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A Fleeting Smile

Chapter Text

Jirou didn't know what to expect when she meandered into the kitchen area early Tuesday morning and found Kaminari and Sero rummaging through the fridge and cupboards. Well, breakfast and a show, she supposed.

She wasn't exactly known for being an early riser, but after getting such a good night's sleep and no homework being due that day, she supposed it was appropriate. She'd rolled out of bed feeling surprisingly refreshed, especially for six in the morning, which she took as an indication that today was going to be a good day. So, wasting no time in getting her breakfast before everyone else started shuffling downstairs, she got dressed, brushed her teeth and hair, and made her way to the kitchen.

“Morning.” she greeted nonchalantly, squeezing in front of Kaminari to grab herself a drink. Some punch sounded really nice right about now.

“Oh, hey, Jirou! You're up pretty early.” Kaminari commented behind her. “What's the occasion?”

“Just a good night.” She replied, finding the last of the Hawaiian Punch and taking a mental note to down it before Iida showed up and made a fuss over her life decisions. “Why are you guys up? You aren't the earliest risers, either.”

“Kaminari didn't sleep at all.” Sero snorted. “He and I got together with the squad and watched Nightmare on Elm's Street. He's been convinced that someone was gonna enter his dreams and kill him in his sleep ever since. As soon as the sun rose, he came and woke me up, so here I am.”

“It's not like that, Sero!”

“Suuuuuure it's not, Mr. My-bed-is-gonna-eat-me.”

Oddly enough, Jirou had absolutely no trouble believing Sero's story. She'd hung out with Kaminari enough to know that he was, in fact, a completely idiot. A lovable idiot that she'd grown incredibly fond of, but an idiot, nonetheless. It was after this thought that another one struck her.

“Hey, Sero,”

“Before you ask, it was the first film. The best one, obviously.”

“No, not that. I mean, you said 'the squad'. You mean, as in, the whole squad?”

Sero looked at her oddly, before realization crossed his features and laughed. “What? Surprised that Bakugou joined us?”

“Well, yeah. He's never been the social type.” He really wasn't. The guy was a literal ticking time bomb and was always trying to push people away and do his own thing. With all the spectacles he'd caused in their first semester, Jirou would have never believed that anyone would actually want to try and be friends with him. Kirishima really was a weirdo. And a magician. And possibly a saint. How those two became best bros for life was completely beyond her comprehension.

She heard a toaster ding as Sero responded. “To be honest, I couldn't believe it, either. Especially when Kirishima told me that when he'd brought it up, the guy had actually asked if he could come.”

Jirou nearly did a spit take. Kaminari laughed out loud as he tore the top off of his yogurt cup. “The guy may be an a**hole most of the time, but he has his moments!”

“I'll take your word for it.” She coughed, now trying to not laugh at the mental image of Bakugou being more outgoing and friendly, kinda like Hagakure, that she'd somehow concocted. She wasn't gonna lie, that was actually kind of adorable, as well as horrifying and completely and utterly wrong. Deciding that she didn't want to see that ever again, she allowed the three of them to fall into relative, comfortable silence after that, sometimes asking about school stuff or vacation plans or future outings in small talk.

Even now, Jirou has no idea how it started. It was probably Kaminari tapping the counter with his spoon out of boredom, but somehow, she caught herself beating the table with her knuckles in a synchronized pattern. Kaminari caught on immediately, hitting the counter harder along with her. Soon enough, Sero grabbed one of the pans on a rack and started pounding on it with a wooden spoon.

And a drumming session started. Kaminari would tap glass cups, Sero would find other pots and pans of different sizes to bang on with different utensils, and Jirou would sometimes experiment with using her quirk to create a bass line with her own heartbeat. Eventually, it escalated to the point of them going all out, singing and yelling as if they were doing a tribal dance of some sort and forgetting all about the fact that they were in a dorm building at six something in the morning.

They were so engrossed in their drumming experiments and fun that they never heard the front door swing open and one of their classmates, who'd woken up much earlier and was just returning from a jog, pause and watch them with a mixture of confusion and annoyance.

Kaminari, completely undaunted, was the first to notice him. “Hey, Bakugou!”

Jirou was glad that she hadn't been the bass at that moment, because then she might have sped it up and lost the rhythm. For a moment, she stopped and took in the scene before her, trying to gauge the level of immediate danger that they may all be in with this new arrival. His exposed arms were glistening with sweat in the sunlight, which was an indication to Jirou(besides the fact that he was f***ing stacked) that the same could be said for his palms, which meant his quirk, which meant explosions. However, his shoulders seemed strangely relaxed, probably from exerting energy in whatever ridiculously inhuman morning workout routine he had. The green light, however, that signaled to Jirou that the fuse had not been lit was the look in his eyes, which held their usual glare, but nowhere near murderous, which surprised her with how much noise they were still making.

“What the h*** are you guys doing?”

“Breakfast drumming session!” Kaminari announced happily, which was followed by a 'woot!' from Sero. Bakugou merely rolled his eyes at them and strode into the kitchen, muttering something about being surrounded by f***ing idiots under his breath as he began to rinse an apple. Jirou simply chose to fade into the background and causally stare at them while knocking on the table with the still going drum session and sipping her punch.

She watched in amusement as the two said idiots ran around the kitchen banging on everything within arm's length of themselves with every utensil they could get their hands on in a surprisingly steady and complex beat while Bakugou chewed on his apple and watched them in complete disinterest. It was almost odd, seeing him act so 'calm' in such a loud and rowdy environment. Of course, at one point, a still very sleep deprived Kaminari had thought it would be a fantastic idea to whack him on the head with his spoon, which was instantaneously met with an uppercut to the jaw. As hilarious as the exchange was though, neither Sero or Jirou voiced how he hadn't possibly hit him as hard as he could, evident by the fact that Kaminari hadn't lost any of his teeth.

“Hey Bakugou,” Sero spoke up over Kaminari's tribal gibberish with a grin on his face, “If you're gonna eat here, could you at least chew to the beat?” The glare that was shot back at Sero could have set him on fire, Jirou mused, as Bakugou took one last defiant bite on the off beat of an off beat and tosses the core in the trash. Jirou smirked at the blatant act of rebellion and went to take another sip when Bakugou picked up a wooden spoon and a spatula by the pots and pans rack.

And exactly on the pick up, pounded out the most chaotic, yet impressively precise and outright dramatic drum roll she'd ever heard in her entire life.

Jirou was instantly floored, spraying Hawaiian punch and saliva all over the table as Kaminari and Sero finally lost their momentum with the fit of laughter and excitement that followed as Bakugou then proceeded to toss the wooden spoon behind him and perfectly into a pot on the other side of the room, pull a mic drop with the spatula, flip them all off, and walk out. Jirou hacked and coughed in a vain attempt to regain her composure, though Sero and Kaminari weren't much better off with Sero turning blue in the face and Kaminari wheezing from somewhere behind the counter. Once she finally finds her breath, Jirou can't help but let out a hardy cackle at the absurdity what just happened.

When the others finally drag themselves down after having to deal with the racket from before, they are confused to find Sero with an oxygen mask and Jirou patting Kaminari on the back as he regains the ability to breathe, though Jirou herself is not much better off. When they ask, Jirou says she'll tell them later, though Sero's already talking to Kirishima and Ashido and they're just about howling.

Whatever. They probably won't believe her anyway, but Jirou will still always remember that as one of the single greatest things she's ever seen.

Chapter Text

The first time that Uraraka and her classmates were allowed off campus after the disaster of a summer training camp the previous year, it had been a simple, harmless, impromptu class trip to a nearby skating rink.

Aizawa-sensei had given his students a challenge. A challenge that he himself had probably not entirely expected them all to rise up to. It had been so long since any of them had gone off school grounds other than the holidays. So, Aizawa had told them this: If all twenty of them got an A on their next test, then he would organize a small class trip for them. If it even came about by some absolute miracle, he probably concluded that it would be so on the spot, planning-wise, that no villain would know to prepare any attack on them during their time out. However, the students all had to try to ignore the fact that they were always being watched after that, the school still searching high and low for the supposed traitor, just in case.

Uraraka had hit the books hard in hopes of earning an A and contributing to the class's chances of a day out with everybody. And from what she saw, she wasn't the only one. Everyone from rank one to twenty was studying their heart out with the promise of a short spurt of freedom as a result. Uraraka herself could only thank her lucky stars that three of her closest friends, specifically referring to Iida, Deku, and Todoroki, were respectively second, fourth, and fifth in academics, so studying with them made life so much easier for her. Tokoyami and Asui joined their ranks as well, while, Jirou, Ojiro, Hagakure, and several others turned to Yaoyorozu for tutoring. Uraraka couldn't help but both laugh and feel sorry for Kaminari, Sero, and Ashido, who had all decided to take drastic measures in the name of friendship and go the Kirishima studying route, which consisted of convincing Bakugou to play drill sergeant and figuratively shove their textbooks down their throats.

Well, it must have paid off, apparently.

The day of the test, Aizawa graded them all on the spot, his face slowly going from it's normal disinterest to complete and utter disbelief. Uraraka couldn't help but feel a flutter of excitement in her heart as he looked up at the class in astonishment. “Who would like to go roller skating?”

Even now, Uraraka could still hear the cheers of excitement and screeching of chairs and desks being knocked over as hugs and high fives were shared across the room. She couldn't help but laugh out loud as half the class legitimately started crying, as if they'd all just barely managed to save the world or something. There was one truly powerful and touching moment though, in Uraraka's opinion, and it was easily the most subtle one, one that she didn't think anyone else noticed. A glance, a short but knowing look between Midoriya and Bakugou, both fully aware of how ridiculous their classmates were being, which was followed by a shrug and an eye roll respectively. Of course, the moment was ruined by an emotional Kaminari and Ashido launching themselves in Bakugou's general direction and nearly getting their faces blasted off, but Uraraka couldn't help the huge grin that looked like it could split her face in half.

Aizawa promised that if he continued to make deals like this(seriously, their grades must have been fantastic), then he would slowly start having bigger and bigger trips and even let them start choosing where they wanted to go. For now, though, they would start small, for student and civilian safety. And so, here they were, renting out a huge skating rink in the city for a few hours of fun with 'no quirks' and 'no killing each other' being their only rules.

Uraraka had just about fainted when they arrived at the place and it was nearly the size of a football field with one giant, well-polished rink and a restaurant and arcade built in for their convenience. The students wasted no time in exploring their new environment as the music started blaring and lights began flashing as if they'd just entered a night club.

Ashido's squeal of excitement carried through the noise. “Ahh! I love roller skating! It's been so long since I've been in a rink!”

Sero chuckled. “Well, I'm not surprised. With how much you love to dance, I'd imagine that dancing in skates is something you're familiar with.”

“You bet! Oh, I can't wait! I'm gonna be kinda honest thought, I also kinda really wanna watch everyone else fall on their a**es.”

“Real encouraging.”

“I'm really excited, too!” Uraraka chimed in. “It's been awhile since I've gone skating myself, though I've never been to a rink like this before.”

“Isn't it cool!?” Ashido exclaimed, Uraraka answering her simply with her bouncing up and down with excitement.

“So Blasty,” Kaminari started, completely unfazed by the death glare that Bakugou shot at him in response. “You know how to skate, yeah?”

There was a beat of silence before Bakugou huffed. “Why would I waste my time at a dumba** place like this? I've always had more important things to do.”

Kaminari, Ashido, and Uraraka all gaped. “You've never gone skating before?!”

“Well,” Kirishima butted in, “It is really loud and it can get pretty crowded here. Not really your thing, huh?”

“Exactly.”

“Kirishima knows him so well.” Ashido sighed. “So, boys! Who wants to get out there on the rink with me?”

“Me!” Kirishima and Kaminari called simultaneously. Uraraka giggled as she allowed her eyes to scan the building for Deku and Iida while the group of five continued to banter around her.

“You joining us, Bakugou?” Sero asked.

“Why should I?”

“Because out of everyone here, you're the one who I'd love to see fall on their a** the most.”

“Well f*** you, too.

Kaminari materialized in between them. “You should totally come with us! It'll be really fun!” he shouted a little too enthusiastically.

Kirishima and Ashido had already gone to get their skates at this point, while Sero stayed behind to watch what he must have already known was about to become a train wreck. Uraraka found herself interested in finding out what Sero might be waiting for.

“Come on, you said that you've never skated before!” Kaminari pressed.

“I haven't.”

“Come with us!”

“No.”

“Dude,” Kaminari began, casually leaning against a nearby post. “The only person here who really knows what they're doing hundred percent is Ashido, and maybe Jirou, and Uraraka a little bit, I guess. We don't know what we're getting into, either!”

No.”

“You're just afraid of embarrassing yourself.” Kaminari said smugly, poking at him. Bakugou swatted his hand away and growled. Kaminari crossed his arms. “That's what I thought. Scardy cat.”

“The f*** did you just call me?”

“You heard me, dude.”

Both Sero and Uraraka were trying very hard not to laugh out loud, more so at Kaminari's unearned overconfidence than anything. Kaminari pointed at Bakugou dramatically. “Let's make a bet. If you can perfect skating in the next five minutes, I'll chug a bottle of that hotsauce you like to carry around with Sero as my witness!”

Uraraka choked on air while Sero stared at him wide eyed, probably in complete disbelief at his friend's unrivaled idiocy. Bakugou's eyebrows shot up, before the prospect of the idiot learning his lesson through intense pain seemed to cause him to grin darkly.

F***ing deal.”

Sero coughed. “Kaminari, you're an idiot and I will make sure that the eulogy for your funeral tomorrow will say so.”

Uraraka regained her breath somewhat. “I don't even know what you guys are talking about and that still sounded like the worst thing you could have said.”

Honestly, Uraraka wasn't sure how Kaminari had expected it to go, but about two minutes later, he'd only made it through about an eighth of the small bottle before he promptly short circuited. The fact that Sero seemed so impressed concerned her.

Uraraka had never seen Ashido so excited as when Bakugou had sauntered over and demanded a pair of skates. Her classmates weren't exactly subtle with their staring, watching with interest as Bakugou eyed the rink warily. Several of them had gone to sit in the restaurant or play at the arcade, so the skating rink wasn't crowded at all, with only a little under half of their classmates actually there.

“It's all about balance.” Ashido had said, stepping out onto the rink as if it were second nature. She glided over the polished wooden floor with a sense of gracefulness that seemed almost uncharacteristic of her.

Even though he'd never gone skating before, it should come as no surprise at this point that Bakugou had caught on the moment he stepped out, allowing himself to casually roll around the entirety of the rink to familiarize himself with everything. Meanwhile, it turns out that Kirishima had never gone skating before either, because the every second he had both feet in the rink, he went down.

Uraraka managed to find Deku, he and Todoroki stepping carefully into the large rink while Iida was berating Sero for letting Kaminari attempt something so life-threateningly dangerous as chugging hotsauce that even Bakugou considered hot solely because of a bet.

“Have you skated before, Deku?” Uraraka asked.

Deku chuckled. “Once or twice, but I'm not very good. Todoroki says that he hasn't skated at all.” he added, pointing to Todoroki, who nodded once in agreement.

“I've never had the opportunity, but I want to try.” Todoroki said sincerely, and honestly, considering the stories that Uraraka had heard, who was she to stop him?

Uraraka, having skated a few times before, was at least able to keep her balance as she helped Deku up every time he lost his footing(which was surprisingly a lot). She kept it to herself, but the amount of times that Todoroki ended up flailing around to keep his balance was absolutely hilarious, though he never actually fell. Jirou ended up spending all of her time teaching Yaoyorozu how to skate, while Hagakure, who was apparently also pretty good at it, tried desperately to convince Ojiro to join her. Everyone else was either eating or playing at the arcade. Honestly, it was nice.

“Hey, Raccoon Eyes, race me!”

The tiny bit of enthusiasm that seemed so unfamiliar with that voice pulled Uraraka's attention back to the other side of the rink where Bakugou and Ashido were, now side by side, Bakugou giving Ashido a challenging grin while Ashido blinked at him. However, the silence was short lived as Ashido's eyes suddenly lit up like stars. “Really!? You mean it? Oh, you are so on!”

“Five laps. Loser does winner's chores for a week.”

“Ha! Then get ready to eat my dust, Blasty!”

And like a blur, they were moving, zipping around the rink at speeds that Uraraka didn't even think were human while her other classmates plastered themselves to the railings to get out of their way and watch the spectacle. Ashido's joyous laughter seemed to fill the building along with her classmates' chants and cheers as she took an incredibly sharp turn and momentarily got herself ahead of him, but Bakugou's overwhelming competitive streak had them neck and neck again within seconds.

Uraraka didn't miss the fact that Deku became invested in the race immediately, watching in awe as Ashido continuously passed Bakugou on the corners while his overall speed kept her from ever really pulling ahead. Slowly, a huge smile appeared on his face.

“He never did anything like this with his lackeys back in middle school.” Deku said to no one in particular, though he probably knew that Uraraka was listening. She chose not to ask about his use of the term 'lackeys'. “No one could challenge him in anything, so he never bothered.”

By the five lap, with over half the class now watching the race, they were playing dirty, bumping into each other, shoving, and trying to trip each other up until they hit the makeshift finish line that Jirou had convinced Yaoyorozu to create for them and sent each other crashing onto the wooden floor, Ashido laughing without even a hint of fear or pain the entire way down.

“I win!” Ashido cried.

F*** off! That was clearly a tie!”

“Still bragging rights for me, so ha!

“What are you, twelve?!”

Pulling himself up, Bakugou dusted himself off and checked for any rips in his clothing before turning back to Ashido, who was doing the same. “That was a fun race, though. You're pretty f***ing fast.”

And for a moment, under the applause of the majority of the building's occupants, Ashido was silent. Uraraka could see the gears turning in her head as she seemed to register the implications and she dramatically gasped. “That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me, Blasty.”

“Save it... And don't get use to it.”

“Too late. So anyways, is the chore thing off, or are we gonna figure out some sort of compromise?”

“You do my laundry and I'll make your lunches.”

DEAL.

As the others went back to what they were doing before, the sound of someone clattering to the floor caught the two's attention, Kirishima giving them a thumbs up from his place on the ground. “That was awesome, you guys!”

“You okay, Kiri?” Ashido asked, suppressing a giggle.

Kirishima slowly wobbled his way to his feet, holding onto the railing for dear life with a grin still plastered on his face. “I'm fine! Don't worry about me!”

Bakugou huffed, making his way over to Kirishima as he straightened himself out. Uraraka almost felt bad that Deku had left to save Kaminari and Sero from Iida's ranting since Todoroki was just standing there staring at them instead of being helpful, because what happened next was interesting.

Without hesitation or even a complaint, Bakugou grabbed Kirishima's arms and started dragging him around the skating rink.

Kirishima had yelped in surprise, latching onto Bakugou's arms to keep himself upright while the other maneuvered himself around backwards. Ashido was laughing hysterically as Kirishima seemed to do everything in his power to keep from falling and pulling Bakugou down with him.

“Lean forward and bend your knees, d***it.” Bakugou scolded, Kirishima looking up at him sheepishly. He turned his attention back to Ashido, who had tears in her eyes from cackling. “Raccoon Eyes, come 'ere and take his over arm.”

With a 'woot' and a salute, Ashido rolled right over and did as she was told. Uraraka stifled her laughter as Bakugou and Ashido began to drag a giddy Kirishima around the rink, who was sounding out a steady stream of 'woooooooooooooooooo' until it devolved into screaming as the two picked up speed. Eventually, Kirishima let go, rolling forward with his fists in the air as a sign of victory for skating on his own. Of course, he instantly lost his balance and fell backwards, reaching out and accidentally taking Ashido down with him while Bakugou barely regained his balance in time to avoid falling as well.

“Timber!” Ashido shouted as Kirishima rambled off apologies.

Bakugou pushed his hair out of his face. “F***ing h***, Weird Hair, everybody do the f***ing flop, much?”

And at that, they were both gone, not having the strength to get up off the floor from being unable to regain their breath. Their laughter was almost louder than the blaring music, and Uraraka couldn't help but smile at their joy. She noticed, however, that something about Bakugou's expression seemed...well, weird wasn't the right word for it. It was different, like she couldn't recognize him at first, and even when it was time to go, and everyone had gotten a chance to skate and a chance to wipe out, and they were boarding the bus and Kirishima and Ashido were both positively glowing with sunshine and happiness, Uraraka couldn't quite figure out why that was.

It was later that evening that it finally dawned on her that it was because he was smiling.

Chapter Text

To be completely honest with himself, Shouji wasn't sure how he'd stumbled upon this situation, nor was he entirely sure how someone hadn't died yet.

Standing in Lunch Rush's cafeteria, he wondered if everything wrong with the world happened around this time, from brawls to hurtful gossip and even a sniper attack of all things!* All of it happened most frequently in the cafeteria or around lunch time, and he would love to be in with fate as to why, and right now, he was sure that he was about to witness U.A.'s first case of student murder, though he wasn't entirely keen on interfering. After all, it wasn't every day that a hero would side with the murderer's case.

He didn't talk to Sero as often as some of the others, but as his classmate, he trusted him and viewed him as a good, though snarky person. Shouji had been in line directly behind him, and seeing as his usual group was nowhere to be found, he'd decided to say hello, and they struck up a short conversation. Trays in hand, they'd gone to part ways when a familiarly annoying voice called out.

“Hey, Tape Guy.”

Shouji didn't miss the way Sero's posture slumped when he released an exasperated sigh at the sight of Class 1-B's Monoma. To be fair, Shouji wasn't all that excited either, but he was at least capable of pretending to be polite.

“What's up, Droopy Eyes?” Sero drawled.

Monoma faltered, his eye twitching in annoyance. “Oh, so you're calling me that stupid nickname, too, are you? Has that barbaric delinquent...infected you?”

“Yep. And you called me a nickname first, by the way.” Without missing a beat, Sero spun on his heel and began to walk away, but Shouji didn't miss the fact that Monoma began to follow him, and couldn't help but wonder why he was being more of a pest than usual.

He then remembered that he'd overheard that Kendou was sick and thus absent today.

“Why are you ignoring me, Tape Guy?” Monoma whined.

“Because you're obviously trying to get under my skin.” Sero huffed back. “I'm not sure why me , but you are.”

Monoma's lips twitched upward. “What do you mean? Can't we just be friends?”

“That's cute.” Sero responded. “You think that I can't beat you up like some of my classmates could.”

“Wha-” Monoma gasped in mock offense. “I would never! Why would I believe that the guy whose quirk is nothing but sticky paper shooting out of his elbows can't hold his own? Gives a whole new meaning to being a tool, honestly.”

Excuse me?

“Oh, what's the matter?” Monoma laughed. “Did I hit a soft spot?”

Shouji's multiple limbs were fists at this point, clenching and unclenching with the strong desire to shut Monoma up. Monoma, however, decided to just keep trucking along. “I really don't see how you got into class 1-A anyway. At least everyone else's quirks are flashy and maybe kinda cool, but you could just be found in someone's desk drawer. You're just so plain . It's a little bit sad, actually. I feel sorry for you.”

Sero's shoulders slumped as Monoma began to laugh, knowing well that no giant hand was coming to karate chop him unconscious. “Is something wrong?” Monoma asked mockingly, and Sero looked away.

So he almost missed the tray that was flung right into Monoma's face.

It'd been so sudden and so violent that none of them knew what had happened at first, but Shouji saw him first, stepping in front of Sero and glaring daggers at Monoma, who was too busy wiping wasted food off of himself to notice. Students around them had all jumped in surprise, none of them prepared for the sudden act of malice.

Who in their right mind?! ” Monoma huffed to himself as he looked back up, prepared to search out his attacker. “What was that for-”

Sharp red eyes were inches away from his face, and it looked like Monoma had to suppress the urge to scream as he jumped back in surprise. He may have had freedom from Kendou to do as he pleased today, but it seemed that he'd completely forgotten to account for the beast of class 1-A.

Bakugou snarled. “What do you f***ing mean what was that for , Droopy Eyes?”

Monoma looked like he really wanted to snap back. Though he seemed to be fighting self-preservation instincts at the same time. Kendou wasn't there to stop him. Kendou also wasn't there to protect him. He suddenly smiled creepily, though the effect was ruined by the wasted food running down his face. “You would think that it'd be common knowledge that throwing things at people is juvenile and rude, but I guess a delinquent like you wouldn't understand that.”

Bakugou gave a feral growl in response. “Are you trying to pick a f***ing fight with me? Because I don't care. I'll throw down.”

And here Shouji was, watching the world hang in the balance for what felt like hours as the two stared each other down with enough venom for either of them to drop dead at any moment. Sero hadn't said a word the entire time, watching in astonishment. Eventually, Monoma had been given the proper amount of time to think about his life decisions before giving an annoyingly pleasant smile and briskly walking away, cursing the name of class 1-A as he did so. Bakugou huffed in annoyance. “That's what I thought.”

Sero chuckled. “I guess having the kind of reputation you do can come in handy, after all.”

“It has it's perks.” Bakugou muttered, still eying the offending class 1-B student before he completely disappeared into the crowd. “Acting out like that is probably gonna bite me in the a** later today, but I really couldn't care less.”

Sero shrugged, looking down at his shoes. Shouji could see how Sero wasn't in quite as good of a mood as he'd been before Monoma started badgering him. With a sigh, Sero started on his way.

“How do you eat that many greens at a time with nothing else?”

Sero turned, blinking back at Bakugou as he stared at his tray with interest. Shouji could tell that he seemed completely bewildered, probably from the fact that Bakugou was actually attempting small talk with him. “I like it. I actually prefer it over junk food.”

“Really.” Bakugou mused. “Isn't that lucky. I make myself eat that s*** to stay healthy and ahead of everyone else. I wish I liked it that much. A**hole.”

Sero snorted. “Just because something comes easier for me, I'm an a**hole.”

“Yes.”

“Yeah, okay.” Sero was smiling now, giving his classmate his full attention. “Though to be real, the fact that you have so much self-control over your diet is more than commendable. Have you seen what the others are always eating?”

“F***ing h***, don't get me started. Half of them are gonna be dead by their forties.”

“And lose their teeth by graduation.”

Shouji had never heard Bakugou laugh before. It was a strange sound, and he wasn't entirely sure if it made him feel uncomfortable or not. Sero, however, was now beaming, having completely forgotten about previous events and instead went to making fun of everyone's poor eating habits, from Kaminari and Ashido downing gallons of candy to Uraraka inhaling mochi constantly to Kirishima's obsession with meat. They also brought up how Rikidou's quirk was suppose to work and gave Iida a pass for also doing his best to have a balanced diet as well, though Bakugou found other ways to make fun of him.

“And they say they want to be heroes. Other than Big Lips, they don't have any f***ing excuses!”

“We should totally raid the kitchen and get rid of all the junk food just to mess with everyone.”

“That's...tempting, actually.”

Sero laughed giddily. “Isn't it!? Replace all the sweet stuff with fruits! Seriously, I could eat oranges all day! They're one of my favorites.”

It was at this moment that Bakugou glanced at the clock, his eyes widening before spinning Sero on his heel to see that lunch was practically over. With a yelp in surprise from Sero, the two boys rushed off to finish their now cold meals. Shouji also rushed to eat, having spent his entire time watching the rare moment of kindness from their most volatile classmate.

The next day, when they were all in the common room after a full day of classes, Shouji didn't miss the blur that was Sero running towards the empty kitchen with a basket of oranges. When Sero noticed him, he smiled nervously and timidly waved. Remembering yesterday's conversation, Shouji could only guest was the tape quirk user was planning.

He realized, as Sero turned to continue on his mission, that the origin of the oranges still eluded him. “Where did you get all of those oranges from?”

“Gift.” Sero answered simply, disappearing into the kitchen.

Shouji didn't need him to elaborate.

Chapter Text

If Mineta's math was correct, it had been about five hours, twenty three minutes, and forty eight seconds since they'd stepped foot on that bus when it finally slowed to a stop in front of a small 24-hour open convenience store for a quick pit stop.

The drive to their location hadn't been all that great either, but they weren't all completely exhausted at the time. The majority of his classmates had been excited over the school visit, with the chance to show off U.A.'s status to the country by competing with another school for a demonstration. It had been set up so that everyone would be fighting together as a group against the other school's top hero class, and the winner was the team with the most people still standing when time ran out. Of course, he himself had been nervous(who wouldn't be!?), but he could at least pat himself on the back for not making a complete fool of himself this time. Sure, he didn't have the most impressive display of power, but he could say that he helped defeated at least one opponent and was still standing at the end. That, and a girl had called him adorable. A GIRL HAD CALLED HIM ADORABLE! Easily one of the greatest moments of his life. Not even his aching back could ruin that for him.

And now they were heading back to U.A., together on a bus with twenty of them half asleep from exerting themselves all day. Filing off the bus towards the convenience store, Mineta leaped out of the way of Ashido's smoothly crafted legs as she launched herself off the bus with a giddy cheer as she raced into the store, Kaminari quickly jumping out after her. Slowly, the others followed, Uraraka with her beautiful rosy cheeks as she beamed back at Midoriya pulling the two of them off towards the store while Iida and the tall and slender Yaoyorozu calmly made their way off as they discussed something that is far above his own head. Todoroki got off just in front of Kirishima, who was practically dragging a protesting Bakugou along with him while Sero just laughed at them from somewhere behind. Besides the mysterious beauty that is Hagakure, everyone else chose to stay by the bus and stretch their sore limbs instead of going into the store to buy something.

“Dude,” Kaminari materialized beside him. “Have you seen the cashier? She's pretty hot.”

Mineta had to agree, her sharp eyes and short but smooth hair complimenting her petite physique and average sized rack well. “Mm-hmm. I like her more minimalistic style.”

“Yeah, her Mini- Ma- M- uh, that thing you said.” Kaminari gave him a wink and a thumbs up, and Mineta couldn't help but sweat drop.

The two gallivanted around the store, looking through celebrity magazines and walking down the candy isle before making their purchases and failing at flirting with the unimpressed cashier. Mineta decided that the girl at the rival school that called him adorable was cute and friendly enough to make up for it and moved on as he and Kaminari walked out the door while Kaminari continued to talk about every random thought that came to his head.

Kaminari suddenly stopped, whipping his head around to somewhere off to their left. Mineta looked up at him, confused. “What's wrong?”

“I said go away .” There was so much venom in those words that Mineta barely even recognized Ashido's voice. Finding their way around the building, where a couple of oddly placed vending machines filled with toys and trinkets stood, the two boys finally got a decent view of what was happening. A man, about three times Ashido's size, was following her around, a stench wafting through the air as they approached his direction. By his clothes, Mineta could only assume that he was homeless, and the look in his eyes couldn't possibly be that of any ordinary civilian.

Which meant that this could get really ugly at any moment.

“We should go get a teacher.” Mineta whispered, lightly tugging Kaminari in the direction of the bus where Aizawa-sensei was napping.

“And leave her there?” Kaminari hissed.

Mineta rapidly shook his head. “I'm trying to be rational here! Adult intervention would be a really good idea right now, or we just might make the situation worse! We don't know his quirk or-”

Kaminari had already turned, marching towards the man with confidence and frustration as he attempted to latch onto Ashido's arm, who in turn through a shopping bag at him. “Don't make me use my quirk! I'll do it!”

Kaminari stepped in between them. “Leave her alone, loser!” he yelled.

“Yeah, you tell him!” Ashido shouted, standing partially behind him while prepared to shoot if she needed to. Mineta was about to take his own advice and run to get Aizawa when he suddenly felt his skin start to crawl and the balls on his head stiffen uncomfortably. Pulling at them, he quickly discovered that they were all but stuck in place, forcing him to tear at it for a few seconds before it finally popped off. Even then, however, it wasn't sticky.

“What?” Mineta mumbled in confusion. Turning back to the situation at hand, it seemed that Kaminari was also having trouble, looking at his hands in surprise as nothing but a few measly sparks few off them. Mineta's heart began to race. “Our quirks aren't working?”

“Cool, huh?” the man laughed. “I can suppress the quirks of anyone within a twenty five foot radius around me. It's not that you can't use them completely, but I doubt that they're gonna be of any use right now.” With one unexpected, powerful swing, Kaminari was sent flying into the store wall, leaving a heavy dent in it as he crumbled to the ground in a heap. Ashido screamed, both in fear and anger, and started throwing whatever she could get her hands on at him as he approached her, not willing to leave Kaminari behind.

“You're a feisty one, aren'tcha?” he cooed, grabbing onto Ashido's arm. A sizzling sound could be heard and he winced, but held tight despite her struggles. “Seems like you got a pretty dangerous quirk if you're not careful.”

At this point, Mineta knew that he'd been wasting a lot of precious time while just standing there like a moron, and now he was afraid of leaving and coming back to find no one there. With no other option, he was about to call out for help when Sero suddenly turned the corner, sprinting in next to Mineta and taking in the struggle going on behind the store.

“What's going on!?” Sero bellowed down at him.

“What do you think is going on!?” Mineta screeched back, near hysterical. “Ashido's being manhandled and Kaminari's hurt and I can't do anything because that guy suppresses quirks and I panicked and just stood here like a dingus and what are we suppose to do now!?”

Sero, seething as he looked down at his currently useless elbows, was about to yell something else, and probably planning to jump into the fray himself, when he looked back up and instantly paled.

“Oh f***.

“What?”

BAM!

The sound of solid metal hitting flesh just might have been one of the loudest sounds that Mineta had ever heard. The man instantly slumped, Ashido yanking herself out of his grip as he fell to the ground with a heavy thud. Sero immediately ran to check on Kaminari, who had yet to get back up, while Ashido looked up at her rescuer with concern. Mineta was just left dumbfounded.

Bakugou looked conflicted. On one hand, his shoulders were relaxed and his stance was slouched. On the other, however, his hands had a death grip around the metal pipe and his face was that of a grimace as he stared down in disgust at his handiwork.

Did he actually kill the guy?

“F***.” he breathed, dropping the pipe as if it burnt him. Ashido seemed at a loss for words, hands shakily reaching towards him, almost as if she wanted to comfort him, but wasn't sure how to go about it. He abruptly strode past her, pushing himself past Sero to get a better at Kaminari.

“Yo, Sparky.” he called, tapping his face more gently than anyone had ever seen him handle anything. There was a light groan in response and the ash blonde seemed to finally start to truly relax. “The f*** is the matter with you?” he huffed halfheartedly.

Seeing as everything had calmed down, Mineta finally decided to stop being a b**** and get Aizawa-sensei, Sero jumping up and following close behind.

It was announced after the ambulance arrived that the man would live and be safely in custody. Midoriya had showered Mineta with questions, constantly glancing in Bakugou's general direction as the students prepared to finally board the bus and get out of there.

“Has anything like that ever happened?” Mineta asked carefully.

Midoriya shook his head wildly. “No! Countless fights, absolutely, but he's rarely ever done anything that brutal. And nothing like that.”

It was also announced that Kaminari had no serious injuries and could travel back with them to the school. Resting on a stretcher for the time being, Kaminari laughed as Ashido asked if he was okay for the umpteenth time, the electricity quirk user promising her that he was just a little sore. Neither of them complained about Kirishima's constant frantic(and entirely unnecessary) apologies for not being there to help them, nor did they point out Bakugou's pacing, staying within a five foot radius of the two of them at all times.

When they finally boarded the bus, Kaminari was offered an entire row all to himself, but he had demanded that Ashido sit with him, and the two found themselves snuggled up with three of them squeezing onto a seat meant for two. Nobody dared to question Bakugou sandwiching himself between the window and Kaminari.

Jirou decided not to let the moment that they all fell asleep go to waste and quickly snapped a picture of Kaminari fast asleep against Bakugou's shoulder, with Ashido sprawled over both of their laps without a care in the world.

Normally, Mineta would be jealous of the intimacy, but in context, he knew he had no right to complain. Not after acting like a complete idiot and not doing anything, even after he'd tried to be the rational one in that situation. He knew that there was no way that he would be popular as a hero with any girls if all he did was stand there and soil himself. He'd already figured out from the beginning that there was so much more to being a hero than he'd ever imagined, but he'd just have to suck it up and earn some d*** respect, now wouldn't he? The boobs could wait for now.

He still had a lot to learn.

Chapter Text

Despite the concern of some of her classmates, Hagakure couldn't help but become giddy and bounce with excitement as the twenty adolescent heroes-in-training approached the supermarket to buy their own choices in meals for the first time in their lives since moving into the dorms. Sure, the possibility for disaster was exponentially high, and Aizawa seemed quite aware of that, since the look he wore on his face since the principal announced the trip had been that of someone who was completely and utterly done with everything, but the idea of any kind of trip with all of her friends just seemed too wonderful to ever pass up.

That, and watching the shenanigans that some of her more rowdy classmates would get into was immensely entertaining.

Ashido squealed as she and Kaminari accidentally ran into a mountain of cans with their shopping cart, Ashido almost tumbling right out of the cart. Kirishima scrambled over in a vain attempt to try and rebuild the mountain of cans that were now a wave rolling across the floor. Hagakure could only giggled at the display as Kaminari made his way around the mess and Ashido tried to drag Kirishima away from the now ruined display so they wouldn't be blamed for the catastrophe.

“Hey Hagakure, could we ask you a favor?” he whispered into what she could only assume he thought was her ear. Of course, he was a little behind it, but close enough. “We need you to do some reconnaissance for us.”

Hagakure turned to him and tilted her head in confusion. “What do you need me to do that for?”

Kaminari looked behind him carefully, eying somewhere in the distance, and turned back to her with a grave look in his eyes. “Candy.”

“Huh?”

“Candy. Fruity candy, chocolates candy, weird freaking candy, you name it. Oh yeah, and extra meat for Kiri if we can.” Kaminari gestured to Kirishima, who smiled in return. “We're running low and our goal is to refill on it.”

Hagakure simply nodded. They'd all been given a certain amount of money from the school(and some of their own if they had any), so they were still on a budget. Because of this, Aizawa had assigned four groups of five, with all of their collective group's money being held by one person, someone that Aizawa could trust to focus on at least making the necessary purchases before buying unneeded trash. That way, Aizawa wouldn't have to worry about some of them squandering all of the school's hard earned cash on things that they didn't need, such as junk food. Hagakure's own money was being kept by Yaoyorozo, and the other group leaders, if she remembered correctly, were Iida, Midoriya, and-

-Bakugou.

Ah. That would explain it. Aizawa would be smart enough to pair them all up. In fact, that might be the very reason why he chose four groups of five.

Now that she looked back again, where Kaminari had glanced before, by the produce section, she could make out the forms of Bakugou and Sero, who seemed to be(surprisingly calmly) debating on what vegetables to purchase for upcoming meals. Kaminari seemed to catch on that Hagakure had connected the dots. He nodded sharply. “So, will you do it?”

Hagakure hummed in thought. “But he has your money. How are you gonna buy it?”

With a grin, Kaminari smoothly pulled out and revealed a wallet. “I smuggled my extra wallet and hid some of the money so they wouldn't know I still had anything.”

Hagakure blinked in surprise, not expecting this level of resourcefulness from this particular classmate. “How did you hide it? I don't see how they wouldn't have caught you.”

“Trust me, you don't wanna know.”

Hagakure decided to shut up and not pry, and instead weighted her options. On one hand, allowing Kaminari and the others to do something that could lead to the immediate wrath of one Bakugou Katsuki could have some dire consequences in the near future. On the other, however, the idea did sound interesting. Fun, even.

What could possibly go wrong?

“I'll do it.” She said with drive. Kaminari smiled confidently in return.

“Alright.” He said in return, waving his arm around the store. “What we need you to do is find were the candy aisle is. That way, we won't look as suspicious just by searching for it and we can get in and get out as quickly as possible, and hopefully not get noticed by Blasty.” Kaminari whips around to Kirishima. “You'll probably feel bad for doing anything even remotely behind someone's back.”

“It is pretty unmanly, dude.” Kirishima commented.

“Right. So, I would have you as the decoy, but you can't even lie through your teeth. Especially to him. Also 'unmanly', yeah?” Kirishima nods as Kaminari continues. “So, you'll be the lookout instead. Just tell us if you see anyone coming. No harm done. Ashido, you're with me. We go in, we get the goods, and get out. Everyone got it?”

They all nodded, the fire of determination blazing in their eyes. Hagakure couldn't help but giggle as Kaminari nodded in response. “Alright. Let's do this thing.”

As the group of three went back to whatever they were doing, probably trying to not be suspicious, Hagakure scampered off to find the location of their operation, choosing not to question why Kaminari was being so strategic now of all times. As she went on her way, she came across other groups of her classmates. She found Uraraka debating with Midoriya about why mochi does count as 'essentials', while Iida chased after Mineta, who was trying to get away with buying several magazines of unknown content. Needless to say, he didn't get very far.

When Hagakure stumbled upon the candy section several rows down, she was surprised to find Yaoyorozu and Jirou looking through the selection while Ojiro browsed nearby. Noticing her(bless the guy), he jogged up to her with a smile. “Hagakure, Yaoyorozu is using her own money to buy everyone whatever else they want. Is there anything in particular that you want?”

Hagakure debated with herself. If she really wanted to, she could ask if Yaoyorozu was willing to buy things for Kaminari's group and make things easier for them. They would get what they wanted and it wouldn't cause Bakugou or Aizawa any real immediate problems. But let's be real, here. Where's the fun in that?

“Surprise me!” Hagakure cheered, causing Ojiro to smile fondly before going back to his browsing. Satisfied with everything, Hagakure quickly sped back to where Kaminari and the others would be waiting for her.

She did not expect Bakugou to be there.

“Stop playing stupid, stupid! The f*** is this s***?!” he yelled, gesturing wildly at the destroyed display of cans.

“Hey now, to be fair,” Kaminari stressed calmly. “That was totally Ashido's fault.”

“What!? No way! You were steering!”

“You leaned the wrong way and messed me up! You're heavy, you know?”

Ashido gasped loudly. “Did you just call me fat!?”

“What?! No! I'm just saying-!”

“No! This was all you!”

“Was not!”

“Was to!”

SHUT UP!” Bakugou roared, immediately silencing the two and startling any nearby customers. After pausing and taking a deep breath, he looked back at them. “Just-... Get your f***ing acts together, okay? I hate to sound like some f***ed up version of Four Eyes, but we're in a f***ing supermarket where everyone can see what the next generation of heroes will be like and even I know to at least try to not make a scene.” He glared darkly at Kaminari and Ashido, making sure that they were feeling foolish if nothing else. Hagakure wasn't even sure that he could truly scare them anymore. “You have the d*** list. Follow it, for f***'s sake.”

“Sheesh. No need to guilt trip us, man.” Kaminari mumbled, before looking to the side and suddenly coming back to life. “A-and what about Kirishima, huh!? Why aren't you yelling at him?!”

“Because he didn't do anything.”

“How do you know!?”

“I just do.”

Bakugou turned on his heel, marching back to where he came from. “Come on, Sero. We still need to look through the apples for that curry recipe.”

“And lemons!” Sero declared, watering at the mouth at the thought of what kind of incredible meal would be so deserving of a zesty lemon glaze.

“And lemons.” Bakuogu sighed, possibly exhausted from trying to control his assigned group. How does he do it everyday? Well, Hagakure could only assume that he didn't always have much of a choice on the matter.

Hagakure heard Sero also mention limes and Bakugou tell him to 'shut the f*** up' before they left earshot and she gingerly meandered her way over to the group of three. Kaminari, noticing the floating clothing, suddenly lit up and the atmosphere seemed to shift back in their favor. “You find the aisle?”

“Yeah.” Hagakure answered, realizing that nodding in response wouldn't do much good. “I can show you where.”

Kaminari's eyebrows shot up, while Ashido pushed past him and into Hagakure's face. “Are you sure? This is a suicide mission, you know. We wouldn't want you to get caught in the crossfire, Hagakure.”

Though they couldn't see it, she hoped that they could hear her grinning with her words. “This is so much fun, though! The element of danger in a non-lethal environment? That sounds like a blast!”

“What's your definition of 'non-lethal'? 'Cause it's gonna be a blast, alright.” Kaminari stated with a grin, which earned him a light smack from Ashido.

“If you're really sure, then welcome aboard, soldier.” Ashido said, patting her invisible classmate on her shoulder. “Now, this is a stealth mission against a war machine that either has inhuman senses or seven of 'em. We still haven't figured out which. So saddle up and strap in, 'cause its gonna be a wild ride.”

“I also wanted to make a suggestion.” Hagakure added as the group began to march forward. “There's a lane in the middle of all the aisles, right? Two aisles past the candy aisle is where some of this stuff is.” she stated, waving her sleeve towards the piece of paper. “We could go down that way, go around, and backtrack to the candy aisle from behind depending on where he's able to see us.”

Kaminari and Ashido stared at her in shock, mouths agape. Ashido suddenly lurched forward and pulled her into a tight hug. “You're a GENIUS, Hagakure!” she exclaimed. “Why didn't we think of that!?” Hagakure chose not to answer that question, though to be fair to them, they'd been doing pretty good planning-wise thus far and she wasn't always the brightest bulb in the shed, either.

“You coming, Kiri?” Ashido called, looking back at a guilt-ridden Kirishima looking down at his shoes.

“Well... I just...don't think this is very manly.” he started. “Blasty's taking this whole thing pretty seriously, like, trying not to make U.A. look bad, and he obviously trusts me...” Kirishima sighed. “I really don't wanna stab him in the back, you know? Even if it is something silly like buying candy.”

Ashido smiled sadly, her eyes filled with understanding. “You backin' out? Now's the time. I wouldn't want you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable.”

Kirishima nodded. “Yeah. I'm gonna go browse somewhere else. Probably where the meat is.”

“Right.” Ashido stated, before turning back to her partner in crime. “And I don't think we can make it to the meat section without getting caught, anyway, Kaminari.”

“You're right.” Kaminari responded, before turning back to Kirishima. “Well, have fun Kirishima, and wish us luck. The rest of you, let's move out!”

And so the group, Kaminari leading the way with the shopping cart, set out on their dangerous quest. Eyes darting around like that of a hawk, the three ducked into aisle that Hagakure had pointed out, filled with pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils that there always seemed to be a shortage of in the dorms. Hagakure reached out and grabbed a small pan. “Let's take a couple since we're here, anyway.”

“Right.” Ashido nodded, ignoring Kaminari tripping and knocking over several pans with a thunderous clatter before jumping back up in a ninja karate position of some kind. The fact that he remained entirely straight-faced almost made her burst out laughing.

“You think he heard that?” Kaminari whispered.

“Yeah, but now he thinks we're where he wants us to be.” Ashido answered coolly.

“Sneaky.” Hagakure thought aloud.

The two elected Hagakure to peek out from the aisle to check if the coast was clear. With no one in sight, the three hustled down two aisles as quietly as they could before ducking into the candy aisle. It seemed that Yaoyorozu and Ojiro had already left, leaving the aisle devoid of life. With a silent cheer, Kaminari and Ashido began browsing through the many options at their disposal. Ashido barely suppressed a squeal as she looked at the selection of chocolates.

“Dude, they've got, like, every kind of pop rocks ever, and flavors that I've never even heard of!” he said excitedly, dumping as many as he could into his shopping cart. Ashido began to throw in large boxes and bags of chocolates as well. By the end of their raid, their carts was filled to the brim with fruit candies, chocolates, gummies, and every other kind of candy that Hagakure could possibly think of.

“He's gonna kill us.” Ashido giggled.

“It'll be fine.” Kaminari laughed, waving his hand with no concern.

Hagakure hummed in thought. “That's a lot of money. Can you really buy this?”

“No.” Kaminari answered. “We'll figure out how much it is and take away from there until it's affordable.”

“Clever, right?” Ashido grinned.

Hagakure giggled in response. They were talking this whole thing so seriously! And making it way more complicated than it needed to be. Couldn't they just count it here? They probably didn't want to waste time and risk getting caught by-

UM, GUYS!!

All three of them jumped, whirling around to find Kirishima panting on the far side of the aisle, pointing wildly behind him with fear in his eyes, and Hagakure already knew. Though she could see Kaminari and Ashido turn their heads comically slow with sweat running down their faces in her peripheral vision, she was already looking into the face of death.

He was standing quietly opposite to Kirishima, on the end closest to them. His feet were evenly spread apart in an unmovable stance, his shoulders tense and rigid and hands switching between tight fists and open palms with tensed fingers and deadly, crackling energy. His head was slightly bowed, causing his hair to fall over his face just enough to hide it in shadow, emphasizing his beady red eyes enough to make them practically glow.

So, Bakugou could still scare them.

That is terrifying.” Kaminari wheezed.

“Should we run?” Ashido whispered fiercely.

“He's faster than us.” Kaminari shot back.

Bakugou began to approach them menacingly, his seemingly unblinking eyes not glancing away once. For a moment, Hagakure almost felt bad for the villains that would one day stand before the beast of class 1-A as they were now. The calmness of his voice sent shivers down their spines. “What do you think you're doing?”

Kaminari took a deep breath and stepped forward, standing bravely in front of the two girls. “Hey, man! What's up? Not much going on here. Just...you know, heading for the check out.”

“Are you?”

“Yeah, man.”

“Right.” He was still being way too calm. It was starting to freak Hagakure out. “And all of that?”

“That what?”

“That trash.”

Kaminari swallowed hard. “Trash? I don't see any trash.”

Bakugou was now standing directly in front of him. Kaminari was doing a surprisingly good job at hiding his quivering under an easygoing smile and relaxed posture. Bakugou huffed in annoyance as he reached out towards him. “Whatever. We're done here. You guys should wait in the bus before you cause the apocalypse or something stupid like that and I'm going to finish the d*** shoppi-.

ZAP!

No one had been fully prepared for the sudden act of ferocity. Bakugou stumbled back in mild surprise as Kaminari spun around and grabbed the shopping cart. “HOP IN!

“A high speed chase!” Hagakure gasped excitedly as she and Ashido threw themselves into the cart on top of their loot and Kaminari made a sharp turn into the center lane. Ashido was now laughing hysterically as Kaminari booked it as fast as he could through the many aisles of the marketplace.

“How long until he comes after us?” Ashido called back.

“Definitely not long!” Kaminari responded. “He's probably after us already!”

“Are you sure?” Hagakure asked slightly concerned. “That was a pretty strong shock.”

“Oh, trust me! I've hit him with worse and I still haven't beaten him!” Kaminari laughed. “I have absolutely no clue how Kirishima has any wins on him at all! Why do you ask?”

“I don't see him!”

Ashido squeezed past her looking behind Kaminari in slight confusion. “She's right. I don't see him either.”

“Maybe we lost him?” Hagakure questioned.

Kaminari snorted. “Literally impossible. Just keep your eyes out-”

Ashido, now facing forward, suddenly screamed, causing Hagakure to jump and Kaminari to nearly stumble. Bakugou skidded to a halt on the far end of the lane in front of them, eyes burning and a dangerous smirk plastered on his face.

Ashido waved her hands to the right wildly. “HOOOOOO s***, turn, TURN, TURN!!

Hagakure thought she could hear screeching as Kaminari pulled off an impossibly sharp turn and darted into the nearest aisle, Ashido once again howling as the three of them burst out the other side and straight into the checkout area. Both of Hagakure's classmates shouted with joy as they slowed to a stop by a cashier without even a single person standing in front of them. Some onlookers and a few of their other classmates jumped in surprise at the sudden new arrivals, Kaminari panting heavily as Ashido hopped out and started putting items up to be scanned.

“Success?” Kaminari breathed in slight disbelief. “Did we really best him? We won?”

“I can't believe it!” Ashido cheered, hugging Kaminari and jumping up and down with excitement. “We got away! There's just no way!”

Hugs and high fives all around, Hagakure laughed out loud as Kaminari and Ashido wiped their happy tears away and caught their breaths. Ashido sighed. “Okay! So, how much do we have to spend?”

“Weeeell,” Kaminari practically sang, fishing for his secret wallet in his pocket. Hagakure practically choked on air as his face slowly morphed from confidence, to confusion, to concern, and finally to horror as began to frantically search his pockets. “We- Um, uh, well-...”

Ashido stared at him wide-eyed. “You LOST IT!?”

“There's no way!” Kaminari exclaimed. “I double and triple checked that it was safe! What could have happened to it!?”

“I dunno. You tell me.”

The two froze, slowly turning around as if they were rusted metal, and nearly cried at the sight of Bakugou's smirk and the missing wallet held between two of his (suspiciously gloved)fingers. Hagakure could only assume that he swiped it just as Kaminari shocked him. “I would say nice try, but it really wasn't.”

Kaminari and Ashido, after a moment of stunned silence, fell to the ground in disbelief. “NO WAY!” they both cried.

Hagakure felt bad for slipping away after that, but she was certainly surprised when she found out that when Bakugou explained the details to Aizawa, he didn't mention her at all. She was pretty sure that he knew she was there. She may be invisible, but her clothes sure aren't, and he's insanely perceptive, after all.

“Ready to go, Hagakure?” Ojiro asked, standing next to her as she pondered the day's events. She giggled. “I guess. Today was so much fun!”

“Yeah, it was pretty hectic.” Ojiro chuckled. “I heard that Ashido and Kaminari are apparently on 'bus arrest' or something for causing trouble.”

“Oh trust me, I know.” she laughed, patting Ojiro's shoulder when he gave her an odd look. “I promise I'll telly you all about it later.”

There was a whine from somewhere behind them. “Seriously, man. You don't need to do that.”

Hagakure glanced behind her, taking in the sight of Bakugou and Kirishima still by the cashier, the latter with a mixed look of guilt and exasperation while the former practically ignored him and continued to have items scanned.

Among those items were a huge box of over a dozen pop rocks bags, three boxes of chocolates, and five different meats. Bakugou scoffed. “Don't tell me what to do, Weird Hair.”

“At least put the meat back.” he said somewhat meekly. “I know I didn't attempt anything, but I definitely thought about it, and I was going to at one point, a-and so I don't deserve anything.”

“Does it look like I even care?”

“And I thought you said you didn't want to waste any of the school's money.”

“I'm not. I'm using my own savings for this stuff.”

“Dude, seriously! Stop!”

“F*** off!

Kirshima huffed, a pout on his face. “We don't deserve this, man.”

Bakugou growled. “Look, if I take the beef and make a stew for all of you idiots tonight, and not just you, will you stop f***ing moping?”

Kirishima looked up at him before sighing and nodding his head. “Sure man, sure.” he chuckled, though hidden in his voice, Hagakure could practically feel the giddiness and excitement, as if this could only be the best possible outcome.

And though nobody could see it, Hagakure was beaming for the rest of the day, especially on the bus ride home, sitting just in front of Ashido and Kaminari in their exile as they talked about just how much fun they had all had on their escapade and described, in detail, every nuance and hint that Bakugou might have given off to prove that he secretly agreed with that sentiment.

And for Hagakure, there was no denying that she had fun, too.

Chapter Text

Despite popular belief, Tokoyami did not get nightmares as often as one might think. When he did, however, they still, to this day, remained some of the most terrifying experiences in his entire life. And so, he could only assume what had happened when he passed by Kirishima's dorm room at three whatever-it-was in the morning and involuntarily gasped in surprise when there was a sudden scream.

Tokoyami shouldn't have even been there. For all his talk of loving the nighttime, recent school developments had him receiving much less sleep than usual, almost to the point of insomnia and even Dark Shadow was starting to nag him about it. So, now that the weekend had arrived, he'd fully intended to finally get some proper shut eye. 'Sleep is the best meditation', as they say. Of course, old habits die hard, and soon enough, he was laying awake at three AM and unable to think of anything other than getting a drink of water.

As silently as possible, Tokoyami slid out of his room, carefully treading through the dorm's darkened hallways and being wary of both sleeping classmates along the way. Ducking into the kitchen and filling a glass of water, he tiredly started the trek back to his room in a sudden sleep-like daze, only now realizing just how tired he actually was. If he knew some of his classmates, they'd probably be shocked that he could even be sleepy.

“Wrong room, dumba**.” Dark Shadow grumbled. “In fact, wrong floor. How the h*** did we get here?” Tokoyami couldn't help but wonder if his current state of sleep deprivation was causing his shadow to have such a foul mood all of a sudden. He then registered that Dark Shadow was correct and that he'd actually somehow ended up in front of Shouji's room. Thankful that he'd been corrected before making such an embarrassing error, he began to meander back the way he came, hopefully to his own dorm room this time. Of course, he was suddenly very much awake when he passed by Kirishima's room.

It wasn't even blood-curdling. Just a startled yelp and a thud. An extremely startled yelp, but it wasn't like he was being murdered or anything(hopefully). But the absolute silence that followed made him feel especially uneasy. For a moment, he wasn't even sure what he should do. Should he check on him? Should he leave him alone? Should he inform someone? Save it for tomorrow? There were so many paths to choose from, and the question of whether or not it was even his business still stood.

Now, if the scream hadn't made him jump, the next door neighbor's door suddenly flying open with enough ferocity to nearly rip it off its hinges certainly did the trick.

With no regard for anyone else's beauty sleep, the explosive beast of class 1-A(no one needed to know that Tokoyami had unintentionally coined that term) skidded to a sudden stop in front of Kirishima's door and peered inside. The moment of caution only lasted less than a second before he was swinging the door open, albeit far more gently than a moment ago, and striding inside, completely ignoring Tokoyami's presence the entire time. It was at this moment that Tokoyami noticed that the noise had already caught Shouji's attention, said classmate peeking three of his limbs out of his doorway to get a better view of what was happening. Tokoyami could only assume that after being Bakugou's neighbor for a few months, he knew better than to directly intrude on his business.

From what Tokoyami could see, Bakugou was now standing over Kirishima, who was curled up in a mess of blankets on the floor. His irregular and quick breathing was almost inaudible, but the rapid movement of his shoulders proved its existence. On closer inspection, it looked as if he'd hardened his skin some.

For a long moment, it was quiet, Kirishima struggling to catch his breath and Bakugou just watching him. Tokoyami couldn't see his face at all, so he had no way of gauging what expression he might be wearing.

Then there was a deep, tired sigh. “Which raid?”

Kirishima tensed harshly, and Tokoyami's eyes widened. It had been extremely clear to him that Kirishima had suffered from a nightmare, but now judging from Kirishima's reaction, Bakugou had nailed it on the head, and thinking back, he could only propose two different instances that Bakugou could be referring to. Dark Shadow whistled in surprise, which earned him a silent berating.

Looking up slowly, Kirishima's eyes were glistening with unfallen tears that he was fighting against vigorously. After a moment, a flash of realization crossed his features, and he practically deflated in what Tokoyami could only see as relief, a single sob escaping him before he once again fought back against his emotions.

“Kamino...” Bakugou sighed in understanding, and Tokoyami could only assume that Bakugou himself had dealt with his own horrendous version of that disaster. Bakugou moved closer to the redhead before crouching down to his eye level, flinching hard when he was instantly enveloped in a giant bear hug from the emotional teen, who then proceeded to sob into his shoulder.

“I-it... It was both.” Kirishima said shakily, Bakugou tilting his head in slight confusion in response. “You were there, and...the League...and the yakuza... A-a-and our rescue team...and Uraraka and Asui, too... I...

He breathed in hard. “My shield was breaking...and everyone else was dying... I reached out for you...”

He squeezed tighter, Bakugou letting out a small grunt, but not complaining otherwise.

“...I missed.” he croaked, a hint of anger in his voice. “I f***ing missed.”

“F***ing h***, Weird Hair. It was a dream.” Bakugou huffed, giving him a hardy pat on the back. “I'm here, I'm fine, I can take care of myself, and even though they're all of bunch of f***ing morons, everyone else can, too.”

When Kirishima gave him a questioning look, Bakugou snarled. “Kirishima, I will drag you out of this room and blast open every single person's door in this building just to prove to you that nothing is wrong. Now, go the f*** to sleep.”

Kirishima wasn't exactly willing to let go at first, but Bakugou was eventually able to crawl out of his death grip. Dusting and straightening himself out with unnecessary ferocity, Bakugou marches towards the door, only pausing to look back at the hardening quirk user, who was still huddled on the floor regaining his breath. With a slightly over dramatic groan, he turned back around with his arms crossed. “Look, I'll go get you water or some s*** and we can f***ing...talk it over some more or whatever, okay?”

Kirishima looked up at him with teary eyes and nodded. “If it's not too much trouble... Come back soon.”

Bakugou huffed as he sauntered out, shutting the door more quietly behind him. Tokoyami could only be grateful for those who were trying to sleep at this late hour. At this point, he was so sleep deprived that Dark Shadow had gone silent.

“Not one word.”

Tokoyami startled, looking up into glaring red eyes. He hadn't even been sure that Bakugou had noticed him, having forgotten how inhumanly perceptive he could be. He pointed at him accusingly. “Not one word to anyone, Bird Brain, or I will f***ing kill you.”

He suddenly spun around. “And that goes for you too, Tentacles!” He semi-shouted, eyes darting in the direction of Shouji's room as said classmate's appendages suddenly disappeared behind the wall. Tokoyami allowed a slight smirk to grace his beak before looking down at the glass still in his hands, almost forgotten in the face of such fascinating events.

Tokoyami sighed. “Here.”

Bakugou stared at the offered cup as if it'd just tried to bite him. Tokoyami suppressed a chuckle. “You said he needed water. I haven't drank from it, so it's clean, and I get the feeling that he needs you right now.”

As if on cue, a soft, almost pitiful whimper escaped the dorm room behind them. Tokoyami didn't miss the way Bakugou seemed to become more tense at the sound, almost impatient. With a growl and 'f***ing die' under his breath, he violently took the cup from his hand, almost spilling its content all over the floor. “Not. One. Word.”

“Of course.”

With one final glare, Bakugou vanished back into Kirishima's room. For Kirishima's sake, Tokoyami wouldn't bring up the way he heard feet shuffling a little too quickly either. Satisfied and ready to pass out from exhaustion, Tokoyami finally begin to wander back to his own dorm room, the promise of sleep far too strong at almost four in the morning.

The next day in the common room, when three chatterboxes would be smothering the redhead in affection with a grouchy blonde standing vigilantly nearby, Tokoyami would blame his staring on lack of sleep.

Chapter Text

Considering how close it was to the end of the school year, Aoyama could understand the abrupt chaos that erupted in the classroom when Ectoplasm explained the requirements for their final mathematics project.

“Our what!?” Kaminari and Ashido screamed in unison, quickly being shushed by Yaoyorozu and berated by Iida. Among other things, there was a soft sigh from Ojiro, a 'kero' from Asui(though he wasn't sure what that meant in this situation), and a crude 's***' from Jirou down the way, just loud enough for him to pick up. Deep down, Aoyama couldn't help but envy his more intelligent classmates in this unsightly scenario, particularly Bakugou, Midoriya, and Todoroki, who seemed to be listening with boredom, attentiveness, and indifference respectively.

“Listen closely.” Ectoplasm spoke coolly over the classroom. “You will do all questions from pages 234 to 235, except for numbers 11 and 12, 29, and 36. You will have the entire weekend to complete this task.” There were loud, painful and ugly groans from across the classroom as Ectoplasm continued. “Mathematics are exercise for the brain, just as gym in exercise for the body. As heroes, both your minds and bodies must be strong enough to take on the trials of day to day heroism. That way, you can overcome every challenge that comes your way.”

Aoyama himself felt a surge of fear course through his beautiful veins. After all, his grades weren't exactly the best in the class. In fact, he was just ahead of Ashido, so in other words, he was in just as much trouble.

“One other thing.” Ectoplasm announced, and the room fell silent. Aoyama couldn't help but dread whatever might come next. What could he possibly have to add to this catastrophe?

“Another thing that heroes must understand is the importance of teamwork, and I am very well aware that some of you do NOT understand this concept.” Half of the room suddenly erupted in uncontrollable giggling, and Aoyama had a feeling it had something to do with the hard stare that Ectoplasm had immediately thrown Bakugou's way.

Ectoplasm quickly cleared his throat as he gathered his things for the end of class, and the next sentence left the classroom in a state of madness. “Because of this, I have decided to have you all finish this assignment in pairs.”

YAOYOROZU!!! ” Ashido screeched, waving wildly in the girl's direction. Yaoyorozu gave her a friendly smile, and Ashido was leaping over desks in order to rendezvous with her at her own desk. Kaminari went off that direction as well in a quest to gain a competent partner.

Aoyama realized that he needed to act now if he wanted any hope in saving his math grade and passing for the year. Turning to his immediate left, Ojiro was already looking over some of the problems with Shoji, as were Hagakure and Jirou. He might have tried to get to Midoriya on the other side of the room, but Tokoyami had already beaten him to it, and people seemed to already be talking to both Todoroki and Bakugou, so that was out. Bakugou still scared him anyway. Directly behind him, Uraraka was already talking to Iida, so that wasn't an option-.

-Asui!

Expertly spinning around Ashido's empty desk, Aoyama maneuvered himself towards Asui, cutting himself in front of a frantic Kaminari. “Pardon me, Mademoiselle, but would you be willing to partner with moi?~”

Asui blinked up at him. “Hmm. Sure. I don't mind.” she croaked.

“What the h***, man!?” Kaminari shouted. “Where did you even come from?!”

“It's a secret.~” Aoyama replied, placing his textbook on Asui's desk.

To be honest, Aoyama felt bad for him. Despite how nice and likable Kaminari was, people knew about his academic standing. Unless you knew what you were doing, partnering with someone with such destructive grades could be a suicide mission. Aoyama could at least say that he didn't have the worst grades in the class, even if he was still cutting it pretty close.

And looking at the classroom now, Kaminari's options were dwindling quickly. Mineta was needlessly bothering Ashido and Yaoyorozu while Rikidou was talking with Todoroki. Kirishima and Sero were both trying to get Bakugou to pair with them. Aoyama would later overhear that several classmates, mostly people with average grades and including most of the people still pairing up, had directly turned Kaminari down. Again, Aoyama felt bad, but he also wanted decent grades, so he did his best to ignore the near hopeless look on Kaminari's face as he seemed to accept that whoever ended up stuck with him was probably gonna fail, which would simply end with Kaminari failing math, so it was pointless anyway.

How sad...

“Yo, Sparky!”

Kaminari's head snapped around at a speed that left Aoyama's neck feeling sore. Kaminari's eyes widened as Bakugou impatiently motioned towards his desk.

Apparently, Aoyama noted in surprise, Sero had decided to work with Mineta while Kirishima went to a somewhat lonely Kouda, who seemed to light up at Kirishima's arrival. But something wasn't quite adding up to Aoyama. To be fair to Mineta and Kouda, their grades were decent, being ninth and eleventh respectively. However, Bakugou was in the top three in academics, and he seemed to tolerate both of them well enough. Why had they given up?

Or had he told them to do so?

Either Bakugou was so cocky that he knew that Kaminari's shortcomings wouldn't hurt his grades or Aoyama was completely missing something. Something told him that it was a little bit of both.

“What are you f***ing doing just standing there, you moron?!” Bakugou snapped. “Come 'ere!”

Kaminari's eyes glistened with tears of relief and joy as he scurried over desks and chairs to get across the room to the salvation of his chances of achieving a passing grade. “You're the best, man, you know that!?” Kaminari cried. “The absolute greatest!”

“'Course I am.” Bakugou mumbled in response, slamming his textbook onto his desk and ripping it open with far more violence than necessary.

“Aoyama?” Asui suddenly interrupted his thoughts. “We should get started on this assignment before our next class. The sooner the better, kero.”

“Oh. Right. Yes. Shall we get started then?~”

It would be the next Monday evening when Aoyama would overhear Kaminari and Ashido bragging to Kirishima and Sero about being among the top scoring pairs as if they earn their grades themselves while Bakugou sat to the side constantly rolling his eyes at them. And if Bakugou gave Kaminari a smirk upon making eye contact, Aoyama probably imagined it.

Chapter Text

When Aizawa had told to the five students who'd failed last year's final to finish a study guide in preparation for this year's final exams(and technically extra credit in disguise but no one said anything), Rikidou hadn't been all too excited to give up his weekend, but the idea of amending his previous mistakes and passing with the rest of his classmates was worth it in his opinion.

His study partners weren't nearly as thrilled.

Ashido's groan could probably be heard for miles, dramatically flopping backwards onto the floor with the grace of a newborn baby deer. Sero began to snicker at her as she rolled around with a pillow pressed to her face screaming. Kaminari, on the other hand, was sprawled over the couch about a watt away from frying with a bunch of textbooks scattered around his body. If Rikidou didn't know any better, he might actually believe it if they told him he was killed by knowledge.

“Man, this is the worst.” Kirishima sighed, still stuck on question three of their English section of their multiple study sheets. “I didn't even fail the written exam. It was the practical. I should be sparring with Blasty or something.”

“It's still better safe than sorry.” Rikidou reasoned, Kirishima giving a sigh and nodding in response. To be fair to the redhead, he was trying, even if he'd barely finished anything while Rikidou himself was halfway done. Meanwhile, Sero was fully allowing himself to be distracted by Kaminari and Ashido rolling around in their own misery and non-productivity.

Looking over his company, it was extremely clear to Rikidou that they were getting absolutely no where.

He sighed and stood up. “I'm making cookies.”

I WANT SOME!!!” Ashido and Kaminari both screamed, while Sero gave him a huge smile.

“Make some for us, please!” Kirishima beamed with a toothy grin.

“Hey Kaminari,” Sero snickered. “If you're not actually fried right now, why aren't you at least over here doing something?”

“Uh...” Kaminari blinked at him with a deer-in-the-headlights look, slowly putting his thumbs up. “Uh, ye-. Y- yeh?...”

Rikidou shook his head fondly, pulling out the necessary ingredients for the dough as the four left alone in the common room were already roughhousing, throwing paper and homework everywhere in their fun. As much as Rikidou loved his classmates, the fact that they were caring so little about their grades at the moment was starting to irritate him. He knew they'd care when the time came, as they were all serious aspiring heroes with a boat load of potential each, but wouldn't it be so much better if they just got it out of the way now? Frustrated, he continued his work in silence with the laughter of his playful classmates throwing each other over the couches as his only background music.

It's about this time, as Sero launches Kaminari over a coffee table and Ashido is viciously Kirishima with a pillow, that Bakugou strides in. Judging from the sweat covering his body, he was just returning from the gym, probably training for the practical. He also seemed more relaxed than usual, most likely due to just exerting so much energy, which Rikidou was silently grateful for. Bakugou glanced over at the madness taking place in the common room as if he'd expected nothing different and groaned.

“S'up, d***heads.”

“Hi, Blasty!” Ashido greeted over smothering Kirishima with her pillow, before being violently thrown off.

“Hey, dude.” Krishima said, completely unfazed by the play fighting around him. “Rikidou's making cookies. You want some?”

“Cookies-. Guys, finals are coming up. Go to the f***ing gym.”

Kirishima groaned. “Oh, trust me, man. I'd love to, but I gotta finish this stuff first. I'd ask you to tutor me, but again, gym, practicals, all that jazz.”

Bakugou snorted. “Right. Looking real productive there.”

“I've been telling 'em!” Rikidou called out as he went to preheat the oven. “I'm about halfway done with my study work, so my break is justified.”

“Nobody asked you, Big Lips!” Bakugou screamed back at him half-heartedly before looking back at his idiot classmates accusingly. “So which one of you four is the furthest along?”

“I am.” Kirishima said, pulling at the collar of his shirt nervously. “I, uh... I'm not even close.”

“Then what are you-...” Bakugou gawked at them. “What the f*** are you all doing!? I know you morons aren't above asking for help, so you could at least ask Big Lips over there about it. The sooner you get this s*** out of the way, the better!”

The four all glanced at each other sheepishly. Kaminari speaks. “Hey, don't worry, man.”

“Don't 'man' me, Sparky!”

“But seriously, it'll be fine! We'll get by on the written just fine, and then we'll nail the practicals this year!”

“Yeah!” Ashido cheered. “It's gonna be a-okay! Just you wait!”

Bakugou scowled deeply at them. “'Just fine' isn't gonna cut it in the real world, you know. You're f***ing heroes.”

Kirishima and Sero glanced at each other, seeming to understand what Bakugou was getting at. Rikidou could see 'but it's hard' on the tip of Sero's tongue, but he held it, lest he really set Bakugou off. With a huff, Bakugou stomped off towards the stairs, the sounds of wrestling and laughter starting back up almost immediately. Rikidou shook his head. They'd come to regret slacking off when the time came, but it would be their problem at that point. Not much he can do about it.

Bakugou paused.

If he wasn't still looking away from the group, Rikidou could probably at least guess what he might be thinking, but he was just standing there, no hints of what emotion might be gracing his features through his body language. There was a heavy sigh and he turned around, and Rikidou takes back his first statement because his face is completely unreadable, almost blank even.

It's slightly disturbing.

“Hey.”

The fact that he spoke at the volume of a normal person whose indoors and living with other people was apparently enough of a shock to gain the attention of all four goofballs, even though they shouldn't have even heard him over their own screeching. They sat in silence, watching him with curiosity.

“You know,” he continued. “It would be nice if you guys weren't stuck doing make up work this time around. You may be a bunch of idiot, but it's better than nothing, I guess.”

He's uncomfortable. That's the first thing that Rikidou is finally able to glean through observation. He's biting his lower lip and won't look directly at any of them. Bakugou scrunched his eyes shut and loudly exhaled. “Last summer camp was a pain in the a** by myself, anyway.”

Wait, did he mean...?

Oh.

Oh.

Kirishima blanched first, staring at the explosive teen as if he'd just murdered someone in cold blood directly in front of him. He shrunk back under Bakugou's sudden harsh gaze directed towards him, staring off at something that none of them could see. As the look of horror and discomfort slowly spread to the other three, there was, for a split millisecond, a look of remorse flashing across Bakugou's eyes, almost as if he'd thought he might have crossed a line, because whatever Kirishima might be seeing, Bakugou can probably see it, too.

He'd probably been seeing it for a pretty long time now.

And then it was gone, replaced with his usual burning glare as he crossed his arms and held his head just a little bit higher as Kirishima suddenly scrambled to his feet.

“Enough playing around, guys! We got work to do!” Kirishima roared, fueled with fiery determination and a burning desire to protect.

Because Rikidou had heard the stories, and if Kirishima was so allowed, he knew that the redhead would gladly reach out his hand again.

Kaminari and Ashido sprang to life with war cries, Kaminari scooping up three of the textbooks haphazardly scattered around the couch and dumping them onto the table as Ashido rolled her sleeves up in anticipation of getting her hands dirty, while Sero stretched his fingers, shoulders, and neck with loud, defiant cracks. Satisfied with his handiwork, Bakugou nodded to himself as he finally made his exit, leaving Rikidou watching in awe as the atmosphere instantly shifted from a bunch of high school students procrastinating on their homework to a bunch of teenage heroes saving the world.

And this persisted for the rest of the weekend, the four of them working on their multiple study sheets with so much vigor and enthusiasm that Rikidou was actually kind of scared. At one point, it had devolved into them screaming questions and answers at each other at the top of their lunges until their voices were hoarse like a bunch of drill sergeants fighting for power and Rikidou decided to do his sheets on his own and retired to his room for the night. He only had a couple questions left, anyway. He found a poorly put together bouquet of flowers, a plate of store brand cookies, and four apology notes by his door the next morning.

He couldn't possibly be angry with them, however. Not when they were now actually putting so much effort into their grades ahead of time instead of waiting to panic near the end. Of course, there was more to it than that.

Kirishima had explained it best at one point a while back, though Rikidou couldn't remember the circumstances. It was because Bakugou was a complicated human being, he'd said. He was an enigma among heroes who would show no weakness and would not accept pity, even if he was an a**hole in the process. He would laugh in the face of death and stand triumphantly through even the greatest adversity. He would reach the top, the number one spot, with his own power, and if you needed help from someone else, how could you possibly call it your own power? The whole idea of teamwork and dependance was such a foreign concept to him.

And so, even though Rikidou could never, ever claim to know their most volatile classmate all that well, he could still piece things together and at least begin to understand the magnitude of what he'd seen over the past weekend.

He could never fully comprehend the levels of respect and trust it took for Bakugou to look back at them that first day and, in a way, hold his hand up to them and give them permission to reach for it.

To catch him.

And so, when they handed in their work sheets and came back with high C's at the absolute lowest, and when they passed their written exams with such great scores that Aizawa had individually interrogated them for certainty that the school hadn't been breached or something, and when they walked into their practicals with All Might-like smiles on their faces and back out with stars in their eyes and the world at their feet, it was as if they were all reaching back wildly, saying 'we're here!' 'we're here!, just as the stars are always in the sky and the ground will always be somewhere beneath our feet!'

They are enormous planets, bursting with power and life, all orbiting the sun.

Wow. Man, if Tokoyami could hear some of this poetic nonsense coming out of his mind right now, he'd be so proud.

It would be late that night, just after practicals, when Rikidou would come down to the common room to bake a cake, though he hadn't decided what flavor yet, that he would stumble upon the strange sight of Midoriya hiding in the kitchen and peering into the common room with a look of pure, unadulterated adoration. When he noticed Rikidou approaching, about to ask what in the world he was doing this late at night, Midoriya quickly put his index fingers to mouth, motioning for him to come over. Rikidou did so quietly, though he still didn't know what he was doing.

“Why are we being sneaky?” Rikidou whispered.

With a soft smile, Midoriya pointed towards one of the couches, chuckling when Rikidou's eyebrows shot up. “I didn't want to ruin it.”

It was decided. Those four are a bunch of wizards.

The couch meant for three is occupied by five, all seemingly fast asleep. They all looked exhausted, having just successfully defeated and/or escaped their respective hero teachers and were finally feeling like they could stop and rest after a job well done.

Bakugou is in the center, arms crossed, shoulders slumped, and head lulled to the side and onto Kirishima's shoulder to his right, who had his head and arm draped back behind the couch and his mouth wide open with a loud snore, his hair currently left down and falling over his relaxed face. Sero has his back leaning against Bakugou's left side, his legs dangling over the couch's arm rest, while Kaminari had himself lazily folded over the top of the couch just above Sero's stomach, sleeping soundly despite how uncomfortable it looked. Ashido had herself sprawled over Kirishima's and Bakugou's legs on her stomach, her face buried into the couch cushion and arm hanging off the side and brushing against the floor.

Midoriya's smile turned into a blinding grin, his eyes like literal sunshine. “Aren't they just amazing?”

Honestly, Rikidou had no idea if he was referring to the four wizards or all of them, as it could really be either when it came to Midoriya, but as they both silently agreed to cancel whatever plans each of them had in the kitchen to begin with and leave the group undisturbed, Rikidou didn't really have it in him to disagree.

Chapter Text

If Yaoyorozu were to be honest with herself, she had absolutely no idea how to deal with the current situation at hand, and it technically didn't even involve her.

Even heading back to the dorms after their afternoon heroics classes, she couldn't help but bite her lip and walk with her eyes towards her feet. One part of her was dutifully reminding her that she had absolutely nothing to do with any of this and should stay out of it. The other was harshly reprimanding her for her inaction to defend a classmate.

“Is she gonna be okay?” Kendou questioned with concern painting her face. “She seems pretty upset.”

“She'll be fine. I'm sure.” Yaoyorozu responded, more so to herself to calm her guilt than anything. “Ashido is both strong and resilient. If she is still upset tomorrow, I'll make sure that something is done about it.”

Kendou nodded, glancing over at the aforementioned student, practically dragging herself back to the dorm with a mixture of sadness and mostly frustration. “If you say so. That guy shouldn't be worth all this trouble anyway.”

Yaoyorozu hadn't gotten confirmation about Ashido's little crush until yesterday. The boy was in class 1-D, if she remembered correctly, and he was very handsome. When he'd transferred from another school, though she couldn't remember which one he came from, many of the girls, and even a few of the boys, within the student body were head over heels for him. Yaoyorozu herself had to admit that her cheeks had heated the first time she'd seen him, though she didn't dwell on it for long. She remembered that a few of the girls from class 1-B would talk about him constantly, how he was so kind and charming, though none of them ever got the chance to talk to him themselves.

After a while, Ashido would join their gossip about the new pretty boy during lunch time, which just felt strange. No one was used to seeing the acid quirk user spend so much time away from 'her boys', as she'd started to refer to them as. The usual four would sit in their usual place in the cafeteria, with Kaminari and Kirishima keeping the energy up in Ashido's absence while Sero threw snarky jabs at them. Bakugou would stay quiet for the most part, though every once in a while, he would either explode in a storm of curses and crude language as expected of him or throw a comment out under his breath that would gain a strong positive reaction from the other three.

Eventually, most of the girls got over their respective fleeting feelings for the new student, but Ashido would still blush when he walked by and giggle when he did something cute. When he helped a guy up when he fell, even after he'd insulted him, Ashido was grinning from ear to ear. Other students would claim to have seen him getting cats out of trees or doing favors for the elderly, and Ashido soaked it all in. He just seemed like such a nice person.

That seemed to be the thing that Ashido liked the most about him when she finally admitted to her crush during a girl's night. “He's just such a good guy, you know? You'd think that someone that graceful and dreamy would actually be super vain or something, but he's just so sweet to everybody!”

Hagakure squealed. “You should totally ask him out!”

Ashido's face turned from pink to crimson red. “What!? I mean, I want to, but, you know...”

“Didn't you say that it felt like it was just the two of you in the room when you first saw him? It's love at first sight! Maybe it's meant to be!”

“Oh, that's so cute!” Uraraka giggled. “You really should say something. You wouldn't want to miss your opportunity!”

“Riiiight.” Ashido said smugly. “And when are you going to confess, huh, Uraraka?”

Uraraka's expression switched from amusement to horror instantly. “W-w-w-what are you talking about!?”

Ashido hummed. “Oh, you know...” Ashido suddenly jumped to her feet, a mischievous gleam in her eye. “How about this? I'll confess to my crush if you promise to confess to yours afterward!”

“Ashido!”

“It's a deal, then!” Ashido cheered enthusiastically as the girls all split up to head for bed.

“And you better keep your end of the deal.” Ashido said to Uraraka, winking, as the other three girls continued chatting as they left the room.

“But Ashido! I don't have a crush, honest! Deku and I are just really good friends and nothing more!”

“Oh?” Ashido gave her a cheshire grin. “I never mentioned Midoriya.”

Uraraka blanched. Yaoyorozu chose not to say anything for her sake.

And so, the next day, taking a deep breath to steel herself, Ashido approached the object of her affections during lunch and, more shyly than usual, confessed her love to him and asked him out with hopeful eyes and a kind smile filled with adoration.

And he absolutely tore into her.

Yaoyorozu couldn't help but cringe at the memory, the boy standing over her and smugly throwing every obscenity he could think of at her as if she'd seriously offended him. Apparently, the guy had some sort of grudge against hero students, something about them thinking that they rule the world or something along those lines, and the pure satisfaction that crossed his features as Ashido did everything in her power to not cry and further humiliate herself made Yaoyorozu feel ill. Clenching her fists and biting into her lip with enough pressure to draw blood, Ashido stood her ground all the way until the bell rang, refusing to run until he walked away first.

There had been a commotion at one of the nearby tables, and as Yaoyorozu passed by with her head hung low, she turned to see both Bakugou and Kirishima looking as if they were about to commit mass homicide, the distinct difference being that Kirishima had self control, holding the latter down tightly while Kaminari and Sero stood behind them, ready to stop either of them if Kirishima happened to change his mind.

Ashido remained fairly quiet for the rest of the day, trying and failing to keep up her normal bubbly presence to lift the mood back up, though it was painfully obvious how much she was pushing herself. When heroics classes came around, she paired up with Kirishima, whom she stayed glued to until the end of the school day. Yaoyorozu never found out exactly what they talked about, but the pink girl had a little bit more of a skip in her step than before, even if she still seemed down, so she'd have to find a way to personally thank him for whatever he said either way.

That evening was equally quiet, Ashido squeezing herself between Kaminari and Sero as they played a competitive first person shooter of some kind. Other classmates floated around the common room as well, sending looks of sympathy Ashido's way. Ashido would send them a fake grin in return before nuzzling up to one of the boys next to her. Sometimes, Yaoyorozu couldn't help but marvel at the closeness of Ashido's friend group.

For multiple reasons.

Bakugou was also being uncharacteristically quiet, choosing to make himself scarce and avoid conflict by hiding out in the kitchen and making something that smelled absolutely heavenly. Of course, it didn't really work, since Uraraka, Kirishima, Jirou, and Todoroki had all wandered over at some point to badger him about sharing. They were all quickly thrown out of the kitchen with a flurry of vulgar slang that Yaoyorozu hadn't even heard of before. Midoriya looked tempted to try as well, but probably already knew what the outcome would be and chose not to cause a war.

Since it was a school night, Iida was quick to enforce curfew and usher everyone upstairs to their dorm rooms. Yaoyorozu was happy to oblige, sleep pulling lightly at the edges of her eyes. Squeezing into her tight space that was her room, she quickly changed into her pajamas and crawled into bed, a small tinge of guilt still gnawing at her gut.

As it turns out, that small tinge of guilt gnawing at her gut grew as she tossed and turned in her search for sleep as if it were a rampaging dark shadow until she couldn't handle it anymore. Glancing at her clock, it was only about midnight, so she hadn't lost too much sleep. Flopping over again, she could no longer deny her need for water and rolled out of bed to find herself a glass.

The hallway was quiet that night, the only lights being someone's phone shining from under a door every so often and those across the campus outside. Yaoyorozu carefully dragged her feet down the girls wing. The silence was oddly deafening in the dead of night, and it did nothing for her overactive mind and she replayed the entire one-sided conversation that had taken place that day in the cafeteria. Though she didn't hear every word that was said, the disdain on his face was so prominent, and so painfully unnecessary.

Ashido never deserved that. She was growing to be such a wonderful hero.

The common room lights were on. Yaoyorozu's eyebrows dipped in confusion as she crept towards the entrance.

“Aww, but it's such a pretty shade!”

“F***ing- You have enough pink as it is! We're using yellow.”

“Can it at least be the canary yellow?”

“H*** no! It clashes too much with literally everything else ever. The gold one matches your eyes, so it'll look much better.”

“Aww, you've looked into my eyes? Are they pretty~?”

SHUT–

Yaoyorozu peered into the common room to find quite the peculiar sight. The TV was playing some action anime at a low volume while the kitchen sink was absolutely filled to the brim with multiple pots, pans, and enough dishes to have been used to feed an army. The coffee table was littered with several nail products such as nail polish, polish removal, clippers, and files, along with trash like used tissues and cotton balls. Next to the couch was a bag of untouched make up and hair products.

Ashido was leaning into the couch, a look of genuine serenity painted underneath her face mask as she happily inspected her hands, her index and ring fingernails adorned with sleek coats of shiny jet black. Looking at her toes, cotton stuff neatly in between them, the beautiful black nail polish was painted onto her big, middle, and pinky toes with a level of perfection that looked practice. At the thought, Yaoyorozu couldn't help but raise her eyebrows in surprise as she glanced over at Bakugou, sitting cross legged on the floor fumbling with a bottle of bright gold nail polish with a look on his face that wasn't nearly as intense as his usual glare.

Ashido hummed thoughtfully. “Where did you learn how to do this so well, anyway?”

“You'd be surprised what you pick up when your parents are in the fashion industry of all things.” Bakugou commented matter-of-factly.

“Fashion!? Really?” Ashido laughed.

“Yep. Old man's a designer and the hag's a model. They met on a job.”

She laughed even harder. “Ha! So that's why you got so mad about Kirishima's outfit that one time!”

“F***ing crocs...”

Ashido's giggles diminished as Bakugou finished applying the first coats on the rest of her toes. With a sigh, Ashido leaned further into the couch and stared blankly at the ceiling. Bakugou paused for a moment glancing up at her, before turning back to the task at hand.

“Stop thinking about it.” he snarled. “He's not worth s***.”

“I know... It just...hurts. Rejection hurts.”

With a pinch in his brows, Bakugou suddenly looked uncharacteristically unsure. Yaoyorozu could see the gears turning all the way from there, and she couldn't help but wonder what could possibly be running through his mind right now.

He growled. “Well, you just- I mean,- Er, it's all...” After another pause, he let out a frustrated groan and violently scratched at his scalp. “I'm s*** at this whole 'reassurance' thing. Give me a sec.”

Ashido choked on air, trying to catch her breath between her coughs and barely contained laughter. Bakugou chose to ignore her and apply the next coat. Once Ashido had calmed down, they continued to sit in silence, and suddenly, Yaoyorozu realized just how much of a breach in privacy this was. Deciding that she could just create her own cup and a filter for tap water, she backed off to make her leave when she heard a sniffle.

“Oh, now what?” Bakugou groaned in annoyance.

“Oh, nothing. It's just that...you're such a good friend, Blasty.”

Hah?!

“Hey, once you're done with my nails and we take this mask off, could you do my hair?” Ashido asked giddily, completely changing the subject, as Bakugou continued his work.

“Why the f*** would I do your hair right before you go to bed and ruin it?”

“Please? And maybe you could come to a girls' night and do everyone's hair and make up!”

“Okay, back the f*** up, Raccoon Eyes, 'cause you're taking it too far. Absolutely not.”

“Even if we invited Kirishima?”

Ashido.

“Okay, okay.” Ashido backed down with a deep pout, before returning to her usual smile that Yaoyorozu had been starting to miss. “Oh yeah, and Blasty? Please don't go on a warpath tomorrow, 'cause I don't want you getting into more trouble with the school than you already do, so beating the s*** outta someone isn't an option here.

“I don't know what you're talking about.”

Bakugou.

“You say something?”

It was Ashido's turn to groan, though she was grinning. Yaoyorozu finally made herself crawl away and return to her room at this point, quiet as to not ruin this rare act of kindness for Ashido's sake. After cleaning herself up and finally quenching her thirst, she crawled back into bed and found sleep much more easily than before.

The next morning was an interesting one, Yaoyorozu mused, as every single head turned to the elevator as the resident acid quirk user marched her way through with her chin up and confidence in every step. Her hair, despite its usual curliness, was very nicely combed, her bangs pulled back with an adorable black martian-themed hair clip. Lightly added dark purple eyeshadow and a thin line of eyeliner put a nice emphasis on her eyes, along with darkened, but obviously completely natural, eyelashes. A very light pink blush made her cheeks look as if they were glowing, nicely complimented by the sparkly gloss on her lips and coating her black and golden fingernails.

From breakfast all the way through the school day, the majority of the heroics department students were gushing over how absolutely gorgeous Ashido looked that day. Yaoyorozu spent a lot of time along with Hagakure, Uraraka, Kendou, and a couple other class 1-B girls that she wasn't as familiar with as they bugged her about sharing her secrets of how she got her make up to look so perfect.

“I had a little help.” was the closest she ever came to revealing anything.

During lunch that day, as Yaoyorozu was passing by Ashido at her usual table with her usual boys, she overheard Kaminari snicker.

“Hey, look whose staring~.”

Yaoyorozu glanced over to see him, staring at Ashido from his table with a look of shock and something else as a group of other girls continued to talk and flirt, though it all fell on deaf ears. Sero started cackling like a madman as Kaminari ran off somewhere more discreet to try and snap a good picture to make fun of, while Kirishima was practically glowing with a toothy grin that almost looked smug.

And Yaoyorozu didn't miss the solid high five from under the table.

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.

Chapter Text

When someone has been a hero, or at least a hero-in-training, for so long, and has been through situation after danger after crisis so many times already, a select few may start to get a sort of six sense for these sort of things, like they already know that something is wrong, like something bad is about to happen. Apparently, Todoroki is one of these people.

Another rescue simulation. Todoroki found it hard to believe that he was the only one noticing a pattern in heroics classes as of late. Not that he couldn't understand what All Might was trying to do. With the crime rate steadily increasing and how much experience they all already have in fighting the villains behind said crimes, the rescue training was necessary. Even the most heroic of them needed more work in that department, some more so than others.

He didn't think he needed to mentioned any names.

Finding himself standing next to Asui, Todoroki listened silently as the students looked over the already destroyed ruins of ground beta and All Might explained the day's lesson. From what he understood, all twenty of them would be let loose separately across the city ruins, set to show the aftermath of a major villain attack, to save as many civilians, represented by dummies, as possible. They were unaware of the number of these 'civilians' and they could team up as necessary for the safety of said civilians. They would also be require to leave their main hero equipment behind, if they had any, in the event that the attack caused damage or overuse.

“It's going to be strange without these, kero.” Asui thought aloud as she pulled off her goggles and set them next to the contents of Todoroki's hero belt. Uraraka and Midoriya came by next, Uraraka tossing her helmet onto the pile while Midoriya carefully set down his gloves. As Iida came by, deciding to leave his helmet as well, he had a very loud, one-sided argument with Midoriya about leaving his suit's arm braces. Considering his friend's self-destructive tendencies when it comes to heroism, Todoroki could completely understand his frustration.

In the next minute or so, Rikidou and Aoyama had come by, the former taking off his utility belt and the other some of his armor. Other than those two, the only other people to approach the pile were Bakugou and Kaminari, the latter looking at his removed equipment sadly.

“Man, why'd it have to be my stuff? My stun gun is bada**.” he whined mournfully. Bakugou simply scoffed, tossing his gauntlets down before removing grenades from his belt one by one. Kaminari chuckled. “So, if we all run into each other, you up for some team work or nah?”

“Why the h*** would I want to work with you f***s?” Bakugou spat back as if it were instinct.

“Oh, cut it out already. You know you love us, Bakubro!” Kaminari laughed as he sprinted away, Bakugou discarding the last of his grenades and taking off after him with an almost feral roar. Deciding that he'd wasted enough time just standing there, Todoroki made his way towards where everyone else was congregating, completely undeterred by Kaminari's distant laughing turned into tortured screams.

The groups finally began to split up until everyone was alone, surrounding Ground Beta and preparing to rush in and complete their newest assigned task. Todoroki stood stoically, staring out at the vast, utterly destroyed cityscape with a keen eye. From here, he could already see a dummy, situated precariously on the ledge of a decimated rooftop. Looking at the simulated destruction, it was highly likely that some of the civilians would be buried in rubble and out of sight, so he would have to be careful about what areas he ended up freezing over. Even if it was a training exercise, he would prefer not committing manslaughter, thank you very much.

Todoroki wouldn't be able to explain why for months afterward, but for some reason, his mind suddenly zeroed in on his distant right, where Bakugou was impatiently waiting for the simulation to start. At first glance, he seemed like his normal, angry self, eyebrows furrowed intensely and arms crossed, his teeth barred in a snarl. However, as Todoroki continued to shamelessly stare at him, he noticed constant movement, fingers drumming his arm before his hands uncrossed and landed on his hips, and his foot tapping in a sporadic rhythm.

Todoroki couldn't help but wonder why he was being so antsy. Almost fidgety, even.

Bakugou, as if sensing that he was being watched, suddenly whipped around and locked eyes with him, giving him one of the hardest stares he'd ever seen in his life, as if he were genuinely trying to make him spontaneously combust with his mind. Todoroki simply tilted his head in response, not entirely sure why he was being given such an aggressive response for just looking in his direction(though he honestly shouldn't have excepted any less from the resident beast), which earned him the middle finger and being purposefully ignored for the rest of their wait. As All Might's booming voice came over the loud speakers, counting down from ten, Todoroki remained confused. About what, he wasn't entirely sure anymore. Maybe it was a lot of things.

From there, the class seemed to be going smoothly, the young heroes-in-training racing through the cityscape searching for dummies in the rubble of Ground Beta. Todoroki, after grabbing the first one he'd seen, was able to find and relocate at least two more on his own before it became difficult to find them in all the clutter. Other than a laser beam flying past him at some point and a pair of floating gloves digging around a couple houses down, it was a while before he actually saw anyone else. Luckily, that person turned out to be Jirou, who'd already found at least six civilians with her quirk. Off in the distance, he could also hear other voices, but he didn't put in the effort to recognize them at that moment.

“How many left?” Jirou asked aloud, partially to herself. “Do you have any idea?”

“Unfortunately, no.” Todoroki sighed. “Though I can see why they wouldn't tell us. It's not like we would have the exact numbers in a real crisis.”

“Yeah, Yaomomo said the same thing. I guess it makes sense. It's just frustrating is all.”

Todoroki nodded in agreement, musing over the implications of what All Might might be trying to get across in this lesson before glancing upwards toward a particular roof ahead of them, where a familiar mess of limbs of staring off in the distance.

“Shouji!” Jirou called out as Todoroki created an ice pathway for them to quickly access the roof. Shouji turned back to them, nodding as a greeting, before turning back to what he'd originally had his attention on. As if sensing their curiosity, Shouji pointed out towards one of the taller, more demolished buildings several streets out. Even from there, their childish banter and yelling could easily be heard, even by Todoroki, whose hearing was not heightened due to his quirk. Pink, Yellow, and Black could be seen bouncing around as Ashido and Kaminari seemed to be running around while Sero stayed nearby as if acting as a voice of reason.

“What's that idiot doing now?” Jirou groaned, though a sense of fondness could be heard in her voice.

Shouji simply sighed and shook his head. “I'm not entirely sure. From the looks of it, he and Ashido are not being all that careful. Hopefully, they don't get themselves hurt.”

“They're not that stupid.” Jirou scoffed, turning to find more dummies other than the ones shouting about whatever her silly friends like shouting about. “They'll be fine. Just leave them be.”

Todoroki suddenly felt odd.

For reasons that he couldn't possibly explain, he was hyper aware of the structure of the building that the three teens were standing by. It was barely standing, as if it would topple over at any second. As Kaminari and Ashido continued to laugh while Sero chased after them, he could almost hear creaking and groaning in his ears as if it were directly above him. His hands started shaking, frost building on his right and heat in his left. He let out a breath that he hadn't realized he was holding, his heart beating faster with no explanation.

He wanted to move. He needed to move. Why the h*** was he feeling so fidgety all of a sudden?

“Todoroki?” He heard Jirou speak to him in concern, possibly hearing his heartbeat steadily speed up for reasons still beyond him. “You good?”

“I don't...” He hesitated, brows furrowed in deep confusion and a bead of sweat running down the left side of his face.

Move, move, move!

“Something's wrong.” He finally blurted out.

Move, move, move, move!

“No s***.” Jirou responded with slight impatience laced with worry. Shouji was standing nearby, peering down at him with a guarded stance. “But are you okay? What's wro-”

Jirou's head suddenly shot up. Todoroki's heart beat faster.

Move, move, move, move!

Jirou's eyes were wide, earphone jacks raising above her head like satellites. Todoroki couldn't help but spin around, eyes locking back onto the building that they were observing before. From the looks of it, they'd found another dummy in there, Sero slowly lowering himself from higher up and carefully handing it over to his teammates. Sparks could be seen, their sources unknown, and acid was littering the area surrounding the building. Todoroki was oddly aware of the sound of Jirou's teeth grinding against each other and she sucked in a breath.

That wall's getting really unstable.

MOVE!!

Before Todoroki could fully register what he was doing, ice was coating the streets, Todoroki taking off towards the building at speeds that he didn't even know he was capable of.

It was almost like slow motion, watching a single piece of rebar fall harmlessly from the the side of the building before out of absolute nowhere, the wall suddenly caved. Kaminari let out a startled shout while Sero cursed in stunned surprise, no time to react to the unexpected ton of metal coming down on them. Ashido had the quickest reaction, looking up so quickly that it made Todoroki's neck sore. As if it were instinct, she reached for the person closest to her, that being Kaminari, and tried to run by Sero to grab him as well and run for it, but as Todoroki watched, milliseconds feeling like decades, it was painfully clear that none of them were going to make it out in time.

His classmates were about to be crushed. He didn't act fast enough. He wasn't going to make it-

The explosion was enormous.

Todoroki skidded to a halt so suddenly that ice was shaved off from under his feet, and for the first time since he could possibly remember, he slipped and fell flat on his a**.

The blast was so powerful that the wind suddenly picked up, followed by a wave of heat and the feeling of dust irritating his eyes. Even before the smoke could start clearing, it was apparent that the building wasn't even there anymore, debris of all shapes and sizes shooting off hundreds of feet in the air. Coming down from his adrenaline rush, Todoroki quickly picked himself back up and closed the distance.

Ashido had dived on top of Kaminari and thrown them both to the ground, Sero having followed close behind. After a moment of barely any movement, Ashido gingerly pushed herself up, the look on her face an intensified version of what was probably on Todoroki's own. As Kaminari's chest rose and fell rapidly, probably calming himself down after such an unexpected encounter with death itself, and Sero rolled onto his back and pulled off his helmet to breathe more effectively, Ashido got up to her knees and stared into the smoke cloud surrounding where the remains of a building used to be.

“Hey, Blasty?” she called out. “You there?”

There was a grunt in response as Todoroki made landfall. Looking back, he could make out Shouji gliding towards them with Jirou clinging to his back.

Ashido spoke up again. “You okay? That was a big blast.”

He didn't respond that time. Choosing to stay back for the moment, he watched as Ashido stood up and swatted at the smoke, coughing into her arm and reaching out for her friend. She found his arm, it seemed, and she immediately pulled him towards her. Kaminari's and Sero's heads shot up when Ashido's actions caused a pained hiss, Ashido instantly letting go and stepping back.

“D*** it. Should have realized.” Sero grumbled, him and Kaminari approaching the two as the smoke finally cleared and Shouji and Jirou reached them.

Bakugou's right shoulder was completely dislocated, his arm twisted at an odd angle and forearm, completely vulnerable due to the distinct lack of a bracer, already turning many different shades of blue and purple. Though his glare seemed as piercing as ever, the slight twinge of pain in his eyes could be seen if observed closely. The trio seemed to blanch at the sight of it all, and apparently Jirou was cringing so hard that Todoroki could hear it from behind him.

“HEY, LISTENER!!” Present Mic's voice suddenly boomed throughout Ground Beta. “You better get a move on, because you only got ten minutes left! That's right, folks! Just ten minutes!”

The loud speakers then broadcasted the sounds of a struggle, Present Mic making multiple complaints and sounds of protest as Aizawa sternly told him to shut up before speaking up himself. “Bakugou, Ashido, Kaminari, and Sero, please stay where you are until a faculty member reaches your location. The rest of you, continue the simulation.”

The loud speakers cut off, and Jirou let out a sigh, making eye contact with Kaminari before heading back out, Shouji hesitantly following her. Todoroki, keeping his straight face and deciding that he ultimately wouldn't be needed here, complied as well.

The weird feeling was gone, at least.

It would be at the end of the school day that Todoroki would just so happen to wander by the infirmary and find Kirishima just outside the door.

“Oh, hey.” He greeted with a toothy smile. “I was just about to head in.”

“So, you wouldn't know how he is at the moment.” Todoroki rationalized, deciding not to worry about trying to be subtle about checking up on them.

“Oh, he's fine.” Kirishima laughed, seeming to catch on. “It's Bakugou. What do you expect?”

“I suppose you're right.”

Peering inside, Todoroki could make out three easily recognizable figures by the bed, Ashido bawling about friendship and heroics and Kaminari laughing about squads and going soft while Bakugou screamed at them from his place on the bed and Sero just laughed. Bakugou's right arm, though reset and partially healed, was still being kept in a cast, probably in hopes of discouraging any reckless behavior before it was fully healed.

To the side, oddly enough, was All Might, in all of his deflated glory. He said something to Bakugou, who responded with a scoff and an eye roll.

“See?” Kirishima reassured. Todoroki nodded as Kirishima stepped past him, waving happily at his oddball group of friends. Sero was the first to respond, giving a giggly salute while Ashido yelled his name and tackle hugged him. Todoroki allowed a small smile to grace his features as he stepped back from the door and out of sight, making his exit and giving them the privacy that they probably want right now.

He would have to find out about that strange feeling he had. Perhaps Aizawa or All Might would have an idea about what it was. However, now wasn't the time, as he couldn't help but feel tired from the day's events and craved a nap. As it stood, now was probably the best time, when everything had calmed down and Class 1-A's most reckless band of misfits would most likely tone it down for the rest of the day.

Well, all's well that ends well, he guessed.

Chapter Text

Kouda could safely say that Kaminari started it. Kirishima joined in soon after.

Of course, Kouda wasn't sure what Present Mic was expecting, letting them all sit wherever they wanted for a class period. Apparently, the majority of his classmates had been doing particularly well in English when working in certain groups, so Present Mic had decided to change the seating arrangement in order to cater to the different friend groups. Aizawa had been heavily against the idea from the beginning, being a bit more familiar with surviving a school day with them, but Present Mic was insistent, even going so far as to call it a 'social experiment'.

Aizawa eventually relented, but only after Present Mic promised to keep the 'Bakusquad' mostly separated. Honestly, Kouda couldn't blame them.

Then again, by separate, Present Mic meant in two groups, and in all honesty, Kouda was still slightly concerned with that. Between the two groups were Sero and Ashido on one side of the room and Kirishima, Kaminari, and Bakugou on the other. Yaoyorozu would later argue that even though keeping Ashido, Kaminari, and Sero completely apart and allowing Kirishima to work close with Bakugou, given how efficient they are as a team, would have been the most effective, the two teams that they were split into was probably the safest bet for that particular arrangement, keeping Ashido and Sero away from Kaminari and Kaminari under Bakugou's watchful eye.

What Present Mic failed to take into account was what the students of class 1-A so lovingly described as the Kirishima factor.

As fate would have it, poor Kouda just so happened to be seated in Todoroki's usual seat, with Hagakure on his left and Kaminari to his direct right. At least he could count his lucky stars that it was Kaminari and not, say, Bakugou, seated in Uraraka's usual spot, giving Ashido very pointed, dangerous looks as she seemed to make herself particularly comfortable at his own desk, swinging her feet up onto it despite Iida's protests and blatantly slapping a wad of chewing gum underneath it with a cheshire grin. Kouda couldn't even imagine the balls she must have.

It would be about a fourth of the way through class, when the normal classroom shenanigans were starting to die down, that Kouda heard rustling to his right. Glancing down next to him towards Kaminari, the lightning quirk user appeared to be folding a paper airplane, a harmless activity that somewhat surprised Kouda, though he wasn't sure what he was expecting. With a little more enthusiasm than necessary, Kaminari excitedly folded the piece of paper together until it came to a somewhat deformed version of something akin to a paper airplane. It was when he appeared to be trying to aim that Kouda realized that this could still potentially end in disaster.

Much to his relief, the poorly constructed plane immediately nosedived to Kaminari's feet, causing him to sulk like a toddler. Kouda suppressed the urge to giggle.

More rustling was heard, and Kouda peered over to the person seated next to Kaminari. With the same level of intensity, it appeared that Kirishima was attempting to do origami, though Kouda wasn't entirely sure what he was trying to make. As it stood, it looked like what it was: a wad of paper.

Kirishima carefully set the wad of paper down, beaming, while Kaminari cocked an eyebrow. “Dude, what is that?” he whispered.

Kirishima pouted at his friend. “It's a swan.”

Kouda looked at the catastrophe of a piece of origami, and... Well, if you looked at it from an angle and squinted a bit, it kinda looked like a swan. Sort of. Just from Kaminari's muffled laughter, Kirishima seemed to get the idea, looking back down at his creation with sad eyes, his shoulders slumping in disappointment. It would be about this point that Kouda would look over a little further, noticing Bakugou looking the two with an unreadable expression.

And this is where the Kirishima factor comes into play.

As it stands, due to how recently the term was coined, the best definition for the Kirishima factor that the class had at the moment is that despite his quirk, Kirishima has the unexplainable ability to soften the people he interacts with emotionally. The how and why are unknown at this point. The only known variables of this phenomenon are what it does and that it has a stronger affect the more time the person spends with him.

And so, it wasn't quite as surprising to Kouda as it might have been when Bakugou wordlessly reached over and took one of Kirishima's sheets of paper.

It happened faster than Kouda could comprehend, but ten seconds later, Bakugou had in his hands the most beautifully crafted origami swan that Kouda had ever seen in his entire life. The ash blonde then carefully slid the delicate paper sculpture onto Kirishima's desk, said boy picking it up with the gentleness of a mother and cradling it in his hands with his eyes sparkling with literal sunshine.

Without missing a beat, Bakugou quickly grabbed another sheet of paper, quickly putting together a nice little boat/hat as if it were second nature. With a quick look at Present Mic, who was busy writing something on the board, Bakugou smoothly threw the boat like a frisbee, the little paper boat/hat swerving around Kirishima and landing seamlessly onto Kaminari's desk, the boy looking as if Santa Claus had just personally handed him a brand new bike as he immediately placed it on his head with pride and a bright grin.

By the time class was halfway over, Bakugou had already crafted several swans and cranes, a car, a daffodil, a couple trees, including a pine and a palm tree, and an octopus. Kirishima and Kaminari were both red in the face, trying in vain to keep control of their laughter as to not alert Present Mic of their antics. Kouda, despite himself, was also trying to hide his amusement, earning somewhat confused looks from Ojiro and Hagakure(or at least he assumed).

It seemed, however, that Jirou, lucky enough to be able to stay at her own desk, was well aware that something stupid was happening, her ear jack lifted behind her head in order to try and get an idea of what was going on. The people behind or to the right of Jirou could obviously see that she was eavesdropping on something, but somehow, Ashido noticed too, craning her neck in order to get a reading on whatever Jirou was listening in on. Sero, seated in Hagakure's desk, seemed to notice the movement from Ashido, but didn't make any moves other than that.

Of course, it just so happened to be that very moment that Bakugou had finished crafting another flower and, with an expressionless face that would even make Todoroki proud, stuck it right into Kirishima's hair.

Kaminari finally lost it, releasing an ugly wheeze before slamming his face into the desk and hiding it with his arms. Kirishima wasn't much better, letting out a loud snrrrrrrrk as his shoulders shook with mirth. Closer to the front, Ashido had immediately turned back around and slammed her fist into her current desk before covering her mouth to stifle her own laughter.

“HEY, LISTENERS!!!” Present Mic suddenly yelled, startling most of the class and leaving those in the first two tows wincing. “You are listening, right? Someone from the back!”

Kouda realized with dread that he'd been far too preoccupied with what was happening to his right than the lesson and hoped dearly that he wasn't about to pay for it. From Mineta's desk, Ojiro glanced at him apologetically while Kaminari and Kirishima attempted to calm down and get their face back to their regular color.

Present Mic continued. “Can one of you tell me what is wrong with the sentence on the board?”

“The adjective and subject at the beginning are in the wrong order. It should be 'the brown dog' and not 'the dog brown'.” Bakugou answered smoothly, as if he'd been paying attention the entire time.

“COOOOOOOOORRECT!” Present Mic cheered just a little too loudly. “Great job, listener!”

“Came through clutch.” Kaminari whispered somewhat breathlessly in Bakugou's direction, earning a snort. Kouda couldn't help but be impressed. Throughout the entire ordeal, Bakugou kept up a literally perfect poker face, as if there was nothing going on at all, while the other two's faces were still beet red. On top of that, it appeared that Bakugou had still been doing origami in the process of all that, because suddenly, there were three more origami flowers in his hands, all of which he unceremoniously dumped into Kirishima's hair.

Kouda shook his head as Kaminari starting coughing from his breathless laughter, looking back over at Ojiro, who let out a sigh and shrugged. From Yaoyorozu's desk, Kouda could barely make out muffled giggling. From across the way, Jirou was still listening, though he couldn't see her face, and Ashido and Sero were trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, being in the front rows and all. From the other side of the room, it appeared as if Iida had just about had it with whatever antics were happening in the back, though his friend group was trying to keep him from worrying too much about it.

There was more rustling, and Kouda suddenly heard Kaminari start wheezing again, causing Kouda to glance back at them in curiosity. He immediately blanched.

Bakugou had made a paper airplane.

It was the most symmetrical, smooth, well-made paper airplane that Kouda had ever seen, and there was no way that it wasn't about to be thrown.

With careful aim, Bakugou tossed it a moment later, Kirishima and Kaminari holding their collective breaths as it sailed through the air high above the classroom floor. Jirou whipped her head upwards as it passed her row, and all of them watched-

-as it landed right in Present Mic's hair.

Half of the class immediately erupted with laughter, Present Mic pausing and slowly pulling the piece of paper out of his hair and staring at it with light amusement before turning back to the class and giving them all looks.

“Alright, that's it!” Iida hollered over the chaos, particularly eying Kaminari. “Which one of you have been disrupting class?! You are distracting your peers!”

“Why are you looking at me!?” Kaminari yelled. “That was totally Bakugou!”

“The F*** are you spouting, Sparky!?” Bakugou screamed in response, and Kouda had to once again commend him on his poker face.

“Nah, it was Kirishima! I saw it!” Ashido shouted.

“What!? No!”

“How'd you see it if you were supposedly paying attention?” Sero asked playfully, causing Ashido to freeze up.

The class never got back on track after that, Present Mic sighing in defeat and resigning himself to admitting to Aizawa that he was right. This was a terrible idea.

In the midst of the chaos, Kouda noticed Midoriya looking back at them, giving Bakugou an amused look as if he saw right through his act, the latter teen simply flipping him off in response.

The very next class, all of class 1-A was back in their proper assigned seats, the mess that was English class that day already floating to the back of their minds. The only reminder was Kirishima and Kaminari constantly giggling like school girls for the rest of the day.

It would be back in the dorms that Kouda would come across the five troublemakers talking in the common room, Ashido with one of the paper flowers in her own hair and the other three still in Kirishima's. Kaminari was also still proudly sporting his new hat.

“Dude, where'd you learn how to do origami of all things?” Sero asked with a smirk.

Bakugou scoffed. “That s***'s just from another of my old hag's 'family bonding time' schemes from a while back.” He rolled his eyes as the others laughed. “I'll give her this, though. The look on her face when I was able to fold an octopus my first try while she couldn't even make a crane was priceless.”

“Can you teach me, Blasty? Teach me, teach me!” Ashido begged.

“And why the h*** would I do that?”

“Because we're friends, obviously!”

Bakugou gave her an extremely incredulous look. “Friends, my a**. Scrape that gum out from under my desk and then we'll talk.”

Ashido groaned, rolling off the couch and onto the floor for no known reason while the other three boys watched as if they'd seen it a million times. They probably had, now that he thought about it. Kouda moved along after that, leaving as Bakugou took another piece of paper, crumbled it up into a ball, and tossed it at Ashido's face. She sulked at him for the rest of the night.

The next day, there was a huge stack of pink construction paper left on Bakugou's still-gum-covered desk. It was promptly set on fire.

Chapter Text

Iida always enjoyed self-study classes. Though some might simply call them 'lazy teaching tactics', they could be a wonderful opportunity for any student to learn something paradigm-shifting and expand upon their knowledge of the world in a way that perhaps a teacher could not perfectly convey in a lecture.

Donning their P.E. uniforms, the students of class 1-A spread throughout the field just outside of Ground Beta in hopes of self-training due to Aizawa-sensei's and All Might's absences for an important teachers conference. Though the topic being discussed wasn't mentioned, Iida trusted that it must be important for their teachers to choose to leave his rambunctious classmates to their own.

He knew it was to be expected, but he couldn't help but feel the slightest bit of irritation at the state that the fields were already in after a mere ten minutes. A large portion of the landscape was already coated in ice, which led to several other students, both within their class and out, slipping and falling, making it as much of a walking hazard as all of the Kirishima-shaped holes in the ground that Iida himself kept tripping over. A majority of the grass was already singed, some areas simply scorched to ash and others including large impact craters. Some of the equipment was broken from being hit too hard, while other things were torn to shreds.

In one area near the track field in particular, almost everything, whether it be plant life or human invention, had nearly corroded into nothing but acidic sludge, while everything still standing was haphazardly covered in tape. Despite the absolute mess that had been made, Iida was secretly thankful that the infamous group, whom his classmates chose to refer to as the 'Bakusquad', had decided to spread themselves out for today's exercise rather than congregate together as they normally would and cause more unnecessary problems. He would never say it to their faces, more so out of respect than any sort of fear, but he was honestly surprised that he hadn't yet been permanently bedridden from the number of migraines he received from their antics.

Well, to be fair to Kirishima in particular, he wasn't a bothersome person in general, but he never helped anything when any of the other four were involved(with the exception of making Bakugou calmer just by existing, to which Iida was eternally grateful for). They were all still walking trouble magnets, though.

Iida was temporarily distracted from his musings by the reappearances of the robots that they'd been permitted to activate for their self-training and watched as Midoriya and Ojiro immediately obliterated two of them with a single blow from each. Two more behind them were instantly wiped out by Dark Shadow as Tokoyami zipped passed them. Off in the distance, Tokoroki froze a dozen of them at once, stretching his arms as if it were nothing to him, while the only robot to escape the icy blast was suddenly body slammed by Kirishima jumping from a great height, though from the look on Kirishima's face, the robot's destruction had been unintentional.

Off where he'd been watching before, Iida noticed that Sero and Ashido were both making quick work of their robot opponents, Ashido laughing gleefully as the metal husk finally gave way to the powerful acid eating away at its legs and fell to the ground.

“And that's thirteen!” Ashido cheered, turning to Sero with a blinding grin. “How many did you get, huh?”

As if on queue, another robot came barreling towards them from near the entrance of Ground Beta, Sero immediately whirling around and tangling its limbs in a mess of tape before sending it to the ground with a resounding crash.

Sero grinned back smugly. “Fourteen.”

Ashido pouted dramatically, stomping her foot and puffing out her cheeks in a childish display while Sero's grin only grew. Iida could only shake his head at their antics as he readjusted his glasses, exasperated that they would play around like this when there were still three more robots approaching them from behind.

Of course, it ended up not mattering in this case, since it was suddenly as if the robot closest to them had been shot in the face by a bazooka.

The duo jumped at the sudden explosion behind them as an orange and black blur shot passed them, grenade gauntlet swinging perfectly through the second robot's side like a knife cutting through butter in a fiery display, not even giving the third a chance to even try and attack as their aggressor suddenly crashed into it feet first, immediately incapacitating it in one downward swing and a powerful explosion, the robot toppling over in a heap.

Still standing on top of the robot as the smoke cleared, Bakugou casually brushed himself off before stepping back onto the grass. Ashido happily skipped over, her movements screaming enthusiasm, while Sero just shook his head and wandered over at a slower pace.

“That was so cool, Blasty!” Ashido exclaimed loudly. “You totally one-shotted three of them in, like, two seconds! How did you even do that!?”

“It's called talent, Horns.” Bakugou responded, Ashido's earlier pout returning in full force.

Sero scoffed. “Always so encouraging. What ever would we do without you?”

“You sassing me, Soy Sauce?”

“Whaaaat? I would never~.”

Bakugou barred his teeth dangerously, Sero only snorting in response while Ashido let out another hearty cackle. Rolling his eyes, Bakugou sauntered by them, vaguely motioning towards the entrance of Ground Beta where more robots were starting to appear. “Anyway, there's more of those f***s in Ground Beta and I was just heading that way when I saw you dips***s standing around twiddling your thumbs-”

“Dude, no-”

And I thought it would be more interesting if you came along and we made it a competition. The one with the most kills wins.”

“Hey, hold on now.” Ashido cut in. “Do mine ears deceiveth me, or is Blasty, the Blasty Mcsplodes, O great and powerful Lord Explosion Murder himself, asking for us mere mortal idiots to grace him with our presence-”

“You keep that up, Raccoon Eyes, and I'm f***ing out of here.”

The two simultaneously zipped their mouths shut and threw them away. Bakugou huffed. “Good. Now come on. Class ends in twenty minutes and I want to take down as many of these f***ers as possible.”

“A lot of f*** today.” Ashido mused as the three of them sprinted off and disappeared behind Ground Beta's walls. Iida was tempted to follow them, just to make sure that damage was kept at a minimum, but he ultimately decided that it would be rude of him to spy on them and that he should have a little more faith in his comrades. Thus, he soon turned back to his own training alongside his other classmates for the rest of the class. It frustrated him that he didn't seem to be getting much faster overall, but he had to remind himself to be patient. He would improve in due time.

It would be approximately eighteen minutes later that Bakugou would reappear, shooting right through the entrance of Ground Beta at break neck speeds with a spray of metal debris and smoke trailing him in what was probably one of his sloppier landings. Iida couldn't help but wince at the near miss, as he himself has had his fair share of poor landings at high speed in his lifetime and it never ended well. Barely avoiding injury, the explosion quirk user quickly recovered, catching himself with his right appendages and expertly reorienting himself to face backwards as he dug his feet into the ground until he came to a full stop, dust billowing up from the ground behind him.

After staring back at Ground Beta for a beat, the ash blonde growled, swatting at the dust swirling through the air as he stomped his way back to the gateway. Crashing could be heard as more smoke darkened the air above Ground Beta. “You idiots still in there? What's taking so long?”

“Excuse you!” Ashido could be heard shouting. “The goal was to take out as many as we could!”

“Yeah, man! It wasn't a race!” Sero followed, vaulting a broken robot over the walls just as Ashido stumbled through the entrance and allowed herself to tip over and face-plant into the ground. Sero approached them soon after. The look on Bakugou's face was the furthest thing from satisfaction.

Class ended shortly there after, and the students of class 1-A made their way to the locker rooms under Iida's watchful eye. With a sigh, Iida entered the boy's locker room last, neatly putting his equipment away while his rowdier classmates chatted around him.

“Today was nice, don't you think?” Midoriya said somewhere to his right, a soft, tired smile adorning his face.

“It was.” Todoroki agreed nearby. “I don't think I've quite mastered my fire yet, though. I tried using it at the same scale as my ice and it got a little out of hand. I think I might have almost killed Asui and Hagakure.”

“This is why I say you need to be more careful!” Iida announced, chopping at the air for emphasis. “Gaining control over your quirk is fairly important, but you mustn't train it so much that you put yourself or your teammates at risk!”

“I suppose.”

“Todoroki, I am being serious!”

“So am I.”

“Anyway!” Midoriya interrupted. “I've been meaning to ask. You know about that new hero museum that they're opening this weekend?”

The corners of Todoroki's lips slightly curled upwards. “The one that's specifically just All Might or the one for everyone else?”

“Todoroki...” Midoriya pouted. “The one that's not. The All Might museum opens next week. Duh!”

“Right... Duh.”

Midoriya couldn't help but giggle. “Yeah, so Uraraka and I really wanted to go to the grand opening and we were wondering if you guys would like to come with us! Unfortunately, Asui-”

“Tsu-chan.” Todoroki corrected in her stead.

“Er-, right. Tsu-chan said that she couldn't make it because she's going with her family somewhere, so it would just be us. Would you guys like to go?”

Todoroki's face remained neutral, but his shoulders slightly drooped. “Sadly, I cannot. I have yet to finish Midnight's project for history class, so I'll be confining myself to my room in order to complete it. Otherwise, I'd love to go.”

“Todoroki!” Iida shouted, causing both other boys to slightly flinch from the volume. “I thought you said it was nearly finished!”

“It was, but then I procrastinated.”

Iida was about to shout again, but stopped himself and simply sighed, removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes. “Very well. I'm glad that you are being responsible and choosing to finish it on time, even if you are currently behind. I admire that.”

Repositioning his glasses, Iida chopping in Midoriya's direction. “I, on the other hand, am finished with all of my work and would be thrilled to accompany you and Uraraka to the new hero museum!”

Midoriya's eyes seemed to light up like stars. “That's great! I'll let her know right away! And don't worry, Todoroki. We already told As- Tsu-chan that we'd take lots of pictures for her, so we'll just have to take twice as many!”

“Not if photography is prohibited!” Iida yelled as Midoriya practically frolicked out of the locker room. Todoroki simply snorted as he made his leave as well. Once again rubbing at his face, Iida shut his locker and went to follow.

“Dude, seriously. It was all just self-training, and we were doing great, if I do say so myself.”

“That's not the f***ing point, Tape Face.”

Iida peered behind him to see Bakugou and Sero near the back, the latter still putting his suit away. Sero's face wasn't visible from Iida's point of view, but he could see Bakugou's profile just fine and, though he didn't appear as angry as he normally is, he still looked rather frustrated, brows furrowed and mouth in a deep frown. The taller boy held his helmet in his hands, fiddling around with it.

“Dude, you are so extra, sometimes. You know that?”

“F***ing h***, it's not that f***ing hard.” Bakugou huffed. “Just figure out the weak points and time that s***. Once you get that, one-shotting villains at high speed in a chain is easy. Then you can take on multiple enemies at once, even while in a high speed chase.”

Sero sighed, his shoulders sagging as he set his helmet inside his locker and slamming it shut. “Look, man. I get it. You're gonna push us to keep up with you and we appreciate it. We really do, but most of us can't just get things like you do.”

“That doesn't make it impossible, you f***ing idiot. Yours and Raccoon Eyes's quirks are literally perfect for this sort of thing.”

Despite the impossibility of it, Bakugou's frown deepened even further as Sero repositioned his backpack and headed towards the exit. “Maybe. Well, see you around, Blasty.”

“Hey, wait a minute! You doubting my judgment, a**hole!?” The blonde yelled as Sero slipped through the entrance, Bakugou stomping after him and completely ignoring Iida's presence. With the nth sigh that Iida had released that day, he followed after them, finding that they were now joined by Ashido, who was just leaving the girls' locker room. “I said wait, d***it! You too, Raccoon Eyes!”

Ashido immediately paused, Sero lazily looking over his shoulder as Bakugou stomped up to them, a dangerous look of determination in his eyes. Ashido eyed him curiously. “What's up, Blasty?”

Feet spread apart and hands on his hips, Bakugou snarled. “Whatever plans you two had tonight, cancel them now!”

“Excuse me?” Sero snorted in amusement, while Ashido peered at him with interest.

“You heard me!” Bakugou responded, pointing at them dangerously. “Meet me at the gym at seven o'clock sharp! You're going to f***ing master chain kills by the end of this f***ing day even if it f***ing kills me!”

“Again, I say. A lot of f*** today.”

“You sure about that, Blasty?” Sero questioned. “Would hate to waste your time like that.”

“You're not a waste of my-” He stopped himself so quickly he nearly choked, coughing harshly into his elbow while the other two just grinned at him, and didn't ask about his health as Iida wished they would do, please.

“Just- Just meet me at the d*** gym tonight.” He stammered, shoving his hands in his pockets and storming his way down the hallway, face beat red and steam practically coming out of his ears at the sound of Ashido's and Sero's laughter. Glancing at the clock, Iida chose to make his leave.

Of course, despite how unheroic and unethical it was, Iida had become extremely curious as to what they were now doing in the gym and wished to eavesdrop, and a part of him wanted to argue that he was just keeping an eye on them to make sure that nothing of value was destroy and that no one got into trouble. Ultimately, however, he decided that he should respect their privacy.

So, imagine his surprise when came seven thirty and Midoriya and Uraraka approached him in casual gym clothes. “We were just heading to the gym to spar.” Uraraka beamed. “You wanna join us?”

With a swift nod, Iida had graciously accepted the offer, quickly changing and jogging with them to the gymnasium. It seemed to be pretty full, some people working out away from the training areas while a few hero students were scattered around the hero training spaces sparring and practicing using their quirks. Even with all of the noise, Uraraka's laughter could easily be heard above the small crowd's banter as she dragged Midoriya behind her, finding their favorite spot for warm ups and dropping their equipment to begin.

“There's a lot of people here, tonight.” Midoriya mused.

“Perhaps it is a good thing!” Iida exclaimed. “It warms my heart that our fellow students are so concerned about both their health and growth!”

There was a commotion somewhere in the training area, and Uraraka was already craning her neck to see what was going on when Iida and Midoriya followed suit. The entire training area was littered with dummies and robots, both operational and completely obliterated. Even after all this time, Iida still had yet to fully understand why Midoriya's eyes lit up with such joy and admiration as an explosion rang out and Bakugou rocketed through the air, Sero not too far behind and Ashido just below them.

“Focus, you idiots! Size! Balance! Pressure points! The goal is efficiency!”

“Yeah, yeah, we heard you the first time, jacka**!” There was a certain level of fondness despite Sero's harshness as he flipped through the air, using one of the dummies as a blunt weapon against two different robots, effectively knocking them out of commission. The next second, his foot was digging into another dummies face while he simultaneously pulled another robots legs out from under it. The excitement in Sero's eyes was impossible to miss.

Not too far away, Ashido was taking enemies out so quickly that it looked like she was dancing, kicking two different dummies in the face with the splits before leaping forward and swinging her hands down on another one in front of her like a jackhammer. Sliding after the other two at incredible speeds, three more were down instantly.

“They're so fast!” Uraraka shouted, almost as enthusiastic as Midoriya, and Iida couldn't even help the astonishment on his own face. The jump in skill was impressive to say the least, watching Sero continue to incapacitate enemies at speeds that made him jealous and Ashido literally dance around her opponents as if it was more than just second nature.

And then she slipped.

It wasn't that violent of a landing, but it wasn't at all smooth either as she slid across the ground and into the wall, not standing up right away. Iida felt his heart clench for a second before she pulled herself up and dusted herself off, a look of frustration marring her features.

There were signs of corrosion where she'd landed, and now that Iida was looking around, he could see several spots around the gym floor and walls where similar damage was done, as if she'd had a few harsh landings before they'd arrived as well. Sero was suddenly hanging upside down above her, a look of concern in his eyes as she let out a rough groan.

Bakugou approached them shortly after, his expression mostly unreadable as Ashido sat down heavily and seemed to begin ranting. Iida couldn't make out anything that was being said, but a part of him didn't mind, as he still didn't feel too great about spying on his classmates. He'd turned back to begin stretching and actually get some productive training in when Uraraka suddenly gasped and Midoriya started squealing, and Iida couldn't help but turn around.

Bakugou had sat down next to Ashido and thrown an arm around her shoulders.

It was incredibly casual, but unbelievably comfortable, as good friends should be. Sero had a big goofy grin on his face while they sat there, and though Ashido's face was hidden from view, Iida was once again given a decent view of Bakugou's profile, and though none of them could hear them, Iida could still read his lips to some degree, and one word stuck out to him as Bakugou harshly poked Ashido's collarbone.

Amazing.

With a nod from both parties, Bakugou pulled away, and Ashido's face reappeared, her frustration replaced with determination. She leaped back up, dusted herself off, and prepared for another run, Sero dropping down next to her and doing the same.

“They're such great friends. I'm glad he has them.” he heard Midoriya mutter to himself, and honestly, comparing the Bakugou that he'd met their first day of classes and the Bakugou they were seeing now, Iida couldn't possibly agree more.

It would be during hero combat training the next day that Sero and Ashido would be showing off their new skills and practically running circles around everyone else with their speed and efficiently that had All Might absolutely grinning.

And it would be during Sero's record breaking speed run during his solo exercise that one cheer would rise above the rest to plant a smile on Iida's own face.

YES!! That's what I'm talking about, Soy Sauce!”

Chapter Text

Ojiro honestly had no idea how to react to this whole situation, but somehow, he'd found himself hidden inside the boys locker room with Sero and Kirishima.

He'd just gone there to check if he left his charger in there. He hadn't even been looking for either of them, unlike some of his other classmates who'd been curious as to where they'd run off to after a minor argument with Kaminari. Apparently, from what Hagakure had told him anyway, the electricity quirk user had played a prank on his group of friends a week or so ago by somehow getting a couple of the support students to help him set up water balloon catapults in their lockers. Ojiro didn't even know Kaminari had friends in the support department, and yet, it didn't really surprise him all that much either.

His success varied from person to person. Kirishima and Sero both gotten nailed, Sero being the first to open his, and thus, unsuspecting, while Kirishima didn't even think about the implications and took a water balloon straight to the face. Ashido and Bakugou found them still standing by their lockers, completely drenched.

When Ashido opened hers, she barely manage to duck in time as the balloon whizzed past her head, splashing against the wall behind her. She looked back up at the boys with an intensity that was entirely unnecessary for their predicament, and all four of them slowly turned their gazes towards Bakugou's unopened locker. Bakugou glared at it as if he was expecting it to suddenly come to life and try to eat him(Hagakure words, not his) before slowly opening it from the side with the hinges and watching as the balloon shot harmlessly passed him and into the wall.

Expect that Kaminari had probably been expecting him to dodge it, so for some reason, it didn't immediately pop, and instead bounced off the wall and somehow smacked straight into the back of Ashido's head.

As the four of them walked into class, wheezing could be heard from Kaminari's seat as he excitedly examined his handiwork. Even if Bakugou had gotten away Scott free, it was still three out of four and according to Kaminari, it was still a passing grade, d***it!

This ended up being the catalyst for a brutal week long prank war amongst the majority of the Bakusquad. At first, due to recent events, it was Kaminari verses the world, dealing with tape traps and fake bugs being thrown at him, and even a pie to the face at one point after a long night of competitive gaming. On the plus side, according to Kaminari, the pie was delicious.

And Kaminari didn't back down either. He brought his A-game to the table, using every resource he could get his hands on to fight back, from messing with the lights in Ashido's bedroom and convincing her it was haunted, to borrowing a few of Mineta's sticky balls to give Sero a taste of his own medicine, and even “hiring” a few kids from other classes to aid him in a silly string battle. Long story short, things got out of hand rather quickly.

Eventually, however, about halfway through the week, the alliance crumbled, and the other three turned on each other. Sero taped Kirishima's crocs to the ceiling(and apparently local closet fashionista Bakugou had offered to pay him to leave them up there forever), Kirishima slipped red dye into Ashido's shampoo, turning her hair a bright salmon color for a day(Kirishima is kind, so it was easily removable), and Ashido went so far as to bubble wrap Sero's desk(he, Kirishima, and Jirou spent the entire homeroom class popping it).

Throughout the entire ordeal, Bakugou remained the only neutral party, choosing to stay out of it rather than get involved, with the exception of the occasional assist(where do you think Kirishima got that pie from?). Of course, that didn't stop the others from trying and failing to prank him a few times, as he outsmarted them every time. They only stopped after one incident where Ashido had thrown a plastic spider at him as hard as she could. Seeing an unexpected projectile from his peripheral vision, especially with all the trauma that he's had to deal with, probably actually startled him, because he retaliated with a small explosion that launched the fake arachnid right back at her. The hot plastic smacked her on her left lower forehead, nearly taking her eye out and leaving a nasty little burn mark where it struck. It was clearly an accident, because the explosion user, though still rough about it, became unnervingly apologetic towards her for the rest of the day. She did get a really nice dinner out of it, though.

By the end of the week, the war had died down, and things seemed to be getting back to normal for the rowdiest members of class 1-A, until Kaminari claimed that out of everyone, he was obviously the ultimate prankster. Sero and Kirishima seemed to disagree, and this is what led to the aforementioned argument before the latter two disappeared.

Well, here they were. Hiding in the locker room.

“Um, what are you two even doing here?”

Kirishima and Sero's head snapped in his direction, a split second look of panic in their eyes before they both deflated in relief. Kirishima lightly chuckled. “Dude, don't sneak up on people like that. I thought you were Aizawa-sensei for a second.”

“A better question,” Sero interjected, “would be what are you doing here?”

“I mean, it's really not, but sure.” Ojiro sighed, slipping passed them to search his locker. Rustling could be heard behind him as his classmates got back to whatever they were doing in the first place.

He then realized that his hero suit was missing and had at some point been replaced with a completely different one.

Blinking, Ojiro looked around, making complete sure that this was his locker. After a moment of confusion, he glanced behind him at the sound of Sero snorting.

“Uh,” Ojiro started. “You guys wouldn't happen to know what happened to my costume, would you?”

The other two heroes-in-training looked at each other, having some sort of telepathic conversation for a moment, before turning back to him, both grinning. Sero began to snicker. “If you promise not to say anything, we'll let you in on it.”

For a moment, Ojiro had a very bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. However, the concern slowly died away somewhat at the idea that Kirishima wouldn't be invested in anything harmful or dangerous that didn't involve hero stuff, so he simply sighed, nodded, and stared at them expectantly.

Kirishima started giggling like a middle school girl. “So, you know about that whole prank thing with Kaminari, right?”

Ojiro nodded slowly as Sero spoke up. “Yeah, well we decided that it would be pretty great to maybe, you know, knock him down a few pegs.”

Sero snorted. “If he's so great with pranks, then he would have thought of something like this already, right?”

As Kirishima and Sero smiled at each other resolutely, Ojiro continued to stare at them incredulously. “So wait, one of your friends says that he the best at something.”

“Yep.”

“And you guys are setting out to tease him about it.”

“Yeah.” “Uh-huh.”

There was a beat of silence. “Why can't you guys do something like this with Bakugou!?”

“He's my best friend! Why would I want to?”

“I just want to live 'til graduation.”

Ojiro chuckled. “Okay, yeah. Fair enough, I guess... But what about after?”

A loud snrrrk. “I'll probably tape him to the ceiling with Kiri's crocs or something.”

“You still haven't given those back!”

Fifty bucks, dude!

Anyway,” Ojiro stressed. “You said something about a prank. Care to explain?”

Sero started laughing, ignoring Kirishima's ongoing complaining. “Well, I just thought that if you really want to be a prank master, you gotta go a step further. So, why not pull an entire class wide prank!”

Ojiro's eyebrows shot up. “Class wide?”

“Well,” Kirishima interrupted. “Not the girls. Sneaking into their locker room would be super unmanly of us.”

“Ashido is actually in on this, so she could probably sneak in with someone and swap them herself.” Swap?

“That's actually not a bad idea! Hey, Ojiro, Hagakure would play along with this, right?”

“Um, you still haven't told me what you're doing.”

Kirishima's giggling returned. “Oh, right. So, I'm not gonna lie. This was mostly Sero's idea. You know how we're all going on a big class field trip to a sidekick training retreat tomorrow?”

“Yeah...”

“Well,” he continued, trying and failing to contain his laughter. “We thought it would be funny if we switched everyone's costumes around! We'll all be splitting up afterward, and our outfits will be stored away and delivered to us on sight, so they wouldn't be able to do anything about it! Wouldn't that be hilarious?!”

Ojiro felt another sigh of relief escape him. Though it was definitely the large scale prank that they wanted to pull, it seemed pretty harmless in comparison to what it could be. He's also really glad that he's the one that discovered them in the act, because he couldn't imagine the embarrassment of whoever would have ended up with his costume.

In fact, now that he's looking back at it, that is totally Kaminari's hero costume in his locker, isn't it? Wow.

“Sooooo... Since I know about this now..., can you guys, you know, not swap mine?”

Sero sighed. “D***it. Well, I guess it's only fair. We're at an odd number now, though.”

“Would anyone even be able to fit Mineta's costume?”

“The suit stretches. They could squeeze in. Hey, let's give that one to Kaminari!”

The two boys chatted excitedly as Ojiro watched them get to work on going from locker to locker looking through costumes and deciding on which ones would be the best switches.

“I have an idea! Why don't we switch each other's outfits, too? That way, they wouldn't know it was us!”

“As good of a strategy as that is, I am not putting my lanky a** in your stripper outfit.”

“Oh, come on! It's not that bad!”

“You know what would be amazing?” Sero suddenly asked, dropping their last conversation entirely. “If we swapped Blasty's costume with Midoriya's.”

Ojiro choked on air. “How about you don't do that!!

From there, Kirishima and Sero were able to swap several costumes. Rikidou and Kouda's, Tokoyami and Todoroki's, and several other fun combinations. Ojiro couldn't help but sigh at the fun that the two were having at such a silly activity. He's very glad when they put his own costume back in its rightful place.

“What are we gonna do about Shoji?” Kirishima asked.

“We could switch him with Iida. I think the armor on his arms could be removed.”

“The f*** are you doing?”

The entrance was so abrupt that all three of them jumped, Ojiro himself tripping and falling flat on his face. He didn't even look like he wanted to commit mass homicide at the moment, but unless you were more than just an acquaintance, Bakugou's resting b**** face could still be absolutely terrifying, especially when the light streaming in from the hallway shadowed his face so perfectly.

Sero recovered first. “Oh, you know, man. Just screwing around is all.”

Bakugou's stared at both of them, his expression mostly unreadable as he switched between them before he suddenly looked directly at Ojiro, a single eyebrow shooting upward as if questioning his presence. Ojiro could only shrug in exasperation, because honestly, this whole situation was ridiculous and all he wanted was his phone charger. Thankfully, the explosive blonde seemed to accept that response, turning back to his (probably) actual friends before his gaze fell to their hands and his face contorted back into his familiar scowl.

“With my costume?”

Ojiro looked back at them and came very close to actually laughing out loud. Indeed, currently in Sero's arms was Bakugou's hero costume, his gauntlets on the floor next to his feet. While Sero looked like a deer-in-the-headlights, Kirishima only chuckled, which was easy for him to do since quirk-wise, he's Bakugou's perfect counter.

“Ah.” Sero said dumbly. “Wonder how that got there.”

“It's fine, Sero. Bakugou's not gonna tattle on us, right Blasty?”

“If you don't give me a reason to, then what the h*** do I care?”

“See?”

Sero sighed, a small smile gracing his features as he put the costume back in its correct locker. “All right, man. Here's what's going on.”

Explaining their plans to Bakugou went a lot smoother than expected, as if they'd been trained in his language and knew exactly how to communicate without him blowing up at them. It left Ojiro almost impressed, though even he was getting better at interacting with the guy. Just not this well. He couldn't imagine just walking up to him and throwing an arm around his shoulders without asking like Kirishima was doing.

All of them stiffened at the sound of more footsteps, and Ojiro suddenly blanched.

That sounded like teachers. One of the voices was definitely All Might's, but he didn't even get the chance to listen for who the other one was before Bakugou and Kirishima were both peering through the doorway.

“Well, s***.” Sero hissed, looking over the absolute mess that the locker room was at the moment. There was no hiding any of this if the teachers passed by.

“What do we do?!” Kirishima whispered harshly, looking to Sero for answers and finding none.

Bakugou's gaze seemed to be fixated on one of the benches, but Ojiro missed where he was looking before he glanced back to the hallway. After a long, intense pause, listening as the footsteps grew louder and louder, Bakugou huffed, stepping out into the hallway.

“Dude, what are you doing!?” Sero asked through his teeth.

Bakugou immediately shushed him, signaling for them to move back deeper into the room. “If I find someone else's d*** costume in my case after this, there will be h*** to pay.”

Before they could question him any further, he was leaning against the opposite wall and pulling out his phone, seemingly playing something on it and resolutely ignoring the room in front of him as if nothing was amiss whatsoever.

As the footsteps rounded the corner, Bakugou pushed himself off the wall and slowly wandered towards where the sound was coming from.

“Oh, Young Bakugou!” All Might called out, his steps very minutely speeding up.

“Hah?” Bakugou practically snarled, and Ojiro had to agree with Kouda. His poker face was incredible.

The footsteps stopped. “I've been meaning to speak with you, actually. It's about...that thing I mentioned a while back.”

Ojiro had absolutely no clue what he was talking about, but he could somewhat see Bakugou's profile from where he was hiding, and from the way that Bakugou's eyebrows shot up above his hairline, it must have been important.

“The sense thing, or the other thing?” he asked carefully.

“The sense thing, my boy.” All Might answered with a chuckle. “I've been meaning to have a more in depth conversation with you about it and haven't gotten the chance until now. You do have a moment, don't you?”

Bakugou shrugged. “I guess.”

“So, I take it I am unneeded, then.” From the sounds of it, the other teacher turned out to be Snipe.

“Yes, everything is taken care of. Thanks anyway, Snipe.” All Might said as Snipe's footsteps could be heard moving in the opposite direction, earning huge sighs of relief from Kirishima and Sero.

“So, we chatting in the teacher's lounge or something?”

“That would be preferred. You can go ahead of me if you'd like. I came here in the first place because I need to collect something from your class's locker room.”

Their breaths hitched, Kirishima and Sero glancing at each other in panic, while Ojiro tried to remember how he'd even gotten into this situation in the first place. Oh yeah, because his phone died. Of course, his two classmates were acting as if they were next on the chopping block, though he doubted the Symbol of Peace was going to do much more than lightly scold them. It was Aizawa finding out being taken down with them that he was scared of.

All things considered, he couldn't help but be impressed with how in character Bakugou was staying in this situation. “What the h*** would you have left in the locker room? Why would you have even been in there?”

“Heh. I may have been speaking with Young Midoriya and my teaching book must have fallen out of my pocket. I believe I know where it is, so it should only take me a moment.”

“Or it f***ing isn't there and it'll take forever, old timer.”

“I'm not that old-.”

“I'll get it. You go on ahead. I'm faster than you, so I'd just end up wasting my time waiting for you to catch up.”

All Might was silent for a moment. “It really isn't a problem-.”

“You're wasting my time right now. Go. I'll meet you there.”

Silence returned, leaving the three boys in the locker room with bated breath before booming laughter made them all jump out of their skin. “Bakugou, my boy! I can see that you're learning slowly but surely!”

“The f*** does that mean, a**hole!?” was his knee-jerk response, though All Might didn't seem to mind.

“Very well! Then I will meet you in the teacher's lounge!” All Might announced before turning on his heel and marching off, just a little bit more chipper than he was a moment ago. Bakugou let out a breath that none of them realized he was holding as he strode back into the locker room towards the bench that he'd been fixated on not too long ago, picking up what looked like a small handbook of some kind.

“'Teaching for Dummies'. Is he f***ing serious?” he growled to himself before turning back and heading out. Just as he reached the entryway, he shot a dangerous glare at his two friends. “You're f***ing welcome.

“We owe you one, man!” Kirishima chirped, Sero with his trademark grin plastered on his face.

“Just don't touch my costume.”

True to their word, they left him out of it, leaving him and Ojiro himself off the hook from their little class prank. Once everything was settled, the two dashed off, leaving Ojiro to stare after them as they laughed like they were infamous criminals getting away with the ultimate forgery. He couldn't help but face palm.

He would later find out that Sero had in fact gone to Ashido and gotten her and Hagakure to mess with the girls' hero outfits, and before they knew it, personnel had gone in, encased and labeled everything, and shipped it off for tomorrow's trip.

The next day, having arrived at their destination, Ojiro couldn't help his shocked excitement when Aizawa and All Might were told that their costumes had somehow gotten all mixed up and All Might basically just told them to roll with it.

He wasn't gonna lie. Seeing Asui in Jirou's costume and Iida in Shoji's was hysterical. Despite finding out what happened and being stuck in a ridiculously tight purple spandex suit, Kaminari, as the good sport he is, absolutely owned it, playing along as if he were the greatest hero who ever lived and proclaiming the name Grapebolt, fricking Grapebolt, in an All Might-esque fashion for all the world to see. Mineta would later say that he should have called himself Charge Juice, to which Kaminari nearly choked and had giggling fits over for the next two days or so.

At some point, a couple of the original combinations got switched around, leaving Midoriya in Tokoyami's costume and unsure of what to do with himself. It didn't help any that they had given poor Uraraka Yaoyorozu's suit, which had both of them beet red whenever around each other for weeks afterward. At least Yaomomo knew how to make her cloak.

In the end, it ended up making for some very interesting training the first day. All Might had decided to test them, having them handle a staged villain attack with civilians and see if they can adapt to their strange situations. As heroes, they would come across some interesting predicaments and they need to be ready for anything. Midoriya could only kick because Tokoyami's cloak hid his arms. Yaoyorozu could only create things with her hands since Uraraka's costume covered so much. Iida had to run in nothing but socks since Shoji's boots wouldn't fit over his engines.

Meanwhile, the six who had their own costumes were left to their own devices, and Ojiro had to agree with Hagakure that hanging out while watching the absolute chaos that Kirishima and Sero had caused from afar was immensely entertaining.

“Man, and I thought that we wouldn't get away with it.” Kirishima laughed. “They could have just switched their costumes back and gone about their day.”

“Yeah. I wonder how All Might even got that idea.” Sero chuckled. “This is amazing.”

There was a loud snort and Ojiro turned to see Bakugou hiding his face. Ashido put two and two together instantly. “It was you!?”

“...I may or may not have warned him ahead of time that I saw a couple pieces of equipment moved around and gave him the idea of improv.”

All three squad members present(plus Hagakure) burst out laughing, Ojiro with a grin on his face despite himself. With a smirk of his own, Bakugou seemed more pleased with himself than anything.

“Hey, Blasty.” Kirishima called, pointing towards Todoroki stuck in Aoyama's costume and saying something about 'prince charming' in a hushed voice before Ojiro watched the walls crumble before his very eyes and Bakugou suddenly start wheezing with laughter, quickly hiding his face in his hands from prying eyes. Ashido was coughing while Sero tried to get him to open back up, being given a clear f*** off for his troubles.

And yet, the lack of animosity was clear as day.

“They're such great friends!” Hagakure cheered through her own laughter, and Ojiro couldn't possibly disagree.

Chapter Text

It was blisteringly hot outside that day, so Midoriya felt he could speak for everyone when he says that the water felt absolutely amazing.

As previously promised by one Aizawa-sensei, spontaneous class trips were slowly but surely becoming more common as the class's cumulative grade became higher and higher. He didn't seem to be all that happy with the idea of rewarding them like dogs learning new tricks, as the same luxury would not be granted in the real world once they graduated, but a promise is a promise and the more they learned, the more prepared they'd be in the future, and that was worth it.

This trip in particular had been not for a test, but a job well done after a sudden mass villain attack in the middle of Musutafu last month. They'd all just gotten into their hero gear for heroics classes when a bomb went off in the city, and all of them had unanimously voted to do something about it rather than wait in the school grounds when they could be saving more lives. With all of them having their provisional licenses at this point, Principal Nezu didn't see the point in stopping them.

And so, class 1-A was dispatched, with 1-B getting themselves together in order to follow close behind. There were way more villains involved than previously suspected, dozens at the very least, so the more helping hands, the better.

Midoriya couldn't be more thankful that things decided to end in their favor this time around. The city-wide battle ended in the heroes indisputable victory, with no causalities on either side and no severe or permanent injuries. It was absolutely incredible and Midoriya couldn't help but smile knowing that he had contributed, taking down two of the top ranked villains on his own and assisting with four other take downs.

Besides that, several others in his class were met with major success. Kacchan alone managed to take down ten by himself before his friend group showed up. The five of them together were literally unstoppable, and collectively took out the most villains even compared to the pros. Midoriya couldn't help his giddiness as he thought about what the future had in store for them, should they stick together.

Meanwhile, Iida and Yaoyorozu assisted in five take downs and Todoroki wiped out an entire sea of them with waves of ice. Shoji, Tokoyami, and Jiro also made major contributions while the rest of the class either fought directly beside the heroes or assisted in rescue efforts. All in all, it was all around a positive outcome and another event to make the heroes look good.

That wasn't to say that there weren't any near misses. Two particularly scary moments immediately popped up in Midoriya's mind, the first of them still fresh in his mind even now. He had come across rescue efforts and had scaled a destroyed building alongside Uraraka in search of missing civilians when they'd found a small child near a broken window about ten stories up. She couldn't have been any older than ten, clutching a Gunhead plushie about half her own size as her whimpers were drowned out by the groaning of the building.

“It's okay.” Uraraka had called out calmly. “We're heroes. We're here to save you.”

The little girl's eyes seemed to spark back to life, looking at the two of them in a new light and more tears streamed down her face, now in relief.

Which was short-lived when the floor suddenly gave way.

It had been so sudden that Midoriya barely registered what was even happening before the child's screams filled the air as she plummeted towards her death.

There was no hesitation from his companion, and despite the spike of soul-wrenching terror that shot through his system, Midoriya couldn't be more proud of Uraraka looking back at that moment, the zero gravity heroine fearlessly leaping off the building after the girl. Thanks to her natural difference in size, Uraraka caught up to the girl in no time, wrapping her arms around her protectively and her fingers around the kid's back and her own arm.

Zero gravity does not mean loss in momentum. With no way of stopping their descent, the two crashed into the ground, bouncing off violently and spinning out of control before Asui's tongue wrapped around Uraraka's waist and pulled them back to earth. Though both were shaken and Uraraka was a bit winded and dizzy from the vertigo of such a sudden change in direction, both of them were fine. A miracle, all things considered. Midoriya would consider scolding her for being so reckless, but that would just be the pot calling the kettle black.

He wasn't present for the other major scare near the end of the fighting. The instigator of the whole situation and a number of his lackeys were making their escape when a group of heroes and Kacchan's squad intervened. Midoriya wishes that he could have witnessed such an intense high speed chase, Kirishima and Kaminari on standby with the other slow moving heroes and armed with one of Kacchan's bracers and a few grenades while Kacchan, Ashido, and Sero sped ahead into the fray.

It had been going fine, with the villains on the ropes, and everyone was so distracted with what was happening around them that none of them noticed when the other bracer started leaking.

And the straw that broke the camel's back was when one of the villains, the second-in-command if he remembered correctly, knocked Ashido off of her feet and was about to kill her while she was down. According to the now arrested villain's own words, Kacchan's sudden appearance in defense of his fallen comrade had been as if someone had literally just summoned a demon from the ninth circle of hell.

According to Ashido, it was a slow motion clip seconds before disaster, the resulting explosion igniting the leaking fluid and causing the bracer itself to explode.

If the bracer had been at max capacity at the time of the explosion, Kacchan, Ashido, the villain, and anyone occupying the vehicle they were fighting on would have died instantly. Luckily, however, due to the leak and constant use greatly reducing the amount of nitroglycerin involved, it wasn't even remotely as bad as it could have been.

All three of them were violently thrown off of the vehicle from the impact. Thinking fast, Sero abandoned his own battle and leaped off to catch Kacchan while Ashido tried to softened her landing by skidding across the ground with her acid, though it didn't help as much as she'd hoped. Kirishima and Kaminari rendezvoused with them a moment later.

From what they were told later, the worst that Ashido had were light burns on her face and arms and multiple nasty scrapes. Sero had also managed to facture his ankle in his impromptu landing, but it honestly could have been worse since it was after leaping off of a moving vehicle. Meanwhile, Kacchan's entire right arm suffered from terrible burns, which would have been worse if he didn't have more heat resistant skin around his hands, and more mild ones running up his neck and over the side of his face. More unnerving for Midoriya personally is that every finger except for his thumb was broken and his wrist was fractured. A grim sign of just how close he'd come to blowing up his own arm. After having the threat of losing his own limbs over his head for so long, Midoriya could relate.

And so, the heroics classes of U.A. spent the next month or so in recovery after the battle, being praised as heroes and bright up and coming stars lighting up the way for the next generation of pro heroes. Most of them had suffered some form of injury, mostly consisting of cuts, bruises, and inhalation of smoke. Midoriya himself had somehow managed to break his leg again, because of course he did, but at least it was fairly minor compared to past injuries.

And at least nobody died. Everyone was safe.

Now, a month later, when the sun was out and the air was hot and humid, class 1-A was hoping for a reprieve from their heroic antics and Aizawa decided to give them a break for once and treat them to another reward trip. Again, he wasn't all that into it, but Present Mic and All Might had insisted, so he was ultimately outvoted, and for the first time that Midoriya could think of, they were even given the choice of where they wanted to go.

Several of them had been clambering for going to the beach in particular for a while now, so what better way to kick back and relax after their monthly near death experience than a long awaited beach trip?

Midoriya yelped as a bikini-clad Uraraka threw both of them into the ocean water with a resounding splash, her cheerful laughter ringing out and causing his heart to flutter. From the shoreline, Iida was yelling something with his usual enthusiasm while Todoroki stood close by, staring blankly at his companion's sporadic movements. Further up the beach, Yaoyorozu had created four towels and a huge beach umbrella, her and Jirou lying back and enjoying the shade while Koda sat on the third, talking to the sand crabs and seagulls. Behind him, Tokoyami was meditating, several of the seagulls resting on his head and arms. Just to their left, back out in the sun, Rikidou was contently sculpting a fancy birthday cake out of sand.

Not too far away, there was a volleyball game taking place, Ojiro and Hagakure versus Aoyama and Mineta, with Shoji acting as referee. From the looks of it, Aoyama was surprisingly good, even with him constantly looking off in some random direction as if he was posing for someone every time he dove for the ball. Ojiro was barely able to set it in response, Hagakure spiking it with unexpected strength and nailing Mineta right in the face. Midoriya couldn't help but cringe. That must have hurt.

Spitting out a mouth full of salt water, Midoriya shook the water out of his hair as Uraraka continued to laugh gleefully. “I'm sorry, Deku, but you were a sitting duck and I couldn't resist!”

“It's okay.” Midoriya chuckled. “I was spacing out anyway.”

“Yeah you were.” A voice spoke from below, causing both heroes-in-training to let out surprised yelps and leap out of the water. Asui simply stuck her tongue at them, her face glowing with contentment.

Uraraka laughed nervously. “Uh, hey Asui. What'cha doing down there?”

“Oh, you know. Frog things.” she stated with her lips quirked upward. “What'cha doing up there?”

Midoriya blinked, looking down and realizing quite abruptly that Uraraka had somehow ended up in her arms bridal style. Both of them let out shrill screams, Midoriya unceremoniously dropping Uraraka like a hot potato. Incoherent strings of apologies were already spilling out of his mouth faster than he could register even before she resurfaced, Asui choosing this moment to disappear back under the waves with a smile that practically made her glow.

Before Uraraka could respond, her face as beet red as his own, screaming could be heard off to the side alongside flashes of red and pink, and the two teens were startled by two more of their classmates suddenly belly flopping into the water. Kirishima shot back up out of the water with a victory screech while Ashido resurfaced and immediately splashed him, causing his battle cry to be cut short as he was left sputtering from the salt water.

“Ahaha... So, uh, yeah.” Uraraka muttered. “Iida said something about drinks? We brought a few and Todoroki's gonna cool 'em. Uh, I'm, uh... I'm gonna go get one. Do you want any?”

“U-u-u-uh, oh. Um...” Midoriya stuttered. “Uh, sure. I mean, yeah. Yeah, I'd like one.”

Uraraka's face was still red as she nodded her head, muttering to herself as she made her way back to shore where Iida and Todoroki were waiting. Midoriya groaned, hunching his shoulders and rubbing his warm face. All this time and he still couldn't talk to girls. Boy, was he awkward.

“Dude, you trying to kill us?” Sero's voice rang out as Kaminari dove into the ocean water himself. “Or yourself? You could short-circuit and drown.”

“I'm not that much of a hazard!” Kaminari immediately defended as Sero waded in after him. “I've gone swimming plenty of times and I've never killed anyone!”

“Notice how he says 'killed' and not 'harmed'.”

“Shut up.”

Ashido's laughter joined Sero's as the four began a splash war for half a minute before they start chicken fighting, Ashido on Kirishima's shoulders against Kaminari on Sero's. With Kirishima as a foundation, it was no contest, as Sero's lanky form disappeared under the waves with Kaminari following immediately behind, flailing wildly.

Midoriya felt a smile slowly forming, his heart becoming lighter with the idea of perhaps playing the same game with his own friend group. Looking over now, Uraraka was still talking to Iida while Todoroki continued to just stare at them with apparently no purpose in life. Meanwhile, he had no idea where Asui disappeared to. There was no fidgeting, so he assumed that she was perfectly fine, wherever she was.

As his eyes scanned the beach shore for any sign of his froggy friend, he locked on to a completely different figure.

Off to the side, vigilantly watching the other four in the water in silence was one Kacchan, his expression almost serene and hands safely in the pockets of his orange and black swim trucks. He lightly kicked at the sea water lapping at his feet and blew his bangs out of his face, and Midoriya couldn't help but wonder exactly why he might be loitering around the shoreline like so and not out there with his friends(he can say otherwise all he wants but those are definitely friends). It wasn't like he couldn't swim or is afraid of water.

“Come on, Bakugou!” The memory resurfaced with little prompting. “Swim with us! The water feels great!”

A four year old Midoriya giggled as he splashed around in the pool and waved happily to his mother watching idly at the side, conversing with the other kids' parents while they all played in the cool water.

Kacchan pouted, clutching at his hands protectively. “You dummy! The water will wash off all my sweat!”

It was a good memory, just after Kacchan's quirk manifested, before that day, before the mishap at the river, the end of their friendship, the bullying. Baby Izuku waded through the water towards his then best friend, a crease of worry marring his face.

“What's wrong with that?” he'd asked innocently, not quite putting two and two together.

Kacchan stomped his foot. “What do you mean, idiot!? If I don't sweat, then I can't use my quirk! And what if something happens, huh? If I can't sweat, then I can't be a hero and blow up the bad guys!”

To Midoriya's toddler brain, it had made perfect sense. Kacchan was a hero, after all! He had to be able to sweat to use his quirk and protect everyone, and the cold water would make it really hard to do so! Midoriya frowned at this, as despite the problem, he still wanted to play in the pool with Kacchan, and from the looks of it, the other boys did, too. However, they didn't want to risk weakening something so important to their safety, either.

Glancing around him, Midoriya's eyes fell onto a stash of water guns not too far away, and his eyes suddenly lit up. “I know what we can do, Kacchan!” he exclaimed, dashing over to the toys.

His mother called out, warning him not to run after the pool, and Midoriya slowed down to a brisk walk as hi loaded his arms with an excess amount of water guns before making his way back.

“We can play with these!” he said proudly. “And we can play in the super shallow end, where it only goes to our knees! That way, you can play and still beat up bad guys if anything happens!”

The other boys all exchanged glances at each other, whispering things that Midoriya couldn't quite here with nods and shrugs. Meanwhile, Kacchan scrutinized the toys in Midoriya's arms before looking over the part of the pool that he was referring to. The pool deepened gradually, leaving a large area where children could play safely before it dipped down into the deeper end.

With a hum, Kacchan turned back to Midoriya. “That's actually not a bad idea.” he said. “You're not as dumb as you look.”

It was as if he'd just been told by All Might himself that he was the best sidekick that anyone could ask for. Little Midoriya had lit up like stars, his grin taking up half of his face as his tiny heart nearly exploded with happiness. As the other boys took their guns and moved to the shallow end, Midoriya never lost that smile, even giggling with delight on the way home and telling his mom all about his wonderful day.

Even now, he remembered that day, and even that public pool, very fondly.

But it still didn't exactly solve his current mystery as he watched Kacchan huff in annoyance and roll his eyes as Kirishima turned and waved wildly in his direction. At this point, Kacchan's explosions were extremely powerful. It didn't take long for him to refuel and come back stronger than ever, so that couldn't be the issue. He'd even been practicing combating water as a hazard to his quirk at the summer camp-.

Oh.

Oh.

So it was a subconscious thing.

Now that the threat of the bad guys coming after them was so real, now that the threat to their safety, to his safety, was so real...

After everything he's seen and been through, Midoriya couldn't possibly blame him for being so cautious.

“Hey Blasty!” Kirishima shouted over the waves. “What are you standing around for!? Come swim with us!”

“Yeah, Bakubro!” Kaminari chimed in. “The water feels great!”

Bakugou scowled at them, absentmindedly rubbing at his hands. “Why the h*** would I want to do that!?”

“'Cause you love us!” Sero responded without missing a beat, not at all affected by the snarl sent his way.

“Come on, Dynamite!” Ashido yelled from on top of Kirishima, who was suddenly very confused as to how she got there without him noticing. “We ain't the Bakusquad without a Baku!”

Kacchan's scowl deepened as he crossed his arms, and if Midoriya didn't know any better, he'd argue that he was debating with himself. However, with another huff, he stuffed his hands back into his pockets and briskly turned on his heel, slowly walking back up the beach with his back hunching further down the farther he got. The other four all let out collective whines and groans of disappointment, Ashido and Kaminari in particular still trying and failing to convince him to get into the water, and none of them realizing the real dilemma that was probably going on in his head. Eventually, they seemed to accept it.

And then, without so much as a warning, he spun back around and came charging at them.

With loud shrieks of mock terror, they scattered, all diving in different directions out of the way of the incoming human projectile that smashed into the water with an impressive splash, and their screams quickly morphed into unbridled laughter. Of course, the first thing that Kacchan did after reappearing from under the water was slam into Sero and drag them both back under, probably for his earlier comment.

As Ashido and Kaminari cheered in excitement and happiness and Kirishima struggled to pry Kacchan off of Sero, Midoriya simply watched in silent awe.

It wasn't that crazy of a gesture. In fact, his friends were probably not even thinking about it, just excited that their friend decided to mess around with them after all. However, Midoriya felt a pressure building behind his eyes and his vision started to go blurry.

He couldn't help but think about the kind of trust that he must have in them, whether he realizes it or not. The kind of trust it takes to allow himself a moment of physical weakness. The kind of trust it takes to allow other people to protect him if things go south. The kind of trust it takes to allow these people he's come to care for to protect themselves.

The kind of trust it takes to let his guard down.

“Deku!” Uraraka's voice entered his mind, causing him to jump. “Todoroki used his quirk to make popsicles! Iida and Asui are already over by the umbrella and-. Deku, are you crying?”

Midoriya suddenly realized that tears were, in fact, streaming down his face. He once again went red. “I, uh, sorry. I got salt water in my eyes is all.”

“Oh, I'm sorry! Maybe we can clean them out.”

As the brunette waded back out of the water, Midoriya stole one last glance to the side, smiling at the sight of Kacchan already up on Kirishima's shoulders as the two of them practically threw Kaminari and Sero back into the water while Ashido watched in amusement.

“Hey, Uraraka? Once we're done with popsicles, before we all leave, could the five of us maybe go back out and do chicken fights?”

Much later, once the sun was beginning to sink into the sky, and everyone was packing up and loading the bus, Midoriya would have a moment of courage, leaning over the back of his seat to face the person behind him.

“You seem really happy with them.”

“Why the f*** are you talking to me?”

Midoriya was surprisingly unfazed, which only made him smile to himself. “Sorry, I just couldn't help but notice that you were really enjoying yourself today.”

Kacchan only grunted. “So you were watching me? Creepy a** stalker.”

There was a pregnant pause between them before Midoriya worked up the nerve to keep talking. “You remember that public pool that our parents used to take us to when we were kids?”

Kacchan raised an eyebrow. “The big one? Yeah, why?”

“I just looked it up and found out that they made an entire water park around it. We should go there again.”

“The h***? Why? I'm sure that place is still f***ing lame. It's for kids and s***.”

“I know, but I just... I have such nice memories from that place.” Midoriya glanced out the window with a serene smile on his face. “It would be nice to revisit. You know, after all this time. Reminisce on the good times.”

“There were good times?”

Midoriya laughed despite himself, Kacchan giving him a weird look in response before growling at him and looking pointedly away. Undeterred, Midoriya watched fondly as Kirishima casually took the seat next to the grumpy blonde, sending a friendly wave and a toothy smile Midoriya's way before elbowing his neighbor and excitedly saying something in a hushed voice.

Midoriya felt weight on the seat next to him as Todoroki made himself comfortable, Uraraka and Asui in found of them and Iida on the other side. Todoroki turned to Midoriya with a blank stare. “Did you have fun?”

“Yeah, I did. This was great! I think I really needed it.”

“Me too.” he said simply before Iida called for his attention.

It would be as the bus was backing out and starting the trek back towards U.A. that Midoriya would feel a kick on the back of his seat and he would turn to find Kacchan's intense glare.

“We'll talk more about it later.”

He would remember that day very fondly.

Chapter Text

Kirishima wasn't entirely sure how to react to all of this. He was pretty sure, though, that this was one of the best days of his entire life.

It had been a rather eventful day at U.A., with something going completely wrong in one of the support studios. According to Midoriya, his friend Hatsume had been working on a new...baby with Power Loader and a couple other support students when the thing exploded. Midoriya couldn't say what exactly it was for, but it was big, so it caused quite the damage and had led to an electrical fire. Thinking back to the third years' party debacle, Kirishima had an idea of just how bad that could get.

Aizawa was ready to act, however, because All Might, Midoriya, and Bakugou had all been a little jittery that morning and Todoroki just seemed more confused with life than usual, and he'd learned what that meant by this point. Thanks to swift intervention, nobody was hurt, the building was successfully evacuated, and damage was kept at a minimum.

Of course, that didn't mean that there weren't any problems at all. Apparently, according to what Hatsume had told Midoriya, the smoke from this particular...baby was super toxic for some convoluted reason, so the school had to shut down for the rest of the day and all of the next in order to clean the air.

“SO NO SCHOOL!?!” Kaminari and Ashido screamed in excitement while Kirishima himself couldn't help the toothy smile that spread across his face.

Midoriya seemed mostly unfazed by the volume, probably well versed in loud noises in close proximity after so many years. “I guess so. I'm sad that we'll miss a day of hero training with Aizawa-sensei, but a day off to study and maybe hang out with friends seems like a relatively fair trade.”

“Wow, you're sad that there's no classes?” Kaminari laughed. “You really are a nerd! Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm pretty sure that if the word nerd is in the dictionary, your name is the definition.”

Midoriya laughed out loud, his smile blinding. “I guess you're right!”

It would be a moment later that the rest of Class 1-A made their way to the common room to grab some lunch, Midoriya gravitating towards his usual friend group before they made their way upstairs, likely to either Uraraka's or Todoroki's room to hang out, and perhaps study for next week's test. While Kaminari, Mineta, Sero, and Jirou were playing a fighting game, Kouda and Rikidou went to making cupcakes in the kitchen with Yaoyorozu joining them “for the experience” while Shouji, Tokoyami, Ojiro, and Hagakure chatted about whatever they were chatting about and Aoyama posed and stared off at nothing.

“What'cha doin'?” Ashido suddenly appeared at Kirishima's side as he sat comfortably in the common room and Kaminari won another round of whichever game they were playing.

“Waiting for a turn, I guess.” Kirishima chuckled, getting a look at the screen and catching a glimpse of the new Smash Bros. Game. Yeah, he'd definitely need to take a crack at that.

With a hum from Ashido, the two middle school friends sat in comfortable silence, the noontime sun flooding through the open windows of the common room and leaving a pleasant glow. Ashido let out an amused squeal as Jirou seemed to finally get a hang of the game, being taken out second instead of dying almost immediately, and she seemed to really be getting into it, as well. Mineta was improving as well, outliving poor Sero who'd been left in the dust that round. He didn't look pleased.

“Welp, there goes my second place streak.” he mumbled as Kaminari's character ruthlessly destroyed Mineta's, the grape boy letting out a groan of disappointment. He'd been so close.

“And the champion remains victorious!” Kaminari exclaimed happily, his face practically glowing. Jirou only rolled her eyes in response.

“Yeah, that's enough of dealing with Jamming-yey's s*** for me. I promised my parents that I'd skype them today, so I'm gonna go do that.”

“Aw, come on, Jirou!” Kaminari whined. “Don't leave yet.”

“Yeah!” Mineta followed. “You haven't played any of the hot chi-!”

“I will actually give you cardiac arrest.”

He shut up real quick.

“Yo, be nice to Jirou.” Kaminari silently shot at him while Jirou headed towards the exit.

“It's almost one in the afternoon.” she mused. “Now's as good a time as any. I'll see you guys around.”

“Wait, what time is it!?” Mineta shrieked, looking at his phone. “Uwabami's having a live streamed interview! I'll see you guys later!”

With that, he ran passed Jirou as she was leaving, earning a huff from her in response as they both disappeared. By this point, everyone else had left as well, Rikidou leaving the cupcakes to cool before following after the others, leaving just the four of them to their own in the common room. Kirishima and Ashido had both happily jumped at the chance to play the game with the other two boys, though even with all of their efforts combined, they were no match for Kaminari's sheer skill.

“What can I say?” he'd asked smugly. “I gotta be good at something, and man, video games are my thing!”

It would be around this time that Blasty would finally make an appearance. Kirishima remembered him saying that he was going to 'actually be productive unlike the majority of you f***s' and go work out in the gym for a while, but he must have recently showered as well because he looked soaked and red-faced. He took one look at the screen and snorted.

“All four of you play Smash?”

“Duh!” Kirishima answered easily. “Don't you?”

“Hero s***'s more important.” Bakugou responded, dropping onto a chair and watching the four of them struggle on the Metroid level.

“THE LAVA AGAIN!!” Ashido screamed as her character flew off the screen and took her last life with them. She slid off the couch dramatically, a look of despair painting her face. Distracted for that moment, Kirishima's character was dead a moment later.

“No chill from Kaminari once again.” Kirishima chuckled as said electricity quirk user and the human tape dispenser went head to head for what was probably the thirtieth time that day.

“Have you considered, you know, dodging or blocking, Weird Hair?” Bakugou huffed. “I know dodging is a revolutionary concept for you, but blocking is literally your thing.”

“I can make it through with just offense.” Kirishima answered sheepishly, the sound of his voice being drowned out by Kaminari's screaming after barely taking victory after a sudden death match.

“Hmm. Clearly.”

“Shut up.”

“Hey, Kacchan!” Kaminari yelled, earning a harsh glare from said blonde. “If you're so good at everything, then you should play, too!”

“Please, kick his a**.” Sero pleaded, still recovering from coming so close to winning before swiftly having his dreams crushed before his very eyes.

“Yeah, you should play!” Ashido shouted happily. “Here! You can have my controller!”

Kirishima laughed. “I was gonna offer mine, but I guess she beat me to it.”

“Nope, I'm done.” Sero said, standing suddenly and throwing his controller onto the couch. “He can have mine. I don't wanna play anymore.”

“What a sore loser.” Kaminari said smugly, puffing out his chest and flexing.

Bakugou gave him a deadpan look before pulling himself up. “Fine, if you insist on getting your a** kicked across Japan and back again.”

Kirishima and Ashido gave twin cheers of joy while Kaminari's face hardened with determination, immediately choosing Pikachu and preparing for the face of his life. “All my life has been leading up to this moment.”

“Of f***ing course you main Pikachu.” Bakugou snorted. He then glanced at Ashido. “And I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that you main Ridley, and you main him solely because of the name.”

“Uh, maybe.

With that, Bakugou and Kirishima chose their characters(Captain Falcon and Kirby respectively), and the battle began.

It was an instant massacre.

Sero rolled off of the couch in a fit of laughter that left him breathless as Kaminari stared in shock at his lack of lives. Bakugou had decided to be an a**hole and specifically focus on him, taking him out terrifyingly quickly. Ashido and Kirishima didn't fair any better, but they were still laughing with mirth along with Sero as Kaminari allowed himself to simply just fall off of the couch in a heap.

“Argh. I doth hath been slain-eth. Bleh...”

Bakugou looked over at Sero and gave a menacing grin. “I kicked his a**.”

“You're the best, man.”

Kirishima was beaming, looking among his friends and feeling his heart swell with happiness. Another reason to love this impromptu break are the possibilities for moments like these. Moments where it's just him and his four best friends screwing around playing games and having a good time. Kaminari was still sulking, literally rolling away to the corner of the room while Sero laughed hysterically at him. In the meantime, Ashido was screaming incoherently with a level of enthusiasm that only she could muster.

And Bakugou was oddly quiet, watching all of them as if he were scrutinizing their every movement and expression. For some reason, his face was still red, and for a second, he thought he might have a fever or something.

But the color had left while they were playing, so he had absolutely no idea what was causing the change in color.

“Hey, Dynamite,” Ashido mused. “You're face is matching Kiri's hair, there. Are you okay?”

Bakugou looked pointedly away from the pinkette, his brows furrowed and cheeks puffed out in a strange mixture of pouting and embarrassment. Anyone else and he might admit to them that it was adorable, but even his defenses only lasted for so long and despite popular belief, he did have some level of self-preservation.

“Is there a reason you look like a toddler who just got put in time out?” Sero chuckled, earning a dangerous sneer. Somewhere in the corner of the room, Kaminari's head popped back up.

Bakugou wouldn't look at any on them, his cheeks flaming red and eyes darting everywhere except for their eyes, and he clasped his sweaty hands together, probably to try and avoid any unnecessary damage. He looked down at his hands and cursed.

“Why is this so f***ing hard?” he muttered heatedly.

“Why is what so hard?” Ashido asked with curiosity. “Is something wrong?”

“No.” he responded, and it was clear and steady enough that Kirishima believed him. “I just... f***.”

He stood up, pacing in circles and rubbing at his face to try and calm himself. “I wanna ask a f***ing question. That's it. This is so stupid!”

“Alright, breathe, man. Breathe.” Sero said calmly.

“You can ask of anything!” Kirishima stressed, almost leaning forward in his seat in anticipation of what this might be about.

With a huff, Bakugou stuffed his hands into his pockets, his shoulders up to his ears and eyes locked onto his shoes. “...Okay. This is what I came down here to say in the first place, so you all better f***ing listen!”

He squeeze his eyes shut and scratched violently at his scalp. “So..., there's this place a bit further into City A... A family-owned diner. My parents and I would go there a lot when I was younger, because the owners are good friends of my old man's, so they gave us a lot of discounts. Their food is really good and I learned a lot from them-. F***, anyway, they invited me to come by again sometime and I was planning to go there, and I, well, I was...I F***ING-!

He nearly kicked over the coffee table, but barely stopped himself, starting to pace again as his face burned with extreme embarrassment. He suddenly stopped with a loud stomp.

“Do you f***ers want to come with me or not? My... D***it, I guess it's my f***ing treat or whatever.”

The four teens were left in absolute silence, staring at their ill-tempered friend in stunned stupors. After a beat, Bakugou growled. “Look, if you're not interested, you can just say so-.”

NONONONONO!!! ” Ashido suddenly screeched, all four boys wincing at the volume. “I don't know about them, but I'm going! Are you kidding me?! That sounds amazing!”

Kirishima was the next to recover, a huge grin taking over his face. “Yeah! I wanna go! Thanks, man!”

“Will we be back in time for cupcakes?” Kaminari asked.

“Kouda and Rikidou will save some for us.” Sero reassured. “Besides, we were just offered a pretty bomba** meal from the sounds of it. I'm in.”

“In that case, yeah, free food!”

Kaminari, Sero, and Ashido began rambling at each other excitedly at such insane speeds that Kirishima couldn't even hope to understand. Kirishima could only shake his head in amusement as he stood up to stand by his best friend.

“You know, you don't have to force yourself to do this sort of stuff.” he said fondly.

Bakugou only glowered at him. “I'm not, you f***ing a**hole. I wanted to invite you.”

Warmth blossomed in Kirishima's gut and even he feel how his smile was challenging the sunlight still streaming through the windows. “In that case, thanks man! I think I'm speaking for all of us when I say that we're super hyped now!”

With that, the four of them scrambled off to change out of their pajamas(Kirishima would happily go out in sweats, but Blasty would throw a hissy fit) and into nicer casual wear. Sadly, Kirishima's crocs were still taped to the ceiling, so he had to wear 'nice' shoes. While he and Sero were satisfied with nice tee shirts, Kaminari and Ashido felt like that had to dress to impress, Kaminari sporting a leather jacket and Ashido in a skintight bared-shouldered sweater dress with leggings and boots to match. Apparently she'd just gotten the outfit and just had to wear it for this little adventure, and though Kirishima knew jacks*** about fashion, he listened diligently nonetheless as she went from her shopping trip with the girls to get said outfit to how it isn't fair that Dynamite can literally make any outfit work, fashion industry parents be d***ed.

And with a quick message to Aizawa, who was surprisingly chill about it, off they went, gallivanting into the city and off to this diner that was apparently the best out there, because if Bakugou said it was good, it had to be good .

They walked for a while, passing through the city and observing their surroundings. It was a nice day, not too hot and not too cold, so it was kind of crowded. As much as Kirishima liked people, he'd prefer it if he and Bakugou didn't have to be so careful about showing their faces in public. Even now, though more so for Bakugou, people were recognizing them more and more and it would just be better for everyone if they just went unnoticed.

Eventually, they came to a small, but fancy foreign diner. It stood out fairly well among the bustling city, yet it was comfortably empty.

“Indian, huh?” Kaminari mused. “Why am I not surprised?”

“The owner is Japanese, but his wife's from somewhere in India. Don't remember where.” Bakugou explained. “He lived there for a while and that's where they met. I think they went to culinary school together.”

“That's so cute!” Ashido squealed. “How does your dad know 'em?”

“Don't know. Never cared enough to ask.”

“'Course.” Sero snorted.

It was a really nice diner with simple furniture and wooden decor. Kirishima might even call it homey. It was pretty empty considering how active the city was, so they practically had the place to themselves. Bakugou confidently made his way to the counter, Kirishima and the others easily falling in step behind them. From there, they could see an old, stout woman of a darker complexion and beautiful black hair in the kitchen working with a pan that was literally on fire. Kirishima could feel the heat from here.

“Oi, Mrs. Shinta.” Blasty called, knocking on the counter with his knuckles. Kaminari and Sero were both letting out soft snerks, probably from Bakugou using such a polite title.

The woman's head shot up, gasping excitedly at the shock of pale blonde hair. “Katsuki!” she exclaimed in a thick accent. “It's been so long! My, you've grown! How have you been?”

“Hm, doin' alright.” he answered nonchalantly as he dodged her attempts to hug him. She only giggled, as if she'd almost been expecting that.

“Well, look who decided to show up.” a voice called out, an tall, old Japanese man appearing from a stairway. Though his hair still had color, it was receding in the front. He adjusted his glasses as he looked the boy over with a smirk. “Good to see you're still alive, kid.”

Bakugou responded with a tch, sidestepping when Mrs. Shinta made another attempt at hugging him. She remained undeterred. “So, how is school going, Katsuki? Are you and that Midoriya boy getting along any better?”

Bakugou glowered at nothing. “We...don't hate each other.”

“That's progress.” Mr. Shinta commented. “Good for you.”

“Shut up, jacka**.”

“Glad to see you haven't changed too much.” Mr. Shinta chuckled. “I don't know how your father hasn't dropped dead from dealing with you and your mother's antics.”

Bakugou spat out a few more curses before Mrs. Shinta returned to the counter. “So, table for one?”

“Oh.” Bakugou suddenly looked flustered, looking back at Kirishima and the others for a moment. “Um, no. Five. They're with me.”

The couple stared at the four of them with eyes the size of saucers for a comically long time. Kirishima felt his own face heat up as he pulled at the collar of his shirt. “Uh, hi there.”

Mrs. Shinta started shrieking like a fan girl, causing them all and any nearby customers to jump. “ YOU MADE REAL FRIENDS!?

Dear lord.

“Well, isn't this a plot twist?” Mr. Shinta laughed, stepping forward. “I'm Shinta Takushi, co-owner of this fine establishment. And you would be?”

“Kirishima Eijiro.” Kirishima was quick to respond, bowing in his direction. “It's nice to meet you.”

“They're nice kids...” Mrs. Shinta was tearing up.

“I'm Ashido Mina, and I'm our squad's girl power!”

“Sero Hanta. Local common sense.”

Lies! ” Kaminari shouted before turning back to the old couple and struck a pose. “I'm Kaminari Denki, the cool guy and ladies man of the group, and together we make up U.A. infamous Bakusquad!”

“I did not agreed to that!” Bakugou shouted, Kaminari only spitting a razzberry in response. Mr. Shinta was nearly hacking up a lung from laughing so hard.

“So five, then!” Mrs. Shinta exclaimed in excitement. “I'll go set up a table upstairs! You can come with me, if you want!”

With that she ran off, Ashido and Kaminari happily taking off after her. Sero gave Bakugou a knowing look. “I'll go, too, 'cause you know, common sense.”

Sero walked off after them, wincing at the sound of something breaking as he climbed the stairs. Mr. Shinta rummaged around under the counter while Bakugou fumbled with his phone and Kirishima stood idly by.

“So, how're you doing, kid?”

Kirishima watched as Bakugou's movements slowed down for a moment before he went back to whatever he was doing and put his phone away. “'M fine.”

“Kid.” Mr. Shinta reappeared from under the counter and fiddled with the cash register. “How're you doing? Are you really okay?”

Bakugou glared at the counter, refusing to look the man in the eye. Kirishima may not ever remember hearing about this man in conversation, but there was a lot about Bakugou that he didn't know, and he could safely say that there was a connection here.

He also knew where this was going, vivid images of the summer camp and Kamino Ward appearing in his mind's eye.

Bakugou took a deep breath, pausing for a long, tense moment before looking the man in the eye. “Yeah. Yeah, I'm okay.”

Mr. Shinta watched him for a moment longer before his shoulders seemed to relax. “You really scared us, kid.”

“Yeah, I figured.”

“What? No apology?”

“Wasn't my choice.”

“Heh. You got me there.”

Mr. Shinta smiled. “Glad they were able to get you out of there.”

Bakugou snorted. “Yeah. That was all this guy.”

Kirishima jolted at the sudden recognition as Bakugou continued on. “He, De-, Midoriya , and three other classmates decided to be a bunch of reckless f***ing idiots and went against the rules to join the raid. He orchestrated it, though.” The explosive teen smacked Kirishima over the head, though he barely noticed in his astonishment. “They're the reason I escaped mostly unscathed.”

Before Kirishima could even think to try and respond, there was a huge crash upstairs, Bakugou letting out a loud groan. “F***ing h***. Common sense, my a**.”

Bakugou ran up the stairs after his moronic friends as strings of apologies floated down from the upper floor. Kirishima wobbled his way after him, stumbling across the floor towards the staircase and grabbing at the railing, but was stopped by Mr. Shinta grabbing his shoulders. The man looked him in the eye with the softest look he'd ever seen in his life.

“Thank you.”

Kirishima had never felt euphoria like this in his life.

He would remember that day, sitting with his friends at a table and laughing about the most random s***. Even the meal itself was an adventure.

“We just got a shipment of Caroline reapers!” Mrs. Shinta announced happily.

“For real?” Bakugou asked with a little too much excitement. “Well s***, Phaal curry for me, then.”

“Coming right up. Honey, get the gas mask!”

“It's that hot?” Kaminari had asked. Kirishima and Sero had both shuddered at the manic grin that Bakugou had sent him.

Of course, the electric quirk user would figure it out later when their meals had arrived and he still tried it. The poor guy nearly short circuited instantly.

“That's what you get!” Bakugou laughed maniacally. “Stay out of my food, dumba**!”

Sero and Ashido were both laughing along while Kirishima merely shook his head. Ashido stuffed a piece of chicken in her mouth. “And what about us, Blasty?”

“What do you mean, 'what about us'? Keep your filthy hands out of my food, you vultures! I don't need to live every day of my life with the threat of being raided by the four horsemen of the idiot-pocalypse!”

Idiot-pocalypse! ” Ashido wheezed, nearly falling out of her seat.

“The four horsemen of what?” Sero asked in amused disbelief.

“You f***ing heard me. The four horsemen of the idiot-pocalypse. Weird, fails, pestering, and dank memes.”

It was instantaneous. All four of them were immediately on the floor, wheezing and hacking in their attempts to get air back into their lungs while Bakugou smirked at all of them and contently took a bite of his curry.

Kirishima barely pulled himself off of the floor and against the table. His words were constantly interrupted with giggling, but were clear nonetheless. “And out of the fire rose a beast, the Beast Explosion Murder, and its number is 420.

Now, all of them had heard him laugh at least once, whether it be a casual chuckle at a passing comment or the odd chuckle at one of their stupid jokes. However, none of them had heard him absolutely lose it. None of them had seen him struggle for air from laughing so hard like the rest of them have dozens of times. So, to say that this was a powerful bonding moment for them would be an understatement in Kirishima's opinion. It was like a new level had been reached, all five of them around a table laughing hysterically and leaving each other blue in the face and feeling just a little bit lighter.

Yes, Kirishima was pretty sure that this was one of the best days of his entire life.

Afterward, when the group was full and happy, once they were paid for and clear to leave after a few goodbyes, once they'd wandered back into the common room in the late afternoon, the entire class present had to do a double take at the sight of Bakugou with the closest thing that they'd seen to a genuine smile on his face they'd ever seen while joking with his four closest friends.

And when they'd all packed into Ashido's room later that night with their cupcakes to watch stupid movies and talk about hero stuff and perhaps act like a group of normal teenagers for once in their lives, Kirishima couldn't be more content.

His best friend was happy. He truly couldn't be more content.

Chapter Text

Jirou

Now, Kaminari likes to think of himself as an understanding and level-headed person. It's sociability 101. In order to stay on good terms with a person, you gotta be nice, listen to their side of the story, and not lose your cool. He, Ashido, Kirishima, and Sero had all mastered this, 'cause if you're gonna be friends with someone like Bakugou, you gotta balance it out. That and he had to be smart about something.

However, right now, Kaminari could safely say that Ashido would have absolutely pimp slapped the s*** out of this b**** by now if she was here and he was getting really close to doing so for her.

The head b**** laughed like a stoned hyena, the two others joining her as Jirou nonchalantly turned back to her locker and resolutely ignored them. From what he remembered, these girls were from one of the business classes, but he'd avoided them rather than flirted, because he really didn't want to deal with that sort of thing.

He'd also prefer it if they didn't talk to Jirou like that, because she was a million times cooler than them.

“Aw, did we hurt the little hero's feelings?” One of them cooed, though Jirou made no move to dignify them with a response.

“Don't ignore us, b****.” the leader warned spinning Jirou around and looking her in the eye. Kaminari was impressed that she didn't react to the intense glare that was aimed at her. “We're in the business classes. We're the ones that make you rich.”

“Wow, you missed the point.” Jirou laughed. “If I'd wanted to be rich, I'd have followed in my parents footsteps. You know, as famous musicians. What do you have?”

“B****, my parents are multimillionaires.”

“And my best friend's parents are multitrillionaires. Anything else?”

Kaminari was snickering to the side as all three of their faces went red. Jirou smirked. “Also, I could kick your a**es to the moon and back if I wanted to, so I don't know why you're even here.”

That's when the leader made the mistake of losing her temper, grabbing Jirou by her hair and slamming her head against the locker. Jirou didn't look hurt, only confused as to why they'd even try, but Kaminari felt his blood pressure spike and electricity crackled between his fingers, because how dare they. Jirou was so much better than any of them, and it didn't matter whether or not she could handle it. She didn't deserve this.

Kaminari was about to surge forward and knock the ever living daylights out of them when he felt a warm hand pressed against his shoulder, pulling him back from electrocuting any of Jirou's attackers and stepping forward themselves.

The girl who had her hand in Jirou's hair was suddenly yanked away, her own head slammed violently against the next door locker with a resounding bang. The other two girls jumped, their faces turning pale with fear.

“You feel that?” Bakugou snarled. “That's how you properly shove someone's head against a locker. Trust me. I've had a lot of practice.”

He tightened his grip, applying more pressure. “See? I'm even holding back. Isn't that f***ing nice of me?”

Kaminari couldn't help the surge of satisfaction as the other two girls slowly backed away, looking about ready to soil themselves. The leader flailed uselessly. “S***head! I'm telling!”

“What are you, five?” he growled, but he released her nonetheless, practically throwing her into her posse and sending them a vicious, malevolent grin. “Go ahead. See what happens.”

With that, the three brats scampered off, screaming something about revenge that they all knew either wouldn't happen or would fail miserably, so with a scoff, Bakugou turned away.

“Feel free to kick some b****a** next time, Earlobes. We both know you can.”

As he disappeared into the classroom doorway, Iida yelling something that none of them could quite comprehend, Kaminari smiled to Jirou. “I didn't know Blasty was that cool with you. Congrats, man.”

Jirou was quiet for a moment, an eyebrow raised and a look of genuine surprise in her eyes. “Huh.”


Tokoyami

In Toshinori's defense, this wasn't his fault.

It had been a normal training exercise for their heroics class, giving the students a break and leaning today's lesson towards offense rather than the usual rescue. Considering how much they'd all been dealing with due to his retirement, even a small gesture such as this seemed to lighten their spirits, and for that, he was grateful.

In order to focus on proper training instead of a couple students taking over the whole field just with their match, the class was split up in groups of five, mostly with the goal of keeping the three class powerhouses separated.

It had been going fantastic, with many genius moves coming from students across the board, when the power had suddenly gone out.

He wasn't above admitting that he'd been startled by the sudden loud noise and the lights instantly switching off, plunging the indoor arena into darkness. Several students screamed in their surprise, while others had gone eerily quiet, as if they were expecting something to go horribly wrong.

“All Might?” Midoriya spoke up beside him, green flashes of energy creating a soft glow and illuminating his body. “What just happened? Is everything alright?”

Toshinori grimaced. “I'm not sure what's wrong, Young Midoriya, but everything should fine.”

And he meant that. He really did, but something was bothering him. It wasn't a villain attack or anything that might insinuate mass panic, but there was a small feeling in the pit of his stomach, telling him that there was something he was missing, and something important that needed his attention.

That feeling grew and suddenly, he was snapping his eyes in the direction of Bakugou's corner. Hagakure and Yaoyorozu let out twin shrieks of terror a moment later while Shouji yelled for everyone to stay clear of that area as a terrifying sound reverberated from that side of the room.

“Tokoyami's over there...” Midoriya mumbled in disbelief, his face looking pale against the soft light of OFA. “Dark Shadow must have gone out of control!”

Todoroki was on the other side of the arena, his fire burning insanely bright at his side. He wasn't nearly close enough to be of much help, but it was enough to make out Dark Shadow's writhing form in the darkness. Midoriya's teeth were grinding together as sweat dripped from his face.

“I have to do something.” he breathed, crouching down and preparing to launch himself into the dark mass.

STOP HIM.

“Wait!” Toshinori shouted, grabbing onto the boy's shoulder, stopping him in his tracks. “Stay here for a moment. There are other students better equipped to handle this situation.”

Midoriya spun around to face him, his eyes pleading. “But Tokoyami's in trouble! Maybe Yaoyorozu could create of spotlight, or Hagakure could refract the light of Todoroki's fire, or Aoyama could even-.”

“EVERYBODY BACK THE F*** UP!!!

Three pairs of feet scattering and the sound of two pins being dropped simultaneously were everyone's only warning before an earth-shattering boom left everyone momentarily deaf. The light from the bracers twin explosions was near blinding, Dark Shadow screaming and flailing before retreating into itself to escape the powerful light and heat.

And then it was quiet again. Toshinori released Midoriya's shoulder, allowing him to leap away and check on his friend while Toshinori had to chase after him the long way.

He would be halfway across the field when the lights come back on, Tokoyami curled into himself with Midoriya and Shouji on either side comforting him.

“Bird Brain,” Young Bakugou called out as he was walking away. “Not saying it's your fault, but f***ing keep it together next time, will ya?”

After a beat of silence, there was a slow, shaky exhale. “I will see to that.”

It was the most at ease that Toshinori had felt since the beginning of class.


Rikidou 

Kirishima stumbled into the common room with a grimace, his back flaring up with a dull but effective pain that had him flopping face first into a couch with a groan.

The villain had been a powerful one with a strength enhancing quirk that gave them a lot of grief. He'd also been a calculating one rather than a brute, leading to a lot of problems. He and his two buddies had been terrifying good with teamwork, so the only way that class 1-A stood a chance was to separated the three of them and take them on in teams.

Of course, they'd all been separated from their teachers even before then, which didn't help matters. The only reason that it didn't cause the school problems was because they'd all had their licenses by this point and they couldn't be stopped legally.

They'd been thrown for quite a bit, but thankfully, through sheer numbers and tenacity, they'd won the day once again.

Now, after taking several direct hits from the guy, Kirishima felt like he was going to implode.

In the kitchen, Kirishima could hear crashing and banging as someone worked tirelessly inside, though the clattering didn't sound too good. A frying pan rolled out, Rikidou running over and quickly picking it up with a huff.

“You okay, man?” Kirishima asked as Rikidou ran back into the kitchen.

There was a loud huff from the kitchen. “Sorry! I was just trying to make everyone a meal after what happened and it isn't going to well.”

“Oh really? Wow, that's real nice of you, man! What'cha making?”

Rikidou reappeared, wiping his forehead. “I was trying to make breakfast for dinner. I was making an array of different kinds of pancakes, eggs, and meats, but I only really know what I'm doing with pancakes. They're coming out great. Everything else...”

There was smoke coming out of the kitchen, Rikidou running in and spraying something with a fire extinguisher as Kirishima tried not to laugh out of fear of hurting his feelings.

“The h*** is all this racket?” Bakugou entered the room and immediately chucked an ice pack at Kirishima's face, who took the hit easily and contently placed it on his back.

“Rikidou wanted to make breakfast for dinner for everyone and is having some trouble.” Kirishima chuckled as Rikidou yelled something incoherently from the kitchen.

“What the f*** is he trying to make in there. It looks like he opened the gates of hell.”

“Eggs!” Rikidou yelled in response.

Bakugou looked extremely incredulous. “What?”

Rikidou's head appeared in the doorway. “Hey, gourmet eggs and bacon are harder than it looks!”

The blonde looked like he wanted to slam his head into a wall with the way he was looking at him. He probably did. “Move.”

“What?”

“F***ing move.” Bakugou repeated, shoving passed him and into the kitchen. “The f*** is this s***!? I thought you could cook!”

“No, I can bake. There's a difference.”

There was a beat of silence. “...Yeah, fair point.”

There was more crashing and yelps from Rikidou as Bakugou ordered him to 'focus on his pancake party since it's the only thing he seems to be doing right'. Kirishima lost track of time after that, but before he knew it, the sun was setting and the rest of class 1-A was wandering downstairs with groans of pain and exhaustion. However, the glorious smell wafting through seemed to immediately lift their spirits.

There was a feast waiting for them, with every kind of pancake you could think of, blueberry, chocolate chip, strawberry, cinnamon, blackberry, and all sorts of interesting combinations that most of them hadn't even heard of, with some french toast on the side. Along with it were, scrambled and fried eggs, done easy and medium, sunny side up and down, gourmet omelets with peppers and onion, bacon and sausages, and even small skillets for everyone to share.

It was a feast made for royalty, and suddenly, Kirishima was hungrier than he ever remembered being in his life.

Probably due to exhaustion, nobody noticed when Rikidou saved some extra french toast and cinnamon pancakes for Bakugou to hoard for himself. Neither did said blonde complain about it.


Uraraka

In all honesty, Ashido felt bad.

Another day of hero training and another day of sparring matches. Ashido had been doing particularly well today and she couldn't help but pat herself on the back for lasting long enough in the ring with Tokoyami to call it a tie and being able to stay solid minute against Bakugou. He'd even complimented her, so today really was a good day.

At least for her.

Walking back to the dorms, Uraraka looked ready to sock the next person who tried to talk to her. Ashido could practically see the steam flying out of her ears as she kicked the door down and stomped to her room. At first, Ashido had been confused, but the more she thought about it, the more it made sense.

In all of her sparring matches, her opponent hadn't gone all out. First was Rikidou, who wouldn't hit her at full strength and ended up getting launched out of the ring. The same thing happened with Shouji, and Uraraka won once again. She was sweating from giving it her all and red from growing frustration as the same pattern continued with every opponent.

She completely snapped with Midoriya.

The poor kid probably doesn't even realize what he did, but when Uraraka realized that he wasn't going all in, she straight up rage quit, grades be d***ed, and stomped off, probably to avoid saying something that she would regret.

Now it was evening, and Uraraka had reappeared for the first time since then a little bit calmer but still clearly upset. She grabbed a bottle of some drink and chugged it, throwing it into the trashcan before taking another and turning around to storm back out.

“Uraraka!” The brunette nearly spat liquid all over herself at Bakugou's sudden appearance, glaring at her as she rubbed her face clean. She easily met his gaze, probably not in the mood to deal with anyone's bulls*** at the moment.

“You, me, gym. Now.”

Uraraka seemed to perk up at this, blinking in confusion before putting two and two together. Ashido couldn't help the smile that spread across her face and Uraraka's eyes lit up, her face glowing with anticipation.

“Oh! Okay, okay, just let me get my work out! I'll meet you there! Five minutes tops, I promise!”

Bakugou didn't seem impressed, but didn't say anything further, simply grunting and making his exit while Uraraka immediately ran back up the stairs. It would be about four minutes later that the girl would nearly fall down the stairs in her rush, sprinting passed other classmates milling about and practically tripping out the door.

And from there, Ashido didn't hear anything from either of them for a few hours, while playing board games with the other girls and Kirishima.

It would be late when Yaoyorozu let out a loud gasp. “Uraraka, are you okay?!”

Said zero gravity quirk user had wandered back into the common room covered head to toe with burns and bruises. There was soot in her disheveled hair and her jacket was completely singed. A light trickle of blood was dripping down the side of her face and she had a both a split lip and a black eye.

And she was grinning from ear to ear.

“I'm doing great!” she cheered with genuine cheeriness. “I even learned some new moves! By the way, do any of you guys know where Deku is right now? I need to talk to him about something.”

“Dorm room.” Asui replied without question.

With a quick thanks, she practically skipped out of the room, humming something as she went, and Ashido and Kirishima gave each other happy, knowing looks.

“I'm glad he's making more friends.” Kirishima chuckled.

“Yeah,” Ashido smiled back. “Me too.”


Aizawa

Aizawa's about ready to smack the kid.

Today had been a rough day, with constant parent complaints, dealing with property damage, and a severe lack of sleep. Mic had been doing his best to not scream in his ear today, but it didn't seem to help much. Not even the excess amount of coffee he was downing was helping him much.

So the moment the last class ended, Aizawa was a little more excited than usual to just get home, get some more caffeine, get a bunch of super comfy blankets, and just curl up somewhere to hibernate.

Of course, he walks out of the teachers lounge only to be met with explosive problem child.

The underground hero scrutinized the kid, noticing how antsy and uncomfortable he seemed to be, but he still stood his ground, blocking both Aizawa and Mic's exit.

After a tense stare down, Aizawa huffed. “Bakugou, if you have nothing to say, then please move.” he'd sounded a little bit snappier than he'd meant, but he was really tired. Present Mic simply put his hand on his shoulder to keep him calm.

Bakugou shoved his hands in his pockets, glaring holes into his shoes. “I-... I need you to wait.”

“Excuse me?”

“Just f***ing wait here for a moment. Just a couple minutes, tops.”

“Bakugou, you aren't making any sense and I've been feeling unnecessarily impatient today.” Aizawa said coolly, rubbing at his temples. “Please explain yourself, because I know you don't just do things without reasons.”

Bakugou growled. “I don't-. I f***ing-. Just wait, okay?”

This would go on for five solid minutes, Aizawa and Bakugou verbally running circles around each other as Aizawa tried to understand his reason for being there and Bakugou refusing to answer him directly.

And then, with one glance at the clock, his body relaxed. “Nevermind.”

“What?”

“It's nothing.” And he just walked away. Aizawa had never been this confused and weirdly concerned in his life, because he had absolutely no clue what the f*** just happened.

“Maybe you can talk to him about it tomorrow?” Mic reasoned.

“I suppose.” Aizawa huffed, thankful to finally make his way back home.

Of course, he'd be seeing him again that night, because he had to return to the dorms shortly after.

They were just turning onto the highway when they'd spotted heavy traffic. On the radio, there was news of a horrendous accident that had taken place a long ways down the road, so the traffic would probably not let up for a while, several heroes were already on the scene and not requesting back up, with eight confirmed deaths and several casualties.

They took a different route and drove back to the school in complete silence, all the way until they reached the gates and Present Mic released a heavy sigh.

“If we left eariler...”

“I know.”

Entering the dorms, the common room was empty except for one lone figure. A familiar mess of ash blonde appeared from on the couch, staring at him intently before slowly stretching like a well rested cat and standing to leave.

“Kid.”

Bakugou stopped, watching Aizawa as he let out a sigh and ran a hand through his hair. “What was that?”

Bakugou's brows furrowed as he looked away, staring at nothing for a moment too long before turning back. “Ask All Might. He knows more than me.”

Aizawa simply watched as the kid disappeared from sight, shaking his head as he himself went to find his own spare room.

Yeah, he'd definitely have to talk to Toshinori about that.


Utsushimi and Yoarashi

“So, you actually drink black coffee?”

Bakugou glared at Sero dangerously before going back to his drink. “Black as my soul.”

Sero could barely contain his laughter when Kaminari nearly choked on his latte in response, Jirou patting him on the back.

It must have been an interesting sight, seeing all twenty of them stuffed in one of City A's Herobucks coffee shops and just generally having a good time. It had been the girls' idea, taking everyone out to just hang. Not like usual, when they all split up and went their separate ways. All of them, altogether, making a scene.

Sero had to agree with Ashido. It was the best idea, and the worst idea.

“So,” Sero started. “What movine are we going to see again?”

Ashido shrugged. “Don't remember. It looked really bad, though.”

“Yay, dumb horror movies are manly!” Kirishima laughed.

“Of course you'd say that.” Kaminari chuckled, taking a straw and trying to steal from jirou's mocha. It didn't end well.

“Duh.” Bakugou responded. “Who doesn't like making fun of bad horror films?”

Ashido suddenly leaped up onto her chair, startling a few nearby people. “AN OUNCE OF HUMANITY STILL EXISTS WITHIN HIM!!!”

“Back off, Horns.”

A wave on laughter erupted from the other side of room, Iida shouting something and Midoriya rambling some incoherent nonsense, while other customers gave them all odd looks. Outside, Aizawa looked like he legitimately wanted to just keel over and die while Present Mic laughed about something else entirely while slapping the poor man on the back.

As Sero turned to take another sip of his fruit drink, two figures wandering by caught his eye. They looked familiar, an extremely tall and built guy and a busty girl with a stoned expression. After thinking about it for a moment, it suddenly dawned on Sero just who he was looking at. Or at least, he recognized the girl.

“Hey, Blasty,” he said, tapping on Bakugou's shoulder. Red eyes landed on him and he pointed a thumb out the window. “Ain't that your lady friend from Shiketsu?”

With a raised eyebrow, Bakugou looked where he was pointing, his eyes slightly widening in recognition. “The h*** are they doing here?”

He stood up, squeezing by the others and slipping out the door. After a quick word with Aizawa, he approached them.

“What's Bakugou doing?” Jirou asked, leaning over a fried Kaminari.

“He knows them both, I guess.” Sero answered, scratching his head.

And apparently he knew them well, because as soon as the girl saw him, her face lit up. Without hesitation, she practically body slammed him, earning what looked like a string of curses and death threats as he stumbled back from her momentum. A moment later, the big guy had approached him with a face bright enough to rival the girl's, slapping him on the back as soon as she let go with enough power to have him nearly hacking up a lung. Sero heard Jirou and Ashido laughing hysterically.

A moment later, Bakugou reappeared inside, the two visitors following him. “Oi, Half n' Half!”

Todoroki's head appeared above the crowd, his eyes widening at the sight of the new arrivals while said people seemed to light up all over again at the sight of him.

“It's good to see you, Todoroki!” the big guy practically yelled, while the girl winked at him.

“Alright, Candy Cane, here's what's going on.” Bakugou stated, the girl choking at 'Candy Cane'. “Camie and Baldy were with some of their classmates from Shiketsu, who ended up ditching them like a bunch of a**holes, so now they're coming with us to that stupid movie, got it?”

Todoroki nodded along easily. “Sure.”

“Well, they seem friendly.” Kirishima commented with a smile.

“Dude, it's the hot chick from the exam!” Kaminari suddenly exclaimed after coming to his senses, immediately being smacked by Jirou.

“Yeah, and it looks like she's friends with Blasty, 'cause he invited her and the big guy to hang out.”

“Oh, sweet!”

“It is sweet!” Ashido cooed. “And Dynamite's even making friends outside of our class! Isn't that exciting!?”

Sero had to smile at that. “Yeah, I guess he is. Wonders never cease.”


Todoroki

It was surprisingly difficult to keep the volume down when he really wanted to stomp down the halls with enough force to break his foot through the floor. Suddenly, he kind of understand why Bakugou was so loud.

Taking a deep breath, Todoroki stepped through the elevator, jamming his thumb onto the floor button and leaning against the wall. It was a quiet ride down, the sounds of the elevator's descent being his only ambiance.

He couldn't possibly understand why, but conversations with his father had suddenly become a lot more difficult.

Their relationship had become so much more complicated after the man had started trying to turn things around and 'atone' as he'd put it. His sister was thrilled, always going on and on about they might actually be able to be a normal family for once in their lives, while his mother just seemed to be cool with it, willing to try and move on just a little too easily for his own personal liking.

On the other side of the fence, his brother wanted nothing to do with him. No matter how much their father might try, Natsuo would have absolutely none of it, because how dare he think that he can just come back after everything was said and done and pretend that everything is fine.

And then there was Todoroki himself, who was constantly finding himself in a weird sort of middle ground. On one hand, he really didn't want to forgive him. After everything he'd done, he didn't want to just stand there and be okay with it like Fuyumi or his mother.

And yet, when he'd been nearly killed by that strange nomu, he'd felt his heart stop dead in his chest.

It was all so confusing, especially when he decided to start calling him every once in a while to ask how he's doing. How he's doing? He's really confused is how he's doing, so please don't call while on an international business trip and it's three in the morning back at home, dad.

The elevator dinged. Todoroki looked up to see that he was already at the common room. With a sigh, he stepped out of the elevator, quietly making his way to the couches, only to be startled by another presence.

“Why are you here?”

Bakugou looked up at him with tired, angry eyes, quickly looking away. “Why the f*** do you care? I should be asking you the same thing.”

Todoroki simply stared. On one hand, he really didn't want to deal with Bakugou right now, but at the same time, the opposite couch happened to look really inviting at that moment.

The latter option won out.

Todoroki stared at his hands for a long moment, ignoring the other presence in the room. He could feel Bakugou's glare burning through him, giving him the urge to shudder.

“You just gonna sit there trying to set things on fire with your mind?” Bakugou snorted.

Todoroki scowled, but didn't look at him. “No. My father's just an idiot.”

Bakugou became oddly quiet at that, leaving them both back in silence. Whether it was awkward or not was beyond him.

And then, after what felt like hours, Bakugou spoke. “So's my mom.”

Todoroki didn't look up at him, but he continued. “B**** flies off to Paris for an overseas modeling job and thinks she can call me whenever she very well f***ing pleases, and then calls me an a**hole for acting so ungrateful. I'm trying to sleep, hag!”

He huffed loudly, and Todoroki finally looked at him. “And it's not like I actually hate her or anything, and I know she cares, but she can be so- Argh, she's just the worst sometimes! Selfish-.”

He took a slow, deep breath and laid down on the couch, covering his eyes with his forearm. “Drives me up the f***ing wall.”

Todoroki doesn't remember asking about his family life. Neither him, or Midoriya, now that he thought about it. He wasn't sure where the question even came from, but a thought crossed his mind, a memory, a passing comment, and suddenly the words just came out.

“Has she ever hit you?”

“Yeah, why?”

“What? That's how I was raised.”

He said it so easily that Todoroki visibly startled. He stared at him, looking for any hint of pain, sadness, frustration, something, anything.

Nothing.

Ah. That made sense.

And somewhere in the back of his mind, something seemed to open up. This idea appeared in his mind that even though it couldn't possibly have been, by any stretch of the imagination, as bad as what he went through, maybe, just maybe, he could understand, even if it's just a little bit.

So he spoke. “Yes, my father is doing something similar. He's been calling me more often, actually, ever since he started trying to make up for my childhood... You see...”


All Might

When All Might was sad, everything was wrong, thus were the rules of Midoriya's world.

So, when All Might came to class with hunched shoulders and a lowered head, Midoriya's heart shattered into a million pieces, because after everything that the man has done for the world, he didn't deserve any sadness.

The day was a slow one, with Midoriya seeking out All Might every chance he got, trying to find ways to cheer him up, whether it be him doing something good or something funny happening. However, no matter what he tried, from homeroom classes to heroics lessons, nothing seemed to be working, and he hated it.

Even as the day came to an end, nothing seemed to be helping, and it was making him nervous and more prone to crying than he already was.

Finally, the school day ended, and Midoriya felt even more exhausted than normal. All Might walked off rather quickly, Midoriya following after him in a hurry. Could it be about the whole thing with Sir Nighteye? Was it losing his powers, or just Kamino Ward in general? Was he remembering his old master? Did he feel useless? The higher the number of possibilities, the more Midoriya's heart broke. How did he do it? How was All Might able to deal with all of this all by himself with a smile on his face?

He shouldn't have to.

Standing outside of the teacher's lounge, he watched as the deflated All Might sat heavily on a couch, putting his head in his hands and just sitting there, quietly, and it was one of the worst things that Midoriya had ever seen in his life.

He heard footsteps, and Midoriya looked up in time to see Kacchan staring over his shoulder at the sad scene in the teacher's lounge.

They shared a look, and it was a moment that Midoriya would never forget. It was a single moment where, for a single second in time, they understood each other.

And then Kacchan slipped passed him, boldly walking up to the man that was once and still is his idol, his hero. All Might looked up at him, immediately putting on his hero facade and straightening his back to sit upright.

“Is there anything I can help with, Young Bakugou?”

Kacchan was quiet for a long moment, staring him directly in the eyes, and Midoriya watched as All Might's shoulders slowly sagged back down.

“I've learned...” Kacchan stated slowly. “That heroes are allowed moments of weakness.” His eyes hardened. “I learned that from you.”

With All Might sitting down, his figure slouching over as heavily as it was, for that moment, Kacchan was looking down at him. “Practice what you preach.”

There was a long moment of silence where both All Might and Midoriya tried to fully understand what had been said. It was like a bolt of lightning, striking at the highest peak.

And All Might took a deep breath, put his head back in his hands, and let himself break, if only for a moment. Kacchan sat down next to him, not making any movement to comfort him. No, he just sat there, and let his presence be known.

Shyly, Midoriya, tiptoed into the room, closing the door behind him to avoid any unwanted attention, and sheepingly walked over to sit down on All Might's over side. Being the emotional person he is, he immediately let out a sob, hugging his hero tightly and crying into his shoulder, because that was how he made his presence known.

And there they stayed, just the three of them. A hero, his successor, and the boy's greatest rival against the world, with Japan's biggest secret resting on their shoulders. So for now, they let themselves be weak.

Because tomorrow, they would be stronger than ever.


Midoriya 

Uraraka was not proud to admit that she'd absolutely panicked.

She couldn't even imagine whose bright idea it was to let Deku and Bakugou intern at the same agency, but she was pretty excited about it since she was with them as well. It would be an amazing learning experience, at least for her, and she was looking forward to training and growing alongside two of the people that she looked up to and tried to catch up to.

They'd gone out patrolling with a couple of sidekicks on the third day of their internship when they'd come across a plot to set off a bomb in an apartment complex. With no choice but to act, Uraraka had gone with one of the sidekicks to deactivate the bomb while Deku and Bakugou went with the other to fight the villain.

It might have been one of the most intense experiences of Uraraka's life, being so close to such a dangerous object while her senpai worked tirelessly to disarm it. It was like a breath of air after being underwater when it was successfully deactivated with three seconds to spare. For a moment there, Uraraka thought that it might actually be over.

There was crackling over the radio, the other sidekick's voice coming through loud and clear. “Two villains outside bomb sight! It's just me and two interns! Need immediate backup!”

The sidekick with Uraraka tuned in. “Bomb diffused! We're on our way!”

Adrenaline continued to surge through Uraraka's system as she and the sidekick rushed back out of the building, dust picking up all around them as the battle raged on. Apparently, there were even more villains than just two, but more heroes were appearing to help as well. It seemed like everything was under the heroes control. Everything was fine.

And then there was a clang, the sound of metal hitting flesh, and Deku screamed like a man on the brink of insanity.

A chill ran down Uraraka's spine at the sheer animosity behind it, and she could only assume the worst. Sprinting through the dusty battlefield, she dodged and weaved around different battles between different heroes, sidekicks, and villains in search of her two classmates, her friends, as her heart threatened to beat right through her chest.

And then two bodies were thrown in front of her and nearly sent her flying. She tripped anyway.

The green mop was easily recognizable, shivering and refusing to move from on top of the other person, the black and orange suit giving away his identity. Deku looked up at her wildly, only recognizing her a moment later. His movements were frantic.

“I f***ed up!” he says breathlessly, startling Uraraka with his language. “I f***ed up really bad, Uraraka!”

Uraraka's heart dropped into her stomach, dreadful understanding washing over her as she crouched down to their level, Deku moving off of his frighteningly motionless childhood friend. Bakugou's exposed stomach was turning disturbing shades of black and purple and blood was freely flowing down his face, originating from a nasty gash on his head that had Uraraka cringing.

She was not proud to admit that she was panicking, her airway constricting on her and tears pooling in her eyes.

Deku's head snapped to the side, eyes zeroing in on something and sharpening like a predator.

“Stay with him.”

And Deku was gone, taking off screaming and body slamming a villain with a metal projectile quirk at full speed. Both of them disappeared into the dust, the only evidence of their struggle being the green electricity that cut through the foggy air every other second.

A cough pulled Uraraka back to her injured classmate, and despite their dull color, she'd never been happier to be looking into those red orbs.

“The h***...” he mumbled. “Where's...the s***nerd?”

“He's fighting the villain.” she responds with a watery smile. “He's, uh, he's kicking his a**.”

Bakugou seemed to accept that response, nodding his head before wincing. “So long as he watches his own back next time. Moron...”

“Hey,” Uraraka said, gently patting his cheek. “Stay awake. You probably have a concussion.”

He only hummed as the dust finally cleared, the heroes standing victorious once again. In the distance, Uraraka could see Deku, breathing heavily and standing triumphantly over the form of the fallen villain. Heroes were quick to run over and take the villain into custody, Deku watching them intently until he was completely out of sight.

As it turns out Bakugou's injuries looked far worse than they actually were, much to both Deku's and Uraraka's relief. Deku was spouting apologies for being so careless, at some point slipping about remembering the shooting incident, and Bakugou was quick to shut him up.

In the end, everything ended alright. Everything was fine.

Uraraka couldn't agree more, nor could she be more thankful.

Chapter Text

He didn't know why the f*** he'd started agreeing to go on these stupid outings with that dumba** group of idiots that insist on calling themselves his friends so often, but it was starting to worry him.

Bakugou kicked a pebble down the sidewalk, watching with indifference and stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jacket as it shot off and bounced away into the street. The stars in the night sky were hidden away by the blaring city lights, people running back and forth within the early beginnings of Musutafu's nightlife. Even from here, he could hear the squealing laughter of the girls in his class a ways down the road, clambering over some random clothing line that didn't even hold a candle to that of his parents, and that wasn't even him being biased. He's all for spitting every insult about his b**** of a hag in the known universe, but they were still his parents. Of course, they'd be f***ing talented.

Elsewhere, he was sure that Dunce and Tape were off at an arcade somewhere with some of their other classmates, and either Kirishima was with them or chose to go off with Deku's nerd squad to revisit that hero museum that opened up a while back. With that, he was actually left to his own devices, which was somewhat exciting. As much as he found the idiot parade...tolerable, it was still a lot, wanting to hang out with him all the f***ing time. It was exhausting, so this quiet, just him and the murmur of a crowd that was kindly leaving him alone, was a nice change of pace.

It was good, because otherwise, he'd have snapped at someone a while ago from the pent up energy running through his body and swirling discomfort in his stomach.

It had been a faint feeling, not nearly as powerful as it could get, but if there's one thing that All Might has taught him, it's to never, ever ignore the fidgety feeling. Ever.

So he'd come along on an agenda, with the hope of finding the cause of his Hero Sense going off, especially so lightly, and maybe learning a little more about how it works in the process. If it were one of his fri- one of the idiots that never leave him alone, or one of a select few in his class, he'd be in a dizzying state of hyper awareness, and in some cases even, a lot more sick. However, he's noticed that the range is getting wider, where more and more people will cause a stronger reaction, and he didn't know whether he should be thrilled or irritated.

His other reason for looking into things was that Deku did look sick, his eyes sharpened and entire body vibrating with building energy. Meanwhile, he'd overheard from said nerd that Half n' Half was showing signs of it as well, but he didn't seem to be experiencing anything. His theory was because he'd just developed it recently, but that still didn't completely answer why he was being affected.

So here he was, wandering the streets of Musutafu, kicking rocks and window shopping like it wasn't a waste of his time, hoping that the answers to all of his questions would kindly just fall out of the sky and smack him on the head, because all of this walking around nothing nothing productive was driving him up the f***ing wall.

It would be in the midst of his thoughts, just below the volume of the churning crowds and their useless chatter, that his answer would come in the form of a woman's plea.

Please, don't hurt us!

His body stopped, the hyper awareness he'd become all to familiar with taking over and shutting out the hazy murmur that surrounded him. It was almost as if time had slowed down around him, and almost instinctively, his eyes shot towards the opening of an alleyway several feet behind him.

So it was a civilian.

Which meant that his Hero Sense was nearly fully developed.

Again, either thrilled or irritated. Can't tell.

He turned on his heel and ran, shoving passed several people as he approached the seemingly empty alleyway. From here, he couldn't see anything, and yet, the muffled sound of a struggle was reaching his ears and suddenly, looking extremely closely, he could see the near invisible ripple of some kind of barrier closing off the alleyway. Sticking his arm through, there was no resistance or movement from the space around the entrance. However, as soon as he stuck his head through, the sounds of the crowds died away and were immediately replaced with a mother's screaming and the cry's of children, which meant that the barrier was only a shield against sound, like a sound room in a recording studio. There was laughing as well, from multiple voices, it sounded like, and a cold sweat took over his entire being. This was a bad idea. He was running into a situation blind.

But he was Bakugou f***ing Katsuki, and f*** him for even thinking of running away.

He bolted forward, following the pain-filled cries of the civilian and sobbing of two brats as he rounded the corner. He was immediately met with the sight of a woman, no older than thirty five, skin coated with blood and bruises, curling up against the wall with her back to her attackers. In her arms were two children, and the taller of them couldn't be older than seven. Both of them had curly black hair just like hers and were clinging to her like a lifeline, screaming at the men standing above them to leave her alone.

The leader of their aggressors looked like a typical biker, with big muscles, long wavy hair, too much leather, and such an ugly f***ing mug that it honestly looked like a potato. His buddy wasn't much better, being a literal komodo dragon. Note to self, steer clear of that guy. There was a third guy as well, some lanky dude with a bowl cut and circle glasses whose face just screamed “please punch me here”.

With a quick look around, Bakugou could see that there were more people around the alleyway. He couldn't get an exact number, but he would take a wild guess that there were at least four people watching the show, and almost every single one of them, with the exception of Lizard Man, had a quirk that Bakugou didn't know about.

Seven to one at most, mystery quirks, nerve to kill, all sound hidden from the outside world, current location unknown.

This was a stupid f***ing idea.

“Just give it up, woman.” Potato Face snarled, kicking the woman hard in the gut. She didn't scream, but still started coughing heavily. The two children cried out again, the smaller boy crying and the slightly taller one looking ready to take his chances and throw hands himself.

“I won't let you...” she breathed out, holding onto her children as if their lives depended on it. “I will not let you take either of them!”

“Come on, lady.” the Killer Nerd laughed. “It's just one. If you just move out of the way, we'll make it quick. We'll even spare the other kid!”

“Leave her alone!” the smaller boy with glasses screamed, tears streaming down his face. “Mommy!”

The woman smiled. “I love you both so much.”

Potato Face huffed. “Fine.” He motioned for Lizard Man to walk forward, probably telling him to finish the job. He did as told.

“Hey!”

Every eye in that alleyway turned to face him, and if he were any less, he might have shrunk back, but he was a f***ing hero, d***it! F*** these guys! “The h*** do you think you're doing?”

“A kid?” one of the people from the shadows asked in confusion. “How did he get in here?”

“It's a barrier against sound only.” a young girl's voice responded. It must be her doing, whoever she is. “You can walk right through it.”

“Fantastic.” Killer Nerd muttered in annoyance. “Listen, I don't know who you are, but if you could just walk the other way, that'd be wonderful.”

“Now, now,” Potato Face said calmly. “No need to be rude to our friend, here.” With a smile, he began to walk towards him, looking him directly in the eyes with an intensity that almost impressed him. “Those are the eyes of someone whose seen some s***.”

The woman was looking at him with tears and blood streaming down her face, her eyes showing an array of emotions passing by, all coated with a layer of confusion. The two boys clung to her, the older boy with incredulity and the younger with hope. He would sooner compliment his mother than admit how much courage those kid's eyes gave him as he gazed defiantly at the villain towering over him.

“Listen, boy,” Potato Face stated carefully. “I'm a nice guy. Real forgiving. So, I'm gonna make you a deal, an agreement between fellow bada**es.”

Potato Face placed his hand on Bakugou's shoulder, and he had to fight the urge to flinch. He didn't know this guy's quirk, so this was a huge gamble, but if things went his way, he could take him out quickly.

“How about you pretend you didn't see anything? My people here are working at some business with this woman and it shouldn't take much longer. I can tell you're a tough kid just by looking at you, but I'd rather not get into a fight over nothing.”

“Please, get help!” the woman screamed. “They're trying to take my son! I don't care what happens to me, but please save my son!”

Potato Face let out a sigh, ignoring the woman's screaming while Killer Nerd laughed and Lizard Man just waited for his next orders. Once upon a time, Bakugou might have not cared. He just would have been enraged that they would look down on him as some random kid and would start s*** blindly thinking that he could handle them, because he had no weakness that he knew of.

But things change.

And as people grow older, they grow smarter, wiser, stronger.

It really is amazing what growing up can do for someone, and d***, does it feel good to see all of that effort add up into one singular moment that could change the course of history.

The villain gasped, choking as the wind was knocked straight out of him and smoke invaded his nostrils. He fell to his knees, clutching his stomach after taking a direct, well aimed punch from a powerful fist practically glowing and radiating with intense heat. Some things must never change, because Bakugou couldn't help the manic grin that spread across his face.

Killer Nerd let out a pathetic squawk while Lizard Man immediately charged him. Bakugou, however, was able to use his size to his advantage, slipping right under him and sending a blast at his back. He was thrown onto Potato Face with a satisfying slam just as Killer Nerd turned to run, only to take a boot to the back of the head that smashed his face into the ground.

Footsteps scattered around, changing positions, it sounded like, as Bakugou positioned himself in front of the woman and her children. “Calm down, lady.” he said with a grin. “I'm a heroics student at U.A..”

The woman let out a sob, pulling herself up and holding onto her boys with renewed strength. Around them, more villains appeared, but Bakugou was running on adrenaline and high confidence. This was it. This is what being a hero was to him. In that single moment, he was on top of the world again.

But there was no time to get distracted. He had civilians to evacuate.

“Look away!” he yelled at them, the mother quickly moving to cover her kids' eyes and closing her own.

“Stun Grenade!”

A huge flash of light took over the alleyway, blinding the villains. Bakugou grabbed the woman, who wobbly picked up her children with a wince, and ran towards the exit, shooting an explosion behind him to create smoke for good measure.

When they came to the exit, there was another woman to his right. Her hair was green like Deku's and pulled back in a ponytail. She swung a bat at them, which he caught while throwing the woman with her children towards the exit. “GO!!

The woman stumbled out of the alleyway, pulling her children along with her and sobbing with relief as she ran into the crowd and out of sight. That same moment, Green Hair shoved him back, blocking his own escape, not that he'd been planning on escaping.

These guys were trapped in here with him.

He dodged another swing from the chick with the bat and launched her into a hall. Lizard Man got back up, charging him again as two other villains appeared. The temperature dropped, and for a moment, he panicked. Identifying a villain with an ice breath quirk, he immediately attacked him sending him flying as well before sending another attack at the lizard.

Unfortunately, lizard man got a good hit on him, punching him in the gut like he'd done to Potato Face and leaving him gagging. He only came to his senses fast enough to dodge the clawed hand that swung at him.

This lasted for quite a few minutes, Bakugou dodging and weaving around villains and taking several of them out while Lizard Man kept getting back up. It was getting tiring, but at the same time, he couldn't help but feel alive. Ice Breath fell to the ground unconscious and covered with burns, while Green Hair had her face dug into the ground as she remained unmoving. Counting now, Bakugou could still see four more villains standing including Lizard Man and someone waiting by the entrance of the alleyway.

He could do this. He could handle this.

He felt a prick on his left upper arm.

His blood ran as cold as Half n' Half's right side, slowly looking over with wide eyes. He couldn't help the spike of fear as he stared in horror at the small syringe, immediately yanking it out of his arm when he came out of his stupor. He looked up, making eye contact with a girl around his age, bright green eyes and familiar freckles. Her hair was cut short and as red as Kirishima's, and her smile was that of a child watching their favorite TV show.

Lizard Man laughed. “No worries, kid. It's just a quirk suppressant. You're not gonna just drop dead.”

That still didn't spell out good things for him, thanks.

He could already feel the contents of the sweat in his palms changing, but he control his rage, relaxed his hands, because he had a plan. This wasn't over.

He really, really didn't want it to come to this, but Lizard Man was a problem and he knew the best way to solve that problem.

That, and it'll be quick. He doesn't do this very often, so they'll know.

The villains approached him carelessly, guard down from the quirk suppressant running through his system, and Bakugou grinned.

The sweat outside of his body won't be affected by a drug from inside.

He swung, igniting the remaining nitroglycerin still on his palms, and created both a loud unexpected noise that had the villains ducking for cover and a massive smoke screen. With only seconds to work with, Bakugou threw himself back slamming into the wall behind him as he pulled out his phone. It came to life instantly, unread texts from Kirishima and Deku greeting him. Working fast, he searched through his phone, finding the unfamiliar distress signal system that he'd only looked at one other time, when he'd been forced to install the thing, and hitting the first contact he saw. He wouldn't even admit to myself the relief that flooded into his system when he read the contact as 'The Four Horsemen'.

One of the villains broke through the smoke, though he dodged easily as he slipped his phone into a hidden pocket inside his jacket and zipped it shut. At this point, all he had to do was outlast them. Then, they'd be f***ed.

Just survive. Just survive. Just survive.

They'll come.

Looking back, he seemed to be decently good at that.


“Do you not like it, Uraraka?”

Uraraka jumped, shaking her head vigorously. “Nonononono! That's not it at all! I think it's lovely!”

Yaoyorozu smiled, looking happily at the sleek black sleeveless dress while Uraraka once again blanched at the price tag. Shuddering, she turned back to the cute pink polka dot sun dress she'd been looking at. It was simple, girly, not too long to fight in and not too short to be showy, and came with a nice hat. And it was super cheap. Uraraka cooed over it as Hagakure leaped out of a changing in a dress with so many different colors that Uraraka nearly went blind.

“This is one of the nice things about being invisible!” she laughed. “I can make anything work!”

“You make a good point.” Asui mused, appearing from the other changing room in a simple dark green dress with long sleeves. Her hair was tied back in a bow-like bun with her bangs left out.

Ashido skipped over to them humming, throwing the golden dress and black stockings she'd tried on into Yaoyorozu's cart. “I want this one with those gold shoes I got the other day.”

“It looked very nice on you, Ashido.” Yaoyorozu said.

“Thanks! Blasty told me once that this color goes well with my eyes, and I trust his judgment, so I'm trying to get more gold stuff in my wardrobe.”

“Did he really say that? That was nice of him.”

Ashido beamed. “He has his moments.”

Ashido jogged over to the sun dresses that Uraraka was looking at, cooing over a light pink one with black zebra stripes. Next to it was a green one with white lightning designs on it, and suddenly Uraraka was drawn to it. It really reminded her of Deku!

“Maybe I'll get this one too. It's not too expensive.” She hoped he was doing better. Last time she saw him, he'd been really pale. He'd insisted that he was fine and that he wanted to come with them, saying that he didn't want to be absent if something happened, but Iida had texted her not too long ago that it had gotten worse. Uraraka bit her lip. Hopefully, it wasn't too serious.

Ashido's phone buzzed.

With a hum, she pulled it out, tapping at it and opening it up. As the light from her screen lit up her face, Jirou appeared next to her.

“I like this red one.” she commented, holding up a deep red sun dress with black drum designs on the hem of the skirt. “It'd look nice with some tights and a jacket.”

“That'd be so cool!” Hagakure exclaimed from behind them, bouncy over in her regular outfit and her rainbow dress in her arms. “It really suits you!”

“Yeah.”

“I'll happily buy it for you.” Yaoyorozu offered.

Uraraka giggled as Jirou's face went red. “No, don't worry about it. I can-.”

Ashido screamed.

Every single person inside and around the store jumped, the five other heroes in training leaping into defensive positions.

“What is it?!” Uraraka questioned.

Ashido was shaking, wide eyed and terrified as she stared at her phone. Before any of the others could question her, she bolted, sprinting out of the store and through the crowd in a mad rush that left Uraraka winded just from watching. She knew Ashido was fast, but not that fast.

“I-I-Is everything alright?!” one of the store workers asked in concern.

Yaoyorozu looked at her with similar worry. “I- I'm not sure. We're friends of her, you see.”

As Yaoyorozu continued to speak with and console the poor woman, Uraraka looked out where Ashido had disappeared into the crowd and felt her stomach drop. She had a really bad feeling about this.


Todoroki had no idea why he was here.

“New high score!” Kaminari cheered, laughing hysterically as Sero gave him the dirtiest look he could muster, walking away sulking as Kaminari performed some strange victory dance. Todoroki couldn't really care less about arcade game scores. Kaminari had simply insisted that he spend some time with them at the arcade like a normal teenager and he'd only agreed because Kaminari was his friend and he really was curious. In all honesty, however, all Todoroki wanted to do at the moment was rendezvous with Midoriya's group and make sure he was okay.

That, and some strange, uncomfortable feeling had suddenly shot up his spine.

The last couple of times this happened, something bad followed. It was concerning.

“Hey, Todoroki!” Kaminari called. “Come and give it a shot! I'll go easy on you!”

Todoroki stared at the unoccupied console, then at his phone, furrowing his eyebrows. He really wanted to make sure Midoriya was okay, but at the same time, Midoriya would be upset if Todoroki ditched the others just because he was worried about him. Besides, if it got really bad, Iida would call him.

“Okay.”

Kaminari cheered jovially as Todoroki took control of his character. It was a racing game of some kind, and Todoroki discovered that he was surprisingly good at it. They were neck and neck for a large part of it, Kaminari only just pulling ahead in the last lap. Their friends gave a round of applause as Kaminari backed up, letting out a deep breath and rubbing sweat off of his forehead.

“That was awesome!” Kaminari laughed. “I thought you had me for a moment there? You want a rematch?”

“Would that be alright?” Todoroki asked carefully. The game was actually very fun, and a welcome distraction from his weird feeling, but he didn't want to hold everyone else up. When he looked back at them, however, all of them were nodding at him, motioning for him to continue. Sero, in particular.

How kind of them.

“Okay then.”

As the next race started, Kaminari's phone buzzed. He must have received a text of some kind. From the sounds of it, Sero got one too, because he opened up his phone a moment later.

Just before they hit the second lap, Sero suddenly appeared beside Kaminari, a look of genuine panic in his eyes that had Todoroki freezing up for a moment.

“Dude, we have a situation!” he rambled breathlessly, shoving his phone in Kaminari's face. At first, he was just confused, but after getting a good look at what was on the screen, he gasped, releasing his control and scrambling to pull out his phone.

“Is he for real!?”

“Does it matter!?!

A moment of looking at his own phone screen, and Kaminari ran, Sero following close behind.

“I win?” Todoroki asked in confusion as he finished the last lap. Watching his classmates run as if their lives depended on it, the feeling suddenly intensified.

Follow them!

Todoroki got up and ran after them, racing out into the crowd and searching for the electric yellow of Kaminari's hair. However, they'd somehow vanished between when they ran out and when Todoroki followed.

This couldn't be good.

After sending a couple quick texts to Midoriya and Aizawa, he took off towards the hero museum.


 

7:48PM

Todoroki-kun: Kaminari and Sero just left in a rush and I don't feel well. Something is wrong. Are you okay?

Midoriya really wished he could respond, but he was currently busy puking his guts out in a museum restroom.

He felt Iida rubbing at his back as he continued to heave, his stomach expelling his dinner against his will as his insides swirled and writhed with no end in sight.

“You shouldn't have come if you were this sick!” Iida reprimanded, handing him tissues and a bottle of water as soon as he finished. He hated the fact that tears were running down his face, but there wasn't much he could do about it, between the nerves and the fear coursing through him.

“I'm sorry. I wasn't this bad when we left-.” He felt it coming before he could finish his sentence, scrambling back to the toilet bowl and vomiting.

He hated this. He absolutely hated it.

It had never been this bad before.

All Might had once told him about a time when he'd just gotten OFA. A close friend of his was killed in a villain attack, but he hadn't known until later. At the time, he'd been experiencing flu symptoms, sporting a terrible fever and throwing up, because his Hero Sense had reacted so strongly to what was happening.

He reassured him that the reaction would become less severe and easier to utilize as he got older, but he always dreaded the day where someone he cared about would need him and he'd be left a sick, shivering mess.

Well, today must be that day, apparently.

“Is he any better?” Kirishima asked as he appeared by the stall, a look of concern painting his features.

“Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that way.” Iida responded, going back to rubbing circles. “Hopefully, Aizawa-sensei can take him back to the dorms to see Recovery Girl.”

“No.” Midoriya whined between heaves. “That's not it.”

“This isn't healthy, Midoriya-!”

Midoriya let out a sob. “I don't know what's wrong! Someone needs me and I don't know what to do!”

Kirishima seemed to blanche at that, pushing further into the stall and leaning over Iida. “Is this the Fidgety Feeling?”

Midoriya whipped around to look at him, fighting the wave of dizziness that followed. “You know about that?”

“Yeah! Blasty's talk to me about it! Oh man, I hope he's feeling alright. Maybe he can help with whatever's happening.”

With that, Kirishima pulled out his phone while Midoriya continued to be scared and miserable. He could only hope that Aizawa-sensei would be able to help him figure this out. He should probably have Iida call him, and All Might too. That way, they'd know that something was wrong. Actually, All Might probably already knew and was hopefully doing something about it.

“Oh.” Kirishima's voice came out slowly, almost in a mixture of confusion and awe.

“Oh, f***...

“Language, Kirishima!” Iida stated. “We are in a public area and there could be children around.”

“What the f***ing s***?!

Midoriya hadn't felt fear like this in a long time. Kirishima's face had gone extremely pale, his breathing dangerously erratic and eyes widening. He glanced at Midoriya, and Midoriya felt like his heart stopped right then and there.

“Iida, call Aizawa now!

“What, why-? Kirishima!?”

Kirishima was already stumbling out of the restroom. “Have him come looking for my location immediately! I just got a distress signal!”

Iida jumped up at that, but had to immediately return to Midoriya's side as he attempted to stand as well. “Are you serious!? From who?”

Midoriya wouldn't forget the absolute blinding terror that took over his entire being as Kirishima yelled back a distance from the entrance and didn't look back. “The last person who'd ever send a f***ing distress signal!”

Midoriya came very close to blacking out.


It wouldn't be the first time that life f***ed him sideways.

Considering the situation he was in, he'd done well, but he honestly didn't know what he was expecting. Despite not having access to his quirk at the time, he was able to fight off the three villains for a while. In fact, he knocked two of them out cold. Score one and two for Bakugou.

Lizard Man proved to be as dangerous as he'd suspected. After he'd taken out his buddy, Lizard man had gone to a lot of trouble in order to get a bite on him. From what he remembered, komodo dragon bites were extremely dangerous, so he really didn't want to deal with that. All he really needed to do was avoid his mouth and not get grabbed. It was a hassle without being able to fly, but he was still small enough to slip out of his reach easily. The plethora of useful weapons around the alleyway were a huge help the entire time.

He'd had a hold of Green Hair's bat when Lizard Man suddenly stopped, looking behind him and smirking confidently. His eyes had widened, and that was all the time he had before a wave of sludge-like mud slammed into him, threw the bat to the side, and stuck him against a wall. He was not proud to admit that he panicked, images of the sludge villain incident and particularly visceral nightmares of it flying across his mind's eye as he clawed and kicked at the thick substance trapping him.

Apparently, this was Potato Face's quirk, f***ing putty arms, the ugly f*** clutching his bruised and burnt midsection and giving him a dangerous glare.

“I thought you looked familiar.” he growled. “You're the brat from the U.A. Sports Festival that Shigaraki's group was loosing their s*** over. Worked out for them, obviously.”

Potato Face grinned, and though Bakugou glared back defiantly, he was terrified. “You're dangerous, kid. I'll give you that. The world of villains may not survive against a force like you...”

The mud began to move, feeling more and more constricting, and suddenly he found it creeping up his face. “So I guess I have no choice but to kill you. Nothing personal, kid.”

He couldn't breathe.

His struggles intensified, fighting against the substance that was now tightly hugging the lower half of his face, cutting off his airways, and constricting around her torso. Terror fully seeped into his bones, pulling at his primal instinct to stay alive. His hands wouldn't explode. He couldn't breathe. Lizard Man and another villain are laughing somewhere. Where are they? He can't breathe! He can't breathe!

He still struggled. He clawed at the mud and he kicked in Potato Face's direction, because there was no way in h*** that he would go down without a fight.

The edges of his vision were closing in, images of his past that he'd rather not face right now appearing before his very eyes. Faces of people that he'd begrudgingly learned to tolerate being around over many, many months of his life.

There was a stupid smile and sassy expression as he proudly admired his work of taping a pair of crocs on the ceiling and snarky comments about his friends.

There was a thumbs up and a stupid face as he brightened up at finally understanding the question and happily showing off the correct answer.

There were horns and the color pink as she showed him her new shoes and asked his opinion, absolutely glowing like the sun when he admitted that they suited her.

There was sharp teeth and stupid-looking hair as he opened up about his insecurities for the first time in his life and was accepted for who he was far more easily than he deserved.

It's getting dark.

Where are they?

 

Can't breathe...

 

….

 

 

.

 

There's a flash of pink and suddenly he can breathe.

He desperately gasped for air as he fell to the ground, savoring every ounce of clean air that made it into his lungs. He coughed harshly, and he could only assume that some of that s*** ended up in his lungs. F***ing fantastic.

There was a scuffle a few feet from where he was laying and muffled yelling, a pink blur throwing fist after fist at what could only be Potato Head. As his vision cleared, he saw Lizard Man running to intervene, only for a splash of acid to be shot at him. Ashido finally came into focus, screaming something and ruthlessly slamming her acid-coated fists into Potato Face's already hideous face. This would probably be an improvement.

He felt himself being rolled onto his back, and he found Sero's face staring back at him and a blur of yellow moved through his peripheral vision.

“Dude, can you hear me?” his lips read, his eyes blown wide and permanent grin absent. Bakugou struggled to pull himself up, putting his breath towards inhaling rather than yelling at Sero for helping him sit up.

“I-, yeah.” Bakugou forced out between coughed. “I'm alive.”

Sero's shoulders seemed to relax at that, even as Ashido is thrown passed them and static runs across their skin.

Bakugou's eyes then shoot upward, zeroing in on the girl above them, holding up a strange looking gun and taking aim.

Sniper!

Sero's reaction time must have improved. He immediately spun around, eyes locking on his target, and shot a line of tape at their attacker. She ducked, losing her gun in the process, and disappeared, skittering away across the rooftops. Meanwhile, the other extra villain was down for the count, leaving a beat up Potato Face and angry Lizard Man to deal with.

“You brats!” Lizard Man yelled, eyes zeroing in on Bakugou and preparing to charge. Ashido and Kaminari were with them instantly, standing by Sero and ready to fight back.

And then Kirishima's fists was burying itself into his gut, Lizard Man throwing up on the spot and falling over near unresponsive. Potato Face looked on in shock, staring at the redhead with resignation as they locked eyes.

“Just stay down.” Kirishima spat aggressively. “It's over.”

Bakugou would at least give Potato Face this. He was smart enough to know that he lost.


“I knew going into this class that you and the problem child would give me the most gray hairs, but this is getting ridiculous.”

Bakugou chose not to say anything, choosing instead to enjoy the luxury of pressing an oxygen mask against his face.

When the woman had disappeared into the crowd with her children, she had immediately called the police instead of just running off, so he had to give it to her. She seemed like an okay person. Good thing, because he had a feeling that if he had to check into the hospital, then he'd have to deal with her as well.

He sat on the side of a stretcher as he watched his four idiot friends cause a ruckus in order to calm himself down, Weird Hair on the phone with Deku trying to calm him down after everything that happened. Ashido was pretty close to falling over and going to sleep, while Kaminari wouldn't shut the f*** up and Sero just kept smiling.

Idiots, all of them.

“Hero guy!” The voice carried over whatever Aizawa had been lecturing at him as all six of them turned to see the younger of the two boys, with his giant glasses and equally oversized eyes. From what Bakugou understood, the villains had been attempting to kidnap the boy in order to raise him as a villain and use his powerful quirk, but the mother, like any good parent, had risked her life to protect him. She'd been beat up pretty badly, but she would be fine eventually.

Apparently, they really wanted him, because they'd hired a very famous villain, Sound Room, who was well known for being a master at kidnappings and murders due to her sound canceling quirk. Bakugou couldn't help but grimace. Somehow, Freckles had been the only one to escape, which meant that she was still out there and for hire.

“Hero guy!” the boy called again, standing directly beside him. The six year old barely made it above his knees, craning his neck to see his face.

He raised his fists in the air and cheered. “Thank you for saving my mommy! When I grow up, I'm gonna be a hero, too!”

His smile was blinding, and Bakugou couldn't help but see a little but of Deku in this kid. For some reason, it didn't anger him.

“Shuyou!” a man came running over, scooping the boy up and holding him close to his chest as the boy squirmed in his grip and laughed with glee.

“Daddy! This is the guy, daddy! He was like, boom! And then, bang! And then, bsshhhhhhhhh! It was so cool, daddy!”

His father smiled at him, hugging him tightly and letting a few tears fall down his face as he looked over at Bakugou, bowing.

“Thank you so much for saving my family.”

And he left, cradling his son, and Aizawa let out an exasperated sigh. “I'm letting you off the hook for being reckless this time, but next time, call me. I'm going to make a statement for you now, so stay. Here.

Bakugou snorted as Aizawa walked away, pretending not to notice when Horns climbed up onto the stretcher with him. Weird Hair, Sparky, and Soy Sauce standing by them.

“You're okay?” Ashido asked, eyes filled with unshed tears.

Bakugou huffed. “Yes, Pink. I'm fine.”

“Promise?” Kaminari asked.

“Yeah.”

Sero let out a long sigh that rivaled Aizawa's. “You've got to stop doing that to us, man.”

Bakugou only hummed in response, glancing over at Weird Hair. Kirishima looked at him with watery eyes and wide smile, an entire conversation passing between in that moment. “I'm so glad we got there in time.”

“I knew you would.”

All four of them startled, looking at him in disbelief, before all looking at each other in surprised happiness.

“Of course, Dynamite!”

“Someone's gotta keep an eye on you, you maniac!”

“Just glad you're still with us, bro!”

“That's what best friends are for!”

If Bakugou smiled, they were just delusional idiots. “Yeah.”