It was the last night of school before winter break, and Izuku and Ochako had somehow managed to get the entire class to agree to a movie night slash pajama party to celebrate finishing their semester finals.
Katsuki had only agreed after a lot of whining, annoying, prodding, and begging from Izuku, Kirishima, Mina, Kaminari, and Sero. Weeks’ worth of it. He had finally relented day-of with an exasperated yell, slamming the pan he was holding into the kitchen counter so hard the counter cracked and pan dented. When he let go of said pan, the plastic handle was melted from his explosions, too. Momo had to make a new one while Iida chided him sternly with his weird robot arm motions. Katsuki just scoffed and avoided meeting Izuku’s happy green puppy-eyes and dopey grin.
He and Izuku had been getting closer over time, slowly, and by this point in their second year Katsuki might’ve called them friends. Not as close as they used to be, but getting there. One big development was that Izuku no longer flinched at his touch like he was expecting to be attacked (which was a valid response, Katsuki had to admit, heart aching with guilt). Instead, they were getting back to casual bumps of their shoulders or sitting a little closer than necessary on couches or around tables. Sometimes they would poke at each other. One time, Izuku came into the kitchen while Katsuki was cooking and hip-checked him, surprising him so much Katsuki crushed the egg he was holding in his fist. Katsuki would never admit how much it made his heart race, not even to himself. Especially not to himself. He would not risk his fragile friendship with Izuku like that.
There were occasional moments where Katsuki and Izuku would slip into a totally comfortable rhythm, teasing and poking at each other like they hadn’t been at each other’s throats only a year ago, laughing over jokes or even talking in sign language for the sole purpose of annoying their friends. Izuku had been trying to get his friends to learn sign language for a while, but only Tsuyu was getting it. Katsuki was fine with his classmates not knowing; the signed conversations that no one else could understand made him feel like he could still share something special with Izuku.
Izuku had starting learning sign language the second he found out about Katsuki’s hearing problems when they were six. Once he got the hearing aids, sign wasn’t as important, but it was still necessary in case of emergencies or if his hearing aids broke. Years later, at UA, it was very helpful for the two of them to communicate silently and/or over a distance, and they even used it to make plans whenever they were paired up in exams, because none of their teachers could understand it. Aizawa was the closest, and he only knew a couple simple phrases. And, of course, all the swear words so he could tell when Katsuki used them. Or at least, he thought he knew them all. There was no way for him to learn about the ones Katsuki made up, unless Izuku told him. Katsuki knew he wouldn’t though, because even pure angel Izuku himself used the made-up swears sometimes.
Right now, the whole of class 2-A was making a ruckus in the common area of their dorm. Students were milling about the tables covered in junk food that made Katsuki sick just looking at it. In the middle of pizza boxes, hamburgers, candy, over-buttered popcorn, and way too many bowls of processed chips was a single, measly platter of vegetables, if you could even call it that. It was just a bunch of carrots and few pieces of raw broccoli. Katsuki would have to fix that, but he was momentarily distracted by Mina, Izuku, and Ochako, who were a giggling mess in the middle of the so-called ‘living room’, attempting to make a fort out of all the blankets and pillows people had brought down from their rooms. Izuku was wearing All Might themed pajama bottoms and a baggy white shirt that said ‘sleep shirt’ on it in black lettering, because of course he was.
Katsuki had opted for some comfortable grey sweatpants and a looser white tank top, leaving the fleece All Might jacket he definitely did not have or sleep in back in his room. He shoved his hands into his pockets, tearing his gaze away from Izuku’s sunny freckled face and heading for the kitchen.
“Bakubro!” Kirishima called, coming up behind Katsuki and slapping his shoulder good-naturedly. “Where are you going?”
Katsuki huffed. “To make some real fucking food. The shit you idiots got is disgusting, and your all gonna die.”
“Aw, c’mon, man! It’s a party! Live a little!”
Katsuki shrugged the hand off his shoulder and made his way to the fridge. “I’m not eating greasy death food, Shitty Hair.”
“Oh, Kacchan, wait!” He heard Izuku suddenly call from wear he was sitting on a couch, leaning his head back so his face was upside down as he looked at Katsuki. “Don’t cook something!” Katsuki frowned at him and he jumped up on the couch and virtually vaulted over it, running across the room, and sliding on his socks towards Katsuki, bumping into him before he stopped. Katsuki gently bumped him back with his shoulder, making him smile. Izuku turned to the fridge and rummaged through it, then brought out a white takeout box, holding it out to Katsuki. “Here!”
Katsuki stared down at the offending box in his face. “The fuck is this?”
“Katsudon from your favorite restaurant!” Izuku answered, shoving the takeout into Katsuki, practically forcing him to grab it. “I knew you’d hate all the junk food and stuff, so I got it for you earlier today.”
Katsuki stared down at the box in his hands, feeling the tips of his ears heat up. “Uh. Thanks?”
Izuku’s grin was blinding. “You’re welcome, Kacchan!” He turned and ran back into the living room, sliding on his socks again across the hardwood floors and running into the back of the couch, falling over it with a squeak of surprise.
“Stop fucking doing that, nerd,” Katsuki called, opening the box of food and grabbing a plate. “You’re gonna break something.”
Izuku laughed. “Probably!”
Katsuki just huffed at him, making the sign for stupid by hitting a V symbol back on his forehead. Izuku grinned and signed back No, you. Katsuki then used a sign everyone in the class would know – also known as just straight up flipping Izuku off. Izuku laughed again and turned back to his attempts at a blanket fort, leaving Katsuki to warm up the katsudon in the microwave.
“So!” Ochako said suddenly, clapping her hands together. “What movie do you guys want to watch?”
“You don’t have one picked out, kero?” Tsuyu asked, poking her chin as her tongue peeked out of her mouth.
“Nope!” Ochako answered. “I wanted to try and pick something everyone likes!”
“We can always watch multiple movies!” Izuku chimed in, making Katsuki groan. He didn’t want to stay here longer than he had to. “Do you have a suggestion, Kacchan?”
“Nothing stupid and no fucking romance shit,” Katsuki answered.
Izuku tilted his head. “No romance at all? Not even the Princess Bride?”
Katsuki’s face nearly went up in flame as he glared at Izuku, who met his look with total innocence. “Shut the fuck up, Deku.” He was not planning on letting his shitty classmates know about his liking – no, tolerating - of that old Western film. He’d only watched in the first place because his hag mother and annoying father loved it. Besides, it had lots of cool action and fight scenes, the romance was a side thing.
“Aw, is Bakubro secretly a mushy romantic?” Kirishima teased with a sharktooth grin.
“Anything for you, my love!” Kirishima said, faking a swoon into Sero.
Katsuki growled at them, holding back his instinct to correct Kaminari on the inaccurate reference.
“No, Kaminari, it’s ‘as you wish’,” Izuku said anyways. “You have to get it right or Kacchan will be mad.”
“I will fucking kill all of you,” Katsuki snarled.
“Can we please go back to choosing a movie?” Ochako whined, pulling the boy’s attention back to her. Katsuki huffed, took his katsudon out of the microwave, and made his way over to the table to sit and eat.
“Let’s watch Terminator!” Kaminari suggested.
“No, that’s scary!” Hagakure protested.
“Oh, come on!”
“How about Spirited Away?” Ochako said.
“We should watch Grease!”
“Oui, the soundtrack is manifique.”
Katsuki tuned out the quickly overlapping chaos of his classmate’s discussion that he couldn’t wait to turn to an argument. Tuning out in the most literal sense, seeing as he took his bright orange and black hearing aids out and set them on the table by his plate. Maybe they’d call this whole this off, he thought as he wondered again why he’d agreed to this shitshow of human interaction. He was going to be fucking exhausted, and his sleep schedule would go to shit from staying up too late, and there was a no chance he’d enjoy whatever movie or movies the idiots finally settled on. There was literally no reason he should’ve agreed.
Unconsciously, Katsuki found that his eyes had travelled over to Izuku, who was propped up on the couch, chin resting on his hand as he jabbered on about movies or some shit. His forest green hair was as fluffy and wild as always, strands flying in every direction. The hair was a suitable match for Izuku’s soft, yet utterly chaotic personality. His kindness had a way of ramming into you like a truck sometimes. Katsuki huffed and the corner of his mouth twitched up in a momentary smile at the realization, and then the nerd caught his eyes and said something. Katsuki was too focused on the emerald green to read his lips, and he’d never been great at that anyways, so he missed whatever he said. He pointed to his ears, showing Izuku his lack of hearing aids, and Izuku’s mouth made a small o shape as he nodded and lifted his chin off his hands.
You sure you have no preference? he signed.
Whatever, Deku, Katsuki signed back, using the sign for useless as Izuku’s name, making two ‘okay’ symbols next to each other and then splaying his hands flat as he swept them down. Technically, he’s given name signs to all his friends, which was a supposedly important deaf/hard of hearing community thing, he’d learned from an online chat group. Didn’t really matter that all of the name signs he gave the dumbasses were insults.
Okay, then we decided. Put back. Izuku signed, referring to Katsuki’s hearing aids. Katsuki huffed and put the aids back in his ears, readjusting to the noise with a grimace. He grabbed his plate and washed in the kitchen sink quickly, then went to join his classmates, who were all settling in front of the TV. Katsuki searched for a seat, and his eyes landed on the open space between Izuku and the end of the couch. Before he really knew what he was doing, he jumped over the back of the couch and plopped down beside him, swinging his legs up on Izuku’s lap.
Izuku looked surprised for a second, green eyes wide, and for a moment Katsuki considered scrambling off of him and retreating back into his room, never to return. Thankfully, the surprise quickly melted into a dopey smile as Izuku met his eyes. Katsuki reached out and flicked his forehead, then grabbed the blanket around his shoulders and pulled it towards himself.
“Fucking share, you selfish bastard.”
Izuku huffed a laugh and leaned forward a bit, allowing Katsuki to dislodge the blanket and wrap it around his shoulders too. He only did it because he was a little cold. He was wearing a tank top in the dead of winter, after all, even though he did run hot. Izuku was smiling at him casually. Katsuki returned it with a twitch of his own smile, there and gone in an instant. This was good. This was what friends did.
“What did you assholes choose?” He asked, turning to the rest of his classmate, only to find them staring at him. “The fuck are you looking at?” He snapped, contorting his face into a snarl. Most of the idiots startled and looked away, but Katsuki’s friends still watched him with smiles that Katsuki didn’t like one bit. Whatever they were thinking, they needed to cut it out. It was never good when his friends got ideas.
“We’re going to watch Howl’s Moving Castle!” Ochako finally said before Katsuki could start yelling. Katsuki just grunted and settled back into his spot, pulling the fleecy blanket further around his shoulders. Izuku tugged back, and Katsuki shot him a glare. He was met with a very strange smile and weird look in Izuku’s eyes.
What’s wrong? He signed, not wanting the extras to hear him or to interrupt the movie that was starting. He suddenly got nervous, thinking he must have made Izuku uncomfortable. He despised the feeling. I can get off if you want.
Izuku’s eyes widened and he shook his head so fast Katsuki was surprised he didn’t break his neck.
All good, Kacchan. Izuku signed back, smiling. Izuku had made up his own sign for Katsuki’s name, refusing to stop the nicknames even there (to be fair, Katsuki was the same). The sign he’d made up with began with the sign for ‘friend’, hooking his fingers together, then he brought them apart with little hand explosion motions. It was such a stupid thing and Katsuki hated how much he liked it. Izuku was still signing at him. It’s just like when we were kids.
Katsuki thought about that for a second, an unwelcome warm feeling bubbling in his chest as he remembered nights spent clambering over each other on couches or tangled up as a pile of haphazard limbs in shared beds when he and Izuku were young. Before he fucked everything up. To think that Izuku was feeling the same way he did back then make Katsuki’s heart to a happy dance in his chest and he snapped at it to stop.
I guess, nerd. Katsuki said, unable to hold back another instant of a smile. He turned his attention back to the TV screen, hoping the dark room shielded and stupid blushing from view. As the movie went on and it got later, Katsuki felt himself begin to struggle to keep his eyes open, head bobbing forward. He wasn’t used to staying up past nine, but the thought of falling asleep on top of Izuku in front of all his classmates kept him awake.
Suddenly, he felt somebody poke his shoulder and looked up to meet Izuku’s green eyes.
The dog looks like a chicken, yes? Izuku signed. Katsuki could barely make out his scarred hands in the dim light from the TV.
He glanced back at the movie, watching for the dog. It did indeed have chicken-like feet.
Yeah, why? he signed back.
Izuku shrugged, shifting the blanket on his shoulders and smiling. It just reminded me of the chicken.
Katsuki frowned, furrowing his brows and trying to figure out what Izuku was talking about. He came up blank and was about to ask Izuku what the hell he was on, when the realization suddenly hit him; Izuku was talking about the chicken, the one from his great uncle’s farm that he and Izuku had visited when they were kids. His eyes widened and a snort burst from his throat, the first bits of laughter he tried to hold back. He ultimately failed on that end, slapping a hand over his mouth to muffle his uncontrollable bout of giggles. Only Izuku could get him to giggle, which was so stupid, in Katsuki’s opinion.
He hated that he giggled. He didn’t do it in a charming way. Not even in a cute way, though that would suck too. No, Katsuki giggled like a maniac clown crazy person. Cackling and snorting all included.
He squeezed his nose, trying to hold his breath to stop the laughing as he doubled over, shaking. He heard Izuku’s own muffled giggling above him. Now that, Katsuki thought, was what people who giggled were supposed to be like and sound like. Cute. Soft.
Not Katsuki’s ugly ass real laugh he always tried to hide. He found the giggles and snorts embarrassing and very much not badass, totally not the Bakugou Katsuki image he put out to anyone but Izuku.
He couldn’t stop it now though, the laughter overtaking him as he squealed and snorted like a dying pig at the reminder of his childhood rivalry with a literal fucking chicken. He could feel all his classmates watching him, but nobody shushed him. Katsuki hoped it was out of fear and intimidation, nothing else. He really needed to pull himself together. He heaved in a deep breath and unfolded himself, and then he met Izuku’s eyes again and Izuku leaned in way too close. His cheeks went very, very warm.
“Do you think-” Izuku whispered, cutting himself off with a tiny giggle. “Do you think she still has the egg?”
All hope of saving the last shreds of his pride went out the window as Katsuki burst into loud laughter with no hand over his mouth to muffle the sound. He shoved Izuku back and buried his face in his hands as his abs ached from the cackling.
“Fuck you!” He managed, trying to glare at Izuku, still laughing with a stupid smile he couldn’t get rid of. “Why would you bring her into this?” He said, trying for his own joke.
Izuku burst into giggled that sounded like bells and Katsuki’s heart leapt for joy. He’d gotten Izuku to laugh.
“You know how I feel about her!” He pushed on, laughing harder as Izuku laughed harder with him. His cheeks hurt from smiling too wide too long. “Bastard!”
“I feel-” Izuku’s shoulders shook with laughter as he leaned towards Katsuki. “I feel guilty about it.”
“Do not,” Katsuki said, making a fist in Izuku’s fluffy green hair and jerking his head back and forth lightly. He snorted another laugh. “She was a monster and she deserved everything she got and more. We should’ve eaten her.”
“Yo, what the hell are you guys talking about?” Kaminari suddenly cut in. They’d paused the movie, and every pair of eyes in the room was on them.
“You want to eat somebody?” Ochako squeaked, eyes wide and expression horrified. It just made Katsuki and Izuku laugh even more.
“No!” Izuku gasped, waving his hands in the air. “No-he’s..hah-talking about chicken.”
“I’m talking about an evil bitch that tried to ruin my life,” Katsuki said, reveling in the new bout of Izuku giggles he caused as he ruffled the other boy’s hair and lifted his hand out.
“She was a chicken!” Izuku squealed, wiping actual tears from his eyes. Katsuki’s pride swelled in his chest. It had been a decade since he’d made Izuku laugh so hard he cried. Izuku let out a ‘phew’ as he tried to calm down, laying back on the couch. “Sorry, guys, we interrupted the movie. My fault. Kacchan and I can go somewhere else to calm down.”
The suggestion made Katsuki’s heart skip a beat, but then Sero had to ruin it.
“Wait, you can’t go without telling us about the chicken!” He protested. “That’s the first time I’ve heard Blasty laugh! What’s up with the chicken?” The rest of the class chimed in with agreements and pleas. Katsuki felt his cheeks heat up at the mention of his stupid laugh, but he was too elated by his achievement with Izuku to let it get him down.
Izuku giggled again. “Okay, there was this chicken named-” Izuku was cut off by Katsuki’s hand clamping over his mouth.
“Don’t you dare say the evil witch’s name! It gives her too much fucking power.”
Izuku pried Katsuki’s hand off his face, laughing with a bright smile, even in the dim room. Katsuki marveled at how…perfect he looked when he laughed, even in his pajamas in the dark, with hair all messed up and stuck flat at the back of his head. And then Katsuki realized Izuku was still holding his wrist in his scarred hand. He made no move to shake his grip off.
“In fact,” Katsuki continued, staring at Izuku, “you have to stop talking about her completley. She’ll know. She’ll curse us with her little witch bird tricks.”
The both of them burst into a fresh spell of giggling, leaning into each other and knocking heads. To be honest, Katsuki had said it wanting to make Izuku laugh again, but also because he’d suddenly felt possessive of the private childhood memory. He didn’t want it shared, as stupid and embarrassing as that was.
Izuku’s hair tickled his nose and he was suddenly struck by how close they were, Katsuki all but sitting on Izuku’s lap as Izuku leaned toward and him and held his arm. It felt so much like childhood and yet completley different, because when they were 6 years old, Izuku didn’t take his breath away like this. He settled into the comfortable familiarity of the shared laughter and secret jokes nonetheless, maybe even relishing it a bit.
Okay, he relished it more than a bit. He relished it a lot.
He made Izuku laugh like that, with a memory only the two of them shared. He did that. He finally did that after all these years. He wanted to do it again and again for the rest of his life, just to see Izuku’s face as he laughed.
“Kacchan!” Izuku snickered. “Fine, the chicken can stay between us.”
Katsuki heart flip-flopped like a dead fish as his joy fizzed over. “I hope she’s dead with the stupid egg,” he said, pushing for more laughs and chest bursting when he received them. And then Izuku was shoving him off the couch and pulling him to his feet with the hand that was still around his wrist.
“Okay, Kacchan, we’re going to go calm down,” Izuku said through panted breaths and giggles. “Sorry for interrupting the movie night, go on without us. We’ll be back soon.”
Katsuki was too high on happy feelings to resist when Izuku dragged him across the room and into the elevators.
Izuku had to be dreaming or something, because if he was not mistaken, Katsuki was being way more than just plain nice to him. Katsuki was being his friend again. First, he’d verbally thanked Izuku for the katsudon instead of yelling about being able to take care of himself like Izuku had expected. Second, he sat right next to Izuku on the instead of alone, as far as way from the class as he could get like he normally did. He then put his legs up on Izuku’s lap and forced him to share the blanket, a familiar echo of their very boundary-less behavior as young kids. Izuku had nearly passed out from giddy joy and thought there was no way this day could get any better.
And then, he saw the dog with chicken feet in the movie and decided to try his luck one more time.
At first, Katsuki looked confused, and Izuku thought he’d blown it. Then, all of a sudden, Katsuki’s red eyes went wide. And Katsuki laughed. Actually laughed like Izuku hadn’t heard him do in forever. He slapped a hand over his mouth and made all his amazing Kacchan giggles and snorts that Izuku missed so much, and Izuku laughed right with him, and before he knew it Katsuki was cracking jokes and playing along. At least, Izuku thought he was joking. There was no way he could that much contempt for a chicken. Maybe. This was Katsuki he was talking about, after all.
Now, he had somehow managed to drag Katsuki out of the common room and into the elevators without getting blown up, the both of them still giggling like toddlers. Katsuki snorted again and Izuku’s heart jumped in his chest.
When the elevator doors closed, Katsuki slumped back into the wall and started sliding down. Izuku tried to let go of his arm to avoid being pulled to the ground with him, but to his shock and delight, Katsuki grabbed his wrist and yanked him down anyways.
He hit the floor with a small yelp and laughed. Katsuki let go of his arm, tilting his head back to rest it against the elevator wall. He reached up and hit the button to the second floor, seemingly at random since he had his eyes closed. Izuku slid himself across the floor to sit next to Katsuki, the cold metal cooling down his heated body.
“What the fuck was that, nerd?” Katsuki suddenly asked as the elevator jolted and started up.
Izuku smiled at the ceiling. “I just thought of the chicken and wondered if you remembered, too.”
Katsuki grumbled. “Of course I remember my arch-fucking-nemesis.”
“I thought I was your nemesis,” Izuku teased, bumping their shoulders together.
“You will always be second to the chicken, Deku.”
Izuku laughed, reveling in the comfortable back and forth. “Aw, man. Lost to a chicken.”
“’S ‘cause you’re not evil. You’re my rival, not my enemy.”
The sincere tone of Katsuki’s words made Izuku’s breath catch, and he slowly tipped his head over to look at Katsuki’s profile. He was watching the ceiling intently, looking serious and thoughtful. The flickering light from the elevator shone down on his face and caught his ruby eyes, making them almost glitter. He decided to take another chance since everything else was going to well, and dropped his head onto Katsuki’s shoulder.
“Thanks, Kacchan,” he murmured, breathing in the smell of laundry detergent from Katsuki’s tank top.
“For what?” Katsuki asked, making no move to push Izuku off. “I didn’t say anything to be thanked for.”
“I meant for being my friend,” Izuku said truthfully. He had missed Katsuki’s friendship so much and had almost given up on the idea that he’d ever get through to him until that night at Ground Beta back in first year. He would never give up on Katsuki completley, but he was resigning himself to the idea of always being at this distance. Katsuki proved him wrong. Since then, Katsuki had been the one person who knew everything. Not even All Might or Izuku’s mother knew as much as Katsuki did. He didn’t go to either one of the adults when he woke up shaking and crying in the middle of the night. He didn’t go to them when he felt scared out of his mind about whether or not he could handle One for All or taking the place of the Symbol of Peace. He went to Katsuki. And Katsuki was there, albeit grumbling and complaining all the way, but there nonetheless.
Katsuki grunted beside him. “Whatever. Not gonna keep being your friend for long if you make me laugh like that in front the shitty extras again.”
“Aw, but I love your laugh, Kacchan!” Izuku teased, not lying at all. When he glanced up, Katsuki’s cheeks looked red, and Izuku wondered if he was overheating. The elevator stopped and the door slid open, but neither boy moved.
“Shut the fuck up.”
“Not my fault I’m hilarious,” Izuku said, reaching over to poke Katsuki’s cheek. Katsuki responded with a hand on his face to shove him back off of him. Izuku snickered at his glare, no longer intimidated by it. Most of the time, at least. In battle, Katsuki’s glares and grins were still frightening as hell.
Katsuki hoisted himself to his feet. “You aren’t fucking funny, nerd.”
Izuku scrambled up beside him, following him out in the hall. “Oh yeah? I bet I can make you laugh again.”
“Fat chance, nerd.” Katsuki suddenly reached up and dug his fingers into Izuku’s messed up hair, ruffling it around and shoving his head down lightly. “No fucking chicken.”
Izuku giggled, ducking out from Katsuki’s hold with a blush. That was the second time today Katsuki had touched his hair like that. He didn’t understand the way it made him feel, but it was a good feeling. He tapped his chin with his finger and made and exaggerated thinking sound.
“Why did the chicken cross the road?” He finally said.
Katsuki whipped around to stare at him with an expression that was definitely him holding back laughter with a glare, his eyes wide and mouth twitching. Izuku broke into tiny giggles and poked Katsuki’s side, breaking his concentration and making him let out a half-laugh, half-scoff.
“Fuck you, I said no chickens!”
“I wasn’t talking about the chicken!” Izuku said, chest bubbly with the sound of Katsuki’s laughter.
“Doesn’t matter!” Katsuki said through a suppressed laugh. Izuku laughed one more time and smiled up his old friend, emerald eyes meeting ruby ones. Their gazes caught for a second, neither boy looking away. Izuku didn’t know why, but he suddenly felt flustered and challenged at the same time. He clung to the feeling of challenge that he was much more used to when it came to Katsuki and refused to break the eye contact. They used to do this when they were kids; their eyes would meet across a space and suddenly they both understood that they were having a staring contest. But this time, Izuku felt more than the contest drawing him into the crimson red. Katsuki had beautiful eyes, Izuku realized. Unconsciously, his gaze softened as he tilted his head and a small smile spread across his face.
Unexpectedly, Katsuki’s cheek went pink and he broke the eye contact first, glaring at the floor. Izuku broke into a grin and pumped his fists.
“Ha! I win!” Izuku whooped. He had never won the staring contests before. The one time he’d gotten close, Katsuki scared him into blinking with an explosion.
“Shut up! You didn’t win anything!” Katsuki snapped, cheeks still pink. Izuku briefly wondered if he was sick, but brushed it off, figuring that Katsuki wouldn’t want him butting in if he was. He’d bring him soup or something later.
“I totally won the staring contest, Kacchan! Now you gotta buy me ice cream!” Izuku said, leaning in towards Katsuki.
Katsuki pushed him backwards, not hard enough to make him fall, though. “Since when is that a rule?”
“Since I made it up just now,” Izuku announced, sticking a finger in the air. “You always made me do stuff when I lost so now it’s my turn.”
“I’m not fucking buying you ice cream.”
Izuku huffed and crossed his arms over his chest. “That is a total breach of the code, Kacchan.”
Katsuki looked at him like he had two heads, in utter confusion. “The what?”
Izuku moved to his side and wrapped and arm around his broad shoulders. “The unspoken code, Kacchan,” he said, like it should’ve been obvious. In all honesty, he was making this up on the spot.
“What the fuck are you on, nerd?” Katsuki flicked his forehead, something Izuku had come to recognize as a possible sign of affection. “There is no code!”
“Not true, Kacchan. Kirishima was telling me all about the bro code yesterday.”
“Never listen to a thing Shitty Hair says, Deku.”
Izuku ignored him and reached the arm that was wrapped around Katsuki shoulders up to ruffle his blonde spikes. Katsuki slapped his hand away. “I’m saying that we obviously have an unspoken bro code of our own! I mean, we knew that was a staring contest without having to say it.”
“Okay, one, you shitty nerd,” Katsuki said, ducking out from under Izuku’s arm and swapping their positions. Now, Katsuki’s arm was around Izuku’s shoulder. “It isn’t an unspoken code if you fucking speak of it. Two, if we did have this so-called code, you one-hundred percent broke it by mentioning the demon chicken.”
“You still owe me ice cream, Kacchan, stop trying to get out of it.”
Izuku yelped a laugh and dodged as Katsuki took a good-natured swing at him, pulling away and dashing back towards the elevators. He slipped on the floor with his socks, sending him into a flailing slide until he hit the elevators doors with a metallic bang and fell backwards on his butt. He groaned and flopped back onto the floor, squinting up at the ceiling lights.
They were suddenly blocked out by the silhouette of a spiky blonde head as Katsuki came into view above him, looking almost concerned.
“I fucking told you that you were gonna break something, Deku,” he snapped. “Apparently it’s gonna be your own ass.”
“Not fair, I didn’t mean to slide that time,” Izuku whined. He put up grabby hands at Katsuki above him. “Help me up please?”
Yet another surprise, Katsuki huffed, moving to stand over Izuku and taking his hands to pull him up. “Useless fucking...” Katsuki trailed off as the boys simultaneously realized that they were standing very close, Izuku practically smushing Katsuki into the wall, and holding hands. Izuku startled backwards at the same time Katsuki let go of his hands and pushed him back.
They stood there for a second, staring at each other with flushed cheeks in the awkward silence.
Izuku did his best to swallow the butterflies in his stomach. “I prefer chocolate ice cream.”
Katsuki’s face returned to its normal glare and he growled at Izuku. “You are insufferable.”
Izuku grinned. “Thanks, Kacchan! You too!”
Katsuki just rolled his eyes as Izuku pushed past him to press the elevator button. Once they got inside, Izuku started jabbering about what they might have missed in the movie, and Katsuki looked him dead in the eyes before clicking his hearing aids off. Izuku just started signing at him, to which Katsuki looked away. By the time the elevators doors chimed open in the main floor, Izuku was trying to stay in front of Katsuki as Katsuki slowly spun in circles to avoid watching his hands. Izuku couldn’t help but notice the tiny smile on his face, so he didn’t let up. That is, until Katsuki stepped out the elevator and just closed his eyes.
“I can’t hear or see you, Deku. Begone,” he announced with a dismissive wave of his hand.
Izuku snickered and grabbed onto his arm, yanking on it to try and get his attention. Katsuki kept his eyes firmly shut and walked towards the middle of the room, Izuku dragging behind him, latched onto his bicep. Izuku was too busy paying attention to the feel of Katsuki’s muscled arms and the sly smile on his face to notice their surroundings, and there was a sudden screech and bang as Katsuki ran straight into a chair and stumbled forward, eyes shooting open.
“Fuck!” He yelled, kicking the chair. He clicked his hearing aids back on. “Stupid fucking chair.”
“That’s why you don’t walk around with your eyes closed, Kacchan,” Izuku said, not loosening his grip on Katsuki’s strong arm.
“Shut it, nerd,” Katsuki growled.
“I thought you two left to calm down!” Mina called from the living room area, where their classmates had again paused the movie to watch the boy’s antics.
“We did calm down! Kacchan was being dumb.”
“Fuck you!” Katsuki snapped, smacking Izuku upside the head, making him release the hold on his arm.
Izuku rubbed the back of his head and grinned wildly at his friend. “Ooh, you’re using Auntie’s moves now, I see.” Izuku got a mischievous glint in his eyes. “You always were so much like you mom, Kacchan!”
Katsuki’s indignant shriek resounded through the room and in a flash, he pulled Izuku into a headlock and rubbed a fist on the top of his head. “You fucker! Take that back!”
Izuku laughed, trying to wriggle out of the hold. “Kacchan, let me go!”
“Not until you take that back.”
“But I love your mom! And you are a lot like her!” He teased again, knowing how much Katsuki hated being compared to his mother. People had been doing it pretty much since he was born, and Izuku was pretty sure that’s why he always tried to hide his real smile, instead using his snarky snarl smile. When he smiled his natural smile, Katsuki was the spitting image of Bakugou Mitsuki, every bit his mother’s son. It was a rare, special sight to see.
Katsuki glared down at him and tightened his grip. “I am not like that old hag!”
“Okay, fine, I take it back! You’re nothing like Auntie!” Izuku finally relented. Katsuki huffed and released him, and Izuku quickly ducked away and stood up straight, trying to fix his hair.
“Yeah, you two totally calmed down,” Kaminari deadpanned from his spot on the floor next to Shinso and Jirou.
“Shut your mouth, Dunce Face,” Katsuki growled at the same time Izuku said, “Sorry!” They both shot sideways glances at each other and their eyes met again. Izuku grinned a lopsided grin and Katsuki quickly glared and looked away.
“Ha! Two bowls of ice cream now!”
“I’m not buying you ice cream!” Katsuki yelled, throwing his hands up.
“But Kacchan, the code!”
“There is no code!”
“Kirishimaaaaa!” Izuku called, turning to search for the wild red hair in the pile of his classmates. “Kacchan is trying to break the bro code.”
“Bro!” Kirishima protested, looking at Katsuki like he was genuinely offended. Maybe he was. “That is one of the least manly things you could ever do!”
Katsuki gave and exasperated yell, then made an aggressive show of turning his hearing aids back off before stomping into the kitchen. Izuku met Kirishima’s eyes and shook his head at Katsuki, and Kirishima did the same thing back. Izuku smiled and made his way back to his seat on the couch, curling up into the armrest.
“Sorry for interrupting again!”
“You and Bakugou are very…energetic, today,” Momo said, watching him.
Izuku shrugged. “I guess. We used to be like this all the time as kids, so…” Izuku then grinned, warm at the thought that he and Katsuki could be making their way back to their old friendship.
“I pity your parents,” Sero said, smirking.
Izuku pouted at him. “I was a delightful child, thank you very much.”
Izuku smiled. “He was just as cool as he always was! Kacchan’s always been amazing!”
Before any of their classmates could respond, there was tap on Izuku’s shoulder and he turned as a bowl was shoved into his face. He grabbed it gently and brought it down to see two scoops of chocolate ice cream with whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, and chocolate sauce and looked up to find Katsuki glaring at him with his upper lip curled in annoyance.
“Thanks, Kacchan!” Izuku said, signing along haphazardly with his one free hand. He guessed Katsuki was following the code after all. Though, it was even more surprising that he’d added Izuku’s favorite toppings without Izuku asking.
Katsuki got the message, because he signed back, Eat shit and die, one of his favorite phrases since childhood. Stupid Deku. he tacked onto the end.
“Oh, hey, I know that one!” Mina piped up from her pile of pillows. “Eat shit and die, then something I didn’t get.”
“How do you know that?” Izuku asked as Katsuki jumped over the couch and settled in beside him.
“Bakugou uses it all the time so I looked it up. It’s also pretty easy to see.”
Izuku snorted a laugh and Katsuki gave him a look. Izuku put his ice cream bowl down on the coffee table in front of them to free his hands.
Turn back on, Kacchan. Won’t explain. Izuku signed at him. He grabbed his ice cream and took a bite as Katsuki huffed and turned his hearing aids back up.
“What’s that one mean?” Sero said, trying to copy Izuku’s finger-link-explosion sign. “You use it a lot.” Izuku smiled, remembering how excited he’d been when he made it up as a kid. He’d thought it was perfect, because Katsuki was his friend, and he was explosive. He’s shown it to Katsuki, and Katsuki responded by saying Izuku’s name sign would be ‘useless’, because he was ‘a Deku’, but that sign and nickname had since developed into something different. More of a friendly nickname than a demeaning one.
“I made that one up! This means friend” – Izuku hooked his fingers together and switched them back and forth – “And this is an explosion” – Izuku put his hand together in fists then blasted them apart. “Together they mean Kacchan!” He finished.
Katsuki elbowed him in the shoulder. “Yeah, and none of you fuckers can use it.”
“Aw! Why not?” Mina moaned. She suddenly waggled her eyebrows. “Is it a special thing only your Deku can use?” Izuku blushed at the phrasing and Katsuki whipped a pillow at Mina’s face. If anything, he was doing her a favor by helping her build up her hoard. She had nearly every pillow they’d brought down.
“Because that’s how it fucking works. You dumbasses can’t even use sign so you don’t get to call me anything in it.”
“Kero kero, what about me?” Tsuyu asked, the only one in the class besides Izuku and Katsuki to have any understanding of sign.
Katsuki squinted at her for a second, as if sizing her up, then brought up his hands. Little frog can call me BK. he signed, a bit slower than normal, evidently testing Tsuyu’s knowledge.
Tsuyu nodded. Okay, BK.
Katsuki gave her a look Izuku could recognize as respect, not indifference, and leaned back into the couch. That happened to make him slide to the side a little, and soon he was leaning against Izuku’s legs. Izuku smiled and tossed the fleece blanket over the two of them. He noticed Katsuki’s crimson eyes flutter open and closed a little as he pulled the blanket up to his neck, and his heart stuttered at the sight. Katsuki was up a lot later than he usually was, he must be tired. But why did he look so…pretty when he was sleepy?
The thought of Katsuki as pretty made Izuku cheeks burn and he turned his attention back to the paused movie on the TV and his bowl of ice cream.
“Are we going to start now?” He asked, trying to sound casual and not like his heart was racing out of his chest.
“Do you want us to catch you up to speed?” Ochako asked from her seat by Tsuyu.
Izuku waved a hand. “No, I’ll get it, it’s okay.” Ochako shrugged and played the movie, and Izuku could barely pay attention, all of focus directed at the weight of sleepy, warm, pretty Katsuki against his legs. Why did he keep thinking of Katsuki as pretty?
He slowly dragged his eyes over Katsuki’s profile in the dim light from the TV, his neon orange and black hearing aids standing out glaringly in his ashy blonde hair. When they were young, Katsuki had freaked out about needing hearing aids, claiming them to be for stupid, weak people. But then Izuku had shown him his pages of notes on how his hearing aids could help him with hero work, and his attitude flipped. In fact, he became so confident in his partial deafness that he made a very purposeful decision to get the bright, totally unhidden aids he had now. He wasn’t hiding that stuff from anyone, and if someone tried to bring it up to insult him, he’d yell at them so bad they were the one with hearing loss.
That kind of confidence was one of the things Izuku admired so much about his childhood friend. He’d always admired Katsuki, for a lot of reasons, that much he understood and embraced. What he didn’t get was the new admiration of the way his eyelashes fluttered when he blinked, or the way his choppy bangs fell over his eyebrows and framed the sharpness of his ruby-red eyes. Or the admiration of the gentle slope of his nose down to his lips and the loosened curve of his jaw when he wasn’t clenching it in anger.
Izuku squinted at Katsuki despite himself, trying to understand. Since when did he notice these things? Of course, he always knew Katsuki was objectively an attractive teenaged boy. Especially next to Izuku, who was completley plain. And he’d noticed the attractiveness before, but not like this. He had never thought of Katsuki as pretty, or handsome, or any of that. It was a strange, the normal feelings of care and admiration for his friend mixed up with something new. He didn’t like not knowing his own feelings.
Suddenly, he felt a weight on his knees and realized Katsuki had slumped over and dropped his head sideways on Izuku’s knees. Izuku couldn’t tell if he was awake or not, but he didn’t dare move in case he scared him off. His heart was going bonkers in his chest that felt like melted, mushy butter. He couldn’t stop his dopey grin as he started eating his ice cream. The ice cream that Katsuki had brought him, despite saying he wouldn’t.
Katsuki was hardly conscious anymore. His eyelids felt heavy as they fluttered, and his muscles stopped holding him up, making him flop to the side. Something was there to catch him, though he wasn’t totally sure what. Either way, he felt comfortable wrapped in the soft blanket in the dark room, and the sound coming from the movie blurred together into a constant white noise.
He decided he’d rest his eyes for second, and they shot back open when he heard loud voices. He jolted upright, searching his surroundings, and suddenly realized that the movie was no longer playing, and his classmates were up and moving around. Did he fall asleep? That wasn’t good.
He turned his head to see what he’d fallen asleep on, and nearly fell backwards of the couch when he was met with emerald eyes and that pretty sunny smile.
“Hi, Kacchan!” Izuku said, sounding strange and muffled. Katsuki grimaced at the noise and reached up to fiddle his hearing aids back into place. Izuku’s eyebrows quirked up and he signed, Can you hear me?
“I can now,” Katsuki responded, trying to ignore the wild beating of his heart. He had fallen asleep, on top of Izuku, in the middle of the dorms, in front of his class. He winced as the voices of his classmates got even louder, and quickly switched his hearing aids off when he heard them arguing about what movie to watch next. He was too tired to deal with that. Never mind, they’re too loud, he signed at Izuku.
Izuku smiled and looked like he was laughing, which made Katsuki feel all weird and fuzzy inside. He hated this.
Are you going to bed? Izuku asked.
Katsuki looked out at his classmates, splayed out over pillows and couches, talking and laughing with each other, a few people arguing over the remote in the middle of the room as others just watched. It seemed like chaos, and he was so tired, so he almost said yes. But when he turned back to Izuku, Izuku was watching him with a slightly tilted head, green eyes wide like a puppy, freckles covering his face, his forest hair all messy and cute.
After seeing that, when he went to answer, his hands made the wrong motions and he ended up responding with a No, I’ll stay.
Izuku beamed at him and clapped his hands together, but then he frowned. You sure? Don’t want to tire you.
Katsuki glared at him. Shut up. Not tired. It was a very obvious lie, because Katsuki had just fallen asleep on top of the other boy and they both knew it, but his pride wouldn’t stand. Besides, the short nap had made him feel a little more awake.
Okay, Izuku signed back. He then signed something else, but Katsuki had a hard time seeing it in the dark room. All he caught was the end, with Izuku clasping his hands together horizontally in what Katsuki initially recognized as the sign for marriage.
His heart jolted at the sight, then calmed when he realized Izuku was actually making the sign for hamburger. For some reason, he decided to mess with Izuku and go with his first thought.
At least 3 dates before that, he signed, face totally serious as his heart raced. Why was he doing this?
Izuku’s green eyes went wide as dinner plates and Katsuki could tell he was spluttering nonsense even without being able to really hear him. Okay, well maybe that reaction was worth it.
Marriage is kind of sudden, he continued. Izuku looked even more flustered and confused, cheeks turning red. He then made a face of realization, mouth forming an O, and reached across the couch to hit Katsuki’s shoulder.
That’s not what I said! He protested, face still flushed. Katsuki’s feelings felt like a jumbled mess, mostly elation at the fact that he made Izuku blush and was able to mess with him in a way that wasn’t malicious or hurtful.
This is a weird place to propose, Katsuki signed, unable to stop himself. Izuku’s eyes went wide as his entire freckled face went red and he yelled something, sitting up on the couch. He then slapped a hand over his mouth and slumped back, head down in embarrassment.
Katsuki clicked his hearing aids back on to a silent room, every student staring at Izuku as he curled into a ball on the couch, arms over his head.
“Nerd, what the fuck did you say?” Katsuki poked his forearm, but Izuku just mumbled something incoherent and didn’t respond. Katsuki looked at his classmates in confusion. “Why is he doing that?” Mina suddenly started giggling as Kaminari cackled, Sero and Kirishima snickering next to them. “What the fuck is going on?” Katsuki snapped.
Kirishima pushed Mina upright, as she was falling on top of him in her laughter. “He said he wasn’t proposing to you here,” he said, grinning with an eyebrow raised.
Katsuki barked a laugh and turned to jab Izuku in the arm. “I was fucking messing with you, idiot.”
Izuku poked his head up, pouting like an angry bunny, face still pinked. “I take back my offer of food, Kacchan.”
“I don’t want a greasy death burger anyways, nerd.” Izuku put a foot on his chest and tipped him back with a light kick, so Katsuki grabbed him by the ankle and stood, starting to drag him off the couch.
“Ah!” Izuku yelped, trying to grab onto the couch arms to stop himself. “Kacchan! Stop it!” With grunt of effort – the nerd had too much muscle mass – Katsuki grabbed his other ankle and pulled him fully off the couch, lifting him up so he hung upside down. Izuku’s loose shirt slid down his chest, exposing a scarred set of abs. Katsuki tried not to look as Izuku scrambled in his hands, trying to reach up and pry Katsuki’s fingers off his legs.
“Kacchan!” Izuku whined, swinging back and forth as blood rushed into his face. “Put me down or we’re never getting married.”
Izuku hit the ground with a yelp and crash, legs slamming into the table, catapulting an innocent paper plate into the air and sending the chips flying everywhere.
“WHAT THE FUCK?” Katsuki’s face was burning and his heart was beating so hard it was going to burst out of his chest.
“Owww,” Izuku groaned on the ground, laying out like a starfish with one leg up in the table, eyes closed and face scrunched up in pain. “That really hurt, Kacchan.”
Katsuki’s friends had dissolved into a cackling pile on the floor. Katsuki just stared down at Izuku on the floor, jaw clenched, face as red as his wide eyes.
“Deku!” Ochako cried, rushing to her friend’s side. “Are you okay?”
“If I broke another bone like this Recovery Girl is gonna be so mad,” Izuku moaned, opening his eyes. “And I’m going to tell on you, Kacchan.”
Katsuki glared down at him, heart and mind still racing with echoes of Put me down or we’re never getting married. Before he could find anything to say, Ochako was shoving a finger in his face.
“Bakugou! That was dangerous, you hurt Deku!” She chided.
“Tch.” Katsuki moved away from her hand and got back into Izuku’s sightline, then started signing at him, not trusting the way his voice might sound if he spoke. I already rejected your proposal.
Izuku squinted up at him. “No, you didn’t,” He pointed out verbally. “You said 3 dates first.” Izuku eyes went wide and a blush spread over his face at the same time Katsuki’s face heated. “I mean-I didn’t propose in the first place! Gah-my head hurts.” Izuku winced and reached a hand up to his forehead, and Katsuki felt a twinge of guilt. He leaned down to help him up, but in a green flash there was a fist on the collar of his shirt and foot on his stomach, and Izuku rolled over and slammed Katsuki into the ground, squished next to the couch.
Katsuki wheezed, grabbing Izuku’s arms and trying to wrestle him off as the other boy grinned. Katsuki glared at him with a glint in his eye, suddenly energized.
“Playing dirty now, Deku?”
“You started,” Izuku responded, raising an eyebrow.
Katsuki’s grin turned feral and jolted up to headbutt Izuku in the chest, sending him backwards and lessening the weight on Katsuki’s chest. Katsuki took the opportunity to jump up and rush Izuku while he was still trying to get balanced, but suddenly he felt a slap on his shoulder and floated into the air, flailing around.
He ended up upside down, glaring as he met Ochako’s brown eyes. She glared back at him.
“No fighting inside!”
“Let me down, Hamster face!” Katsuki screeched, scrambling around to try and get upright. He may be used to flying with his blasts, but he couldn’t float like Izuku or Ochako, so he was out of his element here. He bumped into the ceiling as Ochako shook her head at him.
“How about in the air?” Izuku asked, activating his quirk and levitating a few feet off the ground. Apparently, he was just as eager to spar as Katsuki was. Sparring was what they normally did, not all the touchy friendship stuff they’d been trying out today. They both wanted something normal for a second. Katsuki’s feral grin returned and he positioned himself on the ceiling, ready to shove off and meet Izuku in the air.
“No!” Iida said loudly, grabbing Izuku’s ankle and pulling him the ground at the same time Tsuyu shot her tongue out and pulled Katsuki down from the ceiling. “This is inappropriate behavior for young heroes!”
“Get away from me!” Katsuki shrieked, scrambling out of Tsuyu’s tongue hold. Suddenly, his gravity returned and he fell to ground with a thud and yell. He caught Ochako smirking as she steepled her fingers, so snarled at her.
“Aw, come on Iida!” Izuku whined, deactivating his quirk and dropping to the ground lightly. “We’re just having fun!”
“Midoriya,” Todoroki said, “you and Bakugou would destroy the dorm.”
“Shut up, IcyHot!” Katsuki snapped on impulse. He may be kind of friends with Todoroki now, but he was still on thin ice.
Izuku sighed and deflated, the last bits of One for All’s green lighting dissipating around him. “Okay, maybe we would.”
“Maybe?” Kaminari echoed, incredulous. “Dude, we all saw what you did to Ground Beta last year. You totally destroyed, like, a whole city block!”
Izuku and Katsuki met eyes in silent communication, both remembering that night. They had destroyed quite a bit, but it was a very different situation than some friendly sparring. There was a lot more tension. That was probably the last time they’d come to blows for real, instead of just as practice.
“We don’t fight like that anymore…” Izuku started, shrugging and breaking the eye contact. “Besides, I’d win this time.”
Katsuki jumped to his feet and growled at him. “Fat fucking chance!”
“Stop it already!” Ochako snapped, stepping between them.
“Yeah, you two need to get to wedding planning, not fighting!” Izuku and Katsuki both whirled around to stare at a mischievously grinning Mina.
“Fucking what?” Katsuki yelled as Izuku squeaked, “What?”
“I suggest a springtime wedding!” Kirishima added, joining in with Mina’s tease. “The cherry blossoms are gorgeous in the spring.”
Katsuki’s face went up in flame as he lunged at the two of them, but Kirishima was quick enough to shove him off balance and onto a couch. His screeches were drowned out by their laughter, and he jumped up on the couch, glaring down at them.
“I will fucking kill you!” He growled.
“I didn’t propose to Kacchan!” Izuku said behind him.
“And we’re not getting married!” Katsuki yelled in agreement. For some reason, his brain supplied ‘not yet at least’. He growled at the thought, then glared at his classmates, who were all laughing. He switched off his hearing aids and drank in the silence, suddenly feeling tired again. He swayed a bit on his feet and dropped onto the couch, laying back and glaring at the ceiling.
Izuku appeared above him. You okay? he signed.
I’m going to kill them, Katsuki signed back.
Izuku looked at the class, then back at Katsuki. Tempting, but please don’t. They are friends.
Not anymore. Katsuki responded. He thought for a second as Izuku laughed, then continued. You’re my only friend now.
Izuku’s green eyes went wide and brimmed with immediate tears. Katsuki jolted into motion but was too late, and Izuku landed on top of him heavily, knocking the air from his lungs and squeezing him in a bone crushing hug. Katsuki hadn’t called Izuku his friend out loud (or in sign) since…well, maybe he’d never done it. He couldn’t remember. He’d expected a reaction, but not for Izuku to jump on top of him and smush him into the couch. Inexplicably, he wasn’t complaining about it. He still refused to hug Izuku back, though.
He flicked Izuku’s forehead to get him to look up and shimmied his arms up and out of the other boy’s hold so he could sign. Don’t get a big head, nerd.
Izuku beamed at him, eyes misty, and squeezed Katsuki’s waist tighter. Katsuki blushed in response and shoved a hand over Izuku’s face, rolling him to the side as he finally released him from the hug. They ended up squished side by side on the couch, Izuku half on top of Katsuki, laying his head on his shoulder. The messy green hair tickled Katsuki’s lips and he tried to blow them away with a puff of air, but they just fell back. He had to crick his neck to look at Izuku and found him smiling upwards, sniffling.
Katsuki was about to call him a crybaby and maybe even wipe away the tears when Izuku’s green eyes widened and he shot up, shoving his hand into Katsuki’s stomach as he did. Katsuki jolted up and wheezed, hooking an arm around Izuku’s waist to keep him from toppling off the couch. He clicked his hearing aids back on, assuming Izuku had heard something that shocked him.
“What the fuck, Deku?” Izuku started and turned to face Katsuki, and they met eyes nose-to-nose. Katsuki was suddenly very aware that, in his haste to stop Izuku from falling off the couch, he had pulled his friend onto his lap and was pressing him into himself with an arm against a solid waist. Both boys froze, eyes locked and wide. The tiny space between them felt charged and ready to snap. Katsuki really hoped this was another staring contest thing.
“Are you sure you’re not getting married?” Kaminari said, cutting the tension and shocking them away from each other. Katsuki let go of Izuku as he scrambled backwards and fell to the floor, and Katsuki brought his feet up onto the couch and leaned away.
“Shut the fuck up, Dunce Face!” Katsuki snapped. He was regretting that joke more each second.
“Were we not going to watch another film?” Momo asked, frowning.
“This is much more interesting,” Mina said, tossing popcorn into her mouth. “Budding teen romance!”
Katsuki’s heart jumped into his throat and he threw himself at Mina, but a scarred hand caught his wrist and yanked him back and around. He and Izuku rammed into each other and for a tiny, brief, moment, their lips brushed with a jolt of electricity. Both yelped and stumbled backwards, Izuku letting go of Katsuki’s wrist and tripping backwards over the corner of a table. Katsuki was barley able to grab Izuku’s forearm and keep him from crashing all the way to the ground. They met eyes again, both flushed.
“The plot thickens,” Mina gasped quietly from behind them, startling Katsuki enough to drop Izuku.
“Ah!” Izuku yelped, falling to the ground for the second time that evening.
“This feels more like a comedy of errors than a romance,” Tokoyami said, voice dark and serious.
“Fuck you, Birdbrain!” Katsuki yelled, face burning, ready to pounce.
“Kacchan! Stop attacking everyone!” Izuku interrupted from the floor. Katsuki froze, then dropped his hands, growling.
“I am going to murder you all when you least expect it,” he threatened, heart racing and lips still tingling from his and Izuku’s not-quite-kiss.
“The nerd can’t stop me.”
“The nerd just stopped you,” Jirou pointed out. Katsuki growled at her but was stopped from moving by Izuku’s calves closing around his ankles.
“Hey!” Katsuki yelled, glaring down at Izuku. He tried to pull his feet out, but Izuku held fast and he had to stop before he tripped and fell.
“You guys better stop messing with him or I won’t be able to stop him much longer,” Izuku warned the rest of the class.
“Nah, you’re the professional Bakubro wrangler,” Kirishima said, grinning. “We trust you.”
“Hah?” Katsuki snarled.
Izuku’s went wide, then he shrugged from the floor. “Maybe I’ll quit my job, then. Set him wild.”
Katsuki couldn’t help a feral grin. “Like you could fucking tame me in the first place.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Izuku said, a mischievous glint in his eye. Katsuki’s grin dropped and felt his face flush as the image of Izuku’s lips brushing his came back to the front of his mind.
“Then let me go!” He growled, trying to calm himself. He had to stop thinking about kissing Izuku, wasn’t going to happen. It was just an accident.
“If you promise not to attack anyone, Kacchan.”
“I’ll attack you,” Katsuki threatened.
“Go ahead, I can take you.”
“Nobody will be attacking anybody else!” Iida cut in, chopping his arm up and down. “This behavior is-”
“Unfit for future heroes, I fucking know, Four Eyes,” Katsuki interrupted, rolling his eyes. “Now, Deku, let me go or else.”
“Or else what?” Izuku challenged. With that, Katsuki let himself fall, narrowly missing the corner of the coffee table and landing flat on top of Izuku. Izuku wheezed on impact, then shoved a hand into Katsuki’s hair. “Ow! Get off, you brute!” Katsuki obliged, making sure to press down or step on Izuku as much as he could on his way back to his feet. Izuku glared up at him, huffing and puffing angrily. Asshole, he singed. Izuku pretty much swore exclusively in sign.
“Watch your fucking language, Deku,” Katsuki said with a grin, putting out a hand to help his friend off the ground. “If you drag me down again, I’ll blow you up.”
Izuku rolled his eyes and returned the smile, grasping Katsuki’s hand and allowing himself to be pulled upright. Katsuki dropped into a seat on the couch, Izuku next to him, both panting a bit.
“Now what?” Mina asked, watching them.
Katsuki glared. “We’re not a fucking movie, Raccoon Eyes.”
“But you guys almost kissed! It can’t be over!”
Katsuki’s eyes widened and he shot up, unaware that the other students had been able to tell he and Izuku had not-kissed. “No we fucking didn’t!” He felt a tug on the strap of his tank top and turned to find Izuku floating towards the ceiling, freckled cheeks flushed pink. “What the hell are you doing?”
“Help,” was all Izuku said, grabbing onto Katsuki’s shirt as the rest of him drifted higher.
“Deku, control your fucking quirk.” Izuku had gained the use of float mid-battle last year, and he’s been training with it since. He hadn’t activated his quirk by accident in a while, it usually only happened when he was feeling strong emotions, i.e., crying. Maybe it also happened when he was tired?
“I’m trying!” Izuku responded desperately, starting to hover upside down, only anchored by Katsuki’s tank top strap.
“Bullshit, what are you trying to pull?”
“Maybe you have to kiss him again,” Kaminari suggested through a mouthful of chips. Katsuki glared at him violently.
“We didn’t kiss!” He and Izuku yelled at the same time.
“Then maybe you should.” Katsuki whirled around to find Shinso staring at them flatly.
“Shut the fuck up, Insomniac.”
“Stop being a coward, then.”
Ire rose in Katsuki chest and he started to stand, then suddenly a rough palm wrapped around his shoulder and he was forcibly turned around and pushed back into his seat. “What the f-” His words were swallowed by a flash of green and soft, cracked lips mashing against his, noses smushing together.
It was over as soon as it started, and Katsuki sat frozen on the couch, eyes wide and heart soaring. Izuku’s hands left his shoulders as he yelped, floating quickly up to the ceiling.
“Sorry!” He squeaked, covering his reddening face with his hands. “I don’t know why I did that I shouldn’t have done that it was very stupid, and I didn’t even ask you and everyone else is here and they were all teasing us and I just thought-well I don’t know what I thought I wasn’t thinking anything I am so sorry Kacchan please don’t be mad-”
“DEKU!” Katsuki shouted, stopping Izuku’s panicked rambling. Katsuki’s heart was racing and his lips were burning because holy fuck Deku just kissed me. “Get off the fucking ceiling!”
“No way! You’re gonna kill me, I ruined everything!” Izuku whined back, still curled into a ball in the air. “And just as we were becoming friends again, I am so, so stupid and now you’re gonna hate me again why did I do that I should’ve-”
The Izuku blabbering continued and Katsuki groaned loudly. The nerd needed to shut up and come back; Katsuki wanted to kiss him again, not kill him. He searched around the room for a way to get Izuku down but found nothing. He considered using his quirk, but Aizawa-sensei would be pissed if he burned more furniture than he already had this year. His eyes finally landed on Tsuyu, who was watching Izuku, concerned.
“Hey! Frog girl-Tsuyu!” He said, remembering her name at the last moment. She seemed smart and talented enough to have a name worth remembering. Help? he signed, motioning to Izuku on the ceiling.
Are you going to kill him? Tsuyu signed back.
Absolutely not, Katsuki answered. Tsuyu nodded and hopped up, perching on the back of one of the couches. She shot her tongue out at Izuku and wrapped it around his arm, then yanked him down as he yelped.
“Tsuyu, no! Betrayal! If I die my mom will be so mad!” Izuku protested, trying to pull out of Tsuyu’s hold as he hurtled towards the floor. Katsuki jumped over the table and caught Izuku, pushing down on his chest and he tried to float back up. Tsuyu released Izuku from her tongue and Katsuki gave her a nod of thanks. Izuku was flailing around wildly under his arms. “Ah! No! Kacchan, let go! I said I was sorry! You can’t kill me it’s not allowed! Aizawa-sensei said so!” He rattled off in quick succession as Katsuki grabbed a fistful of his shirt and dragged him into an empty hallway, away from the prying eyes of the class.
As soon as they were around the corner, he shoved Izuku upright and put one of his own feet over Izuku’s to stop him from floating away as he moved his hands from Izuku’s shirt to his face. He then clamped Izuku’s cute, freckled cheeks between his palms, stared into his gorgeous, panicked emerald eyes, and kissed him gently.
He felt Izuku jolt and almost pulled away, but suddenly Izuku surged back into him and stopped trying to float away. Katsuki moved his hands from the nerd’s cheeks to his hair, brushing through the tangled mess of green. Izuku’s arm wrapped around his waist and hugged him close. After a short time, they pulled apart.
Katsuki thought he might finally understand what Kaminari felt like after using too much voltage. His brain had totally short-circuited. All he could think about or see was sparkling green eyes, forest hair, freckled cheeks, and smile that was the sun.
A moment passed in quiet as the two of them just stood there, taking in the new reality. Then, Izuku reached up and flicked his forehead, making Katsuki blink in surprise.
Izuku broke into a wider grin. “And that’s another bowl of ice cream!”
Katsuki stared at him for a second, not knowing what he was talking about, then suddenly the understanding came back. “You fucker! That’s cheating!”
Izuku was already ducking out of his hold and scrambling through the dining hall, giggling. Katsuki chased him, both sliding to a stop when a table came between them. Katsuki stared Izuku down with a grin as they both lurched from side to side, waiting for the other to make a move. Suddenly, Katsuki shoved a chair out of the way, sending it crashing to the ground behind him, and vaulted over the table to tackle a startled Izuku to the ground, pinning him. Izuku yelped, then broke into a bought of giggles that Katsuki couldn’t help but join.
Izuku wriggled his hands out from under Katsuki’s, then reached up to cup his cheeks and pull him down into another kiss. The joy in his chest fizzed and popped like happy soda. Izuku hummed into his mouth, sending a shiver down his spine.
“Hm,” Izuku said when he pulled away. “Maybe kisses can replace the ice cream.” Katsuki rolled his eyes and met Izuku’s lips again, amazed by how soft they were. There was no way this was all real.
Izuku had never had a dream that lasted this long or was this good. And he was sure this was a dream, no matter how real Katsuki’s lips felt on his own.
He doesn’t know what had come over him in the common area. Mina and Kaminari had mentioned the lip-brush-thing, and he’d gotten so flustered about it he started using Float by accident. And then everyone was telling them to kiss, and Shinso called Katsuki a coward, and Izuku had lost control of himself and mashed his face into Katsuki’s like a crazy person. He was so sure Katsuki was going to blast him to kingdom come for doing that, especially so suddenly, and he’d been so panicked and embarrassed that he’d just floated up to the ceiling and decided he would stay there forever.
When Tsuyu pulled him down from the ceiling, he’d never felt more betrayed or scared. Katsuki had grabbed him and dragged him into a more private area – probably to kill him without other people seeing, Izuku thought. But the blast never came, and instead Katsuki kissed him back. When he pulled away, their eyes met, and Izuku felt like he was drowning in a ruby red lake.
The giddy feeling bubbled out of his chest and fizzed out as a tease, and before he knew it, he was pinned to the ground, kissing Katsuki again.
“Maybe kisses can replace the ice cream,” he hummed, making Katsuki roll his eyes and kiss him again. Again! “We should go back.”
Katsuki made a growl noise in the back of his throat. “No.”
“They’ll think you actually killed me.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because I kissed you.” Izuku blushed as Katsuki leaned in to kiss him.
“Yeah, and that obviously pissed me off so much,” he drawled.
Izuku giggled, then peeled Katsuki’s hands off the ground beside him and pressed their hands palms to palms. “Get off, Kacchan,” he said, trying to push him away.
Katsuki interlaced their fingers and pushed back. “Make me,” he challenged. Izuku grinned as the wrestled their hands around, giggling and snorting with laughter. “Weak ass chosen one if you can’t even do this, Deku.”
Izuku squinted his eyes in a mock glare and mustered up his best Katsuki impression. “Die!” He yelled, throwing his legs up and under Katsuki’s arms, then straightening them and sitting up, slamming Katsuki back into the ground and reversing their positions. “Ha! Who’s weak now?” he whooped in victory as Katsuki groaned. “Wait, Kacchan, are you okay?”
Katsuki just stared at the ceiling. “I am so fucking tired.”
Izuku leaned over him, scooching up to sit on his chest. “Way past your bedtime, Kacchan.”
Katsuki glared at him. “Worth it,” he wheezed, making Izuku blush. Suddenly, Katsuki pushed him off and onto the ground. “Oh my God, you’re heavy as shit.”
“That’s pure muscle, Kacchan,” Izuku joked, flexing a bicep. If he wasn’t mistaken, Katsuki blushed across his cheek and ears. That was interesting. Acting on impulse, Izuku stood, squatted down, and shoved his arms under Katsuki’s back and knees. Then, with a grunt of effort, he lifted him up in a princess carry. Katsuki’s red eyes went wide and his cheeks flushed even more.
“What the fuck are you doing?” He yelled.
“You said you were tired!” Izuku explained, shifting Katsuki’s weight in his arms. “You’re not exactly light either, you know.”
Katsuki raised an eyebrow and flexed his own thick bicep. “That’s pure muscle, Deku,” he echoed. “Now put me down!”
“Nope!” Izuku grinned at him, holding him tighter as he squirmed a bit. Katsuki locked eyes with him, squinted, pinched the bridge of his nose, and let out a huff.
“Fine. Put me down or we’re not getting married.”
Izuku yelped in surprise and dropped Katsuki to the ground, heart racing. Was that how he made Katsuki feel when he said that?
“Ow! Fuck!” Katsuki groaned on the floor.
Izuku put his hands on his hips, cheeks ablaze. “You did the same thing!”
“We’re fucking even, then.”
“Sorry for dropping you.”
Katsuki waved a hand. “Guess that means the wedding’s still on.”
Izuku blushed harder, more and more flustered by the second. “Except I still didn’t propose!”
Katsuki stood from the ground and gave Izuku a look. “You know what, I actually might kill you.”
Izuku inched backwards. “Why?”
Katsuki huffed and grumbled. “Because I just realized you kissed me first.”
Izuku couldn’t help it; he broke into laughter, doubling over and clutching his abdomen. “Another point for me, then!” He cackled, referring to the tally they kept on the whiteboard in All Might’s office. Each sparring session won was a tally mark for that person. All Might had tried to discourage them from it but relented when he saw how hard the competition made them work. Izuku and Katsuki were very competitive people, after all.
“Under no circumstances is that going on the board,” Katsuki snapped. “Kissing isn’t sparring.”
Izuku tapped his chin and hummed, happy warmth making a home in his chest. “I think those two are tied.”
Izuku shuffled across the floor to Katsuki and tossed his arms up on his broad shoulders. He felt Katsuki smile into the next kiss and thought he could be content for a long while, just standing like this, holding his Kacchan.
“For my favorite things to do with Kacchan, of course.”