Farewell But Not The Final Goodbye

Ochako nearly tripped on the rug as she approached the dinner table. She caught herself on a chair; however, the bowl had split its content on the floor. There wasn't time to deal with this; she would have to use the leftover portion she had left aside as his main dish. Uraraka cursed herself and proceeded to float the furniture to roll up the stained carpet quickly. Though at this point, the woman was questioning if she was going paranoid.

It was a chilly December evening at Ochako's apartment. She was waiting on Katsuki to show up, as he had left a text first thing in the morning announcing he was coming over. Just one sentence and didn't respond as to why. This wasn't out of the ordinary for him, if not because he was leaving the country tomorrow for an international tour to experience heroics in other countries. And it was at minimum going to last a year. Depending on certain factors, it could last longer. Not exactly happy news for the couple.

A knock on the front door almost repeated the mistake with the dish for the evening. Uraraka rapidly set the table and made her way to the door. She opened it to reveal her boyfriend wearing a grey jacket with a hoodie and blue jeans. He also wore a matching neck warmer, obscuring any traces of his face.

Katsuki pulled down the obstruction and asked, "Why the getup?"

"Oh? This? Just something that was lying around," Ochako lied. It was qipao, white with small flowery pink details starting at the chest and going down. The skirt stopped at the knees, and it had some pink frills on the shoulders. An early birthday gift from Momo since she was going to be away for the holidays.

Bakugo grunted but entered the apartment without saying more. After the door was closed and his shoes were off, he sniffed the air. "Food too, eh?" He was quick to examine the dishes at the dining table.

"Tantanmen (wheat-based ramen made with a spicy & creamy broth, beef, soft boiled egg, and veggies) and a side of karashi mentaiko (spicy cod roe)."

The guest looked below the table before asking, "What happened to the-?"

"Just trying to see how this place looks without it," the host answered nervously.

Katsuki gave a questioning gaze but then began to take off his jacket, revealing an orange sweatshirt with black kanji spelling out his pro hero name. He tossed the jacket onto the couch before approaching his girlfriend. "So you trying to seduce me or something cheeks?"

Ochako began to blush upon hearing that word. It started as round face, a nickname he gave her back in their school days. Back when Bakugo didn't respect anyone enough to remember their names. Years later, it grew into "cheeks," something he said casually in front of others once they started dating back in the spring. When in private, it usually meant he was acting sarcastically or playfully. Still, Urakara figured he just liked saying it cause it always got her so flustered. "I-I'm just trying to have our last evening together for a long time, a special one. So I thought to wear something you would like."

Bakugo tugged on his girlfriend's skirt as he said, "And cause I complimented Yaoyorozu-chan's dress once you spent all your yen on this?"

"It was a gift from her!" Ochako answered while stepped aside to stop his tugging. She thought back to a few months ago; they were at a charity event. Momo had worn a fabulous red and gold qipao which Katsuki stated as "elegant." Her boyfriend rarely had an opinion on clothing that wasn't hero-related, so she took it as something he liked. It looks like perhaps that wasn't true now, though. "So, were you lying to her back then?"

"What? No. It fit her."

"And not me?"

"The outfit is fine. I just prefer your more simplistic country dresses."

"You, you do?"

Bakugo looked away as he rubbed the back of his neck. "C'mon, you know fancy clothing doesn't fit you. You are from Mie, not downtown Tokyo. You should know by now expensive clothing isn't going to win over a guy like me."

Uraraka held back a giggle as she stated, "Says the guy with parents that work in the fashion industry."

"Which at most just means I like the style of clothing; you can be cheap with materials and still be stylish." Katsuki raised his right and created some sparks. "There's a difference."

"Okay, okay, I got it. Now let's eat before it gets cold!"

The meal started the first few minutes in silence, well beside Bakugo's being noisy eater as he scarfed down food that he enjoyed, well in private. This last near year had really expanded Uraraka's knowledge of cooking spicy foods, her boyfriend's favorite. She had made the karashi mentaiko before. However, this was the first time she had ever cooked tantanmen. Ochako usually had to tone down the spiciness of her dish compared to Katsuki, but this time she didn't as it was a mix of sweet and spicy. Something much more to her liking. Once her guest had calmed down, she asked, "So you wanted to talk?"

The question made Bakugo tense up. He placed his chopsticks down before saying, "I know this next year is going to be rough for us both."

"Are you having second thoughts?"

"No, of course not. We made sure of this decision together a month ago. Plus, it's not fair to the others if I bailed. It's either all of us, or it isn't happening at all, remember?"

"Right, sorry." The others being his teammates Midoriya, Todoroki, and Kirishima. While they were not the top in Japan yet, their credentials had started to catch wind of international eyes. This trip was an opportunity to go beyond anything Bakugo had ever dreamed for himself possibly; it was too big to say no to.

"Don't apologize. I should be since I'm doing this for me, and you're going to suffer more because of it." There was a slow rise in anger in his voice.

Trying to calm him, Ochako reached over a hand to place on Katsuki's. "And you had no idea this offer would come up after we started dating earlier this year."

"Doesn't make our luck any less shit."

Uraraka could only sigh. She didn't mind his cursing; in fact, it had its charm at times. Also it happened much less often compared to their hero course days. However, she wasn't a fan of when he aimed such language at himself.

"Anyways, your side of the situation has been nagging at me this last week a lot."

Ochako used her free hand to wave away the statement, "I'll be fine. Trust me. I'm more worried about Deku-kun."

"Yeah, he's going to be a mess that I'll have to deal with. But he's been dating since graduation for years. It's not the same thing for us. For you."

"So, what are you getting at?"

Bakugo grunted and took a deep breath. "I would understand if, as time goes that you lose interest..."

Uraraka stood up; the abrupt sound of the chair moving cut her guest off. She was quick to reach over and deal a chop down at the top of his head. "Don't talk like that!"

"What are you, our class president? The hell was that for?"

"If Ida-kun could control you at times, then yes. Why are you even saying stuff like this?"

"Swear you can be more violent than me sometimes." Katsuki recalled being thrown to the ground a few times during his outbursts by Ochako.

"Just answer me!"

Bakugo sunk his head as he explained, "I'm just saying I wouldn't be mad if you changed your mind about us later down the line."

Uraraka crossed her arms as she stated, "This defeatist attitude isn't like you, Katsuki."

"Ochako, I'm not quitting, dammit!" Now it was he was standing. Katsuki then placed both his arms on her shoulders as he said, "It's the last thing I would ever want." A few heavy breathes later, he let go and turned around. "I just feel like your getting the raw end of the deal here. And it's not fair for you."

Ochako was slow to hug her boyfriend from behind. "If something like a long-distance relationship for a year or so stood in between us, then it just wasn't meant to be." She was assertive with her following line, however. "But we're going to give it our all to prevent that from happening. Remember what we talked about?"

"Yeah. Video chats when possible. Steaming movie nights. Group calls with the folks once a week..." However, before Bakugo could continue talking, he felt his girlfriend squeeze him harder.

"See? We got a plan."

Katsuki sulked as he stated, "I don't like that last one."

"Would you rather be there if all our parents were in the same room?"

"Heh, point taken."

Their first meeting between their families went fine, except for the couple. Each was quite embarrassed by their respective parents' antics. Ochako's father and his awful dad jokes, and Katsuki's mother is an open book to anything her son would rather never relive again. Ochako's mother, also not being subtle about grandkids, just pushed things too uncomfortable levels neither wanted to experience any time soon. At least with these video chats, they could update what was going on in their respective lives. There wouldn't be anything to report on their actual relationship, which would halt any progress in that department.

Uraraka took a step back, and Bakugo proceeded to turn back around.

"So, no more thoughts like that, okay?"

"Yeah yeah. It was just eating away at me these last few weeks."

Ochako knew being her boyfriend struggled to be open about his feelings. It's why it took him so many years after they graduated for Katsuki to work off the nerve to ask her out. So for him to let these thoughts fester every day before his departure must have been rather grueling.

"I'm just glad you are thinking about my side of things so hard in this situation. You might be aiming to become the number one hero in Japan, but you always seem to place me as number one in your heart."

Bakugo face just turned a shade of red as he looked away upon hearing the statement with an embarrassed expression. It was these moments that Uraraka cherished the most. Her boyfriend rarely became flustered, so these rare times were always a treat. But again, they were short-lived.

Katsuki did the only thing he could think of to turn the tables on such a situation. He quickly scooped up his girlfriend into a bridal carry. Ochako stumbled for words as he proclaimed, "Trying to act all cool and cute, huh? Do you know what would be even more rad and sexy Cheeks? This dress on your bedroom floor!"

"B-But your food will get cold!"

Bakugo began to make his way to the bedroom slowly. "I can always heat it later. Might even have the rest as a quick bite in the morning."

"A-And you got to leave early tomorrow morning for the airport!"

"Then I guess that means we get straight to the good stuff!"

Ochako had been prepared for this possibility. Ever had the undergarments ready just in case, but she couldn't deny she still secretly loved this feisty side to him. Not that she would ever let him know. It was going to be her farewell present to him. Though she would make sure for the next year or so, it wasn't going to a final goodbye to one another.

Another Kacchako oneshot? Yeah, I didn't expect to make another either until the announcement from the Camp Kacchako discord for its 4th Anniversary. My last Kacchako piece was actually for their 2nd Anniversary, though that was a zine; this was a gift exchange! I was randomly paired with notacelestial (Ao3), who made me some art on Twitter (fi_masak), and they requested a fic that involved the couples as pro heroes or long distance. So, of course, combined both! Sort of. My last Kacchako piece was already long-distance-ish (pre-relationship, though), so I wanted this before the temporary separation. It was nice to write once again something outside the influence of my long fic Cubicity. It just cements how far I've come since 2019, where "A Hint of Magic" was my first experience to write anything else but that long fic. Back then, it was difficult. Now it nearly comes second nature!

Now some random tidbits. To start, the couple is 22 (Bakugo) and 21 (Uraraka), with the latter's birthday just a week or so away. As always, I love to include Japanese food. In the case of the specific ramen I mentioned, I have eaten it before. The spicy cod eggs? I didn't try but, I did watch a friend eat it and suffer! At first, I placed Izuku's girlfriend as Mina, but then I remembered this is a gift fic, so I left it vague so the giftee can insert their preferred Izuku ship as they please. Yeah, the ending is a bit more "ecchi" than I usually do, but hey, they are older than what romantically active characters I typically write, so sue me. ;p