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Dandelion Wine

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It's run of the mill, routine, a day like any other day; boring. Thats really what that means. Boring. So when I get a call from my ex-best friend (we haven't seen each other ever since graduation) who is working in the next city over, I was surprised and eager for something, anything to break up the monotony.

 

“Hey! Kiri, dude!” I say and when I get nothing but silence on the other end I have to wonder if my emphatic joy of chatting to my long, lost friend had been too much.

Kami, how are ya man?” He sounds a little older, if that's even a thing. His voice is low but reserved, like he's just have a really long day and is exhausted.

 

“I'm doing better now that you called me! Whats up man? You in town? Wanna go to the movies? Dinner? And how's Bakuboi doing?” I was pretty sure he'd still try to kill me if he knew I was still using the name I gave him halfway through our first year of high school. “How's the hero-ing scene down there?”

 

Kirishima clears his throat. “Uh, well, he's not here. Um, listen man, I'm going to be passing through and I thought maybe I should call you up, maybe hang out?”

“Dude!” Several people passing by lifted their heads to stare at me in wonderment, at least one man shook his head and continued to stuff a packaged bun in his mouth.

 

“I'd love to hang out! When you coming over?”

I'm actually just passing through the city limit right now.

“Wow! Why the heck didnt you call me sooner?! I get off shift in about...” I jerk my arm to pull the sleeve off my wrist, glancing over the scratched-and-barely-legible surface of my wrist watch. “Half an hour, tops! Where you staying?”

I haven't got that far yet.” Kiri admits, sounding even more exhausted than earlier. Wow, his agency must be running him into the ground.

“Well good! Then you can stay with me! I've got an apartment over on East 5th and Skyview, Apt. 114. Theres a key under the flowerpot.”

You sure, man? I don't want to intrude...

“Dude, seriously, when have you ever intruded? Besides, I insist!”

Okay, but don't say I didn't warn ya.” Kiri adds with a light chuckle.

 

This was going to be the longest 30 minutes of my life. I haven't seen Kiri in, well over three years! Since he and Bakugou started dating in high school, and subsequently broke my poor little heart because I was crushing hard on my oblivious redheaded pal, they got hired on at the same Hero Agency and moved into their first apartment together.

I've since gotten over the heart break though.

 

“Hey! Hey! That kid stole my purse! Hey, somebody stop that kid!”

My head snaps around, senses ever alert for trouble, just in time to see a flash of dark colors before they bowl into me.

 

The air is forced from my lungs and I'm knocked forward off my feet; a glimpse of silver beneath me is the only warning I get before I crash into a trio of tin garbage cans.

CLANG! BANGBANGBANGbangbang...

The bins scatter and roll down the sidewalk, one of them even making it into the street and their contents subsequently go flying. My nose is assailed by the powerful stench of rotting food and old diapers and other undesirable things, of which I'm sitting in a pile of.

 

“Oh my! Are you alright?” A kindly woman inquires nearby, hesitant to help me up when the smell reaches her.

“I'm good!” I say as I scramble to my feet and pound pavement, giving chase. I can still see the kid ahead of me, wearing the classic dark hoodie and dark baggy pants.

 

The kid ducks and weaves, his smaller stature giving him a slight edge in avoiding objects.

But I know this block inside out, every cracked stone and wad of gum stuck to the sidewalk.

The kid is headed towards a road that's under construction, there's heavy equipment in the area and orange tape strung everywhere so there's not many people.

The kid ducks under a large man's elbow just as the big brute turns and I narrowly miss a head on collusion by suddenly turning sideways and slipping past the man.

 

Damn! I almost had him!

 

The kid darts down an alleyway, keeping to the shadows along the dirt encrusted brick wall and heading towards a chain link fence.

I charge in after him, wading through the heavy fumes of the discarded trash lining the paths, dented and rusty dumpsters emitting an unholy smell as I whip past.

Loud splashes underfoot and my pants are coated in muddy, greasy water, avoiding the obstacle course and charging straight through. The kid leaps and grabs onto the fence, climbing over with a great rattling that echoes down the narrow alley.

 

I glance from the fence to the brick walls, chipped and pocked from years of wear and tear. The kid glances over his shoulder, a smug look of victory plain on his baby face.

Oh yeah? Think you're so clever ,huh? Well, watch this!

Gathering my strength, I leap a high as I can towards the wall, my left foot landing against the surface and pushing off, one hand grabs the top of the chain link and legs tucked tightly beneath me, vault cleanly over.

 

I land in a crouch, looking up to see the wide eyed, slack jawed look on the kid's face before he turns around and redoubles his efforts.

By now I'm running full tilt but knew I needed to catch the kid before I ran out of gas. Already, the burn in my thighs and the ache in my lungs is noticeable.

 

This alleyway opens onto a street, the glint of the sun off a passing blue car glances into the shadows. The kid doesn't slow, as I'd expected, neither does he turn. He runs straight out into traffic.

Horns blare, tires squeal and people shout and curse at the boy.

I'm right behind him though, only partially blinded by the sun as I fly out of the darkness and leap over the hood of a black car, my backside scraping along the worn paint job.

 

The boy reaches the other side of the street, making a sharp right and trying to disappear into the heavily crowded sidewalk.

I leap a hedge of shiny green leafed shrubs and nearly land in a man's lap, so startled that he slops his coffee down his white shirt.

“Sorry!” I call over my shoulder but do not slow down, expertly dodging a biker as she turns onto the sidewalk and squeezing between two animatedly talking tourists, reach out.

 

My fingers clutch dark cloth and I give a hard yank, throwing the kid off balance as he tries wriggling himself out of his hoodie, the purse still clutched tightly in hand.

“Gotcha, ya little thief!”

My crows of victory are cut short when the kid swings around, handbag leading.

 

I am of the opinion that women actually do carry bricks around in their bags.

My world spinning for a split second, I see stars and a flash of green before colliding into something green and prickly, crashing into one of the cafe's ornamental trees.

It actually broke my fall as I went tumbling onto the sidewalk, the tree in tight embrace.

 

“Sir! Are you quite alright?” One of the servers, a man I knew well, inquires as he grabs the tree, lifting it off me.

I spit a leaf out of my mouth, shaking my head in an attempt to clear it when I glance to my left hand and see that I had not only the purse but the kid's dark hoodie as well.

“I'm gonna call that a tie.”

 

The server grins, shaking his head sadly as though I'm a lost cause.

“Come on.” He says, reaching down to help me to my feet.

“Thanks Obi.” I say between breaths, dusting leaves and bits of trash off my clothes and becoming aware of the stink coming off my clothes.

Several people passing nearby have wrinkled noses and sneers of distaste though I only become aware of how awful I must look and smell when one man steps forward, tucking a couple one dollar bills into my palm.

“Get yourself a hot meal.” He says with a kindly smile, clapping his hand over mine and walking away.

 

Someone snorts and I turn to regard Obi and realize it's not Obi at all but a tall, handsome dark haired man with a familiar scar.

Kiri?”

I can hardy believe my eyes. He's got one heck of a set of shoulders on him but his hair is black, longish and limp against his head. His eyes are tired, bags under his lined face, shoulder slumped in a sort of defeated posture.

He used to get like that in high school. Bakugou would always do something to cheer him up, at least bolster his spirits because. I, like Bakugou, hated seeing him like this and my first thought is something happened.

 

“I, uh, saw your little chase back there.” He explains with a smile and thumb over his shoulder. “I damn near hit both of you with my car.”

“Wow! Its really been a while, man!”

I step forward and immediately notice something that makes me pretty damn happy.

“Hey! I'm taller than you!” I say, pressing the edge of my hand to my forehead and then to Kiri's and back again.

“You seem pretty happy about it.” Kiri says.

“Well, yeah!” I agree right away. “It's not like I've got looks or charm on my side, now do I?”

 

Kiri regards me with this kind of surprised look on his face.

“You're one of the most charming, good looking people I know, Kami. how can you say that?”

Needless to say, I wasn't expecting such a compliment. I wasn't ready for my longtime crush to say something like that and if the heat in my face and neck is anything to go by, I can probably signal airplanes as well as any flare.

“Uh, um yeah, thanks. S-so your car is just parked over there?”

Kiri nods, smiling as we walk down the sidewalk.

 

He had parked against the curb, arriving just in time to see a meter maid jotting something down on her notepad.
“Heya, Joel!” I call, arm waving high.

She turns and smiles upon seeing us, revealing a lovely white smile.

“Hello Kami!”

“Joel, this is my friend, Kirishima! Sorry about this, he was helping me apprehend a criminal.”

“A criminal, eh?” She says all too knowingly. “If you mean that little trouble maker then I can hardly call him a criminal.”

“Well if he keeps going at the rate he's going, it won't be long.”

“Crime rates are just getting higher.” Joel agrees sadly. “Did you know the Mayor is hiring three more hero agencies?”

Three?!

 

That's a lot.

“That bad, huh?”

“Well, you should know, mr. hero.”

“So um, Joel, since Kiri was helping me and all and he's new to the city and all, can we look past this?”

“Kami, it's really--”

“On one condition.”

“Yeah?”

“That he takes a selfie with me. It's not every day that I get to meet Red Riot.”

“S-sure.” Kiri stammers with surprise.

 

“I got it.” I say, snatching her phone from her hand and walking a few paces away to snap a few shots before handing it back to her.

“Thanks! You know, you're pretty cute with red hair. Just sayin.”

“Oh, um, thanks?” Kiri answers somewhat bashful.

“I'll see you two around!” She calls, taking her bicycle and heading down the sidewalk.

 

I look at the black car, noticing the faded paint and the muddy smear across the fender.

“That was your car!”

“Yeah, gave me quite the shock when you came flying out of that alleyway after that kid.”

“Well, I better get this to the police station.” I say, lifting the purse for him to see.

“Hop in, I'll give you a lift.”

“Uh, you don't want me in your car.” I emphasize this by lifting one of my feet and shaking it, muddy water shook loose onto the sidewalk.

 

“I don't mind.” Kiri assures me.

“Dude, I smell like a landfill. I gotta stop at my agency too and clock out so you can just head over to my place and make yourself at home.”

Kiri is on the verge of arguing with me but I hold up a hand, cutting him off.

“I won't be long, its just around that corner.”

He sighs, his words of protest dying on his lips and smiling, agrees with a nod before climbing back into his car.

 

I wave at him as he drives off before turning and smacking myself as hard as I can in the forehead.

“Why? Why can I not embarrass myself?!” I grumble to myself as I squelch down the sidewalk. “And why am I still crushing on him? He says one little compliment to me and...”

I glance sidelong at the man walking beside me, his brows furrowed in a questioning scowl as he meets my gaze.

“What?!”

 

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Kiri's car is parked parallel in front of my apartment, which is nothing more than a narrow front door squished between other narrow front doors and all sporting the same, faded red paint.

The cement steps leading up to my front door have wrought iron sticking out of them and forming a sort of path that widens near the top and bottom of the steps.

 

Keys jangling, I glance at the flowerpot and it's cluster of bright, yellow dandelions. I smile, stepping through the door it's darker and quieter inside and not what I expected at all.

It had taken me all of 20 minutes to go to the police station and get back to the agency, shower, and practically run home.

 

It was even more disconcerting that Kiri didn't come out and greet me or even say hello.

Walking into the sitting room, I find him passed out on the couch. A duffle bag and suitcase next to him on the floor tells me that he was more than just 'passing through'.

 

Did he lose his job? Is he visiting family? Ah, I bet thats it. I bet someone in his family is either sick or they passed away. That would explain.

 

I draw the curtains, not wanting to disturb my friend and walk up the narrow flight of stairs to my bedroom where I kick off my black and yellow striped sneakers and flop on the bed, sighing loudly.

 

What Joel had said was true, the crime rates in the city has been getting steadily higher. Of course, with the decline of the Age of All Might, its expected. Midoryia is doing his best and he's really good at it but that isn't going to stop the criminal element in the world. Midoryia has yet to prove himself to be All Might's successor to them and I have every confidence that he will.

 

He and Bakugou make quite the team. Seriously, criminal organizations have no chance when those two are on the ground. Even Satan himself knows better than to mess with them.

 

I snicker to myself and roll over, thinking myself quiet clever and scrolling through my phone with eyes that grow heavy.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Heavy metal blares through the walls of my bedroom, stirring me from restful sleep.

The sun has already set but it's still light out, the summer evening air wafting through my half open bedroom window. Somewhere, a car honks and the distant drone of airplane engines fill the sky.

A child screams and laughs, making use of their fenced back yard no bigger than a shoe box.

 

A twinge of pain in my neck lets me know that I slept awkwardly and it didn't like one bit.

The bed creaks slightly when I sit up, placing socked feet on the warm floor, still radiating heat from the sun's rays.

Even in a light t shirt and shorts, I was still sweating.

 

The murmur of a voice catches my attention, as it's coming from down stairs.

Ah. Kiri must be awake as well.

Standing, I open the door but pause at the head of the stairs when I catch a snippet of conversation.

“Bakugou, I know you said it's fine but I just need some time to think.”

Oohkay, so thats whats going on.

“I only called so you wouldn't be worried. Yeah, I know.”

 

Kiri's voice was subdued, not in a sad kind of way but something else...

“You can come down now, Kami/” Kiri calls, clearly finished with his call.

“Oh! Sorry I... how'd you know I was up here?”

“You have a squeaky floor board.”

“I do?”

I stare at the floor, dismayed that I could have possibly missed it.

 

I come down the steps to find Kiri sitting on the couch, just staring into space. I flop onto the other side of the couch, leg draped over the arm rest.

 

Kiri was quiet, reminding me of my dandelions that would wilt when left out in the hot sun for too long.

“Wanna drink? I've got some kick ass dandelion wine I made.”

Kiri finally stirs from whatever deep recess of his thoughts he'd been exploring, eyes brightening just the slightest bit with interest.

“Dandelion wine? Aren't those weeds?”

“Call it weed wine, if you want.” I shrug. “But it's damned good stuff! Did I tell you that I made it myself? Come on,.” I say, whacking the side of his shoulder with the back of my hand and hop off the couch.

 

Heading into the kitchen and flicking a switch that sheds a soft, yellow light over dingy white linoleum and a sink full of dirty dishes, I pause to open a kitchen drawer and take out a handful of take out menus.

“This calls for a celebration!” I say, tossing the pile on the chipped and stained counter for later use.

 

Between the fridge and back door is another door that leads into a tiny root cellar that often floods whenever it rains.

The place is chock full of dust and old cobwebs and the occasional spider or cockroach but it provided a perfect set up to operate my own miniature winery.

It's noticeably cooler down here, which is essential for the yeast in the wine-in-progress.

 

The shelves that line the back wall were erected from old two-by-fours, several rusty nails sticking out of the sides have ruined more than one of my shirts and they take a bit of skin with them in the process.

A narrow wooden table rests in the center, the legs warped and peeling but the surface had been sealed by the apartment's previous occupants, who had been avid canners.

 

The table contains a small fermenting station, nothing more than glass bottles with a fermenting lids and in several stages of fermentation.

On the shelves are two wine bottles, corked and waiting for use.

I take one, shaking it slightly and noting the clear, pale golden liquid in the orange light of the bare light bulb hanging over head.

“Wow. You really did make it.” Kiri voices in surprise.

“You doubted me? I'm offended.” I say and turning, hand him the bottle.

“This one's a gift from me to you and this one we're going to drink.” I say as I take the second bottle off the shelf.

“Thanks. So uh, what made you decide to try making wine out of a weed?”

“Lost of people do it. I made it from the wild dandelions that grow in the mountains. Makes for a lovely day hike too.”

Kiri stares at the bottle a moment longer and then as if coming to a decision, he shrugs and turns toward the stairs.

 

The cement steps behind us, light off and back in the kitchen I nab a couple of wine glasses from the cupboard.

“Youre my guest so pick something that sounds good.” I say with a chin jerk towards the stack of menus on the counter.

“I'm not really hungry.” Kiri says with an almost forlorn look at the shiny paper pamphlets.

“Just pick something that goes good with wine.”

“What would that be?”

“Something pasta'ee.”

“Spaghetti then.”

 

I pop the cork, filling the two wine glasses and handing one of them to Kiri, make my way into the sitting room where I sit on the couch and call Pizza Place, putting in a order for take out.

“Pasta'ee?” Kiri questions, one eye brow raised as he sits on the couch beside me.

“Pizza is close enough to spaghetti and I dont feel like cooking.” I shrug only partially apologetic.

“Works for me. So, what does 'dandelion wine' taste like?” He wonders, watching me sip from my glass.

“Mmm! In the words of the great Ray Bradbury, it's like summer on your tongue.”

I watch as Kiri raises his glass and takes a sip, not missing the slight grimace on his face and the light shudder that goes through him.

“Are you sure you didn't just slip some brandy into your bottles?”

 

I laugh, glad that it had at least gotten his attention.

“So, you said you were just passing through?” I say, folding my legs to my chest and draping one arm around bare knees, ankles crossing.

“Yeah. Well, sort of.”

“Sort of passing through? Going to meet family or something?”

“No.”

 

I got the feeling that he didn't wanna talk about it, staring at him over the rim of my glass.

Kiri stares into his wine glass, slowly rotating the liquid inside with gentle flicks of the wrist.

If he wants to talk then he'll talk and I didn't want to pressure him into--

 

“Katsuki and I are breaking up.”

 

“Huh?” I answer intelligently.

Kiri doesn't lift his head.

Is this for real? Why? What happened?! I thought they were so happy together!

“Kiri... I'm sorry.”

“Don't be. I could see it coming and he did too. To be honest, we've just kinda been 'living together' for the last two months or so. Hell, he hasn't even been home for most of it. We share a bed when we both happen to be home but thats about it.”

Kiri finally looks up, meeting my gaze with tired, dull eyes and he actually laughs. “You don't have to look so horrified, you know.”

“I'm, well, I'm just really surprised, that's all! What... huh.” I finally shrug and take another sip.

“Where did it all go wrong?” Kiri correctly asks the question I was avoiding asking. He huffs and leans back against the couch, running fingers through his dark locks. “Well, when I asked him to marry me, he turned me down.”

 

I was mid sip when he said this so I choke and splutter, nearly spitting wine all over my shirt sleeve. “E-*cough*-Excuse me? You did what now? How come I didn't know about this? And how come he turned you down?! Doesn't he know you're the full package? I mean, what the hell?”

 

Kiri waits until I'm done coughing, I almost have to physically restrain myself from picking up the phone and calling Katsuki to demand that he explain his stupidity for turning down the most beautiful man in the world.

“I should've known better though.” Kiri continues. “Katsuki isn't the kind to settle down and raise a family.”

“Thats not what you were asking him to do though!” I say, somewhat bitterly and sip more wine.

Kiri studies me a moment, his expression isn't one I can read and I didn't like it.

 

“I guess you could say that at that moment we started falling out of love.”

“You know what this reminds me of? Me and Jirou. Music career is her passion. Hell, she even quit being a Pro for music. Which is a worthy pursuit, by the way.” I say with a tilt of my glass towards him.

 

Bitter sweet memories, all of them.

I had been on the cusp of asking her to marry me but I just never got around to it. I think, deep down, I knew that she wouldn't be happy. Maybe at first but after a while?

It hurt like hell at the time but, like Kiri said, we had just fallen out of love; we are better off this way. That's something I can tell myself now and actually believe it though.

 

“I still can't believe you didn't tell me!” I say and wish the tissue box was within reach so I could throw it at him.

“It was kinda a spur of the moment thing.” Kiri shrugs.

“Uh, asking someone to marry you isn't exactly a spur-of-the-moment kinda thing, Kiri.” I chuckle. “Where did you pop the question?”

At this, Kiri falls silent but a quick look eases my worries that I'd crossed a line. Kiri looks thoughtful, hiding a smile.

“We were out for our morning run and had stopped for a breather by the track bleachers.”

I snort, unable to keep myself from laughing loudly.

“Hah! How romantic!”

“Stop.”

“No way! Okay, so, what did he say?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing? What?”

“Well you know Katsuki, always has a way with words.” Kiri shrugs again and takes a gulp of wine. “Actually, he just kept running.”

 

I laugh again. “Geeze, that's probably the first time he's ever been speechless and I missed it!”

We both fall silent, watching Kiri's face I can see the brooding thoughts darkening his face again.

“But I am sorry, man. Rejection hurts, I would know.”

 

I finish off my glass of wine and hop off the couch, snatching the opened bottle from the kitchen and after refilling my glass, set it on the floor between us.

“You know,” Kiri says, grabbing the bottle and pouring more pale yellow liquid into his own. “I still have that love letter someone slipped into my locker in high school.”

I steal a look at him only to see that he's gazing at me intently.

“Love letter?” I ask innocently.

Kiri levels me with 'the look', letting me know that I'm not fooling anyone.

“Listen, I know what your talking about but I already told you, it was from a friend.”

“Right. A friend that has mysteriously identical handwriting to your.”

“We shared the same writing class, I told you!”

 

My face was burning by now and if that wasn't a dead give away then nothing was. I hug my knees tighter to my chest and bury my face in them, bemoaning my embarrassment.

“Fuuuuck! How long have you known?”

Kiri chuckles. “For a while, Kami. Just how gullible do you think I was?”

“And you just let me believe that you believed me! Ahhh, I'm so embarrassed!”

“Don't be. I was flattered, really! I waited for you but you never came out and said anything.”

 

I lift my head, peering over my knees.

“What do you mean you 'waited'?”

“I thought you were going to confess but you never did and then I fell in love with Katsuki.”

I turn my head and stare at Kiri, dumbfounded by this revelation.
“You can't be serious.”

“I am.” He assures me over glass rim.

I cram my face back into my knees and screech.

“That's even woooooorse! Why didnt you throw it away? Or burn it? Or something other than keep it!”
“It's cute, why would I throw it away?”

“Because!”

“I don't really have many reminders of that time so it's a nice keepsake.”

“Oh. You have a keepsake box now, do you?”

 

“Well, another reason I wanted to meet with you was to tell you that the city offered me a job.”

I peek at him over my knees.

“Offered you a job? Really? What about youre other job? And... Bakugou?”

“I'm kinda house hunting.”

“House... you mean, you accepted?

“They're giving me a license to run my own agency.” Kiri beams proudly. “How could I not accept?”

So that means Kiri and I are going to be working in the same city!

“And you know what that means, don't you?”

“Lots of paper work?”

“I'm going to need a Sidekick. How about it? You want the job?”

 

I'm not sure what to say. Honestly, it's rare that I'm this speechless.
“I mean, you can consider it but if you don't want to then I totally get it. You've probably got a pretty good position--”

“What are you saying?! Of course I'll accept!”

I leap onto the man, spilling wine down the back of my couch as I hug him tightly. “This is the happiest day of my life!”

I can smell coconut, must be his conditioner but it's a good smell on him.

 

I drink the rest of my glass and give a loud, satisfying smack of the lips before leaning back, staring down into cherry red eyes that are wide with surprise. His face is red and while I'd like to think that it's because he's blushing, it might be the alcohol.

“Er, Kami...”

 

God, I could drown in those eyes and what a sweet death it would be.

Warmth flows between my hips and rushes through my body, though that could also be the alcohol.

 

“Hey Kiri, do you like fast kissing or slow kissing?”

“Uh what?”

“Lets find out.”

Arms still wrapped around his shoulders, that twinge in my neck makes itself known when I lean down and clamp my mouth onto his, giving him a quick kiss before pulling away.

 

He looks so startled that its almost comical and a giggle slips past my lips, kissing him again though much more slowly so I can relish the feel of plush lips. Teasing his mouth open, our tongues slide and push gently against the other's.

 

Hands rest on my waist and I settle onto his lap more fully, moving my hips and giving some light frottage. Breaking away from the kiss, his breaths come in quicker as I kiss his cheek and neck, and scrape my teeth along the tender skin under his ear.

“K-Kami! We've both had... a little too much to drink... maybe we should stop... and catch our breaths?”

“Don't wanna.” I whisper and run the tip of my tongue along the fossa helix of his ear, only pulling back in surprise when I taste metal there.

 

“Kiri! You have a helix piercing?”

With his longer black hair hanging flat around his head, it had been completely hidden from view.

“That's... really sexy.”

“This is going a lot better than I thought it would.” Kiri mumbles.

“Making up for lost time.” I whisper and lean back in, biting his ear lobe.

 

The hands about my waist tighten their grip and the smooth heat of his lips finally caress my neck.

A moan rumbles low in my throat, angling my head to the side to bare more neck for him.

“We really should stop this.” Kiri mumbles against my skin, fingers sliding under the hem of my shorts. “You've got gorgeous legs, by the way.”

 

I kiss his mouth again, the taste of those delectable lips like honey--

 

Ding dong!

 

“Okay, thats enough.” Kiri says and sitting back up right, actually lifts me off his lap and sets me on the couch.
Kiri hops up and heads towards the door, sliding his wallet out of his back pocket.

I grab the almost empty wine bottle and take a long swig from it.

“And thats enough of that.” Kiri says as he takes the bottle out of my hand. In his other hand, he's got a fresh hot pizza that smells like heaven and bread sticks, containers of red marinara sauce steaming their clear plastic lids.

“Oh that smells so good!” I say, mouth watering as the strong smell of basil and tomato permeate my alcohol infused brain.

 

Chapter Text

“Oh god... my head...”

My brain scrambles to piece together last night's events, remembering that I'd practically thrown myself onto Kiri, or Kiri's lap, more specifically.

 

What was I thinking? He's just gotten out of a dwindling relationship, this is probably the last thing he wants to deal with right now.

 

“Oh god... how embarrassing!”

 

I'm sitting in my bed, still wearing the clothes from yesterday but I can hear movement down stairs, the smell of cooking food has my stomach clenching rebelliously.

Footsteps come up the stairs so I hurry and lay back down, burying my head under the blankets before Kiri opens the door.

“What are you doing?” He asks, tone quizzical.

“Sleeping? What are you doing?”

“Well I made some hashbrowns but I got a call from Bakugou, he wants to meet me at the airport.”

“He's... coming here?”

“Passing through, I think. Anyway, we need to talk so I've got a taxi coming.”

“A taxi?” Now I pull the blankets off my head, peering at Kiri confused. “But you have a car.”

“My car has a flat. Typical, huh?” Kiri grins wide from the doorway.

“Well I could just take you.” I answer, pushing myself into a sitting position.”

Theres a car horn that honks outside and we both look to the window.

“Thanks man. You can come pick me up in about an hour, if you want?”

“Yeah, okay.” I agree. “Bye.”

He closes the bedroom door, listening to his steps as he trots down the steps, the front door closing as he leaves.

 

Sighing, I lean back against the pillows, rubbing my eyes.

Bakugou took a plane just to come here? Sounds like he's in a hurry. Maybe... maybe they're getting back together.

The thought settles like a dark cloud but inside my chest, weighing me down.

But I know that Kiri kissed me back though that hardly means anything. Maybe it's just been a long time for him or something?

Still though, if I'm going to pick him up then does that mean Bakugou isn't sticking around?

I wished to have asked more questions but I didn't want to come off as this desperate, prying person. The thing is that I'm still in so deep for Kiri.

It's really quite pathetic at this point.

 

Throwing my blankets off, I slide out of bed and head down stairs, not too sick to my stomach to be hungry so I load up the remainder of fried potatoes and take it to the living room to eat.

There's a couple of potted plants along the main sitting room window that are looking a little wilted so I grab my water canister and dampen the soil a bit.

 

Well, Kiri's luggage is still here so that means he definitely plans on coming back, however; his car is still here because it's got a flat. The blanket and spare pillow he'd used last night are on the couch, folded neatly and set aside for later use. I mean, I assume for later use.

 

I kill time by showering and doing some laundry in the old washing machine mom gave me, since she'd got one of those fancy front loaders for Christmas. Each time I run the thing I wonder if it's going to be it's last.

 

My fingers go to my lips, remembering the feel of sweet not hesitant kisses.

It's true though, he did kiss me back. Even drunk as I was I knew what was going on. So, what now?

We kissed, big deal? Where does it go from here? It's going to be really awkward if he's getting back with his ex, which I can see happening.

But then what did he mean by 'this is going better than I thought it would'? Was he finally, finally reciprocating my feelings? Feelings that I still haven't made clear to him other than by making out last night.

My face explodes with heat as I dare to let myself believe that he's interested in me like 'that'.

A smile crosses my face, heart so light I might float away.

Yes, this is a good feeling, one that I want to keep feeling.

 

The sound of trickling water pulls me back to reality, muddy potting soil overflows the lip of the flower pot of my Dracaena Marginata and I jerk back my watering can.

A quick glance towards the wall clock shows that it's been 45 minutes since Kiri had left. I should probably get going, once I clean this up.

 

------------------------------------------------

 

The drive to the airport was long, I should have calculated traffic delays and left sooner because the roads were very congested this morning. Normally, I stay home on my days off, either reading or playing a video game so I don't have to deal with the rest of humanity for a day or two.

Kiri is probably wondering if I fell off the face of the earth, though he's probably call if he had been waiting for a while.

 

I find a parking spot at the very end of the airport, squeezed between two silver trucks marked security and hope that no one tows my car for parking in a reserved spot. Hopefully, I won't be too long.

I send a text asking where he is and a minute later Kiri answers back, telling me which gate he's waiting by.

 

God, the crowds are nuts! Is there a holiday that I don't know about? I'm going to be bruised and battered by the time I get out of this rat race!

 

I spot the gate number, rounding a large potted plant with serrated palm leaves reaching skywards. It's then that I recognize the tall man standing with his back to me, longish black hair pulled back into a tight pony tail that, frankly, raises his sex appeal by at least 100 points.

 

They're standing pretty close and their conversation looks personal so I stop, hiding behind the plant because I don't want to intrude or anything.

 

Bakugou has filled out nicely, his usually slanted red eyes are wider and his wearing an expression that I don't think I've ever seen on him before. I'm not even sure what to call his expression but maybe... wistful?

My heart squeezes and I wonder if I'm being incredibly selfish in not wanting them to get back together.

 

I hold my breath as they both lean forward and embrace each other. Bakugou is smiling now, it's a good look for him though a rare thing to see.

They're still hugging, it looks like neither of them want to let go.

Aaaaaaand they're still hugging. Okay, now it's starting to get a little weird.

Their heads lift back and they... kiss.

It's a tender, loving kiss that seems to go on for a few seconds, though it might as well have been an eternity for me. My heart sinks, for I know what must have surely transpired.

 

They're getting back together.

 

Numbing emptiness fills chest as my soul drops out the bottom of my shoes.

Of course... why else would Bakugou buy a plane ticket and come all the way out here? Of course he wants to get back with Kirishima. I can't really blame him, I mean, the man's gorgeous and, honestly, Bakugou is never going to find anyone as good as Kiri and he knows it as well as I do.

 

So, where does that leave me? Out in the cold, again. I just had to let my feelings get in the way again, didn't I?

 

My feet are no longer glued to the cement, slipping back around the pot and allowing myself a weak smile.

My fingers clutch the cloth above my heart, as if that might help this aching in my chest go away.

Why does it hurt so much? I want them to be happy, they're my friends. So what is this bitter resentment that wells up from deep inside?

 

This must be what it's like to feel your heart break. The sound of my heart breaking is quiet, while my insides wilt and my mind fills with the noise of hundreds of thousands of thoughts.

 

I kinda always knew this would happen, though. I allowed myself to entertain a dream that I desperately wanted to be real and look where it got me.

This is 'real' life though, outside the dreams. Bending you until you break and then you're left with the pieces and trying to put them back together again, hoping to make some sort of sense of it all.

 

In reality, I've only done this to myself. The realization that it serves me right gives me some respite from the pain that fills my chest.

I slipped up and let someone in, tricked myself into believing that there might be something between us when really, it was just me, again. All he needed was a friendly ear to listen to him, a shoulder to cry on and I had to go and start imaging things.

 

Warmth flows down one side of my face, rubbing at it quickly with the back of my hand and forcing it back. Forcing it all back because now is not the time.

I take a very deep breath and let it out, I need to keep it together. I can deal with my feelings later and certainly not here. My resolve allows me to put a smile on my face and walk back the way I'd come; I needed to get out of here right now, away from all these people.

This is better though, better that it happened now instead of later, before I dug myself in any deeper.

I needed somewhere to go and collect my thoughts and I knew just the place.

 

----------------------------------------

 

It's a little cooler up here, a lot quieter than the city and a lot more open too.

Without fail, this place is where I will always end up whether it was a bad day on the job or just to get a breath of fresh air. I actually looked into buying a grave plot up here but this is a park so they don't really allow that kind of thing.

 

It's mercifully empty of people today, I pass no one on the dirt road and the absence of walkers and hikers along the road is a relief. I like people in general but I really just wanted to be surrounded by the isolation of the mountain.

 

Since dandelions bloom year round, their bright yellows are mixed in among the late summer blooming plants. The meadow is alive with color and about 200 different specie of bees and butterflies and the cacophony of birds in the surrounding white pines makes it difficult to ever hear myself think.

 

I thought about if I might have been better off just staying home in bed with the curtains drawn, eating an entire chocolate cake or something but this was okay.

Kiri would still be there and I just can't cope with seeing him right now.

I don't know if he plans on leaving tonight or not but I'll be ready to deal with him later, I hope anyway.

He'll be gone soon, I'm sure, and then everything'll will go back to normal like it was before.

 

God, I can't help that I love him though. That he belongs to somebody else doesn't change that fact.

So why can't I fall for someone else, love another that will love me in return? Someone that will put me first, someone that will just take me the way I am? Someone that would hop on a plane in the middle of the night and come find me in a strange city full of people.

 

I sigh again, shaking my head at myself and pull the car off to the side of the road, parking on a dirt shoulder recently cleared of weeds and rocks. I climb out, breathing in deep, dusty road air and smelling the fragrance that is the mountains and trees.

 

Before me is a trail I've hiked many times, winding and weaving through a sprawling meadow and nearly overgrown with the bright yellow carpet of dandelions and creeping phlox and alyssum. Purple cone flowers, white aster and red helenium tower over them all, some even reaching my waist. Yellow and white daisies are sprinkled liberally throughout and along the tree line where I spot a few white tailed does, their speckled fawns grazing alongside.

 

A massive yellow butterfly flies in my face and I jerk my head back in surprise as the great winged specimen alights on a patch of white alyssum.

 

I move off the shoulder and onto the trail, the hard worn path ingrained in my memory. It's not long before sweat runs down my back and neck. I really should have grabbed my hat, since all of my gardening tools are still in the car, too lazy to have put them away after my last foray up here.

 

Heading towards the tree line, a passenger plane glints brilliantly against the blue sky, winking at me while the distant echo of engines passing overhead is barely heard over the flock of sparrows.

 

I reach my favorite place to sit, an old moss-stained rock thats leaning against one of the big mountain firs. The warm fragrance of the white pine is soothing, settling over me like an old, comfortable blanket.

 

From here, I watch deer and birds in the meadow, far away that I won't disturb them. A couple of wild turkeys join the mix, leading a small group of sub-adults. It may sound like a boring past time but it's incredibly relaxing; here, my thoughts are my own and I don't have to put on airs for anyone.

Here, I no longer have to hide the tears that now freely course down my cheeks.

 

“I shoulda fuckin' known.” I say, leaning against the white pine. “Why do I keep doing this to myself?”

 

The rough bark of the pine pokes into my back, not uncomfortable but I do have to be careful about not picking a tree thats swarming with insects again. The trunk is wide enough that I don't have to worry about slipping off if I happen to fall asleep, which I do more often than not.

 

--------------------------------------------

 

“Good afternoon, deary.”

 

“Augh!” I nearly fall off the rock, whipping my head around to blink my dry, sleep filled eyes at the little old woman standing beside me. She's wearing a wide brim straw hat with long sleeved shirt and pants, her hiking boots are almost as big as her head. Theres a wicker basket that hangs from one arm and both of her hands rest on a knobbed cane that pokes into the ground before her.

 

“Do forgive me, I thought it would be polite to let you know I was here.”

 

Her kind, brown eyes peer up at me and I realize that even sitting down she barely meets me at eye level. Her smile is kind and theres a bit of an amused curl to her mouth.

“H-how long were you here?!”

“Oh, just long enough to know that you're nursing a broken heart.”

“Why... how... how could you possibly know that?” I ask while wiping my cheeks with my palms, no doubt my eyes are still red and puffy from crying for about 20 minutes and then falling asleep.

“I've been on this earth for a very long time.” She says as if it were some sort of cryptic message. “I know what heart break looks like.”

 

I stare at the ground between my knees, my fingers tenting together as I consider saying anything at all to her.

“I thought there had been something between us but... I'm pretty sure his his ex wants him back. He's probably going to go with him.”

I find it strange that I would just open up to a stranger that I'd just met minutes ago.

“Does he know how you feel?”

I'm not entirely sure how to explain it. “Well, I mean, we kissed...”

 

The old woman laughs, surprisingly light and not the croaking sounds I would have expected.

“Young man, unless your man had a mind reading quirk, you should probably tell him properly before it's too late.”

Her words sting and I scratch at my hairline. “It's been 6 years too late.”

“Oh my. You must have it bad then to have been pining for someone for 6 years. It sounds as though you might love this oblivious person.”

I didn't agree or disagree but the silence was answer enough.

 

“Um, how long was I asleep for?” I ask after a moment.

“About an hour.”

“You were here waiting that whole time?”

“Actually, I was in the forest harvesting Matsutake from the trees behind you. I thought it best not to disturb you, since you looked like you needed it.”

 

I glance at the woman but her face is free from any judgment or scorn, brown eyes sparkling merrily as she turns to face the meadow.

“Were you harvesting mushrooms by yourself?” I ask, looking around to see if there might be someone else lurking behind one of the trees.

 

“I always come up here to be alone but also to gather herbs for my little apothecary; my stocks of cone flower are running low.”

“Cone flower? Those are herbs?” I gaze at a nearby purple flowered stalk, a fat bumblebee hoovers over it and shakes the entire plant.

“Cone flower is another name for the echinacea plant.”

“Whoa, really? Isn't that, like, a really good herb?”

The old woman laughs, truly amused. “We might make an herbalist out of you yet, young man.”

“Please, call me Kami. All my friends do.”

“And I am Mrs. Sun. Well then, lets get to harvesting or it'll be dark before you know it. I don't fancy staying a cold night on the mountain, do you?”

“No, I suppose not.” I say, finding myself smiling after Mrs. Sun as she steps out into the sunlight.

 

The rays of heat and light beat down over her straw hat, Mrs. Sun removes a pair of pruning shears from her wicker basket and begins snipping flower stems here and there, tucking the stalks carefully into the basket.

 

“Why don't you tell me more about this young man of yours?” She says after a minute.

He question catches me off guard and again I wonder why I felt like telling this complete stranger about my personal dilemma. It can't possibly be that interesting to her or maybe she's just that bored. I mean, I don't see any ipod or phones or anything of the sort on her person.

“Well, he's hardly 'mine'. We went to school together so it's like I've known him all my life.” Reaching over, I pick one of the purple cone flowers and twirl it between my fingers, examining it closely for insects. “Same with his ex, who I guess really isn't his ex after all.”

“Why do you think they are getting back together?”

I laugh but it comes out as more of a harsh, barking sound. “I saw them hugging and kissing each other, I think it's pretty clear. I mean, his ex has got looks, is one of the most powerful quirk users in the world and his family has money. How am I suppose to compete with that?”

“And why do you suppose Chargebolt isn't worth his time?”

 

I look at Mrs. Sun as she continues selecting only the best cone flowers to add to her basket.

“Yes, I recognize you, young man. I've seen you on TV. I've always thought you have a rather impressive quirk, myself.”

“Now you're just trying to make me feel better.” I chuckle. I always wanted to hear words of praise for my abilities as a Pro but now that I was, I was slightly uncomfortable; I never really pictured myself as being modest.

 

“I always thought that you were a man of such cheerful disposition, just like your quirk.”

I wasn't sure that I'd ever associate electricity with 'being cheerful' but supposed that I could make that connection.

I continue to stare at the cone flower in hand, though my butt is starting to disagree with the rock so I finally stand and join Mrs. Sun, adding the flower to the basket. Waste not, want not, after all.

 

“I just... I want to tell him but I'm not going to get in the middle of their getting back together, ya know? If thats what he wants then he deserves to be happy with someone he loves.”

“What about you, Mr. Kami? Don't you deserve to be happy too?”

I smile through the pain. “I'll be fine. Not to sound insufferably disconsolate or anything but I'm pretty used to it.”

Mrs. Sun smiles but doesn't say anything though she's probably wondering whatever happened to the world's current generation.

 

The sound of a vehicle approaching at a slow speed draws my attention, looking towards the road to see a tail of dust beginning to curl heavenward, the vehicle still hidden behind the crest of the road.

I guess the mountain wasn't as isolated as I had hoped it would be. But when the meadows are in full bloom like this, it's hard imagine that people aren't flocking to the mountains.

 

It's only when I recognize the faded paint job that I drop to the ground in a crouch.

“I say, what are you...”

“Shh! Thats him! How'd he find me?!” I whisper hiss at Mrs. Sun as she turns about and faces the road. How the hell did he know I'd be up here and in this particular spot? Someone must've told him...

 

“That dark haired young man? Maybe you should go talk to him.”

“I really can't deal with this right now! Just... go tell him you haven't seen anyone else up here or something!”

“He's coming this way. This is a good opportunity for you to tell him how you truly feel.”

“I can't do that!” Anxiety bubbles in my chest and the very idea terrifies me.

I don't want to face rejection, if I talk to him and it's put into words, that'll make it real.

“Good afternoon!” Mrs. Sun greets Kiri as his footfalls scrunching the packed dirt path.

“Good afternoon to you too.” The sound of Kiri's cheerful voice stings me with each syllable.

Well of course he's going to be happy, he's getting back with his ex.

But I felt ridiculous so I rise from behind the huddle of cone flowers. Unable to keep from looking, I'm further stung by his radiant smile, rivaling the burning star overhead.

“You must be the boyfriend.” Mrs. Sun says casually.

Grrk! What, is she trying to kill me with my own awkwardness? He's not my boyfriend!

“Oh, so you talked about me already, huh?” Kiri chuckles good naturedly, scratching the back of his head. “I hope it was all good?”

“I fear that you have come to take my new friend away.” Mrs. Sun remarks.

“Yeah, I mean, if he wants?”

 

They both turn and level questioning gazes at me and I resign myself to my fate.

“How did you find this place?” I ask.

“You kinda abandoned me at the airport so I had to take another taxi back to your place but you weren't there and your phone was off. I was afraid something might've happened to you, with how crazy traffic has been and all.”

“I'm... sorry about that.”

I truly was, that was pretty crappy thing for me to do.

“Ojiro's number was on the fridge so I called him and he suggested you might be up here. And he was right. It's beautiful up here, I can see why you love it so much.”

He looks around at the trees, the meadow full of colorful blooms before his eyes settle back on me.

“Kami, why don't you show him around? It's much cooler in the shade of the trees. But do be careful to not step all over the Matsutake colonies.”

 

There's no chance I'm wriggling my way out of this one. Kiri falls in stride behind me, following as we walk past the moss-stained rock and into the shade of the trees.

“So, you gonna tell me what the heck is going on?”

“What do you mean? Nothings going on.”

Kiri stops so I stop after a few paces, half turning I watch him as he sighs, fingers carding through his hair.

“Guess I was wrong; this isn't going to be so easy after all. Are you gonna tell me what youre thinking or am I going to have to guess?”

Mrs Sun's words about being a mind reader return.

“Kami, if you don't want to be more than friends then just say so. I'm not going to hate you for it, you know.”

“Wha...? That's.. that's not it at all.”

“Then what is it? Because I'm honestly at a huge loss right now.”

I stare at my hands, nervously ticking my finger tips together as I decide what to say next.

“I came to pick you up and I saw you with Bakugou.”

“Yeah, and? Oh... you probably saw us... ah. So that's what this is all about.”

He says this as though we were discussing the rise and fall of stock numbers, he's even smiling and trying to hide it behind his hand as he drags it across his chin.

 

I glare at him, face burning as my hands dropping to my sides in clenched fists.

That's what this is all about?! Oh, that's all, is it?”

“Wait, Kami, you misunderstand--”

“Oh I understand perfectly but it's not really any of my business, is it? Just don't expect me to be happy about it because I'm tired of pretending that it doesn't kill me a little bit inside! Yeah, I did write that letter all those years ago! Why? Because I can't help the way I feel about you! So, if you've come here just to tell me that you're getting back with Bakugou then please, spare me the details!”

 

I'm breathing hard, face burning and theres an ache in my palms from where my nails were digging into my flesh.

I've said too much. Way too much. A sense of disbeleif and horror squeezes my heart so tightly I think I might faint.

I've gone and done it now, haven't I? I've ruined our friendship, all because I couldn't control my temper.

I've ruined everything! If Kiri is disgusted with me then he had every right to be but... there's definitely a weight that's been lifted.

 

Kiri looks surprised, not disgusted or angry or even sad. Just surprised.

I look away, unable to maintain eye contact now that my anger has been spent, leaving me with a steaming pile of regret. But I have one more thing to say and I need to say it before I chicken out again.

“So if youre getting back with Bakugou then I can't be happy for you because I... kinda love you.”

There.

I finally said it.

 

“Don't you think you should involve me before making any harebrained decisions about me on your own?”

Anther stab of anger hits me but I control it. “Am I wrong? What am I suppose to think?”

He covers the few paces between us in one stride, snatching the wrist of my right hand I'm too surprised to do anything but stare at him.

“Wha...?”

He places my hand flat against his chest, pressing into my palm and still gripping my wrist.

“Feel that?”

His heart is beating fast, I can feel it through his black T-shirt.

“That's how it's been ever since I almost hit you with my car.”

 

“I don't understand...”

“What you saw was nothing more than a goodbye kiss, as unconventional as it might seem to you but that's what it was.”

“Bakugou...”

“He doesn't know what he wants. He said as much and was only passing through because he's going on a much needed vacation. He just needed to talk and ee did. But I do know what I want.”

 

He lets go of my hand but neither of us move. My face is burning with a different kind of heat, his words echoing in my mind with each second ticking by.

 

“This trail is about... oh, do excuse us.” A man carrying a heavy back pack stops and apologizes, looking uncomfortable as his eyes switch from Kiri to me and back again.

We're standing in the middle of the path with my hand still against his chest.

I drop my hand and quickly step aside, Kiri and the man nod to each other while the woman behind him meets my eyes with this knowing smirk on her face.

 

“Come on.” Kiri says and takes my hand, interlocking our fingers together and pressing the back of my hand against his chest. There's a huge grin on his face and I can't help but smile in return and my spirit soars on wings of happiness. I've just confessed to the love of my life and he's accepted my feelings.

“Let's go home.”

 

--------------------------------------------

 

I vault the couch and land beside Kiri, who managed to keep the plastic red bowl of popcorn from spilling all over the place. Grabbing a handful and shoving half of it into my mouth, I pick up the remote and hit play, thinking that I wouldn't mind trading places with that bowl of popcorn.

I wonder what movie Kiri picked out, he promised that it's not I've seen before and that it's good.

I open the can of soda and take a fizzy sip as the beginning credits play.

“Wait a second... “ My smile fades and I stop chewing.

“This is a scary movie, isn't it?” I turn an accusatory gaze upon the smirking Kiri, who just pops another kernel of popcorn into his mouth.

 

“You jerk! You know I hate these kinds of shows!”

“Come on man, it's just a creature feature. It was made in the 80's, it's not even that scary.”

“Ya, right. If anyone has to go outside after dark, it's going to be you!”

“Fine by me.”

“What is this one called, anyway?”

“Relic.”

“Relic?”

“Thats all I'm gonna say about it so just watch the show.” He promises and drapes an arm over my shoulder, pulling me to his side.

Well, this isn't so bad. I get to nuzzle his his chest and once the movie starts playing I immediately tuck my legs under me and wish I hadn't turned off all the lights.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

“Well?”

“Well what?”

“It was good, right?” He says while gently caressing my bare knee and thigh.

“It was okay.”

I wasn't going to be able to go to the bathroom at night without turning on all the lights for a while though.

“Wanna watch something else? Maybe a Disney Princess movie?”

“You mock me but those Princesses are actually kinda cool.”

“Yeah? Which one is your favorite?”

He can't possibly be interested in Disney Princess movies. And I haven't had anything to drink to warrant such a conversation but I was feeling pretty good being pressed up against his side.

 

“Mm, I don't wanna talk about that right now.”

“Then what do you wanna talk about?”

“I don't really wanna talk about anything.” And to emphasize this, one of my hands slides across his belly, fingers ghosting under the hem of his shirt suggestively.

“Neither do I.” He says, leaning over. The feel of honeyed kisses caress my cheeks, forehead and eyelids before finally kissing me on the mouth, all sending these electric shivers down my spine that has nothing to do with my quirk.

 

Kiri moves the red bowl, unpopped kernels scattering all over the place when he misses the coffee table. Sliding into his lap and straddling him, I turn his attention away from his apologetic stare at the floor by turning his face to me and kissing him hard on the mouth.

His back presses into the couch, humming in both surprise and delight. He breaks away, panting as the red blush in his cheeks intensifies.

“I need to catch my breath.” He says, almost apologizing. I kiss his jaw, lightly biting at the curve of his mandible and moving to his neck.

Kiri tilts his head up and to the side, giving me more area to kiss and mark. I tug impatiently at the hem of his shirt, smiling greedily down at him as palms and fingers press on the small of my back. Fingers slide beneath the hem of blue pinstriped shorts, soft cotton giving way to a hand that squeezes my butt cheek.

“You're not wearing anything under these, are you?” He murmurs, eyes hooded and pupils wide with arousal.

“Mm hm.” I hum around the darkening bruise beneath his ear.

 

Eager to explore the expanse of muscle and sinew beneath my hands, we break apart just long enough to pull each other's shirts off, tossing them to the floor and diving right back in with kisses and small sounds.

He's gorgeous, obviously still putting a lot of time and effort into his personal exercise regime.

 

Mouths fit together, tongues slide into the other's cavity until the kissing just isn't quite enough. I want more and a moan drags itself free as fingers tease and pinch my nipples just hard enough to be in the grey area of painful.

A rising firmness presses beneath me, grinding down to give my own neglected erection a little attention I'm rewarded with a delicious moan from Kiri as his hot breaths spill against the curve of my neck.

He squeezes my cheek again, hard, and slides his other hand under the cotton band, moving lower until he's pressing against my hole.

 

I bend low and suck at his collar bone and finally his nipples, his back arches slightly into me and the sounds he makes gets me so hard that it's pressing uncomfortably tight against my clothes.

I meet his gaze with a smile and and slide off his lap and stand, taking his knees in each hand and spreading them apart so I can settle between his legs.

“May I?”

He watches with slightly parted lips that smile, reaching to twirl and play with my hair.

“Please.”

I don't miss the tone of desperation in his voice, the soft pleading in his eyes that sends another hot pang straight to my groin.

 

Unbuckling his belt, I lower my head and mouth at the tent in his jeans, hear the sharp intake of breath and the tightening grip in my hair. Pulling the lapels back and gently sliding the band of underwear down, his cock slips free and towers before me.

I'm impressed; I've always thought he'd be well hung but this beats even my own expectations. I'm even a little bit jealous.

 

I run my tongue around the base of his cock, licking along the underside of his shaft and tonguing around the head.

I take him all the way in, hitting the back of my throat and huffing at the dark, silken hair around the base.

He groans loudly in surprise and pleasure, fingers tightening their grip in my hair.

Head bobbing several times, the shaft is pressed between hands that follow mouth and tongue.

“Denki...”

Both hands are now tangled in my hair.

My jaw gets tired quickly though and I go back to licking, my slippery muscle twisting and curling around his head and shaft.

 

His breaths are coming in faster now, eyes closed and the muscles of his abdomen tighten, forewarning of his impending release.

Reaching below my own belt, I palm at my own erection through my clothes, humming at the welcome pressure and making sure to watch Kiri's reaction.

“I'm coming, Denki!” He warns and tries to pull my head away but I've decided to see him through to the end.

He moans again when I again take his entire length, his body trembles beneath my hands.

He thrusts upward once, twice, and comes on the third thrust.

“Ah! Denki!”

 

My mouth is filled with the stuff, overflowing even as I swallow the viscous, hot liquid. Leaning back on the balls of my feet, I grab my shirt and wipe the excess off my mouth and chin while slowly stroking out the last bits by lightly squeezing my thumb along the underside of his shaft.

His head rests against the back of the couch, eyes closed as he breaths deeply.

 

I snatch the half empty can of soda off the coffee table, draining the rest of the can to wash the taste out of my mouth.

I nearly choke on it when Kiri grabs my cock through my clothes, palm rubbing up and down.

 

“How do you want it?” He asks, eyes laughing as I grip his shoulders.

“I-I don't really care.”

“Tell me what to do.” He suggests.

A thought crosses my mind and I stare at him with curiosity boarding realization.

“You like power bottoms, don't you? Bakugou kinda always struck me as a power bottom kinda guy.”

 

Kiri pauses, his smile freezing and looking as though he might be in trouble or something but I lean forward and kiss him sweetly, fingers tilting his chin towards me.

“I'm going to lay on the couch and I want you to watch me. You're not allowed to touch me until I say so.”

He swallows, pupils dilating with interest as I get to my feet and slide the pinstripes off my hips, the band catching my cock. I lay on the couch, the arm rest against my shoulders and open my legs provocatively before him.

 

Hand sliding between the cushions, I find the cool to the touch bottle of lube and the small packet of condoms.

“So thats what was poking me in the side last night.” Kiri remarks, eyes never leaving me as I pop open the lid and apply a liberal amount of lube across my palm.

Once my fingers are coated, I lower my hand between my legs and think that it might be time to do some landscaping again.

Kiri's adam's apple bobs as he swallows again, leaning against the back of the couch on his side. I think it's kinda cute how his face colors and he chews on the knuckle of his pointer finger as I slide a finger into my hole, going as far as I can.

I catch my bottom lip between my teeth, moving my finger in and out before adding the second digit and listening to the light squelching sounds they make. Stroking myself slowly and moaning appreciatively behind my biting lip, I tip my head back to stare at the uneven paint stripes along the ceiling.

 

I've spent some time studying those stripes, whether I was alone or on my back with someone else. This time though, I welcomed their appearance, providing a sense of familiarity that gave me courage and allowed me to come even more undone.

“Ah! Eiji, I feel so good!”

By the time I've added a third finger, Kiri is already getting hard again. Good, he's got a faster than average refractory period.

His pupils so wide they almost cover his red iris, still biting his knuckle while slowly stroking his own cock back to life but takes a moment to dig the side pockets of his duffle bag, retrieving his own condom packet because, frankly, the ones stored between the couch cushions weren't big enough.

Massaging my prostate, I bring myself to the brink of orgasm and stop, pulling my fingers out with a desperate whine.

“Eijirou...”

 

He's on me in an instant, our bellies pressing together and elbows resting on the arm rest behind me as he kisses me hungrily.

“Denki,” he breaths hotly down the side of my neck, “I want you right now.”

“Mmm. Eiji, make me feel good.”

“Once I'm done with you, you're not going to want anyone else touching you.”

He's a funny guy.

“Pfft. Like I haven't heard that before.” I giggle in his ear. “But seriously though, I want you in me.”

An arm reaches between us and the head of his cock presses against my opening, slowly pushing past the ring of muscle.

“Ah... yes...”

Even halfway in I'm already so full, spreading my legs wider in an attempt to take more of him in.

And then he's seated, panting as he lowers his head and presses the sides of our faces together.

His jaw moves against mine as he whispers in my ear.

“I'm going to show you what it's like to have someone that loves you make love to you.”

 

His words tug sharply at my heart strings and I have to bite my trembling lip to hide my sob. Tears spring to my eyes as a wave of emotions threaten to spill out. His words rang true, painfully so.

Anyone else I've ever had weren't making love, not really. It was just a way for two lonely people to pass the cold and dark nights.

Not even with Jirou because or relationship had been doomed from the start; she was well aware that my heart belonged to someone else. It hadn't been fair to her and it's been one of my greatest regrets.

“I love you, Denki.” He says, his thrusts eliciting tears to roll down my cheeks.

“I do t-too!” I say with hands that cling to him while lightly sobbing into his shoulder. “L-love you!”

Our bond transcended mere human affection and loyalty; this is a fusion of souls and I will never be the same again.

 

And once the tears were dried, the heat gathered tightly around our cores released and the last vestiges of mind blowing orgasm have faded, we both lay exhausted and limp together on the couch with just the sounds of heavy breathing to fill the silence.

If anyone were to walk through my front door right now, they'd be hit with the strong smell of ardent sex as well as the sight of two naked men laying on the couch.

 

My breath falls even once again, the beat in Kiri's chest slow and methodical as he drifts in and out of sleep.

“How come you stopped coloring your hair?” I ask, stirring the peaceful quiet.

“You wouldn't think it but my hair grows wicked fast. I just kinda got tired of dealing with it.” He says with a slight shrug beneath me. “But I've been thinking about getting it done again.”

“Mm, you should. Red looks good on you.”

“Mmm.” He muses lazily.

 

My phone starts ringing, vibrating the wood surface of the coffee table I lift my head and can see that it's Ojiro calling.

Ojiro never calls this late, in fact he hardly ever calls because he's too busy being a Pro and raising three kids with invisible tails.

“Ojibro, what's up?”

Hey, Kami. I was just calling to see if everything alright?”

“Yeah, everything's good. Better than good.”

Kiri ever find you?”

“Yeah. Um, thanks.”

No problem.”

The familiar voice of Toru is heard in the back ground, though I can't hear what she's saying it sounds inquisitive.

Oh yeah, Toru wants to know if you guys happened to see the ghost lady while you were up there.”

“Um, the ghost lady?”

Kiri's eyes have cracked open with interest.

Yeah, apparently there's this old woman that died up there a long time ago, today was supposed to be the day she died.”

“Yeah, I don't believe in ghosts?”

Toru says something and Ojiro relays with a chuckle. “She says youre full of crap. Anyway, foods done so gotta go.”

 

I'm left staring at the phone. How come I've never heard this story before?

“Don't tell me that you actually think Mrs. Sun was a ghost.” Kiri says, his words riddled with sarcasm.

“Well, I've been going up there for years and I've never seen her before.”

“Denki darling, you are far too gullible.” Kiri says and leaning up, kisses me on the cheek before sitting up. “I don't know about you but I'm starving.”

“Yeah.”

A final shrug and I toss my phone back onto the coffee table, massaging a stiff lower back as Kiri stands and strips out of his dirtied jeans. Muscles ripple and slide under dark tanned skin, not to mention that he's got the most fantastic bubble butt I've ever laid eyes on.

“Admiring the view?”

“Of course.” I pause. “Do you think she was a ghost?”

 

Kiri shakes his head. “Look, we can go back up there if it'll make you feel any better.”

It might.

“She said she had an apothecary but I didn't bother getting the address. Now I wish I would have.”

“Does it really bother you so much?”

“What?”

“The idea that you may have walked and talked with a ghost?”

“Its kinda awesome, actually. I mean, if that was a ghost then she was the nicest damn ghost ever.”

Kiri laughs in agreement, removing a new change of clothes.

“So, wanna help wash me wash all the soap bubbles off?”

I shake my head with a smile. “My bathroom really isn't that big and you're a big guy. In more ways than one.”

I'm pleased to see the shade of red that colors the tops of Kiri's shoulders and neck, spreading to his face.

 

I hop up but immediately regret it because an uncomfortable sensation radiates through my lower back, however; it's nothing compared to the pain of my pinkie toe catching the edge of the coffee table's leg.

“Does Red Robin sound good?” Kiri asks, to which my mood improves significantly.

“I'm going to google all the apothecary's in the city.”

“Uhm...”

“Don't look so doubtful. Seriously, how many can there be? Besides, it's not like I'm going to want to go visit every single one of them.”

Kiri shakes his head but drapes an arm over my shoulder and steers me towards the bathroom.

“You know, you're right; it would be awesome if she really was a ghost.”