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A Fleeting Smile

Chapter Text

For lack of a better explanation, Asui was intrigued.

It had been quite a long day compared to the normal classroom antics. Between the nails on the chalkboard that was an argument in English class that broke out between Kaminari and Ashido, which led to Bakugou yelling, which led to Iida yelling, which eventually led to Present Mic yelling, and the extremely uncomfortable lecture on the history of quirk marriages courtesy of Midnight, she doubted that anyone would argue with her. By the time heroics classes rolled around, a couple of Shoji's limbs and Jirou's ears were still bleeding and, though Asui wasn't quite sure as to why, Todoroki was radiating with a silent rage aura so powerful that even Bakugou looked disconcerted. Asui couldn't help but truly appreciate All Might, who overheard everything and instead saying something about how heroes must still triumph against all odds or something along those lines, he very kindly changed his lesson plan to a period of free self-training and sparring. Honestly, they needed it.

It was at the end of their heroics classes that Hado waltzed in with pure excitement painting her features and Amajiki stumbling in after her wringing his hands nervously, and the day's tone finally seemed to shift in their favor.

“This is pretty sudden and last minute, but I hope that you guys will consider!” Hado exclaimed excitedly. “The third years from U.A. and Shiketsu High are hosting a party at about seven o'clock tonight at a location that I will disclose shortly and when we asked, it was agreed that you guys have both done and been through so much and we would like to officially invite you all to come with us!”

“Question!” Iida called out, raising his arm high above his head. “Do we have proper permission and security for this excursion?”

“Yes! Thank you for asking!” Hado responded happily. “We've talked with your teachers and there will be pro-heroes attending, so we're all set! I hope to see you all there!” With a bright smile, Hado skipped off, Amajiki walking briskly behind her. With that, All Might dismissed everyone, he and Midoriya disappearing off somewhere while the other students began to mingle with each other and the two third years.

Asui smiled as Uraraka and Hado immediately threw themselves into each other with great big hugs all around. As Asui meandered her way over, she noticed Amajiki with Kirishima, who was excitedly introducing him to Kaminari and Sero.

“Kirishima's told us a lot of great things about you! It's great to finally meet you in person!” Kaminari beamed, and Amajiki could only rub his arms and look away with a small, crooked smile and a light blush.

“Thank you.” he muttered just above a whisper, his face slightly twitching. “I've heard a lot about you all as well.”

Amajiki glanced back at the two students grinning at him with friendly faces, and he seemed to finally loosen up a little, even if he was standing just a bit closer to Kirishima. After a moment, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

“Kirishima?” Amajiki asked quietly. “Forgive me if I'm wrong...and really, if I am, I'm sorry, but, didn't you say...four?”

“Huh? Oh!” Kirishima perked up. “Yeah, yeah! Bakugou already left. He's, uh, not much of a people person, either.” He chuckled nervously, though Amajiki nodded in understanding. “As for Ashido, I'm not sure where she is. I'll have to look into that later.”

Asui wandered off after that, finding herself having a nice conversation with Uraraka, Midoriya, who had returned from wherever he and All Might had disappeared to, and Hado as she continued to gush about the upcoming event. From what Asui gleaned, the building was a well fortified one and security would be tight. The place was a very fancy one, with several lounges, a pool, an arcade with several modern gaming consoles included, and even a nice restaurant and bar right next door. Uraraka was very adamant on going and eventually convinced Midoriya to join her, while Asui herself admitted to not being all that interested and decided to stay at the dorms for the night.

By the time Asui returned to the dorms, it had been discovered that Ashido had to retire early for the day due to a migraine and the beginnings of what was probably an oncoming head cold. Due to this, she wouldn't be able to attend the party. Asui couldn't help but feel sorry for her as she rolled around on the couch in the common room while the other girls tried to convince her to return to her room and rest.

“But I'm fiiiiiiiiiinne!” Ashido whined in desperation. “I wanna go to the party! Please!”

“You'll make your condition worse, Ashido. You'll be miserable.” Yaoyorozu sighed sadly. “You must rest.”

“I'm with Yaomomo on this one.” Jirou agreed. “I've had migraines before. Just close off your room, turn the lights off, and rest.”

“But guys!” she continued, before suddenly clutching her head and moaning miserably. Kirishima, with a sigh, wandered over to the cluster of girls.

“I'll carry her up.” he offered. The girls nodded and quickly moved out of the way as Kirishima leaned down and very gently lifted his classmate off of the couch and into his arms. Ashido weakly squirmed and whined pathetically about how unfair the world is as the two headed towards the elevator.

“Poor Ashido-chan...” Asui mumbled. Hagakure's disembodied shirt sleeve and the feeling of contact showed her patting Asui's shoulder in response.

“I'll be sure to take lots of pictures for her. And I'll try to bring something back for her, too.” Hagakure promised as she ran off in the same direction. “Meanwhile, I still have to pick the perfect outfit.”

“She's right.” Yaoyorozu mused. “Will you be attending as well, Jirou?”

“'Course.” Jirou responded, striding after Yaoyorozu as she ran off to her room as well.

“You want me to take pictures for you too, Tsu?” Uraraka asked, a smile adorning her face.

“You do what you want to, kero.” Asui answered earnestly. “I just want you to have fun hanging out with Midoriya-chan.”

“W-what?” Uraraka stuttered as Asui gave her a big smile and went to find herself something to eat while everyone else who was attending the party ran off to prepare themselves.

From what Asui had gathered throughout the afternoon, most of her class was taking up Hado's offer, with only a mere five of them staying behind. Ashido, sadly, would be one of these people due to not feeling well. The other four were herself, Kouda, Tokoyami, and unsurprisingly, Bakugou. Iida had also been planning to decline, but Uraraka had also talked him into going with her and Midoriya with the argument of being there to keep an eye on everyone and make sure they don't do anything stupid.

The sound of approaching stomping was Asui's only warning as Bakugou suddenly stormed into the kitchen, violently kicking a pan left on the floor with enough force to leave a crack in one of the cupboard doors and swinging the fridge open with a loud bang. At first, Asui wasn't entirely sure how to respond, considering how jarring his entrance was. Especially when he took out a red bell pepper and bit into it as if it was an apple that had seriously offended him. However, she got over her initial shock rather quickly.

“You look more angry than usual, kero.” Asui mused out loud. She didn't miss that he slightly jumped at the sound of her voice. “And that's saying something. Did something happen?”

“Can it, b****, or I'll make frog legs out of you.” he sneered, every word dripping with venom as he tore through the pepper like a rabid animal and kicked another cupboard with a defiant bang. Asui decided that it would probably be in her best interest to not be in such a small space with him at the moment. Though she did trust him and knew he'd grow to be an excellent hero, she didn't want to risk being so close to him when he was in such a nasty mood. Perhaps their bizarre school day had gotten to him, too?

As Asui reentered the common room, obnoxious laughter could be heard as Kirishima, Kaminari, and Sero came off the elevator in their nicest casual clothing, with nice t-shirts, jeans, and a leather jacket on Kaminari. Kirishima's hair looked especially bright while Sero's was greased back nicely. Their smiles were blinding.

“Are you guys leaving already?” Asui questioned, glancing at the clock. “It's only six fifty and the venue is about a three minute walk from here. Didn't they say seven?”

“They did.” Kaminari admitted with a grin. “We just wanted to get there early so we could get the arcade to ourselves for a little while.”

“I convinced Amajiki to help us get in a little early.” Krishima added. With a blink, Kirishima peered over Asui's shoulder. “You sure you're not coming with us, man? We'd love it if you came along!”

Asui turned to see Bakugou, pepper now gone, leaning against the kitchen door frame with his arms crossed and an...odd look on his face. He thankfully seemed to have calmed down and his face wasn't quite as contorted with unexplainable rage, but he was still tensed up like a spring, his fingers rhythmically pounding against his arm and foot tapping the floor impatiently.

“You look tense, kero.”

Bakugou shot a death glare in Asui's direction, but said nothing in response. Kaminari cleared his throat. “I, uh, have to agree, man. Ever since last period today, you've been super jumpy. You good?”

With a 'tch', the ash blonde lifted himself from the door frame and shoved him hands into his pockets. “What's it to you, hah?! It's none of your f***ing business is what it is!” He suddenly pointed at them accusingly and with much more ferocity than necessary. “And don't you dare try to talk me into it, 'cause I've been having to deal with Camie's s*** all afternoon and I've had it up to here with it!”

“Aww!” Kaminari cooed. “You're on a first name basis~.”

Asui was astonished that Kaminari didn't simultaneously burst into flames and melt into a pool of his own blood and ashes from the look that Bakugou gave him.

The three boys finally sighed in defeat, as if they'd all expected to have to accept this outcome eventually, before Kirishima waved. “Well, alright, man. We won't try to force you,” He shot Sero a glare, who sheepishly rolled his sleeves over his elbows. “But we'll make sure to talk your ear off about it once we get back, 'kay?”

Bakugou stayed silent as the trio made their way towards the entrance way. With a quiet hiss, his shoulders seemed to tense up further and his eyes squeezed shut, eyebrows furrowing in an odd, almost concerned manner. It was as if he was trying to fight something, but wasn't sure if he should. Now slightly worried, Asui was about to question him when his eyes suddenly shot open and he bolted towards the door.

F*** it.” he grit out as he sprinted past Asui. The boys nearly jumped out of their skin when Sero was opening the door and the explosion quirk user suddenly slammed it back shut. “Wait! Just...wait a minute.”

“Dude, are you trying to give me a heart attack!?” Sero yelled, clutching at his chest while Kaminari looked ready to pass out.

“Whyyyyyyy?” Kaminari groaned once he'd regained his breath. “You could have just called out to us!”

“Look, don't ask me to try to f***ing explain,” Bakugou spat, eyes blazing. “but I need you guys to wait, d***it. Stay here for a little bit longer.”

Kaminari and Sero glanced at each other warily, not entirely sure of how to take this, but if Asui knew anything about them, they would probably do as he asked. It was poorly masked that he was nearly in hysterics over whatever this was, which was concerning enough, and Bakugou probably wasn't going to back down any time soon.

Kirishima stepped forward, eyes filled with concern and something akin to understanding. “You feeling fidgety?”

Asui blinked, head tilting in confusion as Bakugou looked away and bit his lower lip. Kirishima's eyes hardened. “Just by us staying, will that help the feeling?” he questioned sternly. “Or is there a bigger threat here? 'Cause if there is,-”

Bakugou exhaled slowly, cutting him off, and easily met the redhead's gaze. “No. If there were, I might of actually gone with you. I'm in the mood for a fight, anyway.”

“Huh?” Kaminari questioned while Sero raised an eyebrow.

“I'll explain later.” Kirishima promised the two before turning back to the explosive teen. “So, what are we doing instead? Sparring?”

“Not in these clothes, we're not.” Sero said sternly. “Kaminari and I have other stuff, but this is literally the only fashionable outfit you own, Kiri!”

“I'd go change!” Kirishima yelled defensively.

“I got an idea!” Kaminari suddenly announced. “And I think it really is a good one this time, so stopp looking at me like that! What if we make dinner for Ashido? You know, to cheer her up!”

“Wow,” Sero responded after a beat with an applause. “That's actually not a bad idea for once. Good job.”

“Hey, I've had good ideas!”

The incredibly incredulous looks he received almost made Asui burst out laughing. However, instead of watching the absolute disaster in the kitchen that she knew would happened despite their(Bakugou's) best efforts, she chose to make her exit and hide out in her room. Making a beeline for her floor, she crawled into her wonderfully humid room and made herself comfortable. She realized that she hasn't greeted Tokoyami or Kouda all afternoon, so she'd have to do so eventually. She'd also have to explain the multiple crashing sounds and explosions that even she could hear all the way from her own dorm. The two were probably already confused.

Between making whatever meal Bakugou had planned, probably some kind of fancy sandwich so it could be quick, delivering it to Ashido as gently as possible for those four maniacs, and probably cleaning whatever became of the kitchen once they were done with it, the clock was striking seven. Asui would later learn from Tokoyami that it was about this time that the three party goers would clean themselves back up and race out the door, Bakugou screaming after them to not do anything stupid or he'd kill them himself.

It would be about eight o'clock the same night when Asui would wandered back downstairs to find Tokoyami and Kouda watching the news.

The room was dark, only the light from the screen illuminating the room. Tokoyami and Kouda were both sitting silently on the couch with wide eyes as breaking headlines flashed across the screen. Asui walked over to where the two boys were sitting.

“Did something happen, kero?” she asked, her voice laced with concern.

“It would seem that an accident has occurred...” Tokoyami spoke slowly, watching what was happening very carefully. Kouda was quickly signing something, but Asui didn't quite catch it, as she was watching the screen with her jaw dropped.

The venue where the party was taking place, along with one of the building next door, were completely on fire.

At first, it was believed to have been a villain attack, something that they had all been both expecting and dreading, but as it turned out, it didn't seem to be the case, though some were still skeptical. From what they gathered, the fire had started in the arcade room, where some of the gaming equipment had short circuited and started an electrical fire, which spread unbelievably quickly and filled the whole almost immediately, setting the smoke alarms off. At approximately seven o' two that evening, the room had exploded, rocking the building violently, spreading the fire to the neighboring apartment complex, and blowing out the windows of both buildings and those of the restaurant on the other side. Both pros and trainees alike immediately rushed into action to save as many people, both their peers and civilians alike, as they possibly could.

Asui watched in amazement as footage of the rescue efforts of only a half an hour ago flashed across the screen. Images of Midoriya leaping between the two buildings while Uraraka lifted debris off of victims and blocked passage ways flew by. She saw Mirio briefly as he, Hado, and Amajiki pulled several people away from the crumbling complex.

She saw brief passings of many of her other classmates. Todoroki and Iida, Yaoyorozu, Jirou, and Rikidou, Shouji, Hagakure, and many others. For some reason, she also noticed a busty girl with an overly relaxed face and neatly combed light brown hair interacting with and cheering up some of the rescued civilians.

At one point, a part of the complex collapsed. As the corner of the building crumbled, Kaminari and Sero could be seen racing out, two toddlers in Sero's arms and a slightly older child in Kaminari's. The three children cried out in fear as the building fell, screaming for their mother and wailing as dust and debris sent a breeze through the air and dust in their eyes. Kaminari could be seen comforting the child he was holding as the dust stirred, a silhouette striding confidently towards him.

With a blindly, yet confident grin, a still hardened Kirishima stepped out of the mess and away from the fallen building, covered in dust and soot and only a single small crack on his shoulder and with a middle-aged woman held securely in his arms. As the children excitedly leaped out of Sero's and Kaminari's arms and towards Kirishima, who was presumably holding their mother, Asui couldn't help but think that Kirishima looked so cool. Somewhere to her right, Kouda signed in agreement.

When casualty reports came in, the three young heroes-in-training couldn't help their smiles as it was announced that there were no serious injuries or fatalities. Everyone made it out okay.

A great look for the next generation of heroes.

When everything was said and done and their classmates finally returned home after such an exciting evening, they were all pushing and shoving to see each other.

“That was so crazy, Deku!” Asui heard Uraraka shout, Midoriya blushing wildly as said brunette bounced up and down next to him. “I just can't believe how you instantly knew that something was wrong like that, even before the alarms went off! I had no idea! How do you know these things?!”

“Ah, w-w-well,” he stuttered, embarrassed by the attention. “I just kinda, well, knew , you know?”

As Uraraka continued to cheer, Asui heard three excited shouts and an angered yelp as Kirishima, Kaminari, and Sero all threw themselves into a slightly startled Bakugou, who almost fell right over from the impact, and they all absolutely refused to let go despite the raging curses and death threats being spat at them.

“Yo, thanks for looking out for us, man!” Kaminari shouted, his hair and clothes slightly singed from the flames.

“That is some crazy instinct! We didn't know you cared so much!” Sero laughed. The cursing grew louder.

Kirishima simply laughed, still covered with soot, dust, and several burn marks. “It really is insane, though! I don't even wanna know what might have happened if we'd gotten there early!” His face suddenly fell a little. “I mean, I could've probably protect myself, but that's not...”

“Stop worrying about it.” Bakugou scolded, earning a sheepish grin from the redhead.

“How's Ashido? Does she know what's been going on?”

Bakugou growled at him. “Yeah, she's up to date.” he answered simply, though he never states exactly how she's 'up to date'.

From there, the three started retelling the events that had taken place from their own perspectives, from walking up and seeing the burning building, all the way to when they all loaded up in a school-owned vehicle heading for home after many pats on the back and congratulations for a job well done.

As for Asui, she simply let out a pleased 'kero' and ducked through the crowd back to where Midoriya and Uraraka were, still chatting away with Iida joining in and Todoroki simply listening silently. She had a feeling that they also had a lot to talk to her about.