"Signal" by coffeerepublic

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Guess who boarded the trash train?

(It's me. I did.)
“What a fucking shitshow,” Katsuki cursed, pushing his hands deeper into the pockets of his uniform jacket and kicking a rock off the ground harder than necessary. He never stopped pacing the sidewalk behind Yuuei where you had been waiting for him after today’s practical exam. All the while, he kept voicing his discontentment.

“For fuck’s sake, why can’t they give us something that’ll actually test our skill level? Bullshit, it always has to be some good-for-nothing dumbass excuse for a test where you lose even if you’re objectively better than the rest, because some fucking weakling will come around with their deus ex machina alternative solution and – oh, wait, did we forget to mention this earlier? Actually, that’s what we wanted to see you doing, so everyone who actually did what we asked them to is a fucking loser.” You could see little sparks flying from his palms, the agitation causing his quirk to flare up. Still, he continued.

“And don’t fucking get me started on Deku! That scrub scrapes by just barely in every goddamn exam we take, and for some shitty reason, he’s always the hero at the end of the day? He doesn’t fucking deserve it, if he really wanted to be the best, he’d try harder, but he hasn’t got any fucking respect for me, or for the academy, or…”

“Love,“ you finally interjected, voice soft, yet determined. It was understandable that he needed to vent, but you did not appreciate the direction his rant had taken.

Almost immediately, he went quiet and stopped in his tracks. Something in the way you had spoken resonated with him. You were a far quieter person than your boyfriend, and if you went out of your way to interrupt him, it was a sort of signal that he must truly be going too far. You were perhaps the only person in the world with the power to contain him.

He was still fuming, and the scowl on his face was unchanged as you closed the distance between the both of you by taking a few steps forward. You reached for his shoulders with both hands and gave him a soft, reassuring squeeze. It was impossible to miss how strung up he was with the tension evident in his body. You felt for him, you truly did. But he had a tendency to get worked up to a degree that could become harmful to himself if he kept it up.

While he was still breathing heavily through his nose, his eyes met yours. He did not resist in the least when your hands moved upwards to his temples. You held his head gently in both hands, trying to absorb all of the negativity in him through your shared gaze.

Slowly, but surely, the intensity in his eyes wavered and the muscles in his jaw relaxed. He knew exactly what you were going to do next, and so, he actively closed some of the distance between you when you gently pulled him down to push his forehead against your own.

His skin was hot from the exertion of today’s trials and his now past outburst. His eyes fell shut, lashes uncharacteristically soft against your cheeks.

“You did your best today, and you were absolutely amazing.” You hoped that your tone emphasized how much you meant every word you were saying. “And next time, you’ll be even better. And one of these days, you’re gonna come out on top. I’m certain of it.”

He hesitated for a moment before his arms wrapped around your middle – one of the softer touches he was capable of only when it came to you.

He never replied to what you had said. He did not need to.

Both of you knew that at times like these, it was your faith in him that grounded him.

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