This fic is a sequel to one more taste (is all it takes). While this could be read without reading that first, I'd highly recommend doing so, since the events from that fic are referenced more than once :)
The balcony window is open, letting the cold night breeze into the apartment. It ruffles the hair of the man sitting on the couch, white and red strands falling in front of his eyes and being pushed aside by impatient fingers as he focuses on the laptop balanced on his legs.
Bakugou watches in silence from his spot at the door to their bedroom. He's aware that his staring must've been noticed by now; Todoroki might not be a vampire hunter anymore, but he's been trained as one, his senses honed to notice even the quietest and fastest of movements. On top of that, the soulmate connection he shares with Bakugou means he is even more attuned to him.
Still, Todoroki doesn't say anything, allowing Bakugou to indulge himself for a few minutes before breaking the silence.
"You're going to get tired standing there all night," he finally says, raising his eyes.
Bakugou huffs, crossing his arms and leaning against the doorframe.
"I could stand here for days and I wouldn't get tired and you know that, idiot." Bakugou wouldn't mind it either way if it meant he could spend that time looking at Todoroki, but refrains from saying that out loud.
He is not the mushy type, years of being soulmates or not.
The glint in Todoroki's eyes tells him that he'd just been teasing him, so Bakugou makes sure to show that he's not amused as he makes his way to the couch to sit by Todoroki's side.
"Keep being funny and I won't bite you for a fucking week," he growls.
"You're the one that's going to starve."
Bakugou makes a noise of frustration at the back of his throat. Todoroki is right, of course - Bakugou's had first hand experience with not drinking from him for so long, and even though they are now able to joke about it, it's not something he'd ever like to repeat.
It doesn't make Todoroki's cheeky response any less annoying, though.
"What are you doing?" Bakugou asks harshly, ignoring the upturn of Todoroki's lips at his attempt to change the subject.
Todoroki turns the laptop towards him and Bakugou leans forward, shoulder brushing against Todoroki's as he takes a peek at the list of job offers displayed on the screen.
"That again?" Bakugou mumbles, frowning. It's only been a week since they've had to move from Musutafu, but it's not the first time Todoroki has spent hours in front of the computer, looking for jobs in the area. "Why do you want a job so bad? Not like we don't have enough money for at least the next few decades."
Todoroki doesn't meet Bakugou's eyes as his fingers move to the trackpad to keep scrolling through the page.
"It's not about money, Katsuki," he says after a few moments. Bakugou watches his face for a sign of what he's thinking, but Todoroki's expression is blank.
Minutes of silence stretch between them, the only sounds coming from the city outside and the occasional tap tap tap of the keyboard keys. Bakugou waits, but when it becomes clear that Todoroki isn't going to explain himself he asks, "Then what's it about? You can't tell me you actually want to-" he takes a look at the offer currently on the screen "-be a fucking cashier at a convenience store. You'd be a disaster at it."
Todoroki's hands stop moving, and it's only because of Bakugou's keen sight that he notices how Todoroki's fingers are trembling before he snaps the laptop shut.
"I need something to do. I can't just stay in the apartment all night, I'm not used to it."
His voice is strained. With how close they're sitting, Bakugou feels Todoroki's muscles tensing, as if he's fighting the urge to get up.
There's a tug on Bakugou's chest, more forceful than the constant pull of the soulmate bond that ties them together. Until now, they hadn't discussed anything about their emergency move to this new place, or the events that had followed the truth about their relationship being discovered.
Bakugou supposed they were lucky to have been able to hide it for a few years. At first, Todoroki's unchanging appearance had been attributed to good genes, but as more time passed and the number of failed missions he was in charge of increased, rumours started to spread. It hadn't taken long for Todoroki to be called for a meeting with his father.
Being disowned was something Bakugou knew Todoroki was expecting.
Being followed by hunters sent by his father to track Bakugou down and kill him was not.
Bakugou had come out of it unscathed - the same couldn't be said about the guys who were stupid enough to think they could overpower both him and Todoroki - but the occurrence had forced them to flee to one of Bakugou's apartments in a different city, before the agency found out about the existence of Kirishima, Kaminari and the others and went after them as well.
It had meant leaving nearly everything behind, with no time for warnings or goodbyes. That kind of thing was common for vampires, so Bakugou hadn't given it much thought; Todoroki hadn't said anything about it, so Bakugou just assumed he wasn't bothered by it either.
But seeing him now - his strained posture, the way his knuckles turn white where he's gripping the laptop - Bakugou realizes he'd been wrong.
"We didn't have an option," he says. It's not comforting, but this is a blow he can't, won't, soften, because it's the truth - one that's certainly not the last time they'll face.
"You knew it would happen eventually."
"When you said- When you agreed to seal the bond, you said you didn't regret it." Bakugou forces these words through his lips, even if they leave a bitter taste on his tongue. It ends up sounding more like a question.
At that, Todoroki finally whips around to look at him, fingers slipping from the laptop that clatters to the floor with a loud sound. Neither of them check to see if it's broken.
"Of course I don't regret it," Todoroki says, sounding surprised that Bakugou would even suggest it.
"Then damn it, Shouto, tell me what the fuck is wrong."
The restless energy that seemed to be coming from Todoroki dissipates, his body sagging against the couch. His head dips back, strands of hair sliding from his forehead, and Bakugou can see the flutter of his eyelids as his eyes close.
He looks tired.
"It's just… a big change to take in, Katsuki," Todoroki sighs. "I'll be fine."
Bakugou purses his lips, studying Todoroki's seemingly relaxed pose that contrasts with the way his heartbeat thumps faster than usual, the sound echoing in Bakugou's sensitive ears. Todoroki's eyes don't open and he does not look at Bakugou, not even when Bakugou takes hold of his hand and tugs at it to catch his attention.
"You're gonna keep hiding shit from me? It's clear that it's more than that." Bakugou wonders if this is how Todoroki felt when he was being ignored, back when Bakugou first found out about them being soulmates. If it is, he understands why Todoroki had been so angry then - being in the dark fills him with a sense of helplessness that irks him.
Finally, Todoroki opens his eyes. Fingers tighten around Bakugou's and Todoroki's gaze falls to their joined hands, bottom lip caught between his teeth for a quick moment before he speaks.
"We could've had more time if I hadn't let myself be followed. It was stupid of me."
And it's there, perfectly visible this time when Todoroki raises his head.
The guilt in his eyes.
"Is that what you were worried about?" Bakugou asks, anger bleeding through to his words. Todoroki frowns at him, moving to pull his hand back, but Bakugou tightens his grip, pulling him closer instead. "Shouto, it wasn't your fault."
"They were fucking vampire hunters," Bakugou continues. "You've been trained just like them. Can you honestly tell me they wouldn't have found another way to track me down anyway?"
Todoroki opens his mouth and hesitates; no protest comes out of it.
"If it's anyone's fault, it's your shitty father's." Bakugou moves so that he's almost leaning over Todoroki, knees pressed against his thighs so he can reach out and hold Todoroki's face with both hands. He doesn't let Todoroki look away when he says, "So don't you dare blame yourself."
Bakugou feels the movement on his fingertips as Todoroki swallows before nodding slightly. There's enough strain left on his expression for Bakugou to know that he's not completely convinced, but they have years - eternity - together, and damn him if he won't spend every single one of those days repeating himself until Todoroki finally believes him.
For today, though, this is enough, and he pushes the anger away to pull Todoroki into a slow kiss.
Hands grab at his waist, bunching up his shirt. Bakugou straddles Todoroki's lap, allowing their bodies to slide closer, relishing in the warmth that always radiates from Todoroki's skin. Todoroki's breathing is a bit shallow when they separate, lips swollen red, and Bakugou has a hard time tearing his eyes away from them.
He didn't mean to get so sidetracked.
"If you're done talking nonsense," he says, clearing his throat. "I hope you didn't break the damn laptop, because we'll need it to keep looking for those jobs."
Whatever Todoroki had expected him to say, it clearly wasn't that, and he looks confused for a moment before he asks, "We?"
"Do you really think I'm going to sit back here doing nothing while you're out? I'll get bored to death. So yeah, if you're so set on getting a damn job, I'll get one too. But no convenience stores," he adds, growing more and more unsettled as Todoroki's lips tilt upwards with every word he says. "The fuck are you smiling at?"
"Nothing." Todoroki's hands, still on Bakugou's waist, tug him closer, and he tucks his face into Bakugou's neck, pressing a kiss there. There's something vulnerable about his touch, light even though he knows he can't hurt Bakugou with strength. "We can continue searching for jobs later, can't we?"
Warm breath blows against Bakugou's skin and he shivers, tangling his fingers into Todoroki's hair.
"If you're okay with it, yeah," he mutters, turning his face so he can nuzzle Todoroki's neck in return, tracing his pulse point with his lips, sensing the blood that runs underneath with his tongue.
Todoroki's answer is no more than a hitched breath and a hand that slips under fabric to rest against skin, keeping Bakugou close.
And this moment, right here, is familiar. The way Todoroki's touch burns a trail down Bakugou's back, the way he whispers Bakugou's name when fangs graze his skin, the pull on their chests connecting them to each other, everything is part of who they are - of who they've been, together, for years.
That's what settles Bakugou's nerves, makes him push his worries away when Todoroki finally relaxes in his arms, any remains of tension gone as they kiss. Changes are inevitable, but they can get used to them. They can rebuild their lives in this new city. Maybe, in a few years, when the storm has died down, they can even go back, and Todoroki will be able to say the goodbyes he wants to.
Regardless of what happens, Bakugou knows they'll be fine as long as they can still have moments likethis. Their relationship is not about others, after all.
It's about them.
And that is the only thing Bakugou hopes will never change.