heart pounds in his ears but Kirishima is pretty sure what he answers with is, “That dick.”

“That’s right!  You’re gonna get that dick!  Now get going!”

Three knocks on a bedroom door have never sounded so loud.

When Bakugou answers the door, Kirishima swears there is a god somewhere because he’s in one of those damnable black tank tops again.  Thank you, Kirishima prays.  If he’s going to die tonight, he will leave this good green Earth with this vision seared into his brain.

“What the fuck you want?” Bakugou snaps, attractively.

“Hi,” says Kirishima, Kaminari’s voice chanting get that dick in his head in a very distracting way.  “Good evening.  You- I’m here for a reason, I promise.”

Bakugou sneers and sticks his elbow against the doorjamb to lean on in a way that he probably imagines makes him look tough, but to Kirishima’s crush-addled mind just makes him look like a magazine model for sleepwear.  Why must he wear tanktops so tight when he keeps his uniform so baggy he could probably parachute to the ground from a long fall?  God damn, those arms.  There’s enough beef here to last for days.

“Yo, you checkin’ me out?”

Kirishima’s heart leaps into his throat and tries to roundhouse kick his windpipe.  “Newp!  I mean nope!  No, I’m- I would never-”

Stoplight-red eyes narrow.  Bakugou leans forward and Kirishima almost expires right there, death from dehydration by the amount of sweat pouring down his back.  When Bakugou does not actually kiss him passionately (as he’d hoped) and instead peers around the edge of his door to see everybody staring near the elevators (Kirishima hears them yell at each other and try to hide back inside the car) Kirishima’s heart calms back down to something disappointingly normal.  “You bein’ dared to confess or some other kiddy shit like that?”

Bakugou has this interesting way of stating the obvious that makes all of Kirishima’s preconceived notions of something sound really fucking dumb.  Like here and now.  He’d thought he was being bold and a go-getter, but now he just feels sort of cheap.

“Well?”

Kirishima lifts his chin.  “…nah.”

Bakugou quirks a brow.  God damn it, he is so pretty.  Wrinkles and scowls and all.  “No?”

“Yeah, no.”  He’s going to catch a lot of shit and he’s going to have to do a penalty, but it’s better than not meaning it.  Bakugou is just so naturally manly, he doesn’t even have to think about what’s manly and what’s not.  “I’m just checking to see if you wanna come play with us.”

Bakugou snorts.  “I’d rather die, thanks.”

“Okay.”  Kirishima grabs the edge of the door when Bakugou starts to close it, hardens his fingers just in case Bakugou tries to slam it shut on them anyway.  “I’ll confess to you on my own time.”

When his glare remains unchanged Kirishima wonders for a moment if he’s just destroyed everything he’s ever had or could’ve had with Bakugou Katsuki.  When it deepens he knows he has, knows he’s just gone and fundamentally fucked up something good.  His stomach twists.  His sinuses sting, that annoying pre-cry burn that makes him want to turn tail and run before Bakugou can see it.  My friends still care about me, Kirishima reminds himself.  Life is not over just because the boy he likes hates his guts now.  There are still things to live for.

“Well hurry the fuck up and find the time so I don’t have to do all that dumb flirty shit with you anymore,” Bakugou growls, batting Kirishima’s arm away from the door and yanking it shut with a bang.

Kirishima does not know how he makes it back to the elevator.  Dumb flirty shit.  What was the dumb flirty shit?  All Bakugou did was be cuddly and cute downstairs and deep throat his chocolate milk and grab Kirishima’s hair in both hands like a porn star. 

Perhaps Kirishima really is stupid.  Perhaps he is even stupider than he thought because he thinks-

“That was a confession,” Jirou hisses, punching his shoulder because she’s the type of person who gets aggressive when she’s happy.  “I heard the whole thing!  He confessed to you!

“No,” Kirishima breathes, not convinced.

“He did he did he did!”  Ashido is bouncing up and down and she grabs Kirishima’s arms and shakes him.  “You got confessed to!  Bakugou totally just almost kind of said that he was sort of trying to date you!”

Somewhere in the midst of that, there is good news, and Kirishima’s desperate heart latches onto it like a lifeline.  “Did he?”

“He totally did!”

Kirishima looks to Todoroki, who claps him solemnly on the shoulder and nods.  “…probably.”

“Holy shit.”  Kirishima’s knees go weak and he slides down the side of the elevator because if Todoroki says it sounds like a confession, it must’ve been obvious.  He really honestly got a confession from Bakugou.  From Bakugou Katsuki!  From the guy with the loudest voice and the meanest yell and the angriest face and the tightest tank tops in their entire school!  “Holy shit-!  Holy shit!  I gotta go back!”

Sero pushes the button to open the doors because they hadn’t even tried to go back to the lobby.  They know him, these people, all his classmates.  While he’s been learning about them day in and day out, finding out their tics and their habits and their routines, while he’s been breaking up their fights and walking them to their rooms and telling them to cool it already with the coffee hate, they’ve been learning about him too.  About his crush.  About his impulsiveness.  About his spirit and his strength and that sometimes, even though he can work up his own momentum, he really is a little bit like a rock at the top of a hill.  All he needs is a little push.

“Go get the dick, Mom,” Hagakure giggles, her invisible hand against his back, shoving him out of the elevator.

Kirishima does not get the dick.  He probably won’t get the dick for a while, because while he likes Bakugou (a lot, a whole lot), the idea of taking off his clothes with him is as petrifying as it is awesome.  He’s good with the tank tops, with the way Bakugou’s arms flex as he stretches them over his head and tells Kirishima, well, get the fuck in here already and lets him into his room to see his two shelves of All Might merch and threatens to kill Kirishima if he ever breathes a word about it to anybody.

Bakugou sleeps on the floor downstairs, drinks chocolate milk, has a stylist for a mother and brought two whole shelves of All Might figurines to school with him.

Kirishima grins.

It’s gonna be all downhill from here.