The noonday sun glared down as Bakugou swept his eyes in a tight arc across the waterfront. Summer heat blared down in waves from his vantage point atop the warehouse. Sweat managed to bead down across the brow of his tight hero mask as he searched.
'Goddamnit, didn't even finish lunch.' Not that said lunch was anything to write home about, consisting of an inexpensive croissant sandwich at a café with mediocre coffee that Camie had dragged him to because it had 'the most mad-lit net signals on our patrol route!' as she had so bubbly put it. Despite the cheap fare, Bakugou had to admit the place had a subdued atmosphere that suited him on this Sunday off. Even Camie's incessant need to show him cat videos online hadn't diminished that feeling, perhaps in part due to her keeping the volume low.
That'd ended when they'd got the call: The recent kidnapping case had turned up a lead, pinpointing the perpetrators at a specific warehouse at the docks - an area where only Bakugou and Camie were the closest heroes to respond. They'd left, Bakugou practically chucking payment at the barista, not caring about the exorbitant tip she'd be getting in his haste. Traffic was light, not that it meant much to Bakugou with his ability to blast himself into the air with his quirk, taking jetpack-like leaps; but it made Camie's transit smoother on her sporty motor scooter.
On the side street below, he saw her pull up, the scooter thankfully customized for stealth. Puttering softly to a stop, Camie lifted the visor of her helmet to lock eyes and wave at his silhouette against the clear blue sky. He nodded in reply, tapping the radio-bead in his ear.
"It's there, straight ahead." He murmured, turning his eyes to the squat warehouse sitting across from them near the waterline. "Sansa said the kid's most likely in there." His eyes narrowed, inspecting the building, "Close enough for getaway by boat if the bastards run. There's a skylight..."
"Gotcha, bae." the blonde replied with a click of her own bead, her usual carefree demeanour utterly evaporating when on duty. The occasional dip into slang was the only hint of the fun girl Camie was normally. "Gonna dive-bomb from above? The glass might hit the hostage."
He snorted, "If they were smart, they'd stuff the kid in a corner or the back to keep him from being seen."
"Shouldn't risk it, bae. We don't want the kiddo getting hurt if he's in the open." She replied, stowing the scooter in the shade, swapping her helmet for a stylized commissar cap, and flattening herself against the alley wall. They'd both had to hastily change on the go; Camie's skintight pleather jumpsuit was only half-zipped, giving him a more generous view of her cleavage than normal.
‘Focus.’ He chided, dismissing amourous thoughts of his girlfriend with a soft shake of his head. "They'll be watching the front and the side door, if they're not dumbasses; and would expect to hear someone scaling the roof if they went for the skylight." Bakugou grinned savagely, "Fucking idiots didn't expect someone who can just fly up."
"You're not exactly subtle about that, bae." He heard a slight chuckle in her voice.
"Yeah, but I've got an idea..."
It took very little to set up: Bakugou quietly scaled up to the roof by way of a drainage pipe and prepped a pair of his reusable Improvised Grenades, getting a beep-signal from their shared comms while Camie took a deep breath to prep her Glamour quirk.
In the eyes of the kidnappers, their little operation unraveled in the blink of an eye. The main doors of the warehouse suddenly sliding open to reveal a five-man police squad in cover. The cops had weapons drawn while a bulbous-nosed, white-haired, veteran led them on a megaphone. "This is the Police! Throw down your weapons and come out with your hands up!" Aside from the getaway vehicle, a van; the warehouse had a smattering of crates (one even used as a card-table) the kidnappers slid behind for cover. There were few perps, no more than four, and no sign of the kidnapped boy. Bakugou assessed the scum at a glance from the skylight: three casuals and one in costume - that'd be the leader, some smug upstart trying to make it into villainy. Not that his garb would show it - a drab, short sleeved, jumpsuit with little in the way of ornamentation. Only the flinty look in the leader's eye betrayed a cunning that set him apart from his goons.
To their credit, the perps hesitated only briefly, the leader barking orders whilst one mook scrambled to the getaway van. It was windowless and white, Bakugou noted, oddly cliché for a kidnapping case. The two remaining minions returned fire at the police squad, their aim was crap, and any shots that hit an officer only to pass through them like mist went unnoticed in the cacophony as the cops returned fire. There was no chance Camie would be hit as she worked well out of the line of sight to summon the police illusion.
Distracted, good. Bakugou dropped the first grenade in their midst, it landed with a clatter before erupting with a blinding flash. The kidnappers recoiled, shielding their eyes with cries of surprise and pain. The effect wouldn't last, despite his skills Bakugou couldn't make the exact equivalent of a SAT flashbang, resulting in a device a fraction of the power and noise of the real-deal. But it would be enough. Flipping off the roof of the warehouse, he projected blasts from midair to slam open the single side door feet-first. He landed and kept going, the fingers of his grenade gauntlets flexing and stretched wide as the crackle of micro-explosions flickered on his palms. One of the gunmen, a large, horned, brute in a wifebeater with a double-barreled shotgun blinked the glare of the flash away in time to see Bakugou's charge. He raised his weapon too late, Bakugou slid within the gun's reach, seizing it mid-barrel and crumpling it with a series of blasts. Pounding his crackling palm into the mook's chest, Bakugou sent the brute reeling back and releasing his weapon.
The goon regained his footing, rolling his neck before activating his quirk. The stubby goat-like horns on his brow suddenly stretched and grew, sprouting into metre-long curling spikes. He crouched with a snarl before launching himself forwards, horns leveled towards Bakugou's chest.
"Bring it, punk-ass bitch!" Bakugou roared in reply, stepping forwards and jabbing a palm at the goon. The horned-man swayed to the side before the explosion reached him - only to meet the butt of the mangled shotgun as Bakugou smashed it into his face. The goon's nose broke with a wet crunch, blood sheeting him with a cry before Bakugou stepped up under his reach and delivered an uppercut to the solar plexus.
"Blasting Tap!" Bakugou hissed as he projected explosions between the clenched fingers of his fist, lifting the minion up off the ground with the impact before seizing the projected horns and turning to smoothly judo-throw him into the concrete, cracking it and knocking the goon out. A yell alerted him to the other gunman noticing the scuffle and Bakugou dove as a shot spanged off the ground nearby where he'd stood. A few precise blasts from his hands carried him into cover.
"Bae, you alright?" Camie's concerned voice chirped in his ear.
"I'm fine. Pinned though." he replied, hunching behind a crate, eyes narrowing as he picked out the sound of the van starting up beneath the gunfire. "Take care of pistol-boy for me."
"Can do, bae." He could practically feel the glee in her voice.
Bakugou steeled himself, then sent an explosion out from one side of the crate pile, the smoke and grit meant to provide a screen as he moved - only he then leaped out of the opposite end of cover. The ploy worked, and the pistol-gunman, some scrawny blonde barely out of his teens, his quirk being that his eyes were glossy and reflective like patrolman sunglasses, opened fire on the smoke. He couldn't shift his aim fast enough to catch the rapidly-moving hero as Bakugou blast-leaped from the stack of boxes, a dead-man's click of an empty gun followed and the punk scrambled to reload. He wouldn't succeed. Bakugou saw the squad of police at the entrance begin to dissipate in misty swirls of pink gas as Camie's glamour forming them was released.
The blonde woman stepped into the front of the warehouse, tilting the brim of her stylized commissar cap up, looking infinitely smug as she languidly breathed a thin stream of glamour-smoke at the gunman. The scrawny goon's attention was still fixed to Bakugou, so he didn't see the pink fog coalesce into a multi-limbed shape behind him.
A shudder of revulsion ran through Bakugou as Camie summoned the tarantula. Tolkien-esque in its enormity with a metre-and-a-half leg span, covered in thick ash-grey hair mottled with darker speckles. A cluster of glossy, soulless black eyes seemed to lock onto the unsuspecting mook, and the thing's pedipalps and hooking fangs waived as it let out a loud, undulating, hiss. The minion turned suddenly, eyes widening in shock, his fumbling hands dropping the magazine for his weapon. Something deep and primal must've clicked inside him, and the goon let out a shriek of raw terror as the monstrosity scuttled forwards.
Abandoning everything, the kidnapper made a scrambling beeline away from the beast, and Bakugou felt a minuscule sliver of sympathy as he saw a wet patch spread on the front of the man's pants. The huge spider made a series of calculated leaps, Camie's quirk expertly manipulating the illusion like a puppet. Still hissing shrilly, it leapt to the wall of the warehouse and then into the path of the mook, snapping at him with incisors dripping with sickly gelatinous venom. Screaming, the goon fell back on his ass, crab-walking away rapidly as tears and snot coated his face. Bakugou watched as Camie stepped languidly up behind the minion as he bumped into her leg. The shivering man looked up in time to get a palm-heel strike straight to the nose, dropping him like a stone. As the tarantula mercifully evaporated into pink mist, Bakugou returned his attention to the mission. "Cam?"
"Yes, bae?" Came the sugary reply.
"Remind me never to piss you off."
Suddenly, a stream of bright neon-purple fluid spurted towards Camie, the woman ducking and rolling under it with a soft curse. Bakugou turned to see the kidnapper boss with his arm raised, forearm swollen to a nearly grotesque degree, with fat purple veins throbbing against the skin. A few drips of the liquid seeped from the tip of his wrist, emanating from a porous hole seated there. "Inai, start the van! I've got the brat!" The boss yelled, stepping towards the rear doors of the vehicle, his forearm shrinking down to normal size as the stream slowed to a stop. Bakugou saw that the boss' free hand lugged a large pet carrier, and felt a hot nugget of fury as he realized that the abducted boy was stuffed in there.
"Oi cunt!" Bakugou yelled, rising from cover and lobbing the second improvised grenade. The boss turned, his forearm swelling again for another spurt of that strange liquid, but the bomb wasn't aimed at him, instead it landed and rolled underneath the rear of the van - detonating spectacularly with a muffled CRUMP. The blast lifted the rear of the van off the ground to an almost thirty degree angle, smoke trailing from the underside and the mangled tires as it slammed back down with enough force to swing the now-broken doors open. The force sent the boss stumbling, losing grip on the large carrier and falling to his hands and knees. Inai, the plain-looking designated-driver mook rolled out of the van's rear in a heap, a nasty purple bruise seeping across his forehead. The goon scrambled upright, snatching what appeared to be a long-handled animal control pole from the wreckage with his large gecko-like fingers, the shaft telescoping with the press of a button and the noose at the end crackling with electricity. Woozy, Inai started towards his boss as Bakugou stepped forth.
"Get wrecked!" Camie hollered, bull-rushing the wobbly-legged goon and driving her knee into his hip. Inai recoiled with a grunt, fighting for balance and swinging the taser-pole blindly in reply. Camie ducked this and chopped a hand into his ribs while she fished out a small cylinder from her belt. A flick of her wrist extended it into a combat baton, which she then flashed towards the minion's face. Inai blocked it, almost falling as a result. By now the boss-man had straightened up, ignoring the pet carrier and soft whimpering coming from within, instead turning his attention on the heroes. With both his hands free, Bakugou watched as the man's forearms swelled again in preparation to spray more fluid. The process would be slow enough, if the previous attempts were any indication, and Bakugou grinned savagely as he rushed in close.
"Here, catch." the villain said, backing towards the pet crate and kicking it hard at him. The container flew, forcing Bakugou to catch it, staggering a bit under the sudden weight. He heard a yelp from inside and something impact against the internal wall, shifting the weight further against his chest. Craning his head over the roof of the carrier, Bakugou saw the uniformed man lower an arm at him.
'Shit!' Bakugou managed, quickly hooking his arm under the load and jabbing the other behind him to blast him into the air, barely avoiding the neon spray. From what he saw, the villain could only fire one shot per-arm before needing to shrink and re-swell the limb to reload. If he could make it over to the bastard before he fired again...
A grunt of pain from Camie broke his train of thought and Bakugou looked over to see Inai had smashed the butt of the pole into Camie's stomach. The blonde woman retched from the blow, almost falling before trying to shudder-step out of reach. Inai grinned, sweeping the dog-catcher around to bring the crackling noose around Camie's neck. He nearly succeeded before she suddenly rose up to stick her baton through the loop, pressing a button on the side of its handle. The telescoping length of the weapon crackled to life with a pinkish field and the soft whump of displaced air, before the catcher's noose suddenly powered down. Camie's pained grimace turned smug at Inai's shocked expression, "EMP field, nice try." She said, before kicking the man in the groin with a pointed boot.
The kidnapper slid to his knees with a loud groan, dropping the now de-powered weapon to instead clutch at his crotch - before hurtling forwards to clamp his arms around Camie's waist and legs, pressing his face into her thigh with a muffled "Now Eguchi!" as he held the girl in place.
"Get off me!" Camie snapped, thwacking her baton against the offending man's shoulders and back.
From the corner of his eye, Bakugou saw Boss Eguchi turn to the pair and lift his free arm, the one still loaded with fluid, to take aim.
'Goddamnit shit!' Hunching forwards, practically juggling the pet carrier with his knees, Bakugou launched towards his struggling partner. Whatever that fluid was, he couldn't reach Eguchi in time before it was sprayed. If Bakugou was fast enough, maybe he could knock Camie out of the way so the liquid would hit Inai instead. Bakugou felt his free arm cramp up as he expelled more power than usual to try and increase speed. If he wasn't grappling the hostage carrier, he could use his other arm to try and dissipate the purple spray with a blast, but doing so now would mean dropping the boy.
His angle was slightly off. Unable to scoop up Camie or slam into her captor he instead intercepted the spray just as Camie brought the butt of her weapon down on the side of Inai's head. Bakugou flinched curling his body around the carrier, being prepared for the sting of acid or poison as the liquid splattered across him. He could feel streams of it trickle down his back, the droplets leaving a tingly sensation in their wake. It wasn't unlike the pins & needles feeling of a foot falling asleep. Bakugou landed, skidding on his boots to overcompensate his balance. He fell ungracefully on his backside, managing to set the carrier down and use it as support to stand. Bakugou's vision swam as he turned; the tingly feeling was spreading rapidly from the points of contact, making his skin feel hot and itchy. He saw Camie disentangle herself from the unconscious Inai's arms and hurl her baton like a tomahawk to crack into the fleeing Eguchi's knee. The kidnapper leader fell with a shrieked "Sonofabitch!" clutching the knee in a ball of pain on the floor.
Sirens came next, the real police arriving for support and cleanup duty. Dizziness set upon him as the tingling crept around to Bakugou’s face, the corners of his vision taking on a faint purple haze. The world tilted, his consciousness fading, feeling the numb thump of him landing on his side. Able to see the actual police rushing up, Camie running to him, her face full of concern...
Everything went black.
Bakugou awoke with a start in a room full of white. A hospital examination room, probably. Why not the infirmary was beyond him, perhaps his injuries were superficial?
It felt like he'd been drugged, his eyelids were heavy; wooziness gripped him as he sought to sit up. The bitter tang of medicine and chemicals in the room slashed into his nose.
"Hold on Katsuki," came a soft reply from above him, "Nice and slow. Easy. You've had a shock."
Bakugou blearily looked up to see Detective Sansa Tamakawa seated nearby. The man's feline features were as impassive as ever, yellow eyes betraying nothing of his mood.
'Damned Hairball cop. Always uptight. Reminds me of Iida...' Bakugou felt hot and stuffy, and things felt... different, even as he was still waking up. He sought to open his mouth, but no sound came out. Sansa interrupted him.
"Echima Dayu, the boy you saved, has come around. He's safe, just to let you know. Changed back about a half-hour ago, just after the 24 hour mark."
'Changed back? 24 hours? The hell are you even saying?'
Sansa pursued his lips, a bizarrely human look on a cat's face. "So at least we know it'll wear off in a day for you." Plucking a large handheld mirror from the counter, the detective set it down in front of Bakugou.
A dog stared back from his reflection.
A stubby puppy to be exact, with spiky, poofy fur the sandy-blonde colour of Bakugou's hair. It took a full fifteen seconds to process this. Bakugou even looked down to see oversized puppy paws in the place where his hands and arms would be. Then realization dawned, and he started swearing, loudly and rapidly.
'What the everloving fuck!?'
'That goddamned motherfu-'
'-ssrag villain piece of shit fuc-'
'-hitstained cunt DO TO ME!?!'
Sansa, to his credit, weathered the frothing dog impassively. Even when Bakugou clumsily stood and wobbled over to yap at his reflection, as if raw fury could reverse the change he'd undergone, the cat-man held the mirror steady. After several more expletive-filled seconds, Bakugou slumped on his haunches, panting loudly from the enraged rush.
The detective raised a furry eyebrow. "You finished?"
The door to the room opened and a fresh-faced woman in a lab coat entered, her auburn hair tied in a bun. She inspected a clipboard as she stepped forwards. "I take it our little patient is up? I just finished explaining everything to his missus."
Sansa nodded, "Yes honey, he is."
At Bakugou's questioning look, the detective elaborated. "My wife Chiyako, registered... veterinarian."
'A vet?! You took me to a goddamned vet!?'
"Oh lord, he's barking again." Chiyako murmured, nonplussed.
"Please understand Katsuki," Sansa intoned, hands out to placate the sputtering dog. "Due to the... unique circumstances of your condition, a hospital wouldn't be the best place for you. We had to be sure there were no adverse effects. Indeed, until little Dayu turned back, we weren't sure if the change was permanent or not." The detective nodded towards the redhead, "So I took you here as my fellow officers took Eguchi and his men to the local precinct. Chiyako gave you a physical-"
"I was gentle." chimed in the wife.
"-She was gentle. We determined your health and breed while Dayu was being questioned about the effects he'd undergone. Don't worry, you're a perfectly healthy ten-week Shibe Inu mix, with about a quarter Pomeranian somewhere in there."
'Oh goddamnit, I'm one of the yappy ones!' Bakugou snorted before awkwardly sitting.
"By cross-referencing Dayu's answers with Eguchi's interrogation, we've determined a number of things. One: The breed mix and dog age seem to be completely random. Young Dayu was a five-year old basset hound for the days he was captive, the boy himself is only seven as human. Which brings me to two: the transformation subsides roughly twenty-four hours unless sprayed again by Eguchi Dantai's fluid, then the timer resets, so-to-speak. But it's not precise, dependent on factors like the amount of spray sustained, metabolism, and age, among others. And Thirdly: while transformed, your quirk is nullified completely. Otherwise the boy could've broken the lock on his cage by secreting his 'bubbly plastic' into it."
Chiyako stepped up consulting her notes on the pad, "What we've determined from the Dayu's experience, the transformation process isn't a one-to-one thing. While your body may be that of a canine and your mind human, your instincts and hindbrain tendencies will swing more towards the dog side of things automatically..." She paused, "Yeah, like that."
Bakugou started at the realization that he'd unconsciously lifted a hind leg and was scratching an itch as the base of his chin. With concentrated effort, he managed to set his leg down.
'So I'm a puppet to goddamned dog instinct?' He yapped, feeling his head tilt quizzically.
"Dayu was confined to that pet carrier during captivity, muzzled to keep from barking, but they'd let him out to defecate on the docks, dumping his waste into the sea. Hiding the evidence and silencing him, so-to-speak." The vet continued, grimacing at the treatment of the boy, "Though that he was able to tell us that walking was difficult. Wobbly, he said. As if the dog and human wires were crossed and sending mixed signals to the body, it got slightly better with practice. Still, expect your mobility to be munted for the next day." She lifted the first page on her notes to consult below, "He also said he'd have sudden urges to chase after stray cats and local seagulls or squirrels, so we can chalk that down to the pack-hunter instinct taking over. When he slept, dreamed of chasing rabbits. I'm willing to bet even his feet twitched when that happened. Regardless..."
At this, Chiyako walked to a drawer at the counter top, opening it to retrieve a leash and collar, both were nylon.
'Oh hell no!' Bakugou growled, retreating from the advancing vet.
"Katsuki, please." Sansa groaned, "It's only for a day and for your safety. Would you want The Ground Zero's career to end as a dog pancaked in the road because he bolted for bacon across the street?" The detective smiled softly at Bakugou's head tilt. "Yes, your name change came through, the police databases were one of the first to know. No more 'Mister Explosion' by the press, only 'Ground Zero' now."
"His tail wagged." The redhead remarked, smiling at Bakugou's soft 'Hmph!' as he begrudgingly lifted his head for her to affix the collar on.
"Well, now that you've been debriefed. I think it's time your 'owner' took you home to wait it out." The cat-detective explained, stepping over towards the door and opening it with a "You can see him now." to the outside.
A blonde blur, then Bakugou found himself rapidly scooped up and stuffed between two fleshy hills. His vision went dark in that crevasse, the scent of sweat and perfume and the soft thump-thump-thump of Camie's heart assaulting his senses as his small dog body was rocked back and forth in a frantic cuddle. It wasn't the first time he'd been here, but the first time where he was covered in fur.
Instinct kicked in - both the new canine and residual human; and he wriggled against her grip. His ears were perked up enough to hear the veterinarian deadpan "Oh look, his tail is really wagging now." Stars swam in Bakugou's eyes as he managed to surface with a gasp, only to find Camie's stormy-blues gleaming down at him.
"I'm totes happy you're alright!" She yammered, bombarding him with kisses, her lip gloss causing him to sneeze when she peppered his snout. "You were a hottie before, bae, but now you're totes an adorbz mad-lit little pupper!"
'You trying to suffocate me, woman!?'
He wriggled, uncomfortable, pressing his paws against her cleavage to give him some space. He didn’t want to scratch her but he didn't want to be crushed either - at least not as a goddamned dog! She seemed to take the hint and pulled him away from her, lifting him limply in her hands before leaving a smooch on his brow. "Thanks for examining his puppy-wupp bod, Chi!" Camie chirped to the vet, scratching Bakugou's ears with manicured nails. He found himself leaning into this ministration, despite himself.
"Just doing my job and helping my hubby." Chiyako replied with a glance to Sansa, before bowing to the blonde woman. "I'm sure you'd do the same, Mrs. Bakugou."
The room paused.
Sansa coughed into his fist awkwardly, it sounded like he had a hairball, "Ah. They're... not married."
"Oh." the vet blinked with an embarrassed smile, "I had assumed... with the news coverage... Mister Explosion and Miss Illusion..."
'It's Ground Zero now!' Bakugou wuffed, feeling a twinge of annoyance at the auburn woman's assumption, 'Don't believe what the damn tabloids say!'
Camie fanned her hand dismissively with a chuckle, "No biggie! Maybe someday I can totes be the Missus Explosion, or he Mister Illusion-"
'Don't you start! Especially not in front of a cop, that's how rumours spread!'
"-but that'll be a while." The blonde finished with a knowing look to the snarling dog in her arms. Bakugou looked away.
"Well, add an extra day to the wait time, because he's stuck as a very poofy Shibe mix until around tomorrow-noon. We didn't alert the media about your... circumstances at the press debriefing, instead saying Bakugou decided on a leave of absence in exchange for rescuing the Echima boy on your day off." Sansa added, salvaging the moment. "Young Dayu also said that the transformation made him hungry, as if he hadn't eaten in a day. Something about burning calories and the changing metabolism, I'm sure." He looked to his wife.
Chiyako fished a baggie from out of her lab coat, "This contains pamphlets with information new dog owners need to know. Since it'll only be a day before he turns back, I didn't include dog treats or a demo of puppy chow for him." Chiyako relayed, handing over the bag with a smile.
'Damn straight. I'm not eating any fucking kibble!' Bakugou thought, even as a rumble of hunger gnawed at him.
"Thanks Doc! You and your kitty-hubby are a totes solid fam!" the blonde said, stowing it in a belt pouch of her uniform and taking the proffered leash from Sansa.
"You're... Uh... welcome?" came the confused reply. As Sansa quietly explained Camie's way of speaking to his bewildered wife, Camie set Bakugou down to affix the leash.
"Let's go Baku!"
'Hn. But no tugging! And walk behind me!'
But it wasn't long out in the hallway before he became entangled by his oversized puppy feet, flopping about as he tried to stubbornly walk with human mind in dog body. He heard Camie click her tongue in sympathy before gently picking him up. "Chillax Baku-bae, I got this." Bakugou hmphed but otherwise didn't struggle.
The waiting room was semi-packed, and Bakugou's freshly-enhanced senses recoiled at the parade of smells dominating the area. The stink of various animals and their owners permeated wherever he looked, from the earthy tones of dogs and cats, to the surprisingly blank scent of the iguana eyeing him from the corner in the arms of a demure schoolgirl. A golden retriever excitedly jumped up to Camie, paws outstretched to rest on her arms and put it's curious face up to Bakugou's, sniffing and panting rapidly. Bakugou started at the solid wall of fishy breath.
"Poppy! Down!" The golden's owner replied with an embarrassed look to Camie, gently tugging the happy pooch back. The blonde replied with a smile and nod before continuing on. They exited without additional incident to find a young officer installing a padded basket to the rear of Camie's scooter, he looked up at her approach. "Ah! Excellent timing I just finished."
Camie quirked an eyebrow at the addition to her ride, "A basket?”
"Yup! No charge! The department paid, says it's their thank-you for what you and Ground Zero did." The man bowed.
"Hear that Baku?" The blonde chimed, lifting him to her face again, "We were totes rewarded!"
'Fucking riveting. It'll be great for hauling groceries.'
To his surprise, there were seat belt like straps in the basket, ingeniously designed for securing packages or groceries, or small dogs like him. After a brief struggle getting him situated, they were off.
Camie filled him in as they puttered along. Firstly that Bakugou had been unconscious for about an hour since he’d turned. He'd shrunken down out of his hero outfit and gear, and Camie had scrambled to stow it in the saddlebags before following Sansa to the vet clinic. Secondly: Interrogation of the apparent 'A.C. (Animal Control) Gang' had revealed their method: they'd arrive at a potential hostage's residence in-uniform when the mark was isolated. In Dayu's case, it was when he was outside practicing his quirk - and Eguchi would spray them. Once a dog, the crew could catch their target using stolen animal handling equipment, acting like it was a stray that they then loaded up into the van. The forensics team had discovered sticker-residue on the sides of the vehicle where fake animal control information had sat while conducting operations. The gang changed the info before every job for anonymity.
The child was fine, rattled but otherwise unharmed. This was fortunate since he'd overheard Eguchi telling his men about a drug contact who'd be very interested in animal taxidermy-based drug smuggling. Further info was being extracted by the police even as they spoke.
After about ten-minutes on their chosen route, Camie let out a soft curse and turned off at a gas station. "Tank's low, bae. Didn't get to top-up this morning, what with bein' called in and all." Sliding into an open pump, the blonde removed her helmet and shook out her shoulder-length hair. "Can I get you anything inside, bae?"
'Like hell I'm eating any shitty gas station food!'
At her questioning look, he huffed and pointedly shook his canine head. But his stomach chose then to growl savagely, and Camie's eyebrow rose - prompting him to even more furiously shake his head and stamp a paw with a short bark of refusal. Camie relented and flashed a grin, "Gotcha, bae! We've totes chow at home. But I need a water or something, pretty parched from our morning workout, both of them." She winked, he glowered.
'You know you just said that to a goddamn dog, right?'
She of course didn't hear him, instead sauntering off into the station shop with a hand wave and a "Stay boy! Watch the scooter!" Bakugou couldn't tell if she was asking that for appearances to passerby, or if his girlfriend was teasing him. Knowing Camie, probably both.
'Not like I can go anywhere. Couldn't get these straps off without thumbs.'
With a huff, Bakugou laid down awkwardly in the basket, resting his chin on his front paws to eye the foot traffic. He'd raise hell for any two-bit punk who thought to jack Camie's ride.
He instead heard the soft scrape of footsteps on the pavement behind him, causing his ears to perk up. "Was that Miss Illusion?" Came a murmur, a familiar voice, Bakugou looked up and over.
'Oh goddamnit! You.'
Mineta Minoru stood there, the short man in a lecherous t-shirt involving amorously posed stick figures and the caption 'Eat Out More', both arms were weighed down with grocery bags. At the dog's movement, Mineta turned his attention to him. Bakugou froze.
'Does he recognize...?'
"Hey boy," Mineta grinned, nodding to Bakugou, "You Camie's dog? Lucky little pup, ain'tcha? Getting to be petted by a sweet piece of ass like her." his smile turned lewd, setting a bag down to rub the back of his neck, "Maaan, I wish I could be in your shoes."
Bakugou felt his hackles rise slightly. 'If you were in my shoes, dwarf, I'd punt you to the fucking moon.'
"Only petting me a lot lower..." Mineta continued, starting to actually salivate, to the dog's disgust. "and a lot rougher."
'A-are you implying beastia-'
"Mineta?" Came Camie's questioning tone, and they both turned to see the illusion heroine exiting the shop, a bottle of orange juice in-hand.
"Ah, Camie!" In an instant, Mineta's pervy demeanor vanished into brittle cordiality. "I was - ah - just admiring your dog here." He reached out to make a show of petting Bakugou.
Camie started. "I wouldn't-" Bakugou let out a soft growl, his newfound canine instincts and human mind in agreement as he snapped at the outstretched hand. He missed, but Mineta jerked back just the same.
"You should totes ask before petting pets, lil-Min-dude. Pupper here is nervous around strangers." Camie chided before languidly taking another gulp of her drink. Bakugou didn't like the way Mineta's eyes traced her throat as she swallowed.
The short man chuckled nervously, "Ah, one of the small yappy breeds, gotcha."
'Recognize one of your own, huh creep?'
Mineta coughed "Er, you on duty?" Bakugou also certainly didn't like how Mineta's gaze scanned Camie's tight hero uniform as he spoke.
"Day off, little dude." The blonde woman replied, finishing the drink and tossing it into a nearby recycling bin. "Or was. Baku-bae and I had plans. Got called in, the Echima kidnapping case."
The shorter man nodded knowingly, "Yeah, I saw the headline on HeroNet, didn't read it though." He looked around, nervously wetting his lips. "Uh. Where is Bakugou anyway?"
To her credit Camie didn't miss a beat, instead dismissively waiving her hand, "Police debrief, totes wanted to personally see the Echima kid back to his family. Also wanted sit in on the interrogation of the perps, and, like see if he can find any lit leads about their contacts. Then catch them, boost his hero rating. Y'know how it is." She made a show of huffing in disappointment, Mineta's eyes flicking to her chest as she did so, "Hope it won't nuke date night."
Bakugou felt hot disappointment and annoyance flash through him, his puppy shoulders slumped. It was date night tonight. He'd forgotten from the change.
"W-well if Bakugou's not available, I could-" Mineta started, swallowing a mouthful of saliva. Camie bluntly ignored him, instead turning around to bend and pointedly inspect the buttons on the gas console. "Wait a sec grape jelly, gotta top up." Bakugou's hackles fully rose as he saw the short man blatantly ogle his girlfriend's ass, fingers flexing wildly. At the dog's growl, Camie glanced at Bakugou, and from the angle he could see her plush lips twist into a sly smile. Hmming softly, she straightened, hands on her hips before patting her belt, not noticing Mineta's eyes widen at the gesture. Camie sighed, cursing softly. "Damnit."
"What's up?" Mineta said stepping up next to her.
"Forgot my wallet. Totes left it in my civvy clothes back at the flat. Crap, and I coulda wrote gas off as a mad-lit work expense come tax-time."
She was lying, Bakugou knew full well her casual clothes and accessories were hastily stuffed into her outfit-case in the saddlebags. Despite himself and having an inkling of her plan, Bakugou felt his head tilt in confusion.
"Well that sucks..." Mineta replied, not quite getting what she was aiming for either.
"Mineta." Camie turned, her voice turning a sickeningly sweet syrupy quality that she practically drizzled on the short man before her, "Could you be a sweet little grape and do me a solid-"
'Goddamn phrasing, woman!'
"-and fill up my tank?" She bent over, pert nose a mere foot from Mineta's face, taking his hands in hers, her feminine wiles in full force.
"Er. Ah. Uhm." The purple haired man's gaze repeatedly flicked from Camie's face and her half-open window of chest. To Bakugou's amazement, Mineta seemed to steel himself and gulp. "I-in exchange for what?" He squeaked.
"Hm?" Camie questioned, cocking her head and putting her index finger to her chin in the adorable way Bakugou had seen when she contemplated something.
"I- I mean..." Mineta swallowed again, "W-what will you show me - er - give me in-in exchange?"
Camie actually blinked at that, "Ah..." she managed, the plan to puppeteer Mineta starting to backfire.
'Do NOT take a favour from him!' Bakugou was yapping now, struggling against his seat belt straps.
"Camie?" Came another familiar voice yet again from behind Bakugou, he turned.
There indeed stood Izuku Midoriya. Unlike them, he was on the hero beat today. His green jumpsuit strained slightly around his dancer's physique, the gas mask inspired by his stepfather's smile was up to obscure his nose and mouth, and his hood was down to expose his mossy-green hair to the sun. Sea-green eyes flicked from Mineta, to Camie, to Bakugou - where they lingered a moment before returning to the blonde. Slowly he pulled down the mask to reveal a lightly freckled face. Izuku smiled, lifting a gauntleted hand to give Camie a thumbs-up. Bakugou noticed that his fist was angled to point more towards between Camie and Bakugou rather than directly at her.
"I read what happened on the Hero Net, excellent work!" He looked again at Bakugou, "Glad I ran into you, but I wish Kacchan was here to congratulate in person."
"It's cool, Deku-fam." Camie chirped, straightening up to step away from Mineta. "You know how my bae is, working hardest to try and top your ranking, even on a day off like today."
"I'm sure." Izuku's eyes lingered on Bakugou's crimson gaze for a moment longer, before looking up again. "Heading home now?"
"Totally was, but I, like, needed gas - ditzy me forgot my wallet." Camie sighed melodramatically before suddenly resting her hand on Mineta's shoulder, grinning "But grape-fam here was just scooting along and agreed to cover me, free of charge." she quickly zipped up her jumpsuit in-full as she spoke.
"Ah Mineta, really?" Izuku looked towards his short colleague, smile growing, "Good for you! Off-duty and still willing to help someone in-need, and another hero no less!"
"Uhh..." Mineta managed, a deer-in-the-headlights expression locked on his face. Izuku stepped up to him, his shadow falling over Mineta slowly. Still smiling, the #1 hero rested his hand on Mineta's unoccupied shoulder, fingers slowly, gently, falling one-by-one onto it.
"I mean, to ask for something in return for such a favour is alright. So long as it isn't anything untoward or, heavens forbid, perverted. How unprofessional would it look, the hero Grape Juice soliciting Miss Illusion in a helpless situation? Especially, perhaps, if it was all miscommunication? What would the press say? Oh man, what if Bakugou found out? Even if it was just a misunderstanding, you know how Bakugou is." Izuku chuckled pointedly, leaning close to mock-whisper conspiratorially. "He'd blast first and ask questions later."
'They'd never find your body.' Bakugou nodded in agreement from his seat.
Switching his gaze rapidly back and forth to the two taller, more powerful, heroes on either side of him, Mineta Minoru fought for speech, finally managing a half-croaked "Y-yeah, sure, that's exactly what it was - I mean, free of charge. R-right Camie?" His hand shook as it tugged his wallet from his pocket.
"That's totes right, lil' fam!" Camie beamed before stepping to the pump selection. Bakugou saw with no small amount of delicious vindication that she chose the most expensive fuel type available.
Izuku chatted with Miss Illusion whilst Mineta paid for the full tank and dejectedly left, shoulders slumped the whole way. Bakugou watched him go, turning when Izuku cheerfully waived goodbye to the small pervert.
"Thanks for that Deku, he totes kept undressing me with his eyes. Wasn't puttin' much effort to legit hide it either."
"Yeah, Ochaco and I banned him from our place when he tried to sneak out her underwear after that last party we all had. I had to stop her from sending him into orbit." Izuku watched Mineta turn the corner, eyes full of disappointment.
"I'm surprised you didn't ban Baku-bae then either." Camie added, nudging him in the side.
"Well, blowing up a ping-pong table and stealing my wife's underwear are two very different offences." Izuku chuckled, "The table was junk anyway, we were going to throw it out - Kacchan just sped up the process."
'You're bloody welcome, nerd.'
""Cool. Bae and I won't feel totes awkward the next time we show up." Miss Illusion flashed a smile, swinging herself into the driver's seat and starting the scooter up.
"You're welcome any time, both of you." Izuku pointedly nodded before setting his mask back in place and resuming his route with a wave and a light jog.
"He knows, bae." Camie murmured to him, pulling out of the station and back onto the street.
'Yeah. I'll bet it's the eyes. But Deku's smart, he'll keep it to himself.' At her questioning over-the-shoulder look, Bakugou just rolled his eyes and let out a bark.
'Never you damn mind, just take us home!'
The rest of the drive was uneventful, puttering along in silence with only the occasional, brief, yaps from Bakugou as the dog instinct took over whenever a particularly interesting squirrel or cat was noticed. Camie stowed her ride in the downstairs storage of the apartment complex. She bent and latched the leash to his collar, shouldered the cases from the saddlebags and let him awkwardly lead her to the exterior stairwell.
"Totes good this place allows pets, huh?"
'As long as none of them sniff my ass.'
Fortunately they encountered neither neighbors nor other pets on their way to the flat they shared. Camie let out a tired huff once inside, opening one case on the kitchen counter and removing Styrofoam boxes within. The scent of ham and buttery bread permeated from these, and Bakugou's stomach roared as he realized that they contained their interrupted lunch. What followed was sealed paper cups, the coffee from that meal.
"You're hungry, bae. Don't try an' hide it." Camie murmured with a smile, "We'd barely started before we got the call." She set Bakugou's quarter-eaten croissant sandwich on a plate and put it in the microwave along with the coffee cup, setting the timer for a minute. The blonde stretched, arching her back and reaching above her with both arms, the creak of her outfit accompanying this movement. It was a sort of stretch he'd seen her do countless times, but never from such an upwards view. Bakugou felt that, had he still been human, this sight would evoke a response from him - but his adolescent canine body ignored the human cue. The sizzle and pop of heating meat came from the microwave, causing his stomach to growl even further. Camie continued stretching, working out the kinks of the day - from combat and riding her motor-scooter around.
Finally the microwave dinged and Camie set out the spread on a plate: reheated sandwich and coffee next to a bag of potato chips. She turned towards the small dinner table near the edge of the kitchenette and paused as Bakugou let out a bark. They both shared a look before Bakugou awkwardly patted the space of floor in front of him.
'No way I can climb up or down from the table without falling on my ass. And I'm not spreading fur on it either. It's fucking unsanitary.'
Camie blinked in realization and let out a sheepish smile, "Well I was gonna put you up on there, but okay..." she explained setting the plate down in front of him. Though she couldn't hear him, she understood his meaning well enough. "Sorry Baku, wanted to keep things the norm." It was bizarre, the apartment felt much quieter since Bakugou was like this. He pointedly nudged the to-go cup in an attempt to show how difficult it'd be for him to drink from when he recoiled, the scent of the coffee within bombarding his enhanced sense of smell. He sneezed, awkwardly padding away from the offending drink. What was an average cup of coffee was now rich, too rich, for his senses.
"Rough?" his girlfriend asked, picking up the cup and sipping it. "Things gotta be mad-overwhelming for you now, huh? It's okay, bae. You can enjoy it tomorrow." She set the coffee in the fridge before filling a bowl with water and putting it next to Bakugou's food plate. He watched as she added her own leftovers to the fridge. Camie smiled sadly at his questioning look and tilted head. "I'll nom it later. Totes need to shower." With a pat of his head, she turned and slinked into their shared bedroom, practically peeling off her hero outfit as she went. Bakugou could see her creamy features and abundant curves from the doorway as Camie stepped into the bathroom. Once again cursing his confinement to this form, Bakugou began attacking his meal.
Eating and drinking was an awkward struggle if he actually actively thought about doing it. Human chewing with a puppy mouth got him nowhere and almost made him choke. He couldn't just take whole bites like a person would, and found that he dismantled the sandwich instead by component. Spacing out seemed to be the key, putting his human mind in the back seat and letting dog instinct take the wheel. It felt like moving on autopilot, almost as if the new canine part of him was a loosely-separate consciousness. Still, it worked, wolfing down most of the sandwich bits, though Bakugou's doggy tongue rebelled against the lettuce. The chip bag was thankfully open and he gorged himself on barbecue flavoured chips before turning his attention to the water bowl. Strangely, he bit at the water with his dog mouth, still managing to drink a fair amount.
It was all humiliating. His human mind revolted against these actions. It made Bakugou feel enfeebled and helpless, a feeling he'd rarely experienced in his life and had resolved to never feel again. At this point he was glad Camie was showering so as not to witness his struggle. But he'd realized something during the haphazard meal. Carefully nudging the plate aside and placing any fallen scraps back onto it so neither would be unnoticed and stepped on, he then wobble-trotted to the living room. On the coffee table sat his laptop; he'd been researching cooking recipes to surprise Camie with that evening - before they went to brunch and got the call. After a few hops, Bakugou managed to get his front paws on the edge and heave himself up, hind legs windmilling for purchase. After a few moments of levering, he unfolded the device and awkwardly pressed the spacebar.
The computer awoke with a chime and Bakugou blinked away the sudden blue glare permeating the dimly lit apartment.
'Alright, password...' Carefully supporting himself on three legs, he awkwardly pawed the keys, his frustration slowly building as it took him several tries to effectively type the letters. After a struggle, Bakugou finally succeeded, and was greeted by a sparse homescreen dominated by a beach sunset selfie that Camie had taken. Her arm had been drunkenly draped over his shoulders as she kissed his then-human cheek while still looking towards the camera, he'd fought to keep down his annoyance and amusement at her open display of affection then. Thankful for the touchpad, Bakugou wobbled the cursor over to the text editor program and opened it.
Thinking for a moment, he engaged the caps lock and gingerly typed through the course of several minutes:
1 BARK = NO
2 BARKS = YES
WILL TYPE HERE FOR MORE SPECIFIC STUFF
WE CAN DISCUSS REST OF DAY
WE MENTION THIS GODDAMN THING TO NO ONE EVER
Satisfied, but feeing suddenly sleepy, Bakugou turned to hop onto the nearby couch, his hind legs scrambling once again whilst his front hooked onto the fabric of the cushions. After a moment, he succeeded in hauling himself up and settled down to wait for his girlfriend.
He didn't realize he'd fallen asleep until jolting awake with a surprised wuff, practically hopping into the air. His attention was spastic, swiftly looking around the room for several seconds before remembering his current predicament. A hand came down and gently scratched at his head.
"You finally woke, huh bae?" Came Camie's languid tones from above him and he looked to see her sitting on the other end of the couch, clad in one of his skull-stamped tee-shirts and her gym shorts. She shifted a blonde lock away from her face and smiled. "It's been a few hours. Vet-lady's notes said you'd be bushed and famished after the transformation and eating as a pupper would totes zonk you out." As she spoke, Bakugou felt himself lean into her hand, guiding it to a particularly problematic spot behind one ear.
She hmmed thoughtfully. "Date night's a bit naff now: no fancy restaurant chow, and no movie digs would let you in 'less you were a service doggo." She grinned at him, "Too small for the job anyway, and I can't pull off being blind. Can't keep glamour on you long enough to make you pass for regular Baku - 'specially if we run into an usher." she sighed, disappointed "Aquarium's totes off now for the same reason."
'Another damn time.' Bakugou huffed. He stood and awkwardly gestured to the coffee table with an outstretched paw, making slow pulling motions and looking pointedly to Camie. After a moment, the woman understood and scooted the table over against the couch proper so her boyfriend-turned-dog could simply step to the laptop and type.
AT HOME MOVIE NIGHT?
Camie quirked an eyebrow and stifled a giggle as Bakugou had to directly angle his paw to hit the shift key and question mark/forward slash key at the same time to effectively type. "Movie night sounds lit, bae. There's totes a few marathons on the tube we could snuggle down for." She leaned forwards to ruffle his poofy furred head, and Bakugou let her without so much as a snort of mild disapproval. He found her petting him oddly nice, even if it wasn't the sort of petting he was used to. The fact she had strawberry hand lotion didn't hurt.
Bakugou nodded to her, 'Alright.'
Movie 'night' started mid-afternoon, and proved an effective way to burn time. Camie had already eaten her brunch whilst her boyfriend had slept like the dead earlier. This didn't stop her from prepping some popcorn in the microwave to share. Several channels were hosting weekend marathons ranging from retro post-apocalypse, to independent films, to classic-horror both esteemed and cheesy. They debated, with help from Bakugou's typing on the laptop; and decided to switch between the marathons when a notable film was up, or one either hadn't seen before.
He soon found himself snuggling into Camie's lap, her hand absentmindedly petting his furred head and back or scratching through the poofiness. Slowly he found himself lying down on her plush thighs, and her hand traveled to his stomach to continue scratching as they watched in silence. Camie must've found a particularly potent spot, as Bakugou suddenly felt his hind leg wiggling involuntarily, vibrating him in-place against her stomach. Camie's giggled response was stopped by a wince, and he swiftly stood to questioningly look at her and then her lower torso.
"Ah, it's fine bae, don't wor-"
Bakugou ignored her, partially lifting the hem of the shirt with a paw to reveal a blue bruise splotching across her trim stomach, a gift from combat with henchman Inai earlier that day.
"See? It's totes fi-ine!" Camie started as her boyfriend-turned-dog wedged his fuzzy face against her belly and began rapidly licking the spot, Camie looked down to see a wiggling lump under her shirt as Bakugou went to work.
'Shut up and let me do this Cam.' It had been partial instinct and concern that prompted the action, both human mind and canine hell-bent to ease her discomfort. He took a studious approach, slowly working his slobbery dog tongue along the blotch in a series of repeated rows. The shirt fabric undulated slightly as Camie tried to stifle a chuckle, Bakugou not seeing her bite her lower lip at the ticklish sensation of his fur and tongue. The movie sat forgotten as Bakugou repeated the lick-pattern a few more times before he pulled back, satisfied. He then found himself scooped up and a wet smooch planted on his brow. "Such a gent, totes doting on me like that. Good boy."
Bakugou would've blushed under the fur if he could. 'It was nothing.' he remarked, looking away as she set him down.
They continued watching as if nothing had happened. To his surprise, Bakugou found he could vaguely understand the body language and feelings of the dog actor during one of the post-apocalypse flicks. Namely, that it felt happy to be around interesting people in funny outfits and interesting smells whilst doing good for the offscreen animal handler; but also confusion of why its tail had been taped to its leg to keep from wagging it excitedly throughout. The classic horror-thon included a string of werewolf films; Bakugou and Camie exchanged a long look before unanimously deciding to skip it.
Partway through an animated adaptation of a fighting-monster game franchise, Bakugou felt a familiar feeling in his crotch and stood suddenly.
'I have to piss!'
Launching himself off the couch, he scampered under Camie's outstretched legs that rested on the coffee table and went to their shared bedroom. Thankfully the bathroom door was partially open, and Bakugou shoulder-checked it open before halting at the shut toilet. Camie followed worriedly, but understood as she saw her bae-turned-pup hopping frantically at the blocked toilet bowl. Clearly her throat, she lifted the lid and hoisted Bakugou onto the seat before departing with a backwards glance. "Totes let me know when you're done, bae, and if you need anything."
Sitting spread-eagle on the seat, Bakugou waited for her to nearly close the door before thinking, 'Okay, how the fuck do I do this?' Blanking his mind for autopilot nearly caused him to hop down prematurely, dog instinct telling him to sniff out a cozy spot on the ground to do business either here in-house or outside. Snarling internally, Bakugou yanked back the feeling, 'LIKE HELL I'M CRAPPING ON THE GRASS!' Human mind and logic shoved past intruding canine instinct: this process wouldn't be as different as eating had been for him, after all...
It took some effort and balance, but he did it - relief and a strange sense of pride flushed through Bakugou; even as he shuffled around over to one end of the seat and levered the flush handle with both paws. He hopped down, dismissing the habit of washing his hands - there was no point if he didn't have any - and nudged open the door with his nose. Camie sat on the edge of the bed facing him; slight worry shifting to a smile as he approached.
"Everything come out alright, bae?"
Bakugou's glare and dismissive bark was all the response she got.
They had dinner late; during a lull in the marathons where the only things that seemed to play were crappy, hamfisted, remakes. Camie stirred a boiling pot of ravioli, filling in the silence with idle small talk as Bakugou sat nearby on the floor.
"...and so Tsuyu told me of this totes-lit tank top she was scoping out, bae. Had a spread pattern of mad-retro Frogger sprites, and said 'Hop To It!' beneath. She was, like, such an excited fam! Was legit on the down-low about it, bae, probs wanting for her B-day! So I totes ordered it!" Bakugou only half-listened, his adolescent dog metabolism revving his stomach like an engine. As Camie chattered on, she strained the pasta and scooped out servings into bowls, adding spicy tomato sauce and grating a flurry of Parmesan on top. Bakugou's spot nearby the table included a placemat and stacked layers of paper towels ingeniously taped to the cloth to keep from sliding about if he used them. Setting steaming bowls down for them, along with water, Camie beamed at her handiwork, "Not lit-restaurant quality, but it'll do. Hang a tic, babe, gonna wash up." With the sink full of used cookware, Camie shuffled to the bathroom.
The heavenly scent of spicy beef permeated from the dish, making Bakugou salivate with anticipation. Shoestrings of his saliva swung pendulously from the corners of his mouth, and Bakugou had to lean away to let them break and spatter on a napkin than dribble into his meal. He'd wait for Camie before starting, he always did, especially this time where she worked hard to prep solo.
Unfortunately, autopilot instinct had a different idea, and Bakugou found a sauce-soaked ravioli in his mouth; and even more suddenly found himself lifted into the air with a fearful "Katsuki, wait!" A finger levered open his jaw and flicked out the pasta to plummet to the kitchen floor. Camie's worried eyes found his bewildered ones before he was placed before the water bowl and told to wash out his mouth.
"I'm so, so, so sorry! I saw the health slip that Chiyako gave. I'd left it in the bathroom. A fridge magnet on there listed tomatoes as toxic for dogs! I'm sorry Katsuki, I didn't realize!"
Shaken more by her swift action than the fact he'd nearly poisoned himself, Bakugou dutifully rinsed out his mouth, his mind firmly planted down on instinct to keep from swallowing the sauce-tainted water. He heard a soft clink and the fridge door opening and closing as Camie put away his helping. "Tomorrow, like the coffee, when you're back to normal, bae."
Camie swiftly refilled fresh bowls with water and unsauced pasta, but not before checking the ingredient list of the ravioli bag compared to the Food-Safety slip to see if anything in the list was also a problem. "No garlic, or onions. None of the herbs or spices seem to be iffy, but I'mma totes checking on my phone..."
Bakugou waited patiently as Camie checked and double-checked the internet, his stomach steadily roaring louder all the while. Finally, Camie set the freshened pasta bowl in front of him again, adding an extravagant carpet of cheese to compensate the lack of sauce. She grinned, relieved, and they started eating as if nothing had occurred.
'If Eguchi ever makes it out of prison, I'm stomping his ass in.'
Bakugou awoke late-morning curled up next to Camie on the couch, both partially covered by the comforter from their bed. They had decided to polish off the movie marathons late into the night since a few of the flicks were ones they hadn't heard of before. Now the news prattled on in near-silence, and Bakugou realized that he and his girlfriend had dozed off by marathon's end without turning the tv off. The scrolling news headline remarked how his fellow U.A. alumni, Koji Koda, had worked together with forest rangers to save both wildlife and campers from a raging fire. Shouto Todoroki had arrived to quell the blaze with his ice. Thankful that today was another day off from hero duties, Bakugou laid taking in the warmth of Camie's breath and pillowy body heat. The moment was interrupted when nature called and he reluctantly shuffled out from under her draped arm to stretch before padding to bathroom. Blearily he discovered that Camie had put an upturned laundry basket in front of the open toilet, and descending stacks of magazines before this to form a rudimentary staircase. Thankful for the easy path, Bakugou ascended to relieve himself.
He exited to find Camie sitting up, the blonde's hair messy as she slowly stretched. The movement lifted the hem of her shirt to partially expose the fading bruise, and Bakugou idly wondered if he should lick it again before he changed back.
'Changing back...' he mused, trotting into the kitchen to check the clock on the oven, 11:32. Damn, they'd slept in. It wasn't uncommon for their days off, but he didn't like making a habit of it either. He looked up as Camie approached. "Morning, bae. Had a lit sleep? I think I felt your legs wiggle in the night, were you dreamin' of chasing something?"
This soon after waking up, Bakugou was able to stir up a vague memory of the dream content, 'Not chasing. Racing. Racing a green rabbit wearing a gas mask.' Bakugou barked a greeting - and shook suddenly, doggy-style, poofy fur undulating in rapid waves. He felt a surprising lack of fatigue. Any lingering evidence of sleep only beaded the corners of his eyes; which he managed to wipe free with questing paws anyway. His strange new canine body felt like a coiled spring, a steadily building bundle of energy with stamina reserves refilled from a solid night's sleep. As Camie prepped the rice cooker and boiled water for miso soup, Bakugou headed to the laptop. Waking the machine and logging in, he added a new line to the conversation from yesterday:
LET US GO ON A WALK
I FEEL ENERGIZED
Camie nodded knowingly as he directed her attention to the screen. "Gotcha, bae. We can do that, it's a lit day and have a bit of time after b-fast." Said breakfast comprised of simple sticky rice in accordance with his canine diet, whilst Camie also had turkey sausage and miso soup. Over the course they agreed on a quick jaunt to clear Bakugou's rampant energy, Camie resolving not to change out of her shirt and shorts from the day before; she said she wanted to feel a bit lazy as well. They finished slowly, and the doorbell rang just as Camie clicked the leash onto his collar. They exchanged a glance, Bakugou giving her his best approximation of a shrug. They weren't expecting company, but that didn't mean much - and their apartment complex catered to fellow heroes; the chance a villain had stalked them was extremely remote. Bakugou eyed her nonetheless as she walked over to peer through the peephole. She gave an "Oh!" of recognition before opening.
She was greeted by the sight of Hanta Sero and Ibara Shiozaki. The pair were in their hero garb, with Hanta's smooth-visored helmet supported under one arm as his other was intertwined hand-in-hand with the vine-haired woman's. Ibara's hero outfit was a semi-loose floral-patterned jumpsuit, with rose-petal epaulets and bell-bottomed cuffs and sleeves. It was a proper opposite of Camie's preferred tight pleather garb. Her vine-hair wiggled slightly as it idly adjusted to maximize photosynthesis from the near-noon sun. She gave a serene smile to Camie as Hanta spoke, his own usual grin growing.
"Good morning Cam! Hope you don't mind us stopping by, we were on patrol and wanted to relay something before going on break." The ebony-haired man and greenhead bowed slightly.
Camie grinned and returned the bow, "No prob! Legit glad you two showed. Can't invite you in though, gonna be... running an errand in a bit! Sup?"
Bakugou listened in on the exchange, relaxing upon finding out the guests were his friends. Hanta was easygoing but also a joker, and Bakugou wasn't about to walk out and be seen as he was. If Izuku could recognize him as a dog, a good friend like Hanta would as well - and unlike Izuku, he'd never let Bakugou live it down.
"We'll be quick, don't worry." Ibara added to Camie, gesturing to Hanta to continue, not letting go of his hand.
"Well, Recovery Girl has a gig lined up that she's recruiting heroes for. Charity stuff at a children's hospital. Simple PR, spending a day with all the kids there, reading to them, telling of adventures, general interaction. Maybe a brief speech for the parent's sake, but mostly just hanging out there to cheer up the patients. Recovery Girl said you'd be a candidate, since you like kids so much."
Camie's eyes sparkled at the prospect, excitement on her features. Bakugou yawned in comparison. He'd do charity work and PR stuff without complaint, but was often uncomfortable around kids, despite being a major source of inspiration. Sticky hands and shrill voices weren't high on his list of things he tolerated. His girlfriend on the other hand...
"Sounds mad-freakin' awesome, fam!" Camie nodded, raising up a fist excitedly "Sign me and Baku up!"
'Oh don't you fucking dare drag me into this!' Bakugou barely managed to stifle the sudden bark.
"Well... about that..." Hanta nervously scratched the back of his head, his almond-shaped eyes warily looking past Camie, no doubt in search of Bakugou. "Recovery Girl is really getting up there in years, and while she's willing to let Bakugou attend and help out... he'll need to watch the language, and be less, well, crass."
"And volatile." His smile turned apologetic. "I'm just relaying what she said, you see? 'It would defeat the main purpose of the entire event,' to quote: 'Bakugou is a very capable fighter but when it comes to public affairs it'd sometimes be better if he were muzzled.'"
'MUZZLED?!' Bakugou leaped from his cover behind the couch, instinct and mind both angry as he sought to yap his reply. 'Well you can fucking tell-'
His jump carried far more vertigo than normal, his vision suddenly shifted.
"-where the hell that shriveled old bat can stuff it!" He'd finished. Suddenly feeling larger, more displaced, and oddly chilly, Bakugou almost missed how he'd finished his rebuke out loud. Time seemed to slow as he looked down to see his human hands braced on the kitchen floor under him, his feet precariously balanced on the pads of his toes, slumping to his knees a moment later. The collar felt snug against his neck, adjusting smoothly to his proper size as the leash hissed softly against the floor. Utterly mortified, Bakugou looked up as the breeze from the open doorway graced his naked flesh, trailing goosebumps along his skin.
Camie, Hanta, and Ibara stood staring. Ibara's face was beet red, the plant-haired woman clamping both hands over her mouth, eyes shut tight as the image of a very naked Katsuki Bakugou in a dog collar and leash was burned into her memory. Hanta actually dropped his helmet with a clatter, his trademark smile morphed into a confused, teeth-gritted frown, eyes flickering from his nude friend to Camie and back again.
"Oh Bae!" For her part, Camie was ecstatic, an almost giddy smile of relief on her face as she regarded her returned lover.
Hanta pointedly coughed into his fist, face turning several shades of pink as his free hand desperately sought Ibara's. "Ah... Oh... Um... You- you seem to be *ahem* busy at the moment, after all. We-we'll just be going then... uh... let us know abou-about the charity...thingy... later. Um. SorryWeInterruptedHaveAGoodDayBye!" He finished rapidly, kicking his helmet up into his grasp and leading his girl in a blurred sprint down the open-air hallway.
"I'll fill you in on it, fam!" Camie called after them, to which Bakugou could hear a distinct "We'll pass, thank you!" from Ibara in reply. He stood, a dumbfounding mix of relief and horror swirling through him. He couldn't live this down. Wouldn't live this down, unless Hanta Sero's sense of mortality outweighed his usual need to entertain their fellow alumni. Bakugou felt his hands clench and unclench slowly, detonations crackling in his palms. It was very likely that their flat would be decimated in a few minutes. His vision tunneling to channel the raw emotion surging inside. He was so preoccupied that he almost didn't notice Camie sashay up to him, wrap her arms around his shoulders, and plant a kiss on his lips. His embarrassment wavered under her touch, boiling fury slowing to a simmer from her kiss. Deep and soulful, Camie's lips welcomed him back to humanity. He returned it, the bottled emotions from the past day uncorking. His hands stopped crackling and instead pulled her to him in a crushing embrace as they deepened the lip-lock. Eventually, Camie pulled away, but not after planting some brief smooches to sate him.
"Welcome back." She smiled, "Now be a good boy and stay that way, 'kay?"
His eyelid twitched at the joke, but he still managed a smile back. "Can do Cam. The next time a villain aims at you with anything, I'll fucking sock them one before they can even fire."