Bakugo and Ex Mutual Pining

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You both agreed. You both agreed to this. It was amicable, right? You still saw each other from time to time and caught up with the current events of your lives while avoiding the topic neither of you wanted to address.

You changed his name in your phone. You changed your relationship status on social media. You shut yourself inside for a while to process moving forward until you were no longer blinded by the warmth of the sun. You were trying, you really were. But damn, it was hard.

Seeing him without reaching for his hand, or smiling when he looked at you, or whispering something to make his ears warm was hard at first, but it got easier. Agreeing to remain friends was the best thing, right? You didn't hate him, not at all. Things just didn't work out. The clumsiness and unpredictability of romance proved a tough and winding road to navigate, and the two of you could just couldn't find the right path. Deviations and distractions along the way.

There were nice and pleasant times, too. Plenty of them. More than you could carry with you, toppling over the edge of your fingers as you tried and failed to capture and remember every moment.

But you were just friends now. Just friends. It was better this way.

After a few months of staying away, you and Bakugo finally adjusted to talking without an agenda of romance. About movies, about games, about hero work, about training, about food, about friends. About yourselves. Sometimes your fingers hovered over the keyboard of your phone, about to type out something that would've been completely innocuous six months ago...then you remembered, and you stopped. It was better this way.

Bakugo sat in his room, staring at his phone, and nearly threw the damn thing into the wall. This was supposed to be easy, he told himself. This was supposed to fix things, to toss out the complicated mess that muddied up what the two of you had.

Things weren't working as they were, so by removing the part that didn't fit, and keeping the rest, things should've been fixed...but every damn time you texted him some stupid meme you knew he'd find funny, or you hung out only to keep your distance, or you looked at him from the corner of your eye before turning back around to stare off into space, a pang echoed in his chest like rattling thorns. It wasn't supposed to hurt, he told himself. You were just friends, now. Nothing more. It was better this way.

"No, I don't wanna eat there. The wait was way too long last time," you argued as Bakugo suggested a place that served some damn good spicy ramen.

"You don't think it's worth the wait? What's wrong with you?" he shot back as they walked down the street, both highly aware of the distance between them.

"I'm too hungry to wait!" you argued. "Just pick somewhere different or I'll go eat by myself." The two of you were free today and agreed to grab lunch, but picking a place had always been a battle, both when you were dating and right now, when you definitely weren't.

Bakugo scoffed, his hands stuffed into the pockets of his jeans while avoiding looking at you. "Fine, fine. How about this place?" He stopped in front of a cafe neither of you had been to before. It didn't look busy, and the inside looked clean and inviting from the outside.

You read through the menu posted outside before nodding. "This works, this place must be new." You opened the door and Bakugo followed you in. He never liked for people to walk in front of him, but for you - even now - he couldn't shake the habit.

"Welcome!" said a cheerful hostess. "Just two?"

"Yeah," Bakugo grunted out before following her towards a table in the back. This place didn't really match his usual aesthetic, but if the food was good he didn't care. You sat on opposite sides of the table.

You looked over the menu, Bakugo criticizing your bland taste in food as per usual, before a waitress hopped over to ask for your orders. "What can I get the happy couple today?"

Immediately the two of you stilled at her awkward assumption, a lump forming in your throat as you avoided eye contact with both Bakugo and the waitress. "Uh, we aren't-"

"This isn't a date." Bakugo's voice was stern and commanding with a bite to it. Final. The conversation was done.

The plastic menu cut into your palm as you gripped it with too much force. Bakugo's knee bobbed erratically under the table.

It was better this way.

...Right?

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