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Dreaming of a White Mocha Christmas

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December 23rd  7:50 PM

Quirky Coffee is only a five minute walk away from Nakano-sakaue station, which is only two stops away from busy and popular Shinjuku, but to get there you have to turn down a small side alley, so the convenient location is offset by being inconveniently hard to find.  It’s a shame, because, in Kirishima’s opinion, they brew some of the best coffee in Tokyo.  

Well, he amends to himself as he washes some of the empty coffee cups, maybe it’s a good thing they aren’t that popular--he knows a few of their regulars wouldn’t be too happy if they had to wait in a line for their caffeine fix.  And especially one regular customer in particular.

Dare he say, his favorite customer…?

“Oi, Kirishima!”  He almost drops one of the dishes he’s holding when he finds a towel unceremoniously tossed in his face.  He pulls it down only to be confronted with his coworker’s mischievous smirk. “Why don’t you take over the front for a bit?” she says coyly.  “I’m going on break.”

He rolls his eyes.  “Ashido--!”

The front door opens with a welcoming chime, and his pink-haired coworker gets a wicked gleam in her eyes.  “Sorry, but I really gotta pee! Bye!” It’s like magic, how quickly she vanishes.

He finishes drying his hands and turns to the front with a sigh.

Well.  Speak of the devil.

Though he looks like he could be the same age as Kirishima, the blond man in front of him works some hotshot position at a company nearby, and always comes in for a coffee on his way home--he claims it helps him sleep, even though caffeine should have the opposite effect.  Under normal conditions, he would breeze in wearing a sleek suit that inevitably makes Kirishima swoon, but today he’s bundled in layer after layer of winter clothes. Though there’s no mistaking the deep scowl or the tuft of fluffy blond hair peeking out from under the winter beanie.

It makes him look uncharacteristically adorable.  Kirishima has to bite his tongue to keep from grinning too hard.

“Bakugou!  You preparing for the ice age or something?” Kirishima says teasingly, in lieu of a regular greeting.  The man has been coming in almost every evening for months, after all--at this point, to treat him like a stranger would be an insult.

“Shut up, Shitty Hair.  It might as well be the goddamn ice age, it’s fucking freezing out there.”

Kirishima’s used to the crude language now too.  There must be something wrong with him, because he finds it positively endearing.

“The weather forecast did say we were in for some snow.  Looks like it’ll be a white Christmas! Any special plans for the holiday?” he asks with a grin, though he's also a little bit afraid to hear the answer.  If he does have plans with someone, it will ruin Kirishima's fantasy daydreams where he, himself, is Bakugou's special someone.

But he needn't have worried, since Bakugou shakes his head.  “I’m just glad I won’t have to see my shitty coworkers for two whole days.”

“You get the days off?”

“Yeah, the boss lived in America, so he really likes this holiday.  A lot of our clients are overseas companies anyway, and they definitely have Christmas off, so it’s not like anyone would be responding to emails even if I did go in.”  He shrugs, then pulls out his wallet. “My usual?”

“Oh, yeah, of course.”  Kirishima rings him up for a large cappuccino and gets to work on the drink, putting it in a takeaway cup.  They have more than enough open seats--the shop has a good number of small wooden tables as well as a cozy booth along the wall at the back, but Bakugou never sticks around.  Though Kirishima often wishes he would. “I guess I won’t be seeing you until after Christmas, then,” he says as he hands the cup over. “It’ll be lonely without you coming in,” he jokes.

Bakugou pauses at the counter, even though he already has his drink.  “You’re working Christmas?”

“Christmas Eve, and the day of.”  He tries to keep his smile from slipping.  “I don’t mind, it’s not like I’d have anything better to do anyway.”

Bakugou opens his mouth like he’s about to say something, then snaps it shut.  Kirishima hopes that whatever he says next isn’t pity.

“Well, I’m no better,” he admits gruffly, looking down at the cup in his gloved hands.  “I’ll probably spend most of the time sleeping. At least this place doesn’t play that awful Christmas music.”  He looks back up, meeting Kirishima’s eyes to raise his cup in thanks, and starts backing away towards the door.  “Thanks for the coffee. Merry Christmas, Kirishima.”

He grins and calls after him, “Merry Christmas!  Don’t freeze to death out there!”

It isn’t until after Bakugou’s gone that Kirishima realizes Bakugou called him by name.

December 24th 12:27 PM

Snow drifts gently to the ground, storefronts are full of dazzling Christmas displays, and couples are walking hand in hand along the sidewalk to take in the romantic atmosphere, but Kirishima has no time to stop and enjoy the white winter cityscape as he rushes down the street towards Quirky Coffee.

Just as the weather report predicted, snow had started falling sometime in the night, and when he woke up, the world was a blanket of white.  But that wasn’t all that had happened. His water heater had apparently decided to break down on him, and he’d had to take one of the coldest showers of his life.  He wrapped himself in extra layers, praying he wouldn’t catch a cold from it, but it hardly even mattered, because on his way to the train station, he slipped in an icy puddle and ended up with a wet, muddy patch on the back of his jeans.  At least they were a dark wash, but now his ass was wet and freezing.  

On top of that, the snow was throwing off the train schedules and he’d been forced to listen to the same apologetic announcements over and over as his train was delayed, not once, but three times, and now he’s about to be late for work.

When he finally makes it to the coffee shop, thankfully a mere two minutes late for his shift, it’s a relief.  It’s warm, the soft lighting and smell of roasting coffee beans welcoming him home in a way that his own shabby little apartment would never be able to.

A couple customers look up as he arrives, panting in the doorway.  Sero, from the morning shift, shakes his head at him in mock disappointment, the puff on the end of his gaudy santa hat bouncing back and forth as he does.  “Mr. Kirishima, am I going to have to tell the boss about this?”

“Sorry!  The trains were delayed because of the snow!”

“Nah, don’t worry dude.  Take a second to catch your breath,” he says with a grin.  “It’s been slow. I think the weather is keeping a lot of people inside today.”

Kirishima puts his winter coat in the back and tugs on his apron, taking a moment to fix his hair in the mirror before his effort is promptly ruined by Sero shoving the Santa hat over his head.

“Here, looks like you could use a little holiday cheer.”  His grin widens into a smirk. “And it matches your hair. Man, I never realized how much you have in common with Rudolph.”

“Shut up,” Kirishima says without feeling.  It’s true that he hasn’t felt very festive this year.  He’s let himself wallow a little too much, maybe. Not very manly of him, but he’s still got time to get in the spirit!  He straightens up, takes a deep breath and punches his fists together. “Alright!” he declares. “Thanks Sero! I’ve got it covered from here!”

His friend and coworker is already pulling on his own jacket and scarf.  “Appreciate you covering the evening shift, man. Mina would kill me if I missed Christmas Eve dinner.”

Kirishima ignores the slight twinge of loneliness.  “No worries! You guys deserve a romantic Christmas dinner!  I expect to see all the details on her instagram later.”

“You can count on it.”  He salutes him, walking out at the same time as the other two customers who Kirishima had startled when he came in.  “Merry Christmas Kiri!”

“Merry Christmas!” he calls back.

And then Kirishima is alone in the coffee shop, fairy lights twinkling along the windows, a couple empty coffee cups glistening on the table, the hum of the coffee machine his only company.

“Ho ho ho,” he says a little bit less enthusiastically, before sighing and going to clean up the table.

December 24th  6:04 PM

Gentle snow flurries have transformed into noisy gales that sweep the streets outside, adding layer after layer of white to the narrow pavement.  At first there had been a slow trickle of customers to keep Kirishima occupied, but now it’s been over an hour since anyone has even stepped food inside, and with snow piling steadily against the glass panes, he’s beginning to dread the worst.

He’s not supposed to be on his phone at work, but it’s not as though there’s anyone around to see him, so he logs into the coffee shop wifi and checks the weather reports.  Train cancellations, road closures, “the worst snowstorm Tokyo has seen in years!” one article declares before advising their readers to remain inside.

Why hadn’t people been warned ahead of time?  He hadn’t heard anything except that there was heavy snow forecasted!  How was he going to get home? Were there other people stuck out here like he was?

His panic is interrupted by the vibrating of his phone.  He almost drops it when he sees it’s the coffee shop’s owner and he scrambles to answer.


“Kirishima, my boy!  I just saw the news report about the snowstorm.  I’m guessing yer still at the shop? Any customers with ya?”

“Yes sir,” he answers quickly, then flounders and rushes to add, “I mean, yes I’m still here, but there’s no customers to worry about!”

“Well, that’s one small relief.  How bad does it look? Do you have a way to get home?  I’d try to come get you myself, but I’m in Osaka at the moment…” Toyomitsu’s normally cheery, booming voice is full of concern.

He sighs.  “It doesn’t look good.  The train is definitely out of service, but maybe a taxi is possible…”  Doubtful, but he has to stay positive. But even if there was, the taxi fee would be--

“If you can manage to grab a taxi,  I’ll cover it for ya,” Toyomitsu offers, and Kirishima smiles.  He should have expected as much. “If ya can’t, yer welcome to stay in the shop overnight.  It won’t be comfortable, but you have my permission to use whatever ya need to stay warm and fed.”

“Thank you, sir.  I appreciate it!”

“It’s the least I can do, kiddo.  Call me if anything comes up! And… I wish I was saying it under better circumstances, but Merry Christmas.”

He chuckles.  “I will. Merry Christmas, Toyomitsu-san!”

After hanging up, he tries calling a few taxi services, but he mostly gets the same response--a lot of roads are closed and the few cabs still out are already booked by other folks stranded by the blizzard just like him.

Hands on his hips, he surveys the coffee shop.  The lights are still twinkling merrily, the pastry display is well-stocked, and there’s enough hot cocoa to fuel an army.  All in all, there are certainly worse places he could have been stuck for a night.

He’s in the middle of making what he’s sure will be the first of many warm drinks, when the front door crashes open, the solitary quiet of the shop obliterated with the door chime, a violent gust of wind, and a string of exhausted curses.

“J-jesus f-fuck, I f-finall-l-ly made it-t!” exclaims a snow-covered lump of a person.  His face and form are completely covered by bulky outerwear and a light layer of frost, but Kirishima would recognize that gruff voice anywhere, shivering or not.

“Bakugou!  What are you doing here?!” he exclaims, rushing to help him inside.

“Fuck-k-kin’ kn-n-new it-t-t,” he says through chattering teeth.  “Knew y-y-you must-t-t be stuck-k-k here.”

Kirishima looks at him incredulously, feeling his face warm by a few degrees, despite the chill.  “Did you come here for me?” He whispers.

Bakugou opens his mouth to answer, but Kirishima cuts him off with a shake of his head.  “Don’t answer that, just get in here and warm up. Holy crap, dude, when you opened that door I thought the abominable snowman had just walked in to grab a coffee or something.”

Bakugou chuckles.  “I’m abominable, but I’m no s-snowman.”

His voice is already more steady and there’s color high on his cheeks that has Kirishima looking away quickly, lest he do or say something embarrassing.

“Let me make you a drink to warm up.  Your usual?”

Bakugou nods and Kirishima is thankful for the distraction as he goes to set up the coffee machine.  Because, for the life of him, he can’t imagine what the blond businessman is doing there, and all the possible reasons have his face burning and his heart beating in overdrive, and really heart, you stop that, you’re going to send Kirishima into premature cardiac arrest or something.

Kirishima’s crush on Bakugou is probably the coffee shop’s worst kept secret.  All of his coworkers had caught on after the third time Kirishima took Bakugou’s order and accidentally yelled “You too!” when Bakugou had thanked him for the coffee on his way out.  They wasted no time in teasing him mercilessly, not only for his flustered mistake, but for the fact that Bakugou had never said a word of thanks to any of the other employees in all his time visiting that coffee shop.

And now, after months of Kirishima’s attempts at conversation and flirting, without even managing to get the blond to stay for more than a takeaway coffee, Bakugou is suddenly there, huddled at a table in the shop, and quite possibly stuck with him for the night.

This Christmas blizzard is going to become either the best thing or the worst thing to ever happen to him.

December 24th  7:13 PM

“So,” Kirishima starts, and he slides a mug of coffee across the table as he sits down, “What the hell are you doing here, dude?”  

Bakugou reaches for the drink with his mittened hands--and yes, he’s wearing actual mittens, it’s really adorable.  Wait, no, brain! Focus!

“I mean--how did you even get here, the trains are all shut down!” he continues after only the briefest pause.

“I walked.”

“You walked!?  In this weather?”

Bakugou rolls his eyes and tugs his hat off, running a hand through his unruly locks to fluff them--and how did it still look so perfect?

Focus, Brain!!

“I didn’t walk the entire way,” he’s saying.  “I managed to catch the trains just as they were shutting them down, and had to get off one station early.”

“Dude, that’s still a long way to walk, especially with all this wind and snow.  And you still haven’t explained why. Our coffee is good, but it’s not that good.”

Bakugou takes a careful sip of the hot liquid, steam from the mug curling upwards to drift around his nose and cheeks, which are still wind-bitten and raw from the cold.  Yes, that must certainly be the reason why they’re so red. “I was worried, because I know you’re a fucking idiot who probably didn’t check the news to know the weather took a turn for the worse.”

Kirishima is floundering for a response for a good minute.  He opens his mouth, then closes it again, as Bakugou lets his gaze wander to look at anything and everything except Kirishima’s face.  Really, how do you respond to finding out that a man way out of your league just braved a blizzard to check on you.

He can’t decide whether to be more flattered or exasperated.  What he finally says is, “If I’m an idiot, then you’re an absolute moron.”

“Ex-fucking-scuse me?” Bakugou bristles.

“Yeah, I didn’t know about the weather and now I’m snowed in at the coffee shop.  Sucks for me, but you? You knew about the blizzard, and decided to come out in it anyway!” he practically shouts.  “What if something happened on the way here? What if you got all the way here and I actually had closed the shop, huh?”

Bakugou’s face shifts into what Kirishima can only describe as a pout, but he doesn’t respond, and he still won’t look Kirishima in the eyes.

Kirishima deflates a bit.  “Sorry. You were kind enough to think of me when the weather turned bad.  I just… You could have called?”

Bakugou’s eyes widen ever so slightly and he finally meets Kirishima’s gaze.  “Huh?”

“Our shop has a phone, you know?  You could have called the landline.”

Bakugou clenches his eyes shut and slumps with a loud grown.  “I really am a moron. Fuck!”

Kirishima reaches out without thinking, tugging Bakugou’s hand into his own, his fingers closing around soft wool.  “You are,” he agrees. “But I can’t say I’m not flattered. Heh, fancy businessman Bakugou losing all common sense in the face of my handsome manliness,” he jokes.  

He snatches his hand from Kirishima’s grip.  “You wish!” he snarls.

Kirishima doesn’t push it.  After all, they have nothing but time.

He leans back with his hands behind his head.  “So… I’m guessing you haven’t had a chance to eat dinner yet, either?”

As if on cue, Bakugou’s stomach lets out an audible growl.

“...Shut up.”

“I didn’t say anything!” Kirishima laughs. “Unless you were talking to your stomach just now?”

“Fuck you!”

December 24th, 7:46 PM

It’s no Christmas dinner, but the two of them manage to fill their stomachs on little croissant sandwiches and cream-filled pastries.  Bakugou has moved to the coffee bar seating to sip on the last of his cappuccino while he watches Kirishima wash their plates.

He pulls out his wallet in an attempt to pay, but Kirishima just laughs.  “Dude, I’m not going to let you pay.”

Bakugou pauses.  He’d removed his mittens along with the rest of his heavy outerwear, and now his graceful fingers hover over the cash compartment of his wallet.  “You sure?”

“When your only other option would be to starve?  Especially since the entire reason you’re out here in the first place is for my sake?”

Bakugou huffs, but grudgingly puts his wallet away.

“So… why did you come, anyway?” Kirishima asks, hoping he sounds casual.  “Not that I’m not grateful!” he adds quickly. “I’m just trying to understand.”

“I just…”  Bakugou starts and then stops.  The pause is long, but loud, and Kirishima knows better than to interrupt someone trying to put their thoughts together in an order that makes sense.  “I know how much it sucks to be on your own at Christmas. And it’s one thing to be on your own at home when you have the comfort of your own bed and food and Netflix or whatever.  But to be stuck outside somewhere… it just seemed like too much.” He sighs. “I’d been thinking of coming by to get my usual coffee anyway. But when I saw the weather report… I don’t know.  It was just a feeling. I had to make sure you were okay.”

“I’m just the guy who makes your coffee,” Kirishima says softly.

Bakugou’s eyes flash up to his, his gaze electric and clear.  “No, you’re not.”

Kirishima’s breath catches in his throat and he desperately wants to know what Bakugou means by that.  A part of Kirishima, the part that still struggles with confidence and self-deprecation, wants to crush his own hopes and dismiss it as just talk, but actions speak louder than words and Bakugou fighting his way through a blizzard to get to him is plenty loud enough to drown out that mean little voice in his head.

But before he can get the courage to really ask what Bakugou means, the both of them are plunged into darkness, pitch black enveloping his vision so quickly that spots dance in front of his eyes.

He groans.  “This can’t be happening.”

“Fucking power’s out.”

“No kidding.”  He pulls his phone out to use as a light, shining it around the shop to get his bearings.  As he shines it past Bakugou, the blond squints into it, crimson irises flaring for a moment before Kirishima lowers it again.  

Everything in the shop is in order, with the exception of the fact that it’s eerily dark and silent, no twinkling fairy lights, no hum of the fridge.  “Wow, I’ve seen this place with the lights off before, but I’ve never heard it so silent. It’s kinda creepy.”

“Aren’t you glad I’m here now?”  Kirishima doesn’t need to be able to see him to know that the blond is smirking.

“I was always glad you’re here,” he quips lightly in retaliation, before opening the browser on his phone.  “I hope service still works. Let’s see if we can figure out what’s going on.”

The signal isn’t great, but he manages to get google to load his search results after only a short minute.  Then it takes another minute for the website to load.

“Looks like at least a quarter of the city is out of power.”

Bakugou whistles.  “Does it say how long it will take to fix?”

“They’re hoping to have it back within the hour, but it may take as long as five hours.  With the storm going on, they probably can’t guarantee anything right now.”

“Fuck,” Bakugou mutters.  “Glad I have my big coat. I’m no expert in thermodynamics, but I don’t think this giant pane of glass is going to do much to keep the cold out.”

“Fuck,” Kirishima agrees.  He can already feel a chill creeping into the room.  “Yeah, coats are probably a good idea.”

The two of them shuffle around in the dark, Bakugou to the table by the front and Kirishima to the backroom to grab their respective coats.  While Bakugou had braved the storm with enough layers for an arctic adventure, Kirishima only has his coat and gloves. And his santa hat, of course.  He’s feeling rather thankful that Sero left it with him.

“Why don’t you come back here?” he calls to Bakugou.  “We can close the door at least, and it’s a smaller space, so we can try to keep the cold at bay for as long as possible.  Plus, I think we have some candles...”

He hears Bakugou come in behind him as he’s rummaging around in one of their many storage boxes.  It isn’t exactly the neatest supply room--more like organized chaos than anything. But he knows he’s seen some birthday candles somewhere.

“Aha!”  He pops up with them triumphantly, along with a lighter.

“Gonna throw a birthday party, Shitty Hair?”

He chuckles and starts sticking them into one of the leftover cakes from the day before, for lack of anywhere else to put them.  “Yeah, I’m turning fifty,” he says jokingly as he holds up candles shaped like the numbers 5 and 0.

“You look good for your age,” Bakugou jokes back.

“Diet and exercise!” He grins as he lights the first candle.  He figures they won’t last long, so they’ll only light a few at a time and add more as they need.  

He leans back when he’s done, settling on the floor with his back against the crate of coffee grounds.  The flickering orange glow is just enough to illuminate the small storage room. Bakugou settles down next to him, his eyes reflecting the candlelight like twin embers, even as half his face is cast in shadow.  His jacket makes him look like a giant roasted marshmallow, and it puffs around him as sits. He’s shifting for several moments, trying to arrange the bulky garment around himself comfortably. Kirishima’s grin grows wider as Bakugou’s movements grow more frustrated when he can’t get the fabric to settle the way he wants it to and the section over his stomach bulges comically.

“You good?” he asks, struggling to keep the laughter out of his voice, but he isn’t totally successful judging by the way Bakugou punches his shoulder.

“I’ve never been better,” he drawls sarcastically.  “Stuck in a snowstorm with an idiot, just how I want to spend my Christmas.”

Kirishima sobers instantly, unable to keep his grin from falling.

“Shit,” he can hear Bakugou mutter.  Louder, he says, “I didn’t mean that.  Fuck. Sorry, I always say the wrong thing.”

“It’s fine,” Kirishima insists.  “I don’t think this is anyone’s ideal Christmas.”

“It’s not fine,” he bites out.  “You’re not an idiot and I… don’t really mind all that much.  Being stuck with you.” Kirishima doesn’t see Bakugou shrug, but he hears the fabric shift with it.  “Truth be told, this might be the best fucking Christmas I’ve ever had.”

“Really,” he says flatly.

“Last year I made instant ramen, watched shitty reruns on TV, and was asleep by nine.  This is at least exciting. It’ll be a story to tell, anyway. Everyone at the office will be talking about what they did on Christmas and I get to say, like, ‘Oh, I fought my way through the blizzard to save this hot red-haired barista, and I got free cake and coffee out of it.’”

Kirishima snorts, despite himself.  Then he processes what Bakugou just said and backtracks.  “You think I’m hot?”

“It’s called embellishment, I gotta make my coworkers jealous, you know?”


“The fuck, are you serious?  Yes, you’re hot. Do you not own a mirror or something?”

“... Oh?”

“I’m not gonna say it twice, Shitty Hair.”

“Dude, you can’t compliment me and then call my hair shitty!  You can’t even see my hair, I’m wearing this giant hat!”

“Fine, I temporarily dub thee Shitty Hat.”

“... Bakugou, please.”

Bakugou refuses to call him by name, but Kirishima is satisfied.  The good mood was almost lost, but they were able to restore it to their typical light-hearted banter, with just enough maybe-flirting to warm Kirishima’s cheeks.

And it’s good that his cheeks are warm, because the rest of him certainly isn’t.  He folds his arms over himself and tries not to let on that he’s starting to shiver, but when he has to light the next batch of birthday candles, he can’t quite suppress the tremor in his hands.

“Oi, Shitty Hat.  You’re shivering!”

He chuckles.  “Yeah, it’s getting cold, in case you haven’t noticed.”

“Maybe you are an idiot, after all.  Come here.”

Kirishima’s mind goes blank as Bakugou unzips his jacket and starts to pull his arm out of one of the sleeves.

“Hey, no--”

“Just shut up, and get over here.  Who knows how much longer before the power comes back?  I’m not gonna let you fuckin’ suffer in the cold just because you’re too polite or whatever.”



The use of his name makes him snap his mouth shut.  Silently, he scoots over, pressing himself close to Bakugou’s side so he can pull the jacket around the both of them like a small blanket.  And it is mercifully warm. Bakugou’s body is like a small furnace, and he gives in and wraps an arm around him after one of Bakugou’s own hands tugs Kirishima in closer by his waist.

Bakugou is surprisingly soft and leans against him willingly.  He smells good, like some kind of expensive shampoo, and Kirishima wonders what he smells like to Bakugou.  He remembers his quick, cold shower from earlier that morning and grimaces.

“The fuck are you making that face for?”

“No reason.”

“Spit it out, Shitty Hat.”

“Just, you know.  Sorry if I smell or anything.”

In complete defiance of Kirishima’s insecurities, Bakugou leans even further into him, burying his nose in the collar of his shirt as Kirishima stiffens.  “You smell good. Like coffee.”

“I do?”


“Oh. Good.”

But Bakugou doesn’t move back, if anything he makes himself even more comfortable in Kirishima’s space, and there’s no way to deny it.

He’s cuddling.

And Kirishima is starting to cuddle back.  The arm around Bakugou tightens, and he leans his head back to make room for Bakugou’s beneath his chin.  He can feel every rise and fall of the other’s chest and a light fluttering against his neck that he recognizes after a moment as Bakugou’s eyelashes.

He’s so close.  How did he get so close?

Kirishima wants to kiss him.  

“Warm now?” Bakugou asks, and Kirishima can feel the vibrations of his voice through his chest.

“Toasty,” he whispers.

“Mm, good.”

“Are you sleepy?”

“‘S your fault for being so fuckin’ comfy.”

Kirishima chuckles.  The candles are about to burn out again, but nothing in the world could convince him to disentangle himself from Bakugou in that moment.  They fade into darkness, the world shrinking to include only the two of them.

Kirishima feels every inch of Bakugou pressed against him, and he no longer feels shy about wrapping his arms around the blond.  He wonders, when the storm is over and they leave the shop, will he get the chance to touch Bakugou like this again? What would happen if he asked Bakugou on a date?  Will he lose his courage in the light of day?

He’s startled out of his thoughts by blinding light.  The power comes back on suddenly and all at once, stark fluorescent light flooding the room as the freezer in the back rumbles to life.

“Fuck,” Bakugo groans, hiding his face in the crook of Kirishima’s neck.

Kirishima takes a moment to appreciate how cute it is.  “Power’s back!”

“No shit.”

He sighs when Bakugou pulls away with a grumble, lamenting that they no longer have an excuse to cuddle.  They struggle to their feet, still shivering a bit as the heater takes a moment to kick in. 

It’s awkward for only a moment before Kirishima says, “Come on, how about I make us some hot cocoa?  No charge for my favorite customer, of course!” He winks.

Bakugou smirks, looking up at him from under dusty lashes. “I'd better be your favorite customer.”

Kirishima can only blush in response.

December 24th, 9:31 PM

Kirishima is disappointed by how quickly things return to normal.  It was only a short while ago that they were wrapped in each other’s arms, but now Kirishima is behind the bar making drinks once again, while Bakugou sits on a high stool on the other side, watching him with a curious gaze.

“Why are you working on Christmas?” Bakugou asks finally.

“Hm?  Well, someone has to,” Kirishima responds.  He pours the hot water into the two mugs and stirs each carefully.  “This place doesn’t close for the holidays.”

“That isn’t what I meant.”

“What do you mean then?  Whipped cream?” he asks, holding up the can.

“No thanks.  And I’m talking about you, not the shop.  I’m an asshole, so it’s no wonder I’m alone at Christmas.  But you? You’re friendly, funny, the kind of guy who must have tons of friends.  Why aren’t you at some party or with your family?”

Kirishima’s lips quirk into a sad smile as he swivels the nozzle of the can to make a swirl of cream for himself.  “You’re not an asshole, Bakugou.”

“I am, and don’t change the subject!”

“Would an asshole venture out into a blizzard for someone else’s sake?”  He raises a pointed eyebrow and sets Bakugou’s mug down in front of him. Their fingers brush for the briefest moment before Kirishima withdraws back to himself.  “And I don’t have any family in the city. My parents retired and decided to find somewhere more spacious out in the countryside.

“As for my friends… they all kind of got paired up, and I didn’t want to be the third wheel interrupting their romantic Christmas plans.  We’ll all get together for New Year's Eve, so it's not a big deal.”  He takes a sip of his cocoa.  “So I figure if I’m on my own anyway, might as well make a little extra money!”

Bakugou snorts.  “Hard to believe someone like you is still single.”

Kirishima swallows, heart speeding up as he tries to keep his tone casual.  “I guess the right guy just hasn’t come along yet.”

Bakugou pauses.  Kirishima is flooded with terror for a brief moment.  All the signs had been there, and yet… what if he’d been reading Bakugou wrong this entire evening?  What if he wasn’t interested in guys at all?

“What’s your criteria then?” he finally responds, all the while glaring daggers at his hot cocoa.  “For ‘the right guy?’”

Kirishima licks his lips, his heart beating faster for an entirely different reason, and he can feel his face heating.  “Why? Do you have someone in mind for me?”


Kirishima doesn’t say anything more for a while, taking a sip of his hot cocoa instead.  He smiles again, but this time it’s more genuine.

“Hey, Bakugou, can I ask you something this time?”

He blinks in surprise.  “Shoot.”

“Earlier, when you said I wasn’t just the guy who makes your coffee… what did you mean?”

Kirishima has the pleasure of watching Bakugou’s cheeks turn rosy red, and he slurps his hot cocoa loudly.  “I meant what I said.”

He chuckles. “But if I’m not the guy who makes your coffee, then what am I?”

Bakugou looks at him, then away, then back again.  “Fuck, I’ve been coming here for months now and you never figured it out?”

Kirishima shakes his head helplessly.

Bakugou takes a deep breath.  “It’s the best part of my day.  Seeing you.” He’s speaking so softly, gently, a complete contrast to his normal gruff tones.  “No matter how rough my day is, how tired I am, how frustrated… just seeing your smile is enough to make everything better.  And you talked to me, even though I can never hold my fucking tongue. Made me feel like you saw me.”

“So you like…?” he says distantly.

“You.”  Bakugou fidgets in his seat.  “Fuck. I’m shit at this and I’m a shitty person, forget I said any of that.”

“Baku--no, wait--”  He wants to grab Bakugou, wants to look him straight in the eyes, wants to be close to him, but he can’t do that with the damn counter in the way.  He sets his mug down with a clatter and clumsily rushes to get out from behind the bar, grabbing Bakugou to face him.

“Shitty H--”

“You mean it?  Please. I don’t want to read this wrong.  You’ve only ever gotten takeaway coffee, so I never thought you’d even…”

Bakugou wraps a hand over Kirishima’s.  “I was afraid that maybe you were just that friendly to all your customers.  And I didn’t want to stick around to confirm it and find out that I was just another face in the crowd.”

Kirishima steps closer, unable to keep the smile from his face.  “You’re not just another customer. You’re really really not.”

Bakugou’s expression is so timid yet so hopeful, his normally severe eyebrows tilting ever so slightly upwards, his entire face glowing red.  “So what does that mean, Shitty Hat?”

He laughs.  “If you can’t say it at Christmas, when can you, eh?  I’m already yours.”

Bakugou’s expression softens into relief and then morphs into a smirk. 

“Well thank fuck for that!”

He wastes no more time in grabbing the back of Kirishima’s head, and Kirishima lets himself be pulled down into a glorious mess of a first kiss that tastes of cocoa and cream.

December 24th, 10:18 PM

“Where are we gonna sleep?”

Kirishima had been thinking it, but Bakugou is the first to say it.

He’d been too distracted by soft skin and hot kisses, taking his time to gently indulge in the intimacy he’d been craving, one kiss turning into two, into three, until he’d lost count completely and could focus on nothing but the feeling of Bakugou’s mouth pressing wetly against his, hands roaming bodies, fingers combing through hair.

He’s relieved to find that Bakugou seems to be just as hungry for him as he is for Bakugou.  After that first anxious and aggressive kiss, they both settled into a slower rhythm.  There’s no rush--they linger, pressing deeper and molding against the other. Eventually they slow to just a few final gentle pecks, lingering in each other’s space.  He’d allowed his eyes to flutter shut, but now he opens them again at Bakugou’s question.

“Hm,” Kirishima hums against the corner of Bakugou’s mouth.  “We don’t have a lot of options, huh? It would be a bit cramped, but you could probably sleep in the booth at the back?  It’s cushioned.”

“What about you, dumbass?”

“Don’t worry about it, I’ll figure something out…”

Bakugou glares.  “We’ll figure something out together.  Are the cushions removable?”

“Uh… I have no idea, actually.”

“Well then, let’s find out,” Bakugou says, pushing Kirishima back to hop down from the bar stool.  

Kirishima follows him to the back wall where the booth seating is, and they discover that, yes, both the seating and back cushions can be tugged off.  

“I don’t suppose you guys have sheets stashed somewhere?”  Bakugou grumbles. “I’m not a fan of the idea of sleeping on something a million other people have sat on.”

Kirishima snaps his fingers.  “That’s it! Bakugou you’re a genius!”  He rushes to the backroom, leaving Bakugou blinking in confusion.

“I mean, I know I am, but why?” he yells after him.

Kirishima laughs, the sound muffled as he digs through boxes stashed away in the back, before he finally finds the one he’s looking for, hefting it into his arms with a grunt and bringing it back out to Bakugou and their cushion pile. “These would have come in handy earlier…  But oh well. We can use them now.”

“What are they?”

Kirishima tugs one out of the box with a flourish.  “Ta-da! Tablecloths! We only use them for special occasions, so I forgot we had them.”

Bakugou grabs it out of his hands, shaking it out to get a better idea of the size.  “Perfect. How many of these do you have?”

“I think it’s a set of six?”

“They’ll do,” he says as he starts to tug some chairs closer.

“For what?” he asks, though he’s pretty sure he already knows.

Bakugou’s face splits into a grin, confirming Kirishima’s suspicions.  “For a blanket fort, fucking obviously!”

Before he can move on to the chairs from the next table, Kirishima grabs him and reels him in for another kiss.  “Man, I’m gonna really fall in love with you at this rate.”  

Bakugou’s eyes widen comically, and Kirishima lets him go with a laugh.  “Come on, I think the taller chairs will work better.”

There’s much laughter and teasing arguments as they try to figure out the best way to build their fort.  In the end, six tablecloths isn’t really all that much when they need one for a sheet and at least one for a blanket, but they do manage to drape a couple over the chairs like “walls” and one across the top of their little bed like a canopy.  

Kirishima calls it a love nest and Bakugou smacks him with his scarf.

When it’s finally complete, the two of them grab their jackets and a plateful of the coffee shop’s sugar cookies, and Kirishima sacrifices his remaining battery life so that they can watch Netflix on his phone.  Bakugou is not the least bit shy about snuggling up against Kirishima for the second time that night, and that alone makes him feel warm enough to make it through a hundred blizzards.

December 25th  12:06 AM

“Hey Shitty Hair,” Bakugou whispers.

“Hm?” Kirishima mumbles, so cozy and warm he can tell he won’t be able to stay awake for much longer.

“It’s Christmas.”

Kirishima smiles sleepily.  “Merry Christmas, Bakugou.”

“Merry Christmas,” he whispers back, tugging the phone from Kirishima’s hand and setting it aside.  “Get some sleep, idiot.”

“Your idiot now,” he says, but he closes his eyes and shifts against Bakugou until he’s comfy.

“Best Christmas present ever,” Bakugou mumbles into his chest.

“Hell yeah I am,” he sighs happily.  

Bakugou doesn’t contradict him.  Or maybe he’s just fallen asleep too.  Eitherway, Kirishima succumbs to sleep soon after, more content than he can ever remember being.

December 25th 8:22 AM

The pair are awoken on Christmas morning by several things happening all at once.  Though they managed to sleep soundly through the night, the first weak rays of sunlight are peeking in through the coffee shop window and manage to make it past their pillow fort defenses to shine right on Bakugou’s face.

Bakugou grumbles and rolls over in his sleep, smacking Kirishima in the chin, which wakes him up with a yelp and a confused flail of his arm that knocks one of the chairs over and sends the entire fort crashing down on top of them.

“Wha’sa fuck?” Bakugou slurs.

“Oh shit!  Sorry!” He scrambles to fix the fallen chair.

“Shitty Hair?”  Bakugou shakes himself almost like a dog, sleepily pushing the tablecloth off his head to look up at Kirishima.

He smiles shakily.  “Good morning?”

Bakuogu looks around in confusion before the events of the previous night seem to catch up to him.  “Oh.”

“I can’t tell if that’s a good ‘oh’ or a bad ‘oh.’”  Kirishima tries to keep the nerves creeping into his voice, but he can’t help but worry that Bakugou will change his mind now that he can leave the secluded bubble of the coffee shop and return to his normal life.

“‘M not a morning person,” he grumbles, grabbing Kirishima’s arm and tugging.  “Come back, it’s cold.”

Kirishima feels like he’s been granted the greatest privilege, seeing the normally sharp and volatile Bakugou so soft and pliant like this.  He goes willingly, finding his place against Bakugou’s side once more, letting his arms wrap around his back to hold him close, and when Bakugou relaxes against him, his heart tremors with an emotion too big to name.  He thinks he knows what that emotion is, but it’s too much too fast, it shouldn’t be possible.

Bakugou digs a knuckle into his side.  “I can’t get back to sleep when I can practically hear your brain overheating.  The fuck are you thinking so much for?”  

“Sorry!  Just a lot, y’know?”

He feels Bakugou go rigid against him.  “Too much?”

“In a good way,” he’s hasty to reassure him.  “It’s just that I’ve always thought of you as being out of my league.  All of this feels like a dream, and I don’t wanna wake up.”

Bakugou is silent for a moment, before he suddenly sits up.  “I’ve changed my mind, I’m not sleepy anymore. We’re gonna get up and I’m gonna show you that you’re fuckin’ wide awake, asshole”

Kirishima whines childishly, already regretting saying anything.  “Just five more minutes!”

Bakugou’s response is to yank the pile of jackets and cloth off of them both, and Kirishima flinches at the sudden exposure to the winter chill, mourning the loss of their shared body heat.  Even with the heater running through the night, the shop feels barely warm enough on its own and he hastily pulls on his coat to make up for it.

Bakugou is already padding across the floor in just his socks to the shop’s bathroom, and it’s so strangely private and domestic in a space that’s usually very public.

Now that he’s awake, Kirishima stretches and starts to move everything back, the cushions on the booth, the chairs to their tables, and the tablecloths he figure will need to be washed, so he leaves them in a pile in the backroom.

Bakugou comes back out with a face that’s still damp and slightly pink from being washed, and Kirishima plops the santa hat on his head out of an impulsive desire to see how cute Bakugou looks.  He isn’t disappointed.

Bakugou just scowls up at him.  “This is mine now, I’m not gonna give it back even if it’s ugly as sin.”

Kirishima laughs and hopes Sero wasn’t expecting it back.  “It’s not ugly when you wear it.”

“Flattery will get you everywhere, Shitty Hair.”  He nudges him. “What’s for breakfast?”

“Just whatever pastries are left.  We ate all the cookies, but it looks like there are still a couple of slices of cake and some croissants.  There’s a cheese danish in here too. And… a cappuccino?” he asks, waiting for confirmation.

“Nah, it’s Christmas after all.  I want something special.” He smirks, looking up at the drink menu.  “What’s your favorite drink?”

“Mine?  Hmm… probably the white mocha latte?”

Bakugou grins.  “I’ll have that then.  One extra large white mocha latte!”

“No whip?”

“Fuck it.  Give me all the whipped cream!”

Kirishima leans in for a quick kiss.  “You got it, babe.” Then he gets to work, popping pastries into the toaster and making the two best white mochas of entire cafe career.

The storm has passed, but the snow is still piled high against the glass storefront.  It glistens brightly in the sunlight, and Kirishima puts on a bit of quiet Christmas jazz to play in the background as they sip their coffees at one of the front tables.  “Dreaming of a White Christmas” comes on and Kirishima snorts at the irony. Bakugou gets whipped cream on his nose and upper lip and Kirishima experiences the distinct joy of kissing it off.

Kirishima's back aches from sleeping on lumpy cushions, his hair is a half-gelled mess, and he's very much looking forward to a hot bath, but right now, with the taste of coffee and Bakugou on his lips, Kirishima's heart has never felt so full, and he wouldn't trade this moment, or any of the other moments that led up to it, for anything in the world.

December 26th 7:50 PM 

Kirishima is wiping down the counter at the coffee shop, counting down the minutes until his favorite customer makes an appearance.  The snow plows had been quick to clear the streets on Christmas Day and despite the larger than usual piles of snow on the side of the road, life in Tokyo bustled on and business resumed as normal.

Ashido had nearly cried when Kirishima came in to start his shift, apologizing profusely for leaving him on his own for Christmas, having already heard all about how he’d gotten snowed in from Sero.  But it wasn’t her fault, of course, and he told her as much, but she insisted on smothering him in hugs and apologies and promises to make it up to him for just a few more minutes.

“Hey, come on, we’ve got work to do.  Seriously, don’t worry, it wasn’t bad at all.  Tell me all about your night with Sero and then I’ll tell you how my night went.”

Somewhat pacified, Ashido sniffled one last time before she started regaling him with tales of how her romantic evening went.  In between helping customers and making drinks, she gave him the full play-by-play, complete with an under-the-counter iphone photo slideshow of her outfit and their candlelit dinner and a plethora of Christmas filter selfies.

“...and then we spent all of Christmas day in our matching socks, watching Netflix!” she finally concludes.

Kirishima grins, happy for his friends.  Only a few days ago, that happiness would have been tainted with a hint of jealousy.  But now, his smile is wide and genuine and only grows wider when the door chimes and the familiar face he’d been looking forward to seeing finally walks in.

Bakugou unzips his jacket and tugs down his scarf as he makes his way up to the register.

Ashido nudges Kirishima from behind with a wink and pretends to be busy with the espresso machine.  He shakes his head, but takes his place at the counter.

“Hey Bakugou!  Looking cozy as ever.”  He winks. “Your usual cappuccino?”

“Nah, I tried a white mocha the other day that was pretty damn good.  Give me one of those.”

Kirishima’s smile is blinding as Bakugou throws their normal script out the window, and he takes special glee in asking “For here or to go?”

He smirks.  “For here, I think.  Oh, and Shitty Hair?”  He leans forward, grabbing Kirishima by the apron.  “I told you last night to call me Katsuki,” he says before claiming Kirishima's lips in a kiss. 

In the background, the coffee shop erupts into chaos and noise as Ashido drops something with a clatter and lets out a gleeful shriek, one of their customers whistles loudly, and another of their regulars mutters a barely audible “Finally.” 

But Kirishima doesn’t see or hear any of it, too absorbed in kissing his new boyfriend and thinking that maybe, just maybe, Christmas miracles do exist.