8 years old and older every day, Bakugou Katsuki returned home from school with blood soaking through his pants leg. “Mom!” He called out into the house, “I’m home!”
Mitsuki made her way down the stairs, “Hey Katsu, oh shit-” she looked at his pants leg, “what’d you do to yourself?”
“I fell down, but I was fine, I didn’t even cry! I’m not weak like Deku,” Mitsuki grinned a little in spite of herself.
“Katsu, you gotta be more careful, you’re always scraping your knees up,” Katsuki pouted, sitting down while his mother got the bactine spray and bandaids. His mother re-entered the room.
“My teacher made me sit out after that, it wasn’t fair! She wouldn’t let me run in the race!”
Mitsuki cleaned his cuts and Katsuki continued on his rant about how unfair it was.
God, she thought to herself as she watched him leave the room, please let time be good to this boy.
“I’ll listen if you stay,” he breathes, more hope than human. “Please,” reaching out but not grasping anything, “I swear I’ll listen.”
Next comes the waking up and the pounding of fists into cotton. This isn’t how it was supposed to go.
Bakugou Katsuki has no emotions.
Except he does.
Bakugou Katsuki has the most intense emotions of anyone Kirishima has ever met, along with the most twisted ways of feeling them.
With more nightmares than he deserves, (and more than deserve him), it’s no longer odd for him to knock on Kirishima’s door at 3 AM, eyes pleading and guilty, please help me, they say. “Okay,” Kirishima always whispers in response.
And on the one instance where this had been going on for days, Bakugou now at a delirious state, his harder edges softened by lack of sleep, he’d brought one of his dangerous hands to his face, wiping at watering eyes. He wasn’t upset, he’d said, just frustrated.
And when Kirishima carefully embraced him he’d pushed against his chest, “Get away from me,” he’d said, “I don’t want you to see me cry.”
“Don’t worry,” Kirishima whispered, drawing Bakugou closer, Bakugou’s face now hidden in his chest. Kirishima looked up, eyes finding the glow-in-the-dark stars stuck to the ceiling, “I won’t look.”
A human firecracker, Bakugou sleeps like he lives: in dangerous bursts or not at all.
He awoke with a start nearly every night, fragments of broken memories of dream replaying behind his eyes; explosions, screaming, come on, flying through the air.
And then falling. Falling down, down, down. Torture, all four of them, all of them, captured.
Too embarrassed to ask for help once again, he carried it alone. All alone.
He took it, every night for weeks, until one night there was a knock on his door.
“I know you’re not sleeping,” the redhead had said immediately after Bakugou opened the door, “I know you didn’t know how to ask.”
Bakugou never had to ask again.
Kirishima has his feet in Kaminari’s lap.
Of course the pit that’s formed in Bakugou’s stomach isn’t jealousy, he has Kirishima to himself whatever night he needs him, all he has to do is send a blank text or walk a few feet down the hall and knock on his door.
But he can’t deny that it’s different. What they have is different. They aren’t sharing a bed by choice, they’re sharing out of a mutual need for support and a shared hatred for cold sides of the mattress.
And even though he knows himself, he knows that if Kirishima did it to him he’d push him away, he’d have to. But oh god, it hurts how badly he wants Kirishima to come sit by him and put his feet in his lap.
“Not like that, dumbass,” Bakugou groans, snatching Kirishima’s notebook away from him. “You idiot, like this.”
“So mean,” Kirishima lightly teases, small smile growing on his face. “Are you going to Yaoyorozu’s party tonight?
What party? But there was no way in hell he would ever tell Kirishima that he hadn’t been invited.
“No. Why the fuck would I? I’ve got better shit to do than go to dumb fucking parties.”
He doesn't miss the quiet look of disappointment that Kirishima covers with a small smile. “Harsh, man. Okay.”
It’s storming and Bakugou hates it.
With sleep evading, all he can do is think of Kirishima at the party and how much the thunder sounds like explosions.
Bakugou has never cared at all about parties or other people, so why does he feel left out?
Bakugou flinches. God, he wants Kirishima here.
Bakugou wonders if there is alcohol at the party, he wonders if Kirishima is drunk.
What was Kirishima like when he was drunk? He wonders. Was he flirty? Fuck.
He flinches again, covering his ears, trying to ignore the sound of explosions that were really just thunder. God, he needed Kirishima here.
He wonders if there was kissing at party. Drunken kissing, filled with tongue and teeth and quickly moving down, down, down.
He wonders if Kirishima was kissing at the party.
Bakugou’s insides feel warm, he can actually feel his blood boil.
Bakugou knows he’s foolish for feeling special, for feeling he deserves Kirishima’s lips on his. He knows he doesn’t deserve it, but God how he wants it. How could he not?
It was the same internal battle every time, sure, Kirishima seems to really care for Bakugou, but the boy went out of his way to befriend every single student. Even the one that no one else would approach.
The only person that Kirishima hasn’t taken a particular liking to is Minoru, but who can blame him?
Jesus Christ, he can’t take this anymore.
Grabbing his phone off of his bedside table, he pulls up Kirishima’s contact, about to click Call Shitty Hair, but then he pauses, once again thinking about alcohol, loud parties and how far drunken kissing can take you.
“Jesus Christ,” he whispers as he changes Kirishima’s contact name from Shitty Hair to Red Riot.
Wishing he had more people to occupy his mind with, he sets his phone back on the table, rolling over to face the ceiling absent of stick-on glow-in-the-dark stars. Sighing loudly, he whispers into the room.
“Demons, be good to me.”
He must’ve fallen asleep at some point, because around 3 AM he wakes up to the sound of laughter.
He groans and stretches, bones in his back cracking. Shivering almost as soon as he clambers out of bed, the floorboards are freezing beneath bare feet.
The storm finally stopped.
He walks as quietly as he can to the door and looks out of the peephole. The hall light is on, making the cream-colored walls look slightly yellow-tinted. From the angle his door is at, he can’t see down the hallway.
He’s growing irritated as he slowly slides the chain off of his door. He unlocks it carefully, trying not to make noise so that whoever is out in the hall doesn’t try to talk to him, and pushes the door open, taking one quiet step out.
Down the hall, further down than he’d expected, he sees an amused Kirishima pushing a drunk-looking Kaminari into his room.
The pit forms again, deeper this time, more painful. Bakugou can actually feel it being dug out of him.
“Shut up, dude,” he hears Kirishima say, “I do not.” Kirishima’s face is red and he looks completely flustered.
Bakugou wishes he could do that to him.
The door closes and Bakugou steps back into his room, leaning against the door frame. He tells himself he’ll stay quiet, even when Kirishima walks closer.
Kirishima stuffs his hands in his pockets and walks down the hallway, face still red.
He stops once he gets to his door and turns to unlock it.
Bakugou’s vocal chords disobey him.
“Hey,” he hears himself say and he watches as Kirishima flinches.
“Oh, Jesus-hey man, you scared me.”
“‘M sorry,” Bakugou says, breathing more than actually speaking. “How was the dumb party?”
Kirishima sighs, and in his tired expression, Bakugou finds the answer. “I kinda never wanna go to one again?”
“Told ya parties are fuckin’ dumb.”
Kirishima snorts, “Yeah man, I guess. Kami got fuckin’ shitfaced, and then he kept trying to embarrass me.”
Bakugou raises both eyebrows. “You didn’t drink anything?”
“Nah man, I don’t drink. Don’t wanna risk getting caught, y’know? My moms would freak.”
Kirishima continues on, talking about how awful the party was and things like that, but Bakugou has trouble focusing. All he thinks about is how beautiful Kirishima looks in the lighting.
The bright red of his hair muted to a more orange color, it’s much easier on the eyes. His hair is down and God, Bakugou can’t believe how soft it looks.
He’s acutely aware of the distance between them, 10 steps, 7 maybe? One breath, a heartbeat, a great leap. A step off of the balance beam Bakugou has carefully been walking all this time.
Limbs sore from straining to stay balanced, one missed step, one stuttered word and everything would come crashing down.
But in this moment, all he feels is the overwhelming urge to kiss.
Bakugou wants to kiss.
He wants to kiss.
He wants to be kissed.
He wants, he needs to feel Kirishima gasp into his mouth, breath stolen in the surprise he knows it’d be.
But he knows, God how he knows, all that would happen would be humiliating words being spoken against Kirishima’s lips, “Please,” he’d beg, “kiss me back,” and then it’d be over.
Kirishima would be pushing away from his chest, tugging away from him with everything he has. That look of horror, of absolute confusion and disgust would ruin his perfectly crafted features, and how could Bakugou ever be selfish enough to do that?
But still, Kirishima’s hair looks so so soft. He needs to touch it.
He absolutely must see if it is as soft as it looks.
He takes one step closer.
Kirishima is digging through his messenger bag, probably looking for keys or something; not looking at Bakugou.
Bakugou takes another step closer, and then another, and each one leads to another until he’s an arm’s reach away from Kirishima.
“Oh shit, I just realized, did I wake you up? I’m sorry ma-”
Kirishima has looked up, finding Bakugou mere inches away. “Uh hey dude? You good?”
And then whatever was holding Bakugou back must give in, because he reaches out, he reaches out with all of him, and runs his fingers through Kirishima’s hair.
It’s so much softer than it looks.
And then fuck, all at once Bakugou realizes what he’s doing. In an instant he takes in Kirishima’s expression: mouth open, seemingly frozen in mid-sentence shock.
He pulls his arm back so quickly it’s as if he’s been burned, “Nah,” he says, turning around quickly, “I couldn’t sleep anyways. Cuz of the storm.”
He retreats, like the coward he is, falling right back into the balancing act, head spinning from how quickly he changed directions. As soon as Bakugou reaches the doorway, Kirishima calls out, “Bakugou.”
He turns, he turns instantly and then kicks himself, why the fuck was he so eager? What snapped in him that made him so obvious?
He licks his lips, “hm?”
“Do you…need me to help?”
Bakugou stays entirely silent, but nods once.
And that’s all it takes.
Kirishima starts to ask for things too.
They start as small favors like, Can you help me with the homework? Can I borrow your shaving cream?
As time goes on, the favors get more and more intimate. Can you scoot closer? I’m cold.
It’s no longer odd for Kirishima to ask to borrow one of Bakugou’s jackets or to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with him. After all, how could Bakugou deny him that?
But with Kirishima acting this way, balancing gets harder and harder. With every “Thanks, Bakubro!” And every dimpled smile, Bakugou begins to stumble more and more, almost falling and almost jumping off voluntarily more than once.
And yet with swaying resolve, he stays balanced, instead living for the thrill of it. Leaning far to one side just to catch himself again, Can you braid my hair for me, Bakugou? Of course he could.
And when the final question, the one that made him finally fall off of the beam, straight into Kirishima’s arms was spoken, Can you kiss me? He didn’t hesitate.
They alternated, switching in between sleeping in one another’s room every night until finally, Bakugou put in a request to share rooms with Kirishima, “because he had nightmares.”
There were two beds in the room, one going completely unused, the sheets never even put on it.
Bakugou relished in the warmth by his side, and enjoyed drifting off every night to a kiss from Kirishima and the sight of those glow-in-the-dark stars stuck to the ceiling.
And he still does.