Inspired by yulicechan's beautiful art on Tumblr:
yulicechan dot tumblr dot com / post / 164733258211
A snowflake settles on Todoroki's nose.
Even though his face is nearly numb from the cold, he still swats it away, the tip of his fingers turning moist upon contact. He rubs them absent-mindedly before a shiver runs down his spine, and he cups his palms in front of his mouth to try and warm them up, giving up after a few moments and placing his hands back in the pockets of his coat.
He should've brought gloves, Todoroki thinks as his gaze fixes on the snowflakes that meet the ground instead of his skin. It was something Bakugou always nagged at him about - his habit of forgetting simple things like gloves when it was cold, or an umbrella when it looked like it was going to rain.
Idiot, you'll catch a cold, Todoroki can almost hear him saying. He lets out a shaky breath, vision slightly hazy as it dissipates in a white cloud in front of him. Thinking of how things used to be with Bakugou only serves to remind him of why he's here, waiting at a bus stop a few blocks away from his apartment on a cold Friday night, full of old feelings he hasn't been able to get rid of and new ones he doesn't quite understand.
The lights of the city and passing cars, which Todoroki barely acknowledges as they blend in the background, are suddenly blocked as the headlights of an arriving bus cut into his field of vision, the sound of tires crunching snow mixing with the street noises. Todoroki's heart skips a beat as he raises his gaze towards it, watching with a mix of anxiety and fear as the bus comes to a stop, but the only ones that get out of it are an old couple. A few moments later, the door slides closed, and the bus leaves with a gust of hot air; there's no sign of Bakugou yet.
Todoroki lets his head fall back against the wall behind him, eyes closing as he wills his heart to calm down. It's like he's been shocked; a sudden burst of adrenaline that's almost painful, and he can feel it building up once again now that he's back to waiting. He has reason to be dreading this, he thinks, tuning out the sounds of the street as his mind wanders.
It's been three years since he's last seen Bakugou. Their last encounter is something Todoroki would rather not remember, but it still haunts him constantly - and now, faced with the fact that he'll be seeing Bakugou again in no more than a few minutes, it resurfaces with a strength that makes his chest tighten, anxiety bubbling in his throat and threatening to burn his lungs.
He'd been an idiot that day. When Bakugou had come home with the announcement that he'd gotten an internship abroad, that he was traveling to another country in less than a week, to stay away for who knew how long - Todoroki hadn't known what to do, then, too many things running through his mind. Bakugou had mentioned this possibility more than once, but Todoroki had always refused to dwell on it, to understand the strange pang in his chest that came when he thought about it.
Now, three years later and having had time to think things through, Todoroki knows what really led him to saying what he said next.
"I think we should end this."
He was afraid. He'd gotten so used to having Bakugou close that he didn't know what to expect from them being separated for so long. People had long distance relationships, true, but could they? They weren't good with words. So much of their relationship relied on closeness, on kisses that told more than they could say, on arms wrapping around each other and hands that conveyed what they felt through touch.
Todoroki had been afraid of what it meant to lose that, so he'd decided he'd rather not wait to lose Bakugou instead.
"What the fuck did you just say?"
"I think we should break up, Katsuki."
Todoroki had seen Bakugou angry plenty of times before, but this - this was more than that. He didn't cry, didn't curse, didn't scream; his stare merely turned sharp as a knife, words cutting through the air with disdain and Todoroki hated it.
He hated how Bakugou's cold façade made him look even more broken.
"If that's what you want, fine," Bakugou said, turning towards the door where he'd just come from. "I'll crash at Kirishima's tonight. I'll get my stuff tomorrow."
Todoroki should've reached out, said something else before Bakugou closed the door behind him, but he didn't. He'd been frozen in place, heart slamming against his ribcage and eyes burning with the threat of tears, and just like that, he let Bakugou go.
How he regrets that, now.
He'd barely slept that night, and when he came back from work the following day all of Bakugou's things were gone. He'd sent a text - I'm sorry - which had never gotten a reply, and a few days later he heard from Kirishima that Bakugou had already left the country.
Todoroki had tried to convince himself that it was better this way, but the words had felt hollow to his ears.
For three years, the only things he knew from Bakugou were what he saw on social media. Todoroki was happy to see that at least he seemed to be doing well on his internship - the chef he was working with was a renowned one, a great opportunity for Bakugou to grow on his career, and he'd always been nothing less than dedicated. The pain whenever Todoroki saw him in a picture was still there, though, a constant reminder of how much he missed what they had. More than once, he considered sending him a message, but stopped himself at the last second.
If Bakugou wanted to contact him, he would've done so himself.
That way, months turned to years of silence, until finally, a week before today, Todoroki got a text from a foreign number, with nothing more than an address, a date, and a message.
I'm coming back.
Todoroki didn't need a name to know who it was from. He didn't know why Bakugou had sent it, or what it meant that he wanted Todoroki to know when and where he was arriving. But he'd been afraid once - he wouldn't make the same mistake again.
That's why he waits, even if the cold has long since turned his cheeks numb, even if his heartbeat is thundering in his ears and the air burns with the deep breath he takes when another bus makes its way to the stop he's at, breaking him out of his reverie.
And then Bakugou is climbing down the steps, jumping towards the sidewalk with nothing but a suitcase in his hands, wrapped in so many layers of clothing Todoroki feels an alien laugh wanting to burst out - Bakugou had always been weak against the cold. It almost makes it seem like nothing has changed.
Except it has, and Todoroki feels it in the way Bakugou's eyes widen as if he's surprised to see Todoroki waiting for him, in the tension that hovers between them when he stops in front of Todoroki and the two stare at each other in silence for a few moments.
"Hi," Todoroki says, straightening up and away from the wall, hands coming out of his pockets to hang awkwardly by his side. He knows it's stupid, and there's probably a better way to start this conversation, but he doesn't know how. Bakugou's right here, looking as beautiful as he remembers, and Todoroki is lost, because he thought he knew just how much he still loved this man, but the truth is he didn't.
He really didn't, and it hurts because Bakugou still hasn't said a word. His eyes are unreadable, and Todoroki wonders why he even called him here, if maybe he understood that text wrong and shouldn't have come.
"Here," Bakugou finally says, extending something towards Todoroki.
The sound of his voice brings another rush of memories to the surface, and Todoroki slowly reaches out for the gloves Bakugou's holding with trembling fingers, daring to hope as he raises questioning eyes towards him.
"You always forget the gloves," Bakugou says. Todoroki can't have imagined the softness in his words, the way his voice is raspy as if Bakugou, too, were unsure of what to expect of this.
He puts the gloves on, his hands immediately relishing in the wool that envelops them in warmth, and Bakugou stares at the movement with a sort of fascination. Todoroki wonders if he can hear how loud his heart is beating - it feels like it's about to burst out of his chest, urging him to say everything he's come to realize in the past few years. He opens his mouth, hesitates, and closes it again; this Bakugou in front of him is the same, and yet a stranger, and Todoroki doesn't want to ruin everything again by acting on a thin thread of hope.
He decides to start with the one thing he never got an answer to, the most important thing that Bakugou should know regardless of what happens from now on.
"Fuck this," Bakugou suddenly says, and then his suitcase falls to the floor with a thump and his hands are on Todoroki's waist, lips crashing down on his with a desperation that comes from being apart for too long, from doubts and regrets and things that still hang unsaid between them.
A weak sound leaves Todoroki's throat, his arms moving to wrap around Bakugou's neck and pull him closer. He's sure people are staring at them, but he can't bring himself to care; not when he's kissing Bakugou again, the familiar yet foreign weight of his touch burning through his skin even through all the layers of clothing.
He feels wetness on his cheeks, and realizes that Bakugou is crying.
"God, I missed you," Bakugou mutters against Todoroki's lips. "You're a fucking idiot."
Todoroki nods into the kiss and Bakugou laughs, gloved fingers caressing Todoroki's jaw before they cup his cheek, and desperation melts into something softer, almost lazy as they tune out the cold, the sounds, the lights - anything that isn't each other.
There's a lot they still have to talk about. There are feelings they have to understand, things they have to sort out, and Todoroki knows they won't be able to avoid it, not if they want to start again and have a chance of it working out this time. And he wants that, he wants it so badly that it takes his breath away, but right now, he can only focus on being on Bakugou's arms again.
A snowflake falls on the tip of his nose.
He reaches for it, but Bakugou's thumb is already rubbing it away.