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The King's Game

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The smell of grapefruit always stung his nose whenever you were near, it wasn’t unpleasant but at this point, he could always tell when you were coming. He didn’t know why he suddenly became invested in your scent, but it was slowly becoming a problem. There were times he could think of nothing but grapefruit, and he hated it.

 

Bakugo fucking Katsuki doesn’t fucking pine, especially not for dull faced losers like you.

 

When it hit him like a train that afternoon, the ball that grew in his stomach came back. Along with an intense scowl and the sudden want to leave the room. No such luck, considering he lost a bet and he’s not the type of man to go back on his word.

 

Ashido came in, gripping at your wrist and tugging you along with an million-watt smile that could rival All-Might’s. You allowed her to pull you along, expression as dull as ever.

 

Your scent was a little muddled by something else, something he couldn’t put a name to.

 

“Mina’s not forcing you to play, is she?” Sero immediately asked, making the pinkette gasp indignantly.

 

Before anything else can be said, you gave a lazy smile and shook your head. Sleepy, half lidded eyes flickering between them before you spoke in that low, soft voice, “Nah, I came willingly, I was just moving too slow for her tastes.”

 

She rolled her eyes and shoved you towards the space between Bakugo and Kaminari, stuffing herself in between the latter and Sero. Crossing her arms over her chest she huffed, “The boys woulda become dust with the pace you were going at.”

 

“Alright, alright, let’s just play now.” Kirishima piped with a light chuckle, lifting the cup full of cheap, wood chopsticks and shaking it around to mix it up. “Might as well before we hit curfew.”

 

Bakugo peered at you wordlessly out of the corner of his eye, his head resting on his arm as he set his elbow on the table. You were in his peripheral, close enough for him to feel your warmth close to his right arm. With time, maybe this stupid crush of his would go away but for now, he’d be content just having you this close.

 

While the cup was being passed around, he watched your face. Your half-lidded eyes, a tiny bit dark, the bags that circled under them. How the plush of your lips gave as you gently pursed them. Handing the final chopstick over to him, his gaze met your’s, although for just a moment

 

He snorted lowly, looking to the chopstick he was given.

 

Who is the King?!

 

It wasn’t him.

 

“Me!” Denki’s bright grin and mischievous glimmer in his honey orbs made everyone immediately on edge.

 

All except you. You sat there, poker faced and calm, fingers curled around your chopstick. Despite how lazy and dispassioned you appeared, your posture was good, poised and elegant. Bakugo hated that you were so calm, like you were prepared for everything that was gonna happen.

 

“Alright, let’s start this off proper!! Number two has to sit in…. Number three’s lap until the next round is over!”

 

His voice so smug that it was annoying, his shit eating grin making Bakugo huff and roll his eyes yet again. You set down your chopstick, revealing that you were four. His was six, Flat-face was one. So that meant it’s one of the other two.

 

“Oooh! How scandalous!” Mina practically cackled as she lifted her’s grinning broadly at Kirishima, the number ‘three’ in bold black.

 

He blushed and glared at Kaminari for a moment before he sighed and got up, muttering, “Don’t blame me if you lose circulation.”

 

Once the redhead was settled on Mina’s lap and small little giggles and snickers subsided, the chopsticks were placed back in the cup and the next round began. Bakugo was shaking the cup roughly, mostly to make sure Dunce-face didn’t get the chance to be King again. He didn’t want to get dragged into this game, but here he was. Hopefully, it wasn’t Pinky’s go either, she was just as bad, if not worse than the electric blond.

 

Who is the King?!

 

Not him, again. Whatever.

 

It wasn’t you either.

 

“It’s me!” Sero piped with a smile, the stick in his hand bringing relief to everyone for the time being. “Number six has to go out and get us all drinks from the vending machine.”

 

“What?!” Denki exclaimed, surprised by the demand and pouted, “But it’s cold out!”

 

“Put on pants and a jacket.” Eijiro stated, his expression showing not an ounce of sympathy since Denki had placed him in Ashido’s lap.

 

“Jeez Kiri, no mercy, huh?” You asked, an amused smile tugging up the corners of your lips.

 

Bakugo felt the telltale heat creep up his neck at the sight of your smile, but forced it back the best he could by tensing his shoulders and trying to keep his blood from circulating to his face. Shit, this was annoying, he hated that he blushed so easily. It came with the territory of sweating so much.

 

“Nope.”

 

Kaminari opened his mouth to protest but with everyone’s expectant gazes and glares, he heaved a long sigh and pouted as he grumbled, “What do you guys want?”

 

Once he received the drink orders, he moved to his room to bundle up a bit. Returning with his clothes and his wallet, he gave a weak glare before he slowly shuffled towards the door.

 

“Means you can get off, we’re gonna play the next round without ‘em.” Sero said to the redhead, who sighed in relief and removed himself from the pinkette’s lap.

 

“Aww, and I was just enjoying having you so close to me.” She chirped, nudging him playfully.

 

“Shut up.” He snickered, shoving her in response before he sat down between you and Mina.

 

The cup was being shaken again, one chopstick left out.

 

The sticks were distributed again.

 

Who is the King?!

 

It wasn’t him. Again.

 

God, this was getting repetitive.

 

“Oh, me!!” Kirishima laughed, lifting the stick in what seemed to be relief.

 

Shitty-hair wasn’t that bad either, maybe just a bit intense but not really set out to embarrass anyone; just rile them up a bit. Bakugo is usually his target, much to his chagrin.

 

“Alright, number one, you gotta say something positive about someone you don’t like all that much!”

 

“Oh, really?” Hanta blinked gently before he rubbed the back of his neck and frowned, “I’m… Not sure that I have anyone I don’t like…”

 

You didn’t bat an eye, your arms folded in front of you on the table as you laid your head on them. You peered at the ravenet with a smirk, the name falling from your lips, “Mineta.”

 

There was silence before Katsuki flicked his gaze over to see his reaction and barked out a laugh at the vague look of annoyance decorating Sero’s features.

 

“Ugh… I guess he’s smart? He’s the reason I passed the practical exams our first year.”

 

It went through the motions; the shaking of the cup, the drawing of the chopsticks, so on.

 

Who is the King?!

 

Wasn’t him.

 

But the cheer from Pinky made him almost pale.

 

The moment he’s been dreading… Fuck.

 

That million-watt smile was almost terrifying with how wide it was, her gold irises shrinking with her delight and maniacal giggles sent chills through the room. His grip tightened on the piece in his hands, almost afraid to look at the number.

 

With the anxious expressions of Sero and Kirishima, it was pretty clear that they felt similarly about her being given such power.

 

You remained relaxed, gazing at your stick with a look of near boredom. He didn’t understand how you could relax so openly since Mina was clearly looking for targets.

 

“Alright, number four!” Maybe Alien Queen would’ve been an appropriate name for her after all, since she was cackling between her words, “You gotta give number one a kiss on the cheek!!”

 

Bakugo inwardly shivered at that, slowly bringing his gaze to his assigned number. He was moving slow, silently praying to god that it wasn’t him that had to worry about being kissed or having to kiss either Flat-face or Shitty-hair. But for some reason, he could hear those two laughing.

 

As he tried processing what was written on the stick, something very soft and very warm pressed to his right cheek. Grapefruit invaded his senses and as quickly as the softness touched his cheek, it was gone.

 

He snapped his head towards you, carmine tinted eyes wide. Your face filled up practically all of his vision with how close you were, your lips curled upwards as your minty breath ghosted over his face. He swallowed the lump in his throat, embarrassment taking place of the fear as he slowly realized what just happened.

 

“Oh ho ho! You’re so bold!” Mina giddily laughed, looking quite pleased at Katsuki’s frazzled expression.

 

In an instant, the embarrassment turned to complete and utter fury. The burning of his face making him scowl further as he snapped his eyes towards her and then over to you, baring his teeth.

 

You two —”

 

“Well, to be fair, I did really want to do it.” You shot, dropping your stick back into the cup offhandedly making the heat in his cheeks worsen.

 

“Bakubro, you can get 'em back next round… If you’re King that is.” The redhead interjected afterward to keep the explosive blond from ripping Ashido to pieces.

 

He liked the kiss, but like hell he’d admit it to that stupid Pinky.

 

“Tch.” He scoffed. “Fine.”

 

You looked amused again, although your expression softened a little bit. Pretty eyes shimmering with something he hadn’t really seen before, at least, in how you looked at him.

 

Fondness?

 

Affection?

 

Knowing?

 

Either way, it fueled his embarrassed fury.

 

As did the telltale snickering of his supposed friends.

 

The same old song and dance, the rattling of sticks, the picking and choosing.

 

Who is the King?!

 

It was him.

 

Bakugo was sure he looked out for blood at this time, especially with the crazed grin he was sporting. Everyone but you looked genuinely horrified. It almost pissed him off with how relaxed you were, how calm you always were, he didn’t fucking understand you.

 

“Number two.” He practically snarled, having gotten a glimpse of your stick.

 

He had to get you back for the kiss after all. So hearing something embarrassing about you would be perfect retribution for his damaged pride and that stupid flirt you dropped.

 

The ash blond continued, his eyes glittering with a vengeance so intense that he was sure he unnerved you at least a bit, “Tell us your deepest, darkest secret.”

 

You simply blinked twice, as impassive as before. Placing the stick back into the cup, stuffing your hands into the pockets of the oversized hoodie that hung off of your frame.

 

He felt his chest constrict at the air that you suddenly took on, his throat closing at your body slumping in what looked like utter exhaustion.

 

“Alright.” Your voice was hollow, pinning them all in place with an thousand-yard stare.

 

Bakugo felt himself frown at your expression, the distant eyes, the lazy smile that fell into something akin to a grimace. The others noticed the change in you as well, the mood in the room dipped and you sat in silence for a minute, maybe two. He was about to change the order but as you slowly shifted back, lifting your gaze to them all, he couldn’t speak.

 

For the first time, you seemed serious. Usual lackadaisical disposition just gone in a single moment.

 

We’re stuck in a time loop.” It was blunt, simple, and straight to the point, “It starts Monday and goes through until Sunday, I’m the only one that remembers every single loop without fail. I don’t know why, I don’t know why me. I don’t have a time quirk or a future telling quirk. But I’ve done everything I could to try and stop it, none of it worked. It’s been 86 loops thus far.”

 

They all stared at you for a long moment, your blank expression and deep bags almost cementing your point. But the silence was broken by nervous laughter from Kirishima, his eyes flickering from person to person.

 

“Uh… G - good joke there.”

 

He nearly jumped when your gaze snapped to him, your voice was lower now with a bit of an edge to it, “The only way I get any reprieve from this shit is sleeping, that’s why I do it so much so I don’t have to keep being reminded that all I do is for naught. Hell, this isn’t even the first time I’ve told you. It’s the same thing, again and again and again and then some. I’m not fucking around Kirishima.”

 

Bakugo’s head was reeling, you’ve never acted or spoken this way to any of them; least of all Eijiro.

 

But there was no way you could’ve been telling the truth!

 

There was no way in hell that they wouldn’t remember being in a time loop…

 

Right?

 

"Do you have any proof?” He snipped, a lot more roughly than he meant to.

The ash blond didn’t have a chance to feel guilty though, as you snapped your gaze over to him and then to Sero who jolted back in surprise at the intensity of your usually placid eyes.

 

You lifted a finger and pointed at the ravenet, who swallowed thickly.

 

“He’s gonna receive a text in a minute from his crush.” You said quite a-matter-of-factly, as if it was exactly what was going to happen.

 

Ding.

 

Everyone froze at the notification noise and shifted their attention to Hanta. He bit his lip before he reached into his pocket and slowly slipped his phone from it, he peered cautiously at you and tapped at the screen.

 

“Would you like to go with me to the botanical garden this weekend? I really want to see the new camera you got for me in action. Two peace sign emojis followed up with a bowing one.” You recited, sounding almost bored.

 

Sero paled in shock, pupils shrinking before he turned the phone towards the rest of them. Word for word, like you had it memorized, there it was. As all of their eyes fell back on you, you just remained the same.

 

Eyes lost of their sheen, hands stuffed into the pockets of the hoodie that was way too big for you. Chin tucked in the collar, the dark circles around your eyes were prominent. Expression of someone that knew too much and just held it all in for the sake of those around them written on your face

 

Bakugo felt his chest ache at this but he needed more than that, his brows knitting tightly together as the gnaw of anxiety welled in his stomach, “What else?”

 

“Oof, you did the same thing last time.” You snorted, although there was no humor in it.

 

There’s no way we could just go off of that.”

 

Katsuki nearly choked at you matching his words, perfectly from cadence to his tone of voice. Your dull expression burned itself into his brain, lovely features just tired.

 

This is nuts.”

 

The redhead let out a squeak, since you didn’t even look at him as you copied him as well.

 

“Look, we can keep doing this or we can move on and just kind of deal with this until Sunday.” You rubbed your hand over your face,reaching back and pulling your hood up to sink into the cloth. “Either way… Doesn’t matter what we do.”

 

“W - wait, we still don’t know a hundred percent!! You could just —” Mina stammered, still trying to wrap her head around the idea; her eyes panicked.

 

You slowly stood up, dragging your fingers over your cheek as you gave a trembling sigh.

 

Bakugo didn’t know what to think or say at this point, his eyes trained solely on you. His heart speeding and squeezing at the same time, his mouth opening and closing like a beached fish.

 

He wanted to help you, wanted to offer you some type of comfort, anything….

 

But he didn’t know what to do.

 

“Kami’s gonna come through that door in a moment, he’s soaked from tripping into the snow. From left to right, the drinks he has are mine, Kiri’s, Mina’s, Bakugo’s, and Sero’s.” The hum of your voice was near silent at this point, voice so emotionless that it made Mina let out a wail.

 

You didn’t look at them, eyes staring off somewhere else.

 

The energy, the life was sucked from you, so it seemed Ashido took it on herself to cry for you. Kirishima’s eyes began to flood as well, curling his arm around the pinkette to try and sooth her. Sero looked so pale that he was about to faint, shaking hands squeezing the other trying to stop himself from breaking down

 

Katsuki clenched his fists so hard he was sure his nails were making his palms bleed. 

 

But Eijiro’s comfort was useless, her sobs only growing louder as the door opened and in stepped in Denki. Sopping from the snow, holding the drinks in his arms as you said. He stood, his honey eyes full of distress and confusion upon seeing everyone.

 

Good night.

 

With that, you turned towards the hallway and disappeared from sight. Leaving them clueless…

 

And still hungry for answers.

Chapter Text

You were more than aware that they were all staring at you, how could you not? Their eyes were boring into you as if looking at you was going to give them the answers they craved. 

 

Listening the same lesson in Aizawa’s low monotone was repetitive but you were too used to it, anyone else probably would’ve gone completely insane… But not you.

 

With your perfect posture, eyes impassioned and calm. It was no different to how you looked all the time, but they all knew better. Noting how those same eyes were dark, the skin around them a little swollen, though if it was either from crying or rubbing them from exhumation was up to interpretation.

 

Despite all the naps taken and the sleeping in everyday, you genuinely looked like you were about to collapse. No one else seemed to notice, milling with the Dekusquad and cracking your puns felt a little less genuine. Laughs perhaps a little dry, shoulders subtly slumped, even the most observant of the class couldn’t see.

 

No one but him… and his friends.

 

Bakugo stared at you usually, it was unconscious, but it was more fleeting glances as opposed to full on. He liked how you looked after all, he’d be an idiot not to. But after the whole thing with game night, he just wanted to know if you were okay…

 

If he could do anything to help.

The sharp ring of the bell slammed itself against his ear drums and his eyes shot from you to exchange a look with Kirishima, he wanted so badly to jump from his seat and demand answers from you. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a smart choice, especially with all these people watching.

 

“Hey!” Mina was on her feet again and moving quickly to you, draping her arm around your shoulders and hopping up a little.

 

She was a little worse for wear, she didn’t cry easy but with how you were last night, they didn’t blame her. Nonetheless, she put a grin on her face, even if it wasn’t a hundred percent genuine and bounced up to you anyway.

 

Ashido leaning against you and pushed you down a little due to her weight dragging on your shoulders, you peered at her, completely unreadable.

 

Lazy smile remaining, you gave a low chuckle and murmured, “You know, even though this is happening… I’m not gonna stop hanging out with you guys.”

 

The pinkette bit her lip gently and squeezed her arm around you in a hug, smile melting away into a concerned frown. Denki looked a little unsure, while he was informed of what happened, he didn’t know if he could believe it. He walked over as well, followed by Sero.

 

“Well, unless you guys don’t wanna hang out with me.” You shrugged a little bit, hands stuffed into the pockets of your blazer. “I get it.”

 

No!” They all said in almost perfect sync, with a range of expressions.

 

Bakugo scowled at you, unable to stop the concern from ebbing into his tone. He stormed over, flicking your forehead with a snap, “You’re an idiot to think we’d abandon you, who the hell do you think we are?!”

 

“Chill out Bakubro, we really can’t really fault anything said about… Y'know.” Eijiro reasoned as he rubbed the back of his neck and gestured for them all to start walking. “Let’s go.”

 

The walk was eerily silent, listening to the chattering of their other classmates. The underlying sense of dread that came off of the group was mostly unnoticed. Bakugo stood close on your other side, acting as if he could protect you from the loop. Judging by your expression, you were more than aware of the questions waiting for you the minute prying ears and eyes were gone.

 

The courtyard was empty, save for the cherry blossoms blanketing the ground in pinks and whites. It was a pretty sight, but no one could find it in themselves to enjoy it with the heavy conversation that had been yet to be made.

 

“Car alarm.” You mumbled under your breath once you all found a place, dropping down onto the grass carelessly.

 

The petals under you flying up at the force you fell..

 

“I’m sorry, wha —” Kaminari spoke, only to be cut off by the sound of a car alarm going off in the distance.

 

Wide, honey eyes shot to you, his lips parting in astonishment.

 

“Now do you believe us?” Sero muttered, slowly sitting down as well.

 

He noticed that Bakugo was glaring a bit at him, but he rolled his eyes and moved over. He wordlessly allowed the ash blond his place at your right, Mina gripped onto your hand once she was seated. It was unclear whether it was to comfort you or herself. You shifted your hand so you could hold her’s properly, giving a gentle squeeze in return. Mina’s shoulders gently slumped, sighing shakily as she tried to relax a little bit.

 

Katsuki could feel the jealousy welling up inside of him at the sight but quickly stifled it, his frown returning, it wasn’t the time for it right now.

 

Denki was the last to sit down, looking a little pale himself as the situation sunk in. Anxiety worked it’s way onto his face, fingers gripping at his pants as he attempted to calm himself in some way shape or form.

 

“Ask way.”

 

They were startled at first that you knew exactly what they were thinking, but since you seemed to know how things would go; they assumed you just remembered every possible outcome. You shifted just slightly, just a bit closer to Bakugo but didn’t say anything else for a moment.

 

Reaching up, covering your mouth to stifle your yawn before you peered at them, tilting your head as you spoke, “I’ll answer them the best I can.”

 

“You’ve tried everything right?” Ashido immediately asked, unable to stop the question, her voice a little desperate.

 

“Yes… From attempting to enlist the help of teachers and agencies, to trying to turn on a quirk dampener around the campus, even interrogating villains doesn’t help.” You sighed, rubbing your hand over your face and peering down at them before you lifted your head, “I thought it was me at first — but after a couple of attempts of keeping me knocked out and taking quirk suppressants  it didn’t work. I thought about a couple of….  Permanent solutions too but it’d just play out without me in the picture and I’d wake up again on Monday.”

 

“Permanent…” Kirishima mumbled, voice low, his eyes widening a little as his gaze shot to you. “You mean —”

 

“Yeah.” Your tone voice was dry, eyes unfocused while you leaned against the trunk of the tree and holding onto Mina’s hand to ground yourself.

 

The collective stomach drop was clear in how silent they were. Bakugo felt his heart give a tight squeeze at the fatigue written on your features, the light in your eyes nearly nonexistent. He reached and rested his hand on your shoulder, despite his shaking and tried to give you some form of comfort.

 

He was scowling.

 

He hated this, he hated feeling helpless…

 

He had no idea what to do.

 

… What could he do?

 

Fuck…” Hanta couldn’t help it, it had just slipped out. His eyes screwed tightly shut as he pressed his hand against his face, a long weary, exhale almost forced itself from his mouth.

 

“W - why’d you tell us anyway? Couldn’t you have just gone through this alone?? I mean, I know you’ve told us before and sometimes you didn’t… I —” Denki stammered, biting his tongue as a look of guilt overcame his features, “I’m sorry… I don’t have any room to get upset…. You need us and…”

 

“No, I get it.” Your eyes were softer, understanding as you briefly gave Katsuki a look of gratitude. “But I’ve just been alternating between telling you and not telling you… It’s really a matter of me fulfilling a promise to you all.”

 

“Does… Anyone else know?” Kirishima mumbled, his eyes flitting from Bakugo’s face to your’s, a little surprised at how quiet the blond was.

 

“I tell the staff every Monday on the dot.” You confirmed, rubbing the back of your neck as you spoke, “They were harder to crack but when you keep picking the order of something without fail while Aizawa - sensei is staring you down, it’s pretty convincing. I tell them everything they’ve tried and then they attempt to figure out another way to solve it.”

 

“How have you not gone insane yet?” Sero quietly asked, genuinely impressed by your mental fortitude.

 

“It’s just like putting something on repeat, hearing a song over and over again… You know?” The way you praised it just made it seem arbitrary, how calm you was almost unnerving. “I’m just not the type that gets annoyed or starts hating a song when I hear it again and again. I mean, it’s still not good for my mental health probably but it’s better me than anyone else.”

 

“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone… I don’t remember a thing and it still screws me up.” Bakugo almost inaudibly admitted while he squeezed onto your shoulder and swallowed his pride to speak, “I’m sorry… I’m sorry you gotta live with this.”

 

You were silent for a moment and carefully squeezed Mina’s hand and mumbled while your voice shook, “Well, that’s the first thing that’s different.”

 

“What…?” Mina asked softly, flickering her gaze up at you while her brows gently furrowed together.

 

“You didn’t say anything.” You quietly said to Katsuki, eyes peering at him with something new.

 

Hope.

 

A bright yearning, that filled his chest with so much warmth, he was surprised that it didn’t just burst as he peered at your face. That smile, the warmest of sincere smiles, tugged at your lips made his heart jump.

 

“Well… Now we’re getting somewhere.” Sero whispered, biting his lip, “Maybe…. This’ll be different?”

 

“I - I don’t know.” You breathed, eyes drawing down to the petal covered grass and slowly shut them.

 

Slowly inhaling and then exhaling, voice trembling as you smoothed the wrinkles in your blazer, “Nothing changes about these loops… Except me, unless I force it to.”

 

“Looks like Bakugo… Might be changing something.” Kirishima mumbled as he glanced between you both. “But I think you should keep telling us, every loop, no matter what.”

 

“Right… It… Maybe if we’re told enough, we’ll start to remember.” Kaminari reasoned, his voice even despite his clear anxiety.

 

“Maybe.” The longing in your voice was heartbreaking, although you seemed unsure, you had something to hope for again.

 

Katsuki despite the knot of dread deep in his stomach, he wanted to do something to help you in some way. To give you some comfort because pride be damned, you needed something to count on. He already made a change, despite not knowing it…

 

Fuck it.

 

His hand brushed over your’s, a bit clammy, but clear in what he wanted. He bit the inside of his cheek when you flinched slightly in surprise but the smile on your face and how you turned your palm up for him quickly stifled whatever regret he was having. Lacing his fingers through your’s sent a trill through him like no other, enough for him to ignore the knowing looks of your friends.

 

“Thank you…” You sighed quietly, grip on his hand tightening just slightly.

 

The sparkle in your eyes was worth the embarrassment, worth the teasing he’d likely get later. He prayed that this run would be different…

 

For your sake.

Chapter Text

“I’m surprised you agreed to come.”

 

Bakugo felt his pulse jump a little bit at the sound of your voice. But steeled his expression and scowled over his shoulder at you, making sure to baring his teeth as he roughly shoved his hands into his pockets.

 

“What? You don’t want me here or something?” He snipped, feeling his heart roll over pathetically in his chest at the sound of your sweet laughter.

 

Fuck, he missed hearing it. You barely did any of it nowadays and after hearing all about why just makes him feel like shit for not being able to do anything. Least he could do his show up and try to make you feel better, even if it was at his expense. The curl of your slightly glossed lips drew his eyes straight to them but quickly tore them away when he realized where he was staring.

 

“No, not at all.” Your tone was a bit tired, but mirthful nonetheless. “I like having you around.”

 

His pulse skipped.

 

Standing right at his side, you gave him a lazy grin and turned back to look around for your friends. The comfortable silence settling between you two allowed him a bit to think to himself as he wordlessly watched you from the corner of his eyes. He liked moments like this, it let him calm his rushing thoughts, maybe get his dose of being in your presence.

 

It was kind of amazing how easily you soothed him, it was also amazing how easily you could rile him up. He didn’t know whether he hated it or liked it. But either way, Bakugo knew that he couldn’t bring himself to hate you.

 

“They’re late.” You commented offhandedly, tucking your chin into your scarf with a raise of your eyebrow.

 

Katsuki blinked before he looked down to look at his watch and a scowl appeared on his features again, “How the hell could they be late? We all live in the same damn building!”

 

A snort escaped you, dissolving into quiet giggles as the ash blond glared daggers at you for a moment. He sighed heavily before he shoved his hand into his pocket to bring out his phone and text those idiots.

 

Almost on cue, a text from Kirishima popped up in the group chat.

 

[rocky][11:05]
- we got a little held up by teachers, go ahead with out us

 

“Those idiots…” Bakugo muttered, rolling his eyes as he put his cell away and turned to you, “Let’s go, they’re being held up.”

 

“Oof.” You snickered again, amused at that as you both fell into stride with one another. “Sounds about right.”

 

“What? That they got stopped or that they’re stupid as hell?” The ash blond asked, giving you a smug smirk.

 

“Both.”

 

He couldn’t hold the roar of laughter at the dryness in your voice, it quickly fading into chortles once you both realized you were getting stared at. Of course, that was quickly remedied by a sharp look from the blond and you both continued your trek.

 

The city was bustling with people as usual, so much so that he was even closer to you than before. He definitely wasn’t complaining but his hands were already always sweaty, so having you close enough that he could smell the grapefruit from you made him understandably nervous.

 

Like hell he’d admit it out loud though, you knew he didn’t hate you…

 

Right?

 

The short walk to the fair wasn’t anything to write home about. He assumed since it was the weekend, a lot of students would come out but it wasn’t too busy which was surprising. Watching your eyes light up at the sight of the place let him relax a little bit though, it was nice to see something on your face other than apathy settled his worry for the time being.

 

“I didn’t know that this was so close to campus.” You quietly gasped before a smile bloomed on your features.

 

“Shitty-hair found out it was just open for the weekend.” Bakugo snorted quietly in amusement, carmine eyes full of nothing but fondness.

 

Of course, his expression changed to one of neutrality once you shifted your gaze back to him.

 

A stunning, almost blinding grin overcame the smile and you grabbed his hand, “Let’s go!”

 

He let out a grunt of surprise as you began to drag him along the boardwalk, a determined look on your face. Bakugo just rolled his eyes and let himself be pulled, walking to keep in pace with you.

 

The feeling of your hand in his made his heart race, fingers lacing through his as you slowed down.

 

“… Hmm, since it’s just us, could this be considered a date?” You lazily asked.

 

He choked on his own spit, his wide eyes shooting over to you in surprise. His ears began to burn, warmth washing up the nape of his neck in an instant.

 

Fuck.

 

He didn’t even think about it, those idiots were more than aware of his feelings so maybe they did this shit on purpose. His phone buzzed twice, making him cringe before he slid it out to look down at it.

 

[raccoon eyes] [11:17]
- have funnn ;)

 

“Fucking god.” Bakugo muttered, feeling the heat in his face become searing; practically branding itself into his skin.

 

“What’s up?” You asked, flicking your gaze over your shoulder.

 

He locked his phone and growled again, pushing his cell into his pocket as he looked away to regain his composure. He should’ve known those idiots were up to something, especially with how they were looking at him the day before. Meeting your gaze again, a well of curiosity flooded through him.

 

“Hey, Dumbass, were they ever late before?” Bakugo inquired as he slid up beside you again.

 

“Hmm… No?” You mumbled, a mixture of confusion and excitement in your voice, “Well, we didn’t really do this before. Everything is different.”

 

The relief on your face was apparent, making him smile, just the slightest bit. He thought for a second before he turned to you, opening up his body language a little bit more. His eyes lingered on your face for a moment before he shifted his attention back to the fair before you, his voice barely louder the gentle thumps of your shoes on the wooden dock.

 

“Alright, what do you wanna do first?”

 

Blinking in surprise, your eyes drifted to him. Bakugo was rather close to you, his gaze pointed forward. Slowly, you inched closer to him, hand squeezing tighter in his and reminding him that you were still holding it.

 

He nearly jumped out of his skin when your side rested against his, his wide eyes shooting over to you in a mixture of surprise and embarrassment.

 

You only smiled at him, squeezing it gently as you softly spoke, “I’ll go where you do.”

 

He felt like he was melting, fuck, you were so pretty.

 

Clearing his throat, Katsuki stuffed his free hand into his pocket. He hesitantly, slowly ran his thumb over the back of your hand.

 

“Let’s get fuckin’ going then.”

Chapter Text

The time grew less and less.

 

As you grew more and more restless, fingers entangled in the knots of the piece you were working on. Staring blankly down at the yarn that was meant to be turned into a scarf for your dear friend, the feeling of emptiness settled low in the pit of your belly. Tossing it away, you stood and snatched up your hoodie.

 

The underlying sense of dread seeped into every pore of your being, the anxiety welling in your chest.

 

But there wasn’t time for that, as you had to meet with your friends.

 

Shuffling from your dorm, you made a bee-line for the common rooms. The distinct voices of the Bakusquad making your shot nerves slowly just buzz soundlessly under your skin.

 

“Hey.” You greeted, unable to even force yourself to smile.

 

A mixture of greetings came back in return, their voices so soft that it made your heart ache.

 

Bakugo was looking at you, his carmine eyes full of something you couldn’t place. But they weren’t unreadable, as you usually found they were if he wasn’t pissed, smug, or amused. He moved aside, leaving the last space for you to sit down beside him.

 

Mina then turned up her grin, the full million-watts of it, as she chirped, “Alright, let’s get this party started!!”

 

Denki and Kiri gave a whoop before the board games began. There was a lot for you all to play so it was only logical you’d work your way through the less than rage-inducing games and start ramping up. Starting off with Clue, Sero walked away with several points to his name and guessed the results right with almost 100% accuracy.

 

Katsuki couldn’t help but be amused since you didn’t seem to mind losing at all.

 

“Why the hell are you so happy? You got iced the first round.”

 

Simply giving him an elated grin, you elbowed him, “I didn’t know what was gonna happen!”

 

He snorted at that before a thought slowly came to him, inching over his skin like cold water. The realization made him feel cold and warm at the same time, so much so that he thought he might as well be that damn Icy-Hot. Peering at you whilst you celebrated another loss, his fingers gripping at the fabric of his sweats.

 

“Bakugo, it’s your turn!”

 

The ash blond turned his attention back to the game at hand.

 

It could wait.

 

Right now, he just wanted to let you enjoy yourself.

 

You deserve it.

 

While the hours slowly inched past, Bakugo took notice of your change in demeanor. How your eyes would look from the clock back to the game, how your voice shifted from exuberant to almost silent. It was getting closer and closer to Midnight. It was apparent that you were stressed, your knuckles white with how tight you were gripping onto the Uno cards.

 

The others took notice as well, their concerned faces apparent as they tried to lighten the mood or get your mind off of it.

 

It didn’t work.

 

Nothing worked.

 

This is terrifying.

 

What are you going to do?

 

What can you do?!

 

The screaming thoughts in your head were placed on pause as a warm hand touched your’s, fingers lacing carefully. The scent of fireword almost soothing. Shifting your gaze to Katsuki, you found that he was looking at you again, with that type of emotion that you couldn’t put your finger on.

 

He gruffly asked, “Let’s get some air, yeah?”

 

Robotically, you nodded, not seeing the looks that the others were giving the ash blond holding your hand. Simply glaring daggers into them, he took up his coat and the two of you stepped out of the dorms. Eyes aimed down at your feet, you let him lead you. His hand was warm, perfectly fitting your’s in it.

 

The ache in your chest was palpable.

 

But you squeezed his hand anyway, eyes fluttering shut as you breathed in the cool night air. Tilting your head back to the sky, you opened them again, watching the stars shimmer overhead.

 

Peace.

 

“Thanks.” You whispered, warm breath fogging the air.

 

“No problem.” He muttered.

 

There was silence again, although a comfortable one. The fur of your hoodie tickled your cheeks as you leaned against him, just savoring the chance to spend time with him until it all reset again. Until you were forced to go through the week with the same dialogue, until you were nothing more than an exhausted shell of your former self.

 

“Hey, Dumbass…” Bakugo’s voice was full of hesitance.

 

Glancing at him, you blinked to see him looking at you. His eyes almost soft, warm hand giving your’s a squeeze.

 

“Why’d you kiss me?”

 

You blinked, turning to look at him properly. Raising a brow, amusement slowly ebbing into your expression.

 

“What?”

 

“Why’d you kiss me?” He repeated with a little bit of bite to his tone.

 

With a slight laugh, you tucked your free hand into your pocket.

 

After thinking for a moment, you turned to give him a cheeky grin while you teased, “What? Would you prefer gettin’ kissed by Kiri?”

 

Unbeknownst to you, his heart gently fluttered. He missed seeing you like this, so vibrant and full of life. It was how you were before this week started, before you had to deal with shit like the loop.

 

“Like hell… I was just wondering.” He grumbled, embarrassed.

 

“Hah, I knew you’d say that.” You chuckled, voice slowly lowering into a somber tone.

 

The squeeze around his heart returned and Bakugo squeezed your hand when he felt it. The words he wanted to say felt heavy on his tongue, just remaining like a lump in his throat while he mustered up some type of nerve to say something.

 

Anything…

 

But what would bring you comfort in a time like this?

 

His feelings remained tumultuous as ever, writhing under the surface and wanting to escape. With how you act, it seems it’s never happened. But this time, it was going to be different.

 

He wasn’t gonna stand aside and watch the life be drained from you.

 

While someone he cared about slowly gave away to nothing.

 

“Dumbass.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

It was now or never.

 

“I fucking like you.”

 

There was silence.

 

The breath felt like it was stolen from your lungs, your cheeks hot. Widened eyes and shrinking pupils displaying your shock.

 

Katsuki wasn’t any better. The tips of his ears were burning as he glared at you, redness seeping down his neck very clearly.

 

His hand gripped your’s tight.

 

He was warm.

 

So warm.

 

Welcoming.

 

“I’ve liked you for a long time.”

 

The racing of your heartbeat filled your ears as you looked into his eyes, for anything, for any indication of deception. You couldn’t speak in that moment, tongue like lead and voice taken from you with his confession.

 

Eventually, you could think again.

 

But the sinking of your stomach overshadowed all of the warmth that you should be feeling.

 

“B - Bakugo… I - I…” You stammered.

 

You didn’t know what to say.

 

“Woah, hey, hey, hey…” He murmured, frowning in concern as he realized you were hyperventilating.

 

Rubbing your back with his free hand, he let you lean against him. Supporting all of your weight with relative ease as he slowly helped you sit down on the steps. The both of you sat there for a while, your short and sharp breaths all of what is heard.

 

Slowly but surely, your breathing had evened out and you remained, leaning heavily against him. Trying to collect all of your racing thoughts while he sat by your side. 

 

Bakugo’s dry warmth felt nice, a stark contrast to the chill in the air. It was amazing how at ease you were, but it only added the fear that plagued your mind.

 

“I like you too…” You spoke, almost as if you didn’t believe it.

 

His arm around you tightened and you leaned into his embrace.

 

Shutting your eyes, you reached and gripped onto him, like he was going to disappear if you didn’t as you whispered, “I’m so scared.”

 

“Did I ever do this before?” The ash blond asked, voice low as he held you.

 

“No…”

 

His heart hurt again.

 

“I never… I never told you because if I had to remind you of something like this…. I’d risk pushing you away for good.”

 

Admitting this seemed to be hard for you, with how much you were shaking.

 

“Like hell you would, I’d kick my own ass if I did.” He growled.

 

You couldn’t help but laugh at that. Sinking into his side, you pressed your face into his neck and breathed in his scent, arms curled around him as the cool air nipped at your face. He turned his head, brushing his nose over your temple almost lovingly. His hand found your’s again, entwining your fingers as you soaked in the comfort and affection he gave.

 

He was still a bit stiff but you appreciated him holding you like this.

 

The fear still gripped at you, digging its claws into your back and ensnaring you. But you stayed with him, quietly counting down the minutes.

 

Bakugo held you like he was going to lose you.

 

In that moment, you found that you wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.

 

Even if it might be the last you’d have of it.

 

Slowly, you shut your eyes, savoring the last few minutes of this timeline.

 

The blaring of your alarm fills your ears.

 

A sob wrenches itself from your throat and you pressed your palms to your face. The noise of the clock rang on while you curled up on your bed.

Sinking into your sheets, you cried, your badly beaten and battered heart pathetically wailing with you.

 

You clawed at your chest, trying to get it to stop.

 

So you didn’t have to feel anymore pain.

 

So you could go through this without caring for anyone or anything.

 

So you didn’t feel anything for Bakugo Katsuki.

 

You had no idea how long you laid there, tears streaking your cheeks as you sniveled and curled up.

 

But the intense knocking at your door made you jerk your head up.

 

No one ever came to you at this time.

 

Tears and all, you dragged yourself to your feet to answer.

 

Despite every instinct in you screaming for you to stop.

 

Unlocking it, you rubbed at your face to try and hide what you were doing. You gasped as the door swung open, a blur passing over your tear tainted line of vision pushing the door shut behind them.

 

In an instant, the smell of firewood flooded your senses.

 

Your tears clearing as you looked into the face of the ash blond, his carmine eyes dark and complexion a little pale.

 

But he looked relieved to see you.

 

His hands drifted up, gently brushing away your tears with his warm hands. His forehead rested against your’s, holding you as if you were something that could be broken if he wasn’t careful.

 

Your heart thudded against your ribcage, fingers curling around his wrists and greedily pressing your face into his palms.

 

“I remember everything.” He breathed.

 

Reprieve.