If they think he, Bakugou Katsuki, will show up downstairs and help hang those stupid plants where people kiss under, then they don’t know shit about him–it’s bad enough he had been wrangled to play the drums in the cultural festival… though, he had to admit it had been fun.
There’s an alarming barrage of knocks on his door and Bakugou sits upright on the bed, wide-eyed. Kirishima calls out, his voice muffled through the door. “Oi, Bakugou, help us out!”
“Fuck off, Shitty Hair!” he half-yells.
Even he knows that Kirishima won’t give up and it shows when the idiot shoves the door open and grins broadly at Bakugou. What was the point of knocking, even? “Come with me to town! We’re on food duty and the queue will be wild, so we should leave as soon as possible.”
Bakugou could hit him. He really could. But instead, he sighs heavily and says, “Shitty Hair, I am not going all the way to town on this godforsaken holiday to queue up for some fucking dinner.”
“Yes, you will.” Kirishima strides over to him and when he reaches out to grab him, Bakugou retaliates by grasping him by the arm and letting out one explosion . Kirishima’s undeterred by it; Kirishima snorts as the smoke clears, his skin chiselled and hardened by his quirk, and Bakugou’s fingers twitch around Kirishima’s wrist.
“I’m not going to town with–”
“KFC’s got that weird, ultra spicy chicken that they only have during the holidays,” Kirishima muses, brushing Bakugou’s hold off his arm. “The one that’s spicy as hell, but you like it for some reason. Don’t you want to get some?”
Bakugou blinks. He looks at Kirishima’s earnest expression: his eyes are wide with hope and he has such a dumb grin. His hair’s newly gelled (Bakugou can see he put extra effort into styling it today). The idiot’s probably looking forward to the dumb party. For some shitty reason, Bakugou can’t look away. There's fervor in his chest that threatens to surface, and he twists his fingers against the cloth of his shorts, as if it would stabilize him and stop him from saying something he’d regret.
“Fine,” Bakugou breathes. “I’ll go with you to get the damn food.”
Kirishima’s grin spreads impossibly wider and Bakugou thinks he ended up saying something stupid, anyway. At least it wasn’t as stupid as the words that constantly bubbles within him when Kirishima’s around, words that sound a lot like I’m into you, dumbass.
No, he obviously couldn’t say that – agreeing to accompany him to get a bucket of chicken was the better option, really.
On their second year in U.A., they celebrate Christmas together again–as if it matters. It’s dumb, Bakugou thinks. There’s no reason to celebrate the holiday, but he lets Kirishima drag him to the fast-food restaurant with the annoyingly long queue anyways.
That evening, amidst the chatter and the massive amount of food, Bakugou sits in one corner of the couch devouring a bowl of curry that the dude with the sugar quirk had made. He devours it even if it’s not as spicy as he wants, and he stays with the rest of the class because Kirishima had asked him to.
Kirishima and Kaminari are on his right and Bakugou pretends not to listen to them. He pretends not to be interested as Kaminari complains that as much as he loves their class, he’d rather be dating someone during the holidays and spend time with them.
He pretends to not care when the Pikachu Copycat asks Kirishima, “Don’t you think it’d be nice to spend this day with someone you’re dating?”
“Yeah,” Kirishima laughs. “It would be nice to have that.”
There’s a jolt in Bakugou’s chest, but he ignores it and tells himself that he doesn’t care that Kirishima would rather spend this day with someone else, with someone he was dating, rather than with any of them.
Third year is tough.
They’re all so young, not even past their teen years, and yet they’ve experienced and seen a lot more than those their age probably should have. But then again, they all knew that when they applied to U.A., when they had decided they wanted to be pro heroes one day.
It’s three in the morning when Kirishima stalks off to the kitchen. It’s Christmas Eve and, unlike previous years, the class hadn’t celebrated the holiday. There had been too much going on, the turmoil overwhelming. Even if they were only students, they had gotten caught up in a lot of danger–had been since the first day they had entered U.A. This year was no exception; it was a matter that Kirishima tried hard to forget, because it was tough and overwhelming, and they had collectively decided that they’d have to postpone the festivities this time around...perhaps New Year’s would be a better day.
It was unsettling: Kirishima had been looking forward to the food. The holiday party had always been fun, the meals delicious and too much, and he was disappointed that it had been cancelled. For the past years, he had grown accustomed to queueing up for hours just to get the coveted dinner for that day. It hadn’t even been about food most of the time; he enjoyed the excitement, the preparation for the party. He had enjoyed being next to Bakugou in the snow, trying to hide his grin while Bakugou stood hunched over with his hands deep in his pockets, thick scarf covering half his face. His bro hated the cold so much, yet had always ended up agreeing to accompany Kirishima.
To be honest, queuing up with Bakugou to get their holiday dinner for the party had always been the highlight to Kirishima.
He hates that they had to skip it this year around.
The kitchen’s quiet and cold as Kirishima makes his way to the fridge. His stomach growls in the darkness; he had eaten dinner, but it hadn’t been enough. He’s a growing boy, after all.
When he opens the fridge, the light from inside cascades into the dark kitchen. He blinks, readjusting his focus, and…
There’s a bucket of fried chicken with a yellow post-it stuck over the forehead of the old man printed on the lid.
Confused, Kirishima pulls it off. There’s a simple note scrawled on it: ‘This is Shitty Hair’s. Everyone else can fuck off.’
Kirishima’s chest wells up and warmth envelopes him. He fishes his phone from his pocket and knows that Bakugou’s asleep, but he sends a text message anyway, one that reads, ‘did u queue up to get this bucket? is that why you were gone for a few hours?’
Without waiting for a reply, Kirishima grabs the meal. It makes no sense, but he sits on a stool near the window to gaze at the night sky. There’s only the moon and a myriad of stars outside that gives him some semblance of light. At three in the morning, Kirishima pockets the post-it before proceeding to devour a meal that he should have known about hours ago. As he munches down on the meat, he gazes out the window and recalls the previous summer when he and Bakugou went on a camping trip and had fallen asleep under the same kind of sky–no clouds, with a thousand glowing stars that had made them feel at peace.
“Ugh,” Kirishima grumbles.
He’s always, always, thinking about Bakugou. It’s as troubling as it is endearing, because he’s so into his best friend and Bakugou would never feel the same way. Ever.
His phone vibrates and he skims the message. It’s from Bakugou. ‘obviously.’
It only takes Bakugou a few seconds to reply: ‘knew you looked forward to it every year. shut up. i’m trying to sleep.’
Kirishima smiles, a familiar warmth spreading from within him. His fingers hover over his screen and he falters. There are words that he wants to say, but like so many times before, he’s not sure he can cross the line that they’ve both drawn over the years. Honestly, he’s not sure if he can cross it at all. So, he chooses his words carefully. He types back. ‘it wasn’t the food that i looked forward to, dude.’
Bakugou’s reply is predictable. ‘the fuck are you talking about? you telling me i almost froze my balls off for something you don’t care about?’
Snickering, Kirishima responds, ‘it was spending time with you and watching you be so dramatic about the cold that i liked.’
Then before Kirishima can text back, another message comes in.
The message reads, ‘anyway, are we getting an apartment after graduating or what?’
Impossibly, Kirishima’s heart soars even further. Bakugou asks as if they had spoken about this before–and they had never, not even once. The way he poses the question, out of the blue and at three am, lets Kirishima know that Bakugou’s probably been thinking about it for days. Bakugou has always been direct with him, but somehow, Kirishima can tell that the question has been eating him up. There’s no other reason why he would ask it at such an odd time and not even to his face.
Kirishima’s response is one he doesn’t even think about. ‘of course.’
It’s been a little more than a year since they’ve graduated, a little more than a year since Bakugou and Kirishima moved in together. Their shared apartment isn’t huge, but it’s perfect for them and they’ve somehow found themselves with routines that work.
Bakugou won’t admit it, but he’s thankful.
Being a pro-hero is difficult, especially for rookies; it’s irritating because he wants nothing more than to reach number one. His temper is still terrible even if there’s been a lot of improvement since he was younger. It makes him glad that Kirishima’s stuck around with him because even he can admit that nobody else would.
“Tell me again why the idiots are coming to our place?” Bakugou grumbles, hands fisted deep in his pockets. His voice comes out muffled from underneath the thick scarf he wears.
He’s still wearing his hero uniform, minus the grenades, because Kirishima had insisted that they buy dinner straightaway–the queue would get worse if they didn’t hurry.
There’s still soot on both of their faces. They both look like a mess and so clearly out of place. In addition to the ridiculousness of it all, Kirishima had put on a damn tank top. Bakugou looks at him as if he were an idiot because it’s snowing outside and he’s wearing a fucking tank top. Kirishima’s ears and cheeks are red, yet he won’t admit that he’s freezing. It’s incredibly stupid that Bakugou doesn’t even know where to start. It’s downright idiotic—they’re standing in a long queue outside a fast-food restaurant with dozens of other people, in the freezing cold, wearing grimy hero costumes. Bakugou wears his mask like a headband to keep his sweaty hair from his face and he doesn’t miss how Kirishima stares at him for it for the first few minutes (Bakugou reminds himself that it’s nothing; Kirishima stares a lot, and the manner in which Kirishima’s cheeks look warmer when he does means nothing) .
It’s really annoying how his heart skips a beat when Kirishima looks at him as if he’s the most interesting person on the planet.
The strangers around them aren’t subtle; they whisper and point at the two pro-heroes, fascinated that the two are standing in a queue, in tattered uniforms. He ignores them, choosing to instead listen to Kirishima ramble on and on about how Kaminari’s been asking for a new power bank as a gift.
After what seems like an eternity, they’re finally third in line, finally close to ordering. That’s when both of their phones blare loudly, startling those around them. They both fish their phones out of their pockets and look at the bold, bright letters that scream ‘RED ALERT.’
There’s a villain attack about a block away. Again. It’s a busy day because of the holidays and Bakugou groans at the trouble.
“What a waste,” Kirishima says with a frown, eyebrows furrowed as he takes a glance around. There’s only a few more people between them and the cashier and they’ve been in the queue for half an hour now.
“Huh?” There’s surprise on Kirishima’s face that he doesn’t even attempt to hide. Kirishima stares at him, wide-eyed. He opens his mouth to say something, and after an awkward pause, simply shuts it again. Tight-lipped, Kirishima cocks his head to the side and raises an eyebrow.
A warm blush creeps on Bakugou’s cheeks. He avoids Kirishima’s stare, gritting his teeth. “I’ll take care of it. It’s a low class villain. Stay here and get the food.”
Bakugou hates how Kirishima’s eyes widen further in bewilderment. Annoying shit being too fucking cute.
Kirishima says, “It’s almost like you care about today.”
Bakugou feels his face burn and holy shit, he could punch him. He really could. But he doesn’t, instead watching a smile spread over Kirishima’s face, slow and warm and Bakugou glares at him as he pulls his mask over his face. Kirishima gazes at him with an expression that causes Bakugou’s stomach to twist and it’s not an unpleasant sensation; it’s one he’s felt dozens of times before, one that he forces himself to ignore because Kirishima would never feel the same way. Not ever.
It’s almost two in the morning when everyone goes home and Bakugou’s exhausted. Their apartment’s a mess and the light in their kitchen blew up after Kaminari got drunk and short-circuited it as a joke. Stupid, damn Pikachu copy–
“Bakugou,” whines Kirishima. He’s on the couch, legs thrown over the armrests and his face flushed. The grin he wears is goofy and he slurs over his words when he speaks. His eyes are hazy, but he looks at Bakugou in a way that causes Bakugou’s world to spin. Kirishima’s drunk and Bakugou doesn’t know how to deal with it. “Bakugouuu,” Kirishima repeats. “Thank you.”
“Thank you for what.” Standing a good foot away, Bakugou has his hands buried into his pockets. Bakugou doesn’t like the drunk version of Kirishima; he’s sappy and he rambles and he likes to put Bakugou on the spot.
“Thank you for everythiiing, bro,” his best friend chuckles. “I appreciate you so much. Every year, you put up with all this even if you hate crowds.”
“I don’t hate it.” It’s not untrue. Bakugou doesn’t hate it, even if he complains. Despite it all, he enjoys the company of their friends.
“You enjoy spending the holiday with everyone?”
“It’s fine,” Bakugou says.
But I’d rather spend it with only you.
It isn’t until Kirishima’s eyes widen in pleasant surprise that Bakugou realizes that he had said that out loud. Kirishima sits up and stares at him, and it’s then Bakugou realizes that he also may be just a bit drunk.
“You mean that?” Kirishima asks softly, his voice barely a whisper.
Bakugou may be drunk and he might not be thinking with a purpose, but he bites his tongue to keep silent. Shit, he had messed up. All these years of not saying his dumb feelings out loud and he messes it up just because he’s had too much to drink. He–
“Because, uhm.” Kirishima laughs and tilts his head, looking at Bakugou earnestly. “I, uhm. I feel the same way.” He hopes that’s the end of it, but Kirishima’s drunk and that means he has a lot more to say. “I’d like to spend it with you. Just you, really.”
Just like that, Bakugou’s world sways and he wonders if he’ll remember this conversation in the morning.
He recalls the conversation in the morning. It’s hard not to remember, not when Kirishima corners him in the kitchen and stutters out an apology.
Bakugou looks at Kirishima, his roommate and idiotic best friend, watching as he panics and fumbles over his words, attempting to salvage their friendship because last night’s conversation had been too intimate, especially for their drunken state of mind. It had been verging on a conversation that had been a long time coming, a discussion they’ve been avoiding for way too long.
And Bakugou thinks, fuck it.
“Kirishima,” Bakugou says, effectively cutting off his rambling. “Next year, it’ll only be the two of us.”
Bakugou wonders if he’s said the wrong thing because Kirishima stands there, frozen.
Then, slowly, that smile appears and Bakugou knows he said the right thing. Finally.
It’s Christmas Eve again.
There’s nobody around except the two of them. Their friends aren’t here tonight.
Bakugou thought Kirishima would have forgotten that strange promise they had made the year before– next year, it’ll only be the two of us.
He still thinks it’s a dumb holiday. Bakugou still doesn’t care for it, but he cares for Kirishima and he finds it endearing how Kirishima spends hours putting up Christmas lights around the house as if an entire party is coming over.
There’s no party, though. There’s only them.
They queue up for that stupid bucket of chicken, of course. It’s annoying to be in the snowy cold, but Bakugou doesn’t care. All he cares about is the huge grin that spreads over Kirishima’s face when Bakugou gives him his gift, a limited edition Crimson Riot watch that he had been searching for.
They’re on the couch with mugs of hot cocoa in their hands, and a bucket of chicken in Kirishima’s lap. The television plays a western Christmas movie that they can’t understand without subtitles. Christmas lights are strewn all over their tiny apartment, making it seem like they’re outside on one of their camping trips. It’s like they’re under a starlit sky.
“You’re such a dork,” Bakugou mumbles because Kirishima looks close to crying. Over a watch. A fucking watch.
“Bakugooou,” Kirishima sniffs. “God, I love you so much, bro.”
Bakugou can’t help but look away, frowning. Kirishima says it so easily as if it doesn't matter and Bakugou only wonders if he even had a clue of how much those words cause his heart to soar. “It’s a watch, Kirishima,” whispers Bakugou.
With slightly trembling hands, Kirishima puts the watch in his pocket.
There’s an uneasy moment and Bakugou can feel it.
Maybe they shouldn’t have celebrated the night alone, because it’s too intimate, too real. Christmas is a couple’s holiday. Kirishima had said before: I like spending it with friends, but I’d rather spend it with someone I’m dating.
Bakugou wonders if Kirishima still remembers he said that.
It doesn’t matter because five minutes from midnight, Kirishima has his legs across Bakugou’s and they’re so close that Bakugou doesn’t care about anything else. Kirishima has a dumb looking santa hat on him, which he wore to work today and there’s a bucket of chicken between them. It’s then Bakugou thinks perhaps the holiday is finally growing on him and he thinks that again when the clock finally strikes twelve and Kirishima’s head is on his shoulder.
Kirishima looks at him through thick lashes and Bakugou can’t help the hammering of his heart in his chest, the hammering that has been hitting his heart for years now. Timidly, Kirishima presses their foreheads together.
“Merry Christmas.” Kirishima’s voice is too soft–Bakugou almost doesn’t catch his words.
“Merry Christmas, moron.” As usual, Bakugou has no idea how to formulate his words well; he doesn’t know how to tell Kirishima how he undoubtedly feels, even when they’re cuddled up on the couch and looking at Kirishima is like staring straight at the damn sun–it’s blinding.
Bakugou’s not good with words and he thinks that Kirishima’s awful with them, too. They’re both always stumbling over a confession, always stuck on words that they can’t say.
So when Kirishima tilts his head upwards and presses their lips together, Bakugou decides he doesn’t need to find the words after all.