Bakugou needs an alibi, someone to fix his dishwasher, and closure for the egg and spoon race he lost when he was six years old. The hot new redhead in apartment seven is willing to provide all three.

for @lynchinghost
It’s all Deku’s fault, obviously.

“The noticeboard is there for a reason,” he rationalises, sliding back into his seat and pushing the drink towards Bakugou. “If you’re just going to get frustrated every time you search for someone to fix it, why not let them come to you?”
“People actually use that thing?” Bakugou says, eyebrows raised. “I thought it was only for missing pet posters that everyone else ignores.”

“I don’t ignore them.” Midoriya scowls at him. “You’d be fuming if Cat went missing and everyone ignored /your/ posters looking for her.”
“Yeah, well, she wouldn’t run away because I’m a good owner.” They’d screamed at each other this morning after he’d woken up to find she’d shredded all his toilet roll, but Bakugou isn’t in the mood to bring that up right now.
“So, what, I write a note and someone’s going to see it and recommend a plumber?”

“Uh huh. Simple as that.” Midoriya digs around in his coat pockets until he produces a notebook and pen, sliding them across the table towards him.
“About time you got it sorted: you’re killing the environment with all the disposal cutlery you’ve been using. I should’ve egged you on to do it before now.”

Brandishing the pen, Bakugou shoots him a look. “Don’t talk about eggs to me.”
“Oh, sorry,” Midoriya says, sarcasm edging his words. “I forgot coming second in the egg and spoon race when we were six was such a traumatising event for you. I don’t think you’ll ever get over the damage the winner’s done to your psyche.”
Bakugou ignores him, then gets as far as the second word before he hits a roadblock. “Is a plumber the person who fixes dishwashers, or just a repairman?”

“I dunno. I don’t even have a dishwasher.”
“Oh, of course,” Katsuki snaps, throwing a glare his way, “since only some of us have whipped boyfriends who do the dishes without asking.”

“Shouto washes, I dry,” is Midoriya’s response, coolly dismissing the barb. “It’s cheaper than running a dishwasher."
"Haven't you noticed you’ve saved money not using yours?”

“It’s not expensive to have a dishwasher, asshole.” It’s his way of saying he doesn’t bother to check the electricity bill before he pays it. Bakugou finishes the note and sits back. “Done.”

“And? What did you write?”
Bakugou holds it up, clears his throat and raises his voice over the hubbub of the bar. “Wanted: Plumber. New Paragraph. Hi, I am Katsuki and I am looking for a plumber to fix the door on my dishwasher. Please contact apartment ten if you can help. Perverts, fuck off.”
He looks to Midoriya for his verdict.

“Well, it’s mostly good,” Midoriya muses, head to one side, “except I wouldn’t add the last sentence. I think it would scare people off a little.”

“It’s for the freak in apartment four, in case he tries it on with me again.”
Their landlord had made it very clear that one more complaint of threatening behaviour would get Bakugou an eviction notice, and he's not prepared to give up somewhere with such good parking and air conditioning.
“That’s fair. Could you specify it towards him, though, rather than telling everyone to fuck off?”

“I’m not telling everyone to fuck off, only perverts,” Bakugou retorts, and Midoriya concedes as he waves to their waitress for another order.
Three rounds later, he has his terrible idea.

“You know, Kacchan,” Midoriya says, cheek against the table and blinking up at him with big, liquidy eyes. “You should write a note for that egg and spoon race kid, too. Use this as an opportunity to get some of the anger out of your
system. I know how much it still annoys you.”

He snorts into his beer. It wasn’t any of Midoriya’s business that he’d avoided eggs for the last twenty years, ever since he was six years old. “What, and challenge him to a rematch or something?”
Midoriya sits up so fast he almost spills their drinks, mouth hanging open. “Yes! That’s a great idea!”

“Fine. Hand over more paper.” Midoriya does as he’s told, and Bakugou begins to scribble down the details. “Do you remember what he looks like?”
The other man’s eyebrows furrow in thought. “Not really. I think he had dark hair, maybe?”

“Maybe isn’t good enough.” Bakugou mulls it over and gives up when no distinguishing features come to mind.
“I’ll just put ‘height of a child’. Keep it vague enough that it won’t be a case of mistaken identity.”

Under Midoriya’s watchful gaze, a fingertip tracing the rim of his glass, Bakugou finishes with a flourish and pushes it over. “I’m not rewriting it if you don’t like it.”
“It’s perfect!” Midoriya declares, beaming. “Not as aggressive as the other one, either. Good job!”

“The other one wasn’t aggressive, it was assertive.”

“Okay,” Midoriya says, and Bakugou’s sure he’s hiding a smirk behind his beer. “Whatever you say.”
They stumble the two streets back to their apartment block, and Bakugou considers it a small miracle that Midoriya doesn’t trip and hit the curb face-first like he did the last time they came home drunk. He leans against Bakugou as he attaches the notes to the board, frowning.
“You’re putting both up? The second one wasn’t just, you know, a venting exercise?”

“Obviously. Why would I bother to write them otherwise? I’m not writing it only to chuck in the bin right after.” In his buzzed, beer-soaked brain, it makes perfect sense.
“Shouldn’t have suggested it if you didn’t want me to do it.”

“Hmm.” There’s a crease between Midoriya’s brows. “Then shouldn’t you post it somewhere a little more public? What are the chances he lives in the same apartment block as us?”
“Fuck you,” is Bakugou’s answer, and he slaps the back of Midoriya’s head once he’s done fussing with the noticeboard.
Sprawled naked amongst the sheets, Bakugou wakes up the next morning to a pounding headache and someone pounding on his front door.
It feels like he died overnight and was reanimated by someone putting him in the microwave on high until they were satisfied he could pass as a human. Bakugou stumbles to his wash basket and hooks out the first things he finds, temper escalating as the knocking continues.
If he opens the door to find Midoriya, hangover-free and glowing with vitality, he’ll put his head through the letterbox.

Who greets him instead is a grinning redhead, so tall Bakugou has to tilt his chin slightly to look him in the eye.
What was that old wives’ tale about height being related to penis size? If it’s true then this guy probably has one the size of Bakugou’s forearm.
“Hey!” he announces, voice so loud that Bakugou’s disorientated at once. “I’m Kirishima Eijirou – I moved in upstairs a few weeks ago? I tried calling by to introduce myself, but you were out every time.”
Bakugou looks him up and down, too hungover to entertain his new neighbour even if he’s hot as hell. Fuck him for pulling off an undercut, dark roots /and/ a ponytail all at once. “Okay. Whatever.” His stomach rolls with nausea and he makes to swing the door shut again.
“Hold on – ”

He’s stopped by the foot that jams itself against the frame, and Bakugou slowly looks from the red Croc to the bright face of its owner.
“I saw your note on the noticeboard – well, notes – and I thought they were the perfect opportunity to get to know you and establish myself as a good neighbour!”

Bakugou cracks the door open, and Kirishima holds up two slips of paper covered with familiar, scrawling handwriting.
A thrill runs through him, followed by smugness at Deku acting like /he/ was the rational one.

“So it’s you,” he says slowly, lip curling. “You’re the shithead who beat me in the race.”
“Uh, no.” Kirishima blinks at him. “I grew up in Hiroshima. I’m a repairman: I thought I could fix your dishwasher.”
“Oh.” Bakugou deflates, then makes a mental note to tell that asshole Midoriya that it’s not a plumber after all. Then – “Why?”
“To be a good neighbour,” Kirishima repeats, eyebrows raised. There’s a silver ring on the left side of his nose. “Your egg and spoon race note is really funny, though. I’d be up for that if you wanted me to pretend I was your six-year-old rival.”
Could this guy even read properly? God, he's probably a himbo. “It doesn’t work like that. It’s only meant for the kid who beat me.”

“Yeah, and what are the chances he lives in this apartment block? Pretty low, if you ask me. Anyway, can I have a look at your dishwasher or not?”
Bakugou’s tempted to spit at him before he has a sudden thought, followed by a cold chill down the length of his spine. “You haven’t – Camie didn’t hire you, did she?”
“Camie?” Kirishima shakes his head, perplexed. “I don’t know who that is.”

“Someone else, then,” Bakugou says impatiently. “Because I’m not interested in any of that bullshit, so if this is all an elaborate plot you’re setting up just to start stripping off in front of me – ”
Kirishima tips his head back and laughs, the sound echoing through the corridor. Bakugou’s scowl deepens, despite the fact Kirishima’s laughter is causing an unfamiliar warmth to spread through his chest.
“I’m /not/ a stripper,” Kirishima says at last, beaming at him. His smile’s so wide that the corners of his eyes are creased with the size of it, the beginning of crow’s feet against his tanned skin.
“I promise. I live in apartment seven, I saw the notes on the noticeboard coming back from my morning run, and look.”

He shifts in the doorway so he can show Bakugou what’s in his left hand, and he supposes that a stripper wouldn’t go to the effort of getting a toolbox together.
Of course this guy would be the type to go on a morning run while he was lying in bed contemplating every decision he’d ever made in his life.

“Fine,” he says at last, lips pursed. “What do you charge?”
“Nothing! I’m doing you a favour and besides, it shouldn’t be much work unless you need replacement parts. Hopefully not, though.” He’s back to grinning again, when Bakugou hasn’t the faintest idea what he should even be smiling about.
“I reckon you just need to drain the drum, or there’s a problem with your delay lock. It’s cool. Shouldn’t take me that long, either. So, whaddya say?”
His need to lie down and rest his spinning head is greater than his suspicion of the neighbour who may or may not be a stripper. Rolling his eyes and huffing, Bakugou steps aside and lets Kirishima bound into his apartment, swinging the toolbox in one hand.
tbc, link to top
Bakugou tries not to feel paranoid when Kirishima’s head starts swivelling the second he steps through the door, examining every inch of his apartment.

“Ooh, nice place. I like the plant. Plants,” he corrects at once, eyes roving over the shelves. “Are you a gardener?”
“No.” He’s already regretting inviting him in, scowling as Kirishima stops to examine the yucca plant on the way to the dishwasher.

“What do you do, then?”
“What is this, twenty questions?” Bakugou throws himself onto the sofa, putting a cushion over his head to block out the light and the guy’s too-cheerful voice. He probably ought to be offering him a coffee, but now he’s on the sofa he’s stuck here for the foreseeable future.
“Being cagey over your job makes me think /you/ have something to hide.” There’s the rustling of tools, the man’s sigh as he crouches down in front of the dishwasher. “Were you self projecting earlier? Are you really the stripper here?”
“Fuck no. I’m a language teacher.”

“Oh, that’s cool! Which ones do you speak?”

Bakugou fields the questions with one of his own: “Are you always this fucking chirpy?”
“I’d call it being friendly. And not hungover.” Bakugou lifts the cushion, outraged, to see a wicked grin spreading across the redhead’s face. “Hey, I get it. Everything’s worse after a night knocking them back. I have a friend who doesn’t know when to stop with the shots."
"Man, it's embarrassing having to drag him home and tuck him into bed, but it was worse when he still lived with his mom. I used to hang out with her and she'd make me tea before I went home, though. That was cool."
Kirishima’s turned away and is addressing the dishwasher by the time Bakugou’s processed the fact his friend has nothing to do with their conversation. “C’mon, tell me. What other languages do you speak?”
He accepts defeat when he realises non compliance isn’t an option. “English, Korean, and some French. And I know sign language. JSL, not ASL, obviously.”
Rootling through his toolbox, Kirishima whistles. “Okay, that’s /really/ cool. I’ve never met someone who knows sign language! Will you show me some?”

“Sure.” Bakugou sticks his middle finger up at him. “There you go.”
“Oh, you - ” He tilts his head back and rolls his eyes. “Should’ve expected that, huh?”

“Yep,” Bakugou tells him smugly. He doesn’t know if Kirishima’s noticed his cochlear implant and is being polite, or if he’s such an idiot that he’s missed it entirely. Probably the latter.
In any case, the redhead’s frowning at the dishwasher as he raps his knuckles against its door, and Bakugou remembers he’s not here just to be eye candy.
“So you said the door’s stuck?”


“And did you try kicking it to get it open?”

“You’re not recommending that, are you?”

“Nah.” Kirishima points to a scuff at the bottom of it. “Just observing what I think you tried already.”
“You’ve got to show them who’s boss,” Bakugou protests. “You know, put them in their place a little. Let technology know they're not the ones in control.”

Kirishima sighs through his nose but doesn’t comment.
Bakugou doesn’t get to retort before the redhead begins to roll up his sleeves, exposing tanned arms and two full sleeves of tattoos. He abandons the argument to wipe his mouth as surreptitiously as he can, before he starts flat out dribbling down his chin.
“You have a cat?”

“Yep.” Bakugou watches Cat stare at Kirishima, head to one side as if debating on whether or not to run for it. Undeterred by her hesitance, he stretches a hand out.

“Hey, kitty. Aw, you’re so cute.” Won over, Cat bumps her head against his palm, purring.
Eyes on Kirishima’s tattoos and broad, muscular arms, Bakugou doesn’t know what the hell takes over him, whatever possesses him to say the next thing he blurts out.

“So, you like pussy?”
Amazingly, Kirishima doesn’t react, even if Bakugou bites down on his tongue so hard he tastes blood in his mouth and curses himself for being born.

“I like everything,” he says, and Bakugou holds his breath. “Cats, dogs, rabbits, fish…”
While Kirishima rattles off every animal he likes, Bakugou puts his head in his hands and takes it as a loss.

“I really like black cats, though,” he says at last, scratching behind Cat’s ears. “What’s this one’s name?”

“Ooh, meta.” Kirishima’s teeth are slightly pointed as he grins at him. Cat takes his distraction as offence and plods off to her bowl instead. “I like it.”
Bakugou doesn’t bother to correct him and tell him that, no, he just never came up with a name for the stray who took the food he left out as an invitation to move in. He’s still trying to recover from Kirishima’s tattoos, and crosses his legs as subtly as he can.
“I’m cashing in another one of my twenty questions,” Kirishima announces, loosening a bolt on the side of the door. “Tell me more about the intriguing Camie. That was her name, right? The one who hired you a stripper before?”
He can only imagine Camie’s reaction to a hot repairman turning up at his door like the start of a porno, only for him to just be an aggravatingly nice neighbour. “Nothing to say,” he grunts, “other than her being a bitch.”
“Rude. Is she your ex?”

“Absolutely not.” Practicing kissing when they were fourteen doesn’t count. “She walks a fine line between a friend and an absolute nightmare.”

“It sounds like she wants to get you laid, though, if she’s hiring strippers for you.”
Well. It's been a while. Bakugou weighs up the potential risk and reward of asking Kirishima if he’s willing. “It’s more to try and stress me out,” he says at last, when he realises he hasn’t brushed his teeth so probably shouldn’t be sticking his tongue down Kirishima’s throat.
“Anyway, strippers don’t sleep with you.”

“Do they not? I’ve never had one, so I wouldn’t know.” Humming to himself, Kirishima pulls a panel away from the door and squints in at it. “Yeah, it looks like latch damage. Blind dates work, though, so maybe that’s what she’s trying.”
“I’m not so sure.” Bakugou narrows his eyes at him. “Why, did it work for you?”

“Oh, no, I’m single. Still looking for Mr Right.”

A heavenly choir plays somewhere, the angels singing down on Bakugou Katsuki after depositing this gift on his doorstep.
“It worked for my friends, y’know,” Kirishima continues, while Bakugou is busy thanking whatever god listened to him and made this guy single. “They both got set up on blind dates, right? And both of them got stood up by the person they were meant to be meeting."
"So Tetsu was like, ‘hey, random man at the table next to me, did you get let down too?’”

“And Inasa was like ‘yeah dude, wanna grab a drink and drown our sorrows?’. So they did, but they ended up hooking up, and now they’ve been together for like… a year, or something.”
“Fascinating.” This morning is developing better than he anticipated. While Kirishima busies himself with the dishwasher Bakugou’s gaze moves from his tanned skin to the dark roots, and then to the tattoo peeking out from the edge of his vest, stretching onto his shoulder blade.
“I’m gonna get a shower,” he announces, and Kirishima twists around to meet his eyes. Time to break out a razor and aftershave. “Are you going to poke around the place the second I leave you alone?”
“Nah. I think I’d wait a minute at least.” Kirishima tilts his head to one side, eyebrows raised. “I’m here to fix this, not to go looking through your drawers. Give me a bit of credit, yeah?”
Despite the words, he’s grinning at him with sharklike teeth. Bakugou tries not to collapse into a sad puddle that’ll seep through the floorboards to the apartment below.
“I don’t know you, so I can’t give you any credit,” he says snippily. “For all I know you could be one of those psychos who cases out a place before they rob it or kill the homeowner.”
He thinks of Deku’s obsession with true crime documentaries, his grim conclusion that even the hottest person could be a serial killer. Probably explains why he went for the objectively hideous Todoroki.
“Sounds like someone’s been watching the crime and investigation network too much. Next thing I know you’ll be asking for my ID.” Kirishima pats himself down, then curses. “Damn. Left my wallet in my apartment. Guess you’ve just got to trust me, huh?”
Bakugou resists the urge to demand to pat Kirishima down himself and, with a roll of his eyes, makes for the bathroom.

He takes a hot shower, just to shock himself into feeling more human, and then a cold one, when he remembers exactly who’s sitting cross-legged in his kitchen.
By the time he’s finished shaving, spraying and scrubbing his teeth until his gums ache, Bakugou is ready for action.

He pads back into the kitchen, hair still damp against his neck, to find Kirishima pulling the dishwasher door down to reveal its contents.
“Ta-dah! It’s alive!” He beams at him, crow’s feet on show once more. “It was only your latch, so I’ve got it all fixed up. You shouldn’t have any problems now.” The redhead peers into it to examine its contents. “Damn, I bet you haven’t seen some of this stuff for months.”
He’s almost certain that he can see the bowl he stole from Midoriya sometime last year, but Bakugou reasons to himself that if he hasn’t asked for it back yet then he never will. Besides, now is /not/ the time to be thinking about Midoriya.
“I have to pay you back somehow.” If that takes the form of dropping to his knees and unbuckling his belt, it’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make.

“Honestly, you don’t have to. I don’t mind.” Kirishima hesitates, and Bakugou prays he’s contemplating the blowjob.
“You could do one thing, though. If you had the time.”

Have the time? He’s got the rest of the day free, but Bakugou’s certain he could get this guy coming like a fountain in three minutes flat.
Leaning against the kitchen counter, he crosses his legs and pushes the hair back from his forehead, hoping Kirishima likes what he sees. “Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah.” Kirishima smiles at him. “The egg and spoon race thing.”
This shit again. Bakugou resists the urge to pull a spoon from the dishwasher and hit him over the head with it.

“I’ve told you already, that’s not for you,” he tells him, scowling. Even if he has a thing for himbos, Kirishima’s pushing it. “That’s for the kid who beat me.”
“And I told /you/ that there’s no way you’ll find that kid, especially not if you’re only putting up signs on your apartment noticeboard.” Kirishima reaches out to gently punch his arm, rearing back and grinning before Bakugou can headbutt him. “It’ll be fun, don’t you think?”
Bakugou frowns at him, chewing on his lip and debating. An egg and spoon race is definitely less sexy than anything he had in mind. Another thought hits him, and he jerks his thumb at Kirishima. “Get over here.”
Kirishima blinks at him. “Um. Okay?” He moves beside him and Bakugou grabs him, fingers biting into hard muscle as he spins Kirishima around until they’re side by side, examining them. He can practically feel the confusion radiating from the redhead. “What exactly are you doing?”
“Nothing. Doesn’t matter.” Relief flooding his veins, Bakugou pushes him away. Kirishima’s taller, but judging by where his hips are, he has shorter legs and a longer torso than him.
So much for his theory that Kirishima was only proposing an egg and spoon race in belief he would beat him, and that the guy had a kink for humiliating people.

He tilts his chin, staring Kirishima out. “You really wanna do this stupid race?”
The confusion melts away from Kirishima’s face to be replaced by a wide smile. “Yeah. I think we’ll have a laugh. Is this your way of saying you’re up for it?”

Bakugou snorts dismissively. “Well, it doesn’t count as a proper race."
"It’ll just be a warm up for when I find that kid again; practice, so that I can annihilate him.”

Once he wins the race, he can ‘accidentally’ crack his egg over Kirishima’s head and invite him back for a joint shower. Two types of frustration solved in one.
“Ooh,” Kirishima says, grin wicked and arms folded over his broad chest, “you have a thing for putting people in their place, don’t you?”
Right now he wants to seize Kirishima and put him in place in his bed, but the idiot’s not getting it. Bakugou moves over to the fridge instead, cracking it open and searching through it before huffing.

“I don’t have any eggs. Do you?”
“Nah. I need to go shopping.” Kirishima’s face lights up. “It sounds like it’s a perfect excuse for us two to go grocery shopping, though. You can show me where’s good, ‘cause I still don’t know all the best places in town yet.”
Bakugou’s grabbing his coat and shoving on shoes before Kirishima can change his mind. “Oh, trust me,” he says darkly, pushing Kirishima out into the hallway and locking the door behind him, “I’ll show you the best.”
tbc, link to top
Bakugou’s tall. Very tall. He hit six foot at seventeen and added a couple of inches in the years that followed, and enjoys nothing more than putting something of Midoriya’s on a high shelf that he can’t reach.
He tries not to grind his teeth when Kirishima very obviously slows down to keep pace with him, instead of striding ahead like the freakishly tall freak he is. Risking a glance at the redhead, he catches sight of the tattoos once more as the man swings his arms and hums cheerily.
“So,” Bakugou says at last, when nosiness and horniness win over manners. “They’re some tattoos you’ve got.”

He resists a compliment, only because he’s afraid his desperation would be obvious.
“You noticed?” Grinning, Kirishima yanks back the sleeves of his cardigan to show them off. “That reminds me that I have to find a new artist here. I’ve got a little bit to fill out, see?”
He taps a fingertip down on a patch of clear skin by his elbow. Bakugou resists the urge to lean in and lick it. Biting down on his tongue to keep it in line, he tilts his chin down and examines the inkings.
There’s a lion mid-roar on Kirishima’s bicep, trees sprouting at his wrists and stretching along his forearms. Bakugou frowns at the old-fashioned heart, the word on the scroll wrapping around it. “Moms?”

“I’ve got two. Figured one tattoo would do for them both, you know?”
“Ah. And what about that one?” He points to one of a wobbly red dragon on his other arm, tattooed as if by a child’s hand.

“Oh, that.” Kirishima’s expression softens. “That’s from my niece.”
“I used to let her draw on the gaps in my sleeves, and when she drew that I made her redo it on a piece of paper so I could bring it to my artist and get it actually tattooed.”

Bakugou’s suddenly very relieved he didn’t cast judgement on its quality.
“Do you just have one niece?” he says, instead of ‘wow, your niece definitely doesn’t have a future career as an artist’.

“Nah,” Kirishima says casually, “I’ve got three. And two nephews.”

Bakugou blinks. “Big family?”
“Uh huh.” Kirishima’s back to swinging his arms. “I’m the oldest of seven. Counting my moms and all my siblings’ partners and kids, there’s seventeen of us.”

He stops in his tracks, mouth open. “You’re kidding me.”
“No.” Kirishima twists to face him, eyes wide and earnest. “I’ve got four sisters and two brothers. Two of them are twins, and my sister’s got twins, too.”

And Bakugou could barely cope with only his parents.
He tries not to feel overwhelmed at the thought of so many people in a single house, every one as huge as Kirishima. “Were there no forms of entertainment for your parents when you were growing up?”
Kirishima cocks his head to one side, confused. “We had a few TVs, so yeah, there was. What about you? Do you have any siblings?”

“Nope. Only child.”

His face creases with sympathy. “That must’ve been super boring. I’m used to a loud house.”
Bakugou shrugs. Midoriya was at his house more often than enough, winning over his parents and making it so that Bakugou was in for a lecture when he left, all centred around why he didn’t say please or thank you as much as Midoriya did. Suck up.
“Why did you move here from Hiroshima, then, if you have so much family back home?”

“Just wanted a change of scenery. I had a few friends living here, so I thought I’d move up and see what it’s like.” Kirishima sidesteps a fire hydrant, arms still swinging.
“My family can always come up and visit, and it’s pretty good so far. We’re in a great apartment complex, aren’t we?”

Bakugou merely grunts in response. Kirishima clearly hasn’t run into the occupant of apartment four yet, and thus doesn’t know they’re neighbours with a pervert.
“I haven’t met many other people in the building,” Kirishima continues, half-answering his unspoken question, “but there was a really nice guy I ran into when I was trying to find where we leave our bins. I think he was called Midoriya, or - “
“Stay away from him!” Bakugou barks at once, mind filled with terrifying images of Midoriya and Todoroki getting their claws into him. He isn’t sure if they’re in the habit of threesomes, but he’s two seconds away from staking a claim on Kirishima himself.
“Oh. Do you guys not get on?”

“He’s my friend,” Bakugou grinds out, the word most unwilling to be used, “but he’s a nightmare.”

“You think a lot of your friends are nightmares,” Kirishima says lightly. “Midoriya was really kind to me. Hope you don’t think I’m a nightmare, too.”
“So we’re friends, then?” He feels like a five year old on the playground. “We’ve only just met.”

Kirishima shrugs, his smile back. “You welcomed me into your home, I helped you out and now we’re spending time together. You’re the first friend I’ve made here.”
Bakugou makes an indistinguishable noise, fighting back the temptation to ask him if he wants to be more than friends. “Over there,” he says instead, pointing at a store across the street. “That’s where I normally do my grocery shopping.”
“Great!” He jerks with surprise when Kirishima hooks an arm around his, bodily dragging Bakugou across the road. His heart’s fit for bursting when they reach the other side, Kirishima releasing him and gesturing him forwards with a beaming smile.
He can’t look at the redhead as he grabs a basket and leads Kirishima through the aisles, willing his hands to stop shaking. Bakugou’s pretty sure he’s a split second away from grabbing him by the ponytail and dragging him down into a kiss.
“This place is really nice.” Kirishima meanders over to a display of vegetables, lifting a packet of pak choi and holding it aloft. “I love this stuff! Have you ever had it fried?”
“Are you a vegetarian?” He’s vaguely reminded of the time he decided to go vegan and stuck to it for a full week, until he came home drunk and woke up the next morning surrounded by the remnants of a bacon sandwich.
“Nah, I love meat,” Kirishima says airily. “The three M’s, you know? Meat, muscle gain and men. It’s great when you get all three together.”
Bakugou grips the side of the display to ground himself, sure his knees are about to give out. He’s mildly surprised that by the time he’s recovered, Kirishima is busy slinging the vegetables into his basket. Maybe it’s all part of an elaborate scheme to give him a heart attack.
Maybe Kirishima is that foolish that he doesn’t realise the effect his words have on him. Bakugou remains suspicious.
“I thought we were meant to be here for eggs?” he grinds out, deciding that even if Kirishima’s hot as hell, he’s Not Trusted Yet.
“Oh, yeah!” Laughter bubbles from Kirishima, deep and warm. Bakugou’s mouth goes dry at the sound. “I totally forgot. It’s kind of like grocery shopping when you go on holiday, you know? You get a kick out of supermarkets you’ve never seen before.”
“Hmm.” Bakugou sidesteps him, marching ahead and leaving the redhead to bound in his wake. “When you were so insistent on the stupid race in the first place.”
“After /you/ advertised it, yeah,” Kirishima tells him, an elbow nudging his ribs then quickly withdrawing before he retaliates. “I wondered if it was, like, a roleplay. That or a coded message.”
Bakugou rolls his eyes as they round the corner to the next aisle. “No. Just a stupid, drunken idea, spurred on by that idiot Midoriya.”

“Ahh. So Midoriya’s not that bad that you won’t go drinking with him.” Kirishima’s smile is wicked.
“You owe him for getting your dishwasher fixed, and I owe him for helping me to make a friend,” he adds solemnly, and it takes all of Bakugou’s willpower and all of the redhead’s good looks to stop him from sticking a foot out and tripping him.
He seizes a carton of twelve eggs and dumps them in Kirishima’s waiting basket, eyeing the vegetables littering its base. “I’m not buying your groceries, you know.”
Kirishima arches an eyebrow, which has the unintended effect of making Bakugou stare at how dark they are in contrast to his hair. “Not even as a thank you for fixing the dishwasher?”
He hesitates, but Kirishima’s laughing and clapping a huge hand on his shoulder before he can speak. “I’m just kidding. I didn’t expect you to pay for them. Want to split the cost of the eggs? I pay for six, you pay for six?”
Bakugou sighs through his nose while Kirishima beams. He still shoves notes his way when they hit the checkouts.
Meandering back to the apartment complex, the sun is beating down on the back of Bakugou’s head as he sidesteps pedestrians. He’s in half a mind to simply walk behind Kirishima, the man so tall and broad that he seems to part the crowd like the Red Sea.
“Here, would you hold it for a second?” Bakugou accepts the grocery bag from him and watches as Kirishima reaches back to tighten his ponytail, the hair spilling back to his shoulder blades.

“That must’ve taken a while to grow,” he says, before he can stop himself.
“/Years/,” Kirishima tells him, rolling his eyes. He takes the bag back and casts a glance over Bakugou’s own hair. “It must take you no time at all to dry yours - I’m stuck at the hairdryer for ages.”

He shrugs carelessly. “I mostly let it air dry, or with a towel.”
“Does it - ?”

Kirishima cuts off with a quick intake of breath and Bakugou turns to face him, frowning. “Does it what?”

He’s mystified as to why Kirishima’s face is rapidly turning the same colour as his hair.
“Nothing,” the redhead says quickly, shaking his head. “I was just being nosy.”

“Hmm.” His confusion is rapidly melting away into suspicion. “Come on, then. Stop acting like a freak. What did you want to ask?”
Kirishima’s definitely embarrassed, hands shoved in his pockets and lips pressed together. His eyes flicker once over the side of Bakugou’s head, and he knows what he’s about to ask the second before it’s voiced.
“Is it difficult to wash your hair with your hearing aid?” he blurts out, and looks mortified that he let the words loose.
On the other hand, Bakugou’s unruffled. He’s just surprised it hasn’t come up before now; even if Kirishima wasn’t gawping like most other people did, it seemed impossible for most of them to hold their tongue longer than five minutes after meeting him.
“No. The external processor isn’t waterproof - ” He taps a finger against it, Kirishima’s eyes tracking the motion “ - so I need to remove that beforehand, but the internal processor is under the skin. It’s no big deal.”
“Oh.” Kirishima blinks, still scarlet. “I - I’m really sorry if that was rude. I shouldn’t have - I was being nosy. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, you were being nosy,” Bakugou tells him imperiously, and watches Kirishima wilt like a sad houseplant.
He eyes him for a second longer, lips pursed. “It’s fine, though. People always ask. You weren’t rude.”

Kirishima makes a sort of self-pitying sound in the back of his throat. “Yeah, but I shouldn’t have just - I don’t know. I was being weird.”
Despite himself, Bakugou softens at his expression. Maybe his weakness really is himbos.

“That isn’t the weirdest thing about you,” he tells him, and Kirishima yelps when he pokes him in the ribs. “Turning up at a stranger’s house to fix their dishwasher is definitely weirder.”
Kirishima rubs at his ribs with a pout, but his eyes are creased with crow’s feet once more. “Turning up like a guardian angel, you mean. Or the start of a porno. Whichever one you prefer.”

He definitely knows which one he prefers, but he’s still not prepared to say it aloud.
Bakugou’s heart sinks when they stroll into the lobby to find Midoriya at his post box, letters clutched between his fingers.

“Morning, Kacchan.” He looks up at him, but his eyes slide to Kirishima in a second.
Bakugou decides he definitely doesn’t like the smile playing around his lips. “I didn’t know you two knew - ”

“Go away,” Bakugou snaps, physically pushing Kirishima until he walks ahead, bewildered. “Leave us alone, weirdo.”
“Good to see you!” Kirishima calls after him, and Bakugou shoots one last warning look at Midoriya.

“Nice one,” Midoriya stage-whispers, nodding in Kirishima’s direction.

/Fuck you/ Bakugou mouths back.
He keeps pushing Kirishima on until they’re at his apartment once more, and the redhead turns to him with a flourish as Bakugou searches for his keys.

“You’re so mean to him,” he says with a sigh, gesturing back down down the stairs. “Midoriya’s really - “
Kirishima gestures just a little too wildly, and the shopping bag slips from his grip and goes sailing across the hallway. It hits the wall before either of them can make a lunge for it and, open-mouthed, Bakugou watches egg yolk ooze onto the carpet.
“Oh dear.” Kirishima turns back to him, lips pressed together. It does nothing to disguise the fact they’re twitching with laughter. “Sorry. Will we go back to the store and get another carton?”
It takes every ounce of willpower to breathe in through his nose, count to ten, let it out a great gust of air and nod instead of scream. Bakugou stomps towards the stairs once more, Kirishima bounding behind as if attached at the hip.
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