Kirishima loves Bakugou dearly. He really does, but there were moments when he didn’t like him and right now was one of those moments.

He watches as his husband throws yet another temper tantrum. This time he doesn’t fully understand what set Bakugou off, but he
doesn’t care, can’t find the space to care as embarrassment and justified anger swell within his chest.

He really tries to swallow the words, but they tumble out end over end, each syllable cutting him to the quick as he says, in front of their friends,
“I don’t like you right now.”

Bakugou recoils and his mouth falls into a small ‘o’ as each word lands.

Their friends look between the two of them, not knowing what to do or say until Kaminari quietly informs them that they’ll check in on them tomorrow.
Kirishima braces himself for a fight once the door clicks shut, but Bakugou pushes past him with a blank expression on his face.

“Babe, I didn’t mean—“

Bakugou’s eyes hold fire and a hurt so deep it sliced through Kirishima, but his voice is steady when he cuts him off,
“You meant it. I’m going to bed. Goodnight.”

Kirishima stands in their hallway, arms at his side, tears welling in his eyes, and admits to himself that he /did/ mean it.

There were many moments where he couldn’t stand Bakugou, but that never impeded upon his
ability to love his husband.

Or...did it?
CW: angst, hurt/comfort, happy ending, therapy, maybe NSFW who knows!
Their bedroom is large, but as Bakugou actively tries to avoid Kirishima, it feels smaller to the redhead.

“Can I—“

“Explain yourself?” Bakugou finishes his sentence. “No. Excuse me.”

Kirishima feels a chill as Bakugou walks around him to go into the bathroom.
“You’re not—“

“Listening?” Bakugou peels off his shirt and tossed it in the hamper. “Why should I?” His blank stare is meant to hide his emotions, but Kirishima knows him well.

The twitch of his lip and the rolling of his neck gives him away. He’s pissed.
“Because I—“

“I don’t care if you have more to say. I don’t care to hear it.” Bakugou shrugs his shoulders as he steps out of his jeans. “Now if you’ll excuse me...” he trails off, waiting for Kirishima to leave.

“I’m not—“
“You /are/ leaving. Whether or not I want to talk to you right now isn’t /your/ choice. So...” he arches a blond brow.

“Can you just let me finish a fucking sentence, Katsuki?!” Kirishima’s hardened fist slams down onto the black marble counter creating thin cracks
That feather out around the fracture. His heart beats loudly in his chest and his ears ring with the sound of his pulse. His breath is pluming from his nostrils with each exhale and he can’t recall when he’s felt /this/ angry.

He never has.
Bakugou scoffs and shoulder checks Kirishima on the way out of the bathroom. “I’ll sleep on the couch.”

Kirishima grabs his arm and rushes out, “Wait, just let me fix it.”

Bakugou laughs harshly, the hint of sadness giving him away as his voice shakes. He looks at
Kirishima’s hand and back up at his face before calmly stating, “If you’d like to keep that hand free from injury, I suggest you let me go.”

“Seriously?” Kirishima is floored.

Bakugou snatches his arm away, calling out over his shoulder,
“Add it to the list of shit you don’t like about me.”

Kirishima’s shoulders sag under the weight of his feelings.

He’s angry with himself, he’s angry with Bakugou, he’s hurt, he’s embarrassed, but most of all he’s scared.
He runs his fingers over the thin cracks in the counter and vaguely wonders how much longer the counter can hold with these breaks.

Kirishima hopes the next morning will see them back to normal. He wakes up to the smell of breakfast and coffee and pads out into the living room timidly.

Bakugou is sitting at the table, scrolling through his phone and sipping his coffee. His eyes glance up and he grunts out a
‘good morning’ before returning to whatever he’s looking at.

Hope floods Kirishima’s body, making him nearly weep with relief. He leans down to place a kiss on Bakugou’s forward, but the blond pulls away with a cold laugh.

“Yeah, no.” He pushes away from the
table and Kirishima follows.

“Are you still upset?”

Bakugou chuckles as he washes his mug and turns to face Kirishima, leaning against the counter. “Pray tell, why would I be fucking upset, Ei?”
Kirishima drags a hand through his bed head and sighs heavily, “Can we just talk about this normally? Please?”

“Of course!” Bakugou smiles sweetly but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes, making Kirishima very wary.
“It’s ‘normal’” Bakugou inserts air quotes, “For a husband to not like their spouse, right Ei? And it’s ‘normal’ for said husband to practically yell out in front of their company that he doesn’t like his spouse. Right Ei?”
“If you aren’t—“

“Don’t interrupt me,” Bakugou hisses, “Or is that ‘normal’ too? To talk over your spouse?” Bakugou stares up at him with a tight smirk on his face.

“Do you want me to answer the questions?”

Bakugou taps a finger to his chin in an
Over dramatic fashion, humming loudly, “You know what I want?”

Kirishima eagerly answers, “Tell me and I’ll do it.”

“I want you to fuck off.” Bakugou slips past him and leaves Kirishima in the kitchen desperately clinging to
The last shred of dignity that keeps him from breaking down loudly.
The day is...awkward to say the least.

Bakugou vacillates between withdrawing and being obnoxiously loud in an attempt to push Kirishima into a fight.

It doesn’t work.

Until it does.

“Talk to me!” Kirishima stresses, his tone is pleading but his voice is loud, encroaching
On yelling.

“About /what/?!” Bakugou slams the cabinet and levels a deathly stare at Kirishima.

“I know you’re feeling something, but I don’t know what! Just, please? Talk to me?” He’s begging at this point and he’s waiting for Bakugou to crack, to give in.
He stares at the face he’s memorized since high school. He can see the laugh lines that are trying to creep in, the little crinkles at the corner of his eyes that Kirishima loves because when they’re prominent, Bakugou is letting go and being more of himself.
He sees that perfect mask begin to slip and for just a moment, for a brief second, vulnerability tints his ruby irises and his arm twitches as if he wants to reach out, and maybe Kirishima moved too fast and scared him, because that wall goes back up higher and thicker
than before and Bakugou is dismissing him.

“I have nothing to say.” He turns to walk away and Kirishima snaps.

“BULLSHIT! You can’t sit here and lie to me. I know you’re hurt and I apologize for that but—“
“Oh no,” Bakugou stalks closer, determined steps quickly closing the gap until he’s within arms reach, “Do not try and justify what you said Eijirou.”

“Oh, so I can’t justify a slip of the tongue but you get to justify every single temper tantrum you’ve had since 15?!”
“TEMPER TANTRUM?! What am I, a child?!” Bakugou yells.

Kirishima matches his ire, “NO BUT YOU ACT LIKE ONE OFTEN.”

Again, he wishes he can take back those words. He wishes that he never spoke them, when he watches Bakugou’s brow pull together in a pained wince.
“Ironic how I’m the child, but you can’t even cook your own goddamn meals. Can’t grocery shop without calling me every few minutes to double check if Vitamin D or Skim milk is fine. When was the last time you did a /stitch/ of laundry? Huh?”
Kirishima’s insecurity flares to life and he does his best to hide, building his defenses higher and thicker than Bakugou is used to. “I’m done.”

He side steps around his husband of two years, partner of 11 years, and goes to the hallway closer to grab his overnight bag.
“What do you mean you’re done?” Bakugou tries to sound calm, but he sounds small and scared, his bravado cracking as Kirishima ignores him. “I’m talking to you!”

Kirishima scoffs, “Oh /now/ you are?”

“What do you mean you’re done?” Bakugou demands. And while Kirishima
Wants to hurt him, wants to make him sweat, wants to be as petty as he feels, he answers him honestly.

“I’m done with this conversation. Obviously you’re not in the place to talk and I don’t want to be insulted or ignored until you are.”
“Tch. Whatever.” Bakugou crosses his arms in a defiant manner.

“Okay.” Kirishima goes back to packing his bag.

“So, just ‘okay’ then? You’re just going to leave me then?”

Kirishima’s fist ball of their own free will and he closes his eyes to count to ten slowly.
“I am not leaving /you/. I am /leaving/ for the night. I cannot keep doing this Katsuki. I’m...” he pauses as he looks for the right word, “tired. I’m so tired.”

“Of me?” He pushes, not listening, not caring, ignoring Kirishima’s apparent pain and exhaustion.
“Yes and no. I’m tired of having to hold back my truth because I’m afraid you’re going to blow up on me. I’m tired of not being able to have a calm disagreement. I’m tired. Aren’t you?”

And then it becomes a competition and Bakugou paints himself out to be the victor by
reminding Kirishima of all the things he does well. And Kirishima has heard this before, in fact multiple times whenever they get into a bad disagreement.

So he begins to talk over him, filling in the blanks before Bakugou can, mockingly, until the blond is quietly seething.
“I’m tired. I’ll be at Kami’s until tomorrow. I love you.” He pecks Bakugou’s cheek and leaves, feeling heavy, desolate, and like maybe he made the wrong choice two years ago when he said ‘I do’.

“What are you doing here?” Is the first thing Mitsuki asks when she opens the door.

“Can’t I come by to see my parents?” Bakugou asks as he pushes past her.

“It’s not Sunday.”

Weekly visits have his mom spoiled. She’s going to know something is up.
“Okay, and?” He shrugs out of his coat and hangs it on the rack by the door. He slips out of his shoes and steps into his slippers. “Where’s dad?”

“Work. What’s wrong?” Mitsuki’s eyes are narrowed and Bakugou tries to avoid her all knowing gaze.

“—and if you say nothing I swear I’m going to call Eijirou and make him tell me.”

“Miserable conniving hag,” Bakugou pouts as he moves forward to rest his head on his moms shoulder.

“Tea or sake?” She asks as she envelops him in a hug, rubbing her hands along his


“Oh fuck, I mean oh shit. I mean.. fuck. What happened?”

He feels her arms tighten around him and he wants to let go. He wants to cry and scream and tell her what happened and how he feels but... he doesn’t know /how/ he feels. He just...feels. A lot.
“Kirishima,” he mumbles.

“I’ll kill him,” she mutters softly.

“No, I love him too much,” he sniffles.

“Then what happened?”

They stand in the hallway, Bakugou hugging his mother like he hasn’t in decades, and fighting back tears as he explains.
He wasn’t expecting Mitsuki to smother laughter, but she does and he gets pissed. Before he can explode, she’s squeezing him tightly and calmly stating,

“I love the hell out of your father. I would give my last breath if that meant he would live. But...”
“There’s always a but,” he grumbles.

Mitsuki ignores him and continues, “But there are days where I don’t like him and he sure as shit doesn’t like me. And you know what son?” She lifts his head to stare up at him.

“That’s /normal/.”

“Fucking you and Ei with ‘normal’. Normal is relative!”

“Yeah, some of it is, but this isn’t. You won’t always like Ei. As a matter of fact, haven’t you had days where you look at him and you just get annoyed?”
Bakugou shrugs his shoulders. If he has, no one needs to know.

“You can’t lie to me kid. I made you, remember?”

“Ugh, now you’re gonna make me sick.”

Mitsuki laughs and kisses his cheek, using her thumb to rub it in before he wipes it away.
“I’m sorry son.”

“What are you sorry for?” Bakugou’s brow furrows in confusion.

“I’ve not been the past at building your emotional intelligence so now you’re all,” she waves her hand.

“Tell me about it,” Bakugou sighs.

“What are you gonna do now?”
“Go up to my old room and pretend I’m in high school and single and not dealing with Kirishima’s bullshit. Call me when dinner is done.” He takes the stairs two at a time, smiling softly as he hears his other object to him crashing at her place.

“I don’t want Bakugou to kill me,” Kaminari nervously glances down the long hallway. “He’s not going to come blasting over to kick my ass is he?”

“Let him try it,” Tetsu grins and raised a hand for a high five as he passes by.

Kirishima slaps his hand and points out,
“Bakugou benches more than you bro, he’ll totally kick your ass.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it,” Shinsou pulls open the door and officially invites Kirishima in. “Are you here because you told him you didn’t like him?”
Kaminari loudly excuses himself, slipping away before Kirishima can scold him.


“But you love him?” Shinsou asks as Kirishima drops his bag.

“Of course man.”

“In love with him?” Tetsu peeks his head out of the steamy bathroom.

“Of course! I’m stupid not crazy.”
“Actually,” Kaminari breezes back in the room with a bottle of beer and sits next to Kirishima, tucking his legs underneath him. “You aren’t stupid. A little tactless, yes, but stupid? No.”

Kirishima hardens his index finger and pops the cap off, taking a deep swig of beer. He
wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and tilts the bottle in Kaminari’s direction. “Explain.”

“It’s quite common for people in long term, healthy relationships to have moments where they dislike their partners,” Kaminari responds. “Right babe?” He turns to Shinsou.
He nods and sits in the chair across from the sofa. “I can’t stand Tetsu during football season and I almost abhor Denki when a new season of D/rag R/ace comes out.”
Mhm,” Kaminari nods cheerfully. “Hitoshi is a big asshole when it comes to watching psychologically driven programs cuz you know he’s the ‘expert in the room’,” Kaminari rolls his eyes but looks over at Shinsou with a soft expression.
“The difference is man,” Tetsu plops down next to Kirishima smelling like Mountain Spring Pine and manliness, “We don’t say that shit in front of company.”

“But—“ Kirishima starts.

“No buts,”Shinsou interrupts.“Is Bakugou wrong for flying off the handle every chance he gets?”
“Definitely,” Tetsu acknowledges.

“But,” Kaminari cuts in, “It wasn’t okay for you to do what you did in front of us. I know we’ve been tight since freshmen year, but how would you feel if he did something like that?”
Kirishima has been asking himself that since last night. He’d be angry and he’d be hurt but, “I’d talk to him about my feelings.”

“And which feeling is that?” Shinsou slips into his therapy voice.
“Don’t therapize me Hitoshi,” Kirishima groans.

“Fine. I won’t, but maybe therapy isn’t a bad idea.”

“He could benefit from seeing a head doctor,” Kirishima agrees as he sips his beer.

“He meant for the both of you,” Tetsu says quietly.

“Mhm,” Shinsou smiles at his

“‘Toshi and I went to therapy when we were figuring out polyamory,” Kaminari chimes in. “We know a great therapist! Babe,” he looks at Tetsu, “go to our room and look in my top drawer. There’s a business card under my undies. Give it to Ei, yeah?”
“Sure thing, Bean,” Tetsu hops up with a wide grin on his face and rushes to fulfill Kaminari’s wish.

“I don’t know about couples therapy.” Kirishima nervously avoids their glances by staring at his beer. “What if it makes things worse?”
“Oh it will,” Shinsou laughs. “You guys will argue in therapy and out of therapy, but, it will also help you guys once you get past the righteous indignation and stop bullshitting each other for the sake of sparing feelings.”

“We fought like cats and dogs the first five weeks?”
“Seven,” Shinsou corrects. “But, we implemented the tools given to us, I learned to stop being a—what did you call me kitten?”

“Massive, educated, bookworm, sleepy eyed, over caffeinated, know it all, douche nozzle,” Tetsu answered.
“Sorry about that,” Kaminari sheepishly smiles.

“It’s in the past, love. We’ve worked through it, right?”


“Now it’s your turn Ei,” Tetsu hands him the card. “Don’t lose your relationship because you can’t tell him the truth.”
“Do you know how many years we’ve all invested in you two for you guys/not/ to work?” Kaminari huffs.

“I mean, yeah,” Shinsou chuckles. “We all love you guys and want you both happy and healthy.”

“Tell Sarai we sent you,” Tetsu smiles.
“Now,” He slams his fists together and grins at Kirishima, Kaminari, and Shinsou. “Who is trying to get their ass beat?”

After losing back to back to back rounds in Mario Kart AND Smash Bro’s, Kirishima decides to give Bakugou a call.
He picks up on the first ring. “What?”

“Can we talk?”

“I’m listening.”

Kirishima exhales slowly. “I apologize.”


“I—I think we need therapy.” Kirishima waits, expecting Bakugou to go into a long winded tirade, but he’s pushed into speechlessness
when Bakugou says,

“I agree.”

Kirishima blinks a few times before responding, “I’m talking to Katsuki Bakugou-Kirishima, right?”

“Yes you idiot. Who else would you be talking to?”

“There he is.”

“When do you want to go?”

“Forgive me because I thought you’d say no.”
Kirishima leans against the railing of the balcony, looking out onto the sparkling skyline.

“I don’t /want/ to go, but if I say no, my mom will kick my ass and I’m more afraid of her than you so...”

Kirishima chuckles softly. “Valid. I’ll schedule the appointment.”


“Ei?” Bakugou sounds so far away, so fragile and small and Kirishima wants to hold him.

“Yes, love?”

“Come home soon?”

“I will.”


The lobby is meant to feel warm, bright, and friendly with the various artwork on the walls and the comfortable chairs. However, as Kirishima notes the chair between he and Bakugou, he feels anything /but/ relaxed and calm.
They were able to secure an appointment within two days and even though they agreed to attend therapy, that didn’t mean things were necessarily better between them.

Things were tense and awkward. Bakugou barely spoke except for clipped “I love you’s”.
Kirishima was hoping that just /going/ to therapy would close the gap, but the chilled air between them as long as the empty chair served as a symbol for theit current state.

“Kirishima, Bakugou?” A soft, soothing voice calls their names and Bakugou closes the magazine
he was pretending to read. Kirishima stands to his feet and has to look down to greet the tiny woman.

Everything about her oozed relaxation. Her soft eyes crinkle in the corner as she holds her hand out toward her office.
“Thank you both for coming.” She introduces herself to them before launching into the explanation of what couples therapy would entail.

Before they both sign consent forms, Sarai explains her quirk.
“My quirk allows me to pull out your emotional state in the image that best represents what you feel. When clients have difficulty identifying emotions, sometimes seeing it, makes it easier. Do you consent to use of my quirk when I deem it therapeutically appropriate?”
They both agree and sign consent forms.

“Great, I would like to start with what’s working well for you both in your marriage.”

Kirishima looks over at Bakugou from the corner of his eye, pausing to see if he would be the first to engage. Sarai waits quietly,
easy smile on her face, and finally Bakugou speaks.

“He’s hung like a horse so that works.”

Kirishima chokes on a swallow and stares at Bakugou with eyes wide from shock. He whips his head around, mouth open to apologize but Sarai is chuckling softly.
“Okay, anything else Bakugou?”

“He’s a good listener most days.”

“Good, good.” Sarai turns her gaze to Kirishima. “Would you like to add anything Kirishima?”

“I enjoy spending time with him. So that’s going well. And uh, he always makes dinner for us.”
“What’s not going well right now?”

Bakugou actually stands and turns his entire body to Kirishima before settling back on the couch to stare at him. “Ei, what’s not going well right now?”

Sarai makes a soft sound that draws Kirishima’s attention to her before
he answers, “I made the mistake of saying multiple things I don’t know if I really mean.”

Sarai is quiet when she pushes, “Would you care to elaborate, Kirishima?”

Bakugou arches a brow and pulls his lips together in a bored sneer.
“Uh, sure. Bakugou was having a fit—“

“Oh, so now it’s a fit and not a temper tantrum? I’ll make note of that.”

Kirishima turns to face him, the sincerity loud in his voice when he questions, “What do you call them?”
Bakugou’s mouth opens, closes, and then opens again before he huffs loudly and turns his body back to Sarai, arms folded over his chest.

“I’d be interested in hearing the answer,” she tells Bakugou.

“I’m expressing my opinion or displeasure about something,” he answers her.
“But it’s not just an expression of an opinion babe,” Kirishima points out. “It’s an ordeal. You yell, threaten to hurt someone, damage property. It’s exhausting.”

Bakugou glares at him and Kirishima steels himself for an attack.
“Oh yeah? Well so is being around sunshine incarnate 24-fucking-7. You barely get mad and /if/ you do all it takes for you to calm down is someone throwing you a weak ass apology and all is forgiven. Your happy go lucky /act/ is exhausting. At least I’m real.”
“So now I’m fake?” Kirishima fires back.

“Yes,” Bakugou maintains his position. “A person cannot be as nice as you all the time. So...”

“Let’s take a breather gentlemen. What I’m hearing you say Kirishima is Bakugou’s difficulty with managing his mood swings is tiresome.”
Kirishima nods. “And what I’m hearing you say Bakugou is that Kirishima’s inability to express his true emotional state is not only tiresome but you’re having difficulty with trusting the emotions he /does/ show.” Bakugou grunts. “Tell me what brought you guys here today.”
Bakugou points at Kirishima, “He doesn’t like me.”

“I didn’t mean it like that!” Kirishima all but stomps his foot, but he does pout and cross his arms.

“Well you sure as shit said it in front of everyone,” Bakugou’s voice is tense and Kirishima can feel the waves
of hurt rolling from his body in thick waves.

“What did you mean, Kirishima?”

“I meant that there are times when his behaviors make it hard to like him.”

“So, you don’t like me.” Bakugou states.

Kirishima snaps,” Sometimes, I don’t. Do you like me all of the time?”
“Sure as fuck don’t right now,” Bakugou mumbles.

“And I’m—“

Sarai coughs softly, effectively pausing Kirishima. “Love and Trustworthiness are two of the most important pillars of a relationship. They help us know who we are in relationship and if we are safe in relationship.”
“Bakugou, do you feel safe with Kirishima?”

He answers with no hesitation, “Always.”

“So then you’re questioning who you are to him since he’s stated he doesn’t like you.”

“Are you asking me or telling?” He stares over at the therapist.


“Kirishima,” she shifts to face him, “Do you know who you are to Bakugou?”

“Of course, but I don’t always feel safe,” he admits rather quietly.

Before Sarai can ask, Bakugou beats her to it. “Why not?”
“How can I when something as small as Kaminari drinking the last can of beer sets you off? How can I when you /rage/ at someone who walks too slowly in front of you? Or when you throw in my face all the things you do for me?”

Bakugou stares blankly for a beat and
slides his eyes back to Sarai. “How do I fix it?”

“This isn’t how this going to work unfortunately. I can give you a bandaid, but in order for the wound to heal it needs to be cleaned and stitched closed.”
“In layman’s terms,” Bakugou spits out through gritted teeth.

“You want an easy fix whereas this is foundational work. I can tell you what to do, but I guarantee you’ll be back in a year with the same issues.”

“You’re kind of a blunt ass—“ Bakugou looks at Kirishima and
Bites back the insult. “You’re blunt.”

“You’re not paying me to sugarcoat shit, now are you?” Sarai smiles sweetly and Kirishima notices the slight twitch of Bakugou’s lip.

“Then what do we do?”

Kirishima listens as Sarai explains what therapy will look like.
They set goals and schedule the next appointment.

“Don’t talk about this appointment. Don’t talk about your argument. You’ve talked enough about that and at this point, you’re focusing on content and not process. Let it rest. Do something enjoyable together.”
Kirishima and Bakugou agree and they leave both feeling a bit better.

“So, uh, how long do these emotions stay outside of us?” Kirishima asks as he does his best to ignore the looming, hulking figure that is Bakugou’s hurt.

He doesn’t ignore it because he doesn’t care, but he ignores it because if that’s how Bakugou sees his pain, it’s downright
frightening and Kirishima is having a hard time dealing with it.

Bakugou, though, sits relaxed, or appears to be, as the dark shadow undulates and quivers before taking a solid shape of some Eldritch horror.
It has multiple mouths that each hiss,

“It’s always your fault.”

“You’re the fuck up.”

“Kirishima deserves better.”

“Just leave him. Spare his feelings.”

“You’re going to die alone.”

The eyeholes are bleeding constantly and it takes Kirishima a moment to realize
those are meant to be tears. It then takes on the quivering liquid form and cloaks Bakugou, creating a thin black layer that wraps around his body tightly, fitting like a second skin.

“It will dissipate soon,” Sarai looks over at Kirishima. “This makes you uncomfortable?”
“It doesn’t make /you/ uncomfortable?” He asks, incredulous. “Babe?”

Bakugou shrugs nonchalantly, but doesn’t answer.

Kirishima looks down at the small baby that’s been crying (thankfully inaudibly) for the past thirty minutes and sighs. “I have no room to judge.”
“Nope, but let’s talk about how your vulnerability manifested.”

They spend the time taking about Kirishima’s difficulty being vulnerable and where that comes from. Bakugou remains stoic, a blank expression on his face despite the shifting, dark figure of his hurt
continuing to whisper hiss loud enough to be a distraction.

Kirishima has had enough and all of his exasperation rushes out as he asks, “Can’t you deal with that?”

Bakugou laughs once and tilts his head to stare at his husband. His answer steals Kirishima breath
and causes a lump to form in his throat. “No.”

Sarai leaps at the opportunity to finally engage with Bakugou and softly asks, “Why not?”

“I don’t know how,” Bakugou gives this answer as calmly and as matter of fact that it stuns Kirishima into silence. “I’ve tried before.”
“When?” Sarai is gentle and for a moment Bakugou tenses, but he answers honestly.

“After being abducted, after ending All Might’s career, after rejecting Ei the first time he asked me on a date, after finding out Deku was number one and Todoroki number two.”
He blinks over at Sarai. “Shall I continue?”

“How did you deal with it?”

Bakugou hums as he thinks. “Training.”

Sarai’s head tilts in question but she doesn’t ask. She allows for the silence and eventually Bakugou continues.
“I break my body so my mind won’t break. It’s worked for the past 11 years.”

“But you’re dealing with /that/ on your own!” Kirishima stresses. His vulnerability is crawling around the office coming precariously close to sockets and reaching for a pen to shove into its mouth.
“And you’ve been a single parent for all of your life apparently,” Bakugou quips as he snatches up the round child and drops it on Kirishima’s lap. “Babies scare you.”

“Well, yeah.” Kirishima stares down at the child. It blinks up at him with wide eyes and almost
launches itself off of Kirishima’s lap toward the glass coffee table but Bakugou is fast, sighing loudly as he catches the child.

“Deal with this,” he huffs as he sits the baby in Kirishima’s lap.

“It’s scary,” Kirishima mutters softly.
“Of course it is,” Sarai finally interjects. “Being vulnerable can make us feel weak and you’re ‘The Unbreakable Pro-Hero Red Riot’! You’re not weak.”

“You’re damn right I’m not!” Kirishima puffs his chest out, grinning.

“Neither is being vulnerable.”

Bakugou lets out a
Single laugh that he tries to cover up with a cough as the smile slides from Kirishima’s face.

“Oh no, don’t think I wasn’t coming to you and your symbiote here. How much longer will your body hold up before it /and/ your mind breaks completely?”
“I figure another 12-15 years,” Bakugou honestly answers.

Sarai is silent before she laughs. Bakugou chuckles softly and Kirishima looks at them like he’s on the outside of a shared joke.

“This is where you guys can help each other,” Sarai starts and begins to
explain techniques and tips they can do.

For Bakugou, he is encouraged to verbalize he’s hurt by starting off by just simply stating, “I’m hurt.” Kirishima is to repeat that back to him and ask what he needs. If Bakugou cannot identify his need, he will use
His tried and true coping skills to manage his pain. If he’s still feeling hurt and is ready to talk about what caused it, he can use one of several communication methods to share his feelings.

He chose letter writing.

Kirishima is encouraged to ask for help.
He cannot give up on a complicated task or hyperfocus until he figures it out. He needs to ask Bakugou for help. Bakugou’s only response is to be ‘okay’.

They agree to this and finally their hurt and vulnerability disappear.
“Kirishima, shall we address the elephant in the room?”

It’s been six weeks and the original argument came up sporadically but now he’s ready to deal with it. He nods.

“You said you didn’t like Bakugou a few weeks ago. Bakugou admitted to not always liking you.”
They both nod.

“Is there any one person that you both like *all* of the time?”

They sit quietly while they try to find a person. Sarai waits patiently.

“No,” Kirishima finally says.

“I hardly like people at all,” Bakugou adds.
“So then why hold the expectation that you *always* have to like your spouse and their behaviors?”

“Because we’re married,” Bakugou answers.

“And that means what, exactly?”

“That he has to love me!”

“I do love you!” Kirishima turns to face Bakugou and reaches for his
hand. “I love you Katsuki. I have for the past 11 years. But honestly, sometimes you’re a raging dick weasel.”

“Uh, Kirishima I don’t think—“

Bakugou’s laughter cuts her off. “What the hell is a dick weasel?”

Kirishima chuckles, “Denki calls Tetsu that sometimes.”
“Figures you’d hear that from Denki. Uncultured swine.” Bakugou rolls his eyes and turns to face Kirishima. “I know and I’m sorry. I just...I feel a lot. And I can’t always make sense of what I’m feeling so it’s easier for me to just...” he trails off.
“Explode?” Kirishima offers.

“Yeah. And then I feel better until I see how badly you all are feeling and then I feel worse and I...” he trails off again looking defeated.



Kirishima scoots closer to him and throws an arm over Bakugou’s tense shoulder.
Bakugou melts immediately and had Kirishima not been silent, he wouldn’t have heard the sniffles.

“Hey, hey,” he places a finger under Bakugou’s chin and tilts it up to stare at him. “It’s okay. We’re not in this alone, okay? We’ve been partners since we were kids, right?”
Bakugou nods. “What kinda partner would I be if I left you hanging now?”

“A shitty one.”

“And have I ever been a shitty partner?”


“I’m not gonna start now. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for saying things that hurt you and I’ll do my best to be open and honest with you.”
Bakugou swipes at his eyes and mumbles, “I apologize for being a raging dick weasel.” He laughs wetly but continues in a serious tone of voice. “I’m not good at feelings, but I want to learn if that means this doesn’t happen again.”

Kirishima kisses Bakugou’s cheek and smiles.
“I want to learn too.”

“Good,” Sarai claps her hands together and pops up to her feet. She scrambles to her desk and when she returns, she produces two feelings charts. “These are a little elementary, but they’ll work!”

Bakugou looks at the chart and up at her
And mutters, “Why the hell not,” before accepting the assignment.

They are to identify the feelings they know and describe a time when they felt that feeling along with how they knew they felt that feeling.

Sarai refers them both to individual therapy while promising
To continue the couples work with them.

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