Contrary to popular belief, Kaminari Denki was not stupid. He never had been. People just tended to misjudge situations and falsely assumed that the blonde was dumb as a pile of bricks. But not Shinsou Hitoshi. No, Hitoshi saw beyond the surface. He read between the lines. He picked up on Denki’s mannerisms - because he was perceptive like that. Because they were close friends. Because they spent a lot of time together. And, yeah okay, also because he was hopelessly in love with him. But how couldn’t he be? Everyone knew that Denki was funny and handsome. That he had an impressively powerful quirk and trained very hard. That he was brave and had amazing social skills. Those are just facts.
And if all of that wasn’t already enough to have Hitoshi absolutely whipped for the blonde sunshine boy then there’s also the side of Denki that most people seemed to overlook. See, as mentioned before, almost everyone assumed to know that Denki was stupid. And not just when his quirk overloaded his brain but in general. And that’s just plain wrong and Hitoshi can tell you exactly why. Because oh no no no, Denki wasn’t stupid. No, Denki was generous. Denki was kind. Denki was caring. Denki shared a single braincell with his friends in the ‘Bakusquad’. Denki was a goddamn genius.
They were walking down the street on their way back from the little convenience store around the corner, not too far away from UA’s dorms. They had put most of the snacks into Mina’s bag. What they hadn’t stashed away for their movie night later, they had started eating as soon as they left the store. Now, they stopped at a garbage bin on the side of the road and threw away the wrapping paper from the various snacks they already finished.
Denki opened his fanny pack and retrieved the package of gum he had purchased only few minutes prior. He opened the box and held it towards Shinsou with a smile that gently woke up the butterflies in Shinsou’s stomach. And sure enough, they started their flying practice as soon as Denki said his name.
He accepted with a little smile and a mumbled “thanks“. But what now? Take the package and put his fingers inside? What if he can’t get a hold of one right away and touches like a dozen? He can always gently shake the bottle and let a piece of gum fall into his palm. But what if multiple fall out? After all, that happens to the best of us. Which doesn’t make it less embarrassing.
But before Hitoshi can spiral further into the intricacies of gum retrieval and the possible fatal errors that could occur, Denki notices his hesitation and reaches out. His fingers gently wrap around the back of Hitoshi’s hand and he could swear that his heart stops beating for a good 5 seconds. Hitoshi faintly registers his friend’s voices around him. Bakugou is informing Sero that the wrapping of his lollipop fell to the ground and gently asks him to pick it up. Kirishima says something along the lines of “manly” and “ecologically aware”. Mina’s melodic laugh can be heard and how she snorts as she points out how someone is blushing. But Hitoshi doesn’t know for sure and he frankly doesn’t really care.
Because Denki’s hand is touching his. His eyes are on him, when Denki’s smile widens from hearing Bakugou’s words.
“No one wants to clean up after a littering fuckface!”
Denki pulls Hitoshi’s hand between both of them. He tilts the package and gently shakes it until two pieces fall into Hitoshi’s palm. The first two pieces of his brand-new package.
“There you go, Shinsou”, Denki says and he’s still touching him and his palm is so soft against the back of Hitoshi’s hand. And somewhere Bakugou is blushing and Mina is laughing but Hitoshi is far far away, lost in Denki’s golden eyes. Denki gives him one of those quiet smiles and the butterflies in Hitoshi’s stomach activate their fucking turbo engine or something. And Hitoshi knows that he loves Denki, he has for quite a while, but in moments like these he’s so overwhelmed with emotion that he doesn’t know what to say. So he says nothing until Denki turns away from him. And Hitoshi can witness once more how generous Denki is.
“Mina, gum?”, he asks and then he asks Kirishima and Sero and a calmed down Bakugou.
“Oi, Dunce Face, if you’re gonna share your gum with everyone and their fucking grandma, why do you give it out two at a time? The package is already almost empty.”
“Who chews just one piece of gum, though?”
“Well, you won’t be able to chew any piece of gum if you buy a wholeass package and give all of it away like an idiot.”
Everyone knew that Bakugou said it with Denki’s best interest at heart. That he cared even though he had a piss-poor way of showing it. But Hitoshi couldn’t help but tense up.
“Bakugou has a point, Kaminari. You don’t have to give us all your bubblegum! Don’t be dumb, save some for yourself!”
Everyone agreed. Of course, everyone acknowledged Denki’s generosity by agreeing. But they didn’t say it out loud. And Hitoshi didn’t say it, either. In fact, Hitoshi regretted having been so starstruck by Denki touching his hand that he couldn’t thank him again after receiving the pieces of gum. The first two pieces from the package. And now was the chance to say something, to be the one pointing out Denki’s generosity without calling him stupid. Hitoshi knew he should say something and he wanted to say something but how? Next thing he knew, the moment had passed. Another thing to add to the list of things Hitoshi regretted.
But Denki just laughed and shrugged before he took some gum for himself. The last one to start chewing.
Hitoshi sat underneath a tree at UA. Two buildings towering over him on either side of the grassy patch he was sitting on. Not too far away from the passageway between the two hallways, he watched other pupils come and go as they got snacks and drinks from the vending machines. He would have to return to the building on his right. But he would give everything to be able to return to class in the left building. If only he could attend the hero class.
As if to stop him from getting lost in a spiral of negative thoughts, a ladybug landed on his knee in that exact moment. It flapped it’s little transparent wings a few times. Hitoshi gently held his finger in front of it. Hesitantly, the little bug climbed upon it and crawled around his finger. Around and around and around.
Suddenly a shadow fell over him and someone crouched down right in front of Hitoshi. Behind a towering pile of joghurt drinks he spotted a shock of blond hair (no pun intended) and half of Denki’s face.
“Oh wow a ladybug!! That’s a good omen!! You’ll have a lot of luck today”, Denki said mesmerised by the little red bug.
“Hello”, Hitoshi replied clumsily, mesmerised by the pretty boy.
“Oh, sorry. Hi! How’s it hanging, Shinsou?”
“Um... it’s... hanging well?”
Is that how one replies to that? Oh god, did he say something stupid and embarrassed himself? But Denki laughed, seeming to enjoy his answer.
“Here”, he said and dropped Shinsou’s favourite drink and a package of pocky into his lap before slowly getting up. He tried to keep his balance so he wouldn’t drop one of the dozen packages in his arms. All of them drinking packages. Huh. “I gotta run. Break is almost over.”
“Wait! What is this?”
“Oh, is that not what you always drink?”
“I- yes, but... Why did you buy this for me?”, Hitoshi asked while wondering how someone can look this good from this angle.
“I was running down anyways and I know that you sit here at this time of day so...”, he shrugged and almost dropped one of the packages.
“And the pocky?” Hitoshi’s voice was quiet but he was glad that he was able to talk at all right now. He had stopped breathing as soon as Denki had knelt down to look at the ladybug.
“Hm? Well, everyone likes pocky.”
“Why didn’t you keep it for yourself then?”
Denki started to slowly back away to the door.
“It was the last package”, he said as if that explains everything. As if it’s the most normal thing in the world that he gives him the last package. As if it’s the most normal thing in the world that he gives him anything at all.
“I’ll see you later, Shinsou!”
Hitoshi always tried to be in control. To carefully pick the words he said. He got regularly misjudged enough already and didn’t need impulsive reactions to take away his small control over how he was conceived by others. But during the entirety of their friendship, it had always been Denki who had approached him. And it was time Hitoshi stopped hesitating. Right before Denki left the grass and turned the corner, Hitoshi finally took action.
Denki turned around with a surprised smile as Hitoshi got up and jogged over to him.
“Wait”, he said and teared open the package in his hand. “Here.”
He took out one of the chocolate covered snacks and held it out towards Denki. He was so focused on what to say next that he didn’t realise his thinking error. Denki’s hands were full. But Denki just leaned forward with an “Oh, thanks!” and took the pocky out of Hitoshi’s hand.... with his mouth. The butterflies in Hitoshi’s stomach had apparently fucking digivolved or something because at this point it felt like flying dinosaurs roamed across the skies in there.
“Thank you”, Hitoshi said nevertheless and hoped that Denki knew that he meant it. Denki nodded and left towards the building on the left, leaving a flustered Hitoshi behind on the grass.
Hitoshi understood that sometimes friends liked to tease each other. To make fun of each other, to call each other names. In fact, he was very good at being a sarcastic little shit himself when he wanted to be. But there were limits. Like for example, knowing how insecure Denki was about his quirk frying up his brain when he overdoes it - he would never want to call Denki stupid. Even jokingly.
But the others didn’t seem to think so.
“If you keep giving money to every homeless person we pass by, then you won’t have any money left for the fucking cinema and i won’t help pay for your fucking ticket, just because you’re an idiotic fucking saint”, Bakugou grumbled.
“She’s soooo cute and i know you love babies but seriously Denki, she pulls on your hair every time she’s in your arms. Don’t be so stupidly stubborn and just tell her to stop”, Mina would say when they returned from babysitting.
“Dude, I love you and it’s so manly that you openly show your emotions. But you’re crying during every movie! That’s just not a smart move. And surely, that can’t be good for your health, bro! Don’t let your heart get broken by every stupid movie we watch, because I can’t keep seeing you cry, bro. And y’know how it makes me cry in turn”, Kirishima remarked with a smile during movie night.
But Denki just laughed. Sometimes he thanked them for their concern. But he didn’t stop doing the thing he did out of empathy. He just adapted.
Always had some extra change with him.
Bought hair-ties even if his hair length only allowed for two low tiny ponytails that the others would make fun of yet again.
Brought a big package of tissues to movie nights and shared with Kirishima and Mina. Sometimes with Sero and Shinsou. On rare occasions with Bakugou who would angrily accept them and curse the person who chose the movie that night for being a sadist.
Everytime Denki typed a few words on his laptop someone else on their table in the library would ask him a question.
“Hey what’s the english word for-“
“Is this sentence structure correct?”
“Kaminari, can you proof-read my last paragraph?”
And everytime Denki would flash a bright smile and help them. Sometimes he even put the laptop of his friend on top of the keyboard of his own laptop. Literally favouring helping them over working on his own essay. Shinsou sat on the other side of the table and didn’t ask him a question once. Everyone promised Denki chocolate and favours as signs of gratitude and on the day before the deadline everyone was done - while Denki had barely started on his essay.
They all sat at dinner in the common room together and talked about their plans for the evening. Denki would have to sit in his room and write.
“You were in the library all the time! How are you still not finished?”
“Maybe all of you were too busy gossiping like morons?”
“Katsuki!”, Kirishima chastised.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry, Kaminari!!!! If I hadn’t asked for your help all the time then you’d have been done!!!!!!!”
“Mina, no!!! I barely had time to read your finished essay, I wish I could’ve helped more”, Denki tried to reassure her.
“Don’t play dumb! You did so much and I am the worst!”
While everyone criticised Denki for not being more egoistic with his time and Denki felt guilty for not having been capable to help more, his phone made a notification sound.
Half an hour later, there was a knock on his door.
“Come in!”, he called.
Hitoshi carefully opened the door and stepped inside. Immediately, he could see why Denki didn’t open the door for him. He was sitting on his bed, absolutely swamped by pieces of paper.
“Hey! Sorry, like I said I gotta finish up on my essay.”
“No worries”, Hitoshi said while he unpacked the snacks he had brought. And Denki’s favourite drink.
Denki shoved some of the papers away from one side of the bed and Hitoshi sat down opposite him. He placed his phone beside him on the bed but Denki immediately picked it up. After checking his battery percentage, which was below 30%, he unplugged his own phone and connected Hitoshi’s phone to the charger instead. Hitoshi took a quick glance at Denki’s phone. It was barely over 50%.
It were little things like these that had led to Hitoshi falling hopelessly in love with Denki. Who truly was the definition of a sunshine boy. Not only because he was always laughing and smiling brightly. And not only because he was bright in the sense that he was capable and creative and smart. But because he emitted a warmth that made everyone around him feel accepted and loved. Yes, he teased his friends just as much as they teased him but when it really counted, he was there. And Hitoshi never wanted to live without that warmth again. And if he could only find a non-temporary place in the sun as a friend of Denki? Then that would be more than enough. That would be a dream come true, actually.
“Thanks for the snacks, but you didn’t have to bring so many!”
Hitoshi shrugged and handed him his drink. He would tell Denki later. He didn’t want to take his focus away from finishing his essay.
“I met Mina on the way here. She seemed concerned.”
“I know”, Denki replied. His hair was standing up at the front and as he dragged his fingers through them - assumably for the hundredth time that evening - Hitoshi could see why. He rested one of his hands on his knee and took a sip with the other one. “I’m just dumb, I should’ve started earlier. I don-“
With surprise in his eyes, Denki looked from Hitoshi’s hand laying on top of his, over to Hitoshi’s eyes. Hitoshi was quick to take his hand away but his gaze was still determined.
“No”, he repeated. “No, you’re not dumb. That’s why everyone values your opinion. Didn’t you hear them call you intelligent all week when asking for your help?”
“Yeah but that’s because they think I’m good in this class. Which I’m not, I just take thorough notes.”
“They didn’t ask you for your opinion on their stylistic choices or their sentence structure because you take throrough notes. They did because they trust your judgement. Because they know how good your language skills are.”
Denki smiled and Hitoshi’s heart stuttered.
“You think so?”
“I know so”, Hitoshi said and smiled at Denki. And not one of those bullshit smiles. Not one of those reserved and collected kinds he put on during the day. It was a proper smile because he was proud of Denki and appreciated him and wanted him to feel the same warmth of reassurance that Denki’s bright smile gave others when he comforted them. Next thing he knew, Denki had pulled him into a hug across his laptop.
At 10 pm Hitoshi dictated a quote that Denki wanted to incorporate into his essay.
At 11 pm Hitoshi asked Denki if he could look through the book on his night stand. It was about freedom and hard work. About how ruthless yet giving the ocean is. Kinda like love, Hitoshi thought.
At 12 am Denki rubbed his temples and saved the file for the approximately 328th time since Hitoshi had arrived.
“We can take a break, y’know”, Hitoshi said. He sat with his back against the wall and his legs dangled over the edge. Denki had a pillow propped up behind his back and against the wall to the right of Hitoshi. His legs were laying across Hitoshi’s in a right angle. Hitoshi would love to tell you how that happened but he didn’t really know himself.
“It’s already midnight though”, Denki said. He looked very tired.
Denki hesitated. Pressed the keyboard combination that saves the file another two times.
“Actually, yeah”, he finally said. “I literally can’t concentrate right now.”
He put the laptop on the ground but didn’t move his legs away from Hitoshi’s.
“I really don’t wanna talk about the topic of the essay anymore. Ask me something. Anything.”
“Um... What hogwarts house are you in?”, Hitoshi asked after thinking for a moment.
“Oh, I can see that.”
“Yeah! I mean, first of all, the colour scheme is absolutely my thing. But also I like the loyalty part. And everyone kinda underestimates Hufflepuffs and I guess that fits. Also, they get bad rep for being boring and dumb and I guess that’s how people see me, too.”
Hitoshi felt like throwing up.
“Okay, first of all fuck everyone who doesn’t know jackshit about Harry Potter and thinks they can talk badly about certain houses. Second, Hufflepuffs aren’t dumb and you aren’t either. Like. Not at all. Lastly, Hufflepuffs aren’t just loyal, they’re also hard-working and kind and I know no one who’s as hard-working and kind as you.”
It took Hitoshi several seconds to realise what he just said. He stared at his knees and nearly slapped himself. What was he doing??? He had practically confessed! Surely, Kaminari would be weirded out now.
“That’s the second time you’ve said that”, Denki whispered and Hitoshi almost didn’t hear him. He slowly looked up. “That I’m not dumb. You said it for the second time now.”
“Well, it’s true”, Hitoshi murmured back. He didn’t dare to talk louder because this? Right here? For once in his life he felt like he had finally said the right thing - not because he carefully chose his words but because he said what he was truly feeling.
“Thanks”, Kaminari murmured back and they kept looking at each other’s eyes and for a moment everything was calm and quiet and nice. “So you feel the same? Uh - that I’m a Hufflepuff, I mean?”
Hitoshi had stopped breathing for a moment and now took a deep breath before he answered.
“Well, it certainly suits you. Like you said, yellow is your colour. And everything else fits, too. But...“
“But... I think I’m leaning more towards Ravenclaw for you.”
Denki raised his eyebrows in surprise. Hitoshi quickly started explaining.
“I mean. I know it’s kinda underrated, but then again, all the houses are, right? And I think it’s just as misunderstood as the others, too. Ravenclaw is not just for book-smart people who only care about good grades. Not that you aren’t like that! I mean, you’re literally a book-on-the-night-stand kinda guy. But I think Ravenclaw is more than that. It’s for eccentric people. Witty people. Who like to learn. I think that fits you. With your puns and your creativity and your talent of constantly incorporating vines and”, he chuckled, “Spongebob quotes into your conversations. Yeah, I don’t know. It fits you.”
Denki didn’t say anything. He blinked a few times and this time around it was him who brought their hands together. He squeezed Hitoshi’s hand briefly.
“Bro”, he said with a croaky voice and Hitoshi wasn’t sure if any other reaction had even been an option. Hitoshi also didn’t know if he’d ever made anyone blush before.
At 1 am Denki’s eyes kept falling shut while he was typing. He repeatedly backspaced because his words got jumbled up on screen. Hitoshi couldn’t sit there and watch this any longer.
“Hey, you alright?”
Denki’s eyes shot up at him and it took them a bit too long to focus on him. Denki was absolutely exhausted.
“Yeah, absolutely”, he said while rubbing his palm over his face. “I just...” He yawned.
“You’re tired. You could take a power nap.” Now Hitoshi had to yawn, too.
“I can’t sleep now, I have to finish it!”
Hitoshi didn’t say anything.
“I mean, wouldn’t it be bad to sleep now? No matter for how short an amount of time?”
Hitoshi still didn’t say a word. Because he didn’t have to.
“.... You’re right, I am tired. I don’t even know what I’ve been trying to say in this sentence that I’ve been sitting on for the last 5 minutes now.”
Denki saved the file. Three times.
“I’ll wake you up in 10 minutes. In the meantime, I can proofread it.”
“Oh my god, that would be amazing. Thank you, Shinsou.”
They detangled their limbs from each other and a little part of Hitoshi was relieved that their constant touching had found an end. Not that he didn’t like it. In fact, there was hardly anything in the world that he craved as much as Denki’s warmth and affection and touch. But he was also so high-strung because he didn’t want to say or do something that could make the blonde uncomfortable. After placing the laptop upon Hitoshi’s legs, Denki rested a pillow against them and closed his eyes. Right there. Right beside Hitoshi. Whose stomach was a whole training ground for fighter jets at this point.
Denki closed his eyes and visibly relaxed. Hitoshi tried to do the same as he read through the almost finished essay. The grammar was impeccable. The spelling flawless. Sure, towards the end there were some typos and the last paragraph was kinda clumsy but still better than Hitoshi’s first draft that he had written while wide awake. Before he knew it, 10 minutes had passed by. He gently placed a hand on Denki’s shoulder.
He gently shook his shoulder. He didn’t want to startle him. Kaminari turned on his back and slowly opened his eyes. They were still hazy from sleep and when they found Hitoshi’s... he smiled. No, you don’t understand. He smiled. He was basically still half asleep but upon seeing Hitoshi.... he smiled the tiniest smile in the world.
In one moment everything was quiet and in the next thousand fireworks exploded in Hitoshi’s chest. Someone might have shot him, he wouldn’t know the difference. And he realised in that very moment.... how truly fucked he was.
How? How was he supposed to live with this knowledge? With the knowledge that when Denki awakens, he scrunches up his nose. That a crease appears between his brows. And that if Hitoshi is there when he opens his fucking bright golden eyes, he gets blessed with this smile. This simple genuine smile.
How? How was he supposed to live with this knowledge without completely burning up from craving to witness it again?
At 2 am it was Hitoshi who struggled to keep his eyes open. They were sitting with their backs against the wall. The same wall. The bed wasn’t small by any means and still their shoulders constantly touched. Denki’s fingers stopped typing on his laptop.
“Hey, if you wanna sleep then that’s fine, you know that right?”
It took Hitoshi several seconds to process his words and respond. He took a deep breath.
“.... but only 10 minutes.”
Denki propped his pillow against his legs so Hitoshi could rest his head on it. Hitoshi wanted to stay awake but he had reached a level of exhaustion that made his rib cages ache. Every breath hurt as if he was drowning. His thoughts were too chaotic to allow him to count how many hours he had been awake for. As his head hit the pillow, his breathing came a little easier. Only after closing his eyes, he realised how much they had burned. He tried to will his thoughts to a stop. The world was spinning.
None of this was new.
He spent most nights awake till 2 or 3 am. Restless. Tired. So exhausted that it was impossible to sleep. Only to wake up at 6 am from some stupid dream. It had been more than two weeks since he had had more than 3 1/2 hours of sleep.
None of this was new.
So Hitoshi focused on what was new. The fact that Denki had the possibly softest pillow in the world. That the pillow carried Denki’s scent, which surprisingly didn’t make Hitoshi’s head spin faster. Instead, it calmed him.
What was new was the sensation of fingers gently carding through his unruly hair. Slowly changing their pattern.
Softly playing with the purple strands.
Flattening them at the back.
Twirling them around themselves.
Brushing them out of his face.
Gently combing through his hair towards the back.
Hitoshi felt safe. And warm. And the world stopped spinning. And his thoughts quieted down.
As he fell asleep and as those same fingers delicately scratched up his neck in thin lines, giving him goosebumps, Hitoshi was thinking about absolutely nothing. Just floating away. Content and calm.
He drifted off, carried away by gentle waves until he reached a quiet beach. There, he found himself surrounded by lions laying in the warm sand. The sunshine gave their manes a gentle glow and Hitoshi sat down. He intently listened to the waves of the open sea.
He thought about the old fishersman in the book on Denki’s night stand. How he kept dreaming of this pretty place. How his heart yearned for peace.
The waves caressed the shore. The wind caressed Hitoshi’s hair. A lion yawned. Somewhere, a bird kept picking at a tree.
He thought about Denki. How pretty his blonde mane would look in the sun. How Hitoshi yearned for him. How he yearned for the peace he felt in his presence. How he yearned for a place in the sun. Surrounded by the warmth that Denki gave so selflessly and casually. Surrounded by the warmth that Hitoshi craved so selfishly and intensively. Like he had never craved anything before.
Hitoshi startled awake.
What time was it? And where was he? This was definitely not his bed. His face scrunched up and he pouted as light blended his eyes.
Hitoshi’s eyes fell shut again.... Before they suddenly opened and he sat up in an instant. Denki. He was in Denki’s room. In his bed. Sleeping. What was he thinking? And how long had he been asleep?
“Hey”, Denki repeated just as softly and Hitoshi felt a hand on his shoulder. He slowly turned around. “It’s just me.”
Denki’s face was illuminated by the light coming from his laptop. The light that had blended Hitoshi a moment ago. Apart from that it was pitch dark in the room. Denki must have turned off the light on his nightstand. Did he do that so Hitoshi could sleep better? Sleep. Ah, fuck.
“How long was I asleep?”, Hitoshi asked and cringed at his raspy voice.
“Just a little bit.”
Hitoshi checked his phone. No, apparently he had grabbed Denki’s phone in the dark. Either way, it was half past 3. He had laid down a little after 2 am. Hitoshi groaned.
“I’m so sorry. Did I not wanna get up?”
“Oh, um actually I didn’t try waking you up”, Denki admitted and Hitoshi was so confused. He felt sleepy and guilty. “You were sleeping so peacefully and I didn’t wanna interrupt that. But! I’m done! I finished my essay!”
Hitoshi felt like garbage. He had slept while Denki tried to finish his essay alone.
“Sorry, I said I would keep you company.”
“And you did!! Dude, if it weren’t for you, I’d have given up halfway!”
Hitoshi wasn’t really convinced but as long as Denki was happy, he was happy, too. Denki put away his laptop and the room was thrown into darkness.
“Come on”, he said and pulled Hitoshi onto his feet. He guided him through the dark into his bathroom. Hitoshi was too sleepy to freak out over the handholding. He was wide awake though as Kaminari suddenly pressed against him and covered his eyes with his other hand.
“Warning, light”, he murmured before he let go off Hitoshi’s hand and turned on the light in the bathroom. As Hitoshi got slowly used to the light that wasn’t blinding him thanks to Denki’s hand, he realised that this guy will be the death of him.
20 minutes later, they are laying in Denki’s bed. Hitoshi still felt guilty about sleeping but Denki’s gratitude for ‘keeping him company’ had no end. He had insisted that Hitoshi spends the night - or rather what was left of it.
“Think of the trouble you’d get into if you’re caught outside! This late after our curfew!! Besides..... A SLEEPOVER!!!”
Denki had been absolutely thrilled upon discovering that the last toothbrush in the package had been a purple one. He had winked at Hitoshi while crediting the coincidence to ‘fate’. Hitoshi almost dropped his brand-new fate-gifted purple toothbrush because of the wink.
So now he was laying in Denki’s bed in a Pikachu Pyjama. He knew that Denki had other stuff here. But the blonde insisted that those were the only sleeping clothes he had left in his closet and Hitoshi hadn’t argued. He also insisted that it was actually just a Pikachu t-shirt and Harry Potter themed pyjama pants. Either way, there was a yellow electric rodent on his shirt and lightning on his pants. Hitoshi was convinced that that qualified it as a Pikachu pyjama but Denki got all giddy when he put it on so who really cared? As long as Denki was happy. Besides, who didn’t like Pikachu? Hitoshi certainly had become decidedly more fond of the Pokémon lately, don’t ask him why.
“Hm?”, Hitoshi replied into the dark.
“I never asked you what Hogwarts house you are in.”
“Oh. I don’t know actually. As a kid I wanted to be in Gryffindor but who doesn’t.”
“You don’t know?”
“... Is that weird?”
“No! No, no. Just... unexpected. Especially because I know what house I see you in.”
“I think you’re a Ravenclaw.”
“Ravenclaw.” Hitoshi turned his head towards Denki. His eyes had gotten used to the dark and he could faintly see the outline of his profile.
“Yea! You would find the best answers for the riddles by the door to the Ravenclaw dorms. And when it comes to the love for learning - you getting lost in Wikipedia rabbit holes or youtube video-essay marathons ‘till 3 am”, he chuckled, “is, like, peak Ravenclaw culture. And you are witty. The first time I saw you... right before the sports festival? When you absolutely murdered Bakugou with your comments? That was a true Ravenclaw moment, how you assessed the situation and dragged him”, Denki laughed quietly. “Well and obviously, blue looks very good on you.”
Hitoshi was glad that it was dark because his face was positively burning up right now.
“Thank you”, he croaked out. Suddenly Denki turned on his side and grabbed Hitoshi’s arm.
“Oh my god. You’d also be an excellent Hufflepuff!”, he excitedly tapped his palm against his arm a few times. “You are loyal, obviously hard-working and definitely kind. Oh and the”, Denki briefly talked in a deep voice, “‘doing the right thing because it’s right and not for glory’-thing???? That’s so you!!!! Do you know what that means???? Our chances of being in the same house would be so high!!!!!!”
Hitoshi couldn’t help but smile. Denki getting this exited about a higher probability of both of them being sorted into the same house in a fictional boarding school for wizards in England was so on-brand for him. His hand was still on Hitoshi’s arm.
“And you think yellow would suit me?”, he asked jokingly because he didn’t know what else to say. “Wouldn’t that clash with the purple?”
“I don’t know about you”, Denki replied with a tone in his voice that Hitoshi couldn’t quite decipher. “But I think yellow and purple match quite well.”
For a few moments they laid in the dark with a comfortable silence stretching out over them like an additional blanket. But Hitoshi’s thoughts kept rambling.
“So.... you don’t see me as a Slytherin? That’s what most people would assume, anyway.”
“Most people have no fucking clue”, Denki replied dryly. Hitoshi’s breath caught in his throat. “I mean yeah, there are things that would qualify your for Slytherin. You are a great leader and you are ambitious. You honour tradition. Also, being a Slytherin is super cool. And green is absolutely your colour-“
“Hold on, green is my colour? Didn’t you tell me the other day that purple and green are classic Disney villain colours?”, Hitoshi teased.
“Your point? They just have great taste. Besides, everyone looooves Disney villains! They have impeccable fashion sense and some of them are smoking hot. You’d make a great Disney villain. In real life, though? Not so much and even less so at Hogwarts - especially considering that there is no house where all the bad guys end up in. Because Slytherins are just as misunderstood as the other houses and Rowling’s writing did them dirty as fuck. It’s such bullshit that they are depicted as exclusively villainous. So while I don’t view being in Slytherin as something negative, I still don’t see you as part of that house. I think that everyone inhibits characteristics from all the houses. What’s important is what part of yourself you embrace the most. And with you, it’s your kindness, your determination and your sense of righteousness. Those are your strong suits and it’s what will pave your way towards the hero class.”
Hitoshi was not crying. Fuck you, he wasn’t. His eyes just got a little bit watery because he got something in his eye. Like emotions and his love for Denki.
He couldn’t help it.
“Oh shit, bro, did I say something wrong?”
“No, no. I- I just have to tell you something”, Hitoshi said but then hesitated. Yes, things had gotten set into motion but they hadn’t fallen into place yet. If he told Denki now and then it didn’t work out later? He would absolutely hate that. Yes, he had to wait with the good news until he knew for sure. But now he had to come up with something to tell Denki. Hitoshi was tired and emotional and he said the first thing that came to his mind. “You’re my best friend.”
Hitoshi froze. They had never talked about this. And Denki had many friends. What if he didn’t feel the same? Would that be okay? Maybe being best friends can be non-reciprocal?
“You’re my best friend, too”, Denki replied and his voice was unbelievably calm and soft. “.... can I ask you something?”
Hitoshi relaxed and hummed in agreement. He didn’t trust his voice right now.
“Can you call me Denki?”
Hitoshi could swear the room started to physically spin. As if Mount Lady was literally standing outside and spinning the whole building like a Beyblade.
Calling him Denki? Calling him by his given name??? They weren’t family, they weren’t childhood friends.
They weren’t dating.
Hitoshi’s mind was like a hurricane but as soon as the word ‘dating’ entered the stage, it was like he stepped into the eye of said hurricane. Where everything was calm. A fake calmness surrounded by absolute chaos - but calmness. Hitoshi’s voice was as conversational and cool like it had never been before.
“You want me to call you by your given name? Because of the best friends thing?”
“We’re more than best friends, though.” At this point, it felt like Denki’s hand would leave burn marks behind on Hitoshi’s arm. “Your heart is true. You’re a pal and a confidante. And if you threw a party, inviting everyone you knew. You would see-” ‘- the biggest gift would be from me’, Hitoshi thought with a grin, “the biggest gift would be from me. And the card attached would say ‘Thank you for being a friend’ ..... from Denki. Because in that scenario we would be on first name basis, you see.”
Hitoshi snorted. Like, straight up laughed and then snorted. It sounded ugly as fuck but he couldn’t help it.
“How could I say no now?”, Hitoshi laughed. “Okay, sure. Let’s call each other by our given names.”
“Really?”, Denki’s fingers firmly pressed into Hitoshi’s arm.
“Yeah. But let me ask you this, Denki. Do you quote the Golden Girls opening to everyone you’re trying to get into your bed or should I feel special?”
“Dude, I already have you in my bed. Quoting the song is where I bring in the big guns. That’s when we enter advanced seduction strategies, Hitoshi.”
“Oh, so you’re seducing me right now? I wasn’t aware of that.”
“I did persuade you into agreeing to call each other by our given names, didn’t I?”
“Good point. And that’s a solid move.”
“Thank you, thank you.”
They were both grinning in the dark. At this point, they were both laying on their sides, turned towards each other. Denki’s hand left Hitoshi’s arm.
And then it happened again.
Fingers gently brushed Hitoshi’s hair out of his face. They carded through them. And then rested right above Hitoshi’s nape. Denki took a deep breath and relaxed. Meanwhile, Hitoshi’s heart was about to spring out of his chest. Denki wouldn’t need a hearing-sense enhancing quirk to hear how fast and loud it was beating. But if he did hear something, he didn’t mention it.
“Is this alright?”, Denki sleepily mumbled.
Hitoshi panicked. How should he answer that? What if he says ‘yes’ and Denki hears the smile in his voice and it makes him sound like a creep? What if he plays it cool when saying ‘yes’ and Denki thinks the answer isn’t genuine?
What he ends up doing, is again nothing. Which is arguably the worst reaction in this situation as indicated by Denki slowly pulling his hands awa-
He did it before he could overthink it. Or actually before he could think about it at all. In one moment, Hitoshi didn’t answer and Denki was about to remove his hand from his hair. In the next, Hitoshi had reached out. It was like that day by the tree. With the lady bug and the last package of Pocky. Hitoshi taking the initiative.
And by the gods, it was the best decision he had ever made. He could feel Denki relaxing. His hand returning to that spot right above Hitoshi’s neck where his fingers settled between unruly purple hair. Hitoshi did that. He made Denki feel this comfortable. And all because he had reached out.
He had reached out and buried his fingers in soft blonde hair. He let them wander down until only his fingertips where reaching into the hair. Softly cupping Denki’s jaw and the side of his neck. He didn’t move his hand away as he switched between gently caressing his best friend’s cheekbone with his thumb and running his fingertips through his hair by curling and uncurling them. Just bros being bros, as Kirishima would say.
“Good night, Hitoshi”, Denki whispered into the little space between them. The space filled with darkness and affection.
“Good night, Denki”, Hitoshi whispered back. As sleep slowly pulled him under, he remembered that, come morning, he would get to see Denki’s expression. His expression when he woke up. Hitoshi already felt like the luckiest person in the world right now but with just a tiny bit more luck? He’d get to see that genuine little smile again. As if two suns were to dawn over his day tomorrow.
1 Braincell for the Entirety of the Bakusquad
Denki loved his friends and he loved to make them laugh. Sometimes when someone sat down beside him, he pretended that he hadn’t seen them. Then, once he turned around, he jumped in his seat and acted all surprised.
“You’re such an idiot”, people would comment but everyone would laugh.
Hitoshi got along well with some of the people in class 1-A. Tokoyami and Jiro were cool. Midoriya, too. He figured he would get along with them well.
But not Denki. No, he didn’t ‘get along with people’. He embraced them. He effortlessly formed a deep bond of friendship with them and Hitoshi envied him a little bit for being able to do that.
Denki’s closest friends were all in the same social group. Hitoshi didn’t care much for cliques and Denki didn’t either. Which is why he insisted that they weren’t a clique. Instead, they were a squad. Hitoshi failed to understand the difference.
‘The difference is that cliques suck. Everyone knows that!’, Denki had explained.
Either way, Denki had a deep connection to everyone in the ‘Bakusquad’. Except maybe for Bakugou with whom he just had... a connection. That connection probably just being Kirishima.
Often times, Denki brought him along when meeting up with them.
“Oi, why is it okay for Dunce Face to bring his boyfriend with him everywhere we go? I don’t see Jiro bringing her girlfriend Ponytail every fucking time.”
“Hey, why are you calling her by her real name but not me??”
“Oh c’mon Bakugou, don’t be like that!”, Mina said as she wrapped an arm around the explosive blonde’s shoulder. Upon seeing his facial expression, everyone else would have been quick to remove their arm but Mina just laughed. “You’re bringing your boyfriend to all of our hangouts as well, don’t you?”
“Eijirou isn’t my fucking boyfriend”, Bakugou said through gritted teeth as he shook her arm off of him.
“Who was talking about Kirishima?”, Sero teased and everyone grinned. Kirishima’s face was almost as red as his hair.
Hitoshi stumbled when he realised that Denki hadn’t reacted that way. He hadn’t protested when Bakugou had referred to them as boyfriends. Soon, the colour of his face was the same as Kirishima’s.
They arrived at the place where they wanted to eat and sat down. Hitoshi ended up sitting between Denki and Kirishima.
“I am absolutely starving!”, Kirishima groaned.
“Oh no, don’t do that”, Denki replied.
After a tiny pause, both of them said simultaneously “Haha. I do that!” and laughed. Bakugou rolled his eyes but Hitoshi was sure that he loved it just as much as him when Kirishima and Denki quoted silly vines together.
Suddenly, Mina repeatedly tapped Denki’s arm in excitement, as it was usual for them.
“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Ask me for my order!!”
“Uh- Hello and welcome. What can I bring you on this beautiful day?”, Denki said in his best customer service voice™️.
Mina grinned and then... blanked.
“Uuuhhhhhhhhhh....... wait. Ah, fuck. Hhhhhh, something something, ‘axle grease’?????”
Denki absolutely lost it. Mina, Sero and him laughed so loud that Bakugou shouted at them to keep it down. As Denki tried to stop laughing, he choked and started to cough up a storm. Hitoshi carefully slapped him on the back and offered him some water. After Denki drank and placed the water on the table, he briefly touched Hitoshi’s knee and croaked out a “thank you” with a smile before turning back to Mina. Kirishima’s face colour may have returned to its normal state but Hitoshi was burning up yet again.
“Listen”, Mina chuckled. “I had a blackout, okay? Can you do it, please?”
“Yeah, ask me if I want a small salad.”
“Let me guess”, Mina said nasally. “A small salad?”
Denki cleared his throat and started talking in a deep voice.
“I'll take a double triple bossy deluxe, on a raft, four by four animal style, extra shingles with a shimmy and a squeeze, light axle grease, make it cry, burn it, and let it swim."
“We serve food here, sir”, Mina replied through her chuckle, remembering her line this time around.
“Bro, that was so good! I forgot that you know that word for word”, Sero wheezed.
“This never fails to be super impressive”, Kirishima agreed with a laugh.
“Impressive? What’s impressive about that?”, Bakugou asked grumpily.
“Aww, don’t be jealous, Bakubro!”, Denki said. “You’re still the manliest and most impressive dude Kirishima knows.”
Kirishima just nodded because Denki’s statement was factually true but Bakugou looked like he wanted to implode for once. Especially after seeing Kirishima agree.
Jiro butted in before the situation could escalate.
“How much space for useful knowledge would you have in your brain, if you didn’t have all those stupid Spongebob quotes in there, Kaminari?”
“Counter question! How much less fun would life be, if I didn’t have all those stupid Spongebob quotes in my brain?”
They were sitting on Hitoshi’s bed and watching Denki’s favourite sitcom on his laptop. Denki’s favourite episode had just started. Don Cheadle sat at a table in a hotel kitchen and Betty White was wiping the floor. Cheech Marin came in and made a pee joke. Denki laughed even though he had heard the joke who-knows-how-many times before.
They were sitting beside each other and their shoulders were touching again. Denki’s scent was seemingly emanating off of him in waves and Hitoshi was blissfully drowning in it. It was a good episode and a good show and Hitoshi tried his best to pay attention. Sometimes he genuinely chuckled at the quips and jokes on screen, sometimes he just laughed quietly because Denki had laughed. And what a contagious and beautiful laugh that was.
Focus!, he told himself and watched as Dorothy threw some pie at a rude-ass customer.
“I like Dorothy”, he said.
“Right??? I love her! She actually reminds me of you”, Denki replied with a smile.
“You’re damn right, I would’ve thrown that pie, too”, Hitoshi replied before it really clicked what Denki had said. That the character that Denki loved reminded him of Hitoshi.
“Same! That dude is the worst. But also in general, you’re like her. She’s the smart one, y’know? And super badass.”
Hitoshi tried his best to stay cool.
“Well, in that case, you are Blanche.”
“Did you just call me a tramp, Hitoshi?”, Denki laughed before he looked at him with fake indignation.
“Whoa whoa whoa, Blanche isn’t a tramp... Yes, I know that’s how she refers to herself but I would never call her that. No, Denki, Blanche is a lady who simply likes to have fun.”
“Oh, so you think I’m a gentleman who likes to have fun?”, Denki grinned.
“No- I- That’s not what I wanted to say with that”, Hitoshi spluttered. “It’s just... Blanche is confident. And loves her friends. And she has that ‘Southerner’s charm’..... Also, she’s the pretty one.”
Hitoshi’s face felt like it was burning up. Why could he never stay cool? At least not around the blonde.
“Bro”, Denki said with a pout before leaning his head on Hitoshi’s shoulder and turning his attention back on the screen. Hitoshi tried to stay as still as possible as not to accidentally chase him away. He briefly wondered whether his shoulder is comfortable until he realised that that was a ridiculous thought.
Meanwhile, the plot thickened on screen. Chuy marries a girl, he just met, after one shot of Tequila, the 4 old women eat cheesecake and discuss their sex life and, after a heated discussion, Sophia runs away.
As part two of the double episode started, Hitoshi became nervous. Today’s the day. Today he would tell Denki what he didn’t dare to tell him at their sleepover. Because today he knew for sure and he wanted Denki to hear it from him.
After Rose hit Dorothy on the head with the newspaper, everyone starts crying and they have a heart to heart. And oh how they were crying.
Hitoshi turned towards the blonde, who got up and pressed pause as soon as the scene ended. He sat back down on the bed and tears streamed down his face.
“Do you not think I’m Rose?”, he asked while using a tissue on his running nose.
“What?”, Hitoshi was at a loss for words.
“Sorry, this scene always gets me. While I calm down again, tell me, ‘Toshi. Do you not think I’m Rose?”
Without thought, Hitoshi reached out and wiped away Denki’s tears. He admitted that the scene had been moving but as many tears as these could only be shed by someone who carried a deep love for the characters crying on-screen. Denki leaned into his touch as Hitoshi gently caressed his face rather than actually wiping with efficiency.
“She did stand up to Dorothy just now, which was very brave”, Hitoshi mused. “And she’s definitely as kind as you. But her most defining character trait is how dense she is and that’s just not you. Because you’re bright... you’re brilliant, actually.”
“Why do you keep saying that? Listening to you, one would assume that I’m a wholeass genius or something”, Denki chuckled unbelievingly.
“One would assume correctly”, Hitoshi replied with determination.
They were sitting so, so close.
Hitoshi could hear someone boosting their music in a dorm room nearby. The bass loud and rhythmical.
Ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum.
At this point, Hitoshi was just cupping Denki’s face in his hands. One last tear, caused by his endless empathy, even for fictional emotional pain, rolled down his cheek and Hitoshi gently brushed it away. Denki’s nose and cheeks were red and his eyes were golden and glittery. Hitoshi felt absolutely terrible for finding his friend’s tear-streaked face as beautiful as he did.
They were so close.
Ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum.
Denki’s one hand grabbed the front of Hitoshi’s shirt while the other curled around one of his wrists. Hitoshi’s thumb brushed over Denki’s cheek again, wiping away non-existent tears.
When suddenly a phone rang. Denki’s phone. They jumped apart and Denki smiled apologetically while reaching for it.
“Hey, Sero”, he said before clearing his throat.
The bass had quickened even more.
Ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum.
That’s when Hitoshi finally realised that that wasn’t a bass. It was his heart about to explode. His heart...
‘You can’t help the things your heart longs for.’
That’s what he had told Midoriya at the Sports Festival. About his dream of becoming a hero. But it still rang true here as well. His heart, his whole being longed for Denki. But was that fair? Didn’t Denki deserve someone better than him? Someone who wasn’t feared, someone whose quirk didn’t make people uncomfortable. Someone more handsome and more smart. Someone more like Denki.
Hitoshi had fought so hard for his dream of becoming a hero. He had earned it and would keep working hard in order to re-earn it everyday. But what did he do to be deserving of Denki’s love? To be in that place in the sun? Was there even anything he could do?
He was dreaming. He didn’t have a chance with Denki and now he probably ruined their friendship as well. He had almost kissed Denki! What was he thinking?? He had cupped his face and surely Denki would be weirded out by him now. He would never wanna hang out with him again. Hitoshi felt like the biggest idiot on the planet.
“-lright, I’ll be there. See you later”, Denki said and ended the phone call.
If he was lucky, Denki wouldn’t mention it. He would just ignore it. Like people always did on TV. Maybe Denki didn’t realise that he had wanted to kiss him. Maybe he just thought that Hitoshi was weird. Yes, that would be his best option. Just act like it never happened (because it didn’t) and then start to leave Denki alone. Stop being a creep and get over all of this.
“Sorry, about that”, Denki said as he put away his phone. “So where were we? Ah, yes, I just wanted to ask whether I could kiss you.”
Somewhere outside a window broke. Probably a soccer ball gone rogue.
Hitoshi didn’t know what to say. Even if he did, he was sure he wouldn’t be able to talk right now. He felt absolutely stunned and couldn’t move one inch. Is that how people felt when they were affected by his quirk?
“...you- you wanna kiss me?” His voice was merely a whisper.
“Um, yeah! If that’s okay with you? I mean that’s what we were about to do, wasn’t it?”
Hitoshi just stared at him. Denki’s gaze started to nervously flit around the room.
“Wait, is this the moment where you tell me that I have misread all the signals?”
“You’re right. Relying on signals is not cool. Ugh, I’m sorry”, Denki said, increasingly frustrated with himself. “I should’ve just stuck to the plan and confessed first but no I have to let myself get lost in the moment like an idio-“
“Don’t”, Hitoshi said and Denki looked at him in surprise. “Please don’t call yourself that. Especially not because of me.”
Denki took a deep breath before he took Hitoshi’s hand.
“Listen. I like you, Shinsou Hitoshi. And if you don’t feel the same way for me, then that’s obviously fine. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable or pressured but if it’s fine with you, I’d like to explain why I like you and why I think... Is it okay if I keep talking?”
Hitoshi just nodded. He wasn’t physically capable of doing or saying anything else. Denki smiled.
“We care about each other, ‘Toshi. I’m sure you see that, too. I care about how much you’ve laughed in a day. And how much you’ve rested at night. And you care about whether I feel dumb. You care about whether I feel happy. And I know friends do that, too. And maybe friends also play with each other’s hair and that’s already... being friends with you- having you as my best friend... is one of the best things that ever happened to me. And I don’t wanna lose that. But I don’t think that we would be leaving that behind. As if we were levelling up at Mario or something. I don’t think that’s what it would be like. Being with you... as boyfriends... it’d be the same thing as now, on the same level. Just... more of it.
You’re the most amazing person I know. You are so strong and kind and it doesn’t matter how often people brush you off or antagonise you, you know your worth. And you just keep fighting on. Because you know that one day you’ll be a hero. And I know it, too. We’ll attend the hero class together and it doesn’t matter whether we’ll be the annoying couple or the annoying best friends - it will be amazing.
If you still wanna be friends with me after this, hA! Just kidding, just kidding, I’m sorry. I just... I don’t know if any of this makes any sense and y’know I’m not actually Blanche. I don’t know much about how relationships work. But I understand how our relationship works and I understand my feelings for you and I would like to believe that I understand you....”, Denki took a deep breath. “I know I should ask you on a date and if you agreed, then we would do that and we would ‘see how it goes’ but I think that’s more for people who don’t know each other. But we do. And technically speaking, we have gone on countless platonic dates. So, excuse me for being so straight-forward... but... if you feel the same... would you- I mean, do you- or, well... um...”
“Are you asking me whether I wanna be your boyfriend?”, Hitoshi asked with an unbelievably quiet voice. But Denki heard him. Denki always heard him.
“Actually, the first question is whether you like me, too. But, uh, yeah. That would be the follow-up question to that”, he said with a nervous laugh. “What do you say?”
Denki’s eyes were full of hope. Hitoshi’s eyes were full of unshed tears.
“Yes and yes.”
It was as if the sun was rising on Denki’s face as he laughed in relief. They hugged and Hitoshi buried his face in Denki’s hair. In his boyfriend’s hair. Who liked him. And wanted to be with him. And believed in him. In his future as a hero. That reminded Hitoshi - he still hadn’t told him.
“Oh and ‘no’ and a third ‘yes’”, he said as their hug ended.
“To which questions?”
“No, I didn’t see that you felt this way for me. But then again, you’re the genius in this relationship”, Hitoshi said and Denki laughed. “And yes, it will be amazing. When we are the couple that everyone is gonna be annoyed by when the new term starts.”
“Aizawa told me some time ago that this may be happening. And today it was officially green-lit. After the break... I will be transferred into the hero department.”
“OH MY GOD!! HITOSHI!!” Denki wrapped him in another tight hug before he started to pepper kisses all over Hitoshi’s face. Now, he was happy that he hadn’t told him before. If Denki had done this before Hitoshi knew that he liked him back, he would’ve been so focused on not losing his cool that he wouldn’t have been able to embrace the kisses. But now he embraced it. He blushed terribly and he embraced it like Denki embraced his friends. With love and warmth and acceptance.
He embraced the kisses on his cheeks and the ones on his nose and the ones on his forehead and his temples. He embraced the words Denki said when he expressed again and again how proud he was. He embraced it when he found it in him to hug Denki himself. He embraced it when Denki hugged him back.
They giggled and laughed and Hitoshi shed some tears and Denki shed some tears. They rested their foreheads together. They were happy. And this time Denki asked for real. Whether he could kiss him. And Hitoshi felt the sun shining on his face when he looked at Denki’s bright and blinding smile when he said yes.
And when they kissed, Hitoshi knew. He had found his place in the sun.