Author's Note: Adulting is so hard, you guys. I passed my finals, I passed my state test, and I got a new job in the field I went to school for! I've been training for the past month so my schedule has been a hot mess, but it's finally starting to chill out. You can definitely expect more consistent updates now, but this series IS starting to wrap up. I hope you guys are going to continue sticking around, and thank you for staying through the long breaks so far! You guys are the best and I absolutely love reading all your reviews and messages about the story and kind words sent to me about things I say in my author's notes. I'm really lucky to have such amazing readers. All that said, this chapter is a little different...but I had to add some build up for what's to come. I hope you enjoy! Until the next chapter, lovelies!
Uraraka nodded solemnly before taking a sip of her coffee. When she had ordered it, Izuku had noticed she had added a ton of cream and sugar…but that was really his entire bribe to get her out here. Sweet coffee and morning pastries; a definite way to get her to meet since she has such a big sweet tooth.
She sat her cup back down and tapped it thoughtfully, watching Izuku carefully. He gripped his hands together in an attempt to not fidget in front of her. The attempt was a giant fail, as his leg still bouncing nervously under the table, but at least she couldn't see that.
"So that's why you haven't texted as much in the evenings." Her words were playful, she stuck out her tongue for good measure, but then her face relaxed again. "You've gotten yourself into a major pickle."
Izuku chuckled anxiously. "You could say that."
"Have either of you actually talked like normal human beings?" She smiled lightheartedly, but Izuku almost flinched at the question.
How could they talk when talking would break the spell between them? Talking to Kaachan would mean that things could go wrong. Well, it's not like they weren't already going wrong. Uraraka didn't even know how wrong things had gone yet. All she knew so far was the bare minimum. He sighed and shook his head.
"No? We mostly just study or train. There's not much time to talk."
She snorted. "You've been hanging out almost every single day for who-knows-how-long and neither of you have talked to each other?"
"Well, I…uhh…" Izuku swallowed hard. "We did go out once for lunch; there wasn't much conversation but there was some. And we've played video games and watched a movie before too instead of studying."
Uraraka's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "And you two still haven't had a conversation?"
Izuku shrugged, rubbing his chin while he tried to remember if there was something he overlooked. "Not really. The closest we've gotten to a conversation outside of training is when he pinned me to the door to tell me not to talk to people so openly about us studying…or when he told me to get back in bed while I –"
The coffee shop around them seemed to quiet down as some people looked over at them. Uraraka had slammed her hands down on the table as she had stood up. Heat rushed to Izuku's cheeks while she stared him down, silently demanding answers. The saliva in his mouth seemed thicker than normal; he swallowed while motioning for her to sit down and be quiet. He glanced around the coffee shop and almost sighed with relief when he realized everyone was brushing off his friend's outburst.
But Uraraka was still staring him down.
"You better explain what's going on, Deku." She stated flatly.
Izuku nodded. "So, I wasn't…completely forthcoming with the details."
Uraraka wrapped her hands around her coffee, her gaze unwavering as she brought it up to her lips and drank. Izuku almost wanted to laugh. She hadn't been this set on getting an answer from him about something in a long time. Seeing her so focused was always a treat. Not even Kaachan was as headstrong as her if she was dead set on something. He felt himself sigh.
His chest was tight and felt like it would shatter if he moved the wrong way. Almost as if it were made of glass and had rubber bands tightly strapped around it. There was so much to explain that he hadn't been able to tell her yet. All he'd mentioned so far was the basics; they studied together and trained together.
And that he, maybe, had something like a crush on his childhood friend.
Uraraka tapped her glass and cleared her throat, obviously becoming impatient. A nervous smile tugged at his lips as he scratched the back of his head. She raised a brow at him, unamused. He sighed again, clearing his throat and readjusted himself in his seat. This was going to take a while.
So, he started from the beginning. The very beginning. He told her how everything crashed down around him when Kaachan had said his name during training forever ago, he told her about how Kaachan showed up randomly outside his door with notes, he told her that sometimes he had these really irrational dreams about kissing Kaachan, the way Kaachan's always calm, how they'd both fallen asleep in each other's rooms, meeting with Kirishima in the laundry room, how he'd held Kaachan's hand while the other boy slept…how he stole a quick kiss during their training the day before.
His friend was quiet during the entire spiel; she took in every ounce of information with a serious look on her face, almost as if she were taking mental notes. When he finally stopped, she leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest. It felt like minutes passed as she stared at him and mulled over everything he had just told her.
He breathed slowly but deeply as he anticipated her reaction.
She nodded to herself before leaning back forward, resting her head on her chin as she smiled at him. "Izuku…you're an idiot."
Izuku furrowed his brows. That was not the response he was prepared for.
"Nope." She raised her hand, cutting him off. "You did your talking, now it's my turn."
He nodded, his lips pursed. Uraraka wasn't normally this direct. At some point, she had started to take on some of Mina's and Tsu's mannerisms, but only when she wanted to get her points across. This was definitely one of those times.
"You are an idiot. How many signs does a guy have to give you for you to just…get it? Izuku, you are so smart. You can come up with a plan on the battlefield while everyone else is still ten steps behind you, and you know the logistics of why it all works the way it does. You study people and know how to anticipate their next move, you know what they're going to do and why. You've known Bakugou since you were toddlers…and you have blown off every single hint – every neon, blinking billboard sign – that he has set up for you because why? You think it's a joke? A prank? An elaborate set up to make fun of you?" She sighed and sat back into her seat, rubbing her temples. "Izuku. I know your history with Bakugou is rough. But, honestly, there is so much that doesn't add up with that train of thought. Wouldn't he have told someone if it was a set up? Eijirou definitely wouldn't be in on something like that; he doesn't think it's manly to bring others down. He would've let you know what was going on, or he wouldn't be egging it on. Kaminari would either be laughing every chance he saw you two together and he would get an earful from Kyoka, so that throws him out too. Bakugou wouldn't tell anyone else. And if he hasn't even told them that you two have been spending all this time together, that you two have been intimate in the ways you have…what does that tell you?"
Izuku frowned. His heart was beating slowly in his chest, but it was something he was very aware of due to the calm bustle of the coffee shop around them. He chewed his lip lightly, eyes darting around their table before landing on the chocolate orbs watching him from across the table.
Maybe…maybe he hadn't messed up their friendship during training.
It was dark and quiet, the only sound in the room was the steady breaths Izuku took. The light from under the door caused shadows to stretch across the room, his alarm clock glowed 9:42 brightly from its spot on his desk. If he hadn't talked to Uraraka earlier, Izuku was sure he'd be an anxious mess right now. He had to be at Kaachan's room to study in about fifteen minutes.
He'd be lying if he said he wasn't anxious at all, but he wasn't having a mental breakdown, so that was nice.
He ran a hand through his hair as he stared at his ceiling from where he laid on his bed. Honestly, he should probably walk into Kaachan's room with a plan. Making a plan before battle was always the right thing to do, but Uraraka made it clear earlier that this wasn't a battle. There was more to it. And a lot of it depended on how Kaachan was going to react to seeing him since….
Izuku groaned, rolling onto his side and staring at his clock.
Why hadn't he just been able to control himself? What made that moment so necessary to just…lean down and kiss Kaachan like that? It wasn't romantic. In fact, Kaachan was making a snide comment like usual. What if all that tension was one-sided? Even though Uraraka was so set on the idea that Kaachan felt the same way, there was no way to know that. She only had one side of the story, and that side was biased.
He inhaled slowly and closed his eyes. All he had to do was just…go study. Like he has been doing for what feels like forever. Nothing could really be that different. Right?
He exhaled, sitting up. He could sit here and pep-talk himself all night while doing nothing. Uraraka would be so mad at him if he didn't go tonight, especially now that she was involved and knew what was going on. So, if not for himself, he needed to go for her.
That was the extra push he needed to stand and grab his bag before heading towards Bakugou's room. But the entire walk there he could feel the doubt and apprehension take over. As he reached up to knock on Bakugou's door, his chest felt like it would cave in any second.
Maybe he had been too confident while laying down earlier.
He frowned at the thought before finally tapping on the door in front of him. The hallway was quiet, and there were no sounds coming from inside the room in front of him. The longer he waited for the door to open, though, the more anxious he became.
Why was he here? After not only kissing Kaachan, he had also run away without an explanation. Both were stupid decisions. If he had at least come up with an excuse, maybe Kaachan wouldn't be so mad. What if Kaachan didn't answer the door? What if Kaachan didn't want to see him anymore? What if—
The door handle turned and the door opened just enough for Izuku to see Bakugou squinting at him. Sleep seemed to be clinging to his eyes, but Izuku knew that he was too stubborn to rub his eyes in front of anyone else. They both stared at each other for a moment. The silence around them was thick, like a weighted fog. He could feel his saliva thickening as the worry started to settle in his bones.
Izuku rubbed the back of his head, stumbling to find the right words to say. "You, uh, I –"
"I didn't think you were coming." Bakugou grumbled, letting the door swing open before walking towards his bed.
He climbed onto his bed, scooting back to sit on it like he normally does on Izuku's bed when they study. He seemed to pull a notebook out of thin air and start scribbling on it. Izuku swallowed hard, trying to keep his mouth from feeling sticky. He walked in, quietly shutting the door behind him. He chewed his lip for a moment, debating on where to sit. Usually he sat on Kaachan's bed…so with how things have gone, is Kaachan expecting him to sit next to him? Or was he forcing him to sit at the desk? Honestly, he should probably sit at the desk until he knew where they stood.
Before he could take a step towards the desk, though, Bakugou rolled his eyes and motioned for Izuku to sit on the bed as usual. Izuku felt his veins run cold, but he nodded and made his way closer to the other boy. He awkwardly stood at the end corner, gripping his backpack strap firmly against his shoulder.
Why was it so hard to just sit on the bed like normal? They have watched a movie together, played video games together…bumping shoulders wasn't abnormal anymore. So why did this seem so intimidating?
"Either sit down or go back to your own fucking dorm."
Izuku's eyes shot up to meet Bakugou's instantly. His green eyes danced between the two steadfast red ones staring back at him. He bit his bottom lip again – he was sure it would be red and puffy before the night was over if he didn't quit biting it – before nodding and sliding back until his back hit the wall.
They were a decent amount of space away from each other. Another person could probably fit between them fairly easily. A wave of relief crashed through Izuku's chest as he pulled out his own notebook and pen, opening it to the notes for their upcoming test. If they stayed this far apart, studying wouldn't be an absolute mess. He could even focus on what he was studying.
Or so he thought.
For the first fifteen or so minutes, he did really well at focusing on his notebook. But then Kaachan shifted. It was such a small movement, but it moved the bed enough that it caught Izuku's attention. When he glanced up at the blonde, he was frowning at his notebook. His pen was frozen on the page like he was frustrated with whatever he just wrote or circled. A small smile tugged at the corners of Izuku's lips as he looked back at his notebook.
The rest of the night was history.
He found himself glancing over at the other boy every so often. Sometimes the blonde was glaring at his notebook, sometimes he was staring at the wall on the other side of the room, and sometimes he had his head leaned back against the wall with his eyes closed.
Each time he caught Bakugou doing any of these, he could feel uncertainty clawing up his throat. He kept trying to swallow it down, but the feeling was relentless.
Kaachan seemed annoyed. He was never this frustrated while they studied before. It only made sense that he was upset with Izuku. That was the logical reason. Izuku had messed up their schedule and how they normally function around each other all at once. He had switched up their days and then…bolted from training. That's not even including the kiss. Of course Kaachan would be mad at him; he probably hadn't been in this situation before. Izuku definitely hadn't. Kaachan had only ever been really close with Kirishima – although Kaminari, Sero, and Mina also seemed to get closer to him in the last year or so. But none of them have ever seemed to have any chemistry.
Then again…Izuku hadn't had chemistry with him either. They had fought relentlessly almost their entire first year, then Kaachan had ignored him until about halfway through their second year. But they had never gone past normal classroom conversation. What if Kaachan had study sessions like this with one of his other friends before? What if he had actually had a relationship with one of them but no one knew? He had definitely seemed to keep the studying and training with Izuku from Kirishima, though Kirishima acted like he wasn't fooled.
Izuku laid his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. This whole situation was so frustrating. He wanted to believe what Uraraka was saying – why wouldn't he want to believe that he actually had a chance – but reading Kaachan was a lot harder than everyone else. Even though they were a lot closer than they had been before, understanding Kaachan was like trying to decipher a fluent conversation in different language when you only know the basics like numbers and colors.
He sighed, looking over at Bakugou's clock. It was somehow almost midnight. He stretched his arms above his head and yawned, he probably needed to head back to his room and get some sleep. Focusing on class tomorrow was sure to be hard with the other distraction he had going. Adding a lack of sleep just seemed like a bad idea.
He cleared his throat, glancing at Bakugou who was glaring at his notebook like it owed him money. "I'm headed out for the night, Kaachan."
Red eyes glanced up at him, seemingly confused by what he was saying, but then Bakugou nodded and looked back down at his notebook. Izuku shook his head before getting up and packing his bag.
Maybe Uraraka was wrong. She only had half the story and she was assuming so much of what Kaachan was feeling based on what Izuku felt. That wasn't fair to Kaachan at all. Izuku could feel his face scrunching up with tension.
Or maybe Uraraka was right. She had told him over and over to actually talk to Kaachan. Had she really assumed how he felt? All she really did was question what Izuku had been assuming, and he made new assumptions based on that. Really, he was the one making the whole situation difficult. But actually trying to talk about what happened when they trained on Saturday just seemed like a bad plan. If Kaachan got flustered, the conversation would go really wrong really quick.
Right as Izuku's hand touched the door handle, Bakugou cleared his throat. Izuku froze where he stood, just barely turning so he could see the blonde. Bakugou hadn't moved, but his face was slightly turned away from Izuku.
"We studying tomorrow?" His voice was quiet, a half-hearted attempt at the bark he would normally have.
Izuku couldn't stop the smile from forming on his lips as the question sunk in. "Of course."
Bakugou grunted, but didn't say anything else.
"Night, Kaachan. See you tomorrow."
Izuku paused for a second, waiting for a response. When none came, he started to head out of the room. Right as the door began to close behind him, he heard a quiet "night, Izuku". Heat rushed to his cheeks as he gently let the door click shut.
Maybe he hadn't completely ruined things just yet.