Cool night air wafted through the open balcony door. The dorms were quiet tonight, which was probably to be expected after the training they had gone through earlier that day. The two boys were slumped on the floor, leaning against the bed and each other. A pile of notes and textbooks surrounded them. Midterms were only two weeks away and, as always, Kacchan was determined to be the best.
Deku closed his eyes, leaning his head back into the crook of Kacchan’s neck, listening to Kacchan mutter to himself about an equation he was studying (a habit he’d unknowingly picked up from Deku). They’d been like this for a while now, Deku between the other boy’s legs, tucked firmly against his chest.
A rough, calloused hand suddenly grasped his face.
"Are you sleeping or studying, shitty nerd?” Kacchan pulled at the skin of his cheek and sneered.
Deku turned his head to glare at the other boy, but all that earned him was another harsh tug on his cheek. Then Kacchan was leaning in closer, peering at his face.
“Your pores are awful. Do you ever even wash your face, Deku?”
“Ow, Kacchan.” Deku swatted his hand away and rubbed at the sore spot left on his cheek. “What do you mean? I shower every day,” he grumbled.
Kacchan rolled his eyes.
“That’s not what I’m talking about, you idiot,” he snapped, clamping his hand over Deku’s nose and using the leverage to give his head a firm shake. “You have to take better care of your skin.”
“Kacchan, stop it,” Deku whined, lifting his elbow up to knock Kacchan’s arm away.
The larger boy dropped his hold and then shoved at Deku’s lower back.
“Get up,” he barked, already moving to stand.
Deku stood quickly, nearly tripping over himself.
“What are we doing?” he asked.
Kacchan didn’t answer. Instead, he marched over to the small bathroom in his room. Throwing the door open, he glanced over his shoulder at Deku.
“C’mon,” he grunted.
Deku hurried after him. The bathroom was narrow, just big enough for a toilet against one wall and a sink across from it. When Deku reached the open doorway, Kacchan gripped his arm and maneuvered him inside so that Deku was in front of the sink and the other boy was behind him, draped across his shoulders.
“Turn the water on,” Kacchan instructed.
Then he moved away to the shelf hanging over the bathroom door. It was a small, made of metal, and had a neat assortment of bottles, organized by size, from what Deku could tell. He had seen the shelf before, but he had never paid much attention to it or its contents.
He watched Kacchan pick out a slender, amber-colored bottle with a black pump, the words ‘Deep Cleansing Oil’ stamped across the front.
Was…was Kacchan really going to make him wash his face?
The taller boy turned back around and frowned at him.
“C’mon, nerd. Water. On.”
Deku jumped and spun back to the sink, doing as he was asked.
“Not cold water, shitty nerd,” Kacchan snapped.
He leaned over him, trapping Deku against the sink. Kacchan fiddled with the taps, sticking his hand under the water and then turning the knobs this way and that until he seemed satisfied.
“There. Needs to be warm, but not too hot,” he muttered against Deku’s ear.
The warm breath made Deku shutter and he heard Kacchan snicker softly.
“Alright, nerd, focus. Can you wet your face for me?”
“Y-yeah,” Deku stammered, shaking himself from the slight daze he always fell into when Kacchan was this close.
He had cupped both hands under the water when Kacchan spoke again.
“Wait, hold on.”
The warmth at his back disappeared and he peeked over his shoulder to see the other boy rustling through the shelf again. He retrieved two headbands, one orange and one black, and turned back to Deku. He tugged the orange band over Deku’s head and swept the front of it across his face, securing it just passed his hairline by tucking the band behind his ears.
“There,” he said as he did to same to his own hair with the black headband, “now your hair won’t get in the way.”
“Oh, right,” Deku said, reaching up to feel the band pulled taut across the top of his forehead.
“Wet your face, nerd,” Kacchan prompted, a hand pressing into Deku’s lower back.
Deku nodded and cupped his hands under the water once more, leaning down to splash the water up into his face. Rough hands found on his face then, gently massaging the cleanser into his skin.
“Kacchan,” he grumbled, “I can do that myself.”
Kacchan snorted. “Clearly not,” he quipped back, voice low and amused.
Deku harrumphed, but he couldn’t help the tiny smiling tugging at his lips. When Kacchan deemed his face cleaned enough, he gave a little nudge into his back.
“Alright, rinse it off.”
A towel was shoved over his eyes when he lifted his head back from the sink. He swiped it across his face only to have Kacchan yelling at him again.
“Pat it dry! Pat it! Don’t just scratch your face up with it!”
Deku sighed and lowered the towel, staring at Kacchan in exasperation.
“Kacchan, it’s a towel. I’m not scratching anything,” he groused.
“Pat,” Kacchan insisted, red eyes narrowed and daring him to argue again.
Deku rolled his eyes and then patted the towel against his face. Kacchan nodded his approval, before hip-checking Deku away from the sink so he could step in and wash his own face. Deku hovered in the doorway, the other boy. When he finished, he draped the towel over the faucet and turned to Deku, reaching passed his shoulder to retrieve a wide, green tube from the shelf.
“What’s that? I thought we were just washing our faces,” Deku asked, eyeing the tube warily.
“It’s a face mask,” Kacchan answered, flicking open the cap and squeezing a pale, green substance onto his fingertips.
“C’mere,” Kacchan muttered, crowding against the smaller boy.
He wiped the goop across Deku’s cheek, making the other boy flinch and pull back.
“That’s cold,” he whined.
Kacchan scoffed, using his other hand the grasp Deku’s chin and hold him in place.
Deku grumbled, but held still, letting Kacchan slowly work the green goo all over his face. He stepped back and gave Deku’s face a once over.
“Alright, go sit down,” Kacchan said. And then, when Deku lifted a hand toward his face, “Don’t touch your face. It needs to sit for ten minutes.”
“Ten minutes?! Do you always spend this long on your face?” Deku’s voice was incredulous and Kacchan gave him a withering look.
“I have a four-step process. Though, this is an extra step. I usually only do a face mask once a week,” he said, spreading green goop across his own face.
“There’s more?” Deku cried.
“Stop bitching,” Kacchan said again, voice flat. “Besides, your face needs the extra exfoliating.”
“Yeah, that’s what the mask is for,” Kacchan chided as if Deku was supposed to know that somehow.
Deku elected to ignore the condescension. Despite the usual prickly demeanor, he could tell Kacchan was enjoying teaching him this routine and he liked making Kacchan happy.
“And you don’t use it every day?” he prompted.
“Fuck, no. Only an idiot over-exfoliates,” Kacchan said. “Your skin needs it, though, so we’re doing it.”
Deku smiled to himself, settling back on the floor to lean against Kacchan’s bed. It was cute how much Kacchan cared about this, though he’d never tell him that, of course. Calling Kacchain ‘cute’ was an open invitation to getting an explosion in the face. He settled for watching the other boy fondly as he finished applying the face mask and returned the tube to the shelf.
“You wanna watch one of your All Might videos?” Kacchan asked, making his way over to Deku.
He sat down next to him and then manhandled Deku until he was back between Kacchan’s legs, back flush to his chest once more.
“Can we?” Deku asked, tipping his chin back to flash a bright smile at him.
“Yeah, just pick something close to ten minutes. We’ll wash this off after,” Kacchan mumbled, one hand rubbing slow, small circles into Deku’s chest.
“Okay, Kacchan,” Deku chirped.
Twisting slightly in Kacchan’s arms, he swiped his phone off the bed and pulled up an old All Might interview. He’d seen it a million times before, of course, and he knew Kacchan had too, but it was nice to share this with him.
When the video ended, Kacchan wrapped his hand around the phone Deku was holding, pulling it gently from him.
“Go rinse the mask off.”
Kacchan watched him wash off the mask before shuffling him aside to wash his own face.
“Now what, Kacchan?” Deku asked, rocking on his heels, arms crossed behind his back.
“Here, hold this,” Kacchan said, grabbing a bag of round cotton pads from the shelf and handing them to Deku. Then he grabbed a clear, plastic bottle.
“Toner?” Deku asked, peeking at the label.
Kacchan grunted in response, unscrewing the lid. He stuck a hand out to Deku and the smaller boy stared blankly at the open palm for a moment before letting out a sharp, “oh!” and digging a cotton round out from the bag, dropping it in Kacchan’s hand. The taller boy covered the top of the bottle with the cotton and flipped it upside down, giving it a few quick shakes.
A moment later, he was wiping the cotton round all over Deku’s face. Deku didn’t even falter this time, accustomed now to Kacchan attacking his face with skincare products. When Kacchan pulled back and dropped the cotton round into the trashcan, Deku was ready with another one so Kacchan could apply his own toner.
The next bottle Kacchan grabbed made him do a double-take. It was a strange, small vile with a dropper for the lid.
“Kacchan, what is that?” Deku asked.
“Oil serum. It has a lot of amino acids and vitamins and shit. It’ll help keep your skin from looking so dull,” Kacchan said.
“Kacchan!” Deku cried.
“What? I need it too,” Kacchan snapped.
Stepping forward with the dropper in hand, he tilted Deku’s face up and squeezed a few drops of liquid onto his forehead and cheeks.
“Pat that in. Make sure you get your entire face,” he said, lifting the dropper above his own.
Deku patted at the liquid, moving his hands across his face. He grimaced a little at the feeling.
“It’s kinda sticky,” he said.
“Yeah, but it works,” Kacchan replied.
“Mm,” Deku hummed. Skin feeling dry again, he lowered his hands.
Kacchan was still patting the serum into his face, eyes screwed shut in concentration. It brought a soft smile to Deku’s face. Their relationship was still complicated, though miles better than it used to be, and moments like these always managed to catch Deku by surprise. It was soft and domestic and so wholly something he never would have expected from Kacchan, but here they were anyway.
“What are you looking at, nerd?”
Red eyes were open now and they were sizing him up with suspicion. Deku chuckled.
“Nothing, Kacchan. What’s next?”
Kacchan narrowed his eyes at him for a moment, then grabbed a jar from the shelf.
“Just the moisturizer now.”
He was unscrewing the lid when the shift happened. One moment he was blank-faced, going through the motions. The next moment, a predatory smirk was rolling across his face. Scooping up a dollop of the cream, he stepped into Deku’s space, rubbing his hands together to spread the moisturizer around.
“Kacchan…” Deku tried to convey a warning in his voice. A flash of sharp teeth let him know it was heard and then promptly ignored as hands clapped down hard on his cheeks.
“Kacchan, ow! Stop that!” Deku shouted, trying to squirm away.
Kacchan didn’t let up, gripping his face firmly whenever the smaller boy tried to dislodge him and cackling loudly. He dragged his hands over Deku’s face, roughly massaging the cream into his skin.
“Kacchan, come on, stop it!”
“Hold still, Deku. Gotta make sure it’s all absorbed in,” Kacchan leered.
Deku grimaced, but gave in, holding still for Kacchan. The other boy’s movements slowed and gentled and when Deku looked up into his eyes, he found open affection staring back at him. Slowly, Kacchan leaned down and caught Deku’s lips with his own. Deku was so lost in the soft press of lips against his, he barely registered the feeling of the hairband being pulled from his head, of Kacchan’s hand tangling in his curls.
“You staying tonight?” Kacchan whispered into the kiss.
“Yeah,” Deku breathed back.
Breaking away, Kacchan pressed his hands firmly against the smaller boy’s chest and gently nudged him back towards the bed.
“Go lay down, let me put this stuff on too. Find something for us to watch,” he said, quieter than he’d been all night, though no less bossy. Deku took the command willingly.
“Okay, Kacchan,” he said.
Then he burrowed under the blankets and queued up a video, waiting for the other boy to join him.