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Charm Me, Loser

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1st year

As a descendent of a far too long line of Gryffindors, Katsuki had never meant to be put into Slytherin.

Honest.

It wasn't like he was conspiring against his parents, or that he wanted to taint his bloodline. But after coming from such a long line of Gryffindors, apparently it seemed that way and it was almost painful (almost because Katsuki Bakugou did not feel pain) to remember how when the hat called out 'Slytherin!' for him, basically no-one clapped. They were too shocked, whispering amongst themselves while Katsuki took the hat off slowly and walked off to the Slytherin table, his shoulders riddled with embarrassment he didn't want to show as he took a seat at the edge. People seemed to almost shy away from him and Katsuki sneered at all of them, but he understood a little. Katsuki might shy away from himself too, if he were someone else.

It was even worse when it came to his parents. They had actually visited the school once they found out the news, attempting to bargain with the headmistress but then Katsuki showed up and things changed.

"What could've happened to make him think you weren't fit for our house?" his dad asked in absolute disbelief as he looked at Katsuki in curiosity and the latter huffed in annoyance, shaking his hair out.

"It's not that I wasn't fit for it. Slytherin was just a better fit, I guess."

"Wha-"

"It took quite a while for the hat to sort me. He couldn't decide between all of them for a split moment. Like seriously, can you imagine me as a Ravenclaw? Not to mention that I'd be the worst Hufflepuff ever. Tch."

"Why didn't you just tell the hat that you wanted Gryffindor, huh?!" his mother yelled, slamming his head and Katsuki growled as he pushed her away. 

"'Cause I didn't want to butch my future at this school, like what if Gryffindor seriously wasn't for me? I didn't wanna take that chance and I know that the hat has the best intuition, I'm not stupid. Huh, maybe Ravenclaw would've actually suited me."

"What is everyone going to think?" his father asked worriedly, turning to face Katsuki's mother while holding her hands tightly. She just shook her head in reply, looking down with a grim look on her face that Katsuki tried to pretend didn't scare him. Then after a silent minute or two, he asked boredly, "Can I go? I'm so tired, and if you're gonna disown me then just send me an owl. I haven't slept in like three days."

"We won't disown you, brat," his mother snapped, hitting Katsuki's head with a nearby scroll. Katsuki glared at her, snarling, "Good for you."

"This is just worrying. I'm not sure how to react anymore."

"He's already made history. Maybe this will be a good thing, I don't know."

"Let's hope so," his father sighed as he pulled Katsuki into a hug and he rolled his eyes but patted his back, groaning when his mother joined the hug with a stilted excuse of 'I can get sentimental too!'.

It was hard to fit in at first, especially with the Gryffindors looking down on him and the Slytherins finding it difficult to accept him, but from the reactions alone, Katsuki was already somewhat happy that he was a Slytherin. The Gryffindors were ridiculously proud of their house and themselves and almost seemed somewhat snooty (and sure, that may only be towards Katsuki but he still wanted to kick all their asses to Mars) but the Slytherins actually seemed to be trying, since they had a sense of pride too and the fact that Katsuki was theirs showed that he was worthy and so...deserved to be accepted? And just like that, Katsuki's slightly twisted perception of Slytherin turned on its head.

Gryffindor wasn't supposed to be his. He was hella fine with that.

Four weeks in and it was barely even a problem anymore because of the simple fact that no-one cared. He had a roommate who Katsuki literally only talked to in tongues of teases but he was honestly okay (don't ever tell him Katsuki said that though), and a friend in such a wholly different house that they both felt slightly burdened to go anywhere near each other's common rooms. But then there he was, sitting cross-legged outside the Hufflepuff common room and checking over his timetable that he needed to memorise before the end of the week.

"Does that say Herbology or...hm, History maybe?" Katsuki asked with a frown, holding up his hastily-scribbled-on parchment to the painting to his left. The woman inside peered at it in confusion, tilting her head to the side before sighing, "Sorry, sweetheart, can't read your handwriting."

"Ah...yeah, neither can I," Katsuki muttered, scanning the rest of his timetable and figuring it was Herbology from process of elimination. He was really stupid for writing History of Magic as just 'history', that sounded like a ridiculously simple name for a subject. Like, it was so vague, history of what, the entire world? Everything that had ever happened? Who even had time for that?

"Did you lose your timetable, honey?"

"Yeah..." Katsuki said distractedly, twirling his quill around in his hand before scratching out a misplaced line. "They made me write it out since-"

"He lost it too many times?" an unfamiliar voice with an amused, rough edge to it said. Katsuki froze while the lady made a pleased noise, rushing to the edge of her frame.

"Ah, darling lion boy! What a lovely surprise!"

"Hello, Musidora," the 'lion boy' greeted and Katsuki looked up for a brief moment to catch the red and gold and then he looked back down, feeling satisfied because now he knew why he was being associated with a lion. He heard a small clatter too and he wondered what it was.

"Do you two know each other?"

Katsuki hunched into himself a little because how was he supposed to say 'no' when it seemed like this guy did know him? He didn't notice the guy regard his hermit self with a smile. "Not really but, he's my friend's friend. Bakugou, right? Mina talks about you, I think?"

Katsuki instantly relaxed a little at that, even if he didn't show it. Mina knew the guy and that had to stand for something.

"Hey, you're not lost, are you?" lion boy asked in a tone that sounded confident and almost obnoxious but maybe that was just Katsuki's ears tricking him. Besides, Gryffindors usually had that sort of colour to their voice from what he'd deciphered. "I'll take you wherever you've gotta go." 

Huh? This boy definitely didn't look older than him, so why would Katsuki even trust another first year if he was lost? Not that he'd ever ask anyone. Help was for the weak.

"I'm fine," Katsuki muttered coldly, gathering his books and pulling them onto his lap. He heard the guy let out a little humourless laugh before he said, "Typical Slytherin," and Katsuki then heard footsteps that only got quieter and quieter. Any other time and he'd want to blow the guy up with every bomb in existence, but he was just relieved to be alone again. It'd been a long day. Even Musidora seemed to have disappeared from her painting which was, come to think of it, a little sad. But then Katsuki caught sight of a gleaming sort of stick on the floor and he stood up, picking it up and going after the lion boy since the stick looked so valuable and cool.

It was silver and gold. A beautiful mix of colours that Katsuki had never thought about together. It was like mixing Gryffindor and Slytherin—it shouldn't have worked.

"Hey, you—you left your, uh, device," Katsuki called out awkwardly and lion boy paused before spinning around, looking incredibly confused.

"Device...my phone's in my room, I swear?"

Phone...is that some sort of weird slang? Maybe it means phoenix...does he have a phoenix?! "Well, uh...this, this stick, it's pretty, I guess. Wand or something?"

"A wand? What, no, it's-" The guy then seemed to have a lightbulb moment as Katsuki saw his eyes flash in realisation. "You're pureblood, aren't you?"

"I guess. Could you, um, tell me what this is?" Katsuki asked, hating that he had to ask but so curious that he couldn't help it. Lion boy slowly nodded, and Katsuki stared in awe when he clutched the top then cleanly took half of it off which must have been some sort of lid since underneath, there was a thinner stick topped with a small arrow point. Katsuki's eyes widened just a little as he stared at the device with renewed interest. "Wooooah, is this some sort of weapon-"

"No, it's a pen."

"A pen, right." 

They were both quiet, until lion boy said, "You don't know what a pen is, do you," and Katsuki's silence was answer enough.

"It's what muggles use instead of quills. Inside this stick, there's ink," the guy said, tapping the side of the pen and Katsuki bristled in begrudging awe. "It's much more practical than a quill, it already has its ink inside so you don't need to keep dipping it, it's harder to break, and it doesn't ruffle."

"Not as cool as a weapon but I can still stab someone so. Cool," Katsuki murmured more to himself than anything, spinning the pen around slowly to see it from all angles and lion boy laughed as he gently touched Katsuki's hand to stop him, and Katsuki immediately drew his arm back and slammed his elbow into the guy's stomach. Oops. Wasn't supposed to do that- 

"TH-THE HELL, BRO?!" lion boy wheezed, kneeling on the floor while clutching his stomach and Katsuki just stared down at him, even though he was slightly panicking inside. He was really planning on trying hard not to get expelled, and attacking another student probably wasn't his best bet. Should he apologise? Or what? Kill him so he wouldn't blabber? One of those seemed more fun than the other. 

He blinked when he heard laughter. Lion boy was looking up at him now, his red eyes filling with tears a little but he had the biggest grin on his face. Who the hell was this guy? "You're so cool! I want reflexes like that." 

Katsuki turned red and wished he'd punched this guy so hard that he'd knocked him out. 

He had good recovery time, since he seemed fine as he got up to place the lid back on top of the pen. Katsuki watched as the thinner stick was swallowed before flinching at the small click that the lid emitted when it was completely back on.

"Now it's all attached again. The lid's so the pen tip doesn't get damaged and so the ink doesn't dry out."

"Oh."

"Neat, right? Guess a pureblood would think so, haha—just keep the pen, bro, stop trying to give it back to me."

"What?" Katsuki asked in half-shock, half-absolute-and-utter-disagreement. "No, but- but that's dumb, it looks too nice and it's not my birthday, or any other present-giving day, and you don't know me and I could use this for the greater evil and you wouldn't- well, you wouldn't know."

"Oh sure, he's gonna draw someone to death, oh no!" lion boy gasped, his voice overly dramatic before he backed up at least five feet as Katsuki got his fists fired up. "Calm it, calm it, don't hit me again! Alright, I'll be off, hope I see you again!" 

The boy really did leave, a jaunty whistle leaving his mouth and Katsuki gave his stupid back the most judging look he could before he brushed off the pen and put it carefully into one of his pockets, feeling a little, just a little giddy that he owned such an amazing thing. Maybe at another time, he might have wanted to brag about it to everyone but he decided to keep something this cool to himself, and it wasn't even that long before Mina was running up to him.

"KitKat! You didn't wait too long, did you?"

"No, I just came a little early," Katsuki replied, bracing himself with mild disdain when Mina tackled him into a hug. The girl really felt protective over him after what happened with the houses, he could tell by the way Mina wanted them to be together 80% of the time and got so scared whenever he left her sight. Katsuki didn't quite mind because he kind of hated her less than other people but he hoped he'd get a little space to breathe soon and let her know that he could easily beat up anyone who'd cross him. Guess he didn't look like it yet in this tiny kid body of his.

"You seem a bit out of it," Mina noticed worriedly as they walked to the library. "Did anything happen?"

Katsuki was almost too slow at fighting off his smile muscles. "No. I burnt off Sero's eyebrows this morning and met a lion boy but otherwise, no."

Mina blinked. "Poor Sero...lion boy? An animagus or something?"

"Worse. A Gryffindor."

Mina's eyes widened as she stopped them from walking, laying her hands on Katsuki's sleeves. "What? Oh gosh, were they mean to you? Did they bully you? I'm sure there are other bad things they could've done too?!"

"Look, it was fine, I didn't even really focus on him. Musidora seems to like him and that's good enough for me."

"Oh shut up, Musidora likes everyone."

"She actually has a distaste for Ravenclaws," Katsuki challenged and Mina raised her eyebrows in slight surprise. "I don't blame her. And hey, did you know you're famous?"

Mina furrowed her eyebrows so hard that Katsuki thought they were gonna cave in. "I'm what?"

"Yep, heard people talking and knew it could only be about you—'did you know there's a Hufflepuff who's bad at Herbology'-"

Katsuki snickered loudly when Mina started attacking him with her books, making him dip away and run off down the corridor with an angry hot-pink wildfire on his tail. "This is completely true, I'm actually not being mean for once!"

"It's not my fault plants hate me! Oh sure, Valerian is nice and sweet and all when you only know it's in treacle fudge but when it makes you breathe fucking fire, that's where I draw the line, a massive, curly, VERY PROMINENT LINE-"

"Okay, I get it, stop trying to kill me!" Katsuki yelled quickly as he bolted past the lion boy who blinked, a little windswept as he stopped walking for a moment only for Mina to race past too, slowing down for a second to spin around so he could send the other a big smile and wave.

"Hey, Eiji, how you doing, no time to talk, see you later, wish you all the best, byeee!"

"Hi...?"

And Katsuki would have run into his own common room but he thought that might be a little mean so he stopped abruptly only for Mina to crash into him and he wouldn't have fallen if he didn't trip on his robe. He made a startled noise of surprise as he slipped and fell back onto the floor, groaning from the impact of both the floor and Mina falling on top of him. "Damn, you're heavier than you look..."

"YOU CALLING ME FAT?!" 

"Yes." 

"BITCH- and don't say words like damn, you're eleven," Mina grumbled, flicking Katsuki's forehead which made the boy say flatly, "I'm literally older than you and you say everything under the sun."

"Wha—don't say that! I'm very, very responsible in front of kids-"

"You're a kid!"

They both glared at each other for a moment, a very long hard moment filled with tension to rival any sort of cowboy fight.

Then Katsuki dissolved into snorts, pushing Mina off of him as he spread out across the floor like a starfish. Mina grinned at him, sitting up as she shook her head, her curls flying. "I really can't believe you're in the house you are."

"Eh, I personally think I'll grow into it. Enjoy my gross childlike wonder while it lasts, I'm not gonna be eleven forever."

"It's not just that. I just don't see it. You're blunt, you can be cold, sure, but still, you're quite sweet." 

"Me? Sweet? Who the hell messed with your head?" 

"Dunno. Maybe it's just me who sees that side then?"

"Look, I think you're too used to like, super super really mean Slytherins. And even if I'm that, I'll never be actually mean to you, so don't be sad," Katsuki shrugged, sitting up too and poking Mina's cheek. "What, you don't wanna hang out with me anymore? 'Cause I'm a Slytherin? That's cool, don't need you anyway bitc-"

"No, no, not at all," Mina gasped, sounding so offended by the notion as she pulled Katsuki into a hug that Katsuki didn't return nor reject. "I just don't want you to ever grow up. I want you to stay little and I want you to not get tainted by the people around you, because some of them are so horrible. I'd never live with myself if you become even a little bit horrible."

"Mina. I've always been horrible-" 

"No, I mean a different type of horrible. The...the..." 

"The Slytherin horrible? The horrible where I go to the dark side?" Katsuki asked with a raised eyebrow, and it seemed like he had hit bingo by the way Mina froze up. "It's alright, don't look so kicked. Everyone in this school has a damn perception of Slytherins, even I did, and it's okay if you do but don't you have a perception of me that's different?" 

Mina looked at him for a long while, then slowly she smiled. "Yeah. You're right. Sorry, KitKat." 

"Don't apologise, it's embarrassing. Look, I'll grow up but I promise that I'll never go to the dark side. How's that?" Katsuki asked, holding out his hand and Mina couldn't hold back a smile as she wrapped her own hand around Katsuki's to seal the deal.

"That sounds great."

And Katsuki knew that he could keep that promise without much hassle, just as long as he kept true to himself and didn't get bribed by food by some loser leftover Death Eaters. Simple.

Katsuki really loved being a wizard. Even five years later, after hundreds of hits to the head, backlashes from spells going wrong, meeting all sorts of people who weren't always the nicest and getting into the dumbest of fights; he still loved being a wizard through and through. It felt right, and something that kept him going was how cool it would be to blast people away with just a flick of his wand. He wouldn't even need his fists anymore.

Like his father always said, 'the magic runs wild through your veins, son!' and maybe his cringy ass was right, even if Katsuki wouldn't tell him. Maybe he was destined for more than he thought he was. Maybe he wasn't just a trouble child. Maybe he could prove Gryffindor wrong, and rise above all of them. Above everyone. 

If he was number one, no-one would ever hurt him again.

 

Chapter Text

6th year

As an adolescent who wholly, wholly believed that everyone deserved their own rights (especially him), Katsuki didn't really appreciate that while he was trying to sleep into his scarf, everyone was making a massive hubbub around him.

Well, he guessed they were validated a little. Since there was kind of a Quidditch game going on.

Katsuki liked Quidditch. Maybe there was a chance that he loved it, but he couldn't play it for the life of him. He still remembered Kaminari giggling at him when they were in first year and Katsuki fell off of his broom - smack, bang, bye - and Katsuki felt like an honest failure for a split-second. He wasn't a Gryffindor, nor could he fly? Thank God he managed to get over it, because it was quite a hit to his ego (which actually might have done him some good but we don't talk like that).

Katsuki wanted to focus, he really did since Gryffindor vs Slytherin matches were always fairly entertaining, but he felt so tired. He could still hear the commentary which was wildly amusing so he focused on that, mentally clapping at words of 'TEN POINTS FOR SLYTHERIN!'. He barely heard anything about points for Gryffindor meaning Sero must be doing good.

"Sero's the only keeper I've ever seen who's not..."

"Stocky?" Mina asked with a grin and Kaminari snickered.

"Such an intelligent word."

"You're the one who got stuck so technically I'm on higher grounds now," Mina said smugly but she frowned when it seemed like Kaminari wasn't listening to her. "Hey, yellow, I'm talking to you-"

"Look at Todoroki," Kaminari said, eyes wide as he pointed ahead and Katsuki decided to look up too, quietly interested before snarling when Mina grabbed onto the closest thing near her which happened to be his fucking hair.

"OH SHIT-"

"There are firsties here-"

"OH SHUCKS, THAT'S THE SNITCH, ISN'T IT?!"

Katsuki blinked, knocking Mina's hand away as he straightened up and zeroed in on Todoroki zipping between players, his fingers stretching out for something that never seemed to quite get in his grasp. The other team's seeker didn't seem to have caught on yet and Mina stood up, getting all screamy with excitement. Katsuki stared at her. "You're not even in Slytherin, raccoon bumblebee."

"But it's our kid, Katsuki, it's Shoto, this'll be his first..." Then Mina was trailing off, the blood draining from her face as Kaminari yelled in alarm. Katsuki's eyes widened, his stomach suddenly lurching a little.

Todoroki had been so close, but it seemed like not even a second flashed by before a Gryffindor beater crashed into him, knocking them both out of control and straight to the ground, drawing screams from the crowd that had Katsuki's ears ready to burst. It was like the world stopped then, the game stopped without the referee even saying anything, the players were frozen, and it was a good minute until the commentator said weakly, "Slytherin seeker Shoto Todoroki and Gryffindor beater Eijirou Kirishima seem to have collided. More news when the nu- oh, what's that? What's Todoroki doing?"

And suddenly the spirit was revived again when Todoroki, in all his spent, battered glory even underneath the beater who was probably heavy, threw up a hand where between his forefinger and index finger, there was an intricate, golden snitch. "I got it..."

But none of them could enjoy the news because Mina was taking hold of Katsuki and Kaminari's arms and racing down the bleachers, leaving the other two only able to follow and Katsuki wasn't sure if he had even blinked before they were suddenly near the changing rooms, Mina having his arms around a pained Todoroki while Sero still had yet to arrive and Kaminari had pulled out some weird muggle remedy method thing that had Katsuki's mind boggled and intrigued.

"Where the fuck is Sero?" Mina grumbled even as she was hugging Todoroki close, patting his head. Todoroki winced a little as Kaminari rested a heat pack on his leg.

"I'll be fine."

"I know. You got the Snitch and so quickly too!"

"Why aren't the nurses helping you? Not that I want them to but," Katsuki asked confusedly and Todoroki shrugged.

"Magic remedies don't settle well with me. Whether psychologically or physically, I can't be sure, but it's like being allergic to something."

That didn't clear things up for Katsuki at all but he couldn't press further because then there were suddenly yells of, "DON'T YOU GO NEAR HIM, ASSHOLE!"

"LET GO OF ME, WHAT THE HELL?!"

"DON'T BITE MY ARM, YOU FIEND?! AND WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR TEETH, MY GOD, DO YOU SHARPEN THEM ON R O C K S-"

"I NEED TO APOLOGISE!"

"I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, YOU'LL JUST HURT HIM AGAIN-"

"THAT WASN'T ON PURPOSE I SWEAR TO GOD IT WAS A COMPLETE ACCIDENT AND YOU KNOW IT-"

Basically, Eijirou Kirishima and Sero were having a scrabbling cat fight. Katsuki wished he was in on it while Mina face-palmed. But then there just had to be this one certain guy pulling them apart, and Katsuki was about to throw hands.

"Sero, I'm really sorry but my friend has this really high moral code and he actually might start crying if you won't let him apologise," the biggest fuckwad in the world (Katsuki was biased but completely correct) said and Sero raised an eyebrow while Kirishima yelped an irritated, "Dude! So not manly!"

"What? It's not like I'm lying, now go do your apology stuff." The guy took out his wand to form up a rose and that made Katsuki even more ticked off. 6th year Herbology and Defence Against the Dark Arts legend. Izuku fucking Midoriya. "Give this to him too. It'll be nice!"

"Hey, I'm going to say sorry, not court him," Kirishima sighed, walking past to try and get to Todoroki. Midoriya frowned, looking at the rose sadly before following him.

"But it's a pretty rose, right?"

"Seeker!" Kirishima called out and Todoroki looked up as Mina hugged him tighter, glaring at Kirishima who faltered a little.

"You have one minute before we're going to take him back to his dorm, Eiji. Make it worthwhile."

Kirishima gulped but nodded, running a hand through his wild wild hair (like man Katsuki was a little blinded by that red) before elongating his arm to Todoroki. "You did so great. Honestly you did, you deserved to win, I'm glad you did. And I promise you that I wasn't playing dirty, I had no idea that you'd even caught sight of the Snitch in the first place and I only crashed into you because a bludger caught me off guard. So it was all my fault even then, because the whole point is that beaters are supposed to be on guard when it comes to bludgers, I know, I really suck. I hope it doesn't hurt too bad, I'm so so sorry and I'll pray for you tonight and I'll- I can send out like, a statement or something saying that I suck 'cause I can totally do that-"

"Woah, woah, calm down," Todoroki said, looking slightly amused but mostly blank as he took hold of the guy's arm and pushed it back a little, making Kirishima snap out of his stupor. Katsuki had to snap out of it too, mostly because he had got too caught up in how it sounded like the guy sounded annoying in his rambling but sweet. In a really dumb way. That's Gryffindors for you. "It's fine. Thanks for saying all of that, it's a bit of overkill but thank you."

"Does it hurt a lot?" Kirishima asked, kneeling down on the floor next to him as well as Katsuki who inched away as (not) subtly as he could. Todoroki shrugged, nodding at Kaminari who was at his arms now.

"According to how much he's fixing me up, yes."

"Todoroki, if you never want to play a game ever again then I wouldn't blame you," Sero sighed from behind them, running a hand through his hair. Todoroki looked up at him.

"Do you think I'm a quitter?"

"I don't know. That was your first game."

"Oh, right," Todoroki mumbled and Kirishima grinned, everything being happy and fine before fucking Deku made an appearance, leaning in close to Todoroki in a way that wasn't that close but it still had the latter starting in surprise.

"Are you alright?" Midoriya asked, worry in his face as he stared straight into Todoroki's eyes and the latter nodded slowly, looking scared which was a very weird expression on him, before Kirishima pulled Midoriya back.

"Don't get so close, remember personal space?"

"Right, right, sorry!"

"I'm...I'm fine," Todoroki said quietly, looking between the two. "I think."

"Have a nice day. Rest up," Midoriya said with concern and affection heavy in his voice, clearly ready to say a million more sorrys now that he was here even though he hadn't done a damn thing because he was so fucking dumb and annoying and thank God he didn't look to the side to see Mina holding Katsuki back while Kaminari had a hand over the guy's mouth, silently weeping at how much Katsuki was biting him.

"Let me fucking at him-"

But they were already gone as Kirishima locked his arms around Midoriya's middle and started dragging him away, calling out over Midoriya's yelps of struggle, "REALLY SORRY AGAIN, SEE YOU AROUND!"

"Gryffindors are weird. And then they're just even weirder. It's not good," Mina sighed even though a giggle fell through her words as she let go of Todoroki and pushed him further towards Kaminari. "How is he?"

"He'll live," Kaminari said, grinning as he was about to punch Todoroki in the arm then paused at the look Todoroki gave him. "Right, right, shouldn't do That to an injured man. But I'm so proud of you, dude!"

"Don't be," Todoroki muttered, but he was still smiling as Kaminari hugged his head and then Mina was getting in on it too, pulling Sero with him who seemed reluctant until he actually got there and gave Todoroki the biggest hug out of all of them. Katsuki just kind of watched them with his heart, not with his eyes because that would be weird and awkward and he'd want to barf, and his heart might kinda sorta be smiling. Scratch that, probably not.

Mina raised an eyebrow at him, gesturing for him to come over but Katsuki grimaced.

"I'll catch Half n' Half's disease."

And while everyone started throwing insults of 'you're SO stupid' at him, Katsuki snapped back but it's not like he really minded. Besides, Todoroki was smiling at him and that was a great feeling, because that dude never smiled and Katsuki was usually beating him up so why would he ever deserve a smile? Katsuki might be 'stupid' (he really wasn't and if they ever called him that again he'd blow them all up, but they were having a moment so he decided to let it slide) but having friends to remind him of it but still love him all the same was something he had to never, ever take for granted.

Well, fuck that because he would. He didn't love any of them. None of that sissy shit.

But Katsuki patted Todoroki's back after, because he didn't exactly hate them either.

 

Chapter Text

As someone who lived in a world completely full of magic, Katsuki had never thought he would actually go through something as cliché as this. And he was nowhere near ready for it. He just wanted to wash his hands before lunch, that was all he had wanted.

Crying people weren't his forté just as much as people in general weren't. Katsuki was good at crying, on his own all wrapped up in bed with a big pillow to cuddle, all quiet so if there was anyone else in the room then they wouldn't notice or he'd have to finally commit real murder. But now that he had noticed someone else, he couldn't let go of the sniffling and the heartbreaking weight of how quiet the guy was trying to be. He was in one of the stalls and Katsuki swallowed, wishing to all God that the school would just blow up right this minute. He didn't want to deal with this. He didn't. Feelings were dumb, and he'd much rather just ignore this and pretend he wasn't feeling disgustingly guilty for no reason.

He went to wash his hands, methodically going wash, soap, wash, dry, and he was all set. That sniffling didn't mean anything, whoever was crying in there was fucking weak. Even though Katsuki knew everyone cried, they were weak. Even though the person was probably feeling like shit and deserved to feel better, they were weak.

Fuck this.

Katsuki touched his throat, whispering, "Immutavoco."

He felt his vocal chords switching themselves up which made him have to grit his teeth from the slight pain but he kept quiet, sidling up to the cubicle that he was sure the guy was behind. "Hey, are you-"

Katsuki's eyes widened, cutting himself off as he realised holy crackers, he sounded terrible. Like something inhumane and ugly, ugh, how could he have messed up a damn spell at this kind of time?! But then the sniffling came to a stop for a moment, and instead there was some quiet, raspy laughter. Katsuki's spirits rose, before he grimaced at himself. Gross. "Did y-you use a voice-changing spell?"

Oh no. Katsuki knew that voice. Katsuki really, really knew that voice and now he felt even weirder about the fact that someone so...cheerful was here. Crying in a bathroom.

"Yeah...just so you won't know it's me."

"You sound like a robot."

"A what?"

"Never mind."

"Uh...are you okay?" Katsuki said awkwardly, not sounding as sympathetic as he probably should have as he leant against the cubicle door. Kirishima sniffed again.

"I could lie to you."

"Don't."

"Then obviously I'm not okay."

"Do you...want...a hug?" Katsuki had no idea why he had said that and he was actually going to defenestrate the shit out of himself, and Kirishima's laugh made him wince.

"You just said you don't want me to know your identity!"

"Well, uh, I'm- I'm giving you a hug in spirit." Shit, what? No, Katsuki was only saying this stuff to hide his identity, duh. If he said cutesy shit like this then of course Kirishima wouldn't think it was him. It was just him being smart, like always.

"You're so sweet, thank you, Robot!"

Katsuki could feel his face getting a little warmer. "I still don't know what that is but you should go eat breakfast. I know food always makes me feel better, and I'm tired as hell now so I'll make sure you're okay then run."

"Guess I'll try and be okay faster, then," Kirishima said quietly, and Katsuki could almost hear his smile in his words. He stayed quiet for a while, before he blurted out, "Do you wanna talk about it?"

"There's not much to talk about. God, I don't even know why I'm crying..."

"Okay."

"Why do people fall out of love?" Kirishima asked, voice suddenly holding so much bridled bitterness that Katsuki was floored. "Were they lying this whole time? I thought they were so in love."

"I thought we weren't talking about it." 

"Y-Yeah but-" 

"Maybe they were once." 

"Huh? Oh...then why...why does it stop?"

"People change all the time. Their tastes, who they actually are. Don't you get sick of some of the things you eat too much? Didn't you like something at like, age five that you don't so much now? I don't know. I think love's like that too, sometimes. Just like how you get sick of some things, but not of other things, so it always depends. But I wouldn't know."

Kirishima sniffed once more and Katsuki was feeling burdened by going this long without swearing. He jolted a little when he felt the former rest his weight against the other side of the cubicle door, and he wondered why. "Nah, you know better than most. Thank you. Now I'm gonna open the door, so you better be running now."

"Wait. Do you feel better?"

There was a small pause before Kirishima said, "Oh, you can't see me nodding. Yeah, yeah I do, now scram!"

Katsuki grinned without really realising. "Hey, I could be older than you. I could be a prefect."

"Really, Robot? Are you?"

And that was the moment that Katsuki did officially decide to 'scram' all the way to the Great Hall, trying not very hard to get out of explaining to Mina why he was out of breath. "I...I-"

"Oh, your voice. Come here, idiot," Mina snorted, resting her hand under Katsuki's chin to raise it before muttering the reverse incantation, and Katsuki mentally breathed out in relief when his vocal chords felt normal again. Mina's warm dark eyes looked straight into his, asking 'is everything alright?' and Katsuki huffed arrogantly in response, making Mina grin back as she patted Katsuki's cheek then turned to the others who had gone back to normal by now.

Kaminari was yelling about something to do with the mistreatment of cats, Sero was the one arguing with him but at the same time rubbing his hand reassuringly (why were relationships so disgustingly contradicting?), and Mina was now feeding Todoroki food since the seeker's arm was kind of unable to do anything. He kept groaning which was so irritating because Katsuki had yelled at Todoroki again, 'Go to the fucking infirmary!' but Todoroki declined because muggleborns and halfers were always like that, weren't they, thinking that they could last through their injuries without the help of magic...and also that thing about him being allergic but Katsuki couldn't really remember.

He was tired, and bored out of his mind. He didn't need people so why were they always there?

"Speak of the devil," Mina said quietly and Katsuki blinked in confusion - had the topic changed without him realising? He looked up anyway, only to see red and gold which made him want to drop his face back into the rice, but then he realised who it was. The guy he had just been comforting ten minutes ago. And fucking Deku.

"Stop right there!" Kaminari called out, standing up and brandishing a chicken drumstick at the beater who froze, blinking.

"You what...?"

"Don't you remember the game yesterday?!"

"Of course."

Kaminari scoffed a few times too many, looking very offended for some reason completely beyond Katsuki, and Mina laid a hand on his arm. "What this guy wants to say is that you still haven't apologised about hurting their seeker-"

"What- I did! I definitely did! You were all there!" Kirishima yelped, red eyes blowing wide from the accusation. Katsuki just kind of stared at him for a moment, since there wasn't anything else that was more interesting, and he noticed the subtle red of Kirishima's eyes that were beyond his iris colour. Because of the crying. "I apologised so many times, I felt terrible. I really did pray for him, I said I would." 

Kaminari looked at Mina angrily who sighed heavily, saying, "Sorry, he means you didn't apologise well enough for his standards-"

"I know this might be bad timing but I didn't introduce myself last time, I'm Izuku Midoriya," Midoriya said with the brightest of smiles and Katsuki finally broke.

"WE ALL FUCKING KNOW, YOU NERD-"

"SOMEONE HOLD HIM DOWN!" Mina yelled as Katsuki launched at Midoriya who yelped, backing up and holding his fists up like the pathetic weakling thought he could even fight and win. What kind of moron was he? He knew one of the others would stop him before he got there and besides, it wasn't like he would ever really hurt Midoriya anymore but it was the start of the year and he still had to go for it, it was a damn tradition, so there he was running at Midoriya- and then he was being tackled?

My friends have never tackled me before, what the fuck?

"Hey, hey, what are you doing? We don't mean to make a fuss, we're nice people!" a familiar voice said, and Katsuki looked up to see Kirishima leaning over him, his eyebrows drawn in confusion and concern. Katsuki almost forgot he was angry, but you can't forgot you're angry when you're always angry. "What's wrong?"

"Wooooow, Eiji, how the hell don't you know this? Katsuki hates Midoriya's guts! Sorry, Midoriya," Mina said, while Midoriya hid behind Todoroki who was a little red. Kirishima looked up in surprise while Katsuki tried not to look anywhere he shouldn't with this beast of a guy on him.

"Huh? Why?"

"They had a duel in first year in Defence Against the Dark Arts and Midoriya won," Kaminari said cheerfully and Katsuki threw Kirishima off of him, finding a new target to get ready to kill.

"HE DID FUCKING NOT-"

"It's a debate who won, but they both kinda thrashed each other and it wasn't pretty."

"Had to both go to the infirmary."

"Bakugou's hated him ever since."

"Is that it? Being a sore loser isn't very manly of you, dude," Kirishima said in disappointment, and he was definitely now on Katsuki's kill list too. He didn't care how cute the guy was.

"That's not the reason I hate that nerdy bastard, and none of you will ever know why. Best thing you can do? Keep your fucking noses out of our business-"

"Hey, who told you to be so mean, huh? Did we do anything? Newsflash, you're not the only one with problems, buddy," Kirishima growled, his voice getting angrier before he walked off, robes swishing behind him which didn't suit his aura at all, and Katsuki felt like he could hear glass smash in his mind. Was Kirishima actually angry at him? For real? Why did that happen? Didn't he know this was just how Katsuki acted, and deep deep deep deep deep down he didn't really mean offence?

Fucking Deku for some reason remained if only to say, "Sorry about him."

"He's a bit bitchy, isn't he? Very out of character," Kaminari said casually before yowling at Mina's fierce elbow jab.

"No, he just...he just got bad news. Please don't blame him, I swear he's the nicest person in the world," Midoriya muttered, bowing his head slightly, and Katsuki felt just the tiniest bit terrible now. Kirishima had just been crying. Katsuki knew that when he himself was in a sensitive state like that, really small things could easily set him off again. He hoped Kirishima hadn't gone off to cry again. Damn it... "Anyway, see you around."

"Will he be okay?" Katsuki asked, not noticing the others looking at him in surprise. He turned away when Midoriya smiled at him, touched.

"He will, he will. Don't you worry."

"I'm fucking not. Just curious."

Midoriya nodded. "Okay, sure."

Then he was waving and rushing off, and there was silence for a moment before Kaminari said, "I think cats deserve as many rights as humans," and Sero let out a tired, "Babe, no," and they were back at it again. Katsuki just boredly watched them while Mina played with his hair, and he reached out for more food to fill him up for this long fucking day.

School sweet school.

 

Chapter Text

As a kid who had high-level...severe...a bad case of insomnia, Katsuki once tended to stay the majority of a night in the library. He liked walking though the quiet aisles, picking out interesting books and it never really occurred to him that reading was as nice as this. He liked feeling clever, and he knew he was clever but it never really felt like it when it came to tests - seeing a sticky red 100% didn't mean anything when it came to regurgitated information. He liked feeling kind of like he was on the same level as the bookworms he knew. But one night he got caught and it was so terrifying that he never once went back, and books were no longer in his life.

So now he'd go to the playing fields.

No-one else went to the playing fields at night.

Basically no-one else, but there would be a fair few odd times. It might be couples who wanted to watch the stars and Katsuki would secretly make fun of them (sometimes using sonority charms to fuck them over and that stuff was funny as shit), but it was mostly people who broke into the broom cupboard to fly. A certain fellow sixth year would break the rules with him a lot and fly in the air, doing loops and climbing soars and things that Katsuki could only begrudgingly admire as he watched, sometimes. But Kirishima only ever stayed for about half an hour tops, unless he brought friends. Katsuki would keep far away then, just in case they were more observant than Kirishima was and he'd never want to be even looked at by those extras.

Katsuki would always telepathically wave when he would leave, and Kirishima never seemed to receive it which he was hella glad about. He might be a sap when it was one am but he didn't want anyone else to know about it.

Katsuki was tired as always when the morning came as well as covered in grass, excessively rubbing his eyes and batting away Mina's concern and Kaminari's teasing. It had been a week since he had talked to Kirishima and he still had no idea what had made the guy sad but it was fine that way, there was no reason why it would be okay to pry. Kirishima and him weren't like that, anyway.

"Woah," Todoroki said flatly and Katsuki frowned, looking at him with narrowed eyes. "Is that..."

"KIRISHIMA'S GOT A HOWLER, EVERYBODY!" some asshole yelled and instantly everyone was jostling, the noise in the hall upped about two hundred percent. Katsuki blinked, trying to shake himself awake a little to look over at the Gryffindor table where he saw Kirishima standing up and holding a red envelope, teeth gritted and his own face red out of humiliation. He heard Mina say a soft, "Eiji," from next to him, and Katsuki actually felt an ounce of worry when Kirishima opened the letter with shaky hands, and then it was out.

"KIRISHIMA EIJIROU, WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!" an angry male voice in Japanese of all things yelled out from the howler but Kirishima's glare didn't waver one bit. Katsuki wanted to close his ears, wanted to forget all about his mother tongue because he didn't wanna hear how fucking hurtful this was going to be. "WE SAID YOU HAD ONE WEEK TO CHOOSE WHO YOU WANTED TO LIVE WITH AND HERE YOU ARE SAYING YOU WANT NEITHER OF US. HOW UNGRATEFUL CAN YOU GET?! THINK OF ALL I SACRIFICED FOR YOU, I EVEN LET YOU GO TO THIS BIZARRE MAGIC SCHOOL WHICH I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT WHEN YOU COULD HAVE GONE TO THAT ELITE SPORTS SCHOOL, YOU COULD HAVE STAYED WITH YOUR...YOUR KIND! STOP BEING SELFISH RIGHT THIS INS-"

"IMMOBULUS!" Kirishima yelled, the word ripping from his throat as he pointed his wand at the howler and blue light came out of it, freezing the envelope in an instant. "Who the hell even told you about howlers? It's ironic that you're dissing magic when you're using it yourself. I guess it doesn't matter if it means embarrassing me. You dare call me selfish when all your life, you've wanted me to live in your footsteps? I'm not choosing only because I can't choose. I love you both, funnily enough. You're the ones who never even tried to save your relationship. I'm staying with my sister and that's final, you heartless...heartless..."

Kirishima didn't finish the sentence and took hold of the envelope, immediately tearing it to pieces as he yelled out a rasped Japanese curse before sprinting out of the hall.

Katsuki could feel something in his chest. This had to be what Kirishima was sad about and once Katsuki made that connection, he suddenly felt an odd sort of responsibility. His body worked before his mind.

"I gotta- bathroom," Katsuki said before leaving out the other end of the hall, slow when walking out but the instant he was out of view, he made a run for it around the school. It was like a goose chase where you couldn't even see the goose. He put on the voice-changing spell and stacked a sonority one on top, grimacing at the doubled uncomfortable feeling but he breathed out a sigh of relief when he found Kirishima walking through a lone corridor, fists clenched, and Katsuki hid behind a pillar. "Hey!"

Oh damn, that really was loud. Kirishima froze, slowly turning around and Katsuki flatted himself a bit more against the pillar. "Who-"

"It's R...the fuck was it, Robot or something?"

Kirishima smiled for a moment before it fell and he turned around again, restarting his walk. "I don't need you."

"You know if you hadn't torn up that Howler then you could've known what the rest of it said."

"I know, I'm not dumb," Kirishima said quietly and Katsuki nodded.

"Yeah. You know your dad won't have heard any of the stuff you said to him. Howlers are prerecorded messages."

"You wanna keep giving me lessons on a world I've known for five years coming?" Kirishima snapped, making Katsuki freeze because it was really weird seeing Kirishima get angry. Sure enough, it didn't last long as Kirishima instantly straightened up. "I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to snap! I'm just-"

"That was your dad, right?"

"Can't hear you," Kirishima sighed and Katsuki cursed under his breath before he raced over to a closer pillar, squeaking a little (which was the worst noise that had ever come out of his mouth and it will never be spoken of again) when Kirishima turned around to try and catch him. "Hey, you're fast."

"So are you, you were like fuck this shit out of there."

"Well, can you blame me when I just let the whole school know of my damn situation..."

"Only in Japanese, idiot. There are less than a hundred Japanese kids in this school, tops."

"So you're one of them."

Shit. "Take a fucking guess, Detective Dipshit."

"Y-You're so mean," Kirishima laughed, wiping his eyes and Katsuki compared it to when Kirishima had called him mean the other day. He liked this way better.

"Was that your dad?"

"Yeah. He really wants me to live with him...then so does my mum. I was thinking about choosing my dad because we have more in common but then I hear all about Mama moving real far away and then that Howler - no, I can't choose either of them."

"It makes sense now. Why you asked me why people fall out of love."

"I can see it now, they never tried. They always put us first and now I feel damn horrible."

"Don't, dumbass. It's not your fault or anything."

"Why are you here? Go eat breakfast."

"Your sadness is my responsibility now. I think."

Kirishima's laugh was loud, echoing, and it made Katsuki feel a little warm. "Oh God, you're so sweet, are you a firstie?"

"No, ewww. Definitely older."

"Third?"

"No..." Why was Katsuki answering these questions?

"Sixth?"

"Yeah." Whelp, there it was.

"Oh lord, definitely thought you were younger than that. Then again, you swear like a sailor."

Kirishima was getting further away now and Katsuki took another chance to sprint to another pillar. Kirishima's ears seemed to pick up on it as he whirled around again and grinned. "Caught sight of your robe."

"So wha-" Oh. "Wait-"

"Brilliant Slytherin! I hope you're not mad about me injuring your seeker."

"Oh, no," Katsuki said after a moment of silence, a bit surprised that Kirishima hadn't said anything bad about him being a Slytherin, he even said the word in such a happy way. Maybe he had honestly changed since three years ago, when he had said it with such disgust. Or maybe eleven-year-old Katsuki had blown that out of proportion, because everyone knew Eijirou Kirishima was one of the nicest people Hecate had to offer. "Not mad, 'guess. You apologised."

Idiot , how are you supposed to explain that you know he bloody apologised—

"I could just come to that pillar now and catch you."

Katsuki was certain that he was breaking a sweat. "You wouldn't."

"Nah. I wouldn't. Thanks, bro."

Footsteps were starting up again, getting further and further away and Katsuki peeked out from behind the pillar to see Kirishima turning the corner. Without even thinking, he called out a, "Wait."

Nothing happened for a moment and Katsuki lost hope, about to come out completely until Kirishima was leaning out from behind the corner, raising an eyebrow at Katsuki like he was about to say something sarky, until his expression turned blank. "You've got...a pretty eye."

Katsuki might have almost laughed if it wasn't the dumbest thing he had ever heard - or maybe that was why he wanted to laugh, this is confusion- regressing into the pillar but he still made sure to be able to see Kirishima (even just out of the corner of his eye) who was looking at him in anticipation, and he looked kinda nice. Katsuki realised that he had spent a lot more time talking to Kirishima than he had looking at him which was definitely new for him. "I can't let you go without comforting you, moron. That's the whole reason I'm here."

Kirishima beamed and fuck, it was too bright. "Then hit me with your comfort."

Katsuki hid himself completely again, for fear of recognition. Couldn't have this kind of thing on his record. "I don't know, just, things will get better. I know your parents wanna lash out right now but it's probably because of all the buried feelings that are coming to light at the moment, and it's the same for you. The storm'll calm so just be patient and keep fucking going."

Holy crackers, Katsuki was good at this. He should definitely write a book.

"Robot."

"What."

"Promise me you'll stay there."

"Hah...?"

Kirishima disappeared around the corner again and all Katsuki had time for was one blink until arms were wrapping around him from behind, squishing his robes and yes - Katsuki actually screamed.

"THE FUCK ARE YOU FUCKING DOING, YOU FUCKING-"

"Woah, hey, shhh, I'm showing my gratitude," Kirishima hushed in the gentlest voice Katsuki had ever heard aimed at a human and not a cat. "And gosh, your robot voice sounds hilarious in a scream, you're sooooo cute."

"You better have your fucking eyes closed, you loser-"

"I have my eyes closed!" Kirishima assured him, pressing his face into Katsuki's back as he hugged him tighter. Katsuki was finding it hard to breathe, feeling far too light-headed. But he tried to calm himself down because this was just a hug, he couldn't be defeated by a stupid hug. Kaminari and Mina hugged him sometimes, even if that meant they'd get a decking afterwards.

He awkwardly patted Kirishima's arm, ironically to try and get rid of some awkwardness, and Kirishima buried into him a bit more, so affectionately that Katsuki's head was spinning. There was no way a Gryffindor was this cute. It was against the laws of humanity. "Thank you."

"How did you get here like that?"

"I'll teach you one day! I wanna show you what a robot is before that."

"One day?"

"It's a date!"

Katsuki flushed a little, clearing his throat as Kirishima squeezed him one more time before letting go and running off, and Katsuki was a little surprised by how good he was dealing with the whole 'not revealing who I am' thing. And when he peeked out again a minute later, Kirishima was nowhere in sight.

Katsuki felt so inexplicably warm, and he flinched a little from where he could still feel the tingles where Kirishima's breath had hit his neck for a moment. God, he really had to start getting used to hugs again because he couldn't have something like that make him this weak, maybe he could ask Mina for help but then again that girl might break his back from excitement and Katsuki wasn't quite all for that.

"Where did you go for so long, huh?" Kaminari asked later after he had found Katsuki and they both set off to their lessons. Katsuki mumbled, "Long bathroom queue," and Kaminari snorted, saying, "It's Britain, after all," and patted Katsuki's back before disappearing down a different corridor. Katsuki was glad about how dumb Kaminari could be sometimes, considering how literally everyone had been in the hall, and that there were easily bathrooms upon bathrooms in this castle.

He headed over to Charms when he saw Kirishima leaning against the wall, and he looked two hundred percent cooler with his robe half-on half-off and one arm on the ledge. But when Katsuki looked really hard, and not from as far away as before, he noticed something. When Kirishima looked at him sooner than Katsuki thought, Katsuki patted his cheek. Kirishima blinked, furrowing his eyebrows and Katsuki pointed at him before at his own cheek, miming brushing it off. Kirishima's eyes widened in realisation as he followed suit but Katsuki shook his head, getting mildly irritated while wondering why he had started this as he mouthed 'other one'. Suddenly Kirishima jumped into action, aggressively wiping the other cheek and Katsuki blinked. Okay. Weirdo.

"Yeah. Chocolate or something." Didn't know why he hadn't just said that in the first place.

Kirishima smiled at him sheepishly before he was ducking into the classroom, and Katsuki found it interesting as heck how he didn't know that it was Katsuki that he had been talking to just ten minutes ago. So he was secretly leading a double life, and instead of it being in a cool way, it was to comfort a sad cute idiot with shitty hair who was caught up in a parental divorce?

Did niceness come with puberty? Katsuki sure as fucking well hoped not.

 

Chapter Text

As someone who usually tried his best to keep to himself when it came to personal things, his friends always bamboozled Katsuki. They were always prying yet it didn't seem like prying, it felt like comfort, small talk, it felt like nonchalance, like it was mandatory to know about each other. Well, even after five years, Katsuki hadn't got in the swing of it. Sero would be sad about something and Katsuki wouldn't for the life of him even think about asking what was wrong, even if he knew there was something. The others would be talking deep about relationships and Katsuki wouldn't think it his place to listen, even if he was supposed to be in the conversation.

"Do you think Kirishima has a boyfriend? I heard that rumour earlier in the year that he was looking," Sero said as he took a bite of toast, and Todoroki was wide-eyed. Emotions on him were always so funny.

"He likes guys?"

Everyone stared at Todoroki. Even Katsuki. 

"Dude, I thought absolutely everyone knew that after that stunt he pulled last year."

Todoroki's eyes cleared in remembrance as Mina ruffled his hair in amusement, and Kaminari pointed at Mina using a chicken drumstick. "You had that thing with the girl from Beauxbatons last year, right?"

Mina smiled dreamily, leaning back in his chair. "Yeah...she was so nice, and pretty...but, she's gone now. We didn't say anything but I don't think the relationship's continued."

"Why didn't you last?"

"Relationships are just, well, strange things."

"I think I want to be in one," Todoroki said quietly, which surprised Katsuki a little.

"Trust me, it's not all rainbows and sunshine," Sero sighed like the reverse psychology show-off he was, but when Kaminari pulled him into a kiss, he was immediately rendered brainless. "It's pretty darn close, though..."

"It might not be dating but you still have meeeeeee," Mina teased, throwing herself at Todoroki who smiled, meaninglessly trying to bat her away as Mina bombarded his neck with hundreds of fat kisses. Kaminari and Sero were just in their own world, kissing between asking each other how their morning had been, hands on waists and in hair. These people were like aliens sometimes, because how could all of them be like that? So comfortable, so casual with contact that wasn't punching someone?

Katsuki thanked Hecate that no-one decided to ask him the inevitable question 'what about you, Bakugou?' today because he was pretty sure he had no opinion on relationships whatsoever. He couldn't imagine himself being in one. He couldn't imagine being like Kaminari and Sero. Who would even want to be in his lap?

The dumb topic even managed to seep into his lessons.

"Everyone, the mystical potion you're currently seeing," the professor said brightly as the majority of the class were entranced by the pearly colour and the rainbow curls of steam spiralling out of the cauldron, "is called Amortentia. I'm sure you've all heard of it as the most powerful love potion in existence! You must have also come across it in earlier years but now it's time for us to go into depth, and dissect love potions and find out what components allow them to cause the effects they do. First, as always, let me choose one of you to see what you smell."

Most of the class put their hands up, while Katsuki was almost asleep on his desk. But of course, of course his name was called out. He let out a 'tch' of annoyance, shaking himself off as he said through gritted teeth, "Yes, Professor," and vowed to kill everybody who laughed.

"Come to the front, Bakugou. Let this wake you up a bit."

Katsuki sighed, saying a sleepy, more high-pitched than it should have been, "Sure," as he got up and walked over, blinking at the professor who pointed at the cauldron.

"What do you smell?"

"I'm supposed to smell somethin' from here?"

"Yes, the steam does rise this high."

"I mean, I...can't really....smell anything."

"You sure? Lean just a bit closer, then, but be careful and keep your mouth closed."

Katsuki followed what he said, glaring a little when one of the curls hit his face. Even if he could smell anything, it had to be extraordinarily faint and he couldn't begin to recognise it. But then, it might have started to hit him, ever so slightly, but he still didn't know what it was. His chest was constricting as he started to think bad thoughts.

"I can't," Katsuki said quietly, and the room was so silent that it was ominous. But then the professor smiled at him and Katsuki felt his fears alleviate a little.

"Everyone knows that people who are incapable of love can't smell anything, but sometimes if someone can't smell much, it means their minds aren't sculpted to attraction yet, or ever, which is fine. Yes, Amortentia is a love potion but it relies heavily on what you're attracted to. And then there's also the fact that many people can't recognise what they smell! Don't worry, young man."

Katsuki left without a word, a little bit windswept as he stumbled back to his seat, with his classmates crowding him to ask what it was like. He just shrugged, saying it kind of messed with your senses and they looked so intrigued when it really wasn't a big deal. It wasn't like he had drank it or anything. Amateurs.

"All, I'm giving you a long-term project to make your own love potion, but only of lower level at this stage, and you'll find a shortlist of those in your textbook or you may choose to research in the library. I'll be grading them after the half-term holidays so be ready with them!"

Katsuki found himself in the library that day, dubiously avoiding the librarians out of trauma. He ignored the fact that Midoriya and Kirishima were on the other side of the bookshelf because right now, Katsuki was not Robot and he didn't wanna cause a scene with fucking Deku in the middle of the library of all places.

"The guy totally fancies youuuuu-"

"He doesn't! How could you even think that, there are no signs!" God, even just his voice was grating. Katsuki was about to punch a wall. And who was this idiot with no tastes who fancied fucking Deku?

"He goes starstruck around you. Didn't you say you're always sharing these cute looks, it's whipped stuff!!"

"He has a really nice way with mandrakes..."

"See, the perfect guy for you!"

"He's a muggleborn, isn't he?"

"Okay, keep it quiet from your parents and you won't be killed!"

Katsuki might have smiled the tiniest tiniest bit, though it quickly turned into a frown as he realised he was eavesdropping and he hadn't meant to.

"Honestly, there are so many cute guys in our year."

"Yeah? Like who?"

"You're cute, and your guy's cute, and you know Bakugou from Slytherin, Mina's friend? I never get more embarrassed in the presence of a pretty dude than with him..."

"What- Bakugou? You mean Kacchan?" Katsuki was so about to let him have it, just watch.

"I know you guys don't get along but like...his damn stoic cute Adonis face...and he's just so cool even if he's not always nice, what else am I supposed to think?"

It took way too long for Katsuki to overshadow his hatred for Deku with the realisation that Kirishima had said his name, meaning they were talking about him and he was suddenly Adonis and by the time he had, they were on another subject. Katsuki decided that his best bet for not combusting anytime soon was getting the fuck out of there.

He had never once thought he had a nice face. It was the type of thing he barely even thought about with other people, let alone himself. Now he couldn't stop looking at himself in every reflective surface he could and he felt like a vain idiot.

"Oh, KitKat, you egg, people say that about you all the time," Mina giggled when Katsuki asked her about it, and he blinked.

"Wait, huh? Really?"

"You got tons of love letters last year, right?"

"Like, twelve."

"That's so many! Don't they say you look handsome?"

"This guy said I looked pretty."

Mina grinned. "So is that making you feel weird, or...do you like it? That's probably what's making you feel like this then."

"Do I need to call him pretty?" Katsuki asked, genuinely wondering. "Would that make this less strange? Like give and take?"

Mina's grin turned more smirkish now. "I don't know, do you think he's pretty?"

Before he'd even processed the question, his mouth was saying, "Yes," and he froze. "Wait, the fuck?"

Mina wrapped an arm around Katsuki's shoulders, smiling at him sweetly with a curious glint in her eyes. "So, do you feel better?"

Katsuki couldn't answer, and before he could stress over this some more, some dumb Ravenclaw (absolute oxymoron) was calling out, "ASHIDOOOO!" with his posse going like "ASHI ASHI ASHIDO" and popular Mina's attention was gone. Katsuki was left to simmer alone which was the worst thing ever.

"Hey, Albus!" Katsuki called out as he walked down the corridor, having caught sight of the third year who turned around, looking scared for his life.

"H-Hi!"

"You're not planning to sneak out tonight, are you?" Katsuki asked and Albus blinked.

"I-I know I gave the cloak to you once but it actually kinda belongs to James more than me. He's got it right now, if you wanna ask him?"

Katsuki deflated immediately. "Seriously? He's so fucking annoying, man, I don't even wanna look at-"

"Look at who?"

Katsuki growled quietly, turning around to see James looking at him with narrowed eyes, trying to puff his chest out because he always did that around taller people. Katsuki only looked at him blankly before walking off, saying a loud, "Fuck off, nark, and don't bully your brother," and James was left wounded. But before Katsuki had even gone very far, a hand was suddenly tugging on his cloak and he turned to see Kirishima. Wow. Why was he seeing so much of this guy? If Aphrodite was messing with him, Katsuki wasn't up for it.

"Come with me," Kirishima said, winking clumsily and Katsuki wondered if that was his dumb way of trying to be smooth. Kirishima grimaced at himself but he still started rushing off somewhere and all Katsuki could do was follow. Well, it wasn't all he could do but now he was kind of intrigued with that cryptic awkward opening. Turned out they were heading to the Gryffindor common room and the instant they got there, the Fat Lady was screaming out, "No unauthorised students in the-"

"Please, please, look, he's my boyfriend," Kirishima said so normally, so convincingly as he curled his hand around Katsuki's that for a second, Katsuki himself almost believed it. But that didn't mean shit as he dug his nails into Kirishima's hand so hard that the guy should definitely be writhing about on the floor right about now. For some reason, he wasn't and it wasn't satisfying at all. "So, help a hopeless romantic out?"

"Ooh, Eijirou, I thought you were hopeless in general! I've never seen you come here with someone before."

"Hey, that's mean!" Kirishima yelped, side-eyeing Katsuki who was looking away to hide his amused smirk. "Just, please? I wanna show him around a little. We're not gonna be there long at all."

"Goodness gracious, fine, but you better stick to your word. Something akin to half an hour, max!" the painting ordered, crossing her arms (though she winked at Kirishima who shied into himself a little). "Password?"

"Gormless."

The painting swung aside, and Kirishima jumped over the side while still holding onto Katsuki's hand, causing him to yell out as he was pulled into the wall and ended up bashing his head, and Kirishima's eyes grew massive as he looked back. "Bakugou! Bakugou, God, God- I'm so sorry, wait-"

"FUCKING LET GO OF ME!"

Kirishima did so immediately and Katsuki clambered into the common room, falling to the floor neatly on the other side and he breathed out, blowing some hair out of his face. The hole was closed in seconds and Katsuki slowly got up onto his feet, clutching his head gently and Kirishima's concerned, self-loathing look was definitely making it hurt more. Katsuki decided against killing him, just to get rid of that stupid expression. "Why am I here, you dipshit..."

"I was gonna help you steal the invisibility cloak," Kirishima mumbled, looking infinite percent less bubbly. But Katsuki's interest was piqued once more.

"Really?"

"Yeah. James is great but he swapped my bag of normal caramel jellybeans with vomit-flavoured ones, so I wouldn't mind doing this to him."

Katsuki's anger was basically gone completely, and that seemed to make Kirishima light up again. "Then go already, why're you still here?"

"Are you okay?"

"It's fine, just fucking go."

Kirishima pouted but didn't waste a second, running up the stairs and Katsuki followed but far slower because he felt weird being here. Like his insides knew that it wasn't right for him to be around all this red and gold that was so present, it was almost suffocating. Kirishima looked back at him since he had reached the landing quick and he tilted his head, as if to ask 'you okay?' once again. Katsuki wasn't sure of the answer, so he pretended he hadn't seen.

"I room with him and Izuku so this is far too easy. He's not the type to keep his belongings well-hidden either," Kirishima said with a small laugh, leading Katsuki down the corridor. Katsuki only nodded absently, staring at the red doors. "The girls' doors are gold if you're wondering. Hey, why do you want the cloak anyway?"

"I wanna go to the library."

"Ooh, restricted area, huh?"

"No. Just the normal parts of the library, but after curfew. Don't wanna get caught again."

"What happened the first time?"

"Screaming, detention. I nuke the librarians every day in my mind."

Kirishima looked a little frightened by that but it was dropped as they finally got to a dorm and went inside after Kirishima got the door open after numerous tries, smiling at Katsuki apologetically. "I keep embarrassing myself in front of you, huh?"

"Because I'm pretty," Katsuki said, stating the question as he pointed at Kirishima and tried to discern the guy's reaction. Kirishima's eyes grew big yet again, and he turned as red as his hair as he stammered out, "U-Uh, wha- mayb- wait, no?! Don't put me on the spot like that!"

"Just curious, don't get embarrassed it's making it fucking weird," Katsuki mumbled as he turned, looking around the room and he found what must be Kirishima's corner. Lots of shoes were in shelves and posters of artists that he couldn't recognise were there, and some he did because they were Japanese or Korean and famous even to wizarding folk. It made him smile, inwardly. But he didn't say anything since Kirishima seemed to be busy looking for the cloak, so Katsuki turned around and felt a little impressed with how clean Kirishima's space was.

"I don't like being a nuisance," Kirishima said, almost like he had read Katsuki's mind. "Like, cleanliness wise. Ma's knocked that into me."

"I didn't ask."

"I know!"

The door was being opened then and Katsuki didn't heed much mind to it, wanting to stare at the posters more until all of a sudden, Kirishima was pouncing on him, knocking them both onto the bed. Katsuki's initial reaction was to scream out a whole string of cuss words but they just wouldn't come out as they rolled about faster than apparition and finished with Katsuki hovering above Kirishima, pinning him down to the bed in the way he was holding onto him so tight. Katsuki's eyes were wide, heart beating too fast and Kirishima quickly hissed at him, "Act normal!" as the door was opened and a soft voice yelped, "Oh! Holy woah, Kiri, in our dorm?!"

"Ha, sorry, Midoriya," Kirishima laughed cheekily, so breezy in his acting that Katsuki was a little stunned. "Couldn't help it."

"Wha- Kacchan, is that you?!" Midoriya gasped in surprise and Katsuki winced at the mere sound of his voice, about to get up until his foot caught on the blankets and he fell onto Kirishima completely, making the former let out a small 'oof' as he caught Katsuki who wasn't quite sure what was happening. He had his chest pressed against a boy's, the same boy had his arms wrapped around his torso, their noses were literally touching, and Katsuki was short-circuiting.

Kirishima really did look pretty.

Fuck.

Fucking Deku seemed to be buttered up by that, saying a sweet, "Awe, you guys are cute. Though this is so so unexpected. You've got to be dating, right, you never told me about this, Kiri? Oh when you talked about him in the library, I should've known...oh my God, Kacchan dating someone, I'm- wow!!"

Kirishima opened his mouth to answer but Katsuki didn't want to know what dumb lie he'd come up with now. He just quickly took the dark cloak under the guy's arm and clambered off of him, running past Deku (not without knocking their shoulders as hard as he could) and out of the dorm, and he never slowed down his pace even at the sound of Kirishima calling his name. He ran out of the common room, straight to the Slytherin one but someone was stopping him before he got there. Katsuki was about to scream, and burn down this whole fucking school until he recognised the long lean arms, the worried voice.

"Bakugou, what's wrong?"

Katsuki only shook his head, fists clenched and face red and for some reason, Sero gathered him closer, not quite a hug but maybe half of one, while patting his head. What the fuck? What was happening? Why was this making Katsuki feel better? Was this some spell?

Still wondering what the hell was going on, Katsuki rested his head lightly on Sero's shoulder as he tried to think straight and all he realised was, he was doing an intimate friendship touchy thing. It felt nice, though he'd never fucking do it again. Maybe. Well, if it felt this nice then... "You good?"

Katsuki nodded morosely, and he didn't know why he let Sero ruffle his hair. It seemed like a thousand of his ten thousand walls he put around him had come down in these last ten minutes, and he didn't like it. It made him remember that even he could get weak, and Katsuki always tried his hardest never to think about that because it was the one thing he couldn't change, no matter how hard he tried. "Let's go to the dorms. I'm sure I can smuggle Denki and Mina in too, and let's just talk, alright?"

"Talking is fucking dumb-"

"Doesn't matter, we can do all the talking if you want. Just be there. You'll feel better."

Katsuki for some reason found himself begrudgingly agreeing, mostly to get that stupid worried expression off of that soy sauce face, and then Sero was letting go of him and rushing off while yelling that he'd meet him there. Of course Katsuki trusted him, silently. Now if he could just calm himself down then all would be good, but what definitely didn't help was when he heard Kirishima calling out his name again, because the dumbass seemed to think it would be a good idea to come down this far when Katsuki didn't really think he could handle seeing him for a few hours. Or days. Years. Ever. 

"Look, please, I'm so sorry!"

Katsuki didn't answer, or listen to anything else the idiot had to say. He'd gone too far, so why would he have to hear out someone like that?

He just said the password for his house and went inside, leaving Kirishima to come to a helpless halt.

-

It was eleven pm when Katsuki sat cross-legged on the floor of the library, invisibility cloak over him and a book and lantern on the floor. It felt nice, serene, being here like this, and the added spark of mischief didn't hurt either.

Valita - Love Potion

Very recently made in 1998. Designed for Valentine's Day, though doesn't have to be for that purpose. When drank or injected, will make consumer believe they are dating the giver. Normal circumstances of a relationship with the taker, no over-the-tops unless their personality allows it. Lasts seven days, specific hours depending on dose. Too much can make the person experience vertigo at most, too little will not have the desired effect. Read ingredients and dose requirements overleaf.

Well. That sounded good enough. Maybe he'd give a sachet to Todoroki too since the guy wanted to know what it was like to date someone or better yet, slip him some in his sleep and watch him fall in love with a broomstick and they'd run- no, fly away into the sunset together until- fuck it's way too late, I've lost brain cells. Won't I have to make the broomstick give it to him too if the consumer's supposed to fall for the giver? I know...transfiguration. Watch out for the sexiest broomstick you've ever seen. 

Ugh, lord, his brain was seriously messed at this point. He had the weirdest thoughts, he couldn't fly, he couldn't smell Amortentia. He was a bloody freak, wasn't he?

Some sort of shiver went through him when the love aspect suddenly made him remember that two people - well, a painting and a person - now thought that him and Kirishima were dating, a word that left a foul taste in Katsuki's mouth. Of course they weren't. Hell, Kirishima might be into guys but Katsuki didn't even know if he himself liked guys, or girls, or anything, and he had never thought about it but maybe he needed to figure this shit out. That Amortentia debacle had jolted him enough about this kind of thing.

Maybe with this love potion, he could...

No. No, that was- no way. Katsuki closed the book, thinking that that was fucking enough for one day.

 

Chapter Text

As an almost-but-he-really-did-try-his-best-secretly-delinquent who liked to do his projects as  early as he could so he didn't have to worry about them, it was the worst kind of irony to be interrupted when he was on such a roll.

"Bakugou?"

Katsuki yelled out, accidentally dropping the herb and he was so glad it didn't go into the actual pot. He heard Kirishima stifle a laugh that Katsuki was about to throw him for before quickly stopping, and he looked ashamed as he said next with a red face, "S-Sorry, didn't mean to startle you."

"The fuck you want. How do you even know my name? Stalker," Katsuki grumbled as he started checking the herb carefully to make sure it wasn't injured, and Kirishima's aura seemed perplexed. Rightfully so, since of course the guy knew his name. Everyone knew his fucking name. 

"I...oh, I mean, you're in some of my classes. And Mina talks about you a bit. Midoriya does sometimes too. And other people-"

"They're stalkers too."

"Probably. I'm sorry about yesterday."

"Don't fucking care. It's fine."

"I know but I'm really-"

"Why did you have to do that?" Katsuki hadn't meant to sound so vulnerable, and he added a quick 'tch' at the end to even things out. Kirishima didn't seem to notice anything.

"I-I- well, I didn't know if it would be James or Midoriya walking in and James is like obviously a no-no with what we were doing so I'd have to think up an excuse, and Midoriya's really against pranks and stealing and stuff, Iida's influenced him like that." Katsuki didn't know who the fuck Iida was. If it sounded familiar, he was too preoccupied trying to keep up his stoic uncaring image. "So I just- it was the first thing I thought of. I'm sorry."

"Okay. You can go now," Katsuki dismissed immediately as he cut the herb up and dropped a tiny piece in, smiling triumphantly when a puff of smoke came out of the pot, and Kirishima seemed to be quiet for a very long time before he said a small, "Okay." Katsuki soon heard footsteps leading away from him.

Katsuki picked up a leaf, staring at it. "That went well, right?"

Katsuki was sure the leaf was saying yes, and he felt content as he crushed it in his hand.

Though he knew what he should have said.

'I'm not good with any kind of contact so it made me hypersensitive.'

'I can barely even get close to my friends like that. Even my family.'

'I find normal situations hard. So of course something like that would lead to me having an outburst, you fucker.'

But he hadn't said any of that and the moment was over now anyway. Katsuki and Kirishima were no longer affiliated in any way other than Robot and that was Katsuki's comfort zone at this point, because even something like that was pushing it and it was all he wanted to be comfortable with, all he knew how to be comfortable with. He knew that was the case when he was setting off to meet up with Albus to give him back the cloak but he saw Kirishima sitting on a set of stairs at six pm, legs drawn together as he just looked down mindlessly. Katsuki frowned, just staring at him for a moment.

The heck was wrong with this guy? Why was he suddenly always sad, hadn't he been this beacon of happiness for five years straight? In the corners of his memory, Katsuki remembered flashes of red hair and bright smiles, of the guy who'd mess up in the few classes they'd had together in the past years when he was called on for an answer but always grin nonetheless, saying 'I'll try my best to do better next time!'. Katsuki even remembered trying to tell him the answer once in fourth year, but Kirishima had turned red the instant they made eye contact and he was rendered so useless that Katsuki almost blew him up. Ever since, Katsuki had labelled him a dumbass, a sunshine dumbass. And Katsuki hated change, so seeing a sunshine dumbass looking so withdrawn really wasn't helping.

He hid below a lower set of stairs without having to think twice as he called out a stark, "Kirishima."

Because somehow, disguise made him something that he actually usually wasn't. Reckless. He was a loudmouth, he fought back, but he never did anything if he knew he couldn't win (which was barely ever which was pretty nice) because he was smarter than that, and he didn't get involved in things that weren't his business. But here he was now, doing something that might ruin him. Maybe he didn't mind being ruined, if it was Kirishima who did it. He knew it wouldn't be so bad that way as it might be with some of the other people he knew, though it still didn't mean he wanted it to happen. If he had it his way, he'd be a counsellor in secret forever.

Kirishima jolted, looking around everywhere before he seemed to come to a realisation and he sank back down. "Right, you always stay hidden..."

"Lessons finished two hours ago, didn't they?"

"I guess."

"Why are you here?"

"Just thinking."

Katsuki was either bold or just absently stupid as he stepped aside, wanting to be able to see Kirishima who had his face in his hands, his cheeks squishing against them slightly and he seemed fed up. Katsuki knew there was a massive chance Kirishima could glance down and see him, but he couldn't really look away, nor did he care in this moment of time. 

"Hope it's healthy thinking."

Kirishima snorted, smiling down at the stair beneath him. "Only you would say that instead of 'about what', huh?"

"If I wanted to know what people were thinking, I'd become a Leglimens. It seems intrusive as hell so I'd rather fucking not."

"I thought it sounded rather cool but if you say it like that..."

"I always think," Katsuki said, matter-of-fact rather than sad because he already knew this, he did. "-that I really wouldn't like everything I hear when I'm around other people."

"Hm? Why's that?"

"Well, there's a massive chance they could be thinking about me."

Kirishima's eyebrows furrowed, his smile completely slipping as he tried to figure the hidden meaning of the words, and Katsuki quickly hid back under the staircase when Kirishima stood up, as if he wanted to fight. Katsuki cursed silently, wondering why he was letting himself sound vulnerable again. Because he wasn't. He definitely wasn't the kind of insecure for it to be a worry because he sang his own praises every fucking day, and it wasn't like he was really hurting...well, not like Kirishima was anyway. He just knew that the world wasn't kind. There would always be people saying bad things about him, especially with the way he was.

"Hey, don't put yourself down like that. I would think the best things about you."

"If you knew me you fucking wouldn't."

"Why would I dare think badly about a considerate dude who's always there when I need him?"

Katsuki wanted to scoff but he suddenly couldn't suppress a smile and it was disgusting. He crossed his arms, feeling a little dizzy and it was probably the charms on his voice, then something kind of hit him, making his head whirl a little bit more. If he wasn't as smart as he was, he wouldn't have caught it.

"Did you say dude?"

"Oh, I totally know you're a guy," Kirishima said brightly, and the sound of shoes hitting wood again and again started igniting Katsuki's panic receptors. "I hugged you, I could feel your form! And I could tell you're my height, or a bit taller than me? Which I really didn't expect. Hey, now there's four clues, I know about your age, height, ethnicity, gender, and house. Woah, is that too much?"

"Yes," Katsuki squeaked out in the worst voice crack the world had ever witnessed, and the charms made it sound like he was a dying unicorn so he quickly cleared his throat.

"Awe, it's not like I'm smart enough to figure out who you are anyway. Maybe I won't try to do it on my own, so the full reveal can be amazing!"

Kirishima's voice was getting terrifyingly closer, as well as more teasing, and Katsuki sucked in a breath before throwing the invisibility cloak over himself. It was then that Kirishima carefully peeked into the space where Katsuki was, eyes scanning all around and Katsuki's lungs were going to burst.

"Say something."

"No."

Kirishima frowned and Katsuki swore that for a second, Kirishima's eyes washed over him. But then they kept moving. "Did you use a voice-thrower or something? Ugh, of course you did. You're so clever and all."

"Hell yeah I am," Katsuki snarled even though he really hadn't done that and Kirishima leant against the side of the stairs, resting his chin on the newel post. He looked so small, probably because he was wearing his robes for once and they really kind of drowned him. It made Katsuki want to smile, and he took a while to really notice that Kirishima was looking in his direction. Even if he couldn't see him. Katsuki felt grossly warm from the look that almost seemed fond.

"Robot?"

That stupid nickname. Katsuki was the one who did nicknames, not this guy. "What..."

"You've got to tell me who you are before the half-term holidays. Or if that's no good, then...ooh, Christmas? I'll beg!"

"That's not how this works," Katsuki growled, though his eyes widened when he realised with a start that his voice was slowly becoming more human. He had never talked to Kirishima for this long - the charm must be wearing off. "I need to go-"

"Wait," Kirishima said quickly, calling it out but it was almost quiet, and Katsuki looked at him expectantly. He was pouting and it clung to Katsuki's heart, what the fuck- "At least, tell me one more thing about you. Please?"

Katsuki thought that might not be so bad. "I go to the playing fields at night sometimes."

Kirishima's eyes widened just a little. "Really? So do I!"

"I know. I watch you fly sometimes, 'cause, you really know your way with a broom. Wait, that sounds weird, I mean- you're just really fucking good at flying, I guess, dunno."

It surprised Katsuki when Kirishima turned a little pink, resting his cheek against the newel to hide his face more and really, his face was more squishy than it looked. "Thank you."

"See you later."

"I'll...hear you later."

Katsuki stayed completely silent, even holding his breath just in case so that Kirishima would think that he had left. It seemed to work as Kirishima slowly straightened up, coughing a little before walking off, head hanging. Katsuki watched him go, though his eyes couldn't get very far before a wall blocked his view, and he slowly took off the cloak and let out a loud exhale.

Now Albus was really going to be wondering where he had got to but Katsuki wasn't too worried, because it wasn't like third years like that guy had lives to get on with anyway.

-

"Hey, Kacchan?"

Katsuki looked up from his soup to see fucking Deku having swept into the seat next to him, smiling. Katsuki looked around and a lot of people on his table seemed to be looking at the extra addition in awe or disbelief, even both, and Katsuki didn't blame them. Fucking Deku and the popularity he didn't deserve. Katsuki really did hate him, even if they were supposed to be on civil terms now. He still liked to pretend like he was going to fuck him up sometimes just to see him shit his pants, though, even though it was getting slowly less fun the stronger and older Deku got. Well, growth was good, Katsuki had to admit. They were both growing, and Katsuki could hold grudges but they didn't need to be to the point that it was toxic anymore.

Besides, Katsuki hadn't properly beaten anyone up since third year, but that was a different story.

"What's, uh...up?"

"Just wanted to say sorry about the other day," Midoriya said, catching Katsuki's spoon when it accidentally slipped out of Katsuki's hands because he was sometimes the worst multitasker in the world. Midoriya sent him another smile again, full of radiance and sunshine and Katsuki grimaced.

"Don't care."

"Whatever you and Kiri are doing, if it's dating or you guys are really close friends, I'm more than happy for it. It's none of my business, I just get a bit alert since I care about him a lot and all. And you, I care about-"

"WAIT, BAKUGOU AND KIRISHIMA?!" someone yelped from down the table and Katsuki instinctively hissed, trying to recognise the voice but then more words were circling from different ones, and Katsuki was sure that his ears were going to burst from the amount of times he heard Kirishima's name so he covered them, squeezing his eyes shut. The one time that his friends weren't here to eat with him was the one time he needed them to hold him back from killing an entire school, because irony always, always caught up with Katsuki.

He wanted to scream.

"Nothing's happening between us," Katsuki mumbled, but it was so quiet, no-one could have possibly heard him, and there was an arm on his back all of a sudden that made Katsuki terrified that it was some dumb nosy stranger - but it was just Deku, patting Katsuki's head gently. The fuck, did he really think he got that privilege? Katsuki slapped his hand away but the guy still had that dumb worried look on his face.

"You okay?"

"Didn't know you were such a dumbass loudmouth."

"I know, I'm so so sorry, rumours spread like fire here!" Midoriya said with fierce apology written all over his face, his fists clenched in front of him and Katsuki almost wanted to roll his eyes even though it was simply true. Even if Midoriya had said it quieter, someone would have heard and passed it on and on, or else the Fat Lady would have blabbed for sure. She probably would the instant the school started going back after this meal, so it wasn't like Katsuki even needed to blame Deku. So he brought his head up, about to snap at everyone to fuck off until all of a sudden, his protection squad were making monkey noises from behind him.

"WE WERE SUMMONED!" Kaminari yelled disgustingly loudly, brandishing his signature drumstick once again as Mina next to him was holding out her and Sero's wands threateningly in each hand, looking ready to fuck someone up. Todoroki and Sero were on either side of them, holding makeshift catapults while trying to look menacing (Todoroki had no expression and Sero looked constipated but it was the thought that counted). "FROM THE WORDS COMING OUT OF YOUR MEASLY MOUTHS, I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THAT YOU'RE ALL DEPLORABLY WRONG AND KATSUKI BAKUGOU IS A GROSS MISER WHO'LL BE FOREVER SINGLE! NOW GO BACK TO EATING, YOU MEANIES!"

"I actually hate you more than you can even imagine," Katsuki sneered lowly to Kaminari as Mina hugged him tightly from behind, though Katsuki didn't try to specifically get them to go away. Maybe he was a little proud because he'd taught Kaminari well (hopefully he could move on to better insults than 'meanie' though). Indeed, Kaminari looked mighty proud of himself as he wiped some sweat off his brow before gulping at the look the headmistress gave him. "Guessing you all came back from Quidditch practice, then. Don't say hi to fucking Deku."

Midoriya waved while Sero gave him a blatant 'what the hell are you doing here' look but Kaminari pushed his face out of the way, smiling at Midoriya. Katsuki took it back, he was never proud of this Pikachu git who never listened to him. "Nice to see you here, everything okay?"

"Oh yes, yes, just leaving!" Midoriya said quickly, getting up but when he turned around, he was met face-to-face with Todoroki whose eyes grew bigger when it happened, and Midoriya's expression mirrored his.

"U-Uh..."

"I'll move," they both said in unison, shifting mirroring each other so nothing had really happened and Todoroki winced, looking so done with himself while Midoriya laughed brightly in return, nudging Todoroki's shoulder. Todoroki looked a little remedied by that as he slowly raised a hand to rest on said shoulder, nodding uncertainly as Midoriya sent him a boisterous goodbye before leaving. And everyone was just staring at him.

"Sho has a cruuuuuush," Mina said quietly enough that the table wouldn't hear, wiggling her eyebrows and Todoroki frowned. Katsuki was about to flip the table. 

"He fucking what?" 

"But I don't. If Bakugou doesn't like him then I can't," Todoroki said with furrowed eyebrows and woah, Katsuki might actually hug him one of these days. 

"THAT DUDE HAS HIS PRIORITIES STRAIGHT!" 

"The world doesn't revolve around Katsuki, dude, just ignore him," Mina snorted while Kaminari and Sero dutifully nodded and Katsuki started a pyro-spell, ready for blood. "If you like him, go for it, why don't you!" 

"He's just good at fighting, and a lot of things, everyone knows that, I think he's brilliant. Nothing more."

No-one decided to argue with that, even though Katsuki thought that Todoroki had looked a different kind of star struck that was limited to being charmed by skills, from all the people he'd seen fall at fucking Deku's feet. But Katsuki couldn't judge, really, with his limited knowledge. God this was making him sick, love in real life could go jump off a cliff, except it made so many people happy that he wondered if it was exactly what Todoroki needed.

"So what's this business with Eiji, huh? He still plaguing you after the dorm incident?" Mina asked worriedly, slipping into the seat Midoriya had been occupying and Katsuki shook his head.

"It's not to do with- he didn't do anything, Deku was saying sorry about jumping to conclusions or whatever and he said it too loud or somethin'."

"Wow, that's it?" Mina asked with a raised eyebrow, glaring fiercely down the table and every Slytherin mildly looking immediately turned away. The only Hufflepuff with a death glare better than any Slytherin, Mina Ashido. "People suck."

"Todoroki," Katsuki said out of nowhere, and the boy himself looked at him, stunned from hearing his actual name. Katsuki was surprised himself. "Do you by any chance do good with Mandrakes?"

"Oh he's so good, I saw him handling them and I was like woah they don't want to bite his hand off?!" Kaminari fanboyed in amazement, and Katsuki inwardly sighed. Well, after this he'd never help any of them again which sounded like a good deal.

"Half n' Half, Deku likes you. I heard him talking about you in the library so go do something about it or I'll bite your bloody hand off."

Todoroki looked like he had been told that the world was going to end. "You're joking. Don't make fun of me like that."

"I'll drink a Truth Serum, I'll do an Unbreakable Vow, blah blah blah - I don't shit people, loser, do you know me?"

"Yeah, he's legit, Todo," Sero said in awe, and they all looked at Todoroki who was frozen in place, a look of pure trauma on his face. Katsuki was starting to think that maybe it wasn't a good idea to be this forward, because maybe Todoroki didn't even want it - but then the boy was looking at the floor, muttering a small, "Okay. Maybe...maybe."

"Here I was thinking you were both psychopaths but you're off getting your own Gryffindor boy-toys!" Kaminari cheered, throwing his arms in the air, and Katsuki was glad no-one bothered to help the guy when him and Todoroki pounced to attack. Pikachu'd dug his own fucking hole.

Gryffindor boy-toy... 

Thank Hecate Katsuki could pass off the red of his face for anger.

Chapter Text

Shoto was thinking about him again.

It was actually starting to get a little annoying.

He wished Midoriya didn't have to look at him so much. That had to be the worst of it all, out of the small touches to his arm or back, Midoriya's sweet noises of excitement at something, even Midoriya giving him compliments on his plants or fighting techniques. He knew that the better half of the time, Midoriya was doing it on purpose to try and get his attention. Shoto knew that because mostly when he caught Midoriya looking, the boy would light up and wave. But he knew that it was only mostly, because sometimes, Midoriya would quickly look away, and Shoto could swear that he'd see a lick of pink on his freckled skin.

So, that was it. Shoto really did think about him a lot, even just to wonder things like:

Is it really always me he looks at?

And Shoto was absolutely sure that Midoriya had to be doing the same thing to other people too, but he couldn't just go and conduct a survey on random people to find out. That would be weird.

Midoriya's eyes.

Now he was thinking about Midoriya's eyes.

He had always found eyes interesting, since he hated his own so much that he moved that energy towards liking other people's. Midoriya's was this light shade of green that changed with his emotions, bright when he was bright, dark when he was dark. They were so beautiful and that was why it got to Shoto so much when Midoriya looked at him. Having such pretty eyes on him made his heart beat too fast. 

It really is a crush, isn't it?

"Relationships are just, well, strange things," Mina said, and Shoto could only agree.

"I think I want to be in one."

"Trust me, they're not all rainbows and sunshine," Sero started saying until Kaminari was taking his breath away in an instant to prove him wrong, and Mina giggled at them. Shoto looked at them with a thoughtful frown, wondering how they did it. Hell, he didn't even know the story of how Sero and Kaminari had started it all, or if Kaminari's prestigious family were alright with him dating a halfblood Slytherin. But he remembered one time after a fight that had lasted so long that it worried all of them, they ended up fixing it with Kaminari throwing a lamp at Sero and yelling, "You know I don't care what house you're in, moron!"

That was what Shoto wanted. Someone to love him no matter what, because love was all he had ever wanted. Maybe minus the lamp. But he knew he was young and there were so many years left for him to find just anything, and he was okay with waiting. If only Sero and Kaminari didn't have to have their relationship so present in his—

"It might not be dating but you still have meeeeeee," Mina called out sweetly, hugging Shoto tight and attacking his neck with the fattest of kisses, leaving Shoto mildly amused. Though he didn't mind really as they ended up settling with Mina's arms around his waist, Mina's face in his neck and it made Shoto smile. Sometimes he never realised how close he was with everyone here until they did things like this, but Mina was different anyway. Shoto had known her since before he could remember.

"If you really wanna date, I know some people I could set you up with," Mina said gently and Shoto raised an eyebrow.

"What, like Jirou in third year? You know how bad that turned out."

"Okay to be fair, a relationship between two thirteen year olds isn't ever going to be the best thing, and Sho you were not who turned her lesbian, okay?" 

"My God..."

"And, you're old now! Or, older. And you're mature as hell, I know you are, I can't imagine you having a bad relationship!"

"It's okay, I'll...just go with the flow. I can wait a few years, or maybe someone will come to me? I don't know. It's not like I need love."

"Awe. Boring, but good mindset," Mina shrugged, then she pressed another big kiss onto Shoto's head that made him feel warm.

It wasn't long after school hours had ended that Shoto decided to go to the bathroom, feeling heavy after the long day. The closest one was at one of the ends of the buildings, near the common rooms, and they had to be the smallest one of whole school. It creeped him out a little with the high windows behind the too tall cubicles, drawing in malformed light, and the place was so dark, so grey. Who had thought it a good idea to make the colour scheme so drab?

Then again, bathrooms weren't really the place for colour and cheer, and Shoto could respect that.

He pushed open the door, making his way through and he stood in front of one of the sinks, opening the tap to splash some water onto his face. He wiped his face over his sleeve then pulled a case out of his pocket, and opened it up. His contacts. Hurt like hell to put in, but Shoto was thankful for them. The one he had in at the moment was starting to hurt his eye so it had to have something wrong with it, but instead of checking what, he just threw it away and took out another.

Careful...

Shoto winced before slapping his face and getting on with it. God, he knew he was thankful but he hated contacts. He'd get iris-modifying surgery one of these days, or maybe there was a spell for it.

He was so focused that he didn't notice the door open. He sighed when he failed to put the contact in first time, so he went to try again. But then he was freezing as a soft voice called his name.

"Todoroki...?"

The first thing Shoto thought about was how he must look. His eyes, where one was a surreal brown, and the other an electric blue that Shoto hated to death. And the thin plastic on his finger that obviously someone like Midoriya would notice. The brown contact.

Then the last thing, was how Midoriya was looking at him. Like he was seeing something more shocking than he ever had.

"Hey-"

And that was all Midoriya had time to say as Shoto ran right past him, fleeing out of the bathroom and the door made a loud clang behind him.

All he could do was just stand outside the bathroom for a moment, windswept, wondering if any of that had actually just happened. It seemed like a dream, or a hallucination. For sure. He was always so careful, he barely ever put his contacts in in a public school bathroom but he guessed he was too tired today. Midoriya had never looked at him like that - like he was frozen in terror, like he was seeing a different person. This was why he hid it. This was why.

People were scared of his kind.

Fuck. My contacts case.

Shoto was wincing as he slowly pushed the door open again. Midoriya was washing his hands, and his head snapped to the side to look at Shoto with wide eyes. Shoto didn't look at him.

"Don't worry, just left something behind..."

Midoriya stepped aside immediately even with his dripping hands and Shoto awkwardly bowed his head in thanks before walking over to get the case, and that was when Midoriya decided to say, "Todoroki?"

Shoto turned to look at him, and he was surprised by the sad look on Midoriya's face. "Yeah?"

"I'm sorry."

Shoto blinked, and stepped forward. "Sorry? For what?"

"You seemed so...worried..." Midoriya muttered, voice growing quieter the closer Shoto got to him. "Did I- did that happen? Or did I dream what I saw?"

Shoto didn't answer for a while, wondering if he should lie. "No. You didn't dream it."

Midoriya's eyes could get so big. "Oh...?"

"But would there be any chance you might forget?"

"I don't think so. Are- are you gonna obliviate me?"

"No, no, it's okay. I think. As long as you don't tell anyone."

Midoriya nodded quickly and Shoto smiled a little, saying a 'thank you' that sounded far too grateful and he saw Midoriya's ears turning red. Why was he so sweet? The next thing Shoto knew, he was excusing himself and leaving Midoriya alone again, his face coloured an embarrassing pink. Well, at least he hadn't run out this time and thrown all caution to the wind like an idiot.

So now someone else knew. So what? Were they going to stop being friends? Would Shoto have to give up this stupid, pointless adoration he had for Midoriya because if he could, he would have done it so much earlier. But now maybe he'd have to force himself. He knew he was scary, he knew Midoriya would hate him or at least fear him and it was only a matter of time before everyone knew. God.

Time to isolate himself again.

-

Midoriya didn't look at him as much since then but Shoto stupidly ended up thinking about him more than ever.

And now he had something else weighing on his mind.

Bakugou had said that Midoriya liked him.

"Half n' Half, Deku likes you. I heard him talking about you in the library so go do something about it or I'll bite your bloody hand off."

Talking about him? What on earth could Midoriya have been saying? Shoto didn't have any stand-out qualities per se, he was just pretty but even that wasn't great because he was so stoic. He could duel, but so could a lot of other people. Midoriya could have been talking about his flying? Wait. Bakugou had mentioned mandrakes. And of course, if Herbology Legend Izuku Midoriya could like Shoto for anything, it would be how he was pretty decent with plants.

He remembered the day before the bathroom incident, where Midoriya as per his subject prefect role was helping out and assisting the class. Shoto had been nursing a mandrake, keeping it quiet while he watered it. He didn't realise Midoriya was watching in awe for quite a while, until a starstruck voice said, "Have you had a lot of experience with them before?"

"A little. My sister likes them, but they don't like her. I don't know why they like me," Shoto shrugged. He saw Midoriya's smile in the corner of his eye and he tried to keep down his own. "Miss said something about how I 'emit security'."

"Yeah, I agree. You've got the kind of resilient seriousness that's perfect - do you have a pet?"

"No."

"Ah, you should get one! I can completely imagine a cat curling around your neck," Midoriya said brightly, leaning over the table slightly and resting his chin in his palm. Shoto looked at him, at his rolled up sleeves and light eyes and soft smile, and his heart was floating yet again. This crush was going to be the end of him.

"Don't you think you should be helping people who actually need help?"

"No, I like you more," Midoriya teased and Shoto rolled his eyes, splashing some water onto Midoriya's face that had him yelping.

"Go."

"Alright, alright. Have a nice day if I don't come round again!"

"You too."

Shoto might just be the biggest idiot ever if that 'I like you more' meant something very different to what he had thought it did. But he was sure it didn't. He had heard Midoriya say sweet things to other people too so Shoto wasn't special, and he wasn't about to kid himself that he was just because of something Bakugou of all people said.

Bakugou never ever lied, though.

It was at lunch that Shoto decided to ambush Midoriya. By ambush, read finding Midoriya sitting in the gardens, glasses on as he read one of the biggest books Shoto had ever seen, and he stealthily took the seat behind Midoriya so they were back-to-back and all he could do was think frantically in trepidation.

How do I do this?

He turned his head just a tiny bit and his breath hitched quietly. Midoriya's face was so close, a small smile on his lips as he flipped the page he was reading over. He had one arm over the back of the bench between him and Shoto and he was sitting cross-legged. He looked damn adorable, and Shoto had no idea how to do this.

Come on, Shoto thought, slapping his face a little. He had no clue why he always did that but it really worked. You can do this.

Though by the time Shoto was about to ask, Midoriya was already looking at him, blinking in surprise. "Todoroki?"

Shoto froze before he mentally slapped himself this time to get going. "Hello."

"I've never seen you here! I really come here a lot."

"It's really nice, I can see why."

Midoriya seemed to be about to take his glasses off but Shoto stopped him, before instantly bursting into flames (not really but at the least he was blushing a lot) when Midoriya looked confused. "Y-You look really, nice in your glasses."

"If you think that both the garden and I look 'really nice' then maybe your judgement is a little off," Midoriya said with a laugh and Shoto nodded.

"Yeah, you're way better than the garden."

Midoriya's smile faltered. "I meant the other way around."

Shoto was sure his face looked like Sero's after two sips of firewhiskey. "R-Right." Translation: I want to die. "Well, aside from that. I'm meant to be...asking you something."

"Are you?" Midoriya gasped in faux awe, turning around fully and Shoto narrowed his eyes. "Right now? Sure doesn't seem like it, or maybe my hearing's bad."

"Shut up," Shoto muttered, feeling his blush worsen now, especially when Midoriya reached out to pat his head like he was a dog. He wasn't a dog, he was a human who could, hopefully, follow his gut and ask a simple, simple question. It should be so easy. "Well, it's a small thing."

"That's great. Small things are gre-"

"Are you scared of me?"

"No, Todoroki," Midoriya said immediately, no hesitation whatsoever. Shoto's heart skipped a beat. "Don't you dare think that. Please."

"But you saw-"

"I know what I saw. I saw you looking beautiful."

Shoto was sure his soul had left him by now, and it was even worse that Midoriya was also turning beet red now, covering his face with his hands. "I-I mean- gah! I didn't mean to be so forward, that was- so stupid! I'm not hitting on you or anything! It was just- the truth! I just...blue, was it? The colour of your other eye? It was really pretty and I mean it. Everything about you is..." When Midoriya was on a roll, it seemed like all his nervousness left him. Suddenly he was reaching up and touching Shoto's face, and the latter's eyes grew wide as the soft touch met his skin. "Your scar, your hair, your eyes...I don't care why, I don't care how, it just adds up to you being just amazing."

"Midoriya, please go to Hogsmeade with me," Shoto said out of nowhere, clutching Midoriya's wrist and the latter went back to his embarrassed state, his hands flailing helplessly as he burned brighter than the sun.

"I-I-I- w-what?! Why?!"

"I love you."

"WHAT-"

"I don't love you but you're so nice to me that I have to return the favour." Good save. "Let me buy you everything there."

"Todoroki, no!" Midoriya yelped, still trying to get away from Shoto who was more adamant than he had ever been. "You're friends with Kacchan, you can't, if he knows about this then he'll-"

"He's fine with this."

"HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW THAT-"

"Midoriya, please. Allow me this."

Midoriya frowned, but it seemed like his resolve was crumbling the more he looked at Shoto's begging (or as best as he could get) expression. "Fine...I guess...yeah, I would actually love to go with you. When?"

"After the holidays. Thank you so much."

"Anything for you," Midoriya sighed quietly, his voice sounding almost shy but Shoto must have been imagining it. "And...hey. Can I ask one thing?"

"Sure."

"I've just been thinking recently, about you and who you hang out with...like doesn't Kacchan target you just as much as me in Defence Against the Dark Arts? Are you guys really friends? And his squad, Kaminari and Ashido and Sero...they're all really nice people, but they don't seem like your scene? I'm not trying to offend, I'm just curious!"

"I wasn't actually friends with them until third year. I knew Mina Ashido beforehand, as does everyone apparently, but I wasn't acquainted with any of the others."

"Really?"

"Yes. Before that I was mostly alone, and occasionally talked with some classmates. But no-one approached me because back then, I didn't hide the fact that I was half-Veela."

"Oh," Midoriya mumbled sadly, before he blinked. "Wait...I've known you since before then, and I've never known you were- you've always had your contacts, haven't you?!"

"Wait a moment."

"Oh okay."

"I was bullied because of the fact, badly. I just took it because I thought it was right, since even my mother, a tamed Veela, hated that I existed, let alone that I had inherited her traits. She caused this scar you see and then I knew, it wasn't good to be this way, I deserved all the hate I got. Then one day in third year I duelled with Bakugou in Defence Against the Dark Arts and almost beat him, and right when he was holding his sparking hand to my head, he said, "Who the fuck are you and why am I only now hearing about you?""

"Sounds like Kacchan," Midoriya said proudly, flushing probably because of the rare phenomenon of Shoto swearing. Shoto nodded, and let the rest of the memory run through his mind just as it left his mouth. 

He remembered it all like it was yesterday, the way it hadn't even been a week before the next time he was bullied and Bakugou came out of nowhere, kicking the bullies asses and yelling in Shoto's face, "WHY THE FUCK AREN'T YOU DOING ANYTHING, CAN'T YOU FIGHT?!" All Shoto could do was look at him and say, "But I'm a bad person. I wasn't supposed to exist, I wasn't supposed to have this." 

Yet instead of getting weirded out, instead of leaving, Bakugou grabbed Shoto's arm and slammed it into the wall behind him. Shoto winced, thinking desolately that the only person who had stood up for him was going to hurt him too, just like everyone else. But then he heard words that changed his life. 

"Bullshit, being what you are doesn't mean shit in either a good or a bad way, do you even use it for worse? Fuck no! In our battle you didn't use your stupid charms once, you beat me fair and square. There's nothing bad about you.' 

"I couldn't believe him fully though," Shoto said, his hand reaching out to stroke a snowdrop growing up through a crack in the ground beneath them. "And he seemed to accept that as best he could. He asked me what I wanted and I said for no-one to think I'm part-Veela, so we performed mass obliviation together and he bought me contacts. We've just been together ever since."

Shoto suddenly realised Midoriya was tearing up. "Wha- M-Midoriya, it's fine-"

"I just- wish I could have helped too. And Kacchan being nice, it's so, that makes me so happy, and- I just really think you're beautiful, Todoroki!" Midoriya wailed, slowly rubbing his eyes as the tears kept coming. Shoto couldn't believe this was the same guy who fought so hard in duels that he usually broke bones.

"Don't cry, Midoriya, please. It's nothing to be upset over."

"B-But it is because you still hide it, which means you don't like it and that makes me so sad because...all these years, I've thought you're so brilliant. You don't deserve insecurities and things you hate about yourself. You're worth so much more..."

"Hey." Shoto rested a hand on Midoriya's head, and the latter looked up at him with teary, squinting eyes and a puffed face dotted with freckles and red. Shoto realised then and there that this boy was someone he truly had to cherish. "It's fine. I'm okay."

They shared a smile for a moment, and it was amazing. Shoto could feel his heart soaring and he had done it all from scoring a date with one of the most popular boys in school, had that same boy call him beautiful, had him cry over him? But something still felt missing. He wanted to do something else, but he didn't know what. He just didn't want to stop talking to Midoriya yet.

"Todoroki?"

Shoto nodded, glad to hear Midoriya's voice again. "Yes?"

"I hope we can be better friends now."

"We will be, for sure."

"Gosh, you're so sweet," Midoriya laughed, then they were both flaring up again.

"A-Am I..."

"Y-You are..."

Then in a split second, Midoriya was reaching out and clasping Shoto's face, pulling it closer before gently kissing his cheek. Shoto's mouth dropped a little as he stared at Midoriya in starry awe and all Midoriya did was smile at him in the shiest, reddest way ever. Shoto slowly ended up smiling too, and knocked his forehead against Midoriya's which made the boy laugh.

I think he actually does like me.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

As that one type of person who used calendars for cup saucers, Katsuki felt a little stressed when Mina grabbed him by the shoulders and yelled right in his face, "Do you know what day it is today?!"

"...Sero's birthday?"

The said Sero thwacked Katsuki around the head, so Katsuki had to assume that he wasn't correct. Mina smiled amusedly, shaking her head that wasn't as obliterated as Katsuki's because damn, why did Sero have that much power when he looked so damn lanky? Katsuki was a little impressed. "No, silly, it's the sixth of October. This is the last school week before holidays!"

Katsuki said an 'ohhhh', nodding. Kaminari did a little happy dance before deflating so quickly that Katsuki got whiplash. The fuck was wrong with his friends. "Not that it doesn't mean it's one step closer to mock exams..."

Sero rubbed the guy's back sympathetically while Mina narrowed her eyes at Katsuki's robe, picking off some pieces of grass. "When on earth does someone like you go to the pitch?"

It was disgustingly hard to stop his smile when he remembered last night. Katsuki had just been lying under the bleachers, looking up through the gaps at the dark, softly lit night sky but then he heard someone opening the sports cupboard. He had slowly sat up, rubbing his head as he peeked through the slits only to see Kirishima hovering above the ground on a broom, casting a spell on his voice by the looks of it. Katsuki stared a little, wondering if the guy was going to fly any further until he got the shock of his life as Kirishima's amplified voice called out, "ROBOT, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'RE HERE BUT I HOPE YOU KNOW FROM NOW ON, I ONLY FLY TO IMPRESS YOU!"

Katsuki snorted, snickered a little at this fucking idiot who soared into the air with a crazed, "THIS ONE'S FOR YOUUUUUUUU!" before whirling straight into a loop. Katsuki laid his arms on the bleacher seats, resting his chin on them as he watched the guy be a comical firework in the air, so into his flying that there was probably nothing sweeter.

Katsuki was starting to realise just how easy it was for Kirishima to make him smile, and he didn't like it. Really.

"Hey, can I have a look at your potion. I'm intrigued, it's going well, right?" Mina asked brightly as one of the best at Potions in the year, even above Katsuki sometimes, and she was in love with everything about them from something as mundane as the viscosity to the hazards of the levels of acidity. Katsuki nodded.

"Yeah. But, do you know where I can get some rhubarb?"

Kaminari and Todoroki both looked up in unison. "Rhubarb? That's a rather...banal ingredient."

"It was created by a muggle-born, maybe that's why. And this is like one of the only love potions that actually have a taste, so." 

"Oh, 'cause they usually don't want the other person to know they're giving them something, right?" 

"Yeah, 'xactly. Guess rhubarb is aphrodisiac-ly though..."

"I'll get you some rhubarb," a bright voice said from behind them, and the four of them turned around to see fucking Deku looking inexplicably happy with Todoroki beside him. Though it was very easy to instantly zero in on how close they were, and then how they were arm-in-arm. The instant Kaminari wolf-whistled, Midoriya turned so red that Todoroki asked him if he needed to go to the nurse.

"Cool. Do it soon," Katsuki piped up a moment later, voice wary through everything that was happening and Midoriya tried to smile at him after he had got a hold of himself.

"No proble-"

"Is this why you weren't in the dorm when me and Bakugou woke up?" Sero asked Todoroki with a smirk, wiggling his eyebrows before yowling when all Todoroki did was raise a fist. He just had that much power. "I'M ONLY ASKIN-"

"Kirishima was off somewhere and I got lonely," Midoriya muttered, laughing nervously at how pathetic he sounded but it just had Mina and Kaminari cooing. "Didn't mean to steal him from you - you can have him back!"

"Oh. So I'm a possession now," Todoroki said and Midoriya's eyes widened as he tugged Todoroki closer, frantically shaking his head.

"You're not, you're not!"

"Midoriya, honey, I get that you're new when it comes to our Shoto so let me give you some information," Mina said like the wise old owl she really wasn't, folding her hands over each other. "Never take anything that Todoroki says seriously. And I mean anything. That's all!"

"Hey, that's not true," Todoroki said with furrowed eyebrows, trying to get at Mina while still keeping his arm in Midoriya's, and Midoriya beamed at him. There were too many feelings in his face when he looked at Todoroki, Katsuki thought, but then again, Deku was very emotive. Almost exaggerative. It made him sick- wait, he wasn't supposed to be getting angry, why did that always happen?

"I'll see you later, Todoroki," Midoriya said, squeezing Todoroki's arm before letting go with a big wave. Todoroki nodded, looking a bit crestfallen.

"See you."

"I'll get you your rhubarb, Kacchan!" Deku called out when he was already halfway across the hall and Katsuki nodded, replying, "YOUR DEADLINE IS TWO WEEKS, LOSER!" that was far too loud and had too many people staring at him. It didn't help when Mina tried to coddle him to her so-dubbed 'bosom', saying it was 'protection from the big and the bad' and Katsuki snarled that he didn't need fucking protection—

"You know, there's this rumour going around. People think we're some kinda Asian Mafia Spy Group," Sero said out of nowhere only a few minutes later and Katsuki choked on his drink while Mina and Kaminari slapped each other on weird reflex.

"Honestly, why be surprised? We're five Japanese kids of different houses but only really hang out with each other and in a place like the UK nonetheless," Todoroki said logically enough and Sero shrugged.

"People think we're recruiting Kirishima and Midoriya too."

"We live in the weirdest fucking generation."

-

Sometimes Katsuki would find himself thinking about something that he shouldn't be thinking about, and he'd have to vigorously force the thought out of his head. Assuming that even worked, it would just find its way back soon enough.

Kirishima's arms had been around him twice.

That was a weird way to word the two situations they'd been in, but that was the ultimatum of it. First, the sweeter of the two, with Kirishima's chest against his back, breath against his ear and a hug that held so much nervous trepidation from both of them that it had Katsuki ready to die back then. But then there was the second time, on the bed, where Katsuki had felt so confused and messed up, his head in a jumble and he remembered thinking that Kirishima was so pretty that it made him feel guilty. Guilty, because maybe anyone else would jump at the chance to be in the position Katsuki had been in when Kirishima looked like that but Katsuki had just wanted to run away and forget it ever happened.

Because worry shouldn't be marring a face like Kirishima's but Katsuki had overreacted enough to cause it.

Because he shouldn't be thinking of a macho Gryffindor beater sixth year as 'pretty'.

Maybe Katsuki was using the wrong words. Maybe he needed to reassess all of this, and get it off his mind once and for all. Luckily enough, the perfect (well, it was perfect but he still wished it never happened) opportunity was presented to him later that day when Katsuki found Kirishima and Midoriya having an actual argument in the late afternoon, in front of the Gryffindor common room entrance.

"So what am I supposed to say?"

"I just want you to care a bit more-"

"What do you mean care? There's nothing to care about. Who decided to make kids worldwide think that their intellect was able to be measured, nonetheless by stupid inked paper that's just information you're supposed to force into your brain-"

"Stop making this so deep! I just want you to get good grades, that's all! For your future-"

"My future isn't with wizardry, it's back home."

"You want to do muggle work?"

"Don't call it that like it's lesser, it's not! I don't need my life to be completely infused with magic. I wish I could have taken GCSEs instead of these stupid exams, because I know I belong out there more than here. But it's fine. I'll become a wrestler. Or a builder. Something without qualifications."

"What, so you hate the magic world?"

"Don't twist my words. I just don't belong here as much as other people do."

"Stop saying that. You belong here as much as everyone else. You can perform magic. You're smart-"

"It sure doesn't seem like that so don't lie to me."

"Yeah, fine. Think what you want but I'm sick of you putting yourself down so much and I'm too tired for this," Midoriya muttered, not letting Kirishima say another thing before he was saying the password. The painting swung to the side and Midoriya climbed inside to the common room, while Kirishima just stared after him in disbelief. Katsuki was almost sweating by this point after watching something so intense from two cinnamon rolls like that, but it was all he could do because he hadn't wanted to make himself known while going to his common room. And God, now Kirishima was walking off. He looked angry. Clenched fists, cheeks streaked red, gritted teeth.

Katsuki had two choices.

Just go to his common room and stay as a bystander.

Or go help Kirishima feel better.

And Katsuki was once again hit by his newfound policy of Kirishima's sadness being his responsibility.

Fuck, what kind of fate is this?

So he left, hastily placing spells on his voice box and he knew that this couldn't possibly be healthy yet he even added in a voice-thrower as he remembered what Kirishima had said last time they had talked.

"KIRISHIMA!"

"Robot, not the time," Kirishima growled, not turning around, no surprise, no nothing and Katsuki was a little stunned. He started to forget a little about being careful as he went after Kirishima.

"But it is, you fucker, just stop!" Katsuki called out and Kirishima blinked, pausing as he looked around confusedly.

"Where the hell are you?"

"Voice-thrower!"

"Ah, yeah...look, this is just none of your business-"

"I'm not saying it's any of my business," Katsuki cut in, twirling between pillars by this point. Maybe ballerina was a new career prospect. "The other times weren't my business either. I'm only here to make you feel better, don't you see that, idiot?"

"Why?"

"It's my fucking job!"

"No, it's not."

"I liked doing it the first time, so it is my job now and you're not allowed to bloody argue."

"No, I need a better reason than that. Why are you always here at the 'right' moments?"

Katsuki frowned at that. "I don't know...it's always a coincidence. Like...fucking fate, I don't know!"

Katsuki's ears picked up when Kirishima snorted a little, and things might have been looking up. Though Katsuki had to snap out of it after he realised that Kirishima was turning a corner so Katsuki bounded over before pulling back with a silent sharp breath when he saw that Kirishima had stopped just around the damn corner, leaning against the wall with his eyes closed. Katsuki tried to stay silent, hands against the wall as he tried not to think that there was just a corner between them. He didn't want to risk moving again, just in case.

"Well, if it really is fate, why can't you cast a spell that'll erase all these worries?" Kirishima muttered, sounding tired. Katsuki had no idea how to reply for a moment.

"Because there aren't any spells like that, moron-"

"I don't mean it like that. I mean, magic is for logic, and fate is for feelings. Except no-one can prove that fate is real, right? But you said you're like fate. So you should make me feel better."

"Do I not?" Katsuki asked, his voice sounding disgustingly small, a dying robot. But Kirishima blinked, quickly shaking his head.

"N-No, you do!"

"But not enough," Katsuki murmured, scoffing a little which seemed to stress Kirishima out even more. "I know I'm not good at this. My friends are always telling me I'm not."

"What?"

"Not- not in a bad way. And they help me by being there and including me in stuff and giving me scenarios to, help. I didn't want to accept their help, never did, I probably still don't 'cause I still feel a little weak whenever I do...but I mean, I honour truth like hell, so I gotta admit by now that I just really need it. I know I'm bad at interaction. I'm so fucking bad." Admitting this stuff out loud really kind of felt good. Like it really did feel like a load off his chest, like people always said. He felt lighter without having to carry around all this pride with him. Disguise really did make him so much more carefree...he should really start a worldwide discussion about anonymous therapy. Anonymously, of course.

"Hey, as far as I could tell, I wouldn't have realised. You can interact with me, can't you? You can tell when I'm feeling down, and you try to do something about it. You're brilliant. And I'm not trying to say you're not helping me enough, I just wanted to be weird and poetic 'cause I wanted to seem smart in front of you but it backfired...but, like that quote, 'life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.' I never asked for you, did I?"

Weird. "But what, you get me anyway?"

"Hell yeah, I do. And I'm lucky as hell," Kirishima mumbled, sounding shy now. It made Katsuki think that maybe Kirishima had planned this for the next time they spoke, planned memorising the quote and telling Katsuki stuff to let him know that he appreciated him (and all that stuff about wanting to seem smart, what the fuck?) and it made Katsuki turn a little pink. He couldn't remember the last time he had ever blushed and it kinda hurt so never again. "What do you think? Do I need to care about NEWTs?"

"It's always your call," Katsuki said, trying to think as best as he could because he needed to give advice here. "It's over a year 'til you do the proper ones, right? And even if you don't want to go into wizardry work, back-up plans are always good nonetheless because this is a world you belong to even a little just because of the one damn fact that you possess the ability to perform magic, sorry but even you can't argue with that. And don't you just wanna do well for yourself? To prove to yourself that being in school all this time has been, you know, worth it? That's what's keeping me going. I don't want all these hours to be a waste and I wanna get super far. I'm gonna be one of the biggest names in this fucking world, and not because of my parents. School's a stepping stone I have to take if I'm gonna be the kind of legendary I wanna be."

"You look so beautiful when you talk like that."

Katsuki froze for a moment. Then slowly tore his eyes away from the wall. Only, only to see that Kirishima had turned around, resting the side of his head against the wall as he gave Katsuki the sweetest of smiles, an awed look on his face. The kind that would make you swoon, make you feel special. But it only made Katsuki want the ground to swallow him up. "You do."

"W-Wait, the fuck- why did you fucking- you bloody bastar-" Katsuki seized up when Kirishima reached out and rested his thumb gently over Katsuki's throat, bringing out his wand and murmuring some words that Katsuki couldn't hear, but he could feel his vocal chords easing back to normal. Kirishima let go of him immediately after, saying a bright, "Can't believe that worked!" as Katsuki coughed and took a step back. 

"Why the fuck d'you look, Shitty Hair?"

"Caught some hair in the corner of my eyes when I opened them," Kirishima said, losing the eye contact now and Katsuki was thankful. "Instantly knew it was you."

"If you want nothing to do with me anymore then I don't fucking care just leave-"

"No! No, Robot, I think you're really really cool and nice," Kirishima said quickly, eyebrows creased in worry as he took hold of Katsuki's sleeved wrists. The action made Katsuki's lips quirk, the tiniest of smiles to match his soft blush before he quickly scowled and tore his arms away.

I think you're probably a million percent nicer, so you can't talk.

"Don't touch me. And you don't have to still call me Robot."

"I think the name's stuck now, don't you? And I can't be forgetting that I still need to show you what one is."

Katsuki cautiously looked up then, meeting Kirishima's eye once more and it seemed oddly momentous when the guy flashed him another sweet smile that wasn't as obnoxious as his usual one, and instead held things like embarrassment and caution and possibility. Yet the instant Katsuki actually started to smile back, Kirishima immediately burst into awkward rushes of sentences and excuses to get away, and Katsuki took a few more steps backwards, deciding to stay silent because there was nothing left to say. They were darting away in two different directions in the next minute, with Katsuki not knowing where the hell Kirishima was going but he decided to forget about that, just trying to get into his common room as quickly as he could. Salazar looked very disappointed by his efforts.

Katsuki didn't dare stop running, not until he was up the stairs and into his dorm, then he immediately slammed himself face-first onto his bed. He just laid there, so so thankful that Sero and Todoroki weren't there to see his ridiculous pathos.

This didn't have to be a bad thing. Maybe him and Kirishima were kind of friends now? But that was weird, not just weird, but weird squared or whatever Kaminari would call it.

Emotionally macho Gryffindor muggleborn sunshine. Permanently angry Slytherin pureblood rhino. Friends?

Though, Katsuki was starting to wonder why he thought of Kirishima as macho when he remembered how the guy had taken hold of his wrists so gently and spurted out words like a jacked up fountain. Maybe it was his muscles. Katsuki knew Kirishima might be a massive softie but could probably lift an entire house table.

Katsuki growled as he looked up at the ceiling, grimacing at himself. Why was he questioning everything this year? He had always been so content living as the idiot with anger issues who only needed his four weird friends, who thought of Kirishima as an out-of-reach lion boy of a different world to him, who never thought that anyone was pretty in a deep way, who never thought about love, who never thought in general.

Maybe he just needed to sleep.

Yeah. That sounded inviting. He'd sleep, and then everything would go back to normal in the morning.

It fucking better...

 

Chapter Text

As an acquaintance (Katsuki was pretty sure he was allergic to the word 'friend', he could only say it maybe three times a year) of Sero's who really knew of his distaste for Gryffindors, the guy's words at breakfast surprised Katsuki just as much as everyone else.

"Midoriya's actually not too bad," Sero said out of nowhere and the others all stared at him. Sero blinked at the newfound attention. "What?"

"Why the fuck d'you have to come to that conclusion, ugh!" Katsuki groaned loudly as Mina solemnly patted his back way too hard. Sero just shrugged.

"The guy saved my plant for Herbology. Professor would've killed me if he didn't! I really do owe him my life. Does he have a pet? I'll try and save the little guy from drowning at some point, that can be my payback."

"Wait, why did you even think he was bad in the first place?"

Sero frowned, stabbing a fork into his toast. "He's a Gryffindor, and he's popularand Bakugou hates him for realand he's popular, may I reiterate. Who can trust people like that..."

Everyone was staring at him once more before Kaminari squished a hand against the top of Sero's head, saying a flat, "Babe, you're popular."

Sero turned his head to frown at him. "What? No I'm not."

"Everything about you screams amazing, Han, of course you're popular. Who's the youngest ever Quidditch house team captain? Everyone here knows your name."

The others made noises of agreement, nodding, and Sero's wide-eyed look really made Katsuki allow himself to smile for a moment.

Katsuki had been seeing over the last five years that popular could mean different things. There was the popularity of the prestigious pure bloodlines or at least the famous names of Potter and Lupin, where people knew the name and the legacy but not so much the descendants for the people they were. There was the rarer popularity from parts of your personality, whether you were really kind or generous or something like that widespread. Then there was the popularity for your skills, if you were really smart, a good public speaker, an amazing Quidditch player. He also saw how popularity could fade, or it could be comfortably constant. It always depended.

Katsuki and Kaminari had the names and the skills, with Katsuki's natural-born genius and Kaminari's knack for building things and literature (of all things, why the fuck literature?). Todoroki and Sero had the skills, Mina and Deku had both personality traits and skills, which was just annoying. So Katsuki just had to think about one more person.

Kirishima was an amazing Quidditch player. He had a smile that would light up anyone's day. He could make conversation with anyone. He marked the pride month that the school seemed to be ignoring last year by kissing Midoriya square on the mouth in the Great Hall and shaking up everyone. He was so grossly brilliant. So much so that Katsuki still found it so strange that someone like him could be so cute and stumbly all the times they'd talked before one-on-one.

Twenty minutes passed before breakfast ended and Katsuki was holding onto his books, his quills and pen jiggling about in his satchel since he hadn't bothered putting them into a pocket. He was really trying to get to his first class of the day early for once before he got thrown into detention for the smallest fucking reason. But before he could get there, a friendly arm was suddenly around his shoulder and Katsuki slapped it away so fast that they both got whiplash.

"Nice to see you, Kacchan!"

"Nerd," Katsuki greeted gruffly, turning to the side as fucking Deku beamed at him. Scotland might be a little drab, especially in the winter, but have a Midoriya and you wouldn't miss the sunshine, which wasn't a compliment on Katsuki's part. The wanker hurt his damn eyes. "The fuck you want?"

"Well, well, well, you see, I'm just so amazed that I finally have someone to talk to about this," Midoriya said, fizzing with anticipation as they started walking again. Katsuki looked at him warily.

"Talk about wha-"

"Do you think Kirishima's a good kisser?" Midoriya asked, so casual while Katsuki froze right in his tracks, his throat filling with lumps. "He looks like it, right? But he's actually kinda not! Okay that's mean but - he's enthusiastic, I'll give him that. Like a puppy. And his teeth are soooo sharp! I just don't think he knows what he's doing. So when people come up to me asking if Kirishima is a good kisser, I never know what to say...I mean it's not like we even kissed more than-"

So, Kirishima had probably kept up the lie, or not told Deku that they hadn't done anything. Well. Maybe Katsuki could play along, if that was what Kirishima wanted, and also since Deku was so into it that it was peculiarly hilarious to dunce him over like this.

"I never really noticed."

Midoriya looked astonished, and Katsuki held back a snort, fleetingly wondering if it really had to be that much of an experience to kiss Kirishima. "Really?! Never?!"

"We didn't k...do it that much, you know. He chickened out a lot."

Katsuki had no idea where that had come from but Deku made an intrigued 'ooh' sound and Katsuki thought that maybe, just maybe, he could have a bit of fun with this. It'd be hella fun payback for not clearing the air, payback that didn't even need violence!

"He was the one who asked first and he was really shy. Said he had no confidence that I'd say yes. Loser," Katsuki said, trying not to smirk too big as his limited storytelling skills jumped into action. "He thinks I'm pretty, pfft." No, that definitely wasn't Katsuki projecting.

"He does! That's true!" Midoriya yelped out, a hyperbolic interlocutor and Katsuki nodded.

"He spent two hours trying to convince me why I should kiss him."

"He would totally do that."

Wait, seriously? Katsuki had to bite the inside of his cheek to stop from doubling over in laughter.

"Then when I said yes, he kept on freezing up anyway. I kept telling him it was fine and he was being a damn coward." Hell yeah, Katsuki was the kissing expert now. "His idea of flirting is making Disney references." He might be doing Kirishima so dirty, did he deserve it? Absolutely. "After the first kiss, he let go of me 'cause he was certain I was gonna run away." Or maybe he was going too far, he was such a sly fuck— "But we're not doing it anymore. It was a one off 'cause he's a lame loser."

"Awe, really? The way you talk about him seems so fond," Midoriya said with a frown and that was the one thing that had Katsuki wanting to laugh the hardest. "You two seem so good together. You're like the perfect person to deal with his lame ass when it comes to anything relationship."

"Really? Why?"

"Cause you're so innocent about it."

Katsuki blinked, suddenly finding a dark side to making up things. "That doesn't sound like me. Innocent? Have you gone crazy? Do you know me? Is this amnesia?"

"You really are innocent when it comes to some things, Kacchan. Or maybe at least, you just like him a lot so it seems that way," Midoriya suggested, patting Katsuki's back and dodging a hook to the stomach. "I hope you guys try being friends. I'd like to see it."

What? Friends? This again?

"Friends," Katsuki sounded out the word quietly, though Deku didn't hear it as he was walking in a different direction, waving at Katsuki with a call of, "Have a good day, Kacchan!"

"Why do you call me that when we're in fucking Scotland?"

"I like watching the confusion on people's faces as it slowly eats them alive!"

That was actually a good reason.

-

Katsuki was pretty sure today was to be the day of his death.

Mark the date, Wednesday 9th October, death by failing Muggle Studies and thus having Mina, Todoroki, and Sero seeking him out to murder and Katsuki might actually let them.

He had no clue that there was going to be a test today. He hadn't written it down in his planner, he hadn't written it on his hand, he didn't recall any words said pertaining to it in the last lesson, he didn't remember anyone even talking about it until his classmate Mineta mentioned it at lunch and Katsuki clobbered him over the head with a dinner plate.

This wasn't good. This really wasn't good. He liked Muggle Studies as well because of the intrigue of the other world that most of his friends were so fond of but his teacher was rubbish and this had to be the one subject he couldn't do for the life of him, which didn't equal a chance of a good fucking grade!

You get straight Os in the others, does this matter so much...?

YES IT FUCKING DOES UGH SHUT UP!

He was hastily pouring over his notes and textbook in the last twenty minutes of the lunch hour, perched on a stair step as he tried to reign in his panic. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad? But things mattered more now than they used to. This was one of his two years studying towards NEWTs and he knew this was supposed to be around the time that he stepped up his game, which was already pretty good but not here. 

He sighed, resting the side of his head against the wall and he winced when he heard someone loudly clattering down the stairs, disrupting his pitiful cramming session. And it was even worse when it seemed like the same someone wanted to disturb him on a personal level too. "BAKUGOU KATSUKI!"

That surprised him for a second - no-one said his name in that order except for his parents.

"What the hell have you-"

"This is not the bloody time, dickwad," Katsuki grumbled, trying to sound menacing but his patheticality seeped through his tone which was the worst thing. He had his head in his hands by the time the guy had taken a seat a couple of steps above him, nudging Katsuki's back gently with his knee. Katsuki forgot to kill him, because more of his walls were being torn down by the second. Katsuki was starting to realise just how fucking dramatic he was.

"Hey, what's wrong?"

"I'm gonna fail my Muggle Studies test, that's what. It's just an easy fucking test but when you don't know anything it's like-"

"Hey, what topics?"

"British currency, transport and...professions?"

"Alright," Kirishima said, sounding like the cogs in his brain were whirring and Katsuki turned around to look at him. He was drowning in his robes again. Were they second-hand? "Let me see if you know the basics...well, name three modes of transport."

Katsuki hated how easy that question sounded yet he had almost no clue how to answer it. "...well, the car. And...they have trains too! And, you know, that really big white thing you know the one that goes up really really high in the clouds and looks like a seagull-"

"Aeroplane," Kirishima said amusedly and Katsuki catalogued that in his brain. Seagull = aeroplane. "How much are two gallons worth in pounds and pence?"

Katsuki blinked. "We need to know conversions? We need to use arithmancy?"

"Oh, Robot, Robot, you're screwed," Kirishima snickered, dropping down to sit next to Katsuki now. Katsuki needed to find a good time to blow him up, after he had helped him. Besides he wasn't screwed, now he was way happier because Arithmancy was one of his favourite subjects. Suck on that, Shitty Hair! "Have you read through this? It's got everything you need to know."

"See, I read it but it doesn't go into my head and I don't know why. I'm smart as fuck, there's no question, I'd be the top student in this bloody year if it wasn't for this subject."

"Why did you take a Muggle Studies NEWT then?"

"Because I wanted to. It's damn interesting, isn't it?" 

"You really think so?" 

"Not saying it twice."

Kirishima nodded, smiling at his lap and whoop-dee-fucking-doo if he felt complimented.

"Soy Sauce and Half n' Half also talk about it a lot. Mina too. Just wanna be educated about a part of the world that's even bigger than ours by numbers."

"That's really nice. Question. If I wanted to be in the Army, would I need a qualification?"

"No," Katsuki answered, before properly thinking about the words, then looking at Kirishima in amazement. "The Army...with really hard training...and fighting...and you could be in a war...do you want to go into the Army?"

Kirishima shrugged, rubbing his ankle. "Keeping my options open. And, what are the OWL and NEWT equivalents for muggles?"

Ironically, Katsuki mostly remembered this because of Midoriya and Kirishima's fight the other day. "Did you and Deku make up? Hope you didn't because he sucks and- but did you?"

"Answer the question," Kirishima said with a small smile and Katsuki sat alert.

"GCSE and A Level."

"Good! Yeah, we made up. I can never stay mad at him for more than an hour, and he'd made me a cake by the time I came back which helped a lot. What would you call the profession of a person who makes cakes and other pastries?"

"...chef?"

"Mm, not quite. Chefs make meals and anything as well as pastries if they w-"

"Ah, baker, baker!" Katsuki called out, pumping his arms in a burst of excitement and when Kirishima grinned and clapped his hands, Katsuki felt warm from the acknowledgement for his achievement. He didn't usually get that, even when he did so much better than this. Ugh, look at him, talking like he was a toddler yearning validation.

"Well done."

"So he baked the cake? He didn't mix it with magic?"

"Nope. Just his hands," Kirishima said brightly before thinking. "Well, he had to heat it up with magic since there aren't any ovens in our dorm."

"Yeah, my dad cooks too when it's just for us. But...dinner parties? And really big catering events? Shops? Food in those places aren't made using magic?"

"Nope. All by themselves."

"Then how can they make it perfect?"

"Well, they just try their best with what they've got. Most people in those kinds of professions are perfectionists anyway and they do a mighty good job. If a cupcake costs seventy pence, how many knuts is that?"

"Seventy, as well. Stop asking me such easy fucking questions," Katsuki said, even though he was uncertain because he couldn't fully remember if it was a x1 conversion or x10, but Kirishima's smile drew up his confidence. "Muggles are...wow. They're kinda cool."

"Right?" Kirishima said happily, taking the book from Katsuki and flicking through it. "Look, if you are gonna ever go into the muggle world for a long period of time, you can't have the mindset that magic is the way to go in life. They're not stupid or inferior for not being able to use magic. They're admirable."

Katsuki nodded, secretly awed, both with the words and with the way Kirishima changed when he talked about the muggle world. He was serious. Knowledgeable. Determined. Katsuki liked the way he talked in general, the rough edge to his voice, fast, sometimes high, and he had the fleeting wish that Kirishima was his Muggle Studies teacher.

"I wish I knew more about this."

"Well," Kirishima hummed and this was one of the times that Katsuki got hyper-aware, mostly because of the way Kirishima had scooted closer just a bit, leaning into his space a little more as he rested Katsuki's book in the latter's lap. Kirishima's voice was more hushed when he spoke next. "Let me share this whole new world with you."

Katsuki could only furrow his eyebrows at the ground, mostly because he was certain Kirishima's face would be too close to his if he turned to look at the guy. "The fuck? You hittin' on me?"

"It's a Disney reference, bro. Apparently, that is how I hit on people."

Katsuki almost choked.

"How on earth do you know what Disney is, dude who doesn't know the difference between a chef and a baker?" Kirishima said with crossed arms and a raised eyebrow, though from the way he looked a little pleased made Katsuki think that he might actually have been right about this one thing. Or at least, Kirishima must like Disney, but then again who couldn't, especially if they were muggleborn?

"I stayed at Soy Sauce's house for a week in the summer holiday, and whenever I go to his or Mina's place, I always wanna watch movies. They're so badass. Forever my favourite muggle creation. And I watched five Disney films with Soy Sauce and it was the best thing ever."

"Soy Sauce?"

"Oh, uh..." Katsuki actually fucking forgot Sero's name for a hot minute. "Sero. Yeah that's it. Sero. You might know him as...Han- Hanta...? Since the UK does first names straight off the bat most times which I hate. Luckily this school's not as much like that."

"So he's Japanese?"

"Yeah. We all are," Katsuki said, feeling weird for some odd reason as he poked the stair beneath him. "I mean, Half n' Half - you can guess who that is - and Mina are half Irish, though they moved to London. I think 'cause of Half n' Half's dad just wanting to get a house in the most popular city in the world to show off his dumb wealth, and then their families are such good friends that Mina's was like 'hey let's just follow you'- well, um, not that you needed to know that. Oh, and Soy Sauce doesn't know who his dad is but, yeah. We're Japanese for the most part."

"That's cool. I hope I qualify to join your Asian mafia too," Kirishima said in the cheeriest voice, snickering when Katsuki elbowed him. "Alright, alright - what films did you watch with Sero anyway?"

"Ah, Mulan, Frozen, Lilo and Stitch, Beauty and the Beast. And Brave, I liked Brave."

"Winnie the Pooh?"

Katsuki blinked. Kirishima sighed, shaking his head. "I'm disappointed in Sero. Well, when you come over to mine, we'll be watching that for sure."

Katsuki couldn't quite reply with anything but a stilted, "Hah?" mostly because why would he ever go to Kirishima's house? When were they ever going to be that close? But he started rethinking things just, just a little when Kirishima rested his chin delicately on Katsuki's shoulder and whispered, "You know, some people are worth melting for."

Katsuki remembered Olaf saying that in Frozen. He had loved Frozen, secretly. Well not so secretly since all his friends figured out by hearing him humming 'Love Is An Open Door' when he thought he'd been alone, and when he fell off the bed he was on when Todoroki said there was going to be a sequel. "Oh yeah?"

"Would you melt for me?"

"I'm not ice."

Kirishima giggled right in his ear, and Katsuki felt fucking warm. Kirishima didn't always seem the type to giggle but he did, and it was cute. Not completely in a puppy cute way. But Katsuki didn't know what else to compare it to. Gah, what was he even saying?!

"Hey, I think you're supposed to be extra nice to me after all the stuff you said to Midoriya. I don't even seem to be getting an apology."

"You're the one who put me in that situation first, I just wanted payback, you bastard. And I think what I said could've been damn well accurate by the way Deku reacted. Quote 'he would totally do that' unquote."

Kirishima looked one hundred percent less smug then, like he had been slapped in the face and that made Katsuki feel very content in the funniest way. He was about to get up so he could leave, but Kirishima still had his chin on Katsuki's shoulder. Katsuki couldn't remember why the fuck he had allowed that to happen and now he was in too deep.

"You're a meanie, Robot."

"Nah I just don't leave anything out and people get butthurt 'cause they're wusses."

"You're blunt."

"Exactly." Yeah, Katsuki knew he was way worse than just blunt, but he kind of hoped Kirishima thought of him as better.

"Well," Kirishima huffed, turning up his nose which made Katsuki snort. "As much as it pains me to say - good luck on your test. Even if it doesn't go well, don't think it means anything, alright? You know how much you like this subject. You'll work harder as time goes and you won't give up, right?"

From anyone else, that would sound like the most patronising thing in the world and Katsuki would be blowing them up. From Kirishima, it was an honest warm slice of sweet motivation. Not that Katsuki needed it. But maybe it was still, nice. "Yeah, 'guess."

"There we go. Just keep swimming!"

"Pikachu likes Finding Nemo," Katsuki said, a little starry-eyed about recognising a reference even if it was because of a tosser like Kaminari. Kirishima laughed, warbling an excited, "You know Pokémon too?!" as they got up and started walking back to the common rooms, with Katsuki trying to wheedle out every Disney quote Kirishima had under lock, and Kirishima snickering at Katsuki's absurdity whenever the guy tried to figure out the meaning.

"For it as plain as anyone can see," Kirishima quoted as a farewell just as Katsuki was going to enter his common room, "we're simply meant to be. Pocahontas."

Katsuki raised an eyebrow at the cheesiness but before long, they were parting with a wave (well, a wave from Kirishima and a middle finger from Katsuki) and on their separate ways.

That warm feeling that Katsuki had felt earlier still hadn't left. In fact, it seemed to have grown bigger, and by now he was pretty sure he was infected. He couldn't think of any other explanation, so he'd get it checked out later if he remembered. Which he wouldn't.

 

Chapter Text

As a destroyer with something far more than just a penchant for winning, this penultimate day before the holidays had Katsuki more excited than he had ever been. He had only seen it done once before, where they had been able to sit in on the previous sixth year's one at the end of the year, to show him and the other fifth year students what they would be facing if they chose to take a Defence Against the Dark Arts NEWT. In the last two years of secondary school, the students would have only three chances to practise it before the real thing in May of their seventh year, being only done so few times due to its high level of unpredictability and scale.

The duelling practical exam.  An exam where every student in the entire sixth year taking DADA (that Katsuki could tell you were always a lot) came together in one space to fight each other through methodic scheduling and placing by the teachers, where the only way to do well was to win. They were assessed on ability to disarm, to attack, and to defend both themselves, bystanders, and at large, the opponent since any sort of severe injury would need very good explanation whether you were on the good or bad side. Casualties were what lost you points the most

Katsuki hadn't wanted to sleep for the life of him, but he forced himself to get a little more than usual since he knew he needed to be rested up. The whole night, he dreamt of success, of pinning fucking Deku to the ground, of kicking people's teeth in, of impressing Kirishima- ignore that last one. But he was going to ace this, he was going to be more on top than he had ever been, he'd claw his way up there if he had to.

"WAKE THE FUCK UP, LOSERS!" Katsuki screamed at 5:30 am on the dot, throwing the curtains open before impatiently turning to Sero and Todoroki who were groaning, shuffling around confusedly. "THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?! TODAY'S THE MOTHERFUCKING DAY, GET UP-"

"Bakugou, please, I will cry," Sero wept groggily as he snuggled back into his sheets, and Katsuki once again liked Todoroki more than anyone else on the planet as the guy sat up and rubbed his eyes, muttering, "It is the day. This is exciting."

"FUCK YEAH IT IS!" 

"Bakugou...turn down the volume of your voicebox...please..."

"Me and you, we're gonna show them what we've got. They're not gonna know what hit them," Katsuki said to Todoroki, in the best mood he had pretty much ever been in as he sat on Sero who yowled. Todoroki sent him a sleepy smile.

"It's so nice seeing you so happy. Even if it's over your thirst for blood. And, 'me and you', you say?" 

"Fuck yeah, man!" 

"That's going to be your catchphrase today, isn't it..." 

"But think about it. So many people in our year haven't seen us in action, since we're in the special classes for magic-using lessons. Oh my God, they're gonna be sooooo bad," Katsuki yelled gleefully, jabbing his elbow into Sero's side. Then Katsuki's face fell. "There better be some good ones, though. Then what's the point?" 

"There's still Midoriya and the others in our class. Mina's also doing well, I hear." 

"So am I," Sero grumbled, before screeching when Katsuki slammed his head into the pillow, effectively suffocating him. 

"THEN GET THE FUCK UP AND SHOW YOU'RE EVEN ALIVE, INFIDEL!" 

Sero finally decided to shut up.

Katsuki was buzzing the entire way through breakfast, smiling so much that Kaminari and Mina were sure he was having a stroke. He just stuffed himself with as much good food as he could, wanting to get that protein build-up. He even grinned at Deku without realising when he passed by him while leaving the hall and the guy actually blushed, making Todoroki look between them with a lot of confusion. "Uh..." 

"He's so pretty when he's happy and I'm very gay," Midoriya mumbled while trying very hard to cover his face and when Todoroki watched Katsuki march off with a bounce in his step as he threw an apple up and down, he had to agree. 

"I'm still prettier, though." 

"T-Todoroki!" 

They still had period one and two while the rest of the day was the exam, so Katsuki fucking demolished double Arithmancy, writing at such a speed that he broke his quill so he used the pen, and he loved how faster it was to write with it. He managed to get all the work done, and demanded every extension that the teacher could throw at him which still wasn't enough, so he took on the task of helping out people who were struggling. By the time the bell rang, he'd pretty much taken over the damn class but he didn't notice, just dropping the textbook he was holding and getting the fuck out of there.

"He seems to love this subject yet he's always the first one gone," the professor sighed while the other students were wondering what to do with Katsuki's left-behind bag. 

Katsuki was running with a grin on his face, zipping past students without a single utter of something like 'excuse me' or even any angry yells to make them get out of the way, because this was the perfect time to check his accuracy when dodging and he seemed to be doing pretty well. He was always a more subdued version of this for any old DADA class, a buzz coursing through him four times a week no fail even if they were doing the sections that weren't anything to do with duelling, but now it had amped up to something that felt like magic was inside him.  

"KAMI!" he yelled as he bounded down the corridor to the familiar yellow-head, and Kaminari slowly turned his head with the most fearing look on his face. Katsuki grinned, slamming an arm around the boy's shoulders as he slowed his speed to match his. 

"W-What did you j-just call me-" 

"You excited?! You better be. I won't forgive you if you're not."

"Nah, mate, 'course I am! I'm sparking in excitement," Kaminari smirked as he got over the initial surprise, a shadow falling over his face as his fingers crackled with electricity. Katsuki went a little too hard in his 'fuck yeah man!' punch and watched Kaminari fall to the floor. 

"I'M HERE, BASTARDS!" Katsuki yelled as he threw the door open to the room, with Kaminari screaming behind him "PARTY DON'T START 'TIL I WALK IN" and Katsuki was attacking for real this time. He managed to drag him over to Mina, Sero, and Todoroki who were grinning at them, looking almost as pumped up as he was with the determination in their eyes, fists clenched, robes ditched and sleeves rolled up. "We're not late, right?" 

"Not really, think you're right on time!" 

"FUCK no, I wanted to be early! Pikachu, this is all your fault," Katsuki growled right in Kaminari's face as the latter cowered, holding his hands up in surrender. Then Katsuki's eyes were widening as someone struck his arms, making him drop Kaminari as a lanky arm grabbed onto the guy's shoulder, throwing him to safety while Katsuki was all of a suddenly flipped onto his back and driven into the ground. He looked up in surprise only to see Sero smirking at him, wildfire in his eyes. 

"Get your hands off my boyfriend, prick." 

"Well, hasn't someone got better?" Katsuki said with a mirrored smirk before his fist flew into Sero's gut and he was throwing him over his shoulder with ease, an obnoxious laugh leaving his lips at the satisfying sound of Sero slamming into the ground. "Still gotta keep your defensive even if you think you've won, idiot! That was way too easy." 

"I. Hate. You," Sero groaned tiredly as Mina threw her arms out, yelling, "ME NEXT, ME NEXT!" and all of them were unaware of all the other sixth years staring at them, whispering amongst themselves. 

"Is that really how they're going to fight in the exam? Where even are their wands?"

"Wait, they're not going to use magic at all?!"  

"Woah, if they're not then it'll be so easy to beat them! You're not even allowed physical combat in duels."

"Hey wait, let's not jump to conclusions...and isn't that Bakugou and Kaminari? Come on, no-one could beat them, think about their families."

"We haven't seen them in action, though. Maybe it's just all talk." 

"Hey, everyone?" Midoriya said with a bright smile as he moved into the throng of sixth years who looked at him in awe or confusion. Then they were seizing up as Midoriya's face shadowed. "I'd advise heavily against underestimating any of them."  

"Hey, Deku!" Katsuki called out and Midoriya's smile was back as he turned around, waving. 

"Yeah, Kacchan?" 

"Where's your red-head lackey?" 

"Aw, what, that's how you think of me?" 

Katsuki turned around and grinned, yelling a bright "SHITHEAD! YOU DO TAKE THIS CLASS!" that had Kirishima seeing stars. 

"Woah...what's put you in such a good mood? Even that's an understatement," Kirishima asked as Katsuki jumped up and down, shaking his body as a small means of warming up. "And where's your wand?" 

"Where's yours?" 

"Ah, here," Kirishima said as he pulled out an impressive wand with coiling around the stick that held two types of wood, the outer colour being lighter, the inner darker. Like fire. "The core's dragon heartstring! It's really the coolest thing I've ever owned..." 

"Thought you wanted to live without magic, muggleborn?" Katsuki asked with a raised eyebrow and Kirishima quickly stepped onto the defensive, hugging his wand. 

"I-I never quite said that."

"I know, I know, I'm joking," Katsuki laughed, punching the other's arm, and Kirishima watched him in wonder. He was staring for so long that it made Katsuki feel uncomfortable, his smile dropping as he punched Kirishima a lot harder. "The fuck you think you're looking at?" 

"You," Kirishima said quietly, all with a dreamy face and dreamy voice and Katsuki furrowed his eyebrows harder than he ever had, so confused as his heartbeat stammered once in his chest. Then Kirishima was suddenly realising what he said and he quickly snapped out of it, turning bright red as he shook his head. "I-I mean, uh, just thinking about how much I'm gonna crush you!" 

"That's the fucking spirit though it definitely ain't gonna happen!" 

"Ha, you haven't seen me in action!" 

Well, that was true. This first exam was all about being exposed to people you don't know about, you're not familiar with probably most of their names let alone their fighting styles. After all, the real thing would be against other schools that most of them might have never even heard of. So Katsuki was about to bite back with another friendly jab until the professor finally walked in. Yet funnily enough, it wasn't one of the normal Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers. He wasn't, but Katsuki knew exactly who this man was. 

"Everyone line up in your houses while you're being registered," the man said and though he sounded lazy in his words, his voice still held the type of authority that made almost everyone do exactly what he said, even Katsuki who slumped after Sero and Todoroki. The man nodded, and after the most boring register of over sixty students took place, he sighed and set down the clipboard. He cast his eyes over everyone, who immediately became paralysed into stillness. "I am Shota Aizawa, a Japanese Auror and educational advisor. I was sent in today to lead the assessment of your exam because of the number of wandless magic-users in this generation, let alone this year being far higher than there have ever been at Hogwarts." 

That instantly raised mutters, mostly of confusion. Katsuki just stood there with a smug smile, arms crossed, and he wanted people to know already. It wasn't like he even hid it like they were for some stupid reason advised to, but people just seemed to never notice, and it was such a part of him like it was for all of them in these special classes.  

"What is he talking about?" Kirishima nervously asked Midoriya who shook his head, whispering, "You'll find out in a minute." 

"Wandlesses, please move out of your lines and head to the back of the room." 

Katsuki was pumped as he was jogging out, before pausing when he saw Sero looking anxious, head moving between the two spots. When he looked back, Mina looked the same way, so Katsuki went and grabbed her and pulled her over to the Slytherin line. "Hey, sir." 

Professor Aizawa looked at him, and Katsuki pointed at Sero and Mina. "These guys are practising wandless magic at the moment but they're not full-time users. Where do they go?" 

"They stay where they are. They can try out out their skills with what I'm guessing is your lot later." 

"There you go, cowards," Katsuki said, patting their backs and Sero and Mina smiled at him gratefully. He turned around to get to the back of the room, before freezing when he heard a stark, "Hey, dandelion. You sound like you know what you're talking about, so why don't you explain things to the others?" 

"Me?!" Katsuki yelped, whizzing around so fast that he got a little dizzy. "Aren't you the damn leader of this sh- thing?!" 

"Yeah but student interactivity is good," the professor said flatly, as a clear alternative to 'I'm too lazy'. Katsuki clenched his fists, snarling slightly at the number of eyes on him, but it was then that he saw a particular pair of red ones. Kirishima was looking at him with an anticipating open face, as if Katsuki had all the answers of the universe. It made him feel like the most important person in the entire world. Maybe he'd explain, but just for him. 

"Listen up, morons," Katsuki said in as neutral a tone as he could get, shoving a hand into his pocket. "I'm sure you all know that magic isn't completely reliant on wands. Accidental wandless magic happens all the time, especially when wizards or witches are kids and they're only finding themselves and their magical abilities. Wands are a European invention and sure, they've been around for centuries and all, but there are a lot of cultures outside of Europe that don't traditionally depend on wands for their magic, and they still follow that. For example, for me, I'm third-generation-Japanese, and we commonly don't use wands. Wands are used pretty much just for accuracy, it allows you to focus your spells more. Think about it, elves and magical creatures don't use wands, and we don't have to either." 

"That being said, wandless magic is extremely difficult due to the nature of the human body and mind. It takes a lot longer to cultivate, and your school system as you know it would not work if wandless magic was being taught," Aizawa added, which made Katsuki snort. Not that he was really one to talk, though. He hadn't used a wand since second year, so he didn't really know what it was like. "Understand that this small handful of students only use it because of their heritage or ethnicity, and they work extraordinarily hard."

"Why isn't the option offered at this school, then? We can work hard too!" someone yelled, and a lot of people seemed to agree. It all made Katsuki roll his eyes. 

"Because this is a European school and there is faster and more focused growth when a wand is being used. Haven't you noticed that even the greatest European wizards use wands? This is simply a cultural difference. And now, we've wasted time, so another period is going to be added to your school day," Aizawa said in a steely voice, and there were groans all over except for Katsuki because a whole forty-five more minutes of bloodshed? Holy buckets of crackers, this was the best day ever.

"Because of the fact that some of you are wandless, please understand that there will be a slight change to duelling as you know it. There still cannot be any offensive physical combat, but wandless magic welcomes it a little more, so you are all allowed to use your bodies to pin someone down at mostand it can only be your very last resortIf there are circumstances that don't allow it, you should recognise it and assessors will assess against it, but otherwise, go ahead."

Ha, people seemed to like that.

"I'll call out pairs and letters. Go to the duelling station with your letter, and use the port-key that will allow you to be transported to simulations. Please put your hands on it at the same time, so one of you isn't left behind. There you will see your field of battle as well as assessors, which you are to heed no mind to. Being distracted will just be your downfall. With that, good luck." 

Katsuki smashed a fist against his other hand, grinning eerily at anyone who even dared to glance his way. Midoriya came up to him and Todoroki, with Kaminari following. "Guys, guys, I don't think they're going to pit any of us against each other since we're all wandless. I think they'll be giving the people with wands a chance to go against us, isn't that scary?" 

"Ugh, no fair, they'll be better!" Kaminari whined, before yelping when Katsuki thwacked his back. 

"Idiot, think about how hard we work. You'll be miles ahead. Hey, all of you wandlesses, listen to me! Go fuck shit up out there."

"Pep talks with Bakugou," Todoroki said with a small smile as everyone in their small group grinned, rejuvenated by Katsuki's words and it made him feel kind of warm inside. All he had really wanted was to make sure they didn't let him down and disgrace their name, but having that many people smile at him for a few harshly encouraging words? Weird...

Then there was a suddenly a boy with glasses who raised a hand, like Katsuki was a damn teacher, and Katsuki looked at him in utter disbelief for a moment before he said uncertainly, "What is it, Four Eyes?" 

"I do not mean to be nosy nor rude, but may I ask why Shoto Todoroki performs wandless magic when he is a muggleborn?" the boy asked, and for a split-second, Katsuki and Todoroki looked at each other with slightly wide eyes. They couldn't answer that. They just couldn't. 

Yes. Muggleborn. That was the lie they told everyone, because half-veela half-wizard wasn't even an option for something Todoroki wanted to say. But veelas have four points of speciality - beauty with blue eyes and long white-gold hair, seduction through dance and the eyes, transforming into Harpy-like creatures when angry, and their own wandless magic including launching balls of fire from the hands. And from what Todoroki had seemingly inherited (which was something he was still figuring out), he had simply never been able to use a wand no matter how hard he tried. He'd either burn it to a crisp with his fire when he tried to cast a spell, or the magic would leave his hand instead of the end of the wand. In a way, he had it easier than the others when actually getting the magic out in the first place, but it was that much harder to control.

"Ah, Iida, Todoroki's still Japanese so he just decided to follow the culture!" Midoriya said cheerily, stepping in front of Todoroki who looked down at him in surprise. Katsuki probably looked even worse, though. Did the broccoli really think that, or did he know the truth? Was Todoroki's crush so strong that he really had to tell Deku? 

"Yes, that is very true! Thank you for clearing that up!" 

"No problem, Iida!" 

"You're wonderful," Todoroki muttered in relief, dropping his head onto Midoriya's shoulder, and the latter turned so red and started laughing in the weirdest, most hyena-like way. Katsuki raised a hand over his face so he didn't need to see the disgusting debacle, but he was still in too good of a mood to break it up.  

"And...begin."

For the first few stations, Katsuki blasted through them with ease. His specialities were explosive and fire spells, and his recent practice of long distance handling was really paying off since none of these kids seemed to want to get anywhere near him. He understood that, since duelling was simply like that opposed to sparring (which they sometimes practised in wandless magic lessons opposed to duelling, since wanded duels a lot of the time ended once someone was disarmed which could no longer happen), even if it was a little boring. He couldn't get angry because of that but he just hoped someone would step to him. 

Deku had been right, Katsuki didn't fight against any wandless users except that Iida guy, who was in a different batch of special classes. Their simulated venue was an abandoned warehouse, eerie with debris everywhere you looked. Katsuki grimaced, eradicating some of it to make sure that he had a clear path and sight, but he was freezing when he heard a whoosh. The guy was behind him. 

It seemed Four Eyes was incredibly fast, or good at booster spells. Of course Katsuki knew exactly who the Iida family was, even though he hadn't been aware that one of them went to this school. He felt dumb now because he was sure Deku had mentioned him, and he should have focused. The Iidas were known for their great contribution to the protection of the wizarding world and magical invention, Iida being one of the most popular current make of magic vehicles. The family held generations of Aurors, and clearly this guy was trying to be one too. 

But still, Katsuki had him down after fifteen minutes, arms pinned to the ground and a foot on his back. They were both breathing heavily, though, and Katsuki had to admit that it had been a slightly decent match.  

"I am honoured to have duelled with you, Bakugou Katsuki," Iida said once they were done, bowing a full ninety degrees and Katsuki snorted, crossing his arms. 

"We're not in Japan, dumbass. Yeah, good match." 

"May I ask a question?" 

"What is it with you and questions? Go ahead." 

"With your family heritage, many people are expecting you to go into the consumer business. That's why your skill in Defence Against the Dark Arts is very interesting. Are you planning to become an Auror?" 

"Do you analyse people or something, what the hell?" Katsuki asked in disgust, scrunching up his nose. Though he really just didn't want to answer that question. He had no clue what he wanted to do after school ended, and he had been worrying about that for a while now. When deciding what to take for NEWTs, he only chose the subjects he really liked: Arithmancy, DADA, Potions and Muggle Studies. But he didn't particularly want to go into a career with any of them, as far as he knew. "It's none of your business!"

"Sorry if I was too forward!" 

"Yeah, you better be!" 

Luckily, the premise of the test brought his spirits back up again. He was able to thrash a few more people, because wand users seriously seemed to find the fact that they couldn't use disarming spells to be a real setback. Katsuki thought they were all amateurs. 

"Hey Bambi, stop thinking so much, it makes you lose focus and you need to watch my hands!" Katsuki snarled out to another doe-eyed student who clearly had no clue what she was doing. She seized up before quickly nodding, and Katsuki smiled when she finally got a decent shot in. 

"Stick Face, move around more, staying still in a duel is seriously dumb no matter what people tell you!" 

"Get back on your feet, Staplehead, your wand still works, doesn't it?"

"Idiot, don't run so much even if you're panicking, you'll waste too much energy!" 

"USE YOUR FUCKING HEAD, STOP LETTING ME GET OUT OF YOUR LINE OF SIGHT, BELLEND!" 

Every person he duelled had flaws, and Katsuki and his honesty made him feel obliged to yell them all out because the world needed good Aurors, not people who made silly mistakes like these. The people who were going to succeed were those who took his advice head on, and the ones who didn't listen to him were the ones Katsuki would never pay attention to again. 

It wasn't like he was perfect either, even if he wouldn't admit it. Improving was the only way to go forward in life. Yet when his tenth duel was over and he was back in the starting room, he felt a sense of dread inside him. What was he going to do? On one hand, becoming an Auror was way too dangerous and there was so much training that Katsuki knew he'd get impatient about, not to mention his friends and family would probably get targeted if he went into that kind of profession. On the other hand, if he was this good at duelling it would be a waste to never do it again the instant school ended. He could join friendly sporting competitions, but it wouldn't be the same.

He didn't know...he just didn't know and he hated not knowing things.

"Hey, Bakugou?" a voice called out, and Katsuki snapped out of it when a hand took hold of his wrist gently. He turned to see warm red eyes flashing in concern, and Katsuki blinked. His heart already felt a little lighter and it had been less than half a minute, and he wondered how him and Kirishima could both have red eyes but the latter's were so much nicer. "We're each other's last partners, did you not hear? Are you feeling alright?" 

"Wait, seriously?" Katsuki asked in amazement, a grin slowly lighting up his face as he pumped a fist. "Fuck yeah, I've so been wanting to fight you!"

Kirishima flushed a little, a laugh escaping his lips. "You seem fine, I see." 

Damn it. There was something about this redheaded bright bright dumbass that actually made Katsuki feel better, and so quickly. If only he was around all the time, Katsuki wouldn't need to feel so upset about things. Kirishima would be there with his warm personality and kind good words to make him feel whole again. 

Well, he was here now, and that was good enough. 

"Let's go to our duelling stat-" 

"Students, this is your final pairing. Make this one count, and report back as fast as possible, you're all taking way too long," Aizawa said coldly and the students nodded in affirmation. Katsuki grinned at Kirishima who looked too surprised to think about returning it, before he grabbed the other's hand and slammed it onto the portkey. Kirishima's jaw fell as he quickly yelled, "H-HeY, WAIT, WAIT-"

"HELL NO!" Katsuki roared in glee as they flew in continuum, and he was laughing when Kirishima held onto him like a scrabbling koala. "GET THE FUCK OFF ME, IDIOT!" 

"TO HELL WITH THAT, I'LL FUCKING DIE.

Really, Katsuki kind of loved when Kirishima swore. 

Finally, they were spat out into the simulation, and Kirishima was groaning while Katsuki immediately hopped onto his feet, looking around. Oh, this was cool. It was an amphitheatre, just like from Roman times, and they were right in the middle of the cyclic arena that went on for miles as rows upon rows of seats encircled them. It was so powerful in its simplicity and emptiness, and Katsuki wanted to roar and see how loud it would echo.

"Right, so how are we gonna do this?" Kirishima asked from behind him, and Katsuki turned around to see the guy stretching, his muscles rippling while he moved and Katsuki ogled him for a moment, before he quickly snapped out of it. Focus, dumb brain. 

"We start ten feet apart, so push back." 

"Right." 

Kirishima did as Katsuki said until they were both at similar vantage points from the edges of the arena, they both bowed at each other, then formalities were immediately over. Kirishima was grinning, his shark teeth flashing as he drew one leg back and held out his wand, and Katsuki had never wanted to smile harder than at this moment. He threw his arms out to the sides, and simpl stood there. "Come at me." 

Kirishima furrowed his eyebrows, confused. "What? But...well, okay." 

And then Kirishima really cast a spell at him, right at that moment. Katsuki was dumbfounded. Did that guy really just do something that his opponent had told him to do?

"Shithead, what the hell is wrong with you?" Katsuki said as he easily deflected the blast. Kirishima frowned, opening his mouth but Katsuki shook his head. "Don't listen to me, you're supposed to ignore me with all your might. Focus on fighting me." 

"Don't lecture me, I can do it!"

"What? I'm not-" 

Katsuki jolted when the spell "EVERTE STATUM" was ripping from Kirishima's throat, and he quickly dodged it by jumping and tumbling to the side. Ugh, now that had been Katsuki getting distracted, but he wouldn't let his guard down again. A smirk painted his face as his hand crackled with energy, and he pulled it back before he ran straight at Kirishima. He could hear the guy murmur, "Protego" since he probably knew that Katsuki would dodge whatever he shot, which was smart for the time being. Kirishima was braced with his invisible shield, but Katsuki smirked as he got two feet away and sprang into an aerial, flying over Kirishima while holding his hand out and yelling, "BOMBARDA!" 

An explosion immediately erupted from his hand, causing Kirishima to yelp as he spun around just in time to hold up his invisible shield and wince as he was pushed back. Katsuki grinned as he landed neatly on the floor and got up just as Kirishima tried to hit him with the tongue-tying curse which Katsuki hated to death, it was one of the most underhanded spells in his opinion. Imagine tearing away all of your opponent's ability by making them lose their ability to say their spells, just like that, so they couldn't even try their best? 

"Can't use that shield forever, shithead," Katsuki snarled as he started walking forward and Kirishima stared at him for a moment, before he shrugged like he agreed. Katsuki saw him deactivate it, and those few seconds were the perfect time to attack as he soared forward with- wait. What the fuck was Kirishima doing? His arms were turning grey

Then Katsuki realised. Kirishima was using low levels of Duro, the hardening spell, to turn parts of himself into stone. Katsuki was so stunned that he wanted to acknowledge it, but he couldn't do that in the middle of a duel. It was time to attack. 

"CONFRINGO!" 

A fiery explosion left Katsuki's hand, full power, yet all Kirishima had to do was cross his stone arms in front of him and grit his teeth to be able to bear it. Katsuki growled, roundhouse-kicking into the air so he could balance himself again after that. He understood what Kirishima was doing, where he could block attacks without having to use magic so he could think about his next move and stay within close distance. But still, there was one other thing. 

"IDIOT, YOU CAN'T USE YOUR WAND IF YOUR ARMS ARE STONE!" 

"MY RIGHT HAND ISN'T!" Kirishima yelled back and just as he said that, Katsuki suddenly felt something hard and rough slapping at him. When had Kirishima used Incarcerus? Ropes were tying Katsuki up, enclosing him in and chafing against his skin to the point that it was hella painful but Katsuki couldn't give up when it came to something as measly as this. He growled, squeezing his eyes shut as he pushed his limbs as far apart as he could, and he was roaring while he set himself free at the same time as sending another explosion Kirishima's way. Kirishima blocked it again, but a weakness of his was that he couldn't attack while he defended. Katsuki had moved behind him by the time the explosion cleared, and he was ready to obliterate him once and for all. Until, Kirishima apparently predicted him being there.  

"PERICULUM!" Katsuki yelled, just at the same that Kirishima reached a hand back and yelled, "IMMOBULUS", and they both watched as the stream of red sparks from Katsuki's fingers came to a standstill, right between Katsuki and Kirishima. They both watched the gleaming ruby-like embers suspended in the air, and Kirishima whispered in battered awe, "It looks so pretty." 

"They're like fireflies..." 

"They are."

And Kirishima looked even more gorgeous when Katsuki looked at him through those sparks, a glittering happy enigma because Katsuki would never understand him. He covered his lower face as coolly as he could, trying his hardest not to blush as he wondered why he had to have these thoughts, especially at a dumb time like this. So maybe Auror really wasn't for him if this was the way he'd get distracted, but the thought didn't hurt so much when he saw Kirishima grin at him. 

"We should continue this duel, huh?" 

"Yeah. 'Guess so." 

Katsuki blasted jets of wind from his hands to blow the sparks into Kirishima's face, making the latter yelp and fall back, and Katsuki was blasting hole by hole into the ground until there was barely any space for Kirishima to go. Kirishima looked around hazily, looking stressed out but before Katsuki even knew it, Kirishima was flying at him with a mighty war cry tearing out his mouth. 

"VERMILLI-" 

"EXPULSO!" 

Immediately, Kirishima was repelled backwards and Katsuki ran into the aftermath, going after him before growling when he wasn't able to fully dodge a throwing spell which threw back half his body, and he was pretty sure he dislocated something. Nonetheless, he kept going, holding his palm out flat as he yelled, "BOMBARDA VENTUS!" 

An explosion shattered the ground while wind from the second part of the spell blew the after-debris up and forward, before collecting together and falling on the ground with a loud smash. And once the dust cleared, Kirishima was nowhere to be seen. He was underneath all of that stone, and he wasn't moving. 

Katsuki waited for a moment, fists clenched and ready. But half a minute passed to the point that he was actually getting worried, until an assessor in the stands stood up and held an arm out to Katsuki. 

"Katsuki Bakugou wins." 

The instant the last syllable left his mouth, Katsuki sprinted at the debris, frantically moving all the rock he could. He already knew Kirishima couldn't be severely hurt since the assessors would have detected it and done something otherwise, but Katsuki couldn't help but spiral into panic after all that. "Shithead, where the fuck are you?! Say something, damn it!" 

"Baku...gou..." 

"Ah!" Katsuki climbed upwards and delved his arms under the biggest rock he could, throwing it to the side to make way for Kirishima who looked completely scratched up, his shirt tearing while his stone arms seemed to have made it easier for him not to, well, die under all of that. He looked like the personification of defeat, but he was still smiling at Katsuki. Damn beautiful positive bastard. 

"You're so amazing." 

"For fuck's sake, I went way too far- and so are you," Katsuki muttered in annoyance, dropping forward to reach out a hand to Kirishima and the latter took it, only to pull Katsuki down. It was weakly done but Katsuki was still caught off guard as he fell on top of Kirishima, only just raising an arm so they wouldn't completely crash. Katsuki looked down in astonishment as Kirishima's grin grew even wider. This felt like deja vu, from that one time in the dorms, but this time Katsuki didn't want to run.

"No, you're just- you're incredible. I mean, fighting against you has probably been the coolest thing I've ever done. That wasn't like any of the duels I've done before, it felt like a real hard proper fight and you crushed me, dude. Literally." 

"Come on, that's not...you were okay. That wasn't the easiest win for me, I fuckin' appreciate that." 

"Yeah, but you did win. You won your last match, bro. You won all eleven matches, right?" 

"Yeah...yeah I did," Katsuki said, the realisation finally dawning on him, and the other jolted in surprise when Katsuki rested his forehead against Kirishima's, allowing himself to take a breather for a moment as he closed his eyes and laughed, "I'm the bloody best! I did win everything, I knew I would!" 

"God, you're so cute today," Kirishima said in a rushed breath like he was in pain. Katsuki snorted in disbelief, finally moving away from Kirishima. 

"I'm not cute." 

"You are, you are- at least today." 

"If you say so." 

"Huh? You're not gonna fight me on this?" Kirishima asked in surprise, taking Katsuki's hand again so Katsuki could actually pull him up and onto his feet this time.

"Nah, 'cause you're just babbling nonsense since you're still on a battle high." Katsuki was telling that to himself, too. "Let's get going, you git." 

Kirishima stared at him for a moment, before beaming, nodding as he squeezed Katsuki's hand. Apparently holding hands was what they were doing now, and Katsuki tried to keep his heart under wraps. 

"Aizawa sir," an assessor on the sidelines spoke into a magical device, and the man on the other side asked, "What?" 

"I think this match has a conflict of interest." 

"What? What do you mean?" 

"I think the two students are in a romantic relationship." 

"The fu- okay, uh...did either of them let up on the other during the match?"

"Well, not really. One of them literally drove the other into the ground." 

"Then why does this matter?" 

"I just thought-" 

The assessor blinked when the device was suddenly torn away from him, and crushed to pieces. Katsuki glared at him, growling, "You heard the man, it doesn't matter," before he dropped the leftovers onto the floor and walked off.

Then immediately flushed completely pink. 

An outsider seriously saw that and thought they were dating? Fuck, Katsuki needed to be careful. This had all just happened because they were happy and adrenaline-high and tired, and it would never happen again. 

"Bakugou? What was that all about?" Kirishima asked confusedly from down in the arena as Katsuki jumped down the steps, falling next to him with a shrug. He had initially wanted to go to the assessor and bully him into telling him his score, but it didn't seem like he could do that now.

"Nothing. Let's go back." 

"Okay!"

 

Chapter Text

As an avid protestor for child rights (in his head) which included a movement for hour naps at least in every quarter of a day, Katsuki was one of the people cheering when 3:45 pm on Friday came. The half-term holidays were finally upon them and most people were leaving to go back home especially since the great Halloween feast had been cancelled, supposedly because there were changes happening to the school over the holiday (but really because Hogwarts had spent too much funding on Quidditch the year before and they had to cut back a little, ultimately meaning 'we either have our usual incredible Halloween feast or none at all!')...except, maybe not most, since not as many people as usual seemed to be gone. Katsuki didn't think much about it until he managed to hear the most absurd rumour ever.

"Everyone's staying until October 16th 'cause Eijirou Kirishima's gonna throw the biggest birthday bash ever for his seventeenth, aka the guy's turning legal!"

To be honest it was more like a whispered announcement, and Katsuki froze in his tracks. Wow. Well, this wasn't the first time this had happened but it had been a while. Katsuki had only been a tiny third year when Victoire Weasley had the party to end all parties with all the connections she had, and Katsuki had only danced with Mina for a while before accidentally wrecking a glass punch bowl and he had to run. Well honestly, he shouldn't have been there anyway, but this time he was also a sixth year. He could sip some firewhiskey and perhaps not die.

But it was Kirishima's party. Katsuki wasn't sure if he'd be wanted there, and he respected the guy's opinion enough not to want to crash it.

"Is that why you're staying too?" Katsuki asked Kaminari and Sero who nodded. Katsuki was mind-blown. "Woah. Wait, is that why I'm staying?"

"No, dude, your parents are down south, remember? You need to get more sleep," Sero laughed and Katsuki nodded in realisation. "But, do come by to the party. From all the fizzy drinks you can chug, I feel like you'll be a fan of firewhiskey."

"Oh, my mum says that too. Have you had it before?" Katsuki asked and Sero shook his head, but Kaminari clinked his glass against the side of the table to get their attention.

"But I have, motherfuckers."

"Yes, says the boy who so fearlessly tries it at every party only to hack up horrendously for twenty minutes and cry," Todoroki said matter-of-factly, looking at his nails. Kaminari stared at him.

"You were nice when I first met you. What have we done to you?"

Todoroki just smiled and Sero snorted, ruffling his hair before pointing at Katsuki. "Yeah, Mina asked me to convince you to go. Stuff about how her and Kirishima are such good friends and all and also bout how you two have a thing going on."

If looks could kill, Sero would be twenty fucking feet under. "I literally only learnt his damn name during the summer holidays and I still sometimes call him lion boy in my head, and you really think we're dating? You bastards."

"No, dude, not like that, like you're buddying up a little. Someone said they saw you two talking on the stairs? And you two were super friendly when you came back after your duel."

Katsuki's eyes grew wide a split-second before he quickly looked away. Why the hell did word spread like this? "I guess, but it didn't mean much. Someone like him won't wanna get involved with me. Not like I want to anyway."

"Whatever you say," Sero said with a sly smile, resting his chin in his palm.

That scared Katsuki a little.

Now that it was the holidays, the Halloween spirit was starting to become alive bit by bit. Ghosts were telling anyone who'd listen about their old spooky tales and pesky jinxes were materialising by the day and definitively catching people out. Katsuki made sure to be careful, though. And it wasn't like he needed to leave his dorm much at the moment.

It felt very weird walking around Hogwarts without his uniform on, so he'd at least bundle up in his robes. Just to feel more normal. And it was cold. He was leaving the building to go see a unicorn (Mina had convinced him) and now he was quite excited. He was glad teachers arranged these little whistle-stop tours during their off time, and people who went on holiday were missing out. Well, okay. Maybe that made Katsuki sound lame.

The unicorn was absolutely gorgeous. Mina was hugging Katsuki's arm as they watched it in awe, the sleek white fur and the gossamer mane, as well as the soft silver eyes. The horn was something incredible with its glimmering shine that really did seem to reflect the colours of the rainbow as the winter sun shone down on it.

Katsuki was as cautious as he could be as the professor let him approach it. If a damn unicorn kicked him then Katsuki would be the one apologising, and he would say that about nothing else.

"Hey," Katsuki said, gently stroking the animal's mane. He felt like the unicorn's eye was looking at him, the silver of its iris so bright, and Katsuki was brought back to younger years where mythical creatures were his life. "You're real pretty, you know? Not me pretty or Kirishima pretty, you're you pretty and you're perfect. I always wanted a unicorn. Mum said that was what girls and sissies want, Dad said that was nonsense. Though he also said he'd get me a unicorn and that was nonsense too. But all you need to know is that you're very pretty and very great. You're the only thing greater than me. Forget about my nonsense, I'm a fucking weirdo but we all know that. I feel weird cursing around you, sorry, I'll stop."

The unicorn bowed its head a little, almost as if it was nodding and Katsuki smiled, really feeling like he was six years old again and it was a free feeling. He didn't want to be sixteen, he didn't want to be nearing legal age. He wanted to be small again and forget about everything that life kept throwing at him the instant he started growing up.

He stroked the unicorn's mane before his time was up, though he didn't want to go.

Katsuki realised very late that Kirishima and fucking Deku had come too. He was surprised, but then he didn't know why he was surprised so he just let it be. Who wouldn't want to see a unicorn? He kept looking at them, though, especially when it was Kirishima's turn with the unicorn and he chatted so casually, light and laughing and the unicorn even turned its head to face the guy. Kirishima was too charming for his own good, and Katsuki wished he could know how he did it. Not that he'd copy him or anything. Katsuki was perfect the way he damn well was. Duh.

"Now, everyone, be very quiet so we can see if we can catch a glimpse of any of the other creatures who live here," Professor said, raising a finger to his lips as they crouched down in the edges of the landing in the forest. Katsuki hugged his knees, looking around carefully only to see Kirishima doing the same. He didn't mean to stare so long that their eyes met, and Kirishima's smile was too bright as he instinctively gave a small wave. Then he pointed at the air which had Katsuki furrowing his eyebrows, mouthing 'the fuck?' but Kirishima shook his head, tapping his wand instead. Katsuki watched his eyes, because he had learnt from Todoroki that that was a good way to sort of figure out more about what someone was doing, and the next thing he saw were orange sparks. Kirishima was drawing words in the air with his wand. 

'Are you coming to my party?'

Ah. Katsuki couldn't reply straight away. He had been thinking no because it was the type of party he'd want to be invited to first...maybe Kirishima thought differently?

Katsuki shrugged, and Kirishima's lips formed a pout.

'Please?'

Oh no. Kirishima was being cute again. Gross. Not gross, really. But if Katsuki wanted him to go, then there was nothing he could—

"Alright, students, off we pop!" Professor called out and the air was filled with shuffling and mutters, as Mina bounded over to Katsuki again.

"Hey, what's with you? You look like you've 'seen a ghost or something', as muggles would say. Pfft. Amateurs," Mina snorted, shaking her head, and Katsuki slapped his own face a little so he'd look less like Mina said. Another Todoroki habit, damn it, hadn't he just said he didn't copy people?

"I'm fi-"

"I'll get Mido to bake you anything you want if you come!"

"HEY, DO YOUR OWN DIRTY WORK!"

Katsuki turned around only to get a faceful of Kirishima who yelped, quickly halting to a stop right before he crashed into Katsuki. The two stared at each other for a moment before jumping back a few feet each. Katsuki might be red, but the embarrassment didn't last long for Kirishima as he clasped his hands together, putting on some pretty imploring puppy dog eyes. "You've gotta come. I swear it'll be fun, I swear."

"Stop, you weirdo, it's not like I...don't wanna go. Yeah, sure, I'll come if you want me to or whatever?"

"I do!" Kirishima said so happily that it was ridiculous, eyes sparkling as he threw his arms out but paused when Katsuki's hand sparked. "Right, no hugs, got it."

"I've really got to ask. When the hell did this happen?" Mina (who Katsuki had momentarily forgot about, whoops) asked curiously, gesturing to the both of them and Katsuki and Kirishima both looked at Mina then back at each other, figuring out how to describe it while Kirishima also clamped a hand over Midoriya's mouth for good measure.

"It just kinda did, 'fucking guess."

"Yeah! We just catch each other sometimes and chat."

"Katsuki doesn't 'chat'," Mina said with a raised eyebrow, but she looked strangely pleased. "But I'll try and take your word for it. KitKat, run straight to me if he ever harasses you, okay?"

"Hey, who'd be more likely to harass who here?!" Kirishima screeched and as him and Mina got into a wild verbal-but-very-almost-physical fight, Katsuki was whisked away by fucking Deku who said a determined, "Let's ditch these two and get some lunch!" which sounded pretty appealing, as long as Katsuki could dump a bowl of mashed potatoes on his head.

-

The night was a nice one. The moon was a perfect crescent and the air was crisp, cold but softly so for a month like October. Katsuki was humming a song contentedly under the bleachers, eyes closed as he thought about absolutely nothing. This really was his favourite time of day for that exact reason. There was nothing that he needed to think about.

That was until he heard a raspy, hushed, "Robot?" from far too nearby, and he almost choked.

"How the fuck did you-"

"Hearing charm. I like the way you hum," Kirishima said, awkward but he meant well and Katsuki was blushing, he definitely was but he could still pretend he wasn't. Kirishima couldn't quite see him anyway because the guy was still on the other side of the bleachers and it was pretty dark out. "And, you haven't been coming recently, right...?"

Katsuki looked up to the sound of his voice curiously. "I mean, yeah, cause it's been raining lately- have you been doing this hearing charm every night?"

"Just 'cause I, uh, I wanna ask you if you wanna spend the night with me," Kirishima mumbled, sounding so small and shy. "Instead of, alone. See, it sounds stupid now-"

"Yeah it does, why even?"

"Because we're friends and we're both here! Why not?"

"You get lonely, don't you?"

Kirishima didn't answer, so Katsuki took it upon himself to assume 'yes' as he got up and squeezed out from under the bleachers, nodding at Kirishima who had been squatting on the lowest row. Kirishima's eyes caught onto him and he immediately stood up, almost toppling over as he tried to wave and Katsuki grinned. Kirishima was macho, but he was a dork. Nothing could make Katsuki think otherwise anymore.

"Do you like flying?" Kirishima asked excitedly as he jumped off and bounded over to Katsuki, before slowing sadly when Katsuki shook his head. "Aw, really?"

"I can watch you, though."

"Ah, that's no fun. Hmm..." Katsuki seized up when Kirishima suddenly clamped onto his arm, tugging on it. "Come on!"

Katsuki really had no choice but be half-dragged by this far-too-energetic monster even despite his angered screeches, up the bleacher stairs, into the commentator's window and Katsuki thought that would be it until Kirishima let go of him and suddenly jumped onto the ledge, looking down at Katsuki with a twinkle in his eye. "Have you ever climbed a tree?"

"You looking down at me? A lot, you fucker."

"Then this'll be a piece of cake for you!"

Kirishima was suddenly disappearing through the roof space, jumping onto the edges connecting the four towers before racing over to the Slytherin one. Katsuki stared at him lazily, way too tired for this but then Kirishima would think he had chickened out which he couldn't have. Well, he could at least try and find an easier way.

He moved out of the commentator's window onto the bleachers and looked around, deciding to run out across the top set of bleachers. It worked as he got to the end and clung onto the fabric of the tower, clasping on the woodwork hidden inside to pull himself up, and it weirdly spurred him on when he heard Kirishima cheering. He was a bloody weirdo. A bloody cute weirdo.

"There we go, you incredible automaton," Kirishima said with a smile as he reached out to pull Katsuki over, except Katsuki was so fatigued that he just fell into the guy. Kirishima seemed surprised at first but he slid an arm around Katsuki, trying to get a look at his face which the guy was trying to hide. "You good?"

"Nah, I'm tired...don't usually do sports so this is..."

Kirishima blinked. "What are you talking about? You climb lots of trees and you're muscly as hell but you don't do sports?"

"I just do tons of duelling practice, what sports are there other than Quidditch," Katsuki muttered, squirming a tiny bit when Kirishima started rubbing his back.

"For the record, you did amazing just now, and fucking incredible in the duelling exam. God, I feel like you'd be so good at some muggle sports, annoying wizarding world which only pushes Quidditch..."

"Do you hate the wizarding world?" Katsuki asked curiously, peering at Kirishima who looked pleased that Katsuki was looking at him before he was frowning at the question.

"What? No, not at all. It's just really different to the muggle world."

"Which you prefer."

"...yeah. I think so. But I wish they could work together more too."

"That sounds cool."

"It does."

"The thing you said earlier...aw-tomato-n?"

Kirishima grinned, knocking his head against Katsuki's which had Katsuki very confused. Maybe he had hallucinated that. He needed sleep. "Automaton. It's another word for robot."

"I still don't know what a fucking robot is."

"Well, I can give you the rundown now. It's basically not a human, but it's created to do things so that humans won't have to do them. It's created by humans, though, out of metal and wires and electricity and special code to make it work. They're most times supposed to be made in humans' likeness, so it's like we're playing God a little, but it's in human and animal nature to be able to feel and have emotions. A robot generally shouldn't be able to feel things, but they can try and copy other emotions if they observe human reactions and tendencies."

"You think I don't feel things?" Katsuki asked with a raised eyebrow and Kirishima quickly shook his head.

"No way! But, you show your emotions in a kind of stilted way, don't you?"

"I'm learning," Katsuki said quietly to the point that he hoped Kirishima didn't hear, crossing his arms. Kirishima smiled at him in a fonder way now.

"And that's great."

Maybe Katsuki really was a robot. Maybe the way he was learning was by copying how other people did things, and his pride didn't actually mean shit. That might make sense. But the way his heart had skipped when Kirishima smiled at him like that did assure him a little that he was human. Obviously not proving anything else.

"Did you think it was going to be me?" Katsuki asked as they both stared at the moon. Kirishima didn't answer straight away, but his arm fell from Katsuki's shoulders.

"Well, out of the odd five or so male Japanese sixth year Slytherins, maybe half of that for those taller than me, I've gotta say...no? I didn't."

"Right."

"Not that I thought it was anyone else. I genuinely had no clue, but I was surprised."

"About what?"

"About it being you."

"Do I not seem nice enough? Thank Hecate," Katsuki sighed in relief and Kirishima laughed even as he shook his head.

"Nothing like that, it's just my prejudice. What I kind of made you out to be in my head."

Kirishima thought about him that much?

"What's that like?"

"Like...I had in my head that you're gorgeous, you're smart, you're super untouchable and manly as hell...out of my league just even for friendship," Kirishima muttered, getting quieter with each word as he looked down at the ground now while Katsuki kept staring holes into him. "I mean, you grew up real fast when it came to looks. Excuse my gay ass but you're fucking hot, man."

That was kinda nice to hear from someone who looked like Kirishima did. Honestly, Katsuki didn't need this inflation to his ego, though. "I know."

"So, are you like that?"

"Like what?"

"Like what I said?"

"Shouldn't you be answering that question?"

"I don't know. I guess you're a lot of things I didn't think you'd be...like placid, funny, impressionable. Kinda guileless too. You know, innocent, and without decepti-"

"I know what guileless is, and I'm not fucking it. I'm not any of that, weirdo, stop making me out to be a good person. I'm on a different level to this species." And this time, Katsuki didn't mean that as a good thing.

Kirishima was staring at him. His expression was a little sad, his head tilted, and then out of nowhere he said, "You're soft."

Katsuki could've burst into flames. "Hah?!"

"Like a cupcake!"

"Don't be fucking cheesy, loser!"

"Okay, okay, sorry! Just wanted to see your reaction, heh," Kirishima said brightly, nudging Katsuki like a way of saying 'it was just a joke'. Ugh. This was actually getting on Katsuki's nerves now, all these smiles, blushes, his heartbeat's irregularity. Kirishima was doing something to him and it was getting so scary.

"...I've got some words for you too."

"Really? Go ahead!"

"You're whimsical," Katsuki said, and Kirishima seemed to bristle a little in happiness before getting slammed down by Katsuki's next few words. "Dumb. Overbearing. Dramatic. Agreeable. Kinda complex. Manly."

"I'm manly?" Kirishima questioned with an impressive mixture of overwhelming happiness and doubt in his voice, but Katsuki nodded because that was one of the words that he was most sure of.

"Yeah. In a likeable way, 'guess..."

"I guess so, if I got you to like me," Kirishima agreed, smiling at Katsuki who felt the need to half-smile back, or maybe it was a full smile since it wasn't like he could really tell anymore, and it felt like some sort of moment which was the kind of 'whimsical' thinking that someone like Kirishima would have, not Katsuki, but he still thought it. However not long passed before Kirishima's smile fell and his eyes widened. "I-I mean, assuming that you like me! If you don't then-"

"Don't stress about it, idiot," Katsuki said and Kirishima nodded, trying to get his breath back because he was a stupid over-reactor. "You're kind of okay."

Kirishima beamed, eyes crinkling and Katsuki wanted to scratch him behind his ears which was gross. Kirishima was making him miss his puppy back home, and that demon thing fucking hated Katsuki. "You're kind of okay too."

"I'm way better but go off. Gah...I'm tired, hold on," Katsuki muttered as he descended into the loudest yawn ever, stretching his arms out behind him as Kirishima watched him in awe.

"Hey...why do you stay up so late? Is there a reason?"

"Man, honestly, I used to be a complete grandma when it came to this stuff. I'd be out by nine and up by six, and that was the dream life," Katsuki sighed, leaning back and crossing his arms behind his head. "Then I became obsessed with being the best, and I'd stay up all night reading books and learning how to duel by myself. It was horrible, though. It had such a bad effect on me that I had to go to hospital, I wasn't allowed back to school for two months which just set me back despite all my hard work, and I've had insomnia ever since. At least by now I can sleep even just a bit."

"Bro..."

"Now I know it's dumb. I'll become the best without doing any of that, because it's not like anyone else is doing that and I'm already better than everyone. I'll be fine."

Kirishima nodded, saying a proud, "You're the manliest ever, dude," and Katsuki squashed his dumb head. Kirishima just grinned up at him before his expression faltered, as if a thought had breached his mind and Katsuki felt a little worried. "Hey...can I ask a question?" 

"Spit it out." 

"Your...you know...your wandless magic. It's so cool." 

"Uh, I don't think so. It's just normal, I'm sure you could do it if you tried hard enough." 

"Nah, I like my wand," Kirishima shrugged, closing his eyes for a second. "I just, you know, wish I knew earlier. Feels like I've been unaware of a whole part of you." 

"Are you kidding? I've literally never tried to hide it. Yeah yeah, they tell us to because it's not the 'norm' here but fuck that, like you said it's a part of me. People just usually figure it out, it's not something I'm used to telling people so - it's not like I'd say anything about it, if it wasn't for that duelling exam." 

"So you weren't hiding it from me?" 

"Wha- fuck no! I don't hide anything. I'm an open book." 

"You really think that?" 

"You wanna fight?" Katsuki snarled, holding out a finger right in front of Kirishima's nose before he ignited a spark from it, and Kirishima let out a soft 'woah' as a smile lit up his face far more than Katsuki's spark had. Fuck, who made him so cute? Why was that allowed? 

"You're so manly." 

"Shut your face." 

"So...explain it to me. That invigilator said that this generation of wizards at Hogwarts have the highest numbers of wandless users and is that- is there a reason for that?" 

"Well, use your bloody head, hair-for-brains, can't you see how many more Asian people there are in this generation of students than there's ever been? And you really don't know why?" 

Kirishima shook his head, eyes wide in anticipation, and Katsuki sighed inwardly. He'd forget sometimes that Kirishima didn't know about any of this even if he was Asian too, he'd forget that this guy was a muggleborn who didn't know a jot, really. All the other Japanese kids in the year were pureblood or half, bar from Todoroki where even he had a magical-type parent, and Katsuki realised that this was yet another thing that made Kirishima special. What a fucking surprise. 

"Fine, but don't make me repeat anything. The gist of it is in the turn of the last century, there was a massive outbreak of wizarding war across East Asia, so big that it even reached the muggles. Luckily there was no serious harm to them and everything was able to just be labelled as low-level terrorist attacks to them, but in reality it was such a different story. The fighting started because when Japan and Russia started to fight over the new wizarding reforms put in place, specifically where wandless magic had to be prepared to be abolished, and those who follow dark magic, people whose kids and kids' kids would go on to become Death Eaters like we know, should have a place in Ministries to voice their dues." 

"I know it's not the time but you're so good at storytelling, can you make a campfire?" Kirishima asked in awe, eyes sparkling and Katsuki thwacked the guy's gut lighter than he felt he would have to someone else. 

"I said to shut up, you're not smart enough to be able to interrupt." 

"HEY-" 

"So. There were massive, massive battles, and eventually, war. Main powers were Japan vs Russia, and it wasn't long before countries like China and Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, all of them - they were swept up in the biggest Asian war that had probably ever happened. And it was all because of such small fucking reasons that didn't even end up taking place because things got so out of hand. Well, because of that basically a lot of wizarding families emigrated to countries out of Asia, and England was definitely a hot spot with their wealth and strong magical influence. My grandparents were the ones who moved here, so I'm a few generations down. It's the same for most of the other East Asian kids here. I've got no clue what became of the war because I didn't want to find out the ending of all that meaningless carnage, so I know as well as you after this point." 

"Thought you'd be the type to like carnage." 

"Not over such dumb reasons like that, to cause so many pointless casualties. I hate it. It's one of the only reasons I dropped History of Magic by OWLs, 'cause I know we'd have to learn about it and I don't want to. My ancestors fought in that. Don't need to know about all the people they killed."

Silence only followed after that. Then Katsuki felt a tentative hand just barely touch his, and he looked to the side in surprise masked by anger to be met with another pretty smile, directed at him when he didn't deserve something so pure

"It's okay, you know. It's fine feeling that way. Wars are scary, scary things. I like to wish that they never happened, too. Let's kid ourselves, let's think about the world peacefully! It makes things easier." 

Maybe Kirishima wasn't so much of an airhead as he made himself out to be. 

"Yeah, 'guess." 

Kirishima was so dazzling that Katsuki sent him an almost-smile back before he turned his head quickly, realising he was letting his guard down. He huddled a bit when he heard Kirishima laugh, quiet and light.

"Hey so, when do you wanna go back?"

"Not yet. Soon. If you want to go then you can-"

"No, I can stay."

"If you say so."

"I do," Kirishima mumbled, resting his face in Katsuki's shoulder and Katsuki knew that was because the guy was tired, he could see it in Kirishima's eyes and even his voice when they were talking. Katsuki wished Kirishima would just leave because it wasn't like he had anything to bloody prove, Katsuki already knew that Kirishima would usually only be out here an hour (if that) before heading back in.

But Katsuki might secretly like the feeling of having Kirishima next to him. And this was one kind of weakness that he might accept, just as long as he kept it to himself.

"You can sleep, weakling. I'll carry you back after," Katsuki muttered, and Kirishima made a slurred humming noise, burrowing further into Katsuki which had the latter snorting quietly, arms looping around Kirishima loosely to keep him up. Once he was still, Katsuki looked back up at the crescent moon, swinging his legs over the edge of the tower.

Two friends, midnight conversations, touching, thinking. Normal things, but it weighed heavier on Katsuki's heart because it felt special to him. If someone had opened his heart this quickly, they were nothing if not special. It made him think of the future, and how colourful it might end up being, with pink, black, white, yellow crayons, and now a red one.

A colourful future, for someone like him.

 

Chapter Text

As a friend who kind of tried for birthdays as long as he remembered them, Katsuki did decide to try for Kirishima, just because he had three whole days to think of a present and that seemed long enough. Kind of. Or maybe Katsuki just knew what to get already.

"My dad owl-ed back, he got it for me," Katsuki called out as he walked into his dorm room holding the box, and Sero and Todoroki both cheered (with varying levels of excitement). Katsuki grinned for a split-second, before actually looking at the gift box. "It's smaller than I thought it'd be, damn it."

"Those things don't come cheap," Sero pointed out with his head hanging upside down, and Todoroki nodded.

"Why'd you wanna get him that anyway?"

"I know he likes music a lot," Katsuki explained, tipping the box upside down and to the sides. "I feel like he might appreciate this."

"Wow. I just thought you'd be getting him nothing like us because we're bad people."

"Hey, remember, Kirishima and Bakugou are buddies," Sero sang, winking at Katsuki who groaned, falling back onto his bed.

"Shut the fuck up, don't you idiots always say having friends is normal? Why would you make fun of me for it then?!"

"You called him cute yesterday."

"So?"

"Bakugou, that's literally the type of thing you only tell your friends if you do want them to make fun of you," Sero snickered, and him and Todoroki fist-bumped. Katsuki glared at them, grumbling, "I hope you both die. And it's not an icky lovey kind of cute, losers, it's objective."

"Objective, huh? Tell us moreeee-"

"SHUT YOUR FUCKING UGLY MOUTH!"

"Why do you find him cute, Bakugou? It's new for you," Todoroki said, throwing a Rubix cube upside down (when Katsuki first saw one, he mastered it immediately and no-one believed he had never tried it before which got him so butthurt that he never even touched one again) and he sounded so sincere that Katsuki actually considered answering. Why did he find Kirishima cute? He had found it weird as hell at first, but then he just decided to accept it because he thought it too much and Katsuki wasn't bothered to bat away something so menial so many times. But why? Why?

"Don't know."

"Find out at the party. As a fresh new friend, he'll want a lot of one-on-one time with you then," Sero suggested, wiggling his eyebrows before screeching when Katsuki came at him with a pillow.

Katsuki didn't see a lot of Kirishima in those three days. Well, to be fair, he didn't really leave his dorm let alone the Slytherin tower unless the others asked him to. It was really nice having them all there because he wasn't used to being at Hogwarts during any holiday period, but the festivity and warmth his friends gave was a welcome kind of different spirit, and he would do more than begrudgingly admit that because he wasn't all that much of a fan of going home usually, not when his parents were there to drill him about school and never leave him alone for one fucking second 'cause he was the 'problem child who always needed to be watched' - it made him feral, it was why he was always high-strung right after coming back to Hogwarts. But for now...things could be different. Though that just made it kinda shit that the others would be gone by the 17th and he'd still be stuck here for another one and a half weeks. Grr, he might even rather be at home then, at least it'd be more familiar.

Plans for what to do in the holidays

i. Spend the days alone holed up in your dorm playing games. 

ii. Read all those new books you got.

iii. See if there are any other people you know staying behind too and give them a hundred tricks until Halloween.

iv. Curse your family constantly for leaving you lonely.

v. Eat as much food as you can until you clear the entire table...abuse this damn school's buckets of money.

"Robot!"

Katsuki yelped lowly, jolting a little as his parchment flew away and he jumped up to go after it, catching it just in time before it flew out of the window. He growled to himself, scrunching the page in his hand (which ultimately meant that saving it had been for nothing, which just made him more angry) as he turned around and saw Kirishima looking sheepish. "Sorry about that..."

"No you're fucking not," Katsuki muttered, rolling his eyes and he didn't know why Kirishima was smiling again. Katsuki went back to his seat on the floor because it had been comfortable, but it startled him a little when Kirishima immediately swooped in next to him, their shoulders touching. "The heck you doing-"

"What's that about?" Kirishima asked, pointing at the list and Katsuki looked back at it.

"Oh. Things that I could do this holiday. I don't know yet."

"You're not gonna figure that stuff out with your family?"

"Yeah, but they're busy. Gone off to bloody Kent while I'm staying here."

"You didn't wanna go to Kent with them?"

"Pfft, they didn't want me to fucking impose." Katsuki hugged his leg and smushed his face into his knee, not really wanting to get into his family dynamic right now. Kirishima seemed to take the hint as he quickly changed the subject, his tone filling with warm brightness.

"You could spend the holidays with me! Then I'd be the one more likely to impose but it'd hopefully be fun," Kirishima said with a grin, and Katsuki turned to raise an eyebrow at him, his cheek still squished against his leg. He must look like a right loser but the way Kirishima was beaming at him made him think it was fine.

"You're staying?"

"Yeah! My, uh...parents are kinda busy too, I guess," Kirishima said, laughing nervously to hide how his voice trailed off, and Katsuki felt hollow from that. He took a rough hold of Kirishima's arm, tugging him closer and Kirishima gave him a surprised look.

"You can hug me if you want. It might make you feel better." Fuck, what was he doing? Who had brainwashed him? "I-I'm not gonna hug back or anything so don't get all cocky. Shithead."

The way Kirishima lit up was so quick that Katsuki felt like he had just looked into the sun. "That offer's already enough to make me feel better."

"Oh cool, so you're not gonna-"

"Never said that!" Kirishima chirped as he reached out and wrapped his arms around Katsuki's torso from the side, hugging him close. Katsuki winced a little, about to squirm about before realising that he was the one who had suggested this so he sighed and stayed still. Before realising that Kirishima's face in his shoulder was really really warm.

The third time that Kirishima's arms had been around him. Third time's supposed to be a charm, huh?

"Didn't you say something about staying with your sister, all that time ago?" Katsuki asked right before Kirishima pulled away, his hair much messier than before, and face redder. Their faces were actually implorably close but Katsuki couldn't complain. Though he should. He was always good at finding things to complain about, but with Kirishima sometimes it was like reaching for air. "You said that, right?"

"Yeah! But I don't wanna burden her, since her and her...well, husband now, they got married super recently so I don't even know if they're off their honeymoon - which they're literally having at home by the way, so boring - and I wanna let her and her husband have that, I guess."

"Okay," Katsuki agreed though he hadn't understood much. "That's nice. Being married sounds so fucking nice. Lucky bastards."

"Really are," Kirishima laughed. Katsuki smiled a little without realising, not really at Kirishima but because of him, realising that Kirishima kind of had shadows of freckles even in this weather and his laugh was incredible. But his smile was falling in an instant when he heard a familiar wolf-whistle and he turned around to see Sero leaning against a wall, smirking at the two of them.

"Well, well-"

"IT'S NOT WHAT IT FUCKING LOOKS LIKE, SOY SAUCE DIP-SHIT!" Katsuki yelled, quickly pushing Kirishima away before jumping up to run after Sero who was already bolting off like a whip, his laughter echoing, and Katsuki was so annoyed that he ended up forgetting about Kirishima who was left there, wondering what was going on.

Sero was bursting into their dorm room with cackles soon enough with Katsuki trailing behind, out of breath but still wearily trying to catch Sero. "You...fucker..."

"I was just commenting on what I saw, mate," Sero snickered even though he was way more out of breath than Katsuki, ready to fall to the ground though he was screaming like a sissy when he suddenly saw Kaminari. "Th-The hell?!"

"You know how good I'm getting at Charms. I can get myself through anything now!" Kaminari said brightly, grinning but that just made Sero blink.

"Aw, you could have done it so much earlier then we could've made out here," Sero whined and Kaminari turned bright red while Katsuki wanted to retch. He grinned when Kaminari struck Sero with a pillow.

"Don't think about stuff like that! Or like, you can but...don't say it in front of Bakugou! It's weird!"

"Hey, he was getting comfy with Kirishima, it's not like he's innocent," Sero grumbled, rubbing his side with a pout and Kaminari whirled around to stare at Katsuki, his dunce mouth open bigger than a black hole. Katsuki just groaned, rolling himself into his bed.

"In a friendly way. It's not my fault that the dumbass likes hugs." Even though I'm the one who...shut up.

"Mhm, sure," Sero teased while Kaminari patted the lump Katsuki now was under the covers, grinning.

"Maybe I'll take your word for it. Sero, I've got orders from Mina to lay up on Baku about this, it's confusing for him."

Katsuki might fucking love Mina, he had to tell her that one day before either of them died.

"Ugh, fine. And I didn't mean what I said about making out," Sero mumbled, hugging Kaminari's torso tightly. "But still..."

"You really think I'm here for a reason other than you?"

"Not really but I still love to hear you say it," Sero beamed, before yelping when Kaminari pounced on him. Katsuki really did retch at them, ducking further under his blanket. They were disgustingly and very minimally adorably gross. It was a remarkable feat, and Katsuki hated them to death. And also kinda wanted to be them. He had never really thought that second one until now.

Katsuki slowly turned over in his bed, letting his eyes close as he decided that a nap didn't sound so bad. He was always tired, after all. He could still hear Kaminari and Sero's grossness so he tried to block it out and it...actually seemed to be...working...

"Bakugouuuu," an annoying sing-songy voice was saying (more like violating his fucking ears). "Wake up, you've got a gentleman-caller!"

Katsuki blinked groggily, turning around to see Sero's grinning 'I told you so' face which had Katsuki frowning. "Wha..."

"Kirishima's at the door," Kaminari explained just as suggestively, wiggling his eyebrows and Katsuki blinked, frozen for a moment before he tumbled out of bed and bolted to the door, growling when Sero was cackling once more, ugh, he hated the guy, he hated bloody everyone, this was why he was the only worthy creature on this fucking planet-

"How the fuck did you get in? What the bloody hell are you doing?!" Katsuki hissed once he got the door open and saw Kirishima standing on the other side, looking all cool and suave leaning against the doorframe but the instant he saw Katsuki looking like a vision of fury, he immediately snapped out of it, standing up straight and holding his arms out.

"Wait, wait, why are you so angr-"

"These losers I'm supposed to call friends have been annoying me non-stop about you and that's all because of stuff that you do that make it seem like we're dating and you need to stop," Katsuki growled, slamming the door shut behind him so the others wouldn't hear, and Kirishima looked lost for words. And sad. Why did he look sad? He wasn't meant to look sad. Katsuki didn't mean to make him sad. Damn it, what was he saying? "I mean, n-not that it's all you and stuff, I guess. I could stop some things too but to be fucking honest do we even really need to stop it's probably just my friends being dicks and blowing things out of proportion - wait. How did you know this was my dorm?"

"Oh, I didn't...I was going through all of them."

The blood drained from Katsuki's face. "You mean...you knocked on all the doors...and asked them if it was my dorm?"

Kirishima slowly nodded and Katsuki was so certain that he was going to scream. "YOU MEAN NOW EVERYONE KNOWS YOU CAME TO SEE ME-"

"I just came to bring you back your pen," Kirishima mumbled quickly, holding out the gold and silver stick and Katsuki fell quiet, frozen in a temporary suspension of fury. "You dropped it the last time we saw each other."

Katsuki's anger left him like air leaving a balloon, now replaced by apprehension. "Oh."

"It's..." Kirishima looked at the pen and for a moment, Katsuki was sure he'd recognise it. "...a nice pen."

How dumb was he?

"It is. So was that all, asshat?"

"Yeah. And I know it would suck for everyone to think that you're dating someone like me but you don't need to be so vocal about it," Kirishima muttered, crossing his arms and Katsuki stared at him for so long that Kirishima eventually shied into himself. "What?"

"How many times do I have to not push you away for you to get it?" Katsuki asked, blunt in the way he knew how, and Kirishima seemed caught off guard by that. Good.

"U-Uh..."

"I didn't mean to yell. Or I did, but it's just way easier to be angry but honestly...fuck it, I'm not angry, it's just who I am. I just sometimes find it weird enough that we're this fucking close but I can get over that, and it wouldn't suck to date you or anything, where'd you fucking get that from? Sero's just being so irritating that I wanna knock his teeth out."

"I can jinx him if you want."

"I can do way worse, don't belittle me."

"I'm not!"

Katsuki moved forward now, trying not to feel anything from how it looked like Kirishima was about to go into fight-or-flight mode, and he punched Kirishima's arm. Lightly. Or, lightly for him. Kirishima looked at his arm, then at Katsuki, very confused. "You don't still think I'm out of your league, right?"

Kirishima turned a little pink at that, laughing nervously. "W-Well...you want me to say no?"

Katsuki rolled his eyes. "You're on the starting Quidditch team. The whole year loves you. I'm widely hated and I 'don't have' emotions other than anger, which I've got too much of apparently."

"But you're so pretty and-"

"So are you, shithead."

Kirishima's eyes grew wide as his blush came full-force now, and Katsuki still hadn't quite processed what he had said until a helpful Kaminari screeched, "HE FUCKING SAID IT!" for the whole world to hear. Ugh, Katsuki thought he had closed the door... 

"What did you say?" 

"Forget it, just-" 

"No, please!" Kirishima called out, absently reaching out to grab Katsuki's wrist and they both froze, looking down at said wrist. Then Kirishima was backing up, holding both his hands up in surrender. "I didn't mean to do that. Shit, did- that wasn't too hard, right? I'm so sorry-" 

"No, idiot..." It had been a little too hard, but Katsuki could hide that. That was until Kirishima suddenly took hold of his wrist again but much, much lighter, soothing two fingers over the skin. Katsuki felt damn violated, turning redder than a brick but then Kirishima was talking and Katsuki had no idea what to focus on. 

"You already know that I think you're gorgeous, right?" 

Katsuki still had no clue how Kirishima was always so upfront about something like that. "Y-Yeah." 

"And you think I'm-" Kirishima pointed at himself, not even able to say the words but his wide eyes and the sparkle he had about him definitely spoke them for him, and Katsuki couldn't fucking deal with that, because how could he?! He tore his arm away from the fucking lunatic, rubbing it. 

"Don't fucking go on about it, this conversation is over.

The way Kirishima drooped was so visible that Katsuki would feel guilty if he didn't feel guilty. "R-Right. Uh- this was a trainwreck, damn it, I'm just- I'm gonna go!"

"Okay?"

"Have a nice day!"

"Fine, weirdo..."

They both moved in opposite directions, with Katsuki banging on the door that was actually closed only to have Kaminari open it almost immediately. Katsuki already knew that the two had been eavesdropping but he didn't care as he looked between them, wondering. "That was sure something."

Sero and Kaminari both pounced at him, making him scream at them as they squeezed him tight and wailed, "OUR KID'S GONNA HAVE HIS FIRST BOYFRIEND!"

Katsuki snarled, squirming as his hands sparked for murder but he couldn't exactly prove them wrong now. Kirishima's reactions to everything he said was so strange that Katsuki couldn't help but think that maybe, Kirishima might actually like him, Kirishima might be confused about him, Kirishima might find him cute, Kirishima might be experiencing all of these painfully new feelings Katsuki was feeling, meaning he wasn't alone in this.

Or maybe that was wishful thinking, and Katsuki was actually the only one who wanted it.

Back to knowing nothing, just like always.

 

Chapter Text

As a teenager who actually knew how to clean up well (but only when he wanted to), it was kind of hilarious when Todoroki almost fell over when he opened the door to see Katsuki looking at himself in the mirror.

"Bakugou...is that really you?"

"Who the fuck else," Katsuki muttered, though he felt uncertain himself as he tugged at his collar. "Is it too much?"

"No way, you look great. I'm going to be very underdressed next to you," Todoroki said, dropping back onto his bed. "Where did you get the shirt from?"

"Sero's mother's clothing line."

"Right, her clothes are so good, she's getting kinda popular in the human world, you know?"

"Ooh, that's cool. Makes sense too. Soy Sauce just looks richer every term, getting more snobby too."

Todoroki hummed in agreement before falling off the bed when Sero yelped from his, "HEY!"

"Nice to see you awake, dick," Katsuki said with a grin as Todoroki rubbed his head, sitting up with an unamused expression on his face. Sero groaned in annoyance, pushing his blanket back as he stared up at the ceiling.

"Are you sure the party's today?"

"Yep, and you'll wanna tame that mess on your head. Or the mess that is you. Both, probably."

"I hate you so so much."

Katsuki just snickered as he fixed up his belt, and Todoroki swept across the floor towards Sero's bed, looking up at the guy who looked over the side of the bed, smiling weakly as he reached out to ruffle Todoroki's hair. It had just been decided one day that Todoroki was their communal pet, even Katsuki had scratched him under the chin once which had ended in a lot of confusion, flustered yelling, and at least one explosion. "You're still coming, right?"

"Well, Mina and Denki want me to," Sero sighed. "Mina wants me and Kirishima to like each other more. I doubt it's gonna happen, I've always hated Gryffindor beaters."

"I understand. I'm only really going for Midoriya."

"He might be a nice guy but if you're gonna let him take your kiss virginity then you better do it right," Sero said firmly, pointing at Todoroki who turned red while Katsuki retched for what must be the millionth time this past week alone.

"I'm not about that anyway...though...what if he wants to kiss me? Is there procedure for that? I'm not ready. Oh my goodness. Help."

"He's a considerate nerd, he'll understand your worries and back off, don't be a pussy," Katsuki said, going over to the other two and flopping down onto Sero's bed. "Besides, aren't you gonna have to worry about your dumbass fan club who'll be heartbroken?"

"My...fan club?"

Of course, straight after Katsuki had wiped memories and taken Todoroki under his wing, the guy's popularity had shot up. Everyone found his hair cool, his scar edgy and thought he was the most beautiful man to walk the Earth, yet Todoroki was oblivious to most of it because he was the dumbest person and Katsuki constantly wanted to deck him. At least it all meant that things were better for the guy now.

"How are Kirishima and I gonna get closer if me and Kaminari are just making out the whole time in the corner..." Sero asked himself, thinking face on and Todoroki said a flat 'gross' while Katsuki quickfired every pillow in the room at Sero and hoped he died.

-

Katsuki was so careful when wrapping the present that in the end he decided that he couldn't even trust his fingers, so he used magic instead. Kirishima would be disappointed in him but who cared? He didn't need to know. He didn't know if Kirishima would have a present pile or a valet to take presents but he knew he at least wanted to give this to the guy personally, so he put it cautiously in his pocket. With a protective charm for good measure.

Yeah, Katsuki might not be able to survive without magic, not that anyone would know that.

"Ready?" Mina asked, linking an arm with Katsuki which had him snapping out of it.

"Sure."

"WE LOST TODOROKI!" Sero yelled out, until the guy himself deadpanned, "I'm behind you."

"Okay, I think we're all here, can we get going?"

"Got paracetamol just in case," Mina said and Katsuki blinked at the long unknown word.

"What's that?"

Mina only winked at him, as if to say not to worry. "Just some quick medicine. Todoroki wanted me to bring it."

Katsuki stared wide-eyed at Todoroki now. "Is it personal medicine? Is it really strong? What magic level? Do you have a terrible disease? Oh my gosh, please die."

Mina, Todoroki and Sero shared amused looks and Katsuki was very annoyed that they were all leaving before answering any of his questions. "Fuckers, get back here-"

It got to the point where Katsuki wasn't quite sure where they were going. He wasn't the type to feel interested in exploring, so the parts of the school where he didn't have lessons in were still kind of a mystery to him and it would make him feel strange when kids in younger years knew his school better than he did...even though, that was his own fault...well, at least he wouldn't be killed like that curious cat, right-

"We're hereee," Mina sang as she pushed open a door and the instant it was open just a crack, overwhelming noise filled the air. Charmed walls? Kaminari whooped as he ran in and Sero ushered them all to follow, quickly closing the door once they were all in and Katsuki jolted when he almost got his hand caught. But holy crackers, now that he was looking around, this wasn't anything like the parties he had ever been to which, okay, to be fair they were ballroom and festivity parties more for adults than anything, but even Victoire's party had been all sorts of chic and elegant, swan and snow based. But this...blaring live music, reams upon reams of people, such dark dark lighting, probably on purpose, of every shade of red imaginable?

Katsuki was in fucking love.

"Guys!" a familiar voice called out and then Kirishima was standing in front of them, grinning so brightly and Katsuki blinked, staring at him for a good moment. It just had to be something about seeing him out of school uniform because Kirishima was just like Katsuki, he wore his robes around school always. But here he was in a red tank top and white ripped jeans. Not to mention his hair was tied up, with black clips crossed at the sides...fuck, he'd gone too far, now Katsuki couldn't stop looking.

"Hope you have fun!" Kirishima was suddenly saying to them as someone was pulling him away and Katsuki was snapped out of it, wondering just how long had passed where he had been zoned out. He deflated a little because that could have been the perfect opportunity to give Kirishima the gift, maybe, he wasn't sure, but now he'd have to wait anyway. He hated waiting, damn it.

"They have a karaoke bar!" Kaminari gasped in awe, making grabby hands at Sero so the guy would join him but Sero shook his head.

"I wanna get drunk, dude."

"FUCK YEAH!!! Then karaoke?"

Mina and Todoroki were already going off somewhere together, giggling (well Mina was giggling, Todoroki looked taken hostage) about something and Katsuki frowned, looking between his two pairs of friends and wondering what the hell to do. And in the end he thought too long, and he was left alone. But he did manage to catch sight of Kirishima again at the other end of the room pouring himself a drink, and Katsuki could almost hear the gift in his pocket.

He started walking over, but there was a lot more traffic on the way than he initially figured, saying a lot more 'sorry's than he thought he'd ever say in his entire life because fucking England had really instilled some politeness into him that he didn't want, nor did he want to end up bashing people who were probably Kirishima's friends. The guy probably wouldn't forgive him. No that wasn't true at all, Kirishima had more forgiveness in his finger than all the bodies of every person Katsuki knew combined...but Katsuki still respected him enough not to. Ugh, lord, what cracker died and made him a sap?

He tried his best to weave his way through all the people and damn tables that came up out of nowhere and made him feral, and by the time he finally got through, Kirishima was being happily whisked away by someone Katsuki wanted to murder.

Fuck this.

He still went to the bar since it would be a source of comfort even if he knew he couldn't drink. The person behind the counter looked like a very suave yet friendly young man as he grinned at Katsuki. "Bonjour!"

"Yeah," Katsuki replied, zooming in on how the guy was sweating a bit. "What the fuck's a muggle doing here?"

The muggle backed up two feet. "Bonté divine, you can tell?!"

"It's pretty easy."

"Oh...well, I've been a bartender since forever but then a wizard friend of my mother's asked me to be one and it was like a whole new world. All of these magic drinks are so wonderful! The wizard must have thought I did both normal and wizard parties since my parents happen to be wizards...quand même, that's what I've been doing ever since!"

"You haven't drank any of the magical drinks, right?"

"Oh mon Dieu, heaven forbid," the bartender gasped, making Katsuki smirk a little. Weird guy. He was amusing. "I know I can't, though it is quite tempting, mais quelquefois! They're so very pretty."

"They are."

"Anything for the young monsieur? May I entice you with this-"

"Tequilyst? That's a bit strong, do you wanna get a minor drunk off his face?" Katsuki asked with a raised eyebrow, watching with amusement as the bartender furrowed his eyebrows.

"What? This isn't tequilyst, it's- non, it's tequilyst. D'accord, how about this?"

"Sherry is my grandma's drink, I can't take that away from her."

"T-Then how about-"

"Just stop," Katsuki said, holding out a hand to stop the flustering guy. "You sure you're as experienced as you said? And I don't think I'll drink anything. Never drank before, I'm not gonna quite start yet."

The bartender blinked in confusion. "But then how do you know what drinks I'm showing you? Oue, you must be interested in bartending! I can show you a thing or deux-"

"My mother's Mitsuki Bakugou," Katsuki said matter-of-factly, waiting for the nuclear reaction. He didn't need to wait that long but it was much more than he expected before the bartender gasped so loud that his ears were crushed even with the music in the back, and the guy even took hold of Katsuki's hand with both of his. Katsuki sure hoped he wasn't blushing as he tore it away faster than lightning, that would be embarrassing.

"The Mitsuki?! The most elite alcohol producer in the world?! From the family that created the first magical drink?!"

"In the flesh," Katsuki said with a roll of his eyes, swiping his hands against each other to get the dude's greasy bacteria off him. The bartender leant forward then, looking at Katsuki what might have been dreamily which was a strange thing.

"So you must be Katsuki."

"Lucky guess."

"You're more handsome than they say!"

"Charmed to know 'they' talk about me. And the fuck you mean by that?"

"Of course, if you're Mitsuki's son- Grand Dieu there are people waiting behind you, tell me if you want anything!"

"Oh uh..." Katsuki looked around, and he managed to find Todoroki and Midoriya on the floor together against a wall, facing each other with Midoriya telling some story animatedly while Todoroki had his chin resting in his palm, looking at the other in a fond way. Cute. Katsuki wanted to fucking ruin it harder than Chernobyl. "Yeah. Three drinks..."

"Aoyama," the bartender said brightly, and Katsuki raised his eyebrows. Amateur. He really thought Katsuki would use his name.

"Yeah, thanks, Sparkle Git. I'll get you a meeting with my ma one day."

Aoyama looked ready to faint at this point as he quickly rushed off before rushing back to ask for what drinks, only to mess up his words and Katsuki amusedly answered him anyway. This dude was funny, squirmish like a damn mouse under a spotlight. It wasn't long before he was on his way because Aoyama might be a sparkling accented mess when it came to words but he truly was a masterful bartender, and Katsuki took the drinks with a nod and snuck up on Todoroki and Midoriya. He waited two seconds, before...

"DICKWADS, I GOT YOU SOME FUCKING DRINKS-"

The scream that tore from Midoriya's throat had Katsuki fucking choking, screeching in laughter as he fell against the floor and Todoroki hugged a very livid yet close-to-tears Midoriya comfortingly. "I-I REALLY HATE YOU, KACCHAN!"

"What you gonna do about it, loser?!" Katsuki sneered with a laugh that sounded far too happy, punching Midoriya's arm in a way that was supposed to come across friendly but Katsuki felt way more satisfied than he should have by the yowl he got in return. "Now take the damn drinks, I'm being nice."

"What even is it?"

"Butterbeer for you," Katsuki said, pushing the glass towards Midoriya whose face instantly lit up.

"Woah, thanks..."

"Where did you even come from?" Todoroki asked as Katsuki slumped next to them, grimacing at the headache forming in his head. Probably 'cause of the stupid cool lights threatening to pound his brains in.

"The bar. You guys better not be getting freaky 'cause gross."

Midoriya nodded, clearly out of it and warmed head to toe by the butterbeer as he closed his eyes and leant against Todoroki who turned a little pink. "U-Uh...yes. No, I mean. No."

"It's a decent party, 'guess."

"Aw, you think so?"

Katsuki gave Midoriya the most disgusted look he could, and Midoriya raised his arms in surrender. "Ah, I'm the one who planned it...Kiri's requests were just 'make it cool and bar and good band and red' so I went all out based on that! Doesn't seem like Todoroki's scene, though..."

Todoroki shrugged. "Parties are weird. I like that you're here, though."

"I like that you're here too," Midoriya said, and they just smiled at each other for a while, and Katsuki was actually about to throw up so he just downed his fizzy drink. The burn in his throat always felt nice, but the next thing he knew, Todoroki was looking curiously at the bubbling dark pink drink that Katsuki had handed him. "Hey, Bakugou? What's this?"

"It's called loverliquor," Katsuki said nonchalantly, trying his best not to sound excited because it was way too out of character. He just loved the premise of magical drinks, they were so damn cool and got people wasted as fuck but in particular ways which was so fun to watch. He just got it from all the experiments he'd do with his mother growing up, where they'd take unsuspecting volunteers (usually his dad) and make them go fucking crazy. Good times. "It makes you feel all lovey-dovey and shit. It'll let you do things with your crush or significant other that you'd be too chicken to do without it. Love it 'cause it stops lovesick grossards being weak."

Todoroki was overwhelmed by his blush by now, quickly looking at Midoriya but the guy was busy enjoying his butterbeer and sighing at the warmth, so Todoroki slowly leant towards Katsuki and said, "What kind of things?"

Katsuki almost threw the glass at Todoroki's face. "Try some and see, dipshit!"

"But what if it makes me go too-"

"It increases affection, not attraction, dumbass. Not even that, it just pulls out what you really would want to do and you won't have external factors stopping you. If I thought you'd do something pervy I'd've had you expelled years ago."

Todoroki slowly nodded, bringing the glass to his lips before gently taking a few sips. It was a few moments of nothing before he was humming in amazement, eyes widening. "Woah."

"Nice?"

"Mhm," Todoroki said, before pouring the whole thing down his throat which had Katsuki a bit impressed. He grinned when he saw the pink tinting Todoroki's uncontacted iris, and it wasn't like he needed to check if the drink was working or not anyway when Todoroki was suddenly pulling Midoriya even closer, intertwining their fingers and kissing the other's thumb. "Want more butterbeer?"

Midoriya's pupils were quivering as he stared at Todoroki with the widest eyes, stammering out breaths while Todoroki kept pressing kisses all over his hand. Katsuki caught the glass that Midoriya ended up dropping but smashed it anyway to be annoying. "N-No..."

"Tell me what you want, then. I'll get you anything, prince."

"I-I think this is good enough?" Midoriya breathed out in utter disbelief, staring at Katsuki while mouthing 'what the hell?!' as Todoroki pulled him even closer and buried his face into the boy's neck. Katsuki only shook his head with a smirk, saying, "Have some fucking fun, nerd, it's the only time you'll ever get it," and Midoriya turned so red that he fit right into the party. Katsuki was about to snicker some more and be a general pain, before the corner of his eye caught something.

"Right, I'll leave you lovefucks alone," Katsuki said distractedly, getting up and not hearing Midoriya blatantly trying to get him to stay as Todoroki hugged him even tighter, speaking in sonnets now by the looks of it. Who knew Todoroki was such a romantic? Katsuki wouldn't ever let him live it down, but his attention was gone now.

Kirishima was playing the drums. And he looked, amazing.

The closer Katsuki got to the stage, the more he could see and right there was Mina singing and other sixth years that Katsuki wouldn't know the names of on keyboard and bass. They weren't that great honestly but seemed like their enthusiasm was making up for it.

Mina winked at Katsuki when he got closer, trying to mouth 'why the fuck d'you not tell me about this?' but then again, if Katsuki was going to stop being selfish for once in his life, why would Mina tell him about this? It was Kirishima's birthday party, and Mina and Kirishima might be closer friends than Kirishima and he was, that was still a grey area, and if Katsuki was going to help then all he could've done was play drums, and seemed like the birthday boy himself had that on lock. Though Katsuki still couldn't help but feel a hell of a lot betrayed, obviously, until he walked around the stage, until he marched through all the cheering extras, until he found himself at the edge of the back of the stage, until he was next to where Kirishima was playing.

Kirishima might not be the best player (he really wasn't good like wow, how many times did he miss the damn beat?) but he was enthusiastic as hell, and Katsuki sorta maybe loved how Kirishima looked so happy. A massive grin and spirited yells were on his lips as he head-banged along with his drumming, his hair flying around his face as it didn't seem to be restrained in a ponytail anymore. Katsuki wasn't really listening to the music at this point because up close it just sounded like a whole lot of noise, but it felt like his new favourite song. Maybe Kirishima would tell him what it was later. Away from this crowd, these people, after he'd given Kirishima his present and it would just be the two of them— FUCK he saw me—

Kirishima's mouth seemed to drop a little when he caught sight of Katsuki being right there at the front, and Katsuki tried to nod through his weird minute panic. Kirishima looked like he wanted to wave but suddenly remembered that he was drumming, so he went straight back into the mood and Katsuki was forgotten. That was actually okay, though. Kirishima looked so good that admiring him was equal to having his attention. Kind of equal.

So Katsuki stayed at the sidelines, like a silent but very loyal groupie, until the end of however many songs they played (not many, proportional with their talent) yet he was still surprised when Kirishima jumped straight off the stage to end up standing right in front of him so they were only centimetres apart. Katsuki stared at him, at his pretty eyes and sweat-dripping skin and crazy beautiful shark smile, and Kirishima was really staring back at him with the same kind of wonder in his eyes. Which, sadly, was something Katsuki didn't know how to pick up on.

"I've been looking for you," Kirishima said with a grin, still trying to catch his breath and Katsuki grimaced, quickly snapping out of his dumb daze.

"You've been looking for me? Sure hasn't seemed like it, fucker."

"No, I mean- I didn't see you come in, I wanted to know if you-"

"I came in with Soy Sauce and the others, was just at the back."

"Oh! Right!"

Katsuki nodded, and the two looked around for a while, trying to find something to say.

"Thank you for coming-"

"I wanted to give you-"

They both paused, and Katsuki was about to for some reason let Kirishima go first until someone was tugging the guy to the side and someone else was yelling out, "YOU WERE GREAT, MAN!". Kirishima laughed sheepishly, grinning round at the people and honestly, Katsuki was finding it really hard to get properly annoyed today. He just smiled and crossed his arms, watching Kirishima be happy for a moment longer before slowly, something started aching in his chest. 

It couldn't happen, could it? 

Why would someone like him be able to be with someone who shone so brightly, so opposite to him in every way that he couldn't even imagine them together? Curse Aphrodite. If only this year could start all over again, so he could play his cards differently. If only he hadn't had to fall for red eyes and redder hair and sweet smiles and strong arms, then maybe he wouldn't be like this. Things had been okay before, hadn't they? Why did he have to figure out what love was? Why did he need to grow up, why did he need to feel things? In the long run, this was just doing nothing but hurting him.

He was snapped out of his debilitating thoughts when someone's arms were clamping around his middle.

"Heya!"

Katsuki quickly gathered himself again, wiping a sleeve over a face that wasn't even crying, but it sure felt like it. "Mina."

"It was a surprise seeing us rock, huh?!"

"You didn't rock one fucking bit."

"So meannn, we only had a week to get it together! Well, you having any fun?" the girl asked as Katsuki turned around to face her, and Katsuki thought about it for a second before shrugging. Aoyama was funny, Deku and Todoroki were fun. Even if he couldn't have him, Kirishima was a pretty drummer.

"Dunno."

Mina beamed, throwing her arms out. "That's great, for you! Hey, let's go do some karaoke, I bet I can get Let It Go on!"

Katsuki opened his mouth but Mina wagged a finger in his face. "Don't try and tell me that you don't know every word to that song."

Katsuki closed his mouth, snarling like a muzzled dog as Mina snickered and dragged him away, but secretly, Katsuki was thankful for her. Who knew what kind of wallowing he would have done if she hadn't found him? Honestly, he would have probably left the party, given the present to Deku to pass on before slinking away silently. But then what? He'd ignore a guy he borderline loved? He had a feeling Kirishima wouldn't let him do that. No, Kirishima was the type of guy who'd keep torturing him just by being the sweet guy he always was. 

Shit. Katsuki had to forget about this. He was going to sing Let It Go with one of his best friends and be the best Elsa out there, not a single red shark-toothed boy on his mind, not right now.

Even though this whole bloody party was for him. 

FUCK.

 

 

Chapter Text

As a secret believer in the disgusting phenomenon that was fate, Katsuki should have expected this would happen, that everything would go back to what he was used to. First it was Mina, then Todoroki came to join with messy hair and a dazed look yet apparently he really still hadn't had his first kiss taken, then Kaminari was pouncing at them with his intoxicated gibberish, only for Sero to show up to kiss him quiet and get them all into a very intense game of snooker. Snooker was an incredible muggle sport and Katsuki was so taken by it, but his familiar friends were even greater. Don't tell them that. Seriously. Don't.

"Yo, get us some drinks, drinkman!" Kaminari whooped when Sero apparently did something good in the snooker game because everyone was cheering and Katsuki nodded as an excuse to get away from the loudness, declining Mina's offer to go with him. On the way, to the side, he could see a group of people hanging around apparently playing some game by the looks of it, and Kirishima was there too. Katsuki walked over just so he could kind of see what they were doing - not that he was ever going to give them the pleasure of him joining in - but once he was close enough, a blue spell-mist was suddenly pulling at his shirt.

"T-The fuck?" Katsuki muttered, reaction limited since it was masked by utter confusion as he stared down at the mist, trying to break free from it but it was dragging him towards the circle. All of the people were cat-calling and whistling while someone yelled, "OCHAKO I THOUGHT YOU LIMITED THE MIST!" until the mist stopped him inches away from bloody Kirishima of all people, for the second time that night. Kirishima stared at him with wide eyes, taking a small step back.

"Bakugou?!" 

"HAH?!?"

"Into the space, you two!" someone yelled and Katsuki blinked, thinking 'what space' but they were definitely being pushed somewhere, and Katsuki tried his very best to keep his distance from Kirishima while yelling his head off at these bunch of idiotic nobodies who weren't telling him what was going on but when something materialised around them, he found it a little hard to focus.

Then everything was quiet, and dark, and Katsuki had Kirishima trapped between himself and a wall.

Oh holiest of crackers, he was about to combust.

"H-Hi?" Katsuki said in the most confused-but-trying-to-be-casual voice he could as lights slowly turned on in the room, and he could see Kirishima's big smile now. It eased things a little.

"Bro, I didn't know you were playing!"

"I didn't fucking know either, I don't think I actually was, uh..." Katsuki froze when Kirishima's arms were suddenly looping around his neck, tugging Katsuki closer and he was left a little breathless when their hips bumped. Fuck that, a lot breathless. Katsuki tried to get a good look at Kirishima's eyes in case he could see any pink but it was difficult in the still dark lighting.

"Shithead, have you been drinking loverliquor?"

"What? What's that? I've just had some regular old beer," Kirishima said brightly, stroking Katsuki's nape and Katsuki swallowed to soothe his dry throat. He kept his eyes on Kirishima because if he looked away then he'd probably start panicking and accidentally beat them both up and flee to the end of the goddamn world, and Kirishima's sweet eyes were holding him somewhere that didn't make him want to run. Damn it. Hecate, shit, fuck, ugh-

"U-Uh...what is this dumb game?"

"Well, to be honest I don't know much. The name is Seven Minutes In Heaven and the muggle rules are like, one person spins a bottle and then once it stops, whoever's on the other end like the bottle cap end will go in with the person who spun the bottle into like a cupboard and-" Kirishima took a big breath after speaking so fast, before muttering shyly, "Uh, they...well, they go into the cupboard alone together for seven minutes and, uh, they could do anything but usually they're supposed to...kiss. And maybe more. And stuff."

Katsuki swallowed, definitely feeling heat rising onto his cheeks and he was far more aware now of how close he was to Kirishima, but the guy didn't let go of him even after saying all of that so he decided to stay. "That's fucking weird." 

"Haha, I know, right!" Kirishima barked with a nervous laugh, averting his eyes and Katsuki grimaced as he tapped Kirishima's arm sharply. 

"Don't do that, don't make this weird. Tell me, what was with the mist?"

"Oh, oh, I think that's how they magic-fied it a little, um, instead of a bottle they had this mist to kind of go to the person there who's apparently most compatible with the person whose turn it is."

Katsuki stilled. His heart stilled. The world stilled. "That's me? I'm most compatible?"

"Oh, uh, well, maybe?" Kirishima said as his nervousness came back in buckets, again trying to laugh it off but Katsuki felt a tweak at his heart when he heard that. He had only just been thinking about how much they weren't meant to be, but now this? "But it probably went dodgy because you weren't even in the game and the mist was supposed to be limited to..."

Katsuki's heart immediately sank. Fuck, why had he even been so excited? "Those in the game?"

"Yeah! But it's okay, I probably would've felt weird doing it with someone else," Kirishima muttered as he looked at the ground, clutching onto Katsuki a little tighter. Katsuki frowned, those words making way for bitter thoughts as he tried to get a look at Kirishima's face.

"Why were you doing it then?"

"W-Well, I'm the birthday boy!"

"Exactly, you gotta be doing stuff you want to do, fucker."

"Hey, it's okay, I got lucky. I've been, uh......I've been wanting to spend time with you anyway, hah!" Kirishima said with a bright but kind of forced grin at the end, speaking so quickly again that Katsuki needed to listen very carefully, but he did manage to catch it after processing it for a minute. He just looked at Kirishima who stared at him back, trying to be confident but he was backing down the wall a little. Katsuki knew what to say to make him feel better, though, but would he say it? Would he say it when all his life, he'd gone with not saying it? That was who he was. He didn't make people feel better, because he didn't think anyone deserved to gain anything but him. He wasn't going to make way for extras who did nothing for him. He was better than everyone. 

But you can take a break from thinking that, for one day. For Kirishima's day.

"Me too. Happy fucking birthday."

Kirishima blinked in surprise for a moment, before he smiled from ear to ear, and damn everything if that wasn't the perfect thing to make Katsuki feel whole again. "Thank you."

"Ah, uh, I've...how many minutes we got left?"

"All of them," Kirishima grinned, which had Katsuki feeling confused. "You're good at acting, aren't you?"

Katsuki really wasn't catching Kirishima's drift, until Kirishima leant forward and whispered in his ear, "Pretend like you wanna do more with me."

"You need to fucking stop getting me into these bloody situations," Katsuki snapped like his ears weren't burning so red but Kirishima was already running to the door, and Katsuki wondered if this was a portkey or an actual room or just what the fuck was happening in general, but it was Kirishima's birthday and said Kirishima was cute and tipsy so Katsuki didn't really want to question things. When else would he get this chance?

"Hey, guys, I think you should go," Kirishima chirped to everyone else, peeking his head outside the room that Katsuki still wasn't sure was magical or not. "I kinda wanna spend more time with Bakugou than-"

Kirishima's voice curved off into an almost silent squeak when Katsuki came up to him from behind, slowly curling his arms around Kirishima's waist before pulling him back a little. "-s-seven...minutes..."

"Whatever you want, Eiji," some girl said with a wink and even more whistles than before occurred, probably because of the way Katsuki hadn't known how else to act so he kind of just ended up rubbing Kirishima's torso, and that hitch in Kirishima's breath, was that a good sign?

"Uhhhh we'll go now!" Kirishima said quickly, nudging Katsuki who pulled Kirishima back in completely and the boy closed the door, sighing softly. "You...why..."

"Wow, I'm damn good at this," Katsuki said with a smirk, forgetting to let go of Kirishima. "I'm hella on my way to becoming an actor. That's a muggle occupation too, right? Like not just in plays, but in...films. Oh fuck yeah, check me being on TV and Disney and that shit."

"I'd love to see it," Kirishima said amusedly, turning around in Katsuki's arms. Katsuki grinned at him.

"Can you imagine me in a movie? It'd be amazing! I'd be amazing! I could act a multi-millionaire or a gangsta, or even both, I'm versatile."

"Aren't you already a multi-millionaire?"

"What? No that's- maybe, actually. Probably. Yeah, I think so. But that's not my money, it's the damn old hag's." 

"Hey, don't call your mother a hag." 

"She calls me worthless! It's an eye for an eye relationship, it's how business works, holy hell get with the times Kirishima!"

Kirishima beamed at him, slinging an arm around his shoulders. The look on his face reminded Katsuki of how Kirishima looked at him when they were talking after their duel, and Katsuki wondered if that meant he was being 'so cute' again. But probably not. Katsuki was a knife, and there was nothing cute about knives, they were something made for destruction. And cooking. Because they destroyed food. "Really, thank you for coming."

"I told you I would," Katsuki shrugged, watching a little in awe as Kirishima moved closer, trying to tiptoe so he could be taller than Katsuki but he couldn't hold it very long. Katsuki held onto him to make sure he didn't fall, definitely not for any other reason. "Snooker's really cool. Sparkle Git's got some bants- shit, did I really just say that, ugh, fucking Pikachu influence..."

Kirishima frowned. "Sparkle Git?"

"Bartender," Katsuki said, growing a little impatient. "Anyway, can I bloody give you something already?" 

Kirishima's eyes grew massive then, which made Katsuki feel confused but he simply let go of Kirishima and reached into his pocket, begging that the thing was still safe and sound, and he carefully pulled it out so Kirishima could see. Kirishima looked only a little less scared then as he looked down at the box, keeping an arm around Katsuki's neck. Katsuki gave him a small smile that he immediately dropped when Kirishima looked at him again. "It's not gonna bite, wuss."

"I know, but-"

"It's the present I got you," Katsuki said, waving his hand over the box so he could remove the protective charms. He opened up the box and took out what was inside, hearing Kirishima say a soft 'wow'. "It's a harmonica. Well, a charmed harmonica, as you can see with all the glowing music notes hanging around it. Basically, it...can play any song you want it to, any song at all, you just say 'Harmonica, play' then the name of the song and if you can't remember songs or if you just don't wanna think then I've got tons of songs already on it which I think you might like, and you say 'Harmonica Shuffle'. You can add songs to it too by saying 'Harmonica Append'. Well, I've written down the instructions so don't know why I'm explainin' it..."

"It's like an MP3 Player," Kirishima said in wonder and Katsuki clicked a finger.

"Yeah! Exactly, that's what I was kinda tryna mimic! Soy Sauce told me about that and I thought it was pretty cool. And I thought you must like music but you can't use electricity here and I don't know if you found a good enough loophole so...thought this might be nice. Dunno."

"Bakugou, it's amazing," Kirishima replied almost sadly, shaking his head and Katsuki jolted when both of Kirishima's massive arms were sliding around him again and he was being tugged forward into a hug. "I don't deserve something like this. What's wrong with you?"

"There's nothing wrong with me, the fuck?!"

"No, forget it, you're right, there's nothing," Kirishima sighed, banging his head against Katsuki's shoulder which was a bit alarming. "I wish I hadn't drank anything now, my mind's muddled but you're the best."

Katsuki was starting to feel uncomfortable, so he pushed Kirishima away from him. "Want me to keep hold of the present or somethin'? For safe-keeping?"

Kirishima morosely shook his head. "I can keep it safe. You know, when you first said you wanted me to give you something and there was nothing in your hands, I thought you were gonna kiss me. It was terrifying."

"You fucking wish."

Katsuki snickered when Kirishima punched him in the arm, before he was sighing again. "Like Katsuki Bakugou would ever kiss me."

"Are you a sad drunk or just a dumbass?" Katsuki asked with a raised eyebrow, but he thought that his own statement would be more, 'Like I could ever man up and kiss Eijirou Kirishima.'

Oh wow, he hadn't known he knew Kirishima's first name. Nice information.

"Maybe both. And I never told you but you look so fucking gorgeous," Kirishima breathed out as he looked over Katsuki whose instinct to sing his own praises even more after a compliment didn't kick in for once. He was just a little wary of cute tipsy Kirishima tugging on his shirt in fascination, pulling him forward a tiny bit more. Why, why wasn't Katsuki strong enough to pull away? "You really dressed up for me?"

"Not for you, the party, dickwad."

"Oh, right. Well." Kirishima gently poked Katsuki's almost styled hair. "The party thinks you're beautiful too."

"You say things like that too much. It's gross."

"But you know it's true."

"Mm, yeah."

"That makes it easier to say!"

"Nah, you're just hella drunk," Katsuki snorted but Kirishima shook his head, catching Katsuki's eyes and he couldn't look away. Kirishima could look all kinds of soulful when he wanted to.

"I've said it before, haven't I?"

Katsuki nodded, but he was back to looking at Kirishima when the guy pulled at him yet again, eyes wide and alight with anticipation. "And did you mean it when you said I'm pretty?"

Katsuki almost groaned. He hadn't wanted to talk about that so soon, or ever if he had it his way but he guessed it wouldn't really be fair if he didn't reply, especially when Kirishima was giving him that fucking pouty puppy look... "I didn't say that."

"You kind of said it."

"I guess. And yeah, I meant it. It's not even a normal pretty, it's something to do with the charm you have and I really like how you look. Not just that either, swear I'm not shallow, wouldn't be shallow anyway 'cause I'm not into you or anything- can you just shut up?!"

"I wouldn't care if you were shallow or not, you'd still be the best," Kirishima said, smiling up at Katsuki adorably and Katsuki wanted to smile back, for lack of knowing how to react to something like that, for lack of knowing how not to return Kirishima's constant undying sweetness. Then Kirishima frowned for some reason, pointing at Katsuki's eyes.

"Hey, is that pink?"

"What?"

"Your eyes, the irises look a little pinkish, it's so pretty..."

Oh crackers. When had he had any loverliquor? He must have drank some by accident, and he cursed out when Kirishima was throwing himself forward into Katsuki, grinning sleazily. "Is it because you're in loooove with me?"

"Shit, no- okay I think we gotta get our asses out of here-"

"But you love me!"

"I thought you didn't have much to drink, idiot!"

Hell, Katsuki should have known he had been under some sort of influence from all the nice things he'd been saying and the way he was letting Kirishima touch him, letting himself touch Kirishima so much. So is this really what he would want? Without so many of his other emotions stopping him? Ugh, he didn't know, it had felt so normal and he hadn't been properly questioning it but now he felt so—

"There's a bed?!" Katsuki yelped when Kirishima had pushed him down onto said bed and- oh wow where was Kirishima goi- wait why was Kirishima in his fucking lap- oh shitting bollocks, no, Katsuki did not want this, he could not take this, he...actually. Hold on. 

After a few seconds of trepidatiously waiting for the end of the world, nothing seemed to be happening. No explosions, no imminent danger, no hazardous bodily reactions. All there was was Kirishima being really warm and giggly against him and it wasn't...too bad. 

How much loverliquor had he drunk? Two litres?

"Well, yeah, it's seven minutes in heaven," Kirishima snorted like it was obvious, and Katsuki tried to say something but he was freezing up when Kirishima nuzzled his neck, both of his arms winding around Katsuki's shoulders. "You're so warm..."

"Shut...up," Katsuki muttered, trying not to sound too nervous as he looked around, trying to find out how he could make this easier because he physically wasn't sure he had the mental strength to push Kirishima away, not right now, but if it stayed this way he might eventually combust. He finally got an idea that he wasn't sure would work or not, and he held an arm out to the side. "Accio loverliquor."

And when a glass came whizzing right through the damn wall, Katsuki finally knew for sure that this had to be a magical room. Fucking hell, how did sixteen year olds make this?

He caught the glass and as Kirishima was busy snuggling into Katsuki as much as he could like he was free real estate, he downed the whole thing and it really felt...exquisite. It went down his throat easier than anything ever had and then it suddenly seemed to disappear into mist. For a moment he thought nothing happened, but then it was punching him in the face so lovingly hard as pure clouds of adoration and softness filled his head.

"Kiri," Katsuki murmured softly, lacing an arm around Kirishima's waist to draw him closer and the other slowly moved his head back, looking at him with wide eyes.

"What did you do?"

"Just had a drink. Seriously, how much have you drunk? It's real difficult to tell how intoxicated you are."

"Like two bottles or something but I don't- w-woah, Robot, hey..."

"No, no, you don't need to stop talking," Katsuki hummed, brushing his thumb over Kirishima's cheek which instantly flushed red under his hand. "Keep going. Your voice is fucking music."

"Your eyes are r-really pink now," Kirishima mumbled, so much shier than he had been and he desperately tried to keep any squeaks at bay when Katsuki tilted his chin up, stroking his jaw. "Ro- I mean, gah, Bakugou, wait, please-"

"What's wrong?"

"I don't want you to kiss me like this," Kirishima said with a wince, taking hold of Katsuki's hand and pushing it away. "Wow, can't believe I'm turning something like that down...just, I mean, I haven't even gained your trust yet. Have I? I don't know but I wanna do that before anything more because if you find out about this later on and realise that I just fucking kissed you while we were drunk then- man, I really don't wanna stop being your friend. Kissing you isn't worth losing you. Besides I can like kiss you another time hopefully when you're like seventeen too or whatever so I don't get arrested I have no clue if I'd get arrested I don't know I don't think so like is that age of consent or minor major stuff- ANYWAY - we don't need to do it like right right now, you get me..."

"Wow," Katsuki said in surprise, slowly leaning back. He got the idea; if that word vomit couldn't tell him well enough, Kirishima's body language where he was pulling back, turned away slightly, it was more than enough. Fuck.

Fuck this. Fuck all of this.

Why didn't Kirishima want him?

"Okay."

Kirishima sighed, half in relief and half in disappointment as he muttered under his breath, "Declined a kiss from the cutest guy ever. On my birthday. Cool."

Katsuki couldn't even hear him because suddenly, there was wet. His eyes were wet, too wet, and he couldn't see anymore, and before he could even choke out a single word, Kirishima's hands were cupping his jaw, his worried face marred by the tears in his eyes but Katsuki still found him so fucking pretty. "Bakugou? Bakugou?! What happened?!" 

Katsuki couldn't answer, just shaking his head as he drove the heels of his palms into his eyes to try and hide it, but his arms were pulled apart and his hands replaced by different ones, warmer ones that wiped his tears away so delicately. The soft touch made him want to cry even harder, and he bit his trembling lip as Kirishima looked at him in such overwhelming concern, fingers tucking hair behind Katsuki's ears, his touch so heartbreakingly kind. "Don't cry, darling. You're just a little intoxicated. You're fine, okay?" 

But I'm not because you're the nicest person in the world, you're perfect but you don't fucking want me because no-one wants me, because I've always always been hated and it's never gonna fucking chan- "Hey, hey, look at me." 

Katsuki had no idea why he complied, sniffing hard as he looked up through his wet eyelashes and Kirishima was smiling softly at him, stroking his hair. "Good boy." 

"'m not a f-fucking dog.

"I know, I know, but you're still good. You're so so good, Bakugou, you see that, right?" 

What was this idiot talking about? First he'd flat out rejected him, now he was trying to pull him back up? What, was he fucking pitying him or something?! "Shut the fuck up, I don't need-" 

"I'll kiss you one day." 

Katsuki froze, eyes wide. He stared back at Kirishima who was giving him the most determined, most sweet look in the world. One he'd seen before. One that had probably first made Katsuki fall for him.

"One day, when we're sober, I'm going to kiss you so hard and show how fucking in love with you I am, even if you don't like me when you're sober because I know, I know it's always worth it to try and I'm always going to try for you. But not yet, okay? We're not ready yet, neither of us. It's not time. Okay?" 

Katsuki hadn't moved, his heart beating so loudly in his chest, but when Kirishima strongly repeated, "Okay?", he managed to rasp a small, "Okay," back.

Kirishima nodded before letting out a long exhale, slumping a little against Katsuki who held onto him tight, his head whirling and throat aching from the crying, but he felt so much better. Lord, he was on Cloud fucking Nine because Kirishima was going to be his one day, he was going to be his.

"I still- I still wanna do something."

"Then do something but not something that'll make you wanna run miles away from me," Kirishima shrugged, laughing a little self-deprecatingly. "I have experience."

Katsuki bit his lip, saying a small, "'guess I'm sorry about that," before leaning forward and pressing a kiss to Kirishima's really warm cheek. Wow. So a drink had made him properly apologise for what was honestly probably the first time ever out loud. Figured.

Kirishima blinked, then blinked again, and Katsuki was pretty sure he could visualise steam coming out of his ears the redder and redder Kirishima got, his mouth opening but nothing coming out.

"This is why he's cute," Katsuki murmured to himself, an absolute eureka moment, and Kirishima stared at him in even more confused flustered embarrassment. "Hey, we should go. We've been in here long enough."

Kirishima could only nod as he got off Katsuki who stood up and took hold of Kirishima's hand, leading them both to the door. But right before they left, Kirishima called out, "Bakugou?"

Katsuki turned back, questioning, only for Kirishima's wand to be pointing at his forehead.

"Obliviate."

-

"Hey, where've you been?" Mina asked worriedly as Katsuki got back juggling five drinks. Katsuki wasn't quite sure how to explain.

"Uh, I was with Kirishima."

"Ah, you get to give him his present?" Sero asked, swiping a drink from Katsuki who nodded.

"Yeah."

"He liked it?"

"Think so."

"Anything else?" Kaminari asked curiously. "You were gone for reeeeeeally long."

Katsuki frowned. "No I fucking wasn't. That was basically all I did. I mean we talked a bit before but that was it. Also, I think I might become an actor and you bastards are gonna support me."

Sero and Todoroki were now staring at him, which had Katsuki backing down a little. "Or, it could be just a thought. What, is it that weird?"

"Not at all, I think it's really cool. But, we'll have to call it a night soon so we can talk about it some other time. How about one more karaoke song with all of us?" Sero suggested, grinning when Kaminari cheered and Todoroki asked a thoughtful, "Why do we keep going back to karaoke?" Katsuki was about to shrug until Mina was clasping his face, narrowing her eyes at him.

"You look like you were cryi- wait, huh? Why did you drink loverliquor?"

Katsuki frowned yet again. "Huh? I did?"

"Yeah, seems like it, that pink's in your irises. Well, you've got no-one you like so I guess it's harmless-"

"Let's go, kiddles!" Sero cheered, dragging a placid Todoroki by a headlock and Katsuki only shrugged at Mina before going after them. And it was when they were on stage singing their lungs out that he managed to catch sight of Kirishima amidst people watching them, a grin on his face. Katsuki wanted to acknowledge him but it was his part so he threw himself into rock-and-roll screaming, and that seemed to make Kirishima laugh, all bright and beautiful like the damn sun. That was a better reaction than what a nod or whatever could have done and Katsuki's heart beat fast.

Ugh, he didn't know what to do with these feelings, especially with the added loverliquor that was making him want to fucking jump Kirishima. Katsuki wondered if he'd ever stop being so pathetic. Maybe...it was time to get over him before it got worse, before more time passed than just fucking two months which had already got Katsuki into such a bloody hot mess.

But just one more look at Kirishima let him know that right now, he'd rather be in pain than do that. He wanted a redheaded shithead in his life, that redheaded shithead, so he could wait a while, he could hurt a while, because it might just be worth it.

Chapter Text

As a strong disliker of goodbyes, especially now he was the only one staying behind, it made Katsuki feel way too uncomfortable when he was sending everyone off the next day.

"We know you'll miss us to death even if you won't say it, don't worry," Sero said with a grin, patting his back. Katsuki raised an eyebrow at him, deciding that it might be a bit much to deck him in this open space so early in the day, disappointingly. Another time.

"I don't care what you say but I don't think your parents like me. Why else would they say no to me coming over?" Kaminari asked, loosely curling his arms around Sero's waist and Sero violently shook his head.

"They like you! So you set one of our plants on fire once, so what?"

"I wasn't even using magic, dude! I genuinely don't know what's wrong with me!"

Todoroki was currently being hugged very tightly by the annoying green pathogen that was fucking Deku, and Todoroki looked too surprised to be able to hug back. "Owl me!"

"Ah, I don't have an owl..."

"Oh, then I'll send you a letter!"

"Midoriya, I genuinely can't figure it out, are you a pureblood or halfblood?"

Midoriya sighed to himself. "It's a long story. But-" Midoriya leant forward to clasp Todoroki's hands absent-mindedly, a bright look on his face as he once again forgot about boundaries. "-maybe I'll tell you why in our letters!"

"O-Okay," Todoroki said dizzily, stumbling off to Mina after Midoriya wished him a happy holiday. Mina and Katsuki were waiting for him with raised eyebrows, as Mina put an arm around the dazed soldier.

"Hello, lover boy."

"You people spending Halloween together again?" Katsuki asked, and Mina nodded hard enough to make up for Todoroki too.

"Like always! We're at his house this year, he's got this reeeeeally nice balcony that overlooks the city."

"I've always wanted to see Central London," Katsuki grumbled to himself, and he was only a tiny bit consoled when Todoroki dared to pat his shoulder, reassuring, "I'll invite you soon, if you want. Just don't ask my father as many questions as you asked Sero's."

"I genuinely didn't know what a teliphony was, okay, don't fucking call me out because it was a METAL COMMUNICATION DEVICE?! How can metal communicate?!" 

"Oh my goodness, KitKat-"

"Last call to board!"

"Hope you have a really nice holiday here. At least the food will be really good!" Mina cheered, both her and Todoroki waving and Katsuki waved too, even if it was more of a dismissive 'begone'. Then he was slammed into a Kaminari hug while Sero patted his head.

"Have a good time, slugger."

"I'm gonna slay both of you. So hard."

"See you, bro!" Kaminari said brightly, thwacking Katsuki's back and Katsuki whirled around, ready to fuck him up but he was instantly stopped by another quick hug before the two were rushing off like maniacs on a mission, yelling, "HAVE LOTS OF FUN, BAKU!"

"See you soon, Kacchan," Deku said out of nowhere, actually having the nerve to hug Katsuki from the side and Katsuki was pretty sure he was going crazy. What was happening today? What was all this fucking touching business? Why did he not hate it? "Have the bestest bestest bestest break. And...keep Kiri company? Don't get up to too much funny business, though!"

"The fuck are you talking about, get OFF me, nerd!"

"Okay, okay!" Midoriya snickered, letting go of Katsuki who was silently fuming with a lot of confusion still clouding his brain. He was getting soft, that's what it was, and it was the most disgusting thing he had always hoped would never happen.

"...where's Kirishima anyway?"

"Still at Hogwarts. Probably just at the entrance, seeing people off 'cause he's the nicest, he's such a sweet fun bright...tomato."

Katsuki stared at Midoriya who deflated. "I was finding it hard to describe."

Deku wasn't wrong, but he wasn't right. Kirishima was kind of at the front of the school, leaning against the closest wall inside with a can of something in his hand, and only one of his arms in a sleeve of his robes, so the other half of the garment just kind of hung off, coolly falling to the floor. Katsuki didn't know this guy.

Yet when Kirishima caught sight of Katsuki, he was suddenly pushing himself off of the wall and waving rapidly, the dumbest of grins on his face. Yeah. Katsuki sure knew that guy.

Katsuki was thinking about it so much that he kind of just ended walking right past Kirishima, which was quite ridiculous even for him. When Kirishima didn't go after him, he had a thought that maybe the guy was laughing at him a bit. Well, he could just fuck him up later. He had a plan and hopefully by the end of it, there'd be no more ridiculousness for a while to come.

It was pretty much, never leave his dorm and be completely isolated with studying, books, and games, and then maybe one day try and break into the Gryffindor common room at some point to find Kirishima if he got bored. It was a completely terrible plan that his pride probably wouldn't let him follow through on but he still might try his best to stick to it. Yet, there was something that he hadn't factored into his plan. And that was food.

For the next while, Kirishima started to join him for every meal.

The first day, the 17th, was the strangest. There really weren't many people who had stayed behind for the holidays, and the food on the tables was much less extravagant too, as well as much less in general, but still just as nice. It had been really quite something to be casually stuffing his mouth with toast just to catch Kirishima's eye right at the other end of the room, three tables down.

Kirishima was sitting right opposite him, despite all the space on the Gryffindor table. And Katsuki still didn't quite clock that he might have done it on purpose, because he could sometimes do so damn well at analysing people, yet fall short with his own forthcomings. Or, whatever weird idiomatic thing people said.

Katsuki felt awkward about eating now, which shouldn't ever happen. He tried to look back at his food, but he could still feel Kirishima's eyes on him which wasn't a particularly unpleasant feeling but still. Maybe not the best breakfast activity, especially with how he'd been feeling towards the guy lately.

Kirishima was alone. Katsuki realised he didn't like that. He didn't like Kirishima being alone. But he couldn't turn into Robot anymore and secretly keep him company, so what could he do?

When he looked up again, Kirishima wasn't there anymore. Fucking good. Katsuki could live in peace without his heart and mind both battering at him. Yet when he was finally about to take another bite, Kirishima was back, still right opposite but this time much, much closer, at the same table as him, with a luminescent grin on his face that was near enough to give Katsuki more feelings than he really ever wanted. "Hello."

"You're at the Slytherin table," Katsuki said because there was no law against him pointing out. Kirishima nodded.

"I'm aware."

"You're not usually at the Slytherin table."

"I'm aware of that too."

"This isn't your-"

"Are you trying to ask me why I'm here? 'Cause isn't it obvious? I wanna eat with you," Kirishima said, looking a little disheartened now and Katsuki couldn't have that.

"Then eat, weirdo. I'm a fan of the cereal, but I'm not really bothered to go get the milk. Toast is good, though."

Kirishima beamed which made Katsuki think that he'd done at least something right. "Well, you're a growing boy, sixteen year old."

"I'm seventeen in April," Katsuki argued half-heartedly even though he knew Kirishima hadn't meant it as belittling him but seriously, Katsuki would easily make anything into an argument if it meant taking his mind off of something worse. Right now that something worse was the domestic insight he was feeling from Kirishima getting up to fetch him milk and some food of his own, his hand on Katsuki's shoulder. Katsuki hated him, hated him. "And I'm taller than you."

"I'm still annoyed about that," Kirishima grumbled as he sat back down, slamming the milk jug down harder than he should have and it was quite funny when he neatly placed a bowl of cornflakes in front of Katsuki straight after. "Enjoy!"

"I like the chocolate cornflakes more."

"Katsuki Bakugou, I swear to God-"

It ended up being kind of...okay. At first it didn't mean much, and Kirishima was just a lame eating buddy who Katsuki just happened to be in love with who'd speak sometimes while Katsuki generally sat there and ate and listened. In silence, because the way Kirishima lit up whenever Katsuki did pitch in scared him. He was kind of wary about how Kirishima would switch between sitting next to him or opposite him, not even regularly, though even if Kirishima seemed like the epitome of too close for comfort, he kept his distance. Almost like he was...respecting something. Except that one time when he was reaching over to get eggs and Katsuki had to punch the guy away before he looked someplace he shouldn't. He realised with a start that he must make Kirishima so confused, but judging by the way Kirishima laughed it off he seemed to view it as normal Robot behaviour. And Katsuki guessed it was. It was. But it kind of ached to think that Kirishima thought that, thought of him as rude and aggressive and violent. 

But that was Katsuki's own damn fault because that was exactly what he was.

The best (Katsuki never said that word lightly) part of it was maybe the one-on-one company after staying alone in his dorm for hours. Don't get him wrong, he loved his alone time, it was all he lived for. He was able to find out that he was really bad at magic cards, slay the drums some more, get through half of his mock revision, clean the room (because three just-post-pubescent teenage boys in one area was as bad as a nuclear war zone), and he rekindled his dumb, dumb love for romance stories. He hoped Alfred and Georgia from the most recent one he read stayed together and didn't become subject to divorce like 42% of married couples, because it maybe made him cry just a little when Georgia was going to run away until Alfred asked her to marry him which alleviated her insecurity which was fucking cute. Shut up, he was a man of taste and he didn't care about crying when he was alone. He had done it too much by now, about too many different things.

It was a bit strange when Kirishima didn't comment on his pink eyes at dinner, but then Kirishima was sliding closer to him and resting an arm around Katsuki's shoulders. So, that was kind of comment in itself.

"Get the fuck away, I'm fine."

"Okay."

"Really, it was over something stupid."

"Okay."

"Can you just eat, you shitty loser?!"

Kirishima smiled so bright, saying another stupid, "Okay," before he let go of Katsuki who was pink, angry, and warm.

Kirishima let Katsuki call all the shots when it came to eating. Like where they'd sit. Well, that was basically the only shot, but it still let him assert his dominance. Yeah so maybe Katsuki was in love with the guy (now that he knew it he honestly couldn't stop saying it even if it broke his heart, was that called addiction or masochism?) but he still always thought that he was way too much for him to spend too much time with, as in another reason they were doomed before they'd even started...but in the end, Katsuki started to believe that he didn't only tolerate Kirishima's eccentric, bright-as-looking-into-the-sun company. He did quite like it.

That only assured him more that Kirishima was the perfect guy for him while Katsuki was nowhere near.

"Hey, when did you have your growth spurt?"

"Three years ago. Mina was really upset about it, she used to tower over me. Pfft, midget."

"Yeah, puberty hit you early, huh?" Kirishima said and his voice was kind of soft, thinking. Katsuki looked at him for one of the first times ever during these meals.

"Thirteen isn't early."

"I guess. But it was strange for me too when you stopped being..."

"Yeah, I became tight as fuck like you said, we all know like have you seen me," Katsuki deadpanned in the most (not magic-induced) robotic voice ever and Kirishima burst into laughter, punching Katsuki's arm lightly. Katsuki smiled a little at the beef he was poking. "I never really thought much about it. I knew I had to look nice though, because I got a shit ton of Valentine cards that year."

"Like you deserve."

"Shut up, cringe-ass."

"I'll get you one next year. I'll write a whole long sonnet about Prince Katsuki, how I've forsaken thee for being too lowly for thou worth but I shall write thee anyway."

Katsuki seized up for a moment, ears turning a little red but Kirishima couldn't see that (he fucking hoped). "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

"I know but-"

"You're not too lowly. You're perf-" SHUT UP KATSUKI- "You're damn alright, shithead. Now eat, you talk too much, it does my head in," Katsuki said, taking a bread roll and stuffing it into Kirishima's mouth. He tried not to react when he saw the way Kirishima flushed a proud pink, beaming, and it wasn't like him to say nothing back to something like that. So Katsuki braced himself, he really did, and eventually he heard it so he could finally relax. 

"I think you're perfect too." 

Except no, no Katsuki could not fucking relax.  

"I mean, you're not," Kirishima was saying, scratching his neck while Katsuki was completely buffering. "But you are, like, if you see it in a certain way and you're not everyone's cup of tea but if someone accepts you for who you are which I totally do then yeah, you can totally be perfect! Because you're hot and good at everything and you do care, you can't argue with that and sometimes when I look at you I think that dude's my bro and he's AWESOME and spectacular and-" 

"Please," Katsuki managed to rasp out before he combusted, "shut the fuck up." 

Kirishima turned to look at him with wide eyes before he was quickly bursting into bashful apology, yelling, "I got carried away!" as Katsuki slowly lowered his head into his hands, absolutely crushed. Fucking shithead being so oblivious and cute while Katsuki's heart was slowly killing him from inside, because every time Katsuki got the slightest inkling that Kirishima might like him back it always crumbled into stupid platonicism. They were just friends, bros, what-fucking-ever, and Katsuki couldn't even be upset about it because he...he loved being Kirishima's friend. Goddamn it, he fucking loved it. He didn't need more, why should he be allowed to be that selfish? 

Katsuki froze a little when he felt arms go around him, a warm head resting on his back. 

"Bakugou?" Kirishima asked softly, worriedly as he hugged Katsuki tight but not too tight. "You're doing the thing where you look down and go really quiet. You okay?" 

Katsuki smiled a little as he held onto Kirishima's arm, mostly because he couldn't help it. "Don't act like you know me."  

"I do know you! We're friends-

"Holy crackers, stop taking things so literally...I'm fine idiot, just fucking dandy so eat your damn chicken so you can get away from me." 

"Well," Kirishima huffed, letting go of Katsuki now and Katsuki peeked at him, smiling behind his hands when he saw the way Kirishima haughtily stabbed his chicken. "Now I'm gonna eat slower than I ever have so you'll be stuck with me forever!" 

Katsuki wrinkled his nose. "You're...such a baby." 

"And?!" Kirishima yelled, giving Katsuki a puffed pouty face that was already stuffed with chicken from the last five seconds (was that really Kirishima eating 'slowly'?), and before he knew it, Katsuki was laughing as he reached out to snatch the plate from the guy. 

"Well, babies need to be fed, I think."

"Wait wha- nO, BAK- KCHGH-" 

"You're already fucking choking, baby!" Katsuki snickered as he slammed Kirishima's back and watched the other falling to the ground in his dramatics, clutching his windpipe. Katsuki quickly and neatly cut up some chicken then he held it out on a fork, grabbing Kirishima's hand that was flailing about in the air before using it to drive Kirishima into the ground. "Open wide!" 

"BAKUG- I AM DYING HERE-"

"WELL YOU'RE STILL GONNA FUCKING EAT SO I CAN STOP SEEING YOUR UGLY FACE-" 

"BRO PLEASE-"  

Kirishima was bursting into gasping laughter while he tried to fend off Katsuki with his legs but Katsuki pinned them down with his own, pressing a hand into Kirishima's chest as he pointed the fork at his mouth, smirking. "I said open wide, baby."

Kirishima's face was suddenly completely red and wide-eyed, all traces of laughter gone which left Katsuki confused and a bit less satisfied. Until Kirishima suddenly blurted out, "I know this isn't the time but that was so hot." 

Katsuki froze. No, more like it felt like the whole world froze, and the only thing moving was Kirishima's face which was slowly becoming completely and utterly mortified. That still surely had to be better than Katsuki's heart turning to jelly.

"I DIDN'T FUCKING MEAN IT THAT WAY, YOU STUPID GAY BASTARD!" Katsuki screeched as he hovered a hand right above Kirishima's face, letting timid sparks fly out as a starter but Kirishima looked so genuinely terrified that it made Katsuki falter for a moment. "I mean just...gah, I'm fucking leaving." 

Katsuki grabbed an apple and a chicken wing, hastily throwing it into some tissue and making a point of ignoring Kirishima's soft calls, because he needed to leave before he did anything worse. And he got pretty far, about three feet before something was tugging on his arm. "Robot, please, I am definitely totally and wholeheartedly and completely a stupid gay bastard but I swear I don't mean harm. You can see it...just as a compliment, you know? That's all it was." 

"I know, dick, I just got flustered," Katsuki snapped as he turned around, tearing his arm away from Kirishima who blinked a few times. 

"R-Really?"

"Yeah, what, am I not allowed to do that now?" 

"No no no it's just surprising- I mean of course you're allowed to get flustered! I...um...mm..." Now Kirishima was completely regressing in confidence, rubbing his arm, and Katsuki wanted to sigh. This was dumb. There was no point affecting Kirishima with his own dumb feelings. 

"We're good." 

"What?" 

"I said, we're good. Now go back and eat, okay? I'll see you tomorrow." 

Katsuki awkwardly reached out to pat Kirishima's shoulder once before walking off, but right before he turned, the corner of his eye had managed to catch the beginning of a smile growing on Kirishima's face. That was all he really wanted in the end. That red dumbass' happiness.

-

The holiday was going strangely fast. On the morning of the twentieth, he received an owl that turned out to be a very sweet letter (that made him want to barf) from fucking Deku and a jar of cookies, and...rhubarb. Katsuki sighed, begrudgingly thankful because he had completely forgotten about that, and for most of the day, he got out his potion and made it his goal to finish it. The cookies became his breakfast. They were kinda sorta good, and Katsuki wondered if Deku had baked them.

"Thin? How thin?" Katsuki growled, so annoyed at these weak instructions. He did his best, cutting the rhubarb into very thin slices before dropping it inside. The smooth colour change seemed promising, and Katsuki stirred while looking at the next line.

Stir while imagining yourself falling in love.

Katsuki furrowed his eyebrows. That couldn't possibly be it. That was the most stupid thing he had ever read - why was magic so weird? But he grimaced when he realised that he wouldn't get anywhere if he didn't do it, and he did have to keep his grades up. The things he did for dumb school.

Closing his eyes, he kept up some rhythmic stirring as he tried to visualise it.

He could see dates in Central London. Roaring laughter and cuddles that Katsuki would pretend he hated while watching movies, and Katsuki would kiss him all over. Him. It was a guy, even hypothetically. They'd walk in the pride parade that Sero had told him about, in love without a care, and Katsuki would cheer for him at Quidditch matches because that was his fucking man, who'd fly down to kiss him in front of everyone. The guy would hold Katsuki's hand in public first and probably get beaten up, but he'd let him do it eventually. He'd earn Katsuki's trust quicker than anyone else ever had. It would be...perfect. 

It was so nice that Katsuki really didn't want to stop, with the hypothetical boy slowly growing a more familiar face as he dreamed on. But he knew he had to, because it just wasn't real anyway and it never would be, and when he looked down, the Valita was the exact pale blue colour it was supposed to be. He felt waves of relief, smiling to himself as he poured it into a bottle and three vials.

So he was into guys, for sure now because that was something he couldn't even dare to deny. Maybe he really was yearning for this love feeling so much, an actual one with someone who actually liked him back, but he could wait. He wanted to wait, until there'd be someone truly strong enough to deal with him, or until he ended up as alone as everyone probably thought he'd be, including himself. Offer a guy with killer looks and top grades? People would be pouring in. But offer someone with anger issues, trust issues, an almost criminal record, an utter hatred for everything that he didn't even know the root of? There'd be no takers in the end. None. Especially not a beautiful Gryffindor redhead.

His stomach rumbled and when he looked up at the clock, he realised irritatedly that he had missed lunch. Well, a trip to the kitchens it was.

"Where have you been all day?" Kirishima asked with a pout when Katsuki finally went to the Great Hall for dinner later on at night. "I've been all lonely, meanie."

That alerted Katsuki a little. "Sorry. I was working on this potion."

"It's okay, forgive and forget," Kirishima said brightly, holding out a small Yorkshire pudding and Katsuki opened his mouth for it. "You did eat something though, right?"

"The fuck you take me for? Can't live without food, idiot."

"That's good, that's good. And also, if you don't mind me asking-" Katsuki was so confused why Kirishima sounded so formal all of a sudden. Was that another thing the guy did when he got nervous? "What've you been doing these past few days? Like...apart from meals?"

Katsuki shrugged. "Not much."

"You could've been doing not much with me," Kirishima huffed sadly and Katsuki grinned, poking the guy's arm with a fork.

"Don't be clingy, loser. I've been having some really nice alone time so I don't care what you want. Just wanted to see where things were at with me."

Kirishima's fluorescent eyes were boring into him in a light way, as if he was intrigued but he didn't want to ask about it in case it'd make Katsuki uncomfortable. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't. He still appreciated Kirishima's silence even though it wasn't really as deep as Katsuki made it out to be since to be completely and utterly honest, he was actually a tiny bit dramatic (just a bit). Hell, he had literally just cried again over a letter his grandparents sent him and had something that didn't exist beat him a dozen more times at cards.

"At least say I'm getting you tomorrow now I've let my desires be known?" Kirishima asked with the most amazing puppy dog eyes, leaning forward across the table and clasping his hands together. Katsuki felt obliged to pat his head but of course he didn't, that'd be weird. Wait, now he wished he had but it was too late. Damn it.

"I'm too good for you, loser."

"I know! That's why I'm trying really really hard to make you come over!"

"This is you trying hard? Ridiculous."

"That's what you like about me."

"Have- what?"

"Nothing! Just a joke! Don''t get flustered!" Kirishima said quickly but it was super hard to ignore how red the guy had turned. Katsuki gave him the best 'the fuck is wrong with you' look he could make, and he'd really mastered those.

"Didn't you fucking say I'm allowed to get flustered?" 

"Y-Yeah but, you don't like it, right?" 

"WHO LIKES GETTING FLUSTERED?!" 

"AHH, YOU'RE RIGHT!" Kirishima yelled back and Katsuki's anger flattened a little as he eyed the guy for a moment, then snorted, turning his head away. 

"You're so weird." 

"Yeah..."

"Have your common room door open for me at seven tomorrow morning, any later and I'll murder you in cold blood. Whether I show or not, we'll see." 

"What- you serious?!"

"If you need me to fucking repeat it, it ain't happening."

"You're the best, bro," Kirishima said with the biggest grin, and Katsuki shrugged. He knew he was great but if he could make someone smile like that, he had to be pretty great. Platonic-wise. Romantic-wise he could fuck off a bridge, but even then Kirishima would probably catch him with the bro-manly adoration he had for Katsuki and the thought suddenly made him want to cry again.

"I know. Now die," Katsuki said as a way to hide his dumb sentimentality, grabbing the back of Kirishima's neck to slam his head into his waffles, and Kirishima's roaring laughter had Katsuki's ears turning pink. 

 

Chapter Text

As a kid (and that's the entire reason), Katsuki was going to at least mildly enjoy Halloween. And he kinda liked Halloween at home. He deplored the massive party his family would throw which he'd usually be so tired from, but he liked trotting out for hours the next day dressed as the scariest thing he could be and scaring kiddles shitless, then heading off to Hogwarts for the anticipated hallowed feast (cancelled this year but Katsuki still had the memories) where he could scare even more kiddles shitless. It was a dream.

He usually had such preparation for Halloween, like his costume which would be a fucking masterpiece, then the route he was going to go all laid out, and if there were specific people he wanted to target like fucking Deku or measly muggles who dissed his hair then he'd be out for blood. But he couldn't really do anything like that here, and it was only over a week or so left until Halloween and his mind had been and probably would be too preoccupied with 'maturer' things before he could get anything set up. Life got so boring the older he got.

He was lying awake in his bed by the time it was six. Just staring at the ceiling, and wishing he was home. But here he was, at fucking school, the school that hated him, with a crush who'd never love him, and no friends to even try and ease the blows that usually came so often. Seeing Mina, Sero, Todoroki, even Kaminari, seeing their faces each day usually served to distract him from anything else because they were tactless idiots, but they knew just how to make him feel better even though Katsuki never let them know he was sad, which was literally the perfect deal. But now here he was, simmering in all his complexes completely alone.

He definitely wasn't going to cry. No, he wasn't going to cry, 'cause when he cried there were usually good reasons, the reasons that made him feel low as fuck. He was way better than crying over being alone

Kirishima's waiting for me.

Katsuki's eyes opened properly now, instead of in half-hearted insecure grogginess.

But I won't make the day better for him. Why the hell does he ever want to hang out with me, genuinely, what's wrong with him when all I am is mean?

If Katsuki was someone else, he'd find this particular complex of his the funniest in the world: somehow hating himself while still thinking he was better than everyone on the planet. He was really such a joke.

He seems to think that he wants me to come. But does he really? Is he seeing me as a challenge or something? 

Katsuki grumbled softly and threw the pillow he was hugging to the side, slowly getting up. He rubbed his eyes before letting himself fall off the bed and scrabble for clothes. He tried to look fairly presentable since his parents had definitely knocked their fashion senses into him, and then he was almost ready to go. Until he caught himself in the mirror and saw his ratchet hair, dead face, and started to gag from how bad his breath was.

Alright. Bathroom routine first, then time to go.

He wondered if Kirishima was regretting it now. He wondered if Kirishima would curveball him, and the portrait door wouldn't actually be open by the time he got there. Katsuki would definitely stick to his word and kill him, but he wasn't sure if he'd be surprised or not. Though, maybe he was being a bit hard on Kirishima there because the guy had kind of been nothing but sweet to him...probably another reason Katsuki had fallen so quickly, because no-one was ever like that to him. Huh. Maybe he should start a list. As if that wouldn't screw me over even more.

When he was finally ready, he slipped out of his dorm and moved down the stairs. There was no-one awake at this time probably, except for third-year Scorpius who grinned when Katsuki raised an eyebrow at him. He kind of liked the dude, he'd mentored him in Defence and sort of saw him as a nerd that he'd take care of. "What you doing up?"

"Just am," Scorpius said brightly. "You're not at home?"

"No. You?"

"No."

"Cool."

Katsuki realised too late that they were both dumb as fuck since clearly neither of them were at home.

They departed with a nod or wave, and Katsuki caught sight of the title of the book Scorpius was reading. The Notebook. He wondered if it was any good, but it sounded boring if it was literally called something like that.

He manoeuvred out of the common room and up the dungeon steps before looking around, and the place looked amazing just like he had expected. Orange and black rush, floating pumpkins ranging from so many sizes carved with gruesome moving faces, cobwebs with magic holograms of spiders running over them again and again, ghost simulations even on top of the real ones they already had. Wow, so they cancelled the feast but prepared all this that only a handful of students would manage to see? Ridiculous.

He walked through it all slowly, peeking around, and then froze. For a moment, he couldn't quite believe it, and he checked his wristwatch (a hidden gift from Todoroki last Christmas that he had found in a robe pocket, Katsuki had found it so weird but now he depended on it with his life).

It was ten whole minutes past seven.

So I was right. He had second thoughts.

The Gryffindor common room door wasn't open, so neither was Katsuki's heart.

Wow, how grossly dramatic, and it was definitely the romantic literature's fault.

He did stay to just look at the door for a moment. Almost as if he was willing it to open because maybe, he had actually kind of become more expecting than he thought he would and that was exactly why he only trusted five people in the world. It would be seven if his parents had taken him to that amusement park that one time he was five...oh, and not ruined his life. But he just sighed to himself, turning back around while planning to raid the kitchen in a nicer way than usual, meaning just as long as the kitchen elves let him because Katsuki wasn't in the mood to blow them up. Maybe he could invite Scorpius. No, that was too many people.

Then he heard the massive sound of someone throwing open a heavy door, and a loud, desperate yell.

"BAKUGOU! I'M SO SORRY, I OVERSLEPT, PLEASE PLEASE COME BACK!"

Katsuki smiled, and tried to keep his relief secret even from himself.

He turned around once more, walking over and he scrunched up his nose the tiniest bit at the way Kirishima's sleepy face lit up as he waved. "Hiiiiiiii! Oh man, you look so so nice!"

Kirishima's vibrant hair looked soft now, down and framing his face even with some strands sticking up impossibly and haphazardly in some directions, and his robes were slung over his shoulder while his chest was shirtless so Katsuki was thinking that Kirishima really might have run here straight from the moment he woke up. 

Katsuki stopped right in front of him so they were to face to face, and he spat, "You're a dickwad and I'm still gonna murder you."

Kirishima whined sadly like a puppy, drooping. "I swear I set an alarm, I swear..."

"Let me through, infidel."  

"Infidel...?" 

"In regard to the religion of me, obviously, because you're not doing your part." 

Kirishima started to laugh before yelping when Katsuki barked, "NOW!" and he quickly nodded, moving to the side and holding out a hand to help Katsuki in. Katsuki took it but didn't use it to actually help him up because that was weak (except that obviously couldn't be the case since Kirishima was a helpful idiot who pulled him up of his own accord) cinching up his robes so they didn't get caught, and he was inside in no time. He accidentally jolted a little when Kirishima was slamming the door closed a split-second after. "Hey, cool it-"

Yet Kirishima was suddenly tugging Katsuki down, not even just to his height but to hug Katsuki's head to his fucking chest (which may he again state is BARE) as he wailed out a tiredly happy, "You came!"

"O-Of course I did, loser," Katsuki snapped, trying to get away but Kirishima was annoyingly strong, even this early. It was weird to think of his strength when the same guy was patting his head all over, cooing at him like he was a damn dog which Katsuki definitely wasn't, he could only accept being a cat. They were cooler. Didn't take shit from anybody while their idiot counterparts would roll over for nothing more than a fucking treat. "Ugh, shithead, half wanna tell you to go back to sleep-"

"No, nonononono," Kirishima fought defensively, squishing Katsuki's head tight so all he could see was that damn chest. Katsuki wasn't sure if he was lucky or not. He chose lucky. "I just gotta go to the bathroom and stuff...I'll be fine after!"

"Okay but-"

"We go!" Kirishima cheered, letting go of Katsuki before sprinting off, and Katsuki realised a little too late that they were still holding hands when he was suddenly being dragged across the floor and he couldn't even blush about it because it was so fucking dumb. He really thought he was going to face imminent death when he saw the stairs coming up and he was about to bellow Kirishima's name (or well, rather another one of the dumb insults that he was really running out of) until he saw a few people on the other side of the common room staring at them. Oh, wait. Would they try and kick him out? Katsuki smirked as he powered up a fist, liking to see them try.

He started forgetting that a little when they did get to the stairs, and Katsuki had to think more about where he was stepping so he didn't experience any horrible falls so early in his life. If Kirishima could just fucking let go of his hand then they'd both immediately be in less danger but nope, Sleepy Happy Kirishima was a death junkie by the looks of it.

At least they finally stopped running when they reached the floor of the dorms, and Kirishima was heaving out a laugh as he squeezed Katsuki's hand, grinning at him. Katsuki could only stare at him with his expression clearly deadpanning 'I've really been right all along about you being a dumbass' and Kirishima did nothing but grin at him even wider, but he was an airhead. Katsuki's beautiful airhead. Except, he wasn't Katsuki's. 

Kirishima fiercely told him to stay where he was once they entered the dorm as if he was sure Katsuki was going to run away otherwise, and Katsuki slowly agreed out of curiosity more than anything as he watched Kirishima run off after randomly grabbing some clothes. He looked around in this dorm he had seen once before, realising it hadn't changed much except for a few more posters and mess in less places, almost as if Kirishima might have made an effort to clean up which was actually a little sweet.

Katsuki absent-mindedly cleaned up his desk a little while he waited before he made the split-second decision to fall back onto Kirishima's unmade bed, sinking into it. It was comfy, slept in. And it smelt like him. It really smelt like him. But what did Kirishima even smell like? The only thing Katsuki could think of was the colour red, which was absolutely stupid.

"Better not have gone as far to plan anything," Katsuki mumbled to himself, leaning against the headboard. He looked down and saw an array of cards, lotion, and a black box. A phone. Todoroki had one of those, but he had tampered with it so it could run off of the magic atmosphere rather than the...electricity...thing. Katsuki was never sure if he was saying these muggle words right.

"I'm back! So what-"

"Can you still use this?" Katsuki asked curiously, pointing at the phone while Kirishima took a seat next to him, leaning over Katsuki's shoulder to see what he was talking about. Katsuki bristled as he realised damn, Kirishima smelled different but nice. Like soft mint, and some sort of flower. Did he have a shower that quick? Maybe perfume- do I usually get distracted this quickly?

"Ah, I bribed a Ravenclaw to help me a few years ago," Kirishima said shyly, rubbing his neck. "I swear they were okay with it! Also they really really liked cake so it was all...Bakugou?"

Katsuki had fallen into Kirishima's side, burying his face into his arm. It was the morning. He didn't have his filter yet, and this was really going to ruin him later but he found himself not caring. "You smell like my mum."

Kirishima's expression grew soft as he rested an arm around Katsuki's shoulders carefully. "Sorry. I just put on some perfume a girl got me for Christmas last year. Oh no, what was- I don't think I know her name..."

"I wanna go back home." He did, but not for the reasons Kirishima probably thought he did. Kirishima didn't know how much Katsuki fought with his mother, how much he loathed his father deep-down, or how much Katsuki wished he didn't love them so it would make it easier to hate them. And it wasn't Kirishima's problem anyway. It was no-one's problem, no-one knew but Deku who he'd never for a million years spill his feelings to.   

"Yeah. Me too," Kirishima said gently, lightly leaning against Katsuki. "I mean, I really don't like either of my parents right now, and I don't even know if I have a home, but it's the routine, isn't it?"

"Yes. Sometimes it feels like they're the only people you truly know, the only people who'll stick around because it's like they have to."

"Exactly. And no matter what happens, no matter how much it hurts you keep going back to each other because they're the only ones who fully have your trust, even if it's by default." 

"If you break from your family then you start thinking, how the fuck would I be able to have a good relationship with anyone else?" 

"Right! And you hold onto it because you loved them for so long, since you were born, so even if you leave, you'd never stop thinking about them." 

Then they were quiet, both of them stock still as they realised what they had just carelessly ranted together about. Slowly, Katsuki raised his head, and it had to be a fucking joke how Kirishima's eyes met his at the same time. They were light, sad, and understanding. Sharing parts of his pain.

"I think our families are pretty fucked up," Katsuki said after a beat of silence, in a softer voice than he thought would come out, and Kirishima agreed with an even softer smile as he rested his head ever so lightly against Katsuki's, as if to alleviate himself of just a bit of his emotional weight and Katsuki would gladly take it, just for him. 

"S'the reason we met, after all. Always had a feeling you had a bit of weight on you too, from the way you tried to help me."

"I'm still here to talk, you know," Katsuki rasped out, and this was something that he'd wanted to say for a while now but he hadn't found the right time. This seemed better than ever. "I'm not anonymous anymore and I know things get scary and shit when you realise it's an actual person you're showing your inner feelings too but I still got some help in me. Don't waste it." 

Kirishima's smile was so big now, so blinding and Katsuki adored the simple fact that he, Katsuki fucking Bakugou was able to cause that stellar smile. "I'll always keep that in mind. We've got each other!"

"Mhm," Katsuki hummed, burrowing more into Kirishima and feeling a little (lot) in love when the guy burst into laughter, trying to shake him off but it just ended with them falling back against the bed.

"That's ticklish!"

"Well, duh."

"You're like a dog-"

"Wrong," Katsuki said immediately, raising his head to look down at Kirishima with the most intense look he had in his archive and what would you know, Kirishima really did blanch a little. "Only a cat. Nothing but a cat.

Kirishima grinned immediately once he heard the words, saying, "That might definitely suit you more," as he reached out to ruffle Katsuki's hair, and Katsuki would purr if he was a bit more shameless but fuck that. How did it come to this? Was Katsuki comfortable with this? It sort of felt like it. Maybe it wasn't as bad because he hadn't properly brushed his hair?

"Hey," Katsuki said, tapping Kirishima's chest, and the boy looked at him with wide-eyed anticipation. Katsuki refrained from rolling his own eyes at that reaction, and he said something that he was only saying because he wanted to see what he would get back. He wanted to see into a world of him being domestic, because after meals together, after seeing each other first thing in the day, what more could there be? "Good morning."

Kirishima beamed. Literally, beamed, like a damn ray of sunshine. It was a little more than what Katsuki had been expecting and his heart was definitely well-fed. This fucking boy... "Aw, you too! Wanna get some breakfast?"

"Let's go."

The Great Hall looked even better. The multi-coloured lit candles dancing in the air and the ghosts floating around, whether real or fake, reminded him of his family's parties. He knew they were still throwing one because of tradition but the family themselves probably weren't going to be there, which was just plain dumb.

"You know, my sister called me last night," Kirishima sighed, stabbing his waffle blindly. Katsuki had been silently rooting for it to grow legs and smack Kirishima around the head as a counterattack, but he quickly snapped out of it.

"Why?"

"She asked me if I wanted her to 'whisk me away' for the holiday."

"What? Why aren't you gone? Why didn't you say yes? Are you really a moron?" Katsuki asked instantaneously and Kirishima closed his eyes, took in a deep breath, then smiled.

"Your bluntness never fails to charm."

"You would've had a great time with her."

"Call me stupid but I think I got too excited thinking about spending time with you. I hadn't come down from the high yet."

"Have you come down now?"

Kirishima beamed at him, holding up his glass of orange juice like he was saying a toast. "Nope."

"Then yes, I'm calling you stupid," Katsuki said blankly. "I'm definitely calling you stupid."

"Come ooooon, we're gonna have a great time! We already bonded. That was like the fourth time we hugged."

"That was not a hug. Differentiate between your holds, you wishful bastard."

Kirishima pouted, resting his chin on Katsuki's shoulder because 'closer' apparently meant 'more impact'. And yes, this was one of the days where he was sitting next to Katsuki which was dumb. Katsuki couldn't see his pretty face as much. 

"What kind of hold was it then?"

"All holds don't need to have names, that just wasn't a hug."

 "Okay."

"It might not have even been a hold."

"Okay."

"Don't do that, shithead!" Katsuki snarled, taking hold of Kirishima's head and swinging it back and forth to the point that even he was getting dizzy. Kirishima giggled, stabbing his waffle once more to shakily stuff it into his mouth during Katsuki's assault, saying a butchered, full-mouthed, "Okay," and Katsuki pushed his stupid face, which just got more giggles which just led to choking. The fuckmunch deserved it.

"Also," Kirishima said after finally getting back to normal with no help whatsoever from Katsuki (because he'd just remembered the last choking malarkey and almost knocked himself out on the table), "I didn't want you to think I'd ditched you if you decided to come. It kind of broke my heart to think that you'd think that...I swear I'm not a bad person. Or maybe I am. Maybe I just don't want you to think I a- GAH!"

Katsuki had smashed an orange into Kirishima's head.

"You need to shut up and eat."

Kirishima slowly blew up into a smiling idiot once more. "You like me. You so like me. You always get so much more defensive when you- oh my God, you LOVE me."

Katsuki was bringing back his intense glare, for more reasons than one. "Shut the hell up, you clown."

"See, I'm good with your coldness because I know you like me soooooooo much so it's fine-"

Katsuki had no regrets when he let the whole fruit bowl rain over Kirishima's head.

Chapter Text

As an officially legal man, Kirishima sure didn't seem to have let go of his childhood yet. He had soft toys in his room and Katsuki almost regretted asking about them (he'd been making fun of them but whatever), because now Kirishima was introducing him to each and every one. At least he let Katsuki hug them.

"This is Wolfa! She's a...wolf," Kirishima said bashfully, patting Wolfa's head while Katsuki was still cuddling Dolphine who was actually a shark. "Or a husky. We're not sure about that. Oh, and this is Sheila, isn't she beautiful? She was my girlfriend in second year. Don't ask."

"You told people you had a girlfriend called Sheila and your reference was a doll," Katsuki deadpanned and Kirishima turned bright red.

"So you didn't need to ask!"

"You're pathetic."

"I was twelve. I thought I was straight so clearly I wasn't in my right mind. Besides, now I've got a real-life doll," Kirishima said cheerfully, which would sound a bit scary (like Frankenstein scary) on its own until Katsuki was suddenly being tackled onto the bed and he made the realisation, oh, I'm the doll.

"Deku's more doll-like than me, that fucking twink," Katsuki snorted as hard as a bull as Kirishima rested his head on his stomach, humming in laughter before he froze.

"You don't mean that offensively, right?" 

"Every word I say about Deku is meant offensively." 

"Then you don't," Kirishima confirmed by himself, bright again as he grinned. "I'll take your words into consideration but he's not my doll, he's Todoroki's!"

"Oh, gross. Why am I yours? First off no-one belongs to anyone and he's your best friend."

Kirishima was quiet for a moment before saying, "Not really. He hangs out with Iida and Todoroki more than me, honestly, we just know each other very well. We...hm."

"No, tell me. Tell me how you and that bastard became friends."

"Then will you tell me why you don't like him?"

That caught Katsuki off guard. "What- ex-bloody-cuse me?" 

"I still remember all those weeks ago when you said you hate him and you won't tell anyone why...I mean, why? What could've someone like Midoriya have done?" 

Katsuki scratched his neck, grimacing slightly because really, why would he ever want to get into this. But Kirishima was looking up at him so damn innocently and Katsuki knew he wasn't asking because of any ulterior motive, he didn't want to destroy him, he didn't want to make fun of him. Fuck him. Really. "I don't...hate him." 

"You don't?" 

"No? I don't even think it seems like it. We're fucking civil or whatever, I only blow up at him at the start of terms." 

"Why?" 

"Uh, it's fun?" 

"Oh...well, I guess-" 

"Look, if you really wanna know, and it ain't pretty, we've grown up together pretty much, always lived in the same neighbourhood. And I like...bullied him or something..." 

"What?" 

"You heard me!" 

"No I genuinely didn't-" 

"Fuck, man," Katsuki sighed, dragging a hand through his hair. "I was a bully, okay? It was- it was the only thing that made me feel strong and I just hated everything, I had such a severe - you know what, I still have it, this fucking anger complex. I was awesome, I knew it, but I still had hatred for so many things including myself because none of them were good enough, nothing, and I had to take it out on...someone." 

"Midoriya?"  

"Probably anyone I could get my hands on. I was a bloody brat. But Mina...Mina made me stop," Katsuki mumbled, and he wasn't sure if his voice had ever been this quiet. He was just so scared of what Kirishima was going to say to all this, and he'd keep talking forever just so he wouldn't have to hear the reply. "She was visiting and she saw me yelling at some kid and she came in and like...slapped me. It really fucking hurt but then she took hold of my face and said, "Bakugou, you're such a good guy, why are you pretending you're not?"" 

"Minaaaa," Kirishima wailed, making Katsuki smile for a second. But it dropped faster than anything. 

"She was wrong, though. But I still liked believing her. And that was actually the last time I saw her in two years until Hogwarts but I don't know. It stuck with me. Made me realise the kids I was screwing with were people, not punching bags so I...stopped. Let them run away. And I felt empty, not happy, but I thought...I'm not good, but I can try and not be bad." 

"It reminds me of that song, You know, the Steven Universe one," Kirishima said, voice soft and Katsuki raised an eyebrow at him when the idiot actually started singing. "I always thought I might be bad, Now I'm sure that it's true, 'Cause I think you're so good, And I'm nothing like you." 

"Are you fucking implying I'm having some kinda romance with a raccoon?" 

"No!" Kirishima giggled, squishing the side of his face against Katsuki's abdomen and man, Katsuki loved him, loved him loved him loved him. "But I know it's what you think. You don't think you're good...but every time I look at you I just wanna tell you how good you are." 

"Seriously fuck off I'm not a pet-" 

"No, it's the kind of good where...agh...I don't know how to explain it, you're fierce and angry, sure, but some things you do make me so happy, you're a good boy-" 

"DIDN'T I JUST SAY I WASN'T A PET, YOU IDIOT!" Katsuki screeched, slamming Kirishima's head to push him off with so much force that they both rolled over, and Katsuki ended up with Kirishima under him laughing his stupid head off. "What's so fucking FUNNY-" 

"Baku- Bakugou, no, c-calm down," Kirishima wheezed, reaching out to take hold of Katsuki's face in his hands, and Katsuki's eyes were wide as he watched Kirishima's laughter slowly wean away, a smile settling instead as he looked up at Bakugou. Was he blushing? Holy fuck, it looked like Kirishima was blushing. Did that mean anything? And why did he look so pretty? "Bakugou, why are you so red? I can feel it, your face is burning!" 

"Pfft ME- wha- why are YOU so red?!" Katsuki spluttered even though Kirishima wasn't all that red, though he was actually turning redder the more Katsuki flustered around like an idiot. 

"I am?!" 

"Yeah you fucking are, like your dumb hair!" 

"Noooo, I'm not, I'm not, shut up," Kirishima complained, letting go of Katsuki to cover his face, meaning Kirishima wouldn't see Katsuki's smile which was the perfect deal. 

"Cool your frittatas, I know you think I'm the hottest thing since the sun." 

Kirishima covered his mouth. "I heard Bakugou say frittatas and I'm not in heaven."

"Oh fuckin' hell, you're so weird," Katsuki groaned in disgust, falling into the space next to Kirishima who propped up on his side to look at him, and Katsuki looked back. "How do you know when someone's hot, anyway?" 

"Like...the attractive kind?" 

"Yeah. 'Cause I never see it." 

"Like you don't get attracted to people?" 

"Yeah." Except you. But even that took a while. "Because...did I ever tell you? When I smelt Amortentia back in September, I couldn't...it didn't...ugh." Katsuki smushed a hand into his face. "Just tell me to shut the fuck up, I can't do feelings-" 

"You couldn't smell anything?" 

Katsuki winced, and then Kirishima was quickly backing up. "A-Ah, sorry, I didn't mean to blurt that out, you don't need to tell me anything I just-" 

"Do you think it means I could never love someone?" Katsuki asked, peering at Kirishima whose eyes turned sad. Then he was reaching out, patting Katsuki's hair, and Katsuki knew he wouldn't have an answer but his heart was telling him no anyway. 

Because I can love you. I adore you so much.

"Want me to change the subject?" Kirishima asked softly when Katsuki's faced started twisting, and Katsuki aggressively nodded as Kirishima's hand fell away before jolting when Kirishima's head fell onto his chest again. Kirishima really liked doing that. "I was just thinking, before we got into all of this, I can tell you why me and Midoriya became friends but it's really not a story. He's one of my roommates, he's a nice guy, we both related with sexuality confusion and it just easily happened. But I don't know...Midoriya doesn't really have to be my best friend. I'm sure he doesn't think of me as one. I think I'm just friends with too many people to have really close ones." 

"What about the raccoon?" 

"That's a different story," Kirishima laughed and Katsuki rolled his eyes. Mina was friends with everyone, it was so goddamn annoying, but he guessed Kirishima was the same. He was always striking up conversation with anyone near him no matter how much he knew them, and Katsuki would catch sight of him sometimes and be like 'what's up with that? who willingly wants to engage in social contact like that?'. Extroverts = weirdos. "But recently...I don't know...it was fine when I was younger but I started to feel empty near the end of last year." 

"Why?" 

"'Cause, I don't know, it just didn't seem enough anymore? I wanted someone I could talk to in the middle of the night, someone I could come back to at the end of the day, someone who'd listen to me and understand...someone like Robot." 

Katsuki froze, and Kirishima beamed at him. "I know who should be my bestie."

"H-Hah? Who?" Katsuki had to keep playing dumb, it was the only way to stay sane.

"You! Think about it, we spend so much time together now, don't we? And I really really like you, Bakugou!" 

Katsuki. For once in his life, he wanted someone to call him Katsuki. And would Katsuki even be okay with being best friends with Kirishima? Being around this buffoon all day long, sharing intimate moments that weren't kissing his dumb face off? Katsuki wasn't sure. 

"Even after...what we were just-" 

"Hey, people grow, people realise their mistakes, people learn. Just look at 16 year old Bakugou Katsuki, a guy with top grades, awesome friends - who actually like him, and for a reason! - and a hot guy with amazing red hair," Kirishima teased with a wink, and Katsuki's stomach churned. Fuck. Why had he ever even thought Kirishima wouldn't understand? The guy was too good for his own good.

"Stop being deluded, it's dumb," Katsuki mumbled, pushing on Kirishima's face which had the latter gasping through snickers as his head flopped about on Katsuki's torso. He fleetingly wondered if his stomach was a good enough pillow.

"I have my moments, right?!"

"Hell no. I'm always around dumb people and that's never gonna change, looks like."

"But I'm decent on tests if I study for hours and hours!" Kirishima cheered, and he sounded so happy about something like that. Katsuki just found him so absurd and, it was one of the facts that made him like to think they might've actually been best friends for a while now. Maybe. No, that was probably him going too far.

"It's fucking laughable that you're an adult."

"I'm not an adult."

"Yeah you a-"

"No, I'm not. The adult age is eighteen. Don't fight me on this," Kirishima said so firmly that it brought Katsuki to silence. He looked down, and Kirishima looked still as ever, only his bright bright hair visible as his face stayed squished in Katsuki's abdomen. Katsuki hoped he was able to breathe, then he was gone to wondering how he was actually able to breathe, then he was finally circling back to the topic at hand.

"I'm guessing you like going home because it's a breath of reality for you again."

"It's not that, I don't think this is weird and fantastical. But the muggle world is, like you said, home. I love going back there at holidays and being home again."

"Why can't this be your home too?"

"Maybe it is...but then I still want more of a balance, you get me?"

"You have that balance, you know. It's not like there are people here who don't understand what the muggle world is like, it's not like you're completely bloody stripped of it here, I get that it's different to quite some extent but it's not like you're suddenly in a whole other dimension. And you know where you came from. This is just school, you know that, right, dumbass? You'll be out there living your life how you want it soon."

He felt Kirishima slump against him.

"Do you think I'm an idiot for being like this?"

"I always think you're an idiot." Then Katsuki paused, contemplating something that made him grimace. "...want my real answer?" 

"Please." 

"You're not. Dumb, I mean, for this. It feels like a 'where you belong' complex thing, you feel kind of indebted to both these places and you feel like you have to choose. But you belong in both of them. Deep down you know that. You need to goddamn worry less."

"You're so nice."

Katsuki flushed pink. "The actual living fuck are you talking about, I'll deck you if you ever-"

"You're stroking my hair."

Katsuki paused, finding that yes, his hand was indeed in Kirishima's bright bright hair. He quickly retracted it when Kirishima was suddenly shifting, lifting his face and resting his chin on Katsuki's chest, smiling up at him. "You're nice to me."

Katsuki cautiously petted Kirishima's hair again and if the guy was a dog, his tail would definitely be wagging. "It's fuckin' easy to be nice to you or some shit. Some otherworldly sorcery, that's what it is."

"It's because you like me-"

"I'll wrench that voicebox out your pretty little throat."

Kirishima grinned, eyes crinkling and a pink shade colouring his skin, before he said, "Wait up," and rolled off of Katsuki. He was off the bed completely soon enough, collapsing on the floor before jumping up and racing to his desk. Katsuki warily watched the guy sift through his things, until he finally held something up with a loud, "AHA!"

"What is it?"

"Something I wanna give to you!"

Katsuki frowned, almost backing up as Kirishima started nearing him. "The fuck? Halloween isn't a gift-giving holiday, you absolute dipshit-" 

"I know, I know," Kirishima said with a light smile, flopping down to sit opposite Katsuki. "I just wanted to, it's a tiny thing anyway. I was planning to give it to you on Christmas or something but we became way better friends way more quickly than I thought, I can't give you something this small. So you get to have it now!"

"Don't fuckin' want it!" 

"Hey, no, you will! Here," Kirishima chirped, holding it out and it really was quite small, about the size of Katsuki's palm. It was in a sealed brown paper bag with the word 'Bakugou' written on in scrawly writing with a - wait for it - a fucking love heart next to it. A love heart. A love heart. A love. Heart. Katsuki's head was spiralling. 

Everything about it screamed 'endearing'.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes!"

"Alright, calm your shit..."

Katsuki reached out for it, and let it rest in his hands for a moment. It felt a little heavier than he thought it would. He got a nail under the sealing and ripped it open, trying his best to be careful but it didn't really work, since when did it ever. But when he tipped the bag upside down, he was simply stunned at what came out.

It was a little creature made out of metal. Shiny metal. It had a rectangular head and circles as ears, with a rectangle as the body too with multi-coloured jewel like buttons that caught light so prettily down the middle. The arms reminded Katsuki of the screwdriver thingy that Kaminari kept behind his ear sometimes, and the legs were charming shiny blocks of a lot of shapes. Then it was attached to some kind of chain then a massive circle, which was confusing. 

"The fuck...?"

"It's a robot," Kirishima said eventually, tapping the head of the creature, and Katsuki's eyes grew wide.

"Huh?"

"Yep, a robot! But I guess it's not a real one, just how one might look like. It's actually a keychain."

"Keychain?"

"Yeah, you attach it to anything you want. Like...keys? Or even a bag. Or anything. It's weird explaining it."

"It's...hm. Ugly? But, cute. Like you." 

"Yeah?" Kirishima asked with a laugh, before reaching out to fold Katsuki's fingers over the robot. "It's yours. See? It's just something small-"

Katsuki leant forward and wrapped his arms around Kirishima, pulling him in. He could hear Kirishima yelp before falling quiet, his arms hovering in the air as if he had no idea what to do. Katsuki raised an eyebrow, even as he closed his eyes and let himself be a gross self-indulgent person, for once in his life. He had got this far so maybe he could push a bit more. "Aren't you some hug expert?"

"No expert. I just like them," Kirishima said, quiet awe breaching his defence, but Katsuki shouldn't have been surprised when Kirishima was literally throwing himself forward to return the hug a moment later.

"Mina said you don't actually like them that much."

"Mina's a pathological liar."

"True."

"Hey," Kirishima said, leaning back and he sounded uncertain, though that might be wrong reading. Until Katsuki saw his worried face and knew he was right. "I joke but, you do like me, right? I know you're so annoyed that I always wonder this, I know and I know that I'm being irritating as fuck...but you do? Right?"

For a while, Katsuki just looked at him. Kirishima's face slowly became more crumpled as time went on, until Katsuki picked up a pillow and thwacked him right in the face.

"HEY!" Kirishima yelped, falling back against the bed as Katsuki kept hitting him, again and again and again. "WHY ARE- WHAT DID I DO?!"

"You're-" Thwack. "-so-" Thwomp. "-fucking-" Any other hitting sound. "-thick." And a few more.

Then Katsuki left the pillow on Kirishima's chest and flopped his head onto it (the pillow, not the chest, not the chest), a little tired out after all of that. He could feel Kirishima's eyes boring into him, and he tried to catch his breath.

"You can't be angry at me, this is supposed to be our day," Kirishima said sadly, before yowling when Katsuki punched him in the gut.

"You should know the answer to your stupid stupid question by now. So maybe I'm not good at showing my feelings but you get more of them than so many other people for some weird reason so it's annoying as hell that you can't see that. Can you just, what, make your two braincells work by actually seeing instead of me just having to tell you that...fuck, this is stupid, just-"

"No, it's not stupid," Kirishima said, reaching out for Katsuki's hands and the latter looked up at him warily. "Please...keep going?"

Katsuki rubbed the back of his neck, tearing his eyes away from Kirishima's starry ones. "F-Fine. Just- yes, I like you, you happy, bonehead?"

It was a little bit remarkable, the way Katsuki could see Kirishima's reaction step by step when he ended up looking up again. He was blank at first, but then he was slowly turning pink, his lips pursing as if he was stopping them from trembling and Katsuki wondered, the dude wouldn't actually cry, would he?

"Bakugou Katsuki really likes me! He really really really likes me!"! Kirishima wailed, throwing himself at Katsuki once more, and now he was on his back as Kirishima squeezed him tight. Katsuki looked down a little to see the top of the other's head, that wild head of bright bright hair that wasn't actually that bright, it was more a mixture of fluorescent and autumn red, and he grimaced. This guy was so so dumb, yet Katsuki wanted him as his fucking bride. He had to question his tastes for a second. 

"I wouldn't go that far, clotpole. And hey, can you show me your phone thingy? It seems cool."

"What? Oh! Yeah, of course!"

Katsuki nodded, more relieved than ever that his lame attempt at a subject change had worked as he rested an arm around Kirishima's waist and the guy pulled his phone from the bedside table, settling back onto the bed as he opened it up and started talking Katsuki's ear off. Katsuki did listen, and it was cool, but Kirishima still had his smell. He tried not to be creepy but he did rest his head at Kirishima's shoulder, thinking that he didn't actually smell all that much like his mother. His hair smelled different, at least. Like strawberries.

Okay, stop, you're being creepy, you're being so creepy.

"Do you wanna take a selfie?" Kirishima was asking and Katsuki scrunched his face up at him.

"What's that? It sounds ugly."

"Your friends didn't educate you on a selfie? It's basically taking a picture of yourself using the front-facing camera."

"There's a camera in this tiny thing?!"

Kirishima snickered brightly, before holding the camera up high. "Smile!"

Katsuki was very much put on the spot, and it kind of looked like he was trying to hide his face in Kirishima's hair which suddenly made the damn 'selfie' look like the coupliest thing in the world. Kirishima was staring at it for what seemed like forever after they took it, his eyes wide and mouth slightly open. Katsuki was kind of staring too. He sort of wanted that picture on his mantelpiece, and he didn't even have a mantelpiece. 

"I love us," Kirishima sighed dreamily, while Katsuki just looked away and hid even more.

-

Katsuki was reading a letter that his parents had owled him. Apparently, they'd be coming to take him back home soon because in their words, 'you can't miss halloween whether you like it or not brat!' More his mother's words, but his father still seemed present from how little swears there were. Maybe the family would be there for their own party after all.

Katsuki didn't know what emotions he was really feeling as he stood there, looking over the letter again.

"I'm so stuffed," Kirishima groaned from Katsuki's bed, clutching his stomach while Katsuki tucked the letter into his pocket and went over to him. "Why did I think I could eat that much, dude, why didn't you save me..."

"It was damn funny watching you go from high speed and bubbly to this." Wow, now Katsuki didn't even sound like himself anymore. He didn't wanna go home. But he had just earlier that day, so why not now?

Kirishima, a man of tact and grace, just groaned like he was getting his gut removed through Katsuki's inner turmoil, so he looked out the window. "Hey, it's really dark. Let's go out."

Kirishima blinked up at him. "Huh?"

"We should wrap up the day with stargazing. We might be able to see Jesus' star."

"Jesus' star- you're so smart and then-" Kirishima descended into snickers and surrenders when Katsuki raised his fists. "Fine but stay behind me, we gotta be quiet."

"It's only seven pm. You know it gets dark early in winter-"

"Can you just let me believe that I can protect you?" Kirishima huffed, thrashing about on the bed before jumping onto his feet, and if a big baby like him was going to protect Katsuki then there was no hope. But, in the spirit of Halloween...

"Then protect me from the big and bad, sir!" Katsuki gasped in a helpless damsel voice, clamping his arms around Kirishima's middle. Kirishima was turning bright red, which was worth the hella unnecessary touching. 

"H-HUH...? W-W-What's possessed you-?!" 

"It's called acting, tosser, I'm really good at it," Katsuki said flatly, neatly swiping Kirishima's gut a second later though a lot lighter than he should have. Kirishima seemed surprised himself by how much that didn't hurt, and Katsuki quickly made up for it by jabbing his elbow into Kirishima's side. Holy crackers, he really used this guy like a punching bag, didn't he? Why the hell hadn't Kirishima reported him yet?

"Then can't you act like you don't wanna kill me for once?" Kirishima pleaded, clutching his torso and Katsuki narrowed his eyes. 

"Is that a challenge?" 

"Uh...no but-" 

"I'll do it. Just watch me," Katsuki seethed, smashing a fist against a palm and Kirishima looked like he had never been more confused in his entire life. But if Katsuki was going to become an actor then he'd need to do dumb experiences like this, and he was gonna be the best fucking one. Even better than Tom Yacht or whatever his name was. Wait a second...when exactly had he started to want to become an actor? Was this...an actual thing he might follow through with? 

Ok. He didn't want to think about existential future decisions right now, not when Kirishima was waiting at the door with an honest-to-Hecate tail wagging behind him.

Kirishima was kind of serious about the protecting in the end. He forcefully took hold of Katsuki's hand (forcefully because Katsuki totally didn't let him) and told him not to let go unless he was dying, and then he led them through the castle, keeping Katsuki behind him at all times.

"Do you know how many times I've gone through here at-"

Kirishima hushed him, making Katsuki roll his eyes. But it was kinda endearing. It was just strange, seeing Kirishima like this when he simultaneously had a toy wolf called Wolfa.

Thank crackers Kirishima didn't make Katsuki climb up high this time (not that he couldn't do it, don't you fucking dare test him-). They just lay next to each other on the grass that wasn't wet for once, and looked up at the stars. Katsuki let Kirishima keep his hand since the guy seemed fascinated by it, pulling their intertwined hands onto his torso to play with them. He cut his eyes to the side and saw that Kirishima's own were fixed on the stars even as his fingers messed around. The sky was reflecting in his eyes too, and basking his face in soft light. He didn't just look pretty, or charming, or whatever. He looked bloody incredible.

"Did you have a nice day?" Katsuki asked just, just a little nervously. Kirishima's eyes flicked over to look at him, a soft smile growing on his face.

"I love it when you say things like that. I love it so much."

Katsuki turned red out of confusion more than anything. "Huh...?"

"I did have a nice day! I liked seeing your dorm, I didn't think we'd do that."

"It's a decent dorm."

"Very true. But you didn't have a single soft toy," Kirishima said with a huff, and Katsuki rolled his eyes.

"I'll get one while I'm gone, loser."

"Yay! Wait...gone?"

"My parents are coming to take me home tomorrow or the day after or something. Probably so we can look like a good balanced happy rich family at our Halloween party like always and...stuff."

"Oh," Kirishima said, eyes a little wide as he nodded. "That sounds cool. I think."

"But you, you better contact your sister," Katsuki said firmly, poking Kirishima in the chest, hard. "I know you miss the muggle world, and I don't like the sound of you staying here alone."

Kirishima did that massive grin once more, the one Katsuki hated loving, and his eyes sparkled. "I really love this new thing where you like me."

"It's not a- fuck you?"

Kirishima's smile stayed in place as he closed his eyes, looking like a real sleeping beauty. Katsuki stared at him for a second, before he took out his gold and silver pen.

"Mm- what are you doing?" Kirishima asked with a wince, scrunching up his face. Katsuki didn't answer, just swirling a massive spot onto Kirishima's nose then drawing out wide strokes from it.

"I'm turning you into a cat. Or a squirrel, or a rabbit. Relax your damn face."

Kirishima blinked his eyes open, staring up at Katsuki who was leaning over him as he drew, a grin on his lips.

"You look so happy."

"Nah, you just look funny as fuck," Katsuki said amusedly, looking over Kirishima's face to admire his handiwork. Kirishima smiled back at him.

"I do?"

"Yeah. And you're definitely a rabbit."

"Bakugou?"

"Mhm."

"Thank you for being with me today."

"Deku told me to keep you company. Honestly...don't make me say this again, got it? But sorry I haven't been doing it earlier."

"Hey, what are you talking about? I always look forward to eating with you," Kirishima said with a cheesy wink, before yelping when Katsuki stabbed his cheek with the pen.

"Let's go back."

"Orrrrrr we could stay here a few more hours 'cause night skies are the best kind of skies?"

"You really don't like being alone, do you? Sissy."

"Hey, I could do it! But...I guess it's not my thing," Kirishima muttered, gaze falling to the side and Katsuki decided to cave, because when didn't he when it came to Kirishima?

"Okay. Staying it is."

Kirishima didn't say anything, but he did squeeze Katsuki's hand. And they spent the few remaining hours of the only full day they'd have together maybe ever just watching the sky, and talking about random things that came to mind. It was nice. Katsuki was the one who didn't want to leave in the end, and he wished his parents would forget about him and let him stay here forever, with a boy who he might fall in love with one day, under a night sky that had more light than Katsuki had ever had in his life. He wanted to stay and forget all the things he tried to never think about. 

"Hey, do you- woah, Bakugou?! Hey, what happened?"

Katsuki wiped his face, muttering a small gruff, "Shut up," as Kirishima gave him a heartbroken look, his pretty eyes holding emotion, for him, for someone like Katsuki.

"It's alright," Katsuki heard whispered through the air, and strong warm arms slipped around his torso and hugged him firmly, a head resting on his side. "I'm here, right? The dumb shithead rabbit's here!"

Katsuki swallowed, a small smile twisting his lips as he was too weak once more to fight off his mouth muscles. "Yeah, you are." And why are you?

It doesn't matter why, just be thankful he is.

There it was. Katsuki's battered conscience was actually starting to grow a mediator because things had got so fucking bad. Because he'd decided to keep friends, to get a crush, to be human. Because he'd decided that all the things he thought meant being weak were things he actually needed.

Katsuki adored this dumb shithead rabbit, so he wasn't going to let anyone take away the one thing that made him this happy.

"Kirishima."

Kirishima froze before he looked up with the widest eyes, and his face was so cute that Katsuki wanted to eat him. "You said my name. You haven't- I don't know if you've ever- fuck."

Katsuki leant forward, and he kept going, so much so that Kirishima was moving back to the point that he actually stumbled. "B-Baku-"

"I'm interested in you. Romantically."

Fuck, wait. This wasn't how it went in romantic literature. Wasn't there usually rain or some shit, and the guy would sound super dramatic like the world was ending...man, that wasn't him, but it seemed to always work. So what should he do? Clasp Kirishima's face, give him the kiss of his life straight off the bat, or stare him right in the eye and give him every elaborate metaphor about love in existence? Katsuki could do that, honestly there was a romantic and a poet within him somewhere, but he just wasn't sure. Even if Kirishima might like it, it wouldn't seem...honest.

Seemed like it was too late anyway, judging by the red of Kirishima's face and the way his jaw was stuttering like he was trying to say something without short-circuiting. Okay. All Katsuki could do was keep going and hope he hadn't already messed up.

"You down or what?" 

Wait.

Huh?

HUH?

WHAT DID HE JUST SAY. 

THE FUCK WAS WRONG WITH HIM?! WAS HE ACTUALLY THIS BROKEN?

"H-H-How are you so manly even when you're asking someone out?!" Kirishima eventually yelled, tears appearing at the corners of his eyes, and Katsuki had absolutely no clue what that reaction meant to the point that his blood was boiling.

"ARE. YOU. DOWN. OR. WHAT. YOU'VE GOT THREE FUCKING SECONDS OR YOUR BLOOD'S GONNA BE ACROSS THIS FUCKING LAWN-" 

"B-BAKUGOU, WAIT-" 

"NO! I DON'T WANNA FUCKING WAIT! I'VE LIKED YOU FOR SO LONG AND IT FUCKING HURTS 'CAUSE I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW I COULD LIKE SOMEONE THIS MUCH AND YOU JUST- you just..." Katsuki honestly just howled in pain for a second, grabbing his hair. "What the fuck am I doing? Why did I mess up so bad? I fuckin' told myself I'd- I'd treat you like a prince or some shit but I'm telling you I like you like I'm fucking feral and I don't wanna force you into accepting it like FUCK I respect you SO MUCH so why can't I do this right?!"   

Oh, it hurt. It hurt so much. His stomach was churning like a battering ram, his throat was tearing itself apart, his heart might just fail him and why, why did he have to mess up like this? Because it was scary. Because he had been thinking about it so much for so long, anticipating this moment so much that he would have never been able to do it right, even with more preparation and way less waterworks. But what now? He was supposed to live with this failure forever?

Katsuki's head was then pulled out of his hands, and instead warm ones clasped his cheeks, wiping away the wetness, the hurt, and Katsuki felt like he couldn't breathe.

"Bakugou. You asked me if I'm down, and I'm down. Of course I'm down," Kirishima whispered, soft even though his tears were free-flowing and he looked so happy that it was the weirdest combination ever. Katsuki nodded in stoic affirmation, not fully processing what Kirishima agreeing actually meant, eyes probably glowing as he grabbed a fistful of Kirishima's shirt and pulled him forward. He watched Kirishima sniffle and try to wipe at his face, his eyeliner smudging, face flushed, eyes melted and teary. Fuck, he was breathtaking, he was always breathtaking. 

"You don't even fucking know what you do to me," Katsuki whispered back, making Kirishima choke out a laugh as he rested his forehead against Katsuki's, and it looked like he was trying to catch his breath from all the tears tumbling out his eyes. Man, why was he crying so much? Why were they both so damn dramatic? "You gorgeous shithead." 

Kirishima's eyes blew wide, nails slightly digging into Katsuki's cheeks. "W-What did you-"

"I'm gonna kiss you."

"WHAT-"

"Tell me yes or no right now, you fucking dimwit."

"H- no! No!"

"Ugh, why not?"

"We're both crying and we're both messes and I'm not- later! Later...we'll do it right!"

"Why does it matter if we do it right or not?"

"Just drop it, I don't want to!"

Katsuki narrowed his eyes, just watching Kirishima whose face was getting more and more nervous by the second. Then Katsuki nodded, muttering a tiny, "Fine," before he brushed Kirishima's hair back, and kissed his forehead instead. Gahhhh that felt good. So fucking good, and long overdue.

"I'm not gonna force you to kiss me, numbskull. Do it when you want to."

"Okay," Kirishima murmured, hiding his face again which was visibly red to the tips of his ears. Though honestly, Katsuki probably wasn't much different. His heart was beating like crazy. He was seeing pink wherever he looked. His chest felt heavy, and breathing seemed harder, but it wasn't the same as before. This was something good. "It's not because I don't want to, it's not, I just-"

"Hey, dipshit!" Katsuki snarled. "You don't need to explain yourself to me. Now hold my damn hand and let's go back to school, it's cold as hell."

"You say that but this is actual heaven. I've died," Kirishima said in utter solemnity as he took hold of Katsuki's hand quicker than he could say sike, as if he was scared Katsuki would change his mind which he actually might have done. Except he wouldn't have. Not when it came to Kirishima, and not tonight. 

Then they were getting up, and leaving this field that was starting to hold within it a lot of Katsuki's emotions. He wouldn't mind leaving them there. He wouldn't mind being an asshole everywhere else, if he could come to this one place where he could treat this one person right, hopefully the person he was going to fucking marry if he had anything to do with it.

"G-Goodnight, B-"

"Katsuki."

Kirishima froze, before tears suddenly started gushing out like damn waterfalls and Katsuki bristled. "H-Hey stop, you're gonna dehydrate and shrivel like an ugly prune, for crackers' sake-"

"I-I'm E-Eijirou!" the crying idiot yelled, shoving a manly thumb at his chest even through his sniffles. "It's n-nice to meet y-you!"

"God, you're a right bellend."

"SAY IT BACK-"

"It's nice to meet you too, geez!" 

Eijirou nodded like he was satisfied, properly wiping his face now so his arms were streaked with black tears. Katsuki just watched him during, wishing he knew how to comfort him and even though he didn't, he hoped he could learn. The best he could probably do was give Eijirou make-up wipes, so he dug into his pocket and held some out. Eijirou looked down at them and immediately burst out laughing, making Katsuki seize up in defensive confusion, but the guy still took them.

When Eijirou was done, he looked at Katsuki with still teary eyes but said in the most serious voice he had used that entire day, "Do you really want this?"

More than anything. "If you're calling me a liar, I'm decking you."

"I've just- I thought it was just me," Eijirou sniffed, patting his face. "For so long, I've been thinking you're something special and suddenly we became friends after so long and it made me so happy thinking that we could even get that far. You're this untouchable firework and I've always been scared to touch you because of that but I- I-"

Katsuki took hold of Eijirou's hand and rested it on his chest, saying solemnly, "You touched me."

Eijirou's laughter always felt like some kind of reward, because it was so loud, so pure, so him. Katsuki decided to bask in it this time. 

"W-Wait." 

"Mm." 

"What was with all that Amortentia stuff? Why'd you ask me if it meant you couldn't love someone if...you like me?" 

"'Cause, I don't know, because I like you I wanted to see what you'd think. 'Cause that's really still something I wanna figure out..." 

"We can get some after the holiday," Eijirou suggested. "See if you can smell anything." 

Katsuki raised an eyebrow, smirking. "Oh yeah, and what'd I smell? Grass from the pitch? Your copious amounts of hair gel?" 

"Shut up," Eijirou whined, thwacking Katsuki's back as the latter snickered. "You'd smell...manly things." 

"Oh mm yeah I'm so looking forward to the body odour and protein shakes-" 

"KATSUKI-" 

"What do you smell?" 

Eijirou suddenly looked all kinds of fidgety. "I-I haven't smelt it in years so..." 

"Then we'll both smell it next term," Katsuki said, and he had no idea why Eijirou was laughing like that. "Wait stop being fucking weird for a minute, what's the time?" 

"Huh? You're the one with a watch." 

"Ah." Katsuki brought his wrist up, and blinked in amazement. "Wow. Good night." 

"Wha- hey, you're not gonna let me know what the time is?" 

"You're not the one who asked," Katsuki snorted, grinning as Eijirou glared at him but it was even more difficult than usual to take him seriously with the addition of whiskers. Katsuki let himself smile, resting his head on the side of the wall as he stared and eventually, Eijirou seemed to set into the mood too, a shy sort of smile lighting his face. Man. What kind of lovesick teens were they?

"I'll see you in less than a week, shithead."

"You too!"

"...thanks."

"For what?"

"For being here."

Eijirou grinned, his teary pink tired gorgeous face making Katsuki's own vision go misty again, especially when Eijirou squeezed his hand before letting go.

"I can only say the same to you."

"Can you go already?"

"Okay, okay! Bye, Katsuki!"

Katsuki didn't even really notice the guy leaving because he spent the next five minutes savouring how his name sounded from the mouth of the most beautiful boy in this godforsaken world.

He still didn't want to go, but he felt so much better leaving now than he would have before. He had to lean against the wall when he got back into the common room, his legs like jelly as he covered his mouth, feeling like he was about to die. Blushing hurt so much, and his heart was beating faster than he could take, and his stomach was swirling so strangely. 

It was painful, but it was a different pain to all the times before.

This time he was so, so, so happy.

"Bye, Eijirou," Katsuki murmured quietly, before he pushed himself off the wall and staggered over to the dungeon stairs.