All things considered, Eijirou feels pretty good.
Sure, training was extra brutal today, with him, Todoroki, Uraraka, and Sero paired up in Aizawa’s latest training nightmare. All of the students were sorted into groups of four and pinned against each other. They could team up, two on two, as the Jirou-Kouda-Aoyama-Sato ultimately did. Or, they could, as Eijirou’s group decided, do an all-out, free-for-all slugfest that saw Sero and Uraraka team up to send Todoroki sailing across the cityscape Cementoss created for them just before Eijirou roundhouse kicked Sero off a roof before grappling with Uraraka before Sero caught Todoroki and sent him hurtling back at them.
Even Bakugou’s group didn’t cause as much sheer destruction as his, Eijirou grins, burrowing deeper into Todoroki’s side. Clearly, the other boy must still feel slightly guilty about dropping two flaming buses on him, with Uraraka’s help, (as well as a frozen one, Eijirou wants to point out) because he just takes Eijirou’s weight, arm gentle across his shoulders.
“I don’t even know where you found the third bus,” Eijirou says offhandedly. He probably should have expected the third bus, now that he thinks about it. His Unbreakable form was really pushed to the limit.
Todoroki clears his throat before saying, “It wasn’t a bus, it was a truck. The ice made it heavier.”
That’s probably why they all had looked so worried when Shouji and Sato lifted it off him, revealing his very clearly not-Unbreakable form sprawled on the concrete. He tried to convince them all that his hardening only just wore off, but Eijirou had a feeling no one believed him. Especially because Shouji had to give him a piggyback ride to the locker rooms.
“Dude, you blew up a building with me inside. I barely made it out!” Kaminari complains.
“I told you the plan twice,” Bakugou snaps. “Ain’t my fault you weren’t paying attention.”
Anything Kaminari says in response gets drowned out by Hagakure turning up the volume of the film.
Yeah, all things considered, Eijirou feels good. His shoulders ache, his team gave it their all, and Bakugou even scrubbed his knuckles across his head before kicking him towards the shower to “wash that dust and shit out.”
Now he has the coveted spot against Todoroki’s flame side during the Friday night movie, with the heat helping keep away the aches that came back after his bath. Sero is on his other side, keeping the popcorn bowl within reach.
His entire class is crammed into the sitting area, even Tokoyami and Bakugou who tend to turn movie night down the most.
And it was Hagakure’s turn to choose tonight’s movie, and she always chooses the manliest movies. Tonight it is Autumn Confession. He loves this one.
“It’s an old romantic movie, Kirishima.” Sero raises an eyebrow. “You’ve seen this before?”
Eijirou doesn’t realize they’ve reached a lull in the movie and everyone’s eyes are on him. He doesn’t even realize he spoke aloud. His face feels hot, and it’s not because he’s been leaning on Todoroki for half an hour.
“Um, yes.” Lying isn’t manly, but even Crimson Riot wouldn’t admit he’s seen Autumn Confession a dozen times. Or would he? “A few times.”
“You like these kinds of movies?” Both Hagakure and Kaminari shout, in very different inflections.
Hagakure leans forward, both hands coming down to smack the coffee table, her charm bracelets jingling. “Have you seen the rest of the trilogy?”
“It’s a trilogy?” Eijirou can hear Ojirou whisper. Hagakure shushes him.
“Yes, and it’s considered Eiko’s finest work. She retired after Spring Slumber--”
“Yeah, awesome, great.” Kaminari cuts in, “But can we go back to how Kirishima “I’d eat my meat red if Bakugou let me” Eijirou watches old, sad love stories?”
“He has taste,” Aoyama huffs, and Eijirou didn’t expect him to come to his defense-- “even though this is hardly Eiko’s best film and only needs to be watched une fois.” That sounds more like Aoyama.
Eijirou is pretty good at getting himself out of tight situations (usually by punching), but he can’t really see a way out of this. Not when Kaminari looks like he might climb over Bakugou to get to the bottom of Eijirou’s movie preferences. On the screen, Eiko is frozen, half way out the door of the classroom to catch Shintaro before he leaves on a boat to Seoul.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” Eijirou says, reluctantly peeling himself from Todoroki. Looks like story time. “My great aunt used to watch me after school and she had all these old reels.” He thinks about the sweet milk tea and soft little cakes she used to feed him, her old movie posters framed around her flat. He remembers her frail hands wiping crumbs off his face. He scratches at his cheek. “We would watch them until my mom got off work and came to pick me up.”
Ashido and Uraraka coo something about that being adorable. Kaminari looks almost convinced.
“They just don’t seem very manly.”
At that, Eijirou has to take a stand. And he does, almost sending the bowl of popcorn tumbling to the ground. “No, man, but listen--” And here, he can hear his great aunt’s words echoing in his ear. “--there’s nothing more manly! Loving someone is one of the manliest things you can ever do! And confessing? It takes so much confidence and strength to confess. You’re putting your heart out there, and all you can do is hope and believe that your words will be enough to convince them…” Eijirou falters for a moment, eyes flicking over his classmates, suddenly feeling a little embarrassed with how they’re all looking at him. “...convince them of your affection and spirit.”
He stays standing, heat creeping up his neck and behind his ears, and he laughs, a little self-consciously. He’s not embarrassed of his feelings, but he’s pretty sure his classmates wouldn’t have been able to guess how strongly he felt about these kinds of things.
“Shit, bro,” Kaminari says suddenly, shooting to his feet. He sniffles loudly, voice thick, “We’ll watch all the romance movies you want.”
Eijirou can feel the tears coming on now too.
Next Friday is Kaminari’s turn to choose a movie and he chooses the next film in the trilogy, Winter Reconcile. This time, Eijirou sits right next to Kaminari and patiently tries to explain why Shintaro will give Eiko another chance. Midoriya is on the other side of Kaminari, also trying to understand.
“I know it’s in the title, Kirishima, but I don’t understand.” Kaminari nearly nails Midoriya in the head throwing his hands in the air. “She lost her chance. Shintaro spent the entire last movie trying to win her over but she turned him down each time.”
“She was afraid to love after she lost Keisuke,” Midoriya explains, looking at Eijirou in confirmation.
“Why was she obsessed with her childhood friend?”
“It was true love!” Ashido pins Sero with a scowl sharp enough to send the boy retreating into the couch. “Keisuke swore his heart to her and she didn’t want to betray him by admitting she had fallen for Shintaro.”
“But she realized too late that Keisuke would support her and Shintaro,” Asui adds.
“Which is why there’s a trilogy of this bullshit.” Bakugou stretches his legs out, making eye contact with Eijirou from the other side of the coffee table. “Is there a dumb confession in each of these?”
“The confession is the best part!”
“But in each part?”
Eijirou sighs, deeply, and tries to remind himself that Kaminari, although open-minded to every genre of literature, was still learning to chill out and not analyze film the way he did prose. “Yes, in each part. The trilogy is supposed to honor her real life relationship with her first love who died in a boating accident while she was filming abroad. He confessed to her and Eiko told him that she would give him her answer when she returned from America. But he died while she was abroad and Eiko never forgave herself for not accepting his confession. Although she never married, she called herself a widow until her last days. This trilogy was to help her come to terms with her guilt.”
When Kaminari nods, satisfied, Eijirou turns to Yaomomo and nods. Yaomomo starts the film again.
Mineta chooses the final film, Spring Slumber, because the rest of the class vetoes his first three suggestions and Iida reminds him that he lost his film suggestion privileges once and can easily lose them again. Eijirou also has a suspicion that Mineta thinks choosing a romantic film will give him brownie points with the girls.
Whatever, Eijirou settles in to watch the movie. This is actually his favorite of the trilogy, because Shintaro and Eiko finally actually get to stay together. In the last movie, Shintaro fell into a coma and Eiko stayed by his side for an entire year. In this movie, Shintaro wakes up with no memory of Eiko and Eiko must watch as he falls in love with his nurse. It’s a throwback to the first film where Eiko rebuffed Shintaro’s advances, and it makes Eijirou tear up every time.
By the end of the film, when Eiko is standing in front of Shintaro, telling him exactly what she loves about him, her dark hair unbound and fluttering in the breeze, Eijirou is wiping actual tears from his cheeks.
“Get it together, damn, Kirishima,” Bakugou mutters, elbowing him. “It’s just a movie.”
“Cut him some slack, Kaachan. Our hard boy is actually a very soft boy.” Kaminari wraps an arm around Eijirou and shakes him, laughing when Eijirou shrugs him off.
“I just really like this scene.” Eijirou defends. Eiko’s crying now, too, wiping away tears with the hand not holding the watch she’s gifting. The watch that she bought the last movie as an anniversary present. Shintaro looks stunned, watching the serious girl stumble through her confession. The shock on his face eventually turns to recognition before film magic turns both actors into their high school selves. “He remembers her now, and --”
Shintaro confesses as well.
“Mutual confession,” Hagakure breathes out, falling back against Uraraka. Eijirou assumes she must be as pink-faced as Uraraka.
“It’s how I would want to be confessed to,” Eijirou admits, avoiding Bakugou’s eyes.
On Monday there is a tiny wrapped package on his desk and a sticky note on top. Eijirou stares at it for a moment, backpack half off his shoulders.
The note just says from your admirer <3.
“Looks like you’ve got an admirer,” Kaminari teases, sitting backwards in his chair. Eijirou doesn’t know if it’s a side effect of his quirk or if Kaminari is just that excited by Eijirou’s secret admirer, but he’s practically glowing.
“Open it, dude.” Sero’s grinning, chin propped on his fist.
Eijirou hesitates, buying for time by dropping his backpack to the ground. There’s still a few minutes before Iida tells them all to get in their seats before class starts, so Eijirou doesn’t think he’s getting out of this.
The gift turns out to be a little pin, a flexing arm like the ones on his clock. It’s cute, will probably look adorable on his backpack, and, okay, Eijirou loves it.
But, still …
“Who do you think it is?” Kaminari’s practically leaning onto his desk.
Eijirou shrugs. “No idea.”
Eijirou gets that nothing interesting has happened since Midoriya unveiled his new quirk tricks, but all his friends want to talk about throughout the day is his admirer. It’s exhausting.
Hagakure and Ashido cornered him after Midnight’s class. Mineta spent the morning moaning about how it isn’t fair that Eijirou gets a sexy admirer before he does. Even Tokoyami and Shouji asked in the lunchline and he’s pretty sure even 1-B is gossiping about it.
His classmates are great, but not the most tactful. He doesn’t think they’re teasing him, especially not after he admitted that he wants to be confessed to. It was hard enough admitting how much he liked romantic movies, the thought that someone is playing with him, teasing him, even innocently, is enough to make his stomach turn.
Eijirou’s sick of the questions. If one more person asks, he might eat the sticky note left with the gift. He’s been turning it over all day, trying to place the handwriting, but he can’t.
He knows he doesn’t have a secret admirer. It has to be one of his friends.
“Hey, man,” Eijirou leans over, catching Kaminari just as he stuffs a curry bun into his mouth. Patiently, because he’s a good friend, waits for Kaminari to chew and swallow before demanding, “was it you? The pin?”
“Wha--no, why would you think that?”
Eijirou doesn’t even ask Bakugou, even though Bakugou is looking at him, brow furrowed. It definitely wouldn’t be Bakugou.
“You don’t buy cute stuff like that,” Eijirou says, waving away any protest Bakugou might make just to protest.
“Why is it so hard to believe you have a secret admirer?” Kaminari asks.
Kaminari probably doesn’t understand, because he’s got quintessential hot boy looks and talks a good game, but Eijirou isn’t the kind of boy people fall in love with. He doesn’t have a tragic backstory like Todoroki, he’s not cute and spunky like Midoriya. He’s straightforward and loud, like Iida but not nearly as handsome.
Eijirou’s sturdy, dependable--people like him, trust him, but they don’t fall in love with him or his quirk.
“You going to whine about your quirk again?” Bakugou asks, chopsticks cocked, pointed, and probably ready to jab him in the cheek. “Because if you do, I’m gonna find another bus for Round Face to drop on you so you can punch through it again.”
Eijirou flushes, eyes dropping to his curry bread to avoid Bakugou’s focus. “I mean, no.”
“Kirishima.” Kaminari draws his attention again. His hot boy face is twisted up, upset. “Why don’t you think you have a secret admirer?”
“I just…” Ejirou wishes he had kept quiet. Or maybe played along. “It’s more likely that someone is teasing me.”
That admission gets a shout from all three boys, and Eijirou ducks his head as all of them immediately speak.
“Who the fuck do you think would do that?”
“Tease you? Bro, no--”
“Names, Kirishima. Give me a name--”
“No one in the class would ever--”
Bakugou’s halfway out of his seat, but thankfully Sero has enough sense to tape him to his place, even though Sero looks like Eijirou just insulted his favorite manga and wants to see Bakugou dish out justice. Kaminari looks like he might cry.
“Guys, guys, please.” Eijirou tries to sound soothing, but Bakugou, eyes murderous, looks like he’s about to chew his way through Sero’s tape. “I’m not complaining, I’m just saying I’m not the kind of boy people confess to. It’s okay, I know.”
“But you want someone to confess to you.” Kaminari’s hands are curled into fists and Eijirou really regrets admitting that.
“Yeah, but I won’t be upset if that doesn’t happen.” He smiles, picks up his bread. “It’s okay, really.”
The rest of the day goes quietly, no one asks whether Eijirou knows or has any ideas. It cements his suspicion that one of his classmates was behind the pin (now proudly attached to his backpack). The bell rings and Eijirou shoots to his feet, stretching. He’s looking forward to meeting Tetsutetsu in the gym. He has to defend his bench press title.
Kaminari stands up so fast that he knocks his desk into Ojirou and his chair into Eijirou’s desk.
“Kirishima!” Manly as hell, Kaminari slams his hand down on Eijirou’s desk and looks him square in the eye. “I have a confession.”
The entire class stills, watching. Eijirou, in the back of his mind, fist pumps because he was right.
But then he pauses, because doesn’t Kaminari like--
“You’re in love with me?”
Kaminari slams his other hand on the desk and leans in, and for a long stressful second Eijirou is afraid Kaminari might go in for a kiss.
“My dude, I’m head over heels in bro-love,” Kaminari announces. “I saw that pin while out shopping and I immediately thought ‘that shit is cute as hell, and my best bro Kirishima will love it.’”
Eijirou’s heart flutters. He can feel the tears coming on. “Bro.”
“Bro.” Kaminari’s mouth goes soft, his eyes even softer. “Yeah, I was sort of teasing you in the beginning, with the note and all, because the dichotomy of you and classic chick flicks is still wild to me, but when you said someone must be teasing you because you’re not the kind of boy people confess to? I just couldn’t let that stand. You’re my best friend, Kirishima, and you have been since day one. We’re ride or die. I love you, man.”
Kaminari barely finishes when Eijirou pulls him into the tightest hug he can. Kaminari wheezes, just a bit, but returns it, squeezing back just as hard.
“I love you, too, Kaminari.”
The rest of the afternoon and evening passes quietly. Bakugou sees that Kaminari and him are about to order a pizza and takes personal offense to that, setting them both in the kitchen and forcing salmon and vegetables on them. Eijirou’s still feeling tender, Kaminari’s words from earlier finding a home in his chest and nestling into his heart. It’s probably the manliest Kaminari’s ever been, and he says as much.
“Anything for my best bro,” Kaminari says, trying to stuff his vegetables under Eijirou’s rice so Bakugou won’t find them. “I had a longer speech planned out.”
Kaminari nods. “I was gonna tell you that you’re handsome. You’re top three now.” As an afterthought, he adds, “Bakugou is still bottom three.”
Eijirou is sure Bakugou would throw something at Kaminari if he wasn’t elbow deep in dish water. Instead, Bakugou settles for a vague curse and a promise to never cook for either of them again.
“What did I do?” Eijirou whines, pointedly ignoring Bakugou’s hissed you gave me all your spinach, eat something green for once.
“It goes Todoroki, Kouda, then you, and then Iida, then me--” “You pissed off the girls again, Sparky?” “Then I was going to talk about how strong you are. You were the only one standing when I let off my quirk.”
“I was hunched over, I think I puked--”
“Uraraka has basically made a game of dropping heavy things on you and seeing what you can punch through. I’m pretty sure Midoriya is waiting for you to ask him to punch you in the face.” Kaminari steals some of his rice. “Dude, you basically look danger in the face and square up.”
Eijirou laughs, warm from his face down to his chest. “I think we all do that, man. We’re gonna be heroes.”
“Yeah, but you don’t flinch. Half the shit that would stop me doesn’t even faze you.”
From the sink, Bakugou snorts, “That’s because you’re you, and Kirishima is Kirishima.”
The next day there is a tower of arcade tokens on his desk and a sticky note that says from your admirer. The note has a winky face.
Eijirou bites down a smile, shakes his head. “Is this going to be a thing from now on?”
He doesn’t get an answer until the end of the day, when Sero gets out of his seat and turns to him with a lopsided, easy smile. “Hey Kirishima, I have a confession.”
“Sero, come on--” Eijirou rubs a hand across his face, knows his face is pink already.
“My best friend said he wanted a confession, he’s getting a confession.” Sero grins even wider. “You would do anything for me, so this is the least I could do. You’ve got such a good heart, Kirishima. I wish you’d remember that, but until you can, I’ll remind you. I love you, man.”
Sero’s arms are already outstretched so Eijirou just meets him the rest of the way.
“This is going to be a thing, isn’t it?” He sniffles.
Sero pats his back. “Of course it is.”
The next day Midoriya leaves a pair of wrist weights on his desk and stammers his way through a thoughtful and extremely complimentary analysis of his quirk that leaves Eijirou redder than his own hair. He’s on his feet and yanking Midoriya into a bear hug just to get the guy to stop rambling (and also to shield Midoriya in case Bakugou’s patience wears out completely). Midoriya’s grip is just as tight, and they pull away just before Bakugou blows up his desk.
“Get the fuck outta here, weirdo,” Bakugou hisses, grabbing Eijirou by the sleeve. Eijirou barely notices, already fastening the weights to his wrists. “You don’t need a notebook to know he’s strong as hell.”
The gifts start to get more expensive, which makes Eijirou feel guilty and he tries to turn down the retro Crimson Riot hoodie Yaomomo gifts him, even though it’s so soft and the perfect size and he doesn’t have it yet.
“We went over this, Yaomomo!” Ashido whines. She had given him a basket of Extra Meaty Chips and his favorite protein bars. “No gifts over--”
Yaomomo looks uncomfortable, cheeks pink. Bashfully, she says, “Kirishima-kun is always so generous with us, it seemed unfair not to spoil him a little.” Eijirou likes men, but he thinks he could sweep Yaomomo into a kiss and ask her to marry him, the sweatshirt is so great and she’s so pretty.
“Get ahold of yourself, Kirishima, for fuck’s sake.”
“I have the best friends!” Eijirou announces, uncaring of how his hair flattens as he wiggles into the hoodie. “I love all the gifts, and even though I’m accepting this, please don’t get me anything else!”
In retrospect, he should have expected his classmates would only get more competitive.
Hagakure finds a vintage movie poster of Eiko in her first leading role. Ojirou takes him to his family’s dojo for a weekend’s worth of lessons. Sato bakes him a cake in the shape of his face (and Bakugou lets him eat half and then the rest for breakfast). Shouji makes him a scrapbook of every bit of news mentioning Red Riot and juxtaposes it against headlines from Crimson Riot’s debut.
Uraraka hands him a protein shake and teaches him one of Gunhead’s moves. She puts him on the ground more than once, but at the end he gets it and he doesn’t even have the words to say how happy he is.
“When I told Gunhead that I wanted to teach you, I barely had to convince him. He already knew all about you.” Uraraka grins, dirt on her face, as she pulls him off the ground. “He said you should come by sometime, maybe take a few classes.”
Eijirou didn’t think he could feel any more elated, and Bakugou has to pull him close every so often to make sure he doesn’t walk into anyone on the way back to the dorm.
“It’s just so overwhelming,” He admits, looking over at Bakugou. “I feel like I should be trying harder to stop it, but I like it.”
Bakugou glances at him, face unreadable. “It’s fine,” He dismisses, not unkindly. “It’s not like you haven’t earned it.”
“But I haven--ouch, what was that for?” He hardens just a millisecond too late, the sharp point of Bakugou’s elbow stabbing right into the soft space between two ribs. “Dude.”
But Bakugou’s glaring at him, his eyes dark and narrow. “I don’t know if you have wet cement in your ears, Kirishima, but listen up: you’re one of the few idiots here who deserve to be here.” Bakugou’s been prone to more fits of solemn contemplation lately, but having one focused on him makes Eijirou’s breath catch right in his throat. Bakugou’s so close, so serious.
It’s manly enough to bring a tear to his eye.
Bakugou sees it and scoffs, rolling his eyes so hard he manages to turn his entire body. But Eijirou can see the tips of his ears go red.
“I definitely ended up with the cheapest gift,” Kaminari complains, watching Eijirou unwrap a gift certificate for barbeque from Todoroki. “And this was all my idea, too.”
“Hey, don’t feel bad, Kaminari. Dinner is on me tonight!”
Tokoyami gives him a set of candles to “cast away his demons,” as the other boy tells him seriously, immediately adding that “the worst kind of demons always seek out light such as yours.”
Iida gives him a new pair of gloves to lift with it. “They also double as protection when boxing,” He adds as Eijirou tries to lift and hug him at the same time. "You're an excellent comrade, Kirishima."
Asui confesses on a Friday and cooks him dinner that night, easily grilling skewers of chicken and beef while Eijirou tries to talk her into letting him sneak a bite early. Bakugou swats him away, spatula in hand, hip checking him away from the food prep. Asui tells him stories about her family and in turn Eijirou shares how close he is to his mother.
Aoyama tells him he's charming, gives him some fancy cheese that tastes like smoked meat and Eijirou devours it so fast that Aoyama preens for a full week and offers to get him some more on his next trip to Paris.
Kouda’s confession is inaudible, he’s so bashful, but he monograms some bright red workout towels with his hero initials in the corner and Eijirou doesn’t know how he can use them without getting worked up over how much his friends care about it.
Mineta gives him his favorite book, a guide to picking up anyone, and says the book along with his confidence will help him score, and Eijirou is just so happy it’s not porn that he swings Mineta up into a hug without letting him finish his speech.
Jirou makes him a playlist to work out to, a mix of classic, Europop, and old, old rock that Eijirou already knows will get him pumped up. Jirou laughs when he picks her up and demands he put her down.
“You’re a great guy, Kirishima,” She says. “You’re always the first to stand up for what you believe.”
Bakugou is the only one who hasn’t given him anything, so Eijirou comes into class fully expecting to see something from Bakugou. He’s not sure what the blond would give him, probably something practical. Or something edible.
Eijirou tries not to let his disappointment show. Bakugou’s not even in class yet.
The door slides open and, instead of Bakugou, Tetsutetsu strides in with a loud “bro!”
Eijirou is on his feet in seconds, reaching out to grasp Tetsutetsu’s hand in their manly bro handshake but Tetsutetsu steps aside and instead picks Eijirou up in a hug tight enough to put Shouji’s hugs on the ropes. “Bro, I have a confession.”
“Oh geez, you too?” Eijirou laughs, the tips of his sneakers brushing the ground. “Am I gonna get a bunch of love letters from 1-B now?”
“You think you don’t have admirers in 1-B?” Tetsutetsu tsks. “Dumbass, you’re lucky I love you, otherwise I’d suplex you right now.” From over Tetsu’s shoulder, Kaminari shrugs.
“I didn’t tell any of them.”
“Kendou heard about it from Yaoyorozu,” Tetsu explains, then turns back to Eijirou. “Oh, yeah, my gift to you: we’re gonna go to that lifting competition this weekend. I already have tickets and permission to leave campus. You said you’d never been to one, it’s great. You learn so much from the pros.”
“Oh come on!” Kaminari drops his head to his desk. “Now even 1-B has better gifts than I did. I want a do-over.”
Bakugou doesn’t confess, but more than one person from 1-B comes by. Shishida drops by, bows into the prettiest bow Eijirou has ever seen, and presents him with a bottle of bubble bath.
“It is a protected family recipe, Sir Kirishima, passed generation to generation. It specifically soothes sore muscles and encourages healing. You will be rejuvenated with only a few drops.” He manages to bow deeper. His glasses don’t fall, though. “It is an honor to share this elixir with a worthy opponent such as yourself.”
Eijirou has barely spoken to the guy since the joint training between 1-A and 1-B, but that doesn’t stop him from hugging Shishida. It catches him a little off guard, judging by the way his fur bristles for a moment. It’s all fine though; Eijirou gains another training buddy.
Then Tokage saunters in the following day and Eijirou has no idea what to do when she cocks her hip against his desk and leans down to smile at him. In the background, Eijirou can see Kaminari, Sero, and Bakugou all turn red. Bakugou’s gripping the edge of his desk.
“I have a confession, Kirishima-kun,” She grins, one canine peeking out over her lip. She doesn't have a gift, but she's got confidence. “You’re a pretty interesting guy, and I think we could be pretty good friends. What do you say?”
Eijirou’s always been weak for straightforward people. “Absolutely!” He knocks his fists together and Tokage laughs. He still hugs her, keeping his hands firmly around her shoulders, twitching only a little when she squeezes him back.
Monoma is the real surprise. He’s supervised by both Kendou and Tetsutetsu, but completely unconcerned by that fact. He even has a gift--a box of fancy caramels--which Bakugou immediately demands Eijirou hand over so he can make sure they’re not poisoned. Which is pretty sweet, considering Bakugou hates sweets.
“You’re the least annoying member of 1-A,” Monoma admits, with only half his usual amount of drama and flair. It’s sincere, though, so Eijirou hugs him anyways, secretly delighting the way Monoma squawks when Eijirou squeezes him.
Even Tsunotori swings by, bearing American candy for him (and Kaminari, it’s a partial apology for the trash talk Monoma taught her).
A month after the confessions start, Tamaki-senpai drops by. Well, sort of. He hovers outside the room until Asui asks if he’s okay and then he beelines right to Eijirou’s desk, trying not to make too much eye contact with anyone else.
“Senpai! You too?” He asks, eyeing the box in the 3rd year’s hands. “You really shouldn’t have--”
“Kirishima,” Amajiki starts, then stops, biting his lip and looking down. The silence stretches on for a minute, and Eijirou hates that his senpai feels forced into this. He knows Amajiki hates these kinds of spotlight moments; he can tell the older boy wants to turn face first into the nearest wall.
“Senpai, it’s okay,” He says softly, “I know, and you don’t have to--”
Amajiki shakes his head. “No, Kirishima. Just let me--” He huffs, cuts a look at Eijirou with fond eyes. “You’re always trying to make me comfortable. It’s so troublesome.”
Eijirou knows his senpai doesn’t mean anything by it, but he pouts nonetheless.
“You’re such a troublesome guy,” Tamaki-senpai says after another moment. “You take bullets for me, you’re always running into traffic to save a cat or dog--”
“Shity hair, what the fuck is he talking about?”
“--and you’re always leaving the grilled corn for me when we eat barbeque even though I know you like it.”
“But you like the grilled corn, too.”
“Kirishima, listen.” He quiets, listening to Amajiki. “I wish you believed in yourself all the time the same way you believe in me. Because even though you’re troublesome, you’re the kind of troublesome hero needed.”
Amajiki sets the box of takoyaki on his desk, his face so gentle when he says, “Fat says you’re getting too skinny.”
Amajiki's entire body seizes when Eijirou hugs him and he can hear his senpai mutter into his hair. But he returns the hug, and that’s really all that matters.
After a week of no more confessions, Eijirou accepts that Bakugou won’t confess. And that’s fine! Honestly, it is. Eijirou has no lack of love in his life, no lack of friends. He, Shishida, and Tokage have an upcoming training date (which Monoma may or may not join). Kaminari and Sero are almost finished with Eiko’s entire filmography. Tokoyami’s candles actually do wonders keeping his nightmares at bay. Eijirou has an entire shelf overflowing with the presents his classmates and friends gave him, just to show him that yes, he’s the kind of boy people will confess to.
And whenever he feels down, or unconvinced, he looks at that shelf, at the scrapbook and snacks and arcade tokens, and remembers how loved he is. The flexing arm on his backpack reminds him.
Besides, Bakugou does care, and Eijirou doesn’t actually need him to say, “Hey Shitty Hair, I have a confession,” as nice as that would be.
Bakugou’s frying him shrimp for dinner, and has even tossed him a few “burnt ones.” He hasn’t even told Eijirou off for sitting on the kitchen counter. So Eijirou stays, watches Bakugou focus on flipping the shrimp, shoulders lax, his fair hair holding afternoon sunlight.
Eijirou really likes him.
Maybe it’s his turn to confess.
“Hey, Bakugou. I have a confession.”
Bakugou stills, chopsticks hovering above the crackling shrimp. Eijirou wets his lower lip, gathers his courage. It’s so easy, because Bakugou’s always made him fearless.
“You’re the manliest guy I know, and you’re always taking care of me. I love you.” Eijirou looks down at his socked feet. He should be looking at Bakugou, but the only sound between them is the shrimp cooking.
“About time, Eiko.” The stove turns off, and Eijirou sees Bakugou’s feet enter his vision. He feels Bakugou’s calloused hand on the curve of his neck.
Eijirou flushes. “If anything, I’m Shintaro.”
Bakugou laughs, low and rough, but Eijirou knows that’s what Bakugou’s pleasure sounds like. It’s the same laugh he made when Kaminari tripped down the stairs or Kirishima drop-kicked him off the obstacle course and he landed on Midoriya.
“You’re Eiko, dumbass. I’ve been trying to give you a stupid confession for weeks now. I’ve been cooking for you almost every day. I didn’t push Snakegirl out the window when she hit on you. I didn’t even punch Deku when he gave you those invasive notes he’s been taking of you nonstop. ”
Eijirou finally looks at him. He doesn’t see how Bakugou could be considered one of the least good-looking guys in their class, not when he’s making an expression like that. Looking at Eijirou like--
“I love you, too.”