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Candy Canes And Christmas Crackers

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“Wait, ok, so let me get this straight-” Kirishima started, sighing deeply to compose himself before Kaminari interrupted him.

“There is nothing straight about this situation, dude.” Kaminari squeaked out between giggles, wiping a tear from his eye as Kirishima slammed his hand down on the table and was taken by another fit of howling laughter. It was too early in the morning for Bakugou to be dealing with this shit and he glared over the rim of his coffee mug as they all sat at a table in the dorm kitchen. The holiday break of their third year at UA was about to start and things were surprisingly quiet around the dorms. Small flurries of snow were already falling outside the window while the students got ready to go home or were still asleep.

“Would you two shut the fuck up already, I’m serious here.”

“Sorry, sorry.” Kirishima took yet another breath in and calmed himself before saying, “So….your huge family somehow all think that you have a long term boyfriend and are insisting that you bring him to your week long Christmas family reunion?” Despite his efforts the end of his question raised in pitch as Kirishma swallowed down a giggle.

“How does that even happen?” Kaminari added popping some of the hashbrowns Bakugou made into his mouth. After waking up and realizing the situation he had put himself in he ended up making enough breakfast to feed six people while trying to burn off his frustrated energy. A few classmates had filtered into the kitchen but most turned away once they saw him furiously whisking eggs looking like he was ready to purposefully set fire to the kitchen. He’d texted these two chucklefucks to come eat so the food wouldn’t go to waste which was how they ended up in this conversation. Though at this point it felt less like a conversation and more of an excuse for them to laugh at his pain, great friends that they were.

Bakugou sighed and chugged half of his coffee before slamming the mug down on the table and leaning back in his chair to explain. “The fucking family group chat woke me up. My Aunt Akasuki discovered how to use technology and made a text chain with everyone in my family that can hold a damn cellphone and the notifications never stop.” He took his silenced phone out of his pocket, pinching the bridge of his nose as he turned it for Kirishima and Kaminari to see. Texts were coming in as he held it up, with a small number indicating that he had more than 100 other unread messages. “When the texts woke me up in the middle of the night I was pissed off and it just got worse when I looked at my phone and saw they were talking about my dating life again. I don’t know why they are so obsessed with that shit but every fucking year they get on my case about if I’m seeing someone. I just wanted them to drop it and for some reason I thought it was a good idea to text them ‘I have a boyfriend’. I didn’t even look at their responses I just silenced my phone and went back to sleep. When I woke up I had approximately three-fucking-hundred texts and my family telling me how much they can’t wait to meet my boyfriend at Christmas. I even have a voicemail from my mom bitching me out for not telling her earlier.”

After a few taps on his phone screen he had the voicemail up and playing. He didn’t even need to put it on speaker for them to be able to hear the immediate screaming of his mother, “You asshole! You go off and date someone and you don’t tell me? Do you know how god damn embarrassing it was when your Aunt Hisa asked me about your boyfriend and I had to admit I had no clue what the fuck she was talking about. I sounded like an idiot. I am your mother, I gave up my entire life to raise you and you hide shit like this from me? I don’t know how the hell you found someone to put up with your bullshit when you won’t even tell your own mother something as important as your first boyfriend-” With a click he turned it off. The message was long enough that his voicemail ran out of space.

While they’d managed to calm their laughter as Bakugou explained his plight, after a short pause Kaminari let out a pained wheeze trying not to laugh and Kirishima wasn’t faring much better. Bakugou, meanwhile, began to consider just running away to the snowy mountains to camp and fight bears during his Christmas break.

“Why not just tell them it was a mistake?” Kirishima offered while Kaminari tried to learn to breathe again.

“They’d never let me live it down. I’d be hearing about it until I’m married.” He made a mildly disgusted face at the word married, picking his coffee back up and taking a sip. “So I’d never hear the end of it.”

“I’d offer to pose as your ‘boyfriend’ but my family is going to a ski lodge this year. I can’t get out of that.” Kaminari looked in thought for a moment before quietly adding, “I’d be great at it, though.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t be able to do that either. I am supposed to go visit my grandma this year. Sorry, Bakubro.”

He pointed a finger at the two with a scowl, about to ask why the hell they think he would want either of them to be even his fake boyfriend when a tired voice piped up behind him.

“I’ll be your boyfriend.”

Bakugou’s head whipped around in shock - he knew whose voice that was. He wasn’t sure exactly when his classmate had entered the kitchen, but it was apparently long enough ago that he’d overheard Bakugou’s situation. Todoroki stood at the fridge and made slightly disconcerting eye contact, holding a carton of orange juice in his hand. He continued to stare as he waited for some kind of response and Bakugou suppressed a horrified shudder as he brought the carton to his lips to drink directly out of it. His hair was messy, the red and white strands mixing together instead of the usual perfect part. He looked tired, like he hadn’t gotten much sleep, and was wearing well worn blue pajama pants and a gray t-shirt meaning he must have just gotten out of bed.

“What’s wrong with you? Don’t just say shit like that.” Bakugou meant for that to come out with more bite than it actually did. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Long enough.” Todoroki shrugged and placed the nearly empty carton back in the fridge, which caused Bakugou’s eyebrow to twitch, and reached into the bread box to grab a slice of bread. “You need someone to come to your family party and pretend to be your boyfriend? I can do that.”

"No, you fucking can not do that. I'm going to be at my aunt's house for an entire week, like hell you could keep it up that long.” Todoroki was too busy trying to work the toaster to even look at him which only served to make Bakugou more pissed off. "Plus if I had to live my life knowing you might've put your backwash orange juice back in my fucking fridge I'd light myself on fire. You can’t just- what are you doing to that bread."

While he was talking Todoroki made the conscious decision to forgo the toaster and just put the bread on the counter, placing his left hand on top of the slice. A moment later smoke began to rise from it.

“Toast.” Was all he said picking the bread up, which had a toasted hand print on it, off of the counter and biting into it. How does someone live like this?

“This is what I’m talking about. Why would I even let you near my family when you do shit like this.”

“I can be charming.” Todoroki said after swallowing a piece of his ‘toast’. Bakugou almost laughed at the idea of the other boy being charming in any way. It must have shown on his face, somehow, because Todoroki tilted his head before continuing, “After the week is over you would eventually have to tell your family that we broke up anyway. So why does it matter?”

"Yeah, no. Absolutely not. I'd rather ask-“ His mind rolled though people that would make a good insult like Deku, Mineta, or that blond bitch from Class B he can’t remember the name of but quickly thinks, no way. He’s not desperate enough to even put those suggestions out there as a joke. Todoroki just looked at him with his head still cocked to the side with that same damn neutral expression, waiting for him to finish the sentence. "Whatever, fuck off."

“Is that a yes?”

“It’s a Fuck Off. Why would you even want to be stuck in a house with my family for a week, anyway?”

“I don’t want to go home for the holidays.”

That stopped his brain right in its tracks and judging by the vaguely surprised look on Todoroki’s own face he was also shocked by himself readily admitting that. For Bakugou the surprise quickly morphed into anger. The worst part was he knew this anger wasn’t even at the idea of spending the holidays with Todoroki. It was directed at Endeavor and whatever the boy’s shitty father must have done to make him feel that way. The decision Bakugou made didn’t take long at all.

“If you aren’t ready by 5 tonight I’m leaving your ass here.”

Todoroki just nodded and for the first time in this conversation actually seemed speechless. Then he just shoved the rest of the ‘toast’ into his mouth and made a swift exit from the kitchen. Bakugou leaned his head back massaging his temples, already feeling a headache coming on. He sighed, turning back around in his chair, and realized that he had forgotten Kirishima and Kaminari were even there since they had been oddly quiet during the whole exchange. Kaminari had his elbows on the table and his chin resting on his hands looking at Katsuki with a smirk. Kirishima was leaning back in his seat grinning at him with the same knowing look in his eyes.

“Shut up.” Bakugou growled, grabbing his coffee off the table and standing up to leave the room too.

“We didn’t say anything!” Kirishima called after him as he stalked off.


»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Bakugou walked outside with his bags half expecting Todoroki to not show up but, of course, as soon as he neared the parking lot he could see the boy waiting there. He stood next to his bag, which looked too small for someone spending a week away, looking up at the sky as a light snowfall came down. His breath came out in light puffs from the cold air and he was wearing a jacket that for anyone else would be far too thin for the winter months. The sight actually caused Bakugou to hesitate just for a moment before ruining it by briskly brushing past him.

“Hurry up. If we want to beat the damn holiday traffic we have to leave now.” He didn’t look back and just started making his way to his car. For a moment he thought Todoroki wasn’t going to follow him until he heard shuffling behind him. Soon enough he was walking beside him causing Bakugou to speed up to stay ahead which proved to be difficult. Fuck tall people and their long legs. Once they reached his car he opened the trunk with an angry huff before throwing his bags inside. He finally turned to look at the taller boy and saw he was watching him with an unreadable expression.

“What the fuck are you staring at me for? Put your shit in the trunk and let’s go.”

“There’s snow stuck in your hair.” Todoroki pointed out while placing his bag in the trunk with his.

“Uh, yeah, it’s snowing . We can't all have a quirk that melts snow a foot and a half before it can even touch us.” Even though he felt the urge to slam the trunk of his car closed he did it softly since no one, not even him, treats his car like that. As he walked over and opened the driver side door he shook out whatever snow was in his hair.

“You’re like a wet dog.”

“Just get in the car, asshole.” As soon as he sat down he started the car up and quickly turned on the heat for it to warm up.

“That’s no way to talk to your boyfriend.” Todoroki said casually as he got in and closed the door behind him.

“I told you not to say it like that.”

“You should probably get used to it if you want your family to believe we’re dating.”

“Whatever.” Bakugou growled out. The other boy had a point but there was no way he would actually say that. “Put on your fucking seat belt, Icyhot.”

He then put his car into drive and sped out of the parking lot fast enough for Todoroki to actually make a noise of surprise, quickly fastening his seat belt. Bakugou smirked, he loved his car.

“Shouto.” Todoroki said out of the blue.

“What?” The smirk fell from his face and he glanced at the other boy in his peripheral vision.

“If we want this plan to work we should probably call each other by our first names. Calling me Todoroki, Icyhot, or ‘half ’n half bastard’ might be a touch suspicious.” Todoroki pointed out as he leaned down to pick up Bakugou’s CD case and began to browse through the collection. "I've been using Shouto as my hero name anyway, you should be used to it by now."

"You still need to change that before we graduate, it's fucking dumb,” He grit his teeth for a moment, deliberating. “Fine, call me Katsuki. You call me Kacchan and I'll castrate you."

“Wouldn’t dream of it, Katsuki.” He replied snidely still flipping through his albums. The sound of his name coming from Todoroki caused his heart to beat rapidly in his chest. No one outside of his family actually called him Katsuki, making him feel weird and anxious - especially when said by the boy next to him. He could feel his hands start to sweat against the wheel.

After a moment of silence Todoroki suddenly said, “Do you smell caramel?”

"Shut the fuck up, it's me." Without thinking, he removed a hand from the wheel of the car to wipe the sweat off on his jeans.

Todoroki now looked up at him curiously. “How can you tell me to shut up and then say that it's you. Explain."

He realized that this really was the first time the two of them had been in an enclosed space alone like this if he was just now noticing the smell. He knew that Todoroki wouldn’t let it go until he explained and they still had 45 minutes left of driving to get to his aunt’s house. “I sweat nitroglycerin, the stuff smells like burnt sugar.”

“What does it-” Todoroki began, but was interrupted when Katsuki suddenly slammed on the breaks as a car cut them off.

“Mother fucker- hold up.” The blond didn’t hesitate to roll down his window and pop his head out of it to yell, “Did you get your license from a fucking cereal box!? Use your blinker, asswipe!”

He slumped back into his seat pissed off and trying to keep his quirk under control because the last thing he needed was to make the steering wheel explode since his hands were still sweaty. Todoroki stared at him for a moment, apparently with no intention of finishing his sentence, which Katsuki could guess was because he did just do that while driving at 80 mph down the highway in the snow without swerving. After getting situated again he was about to roll his window back up until Todoroki started speaking again.

“Streets of Gold by 3OH!3?” He questioned. Katsuki’s head snapped to him for a moment taking his eyes off the road and he saw him holding up the CD with an eyebrow raised. The last thing he wanted was it getting out that he liked that band enough to keep a CD in his car. He prided himself on his music tastes and even made fun of Kaminari and Ashido for listening to them. They had been dancing and singing along to the song My Dick though, so he wasn’t wrong in his judgment, but it was definitely something he didn’t want to be associated with.

On pure basic instinct he snatched the CD out of Todoroki’s hand and flung it out of the still open window like a frisbee.

The regret he felt was immediate, as much as he hated to admit it he loved that album. The need to get rid of the evidence had outweighed the fact that it wouldn’t do any good because Todoroki had already seen the truth. When he looked at the other boy he noticed that even though his expression was relatively neutral there was a spark of amusement in his eyes. Katsuki found it hard to tear his eyes away from that to look back at the road.

“It’s not good to litter.” Todoroki commented.

“Yeah, well it’s not good to go through other people’s shit!” He hissed back, gripping the wheel tightly. Todoroki closed the CD collection placing it back where he had found it before fishing his phone out of his pocket and gesturing to the aux cord.

“Before I plug this in promise me you aren’t going to throw my phone out the window.”

“Don’t tempt me.”

Katsuki never liked it when others had control over the music in his car, he didn’t like when others had control in general. Of his friends the person he actually trusted the most with the aux cord was Ashido and even then after about half an hour of her playing her pop music he would need it to change. So, needless to say, he was apprehensive about the idea of Todoroki picking the music. Although, he was curious about what kind of music the other boy would listen to. After a moment of thought Todoroki seemed to have made his choice and music began to play.

“Tch, I shouldn’t be surprised you like songs off Folie a Deux.” Katsuki muttered as the song What A Catch, Donnie by Fall Out Boy played.

“Why?” Todoroki’s head tilted a bit and he seemed actually curious about Katsuki’s answer.

The truth was that it just made sense for him and Katsuki’s not sure why he hadn’t thought of it earlier, especially now that they’d known each other for three years. Like hell he was going to say that out loud though. “It’s their most emo album to date. Of course you of all people would like it.”

“Sounds like you know the album pretty well.”

“If you’re insinuating that I like this music then you are sorely mistaken.” When he said this Todoroki shrugged eyeing him incredulously but there was no way Katsuki was going to admit to his emo phase in early middle school. They fell into a surprisingly comfortable silence after that just listening to the music as he put his attention back to the road.

It took about two minutes for Katsuki to start humming along quietly and Todoroki to throw him a knowing look. The blond was too focused on the road to see it, which was probably for the best.


»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Surprisingly, the car ride wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be, or at least after the CD incident it wasn’t. They did hit some of the holiday traffic which had made him want to rip his hair out and even though he denied it when Todoroki questioned him, he absolutely spent 15 minutes driving around very lost. But still, it wasn’t as bad as he thought it’d be, mostly due to Todoroki. He would have bet money on the fact the two of them would be at each other's throats in an enclosed space like this for such a long time. Sure, during their second year they came to some kind of silent understanding that they weren’t going to be complete dickheads to each other, but they were still nowhere near friends. So it was shocking that the car ride for the most part was them going between civil conversations and bouts of comfortable silence listening to music. He swore he even saw the boy smile when he shocked Katsuki by playing a song off the album he’d thrown out the window earlier in the drive.

It was around six when they finally arrived at his Aunt Mineko’s house. Well, really the place was more of a western style mansion even though she never married and never had any kids. According to her that was the way she wanted to keep it and Katsuki could respect that. The scale of the the place made it perfect for Christmas with his family since it had the ability to actually house all of them. Lights were intricately hung up around the roof which his aunt had probably paid someone to do. Out of everyone in his family she was the one with the most money and she loved to show it. Many cars were parked around the house making Katsuki realize they must be the last ones to show up. God, his mom was going to kill him.

As they got the bags out of the trunk Todoroki looked around at the cars with interest. “How many people are in your family?”

Katsuki let out a short humorless laugh. “A lot. My mom’s side of the family is huge since everyone just won’t stop having kids. Don’t worry about it if you can’t remember all of their names, it might actually humble them.”

“You don’t like having a big family?” He asked walking side by side with Katsuki as he made his way to the door. It was infuriating that he insisted on doing that.

“It’s fucking hell! None of them know shit about personal space and everyone is always trying to get into everyone else’s damn business. That’s how this situation even happened. You’re not going to hear true silence until we get the hell out of this place.” He dropped his bags in front of the door so he could press the doorbell with much more force than necessary. “Don’t trust any of them, especially my older cousins and the twins. Just remember that all of them are fucking psychopat-”

Katsuki’s warning was cut off when suddenly the door creaked open and a hand shot out grabbing the taller boy by the front of his jacket like something out of a horror movie. Todoroki’s eyes widened a fraction and he let out a small surprised noise dropping his bag when he was yanked into the house. Katsuki didn’t even have a chance to see who it was before the door was slammed in his face.

Chapter Text

“Shit!” Katsuki grabbed the bags, which wasn’t an easy feat since he was left with all of them but the prospect of Todoroki being left alone with his family for any period of time without him there to run damage control was enough motivation to accomplish it. He kicked the door open and scanned the large foyer for Todoroki or his mysterious assailant. The front room was large with a grand staircase, decorated with garland and strings of soft lights, that lead up to the many bedrooms in the house. There was no sign of Todoroki around so without hesitation Katsuki hurled the bags across the room towards the stairs and ran down one of the many halls. “Todo- fuck ! Shouto!”

He paused and gave himself a moment of silence to try to hear some kind of response. He was only met with silence and was about to take off again in a different direction when he heard it.

“Hey everyone, look who we found!”

He recognized the boisterous voice of his cousin Mai and it was hard to miss the resulting commotion of his family from her words. He took off like a bat out of hell through the veritable labyrinth of a house in the direction of the sound, making his way to the living room. What he found was his three older cousins, Riku, Mai, and Airi, presenting Todoroki like he was some kind of prize they just won. Airi had her arm slung around the boy’s shoulders while Mai and Riku stood on either side of him. The rest of his family were gathered around to ask questions and meet Katsuki’s ‘boyfriend’. Todoroki’s eyes were wide and his expression could easily have been compared to that of a cat ready to bolt. Those mismatched eyes met his and Katsuki could see a small amount of relief flash through them. A new jolt of annoyance directed at his family sparked in him.

“You’re all scaring him. Give the boy some room.” His grandfather spoke up from his chair.

“Yeah, back off.” Katsuki growled, pushing through his family to get to Todoroki. “God, you people are a bunch of animals.” Spotting an unoccupied couch, he grabbed Airi by the arm she had slung across Todoroki's shoulders and just above her knees, scooping her into a brief bridal-carry before unceremoniously tossing her to the cushions. When she'd settled she stuck her tongue out at him, to which he replied with a raised eyebrow and a middle finger.

“Aw, come on. We just were excited to meet him. We’re already friends, right?” Riku said as he looked to Todoroki for confirmation with a grin that could only spell trouble. For a moment, Katsuki contemplated throwing him as well.

“Well-”

“Let me get a good look at him!” His Aunt Mineko interrupted Todoroki, placing her glass of wine on the fireplace mantle, her heels clacking on the hardwood floor as she walked up to him. She grabbed Todoroki by the jaw and turned his head back and forth as though she was performing an in depth inspection. “Strong jawline...beautiful eyes... very couture hair...and-” She forcibly opened his mouth, looked inside, and gasped turning to Katsuki without releasing Todoroki from her hold. “Perfect teeth! He could be a model, Katsuki, I’m impressed. You did a good job!”

She turned back to the other boy, who looked very uncomfortable, and finally let go of his mouth only to rest her hands on his shoulders. Leaning in she said, “You’re that boy from UA right? Let me know if this whole hero thing doesn’t work out and I’ll have a job for you in a heartbeat. I own one of the best modeling agencies-”

“Get your cougar paws off him!” Katsuki slapped her hands away and pulled Todoroki back towards him with a little too much force causing him to stumble into him a bit. On instinct the blond wrapped a protective arm around his waist, resting a hand on his hip. As he glared at his family he could feel the other boy relax under his hold and for a moment it felt like his brain needed a jumpstart, unsure of how exactly to process the other’s reaction.

Apparently, that show of weakness was just long enough for his Aunt Akasuki to yank Todoroki out of his grip and into a crushing hug causing him to immediately tense up again. “It’s so amazing to meet you! We were all so surprised to hear someone actually caught Katsuki’s eye. He was so adamantly against dating before, you really must be something special!”

“Here, let me get your coat for you!” His Aunt Hisa popped up behind Todoroki as Aunt Akasuki let go of him. Before he could even respond Aunt Hisa took his jacket off him revealing a black turtleneck sweater he was wearing underneath. It was a sweater Katsuki had noticed him wear many times before, with how the dark color brought out the shades of his eyes and the way the fabric clung to him perfectly. Unfortunately, how the sweater looked on him didn’t seem to go unnoticed by other members of his family as well.

“Do you have an older brother and how much does he look like you?" Mai asked linking her arm with Todoroki’s.

“He already has a-”

So you do have an older brother.”

“You know, if you and Katsuki don’t work out you can just call me!” Airi added, hopping up from the couch and linking their arms on his other side. Of his cousins Airi was the closest to Katsuki in age and was only a few years older than him.

“I’m very g-”

“I thought I told you all to back off!” Katsuki yelled as his family members kept pushing him back so they could get at Todoroki.

“You’re from Katsuki’s class aren’t you? We all watch him in the sports festival every year. Your quirk is amazing!” His Uncle Naoko ignored Katsuki as he enthusiastically shook Todoroki’s hand and pulled him away from his cousins before he had the chance to speak.

“Oh, you’re right!” His Aunt Rin, Naoko’s wife, joined him to look at Todoroki closer as though she could hardly believe he was there. “I’m shocked Katsuki was able to keep you hidden from us.”

“Katsuki just-”

“There’s no need to explain, sweetie. We know how he can be when it comes to his privacy.” Aunt Akasuki smiled and waved off any explanation he had.

“Don’t fucking talk about me like I’m not here!” He was about to try to get between them and Todoroki when his Aunt Hisa pulled him back by the collar of his coat. Katsuki made a strangled noise in annoyance as she took the coat off of him as well before hurrying away to put them on the coat rack. Most people in his family worked in the fashion industry so he actually made an effort to dress somewhat nicer than he usually did. He was wearing a deep red v-neck sweater and a pair of dark jeans that weren’t quite as baggy as ones he would normally wear. It was simple but effective enough that his family would be off his back about his fashion choices.  

Katsuki could see that Todoroki was getting quietly overwhelmed by the amount of people touching him and talking to him. At the moment, his Uncle Taiki was taking his clothing measurements while Riku’s wife, Jin, asked him about his personal style. He opened his mouth about to snap but the sound of pots banging together interrupted him.

“All of you calm the hell down!” His mother yelled putting the two pots she had been holding down on a table. “You haven’t even let him finish a damn sentence!”

The room quieted yet no one looked ashamed, which wasn’t surprising. Finally they had given Todoroki some room and Kasuki was able to make his way to his side, shooting glares at anyone who even looked like they were going to attempt getting close.

Todoroki broke the silence with his first complete sentence since he was dragged into the mansion. “You must be Katsuki’s mother.”

“What gave it away? The old hag’s cloven hooves or the smell of sulfur?” He hissed under his breath as his mom approached.

“I heard that, brat! Don’t be fucking rude! Especially when you show up late ! How long did you expect for us to wait for your ass?” His mother rebuked and was about to slap Katsuki in the back of the head but the hit never came. Todoroki held her by the wrist to stop the blow and she faced him in surprise. He seemed to also realize what he had done and released his grip.

“Sorry, I was acting on instinct.” Nothing about his tone actually supported his apology but he did seem a bit surprised by what he did. There was a tense moment where she just stared at him but Todoroki’s gaze didn’t falter as he held his ground. Katsuki knew her glare could level buildings just as efficiently as his quirk, and for a moment he thought she was going to use it, but instead her face broke into a smile.

“I like him!” Katsuki couldn’t find the words to respond to his mom saying that. Mostly due to the shock that Todoroki had somehow actually won her respect in barely two minutes. He wasn’t even sure that was something he had earned himself yet. “Don’t apologize for protecting my son. If you two are going into the hero business together I’d hope you’d look after him like that.”

“I don’t need any damn protection!”

“Yeah well you needed it when you got kidnapped in your first year!” She yelled, turning her attention back to her son.

“Would you get over that already! Stop bringing that shit up, it was years ago!” He hated how much his mom used that against him and could feel his blood pressure rising. He had done more than enough since then to prove he can take care of his damn self.

“Yeah, well, you’re lucky your friends-” Realization dawned on his mom’s face before she whipped back around to Todoroki pointing an accusatory finger at him. “You’re the ice boy aren’t you? You were one of the students on the news that helped him that day.”

“I really didn’t do that much compared to-” He was cut off by a hug again but this time by Katsuki’s mother.

“Thank you.” She said softly. Todoroki made no move to hug her back but she didn’t seem to care. Then her tone turned back to normal when she said, “I’m sorry you have to put up with his bullshit.”

This earned a loud laugh from his Grandpa and Katsuki wondered how he ever expected to live through this week.

“Embarrassing Katsuki already?” His father’s voice came from the other side of the room where he had just walked in from the kitchen. He was still wearing an apron from cooking dinner which was no surprise, his dad was the one he learned to cook from.

“It’s my right as a mother to embarrass him.” She countered but released the boy from the hug anyway. His dad made his way to his wife’s side and held out a hand for Todoroki to shake with a polite smile on his face. His father always managed to be a refuge from the chaos of the rest of his family and Katsuki was secretly grateful for that.

“I’m Masaru Bakugou, Katsuki’s father.” Todoroki shook the offered hand and almost looked relieved that he wasn’t forced into yet another hug.

“Oh my god! Where the hell are my manners. I’m Mitsuki Bakugou and please call everyone by their first names or things are going to get very confusing. Alright people, it’s time for roll call!” She clapped her hands together twice to get everyone’s attention, beginning the long task of introducing everyone in the family.

His Grandpa was the first to respond as he slowly got up from his chair. “Hatsu Bakugou. I’m Masaru’s father.” He gave Todoroki a pat on the arm in greeting. “I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect when I heard Katsuki was bringing someone. You seem like a level headed young man.” The blond let out a scoff when he said that making the old man smile. “Or maybe not.”

“Why the hell does that matter?” There was a lack of force behind his words that came with talking to his Grandpa. He was one of the only people he actually respected around this place.

“Because you need someone that is able to keep up with you. Now where is my hug from my only grandchild.” He held his arms open and Katsuki rolled his eyes but obliged. He leaned in and even gently hugged back as Todoroki watched with the expression of someone trying to solve a 500 piece puzzle. He didn’t have a lot of time to work out whatever he was thinking before more of Katsuki’s family began to introduce themselves.

“I’m Mitsuki’s oldest sister, Akasuki Nakano and this is my husband Taiki!” She gestured to his uncle beside her who was writing down the measurements he just took of Todoroki. “Our kids are Riku, Mai, Airi, and Satomi. Satomi is looking after the children right now...wherever they have run off to.”

“And this is my wife, Jin.” Riku wrapped an arm around Jin who smiled up at him and then to Todoroki. “We have a two year old daughter named Yuki.”

“Mineko Suzuki. I’m also one of Mitsuki’s sisters.” His aunt held out her hand to Todoroki and when he took it she pulled him closer to say, “My job offer from before still stands.”

“I’ll...keep that in mind.” He said and Aunt Mineko nodded, pleased with that response, and let him go.

“I’m their only brother, Naoko Suzuki.” His uncle went to rustle Aunt Mineko’s hair but she stomped on his foot with her heel before he could. He let out a pained noise while she tucked a strand of her long blonde hair behind her ear.

“I’m Rin! Let me know if you ever need help with names, I know it’s all a lot to take in. At Naoko and I’s wedding I actually kept a cheat sheet under the table.” She smiled at him as her husband tried to regain his composure. “Oh, I can’t wait for you to meet our twins, Chiho and Daiki.”

Katsuki shot Todoroki a look hoping that he had remembered his warning about the twins and saw recognition in the boy’s eyes. Good, those two nine year olds were devious and it was only made worse by their quirk. When they held hands the chemical reaction would cause a fog around them they would use as cover to create general chaos.

“I’m the youngest of Mitsuki’s siblings. My name is Hisa Suzuki and I have a son named Masato.” Aunt Hisa was the most mild mannered of his aunts, but that didn’t mean much when the rest were basically human hurricanes.

As his family spoke Todoroki listened to them with more focus than Katsuki had seen him use in class and he realized he was actually trying to remember all their names. “It’s nice to meet you all. I’m Shouto Todoroki-”

“Ohhh, can we call you Shouto!?” Airi asked much too enthusiastically for Katsuki’s liking.

“No you can’t, he’s Todoroki to all you assholes!” He stepped in before the other boy could even respond. Especially since he looked like he was actually about to agree .

Everyone was silent for all of two seconds before Mai piped up and said, “So, Shouto, what was that again about an older brother?”

Katsuki slapped a hand to his own forehead and let out a frustrated groan, then placed his other hand on the taller boy’s back to forcibly guide him out of the room. “We’re fucking leaving!”

“Where are we going?” Todoroki asked him quietly.

“Outside. Or, fuck, I dunno, somewhere that’s not here .” He hissed out.

“Ok, well, dinner should be ready soon so don’t take too long.” His dad replied calmly, used to him acting like this. For a moment he had a flashback to when he threatened to run away as a child and his father said nearly the same thing as Katsuki filled a bag with legos to prepare for his ‘journey’. Before he could get them both out of the room Aunt Hisa stopped them.

“You should introduce him to the kids.” She suggested. “Masato has been waiting for you to show up. He was so excited in the car it was all he could talk about. He’s been working on his quirk and wants you to see.”

Todoroki shot Katsuki a perplexed look, probably confused by the idea that any child would actually be thrilled to see him. After what they went through with the extra course to get their preliminary licenses Katsuki couldn't blame him. Masato wasn’t just any five year old though, he was a future badass in training. Katsuki felt Todoroki shift and he suddenly became very aware he still had his hand on his lower back. He cursed internally and quickly removed it as though the soft fabric under his hand had burned him.

“Where are the monsters?” He asked and she smiled at his question.

“They’re in the backyard with Satomi.”

Katsuki made a grunt of acknowledgement and started to walk off, gesturing with a wave of his hand for Todoroki to follow him. They walked through the halls in silence and he could feel the other boy’s eyes boring into his back. Something about Todoroki’s gaze always left him feeling nervous and he absolutely hated how it got to him this way.

“What is it?” He snapped when he was unable to take the stare any longer.

“I thought you hated kids.”

“I do.” Katsuki opened the large door to the backyard and gave Todoroki a sour look when their ears were assaulted by the sound of screaming children. “But I wouldn’t consider these things kids.”

“Katsuki!” A small voice cried out and a weight crashed into his side. He looked down and saw Masato clinging to his leg, smiling up at him.

“Hey, brat.” He ruffled the kid’s fluffy red hair, kicking the door closed behind him. He would never admit it out loud but he did have a soft spot for the little amber eyed boy that considered himself to be Ground Zero’s biggest fan.

“I have so much to tell you! I came up with so many ideas for my hero name and costume! I’ve also been-” The child suddenly went silent and his smile morphed to an expression of shock when he set his gaze on the boy behind Katsuki, who was watching them curiously. Panic flashed through Todoroki’s eyes momentarily as though he thought he had messed up in some way.

“Hello.” The greeting was awkward, but Masato’s eyes widened when he addressed him. Katsuki sighed, knowing exactly what was about to happen.

“You’re the ice guy! The fire guy! I’ve watched your fight with Katsuki like a billion times!” The kid gasped and Katsuki could almost see the light bulb turn on above his head when he looked at him. “Did you bring him here to fight him?”

“Not this time, kid.” If that were the case everything would be a lot simpler for him.

Todoroki raised an eyebrow at that and looked right at him as he said, “I’m Katsuki’s boyfriend.”

He felt an unknown and unwelcome emotion flash through him, a tightening in his chest he felt every time Todoroki said shit like that. He felt his palms begin to sweat despite the fact he was out in the winter weather with no jacket. All it did was make him feel frustrated, nearly setting off some kind of fight or flight instinct in him. There was no way he would ever get used to it, this week was going to be hell.

“Oh...so you are going to fight crime together!” The little boy finally let go of his leg and jumped in place absolutely delighted by the idea. “That’s the coolest team up ever!”

“You think so?” Todoroki’s tone and face were serious as though he was having a conversation with an adult rather than a small child. He knelt down to Masato’s level when the kid approached him.

“Heck yes! You could freeze the villains right in place and BOOM! Katsuki could make them explode!”

“That’s a pretty good strategy.”

“Yeah, I know. I just came up with it.”

“Do you have any more ideas?”

Masato beamed, obviously overjoyed by someone taking interest in what he has to say. “I’ll come up with a bunch more, don’t worry!”

“Let me know when you do.” Todoroki stood up again dusting the snow off of his pants.

“Of course.” The kid nodded as if he had been given an extremely important task. He then lightly tugged on Todoroki’s sleeve. “Come on, I want to show you to my cousins.”

“Oh...Alright.”

Masato reached out for Todoroki’s left hand touching it tentatively at first, like he was checking it’s temperature, before taking it to pull him away to go meet the other kids. Katsuki walked alongside them and finally took in the scene in front of him. Satomi was doing her best to pull a sled along the ground that Yuki was sitting on. The minuscule amount of snow on the ground made this a difficult task and the toddler giggled every time the sled moved the slightest. Meanwhile, the twins were working on creating some kind of snow pile. Daiki was focused on their little project but Chiho was easily distracted, picking up some snow and shoving it into Satomi’s jacket. The teen yelled from the sudden cold and fell to the ground making Yuki laugh even harder. As she turned to glare at Chiho her choppy short hair turned red with anger. Satomi’s quirk was her hair essentially being a mood ring, changing colors depending on her emotion.

“Guys! Katsuki brought Shouto Tododoki!” Masato announced, dragging said person behind him with alarming strength for a five year old. Katsuki let out a short but loud laugh at his mispronunciation of his name.

“You know my name?” He didn’t seem to care about Masato’s mistake and gave Katsuki a curious look.

“Yeah, I like you.” Was Masato’s simple reply.

“He watches recordings of the sports festivals constantly. He probably knows the names of half the people in our class. Don’t flatter yourself.”

“But Tododoki is one of my favorites!” Katsuki looked to the child in shock and then to Todoroki. He felt a horrible surge of annoyance and briefly considered fighting him like Masato had suggested.

“Calm down, Katsuki. You know you’re his favorite hero, you don’t have to be jealous of your own boyfriend.” Satomi said deadpan as she stopped Yuki from falling off the sled. The girl was dressed like some kind of extra from a My Chemical Romance video and Katsuki nearly cringed at her shakely applied eyeliner. This was all a new development but everyone had to go through some kind of phase at age 13. He knows he did.

“I’m not fucking jealous!” He hissed at her quietly so the kids wouldn’t hear. It wasn’t that he was worried about the kids hearing curse words, it was that the twins were snitches.

Satomi rolled her eyes looking unconvinced. “Sure.”

Masato let go of the hand he was holding and Todoroki watched as the little boy made his way over to Katsuki to hold his hand instead. “Yeah, you’re going to be the best hero. That’s why I’m going to be your sidekick.”

“Damn right.”

“Oh! We can play heroes and villains! Daiki! Chiho! Do you want to play the villains again?” Masato let go of Kastuki’s hand and ran over to the twins excitedly.

“Hey, you already know your mom said you can’t play that until you get your quirk more under control.” Satomi reprimanded without much force. She could probably care less what the kids did at this point.

“I am getting better, though.” The 5 year old pouted, disappointed by his idea being rejected.

“Aw come on! Katsuki’s here so it should be fine!” Chiho complained.

“Focus, Chiho! We have to get this hill done before it gets dark out. We can play heroes and villains tomorrow.” Daiki chided while he added another small snowball to their creation.

“What’s this hill for?” Todoroki asked the two and Katsuki slapped a hand to his forehead. Apparently, his warnings about the twins were going ignored.

“Sledding. Duh.” Chiho said as though it was obvious and then started attempting to get more snow from the ground.

“I could help you out with that if you want.” Todoroki suggested and Masato gasped in excitement knowing exactly what was about to happen.

Chiho gave him an unconvinced look but Daiki readily agreed. “Sure, grab all the snow you can.”

“Back up.” Todoroki instructed the twins but they didn’t actually move until he held up his right hand which was already covered in frost. Wicked grins grew on their faces and the two kids gave him the room he needed. The children all watched Todoroki kneel down and place his hand on the small mound of snow. Ice shot out from the point of contact creating a large ice ramp reminding Katsuki of the one he made during ‘the kidnapping incident’. Between this and his mother bringing it up earlier Katsuki was done with thinking about that moment.

Masato let out a loud squeal and was the first to run over to admire Todoroki’s work. In his haste the little boy slipped and fell in the snow but quickly sprung back up again to touch the ice to make sure it was real. The twins went absolutely wild, grabbing their sleds and rushing to go play. Even Satomi looked at Todoroki impressed before picking Yuki up and heading over to the ramp to make sure the little demons didn’t hurt themselves.

“If the license training taught me anything it’s that kids love sliding on ice.” Todoroki said as he rejoined Katsuki and watched the twins race down the ice on their sleds. He was close enough that he could feel the heat radiating off of Todoroki’s side meaning he must have activated his quirk to keep warm.

He resisted the momentary urge to step closer and instead shot him an annoyed sideways look, “I thought I told you to be careful around the twins.”

“They just wanted to sled. That seems harmless.”

“Harmless my ass! Now they know they can get you to do shit for them. You just made this week that much worse for yourself.”

Todoroki was silent for a moment before turning to him with an expression Katsuki couldn’t quite understand.“Are you...worried about me?”

“What? No! I’m just worried about my own sanity.” Who was he kidding? His sanity was gone the moment they got here. Especially now that he couldn’t get that face Todoroki made out of his head.

Todoroki looked like he wanted to respond but didn’t have the chance to. Masato ran over to Todoroki basically vibrating in happiness and tugged on his sleeve to get his attention.

“That was awesome! Can you use ice and fire at the same time?” He asked enthusiastically, still holding on to Todoroki’s sweater sleeve.

“I can but it slows me down. I have to stay still since it takes concentration.”

“You could just lay down and destroy everyone with ice and fire!”

“Hmm, I guess I could, but wouldn’t that leave me open to be attacked?”

“Oh…yeah you’re right. Maybe just drink an energy drink so you don’t get tired and can move fast.”

“I haven’t thought of that.” Todoroki actually looked like he was mulling the idea over.

The conversation continued on with Masato babbling on with questions and suggestions while Todoroki replied to them all seriously. The little boy seemed perfectly content to spend his time chattering away instead of playing like the rest of his cousins. He hasn’t realized he was watching this interaction so closely until the twins pulled his attention away.

“Katsuki! Launch us down the hill!” Daiki shouted to him from the top of the ice. He debated for a moment if he should give into the children's demands. He did want to see how fast he could get one of those sleds to go…

“Fine. Give me a second to warm up my hands.” He rubbed his hands together and started to warm them with his breath. Todoroki looked at him with a tilt to his head.

“What happened to not doing what the twins tell you?” He pointed out. Masato stared in wonder as he conjured fire in his left hand and held it out to Katsuki. He looked at the hand suspiciously but accepted the offer and warmed his hands over the fire.

“They already know what they are going to get out of me. You’re a shiny new toy to them and they will test your limits.”

“I can handle two kids.”

“They ain’t just any kids. They’re worse than me when I was young.” Katsuki didn’t bother waiting for a response before turning on his heels to go climb up the ice ramp. The twins cheered when he joined them and excitedly climbed onto the same sled. Katsuki took a quick glance at Todoroki and saw that he was watching him, ignoring Masato who was hanging off his arm asking to see the fire again.

“Alright, gremlins. Just don’t tell your parents about this.” The two looked at him and smiled as they mimed locking their lips sealed at the same time.

“We won’t say anything!” Chiho confirmed and Katsuki nodded.

“Hey, Linkin Park! Cover the small one’s ears!” Satomi rolled her eyes at the nickname but did as she was told when Katsuki placed his hands on the back of the sled.

“Hold on tight.” The kids cheered and gripped the sides of the sled and Katsuki started running while pushing them. Once they got to the beginning of the slope he sent out a controlled burst from his palms effectively shooting the twins across the ice at what had to be close to 70 miles an hour. The people below watched with mild horror when at the end of the hill the sled hit the solid ground sending the kids tumbling into the air. Katsuki almost raced down the ice himself to check on them but soon enough the kids were laughing as they laid in the wet grass staving off his momentary panic.

“Again!” Chiho giggled. “We have to do that again! That was totally awesome!”

“Can we do it again?!” Daiki asked, hopeful.

“...Fine, but only one more time.”

One more time easily turned into three more with Todoroki extending the ice path on the ground so the twins’ sled had time to slow down. Eventually, Aunt Akasuki popped her head out to tell them that dinner was ready and for the kids to come inside. The twins complained loudly and Satomi ignored them as she pulled Chiho away by the jacket while carrying Yuki with the other arm. Daiki followed close behind since one of the main weaknesses the twins had was they were inseparable. Katsuki slid down the ice, since it was the easiest way to get down, and ignored a hand offered to him by Todoroki when he made it to the bottom. Todoroki didn’t seem surprised by his refusal of help.

“I should take care of this before we go inside.” He said looking at the hill behind Katsuki.

“I got it covered.” After a day like today he was pent up and itching to take it out on something so this provided the perfect opportunity. He cracked his knuckles ready to make something blow up but as he approached the ice ramp a large explosion came off of it right in front of him.

A shrill laugh came from behind him and he turned around to see a proud looking Masato. He was pointing at the ramp with his jacket off and All Might shirt pulled up to expose a red button where his belly button should be. The little boy pressed the button again and another explosion went off behind Katsuki where he was pointing, knocking away more chunks of ice and the five year old looked to him for approval. Todoroki stared at the him in shock and Katsuki smirked, enjoying the look on his face.

“The kid has a remote detonation quirk.” His smile turned to one more feral when he looked back to Masato. “Alright, brat, let’s fuck this shit up!”

“Yeah! Tododoki make more ice!”

Masato saying his new nickname snapped Todoroki out of whatever state he was in and he complied with a wave of his hand. Multiple ice towers shot out of the ground creating more targets for the two of them to demolish. Masato let out an excited cheer at the show of Todoroki’s quirk that turned into a battle cry when he and Katsuki began to set off explosions all over the backyard. His remote detonation quirk worked by the little boy pressing the button on his stomach, but he hadn’t learned how to control where the distant explosions would occur until recently. By pointing out where he wanted them to go he found it easier to will the explosions where he needed it. The only weakness the boy had, besides that, was he had to have a full stomach for his quirk to work and after using it excessively he’d be left extremely hungry. Aunt Hisa usually carried around a box of cheerios for him because of this and Masato always called the snack his ‘bomb energy fuel’.

Masato’s quirk had manifested itself only a year and a half ago and the child had been overjoyed to have a quirk so similar to his favorite cousin’s. Katsuki, however, had felt a bit more trepidacious. It wasn’t that he felt threatened by someone else with a powerful quirk in the family, it was surprisingly the opposite. He didn’t want Masato to go through the same things he had because, as much as he hated to admit, it he did care about the kid. With Masato following him around like a duckling at every family event since he learned to walk Katsuki hadn’t had much of a choice in that matter. The thing about having a huge family was that he had a lot of people he could disappoint. For years Katsuki has had to live with the built up expectations of them all and the pressure to live up to that. That last thing he wanted was for the child to feel that same kind of overwhelming pressure as he grew up. If that meant personally taking Masato under his wing then so be it.

He was pulled from his thoughts when he saw his explosions were not coming out as large as he would like them to be. Between his lack of jacket and the fact that the temperature was steadily dropping as it got darker it was becoming harder for him to maintain his body temperature. His eyes fell on Todoroki, who was still watching them like he just had some kind of epiphany. Hyped up on adrenaline he didn’t even think before what he said next.

“Tod- Shouto!” God, it was going to be hard for him to get used to that. Todoroki almost looked startled hearing his name come from him. Which wasn’t surprising to him considering Katsuki’s usual preference for insulting nicknames. “Do that shit with your quirk again.”

"If you're getting too cold you should probably head inside." He commented as Katsuki approached him.

“Fuck you, I could do this all damn night.” A cold gust of wind came through just as he said this causing Katsuki to shiver involuntarily and Todoroki gave him an unconvinced look. He opened his mouth to ask him what the hell that look was for when something unexpected happened.

Todoroki wrapped his arms around his shoulders and pulled him into a hug.

It was very warm due to his quirk, but not uncomfortably so. To his own horror he found himself actually wanting to sink further into it and Katsuki’s arms fell around Todoroki’s waist of their own accord. He was also made very aware of the cologne the other boy was wearing that he’d somehow missed while they were in the car together. The scent was warm and pleasant, somewhere between spicy and smoky but faint enough that Katsuki found himself fighting the impulse to bury his nose into the fabric of Todoroki's turtleneck to get a better smell. For a moment he was speechless, left with only the feeling of Todoroki’s chest as he breathed and the sounds of Masato laughing as he continued to blow things up behind him.

“What the hell do you think you are doing?” Katsuki finally managed to say. He realized he had some of Todoroki’s sweater gripped tightly in his fist and he quickly let go.

“Your family is watching from the windows,” the taller boy whispered into his ear, the sensation of warm air across his skin making the hair at the nape of Katsuki's neck rise and a shudder to wrack his body. Frowning intensely Katsuki blamed the shiver on the cold, something he and Todoroki must've agreed on as the other boy's left side heated up further. “I...thought this might be convincing for them.”

Sure enough, when he looked towards the windows he saw at least half of his family watching them with different expressions of surprise and glee. Riku even went as far as shooting him a thumbs up with a cheesy grin once he saw he was looking. He could feel heat rise up to his face.

“What are you assholes looking at?!” He shouted loudly so those idiots could hear him but it just made them laugh and caused Todoroki to wince since it was right in his ear. The hug quickly turned into Todoroki holding Katsuki back from grabbing a chunk of ice to throw through a window. The only thing that succeeded in doing was making his older cousins laugh even harder. His Aunt Hisa shot him an apologetic look and started to shoo people away to give them ‘privacy’. Todoroki let go of him, now that he wasn’t about to break things, and Katsuki found himself feeling even colder than he had been before at the loss of contact. They both stood there for a moment, staring at each other, not knowing what to say until Katsuki couldn’t take it anymore.

“Can you just- would you quit staring all the time?” It sounded weak, lacking the usual force behind his words which was strange to him. Still, Todoroki shifted his gaze as requested and something behind Katsuki caught his attention.

“Is Masato alright?” His voice was tinged with worry and Katsuki turned around so quickly he almost slipped on the icy ground. Masato was still setting off explosions but between each one he was tightly gripping his stomach.

“Shit!” He cursed under his breath without hesitating to run to the kid and he could hear Todoroki following close behind. It was obvious the amount he used his quirk was getting to him but the little boy continued to act like nothing was wrong since he was still having fun. “Come on, brat, playtime’s over. You gotta eat.”

Masato immediately started to whine. “But I want to keep playing! I’m not hungry!”

“Bullshit.” There was no way he was going to just stand there and argue with a kid. Katsuki easily threw the small child over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry and ignored Masato’s protests as he started carrying him to the house. “You’re gonna overdo it.”

“Tododoki! Help me!” The kid wiggled to try to get out of his grasp and reached for Todoroki who was walking beside them.

“You should listen to your cousin.” At that Masato was about to start complaining again but Todoroki cut him off. “You want to be strong like him, right? Take his advice.”

Katsuki wanted to say something but he couldn’t find the words, it was as though his mind had gone offline. He wasn’t sure what to make of what Todoroki had just said and he found himself wishing he actually paid more attention to what was said in the other boy’s conversations with Masato. It felt strange to be inadvertently complemented by Todoroki but he couldn’t help feeling oddly satisfied by it.

“I guess that’s true…” Masato reluctantly agreed and calmed down enough that, once inside, Katsuki was able to put the kid down without the threat of him trying to make a run for it.

“Of course it’s true, now listen to me and go fucking eat something already!” Masato was once again unfazed by the cursing and nodded to him with a determined look in his eyes like he was just given a mission. The little boy then ran off to the dining room where everyone must have already started to eat.

Todoroki watched in thought as the boy ran off and there was a moment of silence before he said, “The way he talks about heroes...doesn’t he remind you of Izuku?”

Katsuki saw red.

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

The dining room, like the rest of the house, was decorated for Christmas in a simple and tasteful manner. A soft glow came from the strings of garland tangled with lights around the room as well as from the lit candles on the table. Poinsettia flowers were also strategically placed about, along with a few small knick knacks here and there. If it weren’t for the people the place would actually have a very calming atmosphere. In the middle of the room was large mahogany table long enough to accommodate whole the family and everyone was already seated at it, eating and chatting away. Katsuki’s older cousins started wildly gesturing for the two of them to sit in the seats they saved near them when he entered the room with Todoroki. He guessed that must be his punishment for being the last to the table.

Luckily, everyone seemed already too engrossed in their own conversations to pay much attention to their arrival. Except for his mother, of course, who had more than enough time on her hands to chastise him for taking so long while somehow doting on Todoroki at the same time. Others followed suit, turning their attention to the dual haired boy. It took less than thirty seconds for Todoroki’s plate to be full with the amount Katsuki’s family kept shoving different foods in front of him excitedly telling him to give it a try.

Katsuki noticed his father subtly keep a close eye on Todoroki as he lifted his fork up to try his first bite of the dinner he made. A smile came to his dad’s face as Todoroki’s eyes widened and he involuntarily let out a soft happy noise before going in for a second bite. When the boy actually voiced a compliment about the food Katsuki’s mom nearly swooned as she went on and on about how well mannered he was and how she couldn’t believe her son managed to snag someone like that launching Katsuki into yet another vicious fight with his mother. The twins used that as a distraction to dump any vegetables they had onto Masato’s plate and the kid gleefully ate them up as he shoveled food into his mouth to deal with the result of overusing his quirk.

Things took a turn for the worst when Mai decided to get nosy.

“So, how did you two meet?” The question was a simple one but everyone at the table went silent to listen in. A sudden spike of anxiety shot its way through him since they had never discussed how they were going to respond to questions like that.

“It’s none of your damn business!” Katsuki snapped ready to put an end to the conversation but Todoroki spoke up.

“We met in class. He caught me staring at him and the first thing he ever said to me was ‘What the fuck are you looking at, pretty boy?’ and walked away.”

The response was very matter of fact yet various members of his family cooed as though that was an adorable thing they had ever heard while others made comments about how ‘that sounds just like Katsuki’. The worst part of it was the fact that what Todoroki said was true and for some reason his family thought it was the height of romance, which Katsuki did not understand in the slightest. It was supposed to be an insult damn it.

Todoroki’s honest answer opened the floodgates for everyone to start asking their own questions about his life and their ‘relationship’. Questions were thrown at him left and right about things ranging from how long they have been dating to what his plans after graduation were. Any questions about himself Tororoki answered fairly easily, although he did avoid any questions that got too personal about his homelife or his childhood. Katsuki was taken aback by how much he realized he already knew about his ‘fake boyfriend’. He shocked himself even more when he went as far as to step in and answer his Uncle Naoko that Todoroki’s favorite food was cold soba. Even the boy himself looked surprised but was quick to hide it.

Todoroki dodged the questions about the two of them for the most part by giving short and simple answers. This only served to make his family, especially his older cousins, determined to get even more information out of him. The incessant need to get into his business began grating on Katsuki’s last nerve and he could gradually feel himself start to boil over at the sheer number of questions, even with Todoroki taking the brunt of most of it. As his Aunt Rin asked about how they got together he felt himself finally snap and he slammed his palms down on the table, chair screeching against the hardwood as he sprung to his feet ready to go off on his family about their incessant questioning. He was stopped short, however, by Todoroki throwing him a stern look.

“Katsuki.” All Todoroki had said was his name but anything Katsuki was about to say died in his throat. The annoyance he felt dissipated, replaced by that feeling he had every time Todoroki used his first name. His expression went from one of anger to a look of wide-eyed confusion as he slowly returned to his seat, gaze locked on Todoroki and entirely missing the incredulous looks and dropped jaws around the table. During the interrogation a couple of his family members, such as his Grandpa, Aunt Mineko, and Airi, had given some suspicious looks at Todoroki’s answers but any doubts they had seemed to be officially squashed. His mom looked absolutely floored, yet delighted, and it was easy to tell from her expression that she was ready to fully accept Todoroki into her family.

It was silent as everyone digested what just happened until Riku smirked and made a whipping noise directed at Katsuki. The rage he had felt came back with a vengeance but before he could do anything, like throw his plate at Riku’s throat like a frisbee, frost shot its way across the table effectively freezing Riku’s glass of eggnog to the table. While his cousin looked at him in shock, Todoroki simply took a sip out of his own glass while shooting Riku a glare. His grandfather burst out into a fit of booming laughter at this and it didn’t take long for others to join him.

“I can see why you like him, Creme-suki!” His Grandpa said loudly as his laughter began to subside. The nickname was something Katsuki was used to from him but he felt his heart drop to his stomach as soon as he heard it because Todoroki immediately turned to his grandfather with obvious interest.

“Creme-suki?” There was a hint of a smile on his lips and his Grandpa matched it with his own grin.

“Shut up.” Katsuki gritted out through his teeth, but both of them were unfazed.

“I’m sure by now you’ve noticed by now that my grandson tends to smell like creme brulee. I’ve been calling him that since he was a kid.”

“What was he like when he was young?” His grandfather perked up at the question and looked more than happy to begin telling stories about him as a child.

“Aw come on let’s talk about something more interesting! We can embarrass Katsuki anytime, I want to hear about Shouto’s childhood.” Airi piped up. “You’re Endeavor’s son, right? What’s it like growing up with the number one hero?”

The question was meant to be innocent enough and his cousin was genuinely curious but that didn’t stop the boy next to him from immediately tensing up upon hearing it. Katsuki watched as the small smile on Todoroki’s face quickly disappeared replaced by an almost hauntingly blank expression. Katsuki caught the barest flicker of heterochromatic eyes towards the doorway to the kitchen. Escape route his mind supplied, and if looks could kill the force of his glare would have turned Airi into dust as Todoroki sat there frozen, looking for something to say. His father looked at him in concern and then turned to Katsuki in silent communication knowing something was wrong and wondering if there is something he could do. At Todoroki’s silence Airi looked like she was about to say something else but Masato beat her to it.

“Endeavor sucks!” The little boy declared through a mouthful of food.

“Masato!” Aunt Hisa looked horrified and was quick to scold her son. “You can’t just say things like that, it’s rude!”

“But I’m right!”

“Apologize right now to-”

She, along with the rest of the family, fell silent as a soft laugh rang through the room. The laughter only grew and Katsuki swore he felt his heart stop when he looked to the source. After three years the most he has heard from Todoroki was a light chuckle and the amount he had heard that he could probably count on just one hand. He had never seen the boy quite like this, with his shoulders shaking as he tried to cover his smile with his hand while candlelight danced in his eyes. Katsuki was stunned and it seemed like most of his family was caught under the same spell.

“Yeah.” Todoroki said softly as his laughter died down, his gaze cast downwards at the food in front of him. “He does suck.”

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

For the most part, things went smoothly for the rest of dinner. The topic of Todoroki’s father was left abandoned as soon as Katsuki’s family became completely distracted by fawning over his laugh. His parents still made sure to send Katsuki a concerned look and he knew his mom would end up bringing this up with him later. He wasn’t looking forward to when that happened but knew there would be no escaping it. The rest of the time was spent with Todoroki quietly chatting with his grandfather while Katsuki bickered loudly with his cousins causing Yuki to giggle from her highchair every time he raised his voice. By the end of dinner, the little toddler was fast asleep with her head of wild blonde curls resting against her tray. Her mother, Jin, picked her up taking care to not wake her as she carried Yuki off to bed while Riku watched with a soft smile on his face. Masato was also fast asleep curled into Aunt Hisa’s side and she was trying to figure out a good way to pick him up from this position. She was saved by his Uncle Naoko who was about to lead the sleepy twins off to bed anyway.

Airi turned to Katsuki with a devilish glint in her eyes, “Hey, Kat! Isn’t it past your bedtime, too?”

His eyebrow twitched in annoyance and he threw a dinner roll at her as she laughed. He couldn’t deny though that he actually was pretty tired.

“I wouldn’t mind going to bed if you’re tired.” Todoroki spoke up as though reading his thoughts. “I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

Riku, Mai, and Airi turned to Katsuki with similar mocking shocked and scandalized looks trying to hold back grins. With horror Katsuki realized exactly what they were thinking.

“Not letting him sleep, huh?” Riku teased with an eyebrow wiggle directed at him.

“Guess that turtleneck isn’t just a fashion statement!” Mai commented with a laugh as Todoroki’s eyebrows furrowed a bit in confusion.

“Would you three shut the fuck up already before I make you!” Katsuki threatened with small explosions popping off in his hand for emphasis. This only made them laugh harder since apparently his older cousins feared neither god nor death.

“Quiet down already before you wake up the kids!” Aunt Mineko downed her last sip of wine and stood up gesturing for them to follow her. “Come on, I’ll show you both where you’ll be sleeping this year.”

She threw Katsuki a wink and he raised a suspicious eyebrow in response concerned by what that could mean. She led them away back to the grand staircase in the foyer, rattling on and on about things Katsuki didn’t care enough to listen to. Seriously, why the hell did he need to know about the vegan muffins someone gave her at work for her birthday? She continued talking about her work as though she was trying to paint some glorious picture of it, obviously in an attempt to get Todoroki’s interest in working for her. He didn’t show any care at all though, choosing instead to look around curiously at the Christmas decorations throughout the house with a kind of wonder Katsuki didn’t expect to see from him. The staircase lead them to the second story where the numerous bedrooms in the house were. A floral scent wafted off his Aunt Mineko from her quirk as she lead them down a long hallway. Her quirk allowed her to secrete various essential oils of her choosing from her skin, which she used to her advantage to get people to enjoy her presence. Finally she stopped in front of a particular door and turned to them.

“And here it is! I made sure to save one of the larger bedrooms for the two of you. Has its own bathroom and everything. I wanted to impress after all, since this is Shouto’s first Christmas with us.” She said tossing them a smile while she opened the door.

“Wait.” Katsuki said confused as she pushed them into the room. He chose to shove down any feelings about the implication that Todoroki would be spending more Christmases with his family and instead focused on a more immediate problem. “What the hell do you mean by the two of us?”

“Oh yeah, I convinced Mitsuki to let you room together. You’re welcome for that, by the way.” She explained with an amused smile. The shock on Katsuki’s face could have been suspicious but luckily she seemed to take it as just surprise that she could actually get his mother to change her mind. “Tomorrow we’re going to pick out this year’s family christmas tree and you know how the fights about that can be so make sure to get your beauty rest in!”

With that she closed the door leaving the two of them awkwardly standing alone together. The room was large as promised and was just as nice as the rest of this aunt’s home, decorated in various cream and light blue tones with golden touches all around, giving off an air of comfort and luxury. Aunt Mineko must not have been lying about wanting to impress Todoroki since this had to be one of the nicest guest rooms here. The most prominent thing that stood out, of course, was the large canopy bed in the center of the room.

The singular bed.

God he was so fucked.

If Todoroki was fazed at all by the situation he didn’t show it as he walked past him to root through their bags in search of his. At some point one of his family members must have carried the bags up for them since the last time he had seen them he had panickedly thrown them in the foyer. Todoroki made a small satisfied noise and pulled his bag out of the pile.

When he turned around he must have seen something in Katsuki’s expression because he asked, “What’s wrong?”

“What’s-” Katsuki almost repeated the question back but cut himself off with an aggravated groan hardly able to believe Todoroki couldn’t see the problem at hand. “I’m not sleeping on the fucking floor!”

Todoroki arched a stupidly perfect eyebrow at him as he walked over to the bed and threw his bag onto the side he had chosen for himself. “I never said you had to.”

“What are you saying? We should share the damn thing?!”

“Yes.” He replied simply as he began to unpack his bag and Katsuki was stunned to silence enough for him to continue. “The bed is big enough and your family would probably find it suspicious if I asked for another room.”

He hated when he was right. Instead of saying anything he gave Todoroki a skeptical look before getting to work unpacking his things as well. They fell into a strangely comfortable silence, both thoroughly socially drained from the chaotic evening. Katsuki was about to put away his clothes in a drawer when he caught sight of something on top of the dresser. It was a pair of deep blue silk pajamas decorated with a pattern of little white snowflakes and just by lightly running his fingers over it he could feel it was expensive. Placed on top was a small note written on the back of one of Aunt Mineko’s business cards that read ‘For Katsuki’s Mystery Man!’. His aunt really was pulling out all the stops trying to get Todoroki to join her modeling agency. Katsuki crushed the note and shoved it in his pocket before picking up the pajamas and turning around to throw them right at the taller boy.

They hit him square in the face yet somehow he still managed to not seem surprised at all as he pulled them off to inspect. “What is this?”

“My Aunt Mineko left them for you.”

Todoroki stared at them perplexed for a moment and then looked up at him. “How did she know my size?”

“The devil works fast but she works faster.” He said while he finished unpacking. “She probably got your measurements after my Uncle Taiki took them.”

Todoroki still looked a bit puzzled but didn’t say anything else while he put the silk pajamas away with the rest of his clothes.

The two of them took turns using the bathroom to get ready for the night. Normally, even in the winter, Katsuki would sleep in his boxers and a tank top but in this situation thought it would be best if he changed into some sweatpants as well. Todoroki wore a simple white t-shirt and grey plaid pajama pants and stifled a yawn as he climbed into bed to get settled. The sight made Katsuki fight back a yawn of his own, and the fact that it irritated him must have been obvious since he caught a small smirk from the other boy in his periphery. When he looked to level a glare at Todoroki he was caught almost off guard by how soft the other looked, face blank as always but strangely unguarded with his dual toned hair splayed across the pillow and the barest circles of exhaustion tinting the skin under his eyes. He realized he'd been standing there for probably too long when Todoroki blinked, freeing him from the strange train of thought. Clearing his throat, Katsuki plugged in his phone to charge and tucked it beneath his pillow before moving to get in bed himself

“If you touch me I'm blowing your fucking hands off.” He warned as he begrudgingly got under the covers.

“Noted.” Once again Todoroki was unperturbed by his threats and reached over to the lamp next to him to switch it off.

In the darkness, laying with his back to Todoroki, Katsuki thought for sure that he would be tense and unable to sleep but he found that wasn’t the case. Strangely, even though he was hyperaware of his presence, Todoroki’s steady and even breathing eased him in a way that he didn’t think was possible. He felt himself relax and for a moment the thought he would actually be able to fall asleep relatively quickly. At least that was until Todoroki broke the silence.

“Goodnight, Creme-suki.”

Without hesitation Katsuki whipped around and smacked Todoroki with his pillow right in the face. He considered smothering him but a muffled chuckle came from under the pillow and Katsuki felt his heart constrict at the sound.

Flopping aggressively onto his side, heart still racing, Katsuki began to doubt he was going to survive the night - let alone the week.

Chapter Text

When Katsuki first woke it was in a comfortable foggy haze where he didn’t even bother opening his eyes, instead choosing to stretch and bury his face deeper into his warm pillow with a content sigh. He wasn’t usually one to sleep in since he preferred to get an early start to his day, and because of his tendency to be unable to go back to sleep once he woke up in the slightest. This time, however, he was so relaxed that he was able to sink back into the best sleep he’d had in a long time.  

The second time he woke up his brain registered that his pillow was breathing.

Katsuki’s eyes snapped open and, to his horror, he realized at some point during the night he must have draped himself over the other boy. He was half on top of Todoroki with an arm wrapped around his torso and head carefully tucked under his chin. For a moment, Katsuki was frozen on the spot as Todoroki continued to let out the softest of small snores while the early dawn light filtered in through the windows. Then he suddenly sprang into action, his mind catching up to his body, and he launched himself away from Todoroki as fast as possible resulting in him hitting his head on one of the bed banisters and falling ungracefully from the bed.

Fuck! ” He held his head in his hands for a moment waiting for the pain to pass but looked up with a start when he heard a rustling in the bedsheets. Katsuki carefully peered over the edge of the bed but saw that, luckily, Todoroki was still asleep and had just buried himself deeper into the blankets. He let out a breath he didn’t even know he was holding, relieved the dual haired boy would be none the wiser to what just happened.

There was a beat of silence as he stared stunned at the other boy splayed out in the pillows, light filtering in through the sheer curtains of the window making Shouto look like he came straight out of some kind of storybook scene. When Katsuki realized he had been staring at the boy’s plush parted lips for far too long he shook his head, ignoring the pain that the action sparked. He jumped to his feet and retreated to the bathroom slamming the door behind him far too loudly in his escape. He leaned against it for a moment taking a deep breath and letting his head lightly hit the door behind him as he calmed down. Catching his reflection in the mirror, he scowled when he saw his cheeks were beet red. He shouldn’t be acting like this, running away like some kind of coward because of Shouto Todoroki of all people.

Instead of trying to look into what could have possibly gotten him this worked up, Katsuki decided to turn on the shower and attempt to regain his usual morning routine while he pushed the thought of his classmate sleeping just on the other side of the door out of his head. Stepping into the shower he felt himself relax under the warm water and he let out a sigh of relief at the feeling as he massaged the back of his neck, easing some of the tension from his shoulders. Like everywhere else in the house, the bathroom was pristine, his aunt spared no expense and Katsuki decided to give himself time to enjoy the excellent water pressure from the showerhead.

It didn’t take very long for his thoughts to stray. Really besides the awkward way he woke up he had to admit to himself that it had been a long while since he last slept that well. Normally Katsuki slept rather restlessly and was no stranger to waking up in the midst of a nightmare. It hadn’t always been that way and looking back he could probably pinpoint the beginning as when he was caught by that damn sludge monster. The night after that incident he had woken up gasping for air, resisting the urge to scratch at his neck when he had the phantom feeling of that sludge still on his skin. Since then the nightmare became a recurring phenomenon but at least at the time it had been at a manageable level where he could just shake it off. The real problem started after the Kamino Ward incident.

In the time after his rescue, when he was homebound, sleep was nearly impossible for Katsuki. He couldn’t shake the feeling of being unsafe, leading him to be on near constant alert. That kind of fight or flight feeling wouldn’t shut off and at night instead of sleeping Katsuki would just become increasingly more frustrated with himself as he remained wide awake and staring at his door. Surprisingly, some relief came in the form of moving into the dorms. While everyone excitedly greeted each other and was ready to show off their rooms his eyelids started to become heavy from the secure feeling of being around the other heroes in training. While this was a level of trust in them he vowed to never admit out loud, he was absolutely sure his close friends knew by now. At the time he’d bluntly said he would rather go the fuck to bed then participate in whatever dumb shit they were doing and went to his room. He had fallen asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, at last feeling some security in the form of his classmates chatting away in the hall about their decorating contest. Even to this day he found himself choosing to go to bed early in the evening so the sounds of the others in the dorms could lull him to sleep.

Katsuki winced when while shampooing his hair his fingers found a small bump on his head, the memories of how he hit his head this morning pulling him back to reality. He cursed quietly, annoyed at himself for even going down that train of thought. He decided to chalk up how well rested he was to the fact that there was another human being present and not at all that said human being was Todoroki.

Realizing how long he had been in the shower, Katsuki made quick work of the rest and stepped out to towel dry his hair back to its natural fluffy state. He made a face when he caught a whiff of the strong floral smell from the shampoo his aunt left in the bathroom for him to use. He quickly made a mental note to remember to grab his usual soap from his bag the next time.

Wrapping the towel around his waist, he opened the bathroom and walked out while running a hand through his hair in an attempt to tame it a bit. He only looked up when he heard a soft intake of breath as he was walking to the dresser. Having thought that Todoroki was still asleep he hadn’t expected to see the boy sitting upright in bed. Katsuki glanced from his hair which was a tangled mess of red and white bedhead, to his mismatched eyes - wide and boring a hole through Katsuki’s chest. He could feel heat crawl up his neck and subconsciously puffed out his chest as he prepared his best glare.

“What are you looking at?” The moment Katsuki spoke, Todoroki's gaze immediately snapped to his eyes before quickly looking away. A dusting of pink came to his cheeks, as well as the tips of his ears, which in combination with Todoroki’s disheveled appearance made Katsuki’s heart feel like it was in his throat.

“Ah, sorry- I didn’t...I just- I was zoning out and you got in my way.”

“Whatever.” Katsuki cut him off by throwing the towel that had been around his waist at the other boy’s face before he turned around to get dressed. He did feel some satisfaction when he heard a muffled noise of surprise come from Todoroki’s direction. He could tell that the boy was lying but it didn't seem worth it to waste time getting the truth out of him so he chose to ignore it.

As soon as he had pulled up his boxers he felt the towel hit him square in the back with a wet whack and oddly he felt himself smile a bit as he let out a soft snort. He stepped into his faded jeans, ones that he somehow still had left over from interning with Best Jeanist, and turned around to face Todoroki again as he buttoned them. Todoroki’s eyes followed the movement of his hands before snapping right back to Katsuki’s own red eyes.

“I’m gonna-” Todoroki swallowed thickly before he suddenly shuffled off of the bed and stood on his feet. “I should get in the shower now.”

He said this quickly, his stare racking over Katsuki one last time, before briskly walking past him into the bathroom. He watched him go, enjoying seeing the normally composed boy trip over his words like this. Even if he had no idea why that was the case.

“Knock yourself out.” Todoroki didn’t reply to his quip and just shut the door behind him, leaving Katsuki shirtless and confused in the middle of the room. He took one last confused look at the bathroom door before shrugging and then looking for something warm to wear. He settled on a soft knit sweater that was black at the shoulders and faded to grey at the bottom. He took a look in the mirror and deemed it good enough to please his fashion forward family members then headed out of his - well his and Todoroki’s - room.

As soon as he walked downstairs he was greeted by chaos in the form of the twins running past him holding a plate with a mountain of bacon on it. They giggled around the bacon that were shoveling into their mouths by the handful and when they passed Katsuki Chiho gave Katsuki a little wave in greeting with her free hand. He gave a single nod and plucked a few slices of bacon from the tray as they went by. Through that, a silent pact was made between them that the price of Katsuki’s discretion was what he took. Not a moment later their father, Naoko, came bounding down the hall after them causing them to make a screech like laugh and run faster like they were little velociraptors. They clasped their hands together and a thick blanket of fog started to pour out, curling around them like a protective barrier, and only their laughs could be heard as they disappeared. Uncle Naoko ran past Katsuki into the mist as though he had done it a thousand times, probably more, in an attempt to wrangle his kids.

Katsuki decided to leave him to it and instead of helping made his way to the kitchen where he knew it would be quieter since only his father and grandfather occupied it. As expected, when Kastuki walked in he found his grandpa whisking away at a bowl of batter while eggs, bacon, sausage, and hashbrowns sizzled away on the stove top. Wordlessly, Katsuki walked over, shoving what was left of his handful of bacon into his mouth, and grabbed a spatula to flip an omelette.

“You’re losing your touch, old man.” Katsuki commented around his mouthful of food. The omelette had been moments away from burning but he caught it in time for it to be a perfect golden brown.

His grandpa let out one of his signature booming laughs before saying, “Come on now. You know I had my eye on it.”

“You sure about that? Those are some pretty fuckin’ thick glasses.”

“You won’t be laughing once your eyesight starts to go too. We Bakugous can’t see shit by 50. Hopefully the fact you have your mom’s eyes will help you.” He jested as put down the bowl he was holding and moved to stand beside his grandson. “Now watch and learn.”

He gripped the handle of two different pans that had omelette and at the same time flipped them both in the air revealing a perfectly cooked side of the egg.

“Just go back to your waffles. I got it from here.” Katsuki mumbled and lightly shoved his grandpa back towards his old waffle iron then got to work cooking the rest of breakfast.

His grandfather gave him a smile and picked up the batter again to begin pouring out the first waffle. His grandfather was known for making the best waffles and there was a silent rule that he was the only one allowed to make the dish at family gatherings since no one else could do it quite like he could. He even would always make sure to use his own cast iron waffle maker that was probably as old as the man himself.

The two worked for a while just chatting about Katsuki’s time at school since he had last seen his grandfather. As the pile of waffles next to the old man grew apparently so did his curiosity as after a small pause he asked, “So what exactly is it about this boy that had you go and quit your celibate life?”

Katsuki nearly choked on his own spit and it took everything for him not to cough as he wheezed out, “ Excuse me?

His Grandpa must have mistaken his response for anger as he smoothly clarified, “Don’t get me wrong, Shouto is fantastic. I like having him around, he’s pretty entertaining, but you were pretty dead set on not wanting- now how did you say it...ah, not wanting someone to ‘slow you down’.”

Katsuki started to feel panic begin to buzz under his skin at such a question knowing that he would have to lie to his grandfather and he anxiously poked at some hashbrowns with his spatula. Coming up with something convincing wasn’t going to be an easy task either. Todoroki was always fucking testing him all the time and it was infuriating . Katsuki pushed himself to his damn limit every single day in attempts to stay ahead of him, but he always found that Todoroki matched his pace. The way that they faced off every sports festival was proof of that. He had to admit though...there was some thrill to the chase. He felt the anxiety ebb away as he realized what he could say to his grandfather.

“You said it yourself...I needed to find someone that can keep up with me. I did.”

His grandpa’s eyes softened as he looked at him and with pure sincerity he said, “And I’m happy you did, Creme-suki.”

Fuck, he felt like such a piece of shit.

All he could do was nod in a jerky fashion as he swallowed down his guilt which was only worsened by the smile his grandfather gave him in return. He turned away quickly and avoided thinking about what his reaction would be when he heard that Katsuki and Todoroki had broken up in a couple weeks. Hopefully his family wasn’t going to grow attached or anything.

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Katsuki was placing a plate of sausage onto the dining room table when Todoroki finally walked into the room, seeming in a slight daze amongst the hustle and bustle of Katsuki’s energetic family. After dorming with Todoroki for years he knew just how much he was not a morning person, and it was extremely obvious as he stood amidst his family all of whom were naturally early risers. Todoroki was wearing a pair of dark pants and a white collared shirt which he had layered a soft looking deep grey sweater on top of. Katsuki grimaced when he saw part of the collar folded haphazardly under itself and the other boy’s eyes met his with a start when Katsuki walked over, tugging the offending piece of cloth out to smooth it down properly. He couldn’t tell what the look Todoroki was giving him meant and instead focused on the fact that the sweater had felt just as soft as he expected.

“Fucking took you long enough to get down here. Now help me set the table, you have to work for your food.”

Todoroki opened his mouth to respond but Katsuki didn’t give him a chance to before turning on his heel and heading back into the kitchen to grab more trays of food. Mai, having obviously watched all of that, gave him an eyebrow wiggle and he shoved her as he passed, causing her to laugh as Riku’s wife, Jin, helped steady her so she didn’t fall. Yuki, who was in Riku’s arms sucking on a piece of orange, loudly screeched and giggled at the display, dropping her orange slice to happily clap as though to ask for it to happen again.  

In the kitchen his father was busy washing dishes while his grandfather attempted to explain his waffle secret to Satomi as he cleaned his waffle iron. Satomi’s hair was purple meaning she was relaxed but when Katsuki nodded to her in a silent good morning it turned green in happiness, even though she tried to act unaffected.

He went to grab some of the trays that were waiting on the counter when he felt a hand on his hip and a warm chest press against his back. An arm reached past him for a stack of plates and Katsuki turned his head almost jerking back on instinct from how close his face was to Todoroki’s. He could feel heat rush right to his face and for once he found himself unable to think of something to say. His eyes momentarily flicked to Todoroki’s lips but they snapped back to his eyes, which were giving him a curious look. His hand moved from Katsuki’s hip to the small of his back as he tilted his head inquisitively and commented, “You smell different today.”

Katsuki spluttered for a moment, feeling the red of his cheeks deepen, before he indignantly replied with, “What do you mean ?”

Todoroki wrinkled his nose a little bit, in a way he had to admit was kind of cute, and said, “You...smell different?”

“And what do I normally fucking smell like?” Todoroki seemed to ponder his question for a moment.

“I’m not sure, not something flowery though,” he finally answered and then after a pause added, “Something...heady, I guess...and you have that burnt sugar smell, of course.”

Katsuki realized his lips were parted in disbelief and he shut his mouth quickly enough for his teeth to clack as he tried to mentally calculate what the fuck that meant. That’s when he realized that the two of them had the attention of everyone in the room. Katsuki’s dad looked flabbergasted and had forgotten to turn off the water in the sink, frozen in surprise as he cleaned the cookware from breakfast. Satomi was attempting to look anywhere but them and had a slight blush to her face. Then there was his grandpa who was currently grinning and gave him a little wink when he saw he had his attention. Katsuki noticed how close he and Todoroki still were and that the other boy had had his hand on his back the entire time. He could feel his palms start to sweat in a panic and felt like he needed to get out of that room now.

“Whatever, shut up,” was all he weakly managed to say before making his escape. He even forgot to take the food trays with him and left Todoroki standing there confused, holding plates in the middle of the kitchen. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest and didn’t understand why the hell he was acting like this. He was no god damn coward, he shouldn’t be running away every time. He leaned against a wall in the hallway and made a frustrated noise, one of his hands gripped tightly in his hair as he tried to figure out where this sudden out-of-control feeling had come from. He almost bolted when he heard footsteps but relaxed when he saw it was only his dad.

“You okay?” He asked and when Katsuki stiffly nodded he moved to stand next to him before saying, “You don’t have to lie, son.”

Katsuki looked up in surprise and tried to hide the panic he felt inside. Had his dad found out about his lie? He tried to think back to what he could have done wrong. Yeah, he and Todoroki didn’t exactly do the best job of pretending to be a couple but did his dad really find out it was a lie that quickly?

“You know, love isn’t a weakness and showing affection isn’t going to make any of us think any less of you.” His dad put a supportive hand on his shoulder and squeezed before letting his arm fall back to his side, knowing Katsuki’s limit with physical contact. “You’re allowed to be close with your boyfriend around all of us. I know that no one in this house is going to judge you. We’re all very happy for you and Shouto.”

Katsuki was absolutely stunned for a moment, he hadn’t expected that at all. His throat felt tight but he swallowed down the feeling and put his normal annoyed face back on. “Fuck off, I don’t need anyone’s goddamn permission for anything.”

His father smiled, “I know. Now how about you come eat some breakfast.”

His dad walked away to presumably go to the dining room but Katsuki stayed in the hall for a bit appreciating the feeling of being alone for a moment. He pushed himself off of the wall and headed the same way as he mulled over what his dad had said. When he entered the dining room he saw pretty much everyone was sitting at the table, including Shouto who seemed to be nodding off making Katsuki’s heart swell at the sight. His mom placed a hand on Todoroki’s shoulder and held a mug of black coffee in front of him. The boy seemed to perk up at this and took it gratefully, saying something to her that Katsuki couldn’t quite hear but it made his mom loudly gush about how sweet he is.

Katsuki knew that the empty chair next to Todoroki must have been saved for him and on his way over he snagged a jar of sugar cubes off of the table. He placed the jar in front of Todoroki, who looked at him in surprise as he plopped down into the chair.

“Destroy your coffee with sugar like you usually do but don’t fucking blame me when you get diabetes.” Was the only explanation he gave as he piled eggs onto his plate. Todoroki gave him a soft smile and no matter how much he wanted to he found he couldn’t look away.

“Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.”

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Besides Airi throwing a waffle at Mai’s face with a loud smack, breakfast passed by without incident. Masato, despite only being five years old, somehow managed to eat more than anyone else. The little boy was bouncing with energy and Aunt Hisa seemed to be worried about how that might affect his quirk while they were on their outing. Explosions and flammable Christmas trees didn’t exactly mix but hopefully the amount Aunt Hisa was bundling him up would make it difficult for him to reach his belly button.

A fresh blanket of snow coated the ground outside and the cold weather had everyone gearing up in their jackets and boots in the foyer. Katsuki flailed as his Aunt Akasuki tried to put earmuffs on him as he told the madwoman to lay off. The movement distracted the twins enough so that their mother, Rin, was able to slip gloves onto their hands, which were items the two despised due to their combined quirk. Katsuki finally met his aunt halfway by tugging a black knit beanie on over his unruly hair. Todoroki had simply slipped on his same thin jacket that he arrived in, making Katsuki wonder if that was seriously all he had.

His mom seemed to notice this too since she looked at the piece of clothing and said, “Shouto, is that really your jacket?”

“Um, yes?” He messed with the bottom of his jacket looking confused like he was just asked some trick question.

This got everyone’s attention and for a moment they all stopped what they were doing to look at Todoroki. They stood still for a moment before suddenly all scrambling to get warmer clothing items for him. Katsuki pinched the bridge of his nose and let out a sigh knowing that, since a majority of his family was in the fashion industry, they weren’t going to make this simple. In fact, his Uncle Taiki held his arms out as though to motion for everyone to give him space as he looked Todoroki over with a critical eye.

The man suddenly snapped his fingers and said, “I’ve got it.”

With that, he readjusted his glasses before running out of the room as Todoroki watched absolutely perplexed. Katsuki’s Uncle Taiki was a very eccentric man which is what his Aunt Akasuki always said was the initial thing that drew her towards him when she first started working at his design studio. Aunt Hisa tugged the offending jacket off of Todoroki ignoring his protests that the thin coat would do just fine for him, meanwhile, Aunt Mineko produced a pair of nice black leather gloves that matched the black boots he was already wearing and slipped them onto Todoroki’s hands despite his insistence that there was no need. It didn’t take long for Uncle Taiki to return holding a garment bag slung over his arm. He held up the bag and unzipped it with a flourish causing Aunt Akasuki to excitedly clap when it revealed a long and elegant light grey jacket.

“Oh! That’s just perfect!” Jin gasped and held her hand to her chest. The sentiment seemed to be shared by everyone in the room as they also sang Uncle Taiki’s praises while he took the coat out of the bag. Todoroki didn’t have any choice as Katsuki’s family gathered around him urging him to try on the jacket. He seemed to marvel over the fabric for a moment, running his hands across it before finally putting the garment on.

As one last touch, Katsuki took off his own black scarf and gave Todoroki no warning before he wrapped it around his neck. The taller boy stared at him with almost a look of awe as he tied the scarf and smoothed it down before he stepped back. He had to admit that his family did a good job, Todoroki looked like he had just stepped out of some sort of magazine that was displaying winter fashions.

Todoroki pulled Katsuki out of his daze by saying, “You're going to take that scarf back as soon as you get chilly, aren't you.”

He scowled, “Go fuck yourself.”

This only caused Todoroki to smile and reply with, “You always manage to say the sweetest things, Katsuki.”

A wave of laughter made its way through his family and Katsuki flushed with the reminder that they were there.

“Come on, Kat, your boyfriend looks totally out of your league right now! You have to least change these jeans, they’re so old!” Airi commented and narrowed her eyes at his jeans. “They’re all scuffed and there is a stain- wait is that a blood stain!?”

“Touch my pants and I kill you.” He swatted her hand away when she immediately went to poke at his jeans. “They’re from one of my internships.”

Uncle Taiki hummed before saying, “Yes, I’d recognize Best Jeanist’s work anywhere. Shame you weren’t more careful with them.”

“I had to fight villains in these! What the fuck do you expect?” Katsuki crossed his arms in frustration. “Whatever, let’s just go already. All the good trees are going to be gone at this rate.”

That seemed to kick everyone into high gear as they remembered they had places to be and they shuffled to finish getting everything together to leave. Katsuki didn’t wait for them and he sharply turned around to walk outside with Todoroki not far behind him. The other boy almost seemed to relax once they were out in the cold and he looked over the fresh snow with some kind of look of appreciation on his face.  Katsuki found himself oddly captivated by that. The moment didn’t last long though as his family burst out of the door, yelling at each other about who goes in what car and sits in what seat. It looked like Satomi and Airi were about to get into a physical fight over who got to ride shotgun and Satomi’s hair had turned red with anger.

Katsuki was about to urge the two to brawl but didn’t get the chance to since his mother placed a hand on Todoroki’s shoulder and said, “Come on. You’ll be riding with me, we have a lot to talk about.”

He knew that his mom wasn’t being intentionally threatening because if she was Todoroki would know, but the other boy still sent him a panicked look as Katsuki’s mother pulled him away towards one of the vans. Katsuki went to follow them to save Todoroki from having to endure that car ride alone but suddenly he was being grabbed by both arms as Mai and Riku carried him away towards another car.

“Don’t think you are gonna get away from us that easy, Kat!” Mai singsonged.

“Yup!” Airi popped the p mockingly. “We also have a whole lot to talk about. I’m sure Shouto will be alright without you.”

“Yeah, you’ve been pretty much attached at the hip since you two got here. Hasn’t given us any time to catch up.” Riku added.

Katsuki ripped himself out of their grip and straightened his leather jacket while glaring at them. “There’s nothing to fucking talk about!”

The three of them all looked at each other before turning back to him with matching incredulous looks.

“That’s a pretty fucking bold statement when you made the news for arresting a villain even the pros have been having trouble with.”

Katsuki whipped his head around and saw Satomi standing behind him. He threw her a grateful look and then gestured to her behind him while looking at his other cousins. “See, that I will talk about.”

Mai pouted, “Aw come on, that’s boring! Tell us about your first kiss with Shouto.”

Katsuki let his arm drop to his side and just stared at Mai with a look of astounded judgement before just simply saying, “No.”

“Well I for one want to hear both so let’s get going before Masato tries to get Katsuki to ride with him.” Airi said.

Airi opened the door to the front passenger seat but before she could get into the car Satomi barreled past her, quickly getting into the seat and slamming the door closed before locking it. Airi yelled at her and banged on the window but Satomi just smuggly pressed her face against the glass making a face at her sister and enjoying her frustration. Riku just laughed and went to go claim the driver’s seat while Mai dragged Katsuki into the car like it was a kidnapping. In a strange turn of events he found himself wishing it were just him and Todoroki in the car like before.

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

As soon as Riku parked the car, Katsuki reached over Airi to open the door and he dove past her, out of the vehicle, into a smooth tuck and roll before he stood up and took off running. After the third degree grilling he received he didn’t want to spend another second in there and it wasn’t exactly rare that he would do this after car rides with his family. In the only 25 minute car ride he managed to dodge most of the questions about him and Todoroki’s relationship mostly thanks to Satomi, who would complain about the topic before changing it to something more interesting like a bank robbery he recently stopped or what he thinks of the current hero rankings. Still, the time cramped in a seat between Mai and Airi made him realize just how much he and Todoroki may actually need to talk about some kind of background to this fake relationship.

He was pulled from his thoughts when headlights caught his attention and he realized a car was coming directly at him skidding on the snowy parking lot. On instinct Katsuki jumped up and landed on his two feet on the hood of the car as it stopped.

The driver’s side window rolled down and his own mother stuck her head out of it. “I hope for your sake you didn't dent my fucking hood! Watch where you're going, dumbass, I raised you better than this.”

“Maybe learn how to fucking drive!” He snapped back at her as he rolled off of the car safely back onto the ground.

“Are you alright?” He looked up to see that Todoroki was leaning his head out of a window as well. His face was neutral but there seemed to be actual concern in his eyes.

“I’m fine, wipe that look off your face. The old hag didn’t even hit me this time.”

“...This time?”

His mom reached out the window and lightly slapped Katsuki on the back of the head and said, “Be nice to him, he nearly had a heart attack. Now move so I can park.”

He rubbed the back of his head and rolled his eyes, taking a step back so she could pull into the parking spot as his cousins walked over. Katsuki felt his phone go off and dug it out of his pocket seeing he got a notification from Satomi on snapchat. Furrowing his brow in confusion he opened it and saw a video of him running across the parking lot and his cousins shouting as he jumped onto his mom’s van. The video slowly zoomed in on him as he and his mom argued and around the video was a boarder that said ‘Wishing You The Happiest Of Holidays’. He groaned when he saw she added it to her snapchat story as well.

“Thanks for that.” He said sarcastically when the group made it over.

“No problem.” She chewed her gum thoughtfully before adding. “Incredible that it’s you we have to worry about in parking lots when we have four little kids to look after.”

“Listen here little miss Breaking Benjamin-”

“She has a point.” Katsuki almost jumped when he realized Todoroki was right next to him. “You should probably be more careful.”

Katsuki let out a snort. “Please, you throw chunks of ice at me that are bigger than that van on a regular basis.”

“Which would make it even more embarrassing if you ended up getting hurt in a tree farm parking lot.”

Satomi actually smiled when Todoroki said this but she hid it by blowing a bubble with her gum and popping it. Judging by the half smile on Todoroki’s face he had still caught it though.

“Whatever, let’s just find a damn tree so we can get the hell out of here.” He was already fed up with the family outing. Things like this never went well considering the nature of his chaotic family. The little kids were already happily pulling everyone from their van towards the entrance of the tree farm, excited to make such an important choice. Yuki squealed when she saw her dad across the way and wiggled in Jin’s arms. Riku grinned and started to pretend to sneak up on her as he made his way over to the little girl and she covered her eyes in excitement. When Riku popped up behind Jin and said ‘Boo!’ the toddler went absolutely wild giggling and reaching out for her dad who lovingly took her from her mother’s arms. Riku could be a dick sometimes but at least he made a pretty okay dad.

The tree hunting process had always been a big deal with his family since everyone was so god damn opinionated it was nearly impossible for everyone to agree on a single tree. Most of the time they had to hold a very in depth vote to decide and whichever one got the majority would be the tree that they came home with. That didn’t come without it’s arguments though because if there was one thing his family was known for it was being stubborn. One unforgettable Christmas, Katsuki had been so upset about the tree he wanted not being chosen that he had blown up the base of the trunk to bring it down so they would be forced to purchase it. They had spent that Christmas with a tree that was partially burnt on one side but at least he had gotten his way.

As they entered the tree farm, Katsuki hung back with Todoroki while his family dispersed to take a look at the various options they had this year. Riku held both of Yuki’s hands as she shakily walked loudly babbling until her dad swung her by her arms as Jin watched with a smile. Meanwhile, the twins ran off nearly immediately with Masato in tow, tripping before scrabbling up and running after them once more. Aunt Hisa worried about how her son would do on his own but Naoko and Rin reassured her that Daiki and Chiho would look after him. Satomi walked arm in arm with Katsuki’s grandpa, slowly trailing after the children while quietly talking to each other. Aunt Akatsuki, Uncle Taiki, and Aunt Mineko all seemed to be chatting about the latest fashion trends but at the same time would stop to discuss each tree and how it would contribute to the interior decoration of Mineko’s home. Katsuki’s mom pulled his father around the farm pointing out certain trees and loudly discussing each one but his father simply smiled at her, listening and nodding his head at the correct times.

Tentative fingers touched his palm and Katsuki looked to Todoroki shocked when he took his hand in his, then quickly tried to school his face into his default annoyed expression.

“What? Think you’re gonna get lost out here or something?” He pointedly looked at their clasped hands.

“Couples usually hold hands?” The way Todoroki said this made it seem like almost a question, as though he wasn’t truly sure. Katsuki let out a harsh sigh before ripping his hand out of Todoroki’s. For a moment the boy looked very nervous but his expression turned to one of confusion when Katsuki instead took his other hand.

“At least give me the warm one, dumbass.” He mumbled and found himself needing to avert his eyes from the small soft smile Todoroki gave him in return.

He threw his attention into looking for a tree, ignoring the way his cheeks burned and pretending that it was far more interesting than the boy next to him. For a while Todoroki just watched him quietly but then he looked around to make sure no one was in listening distance before breaking the silence.

“If someone asks you about our first date, I told your mom it was mountain climbing...I know you like that.” Todoroki leaned in and quietly mentioned this, his shoulder brushing Katsuki’s. Katsuki suppressed a shiver and looked at him in surprise.

“Where did you hear that?”

“Izuku and Kirishima have mentioned it in passing.” The boy mumbled, looking away. Katsuki raised his eyebrow but decided not to press him on the subject, instead checking the fullness of a tree.

“Well, they’re not wrong,” He let out a sigh before continuing. “Listen, if we want my family to leave us alone about our ‘relationship’ then we are gonna have to come up with some story to tell them. Otherwise they’ll never stop fucking asking and obsessing over it. If I hear one more question I’m gonna go apeshit.”

Katsuki noticed how many pine needles had fallen off the tree he was looking at and he grimaced, deeming it unworthy. He tugged Todoroki forward and the boy complied, letting Katsuki lead him around the tree farm by their joined hands. Katsuki kept an eye peeled for any members of his family, not wanting them to overhear their conversation and find out about their scheme.

“Yeah, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep dodging your mom’s questions. She’s…Enthusiastic. About your life.”

Katsuki snorted humorously, “That’s one way of putting it. I would say criminally insane.”

“I guess we should start by figuring out how long we have been dating.”

“Yeah, ‘dating’.” He clarified with air quotes and Todoroki rolled his eyes but nodded nonetheless. “We shouldn’t say it’s been too long. I don’t want them to think this is permanent just to find out we’ve broken up in a couple weeks.”

A strange look passed across Todoroki’s face quickly enough that he had almost missed it. He hummed in thought for a moment, looking up to the winter sky as he contemplated.

“It would probably be strange for you to have brought me if we only just started dating.” He finally said, turning to look at Katsuki again. “Maybe a couple of months...how about three?”

To Katsuki that seemed like a very long time but he had never been in a relationship, so really any amount of time seemed long to him. Briefly, he wondered if Todoroki had ever dated someone before but he shook the thought from his head. “Fine. But I was the one who had the guts to ask you out.”

Todoroki’s eyebrows disappeared up under his bangs. It might’ve been the most shocked that Katsuki had ever seen him. “What makes you think that?”

“You said our first date was mountain climbing. That’s some shit I would suggest. Also I would be the one who would actually have the guts to ask.”

Todoroki exhaled through his nose and shook his head as if he couldn’t believe what Katsuki was saying. “I was the one who offered to be your ‘fake boyfriend’ and came up with the mountain climbing idea. I’m pretty sure that earns me the ‘ honor ’ of being the one that asked you on a date.”

“Pretty sure I’ve never seen you be the one to suggest going anywhere . You just follow around Deku and his little cult. Hard to believe you would ask anyone on a date let alone me .”

Todoroki was silent which caused Katsuki to turn back to look at him. His cheeks were a bit flush and his mouth was in a hard line as he looked at the ground in thought. The sight didn’t sit well with Katsuki and he sighed, momentarily gripping Shouto’s hand tighter in some lame attempt at comfort.

“Look, if you're going to pout about it you can be the one who did it.” Katsuki muttered.

“No...No, you’re right. I wouldn’t. We’ll say you asked me to go hiking three months ago and I agreed.” He looked up and met Katsuki’s eyes. “You weren’t smooth about it though.”

Katsuki scowled at him while amusement danced across Todoroki's features but oddly Kastuki felt much lighter once he saw that.  

They continued discussing their fake relationship, walking through the snow hand in hand at each other’s side. Katsuki forgot all about the task of finding a tree, instead he focused on Todoroki’s subtle mannerisms while he spoke. They decided on things like how their first kiss would have taken place under the stars and how most of the time because of their schedules they wouldn’t go out on dates so much as stay in watching movies in their dorms. Katsuki even suggested that the way they could have become closer was by having study sessions together. It occurred to him that he must be falling too far into the grift because it all actually sounded...kind of nice.

Katsuki didn’t even register that they had stopped walking until he noticed how close Todoroki was to him. He could see their breath and his gaze traced the frosty air to a pair of lips that at that moment he found strangely appealing. He let himself really take in Todoroki’s face, having never been quite this close he realized things he hadn’t before - like the fact that even his long eyelashes were two different colors. That was when Todoroki blinked and Katsuki was jolted from his thoughts as those beautiful and completely unique eyes locked intensely onto his.

Right as Katsuki started to lean in closer he heard giggling and rapid footsteps coming from his right. He quickly turned his head to the side towards the noise and he heard a sharp intake of breath next to him before the boy next to him did the same. He saw two small figures running amongst the trees and immediately warning sirens went off in his head since that could only spell trouble.

“Hey! What are you little shits doing sneaking around!?” He shouted at them and Daiki walked into sight far too innocently.

“You really shouldn’t curse, Katsuki! You know our mom doesn’t like it when you do that around us!” The little boy said, narrowing his eyes in a way that was almost threatening.

“Don’t fucking try that garbage with me, you know by now it doesn’t work. Now, you have about ten seconds for Thing Two to get out here.” When he said this Chiho walked out as well, hands behind her back and obviously hiding something.

“We’re just helping out with the tree hunting!” She attempted to defend herself but he didn’t believe it for a second.

“What’s behind your back?”

“Nothing-”

“Bullshit. What’s behind your back?

She shifted her gaze and slowly revealing an actual ax for wood cutting that she had somehow hidden despite the fact that it was nearly the same size as her.

“What the fuck.” Katsuki said softly, but with feeling. He then switched to a more authoritative tone as he commanded, “Put that down right now!”

“But we know what tree we want and want to chop it down ourselves! It’s okay, we’ll be careful!” Daiki complained.

Katsuki opened his mouth to continue reprimanding them but was interrupted by Todoroki saying, “Wait, where is Masato?”

The twins eyes widened and they looked around them, guilt appearing on their faces in the realization that their cousin wasn’t with them. Katsuki felt a lump appear in his throat and didn’t even wait for an actual response from the twins. He quickly looked around and saw the section the largest trees were kept. He heard Todoroki shout behind him but he didn’t care as he took off towards the grouping of trees and began to climb up the nearest one.

As he began his ascent, Todoroki stood at the base of the tree and shouted to him, “What can I do?”

“Just stay there until I tell you where to go! I’m fine up here!” He yelled back, already nearly halfway up the tree. He’d always been good at climbing, ever since he was a child, so scaling this pine tree felt like no problem for him even though it would probably be a daunting task to anyone else.

He must have spoken too soon because when he reached for the next branch it was icy enough that his gloved hand slipped right off of it, nearly sending him to the ground. Katsuki growled in annoyance and ripped each of his gloves off with his teeth tossing them over his shoulder, not caring at all where they landed. He continued on, until he could safely go no higher, then began to scan the area for his lost cousin. He had to squint his eyes from the sharp winds of the altitude and could feel his hair whipping around but he ignored it to the best of his ability. Logically he knew that Masato would be fine but he also knew that being only five years old the kid got scared of being alone.

Unable to spot him, Katsuki took a deep breath in before shouting as loud as he could, “Masato!”

He heard nothing back and did this a few more times, at one point throwing a nervous glance downwards just to check that Todoroki was still there waiting. Finally, Katsuki could breathe a sigh of relief when he caught sight of small explosions popping off like fireworks in the distance.

He pointed in the direction and yelled to Todoroki where the little boy was and instantly he took off in a burst of ice and frost in what Ashido called his ‘Frozone Travel Tactic’. He resisted the strong urge to simply jump down from the top of the tree because he knew that any blasts he set off from his hands to break his fall would likely set the tree ablaze. Although, at the pace he was climbing down that wouldn’t be much more dangerous.

As soon as his feet hit the ground he started to run in the direction he had seen the small fireworks from. He didn’t need to go far before he saw Todoroki heading his way, surfing on a path of ice with a small red headed bundle in his arms. The child was gripping Todoroki tightly, face buried in his shoulder and even from where he stood Katsuki could see that he was shaking slightly.

“He’s alright. Just a bit shaken up.” Todoroki told him as soon as he stopped in front of him. When he spoke, Masato’s head popped up almost instantly and he looked around until his gaze landed on Katsuki. He let out an almost pitiful sob and reached out for his cousin with watery eyes. Katsuki made a face at the snot coming from the kid’s nose but still held his arms out so Todoroki could hand him over.

Masato wrapped his arms around Katsuki’s neck and tightly held onto his leather jacket as though his cousin would suddenly disappear if he wasn’t careful. Katsuki bounced him lightly and rubbed his back in an attempt to calm him. Todoroki watched with concern, his arms slightly outstretched as though he wanted to do something but had no idea what. Masato hid his face in Katsuki’s neck and he cringed when he felt the little boy’s cold nose hit his skin but he continued to bounce him.

“Come on, you’re okay, brat. I got ya.” He softly said. “That was quick thinking sending up that distress signal. Pretty impressive.”

The shaking calmed down and the little boy was reduced to just soft sniffles and hiccups. Todoroki gave him a look that was both surprised and impressed at the same time. Katsuki simply gave him a little shrug, careful not to jostle the kid too much.

Masato mumbled something and Katsuki furrowed his eyebrows before saying, “I can’t hear you when you mumble, kid.”

Masato hesitated but then picked up his head so he would no longer be muffled and quickly started rubbing his face in an attempt to hide any tears, “I’m not supposed to be scared! I’m not supposed to cry!”

Another broken sob came from the child and he covered his eyes as though that would make the two unable to tell how upset he was. Katsuki felt a pang in his heart for the boy but it was nothing compared to the devastated look that flashed across Todoroki’s face.

Before Katsuki could ask who the fuck said that so he could beat the shit out of them, Todoroki put a gentle hand on the little boys shoulder coaxing him to look at him. Once he did, he gently questioned, “And why would you think that?”

Masato’s lip wobbled and he stuttered a few times trying to form the correct words until he wailed, “I want to be a hero! So I can’t-”

The kid interrupted himself with another cry and Katsuki felt anger bubble up inside him at the pressure that must have already been put on the child. “Heroes are scared all the time and any pro hero that says otherwise is fucking lying to you or is a complete dumbass that will probably die within the week.”

“Fear is a natural response to protect yourself in a dangerous situation and without that instinct a person wouldn’t survive. Being brave is doing things despite being scared like how instead of sitting down and giving up you thought of a way to alert us to where you were.” Todoroki added.

Masato calmed down more and more as they spoke, going from crying to mulling over their words in his head. Finally he muttered in a quiet voice to Katsuki, “But...you’re never scared.”

Immediately Katsuki started shaking his head to put that idea to rest. He momentarily glanced at Todoroki unsure about opening up like this in front of his classmate but this was too important. “I get scared far more than I’d like to admit.”

“You should have seen how scared we were when we couldn’t find you.” Todoroki said and Masato flushed a bit at that statement, like he was embarrassed for having caused trouble.

“I…” Masato paused for a moment trying to find what he wanted to say. “I want my mom.”

A melancholic look settled across Todoroki’s features and the other boy took a steadying breath before thickly saying, “We’ll go find her then.”

Masato nodded with obvious gratefulness in his expression and he rested his head on Katsuki’s shoulder when they walked off to go find his mother. The child watched Todoroki who was staring at the snow as he walked, eyes focused on nothing in particular. Masato shifted in Katsuki’s arms and then reached his own arm out offering a hand to Todoroki. He looked up in surprise but soon realized what the child wanted and gently took the small hand in his own, which seemed to satiate Masato. Todoroki attempted to give the little boy a small reassuring smile and they continued walking like that, looking up and down the rows of trees for anyone in the family.

Katsuki’s Aunt Hisa wasn’t that hard to find and they eventually found her near the entrance of the farm, speaking with Aunt Mineko. As soon as she was in sight Masato started to wiggle in his arms and he put him down so the little boy could quickly run to his mother with his arms wide open. She smiled when she saw him, instantly kneeling down and opening her arms so he could hug her. Once she noticed his tear streaked face she began to fuss over him and stood up holding the boy in her arms as he told her what happened. Aunt Hisa was peppering Masato’s face with kisses when Katsuki finally turned to look at Todoroki and saw him watching the two with emotion written all over his face.

When Katsuki realized what was wrong it almost felt like a slap to the face. Memories of Todoroki explaining his childhood to Deku at their first year sports festival flooded his head. Katsuki wouldn’t be at all surprised if what was going through Todoroki’s head was thoughts of his own mother. He hesitated for a moment but, remembering what he had explained to Masato about bravery, he reached out and took Todoroki’s hand in his own like before. Todoroki looked at their clasped hands and then gave a small squeeze before meeting Katsuki’s gaze, an unsaid ‘thank you’ passing between them.

There was a sudden loud snapping noise that caused both of them to jolt in surprise before jumping back right as a tree fell directly in front of them. Katsuki stared at it for a moment, mouth agape, and then turned when he heard loud cheering. Behind the stump of the tree the twins were happily jumping in place excited and whooping while Daiki held up an ax. Katsuki slammed a hand to his forehead and nearly screamed in frustration.

“I guess we have a tree then.” Todoroki said from beside him.

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Since it was cut down they had to purchase the tree the twins had decided on despite the fact that it looked lopsided, half of the tree being suspiciously sparse. Aunt Mineko complained endlessly about the thing being in her otherwise pristinely decorated home but Katsuki’s father insisted that it would look beautiful just as long as they positioned the tree correctly. The twins enthusiastically agreed with his dad as they watched him and Katsuki put a tarp over one of the vans and tie the tree down to the roof.

Once it was all said and done Masato begged for him and ‘Tododoki’ to sit with him during the car ride and, knowing his other option was enduring his older cousins again, Katsuki agreed. The ride ended up being filled with happy babbling from Masato to the two of them about what he wants his hero costume to be and his ideas for his hero names that he is working on. Todoroki seemed to listen to intently his chatter and nodded at the correct times, responding with serious input that had Masato nodding with wide eyes paying rapt attention.

They all made it back to the mansion, Katsuki’s mother having done multiple headcounts, and the way they burst into the home felt more like a destructive stampede than an exhausted family coming back from tree-wrangling. Katsuki turned around to help with taking down the tree but Riku stopped him with a hand to Katsuki’s forehead. He swatted his hand away as Riku laughed.

“Head on inside, I’ll take care of the tree with Masaru.” He offered. “Jin is inside making some of the good hot chocolate and Satomi is going to be watching Christmas movies with the kids if you want to join them.”

The last part was meant to be teasing and Katsuki was about to snap back at him but before he could Todoroki’s eyes widened with interest. “What movies?”

Riku tilted his head to the side, interested in Todoroki’s curiosity, and started to list them. “Just classic ones like Rudolph, A Year Without A Santa Claus, Christmas Story, Home Alone, things like that.”

“Oh...I’ve never seen them.”

“Never...Holy shit, kid!” Riku was staring at Todoroki in shock and Katsuki was right there with him. “Get Shouto inside right now before they start the first one!”

Riku shoved the two of them in the direction of the house and automatically Katsuki shoved him back but listened to him, making sure Shouto got a real Christmas movie experience more important than starting a scuffle. When they entered the living room all the kids were snuggled up together on some pillows on the ground, covered in blankets and fighting over which movie to watch first. Satomi just let them fight it out while scrolling through her phone. Katsuki easily put a stop to that by taking the DVD Yuki was currently chewing the case of and holding it up.

“We’re watching Rudolph first.” It wasn’t up for debate and the kids didn’t seem to mind the decision, eagerly nodding and settling into place creating essentially a dog pile to warm up from the cold. Katsuki tossed the movie to Satomi like a frisbee and she caught it easily, most people in his family developed excellent reflexes with what they had to deal with on a daily basis. She set up the film on the large flatscreen TV his Aunt Mineko prided herself on and Katsuki flopped down onto the couch next to Todoroki. Satomi was going to sit in an armchair but was basically absorbed into the pile on the floor when the kids reached out for her.

Katsuki sat cross legged up on the couch in an odd but comfortable position while Todoroki was already sunk into the couch watching the beginning of the movie play out in front of him. He made a few comments about the animation but for the most part he was absorbed in the classic film. Katsuki found himself ignoring the movie he had seen many times before and instead focused on the boy beside him and the way the lights around the room sparkled in his eyes.

“Who wants hot chocolate!” Jin broke the moment by walking in with a tray of mugs and was greeted by a chorus of excited kids who were making grabby hands towards the mugs. The woman laughed and carefully walked over and then provided each of them with a mug of the warm drink. When she got to Todoroki her smile turned a touch mischievous. “And here is an extra special one for our extra special guest.”

Katsuki let out a short laugh when Jin handed Todoroki a hot chocolate that had a candy cane placed in it sticking out of the whipped cream and hooked onto the side of the mug. Todoroki even seemed amused when he thanked her. Before leaving she also grabbed a blanket that she threw over their laps since the two were the only ones who hadn’t acquired one yet. Katsuki settled in just a touch closer to Todoroki and realized just how comfortable he was in that moment as he took a sip of hot chocolate.

They were at the scene where Rudolph saved his friends from the abominable snowman when Todoroki began to eat his candy cane.

Katsuki found himself unable to look away as the boy sucked on the candy, captivated by his lips and the slight red tint to them from the crimson ribbons that wound their way around the peppermint treat. The stray thought of if his lips would taste like peppermint crept its way into his head and he gripped a piece of the blanket tightly as he willed the thought to go away. He was nearly successful in turning his attention to the movie when Satomi decided to pipe in.

“You can kiss him if you want, Katsuki, no one gives a damn.”

Katsuki spluttered and nearly choked on his hot chocolate while Satomi watched him, unimpressed, looking up from where she was laying on the ground with Chiho’s head resting on her stomach. Todoroki raised his eyebrow at Katsuki’s response to the statement and Katsuki scowled at him and said, “Don’t look at me like-”

Katsuki was cut off when Todoroki shoved the candy cane he had been eating into Katsuki’s mouth and then placed a kiss on his cheek. Katsuki’s face immediately flushed and there was a loud crunch as his jaw clenched, biting right through the candy cane. Todoroki looked at him in confusion at the noise. “Do you really eat candy canes like that?”

“Just shut up and watch the movie.” Katsuki spoke around the shards of candy he was currently chewing.

Shouto let out air through his nose in a way that was almost a laugh and leaned back against the couch to go back to the film. When he sat back he was even closer to Katsuki to the point that their shoulders were touching but at the moment he couldn’t focus on that as his brain replayed the clip of the cheek kiss over and over again.

They ended up watching Christmas movies for the rest of the day, taking breaks only for meals and for getting snacks. Once the kids heard that Todoroki hadn’t seen most of the movies they took it upon themselves to educate him with their favorite ones, which Todoroki didn’t seem to mind. He actually enjoyed most of the movies and although he didn’t exactly laugh at the comedies he did hold an amused look in his eyes when watching them. At least he did until he couldn’t understand a joke which was when he would turn to Katsuki in curiosity and he would explain. Satomi seemed to find that funnier than the actual jokes themselves. The kids got extremely excited during the snowmiser and heatmiser songs, turning to Todoroki excitedly and pointing at the screen all talking over each other but with the same sentiment of that it was him. That was the moment during all the films that Todoroki really smiled.

When the movie Jingle All The Way started, Katsuki felt his eyelids begin to get heavy. It wasn’t long into the movie until he felt himself sink deeper into the couch, enjoying the comfortable warmth around him as the world faded to black.

Chapter Text

Katsuki cradled his warm cup of coffee in his hands, leaning on the counter and looking down at his phone in front of him. He had opened up a text Mai sent the night before with the words “Someone is looking cozy!” along with the eyes emoji and an attached image. Lighting up the screen was a photo of him asleep on the couch with a blanket draped over him and his head resting on Todoroki’s shoulder. Even though he was mostly under the blanket he could see he had both his arms hooked around Todoroki’s left as if in his sleep he was trying to hold onto the other boy’s warmth. Todoroki was looking down at him with a soft look of awe that had Katsuki’s chest constrict in a way he was becoming all too familiar with. He held his thumb down on the image to save it, but was interrupted by a voice that spoke up behind him.

“I couldn’t stop Mai from taking that.” Katsuki turned around and faced Satomi whose hair was a relaxed purple as she poured herself a mug of coffee. “I asked her to help me out with carrying the kids to bed but she almost dropped Yuki when she saw you’re a cuddler.”

“I’m not a fucking cuddler ,” he growled. “It’s just cold.”

Satomi rolled her eyes and mixed some milk into her coffee, “Yeah, sure. That’s why you wouldn’t let go of him and why he had to carry you to bed.”

Katsuki narrowed his eyes. “What the fuck are you on about?”

A mischievous smirk came to her face. “Shouto carried you upstairs. It was pretty cute. Princess style and everything.”

Logically he knew he had to have gotten to bed somehow but it hadn’t occurred to him that Todoroki had been the reason that he had woken up once again in the boy’s arms rather than on couch he’d nodded off on. This morning he had stirred awake to the soothing up and down motion of Todoroki’s chest as he breathed, sprawled diagonally across the boy with his face mashed into the pillow next to his head and Todoroki’s arm slung comfortably around his waist. The scene probably would have looked ridiculous had anyone walked in, but Katsuki was just thankful that Todoroki somehow managed to sleep through his nightly migrations. 

He glared at her for the teasing and reached out to take her coffee mug, ignoring her protests as he replaced it with his own empty mug. “You’re too young for coffee.”

“Hey! What the hell!”

“If you wanted to keep it you should have thought about that before deciding to run your mouth.” Katsuki grumbled before taking a pointed sip from the mug. Pulling a face, he continued, “no milk next time.”

Satomi’s hair flared red as she tried to pounce at Katsuki but he simply planted a foot on her shoulder, effectively keeping her at bay while he drank her coffee. She tried valiantly to reach out and grab the drink but Katsuki merely smirked at her, deliberately slurping his next sip as she tried unsuccessfully to duck around the leg that stood between her and her drink. 

"Give her back her coffee, I don't need you blowing the place up because you've got caffeine sweats.” Katsuki’s mother walked in and harshly pinched his calf so he would put his leg down and she could get past them to place some dishes in the sink. 

“If you were any of my other cousins this would've been poured over your head.” Katsuki warned as he passed the mug back to Satomi, who looked more than fine with the truce as she nodded. 

“Don’t fucking threaten your cousins you little shit!” His mother turned around, grabbing him by the collar, the usual fire in her eyes that Katsuki easily matched.

“I didn't even do anything, get your ugly mitts off me!” He growled and shoved her hands away. Satomi watched the exchange with a bored expression, already a veteran to this sort of bickering between the two. She delicately sipped her coffee and left the room with her prize. 

“Shut your trap for two goddamn seconds, I gotta talk to you about something.” She lightly smacked his forehead with a spatula before going back to the dishes. 

“You started it-” He snapped but she cut him off.

“Something serious.” Katsuki relented at that by crossing his arms and leaning back against the counter to hear her out. 

"So you know I had a long conversation with Shouto yesterday." Her eyes moved from the plate she was cleaning up to his. Katsuki recognized the calculating look behind them and steeled himself for the worst. Of all his family, his mother was by far the most observant and if anyone was going to figure out that their relationship was a ruse, it'd be her. With a steadying breath he simply nodded in reply, tapping his fingers against his forearm in a subtle fidget. 

“What is Shouto’s home life like?”

Katsuki’s eyes widened and he took a sharp breath in that made his mom look up and grimace before saying, “That’s what I thought.” 

“It’s complicated.” He finally said. “And not for me to say.”

“Neither of you have to tell me.” She sighed. “I was just worried about some of the things he said... He told me that he hasn't even had you over. I'm sure he lives in a nice neighborhood, and with how strong you two are you shouldn't have to worry about any unsavory characters anyway, which got me thinking that-”

“I haven’t taken him home either.” He pointed out.

“That’s not the point. You did it because you keep trying to keep us out of your private life. He seemed anxious about it.”

“Mom, just lay off-” 

“Not to mention that whole thing about Endeavor at dinner when he first got here-”

Mom -”

“Fuck! It’s Endeavor, isn’t it. He always looked like a fucking bastard .” She furiously scrubbed at an already clean pan. “I swear to god I’ll beat his fucking ass if he even thinks about-”

Damn it would you fucking listen to me!? ” He slammed his fist to the marble counter and there was a rattle from the drying dishes on the rack next to his mother causing her to finally look up at him. “No one wants to kill that bastard more than me so fucking get in line but Shouto doesn’t want people to know about this so I need you to shut your fucking mouth for once.”

He stared her down, breathing heavily in anger and gripping the side of the counter with white knuckles while his mom looked back at him in shock. Not giving her the chance to interrupt, he powered on.

“He’s worked hard to be more than just his name and the last thing he needs is for people to think about him as just some story in the news before he even has the chance to surpass his father. It would be great if he didn’t think he had to do this alone since he’s actually surrounded by people that care about him but it’s his fucking choice. So you need to not say a word about it. Got it?”

Katsuki stood panting after his miniature rant, eyes daring his mother to argue with anything that he’d just said. Ready for a fight, his jaw nearly dropped when his mom’s face broke into a huge smile.

“You love him.” 

What?

“You can lie to everyone else- and even yourself- but you can’t lie to me.” She stated confidently, which was ironic given the fact he had been lying to her about his relationship status this whole time. “I was the same way with your father.”

“We’re not the same.”

“I know you hate hearing it, brat, but sometimes we share similarities beyond our good looks. That includes being protective of what and who we love.” She smiled a softer smile that he rarely saw come to her face. “I remember the first time I realized I really loved your father. We were at work and someone else in the office accidentally tripped him and he cut his hand on a pair of fabric scissors.”

She let out a light laugh before saying, “By god I almost tore her fucking head off for that. Masaru somehow managed to hold me back and staunch the bleeding at the same time while I threatened to send those scissors through her skull. It’s a miracle we didn’t get fired.”

She quieted to a surprising level, “I... was so angry seeing him hurt. Even though it wasn’t that bad of a cut I just lost my mind. Just the idea of him bleeding was… I told him I loved him later that day and that he didn’t need to say it back yet. He did though.”

She smiled again and looked Katsuki right in the eyes, “You should tell Shouto how you feel. I’m pretty damn sure he feels the same.” 

His breath caught in his throat for a moment and he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His mom’s smile just widened which he couldn’t even begin to understand. He swallowed thickly before he finally spoke up, “We’ve only been dating for three months. I’m not telling him something like…”

He trailed off, unable to finish the sentence. It felt strange lying like this when he was usually so unabashedly truthful. Thinking about the possibility of something like love just left a strange feeling in his stomach and he clenched his fists when he felt his palms begin to sweat. 

“It seems like a difficult thing to say but,” she put the last dish on the drying rack. “When the time is right its surprisingly easy. Now, you should go save Shouto. I think he’s been entertaining children.”

She paused as though she suddenly remembered something and then grabbed Katsuki by the ear yanking him down to her level as he made a noise of pained protest. “You also better let that boy know that he is always fucking welcome with us! He’s a part of this damn family now and we don’t take shit from anybody trying to mess with one of ours! You hear me?” 

“Fuck! I hear you!” He smacked her hand until she let go and rubbed at his ear. 

“Good.” She pinched his cheek in retaliation and he bared his teeth in a snarl but she easily ignored him. “Also ask Shouto if he wants more coffee.”

“If he drinks any more of that shit his heart is gonna give out.” He turned to leave the kitchen and his mom followed him after patting her hands one last time on the dish towel next to the sink.

“But he always looks so tired!”

“That’s just his face.” He was about to say more but that was when he literally walked into the boy in question. Todoroki looked at him stunned for a moment before he recovered.

“What about my face?” He slightly tilted his head to the side in curiosity but Katsuki grabbed him by the jaw and righted it, staring at his face as though he was doing an inspection. 

“Yup, you look like shit. Sleep better.” 

Todoroki pouted in a way that was almost cute and muttered, “I’ve been sleeping fine.”

“You just look like shit then.” He stated, finally releasing Todoroki from his hold. 

“Katsuki!” His mom angrily glared at him and then turned to Todoroki with a far softer look. “Shouto, don’t listen to him. You’re very handsome.”

Katsuki grunted noncommittally, neither confirming nor denying, and reached up to fix Todoroki’s hair where red was tangled with white. The boy’s hair was unfairly silky and Katsuki had to suppress the impulse to run his hand through it. He watched in fascination as a light flush blossomed on Todoroki’s cheeks and was only pulled out of it when he heard his mother’s laugh.

“Remember what we talked about, brat.” She threw him a wink and then walked away leaving the two of them in the hall.

“Remember what?” Todoroki prodded.

“It’s nothing .”

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Katsuki wrapped the gingerbread dough he had helped make with his father and grandfather in plastic wrap before placing it in the fridge to chill with the many previous batches. The amount of cookies consumed by his family during the holidays could be considered criminal and the three would spend a lot of time preparing them each year. Truly Katsuki didn’t know what the family did before his mom brought his dad home since most of them were absolutely useless when it came to baking. None of them had the patience to do it right and always cranked up the heat, burning their baked goods in the process. 

The dessert that took the longest were of course everyone’s favorite, gingerbread cookies. It became a tradition for the younger people in the house to decorate the gingerbread men while anyone of drinking age would partake in some spiked eggnog in the other room. Katsuki’s main job had been baking the cookies ever since he was old enough to be allowed to use the oven, so that his dad and grandpa could join the other adults. 

Katsuki untied his apron and pulled it off of himself, wiping the flour dusted over his hands onto the already dirty fabric and hanging it up on a hook for later use. Knowing it was cookie day he used the mess he would likely become as an excuse to wear his more comfortable clothes. Currently he was in his normal baggy jeans and a long sleeved army green shirt that had two buttons at the collar he always left undone. The shirt was a bit tighter around the shoulders than he preferred, he found that was usually the case with clothing, but at least it was comfortably loose around the waist. 

He left the kitchen at last and decided to go on the hunt for Todoroki to save him from whichever family member had stolen him away this time. It wasn’t exactly the easiest task due to the size of his Aunt Mineko’s house but he eventually managed to find him in one of the living rooms with the twins. Nothing could prepare him for the scene before him, though.

Todoroki was sitting on the ground with his legs crossed and the twins around him with various beauty tools strewn about. Currently, Chiho was sitting in front of Todoroki biting her lip in concentration while she carefully put a sparkly lip gloss over the purple lipstick she already put on him. Meanwhile, Daiki was behind Todoroki pulling his hair back out of his face into pastel butterfly clips. The look was accompanied by a horrible bright pink blush high on the boy’s cheekbones and a sparkly purple eyeshadow up to his eyebrows which must have been chosen to match the lip color he was sporting. The whole thing clashed with the light blue sweater Todoroki was wearing in the most horrible way and Katsuki couldn’t stop himself from letting out a broken wheeze. Todoroki’s head shot up at the sound causing Chiho to make an affronted noise when she accidentally got lipgloss on his chin, which she quickly wiped away with her hand.

Once Todoroki looked at him head on like that Katsuki burst out laughing, unable to hold it back any longer. He usually would do anything he could to suppress his real laugh since he always ended up letting out a snort every time he inhaled. His family had tried to tell him it was cute but if anything he thought he sounded like some sort of choking hell-goblin. Todoroki stared at him with wide eyes and lips parted in surprise as Katsuki filled the room with his raucous laugh.

“You look fucking ridiculous!” He finally managed to squeak out in a way he would probably be embarrassed about later. “Shit! You look like you’re gonna murder me in my sleep tonight!” 

Todoroki snapped out of whatever daze he was in and a small mischievous smile came to his face. “I just might.” 

“Well I think he looks great!” Daiki grinned as he put the last strand of Todoroki’s hair back into a clip.

“Yeah! What’s your problem Katsuki!?” Chiho added, looking slightly offended by her cousin’s reaction.

“Yeah, Katsuki. What is your problem?” Todoroki raised an eyebrow, an action that nearly sent Katsuki into another fit of laughter that he had to cover his mouth to avoid. Todoroki stood up and began walking closer to him. Deadpan he said, “You don’t think I’m beautiful?” 

Katsuki let out another cut off laugh and held his hand out as if warning Todoroki to stay back. “You stay the fuck away from me.”

This just made Todoroki’s smile widen into what was probably the closest to a grin Katsuki had ever seen from him. The look only seemed to accentuate the poorly applied lipstick and blush which sent Katsuki over the edge into full blown laughter again as Todoroki leaned in closer. “Come on, tell me I'm pretty.” 

“I’ll blow your ass up! Don’t think I won’t!” He threatened while backing up. Todoroki sent him a sly look and Katsuki realized the challenge that had been issued far too late.

Todoroki tackled him right as he was about to run, just narrowly avoiding sending them flying into the grand piano in the room that his Aunt Mineko had bought but no one knew how to play. They momentarily slid across the hardwood floor and Katsuki tried to wiggle his way out enough to kick him off but was too weak from his laugh attack. Todoroki used this to his advantage and pinned his arms along the sides of his head and Katsuki turned away, still trying to hide his face as he nearly screamed with laughter.

“Tell me I’m pretty, Katsuki.”

“Fuck no!”

With no other warning, Shouto leaned down and pressed a sloppy kiss to his cheek with a loud exaggerated kissing noise making sure to wipe as much purple lipstick as he could onto Katsuki’s face. Katsuki breathily threatened to kill him but still continued to let out mirthful snorts while he tried to shake Todoroki off of him. Todoroki chuckled on top of him, his face now covered in the smudged lipstick giving him a new but equally ridiculous look. Finally, Katsuki managed to knee Todoroki in the stomach making the boy let out a soft ‘oof’ before he managed to push him off of him.

“You bastard!” Katsuki wheezed and gave Todoroki one final shove to the shoulder but choked off a laugh looking at his face again. “You need to wash that off, I can’t fucking look at you like this.”

“Hmm, well, it looks like you have a little something on your face, too.” Todoroki poked his cheek and then held up his finger showing the purple lip color that rubbed off onto it. In retaliation Katsuki immediately went to wipe the lipstick off of his face onto Todoroki’s sweater but he was quick enough to stop him, pushing Katsuki back with a hand to the face as he let out another chuckle. Katsuki considered biting his hand when the twins decided it was time to remind him of their presence. 

“If you two are done being gross, since you destroyed our work that means you can’t say no to us when we ask to have a snowball fight!” Chiho said with a grin.

“Yes! Snowball fight!” Daiki jumped excitedly in place and punched the air, already hyped up. Katsuki groaned and slumped back against the floor with a thump. After slaving away in the kitchen the last thing he felt like was babysitting the kids outside.

But then again, it would feel pretty damn nice to pelt Todoroki with some snowballs right about now.

“Alright, fine, but it’s gonna be me and Shouto that are team captains. Got it? Get Satomi and Masato.” When he said this, the twins let out a cheer and ran out of the room with him shouting to them, “And tell your mom to get you ready for the snow!”

“Do you have any idea how to get this stuff off?” Todoroki asked as he rubbed at his cheek with his sleeve.

“Quit it! You’ll ruin your sweater.” Katsuki swatted at his hand as though he didn’t threaten just moments before to rub lipstick on aforementioned sweater, and Todoroki stopped what he was doing as he watched Katsuki get to his feet. “Come on, I think I saw makeup wipes in our bathroom. Otherwise we could steal some from Aunt Mineko. She fuckin’ needs them with the amount of makeup she piles on.” 

Katsuki didn’t help Todoroki up as a sort of petty revenge for tackling him but Todoroki didn’t seem to expect it anyway. He got to his feet and caught up with Katsuki as he walked out of the room. 

“Maybe if she sees me like this she’ll stop asking me to model for her agency.”

“She still going on about that?”

“Relentlessly.”

“Well, there is a good chance she will never stop so either say yes or get used to it. If she sees you like this she’ll probably just say you can work avant garde.”

“Get used to it?”

Katsuki stopped as he opened their bedroom door and faced Todoroki, picking up something subtle in his tone but unable to recognize what it was. He realized what he’d made it sound like, though, and quickly corrected himself. “For the rest of this vacation at least. Then you’re free. You have the rest of the week still ahead of you to deal with.”

“I see…” 

Todoroki’s eyes dropped to the floor in thought so Katsuki left him to it and walked through their room to the attached bathroom. He ripped open the cabinets and began rummaging through the toiletries looking for the makeup wipes he had sworn he saw. Todoroki walked into the room just as Katsuki let out a triumphant noise and held up his prize with a victorious smirk that left his face once he took a closer look at the packaging. 

“Rose scented? Why does everything have to be fucking floral.” He complained but fished a wipe out of the package regardless before tossing it at Todoroki. He had aimed at his face but the boy anticipated his move and caught it easily. 

Katsuki scrubbed furiously at the kiss mark smudged onto his cheek. By the time the two of them were done removing the makeup there was a comically large pile of used makeup wipes in front of Todoroki despite there being a few stray pieces of glitter left on his face. At the moment, he was struggling to take one of the butterfly clips tangled in his hair out and Katsuki let himself enjoy watching the effort for a moment before rolling his eyes with a sigh.

“Stop, you’re gonna rip your hair out of your damn head.” Todoroki almost jumped in surprise at the sound of his voice. “Sit on the edge of the tub.”

“Why?”

“Just do it.”

Todoroki complied and sat down like he was asked as he looked up at Katsuki with those mismatched eyes of his as he moved to stand in front of him. With his hair out of his face like this Katsuki could truly take in the crystalline quality of his eyes and the sharp elegant angles of his face. It was really no surprise that every girl, as well as some of the boys, in their school seemed to dream about the boy in front of him. 

Todoroki’s eyes widened slightly when Katsuki’s hands went to his hair to gently and skillfully untangle the clip. With the way that his head was tilted Katsuki could see how Todoroki’s adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed and he found himself slightly mesmerized by the sight. He shifted his focus back to the task at hand.

Katsuki was left stunned when working through a particularly stubborn knot Todoroki let out a content soft sigh and let his eyes slip closed. He leaned into Katsuki’s touch as though he was subconsciously urging him on to continue and he tried to calm his heart as he did what was asked of him. It didn’t take him much longer to remove the rest of the butterfly clips.

“Katsuki?”

Todoroki saying his name in a questioning tone made him realize he was now just idly running his fingers through the boy’s hair and Katsuki ripped his hands away as though he had been burned.  

“Hurry up. The gremlins are probably already waiting outside for us.” Katsuki accidentally used more force than necessary when he spoke and made a swift exit out of the room, unable to deal with being in the small space with the other boy anymore. 

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

When they finally walked outside the kids were indeed waiting for them, Masato making little snow angels that Daiki was adding devil horns to while Chiho tried to grab at Satomi’s phone to get her attention. Masato was the first to notice them and let out an excited squeal that made Katsuki wince. The little boy rolled around as he attempted to get to his feet in the amount of snow gear he was wearing but when he managed it he quickly ran towards them.

“I want to be on Katsuki’s team!” Masato grabbed onto his arm to claim him and managed to hang on even when Katsuki lifted his arm, attempting to shake him off as the little boy’s feet dangled off of the ground. Masato simply laughed like it was a fun game. 

“If you don’t let go you won’t be.” The child grinned and released him knowing that was Katsuki’s subtle way of giving in to his demands.

“Well that means we both get Shouto!” Daiki proclaimed as he took a surprised Todoroki by the hand. Chiho rapidly nodded in agreement and grabbed Todoroki’s other hand in solidarity, holding it up like a prize. 

“No way in hell I’m letting you two on the same team, I’m not an idiot.” Katsuki knew the twins were always at a loss if they didn’t have the other at their side and he planned to exploit that. 

“Too scared of a couple of kids?” They both spoke at the same time and tilted their heads to the side in a way that was meant to look innocent but really just made them look like the twins from The Shining.

“It sounds to me like he is.” Todoroki backed them up. “Talking in sync like that is certainly scary.”

The twins grinned up at Todoroki as though that was the best compliment he could have given them. 

“I’m not fucking scared.” Katsuki growled with a sneer that showed too much of his teeth. “Fine. You two can be on the same team but I am not going easy on you.” He held up a gloved hand, raising fingers as he listed off the rules. “Once you are hit by a snowball three times you are out. I don’t wanna see any fucking tears, you know what you signed up for. No quirk usage from me or Shouto allowed. We all get fifteen minutes to build defenses and come up with strategies starting now . Green Day you’re with me.”

The twins let out cheers as they dragged Todoroki away and Satomi rolled her eyes at the nickname but still shoved her phone into her pocket as she followed Katsuki to the other side of the yard. 

Once they were out of hearing range Katsuki laid out his orders. “Alright the two of you need to separate the twins in order to take them down, they are useless without each other. If either of you see Shouto just run to cover, I’ll be taking care of him. Brat, I need you to use your small size to your advantage, you’ll be able to sneak up on them easy. And for god’s sake don’t use your quirk, I don’t need to explain to your mom that you killed someone. You’re the one who is supposed to announce that I did.”

Masato listened to him like his word was gospel and nodded along. Katsuki then turned to a bored looking Satomi and snapped his fingers in front of her face to get her attention, “Listen up Taking Back Sunday ‘cause I’m not saying this twice. I need you to watch both our backs out there since I’m going to be busy trying to take down Shouto and the kid here is still working on his reflexes. If I get hit by anyone out there that isn’t Shouto I’m holding you personally responsible. Also if we win I’ll sneak you into a tattoo parlor to get your eyebrow pierced like I know you want to. Now get to work making snowballs while I make the snowbank. Brat, you’re on distraction duty.” 

Satomi perked up at Katsuki’s bribery and her hair turned into a happy green before she got down on her knees and started to rapidly form snowballs. Masato gave him a mitten clad thumbs up and then turned towards the other team to start making faces at them. Shouto listened to the twins talk about what Katsuki assumed was their game plan while he easily made snowballs and the twins worked on their own snowbank for protection. Katsuki narrowed his eyes momentarily but relaxed when he saw Shouto wasn’t using his quirk to help him. 

Chiho ended up becoming the one distracted by Masato’s antics and tried to climb over the snow wall she was working on in rage when she saw the red-headed little kid was doing some dance directed at them that included wiggling his butt at them and sticking out his tongue mockingly. Shouto looked alarmed at the sudden aggression as Chiho made a cutthroat gesture and he looked over at Katsuki who flashed him a feral grin and stuck out his own tongue. He would have flipped the bird at him too but he was too busy building their snow defenses. Shouto sent him a competitive look that Katsuki had seen many times over the years and the intense look in his dual colored eyes only served to make excitement grow in Katsuki’s chest at the prospect of a fight. 

Eventually an alarm on Satomi’s phone echoed through the air and a tense silence descended upon all of them like the calm before the storm. Masato let out a war cry that caused everyone to jump into action as he threw the first snowball. Satomi handed Katsuki an armful of snowballs and he bared his teeth in his trademark feral grin that usually came to his face in times he knew he was in for a good battle. The twins screamed in response and both of them tackled Todoroki to the ground behind their snow wall right before Katsuki’s team started to rapidly fire the snowballs at them. They pelted the wall with snowballs from a safe distance while Shouto and the twins were huddled behind their defense like soldiers in the trenches of a war film drama. 

“Come out and fight you damn cowards!” Katsuki yelled in frustration but when Todoroki walked out calmly from behind the snowbank Katsuki paused in surprise. He would soon find that to be a devastating blow for his team. 

“Chiho. Daiki. Unleash hell.” He ordered in his monotone voice and the twins ran out from behind him and laughed in a way that could only spell trouble before they clasped their ungloved hands together. Fog poured out onto the battlefield and started to swirl around them getting thicker and thicker while Todoroki didn’t even spare them a glance, instead focusing in on Katsuki. He smirked slightly at him and Katsuki growled in frustration as Todoroki disappeared from sight, consumed by the fog as it spread across the yard.

“Fuck!” He knew this was a possibility but he didn’t expect Todoroki to actually have the twins do it since it would mean he would be unable to see as well. That bastard had some plan up his sleeve and Katsuki wasn’t taking any chances. Right as the fog got to them Katsuki picked Masato up and threw him over his team’s snow wall which made the little kid laugh, used to being tossed around. “Change of plans, kid, you stay out of the fog and make more snowballs. Throw shit at anyone that comes out of there and yell for me if you need help.”

He turned to Satomi and quickly said, “You’re comin’ with me. Whistle if you need help. Take out one of the twins so they can’t do this bullshit anymore. They can only use one hand to throw now so you’re at an advantage meaning if you fuck this up you are dead to me. Let’s go.”

The normally apathetic girl nodded with a new sense of competition obviously motivated by Katsuki’s bribery and she didn’t hesitate to follow him when he jumped into the fog. Almost immediately he was barely able to see more than a few feet in front of him, leaving him nearly blind to any attackers. It didn’t take long for him to lose Satomi in the fog but he had to trust she would be fine. After all, he had bigger fish to fry. 

He tread through the snow lightly in an attempt to not give away his position but try as he might he couldn’t find a clue as to where Todoroki was. After a while of traipsing around Katsuki crouched down and simply listened to his surroundings. He heard the twins laughing but it seemed far enough away that he didn’t need to worry about it and he knew Satomi was likely closing in on them. 

That’s when he heard the telltale crunch of snow beneath a boot behind him. 

Before Todoroki could smash a snowball into the back of his head Katsuki dropped his own ammo in order to grab him by the arm and throw him over his shoulder. Todoroki was slammed into the snow in front of him with a small grunt of surprise and the snowballs he had been carrying in his arms scattered around him, leaving him with only the one in his hand. Katsuki, thinking quickly, grabbed the snowball from his grip and essentially slapped Todoroki in the face with it. Katsuki let out a victorious laugh that was cut off by a fistfull of snow shoved into his face.

Son of a bitch! ” Katsuki rolled across the ground in an attempt to put some distance between them and grabbed a handful of snow as he popped back up and began shaping a snowball while he took off running. He could hear Todoroki chasing after him and for a moment Katsuki was confused about how he could see him in the blinding fog but then realized that he must be following the path his footprints laid out.

He was about to throw the snowball in his hand at Todoroki but he heard the sounds of a scuffle to his left. He could just barely make out the shapes of Satomi and the twins duking it out via snow so Katsuki shifted his course. He ran directly at what he assumed was the twins and using a drive by tactic he smashed the snowball into the back of one of their heads and continued to run. Unfortunately even though he was quick that still left him open for attack and he was unable to dodge the snowball that smacked into him right between his shoulder blades. He cursed loudly and dropped down to form another snowball as the fog started to slowly disperse. 

Revealed was Chiho acting out an elaborate death scene, which someone could assume was Oscar worthy based upon Daiki’s tearful response. While Chiho, in a dramatic fashion, told Daiki he will have to go on without her Masato joined the fray carrying a surprising amount of snowballs for someone as small as he was. Satomi split the stack with the little boy and Daiki got up from kneeling next to his sister just in time to start running from the barrage of snowballs thrown his way. The two chased after him while Chiho remained laying on the ground with her tongue flopped out of her mouth and eyes closed in mock death, but she cracked an eye open to see if they were gone so she could start army crawling away to hide behind their snow wall. 

Katsuki couldn’t remain distracted for long though because while he dropped to his knees to make a new snowball Todoroki was doing the same and he couldn’t afford to get hit again. It was do or die now and Katsuki stood up and started running, again in sync with his rival captain. Todoroki launched the snowball in his direction but Katsuki was able to swiftly dodge it before hurling his right at Todoroki’s chest. The projectile hit its mark, leaving them both one away from being out of the game. 

With a yell Katsuki threw himself at the other boy and tackled him to the ground, landing on top of Todoroki as he hit the snow. Todoroki’s hand flew to the side to try to grab some snow but Katsuki quickly grabbed him by the wrists and pinned his arms above his head. The boy under him looked startled for a moment, his eyes flicking to Katsuki’s arms for a second and then back to his face. There was a moment where they were both still, just breathing heavily while Katsuki looked around trying to figure out how to both keep him pinned and also make a snowball to beam him in the face with.

“Katsuki.” Shouto said his name in a breathy voice that had an undertone of something else he couldn’t quite place but still sent tingles down his spine. Katsuki turned to face him again and his breath nearly caught in his throat when he realized just how close they were, faces only inches apart as Katsuki straddled his waist. He knew that their position would probably look indecent to anyone that saw them but in that moment he couldn’t find a reason to care. Todoroki’s hair was messily splayed behind his head with snow caught in it, his lips were parted as his chest rose and fell with each pant, his nose, cheeks and ears were tinted red from the cold, and Katsuki could feel his rapid pulse from his where his thumbs pressed into his wrists. It occurred to him that if Todoroki wanted to he could have probably broken out of Katsuki’s hold by now but instead he remained underneath him looking utterly stunned.

He doesn’t know who leaned in first or why but they were nearly nose to nose when a voice, in a way that was startlingly similar to Katsuki, shouted out, “ Die!

Katsuki screeched like a feral cat and jumped up off of Todoroki to shake out the snow Daiki had shoved down his jacket to avenge his fallen sister. Katsuki was about to grab some snow to throw at Daiki but it occurred to him right then that he was out of the fight which his competitive spirit did not deal with well. Daiki did his best evil laugh but it didn’t last long since with an angry yell Masato jumped onto Daiki’s back with his arm around his cousin’s neck in a chokehold Kastuki had taught him. Masato violently smashed a snowball into Daiki’s face, bringing a grin to Katsuki’s face despite the snow melting beneath his jacket.

Looking back at Todoroki, Katsuki saw the boy had covered his face with his hands and was slowly sinking into the snow around him as it melted from his quirk. Satomi casually walked over and dropped a snowball onto Todoroki’s head before looking at Katsuki and saying, “We win. You owe me an eyebrow piercing.” 

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Back inside Katsuki made quick work of getting dressed into dry clothes before telling Todoroki to meet him in the kitchen to “deal with the damn cookies.” His family had insisted that they both change after being out in the snow so they didn’t catch a cold but Katsuki knew damn well that it was just their ploy to get him out of his baggy pants. Jokes on them, though, for assuming he only packed one pair. 

He was walking down the hallway towards the staircase when he heard My Chemical Romance blaring from what could only have been phone speakers and noticed a half open door. Curiosity got the best of him and he looked in as he passed but ended up stopping from what he saw.

Satomi was sitting on her bed with a hand mirror held close to her face and quietly cursing to herself as she shakily attempted to reapply her eyeliner. Makeup wipes were scattered around her smeared with the results of her previous attempts to apply her makeup. Katsuki could see the frustration in her from where he leant against the doorway by her knitted brows and the tense slope of her shoulders. For a brief moment he was thrown back to when he first entered middle school and had stolen his mom’s black eyeshadow, applying it around his eyes smudged on with one of his fingers sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of a full length mirror. 

“If you want a straight line you shouldn’t squint your eye like that.” He advised her.

She startled, not realizing someone was watching her, making her streak the eyeliner across the side of her face and instinctively threw the mirror at his head. He caught the projectile with ease despite the fact she hurled it at him with all her strength and he twisted it around in his hand as though he was examining it before holding it up so he could check his teeth.

“You’re such an asshole!” Her hair went from white to red with anger.

“Just offering you advice. You should be thanking me. Especially since I’m about to teach you how to do winged liner like a fuckin’ champ.” She looked surprised for a moment before narrowing her eyes in suspicion. 

“What makes you the expert in eyeliner?”

“I wear it under my mask.” Katsuki decided to leave out any mention of his youth. “Move.”

She hesitantly moved aside, sitting cross-legged on the bed, as Katsuki joined her, mirroring her position to face her. He held out the hand mirror and she took it, seeming more at ease now that she started to see this wasn’t some kind of trick. Growing up around the rest of their relatives had made her wary of mischief, though it rarely came from Katsuki. 

 Katsuki plucked the eyeliner pen from her other hand and replaced it with a makeup wipe which she didn’t hesitate to use to give him a clean slate. Her hair shifted to black, showing she was stressed, which he had seen her with far more often than not recently. He watched her scrub at her eyes roughly and could tell there was far more on her mind than just her eyeliner. 

He gently stilled her hand and she jumped, surprised by the action as if she didn’t even realize what she was doing. Katsuki frowned uncharacteristically softly, eyes narrowing in concern. “You’re going to rub your face off.” 

For a moment she looked like she was going to say something but lost her nerve. Biting her lip she looked back at the mirror and more carefully wiped away the rest of the makeup. “...This okay?”

“‘S fine.” He tilted her head to the correct angle and helped her adjust how she was holding the mirror. “Look down instead of scrunching your eyes closed and watch what I do in the mirror. And don’t fucking move.”  

Satomi nodded and Katsuki gave her his patented ‘what the fuck did I just say’ look that made her hair flash an embaressed orange for just a moment when she remembered to keep her head still. He tilted her head to a good angle for him to work again and then he popped the cap off the eyeliner pen. Normally he had a talent for finishing a winged liner in record time but so Satomi could learn he went slowly as he explained all his tips and tricks. Satomi paid close attention to his technique and even asked questions about certain things she always had trouble with. When he finished her first eye he could feel the appreciation and excitement from Satomi as she admired it in the mirror with a little smile. 

“Alright Paramore, your turn now.” The smile fell from her face as her eyes snapped to him and he could see her panic in them. “Don’t give me that look. If you listened to anything I said you should be able to do the other eye with no fucking problem.” 

He shoved the eyeliner pen into her hand and she looked at it with trepidation before she seemed to gain a new sense of determination. “Yeah, no fucking problem.”

With a much steadier hand than before she took the eyeliner pen from him and started to work on her other eye, routinely checking the one Katsuki did for reference. Her work wasn’t perfect but it was an obvious improvement to what she had before and Katsuki could be proud of that. That didn’t stop him from fixing the eyeliner she did though but at least he was able to show her how to fix her mistakes. She stared at the mirror as though she almost couldn’t believe it was herself staring back at her.

“So, what’s up with this new look anyway?” Katsuki prodded in what he hoped was a subtle tone. 

“What are you, my fucking mom?” Well, there goes subtle with the added bonus of yet another flashback to his middle school days. History was doomed to repeat itself he guessed.

Forgive me if i’m a touch curious why my little cousin went from wearing shirts with horses on them to attempting to steal Billie Joe Armstrong’s look.” He let out an annoyed huff and was about to get up but was stopped by Satomi grabbing his sleeve.

“Wait! I wanted to talk to you it’s just...an automatic reaction at this point.” She looked at him nervously and it set off all his protective instincts.

“Someone giving you shit at school? Fucking say the word and I’ll scare the shit out of them.” He was getting heated just thinking about it but Satomi shook her head as he sat back down. 

“No, I can do that myself when it happens.” Katsuki nodded at her approvingly at that statement. “I was just, um....wondering how you decided to start dating.” 

Katsuki furrowed his eyebrows as he thought over the question, “What do you even mean?”

Her hair turned white, a sign she was scared, and she looked down at her clenched hands before asking in a quiet but steady voice, “How did you know you were gay?”

The question momentarily threw Katsuki for a loop since he didn’t expect it but he was very quick to compose himself. “I mean, when I was a kid I just thought I hated everyone so it wasn’t surprising that the idea of liking a girl was repulsive to me since, you know, the thought of liking anyone was repulsive to me. But then kids would always start their damn rumors and would tell me about different girls thinking I was cute or that they had a crush on me and I fucking hated it. The first time a girl actually admitted she had a crush on me I told her to get out of my school,” his mouth twitched up in a crooked smile, a touch nostalgic as he continued “so there’s a lot to unpack there.”

He softly blew air through his nose in a way that was almost a laugh while Satomi hung off of every word he was saying. “My first crush was a male movie character but don’t ask because I’m taking that information to my fucking grave.”

The absolute last thing he wanted was her to know that his first crush was Kovu the lion from The Lion King 2 when he was just a kid. “Once I was a bit older it wasn’t hard to come to terms with the fact that I was gay but I was worried about what people would think of me.” 

“Were you scared?” 

“‘Course. I know it’s surprising since I don’t give a shit what people think of me now but when I was young I thought I would have to hide I was gay since I was scared it would affect my hero rankings in the future. I also didn’t hang around a very friendly crowd and assumed they wouldn’t respect me anymore. Not to mention I had no idea what my parents would think so really I didn’t hide it so much as I just didn’t talk about it. I hated doing that which only added to my anger. I was angry at people around me, I was angry at my parents, and I was angry at myself ‘cause I felt like a fucking coward. The summer before UA is when I finally snapped when my mom asked me when I was leaving the house if I was going to meet up with some secret girlfriend. Yelling that I’m gay isn’t exactly subtle so I accidentally came out to my dad that day too. From then on it became that if someone had something against me being gay then fine, I can just sucker punch them in the face if I need to.”

He could see she took his words to heart and there was a silent moment where she mulled them over. 

“Katsuki, I think I-” She closed her eyes for a moment and shook her head before opening them again with a new sense of determination. “No...I know I like girls. I know it’s always been that way too I just...I know I shouldn’t be scared about telling the family since I know they will support me but I still get anxious thinking about it.” 

“Well, first of all welcome to the ‘gay cousin’ club,” This startled a small laugh from her and some tension eased from her shoulders. “Second of all you have every right to be scared, it’s nerve wracking, but it’s gonna feel easier each time you tell someone. You shouldn’t feel forced to come out before you’re ready. Like I said before, if anyone has a problem with it you say the fucking word and I’ll make ‘em wish they were never born.” 

The corners of her mouth quirked up at that but that faded away as she bit her lip and messed with the sleeve of her sweater before asking, “And how did you know you had a crush on Shouto?” 

Katsuki faltered at that question, trying to think of some kind of viable answer to that, but instead chose to deflect it with, “What, you got a crush on somebody?” 

Her face quickly flushed in embarrassment and she looked away, spluttering a bit. Seemed like he got it in one. 

“I- um..Well...Maybe?” She started and Katsuki gestured for her to continue. “There is this girl in my history class and she’s just...really really sweet. I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone as nice as her. She’s a bit spacey and doesn’t have the best grades but she always manages to say the right thing...I’ve been helping her study for history class during lunch and she always gives me some kind of fresh made treat she brought from her parents’ bakery as a thank you. I guess I just feel...warm around her? Like I just want to stay there next to her.”

Katsuki watched her talk observing the way her face softened and how her hair started to turn to the color pink, matching the slight blush she still had. He mulled over what she meant about that ‘warm feeling’ but couldn’t exactly figure it out. For a brief moment the memory of Todoroki hugging him to warm him flashed through his mind but he shook away the thought. 

“I’m not the best at emotions and shit but if your hair is anything to go by then you’ve got it pretty bad.” Satomi’s eyes widened and she quickly grabbed the mirror from before. She looked mortified when she saw it’s bubblegum pink state and her hand flew to her hair making Katsuki let out an amused huff. “But seriously, any girl would be lucky to have you and if she doesn’t know that than she really is a complete dumbass.” 

Satomi’s eyes began to water as she quietly croaked out, “Thanks, Katsuki.” 

“You’re gonna ruin that eyeliner I just so painstakingly did for you.” His response didn’t have any bite to it but he still didn’t expect it when the girl threw her arms around his neck to hug him. She sniffled while he lightly patted her back in some lame attempt at comfort but she didn’t seem to mind. 

“Also what business do you have with dating yet anyways you’re like 12.”

“I’m almost 14 so shut the fuck up.”



»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

After their talk Satomi seemed more at ease even though she was about to have to deal with the kids slinging around colorful icing and candies to make their gingerbread men. He was about to walk into the kitchen when he collided with another body nearly making him stumble. He was steadied by an arm around his waist and Katsuki met Todoroki’s concerned gaze. Part of Katsuki found the position rather comfortable, which caught him off guard. 

“Are you alright?” 

“Why wouldn’t I be.” Katsuki snapped and maneuvered himself out of Todoroki’s hold and into the kitchen. 

Todoroki didn’t seem fazed and simply watched Katsuki curiously as he got out the ingredients for the icing. “You just took a long time. I was about to check on you.”

“What are you? A fucking cop?” Katsuki responded automatically, now getting out the cookie dough as well. 

“I can’t be concerned with my boyfriend’s wellbeing?” Todoroki raised an eyebrow at him in a way that made it seem like he could be issuing a challenge. 

“Yeah well if I trip while putting on my pants and crack my head open on a dresser you’ll be the first person I call.” Katsuki’s voice was dripping with sarcasm but Todoroki didn’t seem off put by that in the slightest. “I know you’re shit at cooking but are you any good at baking?”

“I don’t know, I haven’t really tried before,” He furrowed his brows in concentration as though he was trying to remember. “My brother... he taught me how to make trash s'mores but that’s it.” 

“Trash s’mores?”

Todoroki gave him a mildly confused look as though he should already know what a ‘trash s’more’ was. “Yeah. He showed me how to roast the marshmallow in my hand. Then all you have to do is add chocolate syrup and a potato chip on top. He called them trash s’mores.” 

He stared at him dumbfoundedly for a moment before saying, “Did you just eat it out of your fucking hand ?” 

“How else would I? It would always get stuck to my hand.” 

“Ok well first off that’s not baking. Secondly, how are you even alive?”

Todoroki simply shrugged in response and Katsuki made a mental note to keep an eye on what the other boy was eating so he didn’t perish from malnutrition. He also tried to remember any mention of one of Shouto’s siblings having a fire related quirk. 

“Alright, can you at least mix something in a bowl?” Katsuki asked as he placed a large bowl in front of Todoroki. 

Todoroki let out an amused huff. “I think I can manage.” 

In the end, Todoroki for the most part did manage his job with just about the amount of confectioner’s sugar spillage as Katsuki expected. That being said, the counter now had a dusting of powdered sugar across the surface and Todoroki looked at it with his eyebrows furrowed as though he was trying to piece together where he could have possibly gone wrong. Satomi and Airi had taken the cookie dough from Katsuki and were currently helping the kids cut out the gingerbread man shapes for Katsuki to bake. Masato kept adding extra little things to the forms that made Katsuki wonder what his creative vision was for the cookies. 

Airi lifted a tray of cookies up into the air and yelled over the chattering kids to Katsuki to tell him they were ready for the oven. Normally, Airi would be jumping at the chance to be drinking with the adults and Katsuki gave her a suspicious look trying to figure out exactly what her game here was. She kept an innocent look and thanked Katsuki when he took the cookies only leading him to be even more suspicious. 

After popping the cookies in the oven, Katsuki went and helped Todoroki as he struggled to split up the batch of royal icing evenly like Katsuki asked him to. Once that was done all they had to do was color the icing for the decorations. Normally this would be a simple task if it weren’t for the fact Katsuki had to keep stopping Todoroki from sneaking tastes of the frosting. 

Katsuki couldn’t put his finger on what the cause was but something about the whole situation just felt...nice. There was a warm homey atmosphere that made him feel strangely relaxed even though the kids were loudly fighting over how many cookies they each got to decorate. He also would normally be annoyed by Todoroki’s poor culinary skills but he found he didn’t mind helping him. It was kind of endearing to see the boy actually need help with something.  

By the time they placed the colorful icing on the table and the different candies for decorating, the first batch of cookies was finished baking. Luckily it only took about ten minutes for the gingerbread men to bake because otherwise the kids would no doubt eat the candy before having the chance to decorate. Katsuki got the cookies out of the oven, since he forbade anyone else in the room from doing it, and set them on the cooling racks where Todoroki was able to cool them with a wave of his hand. The kids cheered and started to grab cookies while Airi complimented Todoroki on the use of his quirk which was met with a confused tilt of the head from Shouto and a scowl from a hovering Katsuki. 

Now that Satomi, Airi, and the children were busy decorating Katsuki took over shaping the gingerbread dough into more cookies to bake. Todoroki was quick to offer to help him and Katsuki agreed before he even realized what he was saying. He couldn’t refuse though when he saw the excited shine in Shouto’s eyes. After Todoroki messed up the first couple of cookies he tried to form, Katsuki reached over to help him with the one he was currently struggling with. His hands brushed against Todoroki’s and he couldn’t help thinking about how soft his hands were compared to his own calloused ones. 

“Tododoki! Look what I made!” Masato was grinning and proudly holding up a gingerbread man with red and white icing on the head and two mini m&ms for eyes that were brown and blue. The rest of the cookie was smeared with blue icing with white splattered about and Katsuki realized that was meant to be Todoroki’s hero suit. 

“You really got my eyes right. They look delicious.” Todoroki complimented him and the little boy nearly started vibrating in happiness. 

“I made one of Katsuki too!” Masato held up another cookie next to the other one. The cookie had bright yellow icing all over the head which Katsuki assumed was his hair and the body was slathered with black and orange icing. The most distinguishing thing about it was the wide black circle for a mouth and the dripping red icing of the eyes that made it look less like Katsuki and more like a melting nightmarish demon screaming in agony. 

“He’s perfect.” Todoroki said deadpan and Katsuki elbowed him in the side but it lacked any real force. Meanwhile, Masato was practically glowing from the statement and set to work making another gingerbread man. He poured globs of red icing onto it leading Katsuki to believe that the little boy was creating a murder scene until he spotted all the other cookies he had made. The cookies of himself and Todoroki were placed amongst cookies of different pro heroes and Katsuki realized that Masato’s creation must have been Hawks with his giant red wings. 

“Hey! Put Gerard back!” Satomi reached across the table hastily, almost knocking several jars of candy over in the process, to grab at a gingerbread man Daiki was about to put into his mouth. Daiki raised his arm trying to keep it away from her but she managed to pluck it out of his hand, ignoring his complaints. Satomi’s gingerbread men were far more legible than Masato’s and based on the name she said it wasn’t hard to deduce her cookie was meant to be Gerard Way. Apparently everyone was making cookies of their favorite people, at least judging by Chiho’s gingerbread men of various 80’s slasher film characters. 

Katsuki grabbed two trays to switch with the cookies in the oven when he noticed one was oddly shaped. “What the fuck is that? An octopus?”

“It’s a cat.” Shouto explained with a slight tone of disappointment likely about Katsuki being unable to tell what it was. “I messed up one of the gingerbread men so I made it into a cat.”

“You could have just put it with the extra dough to roll out again.” Katsuki said with a look to the small pile of cookie dough scraps. 

“Oh...I’ll just do that I guess.” Todoroki reached for the gingerbread ‘cat’ but Katsuki moved the tray out of his reach.

“It’s fine. We’ll just put it with the shitty cookies to get eaten first.” With that compromise Todoroki seemed oddly more proud of his creation even though Katsuki called it shitty. 

Katsuki weaved around the other boy and walked to the other side of the large kitchen where the nice convection oven was. He placed the unbaked cookies to the side so he could deal with the now perfectly done cookies. Really he should probably use a timer when baking but he always managed to keep track of the time in his head and so far it hadn’t steered him wrong. He put the other trays into the oven but took a moment to look at the cookie Todoroki had called a cat. It really wasn’t at all well done but for some reason he felt himself begin to smile when looking at it. 

“He’s hopeless.” He quietly said to himself as he shoved the final tray into the oven. He was about to pick up the piping hot gingerbread men to bring to Todoroki to cool down but he heard Airi speak up. 

“Hey, Shouto,” She said in a sing-song voice with a mischievous grin on her face. “Take a look at where you’re standing.”

Katsuki looked over and saw Todoroki had moved from where he was working on the cookies to grab a hand towel to clean the flour off of his hands. He was looking around confused as to what Airi meant but Katsuki followed Airi’s gaze upwards to where a sprig of mistletoe was hanging from a ceiling fan. Airi then caught Katsuki’s gaze and her smile widened before she moved to get up.

So that was her game then.

Katsuki moved before he could even think about it as Airi made her way to the other side of the table in an attempt to get to Todoroki. It almost felt like the moment could be in slow motion. Katsuki slid to a stop in front of Todoroki before Airi could even get near him meanwhile Todoroki still looked like he didn’t know what was going on at all.

“Katsuki, what-”

He cut Todoroki off by grabbing him by the back of the neck and pulling the surprised boy down to crash their lips together into what Katsuki would always remember as his first kiss. 

For a second Shouto was stock still against him and Katsuki was about to pull away until suddenly he placed his hands on Katsuki’s hips to bring their bodies closer together. Todoroki tilted his head a bit to the side and suddenly the awkward kiss turned into something that felt amazingly pleasant. Shouto’s lips were soft against his own and tasted sweet in a way that must have been from all the icing the boy had snuck for himself. It took everything for Katsuki to restrain himself from getting a better taste of it. Feeling pent up he played with the hair at the nape of Shouto’s neck for something to do with his hands which elicited a shiver from the boy. 

The shiver pulled Katsuki back to reality and he broke off the kiss, not knowing how long it had even lasted. Katsuki wasn’t sure but he could have sworn that when he pulled back Shouto’s lips had chased his for a moment, but it was too quick for his fuzzy brain to parce. He moved his hands from the back of his neck to his chest, still held close, and finally looked at Todoroki’s face. He seemed as though he was in a daze as he stared at Katsuki with an inexplicable look of awe. It was a look Katsuki almost felt like he could get used to. A look that made him feel like the only one in the room.

But of course he wasn’t.

“Well that was rude.” Airi complained as she leaned against the counter with a disappointed pout on her face.

Katsuki spluttered incoherently for a second before saying, “ Rude? Stopping you from kissing my boyfriend is rude?” 

“Well yeah you get to kiss him whenever you want! Sharing is caring.” Airi explained as though that was a normal thing to say. “Now I set up that mistletoe for nothing. It didn't even look like a good kiss, do you rush everything you do?"

“Mistletoe?” Todoroki finally spoke, his voice a bit breathy, and he looked up. The confusion melted off his face and he simply let out an, “Oh…” 

“If you guys are done being gross we still have a ton of gingerbread to finish and could use some help.” Satomi didn’t even look up from the cookie she was concentrated on as she said this. 

“Well, you guys have fun with that. Time for me to see if I can convince Aunt Mineko to pop open the good white wine.” Airi went to skip out of the room but Katsuki wiggled his way out of the hold Todoroki had on him so he could grab her by the back of her collar. 

“I think the fuck not! You’re gonna sit down and finish what you started.” Katsuki shoved her into a chair in front of a plate of undecorated cookies and she pouted again.

“Oh also I made some cookies for you, Kat.” Satomi said deadpan and held up two gingerbread men that looked like him and Todoroki with little kissy faces that she held up in a way that made it look like they were about to kiss. Katsuki growled and simply snatched the cookies out of her hands and bit the heads off of both of them at the same time. 

“Kinky.” Airi said with a wink and Katsuki chucked the little cookies’ bodies at her face.

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

It was around ten at night and Katsuki could not stop pacing.

Both he and Todoroki were ready for bed, the other boy laying against the pillows idly scrolling through his phone while Katsuki just couldn’t stop thinking. Something Katsuki prided himself on was being good at things, in fact he always was the best at things. So why did Airi say that it didn’t look like a good kiss? To him it felt good, it felt more than good, so could he possibly be a bad kisser? He hadn’t actually kissed someone before, being too focused on everything else to have any romance in his life, but he still found that the small comment annoyed him to no end.

“It's rare for you to still be awake at this time, let alone so angry." Todoroki spoke, barely looking up from his phone.

“Shut up!” He snapped but instantly regretted it when he saw Todoroki nearly retreat into himself. He let out a heavy sigh and flopped onto the bed face first into the pillow. “No, I mean... was that a bad kiss? I've never kissed anyone. Is Airi going to figure it out and say something?”

“Your cousin just wanted to kiss me, I don't think she meant anything by it.” Todoroki responded and finally put his phone onto the nightstand, completely focused on him.

“You didn't answer my first question, was it bad?” Anxiety seeped into him and he tried his best to fight it off.

“I mean… I’ve had better?”

Katsuki turned his face out of the pillow and growled out, “Who the fuck have you kissed before?!”

Todoroki shrugged. “Momo, when we were trying to figure out if we were gay. She had a crush on Jirou and I... It doesn’t matter, but we figured it out.”

“Fucking...show me how to do it right then.”

His words hung in the air for a moment and Katsuki nearly stopped breathing when Todoroki shifted his position in the bed to be facing him and reached out his hand to cup his jaw and run his finger across his lower lip.

“Is that what you want?” He breathed out.

“Yes.”

The next thing he knew he was kissing Shouto and god did it feel right. He had pulled him into the kiss by moving his hand into his hair and Katsuki couldn’t help but gasp at the sudden sensation before his mouth was otherwise occupied. There was something so shockingly tender about it that Katsuki leaned into it in a desperate way he never expected from himself. Todoroki let out a surprised noise through his nose but didn’t object, instead deepening the kiss. Katsuki didn’t mind in the slightest, though, he found himself wanting more

It wasn’t long before Katsuki felt the strain in his neck from the position they were sitting in. Pulling away with a with a wet noise that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up, he murmured,“This isn’t comfortable.” Shouto looked at him with a dazed sort of disappointment that morphed into surprise as Katsuki maneuvered him to sit back on the mattress, slinging a leg over him to straddle his hips. 

Katsuki leaned down, hovering close enough for Shouto to feel him speak against his lips and finally said, "Am I a better kisser than that fucking bookworm?”

“Yeah.” Shouto said breathily before Katsuki dived right back in wanting nothing but to be the best he’d ever had. It must’ve been just a touch overzealous because he felt their teeth clack, someone’s lip caught between the impact lending a taste of rust to the kiss. His hand clutched the fabric of Todoroki’s sleep shirt far too tightly as he put his all into kissing him, and Shouto raised a hand to gently caress his own.

Todoroki pulled back just far enough to speak. “Relax.” Was all he said while rubbing his thumb across his knuckles and Katsuki listened, melting against him as he brought their mouths back together. Emboldened by the so far positive response, Katsuki brought Shouto’s lower lip between his own, nibbling lightly and relishing in the sharp huff of surprise he earned in response.

Melding his body against Shouto’s as they kissed was pure euphoria and upon untangling his grip from the front of his shirt Katsuki found himself unable to resist letting his hands roam along the skin just beneath the rumpled hem. The little tease he got of those defined abs nearly had him demanding Todoroki take it off, or skipping that altogether and just ripping it off himself. 

Without warning, Shouto tangled his fingers in his hair and pulled it in a way that was so irresistible Katsuki moaned into his mouth and promptly froze  in horror at the sound that had escaped him. 

Katsuki pulled away as quickly as he could, scarlet creeping from the tips of his ears steadily down his neck. “I-”

“It’s fine. Its okay-” Todoroki started to assure him but Katsuki would have none of it.

“I’m going to bed.” The statement was loud and sudden and Katsuki rolled off of Todoroki, wrapping himself safely in the blanket and shuffling to the extreme edge of the mattress before shutting off the lamp next to him. 

“Katsuki-”

“Shut up! I’m asleep.” Katsuki said with his heart in his throat and his face buried in the pillow. Shouto said nothing and simply turned off his own bedside light with a sigh. 

Katsuki squeezed his eyes shut and tried to calm his pounding heart.

Embarrassing himself was one thing. But with his palms sweating and the anxiety rapidly swelling, there was a much more pressing matter.

Fuck. He had feelings, didn’t he?



Chapter Text

Todoroki POV

 

Shouto jerked awake in a panic, breathing in rapid heaves as his heart raced like a hummingbird’s, from the vivid nightmare he had just pulled himself out of. He swallowed around the lump in his throat and willed himself to take a deep breath in an attempt to calm the pulse roaring in his ears. This wasn’t the first time he had woken up like this, nor did he believe it would be the last, but that didn’t make it any easier to pull himself out of the panic that clutched him so tightly. What did come easily was keeping himself quiet during these times. As a young boy, he would wake in the midst of a nightmare of this caliber screaming but it only served to make his father angry, claiming that he was weak for being afraid of something that wasn’t even real - as though the subjects of his nightmares weren’t a cruel part of his reality. Shouto, alone in the dark, learned how to keep himself to nothing but quiet wheezy gasps to keep his father from overhearing not only for his sake but for his mother’s as well. 

The nightmare was the same as it usually was, a blurred cacophony of the horrors of his past shuttering by like an old film reel. The form of his mother, curled small and wracked with sobs. The image of his father standing tall looking down at him with distaste. The sound of a tea kettle, his missing brother screaming as he was forced to burst into flames again and again and again, his nails scraping down the wood of the training room floor as he clutched his stomach- 

Shouto shuddered, taking in another unsteady breath as he willed his nightmare back into his subconscious. When he moved to lift his hand to wipe the sweat from his brow he found, much to his surprise, that his arm was held down by Bakugou who was clinging tightly to the limb. The blond boy let out a soft grunt of protest when he tried to shift and buried his face further into Shouto’s bicep. A wave of awe overtook him when Katsuki made a content huff as though he was exactly where he wanted to be. Shouto felt his throat constrict in a different way from the clawing panic of his nightmare at the sight of Katsuki’s sleeping face; even if it was something he had seen before it never ceased to amaze him how soft the boy looked in moments like this. The annoyed expression he usually held was no longer present, his face smoothed into a relaxed state that highlighted his surprisingly sweet looking features from his button nose to his slightly parted pink lips. 

Shouto realized he had raised the hand that Katsuki wasn’t latched onto forward to touch him and stopped himself, letting it fall down to rest on his own chest. 

When he had volunteered to be Bakugou’s fake boyfriend he had no idea how torturous it would be to be so close to what he couldn’t actually have. The most painful moments were the ones where he almost forgot that what they had right now wasn’t real, chest feeling full to bursting with the affections he held for the other only to feel hollowed out the next moment when Katsuki brought up once again that it was all an act. Still, if he could go back to when this first started he wouldn’t change a thing. The time he spent with the boy was well worth whatever Shouto would feel once this arrangement was over. 

When he had heard Bakugou’s situation that early morning in the kitchen he hadn’t planned on offering his ‘services’, but when he heard Kaminari and Kirishima bring up the idea of a fake boyfriend Shouto found himself speaking before he could stop himself. There were a lot of reasons that contributed to his decision from the lack of filter he had when tired to the slight flare of jealousy when he heard Kirishima and Kaminari discussing who could be Bakugou’s ‘boyfriend’. What it really came down to though was that he’d harbored feelings for the boy sleeping next to him since their second year and many scenarios of what it would be like to be in a relationship with him had passed through his mind during that time. So, when given both the chance to possibly find out simple things, like what it would feel like hold Katsuki’s hand or see his real smile be directed at him, Shouto didn’t hesitate to step forward for the ‘job.’ The realization that he could also get away from his father for the holidays only served to make him think it was an even better idea, although he hadn’t exactly planned on sharing that bit of information the way he did.

That’s how Momo ended up finding Shouto lost in thought in front of the common room fireplace, staring at the dancing flames.

“Good morning, Shouto.” She greeted him but paused, looking him over for a moment and realizing near-instantly that something was off. “What’s wrong?” 

He knew from the hardened tone she used that she must have immediately suspected that something must have happened with his father. Shouto quickly looked up and shook his head to lay that thought to rest. “Nothing. I think.”

“You think… So, that means it's something that could go wrong?” There was nothing pushy about Momo’s tone, it was more as though she was gently coaxing him to explain. Over their years of friendship, she had become quite good at patiently getting him to talk about what was on his mind, which was something that had never come easily for him. 

“Possibly.” Shouto bit his lip as he mulled over what to say for a moment. “I’m spending the break with Bakugou to trick his family into thinking he has a boyfriend.”

That seemed to shock Momo out of the strategic planning mode she had been in since she suddenly choked on the tea she had been sipping at. Shouto made his way over to her, mild worry showing on his face, and awkwardly patted her back in some kind of attempt to help as she coughed and spluttered. 

“You what ?” She croaked out once she regained her composure.

“He needed someone to pretend to be his boyfriend for a week so I... volunteered.”

She took a moment to digest what he said before asking, “So, you’ll be alone with him for an entire week?”

“Him and his family.” 

“His family?”

“I don’t know much, just that he has a large family reunion.”

“Do you think you’ll be able to handle that?” It was an honest question, she had known him long enough to be aware that Shouto was easily overwhelmed when he was exposed to large groups of people he didn’t know.

“I think it’s better than my other option of going home.” At his response, she nodded in understanding.

“But is that the only reason you’re doing this?” He averted his gaze and that was all the answer she needed. “You still have feelings for him.”

He swallowed nervously before breathing a sigh out of his nose and quietly admitting, “Yes.”

“Alright then...we have a lot of work to do.” 

His head tilted in confusion as he looked back up at her as she finished typing something on her phone before stuffing it into her pocket. Any question he was about to ask was cut off as she grabbed him by the sleeve and pulled him along with her out of the common room. 

She shoved him into the elevator, pressing the button for the fifth floor, before asking, “When are you leaving?”

She had the confident air to her voice that he recognized meant she had a plan she was ready to execute. “At five tonight.” 

She made a contemplative hum as she glanced at her phone once more, already doing mental calculations. “You’re not giving us a lot of time to work with.” 

“Us?”

Right as he asked, the elevator doors opened to the second floor and Izuku ran in with such speed that he skidded across the floor into the wall with a squeak. Shouto let out a short amused huff that the green-haired boy ignored as he looked up at the two of them, an expression of relief washing over his face.

“Yaoyorozu! I got your text and headed up as soon as I could! What’s the emergency?” There was a worried tinge to his voice but everything about his stance said that the boy was prepared for a fight despite the fact that he was in a too-long pair of pajama pants and faded graphic tee.

Momo winced when she realized her mistake, “Sorry, I should have been more specific. It’s not that kind of emergency, I need you to help me prepare Shouto for the holidays.”

Izuku lowered his fists, his brows knotting in confusion, but before he could ask for details Shouto spoke up to defend himself. “If this is about staying with his family I’m not that bad at dealing with people-”

“This isn’t people this is Bakugou we are talking about. You need all the help you can get.”

“Kacchan? He’s involved in this ‘emergency’? What’s going on? What does that have to Shouto’s holiday break?” Shouto could nearly see the cogs turning in Izuku’s head as he tried to piece this all together. 

“Shouto has to be Bakugou’s pretend boyfriend for a week and we’re going to teach him how to use this opportunity to sweep that boy off his feet.” She declared with a sense of conviction. 

Izuku’s jaw dropped momentarily and then snapped closed as he visibly underwent several stages of shock. Shouto was in a similar state but wasn’t as outwardly stricken as Izuku who was currently frozen as though he was rebooting. He was released from his trance by the ding of the elevator as they arrived on the fifth floor.

“Alright, I have a plan,” Izuku stated resolutely, Momo nodding her head in approval, before walking out of the elevator tugging Shouto along not that far behind.  They were already conferring with each other, ignoring Shouto as he tried to speak up and get their attention.

“Wait-”

“He has to dress really well, they are all fashion critics-”

“No problem, I can go through his closet and take care of that. I worked with his aunt’s modeling agency when I Interned for Uwabami.”

“Just stop-”

“He could impress the family by playing the piano if they have one. Shouto and I had the same piano teacher, I could ask her to email Shouto some sheet music of Christmas songs.”

“Yes! Great idea! I wish we also had enough time to teach Shouto how to cook-”

“No one has enough time for that-”

“Guys!” The two fell quiet at Shouto’s raised voice and looked back at him from where he had yanked his hand from Momo’s grasp. “It won’t work.”

“What do you-” Izuku started but Shouto cut him off.

“There is no ‘sweeping him off his feet’. The ‘plan’ won’t work. Bakugou doesn’t feel that way about me and I’ve accepted that... I can live with it. We’ve only just gotten to a point where we could almost be friends, I don't... I don’t want to mess that up. If its the only way to have him in my life then that’s enough.”

“Shouto-” Momo was ready to protest but Shouto stopped her with a shake of his head.

“I can’t... I don’t want to go and trick him into some kind of relationship with me-”

“No,” Izuku immediately cut him off with a tone that left no room for debate which left Shouto speechless for a moment. “Flirting with someone you like isn’t ‘tricking’ them. Yes, this is a weird circumstance but I know for a fact that you would never take advantage of Kacchan. First of all, you care about him too much but also you are a good person . Not to mention that there is no way he would allow you to, Kacchan can sniff out bad intentions from a mile away. You’re doing him a favor, not acting out some dastardly plan.”

Leave it to Izuku to hit the nail on the head. Through his life, Shouto hadn’t seen many good relationships. Of course, now he could see it in the couples around him like Aizawa and Present Mic as well as Momo and Jirou but growing up the only thing he had ever seen was his mother’s unhappiness from the marriage forced upon her by his father. Deep down an underlying fear had settled in him that one day he could cause his future partner to be just as miserable. The last thing he would want is for Bakugou to feel trapped by him due to Shouto’s feelings being forced upon him during this week they had to spend together. 

Izuku stepped forward and put a gentle but reassuring hand on Shouto’s shoulder. “I also think you might be selling yourself a bit short. It feels like every time I look at Kacchan he’s finding some way to get your attention. If looks could kill that girl that tried to ask you out at lunch the other day probably would have caught fire from the glare he gave her.”

Shouto gave him a confused look, “That girl from 2B? She was just being nice.”

Momo giggled and tried to cover it with her hand as she gently corrected her friend. “She was hitting on you, Shouto. You’re just too oblivious and head over heels for someone else to notice.”

Shouto could feel his face flush a bit at that which of course didn’t get past two of the most observant students in his class. Luckily for him, they were both kind enough to spare him from any jabs.  

“I’ve known Kacchan for a long time and, even though sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, he is my friend.” Izuku returned to a serious tone. “If I’ve learned anything about him over these years it’s that he has a difficult time processing emotions. He needs someone who is going to be patient with him as he figures things out. You’re someone I trust to do that and honestly... I think that Kacchan feels something for you. He just doesn’t know what it is yet.”

Shouto looked at him in surprise, unable to find words, and Momo took the opportunity to speak. “I know you’re stubborn and will probably deny that Bakugou likes you back, even though I’m sure we’re right, but at least give us the chance to try to help you. I really think it could work out... and I also owe you big time after you helped me with Kyouka.”

Shouto looked down and chewed on his bottom lip as he stood there in the middle of the hall thinking over what they both had said. It was hard not to let a traitorous shred of hope slip into his heart when his friends said these things with such certainty that he could almost believe them. 

“You deserve to be happy.” Momo’s voice held such sincerity Shouto felt the last of his resolve crumble.  

Shouto gave a small nod resulting in grins from Momo and Izuku that were far too enthusiastic for his liking but it was too late for him to stop them. The two pulled Shouto into his room and set to work, the mood shifting into something much more serious as though they were preparing him to go off to war rather than on vacation. Momo rifled through his closet in search of clothes for Shouto to wear for the next week, often gravitating towards things Fuyumi had bought for him. She even pulled out a well worn black turtleneck and demanded that he changed into it before he left. 

Midoriya, having known Bakugou since childhood, attempted to coach him about his likes and dislikes, although he more so spoke of the latter. Most of what he included were things that Shouto had actually already observed which made Midoriya and Momo share a smile he couldn’t quite understand. Bakugou was always very vocal with his opinions; why wouldn’t he know these things?

Before sending him off later in the day to meet up with Katsuki, Momo created a group chat as a tool for Shouto if he ever felt tripped up about what to do. She also included Tenya and Ochako in the group after giving them the low down on the situation at hand. This resulted in an onslaught of texts about romantic hypotheticals from Ochako that seemed vastly unlikely. He also received a powerpoint on manners made by Tenya himself which Shouto wasn’t sure if he should feel offended about or grateful for - until later when he pulled it up in the bathroom after he froze Katsuki’s cousin’s drink to the table the first night he was there.

To say that Katsuki’s family was unexpected would be an understatement. Between Katsuki’s incessant warnings and the limited information Izuku was able to provide him Shouto was prepared to approach this meeting as a battle in itself. So, needless to say, he was caught off guard when the family excitedly welcomed him with open arms. The sudden onslaught of affection was jarring, to say the least, and Shouto was grateful when Katsuki fought to give him some space. 

Watching them all interact was something Shouto couldn't help but find fascinating, having never seen a family act so openly with each other. Each person was unapologetically themselves and right when he thought they were fed up with each other someone would do something that would prove just how unconditional their love for each other was. It was something Shouto never expected to experience himself but without even realizing it the family had effortlessly pulled him in. He couldn’t shake the feeling that there had to be a catch, like at any moment he could mess up and the illusion would break, but they never stopped making him feel like he was a part of their noisy little universe. In his weakest moments, Shouto felt as though it could be real.

But it wasn’t.

At the end of the week, he and Bakugou would go back to their normal lives as though this never happened and to the family they will have broken up. Surely they would hate Shouto after that. He was just making it harder for himself by getting attached this quickly.

Shouto didn't confer with his friends as much as they would have liked him to, judging by the onslaught of messages he received from them daily, but at the end of the day, he at least updated them on the events that transpired. He distantly remembered that with all that occurred last night he had forgotten to send them anything meaning he probably had a barrage of questions waiting for him. He vaguely wondered what they would think of what transpired but Shouto couldn’t find it in himself to care as he got lost in the memory of the kiss. 

Katsuki would have probably run the other way if he knew just how long Shouto had wanted to do that. 

Shouto had always pictured kissing Bakugou would be aggressive and rough, like everything else about him, but when Katsuki kissed him Shouto found himself breathless, utterly starstruck by the shocking amount of tenderness the other boy was able to pour into the action. It was a feeling Shouto could see himself quickly becoming addicted to, if given the chance. Katsuki had Shouto absolutely wrapped around his finger and in the moment Shouto agreed to teach him how to kiss he truly would have agreed to anything the blond could’ve asked of him. Reminiscing upon the feeling of Katsuki’s calloused hands wandering against his skin and the solid yet comfortable weight on top of him while they had kissed, Shouto could feel himself falling deeper and deeper for the boy to a place he knew he couldn’t come back from. Despite the seeming inevitability of it, he found himself alarmed by the intensity of the emotions that took hold deep in his chest. Still, if he could go back he knew there was nothing he would change. 

Shouto tried to swallow the lump that was forming in his throat at the memory but realized just how dry his mouth was. As regretful as it was to have to leave the position he was in, he knew he had to get up and clear his mind after waking up from a nightmare like that. He gently untangled himself from Bakugou, easing the boy’s grip on him by running his free hand through his fluffy blond hair which made Bakugou relax near instantly. That didn’t stop Katsuki from making a whine in his sleep and rolling face down into the warm spot on the bed Shouto had left behind, however, hair plastered to one side of his head from where it had rested against him. A soft chuckle escaped Shouto’s lips before he could stop it but luckily it seemed to do nothing to stir the other boy. How could someone so irreparably grumpy and terrifying also be so fucking cute?

Shouto silently left the room, carefully closing the door behind him as not to wake Katsuki, and tread carefully down the hall in an attempt to not disturb any of the other sleepers behind the rows of shut doors. Delicately draped garland adorned the walls with soft white Christmas lights, providing Shouto with just enough visibility to find his way to the stairs. When he first arrived Shouto had been enamored with the Christmas decorations, it was a sight he wasn’t used to seeing during the holidays. 

It felt almost strange to walk through the large house at night after he had become so accustomed to the loud and rambunctious family that currently occupied it. The silence eerily felt like the norm for the home he had left behind. At least when it wasn’t filled with the booming demanding voice of his father. Shouto shook his head as memories of his nightmare clawed at the outskirts of his mind. Keeping to the edge of the staircase to keep the wood from creaking beneath him, he made his way to the kitchen. 

It took a couple of tries to find the cabinet that held the glassware but once he did Shouto grabbed a cup and filled it with water at the fridge. He felt himself let out an involuntary shiver and realized he strangely felt cold, despite his quirk, now that he didn’t have Katsuki’s warm body against his. 

He downed the glass of water in mere seconds before going to get more in an attempt to get rid of the dry itch at the back of his throat. He was sipping at the second glass while staring out the kitchen window when the sound of a floorboard creaking caused him to jolt and turn around with a soft but alarmed ‘Oh’.

“Sorry, it’s just me.” Katsuki’s father, Masaru, stood mid-step into the kitchen with his hands up in front of him as though to say he didn’t mean any harm. “Are you alright?”

Shouto followed his gaze and realized that the water in the glass had frozen mid-spill and, embarrassed, he quickly placed it in the sink as though he wasn’t holding it in the first place. With a stiff nod, Shouto said, “I’m fine. Sorry if I woke you. I’ll leave.”

He went to make his swift exit but he was stopped by Masaru actually walking into the room with a shake of his head. “No, no. It’s fine, I always get up this early. I’m usually the first one awake, actually. Please, sit down. I was about to make some tea. Are you sure you’re alright?” 

 “I’m-” Shouto was ready to once again deny that anything was wrong, despite his raised heart rate, but barely registering what he was doing he sat down in the chair at the kitchen island Masaru had gestured to. “It’s just some sleep trouble. I’ll be alright.” 

“Does that happen often?” He asked as the tea kettle filled with water. 

“Time to time.” He said as though he didn’t usually sleep restlessly. “It’s been... easier recently, though.” 

The nights he spent here with Katsuki he had slept better than he had and months. Judging by the small smile his face, Masaru seemed to pick up on exactly what he meant. “I see.”

Shouto’s gaze followed the tea kettle as Katsuki’s father placed it onto the stovetop, flicking on the heat. “Could you leave the spout open?”

Masaru seemed slightly surprised by his strange request but complied nonetheless. Shouto felt a small amount of tension in his shoulders ease once he knew he didn't have to deal with the loud whistle the kettle would release. Masaru didn’t ask him why and instead moved on to say, “You know, the first time I met Mitsuki’s family was during the holidays, too.”

Shouto looked up from his own fidgeting hands with interest as Masaru sat down across from him to continue his story. “My mother died when I was young so when I was growing up it was only really just me and my dad. I didn’t know what to expect when Mitsuki told me she wanted me to meet her family, the only warning she gave me was to tell her if one of her sisters hit on me so she could ‘beat the shit out of them.’ As much as she tried to hide it I knew family was important to her and I was terrified about making a bad impression so I went as far as hand-tailoring my own suit for the occasion, which she made fun of me for endlessly. Imagine my surprise when they treated me like a part of the family as soon as I walked through the door.”

“Why are you telling me all this?” As soon as the words came out of his mouth Shouto realized how that sounded. “Wait, I didn’t mean it like-” 

Shouto was interrupted by Masaru’s sudden, quiet laughter before the man stood up to go prepare the tea. “Sorry, I don’t mean to laugh. I know what you meant. I just wanted you to know that you aren’t alone in this experience and that you can always come to me for advice or support.” 

Shouto was blindsided by the unexpected response and the honest consideration for him that was in the man’s tone. It was a type of concern he still wasn’t used to and because of this he felt an unnamed emotion wash over him. “Thank you…” 

They fell into a comfortable silence while Masaru steeped the tea Shouto recognized as one of Momo’s preferred brands of chamomile. He set down a mug in front of Shouto that read ‘Beaches Be Crazy’ with a palm tree and the name of some tropical place he guessed Katsuki’s Aunt Mineko had been to. Shouto poured what was most certainly too much sugar into his tea before taking a sip and cradling the mug in his hands as Masaru sat across from him again to begin working on his own cup of tea.

“Were they ever... too much? For you?” Shouto finally spoke up.

“Of course. I think it’s like that for any family.” He replied easily. “No matter how much you love certain people everyone needs a break from time to time to be alone. I think sometimes the family forgets that not everyone is used to such a large and loud group of people so don’t be afraid to sneak away for a moment to recharge. I know I have to do that a few times a day during the holidays.”

“They don’t notice you’re gone?”

“There is too much happening at any given time for anyone but Mitsuki to notice. I usually just let her know I need a breather. Also, if you ever need someone to cover for you just ask my dad. He’s great at causing a distraction, which is fine when it's not him faking a heart attack.”

They fell into an easy rhythm of conversation where Shouto asked questions about different things and family members while Masaru gave him helpful and well thought out advice. Never did Shouto feel like he was being talked down to, or questioned on his lack of experience with people and instead Marasu would meet him halfway by trying to show that he knew where he was coming from. Shouto briefly wondered if this is what having a dad normally felt like or if Katsuki was simply one of the lucky ones. He came to the conclusion that it must be a bit of both. 

The conversation lulled back into an easy silence as the two of them finished their tea. Masaru was cleaning the mugs in the sink when Shouto finally spoke up again.

“I’m in love with your son,” Shouto admitted so suddenly that he surprised himself, yet Masaru seemed unfazed.

“I hoped that was the case.” He said with a soft smile. 

“I just want him to be happy.” Now that Shouto had started to unload these things he couldn’t stop and he felt lighter as he did so. “I want to protect him, and I know he would complain that he can protect himself if he heard that, but it’s true. I want to keep him safe.”

“I’m glad I can trust you with that,” Masaru said seriously. “I don’t think there would be anyone better for that job.” 

“Why?”

“You don’t push your own expectations onto him. I’ve watched you two and you just let him be him. There is nothing I more I could want for him. And the fact that you’re willing to stand toe-to-toe with him and make him accept help if he needs it is not something just anyone would do.”

Shouto sat there quietly thinking over what he said for a moment. Part of him wished he could tell the truth about why he was here and get some insight from Masaru but he couldn’t do that to Katsuki. He was here for a reason and he had to stop forgetting that. As much as he wished he could be a part of it, this family wasn’t his and never would be. It was hard enough to hold this unrequited love for Katsuki, he feared what it would be like if he grew too close to his family as well.

He felt a hand pat him on the shoulder and it snapped out of his thoughts. “Why don’t you go back to bed, Shouto. You still have a few more hours before everyone wakes up and starts making noise.”

Shouto nodded without saying anything but he was sure Masaru could tell how thankful he was for this talk. Now that he had mentioned going to bed, Shouto could feel that his eyelids were heavier now and that for once he may actually be able to drift back to sleep after a nightmare. 

He quietly made his way back to his and Katsuki’s room, slowly cracking the door open to peer inside and see if he was still asleep. His heart clenched at the sight of Katsuki with his face buried in Shouto’s pillow and his arms wrapped tightly around it. It was a sight that made Shouto almost believe that the boy had missed him in the short amount of time he was gone. 

Shouto closed the door behind him and made his way to the bedside where he finessed the pillow out of Katsuki’s grip with the same method as earlier of petting Katsuki’s hair. The boy arched his back contently, pressing his head further into Shouto’s hand, and Shouto was easily able to roll him onto his back so he could slide back into bed beside him without waking him up. 

What he didn’t expect, but should have, was for Katsuki to roll back over again so he was snuggled right into Shouto’s chest, his hair tickling Shouto’s chin. For a moment he froze, forgetting how to breathe, but was able to relax when Katsuki took a deep content breath in and melted against him. Shouto let his hand rest against Katsuki’s spine and let the feeling of the other’s steady heartbeat and breathing ease him back into drowsiness.

During his time here Shouto had learned a lot about Katsuki. Some were little things like how he and his mother were the only ones in his family with those distinct red eyes and how when Katsuki truly smiled his nose would scrunch up slightly in a way that would make Shouto do anything to see it again. Other things were larger observations like how Katsuki showed his care for people with actions more so than words and how even with his abrasive nature he knew when to step in or leave well enough alone. It was all information Shouto knew he would come to treasure and was thankful he got the chance to see. 

Shouto pressed his face into Katsuki’s soft blond hair and gave into the temptation to leave a kiss at the crown of his head. Shouto fell asleep as he breathed in the comforting caramel scent as he dreamed of a world where he may actually have a chance to be with him. 

For now, all he could do was cherish this time he had.

Chapter Text

Once again Katsuki found himself staring down at his phone screen, only this time it was his contact list that stared back at him rather than the picture Mai had sent him. Thinking back to the way Shouto looked at him in that photo only made Katsuki’s heart race faster and he had to consciously stop his knee from bouncing to let off his mounting frustration.  

His mind was flooded with a cacophony of thoughts, trying to sort out all these unfamiliar feelings. All it managed to do was leave him more confused than before. In Katsuki’s grand plan, he had never accounted for anything like romance or love. He had always considered it nothing more than a distraction. A weakness. Something he didn’t want or need. To him it was some shitty Hallmark emotion invented to sell valentines day chocolates. 

There had to be some other explanation for these inexplicable feelings he’d been having. Something that wasn’t this .

 Katsuki pressed his fist against his chin and anxiously bit down on his knuckle as his eyes raked over the names on his phone one more time. He sat cross-legged on the bed with his head in his hands and his phone resting on the sheets in front of him. Todoroki was already downstairs, likely getting harassed by his mom, while Katsuki had stayed behind to finish up his morning routine. Except now he just sat contemplating how the fuck his life had gotten to this point. 

Katsuki expected that the morning would be unbearably awkward, but the reality of it was something that he couldn’t find the words to describe. He woke feeling warm and content, stretching his limbs until they made a satisfying pop before rolling over with a pleased hum and opening his eyes. The sight that greeted him was the muscular expanse of Shouto’s bare back as he rifled through the drawers for something to wear. Katsuki’s mouth ran dry and he only barely resisted the urge to reach out his hand to run his fingers across the smooth skin presented to him. Laid across the pillows, Katsuki watched with wide eyes as Shouto reached his arms over his head and pulled on a thick black long-sleeved shirt. 

“You’re up early.”

At the sound of his voice, Shouto swiveled around to face him in surprise but schooled his expression quickly. “Sorry if I woke you. I was just about to head downstairs and let you sleep.”

Katsuki sat up and could have sworn Todoroki’s eyes flickered for the briefest moment down to his lips before meeting his gaze again. “Mph. Whatever.”

Shouto stood there quietly for a moment before he sat down at the edge of the bed and bluntly said, “You don’t have to be embarrassed about last night... Things shouldn’t have to be awkward for the rest of the time we’re here. I can pretend it never happened.”

Katsuki felt his throat constrict, but ignored it as he automatically responded, “I’m not fucking embarrassed! I would’ve fucking forgot about it if you didn't just bring it up.”

Shouto looked away, his expression unreadable, and he stood right back up, “I’ll let you get ready then.”

Then he walked out of the room and that was it.

He needed advice. He could at least admit that to himself. The question was who the hell to turn to for something like this. As per usual, he had many unread messages awaiting him in his inbox, since somehow he managed to become friends with the most excitable and talkative lot in the school. Keeping up with their messages was an impossible feat he didn’t even try to attempt, but his friends knew that if there was anything they really wanted him to know then they should call him or seek him out. 

He scrolled through his contacts, and as he weighed his options his gaze landed on the name of someone who was certainly well versed in harboring crushes. Katsuki knew bringing this up with him would open up a conversation he’d never be able to stop but at this point he was desperate.


Kaminari [Wednesday, 11:46 am]: Dude you GOTTA come to this ski resort some time you would nut over these mountains idk how great hiking would be in the snow tho :/ 

Kaminari [Wednesday, 11:46 am]: IMG_452456

Kaminari [Wednesday, 2:34 pm]: i just realized i dont kno how to ski oh my godd

Kaminari [Wednesday, 7:29 pm]: where the yeti live???? I heard like a Big Noise 

Kaminari [Wednesday, 7:35 pm]: it was just someone starting up they’re truck lol my b

Kaminari [Wednesday, 7:42 pm]: think i could take a yeti???? Like probably right??? Or do you think i could become its friend??? I friended the shit out of you and shinsou dude i could probably do it

Kaminari: [Thursday, 9:55 am]: my sisters are making fun of me for only eating fruit loops at a breakfast buffet D:

Kaminari [Thursday, 11:06 am]: IMG_453654

Kaminari [Thursday, 11:06 am]: look at this dog 

Kaminari [Thursday, 1:48 pm]: look at this bruise i got from wiping out on the slope!!!!!!!

Kaminari [Thursday, 1:48 pm]: IMG_ 573728

Kaminari [Thursday, 2:12 pm]: sis checked it and said no ribs broken! Thank fuck there is a doctor in this fam lol 

Kaminari [Thursday, 2:15 pm]: shinsou got all worried when i told him tho it was cute omg he was all like ‘go to a hospital!’ 

Kaminari [Thursday, 2:31 pm]: WAIT i should have told him ‘maybe you could kiss it better ;)’ damn it that would have been so good!!!!! Think its too late to send that?? I mean we are talking about hairless cats now so might be weird idk im off my game man

Kaminari [Thursday, 2:35 pm]: it was a little weird 

Kaminari [Thursday, 4:20 pm]: what if i cut my jeans into jorts

Kaminari [Thursday, 4:20 pm]: o shit 420 

Kaminari [Thursday, 5:25 pm]: if igloos are made of ice how do people stay warm in there 

Kaminari [Thursday, 5:26 pm]: ask todoroki when you get the chance 

Kaminari [Thursday, 6:47 pm]: im trying to rebrand myself i wanna move from being the ‘kill’ in ‘fuck marry kill’ to being the ‘fuck’

Kaminari [Today, 1:39 am]: dude ive watched So Many knitting tutorials on youtube and i still cant get it right ive been up like all night

Kaminari [Today, 1:40 am]: IMG_537347

Kaminari [Today, 1:40 am]: its supposed to be a beanie with cat ears

Kaminari [Today, 1:40 am]: i cant give this as a gift D:

 

Katsuki skimmed over the barrage of unread messages and huffed out a short snort of amusement at his friend’s antics. Ever since Denki had exchanged numbers with Shinsou, he thankfully sent Katsuki a more manageable number of texts, too caught up in the object of his affections to bother him. Kaminari wasn’t exactly secretive about his feelings for the purple-haired boy, nor was he subtle. What was surprising was that, somehow, Shinsou hadn’t noticed the boy’s advances, or at least he hasn’t thought they were serious. Katsuki didn’t care how it happened, he just wanted those two to get together already so he didn’t have to keep listening to Kaminari’s late night romantic laments. 

Bakugou [Today, 8:33 am]: how did you know you have feelings for that mindfuck bastard

Kaminari [Today, 8:33 am]: hey dude!!!!!

Kaminari [Today, 8:33 am]: i have so much to tell you

Kaminari [Today, 8:33 am]: wait you asked a question 

Kaminari [Today, 8:34 am]: i mean it wasnt hard 

Kaminari [Today, 8:34 am]: shinsou is hot af im pretty sure my poor bi ass was sweating as soon as i saw him 

Kaminari [Today, 8:35 am]: like seriously he could have Gotten It

Kaminari [Today, 8:35 am]: and then he went and got all beefed too training with aizawa??? Oh my god im a weak man bakubro 

Bakugou [Today, 8:35 am]: Get to the fucking point

Kaminari [Today, 8:35 am]: :P

Kaminari [Today, 8:36 am]: i mean its kinda hard to pin down when i first started like liking him it just kinda Happened like it was inevitable 

Bakugou [Today, 8:36 am]: inevitable is a big word for you

Kaminari [Today, 8:36 am]: wow call me out

Kaminari [Today, 8:36 am]: its true tho

Kaminari [Today, 8:36 am]: sometimes feelings just hit you like a train and other times its a slippery slope that you gradually fall down

Kaminari [Today, 8:36 am]: sometimes its both! Hindsight is 20/20 you know?

Kaminari [Today, 8:36 am]: and ive had enough crushes in my day to know 

Kaminari [Today, 8:36 am]: there is something different about shinsou though like its not just that i want to kiss his stupidly handsome and perfectly rugged face 

Kaminari [Today, 8:36 am]: like seriously how is his face so perfect 

Kaminari [Today, 8:37 am]: he has the face of someone whos myspace photos would be stolen and used to catfish other people for money hes beautiful

Bakugou [Today, 8:37 am]: calm the fuck down

Kaminari [Today, 8:37 am]: sorry not sorry

Kaminari [Today, 8:38 am]: im really happy when im around him 

Kaminari [Today, 8:38 am]: its actually kinda wild how happy i feel especially when it looks like he is too

Kaminari [Today, 8:38 am]: and most of the time i want to be with him? Not that i dont wanna hang out with you guys obvi i just end up thinking about him all the time

Kaminari [Today, 8:38 am]: I’d do anything for him really

Kaminari [Today, 8:38 am]: even make this Impossible cat hat!!!!!

Kaminari [Today, 8:39 am]: IMG_583829

Bakugou [Today, 8:39 am]: looks like shit

Kaminari [Today, 8:39 am]: i know!!!! D: D: D:

Kaminari [Today, 8:40 am]: how am i supposed to woo him with this when it looks more like yarn a cat played with!!!!

Kaminari [Today, 8:40 am]: bakubro teach me how to be a domestic goddess like you

Bakugou [Today, 8:40 am]: i’m going to take those god damn knitting needles and im gonna shove them through your fucking eye sockets and see if it makes a jacob’s ladder you useless electric duck

Bakugou [Today, 8:40 am]: *duck

Bakugou [Today, 8:40 am]: *FUCK

Kaminari [Today, 8:41 am]: lol

Kaminari [Today, 8:41 am]: thats nasty

Bakugou [Today, 8:41 am]: you have no idea how nasty things are about to get

Kaminari [Today, 8:41 am]: if you were literally anyone else i would think that was a come on

Kaminari [Today, 8:42 am]: whats got you suddenly so interested in my love life anyway you usually threaten to cut your own ear off with a dull spoon before listening to my romantic woes 

Bakugou [Today, 8:42 am]: its none of your fucking business is what it is 

 

Denki began to rapidly send him individual messages containing the curious eyes emoji, but Katsuki was too caught up in his own thoughts to care. It was true that he found Shouto occupying his thoughts more than what was normal, necessarily, but it had been that way for so long now… could it really be a symptom of a crush? He tried to reason with himself that it was simply due to how he wanted to be better than the boy in class, but he didn’t think about Deku nearly that much and he was arguably far more competitive with him. 

Sure, his eyes strayed towards the dual-haired boy more often than not, but that was simply because he was sizing up the competition. And who wouldn’t single out the son of the number one hero as a rival? The attention he directed at Shouto made sense. It was all his usual aggression, nothing more… Or so he’d thought, until now. . What Katsuki couldn’t find an explanation for was how often he craved for Shouto’s eyes to be on him in return. There were many times that Katsuki felt like he could melt under the intensity of the other’s gaze and it always left something thrumming under his skin that made him almost hyper aware of the stare. What he also couldn’t understand was that he would much rather have that stare on him than not. He had no right to feel any sort of possessiveness but, here he was, frustrated by how much he wanted to be the sole occupant of the boy’s time. He thought back, wondering if all this time his volatile nature around Todoroki had just been a ploy to get the other boy’s attention. He couldn’t help but think back to the first sports festival when Todoroki had looked over him to focus on Deku instead, and he was hit with the sudden scent of burning sugar as his palms began to sweat with his annoyance. 

Katsuki distantly realized that if he bit down any harder on his finger he would likely bruise it. 

All this time could he really have had feelings for Shouto? When did the line between rivalry and attraction become so blurred? In that moment, he really began to understand what Kaminari said about how feelings can both feel so sudden yet be there all along. 

Speaking of Kaminari, his phone continued to go off and Katsuki flopped back against the pillows before finally looking at the screen. He wasn’t surprised to see it was filled with unread texts from Denki and he quickly unlocked his phone to put them to rest.

Bakugou [Today, 8:47 am]: spleen

Kaminari [Today, 8:47 am]: got ya

 

When Eijirou first brought up the idea of a ‘Friend Code’ Katsuki had thought it was stupid, but now he found himself using it just as much as the rest of them. The Friend Code was a series of words that he, Kirishima, Kaminari, Ashido, and Sero used to indicate things when they didn’t have the physical or mental capacity to explain in that moment. For instance, if the word ‘rutabaga’ was sent to the group chat they would all converge on the last known location of the phone prepared to unleash hell’s fury since it meant ‘in serious trouble’. ‘Spleen’ was essentially used as a conversational safeword to let each other know that, even though everything is fine, the subject needed to be dropped with no questions asked. 

Katsuki switched his phone back to silent and let himself have a moment to just stare at the ceiling before he took a deep breath and rolled out of bed. He got about half a step out of the bedroom before he had to jerk back, narrowly dodging a frisbee as Riku ran past him, offering him a smile and slap on the back in good morning. Riku lunged for the disk but caught his foot on the edge of the carpet, tumbling  to the floor as Airi pointed and laughed at him. Katsuki rolled his eyes and left them to their impromptu game of hallway frisbee, but kept an ear out to listen for any broken decorations. As he walked down the stairs, the twins happily played by sliding down the railing before running up the stairs to do it again. Daiki nearly fell off the railing but Katsuki smoothly caught him just in time. 

“If you’re gonna do this shit then try not to crack your fucking heads open on the stairs.” 

Daiki groaned and puffed out his cheeks in annoyance, as though being told to not die was an inconvenience, before he nodded and then ran up the stairs again. Katsuki didn’t feel like putting in the effort to deal with that so on the way to the kitchen he interrupted his Uncle Naoko’s conversation with Uncle Taiki to point out what his kids were doing. Uncle Naoko’s eyes widened and he put down his coffee mug to go chase after his kids once again.

Katsuki was about to go see what the status on breakfast was when he heard a delicate laugh that nearly made his heart stop in his chest. 

“He sucked on his thumb for the longest time since his quirk made his hands taste good.”

“You don’t say.”

“It was so fucking cute but I had to stop him since nitroglycerin can’t be good for a toddler. Probably would’ve fucked up his teeth, too.”

“What the hell is going on in here!” Katsuki stormed into the room but neither his mother nor Todoroki seemed perturbed as they continued to look through a photo album. 

“Just showing Shouto some of your baby pictures.” His mother confirmed his fears and then held up a photo of him. It was a picture from when he was somewhere around 3 with a huge grin on his face as he stood in front of a finger-painted mural he’d made on the wall with ketchup. His small hands were covered in the condiment and his excited clapping had caused it to get all over his hair and clothes. “Look at you! God, you were such a little bastard.”

“You never told me you were such a cute kid.” Shouto held up a photo, too. This one was from when Katsuki was just a toddler and he was curled up during a nap, sucking on his thumb as he slept. Katsuki lunged for the picture but Shouto held it out of reach just in time.

“You better not say shit about that!” 

Shouto shot him a look of fake innocence and said, “I’d never. It’ll be our secret. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just have to check my email real quick.” 

Shouto held his phone up high and positioned the photo next to his head before very obviously taking a selfie with it. He pocketed his phone and then finally relinquished the picture to Katsuki as he said, “No new messages.”

His mother burst into uproarious laughter that made Katsuki scowl in response before he attempted to swipe the photo album out of her hands. In one swift movement, his mother grabbed him by the ear and tugged, forcing him with an angry yelp to sit on the couch next to her while Todoroki was on her other side. She clamped a hand down on top of Katsuki’s head to keep the growling boy in place as she continued to flip through the photo album.

“Oh, these two are from his first Christmas! Masaru dressed up as Santa for the kids and Katsuki was absolutely not having it. He was always such a little daddy’s boy.” Mitsuki gushed. The photos she pointed to were taken only moments apart. The first showed his dad dressed up, red suit and all, with Katsuki on his lap glaring up at him with a look that could kill. His small hand was gripped tightly in the fake white beard his dad was wearing as he pulled with all the strength his tiny body had. In the second picture, Katsuki had ripped the beard clean off but he was looking up at the man with a grin that held pure joy as he realized it was his father holding him and not just some weird old man. His dad looked down at him with laughter written all over his face, meanwhile a young Airi in the background pointed at him with a look of shock. 

“Would you shut the fuck up?!” Katsuki’s face was twisted up in rage. He tried to put force behind his words but it was difficult with the way Shouto smiled at the photos.

“What the hell happened to you? You used to be so fucking cute. Damn goblin.” HIs mom’s tone was affectionate and she moved her arm to hook around Katsuki’s shoulders to pull him into a side hug that functioned much more like a headlock that he struggled valiantly to free himself from. 

“He’s still cute.” Shouto said without hesitation and Katsuki felt a blush rise to his cheeks. Shouto didn’t comment on that, instead turning his attention back to the photo album. “What’s happening here?”

Shouto gestured to a picture of a determined 4 year old Katsuki furiously coloring the ground of the backyard patio with a stick of blue chalk. His mom was quick to reply, “That was when he decided he wanted the entire backyard to be blue. Masaru asked him why and Katsuki just said ‘because blue is fucking tight’. First time he cursed.”

“Yeah and wonder who I got that shit from!” Katsuki defended himself as he tried to wriggle out of his mom’s grasp.

“Probably the TV.” Katsuki actually paused his attempts at freedom to look up at her in disbelief since she had said it as though she actually believed what she said was true. “Ooooh, here’s a good one.”

On the page was a photo of his mother holding him in a baby bjorn with his Aunt Mineko next to her, both smiling at the camera. They were surrounded by models that appeared to be runway ready and his mother had taken off her Gucci sunglasses to hold up to Katsuki’s face so he looked like he was wearing them. Many of the models were cooing at him since he was only a couple of months old in the picture. 

“Mineko and I had been planning that show for fashion week for so long that I wasn’t going to miss it just because I had a baby. Katsuki came along with me for the whole process.” She explained with a smile from the memory. “Hang on, I think I have a picture of Katsuki with one of your classmates in here, too.”

“Stop showing him shitty photos!” Katsuki finally weaseled out of his mother’s grip and got ahold of the album. He quickly thumbed through the pages to the photo he wanted before his mom could find the picture of him and Deku decked out in swim gear at the beach. He jabbed his finger down next to a picture of him at the age of 6 where he held up a bug with a proud grin on his face that showed off a missing tooth. “That’s a death's-head hawkmoth. I looked for one of those bastards everywhere.”

Shouto looked closer at the photo and his eyes widened a fraction, “It looks like it has a skull on it.”

“That’s what makes them so fucking cool.”

“‘Cool’ until you decided to release the thing into the house!.” His mom was obviously still pissed about it which only served to make Katsuki snicker in delight at the memory. Katsuki had run into the house telling his mother to look at the huge moth he had found before he unceremoniously let it fly out of his hands and she shouted to ‘get that shit out of here’. His dad had tried to calm her down but she kept chasing the moth around the house until Katsuki managed to catch it with his butterfly net again to let it free outside. 

His mom snapped the photo album closed, pretending to be annoyed by his laughter even though her face had softened when he accidentally let out a snort. She lightly bonked him on the forehead with the book to get his attention. “Go help your grandpa with breakfast before I make you shovel the driveway.” 

“Fine, but i’m not trusting you two with this.” Katsuki snatched the photo album away. He was halfway out of the room when he remembered one more thing and quickly whipped around to point an accusatory finger at Shouto. “Also if I hear anyone saw that photo you’re dead.” 

“Oh that reminds me,” Shouto stood up and fished his phone out of his pocket, looking down at it and saying, “Ochako also agrees you were a cute kid.”

Katsuki ran across the room and tackled the boy back into the couch. 


»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

“Think fast!”

Katsuki turned around just in time to catch a heavy canvas bag thrown at him by Riku. 

“Dammit! Thought I had you that time.” Riku complained. 

“You wanted to hit me in the fucking back with-” Katsuki looked into the bag, “My ice skates? What, is it freeskate day?”

“Yup! Satomi has been keeping an eye on the ice rink’s schedule. She’s probably ready to get away from the kids for a bit.” Confirmed Riku. “If we head out now we’ll get there while the ice is still fresh. I figured we’ll bring Shouto along and rent him some skates if he doesn’t have any.”

“He can literally shoot ice out of his fucking hand, of course he has skates.”

Naturally, Shouto just had to prove him wrong. While Katsuki explained the plans for the day, fully expecting the boy to be well acquainted with the concept of ice skating, he only received a blank look from Shouto that caused Katsuki to pause. 

“What’s with that face?”

“I’m not making a face.” Todoroki responded too quickly.

“You’re making a face.” Katsuki then came to a sudden realization. “Shit. You’ve never skated before, have you?”

“What makes you think that?”

“Your face!”

Todoroki sighed, “... I’ve never skated before.”

Baffled by this, Katsuki raised a single eyebrow. “How the hell do you go your entire life with ice powers and not once think to put on a pair of ice skates.”

“It’s not that I didn’t think about it. I always wanted to...” Shouto wore a carefully placed neutral expression that Katsuki quickly decided he wanted to get rid of as soon as possible. "I just never had the chance.”

Katsuki could sense there was more to the story that Shouto wasn’t telling, but he didn’t attempt to push it. He could make a pretty good guess that this had to do with the way Shouto’s father raised him and once again Katsuki daydreamt of punching that asshole in the face. Even more overwhelming in his mind was the desire to make the boy in front of him happy again. He’d seen Todoroki smile these few days more than he ever had during the years they spent in school together and, like some kind of idiot, he had taken that for granted. 

“I’ll teach you to skate.” Shouto looked at him in surprise when Katsuki said this. “Get your coat. We’ll rent you some skates.” 

Shouto stared at him for a moment before the slightest smile came to his lips. He slowly nodded and Katsuki felt lighter than before.

By the time everyone was ready to go, Satomi was already standing next to the door and was nearly vibrating with excitement. Katsuki knew the girl loved her little cousins but it looked like Riku had been right about her desperately wanting a break from them. The girl nearly pushed all of them out of the door and, on the way to the car, she ironically almost slipped and fell on the icy driveway. It was nice to see her act her age for once and it seemed like her siblings felt the same since no one protested when she called out ‘shotgun’. 

Katsuki did, however, have to push Airi out of the seat next to Todoroki. He scowled at her and pointedly took her spot as she pouted and moved to sit next to Mai. Her sulky mood didn’t last long though due to some pop song that started playing over the radio as soon as Riku started the car. Satomi’s happy look turned to horrific realization as her two sisters started to loudly sing along with the radio. Katsuki was just thankful that the ride to the ice rink was a short one. 

Finding parking was surprisingly easy but Katsuki was sure the rink would be packed later. At least for now, at the start of the freeskate, there wasn’t an overwhelming number of people. As soon as everyone was paid for, Satomi put on her skates in record time and got right onto the ice, her hair turning green as soon as she took a stride out onto the polished surface.

Katsuki only noticed the Christmas music playing over the sound system once Todoroki voiced the question, “What’s playing right now?” 

“Mariah Carey? All I Want For Christmas Is You?” Katsuki’s brows furrowed, confused about how he didn’t know such a popular song of the season. “You never heard it?”

“I’ve never listened to much Christmas music.” He answered simply but Katsuki got the feeling that the boy had just unexpectedly become a fan of the singer.

Once he finished tying up his own skates, Katsuki glanced at Shouto and did a double take when he saw just how loose his laces were. “If you don’t tighten those you’re gonna break your ankles as soon as you stand up.” 

Shouto looked up at him then back down at his skates and Katsuki could almost see the mental calculations running through his head before he finally admitted, “I don’t know how to get them tighter. I’ve never done this before.”

“Well then watch me blow your fucking mind.” 

Shouto watched in fascination as Katsuki kneeled down and Katsuki could’ve sworn he heard a sharp intake of breath from him when he got properly settled between his legs. When Katsuki looked up and saw Shouto’s face was flushed a bright red, he figured it must have been from the cold of the rink but Katsuki couldn’t resist teasing him about it even as he himself tried not to blush under the other’s intense gaze. 

“Looking a little red there, pretty boy. You almost match your hair.” Katsuki smirked when Shouto spluttered as he carefully placed the bladed shoe on his thigh to begin the process of redoing the laces. 

“Pretty boy?” He finally managed to say.

“What? Haven’t looked in a mirror lately or something?” Katsuki didn’t look away from the skates as he focused on yanking the laces so they would perfectly support the beginner skater’s ankles. At least that's what he told himself as he pretended his own face wasn’t probably dusted a light pink.

“Oh my god, look at them! I feel like I’m watching Cinderella.” Katsuki heard Mai gush.

“I don’t know. With the way Shouto’s looking at him it doesn’t seem quite that PG. Amiright?” Airi replied from somewhere behind him and he whipped his head around to snarl at the two who were watching from afar. His glare would make any normal human fear for their life, but they just innocently smiled back at him before they shuffled their way to the ice rink. 

“They can be so fucking annoying.” Katsuki pulled the laces into a bow a bit too violently before he gave the side of a skate a firm pat and stood, “Alright, try standing up.”

Shouto shakily got to his feet, looking not unlike a baby deer as he took his first few steps. Katsuki had a hard time not smiling at the rare sight of him acting so ungraceful. He held down the snickers so he could take a short video on his phone of Todoroki as he waddled over to the entrance of the ice to serve as revenge for what happened earlier. Todoroki took one confident step onto the ice before he promptly lost his balance and nearly fell, catching himself on the rink’s wall. Katsuki let out a loud snort before he sent the video off to his friend’s group chat and then got onto the ice himself. 

Shouto steadied himself on his feet but the moment he let go of the wall he began uncontrollably drifting backwards with his arms stuck out in some panicked attempt to stop himself. Before he could end up too far from the entrance, Katsuki smoothly skated up behind him and grabbed him by the waist to steady him.

“You really are shit at this.” The insult fell flat, due to his fondness for the boy that slipped into his tone. Todoroki only managed to grunt in response, too absorbed in trying to stay upright. Even though Katsuki couldn’t see his face, he could see the tips of Shouto’s ears turn red, which he could only assume was from embarrassment. After all, Shouto was surely unused to being so overtly bad at anything. “I thought your quirk would help you at least a little.”

“I get along fine just sliding on my boots-” Shouto was cut off when someone speedily skated in front of him, nearly crashing into them, and caused him to almost fall backwards. Katsuki managed to hold onto him tighter and keep him from going down. Unfortunately, the distraction left him open to Shouto’s fist to his face when he flailed in attempt to keep his balance. 

“Ow! Fuck!” Katsuki’s hand flew to his mouth where the blow had connected with his lower lip. 

Katsuki! ” Shouto breathed out in a surprised gasp and, none too elegantly, he spun around to face him, steadying himself with a hand to Katsuki’s shoulder. 

“I’m fine!” Katsuki protested but Shouto was already gently coaxing his hand away from his face. Katsuki was about to ask him what the hell he was doing when Shouto suddenly caressed his face and ran his thumb, cold as ice, across his bottom lip. The temperature soothed the pain but Katsuki found himself struggling to remember how to breathe with the other boy so close to him like this.

“Sorry.” Katsuki could hardly think of how to respond to the apology, far too caught up in Shouto’s touch and the memories of the kisses they shared the day before. Katsuki looked at the other boy’s lips and was struck by an overwhelming desire to close the distance between them to kiss him again. 

Maybe he would have done it if Riku hadn’t done a hockey stop next to them to spray them with ice.

“Cool it down you two!” Riku laughed and skated away as quickly as he could.

“You bastard!” Katsuki yelled, uncaring of the glare directed at him from a mother who covered her child’s ears. “Shit. Hold on.” 

Katsuki grabbed Todoroki by the waist again, surprising the other boy, and moved him to the rink’s wall so he wouldn’t be stranded to fall in the middle of the ice. 

Katsuki didn’t give Shouto a chance to speak before he took off after Riku at an alarming speed that had people watch him in shock. “Get over here you son of a bitch!” 

Katsuki used a controlled blast from his palms to clear the last bit of space between him and his cousin. He grabbed Riku’s arm in a vice-like grip and pushed himself to skate faster, taking Riku along for the ride, with an intensity that didn’t match the dulcet tones of Frank Sinatra playing over the sound system.

Riku’s eyes widened when he realized what was about to happen. “Are you-”

“You bet your ass I am.” 

That was the only warning Katsuki gave him before, at the turn, launching his cousin with all his strength at the wall. It was a trick they had done when they were younger that they called The Whip but, like most things, Katsuki had chosen to weaponize it for the occasion. Riku hit the wall with a loud bang and when he tried to grab it to keep himself from falling, due to the momentum, he ended up tumbling over it, landing outside the rink with a flail. 

As he came to a smooth stop, Katsuki heard loud laughter and when he looked to the source he saw the rare sight of Satomi caught in a complete giggle-fit. The girl clutched her stomach, in tears from laughing, and pointed at her brother as he stood back up in a daze. Katsuki even let out a short laugh of his own, ignoring the spectors that looked between him and his cousin still in shock from what they witnessed. 

He turned to see what Shouto’s reaction was but discovered that the boy was gone from where he’d left him. Katsuki swivelled around on the spot, scanning the crowd for Todoroki, and expected to find him laid out on the ice somewhere. Instead, he found him in a much more worrisome predicament caught between Mai and Airi. Each had hooked an arm with one of his and took advantage of how new he was to skating by just dragging him along helplessly between them as they no doubt talked his ear off. Katsuki let out an annoyed huff and wished his cousins would stop meddling for two entire seconds so he could actually teach Todoroki how to skate. He readied his best scowl for this rescue mission and glided his way over to the three while Riku got back onto the ice to chase down Satomi for laughing at him.

“Are you two really gonna test my patience like this while I’m wearing knife shoes?” He threatened as he slid to a stop in front of them. 

“Relax, Kat, we’re just getting to know him!” Airi complain but released her grip on the boy. 

“Yeah, he was just telling us about how your first date was hiking. Cute, but pretty secluded if you ask me.” Mai said with a wiggle of her eyebrows. 

“Fuck off.” Katsuki shoved her shoulder so she let go of Todoroki while she giggled at his flushed cheeks. The action sent Todoroki drifting on the ice but he managed to at least get to the rink wall to steady himself without falling.

“Hey Mai! Catch!” 

Riku barreled across the ice and dragged a protesting Satomi along with him. The moment Mai saw this she got into a position as if she were about to catch a football and Riku flung Satomi across the ice, displaying a more classic, gentler, version of The Whip. 

“Got ya!” Mai caught her with a small ‘oof’ before she hit the wall and scooped her up over her shoulder. Satomi wiggled around trying to get out of her grip without hurting her sister with her skates.

“Put me down!” Satomi shouted but, despite trying to act upset, she laughed as she spoke. 

“How haven’t we all been kicked out yet?” Todoroki leaned over to ask him as though if anyone overheard him they would remember to actually kick them out.

“No one working here gives a literal fuck about anything. We would have been banned from this place years ago otherwise. If there’s no blood on the ice we’re good.”

“Should we… help?”  Todoroki gestured to Satomi watched as Mai whipped her at Airi. Katsuki simply shrugged.

“Evanescence is making a sacrifice for the greater good. If they're bothering her they're leaving us alone. Come on, this is our chance to actually skate.” Katsuki abruptly stuck his hand out to the other boy in an awkward attempt at offering to hold it. “I want the warm one.” 

Shouto looked at his hand, surprised for a moment, but then a small soft smile came to his lips when he seemed to understand just what Katsuki meant. It was Katsuki’s turn to be surprised though when Shouto gently took the glove off of Katsuki’s hand and gently ran his thumb across his knuckles in a small caress before finally clasping their hands together. It took everything for Katsuki to not become a spluttering mess at such a simple action as Shouto warmed his hand better than any glove ever could. Katsuki just attempted to appear indifferent, pretending he wasn’t focused on just how soft Todoroki’s hands were compared to his own calloused ones, and slowly guided Shouto away from the wall so they could begin his skating lesson. 

Katsuki forgot about the other skaters around them and, for once, just let himself feel happy. 

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

They stayed at the rink through nearly the entire day, far too caught up in each other to pay attention to how much time had passed. Katsuki’s cousins didn’t seem to mind and easily found ways to entertain themselves while he taught Todoroki to skate. Although, they still took the time to point and laugh when Todoroki fell to the ice and took Katsuki down with him in a tangle of limbs. Katsuki could have stayed upright if he hadn’t automatically jumped to cradle the other boy’s head so it wouldn’t hit the ice. 

All things considered, Todoroki didn’t do horribly for a first time skater and, by the time the freeskate ended, he hardly needed to hold onto him, which Katsuki pretended not to be disappointed by. Shouto still almost fell as he came off the ice when his legs tried to adjust back to land, but Katsuki was able to catch him in time. Shouto let out a short breathless laugh when he steadied him and in that moment Katsuki realized just how much he wanted to give the boy everything he had missed in life. The thought had him nearly dizzy, the intensity of the affection catching him off guard. 

When they finally got back to the house it was just about dinner time which meant the chaos in the household had nearly doubled, based alone on his family’s inherent susceptibility to getting hangry. When he walked in, the twins were fighting over a Present Mic themed Hotwheels car, spitting childish insults as they rolled around wrestling for the toy. He separated them by holding Daiki up in the air and away from his sister. As he was threatening to throw the toy car out a window so neither of them got to have it, Yuki waddled over to hold out a questionably soggy cheeto in her little fist like some kind of olive branch that would make them calm down. Retroactively, it did work since all three of them paused to look at the snack in disgust. 

He was called away from his peacekeeping to help with dinner. He always ended up roped into helping his father and grandfather with cooking and if he had been the one to suggest that they make cold soba for tonight, well, it was nobody’s fucking business. He was standing at the cutting board when he first heard music begin to pour in from somewhere else in the house. He didn’t think much of it, assuming someone had put on some Christmas music as Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas started to play. He became suspicious, however, when he became aware that all the songs that had played were piano covers and, even though his Aunt Mineko had a great sound system, it shouldn't sound nearly this good. 

“I’ll be right back. Think you can handle this while I’m gone, old man?” Katsuki asked as he took off his apron and draped it across the back of a chair.

His dad opened his mouth to answer, obviously thinking Katsuki had been talking to him, but his grandpa beat him to the punch. “Course I can. That shouldn’t even be a question.” 

Katsuki gave him an eye roll that lacked any real malice and headed out to follow the soft piano that drifted down the halls. The closer he became the more convinced he was that this had to be a real piano, but no one in his family played the instrument. 

Realization hit Katsuki so hard he could have slapped himself for being such an idiot and he made a beeline for the room his aunt’s grand piano was in. He found his family gathered around Todoroki as he played Baby It’s Cold Outside, reading the notes off of his phone he had carefully placed upon the music rack of the piano so he could easily see it. His Aunt Akasuki and Uncle Taiki danced together while they sang the lyrics along to the tune. When his uncle pulled her into a dramatic dip with a flourish, everyone burst into applause while Airi, their daughter, wolf whistled loudly. There was a thrill in the air now that someone was playing the piano that had spent so long collecting dust. Katsuki had briefly considered learning to play piano for this very reason but if he was going to put that much time and energy into learning an instrument it would be the violin. He’d never thought it was an important enough skill to ask his parents to drop the money on an instrument for him, though.

Everyone was so absorbed in the music, and the resulting show, that Katsuki was able to slip through the crowd they had created relatively easily considering how they all usually jumped at the chance to suck him into their escapades. 

“You never told me you could play.” Katsuki accused as soon as he was next to the piano. Shouto didn’t look away from his phone but the corner of his mouth quirked up the slightest amount. 

“It never came up.” 

“Bullshit. You could have brought it up during our first year School Festival.” Katsuki pointed out, unwilling to relent. 

“Momo had it covered.” Todoroki said as though the answer was obvious. “She can play the piano just as well as me, if not better.”

“You say that but you’re holding a conversation while playing a song you’ve probably never even heard before.”

“You know me better than I thought.” Katsuki’s heart rate picked up when, for a short second, Shouto looked away from the sheet music to meet his gaze. “Am I the only one who finds this song creepy?”

Katsuki let out an amused scoff and leaned against the piano. “No, you’re not. Whoever wrote this shit should have their ass in jail.” 

“Do you have any better songs in mind?” Shouto asked curiously as he brought the song to a close. 

A loud gasp came from Katsuki’s left and then suddenly his Aunt Rin came bounding into their personal space, getting between them to say, “Oh my gosh, are you taking requests!? How about White Christmas?”

“That one is so overdone! He should do Santa Baby. I could sing for that one.” Airi offered with a wink.

“No one wants the song someone wrote while feeling horny about Santa being their sugar daddy. That shit sucks. Play Jingle Bell Rock!” Riku butted in and elbowed Airi out of the way. 

“I think Shouto should play something he knows the lyrics to,” His Aunt Hisa spoke up softly and everyone actually quieted down to listen to her, knowing she tended to have trouble voicing her opinions. “He hasn’t sung along with any of the music yet. I’m sure he’d like a chance to give a full performance.” 

“I’m more than fine with just playing the piano-” Shouto quickly started to respond but it was no use.

“That’s a great idea!” Katsuki’s mom threw an arm around her sister with an excited grin. “Come on, show us what ya got, Shouto! I don’t want you holdin’ back on us. We’re family now, remember?”

Todoroki nervously chewed on his lip, in a way Katsuki thought was unfairly attractive, as he considered her words. The rest of the family started to spew encouragements at him and Katsuki could see his walls start to crumble. 

“I don’t really know any Christmas songs.” He admitted. 

“Then play something you do know,” Satomi suggested. “What’s your favorite song to play?”

After a moment of internal deliberation Shouto finally nodded and softly said, “Alright.” 

Then he brought his hands back up to the keys, closed his eyes, and began to play.


I've heard there was a secret chord

That David played, and it pleased the Lord

But you don't really care for music, do you?

It goes like this

The fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift

The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

 

Shouto’s fingers expertely glided over the keys as he infused the music with emotion no one had expected to come from the normally reserved boy. He obviously memorized this song long ago and had no need for any sheet music to play it. The familiar tune and the way he sang had everyone enraptured from the first strike of the keys and Katsuki knew he wouldn’t be able to look away even if he wanted to.  

 

I've seen your flag on the marble arch

Love is not a victory march

It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

 

His voice was smooth and carried a presence in the room that made Katsuki wonder how he had never heard the boy sing before. He couldn’t help but wonder if others have had that privilege. He couldn’t believe that talent like this could be hidden away and kept secret yet Katsuki selfishly wished to be the only one he used it for.

Shouto seemed to be in his own world like he had forgotten about the crowd around him and was just lost in the song. Katsuki desperately wanted to know what was going through Shouto’s head as his voice got rougher, cracking at points that only made the song all the more emotional. With a quick glance around the room he could tell everyone else was able to feel it as well. Some, like his Aunt Hisa, openly cried while others, like his mother, clenched their jaws determined not to end up the same way. His Aunt Mineko had tilted her head back and lightly patted under her eyes in an attempt  to keep her mascara from running. 


Maybe there's a God above

And all I ever learned from love

Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you

It's not a cry you can hear at night

It's not somebody who's seen the light

It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah


A wet drip fell to the wood of the piano Katsuki was leaning against and he suddenly became aware that it must have been from himself. Katsuki quickly wiped away the tears before the other boy could see. Shouto seemed to come back to himself as he finished the song and looked up to Katsuki, eyes seeking his reaction. Katsuki was able to pull a smile from within himself for him and Shouto gave him a small relieved smile in return.

Katsuki had fallen for Shouto, and if he were to truly look back on the years he’s had with him he’d see that nothing about his feelings were new. 


Chapter Text

It was the morning of Christmas Eve and Katsuki woke up with Shouto in his arms.

Katsuki was eased out of sleep by the sound of his soft, kitten-like snores and his hands tangled in Shouto’s silky hair. At some point in the night he must have rolled into Shouto’s side again, but this time he had hiked himself up high enough on the pillows that he cradled Shouto’s head against his chest. He laid there, shocked still for a moment, until he eventually gave into the desire to run his hand through the other boy’s hair and idly fix the mismatched strands. He felt strangely at peace and, if given the chance, he might have been able to fall back to sleep. 

When he felt Shouto’s hold around his waist tighten, he froze, hardly daring to breathe. Briefly he thought the boy might have woken up from his touch, but when the gentle snores continued Katsuki let out a sigh of relief. Deeming that a close enough call, he carefully untangled himself from Shouto as he tried to shake away the thought of how disgusted Shouto would probably be if he knew how they slept. Getting away proved to be much harder than he thought, not only because of Todoroki’s hold on him, but also how badly Katsuki wanted to just sink back into the other boy’s warmth and return to sleep.

Now, sometime later, Katsuki stood leaning against the doorframe to the living room with a mug of coffee in his hands as he watched Todoroki interact with his family. As always, everyone competed to get his attention but it seemed like his cousin, Jin, came out the winner this time. Todoroki looked like he was trying his best to not space out as she told him about her time working with Uncle Taiki. By now the family should have realized it was impossible to have a full conversation with Todoroki in the morning but they either remained oblivious or just didn’t care.

Across the room, Riku and Airi broke out into a fight over the last sausage patty and, knowing she was needed elsewhere, Jin passed Yuki to Shouto so she could go break it up. He was noticeably caught off guard when the toddler was suddenly shoved into his arms but Yuki didn’t seem to mind in the slightest. In fact, the little girl looked like the cat who got the cream with how she happily clapped and showed off her new teeth with a huge grin. 

“Eyes!” She loudly proclaimed and placed her little hands on each side of Todoroki’s face.

Shouto looked completely out of his element as he awkwardly confirmed, “Um, yeah, those are my eyes.” 

“Pwetty!” She squeezed his face between her hands, as though it would help to get her point across, but all she really accomplished was forcing him to make an absurd face. 

“Oh… Thank you.”

“Pwetty!” Yuki repeated but this time she began to pet the top of Todoroki’s head with an open look of awe on her face. 

“My hair?”

Yuki nodded fervently, her wild blonde curls bouncing as she did so, before she grabbed a chunk of Todoroki’s hair and, with no warning, yanked on it with all of her toddler strength. Todoroki let out a surprised yelp and nearly dropped the little girl while Yuki just giggled from his fumbling and refused to let go. 

Katsuki hid his amused smile behind the rim of his coffee mug as he watched and, for just an instant, his eyes met with Shouto’s. Despite the ever-present chaos of the home, it was as though the world melted away when a soft smile appeared on Shouto’s lips and Katsuki felt a burst of affection for the boy bloom in his chest. The moment was broken when Yuki once again got her hands into Shouto’s hair and he resumed the battle to keep it from being ripped out of his scalp. 

“Looks like you’ve got even more competition.” Mai joked as she sidled over to stand next to Katsuki. 

His face returned to its usual scowl. “Tell Airi she better fuck off if she knows what’s good for her.”

“Aww, she’s just messing with you.” Mai playfully bumped her shoulder against his. “With the way he looks at you there’s no competition anyway.” 

Katsuki schooled his expression, trying not to let his satisfaction show, but based on Mai’s knowing smirk it didn’t quite work.

“By the way, what did you get Shouto for Christmas? We’re all dying to know.”

The sudden question caused Katsuki to choke on his coffee, nearly spitting it out, and Mai eyed him suspiciously. Coughing, he leaned over to place his mug on the counter before he could spill anything, eventually letting out a wheezy “Shit.”

“Are you fucking joking with me right now, Kat?” Mai grabbed him by the shoulders and spun him around so he was facing her, wide-eyed. She almost started to shake him as she hissed, “Like, are you fucking serious ?”

“Get your damn paws off me,” Katsuki growled and tried to swat her hands away to no avail. 

“Did you or did you not forget to get your boyfriend a gift on your first  Christmas together.” Katsuki avoided her eyes and that seemed to be answer enough. “God damn, you are a piece of work. Come on.” 

She grabbed him by the arm and pulled him along as he tried to shake her off like an angry crocodile. Mai whistled to get her siblings' attention and when they looked gestured for them to follow her with a wave of her hand that said it was not up for debate. Katsuki had expected that at least Satomi wouldn’t give in to her demands but the teen was curious enough about Katsuki’s involvement that she actually listened to her sister. 

Once they were in another room, Mai finally let go of him and Katsuki glared at her as he rubbed his arm. “What’s your fucking problem!?”

“My problem? You’re the one that has the problem! You’re lucky that we’re nice enough to help you out with it!”

Riku tilted his head in confusion as he asked, “Wait, what are we helping him with?” 

“He doesn’t have a gift for Shouto!” 

Riku looked absolutely astounded. “How’d you manage that? It’s Christmas Eve.

There was no way he could tell them the truth about how he’d never thought about it since he wasn’t actually dating Todoroki. He didn’t want to seem like some kind of shit boyfriend, but he didn’t really have a choice. 

“I… forgot.”

The reaction was instantaneous and he was met with a chorus of varying shocked and appalled shouts.  

Airi clicked her tongue and shook her head like she was disappointed in him. “That’s grounds for a breakup, Kat. Shouto could have anybody, and I mean anybody , so you gotta treat him like a prince.” 

Katsuki glared at her but Satomi elbowed her sister in the ribs before he could do anything else. He shouldn’t be this pissed off since he and Shouto were supposed to ‘break up’ to his family’s knowledge in a couple of weeks. Underneath that, an unexpected feeling of hurt settled in his chest. Airi must have noticed since her teasing smile turned into a concerned frown at his lack of a fiery response. 

“Ugh, the crowds are going to be disgusting today.” Satomi’s nose scrunched up in distaste and she crossed her arms. “You owe me for this.”

“I know a great jewelry store that I’d trust to have something good. I got Jin’s wedding ring there, after all. I don’t think it’s too far.” Riku scratched his chin in thought while Katsuki balked.

“I’m not fucking proposing to him!”

“I will!” Airi threw her hand up into the air, excited to volunteer, which she then had to use as a shield when Katsuki charged at her. 

“I’m just saying jewelry is a pretty classic gift,” Riku added, unperturbed by the fact Katsuki currently had his sister in a headlock.

“You’re on thin fucking ice!” Katsuki growled at Airi before he let her go and shifted his aggression to Riku. “Do I look like I’m made of cash?” 

Airi raised an eyebrow. “What? Are you saying Shouto’s not worth it?”

“I’m saying that he doesn’t care about that shit.” Katsuki sneered. “Also what did I just fucking say?”

“How about we just go to the mall?” Mai offered in an attempt to keep the peace. “Plenty of stores there. We’ll be able to find something.” 

“Fine.” Katsuki huffed. “But if you try to drag me into Claire’s again I’ll kill you with one of their shitty fucking piercing guns.”

Satomi lightly tugged on his hoodie’s sleeve and when he looked at her she quietly asked, “... Can I still go into Hot Topic, though?”

“Go wild. It’s not like I can keep you from your homeland.” He said as if he wouldn’t also enjoy shopping there. Satomi gave him a sideways glare but made no remark in order to avoid Katsuki changing his mind. 

“Whelp, I’m gonna get ready to head out.” Riku gave Katsuki a slap on the back as he passed and said, “Have fun coming up with an excuse for Shouto about why you are leaving.”

Katsuki paled.

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

“Shit shit shit shit !” Katsuki slammed the drawer closed in frustration before ripping open the next one in his search for his favorite beanie. There was nothing specifically special about it, it was just a simple black knit beanie, but it had been a staple of his winter wardrobe since middle school. In the back of his mind, he knew there wasn’t any real need for the item but his built-up anxiety had poured itself into the situation. 

“Your pocket.” 

Katsuki’s heart jumped to his throat. He recognized that voice immediately and when he turned around saw Todoroki watching him with concern from the doorway of their room. 

“What?”

“Your pocket.” Shouto approached him slowly, like someone would approach a startled horse, before he reached into Katsuki’s jacket pocket and pulled out the beanie. “You shoved it into your pocket when we got home yesterday.”

Katsuki tried to think of a response but at the moment he was too distracted by Shouto’s use of the word ‘home’. He didn’t have much time to dwell on what that meant before he felt the soft wool of his beanie on his head and Shouto’s careful fingers run through his hair. Katsuki hadn’t realized his gaze was on the floor until his eyes snapped up and met Shouto’s. 

“Katsuki… what’s wrong?” He asked softly as he fixed Katsuki’s hair that popped out the brim of his beanie. He could have sworn that Shouto’s thumb tenderly grazed his temple when he let his hand fall but it must have been wishful thinking. Katsuki could almost trick himself into thinking the other boy truly cared for him with the way he was looking at him. He clenched his jaw as he reminded himself that none of this was real, that after tomorrow he and Shouto would probably go back to hardly speaking. He was trying his best to convince himself that’s the way he wanted it.

“It’s nothing.” Shouto looked unconvinced by that statement but didn’t push it, probably knowing that it would backfire on him if he tried. 

“I didn’t know anything was planned for today. Why do you look like you’re getting ready to leave?” Shouto smoothly tried to change the subject but it didn’t exactly succeed in calming Katsuki. 

In a small panic the first excuse Katsuki thought to blurt out was, “Family emergency.” 

Shouto looked rightfully confused at the statement since obviously all of Katsuki’s family was already present and Katsuki could have kicked himself for being so stupid. He quickly elaborated on the lie, “Riku forgot to get a Christmas gift for Jin so we need to run to the mall. Shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.” 

Shouto nodded and was already walking across the room to grab his own coat as he said, “I’ll only be a second. I can meet you in the car if you want.” 

“No!” Todoroki froze on the spot from his sudden outburst, one arm already in his jacket, and Katsuki once again mentally cursed himself for letting his panic get the best of him. “I mean, it’s just me and some my cousins going.”

“Oh… of course.” Shouto hesitated for only a moment before he placed his jacket back onto the coat rack and let his patented neutral mask slip onto his face, refusing to let any of his feelings on the situation show. Katsuki’s hand tightened into a fist, nails digging crescent shapes into his palms, and felt a rush of anger towards himself for being the cause of that look. A car horn sounded from outside and, without a need to even look out of the room’s window, he knew it was his cousins waiting for him from the car.

“I’ll be back in a couple hours.” He repeated and then made a swift exit out of the room, quickly averting his gaze from Shouto’s without daring to look back for fear of what he might see. 

Katsuki dodged and weaved past his family members and pushed his way out of the front door, biting his lip as he trudged his way through the snow to the car. Even though it was ridiculous to feel this way, he couldn’t help worrying about leaving the other boy to fend for himself amongst his family. Even though Todoroki has been in actual life-threatening situations before, for some reason the thought of him having to make small talk with his aunts without him there was enough to almost make him turn around. He could at least find some solace in the fact that he had gotten his older cousins out of the house. 

When he climbed into the car, Airi and Mai were caught in the midst of a heated debate about who should get with who in some show he could care less about. Riku seemed to be in the same boat and looked like he was ready to bang his head against the steering wheel. 

His mood considerably perked up when he saw Katsuki finally take a seat. “Alright! Let’s get this show on the road. I wanna be back here in time to spend Christmas Eve with my baby.”

“You don’t have to do this.” Katsuki pointed out but Riku dismissed him with a wave of his hand before he put the car in drive. 

“It’s nothing, Yuki will be perfectly happy when I inevitably end up buying her more gifts. And you need the help anyway.”

“I don’t need anything!”

“You help us all the time, Kat, let us do the same for you this time.” Mai gave his shoulder a loving squeeze but Katsuki continued to frown as his aunt’s house got smaller and smaller in the distance. 

As if she could read his mind, Satomi suddenly said, “He’ll be fine.”

“I don’t know what the hell you’re talkin’ about.” He mumbled and Satomi rolled her eyes, able to see right through him. 

“I mean it. The family loves him and if they were gonna scare him away then it would have happened by now.” As Satomi spoke she repositioned herself to lounge across the seats of the minivan, her back leaning against the door and her legs over Katsuki’s lap, which he begrudgingly allowed. 

“Satomi! I told you that’s not safe!” Riku chided with a glare through the rearview mirror.

“Yeah, well, what the fuck are you gonna do about it?” Satomi didn’t even spare him a glance and pulled her 3DS out of her pocket, flipping it open with a flourish. 

“I’ll pull this car over and strap you into Yuki’s car seat. Don’t test me, girlie.” 

“Don’t worry, Riku! We’ll just have to be her seatbelt!” Airi grinned maniacally, giving Mai a look, before she jumped Satomi from where she sat behind her and tightly hugged her. Satomi let out an annoyed choked shout and tried to wiggle free but it was no hope, especially when Mai joined the fray. Mai hugged her as well and the two giggled while Katsuki avoided getting kicked in the face as Satomi’s struggled to free herself from the unwanted affection.

“Idiots.” Katsuki shook his head in exasperation but, although he would never admit it, the familiarity of the scene helped at least some of his anxiety ebb away. 

As expected, they got caught up in the hectic Christmas Eve traffic and just getting to the mall proved to be a feat in itself. In the delay, his cousins occupied themselves by watching Satomi play Cooking Mama on her 3DS with all the energy of someone watching a football game. Airi even put on her best impression of a sports broadcaster and loudly announced a play by play of Satomi cooking potato salad when Riku asked what was going on back there.

Finding parking was hell and Katsuki was just about ready to jump out of the moving car since his cousins were teasing him by calling him the demon spawn of Cooking Mama and Gordon Ramsey but, luckily for him, Riku finally managed to snag a spot on the outskirts of the parking lot. 

“Damn, this place is a madhouse. Hey, Kat, try not to get hit by a car again. Let me know if you need to hold my hand through the parking lot.” Mai teased as she started to get out of the car but Katsuki kicked her in the back, not hard enough to bruise but enough to make her stumble out onto the slushy asphalt with a startled squeal. 

“Shut up! It was the old hag’s fault!” He shouted loud enough that a middle-aged woman walking to her car almost dropped her shopping bags in alarm. 

“Sorry, ma’am! Don’t worry, he wasn’t talking about you!” Riku apologized with a charming smile and a wave of his hand but the woman just shot him a glare before she hurried off to her car.

“Gotta love how the Christmas spirit brings people together.” Riku joked sarcastically as he locked his car and pocketed his keys. 

“If I get trampled that better mean one of you will buy me a Cinnabon in repentance.” Satomi looked less than enthused at the prospect of joining the hoard of last minute shoppers.

“It can’t be that bad,” Mai remarked in a moment of optimism, but that was immediately crushed as soon as the sliding doors opened in front of her. “... Oh shit.”

The place was packed like a can of sardines, the crowd all pushing and shoving each other out of the way to get to their holiday deals and last minute purchases. The group took in the scene before them in silent shock as a woman tackled another that was running past them and started a tug of war over a Ryukyu action figure. Katsuki couldn’t hold back a snort of laughter when he saw a mall cop trying to get through the mob of people on a segway to break up the fight.

“We’re in hell.” Satomi’s monotone voice didn’t match her statement but Katsuki still nodded in agreement. 

“Just give him an ‘I owe you 1 blowjob’ coupon and let’s get the fuck out of here before some milf strangles me with a piece of tinsel,” Airi suggested, edging further away from the impromptu wrestling match in front of her. 

“If you don’t have good ideas then don’t say them at all or else it will be me that's strangling you with a goddamn piece of tinsel!” Katsuki snapped, getting ever closer to tackling his cousin in public.

“You’re right… giving him just one would be totally lame. I mean, that could be just any other normal day.” 

An immediate bright red flush came to Katsuki’s face causing Airi to smile even bigger but, before she could try to tease him about it, Katsuki looked around and smirked when he found, not tinsel, but a strand of garland he pulled off of the wall. “This will work.” 

Airi looked between the garland and Katsuki’s face before doing the smart thing for once by diving into the crowd ahead of them.

Riku loudly clapped his hands together to get everyone’s attention, “Alright gang, if we’re gonna get anything done here we’re gonna have to split up. I’ll go chase after Airi, Mai you go with Satomi, and Kat you’re gonna have be a party of one. We’ll text you anything we find that might be good so keep your phone’s sound on for once and let us know if you need anything!” 

Riku dived into the crowd to go catch up with Airi, only to be swept away immediately by the bustling swarm. While Airi and Riku reached out to each other like two people lost at sea, Mai took Satomi by the hand and was openly delighted by the fact she didn’t pull away, despite it being clear it was only because Satomi didn’t want to be in the same boat as her other siblings.

“Good luck!” Mai called back to him as she dragged Satomi into the crowd leaving Katsuki standing alone amongst the holiday madness. He looked at his surroundings with a grimace and tried to formulate some type of plan but he had no idea where to even begin. 

“Alright. Fuck this.” He needed to find a way around all these people if he was going to manage to browse through these stores. The question was how to do so. His gaze landed on a pillar next to the second floor landing, where there was significantly less people, and Katsuki smirked when an idea popped into his head. He wrapped some of the garland he was holding around one of his hands and then, to the shock of the crowd, ran at the pillar and jumped.

In a swift maneuver, Katsuki threw the garland around the base of the column and quickly grabbed the other side like a rope and wrapped it around his other hand to keep it secure. With his feet planted against the pillar, he was able to use the garland as support to hold himself up and began his ascent. Much like in the movie Mulan, Katsuki used the garland to pull himself up the pillar, creating a small crowd of onlookers around him. It didn’t take long for him to get to the top since he carried most of his strength in his arms and shoulders. As he calculated his next move, he became aware that some people from below had their phones out and Katsuki could only hope that this wouldn’t end up on YouTube later. 

The second floor was a longer distance from him than he expected it to be, and if he could use his quirk he could make it, but with the number of people watching he knew that wouldn’t be a good idea. He spotted a security camera on the nearby wall and decided that would have to do. Katsuki dropped the garland and launched himself at the camera, grabbing onto it and hanging there for a moment, before swinging himself onto the second level of the mall. The show of parkour took all together less than fifteen seconds and a couple of the people from below clapped when they saw he had made it. Normally he would be pleased with that but right now he couldn’t care less. He quickly made his way to the first decent looking store he could find and briefly considered asking an employee for help, but that idea flew out the window when he saw just how mobbed the place was. 

It took mere moments for him to realize that the store was mostly clothes that didn’t even remotely appeal to his generation. Katsuki growled in frustration and decided it was best to just move on, turning on his heel with a huff and nearly knocking a girl around his age off her feet as he trudged out of the shop. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much luck with the other stores he found either. Sure, he found little things that Shouto might like, but none of it felt right. Even though they weren’t actually dating, Katsuki wanted to get him something truly special, something that would blow any other gift he received out of the water. He could feel his competitive side coming out as he grew more and more frustrated browsing through the stores. He did get some mild satisfaction though when he saw that a display of Endeavor action figures was on sale in a toy store due to their lack of popularity.  

Time passed more quickly than Katsuki would’ve liked and he was starting to become desperate as he stood in the middle of a Build-A-Bear wondering what the fuck he was doing in there. He had no idea what Shouto would like and walking around aimlessly was proving to not help at all. An idea suddenly popped into his head and Katsuki almost dismissed it immediately on principle but at the moment he didn’t exactly have a choice. Before he could change his mind, he let out a deep sigh and pulled his phone from his pocket to call a number he would never admit he had on speed dial. 

“Kacchan?!” Katsuki shouldn’t have been surprised that Deku picked up on the second ring. “What’s going on?! Are you in trouble or something? I’m grabbing my costume just tell me where you are! I’ll be there in a second! Should I call the police in the meantime? Oh god-” 

There was a tumbling noise and a fair amount of static that came over the phone and Katsuki could distantly hear Deku’s mother asking him if he was alright. Katsuki couldn’t hold back an eye roll as he listened to Deku apologize and fumble with the phone likely from falling down trying to get into his hero costume and stay on the phone at the same time.

“Calm the fuck down, I’m fine! Deku, I swear to god, if you call the police or some shit I will kill you.” 

The chaos on the other end of the line suddenly stopped and Deku squeaked out, “Then why are you calling me ?”

He decided it was best to get right to the point so this conversation could be over as soon as possible. “What does Shou- Fuck - What does Todoroki like?”

There was complete silence and for a moment Katsuki thought the line might have gone dead until Deku finally asked, “Kacchan, what’s going on?”

Katsuki let out an aggravated sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose, contemplating just hanging up so he wouldn’t have to admit what he was about to say.

“I can’t…” He struggled with his words for a second before finally saying, “I can’t figure out what the hell to get that icyhot bastard for Christmas.”

“You want to get a gift… for Shouto?” Katsuki could practically hear the delighted smile on Deku’s face and it caused him to scowl. 

Just answer the fucking question already.

“I mean, I’m pretty sure Shouto would like anything you got him… he’s a surprisingly simple guy. I think he’ll just be happy that it came from you.” 

“Cut the bubblegum bullshit and give me something I can actually work with.” 

“You really care about what he thinks,” Deku said softly.

The statement wasn’t a question and Katsuki felt himself grip his phone tighter. “He’s doing me a favor over the holiday, I’m not gonna be a dick that gets him something he doesn’t even like. Don’t insinuate shit.” 

Deku hummed like he didn’t quite believe him but didn’t push him further. “Yeah, he told me about that.” 

“He did?” He responded far too quickly but then quickly tried to cover himself. “Whatever. Doesn’t mean anything.”

“If you say so.” Katsuki was about to snap at Deku again for the implications in his tone but he interrupted him. “Shouto has a really big sweet tooth so a safe bet is any sweets or candy, it’s easy to get to his heart through his stomach. I also find him looking at cat pictures a lot so it’s safe to say he likes them too. You also can’t go wrong when it comes to music or manga with him.”

“Yeah tell me something I don’t fucking know.” Everything Deku said was things he had already observed about the boy but all of his related gift ideas had felt too simple. He’d seen Todoroki letting Sero barrow his favorite manga and briefly considered getting him the next in the series but it didn’t seem like enough. He’d also found several other little things like CDs and cute cat calendars but Shouto deserved more than that. He wasn’t going to just give him a box of chocolates and call it a day, he wanted it to be something special. 

“Sounds like you don’t need my help then.” Deku pointed out, clearly amused.

“I never need help from you !”

“So was this just a call to wish me a happy holiday?” He teased and, when Katsuki growled in response, Deku must have sensed he was about to hang up the phone because he quickly added, “No, wait! I was being serious earlier. When I said he’ll be happy as long as it’s from you? I can’t help you with something like that. It’s gotta be from the heart. An idea that could only come from someone like you.”

“Stop getting all cheesy on me you sound like a fucking Hallmark movie you-“ Katsuki trailed off when he saw something in the window of a simple touristy shop. 

“Kacchan?”

“Tch, whatever. I gotta go.” Katsuki suddenly said but before hanging up he quietly added a quick, “Tell your mom I said Merry Christmas.” 

Katsuki distantly heard Deku shout good luck from the other side of the line but he was already hitting the end call button as he stared at an array of fireworks. A plan was formulating in his head and although it seemed a bit crazy, it felt like the type of crazy that just might work. Deciding to go with his gut, Katsuki pulled up the groupchat between him and his cousins to rapidly type out his plans. 

 

Katsuki [Today, 2:34 PM]: I need you guys to pick up some shit so we can get out of here.

Riku [Today, 2:35 PM]: Yeah no problem just tell us what you need

Mai [Today, 2:35 PM]: Satomi kicked a mall Santa after we left hot topic so she could get out of the crowds by getting DETAINED so we might be a second since I gotta bail her out of mall prison 

Airi [Today, 2:36 PM]: LOL



»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Todoroki POV



Shouto couldn’t stop thinking about that morning.

When he woke up he had felt completely relaxed, cocooned in the expensive sheets with his limbs feeling like jelly. He was alone, as usual, which is why he found it so strange that he could feel this content for no reason, not that he was complaining. His face had been buried in Katsuki’s pillow and he noted that his sweet caramel scent clung slightly to it and Shouto resisted the urge to just curl up into it. 

When he finally got ready for the day and met Katsuki downstairs things seemed normal, good even, and Shouto had accidentally let himself get lost in the domesticity of it as Katsuki carefully handed him a hot cup of coffee, their fingers lightly brushing as he did so. 

Shouto took a sip and hummed in satisfaction. “You remembered how I take my coffee.”

Katsuki quickly tried to dismiss the comment. “It’s just one ingredient. Sugar.” 

“Yes, but you remembered it.” Shouto hid his slight smile by taking another sip as he watched the tips of Katsuki’s ears turn red.

Sometimes he could almost convince himself that there was a chance Katsuki just might like him back. 

But each time he began to think like that something happened to remind him once again that his feelings were doomed to be unrequited. Things were crystal clear with the way Katsuki vehemently rejected his company when Shouto found him getting ready to leave. The panic in the other boy’s body language had Shouto on his feet, ready to help, but he was a fool to think Katsuki wouldn’t want to use this time to get away from him for a while. After all, they had never spent this much time together before and, regardless of how Shouto felt, he had to remember this was all an act for Katsuki. He was doing a favor for the other boy and it wasn’t fair to him for Shouto to project his feelings onto the situation like this. Izuku and Momo would just have to face the fact that this time they were wrong. Still, he knew he was too weak to not at least make the most of these last days being near the object of his affections.

Currently, Shouto was trying to pay attention to Katsuki’s Aunt Mineko as she told him about the different pro heroes she has worked with at her modeling agency but Shouto’s thoughts kept drifting to what Katsuki might be doing at the moment. It was well into the afternoon now and Shouto kept looking to the foyer expecting the group to walk in at any moment. Luckily, Aunt Mineko was the type that was able to continue on talking through a conversation with nothing more than a nod to satiate her. 

When Shouto’s gaze drifted yet again, he ended up making eye contact with Katsuki’s father, who at the moment was entertaining the kids in Satomi’s absence. He raised his eyebrow in a silent question and, after only a moment of hesitation, Shouto gave him a curt nod. 

Masaru looked at Aunt Mineko and then back to Shouto and gave him a wink before calling out to her, “Mineko, could you come here for a moment? I got an email from my coworker about makeup artist recommendations but I don’t know any in the area.” 

The woman’s face immediately lit up in interest, the subject being obviously in her wheelhouse, “Of course! Sorry Shouto, we’ll have to pick up this conversation later. Just remember what I said about image, darling. Public image can be half the battle when it comes to hero rankings.” 

She then adjusted the shoulders of Shotuo’s shirt so it sat correctly on his frame and smoothed it down with a smile before going to undoubtedly talk Masaru’s ear off about local up and coming makeup artists. The gesture was familial in a way Shouto wasn’t at all used to but wished he could become accustomed to. It spoke of a home life that he never got to experience before and, now that he had, it became harder and harder to accept he would have to leave it behind.

Shouto used the moment Masaru gave him to sneak away unnoticed and take a break from all the constant attention directed at him by Katsuki’s family. Although he enjoyed their presence it could become overwhelming at times, especially since Katsuki wasn’t here to keep them in check. Due to the size of the mansion, finding an empty room wasn’t a very hard task and Shouto was lucky enough to find one with a plush couch he could flop onto. He leaned his head onto the back of the couch and let his eyes flutter closed as he took a deep breath in and allowed himself to recharge. 

Shouto couldn’t be sure how long he sat there for but some time later he heard a small voice pipe up from the doorway, “Tododoki?”

He cracked an eye open and saw Masato tentatively peering into the room. When Shouto looked at him, the little boy quickly began talking again. “Are you ok? Mom said not to bother you but… “

Shouto just made an affirmative hum and scooted over on the couch to pat the spot next to him. Immediately, he heard the pitter-patter of Masato running into the room and then felt the weight shift from him climbing onto the couch next to him. 

“If you’re sleepy you can take a nap. I’ll keep it a secret.” Shouto looked to Masato who was staring back at him with a serious expression on his face. “I can guard the room! No one will ruin your nap.” 

“As tempting as that sounds, I actually slept pretty well last night. Thank you for the offer, though.” 

“Then why do you look sad?” He asked with the genuine bluntness typical of a kid his age. 

“What makes you think I’m sad?” 

“You’re not smiling like usual.” Needless to say, the statement surprised Shouto. Had he really smiled so much during the week that Masato had come to associate him with it? Usually he was known for just the opposite - he’d been accused of being entirely unable to smile more than once in his life. The idea that he could be just that happy when he was around Katsuki just solidified how doomed he really was. 

“It’s nothing. I’m just a bit worried about your cousin.” He explained as he once again thought of the panic that had been on Katsuki’s face earlier that day. 

“Katsuki? He’ll be ok, he’s super strong.” Masato said confidently assuming that Shouto must have meant he could run into a villain or some kind of other trouble while out and about. 

He decided it was best to just let him continue thinking that. “Hmm, you’re right. I think he’ll still need your help, though.” 

The little boy just about glowed. “Duh! I’m gonna be his number one sidekick! I’ve been working on my hero name, too!”

“Any ideas?” 

Masato nodded and stood up on the couch to do his best hero pose. “Minecraft!” 

“... Minecraft?”

“Minecraft!” He grinned. “Because I craft mines! Kinda… I make far away stuff blow up, it's the same thing.”

Shouto could vaguely recall times where he heard Sero and Kaminari talk about a video game called Minecraft but he himself didn’t know much about it. Masato seemed excited about it, though, so hopefully it was a subtle reference to a not so popular game. 

“It’s memorable,” Shouto said and Masato preened under the compliment. 

Masato flopped back down onto the couch and looked at Shouto with renewed curiosity. “What’s your hero name?!” 

“It’s Shouto.”

“No, your hero name. Not your name name.” The little boy helpfully replied, thinking that Shouto must have obviously misheard him.

“That is my hero name.” 

Masato scrunched up his nose in confusion, which Shouto noted was a habit of Katsuki’s as well, and shook his head, “No… no… I’ll work on something for you, too.”

Shouto raised an eyebrow but didn’t argue, he just hoped it wasn’t another video game. 

There was silence for a moment and Shouto just assumed that Masato was lost in thought about potential hero names until he spoke again. “Tododoki? How did you get your scar?”

The sudden subject change was unexpected, to say the least, but Masato was too young to pick up on Shouto’s sudden emotional shift. The child just watched him with innocent curiosity as he waited for him to answer. Normally, when presented with this question Shouto would just ignore it or even answer with some wild and obvious lie but, for some reason, he felt the need to answer semi-honestly.

“It’s a burn.” He managed to quietly say.

“A burn? From your quirk?” The kid eyed him with worry and Shouto was quick to try to put that to rest. 

“No, it’s only my body temperature I have to worry about with my quirk.”

He could almost see the gears turning in Masato’s head and he was about to change the subject again when a look of fury crossed the little boy’s face. “Was it Endeavor?! He has a fire quirk! I’ll blow him up! I’ll blow him up really good!” 

A great sense of perception must run through the family as thickly as their hot temper but Shouto was still shocked by how quickly a child was able to come to that conclusion. Even though it wasn’t his father that gave him the burn this five-year-old was able to sense the man’s abusive nature quicker than adults that were in Shouto’s life and he hadn’t even met his father. “It wasn’t him. It was… an accident. It’s in the past.” 

That seemed to calm Masato down some but his tiny fists were still clenched in anger. Something told him that Masato didn’t fully believe him but he wasn’t about to tell all of his family traumas to such a young kid.

“I never met my dad and mom never talks about him. Aunt Mineko said he was a bad man and it took mom a long time to tell her that. She was scared.” Masato finally unclenched his fists but then grabbed onto Shouto’s sleeve. “You’d tell us, right?” 

Shouto had no idea what to say to something like that and he simply nodded dumbly which seemed to satisfy Masato. Shouto knew it was a lie, he would never tell the family of his burdens, but just the thought of having people there for him like this… it felt nicer than he ever expected. 

“There you are!” Katsuki’s mother barged into the room at what seemed like the perfect time and Shouto found some relief knowing he wouldn't have to actually form a response for Masato. “Good job finding him, Squirt.” 

Masato gave a mock salute and Shouto began to realize that this conversation might not have been all just Masato’s initiative. 

Mitsuki was holding two glasses of eggnog and held one of them out to Shouto. “Come on and join us. We’re just about to get this party started.”

Oh… Thank you.” Shouto took the glass but eyed it wearily which caused Mitsuki to laugh. 

“It’s not gonna bite. Hatsu made it from scratch. It’s fucking fantastic.” She elaborated and Shouto was sure she was right. Anything Katsuki’s grandfather made turned out incredibly delicious. He took a hesitant sip of the creamy drink. He was hit with the sweet taste of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg but there was a warm underlying flavor that it took him a moment to recognize. 

Rum. 

Of course Katsuki’s Grandpa’s eggnog would be spiked.

He looked at Mitsuki in surprise and she just smiled and gave him a sneaky wink. “Don’t worry about it, kid. It’s Christmas Eve, you can let loose a bit.” 

With the type of day he had, it didn’t take Shouto much convincing to take another large sip.



»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Bakugou POV

 

Katsuki let out a frustrated growl and honked the horn of Riku’s car, which was more of an unsatisfying beep, when yet another person attempted to cut him off. He knew they must have lucked out too much that morning because now they were stuck in holiday traffic that was moving at a snail’s pace. It had gotten so bad that, just a few miles in, Katsuki made Riku exit the driver’s seat in the middle of the road so he could switch with him and take over. It didn’t take much to get him to do it, all he mentioned was he could get him home to his kid and Riku was already kicking open the door. 

They were nearly out of the thick of it and from there the ride back should’ve been quick and easy. Of course, that meant the drivers around them were going crazy as they attempted to get out of the traffic congestion and back onto their own routes. Luckily for everyone in the car, Katsuki was an expert driver that didn’t take that kind of shit. With a good amount of honking and a few well placed threats he was able to get them to their exit. 

By the time he finally parked in front of the house it was already late enough that the sun was setting. Katsuki threw open the trunk and went to collect the shopping bags from the day but Airi was quicker. She snatched up the bags and gave him a wink.

“Go inside, I’ll take these in and hide them under Satomi’s bed so Shouto won’t get suspicious.” She offered and pushed him aside. 

In any other situation he probably would have fought her on that but at the moment all he wanted to do was see Shouto. “Fine. Tell Satomi I’ll be in later to wrap it.”

Airi nodded and went to say something else but Katsuki was already headed for the front door, the only person beating him inside being Riku. As soon as he stepped foot into the foyer he could hear the commotion of his family laughing and talking over the classic song Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree. The song was fitting because when he found them they were all gathered around the Christmas tree which was now decked out in lights. His Grandpa was sitting in front of a large box he was carefully taking ornaments out of and unwrapped them from the newspapers they had packaged them in last year to keep them safe. The adults were taking the more breakable ornaments to put at the top of the tree where they were less likely to be broken while the kids were allowed to manage the less breakable ornaments. 

“Katsuki!” He heard his name gasped and when he turned to the source his arms were suddenly full of a stumbling Shouto as he tripped on the corner of the carpet. Shouto let out a breathy laugh and let his forehead fall against Katsuki’s shoulder as he leaned against Katsuki. He was wearing the silk pajamas he has been gifted when they first arrived and they felt as soft to the touch as Katsuki expected. Katsuki tried to swallow down his obvious affection for the boy but it was nearly impossible with how his breath tickled his ear and how badly he wished he could run his hand down his arm to really feel the silk against his skin. 

“You’re back.” Was all Shouto said, still leaning against Katsuki. 

“Obviously.” He snapped, hoping his face wasn’t as red as it felt. Shouto finally picked his head up and looked at Katsuki with some hurt in his eyes. 

“You’re not happy to see me?” Katsuki gaped at him, stunned by the statement as he scrambled to think of some way to respond. 

“Pffft. Please. He missed the shit out of you, Shouto.” Mai happily informed him and Katsuki turned to glare at her. That’s when Katsuki noticed that pretty much everyone in the room was watching them. Katsuki was just about to snap at them and ask what the hell they were looking at when he suddenly caught a whiff of the smell of rum. He finally put two and two together and turned his glare to his grandfather.

“What did you do to him?”

“Don’t look at me. All I did was make myself some eggnog.” He said as he took a pointed sip of his own glass.

“He’s fine. I only gave him one drink.” His mom said with a dismissive wave of her hand as though that was something normal to do.

“Wait, you gave him a drink?” Aunt Akasuki gasped and her hand flew to her mouth. “I gave him a drink, too. I thought he could use it to open up a bit.”

“Well,” Aunt Mineko downed her last sip of wine for dramatic effect and added with a grimace, “I might have given him two drinks…”

Why? ”Katsuki let all of his annoyance seep into his tone but it didn’t seem to affect his aunt in the slightest.

“I thought I could get him to agree to work with my modeling agency.” She at least had the decency to look guilty for a moment before letting a smile grow on her lips. “And I did.” 

Katsuki spluttered for a moment in unbridled anger before giving his family a piece of his mind. “No. Absolutely not. If you want him to work for you then you get him to agree while he’s fucking sober . And you two are no fucking better giving him drinks to get him to ‘open up’. If you-”

He suddenly cut himself off as a full body shiver wracked through him when Shouto placed his soft lips against the skin of his neck in a kiss. If he was any less careful he could have blown up the other boy on the spot just from the simple gesture. Katsuki swallowed roughly and could feel the tickle of Shouto now smiling against his neck. 

It took a moment to learn how to speak again and he just blurted out an angry, “Whatever! I’m putting him the fuck to bed!”

Shouto looked up at him in confusion, cocking his head to the side as though he was nothing but innocent, but didn’t resist when Katsuki started to pull him out of the room by his arm. 

“Hey! Just remember, no funny business under this roof. You hear me?” Katsuki’s mother bluntly said and Katsuki nearly choked on his own tongue. 

“Wha- We’re not- Shut up!” Was all he managed before making his escape with Shouto in tow. 

Getting Shouto up the stairs was a trial but he had no problem leaning against Katsuki for support. Probably because with how large this staircase was he’d get seriously hurt if he fell down it. 

“Damn it. I’m gone for half a day and you do this .” 

“Mmm. In my defense it tasted good.” Shouto muttered and leaned the side of his head against Katsuki’s when he looped Shouto’s arm around his shoulders to support him better.

“Your sweet tooth is going to be the death of me.” 

Shouto just chuckled and let his eyes flutter closed for a moment. “Are you saying you’re sweet enough to eat?”

Katsuki let out a baffled noise which he quickly covered up with a cough as he opened his bedroom door before saying, “I'm going to blow your ass up if you keep saying shit like that.”

“Oh yeah,” Shouto stopped, glassy eyes brightening as if a lightbulb had just gone off in his brain. “That reminds me…”

Shouto took his hand in his and Katsuki was about to ask him what he was doing but was cut off when Shouto lifted his hand to his lips and ran his tongue along the pads of two of his fingers. Katsuki would have been worried about his face flushing if he wasn’t more concerned with all the blood in his body taking a more southern route. 

“What. The fuck?” Katsuki managed to squeak out.

“Huh, it really is sweet… I’ve been wondering.” Shouto made a pleased hum. “You’re actually sweeter than the eggnog.” 

Instead of saying something intellectual such as ‘go the fuck to sleep’ or ‘shut up, you’re drunk’ Katsuki in a panic shoved Shouto back so he fell against the bed with a soft surprised ‘oof’. Shouto giggled when he hit the pillow, his face flushed red from the alcohol and looking at Katsuki with a smile that could trick him into thinking he really meant something to him. 

His throat tightened at the sight and, rather than do something reasonable, Katsuki tossed the blanket over Shouto so that it covered his face and with all of the elegance of a caveman Katsuki choked out, “Sleep.” 

Needing to escape the situation, Katsuki briskly barged into the bathroom without looking back. The first thing he did was splash some water onto his face in an attempt to cool down. For the coldest time of the year, he was feeling unbearably overheated at the moment. He looked at himself in the mirror and scowled at his obviously flustered state before grabbing his toothbrush and taking his frustration out by aggressively brushing his teeth. 

He may have spaced out a bit as he brushed because he had no idea how much time had passed before he heard Shouto say in a tired drawl, “Katsuki, come back to bed.”

His heart nearly stopped at the boy’s sleep laden voice and when he took a peek through the bathroom doorway he was pretty sure he was the closest he’d ever been to a heart attack with how his chest constricted. Shouto was cocooned comfortably in the blankets and was snuggled against his pillow with his soft hair messily cascading across his face. Shouto looked at him through heavy eyelids and wiggled to free his arm of its blanket prison so he could pat the space next to him. The scene felt overwhelmingly domestic and was something Katsuki didn’t even know he craved. 

He knew he wouldn’t be able to deny the boy and he made quick work of his nightly routine so he could join him as requested. He shut off the light so Shouto hopefully couldn’t see the blush he knew was on his cheeks as he climbed into bed, but since it was earlier in the night there was still enough light filtering in through the window to illuminate his face. Shouto made a soft content noise when Katsuki finally got under the covers. 

“...Katsuki?” He said softly. 

“What?” 

“I….” Katsuki waited a moment for him to continue but soon realized that Shouto’s breathing had evened out and his eyes had finally fluttered closed. He let out a sigh and brushed some of Shouto’s hair gently out of his face. Hopefully whatever he had to say to him wasn’t important because he was dead asleep now.

“You idiot,” Katsuki mumbled fondly. 

He really was going to be the death of him.

 

Chapter Text

Katsuki woke to the sound of excited squeals and rapid footsteps through the hall as the kids, roused from their own slumber by the first of them to wake, started banging on all the doors yelling for everyone to wake up. There was a groan from beneath him that caused him to snap his head up and, with a sharp intake of breath, he realized he’d ended up on top of Shouto yet again. He felt the reverberations of another disgruntled noise in Shouto’s chest as he scrunched up his face and brought a hand up to massage his temple. Shouto’s other hand lightly squeezed where it was placed on Katsuki’s hip and he watched as mismatched eyes fluttered open in surprise. 

Shouto looked at him, still blinking away sleep as he let out a soft, “Oh…” 

“This is…” Katsuki quietly trailed off, unsure of what he was even going to say.

“It’s fine.” Shouto’s voice was nearly a whisper when he repeated, “It’s fine…”

Katsuki couldn’t be sure that statement was true because underneath the hand he had rested on Shouto’s chest for support he could feel the thrumming of his rapid heartbeat. Katsuki still felt tense, muscles coiled in preparation for fight or flight, and he was made aware that Shouto could feel it too when the boy moved his hand to soothingly rub the space between his shoulder blades. His shoulders were an area he frequently complained about being sore and it was impossible to not melt at the feeling. Neither of them said a word, their gazes linked and breath mingling in the space between them. When had their faces gotten this close? Shouto’s eyes were wide and searching but what he was searching for was a mystery to him. 

With a loud bang the door suddenly swung open on its hinges and the sounds of excited giggling increased ten-fold as the twins came barreling into the room. They left Katsuki no time to react before jumping onto the bed and tackling him while screeching like deranged monkeys. Katsuki rolled off of Shouto and nearly rolled onto the floor as the children tried to wrestle him out of bed. 

“Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! ” Chiho chanted as she shook her cousin by the shoulders. 

“I am awake! You damn gremlin!”

“Mom said none of us can open our presents until everyone is downstairs! Come on!” Daiki attempted to push him off of the bed and his sister quickly joined in but their child-strength, even combined, was not enough to make Katsuki budge. “Hurry up!” 

“Get off!” Katsuki’s annoyance was steadily growing from the early morning intrusion and he was prepared to snap at them but he was distracted when he noticed Shouto was rubbing his temples again. He wouldn’t be surprised if the boy had a bit of a hangover from his grandpa’s eggnog, considering how much his family had funneled into him last night. “I’m going! I’m going! Go ruin someone else’s morning.” 

The twins cheered when Katsuki got himself out of bed and happily complied with him by running out of the room in a whirlwind. Moments later Katsuki heard the screeching start again accompanied by Satomi shouting in the distance. 

Katsuki let out a tired sigh and stretched his arms over his head until he felt a satisfying pop in his shoulders. He looked to Shouto and found him staring at him in a daze that made Katsuki’s heart nearly stop when he felt the sudden urge to kiss his slightly parted lips to wipe that dumb expression off his face. Instead of acting on his sudden impulse, he simply raised a questioning eyebrow. Shouto quickly looked away, as if he was embarrassed to be caught, and quickly busied himself with getting out of bed as well. Katsuki couldn’t tell if it was the hangover that caused the boy to be so zoned out or if he was just that bad at mornings. Judging by the way Shouto winced and pinched the bridge of his nose when he stood up too fast, it must have been the former. 

“What does your grandpa put in that stuff? Poison?” Shouto asked, obviously perplexed by how the four glasses had left him with such strong lingering effects. 

“He’s never revealed his secrets so I can only assume it’s his own homebrewed bathtub gin or some shit. All I know is you’re not gonna be the only one with a hangover, you’re just the first bitch that went down from it.” Shouto gave him a lighthearted glare and threw a pillow at him, which Katsuki easily caught with an amused snort. “Come on, I’ll get you some advil.” 

“I should at least get dressed first.” Shouto gestured to the pajamas he was still wearing as though it was obvious. 

Katsuki furrowed his eyebrows, “It’s Christmas morning, everyone is going to be in their pjs. Who the fuck gets dressed before noon on Christmas?” 

“Oh….” Shouto looked like the concept had never occurred to him and Katsuki found himself once again wondering what the holidays had always been like for the other boy. “Still, I need to grab the presents. I’ll meet you downstairs.”

“Wait, what are you on about now?” Katsuki was about to head out the door but turned around in confusion to watch Shouto kneel down and start to pull boxes out from under the bed. 

“The presents I got for your family. I may have gone a bit... overboard.” He said as though looking at the growing pile of boxes made him realize that. “It will take me a second to get them downstairs.” 

“What... when did you have time to do this? You brought one small bag here! How the fuck-”

“Online shopping,” Shouto said simply. “You’re looking at a veteran. I did have some help from Mineko though… she knew exactly how to get things here on time and helped me hide them.” 

“You… You really didn’t have to do this, Shouto.” Katsuki watched Shouto in disbelief at the fact he was able to hide all of this from him. “How the hell did you pay for all of that?” 

“Charged it all to my old man’s credit card,” Shouto smirked proudly and Katsuki felt his own grin poke at the corner of his lips. “Want something? Just name anything and it’s yours.” 

His gaze moved from Shouto’s eyes to his soft pink lips and continued to wander from the gentle curve of his neck to his exposed collar bone where the silky fabric of his shirt had slid down his shoulder a bit. Katsuki knew what he wanted but could never have, nor could he ask. Instead of any of the sappy lines he thought of that made him want to bang his head against the wall, Katsuki said, “What I want is for you to hurry the fuck up before the twins come back to hunt you down.”

He picked up one of the larger boxes of gifts and, before Shouto could protest that he could do it himself, walked out of the bedroom leaving the other boy oblivious to his thoughts. 

“Katsuki!” As he walked down the hall he was near immediately spotted by Masato, who ran up to him and started to jump in an attempt to see into the box. “What’s that!?” 

“Hands off.” He held the box higher in the air when Masato started to grab at it. “It’s presents from Shouto and if you keep doing that you’re getting none of it.” 

The little boy's eyes widened and rather than being upset by the threat he seemed to focus in on the fact Shouto got something for him because he began basically jogging in place out of excitement. 

“I gotta go get my gift for him!” Was all that Masato said before bolting down the hallway back to the room he shared with his mom. 

He simply shrugged and left the kid to find whatever arts and crafts nightmare he probably made for Shouto. He continued his journey to the large living room where the Christmas tree stood, now proudly decorated, and slid the box underneath it next to the bag of presents he had left the first day he arrived. He heard a rustling noise from the back of the tree and he immediately became suspicious. Upon further inspection he found Yuki attempting to climb into a gift bag to get a peek of its contents. Katsuki quickly scooped her up, ignoring her cry of protest, and carried the wiggling toddler into the kitchen with him. Riku was leaning against the counter, looking worse for wear, while Jin watched him struggle to open a bottle of Advil with an amused smile. 

 “Take this,” Katsuki said gruffly, shoving Yuki into her father's arms as he plucked the bottle right out of his hands. Once Riku held her, Yuki’s protests quieted down when she realized she was between her parents the little girl began to babble on about how Santa really ate the cookies they left out. Jin cooed at how adorable she was being and gave her daughter a big kiss on the cheek that caused a soft look to come to Riku’s face. 

Katsuki was in the middle of making his and Shouto’s morning coffees when the boy himself tiredly trudged into the room with the twins following him like ducklings. It was a mystery to him how he was able to tame them over such a short amount of time, but somehow he’d managed it.

The twins got distracted by attempting to ‘finesse’ some bacon again and Katsuki shook two pills into his hand and held them out to Shouto. “Here.”

“Thanks.” He mumbled as he took the pain medication and swallowed it dry with ease. 

Katsuki gave him an annoyed pointed look, “Aren’t you forgetting something?” 

Shouto stared at him blankly for a moment, obviously confused by what he could be missing despite the fact Katsuki was clearly holding a coffee for him. Understanding crossed Shouto’s face and there was a second where Katsuki thought he finally got it but rather than take the drink Shouto leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek. 

Katsuki spluttered as he tried to come up with something to say, knowing damn well his face must be bright red, “Your coffee, idiot. You have to take pills with liquid or they’ll burn your fucking esophagus.” 

“Oh,” Katsuki shoved the mug of coffee forward and a hint of a smile came to the corner of Shouto’s mouth as he took it. He hummed after his first sip before saying, “Perfect again.” 

Katsuki rolled his eyes and under his breath mumbled ‘of fucking course it is’ but the blush remained present on his face. There was a chuckle to Katsuki’s left and when he snapped his head towards the source he saw Riku and Jin watching them, glancing at each other with knowing smiles. 

Katsuki glared daggers at his cousin, “You’re lucky that you’re holding the little one.” 

“I know,” Riku grinned, ignoring the threat, and then blew a raspberry on Yuki’s cheek making her giggle. Katsuki rolled his eyes at the display but found Shouto watching it with the same look he had while watching Aunt Hisa comfort Masato at the tree farm. 

Katsuki lightly elbowed Shouto’s bicep which caused him to snap out of his thoughts and look to him in a slight daze. Katsuki raised an eyebrow, silently asking if he was ok, but Shouto simply gave him a little shrug and took a larger sip of his coffee. He was about to question him further but Masato interrupted him by running into the room, very obviously hiding something behind his back.

“Tododoki!” Masato was still trying to catch his breath and tugged on Shouto’s sleeve as though he didn’t already have his attention by yelling his ‘name’. “I have a present for you!” 

“Masato, we’ll do gift time once everyone is in the living room. We’re all still trying to wake up, honey.” Jin explained as his aunts filtered into the kitchen and gathered around the coffee pot like animals at a watering hole. The only one who seemed even remotely put together was his Aunt Mineko even though she was still in her pajamas without any makeup on and her blonde hair up in a messy bun. While Aunt Hisa poured coffee for all of them, Mineko playfully braided her hair while telling her she had ‘always been her favorite sister’. Aunt Akasuki slapped the back of Mineko’s head with a scowl, just causing the woman to stick her tongue out at her. Katsuki’s grandparents on his mother’s side passed away when he was younger but he briefly wondered how they managed to survive as long as they did when they had to raise this group. 

“But I wanted to give him the first one!” Masato pouted. 

“Pffft, good luck cause we’re obviously gonna give him the first gift.” Chiho piped up around a stolen piece of bacon from the first batch of the morning. His Grandpa usually worked on breakfast as gifts were opened so his family’s limited patience wouldn’t be tested by waiting for food. 

“What!?” Masato looked to his cousins aghast. “But-”

“Yeah, we got him his wallet!” Daiki shoved the bacon he was holding into his mouth to free his hands and take Shouto’s wallet out of his dinosaur pajama pants pocket. 

Shouto stared at him like it was too early to quite believe this what happening, “That’s… my wallet.”

“Merry Christmas!” They chorused as Daiki placed the wallet in a bewildered Shouto’s hand. 

Uncle Naoko sighed, letting his face fall to the palm of his hands as he told his children, “Go get anything you stole and give it back to everyone.”

“But we didn’t-” Chiho began but was cut off by her father, who could tell exactly when his kids were lying.

“Nope. Go give everyone back their stolen stuff.” He pointed to the doorway and the two kids grumbled but did as they were told, running out of the room to retrieve whatever they had taken. 

Aunt Rin rubbed her husband’s back soothingly and then gave Shouto an apologetic look. “Sorry about that, I’m sure everything is still in your wallet. They don’t actually want to steal things, they just like to see if they can .”

“I’m kind of impressed,” Shouto mumbled, still staring at the wallet like he wasn’t quite sure it was really there. “They certainly have a talent…” 

Masato, having grown impatient waiting for everyone to make their way to the living room, decided to take matters into his own hands. The little boy reached out and gripped the cuff of Shouto’s sleeve to tug him along as he said, “That wasn’t a real present! Mine’s still gonna be first!” 

Judging by the slightly sour look on Masato’s face it wasn’t hard to tell that he was likely jealous of the praise Shouto had given the twins, even if it was only a small compliment. Katsuki rolled his eyes but couldn’t help being slightly amused by the kid’s bratty behavior. He grabbed his own coffee so he could follow the two just in case Shouto needed backup dealing with the child’s sometimes explosive excitement and the others began to shuffle after them as well out of curiosity. 

In the living room, Satomi was comfortably curled up on the couch still half asleep but that was soon ruined when Riku ran past him and dramatically flopped onto the couch with Yuki. Satomi bounced into the air and shrieked in surprise causing Riku to laugh as he dodged an angry kick from his sister. Yuki looked between the two and then without warning began to kick her little feet in some type of attempt to attack her father. Riku held her at arms length to avoid her fury and Satomi grinned when he called Yuki a traitor. 

Unwilling to waste any more time, Masato revealed what he had been concealing behind his back with a flourish and presented it to Shouto with a wide smile. “I made it all myself! Well… almost. I needed mom’s help writing… and stapling it together.”

Shouto placed his coffee onto a side table and kneeled down to the little boy’s height as Masato proudly gave him his gift. Shouto seemed genuinely touched as he looked over a small book of stapled together computer paper with a drawing of him and Katsuki on the front titled Pro Strategies For Frostfire And Ground Zero. 

“It’s for your team up! It’s all the ideas I had for cool moves you guys could do! I told you I would come up with ideas.” Masato watched with anticipation as he opened the booklet and Shouto’s lips slightly parted in awe at all the work the child must have put into it. Shouto lightly ran his fingers over a drawing of him and Katsuki fighting a villain with a move called ‘The Frosty Nightmare Powerbomb Slam’ and a soft smile grew on his face. Katsuki looked over his shoulder as he flipped through the pages and saw that most strategies had similarly long and violent names that Katsuki couldn’t help but feel pride about. 

“Frostfire?” Shouto questioned, finally looking up from the booklet. 

“Yeah, it’s a hero name for you that’s actually good.” Masato bluntly said and Katsuki nearly choked from the sudden laughter the statement pulled out of him. Shouto tried to look annoyed with him but ended up letting out a chuckle of his own, ruining the facade. 

“You got me there.” Shouto relented but then shifted to a more serious tone when he said, “I love it, Masato. Thank you.” 

“You did good, kid.” Katsuki ruffled his messy red hair, breaking him out of his daze from Todoroki’s praise. 

“Actually, I have a book for you as well.” Masato’s eyes widened and he started to chew on his finger in anticipation as he followed Shouto to the pile of unwrapped cardboard boxes under the tree. The twins stopped handing back their stolen goods to their rightful owners and peered over curiously, far too distracted by the prospect of gifts to continue their task. They looked to their mother and when she nodded they dumped the rest of the items onto their surprised father’s lap and went to take a closer look as Shouto peeked into the various boxes looking for something specific. 

Shouto let out a pleased hum when he managed to find what he was looking for and from the box pulled out a large book that looked thick enough that it could probably be used as a weapon. Masato seemed to know exactly what it was because the moment he saw the book he let out an excited gasp. 

“The Big Book Of Heroes!” Masato quickly grabbed the book from Shouto and plopped down to sit on the ground in order to immediately crack the book open and thumb through the pages of extensive hero lore. The boy was completely entranced, flipping through the pages, when his mother grabbed Shouto’s attention.

 “That’s the revised 6th edition with the holographic cover, isn’t it? There is only 1,500, how on earth did you find it?”

“I had some help from a friend. He recommended me it since the original was his favorite book. It was-”

Shouto was cut off when Masato flung himself at him and hugged him tightly, “It’s awesome!”

Masato carried on repeating ‘thank you’ to Shouto as he awkwardly patted him on the head, unsure what to do with the affection, while the twins tried to peek at what was in the other boxes. The hug, although enthusiastic, didn’t last long before the little boy released Shouto from his hold and went immediately back to his book to continue browsing through it while Aunt Hisa started trying to pry the price of the book out of Shouto. He politely waved it off insisting that it was no problem but his attention was called elsewhere when Daiki shouted to Chiho that one of the boxes had their names on it. 

Daiki began to shake the box with his ear to it in an attempt at guessing the contents but Shouto quickly stopped him, “Careful, I don’t actually know how breakable those are.” 

That just seemed to pique their curiosity even more and they looked at him with pleading eyes as Daiki asked, “Can we open it?” 

Katsuki’s jaw nearly dropped, surprised that the kid actually asked permission instead of handing the package over to his sister to bite open or some shit. Shouto looked around for a moment as though he wasn’t sure it was ok but when he received no objections he nodded and the twins let out a cheer before scrambling to try to rip the packing tape off the box. When they finally managed to tear through the cardboard like the feral animals they were, they rummaged through the packing peanuts until they found their prize.

“Goggles?” Chiho held up a pair of bug-eyed red lensed goggles that she started to put on out of curiosity while Daiki inspected his own pair.

“Infrared goggles.” Shouto clarified, tapping his temple to indicate where there was a small switch on the side of the goggles. “To see in the fog.” 

A look of dawning horror came to Uncle Naoko’s face when Shouto said that as he began to realize exactly the type of hell his life was going to become. Daiki helped flick the goggles on and Chiho grinned as she took in her surroundings.

“Put them on! Put them on!” She urged her brother as she looked at her own hands through the thermal lenses. Daiki urgently did as he was told and looked around with the same amount of giddy awe. 

With that the gift exchange officially began and Katsuki pulled Shouto over to their spot on the couch from movie night, out of the way of the kids trying to get to their presents. To keep some semblance of order, Aunt Hisa took up the role of handing out gifts and calling out the names they were addressed to. Despite the fact that Shouto must have gotten each member of the family a gift he still had the audacity to look shocked when his own name was called out and a gift bag was dropped onto his lap. Suddenly Katsuki and Shouto were caught in a steel armed hug from Katsuki’s mom who had crept up behind them. 

“Just a little something from me and Masaru.” She explained, unfazed by Katsuki trying to wriggle out of her grip. “We weren’t sure what to get you since Katsuki didn’t tell us anything.”

The last word she said with a bitter edge and gave Katsuki a small squeeze for emphasis, which he responded to with a growl. Shouto didn’t protest against the hug and allowed her to ruffle his hair affectionately as he unwrapped a soft grey plaid scarf that he was sure was made just for this purpose at his parents’ studio. 

“I think it worked out for the best, though.” She continued and finally let go of them. “At least it did if you’re actually willing to give up the scarf Katsuki lent you.”

“Thank you,” Shouto said in such a raw genuine way that Katsuki’s mother pulled him right back into her arms.

“You are so sweet, what the fuck .” She mumbled quietly but with feeling, before turning her head, which rested on top of Shouto’s, and said to Katsuki. “You better fucking keep him.” 

He wanted to. That was the worst part. Damn it! He would love to live in this little fantasy world created by their facade but it was unrealistic. Tomorrow they would be going back to the dorms and that’d be the end of it. Katsuki would just have to learn to pretend nothing ever happened in order to hide his feelings, and that was ok

More presents came their way but Katsuki found himself more interested in Shouto than unwrapping whatever gag gift his cousins got him this year. Shouto had a warm smile on his face as sat back into the plush couch looking sleepily disheveled in a comfortable way that made him seem so open. A fuzzy content feeling settled over him but he didn’t have much time to dwell on it before Satomi threw herself at Katsuki, screeching out gratitude over the Sum 41 tickets he’d gotten for her. She quickly composed herself and tried to act like it never happened but she couldn’t hide the excited grin on her face or the neon green hue of happiness her hair had taken.

The rest of the morning was spent on exchanging holiday gifts and having a decadent breakfast in which Aunt Mineko allowed them to take their plates into the living room to eat as not to put a stop to the festivities. Katsuki was more than happy to sit cross-legged on the couch with the heaping plate of eggs that rested on his lap but he did have to occasionally fight away Shouto’s fork as the other sneakily tried to steal some. In retaliation, he unstuck a silver bow from the top of a jar of his favorite hot peppers he received as a gift and slapped it onto the side of Shouto’s head. Unfortunately, the effect was quite cute and Katsuki had to ignore the flutter in his chest while Shouto tried to untangle the bow in his hair. 

Shouto’s hands slowed and he watched Katsuki in morbid fascination as he popped open the jar and took a bite of one of the notoriously spicy peppers. It wasn’t unusual for Katsuki to snack on hot peppers when craving some spice but the fact it was still the early hours of the morning is probably what had Shouto staring at him like he’d grown a second head.

“What?” Katsuki punctuated his statement by taking another bite with an audible crunch. 

“I’m not kissing you after eating those.” Shouto bluntly said and it caused Katsuki to immediately stop chewing. The scene must have been overheard by Mai and Airi because they burst out laughing and Katsuki sent a glare their way.

“Go shove some tinsel up your ass!” 

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««



After exchanging gifts, the kids eventually migrated to the mansion’s large foyer where they would have enough room to play with the toys they had received. Although, Katsuki was pretty sure that was code for Chiho and Daiki sending their new HotWheels cars racing down the large staircase while the others watched. The rest of the family was scattered about, either cleaning up the carnage from their large breakfast or getting ready for the day, while Katsuki hung back with Shouto to clean up all of the colorful wrapping paper that littered the floor. Naturally, that just devolved into them trying to sneak and dump the balled up wrapping paper over each other's heads. Katsuki was chastising Shouto for thinking it was a good idea to set some gift wrap on fire to get rid of it when his mother walked in brandishing two more gifts with an almost mocking grin. 

“Almost forgot about these. You can thank Akasuki for thinking up this one.” She tossed the package at Katsuki, not at all gently, and he caught it with ease while she slung an arm around Shouto’s shoulders, simply handing him the other gift. 

Katsuki gave her a suspicious look but opened the present nonetheless and groaned when he saw its contents. “Are you fucking serious?”

“As a heart attack.” She smirked but spoke with an undertone of finality. “You’re wearing it.” 

“Fuck no!” Katsuki glared at the ugly Christmas sweater in his hands as though it would set the thing on fire. The front had a large image of a Christmas cracker breaking open and sewn all over the sweater were little trinkets that could be found inside of one after it had been popped. 

“What’s this for?” Shouto asked, holding up a forest green sweater adorned with candy cane themed decorations that made Katsuki snort when he saw it. His mom had been about to snap at Katsuki but her mood immediately shifted to a more pleasant tone when addressing Shouto.

“I figured this brat wouldn’t mention it. Every year all of us go to the local Christmas festival wearing ugly sweaters but Katsuki keeps conveniently ‘forgetting’ to bring one since he moved into those dorms. We all pitched in and made these for you two last night after you went to bed early.” She explained while Katsuki stared at the fireplace, wondering if he was quick enough to toss his sweater into it. Judging by the side glare his mom sent him she could already tell what he was thinking. 

There was a glimmer in Shouto’s eyes as he looked over the sweater and, with horror, Katsuki realized he actually liked the damn thing. His suspicions were only confirmed when, much to his mom’s delight, Shouto steadfastly said, “We’re wearing them.”

Katsuki scoffed. “Yeah, when hell freezes over.”

Half an hour later he found himself in a car on the way to the festival, wearing the ugly sweater, and wondering how the hell his life had gotten to this point. 

As soon as Katsuki had walked out wearing the sweater he’d been forced into enough family photos that he could make a photo album of his misery. All wasn’t terrible though considering the fact he wasn’t alone in looking ridiculous. With the way Shouto’s hair clashed with the green of his sweater yet matched the candy cane adornments he looked like some kind of discontinued holiday elf doll. The only photo his family managed to take of Katsuki actually smiling was one Mai captured of the moment Katsuki first saw Shouto in his new ensemble and burst out laughing. Still, there was a part of him that had to admit Shouto somehow managed to look cute despite the overly festive look.

Katsuki used his time during the car ride to reply to the barrage of messages sent his way from his friends wishing him a happy holiday since he wasn’t a complete asshole. He was in the middle of demanding Kirishima bring back some of his Bobe’s apple crumble from Hanukkah, or at least give him the recipe, when they arrived at the festival. He saw Shouto’s eyes widen as he stepped out of the car and took in all of the Christmas lights that riddled the small touristy village the festival was held at each year. 

“It looks better once it starts to get dark,” Katsuki said, stepping up beside Shouto and startling him out of his reverie. 

“Are… we staying to see that?” He asked with a hesitant form of hope that would have made Katsuki force his family to stay just for Shouto to see it.

All he ended up saying was a gruff, “Yeah.”

Shouto still seemed to brighten at his answer and some sappy part of him thought that the lights this year would seem incredibly dull compared to the boy standing next to him. Katsuki growled to himself, annoyed with how soft this shit was starting to make him.

"Now c'mon, asshole, we're not going to see anything if you just stand around making yourself blind by staring at some goddamn lights all day." Shouto was unfazed by the attitude and simply nodded before holding his hand out for him to take. Katsuki hesitated, worried about his own concealed feelings, but quickly realized it was the best way to get through the crowd they were about to enter. He took his hand and used this opportunity to escape his family for a bit by pulling Shouto away into the thick of the festival while everyone else tried to help Riku set up Yuki’s stroller. Shouto was surprised for just a moment but caught onto Katsuki’s plan relatively quickly and followed him without complaint.

“Where are we going?” Shouto peeked around at the shop windows and stands along the path they walked, particularly eyeing up some baked goods. 

In all honestly Katsuki hadn’t thought that far but he wasn’t about to actually tell him that so instead he said, “Just tell me if you’re interested in something.” 

Shouto hummed in contemplation but stayed quiet for the time being, just taking in the sights around them in silent awe. The lack of conversation wasn’t uncomfortable in the slightest and Katsuki actually found it kind of nice after dealing with his loud family all morning. Suddenly, Katsuki felt a tug on his arm and he looked back to see Shouto had stopped in front of a candy vendor selling different handcrafted sugar treats.

“These are like your sweater.” Shouto pointed out the colorful basket of Christmas crackers that looked like sweet wrappers and were advertised to contain some of their novelty hard candy.

Katsuki stared at him for a moment bewildered by his ability to state the obvious but then came to a realization. “You don’t know what a Christmas cracker is?”

Katsuki was already digging through his pocket for his wallet when Shouto nodded and the dual-haired boy’s face turned to one of bewilderment when he handed the vendor money, asking for two. 

“You don’t-” Shouto started but Katsuki cut off his protests by shoving one of the Christmas crackers into his hand. 

“Stop, you literally got my cousin a fucking iPad. This is nothing.” Despite his crass words, Katsuki’s tone was gentler than usual and it was enough to disarm Shouto. “Just hold the one side and pull.” 

He did as he was told, firmly gripping one end of the tube while Katsuki held onto the other before tugging at the same time as Shouto. A loud pop sounded through the air as the cartridge split and revealed the contents inside. 

“At least this one has candy. Usually it’s just little dinky plastic toys that kids like. It’s a tradition though.” Katsuki gestured for Shouto to hold out his hands and poured what was in the Christmas cracker into them. He then plucked out a folded up piece of paper. “The paper crown, too.”

Shouto watched with interest as Katsuki unfolded the pastel yellow paper crown and then carefully placed it on his head. Katsuki let out a soft huff of a laugh at how the color clashed against Shouto’s hair and vowed to make sure he got a photo of this at some point.

Shouto looked at the candies in his hands and the corners of his lips quirked up into a small smile. “Cute.”

The circular hard candies had been hand-rolled out to have an image of fruits that they were flavored after and without hesitation Shouto popped a strawberry one into his mouth. He let out a pleased hum that must have meant he enjoyed the treat and said, “Let’s open yours.” 

He pocketed the rest of the candy, which Katsuki knew he would probably eat entirely by the time they left, and they cracked open the other one with another loud pop. Without even thinking much about it, Katsuki picked out the strawberry flavored candies he’d received and shoved them into Shouto’s hand, making up some excuse about not liking sweet shit that much anyway. Shouto insisted that Katsuki wore his paper crown as well and, unable to say no, Katsuki slipped the red crown onto his head with a sigh.

The mood seemed to shift after that but not at all in a bad way. Shouto started to take initiative in exploring the town and actively started to point out things he’d like to look at further. Katsuki was never one to allow someone else to lead him around but he found himself following Shouto as he let his curiosity guide him. Naturally, this mostly lead them to different snack booths since lunch had been skipped due to the size of their breakfast. Kastuki also couldn’t blame Shouto for his interest in all of the different desserts and baked goods but still had to resign himself to the fact that their dinner would likely be all sweets. It was well worth it though to see Shouto’s face as he tried various Christmas themed treats for the first time. 

Arms full of food, Shouto leaned over and ate the forkful of yule log cake Katsuki was about to pop into his own mouth. A shocked and annoyed noise slipped out of him that made Shouto smirk as he chewed.

“You bastard,” Katsuki mumbled, causing Shouto to chuckle. Katsuki continued to grumble to himself, guarding the rest of his plateful as they wandered the village looking for a place to sit and enjoy their amassed treats. 

One of the most prominent features of the village was the small lake that resided at the center of it all with a wooden bridge that ran across it. The lights tied around the trees and the railings of the bridge reflected off the frozen surface in a way that had them finding a bench so they could take the time to appreciate it. Katsuki wasn’t sure what it was about nature but for some reason sights like this would make him feel somewhat settled. It was one of the reasons he found hiking so calming. 

The two sat on the bench unconventionally sitting cross-legged and facing each other with their plethora of food between them. They split nearly everything, both getting a taste of each dessert, and fell into a surprisingly easy conversation as they tossed pieces of caramel popcorn into each other's mouths. 

“I think I figured it out.”

“What d’ya mean?” Katsuki raised his eyebrow as he chewed the piece of caramel corn he just caught. So far he’d managed to catch every piece but Shouto was having a much harder time with his attempts.

“The key is volume.” Shouto took a handful of popcorn and sent it into the air, essentially showering himself in caramel corn, as he held his mouth open and managed to catch one of them at last. 

Katsuki snorted and tried to cover up his laughter. “You idiot.” 

Shouto let out a small huff of a laugh when Katsuki shoved his shoulder but an expression he couldn’t quite place came to his face as he looked at Katsuki.

“What?” He asked, breaking the silence that overtook them.

“I didn’t know Christmas could be like this,” Shouto said eventually and looked out at the icy lake. “It’s nice.” 

Katsuki could tell there was more and he didn’t dare speak for fear that Shouto wouldn’t continue. For a moment it seemed like Shouto was torn but he closed his eyes and took a deep breath before finally looking back to Katsuki. His eyes searched Katsuki’s face for something and, even though he wasn’t sure what Shouto was looking for, something about his expression must have prompted him to continue talking. “I know you already overheard my... situation. I guess it goes without saying that my old man wasn’t exactly the festive type. I never really had the chance to enjoy a holiday.” After a moment Shouto’s expression shifted from hesitant to bitter.

“Actually, I’ve always hated Christmas. The last time I spent it with my entire family it ended with me crying into my mom’s lap apologizing as she iced her black eye and told me it wasn’t my fault.” A far away look same to Shouto’s eyes as if he was starting to dissociate from what he was actually saying. “If I was lucky I’d get to spend the holiday in my room and pretend it was any other day. If unlucky I’d be dragged to some fancy party where my father would parade me around like he was updating business partners on his project. I even had to learn how to waltz for that shit. I never even danced, I just watched everyone look miserable as they did.”

Shouto let out a humorless laugh as though what he said could be considered funny. “I hated it. And if I stepped out of line at all it wouldn’t just be me that suffered the consequences.”

“I swear I’ll kill the bastard,” Katsuki growled out in a near whisper but it didn’t make his anger any less palpable. 

Shouto looked like he just remembered he wasn’t actually alone. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have-”

“No. You’re allowed to talk about what bothers you,” Katsuki spoke firmly interrupting the apology. Then in a softer tone said, “Talk to me, Shouto.”

And he did. 

Shouto finally allowed himself to speak of his past and even though his anger for the boy’s father continued to bubble up inside him he shoved it down in favor of listening to him. He couldn’t be sure how long Shouto had kept this bottled up for, he might have talked it through with Ponytail or Deku before, but it Katsuki could almost hear a some of the tension ease out of his voice the more he spoke. He didn’t know how much time had passed but eventually Shouto trailed off, seemingly surprised by how long he’d gone on for.

“I don’t think I’ve met anyone quite like your family.” He said out of the blue.

“Sorry about them,” Katsuki responded out of instinct and Shouto quickly shook his head.

“No, they’re wonderful.” He was steadfastly earnest in a way that left Katsuki dumbstruck. “Loud, but wonderful.”

As they cleaned up the carnage left behind from their feast, things somehow felt lighter between them in a way that was unexpected but not at all unwanted. This time when Shouto took his hand it was without hesitation and, as if he finally let himself go unshackled, he took off while dragging Shouto along to go check out the stores they had missed. 

The village was small and it could take someone about twenty minutes to walk its circular path around the lake but the two of them took a look into most of the little shops to kill time. The buildings were older, with floorboards that creaked every time they entered one and shelves of merchandise packed closely together in the small spaces. They probably spent the most time in a store of handmade soaps since Shouto insisted on smelling each one but they also spent a decent amount of time in a cookware shop until Shouto found the knives and Katsuki promptly decided it was time to leave before they ended up spending the rest of their Christmas in the ER.  

They were leaving a specialty coffee and tea shop when Shouto suddenly let out a quiet but excited gasp before he beelined towards a shop across the way like a moth to the light. 

“What the fuck are you-” He cut himself off when he noticed the black cat that lounged in said store’s window, fluffy tail flicking contently as it stared benignly at passerby with its one eye. Katsuki rolled his eyes but still felt a certain fondness when he watched Shouto hold a finger up to the glass and nearly lose his composure when the cat started to rub its face against the glass for affection. Without hesitation, Shouto threw open the door and headed inside and Katsuki found himself having to chase after him without even looking at what the store sold. The bell above the door dinged as Katsuki entered and he found Shouto already crouched down with his hand offered out towards the cat.

“Hello, baby,” Shouto said softly as the cat jumped down from its window loft to inspect the hand. “Aren’t you pretty?” 

The cat took a moment to sniff at his fingers and Shouto must have passed that interview with flying colors because soon it nuzzled its little face into his palm. Shouto watched with awe written on his face as the cat began to loudly purr and rub against his leg. 

The cat soon became more frantic with its movements and placed its front paws on his left knee then meowed in a frustrated way that made Shouto quietly ask, “What is it?” 

The cat simply meowed again before attempting to climb up onto Shouto’s thigh and, now seeming to understand what it wanted, he sat cross legged on the ground to allow it to sit in his lap. The feline circled in his lap for a moment before flopping over contently in the crook of Shouto’s left leg to show off its fluffy belly and Katsuki suddenly realized the cat must have been enjoying the warmth that radiated off that side of Shouto’s body. 

Katsuki was so lost in the sight of Shouto giving this enthusiastic kitty some bellyrubs that he didn’t register another person was there until he heard someone say, “Y’all are such a cute couple!” 

Katsuki was jolted out of his reverie and looked up to see a woman had been watching them from where she was seated behind a counter unpacking boxes. She looked to be somewhere in her 50s with her hair done up in a victory curl pin-up style and cat eye glasses that completed the look. She held a hand over her heart, displaying her red painted nails, as she let out a wistful sigh and that’s when Katsuki realized she actually had four arms. “Oh, to be young and in love during the holidays.”

“Let me know if ya need help or are lookin’ for anything in particular.” She continued before revealing what was in the box with a flourish. “We just got ‘em in today, let me know if ya wanna try it on. I can lace someone up in record time! I think one’a these would look fantastic on ya with those red eyes! Doncha think?”

She looked at them both expectantly for an answer but Katsuki was rendered speechless once he fully registered the fact she was holding up a black corset with red ribbing and gold lace. 

Now that he had the chance, a quick look around at their surroundings confirmed that they were currently standing in a corsetry and lingerie shop. 

Katsuki felt a red flush come over his face like a wave up to the tips of his ears and spluttered as the implications presented to him truly sank in. Shouto didn’t seem to be faring much better judging by his pink cheeks and wide eyes as he held onto the fluffy cat like a lifeline.

“Y-yeah.” Shouto quietly muttered before he realized what he said and tried to stammer out a longer, “We just- it’s not- I… um…”

He stood up from where he sat on the ground and held up a purring kitty who had its arms extended, flexing its little beans happily, as Shouto simply said, “Cat.”

Katsuki slapped a hand to his forehead partially out of exasperation and partially in an attempt to cover up his still red face. “We’re just here because he saw your cat and ran in to pet it.”

“Oh! That lil’ ankle biter is Kneesocks, on account of her white hind legs. Looks like she’s taken a liking to ya! She’s usually more of a watch from afar type. Name’s Bettie by the way.” Bettie said, not at all put off by the lack of potential customers or their lackluster conversational skills. Instead, she seemed more than happy to start up a conversation about her cat as Kneesocks begged for attention every time Shouto had the audacity to stop petting her. 

When Shouto asked where Bettie had gotten Kneesocks the two were astounded to learn that she actually ran in the same circle as their teachers. She mentioned how it was a friend of Midnight’s that gave her Kneesocks as a stray and after she found out they went to UA, much to her delight, Bettie went into more detail. Apparently, she worked with Midnight often, which didn’t come as a surprise. After Midnight convinced her to take in a kitten Eraserhead had found their teacher began to routinely show up to the shop to see how the cat was doing, often accompanied by Present Mic. 

They exchanged stories about the heroes for a while and, once the two felt they had a sufficient amount of dirt on their teachers, Katsuki and Shouto took their leave after wishing Bettie and Kneesocks a happy holiday. By the time they left the shop, the sun had begun to set and Katsuki got to witness the look of wonder that came over Shouto’s face as he took in the way the village transformed under the new light. The dusk brought a certain ethereal presence to the lights that adorned the old buildings and created an atmosphere that made even Katsuki’s cold dead heart feel the holiday spirit.

“It’s… It’s really beautiful.” Shouto said as he took in the sights around him, the lights shining in his eyes the same way they had in the icy lake earlier and Katsuki felt the same type of settled contentment at the serene beauty of it. 

“Yeah…” Katsuki breathed out in barely a whisper, not truly even meaning to say it aloud. He shook his head in frustration at the uncharacteristic tone which caused Shouto to look back at him but Katsuki just gruffly said, “Come on, you can see more from the bridge.”

Without even thinking about it Katsuki took Shouto’s hand in his, twining their fingers together, and lead him through the crowds to the bridge they had admired earlier. Shouto made no complaint through and simply continued to look around at the decorations and happy families. A couple passed by them, their hands linked together as they laughed about something as they shared a cup of mulled wine. Shouto stared at the couple for a moment before looking down at their own clasped hands and Katsuki wished, not for the first time, that he knew what was going on inside his head. 

“Close your eyes,” Katsuki ordered once they approached the bridge. 

Shouto complied without hesitation and closed his eyes, “So, this your plan to finally kill me? Drown me in a lake?”

“Shut up. As if I would be that basic.” The corners of Shouto’s mouth quirked upwards and Katsuki guided him to the middle of the bridge. “Alright, open ‘em.”

Shouto’s eyes fluttered open and he inhaled sharply as he took in the scape of the village on the water with a look of awe. The scene looked like something out of a greeting card or like something out of a sappy Christmas movie and Shouto was utterly charmed. 

And Katsuki was right about Shouto’s eyes, when he thought they’d be brighter than any light strung up around them. 

Katsuki blinked and realized that at some point while he was spacing out Shouto had met his gaze. A strange but soft look came to Shouto’s face and Katsuki couldn’t place what it could mean but still felt his heart pick up in speed from its intensity. 

Shouto’s hand hesitantly rose up to Katsuki’s face, his fingers gently running down his jaw as he swiped his thumb across his chin brushing the sensitive chapped skin of his lower lip. Katsuki did his best to suppress a shiver but there was still a noticeable small jolt.

Katsuki swallowed, his mouth feeling much drier than before, and asked with a thick voice. “What was that?” 

Shouto let out a soft hum, eyes not leaving Katsuki’s mouth, and let his hand fall back to his side. “There was a bug.”

“It’s the middle of winter.”

“I know, I was surprised too.” His gaze finally met Katsuki’s again. 

He felt an urge to step forward and close the gap between him and the other boy, a desire to curl up in his warmth like he was no better than the cat they had just met. He knew what it felt like to be held by Shouto now after all those mornings together and that was dangerous because he found himself craving that more and more with each passing day. He had to get his shit under control now because the last thing he wanted was for Shouto to figure out his feelings for him. “We should… probably find everyone else. Before they leave us here or some shit.”

Shouto stood stock still for a moment before quietly replying, “Yeah… let’s do that.” 

Shouto lightly squeezed Katsuki’s hand, reminding him he was still holding it, and silently communicated for him to lead the way. It was these little instances of familiarity that Katsuki was always shocked by but would probably miss the most when this was all said and done. They left the bridge behind and Katsuki did his best to not dwell on the events that just transpired or he would overthink himself to the point of insanity. 

“Do you hear that?” Katsuki furrowed his eyebrows, confused by Shouto’s question, until he registered the sound of music. 

“Huh, yeah, guess the band started up.” 

“The band?” Shouto questioned, interest piqued, as Katsuki just rubbed at his ear. 

“They hire a live band to play here each year. Usually some jazzy shit. Not really my thing.” Katsuki saw Shouto deflate a bit so he quickly backtracked, “We can check it out, though.” 

The band was made up of students from the local middle school and high school jazz club and, based on the setlist, he could tell they got to choose what songs they wanted to cover. They used a decorated gazebo as their stage with their lead singer using a vintage microphone for their slow smooth cover of Everybody Talks while people slow danced in a clearing surrounded by a circle of observers, Katsuki had to admit they were talented, especially considering the age of some of the young musicians. They were certainly enthusiastic, that was for sure, and he had no doubt they prepared a long time for this show.

“I didn’t know there was dancing.” Shouto watched as mostly couples swayed to the music but Shouto just stared at the boy himself, remembering what he had said earlier about his past.

“Teach me.”

Katsuki had no idea what urged him to say that out loud but Shouto’s gaze snapped to him with a look of disbelief that had Katsuki quickly try to backpedal and pull away. “Forget it! Let’s just fucking-”

“No, wait!” Shouto grabbed his hand again and caused Katsuki to stop and look back at him. “I can show you how to dance.” 

Katsuki gave him a dubious look, unsure of what he was playing at, but Shouto’s gaze softened in a way that nearly made Katsuki forget how to breathe as he said, “I want to.” 

Katsuki swallowed thickly but nodded, “... Fine.” 

He allowed Shouto to guide him into the clearing amongst the other dancers but still wasn’t prepared for when Shouto placed his hand on his hip before resting Katsuki’s hand on his shoulder, leaving their other hands clasped together. “I’ll lead.” 

Katsuki immediately bristled at that. “Why the fuck do you get to lead?” 

“Because I’m the one who actually knows how to dance.” Shouto countered and Katsuki scowled in a petty way that caused him to let out a soft chuckle as he started to ease them into a simple sway. It was wild to Katsuki how much that sound could soften his heart. Definitely a lot better than jazz.

“Hmph, yeah well we’ll see who’s leading by the end of this.” Shouto met his eyes with a look of competitive eagerness that made Katsuki have a hard time suppressing a smile. 

Shouto began to explain the different steps as he guided him into actually dancing, holding his waist tighter and pulling him closer in a way that made it hard to actually pay attention. The song ended and the crowd around them clapped but the band didn’t take much time to revel in it before starting up with their next song. It took a moment for Katsuki to recognize it since the cover sounded so different to the original but the lyrics were so familiar it was hard to forget.

 

Can't count the years on one hand

That we've been together

I need the other one to hold you

Make you feel, make you feel better

 

It's not a walk in the park

To love each other

But when our fingers interlock,

Can't deny, can't deny you're worth it

'Cause after all this time I'm still into you

 

Katsuki scowled in concentration and looked down at his feet as he tried and failed to perfect the footwork. It would be so much easier if he wasn’t so damn focused on Shouto’s hands on him and how he’d stroke his thumb across his hip as he offered quiet encouragements. He could tell his face was turning redder by the second and he was becoming like a rubber band about to snap. 

“You don’t need to tell me I’m doing good like I’m a fucking dog.” He hissed.

Shouto remained unfazed as he pulled Katsuki into a sudden and unexpected dip that nearly knocked the wind out of him with a gasp. Katsuki gripped Shouto’s jacket tightly behind his neck to keep from falling and Shouto’s face was so close that he could feel his breath on his cheek as he said, “Do I need to tell you you’re naughty instead?” 

“You asshole.” Katsuki breathed out but Shouto’s eyes were still playful as he pulled him back upright. In retaliation, Katsuki purposefully stepped on his foot with a mocking ‘oops’ when Shouto let out a grunt. 

 

I should be over all the butterflies

But I'm into you 

And baby even on our worst nights

I'm into you

 

Let 'em wonder how we got this far

'Cause I don't really need to wonder at all

Yeah, after all this time I'm still into you

 

Recount the night that

I first met your mother

And on the drive back to my house

I told you that, I told you that I loved ya

 

That ignited somewhat of a war between them. Dancing became a battle of Katsuki purposely trying to step on Shouto’s feet as he dodged his attempts. It was stupidly fun and Katsuki couldn’t even find it in himself to give a flying fuck about how ridiculous they probably looked, dressed in tacky holiday attire and tripping over each other. 

“How am I supposed to let you lead when your footwork is this terrible?” Shouto teased after Katsuki stumbled. 

“Who said anything about you having a choice?” Shouto tilted his head to the side in confusion but Katsuki didn’t give him a chance to say anything before hooking his arms around Shouto’s waist and suddenly hoisted him up with ease. Katsuki laughed loudly when this caused Shouto to let out what could only be described as a surprised squeak. Shouto settled his hands on Katsuki’s shoulders to keep himself steady as Katsuki looked up at him with a devious smile. 

“What are you-” Shouto made another undignified shriek that turned into laughter when Katsuki started spinning them around at a speed that had Shouto holding onto him tighter. 

“You-” Shouto let out a wheeze. “You bastard!”

“Tell me my footwork is terrible again!” Katsuki demanded the challenge but Shouto stared down at him with the look of a man that had not given up yet. 

“Your footwork is-” He had to pause again to let out an uncontrolled laugh, “ awful!

They almost bumped into another couple when Katsuki dropped Shouto into a dip that was even more ridiculous than the last, almost flipping him over. He brought their faces closer together so he could sneer out, “You sure? You fuckin’ sure about that?"

Shouto looked like he wanted to respond but instead he was caught in a complete fit of laughter and Katsuki couldn’t look away. Never in his life had he seen such unbridled joy on this boy’s face and the beauty of it left him stunned. He was so overcome by it that, not wanting to drop Shouto, he righted him again and Shouto’s forehead fell to Katsuki’s shoulder as he laughed off the dregs of his giggle-fit, shoulders shaking. 



You felt the weight of the world

Fall off your shoulder

And to your favorite song

We sang along to the start of forever

And after all this time I'm still into you

 

Some things just, some things just make sense

And one of those is you and I 

Some things just, some things just make sense

And even after all this time 

 

I'm into you, baby, not a day goes by

That I'm not into you

 

The song came to a close and an eruption of cheers came from the sidelines, loud enough to make them both turn to the source at the same time. Katsuki gaped at the sight of his family whooping and applauding as though their buffoonery had been some kind of award-winning tango performance. This, of course, prompted a fair amount of people to look over and stare as well.

“Bravo!” Aunt Mineko shouted.

“Encore! Encore!” Aunt Akasuki joined in with Riku stood next to her snapping like he was at a poetry slam. 

Katsuki’s face snapped back to its usual sneer but, before he had the chance to chew out his family for being obnoxious, a voice called out, “Satomi!” 

Satomi’s eyes widened and the family turned, in almost alarming unison, to see a bubbly looking trumpet player who was enthusiastically waving at Satomi. Her hair was done up in two buns and her coat was just as brightly pink as the color Satomi’s hair turned when she saw her, which didn’t go unnoticed by her siblings. Satomi’s flushed and she offered a little wave that caused a huge grin to appear on the other girl’s face that turned to a look of mild concern when Satomi decked her brother for starting to yell out her phone number. 



»»————- ✼ ————-««



When they got back to the house, Airi gave Katsuki a thumbs up and a wink which was her annoying way of telling him that the plan was now in motion. 

Shouto was currently in a conversation with Katsuki’s grandfather about fire quirks since the old man’s quirk was the ability to conjure fire at his fingertips. It wasn’t especially powerful and his grandpa usually just referred to himself as an overrated lighter but when Katsuki was little it was one of his favorite things. He’d been a pyromaniac since a young age and when he was a toddler his grandpa would sit him on his lap and light a flame at the tip of his finger for Katsuki to stare at to his heart’s content.

“I’m taking him.” Katsuki linked his arm with a surprised Shouto’s and pulled him away, not leaving anything up for debate. 

His grandfather simply laughed, “Thanks for letting me borrow him.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes and Shouto gave his grandpa a small wave goodbye as they left the room. Katsuki lead him into an empty room and turned around prepared to speak but Shouto beat him to the punch. 

“I actually wanted to talk to you. I- um...I have something. For you.” Shouto stumbled over his words a bit but still caught Katsuki completely off guard with his statement. 

“You… What? Why?” He blurted out, lacking a brain to mouth filter at the moment.

“Well, I mean...It’s Christmas? So…” Shouto trailed off, fingers fidgeting nervously, before moving away from Katsuki and grabbing a box hidden behind the piano.

“You didn’t have to do that.”

“I wanted to.” 

Shouto resolutely placed the surprisingly large box into his hands and Katsuki gave him a look, trying to read his face, but the only thing he detected was anticipation. With that, he peeled off the small strip of scotch tape that held the box closed and unceremoniously flipped it open. When he saw the recognizable case that was inside he found himself having to sit down on the nearby couch. 

“How did you….” Katsuki dropped the cardboard box to the ground and flicked open the slick black case revealing a beautiful violin. 

Shouto started speaking faster than usual, “Fuyumi’s friend used to play back in college but doesn’t anymore so I offered to buy it off her. She didn’t play for long so it should be relatively new and in good condition but if you don’t like it I could-”

“It’s fine.” Katsuki quickly said, “It’s...perfect, actually. But, how the hell did you even know I wanted to play violin, I’ve barely told anyone -”

“I overheard you talking to Kirishima about it before class.” 

That made sense. Neither he nor Ejirou were particularly known for being soft-spoken. Katsuki looked back down at the violin in awe, running his fingers against the smooth wood, before remembering why he had dragged Shouto here in the first place. Katsuki carefully placed the violin on the couch next to him and abruptly stood up, walked over to the piano, pushed open the top, and retrieved a pristinely wrapped gift from inside. Apparently their ideas of hiding places weren’t all that far apart. 

“Here.” He shoved the present into Shouto’s chest. “Open.”

Somehow Shouto managed to look surprised for a moment, despite the fact he had just gifted Katsuki a fucking violin , but with a bit more urging from Katsuki he tore into it. Upon seeing the contents, Shouto looked at him with confusion and slight hurt written on his face.

“Gee, thanks,” Shouto said with clear disappointment in his tone as he held up a steeply discounted Endeavor action figure. Meanwhile, Katsuki had checked his phone to see a message from Airi indicating that everything was ready to go. 

“That’s not the only thing, asshole, so wipe that look off your face.” Katsuki reached back into the piano and pulled out some duct tape, which he threw to Shouto to catch, and then held up a single large firework. Katsuki raised an eyebrow, issuing a challenge for Shouto to put two and two together, and after looking between the three items his face lit.

“Are you serious?” There was an undertone childish glee to his voice that made Katsuki grin.

He jerked his head towards the back door in a gesture for Shouto to follow him. “Outside.” 

Shouto nodded, tearing the action figure carelessly out of the box and letting the packaging fall to the floor with the remnants of gift wrap and ribbons already littering the hardwood. Once he'd successfully freed the toy he held his hand out to Katsuki, making impatient grabby hands until he placed the firework in it. Shouto made quick work of taping the explosive to the toy, like some sort of deadly makeshift jetpack, and followed Katsuki out into the snow without a thought spared to grabbing a coat. 

Out in the yard, Katsuki turned around to face him, gesturing to their surroundings with a wild look in his eyes. "Merry Christmas."

Shouto let out an awestruck breathy laugh as took in the sight of dozens of various fireworks set up across the yard just begging to be set off. When they got back from the festival, his cousins had helped Katsuki set up this surprise by planting the fireworks in the yard while Shouto was distracted. He was sure this meant that they were watching from some window but he couldn’t find it in himself to care at the moment. 

Katsuki popped off some sparks in the palm of his hands, ”After you.”

Shouto planted the doomed toy in the middle of the yard and lit a flame at the tip of his pointer finger which he used to set the fuse of the firework alight. He quickly ran back to Katsuki’s side at a decent, but not exactly what one would consider ‘safe’ distance. Shouto watched in anticipation as the fuse steadily burnt away and unconsciously placed a hand on Katsuki’s bicep, which made Katsuki slightly puff out his chest in pride that his gift seemed to be so enjoyed. He didn’t have much time to dwell on the simple touch before there was a loud pop and then a whizz that cut through the air as the pyrotechnic launched into the sky. 

It was comical in an almost cartoonish way to see the action figure fly across the night sky like a shooting star before it exploded into a million pieces in a blue shower of shimmering light. They both stared up at the display until flaming chunks of plastic headed their way and, at the same time, they pushed each other out of the way of the oncoming debris. 

A burning piece of arm fell at Shouto’s feet, sizzling against the show, and the boy stared at it for a moment before breaking into laughter. A feral grin lit up Katsuki’s face and he let out an exhilarated shout and he began to run through the yard lighting fuses as he passed. When Shouto realized what he was doing he shot him a playful look and quickly joined him in his escapade. 

Katsuki felt lighter than he had in a long time, running through the snow and occasionally bumping into each other and laughing like idiots. As the fireworks exploded above them they illuminated the stupid grin on Shouto’s face that Katsuki wished he could see every damn day. The sight was so beautiful that Katsuki was momentarily frozen in place before Shouto grabbed him by the arm and pulled him out of the way of some still burning bits of fireworks that were falling to the ground. A cacophony of explosions ripped through the air as all of the fireworks started to go off at the same time. The two were taken by another fit of laughter when they had to continuously push and pull each other out of the way of the falling debris. 

Katsuki looked over at Shouto to see the rare open joy that had been displayed on his face through the night and, although the happiness was still there, in the dark he saw a single tear sparkle in the light of the fireworks as it rolled down Shouto’s cheek. 

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

That night, when Katsuki shut off the light and climbed into bed next to Shouto, he hesitated only momentarily before he threw caution to the wind. Katsuki lifted Shouto’s arm and tucked himself into his side, resting his head against Shouto’s chest, and took in a deep breath as he tried to calm his rising heart rate. The boy underneath him tensed and his chest went still as he stopped breathing and Katsuki was prepared to jump back up with some excuse on the tip of his tongue so he could pretend like it never happened.

However, Shouto surprised him by letting his arm fall across his back with his hand resting on Katsuki’s shoulder. Shouto let out a shaky breath as he relaxed but didn’t say anything and Katsuki found himself sinking into the comfort and warmth of the moment, not saying a word for fear of ruining the moment. 

He dreaded what tomorrow would bring but, for now at least, he could have this.

 

Chapter Text

 

It had been two days since Katsuki had returned to the UA dorms and he couldn’t fall asleep to save his goddamn life.

He rolled over in his bed for what must have been the hundredth time and blindly swiped at the shelf above his bed until his hand fell on his alarm clock. He grabbed it and held the object in front of his face, bleary eyes adjusting to its red glow as he processed the numbers.

4:13 am.

Fuck

He growled and angrily tossed the clock to the side, getting no satisfaction as he heard it fall to the ground with a loud clunk. He rolled over yet again and pulled his blanket up to his face, hiding his cold nose underneath the sheets and regretting everything that lead him to this moment. Scrunching his eyes closed, he silently fumed as the memories that insisted upon torturing him washed over him with renewed force. 



When Katsuki had woken up the morning after Christmas, he spent what was probably an embarrassing amount of time staring at Shouto as he slept. He’d internally debated the idea of actually telling the boy how he felt but he knew that he couldn’t. As nice as the week had been it was still all an act - one that had now come to an end and he had to accept that. Emotions like this were messy, unpredictable, and overall a detriment to a straightforward life which is why he had vowed to never have them. This was just another distraction he didn’t need, especially as an aspiring hero.

He swallowed thickly, looking down at Shouto’s serene face as he slept, and tried to convince himself that was true.

He slipped out of bed, careful not to wake the other boy, and silently went about getting ready for the day before sneaking out the bedroom door. It somehow felt like a coward’s move but he didn’t know if he could handle the sight of a sleepy Shouto, soft and open in the warm glow of the December light filtering through the curtains. 

The transition from being warm and comfortable in the quiet sanctuary of his shared bed to the chaos that made its way into every moment with his family left everything feeling even more hectic than usual, despite how accustomed to it Katsuki was. Between breakfast, packing, and Masato having a destructive tantrum about having to leave, he felt high-strung and irritable. Luckily, the chaos meant everyone was too distracted by making sure Masato didn’t blow up the dining room to pay attention to Katsuki’s sour mood. 

When Shouto made his way into the room he was almost immediately swept into conversation by Riku, Mai, and Airi who all wanted to know what he thought about his Christmas gift. At the same time, the twins were trying to occupy Shouto’s attention by any means necessary, in this case trying to discourage their cousins’ current monopoly on him by shooting spitballs at the back of their cousins’ heads. 

Actually getting out of the house turned out to be much harder than Katsuki expected it to be. Earlier in the week he thought that he would be itching to get out of there but now that he was confronted by the moment it was more bittersweet than he expected. He was holding Masato, who had his arms clamped around his neck in a hug, while Shouto was stuck in the embrace of Katsuki’s mother. 

“And don’t you dare fucking forget that you’re welcome at our house anytime . You hear me?! Anytime . I gave you both Masaru and I’s home and work numbers for a reason. So don’t be afraid to use them, okay? And update me on Katsuki once in a while since apparently it's too difficult for him to text his own mother about important things in his life like having a wonderful sweet handsome boyfriend.” Over Shouto’s shoulder, Katsuki’s mom sent him a lighthearted glare that was teasing but still held enough resentment to indicate she still was upset about being left out of the loop. 

“Yeah…” Shouto’s voice was muffled due to the tight embrace he was trapped in but unlike when he had first arrived he actually hugged her back.

A chain reaction of hugs began where everyone fought their way forward to get at Katsuki or Shouto to pull them into a steel armed hug. Masato still wouldn’t let go of Katsuki so the little boy ended up squished between every hug like a small buffer. 

“C’mon, brat, I gotta go,” Katsuki said softly and rubbed Masato’s back.

“No!” Masato just tightened the grip on his cousin and buried his face further into his shoulder. “I’m going with you!” 

Katsuki sighed, trying to think of what to do about the stubbornly clingy child, knowing that Masato was going to make leaving as difficult as humanly possible. It caught him off guard when Shouto decided to step in, placing a hand on Masato’s shoulder and giving it a small squeeze. “Masato?”

The little boy hesitantly turned his face towards Shouto so it was no longer hidden in the fabric of Katsuki’s jacket and let out a little sniffle.

“I know it’s hard to say goodbye when you care about someone… but this isn’t the last time you’ll be seeing him. You know, If you ever needed Katsuki pretty I’m sure he would rearrange time and space to get to you. He’s just that kind of person.” Katsuki scoffed at that but Masato let out a quiet giggle, knowing that was true. “But right now I think there is someone that needs you more than you know.”

Masato followed Shouto’s gaze to where aunt Hisa was stood, watching with a watery smile, and Shouto continued, “If you go with Katsuki then you would be leaving your mother alone.”

The child was quiet for a moment, biting his lip and considering Shouto’s words, before he finally loosened his grip on his cousin, allowing Katsuki to pass the little boy into his mother’s waiting arms.

“There’s my little hero.” Aunt Hisa cooed. “Where would I be without you protecting me?” 

She blew a raspberry onto Masato’s cheek, erasing whatever dregs of sadness were left on his face as he erupted into high pitched peals of laughter. 

“I’ll try to come by some weekend soon,” Katsuki said as though he wasn’t already mentally rearranging his schedule so he could visit. “I’ll cook or something.”

“We could play heroes and villains!” Masato excitedly piped up but then tired to look more serious. “Wait, I mean- we can train.” 

 “Why don’t you bring Shouto along, too?” Aunt Hisa suggested and Masato nodded emphatically. Katsuki clenched his jaw and tried to look anywhere but them as he nodded knowing damn well by then he would have to tell them he and Shouto broke up.

“That sounds nice…” Shouto said carefully and Katsuki was sure the same thought was weighing on his mind. 

“We should go. Traffic.” Katsuki gruffly stated, trying not to let any of his emotions show. He patted down his pockets for his keys but furrowed his eyebrows in confusion when he couldn’t feel the shape of them. He turned out his pockets and when they were still nowhere to be seen he sent an accusatory glare towards the twins. “Keys. Now.”

He demandingly stuck his hand out, leaving no room for debate, but the twins still attempted to put on their innocent routine. 

“What? Who? Us? I don’t- what would ever make you think-” Daiki stammered but Chiho stepped forward and took over for him.

“We refuse to speak until we have our lawyer present.” 

Katsuki rolled his eyes at the antics and repeated, “Give me the keys.”

The twins groaned in unison, seeming genuinely disappointed that their plan didn’t work, and Chiho reluctantly placed the keys into his hand with a pout. She looked like she wanted to say something else but grappled with her words before giving up and giving her brother a meaningful look. Suddenly the two ran forward and hugged Shouto tightly but released him and acted like the moment had never even occurred before Shouto could even react. 

It took a while to weasel his way out of the grip of his family but Airi attempting to give Shouto a suspiciously long hug proved to be the last straw for his fraying patience. Katsuki pried her off of him, glaring at her amused grin, and dragged Shouto out the door behind him as he yelled out one last annoyed goodbye and slammed the door behind them. There was a beat of silence before Katsuki threw the door back open and grabbed the bags he had forgotten, slamming the door once again for dramatic effect and growling at the laughs he heard behind it. He threw the bags into the trunk and swatted away Shouto’s hands when he tried to help.

“Just get in the car,” Katsuki ordered and tossed the keys to the other boy. “Start the heat up so I don’t freeze my ass off. Touch anything else and you’ll have to sleep with one eye open.”

Moments later, the windshield wipers started up and a confused but vaguely alarmed noise came from the passengers side of the vehicle. Katsuki let out a deep sigh before closing the trunk and climbing into the car, where Shouto was currently attempting to figure out the car’s console. Katsuki reached over him and, in just a few easy movements, put a stop to the wipers and started up the heat. 

“Don’t even try to explain to me how you managed to do that.” He said as he leaned back in his seat and pinched the bridge of his nose. 

“I couldn’t even if I wanted to.”

They fell into silence as Katsuki drove away from his aunt’s estate and, subsequently, away from the idyllic farce he and Shouto had been living. Towards a world where, at least in Katsuki’s mind, they weren’t even friends. Katsuki’s grip on the wheel tightened and he had to consciously remind himself to stop grinding his teeth the way he tended to do when stressed. 

The silence was different than the one that they shared on the way to the family reunion. Back then it was comfortable, with light conversation interlaced throughout and a slight air of anticipation, but this time it was as though a dark tense cloud had settled over them. Logically he knew that they needed to talk, but stubbornly he didn’t want to. In need of a distraction, Katsuki flicked on the radio to a random station but that simply caused Last Christmas by Wham! to suddenly start loudly blaring through the speakers. It wasn’t even Christmas anymore so Katsuki couldn’t even fathom by stations were still playing this shit.

Shouto jumped slightly at the noise and automatically reached for the volume control at the same time as Katsuki did. Their fingers touched for only a second but it was enough to make Katsuki quickly jerk his hand back and curse under his breath. Shouto lowered the volume but Katsuki could still feel his eyes boring into him. 

There was a tense moment where neither of them said anything and Katsuki continued to look ahead at the road as though this would all go away if he ignored it. Of course it didn’t help, and as the miles added up behind them, he just felt more jittery and on edge.

“What?” Katsuki snapped, frustrated mostly with himself and how he was feeling. 

Shouto finally looked away and turned his gaze out the window as he quickly responded, “Nothing.”

“Bullshit.” It was easy for Katsuki to see that there was something on Shouto’s mind that he wasn’t saying and he could feel anxiety growing in spikes inside of him like ice under his skin. “You’ve been staring at me for the last 10 minutes. If you have something to say than just fucking say it.”

“I don’t.” 

“Then what’s your problem?”

“There isn’t one,” Shouto said curtly in a way that didn’t sit well with Katsuki. Normally Katsuki wouldn’t press anymore and would be content leaving things where they were, but there was an edge to Shouto’s voice that indicated something was wrong. Shouto was lying to him and he wanted to know why.

“Alright, well why are you acting like a kicked puppy then?”

“I’m fine.” Shouto insisted coldly and threw a sideways glance at Katsuki with his patented neutral mask present on his face. “You know, you don’t have to keep acting like you care about how I feel.”

Oh. 

Hurt flooded through Katsuki like a hot wave but all he could do was grip the steering wheel tight enough for his knuckles to go white and pretend those words did nothing to him. His throat felt constricted as he swallowed down the unexpected pain of rejection that actually hearing those words brought forward. The statement just confirmed to him that this entire time had been an act for Shouto and that any feelings Katsuki had were unrequited and, more painfully, unwanted. Logically he knew things would have to go back to the way they had been before but at this point he hardly knew what that meant since the more Katsuki looked back on his past with the boy the more he could see that he’d always cared too deeply for Shouto. 

“Yeah I’ll get right on that,” Katsuki said thickly, hoping that sarcasm could cover his emotions. 

“You're really good at not giving a shit about other people most of the time, should be easy.” In his peripheral vision it looked like Shouto regretted his words almost as soon as he said them but it was too late.

The car suddenly felt far too small for Katsuki. There was a telltale stinging behind his eyes that frustrated him to no end and made him want to bolt away to be alone and lick his wounds. It was like he was a cornered wolf with nowhere to go and like any hurt animal there was only one thing he could think to do.

Lash out. 

“Do you want me to be bitchy? Because I can fucking get there .” He snapped with gritted teeth, biting the inside of his cheek as he tried to hold himself together. 

Shouto’s expression turned to steel. “I was under the impression you already were.”

“If you think this is anything other than me being delightful then you are in for a fucking treat.” Katsuki realized that he was now driving far above the speed limit and lessened the weight on the gas pedal some before adding, “Look, we’re almost back to UA so if you can stomach two more minutes of my presence I’ll be out of your hair and we can get on with our fucking lives.” 

The air around them was tense and quiet but it felt like the words they just exchanged were still ringing clearly in Katsuki’s ears. He already knew he would come to regret his dismissive words later but at the moment he still felt raw as Shouto turned to look out the window again, ignoring his presence. 

 

That was the last real conversation he’d had with Shouto.

 

Not to say that they didn’t talk at all . After a curt parting of ways in the parking lot, whenever he and Shouto crossed paths their interactions ended up reduced to something akin to a terse business meeting. All the warmth that was once held in Shouto’s voice was lost each time he briefly greeted him in a quiet hallway or glanced at him in a busy common room. More frustrating than anything was the fact that there was a lack of any emotion at all. Shouto’s words were so carefully guarded that it reminded him of when they had first met. It left Katsuki feeling like he was treating water in the open ocean. Like there was something left for him to say but it was so beyond his reach that he couldn’t see it. 

 

Which brought Katsuki to where he was now, tossing and turning because he couldn’t fucking sleep now without that bastard snoring in his ear. 

He glanced at the clock that was now laying on the ground and let out a frustrated groan when he saw 5:09 glaring back at him. Resigning himself to the fact he wouldn’t be getting any sleep, Katsuki threw off his blanket with an annoyed grunt and ran a hand through his hair before finally deciding that he definitely wanted to hit something. 

Quickly he changed into his gym clothes, pulling on sweatpants and a sleeveless hoodie he’d opted for over his usual tank due to the snow flurries he saw lightly cascading past his window. After lacing up his sneakers, he unceremoniously started to loudly kick and punch the wall between his and Kirishima’s room to the beat of We Will Rock You by Queen until he heard a tumbling sound and a notable startled noise. He and Eijirou had devised this mode of communication in their first year, not long after they initially moved into the dorms. The code was the easiest way they had found to say ‘get the fuck over here right now’ and it didn’t take long at all for Katsuki to hear rapid footsteps headed towards his door. 

“What’s up, man?” Kirishima’s voice came muffled through the door but concern was evident in his voice. 

Katsuki threw open the door to a surprisingly awake but disheveled Ejirou, hair loosely tied back into a bun, stood like he was just about to knock on the door. Katsuki ducked under his raised arm and, as he walked past him, briskly said, “Gym. 20 minutes.” 

“Early morning gym sesh?” Kirishima visibly brightened. “Hell yeah! I need to work off all those latkes, I’m starting to feel like a potato pancake myself.” 

Kirishima patted his stomach dramatically as though there was anything other than rock hard abs underneath his sweatshirt and Katsuki rolled his eyes at the display, secretly grateful he seemed to be on board with the idea. Eijirou just gave him a toothy grin in response that on anyone else with teeth like that would be intimidating, but on him it just radiated friendly vibes.

“Well, have fun with that. I’m still eating the rest of that apple crumble for breakfast.” Usually Katsuki prided himself on a fairly healthy diet that went along with his strict training as a hero but, with the way things were going for him at the moment, he felt the selfish need to eat his sorrows just this one time. Not to mention that Kirishima’s grandmother’s recipe was legendary and he was still waiting for the day he could get his hands on it.

“Mina’s gonna be so pissed if you finish it before she can get a piece. You’re gonna be in a world of hurt, bro.” 

“That’s her own damn fault for not waking up earlier than me. We have class today, if she’s not up until 15 minutes before class, like usual, then I hold no fucking sympathy.” Katsuki turned around and started heading for the elevator as he said over his shoulder, “Get changed before I leave without you.” 

“Sure thing! Meet you in the common room.” 

Katsuki just made a shooing gesture towards him without looking back as acknowledgement that he heard him but also tell him to go fucking get ready already.

Once on the main floor. Katsuki took a detour to the kitchen to fill his water bottle but when he headed into the common room he stopped dead in his tracks from the sight in front of him.

Shinsou was comfortably lounging on the common room couch, illuminated by his laptop on the little table in front of him quietly playing Finding Dory, but he was not at all paying attention to the movie. Instead, he was fixated on the lump of messy blond hair on his lap where Kaminari was ungracefully snoring open-mouthed as he slept with his head resting on Shinsou’s thigh. Shinsou’s fingers idly brushed through Denki’s hair like one might absentmindedly pet a cat, but what really struck Katsuki was the way he looked down at the sleeping boy. 

Normally Shinsou’s eyes could be described as cool and calculated, since for him a good poker face could be the difference between a battle won and a battle lost. At that moment, though, an array of emotions openly passed through Shinsou’s eyes that ranged from awe to amusement to what could only be described as pure adoration. It made Katsuki feel like he got a glimpse into something he was never supposed to see. 

After getting into the hero program in their second year, Shinsou transferred to Class A and moved into the dorms and Kaminari had acted like a man who’d just won the lottery. The move hadn’t been that difficult for Shinsou since he already lived on UA property with his dads, Aizawa and Present Mic, and sister, Eri. They hadn’t known that, of course, until they were all shocked by their teachers showing up with boxes of Shinsou’s things and toting along a very excited Eri. 

But, it was a moment that happened a few months later that really stuck out in Katsuki’s mind. 



It was a regular late afternoon for him and his group of friends, all tucked away in Sero’s room after a study session forced upon them by Katsuki. The attention of the group could only be held for so long though so eventually Katsuki gave up and just resigned himself to continuing his studies for their upcoming test the next day alone while his friends picked up other activities to occupy themselves. Mina was guiding Eijirou through how to give her a manicure since the boy wanted to repay her after she’d painted his nails. Eijirou was locked in concentration as he carefully tried to paint the pink girl’s nails his own selection of gaudy colors that certainly weren’t Katsuki’s taste but if anyone could pull them off it was Mina. Sero was playing Stardew Valley on his Switch while Denki watched absentmindedly, laying across the bed as he repeatedly threw a basketball up into the air above him to catch as he worked through his romantic woes.

“It's just like- he’s just- I’m a disaster, you guys.” Kaminari groaned after he recalled his most recent snafu regarding his quest to woo the dorm’s resident insomniac involving an unfortunate run in with some territorial pigeons. “It’s like I just completely forget how to be my usual suave and charming self around him.”

“The first thing he fucking said when he came in for joint practice was that he wasn’t here to make friends, so what the hell makes you think he’s here to make boyfriends .” Katsuki bluntly said without even looking up from his textbook.

“I’m gonna make that boy my husband,” Kaminari responded with a wistful sigh as though he hadn’t even heard him. “And I’m totally already friends with Shinsou. He definitely smiled at me yesterday and that’s like… emotional first base.”

“I wanna talk about the fact that you think you’re ‘ suave and charming ’.” Sero snickered until he received a light zap in the back of the head from Kaminari. Due to the distraction, Kaminari ended up accidentally hitting himself in the face with the basketball as it came down upon his nose and Sero resumed his laughter tenfold. Katsuki even found himself laughing a bit at the display. 

“You ok, man?” Kirishima asked with concern and Denki nodded as he pinched the bridge of his nose with a wince. “I don’t think you guys are giving him enough credit. I mean, he has befriended pretty much everyone in the class. I think if anyone can weasel their way into Shinsou’s heart it’s Denks.”

Kaminari’s hand fell to his heart before he stretched out for an awkward across the room brofist of solidarity.

“Yeah, I mean he friended the shit out of Katsuki.” Mina piped up as Kirishima started to finish off her nails with a sparkly topcoat. 

Katsuki looked up and quickly corrected her by saying, “I tolerate him.”

“Aw, I love you too, dude.” Kaminari mimed wiping a tear from his eye but did look genuinely touched. 

“Why don’t you just ask eyebags out already so you can stop bothering us with it? You already ask anyone that breathes on a date, what makes it so hard to ask him to go to Mcdonald’s to get a mcfucking burger?” Katsuki was frankly just exhausted with the topic and wanted to get back to his work. 

“Hey! Have some sympathy! He’s yearning.” Mina scolded as she gave Katsuki a smack on the arm and Eijirou gasped in worry about her nails. 

“No… he’s right.” Kaminari let out a deep sigh and pouted. “It should be easy. It’s just not this time. I don’t know… when I like someone I just ask them out right away but with Shinsou I just...I got to know him, you know? And I really like him. I like like him.”

Mina gasped. “ Like like?”

“He used the L word.” Sero whispered in awe.

“Usually when I ask someone on a date it’s not that big of a deal if I get rejected, but the idea of a rejection from him is just… it hurts.” 

When Denki said that, Katsuki furrowed his eyebrows but didn’t say anything. The fact of that moment was that he didn’t understand and he wasn’t about to sit there and pretend like he did. If someone didn’t like Katsuki then he would just think ‘well that’s their fucking problem’ and move on with his damn life instead of wasting any more time on them. What the fuck could someone do that would make them any different from the rest? 

Understanding dawned on Katsuki and, as he watched Kaminari smile in his sleep with Shinsou’s hand in his hair, the only thing he could think about was how badly he wished he could be asleep right now with Shouto’s arm around his waist.

“If you hurt him then I’ll make sure you’re the one that’s hurtin’, got it?” Katsuki’s voice was thick but it was easy enough to blame on the late hour. Shinsou didn’t jump in surprise but Katsuki could tell he caught him off guard by the way his shoulders tensed and his steely gaze snapped to his, lacking the soft affection they held seconds ago. Once he saw that it was just Katsuki he relaxed only slightly, leaning back into his seat and resting his arm on the back of the couch as though his hand wasn’t just in Kaminari’s hair. With this movement Kaminari curled up even smaller, somehow displeased that the attention was no longer on him despite being asleep.

“I’d hope you would,” Shinsou said with a sincerity that surprised Katsuki, though not enough for it to show through his carefully schooled expression. Instead, he leveled Shinsou with a glare that issued an unspoken challenge: ‘show me you’re dead serious or you’ll be dead’. Shinsou met and held his gaze with unwavering eyes as a tense minute passed by them before Katsuki nodded. 

“Good answer.”

He started to walk off, prepared at this point to just wait out in the cold instead of staying in the already occupied common room but paused when Shinsou spoke again.

“He’s worried about you.” Katsuki wasn’t able to hide his confusion at these words and looked back at him to see that Shinsou was watching his reaction carefully.

“What?” 

“Denki.” Shinsou clarified. “He’s worried about you. Something about some cryptic texts during break and being distant yesterday.” 



Yesterday had been the last day of their holiday break before class started again so, of course, Kaminari had waited until the last minute to return to the dorms. It had been Mina’s idea to wait for his arrival in the common room by wasting time playing Mario Party. Sero, Ashido, and Kirishima all squished themselves into one loveseat in front of the screen as Katsuki took a more solitary seat on a nearby armchair. Sero tossed him his controller, character already preselected for him, and started up the game as they waited for their friend. In their years together at UA they had always played as the same characters when Mario Party was pulled out, with Katsuki as Yoshi, Kirishima as Toad, Sero as Waluigi, Ashido as Mario, and Kaminari as Princess Peach. In fact, their choices were so infamous that in their second year they all decided to dress up as the characters for Halloween. 

It didn’t take long into the game for them to create a commotion loud enough to attract attention from others in the dorm. Katsuki was in the middle of threatening to shove Sero’s hand down the garbage disposal for stealing one of his stars when Jirou walked into the room, hand in hand with Yaoyorozu. 

“Mario Party?” Jirou said amused. “You guys were making so much noise I thought Denki was here already. I was ready to save him from Bakugou’s wrath.” 

“But you did save me and for that I humbly offer you a high five of gratitude,” Sero said with his trademark wide grin. When Sero held his hand up, Katsuki grabbed it bending his arm back not too far but enough make Sero let out a pained yelp that caused the group to laugh.

“Think twice before fucking with me, elbows,” Katsuki whispered the threat near his ear before sitting back down in his armchair like it was a throne. 

Sero remained frozen with a scared look on his face that sent the room into another round of laughter except for one person.

Yaoyorozu stared at Katsuki with a look on her face that was equal parts like she was trying to solve a Rubik's cube and equal parts like she had just sucked on a lemon. He didn’t know what to make of the expression but more pressing than that was the bitter feeling that rose up inside of him at the sight of her. Logically, he knew it was ridiculous since the girl was now in a happy relationship and it wasn’t like he could stake any type of claim over Shouto but that didn’t stop the rush of jealousy that hit him as he remembered what Shouto had said about kissing Yaoyorozu in the past. In the time he had just spent playing games with his friends he had managed to forget the happenings of the past week but those feelings came back full force as he tried to shake the image of Shouto kissing her out of his mind. 

“We were all actually waiting for Denki so if you two want you could hang with us too.” Kirishima offered. 

Mina immediately grinned. “Hell yeah! Pull up a chair, let’s make this a party!”

“Alright, but when you start the next round I get to play as Shy Guy.” A little smile grew on Jirou’s face when Mina let out a loud whoop and she turned to Yaoyorozu. “What do you think, babe? Wanna play?”

At Jirou’s voice, Yaoyorozu was pulled out of whatever thoughts had been going through her head. Jirou raised an eyebrow and even though she didn’t say anything it was clear that she knew something was on her girlfriend’s mind.

“Thank you for the offer but I think I’ll just watch.” She said politely before pulling Jirou along to one of the unoccupied couches. Yaoyorozu patted the tops of her legs and Jirou’s smile grew in understanding before she took a sideways seat on the couch, her own legs over Yaoyorozu’s lap so the girl could rest her arms on them. It was sickeningly sweet and Katsuki didn’t even realize he had been glaring until he felt his face soften. Fuck, he really needed to get it together.

As time went on, Yaoyorozu continued to steal glances at Katsuki before awkwardly looking away when she accidentally made eye contact. It wasn’t very hard to deduce that she must have talked to Shouto but it was impossible to say what exactly he’d told her. The possibilities of what Shouto could have said to her plagued his thoughts and his friends noticed the sudden change in his energy. Eijirou in particular threw Katsuki a concerned look that he just knew meant his friend was only moments away from asking him what was wrong, but luckily Katsuki was saved by Kaminari’s arrival. 

The noise of a door opening and closing sounded through the common room and it didn’t take long at all for them to see a distinctive head of blond hair poke past the doorway. Even behind the scarf he wore Kaminari’s large grin could be seen the moment he realized his friends were there and he dropped the bags he had lugged in behind him. 

“Hey guys!” Joyful surprise was evident in Kaminari’s voice and he held his arms open, fully prepared for how Mina vaulted over the back of the couch to give him a welcoming hug which pulled a laugh out of the boy. “What’s cookin’, good lookin’?” 

“Not a thing, chicken wing,” Ashido responded without pause. “How was your winter getaway? Is your side doing any better?”

Denki launched into a story about his time skiing with his parents and two sisters, all the while going around greeting each of his friends with an excited hug. Katsuki wasn’t sure what it was, maybe his lack of comment or the fact he let Kaminari sling an arm around his shoulders without protest, but it was easy to see that even Kaminari could tell something was off about him. Shit, he was acting like such a loser. 

Kaminari was showing off a large bruise that spanned across his ribs from falling down the ski slope, which had turned yellow and blue from healing, and Sero was in the middle of commenting on how it looked like a sideways Mickey Mouse when a smooth voice spoke up from the doorway.

“I can’t believe you didn’t have a broken rib, that looks even bigger in person.” 

It shouldn’t have been possible for Kaminari’s demeanor to brighten any more but somehow the moment he turned around and saw Shinsou standing there awkwardly in the doorway the blond’s face lit up further. 

“Hey,” Kaminari said with breathy excitement as he looked the other boy up and down before a smirk came to his face. “Wanna know what else looks bigger in person?”

Shinsou’s lips quirked up at the corners and amusement was evident in his eyes but, if anyone were to look close enough, a slight flush could be seen on the tips of his ears. Shinsou slightly cocked his head to the side and raised an eyebrow, feigning indifference as he said, “Oh I already know about your huge ego.” 

A loud cackle immediately came from Mina who was now sitting on the arm of one of the couches as she watched the scene play out. Kaminari looked surprised for a moment but recovered quickly and let out a laugh of his own that made Shinsou stand slightly taller as though he was proud of himself. That of course was when Denki completely caught Shinsou off guard when he ran over and threw his arms around him in a tight hug.

“I missed you, dude!” Denki said with such sincerity that Shinsou looked stunned to silence before he finally wrapped his arms around the smaller boy’s frame.

“I missed you, too.” 

Between that and the happy couple sitting together on the couch, a heavy and uncomfortable weight had settled inside of Katsuki’s chest. It felt absurd to him to feel this way just because he couldn’t have what they had but that didn’t stop Katsuki from silently slipping out so he could return to his room. 



And now all he could feel was frustration at Shinsou who had his chance at love snoozing away in his lap but wouldn’t take it . He had everything Katsuki wanted but was too much of a coward to do anything about it when he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Needless to say, Katsuki was absolutely done with this bullshit. 

“Instead of prying into my shit how about you sort out your own.” Katsuki’s voice came out as a low annoyed growl but Shinsou didn’t even flinch.  “Just ask him out already because if I have to listen to him wax poetic about your face one more fucking time I’m going to break it.” 

That finally broke through Shinsou’s poker face as his eyebrows shot up as he digested Katsuki’s words. Katsuki didn’t give him any time to respond before he stomped out of the room and left the dorms, preferring to take his chance in the cold, and texted Eijirou to just meet him at the gym.

And if Katsuki slammed the door behind him hard enough to wake up Denki, well, that would just have to be Shinsou’s problem. 

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««



Despite his ongoing lack of sleep, excess energy buzzed under Katsuki’s skin and it turned out an early morning workout session was exactly what he needed. He did his best to purge the thoughts of Shouto from his mind and instead focused on the burn of his muscles as he pushed himself past his usual limit. 

Katsuki didn’t realize how out of breath he was until he finally stopped the treadmill he was using and nearly started coughing when he finally let his lungs fully fill with air. Blood rushed loudly in his ears as his heart worked double time as Katsuki took a moment to cool down and wipe the sweat not only from his brow but also from his hands as not to become a safety hazard. 

As his heart rate calmed he realized that at some point Kirishima must have hooked up his phone to the speaker that was kept in the gym since his special playlist lovingly titled ‘Eiji’s Cool Vibes Gym Jamz Mix’ was playing. It was a playlist Katsuki was all too familiar with, against his will, but even though the songs were not his particular taste he was able to use it to gauge how much time had actually passed. For instance, judging by the fact Macho Man by The Village People had just wrapped up, he could tell that he must have started the music around 15 minutes ago. Katsuki looked up in confusion when the next song started to play because somehow it was one he didn’t recognize.

“Hey, Shitty Hair!” At the sound of his nickname, Eijirou turned around from where he was lifting weights. “What the hell is this?”

There was a moment where Eijirou looked confused about what Katsuki was talking about but his face lit up as he realized it was about the music.

“Fitness by Lizzo! It’s great right? Really gets me fired up.” The boy gave him a toothy grin before he did a little dance that seemed like something a dad would do to embarrass his kid at a barbeque. “Mina introduced me. I didn't think you even listened to what I usually put on.”

“I don’t.”

Kirishima gave him a doubtful look but didn’t give him any grief on the subject. Instead he began to playfully dance closer and closer to him, trying to get him involved in the music, but it just caused Katsuki to roll his eyes with a short laugh that he would deny to this day.

“C’mon,” Katsuki slapped his friend’s arm and gestured with his head towards a weight set. “I wanna do some bench presses. Spot me.”

“I got you, man.” It was difficult not to feel some kind of reassurance from who he could admit by now was his best friend. Eijirou had an easy way of somehow supporting him and meeting him halfway without making it feel like he was looking down on him or pitying him in any way. 

It was once Eijirou had him trapped under the bar during his 3rd set of bench presses that he leaned over the bar and said above him, “So what’s going on with you lately, Bakubro? You’ve been kinda off. Wanna talk about it?”

Katsuki took back everything he just thought.

He looked up at Kirishima with a scowl and, even though he was laying on the bench, he was flexible enough to high kick him right in the forehead. 

Of course, Eijirou knew him well enough by now to predict his outburst and protect himself by quickly turning his forehead to stone. Katsuki let out an involuntary noise of pain at his stubbed toe but refused to otherwise show it affected him at all. Kirishima laughed from above him and Kasuki briefly thought about throwing caution to the wind and kicking him again but that’s when Kirishima said, “Alright, alright. You don’t want to talk about it. You wanna hit something, then?” 

That pulled a smile out of Katsuki and he answered the question by placing the bar back in its holder. 

Sparring with each other had become a regular thing for Katsuki and Eijirou since the beginning of their first year. Early on Katsuki had convinced himself it was just out of convenience since he wouldn’t have to hold back while the blasts from his hands gave Kirishima a suitable way to strengthen his quirk. The real truth of the matter was that it had always been fun. 

A feral grin crossed Katsuki’s face and he bit the tip of his tongue between his teeth as he took his spot across from his friend on the sparring mat. Kirishima’s friendly smile turned to something far more competitive in nature as he hardened his fists and banged them together twice, the loud clangs ringing through the gym over the sound of It’s Tricky by Run DMC now playing through the speakers. With that, the two ran at each other.

As they sparred, Katsuki could finally feel some of the frustration that had been building up inside him begin to ebb away but despite the relief something still felt stuck. Although his anger lessened it left behind a hollow feeling of hurt that had nothing to do with the hit Eijirou had just landed on him. All he could think about was Shouto and the moments between them that had felt so real to him that he found himself yearning to have that intimacy back despite it all just being an act. It hurt that Shouto now avoided him like the plague and it hurt that the object of his affections could barely look at him but the worst part was that he had no one to blame but himself. The person he was frustrated and angry with was himself because he was too much of a coward to do anything about his feelings and all he was ever good at was pushing people away.

Kirishima seemed to sense the was hardly paying attention to the fight anymore but he still didn’t hold back and Katsuki was thankful for that. He didn’t want any kind of pity party or to be coddled. Eijirou was easily able to throw Katsuki down to the mat and pin him even though it was an attack he normally could have easily avoided. His breath was knocked out of his lungs and when he let out an involuntary wheeze Kirishima looked ready to finally voice his concerns. Katsuki wasn’t sure what possessed him to speak up first or why he’d chosen that particular set of words but by the time he registered what he just said it was already out of his mouth.

“I want to kiss Todoroki’s dumb fucking face.”

Despite the fact that Katsuki didn’t throw a single punch, Kirishima looked like he had cold clocked him.

The redhead spluttered for a moment as he processed the information but then a huge grin broke out across his face. “Dude?! Deadass? That’s great!”

Katsuki immediately scowled in shocked anger and used the fact Kirishima was distracted to wiggle his legs free and donkey kick him across the mat before jumping to his feet. 

“Like fucking hell it’s great!” Katsuki shouted, feeling almost betrayed that his friend would think this is a good thing. “I can’t get him out of my head! Every time I look at him I get these pains in my chest and I just know it’s his fault that bastard .”

Katsuki finally took in a lungful of air after getting his thoughts out all in one breath while Eijirou watched from where he was now sitting on the mat, chin resting comfortably in his hand, like he was just waiting for Katsuki to tire himself out. 

Kirishima looked thoughtful for a moment before he said, “I think you’re being a little overdramatic-”

Katsuki’s jaw nearly dropped and before Eijirou could finish his thought he had already tackled him back down to the mat.

“Listen here, asshole -”

“Okay! Okay! That came out wrong!” Eijirou wheezed out as they rolled around the mat trading blows. “What I mean to say is, I don’t think it’s as much of a problem as you’re making it out to be.” 

“That’s not any better, dipshit!” He yelled as he attempted to put his friend into a headlock. 

Kirishima did his best to wiggle free but it just caused them to continue rolling around like a pair of lion cubs. “I’m trying to say that you should tell him how you feel!” 

“That is the absolute last thing I want to fucking do.”

“Why?” 

“He doesn’t feel the same way!”

“How do you know if you don’t tell him .”

I just do!

“It’s ok to have feelings,” Eijirou argued as Katsuki tried to pin him. “You’re just pining, man.” 

Katsuki growled, “ Fuck off I’m not pining .”

Kirishima finally went lax, letting Katsuki pin him, and looked up at him with a deadpan expression that said he didn’t believe him in the slightest. Katsuki scowled again and flicked him on the forehead in some petty kindergarten version of revenge as they both caught their breath. Katsuki let out a weak frustrated noise as he dropped his head to Kirishima’s shoulder, suddenly very aware of how tired his body was. Kirishima gave him a good-natured pat on the back as though to say he was there for him. 

The sound of the heavy gym door suddenly opening on its squeaky hinges caught them both off guard enough that their heads snapped up to the source almost in sync. Katsuki just about stopped breathing when he saw Shouto standing in the doorway with his gym bag on his shoulder. Shouto stared at Katsuki with wide eyes and looked between him and Kirishima, who Katsuki was currently still straddling in a lazy pin. 

“Oh,” Shouto breathed out, voice slightly wobbly as he continued. “Sorry, I was- um… I’ll just go.” 

With that, Shouto turned on his heel and left the two staring dumbfounded at the door as it shut behind him with a resounding clang.

Katsuki rolled off of Kirishima to face down onto the mat and let out a muffled scream.

Fuck my life!

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Although the gym session with Eijirou did help settle Katsuki to some degree he still couldn’t deny that he felt miserable. Now that he bit the bullet and started to talk about his feelings, which Kirishima dubbed ‘manly as hell’, it felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders but it still didn’t solve his problem at all. He still had to find some way to get rid of these unrequited feelings before they drove him fucking insane.

Once they were back at the dorms, Kirishima ran on ahead of him to go take a shower before everyone else woke up and got to all the hot water first. Katsuki was far more concerned with being the first one to get to the leftover apple crumble in the fridge which was why he made his way to the kitchen instead. 

What he found was Kaminari seated at the kitchen table with a grin that made him look like the cat who got the cream while Shinsou poured himself a cup of freshly brewed coffee into his Kiki’s Delivery Service mug that was lovingly gifted to him by his sister Eri for his birthday. 

“Mornin’, Sweaty!” Denki greeted, laughing at his own joke about Katsuki’s post-gym state.

“Keep talking, Pikachu, and I’ll use it to blast your ass sky high.”

“Bro, we can’t be flirting like this anymore. I’m a changed man,” Kaminari said with a teasing tone but he made a pointed glance at Shinsou. It was obvious he wanted Katsuki to press him for more information but, for the sake of being petty, Katsuki didn’t take the bait. 

Katsuki threw open the refrigerator door and began to rummage through the items inside for the apple crumble he decided was his right to have. Shinsou glanced up at him, eyes as tired as ever but seemingly happier.

“There’s extra coffee if you want it.” Shinsou offered, taking a sip from his own mug. Katsuki popped his head up out of the fridge and looked at Shinsou over the ledge of the door with his eyes squinted in suspicion as he tried to figure out what the fuck he was playing at. 

“What the fuck are you playing at?”

Shinsou shrugged, “You don’t have to take it. More for me.”

Katsuki knew an olive branch when he saw one but he wasn’t about to take this bastard’s apology coffee without knowing what he would be forgiving him for if he took it. No matter how good the coffee was because at this point everyone in the dorm knew that Shinsou had the best supply of coffee and that he very rarely shared.

Shinsou carried two mugs to the table and placed one of them in front of Kaminari before he sat next to him, leaning slightly against the blond’s shoulder as his sleepless night caught up with him. Kaminari just took it in stride by fully leaning against him until Shinsou put an arm around his shoulders. A self-satisfied smile came to Denki’s face and he took a big gulp from his mug that pictured an FBI badge where the small text actually said ‘Female Body Inspector’.

“Since when the fuck do you drink coffee?” Katsuki questioned, eyeing up the mug in Denki’s hands.

The blond looked confused for a moment but once he followed Katsuki’s gaze realization dawned in his eyes. “Oh this isn’t coffee, it's just hot Gatorade.” 

Kaminari took yet another sip from the steaming mug and Katsuki felt himself go through all five stages of grief simultaneously. 

That was also the moment that Katsuki noticed a small bruise on Shinsou’s neck when he turned his head and everything clicked into place. Kaminari’s smug happiness, the casual touches, the shared looks between the two.

This wasn’t just a peace offering, it was gratitude coffee.

Katsuki should have known that Kaminari would be even more insufferable after finally getting together with his long time crush. 

Kaminari’s smile grew, obviously from having seen Katsuki spot the mark he must have left on his recently acquired gentleman caller, and was nearly on the edge of his seat waiting for him to say something about it. Which, of course, was exactly why Katsuki said nothing and turned back around to pull the tin of apple crumble out of the fridge before kicking its door closed behind him. 

 Katsuki did however pointedly fill his Yoshi mug with coffee with a look that conveyed that he accepted him as a suitor for his friend to which Shinsou responded with a curt nod. 

Katsuki sat down at the table with the two other boys and vaguely listened to Kaminari rattle on about the Disney Pixar cinematic universe. Shinsou was in the middle of trying to convince the boy that Toy Story was effectively a horror film when a tired looking Mina strode into the kitchen looking like a tyrant queen with the way she had her blanket wrapped around her shoulders like a cape. She gasped when she saw that Katsuki had nearly finished shoving the last of the apple crumble into his mouth and tried to slap the tin out of his hands.

“What the hell! I totally called dibs on that! Where’s the respect in this house?” She complained, puffing out her cheeks in annoyance as Katsuki held the dessert out of her reach. 

“Paws off, Raccoon Eyes,” Katsuki said with his mouth still full while he swatted her hands away. “I’m calling a code Ryan Gosling so fuck off.”

Mina’s jaw could have hit the floor from shock and Denki didn’t fare much better with the way his head snapped to Katsuki, nearly spilling the sinful contents of his mug into his lap.

“You what!?” Mina squeaked out in a high enough pitch that Katsuki nearly winced. 

“You heard me. I’m not fucking saying it again.” He mumbled before chugging some of his coffee to wash down the food. 

“Is that… supposed to mean something?” Shinsou asked, sensing he was obviously way out of the loop.

“It’s bakusquad code, sugarbutt, you’ll learn eventually.” Kaminari said, giving Shinsou a pat on the cheek, and Shinsou’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he quietly whispered ‘sugarbutt?’ to himself. “Basically, it means that our own blond bombshell here is going through a breakup.” 

Mina’s voice was nearly hysterical as she screeched, “Why am I just now hearing about this!? You were dating someone? How are you going through a breakup ?”

“Look we’re gonna use the terms ‘dating’ and ‘breakup’ loosely here so I need you to stop asking dumb fucking questions and just respect the code,” Katsuki said, downright miserably, and took another swig of the astoundingly good coffee. He was beginning to think that this was some of Shinsou’s good good coffee that he must have stolen from his dad.

“I’ll explain later, Mina, just be the hero you are and come on an ice cream run with me tonight because we are renting both The Notebook and Love, Actually .”

Katsuki was about to protest these plans made against his will but that was when a freshly showered Kirishima walked into the room. “Hey guys, what’s with all the- … dude, is that a hickey?”

Kirishima was squinting at the bruise on Shinsou’s neck as though it would help him see better while Shinsou just looked confused, likely unaware the mark was even there. Kaminari meanwhile nearly fell out of his chair, bursting at the seams to say, “Yes! It was me! I did that! We totally kissed.” 

Shinsou’s composure finally broke and he flushed hotly while Mina nearly screamed as she flung herself at Denki to shake him by the shoulders in excitement. 



»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Katsuki was exhausted .

Another two days had passed and sleep still eluded him for the most part. The only time he was able to get any solid amount of sleep was when his friends decided what he needed was a movie marathon of romantic dramas. Katsuki had fallen asleep before the title of the film had even appeared. When he awoke it was already the middle of the night and he discovered that they had all migrated to sit around him under a nest of various pillows and blankets. It turned out that the only reason he had woken at all was because Kirishima was sobbing uncontrollably about the end of Titanic while Ashido, Sero, and Kaminari tried to console him through their own tears. Katsuki just watched in a confused daze for a moment before he glanced over at Shinsou who looked back at him like a man who had just witnessed a customer in Walmart take a bite out of a bar of soap before putting it back on the shelf: that is, to say, confused and more than a little concerned.

Needless to say, Katsuki just rolled over and let himself be lulled back to sleep by Kirishima’s blubbering about Rose and Jack in the afterlife. 

Although he managed to get a few hours of good sleep while cocooned with his close friends, every time he was alone in his own bed he found himself tossing and turning with too many thoughts going through his head. It also didn’t help that classes had started back up again which left him with no chance to even try to catch up on sleep. 

Even during class Shouto chose to ignore him. It stung, to say the least, but in the end it was probably for the best at this point. Even if things somehow went back to normal between them, Katsuki wasn’t sure he would be able to keep these newly understood feelings at bay. Every time he thought he could handle being around the boy he would suddenly feel the urge to hold his hand or lean against him, just anything to be closer to him. 

Shouto, however, seemed to do just fine by refusing to acknowledge his existence entirely. The boy hardly even looked at Katsuki and after years of trying to get Shouto’s attention by any means necessary it wasn’t an easy thing to adjust to. 

Frequently Katsuki tried to figure out what Shouto could possibly be thinking but it was impossible to know with how carefully the boy hid his emotions. The more his thoughts strayed to the boy the more Katsuki threw himself into training to attempt to clear his mind. Unfortunately, with the way he was overworking himself on such little sleep, he just succeeded in making himself that much more tired and distracted. Which is what lead him to where he was currently. 

The objective of that class day was simple. Half of the class would be acting as heroes while the other half were escaped convicts that needed to be captured. Class took place at one of the many training grounds on campus, this one in particular containing a mock-up city where the hero team would be challenged to find the ‘convicts’ in a vast urban setting with plenty of nooks and crannies to hide in. 

Katsuki had been selected for the hero team and had been patrolling the section of city assigned to him by Shinsou with a pair of handcuffs hanging from his belt. The plan was that, in theory, by searching in their set patterns they would corral the convicts to the center of the city where they would be surrounded and capture wouldn’t be so easily evaded. 

Naturally, the plan fell apart nearly as quickly as it had been made. 

Katsuki had been lured inside of a building by Iida, who had taken on his overzealous villain persona, but in his attempt to capture him he had also been ambushed by Tokoyami and Yaoyorozu. It had become clear to him that their own plan must have been to take out the hero team’s heavy hitters as quickly as possible and Katsuki could have slapped himself for how stupid he was for falling into their trap where he was now isolated from the rest of his group. 

“We’ve got Ground Zero cornered,” Yaoyorozu said into an earpiece, not taking her eyes off Bakugou. “Backup may be necessary, the noise is going to attract attention from the heroes. Deku and Frostfire converge at site B3, we’ll meet you outside.”

Frostfire?

When had Shouto started going by Frostfire?

The attacks came quick and precise which on any normal day Katsuki would be able to handle with ease but in his exhausted state his movements were sluggish and his brain felt foggy. With a quirk like his, Katsuki had to constantly calculate in his mind the damage caused by any given explosion so he wouldn’t inhibit himself or endanger those around him. However, in this moment, he had a one track mind only focused on how to escape the situation and subdue the ‘villains’. 

Katsuki’s attacks were wild and sporadic in nature, but while it was somewhat of an advantage to have his moves be unpredictable to his opponents, he hadn’t taken into account the structural damage he was inflicting on the building. He was pretty sure that at some point, while blasting back an attack from Dark Shadow, he felt his shoulder pop out of its socket from the heedless use of his quirk being too much for his arms to continually bare. Whether or not it did didn’t matter to Katsuki, he was running on adrenaline and fighting through pain wasn’t anything new to him. 

The real problem came when resounding cracks reverberated through the air and noticeable tremors shook the building around them. 

The building was going to come down on top of them. 

“Everyone evacuate now !” Iida instructed with a shout, forgoing his villain routine entirely when the safety of his fellow classmates became a concern. “This building is structurally unsound and no longer safe!”

Iida threw the now unconscious Tokoyami carefully over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. It quickly became obvious to Katsuki that Iida was the only one capable of getting out of this building before it came down on all of them. The dilemma was obvious on Iida’s face, looking between Momo and Katsuki with his free hand partially outstretched, but Katsuki quickly made that choice for him. 

“Get her the fuck out of here! I can blast myself out! Just go!” There was still a slight hesitation from Iida but Katsuki was having none of it. “Fucking go!”

“The building will come down if you hit it with another explosion!” Yaoyorozu yelled the warning as Iida swiftly hoisted her up over his other shoulder. She winced and fiddled with the communicator in her ear before she simply ripped it off and threw it to the ground, the loud voices from the other end audible even to Katsuki. “Be careful!” 

That was the last thing she managed to say before Iida took off, using his quirk to get them to the exit of the building as quickly as possible. Katsuki still wanted to give them time to get out before taking the building down in his own escape but luck was not on his side. Everything seemed to shift suddenly around him and the next thing Katsuki knew he was dodging debris from all sides as the building became more and more unstable. A large support beam fell from above him and hit him square in the back, knocking him down with a cry as pain bloomed out from between Katsuki’s shoulder blades and along his spine. All he could do was grit his teeth and hope his classmates had made it out because he couldn’t wait any longer to make his own exit. 

With a loud bang from his palms he shattered the glass of a large window and launched himself out of the building where he began a six story fall to the ground. He managed to turn himself around in the air and use a controlled blast to break his fall somewhat but he still hit the ground hard . The pavement was littered with glass and Katsuki let out another pained cry and a resounding ‘ fuck! ’ as he felt the shards beneath him cut into his skin. But there was no time to dwell on that.

The building was coming down and if Katsuki didn’t move and fast he was going to become a human pancake under the falling chunks of brick and mortar. 

Ignoring the pain Katsuki pointed his palms upwards, prepared to let out another blast in an attempt to at least lessen the impending damage by blowing the rubble up into smaller chunks, but a loud whoosh sounded by his ear accompanied by a cacophony of crackling. A chill crept across his skin and suddenly there was a wall of ice above him, protecting him from the fragments of rebar and concrete that were now trapped inside its rigid walls. 

All of this had happened in a matter of seconds but it still felt like the world was moving in slow motion when Katsuki turned his head, already knowing who was responsible but needing to see with his own eyes. Shouto had been knocked to the ground with Uraraka on top of him with one of his wrists already cuffed. She was looking down in shock at where Shouto had slammed his other hand down to the pavement with a distinctive trail of ice between it and the wall now above Katsuki. Frost covered the boy’s skin in patches and he let out a shaky breath that came out as a cloud that meant he had pushed himself to his limits, and small tremors shook his frame. The thing that shook Katsuki to his very core was Shouto’s eyes, though. For the first time since they had returned to UA, Shouto’s mask of indifference was gone and his eyes bored into him with a range of emotions from overwhelming fear to raw anger.

Katsuki felt like he was suffocating. 

The ringing in his ears began to fade and was replaced by the commotion of the other students and the authoritative shouts from their teacher as he called a stop to the training exercise. Uraraka was rapidly apologizing to Shouto since apparently the hero team had no alert of the building falling and had continued to pursue the ‘convicts’ without that knowledge. Shouto hardly even looked at her, even when she held out a hand to help him up, too fixated on Katsuki. 

It was too much.

Without thinking, Katsuki shakily got to his feet despite the pain that nearly overwhelmed him and took off in the direction of the locker room without looking back. He heard Aizawa shout something about someone making sure he got to Recovery Girl’s office but Katsuki didn’t slow down. He needed to be somewhere where everyone’s eyes weren’t on him. 

As soon as he was inside the locker room he threw off his gauntlets and ripped his shirt over his head, letting out a small grunt of pain from how his shoulders protested. His eyes widened when he caught sight of himself in the mirror by the showers. He was littered in cuts, some shallow while others were deeper, and some of the wounds still had shards of glass in them. Bruises were already beginning to form on him but when he looked over his shoulder none were more noticeable the huge bruise taking color between his shoulders. He wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he had broken something.   

Fuck!

Katsuki whipped around and slammed his fist into one of the lockers hard enough to leave a dent. He let out another shout at the pain that ripped through his arm but couldn’t find it inside himself to give a single fuck at the moment. He felt like such an idiot! A failure. Nothing but a goddamn failure

He was angry at himself. Angry for not paying closer attention, angry at how he’d likely have to miss class due to his injuries, angry that he’d pulled something so stupid, but most of all he was angry at himself for feeling this way. And over what? A boy? He was being ridiculous. 

But of course, it wasn’t just any boy.

It was Shouto and Katsuki was the goddamn idiot that went and fell in love with him. 

Katsuki slumped down onto one of the benches between the rows of lockers as the pain began to really catch up with him. His adrenaline was still running high he began the slow process of picking little bits of glass out of his wounds with shaky fingers. He sucked a sharp breath in through his teeth at the painful sting but found that more tolerable to focus on than his own thoughts. 

Suddenly there was a gasp from behind him and Katsuki whipped his head around so quickly he became dizzy and winced involuntarily.

Shouto was standing there in shock, eyes searching the expanse of Katsuki’s injured back.

“Katsuki-” His voice came out barely more than a whisper but just hearing his name fall from Shouto’s lips like that… he just couldn’t handle it. 

Don’t call me that .” He hissed. He couldn’t bare the emotions that were dredged up, the memories of the tender way Shouto would call him by his name like it was something to be cherished. An act that had fooled even Katsuki. 

There was a brief moment where Shouto almost looked like Katsuki had physically struck him with his words but in a blink of an eye his emotionless mask was back, eyes turning to steel hiding what was really behind them. “What were you doing back there?”

“Mind your own fucking business.” Katsuki spat. “I don’t need a lecture.”

“Then what do you need?” Shouto asked with urgency, stepping closer towards him. “Because what I just saw was reckless even for you.” 

“And so what!?” Katsuki stood up, turning fully towards him, and Shouto reached out slightly as though he was worried about him falling but thought better of himself. “What’s it to you?

Shouto seemed at a loss for words for a moment but Katsuki could see anger beginning to build. Good, it was better than no emotion at all. It was something Katsuki could work with.

“Whether you like it or not, I think of us as friends,” When Katsuki opened his mouth to interrupt, Shouto quickly continued before he could. “And I know for a fact you wouldn’t pull this if it was Ashido or Kirishima who walked in here so what is going on?

It wasn’t the first time Shouto had called them friends but it was the first time he had said it when it was just the two of them alone in a room. There was a brief moment where Katsuki was entertained the idea of telling the truth. If he had it his way, he would close the distance between himself and Shouto so he could hold onto him and bury his face in his chest where he could finally feel the comfort of his heartbeat again. But this wasn’t some shitty romance novel and real life just didn’t work like that.

“I don’t think of you that way.” It was the closest he could get to saying the truth out loud. Katsuki took a moment to breathe as he let Shouto digest his words before he spoke up again, this time his voice quieter, “I’m going to tell my family we broke up so we can be done with this. Just… leave me alone. I can get to Recovery Girl myself. Just go.”

When Katsuki looked at Shouto he wanted him to fight. He wanted him to look back at him and call him out for being a shithead. Anything to prove that he wanted to stay… but Shouto’s expression changed, expertly hiding his inner feelings and thoughts, before he looked away and turned around, heading out of the door from where he came. 

Katsuki slumped back down onto the bench, head in his hands, and tried to calm his breathing. He could feel tears prickling in the back of his eyes and mentally cursed his tendency to cry when overwhelmed like some kind of loser. 

Once he started to calm, he could feel exhaustion finally hit him and the pain between his shoulders began to become unbearable. Before rising to make his way to Recovery Girl’s office he took a moment to fish his phone out of his pocket. 

Absentmindedly he noted that his screen protector had cracked, though the screen beneath it was undamaged. With no lead up at all, Katsuki unceremoniously sent out a text to his family group chat that stated, ‘Shouto and I broke up’.

He silenced his phone and shoved it back into his pocket, unwilling to see whatever chaos would surely transpire as soon as his family saw his message. All Katsuki wanted to do was fucking sleep. 

The door to the locker room creaked behind him and there was a moment where against all logic he thought it might have been Shouto returning but, when he looked up, he deflated when he saw his teacher standing in front of him. His arms were crossed and he looked Katsuki over with calculating eyes as he assessed the situation.

“Expecting someone else?” Aizawa raised a practiced eyebrow, obviously already knowing the answer. 

Katsuki quickly schooled his expression from wide-eyed back to his patented scowl, “If you’re gonna chew me out for my performance than get it over with already.” 

“I was, but now I get the feeling you’ve done that yourself enough already.” Aizawa’s said in his usual sleepy drawl but something about his tone was measured, like he was being purposefully casual. “I’m more interested in knowing what caused you to forgo all reason and do something that recklessly stupid.”

When Katsuki looked down at his boots, without answer, Aizawa crouched so he was eye level with him.  “Also consider me curious as to why Todoroki left alone after he so quickly volunteered to go after you.”

He what? ” The words spilled from his lips before he even thought about their implication that he actually cared and, when he looked up in shock, he could tell that Aizawa had found whatever it was he had been looking for. 

“Listen, the less I know about my students personal lives the better, but when your… ‘affections’ for another classmate becomes a hazard to you and your safety than I have no choice other than to get involved,” Aizawa stated bluntly while Katsuki just gaped like a fish. 

“I don’t- I’m not- you can’t- what the hell .” Katsuki spluttered while Aizawa maintained his deadpan expression as if he was just waiting for Katsuki to work through his thoughts. “You don’t know shit about what I’m dealing with! Fuck off!”

“Don’t I?” Aizawa tilted his head slightly and Katsuki found himself quieting down. “You’re not the only emotionally stunted asshole that has roamed these halls.”

Katsuki remained silent and Aizawa continued by saying, “I’m sure Hizashi has told you how we started our relationship by now.” 

Katsuki let out a humorless laugh and rolled his eyes, “Only fucking weekly . I’m going to fucking shove my pencil through my eardrums before I have to hear it one more god damn time. Something about how he played the Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way outside your window and professed his love to you or whatever. Real fucking cheesy if you ask me.”

A hint of a real smile came to Aizawa’s lips before it faded into something that approached melancholy. “There was more to it than that.”

Katsuki furrowed his eyebrows in confusion but that’s when Aizawa took a deep breath and said, “I was your age when my best friend died.” 

Katsuki’s eyes widened and when he opened his mouth to say something Aizawa held a hand up to stop him, “Whether it’s your sympathies or not understanding how this related, I don't want to hear it.” 

Katsuki snapped his mouth closed and Aizawa continued with a nod. “When Shirakumo passed away I didn’t know how to deal with the grief and… I didn’t handle myself well. I took needless risks and pushed myself far past my limit but the scariest part was that I didn’t care because he was dead and… and I was alive. I isolated myself from my friends, including Hizashi, because I was afraid of losing someone else or having my actions end up hurting them. I thought it would be the best for everyone this way but it was a selfish decision I made myself without giving anyone a choice before I severed contact. Which Hizashi didn’t hesitate to call me out on. There are a lot of reasons I am lucky to have Hizashi in my life but the thing I am probably the most grateful for is his ability to call me out on my bullshit. I’m lucky that he is a braver man than me and refused to let me self sabotage by taking the plunge that day, telling me his feelings, even if it included a hit from the late 90s.”

“Life is too short for your bullshit,” Aizawa stated as he stood up. “Think about that before pushing away the people you love the most.” 

Katsuki was rendered speechless, quietly digesting his teacher’s words, but Aizawa seemed keen to just act like he didn’t just present Katsuki with an emotional monologue. He began walking towards the door and gestured with a wave of his hand for Katsuki to follow him. “Come on, I’m escorting you to Recovery Girl’s office.”

For once, Katsuki just shut up and listened. 

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««



Recovery Girl was the one that finally gave Katsuki a lecture about the importance of proper sleep while he was trapped by her methodically removing the remaining bits of glass from his injuries, which needed to be done before he could be healed. Katsuki would’ve been too exhausted to fight her on that regardless of his circumstance so he remained uncharacteristically silent as she chastised him. 

When Aizawa had left the infirmary his parting words were simply a request to think about what he had said and all Katsuki could do was nod dumbly because he was pretty sure he couldn’t think about something else even if he wanted to. 

It was no secret that the life of a hero was dangerous and unpredictable but the more he thought about that fact the more trivial his problems seemed. Katsuki was pushing Shouto away in an attempt to protect himself and his feelings from the mere possibility of getting hurt but had never stopped to consider how that would make the other boy feel. He had assumed that this would be what was best for the both of them but he had never given Shouto a choice in the matter. And what if something happened to one of them tomorrow? Or a week from now? What would he do if the last words he said to Shouto were bitterly telling him to leave? 

Shouto deserved an apology and, maybe even more than that, deserved to know Katsuki’s feelings. 

When Recovery Girl healed him with a kiss at the crown of his head, the exhaustion he felt combined with the energy draining effects of the healing had him asleep in a matter of seconds. Katsuki drifted off into sleep with the resolution that when he woke up he would stop being a coward and take the plunge. Even if Shouto never wanted to talk to him afterwards, he would at least know the truth. 



When Katsuki opened his eyes again he had no idea how much time had passed but it had felt like a blink of an eye with the deep dreamless sleep he’d fallen into. He groaned and stretched out satisfied with how, despite his joints feeling stiff, the pain he had felt earlier was essentially nonexistent now. Although, if given the choice, Katsuki was still exhausted enough to roll over and go right back to sleep. 

He wasn’t given that chance however, because as soon as he made a noise there was a gasp to his left as a relieved voice shouted, “Kacchan!” 

Katsuki’s face crumpled in distaste and wasn’t surprised when suddenly Deku was next to the bed talking a mile a minute, “How are you feeling? Are you okay? We were all worried when you ran off like that! I nearly had a heart attack when I heard the building was coming down, I mean you should have heard Shouto yelling into his earpiece! Aizawa told us you were in Recovery Girl’s office so after class I headed here with Ashido, Kirishima, Sero, and Kaminari but you were still sleeping so we tried not to bother you. When I came by this morning Shouto was already here and you were still asleep-”

Katsuki sucked in a sharp breath and, despite how dry his throat was, croaked out, “Shouto was here?” 

Katsuki was surprised he didn’t hear Deku’s neck snap with the speed he whipped his head around to look at him and say, “Yeah, he wanted to know what Recovery Girl had to say about your condition. Why?” 

“I gotta talk to him,” Katsuki didn’t wait for a response and just tossed the blanket that someone must have placed atop him to the side and threw his legs over the side of the bed. “Where is he?” 

“What are you- careful!” The moment Katsuki got to his feet his legs felt as though they were made of jelly and he had to grab the banister to the side of the bed to stay on his feet. Deku immediately rushed forward to help him but Katsuki just waved off his attempts. 

“Fuck off, I’m fine. Just tell me where he is.”

“Well… it’s New Year's Eve. You were asleep for almost 24 hours now. Shouto left to visit his father’s house, Fuyumi wanted to see him and try to have a family dinner.” 

Katsuki sat back down on the edge of the bed and pinched the bridge of his nose as he processed the information and tried to figure out what his next step would be. Deku looked like he wanted to say something else but he was interrupted by Recovery Girl pulling back the room’s courtesy curtain. She walked in with a glass of water and a Snickers bar which she placed on the bedside table and Katsuki wasted no time grabbing the glass and chugging it down.

“I wouldn’t be so hasty if I were you. Your body is still catching up from both the lack of sleep and the healing process. I’m actually surprised you weren’t asleep for longer. My advice is to go back to your dorm, eat a meal, and get some more rest.”

Katsuki grimaced while Deku paid rapt attention and nodded along with what Recovery Girl was saying as though he was committing it to memory. It was what Recovery Girl said next that made Katsuki snap to attention. 

“Also All Might informed me that your family stopped by UA not too long ago and asked for you along with young Todoroki. When they found out you were incapacitated for the moment and that your classmate wasn’t here your mother asked for you to be given this.” 

My family!? What the fuck do you mean by my family?!” Katsuki nearly shouted as Recovery Girl handed him a small slip of paper that looked like it was ripped from his mom’s datebook. “Please fucking tell me you just mean my parents.”

“Toshinori didn’t mention how many there were but it apparently was a fairly large group. He mostly talked about a little boy that wouldn’t let go of his leg.”

“Oh my god.” Katsuki ran a hand down his face in exasperation while Deku looked like he was about to launch off into space. 

“Masato got to meet All Might!? I’m so happy for him!” He cooed. 

“Shut up.” Katsuki made a shooing gesture at Deku before turning back to Recovery Girl. “What the hell did they want? Are they still here?”

“They left after not so subtly googling Endeavor’s residence in front of Toshinori. Take that as you will.” Recovery Girl said with a hint of a smile. She picked up the Snickers bar and pointedly placed it in Katsuki’s hand. “Eat.”

She left the room and Katsuki stood there frozen, feeling like a husk of a human being.

“Oh fuck…” His voice was barely a whisper and as he came to a horrifying realization his voice began to rise in intensity.  “Fuck fuck fuck fuck !”

His hands fumbled as he quickly opened the note, quickly reading his mother’s scrawl that said, ‘Don’t get too comfortable because as soon as we fix your fuckup I’ll be back to fucking beat your ass!!!!! -Mom’.

“Kacchan?” Deku looked at him with worry written all over his face as he tried to peer at what was on the paper. 

“I have to go.” Katsuki quickly said before he suddenly and without warning ran out of the room leaving behind a confused and alarmed Deku.

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Todoroki POV

 

Shouto was miserable .

For the past few days he had hardly gotten any sleep and when he had he would wake in a cold sweat with his heart pumping from some kind of nightmare. It was nothing new, but it made him miss the ease he had felt when he slept beside Katsuki.

Katsuki.

He couldn’t get the boy off his mind, and as hard as he tried he just couldn’t stop thinking about where he had gone wrong. He knew it would be difficult to go back to the way things were before Christmas break, but Shouto found himself needing to avoid Katsuki as much as possible so he couldn’t slip up and tell him how he felt. Over the week they spent together things had come so easily and naturally that Shouto feared that out of sheer habit he would walk up to Katsuki in the morning and give him a content kiss on the cheek. Lord knows he wanted to. 

He hadn’t meant to fight with Katsuki on the drive back from the dorms but he hadn’t known what to do when he had pressed him on his sour mood. He couldn’t tell Katsuki the truth because that would mean being honest about just how long he’d held affections for him. In his panic he had gotten snappy and while he didn’t expect a positive response to his words he couldn’t have anticipated just how badly things had gone.

And then there was yesterday….

How could he not be angry? It was infuriating to see the person he loved purposefully put himself in a dangerous situation that should have been avoidable. When Momo threw her communicator out of her ear to avoid his and Midoriya’s incessant questioning, she had also accidentally left Shouto with a one-way microphone into what was happening inside the building. Shouto could still hear the pained shout from Katsuki echoing inside his head as he frantically shouted into his earpiece, avoiding attacks from Uraraka. And when he saw the building almost come down on top of him….

Shouto shook the memory from his head and flopped back against the pillows of his bed. He was in his room now back at his family’s estate as he tried to mentally prepare himself to deal with his father but his thoughts still continuously strayed to the blond boy.

It probably didn’t help that he was staring at a small framed photo of him with a sleeping Katsuki on his arm, gifted to him by Mai, as if he was some grieving victorian widow looking at a portrait of her husband who had been lost at sea. 

The doorbell suddenly rang and Shouto shoved the item into his backpack, fully expecting that his father had just arrived home until he realized there was no way his father would ever use the doorbell to announce his arrival in his own home. There was a chance it could be Natsuo but Shouto was fairly sure his brother wouldn’t be showing up regardless of the open invitation from their sister. It was getting harder and harder to keep Natsuo in the same room as their father.

“Shouto?” He heard Fuyumi call, likely from the front door. “There are some, um, people here to see you?” 

People? Plural? Shouto couldn’t fathom who alone would show up at the door looking for him, let alone an entire group. He furrowed his brows in confusion and opened his bedroom door, prepared to walk downstairs to see what was going on, but his questions were answered when he heard tiny rapid footsteps.

“Tododoki!” A little voice yelled to him and Shouto broke into a sprint. 

He ran down the stairs two at a time and even when he saw the smiling red-headed little boy he still couldn’t believe it. 

“Masato! Sweetie, you can’t just run into someone’s house without permission!” He heard Katsuki’s aunt Hisa call after him but once Masato set his eyes on Shouto he didn’t seem to care the slightest about getting scolded.

Shouto knelt to his level as the kid ran towards him but didn’t have a chance to speak before Masato threw his arms around his neck in a tight hug. 

“I found him!” He yelled right next to Shouto’s ear, causing him to wince but still hug him back.

“What’s going on? What are you doing here?” Shouto asked, his voice tinted with worry. Was something wrong? Was the family in trouble? Was Katsuki ok?

Masato pulled back to look at him with confusion on his face as though the answer should be obvious. “We came to fix whatever happened so you and Katsuki can be a team again! Come on, everyone’s outside!” 

“... Everyone?”

Shouto was understandably shocked but Masato just happily nodded and took Shouto’s hand so he could lead him to the front door.

“Look, lady, we’re with the goddamn FBI and we gotta talk to Shouto about some hero business stat .”

“Chiho, we talked about this and you know we’ve asked you to stop impersonating officers after the Starbucks incident.” 

“Don’t be such a bootlicker, dad.”

Shouto couldn’t stop the small smile that appeared on his face when he was able to hear the banter before he even got to the door. What he found was Fuyumi looking confused but strangely amused as the twins unsuccessfully tried to con their way inside. 

“Sorry, Fuyumi, it sounds like I have some urgent FBI business to attend to,” Shouto said as seriously as possible and the twins’ faces lit up from where they stood in the doorway.

“Shouto!” They chorused in excitement and chaos broke out as each member of the family greeted him while a stunned Fuyumi watched.

“You know them?” Fuyumi asked, stepping aside to allow the family to come in.

“We’re his boyfriend’s family, darling. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Mineko said with a wave of her hand like it was common knowledge without even looking up from the cellphone she was typing away on. When she finally put the phone away she looked Fuyumi up and down and said in a much more serious tone. “Has anyone ever told you that you could model?”

“B-boyfriend?!” Fuyumi reeled as she tried to process the information and looked to Shouto for answers. Shouto was sure his face had turned bright red as he fumbled for something to say.

“Well technically ex-boyfriend but we’re here to sort that whole thing out one way or another. Just remember, Shouto, you have other options.” Airi said as she not so subtly gestured to herself.

“I’m very gay,” Shouto said deadpan and Airi just clicked her tongue like this wasn’t the first time this had happened to her.

“So you’re Fuyumi, then?” Katsuki’s grandpa patted her on the shoulder. “I’m a big fan of your work, that Mapo tofu recipe is fantastic. Katsuki shared it with me in his first year and I still use it.”

“Katsuki…” Fuyumi whispered to herself before quickly turning to Shouto, eyes wide with realization. “Bakugou!? Katsuki Bakugou? You two are dating? Why didn’t you tell me?” 

“Um… Well, I-” Shouto wracked his brain for an answer, growing even more nervous when Mitsuki stepped into the house and watched with interest. “I didn’t want dad to know.” 

Fuyumi looked hurt, probably upset that her brother felt he couldn’t trust her with something like this, but she also seemed to understand as she took one of Shouto’s hands and squeezed it before letting go, obviously holding back from hugging him. “I won’t tell him, Shou.”

Mitsuki had no such reservations and, as soon as she was close enough to ensnare him, she pulled Shouto into a hug that Fuyumi looked surprised to see Shouto return.

“Whatever it was that brat did to make you break up with him I swear to god he just made a mistake and he is sorry and I will unleash hell upon him until he says that out loud.” Mitsuki leaned back and held Shouto’s face in her hands. “He’s an idiot sometimes but he loves you so much, Shouto, please reconsider.”

Shouto’s throat felt tight and for a moment he almost felt like he was going to tear up as the situation clicked in his mind. Katsuki must have told his family that they broke up like he said he would, but for some reason it still hurt that he actually had . And now he had to somehow convince the family it was for the best. Shouto swallowed down his emotions as he said, “I… I didn’t break up with him. It was… mutual.”

Even to his own ears it didn’t sound convincing and, judging by the look on Mitsuki’s face as she released him from the hug, she wasn’t fooled in the slightest either. “Look, if you don’t have any feelings for my boy then I’ll gather up my troops and head out of here but I’m pretty sure we both know that’s not the case. I don’t want to pressure you but please at least hear us out.”

She patiently waited for Shouto to collect his thoughts and Fuyumi watched on with shocked intrigue, her hand over her mouth as she began to realize just how important these strange people were to her brother. Shouto hesitantly gave Mitsuki a small nod and she returned his response with a soft smile. 

“You can all use the living room to talk, it’s not as cramped in there.” Fuyumi piped up as she began to shift into her frantic hostess mode. “Would you like tea? I could make some tea! Oh, I should get some snacks together, too. I think I could get together a cheese plate with what's in the fridge.”

By that point she just began to mumble to herself about what they had in the pantry and jumped when Mai threw an arm around her shoulders. “Hey, Shouto? Why didn’t you tell us your sister is a literal goddamn angel?”

Fuyumi spluttered, unused to the praise, with a slight tint to her cheeks while Shouto quickly answered, “I thought it was implied.”

Riku let out a hearty laugh and gave Shouto a good-natured slap on the back while simultaneously holding Yuki in the crook of his arm, who was miraculously snoozing through all of this. “Maybe if Airi and Mai stopped focusing on your brother they would have known that.”

Mai immediately grinned, hardly showing a hint of remorse. “Where is this brother by the way?”

“Probably at his girlfriend’s house,” Shouto said smoothly, making his way to the living room to escape the conversation. 

Mai snapped her fingers like she was disappointed but not surprised. Fuyumi actually ended up letting out a little giggle at that and the three cousins seemed to glow with pride.

“Thank you but don’t worry about us, we don’t need tea or anything.” Satomi butted in as if she was the adult in the situation. 

Chiho shoved her way in between all of them and grabbed Shouto’s hand, attempting to pull Shouto to where everyone was gathering in the living room. “Yeah! Thanks, lady! Being in the FBI is thirsty business and all but we gotta talk to Shouto!” 

Daiki tugged on the hem of Fuyumi’s shirt and tried to sneakily ask, “Do you have root beer or maybe Dr. Pepper?”

Their father acted quickly though and over the throng of people shouted, “No soda, Daiki!”

The kid groaned at getting caught but grabbed Shouto’s other hand and assisted his sister in dragging Shouto into whatever intervention awaited him.

When Shouto entered the living room the energy the family held changed from jovial to something far more serious and that was when the situation truly began to dawn on him. Anxiety sparked within him when he realized 

“It’s alright, Shouto.” Masaru placed a calming hand on his shoulder. “We aren’t here to push you into anything. Ultimately the state of your relationship is up to you and that’s something we all understand.”

“And if you do decide to part ways you will still always be welcomed in our home. You’re family now whether you like it or not.” Mitsuki added. “I’ll kick Katsuki out of his room. Don’t try me. It’s your room now.” 

As Mitsuki began to rile herself up, Masaru moved from Shouto’s side to hers and somehow that small action was enough for her to take a breath.

“We wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t seen something between the two of you.” Katsuki’s aunt Akasuki took over for her sister as she sat down on one of the couches, making herself at home. “By all accounts we thought that this relationship would last for the long haul. We were all shocked when Katsuki sent that text saying things ended between you two only a week after we had seen you both so happy.” 

“While we would love to convince you to take Katsuki back we’re mostly here to at least try to explain his actions. Whatever he did, I'm sure it was some kind of miscommunication. He’s never been good at outright saying how he feels, he tends to show things through actions more than words.” Hatsu, Katsuki’s grandfather, spoke with the wisdom of someone who knew his grandson a great deal. “I don’t know what he did to make you break up with him, but I am sure he is just too proud to ask you to come back to him. I am certain he wants you to stay together.” 

“It… wasn’t something he did. I didn’t break up with him, I… it’s complicated.” Shouto chose his words carefully. “I’m sorry but you’re wrong. He doesn’t- … His feelings aren’t the same as mine.” 

This caused an immediate wave of protests from everyone, their voices blending together as they tried to convince Shouto that wasn’t true. 

“Are you trying to tell me Katsuki broke up with you?” Airi let out a humorless laugh that showed just how shocked she was. “Sorry if I don’t believe that but there is no fucking way. You can’t convince me he doesn’t care about you after what I saw last week.”

“He’s head over heels for you!” Hisa chimed in. “I don’t see how that could have changed so quickly.”

“Was it our fault?” Daiki asked and, for the first time ever, Shouto heard guilt in his voice. “This happened after they stayed with us.”

“No!” Shouto immediately spoke up, needing to put Daiki at ease. “It had nothing to do with the family. I loved spending the holiday with you all.”

“Shouto.” The family quieted down when Masaru spoke with an unusual authority that had even his wife look to him in surprise. “I don’t think the family minds me speaking on all of their behalves when I say that we love you and already think of you as a part of our family. We all came here today to ask you to at least talk to Katsuki but we would never lie to you to make you do that. I hope you take that and the talk we had into account when I tell you that I have no doubt my son feels the same for you as you feel for him.”

Shouto was silent as the words sunk in. Shouto had never been one to rely on optimism, it was his own way of protecting himself from years of hurt and disappointment, but he couldn’t help the little spark of hope that ignited in his chest. When he looked over everyone’s faces he could see no trace uncertainty in their eyes and for the first time wondered what they must have seen in the two of them together. These were the people who had known Katsuki his whole life… maybe they knew something he didn’t. 

“I… I’ll talk to him.” He finally said. “I can’t promise anything but… I want to be with him.”

The sudden shift in the room was palpable as the family erupted into cheers like they had just won the lottery and Shouto was unable to stop the small smile on his face from their contagious happiness. That smile disappeared as quickly as it came when somehow, despite the uproar of Katsuki’s cousins, Shouto was able to hear the front door open. 

“We should go,” Shouto said with unintentional urgency that was enough to grab the attention of the room. Mitsuki looked like she was about to ask what was wrong but suddenly her face turned to poorly hidden anger. Between that and Fuyumi running down the hall as she frantically tried to get his attention, it caught Shouto by no surprise to see his father standing in the doorway when he turned around. 

“I wasn’t aware you were bringing guests, Shouto.” His voice was steely and held the undertone of annoyance that was ever-present with the man. 

“We were actually just leaving. Right, Shouto?” Mitsuki said tersely as she walked up behind Shouto and put a protective arm around his shoulders. She took on a more passive aggressive tone, that really wasn’t all that passive, when she said, “We wouldn’t want to be a bother and overstay our welcome.”

Although Shouto had already gained a respect for Katsuki’s mother, he wasn’t sure he had ever admired her more than when she stood unflinching as Endeavor tried to stare her down whilst she sent her own scorching glare his way. It was very slight but, with the crease that appeared between his father’s brows and the small moment his eyes flickered away from hers, Shouto could tell that Endeavor was put off by her. A self-satisfied smirk came to Mitsuki’s face and there was no mistaking that she knew she won. 

“How courteous of you.” The comment from Endeavor was snide but Mitsuki simply took it in stride and nodded her head once as though to say ‘it has been a pleasure’ which only seemed to heighten his father’s underlying anger. Endeavor turned his gaze back onto Shouto, keen on pretending the others didn’t exist, and said, “And you’re joining them?”

“Yes,” Shouto answered with a confidence that said it wasn’t up for debate. 

Endeavor nodded, obviously not pleased but unwilling to fight this with so many eyes closely watching him. It was then that it occurred to Shouto that it was not only Mitsuki’s glare his father had to deal with but the entire room’s occupants’. 

Fuyumi, who was standing behind the man, quickly took that as a moment to chime in, “We can do dinner another night. Natsuo just told me he couldn’t make it, so it works out anyway!”

Although awkward, it was obviously her attempt to help Shouto and for that he was grateful. Shouto threw her a look, worried about leaving her alone with the angered man, but she subtly shook her head and smiled. It was nothing she hadn’t dealt with before. 

“If this outing causes you to be late to classes tomorrow, you will be hearing from me.” It was the closest his father would get to saying he could leave but it was enough for Shouto. 

Unwilling to falter from his intimidation tactics Mistuki said, “Shouto’s a good kid, he would never .”

She began to lead him out of the room and the rest of the family followed suit, joining her in vacating the premises. Then there was a moment where Masato stood in front of Endeavor and looked up at him with a sour look. Endeavor looked down at him as if he were a pest and raised an eyebrow, questioning why this child was staring at him, and in response Masato raised his arm and pointed directly at the man. 

Before anyone else could even notice, Shouto doubled back and lowered the little boy’s arm and picked him up for good measure to make sure he didn’t set off an explosion in the house. 

“It’s rude to point.” Was all Endeavor said, unaware of the threat that’d been sent his way. 

Masato just wrinkled his nose as if he had just smelled something bad. 

Once they were outside, Shouto handed off the child to his mother who was likely going to give him a lecture about proper use of his quirk. 

“You shoulda let me exploded him.” The five year old scowled over his mom’s shoulder, forgoing proper speech in his anger. 

“Maybe some other time.” Shouto bargained and Masato seemed to accept that response. 

“We’ll get you to UA in no time!” Riku said as he jogged past him to head to his car. “We’ll caravan. With Mitsuki’s crazy driving in front of us any traffic will part like the red sea.” 

Mitsuki slapped him on the back of the head and Yuki was thrown into a fit of giggles and clapping.

As the family gathered into their various vehicles, creating a game plan for how to get Shouto back to campus as soon as possible, Shouto hung back and watched them. It was strange suddenly have so many people caring for him this unconditionally After all, they had thought he had broken up with Katsuki but still treated him with kindness. They were good people and Shouto felt a wave of guilt wash over him for lying to them all this time. 

“Something on your mind, m’boy?” Hatsu asked as he took place standing next to him. Shouto was ready to deny that anything was wrong but… after all the deceit it was time to tell the truth. 

“I still think you all might be wrong about Katsuki’s feelings for me.” Shouto’s voice was barely above a whisper and part of him hoped that Hatsu wouldn’t hear him but, despite his age, his ears were sharp.

“What makes you say that?” Hatsu asked, far more inquisitive than prepared to rebuke his statement and for that Shouto was grateful. “From what I saw, you two are a very happy couple.”

“We’re not a couple.”

“Well, that's what we’re here to help you fix,” Hatsu said like it was a simple answer but Shouto shook his head.

“No, I mean… we never were a couple. We never dated. It was all fake. Katsuki needed someone to pretend to be his boyfriend and I’ve… cared about him for a long time.” Shouto held his fist tighter, fighting the urge to just abandon the situation, but Hatsu just hummed like he was thinking it all over. 

“So you volunteered?” Hatsu asked and Shouto nodded.

“I’m not proud of it but… I was able to be close to him. I thought that maybe if there was a chance I could find out.” There was a shame that came with saying it out loud, painting this picture of him pathetically pining, but Katsuki’s grandfather seemed strangely accepting of the situation. “Whatever you saw between me and Katsuki, it was an act. At least on his part.”

Hatsu was quiet for a moment, thinking it over, before he let out a chuckle that made Shouto look at him in surprise. Before he could question it, Hatsu spoke. “You know, when Creme-suki was a kid he was a hellion. Impossible to live with really. He constantly caused trouble and frequently would find himself in hot water with his mother since he could never hide whatever he had done. He was never really one to lie his way out of things and even if he tried it was easy to tell. The thing about Katsuki is that he always stays true to himself and, even if he has a hard time understanding his emotions, he’s still true to them. Really the only way he can hide anything is by hiding it with anger.”

Shouto listened to him with rapt attention but still asked, “Why are you telling me this?”

“Because I don’t think my grandson could fake his feelings for you even if he tried. He’s terrible at acting.” The old man said with resolution but then looked at Shouto with a smile. “Also call me a hopeless romantic but… pretending to date over the holidays? That sounds like a great get-together story to me.”

In that moment, Shouto’s fears about telling Katsuki his feelings were gone. 



»»————- ✼ ————-««

 

Bakugou POV



As soon as Katsuki got back to the dorms, after unceremoniously running out of Recovery Girl’s office, he headed to his room and changed out of the shitty scrubs he was wearing in lieu of his beat up hero costume. He didn’t pay much attention to what he threw on and ended up in his usual skull t-shirt with a sweatshirt thrown over it that he hastily shoved his keys into the pocket of. In his rush to leave he nearly tripped as he stumbled back into the hallway still hiking up his baggy jeans and buttoning them, not caring who saw him. It’s not like everyone in class 3-A didn’t already know his life was a wreck. 

He could not believe his family fucking did this to him. Well, actually, he could believe it but that didn’t make it any less of a fucking bold move on their part and Katsuki was prepared to unleash World War III upon his mother. 

When he had checked the family group chat on his phone he didn’t know exactly what he expected, maybe a barrage of messages or at least some missed calls, but there had been absolutely nothing . The family had been absolutely silent which was probably the most incriminating thing they could have done. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that, once they figured out Katsuki was comatose, they sought out Shouto at his family home which was a problem for approximately a billion reasons. All Katsuki could do was hope and pray to some kind of long dead god that he could make it to Shouto’s before his family and thwart their attempts to interfere in his personal life. And maybe, just maybe, he could get a chance to confess to Shouto before they ruined everything. 

“Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!” Katsuki essentially chanted as he chose to forgo the elevator to take the stairs two at a time. It wouldn’t surprise him in the least if his classmates heard his frantic state but with the way their dorms were he was certain they had heard stranger things. Luckily when he passed through the common room it was at least empty so he wouldn’t have to take the time to tell people to fuck off when they asked what was wrong. 

Katsuki threw open the front door to the dorms and immediately crashed into a body, almost sending them both of them to the ground. 

Katsuki was about to shout for whoever it was to get the fuck out of his way but the words died in his mouth when he was suddenly face to face with Shouto who seemed just as shocked as him when he said, “Ka- Bakugou?” 

Automatically, Katsuki clamped a hand over Shouto’s mouth so he couldn’t say anything else but immediately realized how childish that was when Shouto’s eyebrows skyrocketed in surprise. 

“Shit, sorry I just-” Katsuki removed his hand and Shouto remained quiet as he continued to try to explain himself. “I got something I need to say and if I don’t fucking say it now I’m never gonna. So just- … just give me a minute.” 

Shouto’s lips were parted in a slight ‘o’ shape as his eyes roamed over Katsuki likely in search of some kind of answer as to what this could be about. It made it difficult for Katsuki to stay focused on the potential confession when the expression on Shouto’s face made him want to just kiss him. Now was not the time for that though, now was the time for actual communication and Katsuki just had to shake the memories of kissing Shouto out of his mind before he became utterly useless. 

Obviously Katsuki was wondering how Shouto had gotten there and why he had come back at all but at the moment that didn’t matter. All that mattered was that he was here. 

“Look, I’m not very good at sayin’ this type of shit but I-… you deserve to know, I guess. First of all, I wanna say I’m sorry. I’ve been acting like a complete dick and there’s no excuse for that. You don’t need to forgive me, and I get it if you don’t, but I still needed to say it.” Katsuki took a deep calming breath and rubbed the back of his neck, feeling more and more fidgety as Shouto’s gaze on him intensified. 

“But that’s not all.” Shouto’s voice wasn’t accusatory, it more than anything seemed full of wonder. Like he couldn’t quite believe what was happening and was urging him to continue. 

“It’s not,” Katsuki admitted, wishing he could sound more confident than he was but, even to his own ears, his voice sounded nervous. “I- shit…”

Katsuki had to break eye contact to say what he had to next, “I’ve always thought of love as some bullshit concept, some kind of weakness dumb fuckers fall for, but over the holidays you showed me that's not true. It was a goddamn terrifying thing to realize and I didn’t know what the hell to do. I don’t even know when or where it happened but at some point you became such a big part of my life and I can’t imagine not having you there to push me, to challenge me, to surprise me… Shit, Shouto, you make me a better person.”

Katsuki could feel his eyes begin to well up with unshed tears from the intensity of his emotions and fear of rejection increased the longer Shouto remained perfectly still and silent. “I-I’m happy when I’m with you. I fucking hate people but I can’t find it in my heart to hate you and it pisses me off because I actually fucking like you. Like like you. Fuck-” 

Katsuki could have ripped his own hair out in that moment for using the dumb terminology his friends had used in the past. He could feel his anxiety intensify and continued to look at his shoes, ready to sink into the ground or disintegrate into thin air because Shouto was so quiet Katsuki wasn’t even sure he was breathing at that point. Instead of cutting his losses and making a tactical retreat, Katsuki just continued with the stream of consciousness he was on. “I can’t get you off my fucking mind and its goddamn torture cause I know you don’t feel the same way but I- shit I had to tell you before I lost my fucking mind. It took me until last week to figure it out but I think I’m in fucking love with you, okay? And the more I look back the longer I realize its been that way and I just- … just say something you fucking asshole -”

Katsuki was cut off when Shouto surged forward, hand moving to caress the back of his neck, and pulled him into a desperate kiss that stifled the small gasp that slipped through Katsuki’s lips. 

The other times they had kissed it had always been initiated by Katsuki, even when it was under the guise of ‘practicing’ Shouto had waited for Katsuki to meet him halfway, but this time Shouto held nothing back. It was like something inside Shouto snapped, urging him to finally take what he wanted, and it sent a thrill up Katsuki’s spine that finally launched him into action.

Katsuki didn’t melt into the kiss so much as he pushed back with fervor, matching Shouto’s intensity, and felt satisfaction run through him like fire when Shouto made a pleased hum in response. 

Katsuki didn’t know when he stepped backwards but suddenly his back was pressed flush against the door and Katsuki didn’t realize just how cold he was until he was surrounded by the warmth of Shouto’s body. Katsuki wrapped his arms around his neck, gripping the back of Shouto’s jacket like it was a lifeline, in need of something to ground him with the way his head was spinning. 

It was Shouto who broke the kiss only to pepper more along Kastuki’s jaw with reverence as he said against his skin, “We’re so stupid.” 

Katsuki immediately bristled. “ Who the fuck are you calling -”

“Katsuki,” Shouto pulled back so he could look him in the eyes. “I’ve had feelings for you for over a year now.”

Goddamnit , we’re so fucking stupid ,” Katsuki moved his hands so he was gripping Shouto’s collar and pulled him into another deep kiss that Shouto was plenty happy to reciprocate.

The kiss turned into something slightly slower, like they just realized the other wasn’t going to suddenly disappear and they could take their time exploring each other. Katsuki hadn’t thought that would be something he would actually enjoy but, when Shouto ran his thumb along his cheekbone like he was something to be cherished, Katsuki found himself releasing a low whine that elicited an almost immediate reaction from Shouto, who let his warm hand slip under his shirt to rest against the skin of his hip. 

Katsuki couldn’t be sure how long they kissed but it was sometime when Shouto was mouthing at his neck that the day finally caught up to Katsuki and he let out a yawn.

Shouto chuckled, “Am I boring you already?”  

“Fuck off,” Katsuki shoved his shoulder without any real force, not truly wanting Shouto to move away. “I’ve barely been able to get any sleep without your fucking snoring.” 

Shouto’s head snapped up and he looked at him in surprise, “You too?”

It was then that Katsuki noticed just how tired Shouto looked. 

Then Shouto’s face turned to one of concern, “Wait, I snore?”

“Don’t give me that look. It’s fucking cute.” Shouto’s eyes widened when Katsuki said this and his lips parted with shock as a faint blush appeared on his cheeks. Katsuki didn’t give him any time to recover before he dragged him inside and pulled Shouto over to the couch where he shoved him down to lay across it. Shouto looked confused until Katsuki laid on top of him and began to settle down comfortably for a much needed nap.

“You could use your words you know,” Shouto said with amusement as he reached over to grab a blanket to drape across the two of them.

Katsuki tilted his head up and lightly nipped Shouto’s neck in revenge, smirking when it earned him a sharp inhale from the boy underneath him. 

“Shut up and go to sleep,” Katsuki ordered and Shouto didn’t fight him on that one.

Katsuki rested his head against Shouto’s chest and, with his heartbeat in his ear, Katsuki was finally able to slip into a much needed deep sleep.

 

»»————- ✼ ————-««



“Dude I thought you were pulling my leg but they are totally snuggling. ” Katsuki stirred awake, roused by what Kaminari clearly misjudged as a whisper. He tried to go right back to sleep, enjoying the rise and fall of Shouto’s chest beneath him, but another voice piped up.

“Oh my god oh my god oh my god! Why are they so cute. I didn’t know Bakugou could be that cute. I’m kinda shook you guys.” Mina’s voice was so high pitched it took everything for Katsuki not to scowl but he kept pretending to sleep, listening in on their not so subtle whispers. 

“Do you think this means they’re together?” 

“I sure hope so, Hanta.” Kirishima replied and Katsuki could hear the grin in his voice when he continued, “That would mean I won the betting pool.”

“No way! You said they would get together on New Years Day because you thought they would kiss at midnight.” Sero argued. “I said they would get together this week,”

“Shhhh! Quiet down! I have to take a picture of this before they wake up.”

Katsuki’s eyes snapped open and in a split second he had Mina’s arm in his iron grip, glaring at her over the edge of the couch like some kind of horror villain with major bedhead. Mina released a terrified screech, not at all suspecting that Katsuki would suddenly spring up like a Halloween animatronic in a haunted house. 

What the fuck do you think you are doing? ” Katsuki’s voice was a low growl that sent everyone back a step, except for Mina who was trapped in her folly and now likely considering just playing dead.

Katsuki then plucked the phone from Mina’s hand and unceremoniously deleted the photo from existence... 

...As well as the message where he sent the photo to himself, so no one would be the wiser. 

Suddenly arms wrapped around Katsuki’s torso. Shouto, obviously displeased about being awake, rested his head against his shoulder and hid his face in the crook of Katsuki’s neck, mumbling, “Come back to sleep, kitten.” 

Katsuki felt his face flush at the pet name Shouto had chosen to use but he felt some of the tension leave his shoulders.

Kitten? ” Kirishima repeated with his voice comically high from the shock. 

Katsuki's eyes turned to fire again and he chucked Mina’s phone directly at Kirishima’s face, taking no responsibility for the crunch he heard from the device as the rest of the group scattered in fear. Shouto chuckled against his back, pulling Katsuki down so they could both drift back off.