Bakugo hasn’t been able to sleep. And he thinks it’s pretty fucking understandable after-
He shakes his head and sits up in bed, hands clenched, white-knuckled. He tries and tries and tries to shake it out of his head but it’s like every shake just restarts the images in his head. Just restarts the fight. Just restarts the explosions and the screams until the tension in his chest feels like it’s going to rip him apart from the inside. It just keeps restarting and restarting and restarting and-
His journey outside is a hazy, jumbled mess. It’s not until the sharp sting of the night air hits him that he can finally breathe. And he breathes until his lungs are full. Then he breathes until he can’t breathe anymore.
Until he’s on the ground with his head between his knees and the concrete is blurry but he doesn’t know why. Doesn’t know why he’s he can’t breathe or why he’s so weak or why he couldn’t just save himself because he’s supposed to be a hero.
It hits him harder than the air. And he stops. Breathing. Thinking. Maybe he almost stops existing for just a moment.
“Hey man, are you okay? We’re not supposed to be out this late.”
Bakugo sucks in a breath and stands but can’t bring himself to face Kirishima. Not when he’s finally realized why everything is so fucking blurry.
“Why.” He barks out when he hears him take a step towards him. It doesn’t sound like a question, not even to his own ears.
“‘Why?’ Why what?” Kirishima asks. Though mercifully, he’s stopped moving forward. He can’t have him any closer than he is right now. Absolutely doesn’t want Kirishima to see him on the edge of this cliff.
“Why did you assholes risk your lives. Why… why are you such fucking stupid idiots.”
He spins around and for a second he can’t even bring himself to care that now Kiri can see him breaking down. As if he couldn’t already hear it in his voice.
“Who the fuck just walks up to death's door and smiles like a moron.” Bakugo barely registers himself moving forward. Probably wouldn’t notice at all if it wasn’t for Kirishima getting closer, despite him seemingly frozen in place, eyes wide.
“How could you smile like that. How could you risk your life? Do any of you realize you could have died? I was the one who wasn’t strong enough. I was the one who held All Might back. Do you think I’m so weak? That I need to be rescued. That I need to be a burden to everyone and put everyone in danger? So yeah, I’m asking why-”
He’s cut off by Kirishima’s arms circling him, almost like he’s trying to hold him together. And in a way, he kind of is because Bakugo can’t do anything except collapse into it, try as he might not to.
“It wasn’t because we think you’re weak,” Kiri says quietly and Bakugo beings to feel his fingers again as they unclench.
“You’re one of the strongest people I know. But that was…” he stops to take a breath. “That was an impossible fight. Even for All Might. And you’re our friend. You’re as hot-headed as the rest of us, maybe even more. You should know that we can’t just stand by. Even if you act like you don’t care… you want to be a hero more than anyone.”
He actually takes a second to laugh. “Although sometimes I don’t know who wants it more, you or Midoriya. My point is that being a hero means saving people, even if they don’t think they need to be saved. And especially if they’re your friend. Bakugo I couldn’t—”
He inhales sharply and steps back.
“You’re a part of the team. We all need you. We all want to become stronger. Together.”
Bakugo can’t help but get sucked into Kirishima’s eyes for a moment. For all the jokes and light-hearted banter, he really had the most hardened determination out of anyone.
Bakugo shakes his head once more and pulls away. And this time, nothing replays.
“Idiot. Go inside before you get sick. Your hair is still wet.”
Kirishima smiles wide.
“Right. You should get some sleep. Aizawa said our training exercises start again tomorrow.”
The walk back to the dorms in silence until they reach Kirishima’s door.
“Good night man. Hope you feel better.”
Bakugo waves his hand and continues on, only stopping when he hears the door open.
“Hey shitty hair,” Kiri stops and looks out the door at Bakugo, though he doesn’t turn back. “Don’t put yourself in the crossfire anymore. You can’t be a hero if you’re dead.”
A small smile pulls at his lips and he nods even though the other can’t see it. “Right. You got it!”
He thinks he finally understands Bakugo enough to hear what he really wants to say.
Even when he can’t bring himself to say it.