O!Kiri is stuck in an abusive marriage to Hisashi Takamoto, an alpha who forcefully claimed him after A!Baku left him pregnant and alone for a life in America. Baku comes back years later full of regret, and vows to save him.

(Parts 1-25 in pinned & on Ao3)

~Part 26~
Bakugou isn’t sure what he was expecting – maybe it’s that he just really wasn’t expecting anything at all – but it wasn’t this. It wasn’t Eijirou coming to him with happy tears in his eyes and kissing him.
Or maybe he did have expectations and those expectations were just that he thought Eijirou would be upset with him. Upset that he kept it a secret. Upset that his 'ownership' was just being transferred from one alpha to another. Upset that he won’t truly be free now.
But maybe he’s just been trapped for so long that even if it does mean being owned by another, as long as it’s someone he loves, he can deal with it. He can find a way to be happy.
Bakugou knows one thing for certain though, even if in the eyes of the law he’s in control of every decision Eijirou makes, he won’t be doing that.
If there’s a decision to be made about Eijirou’s health, or travel or…or anything! It doesn’t matter. That fucking choice is gonna be his, even if the words have to come from Bakugou’s mouth for them to be honored by society.
And maybe here and now isn’t the time or place to talk about that, but when this is all over, he and Eijirou will have to sit down and talk about what this all really means. Because being Hisashi’s “mate” definitely won’t be the same as being his.
/Nothing/ needs to change between them. The arrangement between them can stay exactly the same as it is now. He just needs to make sure Eijirou knows that.
And that every decision about their relationship from here forward is his, no matter how hard some of those decisions may be on Bakugou himself.
When Eijirou’s lawyer finally comes back – they’ve been out much longer than their original planned break by then – it’s to let them know that copies of the documents have been given to both the judge and Absolute's lawyer, +
and it’s been decided that the judge will allow the change in their case, but only because this is an extremely special situation. One they can’t just ignore.
Ownership of an omega is a very serious topic, and if it’s found that Eijirou is actually Bakugou’s – he hates that fucking wording – Absolute could be looking at serious jail time for the theft of another alpha’s mate.
However, he said that if Eijirou dropped the case of abuse to persue this avenue instead, there was no going back. If he loses, and they can’t prove it, he can’t bring the same case back to court and try again. It’ll be over and done with and he’ll have to go back with Absolute.
Which really doesn’t sit right with Bakugou. Not that he doesn’t think they can prove it – he hopes beyond anything that they can – but he’s realistic, and he knows there’s a strong possibility the whole process +
will be deemed too experimental and farfetched to be true, and they’ll lose.

And if that happens…fuck, he knows he’d disappoint a lot a of people, and he’d be losing any chance of ever seeing his kids or family again, but he’ll kill Absolute.
Whether it’s right there in the courtroom or he makes it out to the front steps before he gets to him, he doesn’t care, but it’ll happen.
He made a promise. A promise that Eijirou would never go back to that bastard as long as he still drew breath. And he fully intends for that to be a promise he keeps.
But still, he makes sure to take a moment to pull Eijirou aside and make sure – before his lawyer presses him too hard to make a quick decision – that dropping the abuse case is really what he wants.
Because even though it’s looking like if they pursue it they’ll lose, that doesn’t change what Bakugou plans either way.
“Are you sure this is what you want?” he asks once they’ve cleared the room of everyone. Including Eijirou’s mom who’s gone out to call her wife to update her.
He doesn’t know how she feels about finding out that Bakugou’s actually her son’s mate, but from what he’s seen she seems…to not entirely hate the idea?
Then again, his competition is that fuckwad Absolute, so in comparison to him, anyone would seem like a better option. Or maybe it’s just that they’re in public and she doesn’t want to make a scene. Especially not in front of Eijirou when he seems to be so happy about it.
Beneath that happiness though, there’s also quite a bit of fear and nerves bubbling below the surface. But Bakugou’s pretty sure that has more to do with Absolute than anything else. “Yes.” He nods.
“I know it’s a risk but…I think my lawyer’s right. I think the jury is already stacked against us, and if we keep trying to prove what a monster Hisashi really is, we’re gonna lose. +
His public facade is just too strong, and it’s easier for people to believe that I’m insane and making things up than it is to believe he’s not the man they think he is.”
Bakugou frowns. He’s right, but still… “Alright, but I don’t think we should admit the triplets are mine unless we’re forced to.” He says.
The lawyer doesn’t even know, which means she wouldn’t be able to use it herself unless Eijirou or he tells her, but that’s what he’s trying to avoid.
Because if they still lose – even though that’s not something Bakugou even wants to consider – that would be bad for all of them. Yes, it’s illegal for an alpha to harm another alpha’s pups, +
but Absolute seems to have a way of doing things that always pass as “accidents” and he doesn’t doubt for a second that one of those accidents would happen soon after getting Eijirou back. If he were to live that long, of course.
Still Bakugou doesn’t want to take the unnecessary risk though. Not if it can be avoided.

But now Eijirou’s the one frowning. “But that would help our case, wouldn’t it?”
“Or hurt it. They might try to prove that hormones are the only thing making you go along with this. That you just think you want me because you’re carrying my pups.”
“But that’s not true. I –“

Bakugou grips his shoulder, sighing sadly. “I know. I know. I just want us to be careful, alright? Just for now.”
Eijirou’s mouth opens like he’s gonna argue before snapping it shut again with a heavy sigh. “Fine. You’re probably right anyway. It’s probably better if we don’t play all of our cards at once.”
Bakugou nods, glad he agreed, but feeling like shit for playing a part in dampening the small bit of hope Eijirou seemed to have. But…fuck!
He’s not used to feeling this fucking hopeless! Like they’re both just grasping at straws here; trying everything and anything to win a case he was so certain they’d already won a few hours ago when they first walked in, but now…now he doesn’t know.
He /wants/ to believe that they’ll win, and he definitely wants Eijirou to think that too, but…maybe they just weren’t as prepared as they should have been for how low Absolute and his lawyer were willing to stoop to get what they want.
“It’s gonna be alright, Ei.” Bakugou tells him; wrapping him in a tight hug and kissing the top of his hair. “I promise.”
Because of the new evidence, both Eijirou and Absolute’s lawyers get another two hours to rework their cases and prepare before heading back to the courtroom.
A full decision on what’s going to happen won’t be made today, but the court will decide whether or not the case they have is something worth pursuing. It’ll be a little different than before though.
This time, Eijirou, Absolute, and himself will all have to take the stand separately and go through questioning that none of the others are allowed to hear.
Then, tomorrow, the three of them will undergo a brain scan while listening to the recordings of the other’s questioning played back for them.
According to the research, a mated pair's brains should react positively and similarly to their mate’s answers, tone, and voice while a non-mated pair will have a stronger negative or opposite reaction.
It’s the same test they do if two alphas claim an omega at the same time and they need to determine who the omega’s true mate is.
Which should mean that it’ll be simple to prove. Especially since it’s a well-known test. However, the issue here comes down to the simple fact of whether or not brain scans alone are enough to convince the jury that a mating bond can exist even without a bite.
That’s what the real purpose of the rest of today will be. Getting the seed of this research planted in the minds of the jury so that when they return and hear the results of their testing, they’ll be more likely to believe.
Or will have at least had time to think more on the subject of soulmates and hopefully won’t feel that it’s too radical of an idea to be true.

Because as much as the data spoke to him the moment he laid eyes on it, that may not be true for everyone.
And as they re-enter the courtroom that’s what he finds himself thinking about while scanning the faces of the jury. He’s a pro hero. He’s good at reading people. But is he good enough to be able to tell how some of them will vote just by looking at them?
He doesn’t know, and the uncertainty is killing him.

“You understand what’s going to happen now?” Eijirou’s lawyer asks.

He nods. He’ll take the stand, answer some questions, and leave. Simple as that.
“Just answer everything truthfully and to the best of your ability. Don’t let any of it get to you.”
He won’t. He can’t. He’ll be fine. Even when that bastard’s lawyer gets to question him and he undoubtedly tries to get under his skin. He’ll be fine. He doesn’t have any other choice.
“Alright Mr. Bakugou, can you please take the stand?” the judge asks; calling everyone to attention.
He gives one final look to Eijirou’s lawyer – she definitely doesn’t seem as confident about having him up there as she’s trying to make him believe – and makes his way to the head of the courtroom.
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