"hey," there was a sharp flick to kaminari's left shoulder and he whirled around, nearly dropping his phone onto the concrete. he teetered, the hand that flicked him roughly clasping his shoulder to steady him. kaminari righted himself and properly took a look at the person that made him almost jump out of his skin. a train noisily came to a stop at the other platform of the station and kaminari watched bakugou give what could've been a half-hearted smile on a good day.
"oh. hey, bakugou," kaminari said in greeting, bakugou simply tilting his head up in response. he took his hand from kaminari's shoulder and shoved it in the pocket of his jacket before making a move to stand next to kaminari, albeit several feet away.
kaminari looked back at his phone, feeling bakugou's gaze raking over him. "i didn't expect to be here before you," he said while scrolling down his instagram feed. bakugou made some sort of indignant noise beside him.
"i was getting my full twelve hours," he deadpanned. kaminari's mouth twitched up at the corner and he had to fight a full blown amused smile. another train zipped past, sending a gust of dusty air into kaminari's face. a silence was just beginning to stretch when kaminari spoke again, putting his phone away this time.
"so... what do you want to do today?" he asked, turning his head to look at bakugou, who was sort of glaring at the train announcement display over the track. the furrow between his brows deepened when he looked at kaminari.
"i don't fucking know," he grumbled. "what did you say we were doing?" kaminari pursed his lips. if he recalled correctly, bakugou was the one who'd asked if he'd wanted to hang out today— which was a record first. bakugou never asked anyone to go anywhere. he was simply dragged around places by kirishima, sero, ashido, and kaminari. at first, kaminari hadn't known how to respond to bakugou actually asking him to actually go somewhere, so he'd just sat at the lunch table with rice in his mouth and a blank expression on his face.
"what?" he'd said through the food in his mouth. bakugou had been sitting across from him and the others had left to go hijack the vending machine.
"what the fuck do you mean, 'what,'" bakugou had growled, stabbing a piece of pork in his bento, which kaminari had found oddly endearing. "i fucking asked you if you wanted to hang out this weekend." kaminari remembered that he had to chew and swallow.
"um... i mean... sure, dude, if you wanna," he'd answered carefully after he'd swallowed, not exactly sure how to proceed through this kind of situation. bakugou shoved the piece of pork in his mouth and chewed furiously, curtly nodding as if saying, "yeah, that's what i thought, dunce face."
when he'd told ashido about it that night in the common room, she had just briefly looked up from her magazine with a smirk on her face.
"it's a date," she'd said with so much confidence that kaminari felt belittled.
he'd choked on air, almost knocking over the yellow nail polish he was using and getting it all over the couch. "it is not!" he'd sputtered back. "he just wants to hang out."
ashido hummed and turned a page in her magazine. "like i said. it's a date. bakugou never wants to 'just hang out.'" she peered at him again with a raised brow. "when has he ever wanted to just hang out? we have to practically drag him everywhere when we want to do something with him." kaminari frowned deeply, putting way too much effort into painting his left pinky.
"it's not—" ashido cut him off by smacking him on the leg with that damned gossip magazine.
"it's a date, kami," she said, leaning forward and looking straight at him. kaminari made a nervous face, and after a moment, ashido leaned back and turned another page. "just make sure you look good, alright? no friend of mine is gonna go on a date looking like a hot pile of sewage."
when kaminari had gotten up the morning he and bakugou were supposed to hang out, he'd just worn his normal street clothes— a faded graphic t-shirt, ripped jeans, yellow checkered vans, and a fuzzy sweater that he'd stolen from sero's closet ages ago— because it was not a date . he'd been infinitely relieved when he hadn't seen ashido on his way out of the dorms.
"i didn't say anything," kaminari established. people were starting to crowd onto the platform, the train's arrival time only seconds away. bakugou was forced to stand a little closer to him. "but if you want, i know a good coffee shop three stops away from here." bakugou frowned, but seemed to be considering it.
"i don't drink coffee," he grunted, looking over his shoulder to sneer at someone who’d bumped into him.
kaminari rolled his eyes. "i know. they have lots of good iced teas there, trust me. i went with sero a couple weeks back and he's obsessed with the tea... though that's not saying much since he's obsessed with most tea." bakugou kept frowning. kaminari wasn't sure if bakugou's resting face was literally a frown or if the guy just really didn't like him. air gusted up onto the platform as the train approached.
"i don't really care," bakugou said. "just don't disappoint me." kaminari rolled his eyes again but had to fight another smile. he didn't think he knew anyone as melodramatic as bakugou. the wave of people around them surged forward when the train came to a rapid stop in front of them. bakugou brushed past him into the car and kaminari nearly lost his friend in the sea of bodies.
once the doors closed, he spotted bakugou sitting down in a seat on the far side of the car, next to a woman with a squirming baby. kaminari mumbled muted excuse me's and sorries as he pushed through the people to get to bakugou. upon arriving in front of bakugou, kaminari quickly clasped the handrail attached to the ceiling as the train lurched forward towards the first stop.
neither of them said anything to each other, the minutes ticking by. kaminari watched bakugou begin to glare daggers at the baby next to him, who was trying to reach over her mother's arm and grab a fistful of bakugou's jacket. her little fingers just barely grazed bakugou's jacket multiple times despite bakugou's futile inching in the opposite direction.
"so," kaminari started, prompting bakugou's gaze to snap up to him. the little girl blubbered something incoherent and attempted to once again grab bakugou's jacket. "how are you."
bakugou's mouth pressed into an all-too-familiar line. "what kind of bullshit question is that?" the baby's mother caught wind of the swear and disapprovingly gathered her child up in her arms a little more tightly. the train slowed, nearing the first stop.
"it's not a bullshit question." kaminari replied sourly. "how do you expect for us to hang out today if you can't even talk to me? surely best jeanist taught you some kind of manners, dude." the next station rolled up, the train doors opening and allowing people to disembark. the baby continued to reach for bakugou.
"yeah, whatever. i don't even know why i fucking bothered." okay, kaminari was getting irritated now. he couldn't believe he was friends with this asshole.
"neither do i," he grumbled, making a show of shoving his hand into his pants pocket and looking into the train at anyone who wasn't bakugou. the train doors closed again and they continued on their way.
another stop came and went, and the two of them said nothing to each other. the baby had finally taken hold of a very small patch of bakugou's jacket and was pulling on it insistently. kaminari looked at bakugou for the quickest second to see him look like he was about ready to blast the poor girl into oblivion.
it was silent for a little while longer. as the train got closer to their stop, bakugou lightly kicked kaminari's shin.
"what," kaminari said flatly, his eyes more on the baby than bakugou.
"i'm doing fucking fine, i guess," bakugou said gruffly.
kaminari's gaze snapped to his friend's face. "what?" he repeated, more confused this time.
"to answer your question," bakugou stated, like it was obvious. "i'm fine." there was a pause and bakugou looked like he was trying to force words out of his mouth, his brow all creased. "how are you?"
kaminari actually smiled— he had to try really hard to keep from beaming. "i'm great, thanks for asking. kinda excited to show you this coffee place." bakugou sniffed, tilting his head up and looking down his nose at kaminari.
"it better be good," he said. it sounded like a threat, which kaminari found oddly hilarious.
"trust me, it is. i know exactly what to order for you." bakugou's brow creased further, his mouth turning down rather dramatically. the train slowed to a stop, and after a couple moments, the doors to the right of them slid open, revealing the train platform.
"who said you're ordering for me, dunce face? i'm perfectly capable of ordering my own fucking drink," bakugou grunted, kaminari motioning for him to get up and leading him out of the train. the baby who'd been holding onto bakugou's sleeve wailed a little as they left. kaminari laughed, slung his arm around bakugou's shoulders as they walked out of the train station and onto the street. bakugou stiffened a little bit at his touch, but nothing kaminari wasn't used to.
"you know what i mean," kaminari said, still smiling a little. "i know exactly what i'm pretty sure you're going to like." bakugou scoffed and said nothing, kaminari weaving the both of them through the now-thinning sea of people. they walked across a crosswalk, then kaminari steered bakugou to the right, dropping his arm from his friend's shoulder to put his hands in his back pockets.
they passed by several storefronts with window displays advertising sweets and hero costume fittings and psychics. there were so many things to look at and be distracted by that kaminari almost didn't realize that bakugou had stopped to eye one particular window display.
"hey," bakugou called. kaminari abruptly stopped walking and turned around. bakugou was standing three stores away, while kaminari was almost at the end of the street.
kaminari began jogging back to bakugou. "what?" bakugou was giving a level stare to whatever was inside the glass, and when kaminari got closer, he discovered that the store was a video game store. bakugou pointed lazily at something to the left and kaminari's gaze followed his finger.
"isn't that the one game you won't shut up about?" kaminari squinted, then reeled back, gasping.
"it is!" he exclaimed. "legend of blue scroll, the brand new rpg." he had, in fact, been talking about the game nonstop since it was first advertised a couple months back, mostly in sero's direction since he was pretty much the only one who cared enough, but he still hadn't raked together enough money to buy it in that course of time. at one point, sero said he was going to get it and they could share the game disk, but it ended up not happening for some reason or another. kaminari was still itching to finally have the game in his hands and he knew that he'd end up annoying the hell out of his friends if he didn't do that eventually.
"do you wanna go in and get it?" bakugou asked. kaminari blinked at the game in all its shiny-packaged glory, then blinked at bakugou. he almost wasn't sure if he'd heard him correctly. it sounded like he was actually being considerate for once.
kaminari shook his head. "i wish, but i can't. the game's 5,000 yen and that's, like, all of my money." bakugou was silent for a second, simply putting his hands back in his pockets, then grunted, brushing past kaminari for the second time that day. kaminari watched him walk down the sidewalk for a little bit, then looked back into the video game display and sighed. he turned on his heel and ran to catch up with his friend, making sure to steer him to the left, in the direction of the coffee shop.
they walked in silence, which wasn’t uncomfortable for some reason. after several minutes and three crosswalks, kaminari pointed to a cozy-looking building nestled between a secondhand store and a mini-mart.
“it’s that over there,” he said, going behind bakugou and putting his hands on his shoulders, bouncing on the balls of his feet as they got closer. bakugou shrugged him off, but kaminari resorted to pushing bakugou towards the coffee shop by placing his palms on the small of his back. when they got there, bakugou opened the door and nearly let it slam in kaminari’s face. he had to shove his foot in the door to keep it from doing so, shouldering his way inside.
the coffee shop was warm, so warm that it was almost stiflingly so. there were many tables crowded into the tight space of the sitting area and there was a modest line of people standing in line for the cashier. kaminari weaved through the labyrinth of tables and people and laptop screens to get to the line, bakugou not far behind.
“the line’s kind of long,” kaminari said with a huff. he turned to the side to see bakugou taking off his jacket.
“thanks for pointing out the obvious,” he replied, draping his jacket over his forearm. kaminari resisted the urge to stamp his foot.
“shut up. you know what i mean.” kaminari squinted at the menu even though he already knew what he wanted, just wanting to not look at bakugou. he ordered the same thing every time he came here. he was pretty sure the barista knew what he liked by now. “there usually aren’t that many people here. when i came with sero, it was basically empty.”
the door opened, the little bell on the frame tingling as someone else walked in. the line crawled forward and suddenly kaminari could feel bakugou’s presence much closer than he had before. he turned and almost came nose to nose with his friend, bakugou angling back to prevent a collision. at kaminari’s confused stare, bakugou just tch ed and cast an angry glance at the person behind him. they were yapping away on the phone, standing so close to bakugou that he’d had to scoot up closer to kaminari so he wouldn’t be right up on the stranger.
“do you know what you want?” kaminari asked, trying to move to the side so he wouldn’t be so close to bakugou.
when bakugou spoke, kaminari could feel his breath. “no,” he said, then looked off at the wall, his eyebrows drawn together. it was quiet between them for a second. the person on the phone laughed raucously. “what should i get?” the line moved forward, finally giving the two of them room to breathe. kaminari put at least a foot of space between them, not sure if his face was warm because of the heat of the coffee shop or because of the awkwardness that came with feeling bakugou’s breath on his neck.
“their raspberry-lemon green tea is to die for,” he suggested, eyes grazing over bakugou’s bare forearms as bakugou looked over at the menu. “i also think you’d like the pomegranate and citrus tea. i think they put ginger and cinnamon in it too, so it sorta has a spiciness.” bakugou’s gaze landed back on kaminari.
“yeah? so which one should i get?” did bakugou usually ask him this many questions in one day?
kaminari looked away, feeling awkward again. “probably the pomegranate and citrus tea. i think you’d like that one better.” he saw bakugou nod out of the corner of his eye and they didn’t say anything else until they got up to the cashier a few moments later.
“hi! welcome to the coffee cup,” chirped the redheaded girl at the counter. her hair flowed around her face and rippled down her shoulders, her eyes bright and brown like milk chocolate. she was pretty, kaminari decided. her smile was nice too. “what can i get for you today?”
“i’ll have a large caramel macchiato with extra whipped cream,” kaminari answered. “oh, and put a lot of sugar in there.” the girl tapped away at her computer screen, then she and kaminari both looked at bakugou expectantly. bakugou gave them both a dismissive wave.
“the pomegranate and citrus tea for me,” he said flatly, kaminari’s mouth turning up at the corners a little. the girl continued to tap away at her screen.
“that’ll be 870 yen, please!” kaminari dug around in his pockets, pulling out a wad of bills and coins and trying not to drop everything.
“wait, no— stupid, don’t pay for mine,” bakugou snapped, already taking out his wallet. kaminari rolled his eyes overdramatically.
“dude, please,” he drawled. “i’ve already got it sorted out. don’t make me put it all away now.” he handed nine 100 yen coins to the cashier before bakugou could do anything else. bakugou growled at him and he made an ugly face back at his friend. the cashier hesitated for a moment before putting the coins into the register.
“could i get your name for the order?” kaminari turned back to her with a lazy smile.
“could i get your number?” he asked, growing pleased when the girl’s cheeks went rosy. it was cute. she went to grab two cups from the towering stack next to her, fumbling them.
“oh! a-ah… well—”
“just put bakugou,” bakugou cut in, seemingly already fed up with this whole display. the cashier nodded quickly, pulling her bottom lip into her mouth as she scribbled bakugou’s name and then some various abbreviations on both of the cups. kaminari frowned at bakugou. bakugou didn’t look at him. the cashier put the cups on the counter, then started digging through the register for change after pulling the receipt from the machine.
“your change is th-thirty yen,” she stammered, pressing the coins and receipt into kaminari’s hand. he smiled at her again and her face got a little redder.
“thanks,” he said, letting their fingers touch a little longer than normal. bakugou was already walking away.
“you’re welcome,” the girl blurted, suddenly breaking into a tiny smile. kaminari folded the receipt and tucked it with the coins into his pocket. he could feel the girl’s eyes on him as he walked to the table bakugou had settled down at. bakugou had propped his feet up on another chair and was aggressively texting someone on his phone, his thumbs flying across the onscreen keyboard. his jacket was draped over the table.
kaminari plonked down into the chair across from bakugou, letting out a long sigh as he stretched his arms over his head. he watched bakugou type for a couple moments, observed that ever-present crease between his brows (he was going to have a wicked wrinkle there someday), then pulled out his own phone. there were several texts from ashido waiting for him when he unlocked it, but he ignored them, knowing that they were definitely about what he and bakugou were doing right now.
he opened snapchat and started to take dumb pictures of himself for streaks, then fiddled with filters for a while until he decided to flip the camera on bakugou to see just what his friend would look like with floaty pink hearts around his head. against his better judgement, he started to take a video, those hearts hovering just above the spiked points of bakugou’s hair.
“oy, bakugou,” he called, garnering himself a glance of surprise mixed with curiosity— an expression that he didn’t think he’d ever gotten before. the wholesomeness of it all faded rather quickly, bakugou realizing what was happening real fast. “smile!”
“turn that shit off, dumbass!” bakugou exclaimed, slamming his phone down onto the table and reaching over in an attempt to snatch kaminari’s phone from his hands. kaminari laughed, dodging bakugou’s swiping and ending the video. he leaned back in his chair to save the video and put it on his story before bakugou made him delete it.
“delete that!” bakugou growled rather predictably. “you know i fucking hate it when people pull shit like that.”
kaminari flashed him his widest grin, tucking his phone between his thighs so bakugou would stop reaching for it. “you won’t even see it. you don’t even have snapchat. it’ll be like it never existed.” bakugou glared viciously at him before sitting back down. he propped his feet up again and continued texting whoever he’d been texting before. it was probably kirishima, if kaminari had to take a guess.
kaminari looked around the coffee shop aimlessly as they waited for bakugou’s name to be called. he took in the laid back atmosphere and watched all the people sipping their drinks while typing away on phones and laptops and tablets. it was so hard to believe that there were other people in the world who had actual lives sometimes. all these people would leave this coffee shop and go home to families, friends, partners, and live out lives that kaminari would never know about. it was an insane concept.
kaminari’s phone buzzed between his legs as soon as the barista at the back of the coffee shop yelled out bakugou’s name. bakugou got up to get the drinks, giving kaminari an opportunity to read the notification… or notifications, since more messages were coming by the second. they were all on snapchat and kaminari didn’t even need to open his phone all the way to know exactly who was messaging him.
ashidoh!: THE DATE HOWS THE DATE!!
ashidoh!: looks like you two are having fun yeah
ashidoh!: baku looks nice hes even bustin out those biceps for u isnt he
kaminari rolled his eyes so hard at his phone that they might’ve jostled around a bit. bakugou sat back down, roughly putting his coffee down in front of him.
“thanks,” he said idly. bakugou said nothing, simply propping his feet up yet again and sucking on the straw of his tea as he returned to texting.
kamidarni: not a date
kaminari looked over at bakugou, who’d finally stopped texting and was slurping that tea down so fast that it would be gone in several moments if he kept up. he guessed that he liked it, which was good. kaminari was just about to say something about bakugou’s drinking speed when his friend set the cup down on the table with a loud clattering of ice. he started to text again, but then stopped, meeting kaminari’s wandering gaze. kaminari’s phone buzzed in his hands.
bakugou tossed a crumpled piece of paper at him, one that he’d randomly procured from an unseen pocket. kaminari caught it on a reflex.
“what’s this?” he asked, setting his phone down to uncrumple the paper. it smelled like caramel, like bakugou. bakugou glared back at his phone, aggressively pressing the home button twice and flicking his thumb up a bunch of times.
“the barista bitch gave it to me.” he paused like he wasn’t sure he really wanted to say his next words. “told me to give it to you.” kaminari straightened instantly and he put the paper down on the table to smooth it out with his fingers. he let out a tiny little gasp when he scanned the written contents.
“she gave me her number!” he declared in disbelief. bakugou frowned at him when he tried to show him the paper. “her name’s fushigi too! isn’t that cute?” bakugou scoffed and rolled his eyes, picking up his tea and sucking on the straw again. kaminari smiled dumbly at the paper, resisting the urge to look over his shoulder and smile at the cashier again. her handwriting was nice, sort of slanted to the right and filled with sloping lines. she’d put a little heart under the phone number, the kanji for her last name next to it. kaminari wondered what her given name was. he bet it was cute too.
bakugou’s voice sliced right through his daydream and it took a second for kaminari to register what the boy was saying.
“did you really have to do that?”
kaminari blinked at him, looking up from the scrap of paper. “do what?” bakugou shot him a look that very obviously said, “don’t play stupid with me, shitface.” when kaminari just continued to stare at him blankly, he huffed, rolling his eyes again like it was such a burden to talk to him.
“hit on the fucking girl like that,” he more or less spat, pausing to slurp on his tea before continuing. “she’s probably like three years older than you.” kaminari made a face.
“so?” he said with a shrug. “it’s what i always do. you should know this by now.” he carefully folded the paper with the barista’s number on it and put it in his pocket with the receipt and all his money, then wrapped his hands around the warm cup of coffee in front of him. “besides, it doesn’t matter how old she is. she still gave me her number either way.” bakugou, frankly, looked disgusted with him.
“yeah, sure. don’t know what i expected anyway.” kaminari had no idea what that meant and was about to ask for clarification when bakugou looked back at his phone, which was vibrating frantically. he was clearly done with this conversation, beginning to text again. kaminari made another face at him even though he wasn’t looking, sticking out his tongue childishly before picking up his coffee and taking a sip. there was just enough sugar.
they sat in silence. the two of them seemed to sit in silence a lot, especially today. bakugou was certainly texting up a storm over on his side of the table, and kaminari just watched him do that as he sipped at his coffee. he gazed at the coffee shop’s patrons as well, wanting to avoid looking at his phone as to not have to endure any more of ashido’s texts for the rest of the time he and bakugou were together.
he started to zone out, eyes fixed on a point a little bit to the right of bakugou’s head, mind racing with thoughts about that one english assignment he knew he didn’t do, about the battle training they’d done on friday, about ashido and her dumb relationship fantasies, about whatever this thing was today with bakugou and— honestly?— about how much of an asshole bakugou was. he thought about the latter a lot. lately, more than usual.
he sat there, daydreaming again, until bakugou slurped his tea right down to the dregs, the ice rattling inside the plastic cup. when bakugou started loudly crunching on the ice, the noise snapped kaminari out of his trance and made him jump in his chair. he watched bakugou swing his feet down from the chair they were propped up on, then stand up, setting his phone and cup down on the table to put his jacket back on.
“what are you doing,” he asked, blinking several times. bakugou stared at him.
“i’m fucking starving. let’s go,” was what he answered with. kaminari found himself standing up too, coffee in hand, even though he didn’t really want to.
“there’s food here, you know.”
bakugou looked at him like he was a complete simpleton, a look that he’d gotten very used to receiving over the past several months. “870 yen for two drinks?” he tsked, shaking his head violently. “that’s fucking ridiculous. this place is overpriced as hell.” kaminari couldn’t help but chuckle, his feet following bakugou as his friend picked up his things and made for the door.
“seems like a pretty decent price to me,” he responded. bakugou gave him that look again.
“you have absolutely no concept of financial stability. this” —bakugou made a wild gesture at the general expanse of the coffee shop before using his back to push the front door open— “is a complete scam. you can get better coffee for 200 yen at the fucking gas station.”
“the gas station!” kaminari snorted. “yeah, that’s funny. gas stations only serve hot sludge. no one gets good coffee for 200 yen. that is a scam.” he walked out the door, bakugou close behind him. the coffee shop door closed with a muted jingle of the bell inside. they walked down the street aimlessly, neither of them knowing exactly where they were headed at this point.
“so where do you wanna eat, dude?” kaminari ended up asking at the crosswalk. cars zipped past and kaminari continued to nurse his coffee. bakugou was still chomping on ice.
“i don’t fucking know. just pick a place.”
“okay. let’s go to mcdonald’s,” kaminari said before he could think. he instantly cursed himself for how idiotic that sounded and almost went to correct himself, but bakugou didn’t protest, just shrugged and shook some more ice from his cup into his mouth. his teeth were very white and very straight.
“i don’t care,” he said dismissively when he’d finished crunching. “as long as you know the way.” they waited for the stoplight to turn red. “honestly, i could use a fuck ton of french fries right now.” kaminari barked out a laugh, surprised by the sheer absurdity of the statement. it sounded so out of place coming out of bakugou’s mouth. he’d never heard him say anything like that. usually bakugou was always grumbling about eating balanced meals and drinking enough water. he was never grumbling about craving mcdonald’s french fries. that was ashido’s job.
the cross signal turned green, prompting the two of them to walk across the street. they reached the other side, then bakugou stopped, crunching the last of his ice before chucking his empty cup into a trash bin by the curb. kaminari pushed him forward.
“we’re gonna walk three blocks and then turn right, yeah?” he said, bakugou swatting at him to make him stop pushing (touching?) him.
“why do you know the way to get to mcdonald’s?” bakugou asked with a sniff. kaminari raised an eyebrow at him, taking another drink of his coffee.
“i’m around here a lot,” he replied. “you could probably ask me how to get to anywhere around here and i could tell you.” they walked some more, the sound of their footsteps against the sidewalk rhythmic and soothing in a sense. kaminari’s coffee was starting to cool in his hands.
“where’s the park?” bakugou asked next. kaminari thought about this, tilting his head to the side and then pointing to the left.
“two blocks to the left, then one to the right.”
“the movie theater?”
“four blocks straight and three blocks left.”
“one block left, three blocks straight, then… two more blocks left, i think.” bakugou looked reluctantly impressed, his eyes sweeping over him with a new sort of light. kaminari just smiled at him, then sipped at his coffee again. bakugou’s mouth… twitched, but he looked away before kaminari could really see. for a second, kaminari wondered if bakugou ever really actually smiled. he’d have to ask kirishima about that later.
they walked the first three blocks in a comfortable silence. kaminari finished up his coffee near the end of the second block and when he crossed in front of bakugou to put his empty coffee cup in the trash, bakugou simply reached out and plucked the thing from his hands, flinging it into the trash can at the curve of the block.
“bakugou!” kaminari protested, settling back into step with his friend, but by the curb this time. “i was going to throw it away.” bakugou shoved his hands in the pockets of his jacket, his mouth tilting down on one side. any sign of his previous admiration of kaminari’s knack for remembering directions was gone, replaced with the bakugou kaminari was used to.
“you were in my way,” he grunted. “it was easier to just throw the shit away myself.” kaminari squinted at him, then dismissed the whole thing. the reasons bakugou had for things were ridiculous and he should be used to them by now. they turned right at the end of the street. kaminari could see the outline of the mcdonald’s from where they were.
there were more cars on this road, sending gusts of wind through kaminari’s hair every time they passed by. it made his hair keep falling in his face, and after several futile attempts of tucking it behind his ear only to have it blow right back into his face, he took one of the many hair elastics from his wrist and started to pull his hair up. he could feel bakugou watching him as he did so.
“what,” he said to bakugou, elastic in his mouth as he gathered his hair at the nape of his neck in one hand. bakugou looked away so fast that it was like he’d never been looking at all. they kept walking. more cars passed by and the wind blew some idle strands of kaminari’s hair out of his tiny ponytail. bakugou kept looking at him. kaminari pretended not to notice.
there was a line of cars outside the mcdonald’s, inching through the drive-through. through the windows, kaminari could see all of the people seated at the tables and booths. it looked crowded, even more crowded than the coffee shop they just left, but it was a saturday afternoon after all.
the smell of fried food and the loud chatter of the restaurant was overwhelming as soon as the two of them stepped inside of the mcdonald’s. the line to order was stupidly long, trailing out of the line rails built into the floor and down by the soda machine. bakugou stomped right over to the end of the line, folding his arms across his chest. it was probably going to take at least five minutes for them to get to one of the cashiers.
bakugou pulled out his phone again and began texting for the gazillionth time today. from kaminari’s spot behind him, he could see just who bakugou was texting if he leaned a little forward on his toes to look over bakugou’s shoulder. he tried to quell his curiosity, but the more bakugou typed, the more curious he became. he tried to be subtle when he started to peek over bakugou’s shoulder, the balls of his feet starting to ache as he squinted at bakugou’s phone screen. the text on his phone was frustratingly small. at least the brightness wasn’t at zero.
“who’re you texting,” kaminari blurted before he could help himself, unable to read the name of the contact at the top of the screen. he had to take a step back when bakugou whirled around so not to get clocked right in the face with one of bakugou’s various body parts.
“none of your fuckin’ business!” bakugou practically yelled, expression seeped in anger. “jesus, pikachu, did anyone teach you the concept of fucking privacy?” kaminari gave him an incredulous look, arms akimbo. he should’ve been expecting this response.
“you’ve been on your phone all day,” he whined without meaning to. “you were all like” —he deepened his voice unnecessarily in order to properly mimic bakugou’s words from earlier that week— “‘do you wanna hang out this weekend,’ but as far as i know, hanging out doesn’t exactly imply texting someone really intensely while sitting at the same table of the person you’re supposed to be hanging out with.” bakugou momentarily looked like he was at a loss for words, then turned to face him. the anger on his face didn't reach his eyes. there was a moment of pregnant silence. it looked like there was color rising to bakugou’s cheeks and it was such a strange sight that kaminari almost forgot to be annoyed.
“look, dumbass. i don’t know how to fucking talk to you,” he growled. “being alone with you is weird as hell.”
kaminari didn’t know whether to be offended or flattered. “what?” he said “what” a lot when he was around bakugou. he was just starting to notice. “i really don’t understand what’s going on here today at all.” bakugou opened his mouth to say something else, but then kaminari shook his head, somehow managing to stop bakugou from speaking. “you know what? it’s fine. it doesn’t matter.” he made a move to step out of line in the direction of the bathroom. “i’m going to go to the bathroom. keep my spot in line, okay?”
he felt bakugou’s eyes on his back as he swiftly left the line and ducked into the bathroom several meters away. he didn’t actually need to use the bathroom— he’d really just wanted to get away from bakugou for at least one moment so he could breathe. his friend was so, so strange. all of his true intentions and thoughts were all masked by a constant shield of heat and trigger-quick anger, and kaminari was pretty sure that no one in the history of ever had been able to fully understand the enigma that was bakugou katsuki.
there was thankfully no one in the bathroom. he beelined to the sinks, running the water faucet for no reason at all and looking at himself in the mirror. he guessed that the biggest question he had about this whole day was why on earth did bakugou even entertain the idea of hanging out with him for an entire day if he didn’t even know how to properly hang out with him . one-on-one time with bakugou actually was kind of weird. kaminari wasn’t used to having all of bakugou’s attention. he wasn’t used to giving bakugou all of his attention. he just wasn’t used to… bakugou like this.
he washed his hands, flicking water all over the bottom of the mirror. he dried his hands with a wad of paper towels, then turned back to the mirror to rearrange the askew strands of hair around his face. he smoothed out his sweater, made sure he didn’t have crap on his face, and let out a breath before leaving the bathroom. the insistent chatter of the place rushed back over him as he left the quiet of the bathroom.
when he turned to corner to get back to the line, he quickly discovered that bakugou was, in fact, not in the line anymore. he groaned a little to himself, not at all surprised with this development. of course bakugou would leave him mildly panicked and confused. bakugou always left him mildly panicked and confused.
he scanned the people in line again just in case he’d missed bakugou somehow, then slowly approached the expansive seating area for bakugou under the guise of casually strolling. after a couple moments, he spotted bakugou’s telltale spiky head of hair and that painfully familiar sitting posture— that one where he was all slouchy and careless, his legs apart with feet flat on the ground— in the left corner of the restaurant in front of the wall-length window. he was sitting on one side of a booth, looking outside. kaminari tried to smother his sigh of relief as he sped walked over to the booth.
“hey,” he breathed when he slid into the opposite side of the booth. bakugou turned to look at him with this brief wide-eyed, open expression, but then rapidly set his features in an impassive stare. “you went through the line fast.”
“oh,” bakugou said, reaching onto the tray on the middle of the table and shoving like ten french fries into his mouth at once. “yeah.” kaminari took a moment to look at the tray in between them. there were five cups of fries on the tray, alongside a sizeable box of what looked like chicken nuggets, then two drinks.
“you ordered for me?” he mused, reaching to open the box of chicken nuggets. bakugou made some sort of affirmative noise, dunking his fries in a tiny plastic container of teriyaki sauce. kaminari noticed about seven more similar, unopened teriyaki containers on the tray.
“yeah,” bakugou said again. “you were taking too long in the bathroom, so i just ordered whatever.” he pointed at the chicken nuggets, then pointed at one of the drinks. “i got grape fanta for you because i know you like that shit.” bakugou was right. he did like grape fanta. he always ordered grape fanta at fast food restaurants… and he always ordered chicken nuggets. sero and kirishima liked to tell him that he ate like a child. he couldn’t say that they were wrong.
“oh, thanks, bakugou,” said kaminari, really meaning it. he grabbed his fanta and slurped on it for a second, popped a chicken nugget in his mouth. when he finished chewing, he picked up another chicken nugget and gestured at bakugou with it. “how much did this end up costing?”
salt flew onto the table when bakugou flicked his wrist passively, more fries in hand. one of the cups of fries was almost empty. “doesn’t matter.”
“bakugou, come on. how much was it? i’ll pay you back, otherwise i’ll feel guilty.”
bakugou shoved even more fries into his mouth, shifting the food to the side of his mouth when he spoke. “fuck off, drooly. you paid for the coffee, so it’s only fair that i pay for this. we’re not gonna talk about it anymore.” kaminari scrunched up his nose at him. bakugou gave him a flat stare as he kept wolfing down those teriyaki-soaked fries, daring him to say another thing about it.
it was quiet between them as they ate. bakugou had ordered kaminari a twenty piece box of chicken nuggets, so kaminari tried to take his time eating them and not give himself a stomachache. he stole one of bakugou’s teriyaki packets so he wouldn’t just be eating sauceless nuggets and bakugou miraculously didn’t seem to care. he even pushed the tray in kaminari’s direction, as if he was inviting him to eat some of his million french fries.
kaminari was halfway through his chicken nuggets when he finally decided that he wanted to see if bakugou was really serious about sharing his fries. he posed a hand over one of the cups, met bakugou’s gaze and held it. they looked at each other for almost five seconds, then bakugou rolled his eyes (they both rolled their eyes a lot, kaminari noticed) and pushed the tray a little more in kaminari’s direction. it was a spectacular triumph. bakugou never shared his food with anyone. not even kirishima, who was obviously way closer to bakugou than anyone else in their friend group. the fact that kaminari was currently eating bakugou’s fries was kind of terrifying. he had no idea what this meant. he had no idea what this whole day meant.
the chicken nuggets and three cups of fries were gone in several minutes. kaminari was busy sucking his grape fanta dry when bakugou abruptly stood up from his seat at the booth, wiping his fingers with a napkin.
“what’re you doing,” kaminari said, his straw still in his mouth. bakugou started collecting all the trash onto the tray, notably taking the two uneaten cups of fries off of it.
“leaving. what does it look like?”
bakugou gave him that look, the simpleton look. “i don’t wanna sit in here anymore, dumbass. smells like shit in here and now all my clothes smell like shit too.” he snatched the tray from the table and clipped over to one of the trash cans. kaminari frowned at the table when bakugou was gone, finished his fanta, and ate a couple more fries.
bakugou came back, obviously waiting for kaminari to get up. kaminari got up, empty cup in hand. bakugou picked up the fries, shoving one cup into kaminari’s free hand, then made for the door. kaminari had to rush to follow after him, pausing to throw his cup away by the exit.
his friend was already across the street when he walked out of the mcdonald’s. thankfully, he was waiting, but kaminari ran across the crosswalk when the cross sign said not to walk anyway. there were no cars coming, but one came zipping by right after kaminari landed safely on the opposite curb.
“where are we going?” he asked, popping fries into his mouth as bakugou led the way.
“shut up. you’ll find out.”
bakugou didn’t say anything else until they arrived at wherever they were supposed to be, the only noises between them being their footsteps and the sound of the fries brushing up against the sides of the cups. they walked two blocks, then bakugou took a sharp left turn, snatching kaminari’s now-empty thing of fries from his hands and chucking it into a trashcan. he did the same thing with his empty fry cup. he was so unnecessarily aggressive. it made kaminari want to laugh. he would’ve, but the threat of bakugou burning him to a crisp was very real.
it only became apparent where the two of them were going when they crossed the street again. on the other side of the street was a grassy, hilly expanse of trees and benches and the occasional playground equipment. the park— they were at the park. bakugou remembered the way to the park from when he’d asked kaminari earlier that day.
“the park?” kaminari said stupidly. bakugou readjusted his jacket around him, crossing the street again. kaminari had to jog after him. “why are we at the park?”
“i needed to get the smell of the fucking mcdonald’s off my clothes,” bakugou grunted. kaminari gave him a sideways look. they walked through the wrought iron arched entrance of the park, trees casting shadows on the rock-paved road. the air was cooler here. birdsong sounded all around them, the sun shining through patchy holes in the trees.
the path that they were walking on wound all the way through the park, which was pretty big in retrospect. there was a large pond off to the left side of the park, a playground on the far right, and plenty of picnic spots for people who wanted to sit and enjoy the peace. bakugou, however, was just idly stomping around the path, which kaminari guessed was fine. they walked in a surprisingly comfortable silence, rocks and leaves crunching under their shoes.
it was all so calm and serene that kaminari let himself zone out. the leaves were rustling overhead like a million hushed conversations and the breeze danced between the trees. there were the shouts and laughter of kids from the playground in the distance, the calls of friends across the pond, the skittering of squirrels along the path. even bakugou seemed to be more muted than usual, his features… soft and actually not angry. his hair shifted in the breeze. kaminari wondered if it felt as spikey as it looked.
the silence stretched and stretched and stretched until they got to a break in the path, the left branch leading to the lake and the right branch leading to the playground. they paused there at the crossroads for a moment, then bakugou turned to him.
“which way do you wanna go?” he asked, it feeling like a genuine question, like bakugou really did want to know whether kaminari preferred lakes over playgrounds or not. the tone of voice was so out of place and abnormal that kaminari almost asked the boy in front of him where bakugou was.
“the playground, i guess,” kaminari supplied with a shrug. the lake would stress him out. too much water and his quirk didn’t mix very well. one wrong move and he could end up frying everyone in a mile radius and be short circuited for at least two hours afterward. “we could sit on the swings like little kids.” bakugou made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a smothered chuckle that’d been disguised as a cough.
they made their way towards the playground, the system of slides and jungle gyms visible a several hundred meters away. the rocks underfoot became brown wood chips. there was a legion of children scrambling and crawling over every surface of the playground, screeching and yelling, and the whole scene would’ve been kind of freaky if kaminari didn’t like kids. lucky for him, he liked kids. bakugou? probably not so much.
one of the kids running around barreled right past him, swinging arms centimeters away from hitting him. kaminari had to quickly sidestep in the other direction, stumbling into bakugou as several other kids raced after the one that had just passed. there was a pause, kaminari’s back touching bakugou’s chest. bakugou had put a hand on his arm to steady him (push him away?) and he’d unwittingly put his hand over bakugou’s. he could feel his friend’s breath on his neck for the second time that day. the pause lingered, then the both of them seemed to realize what was happening, bakugou going rigid when kaminari trailed the pads of his fingers over bakugou’s knuckles without thinking.
kaminari startled then, turning his head to look at bakugou. bakugou looked back at him. the expression on his face was a mix of a million different emotions and kaminari had no idea how to read it, so he jumped away from him, feeling a red-hot flush come to his face.
“sorry,” he sort of yelped. bakugou looked at him for a second longer, then turned on his heel and walked towards the swingset. from a distance, kaminari watched bakugou stomp over to the swingset, then ungracefully plonk onto on of the swings, startling the little girl on the swing to his right. after a moment, kaminari made his way over to the swings as well, settling down in the empty swing next to bakugou. they sat there in silence for a very long moment, idly swaying in their respective swings, until the little girl on bakugou’s right hopped off the swing and ran over to her mother, who was calling her from the edge of the playground.
even after the girl left, even after the two of them were sitting by themselves on the swingset, bakugou didn’t say anything for several more seconds, until he did, looking out at some kids playing with cards under one of the slides.
“do you ever worry that you’ll never go pro?” he asked, and it was quiet. kaminari looked at him, looked at his friend’s profile, then dropped his gaze to the wood chips on the ground. it was a weighted question. kaminari didn’t know how to answer it at first.
“… yeah,” he answered slowly, carefully. “i think about it a lot. it kinda stresses me out, you know? i know that i have a strong quirk and i could do great work when i’m older, but then i wonder if i’m just… weak. emotionally, i mean.” bakugou didn’t say anything, so kaminari kept talking. “but you? i really don’t think you have anything to worry about, bakugou. you’re… you’re the best at everything. your quirk is insanely strong, you’re really determined, and you get things done really fast and really well. there’s no way you won’t go pro after you graduate ua.”
the swingset creaked. the kids under the slide were shouting excitedly, smacking cards down onto the wood chips with dramatic, sweeping gestures. they were probably playing pokémon or yu-gi-oh or something. kaminari remembered doing that when he was younger. he smiled a little to himself.
“why do you worry? you are literally pro hero material,” kaminari finally asked, directing his gaze back at bakugou. bakugou was still watching the kids. a moment passed, then bakugou’s eyes drifted in kaminari’s direction. his head tilted up in the slightest way, making it so he was sort of looking down on kaminari even while they were sitting down. something in his jaw clenched and released.
“i don’t,” he said, sounding so unwavered that it sounded less like he was trying to convince kaminari and more like he was trying to convince himself. “i don’t have time to fuckin’ worry.” kaminari took in bakugou’s face: the curve of his cheeks, the slope of his nose, the constant furrow between his brows, the scarlet red of his eyes. he was pretty, kaminari decided. maybe if he smiled, it’d be nice too.
“then why’d you ask?” the question was soft. bakugou looked away again.
“i’m in my head too much,” he said after several long moments. “shit in school gets to me.”
“to you?” kaminari repeated. “since when? you’re virtually emotionless most of the time.”
bakugou shot him a level glare, but didn’t deny it straight off. the glare faded quicker than kaminari thought it would, melting into a far-off expression that he didn’t know how to read. another silence stretched between them. a pair of kids ran past them, yelling and laughing, the noises ringing through the air.
“you’re doing okay, right?” kaminari murmured very quietly. “i know you don’t like talking to me much… but… if you ever— ever want to talk about anything, you can always talk to me.” it was a daring statement. practically everyone at school knew that bakugou only talked to two people when it came to feelings and emotions and all that un-bakugou-like stuff: kirishima and… his own conscience. inviting bakugou to talk to him was like inviting a cement wall to a party. it was impossible and stupid, but kaminari figured that it was worth a shot, since they were here, at the park, having one-on-one bakugou-kaminari time for the first time ever.
“i’m fine,” bakugou answered roughly, completely betraying his previous words. he kept bouncing back and forth between whether he was okay or whether he was on the verge of a breakdown, switching his answers to kaminari’s questions every other second. there was obviously something wrong (of course there was; bakugou had literally been kidnapped earlier in the year. who was kaminari kidding?), but kaminari feared repercussions if he pushed it any further, so he let the subject drop.
they sat on the swings together in a heavy silence for the next ten minutes, swaying a little so that their feet would just barely come off the ground. the silence wasn’t uncomfortable, per se, but it certainly was odd. the silences that he and bakugou usually shared were tense silences filled with a smothered awkwardness that neither of them knew how to fix. this silence was… weighted, but calming somehow, putting all of kaminari’s jumbled up nerves from the day at ease. this silence showed a different side of bakugou, a side that was more contemplative and vulnerable than the bakugou kaminari normally saw in class and on the training grounds. kaminari didn’t know how to feel about bakugou being willing to show this side to him, but he knew he didn’t feel bad about it. if anything, he wanted… well, he wasn’t really sure what he wanted anymore.
when bakugou got up from the swings, kaminari didn’t ask him what he was doing or where he was going, simply plopping his feet on the ground and following after his friend. bakugou was making his way across the playground and back to the path. it was clear that their idle time sitting in the park was over. kaminari met this fact with a little disappointment.
the sky above them was starting to cloud over and turn gray, the first signs of coming rain beginning to reveal themselves. the wind twisting through the trees of the park became more chill. hopefully it wouldn’t start to rain before they arrived at their next destination, which kaminari assumed was the train station, unless bakugou had something different in mind. but if he did, he wasn’t sharing, walking along the path with hands in the pockets of his jacket. the arched park entrance was just on the horizon now. cars zipped by on the street right beyond the gate.
they continued to not speak for the next block and a half, bakugou guiding him along the sidewalk after they’d walked out of the park and back out into town. they passed stores and restaurants and shifty looking bars. bakugou was maintaining a brisk clip of a walk down the street, then paused at a crosswalk as they waited for the cross sign to turn green. several moments slipped by.
“where are we going?” kaminari finally dared to ask. the street across from them and to the right looked vaguely familiar.
bakugou spared him a glance. “why do you always ask me that question? shut your mouth and you’ll find out.” he tch ed, shaking his head. “so fucking impatient.” kaminari frowned at the side of bakugou’s face. the cross sign flicked to green, the cars at the intersection stopping and going methodically. they crossed the street, then bakugou took a sharp turn to the right. as kaminari looked around, everything started to make sense. they were going back to the train station; they’d walked this same road at the beginning of the day.
the darkening sky was starting to feel threatening, the clouds an angry gray that covered the sky like a lumpy sheet. they were coming up on the psychic, the tailor, the bakery that they’d seen when they’d first arrived when the first drop of rain splattered onto the tip of kaminari’s nose. kaminari looked at bakugou, who looked back at him with a mild aura of alarm.
“it wasn’t supposed to rain today,” kaminari said stupidly to him as it began to pour. the rain didn’t bother to gradually build up to a pounding, flooding down from the clouds in thick sheets of water that had kaminari almost soaked through his clothes in a matter of moments. he heard bakugou swear loudly next to him, and then they were running, feet slapping against the pavement as they rushed towards the first storefront that didn’t look like a complete hole in the wall.
they collapsed through the door of said store, clothes and hair dripping water onto the strategically placed doormat in front of the entrance. the air inside the store was like the inside of an airplane, stale but somehow sweet. kaminari started wiping water off his face and shook his hair out of its ponytail, flinging stray droplets everywhere. bakugou let out a grumble beside him.
in the next few moments, kaminari made two discoveries: one, they’d ran into the video game store and, two, he was holding bakugou’s hand. he wasn’t sure which discovery he was more surprised by. the video game store bit was more of a pleasant surprise, but the holding bakugou’s hand bit had kaminari’s ears flaming in seconds. it was a clumsy type of hold, kaminari clutching onto bakugou’s fingers with bakugou’s hand tucked under his, their thumbs pressing into each other. bakugou’s hand was rough and calloused from the use of his quirk, and with a terrible sense of shock, kaminari realized that it felt kind of nice. that pushed him over the edge. he accidentally sent a haphazard current through the both of them, setting all of kaminari’s nerves alight. the water on them didn’t help either. bakugou yanked his hand from kaminari’s, hissing as the smell of singed clothes and hair surrounded them.
“sorry!” kaminari squeaked, much to his humiliation. bakugou was shaking a little from the aftershocks, electricity dancing across his arms before settling down.
“what the fuck was that?” bakugou growled. kaminari wasn’t sure if he was talking about the shock or the hand holding. color had risen to bakugou’s face and kaminari quickly felt himself flushing to match. he hurriedly fixed his ponytail before shoving his hands into his pants pockets.
“i don’t know!”
bakugou snarled at him, brow creasing and lip curling. “it’s whatever, sparky.” kaminari still had no idea if he was talking about the shock or the hand holding. there was a pause as they both gazed outside at the sudden rainstorm. kaminari couldn’t get the heat in his cheeks to dissipate. “guess we’ll have to wait in here until the rain calms down.” kaminari wanted to say something snappy in response like, “thanks for pointing out the obvious,” like bakugou had done to him earlier today in the coffee shop, but he couldn’t seem to get the words up his throat and out of his mouth.
after a while, bakugou turned and walked deeper into the video game store, leaving kaminari standing there aimlessly by the front door, water droplets languidly rolling down his face and neck. without bakugou right there next to him, kaminari felt like he finally had a chance to breathe. bakugou’s presence was so overwhelmingly dominant and all-consuming. kaminari sometimes felt like it was hard to even take a breath around him, especially during times like this where he couldn’t understand anything that bakugou said or meant.
he decided to put some space in between him and bakugou for a little while and started to slowly walk through the aisle that was close to him. the displays were stacked with games for the new playstation console, each one looking more appealing than the last. he admittedly did not own a playstation, but he knew that sero had one back home. he’d once gone to the boy’s house before they’d moved into the dorms and seen it with his own eyes. it was all shiny and clean, like sero polished it every morning before playing.
kaminari scanned the display to find something that he thought sero would like, picked up a box for some fighting game and began to read the back when he realized that he didn’t have any money to be spending in this place. he groaned to himself, putting the game back on the shelf. the little money that he did have was probably soaked right through from the rain. he should really look into investing in a wallet.
he continued wandering the store, eventually ending up in the back corner where they had the equally impressive nintendo 3ds out to be played with. he let out a silly little gasp when he saw it, darting over and taking a look. pokémon soul silver was loaded into it (which, kaminari thought, was arguably one of the best games in the entire pokémon franchise), and he started to screw around with it. the character in the game was a girl with about five rattatas and one unown. all of the pokémon had weird names like “stinkster” and “tord,” but kaminari just went with it, catching a froakie by a lake. he named the froakie asui just for kicks.
bakugou found him holding the nintendo fifteen minutes later. he was in the middle of a rather intense pokémon battle with some stupid kid who really thought he could beat kaminari’s level twelve rattata that was appropriately named champion. when bakugou said his name, kaminari just waved him off.
“i’m busy,” he said, winning the battle and getting himself some nice in-game currency. bakugou let out an irritated grunt from behind him, then shuffled a little to the side to eye the screen of the 3ds.
“what are you playing,” bakugou deadpanned. kaminari spared his friend a quick glance, directing the player into a quaint field of grass.
“soul silver.” another battle started, but this time with a wild eevee. kaminari wanted this eevee more than he wanted anything else.
“pokémon, right?” bakugou’s oddly correct guess caught kaminari off guard and he accidentally rendered the eevee unconscious in his distraction. he looked at bakugou properly then, setting the 3ds back on its display table and brushing hair out of his face.
“yeah, pokémon.” they looked at each other for several seconds. kaminari vividly remembered the feeling of bakugou’s hand in his and it made his heart stutter awkwardly. “what’s your favorite pokémon?”
bakugou made a face, his brow furrowing and his nose scrunching up. it was clear that he thought this was a juvenile question. “i don’t fucking know. maybe charizard or typhlosion? mewtwo is fuckin’ cool too, i guess,” he answered anyway. kaminari cracked a little smile, pleased that he actually managed to get a response to that kind of question.
“those are good pokémon. you have good taste.” bakugou scoffed and turned away. kaminari saw the ghost of a smile on bakugou’s face right as he turned.
“ain’t gotta tell me shit that i already know, pikachu.”
kaminari followed bakugou towards the direction of the front door, vaguely registering the fact that it was still raining, but not as hard. the harsh pounding had reduced to a casual rainfall, water dripping off the sides of the awning over the storefront and splashing onto the sidewalk underneath. the sound of rain hitting the ceiling was soothing. kaminari wished he was back at the dorms so he could take a nap to the rhythm of each drop.
the two of them hovered by the door for a couple seconds. bakugou suddenly pulled out an umbrella from absolutely nowhere, startling kaminari into taking a step back.
“woah! where’d you get that?” he asked, bakugou going a little more towards the door in preparation of opening the umbrella. the umbrella was a bright, fluorescent green dotted with little star decals, so it was obviously not bakugou’s… unless bakugou had a secret side that kaminari didn’t know about. he also then noticed a small plastic bag hanging off of bakugou’s wrist. he must’ve found something he wanted to buy while kaminari was playing pokémon.
“fucking clerk gave it to me,” bakugou replied simply. “she said she had extra umbrellas for times like these and figured since we came in at such an unlucky time that she might as well give us one.” kaminari nodded slowly, casting a glance over his shoulder to see if he could spot said clerk. the display shelves were in the way. bakugou was already out the door.
“come on, stupid ass. i’m not gonna wait for you,” bakugou called from just outside the door, literally waiting outside for kaminari with the umbrella open. kaminari had to hold back a laugh, slipping out the door and under bakugou’s awaiting umbrella. “keep up with me. street’s gonna get crowded the closer we get to the station.” the vibrant plastic cast a greenish hue onto bakugou’s face, the rain already pitter-pattering around them. the air outside was just on the brink of cool. bakugou started to walk down the street and nearly left kaminari standing in the rain like an idiot.
the plastic bag that bakugou was holding was bumping against his leg as he walked and driving kaminari crazy with curiosity. he wanted to know what bakugou bought. bakugou never bought stuff from video game stores. in fact, bakugou never really bought stuff at all. kaminari had never actually seen bakugou go somewhere and buy something just for the sake of buying something. for all he knew, bakugou only shopped at the 100 yen store.
the train station was only one block away from the video game store. all they had to do to get there was turn to the right at the intersection and there it would be, a little more than half of a block away. they weren’t even at the end of the street yet and the sidewalk was already starting to get crowded with people who’d walked from the opposite side of the street trying to make their way to the train station. the rain and all the umbrellas and the fact that it was saturday afternoon— the three o’clock trains were arriving in several minutes— made the whole one-block walk so much more stressful. japanese train stations were notoriously known for being terribly confusing, mildly disorganized, and very crowded, and he and bakugou were already surrounded on all sides by the time they reached the end of the street.
kaminari bumped into someone, then bumped into someone else, then almost tripped over his own feet. bakugou kept plowing through the sea of people, but he was starting to get swallowed up in the crowd. a few moments later, kaminari had all but lost bakugou and that bright green umbrella in the crowd.
“bakugou!” kaminari called out, trying to pick out the green umbrella in the swathes of laughing groups and stern looking business people, all of whom were holding some type of umbrella. the rain was starting to soak through his sweater again. “bakugou!!”
he continued walking towards the station. if all else failed, he could always wait by the entrance or on the train platform for bakugou, but knowing his friend, bakugou would just take the train back to musutafu and expect kaminari to get there on his own. he tried to walk a little faster, attempting to weave strategically through the people around him.
“sparky!” yelled a voice from up ahead, a voice that kaminari ultimately identified as bakugou.
“bakugou!” kaminari yelled back. bakugou said nothing from up ahead, the only sounds being the bustle of the people around him. kaminari kept walking. just a couple more meters and he’d be at the front of the train station. a few seconds passed and kaminari noticed that the people in front of him were all bristling and moving to the sides, parting a skinny little path directly to kaminari.
“kami— kaminari, what the fuck did i tell you about keeping up with me!!” bakugou hollered, pushing his way through the people, several of them shooting him nasty looks. bakugou had abandoned the umbrella, his hair and jacket flecked with raindrops. the umbrella was hanging uselessly at his side, closed and in the same hand as that curious plastic bag from the video game store. kaminari let out a sigh of relief before he could think to hold it back.
“god, bakugou, thought i was gonna have to go back to ua by myself for a second there,” he stated with a ridiculous amount of gratitude, bakugou making a you’re so fucking stupid face at him. bakugou roughly snatched up kaminari’s hand and began pulling him through the crowd, nearly sweeping him right off of his feet. he had to hold onto bakugou’s hand extra tight to keep from slipping on the wet sidewalk.
they were inside the train station and out of the rain in a matter of moments. bakugou kept tugging him this way and that, only letting go of his hand to root around in his pockets for his train card. kaminari did the same, finding his damp train card clustered with his wet money (and phone! he was so dumb, wasn’t he) in his back pocket. it was a true miracle when the card machine took his card and let him pass through the turnstile to the platforms. he’d just put his card back in his pocket when bakugou barreled through the turnstile next to him and shoved his hand in kaminari’s, once again pulling him down to the stairs that would lead to the train going through musutafu. kaminari didn’t have time to protest, trying to keep up with bakugou’s brisk walk. they weren’t even going to be late. the three o’clock trains left two minutes prior, and it would be another three minutes before the next set of trains came through the station.
bakugou finally planted himself in a spot farther down on the train platform so there weren’t as many people as there were right off of the stairs. they waited.
“you’re still holding my hand,” kaminari pointed out. bakugou fully turned to look at him, squinting at his face.
“yeah? what about it?” bakugou made an elaborate display of interlacing their fingers and kaminari nearly jumped out of his fucking skin. blood rushed up to his cheeks and he would’ve sworn that the same happened to bakugou. they looked at each other, bakugou staring at him like he was daring him to let go of his hand, the tips of his ears rosy.
“nothing,” kaminari said quickly. “it’s totally cool.” bakugou hummed, squinting at him a little more before turning back to the platform. they waited another minute and a half until the whole reality of this situation— no, the entire day— dawned on him. he had to hold back a hitched sort of gaspy breath. he allowed them to wait a little more before looking at bakugou. bakugou’s hand was warm.
“bakugou,” he started carefully, quietly, like he wasn’t sure he wanted to ask this question. bakugou just barely looked back at him, indicating for him to proceed with a raised eyebrow.
“bakugou, was this… was this a date?” kaminari watched bakugou visibly stiffen. his hand tightened in kaminari’s. his fingers were rough. there was a very long pause, and kaminari watched with stupid wonder as bakugou’s cheeks turned a sweet daylily pink. had he ever seen bakugou blush like that? he didn’t think so. he noted with an odd sense of pride that he had been the one to make bakugou blush like that.
bakugou was making an angry face at the ground, then lifted his head to make the same angry face at the wall opposite from them. “no,” he said flatly, but his reddening face and their intertwined hands said otherwise.
they stood at the platform until the train came roaring onto the track at breakneck speed. wind gusted up onto the platform, sending loose strands of kaminari’s hair flying around his face. he could feel bakugou looking at him. he turned to look back at him, bakugou quickly casting his eyes to the decelerating train. it finally slowed to a complete stop, the doors opening with a gasp of air. bakugou said something as he pulled kaminari into the train car, but kaminari didn’t catch it, waiting until they settled down in the train to ask his friend to repeat himself.
“what’d you say?” he asked. bakugou set the plastic bag and the umbrella down on the seat next to him. they were still holding hands. at this point, kaminari wasn’t sure if he wanted to let go.
bakugou didn’t look at him when he spoke, almost talking under his breath. “you look less shitty when your hair is pulled up like that. i can actually see your face.”
“oh—” kaminari fought a smile, ducking his head. did bakugou just compliment him? he was pretty sure bakugou just complimented him. “thanks, bakugou.” they sat in silence for a moment, other people feeding into the train car and sitting down in the seats around them. the disembodied voice over the speakers announced that the doors were closing and that the next stop was mikako avenue. the train slowly started to pick up speed as it departed the train station.
kaminari and bakugou were sitting close enough that their knees were touching, their connected hands resting on the seat between them until kaminari decided that he wanted to close that space, scooting so that their thighs touched. bakugou said nothing. their hands were now resting on the dip between their thighs. kaminari could smell the faint burnt caramel scent that surrounded bakugou from this close. it reminded him of the coffee shop— oh, shit, the coffee shop.
“sorry about flirting with that girl at the coffee shop,” kaminari all but blurted, feeling incredibly stupid now that he understood the general context behind this whole outing. bakugou cast him a sideways glance, his chin jutting out just slightly. “i wouldn’t have done that if i’d known we were on a date.”
“‘s not a fuckin’ date,” bakugou grunted weakly.
kaminari gave him a tentative smile. “no, seriously. it was pretty bullshitty of me to do that.” bakugou eyed him up and down for a moment, his mouth turning down at the corners.
“it was pretty bullshitty,” he confirmed. the voice over the speakers announced the train’s arrival at mikako avenue and warned passengers to be mindful of the gap between the train and the platform when disembarking. kaminari looked down at his vans. there were dirty water stains on them. he’d have to take care of that when they got back to the dorms.
“sorry,” was all he could offer in response. bakugou replied with his trademark silence, people gathering into the train car and filling in all the gaps. a couple seconds passed. the doors closed and the voice informed the passengers that the next stop was 2nd street and main. bakugou squeezed his hand. kaminari squeezed back before he could even think. bakugou started to rub kaminari’s thumb with his and kaminari thought that he just might be forgiven.
“i have something for you,” bakugou said then. kaminari’s gaze still was on their hands. he couldn’t believe he was holding hands with bakugou. he wondered why he hadn’t held hands with bakugou sooner. he guessed that a botched first date was all that it took to make him realize that there were a lot of things he should’ve done a long time ago.
he tucked his right foot around bakugou’s left, leaned into him a little more. “yeah? what is it?” bakugou leaned into him too, dragging the plastic bag from the video game store that was on the other side of him onto kaminari’s lap. he gestured vaguely at it, waiting for kaminari to reveal what was inside. kaminari shot him a confused look and all bakugou did was blink at him lazily.
kaminari had to let go of bakugou’s hand to open the bag. while he was doing so, bakugou cautiously settled his now-empty hand on the curve of kaminari’s knee. kaminari let him do this, pulling a thin, rectangular box out of the bag. his mouth fell open and he fully turned to face bakugou, eyes wide.
“you didn’t,” he gasped out. “bakugou, tell me you didn’t just do this.” bakugou tilted his head up, a smug smirk on his lips. bakugou had bought him legend of blue scroll, the same game they’d seen earlier today, the same game that he’d been yapping constantly about. he flipped the box around to the back, fingers trailing over the plastic neatly wrapped around the game.
“oh my god, bakugou,” he babbled. “you didn’t have to— i was gonna buy it when i got more money. or sero was going to so we could share.” his eyes darted between a decidedly pleased-looking bakugou and the shiny new rpg in his hands. “bakugou… jesus, i gotta find a way to pay you back, i can’t believe… thank you. thank you so much.” he was suddenly all jittery with excited nerves and he didn’t know what else to do, so he leaned over and abruptly hugged bakugou, resting his chin on his friend’s (were they really just friends anymore? kaminari wasn’t sure) shoulder. he could feel how bakugou tensed momentarily, how he relaxed, how he carefully reached up and rubbed little circles on his back. they were like that for only a few seconds, but it felt like longer.
kaminari pulled back halfway after a couple moments to blurt out another thank you, the words dying on his tongue when bakugou sort of held him there. they were so close that he could see tiny flecks of orange in bakugou’s eyes, could see all of his pale eyelashes. bakugou was looking at him with that same expression he’d had in the park, the one that was a mix of a million different emotions. his mouth parted just slightly like he was going to say something, his eyebrows barely furrowing. kaminari couldn’t help but let the corners of his mouth turn up. bakugou’s ears went red, and his hand slipped from kaminari’s back. kaminari’s gaze drifted to bakugou’s mouth for a second and bakugou noticed, biting his bottom lip. kaminari’s smile grew.
he sat back all the way, but not before pressing his fingertips to bakugou’s mouth for a quick moment. bakugou’s face erupted with a flush. kaminari had to force himself to look away, smiling to himself as his cheeks warmed. he put his fingers to his lips without thinking.
“thank you,” he murmured. “this means a lot to me.”
“you’re— you’re fucking welcome,” bakugou mumbled in reply.
kaminari gingerly put the video game back in the bag, putting it on his lap before resting his hand, palm up, on bakugou’s thigh. there was a pause, then bakugou nestled his hand in kaminari’s, sliding their fingers together. they held hands and it felt right. it felt good. kaminari liked holding hands with bakugou, blasty, future pro hero and destroyer of villians.
they held hands until they got back to the dorms.
man, ashido was gonna have a field day.