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Todoroki tries not to stare, he really does try, but he can’t look away from this guy, who’s currently sitting on a tree, taking pictures of the park with intense concentration.

And Todoroki wonders if the other can see colors, can see the true beauty of spring, wonders if the other is one of the lucky three percent of the world’s population that met their soulmate. Maybe he’s taking pictures of a colorful world that Todoroki will probably never get to experience except through books he reads from the library.

The guy jumps off the tree and his feet hit the dirt dramatically, scaring away the pigeons that had been eating on the ground. He quickly brushes leaves off his clothes and walks around the park for something new to take pictures of.

His eyes wander aimlessly before they settle on the sight of Todoroki. The guy’s legs falter and then stop. Todoroki freezes, not sure what to do, because the other is just squinting at him and has a sort of scary expression on his face that makes Todoroki wonder how can someone look so expressive despite the lack of colors.

Maybe the guy’s looking at his scar, Todoroki thinks, remembering the unwanted attention it can bring. He opens his mouth to ask what’s wrong, but the other is already speaking.

“What even is your hair?” The guy asks in a gravelly voice, with his camera hanging around his neck and some leaves still stuck on his spiky hair.

Those are Bakugou Katsuki’s first words to Todoroki. Abrupt and rude. Todoroki blinks.

 

 

 

 

 

“What?”

That’s how Todoroki meets Bakugou.

And the world is still black and white.

 

//

 

A list of things Todoroki soon learns about Bakugou Katsuki

  1. Bakugou isn’t actually one of the lucky three percent that can see colors, but his friend Kirishima is apparently. Todoroki can’t help but feel envious of Kirishima and his soulmate, Kaminari.
  2. He’s a photographer. One day Todoroki asks why Bakugou takes pictures of the dull monochrome world, which earns him an unreadable look from the other. Bakugou’s answer surprises him, though. He says that black and white photography can be expressive, maybe even more expressive than colors. It makes the audience focus more on the mood, the atmosphere, and the particular expressions on people’s faces. Todoroki has never thought of it like that, but it still takes a while for him to see the beauty in this black and white world.
  3. Bakugou looks angry even when he’s not. It’s just his neutral face.
  4. Bakugou’s hair looks cute and funny when it’s down.
  5. The guy is somewhat fascinated by Todoroki’s hair- how it’s split into two different colors. Todoroki doesn’t even know what the colors are. He catches Bakugou staring at it five times.
  6. Bakugou is also interested in Todoroki himself, not just the hair.

 

//

 

“Do you think you’ll meet your soulmate?” Todoroki asks Bakugou one day.

“There are too many people,” Bakugou answers, simply. Then his eyes wander over Todoroki’s figure. Bakugou’s stare burns and for a moment Todoroki thinks about the various colors of fire he’s read about: red, orange, yellow, and blue. “And I don’t really want to meet them.”

Bakugou’s words are terse, but they say a lot. They’re so loud that Todoroki can’t even hear his own heartbeat over the hidden meanings Bakugou’s words and gaze carry.

Later that day, Bakugou asks Todoroki out and Todoroki says yes.

And the world is still black and white.

 

//

 

A list of things Todoroki learns from Kirishima

  1. His hair is evenly split between white on his right side and red on his left. Bakugou still stares at his hair a lot.
  2. Apparently, his eyes are two different colors. His left eye is blue and his right is grey. Every time Bakugou gazes at the heterochromatic eyes so intensely, Todoroki can feel his cheeks burn.
  3. Bakugou has crimson eyes. Todoroki really wants to see the crimson in those eyes.

 

//

 

The first time they kiss, Bakugou tastes like the mint gum he had earlier.

“Bakugou-” Todoroki breathes out and he can feel Bakugou’s pleased smile against his own lips. They kiss in front of Todoroki’s apartment. Todoroki closes his eyes to ignore the dull hues of grey and how black the night sky looks and he sighs into the kiss as he feels Bakugou’s fingers gently cradle his jaw.

They part for air and Todoroki wonders if their cheeks are flushed right now, bitterly wishing he could see that. But when he opens his eyes to meet Bakugou’s glazed ones, he remembers Bakugou’s words from earlier about monochrome colors making you focus more on the expression. He likes the expression in Bakugou’s eyes right now. He really likes it and has the urge to grab Bakugou’s camera to snap a photo of the other.

He leans in and they kiss again and again and again.

No matter how many times they kiss though, the world is still black and white.

 

//

 

Sometimes, Bakugou takes pictures of Todoroki. It’s usually when Todoroki is lost in his thoughts or smiling. Todoroki doesn’t really notice when Bakugou is taking a picture until he hears the shutter of the camera. When he turns to look at Bakugou, the other is already lowering his camera to check out how the photos turned out. Bakugou doesn’t even look embarrassed about taking pictures of Todoroki without his permission. But it’s not like Todoroki minds.

Todoroki looks at himself in the photos on Bakugou’s desk. He sees himself sitting with one knee up, gazing outside the window in one photo and sees his small smile in another photo.

The photos are black and white.

And the world is still black and white.

 

//

 

“Are you sure you don’t want to meet them?” Todoroki asks, voice too quiet, while Bakugou snaps a photo of the pond in the park, the same park they first met.

Todoroki knows Bakugou heard him; he can tell by the way Bakugou stiffens and lowers his camera. And he knows he doesn’t have to explain what he meant by them.

For a moment, there’s a look of exasperation, like Bakugou wants to ask why- why would Todoroki bring up soulmates when they’re dating.

Instead, Bakugou stops taking pictures and stares at him intensely before he wordlessly takes Todoroki’s hand. Their fingers interlock slowly and so easily as they just stroll around the park.

“Do you want me to?” Bakugou eventually replies in a calm even voice, but his eyes say something else.

Todoroki hesitates to answer at first and then shakes his head. It’s selfish. He knows it’s selfish, but he truly doesn’t want Bakugou to meet his soulmate. But at the same time, he doesn’t want to take away Bakugou’s opportunity to see colors.

“Then stop asking stupid questions,” Bakugou says in a voice that sounds more tight and conflicted.

Their hands start to get sweaty, but they don’t let go for a long time.

No matter how tightly they squeeze each other’s hand, the world is still black and white.

 

//

 

Todoroki stares at a new picture on Bakugou’s desk. In the picture, Todoroki is kissing Bakugou’s cheek, fingers holding his jaw, and Bakugou looks caught off guard with his eyes wide and lips slightly parted. This is his favorite photo, he thinks and smiles fondly.

The photo is black and white, like all the others.

And the world is still black and white.

 

//

 

I love you.

Todoroki says that aloud apparently when they’re half-naked on his bed, because he no longer feels Bakugou’s kisses on his jawline. He opens his eyes and is about to ask why Bakugou suddenly stopped, but the words die on his tongue when he sees how dark Bakugou’s eyes look, pupils blown wide with something Todoroki can’t call lust. The look sends shivers down Todoroki’s spine.

“Really?”

Todoroki manages to breathe out, “Yes.”

“What about…” Bakugou’s voice trails off.

What about colors, Todoroki’s mind supplies him.

Instead of answering, Todoroki covers the space between them by pressing his lips against Bakugou’s. The kiss is slow, deep, and sensual as he cups Bakugou’s face, but Bakugou stays motionless.

I don’t care, Todoroki hopes to convey.

They separate. Bakugou stares at Todoroki’s eyes introspectively and then warily to search for any flicker of doubt. When none comes, Bakugou’s gaze shifts to Todoroki’s lips and he lowers his face, so that his lips can meet Todoroki’s in another one of their many kisses that night.

The rest of their clothes are tugged off and tossed carelessly to the floor. Bare skin starts to feel feverish and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

Their fingers slowly trace across each other’s skin as if they’re trying to remember this moment, remember every feeling, touch, and sound and capture it all together in a photograph.

Bakugou raises Todoroki’s leg and makes an invisible trail of kisses before sucking the soft skin of Todoroki’s thigh. His mouth reaches higher places and Todoroki moans a little too loudly at the sensation.

Heavy contented sighs, hisses of fuck, and pleas of more, do that again along with the occasional creaking of the bed fill the dark room.

The old Todoroki would be thinking something like this: The world is black and white, but if he could see colors right now, he would see red, so many shades of red staining them.

Instead, he drinks in Bakugou’s expressions, Bakugou’s quiet sighs softly drifting the air, the sight of Bakugou’s body over his own, Bakugou moving inside him, Bakugou, Bakugou, Bakugou…

Bakugou feels nice. He’s warm and looks so lovely in monochrome colors, Todoroki thinks while pants and gasps pour out of his mouth.

It’s messy. What they’re doing is messy, but they explore a bit more until their bodies can no longer handle it - until their bodies become too sensitive to touch.

Before they fall asleep that summer night, they lie down in a haze like state with their erratic breathing and their hair damp from sweat.

 

//

 

Todoroki wakes up. And the world is still black and white. Morning light shines through the window, illuminating his bedroom and he can hear the tiny sounds of birds chirping away outside. For a moment, he stares outside the window, stares at the colorless morning sky that he knows should be blue, but he doesn’t seem to mind the grey hues as much as he did before.

It’s early and Todoroki wonders how he can feel both cold and warm at the same time. Bakugou is sleeping next to him with the blanket covering part of his bare chest and his face partially pressed against the soft pillow. And the sight of Bakugou’s serene expression makes Todoroki’s breath catch in his throat.

Before Todoroki knows what’s he doing, his eyes shift to the camera on the drawer next to the bed. He quietly climbs out of the bed to carefully pick up the camera.

He raises the camera, adjusts the zoom, and snaps a photo of Bakugou.

Of course the quality of the photo is nowhere near as good as Bakugou’s photos - Bakugou has had years of experience and actually knows how to choose angles and lighting to take breathtaking photos - but Todoroki likes it anyways. He lowers the camera and places it back on the drawer before crawling back to bed.

A few seconds pass before he hears a tired, muffled voice ask in teasing dismay, “Did you just take a photo of me?”

Todoroki smiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more thing Todoroki learns

  1. The world is black and white, but he doesn’t need his soulmate to have color in his life.