Things had changed a lot since Izuku and Katsuki had actually laid all their feelings out on the table; but just cause they were out there, didn't mean they wanted to actually address them. Katsuki was a master at hiding emotion and letting it simmer into rage. Izuku wasn't gonna let that happen with them anymore. He wanted things to change, more than they already had. It wasn't enough for him yet. Katsuki was still treating him like a weakling. He wasn't gonna let that continue. Izuku wanted nothing more than for them to be equals.
The sun was setting on UA and the dorms were bustling with pent up energy. Everyone had just gotten back from their work studies and they were happy to finally all be able to hang out again as a class.
"Hey Deku!" Ochaco shouted as soon as she entered the common area of the 1-A dorms and spotted the green haired boy.
Izuku smiled back at her, "Oh hey Uraraka! How was your work study!"
"IT WAS AWESOME! I'm really starting to feel like a real hero!" Ochaco did a few Gunhead martial arts moves as Izuku chuckled and placed his attention back on his English notebook.
"Wow, just got back and heads already in the books?" a familiar voice made its way from behind the couch Izuku was sat on. It was Katsuki.
"Hey Bakugo." Ochaco greeted the blond teen indignantly. They weren't friends; Ochaco secretly despised Katsuki and the way he always treated Izuku but she knew the two were friends so tried her best to be civil around him.
Katsuki nodded his head as he came around the side of the couch and sat himself down hard next to Izuku. Normally he didn't care to be around when everyone was in the common area, but today he was a little too bored. He figured he could find Izuku studying since they just got back from their work study at Endeavor's agency. He could probably find peace just staying near Izuku.
His life had been anything but peaceful since he started school at UA. It was always one thing or another; it was seemingly constant and what he really wanted was a break. He peeked over at the boy next to him with his head buried in his notebook.
"I don't get it..." Izuku mumbled after a few moments of reading his assignment, "The wording in this book is confusing. What do they mean when they talk about..." The book in question was an old English play that no one was quite sure why they kept in the English curriculum. All the students were good at English, but this was challenging.
"How did he not know," Izuku whispered, "His friend sent a letter to him but he didn't get it?"
Katsuki couldn't help but eavesdrop on Izuku's mumbling and he also couldn't understand how the smaller teen didn't understand the book.
"The letter didn't reach him in time, idiot. His friend sent the letter, but he was so far out of town that it took too long to get it to him." Katsuki tried to explain.
"Wait, then how did he find out she was dead? Did he just not get the letter? Then wouldn't the problem not be the letter reaching him in time but more so him just not getting the letter?"
Katsuki groaned, "What's even the question, I haven't looked over the assignment yet."
"Uh, hold on-" Izuku started but was interrupted by Kaminari and Kirishima yelling at each other.
"BAKUGO, TELL KAMINARI THAT I CAN BENCH MORE THAN HIM!" the red head pleaded for backup from his friend.
"SHUT UP! IF YOU WANNA PROVE IT TO HIM THEN JUST DO IT, SHITTY HAIR!" Katsuki yelled and Izuku shuttered at the sudden loudness next to him.
Izuku couldn't focus on his homework with Katsuki sitting next to him. He had so much on his mind since the night of their fight at ground beta but during the work study, things just seemed to get way more complicated. He wasn't sure how Katsuki felt about him and he wanted answers. He wanted to know if they were really friends or if Katsuki just saw him as a rival and someone that he had to be nice to because he was the prodigy of All Might. There was only one way to find out.
The yelling continued as Kaminari and Kirishima brought out some weights and started a contest to see who could lift more. Izuku was trying to keep his eyes on his assignment but he kept noticing Katsuki looking over towards him. Between the yelling and Katsuki's eyes, Izuku found himself between a rock and a hard place. He needed to get out, but he wanted to keep the company of one of his problems.
"Hey Kacchan," he said, nudging Katsuki, "let's go for a walk. I wanna show you something."
Katsuki had decided maybe getting out on a walk was a good thing. If it meant he wouldn't have to deal with the other students yelling at each other, he was fine. He wasn't quite sure where Izuku was leading him towards though.
The smaller teen had taken the lead which Katsuki never really liked being a follower, but he could let Izuku have his moments. The walked for a while until they came up to a beach near their neighborhood.
Izuku broke the silence, "Do you see this beach, Kacchan?"
Katsuki looked at Izuku, the breeze tugging the green hair away from his face, "Yeah? What are you getting at?"
"You remember how this place used to be a dump? It was a nightmare to clean up... and all before the entrance exam."
"What are you talking about, ne-"
"All Might had me train for months and clean up this entire beach. That was how I was readying my body for One for All. If I hadn't trained, it would have killed me." Izuku continued, "I wanted it so bad that I pushed myself past my limits. I wanted to be a hero. I wanted to be like that one person in my life who I always looked up to and who I thought was so strong. I wanted to be his equal, or even to surpass him."
"All Might, right." Katsuki responded, "You wanna be number one so-"
Izuku cut off Katsuki again, "No. I wanted to be just like Kacchan."
Katsuki could feel the shock spreading through his body. The weight of all the guilt over the past years sat in his stomach, festering. He really didn't know Deku as well as he always thought. He didn't mind the surprised, though. Before he knew it, hot blush was spreading across his cheeks.
"What? Why me... I mean I get that I'm strong and cool, but..." Izuku turned to Katsuki and placed a hand on the blond teens cheek.
"No buts, Kacchan. You were always the one I looked up to most. Sure, I admired All Might and I want to be a hero just like him, but..." Izuku lowered his hand as blush started to creep onto his face as well, "You were always right there. I just wanted you to see me as your equal. That's why I worked so hard, why I pushed myself. I wanted to be as strong as you."
Katsuki swallowed the anxiety rising in his throat. He already knew some of these things from their last big fight, but he never realized how important he was to Izuku. It made him nervous. He didn't wanna ruin this again.
"Kacchan..." Izuku started again, his voice coming out as more of a whisper, "I guess a big reason why I felt that way all these years... is cause I..." He was having trouble finishing his sentence. He wanted to say it so bad. He couldn't even look Katsuki in the eyes. The taller teen took a second to realize what was really happening.
His mind was spinning with questions. *Wait, does he like me? Why would he like me? Does he really have... feelings for me?*
"I'm sorry I brought you all the way out here, Kacchan... I just wanted to talk to you. And tell you how I really feel..."
"Then spit it out." Katsuki demanded. There was more bite to the words than he intended and he hoped Izuku hadn't taken it in the wrong way.
"You were gonna say something. The reason you felt this way is cause you...?" Katsuki took a step closer to Izuku. They were nearly face to face now and Izuku could feel Katsuki's breath on his nose. It was weirdly calming for him to be this close to Katsuki, this close to touching him in a non-violent way. Izuku was wondering if he should take his chances; he didn't get that far before Katsuki noticed his eyes wandering and cupped his face, forcing him to keep eye contact.
"Izuku." Katsuki said. The green haired teen froze at the sound of his first name coming from his childhood friend. He'd only used it a handful of times. The blush on Izuku's face thickened. If Katsuki hadn't noticed it before, he certainly noticed it now.
"Katsuki." Izuku responded, "I think I love you."
Katsuki stared at Izuku for another moment, "You think?" he smirked.
"What?! I mean! I do love you!" Izuku jumped back from Katsuki's grip on his chin and turned around so he didn't have to face him anymore. Katsuki put a hand on his shoulder and gently, but firmly, spun him back around and embraced him in a hug.
Izuku wasn't sure how to react. He never thought he would get this far. Katsuki wasn't really sure what he was doing either, but it felt right. He figured for once, he could let his emotions speak for him.
"I love you, too, Izuku." Katsuki whispered in Izuku's ear. He pulled back to lock eyes once again.
Izuku was breathing heavily and his body went rigid the moment Katsuki pulled away. He noticed the blush on his friends face and realized this was really happening, they were really confessing their love for each other. They were really in love with each other. Izuku smiled.
"It took you long enough." Katsuki said before pulling himself back towards Izuku, this time to place a soft kiss on his lips. It was tender and loving; something Izuku didn't know Katsuki was capable of but he was glad this was the way he got to find out and he was excited to see how much more of himself Katsuki would let him see in the future.