#bkdk moved to America a few years after graduating UA and becoming two of the top heroes in Japan. The offer was too good to pass up: paid-for housing, spending money for groceries, and travel compensation for those few times they got a little too homesick.
And the chance to fight villains, of course.

The only downside, according to Katsuki, was that the two of them would be stuck together 24/7 for the duration of their stay. They were living in LA, so space was limited.
That meant one shared, 2-bedroom apartment rather than 2 separate units. When Katsuki learned of the situation, he was fuming and sweating to such an extreme that “walking it off” meant Izuku didn’t see him for an entire day.

He, on the other hand, was secretly thrilled.
He’d always been drawn to Katsuki — always admired him for his passion and heroism — but somewhere along the line, admiration turned into attraction.

The blond wasn’t making it easy on him. It was hard to ignore the way the sharp edge of his jaw would catch the sunlight.
The flexing of his biceps when he did something as simple as stirring curry on the stove. Izuku never failed to start blushing like a schoolgirl whenever Katsuki emerged fresh from a shower, unclothed except for a towel slung low around his hips and water droplets on his chest.
So yeah, sue him if he was nursing a crush. He probably had been since UA if he was being honest.
What was unexpected were the times he caught Katsuki looking back at him. He didn’t realize that’s what it was at first, but as time went on, it became undeniable that Katsuki was checking him out.
Whenever Izuku would walk around the apartment without his shirt after a long day in the LA sun, or when he’d slip into his favorite shorts (they lived up to the name) to do aerobics in their common room, Katsuki’s eyes would rove over his body like he was a 3-course meal.
Neither of them acknowledged the other’s behavior. In a way, it was to be expected. They were 22, they were together /all the fucking time/ — where else were they supposed to direct their attention when they got a little horny? They only knew a few people in LA who even spoke
Japanese. Katsuki may have passed his English courses with flying colors, but he was nowhere near bilingual. Izuku always struggled with the language, could never get the accent right, and years of disuse had made him more than a little rusty.
Call him a sap for wanting to have a conversation with someone before jumping into bed with them.

Overall, tensions in the apartment (and at the hero agency... and at weekly bar nights with their coworkers...) were high. Very high. Hawks-showing-off-for-the-Todorokis high.
So it was unsurprising when one night, after picking up some recalibrated support gear, Katsuki came back to the apartment to the sight of Izuku jerking off in his bedroom, a soft /“Kacchan”/ falling from his lips with each upstroke of his wrist.
Izuku froze when he saw his (very adult) childhood friend standing in the doorway, watching him intently with a teasing smirk.

“Fuck, nerd,” said Katsuki, laughing a little. “I’d say ‘sorry to interrupt,’ but I’m really not.”

Was it possible for Izuku to turn any redder?
“K-Kacchan, what—?”

“Came in here to drop these off.” Katsuki raised an arm, Izuku’s iron soles dangling in his grip. He crossed the room to set them on the dresser, but to Izuku’s utter shock and distress, he didn’t leave.
Instead, he perched himself of the edge of the bed, reached out to walk his slender fingers up the curve of Izuku’s bare thigh, and eyed the pillow in his lap questioningly.

“Need a hand, shitty Deku?”

Turns out Izuku was so pent up that an invitation was all he needed.
Much faster than necessary, he surged forward, boner-concealing pillow completely forgotten, and wrapped his arms around Katsuki’s neck to drag him down into a desperate kiss and a messy tangle of limbs.

And that’s how the whole ‘friends with benefits’ thing started.
It had been going on for a while now, and they developed a weird little language for propositioning each other. Odd surprises here and there when they wanted something.

Izuku often came home to the glorious image of Katsuki strutting around naked. Sometimes, he’d get a lewd
text on break between their patrols, something stupid like, “u up?” which always made Izuku laugh because it was the middle of the day.

He had a quieter way of doing things. Slipping into Katsuki’s bedroom in the middle of the night or into the already-occupied shower after
a workout.

They never questioned each other. Never said ‘no.’ It was like they were always raring to go, ready for the signal at any given moment. The amount of sex they were having would probably be unhealthily if they weren’t 20-somethings at the mercies of their libidos.
Oh, and /the sex/. It was incredible. Mind-blowing. Sometimes they even got a little kinky (quirks were useful in that regard).

Even the bad times were still perfect. When they were too injured to pull off a certain position, or when Katsuki couldn’t get it up because
he drank too much at Saturday Night Sushi, they’d just laugh it off, settle for making out like teenagers, and say their goodnights like nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Izuku liked those times the best.
Those honest, goofy moments were a taste of something more real. They were at least evocative of friendship, which he and Katsuki still didn’t quite have after all these years. There was still that wall between them — a reminder of the ugliness of the past, stubborn wounds that
just wouldn’t heal. It’s what kept their interactions brief and clinical outside of sex, confined to idle work-related chatter or bland roommate stuff. It’s what drove them back into their own beds after recovering from that blissful, orgasmic high, and left Izuku feeling empty
in more ways than one.

Their relationship was a light switch. Izuku had the bad habit of leaving it on, but Katsuki made sure to flick it off every time he left the room.

Still, there were times when Izuku suspected Katsuki of feeling more than he let on.
Like when he’d sweet-talk Izuku into giving what he wanted, whispering dark desires and sugarcoated promises in his ear. Words like:

“You looked so good out there today. Can’t stop imagining you riding me in that stupid costume of yours.”

“C’mon Deku, take me to bed. Wanna touch you so bad, baby.”

The words always seemed so genuine, even if he knew what they really were: a ploy for Katsuki to get his dick wet. But he couldn’t deny how those promises made him feel.
Izuku was more of the saving type, but he’d probably kill for Katsuki to sweet-talk him every day.

He made his peace with it, eventually. At least having Katsuki this was was better than arguing and fighting and ignoring each other. This way, he could keep Katsuki close, even if
it was just a shadow of what he /really/ wanted.

Months passed, and for both of them, life seemed to be going well enough.

Until the day they almost died.
Risking their lives was nothing new — an occupational hazard. They’d come close to death on countless occasions in all manner of ways, but never like this. Never /together/.

It was a hostage situation gone wrong. A villain with an emitter-type quirk had taken over a high-rise
office building, detaining some executives in the penthouse suite, presumably to shake them down for their wallets and bank account passwords.

What Izuku and Katsuki /didn’t/ know was that a second villain was on the scene — a woman with some sort of Medusa quirk who could
paralyze someone just by looking into their eyes.

It all happened so fast, too fast for Izuku to maintain his grip on reality. One minute he and Katsuki were side by side, ready to unleash their own heroic brand of hell, and the next Katsuki was immobilized, tossed from the 15th
floor window like a ragdoll.

Izuku caught him before he hit the ground, but there wasn’t much else he could do. He was left alone to counter both villains, horrified when the emitter’s quirk shook the building so violently that it began to crumble around them.
“Deku,” Katsuki choked out, palms glowing white-hot with the heat of an explosion he couldn’t detonate. A concrete slab had fallen onto his shoulder, bruising up his face and likely collapsing a lung while Izuku tried to constrain Medusa with black whip. “Deku... you have to...
the hostages...”

“I’m not leaving you, Kacchan!”

“Idiot,” he coughed pathetically between his words. “Can’t take two of them on your own. Go, Deku...”

“SHUT UP!” Izuku roared, now hysterical. He was crying, struggling against his own power, feeling like the
newly-formed craters in the ground were swallowing him up.

He couldn’t leave Katsuki there, helpless and dying. He couldn’t stand the thought of abandoning him to save someone else, even if it was selfish and went against everything All Might taught him.
This was his /Kacchan/. His childhood friend. His fated rival. His partner in every sense of the word.

It was an awful time to realize he was in love with him.
It was a thought he carried with him into unconsciousness as a corner of the building came down on top of him, sent into the darkness along the with sound of his name — /Izuku/, not Deku — being shouted into the void.
Later, he woke to the rhythmic beeping of hospital machinery and muffled voices at his bedside. He’d come away from the incident with a shattered femur and a dislocated hip, injuries that would’ve been career-ending had Recovery Girl not been flown in.
Katsuki suffered from a broken arm and ribs. It was nothing major, but internal bleeding from his punctured lung could have killed him if he’d been lying under the concrete any longer.

The hostages had thankfully been rescued after all. Izuku’s distraction against the villains
provided an opportunity for the American heroes to sneak in and grab them. Izuku was relieved, even more so when he learned that their injuries would heal in a few weeks and they could rejoin the agency with little to no fuss.
So everything should have been good, right? They had kind of succeeded. They weren’t roughed-up too badly. They were /alive/.

But Katsuki wouldn’t touch him, barely even talked to him after they were discharged from the hospital.
They were doing an awkward dance around each other now. No longer did Izuku come home to a proud, nude Katsuki shamelessly luring him into bed. The blond wouldn’t go out for drinks or sushi either, always brushing it off by saying the extras weren’t worth his time.
When one of the execs from the hostage crisis reached out, offering to let the young heroes camp out on his private land away from the city as a show of thanks, Izuku was both excited and nervous.
Being confined together in the wilderness would force Katsuki to talk to him, right?

Wrong. Katsuki barely spoke a word as they pitched their tent in the woods, only responding in huffs and grunts when Izuku asked if he wanted to go fishing that first afternoon.
He tried to interact again that evening as they posted up at the fire pit, watching in awe as Katsuki lit the burn pile with a precise blast from his index finger.

“Remember our first year at quirk training camp, when you tried to do that and exploded the whole stove?”
Izuku laughed at the memory but Katsuki was unamused, shooting him a bloody glare as he thrust a chunk of meat into the flames. It was pretty obvious Katsuki wouldn’t be here at all if their boss hadn’t insisted they accept the camping offer.
The truth of it stung like sand blowing into Izuku’s eyes. It gnawed at him as they ate charred pork and instant noodles in silence, and later as Izuku curled in on himself in their tent. Call it torture to sleep inches away from the person you want most in the world, allowed to
look but not touch. /God/, he wished he could touch, wanted to run his calloused hands along the crests of smooth muscle like he had a hundred times before. He wanted to skim his fingertips along the new scar that was fully visible to him for the first time as Katsuki slept
turned away. It ran from his armpit all the way up to the base of his neck, one of Izuku’s favorite places to kiss. Okay, maybe he wanted to /lick/ that scar more than anything.

It was going to be a long few days.
They passed quicker than he thought they would. He and Katsuki mostly went their separate ways — Izuku roaming through the woods to see what kinds of plants and mushrooms he could discover, while Katsuki spent some time at the riverbank, skipping rocks and digging through the
mud like a child until he found red clay underneath.

In passing, during one of their few conversations, Izuku mentioned a mile-long hiking trail that branched off their campsite and led to a plateau overlooking the valley beneath. It was supposedly the best view of the sunset
in this region of California, according to the research he’d done before they left.

On the fourth and final day of their excursion, Katsuki surprised him by waking him at the crack of dawn with a kick to the shin.

“Wanna do this stupid trail or what?”
“Really?” Izuku yawned. “I didn’t think you were interested, Kacchan.”

“M’not, but /you/ are and it’s the last day, and you’re sure as hell not going out alone with a fucked up leg.”
Was this really happening? All this time spent in awkward silence and muted conversation, and suddenly Katsuki wanted to go /hiking/ together?

Izuku jumped at the chance. Literally, he jumped out of the sleeping bag and into his clothes as quickly as possible, packing a bag with
nutrition bars, flashlights, and a first-aid kit and meeting Katsuki beside the fire pit in just a few mintutes.

They filled their canteens with filtered water from the river and set out into the midsummer heat, arid but heady enough to make their clothes cling to their skin.
The map on Izuku’s phone led them to a rocky path leading up a hill that was practically a small mountain. The trail led through a thick brush of trees, and Izuku admired the greenery of it all as they went. The sing-song chirping of swallows was a magical incantation to his ears
and the breeze shifted through his hair and the leaves with the soothing pressure of a wide-toothed comb.

Katsuki, of course, hated the heat. He complained about it the whole way and drank his water too quickly, constantly pulling at the neck of his tank to create some semblance
of airflow on his skin.

Izuku understood his discomfort and sort of pitied him (the blond always ran hot as a result of his quirk), but he couldn’t deny that he was delighting in it, too.
Katsuki’s clothing choice, for instance, was meant to counter the sun, but all Izuku could focus on was the swell of that tight, shapely ass in those tiny orange shorts. And when he stopped to tie a bandanna across his brow like a headband, Izuku almost fainted on the spot.
It was the sexiest thing he’d ever seen.

He tried to bury those thoughts as they trekked over stick and stone, stopped every once in a while to read or browse on their phones under coveted shade.

All the while, Izuku couldn’t escape the feeling that he’d done something wrong,
that there was a reason for Katsuki’s coldness toward him and his sudden aversion to Izuku’s touch. His stomach churned every time he tried to piece it together in his head, not wanting to confront the issue out loud because he knew how Katsuki’s anger behaved,
like a sea-storm wave that drowns any ships and ports in its wake.

But still, as they hiked, Izuku caught tiny flashes of the Katsuki he’d known over the last few months — the one who laughed into his skin after bringing each other to a euphoric climax, the one who rubbed the
soles of Izuku’s feet while they sagged into the couch after a long day of hero work.

He showed himself when Izuku winced at the phantom pain in his leg and back as they jumped over a gap where a creek cut through the trail.
Katsuki’s face would soften at Izuku’s struggle and he’d extend a sweat-damp helping hand (though he still wore a frown across his tight lips).

Izuku didn’t voice his thanks, but he let Katsuki drink from his canteen for the rest of the journey.
The rest of the day passed similarly. They paused and wandered around enough for the relatively short hike to last until the sky turned pink and they finally reached their destination.
It was as beautiful as Izuku hoped. They stood on the jut of a dirt-formed plateau, high enough that they couldn’t see the ground — just deciduous treetops stretching on for miles. There were a few breaks in the foliage, in which they spotted a small waterfall that’d unknowingly
been a stone’s throw from the campsite the whole time, and along the edge of the treeline, Izuku could make out where the dirt turned into a rusty red as the forest became desert.

Katsuki sat himself on a tall rock at the corner, climbing it with a grace Izuku knew he couldn’t
mirror after his injury. Not wanting to bother Katsuki, he sat at the base of the rock, legs folded under him and feeling much too small for the massive earth laid bare before him.

As the salmon sky became flooded with a thousand other hues and Izuku’s sullen heart threatened to
splinter him open from the inside, Katsuki’s voice scraped over him like sandpaper.

“Hey,” he said from atop his rock. “Isn’t this boring-ass sunset what you wanted to see?” Izuku nodded. “Then get up here, nerd. Ain’t gonna last all night.”
“Um... it’s fine, Kacchan. I can see from down here.”

“Nope. If you want a better view, I suggest you get your ass up here. Now, Deku.”

Izuku listened, getting to his feet and accepting Katsuki’s hand to help him onto the rock, shucking his backpack when he reached the top.
It really was better this way, somehow. The sloped edges of the stone created the illusion of being suspended in midair, and Izuku watched in wonder as the last, glowing vestiges of the sun bled into the horizon like spilled paint.

Better, too, because Katsuki was beside him.
He always had been, in a way. Their togetherness had definitely taken on a new form here in America, but Katsuki was that constant, /perfect/ presence in Izuku’s life. Even in their darker days he was never out of reach, always there to push Izuku harder, further, /faster/ than
anyone else. And here he was now, an arms-length apart but lightyears out of Izuku’s grasp.

As the stars came out to dot the sky like the dappled hide of a fawn, Izuku started to cry. He tried to keep quiet and stave off the tears, but his own sniffling betrayed him.
Katsuki whipped around to face him.

“Woah, hey. /Hey/. The fuck’s wrong with you?”

“I’m so-sorry, Kacchan. It’s just—“ Izuku sputtered and wiped his nose with the heel of his hand. “How long are we gonna do this? How long are we gonna run in circles around each other?”
“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I can’t figure out why you hate me!” he sobbed. “I don’t know what I did, but you won’t talk to me. You won’t touch me. It’s driving me /insane/, Kacchan. It’s like you’re so mad at me that—“
“I am mad at you. I’m fucking /livid/.”

“What... why?”

“You know what you did,” Katsuki spat, eyes boring into Izuku like sizzling flares. “You didn’t /listen/ to me, Deku. I said go for the hostages, and you just stayed with me like a goddamn idiot.”
Realization dawned on Izuku and his jaw dropped.

“Kacchan, I—“

“And what happened, Deku? You got yourself torn up, almost /killed/, because you’re too fucking stubborn to know when to quit.” Worry tinged Katsuki’s voice along with his frustration. “You got hurt because of me,
just like you always do. Except this time you could’ve done something about it.”

“Don’t put this on me, Kacchan. You got hurt, too.”

“Yeah, because of a /villain/, dumbass! I was collateral damage, but you... I thought you left all that martyr shit in high school.”
“I couldn’t just leave you!”

“And why the /fuck/ not?”

“Because I—because I don’t know if I can do this without you.”

Katsuki bristled under the moonlight, but his voice softened the next time he spoke.
“What about me, huh? What was I supposed to do if you died, Deku?”

“You’d be fine.”

“I wouldn’t.”

They fell into silence, Katsuki’s words hanging heavy in the air between them. Above, a comet split the sky like a swift blade, slicing it in two.
“Why?” Izuku finally asked. “You’ve always been so strong on your own. We both know I’m the one who needs you, not the other way around.”

“Jesus, nerd. How can you say shit like that?” Izuku’s brows bunches in confusion as Katsuki suddenly reached for him, hands gripping his
biceps like a vice. “Deku, you must be a real fucking moron to think I don’t need you.”

Katsuki paused to take a deep breath and moved a hand to cradle Izuku’s jaw.

“This—how we’ve been lately...” he slid a thumb over Izuku’s bottom lip to clarify his point.
“... this is real for me.”

Izuku’s breath caught in his throat.

“I didn’t know how to tell you. You know I’m not good at feelings and shit, and I didn’t want to scare you off. But, Deku... fuck.”
Izuku couldn’t /breathe/.

“Deku, I love you so fucking much that if you died—/especially/ because of me—then I might as well be the villain everyone always said I’d become.” He laughed curtly. “Shit, I probably would’ve died, too. When that happens, it’s gotta be from something
more badass than a broken heart.”

At Katsuki’s admission, a warmth more pleasant than any Californian weather seeped into Izuku’s skin, ran through him like a liquor’s sweet burn. He wanted to respond, wanted to return those precious words, but he was utterly speechless,
rendered senseless and immobile in the dark.

“Don’t say anything,” Katsuki said as if he could read Izuku’s thoughts. “Just... c’mere.”
Izuku gave a frantic nod. Katsuki snatched his backpack and placed it under his head like a pillow, sprawling out on top of the rock and pulling Izuku down to rest on his sturdy chest.

They stayed like that forever it seemed, blanketed by the spackled sky and curled against each
other like lovers, and it made Izuku cry for entirely different reasons than before. Tears shimmered against his cheeks like they were the stars themselves, a supernova bursting across the fabric of Katsuki’s shirt.

“Hey,” he said, a rumble under Izuku’s ear as he took him by
the chin to give him a concerned look. Izuku still couldn’t find the words, so he did the next best thing and sealed their mouths together, hoping to covey everything he needed to with a warm, lazy, thorough kiss.
When they broke apart, Katsuki was staring at him in wonder, a man laying eyes upon the moon for the very first time.

And still, they stayed. Izuku tucked himself into Katsuki’s side as they stared into the galaxy above, the rough terrain below all but forgotten.
“It doesn’t look like this back home”, Izuku finally said.

Katsuki hummed in agreement, rubbing broad, gentle circles into the space between Izuku’s shoulder blades. “We’re too close to Tokyo to see any stars.”

“It’s a shame.”
“I guess.”

“You /guess/? Kacchan, this is amazing. Look, over there—“ Izuku pointed to a constellation floating to the east. “That’s the Big Dipper, right? I’ve never seen it before.”

“Tch. You’re not looking hard enough, nerd. See that?”
He took Izuku’s wrist, guiding him to trace an invisible path between barely-lit clouds. “That’s Ursa Major, the Great Bear. Big Dipper’s just a section of it, damn extras always seem to forget the rest.”

“How do you know that, Kacchan?”

“S’common sense.”

“Is it, though?”
Katsuki shrugged beneath him, always too modest about his intelligence where he was overconfident about nearly everything else.

“Ursa Major, huh?” Izuku said. “Kind of like you.”

“The hell?”
Izuku laughed, looking up at Katsuki as his fingers trailed over the corded muscle at his stomach. “You’re a big, burly beast most of the time. Bearing your teeth at anyone who looks at you the wrong way.” Katsuki twitched a brow in agreement. “But you’re calm and dependable when
you want to be. Just like them.” Izuku pointed to the stars.

Katsuki rolled his eyes.

“As if I’m this fucking soft for anyone but you.”

“Better not be,” Izuku challenged. “I guess that makes me Ursa Minor, then.”
“Tch. You might be shitty, but you’re no Little Dipper.” Katsuki tightened his hold around Izuku’s waist. “Find me a stupid bunny constellation—you can be that one.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Izuku never did find out, because suddenly Katsuki was kissing him again instead of answering.

With the new revelation between them, Izuku felt big enough for the world again. He felt safe and wanted and /whole/, and he gave as good as he got. He met Katsuki kiss for kiss, and
later, thrust for thrust as Izuku fucked him slow and deep into the barely-there cushion of the sleeping bags.

The heat made their skin sticky and sweat-slick, heightening every touch and sound inside the tent. Katsuki shuddered under and around him as a thunderstorm
started up at midnight, twin moans drowning out the battering of rain. The tent’s yellow lining turned the lightning green, smothered into the backdrop of their coupling but imbuing the air with more crackling energy than Izuku’s quirk.
He /did/ end up licking the length of Katsuki’s new scar, after all.

Once wasn’t enough. Surrounded by the soft halo of morning, Izuku straddled Katsuki again and rode him hard and fast, clawing at his chest like the bear they’d drawn out of starlight just hours before.
After packing their belongings for LA, they lingered. Katsuki led him to the waterfall they spied from the plateau, stripped them both nude and bathed them under the downrush.
When Izuku wrapped an injured leg around Katsuki’s waist, pulled him down by the neck and whispered “I love you” against his lips, Katsuki was glowing. He was more beautiful than any sunset or constellation Izuku had ever seen, even when his vision was blurred by Katsuki kissing
over every freckle he could find, even the ones on Izuku’s eyelids.

Years later, Katsuki presented him with a key. The carved metal slotted into the door of a small house at the forested edge of Kanagawa. It was modest and plain and full of unpacked boxes.
At night, Izuku walked onto the back porch. It stuck out over the trees like a cliff.

The stars were visible here, as visceral as the warm hands that gripped Izuku’s waist from behind. As real the chin resting on his shoulder and Katsuki’s voice against the shell of his ear:
“Welcome home, baby.”

☆ ☆ ☆

end 💚🧡
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